Andher Nagari: MCD, DJB, DDA : Why no penalties?


TIMES VIEW

As we have repeatedly said in the past, such incidents will keep recurring till we set right our system of penalties for negligence by civic authorities. Not only must the body responsible pay the victim a minimum compensation of Rs 10 lakh in such cases, a substantial chunk of that penalty must be recovered from the individual or individuals who are responsible for such negligence.

Apart from the monetary penalty on these individuals, they must also face criminal prosecution. Only such strong measures can act as an effective deterrent against the kind of callous disinterest we routinely find in our civic bodies.

9-year-old falls in open tank, dies

Indrani Basu | TNN

New Delhi: A nine-year-old boy died in northwest Delhi after falling into an open sewage pumping station while he was playing with several other children. The pump, falling under the purview of the Delhi Jal Board, reportedly was without a cover. A case of negligence has been filed against the DJB.

Abdullah, a resident of Jahangirpuri D-Block jhuggi, had come back from reading his afternoon prayers and was playing with his friends around 2.30pm when the incident took place. His playmates immediately informed his family.

Two fire brigades were rushed to the spot where the body was fished out two hours later and declared brought dead by officials in the Babu Jagjivan Ram Hospital.

Said a senior police officer, ‘‘The pump was 70-80 feet deep and the body was found around 5pm. We have slapped a death due to negligence case against the DJB as the tank was uncovered.”

Boy falls into manhole, killed

Alarm Was Raised Three Hrs After Six-Yr-Old Adil Disappeared

WHO IS TO BLAME?

No agency was willing to take responsibility

for this manhole on Tuesday

Neha Jain | TNN

New Delhi: A six-year-old boy died on Tuesday morning after falling into an open manhole in Shaheen Bagh, Jamia Nagar. Three hours after he fell in, Adil Raza’s body was spotted by children playing on the street, after which labourers who had been working nearby pulled the body out of the manhole. The boy’s body was found 20 feet away from the manhole he had fallen into.

Adil was immediately taken to AIIMS Trauma Centre where he was declared dead on arrival. A case of negligence has been registered at the Jamia Nagar police station. ‘‘Quite predictably, no authority is willing to claim responsibility for the manhole. We have asked for an inquest and are still investigating,” said Satish Kumar, chief investigating officer.

He added, ‘‘This is not the first time a life has been lost because of the negligence of authorities. A number of pedestrians, particularly children, have lost their lives in the same way in the past.”

As news of the death spread, residents of the colony came out in large numbers, demanding the authorities cover up any other open manholes immediately.

Mohammad Sulemaan, Adil’s maternal grandfather, said, ‘‘Adil woke up at 7:30 in the morning and went to play outside. He must have fallen in while playing on the pavement, not realizing there was a manhole behind him. He was in there for more than three hours. It was only at 11am that we came to know about it.”

The family had moved to Delhi from Bihar a few years ago. They had rented a new, one-room apartment in Shaheen Bagh only four days ago.

Adil’s grandfather said, ‘‘We immediately called the PCR, which arrived quickly and took Adil to hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. If only we had got to know a little earlier, the doctors might have been able to save his life,” he added.

Adil’s father (Mohammad Asif Raza) makes leather bags for an export house, his mother (Gudiya) is a housewife. Mohammad Sulemaan confirmed the body had been sent for postmortem and would be handed over to the family the following morning.

neha.jain@timesgroup.com

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Police- Help: Cops cook up FIR against 4


Cops cook up FIR against 4

Are Exposed In Court By ‘Complainant’

Smriti Singh | TNN

New Delhi: Police in the capital have turned “storytellers”. Like professional scriptwriters of racy Bollywood films, they are inventing characters and concocting stories to prove their mettle. If a complainant is to be believed, the police are filing FIRs about crime incidents that never took place and then arresting people named in the case.

They were recently exposed before a trial court when a complainant in one such case broke down before the court and confessed that he did not even know about the incident. Deposing before additional sessions judge Kamini Lau in a mobile theft case, Nitin Kumar told the court that no such incident actually took place and that the FIR filed was fake.

He alleged that the police asked for his old mobile phone and purse after which they registered a theft case against four persons not known to him. To prove his innocence, 18-year-old Nitin, who worked with a property dealer, said that the mobile given to the police was not his but belonged to a friend, Vishwajeet.

The story became murkier when the court found out that many such cases were filed in Jehangirpuri police station. After perusal of records, the court found that another FIR in the same police station had been registered in March 2010. In this case, Vishwajeet, who had given a mobile phone to Nitin Kumar, was the complainant. The allegations too were similar.

‘‘I have gone through the said FIR and I am shocked to observe that the allegations and narration of the incident are absolutely similar in both the FIRs,’’ ASJ Kamini Lau said.

