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UDP demands thorough investigation into actual cause of environmental degradation

Meghalaya Times - Fri, 2014-06-13 08:18

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, June 11: While welcoming the decision of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the excavated coal, the United Democratic Party (UDP) Wednesday said instead of a total ban on rat hole mining, the Tribunal should examine the actual cause of environmental degradation.
“In this instant case, it is the improper stocking of excavated coal, the absence of mine closure plans and lack of effective Acid drainage intervention- a result of unplanned, unregulated mining, which has been detrimental to the environment,” UDP secretary Allan F Dkhar said in a statement issued here on Wednesday.

Categories: News

Mukul is James Bond: James Sangma

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 07:41

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, June 09: NPP legislator James K Sangma has dubbed Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma as ‘James Bond’ for using women police personnel as a ring round during his visit to militancy – ravaged Garo Hills even as the Opposition has accused the Congress led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA – II) government of being least bothered in addressing the deteriorating law and order situation in the region.
Participating in the discussion on Budget Speech in the ongoing Re-Assembled Budget Session here on Monday, James said the government had just mentioned the raising of a Special Force – 10 and this was done in just three paragraphs on the law and order situation. “This only show that the state government is least bothered to solve the problem,” he pointed out.

Categories: News

NGT upholds ban on rat – hole mining, allows transportation

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 07:41

Partial relief for coal miners, next sitting on August 01
Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, June 09: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Monday shattered the hopes of the coal mining industry by upholding its order on banning rat – hole coal mining across Meghalaya, though it has provided partial relief to coal miners by allowing them to transport the already extracted coal.
In a hearing that was held at the Meghalaya High Court which was chaired by Justice Swatanker Kumar and expert member Ranjan Chaterjee on Monday, the Tribunal’s Special Circuit Bench, Eastern Zone, ordered that that the blanket ban will continue until its next sitting on August 1.

Categories: News

Govt gears up to tackle HNLC bandh call

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 07:39

Absence from office to be treated ‘unauthorized absence’
Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, June 09: In the wake of a bandh call given by proscribed HNLC from 6 pm of June 10 till 6 pm June11, a meeting was convened by the State Government in the Conference Room of the Main Secretariat on Monday to take stock of the situation and to review the preparedness to deal with it. Representatives from the Central Government offices/ institutions, public sector banks, the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of East Khasi Hills District, Director General of Police and other senior officers from the Political/ Home Department and Police Headquarters attended the meeting.

Categories: News

Hoping Stone’s backbone broken due to dilapidated roads in WKH

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 07:36

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, June 09: Veteran politician and President of Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), Hoping Stone Lyngdoh, Monday informed the House that he was treated with a broken backbone in a city hospital owing to over dilapidated road in West Khasi Hills (WKH) District.
He told the Assembly in the ongoing Re-Assembled Budget Session that he had to be admitted in the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institution of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRHIMS) and spent Rs 4 lakh for his treatment.

Categories: News

Assam Congress dissidents demand CLP sitting within 10 days

Shillong Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 03:35

GUWAHATI: Getting restive over delay in action on part of the party high command over their various demands, the dissident Congress MLAs in Assam have demanded holding of Assam Congress Legislature Party (ACLP) meeting within next 10 days. They also called upon the high command to facilitate the same.
Flaunting support of at least 41 ruling Congress MLAs out of the total 78 party MLAs, the leader of the dissident legislators and health and education minister of Assam, Himanta Bishwa Sharma on Sunday night informed that they would call upon the Congress high command to facilitate a meeting of Assam Congress Legislature Party within seven to ten days to resolve the problems currently dogging the CLP headed by chief minister Tarun Gogoi.
He informed the media about the development after holding a meeting of dissident MLAs at his official residence in the state capital complex on Sunday night.
Sharma said that the MLAs and ministers in his camp had decided to remain focused in their official works so that the development activities all over the state did not suffer because of the problem plaguing the CLP.
He said all the MLAs had been asked to go to their respective constituencies to be with the people while the ministers had been asked to attend their official works in Dispur so that the functioning of the state government was not affected due to the problems within the CLP.
The Congress high command has entrusted senior party leaders Golam Nabi Azad, C P Joshi and Motilal Vora to tackle the dissidence in Assam CLP. The AICC leaders already have talks with dissident MLAs in New Delhi during the last few days.  Chief Minister Gogoi too met the party president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and other senior party leaders in New Delhi earlier to submit his resignation owning up moral responsibility for the poor show of the party in Assam in Lok Sabha polls, but he was asked to continue with the responsibility entrusted on him.
The dissension that has been gaining ground within the CLP for the last two years against the leadership of chief minister Tarun Gogoi has now come out in the open with the dissident group resorting to washing dirty linen in public.
The lack of harmony and cohesion within the CLP has been a hurdle in the way of effective implementation of government development schemes and ensuring good governance in the state for about last two years much to the despair of the people who have vent their ire against Congress in just concluded Lok Sabha polls by overwhelmingly voting for BJP that won 7 out of the total 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Categories: News

