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Posts Tagged ‘Delhi

We don’t want to bleed anymore

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PUBLISHED IN ZEE NEWS INDIA

When the general secretary of the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi walked into the RML Hospital premises on September 07 after the Delhi High Court blast, slogans were shouted against him. And so were against other politicians who came to empathise with the victims and their families. This in many ways is symbolic of the growing frustration of the general public with those who govern them and the apathy with which they are treated.

India has been attacked again and again. Sample this – On March 12, 1993, Mumbai serial bombings shook the financial capital of the country killing more than 250 people. The main accused, Dawood Ibrahim is yet to be extradited to India from Pakistan. On December 13, 2001, more than a dozen people, including five gunmen, were killed in an attack on Parliament. On September 24, 2002, terrorists attacked Akshardham temple in Gujarat. In August 2003, two taxis packed with explosives blew up in Mumbai at crowded areas killing more than 50 people.

In October 2005, three bombs placed in Delhi markets, crowded with Diwali shoppers killed around 62 people and injured hundreds. In July 2006, seven bombs placed on Mumbai’s local trains killed over 200 people. Eight serial blasts rocked Jaipur in a span of 12 minutes in May 2008. On November 26, 2008, attacks on ten locations in Mumbai left more than 180 dead. Pakistani national, Ajmal Kasab has been sentenced to death with an appeal pending before the Supreme Court.

The list, sadly, goes on…

The Ram Pradhan Committee formed after 26/11 attacks to look into the lapses and recommend measures to stop further attacks, called for radical transformation of the police force. In spite of its recommendations, the beat constable is still unequipped, CCTV cameras still do not work and the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad established in 2004 is reportedly working at some 30 percent of the strength as compared to the numbers sanctioned by the government.

National Intelligence Grid was given approval by the Union Cabinet in June this year, months after the idea was first mooted. The project aimed at facilitating information-sharing among law enforcement agencies to combat terror was apparently delayed because of objections from other ministries, especially that of defence and finance, as they felt that the home ministry would have an unlimited access to all the information.

National Counter Terrorism Council (NCTC), an umbrella body to fight terror is also in the pipeline. Not sure when it will see the light of the day.

Delhi Chief Minister, after the High Court blast, had remarked that “multiplicity of agencies” created functional problem in combating terror and solving cases. To which the Home Minister P Chidambaram had replied that no single body can alone handle internal and external intelligence, policing and counter-terrorism. How often have we heard the government talk in different languages? And if statements like these do no create confusion in the minds of the citizens then what does?

On May 25, 2011, a blast took place at the Delhi High Court car park. Nonetheless it did nothing to wake up the authorities.

Home Minister recently said that Af-Pak was the epicentre of terror and that home-grown terror modules are fertilised from outside. And to a foreign television channel he said, “As far as cross-border terrorism is concerned, we have to continue to put pressure on Pakistan.”
The Indian Mujahideen gained notoriety in 2008 after taking responsibility for blasts in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi and Assam, even though it had been active since 2003. As per intelligence reports, the IM is being controlled from across the border. It was also reported recently that militants trying to infiltrate into India by June had exceeded the figures of 2010.

In this scenario what good are the photo-ops between SM Krishna and Hina Rabbani Khar, especially if the perpetrators of 26/11 cannot be brought to book? Yes, we cannot change our neighbours but we can certainly change the way we talk to them. Yes, trade and commerce are important issues, but not at the cost of losing innocent lives.

P Chidambram, was supposedly pulled back when he decided to tighten the noose around the Maoists, due to pressures from certain quarters and certain political parties. After the Batkal encounter case in Delhi, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh, decided to visit Azamgarh. The Afzal Guru hanging case has long been in the public domain for the people to read between the lines. Isn’t it time we stop the policy of appeasement and vote-banks at the cost of bloodshed?

Congress leader Renuka Chowdhry said in a recent television debate, “Do you think that the terrorists will stop if we have a CCTV? What do you do when terrorists are ready to die?” After the serial blasts in Mumbai in July, Prithviraj Chavan, CM of Maharashtra lamented, “Terror groups are active and are able to strike at will.” Instead of statements like these, we need our leaders to send out a stern message to all terror groups that India will go after them in hot pursuit. And we also need a strong anti-terror law in place.

We have generic information about impending attacks but are we in a position to have specific and actionable and preventive attacks. Do our intelligence agencies depend too much on technical intelligence? Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed the same concern at a recent event when he said that security establishment needed to improve its, “human intelligence capabilities”.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley said in a television interview, post the Delhi HC blast, “The most dangerous thing is that in the last six or so blasts, the cases are by and large unsolved.”

