New Delhi: Holding four cases of encounter in Assam as fake, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Assam government and the Defence Ministry to pay a total of Rs 30 lakh as relief to the families of six victims.
The Commission found four cases of encounters carried out by Assam Police, along with the units of the army and paramilitary forces in different parts of Assam, as fake. "Out of these, in three cases, the Commission has asked the government of Assam to pay a sum of total Rs 25 lakh as relief to the next of kin of the victims. "In the fourth case, it has asked the Union Ministry of Defence to pay an amount of Rs 5 lakh as relief," an NHRC statement said.
In all the cases, neither the Assam government nor the Defence Ministry could convince the Commission in response to its notices that the encounters were genuine and that the armed forces had to open fire in self-defence when they were attacked by the alleged miscreants and suspected extremists. The Commission has recommended a payment of Rs 5 lakh to the family of one Piku Ali, who was killed in police firing in Nagaon district on July 23, 2008. Two persons, Mriganka Hazarika and Himanshu Gogoi, were killed in police firing in Dispur on the night of February 23, 2011.
The Commission has recommended that next of kin of both the victims be paid Rs 5 lakh each as relief. Jwnwm Basumatary and Okhophat Basumatary were killed in an encounter with police at Furoibari under Dekiajuli Police Station in Sonitpur District on the June 22, 2009. The Commission has recommended Rs 5 lakh be paid to each family as relief.
NHRC has asked the Assam government, through its Chief Secretary, to pay the relief as recommended and submit the compliance report along with proof of payment within six to eight weeks. In a case related to the death of one Rojit Narzary alias Abram in an encounter with Assam Police and Assam Rifles in Sonitpur District on July 9, 2009, the Defence Ministry, through its Secretary, has been asked to pay Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the victim within six weeks, the statement said. PTI
Nakodar: Rejecting opposition Congress’ allegation regarding the law-and-order situation in the state, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday claimed that Punjab was the most peaceful state in the country. “The law-and-order situation is absolutely fine, barring a few petty incidents of crime, which is a common phenomena and occur almost in every state,” Badal said on the sidelines of a state government event.
The Chief Minster also said that he was personally monitoring the law-and-order situation on a day-to-day basis. “I have already issued clear cut instructions to the top brass of police to ensure security and safety of every citizen of the state,” he said, adding that he was being regularly updated by the DGP on the law-and-order situation. The Chief Minister asserted that peace, harmony and brotherhood were on top of his government’s agenda. Badal also ruled out the possibility of revival of terrorism in the state, especially in the wake of recent arrests of some militants.
He said terrorism could never be revived without the support of the people. The CM said the people of Punjab have already paid a heavy price for the decade-long militancy and would never allow the ‘darkest period’, which hampered development and prosperity and pushed back the most prosperous state into an era of backwardness, to come back to haunt them. Badal played down the electoral prospects of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Assembly polls slated for 2017. He claimed that AAP had no base in the state and its popularity was now at its ‘lowest ebb’ with its dubious role having been exposed on the SYL canal issue.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during Sangat Darshan programme at Talwan village in Nakodar on Thursday. Harish Sharma A fortnight ago, Technical Education Minister Madan Mohan Mittal had said that the file of appointment of Vice Chancellor (VC) of PTU was lying with the CM DP Correspondent Talwan (Nakodar) A fortnight after Punjab Technical Education Minister Madan Mohan Mittal stated that the file of the appointment of Vice Chancellor (V-C) of Punjab Technical University (PTU) was lying with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the CM on Thursday refuted that he has no such file with him. Chief Minister was repeatedly asked about the appointment of the PTU V-C to which he evaded a direct reply.
Recently, Madan Mohan Mittal and Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal indulged in open war of words on the crucial issue of the appointment of the V-C in the varsity. All major decisions and works including reports of irregularities were going unheard in the PTU. The CM said that the PTU board had decided some names but Madan Mohan Mittal did not agree to it. “The final decision on the name of the V-C would be taken by Madan Mohan Mittal only and if he was not agreeing to the earlier recommended names, then the BoG could discuss this matter again”, CM added. Notably, on the 13th convocation of PTU on May 10, Madan Mohan Mittal had declared before the media that he had sent the file to Chief Minster around four-five months ago and nothing was decided.
