New Delhi: All central government departments have been asked to make public the details of compassionate appointments under consideration on their website, a senior official said Tuesday.The move comes following an order by the Central Information Commission (CIC) in this regard. The Ministry of Personnel had on May 20 issued an order to all central government departments seeking compliance of the directive of the CIC. The commission, while hearing a case, observed that a voluntary disclosure of all information that ought to be displayed in the public domain should be the rule and members of public who having to seek information should be an exception. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC”An open government, which is the cherished objective of the RTI Act, can be realised only if all public offices comply with proactive disclosure norms,” it said in the order. Section 4(2) of the RTI Act mandates every public authority to provide as much information suo-motu to the public at regular intervals through various means of communications, including the Internet, so that the public need not resort to the use of the RTI Act, the transparency watchdog said. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citations”The Commission felt that details on compassionate appointment which were in a waiting list of all the ministries and autonomous institutions under the Government of India and policy/directives relating to compassionate appointment, etc. should be suo-motu uploaded on their website to facilitate access to information and efficaciousness of the RTI Act,” it said. After hearing submissions made from all concerned, the commission said such information should be displayed on the website of each of the institutions governed by the DoPT under the personnel ministry for the benefit of employees and public at large.
As all the countries were marking the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, the report of HelpAge India released on its eve mirrored our tangential deviation from the past. Gone are those days of our lofty thoughts equating them with God; even the basic responsibility of taking care of them in their old age is often felt like a millstone. In our culture, certain tenets, mythology, etc., were used in the past to instil values and discipline in our society. Thus, in order that parents were respected and taken care of, the tenet ‘Matru devobhava; Pitru devobhava’, and the mythological story of Shravan Kumar in Ramayana, were oft repeated. Also Read – A special kind of bondShouldering a yoke with a basket hanging from each end, Shravan physically carried his blind and frail parents, to fulfil their wish of a pilgrimage. Amidst a forest en route, when he stopped to fetch water from a river to quench their thirst, the arrow of Dasharath, the king of Ayodhya, who was a good hunter and expert in hitting the target just on hearing sounds, shot him in his chest. Mistaking the sound of filling of the urn with water as an animal drinking it, he had released his arrow. Withering in pain, the devoted son spoke his touching last words to his distraught parents, ‘I am going to Heaven. I will wait for you there so that I can serve you there too.’ Before dipping themselves to death in the river, the couple cursed the king with the same fate of dying with the pain of parting of his dearest son. This poignant story conveys us the ideals of devotion and dutifulness of a son, and also the despair and suffering of parents. It is all past. Also Read – Insider threat managementNow, fortunate are those whose children sincerely take care for them, like one senior doctor, for whom his illiterate parents are like gods since it is they who had spent everything they had; sold even their meagre possessions of land, to make him a doctor. He closes his busy clinic to attend to them when they are hospitalised; steals time to make them happy by taking them to their village to spend time with their old mates. Although he keeps nurses round-the-clock for their care, he personally spends quality time with them to provide the much-needed emotional support, Of course, he is an exception, since we keep hearing about several pathetic episodes of people who are forced to live alone or are exposed to problems like lack of physical, social, emotional and financial support. Yet, most of them are proudly reconciled that their children are comfortably placed somewhere away from them, and silently suffer and depend on neighbours for help. Courtesy to such people, a famous 82-year-old writer was admitted in the ICU when he slipped and fainted in the house. His anxious wife of 75 years, waited outside all the time until their elder son reached from the US; the other son was busy elsewhere. The doctor informed the son that the patient would not survive for more than four days. Impatiently he waited, and then asked the doctor, ‘You said four days…What you have to say now?’ Everyone around was shocked. When he died after a couple of days, mechanically the son completed rituals and rushed back, caring little for his grieving mother. He was a busy man in the US! People seek greener pastures abroad for big money, and a comfortable life, free from hassles of corruption, pollution etc. In their busy lives, they have no time even to think of their parents back at home. A well-known Indian was attending a lunch hosted in his honour by a rich Indian in the US. During their casual talk, the host said, ‘I don’t know how things are in India. I came almost 10 years ago’. The guest asked him about his relatives. He said, ‘I have my mother and sister living there. I do have some relatives.’ When enquired about his father, the rich man said, ‘He died a couple of years ago.’ The puzzled guest questioned, ‘Do you mean to say that you could not visit even when your father died?’ The reply was nonchalant. ‘True. I was very busy at that time.’ Speechless, the visitor quit the party. Not everyone would think about the state of mind of their parents. Having spent all their lives and resources – time, energy, material, on their children, and having also worked even as unpaid nannies for their grandchildren, they are now decrepit. With passing years, there is a decline in the number of visitors, engagements and activities; increase in visits to doctors, and lay-offs on beds. Physically they feel, they are of no avail to their families; and their worldly wisdom, acquired over the years, is of no service to anyone in this computer age. Loneliness sets in; feeling of abandonment overwhelms them. On top of everything, they have to swallow their pride and self-esteem; they face snide, insult and abuse from their loved ones – the biggest disincentive to live on. Physical pains and mental agony join together to create a sense of helplessness – an experience of a nightmare when they are fully awake. Yet, in their obsession of love, and pride of the achievements of their children, chewing the pleasant memories of the past, they silently suffer; and kill the vacant time, which is in plenty. At the ripe age, like small children, they only long for care, love, and affection. When a woman visited an acquaintance in an old-age home and enquired about her welfare, the eighty-plus woman felt very happy, and said, ‘Great. People here are warm. We spend our time together.’ However, there was a streak of sadness visible in her countenance. ‘What about your children?’ asked the visitor. Tears rolling instantly, the old woman answered, ‘Oh. Both my sons are in Canada. Since the time my husband passed away, I have not heard from them. It is almost six years.’ Instantly holding her hand reassuringly, the fluttered visitor simply said, ‘Anyway, you are happy here. Good, I will keep visiting you.’ Then, as she rose to leave, she asked what she could do for her. ‘Can you pray for me?’ ”Sure,’ the visitor nodded. The elderly woman added in a pleading voice, ‘Then, please prays to God to change the minds of my children so that they will see me at least once before I die’. Giving a warm hug in silence, the visitor left. There are people who even do not have compunctions to exploit the frailty of elders to neglect or abuse them. It could be physical, psychological, sexual, and financial. They deny access to funds; grab their properties through theft, forgery etc., and some even eject them from homes. Sometimes there could be unintentional neglect. Yet, talking about them is a taboo, not only in India but also in most of the countries. According to the UN, 1 in 6 older people experience some form of abuse, which is a gross underestimation, because only 1 in 24 cases is reported, in part because the victims are dependents, or afraid to report, or because of cognitive and other impairments. Thus, it remains one of the least investigated types of violence and one of the least addressed in national action plans. Further, with the increase in longevity, the population of elders would be over 2 billion by 2050; double of what it is today; and the number of victims would also go up to more than 320 million. Since this social problem affects their health and human rights, it is to voice collective opposition that the UN General Assembly designated June 15 as the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. In our country, as HelpAge India reports that elders face disrespect, neglect and even verbal abuse at the hands of their children. Yet, they choose to remain within the family ambit, seeking only a sensitisation of their children; almost 70 per cent of them primarily seek emotional support. It is only when things are totally unbearable that they move out. One inmate of a government-run old-age home says, ‘I have three daughters and one son, but none of them cares for me, which is why I am forced to stay at this place.’ The study finds, while 29 per cent of caregivers feel it is a burden to look after their elders at home, 35 per cent are not happy looking after them, and 25.7 per cent who are fatigued and frustrated even behave aggressively with them. It is significant that about 40 per cent of elders have no escape since they have no income of their own. We already have a central law, ‘Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007’, which makes it a legal obligation for children and heirs to provide maintenance to parents and senior citizens; food, clothing, residence, healthcare, and other amenities need to be taken care of. Failure to do so is a punishable criminal offence. Even properties grabbed with the false assurance of looking after them can be restored. Tribunals have been set up to tackle non-compliance and provide relief within a specified time. Yet, nothing has changed. Most of the victims and perpetrators are not even aware of the provisions. Unless there are sustained efforts and campaigns involving government agencies and civil society, things would remain the same, since it is a social problem. But, their human rights cannot be ignored. Growing in age is mandatory while growing up is optional. The country should grow up not to permit old age to become a curse. (Dr. N Dilip Kumar is a retired IPS officer and a former member of Public Grievances Commission, Delhi. The views expressed are strictly personal)
