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Archives for : July2018

India – 55,000 trees to be axed for second Goa airport #WTFnews

55,000 trees to be axed for second Goa airport
An uprooted tree.
State seeks urgent permissions to meet September 2019 deadline even as activists allege that the actual number is close to 90,000; NGT to take up the matter on July 10.

The Goa government has proposed cutting nearly 55,000 trees to construct the state’s controversial second international airport. The state moved an application before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in New Delhi on July 3, seeking urgent hearing to permit the felling. The tribunal’s principal bench is expected to take up the matter on July 10.

This is the first time the state has revealed the total number of trees to be axed for the upcoming airport in Mopa, a village near the Maharashtra border in North Goa. In 2016, the state government selected GMR Group to build and operate the airport on a public-private partnership model and work began in September 2017. Activists allege that 55,000 trees is a misrepresentation – in reality, it’s 90,000.

“During land acquisition in 2007, the district administration had counted over 90,000 trees. These are small forests being cut without forest clearance,” said Abhijit Prabhudesai, general secretary of Federation of Rainbow Warriors (FRW), an environment NGO opposing the airport. The official number reduced after the state government, in 2016, narrowed the definition of a ‘tree’ under state laws, he said.

Acting on reports from villagers that trees were being cut without any permission, the NGT first stayed the felling in November 2017. On February 6, 2018, the forest department permitted felling of 21,700 trees, but this was stayed in March by the Bombay High Court’s Panaji bench as the trees had not been individually numbered. On the court’s directions, the state’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Ajai Saxena, in April, ordered numbering of the trees before cutting them.

In June, the HC directed the state to approach the NGT to approve the felling, leading to the recent revelation. Saxena did not respond to multiple calls and messages from this newspaper.

The number of trees has come as a surprise as the environment impact assessment (EIA) of the project prepared in 2014 had described the site as barren. The EIA has also been criticised for ignoring the presence of protected wildlife, including Goa’s state animal gaur, leopard, pangolin and giant squirrels at the site, which is a table-top plateau surrounded by dense forests.

In 2015, FRW had challenged the environment clearance before the NGT, where the case is being heard. During the hearings, the state received a clearance for 1,133 sq m of reserved forest area, in addition to the trees now coming under the axe.

Nearly 1,600 trees had already been felled before the February order was stayed. The state is desperate to ensure that the airport is ready by its September 2019 deadline. According to Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, the state –that had planned to finish the exercise before the monsoons set in – would face losses worth Rs 15 lakh per day if the deadline is missed.

“They know they cannot legally cut so many trees so they are doing it illegally. I have seen them cut trees and bury them. There is no law here only dadagiri with the help of the police,” said Sandip Kambli, a Mopa villager who has opposed the airport.

The government’s affidavits before various courts have claimed that the project is being personally monitored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who laid the foundation stone in November 2016.

The project was conceived in the 1990s to address the anticipated congestion at the current airport at Dabolim. Although it is centrally located, it comes under the Indian Navy; hence, its timings and further expansion are restricted. Mopa airport has faced a state-wide campaign criticising the need for a second airport, considering it would threaten the tourism business in South Goa and cause ecological damage.

The Bombay High Court had stayed the felling of trees in March this year as they had not been individually numbered. In June, it asked the state to approach the NGT

The Bombay High Court had stayed the felling of trees in March this year as they had not been individually numbered. In June, it asked the state to approach the NGT

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Adivasi women of UP’s Sonbhadra district attacked and arrested by Police for claiming Forest Rights