However, the CM categorically denied any such file lying with him today. Asked to comment on the possibility of revival of terrorism in the state especially in the wake of recent arrest of two militants, the Chief Minister outrightly ruled out any such possibility saying that terrorism could never be revived without the support of people. Replying to another question regarding the resumption of work on the Bist Doab Canal project, the CM said that the Punjab & Haryana High Court has vacated the stay granted by National Green Tribunal (NGT) restraining Punjab from cutting any tree for infrastructure without its permission.
Patiala: A day after Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said that Harnam Singh Dhumma of Damdami Taksal and hard line Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwala will be called at the Akal Takht Secretariat to find an amicable solution to end their tussle, Dhadrianwala on Wednesday sounded not much enthused for the same. Soon after holding a 20 odd minutes’ close-door meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at Gurdwara Parmeshwar Dwar in Patiala district, Dhadrianwala said:
“I have not yet decided whether to go to the Akal Takht on being called by Jathedar to discuss the things on a common platform or not.” “I will hold parleys with some like-minded organisations before reaching to conclusion,” he clarified. It is pertinent to mention that the Akal Takht is the supreme authority of Sikhs settled across the world and the decisions taken there are bound for all Sikhs to follow.
Dhadrianwala, however, denied having accused Dhumma directly of murderous attack on him in which his aide Bhupinder Singh Dhakki was killed. “Though there is sufficient evidence with the investigation agency to point finger at someone, I am still maintaining restraint to name anyone. Even after a lot of pressure from different sides, I am firm on my demand that the mastermind of the heinous crime should be held without any delay,” asserted Dhadrianwala, adding: “Though police have arrested many in that killing case, the real culprits are still at large.”
It is worth mentioning that Harnam Singh Dhumma on Monday had claimed that the attack was the fallout of Taksal followers’ irk as Dhadrianwala had allegedly uttered against the respect of the Taksal. The charges were, however, denied by Dhadrianawala. Dhadrianwala, who is now known as religio-political leader, also clarified that Gurdwara Parmeshwar Dawar was not with any political party. “I would request all not to politicse the incident in which I have lost my brother like companion,” said Dhadrianwala. Asked about his further course of action, he asked all to wait for Dhakki’s Bhog scheduled for Thursday at his village, indicating that some announcement could be made from there. jSee Also P3
Ludhiana: Jagraon: The SP (headquarters), Mandeep Singh, said on Thursday that the Jagraon police have arrested a militant wante in many cases. Addressing mediapersons on Thursday, the SP said that the militant was residing in Canada and was declared a proclaimed offender by the Jagraon, Ladowal and Mullanpur police stations. The police came to know through various sources that a person who had come from Canada was living these days at Chak Kalan village, near here. The SP said that his purpose was to damage some religious places. The court has remanded him in police custody.
Srinagar: Two militants were killed and asmany security personnel injured in an encounter in Tangmarg area of Baramulla district of Kashmir today. The gunbattle broke out after security forces launched a search operation in Khonchipora village of Tangmarg, 35 kms from here, following information about presence of two militants in the area, a police official said. He said two jawans were injured in the initial exchange of firing between the two sides. "Two militants were also killed in the encounter and two AK assault rifles were recovered from the scene of the gunbattle which began at 6.30 AM," the official said.
Chandigarh: Health Minister Anil Vij launched the website www.hmscl.org.in of Haryana Medical Services here on Thursday. Vij said that the site would have the facility of e-Tendering and provide information about various projects and schemes of the corporation. It will have research papers, list of important medicines, rate contract, black list of firms and detailed information of important documents of various companies.
The information related to quantity of medicines stocked in godowns and their expiry date will also be available on the website. He said that Haryana Medical Services Corporation makes procurements for various departments related to health sector. National Health Mission, Medical Education and AYUSH are the main departments. Procurement of stock on large scale by the corporation saves a lot on time and money of the state and special emphasis is being laid on quality of the stock.
