Three girls of Class VIII were injured and hospitalised in Odisha’s Kandhamal district on Friday after allegedly being beaten up by their headmaster for not sweeping the floor of their classroom.HospitalisedThe incident occurred at Mahasingh Nodal Upper Primary School in K. Nuagaon block. The injured students were admitted to Baliguda hospital.According to sources, the headmaster, Harish Chandra Sahoo, thrashed the three girls in a fit of rage. Two of the girls fainted in the classroom.
Many sections of the people, including students and women, joined the campaign in Manipur demanding the protection of Manipur’s territory, against the backdrop of the understanding the Centre had reached with some Naga bodies, which held peace talks for the last 22 years. Students from most of the districts came out of their classes on Friday, squatted on busy roads and formed human chains, thereby hindering free flow of traffic.They raised slogans that Manipur territory cannot be compromised and diluted. Women activists and student leaders told The Hindu that Manipur is a State with 2,000 years of written history. M. Keinatombi, a woman activist said, “That Manipur had been an independent kingdom is established by the international treaties the State had signed with some foreign countries. Manipur had its Assembly and elected MLAs. King Budhachandra who was a titular head was summoned in Shillong, now capital of Meghalaya, in September 1949 and he signed the merger agreement under duress after keeping him under house arrest”. He had signed the merger agreement on September 21, 1949 though it was officially made public on October 15, 1949 to synchronise with that of Tripura, a princely State in the Northeast which was merged with independent India. However eminent scholars and other intellectuals in a public convention were of the unanimous view that the merger agreement with Manipur is “null and void” since the State Assembly never authorised the titular king to sign the agreement.”Women who take out torchlight procession every day say that they shall not rest till the details of the Naga agreement are put in public domain.After snapping ties on Thursday with the Manipur government, the Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), formed by five civil society organisations quarter-backing the agitations, exhorted the people to launch various campaigns near the houses of the 60 MLAs and four MPs who are allegedly shirking their accountability to the people on this burning issue.Sunil Karam, coordinator of the COCOMI says, “Though the Chief Minister N. Biren had assured the leaders of the civil organisations to summon an emergency session of the Manipur Assembly it is now clear that there will be no session to take a resolution on the Naga agreement. On the other hand, Biren says he will be first to resign or to sacrifice his life if Manipur’s interest and territory are compromised. However some leaders point out that it will be immaterial if Biren resigns or takes the extreme step once the Naga agreement is inked.”Earlier another BJP Cabinet Minister. T. Shyamkumar said he will commit suicide if Manipur’s territory is compromised.However, women activists said that no purpose will be served by their “sacrifices” after the inordinate delay. Women vigilantes say that if there is nothing objectionable in the Naga agreement it should have been kept in the public domain. They further say that it is fearsome why the government is transporting security personnel in trucks, special aircrafts and helicopters to Manipur ahead of the public announcement of the details of the Naga agreement.Police said though they are outnumbered by students, women vigilantes and other activists in the day-and-night agitations, the additional forces from Tripura and other States have not been deployed in the trouble-prone areas yet.
While the doping scandal is getting murkier day-by-day with the reports of involvement of players and sports officials coming out, former national swimming champion Reshma Millet on Tuesday said she has seen many athletes administering themselves performance enhancing drugs. Millet told Headlines Today that ahead of the 2002 Asian Games, she saw a group of power-lifters openly injecting each other steroids during a training camp in Delhi. “We were sharing a dormitory at Talkatora with other sports people, mainly power-lifters. One time I remember, I must be 16 or 17 years old, I saw five power-lifters injecting each other something. I was really terrified to see them,” Millet said. She added that the drug abuse was not limited to power-lifters, but she had seen many fellow swimmers also using banned drugs. “No one ever gets caught because… to give an instance… when we had Afro-Asian Games in Hyderabad. Every competitor used to go for dope test. Just before the dope test a couple of people were missing. There was one fellow swimmer who was actually hiding in the bathroom. She was terrified to come out and take the dope test,” Millet said. Going a step further, she added that officials in several sports federations have been promoting substance abuse among athletes. She said the federations back such activities and also help players in masking them. Millet’s allegations have the potential to open a can of worms and cause deep embarrassment to sports bodies battling India’s biggest doping scandal. Earlier, star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal had also revealed that some Indian athletes had admitted to her about taking performance enhancing drugs.advertisement