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Journo’s jottings 2015: When politics over beef claimed a life in Dadri

Sometime later, I wrote a story on how Akhlaq’s family saw him as a son, father, husband and brother and I realised how little I knew about the man who I was supposedly covering. He was not just “the man who was killed for eating beef”, he was “Papaji”.

Azaan Javaid

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Grieving relatives of BSF plane crash confront Rajnath Singh


Merely 24 hours after the crash, a wreath laying ceremony was held in the honour of nine Border Security Force and one Sashastra Seema Bal personnel, who became victims of a BSF air crash on Tuesday morning.However, the ceremony which was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung among others, proved to be an embarrassment for Singh since anger was a dominant emotion among the family members.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A sentiment which could further be aggravated. dna has learnt that the crashed Ranchi-bound aircraft personnel personnel, was a second hand carrier purchased from a United States based aircraft supplier company.According to documents accessed by dna, Aircraft Type Beech Super King Air B-200 with registration number VT-BSA, was previously owned by Rangeflyers Inc, an aircraft supplier company based in Wichita in US.According to its website, Range Flyers customers include the United States government, defense contractors, airline charter and business jet operators, aircraft manufacturers, dealers, brokers and individual aircraft owners. The BSF aircraft ( serial number BB1485) that was sold to the Union Home Ministry was de-registered in the U.S in 1995 after being used by the company for more than a year. The Home Ministry purchased the aircraft the same year and was being used ever since. An email sent to Rangeflyers Inc has so far went unanswered. The company has also not responded to phone calls made by dna. Meanwhile the inconsolable family members of the victims surrounded Singh and Rijiju at the ceremony demanding an explanation for the crashes that seem to routinely affect the air wing. Colleagues, and batch mates present at the ceremony also questioned the government, its administration and their apathy towards a soldiers life. “Why does the government even bother to hire people, if all they want to do is have them killed eventually,” an officer complained. “So much money is spent in their training, for what?,” he added. Sympathy and support was drowned by Saloni, Ravinder Kumar’s daughter as she was heard accusing Singh “why did you allow them to fly in antique planes? Why does a soldier’s family have to cry everytime?” The inconsolable family members surrounded Singh and Rijiju demanding an explanation for the crashes that seem to routinely affect the air wing. Rajendra Prasad Bhatt, elder brother of deceased Deputy Commandant Bhagwati Bhatt, had just one question on his mind “What will happen to the surviving family members?” He wondered how the government would compensate the families and ensure the financial security of their future. For a batch mate, Bhatt’s death brought back suppressed memories. According to the batch mate who wishes to remain unnamed, Bhatt is the second close friend he has lost to air crash related incidents. Four years ago in 2011, four persons died when a helicopter belonging to the Border Security Force crashed in the hills of Fatehpur village near Abu Road in Rajasthan. Among them was Bhatt’s batch mate and friend Deputy Commandant Vivek Chaudhary. There were two air crashes in 2011 alone.

Uphaar tragedy: Delhi police seek transfer of case to another judge


The Delhi Police accused the current judge hearing the case of hostility.

Sushil and Gopal Ansal
File Photo
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Delhi police on Wednesday petitioned the high court for shifting a case of alleged destruction of evidence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy being heard by a trial court to some other judge, accusing the one currently hearing it of “hostility” towards the complainant and the state.In its plea, the police has also alleged that the sessions court judge is “conducting the case in a manner alien to law and upon his own whims and fancies”.Hearing the matter, Justice Siddharth Mridul ordered issuance of notices to Ansal brothers, the owners of Uphaar theatre, and other accused in the case. The notices issued to real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal, Dharamveer Malhotra and Anoop Singh are returnable before January 5 next year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The move came on a plea moved by the Delhi police seeking the transfer of the case, pending in the court of an additional sessions judge at Patiala House court in New Delhi, to some other competent court having jurisdiction.”The atmosphere in the court is unfortunately very hostile qua the complainants and the state. The sessions court is conducting the case in a manner alien to law and upon his own whims and fancies which is resulting in the loss of confidence in the trial process. The victims who have fought a long battle in court are feeling intimidated and undermined,” the Delhi police plea said.They further said that the case of the prosecution is one of conspiracy, yet the judge is insisting that the case is argued piecemeal, i.e, the accused-wise and has stated he would pass orders accused-wise which is not only contrary to “elementary principles of conspiracy but also a stand adopted to prevent the prosecution from presenting its case in entirety.”The trial court had on May 31 last year ordered framing of charges against the seven accused for abetment of offence, causing disappearance of evidence, criminal breach of trust by public servant and criminal conspiracy.Theatre owners Gopal Ansal and his brother Sushil Ansal, Anoop Singh, Prem Prakash Batra, Harswaroop Panwar, Dharamveer Malhotra as well as a court employee, Dinesh Chandra Sharma, are accused of tampering with evidence in the case, pending since 2006.On June 13, 1997, a fire had broken out at the theatre during the screening of Bollywood film ‘Border’, killing 59 people and injuring over 100. A court had on January 31, 2003, ordered an inquiry after some documents related to the Uphaar case had gone missing from the court’s record room. After an inquiry, the court employee was dismissed from service.

BSF Plane crash: He was the best pilot around, say friends


According to a nephew, Bhatt’s wife got the news of the crash as it flashed across the television in the morning. Her worst fears were confirmed as an official from the Border Security Force came by to confirm the news. “He was very dedicated to his family and a very jovial person,” recalls a batch mate who had come to offer his condolences.

There was a curious crowd of onlookers that comprised local residents, family members and colleagues outside Deputy Commandant Bhagwati Prasad Bhatt’s Sarojini Nagar residence. The small cramped hall is jammed with relatives and well-wishers, while a young boy of three is running around with his friends, oblivious of the fact that his father is never coming home. Bhatt’s wife is inconsolable even as their youngest – a toddler all of 1.5 years sleeps beside her.According to a nephew, Bhatt’s wife got the news of the crash as it flashed across the television in the morning. Her worst fears were confirmed as an official from the Border Security Force came by to confirm the news. “He was very dedicated to his family and a very jovial person,” recalls a batch mate who had come to offer his condolences.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bhatt was the baby in a family that had four brothers and three sisters. “He always wanted to do something different,” says older brother Rajendra, as he fondly recalled their childhood. “Initially he was interested in modelling, though we convinced him otherwise,” he added.Hailing from Uttarakhand, Bhatt grew up in the foothills of the Himalayas, though his higher schooling was in Dehradun. He joined the General Cadre of the Armed Forces and later on got his commercial flying licence from Rae Baireli.There is much anger among the batchmates who had gathered to mourn the demise of their friend. They could not forget Vivek Chaudhary – another batchmate of theirs who suffered a similar fate near Mount Abu almost four years ago. Their association with Bhatt goes back almost 15 years and his death has deeply saddened them.Bhatt – who married his love in 2008 – was posted in Delhi since 2009, when he got his position in the air wing of the BSF. “He was the best pilot around,” echo his friends.Inside the house, the wife has quietened down a bit, exhausted, “he was my strength,” she keeps repeating, tears rolling down her face. “You have to go on,” her friends try to console her, “For your kids, you must take his strength and go on.”The scene at Chotte Lal Sharma’s Sarojini Nagar residence – he was one of the 10 that died in the air crash, is one of caution. Sharma’s brother-in-law Pradeep Sharma said, “We haven’t informed my sister yet. We have simply told her that her husband has met with an accident and he is lying critical in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).” The official phone call confirming the Sharma’s death went to his son Somesh. He too has kept his mother in the dark about his father’s fate.A neighbour recalls, “I would see him (Sharma) every morning before he left for work. He would always say ‘”Please on the lookout and make sure my family is okay.” The neighbour added, “I didn’t see him this morning.”For C L Bhalothia, the morning news of the air crash put him on the edge since he knew his friend Ravindra Kumar, SI (JAM) was on that flight. All he could remember was Kumar telling him “I’m off now, I will see you when I return,” the day before. That was the last time Bhalothia spoke to his friend and colleague of more than a decade.Various colleagues from his department rushed to the spot and confirmed the worst. “The minute I saw the news, I tried to call him on his mobile, it just kept ringing,” Bhalothia recalls. “I could sense something was wrong,” he added. “After a while, the operator message said that the ‘Phone is out of coverage area’, he said.Now came the worst part, Kumar’s family had heard about the crash on the news in the morning, though, it was up to Bhalothia to confirm their worst fears. Bhalotia and his wife immediately made their way to Kumar’s Lodhi Road colony house. Here Bhalothia’s wife is consoling Kumar’s wife Manorama, while Kumar’s children – a son – he is in Class 10 and a daughter – who is studying in the final year of B.Tech, helpless look on. A kindly neighbour is seen bringing trays of teas for the visitors who have come to grieve and offer their support. “Kumar was always seen with a smile on his face and he was always happy,” Bhalothia recalls as he wipes his tears away with his white handkerchief.Kumar, who hailed from Gaya, Bihar, joined the BSF in August 2006 after he retired as a mechanic in the VVIP squadron from the air force. Two younger brothers and his immediate family comprising of his wife and two kids survive him. In the evening, when one tried to call Kumar’s mobile number, the operator message said that the cell phone seemed to be switched off.

Hyderabad: Techie sexually abused by ex-colleague, rescued by police


Acting on a complaint by the victim’s brother that his sister, who stays in Dubai, came to Hyderabad five days ago and was confined in an apartment at Tolichowki, the ‘She Team’ of the city police formed a team to rescue her, a police release said.
Representational Image
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A techie, who was allegedly confined in an apartment and sexually abused by her former colleague, was rescued, police said on Tuesday.Acting on a complaint by the victim’s brother that his sister, who stays in Dubai, came to Hyderabad five days ago and was confined in an apartment at Tolichowki, the ‘She Team’ of the city police formed a team to rescue her, a police release said.”When the team reached there, the victim was found confined in a bathroom and she was in a state of shock with injuries on her head and face. She was rescued from the accused, who had confined her under threat,” it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The accused, Syed Imad Hasan (26), a private employee in a software company and a native of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, developed intimacy with the victim, while she was working in the same office, it said.”The victim left for Dubai in September, 2015 on office work. The accused continued to torture her on social media and phone threatening her of uploading obscene pictures and matter and compelled her to marry him. He forced her to leave Dubai and came to Hyderabad and marry him at any cost,” it said.Later, he booked a return ticket for her and forced her to come to India. She came to India five days ago to settle the issue.”He picked her from the airport itself and took her to his flat situated at Toli chowki. From then onwards, he took away her phone, passwords of her e-mail, Facebook, and started using them in her name. She was denied access to anybody,” the release said.The accused allegedly procured a litre bottle containing petrol, a knife, a rope and threatened the victim and forced her to give consent for marriage. He also allegedly tore the passport of the victim, beat her severely on head and face and subjected her to sexual abuse, it said.”The victim secretly contacted one of her friends through Facebook and texted him about her condition. He informed this to her brother, who was in Karnataka and both approached the She Team for help,” it said.Based on the victim’s statement, the accused, the seized material and the victim were handed over to the Humayun Nagar police station for necessary action as per law. A case under relevant sections of IPC was booked and the victim was sent for medical examination. The accused was being produced in the court along with the remand report, the release added.

DDCA row: Kirti Azad refuses to take Arun Jaitley’s name, lets down cheerleaders


Kirti Azad

Will he, won’t he? The entire media, including social media, was abuzz with speculations on Sunday whether Kirti Azad would actually name Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in the alleged DDCA corruption, thereby providing opposition parties with enough ammunition to bring the House down in the remaining days of Winter session. But the former India all-rounder, who was part of 1983 World Cup winning team, came and played the way he was famous for: ‘Straight bat but with long handle’. He refused to join issues with Jaitley, who had referred to him as a “Trojan horse, which every party will be having”.Jaitley, who had referred to him as a “Trojan horse, which every party will be having”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Jaitley, on his part, bowled a googly at Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for making “false and defamatory” statements against him on the issue, saying criminal and civil defamation cases will be filed against him and five other AAP leaders in Delhi courts on Monday. Azad, at the news conference, produced video clips prepared by ‘Wikileaks 4 India’ of all those fake companies which were given crores of rupees by Delhi & District Cricket Association during and after the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium renovation between 2002-08. The sting operation not only showed how 14 companies which got contracts from the DDCA were registered on fake addresses around Delhi, but also proved dna’s several stories right by showing how nearly over 20 crores were embezzled by current DDCA management by opening fraud companies. Azad kept maintaining that “his fight is not against any individual but the corrupt DDCA system.” The video clip showed Jaitley defending his DDCA colleagues during the December 2012 Annual General Meeting. Azad and Sameer Bahadur (NCT cricket secretary) were seen complaining about the DDCA auditor and several officials, to which Jaitley retorted: “if you become the complaint filing authority and file cases against my colleagues, I’m duty bound to defend them”. Bahadur was then seen walking up to Jaitley on the dais and telling him that “his two letters to the Delhi Police were unethical in the light of their misdeeds to which Jaitley was seen stating that “he was aware of the two letters and that he had done the right thing by defending them”. Azad also dismissed Jaitley’s allegations that he had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi during the UPA rule and this triggered the investigation against DDCA. “The allegations are all baseless. My father was one of the youngest members of the Parliament in 1952. I have known Sonia ji since I was a little kid. Whosoever is putting it on me must have contacts with various other parties. If I was going there and trying to get somebody fixed, then how come my brother who had to become a DIB got fixed and superseded during the UPA rule? Facts should be checked in this regard,” Azad clarified. Sehwag, Gambhir bat for Jaitley Sunday started on an unusual note. While the cricketing world was waiting for Azad’s presser, some of the former India players came out in open defending the former DDCA president. Former India opener Gautam Gambhir was the first one to say that “a lot of good things have happened in DDCA when Mr Jaitley was its president. An international kind of stadium was built, if you see what sort of stadium Kotla was and what it is now, all these things happened only when Jaitley was president.”It is important to mention here that this is the same Delhi Ranji team skipper who refused to play at Kotla ground several times in recent times and also had scuffle with corrupt DDCA’s officials and selectors “for not giving him team of his choice”. More surprising was the move by recently retired swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag who took up to the social media to laud Jaitley’s tenure. “In my time with DDCA if I ever came to know of any surprising selection of a player, all I needed to do was to inform Jaitley,” Sehwag tweeted. Well, it was Sehwag only who called a news conference in DDCA in 2009 to complain about various wrongdoings and wrong selections. More so, it was not long ago that he switched loyalties to Haryana from Delhi after apparently being ‘disgusted with DDCA’. Former India batsman Yashpal Sharma’s tweet favouring Jaitley, somehow, was the most reasonable because “despite never having played for Delhi in his career”, an outsider Yashpal was apparently hand-picked by then DDCA president as first Delhi chief selector before promoting him to senior India selection panel. Meanwhile, an AAP leader told dna that the Delhi government “will set up an enquiry commission to probe role of Jaitley” for all the irregularities during his DDCA tenure.

Mumbai double murder: Hema Upadhyay was warned of threat to life hours before death


The family members of artist Hema Upadhyay suspect the role of her estranged husband Chintan Upadhyaya in the double murder and want the police to probe it.

