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TMC MP and actor Tapas Pal arrested by CBI in connection with Rose Valley chit fund scam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Trinamool Congress MP from Krishnanagar constituency, Tapas Pal was arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Rose Valley Chit Fund Scam for money laundering. Pal was arrested by CBI officials after four hours of questioning on Friday, when he appeared at the CBI office in CGO Complex of Kolkata. Sources in the CBI reveal that several inconsistencies had surfaced in his statements and he was not cooperating with the investigators. Officials are likely to take him to Bhubaneswar for further questioning. CBI had sent a notice to Pal on Tuesday to appear before them and give details of the transactions that took place when he was the director of the Films Division in the Rose Valley Group. He was also asked to produce documents of the transactions. Earlier, his accountant was also questioned by the CBI. Reacting to his arrest, Trinamool Congress spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP, Derek O’Brien said, “So now political atrocities against those opposed to #NoteBandi and with the movement. We will fight it out.” On the other hand, opposition parties welcomed the arrest of Pal and claimed that the noose will further tighten on other Trinamool Congress leaders. “Long awaited and much delayed arrest,” said CPI(M) leader Md.Salim.

Nine months after Sreehari Aney’s resignation, Maharashtra Cabinet approves Rohit Deo as next advocate general

Mumbai: The BJP-led Maharashtra government has chosen acting Advocate General Rohit Deo as its next Advocate General, nine months after his predecessor Sreehari Aney quit the post following a huge row triggered by his espousal of statehood for the Vidarbha and Marathwada regions.

A meeting of the state Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, recommended elevation of Deo to the AG’s post to Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, a senior official said.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. File photo. PTI

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. File photo. PTI

Aney had courted controversy by advocating statehood for Vidarbha and Marathwada regions, which was vehemently opposed by the ruling partner Shiv Sena.

The Sena had then seized on the issue to target the BJP, which, as matter of policy, favoured smaller states, despite Fadnavis asserting that bifurcation of Maharashtra was not on his government’s agenda.

The government had recently filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court, saying the post will be filled by the end of this month.

The Division Bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai was hearing a petition filed by Congress MLC Sanjay Dutt, urging the court to direct the state to appoint an A-G under Article 165 of the Constitution.

The court had criticised the state for not complying with the deadline of 23 December and had adjourned the matter to 9 January.

It had earlier observed that constitutional and statutory functions were suffering due to the non-appointment of the AG and has hurt the cause of justice.

On 18 November, 2014, Sunil Manohar was appointed as the AG, but he resigned on 9 June, 2015. On 11 June, 2015, additional Solicitor General Anil Singh was given the additional post of acting A-G. On 14 October, 2015, Aney was appointed as the AG, and he resigned on 22 March, 2016.

Reacting to the decision, Dutt claimed that the government was compelled to take a decision on the matter after he moved the high court.

In a tweet, Dutt said, “The government has conceded my demand and finally appointed Acting AG as AG.”

“However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis needs to answer why he waited for nine months to appoint Acting AG as the new AG,” said Dutt.

“Maharashtra Chief Minister speaks of good governance but his indecisiveness reflects lack of governance! If acting AG Rohit Deo only was to be made the AG, why the government had waited for 280 days?” he asked in another tweet.

First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 14:07 IST

Hyderabad: Bank clerk held for withdrawing Rs 6 lakh without ID proof

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A clerk working at a state-run bank here was arrested on Tuesday on charges of cheating and criminal breach of trust after he and his colleague allegedly deposited Rs 6 lakh in demonetized currency without ID proof and withdrew equal amount of new currency.V Mallesh allegedly colluded with cashier Radhika and deposited the demonetised currency in the bank last Saturday without ID proofs and withdrew an equal amount of new notes (Rs 2000 new currency notes), Assistant Commissioner of Police (LB Nagar Division) P Venugopala Rao said on Tuesday.Police had registered a case under Sections 420 (cheating) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) against Mallesh and Radhika, who is absconding.”As RBI rules were not followed in connection with the deposit of the demonetized notes in the bank, the bank manager had lodged a complaint with police on Sunday. Out of the new currency, an amount of Rs 5.6 lakh was returned to the bank authorities by the clerk and the cashier,” police had said.Further investigation is on.

Karnataka edu minister caught watching porn meets CM, says ready for probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid demands for his resignation for allegedly looking at sleazy pictures on his mobile at a public function, Karnataka Minister Tanvir Sait met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday and said he was ready to face any probe in the incident. Sait said he will abide by the decision of the Chief Minister and claimed he had filed a police complaint against the reporter and cameraman of a TV News channel, who had made the controversial footage, with an intention to obtain the complete raw video.”In the wake of media reports about watching mobile during Tipu Jayanti celebrations, I personally met Chief Minister and have given complete information in detail,” Sait told reporters after the meeting. “I have informed the Chief Minister that I have filed the complaint with an intention to get an opportunity to telecast the entire unedited raw video and to get the video for inquiry, as the media were telecasting just 2-3 seconds of video and there was confusion about me viewing some pictures and also video,” he added.Sait, who is the Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, had on Thursday landed in a controversy after video footage emerged showing him purportedly watching pictures of skimpily clad girls on his mobile on dais at a public function to mark Tipu Jayanti celebrations in Raichur district.
ALSO READ Karnataka edu minister says porn was WhatsApp forward, opened it ‘accidentally’Raichur Police had on Saturday booked a reporter and a cameraman of a channel, who had taken the controversial footage, under IPC section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) on a complaint by Sait. Opposition BJP and JD(S) besides veteran Congress leader Janardhan Poojary have demanded his removal. Sait said he had not done anything that would malign his party, government and public who have voted him. “I have told Chief Minister that I’m ready for any inquiry and will abide by any decision he takes,” he said. Siddaramaiah had earlier said he has sought a report, on the basis of which an inquiry will be conducted before taking any action. To a question on filing a complaint against journalists belonging to a media channel, Sait said, “When I had sought entire raw video from the media channel, they said they can’t give. “I could have obtained only after filing a complaint. I have clearly said in my complaint also that the background for it is to obtain the raw video and subject it to inquiry.” “I have given complete details, in this regard too, to the Chief Minister,” he added.Sait said the Chief Minister has also obtained certain information about the incident from the Cyber Crime Division. “I will abide by any decision of the Chief Minister and the party. I will not indulge in any activity that will cause discomfort to them,” he added.

Odisha anti-Maoist operation: A look at the top Naxal leaders believed to be among the 24 killed

In one of the biggest and most successful operations against the Naxals conducted in India, at least 24 Maoists were killed in a fierce encounter with security forces in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on the border with Andhra Pradesh.

This was a major blow for the Naxals as some of their top leaders were killed in the operation.

