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Gurukul girls allege sexual abuse, director nabbed

Hisar :
A month after some boys were sexually abused at a gurukul in Rohtak, a similar incident has been reported from an all-girl gurukul in Hisar district.

The police today arrested gurukul director Swami Krishnanand on the complaint of the girls, who accused him of sexual harassment and outraging their modesty.

The matter came to the light when some girls complained to their parents during their visit to the gurukul. Following the allegations, the village panchayat held a meeting on the gurukul premises this evening which was attended by the village sarpanch and other prominent persons of the village.

Sources said 10 girls, including minors, came forward and revealed their plight to the panchayat.

The panchayat members immediately called the police which took the director – a self-styled godman – in custody.

The police have started recording the statements of the victims. Sources said the girls alleged that the director used to call them to his room at odd hours and asked them to give a massage faking headache.

The gurukul was set up in 1995 and at present has 350 girls who reside on the premises. Some villagers tried to intervene during the panchayat held today to hush up the matter, but the girls refused to be silent on the issue.

Hansi SP Virender Vij said a case under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC and Section 10 (sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been registered against the director.

The police also contacted the woman principal of the gurukul who said she was out of station for the past two days.

Have the police done the right thing?

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Rain kills 2, damages kharif crop

Govt seeks report in 4 days | 3,500 plaints of crop damage received

Chandigarh :
Widespread rainfall across the state has resulted in damage to life and property as two persons died in Ambala while farmers’ hopes of having a bumper Kharif crop were dashed.

Meanwhile, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Capt Abhimanyu has sought a report on the damage to life and property from the DCs concerned within four days. “The special girdawari for crop loss would also be part of this report,” Capt Abhimanyu said.

In Ambala, one man was killed while one sustained injuries after the roof of a room collapsed in Jandli area on Monday. The deceased has been identified as Dharampal (45), while the injured has been identified as Prahlad (42). Manish (17), who was also inside the room, escaped unhurt.

Meanwhile, one woman was killed and seven people sustained injuries after a tree fell on a car near Garnala Village. Sources said the victims were on their way from Kot village in Panchkula to Jaggi Colony in Ambala to attend a bhog. As they reached the Ambala-Naraingarh road near Garnala Village, a tree fell down on their car and the driver lost his control over the vehicle, which went off road. The deceased has been identified as Kailasho Devi.

In Hisar, the continuous rain dashed the hopes of farmers to garner a good Kharif crop.

The farmers said the rain had done extensive damage to cotton, paddy, moong, gwar and bajra crop.

Om Prakash, a farmer of Kheri Barkhi village, said he had lost around two acres of cotton crop due to rain. “I expected a good crop this year. The rain, just at the nick of time when the plucking season is about to start, has completely damaged the crop”, he said.

The Agriculture Department has, however, stated that cotton crop had suffered around 40 per cent loss while paddy crop had suffered around 15-20 per cent loss. Bajra, moong and gwar crops were the worst affected with more than 50 per cent loss due to rain.

Vinod Phogat, Deputy Director (Agriculture), Hisar, said reports were still being compiled from the field. “We have received 3,500 complaints of damage to crops under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna”, he said.

A report from Karnal said heavy rain had put paddy farmers in distress as the standing crop had been flattened across the district. As per the authorities, the early or short-duration varieties suffered the most. The farmers have demanded compensation for the losses. Meanwhile, as many as 300 farmers have approached the Agriculture Department to assess the loss due to rain and demanded compensation under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.

The reports of flattened crop have been received from almost every part of the district, said Aditya Dabas, Deputy Director (Agriculture), Karnal. He said early and short-duration varieties, like PUSA-1509 and PR varieties, were the most affected. As of now, the loss has been estimated to be around 15 to 20 per cent and if the situation remained the same in the coming days, it could increase further.

Rishpal Malli, a farmer of Bodsham village, demanded compensation and said his entire paddy crop had been flattened.

In Kurukshetra, the agriculture authorities feared losses of up to 10 per cent.

Karamchand, Deputy Director (Agriculture), Kurukshetra, said the DC had held a meeting on Monday in which the officials were directed to expedite loss assessment exercise.

A field study to assess the damage would be completed in four- five days. Preliminary feedback from various blocks in the district had indicated that about 25 per cent area under paddy cultivation was inundated, he added.

Is this raining hard this time?

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Rs 22 cr released to renovate school buildings in Jhajjar

Jhajjar :
The state government has finally released a sum of Rs 22 crore for renovation of buildings of 57 government schools in the district. Most of the buildings are in a bad shape and the school heads had been demanding their repair since a long time.