Now the stock would be procured online and in a transparent manner. Primary Health Centers of the state would be linked to the website of Haryana Medical Services Corporation, he added. Those present on the occasion included Additional Chief Secretary, P K Mahapatra, Managing Director, Haryana Medical Services Corporation, Dr Amit Aggarwal, Director General, AYUSH, Dr Saket Kumar, Managing Director, National Health Mission, Rajiv Rattan and Director General, Health, Dr Kamla Singh
New Delhi: Amid BJP MP Subramanian Swamy stepping up his tirade against Raghuram Rajan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said he does not approve of “personal comments” against anyone including the RBI Governor. “I don’t approve of personal comments against anyone, let alone the RBI Governor,” the minister said when asked about the continuing attack on Rajan in past few months and whether there was an effort on part of the government to ring-fence the Governor.
The Reserve Bank, Jaitley said, is an important institution which makes its own judgement. “One can agree or disagree with their judgment, but that’s a debate on issues. But I don’t think we should allow a public discourse where instead of debate on issues we concentrate on debate on persons,” he told NDTV. In separate letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi within a fortnight, Swamy has sought immediate dismissal of the RBI Governor alleging that Rajan was “mentally not fully Indian” and has “wilfully” wrecked the economy by keeping interest rate high.
Swamy also accused Rajan of sending confidential and sensitive financial information around the world. Jaitley said RBI and the government are in continuous dialogue and that relationship will continue. “And I hope from the later part of this year, the Monetary Policy Committee will get into action and therefore, both the bank and the government nominees will have to sit together and decide monetary policy,” he said. Rajan’s tenure is scheduled to end in early September.
To a question on views of certain corporate leaders that the rupee will crash and economy will face crisis if Rajan is removed as RBI Governor, Jaitley said there was no need for him to comment.“I think in democracy debate of every kind takes place. Now people make comment one way, somebody else makes the other way. I read those comments, its not necessary for me to express views on those comments,” he said.
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday accused the Modi government of having spent ‘more than Rs 1000 crore’ on advertisements to mark two years in office, citing “sources”. “Modi govt spend on ads for jst ONE event 2 yr bash? Sources- more than Rs 1000cr,” he said in a tweet. At the same time, Kejriwal said the expenditure of the Delhi government was less than Rs 150 crore for a full year.
“All Del govt depts total spend less than 150cr for full yr,” he tweeted. The AAP government has been accused by BJP and Congress of having a large advertisement budget. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and most of his ministerial colleague are expected to attend an event at India Gate to be hosted by mega star Amitabh Bachhan on May 28 to mark the second anniversary of the government. The government is organising the event ‘Zara Muskura Do’ that will have several performances and programmes highlighting its “achievements”.
The show will be beamed across the country by Doordarshan. Various schemes and programmes, particularly Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India and Rural Electrification, will be highlighted during the show. Programmes to mark the completion of the Modi government’s second year in office will also be held in various other cities. The Modi government on Thursday completed two years in office.
Mumbai: Superstar Shah Rukh Khan celebrated his youngest son AbRam's third birthday on a plane. The 50-year-old actor was flying back to India with his children AbRam and Suhana, whom he fondly called "Minions". He also shared a photograph on Instagram of his two children. "Birthday celebrations on the plane to India with two of my Minions. Hope we get a cake...otherwise Kinder eggs will have to do," the "Dilwale" star tweeted on Thursday night. AbRam was born on May 27, 2013 via surrogacy and the three-year-old also has sibling Aryan and Suhana. On the silver screen, Shah Rukh, who was last seen on screen in Maneesh Sharma's "Fan", will next be seen in the upcoming movie "Raees", directed by Rahul Dholkaia. The "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" actor will be seen sharing screen space with actor Nawazuddin Siddqui and Pakistani talent Mahira Khan in the action thriller film. Sunny Leone has been roped in for a special song in the movie.
Nice (France): The family of late Formula One driver Jules Bianchi has started legal action against the sport’s governing body following his death last year. The then 25-year-old suffered severe head injuries when he hit a mobile crane at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka in October 2014. He died on July 17, 2015, after being in coma for nine months.
A British law firm, acting for the Bianchi family, is planning to take to court the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Bianchi’s team Marussia and the Formula Obe Group, owned by Bernie Ecclestone. “Jules Bianchi’s death was avoidable,” lawyer Julian Chamberlayne was quoted as saying by BBC on Thursday. The family claims there were errors made in the “planning, timing, organisation and conduct of the race”, which they argue “took place in dangerous conditions during the typhoon season in Japan”.
