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Bhopal jailbreak: CISF to conduct security, fire safety audit of Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior jails

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A security audit report by the CISF on Bhopal Central Jail, from where eight SIMI operatives pulled off a daring jailbreak, has been submitted to the Madhya Pradesh government with suggestions to bolster manpower and technical surveillance at the high-security facility.An exhaustive report has been prepared by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) experts for the jail in the state capital recommending “augmentation of human resource, and infusion of latest gadgetry and technology was suggested for making the jail security foolproof”, a senior official said.The proposed security features include enhancing perimeter security, deployment of more CCTV cameras and strict monitoring of entry and exit in the prison premises. The eight SIMI under-trials had escaped from the high- security Central Jail on the intervening night of October 30- 31 after killing a guard, before they were gunned down in an alleged encounter by police on the outskirts of the city on October 31 morning.The state government, the force said, has further asked the central paramilitary to similarly conduct a security and fire safety audit report of three other jails in the state in Indore, Jabalpur and Gwalior. “Appreciating the consultancy services rendered by our experts to the Bhopal Jail, the state government has now requested us to further provide the same expertise to three other jails located in Madhya Pradesh. Our teams will soon conduct the audit of these jails too,” CISF Director General OP Singh said.The force has a special consultancy wing within its establishment that conducts audit of critical installations and establishments, in government and public domain, by way of suggesting them the required access-control, deployment of watch towers and sentry posts, usage of gadgets and positioning of security personnel and surveillance gadgets to enhance protection.The force does this job on a government-approved fee and has provided consultancy to a total of 134 organisations till now. Some of the important clients of CISF security consultancy services are TISCO Limited, Bangalore Metro, the National Security Guard (NSG) headquarters in Delhi, Allahabad High Court, Tirumala Tirupati and Devsthanam in Tirupati, British High Commission in the national capital and assemblies of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

‘Influential’ wedding party of 80 delays Bhopal-bound Jet flight for two hours

A Bhopal-bound Jet Airways 9W-7083 flight from Mumbai was delayed for 90 minutes early on Friday morning by a wedding party of 80 for allegedly ‘hijacking’ the overbooked flight on being denied boarding, reported Mumbai Mirror.

According to the report, 17 of the wedding party who showed up late and were not allowed to board the flight. The rest of the passengers from the wedding party allegedly held other passengers ransom after intimidating staffers by using their ‘political clout’.

However, according to India Today,  the wedding party was a Gujarati family related to a ‘powerful’ minister which was provided ‘incentive’ of Rs 10,000 by the airlines to make people deplane so that their family members, who turned up late to the airport, could fly.

After an hour of arguments, five people agreed to deplane after accepting the sum of Rs 10,000 each.

The flight which was scheduled to depart at 5.55 am finally took off at 8.05 am.

Mumbai Mirror quoted airport sources as saying, “After realising that they would not be accommodated on the flight, the group started protesting and intimidating airline staff and other passengers who had boarded on time.”

However, a statement issued by Jet Airways said that a technical glitch was the main reason for the delay. It further said that the chaos led to an “unruly situation which further required the intervention of law enforcement officials.”

All the offloaded guests were compensated as per DGCA guidelines, the statement said.

In the video below passengers are seen arguing over the delay in the flight as one woman from the wedding tried to pacify them.

First Published On : Dec 3, 2016 15:02 IST

Bhopal gas disaster: 32 years later, wounds still fester in Bhopal

Bhopal: Thirty two years after Bhopal gas tragedy — one of the worst industrial disaster mankind has known and which resulted in death of 15,278 persons (official figure), people are still suffering due to the after-effects of the tragedy.

Nearly 40 tonnes of lethal methyl isocyanate gas had leaked out of the Union Carbide plant on the night of December 2-3, 1984. Several thousands died after inhaling the gas, many of them in their sleep. Lakhs suffered serious ailments for the rest of their lives.

Toxic waste contaminates soil, ground water; contamination spreading

Hundreds of tonnes of toxic waste that is lying in the premises of the Union Carbide factory is causing soil and water contamination. Also, when the factory was functioning, the waste was dumped for years at a pond near the factory.

This highly toxic waste is causing water contamination through seepage. “The hazardous chemical waste has not been removed. With every passing year, especially, after rains, it seeps into underground water,”says Abdul Jabbar, convener of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS), a non-governmental organisation that works among victims of gas tragedy.

Besides this, contamination is spreading to underground water in many adjoining localities. Groundwater contamination is spreading and over a dozen localities around the Union Carbide plant are now facing it, says a latest study conducted by Sambhavna Trust, which provides medical aid to gas victims apart from conducting research.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Cancer prevalence higher among gas victims

Bhopal Group for Information and Action’s Rachna Dhingra says that relief and rehabilitation have been a major cause of concern. “The victims are unable to afford cost of treatment, especially, in case of renal failure”, she further said. Dhingra says that the prevalence of cancer is ten times higher among gas victims. Rashida Bi, a gas victim, who now works for welfare of survivors, says that Dow is responsible for the clean-up around the factory, but the company doesn’t even respond to the court’s notices.

Survivors suffer from health issues, hospitals lack infrastructure

Lack of proper treatment for gas victims is another major issue. Most of the victims belong to poorer sections of society. The hospitals set up for the purpose of treating the gas victims, today, lack infrastructure and victims don’t get the care and treatment that is needed. The super-specialty Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) perpetually remains mired in controversies — either due to lack of adequate doctors and facilities or because of tug-of-war over its control.

No high-level research on affects of gas on victims

Activists say that the medical issues ranging from pulmonary problems to throat and kidney ailments or particular women’s ailments (and disorders that have passed to next generation) need dedicated treatment and high-level of research and monitoring but this wasn’t done. Even after so many years the proper protocol for treatment of each gas-related ailment has not been evolved. The symptomatic treatment, over-medication and lack of proper monitoring apart from sub-standard drugs led to increased number of renal failures among the gas victims.

Children born to the survivors too suffer from ailments. “There was no high-level research in this regard. Most hospitals are running with skeletal staff,” Jabbar says. “Even the line of treatment is not correct. Take for example Shakir Ali Khan hospital, which lacks equipment and even emergency facility. Even BMHRC is functioning without a proper system,” he adds.

Inadequate compensation to gas victims

The victims say that the settlement between government of India and union carbide over compensation was a sham and the victims didn’t get adequate compensation. There are multiple issues that need to be addressed — from rehabilitation of victims to prosecution of the culprits. The survivors who were widowed by the gas tragedy find tough to make both ends meet.

Many gas victims were not classified under permanent injury category and hence denied proper compensation and treatment. The cases regarding this issue as well as lack of adequate compensation are in the court.

The gas had leaked from the Union Carbide due to poor safety standards in the Bhopal-based plant that manufactured pesticide. It had resulted in instant deaths of thousands. The official figure was later revised to 15,278 deaths though unofficially it was believed that the figure was much higher.

Nearly 5 lakh suffered the affects for the rest of their lives after inhaling the gas. Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) was then under control of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), a US-based multi-national which was later taken over by Dow Chemical.

A petition with over 1 lakh signatures was made earlier this year, urging US Department of Justice to uphold international law and make Dow accountable for the suffering in Bhopal.

First Published On : Dec 3, 2016 08:53 IST

Madhya Pradesh: 260 deaths in man-animal conflict since past 5 years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 260 people have been killed and 10,955 were injured in man-animal conflict from the past five years in Madhya Pradesh, making it a serious cause of concern for the state forest officials. Besides, 22 tigers, leopards, bears, wild boars, jackals and other carnivores have been killed by humans during the same period.According to the Forest department data, 51 people were killed by wild animals in 2011-12, 48 each in 2012-13 and 2013-14; 61 in 2014-15 and 52 in 2015-16.Likewise, 3,181 people were injured in man-animal conflict in 2011-12, 2,906 in 2012-13, 2,092 in 2013-14, 1,334 in 2014-15 and 1,442 in 2015-16, the data reveals. 25,344 cattle also killed in the past five years.Recently, a minor girl was mauled to death by a tiger in Bagda forest range of Hoshangabad district on November 19.Wildlife activist Ajay Dubey blamed the depleting forest cover in MP and encroachment in forested areas as the major reasons for rise in incidents of man-animal conflict.The forest officials, on condition of anonymity, also said that encroachments in forest area is a disturbing trend.With reports of tigers sneaking into human settlement and killing cattle around the state capital being received at regular intervals, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Jitendra Agrawal said. It is because the settlements have come up just close to the forest areas, he added. “Some times, these tigers are sneaking out of their habitat in search of prey and the area which acts like a buffer and divides the human and animal habitat is shrinking around Bhopal,” Agrawal said.”We have placed four cameras around Bhopal and are maintaining vigil day in and day out to avoid man-animal conflict,” he stressed.Agrawal said presence of 10 wild tigers, including cubs, has been reported in Bhopal forest division recently.

Nabha jailbreak not an exception: It’s high time Indian prisons took security seriously

Whether it’s a terror attack, a train accident or a jailbreak, we never learn our lessons. No matter how serious security lapses can get, incidents continue to happen, people lose their lives and life moves on, waiting for another incident to occur.

The felicity with which the Nabha jailbreak in Punjab was executed on Sunday — about 10 gunmen disguised as policemen tricked their way into the high-security prison and escaped with a Khalistani militant group commander Harminder Singh Mintoo and five others — seems laughable. It’s no laughing matter, though.

Coming close on the heels of Bhopal jailbreak, where eight SIMI (Students’ Islamic Movement of India) operatives allegedly escaped from the high-security ISO-certified central jail and were killed in an encounter on 31 October, it’s actually pretty serious.

According to the latest Prison Statistics India (PSI) report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2015, 200 inmates, including militants, terrorists, dreaded gangsters and petty criminals managed to escape from high-security jails from six states in the calendar year.

Security personnel and media outside Nabha Central Jail, which was stormed by armed men. PTI

Security personnel and media outside Nabha Central Jail, which was stormed by armed men. PTI

“In wake of the recent jailbreak in Bhopal, this one at Nabha speaks of the pathetic security system in Indian jails. There’s a general air of complacency and callousness in every prison in India, including the high-security ones where terrorists and underworld operatives have been kept. Each and every movement should be monitored, but that’s missing. Prison officials are mollycoddling with the inmates, giving a safe passage to the latter in escaping from jails,” quipped former director general of police (UP), Prakash Singh.

The PSI report further highlights that there had been 83 jailbreak incidents in the country between 2011 and 2015, with the highest 28 jailbreaks in 2011, followed by 26 in 2015. In this five-year period, Rajasthan accounted for 41 out of the 83 jailbreaks, followed by 14 in Uttar Pradesh and 5 in Madhya Pradesh. Out of 836 incidents of clashes in jails, close to 60 percent or 501 of these incidents were reported from jails in Delhi alone.

A performance audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in 2013 stated that there were 91 incidents of prisoners escaping from jails during 2007-2012. The CAG had indicted the prison administration for its lackadaisical approach towards securing its jails. The audit report also pointed out the malfunctioning of wireless sets and CCTVs — meant for maintaining security in jails.

The recent Bhopal jailbreak revealed that CCTV cameras were not functioning when the SIMI operatives allegedly scaled the 28-ft perimeter wall and escaped. Prior to this, adopting an identical modus operandi in October 2013, six SIMI operatives, accused of murder, dacoity and communal violence, broke open the ventilator of their barrack in the high-security Khandwa jail in Madhya Pradesh, scaled the wall and escaped.

“For the last two decades, I have been advocating for police reforms in India, including prison reform. I have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, bringing it to his notice that it was he who in 2014 had enunciated the concept of SMART police, but two years down the line, there is a sense of disappointment because the change has not happened. I’m not trying to find fault with the central government, because police is a state subject. The decline in quality policing and deteriorating conditions of prisons has essentially been due to state political leadership,” added Singh, also former DGP, Border Security Force.

It was on 30 November 2014, while addressing DGP conference in Guwahati, that the prime minister came up with the concept of SMART police — police which would be strict and sensitive, modern and mobile, alert and accountable, reliable and responsible, and, tech-savvy and trained.

The political opponents in Punjab have launched a scathing attack on the state government after the jailbreak in Nabha.

“Law and order situation in the state has deteriorated to unprecedented levels under Badal regime, especially in the run-up to the Assembly polls. The jailbreak has triggered fears of revival of terrorism ahead of the polls in Punjab. The shocking brazenness with which the armed gangsters freed the dreaded Khalistani terrorist along with other convicts by walking into the high security jail, clearly shows the complicity at the highest levels,” said former chief minister and Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh.

However, not ruling out the possibility of revival of Pakistan-backed Khalistan movement in Punjab, the security experts are more concerned about the lack of security in prisons that is paving the way for militants and hardened criminals to escape.

“Why blame Pakistan? It’s doing what it’s expected of them. Pathankot and Gurdaspur attacks revealed Pakistan’s desperation to create disturbances in Punjab after Jammu and Kashmir. Though it isn’t easy at present to revive pro-Khalistan movement in the state, Pakistan will try to exploit the situation during Punjab election. But the immediate concern is the series of jailbreaks taking place in the country. It speaks of the lack of manpower, deteriorating infrastructure, not following standard operating procedures (SOPs) by jail staff and absolute apathy towards having a foolproof security in prisons. When will we learn a lesson?” questioned security analyst Anil Kamboj.

Here are the major jail breaks in two decades:

1995: 43 LTTE cadres escaped from Tipu Mahal inside Vellore Fort after digging a 153-ft long tunnel.
1998: 78 prisoners escaped from the Nizamabad jail, taking advantage of mob strength and official laxity.
2000: 15 prisoners escaped from the Mahendragarh district jail in Haryana.
2001: 270 inmates, including hardened criminals, escaped from Bhuj jail in Gujarat, taking advantage of the earthquake that had rocked the state.
2002: 8 prisoners, two of them serving life sentences, escaped from Betiah divisional jail in Bihar’s West Champaran district after scaling the prison wall.
2005: 137 inmates escaped from Jehanabad jail in Bihar after a Maoist attack on the town.
2013: 6 SIMI operatives, accused of murder, dacoity and communal violence lodged in Khandwa jail in MP and scaled the wall to escape.
2015: 2 under-trials in one of the most high security prisons of India — Tihar jail scaled the wall, dug a tunnel through the boundary wall and escaped.