Prez lists how Modi’s ‘acche din’ are here to come

Shillong Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 03:35

New Delhi: If “acche din aane wale hain” or good days are to come was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vote-pulling election slogan, President Pranab Mukherjee Monday outlined “how” in his 55-minute address to a joint session of parliament, listing the new government’s priorities in areas ranging from domestic issues to foreign policy.
The president also reminded assembled lawmakers in the Central Hall of parliament that people must come first and serving them should be their top priority, without any room for corruption, in a transparent manner with “minimum government, maximum governance”.
Listing poverty elimination and control of inflation as the two top immediate priorities of the new government, the president also said the clear mandate given by the people was to see a vibrant and prosperous India that regains the admiration of the global community.
“Brimming with hope and expectation, they want quick results,” he said, adding: “We must rise to the occasion to fulfil these great expectations. In 60 months from now, we must be able to say with confidence and pride that we have done it.”
The president’s address, a constitutional requirement, was approved by the cabinet June 4, after incorporating the suggestions given by each ministry and department. It will be followed by a debate, a reply by the prime minister and then a vote on a motion thanking the president for his address.
In the speech Monday, the president not only made simple yet welcome promises on behalf of the new government like all-weather houses for every family and basic amenities like water and electricity for all, but also sought to list and address specific needs of virtually every constituency and issue — from minorities, youth and women to education, industry and foreign policy.
To the youth, he said barriers between formal education and skill development will be done away with, and announced a national multi-skill mission. To women he promised effective measures to curb violence against them and 33 percent reservation in all elected bodies.
The president also said Indians must not tolerate indignity of homes without toilets and public spaces littered with garbage. In a bid to ensure better hygiene, waste management and sanitation, he announced a “Swachh Bharat” or a clean India mission as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
At the same time, he announced equal opportunities in areas like education, livelihood and health to not just the socially deprived and weaker sections, but minorities as well.
“Government will especially strengthen measures to spread modern and technical education among minority communities and a National Madrassa Modernization Programme will be initiated,” the president said, adding care will also be provided to the specially-abled people as part of government’s vision of a caring society.
Reacting somewhat to the developments in recent months that had led to perceived policy paralysis due to fear among bureaucrats to take decisions, the president said while it will indeed set up a Lok Pal, or ombudsman to curb corruption, it will also make the environment conducive to work.
“My government is committed to providing a clean and efficient administration focussed on delivery,” he said, adding: “My government will take steps to build the confidence and morale of our bureaucracy, enabling it with the freedom to work, and welcoming innovative ideas.”
To the investing community, domestic and overseas, the president assured that the ease of doing business in India will improve and tax laws made more predictable, even as encouragement will be given to labour-intensive manufacturing and overseas capital that creates jobs.
The speech also had some specific measures to announce, such as a sea network that then gets connected with the hinterland, high-speed trains, a new energy policy, transparent allotment of natural resources, 100 new modern cities, interlinking rivers, waterways, converting employment exchanges into career centres and agri-rail networks.
With an audience that included the diplomatic corps in the visitors’ gallery of the Central Hall, the president also said the new government will continue to maintain good relations with all countries, adding that the invitation to the leaders of India’s neighbours for the inauguration event of Modi was a signal in that regard.
Apart from improving ties with countries in the immediate neighbourhood, the president specifically listed China, Japan, Russia, US and those in Europe as nations with which India would like to partner strategically and in areas including trade and investment, science and technology, and energy and education.
On security, he said a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism, extremism, riots and crime will be pursued, the defence forces will be strengthened, foreign equity norms on production of defence-related equipment will be eased and a national maritime authority will be set up. (IANS)

