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Bus driver, assistant held for rape in Tripura
Agartala, July 6 (IANS): A young woman was raped in a moving bus in Tripura, following which the accused driver and his assistant have been arrested, police said on Wednesday. "The 19-year-old woman was raped by the driver at Gauranga Bazar on Monday night in southern Tripura. The driver and his assistant were arrested after the woman lodged a police complaint on Tuesday," South Tripura district police chief Bhanupada Chakraborty told IANS. After dropping all passengers except the woman, driver Parimal Debnath asked his assistant Joyded Dey to drive the bus and raped her. The woman, a mother of two children, told police that Debnath was angry as she had refused his marriage proposal.

Mizoram govt to initiate talks with HPC (D)
Aizawl, July 6 (PTI): Mizoram government will soon initiate talks with the militant outfit Hmar People's Convention (Democratic), state Home Minister R Lalzirliana said today. "The government will soon communicate with the HPC(D) leaders so that we can begin negotiations expeditiously," Lalzirliana told reporters here. Unlike the previous parleys, the government wanted sincere talks to solve the political problems of the Hmars tribe and expected that the militants would also come forward with open arms.  The talks with the HPC(D) fizzled out in August 2013 over disagreement on the extension of the Suspension of Operations (SoO).

Focus on Railway safety, NE connectivity, says new MoS
New Delhi, July 6 (PTI): Safety of passengers, improving amenities and expansion of rail connectivity in the entire North-East will be top priority for the new Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain, who took charge here today. "I am from North-East. These states are hilly region. So getting rail connectivity in the region is a difficult task, but our government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to provide rail connectivity to all states of North- East by 2020 and we will work towards the goal," Gohain told PTI. The BJP MP from Assam is the second MoS in the Ministry headed by Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu. The other MoS is Manoj Sinha. "Today is my first day. I am getting briefed. It is a huge ministry and our country is also very vast," he said. Emphasising on "safety and security", he said, "It is very crucial and steps have been taken to strengthen it. We will continue to do so." He also highlighted the need for improvement in passenger amenities. "Amenities for passengers have definitely improved in comparison to the past. But there is still room for further improvement." Gohain said punctuality is very important and many steps are being taken to improve the timing. "Similarly initiatives are being taken to make the public grievance addressal system effective," he said. Gohain, a law graduate, was actively involved in the six-year-long Assam agitation against illegal immigrants in early 1980s.