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Maharashtra: Six-year-old boy sodomised by 2 minor siblings in Thane

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two minor brothers have been booked for allegedly sodomising a six-year-old boy in the district, police said on Friday.The two siblings, aged around 10 and 12, took the boy, who lived with his parents in their neighbourhood at Gograswadi in Dombivili township of Thane, to an isolated place and sodomised him on Wednesday, they said.The two also beat up the boy when he resisted their attempt, police said.The victim later informed his mother about it.Subsequently, based on a complaint by the victim’s parents, police registered an offence under IPC sections 377 (unnatural offences), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).The two accused are yet to be nabbed, police said, adding that further investigation is on.

Here’s why India’s first transgender college principal has resigned from her post

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s first transgender college principal Manabi Bandopadhyay has submitted her resignation after about one-and-a-half years in office, expressing frustration at “non-cooperation” of a section of teachers and students of her institution.Nadia District Magistrate Sumit Gupta today said he had received her letter of resignation from the post of Principal of Krishnagar Women’s College in the district on December 27 and forwarded it to the state Higher Education department yesterday. Manabi alleged that she started facing non-cooperation from a section of teachers soon after she took over as the principal of the well-known women’s college on June 9, 2015. On the other hand, the teachers also levelled the same allegation against the principal, resulting in a standoff.A four-member team, led by Joint Director of Public Instruction (DPI) RP Bhattacharjee, visited the college recently on a fact-finding mission and talked to the principal and teachers.Manabi said, “All of my colleagues went against me. Some of the students went against me. I tried to bring back discipline and an atmosphere of education in the college. Most probably, that is why they went against me. I always got co-operation from the local administration, but never got it from my colleagues and students.”She went on to say that she had been under tremendous mental pressure and could not take it anymore, forcing her to resign. “I feel tired due to the agitation and gherao by the students and teachers. I faced a lot of legal notices from their end. I had come to this college with new hopes and dreams but I was defeated…,” she said. Manabi (51), whose earlier name was Somnath, underwent a series of operations in 2003-2004 and became a woman. In 1995, she published the country’s first transgender magazine, ‘Ob-Manab’ (sub-human).

Hurriyat leader Masarat Alam released from Kathua Jail, rearrested

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Masarat Alam Bhat, who had been in custody under the Public Safety Act since April 2015, was released from Kathua district jail but subsequently re-arrested in another case.J&K High Court had ordered his release on Tuesday. “Masrat was released today in the case in which the high court had quashed his detention. But he was rearrested subsequently from jail in another case,” a senior Police officer told PTI.Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, while allowing Masrat’s plea challenging the latest of the detention orders under Public Safety Act, held his detention illegal on several grounds. Masarat had been booked under PSA several times since April 2015 and the latest order in the series was issued by District Magistrate Baramulla.”…(the) order of detention…passed by the (deputy commissioner Baramulla) is quashed with a further direction to the (government) to release (Masrat) Alam forthwith from preventive custody,” the court had said in its order on Tuesday. According to the order, Masarat was accused of making the ongoing agitation “successful” from inside the jail.

Govt approves Rs 11,000 crore road projects for areas hit by worst Left-wing extremism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government has approved an over Rs 11,000-crore project to construct all-weather roads and improve connectivity for security reasons in nearly 40 districts worst hit by the Left-wing extremism and violence.Approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), the ‘Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas’ will provide connectivity in 35 worst affected LWE districts – which account for 90% of total LWE violence in the country – and 9 adjoining districts, critical from security angle.To be implemented as a vertical under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, more than 5,400 kilometres of road would be constructed/upgraded and 126 bridges/cross drainage works would be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 11,724.53 crore. The roads will be operable through the year, irrespective of weather conditions.The fund sharing for the LWE road project will be same as the PMGSY – in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and states for all states except for North Eastern and three Himalayan States (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand) for which it is 90:10.Finance Ministry will allocate Rs 7,034.72 crore to the Ministry of Rural Development for the project during the implementation period 2016-17 to 2019-20. Ministry of Rural Development will be the responsible for sponsoring and implementing the project.The roads taken up under the scheme would include Other District Roads (ODRs), Village Roads (VRs) and upgrading of the existing Major District Roads (MDRs), that are critical from the security point of view.Bridges up to a span of 100 metres, critical from security angle, would also be funded on these roads. National and state highways have been excluded from the project.The roads to be constructed under the scheme have been identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in consultation with the state governments and security agencies.PMGSY was launched in 2000 as a centrally-sponsored scheme with the objective to provide all-weather road connectivity to all eligible unconnected habitations in the rural areas.

J&K HC orders release of hardline Hurriyat leader Masarat Alam Bhat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir High Court has ordered release of senior hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Masarat Alam Bhat who has been in preventive custody under the Public Safety Act since April 2015. Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar, while allowing Bhat’s plea challenging the latest of the detention orders under Public Safety Act, held his detention illegal on several grounds. “By issuance of writ of certiorari, order of detention bearing No. 85/DMB/PSA/2016 dated 1.9.2016, passed by the (deputy commissioner Baramulla) is quashed with a further direction to the (government) to release Alam forthwith from preventive custody,” the court said in its order.Bhat has been booked under PSA several times since April 2015 and the latest order in the series was issued by District Magistrate Baramulla. According to the order, Bhat was accused of making the ongoing agitation “successful” while in custody of the state authorities. The order was passed on the basis of Bhat’s meeting on August 11 this year with four persons who visited him at District Jail, Baramulla. The persons had requested authorities to allow them meet one Assadullah Parray, who is allegedly affiliated with Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani. The authorities claimed that instead of meeting Parray, they met Bhat, who allegedly advised them to activate the workers for a more visible and prominent role in the turmoil. A case was registered against Bhat at police station Baramulla on August 30, two days before the detention order under PSA against Alam was passed by the deputy commissioner.”Even otherwise, record would show statements of four police personnel, who were posted at Sub Jail Baramulla, have been recorded.Their statements would show that Assadullah Parray was lodged in Barrack No.7, whereas (Bhat) was lodged in Barrac No.8.”The allegation in the FIR and statements of all these police personnel would, prima facie, show that all the police authorities, posted at Sub Jail Baramulla, have failed to discharge their duties in accordance with law because it was within the competence and authority of these police personnel to ensure that the visitors would meet Parray, for meeting with whom they had sought permission and not (Alam),” the court observed.The court also rendered the detention order illegal for the reason that the bail application of Bhat had been rejected by a court and he continued to languish in state custody. The detaining authority, in this situation, could not assume that there is every likelihood of (Bhat) being released on bail. The Court said, “democratic society not only swears but lives by democratic values and principles. Even in the face of extreme provocations, the laws of the land are to be implemented. Laws possess unique quality, in as much as, they, even at times, protect those who break them. Thus, they prove to be better than many human beings”. Bhat was released after four-and-half years of detention soon after the PDP-BJP government took charge in March last year. However, he was re-arrested on April 17, 2015 and detained under the PSA for alleged anti-national activities during a rally to welcome Geelani home from Delhi.

After three month ban, Kashmir newspaper back on the stands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Local English daily Kashmir Reader hit the stands on Wednesday after it was banned by the Jammu and Kashmir government for nearly three months on the charges that its publication was a threat to peace in the valley.The newspaper started its publication and distribution for the first time after it was banned through an order passed by District Magistrate, Srinagar on October 2.The District Magistrate’s order had alleged that the publication of Kashmir Reader posed a threat to peace in the valley which had been going through a period of turmoil since July following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.The revocation of the ban on the newspaper is seen as the first success for the newly-formed Kashmir Editors’ Guild, a body of all major dailies and weeklies published from the Valley.

Demonetisation: In Kerala, many back cashless drive but political opposition remains concern

Gafoor T was restless when he found 70 percent drop in sales in his tea powder shop at Kottakkal in Malappuram district of Kerala post-demonetisation. He did not have much hope when employees of the Akshaya Common Service Centre approached him with a suggestion to use e-wallet to overcome the cash crunch that hit his business.

Though Gafoor was aware of e-wallets, he was skeptical how his customers, who are mostly rural folks, will receive it. To his utter dismay, Gafoor found most people willing to use their mobile phones to buy tea leaves.

After he put up a board announcing acceptance of e-wallets outside his shop, Gafoor saw not only his old customers returning but also new ones joining him. This has helped him not only cover the loss but also gain additional 10 percent sales in just one month.

Niyas Pulppadan, Malappuram district coordinator of Akshaya, a project initiated by the Kerala government in 1990s to bridge digital divide, said many like Gafoor in the district had switched on to cashless transaction methods.

He told Firstpost that majority of the 850 merchants at Kottakkal were now using one or the other digital payment platforms to run their business. He said people both in rural and urban areas were eager to try the cashless transaction options.

All this is made possible by the intensive campaign launched by Akshaya, which was designated by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as the nodal agency for the ‘Go Cashless’ campaign in Kerala, to promote digital payment platforms among merchants and the general public.


Cashless drive in Kerala has found many takers. Photo courtesy: TK Devasia

The drive being implemented through 2,654 Akshaya citizen service centres across Kerala with the help of banks and other agencies concerned and is aimed at bringing all 941 village panchayats, 87 municipalities and six corporations in the state into a cashless regime.

Niyas said almost all 94 panchayats and 12 municipalities in Malappuram district had completed the target and the district was ready to be declared as the first cashless district in India. A place is deemed to be cashless, when at least 10 traders and more than 40 consumers start using digital wallet as per the Government of India’s directive.

“We needed to enable only 4,240 consumers and 1,060 traders to use digital wallet to get the cashless district status according to the government norms. But we have already reached out to 18,650 people and more than 1,200 traders in the district. We expect an official declaration in the first week of January,” said Niyas.

PP Jayakumar, manager, e-Governance and networking, Akshaya, said Malappuram was able to march ahead as it has a well-knit Akshaya network and has the highest number of migrants working abroad.

Malappuram was the first district in the country to achieve total computer literacy. At least one member in every family in the district was made e-literate under the Akshaya project piloted in the district way back in 2002.

“The other districts that followed suit are also trying to keep pace with Malappuram. Districts like Thrissur, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Palakkad, and Pathanamthitta are closely following Malappuram,” Jayakumar said.

He told Firstpost that their attempt was to bring the entire state into cashless economy. Akshaya has covered more than 2 lakh people and 13,000 merchants in the state so far under the campaign, he added.

Jayakumar said they were trying to familiarise people with digital payment platforms by organising live demonstrations. At the training sessions, participants are also given tips on enhancing security for online banking.

The initial focus is on five platforms, namely debit/credit/prepaid cards issued by banks, USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), Aadhaar-enabled payment system (AEPS), UPI (Unified Payments Interface) and e-wallet. Jayakumar said that the e-wallet system was preferred by most people.

He said that the merchants had initially shown hesitation in accepting digital payments because of their fear about tax liabilities. However, they overcame the fear when they were told about the convenience and advantages of cashless transaction.

“The small traders need not fear about tax liabilities as turnover up to Rs 10 lakhs is now exempted from tax. This may go up to Rs 20 lakhs when GST is implemented. As far as big traders are concerned, cashless transactions will minimise the need for maintaining records and free them from security concerns,” he added.

Jayakumar pointed out a sharp drop in burglary and thefts following demonetisation. The traders, who had initially opposed demonetisation, are now fully supporting the digital payment drive. The Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi, which is rated as the single largest trade body in the world, is actively associating with the ‘Go Cashless’ campaign.

Niyas said that the Malappuram unit of the traders’ body had taken the lead in creating awareness among the merchants and the general public about e-wallets. They have joined hands with Akshaya in taking e-wallets to the people, he added.

