Assam – Mizoram Border Disputes

It is a well-known fact that India has several border disputes with Pakistan, China and even Nepal. Many countries in the world have border disputes with their neighbouring countries. India is made up of several states, which too have inter-state border disputes. Such conflicts have never escalated to a situation that one state issues travel advisory to its rival state despite being in the same country.

Such has happened with Assam and Mizoram locking themselves in a border disputes battle. As with many places worldwide, border disputes come from agreeing to two different border-demarcation lines signed off in two different years. Mizoram officially recognizes the border, which was signed in 1875, while Assam follows the 1933 agreement. While it seems that the latest border should always be followed, Mizoram claims the 1933 border was set without consulting the local tribal chief. In fact, Assam has border disputes with most of its neighbouring states.

Mizoram have allegedly started constructing a road through the disputed border, through the middle of Lailapur Reserved Forest, an ecologically sensitive zone. This irked Assam, and they deployed police in the region to stop the construction work. The situation tensed when police from both sides opened fire at each other. The skirmish resulted in 7 deaths, including that of 6 police officers and 1 civilian, as well as over 70 injuries. Assam police have accused Mizoram police of opening the fire first, after which Assam advised a complete travel blockade of Mizoram.

However, there were several channels open for bilateral talks. Assam and Mizoram both used the communication channels available, and peace talks have resumed between the state ministers. As per the latest decision, both sides have resumed between the state ministers. As per the latest decision, both sides have agreed to keep their neutral forces keeping utmost restraint, Mizoram condemning the killings and Assam withdrawing the Travel Advisory. We hope that peace remains between the two north-eastern states of India and settle their border disputes peacefully through bilateral talks.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Fake Vaccination Drives

Vaccination drives are going on all over the country to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Most cities and villages in India have started vaccination drives by both the public and private sectors. Government vaccination camps are more in number and are of particular interest to those who do not want or can not afford to pay a hefty price as charged in private companies. However, some Government officials have also resorted to providing fake vaccination for a greater income. Let us discuss in this article how and where this has happened.

Kolkata and Mumbai are two big cities where there are proven records of fake vaccination drives. Kolkata and Mumbai are the most densely populated cities in India, and also lie in the epicentre of Covid-19 spread in India. So fake vaccination drives in these cities are unlikely to prevent a third Covid-19 wave which may prove even more disastrous for the country than the previous waves.

In Mumbai, more than 2000 people have been given fake vaccines by several private players in different areas of the city. Till now 13 arrests have been made by the Mumbai police in connection with fake camps. Mahendra Pratap Singh and Manish Tripathi are said to be the main culprit in this scam. All fake vaccines are supplied from Shivam Hospital in Kandivali West, whose owners, Shivraj Pataria and Nita Pataria, have been arrested. Shivam Hospital reportedly received some Covishield doses from the BMC and some empty vials all of which were handed to the vaccine camp organizers, who have made fake vaccines out of it.

In Kolkata, an even greater scam was unearthed connected to one individual, Debanjan Das, and some TMC officials. Debanjan Das went beyond belief to raise his treasury with a fake IAS claim, fake joint commissioner of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) identity, issuing fake tenders and running a fake Kolkata Urban Planning office. He earned crores of rupees in the name of KMC and from fake vaccines. The scam came to light when ruling TMC MP from the same area, Mimi Chakraborty, was invited by Deb to take vaccine shots. Mimi was alerted when she didn’t receive any SMS from Aragya Setu after getting vaccinated, and she launched a probe in this matter. Deb was found to supply Amikacin, a simple antibiotic for several bacterial infections in the vaccine shots. Deb managed to fake the vaccine bottles and their stickers, and also tricked several firms by forging signatures of many senior officials and ministers.

