The special National Investigating Agency (NIA) court on Wednesday dropped the stringent MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999) charges against 2008 Malegaon Blasts accused Sadhavi Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col. Prasad Purohit, as well as four other. Instead, it charged them under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).According to the prosecution, Purohit and other accused had carried out the blast in Malegaon during Ramadan on September 29, 2008, which killed seven people. The court refused to accept NIA’s contention that there wasn’t sufficient material to hold up the chargesagainst Thakur. NIA had earlier given her clean chit while replying to her bail application in the Bombay High court. The court presided by Judge S D Tekale was hearing discharge applications filed by the accused in the case. In its final orders, Pragya Thakur, Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni, Ajay Rahirkar, Lt.col.Prasad Purohit, Sudhakar Dhar Diwedi and Sudhakar Chaturvedi were discharged of the MCOCA charges, and will now be tried only under UAPA and the IPC.The court also granted a clean chit to three accused – Shivnarayan Kalsangra, Shyam Sahu and Praveen Takalki. Two others — Rakesh Dhawade and Jagdish Mhatre – were also let off from all stringent acts andinstead were charged under the Arms Act.The court said there is no proof to substantiate the claim that one of the accused Dhawade was involved in the Jalna and Parbhani Mosque blast case which took place in 2003-2004, . “The Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) had earlier claimed that the accused were members of the Abhinav Bharat, a right-wing Hindu organisation, and had conspired to execute blasts in mosques in Jalna and Parbhani. However, there is nothing to substantiate that Abhinav Bharat was in existence then. There is also no material to show that during that period, Dhawade had any connection with the rest of the Malegaon 2008 blast case accused. In such circumstances, it cannot be said that accused committed the act in Parbhani and Jalna as a member of Abhinav Bharat. Hence MCOCA cannot be applied to them,” held the court.Speaking about Pragya’s role in the blast, the court held, “Considering all evidence at this stage, it can be said that Thakur had knowledge about the involvement of her motorcycle in the blast and (she expressed)dissatisfaction about causing fewer casualties. Hence it is difficult to accept submission on behalf of Thakur that she had no concern with the present crime as she had been exonerated by NIA.”The verdict came as a relief to Purohit’s wife, Aparna. “Due to the MCOCA, he (Purohit) had to spend nine years in jail. We are happy that finally those charges have been dropped,” she said. “We will fight out the rest of the charges the way we have been fighting since day one. Dropping MCOCA is a small step towards justice, but there’s still a long way to go.”The timeline Sept 29, 2008 Six killed & over 70 injured in bomb blasts in MalegaonOct 24, 2008 Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and 2 others arrestedNov 5, 2008 ATS arrests Lt Col Prasad Purohit for supplying money & explosivesJuly 31, 2009 Special MCOCA court drops charges against all 11 accused. Bom HC reinstates them in 2010
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Special NIA court in Mumbai has dropped MCOCA charges against Sadhvi Pragya, Col Purohit and two others in connection with the 2008 Malegaon case. However, they will be tried under UAPA section 18 and other IPC sections. Six people were killed and nearly 100 were injured in a bomb blast in Malegaon on September 29, 2008. Both Purohit and Pragya are currently out in bail and that will continue, ordered NIA Court. The next date of hearing is January 15. The court also let off three accused Shyam Sahu, Shivnarayan Kalsangra and Praveen Takalki as innocent. Malegoan case was described as Hindu terror planned by group Abhinav Bharat. Pragya and Purohit were accused of being part of the conspiracy which lead to the blast. On April 25, the Bombay High Court had granted Thakur bail on the grounds that prima facie, there was no evidence against her and thus she deserved bail. It, however, said that it was only passing an order with regard to the bail application and not on the merits of the case against her. On being granted bail by the High Court, Thakur had then filed an application before the special NIA Court seeking discharge from the case on the ground that the High Court had already given her a clean chit in its bail application order. Purohit also got bail from SC later.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took a break from his busy schedule to have a cup of coffee at Shimla’s iconic Coffee House.News of the prime minister’s visit spread, and soon the venue was swarmed with supporters wanting to take a picture with the prime minister.Earlier, PM Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah, former deputy Prime Minister LK Advani and several Union ministers and chief ministers attended the swearing-in ceremony of new Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur at the historic Ridge Maidan in Shimla.Governor Aacharya Devvrat administered the oath of office and secrecy to Thakur. Along with Thakur, a few MLA also took oath as Cabinet Ministers today. The five-time BJP MLA from Seraj constituency of the hilly state was elected to lead the state after the party’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal failed to register a win from his constituency.The BJP have ousted the Congress from power in Himachal Pradesh by winning 44 out of the 68 seats in the recently held Assembly polls.Along with many senior leaders and workers of BJP state unit, thousands of people also witnessed the swearing-in ceremony.
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The biggest asset of the 52-year-old Jai Ram Thakur, set to be Himachal Pradesh’s next chief minister, is that he has climbed every step required to reach the top.Born on January 6, 1965, to a poor family in Tandi village of Mandi’s Thunag area, Thakur was fourth among five siblings and his father Jhethu Ram worked as a mason. He lost his father exactly a year ago on December 25.After passing out from a local government school, he completed his Bachelor of Arts (BA) from a govt college in Mandi.It was during his stay there that he first got attracted to student politics in 1983, and joined BJP’s student wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). By 1986, he earned a name in the field and soon became ABVP’s state secretary.After completing his college education, Thakur was elevated to BJP’s youth wing — Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) — in the 90s. He spent the following years in Jammu & Kashmir as the organisational secretary from 1989 to 1992, honing his skills as a student leader.He fought his first state legislative assembly elections in 1993, from Chachiot (now Seraj), at the young age of 28, but lost by a slender margin of 800 votes. He, however, succeeded in catching the attention of BJP’s top brass, because Mandi had always been considered a bastion of the Congress party.He contested the assembly election again in 1998 from Seraj and since then has won all five assembly elections back-to-back, that too with huge margins. Known to be a low-profile party loyalist, Thakur was re-elected in 2003 and given charge of the party in 2006. Within seven months of his leadership, BJP came back to power with an emphatic win in the 2007 assembly polls.Despite being a three-time MLA, Thakur remained state chief till 2009, before being inducted into cabinet ranks as rural development and panchayati raj minister. He had always been touted as the CM-in-waiting during his time in the cabinet till 2012.Known for his proximity with the RSS, Thakur belongs to the dominant Rajput community that has a significant presence in the state. He will be the sixth leader of the state to occupy the chief ministers office, but the first one from Mandi region.
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As the trends for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections came in on December 18, it was clear that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was headed for a comfortable win. When the results for all the seats were declared, the BJP had won 44 out of the 68 seats, ousting the Congress from power.But as the fate would have it, BJP’s CM candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal lost his seat from Sujanpur constituency to Congress’ Rajinder Rana. The next in line, BJP state president Satpal Singh Satti also lost from Una constituency. Then started the BJP’s search for a new face. Many contenders emerged and finally the saffron party chose soft spoken Jai Ram Thakur as the next CM of the hilly state.Ending days of suspense, BJP announced on Sunday that the five-time MLA will be the new Chief Minister of the state.The 52-year-old leader won the Assembly election from Seraj. Apart from securing his own win with huge margin, Thakur is also said to be instrumental in BJP sweeping 9 out of 10 seats from Mandi region, losing one to an independent candidate. Thakur comes from a humble background and was born in a farming family in Tandi village of Mandi district in 1965. The youngest of five children, Jai Ram was a bright student but had to drop out for two years after matriculation in 1980 due to poor financial condition of the family. He, however, went on to complete his MA from Panjab University in Chandigarh. He joined the RSS’ student wing ABVP right after graduation, thus making his entry into student politics. At the time when L K Advani took out his Ram Rath Yatra, Jai Ram also became active in the Ram Mandir movement. He is, however, not known for aggressive politics and is considered BJP’s ‘gentle face’ for his soft-spoken and non-aggressive brand of politics. Thakur contested his first election at the age of 28 on a BJP ticket in 1993. He lost his first election but again secured the BJP ticket in 1998 from Seraj, which was then known as Chachiot Vidhan Sabha. This time he won comfortably and defeated Congress veteran Moti Ram Thakur by 6,000 votes, thus marking his entry to the Assembly. There has been no looking back for him since then. He won consecutive elections from Chachiot in 2003 and 2007, before the constituency became Seraj after delimitation. Thakur was made Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister by then Chief Minister Dhumal in 2008. He was also the BJP’s state president between 2007 and 2009. In 2012, he won from Seraj while the BJP lost power to the Congress. In the latest election, Thakur won from Seraj by a margin of over 11,000 votes. He is married to Sadhana Thakur, a Kannadiga who was born and brought up in Jaipur, and have two children with her. Soft-spoken Thakur is considered a consensus builder in the Himachal Pradesh BJP. Even as his supporters raised slogans in his favour against Dhumal during BJP’s Central Observers’ visit to the state, he chose to remain silent. Today, it was Dhumal who proposed his name during the BJP legislature party meeting. Two other senior leaders from the party, Shanta Kumar and JP Nadda also supported the proposal, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, the BJP’s Central Observer, said. After the announcement of his name, Thakur thanked everyone, signalling that he would take all leaders of faction-ridden Himachal BJP along in his journey. Himachal is famous for throwing out incumbent government’s after a single term in office. Can Thakur break that trend? That will be his biggest challenge. Watch: Jai Ram Thakur to be new Himachal Pradesh CM
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With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gearing up to announce the name of the new Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister on Sunday, a sharp rift has emerged between former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Seraj MLA Jai Ram Thakur.It is believed that central observers Nirmala Sitharaman will reach Shimla on Sunday morning to formally announce the name after consultation with top party leaders. Following the announcement, it is believed that the new Chief Minister will take an oath at the Ridge Ground in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.With top state leaders, including former CM Shanta Kumar and Virender Kashyap, categorically telling Sitharaman that “only elected member should be made the Chief Minister”, the Dhumal faction is reportedly now trying to project Anurag Thakur’s name as deputy Chief Minister as a compromise formula.On Friday, a large number of youth BJP supporters shouted slogans in favour of Dhumal at Hotel Peterhoff where central observers were meeting state party leaders. With most of the newly-elected MLAs endorsing the name of Jai Ram Thakur, Dhumal supporters continued to push for the Anurag as deputy to the new leader.It is another thing that there is no taker for Anurag’s name in the Thakur camp. All this while, Anurag was not in the picture. This made veteran BJP leader Kumar lose his cool and calling for suspension of any such elements in the party.The dhumal group is citing offers made by at least three elected MLAs announcing to vacate their seat for him to seek re-election.But this is also a fact that most of his supporters including close aide Ravinder Ravi and his MP son Anurag’s father-in-law Gulab Singh Thakur have lost elections this time around. And that’s the reason why majority of the total number of 44 newly-elected legislators are of the view that 52-year-old Jai Ram Thakur is the real representative of the young generation.Thakur is a five-time elected MLA and has been seen as a Chief Minister-in-waiting for a long time. And not to forget, he was also the first one to hit the ground running and took a flight to Delhi as soon as news of Dhumal’s came on the counting day.Last but not the least, it has been learnt that Dhumal could well be offered a place in the Rajya Sabha in an apparent move to reward him for being leader of the party in last elections.The scheduleObservers Nirmala Sitharaman will reach Shimla on Sunday morning to formally announce the name of the CM after consultation with top party leaders. The new Chief Minister will take an oath at the Ridge Ground in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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The CBI today opposed the bail plea of the 16-year-old student accused in the Ryan murder case, saying the recent Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) order to try him as an adult “speaks about his mental status and the heinous crime he committed”.The agency sought dismissal of the bail plea on the ground that the JJB had passed a very reasonable order denying statutory bail to the student, accused of killing seven-year- old Pradhuman Thakur.”The order of the court to try the accused as an adult assumes great significance in that it speaks about the mental status of the accused and the heinous crime committed by him.””The appeal filed by accused for grant of bail may please be dismissed in the interest of justice,” the agency said.Additional Sessions Judge Jasbir Singh Kundu said that he would hear the detailed arguments on January 6 on the appeal filed by the accused against an order of the JJB denying him bail.The probe agency made the submissions in a written reply to the appeal after which the court posted the matter to the next date since an adjournment was sought by the counsel for the accused.Pradhuman was found with his throat slit in the school’s washroom on September 8 and the Gurgaon Police had said the crime was committed by a school bus conductor, which was later refuted by the CBI.The CBI claimed the 16-year-old teenager killed Class 2 student Pradhuman in a bid to get the school closed so that a scheduled parent-teacher meeting and an examination could be deferred.Advocate Sushil Tekriwal Sushil Tekriwal, appearing for Pradhuman’s father, Barun Thakur, said that the appeal for bail was at a “premature stage” as the investigation was yet to be concluded.Tekriwal said the CBI has placed on record strong circumstantial evidence against the accused which was duly considered by the JJB while denying the relief.The JJB had on December 20 held that the 16-year-old boy would be tried as an adult and directed that he be produced before the Gurgaon sessions court.The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 lowers the age of juveniles from 18 years to 16 years for heinous crimes like rape, murder and dacoity-cum- murder, which warrant at least seven years of imprisonment.However, the JJB first decides whether the crime committed has been “child-like” or was it committed in an “adult frame of mind”, following which the JJB orders the accused to be tried as juvenile or adult.The JJB had passed the order on a plea that the accused teenager should not be treated as a juvenile.If convicted, he will stay in a correctional home till he is 21 years old after which the court can shift him to a jail or grant him bail, it had said.The board had earlier rejected the bail plea of the Class 11 Ryan International School student, charged with killing Pradhuman on September 8.It had set up a committee which included a psychologist from the PGI, Rohtak for an expert opinion on the accused, who had been taken into custody by the CBI last month.The panel submitted its report in two sealed envelopes.The JJB had noted that the accused was mature enough to recognise the consequences of his actions.
