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Pampore attack: Army salutes heroes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eyes went moist and patriotism filled the hearts when the last post was sounded to pay homage to the three fallen heroes of Pampore. Three soldiers were killed when militants ambushed an Army convoy on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu national highway at Kadlabal area of Pampore in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday. The convoy was on its way to Srinagar from Jammu. Most of the soldiers were returning to rejoin their duties in the Valley after visiting their homes.One of three martyrs hailed from Pune, Maharashtra. Thirty-three-year old gunner Farate Sourabh Nandkumar of Bhekrai Nagar, Pune had joined the Army in 2004 and is survived by his wife Sonali Sourabh Farate and twin daughters.Hailing from Kotolipram, Kannur district in Kerala, Naik (gunner) Ratheesh C, 35 had joined Army in 2001 and is survived by his wife Jyoti Krishna Kumar and a son.Only 24, gunner Shashikant Pandey had four years of service in the Army and was in fact on his way to join his unit in the Valley. Survived by his parents, gunner Pandey hailed from Zharian, Dhanbad district in Jharkhand.On Sunday, Indian Army paid befitting tributes to three of its comrades who embraced martyrdom.In a solemn ceremony at Badami Bagh Cantonment, Srinagar, many senior officials from the civil administration and other security agencies joined Lieutenant General JS Sandhu, General Officer Commanding 15 Corps and all ranks in paying homage to the martyrs on behalf of the nation.“The mortal remains of the martyrs will be flown for last rites to their native places where they will be laid to rest with full military honours,” said an army spokesman here.On this occasion, Indian Army pledged to extend all help to the families of the fallen heroes of Pampore. “In this hour of grief, the Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families of the martyrs and remains committed to their needs and well-being,” said the spokesman.Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Dalbir Singh Suhag also paid tributes to the fallen heroes of Pampore. “COAS and all ranks salute supreme sacrifice of our martyrs and offer condolences to the families of the brave hearts of Pampore,” tweeted Additional Directorate General of Public Information (ADGPI) of Indian Army.

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Pampore attack: Army conducts intensive search, cordons off three villages after militants kill three jawans

Following the Saturday’s attack on an Army convoy in Pampore that claimed the lives of three soldiers, the Indian Army on Sunday conducted a house to house search in the area in a quest to nab the militants behind the attack.

According to a report by India Today, the Indian Army has cordoned off three villages in the region and a massive search operation is on in the region.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

In the lethal attack on an army convoy on Saturday, three Indian soldiers were killed, while two other jawans were injured. The attack was staged at a place crowded with civilians in Pampore of Jammu and Kashmir on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

According to a report in PTI, army sources said that the militants were able to inflict casualties as the forces exercised restraint and did not retaliated in order to avoid civilian casualties.

The army convoy was on its way from Jammu to Srinagar when the attack took place in Pampore.

Preliminary investigations suggest that the militants might have used motorcycles to carry out the deadly attack and search operations were going on in the surrounding areas since Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army on Sunday payed tribute to the martyrs: Naik (Gnr) Ratheesh, Gunner Farate Sourabh Nandkumar and Gunner Shashikant Pandey.

In a solemn ceremony at Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar, many senior officials from security agencies including Jammu and Kashmir Police, CRPF, BSF and SSB, joined General Officer Commanding, Chinar Corps, Lt Gen J S Sandhu and all ranks in paying homage to the martyrs. Many officials from the civil administration, including Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmed Khan were also present on the occasion.

“Martyr Naik (Gnr) Ratheesh C (35) had joined army in 2001 and hailed from Kotolipram, Kannur district in Kerala and is survived by his wife and a son,” an Indian Army official told PTI.

He said 33-year-old Gunner Farate Sourabh Nandkumar of Bhekrai Nagar village in Pune of Maharasthra had donned the uniform in 2004 and is survived by his wife and twin daughters.

Gunner Shashikant Pandey (24) had four years of service and was on his way to join his unit in the Valley. Hailing from Zharian area of Dhanbad district in Jharkhand, he is survived by his parents, the official said.

The mortal remains of the martyrs would be flown for last rites to their native places where they would be laid to rest with full military honours, he said.

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Dec 18, 2016 17:54 IST

Najeeb Ahmed missing case: JNUSU promises full cooperation to police search in campus

File image of the JNU campus. JNU websiteFile image of the JNU campus. JNU website

File image of the JNU campus. JNU website

New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru Students Union (JNUSU) on Thursday promised “full cooperation” to police search on the campus to trace MSc student Najeeb Ahmed who went missing two months back after a scuffle allegedly with ABVP affiliated students.

“JNUSU will extend its full cooperation in finding Najeeb. Delhi High Court’s direction to the Delhi police to search the university campus accommodation, ad-block, and the green areas using sniffer dogs, has long been a demand of JNUSU,” president of the students union Mohit Pandey said in a statement.

The Delhi High Court today directed the police to “scan” the entire campus, including hostels, classrooms and rooftops, of the varsity by using sniffer dogs. The court also asked Delhi Police to take all necessary steps without further loss of time to trace Najeeb, saying there has been delay in recording statements of some students suspected of thrashing him a day before his disappearance. Pandey said that, the Delhi police should have done this right in the beginning when they could not find Najeeb.

“JNUSU has been pointing out this lapse on the part of Delhi police even in its submission to the petition in the Court. We appeal to everyone to please cooperate with the High Court directions and in our struggle to find Najeeb” he said. Najeeb disappeared after scuffle with alleged ABVP students at his hostel.

First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 09:11 IST

JNU’s ‘Freedom Square’ barricaded by steel wall, students cry foul

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) barred its students from organising protests at its administration block, the varsity barricaded the space on Monday.The area outside the administration block is popularly known as “Freedom Square” after the February 9 incident, when anti-national slogans were allegedly raised by a few students, following which three were arrested, including the then students’ union President Kanhaiya Kumar.The varsity administration has been at loggerheads with students following the mysterious disappearance of MSc student Najeeb Ahmed, who went missing on October 15 after a scuffle with ABVP members at the Mahi Mandavi hostel.Students said they noticed the barricade late on Sunday night when they reached the spot after organising a protest march over the varsity’s alleged attempt to shield Najeeb’s “assaulters”.”We were returning after a protest march against the Vice-Chancellor’s attempt to shield ABVP members who assaulted Najeeb at about 1 am on Sunday when we saw the barricade obstructing Freedom Square,” said JNU Students’ Union President Mohit Pandey.Terming it as an attempt to crush students’ freedom to dissent, Pandey said, “The VC is constantly trying to crush the voices raised against him and his administration. First they sent us notices telling us not to organise protests at the administration block, and now they have turned it into a jail-like structure.”The administration officials, however, claimed the decision was taken due to a space crunch at the building. The barricaded space will now be used for official purposes only. “The fence has been put up on the inner side of the block to make some space,” an official said.Recently, the VC’s office issued notices against some students, including Pandey, for putting up posters at the administration block. They has also barred students from organising protests in the area.

Najeeb Ahmed’s kin says JNU ‘shielding’ assaulters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Almost two months after the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmed went missing following an altercation with some ABVP members, the varsity administration on Thursday said the proctorial inquiry report has identified the students involved in the scuffle. The report also recommended that strong warning be issued against the students involved, even as Najeeb’s family and protesting students called it yet another attempt to “shield” the attackers.A statement issued by the varsity administration read: “The Office of the Chief Proctor has submitted its Proctorial Inquiry Report on the incident of Mahi-Mandavi Hostel. The report has identified the students involved in the reported scuffle, and has recommended their immediate transfer from their present hostel. It has also recommended that a strong warning be issued to these students against repeating such scuffles in the future.”It further stated: “The Vice-Chancellor has approved the report and has suggested that after Najeeb is found, the disciplinary action awarded by the Warden’s Committee for vacating the hostel premises may be revisited,” adding that the administration appeals to Najeeb to return to the campus without any “apprehension”.“Is this what they call justice? They are trying to portray that Najeeb disappeared voluntarily. But we were expecting something like this only from them. We are not at all surprised by the statement they have issued,” said Najeeb’s sister Sadaf Musharraf.The varsity students further said that this was the “mildest” punishment recommended for someone who nearly “lynched” a person. “Even the Delhi High Court has recognised the serious facts around the case. Still, the JNU administration is taking such a lenient view to shield the ABVP members,” said JNU Students’ Union President Mohit Pandey.He further said the proctorial inquiry has raised several questions regarding the intentions of the varsity administration. “Why is the report narrating the entire incident still not public?” Pandey asked, adding that they were sure that the Vice-Chancellor has tried to change the report to shield the ABVP members.Najeeb Ahmed, 27, a resident of Badaun district in Uttar Pradesh and a first-year MSc student at JNU, has been missing since October 15 after a scuffle with some ABVP members the night before. The case has been transferred to the Crime Branch of Delhi Police.

2K vacant faculty positions in IITs, 3K in NITs: MoS HRD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 2000 faculty positions in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are lying vacant while over 3000 positions are to be filled up in the National Institutes of Technology (NITs). The vacancies at Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) stands at 212, Minister of State for Human Resource Development ​ Mahendra Nath Pandey said in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.Out of the sanctioned 5,073 faculty positions in IITs, 2,671 are vacant and 3,183 are vacant out of 5,428 positions in the NITs. The sanctioned strength in IIMs is 703. “There is no adverse effect on studies in the institute due to shortage of faculty, as the same is adequately compensated by the research scholars, contract, adjunct and visiting faculty,” the reply said.As regards to SC/ST category (non-faculty) posts in IITs, over 350 are vacant as against the total capacity of around 1,500. “IITs make efforts to fill all the reserved posts by conducting special recruitment drive through adverstisements. However, due to non-availability of suitable candidates from these categories, some posts remain vacant,” another reply said.

Toll collection resumes, traffic situation under control

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As toll booths resumed operations from 12 am on Friday, the traffic situation remained relatively smooth around toll booths across the country.On November 9, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, toll collection on national highways was suspended.Ministry of Road Transport and Highways sources said that deploying more staff across toll booths and keeping sufficient cash of lower denominations made collection smoother. Speaking to DNA, PC Grover, Director of National Highways Builders Federation, said that installation of Point Of Sales (POS) machines in almost 90 per cent of the booths made toll collection faster.”Not everyone was paying Rs 2,000 and seeking change. The toll booths had a bigger manpower and change was readily available. But, yes, we got the feedback that more cash is required,” he said.Reports from Bihar showed that the situation remained smooth on Saturday, with officials making advance preparations to tackle the cash crunch. “There was a slight panic among people but no untoward incident was reported from anywhere,” said Prabhat Ranjan Pandey, in-charge of multiple toll plazas in Bihar, including those in Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur and Begusarai districts.According to MK Pandey, manager of multiple toll plazas on NH 57, at least 8-10 POS machines have been installed at every toll plaza. “We are accepting Rs 2,000 notes, but returning the due change is a bit problematic,” said Pandey.However, the situation in Maharashtra was different. Long queues were seen on all toll plazas, including the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the old highway between the two cities and the Vashi toll booth on the Sion-Panvel highway.Although the booth operators claimed that adequate arrangements had been made, paucity of change and weekend rush led to long vehicular queues. Traffic police were deployed to clear the roads.Amin Sheikh, on a day-long trip out of the city, said: “The main concern is that Rs 2,000 note is not being accepted by anyone, including toll collectors. They insisted on Rs 100 note, when I gave a Rs 2,000 note. As I did not have Rs 100 note, I finally offered him a Rs 500 note.”A spokesperson of IRB Infrastructure, which collects tolls from 60 points across the country, said: “We have facilitated credit card and debit card payments at different points and lanes access the county. POS, Paytm and MobiKwik facilities were also arranged.”He said that they would soon install Electronic Toll Collection (ETC), a computerised system integrated with electronic equipment at toll plazas. “It reads radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on the vehicle’s windscreens and opens the barrier when a vehicle approaches the plaza by deducting certain amount,” said the spokesperson.Naveen Kumar Gupta, general secretary of All India Transport Congress, said that the traffic was smooth in most places but the actual situation could only be judged on Monday as many private cars were off roads on Saturday.”Many truckers also did not leave their destinations. We have suggested to the government that instead of collecting tolls through booths, an additional cess an annual permit for vehicles should be put in place,” he said.

