SHILLONG: With a plan to go for organic farming, the State Government has suddenly stopped supplying fertilizers and pesticides, affecting a large section of farmers, who were caught unawares with this sudden decision.
The move has also compelled the farmers to buy fertilizers at exorbitant rates.
Irked over the stand of the Government, the BJYM (BJP youth wing) has opposed the sudden decision of the Meghalaya government to discontinue supplying fertilizers and pesticides to the farmers of the State.
“As the government is imposing restriction without any prior notification or intimation to the farmers of the State, this has affected many existing farmers,” BJYM president Egenstar Kurkalang said in a statement issued here on Sunday.
Quoting the complaints of the farmers, the BJYM leader said, “It seems that the Government wants to implement its plan by force since there was no consultation with the farmers or with any farmers’ organization.”
According to BJYM, Meghalaya stopped to make allotment order of fertilizers and pesticides from the companies resulting in uncertainty on the part of farmers.
When the farmers approached the wholesaler at Iewduh and MECOFED, they were informed that the Meghalaya Government had issued a notification to discontinue the allotment order for fertilizers and pesticides as these will be replaced by organic manure.
Two companies – Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation (BVFCL) and Indian Farmers’ Fertilizer Cooperative Society (IFFCO) – which have stopped supplying fertilizers and pesticides to Meghalaya after the Government did not make an allotment order and also the Department of Agriculture stopped giving lifting order to the wholesaler and dealers.
According to BJYM, it was found that there are dealers who take advantage of order of the Government and sell urea to the farmers at higher price of Rs.1100 per quintal instead of Rs.700 which is the normal rate, and this has brought undue hardships to the farmers.
The farmers also informed BJYM that they had approached the officers of Agriculture Department and the Director of Agriculture for clarification and also to request the Government to give an opportunity of choosing between organic manure and fertilizers, but no response or positive answer to their request was forthcoming.
The BJYM termed the stand of the Meghalaya Government as dictatorial and said that it infringed upon the rights of the farmers.
“The Government should have given enough time for the farmers for the transition and a policy should have been framed in a proper manner,” BJYM said. According to BJYM, by hurriedly deciding a policy, the Government has brought sufferings to the farmers as it affected their livelihood and food security.
The BJYM has decided to follow up the matter so that the Government would reconsider its decision which will ensure protection to the rights of farmers.
MAWRONG: Shillong MP Vincent H Pala on Saturday inaugurated the Area Employment Council (AEC) building at Mawrong village in Ri Bhoi.
The AEC building was constructed under the centrally sponsored Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra initiative at an estimated cost of Rs 10 lakh.
Mawhati legislator Julius Dorphang, MDC James Sylliang, Umsning legislator and parliamentary Secretary Celestine Lyngdoh, Mawsynram legislator PN Syiem were also present during the inauguration.
To the delight of the villagers, Pala used the occasion to announce a package of Rs 10 lakh for the construction of an auditorium in the village.
The local Dorbar Shnong, meanwhile, submitted a memorandum urging the MP to initiate steps to improve the approach road connecting the village and also upgrade the health sub centre to a PHC.
The Shillong MP assured the locals that he would look into the matter soon.
SHILLONG: On the occasion of 91st death anniversary of Babu Hajom Kissor Singh, founder of Khasi Unitarianism, the Unitarian Church, Madan Laban, on Sunday held a remebrance service where glowing tributes were paid to the founder.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr.Sylvanus Lamare recalled the invaluable contributions that U Hajom Kissor Singh who was not only the founder of the Unitarian Church in North East India, but also worked hard towards the growth and development of Khasi literature.
As a civil servant during the British rule, he was described as a “brilliant young man” and “a sincere and honest officer”, rising to occupy high positions by dint of his sincerity and hard work. A phillanthropic soul, and a social and religious reformer, Hajom Kissor Singh was a versatile person whose services in the society extended to the fields of homoeopathy, Lamare concluded.
Later, Dr.Lamare unveiled a memorial plaque to mark the inauguration of the one hundred and fiftieth birth anniversary celebrations of U Hajom Kissor Singh which will culminate on June 15, 2015.”
Brisbane, Nov 16 (IANS): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi got an euphoric reception from the Indian community in this Australian city, with hundreds of expatriate members chanting "Modi, Modi" to welcome him when he went to unveil the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Roma Street Parkland.
Modi later tweeted that he was "touched by enthusiasm of the Indian community!" and posted a picture of the venue where the statue was unveiled.
"Mahatma Gandhi is as relevant today as he was in his lifetime," Modi said at the function, beginning his bilateral engagements in Australia after the conclusion of the G20 summit.
