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Politics
The GHCC president accused that the party had made deliberate attempts to dilute his role and that backward communities were being ignored.
  • Friday, June 22, 2018 - 19:46

In a major setback to the Congress, Greater Hyderabad Congress Committee president and party senior leader Danam Nagender quit on Friday, accusing the party of ignoring the issues of the Backward Castes in the state.

The former minister wrote in his resignation, “In the recent times I have tried my best to explain to the party high command both at the state and centre, the changing political scenario in Telangana state with particular reference to the welfare of the backward class communities which comprise of more than 50% of the populace. All my appeals have fallen on deaf ears.”

Complaining about the party leadership he said that lack of coordination, lack of dialogue with the cadre and neglect of grass root leaders has left the party rudderless.

He further said that infighting and disenchantment among the cadre has affected the morale of the party.

Danam, who has been with the Congress for nearly three decades, the party’s strongman in Hyderabad aggrieved that the party leadership made deliberate attempts to dilute his role as the GHCC president.

Danam had been unhappy with the leadership of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee and did not share good vibes with president Uttam Kumar Reddy. 

In January, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee had taken a call to boycott the ‘At Home’—a lunch hosted by Governor alleging he was biased towards them. But Nagendar defied the party diktat’s Danam and had attended the lunch with another Congress leader, Rapolu Ananda Bhaskar.

Danam’s resignation comes in the wake of the AICC president Rahul Gandhi appointing Telangana Congress MLA Sampath Kumar as one of the three AICC secretaries for Maharashtra on Friday.

However, Nagendar's resignation is not the only trouble that the party is facing in Telangana.  In the party meeting held on Thursday, DK Aruna took strong objections to the the inclusion of Nagam Janardhan, former BJP leader into the party.

Last week, several Congress leaders including TPCC working president Bhatti Vikramarka, Revanth Reddy, DK Aruna, MLA Komatireddy Venkata Reddy, and former minister Sridhar Babu travelled to New Delhi to wish Rahul Gandhi on his birthday and expressed their dissatisfaction against Uttam Kumar.

D Nagender was elected from Asifnagar assembly constituency in 1994, 1999 and 2004 as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. In the 2004 Andhra Pradesh state Assembly elections, he left the Indian National Congress (INC) for the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), he later came back to the Congress.

 

 

 

Crime
The police caught the man near Anchepalya and rushed the children to the hospital for treatment.
  • Friday, June 22, 2018 - 19:31

A Bengaluru-based realtor accused of killing his wife and injuring his two children, was finally nabbed by the Kaggalipura Police on Friday.

On Thursday night, 42-year-old Sahana was found dead in her house in Bengaluru’s Jayanagar 4th Block.

Sahana’s neighbours, who heard gunshots at around 9.30 pm, had rushed to her home to find her lying in a pool of blood. Her husband Ganesh and their three children were found to be missing. The neighbours immediately called the Jayanagar Police, who registered a case of murder.

According to the police, Ganesh, who is originally from Sakaleshpura, had sold his coffee estate and moved to Bengaluru, where he began to work as a realtor.

He had also started running a resort, which is located on Kanakapura Road. “For the past two years, Ganesh’s resort was running under loss and he had incurred many loans. Ganesh and Sahana used to fight about this a lot,” the police said.

According to an investigating officer, Ganesh and Sahana allegedly fought about the loans incurred after which Ganesh allegedly shot Sahana.

“He then took his three children and went to a farm house located in Bidadi. When we got his car’s license plate, we tracked him down to the farmhouse in Bidadi. But Ganesh knew that we were after him. So, he decided to kill his children and later kill himself,” the Kaggalipura Police said.

According to Kaggalipura Sub Inspector Harish, Ganesh shot his 16-year-old son in the stomach and his 11-year-old daughter in the stomach and hand.

“He did not shoot his 12-year-old son as he is intellectually disabled. He then put his three children in the car and began driving around to avoid arrest. His children were bleeding profusely and asked him for water. He had stopped to buy water. We received information about Ganesh and we confirmed his car number and began tracking him down after receiving confirmation from Jayanagar Police,” SI Harish said.

