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More security for industrial units in Maharashtra

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 31 Januari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: With the state's growing industrialization plans, the Maharashtra government will do everything possible to ensure better policing in upcoming industrial zones. Home minister RR Patil on Thursday said new police stations will be opened in industrial areas of Talegaon, Chakan and Ranjangaon.

Of the total five new police stations being planned in these areas, three will come up in industrial zones, said Patil. The home minister was talking during a meeting organized to discuss the industrial development of the areas around Mumbai and Pune.

Patil said his department will soon carry out an audit of the state's industrial hubs and provide adequate protection to curb any spurt in crime. The private security of the industries will also be scrutinized to make sure their background is verified.


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Human rights commission in Maharashtra

MUMBAI: MUMBAI: Mumbai: The National Human Rights Commission on Thursday concluded its three-day visit to Maharashtra after hearing over a 1,000 complaints and disposing off as many as 200 of them. The commission held several open sessions at Nagpur to hear grievances related to various issues related to forcible dispossession of Scheduled Caste from their lands, denial of benefits of social welfare schemes, discrimination, grabbing of land by persons of upper castes, malpractices of revenue authorities, non-payment of retirement benefits, non issuing caste certificates.

The notices of the complaints were issued to the state government. The NHRC said the state took cognizance of some of the notices and complaints and carried out corrective measures on time. The NHRC is on a visit to various states, including Maharashtra, Orissa and Karnataka.

State schools not giving SC scholarships

The visit of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to Maharashtra revealed that 213 schools in district Sholapur failed to give students from the Scheduled Caste scholarships for the year 2011-12. The Maharashtra government clarified to the commission that a proposal was sent to the social welfare department by the concerned schools. The government also clarified that show-cause notices were issued to the defaulting schools; out of this 203 schools had submitted their clarification. The NHRC directed the schools to immediately submit a proposal to the government to provide scholarships to the students and the government must immediately comply with disbursement of money.

Maharashtra not doing enough for disabled

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) during its three-day visit to Maharashtra pointed out that not enough was being done for the disabled in the state. The NHRC was told that Sickle Cell disease has not been included in the eligibility criteria to describe a disabled person in the RPWD Bill, 2012. The commission also observed that Thalassemia has been included in the eligibility criteria. Since both Thalassemia and Sickle Cell are related to blood disorder, the commission recommended to the centre to consider inclusion of the two diseases in the RPWD Bill, 2012.

NHRC takes stock of land issues in Maharashtra

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) during its three-day visit to Maharashtra took note of the plight of those people who have been occupying government land for decades and yet their possession has been regularised. The MHRC made a recommendation the state government to consider the cases of such people with sympathy and in cases where they have been possession since long, urgent steps must be taken to ensure regularization of their possession in accordance with the directions issues by the Supreme Court. The notices of the complaints were issued to the state government. The NHRC said the state took cognizance of some of the notices and complaints and carried out corrective measures on time. The NHRC is on a visit to various states, including Maharashtra, Orissa and Karnataka.

NHRC takes note of college and school problems in Maharashtra

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) took note of the problems related to the students of SC/ST in the government-run colleges in the rural areas. On its three-day visit to Maharashtra, the commission was told about the state government's reluctance to accord recognition to primary and secondary schools at Pangao in Latur district, in schools meant exclusively for the SC & ST. The commission pointed out to the government that the schools is meant exclusively for the children of SC and education must be imparted to only those children. The commission asked the state government to take decision to accord recognition to the school within four weeks.


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Slum clean up campaign postponed within a week of its launch

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena - the ruling party in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) - launched its ambitious Swacch Mumbai PrabodhanAbhiyan (SMPA), aimed at cleaning the slum areas, with much grandeur on January 23, which was also its party supremoBalThackeray's birth anniversary. However, within a week of its launch, the scheme has been postpo

Citing technical reasons, the civic administration has deferred the new cleanliness drive for couple of months. Instead it has now given extension to the earlier slum adoption scheme, on which place the Swacch Mumbai Prabodhan Abhiyan was introduced.

In a statement presented to the civic standing committee, the civic administration has said that some administrative process still needs to be completed before implementing the SMPA. Hence extension has been given to slum adoption scheme from February 1 to March 31.

The SMPA was inaugurated at the hands of Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan at mayor's bungalow last week. The BMC will spend funds of Rs 95 crores in next 14 months for the implementation of this drive in the city.

The opposition members have slammed the civic body for launching the scheme in a hurry. "It clearly shows the lack of preparation and groundwork on the part of civic administration. They should have brought in this drive with proper planning," said MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande.


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Mega Food Park scheme will benefit farmers and consumers alike: Govt

MUMBAI: The Mega Food Park scheme launched by the Centre has received a good response with 13 hubs already under implementation, said RakeshKacker, secretary, ministry of food processing industries. He was addressing the 'National Summit on Mega Food Parks: An Investment Destination' in Mumbai Wednesday.

The Mega Food Park Scheme will be set up along the hub and spoke pattern. The core processing facilities will be located in a central area with processing plants at the periphery. One park will serve a cluster of three to four districts. The central processing centre will have dry warehouses, cold chain infrastructure and an irradiation centre not to mention facilities for sorting, grading and packaging.

The ministry believes the scheme will benefit farmers and consumers alike by addressing infrastructure concerns. Presently, post harvest losses range from 4-6% for cereals to a whopping 18% for fruits and vegetables. Kacker said the government has granted approval for 30 Mega Food Parks across the country. He said investment in food processing industry is set to grow with the decentralization of the approval process. According to the National Food Processing Mission, project assessment can be sanctioned by the state government itself. Moreover, 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is permitted in the food processing sector.

The secretary added that the government has accorded the food processing industry the status of a sunrise sector. It has initiated measures to create infrastructure, cold chain development, technology upgradation and sanctioned various schemes for modernization, all of which could see a combined investment of about Rs 7,000 crore over 30 centres.

S K Goel, additional chief secretary, agriculture and marketing in the Maharashtra government, said there was vast scope for public-private partnership in the food processing sector. "There are at least seven central schemes including the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and the National Horticultural Mission ( NHM) which can take care of most of the backend linkages. The front end linkages of production and marketing will be the responsibility of private players," he said.

Co-organiser FICCI stressed the need for a stable export policy, pointing out that the frequent banning of particular commodities affects the feasibility of projects. Welcoming FDI in retail, the industry body said this will boost investment in the food processing sector.


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HC acquits woman of double murder of children

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court acquitted a 30-year-old housewife from Sangli who sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of murdering two children including her son.

False implication cannot be ruled out. Hence, it can be safely inferred that the prosecution has failed to establish the guilt of the accused,'' said a division bench of Justice Vijaya kapse-Tahilramani and justice Sadhna Jadhav. The court also dismissed an application filed by the state seeking the death penalty for the woman accused Seema Jadhav (name changed).

The prosecution claimed that Seema had killed the son of a relative, from whom she had borrowed a necklace. She then killed her own son, who had witnessed the murder. The court however held that the prosecution had failed to establish death of the children on the dates alleged by witnesses. The court pointed out that the doctor had opined that the deaths could not be proved as the bodies had been highly decomposed. However, according to the police the accused's son had made a dying declaration to his father. the court observed that this was humanly impossible. The court also questioned the delay in filing the FIR.


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Corporator wants karate training for girl school students

MUMBAI: On the backdrop of rising crimes against women, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) corporator has demanded that girl students in municipal schools should be given training of judo or karate for their self-defence.

Dilip Lande, the MNS group leader in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has moved a notice of motion in the civic general body meeting in which he has asked the civic body to provide training of judo/karate to girl students in civic schools. The issue of security of women has come on anvil after the brutal gang rape case in Delhi. Several movements have also started to help women fight against the atrocities. Various social organisations, private institutes are providing training of judo-karate to girls for their self-defence. Some of the political parties are also distributing weapons to women, so that they can use it in case of emergency.

Lande said, "On the backdrop of rising cases of atrocities against women, it has become necessary to provide training of judo/karate to girls for their security. The training can be given under the physical training course in schools. Several social organisations are willing to provide such training." Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel


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U-turn: Traffic cops allow pride march on Saturday

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 29 Januari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The traffic police has reversed its decision and will now allow the city's Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered (LGBT) community to hold a pride parade on February 2.

"The community thanks the traffic police for reconsidering its decision," said Pallav Patankar, director, HIV programmes, Humsafar Trust. "This is one of the biggest pride marches in India.''

The pride month celebrations started before the traffic police's decision. Events were held across the city, including queer games at Juhu beach and a performance of Ek Madhav Baugh, a play written by late Chetan Datar, at Prithvi theatre about a mother coming to terms with her son's sexuality.

Leading up to the march on February 2, other events planned this week including a film festival at IIT-Bombay, a rock concert and a photography exhibition.

Sridhar Rangayan, filmmaker and festival director of the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, said that he is excited about organizing the event.

"When I was studying at the IIT during the 1980s, there was no visibility for the LGBT community on campus. I am really happy that the IIT now has a youth group and we are screening award winning LGBT films at my alma mater," Rangayan told TOI.

Earlier this month, the traffic police had denied the LGBT community permission to hold its annual march. The groups had planned to write to the authorities concerned imploring them to reconsider their decision.


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Two killed in separate road accidents

MUMBAI: The Deonar police have registered two separate cases of road accidents that happened on Monday killing two, including a minor boy.

Police said that in the two hit-and-run cases the unidentified vehicles managed to sped away without giving medical assistance to the two victims that cost them their lives.

In the first incident, the 55-year-old deceased, yet to be identified, was killed while walking on the Ghatkopar Mankhurd Link Road ( GMLR) when a speeding dumper lost its control and hit the victim around 340pm. In the second incident, the boy identified as Allahuddin Sawat (16) was walking on the same road, when he was crushed to death by a speeding trailer while he was crossing around 6.30 pm, said the police.