Jayakumar said that the ‘Go Cashless’ campaign may help Kerala to increase the digital transactions by 30 to 40 percent. The total digital transactions in the state are now estimated to be around 30 percent. The state can easily switch over to full cashless economy with little more efforts, he added.

However, Akshaya coordinators in some districts are concerned about lack of support from political parties to the campaign. Devi S Nath, the coordinator of Palakkad district, said that the local bodies ruled by certain political parties were showing reluctance in issuing the certificate declaring the panchayats cashless.

This is mainly because of the political opposition to the demonetisation scheme. All parties, barring the BJP, had come out against the scheme citing hardships caused to the people.

While the Congress-led Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) is lying low after their initial round of protests, the CPM-led ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) is trying to intensify their agitation by organising a human chain across the state on 29 December .

Senior Akshaya officials said that the political opposition will not affect the campaign as cashless transaction will improve tax compliance and boost the state’s revenue. In fact, digital payment is a major component of the digital empowerment programme launched by the state government with a view to bridge the digital divide by 2020.

The programme is aimed at making 10 lakh people digitally literate. The services of around 40,000 student police cadets (SPCs) from 400 schools across the state are proposed to be used for the training.

Tablets have already been provided to the students as part of the training ahead of the campaign. The pilot phase of the project in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram is now nearing completion. It has covered 10,000 people in the district so far.

Kerala has all infrastructures in place to embrace cashless economy. Besides 100 percent literacy, Kerala is one of the most banked states in the country today. The state achieved 100 percent bank account coverage for all the household way back in 2011. The state now has one bank branch for every 5,900 persons as against all India average of 11,000.

Apart from this, Kerala also became India’s first complete digital state in 2015 after it achieved 100 percent mobile density, 75 percent e-literacy, highest digital banking rate and broadband connection up to panchayat level. The state has implemented e-district programmes in all districts and has linked Aadhaar card with bank accounts.

Akshaya officials hope that the current campaign will enable Kerala to achieve another distinction of becoming India’s first cashless state.

First Published On : Dec 27, 2016 14:02 IST

Pakistani Hindus can now avail Indian citizenship at Rs 100

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The registration fees for Hindus and other minority community people from three neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, as Indian citizens have been drastically reduced to as low as Rs 100 from Rs 15,000. In a gazette notification, the Home Ministry said the new rules will be applicable to minority communities- Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians- from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and living in India on Long Term Visa.However, for minority community people from countries other than the three, the fees will be Rs 10,000 for registration in India and Rs 15,000 if registered elsewhere. The changes have been made after amending various provisions of the Citizenship Rules 2009.The new rules also allow the minority members from the neighbouring countries to take oath of allegiance as an Indian citizen in front of Sub-Divisional Magistrate, in case of absence of Collector, Deputy Commissioner or District Magistrate.Welcoming the move, Hindu Singh Sodha, Chairman of the Seemant Lok Sangthan, a voluntary organisation fighting for the rights of the refugees, said the decision has come as a huge relief for minorities belonging to the neighbouring countries. “We had been demanding for delegating the citizenship powers of the District Collectors and reduction in the application fee to just Rs 100 per application for these poor people since long. “We are delighted that after series of meetings, our demand was honoured by the Home Ministry,” Sodha said.

Demonetisation: Currency racket busted in Kerela, Rs 39.98 lakh in 2,000 notes seized

Malappuram: Busting a currency exchange racket, police have seized Rs 39.98 lakh in Rs 2,000 denomination notes at Tirur area in the district and arrested a man, already facing a hawala case, in this connection.

Representative image. PTI

Representative image. PTI

While Rs three lakh was seized from 63-year-old Shoukath Ali at the bus stand in Tirur, Rs 36.98 lakh in Rs 2,000 notes was recovered from the residence of a businessman, police said, noting the seizure and arrest were made yesterday.

Ali, hailing from Palakkad district, was produced before a magistrate’s court and remanded in judicial custody today, police said.

A search was on for businessman Shabir Babu, who had allegedly given the Rs three lakh to Ali to exchange scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

Babu had also allegedly distributed new currency notes to nine other persons in exchange for scrapped notes, they said.

Ali had been arrested six months ago on charges of hawala transactions and is out on bail, police added.

First Published On : Dec 24, 2016 16:21 IST

Andhra Pradesh: CM lauds new digital payment mode, AadharPay

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday claimed that Krishna District Collector Babu Ahamed has come up with a solution to ease the currency crunch being faced by people following demonetization.AadharPay, a cashless payment system which needs only a smartphone and a biometric reader, can be used for transferring money with a thumb impression.The trader (or recipient of money) needs a smartphone fitted with biometric reader as an accessory. “I struggled for 40 days. I had sleepless nights. We searched the world and broke our heads to find a solution. But now, Babu has come up with a simple solution that will transform the nation,” the Chief Minister said at the conference of District Collectors.He felicitated the Collector at the conference. “Aadhar-enabled payments are the best way (to overcome the currency crisis). We will discuss this in our committee meeting,” Naidu said.”One can transfer money using AadharPay from any bank under one platform…It’s a simple solution but will transform the nation,” he added.

Preparations in full swing for PM Modi’s Mumbai visit on Saturday

Fri, 23 Dec 2016-09:42am , Mumbai , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Preparations are on in full swing for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mumbai on Saturday, where he will lay the foundation stones for major infrastructure projects like two new Metro lines, Mumbai Trans Harbour Link and Kalanagar flyover.The new Metro routes, 23.5-kilometer long DN Nagar to Mankhurd corridor and the 32- kilometer Wadala-Thane-Kasarvadavali Metro-4 corridor are likely to reduce overcrowding in local trains and vehicular traffic on Mumbai’s roads.Meanwhile, the 22- kilometer long Mumbai Trans Harbour Link project will establish connectivity between South Mumbai and main land and will help develop parts of Raigad District.The flyover project is aimed to provide seamless connectivity to the business hub of Bandra-Kurla Complex.

Thane judge asks cops to be child-friendly in dealing with juveniles

Wed, 21 Dec 2016-08:04pm , Thane , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior judge from Thane district has asked police officials to be “child-friendly” in dealing with cases involving juveniles.Principal District Judge S M Gavhane inaugurated a training programme for appointed child welfare officers and special child welfare police department officials in Thane on Tuesday.”Be child-friendly in dealing with cases involving juveniles,” Gavhane said at the programme, organised by the District Legal Aid Services Authority (DSLA).Gavhane also asked the officials to work within the frame work of law and ensure that there was no deviation of any kind. COR

Gadchiroli can be naxalfree in five years if other departments give their 100%: Abhinav Deshmukh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>What is your biggest challenge?To win people’s confidence and handle sensitivities of my staff which is not only the largest in the state (5,600) but works in most difficult area. In other districts we deal with other crimes. In Gadchiroli, other crimes are almost nil. Here, apart from fighting with the leftwing extremists, we have to engage with the people in different ways. There is a huge gap between administration and people in this area because of inaccessibility. This vacuum was occupied by the naxals. Now, we have to replace the Naxals and occupy that space with better administration.There are around 12,000 police personnel deployed in the district including C-60, CRPF and SRPF. Still the district is faraway from curbing naxalism. Why?South Gadchiroli is still naxal dominated because of hilly forest terrain. Moreover, we share border with naxal affected districts of Chhattisgarh. While we have been focusing on one district with full force, Chhattisgarh police have to look after six districts with naxal dominance.Don’t we have inter-state collaboration to share the information?We do have joint operations and meetings. But naxals are surviving because of jungle and borders. Over 4,000 sq km of Abujhmarh which is spread between Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh offers safe heaven to naxals.What is the total number of naxals active in this district? What strategies are being adopted to make the district naxal-free?There are 205 active naxals now. While Andhra people hold top posts (in CPI-Maoist), those from Maharashtra are only junior members. Our strategy depends on their tactics. Encounters, arrests, surrenders and confidence building among villagers-all are being used.Is there any effect of demonetisation on Naxalism?Post 8 November, 11 naxals have surrendered in the district. Total surrenders this year has been 44. From making up their mind to sending us feelers and leaving the group and reach to us safely, it usually takes around two months to surrender. We will have to wait for another two-three months to assess the impact of demonetisation on naxals.Tribals often complained of police atrocities. How would you justify that?We have told our people to be extra-sensitive. Some cops do behave irrationally sometimes but such incidents could be very few. Besides, naxal supporters run false propaganda against cops as well.What needs to be done to curb naxalism now?We have controlled naxalims considerably. Its time for other departments to put in their efforts to fill the development backlog. Then only we can curb naxalism.But villagers say there is no government department on ground except police.Other departments suffer with staff shortage. Those who are transferred in this district, don’t join. Hence, government schemes are poorly implemented. Now, we are holding camps to disburse loans, make aadhar cards and caste documents of tribals. People expect us to address every problem. Over 30 villages are unelectrified and some are half electrified.Power outage is very common in rainy season when no body turns up to re-connect. Road connectivity is another major issues. Children seek good eduction. We share all these information with the concerned departments.How many years it would take to curb naxalism from this area?With all government departments coming together to give their best, naxal problem can be wiped out from Gadchiroli district within five years. This is an achievable target.

Battle against left wing extremists in Gadchiroli become intense: One state, 205 Naxals and 12,000 cops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra’s only naxal infested district, Gadchiroli, now has 205 active naxalites compared to more than 300 who were active a couple of years ago, says the latest statistics of the police. There were 500 Naxal fighters in 2010.Increasing number of surrenders, nearly 104 in two years, is being touted as “major success” by the Gadchiroli police. Prominent rebels surrendered in past two years include Sunil Mattami, member of divisional committee of Dalam (naxal group) and Gopi, commander of a local Dalam, who carried rewards of Rs 16 and 12 lakh on their head respectively.Besides, there were 60 arrests and 16 encounters of naxals in the same period. “There is no recruitment from the district in last four years”, claim cops.The all-out war against guerrilla fighters, lucrative surrender policy and social networking to win confidence of the tribes caught in the crossfire has been working well so far in Gadchiroli which is one of the 35 heavily naxal-affected districts in the country.Also Read: Gadchiroli can be naxalfree in five years if other departments give their 100%: Abhinav Deshmukh At present, nearly 12,000 cops including C-60 unit, Central Reserved Police Force and State Reserve Police Force are guarding the district, round-the-clock with most advanced equipment such as Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL), Multiple Grenade launcher (MGR), Sport Configurable Rifle, Light machine guns, X-95 assault rifle, AK-47 and high tech navigation devices.However, incidents of naxal activities and death of civilians and cops continue to give security forces a tough time. Several naxal-infested villages such as Hikker and Binagonda in the district remain unguarded with no police presence till 17-18 km.Also Read: In Gadchiroli: Tribals at crossfire between cops and NaxalsAs per the statistics of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Maharashtra witnessed 66 incidents in 2016 till November end in which 19 people including cops, their “informers” and civilians have lost life. Although, the same number of civilian and cops deaths occurred a year ago, it seems less compared to 2014 when 28 people were killed.The southern part of the district mainly comprising Sironcha, Aheri, Etapalli and Bhamragad are infested with the activities of naxalites since early eighties. “The naxalites usually operate in the remote and fur flung parts of the district where access is tough due to difficult terrain and dense forest. Besides, these areas share border with the naxal affected districts of Chattisgarh which further helps Naxals”, says Abhinav Deshmukh, superintendent of the police, Gadchiroli.Over 500 civilians have lost life to Naxalism in last 30 years in the state of Maharashtra of which 90% deaths were in the Gadchiroli only. Since 2004, average 10 policemen have also died every year in the district.The district has been home to naxalites of People’s War Group (PWG ) since early eighties. The PWG now operates under the banner of Communist Party of India (Maoist).In February last year, police posts were opened in the villages of Regdi and Kotmi for the first time. Ashok Bhapkar, who supervised the opening of Kotmi police post and now heads the Surrender Cell told DNA, “We patrolled the villages on foot, organised sports tournaments and held meetings to organise women’s groups and participated in local festivals to win people’s confidence.”The Naxal surrender and rehab policy also comes with substantial cash reward (Rs 2-25 lakh depending upon the ranks) and has been propagated across the district as ‘Kaun Banega Lakhpati’ scheme through posters in affected areas.Deshmukh said, “They are also given plot to construct house in specially designated colony-Navsanjeevan. We help them get work and avail benefit of government loans for tribals.”Meanwhile, to counter the efforts of cops, the CPI (Maoist) has given a call for celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Naxalbari armed uprising from 23-29 May 2017, the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution from 7-13 November 2017 and Karl Marx birth bicentenary 5-11 May 2018. This has alerted the cops.

