Karela Fry

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

Highway robbery

leave a comment »

NDTV reports:

A group of men allegedly armed with chains, iron rods and hockey sticks assaulted staff and looted nearly two lakh from a toll booth near Delhi on Monday night.

Shortly after 8 pm on Monday, two bikers assaulted workers at the toll plaza for commercial vehicles. Around 30 minutes later, around a dozen men arrived on a bike and in a black Scorpio with a beacon and a politician’s poster on it. They beat up the attendants, ransacked the glass booth, and grabbed Rs. 1.85 lakh in cash and left.

“They were there for a long time, we called the police immediately but they came late. These men had belts, hockey, knuckles, chains and rods,” said Ravi, a worker.

The Gurgaon police, who have been accused of not responding promptly to the SOS from the toll plaza, are yet to comment on the act of brazen lawlessness.

You might begin to wonder where the Indian state has disappeared.

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

October 17, 2013 at 5:17 am

Posted in crime, police

Tagged with ,

Have you had this feeling of deja vu before?

leave a comment »

10 headlines today:

  1. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar: Fairytale journey for one and dream win for the other at CL T20– old cricketers never fade away, they keep retiring over and over again
  2. Shah Rukh Khan’s strategist defends his JK Rowling ‘inspired’ speech– Bollywood plagiarises is inspired by others
  3. Besharam: Senseless and disastrous– Bollywood copies from is inspired by the tired ghosts of other Bollywood movies
  4. Jayanthi Natarajan slams Narendra Modi– politicians call each other names
  5. BJP claims Nitish sabotaging Modi rally in Patna– politicians accuse each other of trying to be sneakier
  6. Am using Italian so Centre understands, Chandrababu Naidu targets Sonia Gandhi– politicians past their sell-by date attempt comebacks by climbing bandwagons
  7. Fresh sexual assault complaints against Asaram– godmen are, well, bad men
  8. India Successfully Test-Fires Prithivi-II Missile– India has the world’s most well-tested missile
  9. Samsung Galaxy Gear adverts show smartwatch as fictional gadget that’s come to life– newspapers pass off advertisements as news
  10. RBI to relax norms for forex futures after rupee stabilizes– everything will be better after the rupee stabilizes

Fodder for thought

leave a comment »

IBN Live reports the culmination of a corruption case where the first money was probably stolen in the 1970s and litigation started in 1996:

Lalu Prasad, the maverick Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo and former Bihar chief minister, and 44 others has been convicted by a special Central Bureau of India (CBI) court in Ranchi in one of the cases – RC 20 A/96 – of the multi-crore fodder scam on Monday. Lalu has been convicted of corruption, criminal conspiracy and cheating and the sentencing will take place on October 3.

While seven of those convicted have got less than three years in jail and have been granted bail, Lalu Prasad along with another former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra and 36 others have been taken into custody and will be sent to jail as they will be given a jail term of more than three years. The sentencing on October 3 will be delivered through video conferencing.

The Hindu has more details:

At 11 am today, the court of CBI judge Pravas Kumar Singh announced its order after which Mr. Prasad, former chief minister Jagannath Mishra and 36 others were taken into custody to be sent to Hotwar jail in Ranchi. The other seven accused including former animal husbandry minister Vidya Sagar Nishad and former MLA Dhruv Bhagat, two IAS officers and three suppliers who are expected to be sentenced to less than three years will be given bail later the same afternoon.

Of the 64 cases in the 1996-fodder scam, 53 cases were litigated in Ranchi and trial has been completed in 45 cases so far. The CBI’s initial chargesheet against Mr. Prasad in April 1996 had included charges in this Chaibasa case. There are 55 other accused in the case. Mr. Prasad is accused in five cases of which four are being tried in Jharkhand and one in Bihar.

“The fraudulent withdrawal of funds had begun in 1989. This case is the first one which was registered in March 1996. The trial had begun in Ranchi in February 2002 after the case was shifted here after Jharkhand was created. In all 70 witnesses from Bihar have been examined and 280 from Jharkhand. We submitted 60,000 documents. There is no street in Ranchi where we have not attached property bought from funds from the fodder scam,” said a senior official part of the investigation team.

A list of the convicted is not easy to find. Here are some more names from HT:

Former state minister Vidhay Sagar Nishad, former Public Accounts Committee chairman Dhruv Bhagat, and former state labour secretary K Armugam are among those sentenced.

LiveMint opines:

The order comes as a body blow to Prasad and could well mean the end of his political career that was beginning to see a resurrection with him and his party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), drawing support in Bihar in the run-up to the general election.

The former Bihar chief minister becomes the first casualty of a Supreme Court order in July that immediately disqualifies Parliamentarians and state legislators convicted by a court.

The setback to Prasad will likely force a political realignment in Bihar, opening up a window of opportunity for the Congress to revive its now decimated vote base. The state’s political topography is currently dominated by Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Kolkata Telegraph joins some dots:

Rahul Gandhi’s dismissal of the ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers has come as a double whammy for embattled RJD chief Lalu Prasad ahead of judgment day in a crucial fodder scam case.

