Dialogue  April-June 2009 , Volume 10 No. 4

North-East Scan

Time to Crush the Black Widow

D. N. Bezboruah

During the last five years or so, another terrorist outfit of Assam has virtually stolen the thunder from the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) as far as sheer violence is concerned. It is the Jewel Garlosa faction of the Dima Halam Daogah, called DHD(J) for short. The DHD was created to uphold the cause of a homeland for the Dimasas – ‘Dimaraji’ – through armed struggle. Ever since Jewel Garlosa’s faction broke away from the DHD, leaving the other faction in the hands of Dilip Nunisa, the DHD(J) has been synonymous with the most spine-chilling violence in the North Cachar Hills district of Assam. It has specialized in arson, burning to death a great many people in their sleep, it has mowed down rows of innocent, defenceless people with AK-47s and AK-56s, it has steadfastly opposed the extension of broad gauge railway track to Cachar and the widening of the East-West expressway (killing and intimidating workers associated with these projects at times). It has received a great deal of assistance from the NSCN(I-M) of Nagaland in return for facilitating the extortion of money by the NSCN(IM) in the North Cachar Hills district as well as the neighbouring district of Karbi-Anglong.

The more popular name for the Jewel Garlosa faction of the DHD is ‘Black Widow’. For long I have wondered what impelled Jewel Garlosa to pick such a name. Could it have anything to do with the spider that goes by that name? I discovered only the other day that Black Widow is the name of a poisonous flower that grows in the North Cachar Hills. Today the name is synonymous with death and arson and abduction and extortion. It is such a dreaded name that even the security forces would like to avoid any direct confrontation with Black Widow activists. In Assam, we have had a unified command structure of governance since 1997 where the armed forces share many of the responsibilities of administration, especially those related with counter-insurgency measures. In my view, much of the problem arises from the fact that we still regard such militant activities in the State as well as the Northeast as insurgency, when they are clearly terrorist activities. The activities of the Black Widow have become even more important in the last few weeks for the following reasons: (1) There is clear evidence now that the Black Widow has managed to secure illicit financing from the government for the purchase of clandestine weapons and ammunition to the tune of at least Rs 90 to 100 crore. (2) The Chief Executive member of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous District Council, Mohit Hojai, has had to be imprisoned along with a highly influential and conniving deputy director in the Social Welfare Department, Rejaul Hussain Khan. (3) The North Cachar Hills Autonomous District Council has been suspended. (4) Two of the top three leaders of the Black Widow outfit (including Jewel Garlosa) have been arrested and one killed in an encounter. (5) The interrogations/trials of those apprehended are going on, causing great trauma and fear to a host of government officers who had a whale of a time siphoning money out of the Centre’s grants for all the development projects of the Autonomous Council of the NC Hills district.

The activities of the Black Widow and the North Cachar Hills District Autonomous Council have suddenly acquired sinister significance because of manner and extent of financial help extended by a district administration of the country to a terrorist group militating against the republic and the Constitution of India. They are all the more sinister because of the State government’s delay in taking action (it initiated action almost two months after the first major evidence of treason) merely because the Lok Sabha elections were going on and the prospects of the Congress candidate from the constituency concerned could not be jeopardized. This is how the recent events unfolded. On April 2 this year, the Assam Police arrested two members of the Black Widow, Brojen Hojai and Babul Kemprai, near Jorabat where the Guwahati-Shillong road parts company from National Highway 37, with Rs 1 crore in their possession. Apart from the cash, two small arms and stationery of the Dima Halem Daogah (J) were also recovered from them. The DHD activists had a very simple explanation for the cash. They said the CEM of the district council had given them the money to buy weapons for the DHD(J) from an international arms dealer. Surprisingly enough, there was no visible action on the part of the State administration for nearly two months until the wee hours of May 30 when Mohit Hojai, Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the North Council Hills Autonomous Council and R.H.Khan, a liaison official of the District Council and a former deputy director of the Social Welfare Department were arrested from their official residences in Haflong. This was followed by the immediate suspension of the district council. Addressing a press meet the next day, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi highlighted the fact that he had given orders that the CEM should be arrested within 24 hours and this had been done. No one deemed it important to ask him why he had not been arrested nearly two months ago. The mysterious inaction of almost two months was obviously to ensure safe sailing of the local Congress Lok Sabha candidate, Biren Sing Engti. There are media reports that Hojai had gone underground for over two months after the incident and that he had resurfaced in Haflong in a dramatic manner to resume charge of the council, but such reports need to be taken with a large pinch of salt in view of the fact that the time span between the seizure of Rs 1 crore and the arrest of Mohit Hojai is just under two months.

