Jharkhand HC bench recuses from hearing CBI plea in case involving Lalu Prasad

Source: .moneycontrol.com

A Jharkhand High Court bench recused itself from hearing a petition filed by the CBI seeking enhancement of the jail term of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and five others in a fodder scam case.

When the petition came up for hearing, Justice K P Dev said that since he had been a counsel for the CBI earlier, he wished to stay away from hearing the matter.

The bench of Justice Apresh Kumar Singh and Justice K P Dev then directed that the petition be sent to another bench.

A special CBI court had sentenced Prasad and five others to three-and-a-half years prison term while sentencing another convict to seven years of incarceration in the same case.

The CBI moved the high court seeking enhancement of the jail term of Prasad and five others, contending that the case pertained to conspiracy and the sentence should be the same – seven years – for all.Prasad has been serving jail term in a number of fodder scam cases in Ranchi.

Bihar mother-daughter tonsuring case: Arrest warrent issued for 5 accused

Source: hindustantimes.com

A local court in Vaishali issued an arrest warrant against five people for assaulting and tonsuring a 48-year-old woman and her 19-year-old daughter in Bihari village on June 26. The women were assaulted and ‘punished’ by a local councillor, after they protested against his attempt to rape the daughter. A video of the incident had become viral on social media and the police had arrested the councillor and four others for their alleged involvement.

Dr Rajulben L Desai, member of the National Commission for Women (NCW) , who visited the victims, asked the Bihar government to provide adequate compensation and free legal aid to help the women get justice. Rachna Raj, secretary of the district legal service authority (DLSA), also met the victims and provided them with a legal advisor.

Vaishali SP MS Dhillon said that a plea for the arrest of five accused, identified as Md Manjur Ansari, Md Kalim, Md Ishtewar, Md Javed and Md Padua, was submitted in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate Alok Kumar Mishra on Saturday, following which the court issued an arrest warrant against them, after a hearing on Tuesday.

Read | 2 women assaulted, tonsured for resisting rape bid by councillor in Bihar

Two of the accused,ward councillor Mohammad Khurshid and barber Dasrath Thakur, were arrested immediately after the incident and are already in judicial custody.

“The court has issued an arrest warrant against the five named accused. Now, we will go ahead with the due procedure,” said Sanjay Kumar, SHO of Bhagwanpur police station. He said that a case has been registered against seven people under section 376 (punishment for rape), 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences), 354b (assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC.

The police informed that the victims recorded their statements before the court of second class judicial magistrate, Vandana, under sections of 167 CrPC. In her statement, the middle-aged woman revealed that all the accused forcibly entered their house and tried to rape her daughter. When she protested, the accused persons abused and beat up the victims. The women approached some of their fellow villagers, who took them to the police station.

The Bihar state women’s commission has also sought strong action against the accused. Dilmani Mishra, the commission’s chairman, said that the incident was highly condemnable.

“I have talked to eyewitnesses, the police and visited the spot where the incident occurred. I will send a report to the NCW,” said Desai.

CBI arrests serial offender in Ranchi’s own Nirbhaya case

Source: hindustantimes.com

In a major breakthrough, the CBI has arrested a 23-year-old “serial rape offender” allegedly involved in brutal rape and murder of an engineering student on December 16, 2016, in Ranchi.

Rahul Rai, who carries many pseudonyms like Ankit, Aryan and others, was picked up by the CBI from a Uttar Pradesh jail where he was cooling his heels in other rape cases. After committing the gory crime in Ranchi, Rahul reportedly fled to Lucknow where he committed three rape crimes in a similar manner.

The Ranchi’s Nirbhaya was raped and murdered at her house. The perpetrators had burnt her after committing the crime.

The incident occurred on the fourth anniversary of the gory gang rape and murder of a paramedical student in New Delhi and had rocked the state which witnessed widespread protests, rallies and candle marches demanding immediate arrest of culprits.

The CBI’s Lucknow special crime branch on Saturday produced Rahul before a Ranchi court which forwarded him in judicial custody till July 6.

The court of special judicial magistrate (CBI) Ajay Kumar Gudia is yet to decide on the CBI’s request, seeking Rahul on police remand for interrogation.

Earlier, the case was investigated by the Ranchi police and the crime investigation department (CID) but no breakthrough was made.

The police had conducted DNA tests on more than 80 suspects in this case but all reports didn’t match with the victim’s DNA.

Cyber experts had also been engaged to search and examine social media, including mails, but they too failed to find any clue.

The state government on January 3, 2017, had finally recommended for a CBI probe. A year later, the Centre approved the government’s request leading to registration of FIR by the CBI on March 28, 2018.

The semi-naked half-charred body of the victim was found inside her house. The incident came to light after the girl’s sister, failing to reach her on phone, sent some neighbours to check on her. On reaching the house, they found the door ajar and smoke emanating from the room.

When they entered, they found her body lying near the bed with her face fully burnt. Other materials in the room were also gutted.

