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Gujarat HC extends bail of Naroda-Patiya convict on health grounds

The medical report submitted by doctors said Kukrani had a history of “uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension and old cerebrovascular stroke etc.” and he required assistance to carry out the daily activities. The special trial court had in August 2012 convicted 31 persons for involvement in the Naroda Patiya riot case wherein 97 people had been killed a day after the Godhra train burning incident of February 27, 2002.

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Amidst Darbhanga MP Azad’s suspension, BJP veterans’ meet creates flutter

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Express concern over DDCA, National Herald controversies eclipsing other pressing issues

Kirti Azad
File Photo

A day after the BJP suspended its Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad, party veterans — LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar — went into a huddle creating a flutter, the second time in less than two months. The meeting held at Joshi’s residence, like last time, was not pre-planned, according to sources. While Kirti Azad’s suspension was not the primary purpose of the meeting, the leaders expressed concern over issues like DDCA row and the National Herald case eclipsing “major issues” like the Paris climate pact, the Nairobi WTO ministerial meeting and farmers’ problems in the Winter Session which ended on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> They noted that this was the second session in a row which was a washout, in the face of a government-opposition standoff, the sources said. The leaders were also worried that the DDCA row could spill over into the budget session, which begins around February 20. The defamation cases filed by finance minister Arun Jaitley against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over their DDCA allegations are likely to stretch into February. A leader said “all issues” were discussed. The meeting hogged the limelight as it came a day after Kirti Azad, who had responded saying he was suspended for fighting corruption, said the Marg Darshak Mandal should take cognisance of the issue. Two of the leaders — Advani and Joshi — belong to the BJP’s Marg DarshakMandal, which has never met or held consultations ever since it was set up in August last year. The other members of the Marg Darshak Mandal are Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and home minister Rajnath Singh. Meanwhile, a BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has offered to help Azad in drafting his reply to the party, further bringing out the fault lines in the party. This time the mood of the four party elders appeared to be more of resignation than rebellion. Unlike last time the senior leaders did not come out with any statement. A leader said the party leadership was yet to react or address the concerns expressed in its statement issued on the eve of Diwali, in the aftermath of the Bihar debacle. The four leaders had said the party has been ’emasculated’ in the past year and that to say everyone was responsible for the defeat in Bihar was to ensure that no one was held responsible. The BJP hit back saying the party’s senior leaders had set the precedent of “collective responsibility”. Sources said the party elders appeared resigned to their ‘helplessness’ given their limited role. It was also not clear if they would raise their concerns at some party forum. According to sources, all four leaders were together only for half-an-hour as Advani reached at noon and Sinha had to leave by around 12.30 pm.

Nip out Devadasi practice, Centre tells states in a stern advisory

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A Devadasi is girl “dedicated” to the worship and service of a deity or a temple for the rest of her life, after a dedication ceremony. The Supreme Court had slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on the Centre for failing to file timely affidavit on women being forced to become devadasis.

Almost a month after being slapped a fine by the country’s apex court, the Centre has directed the states to take stern measures to check the practice of Devadasi under the existing laws.A Devadasi is girl “dedicated” to the worship and service of a deity or a temple for the rest of her life, after a dedication ceremony. The Supreme Court had slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on the Centre for failing to file timely affidavit on women being forced to become devadasis.In a letter dated December 22, the home ministry said that all the states and Union territories are ‘expected to ensure the implementation of existing law strictly to prevent such practices under guise’ and stressed that all such instances and cases should be dealt with strictly and without exception as per extant law.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Devadasi system is one of the heinous practices against women degrading them to the lowest level. It has come to the notice through various PILs and Media news that ‘Devadasi system’ still exists in the certain parts of the country especially in ‘Beriya’ and ‘Nat’ communities in the name of religious practices,” the home ministry letter said.Ministry further noted that though Devadasi system was abolished long back by passing various enactments by different state government, reports reveal that the absolutely inhuman practice against the dignity of women still persists.State level legislations such as the Karnataka Devadasis ‘Prohibition of Dedication Act, 1982, Maharashtra Devadasis Abolition Act, 2006, have completely prohibited such practices. The practice of Devadasi System in any form is in total contravention of the provisions under section 370 and 370A of the IPC as amended through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 and section 372 of IPC. Anyone found guilty under this section shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall be liable to fine. An NGO, SL Foundation had filed a PIL in Supreme Court last year in February seeking Court’s intervention to prevent a temple function that where alleged Devadasi dedication was scheduled to take place.”States and UTs should initiate special drive to identify all such victims and suitably rehabilitate them by providing proper counselling, medical treatment, guidance, support and motivation to lead a dignified life,” home ministry has told the state governments.

Plea in Delhi HC over amendment of St Stephen’s constitution

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Challenging the November 30 decision of the governing body (GB), 21 teachers of the college have in their plea alleged that amending of St Stephens’ constitution would result in “completely altering its basic structure and character without the consent of the Delhi University (DU)”.

St Stephen’s College

A petition was on Tuesday filed in the Delhi High Court against the move of St Stephen’s College governing body to amend the college’s constitution to increase control of the Church of North India over the institution.Challenging the November 30 decision of the governing body (GB), 21 teachers of the college have in their plea alleged that amending of St Stephen’s’ constitution would result in “completely altering its basic structure and character without the consent of the Delhi University (DU)”. The petitioners have claimed that such a step would lead to “jeopardizing the very status of the college as an affiliated and recognized institution”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Respondents 4 to 6 (Principal, Chairman and Vice Chairman of St Stephen’s) have mischievously sought to amend the constitution of the college thereby increasing the control of the Church of North India over the college and thereby giving controlling interest to Respondent 4 (Valson Thampu) after his retirement in February 2016,” the petition said. It has alleged that the “amendment process is tainted by a malicious objective of securing control of the college to persons such as Respondents 5 to 6 (Chairman of St Stephen’s, Warris Massih and Vice Chairman of St Stephen’s Alwan Massih) who themselves are currently illegally on the GB and aims to cover up their illegal memberships and functioning in respect of the college.”The teachers have sought quashing and setting aside of the November 30 decision of the Governing Body. They have also sought directions prohibiting the Chairman and Vice Chairman and their nominees in the Governing Body from functioning in the body with respect to amendment of the constitution of the college.The petition has also asked for directions prohibiting the amendment of the constitution of the college without approval of DU, Ministry of Human Resource Development and University Grants Commission. Thampu, who is retiring in February next year, has come up with a draft amendment in which he has proposed that the principal be empowered to take disciplinary action against students or staff irrespective of the Governing Body’s opinion.He has also called for giving a major say to the Church of North India (CNI) in the functioning of the college, handing over the powers to appoint faculty and admissions to its Supreme Council (SC) and recasting the composition of the Governing Body (GB). The amendment also proposes to replace St Stephen’s College Trust, which currently runs the college, with a St Stephen’s Educational Society that will have the power to establish Stephen’s-like private institutions across the country.According to DU statutes, any such move without consultation with the varsity’s Executive Council (EC) is in violation of the rules and might result in derecognition of the college. Further, it may also result in the prestigious college losing funds from the UGC, which currently provides 95 per cent funding to the institution, with the remaining coming from the Church of North India-controlled St Stephen’s Trust.

Gujarat HC asks state govt to ban ‘sky lanterns’ during kite-flying festival

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The bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice V M Pancholi passed the order on a public interest litigation filed by Mehsana resident Jivanbhai Rabari.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to ban manufacturing, sale and use of sky lanterns within two days, noting that these small hot-air balloons, launched during the kite-flying festival on the occasion of Uttarayan, are known to start fires.The bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice V M Pancholi passed the order on a public interest litigation filed by Mehsana resident Jivanbhai Rabari. The PIL said that last time 21 incidents of fire caused by sky lanterns were reported in Ahmedabad city alone. In an incident in Ramol area, three children were charred to death as several huts caught fire after a lantern landed on one of them.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The petition was filed in February. In their affidavits, the state government and the police have admitted that sky lanterns are hazardous. As the final order of the HC is yet to come, the petitioner had sought an interim order as this year’s kite flying festival is approaching.The HC noted during the hearing that a majority of the victims of fires caused by sky lanterns are poor people. It directed the state Home Secretary to issue a notification announcing the ban in two days. The ban shall be in operation till January 31.

Rohtak gangrape case: 7 accused sent to gallows; ‘How many times Nirbhaya would die’, asks the judge

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The trial was completed within ten months after hogging headlines due to the brutality of the crime. The capital punishment awarded by a lower court is subject to the confirmation of High Court.

The seven convicts who were awarded death sentence in the gangrape-cum-murder case of a Nepalese woman, by a court in Rohtak on Monday.

PTI
Seven persons, convicted for raping and killing a 28-year-old mentally-challenged Nepalese woman, were sentenced on Monday to death by a court, with the Judge asking “how many times Nirbhaya would die” and such crimes should be met with a “very heavy hand”.The trial was completed within ten months after hogging headlines due to the brutality of the crime. The capital punishment awarded by a lower court is subject to the confirmation of High Court.Additional District and Sessions Judge Seema Singhal, who had convicted all the seven accused in the case last week, pronounced the quantum of punishment on Monday. Interestingly, apart from the seven convicts, one juvenile was also involved in the crime and is facing trial before Juvenile Justice Board.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The woman was brutally raped and murdered and her body dumped in a field along the Rohtak-Hisar highway near Bahu Akbarpur village of Rohtak in February this year. The post-mortem examination report of the woman mentioned several injuries on her private parts, doctors of PGIMS had said, adding that stones and blades were also found in her body. The case had hogged media headlines earlier this year, and the opposition had targeted the Manohar Lal Khattar government over alleged deteriorating law and order situation in the state.Given the brutality of the crime, the prosecution had appealed to the court that capital punishment be awarded to the convicts.”The court awarded death sentence under Section 302,” lawyer Pradeep Malik, who represented the victim’s side in the case, said.Besides, they were sentenced under Section 376 D (gang-rape) and awarded life imprisonment for remaining part of their life.”They were also sentenced under Section 366 (kidnapping) in which they got ten years, under Section 201 which is destruction of evidence for which they were handed down a sentence of seven years. Besides, Rs 50,000 fine was imposed on all the seven,” he said.Malik also said the court has said that “all the sentences will run consecutively.””It’s a landmark judgment, in which the court has said that these sentences will run one after the other. Normally concurrent sentences merge into maximum sentence. Here the sentences will run one after the other,” he pointed out.Haryana DGP Yashpal Singhal had constituted a Special Investigation Team which arrested the eight out of nine accused identified in the case. Before Rohtak police could arrest the ninth accused, he committed suicide in New Delhi.Those awarded capital punishment are Rajesh alias Ghuchru, Pawan, Parmod alias Padam, Sarwar alias Billu, Manbir alias Manni, Sunil alias Mada and Sunil alias Sheela of Gaddi Kheri village. Another accused, a juvenile, is still facing trial in the case before Juvenile Justice Board, Malik said.All the convicts were residents of Gaddi Kheri village in the district. Another suspect, Sombir, of the same village had allegedly committed suicide. The woman from Nepal, who was staying with her sister and brother-in-law at Chinyot Colony in Rohtak, had gone missing from their house on February 1. Her body was found lying at Bahu Akbarpur village in the district on February 4.The court has said there will be no remission, no concession, no parole, no furlough for the seven, Malik said.The lawyer said that in all there were nine accused in the case and “one of them committed suicide on a day when others were arrested, which was February 9. One was declared juvenile and is he facing trial.”Quoting the judge’s verbal observations made in the court before she pronounced the quantum of punishment, Malik said, “the judge said that besides being a judicial officer, she was also a human being and can hear the wale and cries of women subjected to extreme torture by the male counterparts…Need of the hour is to convey a message in the society that women are not a weaker sex.””Women refuse to accept the names Nirbhaya and Damini given to them, reasoning that they should not be denied their identity. How many times Nirbhaya would die. Nobody has a right to take away our individuality,” the Judge said. Also, the Judge said that the scars caused on the body of the victim cannot be washed off, but scars on the soul will also remain, Malik said.”Today’s judgment will be a step towards giving a message to the society that such crimes will be met with a very heavy hand and appropriate punishments will be awarded to the perpetrators of such heinous crimes,” the judge said.The SIT had prepared the chargesheet against the accused in May this year. The Haryana police had earlier constituted seven teams to investigate the case and had also announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh leading to the arrest of the accused. A total of 57 out of 61 persons had deposed to support the prosecution during their statements recorded between October 15 to October 25.

Air pollution situation in Delhi of an emergency nature: Delhi High Court

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DPCC has also been asked to provide the court with details of action taken by it, against any violations, in the last five years.

