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17 Aug 2017

Kolkata court discharges GJM chief Bimal Gurung in Madan Tamang murder case

File image of Bimal Gurung. Getty imagesPTI, Aug, 17 2017, Kolkata: A city court on Thursday discharged Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supremo Bimal Gurung in the Madan Tamang murder case and directed that charges be framed against 47 other accused. 

City Sessions Court Chief Judge Kundan Kumar Kumai discharged Gurung from the case rejecting the CBI's contention that the GJM chief was involved in the conspiracy to murder the All India Gorkha League leader, one of his political opponents in the Darjeeling hills.

The court, however, directed that charges be framed against all other 47 accused, including Gurung's wife Asha and several other top leaders of GJM.

It fixed 28 August for framing of charges against the accused persons.

The counsel for Gurung had claimed that he was in Kalimpong on the day of the death and that the CBI could not provide any proof that he was involved in the conspiracy to kill Tamang.

The CBI had filed cases against all the accused persons for murder and criminal conspiracy. It had claimed that it was a premeditated murder to prevent any other political party from holding meetings or rallies in Darjeeling hills, where the GJM held sway through "coercive" measures.

Tamang was attacked with sharp weapons when he was overseeing preparations for a public meeting at Clubside in the heart of Darjeeling town on 21 May, 2010, and was declared brought dead at the sadar hospital.

All the accused had filed discharge petitions before the court, which passed the order after hearing their advocates and that of CBI for several days.

The CBI opposed the discharge petitions and prayed for framing of charges against the accused.

The Supreme Court had on 8 October, 2013, directed transfer of hearing in the case from Darjeeling sadar court to the city sessions court on a petition by Tamang's widow Bharati.

She had claimed that witnesses could be impacted if the trial was held in Darjeeling.

West Bengal civic polls: TMC wins all seven civic bodies, makes clean sweep in three

west bengal civic polls, bengal civic polls, civic elections, bengal municipal elections, tmc bengal municipal polls, indian express newsSANTANU CHOWDHURY | IE | Kolkata | August 17, 2017: The Trinamool Congress on Thursday won all seven civic bodies which went to polls last week. The ruling party made clean sweeps in Durgapur Municipal Corporation, which is the largest civic body among the seven, Haldia Municipality and Coopers’ Camp Notified Area. Opposition parties failed to make their mark in any of the civic bodies.
The BJP remained second after it won four out of sixteen wards in Dhupguri Municipality and one ward each in Panskura and Buniadpur municipalities. The CPM-led Left Front won Nalhati Municipality while Congress failed to secure any seat. Out of 148 wards in seven civic bodies, TMC won 140 wards, BJP won 6, Left Front won 1 and an Independent candidate won 1.
“The Opposition did not play a positive and constructive role in the state. They only indulged in attacking the ruling party and criticising the state government. They only competed among themselves and the result is here. Our party won because we are always for development,” TMC Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said.
In Durgapur Municipal Corporation, TMC won all 43 wards. “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had declared West Burdwan as a separate district for better development and people have showed their full faith on her. We want to thank the people of Durgapur for supporting us. They have foiled BJP’s attempts to disrupt the election in Durgapur by bringing outsiders from Bihar and Jharkhand,” state Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Aroop Biswas told The Indian Express. Biswas was also TMC’s election-in-charge of Durgapur Municipal Corporation.
In East Midnapore districts Haldia Municipality, the TMC won all 29 wards. “In 2012, we had won 11 wards while Left Front had won 15 wards. Despite winning the civic body, they could not complete the full tenure as Opposition councilors defected to our party. People of Haldia understood that they have to elect the ruling party to usher in development,” state Transport Minister and TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari said.
In terms of vote share, BJP emerged second in Haldia. “It is evident from BJP vote share that Left votes got transferred to BJP. However, TMC’s vote share has increased from last time. This time we have received more than 60 per cent votes in Haldia. We are not worried,” Adhikari added. In Panskura Municipality of the same district, TMC won 17 wards out of 18 while BJP won 1.
The party also won all 12 wards in Coopers’ Camp Notified Area in Nadia district. In Jalpaiguri district’s Dhupguri Municipality, TMC won 12 wards out of 16 while BJP won four. This is the only municipality among the seven where TMC lost more than three wards. In Nalhati Municipality in Birbhum district, TMC won 14 wards out of 16 while Left Front won 1 and another ward went to an Independent candidate. In South Dinajpur district’s Buniadpur Municipality, TMC won 13 wards out of 14 while BJP won 1. Apart from BJP, Opposition parties Left Front and Congress failed to make its present in any of the seven civic bodies and were decimated in the civic polls.

