Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and pending verdict

The trial of a so called Indian “godman” blamed for assault has set off a security lockdown, with police shutting schools and changing over a cricket stadium into a prison in the event that his supporters emit into viciousness in the event that he is discovered blameworthy.

An immense number of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s supporters have begun assembling close to the court in the territory of Punjab, where he is on trial for striking two women in cases that backpedal to 2002, decision pending for Friday.

“The verdict could lead to potential large-scale unrest and violence,” Ajay Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, in Panchkula city, told Reuters.

Singh, a brawny, whiskery man who has scripted and featured in his own particular movies, charges a close reverential after – he asserts in the millions – in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana, where his Dera Sacha Sauda amass is based. Denies all charges against him.

“He is God for us. We cannot do anything without him. A God does not do harm to anyone,” said a staunch female devotee in Sirsa.

“We will block mobile internet services if needed as concerns spread over the stockpiling of weapons including lathis (wooden sticks) at the different prayer centers,” Kumar exasperated in retaliation.

The top local security organization is exploring whether Singh persuaded 400 of his male adherents to experience mutilation, affirmations he denies. Reasons like guarantees of ending up nearer to God, were given to pacify those men.

News Source: Reuters, Firstpost

Image Source: PTI

Centre rules out farmers’ loan waivers, asks States to fund it themselves

Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, has stated that the Centre will not provide any farm loan waivers. He further ascertained that the Centre will adhere to its fiscal targets. “I have already made the position clear that states which want to go in for these kind of schemes (farm loan waivers) will have to generate them from their own resources”, he said.

This statement comes after Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra governments announced loan waivers to the state farmers. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, delivered on his poll promise by waiving off farmer loans worth Rs 36,359 crore in April this year. Following similar demands, Maharashtra followed suit by waiving off loans of marginal farmers worth around Rs 35,000 crores. On June 20, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh announced crop loan waiver up to Rs 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers with less than five acres of land, and another Rs 2 lakh for marginal farmers with larger pieces of land.

Jaitley further stated that he would not comment on the loan waivers by the states, having made the Centre’s decision clear on June 12, 2017. He directed the states to find their own resources to fund such schemes and that the states should not expect any assistance from the centre.

The UPA government previously had waived farm loans worth Rs 74,000 crore in 2008.

 

Sources: The Hindu, Livemint

Work to resume on Shahpur Kandi Dam, with Punjab and J&K on board

Ahead of the annual meeting of Indus Water Commission with Pakistan at Lahore, the Centre has persuaded Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) governments to work together on the stalled Shahpur Kandi Dam. The 55.5 metre high hydroelectricity project, located in Gurdaspur district of Punjab was taken up in May 1999 but halted in 2014 due to dispute of design between Punjab and J&K. The two states have ironed out their differences with Punjab’s irrigation secretary K.S.Pannu and his J&K counterpart Saurabh Bhagat signed a pact in front of Union water resources secretary Amarjit Singh in New Delhi.

Post the Uri terror attack last year, India had refused to engage in dialogue with Pakistan through the Indus Water Commission. The Commission is a mechanism to address any dispute over sharing of waters of the Indus river system. The Permanent Indus Commission which has members from both India and Pakistan is expected to meet in Lahore, later this month.

Aside from generating 206 MW of power, the dam is expected to aid in irrigation of 5000 hectares of land in Punjab and 32,173 hectares in J&K. As a part of the Indus Water treaty signed in 1960, India intends to use Indus basin river waters – the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab in the west and Sutlej, Beas and Ravi in the east.

Sources: The Telegraph, TOI

Haryana bans gun fire for weddings and celebrations

Following the death of an orchestra dancer in its neighboring state Punjab, due to a celebratory gun firing, the Haryana government has banned with immediate effect, the carrying of arms and weapons for any such celebrations and weddings.
While invoking section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, the state government has issued prohibitory orders through district magistrates. Post this move, any gun firings at any social functions will be an offence. Firing in the air will result in a six-month imprisonment.
The additional chief secretary Ram Niwas said, “It has been noticed that some people often indulge in celebratory firing during weddings after consuming alcohol. Taking serious note of such incidents, the Police Department has been directed to put a check on carrying of arms at wedding functions, in coordination with the district magistrate concerned.”
Since the past few months, Haryana has lost many people young and old, to celebratory gun firings and events where intoxicated men indulged in an aerial gunfire resulting either in death. Severe injury to the victims have also been on a rise.The Haryana government’s move has been welcomed so far.

AAP suspends rebel MLA Devinder Sehrawat

The Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday sacked party lawmaker Col Devinder Sehrawat after he wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleging that the party leaders in Punjab were exploiting women in return for tickets.

The action came after Kejriwal wrapped up his four-day visit to Punjab and the decision was taken by the Delhi Disciplinary Committee of AAP.

Reacting to the party’s decision, the former army officer expressed his anger via Twitter. “If you have the courage, sever the ties and expel. With 67 MLAs you could not perform, You dont have it in you- So Get out of the Way…. (sic.),” Sehrawat tweeted.

In another tweet, Devinder Sehrawat wrote, “Repeated Reports of Molestation of women and sexual abuse,Ring Master Kejriwal obliging his lecherous cotrie & adding more such candidates (sic).”

In response to the tweets, senior AAP leaders and Punjab party- in-charge Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak have filed a defamation case in a Punjab court against Sehrawat.

This incident comes in the wake of dismissal of AAP leader Sandeep Kumar, who was expelled from the party after he got involved in a sex scandal.

As reported by NDTV, in his letter, Sehrawat expressed his strong views over the sex-tape and also criticised AAP leader Ashutosh Gupta. who has also been booked on rape charges.

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.

 

Madhukar Gupta committee submits Pathankot review

The Madhukar Gupta lead committee set up in the aftermath of the Pathankot attack has submitted its report to the government. The Air base which was attacked this year in January, has been recommended the use of technology and an increase in security around riverine borders to counteract any further attacks.

According to a report in The Times of India, the panel has marked out gaps, as well as the most vulnerable areas which ought to be fenced. Sources in the Home ministry according the the panel has expressed its discontentment over not making the use of laser walls in areas prone to intrusion because of dangerous and marshy territory.

An India Today report added that there was a detailed study made through dialogues on perceiving threat, visits to the area and meetings with stakeholders. Four states – namely Jammu and Kashmir (including the Line of Control), Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat encompass 3,323 kilometers of the Radcliffe Line which demarcates the border between India and Pakistan.
This committee was set up three months after a heavily armed group attacked the air base which is a part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force. Their objective was to propose solutions to the issue of border fencing.

A five-layer plan has been accepted by the government to prevent illegal entry into the western border. This includes CCTV cameras, thermal imaging and night-vision devices, battlefield surveillance radar, underground monitoring sensors and laser barriers.

Also present at the meeting, were Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijijju, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and Secretary Border Management Susheel Kumar among other senior officers.

Read more at timesofindia.com, indiatoday.com.