2016: 8 SIMI operatives allegedly escaped from the high-security Bhopal Central jail and were later killed in an alleged encounter with police on the outskirts of the city.

First Published On : Nov 28, 2016 07:55 IST

Bhopal jailbreak: Inscriptions glorifying SIMI activists removed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The inscriptions on the graves of five SIMI activists killed in an alleged encounter in Bhopal last month, which implied at glorifying their acts and described them as martyrs, have been removed, police said on Wednesday. “We raised the issue with the elders of Muslim community who got the inscriptions on the graves painted,” District Superintendent of Police Mahendrasingh Sikarwar said.Some inscriptions which tried to portray the deceased as Islamic martyrs and some other things written on the graves in Urdu and Hindi were whitewashed last night, sources said. Amjad Khan, Zakir Hussain, Mohammad Salik, Sheikh Mehboob and Aqueel Khilji were among the eight SIMI activists who were killed in an alleged encounter with police after they escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail on the intervening night of October 30-31.On November 2, they were laid to rest at Bada Cemetery in Khandwa amid tension and tight security. Over 2,000 people had taken part in their funeral procession and police had to drive people away at some places, to avoid any stampede-like situation.

Madhya Pradesh by-polls: BJP retains Nepanagar Assembly seat, defeats Congress

Bhopal: BJP on Tuesday retained the Nepanagar Assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh with party candidate Manju Dadu defeating her nearest Congress rival Antar Singh Barde by a margin of 42,198 votes.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Manju bagged 99,626 votes while Barde got 57,428 votes, an election official said.

BJP fielded Manju Dadu, daughter of late MLA Rajendra Shyamlal Dadu whose death in an accident necessitated the bypoll.

BJP retained the seat by winning it with a margin of 42,198 votes.Dadu’s father had won the election in 2013 by a margin of 22178 RPT 22178 votes.

Besides Congress and BJP, the Republican Party of India (A) (nominee Ms Revanta) and Lok Janshakti Party (Ber Singh) also contested the bypoll.

The reserved seat (ST) had recorded 71.25 per cent polling during the byelection held on 19 November.

First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 14:54 IST

Orderly queues at banks; micro ATMs prove a hit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bank branches on Saturday saw orderly queues following restrictions imposed by the government, but queues at ATMs persisted. People have started withdrawing money from micro ATMs, installed in places like Bhopal.All banks served only their respective customers, but this restriction was not applicable for senior citizens.Meanwhile, with a united opposition looking to corner the government in Rajya Sabha on demonetization issue, the BJP on Saturday issued a whip to its members, asking them to be present in the House for three days starting Monday. The ruling NDA lacks a majority in the Rajya Sabha and BJP believes that a maximum presence of its members would be required in case of any voting. The party top brass also asked its MPs to publicise benefits of the demonetization and also to counter the opposition’s charges.Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government is taking every step possible to eradicate the evil of black money. “The government was well prepared and is closely monitoring the ground situation on a daily basis, based on which minor tweaks are made,” she said.

Bhopal: SBI cashier dies of heart attack amid rush to exchange notes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 45-year-old senior cashier with State Bank of India died after he experienced chest pain at its Ratibad branch of Bhopal on Sunday, police said.Purshottam Vyas experienced chest pain and uneasiness little after 5 PM, following which he was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.According to police, he probably died while on way to hospital.”We have registered a case and started investigation,” police officer C Mewade said while confirming the incident.He said Vyas’ body has been sent to Hamadia Hospital for postmortem to find out exact cause of his death.Banks were open on Sunday as per government’s order following the demonetization of Rs 500 and 1000 bank notes.People are queueing up outside banks and ATMs across country to either deposit or withdraw the scrapped notes or exchange them for lower value tender.Bank employees too are putting extra hours to cater to the rush of people.

Congress workers pay heed to Rahul Gandhi’s message, help people waiting in bank queues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With common people facing major hardships due to paucity of cash in the wake of the demonetisation move, Congress in Madhya Pradesh set up stalls outside some banks on Sunday and served refreshments to those standing in long queues. “We had put some stalls in front of banks in the state capital, including Jahangirabad and Bairagarh localities, and served water and tea to people, especially senior citizens,” said Congress district president and state unit party general secretary PC Sharma.Long queues have been seen outsides banks since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced scrapping of bank notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 to curb black money. Banks remained open on Sunday to cater to the huge rush of people who wanted to either withdraw/deposit their money or get the defunct denominations exchanged for lower value legal tender.Sharma said Congress members helped old and illiterate people to fill up requisite forms to get their demonetised money exchanged at the banks. State Congress chief spokesman KK Mishra said, “We have been informed officially by our cadres that around 35 such camps were put up at different districts outside Bhopal.” Mishra said such stalls may continue till the banking system is back to normal.
ALSO READ Politics adds to currency chaosBlaming the BJP-led Central government for the plight of people post demonetisation move, he said that common people, especially poor and farmers are run out of money and running from the pillar to post for cash.

ATM chaos: New Rs 500 notes at select SBI ATMs in Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal likely

New Rs 500 notes will be introduced in Delhi, Mumbai and Bhopal today, according to a report in News18.com citing finance ministry officials.

Some of the State Bank of India ATMs have been recalibrated and may start dispensing these notes, the report said.

Until now, the ATMs have been dispensing Rs 100 notes as the dimensions of the new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes are different and all the 2.15 lakh ATMs in the country needs to be recalibrated.

New Rs 500 note. Image: RBINew Rs 500 note. Image: RBI

New Rs 500 note. Image: RBI

Finance minister Arun Jaitley had yesterday at a press conference said that the recalibration of the ATMs will be completed only in 3 weeks.

As the there is a limit to the number notes an ATM can hold, the replenished notes are getting over in no time, leading to long queues in front of the kiosks. Once the new Rs 500 notes are loaded, it will be a relief to the customers.

A report in The Times of India today said that the Currency Note Press, Nashik, (CNP) has dispatched the first batch of 5 million Rs 500 notes.

According to an official quoted in the report, the CNP will dispatch another five million pieces by Wednesday. The press is also printing Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100 notes.

Meanwhile the Reserve Bank of India has in a message on its website that it has enough cash available with it to meet the demand and the public need not hoard it in large numbers.

“The Reserve Bank assures members of the public that enough cash in small denominations is also available at the Reserve Bank and banks. The Reserve Bank urges that public need not be anxious; need not come over to banks repeatedly to draw and hoard; Cash is available when they need it,” the message said.

First Published On : Nov 13, 2016 17:27 IST

Rs 500, Rs 1,000 note ban: Nation on fiscal vacation, not the promise PM Modi made

Bhopal: An out of order ATM machine in Bhopal on Friday. PTI Photo (PTI11_11_2016_000254B)

An out of order ATM machine in Bhopal on Friday. PTI

This should have been a military operation, planned on a computer programme by geeks of whom we have a veritable tribe. It should have been incremental and timebound.

The financial makeover should have been placed at the same level as an epidemic and the paramilitary and police should have been pressed into federal service to ensure delivery of notes to the farthest corners of India.

The new currency notes should have been seen like a vaccine being delivered against the pox just like bullets to a frontline army in battle.

Soldiers should have been stationed at every ATM, every bank branch to ensure the safety of money transfers so that ATMs were not damaged. The government should have pressed in private accountants and their staffs to augment the bank strength so that dispensation would have been immediate. The CRPF alone has 235 battalions. Then we have the BSF (2,50,000) ITBP, CISF, SSB, Assam Rifles and Railway Police, to name a few.

There should have been a national emergency for three days.

When euphoria was sky high on Day One after the midnight blow to black money hoarders and other nasties, any warning given that it must be backed by instant infrastructural hyperactivity or else rage would replace the hurrahs was assaulted for being too unreasonable and demanding.

We should all be glad to suffer for the greater good. Fine. Point taken.

Dozens of trolls dished out advice to columnists replete with what they thought of our lineage and the grotesque threats to sundry members of our families.

Since I do not live in India some of the trolls who know this fact screamed vituperative at such a shrill level that it actually worried me.

They told me that I had no right to comment, and to stay out because this was the best thing to happen to India since sliced bread.

Yes, I do have a right to comment. It is Day Four and I don’t have any money in my house in Delhi and a sister who is a patient confined to her bed. I have been fortunate to borrow Rs 400 from the young man who comes to clean the house. He has told me that he has a collection of Rs 10 notes, and that, I should not worry in case a catheter has to be replaced. The dhobi whose son I have helped a couple of times has sent me an SMS saying he is arranging money on a day-to-day basis.

That is my India, these guys are my family, so don’t you tell me what rights I have.

The man who looks after my sister is from Bihar. He stood for six hours on Friday at the bank and failed. He cannot read or write but he is savvy and he is my brother because he has taken out all the Rs 5 coins from a jam jar he keeps in his jhuggi to keep things going, so don’t you be telling me I have no right to comment.

These are the salt of the earth and every one of them has called me to say we will manage.

Even if they have to buy Rs 100 notes for an arguably Rs 140 the surcharge being in Rs 10 notes or coins.

The thing is, I have two thousand rupee notes with me. But I cannot fly to Delhi because I don’t have the money to reach home from the airport. A friend of mine tells me he landed in Delhi and was unable to get a cab and then a scuffle broke out between the cab rank and freelance drivers “misusing” their employer’s cars to make a buck in foreign exchange.

If you have dollars you can make it, I guess, otherwise just go back to the old days of trading. Another traveller got home by giving half a carton of cigarettes to the cabbie. A full bottle of Black Label would probably take you to Noida.

Talk about pharmacies. Show me one that’s taking the old notes.

There was no agreement between the citizen and the government that the limit being doled out would be Rs 2,000 or Rs 4,000 per day. You know what that gets you, meds included? It was supposed to the normal Rs 25,000.

We were told clearly that within 48 hours the Rs 2,000 notes would flow and the new Rs 500 note would be in abundance.

Where are they and when will these limitations end. No one is speaking up.

People say that it takes time for things to work out. Why should it? Either the operation is a success or it has complications.

All I hear are the bells. They ‘troll’ for thee.

First Published On : Nov 12, 2016 15:53 IST

Bhopal jailbreak: Government mulls getting electric fencing for 122 jails

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madhya Pradesh government is “seriously” considering installing electric fencing around its 122 jails to enhance prison security in view of the daring Bhopal jailbreak by eight SIMI activists. The eight SIMI undertrial activists had escaped from the high-security Central jail here after killing a head constable on the intervening night of October 30-31. They were subsequently killed in an alleged encounter on the outskirts of the city on October 31. After the encounter, conflicting versions from police and state Home Minister surfaced, leading to allegations that it might be fake.”A top official has already left for Chhattisgarh to study the electric fencing of the jails in the wake of the Bhopal jailbreak. We are seriously thinking about following suit of the neighbouring state,” MP Prison Director General (DG) Sanjay Choudhary said on Sunday.He, however, did not disclose the name of the official who has left for Chhattisgarh. The security audit of the MP jails is underway, after which measures will be taken to ramp up the security of prisons, the DG said.
ALSO READ Bhopal jailbreak: NIA will not take up SIMI ‘encounter’ probeAsked about the Madhya Pradesh government’s move to increase the height of boundary walls of the prisons across the state, Choudhary said all these things will be done after taking into account the security audit report of the jails, which is currently underway. “We are not going to enhance jail security on piecemeal basis, rather we are going to initiate measures in one go after the report of jail security audit,” he added.Earlier, the state government had ordered a judicial probe into the sensational jail-break and the alleged encounter. The probe will be conducted by retired High Court Judge Justice SK Pandey.

SIMI encounter: Slain activists’ lawyer demands HC-monitored probe

Bhopal: A lawyer, who represented eight SIMI activists killed in an encounter on 31 October, on Sunday demanded a high court-monitored inquiry and termed as “mockery” the Madhya Pradesh government’s order of judicial probe into the incident.

“It is baffling that the culprit of the encounter, which is the state government, has chosen its own investigator to probe its serious crime,” said Parvez Alam, who represented the slain SIMI activists facing terror cases.

“This is a sheer mockery of democratic and judicial system. The state government, instead of requesting the MP High Court to order a judicial inquiry into the cold-blooded murder, has itself appointed an investigator, which is against the natural justice,” Alam told PTI.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

He said that the state government should have moved the MP High Court and waited for it to name a sitting or retired judge to investigate the fake encounter.

“We are going to petition the High Court for a judicial probe. We want the probe to be monitored by the High Court and it (probe panel) should have lawyers of both sides–the government and the deceased,” he added.

Meanwhile, when asked if he had received any written communication from the government asking him to start judicial inquiry, the retired MP High Court judge S K Pandey said, “I don’t have any information (yet).”

The MP Government announced judicial probe by Justice Pandey three days ago after the alleged encounter came under severe criticism. Home Minister Bhupendra Singh had till then maintained that no judicial probe into the encounter was necessary.

Earlier, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced a NIA probe into the jail-break during which the fleeing SIMI activists allegedly murdered a head warden.

SIMI encounter aftermath: Shivraj Singh Chouhan govt mulls electric fencing in all jails

Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government is “seriously” considering installing electric fencing around its 122 jails to enhance prison security in view of the daring Bhopal jailbreak by eight SIMI activists. The eight SIMI undertrial activists had escaped from the high-security Central jail here after killing a head constable on the intervening night of 30-31 October. They were subsequently killed in an alleged encounter on the outskirts of the city on 31 October.

