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Author: Sumit Kumar Singh

Connectivity drags down Digital India in rural areas

The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has completely failed to even kick off the Digital India programme and will be unable to do so till March, 2019, as there is no mobile or internet connectivity in many rural parts of the country.Digital India, a flagship programme of the government of India with a vision to transform the country into a digitally empowered society, is one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet projects.The ministry cannot start the programme as it doesn’t have basic infrastructure or platform in place. It is dependent on the Department of Telecommunication and its initiative Bharat Net, a high-speed digital highway connecting all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats of the country. Bharat Net, expected to be the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity project using optical fibre, is estimated to be completed by March, 2019.For instance, e-Panchayat project, one of the Mission Mode Projects under the Digital India Programme, is yet to be properly started.Under the project, core common software applications had been developed to address various aspects of Panchayat functioning, including budgeting, planning, accounting, monitoring, social audit, and delivery of citizen services.But all this is of no use as “there is no network connectivity in major rural areas of the country.” A ministry note stated: “The ministry would take effective and expeditious steps to increase the connectivity coverage so that the e-Panchayat is enabled in every village.”For strengthening of Panchayats and gram sabhas, the ministry needs to reach out to multiple and diverse groups, especially the rural populace, and media and publicity play a very important and crucial role in creating awareness. Due to zero internet or mobile connectivity, however, they are unable to do anything.The ministry has prepared various audio-visual programmes, documentaries, and mobile applications, but all these serve no purpose till there is no connectivity. “The elected representatives are not aware of their rights and privileges. This has become a major hurdle in effective delivery of citizen services,” the note stated.Furthermore, the ministry has also been unable to start a scheme to provide ATM services in Panchayat bhawans. To kick it off, an inter-ministerial committee has already been constituted. But again, the connectivity problem remains. Another problem is the lack of basic infrastructure. Of the 2.5 lakh gram Panchayats, nearly 46,000 do not have their own building.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
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Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

No more outsourced manpower by airlines for ground handling services

Outsourced manpower used by Airlines for ground handling services at has been banned from now onwards. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has come up with a new regulation for ground handling services which clearly stated that hiring of employees through contractor or manpower supplier for ground handling services would not be permitted.Also the ministry has stated that all domestic scheduled airline operators, including helicopter service providers, would be allowed to do self-handling at airports, including the civil enclaves. Further as per new policy, the ministry has also barred foreign airlines from carrying out “self-handling” at any domestic airport.As per the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Ground Handling Services) Regulations, 2017, all domestic scheduled airline operators, including helicopter service providers would be allowed to do self-handling at airports, including the civil enclaves. Generally, civil enclaves are airports belonging to the armed forces where civilian aircraft operations are allowed. Ground handling services include those pertaining to servicing and handling of aircraft as well as loading and unloading. The regulations have been notified a few days ago.Foreign airlines may also undertake self-handling in respect of passenger and baggage handling activities excluding security functions at the airport terminals restricted to the passenger check-in at pre security hold area, at all the airports except Civil Enclaves. As per Regulations, all ground handling services shall be provided only through the regular employees and hiring of employees through handling contractor or manpower supplier shall not be permitted.”At all airports, in order to overcome space and time constraints, the airport operator only shall provide adequate number of Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE), Common User Self Service (CUSS), Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS) and Self Bag Drop (SBD),” it noted.The regulations said that airports having annual passenger throughput of 1.5 million passengers per annum or above, the airport operator shall provide adequate number of Baggage Reconciliation System: Where the annual passenger throughput is less than 1.5 million passengers per annum, the airport operator may decide the provisions relating to Baggage Reconciliation System. All agencies concerned shall ensure the use of state-of-art equipment and best practices in line with the International Air Transport Association Airport Handling Manual,” the regulation said.All airport operators shall appoint the requisite number of ground handling agencies within a period of 120 days from the date of publication of these regulations.In the earlier ground handling policy, airlines were allowed to choose from within three agencies to get the services. Under this, the airport operators have been advised to have maximum number of three ground handling companies including Air India’s subsidiary/joint venture at all major airports as defined in AERA Act 2008.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Jaish-e-Mohammad’s ‘commander’ Noor Tantray killed in Pulawama wanted to join BJP in 2003 to eliminate top brass

Noor Mohammad Tantray, the ‘midget’ terrorist killed in Pulwama encounter on Tuesday, wanted to join the BJP to eliminate its top leaders way back in 2003.Also known as Peer Baba, the four-feet-tall Kashmir chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad even went to the BJP headquarters at 11 Ashoka Raod in New Delhi. He managed to get a form to get himself registered as an active member, snoop on the leaders and attack them, a plan that never materialised. Before he could have succeed in his conspiracy, the Anti-Terror Unit of Delhi Police’s Special Cell, then headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Chand nabbed him and his associates from Delhi with huge cache of arms and ammunition.Tantray also went by the name Gulzar Ahmed Bhat or Uwais was a resident of Darganjgund in Pulwama’s Tral area and was arrested in Delhi in August, 2003.“Tantray was a member of JeM, a terrorist organisation banned under Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 and was arrested for entering into a criminal conspiracy with four others (Rashid, Mohd Sahid, Habeeb and Khurshid Ahmed Butt, all said four others having since been killed in different encounters with security forces), to commit terrorist acts and wage war against India,” Chand told DNA.He was convicted in 2011 for life. He was languishing in Tihar Jail and was out on a parole since 2015 and thereafter started reviving the JeM in south and central Kashmir.In 2003, on August 29, the Special Cell received an intelligence inputs about Jaish terrorists being engaged in supply of arms, ammunition and explosive material transported in wooden boxes of fruits and vegetables by trucks from Kashmir to Delhi. The vehicles were also used to take back Hawala money from Delhi to Kashmir for being used for terrorist activities.On a specific information about a truck bearing registration number “153” of Jammu and Kashmir having reached Delhi with certain quantity of arms, ammunitions and explosives, efforts were made through a team headed by then Sub Inspector Govind Sharma, who is now Assistant Commissioner of Police, to locate the vehicle.It was learnt that truck bearing number JK-03-0153 had actually entered the fruit market in Delhi’s Azadpur at 10:55 pm on August 28, 2003. Since the truck could not be located in the market, extensive search was launched in surrounding areas. On August 30, 2003, at about 2.00 pm, then Sub Inspector Umesh Barthwal is said to have located the said truck parked in Qutub Road parking lot. A police officers comprising, amongst others, of then Inspector Hriday Bhushan was deployed to keep a watch over the truck in secrecy.At about 7.45 pm a short statured person later identified as accused Noor Mohd Tantray was seen approaching the truck and having a talk with the driver who was later identified as accused Parvez Ahmed Mir and cleaner later identified as accused Farooz Ahmed respectively of the truck.Tantray along with other two boarded the truck, thereafter three wooden boxes kept in the tool box were taken out. All three were nabbed and the three wooden boxes unloaded from the truck were opened and checked and beneath the fruit, 10 hand grenades, 10 grenades shells and one under barrel grenade launcher were recovered.Tantray during interrogation revealed that the consignment of explosives was to be delivered by his associates Zahoor in Pakistan and Aslam of Sikandrabad in UP, who were to meet him in front of Indraprastha Park on outer ring road in Nizamuddin. A team of police personnel at 9.15 pm in private cars and reached the park near and about 10.45 pm, a Maruti car bearing registration no. DL3C N8749 came from the side of Nizamuddin flyover and stopped.From the said car, two persons allegedly alighted and stood nearby and challenged by the police and when asked to surrender but instead of compliance the said they started firing at the police. The police returned the fire in the course of which both the said persons came to be injured and later scummed to injuries.In Delhi, Tantray had made his in house no A-44 at Mohindra Park in Azadpur as the base to carry out terror attacks. During search of his place, police recovered computer with its accessories, stereo cassette players, sets of Nokia, 10 channel cordless telephones, cash, Hawala money in the sum of Rs 19.20 lakh and certain incrementing documents. Sources said that these documents contained a form for BJP membership.The police team lead by ACP Rajbir Singh, who has since died, had then nabbed the accused under supervision of then DCP Ashok Chand. Chand retired from Delhi Police as Joint Commissioner in 2015.

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Gangster nabbed for mass rapes, extortion

A notorious gangster, responsible for the plight of hundreds of families, has been nabbed by the Delhi Police. One of the dreaded duo that ran the gang, Hussain, a resident of village Tayda in Bharatpur, was brought to Delhi two days ago.According to the Delhi Police investigation, the gang of two first lured businessmen in the name of attractive deals on electronic and other products, and a holiday trip around Delhi. They would then kidnap the victims, take them to Mewat and get them raped and sodomised by locals. This sexual abuse was filmed to extort money. The gang operated in Haryana and Rajasthan, and had made Delhi a transit place. The cops are now trying to identity and approach the victims and retrieve videos of sexual abuse. According to the police, the gang would give advertisements on vernacular websites and in dailies in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh claiming that it sold electronic items in bulk at cheap prices. “Thereafter, the gangsters would call and mail local businessmen in these states and tempt them with attractive deals,” a police officer said, adding that once the businessmen were convinced, they were offered a holiday trip, along with their family members, to Delhi and nearby areas.After trapping the businessmen and their families, the gang would take the victims to Mewat. “The kidnapped businessmen were sodomised, their wives and daughters raped by local youths, teenagers, and other gang members, and this sexual abuse was filmed. Hussain and his accomplice Hasan would also demand ransom from their families, ranging from Rs 20-50 lakh,” the police officer said. The families were told that if they approached the police, the videos would be uploaded on the adult websites.

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Scurry within AAP leaders for Rajya Sabha seats

The race has started within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to get Rajya Sabha seats a day after the Election Commission (EC) announced polls on January 16 to fill up vacancies. Three top leaders — Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Kumar Vishwas — who are waiting for four years for a Rajya Sabha seat have started lobbying.But CM Kejriwal wants to give the seats to a Muslim, a woman and a representative of the trading community. Sources in the party has hinted that two of them are Imran Pratapgadi, who campaigned for the party in Punjab and hails from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi-based businessman Sushil Gupta. Sources, however, rejected speculations on Swati Maliwal being rewarded with a Rajya Sabha seat.Even though chances are less, all the three leaders are doing their best to garner support fore themselves.In case of Vishwas, his relationship with Kejriwal deteriorated after he called him an autocrat. “I am a human being. I also have ambitions. My supporters also feel that I should go the the Rajya Sabha where I will be an articulate voice against the BJP and the Congress. I founded the Aam Aadmi Party with Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia. Yet I have never even had the tea of Delhi Secretariat,” he had said.For Sanjay Singh, Kejriwal has stood by him through eups and downs. He maintains a healthy relationship with both Congress and BJP leaders. During the President’s Rule in Delhi in 2014, Sanjay Singh played a crucial role in bringing back the party from the verge of collapse. In Punjab Assembly polls this year, Sanjay Singh was made the state-in-charge but with the loss of Punjab, chances of him getting the seat is almost impossible.When it comes to journalist-turned-politician Ashutosh, who was behind making Kejriwal a national leader from an RTI activist , chances are low too. Ashutosh joined when AAP went to fight the Parliamentary polls in 2014 against two veterans — Congress Kapil Sibal and BJP Harsh Vardhan.Earlier, the party approached former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan to be its candidate, but he is believed to have declined the offer.The AAP has 66 members in the 70-member Delhi Assembly and its victory on all three seats looks certain.

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ED files charge sheet against Misa Bharti, husband

More trouble lay in store for Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav’s family on Saturday with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filing a charge sheet against his daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Misa Bharti and her husband in a money laundering case. The ED action came on a day a Ranchi court convicted Yadav in a fodder scam case.Bharti, her husband Shailesh Kumar and their company Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd, among others, were named in the charge sheet filed in a Delhi court for allegedly laundering Rs 1.20 crore.The case was registered by the ED following investigations into a complaint filed by Serious Fraud Investigating Office (SFIO) about a Rs 8,000 crore money-laundering racket involving two Delhi-based brothers, Surendra Kumar Jain and Virendra Jain, who were accused of using shell companies to help others route money.The ED had earlier attached a farmhouse ‘Palam Farms’ in south-west Delhi belonging to the couple in connection with the case.The Jain brothers, who were arrested, were accused of laundering unaccounted money through the process of placement of funds, layering of transactions and final integration of laundering money into the banking channel camouflaged as legitimate share premium transactions, the ED said.The ED investigation found that 1.20 lakh shares of Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd were bought during 2007-08 and 2008-09 at Rs 100 per share by four shell companies, three of which were managed by the Jain brothers. These shares were later bought by Bharti at Rs 12 per share in 2009.It said a chartered accountant Rajesh Agrawal, who “mediated and provided” Rs 90 lakh to the Jain brothers in advance so as to invest in Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd as share premium while another has provided Rs 30 lakh to Santosh Kumar Shah, who was running the fourth shell company.According to the ED, the couple have “laundered unaccounted money of Rs 1.20 crore by taking accommodation entries from Jain Brothers and Shah, through mediators, in the form of share capital and share premium by various shell companies controlled by them.”The agency later conducted searches in several places. “Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd was registered at the address 25, Tuglak Road, New Delhi till the shares were brought by Bharti. It was only during the year 2009-10 that the address was changed to Farm No. 26 Palam Farms. Misa Bharti and Shailesh Kumar were the directors of the company during the relevant period,” an ED statement said

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Centre asks ED to go after Maoists’ funding, support

To break the network of funding to the Maoists for carrying out insurgency activities across the country, the Centre has roped in Enforcement Directorate (ED) and directed to look into the money laundering happening in Naxal affected areas. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the ED work in close association with intelligence agencies, local police and paramilitary forces to unearth the money trail and support the Maoists are getting.Also the agencies, have been asked to find the source of funding as Central intelligence agencies has stated that few foreign countries, particularly China, have been supporting insurgent activities in India and also helping them financially apart from Maoists are aided in their efforts to build modern weapons by the Chinese intelligence. “The agencies also stated that the Chinese intelligence units have been training, arming and funding the Maoists to help them wage an inexorable war against India,”said a government officer posted in Ministry of Home Affairs.Sources said that the a list around 90 of “Naxals and associated influential people” have been made in two states — Jharkhand and Bihar — and the joint operation to check their illegal financial activities has been started. Sources also stated that there are few lawmakers and top government employees names in the list. The agency has been asked to first start with the two states and thereafter carry out in other Naxal affected states.”Also, the top Maoists who had surrendered in last five years are also under radar,” said a government official adding that there are few top Maoists who had accumulated lot of wealth during their active role as Naxal and once they surrendered, they within few months, start using their ill-gotten money to spread the network and recruit many youngsters.Furthermore, the MHA has also issued directives to all the paramilitary forces and security establishments to be more “vigilant” and go “combative” while dealing with ultras. The Centre has also asked the force not to shun the muti-prone approach like development in the naxal affected areas and facilitating surrenders of the ultras.As per the ministry, till June 30 this year, in total 424 maoists surrendered before the various law enforcement agencies across the country.Last year, the figure had reached to 1442 but in 2015 it was just 570 and in 2014 it was 676. The government major focus in Chhattisgarh after in the deadliest Maoist ambush in April, 26 men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) died in Sukma area. It was well-planned massacre carried out by nearly 300 Maoists.This year, in Chhatishgarh, 298 naxals surrender followed by Jharkand with 38 and Andhra Pradesh with 35. In West bengal, 11, in Telangana and Bihar 2, in Odisha 27and Maharashtra 7 ultras surrender.According to a ministry report, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand together accounted for 68.5 per cent of the violent incidents and 69 per cent of deaths. Bihar followed by Odisha and Maharashtra accounted for 12.3 per cent, 8.2 per cent 6.9 per cent incidents.