Think over this – On December 7, 2010, a bomb went off at a Varanasi ghat killing a two-year old girl with no arrests made in the case so far. On December 19, 2010, gunmen on motorbikes shot at a tourist bus injuring two persons. It was considered to be IM’s handiwork. The case is unsolved. On July 13, 2011, triple blasts in Mumbai killed 21 persons, with IM being the prime suspect. ATS is investigating, with an arrest only very recently. On April 6, 2011, two blasts took place in Maligaon in Assam which killed 7 persons. Investigation is on, ULFA are the main suspects. Inspite of some arrests, it is said that the main culprit is still in the run. And the very recent May 25, 2011, Delhi High Court car park blast with no casualties. It too remains unsolved. And add to it the 7/11 blast again at Delhi HC – not much headway in this case either.

Yes, it is a cause for alarm if cases of terror attacks are unsolved for a long period of time.

Amidst all these spare a thought for the victims of the bomb blasts – past and present and if I may add with a dread – the future. The citizens don’t want to be saluted anymore for their so called resilience and die-hard-spirit – what they want is to live in peace and dignity. And anyways what choice do they have than to get up and get going the next day?

Yes, maybe terror attacks all over the world cannot be prevented all the time. Nonetheless, it is important for the government and the intelligence agencies of the day to be perceived as trying to do their best.

 

ORIGIN: http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/we-don-t-want-to-bleed-anymore_734644.html

Supreme Court for free treatment of poor at private hospitals

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In a significant directive, the Supreme Court of India yesterday directed the private hospitals in Delhi to allocate 25% of their out-patient department capacity and 10% in patient department capacity for free treatment of poor and the needy.

It also asked the Delhi government to come up with a workable scheme for the 27 city private hospitals to provide free treatment to poor patients which they are obliged to in exchange for getting land at concessional rates. Mentionable that, under this scheme the private hospitals are to provide free treatment to patients from weaker sections at 10 percent of the hospital bed-strength.

The apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik issued the direction when Delhi government’s claim that 27 private hospitals were providing complete treatment to poor patients was disputed by Dharamshila Cancer hospital. The court also asked the Delhi government not to delay in implementing a scheme in this regard and also to appoint a nodal officer who would direct the poor patients to private hospitals for free treatment.

This directive has come as welcome news to the poor and the needy. Although the margin of only 10% bed strength free treatment to the poor can be contested as too low, this can be considered as first step. The social activists and different NGOs working for the poorer sections of the society have welcomed the decision.

Written by THE LAWFILE

August 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Hazare’s detention: SC agrees to examine violation of right

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The writ petition was filed by Singh challenging the detention and arrest of Hazare on August 16 hours before he was to launch his fast against corruption.Singh, in his petition, had sought notices to Chidambaram and Sibal besides the Union Home Secretary and the Delhi Police Commissioner.In his petition, Singh has alleged that the Centre and Delhi Police had “acted in a malafide manner” to arrest and detain Hazare and stifling his fundamental right to free speech and liberty guaranteed under Articles 19, 21 and 22.He has accused the police of invoking CrPC provisions of 107/151 to detain Hazare for merely espousing the cause of a strong Jan Lokpal Bill and weeding out corruption from the country.He urged the court to declare Hazare’s detention as “unconstitutional” and “violative of his fundamental rights” guaranteed under the relevant provisions of the Constitution.Singh, who had filed the petition at the time of Hazare’s August 16 arrest, had also sought physical production of the Gandhian through the habeas corpus (production) plea.But since Hazare was released by the Government subsequently, the plea for his production has now become infructous.

COURTESY: IBN Live

Hectic preparations at Ramlila Maidan

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People Supporting Anna Hazare's Fast

With social activist Anna Hazare all set to move to the Ramlila Maidan here on Friday, hectic preparations were under way on Thursday with members and volunteers associated with main organiser ‘India Against Corruption’, along with the Delhi Police and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), all pitching in to do their bit to get the show rolling.

The police had, however, cordoned off all entry points on Thursday to prevent protesters from moving into the ground while it was still being prepared. Apart from a huge shamiana to cover one-third of the ground, facilities such as fans, lights, loudspeakers and security arrangements were on the agenda of the organisers. Arrangements also include a two-level special stage. While Mr. Hazare would sit on the top level provided with a mattress, the stage below has been earmarked for singing and discourse. Other arrangements include mats to cover the floor and provide seating space and a separate enclosure for VIP guests including two VIP toilets.

The MCD is ensuring that the ground is completely cleaned, dried and levelled, given the slush following the recent heavy rain. The organisers are arranging for tents, food, water and toilet facilities, either by roping in contractor agencies or seeking help from volunteering organisations who have offered free assistance to Mr. Hazare’s supporters till the hunger protest ends.

