Karnataka IAS officer accused of harassing a widow

Bangalore: Former Haryana director general of police SPS Rathore using his clout to prolong the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case is not alone.

A senior IAS officer in Karnataka, DK Rangaswamy, faces allegations of misbehaving with a widow but despite complaints by the victim, he continues to survive thanks to his clout.

Rangaswamy allegedly misbehaved with a widow, R Yamini, who had come to him to process land records after her husband’s death two years back.

RTI queries reveal that Rangaswamy who was then the deputy commissioner of Ramanagaram district changed his own orders on her land three times because she refused his demands.

“Because of the sanction order, he demanded relationship in a wrong way. You may know what he demanded. When I refused he started harassing and registered a case in CCB against me regarding revenue matter. I got bail from the court,” claims Yamini.

Subsequent enquiries by then revenue secretary SM Jaamdar recommended Rangaswamy’s suspension. But Rangaswamy had many godfathers and Yamini approached the Lokayukta for help.

“First letter was in September. These type of officers will bring bad name to the government and one should take action. The chief secretary met me personally and he said he’ll take action too. Departmental action will be taken but nothing happened. I wrote another letter in April but still nothing happened. But the worst thing is he was given super-time scale. This is the position. The government now says it’ll take up the matter more seriously,” says Karnataka Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde.

“Karnataka will deal with this aspect and take action against that senior officer who has indulged in activities that I term as anti-civil in nature by a civil servant. We’ll seek information and after getting information we’ll take necessary action,” says Karnataka Law Minister Suresh Kumar.

But for Yamini it has already been a two-year-long fight with a powerful bureaucrat.

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Goa man accused of raping Russian girl surrenders

Panaji: John Fernandes, accused of raping a 25-year-old Russian girl in Panaji, surrendered before the Goa Crime Branch on Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Fernandes accompanied by his lawyer Rajiv Gomes came to the crime branch office at Dona Paula at 1400 hrs IST.

The accused has been absconding after his anticipatory bail was cancelled by the Bombay High Court in December 2009.

The Supreme Court on Monday too had refused to grant anticipatory bail to the accused who allegedly raped the victim in his car on December 1, 2009.

The Goa Police were on the lookout for Fernandes, a local politician, after Judicial Magistrate first class, Margao pronounced him as absconder.

The girl had alleged that the accused spiked her drink and later raped her in his car near Colva beach.

Maharashtra blames 3 Idiots for KEM ragging

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Monday made a strange connection to ragging in KEM medical college in Mumbai to a ragging scene in the movie 3 Idiots. State officials suspect that a scene which shows students being ragged by seniors has inspired the ragging of 10 physiotherapy students of the KEM hospital.

Minister of Medical Education, Vijaykumar Gavit says, “If this film has incited this, we will take action.”

However, on Wednesday, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan made an effort to sound more diplomatic. He said, “Who said this was because of 3 Idiots? We will first check the movie and then decide.”

The censor board that cleared the movie is baffled. The Central Board of Film Certification and the filmmakers are both baffled with the government’s inability to differentiate between reel life and real life ragging.

Member Central Board of Film Certification, Nandini Sardesai said, “I think the government is missing the point. The film does not inspire ragging. It depicts ragging.”

Actor Aamir Khan added, “That scene from the film is clearly meant to be against ragging.”

People are saying that the government’s approach to the ragging problem in KEM is a trivial solution to a serious issue – targeting a film with a fictitious story to solve a legitimate problem that most colleges face in reality.

Nonetheless, this is not the first time the Maharashtra government has ignored the forest by focusing on the trees – from calling 26/11 a ‘small incident’, to declaring that ICSE students should get only 10 per cent of college seats, there seems to be no stopping the state’s string of irresponsible statements.

More holes in Govt’s bulletproof jacket deals

New Delhi: The lessons of 26/11 appear to have been forgotten in a hurry. Months after the Ram Pradhan Committee report indicted the Maharashtra government for the poor quality of bulletproof jackets, the issue has surfaced again.

It was the poor quality of life-saving bulletproof jackets that could have cost Mumbai top cop Hemant Karkare’s life in the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks. However, lessons have not been learnt from the unforgettable incidence.

CNN-IBN has unearthed serious violations in a recent tendering and approval process for 59,000 bulletproof jackets floated by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Rules have allegedly been bent by the nation’s premier Defence Research And Development Organisation (DRDO). Documents exclusively with CNN-IBN detail the testing process of all the eight bidders.

Violation No. 1

Two different samples of jackets were tested for live firing at the same time – 1305 hrs IST to 1320 hrs IST and 1312 hrs IST to 1318 hrs IST but the DRDO lab is a single bench test firing range, two samples just cannot be tested at the same time. How did the second test start before the first one finished?

Violation No. 2

As per the rule or standard operating procedure –‘wet jackets’ have to be fired at within 10 minutes of soaking but the document clearly reveals how a sample was fired at after 17 minutes and rejected. Ironically, other bidders did adhere to this guideline and passed the trial.

Violation No. 3

If a jacket is perforated during a test shot, testing must end and the sample stands rejected. But the report shows how shot number 4 from an AK-47 pierced the jacket and yet more shots were fired at the sample. In another case, when an MP5 bullet pierced a sample jacket, the shot was declared “unfair”, to allow testing to continue.

