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GNLA peace talks hits roadblock

Shillong Times - Wed, 2014-03-19 05:16

SHILLONG: With the Meghalaya Government making it clear that it was not keen on a division of the State, the move of the banned GNLA to hold talks with the State Government has hit a roadblock. For, the creation of a separate Garo state is the key demand of the militant outfit.
Deputy Chief Minister RC Laloo made it clear in the Assembly on Tuesday in response to a resolution moved by the Opposition member Clifford Marak of GNC that there was no question of dividing Meghalaya.
GNLA and other splinter groups have demanded Garoland, a separate state for  the people of Garo Hills.
Though the initial demand of ANVC, which is currently under ceasefire, was for Garoland, the militant outfit scaled down to the strengthening of autonomous district councils.
Laloo told the Assembly on Tuesday that the issue of demand for Garoland had been exploited by many militant groups in the State, even though ulterior motives were quite different. “It is more appropriate to have civilized discussions over the matter than to take to arms or resort to agitation straightaway without availing of the constitutional means”, he said.
According to Laloo, one factor that has caused a major setback to the progress of Garo Hills is the scourge of insurgency. “Militant groups have mushroomed in the region and have resorted to reckless violence which has caused immense hardship to the people living there”, he said  The Deputy Chief Minister said that while the professed objective of these outfits is stated to be the autonomy for the region, the actual purpose is “nothing but extortion and garnering easy money through use of force, intimidation, and violence perpetrated on our own community and innocent people”.
According to Laloo, activities of militants have delayed the implementation of government programmes and schemes, escalated the cost of projects, affected employment opportunities and thereby the income generation capacity of people, fuelled communal tensions; and disturbed the entire social fabric of
the society. This would have a long lasting effect on the public psyche and would take a
great deal of time and effort to come out of it. “The sooner it is able to get out of this cult
of violence, the better it would be for the Garo society”, he asserted.
He also urged the militant groups in Garo Hills to be part of the draft peace pact which the Government had already entered with ANVC and ANVC-B.

Categories: News

Rahul visit: Biggies skip House session

Shillong Times - Wed, 2014-03-19 05:15

SHILLONG: The Assembly on Tuesday wore almost a deserted look with the Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma cabinet ministers, Deborah Marak and Zenith Sangma and others including the Chairman of State Planning Board, SC Marak remaining absent due to the visit of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in Resubelpara, North Garo Hills.
In fact, this is the second time during the ongoing budget session that the Chief Minister remained absent as earlier on March 10, he had camped in Delhi in connection with ticket allotment for Shillong seat.
In the absence of the Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister Prof RC Laloo replied to questions and a resolution on Garoland moved by the Opposition.
Another Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh was also absent in the House.
The Opposition member Paul Lyngdoh (UDP) also remained absent during the session on Tuesday since he had to file his nomination papers. In his absence, many important questions on quality of water, condition of roads in city, use of red beacons, status of peace pact with ANVC and misappropriation of Rs 1 crore under  Meghalaya Non- Conventional and Rural Energy Development Agency, lapsed.

Categories: News

Search on for rape-accused cop, says Roshan

Shillong Times - Wed, 2014-03-19 05:14

SHILLONG:  Home Minister Roshan Warjri informed the Meghalaya Assembly on Tuesday that a special task force had been constituted to search for the rape-accused police sub-inspector, Narul Islam.
“The task force had gone to other parts of the State, and especially Assam, to look for Islam. But so far the police have not been able to trace the sub-inspector,” Warjri said during the question hour.
She also informed that they had sent wireless transmission messages alert to Assam and other parts of the country. Look-out notices had been sent to different superintendents of police in the country indicating the case, address of the accused and physical description.
Islam had allegedly raped two minor sisters in Ampati.
Fire services: The Home Minister said in reply to another question that the Government had submitted a proposal to the Centre to set up a fire service training school in the State. “We had requested the Centre to sanction this project under the 14th Finance Commission,” Warjri informed.
Once this training school was set up in the State, she informed, specialized training would be provided to the fire personnel to attend to emergencies of different kinds. She placed in the House a list of total number fire tenders being stationed in different districts, as well as the total number of fire personnel district-wise.

