Large number of students along with vendor ladies of Khwairamband Ima Keithel and other civil society bodies continue to stage protest demanding release of the arrested Manipur University Faculties and students. A rally was staged at Khwairamband Ima Keithel shouting slogans for unconditional release of the arrested faculty members and students of the Manipur University.
The rally spearheaded by AMSU, MSF, DESAM, SUK, KSA and AIMS demanded immediate solution to the MU impasse by completing the ongoing enquiry into the Financial and administrative irregularities committed by Prof. AP Pandey at the capacity of the VC of Manipur University.
Meanwhile, various women bodies of Wangkhei area comprising of Wangkhei Pujah Lampak Women Welfare Organisation, Chaokhat Khongthang Nupee Lup, Thangapat Mapal Mayai Leikai Women’s Development Association along with Imphal Public Club Thangapat Mapal and Young Voluntary Organisation, Wangkhei today formed a joint body called Wangkhei Apunba Lup and discussed threadbare on yesterday students’ uproar in front of the residence of Pro VC Prof. Yugindro. Police fired tear gas shells and mock bomb yesterday evening after large number of students thronged to the residence of the Pro VC at Wangkhei Thangapat Mapal.
The meeting resolved to request Prof. Yugindro to stay at security zone like government quarter until the ongoing impasse at Manipur University is settled as his presence among the locals is risky for the people of the area particularly the women and children of the area.
Failure to comply with the request of the locals may result the local bodies to take up stern action for safety of the localites.
A resolution copy of the meeting was received by Prof. Yugindro.
Mention may be made that, a letter written by Prof. Yugundro to the Secy. Of the MHRD, Dept. of Higher Education had angered not only the Manipur University Community but also the Governor of the State Dr. Najma Heptulla . As reported in a local daily, a letter addressed to the Pro VC from the office of the Governor had called on pro VC for explanation of defaming the Governor. The Office of the governor also condemns the word terrorist used to the agitators.
Meanwhile, President of Shiv Sena Manipur Pradesh, Moirangthem Tombi today demanded immediate resignation of Pro. VC Yugindro for defaming the Governor of the state and for calling the agitators as Terrorist.
A civil body called Kangla Kanba Lup has appealed the government of Manipur to stop religious encroachment being underway inside Kangla. The statement said that Kangla was the first dry spot that emerged out of an immense body of water and where the Sanamahi religion was originated. However, the ongoing construction of the so called the Ras Leela Dance Hall within the sacred Kangla has created a huge apprehension among the followers of Sanamahi. The Ras Leela dance portrays the lord Krishna and his gopies which is of Hindu origin. Hence, erecting such a dance hall within the boundaries of the sacred Kangla is definitely a religious encroachment to the Sanamahi religion.
Directorate of AYUSH, Lamphelpat in association with Waithou Chiru Youth Club jointly organized a free health check up at Waithou Chiru UJB school, Waithou Chiru, Senapati District today.
While responding to a query, Dr L Promila Devi, Jt. Director (Public Health), directorate of AYUSH Lamphelpat expressed that the directorate of AYUSH has conducted this health check up in view of the mass food poisoning of about 200 Chiru tribe following a wedding feast held on 4 October last which was reported in the local dailies. She further informed that around 130 people were given health check up and necessary medical treatment to the deserving local populace who were not attended to hospital due to less severity of food poisoning but effected mildly, adding that most of the cases were diarrhoea, dysentery and also vomiting.
On the sideline of the health camp, Dr Takhellambam Tomba, a local leader as well as a homoeopathy doctor by profession told that he has initiated in consultation with local youths considering post food poisoning health distress of the Chiru community for a possible detoxification.
During the health camp, four doctors namely Dr L Promila Devi - Jt. Director, Dr S Usha Dev - Medical Superintendent, Dr Ch Ronibala, MO (Homeo) and Dr H Brainy, Apprentice were participated in the free health checkup along with two nurses namely Y Hisha Devi and N Memthoi Devi.
