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Uttar Pradesh: Man refuses to marry due to non-payment of dowry, case filed

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FIR lodged against man for refusing marriage on non-payment of dowry.

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A man cancelled his wedding allegedly due to non-payment of Rs 2 lakh as dowry by the other party, following which the girl’s brother has filed a case against him, police said.The main accused, Puspendra, and his family demanded Rs 2 lakh as dowry from Sanjeev Kumar, who had fixed his sister’s marriage with him, they said.Kumar registered a case against the accused and his family under the Dowry Act for refusing to marry on the basis of non-payment of dowry. Following this, police lodged an FIR in the matter on Saturday, Station officer, Kotwali city, Ghanshyam Singh said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The marriage was fixed on November 25, he added.No arrests have been made so far in this connection, police said.

Should India have a National Registry of Sex Offenders? Maneka Gandhi asks

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On Friday, Delhi High Court refused to stay the release of the juvenile convict in Nirbhaya rape case.
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dna Research & Archives
Juvenile convict in the December 16 gang-rape case is all set to be released from jail on coming Sunday. He has completed a jail term of 3 years, and amidst all protests, the Delhi High Court refused to stay the release of the juvenile. “We cannot prohibit juvenile’s release as per the statutory and existing provision of law,” said the court. The court also asked Juvenile Board to interact with convict, his guardians and officials of Delhi government regarding his post release rehabilitation.Nirbhaya’s parents and several activists are disappointed in the Court’s ruling. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Despite all our efforts for three years, our government and our courts have released a criminal. The assurance we were given that we would get justice, that has not been delivered. We are very disappointed. We haven’t seen him, not met him, but despite all our efforts, the criminal will walk free,” Asha Devi, mother of the victim, said. Following the judgement, Maneka Gandhi on Friday posed a question on Twitter for people to share their opinions on the ‘National Registry of Sex Offenders’. This will allow citizens to access a list of sexual offenders. Earlier in December too, Maneka had pitched the idea to Law Ministry to initiate mandatory registration of sex offenders by local police to keep them under surveillance and called for the enactment of a law for the same. “In cases where the accused are convicted for committing heinous crimes, the orders of the court may also include mandatory requirement of registration of the accused in local police station so that police can monitor their activities and keep track of their movements,” Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said in a letter to the Law Minister.She suggested that the offenders of heinous crimes should be mandated to provide their personal details to the local law enforcement agency on regular basis. Such an initiative by courts will ensure effective management and supervision of sex offenders and also reduce future offences leading to a sense of security among women and children, she said. On the other hand, there is a group of people who believe that this register may violate the right of convicts. Since there names will be available in a public domain, potential employers may decide not to hire them. The convict, who may have changed his behaviour after coming out of the jail, may have to face discrimination because of his past. According to National Crimes Records Bureau, sexual crimes such as rape have increased from 24,923 in 2012 to 36,735 in 2014 and in case of children, it has increased from 8,541 to 13,766 during the same period. Cases of assault on women with intent to outrage her identity have more than doubled from 40,613 in 2010 to 82,235 in 2014.Similarly, 11,335 cases were reported in 2014 of assault on girl children with an intent to outrage their modesty and 444 cases were registered under the category of insulting the modesty of girl children during the same period.

Sailors abducted in Nigeria safe: Sushma Swaraj

“Our High Commissioner in Nigeria AR Ghanshyam met President of Nigeria on 12 Dec. He is making all efforts to secure their release,” she wrote further.

Following the reports of abduction of five Indian sailors in Nigeria, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday said that the sailors were safe and efforts were being made to secure their release.”I have the report on abduction of 5 Indian sailors in Nigeria. The contact with pirates is established. Indian sailors are safe,” Swaraj wrote in a tweet.”Our High Commissioner in Nigeria AR Ghanshyam met President of Nigeria on 12 Dec. He is making all efforts to secure their release,” she wrote further.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swaraj had yesterday sought a report on the abduction of the sailors.The request was made seeking help on Twitter, about five Indian sailors being kidnapped in Warri, Nigeria on December 11.

Murder suspect in Vipin Chaudhary and Ex-MLA Bharat Singh’s cases nabbed

Ravi Shokeen, part of a rival gang responsible for the two murders this year, arrested by Delhi police

Acting on a confidential tip-off, a joint task force from the Delhi police laid a trap and captured 22-year-old Ravi Shokeen, the prime accused in the murders of ex-MLA Bharat Singh and his driver Vipin Chaudhary late on Friday evening. Police personnel apprehended Shokeen at a CNG petrol Pump at Rajiv Chowk, Gurgaon and confiscated an English pistol and four live cartridges that were found upon his person at the time of the arrest.Shokeen alias Chuja is a sharpshooter and was considered to be the mastermind and executor of Chaudhary’s killing on December 8, 2015. Shokeen, along with three others, carefully planned and laid out a honey trap for Chaudhary that lured him near near Japanese Park in Sector 12 of outer Delhi’s Rohini sub-city where he was shot dead. A 19-year-old woman connected in Chaudhary’s murder was arrested by the police in Gurgaon earlier this week.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shokeen, a third year BA student at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), was also involved in the sensational murder of former INLD legislator from Najafgarh, Bharat Singh in March this year. Following the murder six persons, including the alleged mastermind Udaiveer alias Kaale, and Nitin Sherawat, the son of a former Delhi MLA were arrested for the crime. Hemant, Udaiveer’s nephew and Shokeen were absconding. In order to facilitate the quick capture of Shokeen, police personnel had announced a cash reward of Rs50,000 for information would lead to his capture.”Shokeen was one of the key members of Hemant’s gang and as such was involved in the planning and murders of Singh and Chaudhary,” Joint Commissioner of Police (south-western range) Dependra Pathak at a press conference held at the Delhi Police Headquarters on Saturday.Shokeen was produced before the court on Saturday where various charges relating to murder and attempt to murder were levelled against him.

Lokayukta to Mehta: What about babus?

ML Tahaliyani and Ajoy Mehta

You acted against the contractors, but what about your own officials? BMC chief Ajoy Mehta could hardly have missed the message when Maharashtra Lokayukta Justice MG Tahaliyani on Tuesday issued a notice to him and launched its own probe into the Rs150 crore ‘desilting scam’. Tahaliyani has sought a report from Mehta seeking details of the action taken against errant civic officials and engineers involved in the scam. A dna report dated September 27, 2015 on the desilting scam is also part of the Lokayukta’s notice. Mehta is expected to reply to the notice issued under section 10 of the Lokayukta and Upa Lokayukta Act 1971 on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “We have issued a notice to the municipal commissioner taking suo moto cognizance of the desilting scam. We have called for a preliminary report from him. Criminal action has been taken against contractors and FIRs have been registered too. However, we want to know what action has been taken against errant officials. If we are not satisfied with the municipal commissioner’s reply, we will launch a thorough investigation,” Tahaliyani told dna. Officials said this was the first such move in recent times where the Lokayukta had launched an inquiry into a major civic issue. After the BMC’s high-level probe into the scam nailed shoddy work by its contractors, the BMC ordered blacklisting of all contractors involved in desilting work. Mehta also asked the BMC to register FIRs against all 24 contractors and start departmental enquiries against errant officials. Following an interim report, Mehta had suspended 14 officials and registered FIRs against three contractors in connection with the scam. While 10 engineers from the Storm Water Drain (SWD) department were suspended, the civic body also suspended Chief Engineer (Vigilance) Uday Murudkar, six sub-engineers, four assistant engineers and three supervisors from the SWD department. However, FIRs were not registered against any officials. “The scam could not have been executed without involvement of civic officials. If needed, we will conduct a probe and recommend action against those found guilty to the municipal commissioner. We are awaiting the BMC chief’s reply to decide on further course of action,” Tahaliyani added. The BMC’s probe report had stated that not only did contractors do sub-standard work, but openly cheated the BMC by inflating desilting claims when in reality, no work had taken place. According to officials, almost all contractors involved in desilting work duped the BMC. The BMC probe panel led by additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh examined records of trips that the contractors’ trucks made from various drains in the city to the designated dumping grounds. The final report, which took over three months to be completed, was submitted to Mehta last week. BMC’s claims of being rain-ready were washed away with a heavy downpour on June 18 and 19. The civic body had reportedly spent Rs150 crore on the preparations, but not just the low-lying areas, several other localities were water-logged. Following the floods, Mehta ordered a probe into the desilting operations. The report claimed that there were irregularities in 65 to 70% of the work. The report also nails 20 civic officials from the SWD and Vigilance department. Mehta could not be reached for comment.

Uproar in Odisha Assembly over ‘locking’ of girls during CM Naveen Patnaik’s visit

Showing newspaper clippings, Bahinipati alleged that around 10 girl students of Maa Rama Devi University here were locked up in a room by the police anticipating disturbance during Patnaik’s campus visit for inaguration of the state’s first women’s university yesterday.

The Odisha Assembly on Friday witnessed repeated adjournments with opposition Congress demanding unconditional apology from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over alleged locking of some girl students during his visit to a city college. The issue was raised by Congress Chief Whip Taraprasad Bahinipati as soon as the House assembled for the question hour.Showing newspaper clippings, Bahinipati alleged that around 10 girl students of Maa Rama Devi University here were locked up in a room by the police anticipating disturbance during Patnaik’s campus visit for inaguration of the state’s first women’s university yesterday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While demanding unconditional apology from the Chief Minister, who is also the Home Minister, the Congress members, led by Bahinipati, attempted to climb on the Speaker’s podium and grab his mike.Unable to run the House, Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the House till 12 noon. As soon as the House reassembled, the Congress lawmakers again created furore. Following this, the Speaker adjourned the House till 3 PM.Leader of the Opposition Narasingha Mishra (Cong) said, “I demand that the Chief Minister should come to the House and beg apology for illegally confining girls in their own college. This action of police clearly violated the basic human rights and constitutional rights of girls.”

Delhi cabinet approves two changes in new Jan Lokpal Bill

Following backlash from expelled AAP leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav and the opposition in Delhi assembly over a ‘diluted’ anti-corruption legislation, the Delhi cabinet on Thursday approved two amendments to its new Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015. According to AAP legislators, the amendments are in line with those proposed by veteran social activist Anna Hazare. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had also asserted he will ‘surely’ implement Anna’s suggestions. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The amendments deal with the selection and removal of the Lokpal. While the ‘diluted’form of the bill suggested just four members in the Lokpal selection committee, with Delhi CM, the assembly speaker, leader of opposition in the assembly and the chief justice of Delhi high court, the amended bill says there would be three additional members. The new members will include another judge from Delhi high court, any eminent personality selected the rest of the committee members and the Lokpal chairman from the next term. For removal of Lokpal, there would be a high court enquiry first before referring the matter to the Delhi assembly, where two-thirds of the Delhi assembly can vote to remove the Lokpal. However, in the 2011 bill, a Lokpal could be removed only after being found guilty of wrongdoing by courts and a presidential clearance. However, the rest of the provisions of the bill have been kept unchanged. It is likely to be tabled in the house on Friday.AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh met Anna at Ralegan Siddhi on Tuesday, who had suggested the amendments. On Thursday, Bhushan also met Anna, following which he tweeted, Met Anna:He says 2015 Lokpal bill has many defects:Needs to be identical to 2014 bill;Ask Ak to bring that. Will agitate if Centre obstructs.”The Bill has to be cleared by the Lieutenant Governor and the Centre before it becomes a law.

Chennai floods: Here are the helpline numbers from South Central Railway

The SCR has set up the following Help Line Numbers at various major stations to provide information to the passengers and minimise inconvenience.

PTI
Heavy rains and water overflowing above the danger level at Railway Bridges in Chennai-Gudur section has impacted the movement of normal train services following which the South Central Railway has cancelled 12 trains and assured full refunds of fare for the same. “Due to unforeseen circumstances such as breach or flood, the ticket is surrendered within three days excluding the scheduled day of departure of the train full refunds of fare shall be granted,” tweeted South Central Railway (SCR).The SCR has set up the following Help Line Numbers at various major stations to provide information to the passengers and minimise inconvenience.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Here are the helpline numbers:Secunderabad : 040-27786170 (On PF No:1)040-27700868, 040-27786539, (On PF No:10)Vijayawada : 0866 2575038Guntur : 0863-2222014Gudur : 7842307029

Marathi daily attacked for publishing blasphemous cartoon

However, the editor of the newspaper later extended an immediate apology for the cartoon.

