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President to visit 4 N-E states

New Delhi, April 6: President Pranab Mukherjee, in his maiden visit to four northeastern states in April and May, will give away awards to litterateur Mamoni Raisom Goswami (posthumously) and to actor Sharmila Tagore.

In the first phase, the President will visit Manipur and Sikkim from April 15 to 17 and in the second phase, he will visit Assam, Nagaland and Tripura from May 13 to 16, a release issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan today said.

He will attend the diamond jubilee of Adimjati Shiksha Ashram in Imphal on April 15. The next day, he will lay the foundation stone of SRM State University in Gangtok.

In the wake of the Supreme Courtís recent observations on extra-judicial killings in Manipur, the visit by the President, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces, will be much watched in the state, where the campaign against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is most vociferous.

On May 13, the President will present the Asom Ratna Award posthumously to Goswami and the Srimanta Sankardev Award for 2008 to Tagore, who received the Padma Bhushan yesterday. Goswami, a renowned Assamese writer and facilitator in talks with Ulfa, had died on November 29, 2011.

Mukherjee will attend the closing ceremony of the golden jubilee celebrations of Pandu College in Guwahati the same day.

On May 14, he will address the annual convocation of Assam University in Silchar.

The next day, he will attend the third convocation of Nagaland University at Lumami in Zunheboto district after which he will visit Tripura.

On May 16, he will address the fifth convocation of National Institute of Technology in Agartala and the tenth convocation of Tripura University at Suryamaninagar. Former President Pratibha Patil had visited Meghalaya and Assam in 2008 and Manipur and Nagaland in March 2011.