Tamenglong District Hospital, the only hospital in Tamenglong District was functioning in a worn out building (before shifting to the newly constructed building) without proper infrastructure, Shortage of required Manpower, equipment and other basic requirements. Even after shifting to the newly constructed Building, everything remains the same except for the building. Due to the lack of basic medical facilities, many precious lives were lost. It can be recollected that on the 12th of September, 2017 a pregnant mother was referred to Imphal Hospital by the concern Tamenglong District Hospital authority since there was no specialist as well as facilities for complicated delivery in Tamenglong District Hospital, the mother deliver a baby on the way to Imphal after risking her life from various types of infections. After struggling with the sub-standard Tamenglong District hospital facilities for many good years, the construction of new 50-bedded District hospital at Tamenglong District which is now upgraded to 100-bedded hospital gave a new hope for the general public of the District. The hospital was moved in to the new building on 26th of October, 2017 and Inaugurated by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Manipur Shri N. Biren Singh on 15th of November, 2017. However, it was just the same old wine in the new bottle with no other required infrastructure, equipments and required number of Doctors. Recently, on the 30th of September, 2018, a class VI (6) boy studying in Jawahar Navodya Vidyalaya, Tamenglong was referred to Imphal Hospital after being bitten by snake since the Tamenglong District Hospital could not afford to have even an anti venom. The boy’s whole body was completely swollen due to the delay in required medication. He is currently undergoing treatment in Imphal Hospital. The new upgraded 100-Bedded Tamenglong District Hospital is facing lots of infrastructure challenges, shortage of Doctors, lack of necessary equipments and other basic amenities. The data of present condition of Tamenglong District Hospital as per the official information received from CMO of Tamenglong District Hospital is highlighted vividly below in a table in the interest of the general public of Tamenglong district. Further, newly transferred six (6) doctors to Tamenglong District Hospital are undergoing P.G. course which exposes the insincerity on the part of the Manipur Government in depriving the needed services for the wellbeing of the Tamenglong Public. It is also observed that the new Tamenglong District Hospital is poorly ventilated and the drainage system is not safely maintained which has a high risk of breeding many types of diseases. As per the Indian Public Health Standard (IPHS), there should be dedicated parking space separately for ambulances, hospital staff and visitors, there should be no stagnation or overflow of drains, there should be no water logging/marsh in or around the hospital premises and there should be no open sewage/ditches in the hospital. It may also be recalled the many assurances made by the Manipur state government which was publicized on the 13th of September, 2017 by the then Deputy Commissioner Shri. Armstrong Pame, IAS during the incident where a mother had to give birth on the way to Imphal. It was assured that old machineries and equipments to be replaced was already ordered by Chief Medical officer, Tamenglong but it will be placed only when the hospital is shifted to the new upgraded 100-bedded hospital at Duigailong Village since there is no space in the old 50-bedded hospital. However, all the rusted hospital beds are still in used and many of the old equipments are yet to be replaced. As per the 2012 revised guidelines of Indian Public Health Standard (IPHS) for District Hospital of 101-500 bedded, the approach road should be all weather motorable road and it should be illuminated in the nights but the approach road of Tamenglong District Hospital is in a dilapidated condition. The road is hardly motorable which causes a great inconvenience for the commuter especially while transporting the patients. When the matter was enquired upon by The Gaanphiu Mail, even the CMO office could not disseminate the required information which is a serious concern for the general public. The existing sub-standard of the Tamenglong District Hospital is a great threat to the lives of many people living in Tamenglong District. In many instances, the District Hospital continue to remain as referral centre since there is hardly any specialist doctors and other required facilities to treat the patient in many cases. Unfortunately, women and children are the constant victim of non-availability of basic medical facilities in the Tamenglong District Hospital. If the matter has not been addressed on time by the concern authority (Health Department), it is feared that many precious lives will continue to wither especially that of women and children because of medical negligence.
Relief Centre for the Welfare of Differently Abled Persons, under the supervision of Manipur State Legal Services Authority today organised a “One Day Legal Awareness Programme” on the NALSA (Mentally ill and Mentally Disabled Persons) and NALSA (Implementation of Poverty Alleviation Scheme).” at Khumbong Khaidem Mayai Leikai, Imphal West District, Manipur. Nimol Chand Ningombam, Chief Editor, Phijigi Manigilaktagi, Ch.Opendro Singh, Former President, Relief Centre for the Welfare of Differently Abled Persons, Advocate, Th.Premlata, Asst. Director, Human Rights Law Network, Laimayum Amarendra Sharma, National Awardee Best Individual working for the cause of Persons with Disabilities, Ashakiran Konsam, Mrs. IAWA India runners up attended the function as chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively. Advocate, Th.Premlata, Asst. Director, Human Rights Law Network, spoke about while speaking on the occasion on the topic Welfare Scheme Sponsored by State Government and Central Government, Women Rights, Mentally ill and Mentally Disabled Persons, she said that any kind of verbal and physical harassments meted out to women can be claimed as domestic violence. She added that denying education to girl child and keeping wives for household works only can also be rated as violence against women and labourers. Laimayum Amarendra Sharma, National Awardee Best Individual working for the cause of Persons with Disabilities spoke about while speaking on the stressed on the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, and to promote hidden talents of Persons with Disabilities
University! University! Oh you University You stand scattered strong for a while once; Your cottage so shabby, sweeter the tattered rooms; You shine brightly battered, lone and beaten up; Batch after batch; year after year, you write your fame; None cared challenges; none dare to dig you beneath; None invites you in, sweeter as you stand firm forbidding; Half a walk and half a ride; reaching you touching softly; No law and no out law prohibits; fresher as you stretches your arms; No birds a hostile utility, no cows a misanthropic avail; Oh mother! Your strength engaged abruptly cool, Your virtue’s reflected; your honorability’s attributed; You’re mirror of the Country; you shine aloof bolder, Captivating and enthralling; Canchi’s of Canchipur.
