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Tag: october

Flights suspended at IGIA after drone spotted

Once again, reports of an unidentified flying object near the Indira Gandhi International airport led to disruption in flight operations and affected as many as 15 departures and arrivals. Security officials, however, could not find anything suspicious when they rushed a Quick Response Team (QRT) to the spot.It was around 7 am on Thursday when the pilot of a Chennai-Delhi Indigo flight spotted a suspicious object and reported the matter to the Air Traffic Control (ATC). The message was further conveyed to Airport Operations Control Centre and the Delhi Police. A team of CISF QRT was also rushed to the spot but nothing could be found, an official said. As a precautionary measure, some departures were put on hold while a few arrivals were delayed at the airport.Delhi Police has registered the matter and is now trying to spot the origination of the flying object. This, however, is not a rare incident where a UFO was spotted by a pilot. Earlier this month, in a close shave, a drone-like UFO and an Air India flight, landing at the IGI airport almost had a face-off. Seconds later, another flight to Leh that took off from another runway, also reported spotting the flying object.The incident also affected some departures and landings at the airport. However, the officers said that no such flying object could be found within the airport periphery.The menace of the drone-like UFO sightings, however, is not something new at the IGI airport and is known for leaving the security and intelligence sleuths at the airport rattled. In October this year, a Jet Airways Singapore-Delhi flight, while preparing to land on runway 29 of the IGI airport, reported a drone flying in the proximity, about 300-400 meters above the ground.Earlier, three incidents came to light in 2016, when UFOs were spotted near the IGI airport, sending security agencies into a tizzy. On March 31, one such flying object was spotted over apron area of the IGI airport but disappeared before security forces could arrive. Earlier on March 13, a balloon-like structure was spotted close to an operational runway at the airport and prior to that on January 27, another unidentified item was spotted flying in the vicinity of the airport, but could not be traced.In 2015 also, two such incidents were reported when on October 27, a suspicious object was spotted over runway 29 by the ATC officials and three days later again on October 30, a flying object was spotted over runway 27, thrice before it completely disappeared.

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New book counters theory that Nehru’s ‘Forward Policy’ lead to India-China war

Communist leader Mao Zedong declared war on India in 1962 because he saw the country as a “soft target” and thought the way to regain his own control over China would be unifying it against an outside enemy, says a new book.The other key objective of the war was to strengthen China’s position geopolitically among the newly independent nations in Asia and Africa and block India’s emergence as a leader of the developing world, Swedish strategic affairs expert Bertil Lintner argues in his book, ‘China’s India War’. Lintner contradicts the popular perception that Jawaharlal Nehru’s “Forward Policy” of 1961 had triggered the war in which India suffered a disastrous loss, and says that preparations by China for the war started much earlier.The Swedish expert links the preparation for the war by China with the disastrous result of Mao’s Great Leap Forward, launched in 1958, to modernise the country. “By 1961, anywhere between 17 and 45 million people had died as a result of Mao’s policies which had caused a famine rather than, as intended, any rapid industrialisation. Mao was discredited and, very likely, (was) on his way out,” says Lintner in the book published by the Oxford University Press.The Chinese leader would have thought the best way to regain power was by unifying the nation, especially the armed forces, against an outside enemy, he argues. Lintner says Mao felt India was a “soft target” as it had, in 1959, granted the Dalai Lama asylum after the Buddhist leader fled Tibet following a “failed uprising” against Chinese occupation of the region. The book says China’s policy was not to conquer and keep territory.The aim of the war, the book suggests, was to strengthen China’s position geopolitically among the newly independent nations in Asia and Africa.”After the 1962 War, it was China rather than India, that became the leader of the Third World — an entirely new concept that China’s omnipotent Chairman Mao Zedong had introduced to replace the old idea of non-alignment,” it says. Lintner also rejected analyses, including by Neville Maxwell, author of India s China War , that Nehru’s “Forward Policy” was responsible for the war. The Henderson Brooks report, an analysis of the war, had also blamed Nehru’s Policy and the then army leadership for India’s humiliating defeat. The Forward Policy, which had sought the raising of military outposts in areas claimed by Chinese and launching of aggressive patrols, increased the chances of conflict, the report had said.In his book, Lintner also rejects perceptions of intelligence failures on the Indian side and that it was not aware of the massive Chinese build up along the border since 1959. Lintner says Nehru’s then intelligence chief Bhola Nath Mullik had repeatedly warned the government of Chinese manoeuvres along and across the border. At the same time, the author observes that the problem was that Nehru refused to believe the Chinses were actually preparing for a war against India.Lintner says the claim that the movement of troops around the Dhola Post in the northwest of Tawang and some skirmishes between the Indians and Chinese in the middle of October 1962 were the trigger for the War was part of a “twisted interpretation” of the cause of the war. The Dhola post was set up by Indian troops on February 24, 1962. China’s Great Leap Forward was an economic and social campaign led by Mao and its aim was to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into an economic power through rapid industrialisation.

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Orders dip as GST hits Jodhpur craft exporters

Handicraft exporters are in crisis. Due to GST, handicraft items of Jodhpur have become expensive in the international market and their demand has decreased. The handicraft export business of Jodhpur has declined nearly 40 percent and business worth Rs 700 crore has been reduced since the implementation of GST.Before GST, where 150-180 million exports of handicrafts from Jodhpur were going on every month, right now it has come down to 75 to 90 million per month. The provision of GST from 12 to 28 percent on handicraft furniture has hit exporters and foreign customers are now heading towards China, Vietnam and Indonesia.Nirmal Bhandari, Chief patron of Jodhpur Handicrafts Exporters Federation said that the government has imposed five percent GST on brass handicrafts of Moradabad, while the 28 percent GST was recovered from Jodhpur handicraft till November and now 18 percent in December, due to which, demand has started decreasing in overseas countries. While there is no GST refund yet and it is becoming very difficult for the exporters to work. Not only this, even crores of rupees of VAT have not been refunded. Now, the situation has reached in such condition that the exporters have started refusing the order.According to exporters, orders were taken from buyers from UK, Europe and USA in April for Christmas season. The orders have been supplied in August, September, October and mid-November, but exporters had to supply this order at 28 per cent loss, because the government has implemented GST in July. So far, the handicraft industry was completely tax free, but now 18 per cent tax has been levied. The order that has been supplied will be paid by the buyers 120 days after the shipment arrives. In such a situation, exporters are unable to understand how to compensate for the 28 per cent loss from the previous supply.

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X’mas bells in Valley church after 50 yrs

History will be created on Monday when the sacred bell at the British-era Holy Family Catholic Church in Srinagar will ring after 50 years, on the occasion of Christmas.The 105 kg bell, the largest of its kind in Jammu and Kashmir, was installed in the 121-year-old church in October this year. The belfry of the church was torched in 1967, in an incident of arson, and since then there had been no bell to call the faithful for the prayers.”It is a very happy and historic occasion. Most of the Christian people here are less than 50 years of age. They have never heard bells ringing on the occasion of Christmas. Only few elderly people remember that,” said SM Rath, spokesman of the Church Committee.Traditionally, the bell is used to call worshipers to the church for a prayer service and for announcing times of daily prayer. “There was no bell since 1967. We put up a bell only in October this year. Now every Sunday, the bell rings in church. This will be first time that this bell will ring on Christmas,” Rath said. Midnight prayer services, however, will not be held due to the security reasons.”We have one prayer service on December 24. Usually, the service should be held at 11.30 pm but we have not been holding the midnight services for the last 25 years. Our prayer service will be held at 6 pm on December 24. On Christmas, we will have a prayer service at 10 am,” Rath said.He further said that there are less than 200 Christians — Catholics and Protestants — living in Srinagar. There are five churches in Kashmir and regular prayer services are held only in three of them.

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After acquittal in 2G scam, A Raja, Kanimozhi meet DMK chief Karunanidhi

Two days after their acquittal in the 2G scam case, former Union minister A Raja and DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi on Saturday arrived here to a rousing welcome by party workers.Led by DMK Working President M K Stalin, a host of party leaders, including Duraimurugan and former Union minister TR Baalu, welcomed them at the airport.Stalin and others presented shawls to the duo.Cadres showered flowers, burst firecrackers and played traditional music. They also performed folk dances like ‘Karagattam’ and ‘Kavadi’.Raja and Kanimozhi visited party patriarch M Karunanidhi at his residence here and took his blessings.Upon their arrival at the Gopalpuram residence of the nonagenarian leader, Raja touched the top leader’s feet as a mark of respect and presented a shawl.The former Union minister told Karunanidhi “I have been acquitted in the 2G Spectrum case” and shook his hand.Kanimozhi took the blessings of her father and party chief and reportedly told him that she and the party stood vindicated in the case.Karunanidhi smiled and later waved at the party cadres.Since October last year, the nonagenarian leader has been inactive in politics due to ill health.The party workers erupted in cheers when the wheelchair- bound leader waved at them, which is not an everyday gesture nowadays in view of his health.Raja, Kanimozhi and 15 others accused were on Thursday acquitted in the politically-sensitive 2G spectrum allocation scam cases by a special court in Delhi, which held that the prosecution “miserably failed” to prove the charges.

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Vasundhara Raje govt approves 1% reservation for Gurjars, 4 other communities in Rajasthan

Five castes including Gurjars will get one per cent reservation within the 50 per cent legal limit in Rajasthan, a senior minister said here today.The state government took the decision on Thursday to provide reservation to the Gujjar/Gurjar, Banjara/Baldia/ Labana, Gadia-Lohar/Gadalia, Raika/Rebari and Gadaria communities.”The decision was taken to give one per cent reservation to Gurjars and other castes under the most backward category,” said state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore.A notification will be issued after the governor’s approval, he said.The present overall reservation percentage in the state stands at 49 per cent.The five castes were included in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) list in 1994. After the state cabinet’s decision they can now seek benefits in educational institutions and job opportunities.The Rajasthan Assembly in October this year passed a bill to raise OBC reservation from 21 to 26 per cent to provide five per cent quota to Gurjars and other castes.However, the high court stayed the bill as it would have increased the reservation to 54 per cent.Later, the Supreme Court also directed the state government not to exceed the 50 per cent reservation limit.The government has taken the step in the wake of widespread agitation by the Gurjar community, demanding reservation under the backward class category.

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NIA extends judicial custody of Hizb chief Salahuddin’s son till January 19

A special court of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) on Friday extended the judicial custody of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin’s son Syed Shahid Yousuf till December 22 in connection with a terror-funding case.The court had last month extended Yousuf’s judicial custody till December 22.Yosuf was arrested by the NIA in October after he was found receiving and collecting funds through international wire money transfer from Saudi Arabia-based Hizbul Mujahideen member Aijaz Ahmed Bhat.He was also suspended by the Jammu and Kashmir Government from his agriculture department job in the state.The NIA has already filed two charge sheets against six other accused in this case in 2011.Also readHizbul chief Salahuddin’s son injured in scuffle with security guards in Tihar jail Out of these accused, two are in custody and others, including Salahuddin, are absconding and residing in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

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Three Romanian nationals held for cloning 1,030 ATM cards and withdrawing money in Pune

It is a lesson for all the ATM card users to check for tampering at any ATM cash dispenser before withdrawing cash from ATM centers. Pune police arrested three Romanian nationals for cloning ATM cards with the help of skimmer and withdrawing nearly Rs 28 lakh from 138 accounts in a span of eight days. After their arrest, police found that the fraudsters had managed to get the ATM card details of 1,030 ATM card users. Interestingly, all these ATM users whose information was cloned by fraudsters had withdrawn money from an ATM center of Punjab National Bank located at Pashan circle in the month of October. The arrests were made by Chatuhshrungi police station from Vasai on Tuesday. The arrested Romanian nationals have been identified as Erima Dragos Junete (26), Lazar Alim Kresti (22) and Balan Floria christinel (44) and police suspected that they are part of a bigger international racket of online fraud. The fraud came to light when bank manager of Punjab National Bank’s Pashan circle branch approached Chatuhshrungi police on December 13 with a complaint that money from some of their account holders was directly withdrawn without their knowledge. Following the complaint, when Chatuhshrungi police started investigation, they found that money was withdrawn from the accounts of only those account holders who had withdrawn money from the bank’s ATM center located at Pashan circle. Deputy commissioner of police (Zone III) Ganesh Shinde said, “When we investigated further, we found that the fraudsters used skimmer at the ATM center to steal the confidential information of the ATM card of the ATM card holders who withdrew money from the ATM center.”Assistant police inspector Sanjay Thenge of Chatuhshrungi police station who is part of the investigation told DNA, “The skimmer is a device which is attached at a cash dispenser where ATM card is inserted for withdrawing money. When a card is inserted, the sensor installed in the skimmer copies confidential details of the card. The fraudsters also used transparent keypad with the help of which they found out the password of ATM cards.””The fraudsters thoughtfully chose the month of October when it was Diwali festival and cash withdrawal was more during that time. After stealing the data of ATM card users, they cloned the ATM cards and started withdrawing money initially from Bangalore and later from Vasai,” Thenge said. According to police, the fraudsters withdrew some amount from Bangalore from December 11 till December 16 and later they moved to Vasai and withdrew some more money on December 18 and 19. Senior police inspector Dayanand Dhome, in charge of Chatuhshrungi police station who is investigating the case said, “In the span of these eight days. the fraudsters managed to withdraw nearly Rs 28 lakh from 138 accounts. When we got the information that the fraudsters were withdrawing money from Bangalore, we sent a team there but by the time it could reach there, we found that they had moved their base to Vasai from where they had made some transactions.””After finding some details of them in Vasai, we sent another team to Vasai and asked our team in Bangalore to join them in Vasai. On Tuesday, when the fraudsters had withdrawn some money from one of the ATM centers in Vasai, we managed to catch them red handed,” Dhome added. During investigation it was found that the gang had managed to steal the details of 1,030 ATM card holders. The arrested trio has been sent to police custody till December 28.

