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Two arrested for gang-rape of Dalit minor girl in UP’s Mirzapur

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Mirzapur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 14 (ANI): Two persons were arrested for allegedly gang-raping a minor Dalit girl in Chilh area of Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur, informed Superintendent of Police, Sanjay Kumar Verma on Sunday.
“An FIR was registered on February 9. A minor girl was allegedly raped by two persons in Chilh area. The accused have been arrested and booked under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Section 354A of IPC. The victim is being sent for a medical check-up, relevant sections will be added accordingly,” Verma told reporters.
As per the victim’s statement, the incident took place when the girl had gone out of her house to urinate. Two youths from the village identified as Priyanshu Yadav and Deepak gagged the girl’s mouth with a cloth, dragged her into a nearby field, and gang-raped her.
In her statement, the girl said that after the rape, the accused thrashed her and threatened to kill her minor brother if she tried to inform anybody about the incident.
The victim has alleged that as soon as she narrated the incident to her father who took her to the Chilh police station to file a first information report of rape, she was locked up in the police station and beaten up, adding that she was threatened to change her statement on rape to molestation.
The victim’s family alleged that after the police registered a case under POSCO Act, SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, they pressurised them for reconciliation.
The girl’s family also alleged that it was only after the SP’s intervention that the accused were nabbed and presented before a court following which they were sent to jail. (ANI)

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EC likely to appoint 500 observes for West Bengal assembly polls

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By Joymala Bagchi
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 4 (ANI): The Election Commission of India (ECI) is likely to appoint around 500 observers in West Bengal for strict monitoring of the forthcoming Assembly polls.
“Discussions are underway for the appointment of around 500 observers in poll-bound West Bengal, details are yet to come,” an ECI official told ANI.
According to ECI official, Ajay V Nayek, a 1984 batch retired IAS officer is appointed as the special general observer. Vivek Dubey, a 1981 batch officer from Andhra Pradesh cadre and Mrinal Kanti Das, a retired 1977 batch IPS officer of Manipur-Tripura cadre have been appointed as special police observers. B Murli Kumar, a 1983 batch retired IRS officer has been appointed as special expenditure observer.
These special observers will come to West Bengal on Friday to review and take stock of the situation. They will hold a series of meetings with police officers and expenditure observers deployed in the fields.
“The vehicles of all sector officers in West Bengal will be laced with GPS-based applications. These vehicles can be tracked by observers and the office of District Electoral Officer (DEO) and Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) for immediate intervention in case any law and order problem arises,” an official from West Bengal CEO told ANI.
According to ECI, around 7,32,94,980 voters electors will cast their vote in 1,01,916 polling booths in West Bengal. In the 2016 Assembly polls, the booth numbers were 77,413.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Notably, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes into force immediately after the announcement of the election dates. The commission has made adequate arrangements to ensure effective implementation of MCC guideline. (ANI)

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Land mafia including govt officers booked for illegally planting trees in Uttarakhand

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Vikasnagar (Dehradun) [India], March 4 (ANI): A case was registered against secretaries of Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA), Doon Valley Special Area Development Authority (SADA), along with the district forest officer, horticulture officer and the land mafia in Vikasnagar police station for illegally cutting trees and converting the land into residential plots.
The case was registered under the Uttar Pradesh Tree Protection Act and several Sections of IPC, according to a press note.
It was alleged that several trees were cut by the land mafia on 400 bigha land without the authorisation of the government and plots of land were sold to various people.
According to the press note, no action was taken against the land mafia by the Secretary of the Doon Valley SADA, Divisional Forest Officer of the Forest Department, Kalsi and District Horticulture Officer of the Horticulture Department and the subordinate officer of the above department, nor did they perform their duties as public servants.
A PIL was filed by Anuj Kansal in Nainital High Court, after which the court issued an order to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the case. (ANI)

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NHRC summons Delhi Urban Development Secretary over non-submission of reports in death case of safai karamchari in 2018