Mumbai: Railway official KL Bhoyar in CBI net for exchanging demonetized notes

Sat, 17 Dec 2016-01:35pm , Mumbai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CBI has booked an Assistant Commercial Manager of Railways posted at Mumbai’s Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus for allegedly exchanging demonetized currency having face value of Rs 8.22 lakh with newly introduced Rs 2,000 notes. CBI sources said the case has been been registered against KL Bhoyar, Assistant Commercial Manager, Central Railways posted at CST Mumbai under sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.It is alleged that he exchanged notes having face value of Rs 8.22 lakh with Rs 2000 and Rs 100 notes at a booking counter at CST Mumbai and Kalyan in Thane District, the sources said.They said CBI is carrying out searches at his official and residential premises.

Chhattisgarh: Naxal killed in gun-battle with security forces

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Naxal was gunned down in an encounter with security forces on Friday in the insurgency-hit Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, police said. The skirmish took place in the morning in the forest of Metapal village under Gangaloor police station when a joint team of security forces was out on a counter-insurgency operation, Bijapur Superintendent of Police K L Dhruv told PTI.”A composite squad of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and District Reserve Group (DRG) had launched the operation in the interiors of Gangaloor, around 450 kms away from the state capital,” he said.When the party was advancing through Metapal forest, they came under heavy fire from Maoists that led to a gun-battle between both the sides, the SP said. However, the ultras soon fled from the spot.During the search conducted later, body of a rebel and a 12-bore gun were recovered from the spot, the SP said adding that the identity of the deceased Maoist was being ascertained. On Thursday, two coammnder-rank ultras, one of them carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh on his head, were killed in a gun-battle with security forces in Bijapur.

J&K govt to pay Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia to Burhan Wani’s kin for his brother’s death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir government has cleared ex-gratia to next of kin of 17 persons, including Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani’s brother, killed in militancy-related incidents in the Valley, while giving one week’s time for filing of any objection before formal orders are issued. Burhan Wani’s killing by security forces in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Kokernag area on July 8 this year triggered unrest in the Valley which has left as many as 86 people dead.According to a notification issued by Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, ex-gratia relief under rules has been cleared by the District Level Screening-cum-Consultative Committee (DLSCC) in favour of next of kin of those persons who died in militancy-related incidents.Among the 17 names in the list of persons killed in militancy-related incidents is Wani’s brother, Khalid Muzaffar Wani, who died in firing by security forces in Buchoo forest area of Tral on April 13 last year.The DLSCC meeting took place under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Pulwama, Muneer-ul-Islam, on November 24. The deputy commissioner has sought objections, if any, to the notice within seven days before the formal orders are issued.Under the rules, an ex-gratia of Rs four lakh is sanctioned in such cases. Army had said that Khalid was an over-ground worker of Hizbul Mujahideen and was killed in an encounter. However, locals claimed that he had no links with militancy. Khalid (25) was pursuing Masters Degree in Political Science from the Indira Gandhi National Open University.Also on the list is Shabir Ahmad Mangoo, a contractual lecturer who died when he was allegedly beaten up by the army personnel at Khrew in Pulwama on August 17 this year.Locals had claimed that army conducted house to house searches for the youths, who were leading violent protests in the area, which was resisted by the residents of Khrew.In the ensuing clash, 30-year-old Mangoo died. Army had ordered an inquiry into the incident, saying such incidents would not be tolerated. “These raids were not sanctioned in the first place. It is unjustified. Nobody can support it and it will not be tolerated,” the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda had said.

Demonetisation has broken people’s back, worse than natural calamity: P Chidambram

Former finance minister P Chidambram hit out at the Narendra Modi government on Tuesday for its “mismangement” of the demonetisation drive, saying that the move has broken the back of the people, and will have long-term effects on the Indian economy.

“Demonetisation is the worst attack on the poor. It has caused more pain than natural calamity. The Prime Minister should go out and see for himself the real picture before ATMs. People are angry, but they have no choice but to stand in queues,” he said, adding that demonetisation has affected the livelihood of 45 crore people in the country who depend on daily wages.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambram. AP

The congress MP also said that by keeping the District Cooperative Central Banks out, the government has punished farmers and villagers as well. “Because of this, the farmers are suffering, there is no money to buy seeds, to hire labour or buy fertilisers. There’s no money even to buy supplies,” he said.

The Narendra Modi government had demonetised old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 in a televised announcement on 8 November in order to curb down black money, corruption, fake currency and terror financing.

Chidambram also said that the government has been shifting the goal of the move. “First it was black money. They have now found a new goal called cashless economy. But you can’t go from 3 percent cashless to 100 percent cashless in a month. Where are the machines? Where is electricity?” he said.

Terming the drive a case of “khoda pahad nikli chuhiya“, the senior Congress leader alleged that unlike what the government claims, “the move has actually helped bring more black money into the system”.

Referring to the recent arrests were the authorities found people with lakhs of new notes, the former chief minister called demonetisation the “biggest scam of the year and that it must be investigated”. “I cannot get Rs 2,000 note. How crores in Rs 2,000 notes found their way to individuals being raided all over the country?” he said.

Answering a question on whether the reduction in interest rates will help the economy, Chidambram said while in a normal economy interest rate going down is good, but it’s not the same for India.

“This is not a normal situation. India is going through a very bad period of tepid growth. Credit growth is lowest in 20 years. The aggregate demand is low; demonetisation has made it even lower. There’s no green investment either. These are the numbers that are relevant. Any government must look at these figures.”

As for inflation, he said that low demand has helped control inflation but the economy won’t surive a long period of low demand. “If there’s no demand, it will affect production. Some factories have already started laying off people,” he said.

The senior Congress leader also attacked the government and it claims that the situation will normalise post 30 December. “The government has withdrawn 23,000 crore notes from the market. To print that many notes, it will need at least seven months time,” he said, adding that the cash crunch will continue.

Chidambram also asked the Reserve Bank of India to release the minutes of the meeting that took place before the 8 November announcement of the move by Prime Minister Modi, saying that it would give the nation a clear idea as to who said what about the move.

First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 13:17 IST

Jharkhand: 106 bombs recovered during anti-Maoist operation

Sun, 11 Dec 2016-09:06pm , Latehar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Altogether 106 bombs, including a pressure cooker bomb were recovered by security personnel during an anti-Maoist operation in Bakhar tola jungle in Barwaiya village under Maneka police station of Latehar district on Sunday, the police said. The security personnel comprising CRPF and District Armed Police were on a routine anti-Maoist operation when they stumbled upon 100 bombs of one kg each hidden in a ditch, Superintendent of Police Anoop Birtheray said.Following the recovery, he said a search operation was launched in the vicinity and a five kg pressure cooker bomb and five bombs of two kgs each were recovered from a nearby ditch. Altogether 106 bombs were recovered during the operation, he said adding the bombs were hidden deliberately to target the security personnel engaged in operations against them. However, the security personnel have foiled their attempt, Birtheray said and added that all explosives were defused by the Bomb Disposal Squad. Around 1,000 bombs were recovered in course of anti-Maoist operations in the district this year, the SP said.

Cold wave in North India: Multiple flights cancelled in Delhi due to fog, 16 dead in 24 hours in UP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As cold wave sweeps over North India, nine international and 15 domestic flights were delayed in Delhi due to poor visibility resulting from fog. Dense fog cover was also reported in Amritsar, Punjab.In Uttar Pradesh, 16 people have died in the last 24 hours due to cold wave, ANI reported.In view of intense cold condition and fog, authorities in Gautam Buddha Nagar and Ghaziabad districts have ordered all private and government schools to change timings. Gautam Buddha Nagar District Magistrate N P Singh today ordered change of school timings for Nursery to Class VIII with effect from December 9. District Inspector of Schools (DIOS) Muneesh Kumar said, “New timing of schools are 9.30 AM to 3 PM. It will be effective till next order is issued by the DM.” Meanwhile in Ghaziabad, District Magistrate Nidhi Kesarwani order that instead of 8 AM, now schools will open at 9 AM.For Friday, the Met Department has warned of shallow to moderate fog at isolated places over Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland-Manipur-Mizoram-Tripura, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, Punjab, north Rajasthan and north Madhya Pradesh.

Puducherry: Official ordered probe for sexual assault charges

Fri, 2 Dec 2016-03:28pm , Karaikal , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Karaikal district administration on Friday ordered an inquiry into the allegations of sexual harassment, levelled against a top official of the Municipal office.The action comes following a complaint lodged by a female staff of the Karaikal Municipality on Thursday, alleging that Municipal Commissioner Gandhirajan had tried to misbehave with her. Members of the government employees association also met the Collector and sought action against the civic official.Ordering an inquiry into the charges, District Collector P Parthiban says, a four-member committee has been formed to carry out a detailed probe into the allegations against the Municipal Commissioner.”Suitable action will be taken based on the findings of the committee,” he said.

‘Is this a coup?’, Mamata opposes Army presence, to stay overnight at secretariat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an unprecedented incident, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Thursday that she would stay overnight at the state secretariat, Nabanna, till the Army withdraws its routine exercise of collecting data of load carriers operating in the state across all toll plazas. “Very unfortunate. Army stationed in front of Nabanna, the Bengal State Secretariat, in a high security zone, inspite of police objection. I am waiting here at the Secretariat and watching, to guard our democracy,” she announced at a media briefing held at 10 pm. “Is this a military coup? I gathered information whether such exercises were held in Maharashtra, Odisha and Kerala. I was told that no such exercises have taken place in their states,” added Banerjee. Presently, Army officials are stationed at the Vidyasagar Setu Toll Plaza, which is adjacent to the state secretariat, gathering data on load carriers. On the other hand, the Army Eastern Command Headquarters has issued a statement saying that it is not a deployment, but just a routine exercise. The statement also added that the administration, District Magistrate and the Police are informed during the exercise being performed. “The army conducts annual exercise throughout the county with the aim of getting statistical data about the load carriers that could be made available to the Army in case of a contingency. For this purpose vehicles are spotted to get basic parameters like make load capacity. The vehicle is then marked so that the next checkpoint knows that the vehicle had already been checked for the parameters. There is nothing alarming about this and it is carried out as per government orders,” read the statement, adding, “This gives an estimate about the number of vehicles that are passing a certain area that could be tapped during operations.” Sources in the Army revealed that Thursday was the second day of the three-day long annual exercise. Some more figures of the load carriers will be noted across different toll plazas tomorrow. The CPRO, Defence, Kolkata, Wing Commander SS Birdi claimed that the exercise is undertaken after informing the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police. “This is not a deployment. This exercise is taking place under the laid down rules of the Central Government. The police and the administration are kept in the loop. There is nothing to get alarmed about,” said Birdi.

102 deaths in two months: What mystery disease is preying on children of Odisha’s Malkangiri?

“I will not go to medical,” said four-year-old Shanti in a feeble voice to her father. Shanti and her father are members of the Koya tribe, inhabitants of Odisha’s Malkangiri district. It’s a dreary time for the community; over a hundred children have died in the last two months, suffering from an unknown disease.