Kolkata: The state Cabinet on Tuesday approved 10 percent reservation for ‘economically weaker general caste’ in state government civil service and in educational institutions across the state.”This is a historic decision on the part of our government. The SC/ST and OBC, who are already entitled to reservation, will not get the benefit,” said state Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee at the state Assembly. The state government will soon bring out a notification in this regard after tabling and passing a Bill in this regard, preferably in the ongoing Assembly session. The criteria and other formalities for getting the benefit have already been discussed and will be clearly mentioned in the notification. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersIt may be mentioned that a few months ago, the Centre had also introduced 10 percent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), saying it was brought in to promote “social equality” by providing “equal opportunities in higher education and employment to those who have been excluded by virtue of their economic status”. During the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a meeting with the MLAs of SC/ST and tribal community at the state Assembly and took stock of development activities and other works for the communities. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaShe gave a patient hearing to their suggestions to ensure that work for the Backward Classes Welfare (BCW) department can be carried out in a more efficient manner. “The Chief Minister has instructed the concerned officials to expedite the process of disbursement of SC/ST certificates and not to dilly-dally regarding handing over the same, as these backward classes need the certificates for admission from school to university and also for jobs of state and Central government,” Chatterjee said. All Opposition MLAs attended the meeting and 37 of them belonging to different political parties offered their suggestions to expedite services rendered for the welfare of the backward classes. At present, 84 MLAs in the state among 294 belong to the SC and ST community. Banerjee also gave the nod for holding camps in the block level to fast-track the process of handing over the certificates. “The Chief Minister has given clear instructions that apart from hearing their grievances and attempting to solve them, steps should be taken for socio-economic development of them as well,” Chatterjee said. The meeting was attended by state BCW minister Rajib Banerjee and senior officials of the department. Banerjee also called for an awareness campaign regarding the various benefits for the welfare of the backward classes being provided by her government, to bridge any sort of information gap in this regard. It may be mentioned that since assuming power in 2011, the state government has issued 67.22 lakh SC and OBC caste certificates, while the number of ST certificates distributed stands at 6.9 lakh.
Kota: The body of a 21-year-old married woman was found hanging inside a well at a village in Rajasthan’s Jhalawar district, police said on Sunday.According to the complaint, the woman’s husband, Nanuram Tanwar, had been torturing her for dowry ever since they were married two years ago, Ghatoli police station incharge Nainuram Meena said. The woman, Kallibai Tanwar, was found hanging inside a well at Durjanpura village on Saturday morning. Prime facie, the woman, a resident of Bijaypur village in Madhya Pradesh’s Rajgarh district, had committed suicide, Meena said. The father of the woman alleged that when the dowry demands were not fulfilled, Nanuram Tanwar strangled her and hanged her body in the well, the officer said. The accused has been booked for dowry death under Section 304 B of the Indian Penal Code and is yet to be arrested, Meena said. The body has been handed over to the family and an investigation is underway, the deputy superintendent of police of Eklera circle said.
Mumbai: Flight operations were severely hit due to heavy rain and poor visibility at the Mumbai airport on Monday, while the city and the coastal Konkan region were put on ‘red alert’. A Mumbai International Airport Ltd. spokesperson said that on account of fluctuating visibility issues, there were no flight movements for at least 20 minutes till 9.31 a.m. Alhough there were no cancellations, at least three flights were diverted to other airports, five go-arounds and delays of 30-45 minutes. Also Read – IAF Day: Tributes paid to soldiers killed in line of duty in Jammu In a special bulletin, the IMD here has placed Mumbai and north-Konkan on ‘red alert’ for extremely heavy to very heavy rains over the next 24 hours. Raigad, Thane and Palghar will have similar weather conditions on Tuesday, while Mumbai will experience heavy downpour on Mondayy, and Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg will witness heavy to very heavy rain till Friday. In a different rain-related incident, eight persons were hurt when a ground-plus one floor tenement crashed in Shivaji Nagar. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps, 20 launch pads along LoC While three women are admitted to Rajawadi Hospital, five others were already treated. While road traffic was affected with snarls at various locations, suburban trains were working normally. Waterlogging was reported in various parts of the city and the adjoining Navi Mumbai suburbs with scores of vehicles stranded, people struggling to move around in knee-to-waist deep waters. The IMD has warned fishermen not to venture into the Arabian Sea which will be very rough with high waves and wind speeds touching 40-50 kmph till Friday.