Deputy Mayor Anil Sharma, who visited the ground to take stock of the arrangements and discuss preparations with Team Anna, said that over half of the ground had been cleaned and the civic body officials and employees would work overnight to complete as much work as possible. “It was only on Thursday morning that the MCD came to know about the approval given to Team Anna for holding the protest at Ramlila Maidan. On reaching the ground, the officials noticed [that] the heavy rain during the past few days had made the ground muddy, requiring co-ordination of different departments including engineering, horticulture, and sanitation to take up the cleaning, drying, and levelling process of the venue by putting additional malba and soft earth at the ground,” he said.

Hazare supporter-cum-volunteer Gulab Singh, 41, said: “After having participated in the Ramlila during Navratri at this very ground for the past 20 years, I consider it my good fortune to be getting a chance to serve my part in Anna Hazare’s protest that is being organised here. I have taken a week-long leave from office to come here and extend my support to the cause of ending corruption in India.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party would also be providing one lakh water pouches daily for the participants, according to the Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta who was present at the ground.

Undertaking fumigation

According to the civic body, it is also undertaking fumigation at the ground premises and providing medical aid facilities including two ambulances and three mobile dispensary units. About 30 to 40 dustbins are also being provided by the MCD.

About 200 to 300 loudspeakers, 20 to 25 speaker boxes, and 15 mikes are being installed for the programme though television screens have been ruled out owing to the possibility of rain. In addition, eight to 10 mobile toilet facility units are also being sponsored free of cost by the Slum Department of the Delhi government.

Arvind Kejriwal, who was overseeing arrangements, expressed concern over the possibility of rain and its impact on the arrangements. Mr. Kejriwal said free food and water was being arranged through a voluntary organisation. “The bhandara people who provide food and water during the Amarnath Yatra have pledged to help us by providing free food and water till the duration of the protest at Ramlila Maidan.”

Hazare arrest: Ramdev seeks President’s intervention

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Swami Ramdev

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Yoga guru Baba Ramdev will meet President Pratibha Patil to submit a memorandum against the arrest of veteran social activist Anna Hazare.

According to sources, Ramdev will meet President Patil on Wednesday afternoon.

Ramdev also proposes to visit Tihar Jail to meet Anna Hazare.

The yoga guru, who was evicted from the Ramlila Grounds on a similar fast against corruption and black money, pitched his weight behind Anna’s fight on Wednesday.

Hazare and key aide Arvind Kejriwal spent Tuesday night in the conference room of the Director General (Prisons) of Tihar Jail and reportedly slept barely for four hours.

He continues to be on a fast inside the prison premises after turning the down the release order sent by the government.

The 74-year old social activist was picked up at 7.30 am from Mayur Vihar in East Delhi after he refused to be persuaded by the Delhi Police not to undertake the fast since it would be in violation of prohibitory orders.

Hazare and his aides including Arvind Kejriwal, were first taken to the Delhi Police Officer’s Mess in North Delhi and were shifted to another after Hazare’s supporters gathered in a large numbers at the Civil Lines areas.

The social activist was later taken to Rajouri Garden police station in West Delhi where a Special Executive Magistrate remanded him to seven days’ judicial custody.

The decision to remand him came after Hazare refused to sign a personal bond undertaking that he will not defy the prohibitory orders and hold protests.

Defiant Anna jailed, freed, refuses to leave Tihar

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Gandhian Anna Hazare was jailed here Tuesday morning ahead of his fast for an effective anti-corruption law, sparking protests that drew tens of thousands across India. Stunned by the People Power, authorities did a U-turn within 12 hours and declared him free but the fasting soldier-turned-activist refused to walk out of the jail until he was allowed to hold his planned fast without any fetters.

Just six hours after he was driven to the Tihar Jail after 3 p.m. after being sentenced to a week’s judicial custody, an unprecedented outburst of spontaneous public anger led Delhi Police to release him. But Hazare, 74, declined to move until his demands were met.

A desperate administration pressed him to hold a conditional fast for three days at the J.P. Park — the planned venue in the heart of the city — or leave Delhi. But the man refused, setting the stage for a lingering showdown between the government and the civil society he leads.

Hazare confidante Kiran Bedi – a former police officer who was detained but released within hours – said he was determined to pursue his hunger strike at the J.P. Park — but minus any condition. Hazare began his fast Tuesday morning.

She said he would not leave Tihar Jail until this demand was met. Also fasting with Hazare were his key confidants.

The day-long drama effectively left the government floundering, with Congress leaders struggling to defend their earlier hardline stand against a Gandhian who has become an icon in India’s war on corruption.

In the evening, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who earlier convened a meeting of senior ministers to discuss the tense situation — and the likely political fallout.

“We can apologize” for arresting Hazare, Congress spokesperson Renuka Chaudhry said late in the evening, as protests in support of the man raged, mainly in Delhi and Mumbai where thousands poured out of their homes with Indian flags, cloth banners and posters. The rains in Delhi could not dampen people’s mood.

As night broke, crowds in the capital only swelled, mainly outside Tihar Jail and the Chhatrasal sports stadium in another corner of the city where hundreds had been detained for siding with Hazare.

