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Malegaon blast: Relieved that MCOCA dropped, says Col Purohit’s wife after partial relief

After the special NIA court dropped MCOCA charges against 2008 Malegaon blast case accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit, his wife Aparna stated that decision has come as a huge relief for Purohit family. “Due to the MCOCA, he (Purohit) had to spent nine years in jail. Now we are happy that finally the MCOCA charges are dropped,” Aparna told DNA. Though the court has dropped MCOCA charges, he along with other accused will face trial under section 16 and 18 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and 120b, 302, 307 and 326 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Speaking to DNA on Wednesday after the charges framed against six accused including Purohit, Aparna said, “We will fight it out the way we have been fighting the case since day one. After the charges of MCOCA have been dropped, we consider it as a small step towards justice but still there is a long way to go.”Aparna who has been making rounds of various courts right from sessions court to the Supreme Court stated that she was never low on confidence even on the day one of Purohit’s arrest and now since the MCOCA charges have been dropped, that will boost her confidence even more. “I know my husband is innocent. We are a family of army personnel and therefore we were never short on confidence. We know hot to fight and that is what we have been doing for last nine years,” Aparna said. Also read2008 Malegaon case: MCOCA dropped against Sadhvi Pragya and Col Purohit, to be tried under UAPA and IPC sectionsWhen DNA asked her about the reaction of the family members including Purohit, she said, “For nine years, I was fighting alone where I had to look after my family while I was making rounds of courts. However, now since my husband is out of jail, entire family is relieved. We are now able to divide the work and with each other’s support we are now fighting the case with more efficiency.”

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After RK Nagar debacle, AIADMK sacks Dhinakaran loyalists

The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Monday sacked six office-bearers supporting sidelined party leader TTV Dhinakaran, a day after he won the RK Nagar bypoll here with a thumping margin of 40,000 votes. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by top party office-bearers O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami, AIADMK sources said. Along with that, it decided to remove four Dhinakaran aides as party’s districtsecretaries.Five senior functionaries have also been removed from AIADMK. The party decided to remove, among others, key Dhinakaran aides P Vetrivel and Thangatamilselvan, AIADMK district secretary in Chennai and Theni respectively, the sources said. Though AIADMK supporters are divided between Dhinakaran and the Palaniswami-led camps, many office-bearers from the rival group hold party posts.Also readRK Nagar bypoll: 4 big takeaways from TTV Dhinakaran’s stunning win In a jolt to the ruling dispensation, Dhinakaran defeated its candidate E Madhusudhanan by 40,707 votes in the December 21 RK Nagar bypoll. The votes were counted yesterday. The party alleged that TTV Dhinakaran won owing to tacit understanding with DMK. The main opposition party in the state, DMK finished third in the RK Nagar bypoll.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Hardik Patel’s magic works in Saurashtra, not on rural seats

Though Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel pooled crowd in his rallies, it seems it did not translated into the votes for Congress.The magic of the young Patidar’s nexus with the Congress, who was mired in controversy over his alleged ‘sex CDs’ that went viral in the run up to the Gujarat Assembly polls, however worked in rural areas, specially Saurashtra, results suggest. One of the factors can be the farmers issues in the region.Despite huge turnout during his roadshows in Surat, the crowd failed to translate into votes for the Congress. Though his campaigning suggests that if he continues to fight for his community, there is an opportunity for him to expand his political career. He has grown despite many hurdles.In Nikol in Ahmedabad, a Patidar-dominated constituency, he asked Patels during his rally to not vote for BJP. Here, BJP candidate Jagdish Panchal won with a margin of 24,880 votes.The ‘sex CDs’ too affected Hardik’s popularity among the veteran Patidars. Though he has often said that he will defeat BJP’s arrogance, he himself is being an arrogant leader. A few months back he had said that he will never join Congress. But ahead of polls, he met Congress president Rahul Gandhi to form an alliance.It seems after Keshubhai Patel, Patidars in Gujarat have a face in politics in the form of Hardik Patel. It won’t be a surprise if he contests Lok Sabha elections in 2019.’EVMS HACKED’Hardik gave controversial comments. A day before the results, he had tweeted alleging the BJP of hacking the EVM. He went to the extent of claiming that BJP hired 140 software engineers for the same. He created rucks over EVMs saying that BJP can win election in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh only by tampering EVMs in Gujarat.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Voters may have last laugh in these seats

Though the exit polls have given a clear majority of more than 50% seats to BJP in the Gujarat Assembly polls, the candidates of both the parties have kept their fingers crossed for Monday, the day of counting. There is a possibility that bigwigs can lose with a thin margin.Vatva: While BJP has fielded Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja, Congress candidate is businessman Bipin Patel. The seat covers a portion of Ahmedabad city dominated by Patel, OBC and Muslim communities and and rural outskirts which has as huge population of Thakor community. Political observers say the Patel community could vote against Jadeja as two people from the community in this area were killed in open firing by police during reservation agitation. Jadeja may get a breather as polarisation in Muslim votes is likely as two Muslim candidates are in the fray.Sayajigunj: This seat of Vadodara city has been a BJP bastion but this time, it is witnessing a triangular contest among BJP candidate Jitu Sukhadia, Congress candidate Narendra Ravat and local front of Rashtriya Samajvadi Party’s (RSP) candidate Rajesh Ayre. Ayre defected from BJP following a controversy and formed a new forum challenging the BJP. In the local government body polls, RSP candidates won in good number that shows that Ayre could create dent in BJP’s fort in Assembly polls too.Varachha Road: Majority of voters here have voted for BJP in the past. The Patel agitation and impact of Hardik Patel over voters in cities from Saurashtra and North Gujarat region could upset the BJP here.Mangrol (ST): The triangular contest could dim victory chances of BJP candidate and cabinet minister Ganpat Vasava, a tribal leader. Though there was electoral understanding between Congress and South Gujarat’s tribal leader Chhotu Vasava’s Bhartiya Tribal Party, both fielded candidates here. The Congress candidate is Narsinh Vasava while the BTP candidate is Uttam Vasava. The polarisation of votes could go in favour or against any of the candidates on this seat.Bhuj: This seat in Kutch region seems to be slipping from the hands of BJP due to anti-incumbancy against BJP candidate Dr Nima Acharya. There were reports of corruption and illegal and forceful land grabbing complaints against Acharya and her son. On the other hand, Congress gave ticket to social worker Adam Chaki who could get the support of Muslim community. Only BJP organisation’s hardwork could save Acharya here.

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After massive protest, Mumbai university slashes exam fees

Looking at protest from several quarters over fee hike in University of Mumbai examination (MU), the authorities on Thursday decided to slash fees by 60 to 80%.The decision was taken after academic council meeting which was held on December 11. However the new examination fee will be applicable from academic year 2018-19, and the first examination of the session will held in summer of 2018. Though the exam fees have been reduced, the University has decided to continue 5% increase every academic year.MU faced lot of flak when the examination fees were steeply hiked in 2016-17. It lead to massive protest with number of students refusing to pay exam fees.”For the Under Graduation courses, if a candidate is appearing for only one paper the fee will be only Rs 200 instead of Rs 1000. In case of post graduate courses, if a candidate appears for only one paper, the fee has been reduced by 60%”, according to statement issued by the Mumbai University.PRO of the Mumbai University, Leeladhar Bansod, in a press statement said, “After the examination fee was fixed in the year 1996, it was revised directly in 2001. Since then exam fees were not revised for 16 years. Still looking at the demand of students, MU has taken the decision.”For under graduate coursesOne, two and three subjectsOld fees 1000One subjectNew fees 200i.e 80% slash in feesTwo subjectNew fees 40060% slash in feesThree subjectNew fees 90010% slash in feesFor post graduate coursesFor one, two and three and more subjectsOld fee 1500One subjectNew fee 40075% slash in feesTwo subjectNew fees 70053% slash in feesThree and more subjectsNew fees 135010% slash in fees

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Gujarat elections 2017: ‘Dhandha manda hai’, cry campaign material makers ahead of second phase

Elections in India are marked by hectic campaigning, rallies, posters and hoardings which add colour and lift spirits of not just party workers but the voters. But those who are in the business of election-related material that DNA talked to say ‘Dhandha manda hai’ meaning the business is low this year.For Gulshan Khurana of New Delhi it is not just a seasonal business but a family one. The manufacturer-cum-seller, has visited 23 states for general, Assembly and local elections in last 50 years, has been in Ahmedabad for last three weeks now.”Selling of material is down at 70% compared to the last time I was here in 2012. Though people come to see pens, stickers, scarves, caps, t-shirts, bands and flags, they are not interested in buying these for voters. Generally, candidates or their supporters approach as soon as they file nomination,” he said. Khurana said the business is much lower than he had expected.Ahmedabad-based manufacturer, Hussain Shaikh is selling the items for the first time in retail. “This time hardly any retailer approached me to buy campaigning material as compared to the last 15 years. Dhandha Manda Hai.” A Congress worker from Kheralu of Mehsana district, who arrived at the shop, said, “Fund is one of the factors for both the party and the candidate. Its cash crunch this time. I am here to buy flags and caps.”POLL AFFAIRFor Gulshan Khurana of New Delhi it is not just a seasonal business but a family one. The manufacturer-cum-seller, has visited 23 states for general, Assembly and local elections in last 50 years, has been in Ahmedabad for last three weeks now.

