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25-year-old woman fought chain snatcher and helped cops to nab him

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 09 Mei 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A 25-year-old software engineer fought and caught a chain-snatcher, with the help of patrolling cops, who tried to flee allegedly after snatching her gold chain on Tuesday evening in Wadala locality. The incident occurred when Dattatray Mane was walking down to her house when the accused Shankar Pisal (25) followed them and on reaching an isolated place charged on her and snatched away with her gold chain worth Rs30,000, said the Wadala police.

Pisal a resident of Anand wadi in Wadala was released from jail a fortnight ago arrested in a case of chain snatching. "While we were patrolling, we heard a woman screaming for help. We also noticed a man running towards us while in we were our jeep. Three constables jumped out of the jeep and nabbed the snatcher before he could escape," said a senior police officer of Wadala police station.

The three constables -- Mangesh Bhabal, Anil Duvatkar and Baliram More -- have been rewarded with cash worth Rs 1,000 each. Unlike the chain snatchers who use bikes, Pisal use to snatch chain and run. He could run at a brisk pace and use to target women at secluded locations. During the probe the police learnt that Pisal has committed over half-a-dozen of chain snatchings in the past.
Police suspect Pisal was also involved in a chain-snatching incident in Wadala on Tuesday night. The victim Rohini Maladkar (54), a resident of Siddharth Nagar in Wadala was heading towards her residence along with her sister when an unidentified person came near her and snatched her chain.


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Two nabbed for stabbing a porter

MUMBAI: The Sion police on Wednesday arrested two men for allegedly killing and robbing a 40-year-old porter at Sion (east) early on Tuesday morning. The accused before fleeing also robbed victim AchchelalNishad's colleague Kedar Patel (35) of his mobile and cash Rs 2, 600.

The victim and his colleague have been heading towards their work at around 5.10am when three persons grabbed them from behind. Nishad, who gave a stiff resistance, was attacked with knife. "Patel escaped with minor injuries on his left thumb. The trio ran away from the spot. Ajay Devender (19) and Kartok Soni (22) were arrested from Antop Hill slums. Search is on to track down the third accused in the case," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone V) Dhananjay Kulkarni.

The incident occurred 5.30am on P Chidambaran Road in Sion-Matunga locality when Nishad and Patel both labourers at Matunga Vegetable Market were on their way for work. "Patel tried to save the victim by rushing him to the Sion hospital but was declared death before admission due to excess loss of blood. The accused after robbing the victims, stabbed on Nishad's chest," said Sion police inspector Baburao Gawit.

In the complaint, Patel said, "We (I and Nishad) are residents from Antop Hill-Wadala locality. They walk down early morning daily to reach the market to start work when the three overpowered both of us."

One of the accused overpowered Patel while two others assaulted Nishad. "The accused searched Nishad's and Patel's pant and shirt pocket and robbed them. Before fleeing they stabbed Nishad," said the police.

A case of robbery with murder has been registered against the three accused. "Patel said he has noticed the three following them for almost 30 minutes from their residence before they attacked them," said the police.


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Jaipur mayor supports cruelty-free cosmetic products

MUMBAI: In a letter to Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Jaipur Mayor, Jyoti Khandelwal, calls on India's government to end the import and sale of cosmetics newly tested on animals in support of Humane Society International/India's Be Cruelty-Freecampaign.

Khandelwal's letter praises India's move toward a nationwide ban on animal testing for cosmetics, but contends that a domestic testing ban alone "does not prevent companies from outsourcing animal testing to other countries and then importing their newly animal tested products or ingredients back into India." Thus, it is also necessary for India to ban the import and sale of any cosmetic product or formulation subject to new animal testing, Khandelwal notes.

Alokparna Sengupta, HSI/India's Be Cruelty-Freecampaign manager, said: "Humane Society International is committed to seeing India become the next major cruelty-free cosmetics zone. We applaud the Drug Controller General for his support in ending animal testing for cosmetics within India, and are extremely grateful to Mayor Khandelwal for her leadership in pressing the government to also ban the import and sale of cosmetics that have been subject to new animal testing anywhere in the world."

The Be Cruelty-Freecampaign is part of Humane Society International's consumer, legislative, corporate and scientific initiative to end animal testing of cosmetics worldwide. Be Cruelty-Freehas been launched in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, India, New Zealand, South Korea and Russia, and in the United States is spearheaded by HSI's sister organisation, The Humane Society of the United States.

Show your support for an end to animal testing for cosmetics in India and worldwide, by signing a Be Cruelty-Free pledge today or giving a missed call to 080-4931-1223.

The term "cruelty-free cosmetics" refers to cosmetics products, formulations and ingredients that have not been tested on animals after a specified date because on that date they were already considered safe to use for cosmetic purposes. This does not mean the ingredients, formulations or products were not tested on animals in the past.


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Over 1,000 trees to be chopped for developmental projects

MUMBAI: In yet another incident of green cover being sacrificed for developmental projects, about 1,000 trees will be cut by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for several infrastructure projects in the city.

The proposals were approved by the civic tree authority on Wednesday.
The trees were required to be cut for road projects like Sion-Panvel Highway, a road leading to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Mankhurd and an elevated road leading to the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Andheri.

According to the civic officials, as many as 902 trees would be hacked for construction of Sion-Panvel Highway, which is required to felicitate traffic to the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport.

An elevated road leading to the Andheri international airport would require cutting of 32 trees.
The civic administration has assured to replant 534 trees of them. BJP corporator and tree authority member Ameet Satam said, "BMC should have a separate system to check whether the replanting of tree is done properly. An audit should also be done of replanting works."

In March, the tree authority had approved the proposal to cut 900 trees for the construction of a sewerage treatment plant at Colaba.


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Corporators ask BMC to react to the death threat issued to law committee chairman by octroi agents

MUMBAI: The issue of death threats to civic law committee chairman by octroi mafias had its strong reactions in the civic standing committee on Wednesday.

While irate corporators made a scathing attack on civic administration, additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota further incurred their wrath by refusing to issue clarification on the issue.

Protesting this, opposition members staged a walkout from the committee. Standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale warned standing committee meeting would not be held till the administration issues a reply on the issue.

Civic law committee chairman Makarand Narvekar has complained of receiving threats from mafias after he tried to prevent octroi evasion at the octroi nakas. Raising the issue in the standing committee, house leader Shailesh Phanase slammed the civic administration for its failure to curb octroi evasion at the nakas.

Dilip Lande of MNS said, "That the security of civic headquarters is so dismal is proven by the fact that mafias threatened the law committee chairman by entering the head office."

However, replying to this Jalota said he will make a written clarification to the municipal commissioner and not to the standing committee.


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MNS corporator wants nameplates outside housing societies to be written in Marathi

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Narnirman Sena (MNS) has demanded name plates of housing societies in the city should be compulsorily written in Marathi.

Already the BMC has made it compulsory to have names of shops and establishments in the city n Marathi.

In a notice of motion issued in the civic house, the MNS corporator Deepak Pawar has said the civic body should also fine the housing societies, which fail to put up nameplates in Marathi.
Pawar said, "Despite Marathi being the state language, it is not used adequately in government and semi-government offices as well as private offices. The government housing societies in posh localities also do not use Marathi nameplates and instead use English language.