University! University! Oh you University You witnessed enraptures, bewitching so fascinating; Your arms detached heavily; dusted and undone nicely One after another; you’re tempted and seduced and convincing; Those sudden gust of zealous; stamped upon your lap Oh mother! You’re voice is unheard weak and bad Truck by truck; moves by moves advances; Shifting and stirring; progressing and proceeding; Advancing and improving and continuing; And developing and flourishing and thriving; And expanding and increasing and maturing; Evolving and growing and enlarging; Extending and spreading; unfolding and unrolling; Differentiating and transforming; Altering and adapting; Oh! So hard to recalled, your virgin soil a nightmare; Recollecting and tempting and captivating; Bad as you stand aloof; amidst the hungers Tired and thirsty and starving incomers need.
University! University! Oh you University Your visitor’s a motive too reasoning and operational; Blocks after blocks; building after building; Visitors by visitors; designs by designs; topic by topic; Subject by subject; concepts by concepts; Purposes and causes and intentions and basis; Departments by departments; Talk after talks; Enrolling and hankering, the desire and their thirsts; Oh mother! Your lap so elemental, dirty and dusty suspicion Your arms being cut and broken; you bleed constitutions; Smearing and tainted; bleeding from those undying bodies; From State to Central, pulling and dragging and drawing; One and two and three and four and five; Oh, the master of Judgment! Judge ‘Her’ and ‘untie’ her; Chasten ‘Her’ for a cause, Canchi’s of Kangleipak.
Flying longings rests on land in search of transparent souls. I was flying like a bee over the minds of the strangers. A pearly eye encysts my soul amidst the strange crowds. Melting hopes caught my vibes when my flight was landing. Breaking all the darkish deeds , a symphony of smile washed my soul Infusing all the endearing tune in my heart, they made me laugh, they sank me in their imagination. They are the kite runners they are the rainbow chasers of my happy land. Siddarth and Tarun One is the light of enlightenment and another is the dawn of new era, lost in nocturnal happiness. At the sudden stopping of the car awoke me from this cosy world Reminding me that miles to go before I sleep. But the glittering joy of the lady possessed my bosom who planted a bond of friendship.
Ithai barrage was constructed in the downstream of Manipur River (Imphal River) as a part of the National Loktak Multipurpose Hydro-Electric Project, to maintain sufficient water volume in the Loktak Lake by making it a reservoir for maintenance of the project. The construction of the national multipurpose project was taken up by the Ministry of Irrigation and Power in 1971. The project was executed by National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation and commissioned in 1983 at an estimated cost of Rs. 115 crores. It was installed to generate 105 MW of power by 3 units (each producing 35 MW.) and to provide Life Irrigation facilities for 24,000 hectares of land. In fact, the Imphal River is the only outlet of draining water from the central valley of Manipur, since all the rivers, streams and major water bodies in the valley are connected directly or indirectly through the Loktak Lake, and subsequently drained outside the state joining the Chindwin-Irrawaddy system of Burma. Hence, Ithai barrage can be considered as the main gate which control quantity of water of Manipur Central valley, playing an important role in the environment of the valley as regards to the water supply, water storage, flood, drought, agriculture, fishery, irrigation, power production, aquatic flora and fauna etc. of Manipur central valley in particular and Manipur state in general. It appears that the barrage which was constructed as a part of the Loktak Hydro-Electric Project has now become a major problem for the socio-economic life and environment of Manipur. With the construction of the Ithai barrage and initiation of Loktak Hydro-Electric Project, there have been certain changes in the climatic condition and socio-economic life of the people and environment of Manipur in general. Environmental Impact of Ithai Barrage: A preliminary survey on the environmental impact of the Ithai barrage has revealed certain points of merits and demerits of the project in the socio-economic and cultural life of the people of Manipur along with the changes in the environment of Manipur. The Merits: With the completion of Ithai barrage and commissioning of the multipurpose project there have been certain environmental changes, benefiting the people of Manipur which are really considered to be the merit points of the project as described below. 