30 steel companies down shutters, Tata Motors on a closing spree

Source: hindustantimes.com

Industries in and around Jamshedpur– particularly in Adityapur Industrial Area (AIA) housing auto ancillaries – are facing tough time with series of block closures in Tata Motors from past month because of market slowdown. So much so that about 30 steel sector companies were on the verge of closing down while about a dozen downed their shutters from Thursday.

Hit with recession in the automobile sector, Tata Motors has gone for block closure for the fourth time since last month – this time from Thursday to Saturday, besides Sunday being a holiday. The company has also opted for separation of 12 days (asked to sit in house) for over 1000 Y-6 (temporary) workers. Permanent employees will rejoin duty on August 5 whereas Y-6 workers have been asked to rejoin on August 12.

Tata Motors had to take series of block closures due to sluggish market demands. There was production for only 15 days per month for the last two months. Union sources said the company has orders for only a week’s production in August. This has resulted in limited work in about 1000 auto-ancillaries dependent on Tata Motors in AIA.

On the other hand, the ‘exorbitant’ power tariff hike has hit the steel sectors with induction furnaces – where electricity is an essential raw material – resulting in the closure of about 30 companies. In fact, over a dozen such companies have started downing shutters from Thursday.

Recession in auto sector is nothing new…It comes every two-three years. I met Tata Motors Plant Head today who said that the company might have to take another block closure of 3-4 days after which things would normalise. We expect things to be back on track after September. The company has got 40% less orders for its vehicles this July compared to corresponding month last year. Some of our companies are working in limited capacity while some have opted for maintenance work,” Inder Agrawal, president, Aditaypur Small Industries Association (ASIA), told HT today.

Agrawal confirmed that 25-30 steel sector companies have downed their shutters after state government exorbitantly hiked power tariff by 38% with effect from April this year. “The production cost has spiraled… They have no other option but to close down,” said Agrawal.

The JBVNL – supplier to most companies in Kolhan – tariff of Rs 5.50 per unit is the highest when compared to cheap rate of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and Jamshedpur Utility and Services Company (Jusco), the two other power suppliers.

DVC supplies power to steel sector industries in Giridih, Ramgarh, Patratu, Deogarh and Ranchi. As a result, the companies are producing ingots at much cheaper rate. However, Jamshedpur and Adityapur-based industries bear the brunt of high JBVNL tariff of Rs 5.50 per unit. “DVC charges Rs 2.95 per unit while Jusco rate is Rs 3.50 per unit of power consumed. The government should withdraw the tariff hike immediately and also strictly implement scrapping of 15-year-old vehicles to boost both the sectors,” added Agrawal.

Laghu Udyog Bharti (LUB) president Rupesh Katiyar said about 1000 companies in Jamshedpur, Adityapur and Dhalbhumgarh were affected with the recession and power tariff hike, rendering over 30, 000 direct and indirect workers jobless.

“We demand the government to waive off the fixed charge for power or cut down the tariff hike and request the banks to support the industries at this hour of crisis. If we fail to pay loan instalments for three months, our accounts will turn NPA. How will we pay loan when we don’t have money to pay salary to our workers?” asked Katiyar.

Militant, Soldier, Bihari Labourer Killed In Shopian

Source: kashmirobserver.ne

SRINAGAR — A militant of Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit and an army soldier beside a Bihari labouerr were killed in a gunfight at Ittoo Mohalla Pandushan area of South Kashmir’s Shopian on Friday afternoon.

Official sources said that body was recovered from the site of the encounter late today evening. The body was taken to DPL where the slain has been identified as Zeenat-Ul-Islam of Memander.

After conducting all necessary formalities, the body of the slain was handed over to his legal heirs for last rites, they said.

Earlier, an army man was also killed during the encounter, they said, adding that an army man has suffered injuries.

The injured soldier was immediately taken to army hospital for treatment, they said.

A police officer also confirmed the killing of a militant and a soldier during the operation so far.

He said that the operation is still going on in the area. According to the officer one more militant is still hiding in the area.

According to reports, one body is still lying near the encounter site and it is believed to be that of a non-local man namely Mujeeb, a resident of Bihar who was working as a labourer in the area. However, there was no official confirmation in this regard so far.

Earlier in the day, youth took to streets and pelted stones on forces near the encounter site. The police and paramilitary CRPF deployed in the area used tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse them.

In forces action, one youth namely Sahil Ahmad of Chogalpora Shopian sustained pellet injury in his left eye.

Sahil was immediately taken to district hospital Kulgam for treatment where from he was referred to SMHS Srinagar for specialized treatment.

