Four CMs firm up joint strategy to fight drugs
Office in P’kula to share info, periodic review meetings
Indicating the enormity of the problem, the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh on Monday firmed up a joint strategy to battle the drug menace, deciding to set up a central secretariat at Panchkula for sharing data and to hold review meetings at the CM-level every six months and at the level of the Chief Secretary/DGP every three months.
The meeting was held at the initiative of Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar. The HP CM participated through video-conferencing.
It was decided that nodal officers would be deployed at the Panchkula centre to coordinate data-sharing. Also, the Special Task Force (STF) in each of the four states would meet every month to share information on drug peddlers.
Talking to the media later, the CMs said their Uttar Pradesh counterpart would be asked to join in the efforts. Jammu and Kashmir would be involved in the strategy later. In a joint statement, the CMs stressed that data-sharing was a must if the battle against drugs was to be won.
Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh said the state STF had registered 19,179 cases under the NDPS Act (till August 5) and 21,571 persons, including police officials, had been arrested. A study by PGI, Chandigarh, last year had said 2.7 lakh of the state’s population was hooked on drugs — one out of every six persons. The problem was more acute in Punjab villages, it had said.
Khattar favoured fast-track courts to try those in the drug trade. Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur suggested that the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act be invoked against the drug peddlers.
Rajasthan Additional Home Secretary, who too attended the meeting, admitted that opium produced legitimately was being diverted elsewhere. Uttarakhand CM TS Rawat expressed concern over women being targeted by drug mafia.
Will this turn out to be a drunken business?
Probe ordered into escape of four girls from shelter home
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sonal Goel has ordered an inquiry into the escaping of four teenaged girl inmates from Umang, a shelter home for destitute children, on the intervening night of August 16 and 17.
“A three-member committee, comprising Bahadurgarh SDM and DSP and Chief Executive Officer, Zila Parishad, has been constituted to inquire into the incident. The committee has been directed to submit its report within a week,” said sources.
The shelter home, being run under the Haryana State Child Welfare Council (HSCWC), has 22 inmates and most of them are either abandoned children or orphans and some employees have been deputed there to run the shelter home.
The incident came to light on Friday when the employees found four inmates missing during morning attendance. They immediately informed the police and the police traced three girls from Faridabad and one from Sonepat within 24 hours.
Sources said the girls went to Panipat from Bahadurgarh and three of them took a train for Mumbai. They reportedly planned to go to Mumbai to find jobs there. The trio was recovered from Faridabad railway station and sent to Nari Niketen in Karnal, while the fourth was handed over to her family members.
“Preliminary inquiry has revealed that the girls used a wooden ladder to scale 10-foot-high outer wall of the shelter home. The ladder is being used to facilitate construction works being carried out in the shelter home these days. Though a watchman was on the duty at the time of the incident, but he was asleep,” said the sources.
The DC said escaping of the girls from the shelter home was a serious issue hence a thorough inquiry was needed to ascertain the reasons behind the negligence. “Appropriate action will be taken against the guilty,” she added.
Are Shelter Homes are safe for Girls?
Youth Cong blames Centre for rise in crime against women
Indian Youth Congress president Keshav Chand said that the BJP’s ideology was responsible for rise in crime against women in the country.
Chand was addressing a gathering during ‘Aadhi Aabadi Pura Haq’ programme organised by youth Congress leader Chiranjeev Rao at Gurjar Ghataal village in the district on Sunday. “The time has come to show the door to the Narendra Modi government in the coming Lok Sabha elections as the government has entirely failed to ensure safety and security of the women,” he said. “The ‘Aadhi Aabadi Pura Haq’ programme aims at ensuring equal respect and status to the women in society,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, former minister Capt Ajay Yadav said rising cases of crime against women in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana had exposed the Central Government’s ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ campaign and no stringent steps had been taken by the BJP government to check such incidents.
Youth Congress vice-president Shri Niwas accused the BJP government of doing nothing for the welfare of women.
A group of youths carrying sticks allegedly smashed windowpanes of several vehicles which were part of the cavalcade of Youth Congress president Keshav Chand. A scuffle was also witnessed when Congress workers resisted the assailants. “We have filed a written complaint with the police seeking the arrest of the youths within 48 hours as some of them have been identified,” said Capt Ajay Yadav.