Air pollution in Delhi
File Photo

Air pollution in the national capital is of an “emergency nature”, the Delhi High Court on Monday observed and said this situation would not have arisen if the authorities had implemented laws and rules in place to prevent environmental degradation.A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva was of the view that while legislations were in place for ensuring maintenance of air quality levels, individuals and departments tasked to enforce the rules, “have not done their work”. It directed officers of all concerned authorities, including Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), that “all the rules have to be followed to the ‘t’ as the situation today is of an emergency nature”.”This situation would not have arisen if all authorities had implemented the rules,” the court said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The court, referred to particulate matter-PM 2.5 and PM 10-and said as per the statutory norms their levels are not to exceed 60 microgram per cubic meter per day and 100 microgram per cubic meter per day, respectively. However, as per DPCC monitoring stations, their levels are always far in excess of 400/500. It directed DPCC, represented by advocate Sanjeev Ralli, to “analyse data from 2011 onwards and to provide us a monthly average chart of each pollutant.” Another exercise the panel has been directed to carry out is to give a weekly chart of the pollutants during the months from October to February for all the years from 2011 to 2015. DPCC has also been asked to provide the court with details of action taken by it, against any violations, in the last five years. Meanwhile, on the issue of traffic management to reduce the timings of idling vehicles, the court observed that despite its direction for zero tolerance towards violation of rules, especially by people who jump onto other carriageways to get ahead during traffic snarls, police was doing nothing. “People in Delhi need to be disciplined. Send anyone who changes carriageways to turnaround and go in the opposite direction from which they came, as they do in Mumbai,” the bench said while hearing a PIL initiated by it on the issue of increasing air pollution in Delhi. Delhi Traffic Police, in an affidavit, told the court that it had identified 14 areas in the city which were heavily congested and that, in those places, it had observed zero tolerance for violation of rules.

Nepali woman rape and murder case: 7 accused sentenced to death

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A juvenile accused in the case is in juvenile court.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
7 accused in the Nepali woman’s rape and murder case that happened in Rohtak in February 2015, have been sentenced to death on Monday. Rohtak Court announced death by hanging to 7 accused in the case. A juvenile, also accused in the matter, is in juvenile court. A 28-year-old Nepali woman staying with her sister in Rohtak went missing on February 1. She was undergoing treatment for depression at Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences. Her mutilated body was found on February 4; the post-mortem report said pieces of condom and a stick was also found in her private parts. Her head had been bashed in, her vagina, rectum and anus were all ruptured. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The victim’s body was found raped and mutilated on the Rohtak-Hisar highway. When the body was found, its two hands and left side of the body was missing.

Government defends house allotment to Subramanian Swamy, says non-MPs have got bungalows in the past too

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Defending the Modi government’s decision to allot a bungalow to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, the Urban Development Ministry on Sunday said houses had been to non-MPs for security reasons even in the past.

Defending the Modi government’s decision to allot a bungalow to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, the Urban Development Ministry on Sunday said houses had been to non-MPs for security reasons even in the past.”Government bungalows have been allotted to even non-MPs in the past on grounds of security,” a senior UD Ministry official said.According to the UD Ministry list, those provided government houses on security grounds include Priyanka Gandhi who was allotted 35, Lodi Estate in February 1997. Former Punjab police chief KPS Gill was allotted 11, Talkatora Road in April 1996, while ex-Youth Congress chief MS Bitta was allotted 14, Talkatora Road in June 1996.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Jagdish Tytler was given house at 3, GRG Road, in December 2006 which he vacated in 2015.According to the list, Ashwini Kumar, Editor, Punjab Keshri was allotted a government accommodation in June 1998.Buta Singh was allotted 11-A, Teen Murti Marg in February 2006 on security ground.Ashwini Kumar vacated government accomodation in 2012 and Tytler in 2015, while all others are still occupying the bungalows allotted to them.Congress had alleged that Swamy was given Z category security and allotted a government bungalow on grounds of security despite not being an MP or hailing from a troubled border state as “reward” for suing top Congress leadership including party chief Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul in the National Herald case.”He is not facing any threat from any terrorist organisation….The bungalow was given as an award for dragging the Congress leadership to court,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad had said.

Islamic State-Al Qaida rivalry reaches Indian subcontinent

Mohamad Asif in the custody of Delhi Police’s Special Cell on Wednesday
B B Yadav
dna
The rivalry between dreaded terrorist group Islamic State and Al Qaeda has apparently reached the doorsteps of the Indian subcontinent according to intelligence agencies. The apprehension of the intelligence agencies as well as senior officials of Delhi and UP Police comes after arrest of two men who are accused of being operatives of Al Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). Sources in the Special Cell of Delhi Police told dna that during a meeting held in South Waziristan (Pakistan), attended by senior Al Qaeda leaders, IS influence in India was discussed at breadth and a unanimous decision was taken to undermine IS efforts of recruiting Indians.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The meeting held in February 2014, that is more than six months before Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri floated AQIS, was also attended by Maulana Asim Umar, the special cell said. Six months after the meeting, Umar was declared the Amir (head) of the AQIS and according to the police one of the two operatives arrested by them, attended the AQ meetings held in February. “AQIS was declared in September 2014 by none other than Ayman Al Zawhiri who chose Umar, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district, as the head of AQIS. One of the arrested operatives of AQIS, identified as Mohamad Asif (a resident of Sambhal district in UP), has claimed to have attended meetings held in South Waziristan which were attended by AQ leaders of Arabian descent. The foundations of AQIS were laid in the meeting and Asif has told us that Al Qaida leaders were concerned about IS making inroads into the sub-continent,” said a senior official of the Special Branch. This is not the first time when armed groups based in South Asia have shown their discontent over IS activities in the region. Earlier this year Lashkar-e-Taiba had termed IS as a “sectarian force” in one of its statements. “Mohamad Asif was chosen as the chief motivator for South Asia region. This was after he was given extensive training during his visit to Pakistan which lasted for over a year, ” the officer added.Investigators claimed that Asif was in touch with many youth whom he was trying to recruit for AQ. “At least two boys, identified as Sharjeel and Rehan, have been sent to Pakistan for arms training. Another youth from Hyderabad was in touch with him and would be questioned soon. Besides this we have arrested an Odisha youth who was in touch with Asif,” the officer said further. “The recent spate of AQIS recruitments indicate that there is a battle of supremacy raging between AQ and ISIS. The arrests are very crucial and we are sure that the accused will shed some light on Al Qaeda’s plans in India,” said another senior police officer. Asif was arrested on December 14 from Delhi’s Seelampur area while as Odisha youth Abdul Reham, was arrested today. Asif, along with Sharjeel and Rehan , is said to have entered into Pakistan through Iran in June 2013 after procuring travellers’ visa on the pretext of performing ziyarat at the shrine of the late Grand Ayatollah Khomaini in Tehran.A person code named Qasim was Asif’s main contact and also facilitated his travel after the duo got in touch through social media in 2012. Upon his return, Asif is said to be working as an accountant in a methanol producing factory in Sambhal and had travelled to Delhi for recruitment purposes, police said.

Gujarat govt to spend Rs 525 crore to raise Sardar Sarovar dam height

The Chief Minister visited Kevadia after inaugurating the ‘Statue of Unity’ foundation raft concrete work at Sadhu Bet island.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel paying tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his death anniversary at Sadhu Bet near Narmada Dam in Kevadia on Tuesday.

PTI
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Tuesday said the state government would spend Rs 525 crore on raising the height of Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river, which is likely to be completed by February 2017.”After a long wait of eight years, in June 2014 the Centre finally gave its clearance to Gujarat government to raise the height of Sardar Sarovar dam from 121.92 metres to 138.68 metres,” Patel told PTI after reviewing the ongoing work of installation of radial gates at the Sardar Sarovar dam at Kevadia town around 100 kms from Vadodara.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chief Minister visited Kevadia after inaugurating the ‘Statue of Unity’ foundation raft concrete work at Sadhu Bet island. Top officials of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited briefed her on the progress of work. The government had sought the go ahead for the installation of 30 steel radial gates over Sardar Sarovar Dam, for which the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) had already given its nod to Gujarat government in June 2014, she said.Sardar Sarovar Project is an ongoing, inter-state multi-purpose project on the Narmada river, which envisages hydro-power generation of 1,450 MW to be shared by Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. It will also provide water for irrigation to 17.92 lakh hectares of land in Gujarat and 2.46 lakh hectares in Rajasthan, she said.”Raising the height means assured water for irrigation to an additional area of 6.8 lakh hectares, 40 per cent more power generation and enhanced water supply,” Patel said.She added that the government intends to complete the work of raising the height of dam by February 2017, seven months ahead of its schedule.Speaking at the inauguration of the ‘Statue of Unity’ raft concrete work earlier, she said, “This huge construction work on 182 meters tall statue of Sardar Patel will be completed on June 3, 2018, which will cost around Rs 2,979 crore. The contract has been given to leading construction company Larsen and Toubro.””Rs 1,347 crore will be spent on the main statue, Rs 235 crore on the exhibition hall and convention center. Another Rs 83 crore will be spent on the bridge connecting the memorial to the main land, while Rs 657 crore will be for maintaining the structure for 15 years,” Patel said.This statue would be double the size of New York’s ‘Statue of Liberty’ and would inspire future generations, she said, adding, “It would generate employment in the tribal areas of Narmada district as well as boost the tourism sector.”

Coast Guard fires DIG who ‘blew up’ Pakistani boat

Loshali was found guilty of all charges during the inquiry that was held in Mumbai.

File photo

Coast Guard deputy inspector general (DIG) B K Loshali, who ‘ordered’ the blowing up of a Pakistani boat on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1, 2015, has been dismissed from service. “Court martial was carried out on Saturday evening as per the outcome of the Board of Inquiry that went on for over three months,” said an officer. Loshali was found guilty of all charges during the inquiry that was held in Mumbai. A year ago, during New Year night, a Pakistani fishing boat with four occupants, suspected to be having terror links, went up in flames. This led to a diplomatic row between India and Pakistan, with India maintaining that the boat had suspected terrorists and they themselves blew up the boat.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> But on February 15, Loshali, while addressing officers of the Coast Guard and a private company, claimed that he ordered that the boat be destroyed. “I was there at Gandhinagar, and I told at night, ‘blow the boat off. We don’t want to serve them biryani'”, he said. This put India in an embarrassing spot. Soon after, the defence ministry removed him from the position of Chief of Staff, North West, and attached him to the force’s Gandhinagar-based regional headquarters.

Park Street rape case: Suzette Jordan’s rapists pronounced guilty

Suzette Jordan, the Kolkata woman, was gang-raped in the dead of the night on February 5, 2012.

After almost four years of a tough legal battle, a Kolkata session court on Thursday pronounced three of the five men accused in what came to be known as the Park Street rape case, as guilty.Suzette Jordan, the Kolkata woman, was gang-raped in the dead of the night on February 5, 2012. Her case was vilified by the judgement, after struggling against much social stigma, coming directly from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who had accused Jordan of fabricating the case, questions over what she was doing in a club, and intimidation from the more powerful families of the rapist. Jordan, who passed away in March this year from encephalitis, had made a powerful statement by shunning anonymity and revealing her identity to support other victims of sexual assault.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While two of the accused are missing, the court booked the other three under Sections 376(d), 323 and 506 of the IPC. Jordan’s family, her parents, two daughter and sister, have finally been given enough cause to celebrate, saying they were “happy” with the order and that Suzette’s soul would now rest in piece.Her lawyer, Anirban Guha, said that this was justice, though it came late. However, “better late than never” he told dna. “If she had been alive today, she would have been very happy,” said Guha. He added that Suzette’s actions made it possible for many other women to break their silence and fight legal battles over sexual assault. He called her an icon who gave courage to countless other women.With the positive verdict, he said the state was now trying harder to catch the missing two accused. However, the family and he were aware that this was not the end of the road, as the now convicted could appeal in higher courts.”We have fought so far and will will fight again,” said Guha.The quantum of punishment is to be pronounced on Friday.

?NGT bans plastic from Gaumukh-Haridwar, allows rafting in Rishikesh

To ensure this the Tribunal has entrusted state governments the task of monitoring and regulating rafting activity. It asked the state governments of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to create actions plans for identifying rafting camps.

PTI
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) passed some significant orders on Thursday relating to conservation of river Ganga, rafting and camping in Uttarakhand. The green court has banned camping activity from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh in Uttarakhand with immediate effect while it has allowed rafting in the river.Further, the bench also banned mechanised riverbed mining in Ganga up to Haridwar and put in place a complete prohibition on use of plastic in the 140-km belt between Gaumukh and Haridwar. This ban will come into effect from February 1 next year and its violation will attract a fine of Rs.5,000.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>River rafting on the banks of Ganga from Shivpuri to Rishikesh is a popular tourist attraction in Uttarakhand and the Tribunal had stopped rafting activity for a while now. Petitioners against rafting activity had claimed that rafting camps being temporary in nature did not have adequate sewage and sanitation facilities and led to disturbance in the river and wildlife ecology.Petitioners had added that a lot of trash is left behind as there is consumption of food and alcohol. While allowing resumption of rafting, NGT observed that it does not harm the environment and hence should be permitted but with a caveat that the rafting camps in Uttarakhand should be temporary in nature and will be allowed only on identified sites.To ensure this the Tribunal has entrusted state governments the task of monitoring and regulating rafting activity. It asked the state governments of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to create actions plans for identifying rafting camps.With regards to banning plastic, it also added that between Gaumukh and Haridwar all ashrams, dharamshalas will have to be mindful about solid waste management. Any kind of dumping of waste in Ganga from these sites would attract environment compensation, the green court said.

