Ram Rahim sentenced to life imprisonment

Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh three others awarded life imprisonment sentencing

Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim and three others have been sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing of journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati. The special CBI court in Panchkula pronounced the quantum of sentence on Thursday. A fine of Rs 50,000 each has also been imposed by the Court.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

The court had found them guilty of murder and conspiracy on January 11 and convicted them under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The case dates back to 2002 when the journalist was murdered in Sirsa city in Haryana after he ran a story in his newspaper, ‘Poora Sach’, about the alleged sexual exploitation of women by the Dera chief.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh sentencing HIGHLIGHT: The case dates back to 2002 when the journalist was murdered in Sirsa city in Haryana after he ran a story in his newspaper, ‘Poora Sach’, about the alleged sexual exploitation of women by the Dera chief. 

The CBI has allowed Ram Rahim, who is currently serving a 20-year term in connection with another case, to appear for the hearing via video-conferencing. The state had sought permission for the same as a precautionary measure, citing the violence that broke out after his conviction in 2017. The other three convicts, Krishan Lal, Kuldeep Singh and Nirmal Singh, will appear before court.

This is the triumph of truth, says son of the murdered journalist

This is the triumph of truth, I feel relieved today. The prosecution had demanded capital punishment but we’re satisfied with the punishment, said Journalist  Ramchandra Chhatarpati’s son Anshul on court pronouncing the quantum of sentence to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

 Ram Rahim
Ram Rahim

Fine of Rs 50,000 imposed on all four convicts

The Special CBI Court in Panchkula also imposed a fine of Rs 50, 000 each on all the convicts.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

Former driver, a prime witness in murder case of journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati

Khatta singh, the former driver of the rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was a prime CBI witness in the murder case of journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati. Khatta Singh’s statement proved crucial in nailing Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

Recalling the sequence of events Khatta Singh said, “On October 23, 2002, Gurmeet Ram Rahim returned after attending a gathering of his followers in Jalandhar when then Dera manager, Krishan Lal, showed him the newspaper ‘Poora Sach’. The paper, owned by Ram Chander Chhatarpati, carried a report accusing Gurmeet Ram Rahim of sexually exploiting women at the Dera. Kuldeep Singh and Nirmal Singh were also with Krishan Lal. Gurmreet Ram Rahim lost his cool and ordered to ‘silence the voice of the man’ behind the newspaper. Next day, on October 24, 2002, I received a call from my house that the journalist had been shot at”.

What the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim means for the Dera and politics in the region

Already undergoing a 20-year sentence on rape charges, Friday’s conviction on murder and criminal conspiracy charges have come as a severe blow to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The maximum sentence that can be given to the Dera chief, in this case, is death and the minimum, life imprisonment. He will be able to avail the legal remedy of challenging the verdict in higher courts of law.

Until August 2017 when he was first convicted on rape charges, the Dera chief had immense clout in the region’s political circles. Neither BJP, nor Congress could afford to antagonise the Dera’s lakhs of followers, seen as a “consolidated vote bank” by politicians.

Life of gurmeet ram rahim singh
Life of gurmeet ram rahim singh

Dozens of top leaders from both the parties used to visit Dera, seeking the chief’s “blessings”, read support, especially when elections were approaching.

In Punjab, the Dera supported the Congress in the 2007 Assembly polls. In 2012, however, it chose to remain neutral, and followers were left to decide on their own. In the 2014 Haryana Assembly elections, however, the Dera came out in full support of the BJP, which came to power with an absolute majority in Haryana for the first time, winning 47 seats in the 90-member Vidhan Sabha.

In the 2017 Assembly elections in Punjab, the Dera supported the BJP-Akali alliance. The Dera chief’s son is married to a Congress leader and former MLA in Punjab, Harminder Singh Jassi.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s conviction on rape charges
Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s conviction on rape charges

After Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s conviction on rape charges, his family decided not to appoint any successor. After an initial phase of turmoil, normalcy returned to the Dera’s headquarters in Sirsa. The Dera has got back to its routine satsangs and weekly congregations. However, the numbers of followers have reduced.