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Watch | This video of man brutally thrashing dog with belt in Bhubaneswar will bring tears to your eyes

In a grave incident of animal cruelty, a man was caught on camera brutally thrashing a dog in Odisha.The man in Bhubaneswar was seen mercilessly hitting the animal with his belt in the 21-second video posted by ANI.The cases against animal cruelty have gone up in the recent times. In another incident on December 9, the video of a ex-army man in Punjab killing a dog with a gunshot went viral. In the video former soldier Ajit Son and his neighbour Satvir Singh were seen killing the dog by firing two shots at the poor animal. After outrage from animal rights activists and public cry over the incident, the two men were both booked by Punjab Police.The pet owner, however, defended the act saying that the dog had to be killed as it was “unstable and imbalanced” for the past few days. In another horrifying incident, two medical students in Vellore threw a dog from the terrace. The 21-year-old Vishesh Iyengar, a mechanical committed the heartless act on October 24. Vishesh had a history of torturing street dogs and placing them at high rise buildings or heights and would wait for them to fall down.He was soon arrested after the incident however was released later on ball. The FIR against the cruel engineering student was registered under Section 429 of Indian Penal Code (Mischief by killing or maiming cattle), Section 11 (1) (Treating animals cruelly) (l) (mutilates any animal or kills any animal in a cruel manner) of Prevention of Cruelty Act.

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CBSE schools in Noida get notices

Gautam Budh Nagar District Magistrate BN Singh has issued notices to all CBSE-affiliated schools in the district asking them to submit a memorandum on the measures adopted by them to ensure the safety of their students on Tuesday.The schools have to respond within the next 15 days . The notice has come after the schools failed to comply with two deadlines issued earlier by district administration in September and October this year. Sources revealed that the district administration shall forward such information to CBSE Board if the schools fail to comply with the directives.Parents across Delhi-NCR have been demanding better security measures on school premises and in buses following the murder of an eight-year-old student at Ryan International School, Bhondsi, Gurgaon in September this year. In response to this, the Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate had issued two deadlines, one of September 30 and another of October 10, to all schools in the district to fix security loopholes and submit a memorandum.”We have been working hard for the security of the students as well as in gaining the confidence of the parents following the recent tragedy (Pradyuman’s death). We had already served two notices earlier to all private schools in the district. This time the compliance report will be submitted to the CBSE Board, thereafter the school authorities will be solely responsible for any action,” said Singh.According to district information system for education report (2016), there are 821 private schools in Gautam Budh Nagar. In order to assure parents that their wards are safe inside the school premises, some school managements across the district have introduced unique identification cards, installed extra CCTV cameras, started background checks and regular counselling of children, parents, teachers and non-teaching staff members.After the Ryan International incident, the district administration formed two teams to inspect school buses and school premises on a random basis.

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Mumbai: HC stays cutting of 5236 trees in Thane

The Bombay High Court has till further orders stayed a decision taken by the Tree Authority appointed by the Thane Municipal Corporation allowing the cutting of around 5236 trees in the city for various development projects.A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice M S Sonak while prima facie holding that the constitution of the tree authority was illegal, has stayed the authority from giving any further permissions.The court passed the order while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Thane resident Rohan Joshi.In his petition he has highlighted how the councilors and other special invitees appointed to the tree authority are not educated adequately in allied subjects related to trees to be appointed as the members. Further it was argued that only three members of the committee comprising of over 6 members only three are graduates in science/botonay/agriculture fields, while others have lower educational qualification and mostly have political patronage.The PIL also argued that in order to achieve the object of the Act, it is incumbment that the tree auhotiy be reconstituted. The decisions taken by it in October are not in conformity with law. A local developer who was given permission to cut 1506 trees, who had intervened in the proceedings told the court that he had paid around Rs 4 crore as chares. Following the stay order, he told the court that he would seek return of his paid amount from the corporation.The court has now posted the matter for further hearing in January 2018, and asked the members of the tree authority to file their personal affidavits, replying to the PIL.

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Too early to comment on GST collections, says govt

The government has said that it is too early to comment on GST collections, which slipped about 10 per cent in November – over the previous month – to Rs 85,931 crore.As per the information provided by the finance ministry to the Lok Sabha on Friday, as many as 33.2 lakh new taxpayers have registered themselves under GST till December 11 from the day of roll out on July 1.”It is too early to comment on the changes in the tax collection as a result of changes in the tax base because of factors like overlap of taxpayers pre and post introduction of GST, variation in exemption limits between Centre and States and among States and mechanism of apportionment of fund under IGST,” Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said in a written reply to a question.He also informed that total number of tax payers who migrated from pre-GST regime was 64.12 lakh as on December 11.The GST collection was Rs 95,132 crore in October. It was over Rs 93,000 crore in September as well as August.In reply to another question, Shukla said that the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been smooth so far.The GST Council, he added, had made some changes in the new tax regime based on the representations from stakeholders.

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Air force gets two more women pilot

The Indian Air Force got two more women fighter pilots on as Flying officers Pratibha and Shivangi Singh were commissioned on Saturday after completing their training and were part of the 105 cadets who became officers of the Indian Air Force. The passing out parade took place in HyderabadShivangi Singh and Pratibha have followed the footsteps of Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh who were commissioned as Flying Officers last year in July.The two fighter pilots will now be sent to the Bidar Air Force Station in Karnataka for more advanced training on Hawk trainer, Air Force sources said.Pratibha is from Rajgarh, Rajasthan and Shivangi hails from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.After a second phase of training that will last 15 months the duo will be assigned fighter squadrons.Rashi Raina, another women cadet who was being trained as a fighter pilot along with the two missed out this time as she was medically unfit following a recent crash during training.”There will be a review and she will be back to training once she is fit and will need to complete all the courses,” an Air Force source said.Talking about women being inducted as fighter pilots the Indian Air Force Chief BS Dhanao had said during his annual press conference in October that flying is a gender neutral like driving. “Women have to volunteer to become fighter pilots and have to make the cut,” he had said.

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MU asks colleges to provide supplements after Bombay HC’s order

A day after the Bombay High Court directed the university to give supplements to undergraduate and postgraduate students, the University of Mumbai came up with a fresh circular on Saturday asking colleges and exam centres to provide supplements to the students.On Friday, the court had passed an interim order while hearing a writ petition filed by Manasi Bhushan a final year law student at GLC college opposing an circular of the varsity that barred students from asking for supplements released on October 9. While the varsity did release a circular asking colleges to abide by the court order on Saturday, several colleges still did not issue supplements to students on Saturday morning as they had still not received the circular.Also readBombay High Court dismisses PIL to restart AC buses, cites BEST’s discretion”Despite asking for a supplement the supervisor denied giving it to me. While I mentioned the recent HC order, the supervisor said that the new circular had not reached them yet” said a law student at one of the suburban colleges.

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‘Absurd’ to suggest Delhiites bought expensive cars after Metro fare hike, says Union minister Hardeep Puri

Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri today dubbed as “absurd” the suggestions that Delhiites shifted to other modes of transport like cab services or started buying expensive cars due to the recent metro fare hike.The comments come in the backdrop of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal having written a letter to Puri, seeking a review of the hike and reiterating his offer to partially bear the cost of the proposed “claw back”.”Desire to create false narrative on #MetroFare taking an amusing turn. It s being suggested those who weren t able to afford India s cheapest metro can actually afford to buy & run expensive cars or use cabs. You don t have to be an economist to see absurdity of this argument,” the Union minister said on Twitter.Hitting out at the AAP-led Delhi government, the housing and urban affairs minister said if the metro had become an “expensive luxury liner”, the city government should increase the number of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses.He also claimed that there was a 35 per cent dip in the DTC ridership.”If #Metro is an expensive luxury liner then #DTC should immediately buy more buses to make up for shortfall of 7000 buses & drastic 35% drop in ridership. Who s responsible for this? Surely Delhi citizens deserve both – an efficient & reliable DTC & much better arguments!,” Puri said in another tweet.In response to Kejriwal’s letter, the Union minister had said neither the Centre nor the Delhi government has powers to rollback the fares fixed by the fixation committee headed by a retired judge, and claimed that metro ridership on three different days in October this year were higher than the last year.However, an RTI query, revealed last month that the Delhi Metro lost over three lakh commuters a day after the steep fare hike came into effect on October 10.Puri had said that the dip in ridership could not be linked to the fare hike, which, the metro said, was necessary for maintaining “efficiency”.The metro fare hike has led to a rise of around Rs 10 for nearly every distance slab. The decision had come barely five months after the previous hike of up to 100 per cent.

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Bombay HC asks Mumbai University to provide extra answer sheets to students

Observing that the Mumbai University (MU) has come out with a novel idea that answer sheets won’t be lost if not provided, the Bombay High Court on Friday stayed a circular of the varsaity that barred supplements to students in exams. A division bench of Justice B R Gavai and Justice B P Colabawala by way of interim relief stayed the circular issued by the varsity and directed it to provide extra sheets as and when demanded by the students. The court stayed the circular after considering that there could be candidates who would finish in one paper book, but some may have handwriting which forces them to take additional answer sheets thus it would not be correct for the university to not provide the same. Manasi Bhushan, a student at the Government Law College, had filed a writ petition challenging the circular. In October this year, after the university switched to an onscreen evaluation system, it decided to do away with supplements following errors in scanning answer-sheets that had the supplements. MU said it would only provide a 40-page thick answer sheet, arguing that it would be more than sufficient.However, Bhushan challenged the decision, claiming it is in violation of the basic rights of a student. “Currently, an answer-sheet comprises 40 pages of which 4 pages are taken up by the rules, marking details etc. and the student has 36 pages to use. The university’s logic that each student would complete the paper within 40 pages is flawed and should be reconsidered…the university cannot restrict anyone” she said. The court has now asked the university to file its reply and posted the matter for further hearing next month.

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Aarushi murder case: Hemraj Banjade’s wife moves Supreme Court

A petition challenging Rajesh and Nupur Talwar’s acquittal by the Allahabad High Court was filed in the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday. The petition was filed by Khumkala Banjade, wife of the Talwars’ domestic help, Hemraj, who was murdered along with Aarushi Talwar.Banjade filed the petition months after the Allahabad HC acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar for murdering their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj for the lack of evidence.In her petition, Banjade told the apex court that the dentist couple were wrongly acquitted of murdering their teenaged daughter and her husband Hemraj.Speaking to DNA, senior advocate KTS Tulsi said it was the state’s duty to find out who killed Aarushi and Hemraj. “If the Talwar’s did not commit the crime, who did?” he said. Hemraj’s body was allegedly dragged to the terrace where it was later found by the Uttar Pradesh police hinting at a crime, it is up to the state to find out who did it, he added.”The Hon’ble high court has failed to appreciate that there is nothing to show that an outsider(s) came inside the house in the night after 9:30 pm. That there is no material on record which suggest that somebody was loitering near the flats under suspicious circumstances on the night of the incident. The same has been corroborated by the security guard PW9 who was on duty on the night of 15.05.2008 -16.05.2008. The trial court rightly held that the time span was so less that there is no chance of anyone entering the house, the petition read.In October, the Allahabad HC had held that the trial court judge, who had sentenced Rajesh and Nupur Talwar for the murder of Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj, had acted like a “film director” and had “prejudged things” and had “tried to thrust coherence amongst facts inalienably scattered here and there but not giving any coherence to the idea as to what in fact happened” while acquitting the couple in the sensational case, is also a damning indictment of the trial court.The Talwars – who were convicted of killing their daughter and their help, walked out of prison shortly after the judgment was pronounced almost nine years after the double murder gripped the nation.