New Delhi: Delhi’s first Monsoon showers were a relief for some staying back home or in offices but also threw Delhi Traffic to jitters after several trees fell on the roads and obstructed the traffic, leaving the motorists stuck at several points in Delhi. The Public Works Department (PWD) received at least 11 calls of ‘fallen tress’ from across the city.Motorists were stuck at Adhchini Red light in South Delhi after a huge tree fell on the road forcing the commuters to make frantic calls to the Delhi Traffic Police and PWD. The call was received at 3:55 pm by the PWD and at 4:05 pm by Traffic police. “Area traffic and concerned civic agency has been informed,” the Delhi Traffic Police Twitter handle tweeted. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic items”We have been struck in the jam from quite sometime and have made several calls to the concerned authorities but there has to be a mechanism for actively responding to calls like these,” said a commuter struck in the jam. “This should be taken on priority as the begining of the monsoon season tests the preparedness of the civic agencies. If a tree has fallen, how quick the agencies respond tells their state of activeness,” said another commuter. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe PWD also roped in members of civil division and road maintainence department and also Horticulture department to remove the heavy trunk of the fallen tree which resulted in huge traffic jam on the road. At around 4 pm a large neem tree uprooted during rain on Aurobindo Marg between PTS Malviya Nagar (from Mehrauli to AIIMS). The tree blocked the complete carriage way. Three cars were also trapped under the tree without any injury to the occupants. Disaster van of Traffic Unit also reached the spot. SDMC and PWD Horticulture were also informed and their teams also reached the spot. “The work of cutting as well as removing the tree was taken up, the trapped cars were removed and one lane was restored for traffic at about 5:30pm. The second lane was also restored at about 5:45pm and the complete carriage way was cleared and restored by 6:45pm,” said a senior Traffic official. Apart from Adchini, calls of ‘fallen trees’ were also received from Aurobindo Marg, Mukherjee Nagar, Saket, Mayur Vihar Phase 3 Manas Apartment. Also the calls of traffic choas due to ‘fallen trees’ were received from Punjabi Bagh, MB Road, Kaya Maya Mandir, Auchandi Marg, road from IIT Flyover to Munirka and from Jungpura in South east Delhi just at the begining of the flyover.
Mathura: A police station here has booked a man for pronouncing triple talaq on his wife, probably the first such case since the enactment of the law punishing the practice.The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill prescribing up to three years imprisonment for men giving instant triple talaq to their wives and was passed by Parliament on Tuesday. President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the triple talaq bill on Thursday. Ikram, a resident of Haryana’s Nuh district had married Jumirat about two years ago and was demanding Rs 1 lakh as dowry from his in-laws who live in Krishna Nagar locality in Kosi Kalan town here. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The victim had returned to her maternal home following harassment and had lodged a complaint with the local police. The couple was then called at the ‘mahila thana’ (all-women police station) in the district for reconciliation, sub inspector Ruchi Tyagi said. Both had reached a compromise after several counselling sessions. On July 30, they were called again by the police and their relation appeared cordial, she added. However, as the couple stepped outside the police station, Ikram pronounced triple talaq on his wife after his mother-in-law expressed inability to fulfil his dowry demand, SSP Shalabh Mathur said.
New Delhi: India’s industrial production growth slipped to a four-month low of 2 per cent in June, mainly due to poor performance of mining and manufacturing sectors, according to government data released on Friday. Factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), had expanded by 7 per cent in June 2018. The previous low in IIP growth was in February 2019, when it had inched up 0.2 per cent. Thereafter, IIP grew at 2.7 per cent in March, 4.3 per cent in April and 4.6 per cent in May this year. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAccording to data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, industrial output grew at 3.6 per cent in April-June quarter this fiscal, down from 5.1 per cent growth a year ago. There was a slowdown in the manufacturing sector, which grew at 1.2 per cent in June 2019 as compared to 6.9 per cent a year ago. Capital goods segment, which is a barometer of investment, saw a contraction of 6.5 per cent in June compared to 9.7 per cent growth a year ago. Mining growth dropped to 1.6 per cent in June from 6.5 per cent in the corresponding month of the last fiscal. The expansion in power generation sector stood at 8.2 per cent, compared to 8.5 per cent earlier. As per use-based classification, primary goods segment grew 0.5 per cent, intermediate goods 12.4 per cent and infrastructure/construction goods (-) 1.8 per cent in June 2019. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostConsumer durables and non-durables recorded growth of (-) 5.5 per cent and 7.8 per cent, respectively. In terms of industries, 8 out of 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during June as compared to the same month a year ago. The industry group ‘Manufacture of basic metals’ showed the highest growth of 17.7 per cent, followed by 16.5 per cent in food products and 10.3 per cent in tobacco products. On the other hand, the industry group Manufacture of paper and paper products’ witnessed the highest negative growth of (-) 19.9 per cent, followed by (-) 14.3 per cent in ‘Manufacture of furniture’ and (-) 13.9 per cent in ‘Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers’.
