News

Punjab to make efforts to bring Blue Star artefacts

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-05-14 03:35

Rakhra (Patiala): Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday said that the state government was making persistent efforts with the Centre to bring back the books, rare manuscripts and other artifacts taken away by the Indian Army from Sikh Reference Library in Amritsar during the Operation Blue Star.
He said these rare artefacts were of immense historical and religious significance for each and every Sikh and there have been constant vigorous efforts to bring these valuable back to the state.
“We will further intensify our efforts to bring these valuable articles snatched away from us during the operation blue star back to the state,” Badal said.
The CM said that Shiromani Akali Dal  would vehemently raise these issues with the centre.
He bemoaned that time and again the successive Congress led governments at the centre had done grave injustice with the state by denying its capital, legitimate share in river waters and even the Punjabi speaking areas.
Renewing his firm pledge to get back the Punjabi speaking areas and Chandigarh, the Chief Minister said that Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) would vehemently raise these issues with the centre.
He said there was hardly any example in the country where the parent state has been denied of its capital, after the formation of linguistic states, other than Punjab.
On referring the Land Ordinance Bill to Joint Parliamentary Committee, the CM said that Punjab model of land acquisition was the best in the country and it should be replicated at the national level.
He said that the clauses of consent, adequate compensation and rehabilitation of the farmers were must so as to devise any pro-farmer land acquisition bill.
“A farmer loves his land far more than his child so it should not be taken away in any case without his express consent,” he added.He reiterated the firm commitment of the state government to maintain law and order in the state at every cost.
He said that sporadic incidents of law and order problem were persistent in every state and even the advanced countries like USA were also not aloof from it.
On the issue of appointment of Tara Singh as the Chief of Management Board at Takht Sri Hazur sahib, the CM said that it has hurt the Sikh psyche, as every Sikh was against the political interference in their religious affairs. (PTI)

Categories: News

‘Ranbir and I share a special equation’: Deepika

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-05-14 03:35

They make news whenever they pair up on the big screen but actress Deepika Padukone says no media speculation comes close to explaining the relationship she shares with former boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor.
The actors, who broke up after one year of dating, were last seen in Ayan Mukherjee’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani in 2013.
While the media tried decoding their bond during the film’s promotions, the audiences were all praise for their onscreen chemistry in the movie.
The two are working together again in Imtiaz Ali’s upcoming romantic-drama Tamasha and the 29-year-old actress is prepared to be under scrutiny again.
“No matter how much we move on in our lives and no matter how comfortable we keep telling people we are working with each other, the question will keep coming up. But the point is, it was, is and will always be a very special equation that we share. Something that one can’t explain and describe in too many words,” Deepika said.
“Our work is an example of that. We did YJHD together and it was a super success and people gave us so much love for that film and then we have finished another film (Tamasha) in less than two years. I think that’s amazing,” Deepika said.
The actress, who is currently riding high on the success of Piku, said a film with Ranbir and Imtiaz was on her wishlist since she saw Rockstar.
“I am fascinated by Imtiaz and then there is Ranbir, who again is supremely talented and I have worked with both of them individually. Why I love and respect Imtiaz so much is also because he cast me in Love Aaj Kal even before my first film released.
“I knew it would be really exciting for three of us to come together and I wanted it one day, the same way I wanted Ranbir and me as an onscreen pair to be directed by Ayan because I had seen their work in Wake Up Sid. I was like ‘I want to work with these people’. And that’s what happened when I saw Rockstar,” she said. (PTI)

Categories: News

National Nuggets

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-05-14 03:34

Himachal sends 25,000 blankets to quake-hit Nepal

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government has provided relief in the form of 25,000 blankets, amounting to Rs.1 crore, to the people in earthquake-hit Nepal, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said here on Wednesday.Nepal has been facing a catastrophe after a massive earthquake and thousands of people require humanitarian assistance, the chief minister was quoted as saying in a statement.Singh said the people of India were with the people of Nepal in this hour of distress.The death toll in the powerful earthquake that rocked Nepal on Tuesday has reached 65. As many as 8,151 died in the April 25 quake and 17,866 people were injured. (IANS)