The controversial cartoon published in the paper

Image Credit: Twitter
A leading Marathi newspaper group, Lokmat’s office was attacked in multiple places in Maharashtra. The copies of the Sunday edition of the newspaper were also burnt at several places because of a blasphemous cartoon which was published in Lokmat’s supplement Manthan. The article titled ‘ISIS cha Paisa’ (ISIS’ money) and its accompanying image irked the members of the Muslim community and hundreds of Muslims in Dhule, Nandurbar, Malegaon and other parts of Maharashtra staged various protests. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An FIR was also registered against the cartoonist and the editor of the newspaper. However, the editor of the newspaper later extended an immediate apology for the cartoon and assured that action will be taken against those responsible for the publication of the particular cartoon. Following the massive protests, security has been increased in all the Lokmat offices across Maharashtra. A top Maharashtra Police official. Security at all the Lokmat offices across Maharashtra has been beefed up.“We are monitoring the situation and we request the people to help us maintain peace,” a top Maharashtra Police official said. People also took on social media to comment on the protests:

J&K: One soldier killed in gunfight after militants attack on army camp in Tangdhar

Srinagar: Militants on Wednesday attacked an Army camp in Tangdhar sector near the Line of Control (LoC) using small arms and under barrel grenade launchers. Four soldiers have been injured, according to Times Now, while CNN IBN reports that one soldier was killed in the firefight. There is speculation that the militants belong to the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group but an official statement is yet to be made.

Ajaz Ahmed, SSP Kupwara, was quoted by ANI as saying that more than 3 militants were involved in the attack, and that they are ‘most probably fidayeens.’

“There was a stand off fire from Kalsuri Ridge (in Tangdhar sector) towards an army camp this morning,” an army official said.

Representational image. Image courtesy: PTIRepresentational image. Image courtesy: PTI

Representational image. PTI

He said there was a brief lull before the militants opened fire again, triggering off a gunbattle, which was going on till last reports came in.

The official said the militants seem to be heavily armed as they used small fire arms and UBGLs to carry out the attack.

NDTV reported that three to four terrorists threw grenades into the camp from a mountainous ridge nearby. In the process, an army oil depot caught fire.

The Hindustan Times quoted Col NN Joshi, the army’s spokesperson based in Srinagar, as saying that the incident took place between 6:30 and 7 am. Following the incident, other troops based in the area, including the BSF and the state police have heightened security.

Tangdhar sector is close to the LoC in Kupwara district where just last week, 39-year-old Colonel Santosh Mahadik, Commanding Officer of 41 Rashtriya Rifles, died after being critically injured during an operation in the Haji Naka forest area of Kupwara near the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Tangdhar has been used as an infiltration route in the past. In 2014, in J&K alone, there were 70 attempts by militants to sneak into the country; while 65 terrorists succeeded, the armed forces managed to push back 136, reports The Hindustan Times.

A stand off is currently going on between army and 3-4 militants who are heavily armed.
With inputs from PTI

BMC panel rejects permission for Aaditya Thackeray’s open air gym at Marine Drive

Fariha Farooqui
dna
In a major setback for Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray, the Bombay High Court (HC)-appointed panel has rejected permission to his open air gymnasium on Marine Drive. With the panel ruling against the fitness centre, the two gymnasiums on the sea- facing promenade will have to be removed. The decision was taken by the panel, comprising Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Ajoy Mehta, police commissioner Ahmed Javed and Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) chairman Ramanath Jha, last week. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mehta confirmed the decision to dna. The panel ruled that Marine Drive was a heritage precinct and there should be no obstruction to pedestrians. “It is an internationally acclaimed precinct. The panel believes that the promenade is sacrosanct and should be free of interventions. Allowing gyms will set a bad precedent as more such structures would come up. Marine Drive should be kept clutter-free,” said a senior civic official. Inaugurated in July by Aaditya, actor Dino Morea and actress Jacqueline Fernandes, the open air, open-to-all gymnasium is an ensemble of multiple fitness equipment. Following a controversy over its construction, the BMC had given a three-month permission on an ‘experimental’ basis. Just a day after its inauguration, the BMC had dismantled one of the two gymnasiums, citing lack of permissions. Under pressure from the Shiv Sena, hours later, the BMC changed its decision. The Sena had pointed out that it had got necessary permissions. The multi-purpose fitness station is touted as Aaditya’s pet project, involving Morea’s DM Fitness. “We will ask DM Fitness to relocate the gym to another suitable location – in any garden or playground. It will have to go from Marine Drive. We will give them reasonable time, and if they don’t remove it, the BMC will dismantle it. No other structure will be allowed on Marine Drive henceforth,” the official added. The panel observed that though the gym was popular, Marine Drive was not the place for it. Following a PIL by activist Vijay Yadav, the HC had directed the BMC to set up a panel to examine the issue. “The decision of the panel will be conveyed to the parties soon,” the official added. The gym had turned into a political row as the Swabhimaan Sanghatana’s Nitesh Rane, Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Sachin Ahir and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Raj Purohit had opposed it. The Sena, which rules the BMC, had sought a permanent extension for the gym.

15-year-old Dalit girl gangraped in Muzaffarnagar

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dna Research & Archives
A 15-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gangraped by three persons in the neighbouring Shamli district, police said.According to SHO Naresh Yadav, a case has been registered against three persons, two of whom have been identified as Digvijay Singh and Sumit.The identity of the third accused is being ascertained even as the victim has been sent for a medical examination, police said, adding that the alleged incident took place in Ghasoli village under Kandhla police station.The complaint lodged by the victim’s father said that the minor girl had gone to the fields to collect fodder when the three youths caught hold of her. It was alleged that the trio raped her and also threatened her against speaking to anybody about the episode. Following her alleged gangrape, the girl was found in an unconscious state in the fields by her parents.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Nitish Kumar likely to be sworn in as Bihar Chief Minister on November 20

Following the grand alliance’s landslide victory in the Bihar Assembly polls, Nitish Kumar will reportedly take oath as Chief Minister of the state on November 20.

Following the grand alliance’s landslide victory in the Bihar Assembly polls, Nitish Kumar will reportedly take oath as Chief Minister of the state on November 20.According to reports, meeting of newly elected legislators of the grand alliance will be convened in Patna in which leader of the grand alliance will be elected.As per the constitutional norms, 36 ministers, including the chief minister, could be included in the new cabinet.The Mahagathbandhan won 178 seats in Bihar, a commanding two-third majority in the 243-member assembly. The Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies had to settle for a mere 58 seats.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Warangal fire mishap: Rajaiah, family quizzed again on Day 2

Police also took many material including burnt objects from the scene of offence including food from the house which will be sent to Forensic Science Laboratory.

Sircilla Rajaiah

The questioning of former Congress MP Sircilla Rajaiah, his wife and their son continued for the second day on Thursday in connection with the mysterious death of his daughter-in-law and three grandsons, whose charred bodies were found at his residence here. “Rajaiah and two others were brought by police from their house for examination (questioning)… It is continuing,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (Hanamkonda Sub-Division) Shoban Kumar said over phone. Police also took many material including burnt objects from the scene of offence including food from the house which will be sent to Forensic Science Laboratory and other departments for analysis, the ACP said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The post-mortem on the bodies of Rajaiah’s daughter-in-law S Sarika and three grandsons-seven-year-old Abhinav, and twins Ayaan and Shriyaan, aged three is now underway, the senior police officer said.Charred bodies of Sarika and her three children, who died on the spot due to burn injuries were recovered yesterday. Warangal City Police Commissioner G Sudheer Babu said Rajaiah, his wife Madhavi and son Anil Kumar–were among those inside their house when the incident happened on the first floor of the two-storey building at Hanamkonda. The police have registered a case of abetment to suicide against Rajaiah, his wife and son, but said they had not made any arrest so far in connection with the incident but took them to a police station in Warangal for examining them. Following a complaint by Sarika’s parents, a case was registered against Rajaiah, his wife Madhavi and son Anil Kumar at Subedari police station under sections 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 306 (abetment to suicide) of IPC, and under section 174 (suspicious death) of CrPC for the death of three boys. Following the incident, 62-year-old Rajaiah, who was nominated by the Congress as its candidate for the Warangal Lok Sabha by-election slated for November 21, was replaced by former Union Minister Sarve Satyanarayana as the party’s candidate.

Ghulam Ali concert in India cancelled once again

On October 9, Ali was scheduled to perform at Mumbai’s Shanmukhananda Hall but the organisers cancelled the show after a meeting with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had invited Ghulam Ali to perform in the national capital.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
After his concert was forcibly cancelled by Shiv Sena in Mumbai last month, now Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali reportedly will not perform in Delhi on November 8. Although this time, the reasons behind the cancellations are reportedly personal. On October 9, Ali was scheduled to perform at Mumbai’s Shanmukhananda Hall but the organisers cancelled the show after a meeting with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. The party had threatened to disrupt the concert, warning that no artiste from Pakistan will be allowed to perform in the city till terror emanating from across the border is stopped. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Post this incident, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal Chief Minister invited Ghulam Ali to perform in their states. Following this, it was announced by AAP that the concert will be held on November 8 in the national capital. However, Ali is set to perform at Lucknow Mahotsav on December 3. The singer was invited by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to perform in Lucknow. Also read: Going too far? Now Shiv Sena wants to ban Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan!

BJP unable to control Shiv Sena, says Congress

The Shiv Sainiks had earlier stormed into the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office to protest against the meeting with the Pakistan Cricket board to discuss the India-Pakistan bilateral series slated for December.

Image courtesy: ANI
The Congress Party on Monday condemned Shiv Sena’s protest at the BCCI Headquarters, saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led-Government in Maharashtra is unable to control fringe elements.”It is very unfortunate that such incidents are happening daily and Shiv Sena, which is an alliance partner of BJP, does this,” All India Mahila Congress president Shobha Oza told ANI.”It seems the law and order situation of Maharashtra has gone for a toss. It seems there is a jungle raj there. And the BJP-led Government is unable to control fringe elements,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following Shiv Sena’s protest at the BCCI Headquarters, the discussion over reviving cricket ties between the two nations has been cancelled.The Shiv Sainiks had earlier stormed into the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office to protest against the meeting with the Pakistan Cricket board to discuss the India-Pakistan bilateral series slated for December.The Shiv Sainiks charged into the office chanting ‘vande matram’ and slogans against PCB chief Shahryar Khan.They cornered BCCI president Shashank Manohar and protested saying they will not allow any cricket ties with Pakistan. The BJP ally had earlier attacked Sudheendra Kulkarni, who heads the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Mumbai division, ahead of a book launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.Earlier this month, Pakistani Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali concert was also cancelled in Mumbai and Pune after Shiv Sena threatened to disrupt it. Following threats from Sena, the organisers had cancelled the concert.

Aarushi Talwar murder case: CBI puts all court orders on its website

Following a book and a movie about the double murder case, CBI has put all court orders on its website.

