Chaos Ensues at Mumbai Airport as an Air India flight gets delayed by 7 hours

An Air India flight, from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, got delayed for seven arduous hours due to unavailability of a pilot. This caused the passengers to get flustered and agitated as they waited for a speedy solution in vain at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport today. Flight AI 031 was slated to depart at 0135 hours from Mumbai to its destination, Ahmedabad. However, it finally departed at 0820 hours, after an outrageous, near seven hours of delay. The Boeing 777 aircraft housed over 200 passengers.

According to The Times of India, a source at the airport stated that the flight was delayed by a mere hour at first, which then turned into seven, long hours due to non-availability of a pilot. This caused a surge of anxiousness and impatience in the passengers who then created a state of utter chaos at the airport. The helpless passengers tried to obstruct staff members from handling other flights. Nevertheless, due to the spread out notifications of the flight delay they needed to spend the entire night in the boarding area of the flight despite all their futile attempts at coercing a quicker solution.

As per NDTV, an Air India spokesperson stated, “The flight was delayed due to the flight duty time limitation (FDTL) issue and crew constraints.” He also clarified that the flight finally took off at 0820 hours today. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation manages the duty hours for the pilots and cabin crew and they are banned from running a flight beyond a specified set of regulated flying hours.

Sources: NDTV, Times of India

Naroda Gam case: Former Magistrate says handed kar sevaks bodies to Patel on seniors orders

At a designated court hearing of the 2002 Naroda Gam Case, former executive magistrate of Naroda, M.L. Nalvaya, who was the officer-in-charge of the district at that time, said in a statement that his seniors directed him to write a letter mentioning that the body of kar-sevaks who died during the attack was to be given to VHP (Vishva Hindu Parishad) leader Jaideep Patel. Patel is also an accused in the case.

Nalvaya has said that he wrote the letter stating handing over of the bodies to the VHP leader at Sola Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad since he was put under pressure by his senior officers. According to a report by Indian Express, the bodies that were brought from Godhra to Ahmedabad were handed over to the relatives publically.

Nalvaya’s statement has been recorded to serve as an additional witness for the defence of accused since the letter mentioned by him is not acknowledged by the VHP leader Jaideep Patel. The whole process has been conducted by the Special Investigation Team.

The Naroda Gam case was a reactionary massacre to the Godhra train burning incident during the Gujarat Riots of 2002.  There have been 82 accused in the Naroda Gam case which resulted in the murder of eleven Muslim men as reported by the Indian Express. The case is said to be largest “single case of mass murder” which targeted a single community.

Sources: Huffington Post, The Indian Express

The curse of the male child

The word foeticide has largely been associated with female fetuses over the years, owing to the widespread practice of illegal sex-determination to abort them. However, female fetuses aren’t the only victims in the cruel practice. While there has been considerable reportage of female foeticide, the darker side that is unknown to most is the practice of male foeticide.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau data, more cases of male foeticide were reported over female foeticide in 2014, the latest year for which data is available. As per the data, 53 cases over male foeticde were reported as against the 50 cases of female foeticide. This clearly indicates a gross miscalculation in the reportage of foeticide as a larger issue.

An All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) study revealed that around 238 foetuses and newbrons had been disposed off in the posh South Delhi area between 1996 and 2012, of which 115 were males and 110 were females.

However, female fetuses outnumbered male fetuses in the five month gestational period. “Owing to the societal bias in favour of a male, this could mean that selective female foeticide happened during this period. In India, medical abortion is allowed only up to 20 weeks of gestational age and criminal abortions and selective female foeticide subsequent to antenatal sex determination are more likely before 20 weeks of pregnancy,” said Dr C Behera, one of the co-authors to PTI.

Sporadical cases of male foeticide have been reported by the Indian media in spurts every now and then. In 2006, the police busted an illegal foeticide racket in Punjab, where doctors were fooling couples into aborting their male fetuses, in the ruse of them being females in order to make quick money. During investiagation into the case, the police found close to 50 foetuses discarded in Patiala of which at least 20 were male.