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CBI files graft charges against NBCC chief

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday filed corruption charges against NBCC (India) Ltd chairman and managing director Anoop Kumar Mittal, among others, and arrested a public servant Pradeep Kumar Mishra and one Akashdeep Chauhan in connection with a deal for a sub-contract for re-development of Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.The FIR was lodged on December 22, 2017 against the NBCC CMD on a day when a foundation stone was laid on the redevelopment project of ITPO, Pragati Maidan by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.Mishra and Chauhan, who works for Mumbai-based Capacite Structures’ MD Sanjay Kulkarni, were sent to 4-day police custody by a special CBI court on Saturday.Mishra, a government official, allegedly demanded a Royal Enfield from Capacite Structures for facilitating an introduction to Mittal for a sub-contract in the multi-crore project.The CBI also carried out searches in Ghaziabad, Delhi and Mumbai; however, Mittal’s home and office premises were not searchedThe agency arrested Mishra while he was allegedly receiving the promised bike as illegal gratification from Chauhan, CBI sources said.Kulkarni allegedly approached a middleman, Rishabh Agrawal, for getting the sub-contract. Agrawal is then said to have approached Mishra, who assured him the sub-contract would go to Capacite if he was given a new Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle.The contract was related to the re-development project of ITPO Complex at Pragati Maidan. The agency has alleged that a contract was awarded to Shapoorji Pallonji and Co (p) Ltd- Shapoorji Pallonji Qatar WLL (JV) – for Rs 2149.93 crore by NBCC and that one Mumbai-based Capacite Structures was trying to get that work from Shapoorji Pallonji on a sub-contract basis.”Under the influence of Mishra, Anoop Kumar Mittal, CMD, NBCC (India) Ltd. strongly directed Rakesh Gupta, Executive Director, NBCC (India) Ltd. to settle this matter in favour of M/s Capacite Structures Limited. In furtherance to the above-said conspiracy, a meeting was held on December 15, 2017, between Kulkarni, representative of M/s Shapoorji Pallonji including Sh. Sanjay Kharkhanis and some senior level officers of NBCC including Gupta. After this meeting, Mittal assured Kulkarni and Mishra about getting the work from Shapoorji Pallonji to the company of Kulkarni,” the FIR alleged.”Mittal further assured Mishra and Kulkarni that if the work was not given to /s Capacite Structures Limited, he would ensure that it would not be given to anyone else,” the FIR read.The CBI has registered a case under 120-B IPC and Section 9 & 10 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against Mishra, Mittal, Kulkarni, Agrawal, Chouhan and other unknown public servants and private persons.

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CBI, ED to appeal against verdict

Shocked over the special court’s judgement to acquit all the accused, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) stated that they had been filing monthly status reports before the Supreme Court and the investigation was appreciated at every step. However, sources said they fail to understated why the judgement went against them. The agency decided to appeal against the court order.Also Enforcement Directorate decided to appeal against the order. ED said the Special Court appears to have failed to appreciate the money laundering offence that probed by it should have held ground and not linked to CBI’s corruption case.”Besides the observation and findings of the Supreme Court in this case appear to have not been considered by the Special Court,” the ED added.Sources in the CBI said, “Our key contention was not taken into account by the special court. We are going through it for as it is lengthy judgement. The key points which struck us immediately was that there written and documentary evidence and it was not given due to importance.”Sources further pointed out that the court has relied on oral evidence of the accused and also failed to see the bribe trail wherein Rs 200 crore ‘pay-off’ happened wherein a company take loan on 14 percent and given at 5 percent. “We had documentary evidence running into lakh of pages, the court relies on accused statements,” the source said.CBI in a statement said, “The judgement relating to 2G scam case today has been prima facie examined and it appears that the evidence adduced to substantiate the charges by the prosecution has not been appreciated in its proper perspective by the Learned Court. CBI will be taking necessary legal remedies in the matter. In due course, CBI will be filing an appeal.”In the meantime, ED pointed out that the Special Court prima-facie appears to have failed to appreciate the offence of money laundering as defined under Section 3 is, based on the term proceeds of crime.ED also said the special court has appreciated the material evidence qua offence of money laundering at the time of framing of charges against the accused persons but the same material appears to have not been considered while deciding the prosecution complaint under PMLA and the accused persons have been acquitted from the offence of money laundering only on the basis of no commission of offence and not the occurrence of criminal activity.”We have decided to move in appeal against the judgement of the Special Court on a number of grounds based on the facts as well as legal provisions,” the ED said in a statement.

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DoT, CBI fail to define ‘associate’, ‘equity’ in Essar-Loop case

The CBI judge lashed out the investigating officers and officials of Department of Telecom for failing to establish the basic premise of a link between two accused companies Essar and Loop Telecom. The CBI had alleged that Loop was a front company for Essar but judge OP Saini pulled up the investigating officer for not defining the term ‘associate’ to establish the link.The court observed that the two companies are separate identities.The CBI cited Clause 8 of Department of Telecom guidelines on 2G stating that a company is barred from participating if it has 10 per cent stake in another company that was given a licence.”None of the witnesses except Legal Advisor (DoT) (Santokh Singh) deposed anything as to the meaning and scope of Clause 8, particularly the word “Associate”. Ordinary prudence requires that decision makers must understand the law and rules that guide their decision making and must apply it correctly. When the decision maker himself does not understand a rule, how can he say that other party has violated the rule.”Also the judge said language of the clause is also not clear as it is saddled with words like “Associate”, “Promoter”, “Stake” etc., meaning of which is not known to anyone, including DoT officers. “Nor anyone tried to clarify the same,” he said.Also the court lashed out at the investigating officers including the chief investigating officer Vivek Priyadarshi failing to prove the violation made by the accused in the case.Saini said, “Similarly, five CBI officers were part of the investigation in the instant case. Inspector Shyam Prakash, DySP Rajesh Chahal, DySP SK Sinha, DySP VM Mittal and SP Vivek Priyadarshi, the chief investigating officer. None of these witnesses deposed as to what was the requirement of Clause 8 and how did they arrive at the conclusion that Loop Telecom Ltd violated the clause.”The court also said there is no material on record that DoT took any steps to do any of these things.”Instead of course correction by taking appropriate administrative action, the DoT started playing victim claiming that it has been cheated by Loop Telecom Limited as it was indebted heavily to a group, which already had more than 10% equity in an existing pan India licensee, that is, Vodafone Essar Ltd,” the judge said.Court finds no crime motiveIt is the case of the prosecution that Essar group acquired BPL companies in the name of IP Khaitan so that it can run telecom business after exiting Vodafone Essar Ltd. It is the case of the prosecution that this was the motive for Essar group to acquire these companies.However, 13 officers of DoT and chief investigating officer Vivek Priyadarshi and four other investigating officers did not depose even a word that this was the motive of IP Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan becoming benami/ front of Essar Group.

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Special Court acquits Essar, Loop promoters

The special court acquitted Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia in the 2G (second generation) spectrum allocation scam on Thursday. Besides Ruias, the court also acquitted Vikash Saraf, one of the Essar Group directors, Loop Telecom promoters IP Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan, and three companies — Loop Telecom Ltd, Loop Mobile (India) Ltd and Essar Teleholdings Ltd.The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a separate case alleging Essar Group had cheated the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) by using Loop Telecom Ltd as a front to secure 2G licences in 2008.It was alleged that Loop Telecom Ltd was front company of Essar Group to acquire 21 Unified Access Services (UAS) licences and spectrum violating laid out guidelines by DoT.Acquitting everyone one in the case, CBI Special Judge OP Saini in the judgement said, “The prosecution has not been successful in proving any of the ingredients either of the offence of conspiracy to cheat DoT or of the substantive offence of cheating. Accordingly, I have absolutely no hesitation in holding that prosecution has miserably failed to prove any charge against any of the accused. Consequently, all accused are entitled to be acquitted and are accordingly acquitted.”Welcoming the judgement, the Essar Group in a statement said, “We are thankful to the court for the judgement as it vindicates our stated position and the court has appreciated it.”The case allegedly is a case of criminal conspiracy to cheat the DoT into issuing 21 UAS licences to Loop Telecom Ltd, an ineligible company, as it was a front of Essar group of companies, which was already having more than 10% equity in an existing pan India licensee, that is, Vodafone Essar Ltd. In pursuance to the conspiracy, the DoT was in fact allegedly cheated also into issuing these licences, the CBI had stated in its FIR and chargesheet.On October 21, 2009, the CBI registered has an FIR against unknown officials of DoT, unknown private persons and companies and others for the offence punishable under Section 120­B IPC read with Section 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (PC Act), on allegations of criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct, in respect of allotment of Letters of Intent (LOI), Unified Access Services (UAS) Licenses and spectrum by the DoT.Essar hails orderWelcoming the judgement, the Essar Group in a statement said, “We are thankful to the court for the judgement as it vindicates our stated position and the court appreciated it.” The case allegedly is a case of criminal conspiracy to cheat the DoT into issuing 21 UAS licences to Loop Telecom Ltd, an ineligible company, as it was a front of Essar group of companies, which was already having more than 10% equity in an existing pan India licensee, that is, Vodafone Essar Ltd.

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2G scam verdict: CAG report triggered furore over 2G

A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on allocation of 2G licences pegging the presumptive loss to Rs 1.76 lakh crore in November 2010 triggered the political slugfest which led to the arrest of A Raja within three months in February in 2011.The CBI had registered an FIR in 2009 but did not name any accused. As the agency failed to take any action the CAG report opened the floodgates for the opposition to slam the UPA government.Petitions were filed in the Supreme Court that eventually began monitoring the investigations by CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.Regular status reports were filed by the investigating agencies in the apex that finally culminated in the charges being filed against then Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK leader Kanimozhi for being part of the conspiracy and receiving kickbacks.Parts of the CAG report were leaked before it was tabled in Parliament creating a furore. It finally became the basis on which criminal action was initiated as it gave a blow-by-blow account of how Raja bypassed procedures, ignored suggestions from Prime Minister Office (PMO), Ministries of Law and Finance.The report was taken by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. There was no consensus and it was rejected by one vote by the committee.

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Post Doklam stand-off, SSB increases presence on India-Bhutan border

In view of the Doklam stand-off between the Indian and Chinese armies, the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) on Wednesday said it has increased its strength along the India-Bhutan border. SSB Director General Rajni Kant Mishra said, “Following Doklam stand-off, SSB is slightly increasing its presence in the eastern part of Sikkim along the India-Bhutan border.”According to the newly-appointed SSB chief — a 1984 batch Uttar Pradesh cadre IPS officer — several border outposts have been set up along the border.The force continues to be in an expansion mode and has grown almost three times since it became a combatised border guarding force in 2001, especially so after Doklam stand-off. With an addition of a Sector headquarter headed by a DIG at Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh in 2016, all 18 sector headquarters sanctioned to SSB are in operation. After Doklam two more battalions have been raised, and thus the total number of available battalions is currently 69 — Only 4 short of the authorised number of 73 battalions. Mishra said that four more battalions are also in the process for raising and they will be functional by December 31, 2017.SSB has raised eight more Border Out-Posts (BOPs) increasing the total number of BOPs from 627 in January, 2017 to 635 in November 2017.The SSB guards the 1,751-km India-Nepal and 699-km India-Bhutan borders since its inception.Also various modernisation works were carried out by the force since the stand-off. This year, the force has acquired two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) of Netra II version and is in the process of acquiring two Laser Based Explosive cum Narcotic Detectors.The force has got fresh authorisation from MHA for 9,917 Assault Rifles, 22 Automatic Grenade Launcher, 324 Underbarrel Grenade Launchers, and 14 Multiple Grenade Launcher, and they will be procured by March, 2018.A multi-purpose boardroom has also been established at Force Headquarters improving our connectivity with our field units through advanced video conferencing facilities. Safe movement of our troops will be ensured by adding seven numbers of mine protected vehicles, 15 Light Armed Troop Carriers and 12 Bullet Proof Vehicles to fleet.Besides, 114 numbers of “smart plus” equipments, 92 numbers of Radio set and two Ku-Band VSAT from BSNL will soon be procured, go a long way in strengthening existing robust communication network.Two week ago, sources in intelligence agencies stated that there has been a sudden surge in Chinese incursion along the Indo-Chinese border, after Doklam. In the months of October and November, when heavy snowfall starts making the Indo-Chinese border almost inaccessible, and the presence of troops starts thinning, a sudden surge in Chinese activity has made Indian security establishment wary about the future.In the past two months, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) transgressed into India as many as 29 times through vehicles and at least thrice via aerial route. The transgressions happened across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladkah and Uttarakhand, especially in Trig Height, Despang Area, Pangong Tso in Ladakh and Rimkim in Uttarakhand.Claiming the incursions as serious in nature, sources privy to the development said, on October 11, two Chinese choppers entered Tunjan La height in Rimkhim Uttrakhand 4.5 km inside Indian territory. In November, 15 such incidents were reported in Ladkah and Uttarakhand region. Sources said that generally, the number of transgression decrease during winters. However, this time, there is no stopping.Since the stand-off, the PLA have pitched 386 tents just 200 metres away from the Doka La stand-off point, intelligence agencies said. Each tent has a capacity of four men. Besides, there are 30 tents that can accommodate two men each.”They have also built 59 shelters, 110 bunkers, 10 hangers and stationed two mobile communication vehicles,” said the source.The Doklam dispute had began on June 16, when a construction party of the PLA started building a road near the disputed tri-junction of Indo-Sino and Bhutan border jutting near the Chumbi valley. It continued for 70 days during during which the soldiers of both the armies held their respective positions in what India described as “no war, no peace” mode. New Delhi and Beijing eventually agreed to pull back their troops towards the end of August.

