Smartphones and watches stolen from shop in Pune

On January 13, 2018, 26 smartphones and 48 watches were stolen from a mobile shop at Sasanenagar in Hadapsar. The total worth of all articles was Rs 1.28 lakh, and the robbery happened after breaking open the shutter lock.

The theft came to light when owner Swapnil Khilor came to open the shop ‘Brand 78 Venture’ around 9 am the next day.

Hadapsar police’s assistant inspector Sandip Deshmane on Monday said, “The thief broke the side locks of the shutter with a sharp object because it did not have a central security lock. He stole phones and watches from the counter and fled with the booty.” He added that the shop did not have CCTV cameras.

As per investigations, the thief hid himself behind the flex board such that he was not visible from outside. This helped him steal goods from the shop.

An FIR has been registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code. “We are checking criminals on record and working on certain clues. We hope to detect the case at the earliest,” Deshmane added.

Source: TOI

Shiv Sena takes dig at Maharashtra government after Pune businessman murder

In the wake of the murder of a 56-year-old builder in Pune, the Shiv Sena has chastised the government over the law and order situation in the state.

Devendra Shah, a renowned builder in Pune, was shot dead outside his residence in Deccan Gymkhana area of Pune by two unidentified men. The men allegedly fired five rounds at Shah in front of his son on the plush Prabhat Road on Sunday night. Two bullets hit Shah as the men fled the spot immediately. The Police recovered the CCTV footage and are on the hunt for the assailants.

Shiv Sena was quick to criticize the Maharashtra government. Sena further took a dig at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis by taunting his claim of maintaining a good law and order in the state. Sena claimed that BJP had won the state elections due to the influence of industrialists and traders. But it is they who are facing the plight now.

An editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamana said, “The killers in Pune are roaming freely. If they are not controlled in time, the city known for its cultural values, will become ugly. The killing of Devendra Shah should ring alarm bells for the government.”

“Industrialists and traders have brought BJP to power at the Centre and in Maharashtra but they are the ones who are getting killed. This raises questions on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ stand that the law and order situation in the state is good,” it added.

Although Devendra Fadnavis claimed the state law and order to be absolutely under control, Mumbai and Pune have faced problems due to public outrage earlier this month. Notably, the violent protest of the Bhima-Koregaon incident sparked public violence on the streets.

Source: Outlook, NDTV

HH Dalai Lama Inaugurates Second Edition of National Teachers Congress

Image Courtesy: Lobsang Tsering/
HH the Dalai Lama adressing the audience at the 2nd National Teachers’ Congress at MAEER MIT World Peace University in Kothrud, Pune

Pune, January 10: Second edition of the National Teacher’s Congress was inaugurated at the MIT World Peace University in Kothrud, Pune, by Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. Addressing the inauguration, Dalai Lama hailed India’s unique potential to become a world leader capable of combining ancient wisdom with modern science.

He remarked he was the student of ancient Indian knowledge and finds many among the audience showing genuine interest in his explanations.

The National Teachers Congress, started in 2016, works with the objective to instigate and encourage teachers of Higher Education from across the nation. The Congress takes place for three days with extensive deliberations and dialogues. The aim of Congress is to awaken the spirit of teachers to look beyond the monetary values and develop the wider value impact on the society through this noble profession. The Congress is the common platform for every teacher to learn and know about national issues and to create awareness of it. Every year around 8, 000 teachers attend the deliberations.

An eighth-century Tibetan emperor once invited top masters from the Nalanda University. Tibet has preserved the Nalanda tradition for over 1,000 years even as Indians have forgotten it. Now is the time that India must revive its past through rigorous study.

– HH Dalai Lama

In view of the recent violence during 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon, His Holiness lamented that religion is the personal business and its ones own choice; whichever religion he or she follows is totally the personal matter. The society should not mobilise or create groups based on the religion. India is the country where different religion coexists together and has the great sense of tolerance and acceptance. It has become a wonderful place to live for people across faiths, especially those arriving from the Middle East in the form of Christianity or Islam.

His Holiness put his faith in India that he can foresee the possibilities of religious tolerance despite India being the young and complicated nation.

Source: Hindustan Times, The Indian Express

Mahapex returns to Pune after six years with stamps, covers and drones

Mahapex is set to return to Pune after six years, as reported by HT. It will be held from 20 to 22 January 2018 at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch. This is a state level philatelic exhibition for Maharashtra and Goa.

“This year the exhibition will see a demonstration of drone technology. In this first demo a mail will be transported from Ganesh Kala Krida Manch to Swargate post office. A Segway will be used to demonstrate the movement of mail by air and land,” Ganesh Sawaleshwarkar, post master general, informed at a press conference.

340 frames of 95 stamp collectors will be displayed. 60 frames from international award winning exhibits will also be showcased. Simultaneously, competitions like stamp designing, letter writing, elocution and a quiz will be held for school students during this event.  “This will ensure that students show keen interest philately. It is a way to promote it as a fascinating hobby,” Sawaleshwarkar said.

Special covers of various sites of Maharashtra will be released.  These include Cavansite mineral near Wagholi, Kandhar fort at Nanded, Gateway of India and Marine drive from Mumbai, Directorate of postal accounts in Nagpur, Vidarba tiger and Irwin Bridge in Sangli.

The event aims to increase the interest in philately that has been declining. Some areas in Mumbai continue to promote it through merchandising stamp t-shirts and mugs.

Sources: Hindustan Times, TOI

Bhima Koregaon: the Politics behind the Outbreak

Image Courtesy: NDTV                                                                              People carried processions on 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon, and pelted stones at vehicles on one of Mumbai’s arterial highways.