New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS): Al Qaeda, which has announced plans to target India, is keen on recruiting youth trained in computers or aeronautics for its terror designs and is taking the help of banned terror outfit SIMI for this, officials with access to intelligence inputs have revealed.
Sources said intelligence inputs shared by central agencies with the police in some major cities including Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai talked of Al Qaeda not only planning to recruit disgruntled youth but had a target to pick up those familiar with use of computers or having knowledge about aeroplanes.
Agartala, Nov 15 (IANS): Security forces are keeping a strict vigil along India’s border with Bangladesh and Myanmar ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the northeast by November-end, an official said here Saturday.
“The Border Security Force (BSF) and Assam Rifles have been asked to maintain maximum alert along the borders...,” a top government official said.
The BSF guards the border with Bangladesh, while Assam Rifles personnel guard the border with Myanmar.
Guwahati, Nov 15 (IANS): The NIA, probing the blast in West Bengal’s Burdwan district, has arrested yet another person from Assam’s Nalbari district, police said here Saturday.
The central agency, which has been conducting raids in association with Assam Police since last week, raided the house of Suburuddin Ali in Boroliapara village Friday night and arrested him.
Many incriminating documents, leaflets and books related to jihadi activities, and a large quantity of medicines, which were buried underground, were seized.
Shillong, Nov 15 (IANS): North-eastern people are not “second class citizens” of India, former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno.A.Sangma said here Saturday.
“We are no less than others. How are we second class citizens? We are first class citizens. Many people from the region like M.C. Mary Kom and others are shining. You can shine too,” the veteran parliamentarian from India’s north-eastern state of Meghalaya said.
National Press Day celebrated in city
Shillong, Nov 15: Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma stated that the Media and Government are inseparable and the very purpose that we have strong democracy is that we have a reliable and dynamic media in the State.
He was addressing the media persons as the chief guest during second session of the day-long National Press Day celebration organized by Meghalaya Information and Public Relations at Shillong Club in the city on Saturday.
Dr. Sangma said that news reports should be reflected in the truest sense without any bias; that the policies and policies being rolled out by the government should be scrutinized and reported, whether good or bad. “There is a tendency to report more of negative things in our media. If we do not acknowledge the positive things, one cannot be motivated to strive for better things,” he said, adding that in order to fully utilize the schemes there has to be transparency and it is the role of the press, the government and stakeholders.
SHILLONG, Nov 15: In an anti-infiltration and verification drive conducted on Saturday at Mawlonghat, Cantonment and Sweepers’ Colony, a total of 963 people were picked up out of which 873 had proper documents and released.
The remaining 90 people with no documents were handed over to known persons with a direction that they should be brought back to the Cantonment Beat House within 7 days with all valid documents.
SHILLONG, Nov 07: All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge Meghalaya and North East, V Narayanasamy Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NDA government of using legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for their gains while neglecting the contributions of national leaders towards India. He even went to the extent of claiming that Modi was trying to become a Congressman by using Patel’s name.
“The legacy of Patel is being claimed by Narendra Modi, it is not acceptable by the Congress and Narendra Modi wants to become a Congress man,” said Narayanasamy who is on his first visit to Meghalaya.
TURA, Nov 07: The East Garo Hills (EGH) police on Friday served Court summons to the Social Welfare Minister, Deborah Marak and Tennydard Marak for their alleged involvement in the use of militants in the Minister’s victory in the last MLA elections. According to information received, both Deborah and Tennydard have been asked to appear before the Court on November 14 for the hearing of the case.
The case is set to begin in the town of Williamnagar, the EGH district headquarter.
SHILLONG, Nov 07: In a clear case of negligence of medical norms, dozens of vials containing blood samples were seen discarded with impunity in the drain along the side of the road stretch from the BSNL office till the Crinoline junction in the city on Friday, which also has a public garbage bin.
Upon witnessing the scene, it is very evident that the vials containing the blood samples were discarded in the dustbin along the road which is in contravention of medical norms where medical waste has to be disposed off in a proper manner, following laid down procedures.
JOWAI, Nov 07: In a sad event which occurred at Nongkhlieh Village of West Jaintia Hills, (WJH) district, the farmers of the area faced a loss of 90 percent of their usual income due to a major infection whereby their paddy was eaten by the caterpillar known as Raphut.
The affected villages of the area included Lumthari, Lumshyrngan, Bamkhoosngi, lumthymme, Shnongrim, Tongseng. The farmers said usually they yield about 140 to 150 tins of rice from one tin of seeds but unfortunately this year they were able to get only 15 to 20 tins of rice from one tin of seed.
