‘Submit report on BRICS food scam in 30 days’

first_imgPanaji: The Goa State Human Rights Commission (GSHRC) directed the Goa Chief Secretary on Wednesday to conduct an independent investigation and fix responsibility on the defaulting officers in the alleged ₹51 lakh food scam at the BRICS summit last year.Activist and lawyer Aires Rodrigues, in his complaint to the GSHRC, had submitted that the contract of food supply to police personnel posted at the summit was given to a local caterer, but was sub-let to another contractor who clandestinely prepared the substandard food in an open place in Verna, South Goa. The complaint said that road side labourers were engaged for cooking the food and insects were also found in it.The GSHRC directed the Chief Secretary to submit a detailed report within 30 days. It also noted that the Chief Secretary had not conducted an independent inquiry as directed by the commission on October 18 last year.The GSHRC also said the reply filed by the Chief Secretary was a mere replica of the inquiry report submitted by the Director General of Police to the State Home Department. The commission has directed the government not to make any payment to the food contractors till the probe is completed. The hearing was adjourned to April 18.last_img read more

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Police looking for 10 more ‘cow vigilantes’ in Alwar case

first_imgDairy farmer Pehlu Khan, who was allegedly beaten up by a mob of ‘cow vigilantes’ at Behror in Alwar district last week, died of serious injuries on his chest and lower abdomen, the autopsy report of his body has revealed in its preliminary findings.The 55-year-old man from Nuh in Haryana sustained internal injuries on his lungs, while his ribs were broken and blood clots were found near his heart, stated the post-mortem report prepared by a four-member team of doctors and medical jurists.“It appears prima facie that Pehlu Khan died of internal injuries and heavy bleeding. The medical team has asked for viscera analysis for submitting its final report,” Alwar Superintendent of Police Rahul Prakash told The Hindu on Friday, after the district police obtained the autopsy report.Police looking for 10 more ‘cow vigilantes’The three accused – Vipin Yadav, Ravindra Yadav and Kalu Ram Yadav – who were arrested on Wednesday on the basis of video footage of the incident, were produced before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in Behror on the expiry of their one-day police remand. The court sent them in judicial custody for 14 days.Mr. Prakash said the police had identified 10 more accused persons in the case after establishing their presence on the spot from the video clippings circulated on the social media. Their names have been added to the first information report registered initially against six suspects on charge of murder and other offences.Three special teams of police officers were searching for the accused, who had fled their homes, and conducting raids at their suspected hideouts, said the Superintendent of Police.CM intervention soughtCivil rights groups have sought immediate intervention of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in the matter in order to stop the “lawlessness and free run” given to cow vigilantes allegedly with the support of many people in high places.While asking whether the law and order machinery had been handed over by the police to the cow protection vigilante groups, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties said if this was not stopped, lawlessness would prevail on the streets and the State’s economic foundation would be attacked.In a memorandum submitted to Ms. Raje, PUCL State president Kavita Srivastava and other activists demanded immediate arrest of all attackers, suspension of Behror Station House Officer and resignation of Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria for “openly glorifying and lauding the criminals”.last_img read more

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Dawood Ibrahim’s wife visited Mumbai in 2016, his brother Iqbal Kaskar tells police