According to The New Indian Express, at least 50 Maoists had gathered for what is believed to be a meeting of the dreaded Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) of the CPI (Maoist). This was clearly an important meeting because Akkiraju Haragopal alias Ramakrishna was also reportedly present at the meeting but managed to escape.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

This also means that even though 24 Maoists were killed, an equal number of them managed to escape. Nevertheless, the impact of the death of top Naxal leaders will be huge on the Maoists, although the deaths of many of these leaders is yet to be confirmed because many of the bodies are yet to be identified.

According to The Indian Express, Ramakrishna’s son, Munna, was among those killed in the operation. Ramakrishna had made Malkangiri his base of operations earlier and had taken part in peace talks with the then Congress government headed by YS Rajasekhara Reddy in 2004.

Another top Naxal leader who was killed was Gajarla Ravi alias Uday alias Anand. 49-year-old Ravi has been associated with the Naxal movement for the past 26 years, according to The Hindu. He had also accompanied Ramakrishna during the 2004 peace talks.

Another report in The Times of India said that Ravi completed his high school in his native Velishala village of Chityala mandal in Jayashankar district, now in Telangana.

The report added that sources said that after he took admission into Industrial Training Institute in Hanamkonda, he hoisted the red flag in the college campus, after which he was arrested. This inspired his younger brother Azad alias Sariah to join the Naxal movement.

Chalapathi alias Appa Rao is also believed to be dead. He was the secretary of the East Division of the Naxals and carried a reward of Rs 20 lakh on his head. In June, a selfie had landed him into trouble when Vizag rural police managed to recover a photo showing him and his wife Aruna, deputy commander of the Koraput-Srikakulam Division Committee, from the laptop of slain Naxal Azad.

NDTV further reported that other top Naxal leaders killed in the operation were Venkatramana alias Ganesh, Aruna, Daya and Bengal Suresh. Ganesh and Daya had bounties of Rs 20 lakh on their heads. Eleven women Naxals were also among those killed.

The report also said that the number of Naxals killed in this operation is believed to be the biggest ever.

The New Indian Express report quoted a senior police official as saying that Maoists are now clearly “fighting a losing battle”. “What should be understood is that we are currently using the lowest rung of our response teams to tackle them. But if and when we decide to unleash our complete capabilities, they will be no match,” the senior officer said.

Another Firstpost article noted that “the biggest proof of the dwindling clout of the Red rebels in the area is the frenetic pace at which work on a 918 metre bridge over river Gurupriya, a project that has had to be abandoned repeatedly in the last few years due to stiff opposition from Maoists, has been progressing in recent months.”

It also noted that once Malkangiri is freed from the clutches of Naxals, Maoists would have a tough time finding a foothold in Odisha.

With inputs from PTI

9 coaches of goods train derail in Odisha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nine wagons of a goods train on Friday derailed between Maligura and Jarati stations in Odisha affecting train services on the Koraput-Jeypore railway section under Waltier Division of East Coast Railway.The goods train derailed on its way to Visakhapatnam from Bathili in Chhattisgarh Friday morning, a railway official said, adding that no loss of life or injury to anyone has been reported in the accident.Following the accident, six passenger trains were cancelled while Samaleshwari Express was short-terminated at Jeypore station and will return to Jagadalpur on Friday.Bhubaneswar-Jagadalpur Hirakhand Express will originate from Koraput instead of Jagadalpue.Visakhapatanam-Kiranul passanger left Visakhapatanam on Friday and will be short terminated at Koraput and return to Vishakhapatanam as Kirandul-Vishakhapatanam passenger from Koraput.Kirandul-Visakhapatanam passenger will be short terminated at Jagdalpur and return to Kirandul from Jagdalpur.The service of Vishakhapatanam-Kirandul-Vishakhapatanam will remain cancelled on Friday between Koraput and Jagadalpur from both the directions.Jagadalpur-Durg Express scheduled to leave jagadalpur on Friday will also remain cancelled while Durg-Jagadalpur Express scheduled to leave Durg on October 23 will also remain cancelled for cancellation of connecting train, an ECoR statement said.

Odisha: Doctor arrested by vigilance on graft charge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An assistant professor in MKCG Medical College and Hospital at Berhampur was arrested by anti-corruption vigilance wing in Odisha for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 10,000 from a man for conducting operation and treating his newborn.A trap was laid in which Dr Arun Kumar Das, Assistant Professor, Paediatric Surgery was caught red handed on Friday by vigilance officers for demanding and accepting illegal gratification of Rs 10,000 from complainant Suraj Chouhan of Nabarangpur district, a vigilance release said.The complainant had alleged that his newborn required an operation and treatment and he had requested Das for performing the operation and proper treatment but the doctor demanded Rs10,000 for the purpose, it said.A trap was laid on Friday and the accused was caught red handed in his chamber in the Paediatric Department of MKCG Medical College & Hospital, Berhampur by the Vigilance Officers of Berhampur Division, while accepting the bribe from Chouhan, it said.Das was arrested and forwarded to court on which remanded him to judicial custody, the release added.

Uri Brigade Commander K Somashanker shifted in terror attack aftermath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army has removed the commander of Uri Brigade, which was the target of the deadly terror attack on September 18 that claimed the lives of 19 soldiers and left several others injured, defence sources said.Brigadier K Somashanker has been shifted out of the sensitive brigade, the sources said.They said an officer from the 28 Mountain Division of the army is scheduled to take over as the Uri Brigade commander.Army officials did not respond to calls seeking comment on the development.Meanwhile, One more soldier, who was critically injured in the Uri attack, on Friday died of his wounds, taking the toll to 19.The soldier was undergoing treatment at Army’s Research and Referral Hospital here. He succumbed to his injuries, defence sources said.India carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, seen as a reprisal for the Uri attack.

No going back on decision to resign, says Karnataka DySP Anupama Shenoy

Ballari (Karna): Surfacing several days after resigning and remaining incommunicado, a senior woman police official who was reportedly at loggerheads with the labour minister on Thursday said she would not go back on her decision.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP), Kudligi Sub-Division in Ballari district, Anupama Shenoy had tendered her resignation on 4 June and since then her whereabouts were not known.

Anupama Shenoy. Facebook

Anupama Shenoy. Facebook

A special team was formed to track down Shenoy, whose alleged posts on Facebook levelling accusations against Labour Minister PT Parameshwar Naik, also the district in-charge, had created a flutter.

She was reportedly upset that the minister was interfering in her work.

Speaking to reporters on reaching Kudligi, Shenoy on Thursday said, “I stand by my decision to resign.”

Asked about her Facebook posts, she said “I don’t know about Facebook; someone might be doing it in my name, it might have been hacked also.”