The UPA government’s hurried move to bring the ordinance was believed to be tailormade to shield Lalu. This was being read as a signal that the Congress was inclined to team up with the RJD in the 2014 general election.

Rahul’s “tear-and-throw” salvo is being seen as rejection of “corrupt” leaders like Lalu. Congress circles believe that if Rahul’s view prevails, which is likely to, he would not allow the party to “compromise” and align with the RJD.

Also, it suggests that Lalu’s chief rival, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, is fast replacing him as an “ally” in the new power balance emerging in the Congress.

Be it by coincidence or by design, Nitish and Rahul are on the same page on the controversial ordinance, which is still lying with President Pranab Mukherjee for consideration. A day ahead of Rahul’s stunning attack calling for the document to be “torn up and thrown away”, Nitish had slammed the government for the manner in which it had brought the ordinance “through the backdoor”.

October 3, 2013

HT reports:

The CBI court in Ranchi sentenced RJD chief Lalu Prasad to five years’ imprisonment in a 17-year-old fodder scam case, making him the second member of Parliament to be disqualified in the last three days.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs. 25 lakh on Lalu. In case of default in payment, the former Bihar CM will have to serve 6 months more in jail.

Lalu would appeal in the Jharkhand high court on October 17.

In accordance with the Supreme Court’s July 10 ruling which removed immunity for convicted lawmakers, the former Bihar chief minister will effectively be out of the electoral arena for 11 years, a prospect that will hit the RJD hard in Bihar as well as nationally.

The court also awarded four years’ imprisonment each to Jagannath Mishra, another former Bihar CM, and JD(U) MP Jagdish Sharma. Mishra was slapped with a penalty of Rs. 2 lakh, while Sharma has to pay up Rs. 5 lakh.

Former Bihar minister RK Rana, another high profile convict in the case, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. The court slapped a fine of Rs. 30 lakh on him.

Special CBI judge PK Singh, who had on Monday convicted Lalu and 44 others of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 37.70 crore from the Chaibasa treasury, handed down the punishment through videoconferencing.

The Chaibasa treasury case is just one of the many in the Rs. 950 crore animal husbandry department scam — commonly known as the fodder scam — in undivided Bihar (prior to Jharkhand’s formation).

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 30, 2013 at 7:49 am

Secret history?

leave a comment »

The explosive banner headline “Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K govt, block Bikram Singh: Army inquiry” in the IE today is backed by this story:

Misusing secret service funds to destabilise the Omar Abdullah government in Jammu and Kashmir, to pay off an NGO to try change the line of succession in the Army top brass, to buy off-air interception equipment, to conduct “unauthorised” covert operations — a string of alleged irregularities by the Technical Services Division (TSD), a controversial Military Intelligence (MI) unit set up by former Army Chief General V K Singh in May 2010, should come under the scanner of an external agency like the CBI.

There is also a disclaimer of sorts in the article:

Officials in the MoD and PMO familiar with the Bhatia inquiry report told The Indian Express that with such details, the Army could well have initiated action against serving and retired officials but it has instead submitted the original records to the Ministry, leaving the final decision to them.

Indeed, when contacted, the Army spokesman said: “The case (the Bhatia report) has been closed from our side.”

Said a top PMO official: “The problem confronting us while dealing with the TSD report has been two-fold. One, those running the TSD appear to have covered their tracks well and destroyed crucial evidence; two, the statements contained in the inquiry report have no legal sanction. In fact, if they are faced with a court martial or CBI inquiry, these officials can turn around and deny everything they have admitted before General Bhatia.”

Given that General V. K. Singh is gadfly at large, this news needs to be verified over the coming days. However, the newspaper also carries a box with the meta-story:

To confirm the email’s receipt and to again try and reach Singh, The Indian Express contacted Kunal Verma, a photojournalist commissioned by Singh — when he was Army Chief — to write a set of three pictorial books on the North-East.

On September 19, Verma called this reporter early in the morning with an offer to fix a meeting with Singh. A few hours later, he said Singh had told him to convey that “he does not wish to speak to The Indian Express and should the newspaper write anything about me they will get it in the neck”.

Since this is the first time that there are detailed allegations of some people in the Indian armed services trying to subvert a democratically elected government, this story is worth reading in full.

DNA reports that the General defends himself saying this is a political move, and that two politicians defend him:

Reacting to the reports, Gen VK Singh said, “This is simple vendetta as some people are not comfortable with me sharing the dais with Narendra Modi to espouse the cause of ex-servicemen in the country.”

Senior BJP leader Balbir Punj and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi have questioned the timing of the recommendation of probe against Gen Singh.

“When VK Singh was at the helm, speaking up for integrity, he was a hero! Now that he has spoken as an insider, efforts will be to shoot him down,” Bedi tweeted this morning.

Speaking to a news channel, Punj said, “The timing of this report is questionable. Gen Singh has been a whistleblower against corrupt practices. He is being punished for speaking against the Centre and for his links with Modi.”