first_imgUnderworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s wife Mehajabin Shaikh had visited Mumbai to meet her father in 2016, police officials said, quoting the fugitive gangster’s brother Iqbal Kaskar, who has been held in an extortion case.The sensational revelation came after Mr. Kaskar had earlier told interrogators that Dawood Ibrahim, a designated global terrorist, is still in Pakistan.Mr. Kaskar, arrested by the Anti-Extortion Cell of the Thane Police earlier this week, has given some vital information about Dawood Ibrahim and his family, the police officials said.According to the officials, Mr. Kaskar has allegedly told them that Dawood Ibrahim’s wife who also goes by the alias Zubeena Zarin came to Mumbai some time in 2016 to meet her father Salim Kashmiri, who lives in Mumbai with his family. After meeting Mr. Kashmiri and his family members, Ms. Shaikh quietly left the country, they said.Mr. Kaskar has also provided addresses of four residences of Dawood in Karachi, the officials said.Quoting Mr. Kaskar, they said, Dawood Ibrahim, his other brother Anees Ibrahim and his close aide Chhota Shakeel are all staying together in a posh locality in the Pakistani port city. Anees Ibrahim usually makes phone calls to his family members in Mumbai on the occasion of Eid, they said.The team, which is interrogating Mr. Kaskar since the last four days, also asked him questions about Dawood Ibrahim’s health. According to the officials, Mr. Kaskar has claimed his elder brother is “fit and fine” and not suffering from any ailment.Mr. Kaskar’s claims, made before a Thane Crime Branch team, are being verified, a police official who is part of investigation in the extortion case, said.Mr. Kaskar and his associates had allegedly been threatening a prominent builder in Thane in Dawood Ibrahim’s name since 2013 and had extorted ₹30 lakh and four flats from him. Mr. Kaskar was deported from the UAE in 2003.last_img read more

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Odisha schools go hunting for TV as CM is set to make his first televised address

first_imgThe first television address by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday to mark Children’s Day has left headmasters and school authorities a worried lot in the State. They are finding it difficult to arrange television sets for the day.The School and Mass Education Department is expecting students to be present in schools to watch the live telecast of the Chief Minister’s speech between 11 a.m. and 12 noon. Mr. Patnaik will address the State-level Children’s Day celebration at Capital High School here on Tuesday.“All students of schools will attend the CM’s programme on November 14 in the nearby village where television with set-top box connection facilities is available. The headmasters and school management committee members will contact villagers and parents having television with set-top box connection facilities to watch the programme on that day,” said P. K. Mohapatra, School and Mass Education Secretary, in his instruction.But there are not adequate television sets to watch the CM’s address in more than 65,000 primary, upper primary and high schools across the State. Headmasters and school authorities have already started a hunt for television sets so that the CM’s first televised address to children does not go unwatched.While some schools already have TVs, many are trying to convert computer desktops and projectors provided under the smart class initiatives into televisions with the help of hardware. Getting a TV on rent is also difficult in the interior pockets.When asked many headmasters, who did not want to be named, said it was difficult to arrange a television set for a day. “We have already persuaded parents to either lend their television sets for the day or make arrangement in their premise to watch the CM’s programme. But nobody is forthcoming,” said a headmaster in Balangir district.‘No compulsion’Although higher-ups in the education department clarified there was no compulsion for teachers to arrange television sets for the proposed televised address by the CM, which is dubbed as an imitation of Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s addresses, the veiled message is clear -– teachers and students will have to remain present in front of television sets on Tuesday.District Education Officer (DEOs) and Cluster Resource Coordinators (CRC) have already delivered ‘verbal communications’ to school authorities to make arrangements. School authorities in some districts have also been asked to send photographic evidence of children-parents sitting together at the function to the higher authorities.“We have instructed all schools to watch the CM’s address on Children’s Day. In primary schools where TVs are not available, they can come to the gram panchayat headquarters for watching the programme. Alternatively, arrangement should be made to watch the programme in village community halls,” said Brundaban Satpathy, DEO of Khordha.Apart from the problem of arranging televisions, teachers had been informed by many parents that they were not interested in sending their wards to school as children want to enjoy the holiday at home.last_img read more

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Dhangars being used as football by national parties: BBM chief

