Saturday, September 17, 2011

Business as usual: violence, blockades and words

There were reports this week that Paresh Baruah may have been injured in Burmese army assaults on northeast Indian insurgent camps in Burmese territory.  Indian intelligence sources have however said there is nothing to substantiate the claim.  A second Burmese army assault commenced last Sunday.  In other United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) news, leaders of the pro-talk faction and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) met this week and issued a joint statement on the friendship between Nagas and the people of Assam.  And Rediff provided a different perspective on ULFA's illusive leaders by interviewing the families of Anup Chetia and Paresh Baruah.

Last Saturday there were reports of trucks set on fire on national highway 39 and rumours of drivers murdered on highway 53 as the blockade in Manipur continues to wreak havoc.  Also in Manipur, four people were injured in a grenade attack on a home in Imphal East.

Irom Sharmila continues to enjoy her recent run in the international media: the New York Times published a profile last Saturday. There's also been a stir over a report on Sharmila's love life.  A silent rally was held in Imphal this week to commemorate the 53rd anniversary of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (the object of Sharmila's protest).
Members of the Sahastra Seema Bal (SSB), a central government paramilitary force, allegedly committed a gang rape near the Bhutan-Assam border.  The 7th India-Bhutan meeting on border management was held this week. The parties said they would step up coordination against remaining Indian rebel activity in Bhutan.
Finally, ten National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) militants surrendered in Tezpur (Assam).

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