Foreign Tourists : Goa


Tourists in Goa asked not to panic

Panaji: The Goa government on Sunday asked tourists not to get panicky following a warning-cum-request issued by an anti-SEZ organisation asking them to leave the State by December 28. — PTI

This is the peak time for visitors to Goa. Weather is pleasant and the mood is carnival and relaxed.

It is a good time for tourists and business.

Also an ideal time for blackmail by ‘activists’.

However Govt of Goa has promised to ensure that all is peaceful in Goa after 28th Dec. Tourists have been assured.

They can stay back and enjoy the New Year too.

Andher Nagari : UP Police baton students


Police baton charge protesting students

Firozabad (Uttar Pradesh): Police baton charged students, including girls, even dragging some by the hair, in this Uttar Pradesh town after they refused to call off their road blockade to protest the murder of the school principal.Students in this town, 50 km from the city of the Taj, were protesting the murder of the principal of S R Gyaneshwari Vidhyalaya. Four of the girls reportedly fainted following the police baton charge.

Rajesh Chaurasia, police official in-charge of the Rasoolpur thana, warned the crowd of more than 150 students to clear the road jam on Asafabad crossing, but they persisted with the blockade forcing the police to baton charge them.

Later, local politicians joined the students and locals to protest the police high-handedness and blocked roads in different parts of the city, leaving the city in turmoil for a couple of hours.

The protesters are particularly incensed over the reported dragging of four girls by the police. “The girls, between six and 16, were dragged by their hair by some cops,” said a functionary of the Samajwadi Party.

The students were demanding punishment for those behind the murder of principal Santosh Kumar Dhakra, reportedly by four unidentified assailants two days ago. Early this month, the manager of the school was also murdered.

District Magistrate of Firozabad, Vinay Kumar Srivastav, has ordered a magisterial inquiry.

Senior police officials in Agra said on Saturday night that things were under control and there was peace now in the city.

But political activists said that the glass city would see more trouble on Sunday if the authorities failed to announce compensation to the victims of Saturday’s police cane charge and also to the family members of the deceased principal.

Foreign Tourists : Lack of Security


    CAPRG has been harping on the need for proper arrangements at airports, railway stations, and bus stands.

     There is aneed for regulating taxi and auto rickshaws in all cities. Drivers of taxis and autos must not be given licenses unless they are fuly trained. Drivers must have their police verification done and obtain security clearances where required.

 Companies and owners must get police clearance for all their drivers. Traffic police must ensure proper running of prepaid booths. 

     RISING INCIDENTS of crimes against foreign tourists has pushed the Tourism Ministry to send a communication to all states asking them to speed up the process of creating a special tourist police force.

     The urgency was highlighted by an incident in Mumbai earlier this week where a Latvian national was raped by a driver who offered her a lift. The ministry had reminded the states to speed up the matter in June at the chief secretaries meet Today, only 10 states have implemented the measure the communication had first been sent last year – while the rest continue to drag their feet.

But even in those states that have deployed special tourist police, it is open to question whether this is merely a token measure or a genuine effort. Incidents have been reported from at least four of the 10 states Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. In September, two Japanese women were allegedly gangraped in Agra. In June, a South Korean tourist claimed she had been raped near Manali and in Alwar, Rajasthan, a German tourist said she had been raped by Biti Mohanty, the son of a top police official from Orissa.

These incidents dent India’s image as a safe tourist destination – despite the Incredible India campaign abroad – and several prominent countries, including the US and the UK, have issued warnings in official travel advisories to their citizens who are bound for India. Other states where the step has been implemented are Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka and Kerala.

In Goa, a big attraction for foreign travellers, several cases of rape, molestation and other crimes against tourists have been reported. Officials at the ministry pleaded inability to intervene directly, pointing out that law and order being a state subject, they could only urge the states to take adequate steps to protect the tourists. “Whenever such incidents occur, we get a report on them from our regional tourist offices. There is also a complaints cell in our ministry where grievances of tourists are recorded and followed up for action.

Besides, in our media campaigns we try to create awareness among those engaged in the tourism and travel trade as well as general public on the issue,” said a senior official. The issue had also drawn the attention of a parliamentary standing committee on transport, tourism and culture, headed by CPM leader Sitaram Yechury A report tabled last month said: “The committee notes with concern that incidents of cheating, fleecing criminal acts and harassment of foreign tourists bring a bad name to the country and have an adverse impact on the foreign tourist arrival.

The committee feels that the issue related with safety and security is vital in creating goodwill and the Union Ministry of Tourism cannot wash its hands off stating that policing is a state subject.