Is the Congress blaming right?
State may use remote- sensing technology for crop insurance
While insurance company ICICI Lombard is at odds with the State Agriculture Department over claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in two districts, Haryana has now initiated a move towards acquiring satellite-remote-sensing-based administration of crop insurance for the next kharif crop.
Sources said Haryana has taken up a proposal with the Centre to initiate a pilot project of satellite-remote-sensing-based agriculture governance and efficient administration of crop insurance under the PMFBY by Satsure Analytics India Pvt Ltd in two districts of Haryana, starting with kharif crop in 2018.
Sources said Haryana has been following Satsure’s engagement with the Andhra Pradesh Government, where the company has executed a district-wide pilot project in Srikakulam district for rabi crop in 2017-18.
The company’s solution is now planned for a launch across Andhra Pradesh.
Satsure recently signed a State of Intent (SOI) with the NITI Aayog for deploying data science models on satellite imagery for improving agricultural practices for increasing the farm output and income as part of an aspirational district programme.
Sources said Haryana has shown interest in Satsure’s products such as crop acreage monitoring, crop harvesting intelligence, crop harvest readiness index, crop health monitoring, draught monitoring, crop relative yield and damage assessment.
Dusmanta Kumar Bahera, Director, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Haryana, confirmed that the state has reviewed Satsure’s work in Srikakulam and the department planned to utilise their services for timely updates on sowing and harvest, assessing location-specific intensity of crop damage, verifying results of crop cutting experiments (CCEs) and better implementation of the PMFBY.
Notably, the State Agriculture Department is locked in a dispute with the ICICI Lombard, as out of the claims of Rs 390 crore, the insurance company has rejected claims of Sirsa and Bhiwani districts worth more than Rs 170 crore.
The matter is pending before the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Central Government, which was constituted under the PMFBY, where the insurance company is armed with satellite data in its favour while the state government is relying on its CCEs carried out without any technological support.
Even the operational guidelines of the PMFBY recommend the use of innovative technologies to rationalise the CCEs.
Sources said satellite imagery of a particular crop, from the time of sowing till the time of harvesting, can give a fair idea about the general health of the crop and serve as an evidence in the case of a dispute between the Agriculture Department and the insurance companies.
Sources said Haryana has taken up a proposal with the Centre to initiate a pilot project of satellite-remote-sensing-based agriculture governance and efficient administration of crop insurance under the PMFBY by Satsure Analytics India Pvt Ltd in two districts of Haryana.
Is Crop Insurance is a joke with the farmers of Haryana?
All rape cases to be probed in 30 days: Police to Judges
All rape cases in Haryana are to be investigated within 30 days, and probe in molestation cases is to be completed within 15 days. Besides this, the DNA reports in rape cases will be released in just 10 days.
This, and much more, was told to the Punjab and Haryana High Court Judges, besides all district and sessions judges of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, by the Haryana Police during a state-level conference organised on Sunday morning at Chandigarh Judicial Academy. The event was aimed at working out solutions faced by the judges in their day-to-day functioning.
The gathering was told that Haryana was in the process of streamlining the scientific investigation system to cut down delay in sending reports to the police investigating crime against women.
Taking a note of the assertion, Chairman of the High Court Computer Committee, Justice Rajesh Bindal, said the details could also be made available online for monitoring purposes. The police top brass would, that way, know the exact status. “The entire data could be sent online for monitoring. Information, such as time taken by a test, would be available straightaway,” Justice Bindal said.
Referring to the time schedule, Chief Justice Krishna Murari asked the police authorities to ensure the instructions on releasing the reports were applicable to the pending cases as well. “Go back and make the order applicable to old cases also, as chances are that the instructions would be followed in cases taken up after the issuance of directives and not the ones before it,” Justice Murari asserted.
The judges were also told to handle such cases with utmost sensitivity, and take them up on priority, as such matters attracted hue and cry. The directions came after the Chief Justice and other High Court Judges were told that delay in receiving FSL reports was an issue. A judicial officer said the reports in some cases were not received more than one-and-a-half years. As a result, criminal trials, otherwise complete, remained pending for the want of FSL reports. The judges were told that in Gurgaon alone no less than 165 cases were pending for this reason alone.