Hema Upadhyay

Mumbai artist Hema Upadhyay, who was found murdered last weekend along with her lawyer, had received a call hours before her death warning of a threat to her life, says a report in Indian Express.Upadhyay received a call last Friday evening allegedly from a person working in the studio of absconding accused Vidyadhar Rajbhar. Shankar Lal, who worked with the artist in her studio in Andheri.”Between 4 pm and 5 pm on December 11, Hema received a call from somebody after which she got hold of a screwdriver and removed her name plate from outside her office. When I enquired she said that she had received a call where the caller had asked her to beware as her life was in danger,” Shankar Lal told police, says Indian Express.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The family members of artist Hema Upadhyay suspect the role of her estranged husband Chintan Upadhyaya in the double murder and want the police to probe it.The deceased artist’s cousin brother Deepak Prasad told mediapersons on Thursday that he and his other family members “strongly suspect Chintan’s role behind the conspiracy to kill Hema and her 65-year-old lawyer Harish Bhambhani”. Prasad also said that the motive, as cited, of the prime accused Vidhyadhar Rajbhar and his men to kill Hema and her lawyer for Rs five lakh was not true, as she had financially helped Vidhyadhar in the past and never asked him to return her money. He also alleged that some years back, Chintan had threatened Hema that he would kill her and could go to any extent to do that.Meanwhile, a senior police officer, who is probing the case, told PTI on Friday that, “When a body is recovered and identified, police immediately take the statements of the deceased’s relatives to get their version.””In this case too, we had taken the statements of the deceased’s relatives. Hema’s relatives have accused Chintan of hatching the conspiracy to kill her,” he said.Based on the statements of Hema’s relatives, Chintan was constantly grilled for four days by several police officers in connection with the twin murders, he said. The deceased artist’s husband still remains a “suspect” in the case, he said, adding the motive behind the murder is yet to become clear. However, without proper evidence, police cannot arrest anyone based on mere allegations, he further stated.Only after the arrest of the Vidhyadhar, who is on the run, the police could get a clear picture about involvement of Chintan, if any, the officer said. He also said that Hema’s relatives were trying to build pressure on the investigating team by approaching the media and expressing their views which they have already mentioned in the statements given to police.Bodies of noted installation artist Hema (43) and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani wrapped in plastic and packed in separate cardboard boxes were found dumped in a drain in suburban Kandivali on December 12.So far, police have arrested four persons in the case namely Azad Rajbhar, Pradeep Rajbhar, Vijay Rajbhar and Shivkumar Rajbhar alias Sadhu and booked them for murder and causing disappearance of evidence. Except Sadhu, who was nabbed from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, the remaining three were picked up from Kandivali on Sunday.Three of the accused –Azad, Pradeep and Vijay– were placed under arrest on Tuesday after being booked under IPC sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).The three, who are in police custody till Saturday, are in the business of manufacturing and selling fibre glass used by Hema and Chintan for their installations. Sadhu was earlier remanded in police custody till December 22.Based on leads provided by the accused during their sustained questioning, teams of Mumbai Police has been searching locations in and outside Maharashtra to nab Vidyadhar, who used to make the material required by Hema for her work.

Al Qaeda suspect held in Cuttack

The arrest of Abdul Rahman was made after a raid by a joint team of Delhi Police and Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissionerate Police at his house in Paschimakachha village in Jagatpur area in the wee hours, Commissioner of Police R P Sharma told reporters.

Al Qaeda suspect held in Cuttack

A suspected terrorist with Al Qaeda links was arrested on Wednesday from Jagatpur area of Cuttack in Odisha, a senior police official said.The arrest of Abdul Rahman was made after a raid by a joint team of Delhi Police and Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissionerate Police at his house in Paschimakachha village in Jagatpur area in the wee hours, Commissioner of Police R P Sharma told reporters. The joint operation was conducted following arrival of a team from the special cell of Delhi Police on Tuesday for nabbing Rahman who was suspected to have international links in countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Dubai, Sharma said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per preliminary information, the accused has been keeping contacts with terrorist groups and recruiting people for ‘Al Qaeda in Indian Sub-Continent’ (AQIS), the police commissioner said. Rahman is also suspected to have links with people hailing from Indian sub-continent and living in London, Sharma said. The accused is believed to have links in several states like Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.A number of materials including a tab, mobile phone and passport were seized from the house of Rahman, aged around 37 years, and a native of Paschimakachha village, Sharma said. The accused, who is married and has three children, ran a Madrasa at Tangi area near Cuttack.Further interrogation of the accused would be done by the special cell of Delhi Police. The police commissioner said that Rahman’s brother Tahir Ali had been arrested in 2001 in connection with the terrorist attack on American Centre in Kolkata.Top officials of the commissionerate police and Delhi sleuths took part in the swift operation for capturing Rahman. His house was also thoroughly searched and the area was sealed as the police team conducted operation, Sharma said.Rahman would be taken to Delhi after being produced in a court at Salepur in Cuttack district for a transit remand.

Netaji kin wants PM Modi to urge Putin to declassify KGB files

The Indian government has already decided to declassify all the files related to Bose from January 23.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

Ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit to Russia, two members of the Netaji family will meet Narendra Modi on Wednesday to request him to take up declassification of KGB files related to Netaji.”To get conclusive evidence about the fate of Netaji, it is very important for us to see the KGB files. These are old files and won’t get released unless the matter is taken up at the level of the Prime Minister,” Netaji’s grandnephew Chandra Bose told PTI. He said that during the meeting he and his sister, Madhuri, will try to impress upon Modi to personally ask Russian President Vladimir Putin about the classified files.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are sure that Netaji did not die in the air crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945. He either went to China or the erstwhile Soviet Union. The KGB files are therefore very crucial,” Bose said. Earlier in October, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had raised the issue with the Russian foreign minister during a meeting in Moscow. The Indian government has already decided to declassify all the files related to Bose from January 23.Bose said that during the meeting with Modi at Parliament House they will present him a new book ‘The Bose brothers and Indian independence, an insider’s account’ written by Madhuri Bose. The book looks at the life and times of Netaji and his brother Sarat Chandra Bose with unpublished documents sourced from the family’s private collection.”There are many letters and other writings of both the Bose brothers that my father Amiya Nath Bose had in his private collection. It has Netaji’s writings when he was in jail and letters which he wrote to Nehru and Gandhi. The book reflects their political ideologies,” Bose observed.

PM Modi wants to weaken the poor, alleges Rahul Gandhi at Assam rally

Virtually launching Congress’s campaign for the 2016 Assam Assembly elections, Rahul also took a dig at Modi over the defeat in the Bihar polls and asked the people to unite against the BJP.

Rahul Gandhi in Assam

In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused him of only making empty poll promises and creating differences between people in a bid to win elections.Virtually launching Congress’s campaign for the 2016 Assam Assembly elections, Rahul also took a dig at Modi over the defeat in the Bihar polls and asked the people to unite against the BJP.”One year ago, Modi came to Assam and made big promises. He said whatever came to his mind, that he will bring black money back and put Rs 15 lakh in each Indian’s bank account, give employment to the crores of youths in the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”People laugh at his promises. Before polls, he makes one Indian fight with another Indian and then tries to win the elections. Before elections, some trouble is always created because if people are united, BJP can never win,” the Congress Vice President said. Slamming BJP, Gandhi said that the party has “only one card — pitting brother against brother”.Referring to the Bihar Assembly elections, the Congress leader said, “Modi went to Bihar and made promises about bringing development there… made empty promises. “When people of Bihar saw and heard him, they said ‘Modi you go back to Delhi. Your hollow promises, your lies we accepted once, but we are alert people, we will not be influenced by you for the second time’.”The people gave such a drubbing in the Bihar elections that Modi now does not sit in Parliament the way he used to earlier, looking upwards with his chest swollen.” Asking Congress leaders and workers in the state to gear up for the upcoming Assembly elections, he said, “It is very easy to make promises. Modi will come, will make empty promises.”Ask him in public meetings what happened to the special status, under which money was sent by UPA government to Assam and northeast region, your poll promises, where is the Rs 15 lakh you had promised to give us. He will return to Delhi.” Keeping up the tirade, he charged that “Modi wants to weaken the poor, he wants to make a government of two/three chosen industrialists, he wants to sell the country to two/three industrialists”.He said that Congress wants to make “the poor, labourers and farmers strong as we understand that it is them and the youth who make India. This is the difference between us and them At the public meeting held in the minority-dominated AIUDF bastion, Rahul also spoke about the achievements of the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government in Assam in the last 15 years. He said that “15 years back, there was violence in Assam when people were killed, mothers and sisters cried, tears flowed, there was bloodbath. “When there is violence there can be no development. When there is anger, schools cannot function. People cannot get jobs and progress cannot take place. Gogoi and Congress brought peace and brotherhood back to Assam.” He said that Congress works for “uniting Assam and joining Hindus with Muslims, connecting one Assamese with another”.”For 15 years we have done this, and Assam has forged forward and progressed,” he said, adding that a leading magazine has put Gogoi’s Assam in number one position on matters of road, bridge construction and infrastructure development. “Tarun Gogoi has linked 30 lakh women with bank accounts, put money in their pockets. This is not done through promises.Such work is done through sweat and takes years. Gogoi and Congress have done this in Assam,” said Rahul. Stating that the Congress-led UPA government had brought in MGNREGA for the poor, he said, “Farmers came to us and asked us to open bank doors for them also, as was done for big industrialists.”The poor farmers toil in the fields and then they are chased out of the banks. Congress gave food security bills, MGNREGA, land to adivasis in tribal belts, farmers’ rights in the land Bill. And then Modi came and attempts are being made to finish MGNREGA, the land acquisition Bill that we amended”, alleged Rahul. Exhorting Congress leaders and workers to unitedly contest the upcoming Assembly polls, Rahul said, “If you work for uniting the farmers of Assam and emotionally connect with the people, then what happened in Bihar is about to happen in Assam.”There is election here and Congress has to win the election. Gogoi, (Assam Congress) president Anjan Dutta and other Congress leaders are here, fight with all your might, show BJP what is the meaning of Congress party, its workers and the people of Assam.”

Former RJD MP Shahabuddin sentenced to life imprisonment in double murder case

Former RJD MP Md. Shahabuddin was on Friday sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court in connection with the murder case of two brothers 11 years ago in Siwan district of Bihar.

Former RJD MP Md. Shahabuddin was on Friday sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court in connection with the murder case of two brothers 11 years ago in Siwan district of Bihar.Shahabuddin and three other accused were held guilty by the court on Wednesday.According to the prosecution, three sons of one Chandrashekhar Prasad were abducted from their house at Goshala road by Rajkumar Sah, Sheikh Aslam and Arif Hussain on August 16, 2004 and taken to Pratappur village where acid was poured on Girish and Satish resulting in their death.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One of the sons, Rajeev Raushan, managed to escape.The bodies of the two brothers could not be recovered.The victims’ mother Kalawati Devi had lodged an FIR charging Shahabuddin’s three henchmen with the murder of her sons.The former RJD MP’s name had cropped up during probe and he too was made an accused for hatching conspiracy for kidnapping of the three siblings.The lone surviving brother appeared before the judge as an eyewitness in the case, but was subsequently murdered by unidentified assailants on June 16 last year.Shahabuddin is lodged in the Siwan central jail for the past several years in connection with several cases against him.(With PTI inputs)

Teenage girl arrested for conspiring to kill prime witness in murder case of ex-MLA

“On 8 December, the woman had called Vipin on the pretext of meeting her near Rithala Metro Station and passed this information to her friend Aditya Shokeen.

A 19-year-old girl was arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with killing of Vipin Chaudhary who was a prime witness in ex-MLA Bharat Singh murder case of 29 March, 2015. The girl, who is a student in Outer Delhi area, had allegedly helped the assailants to lay a trap for Vipin.Vipin Chaudhary, was earlier this week gunned down by four car borne assailants in what looked like a planned execution. According to police, the girl, identified as Alisha, befriended Vipin earlier this month on the directions of Aditya Shokeen, the nephew of Udaiveer, the main accused in the Bharat Singh murder case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”On 8 December, the woman had called Vipin on the pretext of meeting her near Rithala Metro Station and passed this information to her friend Aditya Shokeen.Vipin wanted to take the accused for a movie, but she convinced her meet her on an isolated stretch of road between Japani Park. There the suspects Vipin and Aditya were waiting for the couple.” said DCP Outer District, Vikramjit Singh.Aditya’s family has a long running dispute with Bharat Singh over several issues, prominent among them being the ultimate control Outer Delhi’s badlands. Bharat Singh, a former INLD legislator was shot dead in March this year when he was attending a religious function in West Delhi’s Najafgarh area. Vipin, the driver of Singh, was the lone eye-witness to the case and had been instrumental for the arrest of Udaiveer. However the 23-year-old driver ran out of luck on December 8.According to sources in Delhi police, Alisha was arrested after informers told police that they had spotted Vipin and the accused on a motor-cycle. “The accused told police that Vipin was shot dead right in front of her. According to her, Vipin was shocked on seeing Aditya and couldn’t believe what was about to happen to him. The accused left as soon as Vipin was killed and so did the other accused,” a source told dna.The Police had been denying the involvement of any woman up till now and dismissed these reports as hearsay evidence. However the 19-year-old was finally was arrested by the Police on 10 December after she was traced to a PG hostel in Gurgaon, Haryana.”The investigation is ongoing, the police are trying to trace of the whereabouts of Hemant and Aditya,” the DCP added.In the year 2002 Udaiveer’s father Surajmal, his uncle Narayan Singh and his brother Sukhbir Singh were killed in Sonipat, Haryana and his family holds Bharat Singh’s brother Krishan Pehalwan and his associates responsible for this murder. Pehalwan is a local strongman and has over dozen criminal cases against him.

Delhi Police nab kidnappers of minor girl days after her return

On December 22, the minor’s father lodged a missing person’s complaint with the Uttam Nagar Police station, following which the police immediately swung into action to locate the missing girl.

Delhi Police arrested two men who kidnapped, gang raped and attempted to murder a 14-year-old girl who hailed from Uttam Nagar, West Delhi. Several cases of kidnapping, attempt to murder, rape among others have been filed against the accused Mohit alias Kishan and Vipin, both 22 years old. A third consort – Devendra, alias Daku Singh, believed to be Mohit’s brother is absconding.On December 22, the minor’s father lodged a missing person’s complaint with the Uttam Nagar Police station, following which the police immediately swung into action to locate the missing girl. The minor, traced to Yatharth Hospital, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh on December 6, was suffering from a gunshot wound and alleged history of sexual assault. She was later shifted to Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, whereupon she was questioned by the police and her statement recorded by a court’s magistrate.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a press conference held at the Delhi Police Headquarters, Joint Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak south-west range said “Based on the victim’s testimony and verification, two of the three accused were arrested and interrogated by the police on December 9 where they admitted to all charges. A car used in the kidnapping was also recovered by police personnel.”According to the minor girl’s statement, Mohit obtained the minor’s telephone number and proceeded to have several conversations with her over a period of few days. He then convinced her to run away with him on December 22. Once the minor was in his possession, Mohit and his accomplice Vipin, bundled her in their car – Hyundai Santro, and made their way to Tugalpur village near Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh where she was gang raped by them and a third accused Devendra aka Daku Singh. On December 5, Vipin, drove the victim in a white Mahindra Bolero, to a field near the village where she was held captive on the pretext of freeing her. However, the other two culprits awaited them and proceeded to rape her. As the minor attempted to escape the clutches of her captives, Devendra shot her above the abdomen with a country revolver and her body was dumped in a dry well in Tugalpur village, Uttar Pradesh.The girl, who was grievously injured pretended to be dead and later cried out for help when she was sure her molesters had gone away. She was rescued by locals and transferred to the hospital for treatment.The minor is now recovering at the hospital while police personnel continue their hunt for the third accused. According to a statement from the police, Mohit and his brother Devendra are history sheeters, though there seems to be no prior record for Vipin.