Tihar Jail spokesman Sunil Gupta said shortly before 9 p.m. that Hazare had been let off from his cell but he was in the prison office, talking to officials and refusing to leave.

Eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee said the government had tripped badly. “What is happening in the government?” Sorabjee asked on TimesNow television. “This is a gigantic folly, a gigantic miscalculation.”

The arrests of Hazare and his aides crippled parliament as an otherwise divided opposition closed ranks. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India-Marxist called for nationwide protests Wednesday.

“The reaction is tremendous all over India,” said former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde in Bangalore, one of scores of cities that saw numerous small and big demonstrations in support of Hazare.

It all began shortly after 7 a.m. when policemen in civilian clothes swooped on Hazare and trusted activist Arvind Kejriwal as they stepped out of a middle class apartment in east Delhi.

They were to begin their hunger strike, in violation of police orders, for a strong Lokpal Bill in place of a government-sponsored one that excludes the prime minister, the judiciary and a mass of junior government officials from its purview.

As hundreds blocked a main road, the police were stuck with Hazare and Kejriwal. Eventually he was taken to the police officers’ mess in another part of the city, then to another office and finally sent to prison when he refused to sign a bail bond.

Before being detained, Hazare — aware that he could be arrested — said in a recorded video message: “Don’t let my arrest stop this movement. This is the nation’s second struggle for freedom.”

The message had an electrifying effect.

In towns and cities across India, spontaneous protests erupted. Tens of thousands took to the streets shouting slogans against the government and hailing the Gandhian.

The biggest shows of solidarity were reported from Delhi and Mumbai.

Apart from major cities such as Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Ahmedabad, numerous big and small protests took place in Udaipur, Jammu, Selam, Bhopal, Surat, Rajkot, Patna, Guwahati, Raipur, Shimla, Mandi, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Bhiwani — and many more.

The people who took to the streets were dominantly from the middle class — sick and tired of India’s endemic corruption. There were men and women, from vocal teenagers to spirited men even in their 80s.

There was no violence anywhere in the country.

Once Hazare was taken to Tihar Jail, large numbers offered themselves for arrest in Delhi. The number swelled to around 1,400, by official admission. After a while police refused to arrest any more saying that the makeshift prison — Chhatrasal stadium — was overflowing.

Activists insisted that up to 5,000 had been detained.

Senior ministers justified the arrest but sounded defensive. Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal even suggested that Hazare could again talk to the government over the proposed Lokpal Bill.

Ministers denied that Delhi Police acted under political pressure.

Celebrities too stepped in to verbalise their distress. Lyricist Javed Akhtar said: “I have had certain reservations about Anna.

Written by THE LAWFILE

August 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm

India against corruption: If government falls, we don’t care, says Anna

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Expressing his desire that the Lokpal bill will be a reality soon, social activist Anna Hazare said, “We are not interested in pulling down the government but during our fight for change, if it falls, we don’t care.”

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday, he said, “there has to be a mass uprising to bring about a change.” He also said that he will live and die for the country.

He reiterated that he will be starting his fast from tomorrow. He also called for a revolution to “fight against the government and change the system”. He added that he has faith in the country’s parliament but the government was not producing the correct version of the Lokpal bill before it.

“We believe completely in the country’s parliament but the government is producing the flawed version of the bill before it,” said Hazare reacting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s statement that the Lokpal bill had been introduced in parliament.

Hazare further said that the fight for a stringent Lokpal bill is fine, but there is a need for a revolution to change the prevalent system in the country.

“A revolution on a much larger scale is the need of the hour to fight against the government and change the system,” he said.

“This is a fight for change and till the time our system doesn’t change we won’t progress. Even after 64 years there is corruption and scams, what is the use of this Independence? This freedom is not right,” said Hazare.

“The government is only concerned about power and money,” he added.

Hazare is scheduled to begin a hunger strike to press for a stronger Lokpal bill from Tuesday but has been denied permission by the Delhi Police to do so.

Centre won’t interfere

The Centre has decided not to interfere with the decision of Delhi Police’s refusal of permission to Anna Hazare to hold his protest fast, saying the force has taken the stand on its own and it was fully capable of dealing with any situation.

“The home ministry will not interfere in the decision of Delhi Police. We have nothing to do with it,” the official said.

A home ministry official said the Delhi Police took the decision of denying permission to Team Anna to stage the protest since they refused to comply with its set conditions which are applicable to any group which wanted to stage any protest in the national capital.

The Centre also thinks that Delhi Police are capable of dealing with any situation arising out of Hazare’s announcement that he would go ahead with the protest despite the refusal of the permission.

“If they (Team Anna) decide to go ahead with their programme defying the order, law will take its own course,” the official said.

Written by THE LAWFILE

August 16, 2011 at 12:14 am