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India

News portal files complaint against Meghalaya Police

Guwahati, Aug 16 Northeast Now, a Guwahati-based regional news portal, has filed a complaint against the Meghalaya Police”s move to gag the media, its spokesperson said here on Friday.

The spokesperson said the portal lodged the complaint with the Press Council of India, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, Indian Journalists Union, Editors” Guild of India, Digital News Publishers Association of India and the Journalist Association of Assam.

The complaint said that successive insistent communications from the Meghalaya Police have raised a serious question about their intentions to gag the media.

“We fear that a section of the police personnel are preparing grounds for the assault on the media with a political game-plan,” Northeast Now”s Editor-in-Chief of Anirban Roy said.

On Tuesday, MGT Sangma, a Special Superintendent of Police (CID) of the Meghalaya Police, had sent a notice under Section 91 CrPC to Northeast Now, asking the news portal to immediately remove a report and also to “provide the authenticity of the source of information” to the state police force.

On August 10, Northeast Now had reported that former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma might join the Bharatiya Janata Party, on the basis of credible information from unidentified sources.

Despite the pressure from Meghalaya Police, the portal stood by the report and did not remove it.

“There is no provision in the Constitution of India which authorises any police officer of the rank of SSP to force a media organisation for removal of a news report, and order journalists to reveal the source of information,” Roy said on Friday.

“To our surprise, on August 14, G.K. Iangrai, Assistant Inspector General (A) of Meghalaya police issued a press release, claiming that ”no journalistic privilege protects media organisations from disclosing their source of information as and when required”.”

(IANS)

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India

Punjab lawmakers assure support to Sikhs in Meghalaya

A high-level delegation, which has been rushed to Shillong by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, on Wednesday assured the Punjabi settlers there of full support to protect their fundamental rights.

The delegation, led by Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, met many members of the Sikh community settled in Meghalaya and is scheduled to meet Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Thursday.

“The Punjab government will take all possible steps to bring the current dispute to an amicable settlement,” said Randhawa, adding that infringement of the civil rights of the Sikhs settled in Shillong for over 200 years would not be allowed at any cost.

Randhawa added that Amarinder Singh was personally in touch with his Meghalyan counterpart and was monitoring the situation closely.

Appreciating Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for his efforts to diffuse the tension, Randhawa said Amarinder Singh had taken serious view of the media reports of threats being issued to Sikhs in Shillong, and had spoken to Sangma urging him to ensure foolproof security and safety of all the families.

The local Sikhs told the delegation that the administration had dubbed the area where they were settled as a slum and wanted them to evict the place.

The local Sikhs had contributed immensely to the state of Meghalaya and should be integrated, the delegation felt.

The delegation also visited Gurdwara Nanak Darbar, where gurdwara President Gurjeet Singh apprised them of the lease status of the premises and complained that attempts were being by the incumbent government in Meghalaya to forcibly evict them.

The gurdwara management had filed a contempt petition in the Meghalaya High Court, Gurjeet told the delegation.

Apart from Randhawa, the delegation includes MP Jasbir Singh Dimpa and MLAs Kulbir Singh Zira and Kuldeep Singh Vaid and Special Secretary (planning) D.S. Mangat.

(IANS)

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India

Congress boycotts Meghalaya Governor’s address

The Congress on Friday boycotted Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy’s address in the state Assembly over his call to boycott “everything Kashmiri” following the February 14 Pulwama terror attack.

The Congress legislators also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not sacking Roy for his “anti-national” message.

“With a heavy heart, we would like to share our agony and anger in respect of the narrative that was generated by Governor Roy. He said that all Kashmiri goods should be boycotted, people should not visit Jammu and Kashmir. It is overwhelming when a person holding a constitutional post engages in this kind of message which is capable of creating a rift among the citizens,” Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma told the media.

“We have seen what happened immediately after the incident. Lots of attacks took place across the nation,” he said after chairing an urgent meeting of the Congress Legislature Party.

Noting that when there was a terror attack, the nation’s fight was against militants and not against a community.

“If such a terrorist attack takes place in the northeast, will people like the Governor ask everyone to boycott the region?.

“These are the kind of people who are dividing the nation and trying to give fodder to anti-national forces.

“The Prime Minister should have pulled out the Governor and he (Roy) should have been removed from the office in the nation’s best interest,” Sangma added.

On February 19, Governor Roy had tweeted: “Don’t visit Kashmir, don’t go to Amarnath for the next 2 years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri. I am inclined to agree.”

His comment came after a suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF troopers in the Kashmir Valley.

IANS

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India

Sack Meghalaya Governor; CPI-M tells Ram Nath Kovind

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Thursday asked President Ram Nath Kovind to sack Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy for “disgracing” his post and violating the “fundamentals of Constitution”.

“Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy, in yet another outrageous statement, has endorsed a call for boycott of Kashmir and Kashmiris in the wake of the Pulwama tragedy,” the CPI-M said in a statement.

It underlined that Roy’s comments came at a time when Kashmiris, particularly students, in various parts of the country were being “attacked, tormented and forced to leave”.

“The Governor holds a constitutional office. As the representative of the President of India, he is expected to act as the custodian of the Indian Constitution.

“This is not the first time he has made public comments which disgrace the post he holds and violate the fundamentals of the Indian Constitution.

“This is a transgression that is unacceptable. The President of India must immediately sack him,” the party said.

On Tuesday, Roy had tweeted: “An appeal from a retired colonel of the Indian Army: Don’t visit Kashmir, don’t go to Amarnath for the next two years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmiri emporia or Kashmiri tradesmen who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri…I am inclined to agree.”

