President Ram Nath Kovind to be in Japan for emperor’s enthronement


President Ram Nath Kovind will join Britain’s Prince Charles, Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan and leaders of several Asian countries in attending the enthronement ceremony of Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito on October 22. Mr. Kovind, who leaves on Thursday for a four-day state visit in the Philippines, will travel to Tokyo on October 21.

According to officials, about 80 world leaders are expected at the ceremony and banquets, which will be held over two days. Royal families of the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Saudi Arabia are also among the invitees due to attend.

Mr. Kovind will also visit a Buddhist Temple in Tokyo to plant a Bodhi tree as well as travel to the city of Kakegawa, about 230 km away, to inaugurate an Indian cultural and yoga centre there, funded by a Japanese citizen of Indian origin.

“President Kovind’s visit underlines the deep traditional and civilisational bonds between India and Japan, and shared heritage of Buddhism,” said MEA Secretary (East) Vijay Singh, briefing the media. “His participation in the enthronement ceremony signifies the high importance India attaches to Japan,” Ms. Singh added. No bilateral talks are expected during Mr. Kovind’s visit, although he will attend both the court banquet hosted by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, and a state banquet hosted by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.

In the Philippines, bilateral talks during Mr. Kovind’s State visit will focus on the joint challenge of terrorism. Indian and Philippines officials will hold a joint working group on terrorism, with a focus on fighting urban terrorism, narco-terrorism, and work on information-sharing on terror groups. India had donated $500,000 to the Philippines for the reconstruction of Marawi city, which had been destroyed during a siege in May 2017 by a terror group claiming allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) in which more than 1,000 people were killed, and the two sides will discuss strengthening counter terror cooperation, officials said.

Cops clueless, jewellers on warpath in Ranchi


Jewellers here downed shutters for three hours on Wednesday to protest Monday’s gun attack near Lalpur Chowk on two members of their fraternity, asking pointedly why the police had not yet nabbed the assailants.

Under the banner of Sona Chandi Vyavsayi Samiti, over 500 jewellers shut shop from 11am to 2pm in solidarity with injured brothers Rahul and Rohit Kheriwal and demanded speedy arrest of five gunmen who had entered their jewellery store at a posh market complex posing as customers. Samiti president Ravi Kumar Tinku told the media that they would call for a Ranchi bandh if the criminals were not arrested within 48 hours.

“It is a question of security of those in our profession, all businessmen as well as the people of Ranchi,” Tinku said. “The criminals left the city within 25 minutes after shooting at the brothers in the heart of the city, despite being under electronic surveillance. Not only this, they also reached Bihar safely within five hours after they committed the crime. This has exposed poor policing in the state. In case the gunmen are not arrested within 48 hours, we will give a call for Ranchi bandh.”

Contacted, a senior police officer said they were working on several leads to nab the criminals. “Several teams have been constituted. One team has been sent to Gaya and another to Aurangabad, both in Bihar. Several teams are conducting raids based on intelligence inputs. We are waiting for a breakthrough,” he said, but requested not to be named as he is not authorised to brief the media.

Both the Kheriwal brothers, aged 35 and 40, who had been operated upon for bullet wounds at RIMS, Ranchi, were airlifted in ambulances on Wednesday to Delhi for “better post-operative care”, their father Banwari Kheriwal said.

Thanking the RIMS doctors for “saving the lives of my sons”, he added: “Based on consultations with family members, we decided to send Rahul and Rohit to Apollo in New Delhi (Indraprastha Apollo Hospital) by air ambulance on Wednesday for post-operative care. We understand post-operative care is vital to quick recovery. Otherwise treatment here (at RIMS) has been done properly,” Kheriwal said.

Rahul was seen speaking to his parents anxiously while being wheeled out of the RIMS trauma centre for Delhi in the morning. “He was worried about medical expenses, but I asked him not to worry about money and said I was getting support from my brothers. I said ‘we just want you two to recover completely’,” the father said.

Ink Attack on Union Minister Ashwini Choubey Outside Government Hospital in Patna


Patna: A bottle full of ink was flung here on Tuesday towards Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey, who ended up with stains on his clothes while his vehicle got smudged with the dark blue liquid.