With the Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case back in public discourse following a movie and a book on it, CBI has put out on its website all court orders – from Ghaziabad special court to Supreme Court — related to the case. Dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were found guilty of killing their daughter Aarushi and domestic servant Hemraj by the Ghaziabad special court.The 210-page exhaustive order by the then special judge Shyam Lal has gone into arguments of defence as well prosecution for nearly a year before the dentist couple were sentenced for life for the crimes.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While CBI was officially tight-lipped on the release of the book and the movie, senior officials said judgements and orders of various courts were self explanatory for the public to judge. CBI has started from the beginning of the case and uploaded all the court orders which includes cognisance order of the special CBI court in Ghaziabad to final conviction order by the sessions court. The bail application filed thereafter by the two accused and order of the Allahabad High Court has also been uploaded by the probe agency.Known as an honest and experienced judge, Lal had said in his judgement that there was no evidence of any entry into Talwars’ residence in Jalvayu Vihar Noida on the night of 15-16 May, 2008, when 14-year-old Aarushi and Hemraj were killed in the flat. In his elaborate judgement, Lal cited 26 reasons for proclaiming the dentist couple guilty and sentencing them to an imprisonment for life.”From the evidence as tendered by the prosecution in form of oral and documentary evidence this court reaches to the irresistible and impeccable conclusion that only the accused persons are responsible for committing this ghastly crime as the following circumstances unerringly point towards the hypothesis of guilt of the accused,” the order said.Also read: Aarushi Talwar’s grandfather, a war veteran, says he is disillusioned with countryCBI, after its first investigations, could not stand in the court of law, carried out a fresh probe after which it had filed a closure court before a designated court. The designated court rejected the closure report saying there was enough circumstantial evidence against the Talwars and committed the case to the sessions court in Ghaziabad.The uploaded documents on the CBI website also include the order of division bench of Allahabad High Court in which observations were made against the Talwars.”The non-existent facts and circumstances narrated in the bail applications have been distorted by the appellants by their own interpolations and the issues in question averred therein are those which basically require decision on the appeals,” justices Rakesh Tiwari and Anil Kumar Agarwal said in their order in May last year on the bail applications filed by the dentist couple.While dismissing one of the appeals for suspension of their sentences, the order passed in May last year said, “The reaction and conduct of the accused persons on the alleged sudden discovery of the dead body of their only daughter Aarushi was not natural.” It also said “the accused have claimed themselves to be the pillar of the society, yet it appears from the record that they had tried to influence the doctors from giving correct observations in their reports.”The judges said the appellants seem to be people of power and status who could influence witnesses, doctors and investigating team of the CBI and approach not only this court but also the apex court a number of times.The Allahabad High Court observed that the two accused were now residing outside the state and jurisdiction of the court and “if they are released on bail, they may not be available at the time of hearing of appeal which according to them would come up after 25-30 years from now.””Prima facie, no legal infirmity is found in the impugned judgement. We, therefore, do not see any mitigating circumstance why they be granted freedom on bail and not to undergo sentence awarded to them. We may not be misunderstood by any observations made above, as it is only for the purpose of disposal of bail application and are not on merits of the appeal,” the order had said.During the trial, Talwars had hired a battery of lawyers to contest the case right from sessions court to Supreme Court contesting every bit of evidence produced by CBI. The CBI closure report detailed all the circumstantial evidence gathered during the probe but since they do not have forensic evidence against any of the suspects, the agency said there was no direct evidence. City Magistrate Preeti Singh rejected the report saying the circumstantial evidence has enough details for conducting trial against Talwar couple.Recently, the book and the film have given rise to debate over the case as both of them weigh in favour of the Talwars while the case is pending before Allahabad High Court.Related read- ‘Talvar’ review: An absolute must watch with a haunting finaleTalwars have missed four dates of hearing claiming their lawyers are busy in Supreme Court. After it was pointed out that Supreme Court was on vacation on the dates cited by Talwars, the high court now has asked them to file an affidavit giving details of dates and cases in which their lawyers were busy.Family members of the some of the CBI officials against whom certain aspersions were cast in the book are planning to move court against the remarks made. The book by former journalist Avirook Sen talks about background of people involved in probe by the second team of CBI apparently giving motive to the decisions taken by them. For example, it talks about M S Dahiya, expert from Forensic Science Laboratory, Gandhinagar who “suggested” to CBI in his report that it was case of honour killing.”… A third, more complex facet of Dahiya’s personality also came through. His belief systems — rooted in the culture of North India’s Jats. The Jats governed by their Khap Panchayats are widely regarded as a conservative community engaging in honour killing. Does everyone in the community believe in these practices? Certainly not. But it is easier for them to believe that others might kill for honour? Most likely, yes,” the book says.The book is silent about the background or pictorial description about Joint Director Arun Kumar’s personality. It tries to justify the conclusions reached by Kumar in other famous cases he handled whereas about second team under Late AGL Kaul, the author has questioned methods of investigation by the officer.

Vyapam: Police file charge sheet against prime accused Pankaj Trivedi

On January 29 last year, Lokayukta police had raided his place in Indore and Bhopal and found wealth allegedly amassed by him disproportionate to known sources of his income. Following this, he was booked under Prevention of Corruption Act.

Lokayukta police on Thursay filed a charge sheet in a special court against Pankaj Trivedi, one of the prime accused in the Vyapam scam. Trivedi is a fomer controller of examination of Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal (Vyapam).The special court also served a production warrant against Trivedi to facilitate his personal appearance before it on October 19. Special Judge B K Paloda accepted the plea of Lokayukta police stating that personal appearance of Trivedi, who is currently lodged in Bhopal jail, in the court, will expedite his prosecution. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On January 29 last year, Lokayukta police had raided his place in Indore and Bhopal and found wealth allegedly amassed by him disproportionate to known sources of his income. Following this, he was booked under Prevention of Corruption Act.According to a prosecution officer, he had accummulated wealth to the tune of around Rs 84 lakh which include movable and immovable properties. Trivedi, along with others, had allegedly pocketed huge money as bribes from hundreds of students and people for helping them to crack the Pre Medical Tests (PMTs) and other recruitment tests conducted by Vyapam or MP Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) unlawfully.Trivedi, along with others, had allegedly rigged many PMT and recruitment tests under Vyapam scam. The much-talked about Vyapam scam is being investigated by CBI following an apex court s order.

Bengaluru shocker: Call centre employee gangraped inside moving van

In a heinous incident on Saturday night, a call centre employee was allegedly gang-raped by two men in South-East Bengaluru.

“A woman in her twenties, an employee with a call centre here, was gang-raped on the night of October 3 by two persons in South-East Bengaluru,” City Police Commissioner NS Megharikh told reporters.

The woman, who is from Madhya Pradesh, was waiting with a colleague for transport to return home at around 10 PM when the incident occurred, the police said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

According to Bangalore Mirror, the call centre employee was waiting for a BMTC bus on Hosur Main Road at the end of her 5.30 to 9.30 pm shift, and was offered a ride by two men in a Tempo Traveller. She climbed into the vehicle and moved to a seat in the back.

India Today reports that one of the accused threatened the woman at knife point, while the other drove the vehicle towards Domlur, where she was raped in an isolated area. Following her ordeal, she was dropped back to the Madiwala area.

She immediately called up her friends, who arrived at the spot and took her to nearby St John’s Hospital, where doctors called police.  The police said that they have recorded her statement.

The woman was discharged on Sunday, the police said, adding that a special team has been formed under Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East) Rohini Katoch Sepat to trace the duo.

CCTV footage at major traffic junctions in the locality was being examined to find out the vehicle, the police said.

The woman has described the accused as around 25 years old, one of whom has a dark complexion and the other is slightly fair and stout, adds the Bangalore Mirror report.

The Madiwala police has registered a case against the duo under sections 376 (D) (gangrape), 354 (A), (B) (sexual harassment), and 323 (punishment for hurt) of the IPC.

With inputs from PTI

Bomb hoax delays Delhi-Lucknow Shatabdi

The information regarding a bomb on board the Shatabdi Express was received which later turned out to be an hoax, an official spokesman said.
File Photo
Wikimedia Commons
Lucknow bound Shatabdi Express from Delhi was forced to halt for over half an hour at Tundla railway station in Firozabad district on Saturday morning following a bomb hoax.The information regarding a bomb on board the Shatabdi Express was received which later turned out to be an hoax, an official spokesman said.”Following information regarding the bomb on board the Shatabdi Express, the train was stopped at Tundla railway station in Firozabad district this morning around 8:30am,” Inspector GRP Tundla Hukkum Pal Singh said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police said that during checking only an empty bag was recovered from the generator room and the information was found to be hoax.

Indian Army takes to Whatsapp to combat misinformation campaign

The army has a new problem on its hands: A misinformation campaign on social media. The army has accordingly allotted three officers to dealing with Whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook.

Representational image.Representational image.

Representational image.

According to The Indian Express, the army chief gets a daily report on the Army’s social media activities of the previous day and coming plans for the day. Sometimes the team even gets suggestions, that are handed down to the Additional Director-General (Public Information), or ADGPI, who passes it on.

The goal of the social media team, especially on WhatsApp where it monitors up to 300 groups, is to counter a negative message within hours and promote a positive one within minutes, says the report.

It’s not the first time the Indian Army has taken to social media to combat negative attention it receives.

In December last year, the Northern Army Commander Lt-Gen DS Hooda admitted to the “mistake” by his personnel in killing of two civilians in Kashmir. This led to a slew of reactions and Hooda had to write to his men saying “not to fall prey” to print, electronic and social media opinions.

He had also written: “Mistakes will happen. Let me assure you that I have a clear understanding of the difficulties under which we operate and that nobody will be unfairly harmed. This clear message must go out to all units.

“Our Army’s ethic and values, backed by a strong military justice system, are the best in the world. These will serve to guide us and also protect us. You and your men are doing an outstanding job in the most exacting of circumstances and your
well being is uppermost in my mind.”

Following the recent terror attacks, a fresh wave of messages have started appearing attacking the army leadership in the state and some of which were purportedly written by young officers.

The army believes that these were “misinformation campaign”, possibly orchestrated from across the border to dampen the spirit of the force.

Asked about the latest message doing the rounds, army sources said they checked with the officers who have denied sending any such message.

A circular in this regard was issued two years back which had said “Facebook, Twitter and Orkut” were only meant for private conversations and not to discuss operational details.

“Data sent on these are unsecure as data can be intercepted,” the circular read.

With inputs from PTI

Here’s how Delhi government is planning to reduce 25% syllabus for school children

The AAP government’s decision to reduce the syllabus has been flayed by some activists and academicians, who have termed the process to be “arbitrary” and one that has not been completely deliberated upon.

Delhi Government’s move to chop off 25% syllabus for classes 6 to 8 in its schools to incorporate skill-based subjects will not cause any loss of learning to students as efforts are being made to “reuse” the deleted portions in more constructive forms, officials say.The AAP government’s decision to reduce the syllabus has been flayed by some activists and academicians, who have termed the process to be “arbitrary” and one that has not been completely deliberated upon. The Directorate of Education (DoE) officials, however, say the experts studying the subjects that can be deleted, are also keeping in mind how the same can be “reused” in higher grades to ensure that the basic standards of learning for each class do not suffer.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There is not going to be any loss of learning for students if the syllabus is going to be sacrificed for co-curricular activities like music, arts and theatre. Whatever portions will be deleted from the syllabus are likely to be incorporated in “some form or the other” in the higher grades,” a senior DoE official told PTI.Also Read: Following APJ Abdul Kalam’s vision, AAP government to cut 25% school syllabus”This reshuffling and reduction of the syllabus is indispensable because we realised that half of the students can’t even read and write properly. Class 6 students do not know basic mathematics. So we are deleting some portions of the syllabus to make space for basic skills programme,” said the official.Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had earlier this month announced government’s decision to reduce 25% syllabus for classes VI to VIII from October onwards to pave way for more skill-based courses, art, theatre and sports in its education system. Sisodia, who is also the Education Minister, had said that the government is in talks with CBSE to see how a similar reduction can be worked out for the syllabus for classes IX- XII from next year. The government had then invited suggestions from teachers to reduce syllabi and nearly 40,000 inputs have been received by it. “Inputs have been received and then the draft for the reduction will be worked out. This experiment will be introduced in 50 model government schools on a pilot basis from the current academic session,” thse official said.”Suggestions included removal for some chapters, deletion of portions instead of complete chapters and not removing a few chapters. We have put the draft of the reduced syllabus on the public domain and also sent the same to government schools seeking suggestions,” she added.A review committee consisting of members from National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), Delhi University, educational organisations, civil society, among others will be constituted to examine these suggestions over a period of one month. “The members of the committee will be made public in the coming week. The review committee will be coming up with the final draft next month,” the official said.

Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks on reservation were misinterpreted: Nitin Gadkari

In an interview with dna’s Amita Shah, the minister for surface transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari spoke about the Bihar elections, Opposition-government relations, how the government planned to overcome the numbers hurdle in Rajya Sabha, land acquisition and the road map for the NDA’s reforms agenda. Following are excerpts from the interview:

As the debate over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s reservation policy remark rages in Bihar giving the BJP’s rivals fuel to project the party as anti-quota, Union minister Nitin Gadkari dubbed it as a misleading campaign by the Opposition.In an interview with dna’s Amita Shah, the minister for surface transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari spoke about the Bihar elections, Opposition-government relations, how the government planned to overcome the numbers hurdle in Rajya Sabha, land acquisition and the road map for the NDA’s reforms agenda. Following are excerpts from the interview:<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Has the reservation issue, after the RSS chief’s comments just ahead of the Bihar elections, caused discomfort for the BJP? We have not opposed reservation. It is a misleading campaign. Where has he (Bhagwat) said he opposed the reservation policy? The Opposition is misleading. Its interpretation is incorrect…. A perception is created and then there is an attempt on how to create confusion. But, our leadership is directly reaching out to people. We are fighting the election on development plank and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Rs 1.25 lakh crore package has given hopes to the people of the state. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has described the RSS as the BJP’s Supreme Court. How would you describe relations between the RSS and BJP at this juncture? The RSS is my “jeevan nishtha”. I am very proud of it. We are working for the poor, for the interests of the country. Some of your ministers and MPs have made controversial statements that have shifted the discourse from the development agenda. Is the government worried about it? Individual to individual, party to party everybody has a view. When you say everybody has a right to their own views then it should be respected…. The problem is when what leaders say gets misinterpreted. A political party is a mass organisation. But, what a MP or a minister of state says is taken as party line. Why do you think issues like moral policing get highlighted in BJP regimes? It gets highlighted in the media. Certain issues do call for a debate like how much our children should be exposed to on the internet. These are debatable. What about the meat ban in Maharashtra? This is again perception that the Fadnavis government banned meat. The Congress banned it in 2004. How do you see the government-Opposition relations? Why has the distance widened so much? We are trying to narrow the gap. The Prime Minister wants cooperative federalism. Politically Congress is frustrated and its politics is a reflection of this. It was Jawaharlal Nehru who gave parliamentary democracy to us. Its a Congress legacy. Its as much the Congress reponsibility to protect it. Do they want to end it themselves? How does the govt plan to tackle the hurdle for legislations in Rajya Sabha where the NDA is in minority? Till the situation in Rajya Sabha changes, obstruction will continue. But it will not last long. We will find a way out. Some smaller parties are also upset with the Congress over its strategy in the House. Has the govt reconciled to leaving land acquisition law to states or is it still striving to bring a central law? The bill is stuck in Rajya Sabha. In certain states, however, land is being acquired under their respective laws. What is the future of the government’s reforms agenda. Over the years, nations were guided by capitalism, socialism or communism. But none have been a complete success. Our economic agenda is to move towards Deendayal Upadhyay’s vision of Antyodaya. What is the biggest challenge before the government? The expectations are very high and to fulfill them is one of the challenges. We want to strengthen the economy, free the country from poverty and make it a super economic power.

Six Delhi policemen to be tried for alleged custodial death of a man in 2014

New Delhi: Following a Delhi court’s order, charges of murder and kidnapping will be framed against six policemen on Wednesday for the alleged custodial death of a man in New Delhi in 2014.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Additional District and Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg last week found prima facie evidence against then head constable Bhoop Singh and constables Uttam Kumar, Sudhir Singh, Rajesh Kumar, Rajesh Kumar Yadav and Arvind to be tried for kidnapping, murder, destruction of evidence and common intention under the Indian Penal Code.

The six were posted in west Delhi’s Bindapur police station when the alleged custodial death occurred.

“A perusal of the post-mortem report of the deceased shows asphyxia as the cause of death, a result of ante-mortem compression of the neck and chest, sufficient to cause death in ordinary course of nature,” the court said.

The court said the medical opinion was sufficient for framing murder charge against the policemen.

According to the prosecution, the six policemen picked up victim Manoj from JJ Colony in Uttam Nagar on 26 May, 2014, and took him to an old building in Bindapur.

The man died during custodial interrogation. The accused policemen then took the body to a local hospital and left it there unattended.

The accused, in their defence, contended that from the material on record, it could not be said that they had any intention to kill Manoj. They argued they could not be charged with murder.

The court, however, said their contention was devoid of merit.

“From the statements of witnesses and other evidence collected during investigation, it is apparent the accused, in pursuance of their common intention, abducted the deceased and took him to an old building where he was tortured as a result of which he died,” the court said.

After Manoj died, the accused destroyed his belongings and left the body unattended at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital with the intention of concealing his identity, the court noted.

The court refused to grant the policemen protection of obtaining sanction from the competent authority to initiate proceedings against them, observing that the alleged act done by the public servants was not reasonably connected with the discharge of official duty.

The court said the accused did not made any record entry at the police station before proceeding to pick up the victim, nor did they send any official information to the police station after finding him.

It noted that no first information report was lodged against the victim at Bindapur for which he was required to be interrogated.

Delhi Police charge-sheeted the men on the basis of the statements of witnesses, the post-mortem report of the deceased and call details of the accused and the deceased. The policemen are now in judicial custody.

IANS

Encryption policy: Govt may want you to keep video record of what you do in bedroom, says Manish Tewari

Following huge uproar on social media, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology on Tuesday said that social media websites and applications will be exempted from the purview of the National Encryption Policy.

Former information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari on Tuesday slammed a draft National Encryption Policy and said government may wants to keep video record of people’s bedroom activities.”Encryption Policy is a Snooping & spying Orgy After Net Chats govt may want u to keep a video record of what u do in your bedroom for 90,” Tewari said on Twitter.Later, while talking to news agency ANI, Tewari described the Modi government as a fascist one. “Only a fascist government can bring such policy.”Following huge uproar on social media, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology on Tuesday said that social media websites and applications will be exempted from the purview of the National Encryption Policy.A proposed addendum to the policy said, the mass-use encryption products, which are currently being used in web applications, social media sites and social media applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter are being exempted from the purview of the draft National Encryption Policy. According to the update posted by Deity, there are certain categories of encryption products that will be exempted from the purview of the draft national encryption policy.By way of clarification, the following categories of encryption products are being exempted from the purview of the draft national encryption policy.1. The mass use encryption products, which are currently being used in web applications, social media sites, and social media applications such as WhatsApp,Facebook,Twitter etc.2. SSL/TLS encryption products being used in Internet-banking and payment gateways as directed by the Reserve Bank of India3. SSL/TLS encryption products being used for e-commerce and password based transactions.The draft has defined ‘B category’ as all statutory organisations, executive bodies, business and commercial establishments, including all Public Sector Undertakings, Academic institutions.The ‘C category’ as per the draft are all citizens including personnel of government and business performing non-official or personal functions.The draft said to introduce the New Encryption Policy under section 84 A of Information Technology Act 2000. This section was introduced through amendment in 2008.The sub-section 84 C that was also introduced through the amendment has provision of imprisonment for violation of the act. “Encryption products may be exported but with prior intimation to the designated agency of Government of India. Users in India are allowed to use only the products registered in India. Government reserves the right to take appropriate action as per Law of the country for any violation of this Policy,” the draft said.The last date for public to comment on the draft is October 16, 2015.

Somnath Bharti’s lawyer says reconciliation with Lipika Mitra still possible

The court had earlier issued a non-bailable warrant Bharti, who has been booked for domestic violence filed by his wife Lipika Mitra.

Lipika has been married to Bharti since 2010, but has been living separately from him since 2012 along with the couple’s two children

Photo Courtesy: ANI Twitter
Following the Delhi High Court’s order on Tuesday to give interim relief to former law minister Somnath Bharti in a domestic violence case, the latter’s lawyer said that reconciliation between Bharti and his wife Lipika is still possible. “After hearing everything, court was of the opinion that there is still a chance of reconciliation. So, the court has given us a date of Thursday and interim protection. Meantime, no coercive process can be taken against us,” said Vijay Aggarwal, Bharti’s lawyer.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The state couldn’t answer properly to the court’s query as to how a pet can attack a lady in a house. So, they have asked for time to file a status report,” he added.The court had earlier issued a non-bailable warrant Bharti, who has been booked for domestic violence filed by his wife Lipika Mitra, and was allegedly on the run from the law, and had also dismissed his anticipatory bail plea. Lipika had filed a complaint with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) in June, accusing Somnath Bharti of committing acts of domestic violence and mental torture since 2010.Bharti was earlier named in an FIR filed under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including domestic violence and attempt to murder. Lipika has been married to Bharti since 2010, but has been living separately from him since 2012 along with the couple’s two children in a rented accommodation in Dwarka.

Those spreading rumours on social media won’t be spared, says UP CM Akhilesh Yadav

Few days back, reportedly, incidents of communal tension were triggered in various places in UP like Agra, Kannauj, Bahraich and Jalaun with some mischievous elements circulating objectionable material on WhatsApp.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Following incidents of misuse of social networking platforms by mischievous elements to spoil communal harmony in the state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday said government those engaging in it would not be “spared”.Days after launching the Whatsapp number of police, Yadav said social media platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook have developed with growth of science and technology in the country but it has been noticed that some recent incidents of communal flare-up occurred due to the rumours spread through Whatsapp.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The most disturbing fact about these incidents is that those who had been spreading rumours were found to be minors,” he said today after inaugurating a private theme park here.Few days back, reportedly, incidents of communal tension were triggered in various places in UP like Agra, Kannauj, Bahraich and Jalaun with some mischievous elements circulating objectionable material on WhatsApp.The Chief Minister had asked the police to take stern action against the culprits circulating hate messages. Similarly, objectionable photos of him, SP Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and UP cabinet Minister Azam Khan are being posted on Facebook and comments are made on them, he said. He also warned that those who are involved in such activities should not forget that the government is following it and strict action would be taken against them.

Candy Crush high marks new low in Indian bureaucracy, official caught playing mobile game during farmer’s meet

The officer stopped playing only after the game ended. (Screen grab from Red Pix 24X7)

A revenue department officer of Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri district was caught playing Candy Crush on her phone during a meeting with farmers’ from the drought prone area, according to a report on NDTV.The video, which has gone viral on social media, shows officer S Kavitha, engrossed in the game even as a farmer is speaking at the meeting. She stopped playing only after the game ended. However, District Collector K Vivekanandan who was seated next to her, did not seem to have found anything amiss. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following the uproar, the collector has ordered a probe in the matter. He said that an explanation has been sought by Kavitha. “We will forward it to the Public Department, which can take action if need be,” he added.G Ramakrishnan, State Secretary of the CPI(M) has said that the incident shows the callous attitude towards farmers’ issues.As per National Crime Records Bureau data from 2015, 68 farmers and 827 farm labourers have committed suicide in Tamil Nadu.

FIR against Vinod Kambli, wife for illegally confining maid

Following the complaint of their maid’s complaint, an FIR has been registered against former India cricketer Vinod Kambli and his wife Andrea for allegedly confining her illegally for three days over payment issues.

Former cricketer Vinod Kambli. AFPFormer cricketer Vinod Kambli. AFP

Former cricketer Vinod Kambli. AFP

However, there are conflicting reports if the maid was physically abused.

“In the report, the domestic help has alleged that she hasn’t been paid her salary for two years. She also said that she has been working with them and also living in their house for the past two years.”—an NDTV report said.

The police have registered the FIR under IPC 342, 504, 506 and 34.PC 342, 504, 506 and 34.

Patel quota row: Gujarat HC slams police, says they transgressed law

What about the police atrocities and what actions you intend to take against the errant officers?, said Guj HC (File Photo)

PTI
The Gujarat High Court on Friday slammed the state police on the Patel quota violence saying they transgressed the law by committing atrocities on people and told the government that restoration of peace should be on high priority. The two judge bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice N V Anjaria while admitting a PIL directed the state government to place a report on what actions it has taken against errant policemen. “The state must make police aware about their powers. What about the police atrocities and what actions you intend to take against the errant officers? Females were also beaten by male officers. Police should not transgress the law,” the court sought to know.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The PIL filed by city-based Prakash Kapadia sought court’s direction to the state government to control the situation and to take steps against police personnel claiming they had committed atrocities on people after widespread violence broke out in Gujarat due to arrest of the Patel community leader agitating for OBC quota, Hardik Patel. “Restoration of peace (in Gujarat) should stand high on priority,” the court told state home secretary P K Taneja who was summoned.The state government submitted that it proposes to take action action against the errant officers. The court then directed the state to report to the court what action it plans to take on September 3, next date of hearing. The high court said that there should be no shielding of police personnel. Earlier today, the High Court asked the home secretary to remain present in the court to clarify the state’s actions in connection with the PIL.The petitioner had demanded immediate actions by the government as the festival of Rakshabandhan is on August 29. Following the court’s direction, home secretary Taneja appeared and filed the state government’s reply stating actions taken by them to restore peace in the violence hit Gujarat.