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Every day a Nirbhaya is gang-raped and killed here: Asha Devi

Tomorrow marks five years of the brutal Delhi gang-rape incident, an incident that triggered nation-wide protests and led to the formation of new laws on crimes against women in the country.But little has changed for Nirbhaya’s parents. Depressed and down, Asha Devi says that every time a girl is raped in the Capital she feels that it is her daughter.”Every day a Nirbhaya is gang-raped and killed in the city. Whenever, I hear about any such incident, I feel that it is happening with my daughter.” Both mother and father want that a speedy justice delivery system in place.But they doubt that will happen”Are these laws capable enough to stop Nirbhaya-like incidents from happening?”, questions Nirbhaya’s father Badrinath Singh. The man has been visiting the doors of the courts for last five years yet he is still waiting for the criminals of this gruesome act to be sent to the gallows.”Even now in our daughter’s case we are visiting courts and still after the final judgments, the criminals have not yet been punished,” Singh told DNA. The matter is still with the Supreme Court.This week Delhi Police opposed, in the Supreme Court, a plea filed by one of the four death-row convicts in the December 16, 2012 gang-rape and murder case for review of its verdict upholding capital punishment awarded to him. The apex court had on May 5 upheld the death penalty to the four convicts – Mukesh (29), Pawan (22), Vinay Sharma (23) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31), saying the “brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature” of the crime could create a “tsunami of shock to destroy a civilised society”.Singh further pointed out that even after lapse of five years the situation has not improved but deteriorated. “Today, two-year-old girls are being gang raped and murdered. Who is responsible for that? The system or the victims family,” he questioned adding that it was the system that needed to protect the girls but it had failed to do so.He reasoned saying, “When the system to punish the rapists is so weak and corrupt how can you accept justice in this society.”Singh further stated that every day two to three families are facing the same trauma and pain when their daughters, just like Nirbhaya, are being gang-raped and murder.”See the case of Shimla gang rape, the police arrested the wrong people. Is this a system? Even CBI has not been able to identify the accused,” said Singh adding that there are several such incidents across the country.”There is complete lack of will on the part of government to come up with a system where such criminals are punished in an year,” he said.WHAT HAPPENEDA 23-year-old paramedic student was gangraped on the intervening night of December 16, 2012 inside a moving bus in South Delhi by a gang of six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out of the bus. She succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.STATISTICSRAPE(376 IPC)2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2016 2017 (up to Nov 30)706 1636 2166 2199 2155 1992 1968

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Chinese incursions increased after Doklam

There has been a sudden surge in Chinese incursion along the Indo-Chinese border, after Doklam. In the months of October and November, when heavy snowfall starts making the Indo-Chinese border almost inaccessible, and the presence of troops starts thinning, a sudden surge in Chinese activity has made Indian security establishment wary about the future.In the past two months, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) transgressed into India as many as 29 times through vehicles and at least thrice via aerial route. The transgressions happened across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladkah and Uttarakhand, especially in Trig Height, Despang Area, Pangong Tso in Ladakh and Rimkim in Uttarakhand.Claiming the incursions as serious in nature, sources privy to the development said, on October 11, two Chinese choppers entered Tunjan La height in Rimkhim Uttrakhand 4.5 km inside Indian territory.In November, 15 such incidents were reported in Ladkah and Uttarakhand region. Sources said that generally, the number of transgression decrease during winters. However, this time, there is no stopping.Since the stand-off, the PLA have pitched 386 tents just 200 metres away from the Doka La stand-off point, intelligence agencies said. Each tent has a capacity of four men. Besides, there are 30 tents that can accommodate two men each.”They have also built 59 shelters, 110 bunkers, 10 hangers and stationed two mobile communication vehicles,” said the source.The Doklam dispute had began on June 16, when a construction party of the PLA started building a road near the disputed tri-junction of Indo-Sino and Bhutan border jutting near the Chumbi valley. It continued for 70 days during during which the soldiers of both the armies held their respective positions in what India described as “no war, no peace” mode. New Delhi and Beijing eventually agreed to pull back their troops towards the end of August.

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CBI outsources forensic auditing in chit fund scams

Unable to manage volume of documents seized during raids and lack of technical expertise to unravel the intricate maze of illegal financial network, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Alok Kumar Verma has decided to rope in private players to carry out “forensic auditing” in chit fund scams the agency are probing.To start with, the CBI has decided to outsource the forensic auditing of Prayag Group of Companies in connection with the investigation of case number 35/2014 being probed by Special Investigation Team based in Kolkata. In the case, the agency had filed a charge-sheet against Basudeb Bagchi, former CMD of two companies of Prayag Group — Prayag Infotech Hi-Rise Ltd and Prayag Infotech Network Pvt Ltd — and then MD Avik Bagchi.In a note accessed by DNA, CBI sated, “On the order of Supreme Court, CBI is conducting investigation in huge chit fund scam where large number of financial statements, bank accounts statements are to be analysed and expert opinion is required as to its general result and finding clinching evidence of crime committed.”It further pointed out that the purpose to outsource is to assist the investigating officers and court in explaining the various documents and its analysis by way of submitting a detailed forensic audit report and depositing before the court.The agency said documents can be audited at the office of auditor. However, there should be a clause of secrecy. Also the private auditor has to spend some days in CBI office for understating the case, and discussions with investigating officers. “The firms should be registered with the Indian Institute of Chartered Accounts, New Delhi,” the note stated. The agency has also put up a clause that there should not be conflict of interest with the private auditors.A senior CBI officer stated, “Forensic auditing is a technique to legally determine whether accounting transactions are in consonance with various accounting, auditing and legal requirements and eventually determine whether any fraud has taken place. Forensic auditing is a blend of accounting, auditing and investigative skills. In doing so, the veil of corporate entity is pierced to establish the intentions of persons behind such transactions.”Also the CBI is probing more than 60 high-profile chit fund cases spread across the country and are facing huge problems with the investigation while goring through maze of financial illegal dealings.‘CAG WOULD HAVE BEEN A BETTER CHOICE’On decision of CBI outsourcing the work of forensic auditing, a senior IPS officer in the agency stated that in place of bringing a private auditor in an investigation the best would have been to rope in Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). Currently, former Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi is the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. CAG only is empowered to audit all expenses from the combined fund of the Union or state governments, whether incurred within India or outside.

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Beware, ISI laying honeytraps

The Central intelligence agencies has alerted the defence establishments in the country stating Pakistan-based Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is spotting talents amongst the defence personnel from Army, Navy and Air Force who are pursuing in National Defence College (NDC) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The are trying to allure potential Indian officers to work for them and for that are using their “young and female recruits in Bangladesh”.Sources in the agencies also alerted that ISI has also directed their young and female recruits not to shy away from getting married with the Indian defence forces cadets pursuing in the National Defence Courses eventually. According to the intelligence agencies, a few of the ISI female recruits who have been given this task are from Bangladesh colleges and fluent in Bengali, Hindi and English language. These female recruits are also sent to the US and UK for carrying out further studies and return and trap young Indian defence forces cadets. “ISI female staff are stationed near Pallabi, journalist residential areas, Mohammadia Society, Palash Nagar, and not far away from Mirpur Bangla High School and College, Bangladesh University of Business technologies and etc in Dhaka,” sources said.Sources also said that the Indian defence establishments have been alerted who thereafter have informed the Indian cadets there not to indulge into the any kind of relationship with any female ISI recruits.Earlier, intelligence agencies had issued an alert across the army establishments and security forces that the ISI posing as senior officers from Armed forces and Ministry of Home Affairs are calling lower staff and trying to extract sensitive information.The Intelligence Agencies have issued an alert across the army establishments and security forces that the ISI operatives posing as senior officers from Armed forces and Ministry of Home Affairs are making calls to extract sensitive information.The intelligence agencies have directed all field commanders to sensitise field formations and personnel under their command to refrain from sharing any information telephonically related to the defence forces, deployment and any other information which might put the national security at risk.Sources said ISI’s strategy, pinned by intelligence officials, involves drawing their attention with attractive profile photos, befriending them and then getting familiar over chats. Slowly, they encourage the personnel to divulge matters considered secret that can be used by the inimical force.According to sources, ISI has been using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to honey trap unsuspecting Indian personnel by providing training to women on how to make explicit calls and chats, in a field traditionally dominated by men.Delhi Police had last year reported some fictitious Facebook accounts, purportedly belonging to women that were used to identify and lure defence personnel.2015 INCIDENTIn December 2015, a serving Indian Army jawan was arrested on charges of maintaining close relationship with an agent of ISI. The jawan was identified as Havildar Farid Khan. It was revealed that he had provided vital information to the spy agency. It was the seventh arrest in the country-wide raid in the ISI spying case.

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NHRC reprimands Kejriwal govt over 78 deaths in its care home

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has reprimand the Delhi government for failing to explain how and why 78 people died in a state-run leprosy home in northeast Delhi’s Tahirpur in five years. The NHRC has asked Chief Secretary MM Kutty to do proper explaining. The deaths happened between 2008 and 2012 but the city government has failed to explain to the NHRC the reasons behind them.The NHRC said that the government’s report “is silent about the cause of deaths and also about the allegations of financial irregularities”. The human rights watchdog had earlier said: “Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi, be asked to direct an officer of Home Department to cause an inquiry regarding the allegations of financial irregularities and also the cause of deaths.”Pursuant to the NHRC directions, the Deputy Secretary (Home) had submitted a report which gives the cause of only 22 deaths. “However, it has not given the details of all individual cases and their cause of deaths,” the notice said.NHRC said that an inquiry into the matter must be carried by a sub-divisional magistrate. The commission also wants to know whether between 2008 and 2012 any doctor was assigned to look after the health of the inmates and whether any clinic is available for them.

Ryan case: CBI doubts ‘exam delay’ theory as accused good in studies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While probing the Ryan murder case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started questioning its own theory that the accused, a Class XI student of the Ryan International School, killed seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur so that the exams could be postponed. The agency has doubts about this line of investigation as the accused has an excellent academic record.Earlier, the agency had said that during the interrogation, the accused had revealed that he killed Pradyuman to”postpone the examination and the parents-teacher meeting”.Sources said the suspect, who was actually a good student, had no reason to fear the examination.”The motive behind the murder is not completely convincing,” a senior CBI officer said.The investigators are now trying to ascertain whether the accused was the only person involved or anybody else was also there.”Buying a knife, randomly picking a junior student, and slitting his throat in the school premises is just unconvincing,” said a senior officer, adding that the deceased might have witnessed something objectionable, which eventually led to his murder.”The motive looks like a smokescreen. The real motive is something else,”the officer added.Meanwhile, the CBI has rejected the Haryana police’s investigation, which pointed at school bus conductor Ashok Kumar as the accused. CBI chief Alok Kumar Verma has ordered a probe into the destruction of evidence by four police officers, including the Superintendent of Police working with the Haryana government.Also, the agency sleuths have collected the call details records of all four police officers and are trying to piece together the way the evidences in the case were destroyed and new evidences were planted to frame the bus conductor.The agency, however, has remained silent on Kumar’s bail application. The matter will be heard in a Gurugram court on Monday. Surprisingly, last week, Pradyuman’s father Barun Thakur, through his counsel Sushil K Tekriwal, also opposed the bus conductor’s bail plea, saying that since the CBI had not given him a clean chit, he should not be given bail’NO REASON TO FEAR’Sources said the suspect, who was actually a good student, had no reason to fear the examination The investigators are now trying to ascertain whether the accused was the only person involved or anybody else was also there. Also, the agency sleuths have collected the call details records of all four police officers.

SC panel seeks report on city’s potholes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court (SC)-appointed Committee on Road Safety headed by S Sunder has directed Delhi government’s Public Works Department (PWD) to audit all potholes in the national Capital to verify if the rectifications have been made. The panel also sought a compliance report from the various stakeholders.The PWD officials have claimed that 3,945 potholes were identified during a special drive and all of them had been rectified.Taking strong note of lack of a mechanism to monitor the condition of the roads, the Committee has also directed the state government to authorise the transport department to monitor the condition of the roads belonging to all road owning agencies in Delhi.At a high-level meeting that held last week, the SC-appointed Committee has expressed concern on the fatalities occurring due to potholes which are not just a threat to the lives of commuters but also cause congestion on roads.In the meeting, PWD said that they had conducted a special drive for 15 days and identified 3,945 potholes across the city and all potholes have been rectified. The officials also stated that sometime potholes occur as the roads are to be cut for utilities.The Committee asked the PWD to lay down a protocol and follow the same at the time of the maintenance of roads. The PWD officials also informed the committee members that they have a website for lodging complaints by the public throughout the year.A survey by the School of Planning and Architecture pointed out that overloaded trucks entering Delhi caused the maximum damage to footpaths.ROADS WITH HOLESRoad connecting ISBT Kashmiri Gate flyover to Shastri Park intersection.
Road connecting Old Railway Iron Bridge via Marginal Pusta Road to Khajuri Chowk.
Mehrauli-Badarpur road.

Pak pumping in fake currency

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A year after demonetisation of high value Indian currency notes, the Pakistan’s rogue intelligence agency, ISI is back with a mirror copy of Rs 2000 and 500 notes that was launched by the Reserve Bank of India with new security features to neutralize Fake Indian Currency Notes ( FICN) factories operating across the border.Although, ISI suspected to have copied majority of security features of newly launched notes, the sudden increase in last two months is perplexing. The intelligence agencies have revealed the reason behind the surge. Sources said Pak’s ISI has managed to set up a proper units in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and newly printed FICN is smuggled to Bangladesh before it reaches to India through FICN mules.The FICN business that involves both state and non state actors is using high quality machine and ink making the lot difficult to detect, identified and easy to slip as original. The Intelligence agencies officials last week have voiced concern over the high quality of Rs 2000 FICNs, which makes them difficult to distinguish from real notes.THE CONCERNSThe Intelligence agencies officials last week have voiced concern over the high quality of Rs 2000 FICNs, which makes them difficult to distinguish from real notes.

Ryan case: We erred, admit cops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After facing flak from all quarters, the Haryana Police accepted on Saturday that omissions took place on their part during the probe into the murder of seven-year-old Ryan International School student, Pradyuman Thakur.Gurugram Police Commissioner Sandeep Khirwar called a meeting of the first investigating team, which had arrested bus conductor Ashok Kumar and declared him a paedophile, to pull the officers up. The team members admitted that they erred.The cops also admitted that they didn’t watch the closed circuit television (CCTV) footage carefully. The initial eight seconds of the footage shows the now accused teenager calling Pradyuman to the washroom. The team members, however, remained silent on exactly how they made this grave error.Khirwar then slammed the cops and sought an explanation for the botched-up probe. He also sought a complete inquiry report on the matter and the exact details of the police officers who analysed the CCTV footage. He further sought to know what circumstantial evidence led the team to declare Ashok as the murderer.Also, the Class XI student, now accused of having murdered Pradyuman, was taken to the scene of crime, where the incident was recreated. Another student, teachers, and staff were also called to the scene.”The CBI team used a giant stuffed teddy bear in place of Pradyuman and directed the accused student to recreate the entire sequence of events,” a senior CBI officer said, adding that teachers and staff members were interrogated about the murder. The agency sleuths remained in the premises for three-and-a-half hours to collect evidence and identify witnesses in the case.A juvenile court has sent the accused to the Faridabad observation home, where he will remain till November 22.Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started probing whether the first team deliberately implicated the bus conductor.The agency’s initial probe into the matter indicated that “evidences were planted” to make the it appear as if Ashok was the killer.According to the CBI investigation, the cops planted a blood-soaked knife in Ashok’s possession and also tortured bus driver Saurav Raghav, to make him accept that there was a knife in the bus tool box. In a statement before the CBI, Raghav had said that on September 6, he cleaned the toolbox and there was no knife in it. He had also pointed out that if someone kept a knife in the toolbox, it would have been captured by one of the two cameras in the bus.The Gurugram Police had further claimed that Ashok had taken the knife from the bus toolkit and was cleaning it in the school washroom when he chanced upon Pradyuman.Pradyuman was found dead inside the toilet of Ryan International School, with his throat slit, on September 8.Botched-up probe by haryana policeAccording to the CBI, the cops planted a blood-soaked knife in Ashok’s possession and also tortured bus driver Saurav RaghavThe cops had claimed that Ashok had taken the knife from the bus toolkit to clean when he chanced upon Pradyuman

Jolt to CBI: Knife shop owner fails to identify Ryan student

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI suffered a jolt as the owner of a shop from where Ryan International School’s 16-year-old student is suspected to have procured a knife to kill his Class II junior has failed to identify him.This left the CBI with no option but to buy seven similar knives that cost Rs 100 to establish its claims. Shop owner Pawan would have become a crucial witness if he had identified the juvenile. The agency alleges that the suspect himself disclosed the shop location. The CBI apprehended the Class XI student late on Tuesday, while school bus conductor Ashok Kumar is in jail after being arrested by the Haryana police for killing Pradyuman Thakur on the campus two months ago.The agency has planned a psychological examination of the student after reconstructing the crime to know how he carried out the murder. Seven-year-old Pradyuman had been found with his throat slit outside a school toilet on September 8The CBI is also focusing on a second juvenile student who had raised an alarm about the murder. His statement has been recorded, but he has not been confronted with the suspect who is weak in studies and allegedly committed the crime to have school exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed, said sources.The agency is probing whether school staff and the Haryana police are involved in destruction of evidence. The Haryana police had claimed to have found a blood-stained knife from the tool box of a school bus driven by Kumar. The agency, however, said it has found the actual knife used in the crime and thrown in a commode.The CBI, within six days of taking over the case on September 22, identified the juvenile as an accused and even went to his residence and collected “crucial materials”. Sources said that the agency collected the clothes which the accused was wearing on the day of the crime.Teachers had noticed the suspect — reportedly under psychiatric evaluation over anger issues — bringing a knife to school four days before the murder, but the Gurugram police did not give any importance to this crucial bit of information, sources said. He confessed to his crime, in front of his father and an independent witness, the agency has told a juvenile court.CCTV footage, in which the Class XI student was seen near the toilet minutes before the murder, was also ignored by state police. Pradyuman’s father Barun Thakur, an MNC executive in Delhi, said the family always suspected that the case was being mishandled and the bus conductor was arrested in a hurry. “We had been telling the police to question other people but they were focused on the bus conductor,” he said.The suspect student was produced before the juvenile court on Wednesday which allowed the police to question him. His custody will get over on Saturday when he will be produced before the juvenile court.

