Birth anniversary of Bhupenda celebrated

Over 180 open stages & parks inaugurated across State

The 89th birth anniversary of music maestro, the bard of Brahmaputra Dr Bhupen Hazarika was observed throughout the State in a splendid way on Tuesday. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi inaugurated 187 open stages and parks named after the balladeer’s Bhupen Hazarika in a programme centrally organized at Boko.

The open stages and parks are in 187 development blocks across the state, where people can stage cultural shows and other programmes free of cost round the year.

Inaugurating the open stages, Gogoi said, “Bhupen da was an international artiste and personality and at the same time a person of simplicity. Unity and integrity were his strength and he believed in his ideology of simplicity. He won the heart of every layman. He lives in the heart of every Assamese and will continue to live for ages to come.”

On the other hand, Cultural Minister Bismita Gogoi said that the ‘Samadhi Khetra’ will be completed soon. “As promised, the Samadhi Khetra of Dr Bhupen Hazarika will be completed by November,” she said.

The programme was also attended by Minister Rockybul Hussain and parliamentary secretary Rekibuddin Ahmed.

The Chief Minister earlier visited the music maestro’s final resting place at Jalukbari and paid tribute to the legend along with thousand others who thronged the ‘Samadhi Khetra to pay their tributes.

It may be mentioned that, apart from the government, various organizations such as Bishwaratna Bhupen Hazarika Samannay Satra (BBHSS), All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) also organized various programmes in Jalukbari as well as other parts of the State to mark the day.

The AASU organized a programme at Dighalipukhuri where hundreds of singers from different colleges and universities of the performed the numbers of the bard of Brahmaputra. The tributary programme was inaugurated by AASU advisor Dr Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya.

“Dr Bhupen Hazarika was an institution himself. We believe that his ‘Samadhi Khetra’ should be an extra ordinary one. Since the Gauhati University is already willing to donate more land for the memorial, we appeal the government to take up the issue and do the needful,” Dr Bhattacharya said.

The district administration also organized a tributary programme at Rabindra Bhawan of the city this evening and paid tribute to the maestro.

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Rebel Congress MLAs in dilemma

No guarantee of tickets by BJP, prospects of Congress tickets almost nil

The nine rebel Congress MLAs, who had met BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi expressing their desire to join the party, are facing increasing resistance from a strong lobby within the State BJP unit.

Nagaon MP Rajen Gohain today for the first time gave vent to the resentment brewing within the party over the reported move to induct the rebel Congress legislators in the BJP.

“We are not being kept in the loop. We don’t even know who are joining the party. We believe that the national leadership will not take any decision that is against the interests of State party workers,” Gohain said.

Gohain, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Mangaldai MP Ramen Deka and Tezpur MP RP Sharma today went into a huddle with some senior party leaders, including former president Ranjit Das at the Circuit House here. The closed-door meeting lasted for over an hour. Sources said the MPs discussed the present scenario arising out of reports that the nine Congress rebel legislators may join the BJP soon.

A senior BJP member, who participated in the meeting, said “a dissident in another party cannot be a sincere worker in the BJP. He will create trouble wherever he is.”

A section of the State BJP camp is also peeved at reports that the Congress legislators have been assured tickets by the BJP leadership.

“In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, people voted for us because they wanted an alternative to the Congress. If we embrace the discarded Congress members, we will no longer be a formidable alternative,” rued another senior BJP leader.

Meanwhile, sources said that the BJP central leadership was non-committal on giving tickets to the nine rebel Congress legislators who are keen on joining the party. This had landed them in a piquant situation.

State Congress president Anjan Dutta even claimed that some of the rebel MLAs are now in touch with him and may not join the BJP. “They did not get an assurance for BJP tickets. Some of them are in touch with us. I do not feel they will quit the Congress,” Dutta said.

Even if the legislators remain in the Congress, sources said, most of them are unlikely to get tickets in the upcoming assembly elections.

