NRI Worldwide > Back Home Bytes
IM co-founder says he was tortured to confess to train blasts
Report dated 06/04/2013 @ 1:03 PM
Indian Mujahideen co-founder Sadiq Shaikh told a special court in Mumbai that the ATS and crime branch had tortured him and forced him to make a false confession in the 2006 serial trains blasts case.
Shaikh, who was discharged in the case, was deposing as a defence witness. He alleged that the officers forced him to say he and others put the bombs together in a Sewri apartment and planted them in the trains. They videotaped the false confession.
The prosecution had earlier moved an application opposing the defence move to examine him and two others as defence witnesses.
Shaikh is also an accused in other terror cases across India.
Municipal Commissioner suspended after Thane building collapse
Report dated 06/04/2013 @ 12:59 PM
Over 70 people were killed, 60 are injured and 20 still missing as rescue workers continue to search for possible survivors in the remains of the 7-story- building that collapsed in Thane, near Mumbai. Among the dead are 22 children. The Deputy Municipal Commissioner has been suspended.
Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan confirmed that the building was illegal and ordered an enquiry to determine why local officials did not stop the construction.
The victims were mostly poor daily wagers working at the construction site and their families.
The Thane Municipal Commissioner said 90 percent of buildings in the area are illegal. In 2010 the government admitted there were as many as 500,000 illegal buildings in the area. 3 years later just 11,000 have been demolished, a sign of a nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and builders.
The two builders responsible for this disaster have gone underground. Police have filed a case of culpable homicide against them.
Man confronts molesters, thrown out of moving train
Report dated 06/04/2013 @ 1:08 AM
A 28-year-old man from Idukki district in Thrissur who was on a train to a temple near Mangalore, tried to stop some drunk youths from molesting a woman co-passenger was thrown out of the moving train by the abusers.
He was found unconscious on the rail tracks with both his hands severed. He was rushed to hospital where doctors said his condition is critical.
Police said the man tried to help a woman who was being harassed, when he was pushed from the train.
Supreme Court orders restrictions on red beacons on vehicles
Report dated 06/04/2013 @ 1:05 AM
The Supreme Court has ordered the Centre and states to reduce the use of red beacons and sirens on vehicles by the second week of July or face the courts intervention.
The order will mean amending the motor vehicles Act and Rules to drastically reduce the number of constitutional authorities who will be permitted to use the beacon lights with sirens on their official vehicles, as the current proliferation of these beacons and sirens is excessive.
The bench said apart from top constitutional authorities such as ambulances, fire brigades and the army, there is no need for others to use a siren. The public are fed up with the brazen way police stop them to allow a VIP's car smooth passage.
Removal of the beacons and sirens will bring everyone at par, though it may damage some egos for a while.
Three Indians get US award for combating violence against women
Report dated 04/04/2013 @ 3:24 PM
Brothers Ravi, Rishi and Nishi Kant who started the NGO Shakti Vahini to fight injustice against women in 2001, have received the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award from US Vice President Joe Biden, for their campaign to end violence against women.
Vital Voices was started by former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 1997. It upholds Shakti Vahini as an example of how a group of men can and should work on women's issues.
The Kants lead a staff of 45 and believe they are witnessing a sea change for victims of violent rape and also for victims of human trafficking since the Delhi fatal gang-rape that galvanised India. Ravi Kant, 45, a Supreme Court advocate in India said it was a challenge getting women's groups to accept that men lead their organisation but they continued regardless and support from women's activists gradually followed.
The Kant brothers received the "Solidarity Award" for their work at the annual Kennedy Centre event. Vital Voices is hoping the brothers' presence at the awards will encourage female advocates to embrace their male allies, and encourage American men to take the initiative.