Ganesh was finally nabbed in Anchepalya area. His children were rushed to Astra Super Specialty Hospital, where they are being treated.

“The children are alive and are being administered medical care. A case of murder, attempted murder assault with deadly weapon and assault causing grievous injury has been registered against Ganesh,” the police said.

The Kaggalipura Police have also informed the Child Protection Commission and have contacted the children’s relatives.

“The Child Protection Commission will take a call on whether the children will be handed over to the relatives or sent to Shishu Vihar,” the police said.

 

 

Politics
The ban on mobile phones in all official meetings with the Karnataka CM came into effect earlier in June.
  • Friday, June 22, 2018 - 19:23
Twitter via Yasir Mushtaq

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's decision to ban mobile phones in meetings was put into effect earlier on Friday as police officials taking part in a meeting with the CM deposited their phones in neat envelopes outside the hall at Vidhana Soudha.

The decision to ban mobile phones was taken earlier this month to avoid distractions during meetings. "The CM had taken the decision because he observed that officials were losing focus in meetings. This decision was not taken from a security perspective but to ensure that officials focus solely on work and are not distracted," Janata Dal (Secular) spokesperson Dinesh told TNM. 

A senior IPS officer, who is currently posted in Bengaluru said this is the first time that such a directive has been passed. "There can be two reasons-- one, there can be distractions with some people using their phones. The other reason is obvious, as it is very easy to record things these days," said the official. 

Meanwhile, a senior IAS officer who had served in the city and also been sent for central deputation termed it as a good move. "Nowadays, WhatsApp and other usage of the phone is like an addiction. And there is no way to figure out if the officer is taking notes. Often there will be officers who will be texting. Meetings are held with public money. For meetings people often travel long distances, and if people are distracted then the whole exercise is futile," the officer said.

Kumaraswamy's decision came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi similarly banned mobile phones from meetings because he found that officials were checking social media sites during meetings.

The decision applies to all official meetings in which the CM is involved. The CM has also asked officials to cut down on unnecessary expenditure including reconsidering requests raised for new cars.

 

Missing person
30-year-old Dinu Alex went missing in the wee hours of Friday, soon after Argentina lost to Croatia in the World Cup.
  • Friday, June 22, 2018 - 18:15
Image Courtesy: Manorama

A Kerala man has gone missing from his residence in Kottayam, just hours after his favourite football team Argentina lost to Croatia in the World Cup. 

30-year-old Dinu Alex is a diehard fan of Lionel Messi and an ardent football fan. Dinu, who works at a private company as an accountant, has left behind a suicide note in which he wrote that he has nothing to look forward to. 

A team of police divers and locals on Friday searched the Meenachil river that flows by Arumannoor, behind Dinu's house. 

Speaking to TNM, Ayarkunnam Sub-Inspector said that a police dog who was brought to the house went straight to the river, raising suspicion that Dinu may have jumped into the river. 

According to the police, Dinu watched the football match late into the night. When his mother woke up after 5 am, she was unable to find Dinu in the house. 

"She used to wake him up at 5 am every day. Today, she did not find him in his room, but found a note which said nobody was responsible for his death," the police said.  

Even as circumstances indicate that Dinu was dejected at the team losing the match and left home, the police said that they are looking into all possible angles. 

A close relative of Alex told IANS that he was a hardcore Messi fan and his mobile phone had a picture of Messi as the wallpaper.

"Yesterday, he purchased a T shirt like the one worn by Messi and sat down to watch the match," he said. 

The police, along with the fire and rescue team from Kottayam searched in the river during the day. They have for now called off the search in the river. 

"The river is flowing in full spate because of heavy rains. Divers looked for his body, but were not able to locate it," the police said. 

(With inputs from IANS)

 

 

Latvian woman’s murder case
The Latvian woman's partner approached the Kerala High Court arguing that the state police had failed to make more arrests in the case.
  • Friday, June 22, 2018 - 17:14

Nearly two months after the Kerala police arrested two people for allegedly sexually assaulting and murdering a Latvian woman in Thiruvananthapuram, the woman's family has now sought for a CBI probe. 