Stating that an independent inquiry was required in the matter, the court asked the Commissioner of Police to get the matter probed.

‘‘Needless to say it is expected that these investigations shall be conducted by an independent agency preferably by the crime branch or any competent officer,’’ the court said, asking the police to submit a report before the court within 15 days of the order.

The court also directed the deputy commissioner of police of the area to ensure safety and security to Nitin so that ‘‘officers of Jahangirpuri police station have no access to this witness till the time the proceedings are pending before this court’’.

Man alleges he was burnt by the police

Dwaipayan Ghosh | TNN

New Delhi: A 22-year-old rickshaw puller living in the Karawal Nagar area in northeast Delhi has alleged the Welcome police tried to burn him after he refused to confess to having stolen a mobile phone. Police is still to register a case although a medical test on the victim has been conducted at Hedgewar Hospital. According to sources in the hospital, there are certain ‘‘injury marks on the private parts’’ of the victim Sanjay ‘‘though the cause is still to be ascertained.’’

Vivek Vihar police received a PCR call from an NGO on Friday. ‘‘Sanjay told us he was picked up by four cops on August 1. He claimed three constables from Welcome police station asked him to confess to having stolen a passenger’s mobile phone. When he refused, they allegedly took him to the police station,’’ cops said.

MCD: Mentally Challenged Department: Coffee Houses in Loos


Only MCD can come up with such convoluted ideas, against the basic culture of Indians.

Eateries in Toilets indeed.

Cafes-cum-toilets dumped?

Abantika Ghosh | TNN

New Delhi: The controversial coffee house-cum-toilet project of MCD has drawn the lieutenant-governor’s ire. In the face of criticism from residents and legislators and allegations of procedural lapses, the office of the LG has asked all the seven prototypes to be reviewed and the one at Defence Colony to be scrapped immediately.

LG Tejendra Khanna — who was flooded with letters and memoranda opposing the project — has asked the civic body to go back to the drawing board on the Defence Colony building as it is the one which has caused the maximum outrage among residents, traders and elected representatives.

MCD commissioner K S Mehra was not available for comment despite repeated attempts till late in the night. A senior MCD official, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted that the projects were in the process of being reviewed but added that he was ‘‘not aware of any direction from the LG to scrap any of them’’.

MCD HADPLANNED 200 STRUCTURES

Eatery over loo bad idea: Residents

New Delhi: After MCD’s  coffee house-cum-toilet project faced opposition from residents and legislators, sources in the LG’s office said the commissioner was told about the public outcry over the Defence Colony structure and he reportedly said that if people did not want it, there was no point in going ahead with the project. This, however, could not be confirmed.

MCD has plans to construct 200 such structures across the city. In a bid to finalize the contractors, the agency had invited five companies to build seven prototypes in Greater Kailash, Kotla Mubarakpur, Chittaranjan Park, East of Kailash, Defence Colony, ITO, Model Town and Kailash Colony. These companies paid MCD Rs 40 lakh for each structure.

The plan was that once a technical committee had looked at the structures and chosen one, the others would be razed and that one company would be given the task of building and operating all the 200 outlets for 30 years in lieu of a payment of Rs 1,000 crore to MCD. In some of these areas, rentals can be as high as Rs 75,000-1,50,000 per square feet a month.

Residents and traders have described these structures as ‘‘monstrosities’’ constructed in the middle of markets that would only add to congestion. ‘‘There were objections about the concept of eating above a toilet. Soon, there were allegations of financial bungling with the money and the period for which the lease was to be given being too much for too little,’’ said a source.

New Delhi MP Ajay Maken, Kalkaji MLA Subhash Chopra and Jangpura MLA Tarvinder Marwah had joined the chorus.

A senior official in LG secretariat said: ‘‘The LG felt that with local area plans in the offing, it was not in the interest of anybody to plan and execute projects that led to such tough resistance from locals for whom the idea was originally designed. The prototypes will be demolished.’’

Mamata Banarjee: Brave lady takes Political Solution to Lalgarh


End The Violence

Mamata Banarjee, laughed at by many for her simple attaire and no nonsense lanuage has managed to rally the people of Lalgarh, which has seen much violence in the recent past and is considered a den of Maoists.

First and foremost Mamata deserves to be congratulated for her bravery, to walk in to the den of Maoists, and call themto accept the  democratic path.

Maoists with their fixed ideas of governance democracy may or may not accede to her call, but the fact remains that she has gone in to the tiger’s den boldly, a place  where other politicians were too scared  to set foot on.

India needs more Mamatas.

Do we have a single politician in this entire country who will dare to do what she has done?