Gautam Deb slams Bimal Gurung's statement made on I-Day

Prashant Acharya, EOI, SILIGURI, 16 Aug 2017:  Tourism Minister Gautam Deb slammed the statement made by GJM chief Bimal Gurung to carry on the movement for the separate state of Gorkhaland.
Gurung suddenly appeared on the 71st Independence Day celebration at Lebong ground, Darjeeling and addressed the gathering. He said, “GJM will never compromise on Gorkhaland demand and will fight democratically until the government becomes bound to announce Gorkhaland.”
Gurung also had thanked and appealed the people to never give up, keep the morale high and assure that he will never compromise and all the collective aspirations can only achieve Gorkhaland.
On the same contest Tourism Minister condemned the statement and said, “I don’t give importance to Bimal Gurung and also to his statements. What he wants is more important then what people wishes. Union Home minister Rajnatah Singh had asked to restore peace in hills but the strike is still continuing.
Minister also said that the law and rights are equal for all either Gurung or Prime Minister and the state will not provide above those rights.
He further said that the people of hills should come out of the strike to restore normalcy, the government and the police is taking the steps on the same line.

North Bengal witnesses an independence day with a difference

North Bengal witnesses an independence day with a difference
Tom Adikari hoists the nationaĺ tricolor.
Amitava Banerjee, MP, August 16, 2017, Darjeeling, August 15, 2017: Independence day commemorations in North Bengal displayed a marked difference this year. While the Indo- China standoff continued, Bhutan-India Friendship Association celebrated Indian independence day in the border town of Phuentsholing. While most of the areas in the plains of North Bengal commemorated the day amidst floods, for the Hills it was independence day in the ongoing indefinite bandh. Former deputy commander of the banned Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) also hoisted the tricolour. 
The 71st Independence day was commemorated by the Bhutan-Indian Friendship Association (IBFA) in the border town of Bhutan with a vibrant cultural show. "The commemoration has sent a strong message of friendship that Bhutan and India enjoy " stated Raj Basu, Secretary General of the Association. "Let's make Rahul Gandhi PM in 2019," Siddaramaiah gives call Cabinet approves new policy to regulate metro rail services across India.
North Bengal witnesses an independence day with a difference
Indian independence day commemoration in Bhutan 
Despite the standoff between India and China at Dokalam, Bhutanese and Indians commemorated the day together thereby laying to rest allegations that the relation between the two nations had soured. 
A cake was presented to the Consul General of India to Bhutan. IBFA, was established in 1995 to promote and foster friendship between India and Bhutan and also to create strong platform for people to people contact. Its main objective is to create a viable, operative and effective platform for promotion of bilateral friendship between the two countries. 

In another development Joydeb Sarkar alias Tom Adhikari, hosted the tricolour in Fatakatari. Tom had gone underground for many years. He was the deputy commander of KLO. As a militant he had given the call for boycott of independence day commemorations in the past. 
Tom has surrendered and returned to the Indian mainstream. "I request West Bengal Chief Minister to work for the upliftment of our community. Those who surrender should be adequately compensated and helped to be rehabilitated," stated Tom Adhikari. 

The Kamtapur Liberation Organization (KLO) was formed on December 28, 1995 by students from the indigenous Rajbongshi community who were interested in breaking away and forming an independent Kamtapur State in the north-eastern portion of the country. 
The KLO is still committed to the creation of an independent Kamtapuri State comprising of all seven districts of north Bengal namely Malda, North and South Dinajpur, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar and four contiguous districts of Assam namely Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara. 
They had launched an arms struggle, carrying out bomb blasts in North Bengal leading to the death of many. Although several of its major leaders have been either killed or imprisoned between 1999 and 2003, it is believed that the group was revived by the ULFA after it nearly fell apart in late 2004. 
It is believed that they are trying to regroup. Camps are still being run in Mayanmar. The outfit was banned by the Indian Government in 1997. "I had been contacted to work as training commanders in KLO camps but I rejected the offer" stated Manaka Rai, wife of Tom Adhikari. talking to Oneindia. She is a surrendered KLO who now works as an Anganwadi worker. 
KLO Chairman Singh was arrested in 1999 but was released by Assam Police to encourage more surrenders. He however absconded. However recently Singh had sent a press release and photograph to media houses, thereby writing off speculations of his death. 
Darjeeling too marked the day amidst a bandh with rallies carrying placards and tricolors. With no picketers on Tuesday, vehicles both private and taxis were seen on the roads. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha President Bimal Gurung hoisted the Indian flag. He stated that he is now residing in the jungled and would return home only after Gorkhaland is achieved. Gurung stated that the indefinite bandh could continue for the next 6 to 7 months also and that tea gardens would not be exempted from the bandh.

