First India-Japan Joint Military Exercise Concludes In Mizoram


Indian and Japanese Army’s joint military exercise culminated today.

Kolkata: 

The first joint military exercise of Indian and Japanese armies concluded in Mizoram today, a defence statement  said.

The two-week exercise ‘Dharma Guardian 2018’ commenced on November 1 at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte with India describing it as a significant step towards fostering military and diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Emphasis was laid on enhancing tactical skills to fight against global terrorism and on increasing inter-operability between forces of both countries, the statement said.

“The primary focus of the exercise was to train and equip the contingents to undertake joint counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations in urban and semi urban terrain,” the statement said.

The contingents honed their tactical and technical skills in a wide spectrum of counter-insurgency operations including joint training on weapons and equipment, field training exercise and handling of improved explosive devices.

Commanders at various levels from both sides were trained to work in close coordination to receive and collate information jointly, plan operations and issue suitable orders to respective integrated groups.

The Japanese contingent was represented by 32nd Infantry Battalion, while the Indian side was represented by 6/1 Gorkha Rifles.





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Nominations Of 204 Candidates To Mizoram Assembly Accepted


Eight candidates, including Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla have filed nominations in two seats each.

Aizawl: 

Nomination papers of all 204 candidates for the election to the 40-member Mizoram Legislative Assembly on November 28 were found to be in order and accepted on Tuesday, state election department officials said.

Eight candidates, including Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) chief ministerial candidate Lalduhoma, People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) president Vanlalruata, have filed nominations in two seats each.

The scrutiny of all 212 nomination papers was conducted on Monday and they were accepted, the officials said.

There was, however, some delay in scrutiny in Champhai North seat due to an old nomination form given to a candidate, but the matter was settled on Tuesday, the officials said. Six candidates are contesting from the constituency bordering Myanmar.

National People’s Party (NPP) convener Lianzuala and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state unit chief Lalawmpuia Chhangte also fielded candidates in two seats each, while ‘Zoramthar’ chief Rev Zaichhawna Hlawndo and his two daughters – Lalhrilzeli and Lalruatfeli – also filed nominations in two seats.

Wednesday is the last day for withdrawal of nominations.

Mizoram is set to go to polls on November 28. The counting of votes will be held on December 11.

The state has 40 assembly seats with an estimated 7.6 lakh registered voters. The Congress has been in power in Mizoram since 2008.





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Mizoram Chief Minister Declares Moveable Assets Worth Over Rs 1 Crore


Mr Thanhawla’s wife, Lal Riliani, has Rs. 3 lakh in cash, movable properties worth Rs. 92,13,740.47

Aizawl: 

Mizoram Chief minister Lal Thanhawla has moveable properties worth over Rs. 1 crore and agricultural land valued at more than Rs. 2 crore, according to the affidavit submitted by him while filing his nomination papers for the November 28 state Assembly polls.

According to the affidavit, Mr Thanhawla has Rs. 5 lakh in cash, Rs. 1,28,06,007 worth moveable properties, Rs. 2.80 crore worth agricultural land and Rs. 20 lakh worth non-agricultural land.

He also has a land on which he has constructed a building at New Town, Kolkata, worth around Rs 3.10 crore and a residential house at Zarkawt in Aizawl, the value of which he has not declared.

Mr Thanhawla’s wife, Lal Riliani, has Rs. 3 lakh in cash, movable properties worth Rs. 92,13,740.47 and agricultural land worth Rs. 25 lakh.
She also has non-agricultural land worth Rs. 15 lakh.

People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) president and the party’s chief ministerial candidate Vanlalruata has only Rs. 30,000 cash in hand and his wife has Rs. 5,000 in cash, according to the affidavit filed by him.

Vanlalruata has two bank accounts with total amount of Rs. 2,175, while his spouse has Rs. 539 in her account with the Mizoram Rural Bank, Khatla Branch, Aizawl. He has an agricultural land worth around Rs 7.50 lakh.

Former two-time chief minister and Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga has Rs. 10 lakh in cash and immoveable properties, including cars and bank accounts, worth Rs 57.22 lakh, according to the affidavit filed by him.

Zoramthanga has agricultural land worth Rs. 20 lakh and a land and a building at the Chaltlang locality in Aizawl worth Rs 1.25 crore.

His wife Roneihsangi has only Rs. 7 in cash, Rs. 43,756 in her bank accounts and moveable properties and a land and a building worth Rs 1.5 crore at the Ramhlun Venglai locality in Aizawl.

