4 cops suspended for misbehaving with Israeli woman

4 cops suspended for misbehaving with Israeli woman

Bengaluru, Mar 10: Four police constables and two Home Guards were suspended for allegedly misbehaving with foreign tourists near Virupapuragadda, an island in Tungabhadra in Gangavathi taluk.

hampiSuperintendent of Police Dr P Raja said that four police constables were suspended on the charges of misbehaving and sexually harassing an Israeli woman, who had come for a Hampi tour.

Drivers Amruth and Adesh of traffic police station, Rajesh Gowli of town station and Revappa of rural station are the suspended policemen. Home Guards personnel Shivu and Yankappa have also been suspended for abetting them.

The incident occurred on March 7 when the police constables had gone to a reservoir in Sanapur in the district on a picnic in uniform.

After having meals they spent some time with the foreigners there. Later, they took selfies with an Israeli young woman using their mobile phones and misbehaved with her. The other foreigners, who had come with her, rescued her from them. The woman left the scene and brought the incident to the notice of the owner of the accommodation where she had stayed. He immediately informed the matter to the police.

Though the tourists did not file a complaint, a suo motu complaint was registered and the constables were placed under suspension. A departmental inquiry has also been ordered against them, the SP said.

http://www.coastaldigest.com/index.php/news/73455-4-cops-suspended-for-misbehaving-with-israeli-woman

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Angered by rash driving, mob runs amok attacking Africans in Bengaluru

Angered by rash driving, mob runs amok attacking Africans in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Mar 11: At least four African nationals were attacked by a gang of around 20 members in Byrathi, near Hennur Road, northeast Bengaluru on Monday night. For nearly three hours, the area was tense due to “riot-like-situation,” during which two policemen also sustained injuries.

The assaults were triggered allegedly after locals were annoyed at high speed, high-decibel driving by an unidentified rider, said to be an African national, and a “rashly-driven” car, also with foreigners in it. Though the two vehicles escaped the barrage of stones that was thrown on them, it was unsuspecting Africans in the area who bore the brunt.

africanThe attacks started around 12.30 a.m. “The mob ran riot till about 3 a.m., attacking any African they saw… I was also threatened for calling the police,” said a resident. John, a businessman in Ivory Coast who was visiting his sister, was among the first to be attacked. He was returning home with his sister and her boyfriend when the mob targeted them. While his sister and her friend took shelter in Christ The King Church nearby, John received multiple injuries as the mob chased him.

Henry (22), a student of Kristu Jayanti College, was also attacked. David and his three friends — Sako, Merveil, Abdel — were walking down the road when they were assaulted. “We didn’t even know why they were hitting us. We feared for our lives,” David told media persons.

Though accusations have been made that the attack had racial undertones, police blamed it on problems the victims had with locals.

The incident came to light in a post by Maria John on Bangalore Police’s Facebook page. The post said around 20 members, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, attacked an African student.

“African student was attacked by the beer bottle and cricket bat. His head and face got open and bleeding (sic). The African student running towards the Shema School in that area. Please help him,” the post read.

Police said an African national, also named John, was visiting his sister who is studying in a city college and is residing in Byrathi. He decided to host a dinner party as he was supposed to fly back soon. After the party, John, his sister and her friend were returning home, when they were confronted by the group, who allegedly attacked them.

John was allegedly chased and beaten up and sustained severe injuries, while his sister and her friend managed to escape and took shelter in a local church. Though John managed to reach home, the angry locals damaged the window panes of his house. John managed to file a police complaint only after a few hours, following which senior police officials reached the spot to take stock of the situation.

In his complaint, John alleged that the group not only attacked him but also took away his valuables, including mobile phone and wallet.

However, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East) Vikas Kumar Vikas refuted any racial angle to the attack and said local residents had complained about the trio creating a ruckus late in the night. The police are investigating the case, he said. Locals too have filed a complaint against the three African nationals accusing them of creating a ruckus.

http://www.coastaldigest.com/index.php/news/73491-angered-by-rash-driving-mob-runs-amok-attacking-africans-in-bengaluru

Mangaluru: Not Just Catholics, Mother Teresa Homes also Serve Hindus/Muslims-So Why are ‘They’ Talking Crap?

Mangaluru: Not Just Catholics, Mother Teresa Homes also Serve Hindus/Muslims-So Why are ‘They’ Talking Crap?

Mangaluru: No doubt that Mother Teresa, was a Mother to the Motherless! irrespective of religion, caste, creed and residence, the Missionaries of Charity started by Mother Teresa in India, also and many more around the world cater to the poor, living selflessly dedicated to helping them. The RSS and VHP may have made up their minds when it comes to Mother Teresa’s work, but even a quick visit to the Missionaries of Charity homes across India is enough for one to realize the aim and motive of their work.

Women in their 80s, and babies as young as a month old, live at the Missionaries of Charity Mother Teresa Homes- these homes receive a constant flow of people coming in search of help, shelter or just plain food – and for that matter no one gets turned away. Most of the inmates at these homes are women, who come here with no hope. According to a care-taker , who says that “Working with them is difficult because they have suffered not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well,”

I made a visit to the Mother Teresa Home in Mangaluru located on Sturrock Road- earlier the Home was located at Vas Lane-Falnir, but two years back it was shifted to this new location at a land donated by Mrs Saldanha. Meeting the Superior at this home I gathered some information , but she insisted that I don’t take any photographs for the privacy of the inmates and  nuns. At the earlier Home there were over 50 inmates comprising of women and men, but at this new location mostly women are taken in – there are 27 women, majority of them Hindus and one Muslim, and two men at this new location.

Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity/Home for the Poor in Mangaluru was established in the year 1995. Their convent was Mother Theresa’s Home for dying destitute situated at the 2nd Cross of Vaslane at Falnir. They came to this place in 1997. Since then so many dying destitute have experienced the caring and loving touch of Jesus through them. The donors of this site were Miss Agnes and Stanly William Pinto. The house donated by Miss Agnes at Lower Bendur was inaugurated by Blessed Teresa on 15th August 1995.  She lived there with the sisters for six days. Stanly William Pinto gave his property including the house at Vas lane. A new spacious house built on this site was inaugurated on 5th May 1998. Later in the year 2013, the Home was shifted and built at a new location on Sturrock Road.

Their Mission is to love. Therefore, their doors are open to destitutes, those who are rejected by families due to addiction to drinks, drugs, smoking or other vices. The Home welcomes with open arms those who are sick and bed ridden and are forsaken by the family. At present they are blessed with 27 destitute, Catholics, Hindus and Muslims. “We don’t look at what religion you belong to when you come here. We only do what our Mother has told us,” said the superior at the home quoting Mother Teresa herself saying, “There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim becomes a better Muslim, Catholic becomes a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people.”