SHILLONG, Nov 07: In their unrelenting efforts to create havoc and panic in society, the anti-social elements have found a new way to get into people’s houses and rob them off everything. After waylaying, carjacking, sneaking or break-in, these burglars now don the role of a salesman or technician to enter a house and carry out their act.
In their latest modus operandi employed, according to reports, a lady may come to one’s house and ask for annual membership of Rs 200 for gas stove maintenance. She is from so called 'LPG' company and carries company ID and set of membership cards and chloroform as well. She may ask for using one’s toilet and then call her group and explain the position and situation of the house and they will break in and rob each and every thing in one’s house.
SHILLONG, Nov 07: Saving tax is a necessity because today’s youngsters who earn fat pay packets and spendthis lavishly do not know that in the process they are losing their hard earned money in taxes.
According to an online marketplace bankbazar.com, there are many ways by which taxes can be saved. This online trading portal says that one can save taxes by donating in good philanthropic and charitable causes like the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, National Defense Fund, Chief Minister’s Relief Fund among many others. By donating to these funds the donor earns not only 100% relief under Rs. 80 thousand of the Income Tax Act but also a sense of satisfaction for helping the society at large.
SHILLONG: Serious rumblings in the ruling Congress Legislature Party over Chief Minister Mukul Sangma’s controversial style of functioning resurfaced on Friday as two AICC leaders, who arrived here on Thursday, tried to make a sense of the gravity of the situation.
Former Union Minister V. Narayanasamy and AICC secretary Vijaylaxmi Sadho held a series of closed-door meetings with both camps who tried to plae their case before the visiting central party leader. However, there was no CLP meeting convened to take a collective call on the leadership issue.
What transpired at these meetings were not shared with the media, but it was amply clear that the AICC leaders lent ears to both sides and promised to submit a report to the party high command.
By far, the day’s most significant development was when the two leaders called on senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister, Salseng C. Marak, who is spearheading the move for change of leadership, and held a closed-door meeting at his residence which lasted for almost an hour.
Though the outcome of the meeting was kept as secret, party sources said that the AICC leaders will submit a report to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the unhappiness of a section of the Congress legislators to work under the Chief Minister and the high command is expected to take a decision at an appropriate time.
While other Congress leaders including Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and MPCC president D.D. Lapang had called on the AICC duo, it was a change of course when they met Marak separately at his residence raising speculations that the AICC leaders wanted to know the grievances of the ‘dissident’ Congress legislators from his mouth before they prepare the report to be submitted to the party president.
Party sources said that Marak duly conveyed the grievances of the Congress legislators on the style and functioning of the Chief Minister and the need for a change of leadership to the AICC leaders.
After Marak’s meeting with the AICC leaders, Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh also met the AICC functionaries at Marak’s residence and apprised them of the functioning of the Government.
However, when reporters met S.C. Marak, he did not divulge any details and only said that he had a fruitful discussion with the central leaders and they gave a patient hearing to whatever he had to say.
He, however, revealed that the grievances of the Congress legislators which had been conveyed to him were relayed to the AICC leaders.
Interestingly, other dissident Congress legislators, including H.D.R. Lyngdoh, who have been critical of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, did not meet the AICC leaders.
After the AICC leaders’ meeting with Marak, the Chief Minister, accompanied by his wife D.D. Shira, met Narayanasamy on Friday night.
Narayanasamy told reporters that he had met some senior Congress leaders but refused to make public the outcome of their discussion.
Asked whether the issue of dissidence in the Congress and the charge sheet against Cabinet Minister Deborah Marak had figured in the meeting with the senior State Congress leaders, Narayanasamy said, “All issues were discussed but we cannot divulge the nature of the discussions.”
To a question, Narayanasamy replied that he will submit a report to the Congress high command on the Meghalaya situation.
Deborah meets Narayanasamy
The charge-sheeted Cabinet Minster Deborah Ch. Marak separately met AICC leaders V. Narayanasamy and Vijayalaxmi Sadho and handed over the papers related to the case to them apparently to prove the point that she was a victim of political machination.
Party sources said that Deborah apprised them of the circumstances which led to the charge sheet being filed against her.
According to sources, the AICC leaders wanted to know whether the matter was brought to the notice of the state party leadership or whether any discussion had taken place at the Government level.
Earlier it was reported that it was only after reading the newspapers that both MPCC president D.D. Lapang and senior Congress leader S.C. Marak had come to know about the matter.
SHILLONG: AICC general secretary in charge of Meghalaya, V. Narayanasamy on Friday chose to downplay the rift in the State Congress over the leadership issue, saying that difference were bound to occur in a family and added that the issues would be resolved.