Bihar government provides sanitary napkins to girl students

The money for sanitary napkins has been made available under “Mukhyamantri Kishori Swasthya Karyakram”.

Sanitary napkins

Bihar government has started providing free sanitary napkins to adolescent girl students in government schools to help them maintain hygiene. State Education minister Ashok Choudhary told reporters that school girls from class VIII to X have been provided Rs 150 each for buying sanitary napkins for themselves. A sum of Rs 57.87 crore has been spent for the purpose that will benefit 36,46,114 girl students registered at schools, he said. The money for sanitary napkins has been made available under “Mukhyamantri Kishori Swasthya Karyakram”, the minister accompanied by Principal Secretary, Education, D S Gangwar, said. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced providing sanitary napkins to girl students after assuming office in February 2015.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The announcement had received kudos like his other initiatives of providing cycle and free uniform and books to students enrolled in government schools. Choudhary said, the issue of facilitating free wi-fi internet in colleges and universities and holding English speaking course, part of the CM’s “seven resolves” which now has been adopted by the new grand secular alliance government, would be discussed with the CM during review meeting of Education Department on December 18. “We will fulfill all the promises made to people of the state,” Choudhary said. The Education Minister said the issue whether to continue with contractual teachers at primary level failing to qualify eligibility test in two attempts would also be taken up during review meeting of the department with the CM. “Such teachers failing to qualify eligibility test would the threat to futures of students,” the minister said. Choudhary said sustained efforts have helped the state bring down its rate of out of school children in the age category of 6-14 to 1,91,538 which is 0.96% only now. Midday meal is provided to about 1,36,31,219 boys/girls of class I-VIII of government schools, those aided by the government, Madarsas and sanskrit schools, he added.

Park Street rape case: All five accused found guilty by Kolkata sessions court

While Indian laws forbid the disclosure of a rape victim’s identity, Jordan had chosen to not hide her name and came out strongly against her aggressors.

Suzette Jordan

A Kolkata sessions court has convicted all five accused in the Park Street gangrape case, report ANI and PTI. Suzette Jordan, the victim who was then 37 years old, however died in March this year.The court is now set to announce the quantum of punishment of the three behind bars— Nasir Khan, Ruman Khan and Sumit Bajaj. The two prime accused, Kadir Khan and Md Ali, are still absconding.On February 6, 2012, Jordan was allegedly gang-raped by five men in a moving car on Park Street. During the trial of the case and a year after the incident took place, in 2013, Jordan decided to reveal her identity to the world and spearhead gender-related issues and stand by rape victims. She even hit the streets to register her protest against rapes and murders in the state.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Indian laws forbid the disclosure of a rape victim’s identity, Jordan had chosen to not hide her name and came out strongly against her aggressors. “Why should I hide my identity when it was not even my fault? Why should I be ashamed of something that I did not give rise to? I was subjected to brutality, I was subjected to torture, and I was subjected to rape, and I am fighting and I will fight,” she had said when she decided reveal her identity.The rape case took a controversial turn, when the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed the rape as a ‘sajano ghotona (fabricated incident)’ even before an inquiry was initiated.But the then Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Crime) Damayanti Sen, who spearheaded the investigations in the rape case, had maintained that the complainant was indeed raped. Two days after she cracked the case, Sen shunted out as the detective department’s chief and was asked to take over as the (DIG) at the Police Training School, considered to be a relatively low-profile posting.Suzette Jordan died of meningoencephalitis in a hospital in Kolkata on March 13, 2015.(With ANI and PTI inputs)

Astonished with Kumari Selja’s remarks about Dwarka temple: Parimal Nathwani

Selja Kumari on Monday, while participating in debate on ‘Commitment to the Constitution’ in the Rajya Sabha, had said that she was asked about her caste when she had visited Dwarka temple in Gujarat as a Cabinet Minister, leading to arguments between the ruling and opposition sides.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Reacting to Congress leader Kumari Selja’s statement in the Rajya Sabha over being enquired about her caste during a visit to Dwarka temple in Gujarat in 2013, Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani on Wednesday said he was “astonished” at the former Union minister’s remarks as she had then praised the temple authorities for its management and seemed to be happy.Kumari on Monday, while participating in debate on ‘Commitment to the Constitution’ in the Rajya Sabha, had said that she was asked about her caste when she had visited Dwarka temple in Gujarat as a Cabinet Minister, leading to arguments between the ruling and opposition sides.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nathwani, also the vice chairman of the Dwarkadheesh Devsthan Samiti, said the Congress minister during her visit to Dwarka temple in February, 2013 as a cabinet minister, she had mentioned about the cleanliness and maintenance of the temple premises in the visitors book.”Kumari Selja, during her visit on February 22, 2013, she had written in the visitors book that with Lord Krishna’s blessing they had a very good ‘darshan’ and maintenance of the premises was excellent. It reflects that she was happy and appreciated the temple authorities,” Nathwani, independent MP from Jharkhand, told PTI.Terming Selja’s remarks as “astonishing”, he said there was nothing “humiliating” in being asked about caste as it is “customary” practise at Hindu temples or shrines.”With due respect to her, I would state that there is nothing humiliating in Tirth Panda asking devotees about their ‘Gotra’ (family root). This is a normal practise at all major Hindu shrines and pilgrim places,” he said.The MP said raising such issues only creates flutter and controversy on the issue, therefore, is unnecessary.”I am a Dalit but I am Hindu. I feel like visiting temples. I wanted to go to Dwarka temple. I have visited hundreds of temples. (I visited) Dwarka temple when I was Cabinet minister. I was asked about my caste,” Selja had said during the debate on ‘Commitment to the Constitution’.

India restores federal funding for AIDS programme after criticism | Reuters

NEW DELHI India will fully fund its AIDS control programme federally, the health minister said on Tuesday, restoring support months after it was criticised for slashing its contribution and asking individual states to fill the gap.

India’s globally-lauded AIDS programme has been in disarray since last year due to payment delays that worsened after Prime Minister Narendra Modi slashed the federal budget in February by a fifth and asked states to pitch in.

Several states complained of lack of clarity about how much they need to contribute and payment delays have left thousands of health workers unpaid and hampered prevention activities.

Health Minister J.P.Nadda said Modi had decided the expenses incurred in running the nationwide programme will be borne by New Delhi, effectively restoring the earlier funding arrangement.

“We can’t be complacent … the government of India is very serious on this issue,” Nadda said while addressing a gathering on the occasion of World AIDS Day in New Delhi.

It was not immediately clear whether the budget cut would be restored, but an official at the National AIDS Control Organisation said they were in talks with the finance ministry.

The United Nations envoy for AIDS in Asia and the Pacific told Reuters in October new HIV infections in India could rise for the first time in more than a decade, as states were mismanaging the prevention programme.

Government data released on Tuesday showed 86,000 new HIV infections were recorded in 2015, compared to 128,000 in 2007, but the rate of decline has slowed.

“The slowdown identified in the rate of decrease of new HIV infections in last few years is a key issue,” the government said in a statement. “The current estimates highlight key challenges that will need to be addressed with urgency.”

India’s AIDS programme has been largely successful — estimates showed HIV prevalence during 2007-15 declined from 0.34 percent to 0.26 percent among adults, while annual HIV-related deaths declined by more than half to 67,000.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra/Ruth Pitchford)

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

Valson Thampu pulls up St Stephen’s teachers for speaking to media

The Stephen’s staff association had in a November 23 meeting briefly attended by Thampu outrightly rejected the amendment draft.

The Stephen’s staff association had in a November 23 meeting briefly attended by Thampu outrightly rejected the amendment draft.

File Photo
Amidst a controversy sparked by his proposal for amending the St Stephen’s constitution, its principal Valson Thampu on Saturday disapproved of the move by its faculty members to speak to the media on the issue and urged them to exercise “responsible restraint”. “At a recent Staff Council meeting, concerns were expressed by everyone present about the tendency to drag college matters through the media muck, aimed at discrediting the institution in the eye of the public. It was decided unanimously that all faculty members shall refrain such irresponsible indulgences. “I am disappointed to note that this has been violated. I would urge my colleagues to exercise responsible restraint in such situations and explore avenues of dialogue rather than of confrontation,” he said in an email sent to the college faculty.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thampu, who is retiring in February next year, has circulated a draft amendment in which he has proposed that the principal be empowered to take disciplinary action against students or staff irrespective of the Stephen’s Governing Body (GB)’s opinion. He has also called for giving a major say to Church of North India in the functioning of the college, handing over of faculty appointments and admissions to the Supreme Council and amending the composition of the GB. The Stephen’s staff association had in a November 23 meeting briefly attended by Thampu outrightly rejected the amendment draft. “If teachers abandon the bottomline commitment to intellectual and moral responsibility, they will only discredit themselves and the cause over which they are made to look agitated. “Confrontation solves nothing. To give out to the public the impression that the ‘teachers of the college’ have ‘rejected’ the amendments even before they are considered by the GB has problems (sic),” Thampu further said.While the staff association includes both ad hoc and permanent faculty, in a separate petition to the GB, 37 confirmed faculty members have urged that taking up of the amendment process be deferred till Thampu retires. They have also called for the legal and procedural ramifications involved in the amendments to be studied carefully. The GB is scheduled to meet on November 30 to take a call on the issue.

India successfully test fires Prithvi-II in Odisha

The missile test was carried out at the launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur. Prithvi-II is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads.

India on Thursday successfully test-fired the surface to surface nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, as part of a user trial by the army. The missile test was carried out at the launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur. Prithvi-II is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads.During the test, the trajectory of the missile, weighing 4,600 kg, 8.56 meter in length and 1.1 meter in width, was tracked by radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations located along the coast of Odisha.Inducted into India’s armed forces in 2003, Prithvi II, the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India’s prestigious IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program) is now a proven technology. The last user trial of Prithvi-II was successfully conducted on February 19, 2015, from the same test range in Odisha. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Nations should coordinate as world faces terror threats: Supreme Court

The observations were made as the bench declined interim relief to 56-year-old Marie Emmanuelle Verhoeven, currently lodged in Tihar facing extradition for her alleged role in the 1991 killing of a Chilean senator.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Coordination among countries is the need of the hour at a time when the world is facing terror threat, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday while refusing to grant interim relief to a jailed French woman, facing extradition for her alleged role in the 1991 killing of a Chilean senator.”You know what is happening in the world. At a time when terror incidents are increasing across the world, there should be coordination among nations,” a bench comprising Justice T S Thakur and Justice Kurian Joseph said.The observations were made as the bench declined interim relief to 56-year-old Marie Emmanuelle Verhoeven, currently lodged in Tihar in the connection with the case. Verhoeven has challenged her arrest and extradition proceedings initiated by the government at the request of Chile for her alleged involvement in the assassination of Senator Jaime Guzman Errazuriz on April 1, 1991 there.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There is no middle course. We are not going to release her for the interregnum period…she is accused of a terrorist activity,” the bench said and made clear to her lawyer T R Andhyarujina that it will finally decide the plea after hearing both sides and fixed December 8 as the next date.The bench heard brief arguments advanced by Andhyarujina and Additional Solicitor General (ASG) P S Patwalia on behalf of Verhoeven and the Ministry of External Affairs respectively before allowing both parties to file additional documents and adjourning the case.Andhyarujina said the detention of the French woman was illegal as the red corner notice, which had led to her arrest, was later withdrawn and there was no valid extradition treaty existing between India and Chile. The ASG opposed the contention saying there was a valid treaty existing between the two countries which has been acknowledged by the Delhi High Court in its judgement.Earlier, the apex court had agreed to hear the plea of Verhoeven challenging her arrest and extradition proceedings in the case. Besides seeking “immediate release”, the plea, filed through lawyer Ramni Taneja, has also sought a direction to MEA, which is pursuing the extradition proceedings on behalf of Chile, to quash the ongoing inquiry before a magisterial court in New Delhi.The French woman has sought a direction to quash the gazette notification of April 29 and the order dated April 28, issued by the MEA recording the Extradition Treaty between India and Chile on the ground that it was unconstitutional and ultra vires of the Constitution.”This case has serious and critical international implications and very sensitive and important constitutional implications under Indian law… The fundamental rights of the petitioner under the Constitution of India are gravely prejudiced by the mala fide acts of the Respondent No. 1 (MEA), who represents Republic of Chile in the extradition proceedings,” the plea said.Verhoeven, arrested on February 16 this year from Uttar Pradesh on the basis of a red corner notice issued against her, is alleged to have participated in a conspiracy leading to the assassination of Chilean Senator Jaime Guzman Errazuriz on April 1, 1991.Recently, the Delhi High Court has set aside the magisterial inquiry initiated by the Centre to extradite the French woman to Chile in the case. It not only set aside the notification of May 18 this year, by which the inquiry was ordered, but also held that an earlier February 24 order of a magistrate directing her provisional arrest under section 34-B of the Extradition Act, 1962, was “without jurisdiction” and “illegal”.The High Court, while setting aside the two orders, had made it clear that the 118-year-old treaty entered into between British Empire and Chile in 1897 was applicable to India back then and cannot be held to have automatically ceased to exist after she attained sovereignty in 1947. It had also said that the Centre’s April 28 notification, by which the Extradition Act was made applicable to Chile in view of the treaty, did not suffer from any infirmity.It, however, had said that the Act became applicable to Chile only after the notification was published on April 29 and thus the proceedings for provisional arrest of the woman could not have been ordered prior to that. It had also said a magisterial inquiry could be issued only after receiving a valid extradition request and since this was not received from Chile post April 29, the May 18 order of the government directing magisterial inquiry was illegal.The court had also said since her detention was declared illegal, it was not going into correctness of the March 5 order dismissing her bail plea.