1. Preservation of the Lake and Conservation of Water: The retention of constant water level of Loktak to 768.5 above mean sea level, with the help of the Ithai barrage, could be considered as a means for the preservation of the lake. It has stopped the usual practice of land encroachment in the peripheral areas of the lake. It helped in the accumulation of sufficient water volume to supplement water storage and water supply problem of the state, which are related to various environmental problems of the states e.g. flood, drought and buffering the climatic condition of the state. There could be altogether a different scenario of Loktak Lake by now, if we leave the lake to continue the natural process with the increasing siltation and land encroachment in the past 2/3 decades. The existing areas of Loktak Lake (276 sq. km.) could have been reduced to a great extent by about 50 sq. km. only with an average depth of less than 1 metre if we did not take up the project. 2. Generation of Power: The generation of 105 MW of electrical energy (in 3 phases of 35 MW each) has been a significant contribution of Loktak Lake. Out of the total production of 105 MW only 35 have been used for Manipur state and the rest 70 MW have been sold to other neighbouring states. Thus the state could earn in income of nearly 21-22 crores of Rupees per year (nearly 6 lakh rupees per day) from the power generation of Loktak project. In the year 1991-1992 the project could generate excess amount of energy increasing the income to about Rs. 30 crores in one year thereby increasing the power production by 17.3% over that of the previous year 1990-1991. 3. Irrigation Facilities: In addition to the power generation Loktak Multipurpose Project has been able to provide water for lift irrigation of nearly 25,000 hectares of cultivated land area thereby giving the facilities for double-cropping in these areas. 4. Employment Opportunities: The initiation of Loktak Hydro-Project has given employment to about 500 people directly as staff of the project itself. Besides, the project has given the opportunity for starting various small scale industries in the rural areas using the power generation to giving employment for at least 2,000 people. 5. Supply of Water for Loktak Down Stream: Besides, the power generation from the Loktak project itself the project will be giving the water supply for the proposed Loktak down Stream Project also which is proposed to produce 96 MW of power supply for the state. The Demerits: Despite the various merit points of Loktak Project there are several points of demerit for the project affecting the socio-economic and cultural life of the people of Manipur and environment of the state as a whole as described below: 1. Flooding of the Agricultural and Land Surrounding the Lake: One major impact of the Ithai barrage on the environment of Manipur is the flooding of several thousand hectares of agricultural land and around the Loktak Lake. The maintenance of constant water level of Loktak Lake due to the Ithai barrage of the project has flooded the agricultural land around the lake, which were previously utilized for cultivation. It is also reported that certain agricultural areas beyond the Ithai barrage on the other side of Loktak lake is also flooded with the water from Chakpi River since there is no counter current from Imphal river due to the blocks with Ithai barrage (Ibomcha Singh, ‘92). It is estimated that nearly 20 hec. of agricultural areas have been submerged under the water spread of Loktak Lake due to Ithai barrage. In fact, Ibomcha Singh, (1992) reported an estimate of about 83,450 hac. of agricultural land affected by the Loktak project, and a loss of about 400 crores by the Loktak project, and a loss of about 400 crores of rupees from the products of the flooded areas. 2. Damage to the Naturally Fishery of Manipur: A recent survey on the disappearance of several indigenous fishes of Manipur e.g. Ngaton, Khabak, Pengba, Tharak, Ngara, Ngatin, etc. indicated the Ithai barrage as one of the major cause for the disappearance of the fishes and loss of our natural fishery. It has been observed that these fishes migrated from the Chindwin-Irrawady system of Burma to the course of Imphal/Manipur River for breeding in the adjoining lakes and streams of Manipur valley. In the past, these natural fisheries constituted about 60% of the fish products in the state since the culture fishery was not common in Manipur till 1960. With the construction of Ithai barrage the migratory route of these fishes were blocked and they could not reach the valley and disappeared from our waters. This caused a great loss in our state fishery and economy. 3. Damage to Aquatic Plants of Flood and Commercial Importance: The increase in the water level of Loktak Lake due to Ithai barrage has caused a great damage to the production of aquatic plants of food and commercial importance. As for instance the production of about 23 aquatic food plants e.g. Heikak, Thangjing, Tharo, Thambal, Loklei and Pulei etc. has been significantly reduced due to the failure in the germination and extension of their roots to the bottom soil of the lake. On the other hand, the water level in the southern part of Manipur river beyond Ithai barrage has been greatly reduced due to the blockade of water flow by Ithai barrage, caused the failure in the growth of ‘Nungsam’ which normally grew on the pebbles under the water current. These also caused a great loss in the economy of our state. Besides the food plants a number of plants of commercial importance like, Tou, Singnut, Imom, Charot etc. of commercial importance have also been disappeared or greatly reduced due to the increase in the water level of Loktak lake. These caused a heavy loss in the state’s economy. 