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Even as the choices for chief ministers of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are shrouded in secrecy, BJP MPs from both states met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.”Met party MPs from Himachal Pradesh. Had a wonderful interaction with BJP MPs from Gujarat,” Modi said in tweets.The two sets of MPs felicitated the Prime Minister for the two victories; the party retained Gujarat for a sixth consecutive term and recaptured Himachal after a gap of five years.Also present were party president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The party’s state in-charge Bhupendra Yadav was also present for the Gujarat MPs’ meet, while Union Minister JP Nadda and MP Anurag Thakur were present in the meeting with Himachal MPs.Within the party, the thinking seems to be that there are no ‘moral grounds’ for making Prem Kumar Dhumal the CM, given his electoral loss. He is also just two years shy of the BJP’s 75-year caveat for retirement. The two other top contenders are Nadda and Jai Ram Thakur, a five-time winner.In Gujarat, however, Vijay Rupani is likely to stay on as CM as insiders believe removing him would look like capitulation to Patidar pressure, not to mention that he was projected as the Chief Minister face. Rupani won by a huge margin, beating one of Congress’s strongest candidates.Apart from Vijay Rupani, the other names doing rounds are that of MoS road transport and shipping Mansukh Mandaviya, Vajubhai Vala, the incumbent governor of Karnataka. Ranchodbhai Chanabhai Faldu, who is a Patel leader and won the Kalavad seat is also being projected as a Patidar face.
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For BJP leader Jai Ram Thakur, who is front-runner in the race of CM candidates in Himachal Pradesh, the top most priority would be to develop the state but by keeping environmental issues in mind in this sensitive hilly state.Having been elected for record fifth time from Seraj in Mandi district, Thakur comes from a humble background of Thunag village which is about 65 kms from Mandi town. It has taken him three-and-a-half decade of hard work to reach where he is.Having been state president and cabinet minister in Prem Kumar Dhumal’s last cabinet, Thakur is known as a grass-root worker and representative of dominant Rajput community of the state, Thakur spoke to DNA exclusively on issues which he feels are of greater importance for the coming government. Excerpts:Himachal has seen CMs in the past from either upper hilly area or from lower Kangra belt, but never from Mandi?That’s because Congress dominated this second biggest constituency for decades. Be it Virbhadra Singh or Pandit Sukh Ram, they were representing this constituency for decades. Now that has been changed with BJP workers hard work. Look at the situation now, BJP has got 14 out of the total 17 seats from Mandi district.What will be your focus areas for development in the state?The geography of the state is such that Himachal can’t become an industrial hub. Rather, the state has lot of scope for tourism and there are whole lot of central government schemes which can be used to benefit our population here. Everyone should realise that our PM Narendra Modi ji has an emotional bonding with this state. He has spent prime years of his life here as party pracharak.But the state is facing issues related to environment in tourism industry. National Green Tribunal (NGT) has also ordered closure of many hotels?NGT ruling is certainly a cause of worry for our hotel industry. But we should not forget that we are also culprits in ignoring environmental issues for so long. It’s time when all concerned parties have to seriously chalk out plans regarding these sensitive issues related to our environment and health. We can’t go on like this for ever. We need to first regulate ourselves and then spread this message of clean environment across everyone coming to visit our state.What is immediate priority for you, if chosen by high command?Whatever the party decide, I as a humble worker will follow. I would like to thank all the people of the state who for voted for our party. I can assure you from my side that whosoever will be given responsibility to rule Himachal, the first priority would be to improve the law and order situation, which has deteriorated under Congress rule.
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Whether to celebrate the party’s victory in Himachal Pradesh or to mourn the loss of its chief ministerial candidate — it would seem that the BJP, which has just emerged victorious in the state elections, faces a novel dilemma. Insiders, however, beg to differ and say everything went according to the Central leadership’s script.Ever since its formation in 1971, Himachal Pradesh has faced such a situation for the first time. Prominent BJP face Prem Kumar Dhumal lost to his one-time protégé Rajinder Singh Rana of the Congress from Sujanpur.Going by the insiders’ account, Dhumal was deliberately given a tough seat, instead of his traditional nurtured seat Hamirpur, in order to test his popularity. He lost his earlier constituency of Bamsan to delimitation in 2012. The Dhumal group was constantly putting pressure on the party to declare him as its face, despite opposition from his own party workers.So, in fact, many are seeing Dhumal’s defeat and the party’s win as causes for a double celebration, especially those who see his defeat as an opportunity to stake claim for the top post in the state.If insiders in the party are to be believed, BJP president Amit Shah declared Dhumal the CM candidate with a heavy heart, only nine days before the polls. This, too, after Shah got a feedback from state party president Satpal Satti that “only an old face like Dhumal can take on Congress CM Virbhadra Singh”.Now that he has lost the election, there are murmurs in the party that Union health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda might be the parachute CM in the newly emerged circumstances. A call placed from the headquarters in Delhi to Seraj constituency winner Jai Ram Thakur, however, has made him a front-runner in the race.The other name making rounds is Ajay Jamwal, who comes from the RSS, and hails from Joginder Nagar.THE CM FACTORJai Ram Thakur’s name was doing the rounds before Dhumal got the nod. Ajay Jamwal, who comes from the RSS ranks, was another probable for the top job.
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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will form the new Himachal Pradesh government, but minus its chief ministerial candidate, Prem Kumar Dhumal. This bitter-sweet victory for the BJP over long-time rival in the state, Congress, has ensured that for the first time in nearly three decades, a new face will emerge in the state, despite two party stalwarts — Shanta Kumar and Dhumal — still being around.For the record, Congress’ Rajinder Singh Rana has emerged as the giant killer by defeating his one-time political guru Dhumal from the Sujanpur constituency. Another tragedy that struck Dhumal was that it was he who played a crucial role in ensuring the consolidation of the dominant Thakur community in the Hamirpur region.The state has alternately elected Congress and BJP governments since 1985.In the last election in 2012, the Congress won 36 seats and the BJP 26, while six seats went to Independent candidates. While the Congress won’t accept that the corruption charges against CM Virbhadra Singh made a big difference, BJP’s own lack of confidence in any leader’s ability robbed them of quite a few seats.Dhumal’s supporter and state BJP chief Satpal Satti also lost his Una seat to Satpal Singh Razda of Congress. His close confidantes — Ravinder Ravi, Gulab Singh, and Randhir Sharma — also failed to win their respective constituencies.Dhumal, who moved from farming to teaching English and then to politics, was expected to become the CM for the third time. The Congress plank to counter the move with the criticism of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation failed to make much impact on the voters, primarily because Himachal is an employee-dominated state.For all of the 68 Assembly seats, a total of 337 candidates were in the fray. Singh won his Arki seat without much of a threat and also ensured his son Vikramaditya Singh’s debut from Shimla (Rural).The prestigious Shimla (Urban) seat was once again won by BJP’s Suresh Bhardwaj, who defeated Singh-backed rebel Harish Janartha. While CPI (M) came in third, Congress’s own candidate Harbhajan Singh Bhajji stood a poor fourth. Anil Sharma, who resigned from the government and the ruling Congress and joined the BJP just before the polls, along with his father and former telecom minister Sukh Ram, retained his Mandi seat.The CPI (M) is celebrating the victory of Rakesh Singha from Theog, despite it being a Congress stronghold. It must be mentioned that Vidya Stokes has held this seat many times during her long political career.Behind the scenesThe Gudiya rape and murder case, which came to light in the run-up to the elections, remained a major factor behind the Congress’s defeat in the state. Singh’s government was defamed for its apparent effort to shied the culprits. Though the Congress managed to retain the Jubbal-Kotkhai seat with over 9,000 votes, where Rohit Thakur defeated BJP’s Narinder Bragta, the negative publicity helped the rival party gain a huge ground elsewhere in the state.Another factor that helped the BJP score big in this hilly state was the absence of any top Congress leader during the campaigning. In fact, none of the party’s top leaders camped or campaigned in the state, with even party president Rahul Gandhi paying just one visit to address a couple of election rallies.Himachal was left to Singh, despite knowing well that he was fighting with his back to the wall, following the corruption probe. Also, the last five years could well be termed as his worst-ever tenure as he had no achievements to count. His tenure saw the emergence of a few retired bureaucrats, on extension, from his erstwhile state Rampur Bushair, who ran it like a princely state.The BJP, on the other hand, left nothing to chance. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed over half a dozen election rallies and all top leaders of the party, including BJP president Amit Shah, home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, camped in the state for long periods.BJP, however, had nothing much to offer to the voters. The party counted Singh’s failures while Congress pointed at PM Narendra Modi’s three-and-a-half year of “misrule”.Finally, the anti-incumbency sentiment against the Singh government proved much stronger. The impact of demonetisation and the GST had little adverse impact in the state as compared to that in Gujarat.