A majority of the Dera’s followers are Dalits and from the backward castes. With Lok Sabha polls due in a few months and Assembly polls in Haryana following soon afterwards, it remains to be seen how political parties approach this vote bank.

–  Microstat/ New Delhi/ Panchkula /January 17, 2019

Death of Vajpayee end of an era: PM

Death of Vajpayee end of an era; it’s a personal loss for me: PM Narendra Modi 

Death of Vajpayee; Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the passing away of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee marks the end of an era and termed it as a “personal and irreplaceable” loss for him.

He said the BJP patriarch lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades while noting that it was Vajpayee’s exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century.

VAJPAYEEVajpayee died at the AIIMS hospital here this evening at the age of 93 following prolonged illness.

“Atal Ji’s passing away is a personal and irreplaceable loss for me. I have countless fond memories with him. He was an inspiration to Karyakartas like me. I will particularly remember his sharp intellect and outstanding wit.

“It was Atal Ji’s exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century. His futuristic policies across various sectors touched the lives of each and every citizen of India,” Modi tweeted.

He said it was due to Vajpayee’s perseverance and struggles that the BJP was built brick by brick.

“He travelled across the length and breadth of India to spread the BJP’s message, which led to the BJP becoming a strong force in our national polity and in several states,” he said. Modi said India grieves the demise of Vajpayee.

“Atal Ji’s passing away is a personal and irreplaceable loss for me. I have countless fond memories with him. He was an inspiration to Karyakartas like me. I will particularly remember his sharp intellect and outstanding wit. “It was Atal Ji’s exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century. His futuristic policies across various sectors touched the lives of each and every citizen of India,” Modi tweeted.

“My thoughts are with his family, BJP Karyakartas and millions of admirers in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti,” he added.

-PTI |16 August 2018 | New Delhi

Sukma ambush: Death toll in Maoist attack rises to 12

Sukma ambush: Death toll in Maoist attack on CRPF rises to 12, Rajnath Singh to visit site

Sukuma ambush

Twelve CRPF personnel were on Saturday killed and their arms looted when Naxals ambushed their patrol party in the Maoist hotbed of Sukma in Chhattisgarh.

Four personnel were also injured in the Naxal attack and two of them were stated to be critical.

The incident occurred in the dense forests near Kottacheru village under Bhejji police station, around 450 kms away from the state capital, at 9:15 amwhen 112 personnel of CRPF’s 219th battalion were out for a road opening task.

 The Bhejji area in south Bastar region of the state is notorious for Naxal attacks and many security personnel have been killed here in the past.

The Naxals also looted ten weapons like INSAS and AK series assault rifles and two radio sets from the killed men, officials said.

“The troops were part of the road clearing party that has been securing an under-construction road between Bhejji and Kottacheru. They were ambushed by Naxals who set off multiple hidden IEDs on the ground and opened fire. The squad effectively retaliated before twelve made the supreme sacrifice,” acting CRPF DG Sudeep Lakhtakia said.

He added that Maoists are trying to disrupt normal life and activities in this area as the Central Reserve Police Force has increased its presence here and got re-opened a local ‘haat’ (market) last year here after it was forcibly shut by the red ultras.

FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the situation and spoke to Home MinisterRajnath Singh who will be travelling to Sukma.
  • Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has strongly condemned the Maoist attack and described it as a “cowardly act”.
  • Security personnel have laid down their lives to free Bastar from violence and Maoist terror. Their sacrifice will not go in vain. “I salute their sacrifice,” the CM said, adding ultras were frustrated with development of road network in the region.
  • He also extended condolences to the bereaved families.
  • The CRPF chief and senior officials are also rushing to Raipur.
  • A senior Chhattisgarh official said that the road opening party was passing through the forests between Bhejji and Kottacheru villages when Naxals opened indiscriminate fire on them.
  • According to a CRPF official, summer season is regarded as an offensive period by rebels as they observe annual ‘tactical counter offensive campaign’ (TCOC).
  • The dry weather is a favourable period for carrying out ambushes in the vast jungle terrain and this attack would have been planned by Maoists led by hardcore naxal cadre Hidma who is active in southern part of Bastar, the paramilitary official added.
  • However, further investigation would reveal the details, he added.
  • The injured have been air lifted and brought to the CRPF field hospital in Bheji and few others have been transferred to Raipur.
  • A special counter-Naxal teamof CoBRA has been rushed to the ambush spot as reinforcement to sanitise the area and launch a search.
  • Another senior CRPF officer said the ambush site has very weak mobile phone connectivity and communication is being done through satellite phones.
  • “It is estimated that a hundred plus Maoist squad was present in the area when the ambush was launched. These are preliminary inputs. More details are awaited,” the officer said.

-Saturday, March 11, 2017 | PTI | Raipur

 

BJP wins municipal corporation elections in Faridabad

Faridabad municipal corporation elections results: BJP creates history, wins 30 out of 40 seats

Faridabad municipal corporation elections results: BJP creates history, wins 30 out of 40 seats

Registering yet another victory in local body elections, BJP has bagged 30 out of 40 seats in Faridabad municipal corporation elections.

Creating history, BJP won 30 out of 40 seats with 10 going to independent candidates.

Win a people’s approval of demonetisation

Projecting BJPs win in Faridabad local polls as a victory of the party’s “pro-development” ideology, its president Amit Shah said it was yet another evidence of people’s approval of demonetisation as the party has won polls across states since the decision was taken.

‘Sabka saath, sabka vikaas’

“This historic win is a victory of BJPs ideology of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ and the pro-development agenda. In every election following demonetisation, people of the country have put their stamp of approval on it,” Shah said in a statement.

Referring to his party’s performance in various polls in states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra besides the Union Territory of Chandigarn, he claimed it is now clear that the opposition is merely doing politics over notes ban while people are supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in building an honest India.

“This is the sixth consecutive win of BJP in local polls after demonetisation,” Shah noted.

-January 9, 2017, New Delhi

Sachin Tendulkar undergoes knee surgery in London

Sachin Tendulkar undergoes knee surgery in London

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Sachin posted a picture of his left leg, covered in a black cast, on his Facebook page
  2. “Some injuries trouble even after retirement, but I will be back very soon doing the things I enjoy,” Sachin wrote

(TOI Photo)

India’s retired cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has undergone a knee surgery at a hospital here.

Tendulkar posted a picture of his left leg, covered in a black cast, on his Facebook page and commented that he hopes to recover soon.

“Some injuries trouble even after retirement, but I will be back very soon doing the things I enjoy. Had a knee operation & resting,” the iconic batsman wrote.

More than 34 thousand people reacted with shock and sympathy by liking the picture and posting comments on it.

Good News Now upgrade to Air India if train ticket not confirmed

Good news for wait-listed passengers! Now upgrade to Air India if train ticket not confirmed

Good news for wait-listed passengers! Now upgrade to Air India if train ticket not confirmed

 

This summer vacation, travelling will be cooler. Now, if you fail to get a confirmed train berth on train, you can upgrade yourself for an air travel. Yes you heard it right!

Air India and IRCTC have made this arrangement which is expected to be in place within a two to three days.

As per the understanding wait-listed train passengers will be provided with the option to fly by Air India. However, they will have to pay a little extra.

First class train passengers will not have to pay anything for the upgrade but AC 2-tier passengers will have to pay upto Rs 2,000 for the upgrade.

It will also depend on the flight route (there should be flight route on the train destination) and availability of seats on the airline.