Blow to Giri, as SC refuses to transfer trial from Kolkata

Blow to Giri, as SC refuses to transfer trial from KolkataM P |  17 Aug 2017| New Delhi: In a big blow to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) general secretary Roshan Giri, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to transfer the trial in the Madan Tamang murder case of 2010 from Kolkata to Sikkim but ordered that the proceedings should be conducted through video conferencing from Darjeeling. 
A bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao said that Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) general secretary Roshan Giri, who is an accused in the case and had moved the apex court seeking transfer of trial from Kolkata to Sikkim, does not represent all the persons facing trial in the matter. 
The police have claimed that Tamang, who was the All India Gorkha League (AIGL) president, was hacked to death in Darjeeling on May 21, 2010, in broad daylight when he was overseeing preparations for a public meeting. The apex court asked the lower court in Kolkata, where the case is pending, to hold the trial "mainly through video conferencing" for which the appropriate facility should be set up at Kolkata and Darjeeling respectively.
Giri had approached the apex court seeking transfer of trial in the case, claiming that if he was to appear in court at Kolkata to face the murder trial, then there would be a serious law and order situation in Kolkata which might pose a threat to his life. Giri has been charged with alleged "criminal conspiracy for murder", along with several other GJM leaders, in the murder case of Tamang. CBI has indicted the entire top leadership of the GJM for the murder of the AIGL president. Besides Giri, GJM president Bimal Gurung is among the nine top leaders named in the charge sheet. Gurung, his wife Asha and several senior leaders of the hill outfit had surrendered before a trial court which granted them bail in the murder case.

Flight fares soar as floods halt trains

TT, Aug. 16: Flight fares from Bagdogra have risen by two times or more over the past few days as train movement from north Bengal and the Northeast remained suspended for the fourth day today.
"There has been a rise in passenger traffic, particularly because of the halt in train movement. Today, there were 38 flight movements in Bagdogra and most were full. Over 3,000 passengers flew out and an equal number of people landed here," Rakesh Sahay, the director of the Bagdogra airport, said.
Airport sources said the last few days had seen around 20 per cent rise in the number of passengers.
The sudden rush is accompanied by a considerable rise in fares, which airline sources are attributing to the dynamic fare pricing model.
From Bagdogra, the usual fare to Calcutta is around Rs 3,000. It has shot up to Rs 7,000.
"The Bagdogra-Delhi fare, which usually varies between Rs 5,000 and Rs 6,000, has soared to Rs 11,000 or more. This is because all Delhi-bound trains have been cancelled," a representative of a ticket-booking agency said.
According to airport sources, flight fares are dynamic and expected to soar if there is a spike in demand.
"The fares are cheap if you book months in advance. But as the demand goes up, the fares increase. There cannot be any cap on such prices. If a passenger intends to buy a ticket a few hours ahead of the flight, he might have to pay a sum that is even higher than the current rates," a source said.
Justice (retired) Pranab Chattopadhyay said such a hike in fares during a natural calamity was "unfair and unjust".
"This is illogical and it can be challenged in court," he said.
Several passengers this newspaper spoke to at the Bagdogra airport said they were forced to fly as rail and road connectivity to Calcutta had become uncertain following the floods.
The situation slightly improved today, leading to resumption of road traffic along highways.
"Even then, the number of buses plying to Calcutta and other destinations in south Bengal, and Bihar are not enough compared with the number of stranded passengers," a Siliguri-based transporter said.
"The passengers bound for Delhi and other places in north India do not have the option to avail themselves of bus service unless they have planned a turnaround route via Calcutta or Patna. They have to depend on flights."
Officials of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) today said as many as 77 trains - including the Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express and the Darjeeling Mail - had been cancelled till August 20.
"So far, most of the damaged sites have remained inaccessible. We need some more time to initiate repairs. Water is above the danger level in at least four sections in North Dinajpur and Bihar. The damage of a bridge in Katihar (Bihar) has compounded the problem," an official said.
NFR sources said a pair of special trains between Guwahati and Dalkhola had been introduced.
"Water has receded from Kishanganj and we could run the train till Dalkhola. As several people have got stranded in the absence of trains, we have introduced this special train from today," the official said.
The train will leave Guwahati at 6.30am and arrive at Dalkhola at 5pm. The other train will leave Dalkhola at 6.30am and reach Guwahati at 5.30pm.