After the encounter, conflicting versions from police and state Home Minister surfaced, leading to allegations that it might be fake.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. PTI

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. PTI

“A top official has already left for Chhattisgarh to study the electric fencing of the jails in the wake of the Bhopal jailbreak. We are seriously thinking about following suit of the neighbouring state,” MP Prison Director General (DG) Sanjay Choudhary told PTI on Sunday. He, however, did not disclose the name of the official who has left for Chhattisgarh.

The security audit of the MP jails is underway, after which measures will be taken to ramp up the security of prisons, the DG said. Asked about the Madhya Pradesh government’s move to increase the height of boundary walls of the prisons across the state, Choudhary said all these things will be done after taking into account the security audit report of the jails, which is currently underway.

“We are not going to enhance jail security on piecemeal basis, rather we are going to initiate measures in one go after the report of jail security audit,” he added.

Earlier, the state government had ordered a judicial probe into the sensational jail-break and the alleged encounter. The probe will be conducted by retired High Court Judge Justice S K Pandey.

SIMI encounter: MP govt puts cash reward for cops on hold as questions arise on veracity

Bhopal: After ordering a judicial probe into the Bhopal jailbreak and alleged encounter of eight SIMI activists, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has put on hold the cash rewards it had announced for the policemen who took part in the operation, throwing up questions about its veracity.

“After the announcement of judicial probe into the incident, the government cannot give cash rewards to anyone till the completion of the inquiry,” a highly-placed official told PTI.

“The cash rewards were announced prior to the announcement of the judicial probe and therefore, it is logical that it can not be given till the inquiry gets over,” the official said. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh each for policemen involved in the shootout, a day after the alleged encounter took place on 31 October.

Police personnel standing next to the bodies of the slain activists. PTIPolice personnel standing next to the bodies of the slain activists. PTI

Police personnel standing next to the bodies of the slain activists. PTI

However, the rights activists had demanded that the cash reward be withheld till the probe unearthed the details of the encounter.

“The government should at least wait till the completion of several inquiries it has instituted to probe the encounter to justify the reward,” Abdul Jabbar, a social activist, had said.

“It (the reward) cannot be justified till the probe is complete and all questions raised on the issue are properly addressed,” he said.

Transparency International’s Ajay Dube also questioned the “rationale” of announcing the reward when the state is under the scanner over the veracity of the encounter. “The government should have waited for the outcome of the judicial inquiry it has instituted into the encounter. Announcing (rewards for policemen) before it amounts to giving them a clean chit and to influence those involved in it (the probe),” he said.

Eight activists of the banned outfit, SIMI, were killed in the encounter on the city outskirts hours after they killed a head constable and pulled off an audacious escape from the high-security central jail.

A PIL was filed two days back in the Madhya Pradesh High Court by a journalist and social worker seeking a judicial probe into the alleged encounter.

The undertrial activists of the outlawed outfit escaped from the central jail here on the intervening night of 30 and 31 October. They were subsequently killed in an encounter on the outskirts of the city early on 31 October.

After the encounter, conflicting versions from police and state Home Minister have surfaced, leading to allegations that it might be fake.

TV channels have also shown footage purportedly from the encounter site, in which a policeman is seen pumping bullets into a man from close range after some unidentified person takes out what appears to be a knife in a plastic cover and places it back.

Later, an audio tape also emerged purportedly containing conversation related to the encounter, which states that the policemen on job were getting instructions from control room to “bump them off” and “khel khatam ho gaya” (game is over now).

Raising questions about the encounter, Congress and other opposition parties had pressed for a judicial probe into the entire episode. The judicial probe will be conducted by retired High
Court Judge Justice S K Pandey.

Police asked me why I married a terrorist’s sister: Brother-in-law of slain SIMI suspect

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming the October 31 police shootout of eight suspected members of Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as a “criminal conspiracy”, the other of one of the deceased filed a complaint against senior cops and the Home Minister of Madhya Pradesh. Others related to the deceased undertials, however, continue to live in a state of fear and paranoia. DNA spoke to some of the family members and relatives of the SIMI suspects who made claims that could further cause discomfort to the state government which is already facing flak over the way the jail break case has been handled. Mohammad Feroz (28) is the brother-in -law of Amjad Khan, one of the eight killed in a police shootout on October 31. While speaking to DNA over the phone, Feroz claimed that on the day of the encounter he was blindfolded and picked up by police from his home in Khandwa, only to be let off 36 hours later. Feroz’s ‘release’, according to him, was made possible only after his family and neighbours pressurised the anti-terrorism squad officials posted in Khandwa. Feroz also claimed that he was the last one to have met Amjad one-and-a-half month ago in Bhopal Central Jail.”I got married to Amjad’s sister on September 25 this year. Before the ceremony, I had gone to jail to visit him (Amjad) to talk about how the ceremony preparations. He had wished me luck and told me to take care of his sister,” Feroz said. The 28-year-old works at a factory dealing with scrap material in Khandwa. According to him, on the day of the encounter he too was picked up by police early morning.”I was blindfolded and once in the jeep they told me to lie down on the floor of the car. They covered me with a blanket. Initially, I was scared to go along with them but my father told me to leave as the ATS would not heed to our requests. They drove me around for hours and took me close to Indore which must be about 150 kms from my home,”added Feroz.When asked if he knew the reason he was allegedly detained, Feroz said, “I didn’t know about the jailbreak at that time but they kept on asking me why I married Amjad’s sister. Why did I marry a terrorists’ sister. I am afraid something might happen to me as well,”said Feroz. He is not alone to fear what lies in the future for families and relatives of the deceased SIMI suspects.Jaleel Khilji, the younger son of Mohammad Aqeel Khilji, told DNA that he too does not feel safe after the encounter. “The encounter was fake. There are videos which show how the police staged the whole thing. I am not saying my father was guilty or innocent but if they did run away from prison police should have tried to arrest them. There were injury marks on father’s body and later we learnt that all of them were beaten up by using lathis,” he claimed.While the two youth are finding it difficult to handle the situation, for now Mahmooda Bi, mother of Khalid Muchale, in her complaint claimed that the “murder” of her son was a well “hatched up conspiracy” and thus demanded for registration of an FIR against Bhupendra Singh, Yogesh Chaudhary, IG Bhopal; Rishi Kumar Shukla, DG Madhya Pradesh; Arvind Saxena, SP Bhopal; Akhilesh Tomar, Superintendent of Central Prison Bhopal and Sanjeev Shami, Chief of ATS, Madhya Pradesh.”His killing was claimed as an “encounter” whereas it is neither possible nor feasible by any stretch of an imagination. There was no occasion or reason for my son to escape from the prison as the entire family, including him, were confident and assured about his innocence,” she wrote in her complaint. “It is clearly a cold-blooded murder which was well designed and executed in accordance and furtherance of their conspiracy”, she alleged.DNA has repeatedly tried to reach senior MP police officials for a comment however messages and phones calls made by the paper did not see a response.

Bhopal jailbreak: NIA will not take up SIMI ‘encounter’ probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will not probe the encounter killing of the suspected Students of Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) operatives, who escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail earlier this week.According to sources, NIA can investigate the case only if the MP Police find evidence that the SIMI operatives were being helped by a terror group from outside or were supplied arms or other assistance during or before the encounter.Despite demands for a probe into the encounter, the state government refused to order an NIA probe into it as it believes the encounter to be genuine. The state government has, however, expressed intentions to hand over the jailbreak probe to the NIA. The Madhya Pradesh Government has ordered a judicial probe into the encounter of eight SIMI operatives, which escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail. The Madhya Pradesh High Court had issued a notice to the state government on Wednesday seeking a detailed report on the encounter.Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had earlier announced a NIA probe into the incident. However, Home Minister Bhupendra Singh had said that there is no need of any probe into the encounter.Eight SIMI operatives had escaped on Sunday night from Bhopal central jail after killing security guard Ramashankar Yadav. They were gunned down later. Social activists and political parties have raised several questions regarding the incident.

‘Sabko nipta do’: Senior police official heard giving orders to kill 8 SIMI operatives on audio recording

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what could be the most revealing piece of information, with regards to the shootout of the eight suspected SIMI operatives, audio clips believed to be from Madhya Pradesh Police’s control room suggest that the cops had no intention of arresting the now deceased men, who had allegedly escaped Bhopal Central Jail on Monday morning. A senior police officer can be heard on the radio ordering his subordinates engaged in action to kill all eight men, ‘Sabko nipta do.’ It is imperative to mention that the order to allegedly kill the men comes before the police control room is informed that the men have fired upon the cops in action. The audio clip not only contradicts claims of the MP police that the alleged encounter lasted an hour, officials heard during the recording also seem to be resistant to the idea of calling ambulances to the encounter site. The argument for resisting calling ambulances is that authorities would have to spend money on the treatment of accused men in case anyone survives the shootout.Even more revealing portions come towards the end of the clips wherein a superior police official, while giving orders to his subordinates, directs them not to allow anyone near the encounter site in case another “farzi (fake) operation needs to be done”. In another part of the same conversation, a male voice is heard saying that the cops should at least leave one of the escapees alive. Interestingly, in the clips, the officials are heard saying that the suspects were returning fire even though the anti-terrorism unit of MP as well as the government said the opposite. DNA is in possession of two clips which seem to have been recorded conversations made through wireless sets. One recording lasts 1 minute 24 seconds and the second one for 9 minutes 22 seconds. The clips seem to have been recorded through a mobile phone by a person who is repeatedly heard using expletives for the men who were lodged in the Bhopal jail as undertrials suspected of being a part of banned SIMI and planning to carry terror attacks in the country. Here are excerpts from the conversation as transcribed by DNA:The conversation starts with an individual laughing: “There are 5 targets. They are running together.”A voice responds saying: “Mike 12 and Sigma 113 go ahead, piche nahi hatna hai, jitni chargi hai unko bhi batao, surround them and make sure that you get them gherke pura kardo kaam tamam.”A voice, suspected to be that of a senior official, is heard saying not to fire as there was firing from the suspects’ side. “One more party is coming, Chauhan sahab, Chauhan Sahab Chauhan Sahab yahaan se humari party aa rahi hai. They are firing, uska jawab diya jaye,” says the person in the audio.‘Sabko nipta do’ (Kill them all) a voice is heard ordering cops engaged in the shootout. A control room operator tells the police parties, ‘Mike 1, Saahab bol rahe hain nipta do (Sahab is saying to kill them all).”The conversation here seems to suggest that the order to kill the eight men came from above. Later on, in the clip, a male voice is heard saying that the “work of such (senior) officials who do their work from police control room should be appreciated”.Also, further on, a voice in the conversation is heard saying, “We are on our way, we are coming surround them (gherabandi). We are coming towards you. Aaj hi game karna hai (We have to kill them today).”Police officers can be heard saying that all the fugitives have been surrounded in a perimeter of 1 km of diameter by police parties.Someone is heard responding, “Khel kardiya, ab ruk jao (The game is over, you can stop now),” followed by expletives. The conversation reveals that the SP will be also going to the shootout site.Furthermore, the clips suggest that five of the eight men had been killed when they were spotted and the remaining three seem to have been running in a different direction but they too were shot dead.Towards the end of the clip a voice is heard congratulating his co-workers.”Badhai ho (Congratulations). All of the eight are dead. DSP Crime has confirmed the deaths.”This similar to the response that was given by the officials after they were informed that all five suspects surrounded had been shot dead, where a voice was heard saying “Shabash, koi nahi…”DNA is yet to verify the audio clip and will update the developing story with official police response.

Bhopal jailbreak: AMU students’ union demands probe into SIMI operatives’ killing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students’ union staged a demonstration against the killing of eight SIMI activists after a jail break in Bhopal and demanded a judicial probe into the matter.In a memorandum to President Pranab Mukerjee, AMU students’ union demanded a Supreme Court-monitored judicial probe into the Bhopal encounter, an AMU office bearer said.Anger had been brewing on the campus since the news broke out in the media on Monday but the authorities managed to prevent any public display of the mounting resentment in view of the annual convocation on Tuesday. However, slogan-shouting students took out a procession on Wednesday which culminated into rally at the Sir Syed Gate.Addressing the protestors, the students’ union President Faizul Hasan charged that ever since the NDA government came to power “Muslims were being wrongly targeted.” “We are all against terrorists but the battle against terror has to be fought by uniting all sections and not by selectively targeting only a particular section of the people”, he said.He said that by targeting “innocents” the present government was “weakening the fight against terror”. Hasan said that if the present trend continues the Modi government would ultimately be held accountable for fostering religious extremism and hatred in the country. AMU students believe the best way to fight terror “was to take a stand against injustice wherever it takes place”, he said while offering his sympathies to the family of the police constable who was also killed in the Bhopal jail break.
ALSO READ Bhopal jailbreak: Mamata Banerjee disagrees with encounter theory; says many questions remain unansweredEight SIMI activists were killed in an alleged encounter with police on Monday after they escaped from the Bhopal jail.

Bird flu scare: Odisha sounds high alert following Delhi and Gwalior

Bhubaneswar: With detection of avian influenza in Delhi and Gwalior, Odisha goverment health department has sounded high alert in the state and has asked chief district medical officers (CDMOs) to take precautionary measures.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Health secretary Arti Ahuja in letters to all CDMOs has informed that bird flu H5N8 has been detected at National Zoological Park, New Delhi and Gandhi Zoological Park in Gwalior. It was confirmed by National Institute of High Security Animal Disease Laboratory at Bhopal.

As the virus is carried by migratory birds, Odisha is on high alert as a large number of migratory birds visit the state in the onset of winter.

All the poultry farms and bird sanctuaries have been advised to take all precautionary measures, the health secretary said, adding the district administration have asked owners of all the poultry farms report to the administration if they found any sick or dead chicken.

Ahuja said awareness campaigns would be conducted by the state government and the district administrations have been asked to prepare contingency plan for surveillance,
deployment of rapid response teams, screening, case management facility and protection of human health during culling operation.

