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Rare wetland bird ‘Great Bittern’ spotted in city after 78 years

It is said that birding is all about luck and it was on the side of an Andheri-based birdwatcher on November 24. A random birding session at Vasai turned special after he managed to spot a great bittern, a rare wetland bird that was last seen in Mumbai nearly eight decades ago. Akshay Shinde, a zoology graduate and a wildlife enthusiast who is pursuing his MSc in wildlife from Bhavan’s College, said that he and few others were at Madhuban area in Vasai east, a popular birding hotspot.“I saw that two large birds came flying parallel to each other. The adult bird kept flying straight while the juvenile took a halt. That is when I got the moment to capture its images as I knew it was not a common bird,” Shinde said. He then approached experts who confirmed that not only was it the great bittern but also being recorded after 78 years.Quoting Sunjoy Monga, a renowned conservationist, photographer, and naturalist, Shinde said the last record of this species from Mumbai is from Vile Parle in 1939.The great bittern is a wading bird from the heron family. It’s a large brownish bird with amphibians and fish being its main diet. The bird is known to migrate from north western parts of Asia towards Sri Lanka to escape harsh winters and is known to make halts in India.“It’s a secretive bird that prefers the reeds and grasslands around water bodies and this is one of the reason it’s difficult to spot. It’s a wonderful record by Shinde and only proves that how the presence of such serious birders and the fact that more and more people are taking to birding will help us record more such rare sightings,” said Parvish Pandya, naturalist and vice-principal of Bhavan’s College.The discovery, Shinde said, was an indicator that the habitats of Vasai are still pristine enough to attract such rare migratory birds. “Vasai’s saltpans have a great bird diversity from six species of migratory ducks to some of the greatest migratory raptors, including the Amur falcon and the red-necked falcon.” The birdwatcher, however, is worried that several reed and grassland habitats are now under threat due to rapid urbanisation.
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Najeeb Ahmed case: CBI rejects cops’ theory

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has rejected the Delhi Police’s theory that the missing Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student, Najeeb Ahmed, took an auto to the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) hours before he went missing, the counsel for his mother Fatima Nafees has said.Speaking to DNA, Pallavi Sharma, one of the counsels appearing for Nafees, said the status report, which was submitted to the Delhi High Court in a sealed cover, stated that the auto driver confessed to the CBI that he pressurised by the Delhi Police to say that Najeeb boarded his auto.The status report was given to the counsels for their perusal for a brief time and was thereafter returned to Nikhil Goel, the counsel appearing for the CBI. Goel had refused to give a copy to the petitioner’s counsel because of the concern that it might be leaked to the media. The issue, however, was not discussed during the court proceedings.Najeeb, 27, a student of MSc Biotechnology, had gone missing from the Mahi-Mandvi hostel of JNU on October 15, last year, following a scuffle with some other students, allegedly affiliated to student body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The CBI took over the case on May 16, 2017, as Delhi Police had remained clueless for seven months to trace the student, who hailed from Badaun in Uttar Pradesh.”The court has heard the submissions of the parties. The status report filed reflects the future steps taken by the CBI in the matter. The court does not consider it appropriate to discuss the details set out in the status report,” a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehtra said.In the status report, the CBI said it was awaiting the forensic results of the mobilephones of nine JNU students, which were seized in connection with the probe. The CBI informed the court that their investigation was underway and mobile phones of the nine suspect students has been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), whose report is pending.He added that considering the sensitive nature of the case, it would be difficult for them if the media reported about it. He also sought in-camera proceedings. The court, however, said the decision would be taken on the next date of hearing, i.e December 21.The senior advocate, appearing for Najeeb’s mother, questioned why did the CBI not arrest the students to extract information, claiming that it was a political abduction.On this, the court said:”We cannot put unnecessary pressure on the probing agency.We completely understand the anxiety and tension of the parents,” the bench said.