You can use you Aadhaar card as a debit card now

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aadhaar cardholders would soon be able to use their cards to credit or debit money. The move comes in the wake of the government’s efforts to encourage cashless transactions in the country.To avail the service, cardholders will have to enter their Aadhaar ID number and go through a fingerprint or iris scanner verification for electronic transaction. Briefing reporters, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), said that the biometric authentication capacity of Aadhaar will be increased from the current 10 crore to 40 crore a day.”We will create capacity for 40 crore authentications. Yesterday, 1.31 crore Aadhaar-enabled biometric authentications were reported,” Pandey said, adding that awareness would be created about this service.He assured that there would be utmost privacy for all Aadhaar-related transactions. The Aadhaar card can be linked with bank accounts and the Aadhaar-Enabled Payment System (AEPS) can be used for funds transfer, balance enquiry, cash debits, credits etc.NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that an Android mobile app will be launched soon to enable cashless transactions for Aadhaar cardholders.He said that the app will be available in the next 15 days, and it would allow cell phones with external or in-built retina and fingerprint scanners to allow the transactions. Cell-phone manufacturers, he said, will be asked to see if mobiles made in India can have in-built iris and thumb identification system.The government will soon bring in four other options for cashless transactions – Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) for GSM phones, e-wallets and Unified Payments Interface for smartphones, and debit, credit and prepaid cards for PoS machines.He said the government is also working on incentivising cashless transactions and disincentivising cash transactions.Information Technology Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said that the department is providing an incentive of Rs 100 for every merchant enrolled through over 2 lakh common service centres across India.On Thursday, the first meeting of the Committee of Chief Ministers to examine and implement the digital payment systems was held. The meeting was organised by NITI Aayog through videoconferencing. The 13- member committee comprises the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Odisha and Sikkim and the CEO and Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog and other experts.While MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan spoke about a massive education campaign at the grassroots level to popularise digital payments, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis spoke on making cashless instruments more accessible.

Manoj Tiwari, Nityanand Rai appointed BJP’s Delhi and Bihar unit presidents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday appointed party MPs Manoj Tiwari and Nityanand Rai as party’s Delhi and Bihar unit presidents respectively.While Tiwari replaces Satish Upadhyay, Rai replaces Mangal Pandey. Their tenures were long over and new appointments were awaited for the past few months.Rai is a Yadav, a community over which RJD chief Lalu Prasad has a strong hold.His appointment is seen as an effort by the BJP to go beyond the upper castes, its traditional voters, and reach out to the OBCs in the caste-conscious state where it lost to JDU-RJD combine in the last assembly polls.

Najeeb Ahmed case: JNU students union to go on indefinite sit-in

New Delhi: JNU students union on Tuesday decided to start an indefinite sit-in at the varsity’s administration block protesting the university’s decision to not allow protests.

The administration had warned the students union to avoid any protests or demonstration at the venue, which is now known as “Freedom square” or face disciplinary action.

“Today after not getting any reply from administration JNUSU has decided to go for indefinite sit-in at the
administration block against scuttling of protest space and scuttling justice in Najeeb’s case,” JNUSU President Mohit Pandey said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The students are protesting against alleged inaction by the administration on the issue of the missing first year MSc student Najeeb Ahmed. Ahmed went missing from the campus on 15 October after he was allegedly assaulted by ABVP members during a hostel election campaign a night before.

The university on 3 November and on Monday wrote to Pandey to not hold any meetings/ demonstrations near the administrative block or face action. “But it has come to the notice of the administration that you are going to hold a protest at the administrative block. You are once again advised not to hold the above mentioned activity near the administrative block, otherwise necessary disciplinary action will be taken as per university rules,” the letter said.

The administration said that it has received complaints from residents living around and staff working in the block that they are getting disturbed and “such” activities should be held at either Open Theatre or Students’ Activity Centre.

Stating that in 45 days since Ahmed went missing the administration didn’t mention once in any of its reports that Ahmed was allegedly assaulted by group of students connected to ABVP, Pandey said, “JNU administration did not think this case is important for them and did not send anybody to reply in court.”

“Now there is a permanent ban on protests near administration block and JNU administration is threatening
students and JNUSU that do the protests around KC and open theatre and don’t do protest around ad block. VC is in a permanent denial to meet students and reply them.”

“He meets with RSS delegates, with ABVP members but not with union. This is the state of Sanghi administration in our university. A student is missing from university after he was assaulted by ABVP goons. Justice in this case is missing. Accountability is missing,” he added.

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 21:17 IST

Desperate housewives

The BBC’s Vikas Pandey speaks to Indian women who are trying to keep their savings a secret.

DNA Impact: Crowdfunding helps Nepali man pay off hospital loans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Little drops of water make an ocean. Something similar happened in case of 28-year-old Nepali citizen Ram Saha. Until, two days ago, he was reeling under a heavy loan that he had drawn for his son Laxman’s treatment. On Sunday, he was beaming with joy. Of the Rs 1.6 lakh that he had borrowed two months back, upto fifty per cent was repaid by good samaritans around the world who came together to help Ram after reading his story in DNA on September 7 that read—’Nepali man works 24 hours non-stop to pay son’s medical bills.’After many obstacles and misdiagnoses in six hospitals in Nepal and India, Ram landed at private-run Wockhardt Hospital in Mira Road to salvage Laxman’s ruptured liver. Laxman had fallen of the attic in his village and his abdomen had hit the bed, post which he was critically bleeding internally. Ram was having sleepless nights for a month, doing double duty at Kandivali-based Akshar Co-operative Housing Society and later in the evening at a local clinic to pay off his loans.Following the story, DNA received over twenty emails and replies on twitter inquiring how Ram could be helped. One such reader was Hong-Kong based business professional Rishabh Pandey, 33, who offered to run a fortnight-long crowdfunding campaign to raise money for Ram.https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/helpram is the link to the campaign.As many as 37 donors from all over the world, some anonymous, others who identified themselves, donated to the cause an amount ranging from Rs 1500- Rs 7000. Pandey who initiated the campaign chipped in Rs 2000. “Rs 80,000 were transferred to Saha’s account last week. When I read Ram’s story, I thought let me put myself out there and try. Ram went about his work with dignity and never uttered a complaint. I did not feel pity for him, in fact I respected him and that is why I helped him by running the campaign. It is for the first time that I ever did something like this, especially putting myself out there and asking people to join in the cause that I was championing,” Pandey told DNA.”I have received the money and I don’t know how how to express my gratitude for this kind of gesture. Laxman is doing great and I will take him to our village in Nepal this week. He will re-start school,” said Saha.Ambarish Shah, a member of Akshar Co-Operative Society, had lent Rs 50,000 to Ram to repay hospital bills. “I received my money on Sunday. Ram had also raised loans from other persons, whom he will repay with the remained amount,” said Shah.Salonee Pareek, 30, a marketing professional from Ahmedabad who contributed to the campaign said, “It feels good to have helped for a cause. I came across the link on Facebook posted by a friend. When we order a pizza or go out for a movie, we end up spending Rs 2000 or more in one go. For somebody on the other end of the spectrum, this small contribution can make a world of a difference.”

Bhopal jailbreak: Government mulls getting electric fencing for 122 jails

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

Jharkhand: Maoist leader surrenders, to receive Rs 5 lakh as per surrender policy

Wed, 26 Oct 2016-01:05pm , Ranchi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maoist leader Baleswar Oraon, who was carrying Rs five lakh reward on his head, has surrendered before the Jharkhand Director General of Police DK Pandey. Oraon surrendered yesterday and was given a cheque of Rs five lakh. The rebel would also get other benefits under the surrender policy, police spokesman MS Bhatia said. Oraon was a sub-zonal commander of the outfit and member of its Bihar-Jharkhand Special Area Committee. He had decided to surrender on July 14 this year, he said.

17 Congress leaders close to Rita Bahuguna Joshi resign from party

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seventeen Congress leaders in Uttar Pradesh close to their former state chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who last week joined BJP, on Tuesday resigned from the primary membership of the party in her support. Among those who resigned were leaders of the city unit and women wing, said Congress state unit secretary Shabnam Pandey, who led the move.Some 17 leaders in a statement said they have resigned from the primary membership of the party as well as their respective posts, condemning the derogatory comments made against Joshi after she joined the BJP.”We condemn the act of the Congress workers for insulting Bahuguna, who had served the party for 24 years,” she said in a statement.In a jolt to Congress in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, senior party leader Joshi had on October 20 joined the BJP, with her previous party terming her a “betrayer” and one pursuing “selfish politics”.

Case against Arvind Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas: Allahabad HC reserves order

The charge sheet was filed on April 13, 2016 and on October 7, the court of additional chief judicial magistrate, Sultanpur, issued summons against them. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Allahabad High Court on Friday reserved its order on a petition by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas challenging summons issues by a lower court in connection with a criminal case.Petitioner’s counsel Onkar Pandey said during the Lok Sabha elections, an FIR was lodged by the assistant election officer on April 20, 2014, against Kejriwal and Vishwas for allegedly making provocative speeches in Gauriganj area of Amethi district.The charge sheet was filed on April 13, 2016 and on October 7, the court of additional chief judicial magistrate, Sultanpur, issued summons against them. Both the petitioners challenged the proceedings of this case.On behalf of the state government, additional government advocate Shivanath Tilahari opposed the petition.

JNU, freedom of speech and the Left’s licence to bully

A line needs to be drawn in the sand between freedom of expression and unadulterated bullying by the left-wing student unions in the ‘prestigious’ Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The unholy fiasco over 27-year-old student Najeeb Ahmed, who still remains untraceable, is indicative of a larger political ploy where no anarchical behaviour is out of bounds and legality, and logic and reasoning become cuss words on the altar of regressive leftist politics.

To be clear, one isn’t talking of the burning of Dussehra effigies inside the JNU campus, where ‘the triumph of good over evil’ was celebrated by lighting up Ravana’s 10 heads, that included those of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Baba Ramdev and V-C Jagadesh Kumar. Even if in poor taste, the acts fall within the students’ right to dissent and should draw no penal action.

But it is difficult to understand what right was being upheld when 12 of the JNU’s top brass, including a diabetic lady official, were kept confined for nearly 24 hours within the administrative block, without access to food and water by the left-backed JNUSU.

JNU V-C Jagadesh Kumar coming out of his office. PTIJNU V-C Jagadesh Kumar coming out of his office. PTI

JNU V-C Jagadesh Kumar coming out of his office. PTI

The demands of the nearly 200 agitating students ranged from the fantastic “bring back Najeeb immediately” — as if the varsity administration knew about his whereabouts — to the ridiculous “administration acted in an insensitive manner and is trying to shield ABVP culprits”, that indicates either a misunderstanding of the legal-criminal procedure or worse still, a callous disregard for the laws of the land with an eye to score political points.

The events leading to the disappearance of the first-year MSc Biotechnology student on Saturday, following a brawl on campus the night before, are unclear. Contradictory eyewitness reports have emerged, recounting that Najeeb was last seen boarding an auto on 15 October. According to his mother however, Najeeb had called her around 11 am on that day and said that he was waiting for her at the hostel, but was nowhere to be found thereafter.

Meanwhile, JNU has once again turned into a battle zone between ABVP, who allege that they are being wrongfully accused of a crime they did not commit, and left-backed students’ unions who are convinced that the right-wing students’ outfit is responsible for Najeeb going ‘missing’.