Naik had said he has nothing to do with the officer’s resignation and he also expressed doubts about the veracity of the Facebook account and its user.

Following protests by a group of people against her for taking three persons into preventive detention, Shenoy left the office on 4 June after handing over her resignation letter to subordinate officers, instructing them to hand it over to the Superintendent of Police.

Officials said Shenoy was acting on a complaint by Dalit activists against the extension of a liquor shop that was blocking the way to Ambedkar Bhavan nearby.

On the directions from the government, Ballari SP had on Wednesday deputed an officer to go to her hometown Udupi to contact Shenoy and her family.

“We have come to know that she has come to Kudligi. We will see what she will do; we don’t have any information on whether she will come and meet us or not. We will send our
staff and try to find out about it,” Ballari SP R Chetan told reporters.

“We had messaged her and tried to contact her but contact was not possible. If she comes we will talk to her,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shenoy refused to meet Kudligi in-charge DySP RS Patil who went to her official quarters in Kudligi on Thursday.

In January, Shenoy was transferred allegedly at the behest of Naik for putting his call on hold, with the incident triggering a storm. A video footage purportedly showing Naik making a boastful claim about shunting out Shenoy had also gone viral later.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said the government would not take any hasty decision and would want her to continue in the force, but also pointed out that she was bound by rules.

Kolkata: Bombs, explosives, mobile circuits seized from Khidderpore; one held

In a late night raid carried out by police officials in Kolkata’s Khidderpore area, several bombs, explosives, mobile circuits, remote control, chips and gunpowder were seized from a house.The police have arrested one person in connection with the case, who is likely to be produced before the Alipore court on Monday. A case under the Explosives Act has been slapped against the person held. Police are also questioning the owner of the house. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The raid was led by Deputy Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Port Division), Sudeep Sarkar and accompanied by officials of the Watgung Police Station and Detective Department. “A raid was carried out around 3.30am at a house in Manasatala under Watgunge Police Station limits. During the raid, a live bomb, close to 300gm of gun powder, mobile circuit and chip, and remote control were seized from the house. A person, identified as Samir Hosaain has been arrested,” said a senior official of the Port Division. Meanwhile, sources in the police highlight that the house was a centre of suspicious activities and came under the scanner of the police. The possibility of IEDs being made in the house could not be ruled out in the early stages of the investigation.

Chhattisgarh: 40 Naxals surrender, get Rs 10,000 as goodwill gesture

Forty Naxals, including a woman carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh on her head, surrendered in Maoist-hit Bastar after which the district collector gave Rs 10,000 to each of them as a goodwill gesture.They surrendered in Jagdalpur, the headquarter of Bastar district on Saturday. There were nine women in the group, Bastar Suprintendent of Police RN Das said.19 Naxals from Darbha Division Committee (DVC) of Maoists, two from Kanger Veli Area Committee and 19 from East Bastar division and Mardapal Area Committee surrendered before the police, he said. Subli Kashyap from East Bastar division, who carried a reward of Rs 8 lakh on her head, was among those who surrendered. The Naxals of this division were accused of stealing ballots and ammunition during the 2013 Assembly polls, police said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rs 10,000 was given to each of the surrendered Naxals by District Collector Amit Kataria as a goodwill measure, they added.

Rejecting NTCA’s data, Odisha govt claims there are atleast 40 tigers in Similipal

Odisha government on Wednesday rejected the estimation of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on tiger population in the state and claimed that there are at least 40 big cats, including three melanistic types, in Similipal Tiger Reserve.”The 40 tigers include 13 males, 24 females and three cubs. Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR), is considered as the only habitat in the world to have dark-striped melanistic tigers,” said Forest and Environment Department Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government’s estimation report, which was released on Wednesday, also found 318 leopards in Odisha, he said. The report said Similipal region housed 29 Royal Bengal Tigers with 26 of those in Similipal Wildlife Division and three others in Karanjia Division. Of the 26 Royal Bengal Tigers in Similipal, 14 are females, nine males and three cubs, the report said.
ALSO READ What is wrong with India’s tiger management?There are four big cats in Sunabeda Wildlife Division, two in Satkosia Tiger Reserve, three in Keonjhar Wildlife Division (Hadgarh) and one each in Khariar and Sundargarh divisions, the report stated.Earlier, the state government had rejected the NTCA’s claim of only 28 tigers in the state in 2014. The statewide tiger/leopard estimation exercise, 2016 was carried out in eight circles and 46 divisions between February 5-10, officials said.
ALSO READ Tiger numbers rise in Madhya PradeshA total of 20,174 PIPs (Pug Impression Pads) were laid and 448 trap cameras including 315 cameras in Similipal, were installed to reaffirm the estimated tiger population in the Similipal Tiger Reserve, they said.Although, the exercise was carried out in STR in February, a dispute over the numbers prompted the Wildlife Wing to take up the exercise once again in April during which 420 camera traps were used apart from 11,370 PIPs, officials said.
ALSO READ 6 Amazing Wildlife Encounters, beyond the TigerA five-member technical committee headed by Anup Kumar Nayak, the then Regional Chief Conservator of Forest cum Field Director Satkosia Tiger Reserve, analysed and scrutinised the data obtained during field survey. In 2010, NTCA had put the number of Royal Bengal Tigers in Odisha at 32 and 45 in 2006.

Gujarat: Woman cop says DSP forced her to accuse SP of sexual harassment

A woman police sub-inspector (PSI) in Kutch district of Gujarat on Saturday claimed that a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) forced her to level allegations of sexual harassment against Kutch (East) SP. Yesterday, a letter of the PSI, where she had made allegations of sexual harassment and torture against the SP had surfaced. “I was forced by a DSP to write a letter against Kutch (East) SP G V Barot,” she told reporters at Gandhidham in Kutch district. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The DSP asked me to do so to put mental pressure on the SP who is monitoring a cheating complaint filed at A-Division police station in Gandhidham against the DSP’s son,” she claimed. “The DSP had forced me to write a complaint letter against the SP even when I told him that I did not want to do so. He wanted to clear the name of his son against whom a case is lodged on the charge of forging papers to sell a doctor’s property,” she further claimed. “The DSP had blackmailed me to write the letter because of a mistake committed by me during the investigation of domestic violence case after which he had threatened to suspend me”, the PSI added. “During investigation in the domestic violence case, I had said there was no criminal case after which the DSP threatened to suspend me as the man against whom the case was filed later killed his wife. In order to save my job, I decided to write the letter as per the DSP’s instruction,” she claimed. The DSP could not be reached for comment despite several attempts. In the letter addressed to the Director General of Police and Gujarat Chief Minister Anadiben Patel, the PSI had made allegations of sexual harassment and torture against SP G V Barot. The complainant has threatened to commit suicide if no action was taken against the SP who she claimed forced her into sexual relationship with him and later, forced her to abort her child with the help of another PSI. When contacted, SP Barot termed the allegations as “highly irresponsible and senseless”. “When asked during investigation, she accepted it was her mistake,” he said. On asked if action will be taken against the PSI, the SP said action will be taken as per instructions from the Gujarat home department.

