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GUWAHATI, May 29 – It is said that one’s shadow never leaves a person. However, twice a year exactly such a phenomenon takes place for those residing in places located between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer.

And people living in Agartala in Tripura and Aizawl in Mizoram among some other places in the North East will experience this ‘Moment of Zero Shadow’ in early and mid-June.

Arvind Paranjpye, Director of Nehru Planetarium, Mumbai, told The Assam Tribune that in Agartala, which is located “almost on the Tropic of Cancer one can see the zero shadow moment every day from June 18 to June 23 at 11:26 IST (or 11.26 am).”

“So is true for Aizawl, but being slightly east of Agartala, it will happen five minutes early at 11:21 IST (or 11:21 am),” Paranjpye said in an email interaction.

However, people in Guwahati and other parts of Assam will not be able to experience the zero shadow moment or the Zero Shadow Day (ZSD). “Guwahati being well above Tropic of Cancer, the sun will not come overhead and there will be not a moment of zero shadow,” Paranjpye said.

Among other places, Paranjpye said in Saiha (Mizoram), the moment of zero shadow will be at 11:19 am on June 2 and in Lunglei (Mizoram) it will take place at 11:18 am on June 3.

“All one needs to do is to keep a vertical object in the sun and watch its shadow falling right below it and then vanishing for about a minute or so,” Paranjpye said.

~ Assam Tribune

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gibonAIZAWL: A hoolock gibbon, being protected for two years by the people of the Thingsul-Tlangnuam village in Aizawl district, recently attacked four people of the village and seriously injured some of them.

The villagers said that a 12-year-old boy, Remsangzuala, was climbing a tree to pluck fruit while the gibbon attacked him and bit him on his foot. The boy had to miss school for two days because of the injury.

A few days later, C Lalhruaizela (14), was bitten by the gibbon on his arm while he was lying on a bed in his neighbour’s house. The gibbon’s third victim was a seven-year-old girl, Lalhriatpuii, who was bitten on the left side of her midriff while playing with her friends.

The animal did not even spare adults. C Ramthianghlima (38) was attacked in his house by the gibbon who entered from the window and bit him on his left hand. Three of his fingers were badly injured.

Officials of the Mizoram forest department tried to trap the gibbon in a cage, but failed. Sources in the department said that they also tried to capture it by using a tranquilizer gun, but liquid in the ‘bullet’ was ineffective.

People of many villages in the state care for animals in and around their villages. They protect them from being killed by bigger animals and outsiders but sometimes these animals turn on their protectors. One such case was the recent attack on a young girl by a monkey in the Mamit town on the Mizoram-Tripura border.

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drugsAIZAWL: The increasing drug menace in Mizoram has compelled the state government to formulate a new drug policy as at least 10,750 youths in the state, which has a population of barely 10 lakh, are intravenous drug users (IDUs), said Delhi-based UNODC project coordinator Kunal Kishore.

Addressing a press conference in Aizawl on Monday, Kishore added that Mizoram is vulnerable due to its proximity to Myanmar, through which heroin manufactured in the infamous Golden Triangle is brought to the west via the state.

Mizoram shares a 404-km-long international border with Myanmar from where different kinds of drugs and psychotropic substances are sent to other parts of the world. Drugs like pseudo-ephedrine, which are legally manufactured in India, are smuggled to Myanmar via Mizoram as they are used to manufacture drugs like amphetamine and metamphetamine.

The state has also been a victim of widespread addiction of clinical drugs like spasmo proxyvon illegally smuggled from neighbouring states, especially Assam. According to the state excise and narcotics department record, 1,234 people have died in the state due to drugs abuse since 1984.

Doctors said clinical drugs, to be consumed orally, are the main killers as Mizo youths are taking those intravenously resulting in deaths.


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Aizawl, May 25 (PTI) Manipur-based Hmar People’s Convention (Democrats) today said the outfit was ready for talks and waiting for response from the Mizoram government.

In a press statement e-mailed to the media, John F Hmar, ‘Secretary for Information and Publicity’ of the HPC(D), denied reports that the proposed resumption of talks with the Mizoram government scheduled to be held on the last week of May was deferred due to the ‘charter of demands’ yet to be prepared by the outfit.

~ PTI News

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intachlogo-yellowAIZAWL: The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Mizoram chapter, which has successfully fought for the return of the historic Waterloo cannons to Aizawl and forced the Indian Air Force (IAF) to shift a radar station in southern Mizoram, is now training its guns on the proposed sports academy at the source of the river Tlawng, the longest river of the state.

P Rohmingthanga, convener of the INTACH Mizoram chapter, said the IAF’s radar station and the state sports academy were proposed to be established at Zopuitlang and Saireptlang near Zobawk, a few km from south Mizoram’s Lunglei town.

“The two projects, if implemented, would destroy the rich biodiversity of the area,” Rohmingthanga, a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, said.

He said part of the proposed station was abandoned by the IAF after the INTACH, the local NGOs in Lunglei district and the environment and forests department officials raised objections.

“We asked the Chief of Air Staff to plan and develop the remaining cantonment area in such a manner so that it doesn’t affect the rich bio-diversity of the forests, enhance the heritage value of the Zopui and Sairep mountains,” he said.

