Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jumbos pose threat to 190 polling booths in Meghalaya

Shillong: Election officials in Meghalaya face an elephantine problem to ensure that voting for the Feb 23 polls is not disrupted by marauding pachyderms.

Election authorities are marking several booths as ‘sensitive’ not from law and order point of view, but because they are vulnerable to possible attacks from elephants in the light of previous experiences.
Election officials today said a scenario like a herd of wild elephants moving dangerously near an election booth, chasing away election officials and destroying electronic voting machines is very much in the realm of possibility.

Chief Electoral Officer P Naik said forest guards would keep a watch during the elections in elephant-inhabited areas in certain pockets of Garo hills and districts of West Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi, bordering forests of Assam. As of now, 194 booths, mostly in Garo hills region close to Indo-Angola border, have been identified as ‘sensitive’ with reference to frequent tusker attacks, he said.

"Forest guards along with trained elephants of forest and wildlife department and their trainers will be at hand to drive away wild elephants and they will be helped by local tribesmen with drums and cymbals," Principal Chief Conservator of Forests V K Natalya said.

While there was no recent attack on people in the sensitive areas identified, forest officials said encroachment of the animal territory by human settlements resulted in conflicting situation in which wild pachyderms come in contact with humans. Meanwhile, poll officials said, 1272 polling stations have been declared either Hyper Sensitive (HS) or Sensitive by Election Commission while only 1213 are declared normal of the total 2485 polling stations in the state, this time from the law and order point of view.

While 547 polling stations have been declared Hyper Sensitive due to militancy, 512 polling Hyper Sensitive was due to history of ethnic group clashes and others in such areas, they said. A total of 213 Polling stations have been declared Sensitive due to clashes over personal matters and others situations, poll officials said.


'NPF has politically cheated people of Nagaland'

Kohima: Former Nagaland Chief Minister and Congress leader S C Jamir has said that the Naga People?s Front (NPF) led government has 'politically cheated' the people and asserted that the Congress is the only party which could bring an early solution to the vexed Naga problem.

The veteran politician and five times Chief Minister of Nagaland, Jamir, who was also the Governor of Goa and Maharashtra and presently member of the Central Working Committee (CWC) AICC, campaigned for the Congress candidates in Dimapur district yesterday and lambasted the Neiphiu Rio led NPF government.

Stating that the NPF during the state Assembly elections in 2003 had assured to bring settlement to the Indo-Naga issue within 3 months after coming to power, he pointed that during their 10 years of rule despite having several rounds of talks with the Centre, the NPF could not achieve anything.

"They (NPF) have politically cheated the Naga people," he said, adding that they don't understand the seriousness and complexity of the Naga issue.
The Centre has no confidence on the NPF led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) government as they have cheated the Naga people and themselves, he said.

"If we (Nagas) have to resolve the long standing Naga political issue we have two ways? front door and back door," he said. Congress alone can go through the front door and explain to the Government of India what really are the problems faced by the Nagas today.

"We have wasted 10 years and if Congress comes back to power, we will work towards bringing an early solution to the Naga problem, which is the biggest aspiration of the people," he said.

Maintaining that Naga people require a party which can deliver goods to the people, he said Congress is only party which can do so.


Arms, ammunition seized from NSCN-IM man

Kohima: In a major haul ahead of the state Assembly elections in Nagaland, security forces have seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition from a suspected National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) man in Kohima.

Personnel of 17 and 19 Assam Rifles seized a huge consignment of highly sophisticated weapons, made in Germany and Austria, from the suspected NSCN-IM man during a joint operation conducted yesterday, an official statement issued by Assam Rifles (North) said.

The seized materials included two AK 56 Rifles, three GSG-5 Rifles, one GSG-5 carbine and five 9mm Glock pistols along with 24 rounds of ammunition and Rs 10,170 in cash.

The statement said that the operation was conducted based on reliable information regarding the illegal shipment of arms and ammunition from Ukhrul to NSCN-IM headquarters at Hebron, Dimapur in a vehicle.
In another development, following the directive of the Election Commission, the Cease Fire Monitoring Group has banned the major three underground groups in Nagaland NSCN Isak-Muivah, NSCN-Khaplang and GPRN/NSCN (NSCN-Khole Kitovi) from moving around with arms and ammunition in the state from tomorrow till February 23, the date for Assembly elections in the state.

Chairman of the Cease Fire Monitoring Group (CFMG), Maj Gen (Rtd) N George has said that all members of the three NSCNs, including identity card holders have been banned from carrying any type of weapons from February 7 to 23 next as per directives issued by the Election Commission.

The CFMG chairman said ban has been imposed to avoid tension that can result in violence thereby disrupting free and fair polls in the state.


Seven file papers for Mizoram assembly by-poll

Aizawl: Seven candidates were now in the fray for by-election to the Chalfilh Assembly seat in Mizoram's Aizawl district as the time given for filing of nominations ended on Wednesday, Returning Officer A, Biaklawma said.
Biaklawma told PTI that Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) nominee C. Lalchhandama and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) nominee D.K. Thanga filed their nomination papers today to contest the by-poll to be held on February 23.