Categories: News

28 killed as Pak Taliban attack Karachi airport

Shillong Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 03:35

Karachi: The brazen attack on Karachi international airport ended on Monday afternoon after a 13-hour gun battle which left 28 people dead, including all the 10 terrorists. The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack which began just before midnight on Jinnah International Airport, the country’s largest.
“We carried out this attack on the Karachi airport and it is a message to the Pakistani government that we are still alive to react over the killings of innocent people in bomb attacks on their villages,” TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in a statement to the media.
He said that the attack was also carried out to avenge the killing of former TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone strike.
The 10 militants divided into two groups of five attacked the airport, resulting in the 13-hour gun battle with security forces involving army, paramilitary Rangers, police and Airport Security Force (ASF).
Explosions and gunfire rang out as the attackers wearing military uniforms and suicide vests, and armed with grenades and rocket launchers attacked the airport in Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city and financial hub. According to reports, 11 ASF personnel, two Rangers officials, one police officer and four Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) officials are among the dead.
“The attack is over and we have cleared the area of all militants,” a spokesman for the paramilitary Rangers, Sibtain Rizvi, told reporters. Twenty-eight people, including the 10 terrorists, were killed in the attack, one of the most daring in recent years in the port city. Twenty-four people have also been injured.
“The security forces killed seven terrorists while three blew themselves up during the fight,” Director General, Rangers, Major General Rizwan Akhtar told media. “Very soon we will hand over the airport to the civilian aviation authority to start its normal operations,” he said.
Earlier, the military had declared an end to its operation to secure the airport but were forced to relaunch an assault after fresh firing erupted. “All 10 terrorists have been killed, the airport secured and they were unable to damage any aircraft or installations,” a spokesman of the military’s Inter Services Pubic Relations (ISPR) said.
The terrorists were cornered and shot down after they stormed the old airport terminal building posing as Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel. Sophisticated machine guns and rocket launchers were recovered from the slain terrorists who were being identified, he said. (PTI)

Categories: News

23 Pak Shia pilgrims killed

Shillong Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 03:34

Karachi: At least 23 Shia pilgrims returning from Iran were killed when militants attacked their buses in Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan province, officials said on Monday.
The attack took place on Sunday when 10 buses carrying the Shia pilgrims stopped at a hotel in Taftan near the Iranian border. Four of the attackers were killed by Levies forces after heavy exchange of fire, Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, told reporters.
“As soon as the pilgrims came out of the buses to go to the hotel first a group of militants opened indiscriminate fire on them and also threw hand grenades before rushing into the hotel and taking refuge there,” Bugti said.
He said 23 pilgrims were killed as a result of the firing and the attackers also blew up the buses. A banned outfit Jaish-ul-Islam claimed responsibility for the attack, the Express Tribune reported. A purported spokesman for the group, Azam Tariq, called Quetta-based journalists from an undisclosed location to claim credit for the deadly attack.
The home secretary of the province, Akbar Durrani confirmed to PTI that security forces were able to overpower the attackers after a few hours of heavy exchange of gunfire as the masked militants had come heavily armed and prepared for a siege. “The bodies of the pilgrims are being shifted to hospitals and the injured are also getting treatment,” Durrani said. “There were explosions after the buses were parked outside the hotels where the pilgrims were going to stay overnight before they commenced their journey back the following day,” Durrani said. (PTI)

Categories: News

Bodies of five students fished out; 19 missing

Shillong Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 03:34
Himachal tragedy

