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Govt to reward soldiers and police commandos for Operation Summer Storm

IMPHAL, May 30: The Okram Ibobi Cabinet in a marathon meeting this evening decided among other things to reward soldiers of the 57 Mountain Division and Assam Rifles, and police commandos who took part in the Operation Summer Storm at the Loktak Lake for the efficiency with which they executed the mission, as well as their dedication to duty and job.
While the army and Assam Rifles are to get Rs. 7 lakhs, the police commandos would be rewarded Rs. 3 lakhs.
It may be recalled in the said operation in April this year, the raiding combined team of army soldiers and police commandos killed 12 underground cadres and destroyed many of their hideouts at the Keibul Lamjao National Park at Loktak Lake.
In another decision, the Cabinet also decided to raise the ration allowance of jail staff from the existing Rs. 450 to Rs. 485 per month.
The Cabinet also decided on an ex-gratia amount of Rs. 50,000 each to the kin of the 20 people killed in the unfortunate accident on May 7 at Sangrungpan about 7k…

KYKL clarifies on killing of Prof Islamuddin

IMPHAL, May 30: The underground KYKL in a lengthy clarification on the matter of its killing Prof. Islamuddin of the Manipur University, said it understands the outrage of the public in the killing of a teacher, but is saddened by the response of Meitei Pangal organisations that the KYKL had targeted a Meitei Pangal deliberately.
It said this was far from the truth and that the KYKL treats Meitei Pangals, Meitei Chistians, Meitei Buddists, Meitei Hindus, Meitei Athiests as belonging to one Meitei community, and this is very much enshrined in its constitution.
It said Prof. Islamuddin was killed not because of his ethnicity or community but because he was part of a corrupt clique which was usurping all powers of the Manipur University in order to convert the university into their private fiefdom.
It said the KYKL has Meitei Pangal cadres in it and the Meitei Pangal community would realise the party is never against this fraternal community at all in time.
It said the MU clique had to be de…

Suspects in Sikh temple attack identified: Austria

VIENNA/CHANDIGARH: The Austrian police identified on Thursday the six suspects in 

Sunday's attack on a Sikh temple in Austria that killed 
one and left 17 injured. 

The six men, all from Punjab or other northern Indian states, had given several names to the police, which made their identification difficult, police spokesman Michael Takacs said. All six were in custody, although one of them, believed to be the mastermind behind the attack, was still in hospital in an induced coma after a shot in the head, he added. 

Two of the men - named only as S Charnjit, 24, from Uttar Pradesh, and S Hardeep, 33 - had come to Austria illegally in 2001 and 2008. The other four were seeking asylum. S Sukhwinder, 28, from Haryana, arrived in 2001, citing a family feud for fleeing India, while S Jaspal, 34, came in 2008 and requested asylum on religious grounds. S Satwinder, 28, from UP, and S Tarsum, 45, from Gujarat, made only vague asylum claims. None of the men were related or had a prior criminal…

Cabinet portfolios: Sonia, Rahul pick key men

NEW DELHI: It was at 9.30pm on Thursday that news finally came - the portfolios were 

out. At first look it seemed along expected lines, but 
then a few surprises surfaced: 
there was a new commerce minister in Anand Sharma with the previous one, Kamal Nath, being moved to surface transport. Veerappa Moily as law minister was also a surprise. 

The delay in announcing portfolios betrayed that allocation of jobs wasn't easy. As Sonia Gandhi said, it was a balancing act. Political considerations had to be married with merit to create a team that will deliver. And as Manmohan Singh said, people expected efficiency from the government; ``business as usual'' would not do. 

Will the team deliver? Well, here are its key players. For a government for which rural upliftment is a stated priority, the man on the spot is newcomer C P Joshi who has been given the rural development ministry. Another priority, infrastructure, has the effective Kamal Nath in charge of surface transport (althoug…

Memo to Assam chief minister over NC Hills

Kohima, May 28 2009: The Tenyimi People's Organization (TPO), a nine Naga tribes apex body has expressed deep pain and serious concern at the prevailing ethnic unrest and lawlessness in North Cachar Hills, Assam wherein the DHD-Jewel group has unleashed terror upon the Tenyimi Nagas.

TPO, an apex organization of the Tenyimi 'blood brothers' consisting of ten Naga tribes - Angami, Chakhesang, Rengma, Pochury, Mao, Poumai, Zeliangrong, Maram, Thangal and Inpui extensively populated over Nagaland, Assam and Manipur in a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister of Assam, a copy of which was made available to NNN in Nagaland today said that 'a handful of arm banned of the so called DHD-Jewel group has unleashed terror in the NC Hills since the early part of this year, targeting innocent and peace loving Tenyimi communities'.