AAP government to file FIR against Delhi police chief BS Bassi

The AAP government has decided move court to file FIR against Delhi Police chief BS Bassi for illegally acquiring a flat in one of national capital’s society. According to government sources, the Delhi government had received a complaint that a flat owner in a west Delhi cooperative society was thrown out in 1990 to favour Bassi.According to the complaint, Bassi had not allegedly disclosed that he already owned another flat, while he was being allotted the new flat. In 1998, he allegedly sold off the apartment to his younger brother for Rs11 lakh, which is less than the market rate, to save on stamp duty.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bassi had denied these allegations. The corruption allegation marks another fight between AAP and the Delhi Police, which is controlled by the Centre. Ties have always been strained lately over the arrest of several AAP leaders.Kejriwal has accused the police has failed to curb crimes in Delhi and is not cooperating with his government. He had always demanded that his government be given control of the city’s police force.

No big brotherly approach towards Nepal, says Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj rubbished the charge that India was imposing a blockade of supplies even as she asserted that Narendra Modi government would follow the policy of the previous government with regard to Nepal.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

Rejecting the allegation of adopting “big brotherly” approach towards Nepal, India today said it respects its sovereignty and wants to see the neighbouring country itself resolve the present crisis through consensus as violence could have impact even on India.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj rubbished the charge that India was imposing a blockade of supplies even as she asserted that Narendra Modi government would follow the policy of the previous government with regard to Nepal.Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on India-Nepal relations during which members expressed concern over the deterioration in ties, she said the government shares their sentiments as also the worries of Nepal which has been hit by a blockade of supplies from India due to an agitation by Madhesis over the newly-adopted Constitution.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Still a way can be found… We are doing the same… We want to see a resolution through consensus so that supplies could be restored at the earliest,” Swaraj said adding India has conveyed this the Nepal government as well as the agitating Madhesis. “We hope some solution will emerge in 5-7 days,” she said.To the allegations that India was adopting a “big brotherly” approach, the minister said, “instead, we are adopting an elderly brother’s approach, a caring and sharing approach.” Rejecting the charge of interference into the neighbour’s affairs, she said, “Nepal is a sovereign country and we respect its sovereigntyl. We are not prescriptive but only give advice.” “Like elder brother, our attitude is that of caring and sharing and not of showing arrogance, which a big brother does,” Swaraj said.Allaying apprehensions voiced by JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, the External Affairs Minister said there is no need to have any doubts over the government’s intentions.”The present government will also follow the same path on which previous governments have handled Nepal. There is no difference between the deeds and actions of the government. This government does what is speaks,” she said.She said India is worried also because if the agitation by Madhesis turns violent, it will affect this country.”We told them this that if there is any violent agitation, then India’s peaceful border with Nepal will be restless and this could affect India’s relations with Nepal…We told them, this border of ours at least is peaceful. We do not want this also to be volatile,” she said.During her speech, Swaraj attacked Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for making some adverse comments about India’s role and for suggesting that rather than the External Affairs Minister, somebody “authoritarian” was dictating the policy, an apparent attack on the Prime Minister.”Mani has the habit of creating rifts. He has tried to create a rift between me and my leaders.. He also tried to create rift with Nepal,” she said. She also took exception to Aiyar’s remarks that an Indian delegation should go to Nepal and convey that the “Modi government rather than India” was behind the situation.Countering the charge that India was blocking supplies to Nepal, Swaraj said routes have been closed because of the protest by Madhesis in which India no role.”Who can be so foolish to turn goodwill into hostility? How can we collect lakhs of people for protest?… We are keen to send the supplies,” she said, while telling the members not to accept versions to the contrary.”We are not inhuman… 11,206 trucks, loaded with supplies, are waiting at the Raxaul-Birganj border post. They are not able to move forward because of the protest and we are not allowing them to come back, thinking they could get some chance to proceed,” she said.At the same time, she said, India is looking at alternative routes to send supplies like medicines. 864 trucks have gone into Nepal from one such route yesterday, compared to 450 trucks which usually go. She said clearing of the routes is not in the hands of India.”We can push the supplies either by firing at the protestors or crushing them under the trucks. Both are not desirable,” Swaraj said, adding “we are trying to find a political consensus.”

House row: AAP steps up attack; says Delhi top cop Bassi stopping FIR against brother

Bassi earlier said he has nothing to hide and was willing for a debate with Kejriwal

BS Bassi

Stepping up the attack on Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi over a controversial property in Rohini, the AAP on Saturday alleged that the top cop not only “hid” details regarding the flat but is also stopping an FIR against his brother in this connection.The party also sought to counter his “graveyard” remark, saying the Delhi Police has this record of sending residents to “graveyard” by referring to a case of an alleged custodial death. AAP posed several questions to the police chief and said the matter was being probed by the state government.AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj has alleged that Bassi got a flat in the Lucky Cooperative Housing Society by flouting rules and in collusion with officers of the registrar of cooperative societies and the managing committee of the society.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Is it mere coincidence that the then Registrar of Cooperative Societies), who was his next-door neighbour at Ashoka Road, bypassed all bylaws and provisions to illegally help Mr Bassi get enrolled in Lucky Cooperative Housing Society? “How did Mr Bassi know in advance about the vacancy of the said flat in the society even before it was informed by the RCS in 1989-90. Is is not connivance and a criminal conspiracy?” asked Bharadwaj.He further questioned why Bassi was given the property at the rate at which it was offered to the original allottee even though the law mandates 24 per cent equalisation charge per annum.”The bylaws of the Lucky Home Cooperative Society mandated that Bassi should have informed it about procuring another any property, but he did not do so when he procured a 500sq.m residential plot at Civil Service Officers Welfare Society in 1998. In such an event, his membership at Lucky Homes Cooperative Society would have stood cancelled. “Isn’t this a serious violation of law or is the police the commissioner so ignorant about the law?” Bharadwaj further said.He added that Bassi’s brother Ravi was obstructing the work of the Deputy Registrar of Societies and he has also lodged a compliant in this regard.”Despite the fact that the Deputy Registrar has given a complaint against Ravi Bassi for obstructing their official work, there has been no FIR against him. Is Delhi Police Commissioner above the law?” Bharadwaj said.Rejecting the allegations, Bassi had said yesterday that the property in question is “purely legitimate and was lawfully acquired”. The AAP government has indulged in “vicious propaganda”, he had charged while challenging anyone, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, to a debate on this issue. “I will have to get information and reply will be given. Commissioner of Police cannot work by hiding. (He) works standing on the streets. I have never cheated and shall never get scared of such allegations. Will take such cheats to the graveyard of the cheats,” Bassi told reporters on Friday.AAP’s Malviya Nagar MLA Somnath Bharti said that never in history has it happened that a public servant has challenged a chief minister and said he was ready to debate Bassi. Joining the attack, the party’s Seemapuri MLA, Rajender Pal Gautam further charged that “the record of Mr Bassi and his police force in sending residents of Delhi to graveyard has been fully exposed in custodial death case of 34-year-old Shahnawaz at Nandgiri in which Delhi High Court has ordered a CBI probe and described the Delhi Police set up as an attempt to save the guilty personnel”.

Intel note calls Kafaitullah a notorious criminal

As the espionage network prevalent in the Indian armed forces widened with the arrest of Munawwar Ahmad Mir, a retired Rashtriya Rifles constable from Jammu and Kashmir, the family of the two main accused seems to be in denial, claiming that two main accused are innocent.Relatives of the two Rajouri men, identified as Kafaitullah Khan and BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed, arrested on charges of spying for Pakistan, told dna on Friday that the duo had a ‘long family history’ of serving in the Indian armed forces and would not dare to collaborate with Pakistani Intelligence operatives.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An intelligence note consisting of a profile of the duo, also mentions their family history and current socio-economic status. The note accessed by dna states that siblings of the two accused, are currently serving in the Territorial Army and BSF respectively.”After verification, Kafaitullah Khan S/O Qudratullah Khan caste Doman, age 35 years, is a resident of village Kalai. His brother is serving in the Army (TA),” the profile reads. An intelligence official told dna that Kafaitullah’s father has expired and that he has mother, wife and four children. The note also mentions Kafaitullah as a notorious criminal against whom case FIR No. 13/2012 under section 363, 109 and case FIR No. 101/2014 under section 307 of the Ranbir Penal code stand registered.However, Mohamad Amin, brother-in-law of Kafaitullah claimed otherwise. While speaking to dna, Amin said that Kafaitullah was getting only Rs 4,000 in salary as the bulk of it would get deducted as he had taken to build a house. “His brother is in the army as well. He had been selected for BSF but decided not to join due to personal issues faced by the family. The cases against him are false,” said Amin.Both Kafaitullah and his cousin Rasheed were arrested by the Crime Branch for sending documents related to security deployment to a Pakistani intelligence operative. A senior police official told dna that Crime Branch recovered incriminating documents at the residence of Kafaitullah, yet his family claimed that no such documents were recovered.However, the intelligence note profiling the accused states,”The subject (Kafaitullah) was arrested by Crime Branch on November 26, at railway station Delhi and was brought to his native village Manjakote, on his disclosure some documents, including one identity card issued by Education department was recovered from his house”.”We can’t travel all the way to Delhi so we don’t know what is happening with his case. Through media reports we are getting to know about. We are sure he will be released soon as he is innocent,” Amin said.Similarly, Rasheed’s brother too is currently serving in the BSF. Rasheed had also joined the BSF in 1990 and now stands accused of procuring secret documents and sending them to Kafaitullah and a PIO identified as Faizal.”The duo had sent the documents through whatsapp and deleted the conversation they were having with PIO’s. We cant disclose the nature of other documents recovered from the duo,” said a senior police officer.Meanwhile Tahzeem Akhtar, wife of Rasheed, while speaking to dna said, “There are many soldiers in our family and this is a conspiracy against us. My husband has been in army for 25 years and his record is clean. So how so suddenly does all this evidence comes up. Someone in the village did not like to see us serving the nation.”She added that, her husband would be released soon ‘as all of this was a misunderstanding’. But not according to the Crime Branch whose investigators are now looking at a wide network of espionage.”Many more arrests will follow,” said an officer adding that at least four new names have cropped up during the investigation so far.Munawwar Ahmad Mir, joined the Indian Army in 1995 and took retirement in 2011 after serving in J&K Light Infantry, Rashtriya Rifles at various places in India was arrested by the Crime Branch.

Chidambaram slams BJPs ‘malicious onslaught’ as ED, IT raid companies linked to his son

Torrential rain is lashing Chennai and in the middle of it all, another storm: A joint team of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax (IT) department on Tuesday searched the premises of companies allegedly connected to Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, in Chennai.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. PTIFormer Finance Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

Sources have told The Indian Express that the search has connection with an alleged money laundering, tax avasion and forex violations in the Aircel Maxis deal.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram called the search a “malicious onslaught” by the ruling BJP government. He said no one from his family has “any equity or economic interest in any of the firms that are being targeted”. Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd and Vasan Eye Care were the companies on the IT and ED radar Tuesday.

In the Aircel-Maxis case, ED had questioned former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi in December last year after the agency had probed financial transactions of their Sun Network group companies.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley as leader of opposition in May 2012 had accused P Chidambaram that a firm owned by his family member had allegedly made payments to Aircel. This deal came up just before the telecom company had received major investment from Malaysian firm Maxis and the ownership changed.

“If the government wishes to target me, they should do so directly, not harass friends of my son who carry on their own businesses and have nothing to do with politics…My family and I are quite prepared to face the malicious onslaught launched by the government,” he said in a statement shortly after reports of the IT and ED searches.

The senior Congress leader said that he was travelling and had been informed about raids conducted on certain firms in Chennai which are allegedly linked to his son Karti.

“We have made it clear, repeatedly, that no member of my family has any equity or economic interest in any of the firms that are being targeted.” He added that the companies are professionally managed and can provide answers to suitable authorities. “I condemn the attempt to link them to my son and harass them on that ground,” he said.

Chidambaram alleged that the agenda of the government is being implemented by an officer of the Enforcement Directorate who has a pending dispute with the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

“Orders in his case were apparently passed during the term of my predecessor. He met me and wanted me to intervene in his favour. I declined and I told him that I cannot reverse orders that were issued during the term of my predecessor…The change of government has given him an opportunity to misuse his powers to harass my son and his friends,” the former Finance Minister said.


Kolkata: Mobile phone SIM card seized from arrested ISI agents

As Irshad Ansari’s educational qualification and proficiency in understanding technical things were not up to the mark, his son Asfaq Ansari helped him in this, the officer said. In fact, Asfaq’s passport details showed that he had been to Bangladesh twice in the recent past, he said.

Suspeceted ISI agent Irshad Ansari being produced at a court by STF in Kolkata on Monday.

The Special Task Force of Kolkata Police has seized mobile phone SIM card which, it believes, was used by the three arrested suspected ISI agents to pass on information to the ISI of Pakistan.”They passed on information electronically and also through other means which could be manual. There can be others involved who acted as messengers,” a senior STF officer said.As Irshad Ansari’s educational qualification and proficiency in understanding technical things were not up to the mark, his son Asfaq Ansari helped him in this, the officer said. In fact, Asfaq’s passport details showed that he had been to Bangladesh twice in the recent past, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”But the exact purpose of his visit is still unknown… We are looking into it.”According to another STF officer dealing with the case, Asfaq met Iqbal, his father’s elder brother in Dhaka during his visits there.”Whether the meeting was to pass on the information or to get some trainings was still not known,” he said.Irshad’s family, hailing from Bihar, consists of five brothers and sisters, the STF officer said.”His elder sister got married in then then East Pakistan and after the partition of Pakistan and Bangladesh, she and her in-laws went to Karachi and settled there after 1971. In 1976 Irshad’s elder brother Iqbal went to Pakistan, got married and settled there followed by his another brother Irfan who also started his own business there,” he said.Irshad went to Pakistan in 1985 to visit them and stayed there for about three months, the Kolkata Police STF officer said.”After that Irshad went to Pakistan in 2005 and that was when he was picked up by Pakistani agency to work for them as informer,” he said.Irshad, a contract labourer with Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE) along with his son Asfaq and brother-in-law Mohammed Jahangir were arrested yesterday for their alleged links to the ISI. Several documents revealing their links to the ISI, Fake Indian Currency Notes with a face value totalling Rs five lakh were seized from the three besides a hand-drawn map of the GRSE and the Netaji Subhas Dock in the city.The trio have been booked under the Indian Penal Code sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the Government of India), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by section 121), 489B (using as genuine forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes) and 489C (possession of forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-note.Meanwhile, the arrested three were today produced in a court which remanded them to 14 days’ police custody till December 14. Authorities at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) has beefed up security at the PSU facility after the arrest of Irshad, who was working there as a contract labourer.

Here’s why people’s President APJ Kalam wanted to quit during UPA rule

When the Apex court quashed the proclamation, Kalam was penitent saying he should have rejected the Cabinet’s decision and thought of resigning from his post

APJ Abdul Kalam

APJ Abdul Kalam had thought of quitting as the President in 2005 after the Supreme Court quashed the proclamation dissolving Bihar Assembly, according to S M Khan, who was his Press Secretary at that time.”Though Kalam was reluctant, he signed the proclamation. He could have rejected it but would have had no option but to sign the same if it was sent to him for the second time,” Khan said while addressing the students of Sikshya O Ansandhan University in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. When the Apex court quashed the proclamation, Kalam was penitent saying he should have rejected the Cabinet’s decision and thought of resigning from his post, Khan said, adding “He even consulted his elder brother in Rameswaram. Kalam later decided against any such step as it would have triggered a lot of constitutional problems, said the former Press Secretary, who is at present the Director General of RNI, in his lecture titled ‘My Days with the Greatest Human Soul Ever’. In 2005, the then Bihar Governor Buta Singh had recommended the dissolution of the Assembly which the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved and forwarded to the President. Kalam, who was on a visit to Moscow at that time, signed it there.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was challenged in the Supreme Court whose five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, in a majority verdict held on October 7, 2005 that “the proclamation of May 23 dissolving the Bihar Assembly is unconstitutional.” Describing Kalam, who passed away in July this year, as a person who was completely detached from material things, Khan said the late President did not own anything, be it a house, a car, a television or a refrigerator.”Almost all his life as a scientist and teacher, he lived in hostels and guest houses. But his only possession were his books. And he insisted that he should buy his books and never took any book from any one as a gift saying chances were that he would not read them,” he said.