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Mehbooba Mufti’s brother quits cell, likely to join Cabinet

Decks have been cleared for Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s brother Mufti Tassaduq Hussain to enter into the Legislative Council seemingly paving the way for him to join her sister’s cabinet.Tassaduq on Friday resigned as the Coordinator of the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell, the post he held since May this year.“Tassaduq Hussain Mufti today resigned as Coordinator, J&K CM’s Grievance Cell. Tassaduq has submitted his resignation to the Chief Secretary BB Vyas. He was appointed Coordinator, J&K CM’s Grievance Cell in May this year”, said an official spokesman.Sources said Tassaduq will be nominated as Member of Legislative Council on the seat which fell vacant after the resignation of PDP leader and erstwhile royal Vikramaditya Singh on October 22. Sources said Tassaduq will eventually be inducted into the cabinet of Mehbooba Mufti from the PDP quota. Insiders said he may be allocated tourism portfolio which is currently held by chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.Tassaduq had formally joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the first death anniversary of his father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7. Later PDP fielded him from the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in the May by polls. Election Commission later postponed the polls after violence rocked the first phase of polling in Srinagar Parliamentary seat, which witnessed the historic low turnout.A trained Cinematographer from US, Tassaduq has earned a name in the Bollywood by the body of his work. He made a debut in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara in 2006 and his camera work received rave reviews. Tassaduq went on to win Zee Cine Award for Best Cinematography and Star Screen Award Best Cinematographer in 2006 for Omkara. Tassaduq teamed up with Bhardwaj again in 2009 for Shahid Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra starrer Kaminay, which was received well on the box office. In fact, sources said late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed wanted Tassaduq to join politics and contest elections in 1996 when he was in the Congress. However, he was then underage and not eligible for contesting polls. Eventually, late Mufti convinced his eldest daughter Mehbooba Mufti to contest assembly polls from home constituency of Bijbhera in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. .NEW ROLESources said Tassaduq will be nominated as Member of Legislative Council after the resignation of PDP leader Vikramaditya Singh on October 22. Tassaduq had formally joined PDP on January 7

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Surgery in city’s private hospitals costly

A 37-year-old Panvel resident Shirish Patil had to undergo urinary stone surgery at a private hospital in rural Maharashtra in order to spend less amount of money for his surgery. Patil, who was diagnosed with urinary stones a few months ago, had his surgery advanced due to the unbearable pain.Patil travelled to Pen for the surgery after he found out that the cost of the operation in a private hospital in the city was way higher than that at a private hospital in Pen. Even though he had a medical policy, only Rs 40,000 was sanctioned for the operation.In one of the hospitals, Patil was also informed about different surgery packages depending on the medical policy he/she has.”I preferred going to a private hospital in Panvel since it was listed in the medical policy’s hospital list. After a check-up, I was told surgery would cost approximately Rs 1.64 lakh. Coming from a middle-class family, it was not possible for me to arrange the money. While another Navi Mumbai based private hospital (Apollo Hospital) initially gave me an estimate of Rs 1.30 lakh for the surgery, they later informed me about another package costing Rs 70,000, but would include other techniques. The package was offered after looking at my medical policy and amount to be sanctioned.”After running around, in October, Patil visited a rural private hospital (Niramay Hospital) in Pen for the surgery which cost him only Rs 23,000. “I underwent the same surgery for Rs 27,000 which included my medicine cost (Rs 4,000) and surgery (Rs 23,000).”

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Cuffe Parade locals back plastic ban with march

The Cuffe Parade Residents Association (CPRA), in their aggressive approach towards the plastic ban, held a march to promote plastic ban in Cuffe Parade with actress Juhi Chawla and local public representatives, on Sunday.The residents will now also use pet bottle flaking machine to dispose of plastic bottles which will be proceeded for recycling. More than 300 residents and school students from the locality were present during the march. On October 2, the residents had announced a complete ban on use of plastic in Cuffe Parade. Shopkeepers were given cloth and paper bags to be handed out to residents for groceries and household items.Actor Juhi Chawla handed over these bags to residents and guided students on the use of environment-friendly products.”We will be using pet bottle flaking machine which will flake the plastic bottles and later it will be sent for recycling. We will urge the residents to deposit the plastic bottles at designated centres which will be later flaked in the machine.”, said Hansu Pardiwala, Chairman of Waste Management committee for CPRA.Moreover, the local shopkeepers have been told to completely ban the use of plastic bags and discourage selling their products to the residents in the plastic bags.Padmakar Nandekar, Secretary-General, CPRA, said, “If the shopkeepers do not follow the rules, we will ask the residents to boycott such stores. We have ensured that the cloth and paper bags do not fall short for the shopkeepers which can be easily given to the residents after taking a nominal deposit fee which will be returned back to the residents once the bags are handed back to the shopkeepers.”

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Trinamool Congress’ core meet today: Panchayat polls, BJP on Mamata Banerjee’s agenda

After touring three districts, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would return to Kolkata on Friday and would chair a core committee meeting at Trinamool Congress headquarters off EM Bypass.Besides the administrative stock taking in the three districts she visited, Banerjee is likely to draw a roadmap ahead of the panchayat elections next year.Party sources said that the Cheif Minister had also got the feelers from the grassroot-level after the former party second-in-command Mukul Roy defected to BJP and would now plan her gambit.The last core committee meeting took place on October 27, which makes this the first one after former TMC MP Mukul Roy joined BJP on November 3.It would be attended by the cabinet ministers, MPs, MLAs and zila parishad sabhadipatis among others.The Winter Session of Parliament would begin on Friday as well and a condolence resolution would be adopted for the death of party MP Sultan Ahmed. Which is why at least one MP of both the Houses would skip the meeting and attend Parliament.Sources also said that after Mukul Roy’s defection, many Trinamool leaders are also mulling of switching over to BJP. How this probable attrition could be stopped, would also be discussed in the meeting.Banerjee would also stress on countering BJP on social media. Along with personal interaction, she would tell leaders right down to the grassroot-level to get in touch with the mass through Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp telling people how BJP was trying to polarise people here on the basis of religion.Leaders who are unable to cope with smartphone usage would be asked to upgrade their technical knowhow and get used to smartphones. She would cite her example of how, in spite of her busy schedule, she manages to upload her activities on social media.Banrejee would also stress on making benefits of social welfare schemes to as many people as possible so that the party is able to reap political benefits ahead of the panchayat polls.She is also expected to give out a stern warning against in-fighting within the party.

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Mumbai NGO writes to BMC over LED light pollution at Juhu beach

Worried over the implications of Light pollution- due to high-mast lights put across Juhu Beach, Mumbai’s Awaaz Foundation, after measuring the ‘lux levels’, has written to the BMC as well as the environment department, stating that the difference between illumination levels throughout the beach highlighted the inability of these lights to provide security.In October this year, the BMC had installed LED lights at Juhu Beach that could change colour. The purpose was to beautify the beach and for safety purposes – a move that several environmentalists have been opposing. However, ever since the lights have been installed Juhu residents whose houses overlook the beach have been complaining about light pollution.Awaaz Foundation used a lux meter to measure and record light levels at Juhu Beach at about 7.15pm on Wednesday and it was found that the lux level underneath the mast light was 67,000 lux (equivalent of direct sunlight) and the lux level near the water’s edge was 0.03 lux (equivalent of a moonlit night.) “The great difference between the recorded lux levels throughout the beach highlights the inability of the installed lighting fixtures to provide lighting that will ensure safety as only limited portion of the beach was illuminated leaving several dark patches. This completely negates the biggest claims that of security by BMC for installing these lights on the beaches,” said Sumaira Abdulali, Convenor of Awaaz Foundation questioning that whether BMC conducted any study to understand the impacts of these lights on locals and the environment.She added that the high intensity of LED lighting in its immediate vicinity was causing disturbances to residential buildings that could lead to adverse health effects and was also blocking out the natural views of the stars and moon.Abdulali stressing on the need for a policy to regulate intensity or uniformity of lighting and specific lighting plan shared, “Through the letter we have requested BMC as well as the environment department to consider the harmful effects of light pollution while formulating any policies or projects for beautification of beaches or other natural areas, especially those placed close to residential areas and to also consider framing a suitable policy to regulate light pollution in Mumbai from various sources including street lighting, private security lighting, hoardings, beautification projects and others,” she said.Juhu based Filmmaker and social activist Ashoke Pandit said that the beach has lost its sanctity. “It’s a natural place where one visits to be closer to nature and these lights have completely taken away the feel. There is no doubt that Juhu beach needed lights as there are often chain snatching and other cases of crimes reported but certainly not these kinds of light that have taken away the beauty of our beach,” he said.

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Supreme Court dismisses Teesta Setalvad’s plea for de-freezing of bank accounts

The Supreme Court today dismissed the pleas of activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband and her two NGOs challenging the Gujarat High Court order rejecting their pleas for de-freezing of their personal bank accounts.A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the pleas are dismissed.Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and their two NGOs — Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace — had challenged the October 7, 2015 verdict of the high court in the alleged misappropriation of funds received by their NGOs for Gujarat riot victims of 2002.The apex court had reserved its verdict on July 5 this year.Earlier the top court had questioned the source of money in the bank accounts of Setalvad and others which were frozen by the Ahmedabad Police in 2015 after the allegations of misappropriation had surfaced.One of the residents of Gulberg society, Firoz Khan Pathan, had filed a complaint against Setalvad and others alleging that money was raised to make a museum at Gulberg Society in the memory of 69 people killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots, but it had not been utilised for the purpose.The freezing of the accounts by Ahmedabad Police had come soon after its crime branch had started probing a case in which Setalvad and others were accused of embezzling Rs 1.51 crore collected to convert Gulbarg Society into a museum.The high court had upheld the verdict of a lower court in this regard observing that the probe was at a serious point in the alleged case of Gulbarg society fund embezzlement.In the embezzlement case lodged by the Gujarat Police, the couple had challenged the cancellation of bail in the apex court, while in the alleged FCRA violation case, CBI has challenged the anticipatory bail granted to them by the Bombay High Court. Both matters are pending before the apex court.

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Aadhaar case: Five-judge SC Bench to hear matter tomorrow

The Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution bench will hear a case in connection with mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers on Thursday.Lawyer Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioner, sought the apex court’s intervention for an urgent hearing seeking interim relief in the Aadhaar case.On Wednesday, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice Dipak Misra, after hearing the mentioning in the Aadhaar case, said, the apex court’s five-judge Constitution bench would hear the matter tomorrow at 2 pm.Earlier on October 30, the apex court referred all the Aadhaar related cases to a five-judge Constitution bench to be formed by the end of November.Till the time the court sets up the Constitution bench and passes orders, the government can continue to use Aadhaar for its various programmes.Earlier the court had tagged 22 cases to be heard by a smaller bench.The cases challenge several aspects of Aadhaar, including the use of data collected under the unique identification programme.

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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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Maharani Gayatri Devi’s grandkids are her legal heirs: Delhi High Court

Striking down an earlier judgment wherein the stepsons of Rajmata Gayatri Devi were declared entitled to a share of her property, the Delhi High Court (HC) has held the Queen’s two grandchildren as her legal heirs.Justice S Ravindra Bhat referred to an earlier judgment in a different case, where it was held that step-children could not be equated to children. The death of the maharani gave rise to a tiff over the property. Jagat Singh, the son of the late queen, died after executing a will, stating that Gayatri Devi be the owner of his property.According to an application filed by Gayatri Devi’s Devraj and Lalitya, currently residing in Bangkok, she died in 2009 with a will that declared that they would inherit all her properties. The grandchildren also filed a review petition, challenging a 2010 decision of the HC, which allowed two separate applications for impleadment as heirs of Gayatri Devi.While one plea was filed by Devraj and Lalitya, the other was moved by Gayatri Devi’s stepsons Prithvi Raj Singh and Jai Singh, who were born from Maharaj Sawai Man Singh’s other wife.Her grandchildren contended that only they were entitled to get her share as they were the children of late Jagat Singh, who was her predeceased son, and the only class-I legal heirs under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.They had also said that Prithvi Raj Singh and Jai Singh were the children of late Sawai Man Singh through another wife and could not be treated as Gayatri Devi’s heirs. Their submissions were countered by Prithvi Raj and Jai Singh, who relied upon the will of Jagat Singh, allegedly excluding his children from succession to his properties.It was submitted that though Devraj and Lalitya might, in the normal circumstances have been the heirs of Gayatri Devi as children of Jagat Singh, they have to be excluded as her successors because they were disinherited by their father.The court, however, set aside its October 19, 2010 order, allowed the review petition, and said: “Devraj and Lalitya Kumari are to be treated as legal representatives of late Gayatri Devi”. It also relied on a Supreme Court judgment, saying the verdict was decisive on the question that stepchildren cannot be equated to children.”… Therefore, the question of other individuals, claiming to succeed to Gayatri Devi’s will, cannot arise. For the foregoing reasons, it is held that the review petition has to succeed. It is allowed. The order dated October 19, 2010, is therefore, set aside. The present applicants — Devraj and Lalitya Kumari — are to be treated as legal representatives of late Gayatri Devi,” the bench stated.The SC, in September 2015, had upheld the verdict of the Delhi HC, allowing transfer of some shares of Gayatri Devi to Devraj and Lalitya Kumari.REVIEW PETITIONThe grandchildren also filed a review petition, challenging a 2010 decision of the HC, which allowed two separate applications for impleadment as heirs of Gayatri Devi.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Godhra, where locals are back to basics of life even as scars remain

