Shivaraj Tangadagi Mla Bibliography

Will the BJP beat the Congress in Karnataka?
Elections.inIndia's 1st Elections website

Kanakagiri (Karnataka) Assembly Constituency Elections


Sitting and previous MLAs from Kanakagiri Assembly Constituency

Below is the list of winners and runners-up in the Kanakagiri assembly elections conducted so far.

YearA C No.Constituency NameCategoryWinnerGenderPartyVotesRunner UpGenderPartyVotes
201361Kanakagiri(SC)Shivaraj SangappatangadagiMINC49451Basavaraj DadhesuguruMKJP44399
200861Kanakagiri(SC)Shivaraj S/O Sangappa TangadagiMIND32743Bhavanimath MukundaraoMINC30560
200428KanakagiriGENVeerappa Devappa Kesarahatti G MBJP46712Mallikarjuna Nagappa MMINC41136
199928KanakagiriGENM Malikarjun Nagappa MINC55808Nagappa Bheemappa SaloniMJD(U)32601
199428KanakagiriGENNagappa Bheemappa Saloni MJD32238M. Mallikarjuna NagappaMINC32045
198928KanakagiriGENM. Mallikarjuna MINC39812NagappaMJD30279
198528KanakagiriGENSrirangadevarayalu MINC29791Nagappa Bhemappa SadoniMJNP29128
198328KanakagiriGENSrirangadevarayalu Venkarayalu MINC25992DurgadasMIND5629
197828KanakagiriGENM.Nagappa Mukappa MINC(I)27932Mariyappa Doddabasappa BhatadaMJNP12924


Last Updated on March 12, 2018


The INC is in full swing for selecting candidates ahead of Karnataka Election. The party has invite..... Read More
AAP has finalised the list of candidates who would contest polls from Bengaluru. The prominent candidates among the list of 28 candidates include th..... Read More
Ahead of the Karnataka Assembly polls, a video has surfaced of state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah dancing to a rather raunchy song. The video now has..... Read More
Ahead of the Karnataka Election, a survey has been conducted to better understand the voters' p..... Read More
Om Prakash Rawat, the Chief Election Commissioner of India, has been mum on the poll dates of Karnataka. In a press statement, he said that the date..... Read More

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thursday, march 23, 2017

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PM Modi never linked ISI to Kanpur train accident: Rajnath Singh

Jaitley defends linking PAN to Aadhaar, allays concerns on I-T raids

Ex-Trump adviser Manafort ‘worked to beneit Putin regime’

Cheteshwar Pujara gets Grade A contract, along with Vijay & Jadeja

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Four dead after terror attack outside U.K. Parliament

NEARBY

SC to hear Babri Masjid demolition case today

Man rams car into crowd, stabs police oicer before being shot dead

T i ru c h i r a pa l l i

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Mumbai

EC freezes ‘two leaves’ for R.K. Nagar bypoll Recognises split in party, bars use of ‘AIADMK’ till inal order Special Correspondent NEW DELHI

NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ixed for Thursday the hearing in the Babri Masjid demolition case in which senior BJP leaders L. K. Advani, M. M. Joshi and Uma Bharti are accused. A Bench headed by Justice P. C. Ghose said the appropriate bench comprising him and Justice R F Nariman will be hearing the matter. NEWS 쑺 PAGE 11 DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Gau rakshak leader not in Jaipur hotel FIR JAIPUR

Three days after cow vigilante groups swooped down on a hotel here alleging that it was serving beef, the Jaipur Police on Wednesday registered a criminal case against unknown persons for unlawful assembly, causing hurt and trespass. The FIR did not name Sadhvi Kamal Didi, who led the cow vigilante crowd, as an accused. NATION

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Vidya Ram London

A full counter-terrorism operation was under way in London on Wednesday afternoon after an attacker rammed a car into a crowd on Westminster Bridge and then attacked a police officer within the security cordon of the U.K. Parliament at Westminster. Four persons were killed in the incident, including the attacker who was shot dead after he stabbed a police officer, who succumbed to his injuries. Two persons, including a woman, died in the attack on the bridge with several others seriously injured, in what Scotland Yard described as a “terrorist incident.” The Houses of Parliament and nearby buildings went into lockdown while Prime Minister Theresa May was ushered back to Downing Street following the incident that occurred around 2.40 p.m. Metropolitan Police Commander B.J. Harrington said a full counter-terrorism operation was under way and that the Acting Metropolitan Commissioner Craig Mackey had been at the scene of the incident. Details of the incident were still emerging at the time of going to print but the leader of the House of Commons David Liddington said

First response: A member of the public is treated by emergency services near Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament in London on Wednesday. GETTY IMAGES *

a police officer was stabbed and a person shot by armed police within the security cordon of the Houses of Parliament.

French students injured Reports suggested that on Westminster Bridge, pedestrians were hit by a car that ploughed into them. Mr. Harrington said they had received a number of reports, including of a person in the river, a car colliding with

pedestrians and an armed man with a knife. The London Ambulance Service said they had treated at least 10 people with a number of others in hospital, while the port authority said a woman had been rescued from the river, with injuries. Three French pupils on a school trip were among those hurt on the bridge, two of them seriously. With many politicians still

2 RSS workers get life term in Ajmer dargah blast case

3 meat shops vandalised in western U.P.

Explosion in shrine on October 11, 2007, had killed three

Meerut

mar had addressed a secret meeting of activists in Jaipur’s Gujarati Samaj guest house and asked them to work by associating themselves with some religious groups so as to avoid suspicion. CONTINUED 쑺 ON PAGE 10

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JAIPUR

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court here on Wednesday sentenced two Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers to life imprisonment in the 2007 Ajmer dargah blast case in which three persons were killed. The convicts are Bhavesh Patel (39) and Devendra Gupta (41). This is the firstever conviction and sentencing of RSS cadre in a terror case. Handing down the life sentence, Special Judge Dinesh Gupta directed the NIA to file a closure report in connection with senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar, selfstyled godwoman Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and an accused Ramesh Gohil about their role in the blast at the 13th century dargah of Kh-

End of the road: Convicts Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel, left, being taken away after the sentencing in Jaipur. PTI *

waja Moinuddin Chishti. In one of the charge sheets, the names of Mr. Kumar and Pragya Thakur had appeared as suspects, though they were not formally named as accused, since the probe against them was “kept pending.” The charge sheet claimed that Mr. Ku-

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AIADMK MPs belonging to the Sasikala faction leaving the Election Commission on Wednesday. SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY *

their parent party ... and both the groups shall also be allotted different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols notified by the Election Commission for the purpose of the byelection,” said the order.

‘New names today’ Accordingly, the EC directed both factions to furnish names of their groups by 10 a.m. on Thursday. They have also been instructed to suggest three options each for possible election symbols. The factions have been allowed a final opportunity of adducing all other documents and affidavits by April 17 for the final settlement of the dispute. During the hearing on Wednesday, the Sasikala faction contended that there was no split in the party, and it was only a matter of in-

Path to safety

A fall, and rebirth: An Indian Gaur, which fell into a disused 10-foot-deep well in a private property near Gorishola in Udhagamandalam, was rescued by forest department personnel on Wednesday. An earthmover was used to break open a wall, and a gradient made for the bovine to climb out. M. SATHYAMOORTHY *

NIMHANS raises volunteer corps to reach out

Municipal election put of by a day

Those signing up will help people with mental health issues get sound medical advice Bengaluru

opportunities for patients with mental illnesses.

There is a gap in the availability, accessibility and affordability of mental health services, and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) Centre for Well Being here is working to bridge it by grooming people from various walks of life — teachers, engineers, home makers and others — to take its programmes to those in need. The first batch of 23 participants completed a four-month ‘Well-being volunteer programme’ last week. Explaining the concept, E. Aravind Raj, Assistant Professor of Psychiatric Social Work at NIMHANS, said that the effort was to build a pool of volunteers from different

Starting a centre Programme volunteers have referred more than 50 patients to NIMHANS and the NIMHANS Centre for Well Being (NCWB). They also plan to create a volunteer cell at NCWB. Engineer-turnedcommunication consultant Arun Tharakan (38), who enrolled in the programme, wants to learn more about mental health. He is keen to understand the mental health of cab drivers, and wants to work with cab aggregators to study drivers who clock over 12 hours a day. “Their mental state plays a role in how they drive. Many of them have financial problems and are treated like machines,” he

CM YK

Health patrol: NIMHANS volunteers, in picture, will aid distressed people get professional help SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT *

backgrounds who would help remove the stigma surrounding mental health. The modules covered in the course included a school mental health programme, stress management, basic counselling skills, and

identification and treatment of mental illness. The course educated participants about sleep hygiene and handling ‘displacement of stress’ in the workplace. Mr. Aravind Raj said some volunteers are also shortlisting job

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Tanu Kulkarni

ternal dissent. “However, the Commission is satisfied, based on documents filed and oral submissions made by the learned counsels of both the parties, that there are two rival groups in the party, led by E. Madhusudhanan and V.K. Sasikala,” said the EC order. Although the Panneerselvam camp also challenged the appointment of Sasikala as the party’s interim general secretary, the EC restricted the proceedings to the allotment of the symbol. Describing the ruling as “unexpected,” T.T.V. Dhinakaran, deputy general secretary of the faction led by Sasikala, said late on Wednesday that they would either move the Madras High Court or the Supreme Court to challenge it.