Shillong girl found dead- Flight attendant's fatal fall from flat - Tragedy strikes through window without grille

TT, Aug. 16: A 23-year-old flight attendant with IndiGo mysteriously fell to her death from the third floor of the apartment building near Kestopur where she lived even as two friends slept in another room after the trio returned from Park Street last night.
Clara Bansharai Khongsit, who is from Shillong, was found dead around five feet from the base of the four-storey building at AC-49 Prafulla Kanan, a 10-minute walk from VIP Road. Some people out for their morning walk around 4.30am saw the body and called police.
Her friends - one of them works with SpiceJet as a flight attendant - were apparently unaware of the tragedy until they were woken up by a police team repeatedly knocking on the door to the apartment.
The trio had partied in a Park Street nightclub and returned only a few hours earlier, although Clara's friends were unable to specify the time they got back, the police said.
Investigators suspect Clara fell through a sliding aluminium-frame window without a grille. Till late tonight, there was no word from the police of whether the young woman's death was an accident, a suicide or homicidal in nature.
"We are checking her call details to see if she had had a fight with anyone that could have prompted her to end her life. We are not ruling out foul play either at this stage. The third possibility is that it was an accident.... she might have lost her balance sitting on the window ledge," said an officer in the Bidhannagar police commissionerate.
Clad in blue shorts and a red-and-white striped T-shirt, Clara's body was almost blocking the narrow lane in front of the apartment building when the morning walkers passed by.
A team from Baguiati police station reached the apartment building soon after to find her two friends clueless and allegedly incoherent. "They were unable to recall even when they had returned to the flat. We will have to question them again," said an officer.
Clara's body would be sent for post-mortem tomorrow. The time of death - that will decide how long she had been lying on the road - is crucial to the investigation, the officer said.
The preliminary inference is that the Shillong girl fell to her death from a height of around 34 feet.
Vivek Syiem, the superintendent of police (city) in Shillong, said a deputy commissioner of police in Calcutta called to inform him about Clara's "unnatural death".
Clara grew up at Lumparing in Shillong and went to St. John's High School and Lady Keane College. She joined IndiGo in 2016.
Tuesday was her weekly off and she had gone out with friends Evalyne Leen Nongrum and Suraj Sutodiya. The trio celebrated Evalyne's birthday. Evalyne and Clara had been friends since they met while training to be flight attendants.
The 850sq ft flat where Clara had been living for around seven months was bought by her father Sherab Tenzing Bhutia eight years ago. Bhutia, also an airline employee, is currently based in Kuwait, the police said.
Clara's elder brother Anthony arrived in the afternoon. "We have just reached, I cannot say anything now," he said.
IndiGo airlines issued a statement condoling the flight attendant's death. "We have come to know of the sad demise of our employee Ms Khongsit Clara Bansharai.... IndiGo expresses its deepest condolences," the airline said.

Floods worsen in 3 districts - Snapped tracks, eroded banks

Railway tracks damaged by the overflowing Sudhani river near Telta in North Dinajpur district of Bengal
TT, Aug. 16: The flood-like situation has improved in the districts of Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar but has worsened in the two Dinajpurs and Alipurduar.
In the past 24 hours, several new areas have been flooded by the raging rivers and thousands of people have had to be rescued and shifted to shelters and safer places.
The road connectivity between Malda and Raiganj along NH34 has snapped, prompting vehicles to take a circuitous route.
Sources said that since morning, water started flowing over the highway in Kalomati on the outskirts of Raiganj town. "That is why traffic along the stretch had to be stopped," an official said
The Kulik river that skirts Raiganj town has spilled over the banks and breached embankments at some places, causing inundation of several adjoining villages.
Most of the flood-affected residents around Raiganj accused the North Dinajpur administration of not distributing adequate relief materials.
District magistrate Ayesha Rani A. said: "We are distributing relief materials and consistently monitoring the situation. Because of the sudden flood, an order has been issued to keep all educational institutions closed till next Sunday."
Medical teams and volunteers of social organisations have also rushed to the affected areas to provide necessary medicines and relief to the people.
In South Dinajpur, overflowing rivers like the Atrayee, Punarbhaba and Tangan have flooded most of the areas of Balurghat and Gangarampur subdivisions.
"Cracks have developed on a bridge in Bansihari (located on the Raiganj-Balurghat state highway). Also, approach roads of two bridges over the Tangan river have been affected," an official said.
In Alipurduar, the water level of the Kaljani river that flows through the town rose today because of rain in the Bhutan hills.
In Cooch Behar, though the water level has receded in most parts, the situation has become acute in two wards of the town where erosion caused by the Torsha river has gobbled land.

