SHILLONG, Aug 12: Thousands of people including traders Tuesday extend full support to the decisions to restore the lost glory of Iewduh, the biggest traditional market in the State, including the ban on sale of illicit liquor declared by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and Hima Mylliem at a public meeting here.
Trade and commerce in and around the market came to a standstill with all the business establishments remaining closed during the two-hour meeting held at Motphran which started at 9 am and ended at 11 am.
“The Executive Committee (EC) has decided to implement the decisions to revamp and restore the lost glory of Iewduh which were taken at a meeting held on July 28,” KHADC Chief Executive Member (CEM) Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit said while announcing the decisions would be implemented with immediate effect from Tuesday.
SHILLONG, Aug 12: Chief Executive Member (CEM) of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) Ardent M Basaiawmoit Tuesday termed the 48 – hour bandh called by the proscribed HNLC as “illogical” and “unreasonable”.
Addressing a public meeting at Iewduh here, Basaiawmoit said, “I strongly express my disappointment and opposition against the calling of unwarranted bandh which will badly affect the common man especially the daily wage earners.”
He added, “I do not see any justification for the outfit to call this total shutdown”.
The HNLC has called for 48 - hour shutdown in the six districts of Khasi-Jaintia Hills starting from 6 pm of August 13 to 6 pm of August 15 to protest against NGT’s ban on unscientific coal mining as well as boycotting the Independence Day celebrations.
SHILLONG/TURA: All State Bank of India (SBI) branches across the State remained closed on Monday in protest against the ‘State Government’s failure’ to ensure security of its employees and the public from kidnappers and extortionists.
A silent protest march was taken out on Monday by officials of the SBI from its Zonal office at Dhankethi and culminated at SBI Main branch at Police Bazaar.
The strike was demanding release of the SBI official, Subodh Kumar Mishra, who was abducted on Tuesday at gun point by suspected militants in Barengapara, near Dalu in West Garo Hills.
The official was serving in the remote part of Garo Hills in SBI’s Gasuapara branch in South Garo Hills.
Meanwhile, the SBI Employees Association has also given a proposal to the management to close down all vulnerable branches in Garo Hills and a decision is expected in this regard, soon.
“We would be forced to close down all the branches in Garo Hills if the State Government does not take steps to ensure employees’ safety and security,” the SBI employees said.
There are around 300 SBI employees in the 42 branches in the Garo Hills region.
The SBI Staff Association deputy general secretary Biman B Bhattacharya said that the SBI branches in the five districts of Garo Hills would continue to remain closed till Mishra is released.
Meanwhile, a report from Tura said half a dozen private and nationalised banks in Garo Hills have decided to join the SBI in its indefinite strike demanding release of Mishra.
Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank (MCAB), Meghalaya Rural Bank (MRB), Axis Bank, Urban Co-operative Bank, Union Bank are some of the financial institutions those decided to join the strike to demand the safe and unconditional release of the abducted SBI official.
Employees of all the banks located in Garo Hills will be joining a protest rally at Tura on Tuesday afternoon at 1 PM to once again demand the release of Mishra.
On Monday afternoon SBI officer and employees association members held a meeting on the premises of the regional office at Chandmari, Tura.
The general secretary of SBI staff association for North East Circle, Pradip Kumar Basaiya, who arrived in Tura from Guwahati to extend support for the strike, informed his colleagues that the proposal to close down the vulnerable SBI branches in the rural areas of Garo Hills which are sensitive to militant interference has been submitted.
Meanwhile, bank employees in Rajabala town took out a protest procession against the abduction of Mishra by suspected ASAK militants.
The whereabouts of the banker remain uncertain even as the ASAK outfit has been keeping mum on the abduction.
SHILLONG: SBI Staff Association deputy general secretary (Shillong Module) Biman B Bhattacharya has revealed that the family of the abducted SBI official Subodh Kumar Mishra has paid an amount of Rs 5 lakh to the abductors.
According to him, the payment was made on Saturday.
“Despite paying the ransom, the abductors are yet to release the bank assistant,” Bhattarcharya said during the silent protest rally in the city on Monday.