May be Kashmir Valley should be her next stop.


Mamata makes a pitch for peace in Lalgarh

Trinamool Congress chief and Union railway minister Mamata Banerjee has stirred controversy with a “peace” rally at Lalgarh on Monday. A significant part of her address was aimed at the Maoists whose presence loomed over the meet. She called on them to abjure violence and talk to the government. She suggested that the government could withdraw security operations in the region if the Maoists agreed to a ceasefire. She stressed a political dialogue to end the violence and usher in development.

he rally was important because it marked the return of normal politics to this strife-torn region since violence engulfed it, following an attack on the West Bengal chief minister in 2008. Though dubbed an apolitical meet, the crowd was made up of three distinct political streams active, and sometimes overlapping, in the region. Activists from Trinamool Congress were expectedly there. But a majority of the crowd belonged to the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), which has pro-Maoist leanings. Some of its leaders are in jail facing charges of engineering the attack on the Jnaneswari Express. The CPI (Maoist), reportedly, had asked its cadre to make the rally a success. T

he challenge before Mamata is to build on what she said at the rally. The PCPA may have started out as a mass movement, with focus on the concerns of a largely impoverished tribal population. It is necessary to disengage the Maoist cause from that of tribal welfare.

If Mamata’s overtures mean that tribal activists can be persuaded to disavow violent means and join the political mainstream, then that is to be welcomed. But for that to happen, the PCPA needs to be told that the tribal cause figures in the scheme of Maoists only as a passing moment in their struggle to capture state power. Mamata will need to impress upon PCPA leaders that issues of development and political representation could be addressed through democratic institutions and without coercion.

A turnaround in Lalgarh and its neighbourhood is possible only if political forces active there abandon the use of force to build their organisations. T

he CPM, though currently at the receiving end, is hardly innocent of using violence for the benefit of the party. Each of these forces – the Trinamool, the CPM and the PCPA – must recognise that the ultimate beneficiaries of a coercive political environment are the Maoists. An essential part of building a new Bengal has to be about doing away with the existing culture of intolerance towards political differences. Another part must be stressing development, about which Mamata has been notably ambiguous in recent times.

PCPA steals the thunder at Didi’s roadshow

Jnaneswari Sabotage Accused Defy Police, Lead Processions

Caesar Mandal | TNN

Lalgarh: As expected, Mamata Banerjee’s Lalgarh rally turned out to be a PCPA show, every mile of the way. The Maoist-backed outfit showed its might and reach, marshalling foot soldiers from the remotest of villages, teaching the famed Trinamool Congress machinery a thing or two about crowd management.
The white-and-green PCPA flags far outnumbered Trinamool flags in the 60,000-strong rally.
What’s more, wanted PCPA leaders — including Asit Mahato, who carries a reward of Rs 1 lakh for the Jnaneswari Express carnage, and spokesperson Manoj Mahato — led huge processions to the venue, sending police into a flutter.
Busloads of PCPA supporters, shouting ‘Mamata Banerjee zindabad’, streamed into Lalgarh all day and well into the evening, even after Mamata had finished her speech and the rally had wound up. Trinamool leaders went into a tizzy on seeing their supporters hopelessly outnumbered. Party MP Subhendu Adhikary was heard announcing in a desperate manner: ‘‘This is an apolitical rally. We ask everyone to lower their party flags and banners.’’
In the morning, police had done their best to corner the PCPA. Villages were raided to prevent PCPA from mobilizing villagers. Teams went looking for Asit and Manoj but the duo was already in Purnapani village by then, hardly 2km from the venue. Trinamool leaders waiting at the school grounds got a shock when they saw the PCPA flags in the first procession to reach the spot. That was just the beginning.
With their big drums, the Jangalmahal locals announced their resounding presence. The Trinamool crowd had been mainly brought in from East Midnapore and other South Bengal districts, but most of them were caught in a massive traffic jam in Jhitka forest, caused mainly by the flood of PCPA supporters.
It was almost surreal to see jhitka, a Maoist den that has seen much bloodshed, jam-packed with honking vehicles. The road through the forest is generally deserted all day, or sometimes dotted with burning trucks.
Police managed to stop some of the rallies, mainly in Jhargram. PCPA worker Sushil Mahato was arrested near Lodhashuli while organizing a procession. Three others were rounded up near the rally venue. ‘‘Sushil was nabbed in Nischintapur village. He was arrested earlier but had fled from custody. The three others were picked up from Gohmidanga village.
They are accused of extortion,’’ West Midnapore SP Manoj Varma said.
Manoj Mahato accused police of trying every means to thwart the rally. ‘‘In areas where police cannot find anyone to arrest, they are asking vehicle owners and drivers not to provide us cars,’’ he alleged when TOI spotted him in Purnapani.