Three arrested in Kolkata for links to Pakistan’s ISI

Kolkata: The Special Task Force of Kolkata Police on Sunday arrested three persons from the southern part of the city for their alleged links to Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

The trio — contract labourer of the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd Irshad Ansari (51), his son Asfaq Ansari (23) and relative Mohammed Jahangir — were arrested this afternoon from the Dr Sudhir Bose Road in the Iqbalpur police station area in the southern part of the city, a senior STF officer said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Besides several documents revealing their links to the ISI, the STF also recovered Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) of a face value Rs two lakh from Irshad and Rs 1.5 lakh from his son Asfaq and Jahangir respectively, he said.

The police claimed that both Irshad and Jahangir were working for the Pakistani spy agency for more than 10 years and that they were passing on information from the country.

The role of Asfaq, who is a second year BA student of a south Kolkata college, is yet to be ascertained, he said.

“They had been visiting Pakistan for several years and there they were trained by the ISI for this specific service. We are investigating further into their roles,” he said.

Asked whether these trio had any connection with a Pakistani agent arrested by the Uttar Pradesh STF in Meerut, the officer said: “We cannot neglect that also. We will get in touch with the UP STF.”

The GRSE is one of the country’s leading shipyards which mainly builds and repairs commercial and naval vessels.

The Kolkata Police STF had arrested a brother duo — Akhtar and Jaffar Khan — as suspected ISI agents from Collin street a few weeks back.


APJ Abdul Kalam wanted to resign from President’s post in 2006, says his former press secretary

M Khan was delivering a lecture – ‘My Days with the Greatest Human Soul Ever’ at the SOA University when he made these comments.

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam

Former President and nuclear scientist APJ Abdul Kalam, who passed away earlier this year, wanted to resign from his post in 2006, according to a report in an English daily.The former press secretary of APJ Abdul Kalam, SM Khan, said to the daily that Kalam considered resigning after the Supreme Court quashed the presidential proclamation dissolving the Bihar assembly. SM Khan said that Kalam was reluctant to sign the proclamation initially. After then Bihar governor Buta Singh recommended dissolution of the assembly, the Union cabinet approved it and forwarded it to him for approval. When the SC quashed the proclamation, Kalam was apologetic, saying he should have rejected the cabinet’s decision. It was at this time that Kalam thought of resigning, claims SM Khan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He even consulted his elder brother in Rameswaram. But he finally decided against any such step as it would have led to a constitutional crisis,” Khan said to the daily.SM Khan was delivering a lecture – ‘My Days with the Greatest Human Soul Ever’ at the SOA University when he made these comments. Khan also recalled that Kalam was very fond of powerpoint presentations and made former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his colleagues sit through a 2-hour presentation once. The presentation was about a vision for a developed India in 2020.Incredibly, Khan said that the late President once made then-US President George Bush attend a powerpoint presentation, which the latter did not understand.

Sudheendra Kulkarni favours autonomy for Kashmir

Kulkarni who was speaking for promoting India Pakistan unity also said that both countries have over glorified the contribution of Mahatam Gandhi and Quaid-I-Azam.

A month after he faced ‘paint attack’ from Shiv Sena supporters in Mumbai at the book launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Sudheendra Kulkarni embroiled in a fresh controversy on Friday.The chairman of the Observer Research Foundation supported former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah’s view on Kashmir and said that both India and Pakistan need to accept that the territories occupied by the two countries cannot be snatched away. Instead, the two countries should provide autonomy to the people of Kashmir.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delivering a lecture at the Pakistan High Commission at New Delhi, Kulkarni blamed Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel for partition of India. He went on to add that both India and Pakistan in their historical texts have ‘over glorified’ Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Kulkarni also went on to add that India should treat Pakistan as equal and not play a big brother role all the time.”Neither India can ever occupy the PoK and nor will Pakistan ever be able to get control over what is called in Pakistan as India occupied Kashmir. Kashmir should be given administrative autonomy,” he said.Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Modi’s foreign trips, Kulkarni also said that Modi should plan a Pakistan visit. “He has gone to every neighboring country except Pakistan. Prime Minister should visit Pakistan and resume dialogue,” he said.Kulkarni who was speaking for promoting India Pakistan unity also said that both countries have over glorified the contribution of Mahatam Gandhi and Quaid-I-Azam.”Mahamat Gandhi in 1944 accepted the legitimacy of demand for a separate nation in the Gandhi- Jinnah talk,” he said. Kulkarni also said that had Congress met Jinnah’s demand for safeguarding the rights of minority, tragedy pf partition could have been avoided. “Jinnah worked as ambassador or Hindi-Muslim unity, but later went on to demand partition. But today neither the Congress nor the BJP accepts this truth.” he added.The former BJP member blamed both Nehru and Patel for the partition of India. “Both Nehru and Patel went on to become enthusiastic supporter of Pakistan. They helped in shaping the two nation theory,” he said.

Cafe Madras regulars get a 1940s’ surprise

HAPPY 75 | To celebrate its diamond jubilee, the restaurant came out with 1940s’ prices, charging customers a mere 20-40 paise on lip-smacking items

A customer clicks a selfie in front of Madras Cafe on Tuesday
Abhinav P Kocharekar

On Tuesday morning, regulars like Prabhakar Rege at Cafe Madras were in for a surprise when they received the bill. A coffee lover, Rege comes every morning from his Shivaji Park residence just to sip filter coffee at Cafe Madras. He was asked to shell out 20 paise, instead of Rs 25 he pays thrice everyday when he comes there for coffee. On Tuesday, Cafe Madras, which satiated taste buds of avid south Indian food lovers for decades, completed 75 years. “To mark the occasion, we decided to have the menu of 1940s be given from morning to noon at the price it was given then,” said Devavrat Kamath, whose family runs the place. The idea to celebrate it in such a nostalgic way was not of Kamath though.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “Around 10 years ago, a regular suggested that we put up the menu of 1940, which is when our grandfather opened the place here when he was 23 years old,” said Kamath. The idea struck and the family waited for 10 years to implement it on Tuesday morning when it celebrated 75 years of its existence. “We did not tell anyone. It was just supposed to be a surprise to our regulars. Only those dishes that were available back then at that price were served,” said Kamath. These included upma, idli, coffee and masala dosa. Both idli and upma were prices at 20 paise while coffee and masala dosa at 15 paise and 40 paise each. These are today priced at Rs 35, Rs 25 and Rs 50. “Only four items used to be there at that time on the menu as compared to the over 25 that we have now. We changed the software of our billing system to reflect 1940s prices till the noon time,” said Kamath as he struggles to talk in the midst of congratulatory messages, and mementos from regulars and queries on the special price offered. Old and new who have seen him grow in the vicinity ever since he took over the business 18 years ago found time to pat him. His elder brother Jaiprakash who sits on the billing desk was all busy answering incessant calls after residents got to know of the offer through word of mouth. “It was only for breakfast menu and it was a surprise,” he tells them over the phone. While some inquired and felt dejected that it was only till breakfast, some other regulars like Bhavna Mehta joked that it be extended and if the owners desired money they could take it tomorrow. “I’ve called my friends to have idli and dosa for 40 paise. Please don’t embarrass me now in front of them. If you want money, I’ll pay you tomorrow but let us have items for 40 paise now,” she said laughing. A resident of the area, she has been a regular for the past 30 years. Though Matunga was predominantly south Indian hub, it now has a number of Gujaratis and clientele is a cosmopolitan crowd. Kamath talks in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and of course Konkani, his mother tongue. He does not know Tamil yet, a language spoken in the state from the restaurant got its name from. “But we have stuck to the south Indian dishes and have not altered our menu,” said Devavrat. This has ensured that a number of old timers from Bollywood come there regularly besides prominent businessmen like Mukesh Ambani. “Dirubhai Ambani was a regular and that is how Mukesh too became a regular. In Bollywood we have most of the old timers who are regular like the Kapoor family, Naseeruddin Shah’s family, Jackie Shroff, and Anurag Kashyap and Deepika Padukone among the new faces,” said Kamath. On Tuesday, however, it was the regulars’ day out. People came with their families to be part of the celebrations. “Whenever I come from London, I visit this place at least thrice every week. I got to know from Facebook that they are celebrating 75, so dropped in to savour my favourite items,” said Vasant Shetty.

The Monday morning question: Has the Sheena Bora murder case turned from tragedy to farce?

Not to trivialise a murder in any way, but just how many people were involved in the conspiracy to kill Sheena Bora? There was the mother Indrani Mukerjea. There was a driver, Shyamvar Rai whose role bounces between scapegoat and perpetrator depending on who is writing the story. There was Sanjay Khanna, a sleepyhead ex-husband in the car who allegedly slumbered through it all, which must be a first in the history of cold kills.

Oops, what did I miss?

There was also Siddhartha Das a first husband in Kolkata who made a cameo appearance more resentful that his humble lifestyle had been hit by the glare of publicity, than any affection for his high-flying wife and who said he was the actual father of the murdered Sheena Bora. There was also a boyfriend who was run through the media gauntlet and then dumped, and there was also a brother Mikhail who seems to be now parcelling the family for official sacrifice.

Sheena Bora in a file photo. PTI

Sheena Bora in a file photo. PTI

I say ‘was’, but they are all there, and added to the mix now is husband Peter Mukerjea himself as an alleged co-conspirator, currently under arrest. Surprisingly, seeing that this case had the nation riveted for weeks as media trampled grassy knolls and police stations with impunity to feed a hungry public every juicy morsel, Peter’s arrest has not caused much of a ripple. It just hadn’t ignited passion or shock and it is as if the play has now moved from the tragic to the farcical.

What link between him and the murder has been forged so long after he was put through the ringer by the Mumbai police and let go as a person of no interest?

If you recall, even the top cop was changed because then commissioner Rakesh Maria was seen as Peter’s friend.

So in this storyline, we have three husbands, one wife, one real father (and two of the step variety), a chauffeur and a boyfriend who was the son of the current stepdad, not to mention a brother who lived a bucolic life somewhere in Assam.

How does one wrap one’s head around the conspiracy seeing as how the three men have a wife in common — albeit separated by years. At least, Khanna and Peter have arrived on the stage and are now allegedly partners in crime. They have supposedly colluded with the mother and the driver to kill Sheena, who had been drugged. Logic asks why Indrani would need two husbands to get into the act.

We have to bring in here a sub-plot. The brother of the murdered girl Mikhail announces that he was also drugged in a hotel room by Mumsy and managed to escape. He then concludes in a burst of brilliance that since Mum had tried to kill him once, she would not do it again so why bother telling the cops that his drink was spiked?

So while this heinous plot is being hatched we are informed that Sheena is in the US, and that’s why no one looked for her for three years. Never heard of Facebook, SMS, WhatsApp, Skype and the rest, apparently.

In case the mystery has not deepened enough, her passport is with Rahul, the boyfriend and son of the freshly-arrested Peter. And it seemingly never struck Rahul that you need a passport to travel to the US or anywhere abroad. Even when the gruesome murder becomes public knowledge, Rahul doesn’t get rid of the passport, he lets the cops find it.

The driver has confessed. Indrani has sort of confessed. Khanna has somewhat agreed that he was party to it and probably woke up after 39 winks. The CBI now believes that there is sufficient prima facie evidence that Peter was also involved in the plot even though he thought Sheena was the sister not the daughter. To add more confusion to the confounding equations we now have a Sohail Buddha, an assistant police inspector with the Mumbai Police, who sought retirement and joined Star TV as vice president, internal security when Peter was the CEO, and positioned Shyamvar as driver in the Mukerjea household.

Think about it.

After the disappearance, Indrani and her husband lived a normal life. Khanna returned to his life. Shyamvar stayed on the payroll, the cop kept working at his job. All of these people were either involved in killing a young girl or, at least suspicious that something was not quite right.

No one knows where this is all going to lead but, it is tough to believe they all sat around having coffee and planning the killing. Although, in fairness, Khanna might have been unwittingly sleeping through it.

Who are these people and who on Earth wrote this script?

Somebody out there, please end the travesty and tell the truth.

Dadri lynching: Mohamad Akhlaq’s son still unaware of his father’s fate

Danish, who was injured in a mob attack on September 28, which left his father dead, is under the impression that his father is on a religious journey across India and will return back in January.
File Photo

Still unaware of his father’s fate, Mohamad Akhlaq’s younger son Danish Saifi, was discharged from the Army Hospital earlier this week and is limping back to recovery, a development that has left his family both happy and uncomfortable. Danish, who was injured in a mob attack on September 28, which left his father dead, is under the impression that his father is on a religious journey across India and will return back in January.Speaking for the first time after the fateful night when his family was attacked on suspicions of eating beef, Danish said that he was recovering from the temporary memory loss he suffered due to the brutal attack and would like to resume normal life soon.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am feeling better now, but, it will take at least a year to recover completely. Till then, I will prepare for the IPS examinations. It’s my parents’ dream,” said Danish to dna while discussing his plans for the future.When asked about the well-being of his parents he responded, “They are well. Father is travelling across India for a religious journey,” said the 22-year-old. Danish had received grievous injuries on his head in a mob attack allegedly led by Vishal Rana, son of a local BJP leader.Almost two months later, Danish has now shifted to Delhi’s Subroto park, where his brother Sartaj was allotted an accommodation by the Indian Air Force. After being operated twice, Danish is now better but continues to have acute pains in his ear and the fingers of the left hand.When asked if he remembered what transpired that night, he responded, “I heard the announcement but didn’t pay attention to it. Sometime later, when I was climbing the stairs to my room I saw Vishal and Shivam trying to scale our wall. A mob gathered outside our main door. They were abusing us and were trying to barge in. That’s when I yelled at Vishal and asked him what were they trying to do and he responded, ‘There he is’. Moments later there were people coming from all sides,” Danish said.Danish asked his mother and grandmother, who were at that time in the ground floor of the house, to lock themselves in the kitchen. He himself ran back to the room on the first floor where his sister Shaista and father were. “I bolted the door from inside and tried to reason with them but they kept on saying that they will not leave us. When I refused to open the door they broke it down so we entered the next room. The door in that room did not have a bolt so I tried to block the door using my hands but there were too many of them. And when they entered they started beating us up,” Danish said.”I have been told father was injured badly too.” Danish named some attackers who are not listed as accused in the FIR filed by Dadri police.His brother told dna that the family avoids talking about what happened that night but Danish has ‘too many questions’ and keeps on asking why his father hasn’t even called him once after the attack.”We are being discreet but he is suspicious. We don’t have a television set and he doesn’t read newspapers because it causes strain on his eyes. I hope we keep up the lie,” said Sartaj.