Police said that the unidentified elderly man, found profusely bleeding, was rushed to a nearby civic-run Rajawadi hospital, where he was declared brought dead. "The driver left the vehicle and ran away from the spot," said Deonar police senior inspector Prahlad Panaskar.

The officer said the speeding trailer sped away with his vehicle after crushing Sawat. His body was sent to Sion hospital for post mortem.

Police are on lookout for the two unidentified heavy motorists.


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Unemployed man commits suicide

MUMBAI: A 36-year-old unemployed man reportedly end his life by hanging himself from the ceiling of his house on the mezzanine floor lat at Vikhroli (east) on Sunday. The incident was noticed when SachinAikhande's family members visited his house the next day morning to give him breakfast, said the Vikhroli police.

Aikhande has left a suicide note behind in which he said that he was frustrated over his ill-health that caused due to his drinking habits. "In the note Aikhande has not held any one responsible for his act. He suffered from prolonged ill-health and was unemployed," said Vikhroli police senior inspector Mahipat Indalkar.

Aikhande was depressed for being dependant on his brothers and parents that made him to take the extreme step. "He had been an alcoholic and was suffering from various ailments," said Indalkar.

Aikhande was staying alone on the mezzanine floor of Sonawane chawl at Tagore nagar area. The incident came to light when Aikhande's brother went to his residence at 10.30am on Monday to give him breakfast. In the statement, the deceased's brother said, "I found my brother hanging from the ceiling. He was alcoholic which made us to make him stay separately. But we took care of him."

Police have registered a case of accidental death and have ruled out any suspicion.


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Man ends life unable to meet senior's demand for unnatural sex

MUMBAI: The Nehru Nagar police recently arrested a 36-year-old Singapore resident reportedly for abetting a man to end his life. Kelvin Seow was arrested on January 24, 10 days after Vijay Kolu end his life by hanging himself from the ceiling at his Kurla residence at Thakkar Bapa Colony.

Police initially carried out a probe based on the suicide note that Kolu had left back. "In the note Kolu accused Seow, his employer, of forcing him to have unnatural sex while going on a road tour to Delhi. The victim was employed as a driver with the accused after he got impressed with his (victim) personality," Nehru Nagar police assistant inspector Vilas Shelar.

Police said Kolu worked at a hotel in Andheri before meeting Seow at the hotel in December. Seow offered him the job of his driver with a good pay package in Delhi.

In January, Seow was going to Delhi from Mumbai by car along with Ashwin Noronha, Muneesh, and Kolu, who was driving the car. On the way, they decided to stay in a hotel for the night. "Seow apparently forced Kolu to have sex with him. When Kolu denied, Seow threatened him to remove from service. Undeterred, Kolu stood firm on his stand and the next day they continued to Delhi. He (victim) then informed his mother of the night's happenings," said the police.

Police said that later, Vijay Kolu quit the job and went back to his old workplace in search of a job. However, they turned him down as Seow had already called them and badmouthed his character. "Depressed over the entire issue, Vijay committed suicide on January 13. He had left a suicide note blaming the trio for the extreme step," said the police.


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Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation shows wildlife movie to physically challenged children

MUMBAI: To encourage the importance of environment, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has organized special shows of the animation film 'Delhi Safari' for the physically challenged students in the municipal as well as government schools.

"On the occasion of 63rd anniversary of Republic Day, it was decided to show a film to the physically challenged students free of cost. Accordingly, the Hindi version of 'Delhi Safari' film will be shown on January 25 to some 1650 physically challenged students in 43 schools across the city. The special show will be held at 9.30 am in seven selected city theatres," said a civic official.

Delhi Safari, directed by Nikhil Advani, traces the journey of five animals and birds from Mumbai to Delhi. A cub leopard, his mother, a monkey, a bear and a parrot undertake a journey when the forest they live in is on the verge of destruction. Builders have encroached upon their forest and the animals decide to go to Delhi and protest in front of the parliament and ask the parliament some very simple yet pertinent questions. The film also features the voices of Akshaye Khanna, Govinda, Suniel Shetty, Boman Irani and Urmila Matondkar.

The film will be shown at several theatres in the city.

Earlier with an aim of inculcating a feeling of patriotism in the civic students, the BMC had held special shows of 'Vasudev Balwant Phadke,' a Marathi film based on the first Indian revolutionary, in the municipal schools.


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BMC not maintaining new markets, say corporators

MUMBAI: Several newly constructed markets that have been handed over to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in lieu of additional Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) are in a pathetic condition as the BMC is not maintaining them.

According to the civic policy if a plot is reserved for a market and is owned by a private owner then the owner can construct a market on 40 % area of the land, hand it over to the BMC free of cost and then exploit the remaining land for development.

Under this policy there are many plots that have been handed over to the BMC by private owners and after being handed over the BMC hasn't given them rent, and haven't even maintained them.

Corporators in the standing committee and the improvement committee both slammed the civic administration for neglecting these markets and cause revenue loss to the BMC by not renting the shops

The issue was raised in the improvements committee by BJP corporator from Mulund

Prakash Gangadhare. He said that there is a municipal market handed over to the BMC by a private owner six years back in Grant Road and yet the civic body hasn't put it to use. "Today that market is being used to play by the local kids and all kinds of illegal activities are happening there," said Gangadhare.

"There is a market in IC colony in Borivali that was handed over to the BMC two years back, and yet the BMC hasn't rented the shops in the market. And people are using it as a toilet now," said Shiv Sena corporator Subha Raul

There are 103 municipal markets in all; most of these markets are dilapidated and poor condition.

Corporators have said that since the BMC cannot get these markets repaired they should at least maintain the ready-made markets that they are getting from the private owners.

"The BMC has a funny attitude towards these market plots, they themselves are not in a position to give good markets to the city and the once that they are getting free of cost are also not being maintained,"said Mohsin Haider, Congress corporator.


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Mid-size hospitals mushroom in Mumbai

Written By kom nampultig on Senin, 28 Januari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Mega-hospitals with hundreds of beds and as many parking slots are not the only ones growing in popularity and revenues. Now, mid-sized entities-or mini-hospitals with 70 to 100 beds each-are mushrooming across the city's suburbs and satellite towns. The reason for their popularity, say experts, is that they are more often than not conveniently located within neighbourhoods.

From eye care to laparoscopic surgery to orthopedic procedures, these smaller hospitals offer families the option to seek healthcare right next-door. Given the exorbitant real estate prices, it is easier to set up a 70-bed hospital in a suburb that is otherwise short on healthcare options. So, there is an Advanced Eye Hospital and Vasan Eye Care in Vashi, Nova Surgery Centres in Chembur, Platinum Hospital in Mulund and Vasai, and Bethany Hospital in Thane.

"Around 70% of the healthcare needs in the country are attended to by the secondary healthcare system. There is, hence, a lot of activity in this segment across the country," said Dr Vivek Desai of HOSMAC, a healthcare management consultancy. Healthcare providers can be divided into three sections-primary healthcare centres (which are essentially doctor-based clinics), secondary centres that offer care and operations (like a nursing home or small hospitals) and tertiary healthcare centres (which give high-end special surgeries and intensive care). "The last segment, or mega hospitals, account for only 30% of the healthcare volume," said Desai.

Today, it is possible for some procedures to be done in a day or on short-stay basis. "People save on money and hospitals get to do more procedures, getting better volumes," said the doctor.

Experts say health insurance is one of the reasons for the proliferation of mini- hospitals. Heart surgeon Bijoy Kutty, who set up Platinum Hospitals in Mulund and Vasai, said, "The majority of people who have medical insurance have a cover of barely Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh. They don't want to go to public hospitals, but cannot afford a five-star hospital either."

His target is this section, which is looking for affordable healthcare. "The lower to middle classes are a big pool and they prefer private healthcare," he said, adding that he is adding 30 beds to his Mulund hospital to meet the demand.

The other major contributor to this trend is the disappearing nursing homes in Mumbai. Dr Amit Thadani, who shut down his nursing home in Chembur and set up the 100-bed Nirmaya Hospital in Kharghar, said, "Nursing homes are no longer sought after due to the popularity of insurance. People want to go to hospitals that are generally better equipped than nursing homes."

Dr Sunil Vaze, who is the president of the Bombay Nursing Home Association, confirmed that many nursing homes are either winding up or on the way to closure. "It is difficult to sustain nursing homes, both in terms of infrastructure and staff," said the 61-year-old owner of Vaze Nursing Home, near Hindmata. It was set up in 1937. "Nursing homes are bound to shut down as people with insurance prefer to go to hospitals. Also, doctors running nursing homes no longer want to take any risk and fear they will have to pay a heavy price if something goes wrong," added Vaze, alluding to attacks on hospitals.

Bed & Care

* Mid-size is in; 70- to 100-bed hospitals proliferate

* Their top USP: Affordable healthcare

* USP no 2: They are located within neighbourhoods, unlike super-specialty hospitals which are concentrated mainly in south Mumbai

* Flipside: They seem to be replacing nursing homes that were once the mainstay of Mumbai's health-line


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Leopard kills boy, 6th death in 7 months

MUMBAI: A 10-year-old boy, Saurabh Yadav, was mauled to death by a leopard on Saturday at Adarsh Nagar in Aarey. This is the sixth death due to a leopard attack in Mumbai in the past seven months. Saurabh had gone to attend nature's call with his friend around 7.30pm when the animal dragged him inside the forest. His friend started screaming for help. The police later recovered Saurabh's mauled body.

"The area falls under Thane forest jurisdiction. There is a cheap paid public toilet, but locals invite trouble by squatting in the open. They also strew garbage around, which attracts pigs and dogs, easy prey for leopards," said Santosh Saste, assistant conservator of forests (vigilance), Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP).