It’s 6 PM in Godhra. A power cut has plunged the road that stretches out in front of the railway station into darkness. This is the same stretch that earned infamy around 15 years ago after a coach full of kar sevaks was burnt down in Godhra on the other side of the railway station. Fifty-nine people had died in the incident.The rains that poured under the impact of cyclone Ockhi makes the ride on the rundown road tougher.At a time when ‘Janeudhaari Brahmin’ and ‘Babar bhakt’ remarks are back in the political discourse in the run-up to the Assembly elections in Gujarat, Godhra is trying hard to keep pace.The election fight this time is between two leaders with Janata Dal roots — C K Raulji and Rajendra Patel — who are contesting on BJP and Congress tickets, respectively.Muslims are clearly inclined towards the Congress, but what can trouble the BJP more is the rebel factor from within. However, the BJP has made good inroads into the backward Bakshi Panch community, which has 90,000 votes as against the 55,000 Muslim votes in the seat.Local Muslims are angry with five-term MLA C K Raulji, who had won the seat on Congress ticketon two consecutive previous elections but has now shifted gear and joined the BJP.In Muslim areas, there is a hesitance to talk about Godhra. They have other important issues to worry about.At Nala Baharpura, where the famous washerman of Godhra, Chand Dobhi, lived, residents dread rains, as in every rainy season, their dwellings on the embankment rather than on the river course get submerged with rising water table.Chand Mohammad, who died in October this year, had shot into limelight in 2008 when the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi sent emissaries to meet him during a meeting in Godhra, recalling how he had served him as a laundry man for a decade in 1970s, when he lived in Godhra as RSS pracharak.While his family has yet to get the promised land, more than 250 families living in the area look for respite from the water submergence issue.”We have to leave our homes for days and take shelter in highlands during the rainy season. No one cares about our problem. We simply don’t matter,” says sexagenarian Ibrahim, who has been living in the area since 1980.At Signal Falia, where many of the convicts of the 2002 burning of the Sabarmati Express live, an interesting story has played out. Maria, the Pakistani wife of a Godhra carnage convict Irfan Pada, is fighting a court battle to continue her stay in India after the birth of their daughter Savera here in 2015. In January last year, the Gujarat High Court asked her to apply for an Indian citizenship. She is still battling the issue.Pada was convicted in the Godhra train burning incident and sentenced to life along with 19 others. A special trial court had on March 1, 2011, convicted 31 people, awarding the death penalty to 11 of them and acquitting 63. The High Court in October this year, reduced the death sentence of the 11 convicts to ‘life in prison.’There were a total of 134 accused in the case, out of which 14 were released due to lack of evidence, five were juveniles, five died during court proceedings of over nine years, 16 are absconding, and the trial was conducted against 94 accused.One of the 63 acquitted is Abdul Assu Mistri, who sells tea at Gondra Mohalla on Indore Baroda Highway in Godhra. A resident of Idgah Mohalla, Mistri says he has to spend nine years in jail from 2002 to 2011, which has wrecked his family. He is now worried about the future of his two sons and daughters.Over a thousand garages are lined up in Godhra. Muslim youths are considered expert mechanics and vehicles are brought here from far away places for repair work. But there is no industry in the region and youth from both communities migrate in larger numbers in search of employment. Sitting MLA Raulji, after joining the BJP, impressed upon the party leadership the need to create jobs in the area.The nearby Halol is an auto hub, but Godhra is not a beneficiary as locals are not employed, says Mehfooz Patel.Vipul Soni, a swarnkar from Ahmedbad, however, says the road between Ahmedabad and Godhra was a narrow one and the connectivity improved a lot under the Modi regime in Gujarat. “Development has happened under Modi and people will still vote in Modi’s name,” he says confidently.Considered a veteran from Godhra, Raulji who is from the Kshatriya community and a close confidante of former Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela, did not vote for Congress leader Ahmed Patel in the keenly fought Rajya Sabha elections this year and was subsequently expelled from the Congress for cross-voting.After Raulji joined the BJP, party’s state chief Jitu Vaghani went to town declaring it was the beginning of the annihilation of the Congress. Raulji has even if he did not get minority votes, it will not affect his chances of winning the seat.Raulji, who first won the seat in 1990 on a Janata Dal ticket, won from Godhra on a BJP ticket in the 1991 bypoll and again in 1995.Besides antagonising around 55,000 Muslim voters in the city, Raulji’s second sojourn with the BJP has also ruffled feathers in the party.A popular face in the area, Jaswant Parmar, who heads his party’s Bakshi Panch (an OBC caste) Morcha in the state and was a key contender for the ticket, has now entered the fray as an independent.The Bakshi Panch community, who is mostly engaged in agriculture, has around 90,000 members in the rural part of the constituency.Rural Godhra has around 25,000 tribals and 12,000 Dalits. Patidars, Sindhis, Baniyas, Sonis (swarnkar), Rajputs, Brahmins and others put together make around 50,000, a little less than Muslims in urban centres.Parmar, who is a surgeon by profession and runs a clinic in Godhra town, can also cut into some city votes. Parmar was associated with RSS for long and his mother is a senior leader in BJP.Congress candidate Rajendra Patel had won the seat once in 1998 on a Janata Dal ticket, defeating Congress’s Abdulrahim Khalpa, the last Muslim MLA from the region — he had won the seat for three consecutive terms in 1975, 1980 and 1985.Patel, a leader from the Bakshi Panch community, has the image of a rabble-rouser and believes in aggressive backward politics. With a Kshatriya canidate from from BJP and a Bakshi Panch candidate from Congress, the role of independent Jaswant Parmar, who also belongs to Bakshi Panch community could turn crucial in election outcome.
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Cyclone Ockhi effect: Veggies and foodgrains to see a price 10-15% hike for next week in Mumbai

Due to untimely rainfall on Tuesday thanks to Cyclone Ockhi, the prices of vegetables and foodgrains are likely to go up by 10 to 15%.According to the traders at Navi Mumbai’s Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), the untimely rain has ruined perishable crops such as onions, tomatoes, coriander, spinach, chillies, etc.“On Wednesday, the whole prices of onion in Nashik, was Rs 35 per kg, while on Thursday, it will be sold at Rs 40-45 per kg. The untimely rainfall will affect these perishable vegetables,” said Ashok Walunje, trader and former director at Vashi APMC. Walunje said that there will be a shortage of supply on Thursday because of the unseasonal rain.“Once the supply dries up, the vegetable and onion rates will automatically go up. This trend will continue for at least for another 10 days,” he added.Also readCyclone Ockhi: Mumbai receives highest December rainfall since 1967Besides, veggies and onions, other rabi crops, mainly wheat, barley, sesame, mustard, peas, maize, linseed, gram, cumin, have also been damaged by the untimely rainfall.The rabi crops are sown in winter just at the end of October October end and harvested in spring. Some areas such as Palghar, Raigad, Nandurbar, Dhule, Nasik and Jalgaon districts in north and central Maharashtra were affected by hailstorms
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Navy offers job in private company to transgender ex-sailor

The navy today offered a job in a private company, which works for the government, to a transgender ex-sailor who was removed from service after she underwent a sex change surgery to become a female.The offer was made by the Indian Navy in the Delhi High Court before a bench of Justices G S Sistani and V K Rao.It said that while there was no job in the naval force for the former sailor, it could facilitate her to get employed as a data entry operator in a private company. The submission on behalf of the Navy was made by Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and central government standing counsel Anil Soni. Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for the ex- sailor, said the offered job paid much less than what his client was getting while being on the rolls of the navy.The senior lawyer said he would need to speak to his client on whether to accept the offer, which he termed unfair. The bench thereafter listed the matter for hearing on December 15 by when the stand of the former sailor has to be indicated. The court was hearing the ex-sailor’s plea challenging an October 6 order of the Navy removing her from service. She had claimed that she was suffering from gender identity issues since 2011 and, when she had told her parents, they forced her to marry a woman.Also readIndia’s first transgender soldier vows to fight for her jobShe further claimed that she was absent from service without leave several times as she suffered from bouts of depression, owing to her gender identity issues. The court had on the last date of hearing called for a change in mindset while asking the Navy to consider her for another job. It had said that while the person deserved to be punished for indiscipline for being absent without leave, but where there was a medical condition of this sort, it may be seen from a different perspective.The bench was also of the view that the petitioner who was posted onboard INS Eksila at Visakhapatnam, could give up the claim for the job of a sailor and may accept a clerical position so that the family, comprising aged parents, the individual’s wife and child, need not suffer. The Navy had removed her from service as women cannot be employed as sailors.
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Mother of Indian engineer, who sneaked into Pakistan to meet a girl, appeals for clemency

The mother of an Indian engineer, who was sentenced after he sneaked into Pakistan from Afghanistan to meet a girl he had befriended on the internet, has appealed to President Mamnoon Hussain to remit the remaining period of her son’s prison term.In a letter to Hussain, the mother of Hamid Ansari said: “Mohtaram Sadar – your government has shown clemency to foreign nationals who have committed far graver offences than Hamid Ansari.”The country’s credit for listening to humanitarian calls will go up and the chances of relief for Pakistani citizens in Indian prisons might improve if you could remit the remaining period of Hamid’s prison term.”She said the period of Ansari’s detention (three years) before conviction may be counted as sentence served, that he may he be released on humanitarian grounds, and that he and that he may be allowed to talk to his family on the phone.The Indian national was tried in a military court and was awarded three years’ vigorous imprisonment that started from December 15, 2015 and will end on December 14 next year.Ansari, a Mumbai resident, suffered injuries after he was attacked by inmates in the Peshawar Central prison last year.According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Ansari, an assistant professor at an Indian management institute, became friendly with a girl belonging to Kohat (in Kyber Pakhtaunkhawa province of Pakistan) through Facebook.”When she feared the denial of her rights, he decided to come to her rescue. He could not get a Pakistan visa but was able to fly to Afghanistan and enter Pakistan, though without valid papers. He was arrested from a hotel in Kohat on November 14, 2012.”Thus, for five years he has been in the custody of the Pakistani authorities. Charged with espionage and not with illegal entry into Pakistan, he was sentenced to three years? imprisonment by a military court,” says known rights activist I A Rehman.”There is no doubt that Hamid Ansari committed an offence but his motives, love or a desire to help a woman in distress, are strong mitigating circumstances. He has already suffered enough for his naivete,” he said and demanded his immediate release.On the other hand, a Pakistani woman journalist who was allegedly kidnapped while pursuing the case of Ansari two years ago, has gone missing again two months after her return.President of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances Justice (retd.) Javed Iqbal had said Shahzadi had been recovered from an area on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on Thursday night.”Non-state actors and anti-state agencies had abducted her and she has been recovered from their custody,” Iqbal said.Rehman said Shahzadi has gone missing again. “Missing of Shahzadi two months after her return from two-year captivity is alarming.”He says Shahzadi, a young and poor journalist without any clout, had dreams of helping her fellow human beings.”When she learnt that an Indian named Hamid Ansari was in trouble for trying to help a Pakistani girl, she thought this was a case that could help her establish herself as a bold human rights defender and a skilful journalist.”She persuaded Ansari’s mother to grant her authority/ permission to pursue the matter before the Peshawar High Court. She also met the Indian high commissioner at a public meeting, probably to seek his help in the case,” he said.The 26-year-old local reporter of Daily Nai Khaber and Metro News TV channel had gone missing on August 19, 2015, when some unknown men allegedly kidnapped her while she was en route to her office in an auto-rickshaw from her home in a populated locality of Lahore.On her return in this October she was not allowed to speak to anyone. Later, her family reported she has gone missing again.
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Madhya Pradesh Assembly passes bill awarding death sentence for rape of girls below 12 years

The Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a bill with a provision awarding death sentence to those guilty of raping girls aged 12 or below in the state.The bill will now be sent to the Centre which will send it to the President for his approval.The moves comes in the wake of a spurt in rape incidents recently. Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of rape cases registered among all states last year and even the year before that. The state, which has the fifth highest population in the country, accounted for 4,882 rape cases out of 38,947 cases recorded across the country in 2016, as per the National Crime Record Bureau’s report, released last week. The last year’s report showed that the state reported highest number of rape cases (4,391 out of 38,947 cases) in the country in 2015. The state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had last week approved the bill recommending capital punishment for rape of girls aged 12 years or below.The bill also has the provision for harsher punishment to those guilty of molesting, stalking and harassing women.The Madhya Pradesh government had recently come in for criticism over recent incidents of rape in the state.A 19-year-old UPSC aspirant was allegedly raped when she was returning home from a coaching institute on October 31 here.After public outrage, some police officers were suspended and transferred for the delay in registering an FIR.The NCRB data for 2015 showed that the state reported highest number of rape cases (4,391 out of 38,947 cases) in the country.According to the NCRB data for 2014, the state reported 5,076 rape cases, which was 14 per cent of the total rape incidents reported in the country.In 2013, 4,335 rape cases were reported in the state as against 3,425 in 2012.
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NCRB data reveals Delhi cops go soft on own men

Data released by the National Crime Records Bureau suggests that Delhi Police is rather lenient in handling crimes committed by its own men. In a surprising revelation, 136 criminal cases were registered against Delhi Police personnel in 2016, of which only 42 were arrested. The NCRB data further shows that of these, only two cases were chargesheeted.The data also revealed that 20 persons escaped from the Delhi Police’s custody last year, of which five escapees were chargesheeted.Also, in 2016, one case of disappearance or death in the Delhi Police’s custody was recorded and a magisterial enquiry was ordered. A case was also registered against the police personnel in connection with the death. However, as per the data, no chargesheet was filed in the case, and neither was any policeman convicted.Last week, Praja Foundation had revealed that the number of complaints received in 2015 against the police force was 12,913, of which 346 were declared false. Only 145 criminal cases were registered but no policeman got arrested. The same year, of the 1,057 cases registered against the police, 62 per cent were either withdrawn or disposed of, while 69 were dismissed, and in 292 cases major punishment was awarded, it said.A number of incidents were reported in 2016 where rogue policing came to light. In December 2016, a head constable was suspended after allegedly helping women pickpockets at a metro station. The act was caught on a CCTV camera. In the same month, a constable and five others, including three women, were arrested for allegedly honey-trapping businessmen and government employees in Burari area.Two months before this, in October, an inspector was suspended for his alleged involvement in a corruption case for fake coin manufacturing.These apart, in September, three cops from the Delhi Police’s Special Cell were dismissed for extorting money, and in August, a head constable and two others were booked for carrying out unauthorised construction in Hari Nagar area.NCRB DATA – 2016 136 criminal cases registered against Delhi cops.42 arrests made.2 cops chargesheeted.Rogue Cop casesDecember: A head constable was suspended after allegedly helping women pickpockets at a metro station when the act was caught on CCTV.Another constable and five others, including three women, were arrested for allegedly honey-trapping businessmen and government employees.October: An inspector was suspended for his alleged involvement in a corruption case of fake coin manufacturing.September: 3 cops from the Special Cell were dismissed for extorting moneyAugust: A head constable and two others were booked for carrying out unauthorised construction in Hari Nagar.
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Nov gold imports highest in a yr

Ahmedabad reported the highest import of gold in a year in the month of November, official data shows.GSECL, which handles cargo at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, said that 14.40 tonne gold was imported at the Air Cargo Complex in November 2017, 22% lower than 18.65 tonne imported in November last year, but the highest in a single month after that. With the exception of November 2016, gold imports at the Air Cargo Complex in November 2017 were the highest for a single month since August 2016, when 15.78 tonne gold was imported, as per the GSECL data.Some of the other months in the past year in which high gold imports were reported include May (12.95 tonne), March (11.45 tonne) and February (10.15 tonne).For the first eight months of the current financial year, ie from April-November 2017, 47.80 tonne gold was imported at Ahmedabad, an increase of 31% over 36.37 tonne in the same period of last year.SILVER IMPORTS Imports of the other shiny metal silver, which stood at 25.56 and 26 tonne for September and October respectively, stood at 0.36 tonne in November.
For the first eight months of the ongoing financial year, silver imports at Ahmedabad airport were reported at 116 tonne as against a bit under 12 tonne in the same period.
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To curb crowding, new jail to come up in Mankhurd

In a bid to ease overcrowding in jails in and around Mumbai, the state government has approved the allocation of land at Mankhurd for constructing a prison.The high-security Arthur Road jail will also get additional infrastructure with work on two barracks meant to intern prisoners being completed by March 2018. The jail, which houses prisoners like former deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, has many more inmates than its sanctioned capacity.A senior home department official said that in a recent meeting, chief secretary Sumit Mullick had asked for 5 acre land at Mankhurd to be made available for the construction of the prison.”The plot, which belongs to the revenue department, has been earmarked for the construction of a correctional facility in the BMC’s development plan… the public works department (PWD) will be asked to draw up plans for the jail after we take possession of the land,” he added, stating that the work would begin after the land was handed over to the Maharashtra prison department.Maharashtra Prison Department officials said that the construction of this new facility, along with two new barracks housing around 400 prisoners being commissioned at the Arthur Road jail, would ease the burden on the jails in and around Mumbai. As on October-end, the state’s prisons, which have a capacity to house 23,942 inmates, including both undertrials and convicts, housed 32,752 such people. The overcrowding is more intense in Mumbai, Thane and Pune.NEW LAND FOR JAILA senior home department official said that in a recent meeting, chief secretary Sumit Mullick had asked for 5 acre land at Mankhurd to be made available for the construction of the prison. As on October, state’s prisons, which have a capacity to house 23,942 inmates, including both under-trials and convicts, housed 32,752 people.
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Gujarat elections 2017 | PM Modi to speak to 5,500 block-level Mahila workers

To deepen the outreach of BJP among women, who are believed to be a caste neutral constituency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will directly speak to 5500 block-level workers of Gujarat BJP Mahila Morcha on Friday.The move comes at a time when caste is ringing louder in Assembly election campaign of Gujarat and BJP’s rival Congress has sewn up an umbrella alliance with various caste and tribe leaders from among the OBC, Dalit, tribal and assertive Patel community.In 2014 Lok Sabha polls as well, women are said to have played an important role in BJP’s stupendous victory and the party has never been shy of flaunting its work towards empowering the women.Ironically, both Congress and BJP have together fielded only 21 candidates in the Assembly polls of Guajrat this time, which, constitute of around percent of total votes.Of the 977 candidates contesting for the first phase of polls only 57 are women. BJP general secretary in-charge for Gujarat Bupendra Yadav said that Modi will interact with 5500 block level workers of BJP Mahila Morcha in the state between 4.30 to 5 PM after they complete download of NaMo App by 4.30 on December 1. “The Prime Minister will hold a direct dialogue with them,” Yadav said. A party source said that Modi could also some of the questions during what is supposed to be a live video call.The BJP has been highlighting its contributions like PM Modi naming Anandiben Patel, a woman as Chief Minister of Gujrat when he demitted office after 2014 Lok Sabha polls to become Prime Minister.Sumitra Mahajan becoming Lok Sabha Speaker and Modi government giving two top portolios in the South Bloc—External Affiars Ministry to Sushma Swaraj and Defence Ministry to Nirmala Sitharaman, both of whom are also now members of the coveted Cabinet Committee on Security, are also highlighted by the BJP leaders.The BJP has also sought to reach out to Muslim women with its repeated assertion of support to the abolition of the practice of triple talaq. The government has also announced to discuss the issue in upcoming Winter session.During the interaction with BJP Mahila workers, the Prime Minister is expected to do a pep talk and encourage them to reach out to women in larger numbers.This is the first time in last two decades that BJP is seeing a keen contest in Gujarat.BJP leaders during interactions in Gujarat have repeatedly highlighted the schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Common Service Centre involving 33,000 women, 50 percent reservation in panchayat and other such decisions as Modi government’s push towards ensuring gender justice and women empowerment.On October 14, Swaraj interacted with one lakh women from across Gujarat in a Mahila Town Hall programme in Ahmedabad, which was hosted by BJP Gujarat Mahila Morcha via video conferencing as well as in person. Gujarat Mahila Morcha has also held a large number conferences in the run up to Gujarat polls.When Rahul Gandhi in October kicked up a controversy with his “women in shorts” not seen in RSS remarks, BJP’s female ministers including Swaraj were in the fore front, dubbing Gandhi’s remarks as “insult” to women.At a rally in Ahmedabad on October 14, Swaraj had reminded Gandhi that BJP had given four women chief ministers and four women governors to the country and that there are six women who were cabinet ministers in the BJP-led government.Swaraj, Union Minister Uma Bharti, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, former Guajrat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and cine star turned Lok Sabha MP Hema Malini figure in the list of BJP star campaigners.Anandiben Patel, is, however, yet to campaign anywhere. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha MP Sushmita Dev, former Union Ministers Kumari Selja and Ambika Soni, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and film star turned politician Nagma figure in the list of star campaigners.
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Gujarat Elections 2017: In unique outreach, PM Narendra Modi to ‘video chat’ with 5,500 women BJP workers

To deepen the outreach of BJP among women, who are believed to be a caste neutral constituency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will directly speak to 5,500 block level workers of Gujarat BJP Mahila Morcha on Friday.The move comes at a time when caste is ringing louder in Assembly election campaign of Gujarat and BJP’s rival Congress has sewn up an umbrella alliance with various caste and tribe leaders from among the OBC, Dalit, tribal and assertive Patel community.In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls as well, women were said to have played an important role in the BJP’s stupendous victory and the party has never been shy of flaunting its work towards empowering the women.Also readGujarat elections 2017 | Narendra Modi: Rahul GST brainwave is a Grand Stupid ThoughtIronically, both the Congress and the BJP have together fielded only 21 candidates in the Assembly polls this time. Of the 977 candidates contesting for the first phase of polls, only 57 are women.BJP general secretary in-charge for Gujarat Bupendra Yadav said that PM Modi will interact with 5,500 block level workers of BJP Mahila Morcha in the state between 4.30 to 5 PM after they complete download of NaMo App by 4.30 on December 1.Also readI sold tea, but not India: PM Narendra Modi to Congress“The Prime Minister will hold a direct dialogue with them,” Yadav said. A party source said that PM Modi could also some of the questions during what is supposed to be a live video call.The BJP has been highlighting its contributions like PM Modi naming Anandiben Patel, a woman as Chief Minister of Gujrat when he demitted office after 2014 Lok Sabha polls to become Prime Minister.Also readWatch: Child dressed as PM Modi leaves him awestruck at event in NavasariSumitra Mahajan becoming the Lok Sabha Speaker and Modi government giving two top portfolios in the South Bloc—External Affairs Ministry to Sushma Swaraj and Defence Ministry to Nirmala Sitharaman, both of whom are also now members of the coveted Cabinet Committee on Security, are also highlighted by the BJP leaders.The BJP has also sought to reach out to Muslim women with its repeated assertion of support to the abolition of the practice of triple talaq.The government has also announced to discuss the issue in upcoming Winter session. During the interaction with BJP Mahila workers, the Prime Minister is expected to do a pep talk and encourage them to reach out to women in larger numbers.This is the first time in last two decades that BJP is seeing a keen contest in Gujarat.BJP leaders during interactions in Gujarat have repeatedly highlighted the schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Common Service Centre involving 33,000 women, 50 per cent reservation in panchayat and other such decisions as Modi government’s push towards ensuring gender justice and women empowerment.On October 14, Swaraj interacted with one lakh women from across Gujarat in a Mahila Town Hall programme in Ahmedabad, which was hosted by BJP Gujarat Mahila Morcha via video conferencing as well as in person.Gujarat Mahila Morcha has also held a large number conferences in the run up to Gujarat polls.When Rahul Gandhi in October kicked up a controversy with his “women in shorts” not seen in RSS remarks, BJP’s female ministers including Swaraj were in the fore front, dubbing Gandhi’s remarks as “insult” to women.At a rally in Ahmedabad on October 14, Swaraj had reminded Gandhi that BJP had given four women chief ministers and four women governors to the country and that there are six women who were cabinet ministers in the BJP-led government.Swaraj, Union Minister Uma Bharti, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, former Guajrat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and cine star turned Lok Sabha MP Hema Malini figure in the list of BJP star campaigners. Anandiben Patel, is, however, yet to campaign anywhere.Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha MP Sushmita Dev, former Union Ministers Kumari Selja and Ambika Soni, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and film star turned politician Nagma figure in the list of star campaigners.
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Day after voting ends for UP civic polls, Adityanath govt hikes power tariff by 12%

