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Three teams searching for the X-ray technician

Written By kom nampultig on Sabtu, 31 Agustus 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Three teams formed by the Mulund police have been sent to Nashik, Igatpuri and Kanjurmarg in search of a 28-year-old X-ray technician for allegedly filming a 26-year-old homemaker on Wednesday.

The incident occurred at around 9.30pm when the victim noticed a mobile phone hidden in a plastic bag which was kept hanging in the changing room, said the police.

Mulund police senior inspector Jivajirao Jadhav said they have formed three teams to track down the accused Ansar Shaikh who has been employed at the diagnostic centre in Mulund (west) since 2010. Looking at the way Shaikh shot the victim while she was changing, it clearly proves that he has committed a similar offence in the past. "We have sent the mobile phone belonging to Shaikh to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Kalina, to recover the past recordings which he may have deleted," said Jadhav.

"I have learnt that Shaikh has got an account on a social networking website. My image would have been tarnished had I not noticed the mobile phone," the victim told TOI.

The accused has been sacked from work after the incident.

Police said that Shaikh may not have managed to give a slip if the staff and the victim at the diagnostic centre had not made a hue and cry and instead had locked him in the X-ray room.

It is also difficult to track him through the mobile network since his mobile has been seized. Meanwhile, the cops have kept a watch at all the places where Shaikh is likely to hide.


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X-ray technician found secretly filming woman patient

MUMBAI: Three teams formed by the Mulund police have been sent to Nashik, Igatpuri and Kanjurmarg in search of a 28-year-old X-ray technician for allegedly filming a 26-year-old homemaker on Wednesday.

The incident occurred at around 9.30pm when the victim noticed a mobile phone hidden in a plastic bag which was kept hanging in a changing room, said the police.

Mulund police senior inspector Jivajirao Jadhav said they have formed three teams to track down the accused Ansar Shaikh who has been employed at the diagnostic centre in Mulund (west) since 2010. Looking at the way Shaikh shot the victim while she was changing, it clearly proves that he has committed a similar offence in the past. "We have sent the mobile phone belonging to Shaikh to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Kalina, to recover the past recordings which he may have deleted," said Jadhav.

"I have learnt that Shaikh has got an account on a social networking website. My image would have been tarnished had I not noticed the mobile phone," the victim told TOI.

The accused has been sacked from work after the incident.

Police said that Shaikh may not have managed to give a slip if the staff and the victim at the diagnostic centre had not made a hue and cry and instead had locked him in the X-ray room.

It is also difficult to track him through the mobile network since his mobile has been seized. Meanwhile, the cops have kept a watch at all the places where Shaikh is likely to hide.


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Hotel cleaner held for obscene

MUMBAI: A 28-year-old cleaner of a renowned restaurant was arrested for being obscene in a birthday party attended by over 100 guests in the restaurant in Kurla (West) on Wednesday. Orissa resident Pranab Rawat could be the first one to get arrested in the city under the newly amendment section 2013 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The case was registered after the Vinoba Bhave Nagar police took suo moto congnisance when no one came forward to lodge an FIR.

The incident occurred around 10.30pm when Rawat was cleaning the party hall floor situated on the second floor of the restaurant at Kohinoor Mall in Kurla (West). "The guests present at the party got annoyed on noticing minor girls came for the birthday party laughing and seeing Rawt who showed too much during a birthday party. He wore a shirt and a lungi that he has tucked above his knee level and didn't wear the undergarment," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone V) Dhananjay Kulkarni.

Rawat confessed of not wearing undergarment. But refuted the guests allegations that he did it intentionally. "Rawat joined the restaurant on August. He claimed he has washed his undergarment and kept to dry. So he wore the lungi and came to work," said the investigators. The guest brought the matter to the notice of the management of the restaurant and called the police.

Rawat has been booked for sexual harassment registered under section 354 (A) of the IPC - this section was introduced under the anti-rape law, which was passed recently in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013."Rawat could be the first one to be booked under this newly amendment law in the city," said VB Nagar police senior inspector Subhash Raut.


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Power sector needs major changes, say experts

AHMEDABAD: Impact of gas pricing and coal pricing mechanism on Indian power sector was one of the few issues which were discussed at the second 'Power Sector India Roundtable' held at School of Petroleum Management in Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University on Friday .

Saurabh Patel, minister of energy and petrochemicals, stressed on the need for powerful distribution network for power sector and use of renewable energy like solar energy to meet the energy demands.

In the two-hour session, chaired by Raj Gopal, MD of Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL), on pricing mechanism for gas and coal, industry experts suggested measures such as gas pooling, time-based tariff and a framework for gas-based power purchase obligation for distribution companies.

Also, sessions on initiatives to revamp Indian power industry and human resource management in power sector were held at the roundtable, where major stakeholders in the sector talked about their perspective.

"We are not moving in tandem with the international prices in gas which gives less scope to exploration if the right prices are not offered," said Dhwanil Desai, an expert. "Wind energy is erratic but if utilized rightly it can solve power crisis to an extent," added Raj Gopal.


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Monetizing gold will help economy recover, says commerce minister

MUMBAI: Semantics aside, the prospect of India mortgaging her gold reserves to curb current account deficit is a step closer to reality.

Commerce minister Anand Sharma has reiterated that "even if India considers monetizing a part of its declared gold reserve, it can go a long way in powering the economy".

He said that monetizing gold was "one of the options", he did not "advocate" auctioning or mortgaging gold.

Sharma was addressing exporters in Mumbai on Saturday after inaugurating the office of the Federation of Indian Export Organization (FIEO) in Andheri.

He defended the government's move to curb gold imports to address the current account deficit. "We import oil. Since it is an energy requirement, we have little scope to reduce imports. So we need to look at other options," he said.

Joblessness looms large as well with GDP growth at an all-time low of 4.4% since 2009. "Regardless of the GDP numbers released Friday I am confident that India's GDP growth will not be less than 5.5% this year," the minister claimed.

"Every percentage drop in GDP threatens 3 million jobs. India simply cannot afford to grow at a slower rate."

Industry is keenly awaiting a road map towards this miraculous recovery.


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After getting rapped for poor security, BMC tightens its systems

MUMBAI: A week after facing criticism for not detecting weapons and fake bombs being carried by anti-terrorism squad (ATS) officials and letting them the enter civic headquarters, the security team of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) tightened their act and detected a dummy bomb that was being taken into the building by the police as part of a mock drill.

They managed to foil another effort of ATS man from Azad Maidan police station to carry a dummy bomb into the civic headquarters.

According to the civic officials, the incident happened on Tuesday when the ATS man in formal clothes tried to enter the civic head office from gate number 6 with a bag carrying dummy bomb.

Babasaheb Ghule, the security guard who was on duty, asked for his identification. However, as he tried to evade questions, Ghule put his bag in the baggage-scanning machine.

Woman security guard Darshana Pawar, who was manning the machine, found on the screen that the bag contained electrical circuits.

"Following the incident, we have tightened our security system. These efforts will continue in the future, no compromise will be made regarding the BMC's security," said a senior security officer.They immediately intercepted the suspected person, who finally revealed his identity as a policeman and also told the bag contains a dummy bomb.

On the backdrop of possibility of terror attack on the city, the ATS often tries to check the alertness of BMC's security system.

Similar attempt was made on August 22 when four ATS officials had entered the BMC carrying weapons and dummy bombs through various gates.

Taking serious note of this, the ATS officials met municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte and expressed deep concern over the lapse in civic security system.


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Man picked up for Dabholkar murder released

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 30 Agustus 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The Pune police on Thursday released SanathanPrabhat activist SandeepShinde who was picked up from Goa in connection with the murder of rationalist NarendraDabholkar.

"He was not arrested but picked up for seeking information on the murder of Narendra Dabholkar. Since no links were found he was let off," said a senior IPS officer.

A nine-member Pune police team had raided the Sanathan Sanstha headquarters at Ponda in Goa's North Goa district on Wednesday and detained the 'sadhak' (devotee), Shinde (28). He was then taken to Pune.


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Man picked up for Narendra Dabholkar murder released

MUMBAI: The Pune police on Thursday released SanathanPrabhat activist SandeepShinde who was picked up from Goa in connection with the murder of rationalist NarendraDabholkar.

"He was not arrested but picked up for seeking information on the murder of Narendra Dabholkar. Since no links were found he was let off," said a senior IPS officer.

A nine-member Pune police team had raided the Sanathan Sanstha headquarters at Ponda in Goa's North Goa district on Wednesday and detained the 'sadhak' (devotee), Shinde (28). He was then taken to Pune.


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HC to hear PIL on toll collection on incomplete roads

MUMBAI: Bombay high court is slated to hear a public interest litigation on Friday against toll on incomplete and bad roads. The State government is expected to tell the court what progress to put in place a regulatory mechanism.

A division bench of Justice DhananjayChandrachud and Justice Suresh Gupte at the last hearing on June 28, 2013 had chided the State government for doing nothing about reducing or doing away with toll on incomplete road projects. The judges were miffed thatdespite assuring the courton March 6, 2013 that is shall pass benefits to commuters regarding collection of toll on incomplete roads, the government had not framed the policy four months later.

The judges said they were distressed at the casual manner'' of the government on this issue when the government advocate submitted that the policy is under consideration. If the State collects toll from private citizens, it is obliged to maintain the roads,''said Justice Chandrachud.

In their order, the judges said,We express our disapproval that the State government has taken no steps to formulate a policy.'' They said formulation of policy is a matter of concern to consumers across the State with the increase in privatisation and toll collection. They also noted that the government does not seem to have any established norms for dealing with situations where contractors continue to collect toll on bad roads. In the absence of adequate machinery for supervising, the commuters are put to untold hardships, they added.

The PIL was Shashikant Changede against toll being charged on roads which are incomplete in Pune and Ahmednagar. The judges also took serious noteof the complete inaction of the government'' when Changede informed that on Pune-Shirur road there were two toll nakas and government was not monitoring cash flow in one,. They directed an officer be deputed to visit the site and make a report. The judges said they hold the Secretary, Public Works Department, responsible for resolving the grievances highlighted in PIL. They directed the PWD Secretary and Chief Secretary to evolve a comprehensive policy in general to put in a place a regulatory mechanism.


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Secretary to remain present after HC issues contempt of court notice

MUMBAI: The principal secretary (Consumer Protection) will remain present before the Bombay high court on Friday to respond to its show cause notice for not taking the court's orders seriously and failing to present a concrete scheme to lay down norms of selection and procedure to be followed for appointment of non-official members to the State and district consumer protection councils.