In the process several previous lives have been lost while several others were injured and thousands rendered homeless as their houses and properti…

‘Lt. Colonel’ Hopeson handed over to government

Against the backdrop of the brutal killing of Dr.Th. Kishan, drive Aribam Rajen and a colleague on February 17 in Manipur by one ‘Lt. Col’ H.K.Ningshen(Hopeson)of the NSCN(I-M), which led to an “unprecedented situation” in Manipur besides landing both the government of India and the NSCN(I-M) in a stalemate, the Naga Hoho, with the support and endorsement of various civil societies, organizations and Eastern Naga People’s Organisation, intervened to hammer out an amicable solution that resulted in handing over of the accused, ‘Lt. Col’ H. K. Ningshen to it.
Stating this, Naga Hoho president Keviletuo and general secretary P.Chuba Ozükum disclosed that the GHQ of the Naga Army/NSCN (I-M) at Hebron Thursday handed over accused ‘Lt. Col’ H.K.Ningshen(Hopeson) after which a round of discussion was held with representatives of the Government of India. 
This culminated in the Government of India sending its representative and airlifting Hopeson to Imphal from Dimapur by a special aircraft.
The…

MUMSU, others cry injustice

Imphal, May 28 2009: Pointing out that MUSU elections are held under election committees constituted by MUSU itself and not under Dean of Students' Welfare, the Manipur University Muslim Students' Union (MUMSU) decried the accusations made against Prof Islamuddin.

The brutal murder of Prof Islamuddin within MU campus in front of students smacked of an assumption that Islamuddin belonged to a minority community and that no one would dare fight for him.

Such murder aimed at sowing seeds of animosity among different communities was unacceptable to MUMSU, it conveyed.

Observing that the posts of Dean of Students' Welfare and Proctor were allotted to Prof Islamuddin by the MU authority, the MUMSU accused the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar of making Prof Islamuddin their scapegoat.

Demanding resignation of the VC and the Registrar on moral ground for their conspicuous inaction, it appealed to all concerned to penalise the two top officials for their irresponsibility.

Observing tha…

Last rites of Prof Islamuddin performed

Imphal, May 28 2009: The last rites of Proctor of Manipur University Prof Md Islamuddin who was shot dead by armed cadres of the proscribed KYKL in the University campus on May 25 was performed today at the Kabrastan of his native birthplace Yairipok Changamdabi Mathak Leikai.

The body of Prof Islamuddin was taken back by the family members after an agreement was arrived at between the members of the JAC formed in connection with the killing and the Chief Minister during a meeting yesterday evening.

Last tributes paid to the mortal remains of Prof Md Islamuddin by colleagues

The agreement was arrived at over some demands that the JAC had placed before the Government.

Before performing the last rites, the body of Prof Islamuddin was taken from mortuary of RIMS Hospital to the campus of Manipur University where a large number of faculty members, students as well as general public paid their last respect and offered floral tributes to the departed soul.

As the cortege bringing the body of Pro…

PULF's posers to KYKL

Imphal, May 28 2009: Reacting to the assassination of Prof Md Islamuddin on May 25 inside the campus of MU, PULF has posed a series of questions to the KYKL and urged for answers to them.

In a statement, secretary of publicity PULF Aanish Khan asked in what serial number was Prof Islamuddin slotted amongst those who were working against the interest of MU; how many are there in the hit list after Prof Islamuddin; whether Prof Islamuddin was involved in the wrong doings in all the departments of MU as alleged by KYKL; was Prof Islamuddin the lone final authority in the election of MUSU; what is the core meaning for the KYKL to take such a keen interest in the election of MUSU; how does the KYKL aim to control the groups who act according to their own fancy and whims without respecting the spirit of secularism and democracy which are associated with revolutionary groups; whether the KYKL can provide the list and proof of all the wrong doings allegedly committed by the late Professor; jus…

Genesis of meira paibi movement recalled

Imphal, May 28 2009: The 11th Meira Paibi Numit was observed all over the State today in remembrance of the movement of Manipuri womenfolk who started vigil at night holding torches in their hands endorsing cause of human rights and to save the innocent civilians from the atrocities of armed persons.