The point that should not be lost sight of, however, is that the disappearance of a student from campus is a matter for the police and relevant authorities to investigate.

An FIR has been lodged at the Vasant Kunj North Police Station, the police has launched an inquiry, multiple students have been summoned and the procedure has kicked off in right earnest.

“We have some leads and these are being explored to ensure a safe rescue. Details cannot be shared now,” additional DCP (South) Nupur Prasad was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. A cash reward of Rs 50,000 has been announced for information about him.

About 10 squads investigators have left for Najeeb’s hometown in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, and are gathering information about his whereabouts. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has announced the formation of a Special Investigative Team (SIT) and has asked the police commissioner to expedite the probe.

It’s not as if the wheels of the machinery aren’t moving but when the aim is to turn every issue into a political game and try and score points against the administration – and in turn against the Narendra Modi government at the Centre – then the truth can be bent and subverted to meet narrow ends.

According to the V-C, who along with his colleagues was locked inside their rooms for close to a day, pleading with the agitators that they (administration) are as concerned about the missing student and is determined to help the police in every way to help trace him, bore no fruit.

“They have wrongfully confined us since 2.30 pm with unreasonable demands like bring Najeeb immediately. These things are not in our hands but with the police. We are doing whatever we can. We also want the safe return of Najeeb. But they (students) have not even listened to our pleas. There is a lady official who is unwell and she too is inside,” the V-C was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

On JNUSU president Mohit Pandey’s claim, that the confined officials had access to food and water, India Today quoted the V-C as saying: “We slept on the floor. This is a complete lie that we had been provided food. Our several colleagues are sick and they spent the whole night without any facility…Students have become relentless and adamant and think that we are not doing our best.”

On the students’ charges of insensitivity and laxity in taking action, the V-C said, while speaking to the media, that they have been in constant touch with the police with regards to the search for Najeeb and that the proctorial investigation into the violence had already started.

“How can we take action against any student before the investigation is over. We have to hear all versions and come to a fair decision,” the V-C said.

In between, as the gherao was called off, the issue created a rift between the left-wing student organisations – with some going on to blame JNUSU president Pandey of taking a unilateral decision.

According to a student leader, as quoted by The Telegraph: “Demands from small radical student groups had forced us to do a gherao that wasn’t feasible because it is exam time and the support is low,”

“It’s not yielding anything and the teachers too have withdrawn support,” the student leader said.

The regressive politics of the left has gained in aggression ever since a left alliance of CPIM-backed SFI and CPI-ML’s AISA won the recent student union polls over the right-wing ABVP. Just a few days back, PTI reported about an incident where a section of JNU teachers had accused the student union members of resorting to violence, while a discussion on the feasibility of introducing courses in yoga and Indian culture was going on at a meeting.

Professor Amrita Singh, according to a DNA report, was allegedly abused and attacked inside the university campus by a group of students on 7 October.

“I stepped out of the academic council meeting late Saturday evening, and was immediately surrounded by around 20 students. They started calling me out, abusing me, calling me “sanghi” and didn’t even let me move. When I, along with the JNU registrar and proctor tried to get into our car, we were stopped and surrounded by the students who started banging on the car. Some of them even laid down in front of the car,” Professor Amita Singh, Dean of School of Law and Governance, was quoted, as saying by the newspaper.

For the regressive left, which finds itself increasingly redundant, academic institutions like JNU are an ideal battleground from where political campaigns against the current NDA government can be launched.

Reports have already emerged of an effort to communalise Najeeb’s disappearance, which may come in handy during the upcoming Assembly polls in UP. One won’t be surprised if Najeeb becomes the victim of a larger, more sinister game.

Missing JNU student: VC Jagadesh Kumar spends 22 hrs in lockdown, campus remains divided

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six days after Najeeb Ahmed went missing, protests at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus took an unprecedented turn with agitating students locking down the Vice Chancellor (VC) Jagadesh Kumar and other senior officials in the administrative building for at least 22 hours on Thursday. The campus was divided over JNU Student’s Union (JNUSU)’s decision to call off the blockade, though the Union held that it was just a strategic change of tactics.“We haven’t called off our protest. We have only changed the methodology,” JNUSU spokespersons said. The decision was taken keeping in mind the Academic Council meeting which was scheduled for 2:30 pm, Thursday.Najeeb Ahmed, a first year MSc student who lived in Room No. 106 of Mahi Mandvi hostel on JNU campus, went missing on October 15 allegedly following an altercation with ABVP activists the previous night. The lockdown began on Wednesday when the students lay down in front of the administrative block in which they held the VC and several other senior administrative officials captive, lying down on the ground and asking them to walk over them if they wanted to leave.Shortly before the VC was allowed to leave on Thursday, he had called a press meet inside the block where he was held and appealed to agitating students to call off the blockade stating that otherwise, the “law will take its own course”.The VC claimed that the authorities were taking every possible ef fort to trace the missing student and blamed students for their illegal detention. “We slept on the floor and were not provided food. Several of our colleagues are sick and they spent whole night without any facilities,” VC Kumar said.Rejecting Kumar’s allegations, the JNUSU said that the incident occurred due to the administration’s insensitive handling of the issue. “The blockade is due to the insensitive way of handling the matter of Najeeb Ahmed-the violence against him by ABVP which led to him missing from the campus for over five days now and the JNU administration trying to shield the culprits while refusing to lodge an FIR,” JNUSU President Mohit Pandey said.As soon as the blockade was called off by JNUSU President Mohit Pandey on Thursday at around 2.15pm, a section of students, including activists of BAPSA, AISF, and DSU started protesting, asking Pandey to explain his decision.“We have been sitting here for the last 24 hours pressurising the authorities to step up their efforts in tracing our missing friend. How can JNUSU take this decision abruptly without apprising us about the status of their meeting with the VC?” a student who wished to stay anonymous, asked.“We’ll continue our protest. We don’t care if JNUSU is with us or not. We’ll carry out a march tonight in the campus in support of Najeeb,” said another student.The atmosphere on campus remained tense on Thursday evening. “JNUSU thinks they are the only legitimate body on campus. They have forgotten that we students elected them. They can’t betray us like this. We won’t stop this movement here. We’ll constitute another body without hierarchy to channelise our protest,” a BAPSA activist said.Ahmad’s family, who also blamed the varsity for not taking action to trace their son, remains grief stricken. “Yesterday we got a call from a mortuary to identify a body. Fortunately, it wasn’t our Najeeb,” says Sadaf, Najeeb’s sister. “The administration is not doing anything to trace my son. Had these students not protested, even the media wouldn’t have come,” Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees said. Meanwhile, the Delhi police constituted a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to trace the missing student following a direction from Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for information on Najeeb.

JNU students lock V-C, other senior officials in admin building over issue of missing student

New Delhi: The protests in JNU over a missing student turned volatile on Wednesday with the agitating students locking down the Vice Chancellor and other senior officials in the administrative building.

“We have been locked inside the building since 2.30 pm. There is a female colleague with us who is unwell as she is diabetic,” JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar said on Wednesday night.

Representational image. Firstpost/Tarique Anwar

Representational image. Firstpost/Tarique Anwar

The VC and other senior officials were locked for more than eight hours as the students were lying down outside the administration block, saying the officials were free to walk over them.

The JNU students union defended its stand, claiming there has been no “illegal detention”.

“We have not illegally confined anybody in JNU administrative building. Electricity and all kind of supplies are here. We have also sent food for people inside,” Mohit Pandey, President, JNUSU, said.

Police officials were seen outside the campus, awaiting a nod from the administration to enter the premises.

A large number of students had gathered at the administrative block in the afternoon to protest. After sloganeering and demonstration, the students blocked the gates of the building.

After intervention from the security, the locks were opened, but in the evening as most of the staff left, the students again continued with the blockade.

“The blockade is due to the insensitive way of handling he matter of Najeeb Ahmed — the violence against him by ABVP which led to him missing from the campus for over five days now and the JNU administration trying to shield the culprits while refusing to lodge an FIR,” the JNUSU President said.

The situation remained tense with the Left-backed JNUSU and ABVP levelling allegations and counter-allegations. ABVP alleged that there is inconsistency in the statements of the JNUSU president Mohit Pandey and the roommate of Ahmad.

Meanwhile, at least 12 students were summoned earlier in the day by JNU administration to appear before the proctorial committee in connection with a case involving a missing student amid protests by students who claimed Vice Chancellor acted in an “insensitive” manner on the issue.

A student of School of Biotechnology, Najeeb Ahmed, allegedly went missing on Saturday following a brawl on the campus the night before.

An FIR for kidnapping and wrongfully confining a person was lodged at Vasant Kunj North police station yesterday after the police received a complaint from the student’s guardians.

“The JNU administration had summoned 12 students to depose before the proctorial committee whose names have been associated with the incidence of violence at Mahi-Mandvi hostel on October 14.”

“The committee has also asked anyone who wants to depose to come forward and help in the investigation. Condemning the students for blocking the administrative block, JNU teachers also urged the administration to put more pressure on the police to find Ahmed and appealed for him to return without fear of victimisation,” a statement said.

The vice chancellor and other top JNU officials briefed the media for the first time since the disappearance on 15 October and said that all necessary measures have been taken to trace the boy and is also in touch with the family.

“But we are really concerned about his safety and is constantly in touch with the police providing them whatever information required. We also appeal to Najeeb if his is reading this to return to the university. We assure him of all help,” said Kumar.

Accepting the fact that so far no leads have been made on the episode of Ahmed’s disappearance from the campus, Kumar added, “nobody knows what has happened to him so far”.

“The family had filed a missing complaint and when we approached the police we were already told that an FIR has been lodged by the family,” said Chintamani Mahapatra, Rector of JNU.

Notice to Justice Katju on petition against his comments on beef

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A court in Allahabad has issued notice to retired Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju on a petition accusing him of having made “objectionable” remarks with regard to consumption of beef in his blog posts.Additional Sessions Judge Shuchi Srivastava passed the order on the review petition of advocate Rakesh Nath Pandey, who alleged that Justice Katju has hurt the sentiments of a major section of the society by attacking the Hindu belief that the cow was sacred and seeking repeal of the laws whereby slaughtering cow has been banned in many states.The ADJ has asked Justice Katju to file his reply by the next date of hearing on November 18.The petition was filed by Pandey challenging an order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate whereby his prayer for directing the police to lodge an FIR against Justice Katju was turned down.Justice Katju, who is also a former Chairman of the Press Council of India, has made a series of controversial statements on the communally sensitive issue of cow slaughter and beef ever since possession and sale of beef were made punishable with fine and five years in jail in Maharashtra in January last year.In the wake of the Dadri lynching case of September last year wherein a 50-year-old man was beaten to death near Noida by a mob suspecting him of having slaughtered a cow and consumed its meat, Justice Katju came up with an outpouring of a number of scathing remarks.Recently, in a Facebook post, Justice Katju wrote that he had a “danda” (stick) with which he wished to hit those who made a fuss over the issue of cow slaughter and beef.

Be transparent about Ganesh Pandey molestation case: Shiv Sena urges Maharashtra govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena on Tuesday urged the Devendra Fadnavis government to be transparent about BJP worker Ganesh Pandey molestation case after giving assurance six months back.Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gore has asked the Bombay High Court and National Commission for Women to monitor the State Women Commission’s working.”What we are saying is that Ganesh Pandey is a BJP worker and co worker of Ashish Shelar and the victim women who has sent the letter to State Women commission has taken the name of many influential people,” she said.”State Women Commission would investigate the matter and Chief Minister assured us on March 29, in the state assembly that steps will be taken in this regard but six months have gone by and the State Women commission comes to the decision without proper investigation,” she added”This is a grave situation that people who are fighting will get tired and still don’t get the justice then who will watch the watch dog because it is the duty of Women’s commission to protect the rights of women,” she added.”In this situation we would urge National Commission for Women and High Court to monitor the State Women Commission. They should have given the report within 3 months and it was important to strengthen the report,” Ghore said.”Our Chief Minister is also the Home Minister and he always talks about the women issues. It would be appropriate if the state government informs people about the issue,” she concluded.Seven months after a senior office-bearer accused the then BJP youth wing chief of molesting a the 41-yearold woman at a hotel in UP during a three-day party conclave.The women has told the state women’s commission that it isn’t worth her time to chase the case against Ganesh Pandey, who was booted out of the party right after she levelled the charge.The woman had complained to the BJP city chief on March 22 that Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha chief Pandey, 35, had tried to kiss her in a hotel room in Mathura on March 4 to win a bet, days after which Pandey was stripped of his position and suspended from the party.