SIT arrests two youths for posing as dummy candidates

Indore: Two youths were arrested for allegedly impersonating candidates of the Madhya Pradesh Pre-Medical Test (PMT) conducted in 2009, police said on Wednesday. Brijesh Aghari (28), a resident of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Ashish Uttam (27), belonging to Jabalpur, allegedly appeared for Amar Singh Meda and Ravindra Dulavat at the examination respectively, said Special Investigation Team (SIT) ASP, Indore, Devendra Patidar. He said both Meda and Dulavat passed the test for MBBS course and the former secured admission in state-run Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College here, adding that the duo was apprehended recently. PMT is conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) which is under the scanner for alleged scam in various recruitment and appointment examinations. The SIT has been probing the alleged irregularities in PMT, under which hundreds of students secured admission in MBBS courses by fraudulent means through racketeers who procured dummy candidates for them in return of huge premium. (PTI)

Joining BJP was a mistake : Manjul

Kolkata: Terming his joining the BJP a ‘mistake’, former Trinamool Congress minister Manjul Krishna Thakur on Wednesday requested West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to forgive him and take him back into the party. “Earlier I had applied to the party (TMC) leadership to take me back to the party fold. Just like any other normal human being I too commited a mistake and requested the party leadership to forgive me. Today I met the speaker Biman Banerjee and party leader Partha Chatterjee,” he told reporters. Thakur had in a letter to TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last month accepted his ‘mistake’ of leaving the party and appealed to be taken back. Asked whether he wanted to get back his ministerial portfolio, Thakur said “I can’t comment on this matter. I just want to return to my party and forget the mistakes. I want to work for the people. I had then taken the step after being misguided by BJP.” State BJP president Rahul Sinha refused to comment on the recent developments. Thakur had resigned as minister of refugee relief and rehabilitation department and along with his son Subrata had joined BJP just ahead of the February 13 bypolls in Bongaon Lok Sabha seat. Manjul, who hails from Matua community – a vote bank which holds the sway in Bongoan area, had then accused the TMC government and party of functioning in a ‘whimsical’ way. Later on, Subrata was given a BJP ticket to contest from Bongaon seat against his aunt, TMC candidate Mamata Bala Thakur. Mamata Bala had registered a massive victory in Bongaon polls handing a humiliating defeat to BJP and Subrata Thakur. (PTI)

‘No ban on cell phones in police stations for general public’

New Delhi: There is no ban on bringing devices such as mobile phones and pen drives to police stations in the national capital, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday. Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said Delhi Police has reported that there is no ban on bringing mobile phones, pen drives etc by common people at police stations to the places which are accessible to the general public such as Reporting Room, Sakraman Kaksh, Women Help Desk etc. “There is no inconvenience to public or common men going to police stations for registration of FIRs as no such ban is exercised at the places which are accessible to general public like Reporting Room, Women Help Desk etc,” he said in reply to a written question. The Minister also said that Delhi Police follows a zero tolerance policy toward corruption. The various steps to improve transparency include eFIR, web-based police clearance certificate, advertisements of helpline numbers 1064/9910641064. (PTI)

Man murders wife in full public view

Tamilnadu: In a bizarre incident, a man hacked to death his wife in full public view over frequent domestic squabble at Kariyapatti, here on Wednesday.Police said the deceased R.Azhagu Meenal (56) was hacked to death by her husband Ramalingam (60), this morning when she was walking on the Kariyapatti-Kallikudi road enroute to the Office of Tamilnadu Electricity Board, where she was working as a sweeper. The woman, who sustained multiple cut injuries died on the spot.Ramalingam surrendered before the Kariyapatti police. The body was removed to government hospital for post-mortem. Further investigations were on. (UNI)