CBI takes Ryan student to knife shop; trip to school slated today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI questioned Ryan International School’s 16-year-old student on Thursday and took him to a shop from where he may have procured a knife to kill his Class II junior Pradyuman Thakur on the Gurugram campus two months ago. The agency apprehended the Class XI student late on Tuesday, in a sensational twist to the crime for which school bus conductor Ashok Kumar is in jail after being arrested by the Haryana police.On Friday, the CBI will take the juvenile to the school to reconstruct the murder that sparked outrage and triggered safety measures across campuses. The seven-year-old had been found with his throat slit outside a school toilet on September 8, sparking violent protests by parents and locals.The CBI refused to comment on a blood-stained knife that the Haryana police said it had found from the tool box of a school bus driven by Kumar. The agency said it has found the knife used in the crime and thrown in a commode.The CBI theory has questioned the investigation by the Haryana police which defended itself on Thursday. Gurugram Commissioner of Police Sandeep Khirwar said, “I am not aware of what CBI has found. We had the crime scene inspected by our forensic team.”He said the state police had investigated the case for 12-13 days and had not concluded anything. “Hope, CBI will bring justice to the family. There is a lot of speculation going on… let CBI investigate the case,” he said.He refuted the charge that that police had botched up the probe, saying that it was moving logically in the direction where the evidence led. He said the police was not given time to complete the probe.The suspect student was produced before a Juvenile Justice Board on Wednesday which allowed the police to question him. He was weak in studies and committed the crime to have school exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed, said sources in the CBI, which took over the case on September 22 after a massive uproar.He confessed to his crime, in front of his father and an independent witness, the agency told the juvenile court.Teachers had noticed the suspect, reportedly under psychiatric evaluation over anger issues, bringing a knife to school four days before the murder, but the Gurugram police did not give any importance to this crucial bit of information, sources said.CCTV footage, in which the Class XI student was seen near the toilet minutes before the murder, was also ignored by state police.Pradyuman’s father Barun Thakur, an MNC executive in Delhi, said the family always suspected that the case was being mishandled and the bus conductor was arrested in a hurry. “We had been telling the police to question other people but they were focused on the bus conductor,” he said.

Ryan student murder: CBI grills arrested juvenile about weapon used in crime

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) begins questioning of the juvenile apprehended for allegedly killing his school junior Pradyuman Thakur. The CBI has also planned to take a suspect student to Ryan International School in Gurugram where he killed a seven-year-old boy. The suspect is being grilled about the weapon used in a crime and why Pradyuman. The suspect student was apprehended on Tuesday late night and produced before Juvenile Justice Board on Wednesday. The Board allowed the police to question the suspect who is Class XI student. The student killed Pradyuman randomly with a motive to postpone examination and parents and teachers meeting scheduled later in the month.The CBI is also probing the weapon used in the crime. A forensic team that had visited the spot where Pradyuman had found a knife from a commode in the toilet. This was after the police had claimed that they had already recovered a blood-soaked knife from Ashok Kumar, the bus conductor who was arrested for the murder.This two-weapon theory had blown the lid off the Gurugram police’s botched-up probe, which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has now rejected. The agency has claimed that the knife found in the commode was the one actually used for the crime.The police had claimed that the knife they recovered was a part of the bus toolkit. The bus driver, however, maintained that there was no knife in the box.According to the CBI, a Class XI student of the same school killed Pradyuman, while rejecting the police theory that the conductor sexually assaulted the child before slitting his throat.Sources said the school teachers had noticed the suspect bringing a knife to school four days before the murder, but the Gurugram Police did not give any importance to this crucial bit of information.”We would not comment on the role of the Haryana Police. We followed our line of investigation. Now, the court will decide,” a CBI spokesperson said.The crucial CCTV footage, in which the Class XI student was seen near the toilet minutes before the murder, was also ignored by the cops. “The CCTV footage shows the suspected student pushing Pradyuman towards the washroom,” a CBI source said.The agency also found out that the student was the first to inform the gardener about the incident. “After scientific analysis of the crime scene and CCTV footage, and questioning of several people, we zeroed down to the Class XI student as our prime suspect,” a senior CBI officer said.Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur said the family always suspected that the case was being mishandled and the bus conductor was arrested in a hurry. “We had been telling the police to question other people but they were focused on the bus conductor, who was seen coming out of the washroom before Pradyuman came out with his throat slit,” he said.

Ryan school murder case: DNA had questioned shoddy probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A forensic team that had visited the spot where seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was killed in Gurugram’s Ryan International School, had found a knife from a commode in the toilet. This was after the police had claimed that they had already recovered a blood-soaked knife from Ashok Kumar, the bus conductor who was arrested for the murder.This two-weapon theory had blown the lid off the Gurugram police’s botched-up probe, which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has now rejected. The agency has claimed that the knife found in the commode was the one actually used for the crime.The police had claimed that the knife they recovered was a part of the bus tool kit. The bus driver, however, maintained that there was no knife in the box.On September 11, in a report titled ‘Key questions remain unanswered; Victim’s kin allege evidence tampering’, DNA had highlighted the loopholes in the police probe. The report had questioned how could a bus conductor drag a child to the washroom, sexually assault him, and then kill him within a span of 10 minutes.According to the CBI, a Class XI student of the same school killed Pradyuman, while rejecting the police theory that the conductor sexually assaulted the child before slitting his throat.Sources said the school teachers had noticed the suspect bringing a knife to school four days before the murder, but the Gurugram Police did not give any importance to this crucial bit of information.”We would not comment on the role of the Haryana Police. We followed our line of investigation. Now, the court will decide,” a CBI spokesperson said.The crucial CCTV footage, in which the Class XI student was seen near the toilet minutes before the murder, was also ignored by the cops. “The CCTV footage shows the suspected student pushing Pradyuman towards the washroom,” a CBI source said.The agency also found out that the student was the first to inform the gardener about the incident. “After scientific analysis of the crime scene and CCTV footage, and questioning of several people, we zeroed down to the Class XI student as our prime suspect,” a senior CBI officer said.Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur said the family always suspected that the case was being mishandled and the bus conductor was arrested in a hurry. “We had been telling the police to question other people but they were focused on the bus conductor, who was seen coming out of the washroom before Pradyuman came out with his throat slit,” he said. As per the Haryana Police, the footage from a security camera outside the bathroom showed the victim crawling out of the bathroom before collapsing next to a wall. It also showed Ashok entering the bathroom and exiting it, before the boy crawled out.In another cellphone video shot after the crime, the school’s junior section in-charge Anju Dudeja was seen saying that she and acting principal Neerja Batra asked the conductor to pick up Pradyuman, the cops had said. The conductor had then carried Pradyuman to the car. Gardener Harpal had said that Kumar did not have any blood stains on his clothes when he arrived at the scene.

J&K terror funding: Demonetized currency worth Rs 36.34 crore seized, NIA arrests 9

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Probing the trail of money used to fuel the unrest and terror in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Investigating Agency (NIA) on Tuesday seized demonetised currency worth Rs 36.34 crore being trafficked by people linked with separatists and terrorists in the national Capital.The agency also arrested nine persons, including few residents of the Valley, in New Delhi along with the demonetised currency. NIA was ‘amazed’ to find that the separatists and terrorists were still hoping to exchange the demonetised currency to carry out unrest. A senior NIA official said due to demonetization and strict monitoring, terrorists and separatists were unable to exchange the banned notes and roped in hawala dealers across the country.NIA is investigating a case related to financing of terror and separatist activities in Kashmir valley. “During the investigation, it had emerged that persons and entities linked to the separatists and terrorists were still in possession of a significant amount of demonetised currency which they could not deposit and convert during the period earmarked by the government,” a senior NIA officer said.The agency further pointed out that surveillance was mounted on such entities. “This led to unearthing of a conspiracy wherein a gang of such entities were making an attempt to convert this demonetised money into valid currency,” the officer further noted.An NIA team intercepted one such gang at Jai Singh Road near Connaught Place on Monday. They were carrying 28 cartons full of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in four luxury vehicles.A total of seven persons were initially held and brought to the agency headquarters for further questioning. After the initial interrogation, nine persons were arrested on Tuesday in Jammu and Kashmir terror funding case. The accused will be produced in court on Wednesday.The accused include three Delhi residents — Pradeep Chauhan (47), Bhagwan Singh (54), Ejajul Hassan (38); two Mumbai residents —Vinod Shreedhar Shetty (47), Deepak Toprani (60); three Kashmir residents — Shahnawaz Mir (45), Majid Yousuf Sofi (27), Umar Mushtaq Dar (27); and a Naagpur resident Jaswinder Singh (53).The agency has also seized two BMW cars, a Creta SX and Ford EcoSport Titanium from the accused.

Govt mulls copter service from IGIA to NCR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It takes almost the same time to fly to Delhi from other metro cities and to travel on road from one spot to the other within the National Capital Region (NCR). Considering the size of the region as well as its traffic problems, the Centre is now exploring the possibility for air travellers to avail helicopter services from the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) to satellite cities such as Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad, and Ghaziabad.Civil Aviation Ministry Secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey has asked the airport operator, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), to explore the possibility of providing space for helicopters within the Delhi airports, so that direct connectivity can be provided to air travellers. The move will help commuters bypass the cumbersome traffic congestion and reach their respective destinations within a much shorter time.If successful, the plan will be replicated in three other metropolitan cities — Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata.”This will be a big relief for frequent flyers as many of them complain about missing their flights due to traffic chaos,” a source in the Ministry of Civil Aviation said. These choppers could also be used as air ambulances, and hospitals and patients could avail the facility on a regular basis. The service will particularly facilitate swifter organ transfer, as compared to green corridor. “A Detailed Project Report is being prepared and accordingly, changes will be made in building bylaws, wherein rooftop helipads might also be included,” the source added.Initially, however, the Centre will use unattended helipads in these satellite cities.In July this year, a study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had revealed that there were no “non-peak hours” in Delhi anymore as there was almost no difference in the time taken to travel during peak and non-peak hours. The CSE had carried out the study on 13 arterial roads for 12 hours daily. It stated that on an average, the morning and evening peak traffic speeds were 28 kmph and 25 kmph, and the off-peak speed was 27 kmph.Expansion planPossibility to avail services from IGIA to satellite cities like Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad, Ghaziabad If successful, the plan will be replicated in three other cities — Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata

VVIP chopper scam: CBI raids six places in Delhi, Kolkata

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expanding probe into Rs 3,727-crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out raids at six places in Delhi and Kolkata on the premises of two businessmen — Sunil Kothari and Narendra Kumar Jain — for allegedly laundering ‘kickback’ through a layer of shell companies.The kickback was brought in by two middlemen — former IAF chief SP Tyagi’s cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan”Searches were carried on premises of Sunil Kothari, managing director of Om Metals, in Delhi, and Narendra Kumar Jain, director of Abhinand Vanchiya, in Kolkata,” CBI stated. It further pointed out that raids were also carried out on premises of Rajesh Kumar Jain, an associate of Narendra, in Kolkata.They have laundered the money of middlemen, Tyagi brothers, through shell companies.During the search on October 31, apart from documents, Rs 55.68 lakh were seized in currency from Kothari residence in Delhi. “Also Rs 29 lakh was seized from Narendra’s residence in Kolkata,” said a CBI official. Following the cash seizure, Income Tax officials too joined the searches.Jewellery worth Rs 60 lakh from the locker of Narendra’s wife, and worth Rs 49 lakh from that of daughter-in-law were also seized, taking total seizure from Narendra’s residence to Rs 1.38 crore.Carlos extraditionThe CBI on Thursday also submitted a request for extradition of middleman Carlo Valentino Gerosa to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Gerosa was arrested by Italian authorities in October first week on the basis of an Interpol red corner notice.According to CBI sources, Gerosa can provide important clues in connection with the scam.The CBI sources also said that they are hoping Italy will extradite Gerosa to India so that probe can be carried forward. Gerosa, 70, is one of the three alleged middlemen wanted in this case and his interrogation and his statement is very important for both the ED and the CBI.The ED had notified an Interpol red corner notice (RCN) against Gerosa and two others — British national Christian Michel James and Italian Guido Haschke — last year.The chargesheetCBI chargesheet in the case says Indian officials were paid Rs 362 crore in bribe to swing the deal in favour of UK-based AgustaWestland.The deal was signed for 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters in February 2010 for the communication squadron of IAF to carry the President, the PM and other VVIPs.It said during the tenure of SP Tyagi, IAF “conceded to reduce the service ceiling for VVIP copters from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres” to facilitate AgustaWestland win the contract.