New Delhi: Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has backed Shreyas Iyer for the number four spot in India’s ODI batting order saying the Delhi Capitals skipper should be given a permanent place in the line-up. Making a comeback in the national team after a year, Iyer hit a 68-ball 71 to help India post a competitive 279/7 against West Indies in the second ODI in Port-of-Spain on Sunday. While it is learnt that the Indian team management wants wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant for the vacant number four spot, Gavaskar felt he should be moved a spot lower. “In my view, Rishabh Pant is much better like M S Dhoni at 5 or 6 as a finisher because that’s where his natural game and natural flair will come into play,” Sunil Gavaskar was quoted as saying by a channel. “If India get to a great start with Virat Kohli, Shikhar Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhDhawan and Rohit Sharma batting for 40-45 overs, then Pant at No. 4. But if it’s a question of batting for 30-35 overs, then I think it should be Shreyas Iyer at No. 4 and Pant at No. 5,” he added. Gavaskar further said: “He has grabbed his opportunity. He came at No. 5. He had plenty of overs. He had the company of his skipper, Virat Kohli. Nothing quite like it because the skipper takes the pressure off you.” Earlier, Iyer didn’t get a game during the T20 series against the Windies. “The best place to learn in cricket is the non-striker’s end. That’s what Shreyas Iyer was doing with Virat Kohli at the other end,” the 70-year-old concluded.
Raipur: Three policemen have been suspended after a purported video showing them assaulting and molesting a minor boy at a railway station here in Chhattisgarh went viral on social media, an official said on Wednesday. The incident, which apparently took place on August 9 at Sarona railway station located on Raipur’s outskirts, came to light on Tuesday after its video clip went viral, Senior Superintendent of Police Arif Sheikh told PTI. The boy was allegedly a pickpocket, he said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The video is believed to have been made by a passenger of a train when it halted at the railway station. In the purported video, three men, including one in police uniform, were seen pulling the hair, ears and pants of the boy and hitting him. The policemen, two of them sitting on a two-wheeler, were also seen laughing while assaulting the boy. “After the video came to my notice, I immediately suspended the policemen on Tuesday night. I have also ordered a departmental inquiry into the matter,” Sheikh said. Those suspended are constables Anil Rajput, Mukesh Thakur and Krishna Rajput, posted at Kabir Nagar, Saraswati Nagar and Amanaka police stations, respectively, he said.
Akola: Two persons were killed and one was seriously injured in a clash between two groups over an old dispute in Akola district of Maharashtra, police said on Wednesday. Five people were arrested in connection with the incident, police inspector Gajanan Shelke said. The clash broke out after heated arguments between the two sides “over some old family dispute” in Nimbi village on Tuesday, he said. “Members of both the groups attacked each other with axes and other sharp weapons. Three of those injured were later rushed to different hospitals where two of them died,” Shelke said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The deceased were identified as Laxman Daberao (40) and Krishna Solanke (35). The injured person was undergoing treatment at a local hospital where his condition was reported to be serious, the official said. The police later arrested five people and booked them under various Indian Penal Code Sections, including 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and those pertaining to rioting and unlawful assembly. Search was underway for another absconding accused, Shelke said. The two sides earlier also clashed in 2017 when one person was killed, he added.