Park Street rape case: Court to announce verdict on December 10

The 37-year-old, Jordan was allegedly gangraped by five men in a moving car on Park Street on February 6, 2012.

Suzette Jordan

The city sessions court, Kolkata will announce verdict in the controversial Park Street rape case on December 10. However, the rape victim, Suzette Jordan will not be able to see justice delivered to her. The 37-year-old, Jordan was allegedly gangraped by five men in a moving car on Park Street on February 6, 2012. This announcement of the verdict by the court, comes almost three years after the incident took place. While the three accused, Nasir Khan, Ruman Khan and Sumit Bajaj are behind bars, two prime accused including Kadir Khan, are still at large. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 28 people, including the investigating officers and witnesses have deposed before the court. The court will conclude trial and announce the verdict on December 10 and, thereafter announce the quantum of punishment. In January, this year, the Calcutta High Court had directed the city sessions court to conclude trial within three months. However, it took another year to conclude the trial in this case. The rape case took a controversial turn,w hen the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed the rape as a ” sajano ghotona (fabricated incident)” even before an inquiry was initiated.But, the then Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Crime) Damayanti Sen, who spearheaded the investigations in the rape case, had maintained that the complainant was indeed raped. Sen’s stand led her to be shunted out as the detective department’s chief and was asked to take over as the (DIG) at the Police Training School, considered to be a relatively low-profile posting. The rape survivor died of meningoencephalitis in a hospital in Kolkata on March 13, this year. While Indian laws forbid the disclosure of a rape victim’s identity, Jordan had chosen to not hide her name and had come out strongly against her aggressors.

Govind Pansare case accused alleges pressure for agreeing to narco-analysis

Gaikwad, a follower of the conservative Hindu group `Sanatan Sanstha’, also alleged that he was even offered Rs 25 lakh and told that he would be made an approver if he agreed.

Pansare, a CPI leader and a noted rationalist, was shot dead near his house here by two unidentified men in February this year.

Sameer Gaikwad, arrested in the communist leader Govind Panasare murder case, on Saturday claimed that an unidentified person tried to pressurise him to agree to a narco-analysis test. He made the complaint during a court hearing which he attended through a video conference from Kalamba central jail. Magistrate S S Yadav today extended his judicial custody till December 5. Gaikwad, a follower of the conservative Hindu group `Sanatan Sanstha’, also alleged that he was even offered Rs 25 lakh and told that he would be made an approver if he agreed. The incident took place on October 9, when he was being brought to the court, he said, adding that he couldn’t see the man’s face as he (Gaikwad) had a veil on his face at the time. The court asked the police to investigate Gaikwad’s claim and file a report.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pansare, a CPI leader and a noted rationalist, was shot dead near his house here by two unidentified men in February this year.

Stephen’s constitution amendment: Teachers slam principal Thampu’s proposal

College principal Valson Thampu, who is retiring in February next year, has circulated a draft amendment to select college teachers in which he has proposed that the principal be empowered to take disciplinary action against students or staff irrespective of the GB’s opinion

Valson Thampu

Teachers have slammed a proposal by St Stephen’s principal Valson Thampu for amending the college’s 102-year-old constitution even as a meeting of the Governing Body (GB) during which the draft was to be tabled was postponed on Friday.College principal Valson Thampu, who is retiring in February next year, has circulated a draft amendment to select college teachers in which he has proposed that the principal be empowered to take disciplinary action against students or staff irrespective of the GB’s opinion. He has also called for giving a major say to the Church of North India (CNI) in the functioning of the college. “The draft was supposed to be placed before the GB in a meeting scheduled on November 23, but that meeting was today postponed,” a senior college official said told PTI although he did not elaborate on the reason behind the postponement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, teachers at the college claimed that the draft was prepared without consulting them and is not only going to pave the way for “dictatorial” functioning but would also make the institution inaccessible for “non-Christian” students and faculty. Thampu, however, claimed that it is the Supreme Council’s decision to amend the constitution and there is no violation of procedures or law in the same.”Whatever has been proposed is very much within the ambit of the law. I can challenge anyone to find any legal or procedural loophole in the same,” he said. Nandita Narain, mathematics professor at college, said, “This attempt by Thampu at the tail-end of his tenure is aimed at eliminating any kind of democratic set up in college. From admissions to appointments, the elected bodies will have no say in it and, on top of it, the principal will be the sole disciplinary action-taking authority.”Another teacher, speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed that “the principal has to be Christian, faculty appointments have to be in favour of Christians, activities will be conducted to promote the religion”.”If the draft is approved, the college will become practically inaccessible for non-Christian students and faculty,” the teacher added. The draft says that admission of students and appointment of faculty be handed over to the college’s Supreme Council (SC), which consists of six members of the CNI. The amendment also proposes to replace St Stephen’s College Trust, which currently runs the college, with a proposed St Stephen’s Educational Society, which will have the power to establish Stephen’s-like private institutions across India.As per the draft, the GB will have to “control the policy, development and direction of the institution and administer the finances and control the income and expenditure of the institution”. It has also been proposed that the minimum teaching experience needed for a candidate to apply for the post of principal be removed.Thampu has also sought increased powers for the principal and the Supreme Council while proposing that the number of teacher representatives in the GB be cut down by half. Earlier, 15 years’ teaching experience along with a Ph.D in the relevant subject was the criteria for selection of the college principal. But, according to the draft, an applicant needs to be a “senior teacher of repute”, an Indian national and a member of the Church of North India.If the draft constitution is approved, the principal shall also have the power to decide “which staff members shall reside in the institution’s staff quarters” and also recommend increments. Making the GB “toothless”, the draft has also proposed that power be granted to CNI to “veto, over-rule, supersede, amend, modify, and/or suspend any decision taken by the Governing Body.”

Mukul Roy’s son denies that sidelined TMC MP is launching new party

Roy, the TMC Rajya Sabha MP, on his part, however, neither denied nor accepted the claim.

Mukul Roy

As speculation is rife about the imminent launch of a new political party by sidelined TMC leader Mukul Roy, his son Subhranshu, a TMC MLA, on Wednesday, however, poured cold water, saying those who were talking about this were living in a fool’s paradise.”Mukul Roy may have served his party with his blood and sweat. But he became Mukul Roy only because of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. I personally want him to come back to the party by holding the hand of Mamata Banerjee,” Roy’s son said addressing a rally at Dum Dum on the outskirts of the city.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He went on to say that “None of us in our party has any existence without Mamata Banerjee. Those who say that Mukul Roy will form a new political outfit are living in a fool’s paradise.” Asked about his son’s comment, Mukul told PTI, “I don’t know what my son has said. But I am reiterating what I have been saying for the last several months that is I am still a member and MP of TMC.” Roy, who was once No 2 in the Trinamool hierarchy and at present is kept at bay by the TMC leadership, had recently expressed a desire to join the Congress and met Rahul Gandhi in Delhi in this regard, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury had said in May.Roy, the TMC Rajya Sabha MP, on his part, however, neither denied nor accepted the claim. Roy was shunned by the party leadership in February this year after he spoke out against them on several occasions since interrogation by the CBI in January in connection with the Saradha scam. Since then both Roy and the TMC leadership have maintained a discreet distance from each other, with Roy being left out of most of the important party meetings.

Urgent need for united global action to combat terror: PM Modi at BRICS meet

Antalya: Condemning strongly the terrorist attack in Paris, India on Sunday made a case for united global effort to combat the menace of terrorism.

“We stand united in strongly condemning the dreadful acts of terrorism in Paris… The entire humanity must stand together as one against terrorism. The need for a united global effort to combat terrorism has never been more urgent,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the meeting of the BRICS leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.

PM Narendra Modi. AFPPM Narendra Modi. AFP

PM Narendra Modi. AFP

India, which takes over the Chairmanship of BRICS from 1 February, 2016, will accord priority to combating terrorism, he said.

In the worst ever terror attacks by IS in Paris on 13 November, at least 129 people were killed and 352 injured, many in critical condition.

Combating terrorism, Modi said, “must also be a priority for BRICS nations”.

Besides Modi, BRICS meeting is being attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Jacob Zuma and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Modi said: “We express deepest sympathy and support to Russia for the loss of life in Sinai. Ankara and Beirut are also reminders of terror’s growing spread and impact”.

“The theme of India’s BRICS Chairmanship will be ‘Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions’ which, in short, will be ‘BRICS’. It aptly describes the ethos of our group,” Modi said.

There was a time when the logic of BRICS and its lasting capacity were being questioned, but today BRICS can also give shape to G20, he added.

“We have provided proof of the relevance and value of BRICS through our actions. And, this has come at a time of huge global challenges,” he said, adding that “together, we can also give shape to G20”.

The New Development Bank, the Currency Reserve Arrangement, Strategy for BRICS Economic Cooperation – these are clear evidence of our vision and our resolve.

“India attaches the highest importance to BRICS. We are honoured to assume the Chairmanship of BRICS from February 1, 2016 and build on the great work done by other Members,” he said.

PTI

Urgent need for united global action to combat terror, says PM Modi at BRICS meeting

India, which takes over the Chairmanship of BRICS from February 1, 2016, will accord priority to combating terrorism, he said.

PM Narendra Modi

PTI
Condemning strongly the terrorist attack in Paris, India today made a case for united global effort to combat the menace of terrorism.”We stand united in strongly condemning the dreadful acts of terrorism in Paris… The entire humanity must stand together as one against terrorism. The need for a united global effort to combat terrorism has never been more urgent,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the meeting of the BRICS leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.India, which takes over the Chairmanship of BRICS from February 1, 2016, will accord priority to combating terrorism, he said. In the worst ever terror attacks by ISIS in Paris on November 13, at least 129 people were killed and 352 injured, many in critical condition.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Combating terrorism, Modi said, “must also be a priority for BRICS nations”. Besides Modi, BRICS meeting is being attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Jacob Zuma and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.Modi said: “We express deepest sympathy and support to Russia for the loss of life in Sinai. Ankara and Beirut are also reminders of terror’s growing spread and impact”.”The theme of India’s BRICS Chairmanship will be ‘Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions’ which, in short, will be ‘BRICS’. It aptly describes the ethos of our group,” Modi said.There was a time when the logic of BRICS and its lasting capacity were being questioned, but today BRICS can also give shape to G20, he added.”We have provided proof of the relevance and value of BRICS through our actions. And, this has come at a time of huge global challenges,” he said, adding that “together, we can also give shape to G20”.The New Development Bank, the Currency Reserve Arrangement, Strategy for BRICS Economic Cooperation – these are clear evidence of our vision and our resolve. “India attaches the highest importance to BRICS. We are honoured to assume the Chairmanship of BRICS from February 1, 2016 and build on the great work done by other Members,” he said.​

In Pictures | Check out what PM Modi gifted Queen Eizabeth

Queen Elizabeth II hosted lunch for PM Modi at Buckingham Palace.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Buckingham Palace, London, November 13, 2015.