DNA Exclusive: ‘Buried’ Bofors files to be dug up

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as it waits for the Centre’s nod to reopen the Bofors kickback case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) top brass is learnt to have issued directions to key officers to locate the “buried” files connected to the case and prepare a fresh list of witnesses and accused who are “still alive”.Sources in the CBI told DNA that these instructions were issued at a meeting chaired by CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma following the DNA interview of the private investigator in the case, Michael J Hershman, who questioned the role of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the case.The CBI is also planning to constitute a new team headed by a Joint Director-rank officer to re-investigate the case. Further, the agency is trying to get in touch with earlier investigators of the case — which continues to have huge political ramifications, especially now that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is set to be elevated as party president.In a letter to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which is the administrative department in charge of the CBI, the agency has conveyed that it wants to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) challenging the Delhi High Court judgment of May 31, 2005 quashing all charges against the Europe-based Hinduja brothers in the Bofors case. Sources said the CBI actually wanted to file the SLP as early as in 2005, but the then UPA government did not give its approval.”The case is over 30 years old. Many witnesses and accused in the case have died, so a fresh list has to be made. Also, all the evidences collected needs to be analysed afresh so that the case can be argued strongly before the Supreme Court,” said a senior CBI officer who was present in the high-level meeting.The CBI could also seek assistance of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in probing financial aspects of the case. The ED had looked into Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) violations with regard to the case. FERA was repealed in 2000 and its provisions were incorporated into two new Acts: The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and the more-recent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).A senior ED officer said, “We can only provide technical help to the agency as we were probing the FERA violations. All the files pertaining to those are with the agency. But we cannot probe the matter afresh till the time the court or government issues orders.” It was then ED chief Bhure Lal who probed the issue of millions of dollars in bribes paid by Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors to influential politicians and people.ED had then engaged the private investigator in the case, Michael J Hershman, the president and CEO of The Fairfax Group. Speaking to DNA, Hershman, who has already expressed his willingness to dispose before the CBI and help investigators with his findings, had questioned Rajiv Gandh’s intention in trying to close the case, wondering why the case had been dumped.DNA was the first media entity to have interviewed Hershman, who was assigned the job of probing violations of currency control laws in 1987, earlier this week. He had claimed that “millions were paid as bribe by Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors to influential politicians and people”.Earlier this year, the six-member Public Accounts Committee sub-committee on defence looked into non- compliance of certain aspects of the CAG report of 1986 on the Bofors howitzer gun deal. The panel members asked the CBI to move the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court’s 2005 order quashing proceedings in the Bofors case. Delhi High Court Judge RS Sodhi quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers and the Bofors company and castigated the CBI for its handling of the case.Before the 2005 verdict, another judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice JD Kapoor had, on February 4, 2004, exonerated Rajiv Gandhi in the case and directed framing of charge of forgery under Section 465 of the IPC against the Bofors company.

Top officers under IB’s lens over ‘gifts’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Diwali gifts to officers in investigating agencies have come under lens of the Intelligence Bureau (IB). IB sleuths are busy checking records of senior officers attached to Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate, Department of Revenue Intelligence and Customs, and Central Excise and Income Tax after being tipped off that some of them are being bribed in the form of gifts by people who have cases of financial frauds against them. “The officers are accepting gifts in the name of their relatives/family members from the businessmen/accused,” said a source.The ‘gifts’ are either in form of gold, luxury cars and houses in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune or in the form of shares in top companies, the source added.”Two senior officers are under scanner for allegedly demanding luxury cars in the name of their distant relatives based in Karnataka and Odisha,” said the source adding that the financial records of a senior officer, attached to a financial investigating agency, and his family members are being scrutinised over apprehension of receiving a flat in Gurugram as ‘gift’.The Centre has a list of 14 officers of Customs, Central Excise and Income Tax who have been approached by top business houses asking them about the kind of ‘gift’ they want. The sleuths have also identified an officer who demanded golden combs for his wife from a business house.At least six officers from CBI and ED are on the radar as they have been approached by some accused this festive season.The IB sleuths have also been directed to check on the personal staff of senior officers. “The record of special officers/personal assistants of the Public Servants of Gazetted status of doubtful integrity must be checked and verified for their inappropriate conduct,” the source said citing the directions they received for this festive season. They, however, have been asked to stay away from residences of these officers while keeping an eye on them.According to the central government guidelines, if gift are taken from the accused, the officer concerned will be immediately booked under Prevention of Corruption Act.As per the guidelines, bureaucrats can accept gifts up to Rs25,000 from relatives and personal friends on occasions such as weddings without reporting the same to the government. But gifts from other contacts may be received without government sanction as long as their value does not exceed Rs5,000.Both CBI and ED stated that they “strictly follow the guidelines issued by the central government”, and refused to comment over the issue.Hawk-eyed govtThe Centre has a list of 14 officers of Customs, Central Excise and Income Tax who have been approached by top business houses asking them about the kind of ‘gift’ they want

Found millions from Bofors in overseas accounts: Michael J Hershman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recently told the government that it could not appeal against the 2005 Delhi HC order in Bofors gun case, wherein the Hinduja brothers were acquitted, because it wasn’t permitted to by the UPA, the Centre is all set to reopen the Bofors gun case. Thirty years later, the first investigator of the case, Michael J Hershman, then president and CEO, The Fairfax Group, in an interaction with Sumit Kumar Singh, shares his findings.Did the government assign you to probe financial irregularities of Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI)?When I left the government in 1980, I found Fairfax. In 1987, I was contacted to help investigate issues involving violations of currency control laws at that time.What did the government task you with?The Finance Ministry under VP Singh had concerns that wealthy Indians were violating currency control laws. They had expertise within India, but needed help with money siphoned overseas.Did the government share any names?I was given a list of about a dozen of very wealthy Indian businessmen, but I can’t recall the specifics.What did you find?Very early on, I came across information that led me to believe that I have found evidence of bribery. It was not in the mandate, so I advised VP Singh that I have discovered million of dollars that may not be violation of currency control laws, but might have been bribes in exchange for defence contracts. Singh said he wanted me to pursue it.Did you find anything related to Bofors?I had a source who indicated that this money was bribes paid by the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors.What happened then?I reported to the Finance Ministry and they raided a BCCI branch in Bombay. Unfortunately, the president flew to Delhi, met Rajiv Gandhi and convinced him to release his managers immediately. That incident, I believe led to Rajiv Gandhi’s knowledge that VP Singh had hired the Fairfax and I was asked to back out. Also, he could not fire VP Singh, but he could certainly transfer him.Were you offered bribes to stop the investigation?Yes. Three times. Actually, two times to stop the investigation, and one time to damage the reputation of VP Singh.

NCB faced with manpower and infra challenges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is India’s nodal agency to fight drug trafficking, but it is facing a host of challenges, crippling its capacity to fight the powerful cartels on the ground. The NCB has 700 officials, 400 less than its sanctioned strength.Its major challenge is gathering intelligence. The unit has a small team of around 20 to 25 people in about 25 states. It does not have offices in a few states.The NCB is heavily dependent on local enforcement agencies and state police forces. “Sadly, anti-narcotics units in states are not a top priority. These units are headed by low-rank officials, except in Punjab where an Additional Director General-level officer is heading the unit,” said a senior officer. According to him, this is one of the major hurdles. The local police can generate huge intelligence pertaining to drug trafficking but they have failed to do so, he said.The second biggest challenge is how to stop pilferage of Schedule–H or prescription drugs. “It has been found that a truck full of Schedule–H drugs has been smuggled into Bangladesh,” said the officer. The manufacture and sale of all drugs under Schedule–H are covered under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940. But lack of proper mechanism to check manufacture and sale, and easy availability lead to pilferage of Schedule–H drugs. Thirdly, local enforcement agencies have often been found inefficient with not much interest in proper implementation of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.Another important aspect is the lack of infrastructure with the NCB. This leads to various operational hurdles.Also, drug networks are spread across the globe and there is a need for strong relations with other countries to break networks.To deal with this, the Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted a multi-stake coordination centre for all agencies, border-guarding forces and police establishments and forces in the states to interact with the NCB and together fight the drug menace. The Ministry has established a Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD) and ordered coordination meetings on monthly basis.”In pursuance of the mandate of the NCB to have effective coordination amongst the various drug law enforcement agencies as well as different departments/ministries dealing with policy matters, the Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD),” a ministry notification said.The notification further pointed out, “Various enforcement agencies in the country like the state police, the border guarding force, DRI, Custom and Central Excise, besides the NCB (which is the Nodal Agency) have been vested with the task of enforcing the NDPS Act. Different departments/ministry like the Department of Revenue (Ministry of Finance), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Home Affairs, deal with different aspects including policy matters for the purpose of effectively preventing and combating abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and illicit trafficking.”

India gears up to break drug cartels

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Last month, the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment forwarded a draft National Drug Demand Reduction Policy to the Cabinet after modifying the document as suggested by a group of ministers (GoM). This followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive to the GoM, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, to examine the draft policy that seeks to address the problem of drug and substance abuse in India. The GoM comprises the ministries of Health, Social Justice and Empowerment, Women and Child Development, Transport, and Home Affairs.The redrafted policy mainly focuses on the rehabilitation aspect of victims, apart from covering two broad areas — illicit drugs, including cannabis, heroin and opium, and pharmaceutical preparations like tranquillisers and inhalants. The policy emphasises on strengthening coordination among various regulatory agencies to check the diversion of substances from lawful channels to illicit ones, including Internet pharmacies.However, much of the policy’s success will depend on how effectively authorities deal with drug trafficking, of which India has become a key global transit point, sources have told DNA. Trafficking routes have changed in the last five years. Cartels are using channels that are not well known.A renewed focus on drug trafficking began when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Mann Ki Baat programme on radio in December 2014, termed the addiction menace as “devastating”, saying the money spent by the youth on drugs could be funding terrorism. The PM said a thinking process should begin to ensure that the country is rid of this problem. He has involved celebrities from the cine world, sports and other fields to campaign for a “drug-free India”. “Let your children open their hearts to you. You should observe their behaviour to see that they do not go on the wrong path. Nobody else can do what parents can do,” the PM had said.In 2016, the national capital recorded the highest number of drug seizures in the country, data tabled in the Lok Sabha in March this year showed. Early this year, a government survey revealed that 70,000 children in Delhi alone were drug addicts.The Centre has issued orders for elimination of the menace of drug trafficking, directing the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) under the Home Ministry to play a major role in it. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has admitted that drug trafficking syndicates are a threat to the national security and sovereignty of states, and they need to be dealt with urgently. He has said that drug abuse in some parts of the country is causing an alarm and the youth should be protected from it. He has directed officials to expedite all pending proposals so that the NCB functions as one of the premier organisations to check the flow of narcotics in the country.HeroinThe NCB conducted a detailed study and is equipping itself to take on the challenge in coordination with other agencies. The study shows that foreign syndicates are mainly behind heroin trafficking in India. And the trend is rising. Southwest Asian countries, western Europe and Canada have become main suppliers of heroin in India. Recent seizures indicate that these regions account for 35 to 40 per cent of heroin in India. International airports in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai are being used.Agencies have found that heroin trafficking from Southwest Asian countries was earlier limited to the Punjab border.But in the last two years, heroin is also coming through Jammu and Kashmir. Over 450 people have been arrested for drug trafficking in Jammu till August this year and a large haul of narcotic substances, including charas, brown sugar and heroine, was seized during the drive. A total of 379 cases were registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.Documents available with DNA reveal that small supplies are also reaching India, Myanmar and Bangladesh borders. Maritime routes are also being exploited. This year, till May, the NCB, the nodal agency for drug control enforcement, has seized 136 kg of heroin.OpiumThe NCB study says India is located between the world’s two largest areas of illicit opium production: Golden Crescent (Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan) and Golden Triangle (Myanmar, Laos and Thailand). This makes India both a destination and a transit route for opiates produced in these regions.CannabisAnother challenge is the wild growth of cannabis in India and Nepal, and its trafficking across the world. In India, there is a large-scale production and consumption of cannabis as ganja (raw leaves), and hashish and charas (resin). Cannabis is illicitly cultivated in some northern and northeastern states. Also a major quantity of ganja and hashish is trafficked into India from Nepal. Major trafficking junctions in India of cannabis are Imphal, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Goa, areas of Himachal Pradesh, and Gandhinagar. It is trafficked from Mumbai and Delhi airports to the US and European countries.This year, till May, 38,424 kg of cannabis and 801 kg of hashish were seized by the NCB. Last year, 2,94,347 kg of cannabis and 2,805 kg of hashish were seized, and in 2015, it was 94,403 kg of cannabis and 3,349 kg of hashish. The NCB managed to destroy 1,164 kg of illicit cannabis cultivation this year till May. Last year, it was 8,438 kg. In 2015, it was 818 kg. In August, the Union Cabinet gave its approval for a pact between India and Nepal on resolving the issue of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.CocaineThen there is the challenge of smuggling cocaine into India from Argentina, Brazil and West Africa. Another challenge is the diversion of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine drugs for production of synthetic drugs. There are also attempts to establish illicit meth labs in collaboration with foreign operatives and smuggle these banned drugs through the Internet and courier services. India is not a producer of the coca plant, and cocaine reaches here mainly from Brazil and African countries.In the last one decade, most cocaine seizures took place from Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi airports where human couriers were caught. This syndicate is run by mostly African nationals. In 2017, till May, the NCB seized 23 kg of cocaine. Last year, it was 28 kg. And in 2015, it was 113 kg. After agencies increased surveillance at these airports, traffickers are now using the Nepal and Sri Lanka airports to push cocaine into India.Pharmaceutical drugsThe biggest challenge for enforcement agencies is the abuse of drugs under Schedule – H, which cannot be procured without prescription. The problem became more serious after 2010. These drugs do not cost much and are easily available. Some of the major abuses of pharmaceutical drugs reported are codeine-based cough syrups, Buprenorphine injections, Tramadol, Alprazolam, Diazapam, Fortwin, Proxyvon, Spasmoproxivon, Relipan, Propoxyphene and Ketamine tablets. Another cause of concern for drug law enforcement agencies is that the substances frequently sold through pharmacies are opioid analgesics, central nervous system stimulants and tranquillizers, and there are no monitoring mechanisms.Drug addicts in Punjab are shifting to pharmaceutical drugs like Tramadol and Buprenorphine, Rajnath Singh was informed by the NCB recently. Apart from drugs like heroin and cannabis, newer drugs that are synthetic in nature are also entering the market. Pharmaceutical drugs that are easily available and cheaper are now being abused widely, Singh was told. However, these drugs do not fall under the purview of the NDPS Act.SyndicatesMost drug syndicates in India are run by West African nationals, especially Nigerians. Foreign tourists are being roped in for trafficking. African nationals have established solid networks of locals, particularly female couriers. This year, till May, 79 foreign nationals have been arrested. A total of 219 foreign nationals were nabbed in 2016, and 221 in 2015.Multi-lateral effortIndia is signatory to all UN and SAARC drug conventions. The NCB collaborates with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Narcotics Control Board and drug liaison officers across counties. India has mutual legal assistance treaties with 37 countries, extradition treaties with 37, and extradition arrangements with eight countries. Director General-level talks with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and now with Singapore are regularly organised.India has also signed MoUs with 11 countries, including Australia, Bhutan, Indonesia, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Singapore, the US and Vietnam. Indian has also signed bilateral agreements with 24 countries like Mauritius, the US, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Zambia, Romania, Bulgaria, UAE, Egypt, China, Italy and others.Timely exchange of information with international organisations has resulted in the arrest of carriers and seizure of drugs both inside and outside India.The NCB has increased co-ordination with other law enforcement agencies and border-guarding forces, and is carrying out regular raids. Taj Hassan, Deputy Director General, NCB, said, “The NCB’s field officers have been directed to ensure more interdiction.” The NCB is also trying to reduce the demand for illicit drugs — a key element in the overall strategy. It has undertaken awareness campaigns through special classes in schools, colleges and universities, besides street plays.(With agency inputs)

Fake ministry website dupes thousands, CBI files case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 3,236 aspirants across the country were overjoyed to know that they had been selected for the final round of interviews for 1,108 posts in the Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj. Their dreams of securing a government job, however, were shattered when they realised that they were victims of a nation-wide fraud.Reportedly, a website had invited online applications for 1,108 vacant posts for multi tasking staff, billing clerks, computer technical data entry operators, and other designations. Sources said the aspirants were charged Rs 3,000 per head for the interview. But in fact, the ministry had neither set up the website nor given any such advertisement.The CBI registered a case under various sections of the Information and Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the unknown accused on October 5, and has blocked the website.The fraud came to light only when some political leaders started calling up top officials, to recommend some of the influential aspirants. Sources said officials were surprised when politicians in states started calling up Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Narendra Singh Tomar, requesting him to “take care” of their candidates.The lid was finally blown off the racket on August 24 this year, when one of the job aspirants, Sudesh Kumar from Banka in Bihar, wrote a mail to Tomar and his personal secretary Navneet Mohan Kothari, inquiring whether the ministry was charging money for the interviews. A surprised Tomar asked Kothari and his Additional Secretary Arun Kumar about the issue. The officials checked with Rural Development Secretary Amarjeet Sinha, only to find out that there were no such vacancies.In the mail to the minister, Kumar had said: “Sir, I have applied for a post under the National Department of Land Reform in India (NDLRI). They are asking for money for an interview. We are confused whether this is a fake site.” He also attached his admit card.When checked, it was found out that not only was there no such vacancy but even the department mentioned did not exist. Further inquiry revealed that a website had been created in the name of Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, which had all the details about the ministry and the minister.Kothari then wrote a letter to the Rural Development Secretary on August 25, stating: “There is an email by Suresh Kumar, along with the enclosure. The email relates to recruitment notice no. 23192, purported to have been issued by the Department of Land Reform and Development Indian for filling up various posts. It has been alleged that money is being solicited in this regard. Hon’ble Minister has desired that matter may be enquired into for further necessary action.”After carrying out an initial enquiry, Joint Secretary Alka Upadhyay wrote a letter to CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma on September 15, requesting the agency to carry out an investigation into the matter. In the letter, Upadhyay said: “There are no sanctioned posts in their department. Prime facie, this case appears to be criminal culpability. The Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development has desired that the matter to be investigated by the CBI.”