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‘7 new features, numbering system to check fake currency’

To check the menace of fake Indian currency, new notes, especially the Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 denominations, will have 7 new security features and a new numbering system, official sources here said on Sunday. The Reserve Bank of India subsidiary Bhartiya Note Mudran Pvt Ltd (BRBNMPL) and the state-run Security Printing and Minting Corp are both working to introduce the revised number pattern in currency notes, the source said.

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‘I hate my mother… she is a witch’

Diary maintained by Sheena Bora when she was a teenager shows that she shared a strained relationship with her mother Indrani Mukherjea

Mumbai, Sept 3: Mumbai police have recovered the diary of Sheena Bora which bears testimony as to how much she hated her mother Indrani Mukherjea.

E-mail exchanges of an aggressive nature between Indrani Mukherjee and Sheena Bora are already being probed by the Mumbai Police.

The diary entries also reveal Sheena’s expectations from her father.

Accessed by a national daily, the diary of Sheena, the Guwahati girl allegedly murdered by her own mother, has “slam notes from friends, phone numbers and letters to her father”.

It is clear from the diary entries that Sheena “was sad about not being around her biological father Siddhartha Das and repeatedly urged him to come and visit her”.

The contents of the letters to her father suggest that Sheena was in touch with Siddharth Das. However, Das has told the media that he was barely in touch with Sheena Bora, who started writing her diary sometime in 2003.

One of her earlier diary entries say: “Daddy, I am very angry with you. O.k. I didn’t get any time to write any letter to you but you should have written to me. Very mean ha! Well, even I am sorry for not writing any letter to you. In Class X, we have to work very hard. In the morning at 7.30. We have to go to school and again I have to attend my maths coaching class 3 O’clock to 4.30 pm and again from 6 O’clock to 8 O’clock my science coaching class. I reach home at about 8.30 pm. Hope you can imagine how hard I’m working.”

She also writes: “Daddy, I’ve cut my nails and I haven’t grown them long. I’m following your advice – first studies then style. I know you have a lot to tell me but daddy don’t write anything in any of your letter. I hope you’ll come once before my HSLC exams. Why don’t you make a trip to Guwahati in December. Then you can tell me everything you wanted me to know.”

In a ‘draft’ letter, Sheena says: “Daddy actually I’m facing a problem. For my HSLC, I’m to fill up some forms and there we are to write to which caste we belong. Daddy, I’m really very confused for I am not sure about my caste. We have got the options – Schedule/OBC/…”.

The entry she made when she had just appeared for her pre-boards says that she could not study much due to her illness and scored 84 percent. She further asks her father in one of the letters: “Don’t you have the capability of starting something from (sic) your own instead of depending upon others.” She also advises him to leave the job at HITACHI KK and look for a better one. And in the same letter, she adds: “Oh! It seems as if I am trying to guide you.”

In one of the entries, Sheena asks Das to provide her with a certificate so that she could get scholarships for her further studies. The diary entry, marked June 28, 29 and 30, says that Sheena wanted her father to make expenses for her future.

In one of her later entries, which looks like it was written when she was studying for the board exams in Class X, she says that she does not know how to look for envelopes, and so has been unable to send letters. The entry also speaks volumes about her affection with Das and unhappiness over her grandparent’s attitude towards her father. “They say you are no good, and they don’t like you. But my conscience does not allow me to believe them,” she wrote.

The diary entries reveal that Sheena had not known much about her mother. However, Indrani was in the `corner of Sheena’s heart` because she was her mother. Notably, Sheena had stored clippings of news reports of her mother. News reports of INX media launching new channels, of Indrani being considered WSJ’s most powerful women with Indra Nooyi and others, etc were kept by Sheena in a folder, says the daily.