The other big problem is that the national park boundary is patchy and not continuous, making people living in Aarey vulnerable to big cat attacks.

Jalpesh Mehta, founder, Empower Foundation, who has been working on SGNP's man-animal conflict, said that early Saturday morning they got a call from tribals informing them that a female leopard was trapped inside Aarey Milk Colony's Mataipada.

"It was a female leopard. We were told there was a male leopard roaring in the periphery of the area. We transported the female leopard to SGNP. Our team has been tracking it through its droppings, pug marks and regular information from locals. Even as we surmised that the leopards were in search of food, we got a call that a boy was attacked," said Mehta.

Mehta said the only solution is co-existence wherein people will have to change their lifestyles by not venturing out in the forest at night for nature's call and not dumping garbage on which dogs and pigs feed, thereby attracting leopards.


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Legislative council bypoll on February 14

MUMBAI: A bypoll for the state legislative council seat vacated by Congress Rajya Sabha MP Hussain Dalwai will take place on February 14.

The state legislative body has declared that parties will have to nominate candidates on or before 3 pm on February 4. Scrutiny of the applications will take place on February 5, whereas applicants will have time till February 7 to withdraw their nomination.

Elections will only be necessary if more than one candidate is in the fray.


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State to deposit amount for police uniforms in bank accounts

MUMBAI: Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has signalled a change in the manner in which the state government funded purchase of police uniforms.

During a meeting last week, Pawar, who also handles the finance portfolio, announced that the money for such purchases will now be directly deposited in the policeman's account.

Cloth for the uniforms is currently purchased by the prisons department and the textile corporation, and made available to policemen.

Pawar also reviewed the arms and ammunition at the disposal of the police during the meeting. He said that the finance department will extend all cooperation to fulfill future requirement. Home minister RR Patil, senior home department and police officials attended the meeting.


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139 couples tie knot at mass wedding organized by Nirankari Sant Samagam

MUMBAI: On Monday, a mass wedding function was held at the venue of the 46th annual Nirankari Sant Samagam in Airoli, where 139 couples tied their nuptial knot in the presence of his holiness Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj, his holy mother Rajmata Kulwant Kaur Ji and his gracious spouse Pujya Mata Sawinder Ji. Besides the parents, relatives and friends of the brides and bridegrooms, thousands of devotees of the mission were also present.

While most of the couples belonged from Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, some brides and bridegrooms came from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

Even though the caste does not figure in Nirankari Marriages, a Hindu girl married a Muslim boy while another Hindu boy tied knot with a Christian girl.

The ceremony began with the traditional Jaymala, followed by Nirankari Lavan. Each couple was given a common garland — a special feature of a Nirankari wedding.

The holy trinity and other saints showered the flowers while saint artists sang Lavan with music.

The ceremony was marked by maximum austerity as the newly-wed couples along with their families, friends and relatives ate lunch at the community kitchen (Langar) provided by the Sant Nirankari Mandal.

Blessing the newly-weds, his holiness appreciated the couples and their families for opting this simple mass wedding ceremony.

Baba Ji said "Every social relation based on the teachings of the saints is bound to grow stronger and stronger. As a matter of fact, most of the families who opt for this simple ceremony are spiritually enlightened and attend holy congregations. It is here that they learn human values of love, humility, cooperation and tolerance." He called upon the newly-weds to seek the company of saints regularly.

Humanity is the true religion of man and all spiritual masters have preached it since ages. Just as sugar is known from its sweetness and salt from its saltiness, a human being is known from humanity. This was stated here by his holiness Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj, head of the Sant Nirankari Mission while addressing a mammoth congregation of the devotees of the Mission on the third day of the 46th Annual Nirankari Sant Samagam of Maharashtra in Navi Mumbai late Sunday evening.

The three-day Samagam is being attended by lakhs of followers of the mission and other God-loving people from all over Maharashtra and several other parts of the country and abroad.

Baba Ji said that whether we call the teachings of Lord Christ, Hazarat Mohammad, Guru Nanak or the any other spiritual master that of God, they all preached the lesson of humanity as the man's true religion.

His holiness further said that "It is unfortunate that man has remained ignorant about the true meaning of religion and identified the same with all kinds of rituals. That is why he is unable to behave like man. People are fighting against each other and we find hatred, jealousy, selfishness, narrow-mindedness and violence prevailing across the world."

His holiness emphasized that devotion to God can be followed by every individual while performing his responsibilities towards self, the family, society, nation and humanity as such.

Earlier, Shri S.S. Tiwari, coordinator of the Samagam Committee thanked his holiness for the success of the 3-day Samagam. He said that everything could be accomplished in time only due to his grace. He thanked all the government agencies and other organizations for their willing and wholehearted cooperation. He also thanked fthe devotees of the Mission who came in such a large number to participate in the Samagam.

Shri VD Nagpal, general secretary of the Sant Nirankari Mission from Delhi also thanked the devotees for their discipline and the spirit of devotion and cooperation which made the Samagam a success.


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139 couples tie knot in mass wedding organized by Nirankari Sant Samagam

MUMBAI: On Monday, a mass wedding function was held at the venue of the 46th annual Nirankari Sant Samagam in Airoli, where 139 couples tied their nuptial knot in the presence of his holiness Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj, his holy mother Rajmata Kulwant Kaur Ji and his gracious spouse Pujya Mata Sawinder Ji. Besides the parents, relatives and friends of the brides and bridegrooms, thousands of devotees of the mission were also present.

While most of the couples belonged from Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, some brides and bridegrooms came from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

Even though the caste does not figure in Nirankari Marriages, a Hindu girl married a Muslim boy while another Hindu boy tied knot with a Christian girl.

The ceremony began with the traditional Jaymala, followed by Nirankari Lavan. Each couple was given a common garland — a special feature of a Nirankari wedding.

The holy trinity and other saints showered the flowers while saint artists sang Lavan with music.

The ceremony was marked by maximum austerity as the newly-wed couples along with their families, friends and relatives ate lunch at the community kitchen (Langar) provided by the Sant Nirankari Mandal.

Blessing the newly-weds, his holiness appreciated the couples and their families for opting this simple mass wedding ceremony.

Baba Ji said "Every social relation based on the teachings of the saints is bound to grow stronger and stronger. As a matter of fact, most of the families who opt for this simple ceremony are spiritually enlightened and attend holy congregations. It is here that they learn human values of love, humility, cooperation and tolerance." He called upon the newly-weds to seek the company of saints regularly.

Humanity is the true religion of man and all spiritual masters have preached it since ages. Just as sugar is known from its sweetness and salt from its saltiness, a human being is known from humanity. This was stated here by his holiness Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj, head of the Sant Nirankari Mission while addressing a mammoth congregation of the devotees of the Mission on the third day of the 46th Annual Nirankari Sant Samagam of Maharashtra in Navi Mumbai late Sunday evening.

The three-day Samagam is being attended by lakhs of followers of the mission and other God-loving people from all over Maharashtra and several other parts of the country and abroad.

Baba Ji said that whether we call the teachings of Lord Christ, Hazarat Mohammad, Guru Nanak or the any other spiritual master that of God, they all preached the lesson of humanity as the man's true religion.

His holiness further said that "It is unfortunate that man has remained ignorant about the true meaning of religion and identified the same with all kinds of rituals. That is why he is unable to behave like man. People are fighting against each other and we find hatred, jealousy, selfishness, narrow-mindedness and violence prevailing across the world."

His holiness emphasized that devotion to God can be followed by every individual while performing his responsibilities towards self, the family, society, nation and humanity as such.

Earlier, Shri S.S. Tiwari, coordinator of the Samagam Committee thanked his holiness for the success of the 3-day Samagam. He said that everything could be accomplished in time only due to his grace. He thanked all the government agencies and other organizations for their willing and wholehearted cooperation. He also thanked fthe devotees of the Mission who came in such a large number to participate in the Samagam.

Shri VD Nagpal, general secretary of the Sant Nirankari Mission from Delhi also thanked the devotees for their discipline and the spirit of devotion and cooperation which made the Samagam a success.


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People's Commission to hear slum dwellers on Republic Day

Written By kom nampultig on Sabtu, 26 Januari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Following no commitment from the state government to meet the demands of the slum dwellers, the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan has organised a hearing by the People's Commission on issues of corruption and irregularities in redevelopment schemes proposed across the city.

The hearing has been organised on January 26 in Dadar under the chairmanship of Retd. Justice Suresh Hosbet alongwith other members namely former IG Sudhakar Suradkar, Amita Bhide(TISS)and activist, Medha Patkar.

The panel will hear slum dwellers from Sion koliwada and Jogeshwari. The slum dwellers have been demanding that the state government conduct an enquiry through the Principal Secretary, Housing into SRA projects in 6 localities - Golibar, Ambedkar Nagar - Mulund, Ramnagar - Ghatkopar, Chandivali, Sion-koliwada and Indira nagar - Jogeshwari and hold a public hearing.


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People's Commission to hear slum dwellers on Republic Day

MUMBAI: Following no commitment from the state government to meet the demands of the slum dwellers, the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan has organised a hearing by the People's Commission on issues of corruption and irregularities in redevelopment schemes proposed across the city.

The hearing has been organised on January 26 in Dadar under the chairmanship of Retd. Justice Suresh Hosbet alongwith other members namely former IG Sudhakar Suradkar, Amita Bhide(TISS)and activist, Medha Patkar.

The panel will hear slum dwellers from Sion koliwada and Jogeshwari. The slum dwellers have been demanding that the state government conduct an enquiry through the Principal Secretary, Housing into SRA projects in 6 localities - Golibar, Ambedkar Nagar - Mulund, Ramnagar - Ghatkopar, Chandivali, Sion-koliwada and Indira nagar - Jogeshwari and hold a public hearing.