A division bench of Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud and Justice M S Sonak will hear a public interest litigation by Mumbai Grahak Panchanyat on non-appointment of presidents and members in 19 district forums and delaying setting up of Consumer Protection Councils at the district and State level. On June 28 the court had directed constitution of councils and on July 29, 2013 it had directed the government to come with a concrete scheme for laying down norms for selection of non-official members,.

At the last hearing on August 12 , 2013 the Panchayat's advocate Shirish Deshpande told the court that the government has not finalised the policy regarding selection and procedure of non-official members and not paid the heed to the HC's court orders. Government pleader S S Shinde submitted that after the July 29 , 2013 hearing, he immediately sought the response from the Consumer Protection Department. It appears the order of the court is not being taken seriously,'' said the judges directing the principal secretary to remain present on August 29, 2013 and show cause why steps should not be taken against him for contempt of court. The matter is placed on board on Friday.

The judges said they are constrained to take recourse to coercive steps'' since the PIL is pending since December 2011 and in spite of orders passed no concrete steps have been taken by the State government. The judges said they were distressed'' that appointment to district consumer councils have been made at Nashik and Aurangabad where all members are being distributed between the ruling coalition. The judges said this renders completely negative the whole object of constitution of the councils where members are expected to perform independent supervisory role. Also, that it is evident that entire process followed by the State government is against the letter and spirit of the Consumer Protection Act and strongly deprecated by the court.'' Adjourning the hearing, the judges took on record the notification on appointments made in Nashik and Ahmednagar.


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Bombay HC upholds conviction of talathi in bribe case

MUMBAI: Eleven years after a Sangli based talathi was caught red handed receiving bribe of Rs 250 to transfer names in property related documents, the Bombay high court has upheld his conviction under the Prevention of Corruption Act and has ordered him to complete his 1 year jail term.

Appasaheb Jadhav, talathi of Dafalapur, taluka Jath in Sangli district has been directed to surrender and undergo his remaining jail term up to October 23, 2013.

Justice K U Chandiwal dismissed an appeal filed by Jadhav on August 23 2013. Jadhav, in his appeal filed in HC in 2004 challenged the 1-year prison term. He argued that the sanction to prosecute him granted by a sub divisional officer (SDO) was 'defective'. "For talathi in the State of Maharashtra, Collector is the appointing authority," argued his advocate Nitin Pradhan.

Pradhan also argued that the amount of Rs. 250 'indeed was received by him towards expenses of postal charges, copying and were incurred for issuing notices to the legal representatives of the complainant. He said said the amount asked from the complainant was part of discharging his official duty.

Assistant public prosecutor Vaidehi Mhaispurkar on the other hand told the court that as per a notification issued by the Government of Maharashtra on May 30, 1984, SDO had power to grant sanction against the talathi.

Jadhav was arrested on June 1, 2002 by sleuths of local Anti Corruption Bureau on a complaint of one Ankush Baburao Sankpal. Sankpal had approached Jadhav for mutation of some property documents in name of himself and his siblings. Jadhav asked him to pay a sum of Rs. 500 to get the work done, but he scaled down the demand to Rs. 250. Sankpal then approached the local ACB, which laid a trap and caught Jadhav red handed.

A local Special Court convicted Jadhav under section 13(1) (d) r/w section 13(2) and 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. He was directed to undergo R.I. for one year and pay fine of Rs. 2000 with default clause to suffer imprisonment for 6 months and to pay fine of Rs. 200. Both the sentences were to run concurrently.


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Portrait by Raja Ravi Varma to be auctioned in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Portraits by Raja Ravi Varma, silver umbrellas, ceremonial spears and desks from royal Indian collections will be auctioned by Pundoles in Mumbai on September 3-4.

Raja Ravi Varma's portrait of Seth Lachman Das is expected to fetch Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. It has remained within the same family since it was painted in 1896.

A third of the sale comes from the estate of Laura Hamilton, who founded the Malabar Boutique in Mumbai in 1962 and ran it until she was 94.

A carved gray schist image of the Buddha from the Gandharan era (2nd-3rd Century), and Tibetan paintings of Buddhas and Arhats (17th-19th Century) will go under the hammer. Hamilton had an eye for unusual furniture.

Intricate letterboxes and a beautiful mother-of-pearl inlay chair are on sale. The proceeds will be donated to a trust to be used for scholarships.


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Teen rapes neighbour's minor daughter

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 29 Agustus 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A 19-year-old has been arrested on Tuesday for allegedly raping his neighbour's eight-year-old daughter in a slum locality at Azad Nagar in Ghatkopar (West). The matter was observed by the minor girl's mother four days after the offence occurred, said the Ghatkopar police.

Pratik Baiyakar was arrested based on the complaint registered by the victim. However, the suspect is not cooperating in the police probe. The incident occurred on August 23 when the victim was alone in her hutment while her parents have gone to do odd work.

Ghatkopar police inspector Rajkumar Kothmire said the family approached the police on Monday night. In the complaint, the minor girl said, "She informed her mother when she felt pain when she went to toilet. Suspecting the girl's mother inquired the reason and she revealed the entire incident."

The minor girl has undergone medical examination and reports are awaited. Police are ascertaining the exact sequence of events. The accused has been booked under section of the IPC for rape.


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Minor girl attacked

MUMBAI: An unidentified man attacked a 13-year-old girl with a sharp object when she stepped out of her home early on Tuesday morning. The incident occurred in a narrow bylane of Mukund Nagar locality in Dharavi at 5.45pm, said the police.

Victim Shivani Shinde was returning from a public toilet when the suspect (aged around 25 years) went close and attacked her from behind. "We suspect that the attacker might be a petty thief. He went close to her and checked with her for some address. She sensed something amiss and raised an alarm to alert her father," said Dharavi police senior inspector AB Pawar.

The accused attack her and fled away fearing of getting caught when Shinde screamed for help. The accused might have come near her to snatch the valuables. The victim got discharge after getting medical assistance for minor cut on her back. A sketch of the accused has been prepared.


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BMC employee jumps from seventh floor died

MUMBAI: A 30-year-old man ended his life jumping the seventh floor of his office in Ghatkopar (East) on Wednesday. Deceased Vikrant Kamble, employed as peon with at the office of BMC assistant superintendent of markets, eastern suburbs, office was depressed after his marriage tie broke, said the Pant Nagar police.

Prima facie Kamble, a Kamothe resident, was upset after his marriage, reportedly with a office colleague, got cancelled. "He ended his life after he reported to work at the Zonal office in Ghatkopar (East). He had tea and went to a passage of the seventh floor from where he jumped at around 11.30pm," said Pant Nagar police senior inspector Suresh Nirmal.

Sub-inspector Divendra Ovhad said Kamble died due to severe head injuries. "Detailed suicide note was found in his pocket and mentioned not to hold anyone responsible for his act. The note also gave details of his bank transactions and his loan. The note even stated that his cremation should be done by his brother-in-law. Kamble has given the property details in the note and its distribution to family members," said Ovhad.

Kamble was survived by his mother and three sisters. Police suspect that Kamble had planned the suicide in advance.


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Maharashtra government to soon launch scheme for girl child

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government will soon table an insurance scheme under which the girl child, born in below poverty line families, will get Rs 1 lakh for education on turning 18.

Mooted by Women and Child Development Ministry, the scheme Sukanya would be tabled in the cabinet meet, scheduled tomorrow.

Under the insurance scheme if a girl child is born in a family falling below poverty line (BPL), the government would deposit Rs 21,200 in her name after January 2014.

"The girl will get Rs 1 lakh on maturity after she is above 18, for her education purposes," an official said.

Earlier, minister for Women and Child development Varsha Gaikwad, who had initiated the scheme, had met with opposition from the finance department and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, in view of the possible burden on the state exchequer.

"Over two lakh girls take birth every year in BPL families and they are expected to be covered under the scheme, which is likely to cost the state government around Rs 576 crore," the official said.

The ministry is also expected to table a proposal, aimed at providing financial aid to rape and acid attack victims, in the next week's cabinet meet.

"Around Rs 3 lakh would be granted as financial assistance to victims of rape and acid attacks for their health treatment, legal aid, counselling and rehabilitation purposes," the official added.


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FIR lodged five days after card fraud

MUMBAI: The NM Joshi police lodged an FIR in the Rs25,000 card fraud that occurred on last Friday. The case was registered after the victim Tushar Ambre ran around two police stations to register the complaint. Ambre, who lost Rs25,000 in an ATM fraud, cited jurisdiction issues made him to run around to get the case registered.

Senior inspector Sudhakar Ghagare said they have registered the case and has transferred the matter to Wadala police for further probe. "Ambre resides in Wadala while the money was withdrawn fraudulently from a ATM at Kopar Khairane," said Ghagare.

Ambre received three text messages on his mobile from his bank alerting the money withdrawn. "I filed a complaint with the bank the following morning on receiving the alert SMSes when I was at home," he mentioned in the FIR.

Initially the police took a written complaint and gave him a stamped photocopy. On Tuesday proper complaint was registered.


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Action director Tinu Verma arrested for attacking stepbrother

MUMBAI: Bollywood action director Tinu Verma was on Thursday arrested for allegedly attacking his stepbrother over a property dispute, police said.

"Tinu Verma was arrested at about 3.00am today from his hideout in the city," S D Dafle, senior inspector of Kurar police station, said.

Tinu and his stepbrother Manohar Verma had been at loggerheads over a family farmhouse in Goregaon since long and on August 23, the two were involved in a violent argument, following which Tinu allegedly attacked Manohar with a sword, fracturing his legs, police said.

On the same day, Manohar registered an FIR against Tinu under sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) of IPC and sections 4, 25 of the Arms Act in Kurar police station, they said.

Tinu alleged that his share of area had been encroached upon by Manohar, police said adding that Tinu was angry over this issue following which he had attacked the victim.


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Woman hit on head at Goregaon station says it was an accident

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 28 Agustus 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A 28-year-old woman, who had sustained injuries to her forehead at Goregaon station on Monday, has told the GRP that she was not attacked and that the wound was accidental.

Rupali Shinde was waiting to board a Virar-bound local when the incident took place around 7.45pm. Cops suspect that a male commuter got off the local while it was still running and brushed his luggage against Shinde's forehead, hurting her. The Borivli GRP has registered a case against an unknown man.