Arrested-Tribal leader Sukalo Gond (Photo courtesy: CJP)
By Siddhant Mohan,
For more than a month, the Adivasis, especially women, of Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra district have been facing police and administrative atrocities for standing up to their forest rights. The Adivasis have been trying to claim the forest land, on which they have been living since many years, however, local police and forest department have been arresting and detaining them for allegedly cutting forest trees and occupying forest land illegally.
It all started on May 18, when police personnel visited Lilasi village of Duddhi Tehsil of Sonbhadra, and picked up about 12 Adivasis from the village and took them to the Nevarpur PS. Out of these 12, ten were women.
Satyaparaksh Singh, the Station House Officer at Myorpur PS, attributed the arrests to “willful destruction” of forest department’s afforestation project in the Lilasi area. According to Singh, “About 40 women cut down over 400 trees on May 14. And when forest guard tried to stop them, they chased them away with axes and other tools.”
However, the Adivasis of Sonbhadra deny such acts and say that they are being targeted because of their campaign which started on April 23 to claim the land on which they have been living. According to one resident of Lilasi, “We were not doing anything illegal. We are just expediting our rights provided by the Forest Rights Act of 2006 which grants us to claim community and individual rights over the land.”
The arrested Adivasis were charged under Section 151 of the India Penal Code which deals with the people knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse.
The arrested people were, however, released after the quick intervention of Teesta Setalvad, the founder of Citizens of Justice and Peace (CJP). On May 22, Satyaprakash Singh again reached Lilasi village with a police force and manhandled the local women and children. According to the complaint filed by the Kismatiya Gond, the secretary at “Gram Vanadhikar Samiti” —an organisation for claiming rights on the land of village and forest, the policemen barged into her house and beat her with sticks. She has also claimed that police behaved in a wrong way with her two minor daughters.
The police harassment on May 22 lasted for a few hours in which police was beating anyone it could see in the village. Seeing police action, the tribal women chased them away from the village.
Lilasi Adivasis have alleged that this event has been followed by many covert and undocumented raids and police visits to the houses of Adivasis. However, police have been denying all such allegations and are saying that when police tried to stop the Adivasis from cutting more trees, they chased and attacked forest guards and police officers.
Adivasis have also alleged that police is using various means to threaten the Adivasis, and no administration official has yet visited the Lilasi village to talk to the villagers.
However, the police went a step ahead by arresting three Adivasi leaders-Sukalo Gond, Kismatiya Gond, and Sukhdev Gond-from Chopan railway station on June 6 when they were returning to Sonbhadra from Lucknow after meeting Dara Singh Chouhan, the state forest minister.
The arrested tribal leaders were not allowed to talk to their family members for more than 24 hours. In fact, it was only after the intervention by CJP and the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFP) that the police admitted that three tribal leaders had been arrested and sent to jail from the railway station.
What makes this arrest more dubious that Sukalo Gond and Kismatiya Gond were not even named in the police FIR, but they were arrested anyway without any charges. Nanhak Ram, the 53-year-old husband of Sukalo, told, “They (police) arrested her from the railway station. We were waiting for her in the village. And they neither informed us about her arrest nor allowed her to talk to us for more than 24 hours. We were sick worried about her, but that did not matter to the police.”
“Sukalo’s name is not even in the FIR …we fail to understand on which grounds has she has been arrested,” added Nanhak Ram.
Since the arrest of the 12 Adivasis on May 18, most of the women of Lilasi village are not returning to their homes fearing police violence and arrest. Bechan Singh, a resident of Lilasi village said, “The local women are forced to spend their day somewhere else because they think if they come to the village, they could be arrested or beaten by the police.
Rai Singh, the 21-year-old son of arrested Sukhdev Gond said, “We thought he would return and the problems would be resolved, but it was not like that.” Contrary to Sukalo and Kisamtiya, Sukhdev Gond was named in the police FIR, but according to his family members, he did not do anything which could be termed criminal.
Moreover, the police have not produced the arrested Adivasis in any court, contrary to the legal procedure which says that every individual has to be produced in court within 24 hours of the arrest.
On March 23, the Adivasis of the village handed over papers to the District Magistrate at Sonbhadra claiming land rights on more than 250 acres of forest land under Forest Rights Act, 2006. The piece of land was in dispute between the Adivasis and the Forest Department of the state. According to the papers, the forest department has been claiming the land piece as “reserved” while Adivasis argue that the Forest Department has not conducted any official mapping and measurement of the land.
Adivasis have also claimed that Forest Department officials gave the land to powerful and upper-caste residents of the village, which was used for building houses. In their application to the Forest Secretary of the state, the Adivasis named Ramvriksh, Pradeep, Ramsevak Yadav, Ravikant, Devendra, Kisan, Rajendra, and the local police department for the illegal forest land trading.
The police cases against the Adivasis are said to be a product of the same tussle between powerful land occupants and local Adivasis. The locals from Duddhi have accused the Forest Rights Unions and other organisations of using Adivasis to get a hold on forest produces.
Tribals of Sonbhadra’s Lilasi village (Photo: sources)
According to Roma Malik, the Deputy General Secretary at AIUFWP, a Habeas Corpus petition has been filed on June 27 by CJP and AIUFWP in the Allahabad High Court regarding immediate release of Sukalo and Kismatiya, who were not named in the police FIR. On June 29, a two-member bench of the Allahabad High Court issued a notice to the respondents in the case that include the State of UP (through the Principal Secretary, Home), Sonebhadra Superintendent of Police (SP) and District Management (DM) and Station House Officer, Myorpur Police Station. The court has now demanded an explanation for the detention from the SP and the DM. The court has also directed that both Sukalo and Kismatiya be produced before it at the next hearing on July 9.