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As the BJP in Himachal Pradesh celebrated its success in the hill state, one man looked crestfallen. For the party’s chief ministerial candidate, Prem Kumar Dhumal, was among those defeated in the state that soundly voted for the saffron party.Dhumal, 73, was expected to run the state if the BJP came to power. The BJP won, but the people voted against him.The former chief minister was defeated from Sujanpur by his Congress rival and former confidant Rajinder Rana.But the veteran BJP leader still wields considerable influence over the state, and it may be too early to write him off.Dhumal, who moved from farming to teaching English and then politics, is largely seen in the small peace-loving hill state as the common man’s representative — quite unlike his political rival and outgoing Congress chief minister ‘Raja’ Virbhadra Singh, who came from an erstwhile kingdom.Also readHimachal Elections 2017: From PM Modi to Virbhadra Singh, who said what after BJP’s thumping win The gentle, soft-spoken and humble man from the lower hills has risen from the ranks in the BJP and was expected to become its chief minister for the third time.He helmed the state earlier from March 1998 to March 2003, when he headed the BJP-Himachal Vikas Congress coalition government, and again from January 2008 to December 2012.Also readHimachal Assembly Election 2017: How Congress went on to lose another stateHis supporters say Dhumal’s amiable nature and easy availability are his USP.An MA in English and a law graduate, he has been a three-time MP and a two-time Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly.Also readHimachal Elections: After PK Dhumal’s loss, Jairam Thakur summoned to Delhi; likely to be CMBorn into a non-political, farming family on April 10, 1944, in the Samirpur village of Hamirpur, the son of an ex- serviceman taught English in a private college before embracing politics.His son, Anurag Thakur, who took over from him as BJP MP from Hamirpur, describes him as a simple man with a deep sense of commitment.”We look up to him for his dedication, hard work and commitment towards public life. As a child we felt we did not get enough time to spend with him in the family, but now feel proud that he has given his life for the service and welfare of the people of the state,” Thakur told PTI.Dhumal started his political career with the RSS’s students’ wing, the ABVP. He became vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the BJP’s youth wing, in 1982.The BJP picked him as its candidate for the Hamirpur Lok Sabha constituency in 1984 after state stalwart Jagdev Chand declined to contest from there. Dhumal lost the election, but won the seat in 1989 and 1991, before losing to Vikram Singh Katoch in 1996.After the death of Jagdev Chand in 1993, Dhumal became active in state politics. He was BJP president in the state in 1993 and became its chief minister in March 1998 when he won the Bamsan constituency by a margin of 18,000 votes.Often referred to as “sadak wale mukhya mantri” — or the CM who built roads — Dhumal was known for ushering in development, building up infrastructure such as a road network, the lifeline of the hill state.He stepped down as an MLA in the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly after winning the Hamirpur seat in a 2007 Lok Sabha by-election, held after the expulsion of the BJP’s Suresh Chandel, who figured in the cash-for-questions scandal — a controversy about MPs being bribed for asking questions in Parliament.In another by-election — this one in May 2008 — Dhumal was replaced by his son, Thakur.In the run-up to the polls, Dhumal, who became state chief minister for the second time in 2007, faced stiff competition from younger leaders eyeing the CM’s chair.But the veteran leader, who changed his constituency from Hamirpur this time, emerged as the front-runner once again.In a break from tradition, BJP chief Amit Shah announced his name as the party’s chief ministerial candidate a few days after launching its campaign in October this year.Dhumal, however, is two years away from the 75-year upper age limit fixed by the BJP top brass for retirement from active politics.The party seemingly chose him because he fitted into the state’s caste combination. He is from the dominant Thakur community, comprising 28 per cent of the electorate.His other competitors for the top slot included Shanta Kumar, who is in his 80s, and J P Nadda. Nadda, a Union minister, is 57, but belongs to the Brahmin community which comprises only 18 per cent of the electorate.Some believed he might have lost the election because of the change in the constituency.Dhumal and Singh have been alternating as chief ministers for the last two decades, as the state has seldom broken its tradition of electing the same government twice in a row.While Dhumal is considered the strongman from the lower hills, Singh holds sway over the higher hills.The Congress in the 2012 assembly elections won 36 seats with a 42.8 per cent vote share while the BJP won 26 seats with a 38.4 per cent vote share.
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The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea challenging anticipatory bail granted to Ryan International school trustees in connection with the murder of seven-year-old student Pradyuman Thakur.The parents of the victim had moved to Supreme Court against Pintos after the Punjab and Haryana High Court granted them anticipatory bail.Ryan Pinto, and his parents, Augustine Pinto and Grace Pinto, had approached the high court on September 16, seeking anticipatory bail in the case.Also readRyan student murder: Conductor Ashok Kumar’s wife says cops thrashed him, hung upside downSushil Tekriwal, Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur’s lawyer had said that they approached the court as the anticipatory bail would send a wrong message will be sent if anticipatory bail is given,” he added.Class 2 student Pradhuman Thakur was found with his throat slit in the school washroom in Gurugram on September 8.School bus conductor Ashok Kumar was arrested by Haryana police in connection with the crime. However, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is now probing the matter, gave him a clean chit and held a class 11 student of the school responsible for the murder.Also readRyan student murder: Amid twists and turns, juvenile accused retracts confession
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Residential societies across the city should take a leaf out of Gokul Heaven Housing Society’s book in dealing with its own garbage. The society in Kandivli on Friday installed a three-tonne waste segregation machine to manage its own garbage.The society, located in Kandivli’s Thakur Complex, has spent Rs 8 lakh on the machine. While the price seems steep, it has turned out to be economic for the society that has 285 committee members of which each member contributes Rs 200 per month. This also includes maintenance cost of the machine.The machine was inaugurated by local MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar who said he would promote it in other societies in the locality as well.”Apart from the machine cost, there is expenditure on providing a separate shed for it, and providing underground electricity supply. So the approximate per month cost that a resident will bear would be Rs 200,” said R Sawant, secretary, Gokul Heaven Housing Society.The society generates around 100 kg of waste every day. The machine can churn out 30 kg of manure from the decomposed garbage. The manure will then be used by the society at its garden.
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<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Schoolbus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was arrested in connection with the killing of seven-year-old Pradhyman Thakur has said that he is in a lot of pain with his wife alleging torture by police.Ashok Kumar was on Wednesday released from jail after a Gurgaon court granted him bail.After he was freed from the Bhondsi jail, Kumar went straight to his house in Ghambroj village in Sohna.However, speaking to media, his wife said, “Police beat him up, hung him upside down.”She also claimed that they tortured him and even sedated him to make him confess in the murder case.Verma had filed the bail application for Kumar after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested a 16-year-old school student of Ryan International on charges of killing his junior.Pradhuman was found with his throat slit in the toilet of the school in Bhondsi, Gurgaon, on September 8.Kumar, who was arrested by the Gurgaon SIT, has not got a clean chit from the CBI.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday refused to give a clean chit to anyone in a murder case of Ryan International School student.Pradyuman Thakur, was found dead inside the toilet of school premises, with his throat slit on September 8.”No clean chit to anyone. Investigations are underway,” CBI said in the court.The court has reserved the order on a bail plea of conductor Ashok Kumar till tomorrow.The CBI had on Thursday opposed the bail plea of bus conductor even the agency has apprehended a 16-year-old student of the same school and initially indicated that there was no evidence against Kumar arrested by the Gurugram police.”Now it is almost clear that my son Ashok was framed and made a scapegoat. We have decided to file a case against Gurgaon Police SIT officers who framed and used torture and even drugged him to confess before the media that he had committed the crime,” said Ashok’s father Amirchand.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While probing the Ryan murder case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started questioning its own theory that the accused, a Class XI student of the Ryan International School, killed seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur so that the exams could be postponed. The agency has doubts about this line of investigation as the accused has an excellent academic record.Earlier, the agency had said that during the interrogation, the accused had revealed that he killed Pradyuman to”postpone the examination and the parents-teacher meeting”.Sources said the suspect, who was actually a good student, had no reason to fear the examination.”The motive behind the murder is not completely convincing,” a senior CBI officer said.The investigators are now trying to ascertain whether the accused was the only person involved or anybody else was also there.”Buying a knife, randomly picking a junior student, and slitting his throat in the school premises is just unconvincing,” said a senior officer, adding that the deceased might have witnessed something objectionable, which eventually led to his murder.”The motive looks like a smokescreen. The real motive is something else,”the officer added.Meanwhile, the CBI has rejected the Haryana police’s investigation, which pointed at school bus conductor Ashok Kumar as the accused. CBI chief Alok Kumar Verma has ordered a probe into the destruction of evidence by four police officers, including the Superintendent of Police working with the Haryana government.Also, the agency sleuths have collected the call details records of all four police officers and are trying to piece together the way the evidences in the case were destroyed and new evidences were planted to frame the bus conductor.The agency, however, has remained silent on Kumar’s bail application. The matter will be heard in a Gurugram court on Monday. Surprisingly, last week, Pradyuman’s father Barun Thakur, through his counsel Sushil K Tekriwal, also opposed the bus conductor’s bail plea, saying that since the CBI had not given him a clean chit, he should not be given bail’NO REASON TO FEAR’Sources said the suspect, who was actually a good student, had no reason to fear the examination The investigators are now trying to ascertain whether the accused was the only person involved or anybody else was also there. Also, the agency sleuths have collected the call details records of all four police officers.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pradyuman Thakur’s father filed a petition before the juvenile justice board on Wednesday and sought the trial of the 16-year-old accused as an adult. The father, Barun Thakur, said the crime was horrific and the accused should not be shown mercy.The CBI has arrested the Class 11 student of Gurugram’s Ryan International School for killing his Class 2 junior Pradyuman on September 8. School bus conductor Ashok Kumar is in jail after being arrested by the Haryana police.Kumar’s bail plea is slated to be heard at a sessions court in Gurugram on Thursday. The juvenile student confessed to his crime, in front of his father and an independent witness, the CBI has told the juvenile court. But on Tuesday, the accused was said to have claimed that he was forced to confess.The juvenile student was weak in studies and committed the crime to have school exams and a parent-teacher meeting postponed, sources in the CBI have maintained. Teachers had noticed the suspect — reportedly under psychiatric evaluation over anger issues — bringing a knife to school four days before the murder, sources have said. CCTV footage, in which the Class 11 student was seen near the victim minutes before the murder, was also ignored by state police.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid twists and turns in the murder case of 7-year-old Ryan International school student, the arrested juvenile accuses has reportedly retracted his confession.Last week, the CBI arrested a class 11 student of the same school and gave a clean chit to the bus conductor, who was arrested by the Gurgaon Police for the murder and sexual assault of the child.Pradyuman Thakur, was found dead inside the toilet of school premises, with his throat slit on September 8.However, the accused reportedly said that he was forced to confess. ALSO READ Ryan case: CBI probe reveals destruction of evidence by Gurugram PoliceAccording to Hindustan Times, the accused told to a team of CBI officials and a legal-cum-probation officer from the district child protection unit that the investigators forced him to confess.A report also said the boy is said to have alleged the investigators beat him up and recorded the confession in their own words, however, a CBI spokesperson refused to comment.The accused student has been sent to Faridabad observation home where he will be kept until the next hearing in the case on November 22.Earlier, the agency told the juvenile court that the accused also confessed to his crime in front of his father. ALSO READ Ryan school murder: ‘They thrashed my son,’ father of accused alleges torture, trashes CBI’s PTM theoryThe CBI said that the accused committed the crime in order to postpone the parents-teachers meeting and the exams.The Haryana Police, after facing flak from all quarters, accepted that omissions took place on their part during the probe. The cops also admitted that they didn’t watch the closed circuit television (CCTV) footage carefully.The initial eight seconds of the footage shows the now accused teenager calling Pradyuman to the washroom. The team members, however, remained silent on exactly how they made this grave error.