A day after urban bodies’ polls, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh gave an electrical shock to people of the state increasing the power tariff by 12%.Announcing the hike in the tariff, the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Authority (UPERC) Chairman SK Agarawl said that against the demand of 22% hike, the authority has allowed only overall 12% hike.The UPERC has, however, kept the industries out of the power tariff hike. The worst affected are the rural consumers who will have to shell 63% more than what they were paying now. Commercial and urban consumers will have to pay 9.89% and 8.49% more.The cap for the subsidized tariff of 150 units for BPL consumers has been reduced to 100 units. Now they will have to pay Rs 3 for first 100 units and above that Rs 4.90. The worst affected are the rural consumers who were enjoying unmetered power at the rate of Rs 180 per month fixed rental charges will have to install metres or they will be asked to pay Rs 600-700 per month. The unmetered commercial traiif in rural areas has been hiked from Rs 600 to Rs 1000.Though industries have been kept out of the hike but farmers were not spared. They will have to pay Rs 150 per bhp against Rs 100 charged earlier. The new tariff plan has also given a jolt to urban consumers. They will have to pay Rs 4.90 per unit for first 150 units against Rs 3 per unit earlier, Rs 5.40 for 150 to 300 units slab and Rs 6.20 per unit 300 to 500 slab. Above 500 units, they will end paying Rs 6.50 per unit.Also readWhy Uttar Pradesh civic polls will impact Assembly elections in Gujarat Similarly, commercial power tariff in urban areas has been hiked to Rs 7 per unit for first 300 units and Rs 8 for 300 to 1000 units. The fixed charge has also been increased from Rs 200 to 300. The power department is running huge losses to the tune of Rs 75,000 crores and was desperate to seek tariff hike to fulfil the promise of the Yogi Aityanath government to make available power in every villages by October 2018 under Power for All Mission. Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation was losing Rs 22.50 crore per day due to power theft and lines losses which about 30% against national average of 15%. There are about 88 lakh katia (illegal) connections across state. To check power theft and reduce line losses, the department has proposed to install metres in every rural and urban household to bridge gap between the power supplied and revenue collected.
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110 years on, CR shuts toy train loop line

After 110 years, the Central Railway (CR) has shut down the ‘bulb loop line’ at Matheran yard which until 2016 was used to get the toy train back on the line. This loop line is shaped like a bulb where the toy train, after it terminates at Matheran, goes all the way till this yard and comes back on to the platform. The authorities will also resume the entire 21-km Neral-Matheran route from March 2018.This has been the method which the CR had been using to operate the toy trains since 1907 when it was first introduced. This was the same year when the yard was also created. The decision was taken now in October when the CR resumed toy trains on the 2.7-km-long Aman Lodge-Matheran stretch.”We have started push and pull engines for running the services. Now the old system of bulb loop line will be shut,” said Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, CR.In push and pull method, there shall be six coaches with two engines fitted on either side. So there is no need for the train to use the bulb loop line that was operational till May 2016, when two back to back derailments occurred.Presently, there are two locomotives and 24 coaches that are operational. One new engine is being manufactured at Parel workshop which will be ready by January next year; they don’t have any engines on standby.KNOW IT ALL1907: Year the toy train startedRs 18 crore: Cost of reviving the Neral-Matheran toy train21 km: Length of the entire route2.75 km: Current distance of Aman Lodge-Matheran that is operational
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India hotel guest arrested for stealing 120 TVs over four months

The “well-behaved” patron would check in carrying a “fairly large suitcase”, police say.

Kopardi rape and murder case: All three convicts sentenced to death

A sessions court in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra on Wednesday announced death sentenced to all three convicts in the Kopardi rape and murder case.The three convicts are – Jitendra Babulal Shinde, Santosh Gorakh Bhawal and Nitin Gopinath Bhailum.The 15-year-old victim was raped on July 13 at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district, by the trio, who also inflicted injuries all over her body and broke her limbs before throttling herBhawal’s lawyer Balasaheb Khopade had pleaded that Bhawal may not be given the capital punishment.Also readKopardi rape: Victim’s kin demand public hangingHowever, special public prosecutor, Ujjwal Nikam argued that this was a ‘rarest of the rare case’ and hence the tree convicts should be awarded the death sentence.On October 7, Ahmednagar police filed the charge sheet running into over 350 pages before a sessions court in the district in which the trio were charged under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.The Kopardi incident proved to be the trigger for the silent marches (mook morchas) taken out by the Marathas across the state as the victim belonged to the community. Through their campaign, they have also raised long-pending demands like quota in education and jobs.
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Noida’s new parking policy to be delayed by a month

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the objective to reduce traffic congestion in the city, the Noida Authority had planned to hire new agencies to manage the surface parking lots across the city. But, residents of Noida will have to wait for an extended period as the new parking policy will be implemented in 2018.A senior official said that they are in the process of extending the old agreement of parking contractors for 41 parking sites in the city. The new policy was to be implemented from December.“The decision to extend the old parking contract has been taken by the authority as the companies for the new parking contracts for 96 sites is yet to be finalised. Once we are through with the entire plan, which is almost final, we shall implement it. We have just pushed the date by one month,” said Sandip Chandra, senior project engineer at the Noida Authority.“The contracts of the old tenders were supposed to be over by the end of November but they have been extended. We have already given 60 new parking lot contracts to new agencies through an e-tender in October,” Chandra added.Despite having 41 authorised parking across the city, the Noida Traffic Police, earlier in October, made a shocking claim that the ‘parking mafia’ was operating nearly 300 illegal parking lots in the city.Due to illegal parking on roads, city’s commercial hubs including Sector 18, Sector 62, 51, 41, 27, 16, Naya Bans village, Harola and Sector 12 are among the areas where even pedestrians cannot find space to walk during peak hours in morning and evening due to parking of vehicles on the roads.According to the new policy, the prescribed land for parking has been increased to 4,42,000 square meters.PARKED FOR NOW1,68,000 square metres of land used by Noida authority for parking in various sectors.
41 authorised parking lots in Noida
95 places have been sanctioned for parking in 43 sectors in Noida.
Rs 20 for parking four-wheelers
Rs 10 for 2-wheelers for 14 hours (9 am to 11 pm) along the market roads

J&K: Pakistani troops violate ceasefire in Rajouri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani troops opened fire at Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district in violation of the ceasefire, police said.”Pakistani troops resorted to firing in Jhangar forward area from 1845 hours to 1900 hours,” a senior police officer said, adding that further details were awaitedLast night’s violation of the ceasefire came after a lull of over a week in firing by Pakistani troops at Indian posts. ALSO READ Ceasefire agreements can help save Indo-Pak relationsPakistani troops violated the ceasefire for three consecutive days between November 15 and November 17 in Jammu and Poonch districts. An Army jawan was injured in the exchange of fire in Poonch.On November 2, a BSF jawan was killed when Pakistan Rangers attacked a patrol party along the International Border in Samba district.A girl was injured when Pakistani troops opened fire from small arms along the LoC in Karmara belt of Poonch district on October 31.On October 18, eight civilians, including a two-year-old child, were injured in heavy Pakistani shelling in Poonch. ALSO READ J&K: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Nowgam

Spl Bench to hear Aadhaar pleas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court said on Monday that it might consider setting up a Constitution Bench to decide on all matters pertaining to the challenge to the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar in January.The top court’s observation came on the heels of a joint mentioning made by Attorney General KK Venugopal and Senior Advocate Shyam Divan before a bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.Refraining from giving a fixed date, the bench said the matters are likely to come up once it concludes hearing the dispute between Delhi-Lieutenant General (LG).On October 30, the bench — which also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said it would hear the matter in November — almost five years after the first plea challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar was filed.However, with the deadline for linking your Aadhaar to your bank account looming ahead — last date is December 31, Divan had sought for a hearing in November. Several petitions in this matter have been pending since the top court referred the matter to a larger bench almost two years ago.On October 25, the Centre proposed it was open to extending the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phones from December 31, 2017, to March 31, 2018, but only exclusively to those who are “willing to enroll for Aadhaar”.Today, the Ministry of Electronics and Technology (MEITy) released a white paper on the Data Protection framework under the chairmanship of former Justice BN Srikrishna.Currently, a five-judge Constitution Bench is hearing hearing an appeal filed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) challenging the Delhi High Court order which said that the LG was essentially the boss of the national capital. Once, this matter is over, the same bench is slated to hear an appeal filed by a Parsi woman who was denied the right to participate in the rituals upon her fathers death around 15 years ago because she married outside her faith.Relief likelyThe Centre has told Supreme Court that it is willing to extend deadline for Aadhaar linking to services till March 31.The deadline is supposed to end on December 31.Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to all Indian resid-ents based on biometric and demographic data.

Delhi metro fares among the lowest in the world: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after an RTI revealed that the Metro lost over three lakh commuters a day due to the fare increase, Union Minister of State Hardeep Singh Puri claimed that the dip in ridership cannot be linked to the fare hike effected in October.”The fare hike has not led to a decline in Metro ridership. For example, in 2016, there was a ridership dip by 1.3 lakh from September to October when there was no change in fares,” he said.The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs further explained that despite the increase, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) fares were among the “lowest in the world” and the “lowest in India”.His comments came hours after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has been opposing the fare hike, tweeted against it.”This steep hike in metro fare will kill Delhi Metro. If people stop using it, then what purpose does it serve”,” Kejriwal tweeted.According to the RTI query, the Metro’s daily average ridership came down to 24.2 lakh in October from 27.4 lakh in September, a fall of around 11 per cent.The Blue Line, considered the Metro’s busiest, lost over 30 lakh commuters, according to data shared by the DMRC in response to an RTI query. The 50-km corridor connects Dwarka to Noida and the Metro currently has a 218-km network across Delhi-NCR.On October 10, the DMRC effected the fare hike, leading to a rise of around Rs 10 for nearly every distance slab. This came barely five months of another hike of up to 100 per cent.Puri said that every year, there are a few months that see an increase in ridership and a decline is observed in others. “On previous occasions of fare increase, there were at times a temporary dip in ridership which recovered shortly. Ridership in November has shown a rising trend,” the union minister said.However, according to the DMRC’s records, the fall in October was the steepest ever. The Metro has been logging a daily average ridership between 27 lakh and 28 lakh over the recent years, with minor variations.Seeking to defend the fare hike, Puri said that Metro fares are neither fixed by the Centre or the Delhi government, both of which hold equal stakes in the DMRC, and pointed out that it was after a gap of eight years that the fares had been hiked.”When the new fixation committee was formed, they decided that since the fares were not hiked during the last eight years, the increase would happen in two segments, one in May and the other in October,” Puri said.He also said that the Metro is a capital intensive project and if it has to be run efficiently, it’s “long-term liabilities in terms of loan repayment” need to be discharged timely”.”DMRC has a loan of Rs 28,268 crore from JICA. So far, they have only paid Rs 1,507 crore. For the current year, they have to pay Rs 890 crore towards principal and interest liability,” he said.

Maharashtra: Govt defers mandatory rural stint rule for doctors by one year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major relief to thousands of PG (post graduate) medical aspirants in state, the state government has decided to push the mandatory one year rural service bond to the next academic year of 2019-20. The state government issued a clarification on the same.In October 2017, the state government had come out with a government resolution (GR) stating that PG medical aspirants who have not completed their year long rural stint bond will not be allowed to appear for PG NEET that happens in January 2018.Close to 5,000 students would have become ineligible for admissions for post graduate or super specialty programmes for academic 2018-19.Students while protesting had said that in their petition that since the GR of the government came only a few months before the PG (NEET) which is scheduled in January 2018, it should not be implemented for the current batch.Muzaffar Khan, a parent of medical student, said, “We met all the higher authorities from the dean of our child’s college to the minister level. Almost two thousand students petition and few who went to the court were able to put a pressure on the government to postpone this GR for next batch rather than current one.”

Withdraw 5% GST on food: Punjab CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dubbing it as a retrograde decision, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh wrote to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking immediate withdrawal of the five per cent GST on food items in containers intended for free-distribution.In its 22nd meeting on October 16, the GST Council decided to impose five per cent GST on food preparations in unit containers, which were meant for free distribution to economically weaker sections (EWS) of the society. As per the notification, CGST was pegged at 2.5 per cent and the state government would also be charged at the same rate.Highlighting that the state government would be required to pay CGST on such items, Captain Amarinder said imposition of such a tax would solely affect the state government, which will be taxed by the Central Government for running welfare schemes.The Chief Minister, who had earlier urged Jaitley to simplify the process of GST implementation in view of the hardships being caused to the business and trading community, said Punjab had already been facing financial difficulties due to delay in release of GST payment from the Centre.Dubbing the draft notification on this new tax, received by his government from the GST Council as retrograde, Amarinder said the gap between the rich and poor was already increasing. “There is an urgent need to introduce welfare programmes for the economically weaker sections (EWS) at a time when farmers were reeling under debt and resorting to suicide,” he said.