Categories: News

Priyanka’s Quantico trailer released

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-05-14 03:33

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra’s debut American TV project Quantico has released its first trailer, which shows her playing a young FBI recruit.
In the ABC thriller series, the 32-year-old actress plays the lead role of Alex Parish, an agent whose past resurfaces soon after she arrives at the training camp.
Things go wrong for her after there is a terrorist attack as the authorities blame her.
Accuse her to be the mastermind “behind the biggest terrorist attack on New York City since 9/11″.
“Here it is the trailer of #Quantico! Say whaaaa? Me so nervous (sic),” Priyanka posted on twitter.
The series has been penned and executive produced by Josh Safran.
The actress has been cast as the female lead in the pilot, which also stars Dougray Scott, Jake McLaughlin, Aunjanue Ellis, Yasmine Al Masri, Johanna Braddy, Tate Ellington and Grahaam Rogers. The series will premiere this fall. (PTI)

Categories: News

Militants kill 47 Shia Ismaili Muslims in Pak

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-05-14 03:33

Karachi: Heavily-armed militants donning police uniforms attacked a bus on Wednesday carrying Shia Ismaili Muslims and shot them in the head, killing at least 47 people and leaving behind a pamphlet of ISIS claiming responsibility for the grisly attack in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi.
Police officials said it appeared that six to eight assailants on motorbikes first opened fire on the bus just near the Dow Medical College and then entered the bus when it stopped at Safoora Chorangi, Gulistan-e-Johar area of Karachi.
The attackers killed 47 people, including 16 women, and wounded more than 20 others before fleeing from the scene.
“It was a targeted attack,” Sindh Police Inspector General Ghulam Haider Jamali told reporters. The death toll could further rise as some persons are seriously injured. The injured and dead were shifted to various hospitals by rescue workers.
A senior police official said the attackers entered the bus and shot the passengers in the head. A blood-stained pamphlet of terrorist group Islamic State was recovered from the scene, according to a police official.
But government has not so far named any group for the attack. Balochistan-based militant group Jundullah also claimed responsibility for the attack. A rescue official quoted a victim as saying that the attackers were dressed in police uniforms. Jamali said initial investigations showed that the armed men used 9mm pistols in the massacre. Empty bullet shells of pistols and Kalashnikovs were found at the scene.
This was the worst attack targeting the members of the minority community after a suicide bomber in January blew himself up in a Shia mosque in Shikarpur in the Sindh province killing 61 worshippers and bystanders.
A senior police official said the bus belonged to the Al-Azhar Garden welfare, a non-profit organisation for the Ismaili community which provided them low cost housing just near the site of the attack and free transport service. “Most of these people were going towards the city centre for jobs or were vendors or small traders,” the official said. Police and Rangers arrived at the scene and started manhunt. More than 60 people were on the board the bus.
Ismaili community is a branch of Shia Muslims and they are known for their progressive Islamic views.
President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have strongly condemned the terrorism incident. Sharif sought a preliminary report from the authorities on the incident.
The attack came a day after Sharif’s Kabul visit where he said that enemies of Afghanistan are also enemies of Pakistan.
The Director-General of the ISPR tweeted that Army Chief General Raheel Sharif had cancelled a pre-schedule three-day visit to Sri Lanka because of the attack. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah termed it a “terrorist attack” and said the culprits will be arrested and justice will be done. He announced Rs 500,000 compensation for the dead and free treatment for the injured. (PTI)

Categories: News

Entertainment Buzz

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-05-14 03:32

Michael Jackson’s daughter shares cosy selfie with footballer boyfriend

Paris Jackson’s has shared a selfie with footballer boyfriend Chester Castellaw. The 17-year-old daughter of the late King of Pop Michael Jackson features in the pic while cuddling up to the footballer dressed in her usual punk attire. Showing off her streaked red and brown hair, the beauty can be seen smiling for ear-to-ear in a bathroom mirror shot as her blonde boy friend stands with his mouth open giving her a kiss on the cheek. The 18-year-old hunk has shared a number of snaps of the loved-up teenagers on Instagram, confirming their romance over the past few months. (PTI)