4. Affecting the Ecology of the National Park: The maintenance of constant water level of Loktak Lake due to the Ithai barrage has a serious effect on the ecology and existence of the seriously endangered Brow-Antlered Deer of the floating Wild Life National Park of Keibul Lamjao. The seasonal floating and sinking of the Phumdies in the National Park which play an important role in the nutritional cycle of the vegetations in the National park has not been possible due to the constant water level of the lake. The vegetations which serve as the food and shelter of the seasonal sinking of the Phumdies to get the nutrients from the bottom soil of the lake. Further, the Phumdies become thinner in the peripheral areas of the park and small factions got detached from the main body of the phumdies thereby decreasing the area of phumdies for existence of the deer. Many deer are also killed when they are carried away along with the Phumdies which get dettached from the main mass of phumdi. 5. Increasing Siltatiion Rate of the Loktak Lake: The blockade of water current in the outlet of Loktak Lake through Imphal River due to Ithai barrage has affected the usual removal of the silt with the current of water from Loktak Lake. Then it helped in depositing the silts to Loktak Lake itself from different inlets of the catchment areas of the lake. This led to the increase rate of siltation in the lake thereby raising the lake bottom. 6. Increasing Accumulation of Phumdies Inside the Lake: The blockade of water current in the outlet of the Loktak Lake through Imphal River due to Ithai barrage also blocked the floating away and removal of the phumdies from Loktak Lake to Imphal River. This caused the increased mass of phumdies inside the lake itself which covered nearly 75% of the surface of the lake. This is another problem for increasing the water level of the lake due to the floating mass of phumdies of nearly 1-2 metres in thickness. The increasing phumdies have spoiled the normal ecosystem and beauty of the lake. The removal of these phumdies at least 50% will be very necessary in the management of the lake. 7. Grazing Ground of the Cattle: The peripheral areas of Loktak Lake and several elevated areas inside the lake which was used as the grazing areas inside the lake which was used as the grazing ground of cattle in the past have become inundated due to the maintenance of constant water level of Loktak Lake by Ithai barrage. This caused a great destruction in the grazing grounds of the cattle that cattle rearing and buffalo rearing in the villages in and around Loktak Lake has become difficult. Subsequently, the number of cattle and buffaloes has been reduced to a great extent in the past 5/6 years. 8. Unemployment Problems of the People: With the inundation of peripheral areas of Loktak Lake several thousands of hectares of land could not be used for agriculture and it caused the loss of the employment opportunities for more than one lakh people. Apart from the failure in agriculture, cattle’s rearing was also not possible since there is no grazing ground of the people. The indigenous technique of Phoom fishing in Loktak Lake also becomes difficult due to the constant rise of water level in the lake. Hence, the Ithai barrage caused unemployment to more than one lakh people in and around the lake. Conclusion From the observations of our preliminary study on the impact of Ithai barrage on the environment of Manipur it appears that there has been several points of demerits, of Ithai barrage causing serious environmental problems in general especially with regards to agriculture, fishery and socio-economic aspects of the people in the state. These could have been avoided to some extent if we could have taken up an environmental impact assessment of the project before its initiation. Now, it is expected that the Loktak Development Authority would take up certain management plans as remedial measures with due consideration of the maintenance of the natural ecosystem of the lake as much as practicable. The primary objective of the management plan could be (1) control of flood in the agricultural areas around the lake; (2) to improve the natural fishery and fish production of the lake; (3) to retain the power generation and irrigation facilities from the lake; (4) to improve the ecology of Keibul Lamjao Wild Life National Park as far as practicable; (5) to take up special measures to stop any further process of siltation, eutrophication and encroachment of the lake; (6) to improve the natural fishery and fish production of the lake; and (7) to retain the natural ecosystem of the lake as far as possible. These could be possible through a dialogue between the local administrators, expert members and representative of the inhabitants in and around the lake, with advice and suggestions from external experts.