The BMC has made compulsory to all shops and establishments to display their name boards in Marathi. On these lines, it should also compel the housing societies to put up Marathi nameplates."
As per rule 20(A) of the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments Rules, 1961, it is obligatory on the part of employers to display the name board of their establishments in Marathi Devnagari script. Further, the State Government by a notification dated September 18, 2000, made an amendment that that the lettering of the name board in Marathi Devnagari script shall not be less bold than any other language and the Marathi lettering should essentially be written in the beginning.

The Raj Thackeray led MNS few years back had waged a stir in the city for the setting up of Marathi name boards. It helped the party to establish its base among the Marathi speaking voters, which further consolidated its strength in the civic elections last year.
"The notice of motion would be tabled before the civic house and if approved would be sent to concerned authorities for further action," said a civic official.


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State reaps Maharashtra farmer harvest

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 07 Mei 2013 | 22.23

Maharashtra, notorious for farmer suicides and irrigation losses over the last few years, has sprouted a surprise. It has added more farmers in the last decade than any other state, shows Census findings released last week.

The state has gained over seven hundred thousand cultivators since 2001 in sharp contrast to national trends that saw India's farmer population decline by nearly nine million. Even leading agricultural states like MP, UP, Punjab and AP have witnesses a drop in their population of cultivators. (see box)

Maharashtra has added 0.76 million cultivators and 2.67 million agricultural labourers in the last decade, says the Census 2011 findings. Rajasthan is the only other major state to have added farmers.

The findings are surprising as the state has witnessed two major droughts during the decade, one in 2002 followed by the current dry spell since 2011. An increase in the number of farmers also doesn't necessarily indicate a healthy agricultural sector, point out economists, who believe this trend in Maharashtra is yet another indication of distress in the state.

Economist Abhay Pethe, who has been studying the socio-economic profile of Maharashtra, is surprised as agriculture, including allied activities, contributed a mere 12.4% to the gross state domestic product in 2011-12. He believes the increase could reflect a form of disguised unemployment. "It's likely that many villagers report themselves as farmers because they have no non-farm employment. Other states have been better at providing employment under government programmes such as the NREGS which could contribute to such disparity."

Economist Abhay Pethe says its is possible that many villagers are calling themselves farmers because they have no non-farm employment. He also feels much of the increase reported in the number of cultivators as well as farm hands could be in vineyards or fruit orchards rather than in traditional cereals and millet crops such as wheat, paddy, jowar or ragi.

His views are corroborated by Ulka Mahajan of the Anna Adhikar Abhiyan who works closely with farming communities in Raigad district. "Many industrial estates and smaller units in the state have shut down in the last decade forcing villagers back to their villages. While agricultural land holding might not have increased over the years, the dependence on agriculture has definitely increased."

The Census defines cultivators as those who are directly engaged in the cultivation and supervision of land, and labourers as those who work on land owned by others for wages.

The state's agricultural data reflects this gloom in many ways, even as it hints at an increase in crop yields. There has been no agricultural expansion in the last 10 years. The area under cultivation for principal crops has shrunk from around 400 lakh hectares in 2000-01 to 392 lakh hectares a decade later. Crop yields have, however, correspondingly increased from 800 lakh tonnes to 1,340 lakh tonnes.

Agricultural economist Devinder Sharma points to another possible scenario. He explains that cities like Mumbai and Pune which were traditional job magnets have possibly saturated their capacity to provide jobs and people in Maharashtra have no other avenues left but to return to their farms. Other states have had a later start. "Agriculture is considered the lowest economic activity and an increase in farmers merely means the state is witnessing jobless growth."

Maharashtra's farmer gain

2001/ 2011 / Increase in number of farmers between 2001-11

Number of cultivators in Maharashtra (in million) 11.8/ 12.6 /0.7

Number of agricultural labourers 10.8 /13.5 / 2.6

Maharashtra gains farmers while other agri states lose

Area // Cultivators// Agricultural labourers // Total agricultural workers as a % of total workers

2001/ 2011 // 2001 / 2011// 2001 /2011

India // 127.3/ 118.7// 106.8/ 144.3 // 58.2/ 54.6

Maharashtra // 11.8/ 12.6 //10.8/ 13.5 // 55.0 / 52.7

Punjab // 2.1/ 1.9// 1.5/ 1.6 // 38.9 / 35.6

Uttar Pradesh // 22.2/ 19.1 // 13.4/ 19.9 // 65.9/ 59.3

Madhya Pradesh // 11.0 /9.8// 7.4/ 12.2 // 71.5/ 69.8

Andhra Pradesh // 7.9/ 6.5//13.8/ 17.0 // 62.2/ 59.5

Haryana // 3.0 / 2.5// 1.3/ 1.5 // 51.3 / 45.0

Bihar// 8.2/ 7.2// 13.4/ 18.3 // 77.3/ 73.6

(Source: Census of India, 2011)

Stagnant agricultural sector

Category2000-01 //2010-11

Total area under principal crops (in thousand hectares): 40,085// 39,238

Production of principal crops (in thousand tonnes): 80,063 //1,34,032

Net area sown (area in '000 hectare)// 17,844 // 17,406

Gross cropped area 21,619 // 23,175

(Source: Economic Survey of Maharashtra 2012-13)


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PWD man worked statewide scam

MUMBAI: The controversy surrounding the arrests of Nashik PWD executive engineer Satish Chikhlikar and section engineer Jagdish Wagh took on a statewide hue on Monday after sources close to Chikhlikar's interrogation said he has admitted to acting as a go-between for bribe collection for contracts that are even outside his area of jurisdiction. Chikhlikar is in charge of the Nashik circle's north division.

Chikhlikar has also reportedly told Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) sleuths that a similar modus operandi for collecting kickbacks existed in other parts of the state. Raj Khilnani, director general, ACB, said the agency could extend the investigation to other areas in Maharashtra based on actionable evidence collected during Chikhlikar's interrogation and raids.

Since, 2008 there have been 31 ACB cases against 39 PWD officials. The department's annual budget is around Rs 7,000 crore, an outlay that is among the highest in the state. Of this budget, a huge Rs 2,000 crore is for road maintenance and Rs 4,000 crore for road plans.

The two engineers were arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 22,000 for a Nashik road maintenance contract.

TOI had on Monday reported that a well-oiled nexus allegedly existed in the corruption-riddled PWD department, with kickbacks of 6 to 10% on contracts being generated.

Several new properties of Chikhlikar's, including plots in Pune, an office in Vashi and a factory, have been uncovered, with Khilnani saying said that some vehicles and properties appeared to be benami. Probes are on in this regard.

The ACB had earlier evaluated Chikhlikar's total assets at Rs 14.28 crore. On Monday, officers said they had also recovered certain diamond ornaments. "Their worth is yet to be evaluated," Khilnani said, adding, "His income tax documents are being screened too."

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who took stock of the investigation on Monday, has decided to back the ACB in its probe. After being briefed by Khilnani on the investigation's status, he reportedly asked the agency to continue probing the matter.

Khilnani, who has been saying a lack of investigators could hamper the investigation, sought 12 more superintendents of police and an additional director general to increase overall ACB staff strength.

PWD officials attempted to distance themselves from the controversy by claiming that the bribe had been sought for road work being undertaken through funds released by the tribal development department. ACB sources, however, said the scanner was firmly on the PWD department.