“We don’t serve people based on their religion, we serve them because we see God in them,” said the superior. Though there is daily Mass celebrated in a small chapel in the home, those that do not belong to the Catholic faith are not forced to participate. Apart from providing food and medicine to these inmates at the home, they are also provided with physio-therapy classes, exercises and many activities.No one has ever been forced into conversion, although the saffron group members claim that Mother Teresa’s service would have been good – But it used to have one objective, to convert the person, who was being served, into a Christian. These allegations are absolutely wrong. The Missionaries of Charity, of which Mother Teresa was the founder, have homes in countries all over the world and not just in India.

The homes served, and still serve, the destitute, the hungry and the poor, irrespective of their religion. Those who have worked with her have said that she never sought to convert any inmate of her homes. She has been quoted as saying: “We should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim becomes a better Muslim, Catholic becomes a better Catholic.” Mother Teresa gave all the inmates love and dignity. Some other say that Mother Teresa minted money in the name of serving the poor. She acquired fame by taking care of poor children and proved to the world that India is a poor country and thus tainted the image of India. Not true at all. All the money that the Missionaries of Charity received by way of donations went into their charitable works, in setting up homes and taking care of the sick and poor. Mother lived a simple and humble life, owning nothing herself. She lived surrounded by lepers, patients with tuberculosis and other diseases. She and the sisters of her Order own just three saris (one to wear, one to wash, one to mend) and two or three cotton habits.

So why are these saffron men degrading the Mother with false accusations. How many of these men have ever been close to a leper or taken care of a destitute. I bet no one- but they are quick to criticize a devoted woman who had sacrificed all her life for the care of destitute, needy and the suffering- Shame on them. Since Modi came to power nine months ago, Christians and Muslims have felt besieged by a strident Hindu nationalist propaganda campaign, and in some instances have even been “reconverted” at highly publicized “homecoming” events, in line with the RSS belief that all Indians were originally Hindus. Are Catholics and Missionaries run by Catholic organizations for the benefit of all religions/caste/creed safe any more, is a question every one is asking presently.

mother-teresa-26022015-A1154

About Mother Teresa and her Missionary:

Mother Teresa was the founder of the congregation, Missionaries of Charity, the religious order that today has over 4,501 sisters actively working in 133 countries.
Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, in Albania on August 26 1910, she was lovingly called Mother Teresa after her selfless work with the homeless in Kolkata. “By blood I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun,” she had said.

The first home, Nirmal Hriday, the Home for Dying Destitutes was set up in 1952 in Kolkata. She began the Order on October 7, 1950, officially established in the Archdiocese of Calcutta and by 1990 had opened houses in almost all communist countries including the former Soviet Union, Albania and Cuba. Her tireless and dedicated work won her the Indian Padmashri in 1962 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

Despite suffering from severe health problems, she continued to govern her Society responding to the needs of the poor and the Church. She died on September 5, 1997 at the age of 87. Less than two years after her death, Pope John Paul II permitted the opening of her Cause of Canonization and on October 19, 2003, she was beatified in front of a crowd of 3,00,000 people assembled in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City.

http://www.mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=broadcast&broadcastid=554979

Mangaluru: Salary Decrease leads Drivers of Antony Waste Management to go on Strike

Mangaluru: Salary Decrease leads Drivers of Antony Waste Management to go on Strike

Mangaluru: All vehicles belonging to Antony Waste Management have stopped working from March 11.

According sources, it is said that the salary for the drivers of Antony Waste Management was fixed for Rs 14,000. All of a sudden their salary was decreased to Rs 9000. Due to the sudden decrease in salary all the drivers of Antony Waste Management went of strike, they have parked the vehicles in a compound near Reliance Petrol Pump at Kulur. 

Now it is the duty of the Mangaluru city corporation to solve the problem immediately to avoid further problems in regard to waste disposal in the city.

Speaking to mangalorean.com Mayor Mahabala Marla said that the Mangalore City Corporation has given contract to dispose waste to Antony waste management company and it is their duty to dispose the waste. Any internal issues of the company should not affect the people in the city. The Antony waste management company is responsible for the disposal of waste, if the waste will not be disposed, we will take action against the company.

http://www.mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=broadcast&broadcastid=555675

Koppal: Four cops suspended for misbehaving with Israeli woman

Koppal: Four cops suspended for misbehaving with Israeli woman

Gangavati (Koppal), Mar 10 (DHNS):Superintendent of Police Dr P Raja has suspended four police constables on the charges of misbehaving and sexually harassing an Israeli woman, who had come for a Hampi tour.

Drivers Amruth and Adesh of traffic police station, Rajesh Gowli of town station and Revappa of rural station are the suspended policemen. Home Guards personnel Shivu and Yankappa have also been suspended for abetting them.

The incident occurred on March 7 when the police constables had gone to a reservoir in Sanapur in the district on a picnic in uniform.

After having meals they spent some time with the foreigners there. Later, they took selfies with a young Israeli woman using their mobile phones and misbehaved with her. The other foreigners, who had come with her, rescued her from them.

The woman left the scene and brought the incident to the notice of the owner of the accommodation where she had stayed. He immediately informed the matter to the police.

Rural ASI Nagaraj had voluntarily registered a complaint in this regard.

http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=302637

Mangaluru: Students protest after alleged assault by bus conductor

Mangaluru: Students protest after alleged assault by bus conductor

Mangaluru, Mar 10: Students of city’s Rosario College on Tuesday March 10 gathered at Bunder police station and staged a protest alleging that one of the students had been assaulted by the conductor of a government bus.

The students claimed that the first year BCom student, identified as Samad from Uppinangady, was assualted by the conductor of Uppinangady-State Bank KSRTC bus.

They claimed that when two girls were about to board the bus, the conductor gave the signal to the driver to start the bus even before the girls could get inside. When Samad who was in the bus objected to this, the conductor allegedly assaulted him out of anger.

Protesting against the alleged assault, the students decided to mass bunk the exam and gathered at Bunder police station demanding action against the conductor.

The students alleged that the conductor often abuses students who hold bus passes and halts the bus at irregular spots.

Samad got admitted to hospital and later filed a complaint with the Bunder police.

The Bunder police assured that action would be taken against the conductor, after which the students agreed to withdraw the protest. The police then sent the students back to college.

Meanwhile, the accused conductor, identified as Murugesh from Bagalkot, alleged that the students had attacked him with blades and got himself admitted to Wenlock hospital.

A case has been registered in Bunder police station.

http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=302650

Mangaluru: Stone-pelting on Panir prayer centre – Accused arrested

Mangaluru: Stone-pelting on Panir prayer centre – Accused arrested

Mangaluru, Mar 10: The police have arrested a person in connection with the stone-pelting on St Joseph Vaz prayer centre at Panir.