Image used for representational purposes only. ReutersImage used for representational purposes only. Reuters

Image used for representational purposes only. Reuters

But if it’s a tough time for the community, spare a thought for Shanti’s father, who has lost two of his children to the same disease, and now has a third daughter suffering. “Two of my children died in medical. What if the third one also meets the same fate?” he choked.

The child’s resistance against hospitalisation didn’t last long; District magistrate K Sudarshan Chakrabarty had the ailing child under medical care soon enough. It has become a part of his administration’s daily battle against the unknown disease, that is now spreading among the tribals.

“The district administration is dealing with the abrupt rise in child death cases in the tribal villages of Malkangiri for the last three months. Despite the administration’s efforts, however, fear still persists among the people,” says R Srinivasan Rao a social activist from the region. “The first child death was reported on 9 September. Though only 102 deaths have been reported till now, the actual toll could be higher,” said Debabrat Sana, a journalist from the region.

If there is a mismatch between the official government figures and actual deaths in the region, it’s because several tribals rely on traditional medicine to meet with their health requirements, said Rao. “Most of the people in the village don’t go to hospitals. Rather, they visit the local ojhas who purportedly treat them with mantras. Deaths occurring during such treatment are seldom reported,” he said.

Dr Kalyan Kumar Sarkar, additional district medical officer, added that several patients are being admitted with symptoms similar to Japanese Encephlitis. “Among patients admitted to the hospital, 36 were found to be Japanese Encephelitis positive,” Sarkar said. “But strangely, even patients who were not Japanese Encephalitis positive were showing similar symptoms. The cause of their ailments was not found,” the doctor added.

These patients who are suffering symptoms similar to Japanese Encephalitis are said to be ailing from the “Acute Encephalitis Syndrome”. Malkangiri has become the hotspot for Acute Encephalitis Syndrome as well. “Scientists from across the country and abroad as well visited the district to enquire into the new health condition,” Sana said.

But a team of scientists, led by Dr E Jacob James from a hospital in Tamil Nadu, came up with a novel interpretation of the riddle that said a seed that Malkangiri villagers pluck from the wilderness and eat might have caused the unexplained symptoms. “The seed is known as Chakunda among the people here, and is found to have toxic properties. Eating this may result in Japanese Encephalitis-like symptoms and also cause abrupt glucose deficiency, which could be fatal,” Sarkar said.

But very few villagers believe in this interpretation, instead saying that Chakunda seeds have been a part of the food habit of local tribes for a very long time and nobody ever discovered it to be lethal. “Chakunda seeds are used as pulses by the tribes here for a long time and are known to have medicinal properties. How can it be toxic all of a sudden?” Rao asked.

Rao said this explanation is only meant to cover up the government’s failure in providing health facilities to the poor tribals of the district. “If Chakunda seeds are indeed causing these deaths, then why are only malnourished tribal children dying?” he asked, adding that it’s actually a “classic case of the government’s neglect of Odisha’s tribals”.

Even Sana, himself a resident of the district, admitted that he’d never heard of people dying because they ate Chakunda seeds.

But Sarkar has a possible answer. “Chakunda seeds grow in the wilderness after September every year and people eat it. Deaths have been happening this time of the year for a long time. But this is the first time cause of these deaths have been ascertained,” he said.

Dalit Camera, a website that provides data about issues affecting villagers, said 7,493 children have died in the area since the year 2012, including 128 in the last two months. But locals take this figure with a pinch of salt.

Whatever be the interpretations of the spate of child deaths rocking this remote village in Odisha, fact remains that the district administration has taken two pronged approach to face this challenge. “Since Japanese Encephalitis has also been detected in a number of patients, we are trying our best to create awareness among the people to prevent spreading of this virus. Apart from that, other interventions have also been initiated. In the second approach, for instance, we have publicised the ills of Chakunda seeds, and warned people against ingesting them,” Sarkar said.

Moreover, there are many who refuse to have their children admitted to hospitals given a mistrust of medicine and also considering the many number of deaths that have taken place. However, for some, like four-year-old Shanti, who survived because of timely medical intervention, medicine can also be a boon.

First Published On : Dec 1, 2016 17:35 IST

Tamil Nadu braces for cyclone Nada, NDRF teams deployed along coastline

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Tamil Nadu bracing itself to face cyclonic storm Nada, likely to cross the north coastal area of the state early on December 2, NDRF and SDRF teams are being deployed in coastal areas and schools have been asked to remain closed on Friday.”Two teams of NDRF and one team of SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) are being pre-positioned in Cuddalore, one team each in Nagapattinam and Chennai to meet out any eventuality,” a state government release said here.Stating that India Meteorological Department has informed it that cyclonic storm Nada was likely to cross north Tamil Nadu coast between Vedaranniyam and Puducherry, close to Cuddalore by early morning of December 2, the government said all District Collectors have been alerted.They have been advised to take all necessary action to evacuate people from low lying and vulnerable areas to the relief centres, wherever required, it said.The government has asked the general public to call toll free numbers 1070 and 1077 during emergency situations and have been also advised to listen to the latest updates by IMD about the cyclone.”Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea and to keep their boats tied up in safe places. The public are also advised to move to the relief centres as and when advised by the District Collectors,” the release said.Meanwhile, private and state-run schools in districts, including Chennai, Kanchipuram, Cuddalore and Nagapattinam have intimated parents that schools will be closed tomorrow in view of heavy rains expected tomorrow.Colleges are also likely to be closed.The government also gave an elaborate set of “Do’s and Don’ts” in view of the storm.It urged people not to go outside until officially advised safe, to be on guard against being misled by rumours, and those housed in relief shelters not to leave the premises until directed to do so by the rescue personnel.The note said people should not leave safer places during a lull, children should not be allowed to go out during the cyclone and that none should touch loose or dangling wires from lamp posts.People have been advised to stay indoors and get away from low lying beaches or other locations which may be swept by high tides, it added.

Court dismisses law suit against President for hurting ‘Hindu sentiments’

Plea sought deletion of portions from Pranab Mukherjee’s book ‘Turbulent Years 1980- 1996’. Delhi court rekected the plea and asked the complainant to explain how can the President of India, who has immunity under the Constitution from legal proceedings, be dragged in a lawsuit. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Delhi court on Wednesday dismissed a plea filed against the President of India seeking deletion of some portions from his book published this year for allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments.Additional District Judge Vineeta Goyal rejected the law suit which had sought deletion of portions from Pranab Mukherjee’s book ‘Turbulent Years 1980- 1996′. The court had earlier asked the complainant to explain how can the President of India, who has immunity under the Constitution from legal proceedings, be dragged in a lawsuit. A group of lawyers and a social worker had filed the law suit against Mukherjee seeking deletions of portions from his book making a reference to the demolition of the Babri Masjid allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments.Earlier during the proceedings, the plaintiffs’ advocates had claimed that a civil suit can be filed against the President during his tenure in respect of any act done by him in his “personal capacity”. “We are not saying anything against the President of India. We are concerned with the author of the book who is Pranab Mukherjee. How can he write such things in his personal capacity where sentiments of lakhs and crores of people are concerned,” advocates Hari Shankar Jain and Vishnu Shankar Jain had said.President’s counsel Ruby Gautam Singh, however, had opposed the plea, saying that it was not maintainable.

Over Rs 34 lakh looted from J&K Bank branch in Kishtwar

Wed, 23 Nov 2016-12:52pm , Kishtwar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Unidentified persons looted over Rs 34 lakh from a Jammu and Kashmir Bank branch in Kishtwar district, police said.According to a senior police officer, the amount was looted from the bank’s branch in Sarthal area of the district overnight.Police have registered a case and started investigations, he said.

Uttarakhand: Vehicle returning from Shah rally falls into gorge, 7 dead

Tue, 22 Nov 2016-11:59pm , Dehradun , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven persons on Tuesday died and three others got injured when a four-wheeler they were returning in from a rally of BJP president Amit Shah fell into a gorge in Almora district, officials said.The accident took place at Sangaon between Bhanauli and Kablikhan when 10 persons were returning from the ‘Parivartan Rally’ at Almora in a Bolero, District Disaster Management office said. Six were killed on the spot while one succumbed at a nearby hospital, where three others are still under treatment, it said.Senior officials have rushed to the spot. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat expressed grief at the loss of lives and asked the district administration to take up treatment of the injured and payment of compensation to the families of the deceased on a priority basis. The cause of the accident is still not known, the District Disaster Management Office said.

Demonetisation drive leading to near-collapse of rural economy in Maharashtra

On 14 November, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a notification saying District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCB) will not be allowed to provide any exchange facility against Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. The diktat has caused near-collapse of rural Maharashtra as DCCB are backbone of rural economy.

The state has 31 DCCBs with 3746 branches across the state with over 20 lakh customers. Most of the customers are farmers, labourers, teachers, pensioners, self help groups, grampanchayat, development societies, patsanstha, cooperative societies of sugar, and milk, cotton and jaggery among others.

Backbone of rural economy

DCC banks are backbone of rural economy. PB Chavan, chairman, of Kohlapur DCCB, explaining vast presence of DCC banks, says, “KDCCB has accounts of all 27 sugar industries in the district, all 6000 milk cooperative societies, 36,000 self help groups, all 1807 agricultural centres, all 1187 grampanchats, all teachers and beneficiary of Sanjay Gandhi Yojna among others. Thus lakhs of farmers and farm labourers are directly or indirectly connected to above institutions and so with the KDCCB. With this ban, all businesses involving above institutions have come to halt. Out of all our 7.31 lakh accounts, 3.50 lakh accounts are of farmers. By not allowing us to exchange currency is punishment to them. Do you think these farmers can afford to or aware of having accounts in other banks like national or private banks?”

Sambhaji Patil is one of over 30,000 farmers who supplies sugarcane to Kumbhi Kasari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana in Karveer Taluka of the district. He says, “I harvested 105 tonnes of sugarcane this season. On 2 November, I have sent that harvest to Kumbhi Kasari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana, Kuditre, in Kohlapur. And the Karkhana has deposited one lakh rupees of sugarcane in KDCCB. Since KDCCB does not have received new currency, it is unable to pay me my due. In turn I could not pay wages to eight labourers who work in my farm.”

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Natha Kumbhar, a labourer in Patil’s farm, has no money to buy grocery to run his family of four. He says, “My wife and I work as labourer to cut sugarcane in at Bele village in Karvir Taluka of Kohlapur. Both of us have not received our weekly wages that are Rs 1200 each. I have nobody to seek help of as I am a migrant from Marathwada.”
Strong rural presence of DCC banks.

DCC banks have strong rural presence against that of national or private banks. For example like Rajesh Tapre, managing director, Pune DCCB, informs, “PDCCB’s 221 out of all 261 branches are in rural Pune that has over 1800 villages while only 161 national banks branches have presence in rural Pune. With closure of DCCBs, all villagers from these 1800 villages have to travel 20-30 kilometres to reach closest national or private banks out of these 161 banks to exchange money. Their plights are beyond imagination if banks get closed or run out of money. In the process they have to skip their daily job or work causing them day’s wage or salary.”

After announcement of demonetisation on 8 November, many customers of these DCC banks deposited all of their notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 in their respective accounts on 10 and 11 November and could get Rs 4000 in return. Now, they do not have money to exchange in national/private banks and they are unable to withdraw money from their own account as DCC banks have limited funds.

Besides, DCC banks are given only Rs 2 crore daily. However a DCC bank has to give away at least Rs 20 crores. For example Kohlapur District Central Cooperative Bank (KDCCB) has to give away Rs 22 crore daily while its daily business revolves over Rs 100 crore. Officials of banks are in dilemma how to distribute only Rs 2 crore in its 191 branches. That means one branch would get only Rs one lakh. And banks are instructed to give Rs 25,000 to a family having wedding ceremony. Customers of banks are finding it difficult to get money from their own accounts.