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Schoolchildren blend R-Day festivity with sesquicentennial celebrations

MUMBAI: Seventeen schools in Bandra will join St Stanislaus High School to celebrate Republic Day on Saturday by participating in its grand inter-school parade.

St Stanislaus, a Jesuit institution of repute, is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year. The Hill Road rally will start at 7.15 am from Bandra police station and end at the school grounds with the flag-hoisting ceremony.

About 700 students from various schools in Bandra will join the march past. Some will also bring their marching bands. Jawans of the Rapid Action Force and the local police are also expected to join.

The deputy police commissioner will flag off a cycling event to spread the message of an eco-friendly environment. Parents will act as cheerleaders as students form a human chain.

The deputy director general of the Maharashtra NCC Directorate is the chief guest, owing to the fact that the NCC is responsible for creating awareness of the armed forces and motivating students towards a career in the military. He will hoist the flag and take the salute.

Local MP Priya Dutt, senior officials, school managers and staff along with the students will pledge allegiance to the nation and promise to protect women's rights. Spanish priests have contributed immensely towards St Stanislaus's development so the Consul General of Spain will be guest of honour.

The organisers say this has been done in keeping with the Rajpath traditions in New Delhi, to strengthen the bond between two organizations or nations. Three short cultural events will be presented by the schools to showcase India.


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Schoolchildren blend R-Day festivity with sesquicentennial celebrations

MUMBAI: Seventeen schools in Bandra will join St Stanislaus High School to celebrate Republic Day on Saturday by participating in its grand inter-school parade.

St Stanislaus, a Jesuit institution of repute, is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year. The Hill Road rally will start at 7.15 am from Bandra police station and end at the school grounds with the flag-hoisting ceremony.

About 700 students from various schools in Bandra will join the march past. Some will also bring their marching bands. Jawans of the Rapid Action Force and the local police are also expected to join.

The deputy police commissioner will flag off a cycling event to spread the message of an eco-friendly environment. Parents will act as cheerleaders as students form a human chain.

The deputy director general of the Maharashtra NCC Directorate is the chief guest, owing to the fact that the NCC is responsible for creating awareness of the armed forces and motivating students towards a career in the military. He will hoist the flag and take the salute.

Local MP Priya Dutt, senior officials, school managers and staff along with the students will pledge allegiance to the nation and promise to protect women's rights. Spanish priests have contributed immensely towards St Stanislaus's development so the Consul General of Spain will be guest of honour.

The organisers say this has been done in keeping with the Rajpath traditions in New Delhi, to strengthen the bond between two organizations or nations. Three short cultural events will be presented by the schools to showcase India.


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Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation float at Republic Day parade

MUMBAI: In a bid to promote the 720-km long coastline of the state as a tourist attraction, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) will showcase a 'Chitrarath' or visual chariot at the Republic Day float at Shivaji Park, Dadar, on Saturday.

The agency says Maharashtra has something to offer every traveller, domestic or international. The Chitrarath depicts various activities like snorkeling and parasailing apart from houseboats and forts that one can experience along the coast.

The Chitrarath is an "invitation" to people to experience the different water sports available along the stretch.

Dr Jagdish Patil, managing director, MTDC, says, "Coastal towns like Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar, Murud-Janjira, Ganpatipule, Velas, Tarkarli offer amazing experiences. One can sample traditional Malvani cuisine in the Konkan region and enjoy boat rides or adventure sports at Tarkarli. Tourists can go river rafting in the clear waters of the Kundalika river in Konkan and take in the breathtaking view of the Sahyadri mountain range." The Chitrarath provides vignettes of each.


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Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation float at Republic Day parade

MUMBAI: In a bid to promote the 720-km long coastline of the state as a tourist attraction, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) will showcase a 'Chitrarath' or visual chariot at the Republic Day float at Shivaji Park, Dadar, on Saturday.

The agency says Maharashtra has something to offer every traveller, domestic or international. The Chitrarath depicts various activities like snorkeling and parasailing apart from houseboats and forts that one can experience along the coast.

The Chitrarath is an "invitation" to people to experience the different water sports available along the stretch.

Dr Jagdish Patil, managing director, MTDC, says, "Coastal towns like Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar, Murud-Janjira, Ganpatipule, Velas, Tarkarli offer amazing experiences. One can sample traditional Malvani cuisine in the Konkan region and enjoy boat rides or adventure sports at Tarkarli. Tourists can go river rafting in the clear waters of the Kundalika river in Konkan and take in the breathtaking view of the Sahyadri mountain range." The Chitrarath provides vignettes of each.


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Parli power plant may be shut down

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 25 Januari 2013 | 22.23

PUNE: Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said the 1,130-MW Parli thermal power plant in Marathwada could be shut down within a few days due to severe shortage of water.

Other plants are generating power as per availability of water, he added. "The Dabhol plant is generating only one-third of power of its total capacity, while the Uran plant is generating only half of its total capacity. The state is unable to start new power plants because of water

scarcity," he said. He added, "Maharashtra has just 18% irrigation while Punjab has 98%. If Maharashtra had even 50% of irrigation, it would have developed capacity to provide foodgrain to all states."


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Govt nod to special cell on crimes against women in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Home minister R R Patil on Thursday cleared a proposal to set up a separate cell to probe crime against women in Mumbai. The newly formed wing will probe cases of rape, molestation, dowry and other atrocities against women. TOI was first to report on the state's initiative to start a separate investigation wing categorically to probe cases of crime against women.

"An officer of DCP rank will head this special cell. The functioning of the new wing will be monitored by the joint commissioner of police (crime)," Patil said, adding, "The government aims to start similar cells in other parts of the state too." The new wing will have one DCP and ACP each. Besides, the special wing will comprise two police inspectors, 12 assistant police inspectors and police sub-inspectors and 61 constabulary staff. "Funds from police modernisation will be allocated to set up infrastructure for this cell," Patil added.


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Mumbai: Govt nod to special cell on crimes against women

MUMBAI: Home minister R R Patil on Thursday cleared a proposal to set up a separate cell to probe crime against women in Mumbai. The newly formed wing will probe cases of rape, molestation, dowry and other atrocities against women. TOI was first to report on the state's initiative to start a separate investigation wing categorically to probe cases of crime against women.

"An officer of DCP rank will head this special cell. The functioning of the new wing will be monitored by the joint commissioner of police (crime)," Patil said, adding, "The government aims to start similar cells in other parts of the state too." The new wing will have one DCP and ACP each. Besides, the special wing will comprise two police inspectors, 12 assistant police inspectors and police sub-inspectors and 61 constabulary staff. "Funds from police modernisation will be allocated to set up infrastructure for this cell," Patil added.


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J P Morgan provides $70 million debt fund to Puravankara

BANGALORE: An investment arm of J P Morgan has extended about $70 million (Rs 375 crore) funding to listed Bangalore developer Puravankara Projects for developing a 4.2 million sqft premium residential project in Chennai, said people briefed on the matter.

The funding from Wall Street's most profitable bank is in the form of senior debt to a special purpose vehicle executing the project, with an assured return of 18%. The deal was completed in recent weeks.

Senior management officials at Puravankara Projects declined to comment for the story, saying that they were in a silent period as their third quarter financial results are due next week.

The project, Purva Windermere, is coming up on a 54-acre land parcel along Chennai's Old Mahabalipuram Road. Financial investors, more specifically private equity firms, have increasingly opted for debt financing through their NBFCs or structured equity deals in real estate investments. This insulates them from execution, marketing and demand-supply risks.

JP Morgan, through its proprietary and asset management arms, has been a prolific investor in Indian real estate and infrastructure sectors, though it has turned cautious on the former in recent times.

In the commercial real estate market, which tends to produce stable rent yielding assets, investors prefer to go for an outright buy. In the last two years, PE giant Blackstone has invested $950 million in India, picking up 25 million sqft of commercial and residential developments.


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6 killed in Mumbai slum fire

MUMBAI: At least six people were killed and seven injured in a fire that gutted over 50 hutments in southern Mumbai's Mahim area early Friday, officials said.

According to the BMC Disaster Control Centre, the fire broke out around 5am in the Nayanagar slums in Mahim and quickly spread, catching the occupants unaware in their sleep.

Seven fire engines and eight tankers rushed to combat the blaze and finally managed to control it after four hours. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Congress MP from the area Eknath Gaekwad said the slum is a thickly populated and there was a possibility of the casualty figures going up.

"The narrow lanes in the congested locality prevented quicker rescue operations, but the city fire brigade did a commendable job and prevented higher casualties," Gaekwad told IANS from the scene of the tragedy.

Hundreds of families suddenly rendered homeless sat on the roadside, crying helplessly.

Gaekwad and other social workers have assured relief to the displaced families.


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Shiv Sena distributes knives, chilli powder to Mumbai women for protection against rapists

MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena has handed out kitchen knives and chilli powder to women in Mumbai following the gang rape of a student in Delhi that ignited a national debate on the best way to tackle sex crimes.

The party, an ally of the main opposition BJP, said it had handed out 21,000 knives with three-inch (7cm) blades to women in the city and surrounding areas and plans to distribute 100,000.

Mumbai police said they were examining the knives and considering legal action.

"This is a symbolic gesture," said Shiv Sena spokesman Rahul Narvekar, adding that a knife shorter than six inches in length does not fit the definition of a weapon. The party also handed out small bags of chilli powder - apparently to throw into an attacker's eyes.

"It's only to pass a signal to eve-teasers, anti-social elements and perpetrators of crime against women that women are empowered and they can take care of themselves," Narvekar said.

Eve-teasing is a euphemism for molesting women.

"Don't be afraid of using this knife if someone attacks you," Ajay Chaudhari, running the knife campaign, was quoted by the party newspaper, Saamana, as saying.

"We have set up a team of nine advocates to protect you from any potential court cases that may arise."