Election Commission to delete 8.55 lakh names from Mumbai suburb voters’ list

Sudhir Shetty
dna
In a massive exercise to cleanse the “inflated” voter list, the Election Commission (EC) is set to delete over 19.6 lakh voters’ names from among the 8.35 crore registered voters across Maharashtra. Most of them are being removed due to duplicated records, says the commission.Among them, 8.55 lakh names are from Mumbai suburban district, the largest in the state. This is followed by Thane district, from where nearly 2.53 lakh voters have landed in the proposed deletion list. From Mumbai city, over 21,000 names are proposed to be removed.”Notices are being served to all these voters at their residential addresses in EC records. After receiving the responses, the names will be deleted,” said a top official from the chief electoral officer, Maharashtra.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Duplication, shift of residence and deaths are the three prime reasons. Interestingly, the voters’ list of Maharashtra has a whopping 28 lakh “surplus” names. As against the eligible 8.07 crore voters in the state, the EC has 8.35 crore names on record. This means that over 9 lakh duplicate names are still elusive and CEO Maharashtra’s work is still half done.Officials hope that they would trace the remaining 9 lakh names in one month. “Sorting out duplicate names, voters who have shifted and dead voters would continue till September-end. This is taking time as we are taking utmost precaution in compiling the deletion list to avoid any controversy,” says the top official.A final draft voter list (sans the inflated figures) is slated to be released on October 1, a deadline given by the EC. The EC has directed all states to release their draft voter lists on October 1.The refreshed list will be helpful for the Mumbai and Thane civic polls, which are slated to be held early 2017.The commission has started a similar exercise in 2013 just before the Lok Sabha elections, which courted a big controversy during the April-May 2014 polls, with hundreds of voters in Maharashtra, including some high-profile people complaining of their names missing from the voters’ list.The fiasco caused a huge embarrassment to the election watchdog and it led to a public apology from the top election official. Following this, the deletion exercise was stopped so as to avoid any fiasco during Assembly polls in the state, which were held six months later in October 2014.Top five districts in deletion listMumbai suburb: 8.55 lakhThane: 2.53 lakhNashik: 1.72 lakhPune: 1.15 lakhLatur: 1.01 lakhBox: The goof-up8:35 crore : Names on the voter lists as of now8.07 crore: Actual number of voters in the state

Delhi University student accuses college attendant of sending derogatory messages

The college attendant was suspended on Wednesday.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
A Delhi University (DU) student has accused a non-teaching staff of varsity’s Atma Ram Sanatan Dharm College (ARSD) of sending derogatory messages, following which he was suspended on Wednesday. The students closed the college gates and demonstrated against the administration alleging the principal was trying to shield the accused.”The girl had complaint to the principal that she was repetitively receiving derogatory messages from this attendant. She had reported the matter to the principal, but he tried to shield the accused,” a protesting student said on the condition of anonymity. The principal, however, denied that the matter was reported to him earlier.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”No complaint was reported to me earlier. I was approached by the girl today and she complained of eve teasing by the attendant but not of receiving any derogatory messages,” college principal Gyanatosh Jha told PTI.”Following her complaint, the said non teaching staff was suspended from the college pending an enquiry and the complaint was forwarded to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), which will further probe the issue,” he added.

Refinery violated law near Kaziranga, MoEF tells NGT

The boundary wall, the petitioner had alleged, was built for a golf course in the No-Development Zone of Kaziranga National Park. In the latest hearing, the environment ministry told the principal bench headed by justice Swatanter Kumar that the forest officials are acting to preserve the bio-diversity at the site.

Backing the claims of a petitioner in the case pertaining to unauthorised construction in Kaziranga National Park’s No-Development Zone, the environment ministry (MoEF) admitted in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) this week that an oil refinery was in clear violation of established laws, rules and conditions. During the last hearing, the petitioner had produced before the NGT’s principal bench photographs and documents of the Golaghat forest division to show that a boundary wall built by the refinery had caused death of an elephant calf and obstructed movement of elephant herds.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The boundary wall, the petitioner had alleged, was built for a golf course in the No-Development Zone of Kaziranga National Park. In the latest hearing, the environment ministry told the principal bench headed by justice Swatanter Kumar that the forest officials are acting to preserve the bio-diversity at the site. The ministry added that the allotment of the land and subsequent construction of huge boundary wall by the refinery have been proving disastrous to the natural system around the national park. More crucially, the ministry told the NGT that the loss of a critical forest, animal corridors, biodiversity, and eco system cannot be re-created. “The refinery should have developed waste land and built its township… definitely not by destroying an eco-sensitive area,” the ministry said quoting a letter from the local forest division. The boundary wall constructed by the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. stretches up to 2kms and according to the forest department’s own admission, it obstructs elephant herds and has even caused the death of an elephant calf that hit its head against the wall. Following the submissions of the environment ministry, the Tribunal bench said the details depict the sensitive environmental issues involved and even support the case of the petitioner to a larger extent. The counsel for the refinery said some of the facts in the forest department’s submissions are not correct and asked for time to reply. The NGT has asked the refinery to file a reply by September 9.

Amid ban on Maggi, US health regulator says lead in instant noodles within acceptable levels

New Delhi: As a ban continues in India on Nestle’s Maggi noodles, the US health regulator USFDA has said its tests have found the lead level in the popular instant food within acceptable levels for US consumers.

A USFDA spokesperson, in an e-mailed statement, said: “Following news reports about alleged lead levels in Maggi noodles made by Nestle and sold in the US, FDA tested a limited number of samples for lead contamination. FDA testing did not find any levels that present a public health concern for US consumers.”

Screengrab.Screengrab.

Screengrab.

Meanwhile, a day after the government filed a class action suit against the company seeking Rs 640 crore in damages for alleged unfair trade practices, false labelling and misleading advertisements, Nestle India denied receiving an official notice.

“We are yet to receive an official notice about the complaint filed before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC). Our current knowledge on this issue is only media reports. We shall be able to provide substantive response after we receive the official papers,” Nestle said in a BSE filing.

On FDA clearance, a Nestle India spokesperson said: “We have learnt from our official importer in the United States, House of Spices, that USFDA has tested several shipments of Maggi noodles from India for lead content. Finding no unsafe lead levels, FDA released the noodles for sale in the United States.”

Similarly, health regulators in the UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia and Vietnam have also cleared India-made Maggi as safe for human consumption. In June, food safety regulator FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles in India, terming it as “unsafe and hazardous” for consumption due to presence of lead beyond permissible limits. Nestle India too withdrew the product from the market.

FSSAI had also said Nestle India had violated labelling regulations on taste enhancer ‘MSG’ and ordered the company to submit a compliance report on the same. The ban on Maggi showed up in Nestle India earnings earlier as it reported a standalone loss of Rs 64.40 crore for the June quarter — its first quarterly loss in over three decades. It had posted a net profit of Rs 287.86 crore in April-June of 2014-15.

PTI

Uttar Pradesh: Clashes in Sitapur after woman hangs self at police station hours after suicide bid

The woman’s family has alleged foul play on the part of the police.

Representational Image

File Photo
A 28-year-old woman on Monday allegedly hanged herself at a police station here hours after she was prevented from committing suicide by a forest guard, leading to violent protests by her family members in which four policemen, including a Superintendent of Police, were injured. Jeenat hanged herself in the washroom of Mehmoodabad Kotwali police station, where she had been brought by the forest guard who had prevented her from jumping into a canal. “Following a family dispute, the woman first tried to commit suicide by jumping into a canal but was prevented from doing so by a forest guard who noticed her just on time. She later hanged herself at the police station’s washroom using a dupatta,” SP Rajesh Krishna said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The woman’s family, however, has alleged foul play on the part of the police.Agitated over the incident, Jeenat’s family blocked the Kotwali road demanding an inquiry into her death, a police official said, adding that the agitation later turned violent as the protesters indulged in brick-batting and firing. The police fired in air and used tear gas to disperse the protesters, the official said, adding, the mob also set a police jeep on fire.According to Deputy SP Vijay Bahadur Singh, four cops, including SP Krishna, were injured in the clash. Though it was not confirmed by the authorities, the protesters claimed that a youth was hit by a bullet and is at present undergoing treatment at a hospital.In Lucknow, IG (law and order) A Satish Ganesh said only mild force was used to disperse the unruly mob. “IG Lucknow zone Zaki Ahmad has been rushed to the spot,” the officer added.

Cloudburst in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district kills 5

Heavy rainfall in several parts of Himachal Pradesh has kept locals on their toes.

ANI
A cloudburst and rock slide in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district has killed as many as five people and injured 10 in Dharampur, on Saturday.Many parts of Himachal Pradesh are facing heavy rainfall since Friday night, reportedly causing waterlogging in Kullu, Manali, Shimla and Mandi.
Following the cloudburst this morning, Dharampur bus station is submerged in water and four buses have been washed away. There were no passengers in the bus. Traffic has been disrupted in Dharampur and six people are still stranded at the bus station. Two houses have collapsed in a nearby village. Due to the heavy rain and a landslide on the National Highway on Friday in Kasumpti, there is huge traffic jam on all roads heading towards Shimla. Trucks loaded with apples are stranded in areas like Kharapathar and Kotkhai.

Muslim child punished for refusing to sing Sanskrit ‘shlokas’ in Bengaluru

When the principal of the school noticed that the boy and some of his other Muslim friends were not singing the ‘shlokas’ the principal asked the group to come up on stage and sing it.

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A 15-year-old Muslim boy’s case has stirred the hornet’s nest after he was punished for not singing a few Sanskrit shlokas by his principal. According to a report in Hindustan Times, the incident took place in south Bengaluru school.When the principal of the school noticed that the boy and some of his other Muslim friends weren’t singing the shlokas the principal asked the group to come up on stage and sing it. The boy is quoted saying: “I was humiliated in front of 1,200 students and my constitutional right was violated. She made us go on stage and forced us to sing the prayer in front of everybody. She scolded me in front of everyone on the mike when I mispronounced a few Sanskrit words.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The boy’s mother, along with activists of the Association for Protection of Civil Rights, approached the principal and tried to file a complaint. However, the principal acted like she did not understand what the fuss was about and kept saying that the prayer was important to instil values and discipline in students. The principal even suggested that the boy was turning into a fundamentalist Muslim since he was from Bhatkal (a Muslim-dominated area in Karnataka). Following the furore, the boy has been allowed to sit in class during the assembly but he’s still not happy with the development.He has pointed out that 14 out of the 32 students in his class are Muslims, as is 30% of the school. The student is also the head boy of the school and says that he does not feel comfortable anymore since he refused to sing the prayer. He, however, added that many of his Hindu friends stood by his side.The principal, Padmaja Menon, however defended her stance saying that there was nothing wrong with the prayers, one of which invokes the Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. She was quoted assaying: “But Brahma is the creator of the universe. What is wrong in invoking his name?”

St Stephen’s molestation case: Victim’s demands denied

St Stephen’s Prinicipal Valson Thampu’s lawyer has denied the allegations and demands raised by the girl who was molested by a professor of the college.

dna Research & Archives
St Stephen’s Principal Valson Thampu’s lawyer on Monday denied “in their entirety” the allegations levelled and demands raised by the girl, who has accused a professor of the college of sexual harassment, in her caution note.The research scholar had last week sent a “caution note” to Thampu and the accused warning them of legal action if they did not facilitate disbursal of her stipend, access to her compounds and computational data within seven days. A copy of the same was marked to the HRD Ministry and University Grants Commission (UGC).”At the outset, we are instructed to state that the contents thereof are denied in their entirety and stated to be false,” Thampu’s lawyer said in a response to the note. “Without prejudice to the aforesaid, since we have been recently engaged in the matter, we are in the process of reviewing the material, including the position as regards the travel grant, stipend etc,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Queried further about the denial, lawyer Payal Chawla said, “It is just a holding response. It is “inappropriate” on the victim’s point to reach out to media regarding such sensitive matters.” The girl had approached police last month, alleging that she was molested by Satish Kumar, an assistant professor in the college’s Chemistry department under whom she was pursuing her research. She had also accused college principal Valson Thampu of “shielding” the teacher when the matter was reported to him. Following a meeting with the victim, HRD Minister Smriti Irani had directed the Delhi University to ensure that her stipend is released on time, she is granted unrestricted access to the laboratory and assigned a new supervisor.While Thampu had maintained that the “additional” demands raised by the victim cannot be met, the varsity had called them “highly unrealistic”.

Muzaffarnagar riots documentary screening in DU disrupted by ABVP activists

New Delhi: Members of Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) on Saturday stalled the screening of a documentary film on 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots at DU’s Kirori Mal College, calling its content “anti-national”.

DUSU office bearers led by activists from BJP’s youth wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), interrupted the screening of documentary “Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai” organised by the college’s Film Society.