Mohammad Ali

Three mutton shops were vandalised and burnt by an unidentified mob on Tuesday night in Hathras town in western Uttar Pradesh, police officials said. The shops, which were located at Jalesar Road under the Hathras Kotwali police station, belonged to small-time traders. The attacks came just hours after the police raided the local meat market and slaughter houses to check if meat was being sold in the open market without a licence from the local civic body, and if the slaughter houses were functioning illegally. Since the BJP government took office last week, the police have sealed several slaughter houses and meat shops across the State.

Mohammed Iqbal

within Westminster, following the lockdown, a picture of the tense atmosphere emerged with many taking to Twitter to communicate their experiences of how the afternoon had unfolded. Prime Minister Theresa May was chairing a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee at Downing Street when reports last came in.

The Election Commission on Wednesday froze the AIADMK’s “Two Leaves” symbol, prohibiting its use in the coming R.K. Nagar byelection in Chennai. The decision came after the EC heard the rival factions of O. Panneerselvam and V.K. Sasikala, who had staked their claim to the symbol. Pending a final resolution of the dispute, the factions have also been barred from using the party’s name in the bypoll. Observing that a deeper examination of the issue was required and that the more than 20,000 pages of evidence would have to be examined, the EC, in its interim order, said any hasty decision during the nomination process for the byelection might lead to an erroneous conclusion, prejudicially impacting the rights of either or both the sides. The EC, which recognised that there was a split in the party, said pending the final settlement of the dispute, neither group was permitted to use the name ‘All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.’ Also, they cannot use the party symbol for the bypoll on April 12. “Both the groups shall be known by such names as they may choose for their respective groups, showing, if they so desire, linkage with

said. He plans to conduct a survey before designing a mental health module with help from NIMHANS. Champa Shetty (42), who is pursuing her Ph.D in Psychology in theatre, has completed the NIMHANS programme. She says that portrayal of mental health in the media needs to change. “Many of the plays that I have directed involve social issues. I am planning to direct a play on depression, for World Health Day. Mental illness needs to be looked at just like any other disease. People who need help should not hesitate to reach out to professionals,” she says. She wants to spread awareness on the issue using street plays and to speak about it in theatre circles and schools.

Date was clashing with Board exam

Adityanath keeps key portfolios Omar Rashid LUCKNOW

Staff Reporter NEW DELHI

Voting in the elections to the municipal corporations of Delhi would be held on April 23, not April 22 as announced earlier, the Delhi State Election Commission decided on Wednesday. The State Election Commission also changed the date for counting, from April 25 to April 26, as school examinations on April 22 were clashing with voting day. The CBSE examination for Hindi (Elective) among other courses would be held on April 22, and many of the examination centres would also be used as polling stations, said State Election Commissioner S.K. Srivastava. Despite trying, the State Election Commission was

unable to overcome the shortage of polling stations on April 22. As per the notification issued by the Commission, while the date of polling and counting has changed, the rest of the poll schedule remains the same.

Last date of nomination The election notification will be out on March 27, the last date for nomination would be April 3, scrutiny of documents on April 5 and last date for withdrawal of nominations would be April 8. The Election Commission had released the original schedule on March 14. The much-awaited polls will decide the fate of 272 councillors. While NDMC and SMDC have 104 seats each, EDMC has 64 seats.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has kept over two dozen departments to himself, including the high-profile portfolios — home, revenue, mining and urban housing Ministries. Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya has been allotted the prestigious Public Works Department, food processing, entertainment tax and public enterprises, while Dinesh Sharma, who is also deputy CM, has the higher and secondary education, electronics and information technology, and science and technology. The Adityanath council of ministers has 22 Cabinet ministers and nine Ministers of State. DETAILS ON 쑺 PAGE 10 A ND-ND

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DELHI

Timings

Thursday, March 23

RISE 06:22 SET 18:34 RISE 02:55 SET 13:58 Friday, March 24

RISE 06:20 SET 18:35 RISE 03:40 SET 14:54

Bharatpur girls were bright students Minor girls had just returned home from school when policemen raided the village

Prime Minister tells CM Rawat

Hemani Bhandari

Saturday, March 25

‘Adopt policy of zero tolerance on graft’

Bharatpur

RISE 06:19 SET 18:35 RISE 04:23 SET 15:52

IN BRIEF

PDP party of ‘broken promises’: Omar SRINAGAR

Ahead of by-elections, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah ton Wednesday termed the ruling PDP as a party of “broken promises” and challenged it to spell out even one promise that it has kept.PTI

Four booked for duping man of ₹60,000 PHAGWARA

Police on Wednesday booked four persons for duping a man of ₹60,000 on the pretext of sending him on a trip to Singapore.The police have identified the accused as Surinder, Rohit, Angad and Preet of Phagwara. A case against them was registered on a complaint of Ankur Thakur of village Chak Sachuri falling under Sujanpur police station, they said.PTI

Press Trust of India

“She was very intelligent. Only yesterday, I asked her to recite tables till 12 and the spelling of September and she knew it by heart,” said 50-year-old school teacher Amrit Singh of Shakko (11), one of the two minor girls who drowned in Bharatpur’s Panchi ka Nagla village on Tuesday evening. She had come back from school -- built for children from the community -around 4 pm when the police raided the village inhabited by members of the Bedia community, who are sex workers for over 200 years. Still in her school uniform, she ran fearing arrest, said her father Lakhan Singh (40), who carried her body from the ambulance in the same uniform on Wednesday afternoon. Shakko’s 13-year-old cousin, Rachna, also jumped into the pond with another cousin, Payal. While Payal was rescued, the other two drowned as they didn’t know swimming and nobody was allegedly allowed by the police to rescue them. “Over 15 of them were standing when the girls drowned but they did not make an effort to save them. Eventually, two of them jumped to save Payal, who was on the periphery,” Mr Singh said, adding that two boys from the nearby village tried to jump but the police didn’t let them and also beat up villagers who tried to save the girls.

Police denial The police, however, denied the charge, stating that they did their best to save the girls but could rescue only one. “We did not have enough manpower to rescue the girls because the pond area was not a part of the raid. Two policemen managed to rescue only one girl. It was an accident,” Assistant Superintendent of Police Dharmendra Singh said. The villagers alleged that

New Delhi

Inconsolable: Grieving family members of the two minor girls who drowned in a pond (below) in Bharatpur’s Panchi ka Nagla village. The girls jumped into the pond following a police raid on their village on Tuesday SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA. *

several girls ran towards the pond in the forest area, which is nearly 400 meters away from the residential settlement when the police raided with sticks and guns. Rachna’s mother, a widow and a sex worker, said the girl was resting in her house when one of the policemen entered. “She ran and the police officer told her to stop or else they would shoot her but out of fear, she continued to run. The police fired two rounds and threw a stick at her. That’s when she jumped,” she said. The police, however, denied the statement and said the girls were already present at the pond to relieve themselves when the police found them. “Three girls were probably relieving themselves near the pond when they heard police’s movement and without a thought jumped into the pond,” said ASP Singh, adding that it

wasn’t possible for the girls to evade the chase to that distance “because we are taller and fitter.” Rachna’s mother said she requested the police officers in the station to let her see her daughter but they didn’t allow. “They took me to Sewar thana and detained me there. A woman in the police station told me that my child has died and they didn’t let me see her even then. They let me off on Wednesday afternoon,” she said, breaking into tears.

‘Red-light area’ It’s not the first time the police raided the village, infamously known as the ‘red-light area.’ But the villagers alleged that they’re raided at regular intervals on false charges. Talking about the community, many said sex work was a family tradition for them and they never forced a

woman into it. “We’ve never pushed any girl into prostitution. As they turn 18, they’re asked whether they want to get married or get into the profession. Many of our girls are married,” said Akash. But at the same time, they are forced to remain in the trade because potential employers turn them away when they learn they belong to the Bedia community, he added. As the bodies were kept

outside the house on the ground, ready to be cremated, the families of the girls pointed to the bruises on their faces and other parts of the body. “They were beaten,” alleged the girls’ uncle Sanjay. Three girls were rescued from the raid on Tuesday and handed over to Child Welfare Committee of the state. Two FIRs were registered under sections of human trafficking of the IPC, ASP Singh said.

Newly-elected Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Wednesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi who directed him to adopt a policy of zero tolerance on corruption and ensure transparency in governance. “The Prime Minister has asked to adopt policy of zero tolerance on corruption. He also asked to ensure transparency and assured us full support for the development of Uttarakhand,” Mr. Rawat told reporters here after the meeting. An official said Mr. Rawat apprised the Prime Minister about the priorities of his government in the State. The two leaders also discussed in detail about the roads in the border areas of the State, the official added. The Uttarakhand Chief Minister also met party president Amit Shah who asked him to ensure allocation of portfolios in a balanced manner. Mr. Shah also asked him to take along all sections of people on the path of development, Mr. Rawat said. Mr. Rawat said party leaders will meet on Thursday in Dehradun to discuss the allocation of portfolios.

