Friday January 19, 2018
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Thousands protest in Meghalaya against court’s AFSPA order


Shillong: Thousands of people on Friday hit the street in insurgency-ravaged districts of Garo Hills region in western Meghalaya protesting against the high court order asking the government to enforce the use of the stringent Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act to control the deteriorating law and order situation there.

The protest marches which were held at Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills and Williamnagar, the district headquarter of East Garo Hills, witnessed public opposition to enforcing the controversial act in the region which is plagued with series of kidnappings and killings.

Various speakers at both the rallies were of the opinion that AFSPA is not the solution to the burgeoning insurgency problem in Garo Hills as the same law enforced in other states has not been able to restore normalcy.

“AFSPA is not the solution to bringing peace and only a united public movement can succeed. Once AFSPA is imposed it would be very difficult for the government to withdraw it and atrocities on innocent civilians will take place since the army will operate with impunity and without having to answer to the civilian authorities,” said Garo Hills State Movement Committee chairman, Nikman Ch Marak.

“If the army comes it will be ominous for all. It is the common people who will be the target for their excesses. No state where AFSPA has been imposed has seen a militancy decline but has always recorded human right violations,” he said.

Raising the issue of the politician-militant nexus, Garo Student’s Union (Interim Body) president Zikku Balgra N Marak strongly demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe on the issue while urging the central government not to impose AFSPA in Garo Hills.

Pointing out that the threat of militancy had to be neutralized in the interest of Garo tribesmen, he said the unity of people was paramount to restore the lost peace in Garo Hills.

On Tuesday, the Meghalaya High Court has directed the union home secretary and defence secretary to consider the use of AFSPA, and deployment of paramilitary forces to control deteriorating law and order in Garo Hills.

It also directed the principal secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office to place the order before Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his perusal and consideration.

The high court order came following the recent kidnapping and killing of Intelligence Bureau officer Bikash Kumar Singh and businessman Kamal Saha by militants of the A’chik Songna An’pachakgipa Kotok and abduction of government official Jude Rangku T Sangma by the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militants. Sangma was released on Tuesday.


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Why you must uninstall these Chinese apps right away including True Caller, UC Browser

Government alarmed against use of 42 Chinese apps working as spyware, Check out and be digitally secure

Chinese apps to uninstall
Govt issued warning against Chinese apps as spyware (Representational Image : Pexels)
  • The Government Has Named 42 mobile Chinese Apps as “Chinese Spyware”, Including Big Names Like TrueCaller, UC Browser

    The Indian government on recommendation of intelligence agencies has announced a list of mobile apps on both android and iOs which are reported as Chinese spyware. In big war of data, cyber security is a big concern these days. These Chinese apps have the potential to carry out cyber attack against India.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has warned Indian government that China could be collecting vital information about the Indian security installations through its popular mobile phone apps and devices which are widely used. Cyber breach in security is very common in this digital age we are living.

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Army and defence personnel have been asked to immediately uninstall the 42 mobile apps as well as format their smartphones. This is not the first time that the government has issued warnings against Chinese apps. Some of these Chinese apps are – Weibo, WeChat, ShareIT, True Caller, UC News, UC Browser, Beauty Plus, 360 Security, DU Cleaner, DU Battery Saver, We Sync, QQ Launcher, ES File Explorer, You Cam Makeup, SelfieCity, MI Community, Vault Hide – NQ Mobile Security, Baidu Translate and many more.

TrueCaller mobile app has replied to the issue. It said: “In response to certain reports, we would like to clarify that we are a Sweden based company. We are not sure why the app is on this list, but we’re investigating. Truecaller is not a malware, and all our features are permission based and are disabled by default.”

There is a huge possibility of these Chinese apps transmitting sensitive personal data of Indian citizens to the Chinese authorities, which could be a major security disaster, the advisory states. Defence personnels are also advised not to use Chinese manufactured phones like Xiomi.

Thus, being aware citizens we must be resilient towards cyber attacks and keep uninstalling such malicious Chinese apps. Your data is your personal information, you must be vigilant towards its theft. Stay aware, Stay alert.

– by Shaurya Ritwik, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

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