Stallone to exhibit paintings

Hollywood action star Sylvester Stallone will exhibit his art work in Nice, France, from this weekend.
The 68-year-old actor will showcase some of the artwork he has created over the last 50 years at Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporaine in Nice, and will personally be at the event’s opening on Saturday, May 16, reported Female First. Following the opening, VIPs will gather at the Place Massena with the mayor of the city for a celebratory dinner Many of the Expendables star’s paintings are inspired by his movie roles, or feature references to the likes of Michael Jackson, James Dean and his ex-wife Brigitte Nielsen. (PTI)

J Lo hints she is back in love with Casper Smart

Jennifer Lopez seems to be getting in love again with her former boyfriend Casper Smart as she calls him her man crush.The Booty singer recently posted a picture of her with the Step Up 3D actor on Instagram and wrote that he is her “Man Crush Monday” and she posted it as the actor loved this picture,reported a website. Lopez and Smart were also spotted together at a low-key vacation to Mexico previously. (ANI)

Kris Jenner wants Kendall,Bieber to be the next Brangelina

Kris Jenner has admitted that she wants her daughter Kendall Jenner and her good friend Justin Bieber to be the next Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie .A source informed that the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star wants the friendship between her model daughter and her singer friend to blossom more and take a step forward as she adores the Baby singer, reported a website.The source further informed that the 59-year-old TV personality has compared the singer and her daughter with Pitt and Jolie as she adores Bieber and thinks he is perfect for her daughter. (ANI)

Categories: News

N Korea executes defence chief

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-05-14 03:32

SEOUL: North Korea has executed its defence chief on treason charges by putting him in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range, Seoul’s National Intelligence Service NIS told lawmakers.
Hyon Yong Chol, 66, who headed the isolated country’s military, was purged late last month for disobeying Kim Jong Un and falling asleep during a meeting at which North Korea’s young leader was present, according to South Korean lawmakers briefed in a closed-door meeting with the spy agency on Wednesday.
His execution, the latest of a series of high-level purges since Kim took power in 2011, was watched by hundreds of people, they said.
It was not clear how the NIS received the information and it is not possible to independently verify such reports from within secretive North Korea. Hyon, last known to have spoken publicly at a security conference in Moscow in April, was said to have shown disrespect to Kim by dozing off at a military event, the Seoul lawmakers said, citing the agency briefing. Hyon was believed to have voiced complaints against Kim Jong Un and had not followed his orders several times, according to the lawmakers.
He was arrested late last month and executed three days later without legal proceedings, the NIS said.
The reported execution comes after South Korea’s spy agency said late last month that Kim ordered the execution of 15 senior officials this year as punishment for challenging his authority.
In all, around 70 officials have been executed since Kim took over after his father’s death, Yonhap news agency cited the NIS as saying.”North Korean internal politics is very volatile these days.
Internally, there does not seem to be any respect for Kim Jong Un within the core and middle levels of the North Korean leadership,” said Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership and contributor to the 38 North think tank.
“There is no clear or present danger to Kim Jong Un’s leadership or stability in North Korea, but if this continues to happen into next year, then we would seriously have to start looking at a contingency plan for the Korean peninsula”. The lawmakers said Hyon was executed at a firing range at the Kanggon Military Training Area, 22 km 14 miles north of Pyongyang.
The U.S.-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea said last month that, according to satellite images, the range was likely used for an execution by ZPU-4 anti-aircraft guns in October. The target was just 30 metres 100 feet away from the weapons, which have a range of 8,000 metres, it said.
“The gut-wrenching viciousness of such an act would make ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ sound like a gross understatement,” the group said on its web-site. “Given reports of past executions this is tragic, but unfortunately plausible in the twisted world of Kim Jong Un’s North Korea.
“North Korea is one of the most insular countries in the world and its ruling power structure is highly opaque.
The current leader is the third generation of the Kim family that has ruled with near-absolute power since the country was established in 1948.
But the hierarchy around them has long been subject to infighting and factionalism which makes it impossible for outsiders to ascertain who makes decisions, and why.
In 2013, Kim purged and executed his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, once considered the second most powerful man in Pyongyang’s leadership circle, for corruption and committing crimes damaging to the economy, along with a group of officials close to him.
Pyongyang’s military leadership has been in a state of perpetual reshuffle since Kim Jong Un took power. Kim, who is in his early thirties, has changed his armed forces chief four times since coming to power.
His father Kim Jong Il, who ruled over the isolated nuclear-capable country for almost two decades, replaced his chief just three times.
Hyon, a little-known general, was promoted within the military at the same time as Kim Jong Un in 2010. He later became a vice marshal of the North Korean army in 2012.
The South Korean spy agency told lawmakers that Ma Won Chun, known as North Korea’s chief architect of new infrastructure under Kim, was also purged.
Ma had also once served as vice director of the secretive Finance and Accounting Department in the ruling Workers’ Party and, up until recently, was effectively the regime’s money man. (PTI)

