Mighty monsoon arrives
The mighty monsoon has hit Andaman and Nicobar Islands with full force, causing a bagful of troubles for people on the islands. The very first few days following the arrival of the monsoon in South Andaman saw minor and major landslides, traffic chaos, a flood-like situation and closure of the Port Blair airport. On Wednesday, several flights were delayed because the Port Blair International Airport was flooded with rainwater. At Telegu Basti of Old Pahargaon, nearly 22 people were rescued by firemen after their area was flooded with seawater and they were unable to cross a massive drain because of the heavy flow of water. The arrival of the monsoon also marks the end of this year’s tourist season.
Nepalese girl rescued
A Nepalese minor girl who was brought to Andaman by a 30-year-old youth was rescued by a joint team of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Andaman Nicobar Police and Child Line NGO. The victim, after her rescue, said that the man had brought her to Port Blair and sexually abused her for nearly one year, and also used to abuse her whenever she used to refuse sex. According to Andaman and Nicobar Islands Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the girl will soon be placed in a shelter for proper care. The man has been arrested under The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Demand for inner line permit
For the last several decades, the people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been demanding introduction of an inner line permit, and the Supreme Court in 2002 had directed the local administration to implement the same, but nothing has been done in this regard so far. Recently, a cross-section of islanders assembled at Junglighat to discuss the issue. The meeting was attended by representatives of several organisations, including various political parties, who expressed support for the introduction of the permit. It was decided to observe an Andaman bandh if the Central government and the Andaman and Nicobar Administration failed to take any action within 45 days for introducing the inner line permit.
Fire tragedy shakes islands
A fire tragedy shook the entire Andaman and Nicobar Islands this week when a blaze in a hotel in Port Blair, called The North Reef, resulted in the death of a three-year-old and left 39 people hospitalized. Among those who were rushed to hospital, 38 were tourists, and the deceased infant also belonged to a tourist family. The tragedy highlighted how fire safety norms are neglected by many hotels in Andaman due to the absence of fire safety regulations in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Sanjib Kumar Roy
Our correspondent in Andaman and Nicobar Islands