Both Mohit Hojai and Khan are in judicial custody and there are likely to be long sessions of interrogation ahead by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for both of them, considering the huge consignment of official documents recovered from both residences. In the beginning, Mohit Hojai had apparently said that the Rs 1 crore was protection money paid to the Black Widow, but he later confessed that anything up to Rs 90 to Rs 100 crore had been paid to the outfit from time to time for the purchase of weapons. However, it is not so much what Mohit Hojai has paid out himself as what Khan has siphoned out that may be significant. Already the district council as well as the State secretariat is in shivers about what Hojai and Khan are going to reveal. Equally significant is the fact that no one has so far been appointed against Khan’s substantive post so far. He is believed to have benefited many of his relatives through his siphoning of government funds and the creation of benami assets. All officers in cahoots with him have reasons to fear that the knife will not spare them either.

Perhaps the most regrettable part of the NC Hills district council episode is the alleged involvement of the former Governor of Assam, Lt Gen. (Retired) Ajay Singh in some of the financial irregularities of the district council. In the year 2006-07, the district council was under the direct control of Governor Singh for six or seven months until an election-related matter came to court. This was a time when Khan had come very close to the Governor in official matters. During this period there were serious allegations of financial irregularities . In fact, several organizations of the district had staged dharnas and bandhs in protest against the Governor’s manner of handling the council finances. Eyebrows are also being raised at the way the Governor paid a hurried visit to Haflong just a day before laying down office as Governor of Assam. No investigation of the NC Hills affairs by the NIA can be complete without an investigation into the charges levelled against the former Governor by the local organizations. An interrogation of Governor Singh must logically follow the interrogation of Mohit Hojai and R.H. Khan.

The capture of Jewel Garlosa in Bangalore does credit to the State Police as well as to the Karnataka Police. Now that he is in police custody, the first duty of the State administration is to ensure that he does not escape. In typical Black Widow style, the outfit has declared a unilateral ceasefire and appealed to the State Government to respond to it. There are many who will perhaps endorse a velvet glove initiative from the State government. However, the time is ripe for tough measures to smash the Black Widow for good. The DHD(J) is reported to have about 150 armed cadres and the DHD(N) about 250 cadres. At present the district has a far greater strength of security forces. The police, army and the paramilitary forces deployed in the district would add up to about 50,000. Does the State administration have to listen to unilateral ceasefire declarations by the Black Widow? The North Cachar Hills have already been set aflame time and again by the Black Widow. This is the time for the security forces to crack down on the outfit (with Jewel Garlosa behind bars) and bring it to its knees. The hills must stop burning. Peace must return to the people. The government has an obligation to the people.



Coping with climate change


Patricia Mukhim*


Climate change has slowly crept upon us. Unseasonal torrential rains with great wind speeds, especially at the time of ripening of rice and other crops, followed by long spells of dry weather when it should be raining has devastated the farmers. They can no longer depend on the weather. It has become too unpredictable and consequently their biggest enemy. Farmers have stopped growing traditional, indigenous crops because they no do yield as much as they used to. So under the auspices of the Agriculture Department they have now begun growing more exotic crops in controlled conditions. But whether this coping mechanism affects biodiversity is a study not yet conducted.

In Meghalaya for instance, strawberries have become the horticulture crop of choice because they have a ready market and grow well in some of the warmer areas of the state. But this shift from food crops to horticultural crops also means that the State now has to depend on neighbouring states even for the normal vegetables that it used to produce for its own use and even for export in the past. Meghalaya grows potato, cabbage, cauliflower, beans and peas besides other vegetables. This year farmers in large parts of the state complained that the pea plantation has been badly hit by sudden storms which came at a time when the plant was flowering and therefore required a more sunny weather with light rains. Strong gales destroyed the flowers so there was very little crop. Peas are therefore selling at an exorbitant price of over Rs 100 per kilogram. This immediately affects the buyers many of whom can no longer afford to buy this vegetable. As a consequence nutrition is hampered.

