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Girl who fought molesters burnt to

death in Varanasi, UNHRC petitioned

PDP wants full-term CM; BJP for rotation of post

Sandeep Joshi

Gargi Parsai & Zahid Raq

girl student who opposed the

advances of three men in Varanasi has reached the Geneva-based United Nations
Human Rights Council
The Varanasi-based NGO,
Peoples Vigilance Committee on Human Rights
(PVCHR), said it wrote to the
UNHRC after its pleas to
Prime Minister Narendra
Modi, who also represents
the city in the Lok Sabha,
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and the State police chief

BJP seeks more time in J&K


ter Peoples Democratic Party

president Mehbooba Mufti
met Jammu and Kashmir
Governor N.N. Vohra, a BJP
delegation, including its
State president Jugal Kishore Sharma, on Thursday
called on him and sought
more time for government
We have asked the Governor for some more time so
that the result of the ongoing
dialogue [with other political
parties] comes out. There are
many issues that need to be
discussed and that is why it is
taking time, Mr. Sharma
A formal round of talks
with the PDP leadership will
begin in the next two or three
days, a senior BJP leader involved in parleys told reporters in New Delhi. There are
indications that the two parties will work out a common
minimum programme to set

BJP MP Jugal Kishore Sharma addressing the

media after meeting J&K Governor N.N. Vohra
aside contentious issues.
Back-channel talks have
been in progress between the
BJP and the PDP, the two
largest single parties in the
Assembly elections, with the
latter winning almost all the
seats in the Kashmir Valley
and the former sweeping
Jammus Hindu heartland.
The BJP also held talks with
the National Conference,
which won 15 seats, but the

NC faced an anti-incumbency vote in the elections and a

partnership with it will still
leave the BJP short of six
seats to form a government.
The biggest point of contention between the BJP and
the PDP is the rotation of
Chief Ministership. While
the BJP, with 25 seats and a
lot of campaigning around
the slogan of installing the
rst Hindu Chief Minister in

the State, wants to have its

own candidate for three
years, for the PDP, the idea of
its patron Mufti Sayeed being
the head of the government
the entire six-year term is
That was the main issue
between the two parties, but
it has almost been sorted out
as the BJP seems to have accepted that Mufti will be the
Chief Minister for the entire
term, a senior BJP leader
told The Hindu in Srinagar.
Our coming together will be
on the grounds of development and governance, and
controversial issues will be
set aside for the time being.
Mr. Vohra has given both
parties time till January 19,
after which the State would
come under Governors rule.
We are not in a hurry [to
form the government].We
are working to give the people of Jammu and Kashmir a
stable government that completes its tenure of six years,
Mr. Sharma said.

HC names
judge to hear
appeal case

Forest Rights Act not

delaying projects: official


NEW DELHI: The Union Minis-

BENGALURU: The Chief Justice

of the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday set up a Special Bench of Justice C.R.
Kumaraswamy to hear the
appeals led by AIADMK
general-secretary Jayalalithaa and others, who have
questioned their conviction
in the disproportionate assets case. The Special Bench
has been set up based on the
December 18, 2014 direction
of the Supreme Court for
hearing the appeals on a dayto-day basis, said a notication issued by the Registrar
(Judicial). The other appeals
were led by Ms. Jayalalithaas associates V.K. Sasikala, V.N. Sudhakaran and J.
Though the appeals have
been listed for hearing on
Friday, they are likely to be
heard regularly from January 5 as Justice Kumaraswamy will not be sitting on

NIA takes
over Assam
massacre cases
Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI: The National In-

vestigation Agency has taken

over four cases registered
against the National Democratic Front of Bodoland
(Songbijit) militants who
massacred 75 people in the
Sonitpur and Kokrajhar districts of Assam about a week
The cases were registered
under various provisions of
the Arms Act, Indian Penal
Code and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. In compliance with the Union Home
Ministry order dated December 27, 2014, our Guwahati
unit has taken over four cases
registered at the Kokrajhar,
Dhekiajuli and Bishwanath
Chariali police stations in Assam, an NIA official said.

Expert panel
under CVC
to be formed
Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI: The Central Vigi-

lance Commission (CVC) has

invited applications for constitution of a committee of
experts to scrutinise requests
from ministries and departments for reconsideration of
their advice on proposals for
prosecution sanction against
officers facing corruption
charges. Persons fullling eligibility conditions have been
asked to submit applications
by January 19.
The CVC is mandated to
tender advice in respect of ofcers in cases where investigating agencies seek sanction
for their prosecution under
the Prevention of Corruption
Act. Sometimes, the department/ministry concerned refers the cases back to the CVC
for reconsideration.