A file photo from the Muzaffarnagar riots. AFPA file photo from the Muzaffarnagar riots. AFP

A file photo from the Muzaffarnagar riots. AFP

“The content of the film targets particular communities and projects their involvement in the Muzaffarnagar riots. Such an activity at an educational institution is not only anti-national but unacceptable,” DUSU President Mohit Nagar claimed.

While certain students termed it to be a “attack on their freedom”, the college principal said content of the documentary will be reviewed.

“The film society organises a screening every week and then a discussion is held on it. However, few students objected to screening of this documentary. The members of DUSU also visited the college for the same,” Acting Principal, Dinesh Khattar said.

“Following the objection, I ordered that the screening be stopped. We will review the content of the movie and if we find it apt, a screening will be organised again,” he added.

More than 60 people were killed and 40,000 displaced during riots in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district and neighbouring areas in September 2013.

The documentary directed by Nakul Singh and Neha Dixit reportedly shows how certain communities provoked the masses against each other to commit atrocities towards members of the other community.

Earlier this year, various students outfits had objected to its screening at Aligarh Muslim University.

PTI

Delhi University to have Skype vivas and mandatory plagiarism checks for PhD students

Delhi University will now allow Skype interviews for PhD students while also making plagiarism checks madatory for their thesis.

File Photo

Scholars pursuing PhD at Delhi University can now appear for their viva through Skype or other modes of video conferencing.The varsity has also made it mandatory that the thesis submitted by the PhD scholars pass a “plagiarism check” and procured specialised softwares for it. “Earlier the students had to appear in person for their viva for PhD programmes. So, the ones who had completed their thesis and were offered any opportunities abroad, they had to travel back for the process. Now this need has been done away with,” a senior varsity official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The students willing to appear for viva through skype or other modes of videoconferencing need to inform their respective departments in advance. Similarly, if certain expert on interview panel is unable to come in person, then the viva will be arranged through similar modes,” he added. Following directives from the University Grants Commission (UGC), to discourage plagiarism in PhD thesis, DU has made it mandatory that all the theses submitted will be subjected to plagiarism check using specialised softwares. “There are certain softwares which are available over the internet too but they do not yield fool proof results. We are procuring certain specialised softwares to ensure the scholars cannot do any cut-paste job,” the official said.The varsity has amended its PhD ordinance in accordance with UGC Regulation, 2009 (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of PhD degree) and UGC Regulation, 2010 (Minimum qualifications for Appointment of teachers and other academic staff in universities and colleges and measures for the maintenance of standards in Higher Education). The amendments were approved during an Executive Council (EC) meeting of the varsity last week.The varsity has also increased the time span for finishing PhD from four years to up to 6.5 years.

ABVP activists stop screening of documentary on Muzaffarnagar riots at DU’s Kirori Mal college

Members of Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) on Saturday stalled the screening of a documentary film on 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots at DU’s Kirori Mal College, calling its content “anti-national”.

Muzaffarnagar riots

PTI photo
Members of Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) on Saturday stalled the screening of a documentary film on 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots at DU’s Kirori Mal College, calling its content “anti-national”.DUSU office bearers led by activists from BJP’s youth wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), interrupted the screening of documentary “Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai” organised by the college’s Film Society.”The content of the film targets particular communities and projects their involvement in the Muzaffarnagar riots.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Such an activity at an educational institution is not only anti-national but unacceptable,” DUSU President Mohit Nagar claimed.While certain students termed it to be a “attack on their freedom”, the college principal said content of the documentary will be reviewed.”The film society organises a screening every week and then a discussion is held on it. However, few students objected to screening of this documentary. The members of DUSU also visited the college for the same,” Acting Principal, Dinesh Khattar said.”Following the objection, I ordered that the screening be stopped. We will review the content of the movie and if we find it apt, a screening will be organised again,” he added.More than 60 people were killed and 40,000 displaced during riots in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district and neighbouring areas in September 2013.The documentary directed by Nakul Singh and Neha Dixit reportedly shows how certain communities provoked the masses against each other to commit atrocities towards members of the other community. Earlier this year, various students outfits had objected to its screening at Aligarh Muslim University.

Pakistan envoy’s Chandigarh visit cancelled

It is unfortunate that the high commissioner had to cancel his visit to Chandigarh,” said the spokesman of Pakistan high commission.

Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit

Following terrorist attacks in Gurdaspur, the Central government on Tuesday barred two Pakistani diplomats from visiting Chandigarh along with their high commissioner Abdul Basit. A Pakistan high commission spokesman said that following delay in permission from the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and refusing permission to the accompanying officials, Basit decided to cancel his visit to Chandigarh, where he was supposed to call on the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana.”It is unfortunate that the high commissioner had to cancel his visit to Chandigarh,” said the spokesman of Pakistan high commission. He said the MEA had given its approval to the Basit’s visit as late as 3 pm, but held the approval to the visit of his accompanying officers. “This is most regrettable,” the spokesman added. The high commissioner besides calling on the chief minister was supposed to address at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), an autonomous research institute, promoting social science research in India. He was also supposed to address students at the Punjab University and interact with business leaders and address mediapersons at the Press Club.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Thirty-five lakh people vulnerable in quake prone Uttarakhand: House panel report

The Ministry of Earth Sciences informed the committee that the Himalayan region is seismically active and large earthquakes in the unbroken segments along the Himlayan belt cannot be ruled out.

Like Nepal, the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand is highly prone to a potentially devastating earthquake and will expose a population of 30 to 35 lakh to such a calamity, a parliamentary panel report on science, technology and environment and forests has said. Following the Nepal earthquake and studies by geologists from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advance Scientific Research, Bengaluru, indicating a deadly earthquake in Uttarakhand, the panel decided to examine the state’s preparedness of various agencies.The Ministry of Earth Sciences informed the committee that the Himalayan region is seismically active and large earthquakes in the unbroken segments along the Himlayan belt cannot be ruled out.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The parliamentary panel enquired with Uttarakhand state government as to how many people are likely to be affected if an earthquake of magnitude 8 strikes the state. The state government said that five districts of the state fall in the seismic zone-V and were very sparsely-populated. The population ranged from 5 lakhs to 7 lakhs per district and a population of about 35 lakhs was likely to be affected. The committee was informed that there was a need to relocate 400 villages from the vulnerable high-threat regions to safer places. In this regard, Rs10,000 crore have been sought.Taking note of the large population at risk, the committee asked the Centre and state government to expedite the matter at the earliest. The committee also recommended establishing an institutional mechanism for better planning, forecasting and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for dealing with the catastrophe of earthquake that is being predicted in Uttarakhand.The Ministry also said that studies have shown low-level local seismicity in National Capital Region, though, the region is more vulnerable to shaking from large earthquakes in Himalayan region. Pilot projectA total of 100 sensors will be installed in Uttarakhand which will be connected with central recording station which is being established at IIT, Roorkee. These sensors will detect the ground motion radiating from an earthquake rupture and estimate the resulting ground shaking that will occur later either at the same location or some other locations. The sensors will provide New Delhi a lead time of 60-90 seconds in case a major quake occurs in Himalayas.

Bomb hoax: Man calls Air India at Kolkata airport, describes himself as Osama Bin Laden

A prank played by a man to his childhood friend over phone led to a bomb scare at the Air India office at the city airport early on Friday, security officials said. Air India, however, denied that anything of this sort happened.

A prank played by a man to his childhood friend over phone led to a bomb scare at the Air India office at the city airport early on Friday, security officials said. Air India, however, denied that anything of this sort happened.The security officials said that at about 2 AM, a woman employee of Air India got a call from the man, a childhood friend, at her home saying a bomb has been planted in a flight of the national carrier.On being asked who he was, the caller said, “Osama bin Laden” and the call got disconnected. The woman immediately informed the Air India security personnel in the NSCBI Airport.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following a meeting of the Bomb Threat Assessment Committee, a thorough search was conducted in the airport but nothing was found, the officials said.The security personnel then contacted the number from where that call was made to the woman. And it was found that the man was a childhood friend of the woman and he said those things to play a prank but the line got disconnected.The woman also admitted that she knew him. No action was taken against the man, the officials said.

Caught on camera: UP officer downloads porn app during meeting

The incident took place in the middle of a review meeting to discuss upcoming projects.

dna Research & Archives
An officer in Akhilesh Yadav’s Uttar Pradesh was reportedly found downloading a pornographic app on his phone in the middle of a development related meeting. According to a report by News18, the incident happened in state Urban Development Minister Azam Khan’s area Rampur, where Chief Secretary of Home Guards Bhoopendra Singh was heading a review meeting discussing some upcoming projects. During this meeting, most of the officers were reportedly caught busy on their phones. A Backward Class Welfare Officer was caught installing a pornography app on his phone in the middle of this important meeting, according to the report. The whole incident has been recorded on camera. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following this incident, the Chief Developmental Officer has been instructed to question the officer, the District Magistrate told News18.

Tension in UP village after religious books found burnt

Following the incident, people gathered at the site and demanded strict action against the guilty.

Representational image.

dna Research & Archives
Tension prevailed in Bidoli village of Shamli district here after some religious books were found burnt at an institution.Police personnel have been deployed in the village after some persons allegedly set on fire the religious books kept at the educational institution under Jhinjhana police station last evening.Following the incident, people gathered at the site and demanded strict action against the guilty.SP Vijay Bhushan was among the senior police officials who rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A case has been registered against unidentified persons in this connection and search is on to nab the culprits, the SP said.

Delhi govt to offer jobs to acid attack survivors

According to a senior official, a representation from acid attack victims was received by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in which they have requested that government jobs be extended to them

Delhi government has decided to give jobs to acid attack survivors and a committee will be formed to look into the issues of acid attack victims.According to a senior official, a representation from acid attack victims was received by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in which they have requested that government jobs be extended to them. Following the plea, the government has proposed that, as a special relief measure, suitable government jobs (contract or permanent) be provided to these survivors.According to official figures, there are 35 acid attack survivors in the city. The services department has been asked to invite applications from acid attack victims and consider these on a priority basis for any suitable vacancies, current or future, which may be filled on contract or permanent basis. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

International Yoga Day celebrations: New Delhi put on high alert

Following an alert issued by intelligence agencies, Delhi Police has banned flying of kites, balloons, glider, micro light objects during the programme to ward off any aerial threat.

PTI
Ahead of International Yoga Day celebrations, Delhi has been put on alert with as many as thirty companies of security personnel being deployed to guard Rajpath where a mega event is to be held on Sunday.According to police, around 5,000 armed security personnel including Delhi policemen will be deployed to secure the venue and the area around it as thousands of yoga practitioners including Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the early morning programme. The 35-minute Yoga programme organised by AYUSH Ministry is scheduled to begin at 7.30 AM on International Yoga Day.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following an alert issued by intelligence agencies, Delhi Police has banned flying of kites, balloons, glider, micro light objects during the programme to ward off any aerial threat. Eighteen DCP-level officers will also be on duty to monitor the security arrangements that will be at par with the Republic Day Parade arrangements, said a senior police officer.The Yoga Day programme is expected to be attended by close to 40,000 people. The number of VIPs including Ministers and MPs, who will attend the function could be about 500, he said. Traffic restrictions were put in place from June 14. Rajpath has been closed for traffic from Vijay Chowk to India Gate and round the clock vigil of the area including the lawns was on.The area restricted for public will be bounded by Mother Teresa Crescent, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Outer Circle Connaught Place between Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Barakhamba Road, Bhagwan Dass Marg, Mathura Road, Lodhi Road, Aurbindo Chowk, Safdarganj Road, Kamaal Ataturk Marg, Kautilya Marg and Sardar Patel Marg upto 11 Murti. Only labelled vehicles of yoga invitees and residents of these areas will be permitted to enter from 2 AM till conclusion of the function at about 10 AM, said Jt Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Sandeep Goel.

India-Sri Lanka road link in the works: Nitin Gadkari

The road connectivity, built across Palk Strait, could possibly a combination of a sea-bridge and underwater tunnel. The underwater tunnel will also allow movement of ships through it.