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Oil India attempts to improve fate with black gold

Oil India has failed to find oil in Rajasthan for years and now it is dreaming to make its fate with black gold in the sand dunes. After twenty-six years, it will again try to extract oil with the help of German technology in Jaisalmer’s Baghewala oil field. Oil India has got the permission from government to extract oil with the new technology. This time the company is planning to start commercial production.Six years ago, the company had tried to melt oil in the well with steam technology with the help of experts from Venezuela, but this technique proved ineffective. Oil India has claimed to have heavy oil in two wells but it has not been duly exploited. On the other hand, the same type of oil was found in the Barmer basin and experts from Cairn have been producing two million barrels of oil every day with steam technology for the last seven years. After the seismic survey near Jaisalmer border in 1991, oil India in Rajasthan started drilling oil wells to explore oil in Tanot and Baghevala. There were indications that thick oil was present in two wells in Baghevala. Though oil was found after deep digging but experts were not able to exploit the same.Efforts were made to call foreign experts from abroad thrice, however, the oil could not be exploited. After failing every time, Oil India has started its efforts again so that they could begin exploiting large quantities of oil with the help of Germany’s cyclic steam simulation technology and commercial production can start.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Meet Babli, the first trans legal consultant of Delhi High Court

Soon after realising her sexual orientation, 23-year-old Babli left her family in 2010, to save her kin from “public shaming”. Seven years down the line, she has made everyone proud after becoming the first transgender person to become a legal consultant of the Delhi High Court.Babli, hailing from Badaun in UP, started working on a project with the Delhi State Legal Services Authority five months ago, after which she was selected for the post. The journey, however, was not easy. Mental torture and harassment were a regular affair for her.”My family has always been very supportive of me and my sexual orientation. But, this didn’t stop the jibes from the neighbours and relatives, that would haunt me daily. When things went out of line, I decided to leave the house. I consulted a trans friend of mine, who had been working as an orchestra dancer, and decided to join them to earn a living,” Babli said.One day, while she was on a tour with her orchestra team, she saw a person beating a trans and it was on that day that she realised she wants to become the voice of the community.”After returning from the tour, I decided to leave the orchestra. I joined a non-governmental organisation, Pahel, to study. There was no looking back thereafter. Though it was not easy initially, I found ways to work around my hurdles. I used to wake up early to cope with others, as I had missed a lot of early schooling,” added Babli.Finally, after toiling day and night, she secured a government job at the Delhi High Court in September.But, what haunts her still is the kind of treatment usually meted out to transgender people.”I know the world sees us differently, but, at the end, we are humans, too. I still do not understand why people see us as untouchables. This was not something we chose. People should treat us equally; we have done no wrong. We are all creations of God. I have also worked with the Delhi Traffic Police in various campaigns creating awareness about traffic rules and believe in doing a lot of social work in the future, too,” she said.Babli now lives a life of respect and proudly identifies herself as a transgender person. The only thing, she says, missing in her life, is her family.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Crimes against foreigners in the city sees a decline

In what could be a major drawback for foreign tourists, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in their crime statistics have ranked Maharashtra as second after Delhi in which foreigners have been victims of crime. A total of 382 foreigners were targeted in 2016 with cases of theft and robbery being the serious offences reported. In 2014, a total of 486 foreigners were reported as victims of crime in India.According to the NCRB data, in 2016, Delhi Union Territory (UT) recorded 154 cases followed by 38 cases in Maharashtra. Goa, a major tourist destination, recorded only 22 cases in 2014.Advocate YP Singh, former IPS officer, said, “A lot of foreigners visit Mumbai and its neighbhouring cities. They either get duped or their belongings are stolen or thefts take place. Though the crime rate has decreased since past two years, foreign tourists must be educated and the police should ensure the safety of the foreigners.”
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Yogi Adityanath

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Hyderabad: School principal arrested for molesting student

Updated: Nov 24, 2017, 11:02 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rachakonda police here today arrested the principal of a school for allegedly molesting a Class IX student.The alleged incident took place last month. As per the complaint, K Mahapatra, the principal, was drunk when he called the girl to his cabin and tried to kiss her. He let her go after she started protesting, but not before making her promise that she wouldn’t tell anyone about the incident, police said. Though the incident happened last month, the girl’s mother filed the complaint today, police said.

Govt trying to make RWAs redundant, allege citizens

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Various resident welfare associations (RWA) in Delhi, registered under the bhagidari system, are having a tough time in addressing the civic issues at the local level. Residents in the Capital have alleged that the AAP government is trying to replace the bhagidari system with their mohalla sabhas.”The government is completely neglecting us and wants to replace our system with the new concept of mohalla sabha. Though the request for the mohalla sabha has been rejected by the L-G, still the focus from our system is missing,” said BS Vohra, president of East Delhi RWAs Joint Front.”The government made promises for empowering the RWAs in their election agenda but after taking the office, they have sidelined us which is not helping anybody. Instead of creating a new concept, they should have continued this for the benefit of all,” added Vohra.Bhagidari system was started in 1998 to create transparency and accountability in the administration by promoting the citizen participation through the RWAs. The then CM, Shiela Dixit, created a new block to look after the bhagidari system.”There were regular meetings of bhagidari, almost every month, and we could present our issues in the meeting with concerned officials. They used to hear us and solve our problems. But now, no such meetings are happening,” said Anil Aggarwal, member of J&K block, Laxmi Nagar RWA.The last meeting of bhagidari was held on October 18, 2014, and since then the RWAs are facing problems to work. The AAP government has not called any meeting for interaction with the registered RWAs.”The previous government in Delhi made this system very strict and took all possible measures to make it function well but now the citizens are suffering because of no direct connection with government,” said Devender Pupil, secretary of L block RWA.

Vehicles flout PUC norms as city chokes on toxic pollution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While toxic smog remains one of the biggest concerns in Delhi, a large number of vehicles are flouting pollution under control (PUC) norms. Vehicular emission contributes to 20 per cent of the city’s air pollution.DNA had sought, through an RTI application, PUC-related information for 20014-17. Though the reply hides more than it reveals, it exposes inefficiency of the Delhi government’s transport department. No information was provided for 2014. The reply says records are not available for the year. It, however, admits that of the 1,16,077 vehicles checked during July 1-18 in 2015, only 67, 686 had valid PUC certificates. The reply also admits that 20,729 tickets were issued to vehicles for not having valid PUC certificates from January 1 to September 30 in 2017.Drives against polluting vehicles were intensified only after last November’s toxic smog episode when pollution levels reached alarming levels. This was followed by the formulation of a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to deal with different categories of air pollution.While 13,122 tickets were issued to visibly polluting vehicles in 2016, 33,335 were fined for the same this year (till September 30).The city registered a total of 97.05 lakh vehicles till last year, while there are only 957 pollution checking centres (PCCs).However, an inspection of PCCs done this year (February to August) reveals that action against 353 was taken for various complaints.“We are strengthening PUC norms and testing centres. Also, we are cracking down on vehicles violating norms or not turning up for fitness tests,” an official from the transport department said.The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), a Supreme Court-mandated body to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR, found in April that most pollution checking centres did not have upgraded technology or trained staff to get correct readings. Besides, it also found that the rejection rate for vehicles is very less, as PUC norms in the region are weak.EPCA has recommended technological advancements in testing equipment to cut down on vehicular emission.Besides, a number of out-of-state diesel-run buses coming to the city daily have been found to be not having valid PUC certificates.

Love, shaadi aur dhoka: How this Mumbai woman was conned by her student

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She was successfully running her English coaching class. He enrolled in her class and was smitten by her. Soon, they got married. But one day, he disappeared and her world came crashing down to a stark reality that not only was he was already married but the very relationship was just a lie to con her.This the story of a Dadar resident who is now running pillar to post to get back her money. Though to her solace, the Session Court has denied bail to Bharat Ugale, her sham husband.The 34-year-old not only convinced her that he loves her, but also staged a drama to get monetary help for his ‘mother suffering from cancer’.All this started in 2014, when they both fell in love, got married and started living together. Even before the marriage, Ugale asked for victim’s help on pretext of his ‘mother’s treatment’.But all this changed in April this year, when he stopped meeting the complainant. Finally, one day she received message from an unknown number that there is some bad news about the accused. Afraid of the news, the complainant approached the Shivaji Nagar police station and registered a complaint.It was then that the complainant got to know that the accused was already married and staying with his first wife and child in Dombivali.Complainant also alleged that she was cheated to the several crores.

Caught on camera: Telangana cop gets massage from woman home guard, suspended after video goes viral

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In big embarrassment for Telangana Police, an assistant sub-inspector of the Armed Reserve Police Force was caught on camera for getting massage done by a woman home guard.The 36-second video that has gone viral was also tweeted by news agency ANI. Though, the DNA can’t independently verify it, the clip has been shown on various news channels across Telangana.The accused identified as Mohd Hasan has been suspended by the officials. Though no official statement was released from the state police, a report in HT said that the incident did happen at the Jogulamba Gadwal police headquarters.The uniformed female home guard is seen massaging the back of the accused while he is lying on a cot.This is not the first time that Telangana police has found itself on sticky wicket. Earlier on November 4, similar incident was reported from Hyderabad. S Lingaiah of the Saroornagar police station, the accused in the Hyderabad incident, was transferred to the police headquarters after the official inquiry.

Delhi, get ready for odd-even 3.0: Your 5-point guide to car-rationing scheme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Green Tribunal, India’s top green court, on Saturday gave its nod for the implementation of odd-even scheme in Delhi.As the car-rationing scheme returns to the national capital, here’s your 5-point guide to what will happen on Delhi roads from next week:1: The NGT said that the odd-even scheme will be automatically come into force if the PM 10 level goes above 500 and PM 2.5 level goes above 300. That means the situation will be monitored for next 48 hours and in case of light rains, there might be change in plan. However, as of present, the odd-even is likely to be implemented from Monday.2: The most crucial aspect of the third phase of odd-even in Delhi is that it would be applicable to all. There are no exemption this time around. Barring emergency vehicles, everyone including two-wheelers, VIPs, women drivers will come under its ambit.3: Though many women were unhappy with the ruling, but they said that given the pollution condition in the national capital they are ready to bear the inconvenience.4: The ruling comes a day after the top green court questioned the Delhi government about the car-rationing scheme as the previous rollouts had no considerable effect on the pollution.5: The NGT also directed all the neighbouring state governments and departments to ensure complete mechanism during the environmental emergency. “Don’t wait for a crisis situation and work well together,” it said, asking the Delhi police to also be in constant touch with authorities.

Dissolve Waqf board, says man who locked its office

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shabbir Ansari of All India Muslim OBC organisation on Thursday demanded that the Waqf Board be dissolved and an administrator be appointed. Ansari had locked up the Maharashtra Waqf board head office in Aurangabad on November 7 alleging that no work of members of the Muslim community was done due to the fighting among board members and corruption.Waqf properties are those which Muslims have devoted to God the for welfare of the community. In Maharashtra the registered Waqf properties stand at 92,000 acres of land and over one lakh properties are valued to the extent of Rs 5 lakh crore. Waqf properties are often in news due to mismanagement.”There were a lot of people who had several issues and no work was being done. When we went there, Masjids were not being registered, change reports were not being stamped and given and even nikaahnama, which should be registered with the superintendent, was not being done,” said Ansari.He added that there was no FIR against him and his act only showed the lax security at the head office. “I first waited and despite board members being in the city, they did not come. I then locked the place. Only after chief officer gave in writing who was blocking the work was the lock opened,” said Ansari.”Tomorrow if someone was to burn down all the papers, there is not enough security to even prevent that. The board members have filed cases against each other and there is no work that happens. There was no one in the office to do anyone’s work. The superintendent said he will come but he did not,” said Ansari.He then demanded that the board be dissolved. “Since they do not work, the board should be dissolved and an administrator be appointed,” said Ansari. Ansari was flanked by Maulan Moin Ashraf under whose leadership the Tehreek is looking to register Waqf properties.Habib Fakih, member of the board said, “All board members were against the chairperson. The security is adequate. Though Shabbir Ansari has done good work for OBC in the community, he committed an illegal act.”BOARD MATTERSMM Shaikh, the chairperson of the board, tendered his resignation. A vote of no-confidence was to decide his fate. “He has resigned and as per Waqf Act new election of new chairperson will take place,” said Shyam Tagde, principal secretary of minorities development.