Addressing newspersons in the city, the AICC leader said that he would not jump to any conclusion since he needed to understand the issues. “I have to analyze the feedbacks,” he added.
The AICC functionary also asserted that assurances made by the Congress in the run up to the State Assembly elections were in the process of being implemented.
He exuded confidence that the Congress party had a firm base in Meghalaya and mentioned that the party high command was interested in consolidating the party in the State.
With this in mind, the Congress has initiated an enrolment drive in the State which has to be completed within the stipulated time frame, he said.
He also spoke on the need for unity and close coordination between the party and the Government in Meghalaya.
The visiting AICC leaders will head to Garo Hills on Saturday to take stock of the flood scenario in the region.
Meanwhile, Congress election commissioner in charge Assam and Meghalaya, Shankar Pathak, informed that the Pradesh Youth Congress has been dissolved with immediate effect at all levels.
‘NDA ignoring veteran Congress leaders’
V. Narayanasamy on Friday accused the ruling BJP-led NDA Government of ignoring veteran Congress leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
Addressing a press conference here, Narayanasamy said that the Congress leaders had sacrificed themselves to uphold the integrity of the country which no BJP had ever done.
The NDA even ignored the death anniversary of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, he said, adding that the AICC has directed all states including Meghalaya to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in a befitting manner.
“I have request the Chief Minister and the MPCC president to celebrate the day in a befitting manner by organising programmes and a yatra,” he told reporters.
He brushed aside allegations that the UPA Government had ignored the legacy of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and added that the Congress never ignored him. “We used to honour him on his death anniversary,” he said, adding that Sardar Patel was a Congress leader and had worked under Jawaharlal Nehru.
Narayanasamy was confident that the Congress party would strengthen itself and added that there was no need for change at the helm of affairs in the AICC. “It was because of these leaders (Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi) that Congress was in Government for the last 10 years,” he added.
TURA: Following Meghalaya Police’s announcement of the Top 10 list of the most-wanted militants in Garo Hills with reward money of Rs.10 lakh for any information against them, self-styled commander-in-chief of the AMEF, who until now has only been known as Chang Matgrik, has revealed his true identity as being none other than former GNLA leader and ASAK finance secretary Jack Marak.
In a statement issued here on Friday, the AMEF chief also revealed that Chesrang D Sangma alias Goran, whose name also features in the police list, was now known as Jakrikra Matgrik and held the post of deputy commander-in-chief of the AMEF.
Regarding the earlier police statement announcing a reward of Rs.10 lakh on their heads, Jack Marak said that the money should instead be used to develop Garo Hills.
Claiming that AMEF was formed in the interest of the people of Garo Hills, he said that it was unnecessary to put a prize on their heads as he along with the rest of his cadres was willing to give up arms and surrender if the Meghalaya Government was willing to sincerely initiate development works in Garo Hills.
He pointed to a number areas in which Garo Hills could be developed including the upgradation of all timber bridges into RCC, power supply to entire Garo Hills villages, regularization of senior ad hoc teachers as well as all muster roll workers and the setting up of more PHCs in rural areas, among others.
Elaborating further, he said that tenders for the upgradation of all timber bridges into RCC should be floated within a week while also demanding the regularization of ad hoc teachers and muster roll workers within a month.
“These are some of our demands. If the government fulfils these than the purpose of AMEF would have been served and we will give up arms and surrender. However, if the government ignores it we will initiate strong action against it,” the AMEF chief said.
It may be mentioned that the Meghalaya Police had recently shortlisted the names of 10 ‘most-wanted’ militants operating in various parts of the State and announced cash reward of Rs.10 lakh for information on them.
Other names featuring in the list included top GNLA leaders, Zen Robert Ch. Marak, Baichung Ch. Momin, Rikchi Ch. Marak, Kennedy T. Sangma, Rakban D. Shira, Ajan Ch. Momin, Hedeo Ch. Momin and Kiljang R. Sangma.
SHILLONG: HSPDP MDC Morningstar Mawsor is likely to be inducted as an Executive member in the Adelbert Nongrum-led Executive Committee in the KHADC.
KHADC CEM Adelbert Nongrum informed on Friday that the Mawshynrut MDC’s name has been forwarded to Governor K.K. Paul for approval.
He informed that he was waiting for the approval from the Governor before announcing the portfolio of the new member in the EC.
The development comes in the wake of the resignation of KHNAM MDC James Ban Basaiawmoit who quit as EM on Tuesday to pave way for induction of one more MDC from HSPDP in the Executive Committee, ostensibly to end the ongoing rumblings within the ruling All Regional Parties’ Alliance.