Sheena, as the diary suggests, was very lonely as a child. She writes: “Oh! Happy Birthday to me! But I am not happy. It seems as if I have got nothing in my life. Nothing! My future seems very bleak to me. Just depression has encircled me from all sides. Disgusting life it is. I hate my mother, that bloody b***h. She is not a mother. She is a witch…”

Sheena was also not happy when Indrani married Peter Mukherjea. “And now she got married with that old man (Peter Mukherjea). Her this act to Aita & Kaka (Sheena’s grandparents) seems very prestigious, very wise, but not in case of me (Read: my grandparents may find this prestigious or wise, but not me). I hate her. I wish her soul gets condemned and even in hell. I have much grief, much tears to flow but when, where and in front of whom.”

E-mail exchanges of an aggressive nature between Sheena Bora and her mother Indrani Mukherjee are being probed by the Mumbai Police to ascertain the motive leading to the former’s killing.

Sometime before Sheena’s gruesome murder on April 24, 2012, there were at least 20 heated e-mail exchanges with her mother, prime accused Indrani.

Investigators are hoping that these e-mails could provide clues to the motive leading to Sheena’s killing, allegedly by the trio comprising Indrani, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna in connivance with Indrani’s driver Shyamvar Rai.

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‘Sheena, Mikhail my children’

Indrani’s first ‘husband’ resurfaces

Siddhartha Das, who had a live-in relationship with Indrani Mukherjea arrested for murdering her daughter Sheena Bora on Tuesday claimed to be the father of the victim and her brother, Mikhail Bora.

Das, who now lives in Dum Dum on the outskirts of the city, admitted that he never married Indrani and said the “ambitious woman” dumped him and his children as he was not “well off”.

Though he feels it strange to believe if a mother could murder her child, Das said Indrani should be “hanged” if she really murdered Sheena.

Having met Indrani in Shillong through common friends in 1986, Das said he was in a live-in relationship with her till 1989 when she left.

“We did not marry; she was in a college in Shillong and lived in the city. Through common friends we came to know each other. Then we had a live in relationship and I stayed at her residence. Her parent accepted our relationship.

“Sheena was born in 1987 and Mikhail in 1988. Sometime later after our son’s birth, she dumped me,” said Das who later moved to Arunachal Pradesh and subsequently settled in Kolkata in 1998.

Describing Indrani as “highly ambitious”, Das said she dumped him as he could not afford the high life she yearned for.

Das, who last spoke to Sheena when she was in class 10, said he didn’t want to rake up the past as the reason for not keeping in touch with his children.

“I last spoke to Sheena when she was in class 10. I never interacted with Mikhail. I was settled in Kolkata, happily married, so I didn’t want to rake up the past,” he said.

“Shocked and heartbroken” over his daughter’s murder, Das, who came to know about the incident only through the media, said he wanted the murderers to be punished and offered helping out in the investigations.

“I am heartbroken upset. I want all those involved to be punished. I am ready to cooperate with the investigation. I have nothing to hide so I am more than willing to help the police,” he said.

Asked if he believed Indrani could murder, Das said, “It feels strange to believe that a mother can kill her child…But there is a possibility a person driven by greed for money can do anything. If she has done it then should be hanged.”

Das also said he never kept track of Indrani after she left him.

“Since 1989 when she dumped me and my children, it has been a close chapter. I made no efforts to know what she was doing. To whom she was married.

“My wife and son are now aware about my past but they have said they are not bothered by it,” added Das.

Das’ wife claimed that she had no knowledge about her husband’s past life.

“I have been married to Das for 16-17 years. I didn’t know anything about his past and I have nothing to do with his past,” she said.

Indrani, wife of former media honcho Peter Mukherjea, Sanjeev Khanna, her ex-husband and her driver are behind bars for the murder of Sheena Bora.

Meanwhile, Mumbai police are expected to grill Das for more clues to the Sheena Bora murder case that has created countrywide buzz.

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HC poser to Dispur: What have you done to curb bandhs?

The Gauhati High Court has asked the Assam government to submit an affidavit on the steps taken to curb bandh culture in the State.

