Govt agrees to fast-track probe, increase policing

Government agreed to fast track investigations into sexual offences like rape and increase policing that includes deployment of the force in plain clothes to instil sense of security in the capital for heeding to suggestions from public.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Union Minister of State for Home R P N Singh in a meeting with, the protesters who were outraged over the recent gang rape incident in South Delhi put forth 14 demands which were readily accepted by the Government.

The government also agreed to expand definition of sexual assault from eve-teasing to rape and acid attacks and strictest provision of the law for sexual assault.

According to them the government agreed to fast track investigations into sexual offences like rape and increase policing that includes deployment of the force in plain clothes.

It was also agreed that patrolling by PCR vans needs to be strengthened and there would be punitive action against officials or personnel for delays in reaching the spot.

According to the sources the Government also agreed that citizen security officers would be deployed and there would be more lighting in public spaces, while CCTVs would be used adequately in specific areas relating to women’s safety.

The government also promised to protesters that GPS would be installed in public vehicles, while dedicated number for contacting police 100 should be recorded, on the lines of 911 in the US.

Dedicated round the clock women helpline, fast track courts, “day-to-day trial, rarest of rare punishment and 100 per cent justice in this case in shortest possible time” are the other suggestions which were agreed to.

Azad Maidan violence: Court grants bail to 14 accused

The bail has been granted by sessions court for 14 accused who are in custody for their alleged role in the Azad Maidan violence on August 11.  The court had last week granted similar relief to 14 accused while the Bombay high court gave bail to four accused in this connection. Five of the 63  persons were earlier discharged after police found that there was no case against them.

Two youths were killed and 52, including 44 policemen, injured on August 11 when a rally called to protest alleged atrocities on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar turned violent. The protesters went on a rampage, attacking police, media persons and vehicles

Desist from blocking highway, court tells Gorkha protesters

The Supreme Court Monday asked the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) to desist from blocking the National Highway-31A, which links Siliguri in West Bengal to Sikkim’s capital Gangtok, during its proposed shutdown July 25.

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday asked the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) to desist from blocking the National Highway-31A, which links Siliguri in West Bengal to Sikkim’s capital Gangtok, during its proposed shutdown July 25.

The court has asked GJMM to ‘strictly’ adhere to its earlier direction to refrain from blocking the NH-31A during the course of its agitation.

The court said that the contempt of court notice issued on GJJM leaders Bimal Gurung and Binoy Tamang which they have declined to receive should be served on them by placing public notices in the Sikkim Express and the Darjeeling edition of The Statesman.

The apex court bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice A.K. Patnaik also recorded the statement of the petitioner, O.P. Bhandari.

The court has directed all the respondents who have been served with contempt notice to file their reply within four weeks and gave two weeks time to the petitioner to file his rejoinder.

The senior counsel Pravin Parekh told the court that the central government has withdrawn the three companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) deployed for protecting the NH-31A and for the free flow of traffic.

The West Bengal government in its reply said that it was taking every step for the effective implementation of the court’s direction for an uninterrupted movement of traffic on NH-31A.

It said that the CRPF was withdrawn by the union home ministry April 22, 2010 but was re-deployed June 15, 2010.

The State government’s affidavit said that presence of CRPF was helpful in ‘effectively’ implementing the Supreme Court directions for free flow of traffic on National Highway 31A (NH 31A) during bandh call either by Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha and other anti-Gorkha agitation organizations.