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Faction of Naga group on recruitment drive post peace accord, Govt. unsure

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By Rupesh Dutta

Prime_Minister_Narendra_Modi_at_the_signing_of_a_historic_peace_accord_between_the_Government_of_India_and_Nationalist_Socialist_Council_of_Nagaland_(NSCN)

New Delhi:  Even as the government is exploring every option to bring the various factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) within the recently inked Naga Peace Accord, the outfit’s strongest group NSCN (Isak-Muivah) is recruiting fresh cadre from parts of eastern Nagaland.

The recruitment drive was started immediately after the Naga accord was signed between the Narendra Modi government and NSCN(IM) on August 3, following nearly 20 years of intense negotiations.

NSCN(IM) secretary for ministry of information and publicity W. Zimik admitted that the recruitment was on, but said it was “completely on a voluntary basis” and that no one would be compelled to join.

“There is one specific place where the recruitment drive is being carried out. It’s completely depending on the areas from which the youth want to join. However, if the parents of the youth do not want them to join, then we are not compelling them,” Zimik told media over phone from Dimapur, in Nagaland.

Although the youth were free to join NSCN(IM), they will not undergo any arms training, Zimik added.

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credits: india.com

The government, though, seems to be unaware of the move by the accord co-signatory. Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said he did not have any information about this development.

“I will have to check if this is really happening. I will respond once I get the complete report,” Rijiju told media.

According to sources knowledgeable about the developments, NSCN(IM) was conducting its recruitment drive in its stronghold Tuensang district where the youth were being mobilized to join.

“The fresh recruits are being falsely told that the government has allowed them (NSCN-IM) to carry on the recruitment and that they will be paid salary,” a source told media.

The recruiters were apparently telling the youth that this would be the last batch of recruitment. Although some parents have accepted the faction’s claims, a majority of them were worried as the NSCN(IM) had also said during earlier recruitments that it was “their last recruitment drive”, the source said.

Usually, after a peace accord is inked, militant groups are not allowed to take in new cadres. Instead, the government generally aims to rehabilitate the existing ones. However, experts on the North-Eastern region have said that the situation on the Naga issue might be different as the NSCN(IM) claims itself to be a political group and not a military one.

A ministry of home affairs source had earlier said two army and four paramilitary battalions would be raised to accommodate the existing NSCN(IM) cadres, numbering around 5,000. That may possibly be one reason why the former militant group wants to take in more people.

NSCN(IM) is already supposed to have recruited over 1,000 new cadres from Dimapur, the commercial hub of the state. It has also verbally directed village councils to send youngsters for recruitment.

E.M. Rammohan, former director general of Border Security Force and an expert on the country’s North-Eastern region, said: “The actual devil is in the accord details. Calling the recruitment drive illegitimate as of now won’t be correct because we do not know what is there in the accord.”

He said if there was a clause in the accord that prevents the recruitment of cadre, then the NSCN(IM) “is infringing the norms and inviting trouble. However, in case there is any such clause that makes it possible, which actually should not be the condition, then nothing can be done”, Rammohan said.

He said the government should not have any problem with the recruitment drive, if it’s done as a political step;  but it has to ensure that the recruits are not given any arms training, he cautioned.

(IANS)

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Xiaomi Aims 10,000 Retail Stores in India by 2019

Including all the four retail channels, Xiaomi currently has a total of about 6,000 retail stores in the country

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The complaint alleged that Xiaomi had used the patents without any license from Yulong.
Xiaomi to fight patent disput against Coolpad, wikimedia commons

Making a big push for offline sales in India, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which opened its 1,000th “Mi Store” in the country is on track to reach the target of having 10,000 retail stores by the end of this year, a top company official said on Wednesday.

Xiaomi India said it generated employment for over 2,000 people with the opening of 1,000 Mi Stores, which are spread across 19 states in the country.

“We have been the No. 1 smartphonebrand in India for nine consecutive quarters and our market share in online smartphone business in the country is over 50 per cent.

“The scope of growth in online market share is now limited. Therefore, we are focusing on expanding our offline presence in a big way,” Xiaomi India Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain told a select group of journalists here.

According to him, Xiaomi’s current market share in the offline smartphone business in India is 20 per cent.

“By the end of this year, we are hoping to have 50 per cent of our smartphone sales in the country from offline channels,” he added.

Xiaomi had primarily been an online brand since its inception and started its offline sales in India just two years ago.

Xiaomi
Xiaomi.

The company announced the opening of 500 Mi Stores in the country in November last year, saying that it was planning to open 5,000 such retail stores in the rural parts of the country by end of this year.

“Mi Stores” are similar to the bigger “Mi Home” stores currently operational in the metros and other big cities.

In addition to the 1,000th Mi Store launch, Xiaomi India also announced the launch of Mi Studios, the latest addition to its existing three retail channels.

Located currently in Bengalure and Mumbai, with an average size of 400-600 sq.ft, the new Mi Studios are an optimised version of Mi Homes, Xiaomi said, adding that it was working towards opening 200 Mi Studios by the end of this year.

Xiaomi, which surpassed Samsung to become the market leader in 2018 with 28.9 per cent share in the Indian smartphone market, also has over 5,000 Mi Preferred Partner (third-party) stores spread across over 50 cities.

Also Read- Indians Spending Over 10 Hours on Their Devices Daily, Adobe Survey Reveals

“We are learning from other other brands such as Samsung and Vivo in expanding our offline presence in the country,” Jain added.

Including all the four retail channels, Xiaomi currently has a total of about 6,000 retail stores in the country. (IANS)