The incident took place on the intervening night of February 24 and 25. The glass frame of the enclosure housing a statue of Mother Mary and Infant Jesus was damaged in the stone-pelting.

The police have arrested Ananda (30), a resident of Ukkuda, Kinya in this regard.

Addressing a press meet at his office on Tuesday March 10, police commissioner S Murugan said Ananda was taken into custody based on credible information and subjected to investigation. “After sustained and thorough investigation, he revealed that he was previously employed in the same church and had left the job around two weeks ago for want of better pay. On February 24, after getting drunk at the graveyard next to the prayer hall, he threw stone at the idol out of anger for the low pay he was getting at the church.”

Ananda, a painter by profession, was arrested on Monday March 9 and sent to judicial custody on March 10.

The investigation of the case was taken up ACP south, on the instructions issued by the police commissioner. A special team was constituted under the leadership of Ullal SI Savithru Tej, comprising SI Bharati, SI Ranjendra B and staff.

The police team has been suitably rewarded for cracking the case, Murugan said.

He said that the Panir incident was a random act but it had got much attention from the public and was even given a communal colour. “Hence taking serious note of the incident, the police team investigated putting in all its efforts,” he said, adding that people should not get provoked over any incident.

He further said that the CCTV cameras installed at religious centres are generally of low quality which make it difficult for the police to identify and nab the culprit. “The police have already installed 20 CCTV cameras in different places at the city, and Rs 2 crore has been sanctioned for the installation of CCTV cameras under MCC limits. These cameras will be of good quality with high resolution. The work on this is at its final stage and will be completed in the coming days,” he said.

To questions on repeated incidents of stabbing in Ullal, the Suratkal college Facebook photo incident and the case against Sadhvi Balika Saraswati over alleged provocative speech, he said investigations are on in all these cases. He also said that in Ullal, CCTV cameras are of low quality so it is difficult to nab culprits.

http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=302682

Labour: We will cut luxury lodgings exclusively used by High Court judges

Labour: We will cut luxury lodgings exclusively used by High Court judges 

They include penthouse flats and Georgian townhouses -sometimes with full-time staff including cooks and housekeepers and cleaners.

But the days of luxury lodgings for High Court judges forced out into provinces to hand down justice now look to be numbered.

Labour is preparing to announce that they will do away with the fifteen permanent residences in cities such Birmingham, Nottingham, Preston and Leeds to save £2.9 million a year from the Ministry of Justice budget.

The accommodation cost is also being reviewed by the Coalition and whichever party wins power in May looks almost certain to force their Lordships into the less salubrious surroundings of a city centre hotel.

Labour said the move would save an estimated £2.9m a year in running cost as well as an estimated £26.3m from the sale of the publicly-owned properties.

It intends to invest the money into improving the collection of fines issued by the courts which, it claimed, could raise an extra £67 million a year.

As part of its review of Government spending Labour also said it would find saving from the current court budget by  co-locating two-thirds of the remaining single-use county courts and magistrates’ courts on the same site.

Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “We will look at whether taxpayers would be better served by selling off the penthouse flats and Georgian townhouses, which are owned and maintained by the state for the exclusive use of High Court judges.

“The abysmal record of Ministers allowing so many criminal penalties to go uncollected isn’t just bad for justice – it’s bad for our public finances too.

Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, added: “This shows that Labour is taking tough decisions when it comes to finding savings in the justice budget.”

 

HC dismisses pleas for nod to stage protests

HC dismisses pleas for nod to stage protests

The Madras High Court has dismissed petitions seeking a direction to the police to permit protests in Chennai, Krishnagiri and Coimbatore on January 26.

Justice T.S. Sivagnanam said the police would find it hard to provide security to the protests as educational institutions and government offices would have various functions that day. The organisers could have their demonstration on some other date if they so desired. However, it was for the police to decide on the requests.

Petitioner Kovai Maavatta Puthiya Jananayaga Thozhilalar Munnani (workers front) had sought police permission to organise a dharna at Thudiyalur in Coimbatore to focus on the tragedy caused by the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak.

 

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/hc-dismisses-pleas-for-nod-to-stage-protests/article6822800.ece

SC sets free two Italians guilty of friend’s murder

SC sets free two Italians guilty of friend’s murder

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has set free two Italians, undergoing life imprisonment for murder of their friend in 2010, saying the evidence submitted by the prosecution to suggest motive does not inspire confidence.

A bench of justices A R Dave, Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi set aside the Allahabad High Court order which had confirmed the life imprisonment to Italian nationals Tomaso Bruno and Elisa Betta Bon Compagni.

“In the case at hand, evidence adduced by the prosecution suggesting motive is only by way of improvement at the stage of trial which, in our view, does not inspire confidence of the court…In the present case, the courts have not properly appreciated the evidence and gap in the chain of circumstances sought to be established by the prosecution.

“Upon consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view that the circumstances and the evidence adduced by the prosecution do not form a complete chain pointing to the guilt of the accused and the benefit of doubt is to be given to the accused and the conviction of the appellants is liable to be set aside,” the bench said.

It also said that the courts have ignored the importance of “best evidence” i.E CCTV camera in the case at hand and also have not noticed the absence of symptoms of strangulation in the medical reports.

According to the prosecution, Tomaso and Victa along with their friend Francesco Montis had arrived in Varanasi from London on January 31, 2010 and checked in at a hotel in the city.

On February 4, 2010, Victa informed the manager of the hotel that Francesco’s condition was not fine after which they took him to a hospital, where the doctors declared the tourist as “brought dead”.

Later, on the basis of the postmortem report and other materials, an FIR against Tomaso and Victa was lodged.

In July 2011, the lower court had awarded life imprisonment to them besides a fine of Rs 25,000.

The High Court upheld the verdict.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/sc-sets-free-two-italians-guilty-of-friends-murder_1535929.html

High court notice to govt for denying corrupt officers’ names under RTI

High court notice to govt for denying corrupt officers’ names under RTI

The Punjab and Haryana high court has issued a notice to the state government and the state information commission over a plea by a right to information (RTI) activist, who said he was denied information about corrupt administrative officers.
 
Subhash, state convener of Rohtak-based Haryana soochna adhikar manch, said he had filed an RTI application seeking a list of IAS, IPS, HCS and HPS officers who faced corruption charges between January 1, 2000 and October 31, 2013.

He also asked the government to provide details about action taken against such officers.

Refusing to divulge the details, the chief secretary had replied that the application “in respect of IAS and HCS officers is personal in nature and is exempted” from being sought under RTI, Subhash told the court.

The RTI activist, through his advocate Pradeep Rapria, said he later approached the appellate authorities but was still not provided the details.