Now government officers can travel in airlines other than Air India

Government has relaxed the rules of air travel by its officials allowing them to fly in airlines other than Air India but with certain conditions.In an office memorandum, the Home Ministry said officers are now allowed to travel by airlines other than Air India in deserving cases due to operational or non-availability or other reasons with effect from April 1, 2016.Quoting a communication of the Civil Aviation Ministry, Home Ministry said it has devised guidelines as well as proforma for requests for relaxation to travel by airlines other than Air India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The laid down conditions to avail the facility include request for relaxation must be submitted to Integrated Finance Division (IFD) at least 7 working days in advance from the date of travel, submission of non availability of seats (NAS) certificate issued by authorised agents besides others.

Central Railways terms Nagpur as ‘most clean’ station though Solapur was ranked 4th cleanest nationwide

Nagpur station on Central Railway was declared the ‘most clean’ station on CR’s network during a ceremony held at CST on Tuesday as part of 61st Railway Week celebrations. In a statement, CR authorities said ‘the Best Station for cleanliness was won by Nagpur station of Nagpur Division and Best Kept Garden at Station was won by Lonavala station of Mumbai Division’.Incidentally, Solapur was the only station of CR in the top 10 list of clean stations as per the Assessment of Cleanliness at Major Stations report submitted by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Solapur was ranked 4th among the larger A1 category stations with Western Railway’s Surat station coming in first. The only CR station in the A category list in the assessment report was Nashik at number 6.​ Nagpur was not even among the top 10 on the list.The report was the outcome of a survey carried out between January 16 and February 5, 2016 by asking 1,34,654 passengers to rate cleanliness at 407 railway stations nationwide. Railways had called this survey the biggest cleanliness assessment ever carried out on the Indian Railways ever.

Marathwada drought: First train carrying water tank wagons leaves for Latur

Mumbai: One of two goods trains carrying 50 tank wagons of water for drought-affected areas of Latur departed from Kota workshop in Rajasthan for Miraj in Pune division on Friday.

The second goods train consisting of 50 wagons is expected to be ready for water loading around 15 April.

“As per instructions from the Ministry of Railways, Kota workshop received two goods trains consisting of 50 tank wagons (BTPN) each for deployment in drought-affected areas of Latur during the summer season and the trips of the trains will be arranged as per the requirement,” a railway release stated.

Marathwada is in the middle of a severe water crisis. Representational image. AFPMarathwada is in the middle of a severe water crisis. Representational image. AFP

Marathwada is in the middle of a severe water crisis. Representational image. AFP

The carrying capacity of these wagons is 54,000 litres of waters per wagon.

“The first rake was turned out from workshop today at 1 PM and the train departed for Miraj in Pune division at 2:10 PM. The second goods train consisting of 50 wagons is expected to be ready for water loading around 15 April,” it stated.

According to the release, the first BTPN rake was received on 26 March and second on 28 March at Kota workshop and steam cleaning, sludge removal, de-scaling, de-greasing and then final cleaning of these wagons were undertaken to make them fit for transportation of drinking water.

Earlier, on a demand from the Rajasthan government, Kota workshop had turned out BTPN rake to transport water from Nasirabad to Bhilwada in Ajmer Division from January 2016 onwards which will continue up to the summer season, the release said.

Maharashtra government had yesterday said Latur district in Marathwada region will get water through train within next 15 days.

Uttarakhand crisis: High Court stays floor test till April 7

In yet another twist to political developments in Uttarakhand, the Division Bench of High Court on Wednesday stayed till April 7 the floor test in the Assembly that was slated for Thursday.LIVE England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016Staying the order of the single judge U C Dhyani, the two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice K M Joseph posted the matter for April 6 for final hearing on the writ petition filed by ousted Chief Minister Harish Rawat challenging the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In view of the consent of the parties that the writ petition be posted to 06-04-2016 for being disposed of finally, we direct that the order, which is impugned in these appeals will be kept in abeyance till 07-04-2016,” said the bench, also comprising Justice V K Bist, in a brief order. The order came after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, strongly opposed yesterday’s order saying courts cannot interfere with the Presidential proclamation.”How can a floor test be ordered when a Presidential proclamation is in force and the Assembly is in suspended animation,” Rohatgi said.The Bench noted that the AG and senior advocate Abishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for Rawat, agreed that the writ petition which has given rise to these appeals may be “withdrawn to this Bench” and be finally disposed of. The AG said the Centre’s counter affidavit, along with that of Centrally-ruled Uttarakhand, would be filed by April 4. The court gave 24 hours to petitioner Rawat to file a rejoinder affidavit to counter affidavits.Earlier, the trust vote was slated for March 28 but the Centre imposed President’s Rule on March 27, citing “breakdown of Constitutional machinery” in the state. This was challenged by Rawat before the single judge U C Dhyani of the High Court.The single judge, while ordering the floor test on March 31, had also allowed nine disqualified rebel Congress MLAs to participate in the voting. Congress was unhappy and had planned to challenge this aspect of the order.Ordering the floor test on Tuesday, Justice Dhyani had observed that invoking of Article 356 of the Constitution by the Centre was a “colourable exercise of power”.”Democratically-elected Houses should not be demolished in such a fashion. Floor test is the only test to prove the majority,” he had said even though he ruled out staying the effect of the proclamation under Article 356 at this stage.Advocate Nalin Kohli, who was part of the lawyers’ team representing the Centre, said the Centre will file its counter before the Division Bench on April 4 for which the other side will file its reply the next day.Meanwhile, Justice Dhyani put off hearing on a plea by rebel Congress MLAs challenging their disqualification by Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal after President’s Rule was imposed.Posting hearing on the disqualified MLAs’ appeal to April one, Justice Dhyani said as per the interim order issued by him on Tuesday they have already been given relief by being allowed to vote during a floor test despite being disqualified.The court also told them that although they have been allowed to vote in the assembly during floor test their votes will not be treated on par with the rest of the MLAs.An appeal was filed today by six of the nine rebel MLAs against the Speaker’s action questioning its validity on the ground that the action had been taken after imposition of President’s Rule and suspension of the Assembly.The Speaker had disqualified nine Congress MLAs under the anti-defection law hours after imposition of President’s Rule on March 27, a day before the Rawat government was scheduled to go for a floor test in the Assembly. Rawat welcomed the verdict of the Division Bench, saying it will benefit the state.