According to reports, the woman's partner has moved the Kerala High Court seeking an investigation by the central agency, arguing that the state police has failed to make more arrests in the case. 

The court on Friday issued a notice to CBI on the victim's kin's petition, and also sought the view of the state government on the same. 

In his petition, he argued that although the police had said that four people were involved in the crime, they had only arrested two people so far.

The woman, who reached Kerala in February this year along with her younger sister, went missing on March 14. At the end of a month-long search, her decomposed body was recovered from Thiruvananthapuram in the last week of April. 

Days after her body was found, the police arrested two men in connection with the crime. The Special Investigating Team (SIT) arrested Udayan (24) and Umesh (28), for allegedly murdering and sexually assaulting the woman. Umesh, who is a local tourist guide, is the first accused in the case . Both the accused have been booked for murder, rape and under section 20 B of The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act.)

The accused gave drugs to the Latvian woman. While the post-mortem report had initially confirmed that she was strangulated to death, the police later confirmed that she had been subjected to sexual assault. 

The Latvian woman went missing on March 14 from the Dharma Ayurvedic Healing Centre in Pothencode, where she was undergoing treatment for traumatic depression.  She walked out of the centre and hired an autorickshaw on March 14. The driver, who was later traced by the police, said that he had dropped her off near Kovalam beach. She remained untraceable for over a month, after which, her decomposed body was found. Her murder had caused anger in Kerala, with the lack of safety of foreign tourists in the state, attracting criticism.

Bail
The two had spoken against the 8-lane Salem Expressway saying that it would lead to loss of agricultural lands.
  • Friday, June 22, 2018 - 17:06

Five days after his arrest, environmental activist Piyush Manush has been granted bail by the Joint Magistrate of the Omalur sub court in Salem district on Friday. The court, however, dismissed the bail petition of actor Mansoor Ali Khan, who was a co-accused in the case of alleged incitement against the government’s proposed development work in the district.

The FIR filed against them revealed that both Piyush and Mansoor Ali Khan were jailed based on a complaint that statements made by them would incite violence in the local community. As per the complaint filed by the Village Administrative Officer Maari Veerasami of Thumbipadi village, Mansoor and Piyush spoke to people in his village on May 3. They were talking against the expansion of the Salem airport and the 8-lane Salem Expressway because it would lead to loss of agricultural lands.

Mansoor allegedly said, “We should not let the officers take our lands and should be united to oppose them, and if the highway is laid, I will hack 8 people.” The complaint was filed on June 16, more than a month after this speech.

As per reports, Mansoor Ali Khan made provocative speeches in Thumbipadi, Pottiyapuram and Sikkanampatti villages on May 3. Since it was Piyush who had taken the actor to these villages, the Theevattipatti police registered a case against him as well as against the actor. They were arrested under Sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot); 183 (resistance to taking property by the lawful authority), 189 (threat of injury to public servant); 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation) IPC and 7 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act.

The ‘Chennai-Salem Greenfield Corridor’ under the Bharatmala Pariyojana, a centrally-sponsored and funded road and highways project, is a 277.30 km highway that involves the development of the Tambaram to Harur Section of NH-179B, Harur to Salem Section of NH-179A, Chengalpattu to Kancheepuram Section of NH-132B, Semmampadi to Chetpet Section of NH-179D and Polur to Tiruvannamalai Section of NH-38.

The corridor essentially involves an eight-lane highway connecting the two cities via Krishnagiri, Tiruvannamalai and Kancheepuram.

Also read: Explainer: Why there is furore over the proposed Chennai-Salem highway

Crime
Swami Sreenarayana Dharmavratha of Sivagiri madom in Thrissur, who is accused of sexually abusing minor boys at the ashram, is absconding.
  • Friday, June 22, 2018 - 15:10
Image for representation only

A 52-year-old self-styled godman from Kerala is on the run, after he allegedly sexually abused minor boys for over a month. 