Koror: Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu warned Pacific island nations Thursday against “empty promises” of financial aid from China, as the Solomon Islands considers switching diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing. Visiting Palau to shore up Taiwan’s relations in the Pacific — where six of its 17 diplomatic allies are located — Wu said democratic nations were concerned about Chinese inroads into the region. “They feel it’s very important that China doesn’t extend its influence into the region,” he told reporters. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe Taiwan-allied Solomon Islands is being courted by China, which has been investing heavily in the Pacific. Nations such as Australia and the United States fear Beijing’s interest is fuelled by a long-term goal to establish a military base in the islands, offering control of vast swathes of ocean. China’s increased presence in the Pacific also helps it isolate self-ruling Taiwan, which it sees as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsWu said Taiwanese allies considering a switch to China should look at Nauru, a Pacific island which dumped Taipei for Beijing in 2002, but reversed its decision three years later. “Very often the Chinese will say that they can come with a huge amount of investment, business opportunities, people are going to get wealthier,” he said. “But if we look into concrete cases, very often we fall into a serious trap… it takes only two to three years to realise that those promises are empty promises. The relationship between Nauru and Taiwan is now more solid than ever because the leaders over there do not have any fantasies about China.” The Solomons, where only about 50 percent of the population have access to electricity, is heavily reliant on foreign aid. A Solomons delegation which includes six ministers just visited China and Wu said he had invited the nation’s leaders to travel to Taiwan as well. He said Taiwan was working with the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the European Union to set up discussions with Pacific island nations about their aid needs. Wu said he had a “friendly” and “frank” meeting with Solomons Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare at this month’s Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu. “I have no doubt that Taiwan’s relationship with the Solomon Islands will continue,” he said. A decision on the Solomons’ diplomatic preference for Taiwan or China could come as soon as next month.
Deoria: The administration imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in Barhaj area of the district after a 25-year-old man was allegedly beaten to death by some youths on Janmashtami. Section 144 of the CrPC prohibits the assembly of more than four persons in an area. District Magistrate Amit Kishor said the restrictions would remain in force till September 15. Sumit was injured when he tried to save his father from the attackers, who were enraged over the objection to loud music during the festival. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The incident had taken place on Saturday night in Barhaj’s Patel Nagar, police said. “On the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami, some youths were playing DJ in Patel Nagar of Barhaj on Saturday night. Munnu Lal asked them to stop it, which enraged 10-12 youths,” Deoria SP Shripati Mishra said. “They attacked Munnu Lal with sticks. When his sons Sumit and Sachin, along with his wife Sanju Devi, rushed to save him from the attackers, they too were beaten up,” the SP added.
New Delhi: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who was allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, said he would speak on the matter only after he “reports” to the court upon his return. The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed Yechury to visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet his party colleague and former MLA Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, who has been detained by the authorities there in the wake of the Centre abrogating the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded a special status to the state. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, directed Yechury to only meet Tarigami and not use the visit for any political purpose. The bench said if the Left leader indulged in any political activity, the authorities were free to report it to the apex court. “The Supreme Court has permitted me to go to Srinagar and see Com Yousuf Tarigami and “report” back to them on the condition of his health. Once I meet him, return and report to the Court, I will make a more detailed statement,” Yechury said in a tweet. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader had made two attempts to visit Jammu and Kashmir this month — once with Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja and another with a delegation of opposition party members. Both the times, he had to return from the Srinagar airport on the orders of the Jammu and Kashmir administration that cited security issues as the reason for denying them entry. The CPI(M) had filed a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution, which says a person has the right to move the Supreme Court (and high courts also) for getting his fundamental rights protected.
Mumbai: Popular singer Darshan Raval has come up with his new single “Dil mera blast”, and the singer believes the peppy number is apt for the festive mood. “After Hawa Banke, Dil mera blast is completely the opposite, it’s fast, peppy and ideal for this festive seasons. I hope people enjoy the track as much as we did while creating them,” he said. “Dil mera blast” is composed by Javed-Mohsin and the video is directed by Adil Shaikh. “The track is all about revelry, something that is synonymous with the festive season. It’s a song for the masses, shot with 300 dancers. This is a first for an independent track. This is also one of the few independent tracks aimed at masses. Mostly, such songs belong to romantic or the hip hop genre,” said the music composer duo. The song was released on Friday, on the YouTube channel of Indie Music Label.
Lucknow: A State Bank of India (SBI) field officer was found shot dead at his home in Uttar Pradesh Bijnore district. According to reports, the victim, Chaitanya, had been transferred to Bijnore from Gorakhpur about two months ago. He was currently posted at the SBI’s Sahanpur branch in Najibabad. The murder came to light after the house owner knocked on the door and found the flat locked from inside. He immediately called the police. Chaitanya was shot in the head with a licensed pistol. The house was locked from the inside and his body was lying in a pool of blood in the washroom, with the pistol near his legs, the police said. Najibabad SHO Sanjay Panchal said: “He was living in a rented house. Prima facie, it could be a case of suicide. The pistol is licensed. But we are yet to ascertain if it was his own or he had borrowed it from someone else. “There is no suicide note. We have informed his family in Champaran, Bihar.”