It is shocking, to say the least, how some scammers are playing with the lives of so many people. Fake vaccine recipients, if not identified at the earliest, may not be saved in case a third wave of Covid-19 arrives. While vaccination can provide immunity to most of the public, it may have a severe effect on people not vaccinated. As restrictions get eased, Covid-19 is most likely to turn up, affecting those not vaccinated. Fake vaccines will prove disastrous for such persons. It is highly recommended follow-up for a possible fake vaccination drive in your area, check whether you receive a message from the Government regarding vaccination, check your Aragya Setu app about current status and vaccination, do cross-check and verify the authorization of the centre or camp, and do not believe in rumours. Most camps and centres are providing real authorised vaccines, hence don’t be afraid to get vaccinated. Vaccination can save your life from future Covid-19 infection, hence do take the vaccine at the earliest from your nearest authorized vaccination centre.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Partial Lockdown vs Complete Lockdown Conditions

As the second wave of Covid-19 wrecks havoc in many states, there is again the need for a lockdown phase 2. This time first partial lockdown was imposed, which was expected to slow down the spread of the virus. But the reality was just the opposite. Hence complete lockdown was imposed in most states. The importance of lockdown during Covid-19 times was felt as the second wave has started to decrease from a peak value. So why was complete lockdown not imposed as soon as the number of cases rose? Let us now compare between partial and complete lockdown and understand which solution is more practical. Note that lockdown itself is not enough to save you. Instead, everyone has to strictly follow all Covid-19 guidelines and maintain good health and hygiene.

In lockdown phase 1, when the whole country underwent a strict and complete lockdown, much middle class lost their means of livelihood, the people suffered a lot, and the migrant workers and students got stuck in unknown places. Thus the Government does not want to impose such stringent measures around the country that may impact most citizens. This time around, the states were asked to impose partial or complete lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. So many states imposed a partial lockdown when the number of cases started rising. However, it didn’t work out at all due to the negligence of the citizens. Let us now see why partial lockdown failed in most regions.

Partial lockdown hardly reached anybody’s ears. It has become a norm that as long as the police do not arrest anybody, it is safe to disobey Government rules and regulations in lockdown. The Governments are to be blamed as well. The Kumbha Mela at Haridwar turned out to be the biggest super spreader of Covid-19 in the world. People from all over the country gathered at Haridwar to take a bath in the Holy Ganga during Kumbha Mela. Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand happened to be the primary source of the Mumbai strain of the Sars-Cov-2 virus after Mumbai. Also to be blamed are the election rallies in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Assam that accounted for a significant outbreak of the virus in these states. The markets are to be blamed as well. There was a sudden urge of everybody to go out shopping, and in February and March, people behaved as if there was never any pandemic situation here. The Chaitra sale in Kolkata looked as if pre-pandemic times had returned. Schools reopened only to be shut down immediately due to teachers and students getting affected.

Amidst all these, Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow were the worst affected cities that faced a severe oxygen crisis. The travellers were by far responsible for spreading the virus to some metropolitan cities and rural countryside. Today, a chunk of the country’s population are migrant workers, and a significant number of middle-class families are tourism-lovers. The Bengal strain, an escape immunity variant of Sars-Cov-2, had actually spread in January 2021, when the tourism-lovers visited tourist places and workers migrated to other states for work when lockdown restrictions were lifted.

However, complete lockdown instead of partial lockdown worked in favour of curbing the spread of coronavirus. It is evident from the figures that peak was achieved in many states in mid-May, and the number of cases has declined since. Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu have battled the coronavirus and are now looking forward to easing lockdown restrictions. However, this time the Government is not taking it lightly, as the severity of the second wave forced the Government and the citizens to be aware of an even more destructive third wave shortly. Also, vaccination drive has hoped to limit the damage caused by Sars-Cov-19 in the body.

With Bengal, Odisha, Assam and some other states yet to reach their peak caseload, it is expected that despite easing situations in other parts, these states still have to maintain their lockdown restrictions to minimize further damage by Covid-19. One of the best practical moves is creating awareness and enforcing a few conditions for a few more weeks so that there is not much congestion of people in a particular area. Limitation of market hours, refrain from rallies, festivals, and gatherings, restriction of people’s movement through public transport are good options. The Home-delivery system should be increased and implemented in as many fields as possible. Virtual conferences, online classes, and work from home should be a part of the new normal until the virus is eliminated from the country. If China can do it, New Zealand can do it, Australia and some other countries can do it, then we Indians can do it as well.

Written by – Himadri Paul

The seizure of contraband gold from a diplomatic consignment in Thiruvananthapuram

30 kgs of gold were seized by custom personnel on Sunday at the International airport of Thiruvananthapuram. The package that landed by air cargo is said to be under the name of the person who enjoys ‘diplomat immunity’. According to the sources the bag belongs to the staff member of UAE consulate general in Thiruvananthapuram. Also, it is not confirmed whether the staff member was actually involved in this smuggling or not.

