Students move Centre on Manipur varsity
From Our Correspondent
IMPHAL, June 4— In an effort to upgrade the academic careers of the students studying here, the Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) has called upon the authorities concerned to look into the pathetic educational condition in the State. The Manipur University Tribal Students’ Union (MUTSU), in the meantime, has urged the Union Minister of Human Resource Development Murli Manohar Joshi, for redressal of the “genuine grievances” of the students in Manipur. In a one-page memorandum sent through fax, the MUTSU president, D K Thangboi Haokip and its general secretary Forceson Khumba on behalf of the students in the State in general and SC/ST students in particular, have drawn the attention of the Union Minister towards various problems being encountered by the students. The MUTSU wanted that special coaching be provided to eligible students of Manipur University for preparing them for the UGC/NET examination by availing financial assistance being provided by the UGC under the scheme of remedial coaching for SC/ST students vide UGC’s DO No F1-6/90 (SCT). The memorandum also appealed to the Union Minister for opening up of a pre-examination training centre (PETC) at Manipur University for imparting training to SC/ST students in respect of various competitive examination conducted by recruiting bodies like UPSC, BSRB and other agencies.
Inclusion of Moran-Motoks in ST list urged
From Our Correspondent
DULIAJAN, June 4 — The 24th biennial session of Sadou Asom Motok Yuva-Chhatra Sanmilon was held with a two-day long programme at the oiltown of Duliajan on May 26 and 27. A good number of delegates from various parts of the State participated in various programmes of the session. The first day's programme included flag hoisting, smriti tarpan, opening of exhibition and delegates' camp, etc. On the second day, a colourful procession was brought out. Ram Goswami, ex-vice-president of Asom Sahitya Sabha, released the souvenir published on the occasion. The Sanmilon reiterated its demand such as inclusion of Moran-Motak community in the list of Scheduled Tribes, reservation of Dibrugarh, Lahowal, Chabua, Tinsukia, Doomdooma, Digboi, Margherita and Sadiya Assembly seats and Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur parliamentary seats for Moran-Motak community, renaming of Tinsukia district as Bengmora district, etc. A new 31-member committee of the Sanmilon was elected with Utpal Baruah and Dilip Borah as president and secretary respectively.
2 die, 5 hurt in Tripura ultra attack
AGARTALA, June 4 — Two persons including a five-year-old boy was shot dead when tribal militants opened fire from automatic weapons at a passenger jeep this morning at around 9.30 am in West Tripura district. Five more were also injured in the incident.
Police sources said, militants ambushed a passenger jeep plying on Takshapara-Bishalgarh road under Bishalgarh police station near Rangmala Choumuhani (road square). As the militants opened indiscriminate firing, seven passengers were hit and two of them were killed. Among the injured are three tribals and two non-tribals.
10 Adivasis gunned down by NDFB
GUWAHATI, June 4 — At least 10 persons of the Adivasi community were gunned down by suspected NDFB militants deep inside the Lungsung Reserved Forest, north of National Highway 31, under Runikhata police outpost in Kokrajhar district yesterday. The news of the massacre was received only this evening after some survivors reported the incident to the district authorities. According to the sketchy details available till late tonight, the victims had gone inside the forest to cut firewood when they were attacked by the members of the banned outfit. There was a lot of confusion about the time of the massacre with some sources stating that the incident took place yesterday while some others asserting that it happened today. It is said that the victims were part of a 20-member group from the Runikhata relief camp which had gone inside the forest. The names of the victims were not known as yet. There are no details about the injured as well. Senior police officials have rushed to the spot and efforts are on to nab the culprits involved in the incident. It may be noted here that several such cases of attacks on Adivasi woodcutters had been reported from the area last year. There was a prolonged lull in such incidents till this massacre. The Lungsung reserved forest is close to the Indo-Bhutan border.
