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Nagaland village hosts open beauty salon to help locals earn money in lockdown

Snippets from the vibrant Northeast that capture politics, culture, society and more in the eight states.

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New Delhi: Like several other industries, beauty services in India have also been hit by the extended lockdown, forcing many to take matters into their own hands. In Nagaland, the Yetoho Baptist Church (YBC) in the Aghunaqa area recently organised an open beauty salon to help residents make an income.

The event, held earlier this week, was meant to encourage the idea of dignity of labour and help people earn livelihoods. YBC pastor Hovika Zhimo participated in a hair-cutting session, along with six other men and four women. A total of 40 people had come to get their hair trimmed and eyebrows threaded.

Tripura social bodies plan ‘indefinite bandh’, PIL against Bru settlement

Amid plans to settle around 30,000 Bru tribals in Tripura, two social bodies of the state — the Mizo Convention and Nagarik Suraksha Mancha — have threatened to call for an indefinite bandh and file a public interest litigation against the government’s move.

Bru tribals have been living in different relief camps in Tripura after they fled Mizoram in 1997 following ethnic clashes between the Bru and Mizo communities. An agreement signed in July 2018 for the repatriation of the Bru tribals to Mizoram did not materialise as a majority of the community members refused to go back.

The social bodies have now opposed the government’s plans of settling Brus in the Kanchanpur subdivision in North Tripura district. Ranjit Nath, the president of Nagarik Suraksha Mancha, said, “We have been demanding they return to Mizoram for years and we stand by it. According to the latest plan, 60 per cent of Bru population would be settled here in this area. The apathy of hundreds of Bengali and Mizo people who have been evicted since their arrival here was never addressed.” Zairemchiama Phachuau, the general secretary of Mizo convention, has likewise said that Bru settlement in Kanchanpur would affect the lives of others living in the area.

Lockdown wedding at checkpost along Assam-Bengal border

Om Prakash Sha, from West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri, recently married Kajol Sha of Assam’s Dhubri at a checkpost along the Assam-Bengal border after he and his family weren’t allowed to travel further in view of Covid-19.

Because of the pandemic, protocol in Assam demands that every person entering the state undergo a 14-day institutional quarantine. Families of the couple had initially sought permission to hold the wedding on 23 May at the bride’s house in Dhubri, 175 km across the border from Jalpaiguri. But on D-day, the Dhubri district police did not allow the groom’s family to travel beyond the Sagolia checkpost at the Assam-Bengal border. The Dhubri and Jalpaiguri authorities then decided that the wedding could take place at the border itself, but with social distancing norms maintained.

An area was cleared, sanitised and barricaded at the checkpost for the occasion. “We arranged a tent, spread out bedsheets, arranged food etc,” said Nirmal Baishya, 2 I/C 9th APBN, Bahrampur, Nagaon, currently deputed at the Sagolia checkpost. He added, “It’s been a busy time — but never did we imagine that we would have to plan a wedding, too.”

Sikkim MLA wants pan-India television, radio campaign to sensitise people against racism

Narendra Kumar Subba, a BJP MLA from the Maneybang-Dentam constituency of Sikkim, wrote a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah voicing his concern over alleged incidents of racism against Northeasterners after the Covid-19 outbreak.

In the letter, Subba explained how people from the Northeast have been subjected to physical and verbal abuse by those from mainland India. He cited an incident of stone pelting against Sikkim residents travelling on a special train on 24 May, and one of “ill-treatment” of Northeastern students by the TTE of a Shramik Express train from Bengaluru to New Jalpaiguri on 19 May.

Subba’s letter included a suggestion that a sensitisation campaign be streamed on television and radio channels across India. He also recommended that the Railway Police Force be instructed to take cognisance of racist attacks.

Video of Mizos giving food packets to Assam flood victims from running train wins hearts

A video showing people from Mizoram, who were on their way home from Bengaluru in a special train, distributing food packets to flood victims in Assam has been widely shared on social media.

The clip has also been shared by Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga.

The video is believed to have been shared by one Emanuel Ralte on Facebook, following which it went viral. People have showered praises for the Mizo train passengers helping flood victims, who are believed to be from Assam’s Goalpara district.

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