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133 of 136 IPS-officers fail exams, but still in service #WTFnews

Only three of 136 IPS officers clear exams

It says a lot about the state of India’s police force when only three of 136 IPS officers manage to pass the exams to graduate from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA).

Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped the probationers from passing out of the Academy and being posted on the field.

But they’ll be removed if they can’t clear it in three attempts.

In context: Only three of 136 IPS officers clear exams

08 Jul 2018133 of 136 IPS-officers fail exams, but still in service

TrainingTraining at SVPNPA includes 45 weeks of rigorous exercises

IPS officers have to undergo a 45-week rigorous training schedule at the SVPNPA, Hyderabad.

They are trained in basics like Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Evidence Act and forensic science, and outdoor subjects like weapons, swimming, horse-riding and unarmed combat.

There is a test after four-five months of training, which is mostly objective, and the final at the end, which is subjective.

2016 batch saw 'unprecedented' number of failures

2016 batch saw ‘unprecedented’ number of failures

The aforementioned data is from the 2016 regular recruit (RR) batch. Of 122 officers, 119 couldn’t clear at least one subject.

All of the other 14, who are from foreign police forces, failed.

Two officers failed to graduate.

Even those who had received medals at the passing out parade in October couldn’t clear the exams.

The number of failures is unprecedented, officials said.

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Uttarakhand – Scam of Rs. 2.32 Crore in Sterilization in Garhwal District

Sterilization scam in Garhwa district highlights pathetic condition of family planning services. For providing sterilization services, health department has signed MoU with 11 private hospitals
CMHO came to know about the scam after going through the files of 2016-17 and 2017-18.
All payments were made for sterilization without entering the details of the beneficiaries. He found 1200 sterilization in a day and doubted on it.
He issued show cause notice to DPM as he is accountable for this issue and cancelled MoU with Private hospitals in the district.

महिला बंध्याकरण और पुरुष नसबंदी में जिले में Rs.2.32 करोड़ का घोटाला

महिला बंध्याकरण और पुरुष नसबंदी में जिले में Rs.2.32 करोड़ का घोटाला

सीएस ने किया खुलासा | डीपीएम आशुतोष मिश्रा के वेतन निकासी पर रोक, मांगा गया स्पष्टीकरण, 11 निजी चिकित्सालयों का एमओयू रद्द

सियाराम | गढ़वा

गढ़वा जिले में दो करोड़ 32 लाख का एनआरएचएम के तहत घोटाला किए जाने का मामला प्रकाश में आया है। इसके बाद सभी संबंधित चिकित्सालयों के भुगतान रोक पर रोक लगा दी गई है। घोटाला प्रकाश में आने के बाद वर्तमान मुख्य चिकित्सा पदाधिकारी ने जिले के 11 निजी चिकित्सालयों से अपना अनुबंध(एमओयू) रद्द कर दिया है। 

मामले की गंभीरता को देखते हुए मुख्य चिकित्सा पदाधिकारी डॉ कन्हैया प्रसाद ने डीपीएम आशुतोष मिश्रा के वेतन निकासी पर रोक लगाते हुए उनसे स्पष्टीकरण मांगा है। मामला के प्रकाश में आने के बाद डीपीएम आशुतोष मिश्रा अचानक छुट्टी पर चले गए हैं। इस संबंध में बताया गया कि एनआरएचएम के तहत जिले के विभिन्न चिकित्सालयों द्वारा बंध्याकरण ऑपरेशन के भुगतान की फाइल मुख्य चिकित्सा पदाधिकारी के पास भेजी गई थी। यह फाइल 2016-17 व 2017-18 की है। जो फाइल मुख्य चिकित्सा पदाधिकार के पास भेजी गई थी, वह भी अपूर्ण थी। उसमें लाभुक का किसी भी तरह कोई विवरण नहीं दिया गया था। इस फाइल पर सीएस को शक तो उस समय हुआ।