A 23-year-old physiotherapy student was raped and beaten on a moving bus in on December 16 before being thrown bleeding on a expressway in New Delhi, dubbed India's "rape capital". Mumbai is generally considered a safer city for women.

The attack and the student's death two weeks later caused public outrage at the failure of the government and police to protect women from rising sexual offences in a country where one rape is reported on average every 20 minutes.

In response, more women are taking up self-defence classes and carrying pepper spray. A government commission set up to recommend revisions to India's sex crime laws this week said women who kill an attacker during a attempted rape should be able to plead self-defence.


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Documents of seized bike verified, say police

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 23 Januari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The police said that they had verified the bike documents which they had seized recently in a race and negligent driving case and found that they were not stolen bikes.

On Sunday, the police arrested a biker's group for racing on western express highway at Bandra and seized their bikes. The police produced the youngsters before the court on Monday and they were released on bail. The police had contacted RTO to verify the bikes' documents.

The police officer said that they learnt that the bikes were belongs to the arrested accused. They police will return the bikes to the youngsters after completing the formalities.

The accused assembled on highway at Bandra for the racing on Sunday late night and a motorist informed the control room about it. Kherwadi police along with Nirmal Nagar, Vakola and BKC police stations asked to nab the bikers.

The police stations conducted nakabandi at some points and arrested five bikers at Kherwadi. Three bikers managed to escape but they were arrested at Vakola and BKC. They were riding their bikes in speed of more the 100 kmph and police found it difficult to chase them.


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Bandra police gets several complaints against rape accused

MUMBAI: The Bandra police stated that many residents approached them complaining against the 48-year-old, Mohammed Tahir Asnari, after stating that he had misbehaved with them in the area. Ansari was practicing Unani medicine and o n Monday, the police arrested him for raping a 12-year-old girl at Bandra slum recently.

Asnari, took the victim at his residence under pretext of giving her a medicine on January 16 and raped her. The accused and victim were neighbours and known to each-others.

The police said that Ansari approached the girl on the day of the incident to discuss her health. After a conversation Ansari asked the victim to accompany him. He took the girl at his house and offered her a medicine after which she felt drowsy. He had threatened the victim for dire consequences and raped her after drugging her.

Victim was living with his uncle's family and last week she told her aunt about the incident. The aunt took the victim to the police station and filed the rape case. The police said that they are recording the statement of the local residents in the case.


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Mumbai police records statement of coffee shop employees in molestation case

MUMBAI: The police have recorded the statements of the employees of the coffee shop at Bandra Bandstand in the molestation case. The police officer said that they are also examining the CCTV footage at the coffee shop.

Recently, a 56-year-old bank manager, Anand Meshram, had allegedly molested a woman outside the coffee shop. The woman wanted a personal loan for her ailing father and the manager had asked her to meet him at the coffee shop.

Passersby caught the manager when the victim screamed for help and handed him over to the Bandra police. The police arrested Meshram in the case and the court released him on bail.

The 31-year-old woman worked as a saleswoman in Dubai and her parents lived at Santa Cruz. The police said that her father was suffering from brain tumor and needed to be operated. The victim faced financial difficulties and was looking for a personal loan to arrange the operation cost.

One of her friend suggested her to discuss the issue with Meshram last week. Meshram worked as a manager in a nationalize bank at it's Cuff Parade branch and lived at Malad. Meshram promised to help the victim.


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Santa Cruz police issues sketch of killer

MUMBAI: The Santa Cruz police issued the sketch of the accused who had killed a 41-year-old woman in a lodge at Vile Parle (west) on Wednesday night.

The suspect, Papu Shrivastva,25, had entered the hotel along with Sangita Sharma,41. Shrivastva provided his details in the hotel register stating that he lives at Santa Cruz before the couple entered the hotel's room. The police found that the provided details fake.

The police suspect that Shrivastav strangulated the victim to death just after they checked in and an hour later he left there. A hotel staff found that the room was locked from outside and informed the hotel manager. They rang the door bell but no one responded. They opened the door with the help of a spare key. They found the woman's naked body in the bathroom and informed the police.

The Santa Cruz police initially registered an accidental death case and sent the body for postmortem at Cooper Hospital. The postmortem report confirmed that the woman was strangulated to death after which the police added murder section in the case.

The crime branch also started parallel investigation in the case and inquiring about the suspect. An officer stated that the hotel was known for dubious activities.


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Documents of seized bike verified, say police

MUMBAI: The police said that they had verified the bike documents which they had seized recently in a race and negligent driving case and found that they were not stolen bikes.

On Sunday, the police arrested a biker's group for racing on western express highway at Bandra and seized their bikes. The police produced the youngsters before the court on Monday and they were released on bail. The police had contacted RTO to verify the bikes' documents.

The police officer said that they learnt that the bikes were belongs to the arrested accused. They police will return the bikes to the youngsters after completing the formalities.

The accused assembled on highway at Bandra for the racing on Sunday late night and a motorist informed the control room about it. Kherwadi police along with Nirmal Nagar, Vakola and BKC police stations asked to nab the bikers.

The police stations conducted nakabandi at some points and arrested five bikers at Kherwadi. Three bikers managed to escape but they were arrested at Vakola and BKC. They were riding their bikes in speed of more the 100 kmph and police found it difficult to chase them.


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Judicial attention towards missing children is welcome: Bachpan Bachao Andolan

MUMBAI: The number of children going missing across the country has finally caught the attention of different bodies. While the Supreme Court this week ordered state governments to mandatorily file FIRs where missing children were concerned, the Justice J S Verma committee which was set up to study amendments and lacunae in the criminal law, today recommended that every district magistrate prepare a census of missing children.

The issue of missing children has been ignored for way too long. The Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) estimates that around 100,000 children go missing every year, of which over 30,000 remain untraced. In other words a staggering 274 children merely disappear from their respective homes daiy. The organisation claims that less than 10,000 of these are registered as cases.

The Supreme Court this week ordered that state governments compulsorily file FIRs for children gone missing. The apex court has also summoned the chief secretaries of six states including Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Orissa for their failure to present status reports.

"In the absence of a clear definition of missing child, coupled up with apathy, lackadaisical approach and no respect for children especially those belonging to the poorer sections of society, these directions of the Supreme Court will be a shot in the arm for our efforts against organised crime of trafficking involving these missing children," said R. S. Chaurasia, chairperson BBA.

It has already been a decade since the Juvenile Justice Act was passed, and we hopefully won't have a longer wait to ensure protection of our children.


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Auto-rickshaw driver's daughter tops CA exam

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 22 Januari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Surmounting all odds, Prema Jayakumar, daughter of a Mumbai-based auto-rickshaw driver, has topped the all India Chartered Accountancy (CA) examination.

Residing in a crammed one-room chawl in suburban Malad with her parents and brother, the 24-year-old told on Tuesday she was ecstatic to have secured the first rank in the examination conducted in November 2012 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, results of which were announced on Monday.

"It's my lifetime achievement. For me, the key to success is hardwork," an elated Prema said.

Her family, originally from Tamil Nadu, is settled for the last several years in Mumbai where her father Jayakumar Perumal drives an auto-rickshaw for a living.

Prema, who secured an impressive 607 marks out of 800, credits her parents for the success and now wants them to live a life of comfort.

"It would not have been possible without their support and blessings. My parents always motivated me. I would now want my parents, who did so much for me, to live a life of comfort," Prema, who did her articleship with Kishore Seth and Company, said.

Prema said she was proud of her father and homemaker mother who never allowed money to come in the way of her academic pursuit and that of her 22-year-old brother, who also cleared the tough CA examination with her.

Both siblings had registered together with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India to take the test in November last year.

Displaying academic excellence earlier too, Prema had stood second in her B.Com Third year examination conducted by Mumbai University, securing 90% marks.


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Autorickshaw driver's daughter tops CA examination

MUMBAI: Surmounting all odds, Prema Jayakumar, daughter of a Mumbai-based autorickshaw driver, has topped the all India Chartered Accountancy (CA) examination.

Residing in a crammed one-room chawl in suburban Malad with her parents and brother, the 24-year-old told on Tuesday she was ecstatic to have secured the first rank in the examination conducted in November 2012 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, results of which were announced on Monday.

"It's my lifetime achievement. For me, the key to success is hardwork," an elated Prema said.

Her family, originally from Tamil Nadu, is settled for the last several years in Mumbai where her father Jayakumar Perumal drives an auto-rickshaw for a living.

Prema, who secured an impressive 607 marks out of 800, credits her parents for the success and now wants them to live a life of comfort.

"It would not have been possible without their support and blessings. My parents always motivated me. I would now want my parents, who did so much for me, to live a life of comfort," Prema, who did her articleship with Kishore Seth and Company, said.

Prema said she was proud of her father and homemaker mother who never allowed money to come in the way of her academic pursuit and that of her 22-year-old brother, who also cleared the tough CA examination with her.

Both siblings had registered together with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India to take the test in November last year.

Displaying academic excellence earlier too, Prema had stood second in her B.Com Third year examination conducted by Mumbai University, securing 90% marks.


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Former aide of gangster Gawli commit suicide

MUMBAI: An alleged former aide of ArunGawli gang committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling at his seventh floor flat in Usha Complex, Bhandup (West), in the wee hours on Monday. Deceased OmprakashJaiswal (42) reportedly claimed in the suicide note before ending his life that he has taken the extreme step losing all his earnings in an illicit relationship that he had with a woman identified as VaishaliThakur, the Bhandup police said.

Police said that before ending his life, Jaiswal left a three page suicide note informing the reason for his act to end life. Based on the note and the deceased's wife Surekha's (36) complaint the Bhandup police charged Thakur under IPC section for 306 (abetment to suicide) and is searching for her. "Altogether he has made 5-6 photocopy of the suicide note which he had kept ready on January 16. He addressed and kept the note in post covers that was addressed to his friends requesting them to help his family in clearing the debts which he incurred at the hands of the woman Thakur," said Assistant Commissioner of Police (Bhandup division) Mahadev Gundewadi.