“What’s more socking is that the state information commission, Haryana, had even maintained that indulging in corrupt practices was part of the officials’ personal information and its disclosure would lead to invasion of their privacy,” Subhash added.

Pleading in court, he said, “The public has the fundamental right to know about the conduct of administrative officers, especially in reference to corruption cases registered during discharge of their public duties. The officials involved in corruption cases do not have any right to privacy and disclosure of such information is larger public interest.”

Seeking time to file its reply, the state government has sought time from the court to respond to the RTI activist’s queries.

The court has set May 2 as the next date of hearing.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/chandigarh/court-notice-to-govt-for-denying-corrupt-officers-names-under-rti/article1-1310583.aspx

HC asks 2 cops to face trial 23 years after torturing woman

HC asks 2 cops to face trial 23 years after torturing woman

MUMBAI: Police can’t torture an accused to extract information, the Bombay high court has ruled in a landmark judgment, and ordered two policemen to face trial for brutally assaulting a woman in custody 23 years ago.

Justice A I Cheema overturned a magistrate’s order in 1998 acquitting the two cops accused by the woman of brutally beating her up and pouring chilli powder dissolved in water into her private parts to force her to reveal information about the recovery of some gold coins in 1992.

Sub-inspector Sheshrao Thombre and constable Kacharu Rengade have been directed to appear before the magistrate on February 16 and asked that the trial be completed in six months.

Significantly, the court held that beating up an accused could not be treated as part of policemen’s duties. The police officers had claimed that they enjoyed immunity under the law for acts done while discharging their official duty. “It is quite clear that after taking police custody, although police could have interrogated the complainant, there was no right to beat her or commit acts outraging her modesty. Instead of resorting to scientific methods of questioning, such acts were resorted to,” said the judge.

He added that there was no material to show that a woman police officer was present at the time the woman was interrogated. Such acts can’t be treated as done under “colour or in excess of duty or authority” vested in the police officials.

The Bombay high court
Referring to a Supreme Court judgment, Justice Cheema said: “It cannot be said that custodial violence can be permitted in a civilized society.”

The victim, a resident of Basmatnagar in Aurangabad, was arrested on July 11, 1992, in connection with a treasure and the recovery of some gold coins. On July 18, when she was produced before the magistrate, she complained about the assault. She claimed the police had beaten her with a belt, the accused had stood on her thighs and that chilli water was put in her private parts—all for information about the location of the gold coins. A medical report found there were 13 injuries on her body, 11 of which had allegedly been inflicted during police custody. After a delay of over two years, the government gave sanction to prosecute the two cops and they were booked for causing injuries and outraging the modesty of a woman. The policemen moved an application saying they had immunity as section 161 of the Bombay Police Act says that a public servant or a government officer cannot be prosecuted for an act done while discharging his duty. The magistrate in 1998 held that section 161 applies in this case and the two officers were acquitted. The state filed an appeal against the acquittal. The HC said that section 161 would apply only when the acts are done in good faith and due care and caution was taken.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/HC-asks-2-cops-to-face-trial-23-years-after-torturing-woman/articleshow/46007216.cms

Woman burnt to death over dowry

Woman burnt to death over dowry

VADODARA: A 30-year-old woman, who was set ablaze allegedly by her husband and other family members for dowry a few days ago, succumbed to burns here on Tuesday. Deceased Bhavna Waghela was a resident of Natwarnagar of Savli taluka in Vadodara district. The victim’s husband Vikram Waghela and his elder brother Shana Waghela, their mother Bajji Waghela and Shana’s wife Kailash Waghela had allegedly committed the crime on February 22. Bhavna was rushed to a private hospital in Padra and on Monday night transferred to SSG Hospital where she died on Tuesday. Police said Bhavna was harassed mentally and physically by her husband and his family members for over five years for dowry.

“The four accused beat up Bhavna after a heated argument on February 22. They asked Bhavna to bring Rs five lakh from her father and told her that if she did not get the money they will abandon her. While Bajji, Kailash and Shana held her, Vikram sprinkled kerosene on her and set her on fire,” said Savli police sub- inspector J J Vasava.

The police officer said all the accused are on the run. Bhavana, who was a housewife, was a mother of a five-year-old son. Vikram and his brother are farmers.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vadodara/Woman-burnt-to-death-over-dowry/articleshow/46450960.cms

Child, 5 others killed in separate accidents

Child, 5 others killed in separate accidents

KORATPUR/ KENDRAPADA: Six persons, including a woman and her four-year-old son, died in three separate accidents late on Sunday.

Police said three youths were killed after the motorcycle they were riding hit a culvert between Padmagiri and Malkangiri under Malkangiri police limits, seven km from here. The youths were going to Malkangiri to witness the ongoing ‘Badyatra’ festival. A team of BSF men, who were on combing operation, spotted the bodies, said IIC of Malkangiri police station R K Das.

Earlier around 7 pm, a 26-year-old woman and her son were killed and 10 injured after the tractor, they were travelling in, overturned near Challanguda under Malkangiri police limits.

“A case was registered and investigation is on. The injured have been admitted to Malkangiri hospital and their condition is stable. The driver fled,” said police.

A 25-year-old motorcyclist was killed on Sunday night at Bilahata village under Patkura police limits in Kendrapada district when a vehicle hit him.

The deceased was identified as Sk Roshan Ali, 25, of Chasakunda village. Police seized the body and sent it to a local government hospital for autopsy.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/Child-5-others-killed-in-separate-accidents/articleshow/46442324.cms

Telangana speaker gets HC notice on turncoat MLAs

Telangana speaker gets HC notice on turncoat MLAs

HYDERABAD: In a significant development, the Hyderabad high court on Tuesday issued notices to the speaker of Telangana legislative assembly and chairman of Telangana legislative council directing them to respond to the allegations of Congress and TDP, which charged the two constitutional authorities with ‘inaction’ in deciding on the disqualification petitions pending before them.

Both parties sought disqualification of turncoat legislators under the anti-defection law as they got elected on Congress and TDP tickets and later joined the TRS without relinquishing their elected posts. Both the speaker and chairman are constitutional authorities with certain judicial powers and as per the tenth schedule of the Constitution, can deal with disqualification pleas pertaining to legislators. Courts have generally refrained from issuing notices to the speaker and council chairman, but the Hyderabad high court deemed it fit to do so on Tuesday.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice Sanjay Kumar was dealing with two pleas filed by the Congress whip in the council, M S Prabhakar Rao, and TDP floor leader in the assembly, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, who urged the court to declare the ‘inaction’ of authorities as illegal and sought setting of a timeframe to decide on the disqualification petitions. As many as five Congress MLCs and three TDP MLAs switched loyalties to the TRS. “Though we urged the speaker and the council chairman to disqualify the defectors, they are not even taking up the matter for hearing,” their advocates told the court.

Earlier, a single judge of the high court dismissed the pleas saying that the court would not intervene at a premature stage like this when authorities are yet to adjudicate the matter. Aggrieved by this, the current appeals were filed by the TDP and Congress which came before the bench headed by the CJ. Apart from speaker S Madhusudhanachary and council chairman K Swamy Goud, the bench issued notices to all the 8 legislators. Five Congress MLCs_KR Amos, V Bhupal Reddy, N Rajalingam, T Bhanu Prasad Rao and S Jagadeeswar Reddy and three TDP legislators Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Teegala Krishna Reddy and Ch Dharma Reddy have to explain their case to the court in the form of an affidavit.

Counsel for the petitioners, Jandhyala Ravi Shankar, mentioned the decision of the Supreme Court which gave three months time to the speaker of the Punjab assembly to decide the disqualification pleas pending before him. CJ Sengupta said that they are not in favour of giving any direction to the two constitutional authorities but instead decided to request them to decide the matter and issued notices to them.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Telangana-speaker-gets-HC-notice-on-turncoat-MLAs/articleshow/46450180.cms

Madras high court refuses to treat encounters as murders

Madras high court refuses to treat encounters as murders

CHENNAI: Five years after two rowdies — Dindigul Pandi and Velu — were gunned down by the Chennai police in an encounter, the Madras high court on Tuesday said police action done in the exercise of the right of private defence could not be termed as an offence.

“An action done in the exercise of the right of private defence can’t be termed as an offence under Section 96 of the IPC. Every person has a right to defend his own body, and the body of any other person, against any offence affecting the human body,” ruled the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh.

On February 8, 2010, Pandi and Velu were killed in a sensational encounter at Neelankarai in Chennai. Both of them were accused in several cases.

The present PIL was filed by advocate P Pugalenthi, director of Prisoners Rights Forum, seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to register a case of murder against the police personnel involved in the encounter.

According to the police, they intercepted a vehicle of Pandi and Velu on the basis of reliable information. The duo attacked the police with sickle, gun and country bomb.

They said some police officers had also been injured in the attack. In self-defence, the police retaliated by opening fire, which caused death of the deceased.

M Radhakrishnan, counsel for Pugalenthi, however, said the self-defence plea was available to police personnel only at the time of trial and that the jurisdictional police ought to have registered an FIR and investigated.

Since the death had occurred at the instance of police personnel, an independent inquiry ought to have been initiated, he said.

Pointing out that the report of the revenue divisional officer was exhaustive, the bench said: “A perusal of the report would show that an exhaustive inquiry was conducted and statements from different persons, including the family members of the deceased, have been obtained. Publications calling for statements were made in the dailies having wide circulation. The report was also accepted by the government.”

Pointing out that the PIL-petitioner had not assailed the report, they said, “Thus, we do not have any factual premise leading to a conclusion of an offence having been committed.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Madras-high-court-refuses-to-treat-encounters-as-murders/articleshow/46444392.cms

Stray dogs kill 3-year-old boy near Vadodara

Stray dogs kill 3-year-old boy near Vadodara

VADODARA: Stray dogs dragged away and killed a three-year-old boy in a village near Bhayli area, about 7km from the city on Sunday.

The boy, Mayur Solanki, was sitting in a field while his mother Saroj, a farm labourer, was working in Raipur village. She saw the dogs taking away her child and called for help. But it was too late.

“Usually, I used to leave my son on a tractor in the fields for having lunch. But on Sunday he insisted that he wanted to sit on the ground. So I left him near a tree with some food and went to collect drumsticks in the field. Within moments, I heard some noise and looked back only to see some dogs dragging away my son,” she said.

“I followed the dogs along with other labourers who rushed for help. The dogs let go my son after a distance and fled. He had suffered grave injuries on throat so we rushed him to Padra government hospital where doctors declared him dead,” Saroj said. The family carried out Mayur’s final rites on Sunday evening in the village.

Bhayli deputy sarpanch Jaswantsingh Parmar on Monday said it was for the first time that stray dogs had attacked and killed a child in the vicinity. The district collector has ordered an inquiry.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vadodara/Stray-dogs-kill-3-year-old-boy-near-Vadodara/articleshow/46449499.cms

Cop accused of torturing wife for dow

Cop accused of torturing wife for dow

BELTHANGADY : A police constable working for the Coastal Security Police has been accused of torturing his wife for dowry and also attempting to kill her. The incident has been reported from Puttur. A complaint has been lodged with Puttur police and the victim is undergoing treatment at the Government Hospital in Mangaluru.
As per the complainant Saramma of Melanthabettu in Belthangady, her daughter Mumtaz (29) was given in marriage to Mohammad Rafique of Haleneranki village of Puttur in the year 2009. She has alleged that Mumtaz’s husband and family members namely Adam Mestri, Aminamma and Ashraf used to continuously torture her for dowy despite the girl’s family offering 100 sovereigns of gold and a cash of Rs 3 lakh at the time of marriage.
It is said Mumtaz was pregnant and on February 19 was once again pestered and attacked with a demand to get more dowry.
It is learnt, the accused cop Mohammad Rafique had faced similar complaint in the past and elders in the family had tried to sort out the issue through talks. Though Rafique used to agree, very soon he used to be back with his old traits. The family of Mumtaz has also lodged a complaint with the Santwana Women’s Helpline in Belthangady.

http://thecanaratimes.com/epaper/index.php/archives/31647

12-Year-Old Boy Jumps Off School Building, Allegedly After Teacher’s Rebuke

12-Year-Old Boy Jumps Off School Building, Allegedly After Teacher’s Rebuke

Mumbai, Feb 25: A 12-year-old boy jumped to his death from the fourth floor of his school near Mumbai on Tuesday, allegedly after he was scolded by a teacher.

Boy Jumps OffGaurav Kank was a Class 6 student of the New Horizon Public School in Navi Mumbai.

On Tuesday morning, he was allegedly told off by his science teacher for misbehavior.

“His father has complained to us about the negligence of the school authorities and we have started the investigation,” said Janardhan Thorat, a senior police officer.

There have been no arrests so far. Gaurav’s teachers are being questioned.

Gaurav allegedly opened a window and jumped off.

A group of parents gathered to protest at the school, holding it responsible for not ensuring the safety of children.

“The school authority is responsible for the incident. We told them to put the grills in the classrooms,” said a parent.