Uttarakhand CM T. S. Rawat with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI *

The Chief Minister also met senior BJP leader L. K. Advani, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu.

Financial subjects Mr. Rawat said Mr. Jaitley has assured his ministry’s support to all the financial subjects related to the State. In his meeting with Mr. Naidu, the two leaders discussed about the progress of various schemes of Urban Development Ministry like Smart City, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) and AMRUT. “Naiduji has assured us that there will be no shortage of funds for the development of Uttarakhand,” Mr. Rawat said.

All-party team to meet Rajnath on SYL canal Press Trust of India Chandigarh

A delegation of all political parties of Haryana led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on March 24 to discuss the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal issue. An official spokesperson said the delegation will comprise State Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma, Finance Minister Capt

3 held for posting ‘objectionable’ pictures of CM Adityanath They were arrested from Bareilly, Amethi and Ghazipur

Abhimanyu, Health Minister Anil Vij and State BJP president Subhash Barala. Haryana unit Congress president Ashok Tanwar, Leader of Congress Legislative Party Kiran Choudhary, former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, State president of Indian National Lok Dal Ashok Arora and Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala will also be part of the delegation.

SJVN pays interim dividend Staff Correspondent SHIMLA

Staff reporter Meerut

The Uttar Pradesh police have arrested three persons in Bareilly, Amethi and Ghazipur on the charge of posting objectionable pictures of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on social media. The police raided Professors Colony in Ghazipur and arrested Abdul Razzaque, a student leader, for allegedly posting an “objectionable” picture of the Chief Minister on Facebook. Ghazipur Kotwali SHO Surendra Kumar Pandey said Razzaque was arrested on a complaint from Upendra Kumar, local convener

of the Bagrang Dal. District Magistrate Sanjay Khatri and senior police officers rushed to the area as the members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, which was established by Yogi Adityanath, started a protest. As the situation turned serious, the police arrested Razzaque in the early hours of Monday. “Upendra Kumar had filed a complaint against Razzaque, alleging that he had posted an objectionable picture of the Chief Minister on Facebook. He has been booked under Section 499 of the IPC and Section 66 of the IT Act,” Mr. Pandey said. The police said Razzaque

was produced in a local court, which remanded him in police custody. The Amethi police arrested Anas Siddiqui on the same charge. Superintendent of Police Anees Ansari said Siddique was booked under Sections 153A, 295A, 298 and 505 (2) of the IPC and Section 67 of the IT Act. The Bareilly police arrested Salman Ansari for allegedly posting an “obscene” picture of the Chief Minister on social media. The police said Ansari was arrested on the complaint of Akash Shukla and booked under Sections 295A and 505(2) of the IPC and Section 67A of the IT Act.

Public sector hydro-electric company Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam limited, a joint venture of the Centre and the Himachal government, on Wednesday paid an interim dividend of ₹ 599.99 crore to the Centre and ₹237.38 crore to the Himachal government. It has also declared an interim dividend of ₹ 930.74 crore to its shareholders, said a company spokesman. R.N. Misra, Chairman, said that during the financial year 2016-17, SJVN has targeted to generate 8700 million units of electricity. Hydro power is the core strength of SJVN, he said.

Published by N. Ram at Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002 and Printed by S. Ramanujam at HT Media Ltd. Plot No. 8, Udyog Vihar, Greater Noida Distt. Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P. 201306, on behalf of KASTURI & SONS LTD., Chennai-600002. Editor: Mukund Padmanabhan (Responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act). Regd. DL(ND)-11/6110/2006-07-08 RNI No. TNENG/2012/49940 ISSN 0971 - 751X Vol. 7 No. 70 ●

CM YK







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THE HINDU

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IN BRIEF

Water projects lying Elephant census from March 27 defunct in Odisha It will cover north Bengal and adjoining north-eastern States Special Correspondent Kolkata

Auto drivers go on strike in Odisha

Thanks to frequent power outages during the summer

BHUBANESWAR

Satyasundar Barik

Autorickshaw drivers on Wednesday went on a Statewide strike following the State government’s decision to increase the registration fee, insurance and fitness certificate of the vehicle. With 30,000 autorickshaws off the road, commuters had to face hardships. - PTI

BHUBANESWAR

3 drug peddlers arrested in Malda MALDA

Three persons, including a minor, were on Wednesday arrested after police seized brown sugar from their possession , officials said. Acting on a tip-off, the CID and city police conducted a raid at a hotel near Malda station. 500 gm of brown sugar was seized from their possession, they said. - PTI

Strike by Assam oil tanker workers ends Guwahati The indefinite strike by oil tanker workers has been called off with the transporters agreeing to pay minimum wages. The strike affected loading and unloading of all forms of fuel from the refineries and depots in Assam. “We have withdrawn the strike late on Tuesdayt night after two days of talks,” APMU General Secretary Ramen Das said.

Over 21 kg of ganja seized in Aizawl AIZAWL

Mizoram Excise and Narcotics department officials has seized over 21.98 kg of Ganja (cannabis) in Aizawl, department officials said. Officials said the seizure was made on Tuesday night. A resident of Selam village in Champhai district on the Mizoram-Myanmar border was arrested for allegedly smuggling the contraband from Myanmar. - PTI

With the summer approaching and the scarcity of drinking water hitting the interiors of Odisha, the State government has admitted that piped water supply projects in around 2,000 villages and small habitations have been lying defunct. The State has also identified as many as 1,345 non-repairable projects. Water supply projects have been set up in 37,689 out of 1,56,468 villages and habitations. Apart from this, 4,15,558 tubewells and sanitary wells cater to the villagers’ needs. But, thanks to frequent power outages during the summer, water projects become ineffective. Consequently, villagers turn to unhygienic sources of drinking water. Pending monthly power bills are among the major reasons behind these projects being non-operational, besides damaged transformers and metres, and low voltage. Although the State government had directed power distribution companies not to discontinue power supply to water projects in case of unpaid dues, the order is not followed in most places. With the drinking water crisis worsening, residents

Unfulilled dream: Because of the dearth of drinking water, villagers are forced to turn to unhygienic sources. FILE PHOTO *

of over 20 villages in Khariar block of Nuapada district have resorted to digging percolation pits on the Sundar riverbed. The small river in Nuapada district originates from Sunabeda plateau and flows through the Komna and Khariar blocks.

Sand mining Some villagers, in fact, walk up to 3km to get drinking water from the riverbed. The unbridled sand extraction has further hit the riverbed’s water retention capacity. The scene is similar in districts of Bolangir, Sambalpur, Kalahandi, Subarnapur and Sundargarh. But it is not just the villagers who face a crisis. The urban population, especially those in the slums, is also not immune to the problem. “Although water scarcity has forced people to dig percola-

tion pits on the riverbeds, riparian communities still collect water by scooping sand out. In recent times, industries and the government’s water supply agencies have created water storage on the riverbeds in anticipation of the scarcity,” said Ranjan Panda, convenor of Water Initiative of Odisha. Water storage on a riverbed is done by digging a pit into which the water contained in sand percolates. It is then lifted using pumps. “The competition over storing water has already taken away the poor man’s access to water,” said Mr. Panda. The Sambalpur district administration, meanwhile, has started digging sanitary wells on a large scale under the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme.

A three-day elephant census in north Bengal and adjoining north-eastern States will start from March 27. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Chief Wildlife Warden of West Bengal Pradeep Vyas said that along with north Bengal, the census will be held in Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura. “The most important feature of this year’s census is the involvement of neighbouring States. Elephants are migratory animals, in earlier census we found the pachyderms cross over to the adjoining States, this leads to the possibility of overestimation or underestimation. The count will be conducted simultaneously with north-eastern States,” Mr. Vyas told reporters on Wednesday.

Direct count Senior forest officials said the census will involve direct and indirect count. Direct

as soon as the House assembled for the question hour.

Press trust of India

The Odisha Assembly on Wednesday witnessed pandemonium and frequent adjournments over farmers issue for the seventh consecutive day with opposition Congress and BJP demanding unanimous resolution to increase minimum support price (MSP) on paddy. The issue was raised

Cong ‘well trenched’ The Congress members rushed to the well of the House demanding passing of a resolution for increasing the MSP on paddy to Rs 2,800. The BJP members kept on standing near their seats in support of the Congress’s demand. Unable to run the

House, Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the proceeding several times. The opposition members also raised questions on the ruling BJD’s lack of interest in passing unanimous resolution in regard to MSP. Agriculture Minister Pradeep Kumar Maharathy, however, rejected the opposition allegation.

count involves block counting by sighting of elephants in forest and point counting from watchtowers in the forest. Indirect counting involves counting using dung decay method along the transit route of elephants. The elephant census in north Bengal will cover an area of around 1,828 sq km from Mechi river near IndoNepal border to Sankosh river, bordering Assam. As per last census carried out in

2014, there are 590 elephants in north Bengal. The counting of elephants in south Bengal will be held along with other bordering States of Odisha and Jharkhand in May.

Migration pattern Forest officials said that elephants in south Bengal migrate to Odisha and Jharkhand while those in north Bengal migrate to Assam. There are around 180

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elephants in south Bengal. Experts say that humanelephant conflict in the State has assumed alarming proportions. Professor Raman Sukumar of the Centre for Ecological Science at the IISc in Bengaluru said that an elephant in West Bengal kills ten times more human being in the State than anywhere else in the country. Elephants killed 108 people in West Bengal in 2015-16.