Categories: News

Explosives seized

Shillong Times - Wed, 2014-03-19 05:14

Guwahati: A huge quantity of explosives, grenades and detonators, were seized from two persons in Assam’s Baksa district on Tuesday.. Altogether 26 pieces of high explosives, 36 grenades, 19 detonators and a bomb shell were recovered from the two at Kalajhar under Tamulpur police station, IGP (BTAD) L R Bishnoi said. (PTI)

Categories: News

AAP Meghalaya asks general public to draft its election manifesto

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2014-03-19 05:14

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 18: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Meghalaya Tuesday informed that it’s manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha poll slated for April 9 will be based on the suggestions provided by the people of the state while pledging to fight and eradicate corruption.
AAP has filed retired Indian Forest Officer (IFS) Armerington Kharshiing as its candidate for the Shillong Lok Sabha seat. The party has decided not to put up any candidate for the Tura Parliamentary seat.

Categories: News

‘Forward policy’ of Nehru blamed for 1962 debacle

Shillong Times - Wed, 2014-03-19 05:13
Henderson Brooks report on India’s war against China

New Delhi: The government under late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the then army leadership’s “Forward Policy” has been blamed for India’s humiliating defeat in the 1962 war against China in a top secret report accessed by an Australian journalist.
The Henderson Brooks report, which still remains officially classified, has found serious faults with the “Forward Policy” and the army for carrying it out without the necessary wherewithal, according to defence journal Indian Defence Review, which has put on its website some portions of the report first released by Journalist Neville Maxwell.
The Henderson Brooks report is an analysis (operations review) of the 1962 war done by officers of the Indian army– Lt Gen Henderson Brooks and Brig P S Bhagat, who belonged to Indian Military Academy at the time.
The report, which was critical of the political and military structure of the time, was classified as a top secret document and the government has rejected strong demands for its declassification even as late as last year.
Maxwell, who had reported on the war extensively, had released some contents of the Henderson Brooks report on his website.
The Defence Ministry refrained from commenting on the published reports. “Given the extremely sensitive nature of the report, which is of current operational value, it is reiterated that the government classified it as a top secret document and , as such, it would not be appropriate to comment on the contents uploaded Neville Maxwell on the web,” a Defence Ministry release said.
The Henderson report has criticised the then government, military and intelligence agencies for basing their assumptions on the belief that the Chinese would not escalate hostilities whereas militarily they should have thought “exactly opposite”.
The Forward Policy, which had sought the raising of military outposts in areas claimed by Chinese and launching of aggressive patrols, increased the chances of conflict, the report has said, suggesting that India was not militarily in a position to implement this.
The BJP and the Congress clashed over the contents of the report. The main opposition attacked the Congress saying it had compromised with security then and was doing the same now.
The Congress retaliated accusing the JP of playing “cheap politics” ahead of the Lou Saba polls on the issue.(PTI)

Categories: News

UDP’s desperation exposed, wants secret pact with BJP

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2014-03-18 04:59

Staff Reporter
Shillong, March 17: It seems the United Democratic Party (UDP) is leaving no stone unturned to see that it has some credible chance of making it to Lok Sabha in the ensuing parliamentary election. This is the reason why it has gone to the extent of trying to persuade BJP High Command to seek its support for the Shillong parliamentary seat.
If party sources are to be believed, this has resulted in BJP’s national leadership delaying announcement of its candidate for the Shillong seat, as it is now in dilemma to either field is own candidate or support UDP. However, in the case of Tura Parliamentary seat, BJP has extended its support to the NPP candidate.

Categories: News

HNLC refutes police claim, says Police harassing youths

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2014-03-18 04:58

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 17: The HNLC has claimed that the youths arrested by the police recently in Upper Shillong did not have any links with the outfit and said that it suspects that it is just a ploy of the police department to demoralize youths who wants to join the Council.
HNLC publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw said in a press statement that it is surprising to note that even a Sumo’s driver and a person working at the border have not been spared by the police department as they too have been arrested. He said, “This kind of false accusations would in fact make youths more frustrated and inclined towards joining the Council.”
Terming the arrests as pure harassment, he said Khasis residing along the Bangladesh border are frequently targeted by the police.

