Saturday, February 23, 2013

Voting begins in Meghalaya

Shillong: Voting for the Meghalaya Assembly Elections began on Saturday amidst tight security, an official said.

Men and women in large numbers queued up in front of polling stations well before voting opened at 7 am in the entire state. Polling ends at 4 pm, said chief electoral officer Prashant Naik.
The outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has called for a 36-hour shutdown from 6 pm Friday to 6 am Sunday (February 24) as part of the outfit's boycott the Assembly polls.

Over 15 lakh electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 345 candidates, including 24 women and 122 independents.


Nagaland Assembly Elections: Brisk polling reported

Guwahati: Polling was in "full swing" on Saturday for the 60-member Nagaland Assembly that began on a peaceful note, an official said.

People came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise when balloting began at 7 am.

"Polling is on in full swing in almost all the polling stations of the state. All the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are working properly and there is no reports of any incident from anywhere so far," Joint Chief Electoral Officer of Nagaland N Moa Aier told a news agency.
"It is difficult to say the exact polling percentage at this moment as we are still collecting reports from various polling stations. However, there is good turnout almost everywhere," he said.

Nagaland has a total of 1,193,438 electorate, including 589,505 women.

The election officials are using 2,600 EVMs to conduct the polls in 2,023 polling stations across the state.

A total of 188 candidates, including only two women, are in the fray to get elected to the 60-member Nagaland Assembly. Forty-nine of the 60 outgoing legislators are seeking re-election.

The ruling NPF has fielded candidates in all 60 seats while the main opposition Congress has put up candidates in 57 Assembly constituencies. One third of the 60 constituencies will witness straight fights between the NPF and Congress.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which won two seats in 2008, has fielded 11 candidates this time. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which has two members in the outgoing Assembly, has 15 contenders.

According to the election officials, over 26,000 security personnel including 225 companies of central paramilitary forces and the state police have been deployed across the state for smooth conduct of elections in Nagaland.


Mizoram CM meets Sonia over state's financial problems

Aizawl: Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla on Friday met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her residence and asked for her help to tide over the state's financial problems.

Thanhawla, who apprised the Congress President about political developments in the state, wanted her support to eliminate the acute financial problems being faced by Mizoram, an official statement said here. The chief minister had submitted an appeal to former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee asking for around Rs 500 crore for payment of increased salaries to state government employees after the implementation of the Central Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.

He also appealed for Gandhi's support on the proposal for increasing the posts of IAS and IPS officers in the state, the statement added.


Delhi gang-rape: Justice Mehra Commission submits report to Home Ministry

New Delhi, Feb. 22 (ANI): The Justice Usha Mehra Commission has submitted its report on the December 16 Delhi gang-rape incident to the Home Ministry.

Justice Mehra today said main recommendation that has been said is there should be coordination between the Directorate of Transport and the police because unless they coordinate with each other it is not possible for any vehicle to be on the road.

"And secondly, without verification of the antecedents of the owner of this bus the inter-state carriage permit was granted by the Delhi transport department. Now, we have come to know that the owner was a resident of Noida, but under the rules if a person is not a resident of Delhi then inter-state carriage transport permit cannot be given," said Justice Mehra.

"We have said that once a victim makes a statement under 164 CrPC to a magistrate then it should be treated as her examination chief, and to that extent the provision of Section 231 of the CrPC should be amended and this may be incorporated as it is done in the civil procedure code where the affidavit is treated as a examination chief," she added.

Justice Mehra Commission had been set up under Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 to enquire into various aspects of the shocking incident of rape and brutal assault of a 23 year-old student in Delhi and to identify the lapses, if any, on the part of the police or any other authority or person that contributed to the occurrence.

The Commission was also asked to suggest measures to improve the safety and security of women, particularly in Delhi and the national capital region. 

The victim, a physiotherapy student, was brutally raped and assaulted in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012. She died of her injuries on December 29, 2012 in the multi-specialty Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

Her male friend, who was accompanying her that day, was also assaulted by the accused and both of them were thrown out of the bus. (ANI)

Six journalists injured during Islamist protest in Chittagong

Chittagong (Bangladesh), Feb.22 (ANI): At least six journalists were injured after Juma prayers here on Friday.

According to a report filed by the web site, the journalists were attacked by Islamists shouting ‘anti-Shahbagh’ slogans.

Friday’s incident is an off-shoot of the ongoing fundamentalist protests against the nearly three-week-long popular demonstrations in Dhaka’s Shahbagh Square.

The attack on the journalists reportedly took place at the Andarkilla intersection of the city soon after the afternoon prayers.

The journalists were covering the event, when they were assaulted.

Photographers of Jugantor and Inqilab, cameramen of Maasranga, ATN Bangla and ATN News, and the Correspondent of Banik Barta received injuries.

The Inqilab photographer was rushed to the Chittagong Medical College and Hospital for treatment.

The Islamist protest rally, however, continued within a police barricade after the incident, the web site reported. (ANI)