On Thursday evening, the encounter broke out at Ittoo Mohalla Pandoshan village after a joint team of army’s 34 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation.

Three months after mob lynching victim’s death, Jharkhand police admit their failings in chargesheet

Source: scroll.in

More than three months after a 55-year-old Christian tribal was lynched in Jharkhand’s Jurmu village by a mob of Hindu villagers for carving an ox, the local Gumla district police’s chargesheet in the case has revealed new evidence pointing to police apathy.

Testimonies of three Christian tribals injured in the attack reveal that the police ignored the victims of the mob attack for more than an hour-and-a-half as they lay on a street outside the police station, where the accused had allegedly dumped them after a four-hour assault.

It has now come to light that instead of rushing them to a medical facility, police officials only offered shawls to the severely injured victims. When the victims were finally ferried to a nearby primary healthcare centre, one of them, Prakash Lakda, was declared dead on arrival. The police had earlier denied allegations of delay.

FactChecker, in June, reported how the police investigations into many of such crimes in Jharkhand were marked by callousness and partisan behaviour, often leading to fatal consequences.

Police apathy

This also proved to be the case in the state’s latest hate crime on June 17 – the lynching of 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari, in which the victim, after 18 hours of assault by a mob, was taken to police custody instead of a hospital. Four days later, he was found unconscious in jail and was soon dead.

In Lakda’s case, the chargesheet, which has also pressed charges against the accused under the stringent Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, was filed earlier this month by the Gumla police.

Lawyers representing the victims say their testimonies in the chargesheet are proof that the police’s apathy led to Lakda’s death. Speaking to FactChecker, Gumla Superintendent of Police Anjani Kumar Jha admitted to the negligence and said that two police officials had been suspended for a month and departmental proceedings had been initiated against them.

The police has, so far, arrested seven of the 12 named accused – dozens of unnamed persons are also accused in the case.

But even as the Gumla police fight these allegations, they continue to press charges of cow slaughter against the victims, based on a complaint by those accused in the lynching.

On June 17, the district court of Gumla rejected the victims’ application for anticipatory bail – to shield them from arrest – after the state government’s public prosecutor alleged that the accused had slaughtered the ox for its meat. In the chargesheet, the accused, as well as other witnesses, have maintained that the ox was long dead before it was carved.

Jharkhand is the second deadliest state for hate crimes fuelled by religious bias, having reported 15 that are included in Hate Crime Watch, a FactChecker database that tracks such crimes. Jharkhand is considered a stronghold of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party – the party is in its second consecutive term at the Centre and has governed Jharkhand since 2014, too. In this year’s national elections, it won 12 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state along with an ally.

‘Let’s kill them’

Describing the assault, 40-year-old Janerius Minj, one of the four tribals who was attacked by the mob, in his testimony to the police has said that on April 10, a mob of 30-40 people approached them from the direction of Jairagi village while they were carving a dead ox.

“All of them had sticks and rods in their hands and surrounded us,” he said. “Most of the 20-30 people from Jurmu escaped so they picked on the four of us and started assaulting us. They kept saying, ‘Let’s kill these people.’”

Minj has identified 12 people who he says played a leading role in the attack that lasted at least two-and-a-half hours. The mob then paraded the four through the village, forcing them to chant Jai Shri Ram slogans, in a pattern repeated in mob attacks across the country in recent weeks. “Whoever did not, was assaulted by the mob,” he said.

Then, Minj said, main accused Sanjay Sahu and Padu Sahu went to the local Dumri police station and came back in 30 minutes. “They arranged a bus, but Lakda was so badly beaten that he couldn’t even stand, nor could he get onto the bus, “he said in his testimony to the police, recorded on April 11, the day after the lynching. “So, Sahu and his men just dragged him into the bus and put him on the floor, at the back of the bus.”

At the end of the 19-km journey, the victims were left outside the Dumri police station. “They dumped Lakda at one spot and the rest of us three in another,” Minj said.

With the victims lying right outside the police station, police officials came out to check on them. “We were writhing in pain and could barely talk,” Minj said. “The police came, asked us what happened and asked us our names. We told them everything and told them that we felt very cold out there. So, they came back with shawls and lit a fire next to us before heading back into the police station.”

Minj, Lakda and two other victims – Peter Kerketta and Belesius Tirkey – lay there on the street for over 90 minutes, until a police vehicle took them to a nearby primary healthcare centre.

But the delay proved fatal for Lakda, who was declared dead on arrival.

Paraded through village

For Sanjay Sahu, the 48-year-old main accused in the lynching, the violence was justified.