Informing that the identity of the abductors is still unknown, the SBI officials said that the abductors had claimed that they were members of a new militant outfit.
SHILLONG: The ANVC, currently under ceasefire, has come down heavily on Tura MP PA Sangma for his statement that “peace settlement with ANVC will not yield the desired result since other groups are still not part of the peace process.”
In a statement issued to the media on Monday, Tangcha A.Sangma, assistant publicity secretary of ANVC, said that “it is an irony that instead of welcoming the initiative, Sangma has criticized it saying only ANVC is signing the peace settlement.”
The ANVC said the outfit signed ceasefire agreement way back in 2004 and it has now already been a decade. “During this period we have suffered a lot and only we know the extent of our hardship in maintaining our cadres during this time. We were also compelled to scale down our initial demand for a Greater Garoland in the interest of bringing peace to Garo Hills and now you (PA Sangma) say that you are not happy”, the outfit said.
“When the outfit was still sticking to its demand for creation of Garoland, it was you ( PA Sangma) who said that the Garos do not support the demand of a handful of people for the creation of a Garoland. Today, you are in Delhi playing the Garoland card”, the ANVC asserted.
Regarding the groups that are not part of the peace settlement, the ANVC said that the outfit was not responsible for their actions. “We have invited them to be part of the peace settlement on more than one occasion, but they have rejected it outright citing that their demand is only for Garoland, and that they want no part of this settlement. Till today we are ready to accommodate any group who will be willing to join us on this path to peace as we have done in the case of ANVC-B”, the ANVC leader said.
According to the outfit, almost all the groups are demanding a separate Garoland, which is similar to PA Sangma’s demand.
Referring to Sangma, the ANVC said “If you can convince any other group to join us in this settlement, we welcome the initiative from your side”.
ANVC further said that instead of blaming each other, PA Sangma should try to encourage others and support the government’s decision.
“In your dirty political games, it is always people like us and the commoners who have to suffer. Until and unless political big shots stop playing dirty politics, Garo Hills will not be peaceful. Stop blame games. You, who are proud to be a veteran politician who has represented the Garo Hills in Delhi for a record ten times, should know better”, the ANVC said.
The ANVC also asked Sangma that with his experience, he should advise the younger politicians and work hand and hand with the State Government to bring peace to Garo Hills for the general interest of the Garo people “with whose blessings you are who you are today. Leave a legacy of cooperation and healthy competition, not dirty politics”.
SHILLONG: The Joint Action Committee of All Teachers’ Association in Meghalaya (JACATAM) has hailed the comparative study report submitted by the Directorate of School Education and Literacy (DSEL) to the State Government on the proposed provincialisation of the services of the teachers in the State.
“The DSEL on June 26 submitted Action Taken Report on the demand of teachers,” JACATAM chairman ED Nongsiang told newsmen after a meeting with DSEL director Ambrose Ch Marak here on Monday.
“The provincialisation of services of schoolteachers now totally depends on the ‘political-will’ of the state government,” he said.
The education department through the Director of School Education and Literacy (DSEL) took up a comparative study in other states – Tamil Nadu, Goa, Assam and Sikkim- to get clarity on the issue relating to provincialisation.
While divulging some of the details of the findings of the comparative study, Nongsiang said that the delegation found that there are three categories of schools in Kerala and Goa — Government, Provincialised and Self-Financed Schools.
“In Kerala, the State Government has provincialised all the schools which were set up before 1991,” JACATAM chairman said.
Informing about the findings of the team in Assam, he said that the Assam Government provincialised all the schools in 2011 and added that presently, there were three categories of schools in Assam — Government, Provincialised and Self-Financed Schools.
He said that the situation in Sikkim was a bit different “since it is yet to have its own board.”
“All the schools in Sikkim are affiliated either to the CBSE or ICSE,” he said adding that the service of the teachers is yet to be provincialised there.
He said that the Education department has to carry out some exercises on the total expenditures which will be required once services of the teachers are provincialised.
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court was on Monday told that the Special Police Unit set up for dealing with crimes against people from North East is not ineffective as required action is being taken promptly by it.
The submission was made by Delhi police in an affidavit filed in pursuance to the court’s observation on the last date of hearing that the special unit appears to be ineffective.
