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Environment Ministry celebrates International Ozone Day

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New Delhi, Sep 16 : The Ozone Cell of the Environment Ministry here celebrated International Ozone Day on Friday.

Many young schoolchildren celebrated by participating and winning in painting, poster-making and slogan writing competitions organised by the ministry.

The International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated every year on September 16 to commemorate the day when several nations signed the Montreal Protocol, agreeing on the substances that deplete the ozone layer from the atmosphere and trying to banish them.

On this occasion, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change released a report ‘The Montreal Protocol: India’s Success Story’, detailing the Indian endeavours in phasing out harmful CFC (Chlorofluorocarbons), used in electrical appliances.

“CFC has been replaced by HFC (Hydrocflourocarbon) completely. We have stopped using harmful gases… according to estimates we will have completely done away with HCFCs (Hydrochloroflourocarbon, an alternative of CFC) too, by the year 2025,” said Ajay Mathur, Director-General, TERI (The Energy and Research Institute), who was present at the event as a chief guest.

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CFC, HCFC and HFC are all compounds of gases used in refrigerants, coolants, solvents, contact lenses and foam industry among others — the former two contain chlorine and flourine, two chemicals which are the major cause of ozone depletion, while HFC, though causing no harm to the ozone layer, contributes to global warming.

He also praised corporates for doing their bit in restoring ozone levels in the atmosphere.The event was also attended by M.K. Singh, Joint Secretary in the Environment Ministry. (IANS)

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Light rain, snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir

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Srinagar, Feb 24: Light rain in the plains and snowfall in the higher reaches occurred in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. The Met said the weather will improve Sunday onwards.

Worries of an impending dry summer have been revisiting the people as no major snowfall occurred in the valley during this winter.

The minimum temperatures continued their rising trend across the state.

The minimum temperature was 5.8 in Srinagar, while it was 2.7 in Pahalgam and minus two in Gulmarg.

Leh town of Ladakh region recorded minus three as the minimum.

Jammu city recorded 15.3, Katra 13.8, Batote 7.3, Banihal 7.2, Bhaderwah 6.4 and Udhampur 14 degrees Celsius.

IANS

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Kerala Police arrest 2 in tribal youth murder case

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A selfie of a man with mentally cahllenged tribal youth
A selfie of a man with mentally cahllenged tribal youth (Photo- Indian Express)

Palakkad ( Kerala) Feb 23: The Kerala Police on Friday arrested two of the seven suspects in the killing of a “mentally unfit” tribal youth a day ago, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

The 27-year-old Adivasi youth, who was said to be “not of sound mind”, was beaten to death here by a lynch mob which had accused him of theft, according to the victim’s mother.

The turn of events on Thursday elicited strong response from across the state and country on Friday after a perpetrator of the beating posted a selfie taken just minutes before the crime.

Highlighting the police action, Vijayan in his Facebook post said: “I have instructed the state DGP to speed up the probe and take strict action in the case.”

“This heinous act is a blot on Kerala’s progressive society. But I want to assure you that strict action will be taken at the earliest against all the culprits to ensure that such crimes, especially against people from communities that were long marginalised, are not repeated.

“Kerala as a whole should stay extremely vigilant to ensure that we continue to remain and progress as a caring, cosmopolitan society,” added Vijayan.

The Chief Minister’s response was also prompted by a large number of twitter followers putting up messages like: “@CMOKerala… please take urgent action on this matter and bring the culprits in front of Justice.”

Speaking to the media here on Friday, Malli, mother of the slain youth Madhu, said: “It was yesterday (Thursday) evening that my son was beaten up by a group of people in the forest (near Attapadi-Agali) saying that he was a thief.

“Then he was handed over to the police and soon he developed complications. He was taken to a hospital, where he died. He is not a thief, instead he was not of sound mind,” said the grieving mother.

The entire episode was shot on a mobile and posted on social media.

Superstar Mammootty in his Facebook post said that none should address Madhu as a tribal.

“I will say that people killed my brother, as if one thinks as a human, Madhu is either a son or an younger or elder brother. None should call anyone a thief, if he does it to eat, as poverty is the creation of society,” said Mammootty.

State BJP spokesperson M.S. Kumar told the media that the state government should announce an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2.5 million as compensation.

“It’s very strange that the concerned minister (Minister for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes A.K. Balan) who hails from the same district failed to turn up at the tribal village to pacify them,” said Kumar.

It was only after actor-director Joy Mathew had posted the visuals on social media that various political leaders, including Vijayan, condemned the incident, early on Friday.

“This is some sort of a fascist Malayali psyche which has developed recently and has to be tackled. If the police wish to arrest me for sharing this video on social media, let them do that,” said Mathew.

The local tribal community are up in arms and have demanded that if the people behind the incident were not arrested, they would launch a protest and commenced the first round by staging a march in the locality.

State Minister Balan told the media: “Those who did it claim that this youth was a thief, but that’s their allegation.

“The state government will act very strongly and none who have done this would be spared. A magisterial probe will also be launched,” said Balan.

State Police chief Loknath Behra said that he has handed over the case to Thrissur Inspector General of Police and “everyone who had done this would be brought to book, as people have no right to take law into their hands”.

Madhu’s body has been taken for an autopsy to the Thrissur Medical College hospital and would then be brought to the village.

IANS

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Dalit girl burnt alive in Uttar Pradesh village

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Fire Burnt Alive
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Lucknow, Feb 23: A young Dalit girl was burnt alive in an Uttar Pradesh village in Unnao district late last night, police said.

Eighteen-year-old Moni was cycling to a vegetable market on Thursday when some unidentified persons confronted her. They surrounded her and poured petrol over her. Before she could react, they had set her ablaze.

The girl up in flames ran for some 100 metres to save herself but finally collapsed and died on the spot.

Senior police officers, including IG (Zone) Sujit Kumar Pandey rushed to the crime scene around midnight and spoke to the victims family.

The police is trying to find out whether it was a case of stalking or family enmity. The victim’s family has ruled out any case of enmity.

Officials told IANS that the police has recovered an empty petrol can, a match box and detected tyre marks of a four-wheeler near Tedha Bazaar where the crime took place.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Pushpanjali along with the Station House Officer (SHO) Uttam Singh Rathore have interrogated several persons in connection with the crime.

A case has been registered against unidentified persons.

IANS

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