In the plains of Meghalaya farmers have shifted to tomato cultivation. They are also growing newer varieties of vegetables, many of them hybridized. However they continue to grow ginger as a major crop. Farmers have learnt to cope with the glut in the market by adapting new techniques of storing ginger underground and selling it when there is a demand for the crop. This year ginger fetched a record price of Rs 40 per kilogram at the farm gate. Turmeric which is Meghalaya’s unique selling proposition (USP), particularly the one harvested from Lakadong in Jaintia Hills, which is known for it high curcumin content is also doing well, so the farmers are happy. Turmeric growers have also formed self help groups which give them the resilience to cope with the market forces.

This does not however mean that everything is honky dory with the farming population. North East India as a region supports 63% of the country’s green cover. But this is slowly depleting because of mining and other commercial activities. All minerals are located under virgin forests. But the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) continues to give clearance for mining without setting guidelines for mine owners. In Meghalaya there is no mining policy and all mines are operated by private owners. The MoEF does not lay down any specific guidelines for closure of mines that have reached saturation point. As a result there are huge gaping holes across the coal mines of Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya where rat hole mining is still in vogue. Talk of corporate social responsibility and mining companies have never heard of it. So rivers that have been poisoned from effluents such as sulphuric acid draining out of coal mines have reduced the Ph content of water to 3 and 3.7% making it highly acidic for human consumption. Traces of arsenic have also been found in tests conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi.

Meghalaya faces another environmental threat which is also the leading cause for its climate change. Since the State Forest Department actually owns only 4% of forest land and the rest is in the private domain, officials claim that regulating the use of forests is a tough call. One wonders what has happened to joint forest management schemes in Meghalaya and why they are not working. These schemes are meant not only to create mass awareness about the dangers of depleting the forest cover at such reckless speed but also to inculcate in communities a sense of stewardship over their own natural resources. Surprisingly such schemes have hardly reached the people. Since conservation does not seem to pay, people do what they know best. They cut the forests and convert trees into timber or charcoal without caring about future consequences.

Meghalaya’s industrial estate in Byrnihat has several ferro-alloy industries which guzzle both charcoal and electricity. No one, except the State Industries Department really knows why Meghalaya should have ferro-alloy units when iron is imported from outside the state. A second danger is in converting hectares of agricultural land into cash crop plantations. The state has now gone into intensive cultivation of jatropha, the bio-diesel crop which is supposed to augment the fuel needs of the country. When jatropha was first introduced it was touted as a wasteland crop. But researchers have now found that jatropha does not yield as many oil-seeds in wastelands as it does in fertile land. Alienating prime agricultural land for jatropha cultivation at the rate that is being done today could lead to serious food insecurity especially among communities that depend on their jhum fields for subsistence.

Sometimes it is surprising that jhum is considered an evil while mono-cropping of cash crops is encouraged. Studies now show that jhum fields are the repositories of indigenous seeds which are hardy and can withstand pests and the vagaries of weather better than hybrid crops. They are therefore the natural germ-plasm laboratories. Jhum fields moreover provide the nutrition that families needs because they grow different types of vegetables and herbs alongside their rice fields. In many parts of the North East, government distributed food grains do not reach the people because there are no road connections to the villages. In such cases there is no substitute to jhum farming. Incidentally the farmers in jhum fields know how to make this a sustainable activity.

 It is only where the market enters the lives of communities that things get more complicated and less sustainable. Broom stick used to be a fence crop growing at the edges of the fields and in wasteland. But its demand as a commercial crop that is now exported to Middle-Eastern countries and to the West has tempted farmers to clear their forests and grow broomstick instead. This has happened particularly in the southern belts of Meghalaya adjoining Bangladesh. Broomstick rapidly depletes the soil of nutrients and is highly invasive thus killing other trees and shrubs within its reach. If conversion of forest lands into mono-cropping plantations does not halt, Meghalaya’s forest cover will be hopelessly depleted.

Climate change is already affecting us but we are not yet ready to face this gloomy situation. Even governments here are hardly conscious of this phenomenon. But environmentalists and a conscious civil society needs to get into action now and salvage what ever they can from the clutches of the avaricious market.


