News Wrap


In a joint operation carried out by Assam Rifles and Assam police in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on 23 May 2021 early morning, at least six Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) cadres were killed. It was a crippling blow to the outfit formed before the Lok Sabha polls to secure a separate Dimaraji state, for the Dimasa community. The counter insurgency operation Dugudisha, took place in the Dugudisha area under Dhansri Police station in Karbi Anglong district, bordering Dimapur district of Nagaland. The reelected BJP government in Assam state assembly, had made long lasting peace a priority. The BJP led coalition assumed power in Assam state, for the second straight time on 10 May 2021. The site of the encounter is about 50 kms from the district head quarters Diphu. The killings of Amit Nunisa, a former leader of the disbanded Dima Halam Dangah outfit on 27 Jan 2021, and Sanjoy Ronghang, a priest on 19 May 2021, could be one of the reasons for the lethal strike.

National Security Act In Manipur
According to the state government of Manipur, those who “insult” cow dung and cow urine are threats to the nation, and liable to be prosecuted under the National Security Act, 1980. Recently, journalist Wakhen and social activist Erendro had posts online, that mocked the use of a cow’s bodily wastes as cure for Covid-19. If followed the unfortunate demise of professor S Tikendra Singh, president of the BJP’s Manipur unit, due to Covid-19 on 13 May 2021, the journalist and the social activist were detained under the NSA on 14 May 2021, in Imphal.

Fall In Government Hiring
The central government hired over 31,000 less employees in 2020-21, than the previous year. The declining trend of recruitment for central government jobs could be attributed to a cash crunch, that prompted out sourcing of work to private entities at lower rates, reduction in the number of posts, rampant privati-sation and closure of public sector units, and a sluggish employment generation process. The corona pandemic has worsened the situation. The number of new subscribers to the National Pension Scheme has fallen from 1,18,843 in 2019-20 to 87,123 in 2020-21. All the recruitment exams were being delayed, over the past five years. The unemployment rate is at a four-decade high 6.1 percent. This syndrome is the same with the state governments too.

Migrant Surge On Spain-Morocco Border
Desperate teenagers and jobless men, coming from Morocco’s coastal towns, its mountainous east, or even far away from sub-“Saharan” Africa, and they all converge on the border town of Fnideq. They are part of an extra-ordinary mass effort to swim or scale barbed wire fences, to get into Spain for a chance of a new life. Every week, more than 8,000 migrants are actually make it into the city of Ceuta, an enclave in North Africa, that is separated from the rest of Spain, by the Mediterranean. For most of them it was a short-lived success. The extraordinary surge of migrants coming from Morocco in Spain, is amid the chaos of a diplomatic spat between the two countries. Spanish troops force over half of the migrants back to Fnideq, putting an additional strain on the Moroccan town, whose limited resources are overwhelmed by the pandemic. Like most seeking to get into Spain, they have diplomas but no jobs. They live on streets, sleeping the cold in Fnideq’s parks, on benches and outside mosques. Some hang out near hotels and restaurants, begging for food and whatever people can spare. The weekly arrival of 8000 migrants, in Ceuta, is a reminder of the sheer inequality between the two sides. While per capita GDP in 2019 was US dollars 30,000 on the Spanish side, it dropped to S/3200, across the border. With the border closed, over 30,000 workers who used to commute across it daily, have been jobless for much of the past year. Even before the pandemic, nationalist voices in Rabat were reviving old claims on Ceuta and Melila, Spain’s second coastal enclave in North Africa. The anti Moroccan sentiment in Ceuta, has been tapped into by Spain’s new far-right party Vax, which became the city’s most popular party in Spain’s 2019 vote. Vax has referred to the influx of migrants as an “invasion”. There are numerous cases of looting from cashless migrants. The Polisario Front is fighting to make Western Sahara, independent of Morocco, which annexed it in the 1970s.

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Vol. 54, No. 18, Oct 31 - Nov 6, 2021