The drama unfolded outside the Patna Medical College and Hospital which Choubey had visited to inspect the ward where patients suffering from dengue, incidence of which has witnessed a spurt in the past fortnight, were admitted.

The minister, who is known to prefer taking the front seat adjacent to that of the driver, had opened the door and was about to board when the uncorked bottle came across flying and crashed a few feet away from him.

Spots of the ink could be seen on the ministers kurta sleeves and his sleeveless jacket while the cars bonnet and window panes were covered with blotches. Hospital authorities and officials who had come out to see the minister off exclaimed in horror while the personnel deputed for his security gave the suspected miscreants, one of them donning a blue T-shirt and jeans and the other dressed in a formal full-sleeve shirt and trousers, a chase for some distance.

A visibly irritated Choubey told a posse of journalists before speeding away “it has been orchestrated by elements who do not believe in democracy, who led a life of crime before entering politics”.

Although the minister took no names, his barb was apparently aimed at controversial politician Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who has floated his own outfit Jan Adhikar Party (JAP).

Several people, claiming to owe allegiance to JAP, had raised slogans against Choubey when he had arrived at the PMCH in the morning.

Yadav had made his presence felt in the state capital during the recent waterlogging when he was seen moving through the inundated streets atop motor boats, distributing food, drinking water and money among residents.

On a local news channel, a man in his 20s appeared dressed in a blue T-shirt claiming that he indeed was the one who had thrown ink at the minister.

He said he did so as an expression of “personal anguish” over the failure of governments in the state as well as the Centre to help the people of the city whose lives had come to a grinding halt on account of streets remaining submerged in waist-deep water for several days together.

He also said his name was Nishant Jha and although he acted in his “personal capacity”, he was an active member of the students wing of JAP.

However, when Yadav was contacted and told about Jha, he remained evasive about the young mans connection with his party.

“I do not condone such acts. But did the honourable minister expect bouquets? A few drops of ink on his clothes has got his goat.

“He should try putting himself in the shoes of those whose homes and shops were destroyed in water logging and who are still not able to live in peace, thanks to the outbreak of vector-borne diseases that the deluge has brought in its wake”, Yadav told reporters.

Later, after concluding a meeting with state health officials besides central medical experts who have been camping here to assist the former, Choubey denounced the episode as “a cowardly act”.

He said “if people are so desirous of expressing anguish, they should do so in my face, without hiding behind a crowd and scurrying away immediately afterwards”.

Meanwhile, no FIR was registered in connection with the incident which took place several hours ago and Pir Bahore police station SHO- Rizwan Ahmed Khan- said “we are awaiting a complaint to be lodged on behalf of the aggrieved party”.

A close aide of Choubey said on condition of anonymity the minister has left for Samastipur where he has been requested by LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan to campaign in favour of his nephew and party candidate Prince in the Lok Sabha by-election.

“We, wonder why the police cannot act taking suo motu cognizance of an incident that has taken place at a public place, caught on camera and involves a Union minister,” the minister’s aide said.

BPSC 65th prelims: Cut off expected to be 100, says expert


Around three lakh candidates took the preliminary tests of 65th Combined Competitive Exam (CCE) examinations conducted by Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) at 718 centres across 35 districts for 423 government jobs on Tuesday.

In Patna, the candidates took the exams at 29 centres. There were 150 objective type questions from general studies that had to be answered within three hours.

“Only 70% candidates appeared for the exams across the state. It was concluded peacefully. In one of the centres at Hajipur, the exam started 15 minutes late due to some unavoidable reasons. The candidates were given extra time to compensate,” said Amrendra Kumar, exam controller of BPSC.

According to Dr M Rahman of Rahman’s Gurukool, Patna, “The questions this year were from history and current affairs. Candidates who have studied NCERT, current affairs and Bihar politics are expected to fare well.”

Expected Cut off:

In his opinion, the cut-off for general category will be 100, OBC 96-98, EBC 88-93, SC/ST 80-85 and female reserved 87-90.

What Students Said:

“Questions were not so difficult. Majority of questions were on current affairs and Bihar politics,” said Divyanshu, who took the exam at College of Commerce, Rajendranagar.

Another candidate, Amar Tiwary who took the exam at Sir GD Uccha Madhyamik Vidyalaya, Patliputra said, “I attempted more than 125 questions.All the questions had five options which made it challenging to choose the correct answer.”

After Prolonged Patna Water-logging, Bihar Govt Shifts Senior Officials from Currents Posts


Patna: The Bihar government has removed Principal Secretary of Urban Development department Chaitanya Prasad and Patna Divisional Commissioner Anand Kishor from their positions apparently in the wake of prolonged water-logging here triggered by incessant rain in September end.

Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCO) Managing Director Amarendra Prasad Singh has also been shifted to another post, according to a General Administration Department notification issued Tuesday evening.

Axe has fallen on the senior officials after the government had cracked whip on several middle level officials of the Patna Municipal Corporation and BUIDCO, responsible for upholding civic facilities in the capital city.

They were punished for lapses in discharge of their duties in dealing with the accumulation of water in several localities after heavy downpours for three days starting September 27 in Patna.

Water-logging continued for over a week in promiment localities like Rajendranagar, Kankarbagh and Patliputra colony, when boats of NDRF and SDRF were seen rescuing citizens from their inundated houses, had drawn national outrage.

The visual of Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi being rescued from his flooded house in Rajendranagar with other family members was seen with awe across the country. The issue had also resulted in some hot exchange of words between the ruling NDA partners- JD(U) and the BJP.

Chaitanya Prasad has been shifted to Science and Technology department as its principal secretary. Prasad, a 1989 batch IAS officer, will continue to hold additional charge of the Parliamentary Affairs department, the notification said.

Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor has been made Secretary in the urban development department. He will also hold additional charge of Managing Director of the Patna Metro

Rail Corporation.

According to the notification, 2002 batch IAS officer Sanjay Agarwal, currently Transport Secretary, has been given additional charge of Patna divisional commissioner till further order.

He had earlier served as Patna District Magistrate. BUIDCO MD Amarendra Prasad Singh has been transferred and made Administrator, Bihar State Road Transport Corporation, Patna while Chandrashekhar Singh, presently working as Additional Secretary in the CM Secretariat, will replace him in BUIDCO.

Choked drainage system after heavy rain in September end had caused massive water logging in many areas of the state capital.

The government had on Monday placed officials under suspension, withheld payment of their salaries and issued show-cause notices for lapses in discharge of their duties when the state capital was reeling under worst-ever water logging in three decades.

Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar had said the action followed a review meeting of the top government officials. The new transfer order also saw change in position of some other IAS officers.

Dr Dipak Prasad, currently Advisor, Bihar State Planning Board, has been made principal secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat department.

Science and Technology department’s principal secretary Harjot Kaur Bamhara will be principal secretary-cum commissioner in the Mines and Geology department.

Pradeep Kumar Jha has been made Director, Information and Public Relations department till further order. Jha will continue to hold additional charge as Special Secretary of Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED), it added.

Jharkhand lynching case: Murder charge reimposed against 11 accused of killing Tabrez Ansari


The Jharkhand police on Wednesday reimposed section 302 of the Indian Penal Code ( murder) in a supplementary charge sheet filed against 11 accused in a case involving the mob lynching of 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari in Dhatkidih village under Seraikela police station (PS) on the night of June 17-18 this year, district police officials said.

Police also pressed the same charge against two others accused in the case.

The police dropped the charge of murder in the first charge sheet submitted in the Seraikela court on July 23 and charged the 11 jailed accused under section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) citing the autopsy report and viscera report that mentioned cardiac arrest as the cause of Ansari’s death on June 22.

Ansari died during treatment at Seraikela Sadar Hospital, four days after he was brutally beaten up by an angry mob for allegedly trying to burgle the house of Kamal Mahato in Dhatkidih village during the intervening night of June 17 and 18. He was handed over to the police by villagers on June 18 and sent to jail the same day. His thrashing was captured on a video.

The absence of the murder charge in the original charge sheet prompted outrage; the police were already under fire for not admitting a clearly injured Ansari in hospital soon after it apprehended him.

“Seraikela police submitted a supplementary charge sheet in Setaikela court today under section 302 of the IPC after ongoing investigation against two more accused was completed. Since the second autopsy report has further elaborated and pinpointed cause of death and the forensic report has also confirmed the integrity of the lynching video, section 302 of IPC has also been re-imposed against all the 11 jailed accused,” said Navin Kumar, South Chotanagpur inspector general of police (IGP).

Kolhan DIG Kuldeep Dwivedi in a statement on Wednesday said that viscera report from forensic science laboratory (FSL), Chandigarh, attributed Ansari’s death to cardiac arrest but added that it did not pinpoint the exact cause of death.

The police got another an autopsy test done by a board of doctors of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College Hospital (MGMMCH) in Jamshedpur, he added.

This showed that the cardiac arrest was caused by heart chambers filling with blood as a result of the beating he received, he explained in the statement. “The forensic report of the lynching video also confirmed its integrity and stated that no tampering was done with the video, therefore, section 302 is being imposed against all the 13 accused.”

Ansari’s widow Sahista Parveen expressed her happiness that the murder charge has been reimposed against all the accused but sought a CBI investigation into the case.

“This is victory of our fight for justice. Imposing section 302 sure has sparked hope for justice but I still demand a CBI probe so that the culprits can’t escape by any chance. I want all of them to be hanged to death,” Parveen said.

US couple alleges adopted child assaulted at Gaya centre, 5 held


PATNA: The Bihar government on Saturday closed an adoption centre in Gaya after a US-based couple complained that a child adopted by them from there in August this year was physically abused.

A case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has also been lodged and five persons have been arrested, officials said on Sunday. They said all 13 children from the centre have been shifted to other centres.

“Following the allegations made by the US couple, we have been asked by the CARA [Central Adoption Resource Authority] to get the medical examinations done of all other children at the Gaya adoption centre and submit a report by end of September,” said Rajkumar, the director of Bihar’s social welfare department.

CARA works under the Union women and child welfare ministry and deals with inter-country adoption.

The US-based couple had adopted the five-year-old girl on August 17 from the social welfare department centre being run by a non-government organisation in Gaya. All the 13 children who lived there are all below six.

“After completing the formalities in Gaya, the couple left for Patna to get the passport of the adopted girl. They returned to the US on August 30,” said another social welfare department official, who is aware to the adoption case but not authorised to speak to the media.

CARA, in the first week of September, received a letter from the couple alleging that the child may have been mistreated at the Centre on basis of “discomfort in walking” and her “uneasiness” in seeing the pictures of the adoption centre in Gaya.

The official said that the allegations made by the couple were surprising as the girl underwent a medical test at a leading hospital in Delhi and was issued a fitness certificate before leaving for the US.

“Soon after the receiving the letter, the matter was reported to Mufassil police station, Gaya, by assistant director, child protection unit, and an FIR for offences under various sections of POCSO Act was lodged against the adoption centre. Five persons were arrested on Saturday,” the official said and added that the centre has been sealed.

Rupesh Kumar Sinha, station house officer of Mufassil police station, Gaya, said the case was registered on the basis of the complaint by assistant director, child protection unit, Gaya. “It was alleged in the letter that the baby girl might have gone through some physical abuse at the [adoption] centre. Five persons from the NGO, which used to run this Centre, have been arrested in this connection. The accused have been sent to the jail and adoption centre has been closed,” he said.

No case against this Bihar village in 50 years


Patna: A village in Bihar has set an example for society by not having any cases registered with the police in the past five decades. The feat is unusual in a state that has reported around 260,000 cognisable offences every year, according to police records.

As per an official report, Bihar has reported over two million cognisable offences in the past 10 years. But Jamua village in eastern Bihar’s Banka district has been an exception.

It’s not that there have been no disputes at this village, home to around 600 people from various social strata. Instead, a five-member committee of villagers sits down and sorts out the dispute. The rare initiative has resulted in no cases registered against any villagers with the local police stations or in the courts.

“Whenever there is any dispute at the village, the matter is instantly referred to us. Then, we sit and discuss the issues with warring sides and finally settle the case right at the village. The police have no role to play in our case,” a village committee member Shailendra Kumar Singh said.

Villagers said the initiative has not only prevented them from making rounds of the police stations and the courts but also helped them save their hard-earned money.

“We all know how the cases have been lingering in the courts for decades. Carrying a legal battle in the courts not only kills a lot of time but also money, so we are happy with the arrangement,” said another villager Pankaj Singh. According to him, they are only carrying forward the practice as set by the village elders.

Last week, the village committee settled a three — year-old dispute in the family of Yugal Prasad Singh over a small piece of land that had resulted in violent attacks in the past.

“Soon after the matter came before us, we called both sides, heard their grievances and settled this years-old dispute. Acting on our appeal, the rival factions have given us in writing that they will not indulge in any unlawful acts in future. Now, they are happy,” added Shailendra Kumar Singh.

The local police have appreciated the initiative of the villagers and asked the other villages to learn from them.

“This is a wonderful initiative which every village should follow. We salute their action,” the local Banka district superintendent of police Arvind Kumar Gupta said.

Bihar has a total of 45,103 villages.

Another police official Vinod Kumar said there is no record of any case registered against any villagers with the Belhar police station under which this village falls.

According to the National Judicial Data Grid website, over 1.67 million cases were pending in various district courts of Bihar while 145,110 cases were waiting for adjudication in the Patna High Court as of February last year.

Of the total number pending in the Patna High Court, 16.54 per cent were pending in the court for over 10 years whereas 30.12 per cent were pending for two years, reports said.

India vs South Africa: R Ashwin aims to surpass Harbhajan Singh in elite list led by Anil Kumble


Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is going though a rich vein of form and he will look for similar level of performance when India take on South Africa in the third and final Test of three-match series starting Saturday. The hosts have already taken an unassailable lead courtesy of their convincing victories in first two Tests. Virat Kohli and his troops will now aim to whitewash Proteas at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi.

For that to happen, India will hope Ashwin continues his scintillating wicket-taking run in the third Test. With 14 wickets in two Tests, the tweaker in the leading wicket-taker in the series thus far, four ahead of teammate Ravindra Jadeja.

An added incentive for Ashwin will be that he could surpass Harbhajan Singh in the list of most wickets taken by an Indian bowler against South Africa in the longest format. Ashwin needs nine wickets to overhaul Harbhajan and secure the third spot in the list led by Anil Kumble.

Ashwin continued his rise in the ICC Test Rankings for bowlers after his stupendous show with the ball in Pune. Ashwin, who had entered the top 10 after the first Test in Visakhapatnam, has now moved to the seventh spot, courtesy of his six wickets which he took against the Proteas in the second Test.

Meanwhile, Kohli has already issued warning to the opponents and said India will not “take their feet off the gas” and will aim for a whitewash when the final Test begins in Ranchi.

“Looking at the larger picture of the Test championship, every game has value, whether it is at home or away, that is the format. So, we’re not going to take our foot off the gas in the third Test,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation in Pune.

“No one is going to relax at any stage, we are going to go for a result in the third Test and hopefully make it 3-0, that’s a guarantee,” he said.

Jharkhand girl with heart ailment dies after made to attend school drill


RANCHI: In a tragic incident, a class I student reportedly died after being made to stand under the sun for a drill at Shiksha Niketan run by TELCO in Jamshedpur on Tuesday. The school administration made the girl attend the drill despite her parents informing them about the girl undergoing treatment for cardiac complications. 

“We have been informed that one girl has died in Shiksha Niketan School who was undergoing treatment in Bangalore. We are looking into the matter to find out the actual reason of death,” said Akhilesh Mandal, officer in charge of Telco Police Station. 

According to school sources, the girl collapsed on the ground and was taken to the hospital in an auto-rickshaw where the doctors declared her brought dead. Meanwhile, activist Ankit Anand of Shiksha Satyagraha, which works on irregularities in schools in Jamshedpur, has alleged negligence from the part of school administration.

“I have demanded CCTV footage of entire incident to clear all confusion about the incident. It is nothing but sheer negligence of school administration, which should have taken proper care of the ailing child and not have made her stand in the sunlight,” said Anand.

The school apparently also lacks trained professional who can apply first aid in case of any such incident as per the guidelines of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).