No action against duping sarpanch’s

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two years ago, Rajasthan became the first State in the country to fix a minimum educational qualification for contesting elections to the Panchayati Raj Institutions. However, a large number of people managed to contest elections and many even won by using ‘fake’ certificate. Though complaints were filed against them even after crossing half the term, the government has not taken any action against them.As per rule 80 of Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Act 1994, the election can be challenged only before a district judge. The Panchayati Raj department can take action against an elected representative only after the competent court has framed the charges. There are many cases in which the court had framed charges but the department seemed reluctant to act against the elected representative.The amendment to article 19 of Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Act 1994 made it mandatory for a candidate to pass Class VIII for the post of sarpanch — except in tribal reserved areas, where the minimum qualification is Class V — and Class X for Zila Parishad or Panchayat Samiti elections.Since a large number of candidates used fake mark sheets, elections were held again at many places resulting in unnecessary expenditure of taxpayers’ money as well as stalling development in the villages.FACT FILEMass level irregularities in Panchayati Raj electionsSarpanchs used fake mark sheet to contest electionMaximum complaints against sarpanch634 out of 686 complaints against the sarpanchHalf the term is over but action in only a few cases

I-T seizes 0.99 Ha land under Benami Act

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The benami sampati worth more than Rs 100 crore is already causing a problem to jewellers. It began with a diary of 108 pages that contains complete detail of purchase and distribution of the seized land. The department has issued recovery notice of Rs 36.47 crore against jewellers and broker who arranged land on the basis of documents and investigation. The income tax commissioner (Appeals) has confirmed, this demand which is pending in income tax appellate tribunal.The IT department had seized 11829 sq yards (0.99 hectares) land in Chainpura village near Jawahar circle of Shri Kalyan Buildmart PVT Ltd owned by three prominent jewelers. The land is situated behind Entertainment Paradise on the road that connects airport terminal 2 to Tonk road. A commercial mall is being constructed by the company and 9 floors are already completed. Since the land is adjoining airport boundary wall the work is stalled because of the height issue. Meanwhile, the IT department provisionally seized the land considering it benami property.Sources said that the land and the money generated to buy it has become problem for the jewellers. In 2008, IT department raided Rajendra Kumar Jain and his associates who played a key role in this land transaction. After getting some evidence the IT department began investigation and connected all the dots about how black money was adjusted to form a fake company and buy benami property. Sources said that IT department had done scrutiny of assessment years 2007-08 to 2011-12 and issued demand that was confirmed by the IT commissioner appeal.Sources said that IT officials also suspect corruption regarding registry in the name of Shri Kalyan Buildmart Pvt Ltd and issuing single patta by the JDA. Therefore one cannot rule out if ACB and CBI get active. Though after the order of IT commissioner (Appeal) for Rs 36.47 crore demand it is assured of revenue recovery, the jewelers are hoping for relief from ITAT.e rinary Officer told DNA.This year, the most expensive animal from Buffalo has been sold at Rs 70,000 while the most expensive camel has been sold for Rs 51,000. The figure for the most expensive bovine category is Rs 20,000.

City lost 351 trees in 2 weeks of July, over 900 this year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first World Heritage City of the country, Ahmedabad, will have to get rid of 2,200 trees in its journey to get the metro rail network to cater to its estimated 5.571 million residents (as per 2011 Census).This when the city lost three times more number of trees this monsoon. “On an average, we lose around 250 to 300 trees but this year, city lost 351 trees in a span of just 15 days of heavy rain in July. Due to extreme monsoon, the number of tree uprooting cases were reported three times higher,” director of Parks and Garden Department, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), Jignesh Patel said.Ahmedabad also lost more than 900 trees in a short span of two and half months of monsoon. Patel said excavation unsettles roots which in turn damages tree. “Rapid and unplanned urbanisation besides the metro rail, underground network and pipeline-laying took a toll. A 70-year-old banayan tree near Raipur Darwaja was uprooted this monsoon,” he said.Director of Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Kartikeya Sarabhai, said, “In a short span of time, city witnessed heavy spell of rain, which was unexpected. This along with the development work underway in Ahmedabad were among other factors.”He added, “A tree in my area, which was over 100-year-old, was uprooted as it was not trimmed before monsoon. Generally before monsoon, tree trimming is conducted to ensure that leaves do not accumulate water which may burden the root and imbalance the tree. But in our city, it is not happening at large as monsoon is not so rigorous.”TREE PLANTATION DIRECTION-LESS:Though AMC had targeted to plant 1.50 lakh saplings in June, it has been able to plant only 68,000 till the end of October. “Last year, AMC planted 1.20 lakh sapling of which around 60% survived. Saplings planted on footpath were eaten up by cattle. Many of them did not receive enough water and did not survive,” said Jignesh Patel director of parks and garden department, AMC.Interestingly, Mayor Gautam Shah had announced Green Action Plan with engagement of locals and went to the extent of planting saplings at Valladolid city of Spain, which is a sister city of AMC. When Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev was in city in June, he planted saplings for AMC at the Mayor’s bungalow. Trees were planted along Sabarmati Riverfront or certain pockets but roadsides. An urban forest, with a variety of trees, was also developed near Pirana dumping site.”Planning in city is mostly about increasing infrastructure. Nature conservation comes at the last stage. This year saw heavy rainfall and that is not considered a good time to plant saplings. Proper planning and follow up also plays a huge role in sustenance of trees,” said Yatri Baxi (environment communication) from Paryavaran Santri Trust.TREE CENSUS AWAITEDLast tree census in city was conducted in 2012, after which rapid development took place. In 2015, AMC had announced to conduct one with the satellite technology but it never materialised. “Tree census is a state subject. We had announced to conduct tree census via GIS mapping but it is not much reliable, hence we dropped the plan,” said Patel.Sources, however, said, the state’s Forest department did not gave the nod and the plan had to be shelved. They said AMC is happy in expanding green cover as it has planned several gardens which hardly caters to the need of tree cover….& ANALYSISAhmedabad has been witnessing heat island effect every summer due to drastic decrease in tree cover. Though roads are widened, they are devoid of trees. Plantation drives are carried out but are limited to the newly added areas. Thus it witnesses extremely high temperature in summer. OVER 4L TRESS AS PER 2012 CENSUSCentral 23,518East 74,497West 84,035North 60,677South 89,863New west 84,189Gardens 25,190Total 4,41,969 tress

Sachin Tendulkar fan’s 44-ft rangoli makes a record

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nerul resident Abhishek Satam’s obsession with Sachin Tendulkar has landed the 28-year-old artist in the India Book of Records for the 44 ft x 24 ft rangoli he made on the occasion of his favourite cricketer’s 44th birthday. Satam has been selected among top 100 Indian record holders and will be felicitated on November 12.Speaking about the record, Satam said, “Though the rangoli was planned in a short time, it has been appreciated by many people. I sent it as an entry for different records owing to its uniqueness. I was surprised on receiving the mail telling me that I have been selected.” He added, “It feels amazing when you follow your passion and it gets appreciated. It gives one inspiration to do more unique work.”Talking about his inspiration, Satam said, “I wanted to celebrate Tendulkar’s birthday by showcasing my creative artwork. The rangoli was sponsored by my friends and school alumni.”A fan of the sportsman since he was eight, Satam has collected over 40,000 photos, 160 magazines, 40 books, and over 11 pens designed by Reynolds with the cricketer’s autograph and photo. Satam’s collection also includes a 24-karat gold-plated bat with Tendulkar’s autograph. He added, “I used to buy newspapers and magazines which had Tendulkar’s photo from scrap dealers to make cutouts and keep a collection of his photos.”

Don’t step on gas but beware the sting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After swine flu now the woes of dengue are increasing in the state as more than a thousand people have been reported positive. Till now, two deaths have been reported across the state in the last 15 days. In Sawai Man Singh Hospital, the largest hospital in the state, not a single death due to dengue has been reported so far this year.As per the health department, from January 1, 2017 a total 3,651 dengue positive cases have been detected and five deaths have occurred across the state. Kota is on top with 1,192 dengue cases reported this year followed by Jaipur with 1089 cases. Out of total 5 deaths in the state, 3 deaths have been reported in Kota and 2 were reported from Jaipur. As per official stats, in SMS Hospital, a total of 226 dengue patients were admitted from January till last Friday and no deaths have been reported in the hospital so far. Though, 18 dengue patients have been admitted in the hospital during last 24 hours but doctors said there was no need to panic.“Conditions are not alarming so far,” Dr Raman Sharma, senior professor, Sawai Man Singh Medical College told DNA. “There are patients coming with usual complications but in such cases the best treatment is oral fluid or intravenous (IV) fluid (in case of patient can not take it orally)to reverse the mortality,” he added.It is worth mentioning that despite increasing numbers in recent days, dengue has been on a leash this year compared to last year. In 2016, a total of 5264 dengue cases were registered. The respective figures read 4043 and 1243 in 2015 and 2014. Similarly, 16 deaths occurred due to dengue in 2016 and 7 deaths occurred in 2015 and 2014 each.Weather likely to change equation Weather likely to change equation Experts are sure that with the advent of winter, dengue cases will decrease in the state. “So far, cases are being reported because the environment is suitable for mosquito breeding. It has been observed that dengue cases decrease with the dip in temperature, yet the department is fully prepared in terms of medicines and facilities to handle the situation,” Dr VK Mathur, Director Public Health said.

Hours after Congress reaches out to Hardik Patel, 2 Patidar leaders join BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a blow to Hardik Patel, Patidar leaders Reshma Patel and Varun Patel join BJP. Both the leaders met BJP President Amit Shah at the BJP office in Ahmedabad.The news will also come as a blow to the Congress, as it had spoken of approaching Hardik Patel to join their cause in defeating the BJP in the upcoming elections. Addressing a press conference here today, state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki expressed confidence that the party would easily win over 125 seats, out of total 182, with the “support and blessings” of all these leaders and parties.”Though the BJP is trying its best to win the polls, it will not succeed in stopping the Congress’ victory march to Gandhinagar.”We respect as well as endorse the cause for which Hardik Patel is fighting. I appeal to Hardik to support the Congress during the polls. We are also ready to give him a ticket if he wants to fight elections in the future,” Solanki told reporters.However, speaking to ANI, Patel said that he could not contest elections because of his age, but agreed with Congress to unite against the saffron party in the elections.He said, “Constitutionally speaking, I can not contest the election and I don’t need to. Although, I believe we must unite against the BJP, this is not a BJP-Congress election. This is an election of six crore people of Gujarat.”