According to them, the bag was not picked up for 2 days and no claims regarding the bag were made so after taking permission from the external ministry, the customs office seized the “diplomatic bag”

“We had definite intelligence about this. A search is going on and the quantity may go up. We have detained one person and are lookout for 2 more,” said Sumit Kumar, custom commissioner in-charge of Kerala and Lakshadweep. 

The custom commissioner claimed it to be the largest seizure in the recent past.

One of the officials informed “At least 13 such consignments came to the country in one year and they all passed without any check due to diplomatic immunity. Some of them were heavier than the latest consignment which weighed 70 kg. We are also probing some events organized by state government departments.” All of these consignments landed in Thiruvananthapuram.

Also, the bag consist of “diplomatic immunity” and name of the person on which custom commissioner quoted “we had a certain question and as per normal protocol, we request them to help us.”

Sources from the airport said that the gold was concealed in a bag consisting of bathroom equipment to avoid the detection of gold and worth of this captured consignment is said to be in crores.

“It came two days ago but since no one came to claim it, the bag was inspected and the concealed gold found,” they said.

A big spike is seen in yellow metal smuggling cases since the prices of gold are escalated highly in the recent period. The past two top gold seizures were seen to happen in Kozhikode

International airport from a charted flight of the Middle East in the past two weeks The consignment is said to arrive from a charted flight.

No one was expecting this smuggle during the time of pandemic. This was shocking for the officers and normal people as well.

On this Officials said they barely expected smuggle scenarios to happen during these serious times of COVID – 19 pandemic and were expecting to have relaxed checking in charted planes but they were mistaken. The investigation is still going on regarding the smuggling and maybe after this incident, there will be more rule and regulation regarding the import and export of goods.

                                   By – Anjali Sharma


On Friday, July 3rd, a gangster named Vikas Dubey, became one of the most dreaded names in the country, as he along with his accomplices shot eight police personnel dead, in Bikru Village under Chaubeypur Police Circle.

Reportedly, a police team had gone to Vikas Dubey’s house to arrest him for attempting murder.

Dubey, who was already tipped about the arrest, by a police source, prepared his gang members and opened fire on the police personnel.

He fled along with his accomplices .

The incident left behind only anger and horror in India’s heart, and people began outraging and questioning the UP government.

Within four hours of the incident, the Kanpur Police shot dead two suspects, namely Prem Prakash Pandey and Atul Dubey.

The next day, they also demolished Vikas Dubey’s house in Bikru Village and trampled over his two vehicles and tractors.

Many began questioning the legality of these actions and his family gained sympathy and support from the Brahmin community.

On July 4th, station officer Vinay Sharma was suspended on the suspicion of tipping off the gangster about the raid.

Two days later, three more policemen were suspended on the same suspicion.

On July 5th, Dayashankar Agnihotri, the main aide of Dubey was arrested.

Meanwhile, Dubey was still on the run, as almost fifty teams of state police and STF (Special Task Force) raided his hideouts and arrested his relative Shama, his neighbor Suresh Verma and his domestic help Rekha, in a bid to put pressure on Dubey.

As media followed Dubey’s every move and dug into his past, many pictures and evidence of him being connected to several politicians surfaced, which is what makes this case even more controversial.

Inspector K.K Sharma and officer Vinay Tiwari were arrested on 8th July, after their call records confirmed that they had conversations with Vikas Dubey.

On July 8th, the STF hunted down and killed his aides Amar Dubey in Hamirpur, and Bauan Dubey in Etawah. Another of Dubey’s aide, Prabhat Mishra was arrested in Faridabad.

The very next day Prabhat was shot dead in an encounter.

Even then Dubey felt like smoke to UP Police’s grasp, as even after frantic searches he was nowhere to be seen.

The Times of India reported that “The borders of the state were sealed and frantic searches were carried out on the highways while Vikas remained holed up in a relative’s house in Kanpur itself for two days.

He then managed to reached Faridabad where he was caught in a CCTV camera at a hotel. The police reached after he had left.”

Even after the searches and police’s efforts, Vikas somehow got into Madhya Pradesh, and then to Ujjain.