Bhopal jailbreak: SIMI operatives were shot above waist, says post-mortem report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The post-mortem report of the eight SIMI terrorists, who were gunned down hours after they escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail earlier on Monday, stated there were multiple entry and exit wounds and that majority of the wounds were above waist.The report added that the clothes of the terrorists have been sent for forensic test.The SIMI terrorists broke out of the jail after slitting a guard’s throat and were found hours later in a thickly forested area on the outskirts of the city where they were killed in an encounter.Bhopal Inspector General of Police Yogesh Choudhary earlier defended the action to open fire on the terrorists, saying they were neutralized in ‘retaliatory’ fire, adding that the suspects have been continuously perpetrating serious offences and also killed police constables in 2008 and 2011.Choudhary said they had a track record of being involved in serious crimes before.Following the furore among the political circles demanding a probe to verify the authenticity of the encounter, Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Rishi Kumar Shukla yesterday announced the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the killings.The decision to form the SIT came after the opposition parties demanded an independent high-level judicial probe into the matter.

Bhopal encounter: Seven SIMI members buried in MP; relatives say ‘conspiracy’ needs to be probed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bodies of seven of the eight SIMI activists, who were killed in an alleged police encounter following a daring prison break here, were laid to rest in different parts of Madhya Pradesh amid tight security.Bodies of five deceased – Amjad Khan, Zakir Hussain, Mohammad Salik, Sheikh Mehboob and Aqueel Khilji – were buried in their home district – Khandwa.The five bodies were kept at Khilji’s residence at Gulmohar locality before being laid to rest at Bada Cemetery close to Abana river around 11 PM.Over 2,000 people took part in the funeral procession. At some places, to avoid any stampede-like situation, police had to drive people away, who had come to take a glimpse of the deceased.Around 700 police personnel, some of them in plain clothes, kept a watch on the funeral procession, sources said.Meanwhile, the body of Sheikh Mujeeb was taken to Ahmedabad by his family members, his lawyer Parvez Alam said.The bodies were handed over to the family members after the post-mortem in Bhopal. While taking custody of the bodies, the relatives questioned the genuineness of the police encounter.The kin of Abdul Majid argued with police officials outside the morgue of Hamidia Hospital in Bhopal and alleged foul play in the way he was killed. Zakir Hussain’s mother Salma Bi and brother Azaz said the “conspiracy” needs to be probed thoroughly.”Zakir had told me that he did not feel safe and feared for his life,” Salma Bi said adding, “My son has attained martyrdom.”The eight SIMI activists were killed in the alleged police encounter on the outskirts of Bhopal hours after they escaped from the high-security Central jail, killing a security guard there yesterday.Meanwhile, one slain SIMI operative, Mohammad Khalid, who hailed from Maharashtra, was laid to rest in Bhopal.”Khalid was from Solapur, but his parents are no more and his brother, who was also a SIMI operative, is lodged in Bhopal Central Jail. Since nobody came to claim his body, he was laid to rest here by police,” a police officer said.Another deceased, Abdul Majid, was buried at his hometown at Mahidpur in Ujjain district.

With Bhopal encounter, all suspects of Pune blast case now dead

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three among eight members of SIMI who were killed in an alleged encounter by Madhya Pradesh police after they escaped from Bhopal Central Jail on Monday were the suspects in a 2014 bomb blast case in Pune.Ahmed Ramzan Khan, Zakir Hussain alias Sadiq and Shaikh Mehboob alias Guddu alias Ismail who were killed in the encounter were wanted in a case related to the low-intensity blast on July 10, 2014 in the parking lot of Faraskhana police station here in which five people were injured.The famous Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh temple is adjacent to this spot.Two other suspects in this case — Mohammad Aizazuddin and Mohammad Aslam — were killed in an encounter in Telangana last year. An officer of Anti-Terrorism Squad which is probing the blast case said it was trying to get custody of the three SIMI members, but could not get it as the accused were facing several cases in Madhya Pradesh itself.”With all five suspects, including the three who were killed on Monday, now killed in encounters, the case is likely to be closed,” said the ATS officer.”Had we got the custody of these three, we would have been able to establish the local links of these suspects.However, now that all three suspects are dead, it seems the case might be closed,” he said.

Bhopal jailbreak: MP Home Minister Bhupendra Singh, DGP speak in different voices

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid growing opposition clamour for a judicial probe into the encounter killing of eight SIMI activists, Madhya Pradesh’s Home Minister Bhupendra Singh on Tuesday said there was no need for any investigation, while state’s police chief Rishi Kumar Shukla maintained the CID will go into the incident.Eight undertrial terror suspects of the outlawed SIMI had been shot dead by police in an alleged encounter within hours of their escape from high-security Bhopal central jail after killing a constable. Videos shot purportedly at the scene of the encounter appeared to question its authenticity, prompting demands by opposition parties for a judicial inquiry.”It is mandated by the law that the state’s CID will investigate the encounters for a free and fair probe,” Director General of Police Rishi Kumar Shukla told PTI, adding there was nothing new in it.”CID is going to do its duty according to the law and inform the (competent) court,” he said.Home Minister Singh, however, struck a different note. “There is no need for any investigation into the encounter,” he told reporters in Anuppur district earlier in the day.”Bhopal Police Range Inspector General Yogesh Choudhary has already briefed the media about details of the encounter yesterday,” he said.”He (IG) has briefed on how the encounter took place. So there is no need for any inquiry,” Singh said.The National Investigation Agency (NIA), he said, will only look into the jail break incident — the plan, from where the accused got help, from inside and outside, their links in the country and their network.”NIA will not inquire into the encounter,” he said.Meanwhile, sources close to DGP Shukla said he has already asked Superintendent of Police (CID) Anurag Sharma to head the probe into the encounter.

SIMI terrorists’ encounter: Left parties demand judicial probe into killing of 8 in Madhya Pradesh

New Delhi: Stating “discrepancies” in the statements made by the Madhya Pradesh government and state police over the killing of eight (Students Islamic Movement of India) SIMI activists in an encounter, Left parties on Tuesday sought a judicial probe into the episode, contending NIA inquiry will neither be “credible nor acceptable”.

The Left parties sought to know how these men could have escaped from a high security Bhopal central jail and stated the Shivraj Singh Chouhan dispensation owes “full explanation” about how the prison security could be breached. As they raised doubts, the Left parties stressed the eight were “under trials whose guilt had not yet been established” and were “suspected” to have links with the banned organisation SIMI.

“The claim by police that the accused were shot dead after they were attacked by these men who were armed is contradicted by state’s Home Minister Bhupendra Singh. That these men could secure arms while being unable to get a vehicle to make good their escape sounds implausible,” CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement.

Bereaved family of chief constable who died in Monday's encounter in Bhopal. PTI

Bereaved family of chief constable who died in Monday’s encounter in Bhopal. PTI

The Politburo also referred to video clips, purportedly from encounter site, showing a policeman pumping bullets at one of the “escapees” after some unidentified person takes out what appears to be a knife. It said the clip shows the activists waiving at cops “presumably indicating that they want to surrender” and stated this raises doubts over veracity of claims made by cops.

“In the light of these concerns, the Politburo demands a judicial enquiry headed by a sitting judge be constituted to conduct a thorough investigation. “The Chief Minister has announced that an enquiry would be conducted by the NIA. Such an enquiry would neither be credible nor acceptable,” it said.

Taking to Twitter over the issue, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury reiterated the concerns and insisted the Centre and the BJP hold the state government responsible for “its actions”.

His predecessor Prakash Karat echoed Politburo’s demand for a judicial probe into the entire episode. The CPI too pitched for a “high-level” judicial probe into the matter and appealed people to understand the “sinister design” of BJP-RSS, which it alleged was trying to politicise the fight against terror.

“To divert the attention of the people and polarise them on communal lines BJP-RSS blame others raising the bogey of nationalism and patriotism,” the CPI said in a statement.

The SIMI activists were killed yesterday during an encounter with police on the outskirts of Bhopal, hours after they escaped from high-security central jail killing a security guard but questions cropped up over the killings.

As controversy raged over the police action, TV channels showed footage purportedly from the encounter site in which a policeman is seen pumping bullets into a man from close range after some unidentified person takes out what appears to be a knife said to be in a plastic cover and places it back.

Speaking to media on Monday, Chouhan had said the jail-break would be probed by the NIA but parried a question on the encounter. He said the state government will also carry out a separate investigation into the matter.

DNA Evening Must Reads: 9 civilians killed in ceasefire violation by Pakistan, Arnab Goswami resigns and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1) J&K: 9 civilians, including 2 children, killed in ceasefire violation by PakistanEight civilians were killed in shelling by Pakistani troops are they violated ceasefire in Samba and Rajouri, among others, on Tuesday. In the last 24 hours, the death toll from these ceasefire violations has reached nine. Three Pakistani shells struck a market in Mendhar sector, injuring 5 people. Read more…2) Shocking! Times Now Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami resignsEditor-in-Chief and President, News of Times Now and ET Now, Arnab Goswami has reportedly resigned. According to The News Minute, Goswami in an editorial meeting on Tuesday announced that he has resigned. Though the reason for his resignation is not known yet, according to the report his team has been informed that he would be starting a venture of his own and will continue in television. Read more…3) Panama Papers: Pak Supreme Court orders corruption probe against PM Nawaz SharifIn a jolt to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a probe into the Panama Papers scandal involving corruption allegations against the family of the beleaguered premier. The Supreme Court heard several identical petitions by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and others to investigate charges of corruption against Sharif and his relatives after the Panama Papers released earlier this year showed his family owning offshore companies and assets. Read more… 4) Tata’s Docomo deal claims ‘false’, ‘mischievous’: Cyrus MistryTata Sons ex-Chairman Cyrus Mistry responded on Tuesday, to the claims made by the Group about the contentious Docomo deal after his ouster, calling them “false” and “mischievous”, according to alerts from the Prest Trust of India (PTI). Commenting on the claims of mishandling of the Docomo deal, Mistry said that the “Insinuations that Docomo issue was handled in a manner inconsistent with Tata culture and values, are baseless.” Read more…5) Bhopal jailbreak: Families of killed SIMI men to move HC seeking CBI probeA day after eight SIMI activists were killed in an alleged police encounter following a daring prison break in Bhopal, their families have decided to approach the Madhya Pradesh High Court seeking a CBI probe into what they dubbed as “cold-blooded murders”. Read more…

SIMI encounter case: NHRC issues notice to MP govt, DGP over killing of 8 activists

New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to Madhya Pradesh government, police and prison authorities over the killing of eight SIMI activists in an alleged encounter after they had fled from a jail in Bhopal.

The Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report on the case and observed that it has always been “concerned” about deaths in police and judicial custody as well as in police action.

The NHRC has issued notices to the state’s Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and the Director General and Inspector General of state prison department, and sought detailed reports in six weeks.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Eight SIMI activists pulled off a daring prison break and escaped in the wee hours of Monday after killing a security guard at the Bhopal Central Jail. Within hours, they were hunted down and killed in an alleged police encounter on the city outskirts.

The Commission has always been “concerned about the deaths in police and judicial custody as well as in police action. Specific guidelines have also been issued by it, which have been conveyed to all the States/UTs for compliance in the matters of encounter,” the NHRC said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Reportedly, the under trial prisoners escaped the jail after killing a guard. Three of these under trial prisoners had escaped from the Khandwa jail three years back and were nabbed again in the state of Odisha, this year. The under trial were charged under various crimes including murder, sedition, jail break and bank robberies,” it said.

Senior officers have claimed the police started firing only after being shot at by the accused.

“The police team had initially asked the escaped prisoners to surrender, as stated in the report. Five jail officials have been put under suspension including DIG (Jail) and the Jail Superintendent. The Additional DG (Jail) has been reportedly transferred,” it added.

The incident has kicked up a raging controversy with the government and the opposition parties locked in a war of words over the issue. Raising doubts, Congress and Left parties have sought a judicial probe into the incident.

Eight terrorists flee high-security prison, gunned down? SIMI encounter stinks of a set up

The most likely chain of events concerning the eight SIMI terrorists, who were gunned down in a gorge in Madhya Pradesh hours after their escape, is that this gang ‘executed’ a warder and needed to be punished. Not one of them was shot at to be wounded below the waist in an encounter where the return of fire is suspect.

Wouldn’t you want them alive so you could trace how they escaped and how they were helped?

Regardless of all the brouhaha about their escape from a prison and the incredible odds against that seeing as how no one knows yet how they accomplished this great escape, the eight terrorists would not have trotted 15 kilometres in a group and made themselves such an obvious target.

That is absurd.

Chief constable on duty who was killed during the encounter in Bhopal on Monday. PTI

Chief constable on duty who was killed during the encounter in Bhopal on Monday. PTI

Smart enough to get out of a jail and as this Firstpost article points out, they managed to get past every checkpoint and surveillance station including, watch towers and electric fences, these eight terrorists decided to lumber about in a state of togetherness and ended up in a cul de sac of a gorge from where there was no escape.

It defeats plain logic that they did not split up and go different ways. All forces, defensive and inimical, are taught that the first thing you do is split up. That is just plain common sense and these are not your run of the mill lawbreakers, these are active killers. Why would you stick together and funnel yourselves into a corner?

Eight strangers walking down the road in jail clothes? Why not just put up a neon sign? This is not a school picnic where you walk hand in hand.

You would take eight different routes to eight different places and use your network to find refuge and safety. They have a network. None of them would have been caught in ten hours. Okay, maybe a couple but the rest would have made good their escape.

Between 2 am and noon, that is a ten hour head start to catch trains, buses, cabs, motorbikes, hot wire cars, maim and rob strangers of money and clothes and food and vanish.

None of the eight commit a single act of violence in those ten hours or make any effort to obtain funds, steal clothes, attack civilians despite being high on adrenaline and born to kill. What do these “terrorists” do? They go into a conveniently located and relatively deserted canyon where they are easily tracked by the police and then shot and killed.

