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Delhi gang-rape: 1 held in Bihar; accused remanded in custody

NEW DELHI: One more person allegedly involved in the rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in Delhi has been detained from Bihar, the police said on Wednesday. 

Akshay Thakur has been detained from Aurangabad in Bihar and is being brought to Delhi, sources said. 

Three other accused arrested in the case were today produced before a Delhi court which sent two of them to four-day police custody, while the third was sent to 14-day judicial custody. 

Vinay Sharma, an assistant gym instructor, and Pawan Gupta, a fruit-seller, have been sent for custodial interrogation, while Mukesh, who was allegedly driving the bus when the crime was being committed, has been sent to Tihar Jail in judicial custody after he agreed to undergo test identification parade (TIP). 

Mukesh is the brother of another accused Ram Singh, who was yesterday remanded in five-day police custody after he refused to undergo TIP. 

Vinay and Pawan, however, have refused to undergo TIP, the criminal procedure in which the alleged offender is brought before witnesses and victims for identification. 

After being produced before Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Namrita Aggarwal, the trio was sent to the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Sandeep Garg for following the procedure for conducting the TIP. 

When the judge asked whether they would volunteer to undergo TIP and if not why, Vinay said, “he had beaten up the boy but did nothing with the girl” and went on to say “hang me”, while Pawan told the court, “I do not want to undergo TIP as I have committed a heinous act”. 

The magistrate after completing the process for the TIP said, “accused Mukesh has submitted that he wanted to undergo TIP. Police be directed to conduct his TIP on December 20 at 3 pm at the Central Jail, Tihar.” 

Both the victims, a para-medical student, and her male friend, who had boarded the chartered bus with tinted glass windows from Munirka in south Delhi to Palam around 9.45 pm on Sunday night, were assaulted with an iron rod by the men after the two resisted before they were dumped on the road side near Mahipalpur flyover, police said. — PTI





HC takes suo motu cognisance of gang-rape, pulls up police

NEW DELHI: Taking suo motu cognisance of the gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in New Delhi, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday pulled up the city police asking how the offence remained undetected.

“This incident is of great concern for all the citizens of the Capital city, as it relates to the safety particularly of women and girl children in Delhi,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice D. Murugesan said and asked city the Police Commissioner to file a detailed status report within two days.

The court was anguished over the non-implementation of the Supreme Court order on complete ban of vehicles with tinted glasses and asked the counsel for the Delhi Police to explain as to how it has not been implemented so far.

“There are two important questions. The first is the investigation in the case and the second is the preventive measures. We want to know what preventive measures have been taken by the police to prevent such incidents,” the Bench also comprising Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

“The court on its own motion has listed the matter,” the Bench said.

Asking the police to file a status report, the Bench said the probe must be “of high standards” and the final charge-sheet “has to be” filed only after its perusal by this court.

“We would be issuing necessary directions time to time in this court. This court will also issue the guidelines after taking note of the contentions of all concerned,” it said.

The court also expressed surprise as to how the bus, having tinted glasses, kept plying on Delhi roads for 40 minutes during which the sexual assault of the girl remained undetected.

“We are at loss to understand as to how the bus could evade surveillance for 40 minutes... The Commissioner of Police is directed to file a report including the details of police officers who were on patrolling duty in the area.

“The Police Commissioner shall also state the steps taken to remove the tinted glasses from vehicles including public transport,” the court said.

The Bench asked the police to employ sufficient number of police personnel at all entry points to the national Capital to ensure that vehicles with tinted glasses do not sneak in.

The court, which also asked the Director CFSL to accord primacy to the investigation in the present case, sought to know about the present status of the victim inside the government hospital and asked the Delhi government to consider shifting her to a super-speciality hospital.

“We direct the Delhi government to shift, if possible, the victim to a super-speciality hospital. If it is not possible to shift her, then the experts be asked to visit her,” Justice Murugesan said and posted the matter for hearing on Friday.

Earlier, during the hearing, the court said it has accepted the request of the Chief Minister to constitute fast-track courts for speedy trial in rape cases.

Advocate Najmi Waziri, counsel for Delhi Government, then said that the court may also consider setting up of fast track court for gang-rape cases also.

“In any case, the fast track courts will not work if investigation is of poor quality. Rather it will lead to acquittal within three months,” Justice Endlaw responded and added “that the probe has to be of high standards. Have you examined the bus forensically?”

Advocate Waziri informed the court that a special investigation team (SIT) headed by DCP Chhaya Sharma has been formed and a proper and expeditious probe is underway.

On Tuesday, a group of 25 women lawyers had mentioned the matter before a different Bench which had assured them that it was looking into the “brazen” incident.