-May 26, 2016, New Delhi

Faizabad treasury opens boxes belonging to ‘Gumnami Baba’ believed to be Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

Faizabad treasury opens boxes belonging to ‘Gumnami Baba’ believed to be Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose 

Faizabad treasury opens boxes belonging to 'Gumnami Baba' believed to be Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose - PICS INSIDE

 

The Faizabad district administration on Wednesday opened the first set of boxes belonging to ”Gumnami Baba”, who many believe was none other than the revolutionary freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in exile, containing a number of vintage articles.

According to ANI, the Faizabad district treasury officials opened the boxes in the presence of a large number of curious onlookers who wanted to know what was there in the boxes and whether they actually belong to Bose.

The first set of boxes contains books and a typewriter among other relics.

 

 

Gumnami Baba's boxes, believed by some to be Netaji Bose in disguise, opened by Faizabad district treasury/ANI pic

 

Among other articles, which have been kept in the Faizabad district treasury, include binoculars issued by the German military dating back to World War II, British-made Empire Corona Classic portable typewriter and a vintage porcelain tea set.

 

Gumnami Baba's boxes, believed by some to be Netaji Bose in disguise, opened by Faizabad district treasury.Gumnami Baba's boxes, believed by some to be Netaji Bose in disguise, opened by Faizabad district treasury./ANI pic

 

Faizabad District Magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra had earlier said that during the retrieval process, inventory will be made of each and every item kept in 27 boxes.

Mishra added that even the smallest item, artifact retrieved from the belongings will be photographed and video-graphed.

“Once the inventory of the items received from the treasury is done, a list of items will be handed over to the technical committee,” the DM told the reporters.

He also exuded confidence that by March 31, 2016, all the items, artefacts, belongings of Gumnami Baba would be shifted to the Ram Katha Sangrahalaya.

Even after several decades, the controversies and various theories regarding Netaji’s sudden disappearance and death continue to baffle millions of his followers.

While a DNA test conducted on the teeth allegedly of ”Gumnami Baba” has dismissed claims that the Faizabad-based ascetic was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in disguise.

Justice M K Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry also expressed the same views on Netaji’s death.

However, some historians, journalists and researchers believe that ”Gumnami Baba” was none other than Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in disguise.

 

 

-March 9, 2016,Lucknow

 

 

 

LS, RS adjourn after AIADMK uproar over Karti Chidambaram

LS, RS adjourn after AIADMK uproar over Karti Chidambaram

AIADMK members today disrupted proceedings in both Houses of Parliament demanding action on former Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti on the Aircel-Maxis issue.

Both, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned twice in the first hour itself till noon.

As soon as the Lok Sabha met for the day, AIADMK members rushed to the Well demanding action on Aircel-Maxis deal. They raised slogans like “We want action”, “Aircel-Maxis why delay, why delay” and “NDA sarkar take action.”

The AIADMK members were displaying copies of an English daily which has claimed that Karti has invested in real estate across the world, as per investigations by the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax authorities during searches at his premises.

Amid uproar, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan continued with the Question Hour for some time but adjourned the House for nearly ten minutes. Soon after the House was adjourned, AIADMK members were seen distributing copies of the newspaper to BJP members.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi was seen talking to Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai who belongs to AIADMK.

As soon as the House reassembled, AIADMK members again trooped into the Well continuing to raise slogans. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said if they give proper notice, the issue could be discussed in the House and the government was open to a debate.

At one point of time, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge stood up to raise some issue, apparently relating to Privilege notice against HRD Minister Smriti Irani over the Rohith Vemula suicide issue, but he was shouted down by the AIADMK members.

Gandhi was seen asking AIADMK members against raising slogans near Kharge. Some Left members were also seen standing on their seats seeking Speaker’s intervention.

Amid the din, the House was adjourned till 12 noon.

Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha also where AIADMK members disrupted proceedings by raising slogans to demand action against Karti and also P Chidambaram. The House witnessed two adjournments in the pre-noon session.