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Mumbai shops stay shut against local body tax

MUMBAI: Many shops across south Mumbai and the western suburbs downed shutters on Monday, as part of an indefinite protest against the local body tax. Retailers from the eastern suburbs of Ghatkopar and Chembur will join the strike on Wednesday. Supply of groceries and other routine items may be affected over the next few days, with around 1 lakh small retailers responding to the bandh call. LBT will be introduced in the city on October 1, replacing Octroi.

Essential services like drugstores, milk supply and newspapers will not be impacted by the strike.

Indefinite stir over LBT to hit supplies

The availability of groceries and routine supplies will be badly hit over the next few days with around one lakh small retailers joining an indefinite bandh on Monday to protest the levy of local body tax (LBT). However, essential services like drugstores, milk supply and newspapers will not be impacted. Malls are expected to function normally as well.

Retailers say the shutdown will continue until the government addresses their concerns over LBT. At a press meet on Monday, the chief minister said "segment of traders was misleading the public" about the new tax. He alleged that the gold and silver traders were at the forefront of the stir.

The new tax that replaces octroi is being introduced in Mumbai from October 1 and will apply to small and big businessmen who earn over Rs 3 lakh per annum. It has already been implemented in 19 corporations statewide since 2010, with Navi Mumbai and Thane having come under its ambit on April 1 this year. Traders say they are not unwilling to pay the tax, but fear harassment by civic officials who can inspect their account books at any time. On Monday, closure of shops was reported across south Mumbai from Fort to Kemps Corner, Dadar-Matunga and from Bandra to Dahisar. Retailers in Ghatkopar and Chembur will join the stir from Wednesday.

At Marine Drive, the police had to resort to a mild baton charge against protesters on Monday. Viren Shah of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association said, "Such overwhelming support for the anti-LBT bandh is unprecedented. It shows that the fear of harassment is widespread."

Citing an instance, he narrated how civic officials in Vasai had asked shopkeepers to produce bills for vada pav, tea and puja items. "When they were unable to show receipts, they were slapped with 20% LBT or asked to pay Rs 3,000-5,000 and settle the matter," Shah said.

In Saamna, the Shiv Sena slammed the CM for going ahead with LBT.

BMC official alleges threat from octroi agents

Makarand Narwekar, chairman of the BMC's law, revenue and general purpose committee, has alleged that octroi agents had threatened him with dire consequences if he did not "turn a blind eye to irregularities at the Vashi check-post". He has written to civic chief Sitaram Kunte and police commissioner Satyapal Singh. On Saturday, two octroi agents allegedly threatened Narwekar at his office following his surprise visit to the check-post at 4am on May 1. On spotting some cargo-laden vehicles not paying octroi, he alerted additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota. "I've heard that a letter has been sent to the civic chief. I'll give my explanation in writing after I receive it," Jalota told TOI.


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State bus drivers to take lessons on how to beat stress

MUMBAI: To tackle the psychological problems faced by 38,000 drivers employed with MSRTC, the undertaking has decided to seek help of Brahmakumaris to organise workshops on reducing stress levels and also counsel the drivers.

Said MSRTC managing director Deepak Kapoor, "After the Pune incident last year, in which a bus driver Santosh Mane went berserk and mowed down nine persons (and injured several others) outside Swargate depot, we have decided to create psychological profiles of all drivers employed with us. We have also sent them for a medical check up and have created database of all drivers. As a second step, we are now seeking help of Brahmakumaris in counselling the drivers and helping them combat stress at workplace."

He further stated that workshops will be held at almost every prominent depot and will be attended by hundreds of drivers when they are off duty. "We want every driver to attend the workshop and benefit from it."

The Brahamkumari volunteers are known for organising similar workshops for other transport bodies including the the BEST undertaking in Mumbai. They will understand the problems faced by drivers, find solutions and teach them simple breathing exercises and yoga to beat stress. The volunteers will also train the drivers on positive thinking, sources said.


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Four men held for killing a 26-year-old at Mahim

MUMBAI: The Mahim police late on Monday night arrested four men for allegedly killing 26-year-old Pravin Lokare near Savarkar garden at fishermen's colony in Mahim on Sunday morning. The accused were booked under IPC section 302 (murder).

The accused identified as Rakesh Patil, Jadya Raja, Karan Patil and Param Patil committed the offence when Lokare didn't allowed them to demolish a temple that was built in front of his (victim) residence due to which there were frequent skirmishes between them.

Police said the family members of the victim alleged it was the police negligence that led to the incident for not taking action despite being given prior complaint. Lokare was attacked by four persons around 10.30am using choppers and swords near a public toilet at Ramgadh slums. Victims family alleged that police didn't take action despite they have complaint several times.

Police said there were counter allegations. Both the parties had alleged that they face threat from each other. Police warned them after which they had given us in writing that they would end their fights.


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NSUI leader Suraj Thakur suspended for allegedly dancing naked at a party in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Suraj Singh Thakur, the Mumbai chief of National Students Union of India (NSUI), has been suspended for allegedly dancing naked at a party function in the Mumbai suburb of Kandivili last month.

Reports on Tuesday stated that Thakur was drunk during a function and was caught on camera allegedly dancing naked at the NSUI camp held in Kandivili on April 14.

Thakur, who had been re-elected as NSUI president in December 2012, was suspended on Monday after the matter came to fore.

However, it is still unclear as to what made Thakur and two other NSUI office bearers do it.

Sources claim that there may have been a ragging of sorts with seniors asking the new entrants to button down.

The video of Thakur allegedly dancing naked was uploaded on YouTube and was trending, but it has now been removed from the website.

Beside Thakur, the NSUI national president has also suspended two other office bearers, who were also drunk at that time and caught shaking their leg with him.

Thakur shot to fame after he led vociferous protests against the book by Rajiv Gandhi's alleged killer A G Perarivalan in May 2011.

The NSUI is the students' wing of the Congress and the party has taken the matter very seriously. According to reports, Suraj Singh Thakur and two other NSUI office bearers could be expelled from the organisation after proper verification of the matter.


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Pune businessman murder case: Accused drove to Khandala, burned bodies

Written By kom nampultig on Senin, 06 Mei 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A third suspect was arrested on Sunday for the murders of Pune businessman Vinod Broker (84 ) and his secretary Usha Nair (51).

According to the crime branch,Nitin Bhatia (51),adriver, was picked up from Santa Cruz and handed over to the Pune police. Bhatia also stole Broker'scarandsolditin Mumbai on May 1. The two were killed over a 8,000 sq ft-bungalow,Janaki Kutir,in Juhu.

Real estate agent Ibrahim Shaikh (38) of Navpada in Bandra (E) and Ravindra Reddy (37 ) of Khar were arrested by the crime branch on Saturday. "On April 28, the three drove till Belgaum in Karnataka to zero in on a place to dump the bodies,"said a senior crime branch officer.

"Broker and Nair were killed on April 30 and their bodies were disposed of near Khandala,"he added.

"The Pune police had registered a missing person's case. Eyewitnesses had seen Shaikh and his associates visit Broker at his residence in Koregaon Park. The complaint also mentioned a bungalow deal between Broker and Shaikh," said Sanjay Satardekar, in-charge of the Bandra crime branch unit.

"We began working on the information and found out that Shaikh resided in Bandra.After his arrest,he led us t oReddy and Bhatia," he added. Shaikh and Reddy reportedly confessed to their involvement in the murders,said investigators.