UP: Two held for injecting petrol in private parts of minors for alleged theft

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two persons have been arrested and another booked for allegedly thrashing and injecting petrol in the private parts of four persons, including two teenagers, on suspicion that they stole a mobile phone, police said here.One of the accused, Rizzu, is the brother of a local Samajwadi Party leader and runs a milk dairy under Loni police station area. On October 14, he lost his mobile phone and suspected Zaheer Baig (17), Gulzar (16) Fimo and Firoz (both 25), all from the same neighbourhood, of stealing the phone, Superintendent of Police (Rural area) Rakesh Pandey said. Later Rizzu called the four to his dairy where he along with his associates, including Akil and Nadeem, thrashed them before injecting petrol with a syringe in their private parts, the SP said. The victims were rushed to the primary health centre from where they were referred to the district hospital. The condition of Zaheer and Gulzar remained critical and they were further referred to GTB hospital in Delhi for treatment where the doctors bypassed their stool passing track by operating their intestines, he said.An FIR has been lodged at Loni Kotwali police station under section 323 (causing hurt), 504 (insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), 377 (unnatural offences) and POCSO Act, the SP said.Rizzu and Akil have been arrested while Nadeem is still at large, he added.

JNU students burn effigy of varsity administration over ‘notice raj’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Escalating its protest against the alleged ‘notice raj’, JNUSU, on Saturday, burned an effigy of the Varsity administration at the famous Sabarmati dhaba inside the campus.”Any attempt to scuttle student’s right to protest or to shrink democratic spaces by the administration will not be tolerated,” JNUSU president Mohit Pandey said.The JNUSU has written a letter to the chief Proctor and appealed him to take ‘serious’ cognisance into the matter and stop ‘targeting’ students.”Any measure of surveillance and targeting of students will be resisted in every possible way,” the letter reads, adding that the administration should immediately stop sending notices to students for holding protests.Students have also demanded the administration to take immediate action against a section of teachers who were allegedly involved in circulation of a “dossier” that spread discrimination against students from North-East and female activists at the campus.”The administration should stop protecting hate campaigners who distribute anti-Dalit, anti-women, and anti-minority dossiers at the university premises,” Pandey said, adding strict actions should be taken against them.A dossier called JNU ‘den of organised sex racket’ was submitted to the University Administration allegedly by a section of professors last year.Yesterday, a show cause notice was issued against two students, including Pandey, for putting up posters on the walls of Administrative building regarding hostel unavailability.Three show cause notices have been issued by the Varsity in past 15 days; the other two include burning effigies of Gujarat government and recently that of PM Narendra Modi on Dussehra by National Students Union of India activists following which the agitated students have announced a University strike on October 17.

Manohar Parrikar belittling valour of Indian Army: AAP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The AAP on Wednesday accused Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar of “belittling” the valour of the Indian Army, saying his statement over surgical strikes shows that he is indulging in low-grade politics.The party also claimed that the BJP was trying to encash on the issue ahead of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.Rejecting claims that surgical strikes were undertaken during the UPA government, Parrikar asserted that a “major” share of credit for the army action last month goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Speaking at two different events in Mumbai, he said all the 127 crore people of India, including “doubting Thomases”, and the army share and deserve credit for the operation as it was done by the armed forces and not by any political party.”There is no better example of low-grade politics. By issuing such statement, Parrikar is belittling the achievements of the Indian Army, which has had a proud history of valour and sacrifice,” AAP’s Delhi unit convener Dilip Pandey said. He said that Parrikar had also compared the Indian Army to Hanuman who had to be made aware of his powers and by saying this he has “insulted” the army.The AAP leader also lodged a compliant, asking the police to book Parrikar under sedition charges. “The BJP has misused issues ahead of polls. During Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, it got a full page advertisement printed about Chinese incursions. They exploited cow during the Bihar polls and now they are doing this ahead of UP polls,” Pandey said.

Kanpur: Armed robbers loot passengers in three trains

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Armed robbers struck three trains passing through the district, looting at least 12 passengers and assaulting those who resisted them in the wee hours on Wednesday.Government Railway Police said the robbers first barged into the Mumbai-bound Lucknow-LTT Express and started looting passengers. When one of the passengers Ramashankar Pandey resisted the robbery bid, he was thrashed by the robbers, a GRP spokesperson said.The accused then boarded the Vaishali Express and robbed passengers travelling in the sleeper class. They also attacked and injured Devi Singh, who was going to Gorakhpur, when he protested their act, he said.Later, they robbed passengers of Lucknow-Kanpur passenger train and beat up Unnao-resident Lala, the spokesperson said.The robbers escaped after looting the passengers.As the incident took place between Unnao and Kanpur districts, GRP officials were busy deciding the jurisdiction.Later, Kanpur GRP sent the three injured to railways’ Kamla Nehru Hospital.At least 12 passengers in the three trains were robbed, Kanpur GRP in-charge Shyamvrat Yadav said. Out of the three injured, two were sent home after first aid while one of them is admitted to the hospital, he said.An FIR has been registered in the matter by Government Railway Police, he said, adding the number of passengers robbed and booty taken away is yet to be ascertained.

dna Must Reads: Army kills 10 terrorists in Uri attacks, Burari stabbing and more…

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1) Uri sector: Army kills 10 terrorists in an encounter during infiltration bid10 terrorists were killed by the army on Tuesday in Lachipura area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri sector when Pakistani troops violated cease fire along the Line of Control. This incident comes two days after the attack at the army headquarters in Uri.The attack comes amid reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the green signal to diplomatically isolate Pakistan at every international grouping. After the attack, the army said that it reserved the right to respond at a time and place of its choosing even as various options were discussed in a flurry of high-level meetings. Read more…2) Cauvery dispute: SC directs Karnataka to release 6000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu daily till September 27​The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water from the Cauvery river daily from September 21 till September 27.Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara has issued guidelines to the Police, directing them to take precautionary measures. He has also directed the police to keep ready fire engines and required emergency forces at sensitive areas around the Cauvery belt including Bengaluru. The police has also been directed to flag march around sensitive areas and an appeal has been made to pro-Kannada activists and farmers’ associations to maintain peace. Read more…3) Shocking! 21-year-old teacher stabbed 30 times by alleged stalker in Delhi, diesIn a shocking incident, a 21-year-old girl was stabbed to death by the alleged stalker in North Delhi on Tuesday morning. According to reports, Karuna, a teacher at the Novel Reaches School, was stabbed 30 times. The victim was rushed to the hospital in a critical state where she succumbed to her injuries. Read more…4) Akhilesh Yadav puts up a brave face, says ‘Samajwadi Pariwar’ unitedUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday put up a brave face saying ‘Samajwadi Pariwar’ is united to face all challenges. “Samajwadi Pariwar is as united as it was before and, in days to come, the challenges before the state and the government, as communal forces (which) want to make an entry somehow, will be faced unitedly,” the Chief Minister said, a day after his uncle Shivpal, with whom he was locked in a turf war, expelled seven party functionaries, including three MLCs, considered close to him. Read more…5) Here’s what fascinates MS Dhoni: The Untold Story director Neeraj Pandey!Neeraj Pandey said, “I like my stories to be rooted in reality. I love the fact that I’m talking about something that concerns you, me, or a person sitting outside my office. I like it when my stories can show something that has resonance in our lives. I feel comfortable with them, and also I feel they (the stories) need to be talked about.” Read more…

Olympians Sindhu, Sakshi, Dipa: 3 inspirational faces that could become brand icons

Can PV Sindhu become the next sports brand icon in India? She has shown grit, performance and strength of character that has seen her get the elusive medal for India at the Olympics and the first silver medal in badminton. Will we see her selling products that resonate with this can-do-it attitude of hers?

Rio Olympic medal winners: PV Sindhu, Sakshi MalikRio Olympic medal winners: PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik

Rio Olympic medal winners: PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik

Harish Bijoor of Bijoor Consults says Sindhu has what it takes to be a `great’ brand icon. “She has won an Olympics medal and has shown tremendous grit while getting it.”

Concurring with Bijoor’s opinion, Piyush Pandey, Ogilvy & Mather says that Sindhu is a brand in her own right and any brand should be able to use her as long as she is featured in ‘dignified’ commercials. “I hope she does not sell toothpaste and washing soap,” he says.

In the past, we have had Abhinav Bindra, India’s sole gold medallist, who was instrumental in getting the nation to leap up in joy at the country’s first gold medal in any Olympics. Bindra won it for shooting at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. However, he was seen only in a few commercials. Many would find it hard-pressed to recall the advertisement Rajyavardhan Rathore, winner of India’s first-ever silver medal in an individual event — the men’s double trap at the 2004 Athens Olympics. That’s the short-lived glory of memory with regard to Olympics.

Alpana Parida, managing director, DY Works, a Mumbai-based brand strategy and brand design firm, says that when the country was willing to watch Sindhu play and root for her on Friday at the Olympics even as a test match India vs West Indies was on, it shows that a sport like badminton has also caught the eye of the nation. Though that match did not take place on the second day of the fourth test because of rains, the country was backing and hoping Sindhu would get the gold at the Olympics.

Parida says that Bindra’s sport is a lone sport while Mary Kom was widely known after a film was made on her. In the case of Sindhu, the game itself was the high point, says Parida. “You could see her competitive spirit and see her courage, strength of character against her opponent. These qualities become inspirational.”

The advertisements that will echo what Sindhu stands for then must focus on her strength of character and competitiveness, say brand specialists. Bijoor says products that are connected to sports would augur well for Sindhu.

Arun Pandey, founder, Rhiti Sports Management, a player management agency, believes even oil could be a good fit for Sindhu. “Anything that stands for health will work well with Sindhu. Like health drinks, for instance,” he says.

The public memory of an Olympic medal winner is ephemeral. It is thus important for these players to cash in on their image that is bright now.

Pandey of Rhiti Sports cites the instance of hockey. “There have been so many iconic players in hockey and yet how many of them are remembered,” he asks.

He says that it then becomes the responsibility of the sports management agency to make sure the player is represented in a wide range of commercials and get what they deserve.

“When I signed Saina Nehwal in 2011, I had to talk to a number of brands about how she could united a nation with her presence. Some corporates understood the message and signed her. Later, those who did not want to sign her, also came back to sign her. Hence, it is our responsibility as managers of players to communicate to corporates.”

Many believe that Sindhu and the other medal winners like Sakshi Malik and even Dipa Karmakar who came fourth can be the face of inspiration, and not just women’s issues.

“Dipa Karmakar is a great story and any brand should be eager to cast her. She is a woman who braved the odds in a sport that no one in the world expected an Indian in. And she missed the bronze by a whisker,” say an analyst.

Piyush Pandey believes the time has come for other sports to be in the limelight without being overshadowed by cricket. “Some of these players like Saina, Sania are known to India and the Rio medal winners and Dipa Karmakar too will remain in public memory. They are great role models if used meaningfully.”

Four-legged colleague

Goofy, the canine worker of an advertising firm in the southern Indian city of Chennai, has a visiting card and a “corner seat” in the office.