Reuters
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met Queen Elizabeth II over lunch for the first time during his much-anticipated visit to the UK that saw Britain and India ink deals worth 9-billion pounds. Modi arrived at the Buckingham Palace in a Jaguar – built by the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) – on the second day of his maiden three-day visit to the UK.PM Modi presented Queen Elizabeth II some photographs of her taken 54 years ago from her first visit to India in January-February 1961. He also presented her with fine organic honey from Jammu and Kashmir, and Tanchoi stoles that are a specialty of Varanasi. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A lace shawl gifted to the Queen made from yarn spun by Mahatma Gandhi. Image Courtesy: British Monarch Twitter Page
PM Modi presented Queen Elizabeth II some photographs taken 54 years ago from her first visit to India in Jan-Feb 1961. Image Courtesy: ANI TwitterPM also presented Queen Elizabeth II fine organic honey from Jammu and Kashmir & Tanchoi stoles that are a specialty of Varanasi. Image Courtesy: ANI Twitter
February 25, 1961; Varanasi. Her Majesty riding an elephant in a procession from Nandesar Palace to Balua Ghat. Image Courtesy: PMO India Twitter
January 31, 1961; Ahmedabad. Her Majesty visiting Sabarmati Ashram. Image Courtesy: PMO India Twitter
February 24, 1961; Her Majesty The Queen at the Atomic Energy Centre at Trombay. Image Credit: PMO India Twitter
February 19, 1961; Chennai. Her Majesty cutting a cake to celebrate first birthday of Prince Andrew. Image Courtesy: PMO TwitterThe 89-year-old Queen greeted Modi at the Grand Entrance of her London palace, shaking hands with him before they moved on to inspect items from the Royal Collection, brought out specially for the Indian Prime Minister’s visit.While a ceremonial ride in a gilded carriage with the Queen associated with an official state visit was missing for Modi, the more intimate setting of a lunch with her had been stressed upon as an indication of the closeness of the ties between India and the UK. Soon after the lunch, Modi will head to the iconic Wembley Stadium to address a 60,000-strong audience at the ‘UK Welcomes Modi’ event.India and the UK on Thursday announced deals worth 9- billion pound as they inked a civil nuclear pact and decided to collaborate in defence and cyber security besides launching a railway rupee bond in London market..(With Agency Inputs)

Gujarat riots debate rages again as PM Modi lands in London, but why is it we don’t talk about the lives that were saved?

By Kartikeya Tanna

The logical starting point of any discourse on the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat almost always refers to the number of lives lost, indeed, rightly so. The mindless violence, which erupted as a response to the gruesome burning of innocent karsevaks (volunteers) and their families inside a locked bogey of a train near Godhra on 27 February, 2002, took over 1000 lives in different parts of Gujarat.

That the riots were horrific is not in question. Numerous columns, op-eds and reports have analysed how the state machinery got overwhelmed with swelling mobs in areas which did not historically see communal disharmony. This discourse is once again dominating the air waves as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to land in London for a three-day visit to the UK.

Smoke pours from the carriage of a train on fire in Godhra on 27 February, 2002. ReutersSmoke pours from the carriage of a train on fire in Godhra on 27 February, 2002. Reuters

Smoke pours from the carriage of a train on fire in Godhra on 27 February, 2002. Reuters

As is always the case, identification of causes for these riots has been varied. Some have blamed top echelons in the then administration including the then chief minister, Narendra Modi, now India’s prime minister, for not doing enough to stop the violence or, worse, for giving orders to the state machinery to not come in the way of Hindus taking Muslim lives. That the last narrative, one accompanied by flowery adjectives such as genocide and mass murder, is a figment of a fertile imagination has been established in more than one forum.

What, however, has not received due focus is the other side of the riots coin – how many lives were saved due to action by an admittedly ill-prepared machinery, a legacy which Modi inherited, with help from the military frantically called in to overcome the sheer might of madness.

Indeed, quantification of number of lives saved does not benefit from the same precision as that of the number of lives lost. However, media reports and anecdotes during those riots provide a very compelling idea of the underlying intent of those in power to do whatever they could to minimise loss of lives.

Firstly, from among those burnt alive in Godhra, a sizeable number included hapless women and children. To say that those inclined to riot in the following days were seething with a volcano of anger would be an understatement.

What did Modi directly do? He issued shoot-at-sight orders in Godhra on the very same morning that the karsevaks were burnt alive, followed by similar orders across Gujarat. Figures provided by the then Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley in the Rajya Sabha establish that implementation of these direct orders saw the police firing around 2,000 rounds killing 98 rioters within the first three days of the riots and preventing several more from further rioting. Another consequence of implementation of Modi’s direct orders was that 827 people were arrested throughout Gujarat as a preventive measure.

The then Minister of State for Home Gordhan Zadaphia is quoted by The Guardian as stating that the police force of Godhra, in particular, was given specific instructions to arrange special security cover for the Muslim population given chances of retaliation. Godhra has had a long history of communal tension including in the days of India’s freedom struggle.

There has also been an utterly dishonest insinuation that the administration deliberately delayed in calling the military. Far from that, Modi requested for the army on the very first day of the riots as several media reports stated and by noon the next day, the army did a flag march in Ahmedabad.

Not only that, when the central government initially informed Modi of the unavailability of armed forces (they were stationed in the border areas following tensions with Pakistan), Modi requested the Centre to send junior personnel “as long as they have army uniforms” to do an immediate march, a practice often followed to quell the rioters. This anecdote is mentioned in Chapter 7 in Andy Marino’s book Narendra Modi: A Political Biography.

These preliminary steps — few of the several taken by the administration — are vital in laying the ground for trying to get a sense of the number of lives potentially saved by the Narendra Modi government.

In Naroda Patiya, an area which has seen high profile convictions of former BJP minister Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi (although the former’s sentence has been suspended with the HC observing puzzling aspects in her conviction), the police saved 400 lives by taking them to safer places including the State Reserve Police headquarters.

In Gulbarga Society, where former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed, the police shot dead five persons saving the lives of 180 people. The mob around the neighbourhood had swelled to almost 10,000. It is important to remember that the total size of the police force in Ahmedabad was around 6,000. Zakia Jafri, the widow of Ehsan Jafri, had, in fact, recorded a statement to the police under the criminal procedure code that the police saved her and many others.

The 180 number is arrived at by deducting the number of lives killed (69) from the number of people in that area (250). And, ironically, the person arrested by the SC-appointed SIT for Jafri’s murder is Congress MLA Meghsingh Chaudhary.

In Sanjel village in the largely tribal Dahod district, a mob of 8,000 armed tribals gathered to kill Muslims. Police intervention saved around 2,500 lives in that town. In Bodeli town in the Chotta-Udepur area, despite the advance of 7,000 armed tribals, the police were able to save hundreds. Vadodara District Collector Bhagyesh Jha and other officers were fired upon by tribals as they tried to rescue the trapped Muslims.

In Viramgam, thousands of Muslims and Hindus went on a rampage after a horrific incident of a Muslim woman being burnt alive. Fifteen thousand rioters encircled the town and started targeting Muslim localities. As India Today reports, it took some deft handling by the police and army to save the day.

At a madarsa in Bhavnagar, despite rumours spread by a TV channel that an associate of a terror-accused had been a student there, the Modi administration’s timely action ensured that between 400 and 500 students including some maulvis were saved. This is highlighted in the SC-appointed SIT’s report on page 436.

Several other instances come to light when analysing how government action saved the mindless violence from spreading further. An estimated 5,000 people were saved from the Noorani Mosque area, 240 from Sardarpura of Mehsana district, 450 in two villages of Gandhinagar district, 1,500 from Fatehpura village of Vadodara district and around 3,000 saved from Kwant village.

There are several other instances of swayamsevaks of the cultural organisation RSS (which many BJP leaders including PM Modi have been members of) rescuing fellow Muslim brethren from the insanity which prevailed in Gujarat.

As the SC-appointed SIT report notes on Page 429, Modi’s direct instructions to provide maximum security to Muslims returning from Haj pilgrimage just a week after the riots erupted ensured there was no untoward incident. Also, later that month, Muslims in Gujarat could carry out Moharram processions (Qatal ki raat) bereft of any communal tensions. If the government had intentions ascribed to it, these instances provided it the perfect opportunity.

Indeed, none of this is to say that the 2002 riots did not witness a breakdown of law and order machinery. Even amidst that breakdown — outcome of a terribly ill-equipped police force both in terms of numbers and weaponry — the administration could restore normalcy relatively compared to other ghastly riots in India and save numerous lives with the help of an expeditiously called in army.

Facts establish that, far from being complicit in letting Muslims die during riots or, worse, ordering the killings of Muslims, the top echelon of the then Narendra Modi government managed to save thousands of lives with whatever little it had in its arsenal against maddening passion. If the 2002 riots are to be looked at holistically, this aspect, hitherto swept under the carpet, deserves equally vigorous debates.

(Inputs from Closure report of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team and an excellently compiled book titled Gujarat Riots: The True Story by MD Deshpande who also runs a website to provide the truth of the riots)

Condom shortage hampers India’s AIDS fight

India provides free condoms under its community-based AIDS prevention programme that targets high-risk groups like sex workers. That strategy, the World Bank estimates, helped avert 3 million HIV infections between 1995 and 2015.

File photo.

Indian sex worker Shaalu is using fewer condoms when she meets her clients in New Delhi – not out of choice, but because a funding crunch and procurement delays in the state-run HIV/AIDS programme have disrupted supplies of free condoms.”I am more scared of HIV now,” said Shaalu, 32, who often resorts to unsafe sex as free condoms are scarce and she is hard pressed for funds to repay a debt of $4,500.India provides free condoms under its community-based AIDS prevention programme that targets high-risk groups like sex workers. That strategy, the World Bank estimates, helped avert 3 million HIV infections between 1995 and 2015.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>But government data released last week showed about two-thirds of India’s 31 state AIDS units had less than a month’s supply of condoms. Some states only have enough for a few days.Reliable supplies are key – experts fear that the shortage could lead to more unsafe sex and increased infections, especially among the poor.The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS can be transmitted via blood, breast milk or unprotected sex. The incurable infection killed 130,000 people in India and 1.5 million globally in 2013, the World Health Organisation says.”Not having the only barrier method at the doors of those who need it is catastrophic,” said Mona Mishra, an activist who runs a national AIDS Momentum campaign.The shortages come after Prime Minister Narendra Modi slashed federal AIDS funding in February by a fifth. Modi hoped states would fill the gap, but the cut came as regional AIDS units faced bureaucratic payment delays.An official at India’s National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), which runs the programme, blamed the condom shortage on the federal cuts and a delayed procurement tender that was recalled due to technical discrepancies.NATIONAL WOESCondoms in the open market are cheap, but female sex workers often hesitate to buy them from a medical store due to social taboos.Mostly from poor families, these women were under pressure to have unsafe sex if clients didn’t carry their own condoms, said Kusum, head of the All India Network of Sex Workers that represents 200,000 women.In the western state of Maharashtra, the stock of free condoms was one-eighth of its monthly requirement of 3.3 million condoms on Oct. 17.Despite recent hiccups, India’s AIDS programme has won praise globally – HIV prevalence among female sex workers almost halved to 2.67 percent during 2007-2011 and new infections have fallen in recent years.The NACO official in New Delhi said free condom supplies should improve in the next 15-20 days.But for Shaalu, who only gave her working name, AIDS budget cuts and condom shortages are a double shock – she last received her 3,000 rupees ($46) monthly salary for promoting safe sex as a “peer educator” in April.”The government should at least give us condoms so that we can earn money,” she said. “If we get infected, we will die.”

Karnataka: Students quit school due to Dalit woman’s appointment as cook

The parents of the 18 students in the school have allowed them to study there on the condition that she not cook the mid-day meal that is served.

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She was appointed as the head cook at the Government Higher Primary School in Kagganahalli village in Kolar. However, Radhamma, a Scheduled Caste, is holding on to her job in the school because she agreed not to cook the food. A report in The Indian Express states that many students have left the school since she was appointed as head cook in the school. There were apparently 118 students but when she joined the school in February 2014, a 100 students left. The parents of the 18 students in the school have allowed them to study there on the condition that she not cook the mid-day meal that is served. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The report quotes Mulbagal Block Education Officer N Devaraj as saying that they have decided to stop the mid-day meal scheme in the village as a result. He is quoted as saying, “Despite the efforts of elected representatives, IAS officers and others in the region, villagers refuse to send their children to the school. We cannot understand their behaviour.”The school headmaster has been quoted as saying that ‘village politics’ was the reason the school was in this situation. The students who have left the school have joined the government schools in the neighbouring villages. Meanwhile, Radhamma has stated to the daily that the students left the school only due to pressure from upper caste groups. The report quotes upper caste members who say they are angry at a Dalit women being appointed to cook the meals.

Petroleum Ministry hunting for a younger bureaucrat for Directorate General of Hydrocarbons

The Ministry issued an advertisement seeking applications for the post of Director General, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) within 30 days from officers of central or state government, recognised research institutions, PSUs, semi-government and autonomous statutory organisations.

Four months after giving charge of oil and gas field regulator DGH to a senior bureaucrat, the Petroleum Ministry has begun a search for the full-time upstream regulator, seeking a technocrat of no more than 56 years old.The Ministry issued an advertisement seeking applications for the post of Director General, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) within 30 days from officers of central or state government, recognised research institutions, PSUs, semi-government and autonomous statutory organisations. The appointment, the advertisement said, would be on “deputation” basis for a maximum period of five years or completion of 60 years, whichever is earlier.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The applicant must hold a Master’s degree in geology or geophysics or petroleum geology with 16 years of experience in upstream oil and gas sector or a Bachelor’s degree in the same subjects.”The maximum age limit for appointment by deputation shall be not exceeding 56 years as on the last date of receipt of applications,” the advertisement said.In June, Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Additional Secretary in Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was given additional charge of DGH upon superannuation of Director General, B N Talukdar. Talukdar superannuated on June 30 after completing an extended tenure.Talukdar, who took over as the head of the DGH on February 6, 2014, was to superannuate on December 31, 2014 after turning 60. He, however, was given a six-month extension till June 30.DGH, which traditionally was headed by a technocrat, for the first time in its history saw a bureaucrat being appointed as Director General when in June 2012 Rajiv Nayan Choubey, a 1981 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, was handpicked for the job.