1,641 students awarded degree at Nirma convocation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 1,641 students were awarded degrees at the 24th Annual Convocation of the Nirma University on Monday.The university said in a statement that degrees were conferred upon 17 PhD students, 358 MTech students, 68 MCA students, 891 BTech students, 90 BPharm students, 39 MPharm students, 81 MSc students, 16 LLM students, 7 BA LLB students and one BCom LLB student.NK Verma, MD and CEO of ONGC Videsh Limited, who was the chief guest, also handed over 38 medals to 36 students. In his address, Verma asked students to follow the principle – SEEK, which stands for Skilling, Employability and Entrepreneurship, built on the foundation of learning to harness Knowledge.”Learning alone will not contribute to nation building. How you harness that learning to make yourself more valuable is the key to employability. Be always aware that learning may come from education, but wisdom comes from living,” he said.Four BBA LLB students, a MBA student, 26 BBA students and 42 students of Diploma in Engineering were also awarded degrees at the convocation.EVENT HIGHLIGHTSNK Verma, MD and CEO of ONGC Videsh Limited, who was the chief guest, also handed over 38 medals to 36 students. He asked students to follow the principle – SEEK —Skilling, Employability and Entrepreneurship, built on Knowledge. Four BBA LLB students, an MBA student, 26 BBA students and 42 students of Diploma in Engineering also got degrees.

Delhi HC directs CBI to take steps to trace missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court directed the CBI to take necessary steps to trace JNU student Najeeb Ahmad, who has been missing since October last year.The high court gave its direction after examining the status report filed by the CBI. The agency, in its report, gave details of the steps taken by it to trace the student and sought time to conclude the probe.”We direct CBI to take all necessary steps to trace the missing person who is missing since October 15, 2016,” a bench of Justices G S Sistani and Chander Shekhar said.The court asked the CBI its reason for placing the status report in a sealed cover.The CBI counsel responded by saying that they do not want the names of witnesses to be revealed.The agency’s counsel informed the bench that they had examined 26 persons, including JNU officials, staff, Najeeb’s friends, colleagues and those who had any issue with him, during the investigation.The court was hearing a plea from Najeeb’s mother, Fatima Nafees, who moved the court on November 25 last year to trace her son, a first-year MSc Biotechnology student who went missing from the Mahi Mandavi hostel in JNU.The counsel, appearing for his mother, also gave suggestions to the CBI to be included in its probe.The high court had on August 8 pulled up the CBI saying the case was “not transferred to the agency for fun”. It had filed the same report regarding its probe that was placed on record in the previous hearing.The high court had on May 16 ordered the CBI to take over the probe into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the student.The student went missing after an altercation with some students belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the campus. Later, students of the RSS-affiliated ABVP denied any involvement in his disappearance.

IIT student hangs himself

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The body of a student was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his hostel room at IIT Roorkee today, a senior police official said. The body of Aman Chauhan, who hailed from Hamirpur in Uttar Pradesh, was found hanging in his hostel room at Ganga Bhawan, SP (rural) Manikant Mishra said. A first year MSc student, Chauhan is said to have been suffering from depression for some time, Mishra said. No suicide note was found from the student’s room, he said. However, a diary has been recovered from the spot, he added. The matter came to light when Chauhan was not seen by his classmates for a long time in the afternoon. They reported the matter to the authorities who opened the room and found him hanging from the ceiling fan, the official said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DNA Morning Must Reads: Ram Nath Kovind scales Raisina Hill, Harmanpreet Kaur’s demolition Derby, and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. President-elect Kovind’s village in UP hopes for better days ahead”It is like Diwali and Holi coming together,” said a veiled Ganga Devi Kovind, relative of the President-elect, as she distributed sweets hours before the result was officially announced. Read more here2. Apple gets personal data, why not state, asks Supreme CourtThe final view of the nine-judge Bench will be a core factor before a five-judge Constitution Bench, which is waiting to decide whether the Aadhaar scheme is a violation of citizens’ right to privacy. Read more here3. Strong earthquake rattles Turkish and Greek coasts, at least 2 dead, scores injuredGreek holiday island of Kos is reportedly the most affected area. European quake agency EMSC warns of a small tsunami. Read more here4. ‘Kaurnage’ at Derby: Harmanpreet powers India to epic win against Australia in WWC semifinalHarmanpreet Kaur produced one of greatest ever ODI knocks in women’s cricket as India stormed into the ICC World Cup final, demolishing Australia by 36 runs in the semi-final, in Derby on Tuesday. Read more here5. Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington commits suicideLinkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington, who sold millions of albums with an ever-changing mix of hard rock, hip-hop and rap, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County coroner said. Read more here

cusat.nic.in CUSAT CAT 2017 results: Cochin University of Science and Technology announces CAT 2017 Results