Categories: News

Investigators have war crimes case on Syria’s Assad

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-05-14 03:31

Beirut: Investigators and lawyers have built war crimes cases against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and key institutions of his regime with documents smuggled out of the country, a report said on Wednesday.
The Guardian newspaper said the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) had already built three cases against the regime for crimes against humanity and is continuing to assemble evidence against others in the regime as well as in the opposition.
The British daily said the cases were largely based on government documents smuggled out of Syria by a team of 60 investigators who had risked their lives to collect the evidence that now runs to around half a million pages.
The group is also building up possible war crimes cases against rebel groups fighting Assad, including the jihadist Islamic State group, and has hired staff to review hours of video evidence. So far, the CIJA has compiled three cases against the regime based mostly on its bloody suppression of anti-government protests in 2011 that triggered the descent into civil war. The first case centres on Assad and his war cabinet — the Central Crisis Management Cell (CCMC). A second focuses on the National Security Bureau, which includes the intelligence and security chiefs.
The third involves the security committee responsible for Deir Ezzor and Raqa provinces, and is based on smuggled documents detailing “how precise orders to crush the popular uprising flowed from Damascus to the governorates.” The Guardian reported that the regime bureaucracy’s passion for paperwork had made it easy both to document crimes and to determine who was giving the orders.
“The regime’s mania for documenting orders as they travel down the chain of command — and after-actions reports that flow back upwards — has meant that the paper trail led unexpectedly to the very centre of power in Damascus,” the paper wrote.
The documents provided insight into how the regime has organised itself during the war, revealing that the CCMC meets daily and minutes from the meeting are taken directly to Assad for review and notes that are then passed down the chain of command. (PTI)
The material also showed that the country’s ruling Baath party structure has become a key “enforcer” across the country and that similar torture methods were being used in different provinces, “suggesting a centrally guided policy.” Despite compiling detailed evidence and receiving funding from several Western governments, CIJA staff acknowledged to the Guardian that for now there is no court to prosecute the cases they have compiled.(AFP) UZM 05131646

Categories: News

Fake degree row: Police working under pressure from AAP, says BJP

Shillong Times - Thu, 2015-05-14 03:31

New Delhi: Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay on Wednesday accused police of working under pressure and not arresting the AAP government’s Law Minister Jitendra Singh Tomar in connection with the fake degree issue.
“Under the pressure of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal or Law Minister Tomar, I dont know what type of pressure it is, we had been demonstrating on the matter for 12 days but police have taken no action despite a statutory body (Bar Council) writing against him (Tomar),” he said.
Earlier in the day, a Delhi BJP delegation met Police Commissioner B S Bassi demanding that an FIR be registered and action taken against him for possessing “fake” degrees.
“We presented documents including the Bar Council complaint and papers of Awadh University and Bhagalpur University proving Tomar’s degrees were fabricated,” he said.
He said Kejriwal, who talked of “high standards and morality, was keeping his eyes shut towards Tomar’s case”.
Upadhayay said they demanded the Commissioner register a case against Tomar and AAP MLA Pramila Tokas “who is charged with a non-bailable offence and take action against them”.
“We have given one week’s time to police after which if no action is taken, BJP will launch a massive agitation for removal of Tomar,” he said.
Upadhyay said BJP has demanded an investigation into Tomar’s case by the Crime Branch apprehending it may involve a big racket of fake degree suppliers. S(PTI)

Categories: News

HSPDP calls for 1 - week office picketing, government warns of action

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2015-05-13 04:00

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, May 12: The Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) on Tuesday decided to go ahead with its proposed one-week office picketing which will commence from Wednesday, even as state government has warned of strict action against any unauthorized absence by its employees.
The decision was taken after the state government failed to provide any official communication on the interim measures taken by it in view of the High Court ruling passed on December 10, 2014.