TERI official who accused RK Pachauri resigns, alleges ‘worst possible’ treatment in letter

New Delhi: The complainant in the sexual harassment case against climate scientist RK Pachauri has resigned from TERI alleging that the organisation treated her in the “worst possible manner” and harmed her “mentally, professionally and economically”.

In her resignation letter to TERI HR Director Dinesh Verma, the complainant, a research analyst, has said that despite the enquiry committee finding Pachauri guilty of misconduct, the organisation has “failed” to do the “bare minimum” to ensure that she is not impacted.

RK Pachauri. IBN LiveRK Pachauri. IBN Live

RK Pachauri. IBN Live

The woman had registered a complaint against Pachauri for sexual harassment at the workplace earlier this year. On February 13, an FIR was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections including 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 (d)(molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

The court had granted him anticipatory bail while imposing the conditions that he will join the probe as and when called and not enter the TERI office premises.

In the place of Pachauri, TERI governing council had on 23 July appointed Ajay Mathur as its Director General.

Pachauri had also stepped down from the United Nations’ IPCC and the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change.

The full text of the complainant’s resignation letter is below (emphasis hers):

Dear Mr. Verma,
This is in reference to my ICC complaint against R K Pachauri for sexual harassment at the workplace and my subsequent FIR with Delhi Police in Feb 2015. The inquiry committee did hold R K Pachauri guilty of misconduct and TERI failed to do the bare minimum in order to ensure that I am not impacted.

Your organisation has treated me in the worst possible manner. TERI failed to uphold my interests as an employee, let alone protecting them. The organisation has instead protected R K Pachauri and provided him with full immunity, despite being held guilty of sexual harassment at the work place by your own inquiry committee. The Governing Council too let me down in an unprecedented way. The council could not even suspend a man pending inquiry and took NO ACTION despite the indictment. You also created a hostile environment for me which has only escalated and showed no signs of subsiding whatsoever. It is becoming clear that the Governing Council works for the DG and under his instructions. There has been no changeover in the DG as well as stated on 23 July, 2015.

I am tendering my resignation from TERI with IMMEDIATE EFFECT.

You changed my work profile and played deaf to my requests for not doing so. I was given ZERO EXPLANATION of taking such an action and none of my emails/requests were heeded to. I only got vague responses. I refuse to be associated with an organisation such as yours for the way you have mistreated me, for not standing by the law, for not having respect for my capabilities, for doing NOTHING to ensure that my career is not harmed and instead harmed me mentally, professionally and economically.

I tender my resignation without any prejudice to my rights to claim my salary, damages and other dues/costs for the gross misconduct and mental torture meted out to me at the work place, apart from taking all pending litigation to their logical conclusion.
Best,

 With inputs from PTI

CBI seeks cancellation of Madan Mitra’s bail before Calcutta HC

CBI today took leave of Calcutta High Court to move a prayer for cancellation of bail of West Bengal minister Madan Mitra, an accused in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.

CBI today took leave of Calcutta High Court to move a prayer for cancellation of bail of West Bengal minister Madan Mitra, an accused in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.Mitra was granted bail by a city court on Saturday and went home the day after.A division bench comprising justices Harish Tandon and I C Das granted leave to CBI to serve copy of its petition to Mitra’s counsel and move the matter before the court later in the day.Mitra, who was arrested by CBI in December last, was granted bail by ACJM (in-charge) of Alipore District and Sessions Court Partha Pratim Das.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mitra had been in state-run SSKM Hospital since February 11 on the ground of illness and went home from there after being declared fit by a Medical Board of the hospital, only a day after being granted bail.

Saradha scam: WB Minister Madan Mitra declared fit soon after getting bail

Madan Mitra

Less than 24 hours after a court granted him bail in connection with the Saradha scam, West Bengal minister Madan Mitra was declared fit by a medical board at the state-run SSKM Hospital, where he spent most of his time since his arrest on December 12 last year.The TMC minister returned home amid celebration by thousands of followers. Mitra was arrested on December 12 and was taken to the VVIP ward of the hospital on February 11 after CBI custody. He spent less than 50 days in jail. Mitra said, “This is the triumph of truth…Triumph of the common people,” according to his close aides, soon after he reached his Bhowanipore residence in an ambulance amid tight police security at around 12.40 PM.The minister has decided to take rest for sometime and think when to resume office.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A source at SSKM Hospital said, the medical board constituted to keep a tab on Mitra’s health conditions ran a check and found him “fit” to be discharged from the hospital. “The present health condition of the minister has improved and he is fit to go home… But he requires to go through a weekly check-up programme,” the source at the Hospital said. Despite receiving bail yesterday, after 323 days in custody, Mitra had indicated to his aides that he wanted to be in the hospital for a few more days.Mitra was arrested by the CBI in December and was remanded to CBI custody for an initial period after which he was sent to judicial remand. During the major part of his judicial remand, Mitra had been at the Woodburn Ward of the state-run hospital citing health complications.Mitra was granted bail by ACJM (in-charge) of Alipore District and Sessions Court Partha Das on condition that he would furnish a bond of Rs two lakh, cannot leave the state, submit his passport and cooperate with the investigation process. CBI Special Crime Branch, which is probing Saradha ponzi scheme scam, has said that it will move a higher court against the bail granted to Mitra.

Amazing: Here’s how a cow’s heart was used to save a little baby

The surgeons at the hospital repaired Noa’s heart with “both human and bovine parts” and his heart is now “near perfect,” the Cambrian News reported.

dna Research & Archives
A newborn baby born with a rare heart condition has made an amazing recovery after British doctors, in a pioneering surgery, used parts of a cow heart to save his life. Noa Gwilym Pritchard was born on February 10 this year with Holt-Oram syndrome, a genetic diseases that affects just one person in 100,000. People with the syndrome have abnormally developed bones in their upper limbs and often suffer with cardiac problems.Just days after being born, the baby was operated on at Alder Hey Hospital near Liverpool. The surgeons at the hospital repaired Noa’s heart with “both human and bovine parts” and his heart is now “near perfect,” the Cambrian News reported. Eight-month-old Noa is now “flourishing” according to his mother, Elen Pritchard, a former geography teacher. “It has become obvious that it is the rare syndrome Holt -Oram which is the cause of Noa’s problems with his arms and his heart,” Elen told the paper. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Operations on his arms will come, but we have learnt from this little boy that suffering is short-lived and that life and the blessing of having him is long-lasting.Cow heart valves are occasionally used by surgeons as they have a similar tissue physiology to human valves.

Check CTET result Sept 2015 on ctet.nic.in

This examination was conducted in 76 cities at 959 centres.

Representational Image

The result of 8th edition of Central Teachers Eligibility Test (CTET) September 2015 has been declared by the Central Board of Secondary Education on 30th October 2015.This examination was conducted in 76 cities at 959 centres. The Board had displayed the images of the OMR sheets of all the candidates who had appeared in CTET September 2015 along with answer key on CTET website.A total number of 6,55,660 candidates appeared for examination out of which 1,14,580 candidates successfully passed the CTET held in September 2015. The overall pass percentage of candidate who appeared in CTET September 2015 is 17.48% whereas in last CTET held in February 2015 the overall pass percentage was 12.18%.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Board has also announced the schedule of CTET for 2016 the 9th edition of CTET will be held on 21 February 2016 (Sunday) and 10th edition of CTET will be held on 18th September 2016 (Sunday).Check your results here.

Cop used ‘extremely violent technique’ against Indian grandfather

Parker hit him so hard on the ground that he was left partially paralysed.

A former American police officer used an “extremely violent technique” against an Indian grandfather that left him partially paralysed early this year, a key police training official has told a US federal jury. Testifying before a federal grand jury in Huntsville, Kenny Sanders, a sheriff’s department captain who oversees the state’s police training curriculum, said the conduct of former police officer Eric Parker “was not consistent with prevailing police standards” against 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel, who is now recovering from the assault.While on a walk, Parker stopped Patel, who did not knew English. When Patel did not respond, Parker hit him so hard on the ground that he was left partially paralysed. The retrial of Parker, charged with violating Patel’s civil rights following an encounter in a Madison neighbourhood off County Line Road on February 6, began this week. The jury has 14 members, of which 11 are women and three men.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patel, who was visiting his son in Alabama to meet his newly born grandson, was slammed to ground and left paralysed in 101 seconds after encountering the police despite him pleading as many as five times that he knows no English, federal prosecutors have said.

Delhi court permits former TERI Chief RK Pachauri to attend conferences in Somalia, Kuwait

New Delhi: A Delhi court has granted permission to former TERI Director General R K Pachauri, facing sexual harassment allegations, to visit Kuwait and Somalia to attend conferences from November 1 to 7.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shivani Chauhan, while allowing Pachauri’s application, directed him to inform the court when he returns to India and make himself available to the investigating officer (IO) as per requirement.

File photo. Image courtesy: ibnliveFile photo. Image courtesy: ibnlive

File photo. Image courtesy: ibnlive

“Accused (Pachauri) is permitted to travel as per his itinerary from November 1-3 to Kuwait and thereafter from November 3 to Somalia and return on/or before November 7, subject to furnishing of one local surety of Rs 4 lakh to satisfaction of this court and upon furnishing an undertaking that he will make himself available to the IO as per requirement upon service of notice on him,” the magistrate said.

The court also asked him to file a copy of the travel tickets and intimate the court and the IO about any changes in his itinerary, in advance.

Pachauri’s advocate Ashish Dixit sought permission to travel abroad citing his past cooperation in the case and said that his client needed to attend the meetings and deliver a lecture in Kuwait and attend a conference in Somalia between November 1-7.

However, the investigating officer opposed his application saying Pachauri had failed to give satisfactory answers but admitted that he had joined the investigation.

On February 13, an FIR was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections including 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 (d)(molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

The court had granted him anticipatory bail while imposing the conditions that he will join the probe as and when called and not enter the TERI office premises. In the place of Pachauri, TERI governing council had on July 23 appointed Dr Ajay Mathur as its Director General. Pachauri had also stepped down from United Nations’ IPCC and the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change.

PTI

Delhi court allows ex-TERI director RK Pachauri to travel to Kuwait and Somalia

The court also asked him to file a copy of the travel tickets and intimate the court and the IO about any changes in his itinerary, in advance.

RK Pachauri

dna Research & Archives
A Delhi court has granted permission to former TERI Director General RK Pachauri, facing sexual harassment allegations, to visit Kuwait and Somalia to attend conferences from November 1 to 7.Metropolitan Magistrate Shivani Chauhan, while allowing Pachauri’s application, directed him to inform the court when he returns to India and make himself available to the investigating officer (IO) as per requirement.”Accused (Pachauri) is permitted to travel as per his itinerary from November 1-3 to Kuwait and thereafter from November 3 to Somalia and return on/or before November 7, subject to furnishing of one local surety of Rs 4 lakh to satisfaction of this court and upon furnishing an undertaking that he will make himself available to the IO as per requirement upon service of notice on him,” the magistrate said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: RK Pachauri be removed immediately from TERI: sexual harassment victim to Delhi HCThe court also asked him to file a copy of the travel tickets and intimate the court and the IO about any changes in his itinerary, in advance. Pachauri’s advocate Ashish Dixit sought permission to travel abroad citing his past cooperation in the case and said that his client needed to attend the meetings and deliver a lecture in Kuwait and attend a conference in Somalia between November 1-7. However, the investigating officer opposed his application saying Pachauri had failed to give satisfactory answers but admitted that he had joined the investigation.Related Read: RK Pachauri case: Delhi HC allows woman’s plea to remove her name from petition On February 13, an FIR was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections including 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354 (d)(molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation). The court had granted him anticipatory bail while imposing the conditions that he will join the probe as and when called and not enter the TERI office premises.In the place of Pachauri, TERI governing council had on July 23 appointed Dr Ajay Mathur as its Director General. Pachauri had also stepped down from United Nations’ IPCC and the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change.

Maharashtra government approves additional Rs 12 crore as relief for rape, acid attack victims

“We had sent the request for more grants way back in April and are happy that the sanction has been given. The process of disbursal shall start soon,” said a senior officer.