Mandi(HP): Bodies of five Hyderabad-based engineering students, who were washed away in the turbulent waters of Beas River along with 19 classmates and a tour operator, were on Monday found as Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh ordered a magisterial inquiry and suspended two senior engineers and a fitter of Larji Hydropower Project for alleged negligence.
Search continued for the 19 students and tour operator Prahlad, who were engaged in a photo session on the bank of Beas, when they were washed away due to sudden discharge of water in the river from the reservoir of 126 MW Larji project. The 70-member rescue teams comprising two battalions of SSB, assisted by police, homeguard and local divers and rafters were engaged in rescue operations since morning and one body was recovered from the spot near Thalot while four bodies were fished out from Pandoh dam.
“The high volume of water and shortage of boats is causing some problem but we have list of missing persons and hope to recover the bodies. Our jawans are moving in boats and strict vigil is being maintained along the banks of Beas by NDRF teams. Twelve divers are also assisting in rescue operations,” SSB officials said. A control Room has been set up at Mandi and a helpline has also been provided to assist the relatives of victims.
Taking a serious view of the incident, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh ordered a magisterial enquiry by Divisional Commissioner, Mandi to fix responsibility for the tragedy and suggest measure to stop recurrence of such incidents. Resident Engineer at the project Manjeet, Executive Engineer N.S Dhatwalia and fitter Harbans have been placed under suspension for alleged negligence.
There was no warning
The Chief Minister said the project authorities sounded the alarm (hooter) but the students did not pay heed. However, one of the survivors said no alarm was sounded and there was no board cautioning the people against going to the bank and even the local people did not stop us from going to the place. Ravi Kumar, a student who was part of the group from the Hyderabad college, said, “I tried to alert my friends…I ran towards my friends but by the water level had shot up. I tried rescuing four-five of them but in a matter of seconds, the water had risen to 5-6 feet.”
“My friends lost their footing and drowned before my eyes,” he said. One of the students who swam to safety said authorities reached the spot very late. Police did not show any urgency in rescuing those drowning.
The Chief Minister, who visited the spot and took stock of the rescue operations, said the first priority is to search for the bodies and transport the survivors to their native place. He said every possible assistance would be provided to the victims and the survivors. Union HRD minister Smriti Irani also visited the spot, the hotel where the students are staying and also went to the place where bodies have been kept. Irani, who landed at Kullu airport and drove straight to the spot, assured all help to the state government and said the Union government is continuously in touch with the state and would provide every possible help for relief and rescue operations. When asked about the reason for the tragedy, Irani said the state government has already ordered an inquiry and she would not say anything till the inquiry report is submitted. The rescue operations would be stopped after sunset and resume tomorrow and efforts would be made to locate all the bodies, officials at the Control room said. In Hyderabad, anxious parents and relatives rushed to the private engineering college at Bachupally seeking information about their dear ones. The parents and relatives complained that they did not receive any information regarding the incident from the college management. A group of 48 students studying 2nd year Electronics and Instrumentation at a city-based private engineering college were on a study tour of HP when the tragedy struck. While 24 of them disembarked to move to the river site, the others stayed behind. (PTI)

Categories: News

Court rules election of Libya PM Ahmed Miitig unconstitutional

Shillong Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 03:33

TRIPOLI: Libya’s supreme court on Monday ruled as unconstitutional the election of premier Ahmed Miitig in a chaotic parliamentary session, raising hopes for a possible solution to the country’s smouldering political crisis.
Outgoing prime minister Abdullah al-Thani had refused to recognize Miitig’s government, saying he would await the judiciary’s decision before handing over power.
But Miitig convened his first cabinet meeting last week despite Thani’s objections, and the two rival premiers disputed power in Tripoli, laying claim to the North African nation’s huge reserves from oil and gas.
“The court has judged the election of Miitig at the General National Congress (the interim parliament) as unconstitutional,” a judge at the court said on Monday after a short hearing.
The ruling will be examined by the administrative court on Monday, lawyers said.
Thani announced his resignation earlier this year after an armed attack on his family, but he insisted that his successor should be chosen by a new parliament rather than its contested predecessor and refused to recognize Miitig’s cabinet.
Miitig, 42, an independent backed by the Islamists, had been due to lead the country for a short interim period until June 25, when the country is due to hold an election to replace the congress.
Miitig did not immediately comment. If he accepts the court’s decision, Thani is expected to remain in office until the June 25 vote is held.
Miitig’s election took place at a second session of the GNC in early May, days after gunmen stormed the building to interrupt an earlier ballot.
Several liberal lawmakers accused Islamist blocs within the interim parliament of allowing late arrivals at the session to cast their votes after the initial result was announced to make up the 121 votes needed, after Miitig had garnered only 113 votes.
The GNC’s vice-president, liberal MP Ezzedine al-Awami, called Miitig’s installation as prime minister a “coup d’etat.”
The GNC was elected in July 2012, in Libya’s first ever free polls, almost one year after the revolution which ousted the regime of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
Its legitimacy was challenged after the GNC prolonged its mandate, due to expire last February, until December 2014. (Agencies)