” hbartwal@} hindustantimes.com

Travel advisories of UK, US, Australia and Canada warn their nationals about crime situation in specific destinations in India

 4.40 crore Foreign tourists have arrived in India till November this year 90 crore Foreign tourists arrived in India in 2006 $U5, (s) ? V 2 of street crime, take personal security measures including: are to safeguard your passport and credit/ATM cards, particularly when trayeling by bus and train. There has been an increase in handba snatching in Delhi use aware of what you are eating and drinking. There have been reports of trayellers being drugged and robbed on trains e wary of confidence tricksters, particularly in Agra and Jaipur.

They promise a substantial cash reward for delivery of jewellery abroad but only in return for an initial deposit. The jewellery is invariably worthless and the deposit, often amounting to thousands of pounds, is lost void walking alone in iso- Iated spots after dark.

There have been incidents of sexual offences against women in Delhi and Goa. 0 heft of US Dass- ports is common, particularly in major tourist areas, on overnight trains and at air orts Mt)S citizens, particularly women, are cautioned not to travel alone in India. Western women continue to report incidents of physical harassment ecause US citizens’ purchasing power is comparatively large, travelers should also exercise modesty and caution in their financial dealings in India to reduce the chance of being a target for robbery or any other enme

AUSTRALIA :Petty theft is com mon in crowded areas such as markets, airports and bus and railway stations ravellers have been robbed and assaulted after consuming ‘spiked’ drinks here have been incidents of robbery or assault on passengers in taxis traveling to and from Mumbai and Delhi airports in the early hours. Always use prepaid taxi services and avoid boarding taxis already carrying passengers

CANADA Violent crime against foreigners is uncommon but occurs. Petty crime like pickpocketing and bag snatching is common. Pay attention to security of personal belongings and passports

Multi Year Tariff- Objections on ARR- Press Confrence‏


     Privatisation of Power distribution has resulted in inflating electricity bills in Delhi.

     While the Government of Delhi and the Discoms do not take any action against individuals and companies indulging in Power thefts honest consumers are compelled to pay higher rates and compensate for the power thieves and the inefficiency of Distcoms, DERC and the Government of NCT Delhi.

The message from Chetna is self explanatory. 

Dear All,
    The DERC had invited objections on fixation of Multi Year Tariff in the month of September 2007. We the members of CHETNA and the Civil Society like Promod, SatGoel, Anant Trivedi and Rajinder Rampal had filed our objection for adopting Multi Year Tariff in view of huge T & D Losses to the extent of 90% in some of the areas as would be evident from the attached Power Point Presentation.
      It seems after dealing with the objections and seeking clarification from Discoms the DERC went ahead and permitted the DISCOMS to file ARR on Multi Year Tariff in the month of November 2007. The last date of filing objections initially was 10th December 2007 that was subsequently extended to 20th December 2007.
     In the meanwhile the DERC circulated our objections on Multi Year Tariff amongst the DISCOMS and invited the coments. After receiving the comments from the DISCOMS, the DERC has fixed Public Hearing on 27th December 2007 without authority of law as is evident from the following facts:-
a) No public hearuing could have been fixed by DERC to deal with objections on ARR when the objections were not filed at all;
b) DISCOMS could not have responded to the objections when no objection on ARR was filed;
c) How come DERC could fix Public Hearing on 27th December 2007 when the last date of submission of objections on ARR is 20th December and many of us would file objections on 20th Decmber 2007
     This shows that the Public Hearings are sham exercise and mere wastage of time and state exchequer. Therefore, in order to express solidarity on large scale fleecing of Honest Cosnumers please join us on 22nd December 2007 at 3.00 pm at Confrence Hall Safdarjang Club .
     Mr. Rosham Seth has kindly consented to be with us on that day. No Government world wide permits any one to steal and still get away with theft except India where people can steal power and refuse to pay and the entire Government machinary watches as mook spectator and taxes the Honest Consumers like you and me who continue to suffer and pay in silence.
     The times have come now we have to raise our voices unitedly and protest.
Looking forward to see you on 22nd December 2007 at 3.00 pm

Regards,Anil Sood                          Anil Sharma
President                             Secretary
Cell. 9810514696               9811320203
A-417, Som Dutt Chamber-1,
5 Bhika Ji Cama Place,
New Delhi-110066
Web Site: www.chetna.org.in
E mail: chetna_regd@rediffmail.com

Motorists Harassed Again by Delhi Police at Nehru Place


Motorists Harassed Again at Nehru Place

      In spite of our telephone call to the OSD’s office in the LG’s secretariat and the email to stop the harassment of poor motorists the Delhi traffic police were at it again.