Categories: News

Mukul defends Governor’s address, admits militancy has become an industry

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-13 04:53

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 12: Defending the Governor Address on ‘Law and Order situation in the state being under control’, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma Wednesday candidly informed the House that it was done with the intent to send a positive message to the people of the state.
Replying to debate on Governor's address during the ongoing Budget Session, Dr Sangma said, “We do not want to discourage the people of the state, we wanted to send a positive signal.”

Categories: News

Mondal disallows motion on Education scam

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-13 04:53

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 12: Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Speaker Abu Taher Mondal Wednesday disallowed Opposition’s motion seeking to discuss the Education scam and the dismissal of the 246 teachers who were alleged to have been appointed through the backdoor saying the issue is sub-judice as cases are still pending in the court of law.
Meghalaya government recently issued termination of service letters to 246 teachers who were alleged to have been appointed on the recommendation of politicians. The termination followed the recommendation of the High Level Scrutiny Committee (HLSC) to terminate the services of these teachers of the different lower primary schools of the state.

Categories: News

Shillong roads are worst violator of IRC guidelines in the country

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-13 04:53

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 12: The lack of zebra crossings in the city’s roads has become a matter of serious concern for pedestrians, and with the ever increasing number of vehicles the no-demarcation of pedestrian zones in roads is telling upon them as movement conflict between pedestrians and vehicles is a common sight in the city. Nowhere in the city’s roads can anyone find any zebra crossings as they have vanished with each resurfacing as the state authorities never bothered to mark the pedestrian crossing. The sight of trapped students, parents, guardians, office-goers and the rest of it is a sorry sight mostly visible during the morning and evening bustle.

Categories: News

Suspected ANVC(B) militants attack petrol pump, injure one

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-13 04:51

Staff Reporter
RESUBELPARA, March 12: Suspected ANVC (B) militants fired at a petrol pump in the Mendhipathar town on Wednesday afternoon injuring one of the workers.
The incident comes one day after 3 ANVC (B) militants were lynched by angry residents of the Kharkutta area after the police failed to arrive on time.

Categories: News

Northeast youth determined to make a difference this election

Meghalaya Times - Thu, 2014-03-13 04:50

New Delhi, March 12 (IANS): With the focus being on northeastern India for more than a year now, it is but natural that the youth of the region, particularly those who have come of age and will be voting for the first time in the April-May general elections, are determined to make a difference.
Their biggest lament is of being "ignored", but they are firm to get their cause a louder voice. And this is no idle boast. A cross-section of those from North East are determined to go back home and cast their votes.
"The northeast hardly ever forms a part of the election agenda of the two major parties in the country. For them, our issues are not important. So it's essential to vote for someone who can create an impact," Kritika Chettri, a student at Hindu College, said.

