Search on for human rights panel chairperson

Shillong Times - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:28

SHILLONG: The formation of Meghalaya State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has hit hurdles with the former Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya, Meena Kumari, expressing her inability to hold the post of Chairperson of the Commission offered by the State Government, an official source said.

14 months after the State Cabinet approved the formation of the State Human Rights Commission, the Government is still searching for a suitable candidate to hold the post of Chairperson.

After the Cabinet, on August 13 last year, approved the formation of the State Human Rights Commission the Government had only fixed the salary and allowances of the Chairperson and other members.

In the Assembly session held in March this year, the State Government had tabled the Meghalaya Human Rights Commission (Salaries and Allowances and other Terms and Conditions of Service of the Members) Rules, 2014.

In the absence of the State Human Rights Commission, the cases of violations of human rights are on the rise as there is no whistleblower to monitor instances of human rights violations.

The cases of human rights violations are now being probed by the magistrates and several such probe reports which lack in depth, are gathering dust in government departments pending action.

A Chairperson and two members constitute the State Human Rights Commission.

A government official said that while Additional Deputy Commissioner M.B. Challam has agreed to be one of the members of the Commission, the Government will shortly finalize one more member for the Commission.

Moreover, search is also on for the Chairperson of the Commission since (retd) Chief Justice Meena Kumari did not want to hold the post due to her preoccupation with her family.

Several meetings were held in the past to shortlist the names of suitable candidates to head the State Human Rights Commission, but no consensus could be reached on the matter.

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Suspected UALA cadres kidnap two in WG Hills

Shillong Times - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:28

SHILLONG: Suspected UALA militants kidnapped a trader and a driver hailing from Assam in West Garo Hills District on Saturday, police informed on Sunday.

According to police, on Saturday at around 9.45 am, around eight persons, claiming to be from UALA, came to Gondagre weekly market in Tikrikilla, West Garo Hills District, and abducted the two persons.The armed militants fired 10 to 15 rounds in the air before escaping along with the two persons.

The abducted persons have been identified as Kalam Ali (25) a driver hailing from Hatisilla under Lakhipur PS in Assam and one Joynal Ali (50), a grocery shop owner, hailing from Baburbhita under Lakhipur, Assam.

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Dilapidated NH-44: AJYWO threatens stir

Shillong Times - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:27

JOWAI: The All Jaintia Youth Welfare Organisation (AJYWO) has threatened to resort to agitation if the State Government failed to repair the deplorable National Highway 44.

According to the AJYWO, the Jowai-Badarpur Road (NH-44) from Soomer in West Jaintia Hills to Malidor in East Jaintia Hills is in a pathetic condition and in need of urgent repair.

“East Jaintia Hills is the most neglected district and it seems that the State Government is not taking any initiative to repair this important highway,” AJYWO president M.H. Dkhar said, adding, “If the government fails to repair the road we will have no other options but to organize a series of agitational programmes.”

The AJYWO threat comes at a time when the Silchar-Lumding MG railway line in Assam has been closed for good to pave way for upgradation of the line into a broad gauge one, putting the NH-44 under additional duress as hundreds of trucks carrying essential items are now passing daily through Meghalaya to Barak Valley, Tripura, Mizoram and parts of Manipur.

Meanwhile, the AJYWO also expressed concern over the erratic power supply in East Jaintia Hills. “There are many villages which have not got electricity for months,” the AJYWO stated.

The AJYWO urged MeECL officials to take prompt action in providing regular power supply to the district, saying that the frequent power cut have affected various kinds of works and also the student community.

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Cyclone Hudhud pounds Andhra, Odisha coasts; five killed

Shillong Times - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:26

Vishakapatnam/Bhubaneswar: Cyclone Hudhud pounded the coasts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha with heavy rain and winds of almost 200 kmph on Sunday killing five people and leaving a trail of destruction with Vishakapatnam being the worst hit.

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Mixed response to 18 Degrees

Shillong Times - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:20

SHILLONG: The 18 Degrees festival which concluded on Saturday has found resonance among the youth of the city who welcomed the government’s initiative to provide a platform to the youngsters to showcase their talent.

Be it through music, dance, bike stunts or mural paintings, there was abundant scope for everybody to display their skills in the three-day festival.

However, a section of observers felt that the programme could have been integrated with tourism to attract more visitors to the city. Observers also felt that some of the events could have been organized at Khyndailad keeping in mind the ‘tourist factor’.

The festival, meanwhile, was also criticized for being ill timed in the wake of the recent floods in the State. Nevertheless, it managed to attract youths of the city who made a beeline to the venue. The youth felt that similar events should be organized on a regular basis for the benefit of the youngsters.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had asserted that the 18 Degrees festival would only get bigger in the years to come.

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Baljek Airport expected to become functional

Shillong Times - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:19
Guwahati-Tura-Shillong flight may become operational

SHILLONG: Purbayan Airlines has expressed its willingness to operate the Guwahati-Tura-Shillong flight service.