Seven of a family die in Bengal road accident Staff Reporter Kolkata

Seven members of a family, including two children, died in a road accident in West Bengal’s Bardhaman district when a tanker overturned on a car on Wednesday. The incident took place

Pandemonium in Odisha House Bhubaneswar

Jumbo outing: A herd of elephants at the Deepor Beel Sanctuary near Guwahati.

on National Highway-2 near Tejganj. "The driver of the tanker tried to overtake the car at high speed but lost control of his vehicle and overturned on to the car,” Additional Superintendent of Police (HQ) Dhrutiman

Bhattacharya said.

Tanker driver flees The driver of the tanker fled from the spot and no one has been arrested so far. The tanker was carrying tar used for constructing roads.

EDUCATIONAL

Moments after the crash, the two vehicles caught fire and a fire engine had to be called in to douse the flames before the bodies could be recovered. The deceased were residents of Howrah district and were going to Patna.

EDUCATIONAL

EDUCATIONAL

‘Peaceful rallies a fundamental right’ HC says permission for such rallies should be promptly dealt with Pradip Kumar Das CUTTACK

In a significant ruling, the Orissa High Court has ordered that holding peaceful rallies and dharna are the fundamental right of citizens guaranteed under Indian Constitution and any application seeking permission for such rallies and dharna in Odisha should be promptly dealt with by the concerned authorities. The court ruling came earlier this week when Justice C R Dash, while disposing of a writ petition filed by the president of Rajya Gruharakshi Mahasangha (State Home Guards’ Association), dir-

ected the State police to make arrangements for the mahasangha’s rally in Bhubaneswar and allot a suitable place for their dharna. For over five days, the Bhubaneswar police had taken no action on an application seeking permission to hold rally and dharna by the Mahasangha.

Police flayed Castigating the State police, the court said: “Such authorities are not supposed to act ad-libitum (without limit), so as to negate the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.” Reiterating that to as-

semble peacefully without arms is a fundamental right, the high court observed that if any application is filed by any person to exercise his fundamental right anywhere in the State under any relevant rules, regulations, guidelines or Act, such application should be dealt with promptly. “If permission is refused, reasonable grounds should be given in the rejection order,” the court said. “If no action is taken by the authority concerned within three days or 72 hours, whichever is later from the date/time of the receipt of the ap-

plication, it will be deemed that the permission has been granted”, the court said asking the government counsel to urgently communicate the same to State DGP and commissioner of police to do the needful, in order to awake the “sleeping police organisation” from its slumber. Following the ruling, the home guards of the State held a peaceful rally and dharna at Bhubaneswar on Tuesday and submitted their seven-point charter of demand to the State government highlighting their sufferings and injustice meted out to them for long.

Main accused held in AASU oice ransacking case Arrested from Bengal district Press Trust of India Guwahati

The Assam police in a joint operation with its West Bengal counterpart arrested the main accused in the Silapathar incident along with his aide from Bengal’s North 24-Parganas district on Wednesday morning.

Aide also nabbed A seven-member team of the Assam police, along

with the West Bengal police arrested prime accused Subodh Biswas along with his aide Subhas Biswas at Bajitpur in North 24-Parganas district, according to a statement issued by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. The Silapathar incident related to ransacking of an AASU office by activists of the Nikhil Bharat Bengali Udbastu Samanvay Raksha Samiti during a procession.

0 DISCLAIMER: Readers are requested to verify and make appropriate enquiries to satisfy themselves about the veracity of an advertisement before responding to any published in this newspaper. Kasturi & Sons Limited, the Publisher & Owner of this newspaper, does not vouch for the authenticity of any advertisement or advertiser or for any of the advertiser’s products and/or services. In no event can the Owner, Publisher, Printer, Editor, Director/s, Employees of this newspaper/ company be held responsible/liable in any manner whatsoever for any claims and/or damages for advertisements in this newspaper.

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THE HINDU

THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 2017

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Pramod Sawant elected Speaker of Goa Assembly

Maoists have confessed their link to Prof. Saibaba: Anti-Naxal unit Says opposition to the professor’s life imprisonment sentence shows their support

After assuming oice, says he will be impartial in his conduct as Speaker

Pavan Dahat NAGPUR

Prakash Kamat Panaji

The Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Sankhalim in north Goa, Pramod Sawant, was elected Speaker of the seventh Goa Assembly on Wednesday. Mr. Sawant (44), a twotime MLA was nominated by Glenn Ticlo (BJP). He defeated the Congress nominee for the Speaker’s post Aleixo Reginaldo, by a margin of 20-15 in the election conducted on the first day of the Budget session of the Assembly. Pro-tem Speaker Sidharth Kunkolienkar, was in the chair. After assuming his new role, Mr. Sawant, a former youth leader, said he would be impartial in his conduct as Speaker. “I will be impartial. All will be given equal opportunity. Training classes for old and new MLAs will be conducted where they will

Won’t tolerate crimes against women: CM

Warm welcome: Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and CLP leader Chandrakant Kavlekar escorting Pramod Sawant (centre) to his chair on Wednesday. ATISH POMBURFEKAR *

learn to present issues and ask questions,” Mr. Sawant said. Nationalist Congress Party MLA Churchill Alemao, who is facing a NCP show-cause notice for supporting the BJP-led government during the confidence vote last

Special Correspondent

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar directed the State Police on Wednesday to crack down on drugs and late night parties where drugs are sold. He said crimes against women would not be tolerated. To a question about the case of rape and murder of an Irish woman last week in Goa, Mr. Parrikar said he has instructed the investigating officers to ensure nobody is spared. On Tuesday, the remand to police custody given to Vikat Bhagat, the prime accused, was extended by seven days.

Caught in a jam One Congress and one BJP MLA could not reach in time for the voting, it was clarified by the respective parties. Congress candidate for

The Maharashtra police’s Anti-Naxal Operation unit has claimed that by calling for “Bharat Bandh” on March 29, in protest of life imprisonment to former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba, the Maoists have confessed that he was linked to them. The unit cited some banners that were put up by the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in Etapalli and Bhamargad area of Gadchiroli district in the State. The banners read, “Oppose the punishment of life imprisonment given to Prof. Saibaba, [ JNU student] Hem Mishra and five others. Make sure the ‘Bharat Bandh’ of March 29 is successful.” The banned outfit also appealed to the people to unite and protest against “long punishments given to peoples’ leaders, who are fighting against corporate expansion, and against the

The Maoist banners in Gadchiroli district oppose life imprisonment to Prof. Saibaba and call for Bharat Bandh. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT *

policy of the State to give the country’s natural resources to the corporate houses.” Some pamphlets found in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, apparently issued by the CPI (Maoist), read, “Fight for your water, forest, and land and form a united ‘secular morcha’ to fight the Hindutva fascism. We will fight and defeat the operation Green Hunt.” A press statement issued by the Maharashtra ANO on

Renovation of Temghar dam to take two years The Maharashtra government has sanctioned ₹98 crore for the repair

Wednesday read, “The Maoists and their frontal organisations had tried to portray prof. Saibaba as an innocent wheelchair-bound professor, who has been implicated in a false case.” The Maoists have called for celebration of “Virodh Saptah” (Protest Week) between March 23 to March 29 and “Bharat Band” on March 29. The ANO said, “The investigating officer, Mr. Suhas

Body of activist unclaimed for over 16 months: advocate Prakash Kamat

Shoumojit Banerjee PANAJI

week, did not participate in the voting.

Speaker’s post Reginaldo Lawrenco could not reach due to traffic jam, explained Opposition Leader Babu Kavlekar. On the ruling benches, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the House that BJP MLA Nilesh Cabral could not make it to the election as he too was caught in a traffic jam. While the BJP has 13 MLAs, the coalition government it leads has the support of three MLAs each of MGP and Goa Forward Party and three Independents. The Congress which emerged as the single largest party in February 4 polls was reduced to 16 after the resignation from the Congress and the Assembly by Valpoi MLA Vishwajit Rane after he abstained from voting during the confidence vote last week. He later declared that he would re-contest and support the BJP government.

Pune

The repair work on the Temghar dam, one of the potable water lifelines of Pune, is finally underway, however, renovation of the biggest cracks may not be complete until June. The Maharashtra government has sanctioned ₹98 crore for the repair and renovation of the dam wall. Although authorities have asserted that the basic wall structure is intact, despite the cracks. The 87-meter high dam has a capacity of holding water up to four tmcft. It was built between 1997 and 2001, making it the newest

among the city’s four major drinking lifelines — the others being Khadakwasla, Varasgaon and Panshet dams. The repair work was initially due to commence in December last year, but was delayed owing to the municipal, the zilla parishad (ZP) and the panchayat samiti elections.

To face delay in monsoon According to sources in the State Irrigation Department, the work order was issued last month, with the installation of machinery and the labour in place. The process of final repairs is expected to stretch

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Priority has been given to repair the points where the cracks in the wallface are the deepest,

Irrigation official

over a period of nearly two years. The work, however, may face further delay this monsoon. An Irrigation Department official said, “Priority has been given to repair the points where the cracks in the wall-face are the deepest before June, in a bid to ensure that the water, which will get stored during this monsoon, does not seep out.”