Climate change refugees and North East India


Scientists predict that by the end of this century most of Bangladesh will be under water. The country’s 130 million people who have learnt to survive in a country that has more water than land will spill over into India’s North East with a vengeance. This would make the present migration patterns look quite insignificant in terms of what that major exodus would do to the demographic profile of the region. Talking about this at a recent conference of women from SAARC countries in New Delhi, Prof Mohammad Yunus in his inaugural speech said, “We know this is happening but we have not worked out any solutions to the man-climate confrontation”.

Climate change is an issue that threatens people the world over but more so the indigenous inhabitants of the polar regions, the tropical rain forests and people living in the mountain areas. Debates on the issue of climate change have gained ground in the last ten years particularly after Al Gore brought out his famous book, ‘Earth in the balance”. So serious has the issue become that an indigenous peoples global summit on climate change was called in Alaska, USA from April 20-25, where at least four participants from North East India attended, including Meghalaya’s youngest MP, Agatha Sangma.

This summit is a preparation for the major climate change conference at Copenhagan scheduled for December this year. The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous People’s headed by Victoria Taoli Corpuz has held different regional consultations, to ensure that indigenous people/tribals have a voice to decide how the ill effects of climate change must be reversed or mitigated by some definite action plans which would involve powerful countries taking responsibility for the hundreds of years of irresponsible mining and industrial activities such as power generation and exploitation of resources which have all been commodified and given a value to.

Developed nations have come up with different mechanisms to offset climate change. One of them is carbon credit rating or carbon sequestration whereby countries which conserve forests would be monetarily compensated for allowing those forests to become the carbon sinks of the developed world. While such proposals seem attractive at the outset ands states like Arunachal Pradesh which claim to have 81% of their land under forests have already made plans for claiming green bonuses, the consequences of such mitigating factors are yet not fully known or understood. First of all, the question is who will measure the quantum of carbon that can be dumped. Secondly and most important is who gets the money and how will it be used to create/regenerate deforested areas?

 Arunachal Pradesh’s claims seem a little out of sync with the realities obtaining in that state. This last frontier is one that India looks at as its reservoir for hydel power. Arunachal Pradesh has the capacity to generate 50,000 MW of hydro electric power which would of course be pumped into the national grid for use by the country and even for evacuation to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh which are power starved. Mr Dorji Khandu, Arunachal; Pradesh’s chief minister has already signed several power project agreements with the private and public sector.

While public sector units (PSUs) like NEEPCO are being put through very stringent environmental impact assessment (EIA) benchmarks, one is not so sure if similar stringency is adopted for the private sector which is willing to pay money upfront for quick clearance of projects. We know how every arm of the government can be made to hasten up the process of decision-making when palms are greased. So while the PSUs will have to abide by and adhere to strict environmental guidelines during project implementation, the private sector might not be so circumspect. Ironically the former can be held accountable for any adverse outcomes but the latter may not be around to take responsibility. Moreover, the memoranda of agreement between private parties and the Government of Arunachal Pradesh are shrouded in secrecy.

While there are demands from various NGOs and anti-dam activists that such MOAs be put in the public domain, those demands very often fizzle out in the absence of a strong network of environmental activists within the region. Very often NGOs have had to depend on the support of groups like the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) New Delhi which have the capacity to provide alternative views which could counter government claims. How much of forest land would have to go under to make way for the big dams? Arunachal is a fragile eco-system located as it is along the lower reaches of the Himalayas. It is one of those regions which determine the rainfall patterns of the entire North Eastern Indian alpines right down to the Arakan mountains of south east Asia.

The decisions taken by Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu’s government today will affect generations of indigenous peoples/tribals not just in Arunachal Pradesh but of the entire region. Eco-systems have no boundaries. They extend from one region into another and one state to the next without any clear cut demarcation. A heavy cloudburst in a mountainous state like Arunachal could result in major catastrophic floods in downstream areas of Assam. This is a regular phenomenon as rivers breach their banks and change their courses leaving a trail of devastation. Hence it is not a happy situation when individual states sign power production agreements without any concern about the cataclysmic effects on neighbouring states.