In his confessional statement, Sahu, out on bail in a 2013 murder case, said that a mob of 60-odd people from his village, carrying sticks and rods, had rounded up the tribal villagers of Jurmu and assaulted four of them because what the victims were doing was “galat karya” or a misdeed.

“Some passersby told us that a group of people were carving a cow/ox and distributing its meat amongst themselves,” he said. “When we found out more, we realised that tribals from Jurmu including Lakda, Peter and others were carrying out this wrong act.”

Sahu’s testimony also reveals how the tribals suffered more assault when they were paraded through the village. “They had sustained many injuries… Then, we paraded them through the village, while chanting village slogans,” his testimony said. “Whoever saw them, came and assaulted them.”

At the hearings, the prosecution alleged that the three, along with 20-25 others, had “slaughtered the ox into pieces”. Advocate Shadab Ansari, representing the victims, however, said the police ignored its own chargesheet that said ox was already dead.

‘Poor evidence gathering’

Ansari, who is representing the three victims in the Jharkhand High Court, told FactCheckerthe police should have done more to bolster the case against the accused. “The entire chargesheet is based on victim and eyewitness testimonies,” he said. “But, there has been barely any investigation by the police to find evidence that corroborates and supports the testimonies.”

Listing out tactical errors in the police’s handling, Ansari said the police failed to record statements of victims and eyewitnesses before a magistrate, making it inadmissible as evidence in court. “The police did not even give the victims breathing space and went on to record their statements, a few hours after the attack,” Ansari said. “The victims were still under trauma and were intimidated by the fact that the police had filed a case against them for cow slaughter.”

An internal inquiry had revealed deficiencies in the police functioning on the night of the lynching, Gumla’s SP Jha said. “There was delay in attending to the victims and rushing them to the hospital,” he said. “Hence, we placed two officials, who were on duty that night, on suspension for a month. Their fate will be decided by departmental proceedings, currently underway.”

Kunal Purohit isan independent journalist and an alumnus of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, who writes on development, gender, right-wing politics and the intersections between them.

3-year-old girl kidnapped, raped, beheaded in Jharkhand

Source: moneycontrol.com

Jharkhand police on August 1 said they were still looking for the severed head of a three-year-old girl allegedly raped and beheaded by two men in Tatanagar last week. The torso was found in a plastic bag in a bush under Telco police station area, around 4 km from the Tatanagar railway station, on Tuesday night, they said.

Sniffer dogs have been searching the area to locate the head.

The girl was abducted from the railway station when she was sleeping with her mother and her male companion.

Three persons, including the male companion, have been arrested in connection with the gruesome rape-murder case.

The girl’s mother had eloped with with the man and her child from Purulia district of West Bengal and they were staying on the station platform that night.

The woman had lodged a police complaint, saying she suspected that the man could be behind the killing of her daughter. His role is being investigated.

Superintendent of Police (Railways) Ehtesham Waquarib said the other two accused were arrested after the CCTV camera footage of the platform was scanned.The SP said the two, in their 30s, confessed they beheaded the little girl after raping and strangulating her to death.

On the basis of the lead provided by them, police recovered the torso but the head was not found.

The SP said the two accused were sent to 14-day judicial custody on Wednesday.

New Education Policy, the way to Nalanda, Takshasila glory, says VP Shri Naidu

Source: indiaeducationdiary.in

New Delhi: Expressing concern over India’s slide from the heights of Nalanda and Takshasila to not being among the world’s top 100 educational institutions now, the Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the New Educational Policy will make India a global educational hub. He urged the public to give their views and suggestions on the draft NEP by the stipulated time of 15th of this month.

Shri Naidu further called for a holistic and value-based education that will lay strong foundations for the vibrant economy that India is emerging as. He spoke on the challenges to Indian education after releasing a book ‘The Dynamics of Indian Education’ authored by Prof. J.S. Rajput at the Vice President’s residence, here today.

The Vice President said; “These are the critical times for the country and there is a need for having a fresh look at the education system. I have been consistently advocating the need for revamping the education system to not only make our universities world-class, but to make India the knowledge hub. I am glad that the draft of the New Education Policy makes several out of the box suggestions that have the potential to turn India into a global education hub.”

Shri Naidu stressed that primary education shall be in the mother tongue which enables learning other languages effectively at later stages. Highlighting the knowledge traditions of India, he referred to several German Universities promoting Sanskrit to decipher ancient palm leaves and scriptures for clues for scientific innovation.

Former Union Minister Shri Arif Mohammad Khan who spoke on the occasion said that the land of India for ages is marked by the tradition of knowledge and wisdom. He referred to Prophet Mohammad as having said; “Sitting in Mecca, I am feeling the cool breeze of Knowledge from India. I am an Arab without Arabness; I am not an Indian but feel the Indianness.”