Categories: News

North East Briefcase

Shillong Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 03:32
No criminal case against Mizoram CM for drinking alcohol

Aizawl: Mizoram Police has not registered a criminal case against the Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla who allegedly drank alcohol as the state have been under prohibition. The FIR signed by Laltanpuia Pachuau was received on June 4 at Aizawl police station and the police officers were instructed to conduct preliminary inquiry, police said. Aizawl district Superintendent of Police LR Dingliana Sailo said, “Criminal case would not be registered as it would be impossible to prove that the Chief Minister and his wife, as alleged in the FIR and the accompanying photograph, were actually drinking beer.” “Such photographs can be doctored or edited on computer and it would be impossible to be used as evidence” Sailo said. Pachuau, in his FIR asked the Police to investigate the alleged consumption of alcohol by the Chief Minister and his wife as suggested in a photograph posted in the social media. Prohibition has been imposed in Mizoram since February 20, 1997 and consumption of alcohol including beer was outlawed by the dry law. (PTI)

500 non-tribals pushed back for not having ILPs

Aizawl: Mizoram police have pushed back more than 500 non-tribals who were arrested for violation of the provisions of inner line permit (ILP). Aizawl superintendent of police L R Dingliana Sailo on Monday said the state police with the help of local NGOs launched a massive raid across the state since Friday and arrested the non-tribals living in the state without valid ILP. The arrested were produced before the local courts and were pushed back to neighbouring Assam after they were found guilty. Non-tribals have to obtain an ILP before entering Mizoram, which could be extended. They can also procure temporary ILP at the airport and police stations in the border areas. (PTI)

One killed in firing in Assam

Lakhimpur: One person was killed and another injured when security men fired to prevent theft at a construction camp of the Powergrid Corporation of India at Diju Chapori in Assam’s Lakhimpur district, police said. On being prevented from stealing power line instruments and construction materials last night, two alleged thieves attacked Home Guard personnel, forcing them to retaliate by firing seven rounds, OC of Lakhimpur police station Shasidhar Sarma on Monday said. The deceased, identified as Madan Sarma, succumbed to his injuries in a hospital, while an injured Imran Hussain was undergoing treatment, Sarma said. Angered by the incident, some local people attacked the camp and set it on fire damaging construction materials and an excavator there, he said. They claimed that the security men had attacked the duo without any reason when they were returning from a nearby market. They also demanded compensation, he added. (PTI)

Cong, MNF candidates file nominations for Mizoram RS seat

Aizawl: Candidates of Congress and MNF filed nomination papers on Monday to contest the election to the lone Mizoram Rajya Sabha seat, state Assembly secretary and Returning Officer for the polls Ngurthanzuala said. Ngurthanzuala said Ronald Sapa Tlau of the ruling Congress and L Ramkinlova of the opposition Mizo National Front (MNF)filed papers on the last day for filing nominations today for the election to be held on June 19. The term of the sitting Rajya Sabha member Lalhming Liana of the MNF, who was elected for two consecutive terms, ends on July 18. The ruling Congress has 34 legislators in the 40-member state Assembly, while the MNF has five legislators and its junior partner the Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC) has one member. (PTI)

