Poipynhun Majaw first RTI activist to be murdered in Meghalaya

first_imgExcommunication from the village or society was the preferred form of punishment for those who used the Right to Information in Meghalaya. Until youth leader Poipynhun Majaw was murder on Tuesday.The police in the State’s East Jaintia Hills district said unknown assailants killed Mr. Majaw by hitting him with a heavy iron object, possibly a wrench, found lying beside his body in Khliehriat, a coal mining hub. They are following a clue – a 125 cc motorcycle found abandoned nearby – to get to his killers.Rights activists in the State said that at least 20 people have been banished from their villages for using the RTI to expose corruption in local governance and utilisation of beneficiary schemes in less than a decade.“Many of those excommunicated are women who dared to go against corrupt local body heads and moved the RTI to find out rations allotted for them were being diverted or ghost workers were awarded MGNREGS (rural job guarantee scheme) work,” Agnes Kharshiing of the Civil Society Women’s Organisation said.On Wednesday, as the police began hunting for the bike owner, some villagers in the adjoining West Jaintia Hills told the authorities they were being hounded by local leaders after getting a reply to their RTI query on the status of MGNREGS in Sankhat, their village.“The RTI reply revealed that area leaders withdrew more money than what the MGNREGS assignment for 11 job card holders of our village could have entailed. We are under tremendous pressure to either take up the matter or leave,” a member of one of 32 households denied work said from Sankhat.Ostracised for using RTI In 2014, the dorbar (governing body) of Umsumbah village in the West Khasi Hills district deprived 11 people of their basic right of seeking information through RTI. The dorbar ‘blacklisted’ them and it needed the intervention of the Block Development Officer to come to a compromise. But the reprieve was temporary, as the ‘dorbar’ allegedly punished the villagers till December last year, cancelling their job cards, denying them access to fair price shops and residential certificates for their children.In 2011, three women – Fatima Mynsong, Acqueline Songthiang and Matilda Suting – were excommunicated by the ‘dorbar’ of Jongsha village, about 30 km from Shillong, after they exercised the RTI to know about utilisation of government funds for the village.The trio, however, fought back and managed to get the village headman, who ordered their exile, removed from his post.In February 2011, a student leader named Bobby Basaiawmoit was asked by the ‘dorbar’ of Mairangbah village to either pay a fine of ₹5,000 for exercising RTI or be banished.“Mr. Majaw’s was the first case of murder of an RTI activist in Meghalaya, where violence was not associated with activism unlike other States such as Assam,” Ms. Kharshiing said.Rights activists believe that Mr. Majaw was killed because of using RTI to expose the unholy nexus between the Jaintia Hills tribal council and cement companies who have been extracting limestone with scant respect for the fragile ecology of the State.“We are yet to find the motive behind Mr. Majaw’s murder, but we hope to get some answers once we find the owner of the bike. The suspected murder weapon has been sent for forensic tests while the autopsy report is expected within a week,” Nazarius Lamare, Superintendent of Police of East Jaintia Hills district, said.last_img read more

I made mistakes in World Cup: Shahid Afridi

first_imgThe semifinal loss to India in the World Cup continues to rankle Pakistan’s ODI captain Shahid Afridi who said it was a mistake to position himself in the lower-half of the batting order in the high-voltage game.”I am not a born captain and I also make mistakes. I made mistakes in the World Cup particularly in the semifinal at Mohali. I should have gone up the order like Mahendra Singh Dhoni did against Sri Lanka in the final at Mumbai,” Afridi said on a show on Geo News.The flamboyant all-rounder said with Abdul Razzaq also available down the order, he should have taken a chance and promoted himself in the semifinal against India.”The move by Dhoni in the final to come up himself worked and it could have also worked for us but we all make mistakes it was my mistake,” he said.He pointed out that India had one of the strongest and best batting line-ups in the world and when Pakistan bowled them out for 260, there was total silence at the innings break in the stadium.”Once we held them down to 260, I knew we had a strong chance of winning the match. Unfortunatly, we didn’t bat well and the moment Umar Akmal got out, I had a bad feeling it was not going our way,” he said.”I am learning every day as captain because it is a big learning process.”Afridi refused to to comment on Indo-Pak relations but reiterated that there were some elements in the Indian media who were negative about the ties.advertisement”About that I am convinced there are negative elements.And if both countries want to move forward this mindset has to change.”I am not against India or Indian people or Hindus. They are Hindus living in Pakistan just like Muslims in India and since this is a very sensitive issue I have decided that from now on I will not speak on it,” Afridi said.Afridi also said he never expected to end up as the joint highest wicket-taker in the World Cup.”I didn’t go into the tournament thinking I will take 21 wickets. It is a big honor for me and I am happy that I contributed to the team’s cause.”Afridi and Zaheer Khan finished with 21 wickets apiece in the World Cup.Afridi insisted he had no immediate plans to retire from international cricket.”While the 2015 World Cup is still a long way away I am presently looking at the Twenty20 World Cup that will be held next year. I will continue to play and captain the side as long as I am performing and as long as the board and people can tolerate and accept me,” he added.He said while he was in favour of rebuilding the team after the World Cup but, radicial changes should be avoided.”First of all this assumption that seniors have been dropped for the West Indies tour is not correct. They have been rested as the selectors and management want to try out some new players. I am for change but not in a haphazard manner and we can’t just dump our senior players who have given so much to Pakistan cricket.”The Pakistan captain also insisted that he was grateful to some former players and seniors such as Younus Khan, Kamran Akmal and Misbah-ul-Haq who had supported him.”The main target I and Vicky bhai (Waqar Younis) had was to ensure a clean and good dressing room atmosphere in the World Cup and to get the team to gel together and I think we succeeded in doing that,” he said.last_img read more