जब इसी वर्ष मई माह में विभिन्न निजी चिकित्सालयों में व्यापक पैमाने पर एक दिन में बंध्याकरण ऑपरेशन दिखाया गया। जबकि जिन चिकित्सकों का बंध्याकरण ऑपरेशन के लिए जिक्र किया गया था। उन सभी के द्वारा एक दिन में एक साथ इतनी संख्या में बंध्याकरण ऑपरेशन किया जाना संभव ही नहीं था। शक होने पर सीएस ने इस फाइल को पूर्ण कर प्रस्तुत करने की बात कहते हुए लौटा दिया। इसमें एक-दो ऐसे निजी चिकित्सालय हैं, जिनका इस योजना के तहत बंध्याकरण का दो वर्ष का 85 लाख रुपए तक बकाया है।

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Amartya Sen: India Has Taken A Quantum Jump In The Wrong Direction After 2014

The government has also deflected from issues of inequalities, the caste system and the schedules tribes have been kept out, said Sen.
Amartya Sen: India Has Taken A Quantum Jump In The Wrong Direction After 2014

Nobel laureate and economist Amartya Sen said that despite being the fastest-growing economy the country has taken a “quantum jump in the wrong direction” since 2014. He also said that due to moving backwards, the country is now second worst in the region.

The renowned economist and author was speaking in Delhi at the launch of ‘Bharat Aur Uske Virodhabhas’, the Hindi edition of his book ‘An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradiction’ that he co-authored with development economist Jean Dreze.

“Things have gone pretty badly wrong… It has taken a quantum jump in the wrong direction since 2014. We are getting backwards in the fastest-growing economy”he said.

Twenty years ago, he added, of the six countries in this region — India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, India was the second best after Sri Lanka. “Now, it is the second worst. Pakistan has managed to shield us from being the worst”, said Sen.

Sen further said that the government has also deflected from issues of inequalities, the caste system and the schedules tribes have been kept out.

There were a whole group of people, those who clean lavatories or sewage with their hands, he said, whose demands and needs have been neglected.

While highlighting the recent report of a Dalit youth who was whipped for asking a salary hike from the manager of a petrol pump in Madhya Pradesh, he said they (Dalits) are going around without any kind of certainty about their next meal, healthcare or education.

Taking a dig at the BJP-led government, he added that during freedom struggle it was difficult to see that a political battle could be won by playing up the Hindu identity, but that has changed now.

“But, that has happened. Which is why, at this time, the whole issue of Opposition unity is so important,” the 84-year-old economist said.

“It is not a battle of one entity against the other (or) Mr Modi against Mr Rahul Gandhi, it is an issue of what India is,” Sen added

Also speaking at the event, development economist and activist Jean Dreze termed the soon-to-be launched Ayushmann Bharat health scheme a “hoax” as it was actually not big as it was being claimed to be.

“The budget (for the scheme) for this year is 2,000 crore. Even if it is spent, it’s less than 20 rupees per person,” he said.

It is projected as health insurance for 50 crore people, but it is virtually nothing, said Dreze, who helped draft the first version of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA).

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Prof Shoma Sen will be 60 on August 1st in Yerwada Prison – Send her Greetings #DefendDissent

Mulaquaat #2
Yerwada Women’s Jail Pune
3rd July 2018

By- Koel Sen

We wait. The wait is long this time.
Monsoon clouds hover above us.
Papa, hasn’t met her since they picked her up from home.

We park ourselves on a small bench outside the Mulaquaat Kaksha that can barely fit two people. I have made two cute little friends there, who come panting with their tongues hanging and greet me with a nudge on my knee. It’s cold and windy, about to rain.

Papa is writing down on a small piece of paper, things he needs to tell her. His gentle hands shiver from rheumatoid arthritis. In a bit, I see him dozing off while doing so, sitting next to me.

The wait is long this time. We are tired and un-slept and hungry. I start counting the dark-grey gravel around my feet. They start merging into different patterns. I look up. The tall white wall of the Mulaquaat building has grey formations on it, that start moving, turning into little hazy figures. I wonder if I am hallucinating. I remind myself, I haven’t slept and it’s the stress. The mind can play such crazy tricks while you wait outside the jail, I wonder how it would be inside… I hold my tears as a deep hollow feeling swallows me from inside.

We meet. Maa and Papa do most of the talking, I try hard to deflect the obstruction caused by the light reflecting on the glass wall this time. I want to see her properly.