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Investigation in Pradyuman murder case has revealed illegality and destruction of evidence by Gurugram Police, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sources said on Sunday.Earlier on Wednesday, the murder case of the seven-year-old Ryan International School student took a new turn after the CBI arrested a class 11 student of the same school and gave a clean chit to the bus conductor, who was arrested by the Gurugram Police for the murder and sexual assault of the child. Pradyuman Thakur, was found dead inside the toilet of school premises, with his throat slit on September 8.Earlier, the CBI produced the accused, who is a minor, before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) and demanded his six-day custody.The accused also confessed to his crime in front of his father, the CBI had told a juvenile court. The CBI said that the accused committed the crime in order to postpone the parents-teachers meeting and the exams. Meanwhile, the accused student has been sent to Faridabad observation home where he will be kept until the next hearing in the case on November 22.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is now probing a role of another student who accompanied juvenile arrested in connection with the murder of Ryan International School student.Seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was murdered on September 8 and the case was with the Gurgaon police for 13 days before taken over by the CBI.However, in a sensational twist to the case, the agency announced on Thursday that it had apprehended a senior student of Ryan International School on Tuesday night in connection with the murder of Pradhuman Thakur, rejecting the Gurgaon police’s theory that the killing was the handiwork of conductor Ashok Kumar.According to sources, the CBI probe is now focusing on the second student who had accompanied the teenager and informed the Gardner and the teacher that a profusely bleeding boy is lying in the washroom.The agency has recorded a statement of the second boy at a different place and not in the headquarters. As of now, CBI is trying to find if there are any discrepancies in his statement recorded before Gurgaon Police and Judicial Magistrate and the one he gave to the CBI.The agency is also closely probing whether school staff and Haryana Police are involved in the destruction of evidence.On the other hand, the arrested juvenile was taken to shops in Sohna market area, but the CBI failed to establish that the juvenile had himself purchased the knife.Even the shopkeeper did not recognize the juvenile boy. The investigating agency also took with them around six samples of knives from the shop where the juvenile had allegedly purchased the knife from. Meanwhile, the family of Ashok Kumar has decided to apply for a bail and file a case against police officers who ‘framed’ him.”As soon as the closure report comes will file bail for Ashok. once he is discharged, we will file a case against the police and school management,” said Mohit Verma, Ashok’s Lawyer.”Now it is almost clear that my son Ashok was framed and made a scapegoat. We have decided to file a case against Gurgaon Police SIT officers who framed and used torture and even drugged him to confess before the media that he had committed the crime,” said Ashok’s father Amirchand.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP patriarch LK Advani turned 90 on Wednesday but the place from where he scripted BJP’s rise to power way back in 1990, with his historic Ram Rath Yatra that culminated in the demolition of the Babri mosque does not quite remember him anymore.For the residents of the holy temple town of Somnath, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the hero, the ‘bahubali’. In popular memory, PM Modi is the deliverer of the Hindu community from the tyranny of invaders who robbed Somnath on several occasions.DNA found that none of those we talked to remembered Advani’s birthday, leave aside any celebrations.The older generation which had witnessed or participated in the Rath Yatra do consider him to be a hero of Hindutva, someone who raised BJP’s political game, but also deprecate him for having unduly tried to cling to power for way too long. He should have abdicated the throne for Modi, is the sentiment.”There is no comparison between Advani and Modi. I was a child when the Rath Yatra happened. Advani was at the helm. But now he must retire. Narendra bhai is a bahubali, Advani is just another neta. He did what he did, but Narendra bhai now represents us and our aspirations,” said Naranbhai Chauhan who runs a pan shop just outside the gates of the temple town.The newer generation does not even know who Advani is anymore. “I don’t know who he is. I have heard his name, but I am not sure what he did,” said first time voter Manoj Silwadia. Silwadia is a resident of Veraval town adjoining Somnath.Khushiben Thakur, a housewife in Somnath who doubles up as part time caretaker of her husband’s shop outside the temple, said since she was an ardent newswatcher she knew who Advani was but then her hero too is Narendra Modi.Khushiben Thakur, a housewife in Somnath who doubles up as part time caretaker of her husband’s shop outside the temple, said since she was an ardent newswatcher she knew who advani was but then her hero too is Narendra Modi. “Politicians have tried to make political use of temple towns in Gujarat but Narendra Modi has really done so much for Somnath. She he was the CM he used to cone more often. He has returned Hindus their pride after suffering for so long under invaders. Just how many times was Somnath looted?”ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTERESTWhile the BJP is all guns blazing to justify the logic of demonetisation, a public warning inside the Somnath temple says: All pilgrims are requested not to put in the donation box old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes which are now outlawed. They will not be useful for the temple
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two enforcement inspectors of Provident Fund department were on Wednesday late evening arrested by a sleuth of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), Kota after they had accepted a bribe of Rs. 25000 from a proprietor of security agency for settling the PF related matter of the employees of the agency. The two were today produced before the ACB court that ordered to send them to judicial custody.The two enforcement inspectors o, identified as Nalin Kumar Bhatt, a native to Jaipur but currently posted in regional PF office in Kota and Suresh Saini were yesterday evening caught after they had accepted a bribe of Rs. 25000 from one Gobri Lal who runs a security agency in Kansuva area of the city, told Chandrasheel Thakur, ASP (ACB), Kota. The two had a few days ago reached the security agency office in Kanswa to inspect the documents and on finding irregularities and not deposition of TDS of the employees, the two officials asked for the penalty and cancellation of agency’s license but also offered to sort out the matter with a bribe of Rs. 50,000, ASP Thakur said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jubbal-Kotkhai constituency witnessed 81 percent turnout this time, compared to 79.18% it registered in the 2012 Assembly elections. Kotkhai, situated in Himachal Pradesh’s prime apple county, made headlines for a gruesome reason — the gangrape and murder of a minor and the messy investigation that followed.Soon after the girl’s body was recovered at a forest in nearby Halali two days after she disappeared, the Facebook page of CM Virbhadra Singh posted the pictures of six men, only to take it down later. Subsequently, six Nepali men were accused in the case, and one of the men, Suraj, died mysteriously in custody. His wife later told the media that when she met her husband in jail the night before he died, he told her that he was subject to custodial torture.The case was later moved to the CBI, and six policemen from the state were arrested for the custodial death. The CBI, which is carrying out its investigation, is likely to file a report soon.The BJP has left no stone unturned to drum up the issue in every possible poll meeting. In fact, after the case broke out, BJP’s Rohit Thakur and Rakesh Verma, apart from CPM’s Rakesh Singha carried out rallies and courted arrest in nearby Theog to ensure a smooth investigation.The Congress has been reeling under the effect of the case. When DNA asked CM Virbhadra Singh whether he could have handled the case differently, Singh said that within two days of the incident, he had intimated the PM and the home minister to refer the case to the CBI. “The case is with the Centre now, and the High Court has asked them to carry out the investigations faster. Nothing is in the hands of the state now,” said Singh.A key BJP functionary, who was part of the protests that followed, said while the BJP seemed to have gained political mileage from the incident, there was not much the party had done. “Posters were put in several places in the state and the party politicised the matter. But, the efforts were more political than sincere,” said the party member on conditions of anonymity.The CPM and its student wing SFI had carried out several demonstrations, too, including several in Shimla and Theog. Members of the SFI had also meet some of the officers from the CBI’s investigation team, who assured them that the case is on track.KNOW KOTKHAIThe constituency has over 64,000 electors, and the key candidates are the Congress’s Rohit Thakur (who is the current MLA), the BJP’s Narinder Bragta and an independent candidate, Lokinder Jhouta. In 2012, Thakur won the seat with 29,219, while Bragta polled in 20,124 votes.
The two enforcement inspectors, on reports of not depositing the TDS of the employees of the agency, reached the agency and demanded Rs 25000 bribe, the ASP added <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two enforcement inspectors of Provident Fund department were arrested by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Kota on Wednesday when they were caught red-handed taking a bribe of Rs. 25000 from the proprietor of a security agency for settling the PF related matter of the employees of the agency.Nalin Kumar Bhatt, a native of Jaipur but currently posted in Kota and Suresh Saini of Kota city had accepted a bribe of Rs. 25000 from one Gobri Lal who runs a security agency in Kansuva area of the city, said Chandrasheel Thakur, Additional Superintendent of Police (ACB), Kota. The two enforcement inspectors, on reports of not depositing the TDS of the employees of the agency, reached the agency and demanded Rs 25000 bribe, the ASP added.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A forensic team that had visited the spot where seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was killed in Gurugram’s Ryan International School, had found a knife from a commode in the toilet. This was after the police had claimed that they had already recovered a blood-soaked knife from Ashok Kumar, the bus conductor who was arrested for the murder.This two-weapon theory had blown the lid off the Gurugram police’s botched-up probe, which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has now rejected. The agency has claimed that the knife found in the commode was the one actually used for the crime.The police had claimed that the knife they recovered was a part of the bus tool kit. The bus driver, however, maintained that there was no knife in the box.On September 11, in a report titled ‘Key questions remain unanswered; Victim’s kin allege evidence tampering’, DNA had highlighted the loopholes in the police probe. The report had questioned how could a bus conductor drag a child to the washroom, sexually assault him, and then kill him within a span of 10 minutes.According to the CBI, a Class XI student of the same school killed Pradyuman, while rejecting the police theory that the conductor sexually assaulted the child before slitting his throat.Sources said the school teachers had noticed the suspect bringing a knife to school four days before the murder, but the Gurugram Police did not give any importance to this crucial bit of information.”We would not comment on the role of the Haryana Police. We followed our line of investigation. Now, the court will decide,” a CBI spokesperson said.The crucial CCTV footage, in which the Class XI student was seen near the toilet minutes before the murder, was also ignored by the cops. “The CCTV footage shows the suspected student pushing Pradyuman towards the washroom,” a CBI source said.The agency also found out that the student was the first to inform the gardener about the incident. “After scientific analysis of the crime scene and CCTV footage, and questioning of several people, we zeroed down to the Class XI student as our prime suspect,” a senior CBI officer said.Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur said the family always suspected that the case was being mishandled and the bus conductor was arrested in a hurry. “We had been telling the police to question other people but they were focused on the bus conductor, who was seen coming out of the washroom before Pradyuman came out with his throat slit,” he said. As per the Haryana Police, the footage from a security camera outside the bathroom showed the victim crawling out of the bathroom before collapsing next to a wall. It also showed Ashok entering the bathroom and exiting it, before the boy crawled out.In another cellphone video shot after the crime, the school’s junior section in-charge Anju Dudeja was seen saying that she and acting principal Neerja Batra asked the conductor to pick up Pradyuman, the cops had said. The conductor had then carried Pradyuman to the car. Gardener Harpal had said that Kumar did not have any blood stains on his clothes when he arrived at the scene.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) apprehended a 16-year-old student of Ryan International School in Gurugram on Tuesday in connection with the murder of seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur in September. The Class XI student allegedly slit Pradyuman’s throat in an attempt to have school examinations and a parents-teacher meeting postponed.The teen student was the one who had informed the school authorities about Pradyuman lying in a pool of blood. The accused has been sent to three days police custody; CBI had sought six-day custody and to treat the accused as an adult in the case.The arrest has raised a serious question mark about preliminary investigation carried out by Haryana police, who had arrested a bus conductor named Ashok Kumar for the crime and even accused him of sodomising the child. “Koi baat nahin (it’s okay),” reponded Director General of Police (Haryana) BS Sandhuput to the latest development.The accused’s father insists his son is innocent. “I have always cooperated with the probe,” he said.”My son’s statement was recorded under Section 164. They called me late at night and arrested my son saying that he committed the murder. My son is innocent, in fact, he informed the teacher and gardener when he saw the child. No blood was found on my son’s clothes. CBI has no evidence against him.”CBI, however, maintains that evidence points to the teen’s guilt. CBI spokesperson, Abhishek Dayal, said, “The Class XI student was detained after inspection of the crime spot, scrutiny of CCTV footage, call records, statements and questioning several people. The accused had carried a knife to school on the day of the crime and used it to kill his schoolmate. He then threw it in a commode in same washroom where Pradyuman was found. The weapon was initially recovered by police in Gurugram (Haryana); it is now with us.”Dayal said the teen was weak in studies and that Pradyuman was a random target. “Had any other child been in the toilet at the time, he would had been the target,” he said.The agency took over the case on September 22 after public outrage and the parents’s insistence that CBI handle the case. Pradyuman’s father, Varun Thakur, said he never believed Gurugram police’s theory that the conductor committed the crime.”From Day One, we had said that the bus conductor was not guilty,” said Thakur, “The sequence of the crime which Haryana police told us was unconvincing.