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Tripura to launch polygraphy test facility

Shillong Times - Mon, 2015-06-22 10:01

Agartala:  Tripura government has decided to introduce polygraphy test lie detection machine in State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL) soon with the changing crime scenario, said home department officials here on Sunday.
They said the council of ministers have already cleared the nod for introducing lie detection machine in polygraph unit of the laboratory.
The authority has also sanctioned necessary fund for setting up of new crime investigation unit.
There was a misconception that lie-detection is illegal but in a judgment in 2010, the Supreme Court has made it clear that polygraph is not illegal and that certain steps have to be followed by the investigation agency, said a top official.
The Supreme Court upheld that before conducting lie detection test on an accused, the investigator has to take his consent in front of the judicial magistrate and his advocate.
Moreover, there are some other formalities that have to be observed prior to conducting the test, he stated. However, the confession during polygraph test will not directly be admissible before the court as evidence.
The confession will be treated as guiding indicator for the investigation agency, he added.
The officials further stated that the state government has planned to upgrade and modernise the state forensic laboratory with more facilities, equipment and manpower.
However, he said, the state has been trying for long to get full-time director and other forensic scientists but could not.
They also pointed out that as part of e-court programme, the first Cyber Forensic Laboratory (CFL) of India was established in Tripura in August 2013. As a part of modernisation, video conferencing systems are also being expanded in India.
Under  the video conferencing system, any lawyer or judge will be able to talk to the accused from jail. (UNI)

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Assam Governor intervenes in civil service exam row

Shillong Times - Mon, 2015-06-22 09:59

Guwahati: Assam Governor PB Acharya on Sunday reportedly said he was ready to recommend a CBI inquiry into allegations of malpractices in the Assam Public Service Commission’s civil service examinations depending on the findings of a probe already ordered by the chief minister.
The Governor summoned APSC chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul and Assam Public Works, a NGO, which had earlier submitted a memorandum on specific cases of alleged unfair selection of candidates in 2013 APSC-conducted state civil service examinations.
APW president Aabhijeet Sharma said the APW had asked for a face-to-face with Paul regarding the allegations but the APSC chairman pleaded with the Governor against it and assured the Governor of submitting in writing within seven days on all allegations brought by the APW.
Governor Acharya, heading the APSC chief’s request, had separate interviews with both parties.
The Governor said he has asked the Chief Minister to submit the report within 10-15 days and after that, if required, the Governor will order a CBI inquiry, Sharma said. (UNI)

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Modi made India resurgent and regain its recognition: Naidu

Shillong Times - Mon, 2015-06-22 09:58

Chennai: Stating that countries now want to engage in business with India, Union Minister M Venkiah Naidu on Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made the country resurgent and regain its recognition.
Addressing a meeting here on the one year of the BJP-led NDA government, Naidu said when assuming office, it had “inherited” fiscal and current account among other “deficits” but introduction of radical reforms by the Modi government has steered the country’s economy back on track, he said.
“Now country after country wants to do business with India. Leaders of various countries are appreciating Modi, who few months after coming to power not only made India resurgent but also made the country regain its recognition,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s achievements, Naidu said, included ending red tapism and rolling out red carpet to the investors even as he had increased the central allocation of funds from taxes to states in a move aimed at empowering local governments.
Further, underlining his government’s intent to bring back the black money stashed abroad, he referred to the laws brought by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in this regard.
On the issue of alleged imposition of Hindi, which had come under flak from allies like PMK, Naidu said that the government was not forcing anyone to learn the language but added that learning it would be useful for communication purposes.
Recalling his participation in anti-Hindi agitation, Naidu said he had “painted tar” on Hindi letters. “Later on, when I became a BJP leader and went to Delhi, I learnt that I have painted tar only on my face,” he said while underlining the importance of Hindi.
On opposition parties’ contention that they will not allow the Parliament to function if External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj did not resign over the Lalit Modi travel papers issue, Naidu said, “You can talk out or walk out, but it should be a break out.”
On criticism against the International Yoga Day, he wondered what was the problem if the Prime Minister performed asanas and asked if preaching a good thing was wrong.  (PTI)

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India sets two Guinness records on first International Yoga Day

Meghalaya Times - Mon, 2015-06-22 06:20

NEW DELHI, June 21 (IANS): The first International Yoga Day at Rajpath saw two Guinness World Records being set - for the largest number of participants in a yoga lesson at a single venue and for the most number of nationalities in a yoga lesson.
An official statement said that in the first category, for the largest number of participants in a yoga lesson at a single venue, the congregation at Rajpath on Sunday was 35,985, breaking the previous record of 29,973.
The second category was the most number of nationalities in a yoga lesson. To achieve this, participants from at least 50 countries were required to perform.
“Today, participants from 84 countries performed yoga at Rajpath,” the statement said adding it was an astounding achievement (and a) very rare one.