In a bit, I get the intercom to talk. Among other regular talk about moneys, medicines, cot and clothes – she suddenly tells me… “There’s this big built old lady, OK, who is like the ‘boss’ around here”… .”What?!” I say, “Maa, are you getting bullied ?”, “No, no, “.. she said “She asked me to ask my daughter to buy her a bra, she has given me her size.. .” “Maa, seriously.!?” I asked. “What now, are you running charity services inside?”.. .we laugh, “I got you your bras, give her one of yours… Don’t let anyone bully you Maa, don’t be the usual softie that you are.”…

It begins to rain outside.

It’s her 60th Birthday on the 1st of August, she will now be produced only on the 2nd of August. Well-wishers are welcome to send her cards, letters and love to the this address –
UT no. 311 of 2018
Shoma Kanti Sen
Yerwada Women’s Jail
PUNE – 411006


#ReleaseShomaSen  #JusticeforShomaSen  #DefendDissent

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Pyaasa Meets Parichay: Remembering Guru Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar on their birth anniversaries today

Guru Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar birth anniversaries: Guru Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar’s turbulent, tragic and unlucky-in-love personas haunted the two stars throughout their life, cruelly and creatively manifesting itself both on screen and off it.

Guru Dutt, Sanjeev Kumar, Guru Dutt birthday, Sanjeev Kumar birthday, Guru Dutt films, Guru Dutt photos, Guru Dutt Sanjeev Kumar birth anniversariesEven though Guru Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar never worked together, they do share a curious link – K Asif’s Love And God.Even though they belonged to entirely different Bollywood eras, it is no mere coincidence that Guru Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar, two of Hindi cinema’s greatest legends, were born on the same day (July 9). As you will find out, Dutt and Kumar have a few things in common starting, undeniably, with their tragic young deaths. Gripped by depression Dutt committed suicide at 39, leaving behind not only a rich legacy of popular classics such as Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam but also a handful of unfinished films, including Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi which was ultimately released with Dharmendra as his replacement.

On the other hand, Kumar, who excelled at playing older characters complete with salt-and-pepper hair, languid gait and a shawl draped gracefully over his sturdy, manly shoulders, died catastrophically young at 47. As if that setback wasn’t enough, tragedy struck Kumar’s family as one of his brothers had passed away before him while another died shortly after him. Like Dutt, Kumar also left in his wake incomplete productions and several projects that released after his demise.

Their turbulent, tragic and unlucky-in-love personas haunted the two stars throughout their life, cruelly and creatively manifesting itself both on screen and off it. Here’s a quick look at their films and lives.

Guru Dutt

The memory of Guru Dutt is very much alive even today and it works on multiple levels. Within the industry, Dutt is vociferously admired for his courageous and ground-breaking work. Countless contemporary filmmakers and stars, ranging from Mahesh Bhatt and Anurag Kashyap to Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchandraw their daily sustenance from the Prophet of Pyaasa. To those who make films and work in them, Dutt remains an inspiration as someone who made deeply personal films despite commercial temptations. For avid film watchers, Dutt’s angst-ridden work, whether it is the misanthropic poet of Pyaasa, the doomed filmmaker of Kaagaz Ke Phool, the Lucknowi lover boy of Waheeda Rehman in Chaudhvin Ka Chand or the cartoonist (“not communist”) of the breezy comedy Mr and Mrs 55, is a treasure trove. And then, there’s the Guru Dutt who spawned a cottage industry of film academics. Collectively, Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool may have inspired more books and analytical essays in the last decade than any other Hindi classic. Dutt’s films splendidly combined the social concerns of the time (he retained the socialist heart even in songs, usually penned by friend Sahir Ludhianvi) with fine commercial sensibilities. Those were Dutt’s professional highs. There were lows, too. Kaagaz Ke Phool, his 1959 labour of love that has become a cult classic since, was a resounding flop upon initial response sending Dutt into depression. He was to never again accept credit as a director, leaving that dirty job to trusted aide Abrar Alvi. The film’s failure disturbed him more so due to its semi-autobiographical story, borrowed from Dutt’s life as a filmmaker.

guru dutt

Kaagaz Ke Phool was his very own 8½ that furthered an impression of him among the film crowd as a cinematic poet, philosopher and cynic. His life, as his films, had a lyrical quality. Much has been written and rumoured about Dutt’s tormented personal life. While he was married to singer Geeta Dutt, his affair with newcomer Waheeda Rehman is said to have led him on a path to self-destruction. Something similar transpired with Sanjeev Kumar, who was in love with Hema Malini. The Dream Girl’s rejection shattered him.