      Yesterday afternoon was ‘raid time’ at the Nehru place. Scores of vehicles were towed away.  Sign Boards are there indicating the parking lots, parking attendants are there as in any other place. Cars are parked and parking slips are handed over the attendants, who collect the parcha and the charges when you leave. 

     What is the fault of the vehicle owner who parks at what appears to be a genuine and authorized parking place in Nehru Place?In case the traffic police knew it was not an authorized place why did they not put up sign boards?

     Why did they at all allow any one to organize parking lots? It is a TURF WAR between the Delhi Police and the MCD.  Why are innocent motorists being punished for no fault of theirs? 

     This is a clear case of high handedness of Delhi Police. This bullying of private motor vehicle owners must stop immediately. 

     Another interesting aspect.

      Why are the newspapers not highlighting this issue? What has been done to shut them up?

Malaysians of Indian Origin


Malaysians of Indian Origin 

     Better sense appears have prevailed on the Government of Malaysia. They have withdrawn the serious allegation of attempt to murder against 25 protesters who had been arrested and detained. The Prime minister has met a group of Indians and promised to look into their problems. 

     Clearly, the Malaysian Government has over reacted to the protest march by ethnic Indians who were only hoping to highlight their mounting anxiety and feelings of being reduced to second-class citizens in their own country.For Indians they may be of origin, they are Malaysians now having been born there even as their ancestors, extending to five generations.

     The extreme reactions of the Malaysian Government indicate a closed mind, and an inability to face any criticism of their biased behaviour towards citizens of Indian origin.

Malaysia has had a long period of peace, and homogeneity in its approach towards all its citizens.  

     The ‘Bhumiputra policy’ favouring Malays introduced subsequently has been carried to extremes resulting in the virtual exclusion of Indians and Chinese from access to education, jobs and business opportunities.  Added to this has been the identification of Malaysians of Indian ancestry as Hindus, destruction of temples and frowning up on their cultural and religious s activities.

     Such open discrimination which is the result of introduction of Wahabism among the Malays who are predominantly Muslim  was bound to generate a feeling of helplessness and desperation among Malays of Indian origin.  

     Unlike China, America or the European countries, Government of India has always been niggardly in supporting Indians abroad. Government of India has in the past and is at present  chary of even exhibiting any interest in the well being of Indians abroad. The rare exception was the flying out of Indians in Iraq before the Gulf war. Inder Gujral never got due credit for it.  

This must change now.

The Government of India must be proactive where  interests of Indians are concerned.

Depressed?


A small joke from Mr Watwani  

John was feeling a bit depressed the other day, so he called the Help Hotline.He was put through to a ‘call center’ in Pakistan. 

He explained that He was feeling suicidal.

They were very excited at this news and wanted to know if He could drive a truck or fly an airplane….

Bangalore: Bengaluru: down side


M any Indians and foreigners believe that Bangalore is the knowledge capital of modern India.

Given the robust presence of technology companies, the feeling is partially valid. But if you hear of the day to day experiences of residents of the city, the sheen wears off rather quickly. Among friends, we keep exchanging notes about the abysmal levels of service that we experience on a daily basis. Almost all service providers are equally remiss in this respect.

We had a courier from a telecom company standing in front of our house which has our names splashed on it prominently at three places along with our address and yet he was calling his superior and me to seek directions! We don’t exactly live in the boondocks, living that we do very close to a readily identifiable shopping landmark of new India, Big Bazaar.

Our neighbour has been receiving repeated calls from a consumer durable company’s service centre seeking directions to his place for the last five days even as his refrigerator continues to malfunction.

Another close friend who does not speak any of the South Indian languages complains of receiving serial calls from his bank in Kannadiga about the fate of a cheque he had deposited without still being able to figure out what the matter is. Service centres of brown good companies don’t seem to be recording customer details (despite the easy availability of “off the shelf” customer relationship management software) and expect complainants to provide all transaction details each time a complaint is registered. If you scratch the surface, you would find that English has been eliminated from state funded schools in the state for the last 30 years in a perverse expression of parochialism.

 The harsh fact is that “locals” struggle to communicate with migrants who have thronged Bangalore from the mid-nineties. Sadly, there seems to be no effort on the part of the government to correct this blemish. An associate who recently returned from Beijing was speaking effusively about the painstak ing efforts that Chinese are making to communicate in English as the country prepares to receive tourists for the upcoming Olympics.

