Monday, March 29, 2010

400 militants waiting to cross LoC into Kashmir: Army

At least four-hundred militants are waiting across the Line of Control (LoC) to sneak into Kashmir, the Army has said.

Talking to media in Srinagar, Brigadier General Staff (BGS) of the 15 Corps, Brigadier Gurmeet Singh said, "Four hundred militants are waiting at launch pads to sneak into the valley."

He said, "This year we have occupied additional counter infiltration positions and repair of border fence has also commenced early."

The BGS said that between 270 and 300 militants were still active in Kashmir valley.

The Army had last week foiled a major infiltration bid in the Keran sector of the LoC and eliminated the complete group comprising of eight militants.

"The area of infiltration is high altitude, with rugged mountains and is snow laden, currently having 12 to 15 feet of snow. Terrorists, as is evident from the recoveries, were heavily armed, well equipped for snow and high altitude area and had the latest communication and navigation equipment, indicative of the support of intelligence and government agencies from across the LoC," Brigadier Gurmeet Singh said.

Sonia has given the nod for approaching CBI

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has given the green signal to the party's Sikkim unit to take up with CBI the case of alleged disproportionate assests amassed by Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, the party's senior Congress leader K N Upreti on sunday said.

Gandhi has asked the state Congress unit to take up the case with the central investigating agency on the basis of documentary evidences in this regard, Upreti said in a statement here.

Accordingly the state unit leaders will meet CBI officials for registration of a corruption case against Chamling within the next 10 days and sumbit documents about various properties of Chamling and his family 'amassed through illegal and corrupt means' over the years.

Upreti said the state Congress has documentary evidences of the disproportionate assets of Chamling valued at about Rs 4000 crore.

Supreme Court had last week dismissed a petition filed by Kunga Nima Lepcha and others, all Congress leaders, seeking a direction to the CBI for registration of a case against Chamling for allegedly amassing wealth reportedly to the tune of Rs 1600 crore.

Workshop calls for sensitivity on reporting HIV/AIDS

A day-long media workshop on HIV/AIDS has called for application of utmost sensitivity and adhering to Press Council's guidelines on reporting issues related to HIV/AIDS.

The workshop "Building perspectives on HIV/AIDS", jointly organised by Dimapur Press Club, Centre for Advocacy and Research and Nagaland State AIDS Control Society (NSACS) and supported by UNDP Initiative at Dimapur yesterday also insisted that media needs updating on various issues such as sigma, discrimination, gender bias, human rights when concerning HIV/AIDS.

Highlighting on the response of media to HIV/AIDS problem in Nagaland, DPC president Dilip Sharma urged that media in the state needed to move beyond reporting on events, facts and figures on the issue.

"It is the duty of media to do more investigations with regards to the disease, societal responses and its impact in the society," he said.

Aarthi Pai, head of programme at Centre for Advocacy and Research, urged journalists to keep constant updating on the terminologies in the case of reporting on HIV/AIDS.

Referring to a number of words, frequently used in media, which are now considered "derogatory and sensitive" she suggested the journalists to avoid them.

Hospital gets annexe boost

Shillong, March 27: A 200-bed annexe — a part of the Shillong Civil Hospital — was inaugurated today by chief minister D.D. Lapang, ending a four-year wait for a much-needed facility.

The delay in the inauguration of the annexe, the construction of which was completed nearly four years ago, had caused considerable inconvenience to patients, with the latter having to even use the corridors of the government-run hospital.

The Meghalaya government had approved the construction of the annexe on March 2001. The building, with water supply facilities, was completed at a cost of Rs 3.60 crore in August 2006.

Later, the directorate of health services (DHS) had also bought equipment, including beds and other accessories worth Rs 59.26 lakh, for the 200-bed hospital.

The delay in appointment of staff pushed back the hospital’s inauguration even further.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had said in its report that the hospital had been admitting at least 20 to 25 patients per day in excess of its capacity of 400 beds. Patients were apparently being accommodated “in the corridor, despite having a complete hospital building of 200-bed capacity”.

The CAG, in its report, also said that the extended hospital facility remained unutilised because of the delay in taking a final decision on the actual requirement of posts for the hospital and their sanction.

Inaugurating the new building, Lapang today said the growth in terms of population and urbanisation had put pressure on the government to upgrade health facilities in the urban centres.

He urged the health department to ensure adequate supply of medicines and modern equipment for an efficient health delivery system.

The chief minister also presented citations to two employees of the civil hospital, sweeper Lata Massie and ward girl Margrita Kharthangmaw. Deputy chief minister (incharge of health) Mukul Sangma said all efforts had been made to improve the health delivery mechanism by providing adequate facilities to the hospitals.


Three arrested for funds misuse
Dhubri: Assistant planning officer of Dhubri district, Jayanta Kalita, junior engineer of Debitola block, Fabibar Rahman, and an employee of the block, Sahjahan Ali Ahmed, were on Sunday arrested by police from their respective residences in Dhubri district for their alleged involvement in spending government funds on political activities. Sources said NGO Gramya Jagaran filed a PIL in Gauhati High Court demanding an inquiry into the alleged diversion of Rs 2.45 lakh meant for the construction of a community hall at Bilasipara.

Dacoit held
Nagaon: Nagaon police arrested Mustafa Ali, a dacoit, from Joysagar in Sivasagar district on Saturday night.

Rebels arrested
Kokrajhar: Two NDFB militants belonging to the Ranjan Daimary faction were apprehended by security forces from the Santipur area in Chirang district on Saturday.

Shops gutted
Silchar: Three shops in Silchar’s one of the prominent commercial hubs on Janiganj Road were gutted in a fire on Saturday.

Medicines seized
Silchar: Police on Saturday seized Phensydil and Corex worth Rs 1 crore from a Tripura-bound truck at Kathigorah in Assam.

Imphal: More than 20 houses, including an equipment room of the Central Agriculture University in Imphal, were damaged by a gale on Saturday.

Power crisis grips Tripura

Agartala, March 28: Tripura is facing a severe power crisis with load-shedding enforced by the Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited hovering between one-and-a-half and two hours daily.

In rural areas, longer hours of load-shedding are in force to make up for the shortfall in the availability of power. The situation is worsened by the growing demand for power as the sweltering summer months draw near.

“At the moment our peak hour demand is 160MW but with the onset of summer from mid-April this will rise to 180-185MW. There is no way to make up for the shortfall of roughly 45MW and there is no alternative to daily load-shedding,” a source said.

He said because of drastic depletion of water level in Dumbur lake, the generation of power in the Dumbur hydel project is now to 3-4MW.

“We are heavily dependent on the Northeast grid but since the dry spell has started we have been receiving around 30-35MW as the generation of power from hydro-electrical projects has gone down because of decreasing water level,” the source said.

War over Waterloo relic - Assam Rifles and heritage trust argue over cannons

Guwahati/Shillong, March 28: Two cannons, which were used in the Battle of Waterloo, find themselves once again in the middle of another battle, this time over their possession.

While the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) wants the cannons back at Aizawl, the Mizoram capital, the Assam Rifles, the custodians of the artillery pieces, wants to keep these with them.

The cannons were brought to Aizawl and kept at the headquarters of the 1st battalion of the Assam Rifles in 1892, but were taken away to Tuensang in Nagaland in 2003 when the battalion moved base there.

Dinesh Baishya, convenor of the Assam chapter of INTACH, said the cannons are international heritage since these were used in the battle of Waterloo and thus the Assam Rifles does not have exclusive right over them.

He said the INTACH being an international body for conservation and preservation of natural, cultural, living, tangible and intangible heritage of various races in India has more right over cannons than the Assam Rifles.

“Historically, the cannons were brought to Mizoram, so these must be kept in Mizoram to remind the present and future generations of Mizos about the history of their land. People of Mizoram cannot go to Tuensang to know their history. The Assam Rifles museum in Shillong will not be accessible to all people to see the cannons,” Baishya argued.

The cannons were brought to Aizawl and displayed at the Assam Rifles battalion headquarters by Lt Col J. Shakespeare in 1892.

Shakespeare, in his 1939 book The Making of Aijal said the armaments were among those used by the Duke of Wellington’s troops to defeat Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo.