“How can it be the school’s negligence? We are also shocked as to why this has happened. We are planning to find out why this has happened and this won’t happen in the future,” Renuka Balaji, the school principal, told reporters.

http://www.coastaldigest.com/index.php/news/crime-a-crash/73069-12-year-old-boy-jumps-off-school-building-allegedly-after-teachers-rebuke

25-year-old Sikkimese woman raped by AIIMS doctor after being trafficked to Delhi, 5 held

25-year-old Sikkimese woman raped by AIIMS doctor after being trafficked to Delhi, 5 held

New Delhi, Feb 28: In yet another shameful incident, a 25-year-old woman from Sikkim was allegedly trafficked to Delhi and raped by an AIIMS doctor at Hauz Khas on Thursday night.

Sikkimese womanThe woman, the wife of an army personnel, was brought to Delhi on February 20 on the pretext of a job at a beauty parlour, reported PTI. Her husband is a Gorkha Regiments jawan posted in Rajasthan.

27-year-old Mehr Tez is attached to the Neurology Department of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS). He, along with four others, including a married couple, was arrested by police.

Police sources said that the accused is a native of Hyderabad and was to get married in two months. He has been living at a rented accommodation in Gautum Nagar area of Hauz Khas for the past one year.

The report quoted a senior police officer telling, “The other two accused have been identified as Suman (37) and her husband Deepak alias Sagar (40). They were arrested from Sagarpur while their associates, Dharamveer (32) and Kamal (31), were arrested from Gautam Nagar itself. We have also seized the auto in which the woman was transported to the doctor’s house.”

The matter was reported around 6 am on Friday when the police got a call from an auto driver from Gautam Nagar area that a woman passenger was crying and saying that she has been raped. A police team then rushed to the spot and brought her to the police station. In her statement, the victim said she was brought her to Delhi on February 20 by a woman named Suman on pretext of getting her a job at a beauty parlour. They kept her with them at their rented accommodation in Munirka area.

“Last night, one of Suman’s associates dropped her to Mehr Tez’s rented accommodation where she was raped by him. Following this, we picked up Mehraj, who is a doctor at AIIMS for questioning,” the officer said.

The doctor told police that he had paid Rs.9,000 to a pimp who supplies sex workers for money after which he dropped the woman at his home on Thursday night.

“The woman stayed at his residence for the night where he established physical relationship with her which was consensual,” said an official, quoting the doctor’s statement.

However, police got the victim’s statement recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC where she maintained that she was raped. After the medical examination, the police arrested the doctor. A case of rape, immoral trafficking and other charges has been registered by the police.

The accused told police that they were involved in such racket for the past two months. The police are investigating whether they had brought other women to Delhi as well and forced them into prostitution.

http://www.coastaldigest.com/index.php/news/crime-a-crash/73146-25-year-old-sikkimese-woman-raped-by-aiims-doctor-after-being-trafficked-to-delhi-5-held

Only 20% of 14,400 prisoners are convicted criminals in Tihar, the rest are all undertrials

While there is no woman prisoner on death row, 14 male convicts sentenced to death are lodged in different jails inside Tihar.

In India’s most populated prison, Tihar Jail, only 20% are convicted criminals, the rest are behind bars awaiting start or completion of their trial. The 400-acre correctional facility is the largest and the most populated prison complex in the country.

Currently, there are 2,882 male and 135 women convicts. On June 1, the prison had a population of 14,400. Half of the convicted prisoners are those serving life sentences. There are 1,280 prisoners sentenced to at least 14 years behind bars. One of the oldest prisoners is former youth Congress leader Sushil Sharma involved in the murder of his wife Naina Sahani, in what came to be known as the Delhi’s infamous Tandoor case. Behind bars for the past 22 years, Sharma came out on parole for the first time in 2015 after 20 years.

While there is no woman prisoner on death row, 14 male convicts sentenced to death are lodged in different jails inside Tihar. The four convicts of the 2012 Delhi gang rape case are among them. The four who were convicted by the Supreme Court in May have also been put on suicide watch.

AWAITING TRIAL FOR OVER 5 YEARS

Among the 80% undertrial prison population, there are prisoners who have already spent over five years behind bars.

“We have prisoners who if convicted may be sentenced to maximum 7 years. But, while facing trial they have already served 4-5 years. What if they are acquitted by the court? Who will pay for the time they spent in prison?” an official said.

There are over 80 such prisoners who have served more than 5 years jail time.

MURDER STILL MOST COMMON CRIME

Out of the 2,882 convicted prisoners, 912, the highest number of convicts, are those charged with murder. With over 400 convicts, the second most common offence is rape. “Maybe it is easier to secure a conviction in murder and rape cases. Prisoners convicted for dowry harassment is very less. There are only 11 prisoners,” said an official.

The dowry harassment conviction rate of less than 0.50 % is in contrast to the Delhi police registering at least 10 dowry harassment cases every day. Last year, there were 3,877 cases of dowry harassment across the city.

MOST MALE PRISONERS BETWEEN 21-30 YEARS, OVER 60 JUVENILES .

According to jail records, most male prisoners are those between the ages of 21 and 30. Out of over 12,000 male prisoners, more than 7,000 are in their mid 20’s.

In women, the most number of prisoners were in between the ages of 30 and 50. Over 70 prisoners are above the age of 65. Jail officers said that the elderly residents are kept together in a different barracks. The elderly inmates, who volunteered to stay together with other elderly prisoners are given a better diet and assigned ‘friends’ who help them with their chores inside prison.

At least 950 prisoners are those between 18 and 21 years. Mostly first timers, they are lodged in jail number 5. Many of these prisoners have also claimed to be minors before 18 years. Two months ago, the jail officials wrote to Delhi government about 60 prisoners who were below 18 years.

MGNREGA wages less than minimum farm wages in 15 states: Panel

As per data being examined by the committee, the minimum wages paid to agricultural workers are significantly higher than MGNREGA wages in Karnataka, Punjab, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Mizoram, and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.

THE COMMITTEE for revision of wages paid under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Act (MGNREGA) has found that minimum agricultural wages are higher than MGNREGA wages in 15 states. An upward revision in MGNREGA wages is estimated to require a Rs 4,500 crore increase in its budget.

Based on these findings, the panel, under Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Rural Development Nagesh Singh, is expected to make its recommendations in another month.

As per data being examined by the committee, the minimum wages paid to agricultural workers are significantly higher than MGNREGA wages in Karnataka, Punjab, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Mizoram, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The other states where MGNREGA wages fail to match up are Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. In Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, the minimum wages are marginally higher than MGNREGA wages.

“In the 15 states where MGNREGA wages are lower, we tried revising it to bring it on par with the minimum agricultural wages paid by the respective states. Where MGNREGA wages are on par or higher, we decided to protect it as it is. If a revision is done as per this formula, it is estimated that a Rs 4,500 crore addition to the existing MGNREGA budget would be needed,” said an official from the Ministry of Rural Development.