Shinde, a Nalasopara resident, works in a pen manufacturing firm in Goregaon. On Monday, she was waiting on the platform to board the second-class ladies compartment. "Shinde says she did not notice the object that slashed her forehead. She vaguely remembers a man jumping off the general compartment, adjacent to where she stood, before the local halted," a GRP official said. "Something that the man had worn or was carrying with him brushed Shinde's forehead. She boarded the train and realized her forehead was bleeding. Commuters helped her stem the blood flow and one of them called up her sister when the train reached Nalasopara. Shinde's family then got her admitted to Alliance Hospital."

Shinde told the GRP that she didn't wish to press charges against anyone as she hadn't been attacked. On checking the station's CCTV, the GRP concluded it was a negligent act.


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Onion festoons at dahi handi to focus on inflation

MUMBAI: A spectacular dahi handi competition between Spanish castellers and local govindas at the Gateway of India waterfront will kickstart Janmashtami celebrations in Mumbai on Wednesday afternoon. Thursday will see a colourful line-up of events including an 'onion handi' lampooning inflation.

The birth of Lord Krishna will be celebrated at midnight on the intervening night of August 28 and 29.

The MTDC (Maharashtra State Tourism Board) has invited 250 Spanish castellers and 150 homegrown govindas from Thane for a dahi handi competition at the Gateway. "This event is especially aimed at drawing foreign tourists to the festival. We have put posters and are distributing flyers at airports and hotels," said Satish Soni, joint managing director, MTDC.

It is difficult to divorce politics from festivals in a pre-election year. The Shiv Sena will hoist a pot containing onions and invite women govindas to smash their fury into it. Onions rather than flower bulbs will decorate the string, and the winning mandal will be given a prize of 11 kg of the vegetable.

Shakha pramukh Yashwant Vachile will erect this handi near the Dadar flower market. "We are trying to shake the state government out of its slumber. For nearly one month, a basic food item like onion has been selling for Rs 60 per kg,
but the ruling Congress-NCP combine is sitting on the sidelines and watching. Middlemen have reportedly made a Rs 150 crore profit within four days, while the farmer and consumer continue to suffer," Vichale said.

Heaping symbolism, he has requested women govinda mandals from Agar Bazar and Matunga to break the pot that will be placed at a height of five tiers. Senior Sena leaders Manohar Joshi, Diwakar Raote, Vishakha Raut and Sada Sarvankar will join this condemnation of the ruling DF alliance.

In Borivli, a nine-hour-long musical extravaganza has been devised by Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam, who will seek re-election next year. He has doubled the prize money from Rs 11 lakh to Rs 21 lakh and has drafted actor Arjun Rampal to break the pot. Vile Parle MLA Krishna Hegde has announced a reward of Rs 11 lakh for
his event.

Thane's Sanskruti handi has a painting of the record ten-tier pyramid by Jogeshwari's Jai Jawan mandal that made it to the Guinness World Records last year. "We will auction the painting and use the proceeds to treat injured govindas," said Sanskruti's Vihang Sarnaik.


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Police nab 25 train stuntmen

MUMBAI: Twenty-five people, 13 of them minors, were nabbed by the Mumbai Central GRP on Tuesday for performing stunts on train. The group was returning after a visit to Siddhivinayak temple. The drive was conducted between Mumbai Central and Mahim stations as the first few trains for the day arrived.

"Apart from performing stunts and hitting commuters waiting on the platform, some of them were also stealing valuables. As morning trains aren't too crowded, they would wait for a lone commuter to get into the coach.
Once the train started,
they would bully him and force him to empty his pockets," said senior inspector Rajendra Trivedi.

A yoga teacher, Arun Chandwani (46), had approached the GRP after he was robbed early on August 6 on a train at Dadar. Another complaint was registered at the Andheri GRP. The police then planned the Tuesday crackdown, but are yet to trace those who looted Chandwani.

"We posted plainclothes personnel in general compartments. We had noticed that groups of boys from the Andheri-Virar belt walk down to the temple late at night and take morning trains back home. They are known to block entrances, bully commuters and perform stunts," Trivedi said. "The 12 adults in the group of 25 were booked under the Bombay Police Act and produced before a railway court. The parents of the 13 juveniles were summoned and shown video clips where stunt performers lost their lives."

In a separate case, the Wadala GRP arrested two minors on Tuesday in connection with a two-week old case where a journalist, Bhavna Sharma, had been threatened at knifepoint on a Harbour
local. The accused were picked up from Reay Road and have been sent to an observation home for juvenile delinquents.


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Youth stabbed in Nalasopara

MUMBAI: A Nalasopara youth was stabbed by two youngsters when he accidentally brushed past them. Kundan Gupta (22) was walking to his Nagindas Pada home in Nalasopara (east) when his hand hit Ganesh Kirkira (22) and Kamlesh Yadav (20) on Monday at around 10pm.

The two got into a scuffle with Gupta. The victim apologised but the two accused refused to listen. Yadav pinned down Gupta while Kirkira stabbed him on the chest and back with a knife. The two fled from the spot. Gupta was taken to a private hospital by locals. He died later of severe internal injuries.

The Nalasopara police arrested Yadav, while Kirkira is absconding. They have been booked them under section 302(murder), 34 (common intent) of the Indian Penal Code. Police are ascertaining why Kirkira was carrying a knife. Gupta, who worked for a private firm in Mumbai, was not known to the two accused. Police are ascertaining whether the two accused had past criminal records.


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'Real Estate Regulation and Development Bill 2013 a positive step'

MUMBAI: The National Real Estate Developers' Council (NAREDCO) wants rules and regulations governing real estate sector to be rationalised. It said large portion of the inconsistencies emerge from archaic laws, guidelines that conflict with the development agenda of the economy, disparity in incentives given to larger projects as against the same given to smaller projects. Also, the current FDI norms also make it difficult for smaller developers to access capital easily.

Its president Navin Raheja said, "The Real Estate Regulation and Development BIll 2013 is a hugely positive step in this direction. But this can address the issues only in a limited way. The industry would be more than happy to coordinate with the government to iron out the inconsistencies prevalent in the system. While the industry welcomes the positive intent of the government, we believe that the momentum gained should be utilised to iron out some of the issues. This will not only help to unlock projects worth over Rs. 10,000 crore, but will also catalyse the economy with more vigour and vibrancy."

Vice president Sunil Mantri said environment clearances take a long time. This escalates cost. "The current regulations on foreign investment make it difficult for small developers to access low-cost capital. Currently the approvals of building plans by the planning authority or a municipal corporation result in abnormal delays. These are the issues that can be easily managed by a little more imaginative thinking by the government and policy makers. As a sector, the builders and developers are accused of resorting to corrupt practices. As a sector, we believe that the germination of corruption occurs in prevalent systems and procedures," he said.


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Tribals from Thane to get information on their land through RTI

MUMBAI: Nearly 6,000 tribals from various talukas in Thane district can finally hope to get information on their land. On Tuesday, the state chief information commissioner ordered that all information be provided to RTI applications filed by 10 tribals who sought to know why their land has been shrunk in the title deed provided by the government. The decision stands as a hope for many more tribal people across the state, who are facing similar problems with land titles.

Tribals from Jawar and Vikramgadh talukas heaved a sigh of relief when the information commissioner not only asked for all information to be provided to them, but also gave a compensation of Rs 2,000 each for the efforts made. They had been trying to get information since April. The size of the land sanctioned to thousands of them by the gram panchayat had been shrunk to half or one-fourth on the land title deed given by the government later. As per the Forest Act, the tribals have a right to the land they have been tilling for many years.

"The area was shrunk significantly leaving only a small portion of land in each one's name. In April, more than 1,200 tribals filed RTI applications seeking reasons behind the land size being shrunk. There was no valid or proper response to that. Following that the tribals decided to go for appeal and this time only 10 of them filed a plea so that the burden on the system is lesser," said Milind Thatte from Vayam who has been helping tribals with the use of RTI as a toll to seek information. Thatte said that the second appeal hearing on Tuesday has finally helped the tribals get the information they want. "Only when they know why they are being given less land, will they be able to challenge the Forest Act or understand the discrepancy," he added. The information commissioner ruled that the information be given to all 1,272 RTI queries in the next two months. Thatte insisted that this is a glowing precedent for people to get information in the "right manner."

The Forest Act assured that the tribes had a right to the land they have been cultivating for generations. "The land holdings seem to be shrunk at random. Also, this is a problem not only with the talukas in Thane but also in various other parts of the state. The information sought by the 1,200 plus tribals will not only be uploaded on the website but also put up outside the gram panchayat office so that they can easily access it," said Shailesh Gandhi, former information commissioner.


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Amboli double murder case to be heard this week

Written By kom nampultig on Minggu, 25 Agustus 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A sessions court will continue to hear a witness in the Amboli double murder case on this week.

Keenan Santos (24) and Reuben Fernandez (29) were stabbed after a scuffle near a paan shop in Amboli, Andheri (W), on October 20, 2011. Accused Jitendra Rana, arrested along with Sunil Bodh, Satish Dulhaj and Dipak Tival soon after the incident, is currently lodged at the Arthur Road jail.

It is the prosecution's case that Keenan and Reuben were standing at the spot when some men allegedly started harassing the women in their group. The duo was attacked after they protested against the harassment. While Keenan died soon after the incident, Reuben passed away on October 30 at a hospital in Andheri.


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Court to hear Mookhey's husband and in-laws ABA

MUMBAI: A session court will hear the anticipatory bail application of the husband and in laws of former beauty queen Yukta Mookhey who were granted interim relief.

The court granted relief to Mookhey's husband Prince Tuli, father-in-law Bacchiter Singh (59), mother in law Harinder Kaur Tuli (60) and sisters in law Manmeet Kaur (32) and Chandan Kaur (34).

Additional Sessions Judge D A Dholakia had said that in the event of their arrest, the four should be released on interim bail on the execution of a bond of Rs 25,000 each. They were also directed not to tamper with the prosecution evidence, not to leave the country without the prior permission of the court and to remain present before the investigating officer every Wednesday and Sunday between 11 am and 1 pm to facilitate interrogation. The prosecution was also directed to file its reply.

On July 3, Mookhey had filed a case at Amboli police station under sections 498 A (cruelty), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 377 ( unnatural sex).

In 2008, Mookhey married Tuli whose family has a transport and hospitality business in Nagpur. She has been staying with her parents and three-year-old son for one year.


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Trial in Pallavi Purkayastha murder case to continue this week

MUMBAI: A special court will continue to hear the 2012 Pallavi Purkayastha murder case this week.