first_imgPune: Accusing the Devendra Fadnavis-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of apathy towards the problems of the Dhangar (shepherd) community, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh chief Prakash Ambedkar said on Tuesday that the community had been treated like a football by national parties. “The position of the Dhangar community has not improved since Independence. Both the BJP as well as the Congress have played with the community like a football, pushing their problems in different parts of the political field,” Mr. Ambedkar said in Kolhapur.Since the community had been denied justice, the BBM chief said that the Dhangars had decided to resolve their own issues rather than begging political crumbs from bigger parties.For this, a state-wide rally of the Dhangar community is to be held on May 20 in the temple town of Pandharpur in Solapur district, 215 km from Pune city.The rally, a show of strength by the community members in a prelude to the 2019 general and Assembly elections, aims to establish a government imbued with the ideals of the ‘Shahu-Phule-Ambedkar’ movement.Last month, the BBM chief had openly advocated reservation for the Dhangar community.Mr. Ambedkar’s move of reaching out to the community is seen as a bid to rally together backward communities under the BBM umbrella before the next year’s elections. In a further censure of the BJP government, the BBM president alleged that the hullabaloo over the renaming of Solapur University was “a deliberate move on part of Fadnavis government to aggravate social tensions.”“The State Education Minister Vinod Tawde is further stoking this controversy [over renaming of Solapur varsity]. They [the Maharashtra govt.] must tender an apology to the Dhangar community for playing politics over Ahilyabai Holkar, a great and saintly historical figure,” he said.Last year, Chief Minister Fadnavis had sought the renaming of Solapur University after Punyashlok Ahilyabai Holkar, the 18th Century Maratha queen who ruled Malwa and is revered by members of the Dhangar community.Before the 2014 Assembly elections, the BJP had lured some leaders of the community with promises of reservation.Later it inducted Mahadev Jankar, a prominent Dhangar leader and chief of the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) and minor BJP ally, into the State cabinet.It had also commissioned the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) for a study on the backwardness of the community.Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) too had jumped into the fray to win the hearts and minds of the community by expressing support for Dhangar reservation.last_img read more

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ATS officer shoots himself dead in U.P.

first_imgSenior police officer Rajesh Sahni allegedly shot himself dead at his office here on Tuesday.He was an Additional Superintendent of Police with the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad. Mr. Sahni “committed suicide by shooting himself in the temple at 12.45 p.m. in his office with an official weapon,” said ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar.Though he was on leave till the first week of June, he landed at the ATS headquarters in Gomti Nagar. After some time, he summoned his driver and asked him to bring his service revolver, said DIG, Law and Order, Praveen Kumar.The weapon has been sent for forensic investigation and a probe has been ordered, said Mr. Kumar.No suicide note was recovered from the spot.Born in 1969 in Patna, Mr. Sahni was a 1992-batch Provincial Police Service (PPS) officer. He had an M.A in political science. He had joined the ATS in 2014.DGP O.P. Singh said Mr. Sahni “was one of the most promising officers.”last_img read more

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Milk blockade Day 2: tanks vandalised

first_imgThe protest over higher milk procurement prices for farmers, launched by MP Raju Shetti’s Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) entered its second day on Tuesday, affecting Pune city.A few milk tankers entered Mumbai from western Maharashtra under heavy police escort, but Pune city felt the pinch 48 hours after the blockade was launched Sunday midnight. Overall, fresh milk procurement figures across western Maharashtra saw a precarious dip, with Pune region managing barely 15% of its average daily procurement of nearly 70 lakh litres. At several points, SSS workers were seen blocking tankers and vans entering Pune. “We achieved our distribution target (4 lakh litres) today in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad owing to the police shield but our collection rate has fallen by 40%. While the picture for the next 24 hours is unclear, the intensification of the agitation is bound to cause distribution problems,” said Shrikrishna Chitale, partner, Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale.Despite police protection, dairy owners fear that the city could soon face a full-blown crisis unless the impasse between the SSS and the State government was resolved soon.The protest received overwhelming support across Kolhapur and Sangli districts – the epicenter of the SSS agitation.Sources at the Chitale Dairy in Bhilwadi in Sangli said that the agitation had nearly brought milk procurement operations in the district to a standstill, while Gokul Dairy officials suspended procurement operations in Kolhapur.Meanwhile, Activists damaged seven tankers in Udgaon, a group of farmers bathed themselves in milk in Shirdhon village in Kolhapur and milk flowed on streets in the Marathwada region. In Pali in Beed district, a tanker with a capacity of 20,000 litres was emptied, while in Pasodi village buckets were emptied.An ‘Amul’ milk tanker was turned back in Palghar district by SSS activists, led by Mr. Shetti himself who camped along the Maharashtra-Gujarat border during the day.“We have allowed no tanker along Ahmedabad highway to enter Mumbai. The SSS has always been friendly with Amul but we will oppose them tooth and nail if they try to meddle with the agitation,” Mr. Shetti said.Mr. Shetti also dismissed Dairy Development Minister Mahadev Jankar’s calls for negotiation, saying no formal invitation had been sent by the government.Dismissing Dairy Development Minister Mahadev Jankar’s calls for negotiation, Mr. Shetti said that he had not received any formal invitation from the government on the issue.On the incidents of tanker vandalism and wastage of milk on part of his activists, Mr. Shetti said: “I am not for violence. But these incidents are taking place because in spite of excess production, the State government is procuring milk from neighbouring states. This agitation is the legitimate anger of milk farmers across Maharashtra, not merely that of the SSS.”Mr. Shetti denied that the agitation was a ploy to stay politically relevant before the 2019 Parliamentary and Assembly elections. “I have no political ambition behind launching this agitation…There is no question of me returning to the NDA fold. I have severed ties with BJP precisely because of its apathy towards farmers…,” he said.last_img read more