Iowa State romps past Kansas to win Big 12 tourney title

first_imgPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “I think it was our best team win of the year because it was gritty,” said Shayok, who like Jacobson sat out last season after transferring. “Everybody stepped up.”Dedric Lawson had 18 points and Devon Dotson added 17 for the third-seeded Jayhawks, whose last chance to win some hardware will be the NCAA Tournament. Their run of 14 consecutive regular-season crowns ended last weekend, and they failed to defend their Big 12 Tournament title.“The way we competed, we showed some signs where we really wanted to win this game,” Dotson said. “But they hit some tough shots. We were missing some of our easy shots we usually make.”Meanwhile, the Cyclones made a tremendous about-face during their stay in Kansas City.They arrived having lost five of their last six regular-season games, and looked rudderless in losses to Texas and lowly West Virginia. But beginning with a blowout of Baylor and continuing with a quarterfinal win over regular-season champ Kansas State, the Cyclones found their stride.ADVERTISEMENT After cutting their deficit to single-digits on several occasions, including 72-63 with 1:21 to go, the Cyclones kept answering. And after Grimes was called for a foul on Wigginton, Lawson spiked the ball under the basket and was whistled for a technical foul.Shayok made the two technical foul shots, Wigginton made two more, and the chants of “Let’s Go Cyclones!” began to reverberate throughout Sprint Center in celebration of another title.“This is a special night. Kansas is a tremendous program,” Prohm said, “and you can talk about Coach Self forever. But our guys answered the bell We came down here and won each game in different ways. We showed our toughness. We showed our togetherness.BIG PICTUREIowa State has leaned on Shayok and Talen Horton-Tucker much of the season, but Wigginton and Haliburton shined in Kansas City. Wigginton is averaging more than 15 points over his last five games while Haliburton continues to lead the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio.Kansas started freshman center David McCormack, but the Cyclones’ guard-oriented lineup forced the Jayhawks to match their personnel. Charlie Moore and the rest of their guards struggled shooting the ball, and they were unable to get crucial defensive stops down the stretch.UP NEXTBoth teams will learn their NCAA Tournament destinations Sunday. MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The trio helped the fifth-seeded Cyclones race to a big early lead against No. 17 Kansas on Saturday night, then contributed to enough crucial stops down the stretch, preserving a 78-66 victory over the Jayhawks in the Big 12 Tournament finale at Sprint Center.“When you do something special, you win a championship, you got a connection for the rest of your life,” said Cyclones coach Steve Prohm, who brought together his team from far and wide.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics UP stops slide, downs Adamson for share of 4th spot Iowa State guard Talen Horton-Tucker (11) celebrates a basket during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Kansas in the final of the Big 12 men’s tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lindell Wigginton found his way to Iowa State from Canada, Marial Shayok took a detour through the University of Virginia, and Michael Jacobson started his career at the University of Nebraska.Three players from three very different backgrounds now have something in common: a title.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIEScenter_img For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event “Hopefully this is just step one. We’ll enjoy this for a while, figure out where we’re going for the NCAA Tournament and then we’ll focus on that.”Wigginton finished with 17 points, Shayok had 15 on his way to winning tournament MVP, and Jacobson finished with 14 for the Cyclones (23-11), who became the lowest-seeded team ever to win the conference tournament. They also improved to 2-0 against Kansas (25-9) in the finals. Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Google Philippines names new country director Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other The Jayhawks, still looking for their own, were fortunate to trail 32-22 at halftime.Lawson, who had 24 points in the semifinals, was 2 of 11 from the field. Marcus Garrett was 0 for 6 from the floor and 1 of 4 from the foul line. Quentin Grimes was 0 or 4 from beyond the arc after hitting five 3-pointers in their win over the Mountaineers on Friday night.All told, the Jayhawks shot 27.8 percent from the field and missed all nine of their 3-point attempts in the first half. They also were just 2 of 8 from the free-throw line.“Just one of those nights,” Grimes said. “Every one of the shots we put up was a good shot.”Iowa State had its own trouble on the offensive end of the floor, getting five shots swatted into the seats. But the Cyclones were effective at getting to the rim, and easy layups by Wigginton and Tyrese Haliburton allowed them to take control.Their lead swelled to 41-24 early in the second half. And even when the Jayhawks managed to nip into it, they would inevitably miss an open layup or throw the ball away.Or, Jacobson would knock down an unlikely 3-pointer.That was the case when the Jayhawks trimmed the deficit to 45-35 with 14 minutes to go. Iowa State’s big man calmly drained one from the top of the arc — all Kansas coach Bill Self could do was smile in disbelief — and Steve Prohm’s squad promptly ripped off seven straight points.“We just didn’t make those plays that you need in order to put some real game pressure on them,” Self said. “They were better than us, make no mistake.”Frustration eventually set in for the Jayhawks down the stretch. View commentslast_img read more