On August 9, last year legal advisor Pallavi Purkayastha (25) was found dead by her live-in partner, Avik Sengupta, at their flat in Wadala's Himalayan Heights.

A security guard of the building Sajjad Ahmed Mughal (28) was arrested for the murder. Sajjad in his confession statement told cops that he committed the murder after Pallavi fought him when he tried to force himself on her. The victim had earlier called him to complain about disruptions in the flat's power supply and he had gone to the flat accompanied by an electrician. Later in the night Sajjad had entered the flat after stealing the house keys.

Status: The police filed the chargesheet in the case on October 30 and charges were framed.


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Court to hear train blasts case

MUMBAI: A special MCOCA court will continue to hear a defence witness in the 2006 Mumbai serial train blasts case on Monday.

The defence witnesses followed after the accused submitted their written statements under section 313 of the CrPC. In their statements the accused claimed they were innocent. They also told the court that their confession statements were fabricated and they were falsely implicated in the case. The court had earlier recorded the statements of 188 prosecution witnesses out of which four turned hostile.

One-hundred-and-eighty-seven people were killed and over 800 injured after seven blasts occurred in the first class compartments of suburban local trains on July 11, 2006. In a span of eights minutes bombs ripped apart train compartments at Khar road, Bandra, Jogeshwari, Mahim, Borivli, Matunga and Mira-Bhayander .


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Bridge on middle Vaitarna dam ready, BMC to fill the dam to its full capacity

MUMBAI: After delay of over two years, the Public Works Department (PWD) has almost completed the work of the bridge on the Middle Vaitarna Dam making way for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to fill the dam.

In a letter written by the PWD officials to the BMC, they have mentioned that the vehicular traffic can be diverted on the new bridge and that the BMC can now go ahead and allow the dam to be filled.

The bridge is almost complete, but will be finally completed by September. BMC official are not sure whether water from the dam can be supplied this year as its only one month of monsoon remaining.

"We don't know how much water can be filled now. It hasn't rained well in the catchment areas since a week now,"said a senior civic officials.

Five years back the civic body had asked the PWD to construct a 50-metre high bridge for the Middle Vaitarna dam.

PWD was given the task of rebuilding the British-era Bridge across the Vaitarna since the old structure's height was just 20m. It had to be replaced with a 50m bridge so that it does not get submerged once the dam, which stands a few kilometers away, is made operational.

The bridge was expected to be completed by March 2011. The cost of the project was Rs 23 crore.

The delay in the bridge has delayed the middle vaitarna dam project, the project once completed will add 450 million litres water daily.


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BMC to hand over cleaning to beaches to the ward offices

MUMBAI: With complaints of garbage and filth on city beaches increasing, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to take away beach cleanliness works from the solid waste management (SWM) department and allocate it to the civic ward offices.

Several beaches in the city, which are one of the major tourist attractions, are full of garbage slowing becoming into a night mare for the visitors.

Prakash Patil, deputy municipal commissioner (SWM), said, "The beach cleaning works will now be given to respective ward offices. The ward officials will also be given rights to take action against negligent contractors and fine them. They have also been asked to get the works done by using additional manpower at the contractor's cost."

There are nine chowpatties in the city - Girgaum, Juhu, Dadar, Gorai, Marve, Versova, Madh, Aksa and Manori. According to the people, the garbage that washes up on the beach contains several materials like plastic and industrial waste. Tourists visiting the beaches are also causing plenty of trash. Locals also say that the amount of garbage has increased significantly since last few months and is likely to increase more due to impending festivals like Ganeshotsav and Navratrotsav.

Last week, the BMC had organised beach cleanliness drives at some of the city beaches with the help of non-government organisations.

The decision to allocate beach cleanliness work to ward offices was taken a couple of days ago. The ward officials have been asked to visit chowpatties regularly and ensure beach cleanliness, said a civic official.


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'Fleet taxi more viable than driving a personal car'

Written By kom nampultig on Sabtu, 24 Agustus 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Fleetcab operator TabCab recently conducted a survey wherein it found that using a fleet taxi over private car was more "viable and economical."

Prasenjeet Bagchi of TabCab said, "There is a sizeable number of cars on-road that ply daily. With the steep fuel hikes, rising driver and interest costs in Mumbai, it is viable to use a fleetcab over using your own car." The city has a fleet of nearly 6,000 fleet taxis, with those from TabCab, Meru, Easy Cabs, Mega Cabs, Viira and Priyadarshini being popular.

Apart from the cost savings benefit there are also some very important benefits that a fleet cab offers: benefits over personal chauffer driven car, liberty to work and speak on phone during long travel times, no hassles of searching for a good driver, avoiding unwanted stress of long travel hours and avoiding neck, feet and spine related problems (as is the case for personally driven cars), he said.

A survey conducted by TabCab showed that the average spending for a personal chauffeur driven car was Rs 49,950 per month (26 days). In comparison, the cost was Rs 37,950 for a personally driven car. "If you book a fleet taxi, the costs will come to Rs 31,200 for 26 days," he said. It worked the costs on several factors including fuel costs, driver charges, maintenance of vehicle, insurance, parking, etc.

Bagchi further stated that fleet taxis were "safe and convenient." "Stress related to scratches and small dashes resulting in maintenance of an owned car is also frequent. Adding to this the parking charges are high," he pointed out.


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Western Railway rail block during midnight, no block on Sunday

MUMBAI: There will be no rail block on the Western Railway this Sunday. However, officials said that a jumbo block will be carried out from Saturday midnight.

Said WR chief spokesperson Sharat Chandrayan, "We have planned a rail block on the WR at the Mumbai Central main and yard premises. The block will be carried oput from 11.45 pm on Saturday to 4.15 am on Sunday. However, we have decided to operate our services as per the regular timetable on Sunday. So, there will be no inconvenience to commuters."

He further stated that a detailed information to this effect was available with the station masters on all platforms.


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Rail block on Harbour line on Sunday may delay services

MUMBAI: There will be a rail block on the up Harbour line between Kurla and CST and on the up and down Harbour lines between Vadala road and Mahim stations from 11.30 am to 3.30 pm on Sunday.

Officials said that the down Harbour line services to Bandra/Andheri leaving CST from 10.20 am to 4.04 pm and up Harbour line services towards CST leaving Bandra /Andheri from 10.40 am to 3.44 pm will remain suspended. The up Harbour line services towards CST leaving Kurla from 11.08 am to 3.20 pm will run via Main line between Kurla and CST. These trains will not halt at Currey Road and Chinchpokli stations, the officials stated.

The Harbour line passengers for Bandra/Andheri are permitted to travel Via Main line and Western Railway from 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday. All up and down Harbour line services leaving and arriving CST between 11 am and 5pm will arrive destination about 10 minutes behind schedule, the officials added.

"Due to these blocks suburban trains are likely to be more crowded than usual. Passengers are requested not to take any risks while traveling. They are also requested to avoid traveling on foot board, roof top of locals and not to board extremely over crowded trains,'' said CR spokesperson V Chandrasekar.


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RTO demands reply for suspension notice on driving school

MUMBAI : The Andheri RTO has sought reply from a driving school in Kandivli in connection with a suspension notice served to the latter for "threatening" officials recently.

Deputy RTO Bharat Kalaskar said, "A representative from the driving school along with some other driving school owners/tours had entered the regional transport officer P G Bhalerao's cabin few days back. They misbehaved with him and other officials, including myself. They shouted and threatened us to stop the new learner's licence system -- which is a transparent, corrupt free process to deliver licences within ten minutes flat."

Kalaskar said that following the incident, he lodged a complaint with the Amboli police station under section 353 (preventing government servant from executing his duty) and also issued show-cause notice for suspension. "We are awaiting a reply from the driving school,'' he stated.

The Andheri RTO plans to keep driving school owners, touts and agents at bay as it issues learner's licence through the new "streamlined" system. "The new system is not just corruption free, but provides a better ambience to citizens and also expedites the process of issuing new licences,'' Kalaskar added. Citizens too have welcomed the Andheri RTO initiative, which is the first of its kind in Maharashtra.


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Mumbai gang rape: Kin of accused claims he is minor, police disagree

MUMBAI: The family of the first accused arrested in the gang rape of a young photojournalist here today said he is a minor, a claim, if found true, could see him escape a stringent prison sentence and spend just three years at a correctional facility.

Sarnabai, grandmother of Chand Babu Sattar Shaikh alias Mohammed Abdul, who was arrested on Friday, has produced a certificate before the police which showed his date of birth as 26 February 1997.

The police, however, claim Chand was aged about 19 and dubbed it as attempt by his family to save him. They also claimed Chand had tampered with the document to escape stricter punishment under the anti-rape law which provides for imprisonment of not less than seven years and may extend up to life.

"He is a very good boy. He cannot do such a bad thing. He is only 16 years old. I have document to prove that and I will show it to the court," Sarnabai told reporters at her shanty at a Dhobi Talao slum.

She said Chand had left home at around 5.30pm on Thursday, the day of the incident, and when he returned home at 8pm, he was shivering because of fever.

Chand's neighbours, however, described him as a petty thief who took drugs and drank.

Police sources said Chand was involved in criminal cases earlier too and had some knowledge of law. They said he had tampered with the certificate to pass himself off as a minor to escape tough punishment.

Sources also said Chand might have told his grandmother to show the certificate to the police to mislead them about his age.

An ossification test would be conducted on the accused, who was today remanded in police custody by a magisterial court, to determine his age, they said.

About his grandmother claiming his innocence, police said Chand had confessed to the crime during interrogation.

The photojournalist, who worked as an intern with an English magazine, was gang-raped by five men on Thursday evening when she had gone to the deserted Shakti Mills compound in Lower Parel with a male colleague on assignment.


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Rape not the end of life, want to join duty, Mumbai gang-rape victim says

MUMBAI: "Rape is not the end of life. I want strictest punishment for all the accused and want to join duty as early as possible".

This is the message the young photojournalist has sent out from her hospital bed to people who feel outraged at her gangrape by five men at the abandoned Shakti Mills compound on Thursday evening.

"She is recuperating from her injuries and trauma. She is still not completely out of trauma but she is composed," said Nirmala Samant Prabhawalkar, a member of the National Commission for Women who met the 22-year-old gang-rape victim convalescing at Jaslok Hospital.

Reflecting the toughness and strength of character, the journalist, working as an intern with an English magazine, also wants to be back on duty.

"I want to join duty as early as possible," the victim , who was sexually assaulted while on an assignment, told Prabhawalkar.