Zoramthanga’s son and daughter have Rs. 28,398 each in their bank accounts.





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Poll Panel Seeks Names For Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer’s Post


The Election Commission has only decided to call for a panel of names for the post.

New Delhi: 

The Election Commission Saturday initiated the process of finding an alternative to Mizoram chief electoral officer who is facing a massive agitation for ouster by a conglomerate of civil society and student organisations.

A Commission spokesperson said that in a meeting held in New Delhi on Saturday, the poll panel has “only decided to call for a panel of names for the post of State CEO from chief secretary of Mizoram.”

The spokesperson said “next steps” will “only be taken after receiving the report of the team led by Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain”.

State chief electoral officer SB Shashank had reportedly sought deployment of additional central armed police forces (CAPF) in the state and complained to the EC that the state’s former principal secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo was interfering with the poll process.

Mr Chuaungo, a native of Mizoram and a Gujarat-cadre IAS officer was relieved of his duties earlier this month.

The NGO Coordination Committee – a conglomerate of civil societies and student organisations – along with other political leaders, had been demanding Shashank’s exit from the state since then.

The NGO also demanded that 11,232 Bru voters lodged in six Tripura relief camps be allowed to exercise their franchise at their respective polling stations in Mizoram and not in Tripura as committed by the poll panel in 2014.

Meanwhile in Mizoram, the visiting Election Commission team led by Mr Jain, has left for New Delhi on Saturday after holding talks with the stakeholders in view of the demands for removal of Mizoram Chief Election Officer Shashank, officials said.

The team would submit its report to the Election Commission, they said.





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5.3-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Mizoram, No Immediate Reports Of Damage


The quake occurred at 10.45 pm at a depth of 24 kilometer. (Representational)

Aizawal: 

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake hit parts of Mizoram on Saturday night, the India Meteorological Department said.

The quake occurred at 10.45 pm at a depth of 24 km. The epicentre was located at Lat 23.9N and Long 93.3E, in Champhai district, the met office said on its website.

The tremors were also felt in state capital Aizawl, where people rushed out of houses, officials said. There was no immediate report of any casualty or damage to property due to the earthquake, police said. 
 





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Poll Panel, Mizoram Groups Talks End, Election Officer May Be Replaced


Protests had broken out in Mizoram after the principal secretary of home was transferred out

Guwahati: 

The Election Commission has agreed to the main demands of civil society groups in Mizoram protesting against the recent appointment of the state’s chief electoral officer, people with direct knowledge of the matter said. The outcome of the talks between an Election Commission team and the groups was positive, they said.

Two of the main demands by the groups led by the Mizoram NGO Coordination Committee or MNCC are to reappoint ousted principal secretary of home Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, and allowing Bru tribe refugees who are living in neighbouring Tripura to vote only in Mizoram and not from their camps in the other state.

After a bout of ethnic violence in the 90s, some 30,000 people of the Bru tribe were displaced from Mizoram. Many of them are now living in six camps in the Kanchanpur and Panisagar areas of north Tripura. Their repatriation that started in 2010 remains a work in progress.

Mr Sashank is likely to be replaced, and the Election Commission has also agreed to the demand for letting Bru refugees come to Mizoram if they want to vote in the assembly election on November 28, people familiar with the matter said.

The poll panel is likely to issue a notification on Sunday explaining the outcome of the talks with the civil society groups in Mizoram, said the people who asked not to be named.

Massive protests had broken out across Mizoram earlier this week after Mr Sashank pushed for the removal of the state’s home secretary, accusing him of interfering in the electoral rolls revision process. Mr Sashank was then summoned to Delhi by the Election Commission.

Mr Sashank accused Mr Chuaungo, a 1987-batch Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, of objecting to allowing voting by Bru refugees from their camps in Tripura. Subsequently, the poll panel had transferred out Mr Chuaungo.

The Federation of Mizoram Government Employees and Workers said if Mr Sashank was not removed, their members would not cooperate with the election work.

The protesters said there were efforts to enrol Bru tribe members who are in Tripura as voters without following procedure.





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Poll Panel Rejects Mizoram BJP Plea To Extend Date Of Filing Nominations


BJP wanted to extend the date for filing nominations citing the law and order situation in Mizoram

New Delhi: 

The Election Commission on Thursday rejected a plea of the BJP to extend the last date of filing nominations for the November 28 assembly polls in Mizoram.

The party had moved the plea citing the law and order situation in the northeastern state.