Similarly, in 2010, a doctor in Ahmedabad was arrested for indulging in sex-determination and illegal foeticide. Of the 13 abandoned fetuses found near his clinic, six were male; three were female while the sex of the rest could not be determined.

A recent report in Indiaspend reported that Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are the worst states to be a woman.  In Rajasthan, the Barmer district in particular indulges in male foeticide, while celebrating the birth of the girl child, but for the wrong reasons. In many villages of this area, the women are involved in sex-traffcking and trade.

This is the alleged reason behind the rampant practice of male foeticide in the area, so as to bring in more girls into the trade. Some villages in this district have only 30% male population, while the women work as sex workers and earn money.

While these are just some instances from over the years, there are still numerous cases that go unreported with respect to male foeticide. And till such time that male foeticde gets the space it needs in the media , it will remain something that ‘does not exist’, in the eyes of many in our masochist society.


A reservation worth lives?

Society where Shwetang Patel lived. Pic: Shinjali Divanji
Society where Shwetang Patel lived. Pic: Shinjali Divanji


Hardik Patel along with his 35 supporters was detained in Surat for trying to take out an ‘Ekta Yatra’, despite the authorities not granting permission for the same. This detention came after he had announced the reverse Dandi march demanding the OBC status for the Patidar community. It was eventually called off. Mobile Internet and SMS services had also been shut down twice in the past month. Hardik Patel has been causing quite a stir in Gujarat, though his reception in Delhi, shortly after was not so welcoming. The movement for the demand for OBC status for the Patidar community has been going on since quite some time in Gujarat but it gained the most amount of prominence in August 2015.

25th of August was the day when this young convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti had called for a massive protest in Ahmedabad in demand of the OBC status. This demonstration termed as ‘Kranti Rally’ had gathered over five lakh people in the city. Hardik Patel who led the rally declared he would go on hunger strike and was later arrested as he did not have permission to stay on the ground after the rally. His arrest triggered violent clashes between the people and the police. Several buses were torched, police stations damaged and set on fire, bus stops were vandalized and 5 people died. One of them was a young man who was arrested and allegedly beaten to death in custody.

Shwetang Patel, in his mid-twenties was the only earning member of the family. His father had paralysis, his mother and sister were unemployed. His mother, overwhelmed with grief was in no state to respond. Bipin Patel, his cousin said, “On the night of clashes, the police came into the society of Shwetang Patel, asked around for Patels in the society, came into his house and dragged him to the police station. His mother, Parul Patel was later called to the police station and taken to the hospital where she saw her dead son.” The police claimed a natural death. “The second postmortem done by our family clearly stated that he died due to multiple blows on the head”, said Bipin Patel.

The family has registered a case against the police but the two police men involved were transferred to other cities within hours of Shwetang Patel’s death. “When we went to register an FIR in the police station, they refused to register one and we were kept in the police station till the wee hours of the morning” claimed Bipin Patel. Thousands attended the funeral of Shwetang Patel and offered their last respects to the martyr, a title given to him by the people. Hardik Patel visited his family, promising to bring justice to them.

Gujarat state returned to normalcy soon after clashes. Many claim that the ‘wealthy Patels’ do not need a reservation and that their community is economically sound. Hardik Patel, with his radical views doesn’t look like the one to back down easily.

Police confiscate 21 gold bars and 1-cr cash from school

Image Courtesy: India TV
Image Courtesy: India TV

Ahmedabad: On Saturday, while undertaking a cleanliness drive in Kendriya Vidyalaya, ONGC campus in Ahmedabad the police found 21 gold bars worth Rs 59 lakhs along with one crore cash. Chandkheda Police confiscated the cash and valuables and are reportedly in search of the owner.

According to the police officials, the school staff members while undertaking the Swachcha Bharat Mission discovered old lockers which were unopened for quite some time. As the lockers were filthy the school authorities decided upon opening and cleaning them.

The school Principal Avdesh Baijnath Prasad informed the police after the authorities opened the locker to find a briefcase containing one crore cash and a purse filled with 21 gold bars of about 100g each said the deputy commissioner of police, Mahendra Bagariya. The income-tax department was later informed by the police department and will further probe in the case.

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