Swathi’s murder in Chennai: It’s easy to blame women for crimes committed against them

By Ila Ananya

Since the morning of 24th June, when Swathi S was murdered at the Nungambakkam railway station in Chennai, the police seem to have surprisingly little information on the identity of the murderer. News reports have circulated this small amount of information for the past few days – that Swathi, who worked at Infosys, was murdered at 6.30 am by a man who approached her and whom she argued with, that nobody on the platform helped her, that the railways station has no CCTV cameras and the police turned up two hours later, and that perhaps the man was a stalker.

The police released photographs of the man who they suspect is the murderer, which they only got because of the CCTV camera installed at a nearby apartment. On Sunday, the police then released more footage of the suspect.

This is the only information we have had over the last four days, but what is strange is the large number of news articles that quote Swathi’s family and friends talking about her ‘character’. Every article that I have read has a quick quote, as an aside, on how Swathi was a nice, reserved girl, who didn’t interact with strangers or men, and disliked any kind of conflict. “She wasn’t involved in any love affair. I urge the media to stop defaming her character as well as the family’s reputation,” Govindarajan, Swathi’s uncle, told the media on Sunday; “She didn’t mingle much with men,” one of her friends said to reporters. But it’s heartbreaking that a defence of her ‘character’ should be needed at all — apart from giving the police clues about who the culprit might have been, would it have made a difference if Swathi had been in a relationship, had not been in a relationship, stayed away from boys, or had several male friends? Could her ability to be soft-spoken and friendly lessen in any way by having relationships with men?

Representational image. CNN News18Representational image. CNN News18

Representational image. CNN News18

The Indian Express carried a photo with one of its articles, from a candlelight vigil held at Infosys for Swathi. The photo has a note that reads, “Killing her character is worst then killing her.” This is a dramatic statement that is simply not true; it is dangerous to privilege her ‘character’ over her life, as though there is something worse than killing her. There isn’t. The photograph is not unlike Sushma Swaraj saying that Jyoti Singh Pandey would be a “zinda laash” if she had survived, as though Singh’s life was somehow less important than the stigma that comes with rape.

K Santhanagopalakrishnan, Swathi’s uncle, also talked to reporters to request the media to refrain from discussing Swathi’s relationship with the man who killed her. Congress National Spokesperson, Khushbu Sundar, who visited Swathi’s house, also said that she was concerned about the media’s “speculation” about the motive behind the killing, and of Swathi’s character.

I remember a conversation with a colleague at work when we were reading articles on the rape and murder of Jisha, and realised it was a similar conversation to one I had had in school, after the rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey. There was some kind of desperate need that seemed to come through in the attempts to establish how gruesome these two rapes and murders were, in the same desperate way that there have been people who try to blame women for inviting rape. It makes me uncomfortable to wonder if there’s something in the way that we report such cases, which has pushed people into this position of defence, this manner of saying again and again that this woman was not of ‘bad character’.

The desire to defend Swathi’s character perhaps comes from the fear that she will be blamed for what has happened to her, simply because she might have been a woman who had a boyfriend, or has been stalked, even though this isn’t her fault. But even this is really just another way of saying that perhaps, just possibly, the crime was ‘asked’ for.

It doesn’t matter that we haven’t defined this term, or that it has come to us from people who tell women how to dress, to talk, to sit, to live. But the term remains damning – it’s the same thing that lets people whisper loudly about what clothes a woman was wearing when she was raped, and what time of the night it was, and who she was with. It’s the same moral judgement that let the Mumbai police feel like it could be negligent of Esther Anhuya’s disappearance in 2014, telling her family that she had probably just eloped and would return soon enough. Weeks later, Anhuya was then found by search parties organised by her family with no police help, murdered and left on the side of a road.

The case is similar for the woman who everybody knows as the Suryanelli girl, who was 16 when she was trafficked in Kerala. When she was brought home, she had to deal with court cases where people said she was a girl of “deviant character”, and “not a normal innocent girl”. The Kerala High Court ruled that there was “no convincing evidence to show that she was not an unwilling partner of sexual intercourse.”

Discussing the murder is perhaps something that can’t be avoided – as in the cases of Jyoti Singh Pandey and Jisha, the degree of violence reported against them continues to act as a gauge for our levels of outrage. But in the process of the discussion of the case, it has somehow become easy to blame women for the crimes committed against them because everyone has moral judgements to make about everything that women do. It is as though women can be victims in every scenario where they are treated as having no agency of their own, except in those of violence against them, when their personal choices become more important than what has happened to them. This is what needs to change.

The Ladies Finger is an online feminist magazine.

‘Jumla’ Modi regime has become ‘restless’: AAP

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday alleged that the ‘jumla’ BJP government is coming up with unwarranted allegations with regard to the advertisements circulated to manipulate the media and said that the ruling dispensation at the Centre has become restless because of the new benchmark of governance set in Delhi.”The restlessness is because the Delhi Government is setting a new benchmark of governance and within one-and-a-half year people have started comparing that the working government has gone far ahead of the ‘jumla’ government. This is the reason for allegations and counter allegations,” AAP leader Dilip Pandey said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Escalating his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, Pandey said the problem with the present regime is that they are keen on highlighting the initiatives taken by them. “The AAP Government has left the Central Government far behind as far as implementation of work is concerned. Now, Modiji doesn’t have any work left to propagate to the nation. It would be better if he introspects. You can hear Fadnavis’ ads in Delhi, there are hoardings of Manohar Lal Khattar in many places in Delhi. So, when you point fingers at others, even you get blamed. Jaitley ji should know this fact,” he added.According to reports, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assailed the AAP government in Delhi, saying the government is using advertising funds to manipulate the media. “While ‘friendly’ media is being given advertisements, media houses which are critical of the AAP government are being denied ad revenue,” Jaitley said in an interview.

Kashmir’s ‘much-needed’ ladies-only buses

The BBC’s Geeta Pandey takes a ride on a bus service launched exclusively for women in Indian-administered Kashmir.

NDMC estate offcier’s murder: No evidence against Mahesh Girri, Karan Singh Tanwar, says Delhi Police

Delhi Police on Thursday gave clean chit to BJP MP Maheish Girri and NDMC vice-chairman Karan Singh Tanwar saying the investigators have not come across any evidence against them in the probe into the murder of NDMC estate officer M M Khan.On May 16, Khan was shot dead a day before he was scheduled to pass the final order on the lease terms of hotel ‘The Connaught’ which was functioning on a property leased by the civic body. Police arrested the owner of hotel, Ramesh Kakkar, and five others in connection with the murder.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In the investigation so far we have not come across any evidence against Kanwar Singh Tanwar and Maheish Girri,” Special Commissioner of Police (Law & Order/South) P Kamraj said.A senior official added that their names had emerged during the course of investigation, but there was no evidence against them. This was met with sharp criticism from the AAP saying the Delhi Police should not act as “spokesperson” for the BJP leaders. The party’s Delhi unit convenor Dilip Pandey demanded Tanwar and Girri should first be arrested and their call records probed.”Till now the Delhi Police has probed the role of extortion very well. But you (police) don’t have to give the BJP leaders a clean chit from your side. Karan Singh Tanwar does not become innocent if the Delhi gives him a clean chit,” Pandey said.”A cover letter to LG office was also forwarded by Maheish Girri, who had also taken Ramesh Kakkar (the main accused in Khan’s murder) to the LG office,” Pandey claimed.In response to AAP’s allegations, Girri had challenged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for a public debate over his allegations in Khan’s murder. He dared Kejriwal to prove the charges or quit politics. Today, Tanwar also threatened to sue AAP leaders over the allegations.”AAP has played dirty politics to trap me in M M Khan’s murder and police’s clean chit has proved that. I will file civil and criminal cases against those who have conspired to defame me and my party,” Tanwar said.Kejriwal, in his letter to Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, had accused him of “saving” Girri and Tanwar in connection with Khan’s murder case. The Delhi CM went on to allege that Jung has “beautifully” saved the two from questioning by police which, he said, must have “pleased” Modi.

Modi govt has reduced women’s security issue into a ‘joke’: AAP hits out at BJP

New Delhi: Attacking the Centre over non-disbursement of Nirbhaya Fund, AAP on Friday accused the Narendra Modi government of reducing the serious issue of women’s security into a “joke”.

Flanked by AAP’s women legislators — Alka Lamba, Rakhi Birla and Sarita Singh — the party’s Delhi unit convenor Dilip Pandey said that the Centre is yet to have a policy on women’s security or a national law for compensation in case of crime against women.

After the rape of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi in December 2012, the Centre had created Nirbhaya Fund which could be used for the security of women.

Referring to BJP President Amit Shah’s press conference where he presented the report card of Modi government in two years in office, Pandey said there was no reference of women’s security in it.

A file photo of Narendra Modi. PTIA file photo of Narendra Modi. PTI

A file photo of Narendra Modi. PTI

“The Modi government has reduced a crucial issue of women’s security to a joke,” Pandey alleged.

He said BJP leaders are in “ostrich mode” as they have “failed” to see the “failures” of the Modi government. He claimed that employment has reached its all time low and growth in core sectors too has reached “nadir”.

Rohtas Nagar MLA Sarita Singh demanded a special session on women’s security in Parliament, similar to one organised by Delhi government.

She said if Modi government was so serious about women’s security then why has it not given assent to the bills passed by the Delhi Legislative Assembly.

“Why has the Centre not yet disbursed the Nirbhaya funds two years after coming to power and what is the status of the fund? The High Court and the Supreme Court has lashed out at the Modi government several times for not releasing the Fund.

“There was no reference of women’s security in Amit Shah’s press conference. When there is a compensation policy in Goa and Odisha, why is there no policy at the national level? Does the Centre have any policy on women’s security? Should we consider that the claims made by BJP on women’s security as ‘jumla’?” Pandey said.

Chandani Chowk legislator Alka Lamba said records show that crime against women has risen since 2014.

“The Modi government has said that there should be one- stop centre for women, but of all the districts in the country, only 14 districts have such functional centres,” Lamba said.

Rakhi Birla charged that crime against women and dalits have risen ever since the Modi government has come to power.

Microsoft, Facebook to build transatlantic subsea cable | Reuters

Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc have agreed to jointly build a subsea cable across the Atlantic Ocean to meet growing demand for high-speed cloud and online services.

The construction of the new “MAREA” cable will begin in August and it is expected to be completed in October 2017, the companies said in a statement on Thursday.

The 6,600 kilometer cable, the first to connect the United States with southern Europe, will be operated and managed by Telefonica SA’s telecoms infrastructure unit Telxius.

The cable is initially designed to carry 160 terabits of data per second, the companies said.

The move comes nearly two years after Google Inc, which is now Alphabet Inc, agreed with five Asian companies to invest about $300 million to develop and operate a trans-Pacific cable network connecting the United States to Japan. (reut.rs/1P0LEvN)

(Reporting by Kshitiz Goliya in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

I challenge Rahul Gandhi to speak about power and water crisis for half an hour: AAP’s Kapil Mishra

Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra challenged Rahul Gandhi to a debate on water and power “crisis”, a day after it was announced that the Congress vice president will hit streets on May 28 against the alleged electricity and water shortage in the national capital. “I want to challenge Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to debate with me on power and water crisis as his party is claiming. I also want to challenge Gandhi to speak on these two issues for half an hour during his party’s torchlight procession,” Mishra said here. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP’s Delhi unit convener Dilip Pandey also hit out at the Congress scion and advised him to focus on states where his party was in power.”The situation of water and electricity supply is much better in Delhi than the areas where Congress is in power. I believe you should focus on them so that you don’t lose out on votebank there. Do tell me if you need any help in improving the supply in those areas,” Pandey said in a letter to Gandhi.He said he will meet Gandhi at the torchlight march on May 28.”Welcome to the politics of Delhi Rahul Ji. It would be better if you leave the responsibility of opposing wrong policies of the Narendra Modi government on Arvind Kejriwal.You are not even able to do that properly,” he said. “To privatise electricity supply in Delhi, Congress leaders Sheila Dikhit and Ajay Maken indulged in corruption,” he alleged, adding, “AAP has pulled up the discoms (power distribution companies) after it came to power and has improved the situation.”