Even the declaration is a whiteout job endorsed only by RK Verma, one of the seven members on technical evaluation committee and the man who fired the shot.

Interestingly, of the 376 shots fired during the trials, this was the only shot declared unfair.

Jackets belonging to this vendor were approved in the technical bidding making it eligible for the financial bid.

CNN-IBN also found that lab test reports don’t have the signatures of five out of seven members on the technical evaluation committee. Ironically, the Union Home Ministry in an internal note has conceded it has received several complaints about these trials.

At least three complaints are currently being examined. An alleged audio recording which indicts a technical evaluation committee member is also being examined.

When CNN-IBN contacted Verma, who has been named in the complaints to the Ministry, he denied any wrongdoing but refused to come on camera and said that the Bureau of Police Research and Development were answerable.

Top level sources say that a worried Home Ministry has now halted the price bid for this tender.

The chairman of the technical evaluation committee will also be asked to explain. The Director General of CRPF – the head of the tender appraisal committee – will be consulted and DRDO will be hauled up and the ballistic trials will be held again if the Ministry is convinced that they were manipulated.

Churchill player Odafa denies molesting airhostess

Mumbai: Churchill Brothers captain Odafa Okolie on Wednesday denied the molestation charge levelled against him and two of his teammates by a SpiceJet airhostess.

”I have my wife, I have two children. This is only an allegation. This is not our country and that’s why we have been treated like this. I can’t play because they have spoiled my mood,” said Okolie.

However, SpiceJet Director Ajay Singh claimed that the players were not behaving in a proper manner.

“Passengers were concerned about the behaviour of the players,” said Singh.

SpiceJet has also issued a statement on the alleged incident.

“Some passengers misbehaved with and abused our crew on board flight SG804 from Goa to Kolkata via Mumbai. In the interest of the safety of other passengers, our pilot took a decision to offload them in Mumbai during the scheduled transit halt. The matter is under investigation with the concerned authorities,” the statement said.

Okolie along with Arindam Bhattacharya and Kalu Nnanna was arrested for allegedly misbehaving and molesting with an airhostess and other cabin crew members on board a SpiceJet plane on Tuesday night.

They were arrested after being off loaded from the SG 804 from Goa to Kolkata via Mumbai at the Mumbai airport and granted bail by a Mumbai court on Wednesday morning on a personal bond of Rs 5,000 each.

All three were booked on charges of outraging the modesty of a woman.

The entire Churchil Brothers team was going to Kolkata for their I-League match against Mohun Bagan on Friday.

Odafa is the highest paid player in the Indian football circuit and was judged the most valuable player in India’s premier tournament I-League

He was also the highest goal scorer in the I-League. Bhattacharya was judged the best goal keeper in the I-League and is also one of the top three goalkeepers of India.

Kalu is one of the main midfielders of the Churchill team and one of the Nigerian recruits of the club.

Govt to build 1 lakh houses for paramilitary personnel: Chidambaram

New Delhi, Jan 5 : Urging the nation to respect ‘men in uniform’, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today said the Centre would be building one lakh housing units for paramilitary personnel in next few years.

”We will be building one lakh housing units for paramilitary forces in next few years,” the Home Minister said, while acknowledging Idea Cellular contribution of Rs 2.50 crore for the Prime Minister’s National Defence Fund.

The Home Minister said police personnel deployed across the country live under difficult conditions, so there was a need to give them respect.

”The nation would be getting better police force if people respect the men in uniform,” the minister said.

He said the amount given by Idea, would be a help in providing better uniform, better shoes, better bulletproof jackets and provide better training to the police personnel.

Idea Cellular Managing Director Sanjeev Aga handed a cheque of Rs 2.50 crore for the Prime Minister’s National Defence Fund to the Home Minister at a ceremony here this evening.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Aga said, ”On the first anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Idea Cellular initiated the nationwide campaign ‘Talk for India Hour’ and every call that Idea’s subscribers made that evening between 2036 hrs to 2136 hrs generated a total revenue of Rs 1.25 crore.” Idea Cellular doubled the amount and contributed a total sum of Rs 2.50 crore for the Prime Minister’s National Defence Fund, he added.

Shabana Azmi stresses need for women’s education, check on female killing

Jaunpur, Jan 5 : Bollywood actor and social activist Shabana Azmi today stressed the need for education among women and appealed to people to eliminate discrimination between the boy and the girl child.

”The people, specially the young blood, should step ahead to check any exploitation against the female fraternity,” Ms Azmi said while addressing scribes after inspecting the under-construction Kaifi Azmi building at Veer Bahadur Singh Poorvanchal University here.

Media can also contribute in an effective manner against any unjustice to the women, she added.

The former Rajya Sabha member said the people accused of killing females in foetus should be dealt with iron hands.

”Its time, when people should change their approach towards the women, who are actively participating in each and every field of society,” the activist said.

Also, the youth should have a major role in spreading awareness about the government schemes among the villagers.

Moreover, she expressed concern over the sky-shooting prices of essential commodities and the burden it was posing upon the poor.

She said the poor should reap the benefits of the government schemes.