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Anger justified, but violence no solution: Pranab

Allahabad: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday expressed “deep distress” over the recent gang-rape of a girl in Delhi but cautioned that though anger over the “ghastly incident” was “justified”, violence was “no solution”. 

Condoling the death of a policeman who succumbed to injuries suffered during the violent protests against the incident in the national Capital, Mukherjee urged the youth to “control their emotions”, while assuring that “necessary action” was being taken by the government. 

“I take a moment here to express my deep distress over the recent incident of brutal violence against a young girl in Delhi. 

“I appreciate the justified anger against the ghastly incident. But I would like to remind the youth that violence is no solution,” Mukherjee said in his convocation address at Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) in Allahabad. 

“I am told that a security person, who got injured while dealing with the violent protests, has died. I condole the death of the young man who gave up his life while performing his duty. 

“I also urge the youth to control their emotions and hope that such incidents are not repeated,” Mukherjee said. 

Describing the rape victim as a “brave young girl”, the President said he prayed for her “speedy recovery” and added, “the government is alert to the situation and is taking necessary action to ensure that such unfortunate incidents are not repeated in future”. 

The President said “criminal attacks against women often happen in backdrop of negative perceptions about women, harboured and propagated by certain elements in society. 

“This must change. 

“We must inculcate in every member of our society the highest respect for women and the youth, particularly students of prestigious institutions, must take the lead in this regard.” 

Asserting that progress of a country can not be guaranteed unless all sections of society take part in nation building to their full potential, Mr. Mukherjee said “women must be accepted and seen as equal or more than equal partners in our progress and prosperity as a nation”. 

“The participation of women is, in general, lower than men and the situation in engineering is even more acute. 

“I am told that in MNNIT, the percentage of female students in the last ten years was around eight per cent. This is woefully short of what we should envisage as a nation of equal opportunity,” he said, adding “I am hopeful that engineering as a discipline and a career of choice will affect many more girl students in the future.” — PTI





Gang-rape case: Sheila Dikshit, Delhi Police at loggerheads

NEW DELHI: After the blame game, an open war has broken out between Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who complained of “interference” by police officers in the recording of gang-rape victim’s statement, and the Delhi Police, which on Tuesday demanded a probe into the “leakage” of her letter to the Home Minister.

Dikshit, who has been making a strong pitch of bringing the city police under the Delhi government from Home Ministry’s control, shot off a letter to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde seeking a high-level inquiry into the complaint of Sub Divisional Magistrate.

In the complaint, sources said, SDM Usha Chaturvedi claimed that three senior police officers had prevented the video recording of the victim’s statement. It was also alleged that the police officers wanted the SDM to use a questionnaire they prepared.

When she refused to do so, sources said, police officials misbehaved with the SDM.

The Delhi Police came out with a strong denial and also demanded a high-level probe into the “leakage” of Dikshit’s letter to Home Minister. “We deny the allegations levelled by SDM Usha Chaturvedi.

“The Delhi Police demands a high-level inquiry into the leakage of a top-secret letter written by the Chief Minister to media,” Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said.

Ever since the public outrage over the December 16 gang rape of the 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus in South Delhi, the Chief Minister has made it clear that she cannot be held responsible for actions of the police which is not under her government’s control.

The police has made known its unhappiness over Dikshit passing on the buck and raking up a “non-issue” at this juncture by writing to Shinde. — PTI





Constable injured during protests dies

NEW DELHI: A 47-year-old Delhi Police constable, who suffered serious injuries during violent protests at India Gate on Sunday, died on Tuesday after battling for life in a city hospital.

Subhash Chand Tomar was on ventilator since his admission at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on Sunday evening.

"With deep regret, we have to inform you constable Subhash Chand Tomar succumbed to his injuries at 6:40 am today," Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said.

Tomar, a graduate in arts, hailed from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

He was posted in Karawal Nagar area and was called for maintaining law and order at India Gate area during the protests on Sunday over the gang rape of a 23-year-old girl on December 16.

Tomar, who joined the police in 1987, was found lying injured on Tilak Marg and was rushed to the hospital.

As a mark of respect, the Delhi Police decided that all personnel will donate one day's salary to Tomar's family.

The police had already arrested eight persons, including an activist of Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, earlier and charged them with attempt to murder in connection with the injuries caused to Tomar.

A senior police official said murder charges will be now added to the case. — PTI





Virbhadra sworn in Himachal CM for record sixth time

SHIMLA: Veteran Congress politician Virbhadra Singh was sworn in as Himachal Pradesh’s Chief Minister for a record sixth term here Tuesday along with nine Cabinet colleagues.

Governor Urmila Singh administered the oath of office to Virbhadra Singh, 78, who has been Chief Minister of the hill state for more than 16 years, at the historic Ridge.

The others who took oath were eight-time legislator Vidya Stokes, seven-time legislator Kaul Singh, G.S. Bali, Sujan Singh Pathania, Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Mukesh Aghnihotri, Sudhir Sharma, Parkash Chaudhary and Dhani Ran Shandil.

Outgoing BJP chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and his erstwhile Cabinet colleagues were conspicuously absent from the ceremony.

There was also no minister from the Congress-led central government at the event.

Singh took oath at 10.40 am as the state’s 13th Chief Minister in the presence of thousands of supporters.

He first assumed office April 8, 1983, replacing Thakur Ram Lal.

Belonging to the erstwhile princely state of Rampur Bushahr, Singh entered politics at the age of 28. — IANS




Overwhelmed by fans’ support: Tendulkar

NEW DELHI: Overwhelmed by the tributes that have poured in ever since he announced his retirement from one-day cricket, senior Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday said the “love and support” brought tears to his eyes.

The 39-year-old, who quit ODIs on Sunday, has been holidaying in Mussoorie after announcing his decision.

Opening up on his Twitter page after the decision which left quite a few surprised, Tendulkar said the emotional reaction to his retirement left him overwhelmed.

“Words are not enough to express my thanks to each of you for all the love & support I have received over the years...& especially now in the last couple of days. Your expressions have brought joy to my heart...& at times a tear to my eye!” Tendulkar wrote.

”... Those magical moments of our ODI journey will stay with me for the rest of my life. Thank you so much :—),” he said.

Tendulkar retired from the ODI format at the top of the run-getters’ list with 18,426 runs which included 49 hundreds and 96 half centuries.

The diminutive right hander, who played six World Cups, was also the first batsman to score a double hundred in the 50-over format.

Considered the most complete batsman in modern cricket, Tendulkar celebrated the biggest moment of his ODI career last year when the Indian team won the World Cup for only the second time in its history.

Tendulkar remains active in the Test arena where he has 15,645 runs in 194 matches, including 51 hundreds. — PTI





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