Proper health care eludes malaria – hit people
From R Dutta Choudhury
KUMARIKATA (Assam-Bhutan Border), June 4 — Poor health care facilities added to the miseries of the people living the Assam-Bhutan border areas, where outbreak of malaria has created havoc. According to official records, the disease has so far claimed 18 lives, but according to the people of the locality, more than a hundred persons died of the disease. Shortage of doctors, medicine and other health-care facilities aggravated the problem in this backward area and according to the local people, only one doctor is posted in the State dispensary located here and he has to cater to the health care need of about a hundred villages, which is a Herculean task. Many patients have to go without treatment because of lack of health care facilities and because of the condition of the roads, it is also impossible for the doctors to move to the interior places and the people have to depend on the quacks for treatment. The poor condition of the roads also make it impossible for shifting of patients to the nearest State dispensaries and people make use of all modes of transport including hand carts, bullock carts etc for transportation of patients.
Similar is the case in Tamulpur as the 30-bed hospital wore a deserted look, while, the Tamulpur civil hospital is also not well equipped to deal with the situation. According to the people of the locality, the civil hospital lacks basic amenities like adequate medicine to deal with the outbreak of malaria and more often than not the doctors posted in the hospital do not stay in Tamulpur, which was once considered to be the hot bed of militant activities because of its proximity to Bhutan border. The State Health Minister Dr Bhumidhar Barman visited the area for an on the spot study of the situation and promised to take steps against doctors who fail to attend their duties, but his threat failed to yield the desired results as the people of this backward area are still suffering without proper treatment. Despite the promises of the authorities, spraying of DDT to prevent the spreading of the disease was not done properly and a huge amount of DDT is still lying unused in godowns. It may be mentioned that the Assam-Bhutan border area is hit by outbreak of malaria every year and it is unfortunate that the authorities concerned have not been able to take necessary steps to prevent the outbreak of the disease so far despite knowing the dangers.
The Nalbari district Deputy Commissioner Kalyan Chakraborty, who visited the area yesterday, told this correspondent that according to official records, the disease claimed 18 lives so far. He said that steps have been taken to control the spread of the disease and about 30 medical camps have been organised. He said that mobile teams of doctors have been formed and because of the poor condition of the roads, the teams have been provided with vehicles like jeeps so that they can move into the interior places. He further said that the gaonburas have been provided with anti-malaria tablets so that they can distribute the same among the affected people, while steps have been initiated for distribution of five thousand mosquito nets in the affected areas. The Deputy Commissioner admitted that the district is facing shortage of doctors. He said that the district now has 130 doctors, which is not adequate to deal with the situation and the services of the post-graduate students of the Guwahati medical College have been taken to tackle the problem. He also admitted that the unwillingness of some doctors to serve in the interior places was a problem and asserted that action would be taken against the doctors who fail to do their duties properly in the places of their posting. However, at the same time, he admitted that threats from the militants also posed problems for some doctors posted in the interior places and one doctor posted at Guabari Fled after receiving an extortion notice from the militants. “I would like a appeal to the militants not to affect the health care facilities by harassing the doctors,” he added.
The Army yesterday organised a free medical camp for the people of the locality at Kumarikata and thousands of people flocked to the camp for treatment. Till 1 pm, more than four thousand patients were treated by a team of 12 doctors, including six Army doctors and about 80 per cent of the patients were given anti-malaria tablets, which proved the gravity of the situation caused by the outbreak of malaria. Medicines worth Rs 50,000 were distributed among the patients in the day-long camp. It was indeed a welcome step by the Army but holding such camps once a year would not be able to cater to the health care needs of the people of this backward area and the Government would have to take up the matter seriously if it is really interested in reducing the suffering of the people. The Armymen posted in the border area are also taking precautions to prevent the outbreak of the disease among the troops. Army sources said that all the Armymen have been directed to wear full sleeve shirts and to use mosquito repellents and mosquito nets. The Armymen are given anti-malaria tablets once each week and blood tests of the men suffering from fever are carried out regularly. However, despite the precautions, a few Armymen were affected by malaria and they have been treated promptly, sources added.