Consider this. Does it not call for a major conspiracy to have them get away from the jail itself? Not just one warder on duty but the several rings of security and the fences and the inexplicable silence and lack of awareness that seems to have permeated the correctional facility in those morning hours. Certainly, they were no paragons of virtue and a threat to the nation but the worrying part is that this encounter is so clumsily choreographed, that one is hard-placed to understand who directed it. Since they were terrorists, people in the country may let the splintering of the rule of law slither past. But what if tomorrow it is another far less dangerous undertrial who offends someone in the jail and is taken for a ride?

Bhopal jailbreak: Families of killed SIMI men to move HC seeking CBI probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after eight SIMI activists were killed in an alleged police encounter following a daring prison break in Bhopal, their families have decided to approach the Madhya Pradesh High Court seeking a CBI probe into what they dubbed as “cold-blooded murders”.”The families of the deceased have come to me and are weeping inconsolably for justice. We are going to move the MP High Court for a CBI probe into the entire incident,” lawyer Parvez Alam told PTI. “It is surprising that the authorities are claiming that the accused climbed the 32 feet boundary wall of the jail. Is this possible?” he asked.Police has claimed that the accused from the banned outfit were on Monday killed in an encounter hours after they escaped from the high-security Central jail where they had slit the throat of a security guard and scaled the wall using bedsheets between 2 am and 3 am. Alam described the encounter as “fake” and said, “The TV grabs show police and ATS firing. There is no evidence that the accused fired.””This is a fake encounter and (these are) cold blooded murders,” Alam claimed. He said Inspector General Yogesh Choudhary had last night told media that the accused made keys to open their lock up with tooth brushes. “Can someone open the keys of high security Bhopal Central Jail that has earned an ISO certificate with keys made of tooth brushes,” he wondered. “What lie these authorities are speaking,” he said. “Our first course of action after the funeral of the accused killed in the encounter is to move the HC for justice,” he added.The kin of the seven accused have already reached Bhopal to receive their bodies and take them to their place for burial, Alam said. He said that no one has yet claimed the body of Mohammad Khalid, a resident of Solapur in Maharashtra.Family members of accused Sheikh Mujeeb are taking his body to Ahmedabad, while Abdul Majid’s mortal remains are being taken to Mahidpur area in Ujjain district of MP, he said.Bodies of the rest–Amjad Khan, Zakir Hussain, Mohammad Salik, Sheikh Mehboob and Aqueel Khilji– all hailing from MP’s Khandwa district are being taken to their homes, Alam added. Yesterday, police had dismissed criticism over the encounter killing of eight SIMI activists near Bhopal, saying there was heavy exchange of fire in which they were felled after which four country-made guns and some sharp-edged weapons were recovered from them.Also, IG Chaudhary repeatedly maintained that all questions raised over the encounter were a matter of investigation as the series of events over seven hours between their escape and killing were still being probed.This came soon after a controversy raged over the police action following the daring pre-dawn jail-break, as TV channels showed footage purportedly from the encounter site in which a policeman is seen pumping bullets into a man from close range after some unidentified person takes out what appears to be a knife said to be in a plastic cover and places it back. Besides the veracity of the video, police is also probing how the SIMI terror suspects could lay their hands on weapons after their escape.

Bhopal jailbreak: Owaisi for SC probe, dubs government’s SIMI encounter theory ‘unbelievable’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday said the elimination of eight SIMI activists by Madhya Pradesh police at the same place on the outskirts of Bhopal could not have taken place, and called for a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry to unveil the truth. Owaisi said, “The facts which have been shared by the government are not satisfactory, their theory seems unbelievable, and plus the video which is on social media shows that they are being shot. So, an impartial enquiry is very important. I would like to request the Madhya Pradesh government to agree to a SC-monitored enquiry.”Defending its action to open fire on the eight SIMI terrorists who broke out of Bhopal Central Jail on Monday morning, Madhya Pradesh Police asserted that the escapees were neutralised in ‘retaliatory’ fire, adding that the suspects have been continuously perpetrating serious offences and had also killed police constables in 2008 and 2011.Bhopal’s Inspector General of Police Yogesh Choudhary said all eight SIMI terrorists were killed in cross-firing and had a track record of being involved in serious crimes before. “We garnered all possible resources and launched search and patrol parties after we got intelligence that around 7-8 people were seen by locals. It was difficult to locate them as the unequal terrain was a disadvantage, but soon our team was fired upon when we challenged the suspects,” he said.The eight terrorists of the banned SIMI group escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail after killing a guard. They were gunned down in an encounter by the state police yesterday. Chaudhary claimed they had weapons and were killed as they were trying to flee. “They were killed in cross firing. It was a big challenge and the team accepted it properly,” he said.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Govt & cops’ versions differ on Bhopal encounter; Pak violates ceasefire again; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Bhopal jailbreak: Were the 8 SIMI undertrials armed? Govt & cops’ versions differGuns or vessels? The eight undertrials were killed eight hours after escaping from the Bhopal Central Jail. Govt, cops differ on whether they were armed or not. Read more.2. J&K: Pakistan violates ceasefire again; 2 civilians injured in Arnia sectorAn encounter between security forces and terrorists is underway in Ajar village. Read more.3. Leaked emails suggest DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile gave Clinton debate questions in advanceInterim DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile had come under fire earlier this month for possibly having tipped off Clinton’s campaign about a CNN town-hall debate question. Read more.4. Ahead of NSA talks, India-China discuss NSG membershipChina has been vetoing India’s bid citing rules that no country outside the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) can be given membership of the nuclear supplier club. Read more.5. Don’t want to provide more fodder: Farhan Akhtar…says Farhan Akhtar about his alleged affair with his Rock On!! 2 co-star Shraddha Kapoor. Read more.

Bhopal jailbreak: Constable killed by SIMI activists was preparing for daughter’s wedding

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Head Constable Ramashankar Yadav, killed by SIMI activists for escaping from jail in Bhopal, was a doting father who was excited over forthcoming marriage of his daughter but the tragedy has now pushed the family into profound grief.”Ramashankar was happy and excited over his 24-year-old daughter Sonia’s wedding scheduled for December 9,” his nephew Vijay Shanker Yadav said.Ramashankar, who had earlier suffered a heart attack, was busy making arrangement for the wedding, he said.”My uncle was busy making arrangements for his daughter’s marriage. But as fate had it, we got the news of his killing by SIMI men this morning,” Vijay said.Ramashankar’s two sons — Shambhunath (36) and Prabhunath (32) — are in Army, who are currently posted at Guwahati and Hissar, respectively. While Prabhunath has reached Bhopal, Shambhunath is scheduled to arrive late tonight, he said.”My uncle’s body is at morgue after postmortem. His mortal remains will be consigned to flames tomorrow,” he added. A pall of gloom has descended on Yadav family after the incident.”We will sit and talk whether to go ahead with the wedding or postpone it,” Vijay added.

Bhopal jailbreak: All you need to know about Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eight SIMI activists who were under trial were killed on Monday in an alleged encounter with police on the outskirts of Bhopal, hours after they escaped from the high-security Bhopal Central Jail after killing a security guard. The eight activists were identified as Amzad, Zakir Hussain Sadiq, Mohammad Salik, Mujeeb Shaikh, Mehbood Guddu, Mohammad Kalid Ahmed, Aqeel and Majid, a police official said.SIMI was banned by the government of India in 2001. Here is what you need to know about this banned organisation.FOUNDATION OF THE ORGANISATION:Students Islamic Movement of India, or SIMI, was founded on April 25, 1977 in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. Mohammad Ahmadaullah Siddiqi was the founder of SIMI, who currently is a Professor of Journalism and Public Relations at the Western Illinois University in USA. It was launched as a student wing of Jammat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), however the alliance broke in 1981 after SIMI activists protested against Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat’s visit to India. Arafat was greeted with black flags upon his visit to New Delhi by SIMI activists. JIH eventually abandoned SIMI and floated a new student wing called the Students Islamic Organisation (SIO).IDEOLOGY:As an organisation, SIMI does not believe in the Indian Constitution or the secular order. SIMI is widely believed to be against Hinduism, western beliefs and ideals, as well as other ‘anti-Islamic cultures’. Young extremist students of SIMI declared Jihad against India; to establish Dar-ul-Islam (land of Islam) by either forced conversion or by violence is the aim of it.STRONG PRESENCE OF SIMI:SIMI has strong presence in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra (especially in Thane, Jalgaon, Malegaon and Aurangabad), Kerala (Thiruvananthapuram, Kondutty in Malappuram district), Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Assam. It is alleged that prominent Islamist organisations like Kerala-based National Democratic Front and Islamic Youth Centre (IYC), and Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK), are controlled by former SIMI cadres. BANNING OF THE ORGANISATION:Following the 9/11 attack in America, the Government of India banned SIMI under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for alleged anti-national activities. As soon as SIMI was outlawed, national president of the organisation Dr Shahid Badar Falah was arrested from Delhi and was charged with sedition and inciting communal trouble in Uttar Pradesh.Organisation’s secretary general, Safdar Nagori, who was absconding since 2001, was arrested in 2008 from Indore. He is alleged to have established links with Pakistan’s ISI and other Islamist fundamentalist leaders. SIMI is alleged to have conducted the 2006 Mumbai bomb blasts that killed 187 people. Top SIMI leader Abul Bashar Qasmi was arrested in August 2008 for allegedly being the mastermind behind the July 2008 Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts.

Four of the 8 SIMI activists killed learned bomb-making in UP’s Bijnor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four of the eight SIMI activists, who were killed in an encounter near Bhopal on Monday after breaking from jail, had learned bomb-making in Bijnor and escaped from here after an accidental explosion. According to police sources here, an explosion occurred in a house in Jaatan colony here on September 12, 2014. By the time police reached the spot, the six persons living in the house had escaped. The six persons, who were living in the house, were identified as SIMI activists Aslam, Ejaz, Zakir, Amzad, Sallu alias Salik and Mehboob.On investigation, it was found that the SIMI activists were trying to make bomb with matchstick heads when the explosion occurred. Mehboob was injured in the incident.While Aslam and Ejaz were killed in an encounter in Telangana on April 3, 2015, Zakir, Amzad, Salik and Mehboob were killed this morning by Madhya Pradesh Police near Bhopal.Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar Sahni said a case of sedition and under other serious charges is pending against them.

Bhopal jailbreak: 8 SIMI activists who escaped killed in encounter with ATS team

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The eight SIMI activists who fled from Bhopal Central Jail on Sunday night have been killed in an encounter with a special Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Eintkhedi village on the outskirts of Bhopal, ANI reported.The eight activists of the banned SIMI had escaped by killing a security guard and scaling the prison wall with the help of bed sheets, following which some officials responsible for jail security have been suspended. “Eight SIMI or Students Islamic Movement of India activists escaped at around 2-3 AM by killing a jail security guard,” DIG Bhopal Raman Singh told PTI.Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said alert has been sounded across the state, while jail officials concerned looking after the security have been suspended. State government has also announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh each on the heads of the activists. They were identified as — Amzad, Zakir Hussain Sadiq, Mohammad Salik, Mujeeb Shaikh, Mehbood Guddu, Mohammad Kalid Ahmed, Aqeel and Majid, an official said.The activists after killing the guard scaled the prison walls with the help of bed sheets, the DIG said.The Union Home Ministry sought a report from the Madhya Pradesh government about the jail break.This was the second major jail break by operatives of banned SIMI in three years after the sensational escape by seven members of the group from a jail in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh in 2013.A nationwide alert has been sounded for the hunt of the eight SIMI men, who escaped from Bhopal jail after killing a jail security guard, official sources said. All states neighbouring Madhya Pradesh have been specifically told to remain alert and keep special vigil along their borders with Madhya Pradesh, sources said.Central security officials were in regular touch with the state police officials and providing inputs to help nab the escapes.The Home Ministry also asked the Madhya Pradesh government to send a detailed report about the jail break, whether there was any lapse on the part of the jail administration and the steps taken to check such incidents.The central security agencies were particularly anxious as four of the seven SIMI activities, who escaped from a jail in Khandwa October 1, 2013, could be arrested only after three years and during the period of their hiding, the militants were involved in multiple incidents of terror and a bank robbery. While in hiding, the SIMI men were allegedly involved in terror activities in several states including Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.SIMI was banned by the government in 2001.

8 SIMI activists escape from Bhopal jail, one guard killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eight activists of the banned SIMI escaped early Monday morning from the Bhopal Central Jail by killing a security guard and scaling the prison wall with the help of bed sheets.”Eight SIMI activists escaped around 2-3 AM by killing a jail security guard,” DIG Bhopal Raman Singh told PTI.The Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists also killed a jail security guard and later scaled the jail walls with the help of bed sheets, he said. They killed the guard by slitting his throat with steel plate and glass after overpowering him, the DIG said.Further details are awaited, he said, adding that a hunt has been launched to nab them.

Ban or no ban, spark goes missing from cracker sales

Lucknow: Ban on import and sale of Chinese crackers has had little or no effect on domestically-made ones as traders across major cities report poor business owing to anti-cracker campaign run by schools, resident welfare associations and others, Assocham said today.

AFPAFP

AFP

It is not just Chinese crackers, but multiple factors like growing environmental awareness, rising cost of living, growing tendency to save hard-earned money, paucity of time and traffic congestions have dented the business over the years. This is what a majority of the 250 traders surveyed said.

There is a sharp sales decline of about 20 per cent year-on-year from the past five years, which have also almost halved.

“Banning Chinese firecrackers was a welcome move which was aimed at strengthening the domestic industry. However, growing criticism of bursting crackers and the negative publicity along with rising pollution have eventually faded the growth of firecracker industry,” said D S Rawat, Assocham Secretary General, while releasing the findings.

“About hundreds of units in Sivakasi have shut their shop owing to intense campaigns and growing sales of China-made crackers over the years.”