‘Women ultimate victims of this war’: A Palestinian and an Israeli mother share their grief

Robi and Bushra are part of The Parents Circle — Families Forum, a group of grieving family members of those who have lost someone during the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Robi Damelin, 78, and Bushra Awad, 46,

When Robi Damelin, 78, went to meet Bushra Awad, 46, at her parent’s home, Bushra was not prepared. A grieving Bushra had just recently lost her son Mahmud to shell fire in Palestine, and found it hard to control that grief. “Bushra’s friend had invited a few Palestinian mothers and me on that day, and I think that Bushra was tricked into coming. She did not know that I would be there. When we met, I think she had an emotional breakthrough. I think she realised that what I felt was probably what she was feeling,” says Robi. Bushra remembers the day vividly, she was agitated that a Jew had entered the room. “I simply wanted to leave. But when Robi came to me, and told me that she shares the same pain with me, I let the tears flow,” says Bushra.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Robi and Bushra are part of The Parents Circle — Families Forum, a group of grieving family members of those who have lost someone during the Israel-Palestine conflict. The powerful reconciliation of the two grieving mothers is recorded in the documentary ‘One Day After Peace’. In India to be a part of Tina Brown’s ‘Women In The World’ conference, Robi and Bushra left the audience in tears. “Mahmud was the first happiness I knew, he was my life, and when I heard that he was hit and was taken to the hospital, I went out and ran. I ran aimlessly till my brother put me in a car. He said that Mahmud was fine, but when I reached the hospital, my husband was beating his head. When they told me Mahmud was no more, I did not know what that meant,” remembers Bushra. Mahmud, who was preparing to graduate from school, fell down to a sniper’s bullet in 2008. Robi, on the other hand, lost David in 2002. He had hesitatingly enlisted for the army, and was at a politically-sensitive checkpost when he and nine others fell to Palestinian bullets. “I think as soon as the soldiers came in to tell me about David, I told them that you may not kill anybody in the name of my child,” says Robi. Two days later, the checkpost was broken down. Today, both women go to different countries, and speak at seminars, gatherings and peace resolution conferences. In most of these seminars, grieving mothers tend to move things forward. “Nobody ever asks a woman if we should go to war. Or, shall we now sign a ceasefire, or god forbid, a peace treaty. And, women are the ultimate victims to this war. I think it is time that women come to the table. We always find this bond, and this bond is strong with mothers,” says Robi. Robi says that no country should take sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict. “I don’t want anybody to take sides in this conflict. In countries with large Jewish and Muslim populations, people take sides and import our conflict into their countries, creating hatred amongst the Muslims and Jews in their own countries,” she says. Bushra, on the other hand, found the most effective way to stop her younger son from joining the war. “He would not listen to me and would go out on protests, and stone the Israeli soldiers. Then, one day, I started joining him. I said, if you die, I will die with you. He doesn’t go out anymore,” says Bushra. You can watch the the trailer of ‘One Day After Peace’ here:Watch Robi speak at the ‘Women In The World Conference’:

Family confirms identity of 1st jihadi from J&K to die in US drone attack in Pakistan

dna first reported on Wednesday on Mohammad Ashraf being the first Kashmiri militant of AQIS to be killed in North Waziristan. His family in Nagam village of Kokarnag in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district has now confirmed the identity of the slain militant.

Family has confirmed the identity of Mohammad Ashraf, first jihadi from J&K to die in US drone attack in Pak

A few days before he was killed in a US drone attack in Shawal valley of North Waziristan in Pakistan, Mohammed Ashraf Dar called his brother in Kashmir, in December last year, to ask about the well-being of his family. As the brother once again tried to convince him on returning back home, marry and settle down, Ashraf said, “I will not get married. My aim is to attain martyrdom and I want to be successful in achieving this objective.” On January 4 this year, Mohammad Ashraf alias Umar Kashmiri’s prophecy came true. He was killed along with five other militants of Al Qaeda in Indian sub-continent (AQIS) including Punjabi Taliban commander leader Qari Imran aka Qari Ubaidullah, also in-charge of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Ashraf is the first Indian national to be killed in a US drone attack. Details on Ashraf’s identity and nationality emerged recently in a video purportedly uploaded on Jihadi networks by As-Sahab, the media arm of AQIS as a part of the series ‘Jihadi memories’, eulogising its martyrs.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> dna first reported on Wednesday on Mohammad Ashraf being the first Kashmiri militant of AQIS to be killed in North Waziristan. His family in Nagam village of Kokarnag in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district has now confirmed the identity of the slain militant. “Yes, he is my brother,” Nazir Ahmed Dar, elder brother of Mohammad Ashraf, told dna. Nazir said during the course of 14 years that his brother had been ‘missing’, the family was in touch with him through phone. “Initially, he used to make calls to the local STD booth, but once we owned mobile phones, he started calling regularly and recently even shared his latest photos.” The Dar family, with middle-class background and sharing a two-storey house, has been keeping a low profile since Ashraf, the youngest of five siblings crossed Line of Control (LoC) for arms training on August 23, 2001. “He used to spend time manning the grocery shop, reading Koran and offering namaz. He was not interested in going to school and dropped out in sixth standard,” said Nazir who runs the shop now. A man missingcomplaint was lodged at the local police station but there was no information on Ashraf’s whereabouts. Around 2004, Ashraf first contacted his family and informed them that he had crossed the LoC soon after he went missing. Some years later, unable to bear the separation of her youngest son, Ashraf’s mother Raja Begum, died young at 45. Although he refrained from giving any details of his whereabouts, his job or which militant group he had joined, Ashraf did make occasional references to Afghanistan in recent years. The timeline of Ashraf’s journey from Anantnag in Kashmir to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in the early 2000 and later to Afghanistan and finally in North Waziristan in Pakistan where he was killed as an Al Qaeda militant, has many missing details. When contacted Abdul Jabbar, senior superintendent of police, Anantnag, said the incident of Ashraf being a AQIS member or of him being killed in a drone attack in Pakistan “is not in the notice of J&K police”. However, a team of police reached the Dar family’s house on Wednesday night to confirm Ashraf’s identity. Inspector general of police, Kashmir, Javaid Geelani said while some people in Anantnag are claiming the slain militant to be their family member, the police “can’t confirm the identity”.

Lalu Yadav’s sons in Nitish ministry, JD(U) to bring new faces

From RJD’s quota of 12 ministers, names of Tejaswi Yadav, his brother Tej Pratap Yadav, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Abdul Gafoor, Vijay Prakash, Chandrika Rai, Mundrika Singh Yadav, Santosh Nirala, Ram Vichar Rai and Sheo Chander Ram were confirmed by RJD sources.

The Nitish Kumar ministry will have 12 ministers from JD(U) with many new faces while Lalu Prasad’s both sons — Tejaswi and Tej Pratap– will be among the ministers from RJD.Highly placed sources in the Raj Bhawan said the list of ministers has reached Governor Ram Nath Kovind.JD(U) said there would be many new faces among 12 ministers from the party. Manju Varma, Madan Sahni, Shailesh Kumar and Kapildeo Kamat were among those tipped for ministerial berths.Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Shrawan Kumar, Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan and Jay Kumar Singh, all members of the outgoing cabinet, will also find a place in the new Ministry.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From RJD’s quota of 12 ministers, names of Tejaswi Yadav, his brother Tej Pratap Yadav, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Abdul Gafoor, Vijay Prakash, Chandrika Rai, Mundrika Singh Yadav, Santosh Nirala, Ram Vichar Rai and Sheo Chander Ram were confirmed by RJD sources.From Congress, state party chief Ashok Choudhary, Madan Mohan Jha, Abdul Jalil Mastan and Awdesh Kumar Singh will be sworn in, said state party sources.RJD had won 80 seats in the Bihar poll followed by JD(U) 71 and Congress 27 totalling 178 in the 243-member Legislative Assembly.A galaxy of leaders including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Himachal Pradesh counterpart Virbhadra Singh would be present at the swearing in ceremony of the new Bihar government.

Sheena Bora case: Peter Mukerjea to be produced in court

The CBI is likely to seek his custody as they want to interrogate him to unravel his role in the murder case.

Former media magnate Peter Mukerjea, arrested by the CBI in connection with the sensational Sheena Bora murder case for allegedly “shielding the accused”, will be produced in a magistrate’s court here on Friday.Peter Mukherjea’s wife Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her former driver Shyamvar Rai will also be brought to the court since their judicial custody expires on Friday.In a fresh twist in the Sheena case, Peter Mukherjea was arrested on Thursday by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), hours after it filed a chargesheet in which Indrani, the mother of the victim born from her first marriage, and two others were accused of the crime.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A CBI spokesperson had said that Peter’s name surfaced during its probe in the case and “he has been arrested”.The spokesperson refused to divulge any further details in the case, but sources in the probe agency said he has been arrested for allegedly “shielding the accused” and “inconsistencies” in his statements.Peter was placed under arrest after another round of questioning on Thursday. Peter, who has been kept in the office of Special Task Force of CBI here, will be produced before the magistrate’s court.The CBI is likely to seek his custody as they want to interrogate him to unravel his role in the murder case.The probe agency, which was handed over the case on September 29 after a turf-war between the ousted Commissioner Rakesh Maria and the new incumbent Ahmed Javed, had questioned Mukherjea for hours before it was decided to place him under arrest, the sources said.Sheena Bora was allegedly murdered by her mother, Indrani’s former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her former driver Shyamvar Rai here in April 2012. The body of the 24-year-old was dumped in a forest in the neighbouring Raigad district.The court is likely to give a copy of chargesheet to Indrani, Khanna and Rai. The chargesheet, filed three months after Sheena Bora’s remains were found in a forest near Mumbai, names Indrani, Khanna and Rai as accused–who were all arrested in August this year.The agency has charged them with criminal conspiracy to kidnap, murder, cheating, destruction of evidence, forgery and use of forged documents besides violation of provisions of Information Technology Act.Mikhail Bora, the younger brother of Sheena, told ANI that he has no idea what is going on. Since CBI is investigating, he wants to see what happens. “I’ve told time & again, will cooperate with CBI 100%, seeking justice for my sister & I hope will get it soon.”

Christopher Nolan’s Memento to be remade

Los Angeles: Filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” is set to get a remade. AMBI Pictures, led by Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi, will finance and produce the remake of the 2000 breakout thriller, said The Hollywood Reporter.

The company has acquired the remake rights through its acquisition of the library of Exclusive Media Group.

The project was green-lit after AMBI launched a USD 200 million film fund last week, which followed the acquisition of the library.



“‘Memento’ is a masterpiece that leaves audiences guessing not just throughout the film, but long after as well, which is a testament to its daring approach. We intend to stay true to Christopher Nolan’s vision and deliver a memorable movie that is every bit as edgy, iconic and award-worthy as the original.

“It’s a big responsibility to deliver something that lives up to the mastery of the original, but we are extremely excited and motivated to bring this puzzle back to life and back into the minds of moviegoers,” Bacardi said in a statement.

“Memento”, based on Nolan’s younger brother Jonathan Nolan’s short story “Memento Mori”, starred Guy Pearce as a man, who is tracking down his wife’s killer, but suffers from a unique from of memory loss.

The movie was successful at the box office and received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing.


Brother of suspected ISI agent arrested in Kolkata

Kolkata: The brother of suspected ISI agent Akhtar Khan, now in police custody, was arrested on Monday also for his alleged links with the Pakistani spy agency, a senior Kolkata Police officer said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The Special Task Force unit of the Kolkata Police arrested Zafar Khan from his Collin Lane residence in central part of the city this afternoon.

Zafar also travelled to Pakistan along with Akhtar in 1980s, the officer said.

Akhtar Khan (51), who had returned from Pakistan in 2008, was arrested by STF in the city on November 14 and various documents and fake Indian currency with a face value of Rs 1,72,500 were seized from him. He is now in police custody.


France names first attacker, vows to destroy Islamic State | Reuters

PARIS Police questioned on Sunday the relatives of one of the suicide attackers who brought carnage to Paris on Friday, with France denouncing the strikes as an act of war and vowing to destroy the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters that three jihadist cells staged co-ordinated hits at bars, a concert hall and soccer stadium killing 129 people and injuring 352, including 99 who were in a serious condition.

Museums and theatres remained shuttered in Paris for a second day on Sunday, with hundreds of soldiers and police patrolling the streets and metro stations after French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency.

Seven gunmen, all of whom were wearing suicide vests packed with explosives, died in the multiple assaults. The first to be identified was named as Ismael Omar Mostefai, a 29-year-old who lived in the city of Chartres, southwest of Paris.

French media said he was French-born and of Algerian descent. Molins said the man had a security file for Islamist radicalisation, adding that he had a criminal record but had never spent time in jail.

A judicial source said Mostefai’s father and brother had been taken in for questioning, along with other people believed to be close to him.

Another source said police had found a car in a suburb east of Paris that was believed to have been used in the assault, suggesting that at least one of the attackers had escaped.

Prosecutors said the slaughter – claimed by Islamic State as revenge for French military action in Syria and Iraq – appeared to involve a multinational team with links to the Middle East, Belgium and possibly Germany as well as home-grown French roots.

Greek officials said one and perhaps two of the assailants had passed through Greece in October from Turkey alongside Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their homeland.

“We are at war. We have been hit by an act of war, organised methodically by a terrorist, jihadist army,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls told TF1 television on Saturday night.

“Because we are at war we will take exceptional measures. We will act and we will hit them. We will hit this enemy to destroy them, obviously in France and Europe … but also in Syria and Iraq,” he said. “We will win.”

France was the first European state to join U.S. air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq in September 2014, while a year later it extended its air strikes to Syria.

It had already scheduled to send an aircraft carrier to the region later this month.


The names of the first victims have started to filter out on social media, many of them young people who were out enjoying themselves on a Friday night. The dead included one U.S. citizen, one Swede, one Briton, two Belgians, two Romanians and two Mexicans, their governments said.

In the worst carnage, three gunmen systematically killed at least 89 people at a rock concert by an American band at the Bataclan theatre before detonating explosive belts as anti-terrorist commandos launched an assault.

It was the deadliest attack in France since World War Two and the worst such assault in Europe since the Madrid train bombings of 2004, in which Islamists killed 191 people.

Quoting an unnamed senior official, Israeli television said Israel’s spy services saw a “clear operational link” between the Paris mayhem, suicide bombings in Beirut on Thursday, which killed 43, and the Oct. 31 downing of a Russian airliner in the Egyptian Sinai, where 224 people died.

France had been on high alert since Islamist gunmen attacked the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in January, killing 18 people.

Those attacks briefly united France in defence of freedom of speech, with a mass demonstration of more than a million people. But that unity has since broken down, with far-right populist Marine Le Pen gaining on both mainstream parties by blaming France’s security problems on immigration and Islam.

If confirmed, the infiltration of militants into the flow of refugees to carry out attacks in Europe could have far-reaching political consequences.

The attacks fuelled a debate raging in Europe about how to handle the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and other migrants propelled by civil war in Syria, Iraq and Libya.

(Writing by Crispian Balmer; editing by Anna Willard)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Government should deal Chhota Rajan’s cases on humanitarian grounds, says sister

“I am meeting my brother after almost 30 years. This is a big moment for me. I had dreamed of this moment for a very long time,” the sister told dna moments before she was accompanied by security officials to meet Rajan.