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‘Goa priest molested us inside temple premises’

first_imgA priest at Shree Mangueshi temple in south Goa has been accused of allegedly molesting two women, both of Goan origin, in separate incidents, while they were on a visit to the temple along with their parents, last month.In the first case, a medical student of Goan origin, currently studying in the U.S., has complained to the management committee that the incident happened while she was on a visit to the temple on June 22 along with her parents.CCTV footageIn the second complaint, another Mimbai-based girl of Goan origin, has said that she was molested inside the temple by the priest (named same accused) on June 14 this year, “who is our Purohit for generations, before him his Dad was our Purohit.”She has also narrated her alleged molestation and demanded that the management committee probe the same based on evidence of the CCTV camera footage inside the premises.Secretary of Managing committee Anil Kenkre told The Hindu that they had received the complaints and he had replied to them.The Mangesh Temple Management Committee, in a letter to the U.S.-based victim on July 11, has expressed its inability to deal with the complaint as it could not “lay its hand on any dependable evidence to establish a prima facie case” against the priest.In her complaint to the managing committee of the temple, which has gone  viral on social media platforms, the US-based girl victim has said that she had visited the temple premises on June 22 to perform puja along with her parents, when the priest tried to “inappropriately touch” her just outside the sanctum sanctorum, while her parents were busy in pooja inside the sanctum sanctorum. “He was also in the temple and came to the locker area (outside the sanctum and near the well) and on the pretext of asking me to take “pradakshina”, he beckoned me to come near the lockers and molested me,” the victim has said (giving details of action of the accused), in a letter to temple committee. She has said that she was “traumatised and repulsed” by the alleged disturbing behaviour of the priest. She has demanded that as part of the investigation, the management  committee must review the footage of the CCTV cameras installed in various parts of the temple including  in and around that area, of June 22. The second victim has also narrated her incident which, according to her complaint to management, happened in same area on June 14. The victim states in her complaint, “ My father was doing “abhishek and me and my Mom were about to start “pradakshina”. As we started towards the “gabhara,”  the accused stopped us saying ,”don’t go together”,and asked my Mom to go first”. She then goes on to narrate the alleged molestation incident and demands action from committee. She further says that they failed to get any response from the management of the temple to her complaint. Responding to the complaint of US-based victim, Secretary of management committee Anil Kenkre on July 11, has said in a letter to the victim, that her complaint was discussed at an emergency meeting of the temple’s managing committee on July 4, when it was decided to obtain comments from the accused priest. “During the enquiry the committee could not lay its hand on any dependable evidence to establish a prima facie case…” Mr. Kenkre said in the letter and advised the victim to take her grievance to an “appropriate authority”. Mr. Kenkre told The Hindu that he, on behalf of the temple committee, had replied to both the alleged victim girls by emails. Mr. Kenkre said, “I have responded to both the complaints by mails after taking cognisance of  the complaints and trying to investigate the matter. However, we could not get any dependable evidence in both the cases to establish prima facie case and as such wrote to them to approach appropriate authority.” In November last year, the temple management had come into controversy over alleged denial of entry to the temple to a Mumbai-based disabled minor girl on her wheelchair.last_img read more

