Tribal community in West Bengal protest against Assam militant attacks

Siliguri, Dec 30 (ANI): The Tribal community in West Bengal on staged protest against militant attacks in Assam that killed at least 80 people. Police believe that a faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), fighting for a separate state for ethnic Bodos, was behind coordinated attacks on tea plantation workers and their families in Assam last week, the deadliest in years. Protesters from Adivasi Socio-Educational Association (ASEA) took to streets in Siliguri city and demanded for action against the militants. Secretary of Darjeeling wing ASEA committee, Trinath Murmu, said that they were demanding immediate action by the government to maintain peace in the region. India has sought cooperation from Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh in an offensive against a tribal militant group. Dec 30, 2014

Candlelight vigil marks second death anniversary of Delhi gang rape victim

New Delhi, Dec 30 (ANI): India marked the second death anniversary of Delhi gang rape victim with candlelight vigil. The gang rape victim whose assault in New Delhi triggered nationwide protests died of her injuries on December 29, 2012 in a Singapore hospital. The 23-year-old medical student, severely beaten, raped and thrown out of a moving bus in New Delhi on December 16, 2012, was flown to Singapore in a critical condition by the Indian government for specialist treatment. On Monday, people poured in streets to pay tribute to the victim, who is often referred as 'Nirbhaya'-meaning fearless. Meanwhile, victim's father said nothing had changed and laws had changed only on paper. The victim's father also said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and put forth his views on women safety. Dec 30, 2014

India summons Pak envoy over grant of bail to 26/11 mastermind Lakhvi

New Delhi, Dec 30 (ANI): Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs. Basit, however, refused to comment whether he was summoned by Indian foreign ministry. According to reports, Basit was summoned by the Indian foreign ministry to protest against a court order that could allow 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi to leave jail. The Foreign Secretary conveyed strong concern at the lack of effective action by Pakistan's Prosecuting authorities after Lakhvi was granted bail by an Anti-Terrorism-Court. There was no comment from Ministry of External Affairs either, immediately. Lakhvi was put under house arrest immediately after the grant of bail. He remained in jail under Pakistan's Maintenance of Public Order. He had challenged his detention in the Islamabad High Court after the government rejected his plea for release. Dec 30, 2014

Police arrest suspect behind Assam militant attacks

Sonitpur, Dec 30 (ANI): Police in Assam arrested a suspect behind coordinated militant attacks on tea plantation workers and their families that killed at least 80 people, the deadliest in years. The suspect has been identified as Suklai Basumtari, who is accused of having links with National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB). Police believe that a faction of NDFB, fighting for a separate state for ethnic Bodos, was behind the attacks. Police arrested him from Biswanath Chariali town in Sonitpur district under operation named, 'All Out'. Meanwhile, several media groups appealed people to donate relief materials to victims in relief camps in Kokrajhar and Sonitpur. Some militants may have fled to neighbouring Bhutan while their leader was believed to be in Myanmar, officials and police said, prompting calls for cooperation. Dec 30, 2014

PM Modi meets govt officials on 'smart city' initiative

New Delhi, Dec 30 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting with government officials on Smart City initiative in New Delhi. Modi has a vision to create 100 new "smart cities" by 2020, and to make that a reality foreign capital is likely to play a part. One of the aims of this initiative is to improve the quality of urban governance, which will strengthen the overall governance of the county. While inviting identifying factors that could be laid down for building smart cities, Modi asked the government officials to identify the basics of infrastructure, quality of life, and citizen-centric services that are essential to the cities of 21st century. Modi wants the cities to be economic activity hubs with solid-waste management and waste-water treatment playing an important part in the development of those cities. Dec 30, 2014