The affidavit was submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini which adjourned the matter to August 20 as the Centre’s status report, claimed to have been filed on August 8, was not on record.
“You must understand the seriousness of the problem,” the bench observed while re-notifying the matter for hearing on August 20. (PTI)
SHILLONG: The State government on Monday appealed to the people to defy the ‘unwarranted’ 48-hours bandh called by the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) even as it assured that security will not be compromised to them.
The government’s statement came a day after the HNLC announced the bandh from 6 pm of August 13 to 6 pm of August 15 to protest against the NGT ban on coal mining and also to boycott the Independence Day celebration in the State.
“HNLC is a proscribed organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 since the 16th November 2000 and has been boycotting the celebrations of national days of importance through bandh calls, but the Government has taken serious not of the unnecessary bandh calls by the banned organisation”, a statement issued by the Government on Monday said.
The Government reiterated its firm commitment to maintain law and order at all costs and to ensure that the security of its citizens is not compromised in any way.
“Members of the public in general and the Government employees in particular are exhorted not to pay any heed to this unreasonable call and to come out as they would on any normal day and carry on with their daily activities without any fear or apprehension of reprisals,” the statement said.
The state government also urged the members of the public to come out in large numbers and witness the 68th Independence Day celebrations which will be an indication of “our maturity and send out a strong message that the people of the state can no longer be willfully held to siege at every turn”.
Our Guwahati Correspondent adds: Several outlawed insurgent groups in the Northeast have called for a joint strike to ‘prohibit’ celebrations of Indian Independence Day on August 15 next in the region to protest the ‘continued occupation’ on the region by India.
The general strike has been called from 1am to 5.30 pm on August 15 next.
The outfits that have called for the general strike included Coordination Committee (an amalgamation of several militant groups in Manipur), ULFA(Independent), HNLC, Kamataur Liberation Organisation (KLO), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), National Liberation Front of Twipra (NLFT).
In an e-mail to the media here these outfits on Monday stated, “The people of the Western Southeast Asian Region (including N-E India) are staring at extinction in their own land due to the systematic influx of mainland Indians and indigenous culture of the region is at stake due to rapid Indianisation while the right to live is threatened by the imposition of many draconian laws. The people of the region area battling the Indian occupation forces for decades and in the name of fighting insurgency Indian government is even using population invasion – from foreign soils that are loyal to Indian as well as mainland India.”
TURA: Two armed battalion personnel of Meghalaya police have been airlifted to Guwahati for urgent medical treatment after being shot and injured by another trooper in an accidental firing in the border region of Purakhasia on Monday morning.
A team of 2nd MLP battalion personnel were leaving their outpost for patrol duty in Purakhasia, close to the international border with Bangladeh, when the AK assault rifle carried by Havildar Awithson Sangma suddenly went off firing a wild shot.
The bullet hit battalion constable Mridul Rabha (Bnc 1622) and driver Selvestin T Sangma in the upper body grievously injuring them.
The automatic rifle of the havildar had been armed with a round inside the chamber and the safety catch was reportedly off when the incident occurred.
Both the injured were rushed to Tura from where they were airlifted to army hospital at Basistha, Guwahati, where doctors declared that the condition of the two were serious but under control.
SHILLONG: Former Speaker ED Marak has lodged a complaint with the BJP supremo Amit Shah against the party’s state leaders Dipayan Chakraborty and Khlur Sing accusing them of indulging in corruption.
In the letter to Shah, Marak, a former BJP leader, said that one Nitai Baksors, who was an aspirant for the party ticket in the last Assembly election from Tikrikilla, had accused that Dipayan had demanded from him 50 percent of the fund which was to be given by the party for contesting election. Marak further said that the state BJP chief Khlur Sing “is protecting Dipayan”.
“Amit Shah has promised to come to Shillong to sort out the matter,” Marak said.
He said, “If the party fails to remove both the leaders, he will take legal action”.
Earlier, Marak was dropped from the state BJP after he had leveled serious allegations against the party top brass.
When contacted, Dipayan termed the allegations as ‘baseless’.
