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Internet remains suspended, GJM workers take out protest march

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Darjeeling (WB), Jun 19 : Security forces patrolled the streets in this tense hill district and Internet services remained suspended for the second day today as GJM supporters held a march here and burnt effigies of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for rejecting their demand for a separate state.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has called an all-party meeting here tomorrow to discuss the next course of action.

In Kolkata, the chief minister urged all parties concerned and stakeholders to attend an all-party meeting convened by the state government in Siliguri on June 22 on the prevailing situation in Darjeeling.

“Violence cannot be a solution to any problem and only talks can solve it,” she told reporters.

Banerjee had said on Saturday, “I am ready to sacrifice my life, but I will not allow Bengal to be divided.”

The GJM ruled out any discussion with the government, but said it would be “comfortable” holding talks with the BJP-led government at the Centre.

The BJP is an ally of the GJM and party MP S S Ahluwalia had won the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Darjeeling with its support.

“We are not ready for talks with the West Bengal government. Mamata Banerjee has insulted us, she has called us terrorists,” GJM leader Binay Tamang said.

The GJM agitators today blocked NH-31A at some places in Darjeeling district to protest the death of three their activists on Saturday.

The 92-km-long NH 31A connects Sevoke in Darjeeling district to Gangtok and is considered the lifeline of Sikkim.

Around 30 km of the highway passes through West Bengal.

A state police official said, “Raids will continue. In fact, there will be raids tonight itself which will be on the basis of our intelligence inputs.”

Anybody disturbing the law and order situation in the hills would face “tough handling” by the police, he said.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal government has sent a report on the ongoing violence in Darjeeling to the Union Home Ministry, which has dispatched a contingent of 125 women security personnel to help restore peace in the hills.

The state government’s report is under examination of the ministry, official sources said in New Delhi.

Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi has also spoken to the state’s chief secretary, who had demanded that two companies — 250 personnel — of women paramilitary personnel be sent there, they said.

Carrying black flags, protesters, especially the youth, marched on the streets of Chowkbazar area of Darjeeling, shouting slogans against the state government and the chief minister.

They also burnt effigies of Banerjee and vowed to continue their fight for a separate Gorkhaland.

“Three of our activists were killed. We are ready to give our lives, but will not stop protesting till we get Gorkhaland,” Sirish Pradhan, a GJM worker, said.

Several small processions were taken out by the GJM activists in various parts of Darjeeling.

Internet services remained suspended for the second day today to stop the GJM activists from using the social media to spread “provocative posts”, police sources said.

Security forces patrolled the streets as the situation remained tense on the fifth day of the GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown.

“The situation is still very tense. Since morning, there has been no incident of violence. But we are on high alert and are prepared for any eventuality,” said a senior police officer.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had appealed to the protesters yesterday not to resort to violence and instead, hold a dialogue to resolve any issue.

But the GJM expressed its “displeasure” with the Centre and questioned the absence of BJP MP from Darjeeling Ahluwalia at the time of the crisis.

“The role of alliance partner BJP is very unfortunate and very disappointing. We had expected something positive on the part of the central government. We feel we are being used as pawns by the Centre and the state,” Darjeeling MLA and senior GJM leader Amar Singh Rai said.

The GJM activists had taken out a protest march here yesterday carrying the bodies of two party supporters who, they alleged, were killed in police firing on Saturday.

Police pickets and barricades were placed in front of the government and the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) offices and various entry exit points of the hills while Rapid Action Force (RAF) and a sizable number of women police personnel were also deployed.

Except medicine shops, all others shops, hotels were closed in the hills.

PTI

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Death penalty for rapists of children: Maliwal to continue fast

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Swati-Maliwal
DCW Chief Swati Maliwal on the 9th day of her fast. Photo: IANS

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal, on the ninth day of her hunger strike, said she would continue her fast till the time the ordinance on the death penalty for rapists of children — which was approved by the Union Cabinet on Saturday — is not promulgated.

Welcoming the Cabinet’s decision to approve the ordinance on the death penalty for those convicted of raping children below the age of 12, Maliwal, however, added: “Until something concrete happens, I will not give up. Until a system is there which ensures safety for the last girl, I won’t give up.”

“When the Prime Minister can suddenly bring an ordinance without anybody knowing, when he can implement such a big project, then why can’t he do these few things? Till the time these are not done, my fast would not break,” she said demanding the ordinance be immediately issued.

Maliwal has been on fast since April 13, demanding death penalty for rapists of children after the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and other instances that took place recently.

“I am happy that though after nine days the Central government has taken the first step to hang rapists of small children within six months,” she said and also appreciated the centre’s plan to increase fast-track courts in the country that will help avoid delay in getting justice.

However, Maliwal wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday on her other related demands.

She said just changing the law is not enough, more important is its implementation and even more important is raising the police resources and their accountability.

“If the police resources and their accountability are not increased in the country, then do whatever, rape would not stop,” she said adding that the Prime Minister had the duty to determine the police resources and accountability.

She said for the last 10 years, Delhi Police has been demanding 66,000 police personnel but has not happened till date. The direct impact of this is borne by the public, she said. Police is only able to do the duty of VIPs, not of the public and most police stations have less than half of the strength, she said.

“Till the time this ordinance does not come and till the time the plan to determine the police resources and accountability is not brought forward by the central government, this fast would not be broken,” she said.

IANS

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Medicines tested on humans instead of animals in Rajasthan

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Jaipur, April 21: An abroad-based pharma company allegedly tested their medicines on humans instead of animals, following which laborers fell ill in Rajasthan’s Bidasar.

The victims were admitted to the Jalpani Hospital in Churu district for the treatment.

According to the reports, the company lured the laborers for money and offered them Rs 500 per day for serving people.

Speaking to ANI, one of the victims said “We came here on April 18 and it’s been three days. They offered us money so we came here. 16 out of 21 people are suffering from it and are admitted to the hospital.”

“After having the medicine, we felt sleepy,” stated another victim.

Meanwhile, taking note of the issue, Rajasthan Health Minister, Kali Charan Saraf, said they will look into the matter and strict action will be taken against those responsible.

“We have assigned officials to the case and will look into it,” he asserted.

WeForNews 

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Six-month-old girl allegedly raped, killed in Indore

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baby infant
Representational Image

New Delhi, April 21: A six-month-old girl was allegedly kidnapped, raped and murdered in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore early on Friday, reported news agency PTI.

The incident came to light when the blood-soaked body of the infant was recovered from the basement of a building in Rajwada area. The post-mortem, which was conducted at state-run MY Hospital, suggested the girl might have been raped before being murdered as her private part bore an injury mark.

Police said the accused, later identified as Sunil Bheel (21), was seen carrying the infant on his shoulder on CCTV footage. “The body of the infant was recovered from the basement of a commercial building in Rajwada area. The accused, Sunil Bheel, had kidnapped her in the morning when she was asleep with her parents outside the Rajwada Fort. The accused was sleeping close to the family,” HC Mishra, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Indore, said, adding that Bheel was known to the family.

“The accused is seen carrying the infant in CCTV images at around 4:45 am. He then took her to the basement of the building, some 50 metres away from where the family was sleeping. Her body was recovered later in the afternoon,” Mishra said.

“The infant had an injury on her head. The accused probably threw her to the ground. However, only the post-mortem report will verify if she died due to this or whether she was smothered,” Mishra stated. He further added that Bheel would be arrested soon.

Meanwhile, Condemning the incident, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “The rape incident in Indore has shook my soul, such a heinous act with a small child! There is a need for our society to look within itself. The accused has already been arrested and we will ensure that he gets punished for his crime as soon as possible.”

With PTI Inputs

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