EDUCATIONAL

The water storage has been reduced to facilitate repair work, with a plan being mooted to release the water into the Khadakwasla dam.

FIR against 34 people Last year, in August, Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan had acknowledged that the construction of the Temghar dam was indeed faulty and had directed action against the persons responsible. Following this, the Pune Rural Police had lodged a first information report (FIR) against 34 persons for allegedly using inferior quality material during the construction of the dam.

PUBLIC NOTICES

The complaint included names of government officials, and directors and board members of two south India-based construction firms, Srinivas Construction and Progressive Construction, who were responsible for the construction of the dam. Both the firms were blacklisted later. City-based Right to Information (RTI) activist Vijay Kumbhar had pegged the water leakage from Temghar to be in excess of 5 crore litres, despite irrigation authorities claiming that not all seepage went waste as water flowed into the Khadakwasla reservoir.

Bawache, had received over 20,000 letters from more than 90 countries condemning the arrest of prof. Saibaba. Some organisations recently protested in Mumbai demanding the scrapping of the UAPA act under which he was convicted. They could not have asked for Saibaba’s release directly.” The special unit of Maharashtra police also informed that “secret meetings of Maoist supporters ” were organised in Nagpur, and Armori area of Gadchiroli last week, to create pressure on the police against prof. Saibaba’s jail term. The ANO also claimed that the Maoist ambush in Sukma district of south Chhattisgarh on March 11, which resulted in death of 12 CRPF men, was related to the professor’s conviction as it happened right after he was sentenced by a Gadchiroli court. It also appealed to people to not give any response to the “Bharat Bandh.”

Panaji

The Goa State Human Rights Commission (GSHRC) has summoned the Chief Secretary, the Director General of Police, and the Dean of the State-owned Goa Medical College hospital (GMC) on April 3, to explain why the body of Father Bismarque Dias is in the GMC morgue for over 16 months. The commission issued the directive after an activist and advocate, Aires Rodrigues, filed a complaint on Wednesday stating that the body of Fr. Bismarque — a social activist, who was found dead at St. Estevam in North Goa — has been in

the “unhygienic and regularly malfunctional” morgue at Bambolim since November 7, 2015. Mr. Rodrigues said the body is not required for any further examination as all the forensic tests have been done and the viscera report has been received. He also said Fr. Bismarque must be given a fitting farewell and laid to rest with due respect as he had selflessly toiled for Goa. Fr. Bismarque’s family had declined to accept the body, disagreeing with the police’s findings, which had showed that he had drowned. They suspect that Fr. Bismarque was murdered.

PUBLIC NOTICES

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TENDERS

PUBLIC NOTICES

TENDERS

LEGAL NOTICE

PERSONAL CHANGE OF NAME I, KM Bhardwaj R/o VSV AF GGN (HR) have changed my son’s name from Sanyam Bhardwaj to Sanyam Sharma and Daughter’s name from Shreya Bhardwaj to Shreya Sharma

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THE HINDU

SOUTH 5

NOIDA/DELHI

THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 2017

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IN BRIEF

SC cancels admissions to Kerala medical colleges

Stray horses bite student, 14 others

Woman seeks help to bring husband home from Uganda

Special Correspondent

Karnataka resident Shai’s passport seized by company

KURNOOL

180 students lose seats in Kannur and Karuna institutions Legal Correspondent

Naidu launches distribution of cars VIJAYAWADA

A.P. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has formally launched the distribution of 125 Toyota Innova and an equal number of TATA Ace vehicles to the beneficiaries of the Scheduled Castes’ Action Plan 2016-17 in Guntur. The vehicles are being given to unemployed youth of the community at 35% subsidy.

Three more surrender in Kottiyoor rape case KANNUR

Three doctors of a hospital at Koothuparamba, including two nuns, arraigned in the case of rape of a minor girl at Kottiyoor by a local parish priest, surrendered before the police on Wednesday. The additional sessions court at Thalassery later granted them bail.

New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Wednesday cancelled the admission of 180 medical undergraduate students in the Kannur Medical College and the Karuna Medical College in Kerala owing to irregularities in the admission procedure. A Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra ordered the termination of 150 admissions in the Kannur Medical College and 30 in the Karuna Medical College, sending a strong message to private professional colleges that there would be zero tolerance to irregularities in admissions — even if it meant de-railing the academic future of students. The Supreme Court affirmed the High Court order of October 2016 invalidating the admissions on the grounds that the institutions did not publish the corrected prospectus on their web-

site, and were not transparent in furnishing all the details regarding admissions online. Perusing some of the documents submitted for admission, the Bench indicated that they seemed to have been fabricated, thus extinguishing the last vestige of hope for the students involved in the litigation. The Supreme Court even considered directing criminal action against the errant management. The court further ordered that the Karuna college should draw up a supplementary admission list of 30 meritorious students named in a report submitted by the State Examination Controller and the Admission Supervisory Committee in the Supreme Court. These students will occupy the vacant 30 seats. The court dismissed arguments raised by senior advocate Shyam Divan and ad-

vocate Haris Beeran that termination of the admission of the students would take a heavy toll on their future. The Bench said its order would set an example for private professional institutions. The court further barred the two medical institutions from re-admitting students to these seats for the academic year of 2016-17.

‘Verdict welcome’ Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shylaja has welcomed the Supreme Court verdict. An official press note quoted the Minister as pointing out that the Karuna and Kannur medical colleges had refused to come to an agreement with the government on admissions and fees. Other self-financing medical colleges had reached an understanding with the government, facilitating admissions for a higher number of students on merit seats.

Three stray horses, which were fighting with one another on the Machani Somappa Zilla Parishad Girls High School grounds in the Yemmiganur town of Kurnool district on Wednesday, went berserk and bit 15 persons, including a student, leading to their hospitalisation. A horse bit a student, Praneeth, on the hand while he was on his way to write the SSC examination in the school. On hearing his cries, some persons went to the school premises. They too were attacked by the horses. The horses continued on their biting spree. Their victims included All-India Students Federation leader Ranganna and two workers, Jakir Hussain and Nabi Saheb. A group of persons present there ran helter skelter. Some others drove away the horses with sticks and rushed the injured to the government hospital at Yemmiganur.

Staff Reporter MANGALURU

Mihim Ibrahim Dahir appears exhausted after a 21hour journey from Uganda to Mangaluru en route to her in-laws’ house in Belthangady in Dakshina Kannada. But what is worrying the 25-year-old Somalia-born is the fate of her husband, Rasheed Shafi, a native of Belthangady who was in an Ugandan jail for three months for alleged misappropriation of money. He has been released. But his passport has been seized by his company.

Traumatic experience Recalling the trauma, she said: “I survived thanks to help from some Indians, who gave us ration. I am asking the government to help me in getting my husband safely back.” Mihim claimed that Shafi, eight months ago, was attacked by some masked men

Desperate situation: Mihim Ibrahim Dahir with her children.

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SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

while he was riding a motorcycle to his house. They robbed him of money equivalent to ₹10 lakh that belonged to the firm, she said. Mr. Shafi’s father, G. Mohammed Shafi, said: “Though he filed a com-

plaint of robbery, the company accused my son of misappropriation and he was arrested.” With his pension of Rs. 2,500, he could not pay Rs. 12 lakh for the release of his son’s passport, he added.

Vice-president of Kerala Youth Congress quits KOLLAM

Congress leader C.R. Mahesh, who made a splash on Tuesday through his Facebook post that was critical of AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi, has quit the party. Mr. Mahesh, who is the vice-president of the Kerala Youth Congress, resigned from the post. To top it all, he said he was saying goodbye to politics too.

No bail for Nehru Group chairman THRISSUR

The Wadakkanchery Magistrate Court on Wednesday denied bail to three persons, including Nehru Group chairman P. Krishnadas, in a case relating to harassment of Shaheer Shoukathali, a student of the Nehru Academy of Law, Lakkidi.

Boy becomes father at 12

Karnataka House panel to frame rules for media

Tests conirm Kerala boy sired baby girl born recently

Journalists assail brazen attempt to muzzle press as politicians close ranks

K.S. Sudhi KOCHI

A 12-year-old boy from Kerala, who fathered a child with a 16-year-old. is perhaps the youngest Indian father. The young mother gave birth to a baby girl a few months ago at a hospital in Ernakulam. The personal details, including the identity of the young parents and the baby, are being withheld in accordance with the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Investigators confirmed the paternity of the child

this week after carrying out the genetic profiling of both the baby and the father.

‘Precocious puberty’ Dr. P.K. Jabbar, Professor and Head of the Endocrinology Department of the Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, said the boy could have a medical condition called “precocious puberty,” in which a child attains puberty at a much earlier age. It was not an unusual medical condition but no incident of a boy becoming a father at the age of 12 had come to his notice, Dr. Jabbar said.

The DNA profiles generated from the blood samples of the father and the baby, who was just 18 days old at the time of the scientific analysis, were compared to affirm the paternity. In the “absence of identical twins, it was found that the alleged father was the biological father of the child” whose blood samples were examined, sources said. Police earlier registered a case against the boy under the POCSO Act. The case had opened up a legal conundrum as both the victim and the perpetrator were minors.