Mr Gowda and Mr Kumaraswamy were too consumed by counting their ‘wealth’ to think of governance issues. Party “fine” L ast week we were attending a friend’s birthday party in an isolated bungalow in South Bangalore when the cops came calling at midnight. Mind you music was not part of the fare and the invitees were not quite the teeny bopper variety who are known for their noise levels. Out of curiosity, I eavesdropped on the exchanges between the over zealous cops and our host. It transpired that none of his neighbours had complained to the local police station which is usually the trigger for such interventions by the police. Rather, the problem was that our host had not “informed” the police about the party. It was obvious that a “fine” has to be paid to the law enforcement machinery to host a private party.

Go governor go T he only hope for Bangalore is the ongoing governor’s rule. Noises coming out of the secretariat suggest that the governor is taking an active interest in the infrastructure issues of the city. Some high calibre officials have also been drafted in as his advisors.

It is ironic that in the 60th year of our democracy, we should be rooting for non-political leadership! But political leaders have left us with no choice.

exerpts from Asian Age

POLICE – MCD TURF WAR : CITIZENS HARASSED


   POLICE MCD TURF WAR OVER PARKING LOTS: CITIZENS HARASSED   

     CAPRG has sent an email to LG’s Secretariat highlighting the problems faced by  private vehicleowners by the short sighted drive by the Delhi Traffic Police during the last four days,  

   There is an  ongoing turf war between the Delhi MCD and the Delhi Police poor citizens are being harassed to no endApparently the MCD has earmarked some areas for parking lots without consulting the Delhi Traffic Police. Delhi Police has embarked on a sieze, tow , fine, and harass drive against poor motorists who are not aware of the intricacies of warfare between  Delhi Police and babus of MCD.

     There is a shortage of parking areas all over Delhi. As all private vehicle owners in Delhi are aware, there are parking lots in all market areas and official complexes. These are run by contractors, authorised officially or unofficially by the MCD.

     The traffic police have been so far towing away vehicles not in these parking lots(legal or illegal), or owned by the contractors.Suddenly the Police has taken upon itself to question the validity of these parking lots. They have been towing away private vehicles parked in various parking lots alleging that they are illegal. 

      How does the poor car owner know if a parking lot is legal or not? He goes by the sign boards placed in front of these parking lots. He has no wherewithal to run to the MCD office or the Traffic Police Head quarters every time he has to park his vehicle. In case the traffic police have a problem with the MCD they should sort the matter out with them.

      Unilaterally towing away vehicles of innocent motorists smacks of high handedness and callousness.

    This meaningless harassment of private car owners must stop immediately.

       We hope the Lt Governor will look in this personally and stop this high handed behaviour of the Delhi traffic Police.  

Malaysian Indians


There appears to be a delibérate attempt to vilify persons of Indian origin in Malayasia.

There is no doubt that the Malaysian government has over the last nearly three decades has been isolating the Malaysians  of Chinese and Indian origin. This has worsened after the islamisation drive by the government and the influx of fanatical wahabists in to a Malasia which was earlier an area of racial harmony.

Hindraf denies terror links, lodges complaint against PM

Kuala Lumpur: The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), a Malaysian rights outfit, has lodged a police complaint against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after allegations linking the group with Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eeelam (LTTE).

Hindraf’s senior leader and legal advisor P. Uthayakumar asserted that the outfit had “zero links” with the LTTE or any other terrorist group.

“We do not support violence. We are a non-violent group,” Uthayakumar was quoted as saying in The Star newspaper Sunday.

Uthayakumar, who lodged the report at the Jalan Travers police station Saturday, also named Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, minister in the prime minister’s office Mohamed Nazri Aziz, and Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan in the complaint.

The Hindraf’s response came amidst reports that the government could invoke the stringent International Security Act (ISA) against top Hindraf leaders who organized a protest rally on Nov 25 to voice their grievances, claming to speak for the two million-plus, predominantly Tamil Hindu population of immigrants from India.

The rally was declared illegal and forcibly dispersed. Thirty-one people associated with the rally have been denied bail and are being persecuted on charges ranging from disturbing peace to attacking a policeman on duty with intent to murder.

The Badawi government has reacted strongly to the Hindraf’s reported charge of religious discrimination and “ethnic cleansing” of the Indians, who account for eight percent of the country’s 27 million population.

The government has said Hindraf was an “extremist” group, but has so far stopped short of calling it “terrorist”, something that would invite invoking of draconian laws. Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak asked Hindraf leaders to “be prepared for the consequences”, saying there was “no room for extremists and fanatics”.