Harish Rawat govt was murdering democracy in Uttarakhand, says Arun Jaitley

Endorsing the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that the previous Harish Rawat-led Congress government had murdered democracy between March 18 and March 27. He pointed out that Article 356 can be invoked only if the President is satisfied that there are grounds for believing that the governance of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the Constitution. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Having plunged the State into a serious constitutional crisis by continuing a government, which should have quit after the failure of the Appropriation Bill and further complicating the crisis,the Chief Minister started allurement, horse-trading and disqualification with a view to altering the composition of the House,” Jaitley alleged, “This leaves the State without any approved financial expenditure with effect from April 1; and now, it is incumbent upon the Central Government to ensure that steps are taken under Article 357 to authorise expenditure of the State,” he added.In a Facebook post, ‘A State Without A Budget’, the Finance Minister said the Constitutional breakdown was compounded further after the Speaker decided to disqualify some members even after the Assembly had been put under suspended animation and the decision was made public. बजट बिना एक राज्यउत्तराखंड में राष्ट्रपति शासन लागू हो गया है। संविधान की धारा 356 तब लागू की जाती है जब राष्ट्रपति इस…
Arun Jaitley on Monday, March 28, 2016″On March 18th,” he said, “it appears that 35 members (27 from the BJP and nine Congress rebels) voted against the Appropriation Bill and 32 in favour. There is documentary evidence both prior and subsequent to the Assembly Session to suggest that these 35 members asked for a Division of Votes. The proceedings of the Assembly circulated in writing, establishes the charge that a Division was asked for and yet it was claimed that the Appropriation Bill has been passed without a vote,” he said.18th,” he said, “it appears that 35 members (27 from the BJP and nine Congress rebels) voted against the Appropriation Bill and 32 in favour. There is documentary evidence both prior and subsequent to the Assembly Session to suggest that these 35 members asked for a Division of Votes. The proceedings of the Assembly circulated in writing, establishes the charge that a Division was asked for and yet it was claimed that the Appropriation Bill has been passed without a vote,” he said.Stating that there are strong facts to suggest that the Appropriation Bill was actually defeated, Jaitley added, “This is an unprecedented case of a Speaker declaring a failed Appropriation Bill as passed and then failing to certify falsehood. This leaves the State without any approved financial expenditure with effect from April 1. What better evidence do we need of a breakdown of Constitution?”As there are strong facts to suggest that the Appropriation Bill was defeated, and as consequence, the Government had to resign, said Jaitley, adding: two further consequences flow out of this – first, the Appropriation Bill sanctioning expenditure from April 1 was not approved; and, second, if the Bill was defeated, the continuation of the Government subsequent to March 18 is unconstitutional.”It is to be noted that till today, neither the Chief Minister nor the Speaker have forwarded a certified copy of the Appropriation Bill to the Governor. Obviously, there is no assent of the Governor to the Appropriation Bill,” he pointed out.In any case, all facts surrounding the alleged discussion and passage of the Appropriation Bill clearly indicate its non-passage, said Jaitley, adding that there is a cloud and a serious doubt about the Bill.”There is a complete breakdown of the Constitutional machinery in as much as the Government, which should have resigned on March 18 with the failure of Bill, has decided to continue. As of today, there is no Appropriation Bill certified by the Speaker which has received assent of the Governor,” he said, noting that if it is Speaker’s case that the rebels voted in favour of the Appropriation Bill and, hence, it has been passed, then ‘the rebels could not have been disqualified’.Stating that the Congress party in Uttarakhand split after a section of the leadership alleged that they were dissatisfied both with the Chief Minister and the central leadership of the party, Jaitley added that on March 18, the majority was declared to be a minority and vice versa while on March 27, the composition of the House was attempted to be changed in violation of the Constitution to convert a minority into a majority.

Harish Rawat govt was ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘immoral’: Arun Jaitley

Even as Congress cried foul, Government on Sunday justified imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand, saying the Harish Rawat government was “unconstitutional” and “immoral” since March 18 when the “failed” Appropriation Bill was shown as passed.”There can be no better example of implementation of Article 356 (imposition of President’s Rule)…There was complete breakdown of the Constitution in Uttarakhand,” Union Minister for Finance and Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley told reporters here. “There were very good grounds for the Union Cabinet to recommend President’s Rule in the state… The Chief Minister had lost majority on 18th (of March) and his continuation was unconstitutional and immoral,” he said, adding it was the demand of time that the government should have been dismissed.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While referring to March 18, he said in the 71-member Assembly, 67 members, excluding the Speaker, were present out of whom 35 wanted Division of Votes on the Appropriation Bill. The Division of votes was sought in writing in advance by the 35 members who also voted against the Bill, despite which the Speaker showed the legislation as passed, Jaitley said.”The Speaker said in writing that ‘the Division was sought but I treat the bill as passed’… This is for the first time in the history of Independent India that a bill is shown as passed even when it has been defeated. That was the first violation of the Constitution,” said Jaitley. The Appropriation Bill empowers the government to draw funds for expenses from April one and if it is defeated on the floor of the House, the government has to resign.Among other reasons cited for dismissing the Rawat government were attempts to “change the composition of the Assembly”, “allurements” allegedly offered by the Chief Minister and long time given to him to prove his majority. Minister Arun Jaitley is believed to have briefed the President late last night explaining the rationale for the Cabinet’s recommendation.The dismissal of the Rawat government now renders tomorrow’s confidence vote infructuous. It also came amidst reports that Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal had disqualified 9 rebel Congress MLAs that would have enabled Rawat to sail through in the trust vote. Even as Congress cried foul, Jaitley justified the Centre’s decision, saying the Harish Rawat government was “unconstitutional” and “immoral” since March 18 when the “failed” Appropriation Bill was shown as passed.”There can be no better example of implementation of Article 356 (imposition of President’s Rule)…There was complete breakdown of the Constitution in Uttarakhand,” Union Minister for Finance and Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley told reporters here. “There were very good grounds for the Union Cabinet to recommend President’s Rule in the state… The Chief Minister had lost majority on 18th (of March) and his continuation was unconstitutional and immoral,” he said, adding it was the demand of time that the government should have been dismissed.The Congress denounced the decision calling it a “murder of democracy” and said it showed that BJP did not believe in democracy. “It’s a blatant and brazen display of authoritarian, anti-democratic and anti-Constitutional mindset of the Modi government,” said Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha.Today’s action, he said, is a grim reminder of the threat the democratic institutions of the country are facing and accused the Modi government of having breached all records in trampling the democratic norms and Constitutional traditions. Azad recalled that earlier a Congress government inArunachal Pradesh was also “toppled by sheer abuse of power and money”. The political crisis in the state arose after the controversial circumstances in which the Appropriation Bill was declared passed in the Assembly by the Speaker with the BJP and the rebel Congress claiming that a division of votes pressed by them was not allowed.They alleged that the Bill was defeated in the voice vote by a majority of the members present but the Speaker did not test it in a proper division of votes. The opposition claimed that it had a majority of 35 MLAs, including 9 rebels, in the House that day out of 67 MLAs present. The BJP said the 35 MLAs had written to the Speaker in advance that they would be voting against the bill but the Speaker had refused to take it into his consideration.Last night, the Union Cabinet met amidst reports that the Speaker had disqualified the rebel Congress MLAs that would would have helped the beleaguered government. Apprehending imposition of President’s rule, the Congress had attacked the BJP saying it was resorting to the extreme step as its earlier moves had failed. While referring to the proceedings of March 18, Jaitley said in the 71-member Assembly, 67 members, excluding the Speaker, were present out of whom 35 wanted Division of Votes on the Appropriation Bill.The Division of votes was sought in writing in advance by the 35 members who also voted against the Bill, despite which the Speaker showed the legislation as passed, Jaitley said. “The Speaker said in writing that ‘the Division was sought but I treat the bill as passed’… This is for the first time in the history of Independent India that a bill is shown as passed even when it has been defeated. That was the first violation of the Constitution,” said Jaitley.The Appropriation Bill empowers the government to draw funds for expenses from April one and if it is defeated on the floor of the House, the government has to resign. Among other reasons cited for dismissing the Rawat government were attempts to “change the composition of the Assembly”, “allurements” allegedly offered by the Chief Minister and long time given to him to prove his majority.