Pune, January 04: Bhima Koregaon, a village 30 kilometres north-east of Pune, witnessed celebration of the 200th anniversary of the battle between British forces, including Mahar troops, and the Peshwa army. However, clashes broke out in villages around Bhima Koregaon. The violence occurred in the wake of the death of a 30-year-old Maratha youth and injuries caused to several people. The Dalit community began protesting in cities of Mumbai, Pune and nine other districts across Maharashtra. On January 3, they demanded a statewide bandh. Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra ordered a judicial probe by “a sitting judge” into the matter.

He said, “Every year, about 15,000 people assemble at the memorial. But this year the crowd was 3.5 lakh strong. Six battalions of police force were deployed, four of them placed at strategic points. As a result, despite attempts to trigger violence and riots, it was immediately curbed and major incident averted.”

What initiated as a caste based violence, later progressed into political firestorm.

Rahul Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress alleged that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) had envisioned the fact that Dalits “remain at the bottom” of the society.

He took to Twitter, “A central pillar of the RSS/BJP’s fascist vision for India is that Dalits should remain at the bottom of Indian society. Una, Rohith Vemula and now Bhima-Koregaon are potent symbols of the resistance.”

Denying these allegations, BJP sources said that the party was “concerned” about the Dalits. The reason being Dalit leaders such as Jignesh Mevani, who recently won the election in Gujarat, have marked their presence in Bhima Koregaon.

It is worth noting that the political aggression also echoed at the state and Centre level. Mohan Prakash, General Secretary in charge of Maharashtra, All India Congress Committee claimed, “Wherever the BJP is in power, its supporters and RSS execute such actions when events related to Dalit pride are organised”.

The Shiva Sena accused the current government of not having the knowledge about mischief mongers living in the state. “The state is bearing the brunt of the BJP having control of the Home department and politics in the police department.,” it alleged.

Meanwhile, Prakash Ambedkar, President of Bharatiya Republican Party Bahujan Mahasangh reportedly said that Hindutva outfits were behind the Bhima Koregaon attacks.

Police has booked two local Hindu right-wing leaders- Milind Ekbote of Hindu Ekta Aghadi and Sambhaji Bhide of Shiv Pratisthan for inciting violence. Complaints have also been filed against Jignesh Mevani, Dalit leader and Gujarat MLA and Umar Khalid, Jawaharlal Nehru University student for instigating the crowd. Both of them were invited at the celebration of Bhima Koregaon battle.

It will be interesting to see the amount of truth that these allegations hold. On one hand, it is possible that the right-wing groups were the reason behind this violence. On the other hand, it is strange to accept the fact that BJP would instigate such a division in the society. This contrasts its policy of ‘one India.” However, it will be beneficial for its rivals, as this will affect the Hindu vote bank of BJP immensely.

Continue reading Bhima Koregaon: the Politics behind the Outbreak

Seized methaqualone traced to unit in Osmanabad, land owned by Pune man

A consignment of methaqualone (Mandrax) worth Rs 23 crore, which was seized in Hyderabad last week, has been traced to a production unit in Maharashtra’s Osmanabad district. The land on which the unit stands is owned by a Pune-based resident.

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials had arrested three people who were transporting the 46kg consignment in a car at Kamkole village in Sangareddy district in Hyderabad on January 11. The contraband, banned under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, was hidden in a false casing in the car.

Preliminary inquiries had revealed that the consignment was loaded into the car by a man at Umarga in Osmanabad district, who instructed the occupants to deliver it to agents in Chennai.

On January 13, DRI officials located the production unit on NH-9, which connects Pune to Hyderabad. “Officials of the Bengaluru unit of the DRI followed the trail and identified the 4,000 sqft production unit in the Umarga industrial zone where the banned substance was manufactured illegally using different chemicals,” said Sanjay Kale, joint commissioner (drugs), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Aurangabad.

Maharashtra’s FDA joined hands with the DRI who conducted a raid on the unit. During the raid, 500 grams of methaqualone worth Rs 50 lakh was seized from the unit.

“The banned drug was being manufactured as powder, transported to Hyderabad and from there to other places. The factory was being run as an electronic warehouse and was operational for the last six months,” Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials said.

The officials later arrested three men from Mumbai who were operating the factory. “Methaqualone is a prohibited psychotropic substance. Its production and distribution is illegal in India. It is not a drug, hence it does not come under the FDA’s purview,” Kale said.

“Several teams are currently conducting searches in Hyderabad, Osmanabad, Kochi, Chennai and Bengaluru,” a DRI official said.

Source: TOI

Pune floods as Dams fill up

The incessant heavy downpour highly  affected Pune and the Konkan region, as public transport came to a halt.

Pune has received 55% more rainfall than the average this monsoon according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The average annual rainfall figure for the city is 497mm but Pune has received rains exceeding 630mm this year, which is significantly higher.

Trains from Pune to Mumbai along the Manmad- Daund route have been cancelled. The Deccan Express, Singhad Express and the Manmad Express too have been cancelled because of the heavy rains.

The bridge on the Mutha river which connects Deccan with the city’s Peth area, was submerged in water as Khadakwasla Dam released a huge volume of water.

No damage to life and property have been reported yet , said the Pune Municipal Corporation(PMC) officials. But a number of tress have fallen due to the rains in certain parts of the city.

The continuous rainfall since Tuesday, September 19,  has filled the major dams around the state to its capacity. 23 dams out of 37 in the state had to release the excess water.

The intensity of the rainfall is  expected to reduce after Wednesday as per the IMD.

Sources: The Hindu

Image Source: The Hindu