On July 9th, he went to the Mahakaal Temple, revealed his identity, and got himself arrested.

Vikas was handed over to the UP STF on the night of 9th July.

He had reached Kanpur on the morning of 10th July when reportedly, the SUV bringing him overturned and the gangster tried to flee. He was then shot dead in an encounter.

The encounter of Vikas Dubey raised many suspicions, on several valid grounds.

The foremost being that why were media personnel who were following Vikas Dubey stopped 500m before where the incident happened?

Another question that was raised was how did the car overturn?

To which the UP STF stated that “A herd of cows and buffaloes suddenly came in front of the vehicle and the driver swerved the vehicle causing it to overturn”.

The statement further said, “Taking advantage of the situation, Vikas Dubey snatched the pistol of inspector Ramakant Pachauri and got out of the vehicle. He started running away. The second vehicle coming from behind and STF DSP Tej Pratap Singh and other STF personnel stopped and were told that Dubey had run away with the firearm. They chased the gangster and he started firing at them. The STF personnel tried to catch him alive but had to fire in self-defense.”

The STF officers did not answer a question that inquired that why was there no mud on Dubey’s clothes if he had been shot dead while trying to escape through a wet and muddy area.

Further, a question was raised that if Dubey walked with a limp, due to a surgical rod in one leg, how was it possible that he ran so fast from the accident spot?

Furthermore, minutes before his encounter, the gangster Vikas Dubey’s car changed. There were several reports on various social media platforms that Dubey was seen traveling in a Safari car, rather than the TUV300 SUV which overturned.

So far, the police have not responded to any of these questions.

But this was not all, an Article from The Wire drew attention to the similarities between the “encounters” of Vikas Dubey, and his aides.

The similarities between the encounters of Vikas Dubey, his aide Bahua aka Praveen Dubey, and Prabhat Mishra seemed particularly uncanny.

When Bahua was killed, the Etawah senior superintendent of police, Akash Tomar told NDTV that, “Around 3 am, a Swift Dzire was looted by four armed men on a Scorpio. They were stopped about an hour later by cops when they tried to escape. The police chased them and an unidentified man suffered multiple injuries in the crossfire. He was declared brought dead at the hospital.”

The man was later identified as Praveen Dubey while the rest of his accomplices fled.

The killing of Prabhat Mishra again presented many similarities between his and Vikas Dubey’s encounter case.

The Wire reported, “While the vehicle carrying Vikas Dubey was said to have met with an accident following which he tried to flee after snatching a pistol from a policeman, in Mishra’s case, the police van ferrying him allegedly ‘broke down,’ following which, he too tried to flee and reportedly snatched a pistol from a policeman.”

The ADGP reportedly said that Mishra, “took advantage of the situation, snatched a pistol from a policeman, fired at our men, and tried to escape. Our personnel retaliated, during which Prabhat got killed. Several policemen were injured in the incident”

This wouldn’t be the first time this past year that an “encounter” like this took place.

In November 2019, a veterinary doctor was gang-raped and killed by four men in Telangana. While the police were condemned for not taking action before the atrocity was committed (even though the matter was reported to them by the Vet’s sister), they were praised by the very same people for shooting the suspects dead in a similar encounter.

And while one may think that the guilty were brought to justice, the system which allows women to be raped and the police to sit quietly never got fixed. Instead, people gave the very same police officers the power to shoot people dead to satisfy their bloodthirst.

Similarly, by killing the gangster Dubey, the corrupt system that allows such gangs to exist won’t get fixed, instead, the collective outrage of the nation will be put to rest.

While the Article 21 of the Constitution says that no person can be deprived of his or her life without the due process of law being followed, the UP Police boasts of 5178 encounters since 2017.

Which again brings us to an uncomfortable question, why is the police given the power to be both the jury and the executioner?

And why is there no serious inquiry on the matter of the number of encounters in UP?

And how is the police comfortable enough with the number of encounters, unless they are being backed by political top brass?

Vikas Dubey’s death might have relieved many mourning souls, but it may also have closed many chapters in his life, which if opened would have brought forward his obvious nexus with politicians.

Even after many former senior cops along with opposition parties asking for an inquiry, a panel or a judicial investigation has not been set yet.

In the end, I’d like to leave you with a question, was justice truly served?

                                                                   – Aanandita Singh