Meena Menon
try of Tribal Affairs says that
there is no evidence that the
process under the Forest
Rights Act (FRA) delays projects, even as there is pressure from the Ministry of
Environment to dilute the
law and do away with the
condition that gram sabhas
should give consent for projects.
Hrushikesh Panda, Secretary, Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, assured members
attending a national convention on community forest
rights here recently that the
FRA will not be diluted.
Dr. Panda, in a letter dated
November 12, 2014 to his
counterpart in the Ministry
of Environment and Forests, said though the Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the
nodal ministry of the FRA,
the Ministry of Environment has been issuing advisories to States, relaxing
certain provisions of the
Taking a legal stand, he
said the FRA does not provide any scope to any executive agency for any kind of
relaxation of the applicability of the Act. The responsib-

Calls for withdrawal

of order issued by
Environment Ministry
ility is neither vested in the
Environment Ministry nor
in the Tribal Affairs Ministry, he added.
An impression is being
created that the administration/implementation of the
FRA is hindering or delaying
clearance of the developmental projects, he said. If
there has been any study or
evidence on delay of the projects because of the processes of FRA, it should be
brought to the notice of the
Tribal Affairs Ministry.
The process of the FRA
can be expeditious, he said.
It takes less time than the
procedures under the Forest
Conservation Act and land
acquisition. The Environment Ministry letter of October takes a short cut,
which can derail projects
completely, he added. A letter taking this up was given
short shrift by the Environment Ministry.

Wrong message
Dr. Panda said the October 28 order was violative of

the law of the land and a project, which takes a short cut,
can be stopped by just one
village, which has land classied as forest. The recent
order had given a message
that the government is
against fair implementation
of the FRA. This is not desirable in the interests of peace
and governance in forest areas, he added, demanding its
The October 28, 2014 letter of the Environment Ministry said no forests were
likely to be recognised under
the provisions of the FRA, in
case of plantations notied
as forests for any period less
than 75 years prior to December 13, 2005 and in villages in such areas which
have no recorded populations of Scheduled Tribes,
according to the 2001 and
2011 censuses, since a person residing in such a forest
will not be eligible as other
traditional forest dwellers or
scheduled tribes according
to the FRA.
In such plantations, a certicate of the District Collector certifying the land to
be a plantation and having
no population of Scheduled
Tribes or other traditional
forest dwellers is sufficient.

LUCKNOW: The burning of a

went unanswered. The NGO

had also approached the National Human Rights Commission and the Chief
Justice of the Supreme
Our case has been accepted by the Human Rights
Council and Special Procedures Division at the Office
of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights in the
United Nations... It has
promised to take necessary
action in the case, PVCHR
head Lenin Raghuvanshi told
The accused are still
roaming free. The Varanasi

police are still to book them.

The 20-year-old girl, who
was being stalked for the past
six months by the three
youths, had to pay the price
of police inaction with her
life... The police did not pay
heed to the complaints of the
deceased and her family
members, alleged Mr.
He said the girls ordeal began about six months ago
when the three accused
Babudan, Gabbu and Pappu
started harassing her. The
girl and her father approached senior police officials, but no action was


taken. This emboldened the

accused who on December 18
entered her house and tried
to rape her while her family
members were away. She put
up a ght and screamed out
loud. The boys then poured
kerosene and burnt her, he
said. She died on December
The girls father also
wrote to the Prime Ministers Office and sought Mr.
Modis intervention, he being their local MP. But nothing happened. So we had no
option but to approach the
United Nations, Mr. Raghuvanshi said.

LoC tension: Rajnath talks tough

National Bureau
NEW DELHI: As ceasere violations from Pakistan continued
on the border in Jammu and
Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday asserted that the security
forces would give a tting response to those casting evil
designs on India.
Our jawans are protecting
the border with all their
might. No one can dare cast an
evil eye on India. Even if
someone tries to do so, the
BSF and other security forces
will give them a tting reply,
Mr. Singh told journalists here
on the sidelines of a meeting.
He said Pakistan should refrain from such ceasere violations as both countries were
in touch on the issue. The situation would be back to normal soon, he added.
BSF Director General D.K.
Pathak briefed the Minister
and the Home Secretary, Anil
Goswami, on the ground situation along the border.
Pakistan Rangers on Thursday targeted 13 border outposts in the Samba sector of
Jammu and Kashmir, to
which the Indian forces retaliated. Sources said ve Pakistan Rangers were killed and
two critically injured in the
BSF ring. The BSF had also
destroyed a terrorist launch
pad across the border at Abhiyal Dogra .