 We have always imagined that the role of the North Eastern Council is to create a convergence between state governments so that decisions taken by one can benefit others or at least cause no harm. But such is not the case today. Large tracts of forests in Arunachal Pradesh including those areas which are a catchment for the Ranganadi and Dikrong projects of NEEPCO have been rapidly deforested. It is not that the forests have been cleared only for jhumming because there is no evidence of farming activities. But tracts after tracts of forest land are seen being burnt. The remains are black bald patches which suggest very rapid devastation of the environment. It would be a good idea for Chief Minister Khandu to take the Doimukh trail to Yajuli and see for himself this trail of devastation before making further claims for a ‘green bonus fund’.

But Arunachal Pradesh is not the only state whose forests are fast depleting. Meghalaya with its smoke-stacked industries is using charcoal in unimaginable proportions. This has resulted in rapid depletion of forests particularly in West Khasi Hills. In Jaintia Hills the problem is a more severe one. Irresponsible mining has led to the death of the Lukha river which once was a pristine water body, providing clean drinking water to people living around it. More and more forests are cleared for coal and limestone mining without even a plan for reclaiming and regenerating abandoned mines. These are alarming signs. But politicians of all the seven states seem totally unconcerned about the environment and the climate change impacts which are manifested in delayed monsoons, unseasonal rains and rising temperatures and which have created havoc for the farmers? Politcians can no longer get away with their wealth creation programmes at the cost of the environment. It is time to cry ‘halt’ now or suffer the consequences.



Manipur Election Post Mortem


Pradip Phanjoubam

Change is inevitable, change is necessary, change is good, is the constant refrain of well known New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman in his international bestseller, “The World is Flat”. The implication is, those who are caught by surprise by change have no other way than to fade away.

The thought comes to mind in what is now seemingly a consistent gap in Manipur between the popular intellectual conception of what desirable government should be and what government the masses actually want, as proven election result after election result. The just concluded elections to the two Parliamentary constituencies, the Manipur Outer Parliamentary constituency and the Manipur Inner Parliamentary constituency, are no exceptions.

In Outer Manipur the candidate representing the People’s Democratic Alliance, PDA, the party which has been campaigning for integration of Naga inhabited area was defeated decisively by a huge margin approaching 2 lakh by the Congress. In Inner Manipur, despite all the loud and very visible protests against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, AFSPA, and angry outbursts and fiery newspaper articles and editorials against the present brutal counter insurgency offensive by government forces, accounting on the average for two or three killed, innocent or otherwise, the party which is continuing to give the green signal to this policy, the Congress, is voted back.

 In the case of Outer Manipur, the explanation may be a little more straightforward. The voting pattern does indicate that PDA candidate, ex-MP Mani Cheranamei, did see substantial, even overwhelming support of the electorate in most of the traditional Naga Assembly segments. As to how this support was garnered is another question, but even if

the allegation of instances of booth capturing were to be true, the undeniable fact is, there is still a strong sentiment of the electorate aligned with the PDA ideology in these segments.

 What undid the party on the other hand is its pathetic inability to come to terms with the deep diversity of not just Manipur’s demography, but also the Outer Manipur Parliamentary constituency itself. The post mortem in this case is, the party and its candidate marginalised themselves by projecting themselves as solely representing the interest of the Nagas.

 In this way, the electorate’s answer has demonstrated more than adequately the spread and reach of the ideology of Greater Nagaland even in this constituency. This being the case, we would say that that victory of the Congress here was as much by default as it was by its middle of the road, accommodative, secular image.

 In the Inner Manipur constituency, the fault-lines are not as clear, hence much more confounding. There was some sort of a pattern visible this time though. The Congress candidate, T. Meinya, did very poorly in the urban areas but made up for this loss more than adequately in the rural areas.

Would this mean that voters who fall within the influence of the intelligentsia, which has been chiefly behind the effort to work up a resistance against excessive state brutality in countering insurgency, did agree to this vision and voted against the Congress which has consistently held that extraordinary measures such as the AFSPA would remain so long as an extraordinary situation existed in the state?

Even if this were to be so, this would only partly explain the success of the Congress. For the phenomenon has been rather persistent for much too long now. The uneasy question before all sensitive enough should be, are the vision worked up by the intellectuals not in sync with the real pulse of the people, or is it a case of the electorate

making the wrong decision each time? We would much rather believe in the old wisdom in the familiar proverb, “The mountain did not come to Mahomet so Mahomet went to the mountain.”