Costlier raw materials and inflation have also held back people from buying crackers, a trend for the past few years now, noted the survey. However, many traders nurse hope that last-minute purchase could save the day for them.

The industry body interacted with wholesalers, retailers and traders spread across 10 cities of Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Dehradun, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumbai to gauge enthusiasm and demand for crackers together with the ban impact across India.

Madhya Pradesh: Six arrested by STF for killing tiger at Kanha Tiger Reserve

Bhopal: Six poachers were arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) of forest department for killing a tiger at Kanha Tiger Reserve, officials said on Wednesday.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The accused, identified as Devi Singh, Dheer Singh, Gyan Singh, Sunderlal, Dharm Singh and Chotelal, were arrested on Tuesday, an official of Public Relation Department said on Wednesday.

The STF team also recovered electric wire that was used to kill the tiger on 22 October. The hunters have admitted to their the crime, the official said.

The poachers told Field Director Pankaj Shukla that they had no intention to kill the tiger. They had spread out electric wire to hunt wild boar or deer, but unfortunately the tiger got ensnarled.

They got frightened and hid the tiger’s carcass in lantana shrubs. Afterwards, Devi Singh and Chotelal cut off all the four paws of the tiger with an intention to generate money, the official said.

In the meantime, the STF team reached the spot with dogs. Alarmed by officials approaching them, Devi Singh set ablaze all the four paws at a secluded place near Banjar river at the reserve.

However, STF personnel with the help of dogs, reached the exact spot and arrested them.

Devi Singh has also shown the team the spot where they set ablaze the paws. Later, the team recovered the half burnt paws from the site, he added.

PM Modi urges citizens to send their messages to jawans this Diwali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid heightened tension on the border, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a campaign through which people can send their Diwali greetings and messages to soldiers guarding the nation’s frontiers to boost their morale.People can send messages under the #Sandesh2Soldiers campaign on the Narendra Modi App, through MyGov.in, and also through All India Radio. Doordarshan shall also be mounting a programme to share people’s emotions with the Armed Forces.The Prime Minister, who is leading the campaign, said in a tweet, “I sent my #Sandesh2Soldiers. You could also do the same. Your wishes will certainly make our forces very happy.””This Diwali, let us remember our courageous armed forces who constantly protect our Nation. Jai Hind,” he said.”When 1.25 crore people stand with the soldiers, their power increases by 1.25 crore times,” the Prime Minister said.As part of the campaign, the Prime Minister has shared through social media, a special video, featuring his appeal to the people to send messages to the brave Armed Forces personnel.Within hours, the video has generated tremendous interest on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.The great respect and admiration that the nation has for our Armed Forces, will find expression this festive season, through the campaign being led by the Prime Minister, the PMO said in a release.A special module has been launched on the Narendra Modi App, which enables people to send greetings or their hand-written messages to the Armed Forces.The #Sandesh2Soldiers campaign is expected to generate increased interaction between the people and the Armed Forces.The campaign comes against the backdrop of the surgical strikes carried out by the Army on terror launch pads in PoK and the heightened border tension.Earlier this month, at an event in Bhopal, the Prime Minister had focused on the human element of the jawans. His appeal to people to applaud jawans when they meet them, has also created a buzz on social media.This is not the first time that Modi is focusing on the armed forces. He spent his last two Diwalis as the Prime Minister with the Army.

Bird Flu in Delhi: Govt mulls action plan to restrict spread of virus

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the growing number of cases of bird flu being reported in the national Capital, authorities are now mulling over whether to kill birds of the affected species to restrain its further spread.Senior government officials said that while the spread of the Avian Influenza virus has currently only been restricted to Rosy Pelicans, Ducks, and Painted Storks, the Delhi government has now prepared an action plan to contain the spread of the virus.As per the ‘Action plan of animal husbandry for preparedness control and containment of Avian Influenza’ issued by the Centre in 2015, certain steps have to be taken mandatorily to prevent the spread of the virus. “The Animal Husbandry and Public Health Department of State Government are supposed to set up a control room and constitution of Rapid Response Teams (RRTs). It should also set up an infected zone of one-kilometre radius from the epicentre for the culling of the affected birds,” said a Delhi government official. He added, “Setting up a surveillance zone of 1-10 kilometres for medicines/disinfectants is also mandatory as per the guidelines.”A total of 24 birds have died since October 14, leading to a possible viral spread scare in the national Capital. Sources said that a total of three bird deaths have been confirmed to be cases of bird flu so far.Delhi government’s Development minister Gopal Rai said that while the latest samples of the dead birds (ducks) has been sent to the Central lab in Bhopal for testing, the government has set up six multiple teams at major poultry markets in the city.“The culling of birds will be taken up if the virus is found in more such birds. The H5N8 virus is not fatal to humans. Although as a precautionary step we have sent all the samples to Bhopal and have already begun spraying disinfectant and anti-virus at the epicentre of the diseases,” said Rai.Previously, the state government of Karnataka had culled more than 1.3 lakh chickens at a farm in Kidar district in May earlier this year. In Haryana, culling of more than 100 ducks was ordered in Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake in December 2014 after samples indicated the presence of the H5N1 virus in some of the birds.Meanwhile, sources in the animal husbandry department said that if the teams at poultry markets find positive samples, no poultry will be allowed to enter the national Capital. “We have already communicated the current status of the bird flu virus to the other states. Multiple teams have been deployed at poultry markets to ensure thorough check up of the birds, although if samples are found positive of the virus, poultry import will be seized immediately,” said a senior government official.Bird Flu Crisis: SC attacks Govt The SC has attacked the AAP government for its failure to handle the bird flu crisis in the city. Accusing the government of not being proactive it said, “Delhi Government should not just react to situations but also think of the future,” the bench said citing media reports about the closure of Deer Park due to recent cases of bird deaths there. The Court’s remark came after the AAP government’s counsel submitted that the government was doing its duty.

Delhi bird flu scare: AAP govt should release health advisory with dos and don’ts

Even as Delhi hobbles back to normalcy after the chikungunya and dengue health scare that reached endemic proportions last month, the national capital faces yet another health exigency in the form of bird flu.
The government is monitoring bird sanctuaries and the Gazipur Murga Mandi, the sole meat market that caters to the entire city.

“Samples from the mandi and other sources have been sent for testing to Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL), Jalandhar and High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), Bhopal and the results are expected on Saturday,” a government source said.

It remains to be seen if the rickety health services system of the city (and the country) — that was found wanting just a few weeks back during the dengue and chikungunya outbreak had hit the population — will be prepared enough to deal with a crisis if any.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

However, ever since the first outbreak of bird flu in India a decade ago — in Gujarat and Maharashtra in February 2005 — India has never had a human case of H5N1 viral infection even though there has been an outbreak of the disease almost every other year.

Delhi’s development minister Gopal Rai has requested the citizens to not panic as the virus doesn’t seem to have entered the food chain yet.

Despite the minister’s reassurance, is there no cause for concern?

A stroll around any area of the city is enough proof that municipal services in the city are not at their international best, as should be the case considering that Delhi is the capital of a nation that is being heavily promoted as an investment destination globally. Is Delhi ready to take on the world as a global capital or is just another Third World city that has more negatives than positives?

The Supreme Court too has come down heavily on the AAP government on garbage piling up in the city and for poor sanitation. The apex court has expressed concern over bird flu scare in the national capital.

While the bird flu panic is slowly spreading, the experts strongly feel that it’s high time that the government should come up with an advisory with ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ on bird flu.

“The central government should issue an advisory with ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ to combat bird flu across the country. It’s not just limited to Delhi. District magistrates and district forest officials should be sensitised. Moreover, awareness regarding avian flu needs to be created especially among children, so as to avoid any panic,” Anand Arya, an environment expert, specialising on birds told Firstpost.

Source of avian (bird) flu scare

The scare of avian flu (official name of bird flu) originated in Delhi after the Delhi zoo reported over a dozen of dead birds on its premises. It was followed by death of birds at Deer Park, Hauz Khas and near a water body at Sundar Nagar. Besides, local birds, migratory birds died in zoo premises. While, the RDDL Jalandhar detected symptoms of the virus in the samples of carcasses of birds tested, Bhopal’s HSADL confirmed H5N1 virus in three birds. H5N1 is the virus that causes bird flu.

– Delhi Zoo: 12 birds found dead. (Of these three are confirmed bird flu cases).
– Deer Park: 5 birds found dead.
– Sundar Nagar: 3 crows found dead.
– Gwalior Zoo: 15 birds found dead. (The aerial distance between Gwalior and Delhi is only 285 km).

Source of Bird flu virus (H5N1)

Bird flu virus already exists in dormant state in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Russia border. It can become active. The other source is a migratory bird. The virus infects and kills wild birds and domestic poultry.

“Nearly 225 migratory species visit India every year and it starts in September. We get migratory birds in almost all the 7.57 lakh wetlands in the country. It’s serious if any of the flock gets infected,” said Arya.

Past incidents

– First confirmed and notified case of H5N1 outbreak in India was reported in Gujarat and Maharashtra in February 2005.
– The second outbreak — a major one was in March-April 2006 in Madhya Pradesh — where more than 10 lakh poultry birds were culled.
– In 2007, it was in Manipur, followed by West Bengal in 2008. More than 40 lakh birds were killed in Bengal.
– In the consecutive years, outbreak occurred in Tripura, Odisha, Sikkim, Assam and Bihar.
– The last bird flu outbreak was reported in 2015 in Kerala.
– In 2005, 50-60 birds were found dead at Okhla Bird Park in Delhi, which created a panic. However, after post-mortem it was found that the birds died after consuming poisonous feed used to catch fish.
– In India, no case of bird flu infecting human has been reported yet.
– Large-scale culling of poultry birds took place in a decade causing huge financial loss to poultry business.

Can I consume egg and chicken?

According to experts, no case of bird flu has been reported in poultry so far. It’s safe to consume properly cooked egg and chicken.

“Most bacteria and virus can’t survive high heat. Instead of consuming cold meat, it’s preferable to have properly cooked, roasted chicken and eggs in the form of boiled and omelet,” advised Arya.

What government has done so far?

– Delhi government has started a helpline number (011-2389 0318) where citizens can report cases of bird flu and seek help.
– Large number of samples has been taken from zoos, bird sanctuaries and poultry markets and sent for testing.
– Municipal corporations have deployed teams to check flu.
– Delhi government is keeping a strict vigil on poultry market.
– Delhi minister Gopal Rai said that Delhi government is well-equipped with medicines to deal with the situation.
– Central Zoo Authority is conducting inspection of zoo enclosures.
– Delhi Zoo and Deer Park have been shut down.

Precautionary measures

According to medical experts, one shouldn’t touch a dead bird or the carcass and keep a safe distance. It should immediately be reported to authorities concerned.

Physical contact with bird droppings should be avoided, because any bird can be an infected one. Extreme care should be taken while clearing droppings, because most human infection is from close contact with sick or dead infected poultry or droppings.

– Any one suffering from fever must take medical advice.
– Avoid spreading of rumours and panic.

Delhi bird flu scare: Virus less infective, no threat to humans, says Delhi minister Gopal Rai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government today ruled out any threat to human beings due to the bird flu or avian influenza as the strain of the virus is “less infective”, even as six ducks were found dead in the national capital.Development Minister Gopal Rai said the H5N8 virus were found in the samples of three birds which had recently died at Delhi zoo, and not the H5N1 virus, which are more “infective” and “may affect humans”. Addressing a press conference, Rai said there is no need to panic as all measures are in place to deal with the any situation.”The category of H5N8 influenza has been found in the samples of three birds died recently at Delhi zoo. Experts suggested that H5N8 is not harmful for human. This virus has also been found in US, Japan, Netherlands, China and other countries where H5N8 has not affected human,” he said.
ALSO READ Delhi bird flu: SC raps AAP govt, asks MLAs to clean Delhi garbageRai chaired a meeting with Chief Secretary and officials from departments concerned over the situation. The Minister said six ducks have also been found dead in Dear Park and no death has been reported from any part of the national capital.”We have sent samples of the dead ducks to a laboratory in Bhopal. So far, 24 bird deaths were reported from different places,” he said.The Delhi government on Thursday shut down Deer Park in the wake of five bird deaths.

PM Modi to inaugurate war memorial in Bhopal, likely to rake up surgical strikes

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be inaugurating the newly built war memorial — Shaurya Samarak — and address a meeting of former servicemen at Lal Pared ground, in Bhopal during his three-hour visit, ahead of the Brics meet in Goa.

File photo of Narendra Modi. AP

File photo of Narendra Modi. AP

According to a report by Hindustan Times, this visit comes after his Dussehra speech in Lucknow, where he was quoted as saying “sometimes war is inevitable” in the wake of the surgical strikes by the Indian Army.  The state BJP vice-president, Vijesh Lunawat said, “It is a matter of pride for Madhya Pradesh people that the Shaurya Smarak came up with the state government’s efforts and the PM is going to inaugurate it. This will give a boost to the morale of not only the armed forces but also the citizens of the country”.

In an ANI report it is said that the Samarak covers 13 acres of ground and cost Rs 41 crore. It symbolises the various stages of life, war, death and victory. The bravery and glory of soldiers is celebrated in the Shaurya gallery display and India’s gratitude is represented by the Shaurya Stambh. Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar will be present as well.

A report by The Times of India speculated that PM Modi is likely to speak about the surgical strikes on this occasion, and meet the former soldiers and war widows. The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government have sent invitations to General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Chief of Navy Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba.

Security has been ramped up in the state capital in view of Modi’s visit. Railway stations, airports, bus terminals, important markets and localities in the city were secured ahead of the high profile visit. Vehicles were screened at different check points to ensure no untoward incident occur. The administration also issued a circular asking all government and semi government offices to suspended work post 3 pm.