“It was a brazen attempt by some persons who think that they can play with the law and order. We are very disturbed,” the court had said, adding “strong signals must be sent to the perpetrators” of this “unfortunate” incident.

The lawyers, including former DUSU President Monica Arora, mentioned the incident before the Bench urging it to take suo motu cognisance and monitor the probe in the case.

A Delhi court had on Tuesday remanded the bus driver Ram Singh, who along with others allegedly gang-raped the girl on Sunday night, to five days in police custody.

Apart from Ram Singh, three others have been arrested in the case, while the hunt is on for the rest, the Delhi police had told the court. — PTI






SP member snatches quota Bill, Sonia tries to intervene

NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day today after Samajwadi MP Yashvir Singh snatched the quota Bill from Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy in Parliament. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi tried to retrieve the Bill from the SP member who passed it onto another member Neeraj Shekhar.

The sudden action of Member from Nagina Yashveer Singh came when Narayanasamy was moving the Bill for consideration from the second row and Gandhi, who is also the UPA Chairperson, was occupying her usual front seat.

Singh had, meanwhile, passed on the Bill to his party colleague Neeraj Shekhar which fell down.

Shocked by Singh's action, which caused commotion in the House, some Congress members led by Gandhi immediately came to the Well to stop Singh, which created a near scuffle-like situation. The Congress members included K. Bapiraju and Vilas Muttemwar.

This was because the SP members were already in the Well in strength vociferously protesting against taking up the measure.

The situation led to a verbal spat between the Congress and SP members.

Speaker Meira Kumar was so shocked by the incident that she abruptly adjourned the House for the day.

The House was earlier adjourned till 12 noon and again till 2 pm and then till 3 pm.

Samajwadi Party (SP), Janata Dal-United (JDU) and Shiv Sena members moved near the speaker's podium and raised slogans against the Bill.

The Sena members also wanted the government to hike the minimum support price for cotton.

The quota in promotions Bill, passed by the Rajya Sabha last week, is to be taken up in the Lok Sabha.

In an attempt to shout the opposition members down, Congress members raised slogans in favour of the Bill.

"We want social justice," they said.

Women members of the BJP, Akali Dal and JD-U approached the chair, asking for a debate on the issue of women's security following the gang-rape of a woman in a moving bus in Delhi. —Agencies





Himachal poll: Virbhadra indicates CM aspirations

NEW DELHI: On the eve of the poll results in Himachal Pradesh, Congress veteran Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday exuded confidence that his party will return to power and gave more than subtle signals that he would like to become the next Chief Minister.

With the exit polls projecting a majority for Congress in the hill state, Singh, who is the state party chief, remarked, “I have done my duty which was assigned to me. That was to fight the election and bring the party back to power. That I hope I will be able to perform successfully. And who will be the Chief Minister, that will be decided by Soniaji.” 

Singh also saw no possibility of the Congress high command imposing an outsider as the Himachal Chief Minister. “I can only say I don’t expect this will happen,” he said.

Singh was also dismissive of suggestions that Union Minister Anand Sharma, his known detractor in state politics, stands a chance to become the Chief Minister. “Whether he (Sharma) is a contender or not, I don’t know, but he will not be there,” he added.

Himachal Pradesh election saw a keen tussle between ruling BJP and Congress.  Singh has been seen as a prominent challenger to Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. — PTI






Gold, silver tumble on global meltdown

NEW DELHI: Gold and silver prices tumbled in the national capital on Wednesday on heavy selling by stockists sparked by global meltdown amid sluggish domestic demand at existing higher levels.

While gold tumbled by Rs 500 to Rs 31,200 per 10 gm, silver dropped by Rs 1,300 to Rs 60,000 per kg.

Traders said selling pressure gathered momentum after gold dropped to the lowest in more than three months in global markets as signs that US lawmakers may be closer to a budget deal boosted equities and reduced demand for the metal as an alternative asset.

Gold in New York, which normally set price trend on the domestic front, fell sharply by $27.20 to $1,670.90 an ounce and silver by 1.98 per cent to $31.74 an ounce.

On the domestic front, gold of 99.9 and 99.5 per cent purity tumbled by Rs 500 each to Rs 31,200 and Rs 31,000 per 10 gm. The metal had climbed by Rs 275 in yesterday. Sovereign followed suit and shed Rs 50 to Rs 25,450 per piece of eight gram.

Similarly, silver ready dropped by Rs 1,300 to Rs 60,000 per kg and weekly-based delivery by Rs 1,170 to Rs 60,680 per kg. Silver coins too plunged by Rs 1,000 to Rs 79,000 for buying and Rs 80,000 for selling of 100 pieces. — PTI




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