Swami Sreenarayana Dharmavratha, the madathipathi (secretary) of Sivagiri madom in Thrissur's Kuttanellur, has been accused of allegedly sexually abusing minor boys at the ashram.  

He fled after three minor boys - aged 12, 13 and 14 - revealed that they were being sexually abused by the seer. 

Aloor police, who are investigating the case, have booked the Swami Sreenarayana Dharmavratha under sections 3 read with 4 (penetrative sexual assault), section 7 read with 8 (Sexual assault) of POCSO and section 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC. The abuse came to light when three boys reached out to the district Childline officials. 

"The boys went to school and called up the Childline officials. They reached the school, recorded the children's statements and shifted them to a care home. When we went to the ashram, the Swami had already fled. He must have gotten suspicious when the boys did not return," the SI said. 

According to the statements given by the three boys, they were being sexually abused by the Swami for more than a month. The police believe that more boys who used to stay at the ashram previously, were also subjected to sexual abuse. 

"10 boys who belong to underprivileged families stayed in this ashram. A month ago, seven of them vacated and went back to stay with their families. We suspect that these boys could have been abused too. We are investigating the case and will soon nab the accused," the SI said. 

Apart from the Swami, there were four staff members who used to live at the ashram. While the police say that there are no complaints or criminal cases registered against the seer previously, they will also look into his antecedents. 

Crime
The 33-year-old man was accused of raping and murdering a woman in 2011, but only the latter charge was upheld by a Sessions Court.
  • Friday, June 22, 2018 - 14:51

Awarded the death penalty for the murder of a woman by a lower court, an autorickshaw driver was acquitted by the Karnataka High Court.

33-year-old Shafeen* was accused of raping and murdering a middle-aged woman in 2011. He was charged under sections 302 (murder), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence or giving false information to screen the offender), and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code.

A Sessions Court in Bidar had acquitted him of the rape charge but convicted him under the other three sections. The judge had also sentenced him to death under section 302, imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 and a default sentence of two years. Further, he was a sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for six and three years respectively under Section 394 and 201, besides a fine of Rs 10,000 for each; along with a default sentence of simple imprisonment of a year for each offence.

While Shafeen was convicted by the Sessions Court, two other accused were acquitted by the judge.

In its June 14 order, the Karnataka High Court, however, acquitted Shafeen of all charges. According to a Live Law report, the court held that under Section 25 of the Evidence Act, “no confession of an offence made to a police officer can be proved against an accused.”

Section 26 [of the Evidence Act] further prohibits proof of such confession made before others also if at the time of making such statement accused is in police custody, and only exception to this Section is confession made before Magistrate,” a bench of Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar added.

Further, the Sessions Court had taken into account that the deceased woman’s jewellery was found in Shafeen’s possession based on his own confession. “His failure to explain as to how he could possess the jewellery of the deceased, when he was examined under Section 313 of CrPC, provides a missing link,” it observed.

The Sessions Court also noted, “There were series of murders of women mysteriously and the cases were being investigated by one police officer before whom accused made a disclosure by giving a confession statement.” This narration is what apparently led to the recovery of the jewellery as well.

The lower court designated this as the rarest of rare case considering the Shafeen had murdered “three women within a short span of time” without remorse and was therefore “a danger to entire women folk in the society”.

“The fiduciary relationship exists between a driver and a passenger and if such a situation, especially when a woman travels in an autorickshaw, is exploited, it cannot be excused. It is held further that the acquittal of first accused in another case is no ground, as in that case he was acquitted not for the reason that he was innocent, but the case was not proved. Therefore a rarest of rare case is made out (sic),” the Sessions Court said.

The Karnataka High Court, while concurring with the lower court that the woman’s death was a clear case of culpable homicide amounting to murder, questioned whether it was possible to tie Shafeen to the crime – especially given that the other two accused were acquitted by the Sessions Court.

Apart from setting aside the Sessions Court order on the basis of the relevant sections of the Evidence Act, the High Court also said that it could be not independently corroborated that the jewellery found on Shafeen’s person indeed belonged to the deceased woman. It upheld the defendant’s argument that “mere seizure of jewellery and some other material objects does not lead to involvement of first accused, there is no proof that the seized jewellery belonged to the deceased.”