In a letter to state BJP chief JV Hluna, the poll panel said his plea has “not been acceded to on account of peace and normalcy in the state today.”

Friday is the last date of filing nominations.

There have been protests demanding the ouster of Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S B Shashank by the NGO Coordination Committee.

But the protests were called off Wednesday after the officer left for Delhi.

The NGO Coordination Committee, the top body of civil societies and students’ organisations in the north-eastern state, has been demanding that Mr Shashank be replaced and transferred outside the state.

It also demanded that 11,232 Bru voters lodged in six Tripura relief camps be allowed to exercise their franchise at their respective polling stations in Mizoram and not in Tripura as committed by the poll panel in 2014.





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All You Need To Know About The Massive Protest To Remove Chief Election Officer In Mizoram That Ended Today


Massive Protest In Mizoram Against Chief Election Officer: 10 Points

The protests, if left unresolved, could affect the polls.

New Delhi:  With three weeks to go for the assembly polls, Mizoram is witnessing an unprecedented situation where the state’s people and political parties are at loggerheads with its chief election officer. Protests, held across the state since last week, ended today after the official was summoned to Delhi by his bosses. The officer, SB Sashank, had pushed for the removal of the state’s home secretary, accusing him of interfering in the electoral rolls revision process. The Election Commission had acted immediately. But it provoked the Mizo youth, who want the bureaucrat, a local, be reinstated and the election official shunted out.





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Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla Fails To Submit Nomination Papers From Home Seat Serchhip


Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla failed to file his nomination papers from his home constituency

Aizawl: 

Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who is contesting from two seats, could not file his nomination papers in Serchhip as agitators demanding the removal of the state chief electoral officer (CEO) continued their protest in front of the office of the returning officer.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Chuauhnuna told news agency PTI that the chief minister had to change his plan to file nomination in his home turf on Tuesday considering the situation around the deputy commissioner’s office which also houses the office of the returning officer.

Mr Chuauhnuna said Lal Thanhawla was not forced by anybody to not file his documents. It was the latter’s choice, he added.

Several NGOs have been demanding the removal of CEO SB Shashank for his alleged bias for ‘Bru’ voters and removal of Principal Secretary (Home) Lalnunmawia Chuaung, a native of the state. The chief minister too had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove SB Shashank as the “people have lost faith in him.”

The chief minister on Wednesday left Serchhip town to campaign in Champhai South constituency where he is also contesting, officials said.

The last date for filing of nomination papers is November 9. The tenure of the present 40-member Assembly in Mizoram, the only Congress-ruled state in the north-eastern region, expires on December 15.

Elections will be held in Mizoram on November 28.
 





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No End To Mizoram Standoff, Protestors Demand Election Officer’s Removal


Protests demanding removal of election officer SB Shashank are likely to continue in Mizoram

Guwahati: 

The protests in Mizoram demanding the removal of chief electoral officer SB Shashank are expected to continue today as a meeting between activists and a three-member election commission team remained inconclusive on Tuesday.

“As the Election Commission is yet to decide on removing Shashank, the picketing of the chief electoral officer’s office will continue tomorrow (Wednesday),”Vanlalruata, chairman of the coordination committee of the NGO leading the protest, said.

The election commission will take a final decision based on a report submitted by the three-member team.

“I am very happy to say that we have developed a lot of mutual understanding. We appreciated each other’s viewpoint. We are making a report. We will give it to the commission and they will take a decision,” said Nikhil Kumar, director, Election Commission.

The activists remained steadfast on their demand that SB Shashank be transferred out of Mizoram and that Bru voters living in relief camps in Tripura, should exercise their franchise in their respective polling stations in Mizoram.

There is anger among a section of locals against what they claim are attempts by the administration to enroll Bru voters without proper procedures.

For instance, police said that on Tuesday, angry locals gathered in large numbers in front of the deputy district commissioner’s office in Kolasib near Mizoram’s border with Assam protesting against the alleged intention of the district administration to enroll 500-700 Brus who are in relief camps in Tripura.  

No violence was reported as deputy commissioner Arun T assured local leaders that the claims of Bru voters from Tripura would not be entertained without a hearing.

Rallies were also taken out in all the other seven district headquarters and large towns while protestors carried out a total shutdown in Mamit town on the Mizoram-Tripura-Bangladesh border.

Elections to the 40-member Mizoram assembly are scheduled to be held on November 28 and the counting of votes on December 11.

(With inputs from PTI)

 





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