Mumbai: Save mangroves with special staff, activists tell BMC

Activists fighting to save pristine belts of mangroves across Mumbai wants BMC to deploy dedicated staff for mangroves — a move they feel will not only add more teeth but also go a long way for better protection as well as management of the mangroves and wetlands in the city.”We have written to the municipal commissioner that there is an urgent need of dedicated officials to be appointed zone-wise in the wards with mangrove cover, who will attend to cases of environment violations as Mumbai is constantly witnessing rapid destruction of wetlands and mangroves. It is always observed that the initial corrective steps from BMC is delayed due to lack of trained manpower or dedicated staff to tackle environmental violations,” said Harish Pandey, activist and president of New Link Road Residents Forum (NLRRF) that has been successful in saving several stretches of mangroves in the Dahisar and Borivli regions.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former mayor and councillor Shubha Raul, who is involved in raising the issue of mangrove land being reclaimed by dumping debris, supported the demand. “What is the harm if BMC also cracks a whip on those found destroying mangroves? In fact, Chennai has set up a full-fledged team dedicated to protect mangroves. So, why can’t BMC have one,” she questioned.A senior BMC official said: “It’s not that BMC can’t do much as on several occasions BMC demolished encroachments and booked the trucks dumping debris on wetlands. It should ideally be the responsibility of the environment department at every ward level but they are only given responsibilities to manage garbage in the wards.”

Delhi HC rejects review plea seeking action against ex-top cop BS Bassi

Delhi High Court on Friday rejected a petition seeking review of its earlier order dismissing a plea for action against the then Police Commissioner BS Bassi for allegedly “influencing” the probe in the sedition case against JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and others. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath observed that there was no ground to review their order passed on February 29. “We do not find any ground to review the order. You can not raise such a issue in a PIL (public interest litigation). The review petition is dismissed,” the bench said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bench had on February 29 dismissed the plea observing it was for “publicity interest” and courts cannot be burdened with such applications. Petitioner Satish Pandey had earlier alleged in his plea that Bassi’s statement that police would not oppose Kanhaiya’s bail plea could influence fair and transparent investigation in the matter as well as court proceedings. Kanhaiya was subsequently granted interim bail for six months by the Delhi High Court. During the hearing today, Pandey told the bench that the statement given by Bassi, who was the then police chief, may have influenced the probe in the case. “I do not want any order against anybody. I just want that such type of person holding higher authority should not have given such statement. It may have influenced the investigation in the matter which was then at an initial stage,” he said. The petitioner had earlier referred to newspaper reports and had said that his plea was based on the statement given by Bassi which was widely published in the media. He had claimed that police was “playing into the hands of some political parties under whom Delhi Police is working” and Bassi should be directed to clear his views on the statements allegedly given by him on February 16 and 17.

Why Tamil Nadu may soon ban alcohol

Tamil Nadu may soon become the latest Indian state to ban alcohol, writes the BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Chennai.

Ishrat Jahan case: PP Pandey, GL Singhal get court nod to visit abroad

A special CBI Court on Monday granted permission to in-charge Gujarat DGP P P Pandey, an accused in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case who is currently on bail, to travel abroad for two months.The court presided by Judge S J Raje, also allowed another IPS officer G L Singhal, Pandey’s co-accused, to travel abroad for a month. The Judge gave the nod to the police officers by modifying their bail conditions that barred them from leaving India. Both Pandey and Singhal were asked to deposit Rs 2 lakh each as security money.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The two IPS officers, chargesheeted in the alleged fake encounter case of 2004 and currently out on bail, had moved the Court with pleas to modify their bail conditions so that they could go abroad. Pandey told the court he wanted to visit the UK to meet his son and his family and also conduct research for his PhD. Singhal, on the other hand, sought relief on the ground he needed to visit universities abroad in connection with higher education of his daughter. The two police officers were named along with five others in the first charge sheet filed by CBI in July 2013.The case relates to alleged fake encounter killing of Mumbai-based 19-year-old college girl Ishrat Jahan and others accompanying her, Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana, by police on the city’s outskirts on June 15, 2004. The police had then claimed they were on a terror mission.Other officers named in the charge sheet included N K Amin, D G Vanjara and their subordinates Tarun Barot, J G Parmar and Anaju Chaudhary. In the charge sheet, the central agency had said the encounter, a joint operation between Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau, was stage-managed. Pandey, Director of Anti-Corruption Bureau, was given the additional post of in-charge DGP last month, while Singhal serves as Group Commandant in State Reserve Police.

UP police introduce ‘criminal tracking app’ for women’s safety

Ghaziabad: Uttar Pradesh Police on Sunday introduced a ‘criminal tracking app’ which is hoped to offer help, especially to office-going women who commute by auto rickshaws.

Launching the app, Inspector General of Uttar Pradesh Police (Meerut zone) Sujeet Pandey claimed the app is the first of its kind in the country.

Stating that the app works offline too, Pandey told media its important feature is that it opens a person’s criminal record on voice sense.

UP police. File photo. AFPUP police. File photo. AFP

UP police. File photo. AFP

If operated online, the police would be able to access data of over a lakh criminals that would be stored in it at later stages. Though it is at present being tried as a pilot project in Ghaziabad, it will be introduced in range and in zone, state and the country soon, Pandey said.

It is India’s first such app which contains the criminals’ information. The app contains a data base, collected from District Crime Record Bureau (DCRB), auto survey, vehicle records from transport department and jail.

In a demonstration of the app, Pandey called a criminal’s name loudly over the device as Deepak. The entire criminal record of about 50 individuals named Deepak was soon visible on the screen. Now if police want to zero in on a particular Deepak, a filter provision is given in the app, the IG demonstrated before the media persons.

“Likewise the three-wheeler’s record which will be boldly written on the rear of the vehicle, through which the women passengers could message the details to their families before occupying a seat in the auto.”

“For example, if a woman takes an auto-rickshaw from Vaishali, its unique number would be displayed on the back as V-1. If the woman sends V-1 (on SMS) to her home, the entire details would be displayed on the device through this app. This is very beneficial for the woman passengers,” the officer added.

Salman Taj Patil, Ghaziabad (City), superintendent of police, demonstrated the operation of the app with the help of software engineer Ishan Sinha at in an auditorium at the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad.

VIDEO: Where only film stars win elections

Film stars enjoy legendary status in movie-mad India, and in one state that has led to five-decades of political success for actors and actresses.

Bihar panchayat polls: 1 killed in violence, 55% voter turnout in first phase

Stray incidents of violence, in which one person was killed, marred the first phase of the three-tier Bihar panchayat polls which recorded a 55% voter turnout.One person was killed when two groups clashed with firearms at Daulatpura village in Hishua block of Nawada district while a few others sustained injuries, State Election Commissioner (SEC) A K Chauhan said. Nawada SDPO Sanjay Kumar Pandey said the deceased was identified as Sunil Kumar Singh and three person who also sustained injuries in the clash were admitted to a hospital.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Except this, the polls passed off peacefully and a total of 55 per cent of voters’ turnout was recorded in the first phase, Chauhan told reporters. He said the voting percentage may slightly increase once the final figures reach the Commission.Polling in first phase was held in 60 blocks of 38 districts where 55 per cent of 61,25,167 voters exercised their franchise, he said. Altogether 310 persons were arrested, while 16 vehicles and 10.8 litres of illicit liquor were seized, the SEC said. Chauhan said the Commission received reports of destruction of ballot papers from Gaya and Jamui districts.Some people forcibly put ballot papers in the ballot box at a polling station in Kormathu panchayat of Gaya district, he said, adding that a few ballot papers were missing while there is a report of seal of a ballot box being broken. It has been learnt that some naxalites attacked a polling station in Chakai block of Jamui district and threw ballot papers into a well, he said.”We have sought report from District Magistrates in both the cases. Repolling will be ordered only after going through the reports,” Chauhan said.

Gujarat: Amid violent stir, Patel community calls for Gujarat bandh today; security stepped up

In view of the violence that erupted in parts of Gujarat following a massive Patel community rally in Mehsana and Monday’s ‘Gujarat Bandh’ call given by some Patel organisations, the state government deployed Rapid Action Force (RAF) in Ahmedabad, Mehsana and Surat and stepped up security in others places.Gujarat Chief Secretary G R Aloria said five companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed in these three cities. In addition, 20 companies of the State Reserve Police (SRP) have also been posted across the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Sardar Patel Group (SPG) as well as Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) have given a call for ‘Gujarat Bandh’ on Monday. G R Aloria Gujarat Chief Secretary Apart from regular police force, we have deployed two companies of RAF at Ahmedabad and Mehasana each and one company at Surat. If needed, we may ask the Centre to allot 10 more companies of RAF to handle the situation.”Earlier on Sunday, a massive rally of the Patel community demanding reservation and immediate release of their jailed leaders turned violent in Mehsana, as the angry mob resorted to arson and stone pelting. The violence quickly spread in other cities like Ahmedabad and Surat.Curfew was clamped in Mehsana town in Gujarat and mobile internet service banned as the rally held by the Patel community demanding reservation and immediate release of their jailed leaders turned violent with two buildings being set ablaze and some police vehicles damaged.Aloria claimed that police showed maximum restraint in controlling the violent mob at Mehsana.”Police showed maximum restraint in terms of using force. Police have used water canons and tear gas shells to control the mob. Police have fired some rounds in the air. Due to such restraint, no life has been lost ” said Aloria. G R Aloria Gujarat Chief Secretary Barring Mehsana, other parts of state remained largely calm. In all, protesters set ablaze five buses, two government buildings and some police motorcycles in different parts of state.”Meanwhile, in-charge state DGP P P Pandey also reviewed the security arrangements and ordered deployment of 20 companies of State Reserve Police (SRP) across the state.”We have made all the arrangements to maintain law and order on Monday. Twenty companies of SRP have been deployed across Gujarat. I appeal the citizens to maintain peace,” Pandey said.

VIDEO: What happened to India’s snake charmers?

What happened to India’s snake charmers?

Lucknow Metro shuttering collapses; 8 hurt, no loss of life

Eight labourers were injured, one of them seriously, when a shuttering between two under- construction pillars of Lucknow metro, a flagship project of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, collapsed in Lucknow on Sunday. However, there was no loss of life, District Magistrate Raj Shekhar said.He said eight workers were at the site when the incident occurred and all of them were taken out and rushed to a hospital.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While seven were released after first aid, one was referred to the trauma centre of King George’s Medical University Hospital in Lucknow in a serious condition.The mishap took place hardly two weeks after a heavy slab of concrete fell on a car during metro construction when a two-inch screw came off a shuttering in Lucknow. The incident also triggered panic as it came a fortnight after a flyover collapse in Kolkata, which left 26 people dead.PTI”No one is trapped in the debris,” said Shekhar, who rushed to the spot along with Senior SP Rajesh Pandey to supervise relief operations and the removal of debris by diverting traffic.”The incident took place at around 7 AM when a slab of 10×2 metre which was being cast near Alambagh bus station fell down,” the district magistrate said.”Rescue and relief works are going on. Administration, police and Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) teams are on job. We have also called National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel and they have reached the spot,” the DM said.Cranes and bulldozers were immediately deployed to clear the area and ensure normal plying of vehicular traffic. Giving details of the incident, Pandey said the incident occurred when workers were filling concrete to reinforce the portion between two pillars at the busy Sujapura locality in Alambagh.”I was driving my vehicle when suddenly this part of the pillar fell. It is Sunday, therefore, there is not much damage otherwise more people would have been injured,” a person present at the spot said. An LMRC spokesman said, “Concreting work for the cross arm was going on at the site since midnight and it was about to be completed when the incident took place. The site has been cleared and the traffic has resumed.”The cross arm is used as a structural base to build the concourse level (middle level) of any metro station.”A director-level inquiry committee, including safety experts from the general consultants, has been constituted for conducting an inquiry into the incident. The committee will submit its report soon,” he said.The Chief Minister said, “All safety precautions will be taken. I will inquire about incident and issue directives to ensure safety of labourers. Those injured will be given free treatment.”LMRC is facing a tight deadline to complete the 8.5 km-stretch of the metro rail project from Transport Nagar to Charbagh under the priority section. It has to run trains on trails by November 2016.With LMRC going full steam to meet the Transport Nagar- Charbagh deadline set by the state government, opposition BJP cautioned that safety and security should not be sacrified for speed.”To ensure its completion before UP Assembly polls, safety norms should not be overlooked, thus, putting lives of people in peril,” BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.Yadav has promised to run the first phase of the Metro before the 2017 Assembly elections and at present a team of senior officials of the government and LMRC are in France to review a 3D presentation of the project and inspect the design of the the metro.The team led by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Pandhari Yadav and LMRC Managing Director Kumar Keshav will hold a “detailed discussion” with experts of French firm Alstom which has the contract for the construction of the rail coaches.The officials will learn about the interior and exterior of the Metro, and after finalisation of the design, the coaches will be constructed near Chennai. The accident occurred despite issuance of safety guidelines by LMRC. Even E Sreedharan, the principal advisor of LMRC, during his recent visit to the city had instructed the LMRC MD to enhance security arrangements as soon as possible.