Army begins preliminary work for Elphinstone Road station FOB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Western Railway (WR) on Thursday said that the Indian Army has started preliminary works for the construction of a foot overbridge (FOB) at Elphinstone Road railway station connecting Parel. Jawans have started works like earmarking and soil testing.According to WR, the actual construction work will start only after getting a nod from the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS). “We are still awaiting CRS clearance, and it is only after that the Army will start the actual work,” said Ravindar Bhakar, Chief Public Relation Officer, WR.”What we see today is just the preliminary works like soil testing and other activities that are to be conducted before starting the actual work,” he added.On September 29, at least 23 people were killed and over 30 others injured following a stampede on a foot overbridge (FOB) linking Elphinstone Road and Parel railway stations.After the accident, the parliamentary panel had summoned top railway officials, and the WR conducted a detailed audit of all the stations in the Mumbai suburban section. The audit detected loopholes in the system and development works at each and every station was proposed.However, in the last week of October, the Indian Army was roped in to build a foot overbridge at the Elphinstone Road station. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis along with Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the station and Fadnavis announced that the new FOB would be completed by January 31 next year.THE STORY SO FAROn September 29, at least 23 people were killed and over 30 others injured following a stampede on an FOB at Elphinstone Road In October, the Indian Army was roped in to build a foot overbridge

145 cases against policemen in 2015, no arrest: Survey

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a surprising revelation, despite over 12,000 complaints received against the Delhi Police officers in 2015, of which 346 were declared false, only 145 criminal cases were registered, according to the data released by Praja Foundation on Thursday. It further stated despite 145 criminal cases, no policeman was arrested.The foundation revealed that the number of complaints received in 2015 against the police was 12,913 of which 346 were declared false. Only 145 criminal cases were registered but no police personnel got arrested. The Same year, of 1,057 cases registered against the police, 62% were either withdrawn or disposed of, while 69 were dismissed and in 292 cases major punishment was awarded, it said.A number of incidents were reported in 2016 where rogue policing also came to light. In December 2016, a head constable was suspended after allegedly helping women pickpockets at a metro station when the act was caught in a CCTV camera. In the same month, a constable and five others, including three women were arrested for allegedly honey-trapping businessmen and government employees in Burari area. Two months ahead of this, in October, an inspector was suspended for his alleged involvement in a corruption case of fake coin manufacturing.Apart from this, while in September, three cops from the Delhi Police’s Special Cell were dismissed for extorting money, in August a head constable and two others were booked for carrying out unauthorised construction in Hari Nagar.The data also mentioned that 50% of the respondents to crime do not feel secure in Delhi, whereas 60% do not feel that Delhi is secure for women, children and senior citizens.”67% respondents from Chandni Chowk and South Delhi find Delhi to be unsafe/not secure for women, children and senior citizens. South district of Delhi Police recorded very high occurrence of molestation with women,” it read.57% of the respondents do not feel secure while travelling in Delhi, of which the highest number of respondents was of North East Delhi i.e. 63%, Praja data stated.”A comparison between Delhi and Mumbai numbers (Annual Survey of Households), strictly going on people’s perceptions, Delhi is not considered to be as secure by its residents,” it stated.

Six RSS activists sentenced to life for CPM worker’s murder

Updated: Nov 23, 2017, 11:33 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A court today sentenced six RSS-BJP activists to life imprisonment on charges of murdering a CPI(M) worker at Pannur in the district in 2002.The additional district sessions court at Thalassery also imposed a fine of Rs 70,000 each. Judge G P N Vinod directed them to pay the fine amount to the legal heirs of the deceased Ashraf. The prosecution case was that the six had barged into an automobile shop when Ashraf had gone there to buy a vehicle and hacked him to death.The incident happened on February 5, 2002. The trial began in October 2011. The prosecution produced 25 documents to prove the charges, public prosecutor B P Sasidharan said. Political rivalry was the motive for the murder, he added.

Kopardi rape and murder case: Quantum of sentence to be pronounced on Nov 29

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A sessions court in Ahmednagar will pronounce the quantum of sentence for the three convicts in the Kopardi rape and murder case on November 29.The three accused are – Jitendra Babulal Shinde, Santosh Gorakh Bhawal and Nitin Gopinath Bhailum.The 15-year-old victim was raped on July 13 at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district, allegedly by the trio, who also inflicted injuries all over her body and broke her limbs before throttling herBhawal’s lawyer Balasaheb Khopade pleaded that Bhawal may not be given the capital punishment.However, special public prosecutor, Ujjwal Nikam argued that this was a ‘rarest of the rare case’ and hence the tree convicts should be awarded the death sentence.On October 7, Ahmednagar police filed the charge sheet running into over 350 pages before a sessions court in the district in which the trio were charged under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.The Kopardi incident proved to be the trigger for the silent marches (mook morchas) taken out by the Marathas across the state as the victim belonged to the community. Through their campaign, they have also raised long-pending demands like quota in education and jobs.

PG medical aspirants move court over GR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four medical students from the state have moved the Bombay High Court against the government’s recent GR making it mandatory for PG medical aspirants to complete their year long rural stint to become eligible for the PG NEET exam.Angad Randive, Parth Mulgaonkar, Shariva Randive and Shreyasi Tendolkar students of various government medical colleges in Maharahshtra have filed a civil writ petition in the Bombay High court on Tuesday urging the government to scrap the October 12 government resolution as per which students would have to complete their one year rural stint before they appear for their postgraduate exams.”As per the earlier norms students were allowed to take two attempts for cracking the PG entrance failing which they would have to serve the bond immediately after their MBBS. The government changed this norm at the last minute making thousands of students ineligible to appear for their PG NEET, which is a huge injustice” said Aparna Randive, mother of two of the petitioners- Angad and Shariva.DNA had earlier reported about an online petition requesting the government to scrap the new norms started by Muzzafar Khan , parent of a medical student from Thane. The petition had garnered over 2 thousand signatures. “With PG NEET scheduled to be held on January 7 , 2018 students are under immense pressure as they wont be allowed to appear if the norms are not relaxed” said Khan.GOVT RESOLUTIONAs per the October 12 government resolution students would have to complete their one year rural stint before they appear for their postgraduate exams.

Right to pee activists protest, detained

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 10 women activists from the Right to Pee campaign were detained by the Malabar Hill police for wanting to protest outside Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ bungalow. According to the activists, they wanted to meet the CM on the occasion of World Toilet Day on Sunday and show the government the ground reality of open defecation in Mumbai slums.Following the CM’s announcement declaring Mumbai open defecation free (ODF) on October 2, the women from BMC’s M ward started a survey in the area’s slums where they reside in order to check the toilet facilities provided by the civic authority to the residents. After surveying 100 toilets, the women wanted to meet the CM on November 19 and speak about the issue.Supriya Jan, Right To Pee activist, said, “Earlier we had written several mails to the CM for an appointment but we did not receive a reply. We do not agree with the fact that Mumbai is ODF. This is why we women decided to conduct a survey. We wanted to gift pictures of open defecation and poor toilet facilities to prove the ground reality. We were denied to enter the bungalow, and when we staged a silent protest, the police took us to the police station. We were detained in the police station for five hours.”Vinod Kamble, Senior Police Inspector, Malabar Hill Police station, said, “We brought the activists who had assembled outside the Chief Minister’s bungalow and we made them understand that they cannot gather on the street. They were given a warning and were let off. No police action has been taken against them.”

Banks allowed to hire machines, private data entry operators for Aadhaar enrolment: UIDAI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The UIDAI has provided some “relaxation” to banks in procurement of enrolment machines and hiring private data entry operators for their Aadhaar centres, and hopes that banks will offer such services at stipulated 10 per cent of the branches “at the earliest”, its CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey has said.The Aadhaar-issuing body, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), has allowed banks to hire private data entry operators and enrolment machines and expects the relaxation to speed up the opening of Aadhaar enrolment and updation centres at bank premises. But the reprieve has been granted with the condition that banks will have to ensure proper supervision of enrolment and updation process within their premises. “They (banks) wanted some relaxation so that they could hire operators for data entry, and also …Hire the enrolment machines. So we have provided them this relaxation. Now using that, they are going ahead and setting up the (enrolment) stations…They have assured that they will do this task as early as possible,” the UIDAI CEO told PTI in an interview.Until now, banks had to procure enrolment machines on their own and place their own employees for the job of data entry, he explained. So far, only about 3,000 branches of private and public sector banks have opened?Aadhaar?centres within their premises as against the targeted 15,300 branches that are required to do so. “The good thing is they are all catching up and they have started getting into this. Many of them have placed order on GeM (Government e-Marketplace) portal and they are in the process of procurement,” he said.Asked about the time it would take for banks to achieve the target of opening Aadhaar centres in at least 10 per cent of their branches, Pandey said, “It should be possible within next few weeks”.”The entire idea is that people should get the convenience as early as possible,” he added. On whether the UIDAI would take action against the banks for not meeting the deadline of October 31 for opening such centres, Pandey declined to spell out the consequences saying that the authority will have to take a considered view on whether banks can demonstrate valid reasons for missing the deadline.”If they (banks) are able to demonstrate that they faced a genuine difficulty then appropriate view can be taken. At this stage, it is difficult to say what exactly will be the consequences,” he added. The Bank Aadhaar Kendras are being set up with a view to make the Aadhaar verification process of bank accounts convenient for the people and also to have more Aadhaar centres across the country. According to UIDAI stipulation, 43 private and public sector banks have to open Aadhaar enrolment and updation centres in 15,315 branches.?

Banks allowed to hire machines, private data entry operators for Aadhaar enrollment: UIDAI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The UIDAI has provided some “relaxation” to banks in procurement of enrolment machines and hiring private data entry operators for their Aadhaar centres, and hopes that banks will offer such services at stipulated 10 per cent of the branches “at the earliest”, its CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey has said.The Aadhaar-issuing body, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), has allowed banks to hire private data entry operators and enrolment machines and expects the relaxation to speed up the opening of Aadhaar enrolment and updation centres at bank premises. But the reprieve has been granted with the condition that banks will have to ensure proper supervision of enrolment and updation process within their premises. “They (banks) wanted some relaxation so that they could hire operators for data entry, and also …Hire the enrolment machines. So we have provided them this relaxation. Now using that, they are going ahead and setting up the (enrolment) stations…They have assured that they will do this task as early as possible,” the UIDAI CEO told PTI in an interview.Until now, banks had to procure enrolment machines on their own and place their own employees for the job of data entry, he explained. So far, only about 3,000 branches of private and public sector banks have opened?Aadhaar?centres within their premises as against the targeted 15,300 branches that are required to do so. “The good thing is they are all catching up and they have started getting into this. Many of them have placed order on GeM (Government e-Marketplace) portal and they are in the process of procurement,” he said.Asked about the time it would take for banks to achieve the target of opening Aadhaar centres in at least 10 per cent of their branches, Pandey said, “It should be possible within next few weeks”.”The entire idea is that people should get the convenience as early as possible,” he added. On whether the UIDAI would take action against the banks for not meeting the deadline of October 31 for opening such centres, Pandey declined to spell out the consequences saying that the authority will have to take a considered view on whether banks can demonstrate valid reasons for missing the deadline.”If they (banks) are able to demonstrate that they faced a genuine difficulty then appropriate view can be taken. At this stage, it is difficult to say what exactly will be the consequences,” he added. The Bank Aadhaar Kendras are being set up with a view to make the Aadhaar verification process of bank accounts convenient for the people and also to have more Aadhaar centres across the country. According to UIDAI stipulation, 43 private and public sector banks have to open Aadhaar enrolment and updation centres in 15,315 branches.?

Girgaum residents get ATVM attendant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of Girgaum have something to cheer about. Finally, the Railways have paid heed to their request and appointed an attendant at the Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM) placed on Platform number 4 of Charni Road station.The locals have been complaining that since the FOB, connecting Thakurdwar and other areas of Girgaum to the Charni Road station was shut, their commuting has become difficult. A part of the Girgaum FOB crashed post in October. The residents had been complaining about the dilapidated condition of the bridge for a long time before the mishap took place. However, no action was taken. After the bridge was shut, the residents — especially the students and senior citizens — faced trouble reaching the station.Zebra crossing and other such steps were taken so that crossing the road becomes easier. However, the residents have been complaining that they had to either walk to the other side of the station risking getting caught by TC or a long journey on the extreme end of the station to get tickets. Only last week, Aamhi Girgaumkar, a local resident group, had even written to the station master about the same.Amit Bhadricha, one of the residents of Girgaum, who travels every day using Charni Road station, said, “We thank the railways for paying heed to our request. This will be of great help to school going students and senior citizens who do not know how to use an ATVM. Also, this will save our labour of going all the way to the other end of the station.”

