QMumbai: 2002 Bomb Blast Accused Held; TISS Convocation Drama
Ghatkopar bomb blast accused held after 16 years and other city stories.
1. 2002 Ghatkopar Bus Bomb Blast Accused Held After 16 Yrs
Nearly 16 years after a bomb blast in a city bus killed two persons in Ghatkopar, Irfan Qureshi, a wanted accused in the case, was arrested from the house of his relative in Aurangabad, police said today.
A team of the Gujarat ATS had received a tipoff about Qureshi’s presence in his relative’s house on Sunday, a senior Mumbai police official said. The Gujarat ATS team detained Qureshi who was later handed over to a crime branch team of the Mumbai police at the spot, he said.
Another senior officer said the Gujarat ATS team had gone to Aurangabad to trace the accused wanted in connection with another case when they zeroed in on Qureshi. He was produced in the special court which remanded him to ATS custody till May 14.
His Lawyers Yakub Sheikh and Tahera Sheikh said that he was never absconding and that the ATS chose not to arrest him. “At the time of investigation, hard disks were seized from his office. In fact, when he was named as an accused, his family approached the POTA review committee. While a committee ruled that a necessary inquiry may be conducted, a warrant was never issued in his name. Now after all these years, they are accusing him in the blast case,” Yakub Sheikh told Mirror.
2. TISS Fees Dispute: Nine Students Refuse Degrees At Convocation
Days after around 70 winners boycotted the National Film Awards over the President’s decision to personally felicitate only the select winners, a similar protest was witnessed yesterday during the Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ (TISS) convocation, when around nine students refused to accept their degrees and 300 students wore badges to protest the administration’s ‘betrayal’.
The TISS administration is embroiled in a tussle with the students over its decision to withdraw a fee waiver offered to SC, ST and OBC students, who are eligible for the Government of India Post-Matric Scholarship (GoIPMS).
Since February 21, students at the four TISS campuses, in Mumbai, Tuljapur (Maharashtra), Guwahati and Hyderabad, have stalled academic work, which started with students in Mumbai blocking the Deonar campus gates on February 21.
Yesterday, during the convocation at the Deonar campus, one of the students who refused to accept the degree identified himself as Ajit Shekhar, a Scheduled Caste student from Uttar Pradesh who completed his Masters in social work. “I’m not worried about the degree,” Shekhar told Mirror. “The students have been betrayed as the management keeps changing its stance. It is not possible for scores of students like me to pay the amount the institute is demanding,” he said.
3. Rising Cases Of Foot, Hand And Mouth Infection In South Mumbai
Over the last three weeks, Dr Fazal Nabi’s case file has been marking a worrying trend. He has seen at least two children with symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) each day. Although the contagious disease typically resurfaces every summer, the large number of cases so far this year — at least 60 — in south Mumbai has made the Cumbala Hill paediatrician take note.
“I have had patients from Girgaum, Dadar, Parel and Mazgaon. The number is marginally higher for May. The outbreak of the disease usually starts in October and ends by November,” says Dr Nabi. “Last year, I saw 1-2 cases during the same period.”
At least two other doctors report similar trends. The BMC has not been alerted about the anomaly as the doctors feel that the scenario hasn’t touched dire proportions yet. The surge appears to be largely restricted to south Mumbai. The suburbs have not reported any unusual uptick.
4. Crack In Kemps Corner Bridge Sparks Collapse Rumour
WhatsApp frenzy over supposed cracks in country's first-ever flyover tore SoBo's Sunday peace into tatters, as a photo circulated yesterday. The picture showed a portion of the Kemps Corner bridge with a fissure, ie a misalignment, which looks as if the bridge has developed a crack and is in danger of giving way.
The WhatsApp message that accompanied the picture said: 'Kemps Corner flyover. This definitely does not look right. Need to get this addressed. Please forward and share with as many people'. There was a flurry of reactions, some of which read: 'Scary!' Others read: 'Oh My Gosh', and some denounced the complacency of the authorities. One even said that there were other messages being circulated, stating the bridge was falling and traffic was being diverted.
As the panic spread, a screenshot of a social media post from Yuva Sena's Aaditya Thackeray popped up on phones. It read, "...Albeit the concern is legitimate, I request everyone not to panic as the alignment of the joint has a fault of levelling since its construction in 1965. However, the Hon'ble Municipal Commissioner has asked the BMC to anyway carry out an audit again soon and take necessary steps, if any, for the safety of our citizens. "
When asked about the frenzy, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta asked with a laugh, "Is the bridge falling down?" "We do audits regularly, as is the norm for all infrastructure. There will be an audit of the bridge too. There is no special audit being done," he said.
5. MNS Disrupts Land Measuring Process For Bullet Train Project
A week after MNS chief Raj Thackeray urged farmers not to give up land for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, party workers on Monday tried to disrupt work of measuring land that needs to be acquired for the high-speed rail corridor near Shil village.
The measurement drive was being carried out in Shilphata area of the village in Thane district by the state PWD and National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), which is executing the project. Protests began around 11 am when MNS workers disrupted work several times.
“We will continue to oppose this measurement drive and not let the project take off. Creation of jobs is more important than building a bullet train corridor. The government should also try to improve the existing infrastructure of the villages instead of building a train corridor,” said Avinash Jadhav, MNS Thane district chief.
6. Study On POCSO Act Implementation: ‘Out Of 36 Rural Police Stations, 20 Don’t Have Women Sub-Inspector’
In a study conducted on the status of implementation of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act by NGO Prerana, it was found that of the 36 rural police stations, visited by the research team in 17 districts of the state, 20 did not have a woman police sub-inspector.
Under the provisions of the Act, as far as it can be practiced, the statement of a child victim should be recorded by a woman police officer, not below the rank of a sub-inspector. “It was commonplace to find that there was just one lady PSI assigned to cases at over 15 or even 25 rural police stations. In urban areas, every police station had at least one lady PSI dedicated to working on cases of children,” the study released on Monday states.
Pravin Patkar, co-founder of Prerana and Pooja Kandula, the research officer, who was part of the data collection, said this was one of the impediments in effective implementation of the Act in rural areas. Kandula said that during their research, they found instances where women PSIs would have to travel for hours and at odd times to reach the child.
The study was part of the NGO Prerana’s Aarambh Initiative, which included as respondents 64 policemen, 18 public prosecutors, 16 Child Welfare Commitees, 14 hospitals, 14 District Child Protection Units, 14 Civil Society Organisations and seven Juvenile Justice Boards.
7. CBI Set To File Chargesheets In PNB Fraud Case This Month
The CBI is set to file the first of its chargesheets in the case involving Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud with focus initially on half-a-dozen fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) and an equal number of foreign letters of credit (FLCs) worth Rs 1,000 crore in the alleged Rs 13,400-crore fraud in the state-owned bank, sources said.
Diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, who are absconding, would be named as wanted accused in the chargesheets, they added.
The agency is likely to file the chargesheets between May 15 and May 20, as the 90-day period to file a chargesheet against the 19 arrested accused will come to an end later this month. This is to deter the prospects of the accused seeking bail on the ground that the agency failed to file a chargesheet against them in the stipulated period of 90-days, as mandated under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), sources told The Indian Express.
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