BSF soldiers shout slogans in memory of their colleague who was killed in
crossborder ring, during his funeral in Jammu on Thursday. PHOTO: AP

Pakistan has not learnt its lesson: Parrikar

Nagesh Prabhu

Minister Manohar Parrikar

on Thursday said Pakistan
had not learnt lessons from
its truce violations [that
India will retaliate
strongly] and had opened
re on the border even on
New Years Day.
He was speaking at a
function organised by
Adamya Chetana, an NGO
working in the eld of
social development

Only concrete roads

MUMBAI: Transport Minister

Nitin Gadkari on Thursday

said all new road projects of
the Centre would use concrete. Against the prevalent
rate of Rs. 350 per bag of cement, Mr. Gadkari told reporters that the Ministry had
found a supplier near Mumbai

ready to deliver at Rs. 120 per

bag, excluding taxes and
transport, and advised the
Maharashtra government and
local bodies to avail of it.
Mr. Gadkari also advocated
the use of technologies where
a by-product of oil is used for
road laying. PTI

managed by Tejaswini, wife

of Union Chemical and
Fertilizers Minister Ananth
In an obvious reference
to Pakistan and China, he
said: We are surrounded
by two neighbours in the
northern boundary and
they are not comfortable
with us. Pakistan does not
like to stay quiet [even] on
New Years Day. Pakistan
forces started ring at 12.30
a.m. Pakistan seems to have
not learnt lessons, Mr.

Parrikar said.
Whenever there is an
attempt for inltration
ring starts we have
responded. The Army
would respond
appropriately to ceasere
violations on the border, he
Asked about defence
deals with the U.S., he said
big contracts would be
signed during President
Barack Obamas visit to
India for the Republic Day

New Uttarakhand Governor

Staff Reporter
DEHRADUN: Krishan Kant Paul
will be sworn in as the sixth
Governor of Uttarakhand on
January 8. A presidential com-

muniqu said Mr. Paul, Meghalaya Governor, would continue

to hold the office of the Governor of Manipur. The current
Governor, Aziz Qureshi, would
be transferred to Mizoram.

Moves to deny access

to officials assets info
Devesh K. Pandey
NEW DELHI: Although the

Department of Personnel
and Training has simplied the form for declaration of assets and
liabilities by government
employees, the Ministry of
Personnel may amend the
Lokpal and Lokayuktas
Act to address their concerns about possible misuse of information thus
made public.
We have already simplied the declaration
form and accordingly an
order was issued last
week. The officials are no
more required to reveal
the names of banks or nancial institutions in
which they have invested.
However, we are alive to
the concerns expressed by
government employees on
making the disclosures
public, a senior Ministry
official said.
A major worry for the
employees is Section 44
(6) of the Lokpal Act,
which provides that the
competent authority in respect of each Ministry or
department shall ensure

that all such statements

[declaration] are published on the website of such
Ministry or department

Discussions on
The official said the issue of making the information public, as made
mandatory under the Act,
was being discussed at the
senior-most level in the
Ministry and that all possibilities were being explored,
We are also trying to
ascertain if there can be a
system to keep the declarations for access only
within the government. If
necessary, we may also
bring in amendments in
view of the concerns
raised, he said.
The revised order, issued on December 26,
makes it mandatory for
government employees to
declare their deposits in
foreign banks as also those
of their spouses and dependent children.
However, the deadline
has been extended from
December 31 to April 30.

Bank strike on January 7


Bank employees
unions have decided go on a
strike on January 7 across the
country to press for a wage
hike. Bank unions have also
threatened to go on strike on
multiple days later this
month if their demand is not
accepted. We want early
conclusion of the 10th bipartite wage negotiation (with

IBA) for satisfactory and reasonable wage hike and so we

are going on an all-India bank
strike on January 7, United
Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) convener Vishwas Utagi
told presspersons here on
Thursday. The unions have
been demanding a wage revision linked to the gross prot
of the banks. PTI