"After killing them, the three returned to Broker's Pune flat to steal property documents,"said an officer.

Rs 45CR REALTY DEAL

Pune businessman Vinod Broker (84) and his personal secretary Usha Nair (51) are kidnapped and strangled on April 30. Their bodies are set on fire near Khandala to destroy evidence The two are killed over a 8,000 sq ft-bungalow in Juhu (pictured above) Real estate agent Ibrahim Shaikh (38), Ravindra Reddy (37) and Nitin Bhatia are arrested in Mumbai Shaikh offers to buy Broker's Juhu bungalow that is valued at Rs 45 crore. He pays Rs 4 crore and plots to eliminate the businessman and usurp the property. He ropes in Reddy and Bhatia and promises them a huge sum for the killing Shaikh invites Broker to visit a new property that he has purchased. Nair insists on coming along in their car. Reddy and Bhatia use ropes to strangle the two.


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Another 'richie rich' on the run

PWD engineers may have been arrested for amassing disproportionate assets, but a former deputy collector of Sindhudurg, Nitesh Thakur, is absconding after a probe by the ACB and ED showed he owned properties worth Rs 118 crore. His last drawn salary was Rs 30,000 in 2006 when he was an officer on special duty at J J hospital before he stopped reporting to work. Thakur owns 10 luxury cars, including a Range Rover, an Audi and a BMW. The probe showed he had even set up a company, PRS enterprises, in his brother's name and claimed to have undertaken project management for a realty major, which reportedly paid him Rs 258 crore, but there is no document to validate the amount. The ACB has found that the Thakurs own tracts of land in Thane, a hotel, four flats in Alibaug, five in the city, an office in Kandivli, a bungalow in Gorai and a duplex in Vile Parle and seven shops.


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Malabar Hill couple lose Rs 60,000 as credit cards get swiped in US

MUMBAI: A couple from Malabar Hill are the latest victims of bank card fraud in the city. On April 15, Rolfie D'Souza (52; name changed) received a call from his bank asking him if he had authorized a payment of Rs 31,900 at a Walmart store in the US on his primary credit card. He had not. He received another call on April 24, seeking confirmation of a payment of Rs28,588, again done in the US, though on his add-on card, which was in his wife's name. The transaction was news to his wife.

"After confirming the fraud, the bank blocked my primary card, which I have been using since 1992," D'Souza told TOI. "The bank should not have cleared the transaction on the add-on card since that too was carried out in the US in similar circumstances.

"The bank asked us to submit our passport details and a dispute settlement claim. It said it will investigate the matter and then decide whether to waive off the amount. The process will take 60 days and we cannot be sure if we won't end up losing our money. The bank also told us that there was no need to make a police compliant into the matter."

D'Souza said he spoke about the unauthorized transactions with his colleagues as well and found that one of them had undergone a similar experience. "He, too, has an account with my bank. Both of us feel that our card details were compromised at the bank's end."

The bank's spokesperson refused to comment.

Instances of credit card fraud have increased manifold in the city in just one year. While eight cases were registered by the Mumbai cyber crime cell in all of 2012, seven cases have been registered this year till March alone.

On January 5, Navi Mumbai resident Soumen Majumdar got nine text alerts from his bank, informing him of as many transactions carried out in the US. The amount totalled Rs1.17 lakh. After an investigation, the bank concluded that Majumdar was a victim of fraud and waived off the sum.

Last December, Tardeo businessman Rikin 0 Choksi's wife got email messages informing her of 20 transactions carried out on her credit card within 12 hours across four continents. The amount was over Rs2 lakh. At the time the transactions occurred , Choksi's wife did not receive any SMS alerts. The bank waived off the amount after it concluded that the transactions were unauthorized.

Countrywide, "as per information by the Reserve Bank of India, there were 1,590 cases of credit card fraud involving a total of Rs948.64 lakh in the quarter ended December 2012 as compared to 1,327 cases involving Rs492.98 lakh in the quarter ended September 2012", according to a reply by Union minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena to the Rajya Sabha in March.

Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said the police had formed a team comprising cops, and banking and IT experts to work on card fraud, and hoped to see results soon.


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Banks refuse to learn from fraud pattern

MUMBAI: Cyber experts say banks have not shown any interest in scrapping 'stoneage' credit cards that come with magnetic stripes and have poor safety features. "Magnetic stripes are easy to read and also to write on. They do not make a card holder's account very safe," said a data security expert.

"The answer lies in introducing microchip-based cards, among taking other security measures. In these, data is encrypted and cannot be read by anyone but an authorized person." Cyber security and cyber law expert Vicky Shah said banks should guard against delay in providing customers details of fraudulent transactions.

"Delay helps fraudsters. In almost all cases, investigators are hampered by severe delays from the bank's end when dealing with cases of fraud." IT expert Vijay Mukhi said the RBI had not taken the matter seriously. "The RBI must issue a deadline to banks to convert existing magnetic stripe cards to chipencrypted cards."


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HC to hear PIL on night shelters for the homeless

MUMBAI: Bombay high court will hear today public interest litigation seeking direction to the state government to set up night shelters for the homeless.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha will hear a petition filed by NGO Homeless Collective, alleging that state government had made false submissions to Supreme Court on the number and conditions of the shelters in Mumbai. SC in 2010 had mandated setting up of year round night shelters while hearing a petition on urban malnourishment.

At a hearing on November on 29, 2013, the NGO's advocate Abhishek Jebaraj had told the court that no concrete steps have been taken to set up night shelters by the BMC and the state government. "Not a single shelter has been set up. Not only are they are not building shelters but are evicting people arbitrarily off the streets as happened at Charni Road recently," said Jebaraj. He also said it is difficult for the homeless in winter with the effect of cold weather. "It is not as cold as in other places," riposted Justice Shah. "In Mumbai, even people who are ready to pay don't get shelter," he added.

BMC advocate said the civic body is trying to identify places where night shelters can be set up. She also informed that four night shelters will be started by the end of December. Recording her statement, the judges adjourned the hearing beyond Christmas vacation.


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Mentally ill woman raped by 3 over a period of time

MUMBAI: The Nehru Nagar police on Sunday arrested three youths for allegedly raping a 24-year-old mentally ill woman over a period. The matter came to light when the victim's brother came to know during health check up of his ill sister that she is six-month old pregnant.

Senior inspector Bhimdev Rathod said the victim revealed the incident only after several hours after her brother convinced her to name the accused. "The three accused -- - Ravi alias Salim Shaikh (22), Kalu alias Prashant Kamble (23) and Salman Shaikh (19) -- use to rape her on different occasions. The incident has occurred in front of victim's sister. But she too is mentally ill and didn't retaliate when the victim was raped," said Rathod.

After the incident came to light a complaint was lodged against the trio. The complainant works as a labourer and resides with his two sisters in Hanuman Nagar in Kurla (East). On Friday, the complainant found out that his sister was pregnant. In the complaint, the victim's brother said, "When I inquired about it I found out the names of two men and immediately reported the matter to the police. The accused too are labourers."


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Submit call data records with tower location of two accused in 7/11 case: Court to mobile company

Written By kom nampultig on Minggu, 05 Mei 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A special court had given time till early next week for Tata mobile company to file a reply on its request that it produce complete Call Data Records of two accused in the Mumbai train blasts case of 2006.

Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) judge Y D Shinde had last week granted the company's request to be given a week's time to submit complete records. The company had in court, through one of its assistant nodal officer produced CDRs of accused Mohammed Ali and Sajid Ansari. However, they were found to be incomplete as Tower location was missing . The court then asked him to produce CDRs like the one Bharti Airtel had submitted recently of four accused with Tower Location and other details.

The officer who came from mobile company asked for time to file his reply on producing complete CDRs which was granted by special MCOCA Judge Y D Shinde.

The Mumbai train blasts of July 2006 had occurred on seven suburban trains in the evening peak hour. It killed 209 people and left more than 700 injured many of them seriously.


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Geo-tagging to map Pune's urban green cover

MUMBAI: Counting trees is no easy task but when Pune civic body did a tree census relying on outdated manual methods, the Bombay high court sought out an expert from IIT Powai and the director of Sanjay Gandhi National Park Sunil Limaye to use the latest technology of geo-tagging to map the green cover.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Amjad Sayed had recently relied on a pilot project conducted by Limaye on one hectare of the Borivli national park—the only such park within urban limits—to direct Pune Municipal Corporation to use geo-tagging as a process to count trees in its urban areas.

Environmental experts said that the order would have a far reaching impact on preservation and conservation of trees and the system could soon be used in the national park too on a larger scale.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Deepak Balakrishna against an inordinately delayed process of trees census that had led to destruction of trees. The Pune Municipal Corporation carried out a census of trees covering nearly 32 lakh trees. The HC noted that there were serious grievances by the citizens of Pune about the destruction of the green cover in the city. The last leg of the survey, covering 8 lakh trees was carried out using just photographs. The latitude and longitude of the trees were noted on paper said civic counsel Ashutosh Kumbhakoni. The corporation said the modalities employed were as required under the provisions of the Maharashtra Urban Areas (Protection and Preservation of Trees) Act, 1975.

The nearly four decade old law had not caught up with the advances in technology, the HC noticed. Justice Chandrachud thus indicated that experts must be involved to map trees too and the court sought the assistance of Limaye and the Chief Conservator of Forests. Kumbhakoni also informed the court that the civic authorities had held meetings with the forest conservator and also Jitendra Shah, a former VJTI faculty who is presently a Research Associate at the GIC Lab at IIT, Mumbai. The counsel informed the court that an effective census of trees can be carried out by utilising a process of geo-tagging which automatically records the latitude and longitude of every tree. Every individual tree gets photographed and is automatically tagged to the Global Positioning System (GPS). The approximate cost of a hand held GPS device at present varies between Rs.6,000/- to Rs.12,000/- and the technology is, therefore, cost effective.

The HC in its order last month said, "The Pune Municipal Corporation should take the lead in the State for deploying a Geographical Information System (GIS) which includes as its components geo-tagging and creation of a data base for an effective mapping and enumeration of trees. Such a system would also ensure the availability of data in respect of each individual trees as well as a systematic collection of data for the entirety of an area with a grading of trees."

Moreover, for the first time, the HC said the deployment of such a survey could be "effectively achieved with community participation from the residents of the City of Pune." The HC said the Supreme Court has emphasized the importance of environment education.

The judges said students could be roped in for the survey and the civic counsel assured the court that it would set up a panel consisting of Professor Shah, Limaye and additional municipal commissioner Rajendra Jagtap to oversee the implementation of the project.The project would be taken up in two parts in a typical urban enclave of Pune and the court said it would hear the matter next for a progress update.


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1993 serial bomb blasts convict dies

MUMBAI: An 85-year-old convict in 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case, whose seven years' sentence was enhanced to life imprisonment by Supreme Court recently, passed away on Sunday after a prolonged illness, official sources said.

A resident of Sandheri in nearby Raigad district, Isaaq Mohd Hajwane was suffering from dementia and other ailments.

Hajwane died at his native place Sandheri, his lawyer Farhana Shah said, adding that he had mentally prepared himself to surrender by May 17 in keeping with Supreme Court directive.

The Supreme Court had granted Hajwane, actor Sanjay Dutt and 5 others four weeks' additional time to surrender.

Hajwane was convicted by the then TADA Judge PD Kode for his role in arms training at Sandheri and possessing hand grenades which were part of consignments used in the serial blasts.

The TADA court had sentenced Hajwane to seven years' rigorous imprisonment for his role in the serial bomb blasts case. However, the government appealed in Supreme Court to enhance the punishment and the apex court awarded him life imprisonment.

On March 12, 1993, serial bomb blasts rocked the metropolis at various places, killing more than 250 and injuring over 700.


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HC to hear PIL to recover losses of Azad Maidan riots

MUMBAI: Bombay high court on Monday will hear a public interest litigation seeking direction to the State to recover losses due to damage of public and private property in the Azad Maidan last year.

The PIL filed by journalists Sanket Satope and Uday Joshi, through their advocate Sanjiv Punalekar, is posted for hearing on February 18, 2013 before a division bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice K K Tated. The PIL seeks to raise the issue of total and utter failure '' of the State government and the police commissioner in initiating measures to recover losses and damages from persons and organisers who have caused huge loss to public and private properties on August 11, 2012. It has also questioned why the role of police officers -additional commissioner of police (South ) Krishna Prakash and retired assistant commissioner of police - Shamsher Khan Pathan , who were on the dais, is not probed.

It urged the court to intervene in public interest to restore people's faith in the system saying it is necessary in an unprecedented situation of a riot and violence of such magnitude which has completely shattered the faith and confidence of law abiding citizens and even of policemen.''

The petition said while the police claim to have received clues of invisible hand, the role of influential persons and organisations is being underplayed. About Prakash, the petition said he is a common factor for riots whether at Miraj or in Mumbai.'' Also that inflammatory speeches were made in his presence at Azad Maidan but no efforts were made to investigate his role. It added that Pathan was not investigated with particular reference to providing inside information about the police to the rioters.''

The petitioners alleged that the State is following double standards'' in dealing with Raza Academy and other organisers of the event on August 11, 2012. The petitioners urged direction to police to expeditiously complete its inquiry and necessary proceedings for recovery of losses.


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HC declines to stay release of Bombay Talkies

MUMBAI: Bombay high court has rejected an appeal by a screen writer to stay the release of the film Bombay Talkies on the ground that his suit before the city civil court was adjourned to June 28, 2013 sealing his fate. Nishant Ranjan alleged that director Anurag Kashyap has robbed'' his story line.

Justice B R Gavai on May 3, 2013 heard an appeal filed Ranjan seeking ad interim relief. The court was informed that the film has released the same day. Ranjan's advocate argued that in 2011 he had mailed the synopsis to Kashyap but in February 2013 his client learnt that one segment of the film Bombay Talkies, which is directed by Kashyap, has used his storyline. He complained to the Film Writers Association whose dispute settlement committee issued notice to Kashyap who did not comply.He said FWA has no power to issue summons and hence he moved the City Civil Court to restrain the film and for deletion of storyline.

His advocate said Ranjan moved the civil court but sought adjournment to approach the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association but learnt they adjudicate disputes between producers and not writers and producers. Another director wanted to use the story to make a 3 hours film. The project is spoiled. I was to get a lot of money and fame,'' he argued.Kashyap's counsel Venkatesh Dhond said the storyline is completely different.