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Enhanced pay for J&K SPOs based on threat perception

first_imgThe Union Home Ministry’s decision to increase the salaries of Special Police Officers in Jammu and Kashmir came after the State Chief Secretary wrote to the Centre highlighting the threat to their lives.On Wednesday the Ministry enhanced the honorarium for SPOs who have more than 15 years of experience, from ₹6,000 to ₹12,000 per month.On September 21, three policemen, including a Special Police Officer (SPO) were abducted from their homes and killed by suspected militants in south Kashmir’s Shopian. Following this, several videos surfaced where SPOs announced their resignations. The Home Ministry later issued a statement denying that any SPO had resigned, saying “mischievous elements are trying to project that those SPOs whose services are not renewed due to administrative reasons, have resigned.”For motivationJ&K Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam wrote to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba on September 24, saying that “given the risks that they face in performing their duties and the threats to their lives, there is a need to pay experienced SPOs a slightly higher rate that would motivate them to work in difficult circumstances”. The letter, accessed by The Hindu, also said that SPOs had a key role in the functioning of J&K police.The militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen had issued threats to policemen and SPOs to either quit or face action.There are around 30,000 SPOs in J&K who assist the State police in various functions including that of intelligence gathering.The Union Home Ministry wrote back to the State government on September 26 that it has decided to enhance the monthly remuneration of SPOs. The salary of SPOs is reimbursed by the Centre.In an interview to The Hindu on September 24, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik had said the government had proposed to increase the salary of the SPOs from ₹6,000 to ₹16,000.As per the latest order, there are 10,967 SPOs with less than five years of experience who would be entitled to monthly remuneration of ₹6,000. As many as 10,623 SPOs, who have completed five years, are now entitled to ₹9,000 per month while 8,411 SPOs, who have completed 15 years, are to be given ₹12,000 per month.last_img read more

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In Odisha, former State Minister Bijoy Mohapatra, ex-Union Minister Dilip Ray quit BJP

first_imgSenior Odisha BJP leaders Bijoy Mohapatra and Dilip Ray on Friday resigned from the primary membership of the BJP. Mr. Mohapatra was a former State Minister, while Mr. Ray is the party legislator from Rourkela and a former Union Minister.Mr. Ray also quit as MLA. He handed over his resignation letter to Assembly Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat, who accepted the same.Their resignations come close on the heels of former IAS officer Aparajita Sarangi joining the party.Mr. Mohapatra told journalists that he and Mr. Ray had sent their resignation letters to party national president Amit Shah.“We regret to state that despite repeated efforts in apprising you on the sorry state of affairs in the party here, neither you nor any senior central party leader bothered to consult, review or take corrective measures,” they said in the letter.“Be it the Mahanadi water issue or the unfulfilled promise of a second bridge over river Brahmani, the super-speciality hospital at Rourkela or the dreams of lakhs of jobs for Odia youth which we sold at Paradip during the inauguration of the oil refinery — nothing, absolutely nothing materialised,” they said.“We can’t be treated as furniture in the party while the rootless talk big and project a larger-than-life image,” they added.He said he joined the party in hurry before the 2009 elections. He had many bitter experiences during his 10-year stint in the party and things reached such a pitch that he was left with no option but to quit the party.Mr. Ray said he decided to quit the party as he had failed to deliver on the issues on which he contested the 2014 elections. He had been pursuing the construction of a second bridge over the Brahmani and upgradation of the Ispat General Hospital, Rourkela, to a super speciality hospital. He had taken up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi several times, but both projects had not made much headway.Mr. Mohapatra said they would decide about their future course of action after holding consultations with their supporters and well-wishers. They had not held talks with any party so far, he added.last_img read more