As soon as the House assembled for the Zero Hour, AIADMK members trooped into the Well waiving copies of a newspaper and demanding action.

Amid sloganeering by the AIADMK members from the Well, listed papers were tabled.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien repeatedly asked the agitating AIADMK to return to their seats but of no avail.

The House was first adjourned for 10 minutes and later till 12 noon.

Some of the AIADMK members including V Maitreyan were seen sitting on the floor of the House.

Kurien asked them to approach government if they want action against a private person.

“Why do you trouble me? I am not the government,” he said trying to restore order in the House, but to no avail.

-01 March 2016 | PTI | New Delhi

It takes Rs 100 to organise any event at JNU: students

It takes Rs 100 to organise any event at JNU: students

Ridiculing allegations of having received “foreign funding”, the students charged with sedition in connection with a controversial event on JNU campus against hanging of Afzal Guru claimed that it takes only “Rs 100” to organise any programme at the varsity.

“Various theories are being applied to probe our ‘terror links’ and allegations are being made that we had received foreign funding and planned meticulously for the so called anti-national event.

“The truth is that those who know the JNU culture are aware of the fact that it takes just Rs 100 to organise any event here and the same can be done without planning within an hour,” said Anant Prakash Narayan, former JNUSU Vice President, who is among those charged with sedition.

Ashutosh Kumar, former JNUSU President said, “Our names are being taken in court rooms and news studios. They are being screamed in Parliament. The entire country is looking at us as terrorists. But do they even know how things function in JNU and how routinely these affairs are handled.”

“We do not need any funding from any terror group to have a debate on Afzal Guru. Any university needs that? We are students, we just wish to debate, question and express. The way the government and police have blown things out of proportion is an example of the intolerance in the country,” he added.

Anant and Ashutosh, both PhD students at the varsity, are among the six students identified by the police for their alleged role in the February 9 during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

While the students union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on February 12, the duo along with three others – Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and Rama Naga – had gone in hiding fearing “mob-lynching”.

They resurfaced back on campus 10 days later. While Umar and Anirban surrendered before the police, the remaining three refused to do so but maintained that they are open to questioning by police as and when needed.

They are now leading the movement along with JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora against the alleged branding of university as “anti-national”.

The six students were also academically debarred by the university administration after a preliminary inquiry report by the high-level committee found their involvement in the incident.

However, they have been allowed to stay in the university hostels as guests.

-01 March 2016 | PTI | New Delhi

Delhi Police’s functional autonomy is sacrosanct: Bassi

Delhi Police’s functional autonomy is sacrosanct: Bassi

Hours before handing over charge to Alok Kumar Verma, outgoing Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi today took an apparent dig at the AAP government, saying Delhi Police’s autonomy is “sacrosanct” and those who have questioned it should be made to look at history.

“Delhi Police’s functional autonomy is sacrosanct. Those who have raised questions regarding Delhi Police’s autonomy, should be taken back in time and made to look into history,” Bassi said at his farewell parade in New Police Lines here.

“We don’t have any strife with anyone. We reach out to everyone and if someone thinks that Delhi Police only wants to get into confrontations, they should stop thinking that way.

“Some also think that Delhi Police works under political pressure. Please do not have such misunderstanding. In every case, we rely on evidence, whether it is Sunanda Pushkar matter or the cases of Patiala House violence or JNU row,” he said.

Senior IPS officer Alok Kumar Verma today took charge as the new Commissioner of Delhi Police at a time it is battling mounting criticism over handling of the JNU row.

Kumar succeeds B S Bassi who was at loggerheads with the AAP government on a range of issues in the last one year.

Later in the day, after handing over the reins of the police force to Verma, Bassi told reporters, “I am extremely happy to have served in police force for 38 years, 7 months and 18 days. I believe I got ample opportunities to serve public and I have made the most of it.”

Bassi then left the police headquarters with the entire top brass bidding him farewell near the front lawn.

 

-29 February 2016 | PTI | New Delhi