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International Day of Yoga observed across Meghalaya

Meghalaya Times - Mon, 2015-06-22 06:20

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, June 21: Along with the rest of the world, the International Day of Yoga (IDY) was observed at 14 venues across the State of Meghalaya on Sunday. The Governor of Meghalaya, V. Shanmuganathan visited one such gathering at the Garrison Ground, Rhino Training Centre, Shillong and participated in the yoga exercises along with the cadets.
The mega event was planned and organized by the National Cadet Corps (NCC) Group Headquarter, Shillong wherein yoga teachers from the Art of Living Foundation imparted training to the NCC cadets in preparation for the observance of the International Day of Yoga in the State of Meghalaya. In the process, NCC created a record for the largest yoga performance simultaneously by a single uniformed youth organization at multiple venues. The cadets performed the asanas as per the protocol given by Ministry of Ayush from 7 AM to 7:35 AM at all venues. The performance of yoga by NCC cadets was pan India at more then 1460 venues, including Leh in the North, Dwarka in the West, Tezu (Arunachal Pradesh) in the East, Nagarcoil (Kanyakumari) in the South and in the islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep. Under the aegis of NCC Directorate North Eastern Region Shillong, more than 56,000 cadets participated at 169 venues across the entire North Eastern Region. The number of NCC cadets from Meghalaya were 4958.   

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DBC Controversy: Teachers go on strike, Principal denies allegations

Meghalaya Times - Mon, 2015-06-22 06:19

Staff Reporter
TURA, June 21: The Don Bosco College (DBC) of Tura, one of the premier institutions within the state has suddenly landed into a huge controversy after lecturers of the institution began a Non Cooperation Movement (NCM) seeking the ouster of the incumbent Principal, Fr PD John, since the June 16 this month. The NCM since the first day of the new college session has left 1500 students in the lurch while also putting the whole institution in a quandary.
The Principal in question however has countered all the allegations leveled terming them as opposition to his work in improving the college itself. Fr John who was earlier in Shillong’s St Anhony’s College, helped the institution achieve the No. 1 position in the State. He stated that the opposition was due to the radical changes that he sought to bring about in the Don Bosco College in Tura as well to help improve the college.

Categories: News

Old age and illiteracy deprives elderly of IGNOAPS benefits

Meghalaya Times - Mon, 2015-06-22 06:18

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, June 21: Old age and illiteracy seems to have become the worst enemy of five elderly people in a remote village in Meghalaya at a time when they require all possible help for subsistence. Skem Kurbah, Thim Kyrsian, Jwim Basalarmaw, Bron Nongrum and Kwet Nongrum, from the village of Kynroh Nonglyer, East Khasi Hills (EKH) District who are beneficiaries of Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) under the National Social Assistance Programme scheme, commonly known as old age pension, that they have been deprived of their benefits of this scheme for the past many years.
According to them, one staff of the Post Office Banriwell Kurbah took advantage of their illiteracy and took away their passbooks and has not released the whole amount due to them. Whenever they went to withdraw the amount they were told by him that there was no money in the Post office. They even approached the Post Office at Sohiong, East Khasi Hills District, but the same was told to them.

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PDF fears ‘open debate’ as VAB is not conflicting with Constitution: ARPA

Meghalaya Times - Sun, 2015-06-21 04:00

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, June 20: Taking the centre-stage all to itself, opposition regional alliance in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), the All Regional Parties Alliance (ARPA) on Saturday stated that the failure of the ruling People’s Democratic Front (PDF) to attend the open debate was due to ‘fear’ because the latter’s claims that original Village Administrative Bill (VAB) is conflicting with the Constitution of India is ‘baseless’.

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KHADC rejects invitation to open debate on VAB

Meghalaya Times - Sat, 2015-06-20 04:00

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, June 19: Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) Chief Executive Member (CEM), PN Syiem on Friday said the ‘open debate’ on the Village Administration Bill (VAB) proposed by NGOs will not help to resolve the present stalemate faced by the traditional institutions and their functionaries.
His statement came as a reaction to the claims that the CEM had agreed to attend the said open debate on the VAB organized by the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) to be held at Mawlai Phudmuri on Saturday.