Under the aegis of Meira Paibi Numit Observation Committee, the day was observed befittingly at many places including Khurai Laikhurembi Laibung, Bamon Kampu PYC ground, Sawombung Bazar, Pukhao Naharup Ereima Community Hall, Andro Bazar, Pureilomba Sanglen, Yairipok Top Chingtha, Takhel Leikai Sangeet Natak Mahavidyalaya, Lairenkabi Community Hall, Yumnam Huidrom Khunyai Leikai community hall, Khumbong Bazar, Lilong Bazar Meetei Keithel, Nambol Sabal Leikai community hall, Nachou Community hall, Thanga Chinga Bazar Committee hall, Kumbi Bazar, YPC community hall (Churachandpur), Wangjing Primary School ground, Wangoo Sandangkhong Thongkhong Mandop, Kakching Khunou Bazar, Pallel Bazar, Jiri…

Huge MU rally condemns prof killing; last rites performed

Imphal, May 28: Manipur University professor, Md Islamuddin’s killing by the KYKL was condemned by thousands of rallyists in a protest demonstration at the campus of Manipur University this afternoon.
The procession started from the main gate of MU organised by the JAC formed on the issue. Placards and festoons demanding the VC, Prof C Amuba and MU registrar’s resignation, and rooting out of the KYKL and its allies were carried by the protestors.
The procession was also participated by people from different communities, MU students and teachers bodies. Floral tributes were offered to the slain professor in front of the life sciences department and MUSU Home during the procession.
The main homage was paid along with floral tributes to the deceased at the Community Hall near Girls Hostel, MU.
The two youngest MLAs of Manipur K Meghachandra, Wangkhem A/c and M Prithiviraj, Moirang A/c also paid homage and gave floral tributes to the deceased.
Later, the last rites of Prof. Islamuddin was held…

HC notice on Dr. Kishan killing probe

Imphal, May 28: The Guwahati High Court, Imphal, divisional bench issued a notice to the state respondent to submit their status reports of investigation in connection with the killing of Dr. Th. Kishan and his two subordinates within three days.
The notice was issued during its third hearing held on Thursday by a divisional bench of the Guwahati High Court, Imphal, under Justice T Nanda Kumar and Justice Maibam Binoy Kumar following a writ petition. PIL number 6 of 2009, filed by the JAC against the brutal killing of SDO Kasom Khullen, Th Kishan, Y Token and A Rajen on April 1, 2009.
During the hearing advocate M Hemchandra appeared before the court on behalf of the petitioner, additional GAC, Th Ibohal appeared on behalf of the state respondents and C Kamal CGSC appeared on behalf of the Union of India.
As per the notice issued by the court on May 5, 2009, in the second hearing of the said case, the CBI today submitted its investigation reports and the same has been kept under the seal…

Complete list of Cabinet ministers and portfolios

Union council of ministers CABINET  

Manmohan Singh Prime Minister 
Pranab Mukherjee Finance 
Sharad Pawar Agriculture, Food and Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution 
A K Antony Defence 
P. Chidambaram Home Affairs 
Mamata Banerjee Railways 
S M Krishna External Affairs 
Ghulam Nabi Azad Health and Family Welfare 
Kapil Sibal Human Resource Development 
Veerappa Moily Law and Justice 
Ambika Soni Information and Broadcasting 
Anand Sharma Commerce and Industry 
S Jaipal Reddy Urban Development 
Murli Deora Petroleum and Natural Gas 
Kumari Selja Housing, Urban and Poverty Alleviation, Tourism 
Sushil Kumar Shinde Power 
Vilasrao Deshmukh Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. 
Kamal Nath Surface Transport and Highways 
Virbhadra Singh Steel 
A Raja IT and Communication 
Dayanidhi Maran Textiles 
Meira Kumar Water Resources 
C P Joshi Rural Development and Panchayati Raj 
M S Gill Youth Affairs and Sports 
M Azhagiri Chemicals and Fertilizers 
Mallikarjun Kharge L…

DESAM threatens 120-hr bandh over student arrests

IMPHAL, May 28: The Democratic Students’ Alliance Manipur (DESAM) has cautioned the state government that if the students arrested by the state police with regard to recent assassination of Md Islamuddin, the proctor of Manipur University, are not released by the 31st of this month the apex body will hold a 120 hours state-wide bandh and further organize mass agitations and also impose emergency in the state.
Talking to media persons, the secretary general of the students’ organization Yumnam Ratankumar maintained that the state government should immediately release the students as the said students were not involved in the murder case of Md Islamuddin since the real culprits were the underground outfit KYKL.
He also mentioned that the recent killing of Md Islamuddin is the responsibility of Manipur University authority as it is the responsibility of the authority to end the crisis which occurred in the Manipur University recently. Everyone thinks this is the main reason why the profess…