The candidates who have filed their nominations earlier were - Dr Ngurdingliana of the ruling Congress, Lalvenhima Hmar of the opposition Mizo National Front (MNF), Lalhmangaiha Sailo of the Mizoram People's Conference (MPC), C. Ramkinlova of the BJP and the lone independent candidate R. Lalrohlua.

The nomination papers would be scrutinised tomorrow and the last date of withdrawal of nomination would be on Saturday.

The by-poll was neccessitated following the demise of Chawngtinthanga of the Congress, the legislator elected from the seat in the 2008 assembly polls, on September 16 last year.


Rahul Gandhi's visit to Tripura rescheduled

Agartala: Congress Vice president Rahul Gandhi has rescheduled his election campaign tour to Tripura and will now visit the state on February 11 instead of February 8, the party members said.

Gandhi will visit Tripura for the February 14 Assembly election campaign on February 11 instead of February 8, Tripura Pradesh Congress member Pijush Biswas said.

"He will address a rally at Sonamura sub-divisional town in Sipahijala district, Belonia sub-divisional town in South Tripura district and Dharmanagar town in North Tripura district," he said.
The dates of the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi remain the same, Biswas said.

Singh will arrive at Agartala on February 9 and proceed to Ambassa, headquarter of Dhalai district, to address an election rally. Sonia Gandhi will arrive in Agartala the following day to address public rallies in the state capital and Kumarghat in North Tripura district before returning to New Delhi on the same day, he said.


Meghalaya CM files nomination paper

Tura: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma filed his nomination paper for the February 23 assembly election on Tuesday.

The Chief Minister is seeking re-election from Ampati constituency in South West Garo Hills, which he has been holding since 1993.
After filing his papers, Sangma told reporters that he was confident that the ruling Congress would get a clear mandate in the election as the focus of his government had always been on development.

Denying the allegation of PA Sangma-led National Peoples' Party that Congress was the reason for instability in the state, he said the government tried to address backwardness and poverty so that there would not be "any scope for instability".

More than 150 candidates have filed their nomination papers for the elections till today.


Manish Tewari unveils new logo of ''Employment News''

New Delhi, Feb. 5 (ANI): Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Tuesday said the unveiling of a new logo of ''Employment News'' with the motto "opportunities for all" was a manifestation of the commitment to reach out to job seekers thereby seeking to fulfill their aspirations and harness their skills and capabilities.

Through this new initiative, the publication would not only get a new brand identity, it would also become attractive to the aspiring youth.

Tewari, who lauded the Publications Division for its effort, said the new logo depicting the search for jobs from a lens would easily be identified by the target audience.

Delivering his address at the launch function of the logo organized by the Publications Division at Pragati Maidan here today, Tewari said ''the launch of the e-version of Rozgar Samachar in Urdu was another milestone in reaching out to the people who understood the language in form and spirit''.

"The initiation of the e-version also reiterated the perseverance of Publications Division in a competitive environment where content was balanced with the prevailing business models. The initiative also reflected the use of technology in reaching out to the people in a form and language understood by them," he said.

Regarding the Division''s flagship publication, Employment News, Tewari said there was a need to add value to the content on issues of public interest which pertained to the common people i.e. issues related to development, national and international affairs.

He also called upon the Publications Division to include two to four pages of such content in its future editions.

Tewari also released ''India-2013'' and ''Bharat-2013'' a reference annual which provides exhaustive and authentic repository of information about the activities, progress and achievements of various ministries and departments of Government of India during the year since 1957.

In this context, he mentioned that the publication provided a comprehensive and authentic information about the country''s march forward and was a must read publication for key stakeholders.

The logo of Employment News was selected from entries of an in-house competition of College of Arts, New Delhi. The logo depicts the search for jobs from a lens. The holder showing nib on one side and the wrench on the other shows that the Employment News is both for skilled and unskilled jobs. The hand is the human element of the logo.

With a circulation of over four lakh copies per week, the Employment News informs about job opportunities in the organizations of central and state governments to aspiring youth across the country; published in Hindi, English and Urdu simultaneously.

To provide benefits of technology to Urdu-reading masses, E-Rozgar Samachar (Urdu) is being launched. e-Employment News (English) and e- Employment News (Hindi) are also available to subscribers since August 2012.  (ANI)

India to host Asia''s biggest air-show, stresses on developing self-reliance

Bangalore, Feb. 5 (ANI): The 9th Aero India show, slated to be the biggest air-show in Asia, is set to showcase the French aircraft Rafale and other fighter jets in Bangalore from February 6.

Dassault Aviation has also come with three planes, which will enthrall the officials and general public during next five days of show.

A day before the air show, Defence Minister A. K. Antony stressed on the need to spend more money on improving the country''s research and development wing.

"We must give more emphasis on spending more money on research and development. Private industry should also shed their miserly attitude in spending more money on research and development," said Antony.

But, Air Chief Marshal, N. K. Browne, while addressing the seminar said that rather then importing fighter jets and helicopters, the country needs to look towards indigenous production.

Small and medium companies from UK are also giving presentations in the air show to increase their supply network. (ANI)