The Indian Express had earlier reported that despite official claims of this year’s MGNREGA budget of Rs 48,000 crore being the highest ever, the wage revision, at 2.7 per cent, was the lowest ever. It meant a per day, per person wage hike of merely Re 1 in some states like Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and Rs 2-Rs 3 in several others.

This was because the finance ministry, on account of financial implications, rejected the recommendations of the S Mahendra Dev committee, which had proposed to bring MGNREGA wages on par with minimum wages paid to unskilled agricultural workers in the states. The expert panel had said that the Consumer Price Index for Rural (CPI-R), which reflects the current consumption pattern of rural households, should be the basis for revising MGNREGA wage rates, and not CPI for Agricultural Labourers (CPI-AL), which is based on the consumption pattern of 1983.

“The basket of goods for calculating CPI-AL comprises mainly food items. With the implementation of the National Food Security Act, rice and wheat is available for as cheap as Rs 2-3 per kg. CPI(Rural) gives lower weightage to food items, and hence, is found to be a better indicator of wage increase,” said a ministry official.

The Nagesh Singh panel has found that based on the second recommendation of the Mahendra Dev committee, if the existing MGNREGA wages are revised as per CPI(Rural), it would mean another Rs 600 crore increase in the budget.

“CPI(R) should be used to revise the wages every year instead of CPI(AL), as the former is more representative of the current rural consumption basket. Also, wage revision should take place every six months, in keeping with the practice for other trades and occupation,” said Ankita Aggarwal from the people’s organisation, NREGA Sangharsh Morcha. Aggarwal said that with such low wages and delays in payments, MGNREGA fails to provide the livelihood security for which it was enacted.

Jharkhand Chief Secretary Rajbala Verma had recently written a strongly-worded letter to the Ministry of Rural Development protesting against the growing divergence between the state’s minimum wage, which is currently Rs 224 per day, and MGNREGA wages of just Rs 168 per day after the wage hike.

Government admits it is not doing enough to fight water crisis in rural India

NEW DELHI:  Only 20.7% rural population is getting enough and safe pipe water supply to quench their thirst. But, a government, poised to chalk out a historic achievement of covering 80% population by 2022, is facing an uphill task. The funds to provide drinking water to the rural population is shrinking and expenditure for reviving existing yet impoverished water sources is fast drying up. Ministry of Drinking Water of NDA government has candidly admitted that it may not achieve the target at this pace. The Ministry was hoping to receive minimum Rs.16, 900 Crore per annum, instead it received just Rs.6050 Crore for 2017-18 – a whopping Rs.10, 000 Crore less than it was aspiring for.  A 24-page draft note prepared by the Ministry reveals a messy tale that deprives a majority of population of their basic right. Ministry of Drinking Water has put the blame on the Finance Ministry.

“Budget estimate of 2017-18 is Rs.6050 Crore. Such level of funding by government of India is meager compared to the overall requirement to achieve Sustainable Development Goals- 2030. If Government is to have pivotal role, we must continue National Rural Drinking Water Programme and must have annual funding as high as possible but at least to the tune of around Rs.16,900 annually (i.e. 10% incremental increase over Rs.10,500 provided during 2012-13. However, Ministry of Finance is suggesting to restrict the requirement at the present BE level for 2017-18 and 10% annual increase for the subsequent 2 years,” the draft  EFC note stated.

The note dated July 3 2017 although highlighted that reduction is due to 14th finance commission recommendation that enhanced devolution of grants to the states by 10%, the central government will have to pitch in if it wants to achieve the target and reap the benefit at a faster pace.

“The present status clearly shows that the achievement towards pipe water supply coverage -55 litres Per Capita Per Day (LPED) including stand posts is only 20.70% -in terms of population and 15.62% in terms of habitations. Hence, there is a long way to go.”

“It is pertinent to mention here that during 12th five year plan (2012-2017) there was a plan outlay of Rs. 68,760 Crore whereas allocation was only Rs.39,820 Crore. Thus there was a shortfall of about Rs.30,000 Crores in this period itself ,” the Ministry note said.

The Ministry pointed out that as on March 31 2017, over 3.85 Lakh habitations are not covered with 40 LPED. Amidst the substantial reduction of budget, the Centre has launched a new piped water supply strategy known as ‘Har Ghar Jal ( Water in every household) to ensure that all rural households have access to clean piped water supply in adequate quantity. The Ministry estimates that it would require at least Rs. 6 Lakh Crore to meet the target. The funding ratio of drinking water programme between Centre-State is 50-50 except North East and 3 Himalayan States-Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand where funding pattern in 90% Centre-10% funds to be released by the states.

Interestingly, the NDA’s ministry has admitted that many states are investing much more funds than requisite matching central share in projects as the government funding is meager compared to the overall requirements of the states. Ministry said that with the present rate of funding, Individual household tap connections which at present are 15.57% may go up to only 27% in 2020.

Dirty Water Is Huge Problem

Besides tackling the financial crisis, the Ministry said there is more worry regarding availability of main resource- source of water itself.

“Assets of this sector is not like assets of railways, which once created will last very long. Assets of rural water supply schemes get dysfunctional mainly because of availability of raw water resources which is beyond the control of executing agencies. Water (underground) is getting depleted because of excessive extraction by competitive sectors (Agriculture/Industrial) and successive droughts. Water (Surface) getting reduced because of silting of water bodies, successive droughts, pollution (agriculture/Industrial) release of untreated waste water, deforestation and encroachment of water bodies,” the Ministry’s note further added.

The Ministry working under tremendous financial pressure is aiming to mitigate arsenic and fluoride affected habitation under the national water quality sub-mission programme. As per the information provided by the states to the Ministry in August last year, 27,544 arsenic and fluoride affected habitations have been freezed under the scheme. Out of these, schemes are ongoing in 3,894 habitations and the rest 23,650 habitations are remained to be tackled in the affected habitations.

India: Dalit Politics At Crossroads? – Analysis

Results of the 2014 general election and the subsequent Assembly elections clearly established that Dalit politics is undergoing a change.

The Presidential election on 17 July is like a watershed moment of Indian political and social consciousness. It is a contest between two Dalit candidates, the BJP-led NDA candidate Ramnath Kovind, who was the Governor of Bihar till recently, and the UPA’s nominee Meira Kumar, the daughter of Dalit legend Babu Jagjivan Ram.

In ordinary times, this would have carried not much political significance. But Dalit politics in the country has come under sharper focus since the assumption of throne by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi in 2014 and coming to power of the BJP in 22 states and some violent incidents across the country.