Ex-KLO men seek Sixth Schedule

TT, Jalpaiguri, Aug. 16: A group of former KLO militants has demanded that the Centre and the state government use Sixth Schedule status as a tool for development of Rajbangshi population of north Bengal.
Joydeb Roy alias Tom Adhikary, a former KLO militant, who attended the Independence Day celebrations at Fataktari village in Dhupguri yesterday, said: "We feel the state and central governments should focus on the socio-economic development of Rajbangshis. Several people of our community are living in poverty. The state has announced formation of a development board for us and is taking steps to recognise the Rajbangshi language. But we feel that it should, along with the Centre, find out whether Sixth Schedule can be used as a tool to expedite the development."
Another former KLO militant said they were doing odd jobs to run their families: "Most of us are unemployed and are doing odd jobs to run our families. We hope the state government will take some initiative to provide employment or some financial assistance to us so that we can become self-dependant."
The proscribed militant outfit was formed by a section of Rajbangshi youths with the demand of separate Kamtapur state in 1996. Most of its members are into mainstream now, particularly after the 'Operation Flushout' by the Royal Bhutan Army in 2003.

None is above law: Minister

TT, Siliguri, Aug. 16: Bengal tourism minister Gautam Deb today said the state government would not allow Bimal Gurung to take advantage of the current situation in the hills and police would take necessary steps to restore normality there.
"Police and all other law enforcing agencies will take all necessary steps which they feel are required to restore peace and normality in the hills. I would like to make it very clear that we will not allow any advantage to him (Gurung). If required, more police camps will be set up in the hills," Deb said.
"Gurung should understand that law in our country is equally applicable to all. He (Gurung) must know that nobody is above law," he added.
In the past few days, the police and other security forces conducted several raids in and patrolled the Patlebas area in Darjeeling where the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president's house is located. They have also set up a camp at a school in Malidhura that is on the other end of Tukvar.
The moves were made to mount pressure on Gurung and keep the activities of him and other Morcha leaders under scanner. 
The minister today said the government was only concerned about the hill people.
"We are only concerned about common people who are suffering because of the indefinite strike. What Gurung is saying doesn't matter for us."
Two more Morcha leaders have been arrested in connection with incidents of violence during the current statehood movement. They are Gyan Singh, a former councillor of Darjeeling municipality, and Sanjila Chhetri, a member of the Morcha's Darjeeling subdivisional committee.

SC bins trial shift plea - Tamang case to be heard in Calcutta through video ... SC refuses transfer the trial to Sikkim