Prof. Rajput, former Secretary-General of Lok Sabha, Shri Subhash Kashyap and Chairman of Prasar Bharti, Shri A. Surya Prakash spoke on various aspects of Indian Education.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

“I am immensely pleased to release the book “The Dynamics of Indian Education” written by well-known educationist, Prof Rajput.

The book covers a whole gamut of issues relating to Indian education system and I must compliment the author for this timely work on a topic that is very close to my heart.

As we all are aware, India has a rich history, tradition and culture of education system from Vedic times. The Gurukul system of imparting knowledge and skills used to focus on holistic development of individuals. Education of women was also accorded huge importance during ancient times and there were well-known women scholars during the Vedic period.

In fact, India was once known as Vishwaguru because of its world class centres of learning like Takshashila, Pushpagiri, Nalanda and others. It was stated that around 10,000 students, including many from foreign shores used to study diverse subjects at Takshashila.

India contributed not only in philosophy and spirituality, but in sciences, mathematics, astronomy and other areas. The objective was “welfare of one and all – Sarva Bhut Hite Ratah”

Subsequently, following foreign invasions and the colonial rule, India lost its pre-eminent position. Today, one finds that not a single Indian university figures in the top-ranking global educational institutions.

These are the critical times for the country and there is a need for having a fresh look at the education system. I have been consistently advocating the need for revamping the education system to not only make our universities world class, but to make India the knowledge and innovation hub.

We need to recapture the past glory. Our education system must remain deeply rooted to culture, while simultaneously steadfastly pursuing new frontiers of knowledge.

Undoubtedly, our post-Independence achievements in education are praiseworthy. We have near total enrolment in schools in spite of over-threefold increase in population!

The recent launch of Chandrayaan -2 and other remarkable achievements in space sciences have unveiled before the world the Indian tradition for the quest of knowledge. It inspires and motivates young Indians and our scientists deserve all the praise for making us proud. Elsewhere, Indians working at NASA and Silicon Valley have made the country proud with their contributions.

I feel that the need of the hour is to provide quality education at all levels to all people. I am glad that the draft of the New Education Policy makes several out-of-box suggestions that have the potential to turn India into a Global education Hub. With the draft report placed for another round of receiving inputs, I hope that many more suggestions would come forth to make Indian universities achieve their rightful place in the global rankings.

I must however, mention that in our march towards a knowledge society, we need to strengthen our school education on priority basis. In particular, special attention has to be bestowed to improve government schools.

We must reform the education system to do away with rote learning. We need to promote concept learning, critical thinking, creativity, problem solving skills as also multilingualism and digital literacy to enable the students to confidently face challenges and successfully pursue their careers.

I need not once again enumerate the importance of teaching in mother tongue from a young age. In fact, I have consistently been advocating the need to make it mandatory for mother tongue to be the medium of instruction up to primary level.

I am told that some of the top universities in Germany teach Sanskrit to enable the scholars of the subject decipher ancient palm leafs and scriptures and find clues for scientific innovation. We should not neglect Sanskrit. I feel that no language should be imposed, nor any language opposed.

Teachers are the pivot of national educational endeavors. We need best of the minds in teaching profession. Once in the profession they need to internalize “yavadjeevait adhiyate viprah” – the wise continue to gain knowledge throughout life.

Teachers should be torchbearers of the society. I am told that there are around 1 crore teachers and 30 crore students from KG to PG level in the country. Filling up all the vacant positions of teachers is equally important to make our education effective.

Teachers play the most crucial role in shaping the character of a child after his or her parents. Therefore, teachers should have societal concerns. We must develop a model of education that reflects Indian culture and ethos. We need to inculcate cultural, moral, ethical and spiritual values among children.

I hope the new educational policy will address various concerns on reforming the system and fulfill the need for India-centric education architecture. The draft policy should be studied with an open mind. People should give constructive suggestions rather than criticize it for the sake of criticism.

We need education for progress and development. Probably more than that, we need Education for Character Development. Value based education that prepares the young for an India that abounds in ‘social cohesion and religious amity’ is our goal.

The book practically covers all the aspects mentioned by me. Prof. Rajput strongly pleads for value education, character formation and celebration of unity in diversity. I wish him well in his efforts.

Man held for bid to extort Rs 1.5 lakh from coaching institute owner in Bihar

Source: indiatoday.in

The Delhi Police’s Crime Branch has arrested a man for allegedly trying to extort money from the owner of a coaching institute in Bihar, officials said on Friday.

The accused, identified as, Mritunjay Kumar Pandey (21), a native of Bettiah in Bihar was involved in an extortion case in that city, they said.

