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Kohima: Even as Central government imposed a five-year ban on National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang), an eminent non-governmental organisation has written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the home ministry seeking a high-level enquiry into the alleged killing of women and children by the security forces.
The government has said that “strong action” would be taken against any violation of human rights.
The Naga Mothers’ Association works to tackle social problems like drug addiction and alcoholism, and it also works towards peace in the state. The association said it had provided the government with evidence on the actions of the Assam Rifles personnel.
“We had submitted a memorandum to the PMO and the home ministry, before the ban was decided, giving first hand account of the Assam Rifles killings of civilians and women with photographic evidence and demanding a high-level inquiry in one of the latest incident at Pangsha,” Rosemary Dzuvichu, adviser to NMA, said.
The incident refers to a recent ambush by Assam Rifles in an Indo-Myanmar bordering village, Pangsha, killing a total of six NSCN(K) cadres and three civilians. The incident happened on the same day a delegation of NMA was invited to hold talks with the NSCN(K) to discuss the ceasefire.
Confirming the meeting with the NMA, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju said, the government was clear regarding any military operation and the SoP (standard operating procedures) involved, which is very clearly laid down. “In the North-East also we have categorically implemented it to see that there is no human rights’ violation during the operations,” Rijiju said.
The minister, who’s in charge of human rights issues said, “I have been calling my secretaries, joint secretaries and other officials to ensure that human rights violations are completely avoided in every circumstance.”
Rijiju said if the government came to know that any officer or soldier was deliberately involved in hitting innocents, ‘strong action’ would be initiated against him or her.
The NMA was started by Neidonuo Angami, a social worker who was later given the Padma Shri for her work.
The NMA adviser said that the ban on the NSCN (K) was another sign of the “dual policy of the government with no true commitment to peace.”
Dzuvichu said: “The ban, in the midst of peace building efforts by the people, is very much unwarranted. We appeal for peace to both the Indian government and the NSCN(K). The Indian government had banned the militant outfit under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1957 on September 16.”
The delegation of NMA, which had visited the Indo-Myanmar border areas to hold talks with the NSCN(K) leaders, after being tasked to do so by the Central government, also expressed its ‘shock’ over the ban.
The NMA is likely to meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh once again in the national capital to discuss the concerns over killings of civilians under the protection of the Armed Forces Specials Powers Act (AFSPA) and hunting down of the NSCN(K) leaders.
The memorandum submitted by the NMA also demanded the withdrawal of all existing armed forces from the state and redeployment of of Naga Indian Reserve Battalions within the state. The Naga IRBs are at present posted in Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal and Delhi. This would calm down the conflict and give ‘a breather for peace initiatives’.
According to the NMA, they had also taken up the issue with the Inspector General of Assam Rifles in Nagaland’s capital, Kohima, but they received no response.
The memorandum states: “The NMA is committed to bring our brothers in the NSCN(K) into the ceasefire with the Indian Government and will continue in our peace initiatives. We will continue to reach out to the other Naga political groups, in hope that we ensure peaceful future and destiny for our younger generations.”
(Rupesh Dutta, IANS)
Facebook must pay a $4.75 million fine and up to $9.5 million in back pay to eligible victims who say the company discriminated against U.S. workers in favor of foreign ones, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
The discrimination took place from at least January 1, 2018, until at least September 18, 2019.
The Justice Department said Facebook "routinely refused" to recruit or consider U.S. workers, including U.S. citizens and nationals, asylees, refugees and lawful permanent residents, in favor of temporary visa holders. Facebook also helped the visa holders get their green cards, which allowed them to work permanently
In a separate settlement, the company also agreed to train its employees in anti-discrimination rules and conduct wider searches to fill jobs.
The fines and back pay are the largest civil awards ever given by the DOJ's civil rights division in its 35-year history.
"Facebook is not above the law and must comply with our nation's civil rights laws," Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke told reporters in a telephone conference.
"While we strongly believe we met the federal government's standards in our permanent labor certification [PERM] practices, we've reached agreements to end the ongoing litigation and move forward with our PERM program, which is an important part of our overall immigration program," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "These resolutions will enable us to continue our focus on hiring the best builders from both the U.S. and around the world and supporting our internal community of highly skilled visa holders who are seeking permanent residence." (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Facebook, Employment, Justice Dept., Recruitment
Tomatoes are a staple in the Indian diet, be it a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian dish. It has to be a part of each meal in some form. As puree, paste, flavour, or diced into the dal. This tangy, sweet, and juicy ingredient was not always Indian. In fact, it did not even grow in India until the British sanctioned it. It is a product of colonization and has come a long way to become part of our everyday meals.
Originally, the tomato was considered poison. Its actual native is debatable. Some say it is European while others argue that is came from indigenous parts of Spain and Portugal. Either way, it is a plant species that is associated with the legendary Nightshade. It looks very similar to this poisonous plant that tomatoes were not even harvested for a long time, for fear of picking Nightshade instead. It was believed that Nightshade caused the blood to turn to acid and that tomatoes had the same property. Later research proved that the plant itself may be poisonous but the fruit is not.
The fruit if the woody nightshade plant Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Tomato is considered a fruit instead of a vegetable because it is cooked. But this theory has an interesting tale behind it. in the United States, in 1887, a tax was levied on the transport of vegetables, but not on fruits. By then, tomatoes had become a huge part of the American diet and traders could not afford to pay the ten percent duty. So, they began to call the large loads they transported fruits, just to avoid the tax due. In time, this is how the tomato came to be regarded. Some scientists went even further and stated that it is a berry. Botanists claim that since it is a part that grows from the flower's ovary and contains seeds, it is a fruit and not a vegetable. But this is a debate that will never end.
Incorporating tomatoes into the Indian diet must have happened so long ago that people do not remember a time without tomatoes, considering how it is the fundamental ingredient of most cuisines. The tomato has a name in every language as well, so the trading between nations, the voyages that brought them to India, and the decoding of the fruit-vegetable must have taken place far earlier than our ancestors remember. Or, perhaps we liked it so much that we decided to use it everywhere and make it our own. Nonetheless, it has been a delightful addition.
Keywords: Tomato, Fruit, Vegetable, Nightshade, Voyage, Staple
Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.
The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.
Tom and Jerry became a go-to cartoon for children in the early 00s, and it was one of those shows with a firm foundation, that had already been in the running for decades. The original template had been planned nearly 80 years ago, and the makers did not change it. The music that was played in the many episodes, made a breakthrough in its own way. It is the most easily recognizable melody with utterly nostalgic associations.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons Image credit: wikimedia commons
A set of supporting characters were defined for the show, to occasionally take the focus off the original pair. There was a large, black woman named Mammy Two Shoes and a bulldog who took Jerry's side. Mammy Two Shoes was discontinued because her character portrayed racist tendencies. A tall white woman replaced her, who was kinder and loved mice. Either of the women's faces was never revealed.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons. There are a host of other shows besides this that aim to replicate the same aspects of the cartoon but do not come close at all. Despite the immense amount of violence in the show, it is a beloved pastime of parents and children alike.
Keywords: Tom and Jerry, Cartoon, Hanna and Barbera, Television