Madan Tamang (left), Bimal Gurung
TT, PTI, New Delhi, Aug. 16 : The Supreme Court today refused to transfer the trial in the Madan Tamang murder case from Calcutta to Sikkim but ordered that the proceedings should be conducted through video conferencing from Darjeeling.
A bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao said that Gorkha Janmukti Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri, who is an accused in the case and had moved the apex court seeking transfer of the trial to Sikkim, did not represent all the persons facing trial. Morcha chief Bimal Gurung is also named in the chargesheet.
Police have claimed that Tamang, who was the All India Gorkha League (AIGL) president, was hacked to death in Darjeeling on May 21, 2010, in daylight when he was overseeing preparations for a public meeting.
The apex court asked the lower court in Calcutta, where the case is pending, to hold the trial "mainly through video conferencing" for which the appropriate facility should be set up in Calcutta and Darjeeling.
It, however, clarified that if the trial court was of the opinion that physical presence of a particular accused and or a witness was necessary before the Calcutta court, the judge can pass a specific order in this regard.
"We are not inclined to direct that the case be transferred out of Kolkata at the instance of the petitioner (Giri) who do not represent all the accused in the trial," the apex court said.
During the hearing, additional-solicitor general P.S. Narasimha, representing the CBI, and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Bengal government, told the bench that trial through video conferencing was an "acceptable option" in this case.
Giri's counsel did not object to the submissions, after which the bench said "we consider that these submissions are undoubtedly reasonable and practical. We accordingly direct the trial court to hold the trial in the case mainly through video conferencing...."
The bench further said that "if the trial judge would be of the opinion that physical presence of a particular witness or accused is necessary in court before Kolkata, he shall pass such specific order giving sufficient time to that person to be present before the court".
Giri had approached the apex court seeking transfer of trial, claiming that if he was to appear in court in Calcutta, there would be a serious law and order situation that might pose a threat to his life.
In Calcutta today, a city sessions court judge, K.K. Kumai, adjourned until tomorrow his order on the petitions moved by Gurung and others seeking quashing of the charges brought against them by the CBI in the murder case.
The judge was about to deliver his order when a lawyer informed him about the development in the Supreme Court.
The lawyer said: "According to information received by us, the Supreme Court has issued an order allowing the holding of the trial though video conference."
Kumai said: "Then I have to wait till the copy of the order passed by the Supreme Court reaches us."
He then adjourned his order till tomorrow.

16 Aug 2017

India and China hold border meet, discuss peace a day after Ladakh scuffle

A man walks inside a conference room used for meetings between military commanders of China and India, at the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in Arunachal Pradesh.Rahul Singh and Rajesh Ahuja, HT, 16 August 2017, New Delhi: A man walks inside a conference room used for meetings between military commanders of China and India, at the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in Arunachal Pradesh.

Indian and Chinese officials were meeting at the border in Ladakh on Wednesday, a day after their troops were involved in a scuffle in the area.

The clash near the Pangong Lake, which divides Indian and Chinese territory, was triggered by an incursion bid by Chinese troops that was foiled, sources said.

The incident came at a time when the two neighbours are in a standoff thousands of miles away in the disputed Doklam plateau close to Sikkim on India’s northeastern border.

Government sources said a “pre-scheduled border personnel meeting” was in progress in Ladakh’s Chushul area since Wednesday afternoon, adding the Pangong Lake incident was also on the agenda.

The two sides were also discussing strengthening of existing mechanisms for maintaining border peace and tranquillity, the sources said.

“This is not a subject on which the government normally makes a comment,” defence minister Arun Jaitley said.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said at a regular briefing in Beijing that she was not aware of any scuffle at the Ladakh border.

On Tuesday, two groups of Chinese armymen reportedly crossed the Line of Actual Control around the Pangong Lake. Indian border troopers asked them to return.

“The Chinese patrol refused to move when the Indian side first showed banners that they were in Indian territory, as per the settled drill. Heated arguments took place between the two sides, leading to a scuffle in which troops punched at each other and then finally stones were thrown,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

Indian troops involved in the incident said the Chinese patrol teams, consisting of around 15 personnel, started throwing stones first.

Around six men from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) suffered injuries.

Shillong Air hostess falls off third floor during friend’s birthday party, dies

Khongsit Clara’s death is being probed by the Bidhannagar Police.Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri , HT, 16 August 2017, Kolkata: A flight attendant in her mid-twenties has died after allegedly falling from the third floor of a building in Keshtopur in the northern fringes of Kolkata, police said on Wednesday.

Khongsit Clara, who worked with a private budget airline and was a resident of Shillong, was attending the birthday party of her friend in the building late on Tuesday. Kestopur is a densely populated middle-class neighbourhood.

“We came to know that Clara came to her friend’s residence at Keshtopur to attend the birthday party on Tuesday. Her friend’s boyfriend was also there. Clara’s friend lives on the third floor of the building where the party was organised,” said an officer of Bidhannagar Police.

Bidhannagar City Police have detained Clara’s friend and the latter’s boyfriend for questioning.

Sources said Clara’s friend and her boyfriend gave similar statements to the police. Both said they heard a sound after midnight following which they found Clara had fallen through a window. Incidentally, it was the only window in the house that did not have grilles.

“The question is how did she fall from the third floor. Did anyone push her? We are also trying to find out if she had any reason to commit suicide,” said an investigating officer.

Clara attended St John’s High School in Hathras and Shillong’s Lady Keane College.

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