Activist alleges threat from caller in email to police chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An RTI activist and journalist, who has been exposing alleged irregularities by several developers via his blog, has now alleged that someone posing as a police officer called and threatened him on Sunday afternoon. Krishnaraj Rao wrote to Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar on the same, and Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sanjay Saxena has forward the complaint to Zone 12 DCP.In his email to the police chief, Rao has alleged that he received a threat call on behalf of Bhagtani builders and also a local MLA. He has alleged that the person who called him identified himself as Karan Singh and even asked Rao to check the number on the Truecaller app for the same.According to Rao, the caller first claimed to be someone cheated by Bhagtani and another person. He said that both of them had given Bhagtani Rs 20 lakh and wanted the money back. After this, Rao suggested that the caller register an FIR, but the latter was not interested in legal remedies. In the middle of the call, the caller claimed that Bhagtani had told him on the phone the same day that he had made arrangements to lift Rao from his residence and thoroughly beaten up. The caller then changed the tack and claimed that he was a crime branch officer and began threatening Rao.Rao then wrote the commissioner seeking his action. Vinay Rathod, DCP Zone 12, said, “I am yet to get the email, and when I do, I will ask the concerned police station to look into the matter.”Meanwhile, Diipesh Bhagtani, of JVPD Properties Ltd said, “We are a professional real estate company, and I am absolutely not aware of any threat. Nor are we interested in giving any threats to anybody. Though I can confirm that Mr Krishnaraj Rao is a blackmailer and we are going to file a complaint with Anti Corruption Bureau in consultation with the lawyer. We do not believe in these kinds of acts and have faith in the judiciary. These things are being done to extort money and spoil our name since we decided not to pay these blackmailers. He has written defamatory blogs against us mentioning stories which are not true and we shall be filing a separate complaint against him with Cyber Cell department.”

Is it risky to save card details on mobile apps?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In today’s cashless society, people are falling prey to unique tricks of cyber fraudsters who are coming up with new techniques every day to siphon off your money.In a recent case, two people were duped by a cyber fraudster from the US.According to the complainant, Chandresh Shrivastava, he never shared his card details with anyone nor did he receive any call asking for his card details. He would only carry out transactions online and had saved his card details on those applications for quick payment. The victim approached Versova police and lodged a complaint with them. The complainant claims that his card details were acquired through the mobile app. “I thought saving card details is a safe option and there is no risk involved since the CVV number is required for every transaction. However, on Thursday, I suddenly started receiving messages mentioning two transactions of 600 Chinese yuan (Rs 6,000) were carried out. The bank blocked my card as they found the activity suspicious. Though the amount stolen is insignificant, it brought to fore the risks involved in saving details on a mobile app,” Shrivastava said.In another similar incident, Rakesh Anand, lost 10,000 Chinese yuan. “I had also saved my card details on mobile apps and started receiving messages suddenly. I lost Rs 1 lakh and had approached BKC cyber police station, but they directed me to a local police station. I have been running pillar to post since,” he said.Almost hundreds of such complaints have been registered by the Mumbai police recently.”The cyber crooks use foreign websites or servers to carry out transaction, since ‘one-time passwords’ aren’t required in foreign countries. We have received several such complaints,” said a senior IPS officer from Mumbai crime branch.The Cyber experts are advising people to not to save their card details on any mobile wallet or application for quick transaction.Cyber expert Shubham Singh said, “App users must be very cautious and alert. One should never save their credentials of e-wallets on any gateways or other platforms. It is risky. One must use official websites to use any app-related banking service, and avoid using third-party applications to avoid data breach.”BEWARE!Crooks use foreign websites to carry out transactions, since OTPs aren’t required there.
Cyber experts are advising people to not to save their card details on any mobile wallet, app.

Dead Manan turns Santa on Diwali, ‘gifts’ organs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the Agarwals (name changed), this Diwali would be worth remembering. The diyas would glow brighter for 21-year-old youth from Malviya Nagar in Jaipur, who was declared brain dead following a road accident on Saturday gave a new lease of life to four persons by cadaver transplant. His Liver was transplanted to a patient in Medanta NIMS Hospital and the kidneys were transplanted to two patients at the EHCC Hospital, while his heart was sent to Fortis Hospital, Okhla, New Delhi.On the fateful morning of October 8, Manan Jain, who worked at a call centre, was rammed by a car 10:15am at Adinath Nagar while he was heading towards his office on his two-wheeler after dropping his younger brother at a friend’s place.Seriously injured Manan was admitted to EHCC hospital where despite medical treatment for five days, doctors declared him brain dead on Saturday.However, the grieving family expressed a wish to donate his organ, his heart, liver and the pair of kidneys were harvested in EHCC Hospital.“We were aware of organ donation so family discussed it,” Mukesh Jain, Manan’s Uncle told DNA. “Though our family is in deep sorrow as we have lost our child in his young age at the same time it is also an overwhelming feeling that our child has given new life to four people and all we are proud of that,” said Jain.Can save lakhs of livesThe total number of brain deaths due to accidents in India is nearly 1.5 lakhs annually. Other causes of brain death would potentially add many more numbers. There is a need of 2 lakh kidneys, 50,000 hearts and 50,000 livers for transplantation every year. Even if 5-10% of all brain deaths are harvested properly for organ donation, there would be no requirement for a living person to donate organs.One person dies of kidney failure every 5 minutes. This amounts to roughly 290 deaths every day due to kidney failure.

What he said in last 3 years can’t be ignored: FTII students’ body decry Anupam Kher’s appointment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Within few hours of the announcement of actor Anupam Kher’s appointment as the chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), students’ body of the FTII has questioned the decision of the ministry. The students’ body claimed that Kher runs a private acting institute and with his appointment at the government institute, the issue of conflict of interest will arise. Though the authorities at FTII claimed that they have not yet got the notification of Kher’s appointment as the chairman, the veteran actor tweeted about his appointment stating, ‘I feel deeply humbled and honoured to be appointed as the chairman of iconic FTII. I will perform my duties to the best of my abilities.’Soon after the news about Kher’s appointment broke, the students’ body of the FTII questioned his appointment. Robin Joy, president of FTII students’ association told DNA, “Kher is already running a private acting institute and still government has decided to appoint him as the chairman of a government institute. His appointment (as chairman) will surely raise the issue of conflict of interest.”This is not the first time that the students’ body has raised question marks over the central government’s decision over appointment of the chairman. In the year 2015, students of FTII had observed 140 days long strike to oppose the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the institute. While opposing Chauhan, the students’ body had claimed that he did not have the credentials to be the chairman of the iconic institute.Now after Kher’s appointment as the chairman, the students’ body has stated that though Kher has the credentials, his proximity to the ruling party will not serve any good to the institute. Rohit Kumar, general secretary of the association said, “There is no doubt that Kher possesses the required credentials. But at the same time the statements that he has made over the last three years also can’t be ignored. Taking a pro-government stand, Kher has made some statements against students over issues like JNU, intolerance.”The students’ body will be holding a meeting on Wednesday night to decide future course of action. “We have not yet decided the future course of action. We have called a general body meeting of the association on Wednesday night in which we will take further decision,” Robin said.

UPA govt used to hate development, didn’t have empathy for people: Narendra Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday slammed the previous Congress-led UPA over the state of healthcare sector in the country, alleging that it had failed to bring a health policy during its 10-year rule.He also said that the previous government did not pay attention to increasing the number of seats in medical colleges. “The last health policy was announced during Atalji’s (former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee) regime around 15 years back. After that, such a government assumed power which used to hate development. It did not have any empathy for the people,” Modi said.”As a result, a new health policy was introduced after almost 15 years by our government,” he said addressing a gathering after inaugurating a medical college here in his hometown. The prime minister also criticised the earlier government over the issue of seats in medical colleges which, according to him, were much less than the requirement of doctors in the country. “Due to the rules formulated by the past governments, very few students were able to secure admission in the medical colleges. Thus, we have taken up the task of opening one medical college for (every) three to four Lok Sabha constituencies across the country,” Modi said.”Since we also need good professors for such colleges, we have also increased 6,000 seats in PG medical courses in the last one year. Though some people criticised the move, we remained firm because we understand that we will need good professors for producing good doctors,” he said. The prime minister said due to the relentless efforts of his government, the prices of stents as well as medicines have drastically reduced.”The prices of stents were around Rs 1.5 lakh to almost Rs 2 lakh (each). Someone would get a heart attack by just hearing such a high price. We then called the manufacturers and asked them not to rob the poor by charging such high price. Today, the stents are available at just 40 per cent of the original price,” he said. “Similarly, we were also concerned about the prices of medicines. That is why we have started a mission to sell generic medicines at subsidised rates,” Modi said.

Misusing Reservation Benefits: ‘Hardworking’ man becomes Addn Chief Engineer by misusing reservation benefits

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A rare case of forging documents has surfaced in PHED department in which an engineer got a government job, continuous promotion and became an additional chief engineer in Kota. An inquiry report drafted by Bundi district collector has confirmed the corrupt practice of production of fake caste certificate by Ramkishan Bhartiya; however the department officials shy to take action against the ‘guilty’ officer and are engaged in saving him somehow.In 1982, Ramkishan managed to get caste certificate of Garasia, a schedule tribes notified at no 5 in the list by the social justice department, and getting reservation under the category he got posting as an engineer in the department in the following years. He got promotion continuously in the department and currently, he is posted as an additional chief engineer.A couple of months back, a complainant approached PHED department claiming that Ramkishan, who got the benefit of ST reservation, indeed belongs to Banjara community which is notified at 5 places in OBC (other backward class). This further initiated an inquiry at the level of Bundi district collector.The findings of the report ordered by the collector confirm to the allegation made by the complainant. “According to the report (drafted by the SDM Bundi), Ramkishan S/O Dhanna Lal (a resident of Taleda Tehsil), belongs to Banjara caste which is OBC. While the Garasiya caste is mentioned in ST list,” says the report, a copy of which is available with DNA.The report recently was forwarded by the collector to the Chief engineer (administration) with PHED for further action. Despite inquiry report in hand, the PHED department has taken no disciplinary action against the official under question. Even the entire system is trying to save the engineer while waiting for action by Bundi administration.“In the collector’s inquiry, Ramkishan’s caste has been ascertained Garasia which is an OBC. This is a mistake on the part of the officials who issued a fake certificate to him. The collector has to decide action and later we will take accordingly. Though, procuring ST job by the engineer is wrong,” said Ashok Garg, the chief engineer under whose supervision the case is pending.The entire episode exposes how convenient it is for anyone to forge, manage document in such shabby system to get a government job followed by promotion and perks. The government’s system here appears exposed from top to the bottom. Meanwhile, Ramkishan talking to DNA has denied of having information related to the inquiry. “I have no information about any inquiry related to my caste certificate.”