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A cab drive in Bengaluru was beaten up by a group of three men after they got into an argument over his inability to speak in Hindi, the New Indian Express reported. The three men, who work for a private firm, have been arrested.The incident took place on Saturday night when Jagdish, the driver, was on a night shift and went to pick up the accused, identified as Param, from Hebbal junction. Param had reportedly mentioned a location near his residence as his drop-off point. Along the way, Param demanded that he be dropped at the exact location and began arguing with Jagdish in Hindi. However, the driver did not speak the language and responed in Kannada. The accused then called two of his friends who reached the spot and assaulted the driver.The driver then approached the police and gave video footage of the incident as evidence. Param and his accomplice were arrested. While Param hails from Himachal, his accomplice, identified only as Thakur, hails from Delhi.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An odd five kilometres along what can be termed as a semblance of a road that leads uphill from the road to Kotkhai, is a newly constructed tap next to a pond. The water inside it is yet to come in, and it is likely to come in on the 19th. The tap was made in the memory of a 14-year-old who would walk past that very road every day to reach her school. The gangrape and murder of the girl, who has come to be known as Gudiya today, stirred the conscience of the state in the wake of the incident that took place in July.Two days after she disappeared on her way home on July 4, the minor girl’s body was found in a forest nearby by her relatives. Recalling that moment, the girl’s father finds his solace in anger.“One should have seen my daughter’s body when I found her; there were no clothes on her, not even her socks. I saw my daughter like that, one cannot even imagine. We later found out that she was strangulated, and her arms and legs were broken. Why would anyone do that,” said her father, Kishan Thakur*.The case is now locked in the political battle amidst the state’s assembly elections. BJP leaders, including chief Amit Shah, has evoked the case time and again in his rallies and the party’s ‘vision document’ also makes mention of a ‘Gudiya’ fund, of a 24/7 mobile app, and a women’s police force. The Congress, who seemed to have lost a lot of face owing to the incident, has made a mention of a safety app for women.The safety and security of women has taken precedence in the state for the first time where 49% of the voters are women. In fact, in Hamirpur district, under which the constituency of BJP CM Prem Kumar Dhumal falls, all the five constituencies have more women voters than men. In all, of the 68 constituencies, 12 have more women voters than men. Of their 68 candidates each, BJP has fielded six women while the Congress has three, a statistic that remains handy with the BJP’s leaders. Yet, one of the BJP’s strongest contenders from Kotkhai, Neelam Sarek, who was instrumental in the agitation that ensued the case, along with the CPI(M) leaders, had to make way for Narendra Bargata owing to the party’s internal politics.While he unveiled the ‘vision document’ in Shimla on October 29, dna asked finance minister Arun Jaitley about the utility of safety apps, which have not shown any positive consequence in metros like Delhi and Mumbai. “It is a thought at this point of time; technology has been moving forward, and I believe that technology can be harnessed to ensure the safety of women,” said Jaitley.The Congress seem to be reeling under the effects of the case, and CM Virbhadra Singh’s comment on how common these cases are have angered voters across the state. In reply to these, Congress leader Anand Sharma says that the case was unfortunate, but that the BJP is exploiting it for political gain. “The case needs to be dealt with an iron hand, no doubt. But the BJP is pointing to it without looking at the crime statistics of the NCRB. Himachal Pradesh, unlike states like Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, is a peaceful state. The PM forgets the crime rates in the Capital which lies under his nose,” says Sharma.In their house in Kotkhai, the parents are looking for answers. They remember their daughter as quiet and obedient. That day, she was supposed to stay back at a friend’s place after a school tournament, but changed her mind. Her brother, who saw her off, stayed back at his friend’s place. It was only when he came back the next evening on July 5 that they realised that she was missing. A search party set off at 4am on the morning of July 6, and found her body in Halaila. Thakur says that her body bore no trace of blood and showed no trace of a struggle.“One of her socks were missing, so were two of the four clips she would wear on her hair. I found one near her body, and another on her. I think they killed her and cleaned her body to dump it there,” says the father.“She was very kind-hearted and loved us a lot,” says her mother, giving way to tears.Thakur blames the police for a botched up investigation; after the CBI took over six policemen have been arrested for the death of one of the accused, Suraj Singh, in custody. He questions the CM as the faces of six men which were uploaded on his Facebook, was taken down a few minutes later.“If these men were not involved, why did they not file a defamation case. The police tried their best to hush up the case,” he says. He adds that he does not believe that the Nepali men, who were later arrested, are involved.Thakur says that while leaders from both the Congress and BJP has visited his home, he is not swayed by either. The wife of the CM, former MLA Pratibha Singh came to his house a week after the incident to hand over a cheque of Rs 25,000.“I do not care about the money or the support from any party, I have now rested my fate with the CBI. My only demand is that the rapists be hanged,” he says.(* — name changed)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Senior BJP leader C P Thakur today questioned the decision by the NDA government in Bihar to introduce reservation in outsourced services, saying this may lead to public resentment and a drop in investment in the state.”I think there was no need to introduce reservation in outsourced services. There is already scope for better implementation of the reservation system in sectors where the quota system is in place”, Thakur, former Union minister and ex-Bihar BJP president, said expressing dissenting opinion.”What the government needs to do is to pay more attention to spread of education among the socially backward classes. Introducing reservations in a new sector may make a section of the society feel that the space available to it is shrinking. This may lead to public resentment that may become difficult to handle”, Thakur, who is a BJP Rajya Sabha member, added.”The decision could send a rather unfavourable message outside Bihar. Investors from outside the state may get discouraged by this to put their money in Bihar”, he said.Meanwhile, reacting to Thakur’s comment, Janata Dal (United) state spokesman Neeraj Kumar said “if Thakur has strong views on the matter, he should raise his voice on his own party forum. The decision to introduce reservation in outsourced services was taken by the Nitish Kumar government, of which BJP is a part”.Former Chief Minister and leader of the Hindustan Awam Morcha – an NDA constituent in Bihar – Jitan Ram Manjhi said “the views expressed by Thakur appear to be personal and not of the party to which he belongs. We need not pay much heed to it”.At a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar yesterday, nod was given to introduce reservation in outsourced contractual appointment made by the state government.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a relief to former Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan, the Allahabad High Court today set aside a defamation case filed against him in a court here by an IPS officer for alleged use of defamatory language at a press conference in Rampur.The Lucknow bench of the high court noted that there was no prima facie evidence in the case filed by Amitabh Thakur in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate here to issue summons to Khan.Holding that there is no direct witness to the statements alleged to have been made by Khan, the bench said the value of admission of guilt in criminal cases differed at different stages.Hence, the high court quashed the summoning order and the arrest warrant issued against Khan.The order has been passed by Justice Pratyush Kumar on the petition of the former minister.It was pleaded on behalf of Khan that Thakur had nowhere stated in the complaint as to what were the defamatory remarks made by the former minister against him at the press conference in November 2015.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The principal of Ryan International School, Bhondsi branch in Gurugram, who was suspended following the murder of seven-year-old at its premises, has been demoted as a teacher at another branch of the school.Neerja Batra was suspended as the officiating principal of the school on September 9 after a Class 2 student was found with his throat slit, a day before. She has now joined Ryan’s Sector-40 branch in Gurugram as a teacher. She has been working with Ryan group for more than 20 years.However, the parents of the victim called it “a risk to the security of students”. “How can a principal under whose watch a student was murdered be transferred to a different school?” asked Varun Thakur, the victim’s father.”When she was not able to fulfill her duty as a principal then how can she fulfill her duties as a teacher?” he questioned while speaking to the media. He further said that no one should be transferred anywhere, unless the case is closed.The seven-year-old was found in a pool of blood on September 8.A school bus conductor, Ashok Kumar, was accused of killing the boy and was arrested later. According to police, he was present in the washroom when the boy went in.Theere were widespread protests by parents and locals for more than four days and was shut down for almost 10 days. It was then reopened on September 25. The CBSE has also formed a two-member fact finding committee to look into the matter and also issued a show cause notice to the school saying it had failed to observe the “basic security measures”.On September 28, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had stayed the arrest of the Pinto family, the owners and trustees of Ryan International School, in connection with the murder, after they had knocked at the court’s door seeking anticipatory bail in the matter. The court will hear the matter next on October 7.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after Uttar Pradesh Police gave a grand sendoff to its chief Sulkhan Singh, the Central government extended his stay as state’s top cop for three months.In a late nigh development, the department of personnel and training (DoPT) after approval from the Union Home ministry, sent a letter informing about the decision.Interestingly, the 1980 IPS officer is the second DGP in the history of Uttar Pradesh Police after AK Jain who was given extension after retirement.Singh was made the DGP on April 22 this year. Soon after taking over, he faced a major riot in Shabbirpur village of Saharanpur in which over half a dozen people died in Dalit-Thakur clash and 25 huts of dalits were torched.But in the last two months, Sukhan Singh shot into limelight when he launched a campaign against hardcore criminals on the directives of the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.About 18 criminals were killed in about 450 encounters in which 88 police men sustained gunshot injuries and two officers died. About 870 rewarded criminals were sent behind bars since the campaign.It was due to this reason, the Chief Minister has sent a proposal seeking three-month extension for Sulkhan Singh.But the clearance on the proposal from the Centre came on Friday late evening when Sulkhan was already given a sendoff.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A few days before his retirement, the Andhra Pradesh police arrested a senior official of the municipal department for allegedly amassing assets worth over Rs 500 crore.Golla Venkata Raghurami Reddy, director of state town planning, who was scheduled to retire after three days, was arrested in Visakhapatnam after police raided his house and other properties, reported Hindustan Times.Police raided his house and other properties in 15 places including in Maharashtra’s Shirdi.A report said that Reddy, on his retirement, was planning to throw a grand party to his friends and relatives at a resort abroad. He had even booked flight tickets for them.”The market value of the assets confiscated so far has been estimated to be around Rs 500 crore,” ACB director general RP Thakur told the daily.Reddy also owns a hotel, Sai Suraj Kunj, in Shirdi and 300 acres of valuable land in Gannavaram near Vijayawada among other properties. “We are yet to open the bank lockers of Reddy. Only after that, we would be able to arrive at the magnitude of the wealth,” he added.“Reddy was arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act for possessing assets disproportionate to his income, which would be around Rs 1 lakh per month. The investigation is going on into the alleged irregularities indulged in by Reddy,” the official added.