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The rape and acid attack victims waiting to be compensated under the state government’s much-talked-about Manodhariya scheme can expect some relief as the finance department has finally approved an additional budget of Rs 12 crore for disbursal under the scheme, said a government resolution released on October 27. Within two years of its launch, the state government’s Manodhariya scheme – meant for rehabilitating victims of rape, children subjected to sexual abuse and acid attack survivors – began facing severe financial crunch. As per the official data, 1,178 victims were waiting for the rehabilitation money as of April, 2015.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “We had sent the request for more grants way back in April and are happy that the sanction has been given. The process of disbursal shall start soon,” said a senior officer. Early this year, the state government was pulled up by the Bombay high court over its half-hearted implementation of the Manodhairya scheme. The state government had then claimed to have spent around Rs 27 crore between January 2014 and February 2015 to compensate and rehabilitate the survivors. In Mumbai, out of a total of 499 cases, the department sanctioned compensation for 304 victims under the scheme during the same period. However, 145 victims are still waiting for compensation. In February, while pulling up the government, the court had directed it to spell out its efforts towards publicizing the Manodhairya scheme among survivors as well as the police and investigating authorities. The court’s order had come on the petition filed by Aarti Thakur, an IT professional and an acid attack survivor. Thakur had sought compensation of Rs4 lakh towards her medical expenses and corrective plastic surgery. The scheme was launched in 2013 by the Congress-NCP government. The scheme gives financial assistance ranging between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 3 lakh with separate funds of up to Rs 50,000 for injuries and incidental costs such as travel and medical expenditure. The pile-up Number of rape and acid attack cases registered — 3,523 Number of cases that saw approval for compensation – 2,532 Number of victims who have received compensation — 1,354 Number of victims who have yet to get compensation –1,178 (Data sourced from women and child department for the period of October 2013- April 2015)

AAP government to give out enhanced compensation of Rs 130 crore to 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims

According to sources, the enhanced compensation amount of Rs 5 lakh every affected family will be distributed to an estimated 2,600 families affected in the riots within the first week of November, without waiting for the Centre to release financial assistance to the state.

AAP chief and Delhi CM Kejriwal

With an eye on the Punjab elections slated to be held in 2017, the AAP government has readied a plan to disburse a compensation of Rs130 crore out of its own kitty to the families of the 1984 anti-sikh riot victims.According to sources, the enhanced compensation amount of Rs 5 lakh every affected family will be distributed to an estimated 2,600 families affected in the riots within the first week of November, without waiting for the Centre to release financial assistance to the state. So far, only 143 riot-affected families have received the compensation amount.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In October, 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led union government had decided to dole out an enhanced compensation to each of the 3,325 victims of the 1984 riots that followed then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination, over and above the funds received by the families so far received from the government.Last December, union home minister Rajnath Singh had distributed enhanced compensation cheques of Rs 5 lakh each to 17 families of riot victims in west Delhi’s Tilak Vihar. Another 16 cheques were released before the February 15 assembly elections. Other cheques were distributed by the deputy commissioners.Punjab being a crucial state for AAP, the party had already started a thorough groundwork to expand its base in the upcoming state assembly elections. In the 13 seats it contested in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the party won four.Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had recently visited the Golden Temple Amritsar to offer prayers in the wake of the violence that erupted with the desecration of the Sikh holy book.

BJP petitions EC for cancelling Aam Admi Party’s registration

Ashwini Upadhyay, a spokesperson of Delhi BJP, has filed the petition before the ECI for deregistering AAP for not “fulfilling” its poll promises of passing Janlokpal Bill and Swaraj Bill, in violation of Model Code of Conduct and Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951.

PTI
Delhi BJP on Wednesday filed a petition before the Election Commission of India seeking deregistration of Aam Admi Party for “violation” of Model Code of Conduct and Representation of Peoples Act.Ashwini Upadhyay, a spokesperson of Delhi BJP, has filed the petition before the ECI for deregistering AAP for not “fulfilling” its poll promises of passing Janlokpal Bill and Swaraj Bill, in violation of Model Code of Conduct and Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951. “During entire election campaigns in 2015 and 2013, AAP leaders including present Chief Minister of Delhi promised to pass Janlokpal and Swaraj Bill within 15 days if AAP gets full majority but after coming to power, AAP government is conveniently ignoring both Bills,” he said in his petition before ECI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Janlokpal Bill and and Swaraj Bill were part of AAP manifestos in 2015 and 2013 but despite the thumping 96 per cent majority in Delhi assembly, both Bills are not enacted into law, he said. Delhi Cabinet passed Janlokapl Bill on February 3 and Swaraj Bill on February 13, 2014 and both Bills are property of Assembly. There is no constitutional or legal impediment in passing them, he stated in his petition.Upadhyay claimed to be actively associated with Janlokpal movement of India Against Corruption.”Petitioner is one of the founder member of Aam Aadmi Party and had been National Council member too. During the 2013 Delhi state election, petitioner was authorised signatory of AAP for election related matters,” Upadhyay stated in his petition. Upadhyay had joined the BJP in last November.

Alabama officer gets civil rights retrial for throwing Indian man | Reuters

REUTERS – An Alabama police officer returned to federal court on Wednesday as a jury weighed for a second time whether he violated an Indian man’s rights by throwing him to the ground and causing serious injuries in an incident recorded on video.

Eric Parker, a police officer in Madison, Alabama, is being retried on accusations that he used unreasonable force during the February incident.

A jury in Huntsville, Alabama, deadlocked last month on whether to convict or acquit Parker, 27, of a single charge of depriving an Indian grandfather of his civil rights, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial.

Jurors began hearing testimony from witnesses on Wednesday, according to local media reports.

The case centers around the officer’s treatment of Sureshbhai Patel, then 57, who had recently come to the United States and spoke no English when he was stopped outside his son’s home during a morning walk by police responding to a suspicious person call.

During the encounter, Parker abruptly flipped Patel onto the ground. Patel suffered extensive injuries from which he is not expected to fully recover, his lawyer has said.

The case drew international attention at a time of increased scrutiny on the use force by U.S. police officers, particularly against minorities.

Patel testified during the first trial and is expected to do so again, according to his attorney, Hank Sherrod.

Parker also took the stand during the initial trial. He told jurors that he was following his training and called Patel’s injuries accidental, according to local media reports. His attorney could not be reached for comment at the start of the retrial.

Madison police released video of the encounter, which had been recorded from inside a patrol vehicle, and apologized for Parker’s actions. The department recommended terminating the officer, which Parker challenged.

(Reporting by Letitia Stein in Tampa, Florida)

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

RK Pachauri case: Delhi HC allows woman’s plea to remove her name from petition

The court, however, declined her plea for early hearing of the matter, saying there was no urgency and it will be heard on the date already fixed, December 3.
File Photo
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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday allowed a plea by a woman, who has accused TERI Director General R K Pachauri of sexual harassment, seeking removal of her name from a petition seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to him. Justice S P Garg said the woman be now referred to as ‘Ms X’ in the proceedings pending before him.The court, however, declined her plea for early hearing of the matter, saying there was no urgency and it will be heard on the date already fixed, December 3.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The application of the woman was filed before the court which was hearing her plea for cancelling the anticipatory bail granted to Pachauri by a lower court on March 21. The 29-year-old female research analyst has alleged in her plea that “free and fair investigation” cannot be carried out if he was “allowed to roam around freely”.Countering this contention, the TERI chief had said there was “nothing on record to suggest that free and fair probe is not possible in the present case”. On March 21, Pachauri was granted anticipatory bail by the trial court which had rejected the police request for his custody in the case. On February 13, an FIR was registered against Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment under IPC sections 354, 354(a), 354(d) (molestation) and 506 (criminal intimidation).Pachauri, who is currently on leave from TERI, has requested a modification of an earlier court order and permission to resume work from the office premises. After the sexual harassment complaint, Pachauri had stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in February and proceeded on leave from TERI.

Aston Villa sack manager Tim Sherwood | Reuters

LONDON Aston Villa have sacked manager Tim Sherwood, the Premier League club announced on Sunday.

“The Board has monitored the performances closely all season and believes the results were simply not good enough and that a change was imperative,” said a statement on the official website (www.avfc.co.uk).

“However, the club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Tim for all his efforts during a difficult period last season and for the many positive contributions he has made to the entire football set-up during his time with the club. We wish him well in the future.

“Assistant manager Ray Wilkins, first-team coach Mark Robson and performance analyst Seamus Brady have also left with immediate effect and do so with our best wishes.

“A search for a new manager has commenced and the squad will be managed in the interim by Kevin MacDonald.”

A 2-1 home defeat by Swansea City on Saturday was their sixth league defeat in a row and Villa could be bottom of the table if other results go against them on Sunday.

Since winning the opening league game of the season at promoted Bournemouth, their only successes have been in the League Cup against lower division opposition.

Sherwood was appointed in February and kept the side safe from relegation by three points, as well as reaching the FA Cup final, where they lost 4-0 to Arsenal.

In the summer he signed more than a dozen new players but lost key men in Christian Benteke to Liverpool, Fabian Delph to Manchester City and loanee Tom Cleverley to Everton.

“We cannot do more as coaches and managers,” he told reporters after Saturday’s defeat. “We are working as hard as we can.”

Sherwood, 46, played three times for England and managed former club Tottenham for part of the 2013-14 season before joining Villa.

(Reporting by Steve Tongue, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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Kiren Rijiju downplays his ‘North Indian’ remarks; says it applies to entire society not one section

The Minister of State for Home said if citizens do not make it an “issue of concern” then how will things get corrected?

PTI
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday sought to downplay his endorsement of a former Delhi LG’s statement that north Indians “enjoy” breaking rules and said it was not indicated at one section but was applicable to the entire society. He said attempts to “politicise” his statement were wrong and added if there is any wrong happening in the society everyone was responsible for it.”I think the LG had made the statement about 6-7 years back and I had said that what he said was correct but this is applicable to entire society and not to one section like north Indian, south Indian, east Indian or west Indian. It is not like that. It is applicable on all society and society has to understand that. We regularly come across reports of rape, murder and loot happening here and there and we should be worried about it,” he said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Minister of State for Home said if citizens do not make it an “issue of concern” then how will things get corrected?”It is wrong if someone wants to politicise it (his statement)…All I meant was that if there is any wrong in society we are responsible for it and we should find out collective ways to correct or mend it,” he said.Also read: Kiren Rijiju shares ex-Delhi LG’s view that North Indians enjoy breaking rulesRijiju had on Wednesday said he agreed with the statement of a former Lt Governor of Delhi who had once remarked that north Indians “take pride in and enjoy” breaking rules.”I was witness to a statement made by one of the Lt Governor’s of Delhi some years back. He had stated that people of north India enjoy breaking the rules and by evening he was forced to apologise. But I believe what he said was right,” he had said on the sidelines of a function for inauguration of a think tank on police-related subjects.Though he did not name the Lt Governor, records show the comments were made by the then Delhi LG Tejinder Khanna who had said in February 2008 that “it is a speciality of north and west India that the people feel a sense of honour and pride in violating law and boasting that no action has been taken against them”.

Maneka Gandhi hits out Narendra Modi’s budget, says it hurts India’s fight against malnutrition

Maneka Gandhi says Narendra Modi’s budget cuts will make it difficult to pay wages of millions of health workers and hurt India’s fight against child malnutrition.

Maneka Gandhi and Narendra Modi

India’s main program to fight child malnutrition has been hit by budget cuts that make it difficult to pay wages of millions of health workers, a cabinet minister said on Monday in a rare public criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies.Modi’s government in February slashed social sector budgets to boost infrastructure spending in a bid to fasten the pace of economic recovery. States were asked to fill the gap from the larger share of federal taxes they receive from New Delhi. But the cuts drew criticism for blunting India’s efforts to tackle one of the world’s highest rates of child malnutrition. Four of 10 stunted children in the world are Indian and about 1.5 million children die annually before turning five.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maneka Gandhi, the women and child welfare minister who oversees a scheme to feed more than 100 million poor people, said the current budget was only enough to pay salaries of her 2.7 million health workers until January. “We still have problems because our cut has still not been restored. Literally, it’s a month-to-month suspense on whether we can meet wages,” said Gandhi in an interview. “It really calls for huge attention.”She said the February budget cut, which saw her ministry’s budget slashed by half to $1.6 billion, had hit her plans to strengthen the fight against malnutrition. Gandhi said that even before the cuts the food programme was in urgent need of modernisation, with lax supervision of health workers using training programmes not updated in the last four decades and the food on offer she described as “rubbish.” She said about half the food was lost due to mismanagement.Reuters reported in May, Gandhi had privately sought additional funds from the finance minister after the budget cut. She also warned him the reduced funding could backfire politically if focus on her programmes is reduced. The government in July approved an additional $618 million for her ministry. Gandhi indicated that was not enough. “It’s not a question of giving a little bit back … we actually need every little bit to pay workers and retrain them,” she said.Modi’s federal budget changes have affected several social sectors in recent months. They have delayed salaries to millions of health workers in the national health scheme and the AIDS control programme. The finance ministry says social budgets have not been squeezed and states will pitch in with the difference. But many states are cash-strapped and cite confusion about new the funding arrangement with New Delhi.An official at Gandhi’s ministry, who did not wish to be named, said states had cited fiscal strains and conveyed they were not willing to fund salaries. Gandhi, however, said she was hopeful the programme will revive. “It will come back,” Gandhi said, adding that finance ministry officials had assured her of more funds. “…Nobody can afford to let this programme go.”