Lucknow Metro shuttering collapse: Number of injured rises to eight

Lucknow: Eight labourers were injured, one of them seriously, when a shuttering between two under-construction pillars of Lucknow metro, a flagship project of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, collapsed in Lucknow on Sunday.

However, there was no loss of life, District Magistrate Raj Shekhar said.

He said eight workers were at the site when the incident occurred and all of them were taken out and rushed to a hospital.

While seven were released after first aid, one was referred to the trauma centre of King George’s Medical University Hospital in a serious condition.

NDRF and  local authorities carry out relief operations after an under-construction bridge collapsed in Lucknow on Sunday. PTINDRF and  local authorities carry out relief operations after an under-construction bridge collapsed in Lucknow on Sunday. PTI

NDRF and local authorities carry out relief operations after an under-construction bridge collapsed in Lucknow on Sunday. PTI

The mishap took place hardly two weeks after a heavy slab of concrete fell on a car during metro construction when a two-inch screw came off a shuttering.

The incident also triggered panic as it came a fortnight after a flyover collapse in Kolkata, which left 26 people dead.

“No one is trapped in the debris,” said Shekhar, who rushed to the spot along with Senior SP Rajesh Pandey to supervise relief operations and the removal of debris by diverting traffic.

“The incident took place at around 7 am when a slab of 10×2 metre which was being cast near Alambagh bus station fell down,” the district magistrate said.

“Rescue and relief works are going on. Administration, police and Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) teams are on job. We have also called National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel and they have reached the spot,” the DM said.

Cranes and bulldozers were immediately deployed to clear the area and ensure normal plying of vehicular traffic.

Giving details of the incident, Pandey said the incident occurred when workers were filling concrete to reinforce the portion between two pillars at the busy Sujapura locality in Alambagh.

“I was driving my vehicle when suddenly this part of the pillar fell. It is Sunday, therefore, there is not much damage otherwise more people would have been injured,” a person present at the spot said.

An LMRC spokesman said, “Concreting work for the cross arm was going on at the site since midnight and it was about to be completed when the incident took place. The site has been cleared and the traffic has resumed.”

The cross arm is used as a structural base to build the concourse level (middle level) of any metro station.

“A director-level inquiry committee, including safety experts from the general consultants, has been constituted for conducting an inquiry into the incident. The committee will submit its report soon,” he said.

The chief minister said, “All safety precautions will be taken. I will inquire about incident and issue directives to ensure safety of labourers. Those injured will be given free treatment.”

LMRC is facing a tight deadline to complete the 8.5 km-stretch of the metro rail project from Transport Nagar to Charbagh under the priority section. It has to run trains on trails by November 2016.

With LMRC going full steam to meet the Transport Nagar-Charbagh deadline set by the state government, opposition BJP cautioned that safety and security should not be sacrificed for speed.

“To ensure its completion before UP Assembly polls, safety norms should not be overlooked, thus, putting lives of people in peril,” BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

Yadav has promised to run the first phase of the Metro before the 2017 Assembly elections and at present a team of senior officials of the government and LMRC are in France to review a 3D presentation of the project and inspect the design of the the metro.

The team led by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Pandhari Yadav and LMRC Managing Director Kumar Keshav will hold a “detailed discussion” with experts of French firm Alstom which has the contract for the construction of the rail coaches.

The officials will learn about the interior and exterior of the Metro, and after finalisation of the design, the coaches will be constructed near Chennai.

The accident occurred despite issuance of safety guidelines by LMRC. Even E Sreedharan, the principal advisor of LMRC, during his recent visit to the city had instructed the LMRC MD to enhance security arrangements as soon as possible.

Rally turns violent as Hardik Patel’s supporters clash with cops in Gujarat

Mehsana: A massive rally of the Patel community at Mehsana town in Gujarat demanding reservation and release of their jailed leaders on Sunday turned violent as police used lathicharge and fired teargas shells on the agitators who allegedly engaged in stone-pelting.

Patel protesters had gathered at Modhera crossroad as part of the `Jail Bharo’ agitation announced by the Sardar Patel Group (SPG), one of the prominent groups seeking OBC quota for the Patel community.

SPG chief Lalji Patel received head injury during the face-off with the police.

While the police claimed they resorted to lathicharge only after some persons started throwing stones at the police vehicles, Lalji Patel alleged that Patel agitators were targeted without any provocation.

Members of Patidar community during theMembers of Patidar community during the

Members of Patidar community during the “Jail Bharo Andolan” to demand the release of Convener of Patidar Anamat Aandolan Samiti Hardik Patel in Surat on Sunday. PTI

“Our protest was peaceful as announced earlier. However, police suddenly hit me and some of our members when we were walking ahead of the procession. I was hit on head. You can see the blood on my face. We were beaten up without any provocation,” said Patel, who along with some other agitators were detained by the police subsequently.

In-charge DGP of Gujarat PP Pandey claimed the situation deteriorated only after some people resorted to violence.

“Police always work to establish peace. The gathering was peaceful initially. However, the situation deteriorated only after some persons resorted to violence and damaged property. I have already sent additional force to handle the situation,” Pandey said.

Meanwhile, SPG as well as Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) have given a call for `Gujarat Bandh’ on Monday.
“Our Patel brothers were brutally beaten up during the peaceful rally today. Lalji and few other SPG leaders received grievous injuries in the police lathicharge. We condemn this use of excessive force by police and have given a call for Gujarat bandh tomorrow (Monday),” said SPG spokesperson Purvin Patel, adding that PAAS too supported tomorrow’s bandh.

Thousands of Patel community members gathered at Modhera crossroad on the outskirts of the city on Sunday to court arrest on a mass scale, pressing for reservation and release of Hardik Patel and three of his aides who are in jail.

Large number of police, with water canons and teargas shell guns, were already deployed at the crossroad.

“Police first used the water canon to disperse the mob, as the mob attacked some police vehicles. Teargas shells were also fired as the mob started throwing stones. It also set ablaze some private vehicles. The operation to control the situation is still on,” said a police control room official.

Health Minister and spokesperson of the Gujarat Government Nitin Patel appealed to the protesters to maintain peace.

“Patel leaders (Lalji Patel and others) had earlier promised that even if he is arrested, others will stage peaceful protest. However, violence took place after some people incited others. I appeal to them to maintain peace as all the problems can be solved through dialogue,” the minister said.

Patel agitation: Rally in Mehsana turns violent; state Home Minister’s office vandalised

A massive rally of the Patel community at Mehsana town in Gujarat demanding reservation and release of their jailed leaders on Sunday turned violent as police used lathicharge and fired teargas shells on the agitators who allegedly engaged in stone-pelting.Acording to a report in Aaj Tak, Gujarat Home Minister Rajni Patel’s office was vandalised on Sundya and 3 motor bikes were set on fire allegedly by the protestors. Curfew has been imposed in Mehsana, says the report. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patel protesters had gathered at Modhera crossroad as part of the ‘Jail Bharo’ agitation announced by the Sardar Patel Group (SPG), one of the prominent groups seeking OBC quota for the Patel community.SPG chief Lalji Patel received head injury during the face-off with the police. While the police claimed they resorted to lathicharge only after some persons started throwing stones at the police vehicles, Lalji Patel alleged that Patel agitators were targeted without any provocation.Members of Patidar community court arrest during “Jail Bharo Andolan” demanding the release of Convener of Patidar Anamat Aandolan Samiti Hardik Patel in Surat on Sunday. PTI”Our protest was peaceful as announced earlier. However, police suddenly hit me and some of our members when we were walking ahead of the procession. I was hit on head. You can see the blood on my face. We were beaten up without any provocation,” said Patel, who along with some other agitators were detained by the police subsequently.In-charge DGP of Gujarat P P Pandey claimed the situation deteriorated only after some people resorted to violence.”Police always work to establish peace. The gathering was peaceful initially. However, the situation deteriorated only after some persons resorted to violence and damaged property. I have already sent additional force to handle the situation,” Pandey said.Meanwhile, SPG as well as Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) have given a call for ‘Gujarat Bandh’ on Monday.

Opposition seeks ex-Mumbai BJYM chief’s arrest in molestation case

The Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday sought immediate arrest of former Mumbai unit president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Ganesh Pandey, who was booked for allegedly molesting a woman member of the BJP youth wing.Raising the issue in the House, NCP leader Jayant Patil said the complainant was concerned about her safety as Pandey hasn’t been arrested so far. “Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also heads the Home Department, had assured Pandey will be nabbed. Despite this assurance he is roaming freely,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An FIR has been registered at Versova police station on the basis of a complaint filed by the woman who had alleged that Pandey harassed her, he said. Pandey posed to her obscene questions and passed lewd remarks on her in a hotel room in Mathura on March 4 during the BJYM’s three-day executive committee meeting, Patil said. Fadnavis has asked the Women Commission to probe the matter but nothing concrete will emerge as this body is headed by a BJP worker, Patil said. Speaker Haribhau Bagde said the government should fulfill the promise made in the House. In her written complaint to BJP city unit president Ashish Shelar, the woman had stated that Pandey had also “held her hand” when she tried to leave the room. According to the police, the woman has alleged in her complaint that Pandey had texted her several messages which were in “bad taste”.

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Some students, professors at JNU are anti-national, they malign the institution’s image: ABVP

Mumbai: ABVP’s JNU unit secretary Lalit Pandey said some students and professors were running “anti-national activities” inside the campus, even as he hailed the varsity as a top institution.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“The reality of JNU is that some students and professors were running anti-national activities. But all students and professors are not like that. Most of the students are here for study,” Pandey said.

He was addressing the students of Mumbai University on its campus in Kalina in suburban Santa Cruz during an event titled ‘Truth of JNU’.

The function witnessed sloganeering by ABVP activists who chanted ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ while the members of Students’ Federation of India (SFI) raised slogans against RSS and BJP.

Pandey said that though JNU is a premier educational institution, its image is getting maligned due to some people. “We will go to each and every corner of the country to save JNU,” he said.

Pandey said the controversial event on 9 February to mark the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru held on the JNU campus was “anti-national”. “The High Court in its observation has mentioned that the event was an anti-national incident. Hence, there should be no doubt that sloganeering took place there,” he said.

Pandey said there were two doctored videos of the JNU incident. “However, rest (of videos) were clear. Videos are not the only evidence, there are posters and pamphlets as well,” he added.