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Isolate those who desecrated Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid: Mirwaiz

first_imgHardening his pitch over the bid to unfurl an Islamic State (IS) flag inside Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid recently, Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Wednesday said, “The December 28 incident is highly condemnable act. It has left the entire valley in a deep shock and hurt their sentiments. It’s time to isolate those elements who are trying to damage and violate the sanctity of the grand masjid. People of J&K should maintain strict vigil.”A group of masked youth tried to unfurl an IS flag atop the pulpit of the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on December 28.In Srinagar’s old city, which houses the 624-year-old mosque, the Mirwaiz held a meeting at the Mirwaiz Manzil, Razia Kadal, on Wednesday and described the incident as “sacrilegious”.“The December 28 incident is highly condemnable act. It has left the entire valley in a deep shock and hurt their sentiments. It’s time to isolate those elements who are trying to damage and violate the sanctity of the grand masjid. People of J&K should maintain strict vigil,” said the Mirwaiz.He urged the people to stay united on this. “Unity among all sects will not allow these elements to damage our religious and social fabric and ethos,” he added.The participants in the meeting pledged “to not allow any such incidents to happen again”. The Mirwaiz, backed by other separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, is holding a joint protest on coming Friday at the mosque.“The old city has always been the epicenter of Kashmir’s spiritual religious quest and its political ideology and the pulpit of Jamia Masjid has represented both. Nobody will be allowed to tamper with the centrality of Jamia Masjid and what it stands for,” the Mirwaiz, who is also the head priest, said. He also performed an ablution of the mosque in the wake of the desceration.44 civilians killed by militants in 2018: DGP SinghMeanwhile, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh on Wednesday said a total of 423 people were killed in 2018, including 252 militants, 91 civilians, 45 policeman, five CRPF and 30 Army soldiers in around 97 operations.“Of 97 operations, 83 witnessed no collateral damage. Out of 91 civilians deaths, 44 were killed by militants and 38 lost their lives near encounter sites,” said DGP Singh in a press conference in Srinagar.The DGP appealed to youth of the Valley to safeguard their precious lives. “Police and other security forces have always exercised maximum restraint. I will again appeal them to exercise maximum restraint while dealing with the situation,” said the DGP.He said it was painful to see youth picking up arms and getting killed. “Killing militants is a success but at the same times losing lives is painful and cannot be a thing to be celebrated. I hope the New Year will be a better year and the graph of violence comes down,” said the DGP.On frequent internet outage, the DGP said the social media was a big and uncontrolled tool, which creates law and order situation many a times. “The internet is being snapped to ensure peaceful environment. People suffer due to internet blockades and the police also face hardships in the absence of internet as their communications also comes to a halt. But, we will see that 2019 will see a lesser number of internet blockades,” the DGP said.last_img read more

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17 injured in M.P. clash over harassment

first_imgOver a dozen people were injured after an alleged case of harassment of a girl led to a clash at Sallaiya village in Raisen district during Holi, the police said on Friday.The trouble started when a few youth of Yadav community allegedly teased a tribal girl of the same village, the police said. The incident soon led to a clash between the two communities. A JCB machine, a jeep and 12 motorcycles were also torched.“In the clash 15 people and two policemen were injured,” Additional Superintendent of Police Awdesh Pratap Singh told newspersons.Police rushed to the scene after receiving information about the clash and brought the situation under control, he said.Some of the injured have been brought to Bhopal’s Government Hamidia Hospital after their condition deteriorated.An FIR has been lodged against more than 100 people in the incident. The district administration has clamped prohibitory orders in the village. “The situation is under control,” said Mr. Singh.last_img read more

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Hotel worker fired over mongoose meat recipe

first_imgAn upmarket hotel in Guwahati fired an employee for uploading mongoose meat recipe and photos of the skinned mammal on Facebook.Bhaskar Jyoti Das had last week posted the photos of an Indian grey mongoose, a couple of skinned ones and a platter of prepared food, inviting his friends for a taste of his exotic “mongoose meat with potato and black pepper”. This did not go down well with wildlife enthusiasts. His employers took notice of his “obnoxious, offensive” post too. Mr. Das apologised on social media, saying he had posted photos that he sourced from Google and was aware that killing mongoose was a crime under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. But his employers were unmoved and sacked him.“We sacked him on Saturday because he brought disrepute to our hotel. He had been employed as a junior associate of our food and beverages section,” said K.K. Dhar, operations manager of Hotel Gateway Grandeur.last_img read more