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V. Shanmuganthan appointed Meghalaya’s full fledged Governor

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2015-05-13 04:00

NEW DELHI, May 12 (IANS): The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday appointed V. Shanmuganthan as the Governor of Meghalaya.
According to an Rashtrapati Bhavan comminique, V. Shanmuganthan has now been appointed as the Governor of Meghalaya whereas Arunachal Pradesh Governor, Lt. Gen. Nirbhay Sharma (retd.) has been transferred to Mizoram for the remainder of his term which lasts till 2018. The seventh Governor to be named for the northeastern state since July 2014, he will be succeeded in Itanagar by J.P. Rajkhowa.

Categories: News

KHADC resolves to challenge government ordinance

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2015-05-13 04:00

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, May 12: MDCs of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Tuesday resolved to challenge the decision of the state government to introduce an ‘ordinance’, alleging that it is an attempt to interfere with the jurisdiction of the Council.
The unanimous decision to oppose the ordinance approved by the state cabinet on Tuesday was taken at a meeting convened by the KHADC Executive Committee (EC) led by the All Regional Parties Alliance (ARPA) held here on Tuesday.

Categories: News

Kanye pampers Kim with roses on Mother’s Day

Shillong Times - Tue, 2015-05-12 12:39

Reality TV star Kim     Kardashian, who is     currently in Brazil, got a special Mother’s Day present from her husband Kanye West.om filled with bouquets of white roses, reports a website.
“I got to my room in Brazil and my amazing thoughtful husband had the sweetest note with a couple thousand roses covering my entire suite for Mother’s Day! I’m so sad I’m so far away on this day but happy we celebrated yesterday! love you baby and North soooo much,” Kim captioned the image.
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star also paid tribute to her mother Kris Jenner and her grandmother Mary Jo Campbell on Mother’s Day, which was on Sunday.She posted a throwback photograph of her mother and her grandmother with herself, and sisters Kourtney and Khloe as children.
She captioned the image: “Happy Mother’s Day to all of the beautiful mothers out there!”Kim also posted a black-and-white photograph of her, Kris and her daughter North West. (IANS)

Categories: News

Bezbaruah quits North Eastern Council

Shillong Times - Tue, 2015-05-12 11:39

NEW DELHI: Former bureaucrat MP Bezbaruah has resigned from the North Eastern Council (NEC) – the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the region – after the central government asked him to step down, he told the sources on Monday.
The former bureaucrat, who headed the Bezbaruah Committee that was responsible for looking into the issues concerning people of northeast region living in other parts of India, said his resignation has been accepted.
According to a statement given by him, he said he quit after coming to know that the central government is appointing two new people to the NEC, including one in his place.
Bezbaruah, appointed by the erstwhile UPA government, told reporters “Yes, I have resigned. I have given my resignation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I  (Monday) got to know that it have been accepted.”
“I was told to resign as the government was in a mood to appoint their own people in the agency. The NEC has a very important role in the development of the northeast and I feel that whoever comes as its member should be very much focused and have a pro-northeast view,” he said.
Bezbaruah, a 1964 batch IAS officer, headed the Bezbaruah Committee which was set up in the wake of the killing of Arunachal Pradesh youth Nido Tania in Delhi in 2014.
He submitted a 82-page report to the union home ministry.
The report gave a grim picture of the nature and extent of discrimination and attacks against the people of northeast in other parts of the country. However, the provisions of the report still remain far from being implemented.
Bezbaruah, who served in several places including Mizoram and Assam, said the central government needs to pay heed to the issues of proper coordination, infrastructure in some of the remotest parts of the northeast and exploration of opportunities for trade through the northeast region by focusing their attention in some unfocused areas to tap their potential. Bezbaruah, who had served as the union tourism secretary under former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is also the permanent honorary representative of United Nations World Tourism Organisation. (IANS)