Special Correspondent BENGALURU

In a move that has evoked sharp criticism from journalists, a House Committee of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly was set up on Wednesday to frame rules for the news media. This was after members of both Houses, cutting across party lines, came down heavily on what they called “irresponsible” reporting by the media, particularly 24x7 news channels.

‘Lakshman Rekha’ Assembly Speaker K.B. Koliwad announced the formation of the House Com-

mittee to draw a ‘Lakshman Rekha’ for the electronic media and thereby prevent them from sensationalising trivial family disputes, crime, and ghost stories for increasing TRP (television rating point). Mr. Koliwad said the terms and conditions of the House Committee would be framed — keeping in mind media freedom guaranteed under the Constitution — to restrict the media from telecasting news “arbitrarily”. In the Assembly, B.R. Patil of the Karnataka Janata Paksha initiated the debate on “irresponsible and character assassination” reporting by

24x7 channels. The channels, he said, had been performing the three roles of “petitioner, advocate and judge”, and delivering judgment on politicians.

‘Twisting facts’ One of the basic tasks of the media was to provide truthful and objective information, which was a sine qua non in a democracy. Was the media performing this role sincerely and properly, he asked. “We know our rights. Without evidence, the electronic media is projecting politicians in a poor light,” Mr. Patil said.

In pursuit of the elusive Oscar

Anganwadi workers irm on wage hike

Twice nominated Raj is making a ilm on Mother Teresa

More women join on third day of strike, several organisations back stir

Nivedita Ganguly VISAKHAPATNAM

After two of his films were nominated for the best foreign language film category at the Oscars — as official entries from Togo and Cameroon — Indian filmmaker and producer Kumar Raj has now turned his focus to Hollywood with a film on Mother Teresa. This time, the Mumbai-based filmmaker wants to leave no stone unturned to get the Oscar that eluded him twice. In an exclusive chat with The Hindu during his visit to the city, Mr. Raj said: “We have registered our company ‘Kumar Raj Productions’ in Hollywood; the title and the script have also been registered. This will be a mega budget film and will take three to four years’ time for completion. We have hired one of the topmost writers of Hollywood and have also started getting funds.” So far, $200,000 has been raised for the film, which is expected to cross a produc-

Kumar Raj

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SUBRAHMANYAM

tion budget of over ₹100 crore. Kumar Raj is the only Indian producer-director whose two films were sent to the Oscars in the best foreign language film category.

New angle This year, his film Yahaan Ameena Bikti Hai was sent by Cameroon in the 89th Academy Awards. Interestingly, another African nation, Togo, had sent his film Tara, the journey of love and passion as its official entry to the Oscars in 2014. The film was on the predicament of underprivileged women in Indian villages.

Speaking on his next big film venture, the director said: “I am still working on what part of Mother Teresa’s life to focus on. It may be the part where she meets God, or her childhood. I want to explore a new angle for the global audience. The film will stand with others in the topmost competition category.” His latest film Yahaan Ameena Bikti Hai was the real story of Ameena, a 12year-old from Hyderabad, who was sold to an Arab by her parents in the early 1990s. Ameena was rescued and brought home after a flight attendant, who saw her weeping on the plane, raised an alert. After receiving global accolades in the Malta International Film Festival, Cinema New York City, Miami Film Festival and Geneva, the film will have a nationwide release by the end of the year. “For the Indian version, I am shooting additional scenes and adding a love story element,” Mr. Kumar said.

galore Water Supply and Sewerage Board — deployed more than 10 mobile toilets and tankers with drinking water at the site of the protest. The doors of Maharani College nearby were opened for the workers.

Staff Reporter Bengaluru

Thousands of anganwadi workers remained resolute in their strike that entered the third day on Wednesday, turning the streets around Freedom Park here virtually into their homes. The impasse between the government and the anganwadi workers continued, as the protesters sought the announcement of a minimum wage of ₹10,000. The State government held talks with some unions in the evening in the hope of resolving it. However, the two major unions leading the strike — All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) — who did not attend the talks said they would continue the agitation until their demands were met. Hajir Habibi, an anganwadi worker from Channapatna, said they were not deterred despite having to queue up for hours outside toilets, and empty their

Digging in: Anganwadi workers on the road near the Freedom Park in Bengaluru on Wednesday SAMPATH KUMAR G.P. *

purses to buy food. Numerous organisations extended support to the strike. At least 13 protesting women were treated after they collapsed because of dehydration and exhaustion. The crowd of women swelled on the third day, in a relief to organisers who thought that many would return, ahead of Ugadi festival next week. Among those who arrived on Wednesday was Yellava Kallapa Pujuri from Hirur vil-

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As waste goes out, a dying river returns to life Kerala’s Kuttamperoor is once again ready to defend communities against loods, aid ishermen was obstructed, the polluted water infiltrated into drinking water resources, including wells along the river. Wells dried up in many adjoining areas,” Mr. Panicker said.

R. Ramabhadran Pillai ALAPPUZHA

It’s a rebirth for the Kuttamperoor river, a tributary of Pampa and Achenkovil rivers. The river is getting a new lease of life thanks to a drive to remove accumulated waste. A 5 km stretch flowing along the Budhanoor panchayat in Alappuzha district has been cleaned up. Thick layers of water weeds and waste dumped into the waterway for over a decade were removed. A river cleaning scheme covering 12-km long, had been drawn up many years ago, but could not get proper funding. “The project was implemented under the Mahatma Gandhi CM YK

Water world: The Kuttamperoor river, a tributary of the Pampa and Achenkovil. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT *

National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. About 200 workers were engaged for the work during a twomonth period, generating 30,000 man days. A sum of Rs.72 lakh was spent on the project,” P. Viswambhara

Panicker, Budhanoor panchayat president said. “Waste materials such as plastic bottles, containers and food refuse dumped by unscrupulous catering units had ruined the flora and fauna. Once the natural flow

Shrunk in width Redeeming the entire river could be achieved through joint efforts with neighbouring panchayats such as Mannar and Pandanad, said N.K. Sukumaran Nair, environmentalist and general secretary of Pampa Parirakshana Samiti. “The river, which was 100-130 ft wide in its heyday, has shrunk to 10-15 ft at many locations due to encroachment. Stern

measures are required to evict the encroachers,” he says. The river used to play a key role in natural flood control. Whenever the Pampa and Achencoil were in spate, the water flowed into the Kuttamperoor river, saving a large area from flooding. Idols of several temples were bathed in the river during ‘Aarattu’ festivals. There is now a panoramic view of the river, and the operation has opened a new phase of freshwater fish growth. “Fishermen have thanked us because there is new hope to return to their livelihood,” Mr. Nair said.

lage in Belagavi taluk. Lugging mattresses and food, it was clear that the anganwadi worker with more than 25 years of experience was preparing for the long haul. “I didn’t know about the protest at all. On Tuesday, I saw the news reports and decided to immediately take a bus and come here and join,” she said. The civic bodies — the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and the Ban-

Many donate food Passers-by and others were seen distributing biscuits, fruit and water bottles. Among those who was impressed by the dedication of the women was Sunil Kumar Surana, who runs a jewellery shop in Gandhinagar. He and workers from the store arranged for over 150 kg of pulao for the anganwadi workers. “I read in the papers and saw on TV how the workers do not get proper food. We can feed 2,500 people, and we hope to do this as long as the strike is on,” he said. In the Legislative Assembly, Janata Dal (S) members staged a dharna on Wednesday, urging the State government to hold talks with the anganwadi workers.

Six held for circulating SSC question paper It was doing the rounds on WhatsApp Special Correspondent KHAMMAM

A day after the question paper of SSC English paper-I was doing the rounds on WhatsApp, the Khammam Three Town police on Wednesday achieved a breakthrough. They arrested six persons, including three government teachers and two employees of a private school in Warangal district, besides a private teacher of Khammam in Telangana.

Close scrutiny A close scrutiny of the messages containing parts of the question paper that were circulated on social media led to the arrest, police sources said.

Giving the details here on Wednesday, police said the management of Shivani Techno School hatched a plan to improve its results in connivance with three government teachers. A. Venkat Reddy, an invigilator of the SSC examination centre at the ZP High School in Dantalapalli, brought the question paper out of the centre on Tuesday and sent it to the private school headmaster Nagaravi Prasad through WhatsApp. The headmaster sent it to Ramalinga Swamy, a private teacher, in a bid to obtain answers. Swamy, in turn, circulated it to some more persons through WhatsApp to get the answers.

Raju Kage, Suresh Gowda (both BJP); P.M. Narendraswamy, Shivaraj Tangadagi (Congress); Sa Ra Mahesh ( JD-S); and others joined in and condemned the “twisting of facts and reporting of false news.” Senior journalists described the move as a “serious threat to the freedom of the press”. Krishna Prasad, Member, Press Council of India, said: “This is a brazen all-party attempt to muzzle the media in an election year.” He added: “Hopefully the media will join hands to oppose the bid to scuttle media freedom.”