Pandey said the ABVP will vehemently oppose those forces who talk about dividing the nation.

PTI

Arvind Kejriwal likely to address farmers next week, may announce major relief

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP’s National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal will address natural calamity-hit farmers in Outer Delhi where he is expected to announce a major relief.On March 14, the Delhi CM had ordered Divisional Commissioner A Anbarasu to assess the damage to crops due to unseasonal hailstorm and rains in the national capital.”The Chief Minister will be addressing a rally of farmers. However, we have not decided on any date or venue,” said AAP’s Delhi unit convenor Dilip Pandey.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sources said the rally in expected to be held on April 3.Last year, AAP government had announced a compensation of Rs 20,000 per acre to farmers who faced losses due to crop damage. It had then claimed it was the highest compensation announced by any government in the country so far.

Azam Khan calls BJP MLA Sangeet Som ‘beef mafia’

Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Friday witnessed heat when Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan termed BJP MLA Sangeet Som as “beef mafia” to which he reacted sharply.During the Question Hour, Khan pointed towards Som and termed him as “beef mafia” questioning his alleged links with slaughter houses. Som, MLA from Sardhana, said if Azam had any proof, he should table it in the House.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Khan said he had proof of what he said and advised Som to “take a lesson from what happened in a university”, without naming Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey later intervened to cool the frayed tempers. Som, an accused in Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013, was alleged to have links with meat export firms, a charge denied by him.

Missing Noida-based fashion designer Shipra Malik found in Gurgaon

A 29-year-old Noida-based woman fashion designer who had gone missing from Delhi under mysterious circumstances on Monday, was found in a village near Gurgaon on Friday.According to media reports, she was alone when the police found her in a village on Jhajjar road. “Shipra Malik who had gone missing has been found in Gurgaon,” reported ANI quoting Meerut IG Sujit Pandey.She is being interrogated by a senior police official, said report. The police have CCTV foootage of her entering an ING Vyasa bank. According to reports she has operated her locker there, however no details have been revealed. The police is also looking in her personal life and recent events. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shipra, who runs a boutique in Chandani Chowk, had left her home in Sector 37 Noida on Monday afternoon and was untraceable since then.
ALSO READ Missing Snapdeal employee Dipti Sarna returns homeHer last location was Lajpat Nagar (South Delhi) from where she had called police helpline 100. Her Maruti Swift car was found abandoned 500 metres away from her Noida home.Chetan Malik, her husband who is a local builder, had filed a missing complaint with the Noida police. The family had not received any ransom call.Last month, a 25-year-old Snapdeal employee went missing after taking an autorickshaw from the metro station in Vaishali area in Ghaziabad. She returned home after 40 hours, saying her abductors had released her without harming her.

Adani’s GK Pillai, Chidambaram’s affidavit: Mani ‘truths’ of Ishrat Jahan encounter

Ishrat Jahan’s death in a 2004 encounter is once again caught in a maze of allegations, counter-allegations and politics following ”revelations” by former home secretary GK Pillai and his erstwhile colleague RVS Mani.

At the centre of the storm is an affidavit filed by the home ministry under P Chidambaram in which references to Ishrat’s alleged links with Lashkar-e-Toiba were deleted.

This affidavit was in stark contrast to an affidavit filed earlier by the ministry in August 2009, where it had argued that Ishrat was an LeT operative and, thus, there was no need for a CBI probe into the encounter.

On 15 June, 2004, a special team of Gujarat police had killed Ishrat, a 19-year-old college student from Mumbra, along with Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, and two alleged Pakistanis, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Police said they were on their way to assassinate the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi.

The case was handed over to the CBI after an investigation by a special investigation team appointed by the Gujarat high court said it was fake.

Pillai’s story

Sometime after he retired in 2011 as Union home secretary, GK Pillai joined the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone as a director.

This is how the group’s website introduces the director: “In 2004, he joined Ministry of Commerce and Industry as Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce and later served as Secretary, Department of Commerce during 2006-2009. During this period he actively participated in negotiations for comprehensive economic cooperation agreements with Singapore, ASEAN, Japan, South Korea. He played a key role in the enactment of the SEZ Act 2005 and was Chairman of the Board of approvals for SEZ during 2005 to 2009… He was appointed as Union Home Secretary in June 2009 and retired from government service in June 2011.”

A screenshot from the group's website

A screenshot from the Adani Group’s website

Six years after retirement, a period during which he remained silent, Pillai has questioned Chidambaram’s role in the alleged fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan. He has claimed that the home ministry deleted references to Ishrat’s alleged links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba because Chidambaram did not want them to be part it.

According to Pillai, Chidambaram recalled the file from the joint secretary a month after the original affidavit — which described Ishrat and her slain aides as LeT operatives — was filed in SC.

“Mr Chidambaram, who was then the home minister, had asked for the file from the joint secretary, saying that the affidavit needed to be reworked. Only after the affidavit was revised, as directed by the minister, did the file come to me,” Pillai told The Times of India.

Chidambaram, on his part, has claimed the revised affidavit was absolutely correct. The Congress has backed the former home minister, saying the BJP is trying to subvert a court-monitored investigation into Ishrat’s alleged fake encounter.

Pillai has also argued that these four persons were lured into Gujarat as part of an intelligence operation. “It was a very successful intelligence operation… we managed to entice the LeT to send their shooters to India and were able to monitor their activities in India and to, in one sense, catch them… It was a very planned operation… something intelligence agencies around the world do.”
“Yes, it was a trap and it was a very successful operation… you are using the sources of LeT, people who think they are LeT, to be able to pass on information… It is always better to know when you enemy is coming in rather than wait for collateral intelligence where someone plans something without your knowledge,” he said in the interview.

This gives credence to the theory that the Gujarat cops were waiting for Ishrat and the three men and rumours that Javed aka Pranesh was a double agent helping Indian intelligence agencies. Whether they were killed in retaliatory fire on the outskirts of Ahmedabad or were first captured, confined and then killed in cold blood, as several reports and enquiries have revealed, is now for the HC to decide.

Mani’s affidavit

File image of P Chidambaram. PTI

File image of P Chidambaram. PTI

On Tuesday, RVS Mani, a former undersecretary in the home ministry told Times Now that he was coerced to file the second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan case. The second affidavit is the one in which the references to the alleged links of Ishrat Jahan, Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were removed.

Before this, Mani, who was an undersecretary in the ministry’s internal security department, had filed another affidavit claiming Ishrat and the three men killed in the encounter were LeT operatives. On this basis of this affidavit, filed in August 2009, the then UPA government had opposed a CBI investigation into the encounter.

But, even the first affidavit filed by Mani is disputed. An audio tape of a purported conversation  between PP Pandey and GL Singhal, two police officers accused of Ishrat’s extra judicial killing, questioned the background of the first affidavit.

According to the Ahmedabad Mirror, the taped conversation was reportedly submitted by Singhal to the CBI during investigations into the encounter. ‘The conversation between Singhal and Pandey indicates that these officers were not only aware of Mani’s arrival in city to sign the affidavit, but they were also aware that advocate Abhichandani had been given the responsibility to vet the affidavit, the newspaper reported.

Interestingly, during the purported conversation, the two officers are heard discussing how the advocate vetting the affidavit can benefit if he “does it properly.”

Here is the transcript of the purported conversation from the report:

GL Singhal: Sir, Namaskar.
PP Pandey: Are you in meeting?
Singhal: Yes Sir, Now I have come out.
Pandey: That order for Abhichandani is done?
Singhal: Ji, ji, Sir.
Pandey: Tomorrow, someone is coming. Undersecretary from Delhi, for signing affidavit.
Singhal: Right, right, Sir, right, Sir.
Pandey: Tell Abhichandani, if he does properly, we may try to make him High Court Judge.
Singhal: Right, right, Sir, will explain – Ji, ji Sir.

Incidentally, Mani had earlier complained that he was “coerced” by an officer of the SIT into signing a statement saying the first affidavit was drafted by two IB officers. According to the TOI, in his letter to the joint secretary in the urban development ministry, where he was posted then, Mani accused SK Verma, the SIT officer, of “coercing” him into signing a statement that is at odds with facts. “Knowing fully well that this would tantamount to falsely indicting of (sic) my seniors at the extant time, I declined to sign any statement,” he had said then, the newspaper reported.

So, which affidavit was closer to the truth? Was Chidambaram trying to hide something in the second affidavit or just rectifying “errors” made in the first?

Ishrat’s story is getting more complicated by the day.

PM Modi’s effigy burnt by Jat protesters outside VK Singh’s residence in Ghaziabad

Jat protesters burnt the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday outside the residence of Minister of State For External Affairs and Union minister V K Singh.Manvir Singh, the district president of RLD, leading a group of agitators who burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi outside the residence V K Singh, the local MP. The ongoing Jat stir for reservation today spread to the district. Protesters blocked several road intersections and railway tracks, sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of protesters blocked Hapur-Chungi intersection in the afternoon, Salman Taz Patil, City superintendent of police said. The traffic was diverted from Dasna toll plaza towards NH-24 Lal Quan-Vijay Nagar by-pass.Rapid Action Force (RAF) and PAC was deployed at Soniya Vihar Ganga Canal water regulator near Abupur village of Muradnagar in anticipation of possible disruption of water supply to Delhi by protesters, Rajesh Pandey,Superintendent of police (rural) said.A group of protesters belonging to Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) blocked the Delhi-Meerut railway track near Duhai village. Police reached there and persuaded the protesters to clear the railway track.In Loni Jat protesters led by Jagmer Singh Dhama of Jat Sabha blocked vehicular traffic on Delhi-Sahranpur road for an hour. Traffic was diverted from Loni tri-section towards Teela Shahbazpur, said Pandey.District Magistrate Vimal Kumar Sharma said no untoward incident was reported in the district.

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Man found murdered in Maha; police cracked case on basis of whisky bottle and locket

Thane: Two persons were arrested in connection with a murder case, which the Bhiwandi Police claimed to have cracked merely on the basis of a batch number on a whisky bottle and a locket found from the crime scene.

Addressing a news conference in Bhiwandi last evening DCP Bhiwandi Division Sudhir Dhabade and ACP Chandrakant Joshi told newsmen that an unidentified man was found brutally murdered by some unknown assailants in the powerloom town on January 13 and an offence under sections 302, 201 rw 34 of the IPC was registered with the Narpoli police station of Bhiwandi.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The police, which recovered the victim’s abandoned body, were clueless in the initial stages of the probe as they could not get find anything except a whisky bottle and a locket of Sri Vishweshwari Group on his person. A thorough probe into the crime with the help of the batch number on the whisky bottle led the police to Monica Hotel of Bhiwandi after which the CCTV footage in the hotel was examined.

To the surprise of the police team the shirt and the shoes that were worn by the victim matched with the one worn by a person seen in the footage who had visited the hotel along with two others for a drink. Later, police got in touch with the said Sri Vishweswari group at Varanasi and published pictures of the victim in the media there.

Soon, the parents of the victim identified him and approached the police. The victim was identified as one Rajnish alias Rahul Shiv Charan Singh. Subsequently, the probe moved on two others accompanying Singh in the hotel. Investigations revealed that both of them were residents of Allahabad in UP and were identified as Anuj Pandey and Ankit Pandey.

Getting to know about their whereabouts, police rushed to Allahabad and nabbed Anujkumar Pandey who was preparing to leave for Gujarat on 12 February. Further probe revealed that the other accused Ankit Chandrashekar Pandey was visiting Mumbai to meet his relatives at Seepz in MIDC Andheri, from where he was picked up on February 14 night.

Senior PI Narpoli police station DD Shivthare said the motive behind the killing was that the victim had a love affair with the sister of the first accused which was not favoured by the girl’s family and hence they wanted to get rid of him. As part of their plan, the duo took Singh for an outing and after a drinking session clubbed him to death, police said.

PTI

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