Vijay Mhamane, a farmer from Malegoan village of Solapur district, says, “I have one bank account that too in Solapur DCC bank. I delayed to deposit amount I got after selling my Kharif harvest to traders at October end and November first week. I have to repay loans of the same bank I had taken for Kharif. Now have to travel to Barshi, nearby Taluka, to exchange notes and repay my loan in SDCCB.”

Vishwas Utagi, secretary of Bank Employees Association Maharashtra, criticises the decision of RBI, “DCCB are run as per RBI norms then why only DCCBs are not allowed to exchange notes. If black money is being converted in white in these banks as suggested by Finance Minister of India Arun Jaitley, then RBI can run an inquiry. To bank exchange of currency is illegal. It is punishment for over 20 lakh customers of these 3746 branches of DCC banks.”

Representatives of DCC banks of Maharashtra are in process to file public interest litigation (PIL) against RBI’s ban. They are also seeking other legal options to oppose the ban.

First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 08:40 IST

Arun Jaitley’s defamation case: SC defers hearing on Kejriwal’s plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court deferred the hearing till Tuesday on the appeal of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking a stay on the trial court proceedings in a criminal defamation case filed against him by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. A bench of Justices PC Ghose and UU Lalit was informed by the counsel for Kejriwal that senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani would argue the case and he was not available on Monday which led to adjournment of the hearing.The Delhi High Court had on October 19 dismissed his plea seeking stay of trial court proceedings in a criminal defamation case, saying, there was no “illegality” in continuing it simultaneously with a civil defamation suit in the high court. The high court had said there was “no prejudice” on account of a pending civil suit and there was no “double jeopardy” and as such Kejriwal’s plea was “devoid of merit”.It had said the criminal and civil defamation cases were “different in nature”. Kejriwal had contented that proceedings before the trial court should be stayed since a civil suit was pending before the high court and both cannot proceed simultaneously.Regarding the challenge to the magisterial court’s May 19 order dismissing Kejriwal’s plea to grant stay on proceedings due to pendency of civil suit, the high court had said that the trial court order was “free from perversity, impropriety, illegality and non-sustainability”.The high court also opined that there was no bar on a magistrate taking cognisance of the offence, which he may be of the opinion is said to have been committed by a person whose matter is still pending in a civil court. Besides a civil defamation suit in the high court, Jaitley had also filed a criminal defamation complaint in a lower court alleging Kejriwal and five AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai — had defamed him in the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) controversy.

Jawahar Bagh violence: 75-year-old undertrial dies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 75-year-old undertrial, lodged in the district jail in Mathura in connection with the clashes between policemen and followers of a cult in Jawahar Bagh, died on Saturday.Mathura District Jail Superintendent PD Salonia said that undertrial Mewa Lal, a resident of Hazratput in Ajitmal of Auraiya district, complained of breathing problem this morning and was checked by doctors at the jail hospital.He was later shifted to the Mathura district hospital where he died in the evening.Mewa Lal had been lodged in the district jail since June 4, two days after the clash between policemen and followers of cult outfit Swadhin Bharat Vidhik Satyagrah at Jawahar Bagh during an eviction drive.Twenty-nine people, including a Superintendent of Police and an SHO, were killed in the violence.

Pakistan shells LoC areas in Rajouri, woman injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A woman was injured and two houses damaged when Pakistani troops on Saturday targeted Indian posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Nowshera and Sunderbani sectors of Rajouri district with mortar bombs and small arms fire, prompting the army to give a “befitting response”.”A woman identified as Shanti Devi (55) was injured and two houses were damaged in the heavy mortar shelling by the Pakistan army in Khamba village in the Nowshera sector,” a police officer said.He said the injured lady has been shifted to the Sub District Hospital Nowshera for treatment.Earlier in the morning, Pakistan army resorted to ceasefire violation in the Nowshera sector and in the afternoon they started firing in the Sunderbani sector targeting Indian posts and civilian areas.”Pakistan army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in the Nowshera sector from 1030 hours using 120 mm mortars and small arms fire. Our army is giving a befitting response to the Pakistani fire,” a defence spokesman said.”Pakistan army resorted to ceasefire violation in the Sunderbani Sector using 120 mm mortars, automatic and small arms from 1410 hrs and it is being responded to befittingly by own troops,” the spokesman said.On Thursday, Pakistani army had targeted Indian posts and civilian villages along the LoC in the Pallanwala sector of the Jammu district.Pakistani troops on Tuesday targeted Indian posts with heavy firing and shelling for four hours along the LoC in Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir, forcing Indian troops to retaliate.There has been a whopping 286 incidents of firing and shelling along the LoC and International Border(IB) in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops that have resulted in the death of 26 people, including 14 security personnel, since the surgical strike on terrorist launch pads in PoK on September 29.

Muzaffarnagar riots accused held

Sat, 19 Nov 2016-11:55am , Muzaffarnagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A history-sheeter accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots and a range of other loot and murder cases has been arrested, police said on Saturday. Harender, who carried a reward of Rs 50,000 on him, and was involved in 12 cases of loot and murder, including the 2013 communal riots in Muzaffarnagar was arrested yesterday in a police encounter at Bullandshahr, SSP Sonia Singh said.He is accused of killing three youths at Mohammadpur Raisingh village in the district during the 2013 riots, police said.

Cannot disclose details on release of new Rs 500 notes due to security reasons: RBI

Fri, 18 Nov 2016-05:25pm , Chennai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Reserve Bank of India on Friday informed the Madras High Court that it cannot disclose details regarding the release of new Rs 500 denomination currency to the banks for distribution due to security reasons.The submission was made by the counsel for RBI on a petition seeking a direction to the Registrar of Co-operative Societies to follow procedures laid down by RBI relating to demonetization and permit cash withdrawal and exchange of old currencies in the societies. After recording the submission, the court posted the matter for further hearing to November 28.The High Court had on November 16 adjourned for today the hearing in the case after it sought to know from the RBI when new Rs 500 denomination currency would be made available in Tamil Nadu to ease the present cash crunch following demonetization. RBI had then submitted that it faced practical difficulties in transporting currency in view of seizure of over Rs 500 crore by poll authorities in Tamil Nadu two days before the 16 May Assembly election in three constituencies.On permitting District Central Cooperative Banks to exchange the demonetised currencies, the counsel had submitted that “the decision to ban DCCBs from exchanging notes was made apprehending malpractices”.

Watch: Wife drags ailing husband to first floor after hospital denies stretcher in AP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking incident, a woman was forced to drag her ailing husband on the ramp of a government hospital in Guntakal city in Anantapur District after hospital staff allegedly expressed their inability to provide her a stretcher.Sree Vani, 40, had taken her 45-year-old husband Srinivasa Chary to the hospital with symptoms of gastroenteritis.The staff, however, ‘bluntly’ told her that they did not have a stretcher, and thus, left with no option, Vani dragged her husband from to the first floor of the hospital even as other patients and attendants watched her.

Demonetisation: Over Rs 4 crore in defunct notes seized in Vidarbha

Nagpur: Police in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region have seized over Rs 4 crore in defunct currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 during vehicle checkings at four places.

The biggest seizure was in Amravati, where Rajapeth police confiscated Rs 3.70 crore on Wednesday night.

Later police found that it belonged to the District Central Cooperative Bank. According to bank sources, the cash had been collected from 15 branches in the rural area and was being taken to the main branch at Amravati for depositing.

During a “nakabandi” on Amravati-Badnera road, police stopped a jeep coming from Badnera around midnight and found the currency in three sacks.

Representatioal image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Police were suspicious even after the driver Nilesh Choudhary told them that it belonged to the DCC Bank as the bank usually collects cash by a standard cash vehicle.

However, later they confirmed the driver’s version.

Amravati district police seized Rs 2.5 lakh from a car coming from Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh near Ghatanji. The car owner Jamil Ahmed could not give a satisfactory explanation for the cash, so it was seized.

In neighbouring Gadchiroli district, police arrested Santosh Chintawar for carrying a cash of Rs 14 lakh in Rs 1,000 notes.

Chintawar was heading for Sironcha, bordering AP and Chhattisgarh, from Allapalli when his car was stopped by the police near Jimalgatta.

In Gondia, Rs 20 lakh, all in old currency notes of Rs 1,000, were seized from a private vehicle.

The vehicle was coming from Jabalpur and proceeding towards Rajnandgaon, police said. Piyushkumar Prakashchand Choubey (49), a resident of Rajnandgaon and two others were detained in this connection.

First Published On : Nov 17, 2016 21:36 IST

Japanese Encephalitis: Children death toll mounts to 96 as Odisha plans vaccination

Bhubaneswar/Malkangiri: Less than 24 hours after the Odisha government claimed that the Japanese Encephalitis was under control, three more children died of the disease in the tribal-dominated Malkangiri district, taking the death toll to 96.

Three children, including two girls, died while receiving treatment in the ICU of the District Headquarters Hospital at Malkangiri, additional district medical officer K K Sarkar said.

He said that the total number of children facing the risk of death in the tribal-dominated Malkangiri district had gone up to 96 within a span of two months.

Japanese Encephalitis has killed 98 children in Odisha. PTI

Japanese Encephalitis has killed 96 children in Odisha. PTI

Odisha’s health and family welfare minister Pradip Kumar Amat, however, refused to admit that the 96 children had died of JE. Amat insisted that the JE death toll remained at 32 because the children were dying because of other reasons like malaria. “The JE is well under the control,” Amat said.

Meanwhile, hospital sources at Malkangiri said that the condition of three more children admitted in the ICU of the district headquarters hospital was also critical.

The hospital received as many as 328 children during the last two months, of whom 222 have been cured, Sarkar said, adding that eight other children are receiving treatment in the JE ward.

The vaccination in the first phase will be done in the districts of Malkangiri, Jajapur, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj. The children in the age group of one to 15 years will be vaccinated, Health and Family Welfare Secretary Arati Ahuja said.

First Published On : Nov 16, 2016 23:24 IST

JNU missing student: Delhi police raises reward to Rs 5 lakh for information about Najeeb Ahmed

New Delhi: Delhi Police has raised the reward from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for anyone providing information that could help locate JNU student Najeed Ahmed, who has been missing from the university for over a month now.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The force had initially announced that it will give Rs 50,000 to anyone providing information about Najeeb and had later increased the amount to Rs 1 lakh and then to Rs 2 lakh.

A senior police officer said the amount has been increased to Rs 5 lakh.

The case was last week transferred from South District to the Crime Branch to have a “fresh look” into it. The team probing it has started from scratch and is re-looking at all clues and evidence.

Najeeb went missing on 15 October following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with the members of ABVP the night before.

Last month, an SIT was formed to trace the missing student following an instruction from the Union Home Minister to the Delhi Police chief.

The SIT, headed by Additional DCP-II (South) Manishi Chandra, however, failed to gain any actionable clues in the matter.

The SIT was focusing on psychiatric angle in the probe after it was learnt that Najeeb was suffering from OCD with depression. The team was also mulling seeking help from psychiatrists from AIIMS or RML to chalk out a plan for probe in the case.

The Crime Branch is probing all angles, sources said.

First Published On : Nov 16, 2016 17:15 IST

Japanese Encephalitis: Odisha’s crumbling healthcare, not development, should be CM Patnaik’s priority

Of late, healthcare in Odisha has been in the throes of a severe paralytic attack. Close to 120-odd deaths have taken place in the last two months, mostly children, from suspected Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in the Malkangiri District alone. And this is just an addition to the already existing healthcare problems in the state; like malnutrition, high maternal and infant mortality rates besides the crumbling healthcare infrastructure.