Bhopal Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Raman Singh Sikarwar said 5,000 policemen have been deployed at the airport, route and the venue of the three events

Modi will meet the Jain saint Acharya Vidhyasagarji Maharaj at a Jain temple first and then will inaugurate the Shourya Smarak.

He will remain in Bhopal for nearly three hours before leaving for his onward destination, said an official.

At 7:05 pm Modi will leave for Panaji.

With inputs from agencies

Madhya Pradesh: Security heightened ahead of PM Modi’s Bhopal visit on Friday

Madhya Pradesh: Security heightened ahead of PM Modi’s Bhopal visit on Friday

Updated: Oct 14, 2016 09:35 IST

#Bhopal #Madhya Pradesh #NewsTracker #PM Modi

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Bhopal: Security has been ramped up in the state capital in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s visit to Madhya Pradesh on Friday.

Modi is scheduled to arrive at the airport around 4 pm and thereafter will head to address an ex-servicemen (Sainik) Sammelan at Lal Parade Ground, an official of the Public Relation Department said.

He will meet the Jain saint Acharya Vidhyasagarji Maharaj at a Jain temple.

Later, the Prime Minister will inaugurate the Shourya Smarak built at Arera Hills spread over an area of 12.67 acre land and constructed with a cost of Rs 41 crore.

PM Modi. PTIPM Modi. PTI

PM Modi. PTI

He will remain in Bhopal for nearly three hours before leaving for his onward destination, the official said.

Bhopal Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Raman Singh Sikarwar said 5,000 policemen have been deployed at the airport, route and the venue of the three events.

He said police were keeping an eye at public places like stations, bus stands, hotels and hostels.

Sikarwar said vehicles entering into the district are being searched, while security drills are also being carried out.

Bhopal: Massive fire breaks out at furniture factory, fire tenders rush to spot

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A massive fire broke out at a plastic chair manufacturing factory in Bhopal on Thursday afternoon.According to reports, the factory is situated close to the Union Carbide factory, where the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 took place. Though no injuries have been reported so far, fire tenders have reached the spot and are trying to douse the flames.The factory is situated in a residential area in Old Bhopal. Evacuation of buildings around the factory have been ordered by the police.According to a Dainik Bhaskar report, the estimated damage in the factory has been pegged at Rs 4 crores.With agency inputs

Madhya Pradesh: 10 dead, 17 injured as bus falls into reservoir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ten were killed persons died and 17 others injured on Sunday when the mini-bus in which they were travelling fell into the backwaters of a dam at Pali village, around 50 km from Vidisha.”The 32-seater bus was on its way to Lateri in the district from Bhopal. It fell in the backwaters of Sanjay Sagar dam while crossing a bridge at around 3 PM,” Vidisha SP Dharmendra Choudhary told PTI.The deceased included four men, three women and three children. The injured were rushed to a hospital, he said. The victims drowned in the water which was 20-25 metre-deep and the death toll could rise as the rescue operation was going on, Choudhary said.Preliminary investigation suggested that the driver was speeding to reach the destination in time and lost control over the vehicle. Asked if the bus fell into the water after hitting a pothole on the bridge which had no railing, the SP said the probe is on.

Triple talaq: Social epidemic that should be cured; Muslim women are entitled to justice

When ordinary Muslim women demand legal abolition of the practice of unilateral divorce, it is not without reason. The Muslim Personal Law Board and their supporters are just not concerned with the tragic reality, where scores of Muslim women suffer tremendously owing to triple talaq. Their affidavit filed in the Supreme Court justifying triple talaq is a cruel joke steeped in sheer patriarchy. Evidently, they have no clue about the ground reality of injustice and violence in the form of triple talaq.

We were face-to-face yet again, with the reality, pain and vulnerability of young Muslim women, who have been unilaterally divorced at an emotionally-wrenching meeting in Bhopal last week. We heard heart-rending stories from Muslim women at a meeting convened by the BMMA Madhya Pradesh unit and feminist friends from Jan Pahel. The stories of about 30 women, all between the ages of 20-25, school dropouts barring one who was studying for B.Sc, some accompanied by small children, all of them unilaterally divorced and thrown out of homes by their husbands, left all of us absolutely shaken. These women came from the districts of Datia, Khargone, Chattarpur, Peepalgoan, Satna, Badwani, Bhopal and Khandwa to share their heartbreaking stories. It was remarkable that despite their horrendous ordeals they were determined to fight for justice. They wanted the practice of triple talaq to be abolished urgently.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

As woman after young woman narrated her story we could see that the reasons for divorce were varied, and in some cases the women did not even know why they had been divorced. In most cases, the reasons were rather flimsy. One young woman was divorced because she did not bring enough dowry, another because she gave birth to a girl, yet another because she didn’t have a beautiful face! In almost all cases, methods of divorce were even harder to digest. One girl was divorced while she was asleep at night. When she woke up, her husband told her that while she was sleeping he had divorced her and that now she should go back to her parents’ house. One husband sent a message of divorce to his wife through her uncle (mamu). One woman was divorced right in front of her father after being beaten by a water pipe. One young wife was facing an intriguing situation as her husband had recorded an MMS clip of his wife being intimate with him; he now wants a divorce, otherwise he warns that he will make the MMS go viral.

The extent of this social malaise can be gauged from the fact that there are some villages, in which one mohalla has more than 20 girls who have been thus unilaterally divorced and are now staying with their parents, along with their children. There are families which have more than two women who have been divorced. These young women have faced tremendous violence in their marital family, even sexual violence from their husbands. The condition of some of them is really pitiable as they are not sure of their status, as they don’t accept this one-sided talaq. They have been abandoned by their husbands who refuse to take them back. On their part, each of the girls is hopeful that one day her husband will come and take her back. A very frail, differently-abled girl from a very poor background was married off to a man who already had three children; after two years now, she has been divorced. She has nowhere to go and no means to feed herself.

We could see that most of the women were angry and wanted justice. While some of the girls wanted to go back to their studies and find economic independence, many wanted to go back to their husbands. The reasons are not hard to understand. They come from poor families in a patriarchal setting where girls get stigmatised when they return home after divorce. The parents are too poor to take the girl and her children back. There are other sisters to be married off.

The most disturbing reason given by the girls was that they were not sure if the second husband will turn out to be equally cruel or not, and therefore they preferred the known one. Since there is no guarantee of happiness in the second marriage (which they said is inevitable), they might as well struggle to go back to the former husband. And that is the reason why most girls refuse to accept the unilateral divorce given by their husbands. They do not want to belong to a future where they are being married and abandoned by husband after husband with no dignity and respect at the end of the ordeal. It is also the reason why some of them (at least five) have gone to court and have insisted on going back to their husbands. Some have also filed cases of maintenance and in some instances, cases under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act have been filed. All in the hope that the husband will be pressurised into taking her back. How they managed the lawyers’ fees was yet another story.

In almost all cases, methods of divorce were even harder to digest.

Triple talaq is not Quranic. Marriage is a social contract as per the Quran, with clear-cut verses calling for attempts at reconciliation and mediation in case of a marital discord. The Quran also emphasises the process to continue over a 90-day period. Yet, the most horrendous role is played by the local qazis and muftis as seen from the stories narrated by the women. All the women said that the unilateral divorce on the part of their husband had been approved by the local qazi. In a particular instance where even the husband was repentant and wanted to reunite, the qazi prevented him from doing so as it would amount to haramkhori. None of the qazis had tried to bring about reconciliation between the two, nor had they challenged the men’s right to instantaneous unilateral divorce. No wonder the women were annoyed and livid with the qazis, as they had been instrumental in destroying their lives.

With all the young divorced women breaking down as they shared their ordeal, it was obvious that they were undergoing tremendous emotional and psychological trauma. They were feeling humiliated and robbed of their dignity. They felt used, physically and emotionally. The violence, especially sexual violence at such a young age has left many a woman traumatised. One of them bristling with anger and humiliation said, “My husband told me take this money and go away from my life. This is the value of your person while you were with me, take it and get out of my life.” She was inconsolable, as she narrated this. It is a sad reflection of our community that a girl feels she has no choice but to go back to a person, who has not only divorced her unilaterally but also subjected her to immense physical and mental abuse.

We tried to have a discussion around why go back to such an unfair person. The vulnerability emanating from poverty and educational deprivation got highlighted. Several of them said that in their small town or village a girl has to be married and being single was unimaginable. They said that “hamara samaj ijazat nahi dega!” They feared being alone and understandably so. There is very little mobility or economic opportunities in small towns and villages, especially for a young woman. This is not to suggest that the picture is rosy in big cities.

We remain a patriarchal society and spend our lives under the stranglehold of patriarchal norms and rules. These norms demand young girls to be married off early, and to be divorced instantly as well if they are Muslim. We need to correct this power imbalance where a man continues to unilaterally divorce the wife. We need to address this common sense that a Muslim man can indulge in triple talaq as a right, and that it is up to the woman to run from pillar to post thereafter. Muslim women are entitled to legal and social justice. The women at the Bhopal meeting were expecting just that.

Noorjehan Niaz & Zakia Soman are Co-Founders of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan

Madhya Pradesh serves ‘royal’ dinner to SC judges, forgets its drought and Vyapam stain

Madhya Pradesh, a state that almost always figures at the bottom of the country’s Human Development Index table, used lakhs of rupees out of the taxpayers’ pockets to provide ‘royal’ hospitality to the Supreme Court judges – including the Chief Justice of India (CJI) – in an event in April; by hosting a gala dinner in fine silver, and by bestowing expensive gifts upon the judges and their spouses.

That’s rather rich for a state already bearing the stigma of the Vyapam scam – a professional examination board scam in which impersonators were caught appearing on behalf of students for a hefty fee, all with the collusion of the officials of the examination board.

Vyapam scam and drought are affecting MP. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. AFPVyapam scam and drought are affecting MP. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. AFP

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. AFP

A response to a RTI query revealed that expenses worth more than a whopping Rs 8 lakh were incurred in just one evening to host a ‘royal’ (officially traditional) dinner of 240 VVIP guests — mostly judges and their families, including CJI TS Thakur, on 14 April in Bhopal.

The dinner was hosted by the state government on the occasion of a four-day programme — ‘Retreat of the judges of the Supreme Court’ – organised at the National Judicial Academy in Bhopal, which was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee.

A copy of the information sought under the RTI, accessed by Firstpost, shows that the principal secretary to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan issued an official note stating that, “keeping with the stature of the event, the dinner should be served in silver crockery.”

According to protocol, traditionally for any lunch or dinner hosted by the state government, the arrangements are made by the MP State Tourism Development Corporation Limited (MPSTDC).

But instead, the official note mentioned that, “since such arrangement are not available with the MPSTDC, the contract should be given to a reputed private caterer from Indore, through competitive bidding.”

The response to the RTI query, made by Bhopal-based activist Ajay Dubey, shows that besides the CJI and the judges of the Supreme Court, the list of invitees (state guests) included SC registrar and additional registrar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Lokayukta of MP PP Naolekar, among other ministers and bureaucrats.

As per the copies of the bills procured through the RTI, about Rs 3.37 lakh was paid for food, Rs 3.57 lakh towards catering and silver crockery, and more than Rs 1 lakh towards 46 pieces of gift items.

Documents by Firstpost

“We’re not questioning the dinner hosted by the MP government but the arbitrary manner in which it was done. Our democracy is based on the principle of equality, but in this case, the Supreme Court judges and other guests were treated as royalty. What is the logic behind serving a government dinner on silver crockery, when there are scams like Vyapam and a part of the state is reeling from drought. Lakhs of rupees, which is the taxpayers’ money, was spent on silver crockery and gifts,” Dubey told Firstpost.

“As per the judicial ethics, the members of judiciary are not supposed to accept gifts. I don’t think the SC judges had asked for this kind of treatment or even liked it,” added Dubey, also a member of Transparency International, an anti-corruption watchdog.

Government flip-flops on draft forest policy, calls it ‘just a study’

In a flip-flop, the Environment Ministry on Saturday said it had ‘inadvertently’ uploaded a ‘study’ and ‘not issued’ any draft forest policy, days after it put up a document, titled the Draft National Forest Policy 2016, on its website and sought public opinion.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry said the study done by Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) in Bhopal was ‘inadvertently’ uploaded on its website as draft forest policy. “The Ministry has not issued any draft notification on National Forest Policy. What has been uploaded on the website was a study done by Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal. The study has not been evaluated by the Ministry. The Ministry has not taken any decision on draft forest policy. The study report prepared by IIFM, Bhopal was inadvertently uploaded as draft forest policy on the website,” said SS Negi, Director General, Forest, and Special Secretary, Environment Ministry.The Ministry had uploaded the draft national forest policy on its website which, once ratified, would have replaced the 1988 policy.The document read that “the draft of the National Forest Policy, 2016, has been prepared by the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal (IIFM) based on village level focus group discussions… regional and national level consultations, inputs from various stakeholders and analysis of primary and secondary datasets carried out during the years 2015 and 2016.” There were also reports in a section of media that the Ministry, after uploading the document, had given very little time for stakeholders to comment on it.Negi said the Ministry has an elaborate procedure of preparing a draft policy and no such process has been undertaken by it. “As Director-General Forests, I would like to clarify that this document is not the draft forest policy. The Ministry has an elaborate procedure for preparing draft policy document, which takes into account multiple inputs from all stakeholders, state governments, think tanks and public consultation.”No process has been carried out on the document prepared by IIFM, Bhopal, which is only one of the inputs. A draft forest policy will be put in the public domain once due process is carried out and views of all stakeholders are taken into account,” Negi said.