The Self Help Group base in Assam has approached the State Government on this matter and if the idea materializes it would give a new lease of life to Baljek Airport which has remained a non-starter ever since it was inaugurated.

West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi said that the Commissioner and Secretary, Transport department, had written to him on the feasibility of the services. “We have told in our submission that the service is feasible,” Bakshi said. It may be mentioned that the District Administration of West Garo Hills, earlier this year, handed over the Baljek Airport to the State Transport department for its future development.

The District Administration has acquired 58 acres of land for the expansion of the Airport at a budget of around Rs. 2.59 crore.

However, there is a stretch of land which is under litigation as two Nokma are claiming that the stretch of land belongs to them.

The expansion of Baljek Airport would pave way for landing of atleast 30-seater aircraft in the Airport, which has remained non-functional since the time it was inaugurated with much fanfare by Pratibha Patil, the then President of India, almost four years back.

The airport set up at Jengjal, around 33 km from Tura, was built at a cost of Rs 12.52 crore. It was inaugurated on October 23, 2008.

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Shillong to be under CCTV surveillance soon

Shillong Times - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:17

SHILLONG: With the installation work for the cameras going on in full swing, Shillong is all set to be under CCTV surveillance soon. The installation of CCTV cameras is expected to act as a deterrent to anti-social elements besides helping in crowd and traffic management.

In the first phase, advanced CCTV cameras are being installed in 28 vital locations in Shillong and 10 locations in Tura.

The initiative was envisaged under the Safe Secure Shillong project and one-fourth of the project cost is borne by NECTAR, a Union Government organization under the Ministry of Science and Technology while the State Government is funding the rest.

East Khasi Hills SP, M Kharkrang said that the installation work is going on in full swing and is most likely to be completed in a month’s time.

A control room is also being set up at Sadar police station to constantly monitor the footage transmitted from the CCTV cameras.

Under the second phase, the State police plans to integrate all the CCTV data from restaurants, shopping malls and other places.

The initiative is also expected to go a long way in improving the law and order scenario in the city.

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St. Edmund’s NSS unit adopts Mawdulop village

Shillong Times - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:17

SHILLONG: The NSS Unit of St. Edmund’s College has adopted Mawdulop village for its second special camp programme for the years 2014- 2016.

The theme of the camp is “U Symbai ka longbriew-manbriew (Sowing the seed for community well being)” under the NSS theme of ‘ Healthy Youth for Healthy India’.

The camp was inaugurated by Banteidor Lyngdoh, MDC, Mawkynrew Constituency, along with the Sordar of Mawdulop, Pien Mukhim and the village committee members.

The week-long camp include activities like such as PRA, baseline survey, Gandhi Jayanti celebration, cultural infotainment, cleaning drive and an eye camp by Bansara Eye Clinic.

The purpose for this year’s camp is to incorporate and stress upon issues relating to the theme such as cleanliness, empowerment, working together in unison, health, family planning, enhancing knowledge systems existing within the community and various livelihood issues.

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Volumes of Business

Meghalaya Times - Mon, 2014-10-13 04:33

This is a scene of the DC Park Parking Lot, Tura, West Garo Hills. pic - Alva Sangma.


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Cyclone hits Andhra coast, three killed

Meghalaya Times - Mon, 2014-10-13 04:27

Visakhapatnam, Oct 12  (IANS): Cyclonic storm Hudhud hit the Andhra coast Sunday, triggering heavy rains and strong gales, which wrecked havoc in the coastal region killing three people.
The heavy downpour accompanied by powerful winds with speeds reaching up to 185 kmph uprooted trees, felled electricity and communication towers and caused widespread destruction to crops.
The districts of Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam are without electricity since Saturday night. Mobile telephones were not working in the region as communication network collapsed.

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AIGU demands removal of Sujit Dey as GHADC standing counsel

Meghalaya Times - Mon, 2014-10-13 04:26

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Oct 12: In a letter sent to the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC), the Williamnagar Unit of the All India Garo Union (AIGU) has called for the removal and replacement of the standing counsel of the GHADC, Sujit Dey.
 ‘Local or indigenous tribal lawyers will be more effective and efficient to tackle cases as they are familiar and have well conversant /acquainted with the Garo Customary law, cultural and social practices both practically and theoretically’, opined the AIGU.

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MBoSE gives special consideration to flood affected schools and colleges

Meghalaya Times - Sun, 2014-10-12 05:40

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Oct 11: In what can be termed as a big relief to the concerned students, the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBoSE) has decided to give ‘special-consideration’ for those schools and colleges which are not in a position to conduct the different board selection tests due to the recent natural calamities which hit several districts in the Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills region.
“The Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBoSE) while bringing a humanitarian approach has decided to give a special consideration for those schools and colleges which are not in a position to conduct the tests, situated in the areas affected due to recent natural calamities,” MBOSE executive chairman EP Kharbhih said in a notice issued on Saturday.