His comments, which came in the wake of the Pulwama attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force troopers were killed, drew flak from various quarters.

IANS

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India

Meghalaya Congress women chief demands recall of Governor Roy

Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy on Tuesday supported a call for boycott of “everything Kashmiri” following the terror attack at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF troopers on Thursday.

Quoting an appeal from a retired Army Colonel, Roy tweeted: “Don’t visit Kashmir, don’t go to Amarnath for the next 2 years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri. I am inclined to agree.”

However, Roy’s tweets evoked sharp reactions from the opposition Congress in the state.

State’s Congress women’s president Jopin Scott Shylla demanded recall of Governor Roy for his controversial tweet for supporting an appeal of unnamed colonel of an Indian Army to “boycott everything Kashmiri”.

“Kashmir is part and parcel of India. We are against Pakistan and not against Kashmiri. We completely disagree with Governor’s comment,” Shylla, who led a candle light vigil to pay homage to the CRPF soldiers killed in the Pulwama terror attacks, in Meghalaya’s capital on Tuesday, said.

Following criticism to his tweet, the Meghalaya governor again replied in his twitter: “Vociferously violent from media and several others to my ECHOING of a suggestion from a retired army colonel. A purely NON-VIOLENT REACTION to the killing of our soldiers by the hundreds and the driving out of 3.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits.”

Roy further tweeted: “The Pakistan Army (who are handling the Kashmiri separatists) was among their own in East Pakistan in 1971. They slaughtered and raped right and left. And they would have kept EP but for the whacking from India.” I am not suggesting that we go that far. But at least some distance?”

IANS

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India

Meghalaya Governor backs boycott of Kashmiri items

Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy here on Tuesday supported a call for boycott of “everything Kashmiri” following the terror attack at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF troopers on Thursday.

Quoting an appeal from a retired Army Colonel, Roy tweeted: “Don’t visit Kashmir, don’t go to Amarnath for the next 2 years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri. I am inclined to agree.”

IANS

 

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India

Meghalaya CM flies to Delhi to seek support against Citizenship Bill

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Sunday flew to New Delhi to seek support of various political parties in opposing the Citizenship Bill, which is likely to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

“I am leaving for New Delhi to meet leaders of those political parties who have promised us of their support… to oppose the Bill if it is tabled in the Rajya Sabha,” Sangma told IANS.

He said the national general body meeting of his National People’s Party (NPP) on Saturday had resolved to snap ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, if the bill is tabled in the Rajya Sabha.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, seeks to remove hurdles for eligible migrants from six minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan in getting Indian citizenship.

“I have impressed upon the Central government about the northeast’s people opposing the Bill. The party cannot go against the wishes of the people. Moreover, the citizenship bill, once it becomes a law, will change the demography of the region and ethnic communities in the region will be reduced to a minorities,” Sangma said.

He and his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga had earlier met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to express their opposition to the Bill.

Sangma’s NPP, along with other northeast-based regional parties including the Asom Gana Parishad – which had already severed ties with the BJP in Assam – had sought support of several political parties to prevent passage of the bill in the Rajya Sabha.

Sangma had earlier hinted at snapping ties with the BJP if the latter goes ahead with the bill. The NPP is supporting the BJP-led government in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and the People’s Democratic Alliance government in Nagaland and has the BJP’s support in Meghalaya.

Meghalaya CM flies to Delhi to seek support against Citizenship Bill

IANS

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India

Pro-Talk faction ULFA leader lauds Meghalaya CM for ‘bold standa’ on Citizenship Bill

Praising Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma for his “bold stand” against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, United Liberation Front of Asom’s (ULFA) pro-talk faction’s General Secretary, Anup Chetia on Tuesday urged the people of the northeastern states to stand united in opposing the Bill.

“The people of the region should stand united as one in opposing the amendment bill. We have to oppose the bill since the BJP and RSS are trying to finish our indigenous identity and culture only to serve its political interest,” he told journalists here after meeting Chief Sangma.

Eulogising Sangma for opposing the Bill, Chetia said the people of the entire northeastern appreciated Sangma’s stand as it is very encouraging especially to the people of Assam.

“We came here to congratulate him. We need leaders like Conrad not only in Meghalaya but in the whole North Eastern Region. We are still standing against the Citizenship Bill and will go against it along with the people of Assam and also with the help of people of the region as a whole,” Chetia said.

The top ULFA insurgent leader, who is also the convener of the North East Indigenous People’s Forum (NEIPF), warned the central government not t o go ahead with the Bill as people in the northeastern region are strongly o pposing the Bill.

“We at the NEIPF had voiced our concern to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Bill. We have told them that if they go ahead with the Bill t he situation would be worse not only in Assam but all over the Northeast reg ion. We would continue to fight aggressively to ensure that the Centre does n ot pass the bill,” Chetia said.

Several northeast-based political parties, including the opposition Congress party has strongly opposed the Bill.

The Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government, which the BJP is part of the ruling coalition, is the first government to have rejected the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

On the growing demand for implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system t o restrict entry of outsiders in Meghalaya, Chetia said, “We are not discussing ILP because there is some problem in Assam. Implementation of ILP is a big problem, but I think in Meghalaya it can be implemented.”

Chetia formed the Meghalaya chapter of NEIPF and vowed to work for safeguarding the indigenous people in the whole North Eastern Region.

Three organisations in Meghalaya, the Federation of Khasi Jaitia and Garo People, Hynniewtrep Youth Front and Ri Bhoi Youth Federation are part of the NEIPF Meghalaya chapter.

IANS