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Lights Outs: Physicists Find a Faster Way to Switch LCDs

first_imgPhysicists have invented a much faster way to switch off liquid crystals, the materials that control light in many computer screens and televisions. The new technique probably won’t end up in liquid crystal displays (LCDs), as the switching is far faster than needed in those devices. But it puts a new twist on the concept of an LCD.”This is something new and very fresh,” says Tigran Galstian, an engineering physicist at Laval University in Quebec, Canada. “People must think about this to see if there is some practical application.”Liquid crystals resemble both of their namesakes. As in a liquid, molecules in a liquid crystal jumble about freely and flow. But as in a crystal, the rodlike molecules orient themselves in the same direction. The alignment defines an optical axis and gives the liquid crystal unusual properties. A key one is the way it affects polarized light—light whose electromagnetic waves ripples in a single direction. As it passes through a liquid crystal, light polarized parallel to the optical axis travels at a different speed than light polarized perpendicular to it. And because of that speed difference, or birefringence, light polarized at an angle to the material’s optical axis can have its polarization rotated.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)That rotation makes an LCD work. The display consists of a layer of liquid crystal between two plates of glass, which sit between two more plates of polarizing glass. The polarizers are set at a 90° angle, so that light that enters the display from behind and passes through the first polarizer is blocked by the second. In the “off” state, the liquid crystal is aligned so that it does nothing to the light and leaves the screen dark (see figure). When flipped “on,” however, an electric field reorients the molecules so that collectively they rotate the polarization of the light, allowing it to pass through the second polarizer and out of the screen. To form a picture, bits or “pixels” of the screen are controlled individually.The scheme has a basic limitation, says Oleg Lavrentovich, a physicist at Kent State University in Ohio. The electric field wrenches the molecules into the “on” orientation in nanoseconds. When the power goes off, the molecules relax back into their original orientation, which is set by a pattern etched into the confining glass—but they do so 1000 times more slowly, in milliseconds. “That’s the Achilles’ heel of liquid crystals,” Lavrentovich says.Now, he and Kent colleagues Volodymyr Borshch and Sergij Shiyanovskii have demonstrated a faster way to switch a liquid crystal, as they report today in Physical Review Letters. They begin with the usual crossed polarizers and a liquid crystal called CCN-47. In the experiment, in the off state the molecules start out in an orientation that lets light through. Lavrentovich and colleagues then apply an electric field. But they do it in a way that does not rotate the molecules but instead changes the amount of birefringence.Here’s how that happens. The molecules in CCN-47 aren’t cylindrical, but are shaped like planks. Normally, the planks all point in the same direction lengthwise, but neighboring molecules twist randomly in all directions, as thermal energy keeps the individual molecules jiggling. The electric field overcomes the twisting and stacks the planks like lumber. In that more orderly state, the liquid crystal has a slightly different birefringence, which changes the angle by which the light’s polarization rotates and the amount of light allowed through the cell. When the electric field vanishes, thermal jiggling of the individual molecules restores the liquid crystal to its initial condition in just 30 nanoseconds.The change in birefringence doesn’t shut off light completely, so the display is only dimmed rather than darkened. But the contrast could be heightened by adjusting the geometry and materials, Lavrentovich says. He says the technique might find uses in steering laser beams like the ones that can carry signals between satellites or in creating ultrafast shutters.The real value in the work may be the new approach, which relies on the collective behavior of the molecules to turn the polarization of light and their individual jiggling to flip between on and off configurations, Galstian says: “It’s a clever idea.”last_img read more