Following the inauguration of Agartala-Dhaka bus service and signing of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal motor vehicle agreement, the Centre is also looking at connecting India and Sri-Lanka, Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday. The road connectivity, built across Palk Strait, could possibly a combination of a sea-bridge and underwater tunnel. The underwater tunnel will also allow movement of ships through it.”The distance between Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram and the Sri Lankan boundary is about 23 kms. A sea-bridge would help in increasing the trans-SAARC road and transport network,” said Gadkari. Dhanushkodi is situated south-east of Pamban town and around 29kms away is Talaimannar in Sri Lanka, the town closest to the Indian land border.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A proposal for providing road and rail link bridging the divide across Palk Strait has been submitted to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), for a pre-feasibility study and subsequent financing. Currently, the missing link of narrow corridor of about 23 kms is serviced through makeshift ferry service transport. “At current estimates, the project would cost us Rs.23,000 crore,” Gadkari added. Along with the India — Sri Lanka road link, the Centre is also looking to connect north-east to Thailand via Mynmar.

Bizarre: Police find man living with skeletons of elder sister, two dogs in Kolkata

Kolkata: In a case that could give a thriller a run for its money, the city police investing the death of a septuagenarian in a fire in his home on Thursday stumbled on a man living with the skeletons of his elder sister and two pet dogs for the past six months.

The police investigating a fire on the second floor of 3, Robinson Street in the heart of the city had found the charred body of 77-year-old Arabindo De, the owner of the house, from inside a bathroom last night.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Following last night’s incident we had posted two constables outside De’s flat. De’s son Partho (45) on seeing them started reacting abnormally,” Special Additional Commissioner of Police(Crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh told reporters today.

Police had initially thought his behaviour was due to the grief of losing his father. But when they questioned Partho, he came out with the bizarre story of storing his elder sister’s skeleton and those of the two pet dogs inside the house, Ghosh said.

Police conducted a search and found three skeletons allegedly belonging to his elder sister Debjani (50) and two pet dogs from one room and a suicide note purportedly written by the father from another room.

The note dated 8 June this year said no one was responsible for his death.

Ghosh said that during interrogation Partho told the police that Debjani was depressed after the death of two dogs last year and had stopped eating. She died six months ago.

“We found ample dry food near the skeletons, which Partho said he was feeding his sister and the dogs,” the ACP said.

“We believe Partho could not accept his sister’s death and did not cremate her body. We have sent him to a mental hospital. We are taking medical help to ascertain whether he is mentally stable or not,” Ghosh said.

No case has been registered in this connection and none was arrested, Ghosh said adding all the three skeletons were sent for forensic examination.

Ghosh said besides covering windows and doors of the apartment with thick cloth, Partho had blocked even small holes on window frames with tapes probably to stop the smell of the decomposed bodies from going out.

Inside the three rooms as well as in the bathrooms, Partho, a B Tech graduate had set up a sound system and used to play records of American evangelists, he said.

“The De’s had no maid and they had stopped communicating with their relatives as well. Partho’s uncle stayed in the next house but they had no relation with him too,” he said adding the security guard used to bring them food thrice a day and was paid money for it.

It was learnt that Partho, who turned 45 last month, had thrown a party where he invited his uncle but he did not allow him beyond their drawing room. He had in fact told his uncle that Debjani was meditating in the next room and must not be disturbed.

Partho, had quit his job in a top I-T firm in 2007 and stopped working since then. He stayed with his family in their three-bedroom apartment.

Police said Debjani, a spinster, was a singing teacher at Don Bosco School at Park Circus and at Calcutta Girls School.

The senior De’s death also appeared unusual. Ghosh said the fire in which he was burnt to death was confined only to the bathroom, which was bolted from inside.

“There was no kerosene or any medium to aid the burning. We have collected samples and are investing all possibilities. Arabindo’s diary may help us in revealing more into this case,” he said.

During their search the police had found a diary belonging to Arabindo De, who was top officer in a Bangalore-based multinational company.

His wife had passed away few years back.

PTI

Centre plans to rope in staff to make International Yoga Day a grand success

The central government employees may be asked to join the Rajpath event or other such programmes in their respective offices here and elsewhere in the country. However, their participation will not be mandatory, officials said.

The Centre is considering involving its employees in the International Yoga Day celebrations on June 21, a Sunday, to make the event a grand success.The employees may be asked to be part of the celebrations on the Rajpath in the national capital, senior government officials said, adding the exact nature of their involvement will soon be worked out.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to lead the Yoga Day celebrations here which will be attended by about 40,000 people, they said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The central government employees may be asked to join the Rajpath event or other such programmes in their respective offices here and elsewhere in the country. However, their participation will not be mandatory, officials said.There are about 48 lakh central government employees in the country.The Personnel Ministry has been conducting Yoga classes for central government employees and their dependents here over the last two months.The sessions are being held on all days except Sundays and gazetted holidays at Grih Kalyan Kendra, Samaj Sadan in association with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga.Modi had in his address to the UN General Assembly last year appealed to the international community to choose a day that could be observed as International Yoga Day. Following Modi’s strong pitch, the UN declared June 21 as International Yoga Day.The government is contemplating to organise the Rajpath event on such a scale that it makes it to the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest number of people performing asanas at a time. The 35 minute event will get underway at 7 AM, sources said.The International Yoga Day will be observed in over 250 cities in 190 countries and Indian missions have been asked to make arrangements for that.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) Minister Shripad Yesso Naik are scheduled to address the media on Tuesday when they will talk about the plans and preparations for the day. They are also likely to launch a special portal on the event.

GSEB.org SSC Results 2015: Gujarat Board Class 10th X SSC Exam Results 2015 to be announced tomorrow on June 4

Every year, more than 9 lakh students appear for the exams which are a stepping stone for students in creating a career for themselves.

GSEB SSC Results 2015

Results for Gujarat State Board class 10 exam will be declared tomorrow. Exams for class 10 of Gujarat Board for the year 2015, were conducted in the month of March.GSEB was formed on May 1, 1972. Gujarat State Board is responsible for preparing syllabus, recommending books, and conducting the exams for all school levels in Gujarat among other things. Following are the responsibilities the board undertakes – 1.Preparing the curricular & syllabi2. Registering new Secondary schools and monitoring their performance on a continuous basis3. Providing developmental guidance about school result.4. Organising training for teachers and principals5.Facilitating educational research6. Framing the Rules & Regulations for school management and ensuring their effective implementation7. Devising ideal, credible examination and evaluation systems, and their periodical improvement8. Identifying and encouraging exceptional students through awards and scholarships9. Infusing futuristic thinking into the State’s academic vision, and initiating specific follow-up measures (for instance, to integrate Gujarat’s students with the Information Technology-enabled global village, the Board has introduced Computer Studies among regular curricula).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Every year, more than 9 lakh students appear for the exams which are a stepping stone for students in creating a career for themselves.To access their score cards, students need submit their roll number on boards official website – www.gseb.org Students can download PDF copies of the scorecard. Please note that these scorecards are for reference purpose only. Students will need to obtain official marksheets from respective schools.

Admissions 2015: The simple way to navigate the college admissions process

Reservations- Students applying under various reservation quotas should first find out from the booklet whether they are eligible for a particular reservation as per the norms and have valid certificates for the same.

Come June, and SSC students anxiously await their results, before queing up to gain admission to FYJC. In the Mumbai metropolitan area (MMR) these admissions were taken online a few years ago. Despite the best of efforts by the education department, concerns are raised each year about the way these admissions are conducted. I believe that by and large, these concerns have less to do with system discrepancies and more with making mistakes while filling the online forms. I appeal to parents and children to carefully go through the information booklet provided for the purpose. Following are a few key areas in this admission process.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Filling of online form- Each student is supposed to fill the online form in two parts. Part I, which is currently available, is about the personal information of the student. Part II which is to be filled after the declaration of the SSC result, is very crucial as students have to give their college preferences.Junior college preferences- There is a three-part process to indicate these preferences. In Part I, you have to arrange colleges in preferential sequence from the entire MMR area. In Part II, select colleges from any one zone as listed in the booklet, so that if you can’t be allotted any college from Part I based on your merit, then you may be allotted a college from Part II. In Part III you have to list colleges from any two wards/sectors from the zone selected in Part II, so that if you can’t be allotted any college from first two parts, then you may be allotted a college from Part III. This usually gives rise to confusion among students. You should note that the authorities will first try to allot those colleges to you which you listed in Part I only, contrary to whatever you may have heard from any source. Thus, attempts will be made to allot you the college you list as number one in Part I, subject to merit. There have been instances where schools told students to give their own junior college as Preference I, claiming that this is mandatory. Students must note that they are absolutely free to set their preference as they wish.The admissions website has the details of all colleges in the MMR region. I appeal to students and parents not to select colleges whose cut-off scores for last year are higher than your scores this year. For instance, suppose college X had closed admissions at 90% last year. If you score 60% marks in the SSC this year, then putting down this college in your preference list is a waste- because the cut-off in this college will never come down to 60% from 90% in just one year. Rather choose colleges in which you have a better chance of admission.Betterment- Students should also note that the betterment option is given only once during the entire process. Betterment means moving up in your preference list. If you have already got college no.1 as per your preference, then you don’t stand any chance of getting betterment. You should also note that if you fail to take admission in round 1 or 2 in the college already allotted to you, then you are out of the admissions procedure and not entitled to betterment.Reservations- Students applying under various reservation quotas should first find out from the booklet whether they are eligible for a particular reservation as per the norms and have valid certificates for the same. In case you apply under a particular reservation category, which you are not entitled to do, admission will be rejected by the college even if your name appears in the merit list. You will then be considered in the open category for the next round and allotted a college as per your merit.Students migrating from a board other than the Maharashtra state board- Such students should note that they have to get their original school leaving certificates countersigned overleaf by the concerned education inspector/education officer of the area.While listing a particular college in the preference form, check whether that college offers the subject that you want to learn at +2 level. For instance, students seeking admission to arts with the aim of doing architecture after HSC will want to take mathematics as one of the subjects because that’s the requirement for architecture. If you list a college that doesn’t offer mathematics in the arts stream and are allotted the same, then you might face problems later on. So be careful about such things.CA Vidyadhar Joshivice principal, junior collegeVG Vaze college of arts, science and commerce,Mulund, Mumbai.

IIT Madras row: Student group protests derecognition; Official says they violated guidelines

As per the guidelines in force, student bodies cannot use the name of IIT Madras or its official entities in any capacity to publicise their activities or garner support without official permission,” Prof Ramamurthy, Acting Director, told reporters.

Indian Institute of Technology Madras has found itself in a controversy over the alleged derecognition of a students’ body for reportedly criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi.According to report, the decision to ban Ambedkar Periyar Student Circle (APSC), a student association, was taken after the ministry of human resource development (MHRD)​ made an inquiry regading the complaint.Prisca Mathew, under secretary to the government of India, wrote a letter to the IIT director requesting the comment on the issue. “I am directed to forward herewith a copy of anonymous letter alleging serious complaints received from students, IIT-Madras along with pamphlet issued by Ambedkar-Periyar study circle on the above mentioned subject and to request that comments of the institute may please be sent to this ministry at an early date,” reported a daily. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following which, the IIT dean (for students), Sivakumar M Srinivasan, sent an email to the coordinators of the APSC informing them that they had been ‘derecognised’.However, Dean Sivakumar M Srinivasan has justified the ban saying the APSC has broken the basic code of conduct. They have misused privileges given to them.Reacting to the issues, the study group has strongly hit out at the decision, according to the text of the letter published on scroll.in.”This move of DoS clearly shows, only opinions put forth by the right wing group will get the consent to see the light of the day, while the voices and opinion of the democratic students like us will be curtailed hereafter.” The group alleges that the Dean de-recognized the study circle unilaterally without giving them a fair hearing and an opportunity to represent themselves.The letter goes on to state that “We stand by our opinions. Yes, we were very critical of the government. However, we do not understand how dissent and criticism of the government’s policy is akin to “spreading hatred”. If any person professing an anti-establishment view is accused of engaging in “controversial” activities and all dissent is stifled, wouldn’t that be a violation of our constitutionally guaranteed rights to freely express ourselves?”Meanwhile, a senior official told reporters that the students had “violated” defined guidelines of IIT-Madras.”As per the guidelines in force, student bodies cannot use the name of IIT Madras or its official entities in any capacity to publicise their activities or garner support without official permission,” Prof Ramamurthy, Acting Director, told reporters.”This group has violated the guidelines while conducting their meeting,” he said without elaborating.A separate statement by the institute said that while IIT-M does not “curtail” students’ freedom of expression, “it is expected that student groups adhere to these guidelines while conducting their activities.”(With agnecy inputs)

Maharashtra FDA to do own testing of Maggi; collects 6 samples from city, Nagpur

State FDA officials have collected up to six samples of Maggi noodles from shops across Mumbai and Nagpur. “They have been sent to FDA labs. We are expecting the test reports in a couple of days,” said Harshadeep Kamble, state FDA commissioner.