But Justice Gavai said it is quite possible that after lower court judge heard both sides and gave an inclination of the fate of the suit on April 26, 2013, Ranjan sought request for adjournment. The conduct of asking an adjournment itself is deplorable, '' said Justice Gavai, adding that the lower court cannot be faulted. Rejecting the appeal, the judge said if Ranjan succeeds in the suit he can always seek damages.


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HC to hear PIL as test case on jurisdiction

Mumbai: Bombay high court is slated to hear on Monday a public interest litigation as a test case to determine whether the grievances raised in it is related to the National Green Tribunal or should be heard by it.

A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice F M Reis will hear a petition by Parshuram Uparkar, an ex-MLC, challenging the authority of the Maharashtra Maritime Board to allot wharfs to a private party for setting up a multipurpose jetty near village Aronda in Terakhol creek in Sawantwadi.

Uparkar's petition said the jetty is being constructed by White Orchid Estates Private Limited. The petition alleged that the Board leased out the waterfront in an illegal and arbitrary manner and in violation of government notification permitting private parties to set up ports.

Uparkar's counsel Navroze Seervai and advocate Akash Rebello vociferously argued for ad interim relief saying no environment permission was taken either from the State or the Centre. The port is being set up 2 km from the border of Goa,'' he said. He also argued that White Orchid was unqualified to be awarded the contract.When the tender was invited except Res 8 (White Orchid) nobody responded,'' he said. He said White Orchid applied for modification of the lease stating that a part of the waterfront was reserved for fisheried. In the guise of modification of lease, the policy was violated and no fresh tender issued. They are euphemistically saying it is on existing jetty so no permissions are required. Google map shows there is no wharf,'' said Seervai.

The judges pointed out that the Supreme Court has said all matters related to environment should be sent to the NGT and questioned how they could get over the hurdle and hear this case. Substantial questions have been raised. There is no doubt,'' said Justice Kanade.

White Orchid's advocates Ashutosh Kumbhakoni and Ashutosh Gavnekar argued that that the petitioner has demarcated his case into two parts, namely tender documents, Bombay Land Tenancy Act and Regulations and secondly, regarding Coastal Regulatory Zone permissions and the effects of such kind of coastal development on the environment. Out of total eight issues raised, four do not pertain to the Tribunal. If we examine the issues and prayers, they are clearly separable and independent of each other,'' said Kumbhakoni , adding that issues relating to environment have to be dealt with by the NGT.

Then judges then said they would like to examine this as a test case to ascertain what then high court must do in such a given scenario. Because such cases will come up in future,'' said Justice Kanade.


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NCP raps CM over Metro, Mhada flat rates

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 03 Mei 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is facing a barrage of allegations against departments held by its ministers, on Thursday struck back at chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.

Besides targeting the Chavan-controlled MMRDA over cost escalation in infrastructure projects, the party also hit out at Mhada, which also comes under the CM, for fixing "unreasonable prices for homes" to be allotted through a lottery this month.

On Wednesday, Chavan had flagged off a 3km trial-run for the first Metro route (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar). A day later, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik took a dig at Chavan. "People's issues won't be resolved by merely flagging off a trial run," Malik said. "People are not interested in promos and trailers any more. They want to know when the Metro train will be opened to public," he added.

Questioning delays and cost escalations in MMRDA projects, including the Eastern Freeway and the Santacruz Chembur Link Road project, Malik said Chavan should "personally look into this aspect". He alleged that the agency officials were behind inordinate delays and demanded fixing of accountability in this regard.

Sources said party leaders and senior ministers were miffed by Congress's move to keep NCP leaders out of the trial run.

Meanwhile, party leader and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar launched a veiled attack against Chavan over the cost of Mhada homes. "The cost of homes announced by Mhada is unreasonable and unjustified. The department is with the chief minister. He must look into it. We (the NCP) have already expressed our concern to him over the issue," Pawar said.

Claiming that the Mhada had priced some projects at Rs 9,000 to Rs 10,000 per sq ft, Malik later demanded that Chavan issue directives to Mhada under Section 164 (1) of the Mhada Act to reduce the rates.

Malik alleged that instead of building "affordable homes", the Mhada was now competing for space with private developers. He also alleged that the "unjust" prices were being fixed on the basis of super built-up calculations, flouting the state's policy to sell flats on carpet area basis only.


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After attack on colleague, AMCs meet civic chief

MUMBAI: Enraged after the assault on assistant municipal commissioner (AMC) Santoshkumar Dhonde by BJP workers on Tuesday, 10 AMCs met municipal chief Sitaram Kunte on Thursday. They demanded that steps should be taken to give security to the officers.

The delegation also demanded that Kunte give them guidelines on which political events, meetings or site visits they are supposed to attend. The AMCs said in the absence of such guidelines, they will not attend any political meetings outside the BMC buildings. "The commissioner has promised to look into the issues," said an AMC.


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A healthy quarter for Mumbai property registrations: Prabhudas Lilladher

MUMBAI: The first quarter of calander year 2013 has been strong on the basis of a yearly comparison, recording 21% growth in sales registrations, says Prabhudas Lilladher.

The low base of CY12, on account of a hiatus in approvals, is the key reason for the strong growth seen in CY13. On a sequential comparison too, the growth stood at 18% for the quarter. Although, January & February witnessed negative MoM growth, March compensated with 43% MoM growth, besides being the highest number in the 31 months. Registrations have improved post the festive season launches, while March has been an exceptional month on account of it being a fiscal year, whereby, registrations typically rise.

The impact of island city launches like that of Lodhais 'Blue Mooni' & 'BombayRealty's Island City Centrei is percolating down to registration numbers in Q1CY13, with growth numbers for 'City' sales exceeding that of 'Suburban' sales. Lease registrations were also strong during the quarter, registering 15% YoY and 23% sequential growth. In case of lease registrations, the growth has been stronger, both on a YoY and sequential comparison for suburban Mumbai. The much awaited monetary easing came by in the last two monetary policies, with a 25bps repo rate cut in both, which shall help in improving the overall buying sentiment in the sector.

Further, monetary easing in the near-term looks quite certain given the receding inflationary pressures, is positive for the sector. Company balance sheets are witnessing an improvement, with companies steadily repaying debt and exhibiting caution on land bank addition. The easing of interest rates is further expected to help companies in reducing financial costs.


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Birla group donates Rs 1 crore to the CM relief fund

MUMBAI: The Aditya Birla Group on Thursday donated Rs 1 crore towards drought relief.

Group's advisor SK Sabu met chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to submit a cheque for the donated amount.

The donation was made towards the CM relief fund (drought).

The CM has thanked the group for the gesture. The CM's relief fund has received donations from various corners including trusts, corporate houses, societies and ordinary citizens. Even school students have come out to contribute towards the relief fund.

The state is facing an unprecedented drought crisis.


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Animal rights activists rescue sacrificial goat from Chembur

MUMBAI: One more sacrificial goat, this time from Chembur, has now been rescued by animal rights activists. Earlier this Sunday, two goats were rescued from Khar before they could be killed as part of an animal sacrifice ritual.

Shruti Shetty of World For All ( WFA) NGO said that the latest goat was to be killed at a temple in Shell Colony in Chembur.

It is good that the animal activists acted fast and informed the authorities about the illegal animal sacrifice. It is cruel and illegal to kill animals,'' said the secretary of Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA), Lt Colonel J C Khanna.