Following stampede at Elphinstone Road, railways start drive to evict hawkers on pedestrian bridges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to prevent incidents like the Elphinstone station stampede that claimed 23 lives, the railway administration has undertaken a drive to evict illegal hawkers from the entry and exit points of the station as well as from the foot over bridges (FOBs) to ease commuter movement.Twenty-three people were killed in the stampede on a FOB linking Parel and Elphinstone Road last Friday during rush hour.“Though action against hawkers is undertaken on a regular basis, from October 1, this drive has been intensified with a combined operation launched by the RPF and GRP, and moreover they will also be patrolling the FoBs,” said chief spokesperson of the Western Railway Ravinder Bhakar.However, passengers and railway representatives want permanent eviction of hawkers and have warned the railway officials that they would report to the Railways Minister if the hawkers return to do business at these spots.Bhakar said Western Railway administration is soon going to demarcate the railway area to stop this menace forever.He said, “Most of the complaints against hawkers we receive, fall under the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) area where we do not have our administrative control.”So we are blamed unnecessarily. Therefore, we have decided to demarcate our periphery and we will keep full vigil within our jurisdiction.”The Central Railway too has launched a drive against illegal hawkers at several stations including Ghatkopar, Kurla, Byculla, Mulund.Eviction of hawkers paved way for smooth movement of commuters near railway stations and on foot overbridges.Senior PRO of Central Railway A K Jain said, “Though our security forces, keep driving away unauthorised hawkers, they have been now been asked to deal strictly with them.” Rajiv Singal, who has been a member of Railway Users Consultative Committees in Central Railway and Western Railway, however, dubs this exercise of evicting hawkers as merely an “eyewash”.Singal said, “This is simply dressing up and no permanent cure. It is showoff because audit team is doing their job and media pressure is working. I can bet you, hawkers will be back again.””Until and unless, disciplinary action is not taken against the senior RPF officials in whose jurisdiction hawkers operate, nothing is going to change,” Singal said.T N Dubey, former member of Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committees in Western Railway, said, “If hawkers come back, we will write to the Railways Minister and draw his attention to the issue.”

Western desertland welcomes Houbara Bustard a little early

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The desert areas of Jaisalmer and Barmer districts harbor varied wildlife and avifauna. Though plenty of animals and birds like the state bird Great Indian Bustard and state animal Chinkara are present in the area, winters bring a new lease of life to the desert grassland when migratory birds abound here.One of these migratory birds is the Houbara Bustard locally called Tilore. A bird of the desert grasslands, the sightings of Houbara Bustard increases as winters reach their peak. But an interesting development has occurred, which is baffling the forest officials. The expected arrival time of this eye-catchy bird is winters but breaking the cycle, flocks of Houbara have started reaching the Indian side of the Thar desert.On Saturday, a few of these silvery Bustards were seen at Sam sand dunes near Jaisalmer by forest officials which have now sparked a debate amongst conservationists who are seeing this as a unique development.“It might not appear to be a major development to the layman but for conservationists and environmentalist, this has rung the alarm. Animal and bird migration depends on season and one can gauge from their movement if the season, in general, would be good or bad. For scientists, it brings a lot of interest as this is one of the aspects that they study that is the change in animal and bird behaviour with effect to global warming” said Tejvir Singh, retired IFS.Houbara Bustard numbers are dwindling fast due to falconry being practiced in Pakistan and other areas of its territory. “Its meat is considered a delicacy and thus falcons are used as a sport to hunt these birds. Also, poaching of these birds is conducted in Jaisalmer and Barmer areas by villagers as well. The forest department tries to nab such men but due to the immense expanse of the territory, it is a tough job” a forest official said requesting anonymity.Breaking the cycleOne of these migratory birds is the Houbara Bustard locally called Tilore. A bird of the desert grasslands, the sightings of Houbara Bustard increases as winters reach their peak. But an interesting development has occurred, which is baffling the forest officials. The expected arrival time of this eye-catchy bird is winters but breaking the cycle, flocks of Houbara have started reaching the Indian side of the Thar desert.

State asks IIT-B to conduct a third- party audit for Shivaji statue project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what will make plans for the world’s tallest statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea closer to fruition, the state government has asked the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Bombay) to conduct a third-party audit of the lowest bid for the project.A senior public works department (PWD) official said the IIT-B would “proof check” the lowest bid submitted for the project. “This is part of the procedure. The report is expected to be submitted this month after which the bid may be placed before the high-power committee headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for approval,” he added.The official admitted that while they expected work to be launched by October, they would try and commission it by the year-end.Three infrastructure majors had bid for construction of the memorial and statue of the warrior-king. Though the state expected the first phase to cost Rs 2,300 crore, Afcons and L&T had quoted Rs 4,779 crore and Rs 3,826 crore respectively.Reliance Infrastructure lost in the technical evaluation. Officials admitted to a huge discrepancy between their estimates and the actual bids received.

BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj does it again, says ‘vulgar acts’ in cars lead to rape

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj is in news again for yet another controversial remark.According to media reports, the Unnao MP said that the ‘vulgar acts’ by couples in parks and cars lead to rape.“When these couples ride a motorcycle, they hug each other as if the girl will eat the boy or the boy will eat the girl,” he was quoted as saying by HT.“Similarly, couples can be seen behaving in a vulgar fashion in cars, parks and other places. Everyone ignores them, but once rape happens, people demand action against the police, so the right thing would be to take action and put such couples behind bars,” the report quoted him saying.It is not the first time that Sakshi Maharaj has hit headlines for wrong reasons.Last month, the BJP lawmaker had defended Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh after he was convicted for raping his female followers at a Panchkula court on August 25.”One person has complained of rape against Ram Rahim. Crores others believe he is God. Who do you think is right?” Sakshi Maharaj said, alleging a “conspiracy to defame not only Ram Rahim and other saints, but also Indian culture.”Two years ago, Sakshi Maharaj made a huge scandal when he said that ‘Hindu women to have at least four children.’Though the BJP distanced itself from the leader, defiant Sakshi Maharaj had said that, “hang me, if I have said something wrong.”

4 labourers die cleaning chemical tank in Ahmedabad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday, four labourers died at Vatva GIDC while cleaning an effluent tank. Apart from the labourers who lost their lives, two labourers are in a critical condition and on ventilator while a few others are undergoing treatment at LG Hospital.”At least four labourers died of asphyxiation after inhaling a poisonous gas while cleaning a chemical effluent tank in a factory here, police said. Five others, who also inhaled the gas, are in a critical condition,” said Inspector DR Gohil of Vatva GIDC police station.The factory authorities rushed all the labourers to LG Hospital where four of them were declared brought dead while five others are undergoing treatment. “We have started the procedure to lodge an FIR in this regard,” Gohil said.The city’s chief fire officer, Rajesh Bhatt, said the company manufactures dyes and intermediates and had shut the factory’s operation since the past few days for some maintenance work.Preliminary investigation revealed that some labourers, at a factory in Vatva GIDC area, entered the effluent tank to clean it, Gohil said. When the labourers started becoming unconscious due to the poisonous gas, others went inside to save them. However, they too became unconscious.”The tank was used to store the effluent before it was sent for treatment. Though the fire brigade was called to pull out the labourers, the company officials did it by themselves and rushed these labourers to the hospital before we reached the spot,” Bhatt said.(With inputs from agency)IncidentLabourers entered the effluent tank to clean it but started becoming unconscious due to poisonous gasThe factory authorities then rushed all the labourers to LG Hospital where four of them were declared brought dead

Ryan murder case: My husband has been framed; accused Ashok Kumar’s wife hints at forced confession

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mamta–Wife of 42-year-old Ashok Kumar, accused in the murder of a student of Ryan International school–has claimed that her husband has been forced to make a confession. “He is innocent and in future, he would just say the truth,” she claimed after meeting her husband Ashok in Bhondsi jail on Thursday. This was her first meeting after Ashok’s arrest but she has continuously been maintaining that her husband is a good man, not capable of committing a heinous crime like killing a child. Though she has not made a direct allegation against the police, her statements indicate that the confession might have been under duress.”My husband kept crying after meeting me, told me he has not committed the crime,” Mamta claimed.
ALSO READ Ryan International murder case: Pinto family to approach Punjab and Haryana High Court for anticipatory bail”Police officers were standing behind us while we were having the conversation. My husband gestured towards policemen and said he was tortured to make the confession,” Mamta added.
ALSO READ Ryan school death: Gurgaon police arrests school gardenerShe claimed that the entire family and neighbours stand by her husband Ashok and none of them believe he could commit this crime.

SC strikes down six-month waiting period for divorce under Hindu Marriage Act

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After declaring triple talaq as unconstitutional, now the apex court in a judgement has cut off the waiting period for divorce by 6 months under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. It has made it clear that a couple will not have to wait for the mandatory 18 months period for separation. A bench of Justice U U Lalit and Justice Adarsh K Goyal noted that if the couple settled through mutual consent then the 6 month cooling off period can be scrapped, “Section 13B(2) contains a bar to divorce being granted before six months of time elapsing after filing of the divorce petition by mutual consent. The said period was laid down to enable the parties to have a rethink so that the court grants divorce by mutual consent only if there is no chance for reconciliation.” The provisions of section 13 (B) of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 a couple seeking divorce through mutual consent had to wait for 18 months. 13 B (1) of the Hindu marriage act allows the couple to file a divorce petition for a judicial separation of one year and under 13 B (2) the couple then have to go through another 6 months waiting period. The Court concluded that since the period mentioned in Section 13B (2) is not mandatory but directive in nature, it will be open to the Courts to exercise its discretion in the facts and circumstances of each case where there is no possibility of parties resuming their relationship and there are chances of alternative rehabilitation.The top court also said that in conducting such proceedings, the trial court “can also use the medium of video conferencing and permit genuine representation of the parties through close relations, such as parents or siblings, where the parties are unable to appear in person for any just and valid reason as may satisfy the court, to advance the interest of justice”.The court noted in its verdict that the object of the cooling off period was to safeguard against a “hurried decision” if there was otherwise a possibility of differences being reconciled.”Though every effort has to be made to save a marriage, if there are no chances of reunion and there are chances of fresh rehabilitation, the court should not be powerless in enabling the parties to have a better option,” it said.”In determining the question whether the provision is mandatory or directory, language alone is not always decisive.The court has to have the regard to the context, the subject matter and the object of the provision,” it said.The bench was dealing with a plea filed by an estranged couple which had sought waiver of the six month period on the ground that they have been living separately for the past eight years and there was no possibility of their re-union.With inputs from PTI

Jaipur: Violent mob attack Ramganj police station, torch cars

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A simple police action conducted within the limits of duty turned into Ramganj police’s worst nightmare late on Friday night when stone pelting occurred at the station and few police officials were injured, a chetak patrol jeep and a 108 ambulance were damaged and set ablaze. ​This vandalism happened after a cop allegedly hit a woman with a stick.On Friday night​,​ a cop while discharging his duty under section 60 of Police Act (punishment of certain offences on road) detained a youth from Ramganj. Though the youth would have been let go off after completing the legal necessities, the youth’s family also reached the police station.The cop tried to carry out his duty but ​faced difficulty owing to pressure exerted by the family and misbehavior by the youth . “The youth started misbehaving with the cop and one female relative of the youth also started verbal​ attack​ at the cop. The family ​even ​tried to manhandle​.​ ​H​owever in the ensuing confusion​,​ a stick ​carried by the cop allegedly hit the woman. The family went out of the station and within minutes amassed a huge crowd alleging that the cops hit them”,​ officials said.However little did the cops knew what the gathering had in mind. “Suddenly stone pelting started as one after the other stones were hurled by the crowd at the police station causing damage. However the crowd turned more violent as they then damaged the chetak jeep and set ablaze the 108 ambulance parked at the station”​,​ officials said. Police force from nearby police stations had already been called to the spot but it proved inadequate to handle the violent crowd.While the crowd ​continued to pelt stones, senior officials were informed about the situation. “Everything happened within minutes. Immediately senior officials reached the spot and ordered that shots be fired in air to disperse the crowd. Meanwhile ​p​olice force from reserve police lines also reached the spot. The police then sprung to action and took control of the law and order by use of force”​,​ officials said.Situation ​continued to remain tensed even around midnight.