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Assam MLA’s judicial remand extended

Shillong Times - Tue, 2015-05-12 11:39

Guwahati: The judicial remand of ruling Congress MLA Rumi Nath of Assam was extended to 14 days by a local court here on Monday.
The chief judicial magistrate, Kamrup, ordered extending judicial remand of Nath by 14 days when the legislator was produced before the court at the end of her current term.
Rumi Nath’s plea for bail will be taken up by the Gauhati High Court on Tuesday. Her appeal for interim anticipatory bail was earlier rejected by the High Court.
The ruling party MLA was arrested on April 14 for her alleged links with notorious car-lifter gang kingpin Anil Chouhan, who was apprehended near Guwahati few days earlier. She was arrested by Dispur police for her alleged links with international car-lifting racket kingpin Anil Chauhan (UNI)

Categories: News

Unidentified gunmen attack AR post in Nagaland

Shillong Times - Tue, 2015-05-12 11:39

Kohima: Suspected underground cadres attacked one post of Assam Rifles stationed at Chenmoho village under Dimapur district on Saturday night followed by exchange of fire between both sides.
According to official sources today, some unidentified gunmen reportedly fired around 15 rounds at the post of 5th Battalion of Assam Rifles troops based in Chenmoho.
In retaliation the Assam Rifles troops fired around 40 to 50 rounds, sources added. However, there was no casualty reported in the incident.
According to other sources, the incident happened when the sentry at the gate had asked some people who were reportedly near the gate to stop. Later, when they refused to stop, the firing started, the source added. (UNI)

Categories: News

ULFA-I sends evidence of involvement in recent ambush

Shillong Times - Tue, 2015-05-12 11:38

Guwahati: The anti-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) of the ULFA (I) on Monday e-mailed the pictures of six assault rifles claiming that those belonged to the Assam Rifles jawans who were killed in an ambush in Mon district of Nagaland on May 3 last.It is obvious that the ULFA (I) wanted to assert that it was also involved in the massacre of Assam Rifles jawans on that day given that media reports identified the NSCN-K as the sole culprits behind the ambush.
The ULFA(I) assertion has confirmed that the ambush was a handiwork of the newly-formed amalgamation of N-E insurgent group based in Myanmar called United National Liberation Front of West South East Asia (UNLFW). It may be mentioned that a day after the ambush in Mon district, on May 4, the ULFA (I) issued a press statement confirming its membership, along with that of the NSCN(K), the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation(KLO) and a faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), in the UNLFW.
While the NDFB and ULFA are active in Assam, the KLO has a presence in north Bengal.
The releasewent on to state that the objective of the coalition was the “unified and total struggle” for the liberation of “ancestral homes.”
Significantly, the UNLFW came into soon after NSCN-K ‘chairman’ S S Khaplang’s decision to abrogate a 14-year-old ceasefire with the Indian government on March 27 last. The NSCN-K signed the ceasefire pact with the Indian government in 2001 but there was hardly any progress towards a negotiated settlement apart from the extension of the agreement every year. Khaplang reportedly believed that the  ceasefire with the Government of India would not yield any result since the government was against negotiating on the demand of sovereignty.
He also recently signed a truce pact with the Government of  Myanmar so as to secure its base in Myanmar and continue its fight against Indian government.
The UNLFW has been formed at a time when none of the insurgent groups based in Myanmar currently face the danger of being evicted by the army there. The Indian government’s repeated pleas to the  government in Myanmar to neutralise activities of N-E insurgents on its soil have fallen on deaf  ears.  In the given circumstances the UNLFW is a cause for worry for the Government of India.

