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Two people arrested in Assam for cannabis transportation

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583 Kg of cannabis was caught hidden inside a specially-built cavity at the back of the driver's cabin.
Two people arrested in Assam for cannabis transportation. wikimedia commons

Kolkata, Dec 26, 2017: About 583 kg of dry cannabis was seized and two persons were arrested in Assam, an official from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said here on Tuesday.

“With support of the Border Security Force (BSF), the DRI officials of Silchar intercepted a truck at Badarpurghat area of Cachar and recovered 583.7 kg of dry cannabis packed in 58 packets, which were hidden inside a specially-built cavity at the back of the driver’s cabin,” the official said.

The driver and the handyman of the truck — Narayan Chandra Sarkar and Kalidas Munda, both hailing from Agartala — were arrested and the truck was also seized.

According to the official, the contraband was coming from Agartala and was bound for Shillong.

“The case indicates that the northeast continues to be the sensitive zone for production of cannabis, from where it is being transported to different parts of India by the drug syndicates,” a statement said.

This is third major seizure of ganja in such huge quantity by the agency in less than four months.

In September, the agency’s Silchar unit had recovered 1,413.6 kg dry cannabis and its Berhampore unit seized 841 kg ganja in August.

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Assam’s Citizen Register Raises Concern of U.N. Human Rights Expert

Assam, a state of 33 million people known for its lush tea estates, has for decades been racked by violence between indigenous tribes and settlers.

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Assam
A woman, whose name is left out in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft, stands in a a line to collect forms to file appeals at a NRC Sewa Kendra (NSK) in Guwahati, Aug. 11, 2018. VOA

Three United Nations human rights experts expressed “deep concern” Thursday over a controversial citizens register in India’s Assam state, warning it could inflame ethnic tensions in an already fractious region.

A new draft Register of Citizens (NRC) in the northeastern state announced in July left off four million people, leaving them potentially stateless and facing an uncertain future.

Critics say it is the latest move by the right-wing party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bolster India’s Hindu majority at the expense of minorities. India will hold a national election next year.

assam
Bakrapara, Assam

The policy was introduced by the state government, which is controlled by the same BJP party in power nationally.

“We are… seriously concerned about the lack of clarity regarding what will happen to those left out of the finalized NRC,” said a joint statement from the UN special rapporteur on religious freedoms, Ahmed Shaheed, the rapporteur for minority rights, Fernand de Varennes and an expert on arbitrary detentions, Seong-Phil Hong.

“There is a risk that persons not part of the NRC could become stateless, be at risk of deportation, or be subject to large-scale migration detention,” they said.

The deadline to provide the necessary documents to be included on the register has been set for December 31.

Assam
Indian Muslim men shout slogans during a protest against tensions in India’s northeastern state of Assam, in New Delhi, India, Aug. 8, 2012.
Source:VOA

The current register includes only those who were able to prove they were in the state before 1971, when millions fled Bangladesh’s war of independence into the state, and their descendants.

Also Read: Firefighters of India Battle Air Pollution In The Country’s Capital

Assam, a state of 33 million people known for its lush tea estates, has for decades been racked by violence between indigenous tribes and settlers.

“It is feared that this entire process is increasing inter-ethnic tensions in a region that has already experienced a tumultuous history of identity-based conflicts,” de Varennes said. (VOA)