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 20, 2013 at 5:01 am

Hanging? Yes, says the court

leave a comment »

The rapists who killed their unnamed victim in December 2012 in Delhi have been found guilty. The Guardian brings an outsider’s fresh perspective to the issue:

Eight months later, at the conclusion of the trial of her killers, it is difficult to argue that J’s ordeal and death has made much difference in India, at least so far: the rapes and sexual assaults that are now highlighted daily by the Indian media act simply as a reminder of how widespread violence to women is in the country.

It is a long article, sometimes uncomfortable in familiar ways. But it is worth reading as we ponder the sentence.

HT reported the arguments by opposing counsels on the sentences:

Public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan strongly presented the demand for death penalty before the court. He pleaded before the court to ‘show no mercy for convicts’.

It was a premeditated crime, which fell in “the rarest of the rare category”, warranting the death sentence, he argued.

The men had used a metal rod and their hands to pull the woman’s organs from her body after raping her, the prosecution said. Her injuries were so severe that she died in hospital two weeks after the attack.

Defence counsel appearing for Pawan Gupta, one of the convicted in the December 16 gang-rape and murder case, pleaded for mercy citing his young age. Gupta, a fruit vendor, is 19 years old. … Pawan is “just 19 years old and there are chances of his reform”, the advocate said.

September 13, 2013

IBN Live reports a foregone conclusion:

All the four convicts [Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta] in the December 16, 2012 gangrape and murder of 23-year-old physiotherapy student inside a private bus in Delhi have been sentenced to death by the Saket fast track trial court. One of the convicts, Pawan’s lawyer confirmed the order. … The death penalty has been awarded under Section 302 (murder) as the braveheart had died due to the injuries inflicted by the convicts. The judge called it a rarest of rare case and said that looking at the gravity of the incident and inhuman torture, it is death penalty to all.

Corrupt street policing has been blamed as part of the problem in discussions of this case. IE says that investigative policing did not fail, as it sometimes does:

Sub Inspector Pratibha Sharma was the first investigating officer in the case. She had headed the investigation in the case until the charge of murder was added, after the woman died at a Singapore hospital on December 29. The investigation was handed over to Inspector Anil Sharma, SHO, Vasant Vihar.

A mother of two, she said in the days following the incident, until all the accused were caught, she practically lived in the police station. “I did not go home… barely slept…,” she recalled outside the court room on Tuesday.

Inspector Anil Sharma said, “The DNA examination, the technical analysis and the scientific examination of the spot and the bus is what helped cracked the case. It was a tough task for us. All of us were determined to take the case to its logical end. So much so, that we would reach the court 10 minutes before the hearing to take care of all formalities. Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan would reach 20 minutes before us. He would have everything prepared the previous night.”

The sentence has to be confirmed by a higher court.

As for the safety of people who are not entitled to be looked after by black cat commandos: much remains to be done.

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm

No escape

leave a comment »

BS reports the sad and gory end of a story which once made it to Bollywood:

Indian national Sushmita Banerjee, whose memoir about her dramatic escape from the Taliban was turned into a Bollywood film, was shot dead in Afghanistan by militants, police said today.

Banerjee, 49, was killed outside her home in Paktika province. She was married to Afghan businessman Jaanbaz Khan and recently moved back to Afghanistan to live with him.

Taliban militants arrived at her home in the provincial capital of Kharana, tied up her husband and other members of the family, took Banerjee out and shot her, police were quoted as saying by BBC.

Banerjee’s book “Kabuliwalar Bangali Bou” (A Kabuliwala’s Bengali Wife), about her escape from the Taliban in 1995, became a bestseller in India and was made into the Bollywood film “Escape From Taliban” in 2003.

The memoir focussed on her life in Afghanistan with her husband and her escape from the militants.

The film based on the book starred actress Manisha Koirala and was billed as a “story of a woman who dares (the) Taliban”.

Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm

More change, more of the same

leave a comment »

ABP reports the sentencing of the minor in the brutal rape and murder which shook India last year:

The Juvenile Justice Board Saturday sentenced the lone minor accused in the Dec 16, 2012 gang rape here to a three-year stay in a special home. The boy, who was 17-and-half years old at the time of the incident, has turned 18.

The board, presided over by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel, pronounced the verdict and acquitted him of some of the charges.

Controversies continue to swirl about the sentence, with some demanding harsher punishment, and others wary of changing laws concerning juvenile offenders. These are certainly important issues, not least because of widespread concern on both sides of the issue.

However, the main issue remains one of the safety of (almost) half of India’s population. Around the same time as the breaking of the news of the sentencing, IT reports a similar case in the same same city, but now with policemen accused of the crime:

A Delhi-based woman was allegedly gangraped and her male friend assaulted by two police constables and their three friends on the outskirts of the national capital.

Four of the accused, including the two Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) constables, have been arrested for the incident that took place on Friday, and the police jeep used by them has also been seized, Superintendent of Police (SP) (City) Yogesh Singh said, adding that hunt is on to nab the fifth accused.

In the last night’s incident [sic], the accused also took away the victim’s mobile phone and ATM card, which they used to buy fuel for their jeep, he said.

%d bloggers like this: