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Mumbai: Police register extortion case against group who claimed to work for Dawood Ibrahim

Police have registered a case of extortion and encroachment on a businessman’s complaint that a group had asked him for Rs 6 crores as extortion money in the name of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim.Police said that businessman Ali Siddhiqui, 59, a resident of Andheri, owns five acres of land in Vasai’s Waliv area.”It was encroached by a group of people in June this year and when Siddhiqui asked the group to vacate it, the group in turn demanded extortion money,” said Tilak Raj Roshan, Additional Superintendent of Police, Palghar.Siddhiqui alleged that the group demanded Rs 5 crores for Dawood Ibrahim and Rs 1 crore for themselves, Roshan said.”Based on the complaint we have registered an offence of extortion and encroachment against the group including Abdul Agwan, Aneez Singh, Abdul Ibrahim, Mohammed Nagori, Sharabuddin Shaikh. Further investigations are continuing,” Roshan said.

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Holiday for all schools in Mumbai, Sindhudurg, Thane, Raigad and Palghar on Tuesday: Vinod Tawde

In wake of Cyclone Ockhi, as a precautionary measure, the state government has decided to declare holiday for all the schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Sindhudurg, Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts.Minister Vinod Tawde has tweeted that this precautionary holiday is being declared for the safety of the students due to serious weather predictions owing to cyclone Ockhi by the IMD.He wrote: “Precautionary holiday declared on 5/12/17 for schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Sindhudurga, Thane, Raigad and Palghar Districts for the safety of the students due to the serious weather predictions on #CycloneOckhi #MumbaiRains.”India’s Metrological Department said light rains are likely to occur over north Konkan and Goa including Mumbai tonight. Several districts in Gujarat will also receive “light rains with increased intensity”, the weather forecaster said, adding, that sea conditions will become rough over north Maharashtra and Gujarat coast.The IMD has warned fishermen in the Maharashtra and Gujarat area not to venture into the sea. India’s defence forces are continuing efforts to airlift fishermen in the area who have been caught in the cyclone.India has deployed ten Naval ships and eight aircrafts to assist in rescue and relief effort. The cyclone has claimed 14 lives in Kerala and Tamil Nadu with several fishermen still missing.
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Palghar dist office to be one-of-its-kind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With superb planning, fusion of modern and heritage architecture and attractive design, Palghar district head office will be the best looking district office in the state, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said at the ground breaking ceremony of the building. He assured the audience the building will have free access to the people.”CIDCO is investing Rs 600 crore in this project. While the building no doubt will be very good looking, the administration must also ensure the common people will feel an affinity for the office. He/she should feel they will get justice here,” Fadnavis said on this occasion. He also added that the state government had taken up various schemes for Palghar district and the government intended to complete them in two years.CIDCO has been declared as the nodal agency for the development of new city of Palghar. The new city project will include Palghar, Kolgaon, Morekuran, Nandore, Dapoli, Tembhade and Shirgaon.CIDCO has been entrusted developing the office complexes as well as basic amenities. CIDCO will build District Chief Officer’s office, Zilla Parishad office, Superintendent of Police’s office, new administrative offices, district and sessions’ court building, guest house, residential quarters for employees, conference hall and also roads, footpaths, water works, sewage and electricity among other works.The new location of the district headquarters will be more convenient for common people and therefore ensure speedy redressal of their issues.

Maharashtra: Pregnant woman stabbed to death in Nallasopara

Updated: Oct 16, 2017, 09:53 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 25-year-old pregnant woman was found dead with multiple stab wounds at her house in Dangewadi locality of Nallasopara in the neighbouring Palghar district, police said.The woman identified as Nikhat Shaikh, who was two months pregnant, had two children and was residing with her husband in Dangewadi, said police.She was found dead in the house with multiple stab wounds on Monday afternoon, the police said.Police have formed teams to trace the killer and registered an offence under section 302 (murder) of the IPC.

Virar police arrest estate agent, mechanic for killing father & son

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two persons have been arrested by the Virar police for allegedly murdering a father-son duo.According to Virar police, Chandrakant Kargal and his son Harsh, 10, had gone missing on September 26 evening. Kargal had gone to Harsh’ school to pick him up. After they did not return home, Kargal’s wife Sumitra had lodged a missing persons complaint with the police.The same afternoon, Harsh’s body was found in a pond in Virar (E). A day later, Kargal’s body was found in a nullah at Virar (W). Faces of the father-son duo were covered in a duct tape. The police then registered a murder case and began their probe.The police later detained estate agent, Vishnu Patil, 35 and his friend Monu Sahani, 20, a mechanic in the case.During questioning they revealed that they had picked up Kargal and Harsh from outside the school and took them along on the pretext of showing them a MHADA flat.While Harsh was made to sit in a car, the duo took Kargal to a flat and strangulated him to death and gagged his mouth with a duct tape. Then they took Harsh to the pond and killed him in a similar manner and later dumped his body and fled. Next day, they disposed of Kargal’s body in a nullah.Manjunath Singe, Superintendent of Police, Palghar District, said, “We have arrested the duo under sections 302 (murder) and 201 (destroying evidence) of the Indian Penal Code. Kargal had given Rs 12 lakh to Patil which he was unable to repay. Patil then hatched a plan to eliminate Kargal and since Harsh was along, they had killed him too, so that no witness is left behind. Sahani gave a car to Patil to ferry Kargal and dump the bodies”TWIN MURDERThe Virar police on Wednesday found the body of a 45-year-old man a day after his son’s body was found on at a desolated pondBoth were killed by strangulation and their mouths gagged with tape. Their bodies were found 30 km away from each other

IMD issues heavy rainfall warning for Mumbai and Konkan region in next three days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The weather department in Mumbai on Sunday issued a warning of heavy rainfall in Mumbai and the coastal Konkan region in the next three days.The districts in Konkan and Goa are likely to receive heavy rain at isolated places during the 72 hours commencing from tomorrow, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. It also cautioned the authorities in South Konkan, including Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts, of heavy rainfall tomorrow and on Tuesday. The IMD also warned of the likelihood of heavy rainfall at isolated places in North Konkan, consisting of Mumbai region, Palghar and Raigad districts.Rains or thundershowers are likely to occur at many places in Madhya Maharashtra. There would be showers at many places in Marathwada and at isolated places over neighbouring Gujarat, it said. On August 29, Mumbai received 331 mm rainfall in 24 hours, paralysing normal life in the metropolis. Several people were stuck in their offices and on railway stations for more than 12 hours as suburban train services were suspended after tracks were submerged following heavy rains.

Constable, police naik booked for demanding bribe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Thane Anti-Corruption Bureau unit has booked two policemen in neighbouring Palghar for allegedly demanding bribe for favouring an accused in a case. Constable Suganad Narsule (53) and police naik Manik Jadhav (42) demanded Rs 10,000 as bribe from the complainant, against whose brother a complaint was registered with Dahanu police station, a press note issued by Thane ACB today said. They made the bribe demand for going soft in the case and ensure while filing of the charge sheet in the court that the case is not of serious nature. The aggrieved later filed a complaint with the Thane ACB, which verified the allegations and registered a case against the duo yesterday, under relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, the release said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Two Govindas dead, 117 left injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two Govindas died and at least 117 others were injured during Dahi Handi celebrations. The two deaths occurred at Airoli and Palghar. While 110 Govindas were discharged from various hospitals after primary treatment, three have been kept under observation. The Govindas were brought to city hospitals with fractures and other minor injuries.“21 Govindas were treated in KEM hospital, and 24 others were treared in peripheral hospitals. The number of injured cases has reduced from last year. The Govindas are mostly coming with injuries such as fractures, but a few have head injures,” said Dr Avinash Supe, dean of KEM Hospital.Ganesh Lad, a 51-year-old resident of Naigaon, who was treated in KEM hospital, said, “I participated at the dahi handi fest at Abhyudaya Nagar, Kalachowki. I suffered from a minor head injury. I don’t mind get injured while performing for our festival. The injury does not effect me.”Kalpesh Thakur from Gandhi Nagar Govinda Pathak at Jogeshwari which attempted to build seven tiers of human pyramid outside Chitra Cinema near Dadar was left lying in pain by his fellow Govindas after he fell from fourth-fifth tier with his back on the ground. The Pathak was later asked to send Thakur to a hospital.In Palghar, 21-year-old Roshan Kini allegedly suffered an epileptic attack while climbing the second tier of the human pyramid. The youth was declared dead before being rushed to a nearby hospital. He suddenly suffered an epileptic seizure while he was on the top. Palghar police have registered a case of accidental death. “We have sent the body for post mortem,” said Kiran Kabadi, Police Inspector, Palghar police station. Jayesh Tarle, 34, died due to electrocution after he touched an electric pole near the compound, in Airoli, during Dahi Handi celebration. Tarle was a member of the Prem Nagar Sports Club Govinda Pathak. He was taken to Fortis Hospital, Mulund where the doctors declared him dead.

Doctor on radar for 7 years, held in DA case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Palghar range on Saturday booked a government doctor Anil Yadav, in a disproportionate asset (DA) case.Shockingly, Yadav had been on the radar of the ACB since 2010 and three ACB officials probing the case had given him a clean chit by submitting a case closure report to the department. Earlier, Yadav was arrested on charges of extortion by the Palghar police.The local Crime Branch of Palghar police had arrested Yadav after two builders had filed a case of extortion against him. According to the crime branch, Yadav was posted in Vasai as Public Health Officer but was later transferred to Osmanabad after being arrested on corruption charges in 2010 by ACB, Thane. Yadav did not join duty and instead formed a team of people who filed Right to Information queries at government offices and issued threats to renowned builders to extort money.”Yadav has a row house in Nashik and properties in Vasai. We have also found exorbitant bank transactions of Yadav despite no source of income. We have acquired details of his bank account in Ghaziabad and properties belonging to his first and second wife,” said an ACB official.

Shobhaa De takes potshots at potholes, falling trees in Mumbai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of death cases due to falling of trees and potholes, author Shobhaa De today took to Twitter to mock the administration in her style. “Mumbaikars are confused whether to look down for potholes or look up for falling trees,” De tweeted. The ‘journalist, columnist, social commentator, opinion-shaper and author of 18 books’, as her Twitter handle describes her, was referring to recent deaths involving a falling tree and potholes. Last week, former Doordarshan anchor and yoga instructor Kanchan Nath, while returning home from work in Chembur, became the third casualty of a tree collapse incident this year in the city. Kanchan, 58, died on Saturday, two days after a coconut tree snapped from its trunk and fell on her as she walked down the road. On Sunday, 34-year-old Jagruti Hogale was killed after she hit a pothole on a national highway near Mumbai and was crushed by a truck. Hogale, the mother of an eight-year-old boy, was a member of the women-only bikers’ club, “The Bikerni”. A day later, a senior Maharashtra minister had denied that she died due to potholes. “Potholes were not the reason for the death of the woman motorcycle-rider who died on Jawhar-Dahanu road in Palghar district near Mumbai,” Maharashtra Public Works Minister Chandrakant Patil had said. This is not the first time that De has taken to Twitter to express her views against the administration. In 2015, the Shiv Sena moved a breach of privilege motion in the Maharashtra Assembly against her for allegedly insulting the Legislative Assembly, Marathi language and people. De had criticised on Twitter the decision of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance government to make it compulsory to screen Marathi films in multiplexes at prime time.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Container driver charred to death in road mishap in Palghar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A container driver was charred to death after the vehicle he was driving rammed into another heavy vehicle on Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway in Palghar district early today, police said. The accident took place at around 5.30 am, police said. The container rammed into the one ahead of it as a result of which the tyres got burst and caught fire, said police. The fire was extinguished after about four hours, they said. The deceased has been identified as Ganaji Pawar (40). The traffic was affected for more than four hours due to the accident, said police.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maha govt flew down victims

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis swung into action on Monday night after a team of state government officials briefed him that two of the dead Amarnath yatra pilgrims — Nirmala Thakur and Usha Sonkar — and eight of the injured hailed from Dahanu in Palghar district. Taking stock of the situation, Fadnavis asked the officials from the departments of General Administration, and Relief and Rehabilitation to arrange for the victims to be transported.A helicopter was organized to airlift the bodies from Surat to Dahanu, while officers remained in touch with the J&K authorities to track the health of the injured who will soon be travelling to Dahanu by road. Palghar district authorities made the arrangements to deplane the bodies and transport them to the homes of deceased, while adequate police personnel were deployed.Fadnavis later announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of Thakur and Sonkar.Additional chief secretary (in charge of Relief and Rehabilitation) Medha Gadgil said, “As soon as the news of the attack was received, the Mantralaya Emergency Operation Centre got into touch with the Police Control Room in Anantnag. Of the Rs 10 lakh, Rs 5 lakh will come from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and the remainder from the Relief Commissioner.”

Terrorists kill 7 Amarnath pilgrims, injure 19 in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terrorists tonight killed seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, and injured 19 others as they struck at a bus in Kashmir’s Anantnag district, in the worst attack on the annual pilgrimage since the year 2001. Five of those killed were from Gujarat and two from Maharashtra. The deceased from Gujarat were identified as Hasuben Ratila Patal, Surakha Ben and Lakshimiben S Patal from Valsad, Ratan Zeena Bhai Patal of Daman and Prajapati Champaben of Navsari, a Jammu and Kashmir police spokesperson said. Those from Maharashtra were Nirmala Ben Thakor, a resident of Palghar, and Usha Mohanla Sonkar of Danu. Police said 19 pilgrims were injured in the attack and their condition is stable. The bus bearing the registration number GJ09Z 9976 was attacked around 8.20 pm near Khanabal when it was on its way to from Srinagar Jammu, police said. A security official said the victims had performed the yatra two days ago and had subsequently moved to Srinagar. Today, they were going from Srinagar to Jammu when they became the target of the terrorist attack. Police said the bus was not a part of the yatra convoy which is being provided elaborate security. The terrorists first attacked a bullet-proof bunker of the police at Botengoo, a police official said, adding it was retaliated. There were no injuries in this attack. Thereafter the terrorists fired on a police picket near Khannabal, the police added. When the police retaliated, the militants fled, firing indiscriminately in which the bus carrying the yatris got it. Seven of the pilgrims were killed and 32 were injured, the police said. The police and top government sources said the bus driver had violated rules for the pilgrimage, which state that no yatra vehicle should be on the highway after 7 pm as the security cover is withdrawn after that. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was personally monitoring the situation, stongly condemned the dastardly attack and asserted that India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and evil designs of hate. He said he spoke to Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and assured all possible assistance required. Home Minister Rajnath Singh also spoke to Vohra and Mehbooba. “Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone,” Modi tweeted. “My thoughts are with all those who lost their loved ones in the attack in J&K. My prayers with the injured,” he added. In yet another tweet, the prime minister said, “India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks & the evil designs of hate.” The Home Minister, in his telephonic call to Vohra and Mehbooba, sought details of the attack. He told them to ensure that the injured people are given adequate medical treatment. He also directed officials to ensure foolproof security in future. Defence Minister Arun Jaitley termed the attack as the “most reprehensible act” and said “This incident should add to our determination to eliminate terrorism.” The attack was condemned by other leaders as well. The last time the Amarnath yatra was targeted was in 2001 when terrorists had struck in the Sheshnag area close to the holy cave of Amarnath, killing 13 people. Prior to that, terrorists had attack Amarnath pilgrims on August 1, 2000 in Pahalgam area, killing 30 people, who also included porters.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Two Olive Ridley turtles rescued

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two critically injured Olive Ridley turtles were found and rescued on Friday — one from Nandgaon beach, Palghar, and the other from near Aksa beach, Malad. Veterinarians monitoring the turtles said that since both had severely damaged their flippers, there would be no option but to amputate them.Since June 20, seven turtles have been rescued, including the ones found on Friday, while two were found dead, which is worrying.”On Friday, the first turtle was rescued from Nandgaon beach and both its flippers were damaged to the extent that even the bones were cut, and we had to amputate the front flippers. Meanwhile, in the evening we received a phone call from Malad informing us about another turtle washed ashore. We quickly alerted Ankit Vyas, a local animal rescuer,” said Dr Dinesh Vinherkar, a wildlife veterinarian and turtle expert.Vyas said that the turtle looked extremely weak and its left flipper was dangling in the air attached to very little muscle. “I sent pictures of the turtle to Dr Vinherkar, and he said that even this one would lose it flippers,” said Vyas.RESCUE OPERATIONOf the five turtles rescued earlier, one is admitted at BSPCA, Mumbai, while four are in the Dahanu turtle facility. Two had their flippers surgically removed while one was found with a flipper missing.

Maha Govt extends stay up to September on Ready Reckoner rate hike on land in MMR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra government has extended a stay up to September on an average of 5% rise in ready reckoner rates (RR) on land or open plots in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) that comprises Mumbai city, Mumbai suburban, Thane, Palghar and Raigadh. The government had revised the RR rates from April 1 for the entire state both on the land and on structures, but later granted stay from May 19 for a month on land in MMR after the realty sector players argued that the rise will badly hit the sector during the economic downturn. The realty players also said that increase in RR will particularly affect the affordable housing projects. RR is an annual statement of rates on which the stamps and registration department collects the stamp duty from property buyers. A revenue department official told DNA,“The stay on RR increase on land in MMR has been extended up to September. The government notification in this regard has been issued on June 19.” He clarified that the stay is only on land or open plot and not on structures.The state government’s decision comes at a time when the Centre will launch the Goods & Services Tax from July 1 across the country. As far as realty sector is concerned, 12% GST will be recovered from the property buyers.The government’s move has evoked a mixed reaction. Anand Gupta, senior member Builders Association of India said,“As industry representative increase in RR rates from April 1 was most unrealistic and uncalled for considering the very bad market conditions and sentiments to buy the flats. We are now happy that the stay which was granted by the government has been extended further for another three months. It could have been more appropriate on the part of the government to completely withdraw the increase for the whole year and set the record in right direction.”However, Raha Realtors chairman and managing director Rajesh Mehta said the government should have stayed increase in RR for both land and structures and it should not have been applicable only to MMR but for the entire state. “The stay on hike in RR for structures would have benefited property buyers in getting relief especially in the payment of stamp duty and service tax. It would have also helped the affordable housing projects,” he noted.Niranjan Hiranandani, managing director, Hiranandani Group welcomed the government decision. “However it should have been done for the whole year and also for apartments and not merely for land as this would have helped common man for affordable housing.”

193 students score a perfect 100 in Maharashtra class 10 exams

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At 88.74 per cent, Maharashtra has recorded a marginal dip of 0.82 per cent in the overall pass percentage in the Secondary School Certificate (class 10) examinations this year. As many as 193 students from nine divisions scored a perfect 100 per cent this year as the state introduced grace marks for achievements in Arts and Culture in addition to the existing provision for sports. Students can get a minimum of five and maximum of 25 marks for excelling in the areas listed under the quota.The pass percentage of Mumbai region too dipped by 1.81 per cent as it recorded a success rate of 90.09 per cent, according to the results announced by Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) on Tuesday.In all, 16,44,016 students had appeared in the examination this year, of which 3,42,973 students were from the Mumbai region – which also comprises Thane, Raigad and Palghar.Maintaining its record of the last few years, Konkan topped amongst the nine divisions with an overall result of 96.18 per cent. Mumbai division stood fourth. Nagpur region recorded the lowest pass percentage this year at 83.67 per cent.Like previous years, girls outperformed boys with a pass percentage of 89.55 per cent as opposed to the 82.74 per cent recorded by boys. The number of students scoring between 90 per cent and 100 per cent went down from 51,281 last year to 48,470 this year in the state. Mumbai also saw a fewer number of students in the 90-plus club this year with 10,157 students securing 90 and above as opposed to 11,416 students last year.This year, the state board had installed CCTV cameras in 148 critical centres across the nine divisions. The examination was held across 21,684 schools in the state of which 3,676 schools recorded a 100 per cent result. Thirty-two schools in the state saw zero per cent results this year.A total of 46, 669 repeater candidates appeared for the exam this year of which 47.61 per cent students passed their exams.

Ready to use food packets for malnourished kids opposed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Health sector activists have opposed Maharashtra government’s proposed plan to provide ready-to-use therapeutic food packets for malnourished children citing poor pilot project results. The activists claimed that the pilot project had shown a very minor improvement among the selected children from Nandurbar district. “The government is adamant on providing ready-to-use therapeutic food for malnourished children despite the pilot project in Nandurbar showing poor results,” Purnima Upadhyay, coordinator, Jan Arogya Abhiyaan told reporters yesterday. Jan Arogya Abhiyaan is a people’s health movement. “The pilot project results revealed that of the 14 malnourished children selected under the programme, just two showed improvement while remaining 12 continued to be malnourished. “As long as the food paste packets were served the children gained weight but after the paste was stopped, they started losing weight again,” she claimed. Upadhyay claimed that some children have become “kind of addicted” to the sweet paste and refused to eat home cooked food. This was certainly not the idea behind the pilot project, she said. “Both the Supreme Court and Centre guidelines say women organisations and self help groups need to be roped in to provide local nutritious food to the malnourished children. “But here we can see the whole scheme being tailor-made to suit the contractor who can supply the paste,” said Brian Lobo, an activist who works for malnourished children in Palghar district.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Maha’ shocker for Mumbai in Maha HSC results, ranks last

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The performance of Maharashtra students in the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) Examinations saw a marginal rise of 2.9 per cent this year as compared to last year, with an overall pass percentage standing at 89.50.Girls outperformed boys yet again as Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) declared the HSC results on Tuesday afternoon. While 86.65 per cent of boys were successful, pass percentage among girls was 93.50 per cent.Mumbai division, including Thane, Raigad and Palghar, ranked at the bottom, recording a pass percentage of 88.21, although it bettered its own performance as compared to last year by 2.13 per cent.For the sixth consecutive year, Konkan division recorded the best peformance with 95.20 per cent success rate followed by Kolhapur division with 91.40 per cent and Pune division with 91.16 per cent.A total of 14,29,478 students had appeared for the examination of which 89,29,89 were boys and 63,64,89 girls. In Mumbai region, 3,17,328 students appeared for the exam. Science stream saw the highest pass percentage at 95.85 followed by the commerce stream with 90.57 per cent. Arts stream registered a pass percentage of 81.91. “We are happy that the number of cheating cases have gone down this year,” said Dattatray Jagtap, Secretary, Mumbai divisional board.

Explosives seized in Palghar district of Maharashtra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police today seized a large stock of explosives at Ganeshpuri in the neighbouring Palghar district and detained three persons. Senior inspector Venkat Andale of local crime branch, Thane rural police, said a patrolling team of police seized seven boxes of gelatin sticks, 1,200 detonators and 150 kg of ammonium nitrate from a Tavera car this evening. Three occupants of the vehicle were detained. Further probe is on, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Locals court arrest after ZP CEO files plaint against them

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 37 villagers, including 11 women, courted arrest at Palghar police station in connection with a criminal offence lodged against them by a senior zilla parishad official. The villagers courted arrest yesterday after a complaint was registered by Palghar zilla parishad (ZP) CEO Nidhi Chowdhary against them, a statement issued by Palghar police (rural) here today said. The locals had held a protest on Monday at Palghar ZP office, under the banner of Shramajivi Sanghatana, on the issue of non-payment of wages to anganwadi workers in the district. Following the protest, the ZP CEO lodged a police complaint alleging that she was manhandled and gheraoed by the protesters and was confined to her office due to which she could not move out to attend a meeting. The 37 persons were produced before the local magistrate yesterday, which remanded them to 14-days judicial custody. Sanghatana founder and former MLA Vivek Pandit claimed that the protesters raised slogans for about two hours and held agitation in a peaceful manner. “A case was lodged under IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement). “IPC section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 504 (intentional insult) and 506 (criminal intimidation),” said the police. Following the development, workers of civic corporations of Mira-Bhayander and Vasai-Virar, who are also members of various workers’ union, did not report to work today as a mark of protest against the arrest of the villagers. Sanghatana’s Balaram Bhoir alleged that the CEO has filed a false case against the 37 activists.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hungarian woman does her bit for beach cleanliness

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Every Sunday, Zsuzsanna Ferrao, a Hungarian woman, trods up to the Rangaon beach near Vasai in adjoining Palghar district and goes about cleaning it. Giving her company in the beach cleanliness drive are her husband and Vasai resident Lisbon, with three-year-old son Lucius and 19-month-old daughter Nascha. “I consider India as my own country and believe we should make every effort to keep it clean,” Zsuzsanna says. “Hungary doesn’t have beaches but it has many rivers and lakes. I have been living in India for the last four years and feel people should keep the beaches clean,” Zsuzsanna said. “Some days, it is very difficult. The beach is full of rubbish. I wanted to find a clean place on the beach where my children could play,” she told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Aadhaar-based app to secure coastline

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To protect Maharashtra’s porous and vulnerable coastline, the state government will authenticate the identity of the crew on ships and vessels using an Aadhaar-based biometric system.”We are making Aadhaar cards compulsory for seafarers from October,” Atul Patne, chief executive officer of Maharashtra Maritime Board, told DNA.Patne said the issue of validating identities of seafarers assumed significance as many boats employed people from neighbouring countries like Nepal.”We have developed this app as a coastal security measure. It will be compulsory for the crew of these vessels to carry their Aadhaar cards for verification in surprise checks,” said Sunil Mahajan, Information Technology officer, MMB.He added that the identity of these crew members will be verified through this Aadhaar-based crew validation system using tabs fitted with biometric scanners which will be given to the 54 port inspectors at the 48 ports spread out across Maharashtra’s 720-km coastline. This will help identify any unauthorised people on these boats.Mahajan said the system will be used for around 4,000 inland vessels like cargo and passenger transport ships, boats used in water sports, barges and tugs.The MMB grants certificate of competency (COC), which is a licence for staffers such as engine drivers and masters, on these vessels. These details will be seeded with the Aadhaar database.”This will help us verify the identity of the crew member, the boat on which he is working, his nature and class of employment and past records,” he noted.These details will also be shared periodically with security agencies like the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Police.”We can validate a crew member using his Aadhaar card, biometrics and name. If he does not have his Aadhaar card, we can authenticate his identity using his name and biometrics. Any suspicious persons will be handed over to the police,” said Mahajan.The 1992 bomb blasts where explosives were unloaded on the beaches of Raigad district and the 26/11 terror attacks pointed to the vulnerability of Maharashtra’s coastline, which is spread over seven districts of Mumbai city and the suburbs, Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.

Old ST buses to get new life as eateries, locker rooms

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Old buses scrapped by state transport utilities will soon be put to new use — as restaurants, changing rooms, lockers or bio-digester toilets on Maharashtra’s beaches.The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) is working on “converted bus concepts”, wherein old vehicles will be modified for deployment as tourist conveniences on beaches across the state, including sites in Mumbai like Juhu, Aksa, Versova, Madh and Marve.The plan will also help overcome the lack of facilities for tourists and visitors on the 78 beaches dotting the state’s 720-km coastline.These buses, which are not in use anymore, will be sourced from utilities like the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT).”We have shoreline management committees for 73 sites across Maharashtra. We are planning to deploy these modified buses on beaches in consultation with local villagers and in Mumbai, after taking local ALMs and elected representatives into confidence,” said Jitendra Raisinghani, Deputy Director, Co-Ordination, Asian Development Bank project.He explained that these buses could be used as changing and locker rooms for tourists taking a dip in the sea, as well as for setting up bio-digester toilets and restaurants.”If not for cooking, these modified buses can be used to serve food to people on beaches,” said Raisinghani. He added that the MMB is in talks with transport utilities to source these scrapped buses. MMB officials said work was underway on prototypes.Raisinghani said the local gram panchayats will have to take a decision on deploying these buses on beaches, and the board will act as a facilitator.THE VAST COASTLINEMaharashtra has a total of 78 beaches in Mumbai city and the suburbs (10), Thane and Palghar (6), Raigad (15), Ratnagiri (26) and Sindhudurg (21).
The state has a 720-km coastline, including 114km in Mumbai, 127km in Thane and Palghar, 122km in Raigad, 237 km in Ratnagiri. The state also has two major ports, namely the MbPT and the JNPT.

3 held with fake currency notes with face value of Rs 7 lakh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three persons were today arrested for allegedly possessing Rs 2,000 fake currency notes with the face value of Rs 7.08 lakh, police said. Jatin Solanki (25), Vijay Kamble (35) and Sachin Bansi (37) were arrested in suburban Bandra by Unit-IX of the Crime Branch on a specific information that they were coming to deliver the fake currency, a senior police official said. The notes were printed at the house of one of the accused in Nalasopara in the Palghar district, he said. “During interrogation, the accused confessed they had printed these notes,” said Shashikant Satao, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime). The sleuths of the crime branch also raided the place in Nalasopara, from where the computer, printer, scanner and xerox machine and a laptop were seized, Satao said. The accused managed to print the fake currency note, which had at least six features similar to the original one, the officer added. The accused had a plan to circulate these notes at petrol pumps and hotels, police said, adding a probe was on.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NHRC does U-turn, says state need not compensate Palghar girls arrested after Bal Thackeray funeral

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said that Maharashtra state government need not compensate the two girls, who were arrested for questioning the state-wide bandh on Facebook, following Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s death, according to a report in Mumbai Mirror.On November 19, 2012, the day after Thackeray’s funeral, Shaheen Dhada and Renu Srinivasan from Palghar were arrested for questioning the state-wide bandh in a Facebook post. “With all respect, everyday, thousands of people die, but still the world moves on. Just due to one politician died a natural death, everyone just goes bonkers… Respect is earned, given, and definitely not forced. Today Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not due to respect (sic),“ Dhada had written. Renu had just liked the post.Their arrest resulted in a nationwide outrage, with the NHRC demanding that the state compensate the two girls. The state, in its defence, said, “The girls had to be arrested keeping in view the tense situation ‘and claimed that ‘all the norms and directions of the Supreme Court were observed at the time of arrest’. The state also contended that the action of the police was ‘justifiable for the situation’ and also for “the protection of both the girls“.On November 4, 2013, a year after the incident, the NHRC directed the Government of Maharashtra to pay Rs 50,000 each to Dhada and Srinivasan for violation of their human rights. When the state refused to do so, NHRC released a scathing press release on July 15, 2014 titled “Pay Rs 50,000 each to two girls or face coercive process in Facebook comments case.“The state finally responded to the order only last year. “The action of police was justifiable for the situation and also for the protection of both the girls. Therefore, the case is not fit for any compensation.”The NHRC accepted the state’s contention and closed the case. “The Commission has considered the report of the State Government and is of the view that it is not necessary to keep this matter pending on the Board. Therefore, we leave it to both the victims to take such measures which are permissible under the law to implement the recommendations made by this Commission vide its proceedings dated 4.11.2013.”

PM Modi to honour tribal woman from Maharashtra for open defecation free campaign

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A pregnant lady from tribal district of Maharashtra will be awarded the Swachh Shakti award by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for her tireless efforts to make her area Open Defecation Free (ODF).Sushila Khurkute (30), a mother of two who is seven months’ pregnant with her third child, will be bestowed with the Swachh Shakti award at an event in Gujarat on International Women’s Day, reported Mumbai Mirror.Khurkute is a resident of Nandgaon village in Jawhar Taluka of Palghar district, which was recently in the news for malnutrition deaths.Khurkute had dug a pit for two toilet blocks, all by herself for three continuous days.​In February, Palghar CEO Nidhi Chowdhary​ had commended Khurkute’s drive and determination to bring about proper sanitation facilities in her village and provided her with mason and necessary tools to construct the toilets.She was also made the face of Open Defecation Free (ODF)​ programme.Parmeshwaran Iyer, secretary of the Union ministry of drinking water and sanitation, also recognised her efforts when the news of her digging the toilet pit made rounds in February.PM Modi had started ODF campaign around the same time as Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan​ in 2014.