The big guns were dumped into the sea from a Burma-bound warship that was docked in the Chittagong port (now in Bangladesh) in 1857.

He wrote, when the detachment of the 34th Native Infantry mutinied on November 18 that year as part of the Sepoy Mutiny, the cannons were thrown overboard to prevent them from falling in the hands of the natives and were fished out after crushing the mutiny and brought to Aizawl.

Assam Rifles PRO Lt Col A.K. Choudhury from Shillong said the cannons will remain with the Assam Rifles, but no decision was taken to shift them from Tuensang.

A majority of the people of Mizoram wishes that it should be properly preserved by the Assam Rifles and the problem is only with INTACH, he said.

There was a suggestion to shift the cannons to the War Museum to be built in Laitkor on the outskirts of Shillong, but no decision has been taken in this regard, he said.

“It will take at least a year to build the War Museum and only after its completion that we will be able to make a decision to shift them from Tuensang to Shillong,” he said.

According to the Assam Rifles official, a majority of the people of Mizoram considers that Assam Rifles can preserve the cannons better as “we are preserving other war memorials too”.

He reminded that 40 per cent of Assam Rifles staff is from the Northeast and there is no reason for any worry as far as preserving the war memorial is concerned.

Staff Officer, Assam Rifles Major Rajat posted in 23 sector which looks after both Aizawl and Tuensang areas said over phone from Aizawl that cannons were in the custody of Assam Rifles for a very long time and the MHA was also agreeing to keep them in the Assam Rifles custody He also reiterated that the Assam Rifles are yet to take any decision regarding shifting of the cannons from Tuensang either ro Aizawl or to Shillong.

Locals at Aizwal believed that if fingers were pointed at the two cannons they would fire on those pointing at them, said Joseph Lalrintluanga, a resident of Aizwal.

Forces burn ganja in Manipur

Imphal, March 28: The security forces under the Red Shield division today burnt 1.2 tonne ganja with a street value of Rs 35 lakh at Gothal in Churachandpur district, headquarters of the Maratha Light Infantry Battalion, in the presence of Narcotics Control Bureau officials and state police.

The commandant of the 16 Maratha Light Infantry, Col Prasanta Chauhan, said drives were carried out at Ukha, Henglep and Mongkhen along the Thangjing range of Manipur’s Churachandpur district. The army unit and the 46 Assam Rifles seized the consignment during a joint drive against cultivation and smuggling of the contraband, he said.

Col Chauhan said ganja and opium were extensively cultivated in the district and the produce was smuggled outside Manipur through Jiribam bordering Cachar district of Assam along National Highway 53.

“The smugglers engaged porters and Rs 1,000 is paid to each for transporting the contraband from Henglep of Churachandpur district to Jiribam, before the consignments were taken to various destinations through Assam.”

He said village chiefs of the areas where poppy and ganja were planted were warned that action would be taken against them if they did not stop cultivation of the narcotics.

Air India snag leaves Thai monks stranded at Agartala

As many as 44 Buddhist monks from Thailand were stranded Sunday at the Agartala airport after their Kolkata-bound Air India flight was cancelled due to technical snag, officials said in Agartala.

"The monks came to Tripura from Thailand last week to visit Buddhist religious places in the northeastern state. On Sunday, they were scheduled to go to Bodh Gaya in Bihar via Kolkata but their Air India flight was cancelled due to a technical hitch," an Air India official said.

The flight was scheduled to depart from Agartala around 4 pm.

The airline official said that alternative arrangements were made to send the monks to Kolkata Monday in another aircraft.

"The Air India authority did not make any arrangements for the monks' night stay in Agartala. We stayed at a hotel here making our own arrangements," said Samut, the leader of the Thai monks' group.

Hot altercations occurred between the monks and the Air India officials over their accommodation in Agartala after the flight was cancelled. Some of the monks said they were unhappy with the Air India treatment meted out to them.

Cong handles BPF with ‘care’

Guwahati, March 28: Buoyed by its success in Rajya Sabha polls, the ruling Congress today finalised its gameplan for the April 9 BTC polls keeping in mind the interests of the BPF, its ally in the government, which the party doesn’t want to provoke in any manner and endanger the alliance before the 2011 Assembly elections.