Four NSCN(U) insurgents arrested

Itanagar: Security forces have arrested four insurgents of NSCN(U) from Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh. The rebels were arrested on Friday in a joint operation under the supervision of DGP S Nithianandam, AIGP (Establishment) Tusar Taba said in a statement here today. The arrested cadre have been identified as self-styled sergeant major Ahon Honwang Josak, S Vito Awomi (Minister), Lonwang H Lowang and Lokwang Khete. While Ahon hails from Ahon village in Tirap district, Awomi hails form Dimapur in neighbouring Nagaland, Lonwang and Khete hail from Borduria village in Tirap district. The security forces also recovered a huge cache of arms,ammunition and other incriminating goods from the arrested cadre. A case has been registered at Khonsa police station, the statement said. The security forces cordoned off the hideouts and carried out the operation early in the morning and succeeded in nabbing the four hardcore NSCN(U) cadre. None of security forces were injured. On retaliatory fire by security forces, Ahon suffered bullet injury and was later evacuated to Assam Medical College at Dibrugarh in Assam. The DGP, who was on a tour to Tirap and Changlang districts from June 4 to 7, monitored the operations and congratulated the team members for their exemplary courage shown and meticulous planning and execution of the joint operation. (PTI)

Assam Rifles conducts medical camp

GUWAHATI: The Assam Rifles camp at Batasipur at Mona Centre in the Sonitpur District of Assam organised a medical camp for the villagers of the area on June 6. The villages in the area lack proper infrastructure and their remoteness renders them wanting as far as medical attention is concerned. The medical camp conducted by the Assam Rifles was aimed at providing relief to the villages in the interior areas of the region. The camo was conducted with the help of Sonitpur District Administration. A medical team of the Assam Rifles consisting of four doctors and other assistants treated a total of 2317 patients in the adjoining villages. Sonitpur DC Lalit Gogoi alos attended the camp.

Categories: News

North Korea warns of strong action against UN

Shillong Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 03:32

SEOUL: Back to news again,  North Korea on Monday warned of ‘strong’ action against a UN office which will be set up in South Korea to monitor human rights violations in the communist country.
The North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea slammed South Korea for accepting a request from the Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to open a field office in Seoul to monitor the alleged violations.
“So, we will strongly react against it. Needless to say, the ‘office’ and its staff are not excepted from being targets of this action,” a committee spokesman said in a statement published by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency
The UN office in Seoul is “an anti-DPRK (North Korea) plot-breeding organisation aimed at launching aggression and bringing down the social system” in the North, the spokesman said, without specifying what action might follow.
Seoul decided in late May to allow the establishment of the UN office, a move welcomed by rights bodies as a public manifestation of international concern over the state of human rights in North Korea.
The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva has expressed hope that the new office will improve the efficiency of investigations into human rights violations in the North, and could even reduce their frequency and intensity.
In a resolution following a report by UN investigators, the council in March condemned “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations” in the North, which is estimated to have 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners. (Agencies)

Categories: News

National Nuggets

Shillong Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 03:32
Inter-religion marriage: SC asks UP Police to protect couple

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked Uttar Pradesh Police to provide security for three months to a couple belonging to different communities and facing threat to their lives as their marriage is not approved by the girl’s family. A bench of justices J S Kehar and C Nagappan said the SHO of Sirsaganj police station in Firozabad district will grant protection to the couple for three months and in the meantime, they will move the Allahabad High Court for proper remedies. The plea, filed through lawyer Savitri Pandey, said the 23-year-old boy and the woman, 26, belong to Hindu and Muslim religions respectively and they face threat to their lives as their marriage has not been approved by the girl’s family. An FIR, accusing the youth of kidnapping a minor girl, has already been lodged, it said, adding that initially, a plea seeking quashing of the FIR was filed in the high court. It was dismissed as withdrawn as the accused youth could not appear before the court on April 22, it said. Later, another petition was filed in the high court and it was dismissed on “technical ground” on April 29 as the accused youth did not file an accompanying application seeking recall of earlier order by which their previous plea was allowed to be withdrawn. “You go back to the High Court. File your recall application there. You are projecting things in a manner as if there is complete lawlessness in the state. There are 100 judges sitting there,” the bench said. Granting police protection, the apex court asked the high court to hear the fresh plea, to be filed by the couple, in the first week after the summer vacation. (PTI)