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If you thought public outrage and media frenzy–after the murder of seven-year-old Pradhyumn Thakur in Ryan International School’s Bhondsi branch–would make Gurugram police take swift action to nab the real culprits, then think again. Gurugram police, already battling charges of going slow in the case allegedly to protect the real culprits, seems in no hurry to interrogate the trustees of Ryan School. Pinto family has been summoned by Gurugram police for interrogation on September 26.This despite the fact that Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday refused to stay arrests of Ryan School trustees in this case. Earlier, the Bombay High had rejected anticipatory bail application of Pinto family. But, Gurugram police has decided to wait until September 26 to interrogate the high-profile Ryan School trustees. The school owners – founder Augustine Francis Pinto, MD Grace Pinto and CEO Ryan Pinto — are based in Mumbai. Police teams could have easily gone to Mumbai to interrogate the Pinto family so as to pitch together all the evidence that could still be retrieved. Delay in investigation and interrogation would, at best, help the accused and this also increases the chances of tampering with the evidence. At a time when police teams should actually be pouncing on the head to suspects to get to the bottom of the real truth, the excaxtly opposite seems to be happening on the ground. Denial of anticipatory bails from two courts meant the noose was actually tightening on Pinto family. But Gurugram police has decided to wait till Tuesday to start with the interrogation of Pinto family.Earlier, Ryan Pinto was served a notice by Gurugram police which sought answers from him about security lapses in the school and names of those responsible for those lapses. Ryan Pinto’s statements become vital as the school faces a criminal case for negligence.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The lawyer of the bus conductor who is accused of murdering a 7-year-old boy at Gurgaon’s Ryan International School, said he was waiting for the charge sheet prepared by the city police’s Special Investigation Team to defend his client.The lawyer, Mohit Verma, told PTI that the charges leveled against his client by the SIT need to be examined point-wise in order to defend the case.”We want strong facts like the CCTV footage installed in the Ryan International School’s corridor pointing to the toilet and the crime scene.”We need to know the timing of the deceased and bus conductor Ashok Kumar entering into the toilet. Also, the facial expression and body language of Kumar when he came out of the toilet,” Verma told PTI.The lawyer said that various statements of key witnesses such as school teachers and ground staff need to be cross- checked to match with the SIT claims and theory mentioned in the charge sheet.”The SIT investigation revolves around 7 key persons identified as two school students, gardener Harpal Singh, section incharge-Anju Dudeja, suspended principal Neerja Batra, bus driver Raghav and my client Kumar.”The CCTV footage will give vital clue for the first responders who saw Pradhuman lying on the floor of the corridor and sought help,” Verma said.”We are waiting for the CBI to submit the charge sheet of the case as the Gurgaon Police failed to deposit it. We will then obtain a copy of it and prepare our case in a strong manner,” Verma said.Varun Thakur, the father of deceased, said that he has sought the CCTV footage from the Gurgaon Police SIT to examine what happened on the day of crime.Thakur claimed that the police officials have denied to hand it over to him.”I am not satisfied with the police theory as the accused conductor has no point and no strong motive to kill my son.”The police has also failed to produce any motive since the very first day of its investigation. The police theory is still mismatched as compared to statements of key eye witnesses,” Thakur told PTI.Amit Arya, OSD to Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar said the state government wrote a letter to the CBI, asking it to take over the probe in the Pradhuman case.A class 2 student, Pradhuman Thakur, was found dead in a school toilet with his throat slit on September 8. The schoolbus conductor was arrested the same day for allegedly killing the child.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Haryana government took over Gurugram’s Ryan International, the CBSE on Saturday served a show cause notice to the embattled school in connection with the murder of a 7-year-old student on its premises.The notice asked Ryan why its affiliation to the educational board “may not be withdrawn”.The CBSE’s damning report found Ryan guilty of “gross negligence”.It clearly said that Ryan failed to save Pradhuman Thakur, the class II student, who was found murdered in the school toilet.“The toilet windows had no grills,” the CBSE noted.Other safety violation include no separate toilet for bus staff and student; no attendant/aaya was present outside the toilet of the small children; unlocked, idle two floors of the school; low-height boundary wall; no fire safety certificates; CCTV cameras not functional among others.Apart from this, there were administrative lapses on part of Ryan. There was no full-time principal in the school.The Ryan failed to inform the police about the incident, the CBSE said.“From the entire sequence of events, it appears that the school is guilty of gross negligence and failed to ensure safety and security of the students in the school, ” the CBSE said. The report also said that had the school followed the guidelines, the unfortunate death of class II student could have been avoided.Now, Ryan has 15 days to reply to CBSE’s show cause notice. Failing to which, the CBSE may cancel its affiliation. In case Ryan loses CBSE affiliation, other students will be transferred to other branches to avoid any loss to their academic year.READ THE CBSE NOTICE HERECBSE show cause notice to Ryan International
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The two-member fact finding committee constituted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on the Ryan International School incident, in its report has pointed out several safety rules violations by the school. The report submitted by the committee to CBSE on Friday evening states that CCTVs were not functional in the school and non-teaching staff used the same toilet as school students. The Bhondsi branch of the school was where a 7-year-old child was found murdered inside the toilet on September 8. The panel also highlighted breach in the boundary wall of the school campus, which they said was covered with barbed wires and posed a threat to children’s safety as anyone could enter the school premises. The CBSE had set up the committee on September 9 to check into the circumstances that lead to Pradyuman Thakur’s death. It was also mandated to find out if the school violated CBSE’s safety norms and affiliation by-laws. The committee, however in its report has not recommended disaffiliation of the school.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The post-mortem report in the Ryan student murder case has cited “shock and haemorrhage” as the cause of death. The report adds that an external injury was caused by a single-edged sharp weapon and its consequences were enough to cause death in a normal case of nature.The Haryana government on Friday recommended a CBI probe into the murder of the seven-year-old boy in the school in Gurugram and took over its management for three months.Pradyuman Thakur was found dead inside the toilet of the Ryan International school, with his throat slit on September 8.The child was allegedly killed by a bus conductor, Ashok Kumar. The suspect’s family, however, alleged that he was being made a scapegoat in the entire police investigation.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Barun Thakur, father of the seven-year-old child who was murdered inside the toilet of Gurugram’s Ryan International School, expressed his gratitude for the Haryana government on Friday for transferring the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He, however, added that the fight was not yet over and there was a long way to go.Meanwhile, the lawyer of accused conductor Ashok Kumar said that he was tortured by the police and forced to confess to the crime.Talking to DNA, Thakur said the case required a thorough CBI investigation. “The journey does not end here. Now, our main aim is to get a permanent solution for safety of children in schools,” said Thakur, whose 11-year-old studies at the same school.He further said it was a fight with the system to ensure stringent rules regarding the matter. “There should be a designated body to monitor safety of children at schools. The school has been shut ever since the incident,” Thakur added.At the same time, accused Kumar’s lawyer Mohit Verma said that the conductor was being framed. “The police officers fabricated the evidence. Kumar was tortured and given electric shocks in the custody. The police officers also sedated him with injections,” Verma said.He further said the school authorities told Kumar to pick up the child and take him to the school van. The conductor was also threatened with dire consequences for himself and his family, if he did not confess to the crime.When queried about the defence lawyer’s statement, Thakur said: “There are many contradictory statements. Every aspect of the case needs to be analysed.”Meanwhile, a police team that was in Mumbai for investigation will be returning soon.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The founders of Ryan International Group of Institutions, Augustine Pinto, Grace Pinto and Ryan Pinto will approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court today to seek anticipatory bail. On Thursday, the Bombay High Court rejected their anticipatory bail pleas which they had filed apprehending arrest in connection with the murder of Pradyuman Thakur last week. The Bombay High court had asked the Pintos to submit their passports to the Mumbai Police Commissioner by 9 pm on Thursday. It said the Pintos will be given interim protection from arrest till Friday only if they submit their passports within the stipulated time.Father of Pradyuman Thakur, who was killed on the Ryan International School-Bhondsi premises in Gurugram on September 8, had filed an intervention application in Bombay High Court, opposing the Pintos’ anticipatory bail pleas.
ALSO READ Ryan murder aftermath: CBSE issues new guidelines, puts onus on schools to ensure safety of students In another related development in the case, Ryan Pinto–the Mumbai-based CEO of the Ryan group of school– was Thursday asked by police to come to Gurgaon and join its ongoing investigation into the murder of seven-year-old Pradhyumn Thakur. Ryan Pinto has been served a notice which seeks answers from him about security lapses in the school and names of those responsible for those lapses. Ryan Pinto’s statements become vital as the school faces a criminal case for negligence. The Gurgaon police team is likely to file charge sheet on Saturday.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a big setback for the founders of Ryan group of education, the Bombay High Court on Thursday turned down the anticipatory bail application filed by the owners in the Gurugram student murder case.Justice Ajey Gadkari while rejecting the applications by Ryan founders — Augustine, Grace and Ryan Pinto — directed them to deposit their passports with the Mumbai Police Commissioner by 9 pm on Thursday. If the Pintos move for regular anticipatory bail before a Haryana court, their personal presence would be required.Barun Thakur, father of the 7-year-old victim, who had opposed grant of relief, argued that the case would fall under the category of rarest of rare.The suspects by not cooperating in the probe done by the Haryana police are adopting a spineless approach.Further the suspects should have moved the Punjab and Haryana Court for seeking relief and Bombay High Court had no jurisdiction to hear their pleas.Maharashtra government also opposed the plea stating that considering the seriousness of the crime.Senior Advocate Niteen Pradhan appearing for suspects argued that it was only transit bail that was sought and court should allow relief till September 18, for the applicants to approach the appropriate court. However, the court rejected the pleas, with reasons to be recorded separately.The suspects had in their plea stated that it was most unfortunate and the management cannot be held culpable, as sought by protesting parents. The death of the child has caused deep pain and grief not only to the parents and family of the child but also to trustees, management, staff and students of the school.The petition sought to defend the school reputation by saying that such an incident has taken place for the first time in the past four decades since the institution was set up. Despite, taking all necessary steps for security and well being of students as required under law.Pradhumam Thakur, a class II student, was found murdered in the toilet last week. A bus conductor of the school has been arrested for the alleged murder.The police have also arrested two other persons attached to the school management under various charges of the Juvenile Justice Act.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit: India-Japan ties set to deepenThe state is set to host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the annual Indo-Japan meet on September 14 at Mahatma Mandir in the capital, Gandhinagar. Read more here2. Apple iPhone X, iPhone 8, 8 plus launched: Price, specifications and all you need to knowIn its first-ever event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, technology giant Apple unveiled the iPhone X, the latest generation of its flagship device. Read more here3. Mutual divorce process shortened by six monthsThe Supreme Court (SC) has waived the mandatory minimum period of six-month “cooling-off” period for cases of divorce with mutual consent. Read more here4. US Supreme Court allows Donald Trump administration’s ban on refugeesThe Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Donald Trump administration to maintain its restrictive policy on refugees, squashing the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that would have eased the travel ban to allow 24,000 refugees to enter the country before October end. Read more here5. Mrunal Thakur aka Bulbul from Kumkum Bhagya on why she lost out on Salman Khan’s ‘Sultan’ and more…Mrunal Thakur, who makes her international debut with Love Sonia, talks about the film, her co-stars and why she lost out on Sultan with Salman Khan. Read more here