Preservation of the fragile ecosystem

With the impact of global warming and other eco-factors being tremendously felt all over the globe now, preservation of the fragile ecosystem has been the clarion call for the last many years. 
In such circumstances, the little contributions that are being made towards creating awareness is necessitated in every possible platform by various organizations and groups. One such example of preserving the threatening ecosystem was made today by the Lanu Zunga of Chuchuyimpang village under Mokokchung. 
The members of the Lanu Zunga today released more than 100 local breed of chicken and three different breeds of rabbit (Grey Giant, New Zealand White and Russian Chinchilla), about 20 in numbers, back to the forest. The forest Kongyongpang has been demarcated as reserved and strict rules have been imposed for the protection of the forest and its inhabitants by the village council with heavy penalties to be imposed upon defaulters. 
The animals were released in presence of officials from the Vet…

9th National Muaythai Champ July 10-12, 2009 at Kolkata

Kohima, May 28 2009: The 9th IFMA India National Muaythai Championships 2009 will be held from July 10-12, 2009 at Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.

The West Bengal Muaythai Association (WBMA), which is an affiliated unit of Muaythai Federation of India (MFI), is organizing this mega national Muaythai Championships.

Over 300 players and about 50 officials from 30-MFI-affiliated Units from across the country will be taking part in this historic Championship.

This Championship is also a qualifier for the upcoming IFMA World Muaythai Championships to be held from November 26-December 5, 2009 at Bangkok.

Oken Jeet Sandham, MFI President, will conduct the Championships, while MFI Secretary General, O Manglemjao will supervise Referee and Judges throughout the Championships.

There will also be three-day Referee and Judges Seminars which will be addressed by MFI President Oken Jeet Sandham, besides there will be Muaythai training sessions during the Championships.

Officials from Indian Olympic Associati…

Youngest minister raring to work for northeast

New Delhi, May 27 (IANS): She is young, confident and raring to "bridge the gap" between her home region, the northeast, and the rest of the country. Agatha Sangma, the youngest minister of the Manmohan Singh government, may not be "choosy" about her portfolio, but is sure geared up to work for grassroot development.
Looking confident as she handled scores of media queries in near-impeccable Hindi right after the news broke, 27-year-old Sangma said that in all probability she will get the rural development ministry.  
"I am privileged and since this is my first opportunity, I will not be choosy. Whatever position I am given, I will be happy," the first time minister, who hails from Meghalaya and is the daughter of former Lok Sabha Speaker P A.Sangma, told IANS.  
"Like last time, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders Parful Patel got the civil aviation ministry and Sharad Pawar got the agriculture portfolio. Therefore if the status quo is maintaine…

Police action sparks mass exodus of hostellers at MU

Imphal, May 27: Alleging constant disturbance and harassment by the security personnel in the aftermath of the killing of Prof Islamuddin of the Manipur University, students started vacating their respective hostels since Thursday.
About 600 students from the boys hostel number 1, 2 and 3 left their hostels after the Vice Chancellor failed to give assurance on the action by the security personnel.
Speaking to media persons in this connection a hosteller, who is also spokesperson of the Manipur University Students’ Union (MUTSU), Tingjinlung Panmei, informed that a joint meeting was held between the MU authority including the Vice Chancellor and the hostellers, during which the students demanded an end to the follow up action by the security personnel which had caused constant disturbance and harassment day and night to the hostellers.
He also informed that this was despite the fact that the semester examination was going on.
Panmei further stated that the Vice Chancellor informed that he …

Manmohan Singh readies council of ministers, Manipur missed out again

New Delhi, May 27 (IANS): After three days of intense negotiations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's new coalition government took final shape Wednesday with 78 ministers including 33 in the cabinet and with the Congress party accounting for three quarters of the three-tier ministry.
The selection of ministers -- a blend of youth and experience, first-time winners and veterans -- showed the touch of an assertive Manmohan Singh who was clear who he wanted in the government and who should be kept out. Congress president Sonia Gandhi gave him her full backing. 
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi finally did not make it -- on his own choice, disappointing many in the Congress who wanted to see his stamp in the government too.
With the average age of the ministers put at 57, Agatha Sangma, daughter of former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A. Sangma, is the youngest at age 27. The oldest is External affairs minister S.M. Krishna (77), one of 19 cabinet ministers who took oath May 22 and one of on…