Panchkula court frames charges against Dera chief in castration case; Is Ram Rahim guilty?
A special CBI court framed charges against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and his two associates — Dr MP Singh, alias Mahender Insan, and Dr Pankaj Garg — in a castration case.
The CBI had accused the three of castrating hundreds of dera followers. On December 23, 2014, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered a CBI probe into charges of forced castration inside the dera after hearing a petition by former follower Hans Raj Chauhan in 2012.
The petitioner had alleged that around 400 male followers, including those from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, were castrated at the dera chief’s behest. The chargesheet claimed that mass castrations took place at the dera’s old printing press building in Sirsa and two charity hospitals — Shah Satnamji Speciality Hospital in Sirsa and Shah Satnamji General Hospital at Ram Rahim’s ancestral Gurusar Modia village in Rajasthan.
The CBI submitted that the dera chief made his victims sign a general power of attorney authorising his protégés to purchase/gift land in the followers’ name. Later, the property was gifted to the dera. There are six victims and 58 witnesses in the case.
The court framed charges under Sections 326 (grievous hurt by dangerous weapons), 417 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC against the dera chief, who was charged as the prime accused in the chargesheet.
Besides, charges under Sections 326 (grievous hurt by dangerous weapons) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC were framed against Dr Singh and Dr Garg. While both doctors were present in the courtroom, the dera chief was present via video-conferencing. The court has fixed August 17 as the next date of hearing.
July 2012: Ex-dera follower moves HC seeking probe into forced castration
Dec 23, 2014: The High Court directs CBI to probe the matter
Jan 7, 2015: CBI books Ram Rahim, Dr Pankaj Garg and Dr MP Singh
Feb 1, 2018: CBI files chargesheet, lists dera chief as prime accused
Aug 3: Panchkula court frames charges against dera chief, two doctors
Over 4 years later, IIT extension campus project hangs fire; Is the government stopping this project?
Local authorities yet to hand over land to Delhi institute: Centre
The project to establish extension campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, in Badhsa village, Jhajjar, has been hanging fire for four and a half years as the authorities concerned have not handed over 50 acres to the IIT.
This came to the fore in a recent official communiqué sent by Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satya Pal Singh to Rohtak Member of Parliament (MP) Deepender Singh Hooda, who sought information about the status of the project.
“The 50-acre land in Jhajjar has not been handed over to the IIT by the local authorities. Major activities planned on the Jhajjar campus include a bio-incubator facility in partnership with AIIMS, Delhi,” said Singh in the communiqué.
Then Union Minister for Human Resource Development MM Pallam Raju and then Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had laid foundation stone of the project on December 21, 2013. They laid the foundation stone for a similar project at Rajiv Gandhi Educational City in Sonepat the same day.
Sources said the Sonepat project was inaugurated on April 3 this year. The Rohtak MP blamed the BJP government for the delay of the project in Jhajjar. He asked the state government to ensure transfer of land to the IIT at the earliest so that work could be started on it.
He said the project had been initiated to promote research and technical education in the region and provide international skills and bright future to the youth. The government had been hindering the project by not handing over land to the IIT, he added.
“Bhupinder Singh Hooda government approved transfer of land to the IIT on November 9, 2013. Mutation and demarcation of land has not been done despite repeated reminders. This has exposed the insensitivity of the BJP government towards the project,” said Deepender.
Badli SDM Tirlok Chand said he did not have any information on the issue. A Revenue Department official said on the condition of anonymity that demarcation had been done and the process to hand over land to the IIT was underway.
14 farmers court arrest in Karnal; Is the farmer's movement justified to awaken the government?
Release of sugarcane payment, construction of new sugar mill
In continuation to their indefinite strike at Karnal co-operative sugar mill in support of their demands, 14 farmers under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Union courted arrest on the 11th day of their protest. The demands include starting the construction work of a new sugar mill and releasing the payment of sugarcane farmers.
They raised slogans against the state government and alleged that it had failed to keep its promise and betrayed the farming community. Meanwhile, a police force was deployed there to maintain peace and harmony.
Confirming the arrest, Imran Raza, SDM, Gharaunda, said 14 farmers had courted arrest. Rattan Mann, state president of BKU, said they had given an ultimatum that by Friday afternoon any of the MLAs of Karnal district should come and give them a written assurance over both issues, but none of them turned up to give the assurance, so they courted arrest. “We will continue our protest till the fulfilment of our demands. The farmers will court arrest in Kurukshetra on August 4, in Yamunanagar on 5, in Kaithal on 6 and 7, in Jind on 8, in Bhiwani on 9, in Hisar on 10 and in Karnal women farmers will court arrest on August 11,” he maintained.