PCC sources said a guarded Congress leadership has laid down dos and don’ts when it comes to dealing with the BPF, which runs the BTC. The party has also decided to keep chief minister Tarun Gogoi out of the campaign.

“We have to do a lot of tightrope walk to ensure it is a friendly contest in letter and spirit. We will be exploiting public sentiments against the BPF in our favour by harping on development and peace, our party’s ideology, what our government has done in the BTAD. There will be no attack on individuals, especially BPF candidates and leaders, with whom we have very cordial ties, reflected from their smooth support to our two successful Rajya Sabha candidates,” a source said.

The message was conveyed to the 23 candidates and the BTAD leaders at a PCC meeting at Rajiv Bhawan lasting for over three hours.

PCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita, vice-president Y.L. Karna (in-charge of BTAD) and secretary Rana Khan attended the meeting wherein the candidates aired their concerns and expectations from the party. The PCC also released the list of office-bearers, ministers and campaigners on active poll duty.

The Bhumidhar Barman-led BTAD poll committee also met in the evening. There are in all 40 seats in the BTC.

Trinamul Congress, which fielded four candidates of its own, today extended support to six Independents, according to office-bearer of the state unit, Debashish Dutta.

The candidates, however, apprehend “rigging” and “abuse” of official powers by sitting BTC councillors despite the State Election Commission having assured free and fair polls after a three-day extensive tour last week.

So far, 18 additional companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the BTAD and more would go if required.

Besides, 26 Assam Civil Service officers have been exclusively deployed from outside the autonomous district to maintain law and order and enforce the model code of conduct.

“We have also increased the number of polling booths by 500, so there is less crowding and less travelling for voters. We have also assigned 10 observers,” state election commissioner Biren Dutta said.

Pope refuses to be intimidated by sex abuse claims

LONDON - Pope Benedict XVI has said that the Catholic Church would “not be intimidated” by the sexual abuse scandal surrounding it.

The 82-year-old Pontiff spoke to tens of thousands of pilgrims at St Peter’s Square in a Palm Sunday service at the start of Holy Week.

“From God comes the courage not to be intimidated by petty gossip,” The Telegraph quoted him as saying.

In his address, the Pope added. “Christ guides us towards goodness and does not let us be disarmed by ingratitude” and mentioned how man can sometimes “fall to the lowest, vulgar levels”.

The Pope recently apologised following a string of shocking revelations claiming senior bishops in Ireland had been involved in covering up the crimes relating to the mistreatment of children.

But his historic apology failed to comfort the victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland, who said the letter only referred to Ireland and not other regions and did not admit that the abuse was systematically covered-up. (ANI)

Some suspects in FBI raids in Midwest expected in court; Christian militia may be a target

At least 3 arrests after FBI raids in Midwest

ADRIAN, Mich. — A Christian militia group was a target of at least one of a series of weekend raids the FBI conducted in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, a Michigan militia leader says.

The FBI said Sunday that it had conducted raids in the three states, resulting in at least three arrests. Federal warrants were sealed, but a federal law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity said some of those arrested face gun charges and officials are pursuing other suspects. Some of the suspects were expected in court Monday.

It wasn’t clear what prompted the raids, but Michael Lackomar, a spokesman for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, said one of his team leaders got a frantic phone call Saturday evening from members of Hutaree, a Christian militia group. They said their property in southeast Michigan was being raided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Lackomar said.

“They said they were under attack by the ATF and wanted a place to hide,” he said. “My team leader said, ‘No thanks.’”

FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold confirmed the FBI had been working in two southeast Michigan counties near the Ohio state line but wouldn’t say whether the raids were connected to Hutaree.

FBI spokesman Scott Wilson in Cleveland said agents arrested two people Saturday after raids in two Ohio towns. A third arrest made in northeast Illinois on Sunday stemmed from a raid Saturday just over the border in northwest Indiana, both part of an ongoing investigation led by the FBI in Michigan, according to a statement from agents in Illinois.

Lackomar said his group wasn’t affiliated with Hutaree but that a handful of that group’s members twice attended training sessions with theSoutheast Michigan Volunteer Militia that focused on survival training and shooting practice.