NOT TO BE DETERRED

Congress left red-faced but puts up brave face

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

New Delhi: Though stung by Mamata Banerjee casting doubts on the encounter killing of top Maoist leader Azad, Congress on Monday chose to put up with the latest embarrassment inflicted on it by the Trinamool chief.
Mamata’s decision to hold the meeting in the Maoist stronghold of Lalgarh despite opposition from CPM and reservations of security forces was controversial enough. But her slamming of Azad’s encounter virtually stunned Congress into silence.
The statement went against Union home ministry’s stand that Azad was a prized scalp in the anti-Maoist campaign and the view in Congress was that the railway minister had compromised the Centre’s position.
Congress decided against commenting on the issue.
While it disagrees with Mamata, there is little it can do. Besides coaliton compulsions at the Centre, the party is deterred by the cost of annoying an ally who has emerged as the vehicle of the growing popular clamour for a regime change in West Bengal. “This is a trouble we have to live with,” a Congress leader said.
Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed, in fact, tried to dispel the perception that the party had reservations about the Lalgarh rally where Maoist sympathisers made up most of Mamata’s audience. “Congress has extended moral support to the rally. Intellectuals, writers, artists and others are working for restoration of peace in the area,” he said.
Mamata made an unabashed attempt to woo Maoists in a region where Trinamool cannot boast of enough strength of its own. Congress sees Mamata as focussed on wresting West Bengal from the Left bloc and knows that she will go “to any extent” to realise her ambition. Her position as the largest UPA ally makes her indispensable to the coalition.
Condemnation of the encounter death of Azad “who was talking peace” is seen as an attempt to send out a message that Leftists are targetting messengers of peace. While the encounter was done by Andhra police, Trinamool has reportedly been saying that Bengal police had tipped off its Andhra counterpart.
Congress does feel Mamata’s statement could lead to trouble.
This can compound Congress’s inhouse problems as AICC has been working hard to rein in a strong difference of opinion on the issue, as manifested by general secretary Digvijay Singh locking horns with home minister P Chidambaram on his “police centric” policy. “It will create confusion about Centre’s policy on naxalites,” a leader said. But that may be a small price for the trophy of West Bengal that Mamata is promising to deliver.

Andher Nagari: Dinakaran sworn in as CJ of Sikkim HC


Dinakaran sworn in as CJ of Sikkim HC

Is Sikkim a dumping ground?

Gangtok: Justice P D Dinakaran, who is facing threat of impeachment in Rajya Sabha for alleged corruption, was today swornin as the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court at a ceremony boycotted by two bar associations.

Sixty-year-old Justice Dinakaran, who was transferred to the state from Karnataka following the allegations, was sworn in by Sikkim governor Balmiki Prasad Singh at the Ashirwad Bhavan in the Raj Bhavan complex. Justice Dinakaran has denied allegations. CM Pawan Chamling, cabinet ministers and top officials were also present.

Members of both Bar Association of Sikkim and the HC of Sikkim Bar Association boycotted swearing-in ceremony to protest the manner in which SC Collegium and Centre had effected the transfer of Justice Dinakaran. PTI

Bangalore : Anglo-Indians get new nursing seats quota


Anglo-Indians get new nursing seats quota

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: The number of nursing seats reserved for Anglo-Indian community has been increased. MLA Derrick M B Fullinfaw, who represents the community in the assembly, shared this information on Tuesday.

He said: “BSc-reserved nursing seats have been increased from 1 to 10 and there will be 2 more for general nursing and five more seats for MSc nursing. This will be a great boon to women of the community.”

He lauded another move by primary and secondary education department, which increased annual fee concession for Anglo-Indian children studying in English-medium schools to Rs 5,000 from Rs 3,000 per student. “I’d requested the minister in 2008 and it has been implemented. But several Anglo-Indian students studying in SSLC board schools need this concession as it’s currently only for ICSE syllabus students,’’ he said.
He mentioned several problems the community faces and urged the government to look into them. “Housing is a major problem.

We request the CM to help them by providing BDA sites. Hardly has any Anglo-Indian obtained an Ashraya site or house pro vided by the government since 1993,’’ he said. An other issue was communi ty halls: “We don’t have community hall and we re quest the government to provide at least one com munity hall out of several unused ones and I’ll get the renovation done from my MLA fund.’’

He urged the central government to restore the reservation which was in place till 1960 in organi zations such as the rail ways. He pointed out that there are about 5,000 An glo-Indians living in Ban galore and about 12,000 people in the state. Sev eral families live in Mysore, Kolar, Bellary and Hubli, he said.