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) has announced the results of the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2017 for B.Tech on Thursday.The results for other programmes at the university will be published by afternoon on Thursday. The CAT is conducted for admission to MBA, MCA, Engineering Sciences, Life Sciences, MSc Industrial Fisheries, LLB, LLM and Hindi MA courses.How to check the results for CUSAT CAT 20171. Visit the official website: cusat.ac.in2. Click on the link to result page under the examination tab.3. Click on the notification for CUSAT CAT 2017 results.4. Enter the details required.5. Click submit.6. Download the results for further references.CUSAT has also published the MBA schedule of Group Discussion and Interview which will be conducted from May 29, 2017, to June 14, 2017. Click here to read the whole notification.About CUSATThe University of Cochin was reorganised as Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) in February 1986. By giving recognition to several well-established premier research institutions in the country and the Southern Naval Command of Indian Navy, the University has brought within its reach the resources available in these institutions also to the use of the academic community.

HC hands over JNU’s Najeeb’s disappearance mystery to CBI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI was on Monday directed by the Delhi High Court to probe the disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmad under mysterious circumstances since October last year.However, the High Court, which transferred the probe of the case from the Delhi Police to the CBI, disagreed with the allegations of the missing student’s family that the investigation in the case was “politically motivated” and lacked “integrity”.It said the police has accepted all directions and suggestions given by the court from time to time and did “substantial work”. The police did not oppose the plea for giving the probe of the case to any other agency, but claimed it has worked in a “most professional manner” and to the “best of its ability” and would like to see how any other agency handles the case.”Let any other agency show they can do a better job,” its counsel Rahul Mehra said after senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees, expressed reservations with the police continuing with the investigation. A bench of Justices G S Sistani and Rekha Palli handed over the investigation to the CBI with immediate effect with a direction that it has to be monitored by an officer not less than the rank of DIG and posted matter for hearing on July 17.The remarks of appreciation for the Delhi Police assumes significance as in the past it has faced severe criticism from the judges for failing to trace the first-year MSc Biotechnology student who went missing on October 15, 2016 after he had an altercation with some students belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).The police had said that some students and Najeeb had a fight among themselves in the campus and later RSS-affiliated ABVP students had denied any involvement in his disappearance. During the hearing today, Gonsalves said the nine students were never taken into custody despite being suspected of brutally assaulting Najeeb.His plea for setting up of an SIT comprising officers from outside Delhi was not accepted by the bench which said officers from other states would not be answerable to the Delhi High Court. Mehra said if the missing student’s family was of the view that police was working under pressure of the central government, then the same could be the case with CBI.He said if the matter had political overtones, as claimed, then bringing in officers from nearby states, also ruled by the party at the Centre, may not ensure results as expected by the family of the victim. “They have to have faith in someone,” he said and added that let CBI or any other agency show they can do a better job than the Delhi Police.The seven-month old case witnessed several twists and turns during which statements of nine students were recorded by the police, but they had objected to the notice sent to them for their consent to undergo the lie-detection test. A trial court has accepted the objections of the nine students that the notice for polygraph test was “defective”.The matter came to the High Court after Najeeb’s mother had filed a writ of habeas corpus on November 25 last to trace her son who went missing from JNU hostel Mahi Mandavi.The High Court had time and again come down heavily on the police for failing to trace the student even after several months of investigation and even remarked that it was looking for an “escape route” and was “beating around the bush”.It had questioned the conduct of the police saying that it was trying to sensationalise the matter as it was filing reports in sealed covers when “there was nothing confidential, damaging or crucial” in them.The court had also lashed out at the police for sending officers across the country and setting up SITs, while not questioning the nine students suspected to be behind Najeeb’s disappearance.