Uber again: Driver arrested after woman passenger complains of lewd behaviour in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: A driver of cab aggregator Uber was on Thursday arrested for allegedly misbehaving with a woman passenger working with a software company two days ago.

The arrest came after the woman’s brother posted about the incident on social media where he said the driver misbehaved by “touching himself” in an inappropriate manner several times while waiting at a traffic signal on Tuesday, police said.

“On the basis of the message on social media, we have taken a complaint from the woman and filed an FIR,” DCP, South-East Division M B Boralingaiah said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“After getting into the taxi in HSR layout and while heading towards SG Palya, the driver stopped the car many times on the slow moving track before the silk board signal,” her brother alleged.

While waiting at the signal the driver started to touch himself inappropriately while the car was stationary, and then until reaching the destination, he repeated the act several times, he alleged.

Upon reaching the destination after confronting the driver about what he had done, he first denied any wrong-doing.

“After telling him we’d file a complaint, he apologised,” he said, adding that Uber had been made aware of the issue.

Uber said it had spoken to both the rider and driver-partner.

“The driver partner was waitlisted immediately after we received the complaint from the rider. We have provided all the information that has been asked for with the authorities, to help them with their investigation,” a Uber spokesperson said.


Want good ties with Pakistan but certain groups there need to be taught lesson: India

India on Wednesday said it wants ‘good relations’ with Pakistan but issued a stern warning to certain groups based there, saying they need to be ‘taught lesson’ and that pain should be inflicted on those who have “inflicted pain on us”, citing example of the Myanmar operation.The government told Lok Sabha that India’s wish to have good relations with Pakistan cannot be at the cost of its “pride, dignity and self-respect” and that it will ensure that “our enemies” cannot go scot free as even small incidents of terrorism have to be “treated as war”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Government also targeted Congress in a veiled manner as it raked up issues related to Ishrat Jahan case and the controversial Technical Services Division (TSD) set up by former Army Chief Gen V K Singh, alleging politicisation in these.”We are in the process definitely to ensure that our enemies cannot go scot-free,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said, adding “the compromise made earlier was probably one of the reasons as to why we are suffering today.” He noted that there are certain organisations across the border in Pakistan which are making statements and they “should be taught lessons”.”If you inflict pain on India, we will inflict pain on those individuals and organizations who have inflicted pain on us. I think this has to be carried out,” he said while responding to a discussion on Pathankot terror attack.He cited the example of the operation carried out by army against Myanmar-based insurgents after Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush in Manipur.”When armymen of 6 Dogra were killed in North-East, the Indian government used its forces and ensured that those who inflicted pain were taken to task,” the Defence Minister said.”Today, probably that is one of the reasons why North-East is of course, the Accord that was signed also played its role comparatively much more peaceful,” he said, but added that “I am not saying that it is entirely peaceful.” In his reply, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said India wants good relations with all neighbours but not at the cost of self-respect.”We want good relations with all our neighbours. We want good relations with Pakistan too, but not at the cost of this country’s pride, dignity and self-respect,” he said.Parrikar and Singh were responding to a debate during which the government came in for a scathing attack over handling of the Pathankot attack, with the opposition dubbing as a “critical mistake” the decision to handover the operation to NSG.The opposition also questioned as to what Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lahore stopover had achieved, noting that the terror strike had happened just a few days after that.Talking about boosting intelligence system, Parrikar said it cannot be done overnight.Targeting, in a veiled manner, the previous UPA government, the Defence Minister said, “Intelligence, which was developed, whether it is Deep Assets or the attempt of TSD (Technical Services Division) formation by (then Army Chief) Gen V.K. Singh, fell to the political aspirations, to the political policies and political scoring point.”It is not only Ishrat Jahan. It was a political issue. I think the TSD also became a political issue. A unit set up to eliminate terrorists was brought into open, leaking every information, demoralising the forces.”He went on to add, “I have seen many instances. I do not want to quote more instances. I can quote many instances when military intelligence has been sacrificed at the altar of political goals.”Talking about Pathankot attack, Parrikar said it was “an accumulation of asymmetric war. These are small attacks of weak forces on a stronger force. When the weak forces know themselves that they are not going to succeed in defeating the stronger force… they try to create disturbances and demoralise strong force.”He then added, “I can assure that the gaps have been filled and we have already security audit of all defence establishments.”With regard to the criticism over handling of the Pathankot attack, Parrikar said “Army acted properly” and standard operating procedures were followed. “You cannot have a running commentary about such operations on television channels. This puts security forces in danger,” he added.The Home Minister said while different governments might have different action plans, nobody can say that their strategy is foolproof.”No one can point finger on any government’s intention when it comes to national security… When all political parties contribute only then we can ensure safety and security of nation,” Singh said.