140 vulnerable points along Indo-B’desh borde: BSF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Border Security Force (BSF) has identified 140 vulnerable locations along the India-Bangladesh border where organised human trafficking gangs are helping Rohingyas to cross the border and enter into India.BSF Director General KK Sharma said the paramilitary has deployed more security personnel and surveillance equipment to check syndicates that help the Rohingya to sneak in.The issue was thoroughly discussed to check spillover effects of the fleeing Rohingya along the frontier during the five-day Director General level talks between the BSF and Border Guards Bangaldesh (BGB) that concluded on Friday. Sharma and BGB chief Maj Gen Abul Hossain addressed the media after the meet.”We are both aware that the issue is very serious, as large number of Rohingya refugees have entered Bangladesh. You are right in apprehending that the spillover effect of them crossing over to India is also genuine. Both of us (BSF-BGB) have taken steps,” Sharma said.The BSF DG further said, “The BGB has ensured that their (Rohingya) movement is being regulated and they have mounted some ‘nakas’ and checkposts on various routes to ensure that they do not cross over to our side.”Apart from deploying additional personnel and equipment, the BSF is in touch with the BGB on a daily basis to share real time Intelligence, he added.”We are also in touch with our sister agencies, the intelligence agencies, to identify and take action against the touts. Because, these people (Rohingyas) cannot come on their own. There are organised criminals on both the sides who assist in their crossing over to India. So, we are mounting the campaign against the touts,” he said.The Border Guards Bangaldesh DG said, “This is a problem in Myanmar and this is not our problem. Five lakh people have already come to Bangladesh. But, this is a problem for our country also as they(Rohingyas) cannot spread all over the country. Our government has taken a decision and the Rohingyas have been put in the Cox’s Bazar district.”The Border Guards Bangaldesh has identified the exit and entry points of the fleeing Rohingyas and the same are being guarded thoroughly, he added.The next DG level talks will be held in in Dhaka in February/March 2018″Issues raised by BGB during the talks included injuries to Bangladesh nationals by BSF/Indian nationals, arrest/apprehension of Bangladeshi nationals by BSF, smuggling of fire arms/ammunition/explosive etc. from India to Bangladesh,” the BSF stated.The BGB also raised the issue of smuggling of various types of drugs and phensedyl from India to Bangladesh.Smuggling of firearms, ammunition, explosive, drugs, development works within 150 yards of the International Border, assistance for river bank protection works along the border, confidence-building measure, exchange of visit by BGB-BSF medical team, prevention against attacks on BSF personnel by Bangladeshi criminals, and prevention of trans-border crimes was discussed at the meet.The BSF raised the issues of prevention against attacks on BSF personnel by the Bangladeshi criminals, prevention of trans-border crimes and action against Indian insurgent groups operating from that country.CooperationThe BSF and Border Guards Bangladesh discussed methods to check the Rohingya spillover along the frontier during a five-day Director General level talk.

Tech centre to cater to needs of forces

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a first of its kind in India, the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) of Delhi is setting up a National Police Technology Development Centre (NPTDC) to meet the technological needs of the police forces for better coordination, combating terror attacks and gathering intelligence on the ground.The technology centre will be under the aegis of BPR&D and is being set up on direction of Ministry of Home Affairs. It will act as a national nodal resource centre for technology applications in police, mandated to identify, develop standards, provide appropriate technology based solutions and present a road map for implementation of identified projects.A senior IPS officer explained that the idea to set up the technology centre is based on the various police research centres in the US and European countries. In Canada, the Canadian Police Research Centre meets the needs of law enforcement agencies in terms of research and development. Similarly, in the US, there is national Institute of Justice to fulfill the special technologies needs for state and local law enforcement agencies and foster technology research and development. Meeran C. Borwankar, the Director General of BPR&D during national-level conference on technology last month emphasized the importance of technology and taking the community along for better policing.

CBI books gun shop owner, BSF trooper

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against a Border Security Force trooper, a retired district magistrate and the owner of a gun shop in Jammu for getting private arms licences at Rs 12,000 on the basis of false and forged documents.The CBI has booked the three for criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, contravenes of the condition of arms licence or and criminal misconduct. According to the FIR, all the applicants were posted at Frontier Headquarters, Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat who did not belong to Rajouri and Shopian districts, wherefrom the licences issued in favour of nine BSF personnel. The agency had initiated a preliminary enquiry in the case in 2014.According to CBI, the case was registered on a complaint of then Additional Director General BSF KK Sharma, who alleged that PK Sharma, the owner of Nav Durga Gun House, Jammu had charged Rs 12,000 per licence from BSF personnel for providing arm licences.”The amount was higher than requisite fee on the basis of false and forged documents knowingly using these documents, as genuine. In furtherance of the said criminal conspiracy, then District Magistrate (Rajouri) Faquir Chand Bhagat who approved all the questioned arms licence in violation of the existing rules and procedure and without due verification,” the FIR said.

Sashastra Seema Bal now a nemesis for wildlife smugglers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has had a good run in nabbing the smugglers involved in carrying out wildlife crime. This year, SSB has seized things worth Rs 187.69 crore from 93 smugglers. These smugglers were involved in smuggling endangered species like Tokey Gecko lizards and prohibited items like snake venom, tiger and leopard skins and bones, elephant tusks/ivory, rhino horn, snake sand boa, tortoise, turtle and deer, deer skin and deer meat.Recently, the SSB apprehended snake venom worth Rs 100 crore in West Bengal, which happens to the be the most wildlife-crime prone state with 125 cases followed by Uttar Pradesh with 54 cases.Sources said Alipurduar in West Bengal is the main hub of wildlife smuggling from where 98 cases had been reported followed by Bahraich (15 cases) and Balrampur (15cases) in UP, Udalguri (14cases) in Assam, Jailpaiguri (12) and Darjeeling (10) in West Bengal.Other areas of wildlife smuggling are Lakhimpur Kheri in UP and Kishanganj and West Champaran in Bihar. The illegal trade also includes body parts of dead animals like rhino horns, leopard skin and paw, deer horn and skull, rein deer skin, barking deer skin and elephant trunk.The data shows that the price of seized products showed a massive increase to Rs11.16 crore and Rs 46.62 crore with the arrest of 43 and 70 smugglers in 2015 and 2016 respectively. In 2017, the SSB team has seized wild life products worth Rs 187.69 crore from 93 smugglers in 82 cases.The force stated that in last two to three years, Tokey Gecko catchers become active in the Assam, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Bihar. Tokay geckos (Gekko also known as gecko) are being caught illegally and trafficked from this region to Southeast Asian countries, where many people believe that medicines made from gecko meat can cure diseases such as AIDS and cancer. Tokey Gecko has been included into Schedule III, of Indian Wildlife Protection Act as highly endangered animal.The wildlife trafficker usually poaches or killed wild animals and traffic their body parts for traditional medicines in China and other East Asian countries. Bengal tigers and one-horned rhinos are the prime targets in trade operations.”Animal parts like rhino horns, tiger bones, ivory, deer antlers, pangolin scales, lizards, snakes are being smuggled to places like China, Myanmar and other Southeast Asian nations through the open route of Indo Nepal border and Indo Bhutan border. This region is presently used as a corridor by the international smuggler, causing a serious concern to the very existence of wildlife in the north-east India. Trade of bones, claws and skin of tiger, Assamese macaque, elephant tusk, smoked snakes and red panda have seen in this region,” said officials.From Indo-Bhutan borders and Indo-Nepal borders, the SSB team has arrested 221 wild life smugglers and recovered wildlife products worth Rs 244.56 crore in 247 cases that registered Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam between 2014 and 2017.In 2010, the SSB seized wildlife products valued at Rs 1.06 crore and arrested two smugglers. In 2011, the value went up to Rs 1.51 crore but only one criminal was held. In 2012, the amount declined to Rs 56 lakh but six criminals were caught. The 2013 value of seized wildlife products again increased to Rs 2.09 crore. A total of 28 smugglers were held

CBI arrests colonel, MCI staff for leaking info

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a serving colonel of Army Medical Corps, a clerk of Medical Council of India (MCI), and two other people for leaking sensitive information from MCI to help private medical institutions in return for bribes.The arrests came after the CBI registered a case against against Colonel Ajay Kumar Singh, an assessor with MCI; Santosh Kumar, a lower division clerk at MCI; their associates Susheel Kumar and Sachin Kumar; and B Ramachandhiran, chairman of Venkateshwaraa Medical College Hospital and Research Centre in Puducherry, among others.An FIR of criminal conspiracy and bribery has been registered against these people.According to the FIR, the CBI learnt that clerk Santosh Kumar was in regular contact with B Ramachandhiran, who resides in Chennai’s Ashok Nagar, and shares sensitive information with him regarding college inspections and approvals that MCI grants.MCI is the body that recommends recognition and derecognition of medical institutions in the country, depending on a number of standards maintained by the officials.It was found that Santosh was also in touch with Colonel Singh, who resides at Delhi Cantonment and is is empanelled as an assessor with MCI for inspecting various medical colleges.”Both these public servants met B Ramachandhiran routinely and demanded illegal gratification for rendering support and providing information at regular intervals,” said a senior CBI officer.The agency found that Ramachandhiran had recently delivered one instalment of ‘illegal gratification’ to Ajay and Santosh, who had demanded the remaining instalment, in return for providing information and helping him with the inspection.The duo, the CBI said, in connivance with Susheel and Sachin, were running a racket of leaking sensitive information to college managements regarding inspections, recognition of courses, number of seats, and similar administrative matters being contemplated by the MCI. In turn, they would seek bribes.When the CBI learnt that Ramachandhiran was likely to deliver another instalment to Ajay and Santosh through hawala channels in Delh, it registered a case in the matter.

Ignore misinformation circulated on social media: Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Directing security forces to use social media ‘wisely and judiciously’, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that a lot of misinformation is being circulated on social media by anti-national elements, which must be ignored.”The anti-national elements are trying to foment tension in the society by posting unverified information on social media. I urge you to not to forward such messages without verification or even believe in such things,” the minister said while launching the intelligence wing of the Sashastra Seema Bal.He further pointed out that such “nonsense news, most of the times, are completely wrong without any basis”. “Such things are regularly circulated on social media such as via WhatsApp and many people consider them to be true. I want to tell SSB jawans not to believe such messages,” he said.He told them to be careful before believing or forwarding them.He lauded the SSB saying it is very tough to guard open borders that allow free movement of people. The SSB guards the 1,751 km-long Indo-Nepal and the 699 km-long Indo-Bhutan borders.”In an open border, the force does not know who is anti-national, which way a criminal is coming or who is carrying fake Indian currency notes or drugs,” he said adding that the force under IPS officer Archana Ramasundaram, who retires on September 30, has done a great job.He also said that a lot of things have been done by his government for the forces and martyrs in the last three years but that is “not enough”. “Much more needs to be done on every front, from welfare to warfare. I am sure we will be doing it to make the forces more robust,” he said.The Home Minister launched the SSB’s first intelligence wing, which will gather information along the borders with Bhutan and Nepal. The wing will have 650 field and staff agents to gather actionable information.

UP ATS arrests three Bangladeshi brothers; recovers fake Aadhaar cards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) busted a fake Aadhaar card racket in Lucknow and arrested three Bangladeshi youth.The three accused, who are brothers, have been identified as Mohammad Imran, Rajiduddin and Mohammad Firdos. The trio was arrested near Charbag railway station in Lucknow.On August 6, the ATS arrested a terror suspect, Abdullah-Al-Mamon, from Kutesara village in Muzaffarnagar district on early Sunday morning.The ATS claimed that Abdullah stayed in Deoband also and was in constant touch with students from Bangladesh and other Islamic countries studying in Darul Uloom Deoband, the world renowned Islamic centre.On interrogation, Mamon confessed that there were others in the gang following which a search was on the other members.On Thursday, the ATS apprehended the three brothers at the railway station. On questioning them, they noticed something suspicious and arrested them. The ATS also recovered fake Aadhaar cards from their possession.

CBI files DA case against former Haryana CM aide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a disproportionate assets case against Murari Lal Tayal, who was Principal Secretary to former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Tayal, an 1976 batch IAS officer, was Principal Secretary to the chief minister between March 2005 and October 2009.He was already under the CBI scanner in connection with a case of land allotment irregularities, has been booked along with his wife Savita, son Kartik and daughter Malvika — and a firm Kappac Pharma Limited.The FIR, registered under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal code, alleges that Tayal amassed assets worth Rs 10 crore between 2006 and 2014 which he could not explain from his known sources of income. The CBI FIR says that a separate investigation revealed that Tayal acquired huge assets in the form of movable and immovable properties.

WATCH: Chhattisgarh CRPF jawans save ill tribal woman by carrying her through jungle to ambulance 7-km away

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A CRPF group conducting a special operation in the interiors of Surnar in Bastar Chhattisgarh ended up as heroes for their quick thinking on Sunday.The group noticed two infants, one of whom was a two-month-old infant, crying outside a home, which was a hutment located from the main village.The troops followed the elder child into the house to find a woman lying with high fever. The troops then fed the children. They also discovered that the children’s father had gone into the jungles to rear cattle.The Assistant Commandant of the troops, identified as Devram, then took the decision to take the woman to the community health centre. The troops made a makeshift stretcher using bamboos and carried to the nearest motorable road located seven kilometres away. It was an arduous process, as due to the monsoons the stretch had become uneven with thick jungle cover and hillocks.Meanwhile, one of the troops sent a message to rush an ambulance to a designated place on the road. The woman was admitted to the health centre and is recovering.