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ryan International School’s CEO Ryan Pinto and his parents, who are its founders, on Monday approached the Bombay High Court seeking anticipatory bail in connection with the murder of a seven-year-old boy in the institution’s premises in Gurugram.The bail pleas were filed following the arrest of two top officials of the Ryan International School.”The school’s founding chairman, Augustine Pinto, and his wife Grace Pinto, who is the managing director of the institution, have along with their son Ryan Pinto sought anticipatory bail in the Bombay High Court,” their counsel Niteen Pradhan told PTI.Pradhan mentioned the applications this morning before Justice Ajey Gadkari, who posted them for hearing on Tuesday.Two top officials of the Ryan International School were arrested while the acting principal detained for questioning in connection with the gruesome murder of the boy in the school premises in Gurugram, police said on Monday.Pradhuman Thakur, a class 2 student, was found with his throat slit in a school washroom on Friday last.The murder, in connection with which a bus conductor has been arrested, has triggered a huge public outrage.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of the brutal killing of seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur of Ryan International School in Gurugram, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday assured the victim’s father Varun Thakur that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would investigate the matter.Meanwhile, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre, Haryana Government, Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) and concerned parties, seeking a report within three weeks.Highlighting that schools have gone scott-free despite security lapses, the victim’s lawyer SK Tikriwal urged that a tribunal be formed under the supervision of the apex court in order to place accountability and ensure timely action in such cases.”There is a need to create a tribunal for enhancing accountability. The Supreme Court should frame guidelines to eradicate security lapses in school, and legal action should be taken immediately. However, the court has said clearly that this is not about one case alone, but pertains to the education system on the whole. All schools will be subject to scrutiny in this matter,” Tikriwal told reporters here.Earlier on Friday, the body of seven-year-old Pradhyuman Thakur, a class II student of Ryan International School in Gurugram was found inside the school toilet, with his throat slit, following which the school’s bus conductor was taken into police custody and the principal suspended.On Sunday morning, hundreds of people, including parents and locals, held huge protests demanding that the police must take action against the school.Media personnel were also injured during the lathi-charge and their vehicle was also damaged.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after a seven-year-old boy was found allegedly murdered at a Gurugram school, a six-year-old girl on Saturday was killed after a school bus ran over her in Ghaziabad’s Kavi Nagar, according to news agency ANI.The girl was on her way to home after attending school when the incident happened. Negligence of the driver has been blamed for the minor’s death.A day earlier on Friday, a seven-year-old Pradyuma Thakur was found dead in a pool of blood with his throat slashed in Gurugram’s Ryan International School. It turned out that a bus conductor had murdered the child after an attempted sexual assault.Gurugram police have arrested the school bus conductor Ashok Kumar in connection to the murder. According to the police, Kumar has already confessed to the crime. Soon after the incident, parents and locals gathered outside the school campus and demanded CBI probe. They demanded that the school should be shut down and immediate action be taken against the authority. “They should be sent to jail,” they said.The acting principal was suspended over the matter and all security staff were relieved from their positions.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Inconsolable Jyoti Thakur has only one question on her mind – who killed her son?Even as the Gurugram Police claims to have solved the gruesome murder of Thakur’s 7-year-old son inside Ryan International School, the family feels that there’s more than meets the eye.On Friday, shortly after Varun Thakur dropped off his son to the school, the family received a call from school that the class II student has been found injured.Soon the parents reached Artemis Hospital only to be told that their son has died.After massive outrage, in a late night development, the police claimed that they have arrested the accused.Accused Ashok Kumar, the bus conductor, who reportedly confessed to the murder of Ryan student.It turned out that a bus conductor had murdered the child after an attempted sexual assault.However, the victim’s family feels that there should be a proper probe in the case.Roshan Jha, victim’s uncle, talking to DNA said, “more people can be involved in the case. We don’t know if the police have got the right person. Is the bus conductor the real culprit, we don’t know.”His sister, victim’s mother, also questioned the the link between the accused and her son.“My son did not even know the bus conductor as he never travelled in the school bus,we used to drop him and pick him,” Jyoti said.Meanwhile, angry parents held protests outside the school demanding action against the school administration.Though the acting-principal Neerja Batra has been suspended, many parents are demanding stricter action against the school.The murder has stunned the nation with many worried about safety of their children in schools.Reacting to the murder, Union Education Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “ It’s very unfortunate. It’s like warning to people and schools. Justice will be served for sure”.Meanwhile, the 42-year-old accused has been sent to a 3-day judicial custody.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A seven-year-old student was found with his throat slit in a washroom of Gurugram’s Ryan International School on Friday.Here are 10 major updates in the case:1: The Gurugram Police on Friday arrested the bus conductor of the Ryan School in connection with the murder of class II student.2: Gurugram DCP Simardeep Singh said the 24-year-old accused murdered the child after he tried to sexually assault the victim.3: The cops also said that the accused had gone to use the toilet when he saw the boy. He attempted to abuse him and killed the child after he raised an alarm.4: The bus conductor has been working at the Ryan International School for past six months, the police said.5: At the time of the incident, the accused already had a knife in his pocket, Singh told media on Friday.6: The 7-year-old was murdered within an hour after his father dropped him off in morning around 7:30 am.7: The body of the child with two deep cuts going up to his ear lying in the pool of blood showed the sheer brutality with which the 7-year-old was allegedly murdered.8: Though there is anger against the way the school authorities reacted, officiating principal Neerja Batra said, “The child was looking serious. We didn’t lose a minute. We took the child in my car.”9: Victim’s father Varun Thakur has been demanding strict action against the school. “If children are murdered inside schools, how can we leave them there for eight hours,” Varun Thakur was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.10: Earlier in the day, the outraged parents vandalised the school property. Several others held a sit-in protest at the police commissioner’s office.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two persons have been arrested for allegedly robbing and molesting a woman in west Delhi’s Hari Nagar, the police said on Sunday.The men were in dire need of money to pay off their debts. The woman’s family is in the business of supplying food supplements online, they said.On August 30, when the woman was alone at home, three men posing as courier boys came to her house and said that they had come to collect a consignment for delivery, the police said.They entered her house on the pretext of drinking water and robbed Rs 3.18 lakh and jewellery from her house, holding the woman at gunpoint, they said.The robbers locked the woman inside the house before fleeing.On September 1, the police learned that the accused would come near Beri Wala Bagh to dispose off the firearm used in the crime, the police said.Talvinder Singh (18) and Pankaj Kapoor (28) have been arrested and a firearm with two live cartridges was seized from them, they said.Police have also recovered Rs 1.32 lakh from them.”They were into betting on IPL and other cricket matches, and had suffered huge losses which left them debt-ridden, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Vijay Kumar.” “They were under immense pressure to pay their debts and to overcome it, they decided to commit a big cash robbery,” the officer said.They had information through local sources that a huge amount of cash is available at the victim’s house, he added.Talvinder and Pankaj did not have courage to execute their plan and roped in their associate Thakur, who had recently come in contact with them through one of their common friends, the officer said.Thakur is a known criminal of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh and is wanted in many criminal cases there, he said.The firearm was arranged by their associate Thakur, who is on the run. The police are looking for him, the officer said.The accused tracked the movement of the family members and had covered their faces with cloth pieces to conceal their identity, the police said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar’s Rs 870 crore Srijan scam took a “Vyapam” turn with an arrested key accused dying at Bhagalpur’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (JLNMCH), late on Sunday.The accused, Mahesh Mandal, was the Bhagalpur District Welfare Department Accountant (naazir), who was arrested in connection with the scam on August 14, almost 10 days after the multi-crore scam involving fraudulent transfer of government funds by a Bhagalpur-based NGO, Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited in the last 14 years, came to light.”Mandal was suffering from multiple ailments including chronic kidney disease and Type II diabetes and required dialysis thrice a week. When his condition deteriorated on Sunday evening, he was brought to JLNMCH, where he breathed his last,” said Bihar director general of police (DGP) P K Thakur.Mandal’s family members, however, have accused the government of negligence regarding his treatment. “We had already received approval for his dialysis from Bhagalpur court but the government officials dilly-dallied the matter as Mahesh wanted to become a witness and turn other important persons in,” chorused his son Sonu and brother Dinesh Mandal.The Opposition, too, cornered the government over Mandal’s death, comparing the Srijan scam with “Madhya Pradesh’s Vyapam ghotala”. “It is the first death in the Srijan scam. The deceased was father of a very rich leader of Nitish’s party,” tweeted RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav, while his son and leader of Opposition in state assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said, “…Mandal died in odd circumstances. Srijan is more wide-ranging than Vyapam.”The RJD, in fact, has threatened to undertake “Srijan ghotala yatra” if CM Nitish Kumar and deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi do not step down for an impartial probe. They also disrupted the first day of the Monsoon session of the Bihar legislature on Monday. The Bihar government has already recommended a CBI probe into the matter.DGP Thakur said 18 persons were arrested in the 11 cases — nine in Bhagalpur and one each in Saharsa and Banka districts — lodged by Bihar police. “So far, the investigation has revealed an embezzlement of Rs 870.88 crore. At least 18 bank accounts have been frozen and half a dozen government officials suspended,” Thakur summed up the probe till date.He claimed the police had clues on the whereabouts of Rajni Priya and Amit Kumar, the NGO’s functionaries after founder chairperson and Srijan scam “mastermind” Manorama Devi passed away earlier this year. “The NGO was registered in 1996 and started functioning at the block level in 2001. Some recovered documents point that their illegal activities commenced around 2003,” he said, adding that Bihar police will continue the investigation till the CBI takes charge of the cases.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today granted bail to Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit, who has been languishing in jail for almost nine years for his alleged role in 2008 Malegaon blast case, observing there were contradictions in the charge sheets filed by different investigating agencies. The top court also said it cannot deny the relief to him merely because “sentiments of community was against him”. Six people were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nasik district of north Maharashtra. The apex court said there were “material contradictions” in the charge sheets filed by the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), Mumbai and the National Investigating Agency (NIA), which are required to be tested at the time of trial, and it cannot pick or choose one version over the other. A bench of Justices R K Agrawal and Abhay Mohan Sapre, while taking note of variations in the charge sheets filed by Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) Mumbai and NIA, said that fresh ground for consideration of Purohit’s bail plea was made out, as at the relevant time, he was an Intelligence officer of the Indian Army. It said that Purohit has refuted the claim of conspiracy on the ground that he had informed to his senior officers about the intelligence inputs of meetings attended by him at the Abhinav Bharat, a right-wing Hindu extremist outfit, and alleged role of ATS officials in the planting of RDX explosive substance at the residence of a co-accused. Keeping in view that NIA submitted a supplementary charge sheet which is “at variance” with the one filed by the ATS, the trial was likely to take a long time and the appellant has been in prison for about eight years and eight months, “we are of the considered view that the appellant has made out a prima facie case for release on bail and we deem it appropriate to enlarge the appellant herein on bail,” the bench said. Holding that the “grant or denial is regulated, to a large extent, by the facts and circumstances of each particular case,” it said but the “right to bail is not to be denied merely because of the sentiments of the community being against the accused.” “Liberty of a citizen is undoubtedly important but this is to balance with the security of the community. A balance is required to be maintained between the personal liberty of the accused and the investigational rights of the agency. It must result in minimum interference with the personal liberty of the accused and the right of the agency to investigate the case,” the bench said. The court set aside the April 25 verdict of the Bombay High Court denying bail to Purohit, but imposed certain restrictions while granting him relief after he spent eight years and eight months in jail. Among the conditions imposed by apex court while granting bail to Purohit was that he would not leave India without prior permission of court and not directly or indirectly make any inducement to any witnesses. The court, however, made it clear that the grant of bail to Purohit, shall be no ground for similar relief to other accused in the case and each plea for relief will be considered on its own merits. “We also make it clear that the Special Court shall decide the bail applications if filed by the other accused persons, uninfluenced by any observation made by this Court. Further, any observations made by us in this order shall not come in the way of deciding the trial on merits”, it said. The apex court took into consideration that NIA during its probe had found that there were contradictions with regard to the evidence led in the charge sheet by the ATS and it was concluded that no offence under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) was attracted. The confessional statements recorded under the MCOCA provisions by the ATS were not being relied upon by the NIA in the charge sheet against the accused persons, it said. The bench said that NIA found no evidence against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur to prosecute her, as all the witnesses had retracted from their statements. Purohit had moved the apex court challenging the Bombay High Court’s order dismissing his bail plea. A special MCOCA court had earlier ruled that the ATS had wrongly applied this law against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Purohit and nine others. The 4,000-page charge sheet had alleged that Malegaon was selected as the blast target because of a sizeable Muslim population there. It had named Thakur, Purohit and co-accused, Swami Dayanand Pandey as the key conspirators. However, Thakur was last year given clean chit by the NIA.