Hearing a PIL, a division bench of Chief Justice (acting) K Shreedhar Rao and Justice PK Saikia asked the State government to submit the affidavit to the court on or before Friday, senior advocate Bhaskar Dev Konwar said.

Several PILs have been filed in the court against the prevailing bandh culture which has infringed on the fundamental rights of citizens.

Taking up two such PILs in January, 2010, the Guwahati High Court had declared as illegal all bandhs in Assam and Meghalaya, saying it is violation of the fundamental rights of citizens.

A division bench of Chief Justices J Chelameswar and A C Upadhyay had passed the judgment on two PILs filed in Guwahati and in Shillong.

The bench had directed the Assam Government to take steps for preventing infringement of fundamental rights of citizens on account of bandhs.

Assam has witnessed a never-ending succession of bandhs for the last two decades. Almost every other day, some or the other part of the State has been under the purview of a bandh.

In 2012, the High Court had asked the state government to set up a consistent policy to deal with the prevailing bandh culture in the State.

The High Court order came on a PIL filed by a businessman. The petitioner had pleaded for the State government to set up a compensation fund for people who had suffered loss and injury to person or property due to bandhs.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had often pledged to enforce the guidelines of the Supreme Court on bandhs and to take effective steps to compensate for the damages incurred by bandhs, but in reality nothing of such sort has happened.

(Source) The Sentinel Assam – The Largest Media group of North-East India — focused on news publishing. Combined circulation of the group is over 120,000 newspapers per day, making it the largest newspaper group in the region. The Sentinel is the only English daily in the Northeast India with five editions published simultaneously from Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Shillong, Silchar and Itanagar. For all local, news from Assam, national and international news please visit  http://www.sentinelassam.com/

Dispur finds work culture ‘unworkable’

Jatin Hazarika Commission’s report gathering dust for a decade

The lahe lahe work culture in Assam has often raised the hackles of many in the State. But the Tarun Gogoi-led government seems to be least bothered in changing the attitude of government  employees in improving public services.

Ten years after the Jatin Hazarika Commission of administrative reforms submitted its report, several recommendations continue to remain in the file, even as poor work culture in the State continues to hold back and negate government work in different sectors.

The intent of the State government, while constituting the Jatin Hazarika Commission in 2002, had appeared good. But when it came to implementing the recommendations, which were made in 2005, the government developed cold feet.

Nearly a dozen recommendations made by the commission have not been implemented in the ten years that have passed, including some pathbreaking suggestions that could have had a far reaching impact on the functioning of State government offices.

Some of the key suggestions that remain on papers till date are:

*     Giving of awards and certificates to proficient employees

*    Provision for Annual Confidential Reports in sync with ISO 9000

*    Display of list of employees in the offices along with names of their seniors to whom they are answerable. And every day, the employee must interact with his senior (the person he is answerable to ) at least once directly

*    A job chart of all employees to be displayed in the office

*    The total number of second and fourth Saturday holidays should not exceed 90 days in a year (currently it is 104 days)

*    Introduction of the desk-office system which will stipulate the maximum time a file can be in a particular table.

*    All processed files can be made available to the service-seeker at the Gana Sewa Bhavan in front of the State secretariat.

*    Decentralization of power till the block level

*    Incentives for employees posted in border areas.

*    Upgradation of the border areas development directorate to the level of a commissionerate.

It is clear the Tarun Gogoi government has neither the will nor the sincerity in imposing discipline and work culture in the State government workforce. Government employees therefore continue with their merry old ways, most of them shirking work and being accountable to no one. This is making a mockery of public services which people of the State are entitled to by right.

(Source) The Sentinel Assam – The Largest Media group of North-East India — focused on news publishing. Combined circulation of the group is over 120,000 newspapers per day, making it the largest newspaper group in the region. The Sentinel is the only English daily in the Northeast India with five editions published simultaneously from Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Shillong, Silchar and Itanagar. For all local, news from Assam, national and international news please visit  http://www.sentinelassam.com/