JuD chief warns of intensified jihad against India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Central government has drawn up a tough strategy to deal with the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir and has already killed more than 140 terrorists this year, Pakistan-based terror outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) announces to intensify terror attacks in India.JuD chief Abdul Rehman Makki pledged to intensify ‘jihad’ against India in the Valley. Makki also confirmed the formation of a new political outfit Milli Muslim League (MML). He is the brother-in-law of Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind behind the 26/11 attack in 2008. Makki was given the charge to head JuD after Saeed was placed under house arrest by Pakistan government in January.Sources in intelligence agencies stated that the influence of Makki and Saeed in the Valley are losing ground as Pakistan-based terror outfits members are being killed. “This is worrisome for them who trap the innocent and unemployed Kashmiri youth to carry out terror attacks in lieu of money,” a senior intelligence bureau officer said.Makki also hailed the terrorists who were killed by security forces in Kashmir.He also lashed out at the United States to label JuD cadres as extremists, jihadis, fundamentalists and terrorists, and declaring the outfit as dangerous for peace in the region. Makki said that JuD’s basic aim is to consolidate Pakistan and “to free Kashmiris from the yoke of Hindu forces”. He also blamed the Indian government to declare Hafiz Saeed a terrorist and having him placed under house arrest.”The Pakistan leadership needs to be taught to work for the supremacy of Islam, liberation of Kashmir, and to stop being friends with New Delhi,”he said. On former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Makki said, “Allah punished people for stopping others from following the path of Jihad.”

CBI case against BSNL officers for leaking info

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against senior income tax and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) officers and others under the Official Secret Act, after it found the agency’s surveillance request for alleged corrupt IT officers was leaked from BSNL office in Assam.The case has been registered against senior Indian Revenue Service officer Dhrubajyoti Ray, Joint Commissioner Income Tax at Silchar in Assam, Abhijit Das, Deputy General Manager at BSNL in Silchar, DC Tikadar and Siddhartha Deb Ray, a businessman.The agency filed a regular case after preliminary enquiry into the matter on February 17 this year. It was alleged that the CBI director, through the Superintendent of Police, sent letters to the nodal officers of the respective service providers for mounting telephonic surveillance of mobile numbers of Dhrubajyoti Ray and other income tax officers for the purpose of getting actionable inputs on the alleged corrupt activities. The letter was sent after getting necessary permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs.The agency found that the request for telephonic surveillance was sent to the general manager of BSNL in Guwahati.During enquiry, it was found that after receiving the mail, Das made a call to a businessman Siddhartha Deb and asked him to meet him. Das forwarded the letter to PR Chanda, Assistant General Manager BSNL in Silchar and also marked it to the General Manager DC Tikadar. It was also found that Siddhartha was a contractor with the BSNL and also supplied vehicles to Income tax office and knew Dhrubajyoti and other taxmen.What was foundThe agency filed a regular case after preliminary enquiry into the matter on February 17 this year. During enquiry, the agency found that the request for surveillance was sent to the general manager of BSNL in Guwahati.

NBW against Moin Qureshi aide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday secured a non-bailable arrest warrant (NBW) against Greater Kailash-based Hawala dealer Dharmendra Singh Anand, a close associate of controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi, in the money laundering case registered against the later and his associates. The development comes a day after Qureshi was arrested and was produced in court that sentenced him to police custody till August 31. With non-bailable arrest warrant in hand, ED will now approach the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with a formal plea to issue a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Anand. The agency said they suspect that Anand is secretly staying in Thailand. According to a source, there is also a case against Anand in London and the accused is also on the list of wanted criminals of the British Police. “Soon after a case was registered against Anand, he fled and went into hiding,” said a source. The CBI has a special Interpol Wing to consider such a request and is the only Indian authority to issue all kinds of notices to catch criminals and terrorists at an international level. Explaining the procedure of issuing an RCN, a CBI officer said, “Once the ED puts a formal request before the CBI for an RCN against Anand, the case file will be reviewed. It will be decided what colour of notice needs to be issued against him as he is not a hardcore criminal or terrorist.” The process usually takes a day or two. “Once the decision is taken, CBI will request Interpol to issue the notice so that Anand could be arrested from any corner of the world and handed over to ED,” said the CBI officer.

It was willful neglect on part of state, says BSF ex-DG

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Dera Sacha Sauda mayhem, which left 36 people dead and over 250 injured, happened due to “political hesitation” and “politician procrastination”, said retired Border Security Force (BSF) Director General Parkash Singh. “It was Haryana government’s abject surrender to lumpen elements,” said Singh, who had earlier been assigned with the job of preparing fact-finding report on last year’s Jat agitation.Also senior bureaucrats in the Union Home ministry blamed the Haryana government saying it was complete failure on part of state government and the state administration willfully surrendered before the miscreants. Seeing the situation, they stated that there was no communication between the force on the ground and senior officers. “It looks like no instruction was issued from senior police officers to deal with the mob,” said a senior bureaucrat adding that everyone in the state administration is accountable for deaths.Speaking to DNA, Singh slammed the Haryana government and Centre for its inept handling of the mayhem. “It is not just a responsibility of the Director General of Police of Haryana. He does not act in vacuum. He operates within the limitation and directions of state government,” he said.He stated that police had failed to act under political pressure. “Everyone is responsible… the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and of course the Director General of Police.”After facing flak for the Jat violence, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had set up the fact-finding committee under Singh to probe the lapses.Singh said that during Jat agitation, it was complete “collapse” of state machinery and administration but during Dera Sacha Sauda mayhem it was “failure” on part of state machinery and administration. He further pointed out that the state was aware about that mayhem would happen but they failed to act.He also stated that now the police defend themselves saying the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC were issued. But these prohibitory orders had serious lacunae. The order only prohibited people from carrying weapons, there was no prohibition on the entry of five or more people. “They come up with defence that it was clerical error. It is just unacceptable,” he said.He said that he saw forces running away from a bunch of protestors. “I don’t know which force they belonged to, but I feel ashamed that these things continue to happen in the state even after a year. The other thing that needs to be investigated, apart from the ‘clerical error’, is the police’s running away from the scene. Dera Sacha Sauda followers weren’t armed with sophisticated weapons. I’m ashamed that the police have not changed at all in this one year”Prakash Singh is a retired IPS officer, who served as the chief of UP Police, BSF and Assam Police. More recently, he conducted an inquiry into the 2016 Jat agitation, based on which some officers were held guilty and punished for abetting riots.Singh said Khattar had asked him to stop working on his second report after the Jat violence that was to focus on police reforms and operational autonomy for the force. In his first report about the Jat violence, Singh had slammed the police brass and alleged an administrative paralysis. “The highest functionaries in the government failed to show the kind of guidance, direction and control” expected in a crisis, he had written.

Satyendra Jain, wife unable to reveal source of funds: CBI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CBI officials claimed on Saturday that Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain and his wife Poonam Jain “feigned ignorance” and could not explain how they had received more money than their declared income.The investigative agency was questioning Jain and his wife with regard to the disproportionate assets case lodged against them. They stated that Jain and his wife could not explain how they had manage to purchase 200 bighas of land in Delhi. During the investigation, CBI officials said that they also found that a company JJ Ideal Estates Private Limited, formed in 2015, in which Poonam Jain is one of the directors, had also allegedly carried out hawala transaction from Kolkata-based shell companies for Rs 15 lakhs. Interestingly, Jain’s daughter Soumya Jain is one of the major shareholders in the company.The CBI had registered a disproportionate assets case against Jain, his wife and four others on Friday when they carried out searches at four places — including residential and the company office premises of Jain and other accused persons in Delhi.The agency registered a case four months after they launched a preliminary enquiry against Jain for allegedly laundering Rs 16. 39 crore through shell companies and data operators.Talking about the modus operandi, officials said that four companies controlled by Jain had received Rs 16.39 crore from 56 shell firms belonging to three hawala operators – Jivendra Mishra, Abhishek Chokhani and Rajendra Bansal — all based in Kolkata.The role of Jain first came to light during the interrogation of Mishra and Bansal. Mishra’s statement said that he was introduced to Satyendra (Jain) by his friend Raju Bansal, following which he was provided cash by the employees of Jain.

Suresh Prabhu hints at pulling chain

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following two incidents of train derailment within a week, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. Taking moral responsibility for the mishaps, Prabhu offered his resignation, which is yet to be accepted. Besides, there are speculations regarding a Cabinet reshuffle later this month, and it is possible that Prabhu might be shifted out of the ministry.Also, Air India (AI) Chief Managing Director Ashwani Lohani has been appointed as the Railway Board Chairman, in place of A K Mittal, who also tendered his resignation following the accidents.According to Railway Board sources, Prabhu was very upset following the Utkal Express derailment, and the Kaifiyat Express derailment in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday morning served as a double blow. He made the phone call to the PM early in the morning, offering his resignation, but was asked to attend the Cabinet meeting. Prabhu then met the PM after the Cabinet meet and was again asked to wait.”I met the PM, taking full moral responsibility. He has asked me to wait,” Prabhu tweeted.”I am extremely pained by the unfortunate accidents, injuries to passengers, and loss of precious lives. It has caused me deep anguish,” he stated in a tweet after the meeting. The Kaifiyat Express derailed in UP after being hit by a dumper, injuring 70 passengers. On August 20, the Utkal Express derailed in UP, killing 23 passengers. The Railways had accepted, prime facie, negligence by its staffers as the reason behind the derailment.In fact, two other minor accidents were also reported on Wednesday – a train collided with a tractor trolley at an unmanned rail crossing in Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, and a narrow gauge train derailed in Gujarat.When queried about Prabhu’s resignation offer, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: “Accountability is a good system in the government. The PM will take the final decision. “Meanwhile, the Congress demanded that the PM should either sack the Railway Minister or accept his resignation, adding that he should also lay down a roadmap for train safety. The party said Modi should appoint a responsible person for the position. “”Railway safety in India is a mess. Accidents, derailments, and complete apathy to passenger safety have become the new normal under the Modi government,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.In a series of tweets, Prabhu said that in less than three years as minister, he has devoted his blood and sweat for the betterment of the Railways. “Under the leadership of the PM, I tried to overcome decades of neglect through systemic reforms in all areas, leading to unprecedented investment and milestones. The New India envisioned by the PM deserves a railway that is efficient and modern. I promise that is the path on which railways is progressing now,” he stated.Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal, who was on a two-year extension, had tendered resignation late on Tuesday and it was accepted on Wednesday.Suresh Prabhu said in a series of tweetsIn less than three years as Minister, I have devoted my blood and sweat for the betterment of the RailwaysI am extremely pained by the unfortunate accidents, injuries to passengers and loss of precious lives. It has caused me deep anguishI met the Hon’ble Prime Minister @narendramodi taking full moral responsibility. Hon’ble PM has asked me to wait.SICResignations in the pastIn 1956, the then Railway Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned after the Ariyalur train accident in Tamil Nadu left 142 people dead.
In 1999, Nitish Kumar resigned after the Gaisal train disaster in Assam, which killed at least 290 people. He came back as the Railway Minister in 2001.
In 2000, Mamata Banerjee offered to resign after two train disasters, but the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee did not accept the resignation. Accidents2014-15: 135 train accidents
2015-2016: 107 train accidents
2016-17: 104 train accidents
2017, till August 2: 21 train accidents

Ample evidence against Col Purohit: NIA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the Supreme Court granting bail to Lt Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit, the alleged main conspirator in 2008 Malegaon blast case, the spotlight is back on the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The bail was granted bail despite the NIA raising objection to it.On Monday, the top court said it was granting bail to Purohit because of contradiction in the charges filed by Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the NIA.The agency, however, remained tight-lipped over the matter. “We have nothing to say as our legal team has already made the agency’s stand clear,” said a senior NIA officer. He further said that the agency opposed the bail plea as Purohit is allegedly the “main conspirator” in the case.On part of the NIA, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh submitted before the apex court that prima facie there is sufficient material on record to prove Purohit’s involvement in the alleged offence. The NIA, which was handed over the Malegaon blast probe from the ATS, had given a clean chit to Pragya, but said the charges levelled against Purohit are of serious and grave nature.”Merely because the charges have been dropped under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 (MCOCA) Act, it does not mean that there is no material against the appellant in respect of other charges,” Singh said.He further reiterated that the NIA has given clean chit to accused Pragya Singh Thakur and some other accused, but has not exonerated Purohit from the charges which is a clear indication that the agency has sufficient material to implicate him.He also submitted that the offences alleged against Purohit as drawn by the Anti-Terror Squad are supplemented and supported by the NIA officers in their detailed investigation.”Having regard to the gravity and seriousness of the offence, which were in the nature of waging war against the unity and integrity of the nation, and, that too, by violent means, the bail application of the appellant could not have been allowed and it has rightly been rejected by the courts below and no interference is sought for by this court,” Singh said.The NIA is facing questions on its turnaround — by dropping charges against Thakur and five others in the case, while charges under the stringent MCOCA law have been given up against all the other 10 accused, including Purohit.During investigation, sufficient evidence was not found against Pragya and five others, the NIA said, adding it has submitted in the charge sheet “that the prosecution against them is not maintainable”.When & whatSept 29, 2008 At least six killed, 70 injured in blasts in a busy market in MalegaonOct 24, 2008 Police arrest 3 — Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Shiv Narayan Gopal Singh Kalsanghra and Shyam Bhawarlal SahuNov 5, 2008 Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad arrest Col Purohit for allegedly supplying money and explosivesJan 20, 2009 14 charge-sheeted by Maharashtra ATSJuly 31, 2009 Special MCOCA court drops charges against all 11 accusedJuly 19, 2010 Maharashtra ATS receives a major boost after the Bombay HC reinstates MCOCA against the 11 accusedApril 1, 2011 Investigation transferred to NIAApril 13, 2011 NIA takes over the case Sept 23, 2011 SC rejects bail plea of Sadhvi Pragnya ThakurApril 15, 2015 SC sets aside Bombay HC order, drops MCOCA chargesJune 24, 2015 Reports quote Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian as saying that NIA had instructed her to “go soft” on the accusedNov 7, 2015 MCOCA special court rejects bail application of Sadhvi Pragya ThakurFeb 2, 2016 NIA tells court it is of the opinion that stringent MCOCA was not applicableMay 13, 2016 NIA files second charge-sheet, drops charges against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and three others Sept 26, 2016 Special NIA court rejects the bail of Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit on the grounds that the evidence cited have to be proved under Evidence Act.Nov 24, 2016 ATS pleads the court to allow the prosecution to lead with the secondary evidence, in the wake of some documents going missing.Dec 30, 2016 NIA tells special court that it will investigate claims that two of the accused, Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, were killed in custody by Maharashtra ATS and bodies disposed of as victims of Mumbai terror attacksApril 25, 2017 Bombay HC grants bail to accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh, turns down bail plea of Colonel Purohit, holding the charges are of grave nature and prima facie true.May 3, 2017 Sadhvi Pragya approaches Session’s CourtMay 5, 2017 SC seeks reply from NIA on Purohit bail pleaMay 12, 2017 NIA informs Special NIA Court that it has no objection to the discharge application filed by SadhviAug 17, 2017 SC reserves verdict on Purohit bail plea.Aug 21, 2017 SC grants bail to Colonel Purohit.Compiled by DNA – Research N Archives

DNA Exclusive: DoT seeks data upgradation for better intel gathering

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To boost intelligence gathering in Naxal-affected areas, the Department of Telecom (DoT) wants to upgrade 2G towers to 4G and has written to the Union Home Ministry seeking specifications for the same.In the letter accessed by DNA, DoT has stated that 2G telecom towers, 2,199 in number, are breathing their last. The issue was discussed at a recent review meeting of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with the chief ministers of Maoist-affected areas and it was decided that upgraded technology would be provided to counter left wing extremists (LWE) in the country.”Since provision of data connectivity has certain security implications, it is requested that MHA may kindly give their comments regarding the inclusion of specifications for data connectivity (2G/4G) for phase-II of the project,” DoT Administrator Sanjay Singh said in his communiqué to MHA.The DoT administrator further said that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh wants mobile towers in Phase-II with 4G capability in Bastar region.According to the Home Ministry, there are 106 districts across 10 States, which have been identified by the government as Naxal-affected districts across states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.In a high-level meeting in May this year, the DoT was directed by the Home Ministry to examine the issue of up-gradation and serviceability of mobile towers in LWE areas.PROJECT APPROVALThe total cost in the second phase is expected to be Rs 4,396 cr
The project was first approved by the Cabinet in June 2013 after a Maoist attack in Bastar, in which 27 people, including senior Congress leaders, were killed.
It was sent for Cabinet approval again due to change in cost structure and was cleared in August 2014.