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Mumbai gang-rape case: Accused to be tried in fast track court, police commissioner says

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 23 Agustus 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: City police commissioner Satya Pal Singh on Friday said the trial against the five accused, who gang-raped a photo journalist, will take place in a fast track court.

The girl, who was reportedly on an assignment for photoshoot at Shakti Mills near Lower Parel on Thursday, was raped by five youths. Her male friend was assaulted by the accused, who tied him to a tree.

"We have formed 20 teams to investigate the case. We will make a watertight case and it will be heard in a fast track court for faster justice," the city police chief said.

The police have so far arrested only one accused while the other four have been identified.

"The arrested accused has confessed to his crime. We will seek maximum punishment for the accused," he added.

According to the commissioner, the accused told the girl and her male colleague that they were on railway property where photography was not allowed.

Suspects first approached victim and her colleague to harass them.


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Mumbai gang-raped journalist undergoes surgery, stable

MUMBAI: The woman photojournalist who was brutally gang-raped on Thursday underwent surgery on Friday, said a spokesperson for the Jaslok Hospital where she was admitted.

The victim, who was gang-raped in the deserted Shakti Mills compound in Mahalaxmi late on Thursday, is able to speak though she is still in a state of mental shock.

"She has been under treatment since last night. She underwent a minor surgical procedure today (Friday) and now her condition has improved and stabilized. We expect a speedy recovery," the spokesperson told reporters here this evening.

The woman, working as an intern photojournalist with an English magazine, was attacked along with her male colleague when they were on a late evening assignment inside the sprawling Shakti Mills compound.

They were confronted by five people who allegedly first assaulted and tied up the male colleague, and later gang-raped the woman in thick undergrowth of the mill compound.

Police learnt of the incident after the duo reached the hospital where they were admitted for treatment last night.

Claiming to have cracked the case by nabbing one accused and having identified the other culprits, police commissioner Satyapal Singh said the others would be nabbed soon.

According to Singh, the accused are in their early 20s and live in the vicinity of the abandoned mill.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan announced that the state government will bear all the medical expenses of the victim and extend all possible help to her family.


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In Mumbai, gang-raped journalist undergoes surgery, stable

MUMBAI: The woman photojournalist who was brutally gang-raped on Thursday underwent surgery on Friday, said a spokesperson for the Jaslok Hospital where she was admitted.

The victim, who was gang-raped in the deserted Shakti Mills compound in Mahalaxmi late on Thursday, is able to speak though she is still in a state of mental shock.

"She has been under treatment since last night. She underwent a minor surgical procedure today (Friday) and now her condition has improved and stabilized. We expect a speedy recovery," the spokesperson told reporters here this evening.

The woman, working as an intern photojournalist with an English magazine, was attacked along with her male colleague when they were on a late evening assignment inside the sprawling Shakti Mills compound.

They were confronted by five people who allegedly first assaulted and tied up the male colleague, and later gang-raped the woman in thick undergrowth of the mill compound.

Police learnt of the incident after the duo reached the hospital where they were admitted for treatment last night.

Claiming to have cracked the case by nabbing one accused and having identified the other culprits, police commissioner Satyapal Singh said the others would be nabbed soon.

According to Singh, the accused are in their early 20s and live in the vicinity of the abandoned mill.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan announced that the state government will bear all the medical expenses of the victim and extend all possible help to her family.


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Citizens' groups express solidarity with Mumbai gang rape survivor

MUMBAI: The gang rape of a 22-year-old photojournalist from Mumbai has evoked strong reactions from citizens' groups across Mumbai which demanded an overhaul in the approach towards violence against women.

"The casual and insensitive approach to a range of crimes against women shown in local police stations, shoddy investigation and abysmal conviction rates have all contributed to the committing of frequent, brazen assaults on women," stated Mariam Dhawale on behalf of the All India Democratic Women's Association which expressed severe outrage at the latest incident in Shakti Mill compound on August 22. The women's group also underlined the need for protection and support to be extended to the survivor and her colleague who is the other key eyewitness of the crime.

Equally important was the group's appeal to Mumbaikars "to become involved in ensuring the security of women in general and demonstrating that there will be zero tolerance for lumpen and criminal behaviour against women and vulnerable sections of society."

Mediapersons poured out in solidarity with their colleague at a protest vigil at Flora Fountain on Friday afternoon.

""The incident is a grim reminder of the deteriorating state of safety for women across the country, as well as the lack of security for media professionals, especially women media professionals. The harassment of women professionals in the media is on the rise and, along with work-place related harassment, journalists also have had to contend with anti-women prejudices and biased reactions from employers as well as law enforcement officers,"" stated a release issued by The Network of Women in Media, India which extended support and solidarity to the journalists who were assaulted.

Pertinently, the NWMI also cautioned against the incident resulting in restrictions on women professionals. "The NWMI also urges media employers to desist from introducing restrictions on work assignments for women journalists and instead ensure the safety and security of their staff."

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) which represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries too expressed its shock at the incident. "We are shocked to learn of this incident which according to media commentary in India comes as part of an alarming upsurge in violence against women," said the IFJ Asia Pacific calling for the immediate arrest and prosecution of those behind this heinous crime and extending their support to India's journalists in their struggle for gender fairness and equity.


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Dabholkar killing probe heading in right direction: Patil

MUMBAI: The probe in the murder case of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar is heading in the right direction, Maharashtra home minister R R Patil said here on Friday.

"Investigation into the Dabholkar murder case is on the right track. The case will be cracked soon," Patil assured a delegation of journalists.

Till the investigation reaches logical end, concerned police personnel would not be given any other work, he said.

"Their only job till then will be to crack the case and nab the accused," he said.

Asked to specify a time frame within which the case would be cracked, Patil said, "Reasonable time should be given to the police. It will make no sense if they arrest one or two persons, who are of least importance."

Amid spontaneous public outrage and grief over 69-year-old Dabholkar's killing in Pune on Tuesday, the state government on Wednesday had cleared a proposal to promulgate an ordinance to check black magic and inhuman religious rituals.


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Govt to bring in amendment to regulate medical devices soon

MUMBAI: The government has decided to regulate medical devices, even as it plans to roll out free diagnostic services at public health centres soon.

At present, there are no specific guidelines specifying standards for medical devices.""An amendment in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act will be made soon to define and regulate medical devices", a senior health ministry official said here on Friday.

Till now medical devices are grouped as drugs. There are 14 medical devices like stents, catheters, heart valves and orthopaedic implants, intended for internal or external use in the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of disease or disorder"".

Medical device inspectors will be appointed to monitor the quality and standards of these devices, Shailendra Kumar director drugs, Union ministry of health , said here at an OPPI seminar.

Regarding rolling out free diagnostic services at public health centres, he said that the proposal is at initial stages right now. It will offer basic pathological tests, X-ray and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) at these centres.

Earlier the government had announced an ambitious free drug scheme under the universal health coverage, for which Rs 16,000 crore has been allocated as part of the 12th Five Year Plan. The scheme has not taken off as yet due to implementation issues. The government will ask states to procure medicines as part of the scheme, he added.


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Fire breaks out in Nariman Point highrise

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 22 Agustus 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A fire broke out at the 15th floor of a commercial highrise in Nariman Point on Wednesday evening. An entire office in the 17-storey Earnest House building at NCPA Marg was destroyed in the fire that lasted for nearly 45 minutes.

Fire brigade officials confirmed that there were no casualties as the office was empty when the fire started, around 8.30pm. Eight fire engines and six water tenders were pressed to douse the blaze. "We used only one hydrant to put out the fire. The office belongs to Nakoda Developers. No one was inside the office when the fire started," said a fire brigade official said.

While the building is for commercial use, its 16th and 17th floors are residential, said the official. Though there was panic after the fire broke out, the officials said that they brought the blaze under control before it could spread to any other part of the building.

In June this year, four people had died and at least nine were injured when a fire broke out in the back-end office of a bank in Andheri. The blaze that had erupted at the eight-storey IBL House in MIDC due to a short-circuit in an air-conditioner compressor, spewed thick smoke and quickly saturated the building, causing the fatalities. As for the Earnest House fire, the officials said it would be premature to comment on what could have started it.


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Misuse of night shelters irks Mira-Bhayander civic leaders, demands its shut down

MUMBAI: Following the suicide of a civil engineer and small time film producer in a municipal night shelter at Kashimira, civic leaders have demanded shutting down the shelters in the Mira-Bhayander region.

The body of Ashok Mewad (40), a resident of Gujarat, was found hanging from the ceiling of the shelter run by the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) on August 16. Questions were raised about how the shelter meant to house the homeless during the night hours was given to a film producer. Mewad was occupying the shelter for the past three months. Occupants of night shelters have to vacate the rooms in the mornings. The body of Mewad was found hanging from the ceiling of a room in the shelter in the afternoon, raising questions about the misuse of the shelters.

Nationalist Congress Party's leader of the house in the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) Bernard D'mello alleged that the night shelters were being misused. He said that the shelters should instead be used to house occupants of dangerous and dilapidated structures in the region. Residents of dangerous buildings refuse to vacate their premises for lack of alternative accommodations.

D'mello's concerns were echoed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader of the house Sharad Patil. Shiv Sena's house leader Neelam Dhawan said that the shelters should be made available for students looking for space to study and women in distress.

The MBMC has opened five night shelters in the region. The shelters are run by non-government organisations. Allegations of the shelters housing criminals and anti-social elements have been frequently made to the civic administration.

In 2010 the Supreme Court 010 had mandated setting up of year round night shelters while hearing a petition on urban malnourishment.


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MNS leader arrested for locking Manor rural hospital

MUMBAI: The Manor police arrested the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leaders for forcibly locking the rural health centre to protest against lack of doctors and medical staff last month.

The Manor unit of the MNS had on July 30 locked the Manor rural hospital after it was found that the health centre was running without a full-time doctor and trained medical staff.

The police arrested the district president Kundan Sankhe and eight activists for preventing government officials from performing their duties. They were released on bail by the Palgar sessions court.

The MNS activists alleged that patients were at the mercy of intern doctors. Pregnant women and children who were travelling from distant villages to the rural hospital were being turned away without treatment.

After the MNS protest, the state government had assigned a full-time doctor to the health centre.


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Mumbai: MNS leader arrested for locking Manor rural hospital

MUMBAI: The Manor police arrested the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leaders for forcibly locking the rural health centre to protest against lack of doctors and medical staff last month.