Chhota Rajan’s sisters, who were allowed to meet the arrested don on Friday, said that criminal cases filed against their brother were ‘false’ and that the government of India should take a humanitarian approach while dealing with their brother. “The cases against my brother were filed in the last 20 years during which he was not in India to defend himself. The cases are false,” said Sunita Chavan, who is currently based in Chembur area of Maharashtra. The family of the underworld don, who is currently in CBI custody, had appealed to the “compassionate” side of the court, to “be allowed to meet” their brother for “Bhai Dooj” “after 27 years”. “We want true justice to be served. I have faith in the Indian judicial system,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am meeting my brother after almost 30 years. This is a big moment for me. I had dreamed of this moment for a very long time,” the sister told dna moments before she was accompanied by security officials to meet Rajan.She also said that all the other siblings wished to meet Rajan as well but couldn’t do so due to security restrictions. Rajan has five other siblings, all of them are based in Maharashtra. One of his elder brother passed away recently, Sunita said. The plea requesting permission to meet Rajan was filed through advocates Rajiv Jain and Gajinder Kumar. The plea stated that the two women — Sunita Sakkharam Chavan and Malini Sakpal — are the “real sisters” of Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, alias Chhota Rajan, and “have not met their brother for the past so many years,” and “wish to bless him”. “The investigation is ongoing. All that the family wanted was to meet my client on the occasion of the festival. We had asked the court to grant the permission on humanitarian grounds ,” Mr Kumar told dna.After being allowed the permission to meet Rajan, both the sisters, on Friday, arrived at the CBI headquarters in the evening and were taken to a visiting room in the headquarters where the underworld don is currently being held. The family also spoke about their concerns on the possibility of taking Rajan to Mumbai for questioning by the local police there. “It would be better if investigation is carried out here without him being taken to Mumbai. It is a very sensitive case,” said another family member who wished not to be named.The family member also said that the government should take note of the ‘health condition of the aging don’. “All these years he (Rajan) has proven to be of ‘great help’ to Indian government,” the family member added. Out of more than two dozen cases, Rajan is also being investigated for the murder of wanted underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s close aide Bakhtiyar Ahmed Khan alias Phillu Khan who was allegedly lured to a hotel room in Bangkok, where he was tortured to death. It is believed that Khan was betrayed by his sidekick Mangesh “Mangya” Pawar who along with Khan were accused of being involved in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. After being on the run for more than two decades Rajan, was arrested in Bali on October 25, 2015 by Indonesian police which was acting on a tip-off by the authorities in Australia. Out of the 70 cases, Rajan is accused in 17 murder cases including that of a journalist. The don is also accused of cases of attempted murder, extortion, smuggling and drug trafficking.

Home-grown militants pose a greater threat in the Valley

The militants ensure that they attract the young crowd with their education qualifications

Burhan Wani, the 21-year-old commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group

In the last week of October, intelligence agencies were alarmed when people from three villages of south Kashmir almost had a confrontation while attempting to lay claim to the body of Abu Qasim, the Lashkar-e-Taiba commander and mastermind of the Udhampur attack on a BSF convoy.With the deceased Pakistani militant’s popularity, particularly in south Kashmir, no longer a concern for the security forces, agencies now believe that countering ‘home grown militancy’ can pose an equally challenging task. In fact, the vacuum created by the killing of Qasim, one of LeT’s most senior militants in Kashmir, awaits to be filled by young Kashmiri militants who, according to agencies, despite being ‘ill-trained’ might pose a grave threat to the security situation in the valley.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to a senior intelligence official, the new generation of Kashmiri militants led by the 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, are poorly trained and lack proper ammunition as most of them have trained themselves in remote parts of Kashmir itself.The official further said that most of the militants joining the Hizb rank either snatch weapons from the security forces posted in the valley or borrow it from LeT. In order to save the bullets for a possible confrontation with the armed forces, these militants practice without bullets.”While these terrorists might lack proper training in arms and guerrilla warfare, their Kashmiri identify can pose a great threat especially to areas where they belong from. The youngsters in these places who chose to idolise the terrorists sometimes end up joining their ranks,” said the official.A senior J&K police officer while speaking to dna said that unlike the past, when Kashmiri youth crossed over to Pakistan to receive arms training, militants of Kashmiri origin now hold a slight edge over Pakistani ones due to the connect they form with the general population.He said foreign militants from countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan were previously looked as ‘mythical characters’ but the new-age Kashmiri militants are more real than their predecessors. Among other prominent militants are Nisar Pandit, Zakir who hails from Noorpur and Isaaq Dar from Tral area of Kashmir, also known by the nickname ‘Newton’ which he got after topping his class.The officer also said the fact that most of the new militants are educated and degree holders is intentionally highlighted to influence educated youth of the valley.”We are fighting the current militancy at multiple levels, social media being one of them. But the sympathy garnered by some of the Kashmiri militant groups has to be tackled carefully. People here have seen these militants grow from boys into adults and while dealing in such scenarios we have to ensure we do not end up alienating people further,” said the officer who had been part of the counter insurgency operations in North Kashmir. Reaching out people through videos In August this year, Burhan, had also released a five-and-half minute video which was first circulated through WhatsApp before it was uploaded on Facebook. The 21-year-old is seen in the video asking Kashmiri youth to join the ‘armed movement against the Indian state’. His elder brother Khalid was killed this year in police action during an attempt to capture Burhan, now referred to as a ‘poster boy’ of the new age militancy.

Goa priest’s death: Kin meet CM Laxmikant Parsekar for speedy probe

Bismarque’s family suspect foul play in his death last week and had yesterday refused to organise his funeral seeking a swift probe into the incident.

Family called on Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar over activist’s death probe (Image source: goabjp website)

The family of activist and Catholic priest Bismarque Dias, whose body was found in a river in his village under mysterious circumstances last week, called on Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday and demanded speedy probe into the incident even as they continue to put on hold Dias’s funeral. “Parsekar assured the family members of the deceased that his viscera report as well as the preliminary death report will be made available expeditiously,” said Valmiki Naik, an activist who was part of delegation comprising Dias’s kin that met the CM. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bismarque’s family suspect foul play in his death last week and had yesterday refused to organise his funeral seeking a swift probe into the incident. They have kept the body in morgue. Bismarque, a non-practising Catholic priest and an activist, was found dead on November 7 in the backwaters of his village St Estevam after going missing on November 5. Meanwhile, BJP legislator Vishnu Wagh, who claims himself to be classmate of the deceased, has demanded that a special investigation team be set up to ensure a “fair” probe. “Goa’s firebrand environmentalist and social activist has died under mysterious circumstances. His friends and relatives are not ready to believe that his death was accidental and many people have expressed fear that somebody might have conspired to physically eliminate the fighter father,” Wagh said in a letter.A delegation, led by Bismarque’s brother Mario Dias, yesterday called upon state DGP T N Mohan and demanded that the probe be handed over to the crime branch. Bismarque was the leader of a band of musicians who used to organise musical protests against several projects in the coastal state including an upcoming golf course and a new greenfield airport. He was currently spearheading a protest against the government’s plans to build an electronic city in the state.He was also involved in protest against several tourism projects requiring large-scale land acquisition. On November 5, he went for an overnight picnic with two friends and was seen last going for a swim in the river. While the first autopsy report said he died of drowning, the second autopsy, conducted due to public pressure, said there were no external injuries but the cause of death can not be ascertained until the viscera report comes.

Man shoots sister dead in suspected case of honour killing

In a suspected case of honour killing, a brother shot his sister dead after coming to know about her love affair, police said.

In a suspected case of honour killing, a brother shot his sister dead after coming to know about her love affair, police said.The incident took place in Darkawada village in Binauli area yesterday when Jabbar shot his sister Rizwana (19) killing her on the spot, they said.Jabbar was stated to be upset with her sister’s affair with a youth of his village and after his repeated warnings was ignored by his sister, he shot her.Police lodged an FIR in this connection and launched a hunt to nab the accused.

How two India-born brothers raised funds in the US for al Qaeda

Through the email group, Mohammad and Salim brothers were in touch with other men who had met and had inside knowledge on Awlaki’s activities and raised funds for the Al Qaeda leader in Yemen.

Anwar al-Awlaki

Wikimedia Commons
Two India-born brothers and naturalised American citizens, have been charged by a Federal Court in the US for financing al Qaeda and supporting ‘violent jihad against the United States, the US military in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the world’. Of the two brothers Yahya Farooq Mohammad (37) and Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad (36), Ibrahim was arrested in Texas on Thursday.The two brothers along with Asif Ahmed Salim, 35, and his brother Sultane Room Salim, 40, have been indicted for raising thousands of dollars and sending wire transfers over seven years to slain al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. The District court of Northern Ohio which announced the indictment on Thursday has also charged another pair of brothers Asif Ahmed Salim and Sultane Roome Salim for providing support to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All four men have been indicted with conspiracy to provide and conceal material support and resources to terrorists, one count of providing material support and resources to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. The Mohammad brothers face additional charges of conspiring to commit bank frauds in order to provide funds to Awlaki, leader of AQAP. Awlaki, who holds dual citizenship (American and Yemenese) was killed by US forces in a drone attack in Yemen in 2011. The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Ibrahim in Texas where he lived on Thursday, while Sultane was apprehended in Ohio.Yahya is a IT Project Manager in UAE while Ibrahim is a senior structural engineer in Dallas, US. Both the brothers are India-born and engineering students who completed their Bachelors in Electronics (Yahya 1995-99) and Civil Engineering (Ibrahim 1997-2001) from Osmania University, Hyderabad. Following which Yahya came to the US in 1999 for higher studies in engineering at the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College and later to Ohio State University between 2002 and 2004. He married a US citizen in 2008. His brother, Ibrahim also followed a similar path. Upon completing his engineering studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2001 -2005, he moved to Ohio, and married a US citizen. Both the brothers are lawful permanent resident of the US.According to the FBI investigations, which has details of the email communication between the four men, they supported Jihad through the dissemination of propaganda material between 2005 and 2008. Their radicalisation can be traced through discussions, forwarding of speeches, texts and blog entries of Islamic scholars including Awlaki, views and opinions on Jihad and Islamic laws.In one such email ‘RE: Is Nationalism a disease in view of Islam?’, sent by Yahya to Ibrahim on January 31, 2005, he said, “The Muslims there [in India] are our brothers. The non-Muslims our enemies. We do dawah [proselytize] to them in the best manner. But if they refuse, and when we have the capability, we offer them to live as dhimmis [non-Muslims under protection of Muslim law], or else face the sword. And we never have a subservient attitude towards them. There is a time for dawah and a time for [offensive] jihad, and … this is clearly explained.’’ In the following email, where they discussed on taking up nationality of a kafir (non-Islamic) nation, Yahya states that, “As far as which [country] is more evil, I think what is more important to look at is which country is most actively at war with Islam and that without doubt is the US.’’ Despite such beliefs, the brothers became permanent residents of America.The emails were circulated in a group including the Salim brothers and other unknown conspirators. In an email titled ‘Dawah [proselytizing] progress and methods used’, contained an interview of the Taliban commander who praised Osama Bin Laden and those individuals who perpetrated attacks in Mumbai, in November 2008.The communication also included light banter. In a paper called ‘Engineers of Jihad’ which states that “Graduates from subjects such as science, engineering, and medicine are strongly over-represented among Islamist movements in the Muslim world” Yahya commented, “The reason for educated people being over-represented is simply as Allah … says … : ‘Those who truly fear Allah, among His Servants, are those who have knowledge.’ As to why engineers particularly are the majority, I don’t know. But I do like that fact :).”The chit-chat on Jihad and Islam translated into providing funds to Awlaki around 2008, inspired by his blog entries like ’44 Ways of Supporting Jihad’ and ‘Establishing Khalifah’ in which he says that Jihad is an obligation of every Muslim and even if one does not believe in Jihad one must “Fight the disbelievers with your self, your wealth and your tongues”. In the same year, Yahya appears to confirm his decision to use his American credit cards for ‘hostile intent’.Yahya and Ibrahim applied to obtain new credit cards from American Express, Citibank, First National Bank of Omaha and Discover banks. They withdrew money with no intention of repaying the amounts obtained from the financial institutions, federal prosecutors alleged. Yahya who was living and working in the UAE fraudulently applied for these cards by providing Ibrahim’s address in Ohio.Through the email group, Mohammad and Salim brothers were in touch with other men who had met and had inside knowledge on Awlaki’s activities and raised funds for the Al Qaeda leader in Yemen. They raised funds from sympathisers within the US to support and fund Awlaki’s Jihad in Yemen. Several financial transactions were made within the group to transfer funds provided by individual donors by using Paypal accounts and bank checks. In addition, the four men talked extensively and discussed plans of making a trip to Sanaa,Yemen to meet Awlaki personally. Their trip only materialised in July 2009, as Yahya along with two others from the email group travelled to Yemen. Although they couldn’t meet the leader himself a sum of $22,000 was handed to an associate of Awlaki.The Mohammad and Salim brothers have not been convicted yet for these charges. Further proceedings will determine the sentencing. Indian security officials seemed unaware about the Mohammad brothers or whether they were part of any criminal activities during their time in India.The Mohammad brothers are not the first Indians to be indicted into financing global terrorism, particularly Al Qaeda. In the cache of documents found at bin Laden’s residence in Abbotabad, Pakistan at the time of his killing and released in May revealed that the al-Qaeda leader received multiple payments from an individual he identified as “the Indian brother in Medinah”, the person understood as Saudi national Mahmoud Muhammad Bahaziq (71 years old) born to an Indian mother in Hyderabad. He is charged as the main financier of Lashkar-e-Toiba operations—including the 26/11 Mumbai attacks—and is listed by the United Nations as a terror financier in 2008.In October, 41-year-old Haroon Aswat a Gujrati Muslim of Indian-origin British national was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a US Federal court for trying to set up an al-Qaeda training camp in the US on the orders of Islamist extremist preacher Abu Hamza. Last year, the FBI caught 31-year-old Gufran Ahmed Kauser Mohammed—an Indian-origin man and naturalised US citizen who relocated to Saudi Arabia in 2011— for providing thousands of dollars and facilitating recruits for Al Qaeda (core group), Jabhat al-Nusrah front in Syria, and al-Shabaab in Somalia. He is sentenced to a 15-year imprisonment.

Thank god, all the details of Chhota Rajan’s return are top secret and we know nothing

I keep hearing or reading somewhere that there is this very heavy cloak of confidentiality enveloping the recently arrested don’s presence. This is because his onetime buddy turned enemy Dawood Ibrahim could be gunning for him. Many people may not want him in India because, when he signs like a canary, the lyrics could indict them in crimes so far kept under wraps. Some of these folks could be in rarefied rungs on the power ladder who believe a dead don is better than a live one.

Thank you very much. All this makes a great deal of sense and no one should know that he is coming by a special craft and not a commercial flight.

So much for secrecy regarding Chhota Rajan’s travel plans. He should have been in India today or as Home Minister Rajnath Singh puts it, very soon if it wasn’t for an ash cloud putting air traffic out of kilter.

Image courtesy: PTIImage courtesy: PTI

Image courtesy: PTI

So, if I was gunning for the guy, I’d know he is stuck at Bali airport waiting for the cloud to dissipate. I also know he isn’t on a Garuda or Air India but a special aircraft sent to bring him and the entourage back.The public needed to know that. That special plane has probably been parked in Depesna for 48 hours in full view waiting for the volcano cloud to disburse.

After he fetches up in India, he will undergo dialysis because his kidneys are malfunctioning. This is just the data we all should be privy to, because it demands medical back up and that means machines and skilled manpower and more pressure on the security.

When he feels a bit better he will be interrogated in either Delhi or Mumbai finally to be housed in Block 12 of the Arthur Road jail after the CBI is done with him. The Mumbai cops are a little peeved. We are told that the CBI hasn’t yet invited them to the party, so that special cell block may have to wait for its guest. But we are reasonably sure he isn’t in Block 11 or Block 13, that last one being unlucky.

All this information is already in the public domain. So we have to be grateful that it is all shrouded in secrecy or else we would have his flight details and seat number. In case anyone is looking for him we have been informed that special commandos are accompanying him so the odds on sensibly sneaking him incognito into India drop dramatically if the wild geese surround him, sten guns and stern expressions to the ready. How many folks are on that private plane?