Pandemonium at BC panel hearing Staff Reporter KAKINADA

The public hearing organised by the Andhra Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes ended abruptly here on Wednesday with the Commission’s chairman K.L. Manjunatha staging a walkout, following verbal duel between different groups of the Kapu community. Representatives of the BC organisations alleged that the Commission was giving undue importance to the Kapus, as compared to the castes that were on the BCs list, while the Kapu leaders obstructed Kapu Corporation chairman Ch. Ramanujaya’s prolonged speech on various welfare schemes launched by the State government for the overall development of the community. Pandemonium broke out at the hearing with the BCs and the rival groups among the Kapus that supported and opposed the State government raising slogans against one another. After making several efforts to calm down the warring groups, Justice Manjunatha expressed his dissatisfaction over the indiscipline and left the venue after announcing that the hearing had been adjourned. This move prompted the representatives of the Kapu community to cut a sorry figure, as they could not bring any of the issues that support their claim of seeking the BC status, before the Commission. Trouble began in the post-lunch session, as the Commission heard peacefully the claims of those who sought to change groups within the BC reservation framework. The district administration had made elaborate arrangements for the hearing and over 2,000 police personnel were deployed in and around the venue. The police monitored security through closed circuit cameras. A ND-ND

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Gau rakshak leader not in Jaipur hotel FIR

IN BRIEF

‘Police have registered weak case against cow vigilantes’ 165 kg ganja seized, two arrested

Mohammed Iqbal

BERHAMPORE

Jaipur

The police on Wednesday seized 165 kg of ganja in Murshidabad and arrested two persons. Acting on a tip-off, the police intercepted a vehicle which was headed to Jalangi. The duo were arrested after ganja was found from their possession, police said. “Both of them are residents of Jalangi and they were coming from Kooch Vihar. We have seized the vehicle,” they said, adding an FIR has been registered. PTI

Three days after cow vigilante groups swooped down on a hotel here alleging that it was serving beef, the Jaipur Police on Wednesday registered a criminal case against unknown persons for unlawful assembly, causing hurt and trespass. Civil rights groups said the case was “too weak” in comparison to the violence perpetrated on the hotel staff. Hotel Hayat Rabbani near the Central Bus Stand, which was sealed after the Rashtriya Mahila Gau Rakshak Sewa Mandal activists laid siege to it on Sunday night, continues to remain closed. Though the hotel’s owner, Naeem Rabbani, mentioned Gau Raksha group leader Sadhvi Kamal Didi as the one who led the cow vigilante crowd, the FIR registered at Sindhi Camp police station did not name her as an accused.

11 held for selling cars using forged documents INDORE

An inter-State gang of 11 people, allegedly involved in selling four-wheelers using fake documents, was busted on Wednesday, the police said. The police have seized 28 vehicles worth around ₹3 crore. Indore Range DIG H.C. Mishra said that Mohammed Irfan was the kingpin who would avail loans from different finance companies for buying vehicles. He would default on repayment and dupe the lenders,” he said. PTI

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Nitish launches free wi-i in govt colleges Bihar Chief Minister kicks of three-day Bihar Diwas; Patna dons festive look Amarnath Tewary Patna

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday kicked-off the three-day Bihar Diwas (foundation day) celebration while launching free wi-fi facilities at all government colleges and universities in the State. Mr. Kumar praised the talent of people from Bihar and listed his government’s achievements.

Two killed in road mishap in Madhya Pradesh BHOPAL

Two persons, including a teenage girl, were killed and nine others injured in a road mishap in Raisen district, the police said on Wednesday. The accident took place when a private bus ferrying passengers veered off a highway under Sultanpur police station area and and fell into a gorge. Two passengers — Shobha, (18), and Rewa Das, (30) — were killed. The bus was on its way to Bhopal from Mandla. PTI

CM YK

He also listed the government’s achievements like women empowerment, incentives for the youth and several programmes for students. PTI *

Event at Gandhi Maidan An elaborate arrangement had been made at Patna’s historic Gandhi Maidan with several cultural and musical programmes. Every year since 2009, the State education department has been organising the Bihar Diwas celebration on March 22, the day Bihar was

carved out from the Bengal presidency in 1912. “It is the era of Internet… all information and knowledge can be downloaded from the Internet and for this we’ve started providing free Wi-Fi facilities at colleges and universities in the State,” said Mr. Kumar.

‘Year-long celebration’ He also listed his government’s achievements like prohibition, seven resolves, women empowerment, incentives to youths and several programmes for students of the state. He also spoke about his government’s priorities in the coming years. “We’ll celebrate the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran

Satyagraha from April 10 and it will be a year-long celebration with many activities related to Gandhian thought… it is going to be a big event and you’ll have to participate in it to take Bihar ahead,” said Mr. Kumar. The city would wear a festive look for three days during the Bihar Diwas celebrations with several stalls and pavilions of different departments of the State government erected at Gandhi Maidan. Singer Sunidhi Chauhan will perform on Wednesday while Malini Awasthi and Akriti Kakkar will perform over the next two days. Along with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, several ministers, including State Education Minister Ashok Choudhary, were present.

Rights’ groups cry foul Rights’ groups have alleged that the police and municipal authorities were colluding with the cow vigilante groups.

Up in arms: Activists protest against the sealing of Hotel Hayat Rabbani in Jaipur. ROHIT JAIN PARAS *

Jaipur Mayor Ashok Lahoti said the hotel would not be de-sealed until the Forensic Science Laboratory’s report on the meat samples seized from its kitchen was received. He denied that there was any illegality involved in the sealing saying the owner had not obtained licence for running the hotel or restaurant.

‘Illegal’ construction Mr. Lahoti also said the construction of Hotel Hayat Rabbani was “illegal.” Activist groups and city residents staged a huge demonstration at Shahid Smarak on Tuesday

to protest against the violence and targeting the minority community’s business. The speakers condemned the “collusion” of the State agencies in the attack on the hotel, lambasted the increasing communal nature of governance and pledged to maintain communal harmony in the city. People’s Union for Civil Liberties-Rajasthan president Kavita Srivastava said the issue was blown up with the police slapping cases of offending people of another religion on Mr. Rabbani and sending the meat to the FSL.

Six Manipur Ministers are crorepatis Deputy CM is richest with assets worth ₹2.29 crore Special Correspondent Kolkata

Six out of nine ministers in the N Biren Singh government in Manipur are crorepatis, an analysis of the affidavits by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has revealed. The average assets of nine ministers are worth ₹1.26 crores.

The minister with the highest declared total assets is Yumnam Joykumar Singh from Uripok constituency with assets worth ₹2.29 crore.

NPP man has lowest assets Mr Singh is a legislator of the National People’s Party (NPP) and is also the Deputy Chief Minister.

The Minister with lowest assets is L. Jayantakumar Singh from Keisamthong Assembly seat with assets worth Rs.23.09 lakh. He is also from the NPP. Karam Shyam of the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) and Letpao Haokip of the NPP are the two other Ministers who have declared lowest assets.

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IN BRIEF

Sushil Modi’s plea to Lalu, Nitish on Ayodhya

IMA extends support to striking Maharashtra doctors Safety concerns have been addressed, says govt.; issues show cause notices Jyoti Shelar

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday urged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD president Lalu Prasad to use their goodwill to prepare Muslims for talks on the Ayodhya dispute. PTI

Mumbai

SHIMLA

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Himachal has alleged that cows were being smuggled in some parts of the hill State. The police in Kullu on Tuesday arrested a group of men trying to cross Sarvari River along with some cows. The VHP s claimed that these outsiders were often seen taking away the cows.

25 IAS officers shifted in Punjab CHANDIGARH

The Punjab government on Wednesday night shifted 25 IAS officers and one PCS officer with immediate effect. Among the IAS officers transferred is Roshan Sunkaria who has been posted as Financial Commissioner Rural Development and Panchayats.PTI

Alert villagers avert mishap by stopping train BALASORE(ODISHA)

Passengers of the Bangiriposhi-Bhubaneswar Superfast Express had a narrow escape on Wednesday when locals stopped the train after spotting a crack on the tracks near Khannagar in Balasore district. The villagers noticing the crack on the tracks, promptly waved a red cloth and halted the train ahead of the spot, averting a possible mishap, officials said.PTI

New avenue for prisoners to get legal aid

More time for minimum qualiication

Legal Correspondent

Special Correspondent New Delhi

PATNA

VHP alleges cow smuggling in Himachal

Breather for untrained teachers

In a massive blow to the Maharashtra government negotiating with the resident doctors who are on mass leave for the third day, more than 40,000 senior doctors from the Indian Medical Association joined them on Wednesday. The IMA members called for an Out Patient Department (OPD) bandh on Thursday that will affect the private health services as well.