Maha govt warns of action against those misusing social media

MUMBAI: With objectionable posts on social networking sites trigging violence over the past week, the Maharashtra government is mulling action against not only those who upload them but also against those who “like” and forward them, state’s home minister R R Patil said on Monday. The move follows the killing of an information technology professional Mohsin Shaikh in Pune last Monday after derogatory pictures of warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji and Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray were uploaded by unknown people on Facebook.Activists of a little known radical group Hindu Rashtra Sena bludgeoned Shaikh to death as Pune was gripped by violence for two days. There was trouble again in Pune, Nashik and Kolhapur on Sunday night after posts with derogatory references to B R Ambedkar were uploaded on Facebook. Angry locals allegedly belonging to a political party vandalized state-run buses in these places. “Social media is used all over the world. It is used for good purposes but anti-social elements are using it for evil purposes as seen from recent incidents in Maharashtra,” Patil said. “Those who “like” and forward objectionable content are in a way siding with the culprits and in the next few days, you will see stringent action taken against them,” he said, adding, “People are reacting to the content on social media. It is seen that social media is being misused extensively. “No one can say that somebody else has misused his or her mobile as the responsibility is of the owner of the mobile,” he said. He also said the government would see if there was a need for a separate legislation to prevent such misuse of the social media. (PTI)

Over 12 cases of communal violence since LS polls ended: CPI-M

New Delhi: Over a dozen cases of communal violence have taken place since the Lok Sabha polls ended and “divisive” issues like abrogation of Article 370 granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir were being raised by the NDA government, CPI(M) said today. While the people are expecting resolution of “acute problems like price rise, unemployment, agrarian distress and increasing crimes against women will be addressed, the BJP-led government seems more interested in raising issues which are divisive”, party General Secretary Prakash Karat told a press conference here. Observing that the talk of abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution by a minister has caused “serious apprehensions”, he said “this can only lead to more alienation amongst the people in Kashmir.” “Nothing should be done that will undermine the special status accorded to Jammu & Kashmir which is a solemn commitment to the people at the time of the state’s accession to the Indian Union,” the CPI(M) leader said. Since the end of the Lok Sabha elections, “there have been more than a dozen communal incidents across country”. (PTI)

Categories: News

Audra McDonald makes Tony history

Shillong Times - Tue, 2014-06-10 03:32
Bryan Cranston wins acting prize

Actress Audra McDonald made Broadway history on Sunday, winning her sixth Tony as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” and Bryan Cranston and Neil Patrick Harris nabbed the top acting prizes at the 68th annual Tony Awards.
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” took home the top musical prize and Jessie Mueller was named best actress for her starring role in “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical”.
McDonald, with her best actress prize in a play, became the only woman to win a Tony in all four acting categories. She also tied with the late actress Julie Harris, who had six wins, including a special lifetime achievement award.
With tears streaming down her face, a trembling McDonald acknowledged her parents, family and the women who came before her. “I want to thank all the shoulders of the strong and brave and courageous women that I am standing on,” she said. “And most of all Billie Holiday. You deserve so much more than you were given when you were on this earth.”
With four awards including Darko Tresnjak’s statuette for best director, the musical satire “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” tied with “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” with the most Tonys.
Cranston had been a favorite to win in his Broadway debut as U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in “All the Way,” Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan’s acclaimed play.
“When you can effect emotional change in the audience it’s like a powerful drug. It’s as strong as blue crystal meth,” he said, referring to his Emmy-winning role as a teacher turned ruthless drug kingpin in TV’s “Breaking Bad”.
Harris was also a main contender for lead actor in a musical as the transgender rock star in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”. Lena Hall nabbed her first Tony for her supporting role in the production, which was also named best musical revival.
“Playing Hedwig is an absolute joy.It was a role I was terrified of, in taking it on. It has changed me and challenged me,” he said.
Award-winning actor Hugh Jackman hosted the ceremony at Radio City Music Hall for the fourth time. The show included performances by Tony nominee Idina Menzel, music legend Gladys Knight and rock star Sting, who performed a song from his upcoming Broadway debut musical “The Last Ship”.
British actor Mark Rylance took home his third Tony, winning for featured actor in a play as the Countess Olivia in the all-male Shakespeare Globe production of “Twelfth Night”.
“We would very much like to come back (to Broadway) with some more Shakespeare and we are talking about it but we haven’t settled what it will be,” said Rylance, who praised the late blacklisted American actor Sam Wanamaker, the force behind the recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.
A flustered and surprised Sophie Okonedo accepted the featured actress prize in her Broadway debut, as Denzel Washington’s wife, in the revival of “A Raisin in the Sun”.
Lorraine Hansberry’s acclaimed 1959 work also won the Tony for best revival of a play, and the best directing prize for Kenny Leon.
“That was shocking and stunning, surprising. But I thought the production was well deserving of a Tony Award,” Leon said backstage.
James Monroe Iglehart, who plays the larger-than-life genie in “Aladdin,” jumped up and shouted to loud audience applause after winning the featured actor prize in a musical.
The Tony Awards are presented by the theater industry association, The Broadway League, and the American Theatre Wing, a not-for-profit organization. (Reuters)