Andhra Pradesh minister’s son Raveela Susheel arrested for misbehaving with teacher

Police arrested Ravela Susheel, son of Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Minister Ravela Kishore Babu, and his driver for allegedly misbehaving with a 20-year-old teacher on Sunday.Assistant Commissioner of Police (Banjara Hills Division) D Uday Kumar Reddy told PTI that Susheel and the driver, Ramesh, appeared before police in the early hours today after notices were served to them and were arrested following their examination. The duo will be produced before a magistrate, the ACP said. They were yesterday booked under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of IPC.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The complainant had alleged that a car with ‘MLA’ sticker followed her when she was passing through Road No.13 while on her way to school on Thursday evening. The driver of the car and another occupant, who were drunk, passed remarks and asked her to come inside the car while one person with a tattoo on his hand tried to pull her inside the vehicle, she had alleged. When there was an attempt to pull her inside the vehicle, the woman raised an alarm following which her husband, who was nearby, and some locals gathered at the spot and beat up Susheel and Ramesh.On Friday, the woman also claimed to have identified the photo of the minister’s son as the one who held her hand and tried to pull her inside the car. While Susheel claimed innocence and alleged that the case was “politically motivated”, his father said police probe will reveal the truth and he will “not interfere” in the matter.

Exam chief conductor can ask for identity proof of flying squad members

After a fake flying squad was caught in western suburbs during the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination in 2015, this year, the state board officials have given authority to the examination chief conductor to ask for identity proof from the flying squad members, while they are on surprise checks in exam centers.The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education generally appoints divisional board members and education officers as flying squads to curb malpractices during SSC and HSC exams. This time, however, the flying squads consist only of the education department officials, such as deputy education inspectors and education inspectors. The state education department did not appoint divisional board members, who also belong to the state board schools.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a recent Mumbai division board meeting with a large number of school officials, dos and don’ts during the examination were discussed. Some of the common instructions included supervisors not allowed to carry mobile phones inside the examination centres and students not allowed inside the centre after 11.30am. But the instruction on flying squads’ identity was new.Uday Nare, a teacher from Hansraj Morarji Public School and former board member from Andheri, said, “This time, the board has given an authority to the examination chief conductor to politely ask the members of flying squad to show their identity proofs, especially if they are new faces. Last year when I was a board member I remember a group of people was taking rounds of an examination centre. When asked, they claimed to be flying squad members, but they were not. So, this time, we need to be little cautious.”Meanwhile, Mumbai Division Board secretary SY Chandekar said, “Last year, we did receive a complaint that one such fake flying squad had visited some schools. So to avoid any such confusion this time, we have given the authority to the examination chief conductor to ask for the identity proof of the squad members, who will mostly be education inspectors from the department.”

Kolkata: 14-year-old boy kidnapped, murdered

In a late night development, a 14-year-old boy was found murdered at the Burrabagan area in Kolkata on Sunday.The boy, identified as Bittu Das, was missing since Sunday morning. The kidnappers gave a call to his parents demanding a ransom of Rs 50,000. However, the parents thought that their son was playing a prank and did not heed to the demands. Late on Sunday night, the boy’s body was found near the house.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The boy was kidnapped and later murdered. The body has a lot of external injury marks and we will send the body for post-mortem examination today,” said a senior police official.A team comprising the local officer-in-charge and Deputy Commissioner of South West Division, Rashid Munir Khan had rushed to the spot in the wee hours of Monday morning.Meanwhile, a team of Homicide officials has rushed to the spot to carry out other examinations.

Bengaluru: Class nine student raped by PT teacher

A class nine student was allegedly raped by a physical education instructor at his sister’s home, reports the Deccan Chronicle.The teacher, identified as Lakshmikantha, had lured the student to his sister’s house outside the school’s premises which comes under Jalahalli police station limits. The 35-year-old had repeatedly sexually assaulted the girl between June and November last year. The girl shared the ordeal with her friends who then alerted the school management.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The management then conducted a detailed enquiry and found that the teacher was guilty. They filed a complaint with the Jalahalli police on Tuesday night. Police has filed the case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and the victim has undergone a medical examination. Lakshmikantha has however quit work and gone into hiding.“The place of crime, where he allegedly sexually assaulted the girl, is outside the school premises, which is the accused sister’s house. The victim said that she was assaulted about three to four times between June and November,” said Mr TR Suresh, DCP (North Division). “But the school authorities found out only in January-end when the girl’s classmates informed a teacher, after which an inquiry was initiated by the school management,” Mr Suresh said.Jalahalli police recorded statements of victim and her parents and is on a hunt for the teacher. They have booked him under under Section 376 of IPC (for rape) and Section 6 of the POCSO Act (aggravated penetrative sexual assault).

Political apathy worsens a chronic drought situation for farmers in Bundelkhand

By Badri Narayan

Amid the mood of happy expectancy in the country — with talks of start-ups, smart cities, multi-billion dollar FDI and a windfall of jobs — Bundelkhand stands out as a sore thumb. Up against a chronic drought problem, abysmal poverty and political apathy, the people of this region represent an India we chose to close our eyes against many years ago. Forget about food and clothes, some cannot even afford essentials like salt and oil. Members of the Sahariya tribe are now forced to eat chapatis made of grass.

Lack of arable land, acute shortage of water sources and huge dependency on an extortionistcredit system by the poor – the problems of Bundelkhand, spread across Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, are many. The biggest problem plaguing the rocky region, however, is drought. Between 1871 and 2002, the region witnessed 22 major drought years, according to a report by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation in 2009. Drought affected all districts of Bundelkhand on the UP side between 2004 and 2007 and in 2009, it affected all six districts on MP’s side and five of UP, a 2009 report of the Drought Management Division, Ministry of Agriculture, says.

A village girl carries empty containers to collect drinking water near Chilla village in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh in a file photo. ReutersA village girl carries empty containers to collect drinking water near Chilla village in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh in a file photo. Reuters

A village girl carries empty containers to collect drinking water near Chilla village in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh in a file photo. Reuters

The region has acute scarcity of fertile land unlike Western UP, but this would not be a huge problem if water needs for crops were taken care of. Political indifference has not allowed that to happen. The Betwa accounts for around 50 percent of the water available in Bundelkhand Upland and Bundelkhand Plain sub-regions; the Ken contributes around 25 percent. Both rivers flow through UP and MP. The Betwa, Ken, Pahuj and Dhasan are very important for irrigation in the region. Their seasonal fluctuations however, are very large. For example, the average annual discharge of river Ken is around 800 cusecs, but in winter it is reduced to around 300 cusecs and it dwindles to practically nothing in May. Such fluctuations undermine the security of irrigation, according to the Drought Management Division report.

To make matters worse, the traditional means of irrigation, which include ponds and wells, are now drying up. The declining flow in the rivers has affected other water bodies. Around 70 percent of tanks, ponds and dug-wells have dried up as a result of the steep fall in surface and ground water table, the report says. The Center had sanctioned Rs 18 crore for restoration of Bela Pond, one of the biggest water bodies here. However, poor execution has resulted in no improvement in its condition.