There are two top cases crowning the 75 accusations piled against Rajan as reported by police sources. One is the Pakmodia firing case where there was a shooting outside the house of Iqbal Kaskar, brother of Dawood Ibrahim, which led to a death of one person. The second case refers to the murder of journalist J Dey in 2011, with Rajan having allegedly ordered it because Dey critiqued him in his articles. The police are planning to have one of the accused, Jigna Vora confront Chota Rajan.

And while we wait for the ash to clear from the flight path, we are told that two of Rajan’s right-hand men, Nilesh Dinkar Paradkar and Raghu Shetty, have been arrested for alleged blackmail.

Coincidence or just one of those things. Uh oh, Mr Rajan the welcome may be quite hot especially since you have already announced that some of the Mumbai police officers work for Dawood.

We are also told that Mr Rajan is looking for a kidney and had intended to return to India to get one. For a don that could be an easy peasy medical exercise. He could simply order it like we order pizza.

In the days to come, we will be regaled with more intimate details of his daily grind. I am just so glad that secrecy is being maintained…what if it wasn’t?

Unless, of course, these are all red herrings and he is coming to India on an Air India scheduled flight disguised as one of the crew. Tchah, you weren’t supposed to know.

Mumbai Police’s big plans for Chhota Rajan: Special jail cell, dialysis machine and a surprise meeting

The Mumbai Police is determined to get custody of Chhota Rajan and preparations are already underway.

The 55-year-old gangster’s deportation to India has been delayed due to a volcanic eruption in Indonesia which has stopped all flight services. The security agencies concerned have decided that he will initially be taken to Delhi and kept in CBI custody before being handed over to either Mumbai or Delhi cops. Security arrangements have been beefed up at CBI headquarters in anticipation of Rajan’s arrival.

Chhota Rajan in Bali's Denpasar. PTIChhota Rajan in Bali's Denpasar. PTI

Chhota Rajan in Bali’s Denpasar. PTI

But all this has not stopped the Mumbai cops from making their own plans for Rajan that will be implemented once he is in their custody.

The Indian Express reports that the powers-that-be in the Mumbai police department have decided to confront Jigna Vora, one of the accused in the murder of journalist J Dey in 2011, with Rajan. Since the Code of Criminal Procedure allows for such a provision, the cops are putting it to use in the case where they are still not sure about the motive for the murder. The working theory is that Dey wrote two articles that were not flattering to Rajan and the gangster ordered his murder.

The publication also reports that Rajan has 75 cases filed against him in Mumbai but the case to which the Crime Branch will give first priority is the Pakmodia firing case. In that case, there was a shooting outside the house of Iqbal Kaskar, brother of Dawood Ibrahim, which led to the death of Kaskar’s employee, Arif Syed Abu Bukha. Rajan, a rival of Dawood, was allegedly behind the firing.

The cops have also planned to lodge him at barrack number 12, the most secure cell at Arthur Road Jail, reports The Indian Express. It will also house a dialysis machine as the gangster has two failed kidneys.

Rajan was arrested in Bali on his arrival from Australia on October 25. His alleged crimes range from murder and extortion to smuggling and drug

Rajan, whose original name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje, was arrested on the basis of a Red Corner Notice from Interpol and following a tip off by Australian authorities to the police in Indonesia.

Indian authorities have already provided documents to their Indonesian counterparts about his Indian identity to facilitate his deportation.

In 2000, there was an attempt on Rajan’s life when his arch rival and India’s most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim’s men tracked him down to a hotel in Bangkok but he managed to escape.

The Indian team, comprising officers from CBI, Mumbai police and Delhi police, had arrived in Bali on Sunday with a detailed dossier on Rajan and his involvement in various crimes in India.

With inputs from PTI

Indore administration to forward couple who claim to be Geeta’s parents’ petition to MEA

Geeta, who had landed in Pakistan accidentally as a child and stayed there for over 10 years, is currently lodged at an institution for the hearing and speech impaired in Indore.
File Photo
The district administration has said that they will send the application of a couple, claiming to be the parents of Geeta, the deaf and mute girl who returned to India from Pakistan recently, to the Ministry of External Affairs for further assistance.”The application of the couple will be sent to the Ministry of External Affairs and after the MEA’s decision, a call will be taken on it,” district collector P Narhari told PTI.Geeta, who had landed in Pakistan accidentally as a child and stayed there for over 10 years, is currently lodged at an institution for the hearing and speech impaired in Indore. Ramraj Gautam (45) and his wife Anara Devi, hailing from Rama-ka-Purva village of Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, claimed that Geeta was their daughter and her original name was Savita. The couple carried a photograph claiming that it was that of Geeta’s childhood.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We want to meet Geeta just once. If she refuses to recognise us, we will return home immediately,” emotionally charged Anara said.They had expressed their willingness to undergo a DNA test to back their claim of parenthood.”I am sure that Geeta is my daughter Savita who went missing from my brother-in-law’s ashram at Chhapra in Bihar 11 years ago. I and my wife are ready to undergo DNA test to prove our claim,” Gautam told PTI.Stating that his wife’s brother was a monk, he said, “I had kept my daughter in his ashram for treatment. She was eight-year-old when she went missing”. Geeta was reportedly only 7-8 years old when she was found sitting alone on the Samjhauta Express at Lahore Station by the Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago. She was adopted by Edhi Foundation’s Bilquis Edhi and lived with her in Karachi. She returned to India on October 26.

15 years on, Irom Sharmila still fasts, but repealing AFSPA remains a distant dream

by Gouri Chatterjee

The date: 27 October 2015; the place: the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Imphal West, Manipur. Reporters were milling around, evidently a VIP visit was on the cards. And it was. Irom Sharmila Chanu had been brought there by ambulance from the Security Ward of Imphal’s Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences where she is held under judicial custody, for yet another hearing of the case against her under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, ie attempt to suicide. The court simply fixed a date for the next hearing, 9 November 2015.

If you can’t instantly place who she is, fret not. You are not alone. It is a collective amnesia, the brain blocking out what makes us uncomfortable, what we cannot cope with. It is easier to press the delete button than to face up to the reality of Irom Sharmila, who has been on a continuous hunger-strike since 2 November 2000, precisely fifteen years ago to the day or for 5,475 days without a morsel going down her throat except the liquids force-fed her by doctors. The longest hunger-strike ever, anywhere in the world. Yet, her goal, the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), is still as distant as it was on that November day fifteen years ago when the senseless killing by the army of ten civilians waiting at a bus stop in Malom had stopped her from breaking the fast she had been observing that Thursday, as she did like a good Hindu every Thursday, in honour of the goddess Lakshmi.

Irom Sharmila in a file photo. AFPIrom Sharmila in a file photo. AFP

Irom Sharmila in a file photo. AFP

But the going is getting tougher and tougher. “When she started fasting, there were all kinds of rumours about Sharmila. Some said she was mad. Others said she came from a very poor family and was being paid to do this. Another rumour was that she had a boyfriend who died in the Malom massacre. People just could not understand why anyone would do something like this,” her brother had told journalists earlier. Yet, there was respect for her commitment, awe at her determination, and readiness to help. Today, as she told reporters outside the court room last month, her trial was at a crucial stage and she needs mass support now but even the people of Manipur had forsaken her. There were very few who were at her side these days. She was, reported Northeast Today, feeling very disheartened that not a single supporter was there in the court complex that day. People didn’t seem to care if the AFSPA, that gives the armed forces the licence to kill anybody on mere suspicion, was repealed or not. Given the people’s lack of interest towards her “democratic movement” she was, she said, feeling confused as to whether she was doing the right thing or not.

It will bring her no dishonour, no discredit if indeed she does surrender one of these days. Her indomitable spirit will still not be bowed, she will continue to remain a symbol of hope, of courage, of selfless devotion to a cause. But it is also true, nobody cares. In the fifteen years of her remarkable, peaceful protest, much has changed. When she began her fast, more than 2,000 women sat with her in relay hunger-strikes. Today, the interest is cursory at best. Last year, when she was released for a couple of days, she staged her protest on one of the busiest roads of Imphal. People passed by, a few stopped to greet her, a couple with a small son praised her courage and faith, posed for photographs with her — and left. Or so the Telegraph reported.

Meanwhile, the AFSPA has been withdrawn from parts of Imphal, thanks to a protest by another group of women but who were now at peace with the government, accepting, a few years back, even awards from the Centre. At the same time, the number of rebel organisations in Manipur has jumped to 42 in the last few years, strengthening the army’s demand for the continuance of the AFSPA in the rest of Manipur. Nor is there any political demand for its repeal either. Tripura has removed the offending Act from its books, Nagaland has at least made some such noises, but Manipur it seems prefers to live with it than without. Even though the army’s transgressions there under the protection of this Act are no secret; even a Supreme Court-appointed commission that investigated six random cases found all of them to be fake encounters.

Still, the biggest news coming out of that part of the world was a few months ago when India gleefully conducted the country’s first “hot pursuit”, chasing rebels into their hideouts in Burma, as it was gleefully announced by the junior external affairs minister. Even the new Naga peace pact which naturally affects Manipur has not been spelled out in detail. Little wonder that the prime minister, who had visited Manipur last November for the closing ceremony of Sangai festival, did not have time for or interest in Irom Sharmila languishing in her hospital ward.

Yet, unravelling the legal mesh that has her in its grip won’t be easy for Irom Sharmila. It is the law that has caused her to go on her heroic hunger-strike – she will happily eat again, she has said, once Manipur is free of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act but only then – and it is the law, section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, that is treating her as a criminal, forcing her to be fed through a Ryle’s tube, remanding her to a hospital, demanding her presence in court from time to time. If we want to honour Irom Sharmila, we should try to help her resolve this conundrum. As she told a Wall Street journalist last year, “Yes, of course I want other people to join my movement. I am a social being. I don’t like to live alone, isolated like in a jungle. But people just analyse what I am doing, they want me to stand on a pedestal without a voice, making a statue of me. But I am against it because I have bad sides and good sides. Why should they worship me after my passing away from this Earth, like a goddess or saint or nun? Instead, I want them to support me physically. I need their support.” Let the plea for help from the Iron Lady of Manipur not fall on deaf ears.

I&B ministry appoints four new censor board members, two with BJP links

The other two members appointed are Susmita Das and artiste Dr T Anil Kumar, that takes the total number of CBFC members to 23, aside from CBFC chairman Pahalaj Nihalani.

TS Nagabharana and Gangai Amaran

The Information and Broadcasting ministry has appointed four new members to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) including Kannada filmmaker TS Nagabharana –one of the pioneers of parallel cinema, andTamil film music director and lyricist Gangai Amaran. Considered close to the BJP, Nagabharana had earlier campaigned for the saffron party in Karnataka, while Amaran, who is music legend Ilayaraja’s brother and a popular music composer himself, had formally joined party last December. The other two members appointed are Susmita Das and artiste Dr T Anil Kumar, that takes the total number of CBFC members to 23, aside from CBFC chairman Pahalaj Nihalani.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The appointments come at a time when several filmmakers, writers, historians and scientists have joined the bandwagon of intellectuals giving back their awards as a mark of protest to intolerance in the country.Earlier this year, noted Bharatanatyam dancer and former CBFC chief Leela Samson had quit from the post, alleging the BJP-led Centre’s interference in the functioning of the statutory body. Her resignation had come in the wake of the ‘çontroversial’ film MSG getting a green signal from the censor board, following which 10 other board members of CBFC had put in their papers. On similar lines, the ministry had been facing stiff resistance from students of FTII for over four months on making ‘contentious’ appointments to crucial positions of the premier institute, the most prominent one being actor Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment as the chairman of the governing council of the autonomous body for his apparent ‘old’ BJP links. As the students continue their protest, eminent filmmakers had shown solidarity with them by giving back their national awards On Wednesday. CBFC functions with 24 board members including the chairman, appointed for a three-year term. For the last many months, there were five vacancies for board members who are appointed by the Central government from a mix of different backgrounds, suggested by the states. With these four new appointments, just one position in the CBFC remains vacant. “By November, the terms of two more members are getting over, so there would be three vacancies.The Ministry will be taking a call on the appointments, selecting the members from the different suggestions they have received from the states,” an official informed.

All you need to know about underworld don Chhota Rajan

Here is all you need to know about Chhota Rajan.

Chhota Rajan

Wanted gangster Chhota Rajan was arrested in Indonesia on Monday, and might be deported to India. Rajan has been on the run for two decades and wanted in a number of grievous criminal cases.Here is all you need to know about Chhota Rajan:Chhota Rajan was born in Chembur in Mumbai in 1960, as Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje. He began a career in crime by scalping cinema tickets at Sahakar cinema in Mumbai in his teens, in the company of one Rajan Nair. Chhota Rajan also began to indulge in bootlegging.Chhota Rajan also met Yadagiri, a gangster from Hyderabad. Bada Rajan formed his own gang with Chhota Rajan as his main sidekick. The Rajan gang also operated protection money rackets and settled financial and land disputes. Along with Tamilian don Vardarajan Mudaliar, the gang got into smuggling, spreading its tentacles around Mumbai. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Bada Rajan’s killing in 1983, Chhota Rajan took his place, formally assuming the title of Chhota Rajan. He worked for a time with D-Company don Dawood Ibrahim and Arun Gawli. After Gawli’s brother Papa Gawli was murdered over a drug deal, a rift developed between the trio. Chhota Rajan went to Dubai in 1989 to attend the wedding of Dawood’s brother Noora, and never returned. But Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan fell out in 1993 after the former masterminded the 1993 Mumbai blasts that killed over 300 people. Reportedly, Rajan tipped off India’s R&AW about Dawood’s network, creating a mortal enemy.After their 1993 fallout, a bloody gang war begun between Rajan and Dawood. In 1994, Rajan lured one of Dawood’s favourite ‘narco-terrorists’ Phillu Khan alias Bakhtiyar Ahmed Khan to a hotel room in Bangkok and tortured him to death.Dawood Ibrahim subsequently attempted to murder Rajan through Chhota Shakeel. Rajan was tracked down in a Bangkok hotel room in 2000, but the attempt on his life failed. However, Shakeel’s men managed to gun down trusted Rajan hitman Rohit Varma and his wife.After the failed assassination attempt, Rajan took revenge, first successfully plotting the murder of Dawood associates Vinod Shetty and Sunil Soans. Then in 2003 he got the big fish – Sharad Shetty – Dawood’s chief finance manager and money-laundering agent, at the India Club in Dubai. This lent a big blow to the operations of D-Company, making Rajan the bigger bully in the underworld.Rajan is also alleged to be involved in the counterfeit currency business. Former aide of underworld don Chhota Rajan, Santosh Shetty, who was captured in 2011, said to NDTV, “I got fake notes from China and Indonesia and sold them in Singapore. The profit out of this business was routed to buy a restaurant in Jakarta, which I named after my Chinese girlfriend Nayatali.”Rajan is alleged to have dabbled in match-fixing too. In 2013, following the spot-fixing scandal in IPL 6, Dawood Ibrahim aide Chhota Shakeel claimed to Aaj Tak that Dawood was no longer involved in fixing cricket matches. “You can ask Chhota Rajan. He has big bookies like Vinod Chembur. He plays big bets. His syndicate could be involved. You will know soon,” he said.However, the Rajan gang in turned accused D-Company of being involved in the betting and fixing syndicate.Chhota Rajan has been accused of connections with Bollywood stars like Salman Khan. According to Tehelka, Salman has been alleged to have told his ex-girlfriend Aishwarya Rai that Dawood Ibrahim was like his brother, and also throwing out Chhota Rajan’s name. Tehelka also claimed that the police said Salman was in the know that Bharat Shah’s 2000 film Chori Chori Chupke Chupke was financed by the underworld.A Tehelka article from 2005 also alleges that actor Sanjay Dutt and director Mahesh Manjrekar made a ‘hi-hello’ call to Dawood Ibrahim to enquire as to how the Chhota Rajan murder attempt had been planned and executed in 2000.Moreover, two films – Vaastav starring Sanjay Dutt seems to be loosely based on the character of Chhota Rajan. In fact, Rajan’s brother Deepak Nikaje was the producer of Vaastav, and also contested elections on a Republican Party of India (RPI-A) ticket. Interestingly, Vaastav was directed by Mahesh Manjrekar.The movie Company (2002) starring Ajay Devgn and Manisha Koirala also had a character resembling Chhota Rajan.The underworld mobster has three daughters – Ankita Nikalje, Nikita Nikalje and Khushi Nikalje.