Taking no chances: AIIMS doctors in Delhi expressed solidarity with striking doctors. Picture shows them at work wearing helmets on Wednesday. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Negotiations fail On Wednesday, negotiations between resident doctors and Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan went on till 9 p.m. However the talks failed and the decision to stop work continued. Till late night, talks were on about resident doctors from Delhi going on a token strike for a day as well. According to Dr. Shivkumar Utture, member of the

IMA, the demand of doctors is not unreasonable at all. “They are asking for better security and this can be implemented on immediate basis. There is no reason the government should delay it,” said Dr. Utture adding that all of IMA’s 40,000 members in the State would join the mass leave with support from other associations like the Association of Medical Consultants, the General

*

Practitioners Association and the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI). The negotiations of the State government mostly involved threatening the doctors, not fast tracking the implementation of security, he said. According to the another IMA member, Dr. Jayesh Lele, threatening to suspend doctors and cut their salaries

are the “easy way out.” “The main issue of securing hospitals is being ignored here,” said Dr. Lele adding that the IMA had requested doctors to participate in the mass leave. In Mumbai, over 1,500 show cause notices were issued to doctors in the civic run hospitals. “We have issued 524 show cause notices in KEM, 600 in Sion and 368 in Nair hospitals,” said Dr. Avinash Supe, dean of civic run KEM hospital, adding that resident doctors had been assured that at least 500 security guards from the Maharashtra State Security Corporation would be hired within a week. “There is no reason they should continue the strike as we have given them an assurance already,” said Dr. Supe. The State government is also reported to have said resident doctors who don't join duty would stand to lose six months’ salary.

The Union Cabinet has cleared an amendment to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, to ensure that all teachers in position as on March 31, 2015, acquire the minimum qualifications till March 31, 2019. “This will enable the inservice, untrained elementary teachers to complete their training and ensure that all teachers at the elementary level have a certain minimum standard of qualifications,” said a release. “This would also ensure that all teachers would attain minimum qualifications as considered necessary to maintain the standard of teaching quality.”

Improvement in learning Better trained teachers would mean an improvement in the learning outcomes of children, it is believed. “The RTE Act... envisages

free and compulsory elementary education to every child in the age group of 614. The Proviso to Section 23 (2) of the Act specifies that all teachers at elementary level who, at the commencement of this Act, did not possess the minimum qualifications as laid down under the RTE Act, need to acquire these within a period of five years i.e., March 31, 2015,” the release said. “However, several State governments have reported that out of a total number of 66.41 lakh teachers at the elementary level, 11 lakh are still untrained [of these, 5.12 lakh are in government and aided Schools and 5.98 lakh are in private schools]. In order to ensure that all teachers acquire the minimum qualifications prescribed by the academic authority, it is necessary to carry out appropriate amendment to the RTE Act, 2009 to extend the period for such training for four years up to March 31, 2019.”

Court reserves orders on Stayzilla Vasupal’s bail plea Co-founder of online home stay aggregator says criminal charges were foisted on him as a pressure tactic to settle a civil dispute Sureshkumar CHENNAI

“The criminal charges foisted against me are part of pressure tactics to settle a civil dispute, which is against Supreme Court’s directive,” pleaded Yogendra Vasupal, co-founder of online home stay aggregator Stayzilla, who was arrested by the CCB police on March 14 on charges of cheating and criminal intimidation. Senior counsel B. Kumar made the submissions on behalf of Mr. Vasupal while moving a bail application in

the special metropolitan magistrate court for CCB-CBCID cases, Chennai. The application, which was moved eight days after Mr. Vasupal’s arrest, has been posted to Thursday for orders by special metropolitan magistrate M.M. Kabir.

Criminal proceedings Criminal proceedings were initiated against the petitioner based on a complaint from C.S. Aditya of Jigsaw Advertising and Solutions Private Limited, alleging that Stayzilla had failed to make

Law coming to enforce dam safety regulations

Yogendra Vasupal

payments for services rendered since February 2016 and has defrauded him of ₹1.69 crore. A case was re-

Academic audit of varsities soon

gistered by the CCB against Mr. Vasupal and his partner Sarjit Singhi for offences under Sections 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (Cheating), 506 (i) (Criminal Intimidation) of the IPC. Moving the bail application, Mr. Kumar said: “There is no written contract for the services rendered. It was all an understanding between the parties. He claims that huge number of hoardings were placed in various places across the country and for that, they charged as

much as nearly ₹60 lakh. We said we have no evidence that you have put up so many hoardings and also, that many such hoardings were placed in insignificant places for which such huge amount cannot be paid for that.” “Another contention of the complainant was that he had advertised for the petitioner’s company in the tags used by Jet Airways and IndiGo. But he had not enclosed any evidence for that. So there was a serious dispute as to what we ought to pay,” Mr. Kumar added.

Pointing out that the whole dispute was of a civil nature, the senior counsel contended that the least police should have done was to have enquired the petitioner about what the dispute was actually about. “The police cannot unilaterally believe what the complainant has said and arrest the petitioner,” the counsel said. Claiming that he was a “perfect” law abiding citizen, with no bad antecedents, the petitioner sought the court to enlarge him on bail. However,

Project proponents, who fall short, may face a ine Jacob Koshy NEW DELHI

Taking precautions: A ile photo of the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar Dam in Idukki district. H. VIBHU *

Nadu over threats posed by the Mullaperiyar dam on the river Periyar. More recently, the Chennai floods of 2015, due to unusually-heavy winter rains, were thought to have been compounded by an unprecedented release of water from the Chembarambakkam dam into the Adyar River. In 2014, an unscheduled release of water from the Larji hydroelectric project into the Beas river drowned 25 students from Hyderabad. According to a Water Ministry official familiar with the dam safety bill, recent analysis of the state of India’s

dams found that half of them did not meet contemporary safety standards. “This does not mean the dams are unsafe, but that we have much stricter safety criteria now than we did when these dams were built 50 or 100 years ago,” the official told The Hindu. The safety criteria include increasing the spillway (a design structure to ease water build-up) and preventing ‘over-topping’ in which the dam overflows and causes it to fail. The 1979 Machchu dam failure in Morbi, Gujarat, is estimated to have killed at least 25,000.

Vikas Pathak New Delhi

The Centre is set to put in place a mechanism for research and academic audit of higher educational institutions to assess standards. As a test case, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has appointed committees of academics, who will audit the quality of a few chosen institutions. The institutions that will go through the audit in the first round are Aligarh Muslim University, Pondicherry University, HN Bahuguna Garhwal University, Allahabad University, Jammu University, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Jharkhand University, Rajasthan University, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, Tripura University and Dr. Hari Singh Gaur University, Sagar. For the audit, 15 academics from different universities have been deployed in five teams. Each team will evaluate two or three institutions. Among the academics shortlisted are Delhi University political science professor Prakash Singh and Amita Singh of the JNU.

opposing the application, Additional Public Prosecutor S. Manual Arasu said, “Prima facie this is a clear case of cheating. The other accused is absconding and is yet to be arrested. The CCB is also receiving several other complaints against the accused.” Noting that it was too early to allow the application, Mr. Manual added that the accused had closed down his company without following any set procedures. Considering the gravity of the offence the petition should be dismissed.

Sidhu’s portfolio could be changed: Amarinder ‘No objection to him working on TV shows if it is constitutionally permissible’ would continue to appear on a TV show as a celebrity judge and this would not affect his official work.

VIKAS VASUDEVA CHANDIGARH

The Centre is contemplating an institutional mechanism to improve safety in India’s 5300-odd dams. Currently, guidelines in this regard are not effectively enforced by the States. The new law, which has been vetted by the Union Law Ministry and will now go to the Union Cabinet for approval, proposes a Central authority and State-level bodies that will enforce regulation. Dam and project proponents falling short could face a fine, though they are unlikely to face imprisonment. “We have had discussions with all the States and most of them have been fairly supportive,” said Amarjit Singh, Secretary, Water Resources Ministry. There are around 4900 large dams in India and several thousand smaller ones. About 300 are in various stages of construction. However, large reservoirs and water storage structures, in the past few decades, are not seen as a model of safety. Kerala, for instance, continues to fight with Tamil

NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court on Wednesday opened a direct window to prisoners and undertrials languishing behind bars to help them in their endeavour for justice in the highest court of the land. The Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC) under the chairmanship of Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjan Gogoi, inaugurated its videoconferencing system to overcome geographical and procedural odds and open a direct a channel of communication with undertrial prisoners and prison inmates. The facility was inaugurated by Justice Dipak Misra. “The inmates can address their grievances through this system and this will curb delay in filing their matters before the Supreme Court. It is the first time that panel advocates of the SCLSC will directly interact with thousands of inmates lodged in hundreds of jails across the country,” the Supreme Court said in an official statement.

As the controversy over Navjot Singh Sidhu appearing on a television show snowballed, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh said on Wednesday that if his portfolio of Culture was found in conflict with his television work, it could be changed. Capt. Amarinder Singh said he had no objection to Mr. Sidhu continuing television shows if it was constitutionally permissible. “Mr. Sidhu is a sensible and intelligent person, and he would

Amarinder Singh

Navjot Singh Sidhu

have checked out his legal and constitutional position...,” he told reporters in New Delhi after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Since I’m not aware

of the constitutional position, I will wait for the Advocate-General’s opinion,” he said. The row erupted after Mr. Sidhu said recently that he

Special package Capt. Amarinder said he urged the Centre to grant Punjab a special package so as to waive farm loans. At a separate meeting, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely assured the Chief Minister that he would direct the RBI to ensure that all arrangements were in place in the State by March 25 for wheat procurement, which will start on April 1.

Cong., NCP MLAs suspended Alok Deshpande Mumbai

Nineteen MLAs of the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were on Wednesday suspended till December 31 for creating ruckus in the Maharashtra

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