Monday, February 11, 2013

Take action only if cops are drunk, rules CAT

delhi policeNEW DELHI: In the first of its kind order, the Central Administrative Tribunal has ruled that punitive action against an employee for being drunk while on duty can be taken only after proper medical examination and not merely based on “smell or unsteady gait”.
“Delhi government and Delhi Police have failed to explain why they did not carry out blood and urine tests of the applicant when he was cooperating in his medical examination. Merely by smell and unsteady gait, it cannot be conclusively established that alcohol had been consumed by the applicant.“ a bench of judges George Paracken and Shekhar Agarwal said.
The remarks came while the bench allowed an appeal filed by one constable Om Prakash against his suspension for the misconduct of “consuming alcohol while on duty’. OmPrakash was on picket duty at Mathura Road from 11pm to 5am during which an assistant commissioner of police on inspection found him “drunk”.
The doctor at the Batra hospital where he was taken for medical examination stated that he was smelling of alcohol and had a slightly unsteady gait Merely on the basis of it, he
gave a report that Om Prakash was drunk and no blood or urine test was carried out.
Om Prakash said he had only taken khaini, the smell of which was mistaken for alcohol. He said even the statement of a constable and a head constable who were on duty that he had taken only khaini was ignored in the departmental enquiry. After persuing the evidence, the bench said there was no evidence that the petitioner had consumed liquor and the statement that he had only consumed khaini had to be given credence
“The government and commissioner of police have also further failed to explain why the defence witnesses were not cross examined by them. These witnesses have stated that no alcohol was consumed by the applicant in their presence and that he had only taken Khaini.

NSCN rejects ban on movement of cadres with arms

Kohima: The Isak-Muivah and Khaplang groups of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) have rejected the ban imposed by the Cease Fire Monitoring Group on movement of their cadres with arms and ammunitions till the February 23 election is over in the state.

Convener of the political affairs committee of NSCN (IM) alleged that the directive issued by the chairman of Cease Fire Monitoring Group (CFMG) Maj Gen (Rtd) N George "overstepped" his jurisdiction. The Convener said it also violated the ceasefire ground rules (CFGR) by the chairman, "who is supposed to enforce the CFGR without any tendency of being partial in favour of the Centre."

Maj Gen (Rtd) N George had on February 5 said that all members of the three NSCNs, including identity card holders have been banned from carrying any type of weapon between February 7 to 23 as per directives issued by the Election Commission.

The EC directive had the sanction of the Union Home Ministry, the CFMG chairman had said.

In a statement, NSCN (K) ministry of information and publicity said the decision was "not acceptable because Indian election law cannot be applied to NSCN/GPRN which is different entity."

It said that the 'Naga national movement' existed before Nagaland state came into being and would continue even if 'Nagaland state vanishes'.

The NSCN (IM) has made it clear that it would not abide by the ban stating that it was against the ceasefire agreement signed with the Centre.

The NSCN-IM has said the cardholders would carry weapons as mentioned in the ceasefire agreement, whether there was an election in the state or not.
The NSCN (IM) had entered into a ceasefire with the Government of India since 1997 while NSCN (K) had signed the pact in 2001 and thereafter the ceasefire agreements have been extended yearly.

Meanwhile, the security forces have set up mobile checkposts and were frisking passersby and checking vehicles.

This led to seizure of a huge cache of assorted arms, including foreign made guns and ammunition and arrest of cadres of the underground groups by the Assam Rifles in various districts.

On February 5, the personnel of 17 and 19 Assam Rifles seized a huge consignment of highly sophisticated weapons, made in Germany and Austria, from the possession of a suspected NSCN-IM cadre after a joint operation.


Rahul Gandhi to address poll rallies in Tripura today

Agartala: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will on Monday address four poll meetings in four corners of the northeastern state of Tripura for the February 14 Assembly Elections.

According to reports, Rahul would arrive at Agartala airport today and fly by a helicopter to Sonamura in Sipahijala district to address a poll rally in support of the subdivision's four candidates.

Rahul will later fly to Shantir Bazar subdivision in South Tripura to address the second election rally.

The helicopter will take him to Dharmanagar subdivisional town in North Tripura to campaign in support of the Congress candidates there.Rahul's last meeting will be held at Khayerpur, where Youth Congress activist Baptu Chakraborty is contesting against CPM strongman and four-time MLA Pabitra Kar.

"We are expecting that our campaign will get a major boost from Rahulji's meetings," PCC spokesman Ashok Sinha said.

He said Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Congress spokesman Sandeep Dikshit accompanied by a host of other leaders would also arrive here on the morning of February 12, the last day of vocal campaign, to address a central rally at Astabol ground.

Sinha indicated that the central rally would be held to make up for Sonia's absence.

"Chidambaram as the Finance Minister will openly endorse our poll manifesto at the meeting. We have made a lot of promises. His presence and endorsement of the manifesto will set all speculation and mischievous propaganda of the CPM to rest," Sinha said.

(With IANS inputs)

Two GNLA rebels arrested after gunfight

Shillong: Security forces arrested two Garo National Liberation Army rebels after a fierce gunfight in Meghalaya's West Garo Hills district, a police official said Sunday.

The exchange of fire took place at Chigitchakgre area of the district late Saturday night, when Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos came under fire from the GNLA rebels hiding there. However, the outfit's area commander of West Garo Hills, Hedio, wanted by Meghalaya police for several criminal acts, escaped, taking advantage of the darkness during the gunbattle.

"The encounter lasted over an hour and two of the rebels were captured by us and their area commander retreated back to the jungle after intensive firing from security forces," Mukesh Kumar Singh, district police chief of West Garo Hills, told a news agency.

The arrested rebels were Brightwell D Arengh alias Chiga and Nathson Ch Marak. They were involved in abduction and extortion in Garo Hills.

The commandos recovered one AK-47 rifle, three magazines with 55 rounds of live ammunition, a detonator, fuse wire, remote control, communication sets, and extortion notes from the site.

Preparations are on for the Feb 23 assembly elections in Megalaya.

Many polling stations in the five districts of Garo in the western part of Meghalaya has been classified as "hyper-sensitive". Ten companies of paramilitary forces were deployed in East Garo Hills district to ensure smooth conduct of the elections, a police official said.

The GNLA, fighting for a separate Garoland in the western region of Meghalaya, has forged close operational links with other northeast-based insurgent groups like the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
Meghalaya, especially the Garo Hills region, is said to be a safe haven for various northeast-based militant groups, including the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), the United Liberation Front of Asom, and a faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland.


Nagaland-Manipur spar over Rio's speech

Kohima: Nagaland's ruling party, the NPF on Sunday criticised the Manipur cabinet for terming the statement of its Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio against his Manipuri counterpart as "hate speech".

"The action of the Manipur cabinet is nothing but another example of how Naga rights and the Naga voice are being suppressed by the majority and the Manipur government," Naga People's Front (NPF) spokesperson Abu Metha told a news agency.
"Nagas in Manipur have always lived under decades of suppression by the majority and even their basic rights have been denied to them in all aspects," he added.

On Friday, Manipur decided to approach the Election Commission and the union home ministry seeking action against the Nagaland chief minister for the "hate speech" he made against Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.

Manipur Education Minister Moirangthem Okendro Singh said the "hate speech" made by the Nagaland chief minister could spark communal tension and have an adverse impact on inter-state relations.