“We seek justice for Jules and want to establish the truth about the decisions that led to our son’s crash,” Bianchi’s father Phillipe said. “We have so many unanswered questions and feel that Jules’ accident and death could have been avoided if a series of mistakes had not been made.”
Washington: Using radar data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), scientists have found a record of the most recent Martian ice age recorded in the planet's north polar ice cap. The new results agree with previous models that indicate a glacial period ended about 400,000 years ago as well as predictions about how much ice would have been accumulated at the poles since then.
The researchers identified a boundary in the ice that extends across the entire north polar cap. Above the boundary, the layers accumulated very quickly and uniformly, compared with the layers below them. "The layers in the upper few hundred meters display features that indicate a period of erosion, followed by a period of rapid accumulation that is still occurring today," said planetary scientist Isaac Smith who was with Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado at the time of the study The results will help refine models of the Red Planet's past and future climate by allowing scientists to determine how ice moves between the poles and mid-latitudes, and in what volumes. Mars has bright polar caps of ice that are easily visible from telescopes on Earth.
A seasonal cover of carbon-dioxide ice and snow is observed to advance and retreat over the poles during the Martian year. During summertime in the planet's north, the remaining northern polar cap is all water ice; the southern cap is water ice as well, but remains covered by a relatively thin layer of carbon dioxide ice even in southern summertime. But Mars also undergoes variations in its tilt and the shape of its orbit over hundreds of thousands of years. These changes cause substantial shifts in the planet's climate, including ice ages.
Earth has similar, but less variable, phases called "Milankovitch" cycles. Scientists produced images called radargrams that are like vertical slices though the layers of ice and dust that comprise the Martian polar ice deposits. For the new study, researchers analysed hundreds of such images to look for variations in the layer properties. On Earth, ice ages take hold when the polar regions and high latitudes become cooler than average for thousands of years, causing glaciers to grow toward the mid-latitudes. In contrast, the Martian variety occurs when -- as a result of the planet's increased tilt -- its poles become warmer than lower latitudes.
During these periods, the polar caps retreat and water vapour migrates toward the equator, forming ground ice and glaciers at mid-latitudes. The upper unit identified by Smith and colleagues reaches a maximum thickness of 1,050 ft across the polar cap - which is equivalent to a 2-foot-thick global layer of ice. "This suggests that we have indeed identified the record of the most recent Martian glacial period and the regrowth of the polar ice since then,a added Smith, now with the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona. Using these measurements, we can improve our understanding of how much water is moving between the poles and other latitudes, helping to improve our understanding of the Martian climate," he added in a paper published in the journal Science.
New Delhi: Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said he was confident that each state would be able to set up its regulator for the real estate sector within a year as envisaged in the Bill passed by Parliament.The ministry is working on the rules which need to framed for the Real Estate Bill within three months and then it will be circulated to the states. “My department is now internally discussing the rules which need to be framed within three months. Then it has to communicated to the states and then each state has to set up a regulator.
“I am confident about achieving the time-frame given in the Bill itself or even before the time-frame. I am actively pursuing it. It will be before one year,” he said during an interaction with journalists at Indian Women’s Press Corps. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015, seeking to regulate the real estate sector, bring transparency and help protect consumer interests was passed last month in Parliament in the first leg of the Budget session.
It will help establish state-level Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERAs) to regulate transactions related to both residential and commercial projects and ensure their timely completion and handover, Naidu had said in Parliament. He said today that the government had recently released a set of building by-laws which empower urban local bodies to grant building permissions. “Things are moving fast. Recently urban building bye-laws were released. Somebody told me it’s revolutionary since for 105sq.m area, you need not get the land approved by anybody and don’t have to wait for permission to start construction,” he said.PTI
Mumbai: Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda sayssuperstar Salman Khan has given one of the best performances of his career in their upcoming film "Sultan". Produced by Yash Raj Films, "Sultan" stars Salman in the titular role and centres around a wrestler who has problems in his professional and personal life. When asked how was it working with the "Dabangg" star, Randeep told reporters, "It has always been great. We are very good friends and so it translates on screen. I am very happy to just do a movie with Salman Khan.