Controversy
This is the second time in less than a week that residents of Secunderabad Cantonment are writing to the Defence Minister.
  • Friday, June 22, 2018 - 13:50
File photo

Irked with roads that were still closed in their area, residents of Secunderabad Cantonment wrote to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the second time in less than a week.

The letter came after reports that the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) told the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that only two roads were yet to be opened, out of the 25 roads that were closed at various points in the past. 

The SCB claimed that only Barr Road and Lakdawala Road were closed and added that the remaining roads had been reopened after the MoD's orders.

"It is known to every resident of Secunderabad, that the number of closed roads is much more. The same is also documented in the list and map submitted by us to the SCB CEO along. It is therefore surprising that both the Minutes of the Board Meeting of May 31 and the CEO's statement reported in the press talk of 2 roads only," the letter by Federation of North Eastern Colonies of Secunderabad (FNECS) Secretary, C S Chandrasekhar, stated.

"It is rather peculiar that by talking of Army and SCB jurisdiction, the CEO is making statements that go beyond the scope of the clear-cut directions by the MoD. To the general public this appears to be an obfuscation, and perhaps a prelude not to reopen the roads which were closed without following due procedure. In the present context, this is unacceptable. It will cause avoidable confusion, and must be stopped," he added.

The residents also said that they had repeatedly sought to meet with the CEO but failed to get an appointment. 

"He has not answered phone calls made to his mobile number. Nor has he got back in reply to the messages left with his staff on the landline. This seems to be a rather cavalier approach by a senior officer in a matter of such great public importance. We once again request you to kindly immediately depute an unbiased team to carry out a survey of the ground situation, so that a clear picture emerges of the closed roads in Secunderabad Cantonment," the letter concluded.

Background

Secunderabad cantonment is a densely populated area with 4 lakh civilians living inside it and another 6 lakh living in the areas abutting it.

The closure of roads affected several residents living in adjoining areas such as Marredpally, Neredmet, Safilguda, Sainikpuri, Ammuguda and Yapral, among several others, impacting almost 10 lakh citizens.

Citizens have been up in arms as the LMA, over a period of time, shut 25 roads in the area. Some of these included arterial roads that turned even an 800-metre ride into an 8-km detour.

 

Read:  Secunderabad residents say several Cantt roads still not opened, write to Defence Min

Politics
IT Department has filed four cases against DK Shivakumar based on the raids conducted since August 2017.
  • Friday, June 22, 2018 - 13:33

The Income Tax (IT) department has sent summons to DK Shivakumar, the Karnataka Minister for Major Irrigation and Medical Education for transferring ‘Hawala’ money to All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Friday, according to reports.

Shivakumar and his friend Sunil Kumar Sharma allegedly transferred Rs 5 crore of unaccounted money earned from Sharma Travels to AICC. The IT Department has sent summons to Sunil Kumar Sharma, and a few of DK Shivakumar’s friends and relatives.

DK Shivakumar called this a politically motivated move by the BJP-led Central government.

The IT Department had earlier filed four cases against DK Shivakumar based on the raids conducted since August 2017. All these cases will be heard by the Special Economic Offences Court wing in Bengaluru. He is currently out on bail in connection with three of his tax evasion cases.

He had reportedly been charged under sections 276C(1) [wilful tax evasion] and 277 [false statement in verification] of the Income Tax Act.

The IT authorities had allegedly seized around Rs 10 crores from different places related to DK Shivakumar in separate search operations. The amount was seized from New Delhi, Karnataka State Employees quarters in Bengaluru and Eagleton resorts in Bidadi, Karnataka. The IT officials had also allegedly found a dairy with transactions recorded with the amount paid mentioned as ‘kgs’.

On Wednesday, following the fourth case being filed against him, DK Shivakumar said that he has not done anything wrong and would abide by the court and the law. He also mentioned that he was being ‘targeted’ deliberately and was not scared of anyone.

Read: Newborn girl wrapped in a plastic bag, abandoned in the heart of Bengaluru