The dilapidated healthcare conditions in the state have been consistently churning out the image of ‘inefficiency’ from an otherwise ‘settled’ Naveen Patnaik government; that boasts of getting a clear mandate in the state for four consecutive terms.

In September, when JE started raising its ugly head in Malkangiri villages, the government tried to control the situation but the steps employed by them to curb the disease were too little too late, to say the least. The district headquarters’ hospital was the only centre capable of providing treatment for JE, as the Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs) are not equipped enough to handle such a deadly disease. To make matters worse, the hospital only had only one paediatrician available against the sanctioned strength of three.

Health department statistics state that the death toll from Encephalitis in Malkangiri district of Odisha stands at 93, highlighting the dire healthcare in the state. Reuters

Recent health department statistics state that the death toll from Encephalitis in Malkangiri district of Odisha stands at 93. Reuters

Currently, around 1,300 of the total sanctioned strength of 4,700 doctors’ posts – about 27 percent – are lying vacant across hospitals in the state, as per the response of former Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak in Assembly last March. The vacancies have remained static for the past five years. Worse, the percentage of vacancies in Malkangiri stands at 68 percent, the highest in state.

It took the government two weeks to send expert teams from medical colleges and hospitals to the region, but by then, 35 children had already succumbed to JE. Now, when the toll has reached 120 (unofficially), the experts have heuristically ruled out JE as the cause of the deaths as the last 100-odd samples sent for tests came back negative, with just one test yielding a positive.

The government statistics, however, portray a different picture. The health department statistics state that the death toll in Malkangiri stands at 93, of which 32 have died due to JE and 61 due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

As per the Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, JE death cases till 6 November, 2016, in Odisha stand at 31, the third highest in the country – preceded by Assam topping the chart with 84 and Uttar Pradesh with 56. Given the crippled infrastructure and manpower, the Malkangiri district administration, instead of shifting the first stage patients (whose immunity is very less due to a host of reasons) to better medical colleges and hospitals in Berhampur or Cuttack, kept holding them up in the same ICU. Fogging, sanitisation efforts in the vicinity and shifting of the carrier pigs out of the region has hardly helped contain the spread.

The number of deaths, however, has not been able to make an impact on the Central government. No steps were taken for implementation of vaccination programmes, even though some pockets in the state are prone areas. And now, with the recent demonetisation wave across the country, the complete government machinery is on its toes. The State’s political parties have stayed pharisaical in playing their games, keeping in mind the upcoming Panchayat elections.

Going by the health index, this has been the toughest year for the Patnaik-led government. Starting from Dana Majhi in Kalahandi district, to malnutrition deaths in Nagada of Jajpur district, the mango kernel deaths in Rayagada district and the recent fire incident at SUM hospital in the capital city, all point to the lack of willingness on part of the government to change things.

Even as the health minister resigned, owing to the growing pressure over the failure of the health care machinery, nothing has changed. Even today, the JE death count continues to rise. Reports of pregnant and needy people dying on the roads due to unavailability of ambulances continue to pour in and people in underdeveloped pockets either end up falling prey to Naxal friendliness or to malnutrition deaths.

Post the SUM hospital incident, most hospitals and nursing homes, both in government and private sectors, do not have licences to run health institutions and many are awaiting renewal despite the fact that all the case files are gathering dust in the health department.

Not many government officials, particularly district collectors and department secretaries, are willing to visit their districts and its interiors despite strict instructions issued by the chief minister.

As of today, good medical care remains out of bounds for a majority of the state. Awareness programmes do not make sense as they are not delivered in the local dialect. Uneven terrains are tagged as inhospitable – a deterrent even for ground level workers to reach at the time of need. Health schemes like Mamata Yojana and Harishchandra Yojana launched by the state government stay non-starters due to red-tapism. Funds, Central or state, remain unused, and in a state that puts bureaucrats over all else, accountability has turned utopian.

It’s time that Patnaik took corrective, coercive and cohesive action to keep the state healthy first, before pettifogging about inviting investments from the world over for a ‘Make in Odisha’ conclave.

First Published On : Nov 16, 2016 16:58 IST

Delhi: Gangster wanted in cases of attempt to murder arrested

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An alleged gangster, wanted in four cases of attempt to murder, was arrested from east Delhi, police said on Saturday.Based on a tip-off, the accused, identified as Dharmabir, was nabbed from District Park in Dilshad Garden area in Anand Gram on November 4.Dharmabir had fallen out with some of his gang members and in last few months had committed a series of shootouts.In two such incidents, he had injured one of his former associate Kamaljeet and his brother Charanjeet, they said.After falling out from Kamaljeet, Dharmabir was desperate to eliminate him and his brother.Kamaljeet survived the attack and was admitted in GTB Hospital. Dharmabir then again planned to eliminate Kamaljit in the hospital itself and procured three lab coats to disguise as a doctor and kill him, police said.”He got this idea from a movie he had recently watched on TV. They were about to execute their plan but Kamaljeet was shifted from GTB Hospital to some other hospital and their plan got delayed,” they said.The team of Special Cell got inputs that Dharambir has been hiding in Krishna Nagar area, in a rented accommodation to carry out his plan to murder Kamaljeet, which was foiled, as he was arrested, polic said.

Maharashtra: Headmaster among 11 arrested in Buldhana tribal school girls abuse case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eleven people, including the headmaster of a government-aided tribal residential school, in Khamgaon tehsil here have been arrested following allegations of sexual abuse of two girls over the last six months, police said on Friday.The accused, including the headmaster, staff and members of the school management were arrested last night from various villages across the district and brought to Khamgaon.Offences were also registered against them under relevant sections of IPC, POCSO and SC/ST Atrocities Act.The incident came to light after former Maharashtra minister Eknath Khadse was approached recently by the family of one of the victims who hailed from his assembly constituency in Muktainagar (Jalgaon).Khadse immediately informed District Guardian Minister Pandurang Phundkar who then asked police to look into the matter.According to police, a 14-year-old girl student from Nanji Kokare Adivasi Ashramshala in Lokanda Pala at Khamgaon taluka here went to her home in a village in Muktainagar for Diwali vacations and narrated her plight to parents.Her mother informed the woman sarpanch of the village who in turn told Khadse about the alleged exploitation.Looking into the gravity of the issue, Khadse immediately informed Phundkar about it. He asked Additional SP, Buldana Yashwant Solanke to look into the matter. Immediately, police swung into action and 11 people involved in running the Ashramshala were arrested, they said.Phundkar, who is camping in his constituency (Khamgaon) to monitor the progress of the investigations, told PTI today that so far only two girls have came forward with complaints of alleged abuse.The tribal residential school belongs to a local politician, he said.Meanwhile, Arti Singh who is presently heading the Special Investigation Department (SID), Nagpur has been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting a probe into the incident.

Kerala: 14 injured in blast following leak of chemical on Hindustan Insecticides Ltd premises

Kochi: At least fourteen persons were injured, two of them seriously, when a blast occurred following leak of a chemical on the premises of Hindustan Insecticides Limited at nearby Kalamassery Industrial Area on Wednesday, district authorities said.

The accident occurred when carbon disulfide brought to HIL in a tanker lorry caught fire as the chemical was being transferred to the facility set up in the factory, injuring 14 persons, police said.

Carbon disulfide is a colourless, flammable and poisonous chemical.

Representational image. Getty imagesRepresentational image. Getty images

Representational image. Getty images

A leak in the pipe is suspected to be the reasons for the fire followed by the blast, police said.

“Fourteen persons have been admitted to various hospitals in Ernakulam. The condition of two of them is serious,” Ernakulam District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla said.

The Collector, who visited the site soon after the incident, ordered a probe into the incident.

“I have sought a report from the joint director of the Department of Factories and Boilers. The official has been directed to conduct a probe and provide the report in two days,” Safirulla told PTI.

The Department of Factories and Boilers under the Ministry of Labour looks after the safety, health and welfare of workers employed in factories.

The Collector said the situation is under control.

Fire engines, which rushed to the area, doused the flames.

Hindustan Insecticides Limited is a public sector enterprise under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers.

Baramulla jail clashes leave 4 cops, 2 inmates injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Inmates in the high-security Baramulla District Jail on Tuesday went on a rampage attacking the prison officials, setting the gates on fire, destroying surveillance cameras and pelting stones at the police inside the facility. Four policemen were injured, and two jail inmates sustained minor injuries in the incident.Assistant Superintendent of the Baramulla District Jail said that some inmates had created serious problems inside the jail premises due to administrative issues, and had attacked the jail staff.“He said that jail property including surveillance cameras were damaged. A police party was deputed to the jail premises which was also attacked by the inmates, with stones, bricks and lathis. Some of the jail inmates also damaged the wall of the district jail by removing the bricks to pelt the police party,” said a police spokesman.Police said the inmates also set the main gate of the Jail on fire, which was extinguished with the help of fire services. “A case under different penal sections of Indian Penal Code has been registered in this regard at Baramulla police station, and matter is being investigated,” he said. Meanwhile, police said the overall situation across the valley remained peaceful and under control on Tuesday.“During the day, no untoward incident was reported from any part of the Valley. Heavy vehicular traffic was seen on the roads in cities and towns of the Valley. Business went about as usual as vendors were seen on the roads, lanes and bylanes, police said.SITUATION IN VALLEY REMAINS PEACEFULMeanwhile, police said the overall situation in the Valley remained peaceful and under control on Tuesday.Heavy vehicular traffic was observed on the roads in the cities and towns of the Valley. A large number of vendors were seen on the roads, lanes and bylanes, a police spokesman said.

MK Stalin’s car meets with a minor accident, escapes unhurt

Tue, 1 Nov 2016-11:57pm , Vellore , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK Treasurer MK Stalin escaped unhurt on Tuesday when the car in which he was travelling met with a minor accident in the district, police said. Stalin’s car and another four-wheeler brushed against each other at Pallikonda, but none was injured in the mishap, they said.Police said both the vehicles, proceeding in the same direction, suffered damage before coming to a halt. 63-year-old Stalin, the Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu Assembly, continued his journey to Dharmapuri in another car.

J&K: Fire at residential quarter of educational institute in Shopian

Tue, 1 Nov 2016-11:45pm , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a suspected case of sabotage, a fire broke out at a residential quarter of an educational institute in Shopian district of Kashmir on Tuesday night, police said. The fire broke out in the residence of the principal of District Institute of Education and Training at Shopian around 10 PM, a police official said.Local residents and fire brigade personnel rushed to the spot and put out the fire, he said. Officials said the cause of the fire was not immediately known, but did not rule out the possibility of sabotage. Over the past few months, around 25 schools have been burnt down mysteriously across the Kashmir Valley which is under the grip of unrest following the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter in early July.

Kerala: Blast reported near court complex in Malappuram, none injured

Kerala: Blast reported near court complex in Malappuram, none injured


Malappuram: A blast took place inside the civil station near the court of the Judicial First Class Magistrate in Malappuram.

Representational image. Getty images

Representational image. Getty images

No one was injured in the incident.

The blast occurred in a car hired by the Homeo District Medical officer (DMO), which had been parked along with some other vehicles near the court.

“No one was injured,” District collector A Shainamol told PTI.

Bomb and dog squads are searching the place, police said.

Further details are awaited.

Mizoram: 58 dengue cases detected since February this year

Tue, 1 Nov 2016-01:18pm , Aizawl , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With 34 people infected with dengue in Mizoram since October 25, 58 dengue cases have been detected in the state since February this year, Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (ISDP) State Nodal Officer Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma said on Tuesday.Lalmalsawma told PTI that of the 58 patients, only two persons got infected outside the state.Of the persons infected in the state, there were cases from rural areas, prompting the state government to discontinue screening of passengers at the lone Lengpui airport near Aizawl from October one last. No one has died of the disease in the state and all the patients have been cured, he said.The government established Sentinel Site at the Aizawl Civil Hospital and the District Hospital in south Mizoram’s Lunglei town where samples of suspected dengue patients were tested with Elisa Reader.