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Strict law must enacted to ensure maximum punishment to acid attackers

MUMBAI: What kind of a coward is a man who flings acid on a young girl and runs away? There are disturbing questions as yet another horrifying case of acid attack came to light in Mumbai on Thursday. A 25-year-old woman who had just arrived at Bandra terminus from Delhi to join the Colaba army hospital as a nurse lost her right eye and suffered severe burns on her face, hand and in the gullet when a masked man threw sulphuric acid on her. In seconds, the woman's hopes and aspirations gave way to pain and trauma. Was it a jilted lover who did it? Or was it a raving maniac? We will never know till the police find him. Acid attacks are the most extreme kind of cruelty against women.

Recently, the centre issued an ordinance which sought a minimum 10-year-sentence to acid attack offenders. However, the supreme court said this will not be enough to curb the menace in the absence of statutory provisions to treat, rehabilitate and compensate the victims of such assaults. "Let us do a comprehensive exercise and not merely prescribe deterrent punishment. The ordinance imposes a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh on the offender. But if the convict is not in a position to pay, should the state not step in to treat, rehabilitate and compensate the victim? Should there not be a separate fund for this purpose," asked the court.

The ordinance promulgated on February 3 inserted a new section, 326A, in the Indian Penal Code, making acid attacks a gender-neutral offence. A person convicted under it would be punished with a minimum of 10 years imprisonment, which could extend to life term and the convict could be asked to pay up to Rs 10 lakh as fine.

Some experts say it's a myth that women are attacked with acid only after they reject sexual advances. Instead, it's a form of gender violence; targets are women who exercise their independence.

In one memorable case, a woman got justice after her former boss Joseph Rodrigues poured 1.5 litres of sulphuric acid on her when she quit her job in his financially unstable firm in 1999. The acid melted her face, fused her shoulder and neck, burnt a hole in her head, merged her fingers and blinded her for life. In 2006, the Karnataka high court sentenced Rodrigues to life imprisonment.


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Health covers may cost 20% more

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 02 Mei 2013 | 22.23

TNN | May 2, 2013, 06.49AM IST
MUMBAI: The insurance regulator has cleared a hike in health insurance rates for policies issued by New India Assurance, the country's largest non-life insurer. The new rates are on an average 20% higher than the old ones which were in force from 2007 and will come into effect from next month.

The rate hike could trigger similar revisions among other state-owned non-life insurers since New India, being the largest, sets the benchmark for rates.

TOI had reported in its January 26 edition that public sector insurers are set to revise health insurance rates by 20-25%.

Announcing the imminent hike, G Srinivasan, chairman, New India Assurance, said, "Our rates have not been revised since 2007. The revision in rates will result in an average increase of around 20% but it will vary from segment to segment." For renewal policies, the new rates will take a bit longer to be applicable as the insurer would have to provide a three-month notice.

At present, for an individual aged up to 35 years in Mumbai, the cost of a Rs 5-lakh health insurance cover is Rs 5,410, which goes up to Rs 6,078 after factoring in service tax. Going by what insurers say, the cost could go up to Rs 7,300 after the hike. But this would vary according to the individual's health profile and location. Premium varies with location because of variations in cost of treatment. Insurers have been complaining that losses in health insurance have been over 120%. Besides raising rates, the state-owned non-life companies are trying to reduce losses in health insurance by floating their own third-party administrator (TPA) — a separate entity that will manage the health insurance business and network with hospitals. According to Srinivasan, the TPA was expected to be incorporates by January next year.

Announcing the results on Wednesday, Srinivasan said that the company has earned a net profit of Rs 843.66 crore — the highest in five years and up almost five times from last year's Rs 179.31 crore. The net worth of the company rose to Rs 7,737.36 crore from Rs 7,057 crore in the previous year. The company trimmed its underwriting losses to Rs 1,800 crore from Rs 2,200 crore following a reduction in claims-to-premium income ratio.


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On the run for three years, thief finally caught by railway police

MUMBAI: A 35-year-old man, who had slipped out of the custody of the Government Railway Police (GRP) three years ago, was nabbed on Tuesday. The accused has been identified as Nasir Khan.

Khan had been booked by the Kurla GRP in 2010 on theft charges. He was being taken to the CST railway court in a local, when he jumped out of the moving train and escaped near Parel. The Dadar GRP then registered a case against him for escaping from police custody.

"Khan left Mumbai for his hometown in Uttar Pradesh. Later, he travelled to Madhya Pradesh and further to Karnataka, where he worked as a caterer for sometime. Confident that the railway police would have forgotten about his case, Khan returned to Mumbai this year," an official said.

The Dadar GRP received specific information that Khan was spotted hanging around in the Wadala-Antop Hill area. A trap was set and he was arrested on Tuesday. He was produced before a railway court and granted bail of Rs 5000. He has now been detained in a fresh case of mobile phone theft by Dadar GRP.


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Driver killed after vehicle overturns at Wada

MUMBAI: A 31-year-old driver was killed when his car turned turtle over a heap of sand at Nare village in Wada taluka of Thane rural on Tuesday evening.

According to the Wada police, the mishap occurred around 5.45pm on a road near Tansa farm. "The deceased, Sazan Phugade (31), accidentally drove his Mahindra Max over a heap of sand on the corner of the road. He then tried to bring the car down, while it was in motion. But the vehicle overturned with him inside. He sustained serious injuries to his head," said a police official.

Cops said Phugade hadn't had much sleep when the mishap occurred. He had not consumed any alcohol. "Phugade used to ferry commuters in the Thane rural area. He is survived by his wife and two young children," the official said.


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Husband, in-laws of woman booked for abetting her suicide

MUMBAI: The husband and in-laws of a 42-year-old woman, who committed suicide on Monday, have been booked by the Bhayander police on abetment charges. No arrests have been made yet. Police officials said the victim, Hema Doshi, was being physically and mentally harassed for dowry.

Hema was found hanging from the fan in her apartment at Bhayander's Nandkishore society on Monday. According to the police, she had tied the knot with Pankaj Doshi back in 2001 and they have a ten-year-old daughter.

Hema's family complained that she started being harassed physically and mentally for dowry, soon after her marriage. The family had been told that Pankaj had a successful computer spare parts business, but they realized otherwise after the wedding. Hema used to confide in her brother Chirag about the daily torture she had to undergo. Hema's family has also alleged that Pankaj was unemployed for the past few years and would demand money from Hema for his daily expenses.

A case has been registered against Pankaj, 45, his father, Mansukhlal, 60, and mother, Dhanlakshmi, under sections 498 (A) for cruelty and 306 for abetment of suicide under the IPC by the Bhayander police.


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Short-cut across railway tracks claims two lives

MUMBAI: Taking a short cut across the railway tracks cost a woman her life on Wednesday. A watchman was the second victim of trespassing. Both incidents occurred around 5.35 am near Santa Cruz station.

In the first case, the victim was a 42-year-old woman from Satara district who had gone on a pilgrimage in a group. "The woman was travelling by the Lokshakti mail which operates from Bandra Terminus to Kutch. The train had halted near Santa Cruz station so the woman thought she would walk the short distance till Bandra, instead of sitting idle in the train," a railway police official said. "However, when she got down and began walking on the tracks, she was knocked down by Duronto Express which was headed towards Mumbai Central at a tremendous speed." The cops informed the woman's husband who came to claim her body.