Up to 17.2 ppm lead has been detected in Maggi noodles

That the all-time favourite Maggi noodles may contain high levels of toxic lead has sent ripples of shock across India. Following the uproar in Uttar Pradesh, after Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials in Lucknow called for a ban on the snack manufactured by Nestle India, Maharashtra government too has swung into action.State FDA officials have collected up to six samples of Maggi noodles from shops across Mumbai and Nagpur. “They have been sent to FDA labs. We are expecting the test reports in a couple of days,” said Harshadeep Kamble, state FDA commissioner.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another official said, “We have decided to conduct our own checks as we cannot rely on other state’s report.”Over seven times the permissible limit of Monosodium Glutamate, a taste enhancer that contains lead, was found in Maggi noodles’ samples that were tested in Uttar Pradesh’s state food laboratory and eventually at the central food laboratory in Kolkata.Following these revelations, Nestle had issued a statement, saying MSG was not deliberately added in the noodles and that it may be naturally occurring.”It will be ascertained if MSG is added or is occurring through natural sources. While MSG is allowed in food products, it should be mentioned on the packet prominently. Also, foods containing MSG cannot be consumed by children up to the age of 12 months. This should also be declared on the label, something that Nestle has failed to do,” said the FDA official.Elemental lead has been detected in Maggi noodles to up to 17.2 parts per million (ppm); the permissible limit, FDA officials from Uttar Pradesh said, was up to 2.5 ppm. “Lead is a dangerous element. It causes serious health problems, including kidney failure, if it enters the body in high quantities,” said a food safety officer from Barabanki in UP, who is a part of the team that conducted the raids and testing. What is Monosodium Glutamate?MSG is a naturally occurring amino acid which can be added to manufactured food for enhancing flavour. If additional MSG is added to a food product, this needs to be declared on the food packet. What is lead?Lead is a metal belonging to the carbon group. If ingested, lead is poisonous to animals and humans, damaging the nervous system and causing brain disorders. Excessive lead also causes blood disorders in mammals. Lead is a neurotoxin that accumulates both in soft tissues and the bones. It causes abdominal pain if ingested over a long time.

Another embarrassment: Air India pilot arrested for reporting drunk in Sharjah before flight

In a huge embarrassment for the national carrier, an Air India captain was arrested in Sharjah, UAE on Saturday for turning up drunk to operate a long-haul flight to Delhi via Kochi. 120 passengers on Flight AI 934, were at the mercy of this captain who wasn’t even fit enough to walk straight.

PTIPTI

PTI

The captain was reportedly reeking of liquor and was caught at the security checkpoint of the Sharjah airport while being frisked by officials along with other passengers.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, Air India has already suspended the pilot. Following a relaxation in rules last year, a pilot in India loses his or her licence only when caught flying inebriated for the third time. Earlier, the pilot stood to lose the licence on the second instance, as per rules set down by former DGCA chief Nasim Zaidi.

“The captain was not fit to fly. We arranged another pilot to operate the Sharajah-Cochin-Delhi flight. The pilot has been detained for questioning. He was smelling of liquor. An inquiry is on,” an AI spokesperson told Hindustan Times.

TV reports said that Air India will conduct an investigation in the case, while the aviation regulator DGCA will also be conducting a separate probe into the case.

According to a Times of India report, Flight AI 934, with 120 passengers, finally took off at 4.35pm, more than three hours past the scheduled time, after AI managed to find a replacement to fly the Airbus A-320.

Greenpeace faces shutdown as funds dry up following government action

In April, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) had suspended the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of the NGO alleging that they had routed foregin funding to local accounts without legal consent. Following the FCRA show cause notice, the government also froze their domestic accounts, crippling the operations of the NGO.

Pic for representation only

In an address to employees of Greenpeace India from its headquarters in Bengaluru, the NGO’s executive director Samit Aich informed them on Tuesday to prepare for an imminent shutdown in a month’s time as a result of the Central government’s decision to block its domestic accounts. Majority of the NGO’s funding comes from 77,000 domestic donors.In April, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) had suspended the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of the NGO alleging that they had routed foregin funding to local accounts without legal consent. Following the FCRA show cause notice, the government also froze their domestic accounts, crippling the operations of the NGO.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a note released by Greenpeace, Samit Aich said, “I just made one of the hardest speeches of my life, but my staff deserve to know the truth. We have one month left to save Greenpeace India from complete shutdown, and to fight MHA’s indefensible decision to block our domestic accounts.”The NGO has been left with funds for staff salaries and office costs that will last for just about a month. Calling it ‘strangulation by stealth’ Greenpeace India challenged the home minister to stop using arbitrary penalties and admit that he is trying to shut Greenpeace India down because of its successful campaigns. Aich told his employees that beyond June 1, the NGO’s cash reserves for salaries and office costs will run dry.The NGO, which began campaigning in India from 2001, has been at loggerheads with the National Democratic Alliance government ever since a leaked Intelligence Bureau report accused it of working against the economic interests of the country. In January this year, the immigration officials deplaned Greenpeace campaigner Priya Pillai from a United Kingdom bound flight where she was scheduled to address British parliamentarians on tribals living in Mahan forests, Madhya Pradesh. Later, it emerged that immigration officials deplaned her as he name figured on the lookout notice. The organization moved Delhi high court after the incident and won the case. The Delhi HC slammed the government for muzzling dissent and asked them to expunge the ‘offloaded’ remark from Priya Pillai’s passport.Greenpeace India has its registered office in Chennai and is headquartered in Bengaluru. It also has offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Pune and Hyderabad. It has a staff strength of 340 people across these offices. It has in the past, carried out wide campaigns against nuclear power, coal energy, genetically modified food, nuclear liability bill and pesticide-free farming.According to Greenpeace employees, although the situation is grim, many are willing to continue to fight till the legal challenge against blocking of domestic accounts reaches its conclusion. Samit Aich, employees added, spoke about the fact that Greenpeace has been marked since the IB report came out and believed they are being targeted since their campaigns have been successful.Greenpeace International, too, will soon express their stand on the issue, an insider said.

Earthquakes are sooo funny! Nepal quake reveals our ‘mean girl’ social media avatars

Sitting in a cab in Mumbai, this is how I came to know about the earthquake in Nepal: from a flurry of status updates on my Facebook timeline. The first one commented how Bengalis went scurrying for their bottles of Gelusil, thinking their heads were reeling from the mutton kosha they had gobbled for lunch. The next one wondered if Mamata Banerjee would rename Kolkata ‘Dolonchapa’ after the quake – ‘dola’ in Bengali means swaying. Yet another commented on the irony of watching Final Destination on the laptop as the quake struck Delhi. I had chuckled at and ‘liked’ roughly seven status messages in the time it took for the traffic signal to turn green.

In another hour the cacophony that had seized my Facebook timeline as people experienced the quake first-hand died into a murmur and the first reports of deaths started pouring in. If I can recollect the news pushes on my phone correctly, the toll climbed to 500 from 49 in an hour and then went to the shocking, numbing spiral that crossed 3,500 in a day. The earthquake was not funny anymore.

It’s perhaps difficult to put in words what one feels after the first flush of social media excitement washes over and a reality as massive, as fearful as the Nepal earthquake becomes evident. It’s a strange part-apologetic, partly self-critical feeling that makes you want to undo things you have done on an impulse. Like writing a status update. Or liking one.

Representational image.Representational image.

Representational image.

What it also reveals is how social media has changed the way a news is absorbed by people across the world. Mostly, how social media has conditioned us to react before completely absorbing an incident. With the culture of narrating events ‘live’ on the internet and the promise of attention it comes with – especially if you are the witty early bird – some of us can’t wait to have the first thought that crosses our mind following an event published on Facebook or Twitter. And we look at events not so much as events as a collection of potential tweets and status updates.

Hours after the first wave of comments on the earthquake died, a host of other status messages berating the wisecracks on the quake surfaced on Twitter and Facebook. Of the many attractive things that your Facebook offers you, one is also a moral high horse.

“Following any disaster, deeply offensive gags swiftly proliferate around playgrounds, workplaces, pubs and, of course, the internet. The website Sickipedia, which prides itself as “the world’s best collection of sick jokes”, proudly displays dozens of user-generated contributions about Japan,” Jon Kelly wrote for BBC in 2011.

He also quotes a psychologist Dr Oliver Double and observes, “And when it comes to subtlety and nuance, Dr Double notes, 140 characters makes life difficult.”

Psychological Science quotes psychoanalyst Peter McGraw of University of Colorado as saying, “Humor arises from potentially negative situations.” Psychological and physical distance from a tragedy, notes the journal, often makes tragedies fodder for humour. That was perhaps the case with many of us who were slightly thrilled at having our chairs take a tumble or our beds starting to tremble. Add to it, the subconscious need to immediately announce to the world that you have experienced something out of the ordinary and it’s not difficult to see how the funny status messages came into being.

One has to also consider how cynicism and sarcasm seems to be the preferred idiom of any comment or observation on the internet. In fact, the culture of memes thrives on sarcasm, the ‘Grumpy Cat’ is a powerful brand of dark internet humour on this day and people go gaga over a sarcasm-spewing internet character called ‘Aunty Acid’. The internet has actually made cynicism a thriving industry by itself.

More than anything else, participating in the social media circus makes responding to events and incidents less of a private experience and more of a public performance. And it almost prods you to react. As your Twitter feed or Facebook timeline gets flooded with ‘reactions’ and issues start ‘trending’, you feel the peer pressure pushing you to add your bon mot and your social media accounts become the measure of how much you care, or not. Also, how much you matter, or not.

Hours after we had laughed about the earthquake which had only left our heads reeling, we also shared news of the horror that the quake was in its entirety. We shared links urging each other to help trace people, help send relief. In one part, it felt like making a wrong right. In another part, this time around, we had waited to understand a situation more fully before reacting to it on a social media platform. And this time, hoarding ‘likes’ was not one of our intentions.

As we hurriedly typed those funny status messages on Facebook as the news of the earthquake broke, we were perhaps working on the same impulse which made us type out one joke after another as Rahul Gandhi took to the microphone for a speech. It’s the same kind of impatience that made people world over RIP Chinua Achebe on Facebook a month back this year, two years after he had died. Because in this day and time, achievement is also measured by the number of retweets one has amassed in a day. Maybe, this earthquake will change this? But that’s doubtful because so many Facebook users happily marked themselves safe using the new FB tool not because they were anywhere near the quake but because it was a new way to get a little extra social media attention.

Kejriwal’s apology will not bring back my son: Gajendra Singh’s father

“If something happens to his son, I will also go and apologise. Will apology bring back my son? All this is a sham. Such a big incident took place and he is apologising. How is he going to run the government?…Gajendra left behind three small kids. Who will take care of them?” Gajendra’s father Banne Singh told ANI.

Following the public suicide of farmer Gajendra Singh in the national capital, his father on Thursday refused to accept Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s apology for continuing with his speech after the incident.”If something happens to his son, I will also go and apologise. Will apology bring back my son? All this is a sham. Such a big incident took place and he is apologising. How is he going to run the government?…Gajendra left behind three small kids. Who will take care of them?” Gajendra’s father Banne Singh told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Gajendra’s uncle, Gopal Singh, simply said that his family cannot take action against those in power.Also read: Rajasthan farmer suicide: Arvind Kejriwal apologises for continuing speech, says no blame game needed”If Kejriwal has apologised, then it means that something wrong has been done. We do not have any power to take action against those responsible. He said that he could not see Gajendra because of the banners, but then there must have been others of his party and from the administration who would have seen him climbing the tree. Why did not they stop him?” Gajendra’s uncle said.Live | Rajasthan farmer suicide: Arvind Kejriwal is ‘king of blame games’, says BJPKejriwal had earlier in the day expressed regret over continuing with his speech after Gajendra had committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree during an Aam Aadmi Party rally against the Land Acquisition Bill in New Delhi.As per reports, a suicide note was found that revealed the farmer, who had three children, was banished from his house after his crop was damaged. He took the extreme step because he had no means of support his family.Also read: Farmer suicide: Brother blames AAP for Gajendra’s death, says he was financially sound