'Indian militants still trained in Bangladesh'

Agartala, January 5 (Agencies):
Despite a crackdown against Indian militants, separatist outfits of the northeast continue to go to Bangladesh for training and come back to carry out extremist and violent activities, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here Wednesday. 'Taking advantage of the hilly terrain, thick forests and unfenced border, the Bangladesh-trained northeast militants cross into Indian territory to carry on their violent activities,' Sarkar said while addressing the silver jubilee celebrations of Tripura State Rifles. 'Terrorism in Tripura has been largely tamed. As they are getting shelter in Bangladesh and support from various external forces including Pakistan's spy agency ISI (Inter Services Intelligence), it becomes very difficult to flush out militancy completely,' he said. According to an official document, 128 civilians and security personnel were killed by Tripura militants in 200 incidents in 2004 while two security personnel were gunned down by the separatist outfits in 20 incidents in 2010. The tribal guerrillas had abducted 92 people in 2004 and 13 villagers last year.  

Teenager killed in police custody in Meghalaya

Guwahati, January 5 (HT):
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Meghalaya government to pay Rs 5 lakh to the kin of 17 year old, Sngewlem Kharsati who died “due to torture in police custody” in the state’s East Khasi Hills district. The order has come in response to a complaint by the New Delhi based, Asian Centre for Human Rights. According to the FIR filed by the rights body on 11 May, 2009, the police allegedly picked up the teenager on May 9, 2009, for possessing a ‘dao’ (machete) in his bag. Sngewlem, the complaint read, was beaten up on the road in full public view and then taken to the Mawryngkneng police outpost where officer in charge, Manbhalang Rymbai and others subjected him to torture. Later in the day, doctors at the civil hospital nearby declared him 'dead on arrival'. The NHRC rejected the police and Meghalaya government's claim that Sngewlem had attacked a truck driver with the ‘dao’ while attempting a robbery and was consequently assaulted by the truck drivers who were stranded in traffic jam near his village, Puriang. The apex rights body noted: “It is difficult to believe any person would dare commit robbery when there is a traffic jam and so many persons are around. The victim had already died when he was taken to the hospital.

SDF rubbishes Bhandari's allegations against Chamling

Gangtok, January 5 (PTI):
The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) today described the corruption charges filed by Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee president Nar Bahadur Bhandari against Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling as "baseless". "Bhandari has always treated Chamling and SDF party as an arch-rival, all his claims and the FIR filed against Chamling are baseless," SDF Spokesperson Bhim Dahal told a press conference here. "For last 17 years, Bhandari has filed dozens of cases against our party ministers and all of them are politically motivated," he said. Bhandari, also a former chief minister of the state had filed a FIR alleging corruption against Chamling and 12 other leaders of the SDF on May 24 and July 1.  

Cold wave grips Tripura, fog hits rail, air traffic

Agartala, January 5 (UNI):
A cold wave has gripped Tripura for the past two days with the north-weasterly wind coupled with deep fog affecting rail and air traffic.  The maximum temperature in Agartala during the last 48 hours was 20 degrees Celsius, about 4.5 degrees below normal, while the minimum was recored at nine degrees with 100 per cent humidity.  "Though the minimum temperature in the state is almost normal, the maximum temperature shows a downward trend with north-easterly cold wind blowing over the state from Himalaya," the Agro-met advisory  service of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Tripura unit said, adding that the weather condition will continue for rest of the week.