The Manor unit of the MNS had on July 30 locked the Manor rural hospital after it was found that the health centre was running without a full-time doctor and trained medical staff.

The police arrested the district president Kundan Sankhe and eight activists for preventing government officials from performing their duties. They were released on bail by the Palgar sessions court.

The MNS activists alleged that patients were at the mercy of intern doctors. Pregnant women and children who were travelling from distant villages to the rural hospital were being turned away without treatment.

After the MNS protest, the state government had assigned a full-time doctor to the health centre.


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Anti-bill forces responsible for Narendra Dabholkar's killing: CM

MUMBAI: Blaming opponents of the anti-superstition bill for the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has said organisations behind such acts should be be isolated and their activities stopped.

Amid spontaneous public outrage and grief over 69-year-old Dabholkar's killing in Pune on Tuesday, the state government on Wednesday had cleared a proposal to promulgate an ordinance to check black magic and inhuman religious rituals.

"The forces which did not want this Bill to be presented and passed into a law were the people responsible for silencing his voice," Chavan said.

"Those who targeted Dabholkar were not political organisations. This is ideological rift. People who carried out such assassinations, they are not political parties," he said.

"This organisation had earlier indulged in bomb making and terrorist activities," he said but added, "I am not saying specifically because I have no information as to who killed him."

"What I am trying to say is the organisation, similar organisations indulged in terrorism. Such organisations have to be identified, isolated and their activities have to be stopped," the chief minister said.

"It was a well planned and premeditated murder is what I am saying," he said.

"What has happened is most reprehensible. It brings a black name to the fair name of Maharashtra. The only thing we can do is to catch the culprits and the conspirators. The ideology which created such hatred...that they have silenced the voice," he said.

"What we are seeing is a fractured polity and special interest groups making unreasonable demands just to become popular, so that they play for the vote bank politics to expand their political space," he said.


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HC to hear PIL for water Vasai-Virar villages

MUMBAI: Bombay high court is slated to hear on Friday will hear a public interest litigation for direction to the State government to complete its scheme to supply water through pipelines to 69 villages in Vasai and Virar municipal areas.

A division bench of Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud and Justice Suresh Gupte will hear a petition filed by corporator Rajkumar Chorghe saying with the drought situation this year if water supply is not started immediately it will lead to an extreme situation where grave injury will be caused to life and property.''

His petition said following the January 15, 2008 government resolution issued by the Water Supply and Sanitation Department, work orders were issued to complete the Vasai-Virar sub regional water supply scheme within 18 months. The government sanctioned Rs 85.16 lakhs for the scheme and it was decided that 10 percent of this amount would borne by Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran to be recovered by way of tax. The petition said while work should have be completed by December 31, 2010 but companies executing the task sought extension of time. The petitioner states that in spite of this, the said companies have failed to complete the job of laying and connecting the pipe line for water supply,'' it said, adding that if water is available in dams it should be made available to the public.

Chorghe 's petition said since the last few years there is a huge increase in the population in the Vasai-Virar municipal corporation areas and also in the adjacent village which has resulted in a strain on the natural resources in the region. It added that in some areas the situation is so bad that women from villages have to walk miles to fetch water . On April 22, 2013 the court judges issued notice to the Pradhikaran to file its reply.


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Businessman faces trial over false evidence in Mumbai

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 21 Agustus 2013 | 22.23


MUMBAI: A metropolitan magistrate has ordered prosecution of a businessman for providing false evidence in the court in a cheating and fraud case.

The court said prima facie evidence exists to prosecute Rajesh Nair, former managing director of Sigrun Realties. Nair told the court that he was forced to sign consent terms with other directors of the company after he was accused of siphoning off company's funds of Rs 184 crore. One of the share holders, Shivani Attri, had filed a complaint in the Borivli court saying Nair's statement regarding him being forced to sign the consent terms was false.

The directors, in August 2011, filed a police case against Nair for misusing their investments for personal gains. Nair then moved the sessions court for anticipatory bail. It was granted on an assurance that he would pay Rs 49.68 crore, according to the consent terms signed and agreed by him and the directors in December 7, 2011. Nair paid around Rs 8.65 crore and then stopped, saying the directors forced him to sign the settlement.

This started a series of complaints and counter-complaints. Nair lodged a complaint saying the directors created a fake power of attorney and used it to sell apartments purchased by his family trust in Vasai. This was followed by another complaint, accusing the directors of threatening him. The four directors were arrested and subsequently released on bail.

Faiyaz Manglorkar, an associate of Nair, said in his affidavit, the consent terms were signed without any coercion, Attri told the court. Additional metropolitan magistrate P S Ghate directed the assistant registrar to submit a complaint before a proper court. "I have not been served a notice. I am not aware of this," Nair said.


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Leptospirosis claims 2 lives in 10 days

MUMBAI: After lying dormant for most of monsoon, leptospirosis claimed two lives over the last ten days. Hospital outpatient departments have also been witnessing a sudden surge in leptospirosis cases though civic records suggest that only five people have been infected with the bacterial disease this month.

As per official records, the situation is better than July, when 24 cases were reported.

The two leptospirosis deaths were reported at the civic-run Sion Hospital. The victims-an 18-year-old from Sakinaka and a 22-year-old from Dharavi, fell prey to the infection caused by exposure to water contaminated by animal urine. Internal bleeding turned the Sakinaka boy's case fatal.

Lately, the hospital has treated several cases where patients were affected by malaria as well as leptospirosis.

A senior physician from the hospital said, "Over the last two weeks, several patients tested positive for leptospirosis or malaria. Though the clinical features of both are classical individually, they can overlap at times." Most patients came with symptoms like fever with a dipping platelet count, the doctor said.

In the last 20 days, 765 confirmed malaria cases were reported from the city against 1,262 cases in July. A lull in the rains has meant lesser malaria cases, but fever cases still managed to affect over 4,678. Physician Dr Mayur Patel, who consults with the Saifee Hospital, said they are treating cases of malaria, but the manifestations are not very serious. "These are mild cases which can be managed with medication," he said.

Dengue has also halved this month with 33 cases being reported so far.

Gastroenteritis cases, too, seem to be decreasing compared to July when around 2604 cases were reported. This month, there have been 717 gastro cases, 72 jaundice cases and 117 typhoid cases. Both these ailments have affected 152-odd patients in the last month.

Cholera cases are also receding with 15 cases being reported this month as opposed to 44 in July.

Ailments--------JULY-----------AUGUST (till date)

Fever----------- 6264--------------4678

Malaria -------1262---------------765

Cholera -------44---------------------15

Gastro --------2604---------------717

H1N1 ----------02----------------02

Dengue------- 66--------------------33

Lepto ----------24-----------------05

Hepatitis --------152------------------72

Typhoid ---------152-----------------117

Chikungunya----- 06------------------00


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Mumbai: Leptospirosis claims 2 lives in 10 days

MUMBAI: After lying dormant for most of monsoon, leptospirosis claimed two lives over the last ten days. Hospital outpatient departments have also been witnessing a sudden surge in leptospirosis cases though civic records suggest that only five people have been infected with the bacterial disease this month.

As per official records, the situation is better than July, when 24 cases were reported.

The two leptospirosis deaths were reported at the civic-run Sion Hospital. The victims-an 18-year-old from Sakinaka and a 22-year-old from Dharavi, fell prey to the infection caused by exposure to water contaminated by animal urine. Internal bleeding turned the Sakinaka boy's case fatal.

Lately, the hospital has treated several cases where patients were affected by malaria as well as leptospirosis.

A senior physician from the hospital said, "Over the last two weeks, several patients tested positive for leptospirosis or malaria. Though the clinical features of both are classical individually, they can overlap at times." Most patients came with symptoms like fever with a dipping platelet count, the doctor said.

In the last 20 days, 765 confirmed malaria cases were reported from the city against 1,262 cases in July. A lull in the rains has meant lesser malaria cases, but fever cases still managed to affect over 4,678. Physician Dr Mayur Patel, who consults with the Saifee Hospital, said they are treating cases of malaria, but the manifestations are not very serious. "These are mild cases which can be managed with medication," he said.

Dengue has also halved this month with 33 cases being reported so far.

Gastroenteritis cases, too, seem to be decreasing compared to July when around 2604 cases were reported. This month, there have been 717 gastro cases, 72 jaundice cases and 117 typhoid cases. Both these ailments have affected 152-odd patients in the last month.

Cholera cases are also receding with 15 cases being reported this month as opposed to 44 in July.

Ailments--------JULY-----------AUGUST (till date)

Fever----------- 6264--------------4678

Malaria -------1262---------------765

Cholera -------44---------------------15

Gastro --------2604---------------717

H1N1 ----------02----------------02

Dengue------- 66--------------------33

Lepto ----------24-----------------05

Hepatitis --------152------------------72

Typhoid ---------152-----------------117

Chikungunya----- 06------------------00


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Mumbai: HC nixes auto union’s 3-day strike plan

MUMBAI: Faced with the possibility of an injunction from the Bombay high court over its proposed 3-day auto strike from August 22 for a fare hike, the Sharad Rao-led Mumbai Autorickshawmen's Union beat a hasty retreat on Tuesday and withdrew its plans.

A division bench of Justices Dhananjay Chandrachud and S C Gupte expressed its dissatisfaction with the way the union had given the call even as the HC was to hear a PIL on fare hike. "Such an attempt is akin to showing distrust in the judicial system," the judges said, adding if anyone tried to take the law into their own hands, the HC would not hesitate to step in to uphold the dignity of the law.

The judges said it would have been easier for the union to move the court in case of any grievances. Even as the high court was dictating its injunction order, the auto union's counsel E P Bharucha informed it that the MAU had decided to withdraw its strike call.

"The call for strike when the matter was subjudice was noting but criminal contempt, said advocate Uday Warunjikar, counsel for the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, which had filed the PIL as well as an application against the strike. During the hearing, advocate general Darius Khambata told the court that the state had geared up to tackle the strike. "We will invoke the provisions of the essential commodities law and even pass a rule under the Motor Vehicles act to allow private vehicles to carry commuters," said the advocate general. Khambata further said that the state had held discussions with BEST traffic police and state transport to press into service extra buses and make appropriate traffic arrangements if the union went ahead with the strike. The state said that it would hold a meeting with the unions and consumer organisations on the issue of fare hike and other grievances.

At a media conference later on Tuesday evening, union leader Sharad Rao said he will not go ahead with the three-day auto strike from August 22 to 24, but clarified that he has "not withdrawn his list of demands which includes a fare hike of Rs 2 (from Rs 15 to Rs 17) on minimum fare."