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25 secondary, HS schools damaged in floods in NGH

Meghalaya Times - Sun, 2014-10-12 05:38

Staff Reporter
TURA, Oct 11: A total of 25 secondary and higher secondary schools in the North Garo Hills (NGH) region have been either partially of fully damaged in the recent September 22 floods.
Confirming the news, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of NGH, W Khyllep said, “It is a huge blow to education in the region as we have had close to 25 schools damaged. School children have also lost their school books and now face a very uncertain year ahead.”

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Militants kidnap 11 people from Mizoram

Meghalaya Times - Sun, 2014-10-12 05:37

Agartala/Aizawl, Oct 11 (IANS): Militants have kidnapped 11 people from Mizoram along the inter-state border with Tripura, police said Saturday.
"NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura) extremists Friday evening abducted 16 construction workers from Rajivnagar village along Tripura-Mizoram border. Later, the rebels released five people," a Tripura police officer said.
He said all the 16 people - Bengali Muslims and Chakma tribals - were residents of southern Assam's Karimganj district. They went to Rajivnagar village under Mamit district in Mizoram as construction workers. They went to Mizoram through Tripura's Kanchanpur area.

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State Bank of India’s first CSP in Tura

Meghalaya Times - Sun, 2014-10-12 05:35

Staff Reporter
TURA, Oct 11: Outgoing Assistant General Manager (Garo Hills), Nixon Joseph on Saturday inaugurated the first Customer Service Point (CSP) of the State Bank of India (SBI) at Tura.
“The initiative will decongest the SBI branches in Tura and cater to the need of the customers, who require banking facilities”, said Joseph even as he added that the CSP at Ringrey market will act as a mini-branch of the SBI.
Joseph also informed that the CSP will have flexible working hours to facilitate the customers.

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Balongre residents without water for 18 months, PHE cites helplessness

Meghalaya Times - Fri, 2014-10-10 04:47

Staff Reporter
Tura, Oct 09: Residents of Balongre, on the outskirts of the town have been without water for more than 18 months. The small hamlet, even after numerous complaints and pleadings still struggle to get access to clean drinking water, which they earlier had access to, before the construction of a new road through the village itself. Though the village of a 120 households has been without water for the last year and a half, they have been water bills to pay.
 The PHE however cited helplessness as many were unwilling to provide land for the setting up of pipes. The village comes under the Rangsakona constituency.

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Adelbert to submit list of EMs today

Meghalaya Times - Fri, 2014-10-10 04:46

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Oct 09: Newly elected Chief Executive Member (CEM) of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) Adelbert Nongrum will submit the list of the Executive Members (EM) of the new Executive Committee (EC) to the Governor of Meghalaya Dr KK Paul for his approval on Friday.
“We will be submitting the list of EMs to the governor for his approval by tomorrow,” Nongrum said.
According to him, the list to be forwarded to Governor has the names of the same MDCs which were in the EC led by Ardent Basaiawmoit.

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Adelbert Nongrum is the new KHADC CEM

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-10-09 06:37

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Oct 08: Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) leader Adelbert Nongrum on Wednesday became the 27th Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) even as he maintained that issues concerning the Council and the region would be his top priority.
The Council’s chairperson, Teilinia Thangkhiew announced that Nongrum was elected as the new CEM unopposed after the opposition Khasi Hills United Democratic Alliance (KHUDA-II) decided not to contest for the post.
Just after the announcement, Nongrum bowed down on the floor of the House in prayer before taking over the CEM’s chair.

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Narayanasamy replaces Faleiro as AICC in-charge of Meghalaya

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-10-09 06:35

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Oct 08: The All India Congress Committee (AICC) Wednesday appointed former Union Minister V. Narayanasamy as in-charge of Meghalaya and other north eastern states, except Assam.
He replaces former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro, who has been appointed as President of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC).
A press statement issued by AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi read: “The Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi has approved that Shri. V. Narayanasamy, a former General Secretary of the AICC will hold the charge of Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, Manipur and Meghalaya which were earlier assigned to Shri Luizinho Faleiro who has now been appointed as President of the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee.”

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Maitshaphrang Movement to launch indefinite hunger strike next week

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-10-09 06:34

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, Oct 08: The Maitshaphrang Movement on Wednesday decided to launch an indefinite hunger strike to protest against the failure of the Meghalaya government to frame the rules for implementation of the Meghalaya Compulsory Registration of Marriage Act which was passed in 2012.
“We have decided to launch our indefinite hunger strike from next week,” Maitshaphrang convener Michael Syiem said at a press conference held on Wednesday.
According to him, the indefinite hunger strike was proposed to start on Wednesday but could not since the organization had failed to get the necessary permissions.

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