Alphons Kannanthanam becomes Union Minister, Kerala CM hails elevation of ‘old friend’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday congratulated Alphons Kannanthanam, a bureaucrat turned politician from the state, for becoming a minister in the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Vijayan in a Facebook post expected that the new position would help Kannanthanam become the state’s voice in the Union cabinet while effectively intervening into national issues as Union Minister. Describing Kannanthanam as a ‘long-term’ friend, Vijayan said the ministerial post was an ‘Onam gift’ to him and hoped that it would give him more strength to work for the state.”The joint effort by the Centre and state would make the path for the development easier. I hope that Kannanthanam will be able to contribute for this”, Vijayan said. Kannanthanam started his political journey after quitting his IAS career, and successfully contested as a Left independent from Kanjirappally assembly constituency in 2006. Though CPI(M) had offered him a ticket to contest in the next assembly polls, he turned down the offer and later joined the BJP. Bureaucrat-turned-politician Alphons Kannanthanam began his political journey by becoming an independent MLA backed by the CPI(M) in Kerala in 2006 but joined the BJP in 2011. Kannanthanam, a 1979 batch IAS officer, quit his high- profile career and plunged into electoral politics by successfully contesting from Kanjirappally in Kottayam district. Though he was offered a second chance by the Left in the next assembly polls, Kannanthanam, in a surprise move, turned down the offer, saying that he wanted to shift his activities to the national level.Later, Kannanthanam, known for his strong anti-corruption stance, joined the saffron party and went on to become the member of the national executive. Born in a non-electrified Manimala village in Kottayam district to a World War II veteran, he pioneered the literacy movement in India as district collector of Kottayam by making it the first 100 per cent literate town in India in 1989. During his stint as IAS officer, Kannanthanam served in different key positions. He shot into fame when he was the commissioner of the Delhi Development Authority during 1990s and his anti-encroachment drive against thousands of illegal constructions gave him the name ‘demolition man’.He retired from the IAS and was elected as an Independent member of the Kerala Assembly from Kanjirappally from 2006 to 2011.Kannanthanam is a member of the committee set up to prepare the final draft of the National Education Policy, 2017. He has authored a book — Making A Difference. In 1994, he was featured in Time magazine’s list of 100 Young Global Leaders. Induction of Kannanthanam, who is a practicing advocate, into the NDA cabinet is widely seen as a move of the BJP to make inroads in the Christian belt in the state.BJP state president Kummanom Rajasekharan termed his induction into the cabinet as an ‘Onam gift’ of the NDA government, while the state is all set to celebrate its harvest festival tomorrow. Veteran BJP leader O Rajagopal and P C Thomas, leader of a Kerala Congress faction were the other Keralities who become ministers in the NDA governments earlier.

Kanjurmarg pandal asks people to save the planet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ganesha sits amid a set up of the solar system, and there are reams of information on the planet Earth’s ecological concerns. With this year’s theme, Manvikas Mitra Mandal in Shastri Nagar, Kanjurmarg east is trying to tell people to wake up before it’s too late.Anand Kubal, trustee of Manvikas Mitra Mandal said, “The population will increase to 9 billion people by 2050 as per a study. The rate at which we are consuming and polluting the environment, they say in another 100-150 years, we may have to move to another planet. Hence we are trying to tell people that they wake up and start taking care of our environment.”The Mandal has been around for 40 years and began observing an eco-friendly Ganeshotsav five years ago. “We decided to move to eco-friendly Ganpati because it does not harm the environment. Even the immersion is done in an artificial pond,” said Kubal.This year, the mandal has two Ganpati idols. “The small one is of Shadu Mati (clay) while the bigger one is of paper. Though it was considered as eco-friendly until last year the National Green Tribunal said it is not. However, the government is yet to issue any notification on it,” said Kubal.Besides immersing the idols in the artificial lake, it also reuses decorations. This year’s decorations may also be given to students working on a science project, the mandal said.

Panchkula violence ground report: How Haryana police failed to control Dera Sacha Sauda mob

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There is an eerie silence that hangs over the beautiful, planned city of Panchkula.The satellite town is still coming to terms with the worst mob violence that it witnessed in recent times.Panchkula was the epicentre of violent clashes that erupted after the conviction of controversial self-styled Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh by a CBI court on Friday.Ram Rahim’s Dera Sacha Sauda may say that the conviction was an ‘injustice’, but the ground reality is quite different.What is more baffling is the fact that the Haryana Police underestimated the Dera followers, the DNA has learnt from sources. The two hours after the verdict changed the face the city.According to the sources there were three groups that were responsible for the violence.The three groups of Dera followers were camping in three different locations.First group was camping near Shimla-Zirakpur National Highway near Old Panchkula.Second group was camping in Sector 3 near Tau Devi Lal Stadium. It is said that they didn’t cause much of the damage.The third group was based in the Green Belt in Sector 5 of Panchkula.As soon as the verdict was announced, convicting Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the 15-year-old rape case, in a seemingly coordinated manner, these three groups quickly took over the city and began what was one of the worst episodes of mob violence that India has seen in recent times.What is shocking is that despite the ‘intel inputs’, and strict orders from the court, the police failed to contain the mob.DNA has learnt from the sources that the Haryana Police had ‘assumed’ that the ardent devotees had gathered to catch a glimpse of their beloved Guru. The reason may be because for 72 hours, nearly 1.5 lakh ‘Premis’, as the Dera followers are popularly knowns as, remained completely peaceful without any report of even minor skirmishes from any part of the town.The police, despite heavy bandobast, coudn’t envisage the extent of Dera followers’ reaction.Old Panchkula has been burnt down to a some extent by the furious mob. Though the curfew is still on in the city, power supply has been restored in most of the sectors of Panchkula.The DNA has also learnt that majority of those who were killed in the violence were the stone-pelters.After the first tear gas was fired in Sector 2 near Shimla-Zirakpur Highway, the city was soon engulfed in complete mayhem. The protesters used wooden sticks used to make small cots and tree branches as weapons.

Murder accused hacked to death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An accused in the sensational Faizal murder case was hacked to death by unidentified assailants in the district today, police said. Vipin (30), the second accused in the case last year, was out on bail. He was found lying with injuries on his body at a roadside in Pulinchode in Tirur around 7 am. Though police who rushed to the spot took him to the government hospital, he died on the way. A tense situation is prevailing in Tirur and nearby areas and police personnel were deployed in strength to prevent any untoward incident, police said. Faizal alias Anil Kumar (30), who embraced Islam, was found dead in a drain at Kodhini village in the district on November 19 last year. Sixteen persons have been arrested in connection with the murder. After the death of Faizal, his mother embraced Islam in December last year followed by his other family members, including two sisters, two months ago.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Congress should support Triple Talaq verdict, not cave in to pressure like Rajiv Gandhi on Shah Bano, says Margaret Alva

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The landmark triple talaq verdict will give same rights to the women of Muslim community and bring them at par with their Hindu sisters, former Union Minister Margaret Alva said on Tuesday.Speaking to DNA, the former Governor welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court to hold triple talaq unconstitutional.Talking about the controversial Shah Bano verdict of 1985, she said the then Congress regime should have supported the court’s stand on the judgment.“There was pressure from minority community within the Congress. I felt strongly that then PM Rajiv Gandhi shouldn’t have repealed the law. But it did not happen. There was tremendous pressure on him for seniors and I choose to not to further embarrass the Prime Minister,” the senior leader said .She also said the Congress should support the legislation now as there is mood in the country for this legislation.“I hope other political parties should not politicise it,” said Margaret Alva. Though she added that during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure the mood within the Muslim community was different and even senior leaders within the Congress party were also on the verge of revolt.“There is no point in crying over spilt milk. It is a welcome step to empower women against discriminatory practice,” said Margaret Alva.She also expressed her regret that the decision was arrived by a split verdict. She felt that it should have been unanimous.

Merger of AIADMK factions won’t benefit people: DMK MP Kanimozhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The merger of two AIADMK factions would in no way be beneficial to the people of Tamil Nadu, DMK MP and the party’s women’s wing leader Kanimozhi said on Monday. Replying to a specific question on the merger, she told reporters at the airport here that it would benefit only the leaders and not help in solving the problems of the people. Moreover, the people had not voted for these leaders and the continuation of the government itself was doubtful, she said. When it was pointed out that Tamil film star Rajinikanth was being projected as an alternative force to the AIADMK and DMK by Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam leader Tamilaruvi Maniyan, Kanimozhi said he had projected many persons in the past also.Meanwhile, Viduthalai Chiraithagal Katchi president Thol Thirumavalavan said the fate of the state government would depend on the decision taken by the group of MLAs owing allegiance to sidelined AIADMK deputy general secretary T T V Dhinakaran. Though the two factions have officially merged, unity and discipline in the merged party would be a question mark, he told reporters at the airport. Besides, there was the possibility of a splinter group emerging from within, leading to another political confusion, he said, adding modalities and formalities might have been settled before the merger and formation of the new ministry.