Centre junks states demand for more money for setting up Emergency Response Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Centre has junked demands from several state governments for additional funds for setting up State Emergency Response Centre (SERC), which aims at rolling out pan-India single emergency number — 112 — for all kinds of emergencies and distress calls from across the country, stating that the amount released is adequate.In the first phase of setting up Emergency Response System, the Ministry of Home Affairs has released Rs 254.37 crore to all the states and union territories. In a letter to the states, accessed by DNA, the MHA stated they have released funds to the states for setting up of state emergency response system and these funds “may be utilised used Information Technology hardware for SERC and Districts, manpower (facilities management services and call taking agents), connectivity and emergency response vehicles”.But after getting the money from the Centre, the states complained that the money is inadequate for setting up State Emergency Response Centres, which is a part of National Emergency Response System (NERS).The ministry in a letter to the chief secretaries of the states and union territories said, “Further states/union territories have been articulating concerns that the funds released are inadequate for launching a comprehensive response system as that would require provision of a significant number of vehicles, police personnel, mobile data terminal to comprehensively improve the last mile response.””In this context, it may be noted that the released funds also comprises a component for vehicles and mobile device terminals on pilot basis to address mile issue in small areas so that, based on the results of this exercise, replication can be done in other areas by states and union territories by their own resources,” the ministry stated.The ministry clarifies, “In this connection it is clarified and reiterated that funds released are essentially for the purpose of establishment of state emergency response centres and linking the SERC with District level nodes in order to lay a foundation to comprehensively expand the emergency response system in due course.”The ministry stated that after setting up emergency response centres, there will be a significant reduction of response time and this needs to be addressed.Establishment of SERC and connecting it to districts nodes will as noted earlier lay a foundation of such comprehensive response system but will help reduce response time to a significant extent thus improving the service delivery in this regard.In a bid to integrate the helpline numbers such as that of fire, ambulance across the country, MHA in December last year has asked for the implementation of the National Emergency Response System (NERS). It had directed the states and union territories for the establishment of State Emergency Response Centre (SERC) based on the recommendations of the Justice JS Verma Committee. The ministry has also asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to designate 112 as the “common national single emergency response number.”In is pertinent to mention that in the aftermath of Nirbhaya gang rape incident, on December 23, 2012 a three member Committee headed by Justice J.S. Verma, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was constituted to recommend amendments to the Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women.ProposalThe NERS project aims at rolling out pan-India emergency number — 112. Under the project, MHA is to supplement states and UTs through provision of hardware, connectivity, and other infrastructure.

Plans for new highway to connect Delhi & Haryana being considered

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to reduce traffic on national highway one (NH-1), the Central government is planning to construct a 200-kilometre highway along the Western Yamuna Canal from Bawana in Delhi to Yamuna Nagar in Haryana. A proposal to this effect is being considered by the Ministry of Road Transport, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB).As per the initial concept, the proposed highway will cross NH-1 at Karnal, NH-71 Panipat to Rohtak and bypass; Haryana state highway number 7 and 8 (Karnal Kaithal road), Number 9 (Karnal–Kachwa–Samli–Kaul road), Number 14 (Panipat –Jind road), major district road number 114 (Kond– Munak–Salwan Asandh road), and other village roads.The proposal was mooted by the Manoharlal Khattar government in Haryana. Both the ministries — Ministry of Road Transport, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs — has asked the Haryana government to prepare a detailed project report on the proposal.The project to construct a highway along the Western Yamuna Canal to Yamunanagar along the river was conceptualised in 2014. The Haryana Cabinet had also approved funds to prepare a detailed project report. Sources said that detailed project report is almost ready. This will help to further develop the villages along the Western Yamuna Canal.The proposed project will decongest the traffic on the NH-1 in Sonepat, Panipat, Karnal and Yamunanagar. If approved, this would be the second highway in the state after Eastern Peripheral Expressway and Western Peripheral Expressway. The highway will not only reduce traffic on NH -1 but also provide an alternate route to commuters in Haryana and Delhi.As per an initial estimate, the project will cost about Rs 1,000-1,500 crore and its carriageway will be 10-metre-wide. While the Haryana Government will spend Rs 150 crore, the remaining funds will come from the NCRPB.IN THE PIPELINEThe minimum land width along the Western Yamuna Canal is approximately 20 metres.
The new highway will cross Delhi-Ambala railway line for which railway overbridges will be required.
The project will include construction of four railway overbridges and 10 flyovers.

DNA Exclusive: This Independence Day, terror threat is airborne

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Small drones, paragliding equipment, and Chinese lanterns might be the choice of weapon for terror outfits this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has stated ahead of the 70th Independence Day celebrations.In a top-secret note to the security establishments, the MHA has admitted that terrorists now have new modes of targeting sensitive sites, in view of which, the dynamics of security preparations may have to be changed.Intelligence agencies have reported that some Pakistan-based terror outfits are using drones, modified by mounting a circuit to release explosives through a small 10-volt battery, to launch attacks.”It has been suggested that suitable countermeasures be taken against aerial attacks through paragliders, paramotors, micro-light aircraft, hang-gliders, remote-controlled modules, etc, by keeping a watch over possible launch or take-off sites,” the note stated.As per the detailed anti-terror directions, accessed by DNA, the intelligence personnel have trained 200 police personnel regarding the various kinds of explosives that can be used by terrorists. Apart from issuing “instructions for precaution to avert air threat” to Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and Delhi, the ministry has also directed the Ministry of Defence to carry out “helicopter surveillance of the Prime Minister’s route”.The officials of the Home Ministry, Defence Ministry, and security and intelligence agencies had met on August 1 to discuss the positioning of Air Defence guns and medium machine guns. It was also decided that “prior verification of antecedents of the contingent members lined up ceremonially on the straightway leading to ramparts” has to been done.The MHA has also directed the security forces to straightaway shoot down any aeromodels spotted. The ministry stated that as soon as the rooftop watchers see any flying object, such as aeromodels, paragliders, paramotors, hang gliders or micro light aircrafts, they need to inform the C4i, and action will be taken by minimum use of force, so as to ensure negligible collateral damage. “If the enemy does not respond to the instructions of the police officers and continues to fly, and in the opinion of the police officer or National Security Guard (NSG) sniper may pose a threat to the safety of public life and property, and if there is no time to seek instructions from superiors or seek clarification from the Indian Air Force, the personnel may use minimum force as per requirement. If it is an aeromodel, there is no need to give warning before proceeding with counter action,” the ministry stated.To spot flying objects, the ministry has ordered the Ministry of Defence to keep the radar surveillance at low, medium, and high levels, simultaneously. The Defence Ministry has also set up an Air Defence Direction Centre at the ramparts of the Red Fort, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unfurl the National Flag.The MHA has further issued directions for air space closure, and shutting down of the Safdarjung Airport and all the airstrips in 300 km periphery.”All abandoned, unused airstrips, sites or open grounds or spaces in Delhi and neighbouring states, which may allow lift-off or launch of remotely piloted vehicles, including remote-controlled aircraft and paragliders and hand-gliders, should be secured and put under effective surveillance,” the ministry stated.

For efficiency, NCRB merges with BPR&D

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the flagship unit of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has been merged with the Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D). The NCRB was established in 1986 with a mandate to empower Indian Police with information technology solutions and criminal intelligence in a bid to enable them to enforce the law effectively,The MHA issued an order in this regard on Friday, which said: “In order to improve administrative efficiency and optimal utilisation of resources of BPR&D and NCRB, the competent authority has decided to merge both the organisations with immediate effect.” The order, issued by Raman Kumar Under Secretary, clearly specifies that NCRB Director Ish Kumar will now report to BPR&D Director General MC Borwankar.Reacting to the merger of the two organisations, Borwankar said, “The NCRB mandate is to collect data and they did not have a research wing unlike BPR&D. With both organizations merged, it will help in efficiently researching policing matters and eventually improve law enforcement and correctional administrations.”She also said that NCRB’s important project, Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems (CCTNS), will give a back up to research carried out in these fields. “It will have lot of potential,” she stated. CCTNS is a project for creating a comprehensive and integrated system for effective policing through e-Governance.BPR&D has contributed for the development of State Police and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) by strengthening their human resources through training and research. BPR&D, which also comes under MHA, is a think-tank as well as a research and training organization dedicated for the development of law enforcement and correctional administration in the country.Timeline1994: NCRB starts the Crime Criminal Information System (CCIS) to extract data pertaining to Crime and Criminal and Property as received from State Crime Records Bureaus. It has a database of approximately 4,33,78,448 records.2004: Starts Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA) which helps in significant reduction in manual records/register maintenance at police stations, elimination of duplicate and inconsistent record keeping, facilitates maintenance of criminals’s details and keeps track of the case status.2009: Starts CCTNS projected that connects approximately 12794 police stations and 6000 higher offices.2016: NCRB receives “Digital India Award 2016-Silver Open Data Championship” from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for uploading of crime statistics.2017: Data is captured through Common Application Software under CCTNS project.2018: They will start keeping data pertaining to mob lynching and mob violence cases.

Covert op to check wildlife trade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) is all set to launch a month-long covert operation across the country on August 1, to check illegal trade of lesser-known species of animals.Named Operation Lesknow, the mission would be to get hold of poachers and others involved in the illegal trade by roping in multiple investigation and enforcement agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).Not only that, the WCCB will also seek help from international agencies such as the Interpol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to bust international poaching rackets.A four-page detailed note regarding the operation, accessed by DNA, stated that the operation will cover animals such as Spinner Dolphin, Hump-Backed or Plumbeous Dolphin, Tibetan Pole Cat, Hog deer, and 70 other lesser-known species.The operation will not, however, include big cats, birds, elephant rhinoceros and marine species such as turtles.As per the note prepared by Additional Director Tilotama Varma: “The bureau envisages conducting wildlife enforcement operation, code named Operation Lesknow, to be carried out from August 1 to 31. The operation is conceived to rope in all enforcement agencies within the country to focus their attention towards illegal wildlife trade in lesser-known species.”It further stated that the operation would be jurisdiction-specific, and the states or agencies will cooperate and coordinate with each other, so that inter-state networks can be detected.”Despite the aggressive efforts of the government and international bodies such as Interpol to address wildlife crime at all levels, it remains one of the most lucrative criminal activities in the world. According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the illegal trade is worth nearly $20 billion a year, placing it just under guns, drugs, and human trafficking,” the note stated.While species such as tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, and leopard get much attention, species such as Pangolin, Otter, Monitor Lizard, Nigri Tahr, Red Panda, Slender Ioris, Mongoose, and Civets are hardly even known. “To end poaching of lesser-known species, enforcement agencies in the field of wildlife crime have to run this covert operation,” the note stated.Talking about the modus operandi, the note stated: “Intelligence gathered from all states will be shared with the Bureau every Monday. We will coordinate with the agencies and if the information leads us out of the state or country, specific agencies and Interpol will be roped in to facilitate detection of links.”The WCCB had forwarded the details and the purpose of the operation to all enforcement agencies on July 25 and had appealed to them to be ready to assist.

BSF to tie up with NSDC to impart skill development

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Border Security Force (BSF) is set to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to train unemployed men, women, and youths near international border areas. The force, with the help of NSDC, will also train its retired officials and those who are on the verge of retirement.They will be trained in various skills related to solar installation, rand air-conditioning, welding, electrician, automotive, appliances, bar-bending, security, plumbing, front office tourism and hospitality, beauty wellness, healthcare, and retail.”The idea is to support weaker and disadvantaged sections of society through focused outreach programmes and targeted skill development activities. The force also want to propagate aspirational value of skilling among youth by creating social awareness on value of skill training,” said a senior BSF officer.BSF, which guards the total of 6,623-km long border with Pakistan, has also stated that the programme will help the population living at the border to get employment. “By engaging the population living near the international border, it’ll help in reducing various kinds of illegal activities there,” said the officer.NSDC has already set up 38 Sector Skill Councils (SSC) of services, manufacturing, agriculture and allied services, and informal sectors. Sectors include 19 of 20 high priority sectors identified by the Government and 25 of the sectors under Make in India initiative.After signing the MoU with BSF, the NSDC will also set up centre in the remote areas where they would be imparting training under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY) to young people seeking global mobility or migrating overseas for jobs.The retired jawans and the jawans who are on verge of retirement will also bee trained at these centers. The NSDC, whose objective is to upgrade skills to international standards through significant industry involvement, will help these people to become self independent.This is part of NSDC plans to meet their target of providing vocational skills to 150 million Indians by 2022. So far, NSDC has trained just 11.51 million candidates through training partners.

424 Maoists surrender in 6 months, MHA asks police to be more vigilant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Coming down heavily on Left-wing extremism across the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued directives to all the paramilitary forces and security establishments to be more “vigilant” and go “combative” while dealing with ultras. The Centre has also asked the force not to shun the multi-prone approach like initiating development works in the naxal-affected areas and facilitating surrender of the ultras.As per the ministry, till June 30 this year, 424 Maoists surrendered before various law enforcement agencies across the country. Last year, the figure had reached 1,442, but in 2015 it was just 570 and in 2014 it was 676. The government’s major focus in Chhattisgarh comes after the deadliest Maoist ambush in April, when 26 of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel died in Sukma area. It was well-planned massacre carried out by nearly 300 Maoists.This year, in Chhattisgarh, 298 naxals surrendered, followed by Jharkhand with 38 surrenders and Andhra Pradesh 35. In West Bengal 11 surrendered, in Telangana and Bihar 2 each, in Odisha 27 and Maharashtra 7.Last year, the maximum numbers of naxals’ surrender was from Chhattisgarh — 1,198, followed by Odisha with 63 and Maharashtra, 54. In Andhra Pradesh 46, Bihar 22, Jharkhand 40, Telangana 16 and West Bengal 1 naxals surrendered.The government’s major concern is that the naxals, who have been largely active in Chhattisgarh region, are expanding their region and making a new Red Zone along the western border of the state. “The new Maoist corridor is said to cover the forest pockets in Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh, Gondia district in Maharashtra and Rajnandgaona and Mungeli districts of Chhattisgarh,” said a senior officer.Also the Home Ministry has directed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) engaged in a significant manner in anti-Naxal operations with close to 40 battalions of the paramilitary deployed in Chhattisgarh alone to overhaul the command set up and re-strategies to end the naxal menace and also facilitate as much surrender as they can.According to the ministry report, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand together accounted for 68.5 per cent of the violent incidents and 69 per cent of deaths. Bihar followed by Odisha and Maharashtra accounted for 12.3 per cent, 8.2 per cent 6.9 per cent incidents.Also the Centre has asked to expedite the cases against the naxals arrested in various cases and operations.

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