As per sources, the government schools located in Kheri Khummar, Patoda, Badli, Aachhej Pahadipur, Silani and Dharana villages would be covered under the first phase of the renovation work while a survey is underway to find out other buildings in need of renovation.

The district authorities have also directed the school heads not to conduct classes in the rooms or buildings declared unsafe. They have also been asked to take steps to restrict students from going in the unsafe rooms to prevent any untoward incident.

The issue of the dilapidated buildings had been raised in these columns prominently some days ago. The report exposed how buildings of 60 government schools in Jhajjar were declared unsafe three months ago but neither were the schools provided new buildings nor were they demolished even though incidents of roof collapse had been reported from three schools. The report also revealed that 14 rooms of Government Senior Secondary School in Kheri Khummar were declared unsafe four years ago but no further action had been taken in this regard, threatening the students playing around the rooms.

The Haryana Human Rights Commission also took a suo moto action on the report and sought reply from Principal Secretary, state Education Department, and Deputy Commissioner (DC), Jhajjar, in this respect within six weeks.

DC Sonal Goel said Rs 22 crore had been sanctioned under the CM announcements. “A proposal has also been moved to the head office on the basis of a departmental report for renovation of the remaining schools in the district,” she added.

Satbir Siwach, DEO, said they, along with the PWD officials, had recently conducted a survey of all government schools in the district and found no dearth of rooms in any of these.

For students’ safety

First phase to cover schools in Kheri Khummar, Patoda, Badli, Aachhej Pahadipur, Silani and Dharana villages while a survey is underway to find out other buildings in need of renovation.

School heads directed not to conduct classes in the rooms or buildings declared unsafe. They have also been asked to take steps to restrict students from going in the unsafe rooms to prevent any untoward incident.

Did the government do this right thing?

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2 months later, same story, no lesson learnt

Rewari :

Despite the death of a farmer barely two months ago as he accidentally touched a hospital transformer while scaling the hospital’s outer wall, the Rewari Civil Hospital authorities have not learnt any lesson. 

With the entrance to the hospital inundated, patients continued to jump over the wall, putting their lives in danger. Sources say the district administration has installed motors near the hospital to drain out the water, but the process will take some time. 

“The hospital transformer has been barricaded and rear gates opened. Next, we plan to raise the height of outer wall,” explained Civil Surgeon Krishan Kumar.

Did the administration take lessons from the last rain?

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Former probe official supports CBI against Ram Rahim

Panchkula :
Former Investigating Officer (IO) of the CBI M Narayanan deposed before the CBI Special Court, Haryana, on Monday in the Ram Chander Chhatrapati murder case and supported the agency’s version.

He had appeared as there was an order in this regard from the apex court in view of Khatta Singh’s statement, which was important evidence regarding criminal conspiracy charge in the murder case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. During the cross examination on Monday, former IO said he had recorded the statement of Khatta Singh, former driver of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, on June 21, 2007. After that, his statement was recorded before magistrate on June 22, 2007, where he had given evidence against Ram Rahim.

“The IO was asked whether he was aware that Khatta Singh had filed an application that the CBI wanted to get recorded his statement forcefully. He replied that Khatta Singh had told him that Dera men had taken his signatures on blank papers,” said CBI counsel HPS Verma. An application in this regard was filed at Ambala court, but it was dismissed and even the revision was dismissed.

Former driver of dera chief Khatta Singh had told the court on May 5 that he was appointed the driver of personal vehicles of the dera head during 1996-97.

On October 23, 2002, Ram Rahim had met Krishan Lal, Nirmal Singh and Kuldeep Singh in his gufa at Sirsa where they showed him the copy of the newspaper Poora Sach that had published the anonymous letter. “I was present there at that time. After going through the contents of the news, Gurmeet Ram Rahim got very angry and directed manager Krishan Lal, Nirmal Singh and Kuldeep Singh that before Ram Chander Chhatrapati (who owned Poora Sach) again publishes any other article or news in his newspaper about him or the activities of the dera, his voice be silenced forever,” Khatta Singh had told the court.

He had added that Krishan Lal then left the gufa and after sometime returned with a walky-talky set and his revolver and handed over these to Nirmal Singh and Kuldeep Singh in Ram Rahim’s presence.

According to his version, he had then left for Delhi on October 24, 2002, and by the evening, he received a call that Chhatrapati was shot at and Kuldeep Singh had been apprehended. Soon after, Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal were also apprehended. Chhatrapati died on November 20, 2002.

Is Ram Rahim's trouble Grow?

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