Merger of AIADMK factions likely today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The expected merger of AIADMK factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and rebel leader O Panneerselvam is likely to fructify today. Palaniswami and Panneerselvam are likely to arrive at the party headquarters here by noon and formalise the merger deal, party sources indicated. Ahead of the formalisation of the deal, the Palaniswami camp is likely to make an announcement in respect of party chief V K Sasikala since the Panneerselvam faction is firm on a ‘formal expulsion’ of the jailed leader. In a resolution on August 10, the chief minister’s camp had already delegitimised Deputy general Secretary and Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran setting the stage for a merger. Though the merger appears imminent, the faction led by Dhinakaran yesterday had flayed the merger attempt as a drama. The deputy general secretary’s faction said their leader “has the ability to put a full stop” to whatever decision that could be taken related to a merger.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

More heavy rain in store for HP in next two days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Himachal Pradesh Met department has predicted rain and thundershowers across the state in the next 48 hours. Heavy to very heavy rainfall has been forecast for some places in the lower and mid hills, the department said. Though Dharamshala and its surroundings which are the rain hub of the state went dry yesterday, rainfall occurred at most places over Himachal Pradesh, the Met said. Shimla recorded 57 mm of rainfall followed by Nagrota Suriyan in Kangra 52 mm, Kasauli 45mm, Sangrah and Solan 44 mm each, Jubbar Hatti 43 mm , Dharampur 42mm, Kahu 38mm, Naina Devi 32mm and Janjehli 30 mm. There was no appreciable change in the minimum and maximum temperatures. Kalpa recorded 12 degrees Celsius the lowest in the state and Saloni 30 degrees Celsius the highest.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Man commits suicide after killing wife

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A man, who used to run a school at a village in East Singhbhum district in Jharkhand allegedly hacked his wife to death and committed suicide, police said today. The incident happened at Tikar Serendih village about 40 km away from Jamshedpur. The students of the school raised an alarm when the couple did not come out of their house on Friday and sought the help of villagers. The villagers in turn informed the police, sources said. The police had to break open the main door of the house since it was locked from inside. While Rajiv Pratap Rana was found hanging from a ceiling fan, his wife Renu Devi’s body was found lying on the floor in a pool of blood, a police officer said. The couple had four minor children – three daughters aged between three and ten years and an eight-month-old son, the officer said. A blood stained axe and a mobile phone was also recovered from the spot and sent the bodies for post-mortem, he said. Though the exact reason behind the incident could not been ascertained, preliminary investigation suggested that Rana killed his wife suspecting that she had an illicit relationship. “We are verifying the call details on the mobile phone recovered from the spot,” the officer said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

People may have to take permission for boring to fetch water

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar government is contemplating putting a mechanism under which people will have to take prior permission for boring/sinking to fetch ground water in urban areas to conserve the ground water table. “Though there is no problem of ground water table in Bihar except in hilly areas, but we’ll regulate the water in order to conserve it in urban areas…People will have to take permission to sink to fetch ground water,” Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh told reporters here. Singh, however, made it clear that there was neither any immediate plan nor any decision taken to implement it, but it is actively considering to implement a policy to manage water as mandated under the Bihar Groundwater Regulation and Management Act 2006. Talking about the deaths caused by lightning incidents in the state, Singh said that the government was working on a plan to introduce an “mobile phone App” which would alert people in advance about lightning strike in a particular area. “I have seen the App being in practice in Andhra Pradesh. It is working quite well. It alerts people 30 minutes in advance about the place where lightining will strike,” Singh said. People would have to download the “App” and once it is downloaded, they would get an SMS alert on their handsets, he added. It will take another 3-4 months to introduce the “App” for the people in the state, he said adding that the App had become a necessity in the backdrop of large number of deaths being caused by lightining strike. The App will prove to be much cheaper too for the state government as it has to shell out Rs 4 lakh each to the next of the kin killed in the lightning strike, Singh said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cross-LoC bus remains suspended for fifth week, PoK residents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The cross-LoC bus service through the Poonch-Rawalakot road continued to remain suspended for the fifth week in a row, triggering protests by stranded residents of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) today, officials said. The weekly bus service was suspended on July 10, due to heavy firing and shelling by Pakistani troops in Poonch sector, leaving 116 PoK guests stranded at the houses of their relatives on this side of the Line of Control (LoC). Though there was no fresh ceasefire violation reported in the sector since July 21, the bus service was not allowed to resume for the fifth consecutive week today. The PoK residents staged a protest at the Poonch stadium, the place where the passengers travelling on the route usually gather before leaving for Chakan-da-bagh crossing point, demanding early return to their homes. “The PoK residents staged protest and later met me in my office demanding early return,” Deputy Commissioner, Poonch, Tariq Ahmad Zargar told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

WBGST Bill introduced, criticised

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The West Bengal Assembly today began discussions on the West Bengal Goods and Services Tax (WBGST) bill to replace the ordinance on the new tax system. Though GST has already been rolled out across the country from July 1, West Bengal is yet to pass the state GST bill due to reservations in certain areas. The bill was opposed by the Left members and the ruling Trinamool Congress who supported the bill criticised the Centre for GST, which it said will cause pain to the common man, and the lack of infratructure for the new taxation system. TMC member Shilbhadra Dutta speaking during the discussion criticised the BJP-led government at the Centre. “Though we support introduction of GST as a noble concept, we don’t agree to certain things imposed by Centre due to which the poor are being hurt.” Also the GST was introduced hurriedly without proper infrastructure, he said adding had the Centre introduced it with adequate infrastructure like internet connectivity across India then it would have been smooth and its benefits could have been felt. He also criticised the Centre for raising the tax on flattened rice, which is a food of the common people and reducing tax burden on luxury cars. Another TMC member Chandrima Bhattacharya questioned the imposition of 12 per cent tax on sanitary napkins at a time when Centre was focusing on hygeine. BJP member Dilip Kr Ghosh supported the bill. Congress member Sukhobilas Burman questioned the drafting of the bill. The discussion will continue tomorrow.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Promising idea, shoddy execution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lakhs of students at the University of Mumbai are currently awaiting their results, which have been delayed due to the last minute implementation of the On-Screen Evaluation (OSM) system. In January 2017, MU VC Dr Sanjay Deshmukh announced that close to 19 lakh answer sheets under the university would be assessed on screen to put an end to malpractices and tampering.Despite its good intentions, the move seems to have failed to make any impact as the glitches and delays have left the future of lakhs of students in limbo. DNA spoke to a few readers and asked them if the introduction of OSM was a bad idea or just a badly implemented decision and whether it should be continued in the future.I cannot say the system implemented this year by MU is a good idea because many students have already lost a year as they could not apply for admissions abroad due to the delay in results. Even I haven’t got my results yet. Thankfully, I have taken a break for a year and never had to apply to any other university for masters. Also, about continuing with this system, the University should ensure that such breakdowns don’t occur and the results are out on time. They should fix the system in terms of coordination before it is implemented next year.Aditi Hegde, BMM studentI do not think the choice of on screen assessment was a problem. I would not blame the on screen assessment so much as the way it was executed. Since it was the first time, they should have conducted a dry run before introducing it. Any thing that is introduced and so much effort is put into it, they should have checked it once before. This has affected students very adversely. Teachers will not be able to complete the course on time and it would be unfair to students too.Bhavik Shah, Bandra residentThe on screen evaluation process, in my opinion, is a good one for the long run. But the Mumbai University needs to stop being so lax about the glitches and fix them immediately. It is about a student’s future. Technology can go a long way in easing the situation but it is the lax attitude that needs to be fixed first.Srikanth Chandrasekhar, IT consultantMumbai University’s lackadaisical approach to resolve issues of students is condemned, if MU was not prepared to handle a major change, they could have first ensured that the infrastructure and adequate measures were in place to take the process online. Though the education department was willing for a transparent process, the attitude to execute the plan has fallen flat on their faces. Students should be given immediate relief and their grievances must be resolved by the University.Jia Ailani, Bandra resident

NBT to organise Panchayat book fair to inculcate reading habits in small towns

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Book Trust, a body under the HRD Ministry, which organises the World Book fair, is going to start Sanskrit Book fair and Panchayat Book fair.While there have been book exhibitions on Sanskrit by various agencies in the past, the Panchayat book fair, which will be organised in tehsils and small towns, will be a first-of-a-kind attempt by a government organisation to encourage reading habit in small towns.According to sources in NBT, the authorities are already in talks with Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Chhatisgarh for organising the fair and it is likely to happen around January of February next year.”The idea is to encourage good reading habits among people in small towns and villages, basically places where resources are not available. Through the Panchayat book fair, we also plan to engage children with the panchayat heads and Aanganwadi of the area, to get them other benefits meant for school children,” an official in NBT said.The trust had a few days ago organised a distribution camp in some of the remote and tribal areas and realised that people are interested in reading but they do not have enough resources available. Which is the reason, the trust is now organising various book fairs to facilitate reading material.Apart from the Panchayat fair, Sanskrit fair is also in the pipeline for the trust. Though not on a large scale, this fair will display all the old Sanskrit books, specially vedas and upanishads. Those that are translated from Sanskrit in other languages will also be at display at the fair, which is most likely to be organised alongside the International book fair in the national capital.The trust had recently published its first ever book in Sanskrit on its 60 year completion and it plans to publish 10 more books in the language to mark the occasion.NBT, is meant to produce and encourage literature In English, Hindi and other Indian languages and to make such literature available to public at moderate price. It also organises seminars and fairs to promote reading culture.