According to police, a person, who runs a leading coaching institute in Betiah received extortion calls. The caller had demanded Rs 1.5 lakh as “protection money”.

The complainant alleged that some persons followed him to the coaching institute and threatened him.

During investigation, the Bihar Police traced the location of the mobile phone used to place the extortion call to Delhi-NCR, following which they sought assistance from their Delhi counterpart, a senior police officer said.

The accused was nabbed on Friday when he came to ISBT Kashmiri Gate to board a bus for Punjab, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rajiv Ranjan said.

During interrogation, Pandey disclosed that he and his associate Nanhki had planned to extort money from the victim. They called him several times and threatened him. They also sent some associates to follow him in Bettiah, the officer said.

However, when a case was registered by the Bihar police, Pandey left Bettiah and reached Delhi, the officer added.

The accused is previously involved in five criminal cases, including that of possession of illegal firearms, extortion and murder in 2014 and 2017, police added.

His associate, Nanhki is a known criminal and involved in more than a dozen cases of extortion from businessmen in Bettiah, Bihar, they added.

Bihar: Flood situation grim in Darbhanga, locals disappointed with government

Source: indiatoday.in

The flood situation in Bihar remains unchanged and life has come to standstill in Darbhanga due to incessant rain and floods. Most of the houses are submerged.

In Makhnahi village, the only option for the villagers is to live on the terrace or makeshift houses to escape floodwaters.

Currently, boats are the primary mode of commutation and villagers have been complaining that boats are not provided by the government and they have to wait for hours for other people to offer a lift.

The locals have also complained about the unavailability of drinking water and food, which they are unable to get due to lack of conveyance.

“We are struggling for something as basic as drinking water and food. We can go to market only once in 4-5 days as there are not enough boats. No aid from the government is provided. We have lost everything kept on the lower floors of the house because of floodwaters, Who would compensate for our loss?” said Chanda Kumari, a local resident.

According to some village children, the schools continue to remain closed due to waterlogging in and around the areas causing huge loss to their studies especially the ones appearing for board examination this year.

Monetary Aid by the government is announced for the locals, which is not provided to them so far.

“We were expecting some relief from the government but are disappointed time and again. They have announced a sum of Rs. 6000 for which we have to run every day. Let’s see what happens now,” said another village.

Over 134 people have lost their lives as floods wreaked havoc in multiple districts of Bihar.

Around 1.25 lakh people have been evacuated from affected areas in the state so far. However, 1,243 villages in Bihar are still reeling under the calamity.

Mucky road test for Ranchi patients

Source: telegraphindia.com

The absence of a proper approach road to the 500-bed super-specialty wing of Ranchi Sadar Hospital is causing a lot of inconvenience to patients and their attendants.

The road that leads to the extended hospital wing, which was inaugurated with much fanfare by chief minister Raghubar Das two years back, has turned slushy after rain making the hospital inaccessible to visitors.

On an average, around 2,000 patients and doctors visits the hospital every day .

“People have been facing this problem for the last one month. You can neither walk nor negotiate the stretch on a two-wheeler without risking a fall. Patients and their attendants are the worst-hit. The state health department should at least put a layer of stone dust or morrum on the slush,” said Ravi Prakash, the relative of a patient.

One of two newly constructed buildings functions as a maternity wing where 100 pregnant women and children come for treatment daily.

“The problem recurs every monsoon. The road turns mucky and the hospital premises becomes dirty even after a mild drizzle. It’s incredible that two super-specialty units of the sadar hospital don’t have a proper road,” one of the hospital employees said on the condition of anonymity.

District civil surgeon Vijay Bihari Prasad said the department would make some stop-gap arrangement to resolve the issue.

“We are trying to get in touch with the officials of Jharkhand State Building Construction Corporation Limited (JSBCCL) so that they can direct the builder to fix the road by putting a layer of

stone dust or morrum. I don’t know whether the construction of the approach road and paver blocks are part of the project, but the problem can’t be left unattended,” Prasad said.

Prasad said the construction of the second building of the super-specialty wing would be completed by the end of December this year.

“We are also facing a problem regarding a designated parking space. We are going to ask the contractor to earmark a parking space,” he said.

The super-specialty wing, built at a cost of Rs 131 crore, has a curious past.

In 2011, JSBCCL undertook its construction and Bijeta Construction Company was awarded the contract.

In 2016, a PIL was filed in Jharkhand High Court over how the wing couldn’t be made functional even five years after the beginning of its construction. The health department had informed the high court that it would complete the construction of the first phase of the super-specialty wing by March 2017.