Body of engineering student found in Andhra Pradesh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The body of an engineering student was found near here in a highly decomposed condition and police is treating it as a case of murder.The badly burnt body, identified as that of Y Siva Venkatesh (25), was found on the outskirts of Tarakaramanagar under Bommuru Police station limits last night, Rajamahendravaram Urban District Superintendent of Police B Rajakumari said. Venkatesh was a student of B Tech at the Rajamahendri Institute of Engineering and Technology (RIET), she said. “The body was in a highly decomposed condition. Initially, it was difficult to identity it. We suspect someone poured petrol and burnt him alive,” Rajakumari said. The student’s college I-card which was found at the site helped in identification of the body, the officer said. Venkatesh’s father, Y Bhaskar Rao, is a cloth merchant and resident of Dulla village under Kadiyam mandal of East Godavari district, she said. Police have registered a murder case and launched an investigation.

2014 Malshej Ghat bus mishap: Rs 3.27 cr awarded to kin of deceased, injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A compensation of Rs 3.27 crore has been awarded by an accidents claims tribunal jointly to the kin of the deceased as well as those injured in the 2014 Malshej Ghat bus mishap, which claimed 35 lives. Thane District Court judge and District Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) member KD Vadane in his recent order directed Sunil Meghrajmal Raheja from Ulhasnagar, the owner of the truck which collided with state-run bus, and Iffco Tokio General Insurance Co Ltd to make the payment to the claimants along with 8% interest.Consequent upon this order, as many as 53 claimants including surviving widows, widowers, parents and children have been awarded the compensation which includes in most cases a sum of Rs 1 lakh each on account of loss of estate and loss of love and affection besides Rs 25,000 towards funeral expenses and last rites of the deceased.The Malshej Ghat ST bus accident killed 35 people including the bus driver and left seven injured after the vehicle plunged into a 150-feet deep gorge. Appearing for the claimants, advocate GA Vinod told the Tribunal, that on January 2, 2014 the victims were travelling by ST bus from Thane when it met with an accident at Malshej Ghat on Kalyan Nagar Highway after a high-speeding truck came from opposite direction and collided with it.The accident happened due to the rash and negligent driving on the part of the truck driver, he submitted. Of the total award of Rs 3,27,46,167, the seven injured got an amount of Rs 30.90 lakhs collectively and the rest has been awarded to the kin of the deceased. The dead included as many as seven members of a family, the claims revealed.The maximum amount of claim awarded was Rs 31,61, 830 to a 47-year-old BPT employee who also lost his young daughter in the same accident. The family of the ST bus driver was given a compensation of Rs 16.07 lakhs. In his order, the judge noted that since there was contributory negligence to the extent of 30% on his part, hence his family will get a reduced amount to that extent of the total eligible amount of Rs 22.95 lakhs. The family of another 43-year-old BEST driver who was also on board and died in the accident has been awarded a compensation of Rs 25.53 lakhs. Family members of seven women who died in the accident were among those awarded compensation. KV Poojari, defence counsel for the insurance company, argued that kin of the deceased have already been paid Rs 3 lakh and Rs 40,000 has been given to the injured (by MSRTC) and hence these claims need not be considered. But this was rejected by the court.He further submitted that the said amount be deducted from the compensation amount awarded to the applicants. The judge, however, in his order citing a verdict by a bench of the Supreme Court in the case of Khenyei V/s New India Assurance Co. Ltd. said “it would not be appropriate for the Tribunal to determine the extent of composite negligence of the drivers of two vehicles in the absence of impleadment of other joint tort feasors (ie MSRCTC–bus owner and the bus driver, who have not been made a party in the case).” Hence, impleaded joint tort feasors (owner and insurance company of the truck) are jointly and severally responsible to pay the above compensation to the applicants, he said.

Security forces bust militant hideout in Poonch

On specific information, a joint operation was launched by a team of BSF, along with police and SOG in Mendhar area of the district. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security forces on Wednesday busted a militant hideout and recovered large quantity of arms and ammunition in the frontier Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.On specific information, a joint operation was launched by a team of BSF, along with police and SOG in Mendhar area of the district, a BSF spokesman said. He said the search led to the busting of the hideout in the Gani Forest area in which three Chinese pistols, three magazines, 120 pistol bullets, 15 metres of Cordex wire, one IED timer and one wireless set with charger (Icom) were recovered.

Jigisha murder case: Delhi HC seeks response of death row convicts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the reply of two death row convicts in the 2009 Jigisha Ghosh murder case, whose case file has been sent by the trial court in Delhi for confirmation of capital punishment.A bench of justices Gita Mittal and P S Teji also sought personal presence of convicts Ravi Kapoor and Amit Shukla, who were handed down death penalty by the trial court. The bench, which has fixed the matter for further hearing on November 24, also issued production warrants to the two.The sessions judge had sent the case record relating to the conviction and death sentence of Kapoor and Shukla to the high court. It is mandatory for a trial court to refer a death penalty case to a high court for confirmation of the sentence within 30 days of the pronouncement of the verdict. The trial court had on July 14 held the duo guilty for murder of 28-year-old IT executive Jigisha Ghosh and other counts.While sentencing the two to death on August 22, the trial court had said the girl was killed in a “cold-blooded, inhuman and cruel manner” and “brutally mauled to death”. It had said the magnitude and brutality exhibited by the convicts made the case ”rarest of rare”, warranting capital punishment for Kapoor and Shukla. The third offender Baljeet Malik was given reprieve from the gallows for his good conduct in jail.The three have challenged their conviction and order on sentence awarded by the trial court, on which the police were asked by the high court to file their response. Kapoor and Shukla in their appeal have said the trial court has “wrongly held that the case falls in the category of rarest of rare”.Malik, challenging his conviction and sentence of life term through his counsel Amit Kumar, has said the trial court judge has “failed to appreciate that there were contradictions and discrepancies in the depositions of prosecution witnesses (PWs) and, therefore conviction and the sentence awarded to him is liable to be set aside”.Shukla said the trial court has committed grave error by awarding death penalty to him, simply on the basis of biased jail/probation report about his client.The trial court had imposed varying fines on the convicts. While Kapoor was slapped a fine of Rs 1.2 lakh due to his inability to pay, Shukla and Malik were directed to pay Rs 2.8 lakh and Rs 5.8 lakh respectively as the pre-sentencing report had suggested they were financially strong.The trio are also facing trial for the murder of TV journalist Soumya Viswanathan, killed a year before Jigisha. It had also directed that out of the total fine of Rs 9.8 lakh, Rs 6 lakh be paid to the parents of the victim, and an adequate compensation amount be decided by the District Legal Service Authority (South).The trial court had held the three guilty under several sections of IPC, including 302 (murder), 364 (abducting for murder), 201 (destruction of evidence), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document). It, however, held that the charge of criminal conspiracy (120-B of IPC) could not be proved against them.The police had filed the charge sheet in the case in June 2009, stating that Jigisha”s post-mortem report revealed that she was killed by smothering. The trial in the case began in April 2010. Recovery of the weapon allegedly used in Jigisha’s murder had led to cracking of the murder case of Soumya Vishwanathan, who was a journalist with a news channel.Soumya was shot dead on September 30, 2008 while she was returning home in her car from office in the wee hours. The police had claimed robbery as the motive behind the killings of both Jigisha and Soumya.

Bhubaneswar hospital fire: Post-mortem reports say 19 died of suffocation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The death toll in the Sum Hospital fire tragedy on Saturday rose to 24 with another man succumbing even as the post-mortem reports of 19 of the victims said they died of suffocation and not due to burns. The toll in the fire mishap, which occurred on Monday evening, mounted to 24 with the death of Kartikeswar Das, a resident of GGP Colony in Bhubaneswar, at a private hospital, Additional District Magistrate, Bhubaneswar, Manoj Kumar Mohanty said.Das was shifted from Sum to another private facility on the night of the incident, but as his condition worsened on Friday, he was referred to a third hospital where he died on Saturday.Meanwhile, the post-mortem reports of 19 bodies which were taken to Capital Hospital said they had died of suffocation.The post-mortem reports which reached the Commissionerate of Police revealed that “there was no burn case. All the 19 people died due to suffocation due to smoke caused by the fire,” said Commissioner of Police YB Khurania. The post-mortem reports of the other bodies were yet to come.Khurania said the police also received “vital” information on violation of fire safety norms while interrogating the owner of Sum Hospital, Monoj Ranjan Nayak, whose two-day police remand ends on Saturday night.”We will interrogate all those concerned regarding the safety measures of the hospital,” Khurania said, adding that Nayak’s wife Saswati Das, also a trustee member of the hospital, was still at large. The look-out circular issued against her was still in force, he said.Meanwhile, new Odisha Health Minister Pradip Kumar Amat said action would be taken against the culprits behind the tragedy as per law.”I will try to do justice to the responsibility bestowed on me by the Chief Minister,” he said after taking charge.

Tamil Nadu: One more held for ‘spreading rumours’ on Jayalalithaa’s health

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One more person was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly spreading rumours on Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s health on social media, taking the total number of those detained on similar charges to eight.”Sagayam Antony, a resident of Tuticorin District was spreading rumours, false information on social media on the health of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and he was arrested today (Wednesday),” a senior police official told PTI.The 33-year old man, a grocer, was brought here and produced before a court which remanded him to judicial custody.With this, the total number of persons arrested on the charge of spreading rumours about the health status of Jayalaithaa, undergoing treatment at the Apollo Hospital here since September 22, has gone up to eight.Police have warned of stern action against those spreading rumours on the health of Jayalalitha and have registered around 50 cases so far in this connection.Those arrested so far include a bank clerk and a jewellery appraiser in Coimbatore on a complaint from an AIADMK functionary that they had made ridiculous, adverse remarks about Jayalalithaa’s health condition during banking hours.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan attacks BJP, RSS for Kannur violence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Targeting BJP-RSS for the violence in politically volatile Kannur district in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said the saffron party and its outfits were “deliberately” causing breach of peace in the northern district.However, Vijayan made it clear that the government had an open mind on holding an all party peace meeting in Kannur and later, if necessary, at the state level as demanded by the Congress led UDF Opposition.”An all party meeting will be called in Kannur. But first let us convene a district level meeting or peace and later, if necessary, a state level meeting can be held”, he said.Vijayan made the statement while replying to a notice for an adjournment motion on the situation in Kannur, which witnessed a series of political clashes between CPI(M), heading the ruling front, and BJP after the LDF government came to power four months ago.The lone BJP member, O Rajagopal, welcomed government’s “sentiments” and said it should be made a reality. BJP wanted peace to prevail in the area. The frequent clashes in the district had dented the state’s image outside, he said.However, it was the responsibility of the CPI(M) and the Chief Minister to bring peace in the region and they should take “sincere” efforts in this regard, he said, adding, it was a fact that violence increases in the region whenever the LDF comes to power, Rajagopal said.”It is also a fact that there is no party which has not become a victim of the CPI(M)’s violence of politics in the state”, he said.Asserting that the government had taken all necessary steps to check violence, Vijayan, who holds the Home portfolio, said law and order situation in the district was “under control”.He also sought the cooperation and support of all parties to bring peace in the area.”Unfortunately, the attitude of RSS has created this situation in Kannur and BJP and saffron outfits were deliberately creating trouble”, Vijayan added.”RSS is making bombs and arms for fomenting tension in the area. Even people have been brought from outside the district for creating violence”, he charged.Rejecting the opposition charge that seven political murders had taken place in Kannur since his government came to power, Vijayan said only “five were political murders”.The Chief Minister, who hails from Kannur, also dismissed the charge that the district had become a “land of violence” and said it was only a “propaganda”.The government was taking all initiatives to bring peace and police was acting “impartially”, he said.Regional level peace meeting were also were being held. But, unfortunately, BJP and RSS have not cooperated so far, he said.A special Control room has been opened at two places in the district – Kuthuparambu and Thalassery, considered to be sensitive. Bomb and dog squads were also in the area conducting searches.Vijayan also exhorted that people of all political parties should change their mindset and shed the attitude of enmity and violence and instead work for peace and development.Seeking leave for the motion, K C Joseph (Cong), who also hails from Kannur, said the district had witnessed seven political murders after the LDF came to power and blamed both CPI(M) and BJP for the violence.Stating that both the parties were “two sides of the same coin”, he requested them to shed the attitude of “an eye for an eye”.Hitting out at the BJP and CPI-M, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said leaders of these parties were “encouraging violence” through their statements.However, he welcomed the political process announced by the Chief Minister, but staged a walkout along with other UDF members in protest against the ineffective attitude of police in checking violence.Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy wanted Vijayan to announce the date for the proposed all party meet and said “whole state looks forward to have peace in the area”.A UDF delegation had met Vijayan on Tuesday and appealed to him to convene an all-party meeting to work out a strategy to end political violence in Kannur, where CPI(M) and BJP workers were killed earlier this month.

