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Waning faith in system dangerous for nation: Hazare

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Ahmednagar, Dec 9 : Expressing concerns over delays in punishment in rape cases, veteran social crusader Kisan Baburao alias Anna Hazare here on Monday said no rapist had been hanged since August 14, 2005 in West Bengal and 426 convicts were awaiting the hangman’s noose.

“Since then (2005), not a single death penalty has been executed for any such (rape) convict, awarded the death. There are 426 convicts awaiting execution,” Hazare said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The 82-year-old social leader asked who was accountable when – despite conviction – the punishment was not being implemented. He demanded a probe into this and stringent action against those responsible for such delays.

“People have started feeling that the delays, obstacles and difficulties in getting justice through the system is itself an injustice. This is the reason for the mass support to the recent Hyderabad encounters. People now want such criminals should be eliminated in such encounters,” Hazare said.

Citing his own experiences over legal delays, the Ralegan-Siddhi village-based social activist said he had raised corruption issue with adequate evidences against former Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party Minister Babanrao Gholap in 1998. He was convicted in 2014.

Same was the case with another former Minister Suresh Jain against whom he had complained with proof in 2003. But only after 14-long years he (Jain) recently received a 7-year jail-term.

“Gholap filed a defamation case against me and I was sentenced to 3-month jail, but released after 15 days. Jain also filed such cases against me and I have been attending hearings since so many years,” Hazare said.

Also, after taking so long to get the verdict from the lower courts, it’s not known how much more time would be taken for appeals (filed by the two ex-Ministers) in these cases to be disposed, he pointed out.

Despite strengthening of laws after the Nirbhaya episode in New Delhi, we had failed to ensure justice to her, and such cases against even minor girls were on the rise, he said.

“I am told over 700,000 cases are pending for 7-10 years in fast-track courts, the 1091 helpline for women in distress doesn’t function efficiently, Nirbhaya Fund remains unused. What’s the meaning of all this,” Hazare remarked.

He lamented that instead of sympathising with the women victims’, the ordeal would begin right from the stage of lodging a complaint with the police, as was proved in the recent Hyderabad rape-cum-murder case of a veterinary doctor.

Reiterating that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’, the social worker said despite having an exemplary Constitution drafted by B.R. Ambedkar, apprehensions were building up and people were losing faith in the justice system.

“If this is not checked, it could lead to mass public unrest, which will not augur well for our democracy,” Hazare remarked.

India

Heartening to see people’s belief in Constitution: Pranab Mukherjee

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Pranab Mukharjee Iftar Party

New Delhi, Jan 23 Referring to the agitation against the new citizenship law, former President Pranab Mukherjee, here on Thursday, said it was heartening to see people raising their voices and asserting their belief in the Constitution.

Speaking at the first Sukumar Memorial Lecture, Mukherjee said the Indian democracy had been tested time and again.

The last few months had witnessed a large numbers of people coming out on the streets to voice their views on issues that in their opinion were important, the former President said.

He praised the stellar role played by the Election Commission in strengthening India’s democracy.

On the development activities getting hindered by elections, Mukherjee said the model code of conduct could be amended.

The former President said the strength of Parliament should be revised to reflect the growth in the electorate and steps to ensure adequate representation of women in the legislatures.

The Sukumar Sen Memorial lecture was organised as a tribute to the first Chief Election Commissioner of India, who supervised the first two general elections, Assembly polls, putting India firmly on the map of democracy.

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Release political detainees on R-Day: Ex-J&K minister Mir

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omar mehbooba

Jammu, Jan 23 Senior Jammu and Kashmir leader Ghulam Hassan Mir who was a part of the group led by Altaf Bukhari that met Lt. Governor G.C. Murmu earlier this month for presenting a set of measures to restore political activity in J&K, said much progress has been made since the meeting took place.

Speaking at a press conference in Jammu on Thursday, the former Minister said many political detainees and youth jailed outside Kashmir have been released.

“These are all positive developments since our meeting with the L-G,” Mir said.

He demanded the release of prisoners including three former chief ministers on Republic Day.

“This will be a goodwill gesture,” Mir said.

He said all those youth who have been detained in jails in other states must be shifted to Jammu and Kashmir.

On the issue of restoration of the Internet, he said although 2G Internet has been restored at some places but this is not enough. “Internet must be fully restored,” Mir said.

He said that the demand for restoration of the Internet is equally strong in Jammu as well as Kashmir.

He said the media is worst-affected by the Internet gag. “Government should restore broadband Internet for the media persons.”

He demanded domicile rights for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and allaying their fears about job losses post abrogation of Article 370.

Mir said the government should compensate for the losses suffered by the agriculture and horticulture sectors.

He was flanked by former PDP minister Dilawar Mir who was among the eight leaders expelled by the PDP after meeting the Lt. Governor and the delegation of foreign ambassadors.

Dilawar Mir said that he continues to be a member of the PDP and only party president Mehbooba Mufti who is under detention has the power to expel him.

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I’m an Indian first: Digvijay attacks RSS’s Bhagwat on ‘people born in India are Hindus’ remark

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Bhopal, Jan 23: Taking a swipe at Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’ claim that all people who have taken birth in India are Hindus, Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Thursday asserted that he is neither inclined towards Muslims nor Hindus, rather he is an Indian first.

Criticising the central government over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR), Digvijaya visited Shaheen Bagh in the national capital to express solidarity with people, mainly Muslim women, who have been staging protests against the CAA and NRC for over a month now.

Digvijaya Singh said, “People say I’m inclined to Muslims. I’m neither inclined to Muslims, nor Hindus. I am inclined to India. My strength comes from unity in the diversity of this country. I’m an Indian first then Hindu or whatever.”

“Workers of RSS say all residents of Hindustan are Hindus. Going by this logic, what is the identity of Hindus born in America, Africa and other countries?”he asked.

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