Categories: News

Meghalaya’s outstanding dues on power purchase reach Rs 473.85 crore

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2014-03-12 05:20

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 11: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma Tuesday informed that the State government owes over Rs 470 crore to 11 public and private power companies, for the power the state purchased from them.
Replying to a Call Attention Motion moved by Garo National Council (GNC) legislator Clifford R Marak during the third day of the ongoing Budget Session here, Dr Sangma said, “The total outstanding dues against power purchase from 11 power companies have touched Rs 473.85 crore as on February 28 last.”
The approximate monthly power bill against power purchase from these companies is about Rs 34.73 crore, he said, of which the state government has cleared payments of only Rs 159.41 crore till March 5.
According to the Chief Minister, the result for accumulation of the outstanding dues was because of huge supplementary bills raised by the central power sector units, consequent upon the final tariff order issued by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission in accordance with their tariff regulation from 2009 - 14 with retrospective effect.
He also informed that the state suffered a huge transmission loss of about 30 MW for which the state government has to bear the losses during power transfers.
Meghalaya owes maximum to NEEPCO which has nearly touched Rs 364 crore followed by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited at Rs 28.39 crore, followed by National Thermal Power Corporation at Rs 24.65 crore and National Hydro Power Corporation at Rs 21.23 crore.
The state government is also yet to pay Assam Electricity Board Rs 14.6 crore for wheeling charges during which the transfer of power to the state was made through their grid.
The others pending dues include Rs 4.16 crores to Unschedule Interchange (UI), Rs 2.17 crore – Mittal Processors Private Limited (MPPL), Rs 2 crore – NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVN), Rs 7.50 crore – Global Energy Private Limited (GEPL) and Rs 5.51 crore - ONGC Tripura Power Corporation (OTPC).
The Chief Minister also informed that the state's Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) has short term liabilities worth over Rs 440 crore which was eligible for reimbursement under Financial Restructuring Plan of the Government of India whose last date of submission was July 31 last year.
Since the submission was not made on time, Dr Sangma said the state government has pursued with the Union Power Minister to extend the deadline till June this year so as to enable the state to avail reimbursement of at least 25 per cent of the total liabilities.
The power scenario has been a cause of concern during the last few years. The state has been facing a power deficit to the extent of 20-30% of the demand, Governor Dr K K Paul told the Assembly during his address last week.

 

Categories: News

UDP clears Paul's candidature for Shillong LS seat

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2014-03-12 05:20

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 11: Despite of its coalition partners rejecting its offer, Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) Tuesday decided to field its working president Paul Lyngdoh as the official candidate from Shillong Parliamentary seat for the upcoming 16th Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held on April 9, even as it expressed confidence that victory is on its side.

Categories: News

3 ANVC (B) militants lynched in Majipara after Police inaction

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2014-03-12 05:19

Staff Reporter
TURA, March 11: In another incident which has shown the public anger against extortion in the name of militancy, 3 people were lynched by the people of the village of Majipara, near the border of Assam Meghalaya, late Monday night.
The three had come there on an extortion spree and angry residents of the village lynched them after a call to the nearby Kharkutta Police Outpost garnered no response.

Categories: News

Rape victim’s family intimidated, Police refuses to file FIR

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2014-03-12 05:18

Staff Reporter
TURA, March 11: In a case of police high handedness that came to light, the family of a five year old rape victim was allegedly intimidated by the accused, his brother and friends while the police turned a deaf ear to the pleas of the family when they went to lodge an FIR in the Monabari Police station.

Categories: News

Will the NPP trump card work in the face of youth power

Meghalaya Times - Wed, 2014-03-12 05:16

Staff Reporter
TURA, March 11: The National People’s Party (NPP) had for quite some time banked on the PA Sangma charm to pull them out of any hole they fall into. The announcement of the return of PA Sangma to active politics was something that was for quite some people a very logical conclusion to the situation at hand as well as the growing thought that the next Government in the Centre was most likely to not be the Congress.

Categories: News

NPP Trump Card: Purno Sangma to contest from Tura seat

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2014-03-11 07:51

Staff Reporter
Shillong, March 10: National People’s Party (NPP) National President, Purno A Sangma, has decided to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election from the Tura Parliamentary seat. NPP, which came into existence only in 2012, hopes to once again use the "PA Sangma magic" in the Garo Hills region, the party’s trump card.
NPP Monday announced Sangma’s return to active politics after sitting Member of Parliament (MP) from Tura, Agatha Sangma, decided not to contest the upcoming parliamentary poll and also quit Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Categories: News

Govt need to work out modalities for talks with GNLA: Home Minister

Meghalaya Times - Tue, 2014-03-11 07:45

Meghalaya Govt asks militants to shun violence, accept talks offer
Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, March 10: Stating that the GNLA is a proscribed organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, the Home Minister Roshan Warjri Monday said, “It would be necessary to consult the Central government in the matter,” adding “The state government will need to work out the modalities together with the Centre in order to facilitate the interaction between the government and GNLA.”
Nonetheless, she, on behalf of Meghalaya government, appealed to all militant outfits operating in the Garo Hills region to come forward with open mind and accept the offer of talks with the government for restoring peace and harmony in the state.

Categories: News