Vyapam scam: Two days after bail, accused mining baron Sudhir Sharma walks out of jail

Two days after he was granted bail by the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Vyapam scam accused mining baron Sudhir Sharma walked out of the jail in Bhopal on Friday to an enthusiastic welcome by his supporters.Sharma was released from the prison at around 4.30 PM, jail superintendent Akhilesh Tomar said. He first visited a Hanuman temple near the prison where his supporters, who had come in 50-odd vehicles, mostly SUVs, burst fire crackers, distributed sweets, and garlanded him. “I am innocent. I have full faith in judiciary. I will get justice,” Sharma told reporters after his release from the prison after nearly two years.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To a question, he ruled out possibility of political conspiracy behind his arrest. During his 692-day in jail, he wrote a Hindi book titled ‘Aisi hoti Jail’, he said, adding he plans to help NGOs that work for jail inmates. The High Court had on June 22 granted him bail in three cases related to the Vyapam (MP Professional Exam Board) scam as other accused in these cases were already out on bail.
ALSO READ Vyapam scam: Madhya Pradesh HC grants bail to accused Sudhir SharmaHe had got bail in another Vyapam-related case earlier. The Special Task Force (STF) of MP police – which was probing the massive racket where recruitment examinations for various government posts and educational courses were allegedly rigged – had arrested Sharma in four cases in July 2014. He is accused of helping at least 12 persons clear the contractual teacher grade II, police constable, platoon commander and forest guards recruitment examinations through illegal means.

AIIMS MBBS Results 2016 to be declared today @ aiimsexams.org

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is expected to declare its MBBS entrance exam 2016 results today on the official website.Students need to get the admit card handy.How to check your result:1. Visit the website aiimsexams.org2. Click on ‘Results'<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3. Click on ‘AIIMS MBBS Entrance Exam 2016 results’4. Enter your id, password, captcha5. Click ‘Login’6. Your result will be displayed on the screen.7. Now, save your scorecard and take a print out for future reference.About AIIMS MBBS Exams:The 2016 AIIMS MBBS Exam was held on May 29. There are just 672 seats on offer, but the number of candidates number in lakhs.There are seven AIIMS centres in all – New Delhi, Patna (Bihar), Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Raipur (Chhattisgarh) Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh). Post the result declaration the counselling sessions will be conducted in three rounds, first on July 4,5,6; second on August 4 and third on September 6 respectively.Good luck to all the students.

CBI files two more charge sheets in Vyapam scam

Two persons, who had allegedly impersonated as candidates in the 2013 written examination of police constable recruitment test and were not traced by the Madhya Pradhesh Police, were charge sheeted by the Central Bureau of investigation on Monday. The duo along with one more accused person and with the help of some middlemen had posed as candidates in the entrance exam held held on September 30, 2013 in Bhopal, agency officials said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”During the CBI investigation, it was found that three accused, all residents of Bihar had impersonated as candidates in the written examination of Police Constable Recruitment Test, 2012 which was held on September 30, 2013 at Bhopal in place of the three candidates with the help of three middlemen. Two accused who were not traced during the investigation carried out by MP Police, were located by the CBI and produced before the court during the filling of the charge sheet. They were sent to judicial custody,” said a CBI official. The agency on Monday said it had filed two charge sheets in separate cases related to the infamous Vyapam scam against ten accused persons in the Designated Court at Indore and Bhopal. “In first case, charge sheet was filed against one Purshottam Khoiya under section 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 3-D(1)(2)/4 of MP Recognised Examinations Act in the Court of Special Magistrate at Indore relating to alleged irregularities in the PMT 2009 examination. The said accused was arrested and also produced before the court,” said a CBI official.”In the second case, a charge sheet was filed against nine accused persons under section 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of IPC Section 3-D(1)(2)/4 of MP Recognized Examinations Act in the court of Special Judge, Vyapam Cases, Bhopal,” the official added.So far six charge sheets have been registered by the probe agency in a total of 155 FIRs that were taken over by CBI after a string of mysterious deaths raised questions over the investigation of the case. The opposition as well as vyapam whistleblowers had in 2015 pressurised the BJP led MP government to handover the case to CBI soon after the mysterious death of a journalist who was in turn investigating the alleged suicide of Namrata Damor, suspected to be first a beneficiary and then a victim in the infamous scam. More than 50 people connected to the case as witness’s or as accused have died mysteriously even after an SIT was constituted by the state government to probe the scam as well as the deaths.

Vyapam scam: CBI files chargesheet against 10 people

New Delhi/Bhopal : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday filed two separate chargesheets in Indore and Bhopal courts against 10 people in two cases related to Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, officials said.

Vyapam-scam_PTI_2Vyapam-scam_PTI_2The chargesheet in the first case named only one person while the other chargesheet in the second case mentioned names of nine accused persons for their alleged involvement in the Pre-Medical Test (PMT) 2009 and the Police Constable Recruitment Test 2012, respectively.

Both the examinations were conducted by Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal (Vyapam) or the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB).

In both cases, the accused persons were booked on charges of impersonation, cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of the Madhya Pradesh Recognized Examinations Act 1937.

The chargesheet in the first case, that was earlier registered in 2014 in Indore, was filed against Purushottam Khoiya in the court of a special magistrate. Khoiya was remanded in judicial custody by the court.

In the second case, registered by Bhopal Police in 2015, the chargesheet was filed against Kamlesh Kushwaha, Naveen Kumar, Jyotish Kumar, Vishal Solanki, Kavendra Singh Rajawat, Nemichand, Dinesh Kumar Solanki, Pankaj Kumar and Rajesh Dhakad at a Bhopal court.

“The findings are based on the investigation done by the CBI on the basis of evidence,” a CBI official said.

The Supreme Court on 9 July, 2015, handed over the Vyapam cases to the central agency. At least 48 people linked to the Vyapam scam have died, some mysteriously.

The CBI has till now registered 155 First Information Reports and six chargesheets in the Vyapam scam.

The agency registered its first Vyapam case on 16 July, 2015.

Soon, Railways to launch free Wi-Fi service at 7 stations including Allahabad, Sealdah

In a move to provide unhindered Internet facility to rail users, Railways will soon launch free Wi-FI service at seven more stations, including Allahabad and Sealdah.”We will provide free Wi-Fi service in association with Google at seven more stations soon for passengers,” a senior Railway Ministry official said.Railways currently provides the service at eleven stations: Mumbai Central, Bhubaneswar, Kacheguda, Vijayawada, Raipur, Bhopal, Patna, Ranchi, Visakhapatnam, Jaipur and Guwahati.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said the work for providing Wi-Fi facility is underway and the stations, including Pune, Ernakulum, Lucknow, Ujjain and Gorakhpur, will get it soon.Supported by Google technology, RailTel, a railways PSU, is providing state-of-the-art high-speed Internet network at the stations for visitors and rail users.Travellers passing through these stations will now be able to easily stream a high definition video while they are waiting. They can also download a book or a new game for their journey.”Our target is to provide the facility at 100 major stations in the current year,” he said.The service built over the fibre network of RailTel is designed to offer high speed broadband-like experience to any user with a mobile connection on a smartphone.

Madhya Pradesh: IAS officer transferred for praising Nehru, criticising Asaram, Ramdev on social media

An IAS officer who had praised Jawaharlal Nehru in a Facebook post, has been transferred by the Madhya Pradesh government.Ajay Singh Gangwar who was the Barwani District Collector, was transferred last night as Deputy Secretary in the Secretariat in Bhopal. Gangwar had been promoted to the IAS cadre from the state service in 2005.'”The state government has transferred Barwani Collector Gangwar as Deputy Secretary in the Mantralaya in Bhopal,” a state Public Relation Department official said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the Facebook post written in Hindi, which has gone viral on other social media platforms, Gangwar has written that “let me know the mistakes that Nehru should not have committed…Is it his mistake that he prevented all of us from becoming Hindu Talibani Rashtra in 1947?”Is it his mistake to open IIT, ISRO, BARC, IISB, IIM, BHEL steel plant, dams, thermal power? Is it his mistake that he honoured Sarabhai, Homi Jehangir in place of intellectuals like Asaram and Ramdev?”According to the government official, the FB post had not gone down well with the top officials as it was in “violation” of the service rules, following which an initial probe was conducted and Gangwar was transferred.Ever since the Facebook post had gone viral, there was talk that Gangwar could be shunted out of the district.However, his transfer order did not mention anything about his Facebook post on Nehru, the official added.

Sadhvi Pragya takes a holy dip in Kshipra river during Kumbh Mela

Ujjain: Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who was given clean chit in the 2008 Malegaon blast case by the National Investigation Agency recently, on Thursday took a holy dip in Kshipra river during the ongoing Kumbh Mela here.

Pragya took the holy dip at Ram ghat amid tight security. Twitter

Pragya took the holy dip at Ram ghat amid tight security. Twitter

Pragya took the holy dip at Ram ghat amid tight security, her aide Bhagwan Jha told PTI.

On Wednesday, she called off her two-day-long hunger strike after the authorities made the arrangements for her visit to the Kumbh Mela.

She had started hunger strike at the Government-run Pandit Khushilal Sharma Ayurvedic Hospital in Bhopal as the authorities earlier did not allow her to take part in the Kumbh Mela despite a Dewas court’s order.

She is currently in judicial custody and undergoing treatment at the Ayurvedic hospital.

Last Friday NIA dropped all the charges against her and five others in the Malegaon blast case.

Seven people were killed in a blast in Malegaon town of Maharashtra on 29 September, 2008.

Pragya is also being tried for allegedly masterminding the killing of RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi in Dewas district in 2007.

India’s cancer burden on the rise, with alarming numbers from the north eastern sates

India can expect to see 14.5 lakh new cases of cancer in 2016, a number which will go up to 17.3 lakh new cases by 2020, said two new reports released by the Indian Council of Medical Research on Wednesday, with tobacco linked to almost 30% of all cancers. The reports, on the status of cancer in the country, based on data collected from population-based and hospital-based cancer registries throughout the country, charted the prevalence of different kinds of cancers from 2012-2014, and have been used to project and estimate for the coming few years.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Of these numbers, cancer of the breast will have an estimated 1.5 lakh new cases in 2016, 10% of all the cases, with 1.45 in women and 0.05 in men. This makes it the highest prevalent cancer in the country. Cancer of the lung will have the next highest disease burden, with 1.14 lakh cases, 83,000 in men and 31,000 in women, and 1.4 lakh in 2020. Cancer of the cervix, previously the most prevalent cancer in women, has become the third most common cancer with an estimated 1 lakh new cases in 2016, 1.04 in 2020.All kinds of cancers were on the rise among men in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and women in Bengaluru, Barshi district of Maharashtra, and Bhopal. Men saw a “significant” increase in colon cancers, rectum and prostrate in metro cities of Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, which Dr. GK Rath, cancer specialist from AIIMS, said could be due to more westernised diets in urban areas with lesser intake of vegetables.The highest rates of incidents, on “all anatomical sites” among males, meaning all different kinds of cancers, is seen in Aizawl district in Mizoram, and among females in Papumpare district in Arunachal Pradesh.Spread over the country, cancer of the mouth was the leading anatomical site among men, in western parts of the country — Ahmedabad (urban), Nagpur, Pune, Wardha) and in Bhopal. It was second in the registries in Mumbai and Aurangabad. Lung cancer among men lead in 10 of the 27 population based registries (PCBR) in the country.In women, cancer of the breast lead in 19 of the 27 PCBRs, while of the cervix lead in rural areas in Barshi district, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland.The displacement of cervical cancer by that of the breast caused some interest, with specialists saying they don’t know for sure what could be the reason. Prof Ravi Mehrotra, Director Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology, said that rising literacy, awareness, sanitation, could lead to the gradual decrease in cervical cancer, as seen in registries from Bengaluru, Barshi, Bhopal, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai. However, as Dr. Elizabeth Vallikad of St.Johns Hospital Bengaluru said, that most probably the rural population’s undetected disease burden of cervical cancer was not taken into account.Flagship programmeThe cancer registry programme of the ICMR, called its flagship programme by the DG Dr Soumya Swaminathan, has been mapping cancer in India since 1982. Over the years registries have been established in more regions, letting scientists and policy makers have an idea of what cancer spreads where, giving them a chance to probe geographical factors and tailor interventions accordingly. Some of the newer registries from states in the north eastern parts of India threw up “peculiar” data, as Dr. Swaminathan put it, with fairly alarming rates of cancer incidences among the populace.

Sadhvi Pragya ends hunger strike after court lets her bathe in Shipra river

Bhopal: Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who was given a clean chit by the National Investigation Agency in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts case, has decided to call off her fast after she got clearance to bathe in the Shipra river.

Amidst high security measures, Sadhvi Pragya left on Wednesday for Ujjain to participate in the Simhastha Kumbh Mela. The Dewas District Court on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to her request to bathe in the river.

The Sadhvi, who was lodged in Bhopal Central Jail, had threatened to fast unto death if she was not allowed to bathe in the river. She was admitted to a local ayurvedic hospital after her health deteriorated.

Superintendent of Police Rajesh Bhadoria told reporters: “We have offered adequate security to Sadhvi Pragya and medical experts are also accompanying her. All security and medical arrangements are in compliance with the Dewas court decision.”

File photo of Sadhvi Pragya Singh. PTIFile photo of Sadhvi Pragya Singh. PTI

File photo of Sadhvi Pragya Singh. PTI

Bhagvan Jha, her close aide, said: “Sadhvi Pragya has decided to call off the hunger strike as a Dewas court on Tuesday allowed her to take a dip in the Shipra. She is under heavy security and is travelling to Ujjain in an ambulance to attend the Kumbh Mela.”

He added: “Her health is stable, she has consumed only water and medicines. She has refrained from eating anything solid.”

According to hospital staff, Sadhvi Pragya’s two-day hunger strike had worsened her health and she was not in a fit condition to travel. Her blood pressure was low and she had been advised medication for the condition, a doctor said.

The Simhastha Kumbh Mela, which began on 22 April, will end on 21 May. Sadhvi Pragya had protested against the authorities for not allowing her to bathe in the Shipra.

Sadhvi Pragya is accused of involvement in the murder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary Sunil Joshi and is facing trial in the case. She is currently imprisoned at Central Jail in Bhopal and is undergoing treatment in Pandit Khushilal Ayurveda Hospital there.