I loved being a part of 'Kick' and now I am a part of 'Sultan'." The actor was speaking at the success party of his latest release "Sarbjit" last evening. Randeep said his part in the Ali Abbas Zafar-directed sports drama is smaller than "Kick", but it is still a special feeling. "Though my part is a lot smaller than 'Kick', but I am there and we got to hang out... I think it's probably one of Salman's best performance," he said.
The actor is elated with the response to "Sarbjit" from the audience. In the Omung Kumar-directed film, Randeep played the role of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national who died following an alleged assault by fellow prisoners at a Pakistani jail. "I am grateful that people are liking it. People have told me that they saw Sarabjit in me, which is the biggest compliment for me.
It (the film) is picking up at the box office and doing good business," he said.Randeep is happy that megastar Amitabh Bachchan complimented him for his performance. "We have been watching his films since the time we didn't even know what acting was. He was everything. I am very happy that he complimented me," he added.
Cairo: Airbus has detected signals from the Mediterranean Sea where the EgyptAir flight 804 crashed last week, media reports said. The signals were emitted by the plane's emergency locator transmitter, a device that can manually or automatically activate at impact and will usually send a distress signal, CNN reported on Thursday. The signals from the emergency locator transmitter are different from the pings emitted by the "black boxes".
Having these signals narrows down the area that the multinational search team has been focusing on -- which a few days ago was described as "about the size of Connecticut". It dramatically decreases the search area to a 5-km radius, giving investigators a more specific location to detect pings from the black boxes. The plane left Paris at on the night of May 18 and was scheduled to arrive in the Egyptian capital soon at 3.15 a.m on May 19. It disappeared from the radar screens at 2.30 a.m. On board the plane were 56 passengers, seven crew members and three security personnel.
A French vessel, equipped with special detection equipment to locate the pings, will begin an underwater search for the wreckage "in the coming days", according to the BEA, France's accident investigation agency. So far, some debris from the plane -- including life vests, personal belongings and parts of wreckage -- has been recovered. Small fragments of human remains have also been found, and Egyptian officials are trying to identify and match them to passengers or crew members. The search is ongoing for the critical parts of the plane, including the fuselage, flight data and cockpit voice recorders.
Beijing: China's capital Beijing will launch a 100-day anti-smoking campaign from July 1 to encourage more smokers to quit. The effort will build on the success already achieved since China's strictest tobacco control regulation took effect in the capital last year, the China Daily reported on Friday.
Since then, tobacco control in Beijing has made significant progress, with smoking in indoor public places decreasing greatly, Mei Hongguang, deputy director for health promotion at the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning, said on Thursday. During the campaign, launched jointly by the commission and the World Health Organisation, participants will be encouraged to receive professional services at clinics that help smokers quit at 16 major hospitals in Beijing, or they can seek advice and help through three health service hotlines, Mei said.
Smokers will be invited to interact and share their experiences on social media such as WeChat, he said. Any resident in Beijing who is over 18 years old and has been smoking for more than a year is eligible to register until June 30, he said. Participants who successfully quit smoking will have a chance to win prizes worth up to 20,000 yuan ($3,100), Mei said. Since the start of controls last year, smoking in major public places, such as railways stations and hotels, has decreased, according to a survey conducted by the commission between March and April.
The number of cigarettes sold in Beijing last year fell 2.71 percent from 2014, said Gao Xiaojun, the commission's spokesman. The survey, which looked at 5,100 residents and 728 businesses, found the greatest smoking decline in restaurants. Only 6.7 percent of all facilities surveyed were found in violation of the regulation, compared with more than 23 percent a year ago when the regulation was adopted, Gao said. More than 46 percent of smokers surveyed said they planned to quit, compared with 11.6 percent who said so before the regulation, Gao said. Health law enforcement officers in Beijing had imposed penalties on more than 1,500 individuals and nearly 400 businesses as of the end of April, levying total fines of more than 1.12 million yuan.
Pathankot: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited the strategically important IAF base here and reviewed the situation.