Assamese woman gangraped in Delhi, 2 arrested

A 21-year-old Assamese woman was raped in south Delhi's Mahipalpur area by two men who have been arrested, police said on Sunday.

One of the men was known to the woman who recently came to Delhi. According to reports, the girl, along with her male friend, had visited Kerala a month ago. She came back to Delhi on Friday and stayed in Mahiphalpur area, where her male friend sexually assaulted her along with another friend.

Police said she was assaulted at a house in Mahipalpur on Saturday afternoon.

As the accused escaped, the woman came out of the house and alerted a passerby before police came in. The accused - Rahul and Harun - were arrested late on Saturday, police said.

Assam cops plan clean recruitment

Guwahati, Feb. 20: Assam police plan to adopt a transparent recruitment policy to eliminate the possibility of corruption and nepotism in recruitment of police personnel.
Additional director-general of police (administration) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta told The Telegraph that the primary objective of the policy was to make the overall induction process free of human interference as far as possible.
The thrust of the policy will be on developing an information technology-enabled system for recruitment of policemen in a very transparent and merit-based manner.
Mahanta said under the proposed policy, the entire recruitment process would become automated and biometric-based. Machines or electronic applications will be used to evaluate answer scripts, prepare lists or rolls and maintain data, including fingerprint and iris details of candidates.
The electronic devices will be used to record data relating to physical tests during recruitment. “There will be two components in the physical test — mile run and long jump. The entire physical test will be video-graphed, which will make manipulation of results impossible,” Mahanta said.
He said the written exam will be held on an optical mark recognition sheet and the answer sheets will be evaluated through computer scanning.
Since law and order is a state matter, the Union home ministry had written to all state governments and Union Territory administrations in 2010, asking them to adopt a technology-based transparent recruitment process for the police forces, free of any human interference.
The home ministry wrote the letter after it observed that police recruitment in almost every state was mired in allegations of corruption. There were also allegations that aspirants do not get jobs as constables and sub-inspectors unless money is paid.
Uttar Pradesh was the first state in the country to devise such a policy in 2009. Central paramilitary forces, including the SSB and the CRPF, adopted it in 2010.
In the Northeast, Meghalaya approved adoption of the policy in 2012 and it is under implementation.
A senior police officer said under the policy, the functions related to recruitment of police personnel would be outsourced to a professional agency. “The agency will be selected in a transparent manner and its functioning and performance will be monitored by a consultant to be appointed by Assam police.”
He said a request for proposal would be issued within the next few months, inviting bids from competent agencies to which the recruitment process will be outsourced.
The source said the state police are also considering giving more weightage to the written test than the physical test under the policy, which is exactly the opposite in the existing system.
The All Assam Police Association had stated last month that 12,000 posts were lying vacant in the state police force. It demanded immediate filling up of these vacancies and also sought the creation of 30,000 new posts. According to the association, because of manpower shortage the state police force is hard pressed to take on militant groups operating in the state.

64 additional Foreigners' Tribunals established in Assam

Assam government has established 64 additional Foreigners' Tribunals for a period of two years only.

This is in addition to the existing 36 Foreigners' Tribunals already functioning in the state, an official release said here today.

Eight additional tribunals have been set up in Dhubri and Barpeta each, seven in Nagaon, six in Goalpara and Sonitpur each, four each in Kamrup(Metro), Kamrup (Rural)and Cachar, three each in Nalbari and Morigaon, two each in Darrang and Dhemaji and one each in Bongaigaon, Dibrugarh, Karimganj, Chirang, Baksa, Udalguri and Dima Hasao.

Rahul more keen to solve Assam's problems than Modi: Gogoi

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was more keen to resolve Assam's problems than BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Wednesday.

Gogoi told media that while Modi spent only three hours in Assam during his recent visit, Gandhi would be spending more time during his two-day visit starting Feb 25.

"Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to arrive in the state Feb 25. He will meet intellectuals and the media in the morning, following which he will address a rally at the Khanapara Veterinary College field," he said.

Gandhi will address another public meeting at Diphu the same day.

The chief minister said Gandhi was likely to participate in a road show from Nagaon to Kaliabhomora the next day. Before leaving the state, he will address a women's meet at Jorhat Feb 26.

Gogoi said Modi only spent three hours in Guwahati, but Gandhi will be staying for 30 hours in the state "to know the people and the issues related to the people of the state. This shows sincerity of Rahul Gandhi, which Modi lacks".

Assam to Bring New Lokayukta Bill in Next Session

The Assam government today said it will introduce a new Lokayukta Bill in line with the central legislation during the next Assembly session.

Presenting Assam's interim Budget for 2014-15, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, "I propose to introduce a fresh Bill, called the Assam Lokayukta Bill 2014, in the next session of the Assembly so as to strengthen the institution of Lokayukta by giving it more powers."

The draft Bill is at the final stage of consultation with various departments as per procedure, he said.

Assam currently has a Lokayukta under the Assam Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta Act 1985 and the new legislation will repeal this.

"The proposed new Lokayukta Institution will be empowered to enquire into and investigate the allegations of corruption against various public functionaries under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. The existing Lokayukta has no such powers," Gogoi, who is also the state finance minister, said.

The new Bill is in conformity with the central Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013, he said.

As per the draft Bill, the current and former Chief Ministers, existing and formers ministers, and current and former MLAs will come under the purview of the Act.

Besides, all government employees of all grades, staff of companies, societies or trusts that are set up, financed or controlled by the state government will come under the new Act, Gogoi said.

Economic blockade in Assam comes to a temporary halt

The eight-day long economic blockade in Assam against Arunachal Pradesh finally came to a temporary halt after the agitators demanded the arrest of those involved in the killing of 11 CPI(ML) supporters, within a span of twenty days. The agitation that was regulated by various organisations in the state was temporarily withdrawn after holding a meeting with the district administration at Biswanath Chariali to make a settlement on the grave issue.

The protest commenced after eleven Assamese men were killed by miscreants from Arunachal Pradesh in Chouldhowa under Behali Reserve Forest on January 29, triggering a sense of fear and rage among the localites.

While submitting a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Sonitpur and addressing it Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, the organisations gave the Government a time limit of twenty days, placed forth four special demands- soliciting compensation for the victims' families, congenial deal of the pending inter-state border dispute along the Assam-Arunachal frontier areas, admonitory penalty to the accused involved in the killing and to provide adequate protection to those residing in the border areas.

The more-than-a-week-long economic blockade was initiated at Charidwar under Charidwar PS and at Borgang under Biwanath PS in Sonitpur district. Severely affecting several parts of the hill states, the blockade restricted the supply of essential goods and edible commodities leading to scarcity of food items and fuel.