Will take bribes for welfare activities: TDP MLA

He claimed that several contractors who were executing government works in his constituency had offered him money though he had never accepted it until now.

JC Prabhakar Reddy

JC Prabhakar Reddy, a legislator of the ruling Telugu Desam party in Andhra Pradesh, on Saturday said he will start “accepting bribes” and “use the money for welfare activities” in his constituency as the state treasury was “cash-strapped”.”I will take bribes from contractors. But I will take them by demand drafts. I will display the names of those who have given me the money. I will take the money for my constituency,” Reddy, who represents Tadipatri constituency in Anantapur district, said while speaking to reporters.”Financial situation of the state prompted me to take this decision…. I will take white money. And I will show what I have done (with that money). There is no money in Andhra Pradesh. How will we complete development works? Why can’t we do this?” he asked.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He claimed that several contractors who were executing government works in his constituency had offered him money though he had never accepted it until now. Reddy’s brother JC Diwakar Reddy is a senior TDP leader and a Lok Sabha member.

Mystery surrounding Dalit minor’s death continues to deepen

“Some members of the Gadia Lohar community had on Wednesday approached the Sonepat police, charging the boy with the theft of a pigeon and demanding appropriate action against him,” said superintendent of police, Sonepat, Abhishek Garg.

Tensions continued to simmer in Sonipat district’s Gohana town on Friday, where a 15-year-old Dalit boy died under mysterious circumstances after being summoned by the local police for allegedly stealing pigeons on Wednesday evening.The youth’s family, along with several hundred members of Haryana’s Dalit community, staged a massive demonstration for the second day, refusing to perform the boy’s last rites. They demanded the arrest of two assistant sub inspectors who, they believe, had tortured Govinda after he was summoned.Later in the evening senior Haryana police officers held meetings with elders of the community, following which Govinda was cremated in his hometown of Devipura. Also, the two policemen were suspended and an official internal inquiry was initiated after they were named in the FIR.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Govinda’s brother Gautam has claimed that the 15-year-old was brutally beaten in custody and had prominent cuts across his body. He also claimed that his arms and legs had been fractured. The family had also recorded a video which shows the boy’s lifeless body with injury marks on his abdomen and legs.”Some members of the Gadia Lohar community had on Wednesday approached the Sonepat police, charging the boy with the theft of a pigeon and demanding appropriate action against him,” said superintendent of police, Sonepat, Abhishek Garg.Gautam said he had dropped his brother at the local police station. “In the evening I went to pick him up. The cops told me and family of Govinda’s friend, who was also accused, to pay Rs5,000 for their release. When we brought them the money, they told us to get Rs10,000. I pleaded with them that I didn’t have that kind of cash, but they said my brother won’t be released until I paid. I then arranged for more money. When my mother went to the police station later that evening to give Govinda some food, the cops told her he had escaped. How is it possible to escape from police custody?” Gautam told reporters.According to the mother, on Thursday morning, she had gone to fetch water from a government pipeline close to the house of Govinda’s uncle. The home, according to the family, is empty. “I noticed that the door was open. When I entered, I found my child’s lifeless body there,” she said.An autopsy revealed that the death was hanging. The family believes that either he died in police custody, after which the accused policemen put the body there, or he was tortured severely and hence he committed suicide.Questions are also being raised as to why a juvenile board official was not present at the local police station when the boy was summoned, as per the general protocol.However, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, in a press conference on Friday, said it was a case of suicide and that the death should not been given a casteist colour.”As per information, two families Gadia Lohar and Dhanik had some dispute over money and pigeons. Their matter was resolved in the police station, where two people mutually decided to contribute the money. However, one family gave its share and the other didn’t,” he added.

Explained: The Guru Granth Sahib serial desecrations that have sparked protests across Punjab

The desecrations and the protests

Seven incidents involving the sacrilege of various scriptures of the Guru Granth Sahib have occurred across the state since the first one on 12 October in Bargari, Faridkot, where 112 pages of the text were found by locals in a damaged state.

After the incident in Bargari, The Tribune reported that the incident had been in the making since June this year when a ‘bir’ or scripture of the Guru Granth Sahib was stolen from a gurudwara in Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village, Faridkot.

A few days later, reports emerged of a fresh incident of desecration was reported, this time from Bath village in Tarn Taran, which sparked an agitation. Over the next few days, incidents of sacrilege occurred in Kohrian village (Faridkot), Mishriwala village (Ferozepur), Ludhiana, Gurusar Mehraj village (Bathinda) and Sarai Naga village (Muktsar). A total of six persons linked to five of the seven incidents are now in police custody.

Activists from The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) hold black flags as take part in a protest in Amritsar on 20 October against the alleged desecration of a Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs. AFP

Activists from The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) hold black flags as take part in a protest in Amritsar on 20 October against the alleged desecration of a Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs. AFP

The arrests and ‘the foreign hand’ involved

The arrest of Rupinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh, of Faridkot’s Panjgrain village on Tuesday, is the latest chapter in a series of holy book-desecration incidents that has sparked protests across Punjab.

The brothers — accused of being involved in the desecration in Bargari, which led to violent clashes between police and protesters — were taken into custody after their telephone calls were intercepted.

The Times of India quotes Additional Director-General of Police (crime and security) Iqbal Preet Sahota as saying that “the two brothers have been talking to their masters abroad, including Dubai and Australia, and discussed about delivery of cash to them in lieu of their acts of sacrilege”.

The Tribune published a transcript of two conversations, recorded last Thursday and Friday, between Rupinder and Jaswinder, and their Australian contact, in which the brothers are discussing what seems like the modus operandi for some sort of meeting. Jaswinder is quoted warning his brother that a meeting with an unnamed person, could expose ‘the matter’.

Rupinder: The task is important. He has some stuff of Maharaj… pages

Jaswinder: The torn ones or the other…..?

Rupinder: Enough. Don’t talk further

In another conversation Rupinder is quoted discussing payment (it is not clear what for) with a caller from Australia.

The political fallout

Aside from violent clashes between protestors and police that claimed two lives, the spree of desecrations across Punjab has seen also seen political casualties in the form of numerous resignations.

Congress MLA Ramanjit Singh Sikki and Shiromani Akali Dal leaders Sukhdev Singh Bhoura, Rajinder Singh Sidhu, and Jaspreet Singh were among those to tender their resignations. The SAD leaders left the party in protest.

Furthermore, the sixth World Kabaddi Cup, originally scheduled from 14 to 28 November, was cancelled by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, after teams from Canada, the UK and US pulled out of the event.

“At a time when the entire Sikh community is shell shocked with grief at the ghastly manner in which Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji has been desecrated, holding such a tournament is not appropriate,” he was quoted on Tuesday as having said.

President of the BJP in Punjab Kamal Sharma was quoted by PTI saying that the perpetrators deserved ‘exemplary sentences’ so that the ‘hard-earned peace of Punjab’ would never again be in peril.

As tensions flared on Friday, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal made a statement in which he called on the people of Punjab to be vigilant, and wary of the ‘nefarious designs of fissiparous forces to disrupt the peace and communal harmony in the state’.

Ex-servicemen raise Dadri killing, seek grievance redressal mechanism

A delegation of veterans also visited the Army’s Research and Referral (R&R) Institute to meet Danish, brother of Sartaj, who works with the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Danish was attacked along with his father Mohammad Akhlaq by a mob over rumours of eating beef.

Ex-servicemen, who have been agitating for ‘One Rank, One Pension’, on Saturday raised the Dadri lynching incident in which the father of an Air Force corporal was killed and demanded a grievance redressal mechanism for servicemen and their families.A delegation of veterans also visited the Army’s Research and Referral (R&R) Institute to meet Danish, brother of Sartaj, who works with the Indian Air Force (IAF).Danish was attacked along with his father Mohammad Akhlaq by a mob over rumours of eating beef. The IAF has provided accommodation to Sartaj’s family in Delhi’s Subroto Park “It is a painful that one of our soldier’s father was killed in an attack and his brother injured at Dadri. We visited R&R to meet his brother Danish, but could not as he is in the ICU,” Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) chairman Major (retd) Satbir Singh said at a press conference in New Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said incidents like attack on family members of serving and retired soldiers are a matter of concern and security of family is a matter of concern.”This is just one incident and attacks on families of serving soldiers and veterans keep taking place. Also, many of our veterans who get post-retirement jobs and are away from their families are deeply concerned about the safety and security of their families,” said Col (retd) Anil Kaul, media adviser to United Front of Ex-Servicemen Movement (UFESM), a conglomerate of various ex-servicemen organisations.The veterans also demanded formation of a ‘Veterans Commission’ and legislation of a Armed Forces Covenant, an expression of the moral obligation that the government and the nation owe to the Armed Forces Community.”This has been promised by the BJP in its election manifesto and has been mentioned by the President of India in his speech in the Parliament,” Singh said, adding the Veterans Commission should be chaired by veterans only.

Noida school girl commits suicide after being harassed by three men

A class 11 girl student on Thursday committed suicide by hanging herself after she was allegedly stalked and harassed by three men.

A class 11 girl student of Noida committed suicide by hanging herself on Thursday after she was allegedly stalked and harassed by three men.”The girl complained about harassment in phase- 3 police station where an FIR was registered under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty). We have recovered a suicide note from the bag of the deceased in which she has mentioned about being harassed,” Dinesh Yadav, ACP city said.The family members of the deceased girl however alleged that the police didn’t act on their complaint earlier, when the girl had written a suicide note a few days stating that she was very disturbed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We went to police late at night but they didn’t initiate any action against the accused,” brother of victim said.

Dadri lynching: Mohammad Akhlaq’s son Danish shifted to Army R&R hospital

Danish had been admitted in the ICU of Kailash Hospital since he was he almost killed by the mob fury in Bisara, which claimed his father, Mohammad Akhlaq’s life.

After gaining consciousness, Danish, who had been admitted to the ICU in a Noida hospital after being beaten by a mob lead by the Hindu community in Bisara village, Dadri, over rumours of slaughtering and eating beef, was shifted to the Army Hospital (Research and Referral) on Saturday evening. Danish had been admitted in the ICU of Kailash Hospital since he was he almost killed by the mob fury in Bisara, which claimed his father, Mohammad Akhlaq’s life.Danish’s elder brother Sartaj informed reporters that his brother had been shifted to R&R on Saturday evening. A source at R&R told dna that he was brought in at 7 pm. The source added that Danish had been moved to casualty ward, as he was out of a coma but still critical. Danish had been shifted out of the ICU to the High Dependency Unit (HDU), in Kailash hospital on 8 October, after he had woken up and started communicating with his family. Sartaj had then told dna that the trauma of Danish’s injuries had wiped out any memories of the incident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The armed forces have been supporting the family since the lynching took place, as Sartaj works for the air force as an engineer, rank of Corporal. It has even offered a secure location to his family, on one of their stations or air bases. The Air Chief Marshal Anup Raha was one of the first people to publically speak out against the violence.Kailash Hospital is owned by Mahesh Sharma, the BJP union culture ministry who has courted much controversy for his remarks on the what happened in Bisara. He had called it an “accident” and asked people not to give it a “communal colour”. The Uttar Pradesh police has filed a case against Sharma, and his fellow BJP member, UP MLA Sangeet Som for giving inflammatory speeches in the village.

Two killed, two injured in Meerut after fight breaks out over Rs 40

Two persons were killed and as many injured after a fight allegedly broke out between a group of customers and employees of a fast-food joint over a difference of Rs 40 in their bill in TP Nagar area in Meerut, police said on Saturday.

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Two persons were killed and as many injured after a fight allegedly broke out between a group of customers and employees of a fast-food joint over a difference of Rs 40 in their bill in TP Nagar area in Meerut, police said on Saturday.Three persons – Nitin Sethi, Satte and Amar – entered in an argument with fast-food joint operator Rajat over a difference of Rs 40 in their bill following which a fight broke out between them last night, a police spokesperson said. One of the joint’s employee hit Nitin with a heavy utensil leading to blood spurting out of his head, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Satte and Amar fled from the spot, Nitin called his brother Sachin who reached the spot with his accomplices – Monu, Rahul and Sumit – and started fighting with Rajat and his employees, he said.Monu (25) and Rahul (22) were injured by the fast-food joint’s employees with sharp-edged weapons, he said, adding that while Monu died on the spot, Rahul succumbed during treatment at a hospital. Rajat and three of the fast-food joint employees have been arrested in this connection, the spokesperson said.

Police allegedly strip Dalit family naked in UP for filing complaint

Police in Greater Noida’s Gautam Buddh Nagar allegedly stripped a Dalit family naked for attempting to file a complaint. Subsequently, a video of the incident has gone viral on social media.

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dna Research & Archives
Police in Greater Noida’s Gautam Buddh Nagar allegedly stripped a Dalit family naked for attempting to file a complaint. Subsequently, a video of the incident has gone viral on social media.According to The Hindu, Sunil Gautam and his wife were stripped naked publicly by the Dankaur police after they insisted on filing a police complaint. They were later arrested and locked up in jail.Hindustan Times says that the family, comprising Gautam, his wife, brother and sisters- in-law, reached the Dankaur police station around afternoon, and tried to file a complaint against a person for passing casteist remarks against them. But police allege that Gautam was a ‘habitual blackmailer’ He “misuses the provisions of SC/ST Atrocities act to blackmail people and settle personal scores,” a senior police officer told The Hindu.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The official added that the police had received several complaints against Sunil Gautam from the ‘business community’ in Dankaur. The UP government also came out in defence of the police, accusing the family of disrobing themselves. The video above seems to be inconclusive and incomplete. It is unclear whether the family was stripped or themselves disrobed. Nevertheless, the inordinate reaction of the police and public can be seen clearly. Indeed, one woman is being dragged along the crowd and also gets stripped in the melee. A child also seems to have been stripped of his clothes.

PM Modi and Sonia Gandhi condole death of music composer Ravindra Jain

In a message, Gandhi said that the void created by the music director-singer-lyricist in the popular as well as classical music genre will be hard to fill. He was a “musician par excellence”.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday took to Twitter condoled the death of noted lyricist and music composer Ravindra Jain. Congress President Sonia Gandhi too condoled Jain’s death and described him as a “musician par excellence”In a message, Gandhi said that the void created by the music director-singer-lyricist in the popular as well as classical music genre will be hard to fill. He was a “musician par excellence”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jain died today at a Mumbai hospital due to multiple organ failure. Jain was unwell for quite some time and he was under treatment at the Lilavati Hospital. He was in Nagpur for a programme which he had planned much earlier but could not participate because of his health. He was admitted to Wockhardt hospital in Nagpur, but was shifted to Lilavati hospital on Thursday. There were reports on Thursday that his condition was stable and that his health was showing an improvement. He is survived by his wife Divya, son Aayushman and brother Manindra. (With Agency Inputs)