He added that they also appealed to the IAF authorities to minimize pollution in the cantonment area to be established as the rivulets flowing from the proposed radar station cantonment are the sources of Mizoram’s most important river – Tlawng.

The IAF authorities, including the Vice Chief of Air Staff and the Air Defence Commander of the Eastern Air Command, gave written assurances to the INTACH Mizoram chapter that they would do everything possible to ensure environmental protection and sustenance of the rich bio-diversity of the two mountains while planning and executing the project.

The INTACH Mizoram chapter was, however, disappointed with the state sports and youth services department for refusing to shift the proposed state sports academy from the base of Zopuitlang, adjoining a small stream which is part of Tlawng’s source.


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vawkAt least 221 pigs have died of swine flu in Mizoram’s southern Lunglei district in the past three months, an official statement today said.

The Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department officials said that there were 847 pigs infected with fever in the district during the same period out of which 221 have died.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioners of districts adjoining Myanmar and some states having borders with Myanmar clamped prohibitory order banning import of pigs.

State veterinary officials said that a disease, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), was in a pandemic form in Myanmar which shares 414 km long international border with Mizoram.

~ Business Standard

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An explosion ripped through a temple inside the premises of the 26th battalion Assam Rifles in Aizawl early on Thursday morning.

The explosion shattered 26 window panes and some window frames, the police said.

Police suspected that the explosive used was gelatin and the bundle of gelatin sticks must have been thrown from the main road as the compound housing the temple was encircled by the road.

The explosion came on the day when the opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) is organising a rally called ‘Milem Biak Duhloh Kawngzawh’ or ‘Anti-Idol Worshipping Rally.’

~ The Hindu

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Imphal/Aizawl, May 23 : The governments of Manipur and Mizoram will felicitate the members of the first Northeast India Top of the World Mount Everest Expedition, 2013, who recently scaled the highest peak of the world, officials said Thursday.

“The Manipur government announced to give Rs.10 lakh each to the team leaders and members of the expedition for scaling the highest peak of the world,” a Manipur government official told reporters in Imphal.

According to the official, the decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh.

Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla has also announced that Rs.5 lakh would be given to expedition team member David Zohmangaiha. “Another person from Mizoram, Vanllaliana, who is from the state’s sports and youth services department and served as the base camp manager, would be given Rs.3 lakh,” a Mizoram government official said.

Both Zohmangaiha and Vanllaliana would be given a grand reception by the Mizoram government after their arrival in the state, the official added.

The team, comprising 13 climbers from the country’s northeast region, was flagged off by President Pranab Mukherjee from Rashtrapati Bhavan March 20. Members of the expedition made it to the Everest top on May 18.

The expedition included Manipur’s Nameirakpam Chingkheinganba, a Class 11 student who is stated to be the youngest Indian to scale Mount Everest, Arunachal Pradesh’s Anshu Jamsenpa, Assam’s Tarun Saikia, Meghalaya’s Wangsuk Myrthong and Sikkim’s Kazi Sherpa.

The expedition was organised under the aegis of Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association with financial support from the North Eastern Council, a regional planning body under the union ministry of development of north eastern region (DONER) and Manipur government.


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Aizawl, May 6 (UNI) The state’s two largest student organisations – Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) and Mizo Students’ Union (MSU) have made a bold decision to go ahead with their plans to collect donations for the homeless residents of Saikhumphai Bawk, albeit strong objection from the powerful Young Mizo Association headquarters.

Expressing deep sorrow and sympathy to the people of Saikhumphai Bawk whose houses were torched by a mob from the neighbouring Vaphai village, MZP president James Thanghmingmawia said at a press conference here today, ‘The MZP is obliged to collect donations for our brothers and sisters of Saikhumphai Bawk who are living without home and proper food under the rains.’

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Aizawl, May 6 : In yet another fallout of the controversial dry law, the Young Mizo Association has embarked upon an uphill mission – to clean Rangvamual and Phunchawng localities in the western outskirts of the city of illicit liquor factories and foreigners.

The central committee of YMA has set May 15 as a deadline for bootleggers and Myanmarese families to leave the localities.

The association yesterday summoned all families in the two localities to its Tuikhuahtlang office where it informed them of its plans to “clean” the area.

The central YMA leaders requested all the landlords/landladies to evict their foreigners’ tenants and illicit liquor dealers, if there is any, from their buildings before the deadline.

The central YMA would make sure that its eviction order is strictly abided by the concerned people, the leaders said.

According to survey conducted Mizoram Presbyterian Church Synod’s social front in 2012, there are 359 families in Rangvamual of which 219 are indulged in illicit liquor. Of the 359 families, 55 are known to be foreigners and 259 families live in rented houses.

In the neighbouring Phunchawng, there are 425 families of which only 22 indulged in bootlegging. Only four families are said to be foreigners and 317 live in rented houses.

The two localities have emerged as a hub for country-made liquor, thanks to the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition imposed in the Christian-dominated state since February 1997. The moonshine factories are set up in the nearby jungles where many Myanmarese migrants are employed.

Due to the increasing demand for liquor, the liquor factories have flourished despite frequent raids by excise police and local vigilants.