Green cover decline noticeable in last 15 years: Dr Pheroza Godrej

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dr Pheroza J Godrej dons many hats with elan. She is an art historian, art collector, editor and custodian of the Godrej family and business archives. And throughout her life, she has been a green warrior and activist. The President of The National Society of the Friends of the Trees talks to DNA on her concerns for and efforts of restoring Mumbai’s green cover.When did Mumbai’s green cover begin depleting alarmingly?In the last 15 years, the decline has become noticeable. Trees that were 40-50 years old, and had another 30 years of life span left, have been felled for development. The newer plantations, about 20-25 years old, haven’t got a chance to survive. The situation is depressing. In the foreword to the book Rani Bagh 150 Years, former BMC commissioner DM Sukthankar, writes that Mumbai has the lowest open space to population ratio in the world: a mere 0.03 acre per 1,000 persons against the international norm of 4 acres per 1,000 people. The city’s obsession with highrises has put pressure on the land. One also doesn’t know how the terrace gardens at skyscrapers are faring. They are now considered Mumbai’s green lungs. Sadly, people are not thinking about the future.What were the challenges in restoring greenery?Every state has a vanamahotsav at the onset of monsoon. We at Friends of Trees (FoT) have planted more than a lakh saplings, and follow up regularly. In Mumbai though we haven’t had a good success rate. You have to take care of the plants for at least eight years. We have seen a better success rate in villages and mofussil areas like Palghar and Wada. Maintaining trees has a lot to do with education and awareness.How do you view the ‘development vs environment’ discourse playing out in Mumbai?We need development but do you realise the tremendous delay in implementing infrastructural projects? All my life, I have been hearing about the coastal road development. Meanwhile, open spaces demarcated for these projects have been encroached upon, as authorities turn a blind eye. Then suddenly, authorities wake up to undertake demolition drives and cut trees. Thanks to citizens’ initiatives, the city still has some green patches. For instance, citizens have nurtured Colaba Woods and the trees at one end of Colaba. But the open spaces at Cuff Parade area have turned into slums. There are so many instances like Aarey Milk Colony, BKC. The government makes noise about being strict about encroachment, but it will allow these tenements to proliferate because of vote-bank politics.Could you tell us about your green initiatives.I have been a part of institutions like Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). Its centre for conservation cell near Sanjay Gandhi National Park conducts nature trails for the public through the year. FoT also undertakes similar initiatives. For instances, we’ll be making a trip to Tadoba Tiger Reserve with 20-25 people May-end to raise awareness on nature and conservation. We encourage housing societies to approach us for saplings. I also help the Rotary Club with its green initiatives and clean energy drives. The Godrej Tree Bank supplies saplings to the club. Early July every year, we give away saplings to nature groups, housing societies and offices. Last year, I went to Palghar to encourage people to plant trees. We have promised the people of Palghar and Wada that we will come to them for the next three years. We often team up with colleges for the seminars. This year, we will conduct a seminar at Bhavan’s College on forests and climate change, involving scientists and students. When we are called upon to save trees in any part of the city, we encourage our members to immediately respond. FoT have a strong presence on social media, thanks to our 1,300 members in Maharashtra.

After notes ban, MGNREGS jobs hit rural households

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the construction and other infrastructure related works have slowed down across the country due to cash crunch post demonetization, the rural populace, farmers, and labourers had pinned their hopes on the jobs available to them under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).However, their hopes have diminished as the scheme has been failing to meet requirements, which have ostensibly gone up as the jobs in real estate and infrastructure sector have declined in the last two months.The scheme has been able to provide only 35 days of average employment in the country this financial year so far.Poll-bound Goa, Manipur, Punjab, and UP have fared worse than the national average by giving an average of 14, 19, 25, and 28 days of jobs respectively, which paints a grim picture.These and many other states are below a quarter of the target even as less than three months are left to end the financial year. Notably, the Centre’s ambitious scheme rolled out in 2006 guarantees 100 days of an unskilled job to every Indian rural household annually.Maharashtra has provided an average of 44 days of employment up to the first week of January. This appears better when compared with northern states. However, in some districts the figures have been much below the national average. Besides, it is grossly inadequate considering the alarmingly high number of farmer suicides in the state.”It is unlikely that the country or any particular state would meet the target of 100 days by March end. In fact, the target of 100 days was never met even in the previous years due to scarcity of funds,” admitted an official associated with the Rural Development Ministry. The scheme offered an average of 48.8 days of employment in 2015-16, say statistics. As per an estimate, the country needs at least 75 per cent more allocation in the wages budget to offer 100 days of job to every aspirant.Scarcity of work in the poll-bound states may cost the incumbent government dearly, say observers. “The perception among villagers is that the MGNREGS is no more a priority of the government which seeks to focus on creating wealth sans generation of jobs,” says Vivek Pandit, former legislator and social worker.Over two-thirds of the MGNREGS work is linked to agriculture and sustainable livelihood in villages. The daily wage of MGNREGS ranges from Rs 150 – Rs 190 a day. The wages differ from state to state and are revised time to time as per the Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labour.Over 12.69 crore households are registered under the scheme, though the active households are approximately 7.22 crore. Of them, over 10 lakh households (1.4%) got 100 days of wage employment so far, say government figures which explains the scarcity of the work and livelihood opportunities in the country.The total availability of funds for the entire country is Rs 42,050 crore as of now, which is Rs 1,300 crore less than the previous year.Experts and activists express concern over the skewed availability of work for the rural folk. “Despite poor implementation and delayed payments, the scheme has been helpful in income generation for rural households.Skewed jobs will fuel more hunger, malnutrition, and farmer suicides than we are currently dealing with,” says Mahesh Raut, a tribal activist.Meanwhile, the Palghar district of Maharashtra, known for malnutrition deaths has been the worst in the state in offering MGNREGS jobs to poor rural folks. The district has provided an average of 26 days of jobs to the potential labourers till the first week of January. Thane (30 days) and Kolhapur (27 days) are just behind Palghar.

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