The issue has come under lot of debate in the national as well as international media. The fact that not only has the ruling coalition went for a Dalit candidate to extend its political support base among the Dalit population that according to 2011 census stood at 201.4 million, even the opposition opted for a candidate of the same denomination speaks volumes on the current state of  politics in the country.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP swept to power winning 71 out of total 80 Lok Sabha seats from the biggest state of Uttar Pradesh. All the 17 reserved Scheduled Caste seats went to the BJP. It clearly meant that a sizable portion of Dalit votes went to the BJP account and indicated that there was a division among SC voters.

Analysts were of the view that non-Jatav votes went to the BJP.

The results of the 2014 general election and the subsequent Assembly elections clearly established that Dalit politics is undergoing a change. Whether the symbolism of making a Dalit reach the highest constitutional post of the country will help the BJP to consolidate its political base among the SC community and spread it further needs to be examined carefully, particularly in the background of growing social tensions between Dalits and the upper castes, particularly the Rajputs or Thakurs. Rising incidents of violence and maltreatment of Dalits by several BJP ruled states and the Centre itself are a manifestation of the trend.

Politics of “Hinduatva”, revolving around issues of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, cow vigilantism around the issue of beef ban and other similar issues, is sharpening existing tensions among higher castes and Dalits.

Latest of the series of incidents has been the outlawing of a convention in Lucknow on July 3 to discuss the state of Dalits in Uttar Pradesh by the BJP ruled government. Thirty-one activists were arrested while about 50 Dalits, coming from Gujarat, were sent back by the State Police. The State Administration did not permit them to proceed to Lucknow to mark a symbolic protest.

Earlier in May this year, cutting of the internet services to control social media in caste violence hit district of Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh was a very ominous sign of the state of affairs in country’s biggest state. Violent clashes had erupted in Saharanpur on 5 May when Dalits objected to the taking out of a strident procession by Thakurs to commemorate the birth anniversary of the medieval Rajput ruler Maharana Pratap. The Dalits stalled the procession as it entered their area and the confrontation escalated from stone pelting from both the sides. Thakurs did not take the Dalit’s opposition kindly and went into rampage leading to the burning down of about 40 Dalit houses and shops. A mob of Thakurs also indulged in desecration of Dalit iconography and shrines. A Thakur youth died, while many more were injured from both the communities. Dalits abandoned the village apprehending further violence

The atmosphere of confrontation had started building up since a BJP government was installed in the state on 19 March and Yogi Adityanath — a Thakur by birth — became the UP’s 21st chief minister.

The first skirmish had taken place in Shabbirpur village on 20 April 20 — within 45 days of the new BJP government in Lucknow — when the Jatav-Dalits of the village were about to erect a statue of B.R. Ambedkar to celebrate the Ambedkar Jayanti and Thakurs objected to it, citing lack of administrative permission for the celebrations.

About a month-long tension between the two communities in the communally sensitive district of Saharanpur cannot be merely a law and order problem. It seems to be an abject failure of the state administration to understand the real causes of the problem and treating the issue in a routine fashion.

Violence in Saharanpur was the latest manifestation of the politics that has been pursued by political parties for the last few years in western UP through ‘love jihad’, cow protection and Muslim appeasement.

In 2013, there were communal riots after clashes broke out between Jats and Muslims. Recently held assembly elections in the state further sharpened the fault lines.

The breaking up of Jat-Muslim understanding paid rich electoral dividends in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls when the BJP won all seats in the region and the same was followed in the state elections.

After the implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations in early 1990s of the last century, backward and Dalit castes felt empowered and higher caste, particularly the Thakurs, no more had a clout like before when they used to call shots in the state resulting in their perceived humiliation.

But Dalits of the region, notably Jatavs who have been ardent supporters of the BSP and its leader Mayawati, have become much more politically conscious and are therefore not ready to accept upper caste assertion.

The role of the Bheem Army Bharat Ekta Mission, founded by a young lawyer Chandrashekhar Azad, came to the forefront during the Saharanpur clashes as it protested against the caste-based violence and the state administration’s apathy towards them.

The fact that it has come to prominence by organising a massive rally at Jantar Mantar in the union capital on 21 May to protest against the Saharanpur violence cannot either be ignored or brushed under the carpet.

Organisations like the Bheem Army are drawing their strengths from the treatment and injustice meted out to Dalit research scholar like Rohith Vemula of the University of Hyderabad who committed suicide in January 2016.

Dalits have been the integral part of the traditional agrarian economy where milching animals have played a leading role.  Strict enforcement of cow slaughter, the livelihood of Dalits, is directly affected. There have been violent incidents in UP, MP, Gujarat, Rajasthan and other states where Dalits have come under attack of groups of cow vigilantes.

The statement of Bheem Army founder that “for elections, we are Hindus and after that we are Dalits” is a clear reminder to the RSS-BJP brand of politics for making timely corrections failing which it may take an ugly turn. The subsequent arrest of Chandrashekhar Azad by the State Police and the treatment meted out to him is sharpening the existing fault lines in the caste hierarchical system in society.

Dalit consciousness has been rising steadily. A feeling is growing within the community that crimes against them are not seriously pursued and not thoroughly investigated by a caste-biased administration. A growing perception is that guilty are either not adequately punished or manage to go unpunished.

While political parties are playing their short-term game of dividing society on caste, sub-castes and religious lines, emerging Dalit consciousness resulting in assertiveness is sure to influence politics in a decisive manner in the times to come.

It is time that discerning political thinkers and leaders found ways to address the rising phenomenon and take steps to address the issue in a reconciliatory manner instead of embarking on a confrontationist path.

Dalit politics, indeed, seems to be standing at a crucial crossroad.

By puclmangalore Posted in Dalits

Women’s organisations demand 50% reservation in LS, assemblies

NEW DELHI: A women’s collective, comprising more than 1,600 organizations, today pitched for the passage of the “long pending” Women’s Reservation Bill in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament which commences on July 17.

With the slogan “Ab 33 per cent nahi 50 per cent”, the National Alliance for Women’s Reservation Bill has demanded 50 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies instead of 33 per cent. “The Prime Minister had congratulated African countries for women’s majority in their parliament.

But when it came to his country, he never said a single word about this Bill,” general secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women, Annie Raja, said. “This is the time to act so that women are able to contest a maximum number of seats in the next election,” she said.

In India, women hold a mere 12 per cent of the seats in Parliament and nine per cent in state assemblies, Director of Centre for Social Research, Ranjana Kumari, said. “Unless there are more women in politics, their concerns cannot be addressed effectively,” she said.

Director of the Joint Women’s Programme, Jyotsna Chatterjee, said that the BJP had “committed” support to the women’s reservation bill in its 2014 election manifesto, and now it was time for the party to stand by it. “It is high time to prove what they had declared in their election manifesto. The government says ‘beti bachao beti padhao’, but what about her political rights,” she said.

By puclmangalore Posted in Women