Big brother watched on: A look at traffic police’s initiatives that have failed to live up to expectations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In October 2016, amid much fanfare, the Mumbai traffic police announced that they would be introducing an e-challan system to replace the archaic pavti (receipt) system. The ambitious plan aimed to make the traffic police force go cashless so that they don’t have to physically collect fines from motorists on the streets.While the move was touted as an image makeover for the traffic police, another intended advantage of adopting the system was to end the corruption prevailing in the department and bring down police-citizen conflicts.The decision was welcomed by Mumbaikars who assumed it would negate ‘harassment’ from traffic policemen, and make paying fines a less time-consuming and hassle-free process.From road to appThe Mumbai Traffic Police even introduced an app, and appealed citizens to enter their vehicle, residential and contact details on the app, which could be used to prepare a full-fledged database.The traffic police officials had also physically sought these details from motorists during sustained drives carried out in the city.They also contacted the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) to share their vehicle registration database with the Mumbai Traffic Police.CCTV watching youIn a phase-wise manner, a CCTV network was installed across the city, under an ambitious project of the state government. The use of these cameras was not only to monitor the city’s law and order situation, but its feeds were also tapped into by the Mumbai Traffic Police to monitor traffic on a real-time basis and identify traffic offenders.By 2016, around 4,700 CCTV cameras were installed at strategic locations, junctions, and roads across the city. A team of over 25 policemen, posted in the Mumbai Traffic Police control room, was tasked with monitoring the live feeds of these cameras and identify traffic offenders. Once the offenders were identified, they were intimated via SMS about the e-challan issued against them. The offenders were then expected to login into the Mumbai Traffic Police app and make the fine payment. The app also provided offenders with an image, captured by the CCTV at the time of the traffic violation, to be used as evidence.PLANNED TO GO DIGITAL, WENT BACK TO SQUARE ONEWhen the plan was initially rolled out, the Mumbai Traffic Police had instructed its men to not insist that motorists pay the fines at the time of getting caught violating the rules. Instead, the officials were advised to issue an e-challan against them. Later, if the offender did not make the payment via the digital route, the department planned to levy interest on the offender’s fine amount.The Mumbai Traffic Police had also stopped seizing licenses of offending motorists after the e-challan system’s introduction.However, within a few months, the department realised that offenders were not paying the fines at all and the total amount of unpaid fines ran into crore of rupees.Failure to get access to the database of all vehicle users was another hindrance in implementing the system effectively. This resulted in not being able to identify and trace offenders in most of the cases.Seeing the entire system crumble due to various flaws and loopholes in its implementation, the officials soon went back to their archaic ways of dealing with motorists. The Mumbai Traffic Police began collecting fines by impounding licenses and forcing motorists to pay the fine on the spot. With this, police-citizen conflicts were back on the roads.NOT ENOUGH MACHINESThe Mumbai Traffic Police provided its personnel with more than 500 e-challan machines to issue challans on the spot, and allow offending motorists to pay the fine using debit or credit cards. However, the number of machines proved to be marginal considering the large-scale crowd that the Mumbai Traffic police deals with across the city.Sushil Joshi, a motorist who recently faced a tough time dealing with a traffic policeman at a nakabandi in Ghatkopar, said, “While they are using e-challan machines at a few places, even now, in several parts, the police asks us to pay in cash. They do not use the e-challan machines despite it being functional, and ask us to pay the fines in cash stating that they do not have swiping machines. Why should we pay in cash when there is a facility of paying through cards?”The traffic police started the e-challan system half-heartedly and handled it casually which is why the effect is not what it should have been. —Ashok Datar, road and traffic expertNAKABANDI NUISANCEAccording to motorists, the biggest issue that has plagued Mumbai’s Traffic Police Department and proved to be the triggering device for police-citizen conflicts is nakabandi. Police officials, however, claim that nakabandi is only carried out on receiving information about criminals plying in the area. In the process, the officials check vehicles and fine motorists if they are found violating Motor Vehicle Act rules.A traffic police officer, on the condition of anonymity, said, “Nakabandi and checks are carried out by both the local and traffic police. It is during these checks that policemen from both departments come across motorists violating traffic rules. The local police is not armed with e-challan machines. This at times leads to conflicts. Whereas traffic police do not accept fines in cash and use e-challan machines.”PAY UP OR ALLOW TOWINGLike the issue of nakabandi, similar issues prevail in the towing system. Since the traffic policemen working in coordination with towing van operators have not been provided e-challan machines, the Mumbai Traffic Police had instructed its men to click pictures of the vehicles violating parking rules, upload them on the Mumbai Traffic Police app and later get e-challans issued against the offenders. However, a lack of e-challan machines led to quarrels between motorists and policemen during instances of towing of vehicles.”Neither can we accept fines in cash nor are we provided e-challan machines. Hence it results in conflicts with citizens. We have no option left but to tow the vehicle, bring it to the traffic police chowky and release it after the fine is paid,” accepted a Mumbai Traffic Police officer.TRAFFIC DEPT NOT TO ASK FOR PUC, INSURANCE DOCUMENTSIn March this year, after receiving several complaints from motorists about the harassment they faced from traffic policemen on the pretext of asking for PUC and insurance documents, the then Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Milind Bharambe, had issued a written order instructing traffic policemen to not stop motorists merely to check their PUC and insurance documents. This was another move aimed at curbing the police-citizen conflicts. According to the traffic police, these documents should be checked by the RTO. However, even this order is being brazenly disobeyed by the traffic police personnel.A motorist and Malad resident, Nitin Jadhav, said, “On Thursday I was stopped at Marol by a policeman who was part of a nakabandi at the spot. He asked me to show my PUC and insurance documents. Since I did not have them with me, he told me that I would have to pay a penalty of Rs 4,000. After a lot of time-consuming negotiation, he agreed on Rs 300 in cash. I was allowed to leave only after making the payment. However, I was given no receipt, neither was I informed about the offence I had violated, under which rule, and the fine’s actual amount.”FINE COLLECTION STATISTICSFROM JAN 2016 TO OCTOBER 201628 lakhNumber of challans issued Rs 24 crFine collection amount FROM NOVEMBER 2016 TO JUNE 201720.1 lakhNumber of challans issued Rs 6.2 crFine collection amount MONTHLY AVERAGE OF OFFENDERS CAUGHT4 lakh47New Automatic Speed Cameras Installed In The City57New High Tech Breathalyzers Procured

‘Hooch’ kills three more in dry Bihar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Barely three weeks after four persons died in hooch tragedy in Rohtas district, three more deaths were reported due to suspected consumption of spurious liquor in dry Bihar’s Vaishali district on Thursday.The incident took place at Basauli village in Vaishali on Wednesday night. The locals said the deceased — Arun Patel, Lal Babu Paswan and Devendra Paswan — all in their 40s, had consumed spurious liquor along with some other men at a local villager’s place on Monday evening.”They complained of nausea, vomiting etc and were taken to a local hospital where the three died. Two of them died on Tuesday and were immediately cremated by their family members while Arun’s body has been sent for postmortem,” said a local police officer.Vaishali superintendent of police Rakesh Kumar said, “It will only be clear after the postmortem reports are received whether they died due to hooch or some other illness. We were told by the family members that they were also suffering from other ailments. An investigation has been launched into it.”Sources said the police are also on the lookout for those who have taken ill after allegedly consuming liquor, though no headway has been made on that front. “One person has been detained for interrogation,” the source added.The locals, however, alleged that the police want to cover up the hooch deaths. “The local chowkidar used to sell liquor and the cops never took any action against him,” said a resident of Basauli village.This is the third hooch tragedy in Bihar, where total alcohol prohibition was enforced on April 5, 2016. Earlier, on October 28, four persons died and two others took ill after consuming spurious liquor in Danwar village of Rohtas while over 15 persons died due to illicit liquor in Gopalganj’s Khajurbani district in August last year.THIRD TRAGEDYThis is the third hooch tragedy in Bihar, where total prohibition was enforced on April 5, 2016.
On October 28, four died and two took ill after taking spurious liquor in Rohtas.
15 persons had died taking illicit liquor in Kha-jurbani in August 2016.

Post more women personnel, smile more: Flyers to CISF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From requesting their armed men to frisk with a smile, to increasing the number of women officers at airports to making efforts at reducing the waiting time at security hold area and making lost and found services better — the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has been flooded with suggestions following a recent survey that the force conducted at eight major airports.The CISF claimed that 95.58 per cent of more than 3 lakh passengers rated their services as very satisfactory but the time-consuming security mandates remained a major concern for the flyers.The survey was conducted at Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, and Delhi from October 1-30. Senior officers said the survey was aimed at getting feedback directly from the passengers about the quality of services being rendered by the CISF and to assess the performance of the Airport Security Group personnel.Passengers were asked to grade their experiences on a scale of 5 (excellent/very good/good/average/unsatisfactory) on four parameters — feeling of being safe, waiting time during security inspection, thoroughness of security inspection and the courtesy with attitude to help.CISF Director General OP Singh said 3.30 lakh forms were filled by passengers during the survey. “As many as 81.72 per cent passengers graded the performance of CISF as excellent, 13.86 per cent graded it as very good, 3.48 per cent good, 0.75 per cent average and 0.19 per cent rated it unsatisfactory. Thus, 95.58 per cent of 330,152 passengers rated CISF as excellent or very good on all four parameters, while only 0.94 per cent of all passengers rated it average or unsatisfactory. This rating has been given on only one or two parameters, such as waiting time in security inspection, and courtesy and attitude to help,” the DG said.Singh also said the force has received interesting suggestions, including asking the armed men to smile while frisking and being polite. Also, it was suggested, largely by women, that the airport needed to have more women personnel to frisk women flyers.Some passengers also asked the CISF to make efforts to reduce the waiting time during security checks at the SHA, which at present is nearly 90 seconds. Singh said efforts are being made in this direction and all feedback is being considered.

After Zee exposé, demand for ban on Paan Bahar mounts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the Zee news expose of Paan Bahar, social activists and lawyers are seeking a ban on it. They are even preparing a blueprint to take the matter to the court.A report by Zee news last month had revealed dangerous substances found in Paan Bahar. Later, the health department also declared it unsafe for consumption. Now, there is demand for a ban on this paan masala, which can prove to be fatal.Senior advocate of Rajasthan high court A K Jain has sent legal notice to management of Paan Bahar, owners and director of the health department. If they don’t act, Jain has warned them of initiating legal action. He has attached a copy of the test report by office of chief food analyst chief food analyst on October 12. The report had found that materials used in Paan Bahar were harmful and could even cause cancer.Reminding the health department of its duty about not allowing spurious and harmful food products in the state to protect health of its citizen, Jain said that use of magnesium carbonate makes Paan Bahar unsafe food, therefore, selling it is a punishable offence under article 59 of food safety and standard act of 2004. Besides, action can also be taken under IPC sections 272, 273, 336 and 308.After legal notice, the health department has swung into action. But, it still remains to be seen if the department has taken any action against its owners and seizes the material already available in the market.

If you are not serious about children, file an affidavit that you are not concerned: SC slams Centre on JJ Act

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today came down heavily on the Centre for filing a “half-baked” affidavit in a matter related to implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act and said the government has to be serious about children of this country.The top court observed that an 80-page affidavit has been filed by the Centre but it did not compiled the data provided by states and Union territories and that complete information has not been given to the court. A bench of justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta told the counsel representing the Centre that the affidavit should have been complete and accurate and asked the government to also inform as to how much money was lying in the juvenile justice fund of each state and union territory.”If you (Centre) are not serious about children, file an affidavit that you are not concerned about children. We will say Government of India is indispensible and will dismiss the plea,” the bench said. “There are 29 states and seven Union territories. You want us to go through each one of this? You should have compiled it. Why did you do this? Whom are you trying to impress by filing an 80-page affidavit? There has to be some application of mind,” it said.The apex court had in August asked the Centre to file an affidavit indicating whether the state commission for the protection of child rights and state child protection society were constituted in every state and Union territory.It had also asked the government to indicate in its affidavit certain other issues, including whether the juvenile justice boards (JJBs) and child welfare committees were set up in every district and if not, then the districts in which they were yet to be constituted.At the outset, the bench asked the Centre’s counsel as to when the affidavit was prepared. When the counsel said it was prepared on October 11, the bench asked as to why the affidavit has not disclosed about outcome of a meeting held on September 26 and attended by the authorities concerned on these issues. “You are taking it so casually. You say there was a meeting on September 26. You are saying you will not tell us what happened in that meeting when you have filed an affidavit on October 11. It is a big secret?,” it further asked.The Centre’s counsel sought two weeks time to file a chart giving all the details as directed by the court but the bench asked why they need so much time. the counsel said they would have to get in touch with the states and Union territories to get update, the bench shot back, “Don’t you have a telephone in your ministry? You call the state governments and get the datas. You have to be serious about children of this country.” “You should not have errors in the affidavit. It should be complete, accurate and correct. File a complete affidavit. Do not file a half baked affidavit like this one,” it said and posted the matter for hearing on November 20.The bench was hearing a PIL seeking implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act and its rules. The plea has raised the issue of alleged apathy by the governments in implementing the welfare legislation.

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