Jaiswal's wife Surekha (36) learnt about his act when she got up from bed around 4am and found him hanging from the ceiling. She called her neighbours and the police was called to the spot. In the complaint, deceased's wife said, "For the last few days my husband was disturbed after he lost everything to Thakur with whom he had an extra-marital affair and seems to have married her too. He has blamed Thakur in the note for his act of ending life."

During the probe, the investigators came to know that Jaiswal was arrested on over 10 occasions for extortion and several serious offences which he did in the past. "After leaving Gawli gang, he started real estate business and duped several flat buyers selling same flat to many. He was wanted in one of the cheating which he has done recently. We have lodged an FIR against the woman Thakur and she will be arrested soon," said a Bhandup police officer.


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Bank employee held for molestation

MUMBAI: The Shivaji Park police arrested a MBA professional for allegedly misbehaving with a 26-year-old fashion designer on Thursday. The victim was taking a walk at the Shivaji Park ground when the accused identified as AnupNaik (26) groped her. He confessed that "he went out of control on seeing the victim alone in the park" which he made him to commit the offence.

Others who were taking a walk in the locality chased Naik and thrashed him after he tried to escape after committing the offence. "The incident happened when the victim and the accused were walking on the jogger's strip. The victim lost her balance when Naik groped and repeatedly misbehaved with her," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone V) Dhananjay Kulkarni told TOI.

The incident occurred in between 9.30 pm and 10 pm when the victim was taking a walk at the joggers track in the park. Both the victim and the accused hail from upper middle class families. Naik stays in a residential building behind Plaza Cinema and is employed in a bank. In the complaint, the victim said, "I lost control and fell down after the unknown youth groped and pushed me. He misbehaved with me before he tried to escape. On hearing my scream few others who were walking in the park rushed for help and nabbed the accused."

The accused and the victim are not known to each other. "Naik tried to take advantage of the situation on seeing the victim alone in the park and thought could escape without getting caught. But his luck ran short when locals nabbed him. He claimed that he didn't meant to hurt the victim," said Shivaji Park police senior inspector Suresh Unavne.

Naik was booked under section 354 (outrage modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code. He was produced before the local court on Friday and later was released on bail.


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Civic body to install dustbins alongside drains to discourage people from throwing garbage

MUMBAI: To prevent slum dwellers from dumping garbage into nullahs, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ( BMC) is planning to install dustbins along the nullahs at around 400 spots in the city. Every year, the civic body carries a nullah cleaning drive before monsoon to clean city culverts. However, people continuing to dump waste material into cleaned nullahs, especially in slum areas, has always remained a cause for concern for the civic officials.

"People in slum areas treat nullahs as dumping ground. Throwing garbage, especially plastic bags, is the main cause of clogging of nullahs. Despite repeated appeals, they keep on dumping garbage into nullahs after desilting is done," said Laxman Vhatkar, director (engineering services). Around 400 spots have been identified and we have sent this list to the solid waste management department, he added.

According to the civic officials, 70 per cent of the nullah cleaning is done before the monsoon, 20 per cent during the monsoon and 10 per cent afterwards. The civic body collects the silt taken out from the nullahs and ferry it at the dumping grounds. But people living on the banks of nullahs and nearby areas continue to dump waste material, which includes garbage, plastic bags, bottles, thermacoal, even broken furnitures like chairs, tables and sofa-sets.

"There is a need to instill a civic sense in citizens. No matter how much nullah cleaning we carry out, people keep on dumping garbage into them, which mostly involves floating material like plastic bags, bottles and thermacoal. This sends a wrong signal that nullah cleaning has not been done properly, due to which BMC's name gets spoiled," said a senior civic official.

Last year, Mayor Sunil Prabhu and civic chief Sitaram Kunte had made a public appeal to citizens to keep nullahs clean during the monsoon. The civic body had also carried out a public awareness campaign with the help of announcements in newspapers and radio channels.

The clogging of drains due to plastic carrybags was one of the major reasons for the 26/7 deluge in 2005, in which the entire city came to a standstill and over thousand people lost their lives.


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Stale food for dinner lands 43 tribal students in hospital

MUMBAI: Forty three students of a government-run residential school for tribals in Talasari taluka, around 120km from Mumbai suffered food poisioning after allegedly consuming stale food for dinner on Monday night.

The students, aged 6 to 14, are being treated in a government hospital and are now stable. Students of the school located at Sutrakar in Talasari began complaining of dizziness, vomitting and upset stomach since early Tuesday. They were rushed to the hospital. Students said that they had complained of stale food but the school authorities warned them to eat what was served.

Samples of stool have been send for testing and results are awaited, said Kalpana Gode,Tehsildar,Talasar. Gode who visited the students in the hospital said that food samples have also been send for testing.

An inquiry will be initiated and the contractor will face action if found guilty, said Gode. Students said that they had in the past complained of stale food but no action has been taken against the contractors.


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Mumbai cuts a fine dash for a cause

Written By kom nampultig on Senin, 21 Januari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Cheering crowds were fewer, the colours and drama on the sidelines a little subdued. But where the 10th edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon equalled its earlier outings was in the vim, passion and zest of the more than 38,000 participants.

Streams of marathoners, professionals and amateurs, surged through the course and towards the finish line, braving the vagaries of weather. The ask of the undertaking took a toll on some runners, yet the determination of the participants in general never flagged.

In the end, records were broken, causes supported and the spirit of the annual event upheld on Sunday. The marathon's charity partner, Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care, declared it was certain of raising an amount for charity that would beat all previous records.

"It is always a wonderful experience to run the marathon in Mumbai, especially since I have been associated with it since its inception," said actor Milind Soman, who ran the Half Marathon on Sunday after four years of Full Marathon. For various categories of races, slogans provided an accompanying beat. Causes such as education, health and environment received most prominence, but a safer city for women too was a big appeal. In the Senior Citizen's Run, a host of enthusiastic participants exhibited a simple motto -'I'll not count the years, I'll make the years count'. While some runners held placards giving information about easy investment schemes and health policies, most were there for the fun of running. A major draw in the category was marathon veteran and the oldest participant in the event, 102-year-old Fauja Singh. The centenarian was called on by scores for health tips.

"Though I have a foot problem due to old age, I love to dance. I participate in the marathon every year to show people that one should never let their spirit down," said 70-year-old Leena Lolkar. Taking a pause from their duty, about 140 personnel from various branches of the Mumbai police participated in SCMM 2013. "I practised thoroughly and decided to run the Half Marathon like every year," said 59-year-old Sanjay Jaiswal, who retired from the crime branch less than two months ago and finished the feat on Sunday in less than three hours. "Completing a marathon always gives me joy and a high."

Most participants were happy with the arrangements, though the icing on the cake for them was the specially designed medal for the participants of Half and Full Marathons.

The spirit of the event helped runners withstand the fickleness of the weather. While it was nippy early on Sunday, a harsh sun beat down on runners by 10am, causing some discomfort. Rikke Alber, who finished the Full Marathon in 4 hours and 28 minutes, found the mercury too high for her. "I come from Denmark. Compared to the climate there, the heat here nearly killed me during the run. Still, the good organization made the run a lot of fun."


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Mumbai marathon: Cop has ID crisis

Acop who usually stops people to check their identity as part of his job found himself at the receiving end. As the constable in plainclothes tried to walk past an entrance to a VIP enclosure, a Mumbai Marathon organizer stopped him, asking for his ID card. No amount of assertion that he indeed was a cop seemed to impress the woman. His colleague in uniform tried to convince her, but even his effort came to naught with the organizer refusing to budge from her stand. Only after a scrutiny of his card was he allowed to enter.

Railway girls make it big

Three winners in the Indian women category of the marathon are from the railways, two of them being ticket checkers. "Lalita Babar, the winner in the Indian women's Full Marathon, is a senior ticket checker with the Central Railway. Sudha Singh, who has won the Half Marathon, is a chief ticket inspector with the CR," said CR spokesperson A K Singh. "Vijayamala Patil, who came second in the Full Marathon is a Western Railway athlete and works in the stores department at Churchgate ." A CR ticket checker, Sachin Patil, was the runner-up in Indian men's Half Marathon.

Bikini man

Stand-up comedian Atul Khatri certainly attracted a lot of attention not just for his swift finish in the Half Marathon but also his costume. Khatri wore a long T-shirt with a caricature of a bikini-clad woman's torso and legs and a sign on the back, saying 'Don't tell women what to wear; teach men not to stare'. "The T-shirt and the slogan was enough," said Khatri.

Starry race

Abevy of celebrities from the film and TV worlds lent stardust to the Mumbai Marathon on Sunday. Actors such as Gulshan Grover, Sakshi Tanwar, Sharman Joshi and Vivek Oberoi walked for Tina Ambani's Harmony initiative for senior citizens. "Because of my close friend Tina, I come to the Harmony marathon every year. This year was special not only because there were more senior citizens, but also because their enthusiasm was greater." Model-actor Lisa Haydon took part in the Full Marathon in the amateur category and completed the feat in 4 hours and 6 minutes. The R a s c als star took to long-distance running on Siddharth Mallya's advice. "This is my first marathon and I'm tremendously happy with today's achievement," said Haydon, who trained for three months. TV actors such as Karanveer Bohra, Mohammed Nazim, Deepika Singh too were spotted at the event.

Spirit of Mumbai

Angad Singh Dugal (26) has not allowed multiple disabilities to be a stumbling block in his path of marathon dreams. A regular at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, he participates in the Champions With Disability race every year. "People call him the spirit of Mumbai," said Angad's father. As Angad walked the 2.4-km race, his family accompanied him with a chair for him to rest in between.