The country’s annual inflation rate cooled slightly last month but, at 2.2 per cent, it stayed hot enough to hover above the two per cent midpoint of the central bank’s ideal range, Statistics Canada said Friday in a new report.Headline inflation for April was a little lower than the March number of 2.3 per cent, which was the rate’s strongest year-over-year reading since 2014. It matched the 2.2 per cent figure for February.The upward pressure on inflation last month was led by higher costs for gasoline, air transportation and restaurants. The biggest downward forces came from cheaper prices for digital equipment, travel tours and natural gas.Core prices, meanwhile, also continued their gradual, upward climb last month, the report said.The average of the Bank of Canada’s three measures of core inflation, which omits more-volatile items like pump prices, edged above the two per cent mark last month for the first time since February 2012. The core average was 2.03 per cent, up from 1.97 per cent the previous month.The Bank of Canada carefully scrutinizes inflation numbers ahead of its interest-rate decisions. It can use rate hikes as a tool to help prevent inflation from climbing too high.But recent readings are unlikely to have a major impact on an upcoming rate decision because governor Stephen Poloz has predicted inflation to remain above two per cent for all of 2018.Last month, Poloz challenged the notion that two per cent represents some unbreachable barrier. With higher energy prices, he said it’s natural for the long-term trendline to balance itself out — and he called it a “positive thing.”“What I don’t want is for people to spend this entire year asking what I’m up to because inflation is above target,” Poloz told reporters during a late-April visit to Washington, D.C..“You need every once in a while to remind people there’s a range, and that’s okay. The policy allows for this. We’re not violating our target in some way.”The bank’s inflation range is one to three per cent, but considerable attention is focused on where the rate sits relative to the two per cent midpoint.Last month, the central bank raised its headline inflation projections as it pointed to the temporary effects of higher gasoline prices and minimum wage increases. The bank is now expecting inflation to average 2.3 per cent this year before settling back down to 2.1 per cent in 2019.Poloz has raised the central bank’s benchmark interest rate three times since last July and is expected to remain on his rate-hiking path with the economy operating close to its capacity.But last month the bank left its key rate at 1.25 per cent, where it has been since January.Poloz said that the economy was still unable to maintain its pace without the stimulative power of lower rates, despite recent improvements.The bank’s next rate decision is May 30, but many analysts have been predicting Poloz will wait until July before introducing another rate increase.In a separate report Friday, Statistics Canada released its latest figures for retail trade, which showed an increase for a third-straight month with sales rising 0.6 per cent in March. Retail sales rose to a total of $50.2 billion.Retail trade also saw increases of 0.5 per cent in February and 0.3 per cent in January.The report said higher sales in March for vehicles and automotive parts — especially by new car dealers — more than offset weaker sales at food and beverage stores and gas stations. By excluding sales of vehicles and parts, retail trade would have contracted 0.2 per cent in March.
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – A man who survived a plunge over Niagara Falls without protection in 2003 has died after he went over again, this time inside an inflatable ball.Police tell the Syracuse Post-Standard the body of 53-year-old Kirk R. Jones was found in the Niagara River by the U.S. Coast Guard on June 2.Detective Sgt. Brian Nisbet of the New York State Park Police says it’s the same man who became the first person to survive an unprotected plunge over the falls in October 2003.Nisbet says investigators believe Jones attempted to go over the falls inside a three-meter ball on April 19.The empty ball was recovered by the Maid of the Mist tour boat.Three others have survived unprotected plunges over the falls since Jones did it.