Hyderabad: TRS Lok Sabha member K. Kavitha, who is also the daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, has been booked on sedition charges for an alleged controversial statement on Jammu and Kashmir.
On the direction of a city court, a first information report (FIR) was registered against Kavitha, a Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Lok Sabha member from Nizamabad, at the Madannapet police station.
Kavitha has been booked under charges of sedition, promoting enmity between different groups and doing acts prejudicial maintenance of harmony, for statements conducing to public mischief, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. (IANS)
SHILLONG: The relatives of the 11-year-old girl, whose body was recovered from a river near Burnside, Rilbong on Sunday, have expressed dissatisfaction over the apathy of police in investigating the case.
The body of Swagarika Das, a class VI student of Queenie School, Laban, was found floating in the river on Sunday at around 3 pm.
According to the relatives, it was between 1 pm on Sunday that the girl, youngest daughter of Sunil Das, a vegetable vendor at Laban Last Stop, had left the house at New Kenches Trace to buy something from the nearby shop.
“As she did not return home even after two hours, I searched for her in the nearby areas, but in vain”, Sunil said.
The father got the information that his daughter’s body was recovered from the river from police at around 4.30 pm.
Several people gathered at the river bank after spotting the body of the girl and it was a boy who identified her and informed the police.
The body of the girl was cremated on Monday after the post-mortem.
It was double tragedy for the family as Sunil’s wife had expired only in January this year.
“The police are not revealing anything about the progress of the inquiry and more painful is that when inquired about the post-mortem report, the doctor at the civil hospital informed that I have to get the post-mortem report from the Directorate of Health Services after three weeks”, Sunil said.
The family suspects that the girl was murdered and the body was thrown into the river which is far away from the house.
“There was no need for her to go to the river side which is quite far from our house,” the father said.
According to the father, those who saw the body had claimed that there was a 10 rupee note in her folded hand and some cotton in her mouth.
In the FIR lodged with the Rilbong police on August 10 , the father asked the police to take action against Dharmendra Rai, the husband of his eldest daughter, for his alleged role in the crime.
“Dharmendra had threatened to kill both of my daughters — Swagariaka Das and Swagata Das two days back (August 8) and in addition previously also Dharmendra’s father, mother and his four brothers along with Dharmendra had threatened to kill my daughters,” the FIR said.
In the FIR, the father of the victim also alleged, “I strongly suspect and believe that the above mentioned persons have killed my daughter “.
The father alleged that Dharmendra and his parents on July 20 assaulted her daughter in his house and also wanted to take away the baby.
“We even lodged complaint with the Rilbong police on July 20, but the policemen did not take any action against the culprits though my daughter had undergone a medical examination after the assault,” he said.
When contacted, Dharmendra admitted that his family had assaulted his wife on July 20 after she complained that he was coming late after playing cricket.
Dhrmendra however, said that he and the family did not have any role in the killing of the minor girl.
“I had gone out of the house at Lowsohtun on August 10 at around 11 am, and I was playing cricket at Lowsohtun Block VI, and returned home only at around 6 pm”, Dharmendra said.
Dharmendra never visited his wife at New Kenches Trace after July 20, the wife’s relatives said.
When contacted, the police said that investigation was on to ascertain the nature of crime and added that no one has been arrested in connection with the case.
“It is too early to say whether it is a murder case or not”, police added.
TURA, Aug 11: Two policemen were hurt in a case of accidental firing in the remote village of Purakhasia, about 35 kms from the town of Tura. The two, one a driver and the other a battalion constable, were hurt when a carbine accidentally went off when the constable was about to board a Gypsy on his way to an operation.
The two injured policemen have been identified as Battalion Constable (BNC) Mridul Ch Rabha while the driver has been identified as Trepatin T Sangma. While Rabha is from Mendipathar, Sangma belongs to Tura. The incident happened at about 8 am on Monday morning.
SHILLONG/TURA, Aug 11: All branches of SBI in Meghalaya remained closed on Monday while hundreds of employees of State Bank of India (SBI) staged a silent peace rally to protest and demand immediate release of bank employee Subodh Kumar Mishra who was kidnapped by armed militants from Gasuapara branch in Garo Hills on August 5 last.
The silent peace rally started from Dhanketi and concluded at SBI Shillong main branch organized by the SBI Officers’ Association. During the rally, they asked militants to “stop making SBI employees’ soft targets for demands”.
All the 110 SBI branches in Meghalaya, including 41 branches in Garo Hills region, remained closed on Monday as part of the state – wide strike of the bank employees who also demanded the state government to provide security and safe working environment for them.
TURA, Aug 11: Job holders working under the payroll of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) have decided to go on a two-day strike from Tuesday onwards over the nonpayment of dues for the past four months. The Council which last paid salaries to its employees way back in the month of March has been riddled with protests over the salaries that it is supposed to pay.
SHILLONG, Aug 11: The Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) Monday asked government to immediately roll-back the recent fare hike for Shillong Public Transport Service (SPTS), Shillong Special Public Transport Service (SSPTS) and Shillong Supplementary Transport Service (SSTS) run by Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA).
In a letter to Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh, FKJGP President Joe Marwein said, “The increase in the fare by 100 per cent of the existing rate is unjustified and unreasonable. This is going to have a severe impact on people who depend on this public transport service to commute from one part of the city to another, students and poor families.”
TURA, Aug 11: After the furor over the ‘Codification of Garo Customary Law’ attempt made by the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC), the NGOs of East Garo Hills (EGH) including the GSU, AIGU, FAF, Mothers' Federation, WGCSU, ICFS, AYF and ASCOT met the CEM, Alphonse A Sangma at his residence to convey their apprehension of the Bill in question. A memorandum to this effect was submitted to the Chief Executive Member (CEM) on Saturday at his residence in Dakopgre in Tura.
The NGOs have demanded the scrapping of some sections of the Bill to ensure non - tribals were not given a free hand in becoming a Garo through the laws.
Galle: Retiring Mahela Jayawardene took on the unusual role of opening batsman to hand Sri Lanka a thrilling seven-wicket victory on the final day of the first Test against Pakistan in Galle on Sunday.
The hosts, needing 99 to win in a minimum of 21 overs, beat fading light and approaching rain to cruise home in the 17th over in front of some 5,000 jubilant home fans. Jayawardene, who is due to retire from Test cricket after the two-match series, scored 26 before Kumar Sangakkara (21) and skipper Angelo Mathews (25 not out) chipped in lower down the order.
Mathews and Kithuruwan Vithanage smashed 17 runs in the 16th over bowled by Junaid Khan and then scored the winning run in the next over just before rain hit Galle.
The win was set up by left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who claimed six for 48 that bundled Pakistan out for 180 in their second innings in the post-tea session. Pakistan, who started the day at 4-1, lost three wickets in the morning session to go to lunch on 66-4.
The tourists added eight runs in the morning when seamer Dhammika Prasad had nightwatchman Saeed Ajmal edging a catch to wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella. Opener Ahmed Shehzad made 16 when he was given out leg-before to off-spinner Perera .
Shehzad, who consulted his partner Azhar Ali before deciding not to ask for an umpire’s review, would have survived if he had signalled for it. Replays showed the ball missing the leg stump. Herath dealt Pakistan a bigger blow when he bowled first innings century-maker Younis Khan for 13 to reduce the tourists to 55-4. Ali and skipper Misbah-ul Haq put on 56 for the fifth wicket on either side of lunch when both fell at the same total to make it 111-6 — just 29 runs ahead with 45 overs left in the game. Ali (41) was caught behind off Herath and Misbah (28) was leg-before to Perera in the next over.
Seamer Shaminda Eranga had Abdur Rehman caught behind at the stroke of tea before Herath dismissed Talha and last man Junaid to leave gutsy Sarfraz Ahmed stranded on 52 not out.(AFP)
Pakistan 1st innings: 451
Sri Lanka 1st innings: 533
Pakistan 2nd innings
KManzoor c Dickwella b Herath 3
Ahmed Shehzad lbw b Perera 16
SAjmal c Dickwella b Prasad 4
Azhar Ali c Dickwella b Herath 41
Younis Khan b Herath 13
Misbah-ul Haq lbw b Perera 28
Asad Shafiq lbw b Herath 8
Sarfraz Ahmed not out 52
ARehman c Dickwella b Eranga 1
MTalha c Dickwella b Herath 4
Junaid Khan lbw b Herath 0
Total (all out, 80.2 overs) 180
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-11, 3-39, 4-55, 5-111, 6-111, 7-133, 8-153, 9-178
Bowling: Herath 30.2-11-48-6, Eranga 14-5-44-1, Perera 28-6-68-2, Prasad 8-3-10-1.
Sri Lanka 2nd innings:
U Tharanga b Junaid 12
M Jayawardene b Junaid 26
K Sangakkara c Manzoor b Talha 21
A Mathews not out 25
K Vithanage not out 11
Total (3 wickets, 16.2 overs) 99
Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-59, 3-73
Bowling: Ajmal 6-0-29-0, Junaid 8-0-55-2, Talha 2.2-0-12-1.
Kolkata: Deepika Kumari-led women archers clinched the recurve team gold after routing Mexico 6-0 in the final as India returned with five medals in the Archery World Cup Stage IV in Wroclaw, Poland on Sunday.
Deepika herself won three medals on Sunday as she also bagged a bronze each in recurve women’s individual event and recurve mixed team pair event with her partner Jayanta Talukdar.
The men’s recurve team settled for a silver after losing to Mexico 3-5 in the final on Sunday.
The Indian compound mixed pair of Abhishek Verma and Puvasha Shende had clinched a silver medal last night.
In the women’s recurve team event, the second seeded India women’s trio of Deepika, Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi routed Mexico 6-0 without surrendering a single set point.
Deepika herself shot three of the Indian team’s five 10s.
“The match was not too difficult. Hopefully we can do the same at the Asian Games,” said Deepika.
“This event has already raised our confidence. We have had a difficult season, but the hard work we have put in ahead of Incheon is starting to pay off.”
The Indian trio had earlier trounced their opponents from Georgia 6-2 in the semifinals.
In the men’s recurve team final, however, the Indian trio of Tarundeep Rai, Jayanta Talukdar and Atanu Das lost to Mexico 3-5.
Mexico took a 2-0 lead and never looked back. India trailed 2-4 in the fourth set with Mexico’s anchor archer Juan Rene Serrano only needing a red to seal the match.
The only right-handed archer in Mexico’s team, Juan Rene shot last in the trio’s rotation and he did not make any mistake.
It was the second World Cup stage team gold for Mexico. The other was won at Medellin last year.
In the women’s recurve individual event, Deepika beat Tatiana Segina of Russia 6-2 in the bronze-medal match.
Deepika then partnered Talukdar in the recurve mixed team pair event and thrashed their Belarus opponents 6-0 in the bronze-medal match on Sunday.
Earlier, the Indian compound mixed pair of Abhishek Verma and Puvasha Shende also clinched a silver medal.
The third seed Indian duo lost to the World No. 1 US pair of Braden Gellenthien and Crystal Gauvin 151-155 in an intense final last night.
Both the teams shot 38 each in the first end but the US gained a one point lead with India shooting 37 in the second.
The world no 1 US pair remained steady to log a 40 and 39 points compared to the 39 and 37 by the Indians to seal the gold medal. (PTI)
Montreal: Sania Mirza and Cara Black survived a thriller in the semifinals as they carved out a hard-earned 7-6(3) 3-6 13-11 victory to set up a Rogers Cup doubles final against top-seeded Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci here.
The fourth seeded Indo-Zimbabwean pair knocked out the second seeded Hsieh Su-wei of Chinese Taipei and China’s Peng Shuai in a contest that lasted an hour and 50 minutes.
Having saved a set point in the opening set, Sania and Cara prevailed over their higher ranked opponents in a tie-break.
However, Hsieh and Peng fought their way back in the second set and comfortably wrapped it up 6-3, taking it to the deciding set.
In the third set, Sania and Cara opened up a 9-6 lead, before Hsieh and Peng rallied and held a match point at 11-10. But from there Sania and Cara won three straight points, to run away with the match on their fifth match point. (PTI)