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday issued summon against the Delhi Urban Development Secretary for non-submission of proof of payment and requisite reports over a death of a safai karamchari during sewer cleaning in 2018.
The NHRC, having not received requisite reports and the proof of payment of Rs. 10 Lakh in the case of death in sewer cleaning, has asked the Secretary of the Department of Urban Development under the Delhi government to appear before it on March 5 with the requisite reports.
According to a statement issued by NHRC, the Commission had registered a case on the basis of a complaint dated September 18, 2018, by Safai Karamchari Aandolan, an NGO for the incident that had happened in Vaishali Extension in the national capital on September 14, 2018.
“According to the complaint, the safai karamchari had died due to inhaling poisonous gas while cleaning a sewer and no appropriate action was taken by the police in the matter,” the statement read.
The Commission, issuing the conditional summons, has observed that there has already been an inordinate delay in the matter as no response has been received from the Delhi government on the pointers raised by it.
“Hence, it is constrained to invoke Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993,” the statement said.
It has further emphasized that non-submission of the report may attract an offence under sections 175/176 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and initiation of criminal proceedings under sections 175/ 176 IPC, as well as under Rule 10 & 12 of Order XVI of Civil Procedure Code for willful omission to produce documents and information.
In case, the report is received in the Commission a week prior to the scheduled date, the personal appearance of the officer shall stand dispensed with.
In response to the notice of the Commission, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dwarka, vide report dated December 31, 2019, had informed that in the matter an FIR No. 500/18, dated September 15, 2018, under section 304/304A IPC, r/w 7/9 of Prohibition of Manual Scavengers and Rehabilitation Act, 2013, had been registered against the accused, who has hired the victim, for cleaning the sewer line outside his property.
It was also informed that the accused was arrested on October 1, 2018. The compensation of Rs.10 Lakh had been paid to the mother of the deceased by the SDM of Dwarka, as per Supreme Court guidelines.
However, the Commission observed that the report was silent on the proof of payment of compensation of Rs.10 Lakh to the mother of the deceased victim. A notice was issued to SDM, Dwarka, to submit the proof of payment.
The Commission had also directed the Delhi government to inform regarding the steps taken by the State Government to prevent such deaths, including the availability of safety gears before entering in sewer lines. However, no response was received.
Therefore, a final reminder was issued to the Principal Secretary of Department of Urban Development, through online mode on December 29 last year, to submit the requisite detailed reports, failing which the Commission shall be constrained to issue a coercive process under Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. (ANI)

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424 MoUs signed during Maritime India Summit 2021, says Mansukh Mandaviya

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By Amit Kumar
New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): A total of 424 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed during the second edition of the virtual Maritime India Summit-2021 that concluded on Thursday, said Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Mansukh Mandaviya.
The three-day maritime conference was inaugurated on March 2 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The summit received good support and a total of 424 MoUs were signed in three days. The investment of more than Rs 3 lakh crores has been committed by top maritime companies of the world and it is a matter of great pleasure for us,” Mandaviya told ANI.
The Minister said the “Maritime Vision 2030” and its “road map” have released, and added, “seeing this, the shipping line infrastructure development companies are going to investing in India in coming days.”
India also commemorated the ‘Chabahar Day’ today with ministerial presence from six nations at the Maritime India Summit organised by India’s shipping ministry.
Mandaviya said Chabahar Port has emerged as the “connecting point” between India and Eurasia to deliver humanitarian assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Chabahar Port project will be developed as a transit hub for cross connectivity between the two countries.
“Maritime India Summit-2021 will empower and strengthen Maritime India Vision-2030 which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the inauguration of the summit. Due to Maritime India Summit-2021, the expectations and the aspirations of the world towards India have increased. We have to keep marching towards achieving our goal,” the Union Minister added. (ANI)

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SC stays HC order cancelling elections to 5 Municipalities in Goa; CM Pramod Sawant welcomes verdict

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Panaji (Goa) [India], March 4 (ANI): Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday welcomed the order of the Supreme Court which stayed the Bombay High Court’s order cancelling elections to five Municipalities in the state.
He also told ANI that the State Election Commission will take further decisions in consultation with Supreme Court.
“Hon. Supreme Court has stayed the High Court’s order cancelling elections to five Municipalities & consequent order of State Election Commission keeping the election process in abeyance. Matter to come up for a final hearing on Tuesday. Now, the democratic process has been restored,” Sawant tweeted earlier today.
The High Court had earlier cancelled and postponed polls to five municipalities namely Margao, Mapusa, Mormugao, Sanguem and Quepem on a petition related to irregularities in the reservation of municipal wards for women and Scheduled Caste categories.
Sawant also informed that the Board examinations for classes 10th and 12th will be held as per the already declared schedule.
“Today we had a meeting on National Educational Policy and it is decided that foundational course of NEP will be implemented in the initial stage in consultation with the people of Goa,” said Sawant.
The elections for 11 municipal councils and the Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) will be held on March 20 and counting will be held on March 22. (ANI)

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Amrapali case: SBI Capital fund of Rs 625 crores for six unfinished projects to be released by next week, informed SC

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): The Supreme Court was on Thursday informed that SBI Capital fund of Rs 625 crores is finally going to be released by the next week to finance the six unfinished projects of Amrapali real estate company to ensure delivery of flats to the homebuyers.
A bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, was hearing the petitions filed by many Amrapali real estate homebuyers in Noida and Greater Noida after they failed to get their homes at the right time as promised by the builder.
Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) has today also shown its inclination to finance Amrapali projects with certain conditions and to this, the top court had asked lawyer, M L Lahoty, advocate appearing for many homebuyers, and Noida/Greater Noida authorities for their response on the same by tomorrow morning.
Apart from this, the apex court today rejected the applications of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to transfer all first information reports (FIR) in Uttar Pradesh to Delhi police in the case and made it clear that the other recovery issues going on in this court, and the hearing will be continued tomorrow morning. (ANI)

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