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two members from the JD-U — the NDA’s new ally at the Centre — are likely to be inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s confidant Ramchandra Singh and former state CM Karpoori Thakur’s son Ramnath Thakur can be given a Cabinet and a Minister of State (MoS) rank, respectively, sources said.Having both the coming state polls and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in mind, PM Modi may give a South-centric tweak to the next reshuffle.The AIADMK could get two Cabinet and as many MoS portfolios once it joins the NDA. The AIADMK has 37 Lok Sabha and 13 Rajya Sabha MPs. M Thambidurai, who has been instrumental in bringing the two warring factions together, is being seen as a front-runner for a plum Cabinet post.Sources said a process to zero in on names has begun and PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah are expected to meet in a few days to take a final call.A Cabinet reshuffle is also a necessity as many ministers such as Arun Jaitley, Smriti Irani, Narendra Singh Tomar, Ananth Kumar and Ravi Shankar Prasad are holding two or more portfolios. Some ministers could be drafted for party work, sources said.Having both the coming state polls and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in mind, PM Modi may give a South-centric tweak to the next reshuffle.The AIADMK could get two Cabinet and as many MoS portfolios once it joins the NDA. The AIADMK has 37 Lok Sabha and 13 Rajya Sabha MPs. M Thambidurai, who has been instrumental in bringing the two warring factions of the AIADMK together, is being seen as a front-runner for a plum Cabinet post.BJP sources said southern states need to play a crucial role in the party’s plan to secure 120 new seats and the Cabinet reshuffle is expected to be done keeping this consideration in mind.The BJP wants to increase its footprint in the southern states where victory has eluded it with Karnataka’s exception. The BJP is exploring the possibility of getting a foothold in Tamil Nadu and boost its chances in the Lok Sabha elections with the likely merger of the AIADMK factions and their becoming part of the NDA. BJP sources said a foothold in the South would allow the BJP to play up Tamil sub-nationalism by embracing symbols like popular Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar.In Andhra Pradesh, where the BJP had only 4.13% vote share in the Assembly elections and won just two Lok Sabha seats, the party wants to increase its presence but not at the cost of its bigger partner and Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP).The possible names which are doing the rounds in BJP circles include Shobha Karandlaje, a sitting MP from Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency in Karnataka and a staunch loyalist of state BJP President BS Yeddyurappa, and Belgaum MP Suresh Angadi who is considered a heavyweight in the dominant Lingayat community of Karnataka.While Siddaramaiah-led Congress government is already facing anti-incumbency in Karnataka, the BJP wants to make a comeback in the Assembly elections that are due next year and improve its tally of 17 Lok Sabha seats from the state in 2019.From Andhra Pradesh, film actor NT Rama Rao Jr, who happens to be the grandson of cult figure NT Rama Rao (NTR), is being considered as a favourite to get a ministerial berth from the TDP.To balance it out, the BJP may also accommodate NTR’s daughter D Purundeshwari who is the elder sister of Naidu’s wife Bhuvaneswari but has politically estranged relations with the TDP chief. A minister in Dr Manmohan Singh’s Cabinet, Purandeswari had joined the BJP just before the general elections in 2014 and currently heads the BJP’s Mahila Morcha.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Panic gripped the Jawahar Nagar area of Srinagar after a ‘mysterious’ blast occurred outside the BJP office on Saturday.BJP sources said there was no leader present in the office when the explosion occurred. There was no loss of life or property in the explosion.Altaf Thakur, BJP’s media in-charge for Kashmir, told DNA that somebody threw something at their office around 8.30 pm.“Except security personnel and an office boy, no one was present in the office when the explosion occurred”, he said.Police said a loud bang was heard and they are verifying the nature of the blast. “Some loud sound was heard which is being verified. There is no apparent damage to the office or neighboring buildings”, said a police spokesman.Soon after the explosion, senior police and civil administration officers rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. “The matter is being investigated into”, the police spokesman saidThe police has also asked people to refrain from spreading rumours on the social media about the explosion.“Some rumors are being circulated on social media regarding alleged attack and ransacking of an office of a political party at Raj Bagh. This is to clarify that no such incident has taken place,” the police official said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, today told the Supreme Court that he has been caught in “political crossfire” and languishing in jail for nine years without even charges being framed against him. Purohit accepted that he had attended meetings of Abhinav Bharat, a right wing organisation whose members were accused of conspiring in the Malegaon blast, but he had acted as an army officer and passed on the information to his senior officers about group’s activities. A bench of Justices R K Agrawal and A M Sapre reserved its verdict on Purohit’s plea seeking interim bail and said it will pass order. “My client has got himself caught in political crossfire. He has been in jail for nine years but still he is serving in the Indian Army. Since 2001, he has got numerous recommendations for infiltration. From an unsung hero, he has been now called an incarcerated hero,” senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Purohit, said. He said that all these facts were shown to the Bombay High Court but they say these records were not put against him by prosecution. So why would they look into it, he asked. “Allegation against me is that I supplied RDX explosive material on the conspiracy hatched by Sadhvi Pragya Thakur. Now, if she is enlarged on bail and given a clean chit by NIA, then the link between me and her is snapped. I am at least entitled for interim bail after undergoing nine years of jail in the case,” Salve said. He said that even after these nine years, no interim relief was granted by the trial court which has said it will look into the chargesheet at the trial stage. “ATS in its chargesheet says that I attended meetings of Abhinav Bharat. Yes, I attended certain meetings, but as a military mole. I have been doing my duty. “The court says that it will look into ATS chargesheet at the stage of trial and refuses interim bail even as charges are not framed against me. What kind of criminal justice system is this,” Salve said. He said that charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) were dropped against Purohit by the apex court in 2015, after no evidence was found against him. “I am not asking for discharge in the case, but all I am saying is that after nine years of incarceration, even after MCOCA has been dropped, give me interim bail. After nine years a man is entitled to see the sun outside jail,” Salve said. He argued that Purohit has been falsely implicated by Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) and no report has been filed after eight years of Army’s Court of Inquiry. “I asked the court to look into Court of Inquiry records but it said that these are not relied upon and can’t go beyond the chargesheet. This is wrong approach in law. In bail, I can show exculpatory evidence but in framing of charges I can’t do so,” Salve told the bench. He said that NIA said in its report that many of the witnesses were forced to give statements and it would not rely on any such statement. “Dubious methods were adopted by the ATS, which become crystal clear with the disappearance of prime witnesses in the case,” the senior lawyer said, adding that ATS had no time to collect evidence in the case due to which Purohit was booked under MCOCA and denied bail. Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for NIA, said although it has been found that Purohit had rightly informed his seniors about the activities of Abhinav Bharat, there were some materials against him which could justify framing of charges against him. Senior advocate Amrendra Sharan, appearing for one Nisar Ahmed Haji Sayed Bilal, father of one of the blast victims who intervened in the matter, said that Purohit was a “powerful person” and could influence the witnesses in the case. “The fact that witnesses are retracting their statements, give credence to the fact that he can influence them and tamper with prosecution evidence if enlarged on bail,” Sharan said, adding that the “the propensity of the accused to tamper with the prosecution witness is very crucial factor to be considered at the time of grant of bail”. Purohit had moved the apex court challenging the Bombay High Court’s order dismissing his bail plea. Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nasik district of north Maharashtra. A special MCOCA court had earlier ruled that the ATS had wrongly applied this law against Thakur, Purohit and nine others. The 4,000-page charge sheet had alleged that Malegaon was selected as the blast target because of a sizeable Muslim population there. It had named Thakur, Purohit and co-accused, Swami Dayanand Pandey as the key conspirators. However, Thakur was last year given clean chit by the NIA. It had alleged that it was Pandey who had instructed Purohit to arrange explosive RDX, while Thakur owned the motorcycle which was used in the blast. Ajay Rahirkar, another accused, allegedly organised funds for the terror act, while conspiracy meetings were held at the Bhonsala Military School in Nasik, it had said. Rakesh Dhawde, Ramesh Upadhyay, Shyamlal Sahu, Shivnarain Kalsangra, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Jagdish Mhatre and Sameer Kulkarni were the other accused.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /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.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A massive landslide buried two Himachal Pradesh roadways buses, killing at least 34 people and injuring several others at Kotpuri near Padhar on the Mandi Pathankot national highway today, officials said. The toll was likely to rise further as over 50 passengers were travelling in the two buses hit by the landslide, which was triggered by a cloud burst, they said. “Thirty-four bodies have been recovered, and of these 14 have been identified,” an official said. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army and the police were rushed to the spot and heavy earth- moving machinery deployed at the gorge where the two buses lay buried under a heap of debris. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh visited the spot and said the rescue operation would continue till all the bodies were recovered. He said that eight passengers were travelling in the Manali-Katra bus, of whom three lost their lives, while five were rescued and taken to the zonal hospital in Mandi. There were around 47 passengers in the second bus which was on its way from Manali to Chamba, an official said. The chief minister said the state government would bear medical expenses of the injured. He also met the bereaved family members and expressed condolences. Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, Transport Minister G S Bali and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Anil Sharma also reached the spot. Thakur announced financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased, while Bali announced that Rs 1 lakh would be given to each bereaved family by the HRTC. The massive landslide, covering an area of more than 250 metres, swept away two other vehicles also and damaged some houses. The highway was closed and hundreds of vehicles were stranded on either side, officials said. D D Sharma, Director, Disaster management, Himachal Pradesh government said that lighting arrangements had been made to continue the operations during the night. He said a team of forensic experts had also been called considering that several of the bodies were mutilated.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was on a two-day pilgrimage to the temple town of Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, sang devotional songs at a shrine. Chouhan offered prayers at the Priyakant Ju temple last evening. He also inaugurated a gallery portraying various activities of Lord Krishna as a child. Founder of the temple Devkinandan Thakur said, “After listening to a few devotional songs, the chief minister took the mike from me, and to my astonishment, started singing ‘bhajans’.” “Singh was overwhelmed by the ambience of the temple,” Thakur said. The chief minister did not interact with reporters during his stay here. “I am on pilgrimage,” he told reporters.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Farmers today took out a march towards the residence of the Chhattisgarh Governor in support of their various demands and tried to gherao the premises. Police, however, foiled their plan to lay siege to the governor’s residence. At least 41 farmers were taken into custody during the protest but were later released unconditionally, police said. Around 500 farmers from 125 villages under the banner of Chhattisgarh Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh took part in the agitation, Mahasangh’s convener member Sanket Thakur said. The agitators later tried to meet the governor to put forward their demands, but they were stopped by the police from going ahead, he added. “Farmers have been holding protests at several places of the state since the past two months but so far nobody from the state government has paid heed to their demands,” Thakur said. Farmers are disappointed with both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress for not discussing their issues in the just concluded session of the assembly, he said. Their demands included MSP of Rs 2,100 per quintal for paddy and Rs 300 bonus and farm loan waiver, among others, Thakur said. Some of the agitating farmers removed their shirts and sat on the road shouting slogans. As many as 41 of them were taken into custody and later released unconditionally, said Raipur Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Shukla said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)