Khalsa college suicide: Amarinder meets protesting students

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has met the students of Khalsa College here, who have been protesting against the college management over the recent suicide of a student at his hostel room. The chief minister yesterday assured the students of justice and directed Anurag Verma, Principal Secretary, higher education, to address their grievances and probe the matter to ascertain the college management’s role in the suicide of the student who was found hanging in his room. He assured Harpreet’s father, Yadwinder Singh, of all possible help and take strict action against anyone found guilty of abetment to suicide. In a letter to the chief minister, Yadwinder sought Rs 50 lakh as compensation and a job for his younger son. The letter was also signed by members of Gram Panchayat and residents of Harpreet’s village Gumti Kalan. Demanding strong action against the college management committee members, principal and registrar for abetting the suicide of the student over the issue of attendance shortage, the students sought Amarinder’s intervention to bring the guilty to book. Amarinder assured the students of a thorough probe into the matter. Pointing out that the state police had already formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT), Amarinder said no laxity would be tolerated. According to the students, Harpreet, who was barred from appearing in exam over shortage of attendance, had been treated unfairly as there were other students who were short of attendance as well but they were allowed to take the exam. Harpreet, they said, was taking private coaching classes for admission into MSc course from some prestigious college, which was the reason for his low attendance. Harpeet’s father had already filed an FIR against the college principal, registrar and head of the agriculture department for abetment to suicide.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India rushes ships to douse fire on vesseloff Colombo coast

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sri Lankan Navy with assistance from India are battling a major fire on board a huge Panama- registered container carrier off the coast of Colombo. The fire broke out last night on the merchant ship MV MSC-Daniela, when the 14,000-container carrier was about 120 nautical miles away from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s Naval spokesman Chaminda Walakuluge said the Navy responded to a distress call by a local agent of the container vessel, which was travelling from Singapore to Egypt. Sri Lanka Navy dispatched two Fast Attack Craft (FAC) P 436 and P 412 to the location assisting Sri Lankan Port Authority tugs, Rawana and Maha Wewa to douse the fire, Walakuluge said. A Sri Lankan Air Force helicopter has also been deployed to douse the flame. “There are no casualties among the 22-member crew,” Walakuluge said. Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Shoor’ which was on overseas deployment at Colombo also joined the fire fighting effort. “Information was received from High Commission of India, Colombo regarding a request received from the Sri Lankan Navy to render assistance to extinguish fire on board MV MSC Daniella,” the Coast Guard said in a statement. “The vessel was carrying dangerous cargo and hence utmost caution was exercised in firefighting to ensure safety of the crew and the vessel,” it said. Meanwhile, the Indian Navy also dispatched two of its ships — INS Ghariyal and INS Darshak — to help douse the fire. The vessel is presently anchored 11 nautical miles off the coast of Colombo. The cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Man who made ‘ransom call’ to missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed’s kin interrogated

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A man, who was arrested for allegedly making a ransom call to missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed’s relatives demanding Rs 20 lakh for his release, was interrogated by police at length on Sunday.Even though Najeeb’s family had yesterday denied receiving any ransom call, the missing JNU student’s cousin Sadaf Musharraf on Sunday claimed that her father had indeed received such a call around January 15 and had informed police about The accused Shameem (19) had allegedly committed a murder when he was under 18 and spent five months in a juvenile home, said a senior police officer.Even though he was giving different names, police managed to identify him and have seized one mobile phone and a SIM card which he allegedly used to make the ransom call, he said.”He had used other numbers also to make the phone calls and police is trying it find out from where he procured the SIM cards.”It is also being probed whether he was just making the calls for earning easy money or there was some ulterior motive,” said the officer.Shameem was arrested yesterday from Maharajganj in Uttar Pradesh and was brought to Delhi today and put through sustained interrogation by Crime Branch sleuths.”We receive a lot of calls- some sympathising with us and some troubling us like these ones. There are some calls where people even ask us to search for his body. We inform police about each and every call we receive and they decide which call they have to investigate,” Najeeb’s cousin said.Sadaf said that they try and attend every call and in case they miss a call, they call back because they don’t know which call might be “from Najeeb” or “a call that might lead them to Najeeb”.Meanwhile, six students who were served notices seeking their consent for polygraph test, have still not agreed to it.Najeeb’s roommate, Mohd Qasim, has also not given his consent for the lie-detector test despite agreeing to it earlier.Last year, in November, a guard at JNU’s Mahi Mandavi Hostel where Najeeb was staying had received a letter which claimed that the missing student was being held captive in Aligarh. However, on investigation, the letter was found to be bogus.Ahmed, an MSc Biotechnology student, went missing on October 15 after a scuffle allegedly with ABVP affiliated students at his hostel on the JNU campus. A reward of Rs 10 lakh has been announced by Delhi Police on any information about him.

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