HC notice to EC for early completion of inquiry against Naveen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Orissa High Court has issued notice to the Election Commission on a writ petition that has sought direction to the poll panel for early completion of inquiry against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for allegedly giving “false” statements about his election expenses during the 2014 Assembly elections. A bench of Justice S K Mishra issued the notice to the EC on July 18 making it returnable by August 17, so that the writ petition shall be taken up for final hearing on August 22. The high court has also made it clear in the order that the matter shall be disposed of at the stage of admission, informed the petitioner advocate Sidharth P. Das. Das said a Bhubaneswar-based social activist Subash Mohapatra had on June 29, 2016 lodged a complaint before the Election Commission alleging “irregularities” in the election expenses of Patnaik as a BJD candidate for the Hinjili assembly segment. He also alleged “discrepancies” in the sworn statements of expenses both by Patnaik and his party Biju Janata Dal, of which he is the president. “Though, the EC was supposed to act upon such complaints and redress the grievances of the complainants within two days, the EC is sitting over it for more than one year now,” the writ petition alleged, adding that such prolonged silence on the part of Election Commission was illogical and bad in the eyes of law.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maha MLC’s outburst: Difficult to survive in state Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior MLC Anant Gadgil today said it would be difficult to survive in the Congress for the members like him if “high handedness” of certain individuals continues unchecked. “It is the Congress president Sonia Gandhi who nominated me as party spokesperson in 2004. Yet, I am not allowed to function and perform. This means that Sonia ji is indirectly being vetoed by certain individuals. If this continues, it will be difficult for many hardcore Congressmen like me to survive in the party,” Gadgil said. He today wrote a letter to all the party MLAs, MPs, office-bearers and district presidents expressing his displeasure with the functioning of the state Congress unit. “In the last 13 years that I have served as the party spokesperson, never has the Congress been in any trouble due to my statements. “Also, I have not made myself a laughing stock by wrongly condoling a person’s demise when he was alive, nor have I made personal remarks against any individual against the party’s culture. While a formal press briefing was going on, I did not correct the statements made by the state Congress chief,” Gadgil stated in the letter. An earlier norm of the party spokespersons visiting the state Congress office to interact with the media is discontinued now, which has “impeded” the party’s official stand from reaching people, it said. Gadgil said he was not even informed about the press conference of former minister Kapil Sibal and the party’s national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, held in February this year. “Gandhi Bhavan (the state Congress office) has been handed over to the state government for the construction of the Mumbai Metro line, but we were not even informed about the party’s decision to do so. Though the Congress has shifted its office, the NCP continues to operate from its office,” he stated. Ruing the party’s defeat in the recently held Pune municipal corporation election, Gadgil said he was kept in the dark about the selection process of the candidates and that none of the aspirants recommended by him were given a ticket. “As a result, we got only 9 corporators elected and suffered a massive defeat. While all this is happening in the Congress, I could not keep quiet anymore. Am I to understand that the party does not need people like me anymore?” he questioned.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Subsidy for Manasarovar yatra will now cover 1,000 pilgrims:CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Tamil Nadu government today doubled the number of beneficiaries to 1,000 under the subsidy scheme for undertaking Manasarovar and Mukthinath pilgrimages in view of good response to it. The increase in the number of beneficiaries would entail an additional expenditure of Rs 1.25 crore to the government in the current fiscal. “There is a good response among pilgrims in Tamil Nadu to embark on these yatras,” Chief Minister K Palaniswami told the state assembly announcing the measure. At present subsidy was being extended to 500 pilgrims under the scheme, launched by late chief minister Jayalalithaa fulfilling her 2011 electoral promise to provide subsidy on the pilgrimage cost of people visiting Manasaraovar in China and Mukthinath in Nepal. Till now, out of the total 500 pilgrims, subsidy was for given to 250 pilgrims visiting Manasarovar and an identical number of those going to Mukthinath. The government came forward to bear Rs 40,000 per yatri for Manasarovar pilgrimage, it was Rs 10,000 in respect of Muktinath trip. The late AIADMK supremo had also implemented a scheme subsidising pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Christians. Palaniswami also said the number of village temples to get financial aid for renovation purposes in areas inhabited by Scheduled Castes and Tribes will be increased to 2000 following representation. Though it was announced in the budget that the number of beneficiary temples will be increased to 1000 from 500, it will now be 2000 temples in view of representations from SC/ST regions, he noted.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP, GJM in Catch 22 over Gorkhaland

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a dilemma after many senior BJP functionaries, including general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, ruled out the possibility of a separate statehood for Gorkhaland, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has chosen to be cautious for now saying it does not pay heed to what anybody says but what the BJP promised in its manifesto.”BJP has been an ally of GJM since 2007. In both their election manifestos of 2009 and 2014, they have said that they will sympathetically examine and appropriately consider the long pending demands of the Gorkhas. As far as I know there has been no change in BJP’s stand towards Gorkhland,” said Swaraj Thapa, central committee member of the GJM, indicating that his party will not budge from its stand for a separate statehood.However, despite being warned by BJP President Amit Shah not to give any statement on the touchy issue of Gorkhaland, senior party leaders in private concede that the party will never agree to the demand of according full statehood to Gorkhaland.”Though the party is in favour of carving out smaller states for better administration, we will never support the same demand for regions adjoining international borders. A separate Gorkhaland state is not possible in the national interest. You can see the expansionist designs of China in the ongoing case of standoff between the armies of the two countries in Doka La,” said a senior party functionary.”Ways can be found out to give Gorkhaland more autonomy within the State. West Bengal government should work in that direction to sort it out,” said the functionary.BJP is also aware that any wrong move may forfeit its chances to make further advances in West Bengal where it has emerged as the second party to TMC, though a distant one.Watching the political tussles from the fringes, senior bureaucrats dealing with the issue, however, are keeping their fingers crossed and gearing up for tougher days ahead as they fear more flare-ups in the turmoil hit region of Darjeeling.”It’s a Catch 22 situation arising out of political positioning for immediate gains. But our job is to respond to situations and douse flare-ups that we will keep doing. But tripartite talks in immediate do not seem possible,” said a Union Home ministry official.

Filmmaker’s campaign against male child sexual abuse gathers steam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parents are very protective of their daughter’s safety, but what about the risks that their son might face? A Mumbai filmmaker is pulling out all stops to raise awareness against male child sexual abuse and also help survivors end their isolation and speak out.”While it is difficult for a woman to speak about her abuse in public, the challenges faced by men are starkly different. When men try to speak up, their sexual orientation is questioned. The pressure to live up to a macho image the society eventually forces them to stay mum and internalise,” says Insia Dariwala, who has launched an online petition to urge the Ministry of Woman and Child Development (WCD) to investigate cases of male child sexual abuse. The petition has garnered about 40,000 signatures so far.A child sexual abuse survivor herself, Dariwala, 44, has also launched a photo campaign online called ‘End the Isolation’ bringing together voices of survivors. “It is my attempt to tell the society that every child, irrespective of their gender, needs to be protected.”According to a 2007 government study on child abuse, 53.2 per cent of children have experienced sexual abuse in varying forms. Of this, 52.9 per cent are boys.At an age when a male child is taught not to cry or complain, a sense of fear and confusion gripped Roshan Kokane, then just 10, when he was sexually abused by a relative. “Though it stopped, it left me with anxiety and depression,” says Kokane, now 23, who is a part of the photo campaign.Dariwala says, “More than the number of petitioners, I am focusing on the comments section. Out of every 10 signatories, about four say that they were abused. I hope to reach out to multiple segments in society and have more male survivors will join to end their own isolation.”

Maha govt issues advisory to farmers to postpone sowing ops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Faced with deficit rainfall in the month of July, the Maharashtra government today issued an advisory asking farmers to postpone their sowing schedule. “So far sowing up to 35-40 per cent of the total cultivable area has been reported in the state. But the break in the monsoon has made conditions unfavourable for sowing in the whole last week. “The state government has sent text messages to farmers asking them to delay their sowing plans till next advisory is issued,” Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said. Though the state government has issued the advisory today, the rainfall data of the state agriculture department stated that except for Amravati and Nagpur division — remaining four divisions have received good rainfall in June, while the figures of July are on a lower side. The rainfall data revealed that normal rainfall from July 1 to 9 for Konkan division is 1164.7 mm as against actual rainfall of 217.1 mm. It means Konkan division has received only 18.6 per cent rainfall. Similarly, the Nashik division has received rainfall of 38.5 mm (16.3 per cent) Pune 49.1 mm (14.9 per cent), Aurangabad 9.6 mm (4.8 per cent), Amravati 20.4 mm (7.8 per cent) and Nagpur 54.2 mm (13.1 per cent). “It clearly shows that the rainfall in July in the state is still very low and state needs more showers. The central part of Maharashtra — is more fertile hence we need more showers there than in Konkan or eastern Vidarbha,” said a senior officer from state agriculture ministry.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bihar: Harassed by neighbours, Muslim man and sons convert to Hinduism in Begusarai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 46-year-old Muslim lawyer has converted to Hinduism in Bihar’s Begusarai district after being harassed by a Muslim family, reported Indian Express.Mohammed Anwar, along with his two sons who are 11 and 9, converted to Hinduism, and changed his name to Anand Bharti. He said that his wife would convert later.He said he was being harassed by another family for the last seven months. He said: “Though I have been living in Pokharia, Begusarai, for over 18 years amid 12 Muslim households in a Muslim-dominated area, a Syed family, which thinks itself as contractor of Islam, has been harassing me for last seven months, sometimes by saying that I hardly offer namaz and at times by leaving bones outside my house. I consider myself a humanist. I have given donation for construction of temples… Such things would irritate Muslim neighbours, who often asked why I do not eat beef and put my sons in a madrasa.’’Anand said he converted after 40 Muslims threatened him with consequences if he didn’t follow ‘basic norms of Islam’ on July 2. He said his decision wasn’t forced and he took it out of his own free will. Bajrang Dal’s Begusarai district convener Subham Bhardwaj said that their ‘social service’ had pleased people like Anand.

Police probe into molestation of women devotees in Puri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A police team today met a woman medical student, who had accused policemen of molesting women devotees during ‘Sandhya Darshan’ of Lord Jagannath at Gundichha Telpme on Sunday. Allegedly a victim of molestation by a policeman while visiting the temple with her family members, the student had also slapped him in protest. A case was registered with the Kumbharpada police station at Puri last night on a direction from the Odisha police headquarters. “Based on a Facebook post and reports in the electronic and print media on the alleged molestation of a medical student in Puri during darshan of Lord Jagannth, I have directed Dr Sarthak Sarangi, IPS, SP Puri to register an FIR with the Kumbahrpada police station under appropriate sections and get it investigated immediately under his supervision,” DGP K B Singh said in an office order. Though the Puri police had initially said the probe into the allegation would begin after the rituals of Lord Jagannath ‘darshan’ were completed, DGP Singh has ordered immediate investigation. “I hope the investigation will reach the final stage by tomorrow. We’ll install more CCTV cameras at crowded places to avoid such incidents in future,” Singh told reporters. The Puri police, meanwhile, today formed a three-member team to probe the alleged molestation case. The team led by Kumbharpada police station in-charge, today met the woman at the medical college here where she is pursuing her MBBS degree course and enquired her about the incident. Her statement was recorded under section 161 of CrPC, the police said. The alleged victim has also shared her experience on the social media. “Just returning from Puri. I am very very disheartened seeing the scenario there. I didn’t want to create a mess there, but I just couldn t control myself. There were some policemen, touching the private areas of the girls,” she said in a Facebook post. The student said in her post that she lost her patience and slapped a policeman and lodged a complaint with the SP.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Woman hacked to death at children’s home in Tirunelveli

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 40-year-old woman was allegedly hacked to death by an unidentified person at a children’s home in Pettai here today, police said. The woman, Saraswathi, who is employed by an NGO, was staying at the home, they said. Preliminary investigations revealed that the accused barged into her room and murdered her following a heated exchange. Though the victim raised an alarm, the man managed to get away, they added. Investigation is on, police said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Respond to RTI query on Sonia Gandhi’s citizenship: CIC to MHA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Information Commission has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to respond to an RTI applicant seeking details of Sonia Gandhi’s Indian citizenship. The RTI applicant from Ujjain had approached the external affairs ministry seeking acquisition of Indian citizenship by foreign nationals including Gandhi. He had also demanded her citizenship application, certified copies of supporting documents, notification, order, rules, correspondence pertaining to Gandhi’s Indian citizenship, and notesheets of the verification process. Though the matter was transferred to the home ministry by the external affairs ministry, the former did not respond to the query. Chief Information Commissioner R K Mathur has ordered the home ministry to respond to the application. “Upon perusal of the record, it is seen that no reply of the Ministry of Home Affairs is available. The Commission observes that the MHA should give a reply to the appellant (applicant), within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order,” Mathur said. He has also directed the Central Public Information Officer of the home ministry to appear for hearing on the next date.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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