On its Web site, Hutaree quotes several Bible passages and states: “We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. … Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment.”

The group didn’t return an e-mail sent by The Associated Press and phone numbers for the group’s leadership were not immediately available.

Law enforcement swarmed a rural, wooded property Saturday evening near Adrian, about 70 miles southwest of Detroit. Two ramshackle trailers sat side-by-side on the property, the door to one slightly ajar late Sunday as if it had been forced open.

Phyllis Brugger, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years, said some people who lived there were known as having ties tomilitia. They would shoot guns and often wore camouflage, according to Brugger and her daughter, Heidi Wood.

“Everybody knew they were militia,” Brugger said. “You don’t mess with them.”

In Hammond, Ind., 18-year-old George Ponce, who works at a pizzeria next door to a home that was raided, said he and a few co-workers stepped outside for a break Saturday night and saw a swarm of law enforcement.

“I heard a yell, ‘Get back inside!’ and saw a squad member pointing a rifle at us,” Ponce said. “They told us the bomb squad was going in, sweeping the house looking for bombs.”

He said another agent was in the bushes near the house, and law enforcement vehicles were “all over.” He estimated that agents took more than two dozen guns from the house.

Another employee, Ron Jakubczak, said the man who lived in the house often wore Army fatigues and would “play-fight” with his German shepherds. People at the pizzeria were surprised to find a military transport vehicle once parked in the man’s yard, he said.

In Ohio, one of the raids occurred at Bayshore Estates, a well-kept trailer park in Sandusky, a small city on Lake Erie between Toledo and Cleveland. Neighbors said the man taken into custody lived in a trailer on a cul-de-sac with his wife and two young children.

A young man who answered the door at the trailer Sunday said no one from the family wanted to talk. A neighbor said he saw authorities with rifles run past his window and toward the trailer Saturday night.

“They took over the block like it was the Army. I thought we were being invaded,” said Michael Morin, who lives two lots away.

FBI agents in Ohio also made an arrest in Huron on Saturday night, said Wilson, the FBI spokesman. He said no further information would be released until after they appeared in court Monday.

Associated Press Writers Erin Gartner in Chicago; Rick Callahan and Charles Wilson in Indianapolis; John Seewer in Sandusky, Ohio; Matt Leingang in Columbus, Ohio; and Devlin Barrett in Washington contributed to this report.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480: GF100 Review

The newest high performance video card from NVIDIA is GeForce GTX 480 GF100. The GTX 480 is aiming at providing maximum gaming performance, not even provided by its predecessors. The ATI Radeon HD 5870, singly dominating the GPU market, will get a good contender in form of GTX 480.

For more than one year, NVIDIA has been serving with the highest performing graphics card, named GeForce GTX 295. It was not convincing to the users as they had the option of getting the same performance from much less expensive Radeon 5870. But now by unveiling GeForce GTX 480, NVIDIA is giving their most anticipated GPU.

GF100, NVIDIA’s next-generation GPU architecture is also codenamed as Fermi. GeForce GTX 480 is based on the Fermi third-generation Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) architecture. It has 480 CUDA cores, which is doubled the shader horsepower of GT200. The geometry pipeline is renovated, with more improved performance in geometry shading, stream out, and culling. The number of ROP (Raster Operations) units per ROP partition is doubled (to 48 in total). The new video card is ready to astonish you with improved fillrate, that enables multiple displays to be driven with ease. 8xMSAA performance optimized through enhanced ROP compression. The utility of additional ROP is to provide better balance and performance even for uncompressed portions of the scene. The texture units is redesigned for improved efficiency and higher level performance in real-world application.
Specifications and Features


Memory: 1280MB/320-bit GDDR5
Cores: 448
Power Connectors: 2X 6-pin
Power: 215W
Thermal: Dual Slot Fansink
Outputs: DL-DVI

We got the specification details from

$499 (approx. Rs.22500)

April 2010.

NVIDIA is a bit late with their DX11-class cards, but it’s better late than never. NVIDIA is hopeful about its strong product giving a tough competition to others and also to their previous products. It has finally come with the graphics card, that is ultimate for the hardcore gamers.