Tamil Nadu: Schemes for upliftement of transgenders, provided ID & ration cards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of transgenders thanked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on Monday for coming out with schemes for their benefits and upliftment. The schemes have lifted them economically in the society and lives also started prospering, according to Kanishka and Anusia, who had come to the District Collectorate to show their gratitude to the Government, said.According to official sources, 358 transgenders were issued ID cards, 329 ration card in the district, till date. Similarly, 29 transgenders were given green houses near Kadamadai in the rural limits, under Chief Minister’s Green House Scheme, they said.Further, 81 transgenders, who are above 40 years and economically backward, are being given Rs 1,000 per month as financial assistance, the sources said.

‘Recovery of human remains in Kedar no reason for surprise’, says DM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid hue and cry over skeletal remains still being found in Kedar valley, Rudraprayag District Magistrate Raghav Langar on Sunday said considering the magnitude of the 2013 disaster, it would not be surprising even if human remains are found in the valley quarter of a century later. He, however, said that the ruckus being raised by political parties over skeletal remains still being found in the valley will only harm tourism in Uttarakhand, the mainstay of its economy, “I can’t understand the logic behind hue and cry over human remains being found in the valley even three years after the tragedy. Just look at the magnitude of the calamity. From Kedar valley alone 3985 people went missing who were later declared dead. Out of this skeletal remains of only 827 were found and disposed of. “That brings us to the conclusion that the rest are still untraced and lying somewhere buried under tonnes of debris.In the light of this fact I would not be surprised if human skeletal remains are found in Kedar valley even 25 years from now,” Langar told PTI. The topography of the valley has undergone imperceptible changes after the 2013 deluge and when it regains it original shape through a geological process 25 years hence, it would not be surprising if skeletal remains of people killed in the tragedy come back to the surface,” Langar said. Praising different agencies for carrying out a prolonged operation at those heights to recover human remains, Langar said they deserved a big pat on the back for the humongous effort they had put in to trace the remains of even 827 humans at a height of over 12000 feet in sub zero temperatures and amid all sorts of other odds like short supply of rations. “Over the last couple of years the state government has succeeded in giving the message of a safe Uttarakhand.People have started visiting the chardham circuit in large numbers coming in large numbers.The hue and cry being raised over the issue will only instill fear in the minds of potential visitors and deal a blow to tourism,” he said.Pradesh BJP president Ajay Bhatt had recently said that he had always been saying that there are still bodies lying in Kedarnath area but his claims were dismissed as a lie by the state government. On the latest recovery of skeletal remains from a thickly forested trek route between Triyuginarayn and Kedarnath on Thursday, he said an operation is underway in the region to verify and ascertain the facts but nothing definitive can be said at this stage.However, he said it was most likely that the remains found along the route were those of pilgrims killed in the disaster as the distance between the last human habitation at Toshi village in that area and the place where the remains have been spotted is at least 15 kms uphill.”Who will go to that distance except people faced with an unprecedented crisis and running in all directions to save their lives.It is obvious that people landed unknowingly in far removed deeply forested pockets in confusion and perished,” Langer said

Varanasi stampede live updates: UP police confirms 17 dead, rescue ops on

Varanasi: Twelve killed in stampede at Rajghat bridge

Updated: Oct 15, 2016 16:13 IST

#India #NewsTracker #Stampede #Varanasi


Oct 15, 2016


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  • 16:17(IST)

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Chandauli: Twelve people were killed and 60 others injured in a stampede at Rajghat bridge between Varanasi and Chandauli where a large number of people had gathered for a religious event this afternoon.

The incident took place when thousands of followers of religious leader Jai Gurudev were on their way to Domri village on the banks of Ganga to take part in the two-day camp, police said.

Twelve people were killed while 60 others were injured. Five of them are stated to be in a serious condition, District Magistrate Chandauli, Kumar Prashant said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Senior officials of police and administration have rushed to the spot to carry out relief and rescue measures.

Meanwhile, a government spokesman in Lucknow said that the situation in Chandauli is being monitored and all necessary measures were being taken.

An inquiry will be instituted to find out the cause of the stampede, he said.

Japanese Encephalitis in Odisha: Death toll rises to 48

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With two more deaths on Thursday, Japanese Encephalitis has claimed 48 lives in the past over one month in Malkangiri district of Odisha. Two children died at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the district headquarters hospital here, said Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) US Mishra.Unconfirmed reports, however, put the toll at 50 due to the vector-borne disease which has affected around 45 villages spread over six blocks in the backward district.The deadly disease, which originates from pigs and spreads to humans, mostly children, through mosquitoes, has surfaced in the district around 35 days ago, officials said.Meanwhile, Health Secretary Arti Ahuja, who visited several disease-hit villages in the tribal district and reviewed the situation, said the vaccination drive would be launched in Malkangiri, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanjj and Jajpur districts in the first phase from December. As per the directive of the central government, the process of identification of areas where vaccination is to be undertaken will begin next month, she said.Stating that the situation is being brought under control, Ahuja said the disease-afflicted children were undergoing treatment at the district headquarters hospital under the supervision of specialist doctors and pediatricians.While the death rate due to the disease has come down, many children are being cured and discharged from hospital after effective treatment, said the health secretary, who held detailed discussion with officials as well as villagers. Awareness drive has been stepped up across the district, while concrete steps have been taken to isolate pigs and shift the animals to specially prepared enclosures away from human habitats, she said.The health secretary had also visited the adjoining Koraput district yesterday to review the situation there. She interacted with officials of all the departments concerned and discussed the required preventive measures to ensure that the disease did not spread to the district.Temporary check posts would be put in place in areas bordering Malkangiri to preventing pigs from entering into human habitats, officials said.Meanwhile, a Congress team headed by Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Prasad Harichandan is visiting the disease-hit district.

Dadri on edge, family of Mohamad Akhlaq’s murder accused refuse to cremate body

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Calls for revenge against Muslims and a revolution were heard in Bisara village of Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri area where tension continue to simmer after body of Ravi Sisodia, an accused in the murder of Mohamad Akhlaq, was brought back to his native. Wrapped in a tri-colour, Ravi’s body was placed in the heart of the village with an open casket with villagers refusing to cremate until demands of villagers are fulfilled by the UP government.The area reeled under heavy security deployment throughout the day and armed police officials were directed to keep a vigil on Thursday night despite day-long negotiations between the UP administration and villagers led by Ravi’s kin. The villagers here have made six demands and told authorities that the body will not be cremated until all demands are met. Among the demands is a demand for compensation of Rs1 crore, government job for Ravi’s wife, suspension of jail officials, who allegedly beat up Ravi, arrest of Jan Mohammad, the brother of Akhlaq whom the villagers believe had slaughtered a cow and finally an inquiry into the death of Ravi by Central Bureau of Investigation.While a judicial probe had already been initiated into Ravi’s death, villagers believe there is foul play involved. In fact the situation in Dadri deteriorated when Ravi Sisodia, who was earlier lodged in Kasna jail after being arrested for allegedly taking part in lynching of Akhlaq last year, died while receiving treatment in a Delhi hospital. While police and even counsel for the accused have claimed that Ravi was suffering from chikangunya, villagers claimed that he died due to injuries inflicted on him by police following a fight that took place between him and other inmates of Kasna jail.The day saw a heated environment throughout with local leaders and some villagers making provoking statements and calling for “revenge”. Close to 300 villagers attended speeches made by local leaders as well as Sadhvi Prachi who called for a “revolution “. “Hindus must unite against this government. The incident has to be converted into a revolution,” Prachi said.” I had said then, till their families get justice I won’t be quiet Hindus , it’s your test now,”she added referring to the 18 people charged with murdering Akhlaq last year in September. Another speaker identified as Kapil Bhati said, “We have to seek revenge. Hindus are not wearing bangles. We will uproot these mullahs from roots,”he said to the crowd.Till the filing of this story the body was still not cremated and administration officials were in talks about two of the demands made by the angry villagers. Rs10 lakh for Ravi’s family was announced and the an internal probe will be launched to establish if the jail officials were allegedly involved in Ravi’s death.NP Singh, Gautam Buddh Nagar District Magistrate, said the state government would give its consent for a CBI probe if the deceased’s family is not satisfied with the ongoing inquiry. Local police said they were trying their best to pacify the villagers but it remains to be seen how situation will pan out on Friday.

Kerala: NIA takes five people with suspected Islamic State link into custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Five persons with suspected links to Islamic State (IS) were taken into custody in the district on Sunday by National Investigation Agency (NIA). Police said the NIA picked up the five persons at Kanakamala near Panur in the district.However, they did not disclose any further details. Recently 21 persons from Kerala were suspected to have joined the IS after being reported missing by their families and police have registered a case and are investigating. More info awaited.

West Bengal: Police recover huge cache of arms from illegal factory

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police on Sunday recovered a huge of arms from an illegal factory in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. Over 100 arms and ammunition were recovered from a house in Santoshpur. Most of the arms were semi-finished, which points toward an illegal manufacturing unit existing in the area. “From a house in Santoshpur, we have recovered hundreds of semi-finished arms and a huge cache of ammunition. Besides that, we have recovered seven 7mm pistols and twenty-two 9mm pistols. Other recoveries range from gas cutters to lead machines. We had specific inputs and when we conducted the raid, we found a full-fledged illegal arms factory existing in the area,” said Chandrasekhar Bardhan, Additional Superintendent of Police, West, South 24 Parganas District. Preliminary investigations reveal that one person had rented the house from landlord, Samsher Ali and later got labourers from Bihar to manufacture arms in this particular house. Investigators told reporters on Sunday that the house had been sound-proofed and a music system would play to prevent any sound from being heard outside. “We have also begun an investigation into the case to find out which state the consignment was meant for. The gang might have its roots in other states too. However, existence of similar illegal arms factories in the district cannot be ruled out at this moment,” added Bardhan. While the police arrested the landlord of the house on charges of harbouring anti-socials, all the others, including the mastermind, are at large. Meanwhile, the police have registered a case and have begun a lookout for all the accused. This is the third such illegal arms factory that the police stumbled upon within a span of a month in the same district. On September 9, a similar factory came to light in Maheshtala’s Rabindranagar and on September 27, police found another illegal arms manufacturing unit at Baruipur.

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