"We have decided to defer our agitation/strike and will decide on the future course of action at a latter date," he said. He stated that the union will continue to fight for the same list of demands, which also includes opposing the 16-year-old rule for phasing out autos and demanding more permits for existing badge holders.

"Principal Secretary (transport) Shailesh Sharma has called us for talks on Wednesday and we will submit our list of demands to him," he said. He alleged that chief minister Prithviraj Chavan was "favouring" some of his rival unions, such as the one led by Thampy Kurien, and turning a blind eye to his union's demands. "Kurien's union has hardly 100 members, when our union represents more than 69,000 auto drivers in Mumbai region," he alleged.

He further stated that his union had previously declared an agitation/strike in June this year, but subsequently withdrawn the call after state transport ministry assured to look into his demands. "But it was just an eyewash and they failed to fulfill our demands,'' he alleged, holding the CM responsible.

Kurien said that the CM has agreed to look into the demands of auto drivers and Rao was making "baseless allegations".


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New law to regulate private colleges in Maharashtra

MUMBAI: Nearly a decade after the Supreme Court verdict, the Congress-NCP government is all set to bring in a comprehensive legislation to regulate admissions and fees in private medical and engineering colleges from the 2013-14 academic session.

In the P A Inamdar case, the SC had observed that the state government can regulate admissions and the fee structure of private professional institutions to prevent profiteering, ensure merit-based admissions, transparency and also ensure students are not exploited.

"We have drafted the new law keeping in mind the views expressed by the SC. We expect to place the draft Act before cabinet as early as possible and a comprehensive bill will be introduced during the winter session of the state legislature," a senior bureaucrat told TOI on Tuesday.

Medical education minister Vijay Kumar Gavit, too, confirmed that the government will soon bring in a law to regulate admissions and fee structure in private professional educational institutions.

Elaborating on the new proposal, the bureaucrat said, it has been proposed to set up a seven member regulatory authority headed by an official of the rank of principal secretary or former vice-chancellor of a state or central university. It will be binding on all private professional educational institution to furnish specific information on fee structure and on the basis of such information the authority shall declare minimum fee structure for every academic year.

The authority shall ensure that the process of admission to any course in any private educational institution is conducted in a fair and transparent manner and if it found that the admission has been done in violation of law then such admission shall be cancelled.

On admission, allocation of seats and fee process, it has been proposed that every private professional educational institution shall ensure that at least 75 per cent of the candidates admitted to each professional course, excluding foreign and NRIs, are domiciled in the state of Maharashtra. All admissions shall be granted only on the basis of the inter se merit determined by a common entrance test conducted by the government or by an authority appointed by it and the admission process shall be centralised.

Violation of the Act or rules will attract a maximum punishment of imprisonment which may extend to three years and a fine of not less than Rs 20 lakh, which may extend to Rs one crore.


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BJP against screening of 'Madras Cafe' in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Opposing screening of 'Madras Cafe', in Mumbai for allegedly portraying the outlawed LTTE in bad light, the BJP on Wednesday warned that its activists would take to streets if the film was screened.

"The film with John Abraham in leading role, has a negative portrayal of LTTE chief V Prabhakaran. The movie deals with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination and mentions Tamil organisations as terror outfits," Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar said here.

Tamil organisations have opposed the movie and have called for a countrywide ban on it, he said.

"Several Tamil brethren live in Mumbai as it is the country's financial capital. Many organisations have registered their opposition to the film, with the BJP. It is felt that there will be social discord if the film is allowed to be shown here," Shelar said.

If the state government fails to stop the screening of the film, BJP workers would take to streets and protest at the cinema halls, he said.

'Madras Cafe', directed by Shoojit Sircar, is a spy thriller set in the early 1990s amid the civil war between the Tamil tigers and Sri Lankan regime and is set for release on August 23.


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​Train mugging case: Cops grill 28 men but culprit at large

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 20 Agustus 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A day after an American national was mugged on a running Western Railway local, Government Railway Police (GRP) rounded up 28 suspects for interrogation but failed to make any breakthrough. The police also released an identity sketch that has "90% resemblance" to the culprit (see pic inset). A massive combing operation has been launched in slum colonies next to stations as cops suspect the accused could be a drug addict staying there.

The victim, Michelle Marks, works with an NGO and is in India on a five-year visa. She has been living in Goregaon with her brother and four other co-workers from the NGO since 16 months. Around 4.30 pm on Sunday, the accused slashed her with a blade inside a first-class compartment when she refused to part with her iPhone worth Rs 30,000.

CCTVs at Marine Lines station, where the accused boarded, and Charni Road, where he got off, have drawn a blank. "The spots were not covered by cameras. We cannot deny the possibility that he may have known that these are blind spots. The modus operandi used by him, especially concealing a blade in his fingernails, is reminiscent of that used by pickpockets," said an official.

The GRP showed photos of habitual mobile thieves to the victim but she replied that none matched her attacker. CCTV footage will now be shown to her. "The victim is in shock and we won't be calling her to the police station. Our staff will visit her home to make inquiries." Meanwhile, Marks' family has brought the incident to the notice of the American consulate. GRP, too, sent a report to the consulate.

Four teams of the railway crime branch and two from Churchgate GRP have been put on the job. Crime branch help has also been sought. "The stolen iPhone has been switched off so we haven't been able to trace it. The sketch has been circulated at all railway police stations and will be pasted at all public places. We have also alerted vendors and boot polishwalas," said ACP Pradeep Bijwe. The incident took place in just three minutes.


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​Probe finds cop sought bribe from kin of oil-attack accused

MUMBAI: A departmental probe has found a policeman guilty of extorting money from the family of a youth accused of throwing hot oil on a woman's face.

The family of Ajit Talreja (26), who threw hot oil on a 21-year-old nurse last month, had complained that constable Ram Patil demanded Rs 60,000 not to harass them. Ajit threw hot oil on Neetu Jaisinghani on July 27 for refusing his marriage proposal and was absconding till August 5. On July 31, Ajit's father Narimal Talreja gave a written complaint to the Central police station, Ulhasnagar, and deputy commissioner of police Ulhasnagar region, claiming he was forced to pay Rs 60,000 to the police to shield his family from harassment during investigations.

The family said while it cooperated with investigations from the start, Patil reportedly harassed them on the pretext of asking about Ajit's whereabouts. In his complaint, Narimal alleged that Patil approached them through an intermediary, Shyam Jethani, and demanded money the day after the incident. When they refused to pay, Ajit's three brothers were repeatedly called to the police station. Narimal then paid the money through Jethani, but claimed police continued to harass them. Sources said Jethani admitted to receiving money for Patil. ACP Dilip Nalawade, who conducted the probe, said, "The probe found Patil's involvement in accepting money. We have recommended action against him."


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​Dadar GRP constable suspended for extorting money from techie

MUMBAI: The GRP commissioner suspended a Dadar railway constable on Monday, a day after TOI reported how cops extorted money from a software professional. The constable, A B Khillare, and two of his colleagues took Rs 7,000 from Sumant Pradhan, after checking his luggage and phone on Sunday, saying it was illegal for him to have an adult clip on his phone. But they returned the cash on spotting a TV news crew.

A law student shot a video of the cops talking to Pradhan and handed it over to senior cops on Monday. "We went through the videos before deciding to suspend Khillare, pending an enquiry. A probe will also be conducted into the possible involvement of other GRP personnel at the Dadar outpost and the senior inspector," commissioner Prabhat Kumar told TOI. Sources said the video does not show the cops accepting the money, which might aid their defence. "Stringent action will be taken against any policeman found involved in corruption," said T S Bhal, additional-director general, GRP.

Pradhan, a Pune resident, did not register an FIR as he wasn't aware of the procedure. Senior officials said he should have at least submitted a written application to the police station as it would have made the case against the cops stronger.

Pradhan, 30, reached Mumbai on Sunday by Hyderabad Express, with his brother and a friend. At Dadar East, when he asked a cop for directions, he was led to a police desk. His luggage and phone were checked by Khillare. Khillare told Pradhan he could be fined Rs 1 lakh or jailed for 10 years for an adult clip on his phone and asked for Rs 30,000. Pradgave him Rs 7,000. But when a passing news crew asked Khillare what charges were being applied against Pradhan, he returned the money.


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​Girl population falls across Mumbai, experts blame sex selection

MUMBAI: The city has undergone a sea change in recent years but its societal attitudes have stubbornly stayed the same. A ward-level analysis of the latest Census data reveals that 20 of Mumbai's 24 municipal wards experienced a decline in child sex ratio since 2001.

The Worli-Prabhadevi region, where traditional chawls gave way to skyscrapers, recorded the highest drop in child sex ratio in a decade. For every 1,000 boys, it had 931 girls in 2001 but just 899 in 2011. The picture remained dismal all around. In south Mumbai's Dongri-Umarkhadi stretch, where considerable redevelopment took place, the ratio fell by 28 points to 907 girls per 1,000 boys.

At the neighbourhood level, the swish Chowpatty went through the biggest shift. It had a ratio of 987 girls to 1,000 boys in 2001, which shrank by a troubling 178 points to 809 girls in 2011. Gorai in the western suburbs and Kurla in the eastern suburbs were the other pockets with ratios lower than 850 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011.

Child sex ratio is the number of girls for every 1,000 boys in the 0-6 age group. A skewed ratio tells of the deficit of girls in a given population. The gender imbalance of the kind visible in Mumbai is usually caused by sex-selective abortions, migration, under-reporting of births of one sex, or differential mortality between the sexes.

"Our work shows there isn't much of differential mortality between girls and boys in Mumbai. Births normally take place in hospitals and are therefore recorded. In the absence of these two factors, sex-selective abortions are usually to blame," said A L Sharada of voluntary organization Population First, which runs the girl child campaign Laadli.

"Mumbai is a city with high visibility of girls. They are seen to be successful in different sectors. It is then worrying that the city is still so patriarchal and reflects a bias against the girl child," noted Sharada.

Sex-selective abortions are illegal under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, and attract imprisonment of up to three years or a fine up to Rs 10,000. But the law is poorly implemented.

"The municipal corporation is least concerned about the girl child and has no plans for implementation of the law," said lawyer and girl child activist Varsha Deshpande. She pointed out that not more than six cases have been registered under the Act in the past 19 years and only one has resulted in conviction.