KAMLOOPS, B.C. – The federal government is promising more funding to support residents affected by raging wildfires in British Columbia as some of the thousands of people displaced prepare to return home.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the government will supply $600 per household evacuated due to wildfires and $300 for their eventual return — funds that will be managed and distributed by the Canadian Red Cross.“It will be a long haul and the Government of Canada fully intends to stand with the people of British Columbia every step of the way to participate in supporting the effort of getting things recovered and back to a normal life,” he told a news conference in Kamloops on Saturday.The total amount the government will be supplying is unclear, because Goodale said the number of evacuees is still fluctuating and the wildfire season in the province is only in beginning.The provincial government has already provided $100 million to the Red Cross in response to the crisis.Provincial Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said approximately $10 million of that fund has been spent on the 44,000 people currently displaced and more money will follow as needed.Goodale said not all the funding to the Red Cross will be directly given to households, but will support other initiatives to get communities functioning again.He said following the fire in Fort McMurray, Alta., last year, the Red Cross distributed money to other social services in the community such as the Salvation Army and United Way, and also supported small businesses so people could get back to work.Federal officials involved in the response to the fires, including Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, were in B.C. this weekend to assess the crisis and offer more support.Sajjan said 250 members of the Canadian Armed Forces that were announced earlier this week to be supporting RCMP are now on the ground.He said more military personnel and aircraft are on standby.In addition to the funding for the Red Cross, officials said the Canada Revenue Agency is implementing emergency tax relief measures to help take pressure off people concerned about their families, homes and communities.These announcements come as some of the displaced residents began to head home.Evacuation orders were lifted for several hundred properties around Princeton in the south Okanagan, a rural area in the Cariboo region north of Williams Lake and the community of 100 Mile House.Officials said residents returning to the 100 Mile House area will find it has been “profoundly affected” by wildfire and services such as grocery stores and health care may be limited for some time.It’s estimated up to 8,000 evacuees are from the 100 Mile House area where the order was downgraded, a spokeswoman for Cariboo Regional District said Saturday.Approximately 2,000 of those live within the District of 100 Mile House boundaries, with the remainder residing in the surrounding rural areas.It’s not known how many will return as officials warn that air quality remains poor and an evacuation alert will stay in effect for the region.There are 161 active wildfires in the province, 14 of which started on Friday.Fire information officer Navi Saini said windy conditions in the forecast for southern parts of the province Sunday could worsen the situation, particularly three major fires in the Cariboo region that crews have not been able to contain.“The winds are something we will continue to monitor. It is something that can definitely increase fire behaviour,” Saini said.Some areas received rain earlier in the week, but Saini said it wasn’t enough to douse the larger, highly active fires in the Cariboo region that have grown to tens of thousands of hectares in size.Cariboo Regional District Chairman Al Richmond said officials are continuing to prepare for evacuees from Williams Lake to return home with plans to get emergency medical facilities running and to stock up grocery stores, but no date has yet been set for when the re-entry will happen.There are 3,801 firefighters and personnel responding to the crisis across the province. Saini said Saturday the BC Wildfire Service has spent $122 million to date this season on fire suppression.—By Linda Givetash in Vancouver
OTTAWA – A new study on cat overpopulation in Canada says more of the pets are being sterilized to reduce unwanted litters, but there are still more cats than people willing to give them homes.The report by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies recommends more should be done to encourage spaying and neutering, even for kittens as young as six weeks old.“Cat overpopulation continues to challenge communities across Canada,” says the report released Thursday.“There are still twice as many cats being admitted to shelters as dogs and the fraction of those cats who are juveniles is also twice as high as for dogs, pointing to the continuing problem of unwanted litters.”The report is an update to a similar study done five years ago. It includes the results of an Ipsos survey conducted last May.The new findings indicate more cats are being adopted. Fewer cats are being put down and more lost cats are being reunited with their owners.Fewer Canadians are letting their cats roam outside unsupervised where they are at risk of being hit by vehicles or getting into fights with other cats and animals.The number of cats that arrive at shelters already spayed or neutered is up, and more are being sterilized by animal care organizations.But the report says there are still too many cats and that won’t change unless spay and neuter rates improve.“The good news is we’ve taken some giant leaps forward in cat welfare since 2012,” said Barbara Cartwright, CEO of the federation. “The bad news is it is not happening quickly enough to overcome Canada’s cat overpopulation crisis.”The report notes there are an estimated 9.3 million cats in Canada. But for some reason, cats don’t receive the same care and consideration as their canine counterparts.Toolika Rastogi, the federation’s policy and research manager, said cats are seen by some people as being more disposable, perhaps because they were obtained free from a relative or neighbour.They are also more fertile than dogs and can become pregnant at a younger age.“We have got cats being the most popular animals in the homes of Canadians, being followed very closely by dogs, and yet they are facing far more difficulty,” she said.Overpopulation creates other problems.Cats can languish in shelters too long waiting for adoption, making them more prone to stress-related illnesses.Rastogi said the improvement in cat sterlization rates is a direct result of animal organizations making spay and neutering a priority. More work is being done, including creating mobile units to deal with animals in remote locations.The study notes that only about 19 per cent of municipalities that responded to the survey have spay or neuter policies.The report recommends communities should promote the sterilization of cats and offer incentives for the procedure to be done at no or low-cost.Rastogi said if more municipalities emulate what animal organizations are doing, spay-neuter rates are bound to improve.“They need to do more,” she said.— By John Cotter in Edmonton