Categories: News

FICCI to send relief materials to Nepal

Shillong Times - Tue, 2015-05-12 11:37

Guwahati: The FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), North East Chapter in association with the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has organised a mobilisation exercise of relief materials for the earthquake survivors of Nepal. Essential items like rice, dal, sugar, milk powder, bottled water, baby food, biscuit cartons, blankets, garments, torches, candles, soaps and detergents were collected from donors to be dispatched to Nepal by the SSB Frontier HQ, a FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) release said here on Monday.
At a musical aid function organised here last night, where the SSB Jazz Band performed, FLO NE Chapter chairperson Joyshree Das Verma thanked the citizens and the FLO members for donating generously for the succour of the quake-hit people. SSB Frontier Headquarters Guwahati DIG Sudhir Kumar appreciated the efforts of the organisers and said the SSB has always shown humane gesture towards public welfare on various occasions.
The SSB will send 12 vehicle loads of the  relief material to Nepal through the Siliguri Frontier of the Bal for the affected people of the earthquake that shook Nepal on April 25. (PTI)

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NITI Ayog to tackle poverty problems in NE India

Shillong Times - Tue, 2015-05-12 11:37

New Delhi: The newly constituted NITI Ayog will examine the nagging problem of poverty in the North Eastern region and submit its recommendations for its elimination next month, the Rajya Sabha Member from Meghalaya Ms Wansuk Syiem was told today.
In reply to a question of Wansuk the Minister for Planning Mr Rao Inderjit Singh said that the NITI Ayog has already constituted a task force headed by its Deputy Chairman  in line with that of earlier Planning Commission to go into details of this tricky issue. It will submit the report on poverty along with ways and means of its elimination by middle of next month, he said.
Rise of poverty in the Northeastern region despite grand claims by the Centre and the State Governments and the faulty way of determining the social malaise rose heckles in political circles here even leading to adjournments of the Parliament earlier.
Then Planning Commission data had showed that poverty in the NE states of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland has increased during 2009-10 the period of the study. As per the report fixed  that  low national poverty line of Rs. 22.40 per day for an adult in rural areas and Rs. 28.65 per day for an adult in urban areas, in 2009-10 and anyone spending more that this is being categorized as non-poor.
As per the report monthly per capita income of a Meghalayan is only Rs.686.9 in rural areas and Rs.989.8 in urban areas in 2009-10. More than four lakh persons in the hill state are below poverty line, it added.

Categories: News

Two Amur Falcons to complete second round of migration

Shillong Times - Tue, 2015-05-12 11:36

Kohima: Two of the three satellite tagged Amur falcons, Naga and Pangti, are set to complete their second round of migration.
According to a statement today, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force, Nagaland, M Lokeshwara Rao informed that on November 7, 2013, three Amur Falcon birds were satellite tagged and released.
The birds were named Naga, Wokha and Pangti. While the bird named Wokha remains inactive, Naga has completed its second round of migration, flying a distance of 44,000 km, with Pangti following closely.
The two birds were released on May 7, 2013 from Doyang. They travelled across the Arabian sea, Somalia and reached South Africa.
They flew back from South Africa and reached Mongolia via Doyang, Nagaland in October, 2014 completing one cycle of their migration. In November 2014, the birds started their journey again and are set to complete their second round of migration by coming November.
The progress of the birds is being monitored through their satellite tags, which consist of antennas and solar panels on the back of the birds.  The joint scientific mission to satellite tag Amur Falcons from Nagaland was taken up in 2013 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun at Convention on Migratory Species Office, United Nations Environment Programme, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and the Nagaland Forest Department.
The migration of the Amur Falcon starts from Mongolia to South Africa and back home. The falcon breeds in Northern China and South eastern Siberia and spends all summer there. It undertakes a migration journey from this region all the way to Southern Africa where they spend the winter and then undertake the journey back home.
The Amur Falcon has one of the of longest migration routes (22,000 km) of all birds, from eastern Asia all the way to South Africa. The migration route of the falcons was a mystery till recently, with the satellite tracking of the birds. Their route is also interesting as migrating overseas is unusual for raptors.
The falcons visit Nagaland from October to November every year, before taking their giant leap across the Indian Ocean. The raptor spends its day in search of food and settles on the trees for roosting during the night. (UNI)

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