Categories: News

Non Veg Water

Meghalaya Times - Mon, 2014-06-09 07:21

A sealed mineral water bottle containing an insect served to police personnel on duty at the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly for the ongoing Re-Assembled Budget Session. The bottle was from the same lot that the concerned vendor provided to legislators, officials and other persons attending the Assembly. This incident took place on Friday.

 

Categories: News

One GNLA militant lynched by villagers, another critical

Meghalaya Times - Mon, 2014-06-09 07:15

Staff Reporter
BAGHMARA, June 08: Two suspected GNLA militants were severely thrashed by a mob in remote Jaksongram near Baghmara in South Garo Hills (SGH) district on Sunday. The village is situated close to the Bangladesh border and is about 15 kms from the district headquarters of Baghmara. The incident happened between 4 pm to 5 pm and the two were taken to the Baghmara Civil Hospital where one died and the other is said to be in critical condition.
According to the police, the two had come to Jaksongram to serve demand notes and had even tried to take a villager to the nearby jungle. Angry villagers surrounded the two and tied them to bamboos. They were then soundly beaten up by the villagers.

Categories: News

NGT coal ban likely to continue for atleast six months

Meghalaya Times - Mon, 2014-06-09 07:15

Staff reporter
Shillong, June 08: While the Circuit Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) will have its sitting in Shillong on Monday with many praying hard that it lifts the blanket ban on the rat – hole coal mining in the state, but it is highly unlikely that anything comforting may emerge from the sitting.
The Special Circuit Bench of the Eastern Zone Bench of NGT’s Principal Bench comprising of Justice Swatanter Kumar (Chairperson) and Ranjan Chatterjee (Expert Member) will be holding its sitting from 10 am at High Court building here.
According to sources, Meghalaya Government has appealed for six months time to implement the Meghalaya Mines and Minerals Policy, which would regulate mining in state. This will be taken up by the Tribunal in its sitting on Monday here.
It can be gauged that the ban will stay in place for atleast six more months if not more.

Categories: News

GNLA kills woman in front of her children for resisting rape

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-06-05 08:23

Police questions rationale behind killing
Staff Reporter
BAGHMARA, June 04: In a shocking incident that has sent shivers down the spine of many and defied all rationale; a 35 – year old woman was killed by GNLA militants by blowing her head off in front of her four children when she resisted an attempt to rape her.
In incident took place at Raja Rongat under Chokpot, South Garo Hills, on Tuesday evening, when 4-5 GNLA militants came to the house of the victim, Josbina M Sangma, and dragged her out after confining her husband, Abel Sangma, and her children in the house.
“The children of the victim, who were also eye witnesses to the crime, said two GNLA militants tried to rape and molest their mother. When she resisted their advances, the militants fired 5-6 rounds of bullets into her head. She died instantly,” said Superintendent of Police (SP) of South Garo Hills (SGH), Lakador Syiem.

Categories: News

CID hands over House to Jha, seizes Rs 11 lakh, US Dollars

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-06-05 08:22

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, June 04: The State Crime Investigation Department (CID) Wednesday handed over the residential building of controversial Chandra Mohan Jha (CMJ) to his wife, besides seizing Rs 11 lakh and US dollars from the house.  
The CID, the investigating authority on the CMJ case, handed over the building located at Crinoline, Laban, in the city to the wife of Jha based on a Court Order. However, Jha cannot dispose off or sell the property and can only use for residential purposes. 
In the course of handing over, the CID team also recovered documents relating to CMJ University and CMJ Foundation, a sponsoring body of the University.

Categories: News