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DU official fined Rs 25K for rejecting RTI query on Modi’s degree

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New Delhi, Jan 8 : The Central Information Commission (CIC) has slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on Delhi University’s Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) for rejecting an RTI application seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s graduation degree.

The Chief Information Commission, M. Sridhar Acharyulu, in a recent order, pulled up CPIO Meenakshi Sahay of Delhi University and said the rejections reminded him of the saying “penny wise, pound foolish”.

The commission was hearing a plea filed by Delhi-based lawyer Mohammad Irsad, whose RTI query seeking inspection of Modi’s degree was rejected on the ground that the Indian Postal Order (IPO) was not marked in favour of the Registrar of the university.

The commission, directing the “public authority” to recover an amount of Rs 25,000 from the salary payable to Sahay, said that after hearing the story that thousands of rupees had been spent in a legal battle for a postal order of Rs 10, “the proverb ‘penny wise, pound foolish’ has to be rewritten as ‘rupee wise and thousand foolish’ “.

Sahay in her defence argued that there was no malice in rejecting the RTI application and that she had to follow the policies laid down by the university.

The commission did not find any merit or justification in her argument, stating that the fee was not a material factor to throw out an RTI request.

It said it was “vexed with non response” from the CPIO to a number of its notices and thus found it a fit case to impose penalty.

Calling the CPIO’s action “pathetic”, the commissioner said in the order that “such a simple request for information has been dragged to the level of second appeal, building heaps of documents with multiple files”.

The commission also slammed Delhi University for “spending huge amounts of money and consuming precious time of public servants”, including the commission.

It also asked the “public authority”, without defining it, to facilitate sufficient training to the entire staff, including the CPIO, in the matter of RTI law so that they do not reject applications in a routine manner without application of mind.

The commission recommended that officials be provided with the latest books on the RTI Act as well as classic text books on administrative law. It suggested they should also be given the books “Right to Know” by late professor S.P. Sathe and “Five-point Someone: What Not To Do At IIT” by Chetan Bhagat.

India

Pulwama fallout: Security of 18 separatists, 155 politicians in J&K withdrawn

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Jammu kashmir Mirwaiz Umer Farooq
The security cover of four senior separatist leaders -- Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Shabir Shah, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone were already withdrawn on Monday. (Photo Credit- Reuters)

Jammu, Feb 21: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday withdrew security of 18 separatists and 155 political persons in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack on February 14 in which over 40 CRPF troopers were killed.

An order issued by the Home Department late on Wednesday said security cover of separatists and some mainstream politicians was also being withdrawn/downgraded apart from those that were initially withdrawn on February 18.

As per the new order, the new list includes names from the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

Some of them are Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, former IAS officer Shah Faesal and PDP leader Waheed Para.

“Over 1,000 personal security guards and 100 vehicles provided to the secured persons are being withdrawn,” officials said here.

The security cover of four senior separatist leaders — Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Shabir Shah, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone were already withdrawn on Monday.

The decision to cut down heavily on separatist leaders’ cover was taken in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack when an explosive-packed SUV rammed into a bus of a Central Reserve Police Force convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway killing 40 paramilitary troopers on the spot in the worst-ever terror attack in the state since militancy struck there in 1989.

IANS

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India

Women, children used to ferry Pulwama explosive: Intelligence sources

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CRPF troopers killed in suicide attack in Pulwama

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) Women and children helped terrorists to ferry the deadly explosive RDX grade 5 (for military use) and ammonium nitrate from transit point Tral in Pulwama district in south Kashmir in carrying out a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy on February 14, intelligence sources told IANS.

More than 40 Central Reserve Police Force troopers were killed when a local suicide bomber, Aadil Dar, rammed his SUV into a bus carrying the troopers from Jammu to Srinagar.

The sources said the trigger for the explosive was manufactured locally and that ammonium nitrate was used as an oxidizer in the RDX explosive.

The attack took place on Jammu-Srinagar highway near Latoomode in Pulwama around 3.33 p.m. on February 14, stunning the over 2,500 troopers who were part of the convoy.

The military grade RDX was procured from across the border and the device was assembled around 10 km from the blast site, the sources said.

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India

Farmers Nashik-Mumbai Protest March begins for loan waiver, minimum support price

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Mumbai, Feb 20 : Members of All India Kisan Sabha have started their march from Nashik to Mumbai against the Modi government and the state government for not fulfilling various demands of farmers and tribals of the state.

Accusing the government of not fulfilling the promises made to them last year,the AIKS said, “A year has passed, but the government has not executed the promises it made. There is dissent among the farmers.”
“Hence, a long march will be taken out again against this betrayal by the Centre and state government,” it said.

The farmers demands include immediate drought relief, loan waiver , MSP at one and a half the full cost of production.

The farmers will reach Mumbai on February 27, the AIKS said in a statement after its meeting.
The meeting of ALL India Kisan Sabha and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has failed,”That meeting was inconclusive. Till now, only half of the farm loan waiver disbursements have taken place. The government had announced a package of Rs 34,000 crore. Only Rs 17,000 crore has been disbursed. Where is the rest of the money? Our farmers haven’t received it. The chief minister gave us evasive answers, saying some terms and conditions will have to be changed. That will take time. Also, barely any step has been taken to control drought. Maharashtra has been hit by a severe drought. Farmers have to sell their cattle and move out of their homes for jobs. We also demand completion of infrastructure projects,”Farmer leader Ashok Dhavale, who represents the All India Kisan Sabha, said the government was brazenly repressing the leaders.

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