Violin maestro L Subramaniam to be conferred the Ramavarapu Vijayalakshmi award

Ramavarapu Vijayalakshmi is a renowned musicians who invented the ‘Vipanchi Veena’ with 15 strings.

L Subramaniam

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Violinist Dr L Subramaniam will be the first recipient of the newly instituted Ramavarapu Vijayalakshmi global music award. The Ramavarapu Vijayalakshmi Memorial Music and Charitable Trust made the announcement on Monday. A report in The Hindu states that the award will be conferred on Vijayadasami at an event in Visakapatnam. The event will be organised by the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory and the Ramavarapu Vijayalakshmi Memorial Music and Charitable Trust. During the event, Tanikella Aparna, who has been adjudged the best student will also be given a gold medal. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ramavarapu Vijayalakshmi is a renowned musicians who invented the ‘Vipanchi Veena’ with 15 strings. She passed away in February this year. Vainika Sadguru Siromani, a film tribute to the musician, will also be screened at the event.

Beef ban: Petitions challenging ban to come up in Bombay HC tomorrow

The Bombay High Court has posted for final hearing on Tuesday a bunch of petitions challenging the beef ban legislation in Maharashtra.

Bombay High Court

dna
The Bombay High Court has posted for final hearing on Tuesday a bunch of petitions challenging the beef ban legislation in Maharashtra.The petitions would be heard by a bench of Justices Abhay Oka and VL Achilya for three days from October 14. In February 2015, the President had granted sanction to Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act. While the Act had banned slaughter of cows way back in 1976, the recent amendments prohibited slaughter of bulls and bullocks.According to the amended Act, the sale of bulls and bullocks in the state is an offence punishable with five-year jail term and Rs 10,000 fine. Besides, possession of meat of a cow, bull or bullock is also an offence for which the punishment prescribed is one-year jail and Rs 2,000 fine.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While hearing the petition, the HC had in April refused to grant an interim stay on the law on the issue of possession of beef. Arif Kapadia, a city resident, and noted lawyer Harish Jagtiani, have challenged the provision of the law which says mere possession of beef in any place in the state is a crime.According to Jagtiani, this provision of the law is arbitrary and hits upon the cosmopolitan nature of the city which houses people from all religions and communities. Kapadia, on the other hand, has described as “draconian” section 5(D) of the Act which makes possession of meat of any cow, bull or bullock slaughtered outside the state a cognizable and non-bailable offence with punishment upto one year in jail and Rs 2,000 fine.Other petitions have been filed by Vishal Sheth, a lawyer, and Shaina Sen, a student. The duo said “we are Hindus who are consumers of beef which is now part of our diet and nutrition sources. The ban on beef and criminalising its sale and possession violates fundamental rights of citizens.” On September 21, the HC had rejected the plea in a bunch of petitions seeking the relaxation of beef ban in Maharashtra during a three-day period for Eid festival, also known as Bakri-Eid.The HC was of the view that it cannot temporarily suspend the beef ban as it was hearing petitions challenging the Act.

Exclusive: FIFA mulls delaying presidential election – sources | Reuters

ZURICH FIFA is discussing delaying the election for their next president following the suspensions given to Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, two sources have told Reuters.

The issue is expected to be on the agenda of an emergency executive committee meeting which could make the decision to postpone the vote, scheduled for Feb. 26, the sources, with knowledge of the discussions, said on Friday.

England’s Football Association said they were behind the idea of an emergency meeting and FIFA said a decision on the issue was likely to be made next week.

A delay to the election could make it easier for UEFA president Michel Platini to be a candidate to replace the departing Blatter — if he succeeds in an appeal against his ban from the game.

However, it remains to be seen whether there is enough support for both a meeting and for a change to the election date.

“For the time being, the schedule is as it is,” a FIFA spokesperson told Reuters, adding that only the executive committee had the power to make a decision on the election date.

The FIFA spokesperson did not want to speculate further.

But UEFA’s 54 member associations are gathering on Thursday at their headquarters in Nyon where the election will also be on the agenda, the FA spokesman said. England’s FA are among the strongest supporters of Platini’s candidature.

Platini was an early favourite to win the vote to replace Blatter at the helm of FIFA before he was given the 90 day ban by FIFA’s Ethics Committee on Thursday. A further 45 days can be added to the provisional ban.

As it stands, the election nominations need to be provided by Oct. 26 and prospective candidates need to pass an integrity check based on FIFA’s Ethics code.

Unless he were to be given a swift appeal victory, Platini, who delivered his nomination papers just hours before his ban, would find himself in the very tricky position of trying to pass that test while banned from the game.

But a change in the date of the vote could see the entire timetable of the election change providing potentially more opportunity for Platini — or any other candidates who might want to enter the race once the ethics situation is clearer.

Another presidential candidate, South Korea’s Chung Mong-joon, was banned for six years, meaning he will also almost certainly miss out.

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan is the only remaining high-profile candidate along with outsider, former Brazil international Zico.

Platini’s ban relates to a 2 million Swiss francs payment he received from FIFA in 2011, which is part of a Swiss criminal inquiry into Blatter.

Switzerland’s Attorney General said Platini is being considered somewhere “between a witness and an accused person” in the case. Both Platini and Blatter deny they have done anything wrong and are appealling the suspensions.

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said he would prefer to stick with the February date depending on the outcome of the appeals process against the bans.

Dutch FA (KNVB) executive director Bert van Oostveen said he was uncertain of the best way forward but wanted European federations to remain together on the issue.

But Karl-Erik Nilsson, chair of the Swedish Football Association (SvFF), told Reuters the date should not change.

“We want the election to be held on Feb. 26 as planned. Together with many European countries, we supported Michel Platini’s candidacy and we need more information about exactly what has happened.

(Additional reporting from David Ingram in New York, Mike Collett and Mark Hosenball in London, Phil O’Connor in Stockholm; Editing by Ossian Shine, Alison Williams and Richard Balmforth)

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Govind Pansare murder: No permission for accused Sameer Gaikwad’s brain mapping

The lawyer representing the Pansare family said the test can be conducted after his health improved, but Gaikwad declined.

Gaikwad, a member of right-wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha, was arrested on September 16 in the case.

A magistrate’s court on Friday extended the judicial custody of Samir Gaikwad, arrested in the Govind Pansare murder case, till October 23, while denying the permission to subject him to brain-mapping test. During the proceedings, Gaikwad told the court that he was not willing to undergo brain-mapping because his “mental health” wasn’t good.The lawyer representing the Pansare family said the test can be conducted after his health improved, but Gaikwad remained firm on his stand. As such tests cannot be conducted without the person’s consent, the court rejected police’s application seeking permission for his brain mapping. The court also dismissed police’s request for his fresh custody for identification parade.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gaikwad, a member of right-wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha, was arrested on September 16 in the case. Pansare, a veteran CPI leader, and his wife were shot by two unidentified motorcycle-borne persons in Kolhapur in February. While his wife survived, Pansare died at a Mumbai hospital.

Nitish Katara murder: SC declines death sentence plea for convicts, says it wasn’t honour killing

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea by Neelam Katara seeking enhancement of sentence to death for Vishal and Vikas Yadav who have been convicted for murdering her son Nitish Katara in February 2002.

An apex court bench of Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice R Banumati said that while it was a murder and could even be pre-meditated, it certainly was not heinous or a matter of honour killing.

Neelam Katara had moved the SC questioning Delhi High Court order sentencing both Vikas and Vishal Yadav to 25 and five years sentences which are to be run one after the other.

Nitish Katara. AgenciesNitish Katara. Agencies

Nitish Katara. Agencies

She sought enhancement of the sentence to death or alternatively imprisonment for whole life.

According to the High Court order, both the Yadav brothers are to undergo a sentence of 30 years each.

In August, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Vikas Yadav, Vishal Yadav and Sukhdev Pehalwan in connection with the 2002 Nitish Katara murder case.

The apex court had said that “only criminals are crying for justice” in this country. The Supreme court, which upheld the findings of the trial court and the Delhi High Court without issuing notices on the appeals of Vikas and Sukhdev, however, agreed to consider the limited aspect relating to enhancement of quantum of sentence of the three convicts by the Delhi High Court.

It, however, issued notice to the Delhi government on the scope of punishment and sought the reply within six weeks.

Nitish Katara was 25 when he was burnt to death in Ghaziabad near Delhi. He was dating Bharti Yadav, daughter of politician DP Yadav.  The young couple was attending a wedding party when Mr Katara was abducted and set on fire by Bharti’s brother Vikas and her cousin Vishal.

With inputs from PTI and IANS.

Farmers unhappy, not getting right price for produce, says Union Minister Nitin Gadkari

Farmers are in a “poor condition” as they are getting Rs 16-17 per kg for wheat and rice while in Mumbai, the ash to clean utensils is Rs 18 per kg, he said.

PTI
Farmers are unhappy in the country as they are not getting the right price for the produce, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday, pitching for change in the crop pattern for better returns.He also said prices of pulses have risen, but the rates will come down from January-February as domestic production is expected to be higher.”The farmer is unhappy as he is not getting proper price for his produce. We need to change the crop pattern,” Gadkari said at the Indian Women’s Press Corps here.Farmers are in a “poor condition” as they are getting Rs 16-17 per kg for wheat and rice while in Mumbai, the ash to clean utensils is Rs 18 per kg, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that farmers should do intelligent planning for crops, Gadkari said there is a need to diversify agriculture towards energy and power sectors.On pulses, Gadkari said, “Dal prices have shot up. Plantation was four times more. This year, production will grow thrice or four times. After January-February, dal prices will come down and we will have to export it.” He said there is no “food scarcity” in the country as there is surplus supply of rice, wheat and sugar.He also said water level has gone down in nine states and there is a need to conserve water on a large scale.In the last few months, pulse prices in most retail markets have risen up to Rs 150 per kg due to shortage of 2 million tonnes in the 2014-15 crop year (July-June) due to poor rains.

Maharashtra police used to torture me: JNU student Hem Mishra

JNU student Hem Mishra accuses two years of torture and rights abuse against investigative agencies

JNU student Hem Mishra

JNU student Hem Mishra, who this week returned to campus after spending two years in jail, for allegedly acting as a courier for naxalites, leveled serious allegations of abuse against the Maharashtra police as well as other investigative agencies probing him. “Two years and 19 days I was in prison. The first 19 days I was in held in police custody and the rest in Nagpur jail, an experience I would never be able to forget. But the time in police custody was the worst. There was this piece of wood used in spinning wheels and the police used to hit me with it twice a day, during the questioning session,” Mishra (34) told dna adding police called the torture weapon ‘Bajirao’, name of a noted Maratha general of the 18th century.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A second-year student of Chinese language, Mishra was arrested by Gadchiroli police on August 20, 2013 in Chandarpur district’s Balharshah area. Police alleged that Mishra was in transit to a jungle hideout of some senior Naxal leaders to pass on some communication. Mishra maintains that he was in the area to meet Dr. Prakash Baba Amte, a social worker who received Magsaysay award for community leadership. Dr Amte has been working on health issues faced by Adivasi community. “I thought they were kidnapping me. Around 10 to 15 men grabbed me and started hitting me till they took me to the local police station. I even cried out for help, but soon came to know who these men were,” Mishra said. Over the next 19 days, various agencies including the Intelligence Bureau, Maharashtra state intelligence unit and police from Chattisgarh and Uttarakhand, his hometown, took turns in interrogating him. “Back home many cultural activists were arrested and we had worked hard for their release. I suspect it was from there that I landed in their so-called radar,” Mishra said. Lodged in a ‘Naxal ward’, Mishra along with 168 prisoners went on a nine-day hunger strike in February last year to protest against the jail authorities. “Hunger strike ended only when a retired judge was sent to intervene. But me and 21 other prisoners, most of whom were arrested for being Naxalites, were sent to the isolated ‘anda cell’ where I spent the rest of my term. 15 hours we used to spend in the cell and rest of the time we used to roam on a patch of land not more than 40 metres,” said Mishra. He said the only consolation was ‘respect from other prisoners’. “A majority of inmates were poor adivasis, Dalits and Muslims and somehow they believe that activists raise the issues they face. These people are in jail because they have no money to defend themselves,” he said. dna spoke to Sandip Patil, Superintendent of Police (SP), Gadchiroli, who said, “This is the strategy used by the naxalites to put police on the backfoot. They make such allegations to ensure they get sympathy of the rights activists.” He added, “The urban supporters are the brains behind the movement and they come up with such strategy so that the police are on the receiving end. I don’t think there is any truth in the allegations”.