However, Harvinder Kalyan, Gharaunda MLA and Hafed chairman, in a press note appealed to the farming community to lift their dharna and assured them that the work on the new sugar mill would start by the end of September.
Tanwar, supporters held outside varsity; Whether the administration stopped Tanwar under political pressure?
State Congress president was in Rewari for ‘interaction with students’ programme
A high drama was witnessed outside the main gate of Indira Gandhi University (IGU) at Meerpur village here when HPCC chief Ashok Tanwar along with hundreds of supporters were not allowed to enter the university campus by police personal deputed in large numbers there.
The situation became tense when Tanwar’s supporters resisted the police action and raised slogans against the BJP government and the university authority. Sensing the gravity of the situation, the police arrested Tanwar, state vice president Vandana Popli and youth Congress national secretary Chiranjeev Rao along with their supporters and took them to the Sadar police station in buses. All were released later.
Talking to mediapersons in the police station, Tanwar described the university authority’s action as attack on democratic rights. The Congress leader said he came here just to interact with students about their problems and future plans but the authority tried to suppress his voice by not letting him enter the university campus.
“I have been a students’ leader and use to raise their issues at various platforms during past over two decades but it was for the first time when I was restricted from entering the campus exposing the dictatorial attitude of the university authority,” said Tanwar, adding that the cops also used mild lathi-charge when they tried to enter the campus.
Actually, Tanwar was to attend ‘interaction with students’ programme organised by his supporters in the university premises on Thursday while the university authority issued a notice ahead of his visit disallowing political activities on the campus allegedly with an intention to restrict Tanwar’s entry to the university.
Elaborate arrangements were made to check the entry of outsiders in the university premises. Identity cards of students and teaching faculty were being checked at the main entrance. Except the university employees, vehicles of others were not being allowed to enter the campus, said the sources.
Rewari SP Rajesh Duggal said Tanwar and his supporters were arrested to avert any untoward incident as the ABVP workers had also threatened to show them black flags that might have led to chaos.
“Adequate numbers of police personnel were deployed in and outside the campus on the request of the university authority. The personnel handled the situation efficiently,” said Duggal, adding that 119 persons, including Tanwar, were arrested and released after some time.
HSSC cash-for-job scam: Court slams police SIT; Is it right ?
No scientific methods used in probe, says Judge
The Panchkula Additional Sessions Judge Narender Sura has come down heavily on the special investigation team (SIT) of the Haryana Police, which was formed to investigate the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) cash-for-job scam, for not using scientific methods to probe the entire scam.
While granting bail to accused Balwan and Subhash, the Judge said, “From the reply filed by way of affidavit of Adarshdeep Singh, who is member of the SIT, it is clear that the petitioner was having conversation in regard to the selection of many candidates and some of them have even been selected. None of the said candidates has been made an accused. The SIT had not verified the presence of the said persons and the accused at one place from the location of their mobile phones and the SIT had not even collected tower location chart of the candidates who were in touch with the petitioner for their selection to verify whether they were present at one place at any point of time or not. It is also an admitted fact that some of the selected candidates, who were in touch with the petitioner, had got very high marks in the interview i.e. 19 out of 25.”
The court further said, “It is also an admitted fact that no scientific test, including lie detector test etc, was got conducted upon any of the candidates or relatives of the candidates (who had contacted the petitioner) or mediator and without any custodial interrogation of such persons, the investigation team has reached the conclusion that no amount was paid.”
The court said, “It is unbelievable that none of the candidates had not paid any amount. A person, who has got selection through unfair means/by paying money, will not say that he had ever paid any amount. The SIT was required to use scientific tools/methods to unearth the entire scam.”
Scam linked to appointments
The Haryana Chief Minister’s flying squad had arrested the accused on April 5. The scam is linked to the appointment of drivers, clerks and nurses against posts advertised by the Commission over one and a half years ago.
The SIT had filed the charge-sheet against Subhash Sharma, who was heading the confidentiality branch of the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC), when the alleged scam took place, besides another Subhash of the HSSC, assistants Anil Kumar, Rohtash Sharma and Sukhwinder, and IT cell employee of the HSSC Puneet Saini, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) employee Balwan, former manpower provider Dharminder and Irrigation Department assistant Surender Kumar. The police had lodged an FIR against the accused on April 5 in the Sector 5 police station under Sections 166, 167, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC and various Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the IT Act.