Protection of land belonging to various Government departments, studying/assessing feasibility of setting up a detention cum rehabilitation centre for drug addicts, action plan to contain outbreak of locust at Lungthul area are among others issues discussed today during a District Level Coordination Committee (DLCC) meeting chaired by Shri Shyam Lal Poonia, Deputy Commissioner, Churachandpur yesterday at the Conference Hall of DC’s office here. It was resolved in the meeting that land belonging to various Govt departments/offices in the district be protected against encroachers. Towards this end, the DC has instructed concerned DLOs to conduct proper demarcation of the land allotted to their departments and submit a copy of their patta to the district administration. Taking cognizance of drug addicts and their menace in the society, the DLCC meeting today decided to hold another meeting of concerned departments such as DSWO, CMO, Police, etc on Monday at 11.AM at SP’s Office to study or assess the feasibility of setting up a detention cum rehabilitation centre for drug addicts. As a security advisory, Sr SP Shri Kabib K has also urged all concerned DLOs to install CCTV cameras within their respective premises in order to keep the offices premises under surveillance round the clock. Besides, it will also facilitate swift tracking of criminal activities, if any, in and around Govt offices. Expressing serious concern over the reported infestation of locust in Lungthul area under Singat sub-division, the DC has instructed the District Agriculture Officer to send a team of officials to survey and assess the situation at the earliest.
Rise of Islamist extremism in Bangladesh poses serious threats not only to the religious minority communities there, but also to the secularists, intellectuals and other sects within the Muslim community. Speaking to a group of scribes at Guwahati Press Club from Dhaka through video conferencing on 6 October, prominent Bangladeshi journalist Saleem Samad made this comment. An Ashoka Fellow and Hellman-Hammett Award recipient journalist also added that an upsurge of fundamentalist forces in the Muslim dominated country may affect some to its neighbouring Indian States in due course of time. Samad narrated how atheist & secularist bloggers and activists are increasingly becoming the target of the Islamic extremists in Bangladesh, which has otherwise slowly (but steadily) marched on the path of becoming a country of one nationality (Bangladeshi), one language (Bangla) and one religion (Sunni Muslims). The outspoken journalist made an observation that due to overwhelming majority of Sunni Muslims in the country, among whom considerable rise of extremism is observed, other minority sects within the Muslim community like the Ahmadiyya also face threats of survival. Citing how a network of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh was busted in West Bengal few years back, Samad urged the north-eastern States to remain alert about jihadi elements after the ongoing crackdown on Islamic militancy. He revealed that thousands of Bangladeshi youths had joined various militia groups in Syria, Iraq, Chechnya, Indonesia, Philippines, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc to fight alongside the jihadis there. Answering queries from Guwahati scribes, the senior journalist reiterated that currently there is no northeastern separatist leader in Bangladesh as the Sheikh Hasina government in Dhaka continues rigorous crackdowns against the outfits. Samad made it clear that Prime Minister Hasina would leave no stone unturned to wipe out militancy in the country. A front runner for media rights, Samad painted a dismal picture of press freedom in Bangladesh, as journalists are frequently targeted by both State and non-State actors. He regretted that though 26 Bangladeshi journalists lost their lives to assailants since 1991, majority cases remains pending till date. In another significant remark, Samad, who works as special correspondent at The Bangladesh Monitor and contributes news-features to India Today, has divulged that none of the Indian leaders visiting Dhaka and Bangladesh delegation meets in New Delhi had taken up the issue of illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators in Assam (India) with their counterparts. Speaking about the process of National Register of Citizens (NRC) updation in Assam, Samad asserted that for the Bangladesh government believes that it is an internal affair of India only and hence it has not made any official statement over the development. He agreed that there is hardly any media attention in Bangladesh press over the NRC updation process and its outcome. Strongly advocating people-to-people contact between Assam (India) and Bangladesh, Samad lamented how Assam had missed the bus despite being so closely located, while other States like West Bengal and Tripura were taking several steps to improve connectivity with Bangladesh via railway and roadways. Emphasizing on direct air connectivity between Guwahati and Dhaka, Samad opined that trade & commerce along with cultural ties would help in erasing many misconceptions prevailing on both sides. He also claimed that more students and patients are expected to move from here to there & vice versa for better options and would enhance the tourism in both parts of the international divide.