The premiere investigating agency registered the FIR against unknown persons under Sections 448 (house trespass), 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison), 376 (rape) and other sections of the Indian Penal Code.

CBI’s deputy superintendent of police (DSP) RS Solanki was entrusted with the investigation of the case.

Bhima Koregaon case: Pune police raid activist Fr. Stan Swamy’s Ranchi home

Source: thehindu.com

A Pune police team on Wednesday searched the residence of human rights activist Father Stan Swamy in Ranchi in connection with the Bhima Koregaon–Elgaar Parishad case and for his alleged Maoist links. This was the second time the city police raided his house in Ranchi’s Namkum area.

While electronic devices, including a hard disk and some other materials, were seized, the 83-year-old activist was not taken into custody. 

The Pune police were assisted by the Ranchi police in the search that lasted nearly three hours, said sources.

Ashutosh Sekhar, Superintendent of Police, Ranchi (Rural), told The Hindu, “The search began after 7 a.m. and lasted nearly two-and-a-half to three hours. The Maharashtra police team took some electronic material and some documents. They will examine this material and decide on the future course of action.” 

The previous raid

Raids were conducted by the police at Fr. Swamy’s residence on August 28 last along with that of six other academics and activists known for their dissentious views against the powers that be.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Swargate division) Shivaji Pawar, the investigating officer in the case, told The Hindu that the police seized some electronic devices and other material from Fr. Swamy’s house. “We have not taken him into custody. We conducted this operation for gathering more evidence as a part of the ongoing investigation in the case. The materials seized will be sent for probe,” he said.

Fr. Swamy runs a school for Adivasi children and a technical training institute in his residential premises. A vocal critic of the Jharkhand government, he is known for his work among the tribal people of the State through his NGO, Bagaicha.

In 2016, he released an expose following a Jharkhand undertrials’ study, which showed that an overwhelming majority of the tribal people languishing in jails were falsely implicated and arrested for daring to protest against the violation of their constitutional and human rights.

On August 28 last, the houses of activists Sudha Bharadwaj, P. Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde were raided, along with that of Fr. Swamy as part of the second crackdown by the Pune police on alleged ‘Maoist sympathisers’ as part of their investigation into the Bhima-Koregaon clashes.

Four of them, including Ms. Bharadwaj, Mr. Rao, Mr. Gonsalves and Mr. Ferreira are now lodged in the city’s Yerwada Jail. 

Last year’s crackdown

On June 6 last year, the city police, in its first nationwide crackdown in the case, arrested five activists, including Dalit publisher Sudhir Dhawale, advocate Surendra Gadling, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen and activists Mahesh Raut and Rona Wilson for their alleged links with the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) and their roles in the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ and the Bhima-Koregaon clashes.

Two charge sheets have been filed against a total 23 accused in the case on a number of counts, including for alleged Maoist links, veering youths towards Maoism and attempting to destabilise the State. The first charge sheet, a 5,160 page indictment, was filed in November 2018 and the second in February last.

11 get life imprisonment in Dumka gang-c case

Source: hindustantimes.com

Dhanbad

A local court in Dumka on Monday sentenced 11 persons to life imprisonment for raping a 19-year-old woman in the district in 2017.

“Pronouncing the punishment on Monday, the court also slapped a fine on each of the convicts of ₹2.97 lakh. It was observed that the amount would be paid to the victim,” said additional public prosecutor Surendra Prasad Sinha.

Last week, district and sessions judge Pawan Kumar had convicted the them under section 376 D (gang-rape) and many other sections under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The court awarded life sentence to John Murmu, Marshal Murmu, Albinus Hembrom, Jaiprakash Hembrom, Subhash Hembrom, Shailendra Murmu, Suraj Soren, Daniel Kisku, Suman Soren, Anil Rana and Saddam Ansari. The convicts are aged between 19 to 24 years.

The case involved as many as 16 accused out of which five were minors. The minors are being tried separately in juvenile justice board.

The incident occurred on September 6, 2017, between 8-9 pm when the victim, travelling on a motorcycle along with her boyfriend, was intercepted by a group of five-six young men at Digghi locality. The miscreants dragged the girl to a nearby secluded place, summoned their other friends and raped the girl one by one. One of the them, even made a video of the whole incident.

According to the FIR lodged with the Mofassil police station on the basis of victim’s statement, the girl, along with her boyfriend, had gone to her college on a motorbike. While returning, they were stopped at a place to attend nature’s call. Soon, the miscreants reached there and inquired from her about the purpose of making a halt. They demanded money from the couple saying that they could provide a hideout to them to get physical.

When the victim reacted, the accused assaulted both of them and snatching their mobile phones and money. The accused summoned some of their friends. Soon 15-20 local youths assembled there and dragged the girl to nearby bushes and raped her.

The girl informed that she had heard names of some of the accused while they were outraging her modesty. She disclosed that she could not recall other names as she fell unconscious after resisting for a while. After regaining consciousness, the girl and her friend somehow managed to reach the police station, she had informed.