Categories: News

Journalist shot at in Assam

Meghalaya Times - Sat, 2015-06-20 04:00

GUWAHATI, June 19 (IANS): A journalist working with a language daily in Assam was shot by a group of militants in Assam’s Udalguri district on Thursday, police said on Friday.
Prashanta Kumar, 35, was picked up by some armed men from Khairabari area of the district on Thursday evening and shot at.
The militants, who picked up the journalist with ‘Asomiya Pratidin’, were identified as members of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) faction opposed to any peace talks, police said.

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Entire family among 5 dead in Tura landslides

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-06-17 11:29

TURA: Five people, including an entire family, have been killed in two separate landslide incidents in Tura triggered by incessant rains which lashed many parts of Garo Hills since Monday night.
Tragedy struck the home of the Chettri’s at Nakham Bazaar at 6:20 on Tuesday morning when the storm was at its peak. Huge tons of mud and boulders came crashing down from the above cliffs completely destroying the home.
Mother Pinky Chettri (34), a widow, along with her three children – sons Bijoy (19) and Rohan (11) and daughter Priya (15) – could not make it out to safety and were buried alive beneath the mudslide.
Their bodies were retrieved by locals and emergency workers.
Eldest son Bijoy reportedly tried to rescue his younger siblings when the first cave in took place, according to neighbours who shared the same premises on rent.
Hearing their cries for help, the eldest son had rushed back inside when a second wave of landslide came crashing down burying him alive with his mother and younger siblings.
Daughter Priya was studying in Gorkha High School. They had moved into the ill-fated house less than six months ago.
Another casualty occurred in Akonggre locality of the town in which a retired policeman, Chotelal Prasad (70), lost his life after sustaining injuries caused by a landslide.
Chotelal Prasad was severely injured after boulders fell on his house and was rushed to Tura Civil Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
In the light of the twin tragedies the district administration has announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs.4 lakh for each of the victims who died in Tuesday’s tragedy at Tura.
Apart from Tura, the storm caused extensive damage to the East Garo Hills road linking Tura at Samanda.
A sub-way near Samanda Market which was being used for  vehicular traffic got washed away in the morning storm halting movement of all vehicles. A temporary arrangement has been made over the new RCC bridge to allow small vehicles to ply through while work gets underway to restore the sub-way by early Wednesday morning.
Barring Tura, no untoward incidents have been reported from the rest of the four districts of Garo Hills due to the thunderstorm.
This is the second major incident of human loss caused by landslides in Tura in the last few years.
On July 27, 2007, a similar incident occurred across the Rongkhon river bank in Nakham Bazar, less than a km away from the site of Tuesday’s incident, in which boulders came crashing down from 200 feet above onto a house at Rishipara locality that was housing several dozen families.
The landslide at Rishipara crushed human dwellings and pushed an entire section of the house into the river which was in spate sweeping the inhabitants away. Eight people, including three little children, were killed in that tragedy.
In both cases, unregulated earth cutting along sides of cliffs is believed to be the main reason behind the landslides.
With Tuesday’ landslide resulting in the death of five persons in Tura in West Garo Hills, the death toll owing to natural calamities in the State has risen to 13.
An official statement said on Tuesday that due to incessant heavy rain, landslides occurred in some places of East Jaintia Hills and East Khasi Hills districts resulting in the loss of three lives in East Khasi Hills and four in East Jaintia Hills during the past week.
In another incident, one person died and five others were injured due to lightning strike in South West Garo Hills District.
Ex-gratia payment to the next of kin of the deceased persons as per the norms is being made by the respective deputy commissioners, the government added.
Task force to ensure Tura’s preparedness for
disaster management
The West Garo Hills district administration has constituted a task force for preparedness for disaster management within Tura Municipality areas.
Donbosh N. Sangma, Chairman of Tura Municipal Board has been named chairman of the task force, while Grithalson Arengh, Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board has been named as co-chairman. Z. J. Sangma, CEO, Tura Municipal Board is the member-secretary & convener of the task force that also has eight members.
The mandate and the terms of reference for the task force will be to conduct safety audit of buildings within Tura Municipality areas and to conduct survey or estimation on the number of buildings that have been flouting the building by-laws.
The task force will suggest ways and means to take corrective steps in town planning and compliance of building by-laws and would also look into the drainage system in the entire Tura town and propose corrective steps.
Apart from this, the task force will organise consultative meetings with the development committees of various localities and seek their active cooperation in times of any disaster situation and would also coordinate with various line departments, the district administration and the State Government in times of disasters.

Categories: News

EC derecognizes NPP

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-06-17 11:27

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Tuesday suspended the recognition of Purno Agitok Sangma’s National People’s Party for failing to file its election expenditure statement.
This is for the first time that the poll watchdog has taken such a step of suspending recognition of a party using its powers under Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968 “for its failure to follow the Lawful directions of the Commission,” EC said in a statement.
The National People’s Party, an alliance partner of the ruling NDA, is a recognised state party in Meghalaya.
An EC official explained that if the NPP is able to satisfy the poll body by filing ‘appropriate’ statement, the suspension of recognition can be withdrawn.
“It is a final notice before derecognition. We will now treat the party as derecognised for the time being…the party has not been derecognised as such,” he explained.
Following a Supreme Court judgement in the case of Common Cause Vs Union of India, EC had earlier issued instructions to all political parties to file their election expenditure statement within 75 days of assembly elections and 90 days of Lok Sabha elections.
It pointed out that the election to Lok Sabha, 2014 and elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim, 2014 was completed on May 28, 2014 and as per the Commission’s instructions, the political parties were required to submit their election expenditure statements in connection with the above elections by August 26, 2014.
The Commission had issued two reminders to the National People’s Party to submit the required statement for Lok Sabha election 2014 after the due date had long expired on August 26, 2014.
Finally, the Election Commission issued a notice on March 17, 2015 to the party to show cause as to why action should not be taken under Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968 for failure to follow the lawful directions and instructions of the Commission.
The party had requested time to submit its expenditure statement by April 15, 2015 and again by May 15, 2015 ‘but failed to honour the deadline’. (PTI)

Categories: News

Party to take up issue with EC

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-06-17 11:27

SHILLONG: The NPP will meet the Election Commission of India on Wednesday to take up the de-recognition issue following the non submission of election expenditure of Lok Sabha polls.
“We are taking up the matter and we hope that the issue will be settled,” NPP legislator James Sangma said over phone on Tuesday.
The de-recognition by the EC comes at a time when NPP legislator Phillipole Marak is contesting the Chokpot by-election scheduled for June 27.
A State Election official said he will check with the Election Commission to find out whether the NPP candidate from Chokpot can continue to use the party symbol (book) or has to use one of the free symbols allotted to non-recognized political parties.
Symbols have already been allotted to the contesting candidates for the Chokpot by-polls.

Categories: News

School building sealed in city

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-06-17 11:26

SHILLONG: The East Khasi Hills District Administration on Tuesday sealed several buildings in the city including a school building and another belonging to a sitting legislator, following the directive of the High Court of Meghalaya.
East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Goyal informed that most of the 24 buildings listed by the court have been sealed and the remaining ones would be sealed on Wednesday.
Among the buildings sealed on Tuesday include the building of Islamia High School at GS Road and a building belonging to Jirang MLA Lamboklang Mylliemngap.
The buildings were sealed in the presence of Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Goyal and Superintendent of Police M. Kharkrang, besides MUDA officials.
The High Court had made a series of orders since April 11 last year against high-rises in the city following a PIL filed by Jonathan Thangkhiew, a lawyer, and three others.

Categories: News

unconditional apology of SWKH DC, SP

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-06-17 11:25

Illegal confinement of mentally-ill person HC rejects

SHILLONG: South West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner R. Lyngdoh and Superintendent of Police M.G.R. Kumar on Monday tendered an unconditional apology to the High Court of Meghalaya during a hearing on the alleged illegal confinement of a mentally-ill person by the Dorbar Shnong of Ngunraw village in the district, the written order posted on the high court website on Tuesday said.
The written order mentions that the Division Bench of the Court was unwilling to accept the unconditional apology of the deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police, but was satisfied by the assurance of the DC that adequate compensation would be provided to the affected person and also by the statement of the district police chief that he would place the officer in-charge of Mawkyrwat PS under suspension for dereliction of duty.
The matter has listed for hearing on Wednesday.

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Weigh bridge permits trucks to carry 30 MT of coal each

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-06-17 11:23

SHILLONG: A serious case of violation of the laws has been reported in Dawki where the personnel manning the weighbridge permitted two trucks to carry at least 30 MT of coal as against the permissible limit of 9 MT.
The Customs personnel allowed the vehicle to pass through since the vehicles had the necessary clearance from the weighbridge.
Police seized the trucks (ML04B 81300 and AS 01 FC 2799) on Tuesday in the presence of a magistrate.
Secretary of the Meghalaya International Exporters’ Chamber of Commerce, Dolly Khonglah, said the matter will be reported to the NGT for necessary action.
“I have already taken up the matter with the West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner, the Customs Commissioner and police officials,” Khonglah said.