Sanjeev Kumar

Like Guru Dutt whose birth name was Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone, Sanjeev Kumar was born Harihar Jethalal Jariwala, popularly known as Haribhai in the Hindi film circle. In Kaagaz Ke Phool’s iconic and poignant ending, we see Guru Dutt as a shawl-clad old man doddering about the film studios where he spent his salad days. This was to become, many years later, Sanjeev Kumar’s adopted look in several hit Bollywood films of the 1970s and 80s. Of course, it’s too far-fetched to say that Kumar was inspired by Dutt. He may have been, who knows, but there’s no evidence to suggest that. What unites Dutt and Kumar, decades apart, are the roles and films that defied norms and their propensity towards tragic and dramatic characters. They could just as easily (and effortlessly) switch to romantic comedies. Kumar, mostly in collaboration with Gulzar, essayed at times, sensitive, tragic, poetic and at others, light-hearted and breezy comedies, in films like Koshish, Aandhi, Parichay, Sholay, Mausam, Angoor and Namkeen. This was not unlike Dutt.

Sanjeev Kumar

Poet Sahir Ludhianvi was to Guru Dutt what Gulzar was to Sanjeev Kumar. And though Kumar is regarded as one of the finest Indian actors of all time, Guru Dutt was not half as good in front of the camera as he was behind it, a fact acknowledged by Abrar Alvi, the “alleged” director of Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962). “I personally wasn’t keen on Guru Dutt playing Bhootnath (in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam), or, for that matter, the hero even in my comedies. I felt, and still feel that as an actor he was stilted, and his real talent lay in direction,” Alvi was candidly quoted as saying in Ten Years With Guru Dutt, a book by Sathya Saran.

It’s our loss that Dutt and Kumar never worked together. However, there’s a link that connects the two and that link is K Asif. Asif did announce Love And God, an Arabian fable as forgettable as Mughal-E-Azam is memorable, with Guru Dutt as the leading man. Dutt died midway, leaving the film incomplete. K Asif eventually revived the shelved project with Sanjeev Kumar. The film, released in 1986, has Kumar in a role that’s part Lawrence of Arabia, part Mughal-E-Azam.

Wonder how Guru Dutt would have played the Arabic prince.

(Shaikh Ayaz is a writer and journalist based in Mumbai)

Pyaasa Meets Parichay: Remembering Guru Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar on their birth anniversaries today

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Panchayat orders 4 slaps as punishment to man who tried to rape 13-yr-old girl #WTFnews

Mohd Dilshad| TNN | 

Muzaffarnagar: In yet another instance of a kangaroo court delivering instant justice in serious criminal offences, a village panchayat in Bhopa area of Muzaffarnagar ordered four slaps as punishment to a 35-year-old man who allegedly attempted to rape a 13-year-old girl. A video showing the girl’s mother and villagers slapping the accused has gone viral on Sunday, drawing sharp reactions from social media users.
Taking cognizance of the matter, police registered an FIR under stringent sections of IPC and POCSO Act against the accused on Sunday. The accused have been arrested and sent to jail, said police. According to superintendent of police (rural) Ajay Sahdev, “After the matter came to our notice, the local police registered a case against the accused and arrested him.”

The incident took place on Friday in a village under the jurisdiction of Bhopa police station. The accused, a shopkeeper, had caught hold of the girl, dragged her into his shop and tried to force himself on her when she had gone to the man’s shop buy some cooking oil. The girl resisted and somehow managed to escape from his clutches and ran back to her home.

According to the victim’s father, “I was cooking for the children and had sent my daughter to buy edible oil from Lalit’s shop, but she rushed back home empty-handed and narrated the entire incident to me.”

The news of the incident spread soon and supporters of the family and the accused gathered and sought to sort the matter immediately. A panchayat was held immediately to decide the matter.

A villager, on condition of anonymity, said, “The family members and supporters of the accused called the panchayat at a house to sort out the matter. The panchayat found the accused guilty and ordered that he be beaten up as punishment for his misdeeds. The victim’s mother and some others villagers slapped him after which the panchayat let him go free. On Sunday morning, the video of the incident went viral.”

Now, villagers who were part of the panchayat are looking for the person who had uploaded the video on social media, the villager added. The panchayat members are of the opinion that it is an “internal matter of the village” and that the video should not have gone viral.

When asked about the mater, the village chief’s husband, Shahnazar Zaidi, told TOI that the matter took place in his absence. He said he was out of the village when the panchayattook the decision. “I was informed by the villagers that they needed to hold a panchayat immediately in my absence so as to punish the man who attempted to rape the girl. The victim and the accused belong to the same community.”

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