In the second case, the victim was a 50-year-old watchman who used to work with a bank located outside Santa Cruz station. "The watchman had probably headed towards the tracks to attend nature's call but a local train, moving at a high speed, hit him from behind. Some commuters witnessed the incident and alerted us," said a railway police official. Both the victims were declared dead at Cooper Hospital. Two cases of accidental deaths were registered.


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68 year old held for posing as a cop and attempted cheating

MUMBAI: Gamdevi police arrested a 68-year-old man who posed as a police officer and tried cheating a local developer of Rs 300.

The police identified the accused as Madhukar Keshav Waagh, a resident of Kanjur Marg. He was nabbed by locals and handed over to police on Wednesday. Police said that the accused, who was accompanied by one more person, tried to con a builder, Mohammed Iqbal Ansari, 62, near Nana Chowk, wholesale market.

Waagh posed as a police officer and asked Ansari to pay him Rs 300, when he had come to buy plumbing products in Nana Chowk, police said. "The accused was in plain clothes and when Ansari asked for the identification, Waagh failed to do so, due to which the locals along with Ansari took Waagh to Gamdevi police station," said assistant police inspector, Sudhi Dalvi of Gamdevi police station.

Waagh was booked under section 170 (impersonating a public servant), 420 (cheating), 34 (common intention) and was produced before a local court on Wednesday, which sent him to police custody till May 5.


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Mumbai Metro trial run successful

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 01 Mei 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: On the occasion of Maharashtra Day, Mumbaikars were treated to a successful trial run of the state's first Metro railway Wednesday.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan flagged off the 3-km long trial run of the Mumbai Metro between Versova and Azad Nagar in north Mumbai's Andheri suburb.

The section is a part of the 11.40km Versova-Ghatkopar corridor which will provide a vital east-west link and drastically reduce travel time from the existing 90 minutes to barely 20 minutes.

Chavan said that the Versova-Ghatkopar line will become operational by December.

He said the Metro would be extended to the adjacent Thane district and work on a separate monorail project expedited.

The Mumbai Metro's Versova-Ghatkopar first phase is being constructed at a cost of around Rs 2,356 crore by a Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium on behalf of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

The Metro sector is an elevated corridor supported by columns at the road median and will enable connectivity of eastern-western suburbs to the Western Railway and Central Railway.

The MMRDA plans to provide an interchange facility within the two railway networks at Ghatkopar and Andheri.


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Mumbai University goof-up makes it tough test for students

MUMBAI: Something is terribly rotten in Mumbai University, the country's second oldest. The ongoing exams have been a time of trauma and pain for thousands of students because of the constant goof ups by the university.

Glaring errors in questions papers or wrong papers dispatched to the wrong exam centres over the past few days has further damaged the reputation of this once premier educational institution. Students who are in a state of high anxiety and nervousness hardly deserve such distractions when they sit down to write their papers.

The latest goof-up was on Tuesday when more than 10,000 students of BCom Accounts and Finance were shocked to find the 60 marks paper full of errors. Although the error was rectified within 45 minutes, many students are worried they may not fare well. Some blame this fiasco on the teachers' strike, which has paralysed work since the past two months.

But the rot runs much deeper. Last year too, the exam season was wrecked with incidents of hall tickets not reaching on time, examination centres being changed at the last minute and question papers leaking. Educationists say the downfall begun two decades ago and calls for an urgent revamp have gone unheard.

Some years ago, the eminent historian Aroon Tikekar wrote an open letter to the university chancellor, requesting him to save this "once reputed institution from the clutches of bureaucracy and to allow it to breathe freely once again so that it can regain its academic health." "I am not against a healthy relationship between the university and the state as well as the central government—indeed, taking proper care of the academic health of universities like that of Mumbai has become absolutely necessary in the wake of foreign universities displaying an eagerness to set up branches in India. But a give-and-take relationship is one thing, iron control another," Dr Tikekar had rightly said.


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Governor assures relief for drought affected areas

MUMBAI: Governor of Maharashtra K Sankaranarayanan on Wednesday assured that drought affected people of complete help from the ruling DF government. After the Maharashtra Day celebration, release issued by Governor's office stated that temporary ration cards would be provided to all those who have migrated from the parched areas of the state. "The state government has received financial assistance received from government of India. The Maharashtra government is taking all the measures to tackle the crisis," the release said.

Governor further speaking during the celebration day stated that the ruling DF government is committed to set up a Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's memorial of international standards in Mumbai.

Also protocol minister Suresh Shetty along with other dignitaries paid tribute to Hutatma chowk. The chowk is named in memory of the members of Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti who lost their lives while fighting for creation of Maharashtra state.


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Housing property prices in the Mumbai metropolitan region have started rising again

MUMBAI: According to research firm, Liases Foras, property prices in the past three months ending March have risen by three percent over the previous quarter. This is a reversal to the trend in the quarter ended December 2012, when prices marginally dipped by one per cent over its previous quarter.

Despite the marginal dip in prices during October-December 2012, only about seven per cent of the total inventory was sold. This led to a major inventory pile-up that will take at least 40 months to clear at the current pace of absorption, says a report by Foras. At present, the city's property market has an unsold stock of over 133.39 million sq ft. A healthy market does not maintain more than eight months of inventory ideally.

Data by Liases Foras also points out that the weighted average price of the unsold inventory in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) between January-March comes to Rs 11,626 per sq ft. As against this, the average price of the homes sold in the same period was Rs 8,972 a sq ft (23 per cent lower).

While the current rate of property stands at Rs 11,626 per sq ft (for the quarter ending March 2013), it was much lower at Rs 11,295 per sq ft in the previous quarter.

Though sales during the quarter happened across segments with buyers mainly looking at affordable homes, the report states that the maximum number of homes in the unsold stock are in the range of Rs 1crore to Rs 2 crore.


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Maharashtra BJP leader's son shoots self, critical

JALGAON (MAHARASHTRA): Nikhil Khadse, the son of Maharashtra's opposition leader Eknath Khadse of the BJP, shot himself at his home in Muktainagar in Jalgaon on Wednesday afternoon, a party official said.

He has sustained bullet injuries in the head and his condition is reported to be critical.

Nikhil was rushed to a local hospital by his family members and some party activists.

The motive behind the drastic step is not known, though it is rumoured that Nikhil was not keeping well for over a year.

Eknath Khadse was not at home at the time of the incident, an official of Bharatiya Janata Party said, preferring anonymity.

Nikhil, in his mid-30s, is a member of the Jalgaon Zilla Parishad, around 415 km to the east of Mumbai, and had contested the 2009 Maharashtra assembly elections.


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Maharashtra BJP leader Eknath Khadse's son commits suicide

JALGAON: Nikhil Khadse, the son of leader of opposition in Maharashtra legislative assembly and BJP leader Eknath Khadse, committed suicide at his residence at Muktai Nagar in the district on Wednesday, police said.

"Nikhil shot himself in the head using his personal firearm. He was rushed to a hospital here, where he was declared dead," Superintendent of Police, Jalgaon (rural) S Jaikumar said.

He was 37, and is survived by wife, a son and a daughter. The reason behind the act was not known immediately. According to local BJP sources, the incident took place at around 4.30pm. He was taken to Godavari Hospital, but was declared dead after admission.


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