Apart from agriculture, this region also needs alternate occupations such as enterprises, businesses and tourism, and work under schemes like MNREGA, to cater to livelihood issues. This would only be possible when the state and political parties make conscious efforts in that direction. Also, the poor peasants of the region need to be freed from the clutches of debt through right government intervention.

All this calls for short and long duration policy planning. Also it is important that the state ensures time-bound and committed implementation of its policies and controls widespread corruption. The problem of policy formation for the Bundelkhand region is that policies have a top down approach, which fails in ground-level implementation. Under the Bundelkhand Special Package, a fund of Rs 4,400 crore was released in the 12th Plan period (2012-2017). The mandis or markets created under this benefited the authorities and contractors and still there is no concrete roadmap for its implementation. The actual beneficiaries have been local mafias, dominant farmers with links to political parties, and corrupt officials – not the farmers, the poor or the Dalits who form the major share of Bundelkhand’s population.

The development model of this region has numerous loopholes. The poverty here is not only nature generated but also the result of systemic failure, which includes poor administrative policies and ineffective governance.

Former Army Chief Gen K V Krishna Rao passes away

Former Army Chief General K V Krishna Rao, who played a key role in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, died here today at the military hospital following a cardiac arrest. He was 92.Rao also served as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir at a time when militancy was at its peak in the state. Rao was the 14th Chief of the Army Staff of Indian Army and had an illustrious career spanning over four decades in the force. He was commissioned into the Army on August 9, 1942. As a young officer, he had served in Burma, North West Frontier and Baluchistan during the Second World War.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During extensive Punjab disturbances in the run up to the partition in 1947, he served both in East and West Punjab. He also participated in the 1947-48 war against Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. He was a founder Instructor of the National Defence Academy during 1949-51.Rao had commanded a brigade in the forward area of Ladakh during 1965-66, an infantry division in Jammu Region during 1969-70 and a Mountain Division engaged in counter insurgency operations in Nagaland and Manipur during 1970-72.During this period, his Division also participated in the 1971 India-Pakistan War in Eastern Theatre and was instrumental in the capture of Sylhet area and liberation of North-East Bangladesh, an Army statement said. He was awarded the Param Vishist Seva Medal for displaying outstanding leadership, courage, determination and drive during this war.Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar condoled his death and said “the country has lost one of our best known military leaders. He was a visionary who led ably, inspired a generation of soldiers and initiated modernisation of the Indian Army in the early 1980s.”Rao’s contribution in the 1971 War and maintaining the unity and integrity of the country shall always be remembered, he said. Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag also condoled the demise of Krishna Rao.During 1975-76, he was also the Chairman of the Expert Committee constituted by the government on re-organisation and modernisation for future defence of the country. He served as Deputy Chief of Army Staff at Army Headquarters during 1978-79. Subsequently, he was promoted and served as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Command during 1979-81.Rao was appointed as Chief of Army Staff on June 1, 1981 and served in that capacity till July 1983. He was also the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, the highest appointment in the Services, during March 1982 to July 1983.From June 1984 to July 1989, Rao was the Governor of the North Eastern States of Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura. He was also the Governor of Mizoram in June 1988, and March to July 1989. Rao was appointed as the the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir during 1989-90.”When a proxy war developed in Jammu and Kashmir and reached its peak, he was reappointed as Governor and served there from March 1993 to May 1998. In this capacity, he was instrumental in restoring peace and democracy in the insurgency-riven state,” the statement said.PDP president Mehbooba Mufti today expressed grief over the death of former Army Chief General K V Krishna Rao who also served as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Mehbooba conveyed heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and prayed for the peace of the departed soul, a PDP spokesman said in a statement.Rao was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir for the first time from July 11, 1989 to January 19, 1990 and the second time from March 13, 1993 till May 2, 1998. Rao governed the state under Governor’s Rule and ensured successful parliamentary and assembly elections in the state in 1996.

Now, mobile-phone jammers to check cheating at exam centres

In order to prevent hi-tech cheating, statutory examination-conducting bodies have been allowed to use mobile-phone jammers.In a new policy notified by the cabinet secretariat – the nodal authority for granting permission and clearance for use and procurement of jammers – examination bodies have been allowed to take the equipment on a lease basis.However, unlike security agencies, they cannot procure or own the jamming equipment.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Last year in May, the Bihar police arrested 13 students using hi-tech blue-tooth devices for copying in the Bihar Combined Entrance Examination Board (BCEB) exams.In 2014, some 100 people who were helping candidates through electronic tools during the written test for police recruitment were nabbed outside examination centres.The notification says that in order to guard against random proliferation of jammers as well as to ensure that they don’t unduly interfere with existing mobile-phone networks, a permission from secretary (security) in the cabinet secretariat has been made mandatory.Among the bodies allowed to procure jammers include state police forces, jail authorities and central government agencies like Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).Though no official was willing to come on record, it is believed that defence forces have been excluded from the list, following the controversy around the now-defunct Technical Support Division (TSD) procuring jammers in the past under the instructions of then army chief and now Union minister VK Singh.The jammers imported by TSD for evaluation purpose could not be accounted for after the government decided to close the unit.Last year, the Delhi government decided to install jammers to stop cheating in examinations for government jobs. It used them on a pilot basis for a clerk-level exam.That experiment hit a controversy with the Union government as the state government invited applications from service providers for procurement of jammers.The cabinet secretariat has now come out with detailed policy guidelines. One of it is that the examination body can deploy jammers in sensitive examination centres after seeking approval in an approved proforma.They can as well send examination calendars in advance, so that their requirement can be processed and a consolidated clearance can be granted on annual basis.Examination bodies can take jammers only on a lease basis from vendors. Also, they should be approved and manufactured by either the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) or Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).The operation of jammers should be the responsibility of the concerned vendor to avoid any local tampering at the examination centre. The jammers effectively disable cellular phones. They transmit on the same radio frequencies as mobile phones, thus disrupting the communication between the phone and the mobile phone base station in the tower.In May last year, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to install phone jammers at exam centres to prevent paper leaks and other malpractices. The directive had come after alleged cheating in the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT). Many aspirants had sim cards stitched to their shirts and had blue-tooth devices. Over 350 calls were made to the various exam centres.

Punjab SP Salwinder Singh appears before NIA for questioning

The third and the main case, registered at Police Station Division No. 2 Pathankot, relates to the terrorist attack on the Air Force Station.

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Will continue to pursue the Jammu and Kashmir flag case: original petitioner

A two-member Division Bench of the High Court yesterday stayed the order of the single bench which had directed hoisting of the state’s flag on official buildings and vehicles of constitutional authorities, triggering a political storm. Khan told reporters that he would continue to “pursue the case as the state flag was a symbol of Kashmiri nationalism.” He also appealed to the High Court Bar Association of Kashmir to plead his case. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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