Better than Delhi

Aparticipant in the marathon for three years, former Army vicechief Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi (72), who was wounded in the 1965 Indo-Pak war and lost his right leg, said, "I prefer this over the Delhi Marathon where babus can't liven up the occasion. Mumbaikars add a certain colour to the event that makes it special."

Bollywood-inspired

Some took inspiration from Bollywood to spread the message for different causes. One group carried a placard with T h e Dir t y Pic t u r e written on it, asking people to change the "picture of women in the country and make it safer for them" . Another group used the name of the Sridevi-starrer to highlight the importance of learning conversational skills in English. The placard read: 'Vinglish to English, Not Difficult.'

Barefoot runner

Fifty-year-old Vishwanathan Jayaraman travelled all the way from Hubli in Karnataka to take part in Full Marathon, which he finished barefoot in 3 hours 36 minutes. Vishwanathan was a chain-smoker till August 2000. "A friend told me that if I wanted to quit smoking, I must find an addiction stronger than it. That's when I started running," he said. A financial advisor and chief accountant officer with the South Western Railway, Vishwanathan was part of the last two Mumbai Marathons as well.

New home

Among the early finishers of the Amateur Full Marathon was Eknath Bhalerao who works as a cleaner for monorail. A resident of the city for three years, the 42-yearold from Rajegaon village of Buldana district had no one to cheer for him at the finishing line but that did not deter him from enjoying the moment. "I started working in Mumbai three years ago," said Bhalerao. "I pestered a colleague about it till he got me registered. I practised for the past two months and was able to finish in three hours," said Bhalerao.

IAS officers on track

For the first time, 26 senior bureaucrats from the state took part in the Dream Run under the umbrella of State IAS Association.

(Contributed by Somit Sen, Shreya Bhandary, Bharati Dubey, Rohit Bharadwaj, Sree Sen, Pratibha Masand and Sharad Vyas)


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Magistrate to take final call on closure report of Palghar girls

MUMBAI: Without an inquiry by the magistrate, ShaheenDhada and RenuSrinivasan cannot be discharged from the case against them filed by the Palghar Police over the Facebook post following the death of Shiv Sena chief BalThackeray. It is not clear how much time this may take. While the law allows police to close a case if after investigating it finds that it is false, undetected or neither true nor false, the ultimate decision to accept such a closure report rests with the magistrate.

What is absolutely essential to know is that such a closure cannot be done unless the complainant who lodged the FIR is heard by the magistrate.

The Supreme Court in several judgments has made it clear that it is mandatory for a magistrate to issue a notice to the informant and hear him or her too.

Advocate Shrikant Bhat said, " a hearing must be given by the magistrate to the complainant as part of principles of natural justice and legal requirement.''

The complainant has a locus to be heard and law requires that he must be given a copy of the chargesheet and can contest the closure report. But in practice, said advocate Shrikant Bhat, often closure reports are accepted by magistrates without conducting an inquiry. In this case since it has become high profile the magistrate is following the rules thoroughly.

Even later, if the magistrate accepts the C Summarythe complainant may seek a review of the order by approaching a higher court.

Section-173(ii) of Cr PC also mandates the police to inform the person who had filed the FIR about its action to close a case. Such information by the police must be in writing.

In the Palghar Facebook case it means the police had to inform the Shiv Sena leader who had filed the complaint that they have submitted the C-Summaryreport and were seeking the discharge of the two accused girls. Similarly as part of mandatory procedure, the magistrate has to give the Shiv Sena leader an opportunity to file his say on the police report. According to law, the magistrate has to conduct his own inquiry into the closure report and then give an order.

"C-Summary' s requested from the Magistrate when the case neither proved to be true nor proved to be false.

In all the three categories ( A or B or C Summary), the conclusions of the police are not binding. The Magistrate can also ask the police to justify their conclusions by producing evidence. There is a kind of preliminary hearing before the Magistrate accepts the Police summaryin either one of the three categories.


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High court issues notice to state over payment of court fees in cheques bouncing cases

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has asked a petitioner to give details of delays in cheque bouncing cases due to inappropriate procedures adopted by magistrates in a petition challenging collection of court fees in Mumbai in such cases .

The HC recently issued notice to the state government on a petition that has questioned the practice of collection of court fees for complaints filed in court in cheque bouncing cases. The petition filed by a steel trading company, Rohit & Company has pointed out that last October the Supreme Court in a judgment ruled that no court fees are to be payable on complaints under section 138 of the negotiable instruments act.

The SC judgment was in a Delhi case. But advocate Sidhharth Murarka counsel for the petitioner said that the SC ruling meant that even in Mumbai no court fees must be payable for such cases under section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act. He said cheque bouncing was a penal offence and argued that hence no fees ought to be paid. He said the government has falsely enriched itself by levying court fees in cheque bouncing complaints which are in lakhs, and has thus exploited litigants.

Murarka said verification of complaints of dud cheques are often not done for months and litigants get a date after two months just for verification. The HC bench of chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anoop Mohta gave no stay but asked the counsel to file an affidavit within a week giving details about the "unusual delays in appropriate steps'' taken by magistrates in cheque bouncing cases. The HC will hear the matter next on February 12.


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Plumber found dead in Mira Road shop where he slept in the night

MUMBAI: Johnson Verghese (44) a plumber used to sleep in a fabrication shop at Shanti Park, Gokul Village was found murdered in a Mira Road shop where he slept in the night. The victim had stab wounds on his neck and genitals.

The owner of the shop Raju Cherian was known to the victim and had allowed him to sleep in his premises in the night. Verghese who hails from Kerala did not have a house. According to eye-witnesses the victim had allowed another unidentified person to share the space in the shop during night hours.

On Monday morning when Cherian opened the shutters of the shop he found Verghese's nude body lying in a pool of blood. He informed the Mira Road police. The body has been sent for post mortem. The police are on the lookout for the unidentified man who shared the shop with Verghese.

Cherian was not able to give details of the man to the police. Police have ruled out robbery as a motive behind the murder. The police are ascertaining whether Verghese took money for the unidentified man for sharing the shop. Cherian told the police that he allowed Verghese to sleep in his shop as the victim took care of his premises and goods during night hours.


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Plumber found dead in Mira Road shop where he slept at night

MUMBAI: Johnson Verghese (44) a plumber used to sleep in a fabrication shop at Shanti Park, Gokul Village was found murdered in a Mira Road shop where he slept in the night. The victim had stab wounds on his neck and genitals.

The owner of the shop Raju Cherian was known to the victim and had allowed him to sleep in his premises in the night. Verghese who hails from Kerala did not have a house. According to eye-witnesses the victim had allowed another unidentified person to share the space in the shop during night hours.

On Monday morning when Cherian opened the shutters of the shop he found Verghese's nude body lying in a pool of blood. He informed the Mira Road police. The body has been sent for post mortem. The police are on the lookout for the unidentified man who shared the shop with Verghese.

Cherian was not able to give details of the man to the police. Police have ruled out robbery as a motive behind the murder. The police are ascertaining whether Verghese took money for the unidentified man for sharing the shop. Cherian told the police that he allowed Verghese to sleep in his shop as the victim took care of his premises and goods during night hours.


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Woman constable nabs thief after chase

Written By kom nampultig on Minggu, 20 Januari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A woman police constable, Minal Gurav, posted at the Bandra station caught a chain-snatcher red-handed after chasing him on Saturday.

"Minal jumped across the railway tracks to chase the culprit and later held him with the help of commuters who were witness to the incident," Bandra railway inspector Vijay Dhopavkar said.

Gurav spotted the culprit running away with the chain of a 58-year-old woman who was about to board a Virar local. Gurav jumped across the tracks and nabbed the culprit. The commissioner of police has rewarded her with Rs 2,000 prize


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Sex education need of the hour, say educationists

MUMBAI: Close to five years ago, when Vasant Purke, the then education minister, floated a plan to introduce sex education as a subject in school, he drew criticism from across the board. So-called activists staged protests and burnt his effigy, objections were raised in the cabinet, the move was termed a western conspiracy to corrupt local culture, and the proposal was nipped in the bud.

Today, educationists claim sex education is the need of the hour.

With a four-year-old molested on a school bus in Juhu this week, many educationists believe sex education for pre-teens has never been more important. With the average age of puberty declining, knowing about sex and one's own body at an early age is of utmost importance, claim educationists.

Podar Institute of Education director Swati Popat Vats says even two-year-olds can be trained about good and bad touch. "Children should be made aware of which parts of their body (others) can be allowed to touch and which not," she said.

According to her, since many are averse to the use of the words 'sex education', the topic can be termed 'body intelligence'.

She said parents should have an open talk with children. "If a child asks a question, it means he or she is ready to know the answer," she said. "Parents should not make it sound like a taboo."

Many believe molesters prey on the young as they can be threatened into silence. Three to four year old children will not even be aware of their advances, making it easier for them. So it is important to make them talk about their experiences.

Rekha Shahani from Kamla High School said calling experts for seminars and workshops is most helpful as students are more comfortable asking questions to an outsider. "Sex education can be incorporated in existing subjects. Kids should be trained from a young age, in primary school. It has to be taught to them gradually in their growing years," she said.

If questions are not answered by teachers and parents, students have access to other, unfiltered sources like the internet, from where they can get information, said Perin Bagli, principal, Activity High School. "Making students aware of the topic at an early age is important as these days they have access to unfiltered information on the internet too. It is the duty of the parents too to teach their children sex education," Bagli said.

Dr Shankar Das of the School of Health Systems Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, said, "Teaching kids about sex and sexuality demands a gentle, uninterrupted flow of accurate, age-appropriate info that should begin as early as possible. Parents need to start educating as early as when they teach a toddler different body parts; without feeling uncomfortable they need to teach about the reproductive organs also. As the child grows, parent, caregivers, teacher and public health campaigns may continue their teaching by adding further materials until he or she understands the subject well."