Deshpande estimated that Mumbai has over 2,500 sonography machines but no effective mechanism to monitor their misuse. The state government launched an online platform (amchimulgi.in) for lodging complaints against sex-selective practices, but received little response.

P Arokiasamy of the International Institute for Population Sciences said the Census findings are in keeping with national trends. "In most parts of India, sex-selective practices are more common among the more educated and richer families, which have the knowledge and the resources to discreetly carry out the practice."

Activists said the meagre monitoring in recent years has driven several sex-selective abortion clinics underground or forced couples to go overseas. Arokiasamy offered another possible explanation: "In smaller families, even in the absence of sex selection, couples may stop having children after a boy. This could cause an imbalance."


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Riches to rags: Ex-editor Sunita Naik offered shelter by Mumbai couple

MUMBAI: Sixty-five-year-old Sunita Naik, former editor of Marathi magazine 'Grihalaxmi', who was living on the pavement outside a local gurdwara here for the past two months, has been offered shelter by a couple.

"I no longer live on the footpath, outside the gurdwara. I have found shelter with the couple - Gregory and Christine Misquitta - at their Vile Parle home," Naik told PTI.

The Misquitas learnt about her plight from media reports and offered help, after being informed that she was staying at Versova outside the Aram Nagar Gurdwara for the last two months.

"I am happy here," she said. The couple brought her home along with her Pomeranian dog, her constant companion for the past 12 years.

It is difficult to gauge from her present state that she was once a rich and independent woman who owned two apartments in Worli and a bungalow in Pune.

"I once had over Rs 50 lakh in my account. I don't know where it all went. I suspect one of my employees usurped my money," she said.


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Riches to rags: Ex-editor offered shelter by Mumbai couple

MUMBAI: Sixty-five-year-old Sunita Naik, former editor of Marathi magazine 'Grihalaxmi', who was living on the pavement outside a local gurdwara here for the past two months, has been offered shelter by a couple.

"I no longer live on the footpath, outside the gurdwara. I have found shelter with the couple - Gregory and Christine Misquitta - at their Vile Parle home," Naik told PTI.

The Misquitas learnt about her plight from media reports and offered help, after being informed that she was staying at Versova outside the Aram Nagar Gurdwara for the last two months.

"I am happy here," she said. The couple brought her home along with her Pomeranian dog, her constant companion for the past 12 years.

It is difficult to gauge from her present state that she was once a rich and independent woman who owned two apartments in Worli and a bungalow in Pune.

"I once had over Rs 50 lakh in my account. I don't know where it all went. I suspect one of my employees usurped my money," she said.


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Cancer patients forced to camp in Mumbai street

Written By kom nampultig on Minggu, 18 Agustus 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: With just a patchwork of colourful plastic sheets to shield patients from the heavy monsoon rains, a Mumbai street acts as an unofficial ward to one of India's top cancer treatment centres.

Every year, the Tata Memorial Hospital draws tens of thousands of cancer sufferers thanks to its heavily subsidized medical care. But the city's steep hotel and rental prices force scores to sleep on nearby pavements.

"There's rats, mosquitoes and dirt," said farmer Suresh Patidar, who stays with his wife Leela, 55, as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer.

"We tried to settle on the other side of the street but the police didn't allow it.

"A hotel is very costly. It's impossible," he said.

With their home in the central state of Madhya Pradesh at least 12 hours away by train, the Patidars' cheapest option has been to sleep on the roadside for the past month, despite the regular torrential downpours.

The bandages and surgical masks worn by others on the street betray their common suffering.

The Tata centre offers some free or cheap rooms around the city to poor outpatients, and more are being added, but numbers are difficult to manage as cancer cases increase.

"There will always be more people," said hospital spokesman S H Jafri. "Many NGOs give them food and things on the footpath, so because of that they tend to stay there."

The pavements have offered such patients and their families a temporary home for years, but there are signs that local residents are growing impatient over their sick neighbours.

At the nearby police station, senior inspector Sunil Tondwalkar said he had written to Mumbai's municipal authorities asking them to move the sick street-dwellers to more suitable lodgings.

Locals have complained they are blocking the pathways, and that "they're eating and going to the toilet on the footpath and the streets. It's not hygienic," Tondwalkar said.

He also wants the streets cleared because he says hospitals can be a "soft target for terrorists", while "anti-social elements", such as thieves or beggars, can infiltrate the patients.

Despite their uncomfortable lodgings, the families for now have little alternative.

Few hospitals offer the range of cancer care and cheap costs of the Tata centre, where 60 percent of about 50,000 yearly patients are subsidised and 14 percent are treated for free, according to Jafri.

Those on the street said they were contributing to their medical costs, and had sold their land or livestock to help fund their treatment. "People living on the streets are people who earn daily, eat daily, so they aren't people with long-term savings," said H K Savla, founder of the Jeevan Jyot Cancer Relief and Care Trust.

His charity feeds 600 patients and their families in Mumbai twice a day, and he said 150 to 200 people were usually camped outside the Tata hospital.

"They have to save whatever they have to manage their treatment," he explained. A hotel is an extra cost that could be more effectively spent.

Now a government-run centre, the Tata hospital began life in 1941 as a philanthropic venture by the industrialist Tata family after a relative died of cancer, despite going to Britain for expensive treatment.

"They said, what about the poor patients in India? So they started this," said Jafri.

The need for such services is only set to grow in the huge nation, where more than half a million people died of cancer in 2010, according to a study published in The Lancet medical journal last year.

Pankaj Chaturvedi, a professor and a head and neck surgeon at the Tata hospital, said cancer is a rising blight as society becomes more affluent.

While breast and cervical cancers are the most common among women, lung and mouth cancers are the biggest killers for men owing to the widespread use of tobacco -- especially chewing tobacco -- across the country.

"Increasing tobacco and alcohol use, unsafe food and lack of exercise -- these are the four factors that lead to an increase in non-communicable diseases of which cancer is a top one," he said.

On top of these factors, improvements in medical science mean people are living longer, and "the longer you live, the higher the chance of cancer".

For some however, it still strikes early.

Ponmuth Rajaram Haridas, 22, has been camping outside the Tata centre for four months with his parents while he is treated for blood cancer, having sold off all the sheep on their farm and taken out a loan.

On doctors' orders that he eats home-cooked food, his small and spritely mother makes him simple meals of rice, dahl and vegetables on a tiny stove in a corner of their makeshift tent.

Speaking through a surgical mask to keep out the germs, he said he hopes to return to their village in another couple of months after he finishes two more sessions of chemotherapy.

"I can't get to sleep here. The atmosphere is much better at home," he said.


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Cancer patients forced to camp on Mumbai street

MUMBAI: With just a patchwork of colourful plastic sheets to shield patients from the heavy monsoon rains, a Mumbai street acts as an unofficial ward to one of India's top cancer treatment centres.

Every year, the Tata Memorial Hospital draws tens of thousands of cancer sufferers thanks to its heavily subsidized medical care. But the city's steep hotel and rental prices force scores to sleep on nearby pavements.

"There's rats, mosquitoes and dirt," said farmer Suresh Patidar, who stays with his wife Leela, 55, as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer.

"We tried to settle on the other side of the street but the police didn't allow it.

"A hotel is very costly. It's impossible," he said.

With their home in the central state of Madhya Pradesh at least 12 hours away by train, the Patidars' cheapest option has been to sleep on the roadside for the past month, despite the regular torrential downpours.

The bandages and surgical masks worn by others on the street betray their common suffering.

The Tata centre offers some free or cheap rooms around the city to poor outpatients, and more are being added, but numbers are difficult to manage as cancer cases increase.

"There will always be more people," said hospital spokesman S H Jafri. "Many NGOs give them food and things on the footpath, so because of that they tend to stay there."

The pavements have offered such patients and their families a temporary home for years, but there are signs that local residents are growing impatient over their sick neighbours.

At the nearby police station, senior inspector Sunil Tondwalkar said he had written to Mumbai's municipal authorities asking them to move the sick street-dwellers to more suitable lodgings.

Locals have complained they are blocking the pathways, and that "they're eating and going to the toilet on the footpath and the streets. It's not hygienic," Tondwalkar said.

He also wants the streets cleared because he says hospitals can be a "soft target for terrorists", while "anti-social elements", such as thieves or beggars, can infiltrate the patients.

Despite their uncomfortable lodgings, the families for now have little alternative.

Few hospitals offer the range of cancer care and cheap costs of the Tata centre, where 60 percent of about 50,000 yearly patients are subsidised and 14 percent are treated for free, according to Jafri.

Those on the street said they were contributing to their medical costs, and had sold their land or livestock to help fund their treatment. "People living on the streets are people who earn daily, eat daily, so they aren't people with long-term savings," said H K Savla, founder of the Jeevan Jyot Cancer Relief and Care Trust.

His charity feeds 600 patients and their families in Mumbai twice a day, and he said 150 to 200 people were usually camped outside the Tata hospital.

"They have to save whatever they have to manage their treatment," he explained. A hotel is an extra cost that could be more effectively spent.

Now a government-run centre, the Tata hospital began life in 1941 as a philanthropic venture by the industrialist Tata family after a relative died of cancer, despite going to Britain for expensive treatment.

"They said, what about the poor patients in India? So they started this," said Jafri.

The need for such services is only set to grow in the huge nation, where more than half a million people died of cancer in 2010, according to a study published in The Lancet medical journal last year.

Pankaj Chaturvedi, a professor and a head and neck surgeon at the Tata hospital, said cancer is a rising blight as society becomes more affluent.

While breast and cervical cancers are the most common among women, lung and mouth cancers are the biggest killers for men owing to the widespread use of tobacco -- especially chewing tobacco -- across the country.

"Increasing tobacco and alcohol use, unsafe food and lack of exercise -- these are the four factors that lead to an increase in non-communicable diseases of which cancer is a top one," he said.

On top of these factors, improvements in medical science mean people are living longer, and "the longer you live, the higher the chance of cancer".

For some however, it still strikes early.

Ponmuth Rajaram Haridas, 22, has been camping outside the Tata centre for four months with his parents while he is treated for blood cancer, having sold off all the sheep on their farm and taken out a loan.

On doctors' orders that he eats home-cooked food, his small and spritely mother makes him simple meals of rice, dahl and vegetables on a tiny stove in a corner of their makeshift tent.

Speaking through a surgical mask to keep out the germs, he said he hopes to return to their village in another couple of months after he finishes two more sessions of chemotherapy.

"I can't get to sleep here. The atmosphere is much better at home," he said.


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