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State hospitals found in violation of PCPNDT Act

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-06-17 11:22

Enforcement of Prohibition of Sex Selection Act dismal
SHILLONG: A four-member team from the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) which visited the State in March, has indicated that the appropriate authority in Meghalaya has not taken cognizance of various instances of violations of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.
The Committee which visited eight hospitals in Shillong and Jowai, established various anomalies with regards to adherence to PCPNDT Act, and directed the State Health and Family Welfare department to take corrective actions and expedite the filing of court complaints against non complying hospitals and nursing home identified by the Committee.
During their visit to NEIGRIHMS, the Committee found that seven Ultra Sonography (USG) machines, out of which two were portable USG machines, were not registered separately.
The Committee also observed that all machine numbers were not included in the registration certificate and the required hoarding displaying penalties as per the PCPNDT Act was not seen outside the hospital building. Besides, form F was not being maintained     properly by the NEIGRIHMS authority.
During its visit to Woodland Hospital, Shillong, the Committee observed that hoardings were not displayed properly and it did not contain proper texts. Besides, separate registers of pregnant women undergoing USG was not maintained.
Later, the committee visited Civil Hospital and observed that the copy of PCPNDT Act was not available and two out of three machines were not listed in the certificate.
As per the Committee, the authorities of Bethany Hospital, Shillong, were not maintaining separate registration of the portable USG machines; besides hoardings were not displayed properly. The hospital was also not maintaining a separate register of pregnant women for USG.
The Committee also visited Ganesh Das Hospital and observed that one USG machine was not included in the certificate.
At the Dr. Norman Tunnel Hospital in Jowai, the Committee observed that the Sonologist was not qualified and demanded that she should be changed. Besides, two USG machines were not listed in the registration certificate, and form F was also not being maintained.
As per the Committee, the qualification certificate of the Radiologist at Woodland Medical Centre, Jowai, was not displayed.
The Committee also visited Jowai Civil Hospital and found that the Sonologist was not qualified. Besides, hoardings were also not displayed.

Categories: News

Four HYC members released on bail

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-06-17 11:22

SHILLONG: Four members of the HYC who were arrested during the law and order break down at a public rally in the city on May 29 were released on bail on Tuesday.
Confirming this, HYC vice president Donboklang Kharlyngdoh said the four members of the organization were released on bail after 19 days in judicial custody.
Three out of the seven people arrested by police for allegedly instigating crowd at the venue of the HYC-called public rally were released on bail two days after the rally.

Categories: News

Centenary stone of Lyndhurst Estate unveiled

Shillong Times - Wed, 2015-06-17 11:20

SHILLONG: Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Shashi Kant Sharma, on Tuesday unveiled the centenary stone of the historic Lyndhurst Estate at Laitumkhrah in the city.
The Lyndhurst Estate, measuring about 3.5 acres, was established by Major Lyndhurst around 1910.
At that time the Estate had only one bungalow and an out house, where a second bungalow now stands. The inscription on one of the monoliths states that as per Assam Archives, Lyndhurst Estate was purchased by Inanoda Sundari Chaudharani of Goalpara in 1927 from Elsie James.
In 1950 the property was rented by the Government of India for some sections of the office of Account General, Assam and Residence of Account General.
In 1962, the Government of India purchased this property at Rs.2.50 lakh from Rani Sindhurani Choudhurani of Bagribiri.
In his official declaration, the CAG said, “Since the State Government has declared it as a heritage under the Heritage Act passed in 2012 I wish that all of us will take care of this building.”
The CAG was accompanied by Accountant General (Audit) Rajesh Singh and other senior audit officials.

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EC suspends recognition to Sangma’s National People’s Party

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2015-06-17 04:00

NEW DELHI, June 16 (IANS): The Election Commission on Tuesday suspended the recognition of former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma’s National People’s Party (NPP) for its failure to file its election expenditure statement.
It is the first case that recognition of a party has been suspended by the poll panel under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968, for its failure to follow the lawful directions of the commission, the Election Commission said in a statement.
The commission had earlier issued instructions to all political parties to file their election expenditure statement within 75 days of the assembly elections and 90 days of the Lok Sabha polls.

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