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EPA Hires Scientific Integrity Advocate

first_imgFor more than a decade, Francesca Grifo of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) advocated for improving scientific integrity policies at government agencies. When she commented on a draft of the policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2011, she wrote: “These are great principles but how will this happen? Who will monitor? Who will detect problems and enforce these strong words?”Well, it turns out, she will. EPA announced today that it has hired Grifo to oversee its new policy on scientific integrity. “It’s great news,” says Rena Steinzor of the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, who studies environmental regulation and the misuse of science in environmental policy.Grifo is charged with overseeing the four main areas of EPA’s policy: creating and maintaining a culture of scientific integrity within the agency; communicating openly to the public; ensuring rigorous peer review; and encouraging the professional development of agency scientists.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)It sounds like a gargantuan task, but Grifo won’t actually be checking the integrity of every committee, scientific document, and peer review. Instead, she will be focusing on improving the process, says Michael Halpern, her former colleague at UCS. Part of the job will be educating staff members. Last week, EPA launched an online training guide for its staff members to make them aware of the policy and its protections. “It’s a cultural change so that [EPA] scientists feel they can participate in public life and the scientific community,” Halpern says, and better prepare them to deal with political pressure.If problems come to light, Grifo will help investigate. She will work with an internal Scientific Integrity Committee, as well as the inspector general. Her job is not a political appointment, so it comes with civil service protections. She will report to Glenn Paulson, EPA’s science adviser. Grifo will also issue an annual report about any incidents with scientific integrity at the agency.UCS has ranked EPA’s policy, which was finalized about a year and a half ago, as one of the stronger ones in the U.S. government. Unlike most other agencies, EPA’s plan called for a full-time position. “While strong improvements have been made on paper, we recognize that the agency is challenged in fully realizing those improvements” Halpern wrote in a blog post.Jeff Ruch of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility in Washington, D.C., says he is hopeful for progress. “She is coming from an organization that is probably responsible for the adoption of scientific integrity policies,” he says. “We think that these policies are potentially revolutionary. But progress has been slow and uneven.” It’s not clear, he says, what power she would have to bring relief in individual cases.last_img read more

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ScienceShot: Anatomy of an Odd Asteroid

first_imgThe oddly shaped, near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa just got a lot weirder. When researchers analyzed how the object’s brightness changed over the course of 10 short intervals between 2001 and 2013, as measured by Earth-based telescopes, they found that the 535-meter-long cosmic peanut (inset) wasn’t rotating as expected. A detailed analysis suggested that Itokawa’s center of mass (about which the asteroid rotates) was 21 meters closer to the smaller end of the peanut than expected—a sign that the smaller end of the body, for whatever reason, is denser than the larger end. Although a shift of 21 meters doesn’t sound like much, that disparity suggests that the smaller end of the asteroid is more than 1.6 times as dense as the plumper end (main image), the researchers report today in Astronomy & Astrophysics. Previously, some researchers have proposed that Itokawa is actually two asteroids in contact with one another, a scenario strongly supported by the new results, the team contends. It’s not clear whether the odd configuration results from the merger of a two-asteroid system or merely clumps of material that fell back together after a larger asteroid was blasted apart by an immense collision. Further analyses may yield an answer, the researchers say, and they also may provide insights into how asteroids and other bodies formed during earlier days of the solar system. One more oddity revealed by the new study: Due to the peculiar shape and weight distribution of the asteroid and irregularities in the way that heat is radiated into space, the rate at which Itokawa spins is accelerating, making it rotate about 45 milliseconds faster with each passing Earth year.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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IIT Madras alumnus launches accelerator ‘IIT Startups’ in US

first_imgWith the objective of motivating and supporting the budding entrepreneurs, an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras alumnus has launched a non-profit accelerator at the Bay Area in San Francisco, America. The initiative will also help to connect the IIT alumni at the Silicon valley in America. Called ‘IIT Startups,’ the accelerator has been founded by Monishi Sanyal, a B Tech graduate from IIT Madras and the Governor’s Gold medal Recipient in 1970, an IIT Madras release here said today.Read it at Indian Express Related Itemslast_img read more

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