The results of the elections to the two Lok Sabha seats in Manipur in this sense ought to be the initiation point of some serious introspection on these most vexed issues. Perhaps these are indications that the times have changed while the ideologies of activists and the theories of intellectuals have not.

What is thereby called for is a reinvention of the self in order to be able to come to terms with the changed reality. Remember change is inevitable, change is essential and change is good. In this spirit, let us also consider the other thought. Since the mountain has not come to us, let us go to the mountain and discover whatever the new reality is.

Govt’s New Clothes

The consequences of the elections, and the confidence this has given to the Manipur government, are also beginning to show up. The Okram Ibobi cabinet on May 19 outlined its new blueprint for action for the next few years. It was a mixed bag, but a mix dominated by its intent to add teeth and claws to its ongoing counter insurgency campaign. The government hence would be recruiting 1600 police commandos, a force specifically raised to fight insurgency. In addition, 2400 Manipur Rifles constables would also be added to the existing state government’s armed constabulary.

The government it seems is also determined to push ahead with its plan to make the Village Defence Force, VDF, a civil militia raised in the pattern of the controversial “Salwa Judhum”, a force to reckon with. As a step towards this, the 500 VDF already recruited would be put on government payroll.

It is evident the government has been emboldened by the verdict of the people election after election in the past few years, giving it an emphatic thumbs up every time, the latest being in the recent election to the state’s two Lok Sabha seats.

The last evidence is pertinent, for the elections were held amidst a violent campaign against militants operating in the state, especially in the valley area, in which combined forces of state police, Army and paramilitary forces have been on a virtual rampage in their campaign against militancy, eliminating on the average two persons a day, leaving a trail of protests by devastated families, many claiming the victims were innocent and that they were killed in fake encounters. Evidences definitely point that the charge of fake encounters is nothing to be slighted either.

For whatever the reason, the government which sanctioned this campaign has been given a fresh mandate. Obviously, the government, rightly or wrongly, has read this as an approval of its policy and is preparing to be even tougher.

Although the May 19 cabinet decision had a lot to do with counter insurgency, it was not all about it. Fortunately, there were some very encouraging and non controversial plans which deserve unqualified applauses. The first and foremost of these in our opinion is the health insurance scheme the government promised to introduce for below poverty line, BPL, citizens.

From the brief sketch of the scheme that the media received, this would be undertaken under the Central government’s Rashtriya Swatya Virma Yojna. Under this insurance policy, BPL families of up to five members would be entitled to Rs. 30,000 medical care related reimbursement, for an annual premium of just Rs. 750 or Rs. 62.50 per month.

This scheme if publicised well can prove a boon for many. It is not difficult to imagine how many BPL families have not been able to access good health care facilities because of their inability to meet the cost. The guarantee of Rs. 30,000 should open up a lot more of the best private hospitals and clinics to them over and above the subsidised government hospitals.

Of course, among those extremely pleased would be those in the health business, for their customer bases would expand in a substantive way if this governmental scheme takes off as planned. We would even suggest the services of these private businesses be enlisted in the campaign to spread awareness of this scheme to the poorer sections of the society. It would be mutually beneficial.

If the government’s new clothes had some good and some bad attires, there were also some patently ugly ones. For whatever its reason, none of which was disclosed to the media, it also chose to buy the argument that the atrocious case of the loss of Rs. 17,97,833 worth petrol from the government’s depot was on account of evaporation. This at current price is a little over 47 thousand litres.

Nobody is stupid to not understand that petrol is extremely volatile, which is why even the simplest individual who has some need for petrol, keep the commodity under tight lid. Did the government depot keepers forget to keep a lid on their reserves? If so, should this neglect not be made accountable? Moreover, forty seven thousand litres of petrol evaporating is a little difficult to believe, unless it is over decades (which the information availed to the media did not spell out). It would have made the whole Imphal stink of petrol fume.

We are more inclined to believe that the evaporation process was accelerated by the deliberate use of siphons. Besides the good, the bad and the ugly, there were some routine governmental essential actions like filling up vacant posts, increasing ex-gratia amounts for policemen killed on duty etc. The overall impression however is, for the good or the bad, the plan of action drawn up by the government in yesterday’s Cabinet meeting had a definite character long missing in such exercises of the state government.


Dialogue (A quarterly journal of Astha Bharati)

Astha Bharati