Cabinet decision on teachers’ demand likely to be taken today

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IMPHAL, Mar 1: The state cabinet meeting convened today under the chair of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi has finalized the sectoral sub-allocations of Rs 3210 crores for the annual plan of 2011-12.

The allocations have been made with top priority given to construction of road and bridges, education, health as well as completion of various ongoing projects.

The plan size of 2011-12 has been increased by Rs 610 cores from the current plan size of Rs 2600 crores. The 2011-12 annual plan of Rs 3210 also includes Rs 800 crores of SPA and Rs 290 crores of IABP.

Further, the cabinet approved setting up of two ART centres at the district hospitals of Bishnupur and Senapati under the funding of NACO to ensure proper distribution of ART drugs to the PLHIVs.

The cabinet also approved recruitment of 16 contractual employees for the said ART centres including senior medical officers through open advertisement.

The formation of committees to oversee the works of shifting or dismantling of unauthorized religious buildings at public places as per the ruling of the Supreme Court was also approved by the state cabinet today.

The cabinet also approved recruitment of one company secretary and five accountant assistants of Manipur Police Housing Corporation and also approved the transfer of 7.24 acres of land to Ministry of Home Affairs required for the construction of Integrated Check Post at Moreh.

The Manipur Municipal 5th Amendment Bill and engagement of one registrar of Guwahati High Court for another period of six months were also approved by the state cabinet today.

The state cabinet also deliberated on the demands of COTA and FECTAM for the implementation of 6th revised central pay and 6th revised UGC pay scale respectively. However, no concrete decision on the matter was taken today.

A cabinet decision on the demands of COTA and FECTAM is likely to be taken tomorrow in another cabinet meeting to be held tomorrow at 4 pm at Chief Minister’s Bungalow.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of SPF government, N Biren stated that the state government has taken up measures to ensure conduct of HSLC and HSSLC examinations even if the government teachers under the aegis of COTA insists on their strike for the implementation of 6th revised pay.

He said that part-time lecturers and teachers of government aided and private schools have been engaged as invigilators for conducting the said examinations.

Godhra train burning: Death for 11, life terms for 20
Ahmedabad, March 1 (IANS): All 31 men convicted of setting a train coach on fire near Godhra in Gujarat, killing 59 people in 2002, were sentenced by a court here on Tuesday.

The court has sentenced 11 to death, and 20 to life terms.

The government prosecutor spoke to the media in Ahmedabad and said the court had also taken into account looting and rioting while deciding on the punishment.

The prosecution Friday had sought death for all the 31, terming it a `rarest of rare case`, while the defence has appealed that the convicts be spared the noose and sentenced to life in prison.

The appeals were made to Additional Sessions Judge P.R. Patel in his court within the high-security Sabarmati prison here.
The judge had Tuesday held the 31 guilty of conspiring and setting fire to S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express near the Godhra railway station Feb 27, 2002. The incident triggered a communal frenzy with mass rioting in Gujarat killing over 1,000 people.

The court acquitted 63 others, including alleged mastermind Maulvi Saeed Umarji.

Prosecution counsel J.M. Panchal confirmed that they have asked for capital punishment but declined to reveal the submissions made before the court. He said the case was of murder and criminal conspiracy, and deserved the death penalty.

Lawyer I.M. Munshi told reporters that the defence has asked for leniency, saying the incident was a reaction to the `misbehaviour` of `kar sevaks` (Hindu volunteers) in the train and cannot be termed a `rarest of rare` case.

The lawyers also argued the convicts should not be sent to the gallows considering their past, their family circumstances and the fact that they had spent nine years in jail during the trial.

Meanwhile, lawyer of Ibrahim Abdul Razak Abdul Sattar Samol alias Bhano, one of the 31 convicted in the case, moved an application before the court saying he was a minor at the time of the incident and his case should have been referred to the juvenile justice board.

The lawyer said that Bhano was arrested Sep 1, 2004 and the police record showed his age as 20 years old at the time. But the lawyer claimed that Bhano was a minor and the court should consider his case afresh.

The 31 men were held guilty of murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, robbery and arson.

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