He added, "'sex' word is a taboo in our society, but naming "sex education" as another name only indicates that our own discomfort or uneasiness about this important subject. By disguising the actual content of sex education as "health education" or any other name may only dilute the subject in the present context when the our children need to be empowered with correct information and various ways of handle matter related to their own sexuality and protect them from any kind of sexual abuse or violence."


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HC sets up special benches for crimes against women

MUMBAI: At a time when the nation is expressing outrage over attacks on women, the Bombay high court, in a move welcomed by the legal fraternity, has for the first time set up two special benches that will hear criminal cases related to offences against women and children.

Two senior women judges, Justice Roshan Dalvi and Justice Rekha P Sondurbaldota, will head the benches.

In a notice signed by registrar and prothonotary D V Sawant and registrar (judicial) Mangesh Patil, the HC said that the judges will from January 21 take up the special assignments related to "offences against women" irrespective of the year in which they were filed.

The special benches will hear applications, including bail and appeals against conviction, in cases related to attacks on women and children. The offences include those covered under the IPC like rape, dowry death, assaulting a woman to outrage her modesty, and sexual harassment. The courts will also hear cases under special acts like the anti-sex-determination-test law, the Domestic Violence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

"This is a welcome step and will accelerate the justice delivery mechanism in cases where atrocities have been committed on women and children," said special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

Besides handling the 1993 serial blasts and 26/11 terror attack cases, Nikam has also prosecuted the accused in cases of attacks on women like the Marine Drive rape, the Pune Wipro employee rape-murder, the Kothewadi gang rape, and the murder in Amboli of Reuben Fernandes and Keenan Santos after a person allegedly harassed their women friends.

"There should also be a mechanism to set up special trial courts which will hear cases where women and children are the victims, in order to expedite the matters," said Nikam.

Advocate Gayatri Singh, who practises in the high court, said the HC move will help clear the backlog of cases. "Similar measures will also be welcome at the lower levels, where trials are conducted and evidence recorded," said Singh.

Last year the HC had set up a special division bench, which, besides criminal cases, also heard cases where women were the accused.


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Police to review safety measures at schools

MUMBAI: After the surfacing of a case of molestation of a four-year-old girl by a school bus conductor in Juhu this week, police commissioner Satya Pal Singh said on Saturday that he had asked his subordinates to initiate a fresh dialogue with heads of all educational institutions on the immediate measures to be taken for safety of girls.

"We have already booked the bus conductor. In the past, we had asked heads of educational institutions about the safety of girls on the premises as well as on their way home. We will do a review on whether the principals have taken adequate measures for the safety of girls," Singh told TOI.

Singh said that soon after he took over the reins of the city police, he took stringent measures for the safety of women, children and senior citizens. "My firm belief is that a city is safe only if the women, children and senior citizens in that city are safe. We have already taken several measures for the protection of womenfolk, children and senior citizens," he said.

The police commissioner said he had asked women to freely walk into any police station to lodge a complaint against those sexually harassing them and other criminals. "I feel today's eve-teaser is tomorrow's rapist. Book them at the first instance for a safe Mumbai," he said.

Singh said that above all the goal was to reach out to the entire population of the city and understand people's problems. "We are reaching out to youth. All officers have stepped in for interaction with the students. On Friday, our officers interacted with students in 283 institutes in the city. I spoke to students of a management college in south Mumbai. We are making all-out efforts to instil confidence in all sections of society," he said.


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Cops drop rape charge in Juhu child molestation case

MUMBAI: The Juhu police on Saturday dropped the rape charge in the case against conductor Ramesh Rajput, 35, who has been arrested for sexually assaulting a four-year-old kindergarten student from a premier Juhu school in a moving school bus on Tuesday. Rajput continues to face the other charges, which include Section 3 (penetrative sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, under which the maximum sentence can be seven years to life in prison.

The medical exam did not support a rape charge and police felt such a case might fall through in court, said cops on Saturday. "We submitted a report to drop the rape charge from the case and the court accepted our request," said additional commissioner of police (West) Vishwas Nangre-Patil. "However, the section of the newly introduced act continues in the case and that is equally stringent."

In another development, the police are flummoxed by the flip-flop of the woman attendant, who the school said was on the bus at the time of the sexual assault. The woman first told cops on Friday that no male conductor was on the bus when the girl was being dropped home.

Later, in line with the school's version, she said Rajput was present and she stopped him from sexually assaulting the girl. Cops are unsure if the woman was on the bus and say they may make her give a statement to a magistrate to sort out the confusion.

The police said they have collected the call records of the lady attendant as well as the accused so they can trace their respective locations on the day of the offence. An officer said the woman attendant's statement is crucial in the case.

A police officer said the rape section had been initially applied mainly to ensure that the accused did not get bail easily. After discussing the issue with seniors and legal experts, the police decided to drop it. The police added that the arrested conductor has not admitted to any crime and is not cooperating with investigators.

Rajput, a Vile Parle resident, is charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 354 (assault or criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty). He is also charged under sections 3 (penetrative sexual assault), 7 (sexual assault) and 12 (sexual harassment of a child) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The new act is more victim-friendly and bars a direct meeting between the victim and accused.

On Tuesday, he allegedly molested the girl in a bus, which was dropping KG students home from school. The girl later told her father about the incident and he alerted the school on Wednesday, after which the school took the girl for a medical test. The school took Rajput, the driver and the lady attendant to the cops on Thursday, when Rajput was arrested.

The Juhu school, which is now looking into using CCTV on its buses, has written to parents of students informing them of the incident. "We have over 4,000 email IDs on record in the school database. We've tried to reach as many of them as possible," said a statement released by the school on Saturday evening. The statement said the school gave information about the incident and how the school responded.

The school has also written in the emails that, from Monday onwards, a lady school staff member will accompany kids on all school buses in addition to the lady attendant.


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Mumbai marathon: Celebrities, businessmen and dabbawallas run for a cause

MUMBAI, Actors, businessmen, doctors and dabbawallahs, environmentalists, sportspersons including many foreigners and others joined over 40,000 enthusiastic citizens at the 10th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon here, braving the Sunday morning chills.

The runners are highlighting various causes ranging from female foeticide to saving tigers to good health through the marathon and are sprinting in various categories for different lengths.

The marathon was flagged off by Governor K. Sankaranarayanan near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

Also present at the inaugural were Mayor Sunil Prabhu, Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh and other top dignitaries.

Among the prominent runners were top industrialists Anil Ambani, Anand Mahindra, builder Niranjan Hirandanani, Tina (Anil) Ambani, actors Vivek Oberoi, Rahul Bose and many others from the silver screen and the small screen.

Several social groups like a 25-member contingent from Ion Foundation and NGO Muktangan, Mumbai's famous dabbawallas, were in the fray for the prizes worth over $350,000, for what is considered the richest Asian marathon.

The Full Marathon (42.197 km) has received 4,169 entries, a significant increase over last year's figure of 2,775.

While there was huge demand for a slot in the half-marathon, entries were restricted, finally closing at 12,742.

The Senior Citizens' Run saw 1,396 participants, while the champions with disability will see participation from 218 people.

Another over 20,000 people are slated to take part in the popular Dream Run.

The Standard Chartered has instituted a special trophy for the winners, while the top Indian male and female finishers will take home Rs.450,000 each.

The run is supported by the Indian Navy, the Government of Maharashtra and the Athletics Federation of India.

The increase in prize money is towards the Indian prize fund and will benefit the Indian athletes in the full marathon.


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Eight holding ponds to get new lease of life

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 18 Januari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: More than 30 years after they were created, eight of the 11 holding ponds in Navi Mumbai will be cleaned and maintained to prevent flooding in the city.

The non-maintenance of the ponds, located within the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) limits, has resulted in ingress of saline water and growth of mangroves, silt/sludge accumulation, which has severely reduced the holding capacity.

The NMMC recently approached the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) after the Bombay high court assured that it would approve a project in the mangrove areas provided it obtained clearance from the competent authority.

"The authority has allowed the clearing of mangroves in the centre of the ponds with the court's permission. Mangroves at the periphery are not to be destroyed or silt dumped on them. Also, the NMMC will have to ensure that the desilting does not result in land reclamation and mangrove plantation is undertaken,'' said an MCZMA official.

Navi Mumbai city was developed by CIDCO on low lying areas. At certain locations, creek water enters the city during high tide. In the 1980s to avoid flooding of the area during high tide, the storm water management of Navi Mumbai was planned on the lines of Netherlands, which is called the Dutch method.

At places where there are major ways for creek water to enter in the city, holding ponds were constructed as a flood control measure during heavy monsoon and from the high tide. However, these ponds were neither cleaned nor maintained which contributed to the heavy flooding in 1991. CIDCO, thereafter, appointed a committee comprising experts from irrigation, Central Water Power Research Station, CIDCO, to ascertain the reason for flooding. The committee recommended the cleaning and strengthening of the ponds.


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Man robs student of cellphone, held

MUMBAI: The Malad police recently arrested a 25-year-old man for robbing a college student of his cellphone. The complainant, Mihir Shah, had met the accused, Mohammad Ansari in Malad.

Ansari initiated a conversation with Shah (17). When Shah said he was studying at a Malad-based college, Ansari said he works as a cook in the college's canteen and began boasting about his contacts. Ansari asked Shah for his cellphone to make a call. When Shah refused, Ansari snatched the handset and said he was moving to an adjacent lane as the network was down. When he did not reappear, Shah realized he had been conned.

Ansari was arrested on January 10. Cops suspect that Ansari has robbed at least 20 students in a similar manner using several aliases.


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