News Feed: 02-Aug’2016

1. Bulandshahr rape victims’ kin threatens of suicide

Bulandshahr rape victims’ kin whose wife and minor daughter were gang-raped by highway robbers in Uttar Pradesh threatened that the family of three will commit suicide if police fail to give them justice in three months.

The ultimatum by the family comes amid allegations of police laxity that allowed the gang to waylay five members of the family on the Ghaziabad-Aligarh highway on Friday night when they were headed to their native place in Shahjahanpur in a car.

The gang looted cash and other valuables before dragging the 13-year-old girl and her mother to a roadside field and raping them, the family said in its complaint.

 

The crime in Bulandshahr has shocked the country and raised questions about law and order and the role of police in the state.

The UP government has suspended seven policemen and set up a 300-member task force that arrested three suspects. According to family, the initial response of police was “pathetic” and that a police van had driven past the spot during the assault.

The uncle of the minor said when they called the police helpline 100, the emergency helpline was busy at first and then no one picked up for a long time. They then contacted a relative in Noida and after some time, the local police station called on their phone.

Earlier in the day, the family even demanded that the two survivors be allowed to shoot dead the rapists in public.

 

The National Commission for Women (NCW) also summoned a doctor for allegedly abusing the minor and asking her asking her “awkward questions” during the medical examination.

NCW chairperson Lalitha Kumarmangalam also criticised Uttar Pradesh police for not invoking sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (Pocso) against the accused.

DIG Meerut Range Laxmi Singh said the Pocso Act was yet to be added in the FIR.

Kumarmangalam said the NCW members were counselling the victims, as they were traumatised and had not been offered any such assistance by the UP Police.

 

2. Anandiben Patel: Her rise, fall and exit!
Gujrat’s first woman chief minister, Anandiben Patel has quit the office. Many believe the 74-year-old chief minister couldn’t stop acting like a headmistress even 30 years after she quit the Mohiniba Girls School in Ahmedabad for a career in politics. And it was this attitude that did not go down well with the people she had to deal with – be it party cadre, government officials or members of the Patidar community.

Patel’s two-year tenure as Gujarat’s first woman chief minister seemed bumpy almost from the start. Though she had carefully cultivated the image of a good administrator over the years.But things took a flipside when Patidar agitation started within a year of her assuming office.

Ever since Patel was made BJP state women wing president, she had worked closely with Modi. Later,  she continued as the women and child development minister in the new cabinet.

She introduced a few revolutionary changes in the state – such as providing 33% reservation to women in all government departments, 50% seats for women in local bodies, and a host of health and education schemes. But all her good work was overshadowed by her failed attempts to make the right political moves in most crucial circumstances.Few highlighted ones are given below:

FROM CRISIS TO CRISIS

AUGUST 2015, Patel agitation: Anandiben failed to efficiently handle the Patel agitation. This resulted in loss of lives and property, and a loss of face for the BJP. The agitation is likely to take away the BJP’s strongest and most loyal vote bank, the Patels, who constitute about 12-14% of the population.

NOV 2015, Municipal poll debacle: Out of power for 20 years, the Congress made a comeback in the rural areas of Gujarat. Though the BJP retained its hold over urban pockets the poll outcome was a loud wake-up call for the party

MARCH 2016, Charges of nepotism: Anadiben mired in controversy following allegations of her government favouring her daughter Anar’s business partners by giving 422 hectares of land at throwaway prices.

JULY 2016, Flogging of Dalits in Una: Trouble deepened for Gujarat CM after four Dalit men were beaten up on suspicion of cow slaughter. Subsequent protests took a violent turn, igniting fresh worries within the BJP about its political fallout in next year November-December election.

 

3. Emerging concern: Is India prepared for the returning NRIs?

Over the weekend a proactive ministry of external affairs, led by minister Sushma Swaraj, worked to help more than 10,000 Indian workers who had lost their jobs and were short of food supplies. Swaraj’s appeal, on Twitter, to the 3 million Indians in Saudi Arabia to help “fellow brothers and sisters” paid off. Ministers of state VK Singh and MJ Akbar are looking into the matter in Saudi Arabia and in Kuwait, where a similar situation has been reported.

Swaraj deserves all praise for her various interventions to address the problems non-resident Indians (NRIs) have faced in the past two-and-a-half years. She has used social media platforms to directly intervene and help NRIs — in June when a Class 10 girl tweeted that her father was jailed in Saudi Arabia, Swaraj comforted the girl that the Indian embassy in Riyadh was on the case, and united the girl with her father.

India to airlift 10,000 workers stuck in Saudi

There is a personal touch and reassuring urgency that Swaraj brings when it comes to addressing such problems — but is that enough? With more Indians set to return from West Asia over the next few years does the Government of India have a plan on how to absorb this wave of returnees?

There are mainly two reasons why it can be anticipated that more NRIs will be returning.

One, the fall in oil prices have meant that governments across West Asia—including Saudi Arabia—have initiated austerity measures, and some forecasts say that oil prices will remain at current rates till the end of 2017. That would force governments and private companies to further tighten their belts, which in effect would see more NRIs losing their jobs.

The dilemma of Indians in the Gulf: Choice between Money and dignity

Two, many governments are now making it mandatory for companies to hire local labour — like the Nitaqat law in Saudi Arabia. The impact of labour localisation policies adopted by many Gulf Cooperation Council countries on India is not fully understood. At the same time while the Saudi Arabia story was in the headlines, about 76 Indian nurses working in Oman were asked to leave.

The return of the unemployed NRI has severe social and economic consequences, many of which India is not prepared for.

 Two Saudi nationals among 3 inmates killed in Manipur jail clashes

The economic implications of more NRIs returning are that there would be a dip in the foreign remittances, and this would decrease the disposable income with households. This would, in turn, spike the unemployment levels and soaring unemployment levels often have an adverse effect on law and order.

The MEA deserves praise for its alacrity in reaching out to NRIs in distress. But that’s half the job, and leaves the question: Is the Centre and state prepared for the return of large numbers of unemployed NRIs?

 

4. Narsingh – The wrestler cleared of Doping, heads for Rio

Narsingh Pancham Yadav, was cleared of doping charges by an anti-doping disciplinary panel of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), which agreed with the grappler’s claim of sabotage.

The NADA panel gave him the benefit of the doubt saying that “the ingestion of the prohibitive substance, in this case methandienone, appeared to be one time.

Sports Minister Vijay Goel cleared Narsingh Yadav was a victim of conspiracy.

It was concluded by panel that the athlete deserves the benefit of Article 10.4 of the anti-doping rules of NADA 2015. Keeping in view the facts and circumstances ,the panel exonerates the athlete from the charges of violating the anti-doping rules of NADA. The summary of the report also states that the estimates for the detected substance found in the urine sample collected on June 25 are substantially reduced in the sample collected in July 5, and that only the long-time metabolite of methandienone was detected in the later sample.

 

The panel opined it was unbelievable that Narsingh would have got any significant gain from the ‘one-time’ usageof substance. It also junked the NADA counsel’s argument that the athlete had failed to take utmost caution by leaving the drink unattended at the site of practice on the mat and for not opting to change his training centre.

Narsingh’s counsel Vidhuspat Singhania said they were able to successfully plead before the panel that sabotage had taken place.

We were able to show that a perjury case has been started against a certain gentleman, who had started to stop him and even given a wrong affidavit. We were able to show that there was a life threat, again that is in media knowledge and we were also able to show that on 5th June there was an attempt to sabotage his food. All these show that there was an attempt being made to sabotage his case.

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