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New Delhi: The central government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah on Monday signed a historic accord that promises to bring peace in the northeastern state ravaged by violence for over six decades. Various stakeholders welcomed the move, saying it will bring a new dawn of peace and development.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the accord was an inspiration in “our troubled world”, and not only marked the “end of a problem, but the beginning of a new future”.
“Today’s agreement is a shining example of what we can achieve when we deal with each other in a spirit of equality and respect, trust and confidence; when we seek to understand concerns and try to address aspirations; when we leave the path of dispute and take the high road of dialogue. It is a lesson and an inspiration in our troubled world,” he said.
He said the Naga political issue had lingered for six decades, “taking a huge toll on generations of our people”.
“It is a legacy of the British rule. The colonial rulers had, by design, kept the Nagas isolated and insulated. They propagated terrible myths about Nagas in the rest of the country,” he said.
“The respect for the infirm and the elders, the status of women in society, sensitivity to Mother Nature, and the emphasis on social equality is a natural way of Naga life. These are values that should constitute the foundation of the society that we all seek.”
NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, who signed the accord at the ceremony held at the Modi’s 7 Race Course Road residence, hailed it as a “momentous occasion”.
“Under Narendra Modi, we have come close to understanding each other and have worked out a new relation with the government,” he said, adding that the Naga people have great respect for Mahatma Gandhi.
Muivah, 81, is a key leader of the NSCN-IM which has been in talks with the government since 1997 after a ceasefire agreement was signed.
NSCN-IM chairman Isak Chishi Swu could not make it to the ceremony as he is unwell and undergoing treatment at Fortis hospital in Delhi. His son Pasheto was, however, present.
Meanwhile, various stakeholders in the peace process cautiously welcomed the accord.
While congratulating Modi, Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang told IANS: “This positive development will pave the way for a permanent solution acceptable to the Nagas.”
“Our people have been struggling for more than six decades for a settlement to the Naga issue, and the signing of the peace accord is a welcome step towards such a settlement,” he said.
The Naga Hoho, the apex body of all Naga tribes of Nagaland, welcomed the accord but said it needed to see the contents of the deal before further commenting on it.
“We are happy and welcome the accord but we need to see its contents before making further comments,” Naga Hoho president P. Chuba Ozukum told IANS.
Asked how effective the deal would be given that it was signed with the NSCN-IM, while the NSCN-Khaplang faction abrogated its ceasefire with the government in March this year, Ozukum said S.S. Khaplang was being asked to renew the ceasefire.
“We are still requesting Khaplang to renew the ceasefire. We are trying to make him understand,” he said.
Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPHMR) chairman N. Krome told IANS they were all “caught by surprise by the sudden announcement”.
Thangso Baite, the Congress Lok Sabha member from Outer Manipur, welcomed the peace accord, but said it should not affect the neighboring states.
“We were anxiously awaiting the peace accord provided it does not affect the neighboring states,” the MP from a constituency that has a large Naga population and is home to Muivah’s Tangkhul Naga tribe told IANS.
Former Mizoram chief Minister Zoramthanga, who was successful in brokering peace between the center and the NSCN-IM, also congratulated the government and the Naga leaders on signing the peace accord.
“I am sure both the parties signed an agreement which is acceptable to them,” Zoramthanga, who was once a militant leader of the rebel Mizo National Front before the outfit surrendered in 1986 and entered the political mainstream, told IANS over phone from Mizoram capital Aizawl.
Nagaland became India’s 16th state on December 1, 1963. The mostly mountainous state is spread over 16,579 square km and is home to 16 major tribes, each with distinct customs, language and dress. Christian-dominated Nagaland is home to around 20 million people. Its official language is English.
Modi later in the day spoke to various political leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda, Chief Minister Zeliang, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, and Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav.
He also spoke to Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati, Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO. Several crypto wallets were drained before the platform could stop the cyber attack. In a tweet, Badger said it has received reports of unauthorised withdrawals of user funds. "As Badger engineers investigate this, all smart contracts have been paused to prevent further withdrawals. Our investigation is ongoing and we will release further information as soon as possible," the company said late on Thursday.
According to the blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, the various tokens stolen in the attack are worth about $120 million, reports The Verge. According to reports, someone inserted a malicious script in the user interface (UI) of their website. Badger has retained data forensics experts Chainalysis to explore the full scale of the incident and authorities in both the US and Canada have been informed. "Badger is cooperating fully with external investigations as well as proceeding with its own," it said. DeFi is a collective term for financial products and services that are open, decentralised and accessible to anyone. DeFi products open up financial services to anyone with an internet connection and they are largely owned and maintained by their users. While the attack didn't reveal specific flaws within Blockchain tech itself, it managed to exploit the older "web 2.0" technology that most users need to use to perform transactions, according to reports. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: crypto wallets, BadgerDAO, decentralised finance, Blockchain, 120 million, crypto tokens, Hackers)
A total of 120 top Bollywood and other celebrities are expected to attend the wedding of film stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal which is scheduled on December 9 in Rajasthan, said Rajendra Kishan, the District Collector (DC) of Sawai Madhopur district of the state on Friday. The District Collector told mediapersons: "These 120 guests shall follow all COVID-19 protocols and fully vaccinated guests will get entry in the much-hyped celebrity wedding."
Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.
Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Rajasthan, December 9, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, film stars, celebrities, Bollywood, Katrina-Vicky)
The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant in Bengaluru on Thursday, is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune. The NCBS is a part of a consortium of national laboratories performing genomic surveillance across four city clusters. The consortium was established four months ago with support from The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute, and is led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.
Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.
The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash
The consortium is focused on upscaling genomic surveillance as part of national efforts led by the INSACOG - Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium - to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The consortium intensified its sequencing efforts after the World Health Organisation announced Omicron as a Variant of Concern. Such an intensified effort enabled the Bengaluru team at the NCBS, a member laboratory of INSACOG, in collaboration with Strand Life Sciences and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), to detect, rapidly sequence and verify the existence of the omicron variant in samples from two Covid-19 infected individuals.
They hope this will aid in a rapid response to contain the spread of variants of concern. Prof Satyajit Mayor from the NCBS conveyed the information to local and national authorities, and the Indian government released a statement on December 2, all within four days of receiving the samples. Both SARS-CoV-2 genomes have also been uploaded to the global repository for SARS-CoV-2 sequences, GISAID, so that they can be publicly available to the scientific community, the NCBS said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Hyderabad, New Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, The National Centre for Biological Sciences, Situation, NCBS, Omicron)