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Monday, 31 December 2012

Narasimha Rao led India at crucial juncture, was father of economic reform: Pranab

Narasimha Rao led India at crucial juncture, was father of economic reform: Pranab
HYDERABAD: Billing P V Narasimha Rao as the father of economic reforms, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said the late former Prime Minster was instrumental in including the second generation reforms in the Congress election manifesto in 1991 as it was a well thought out strategy to steer the country through a distressful economic crisis.

Delivering his lecture at the inaugural P V Narasimha Rao Memorial Lecture series at Jubilee Hall, the President attributed the game changing economic reforms to the far-sighted vision and political sagacity of PVN.

"The idea of economical reforms was not out of blue. It was there in the Congress election manifesto, which was prepared under Narasimha Rao's astute supervision. Then, I used to write the manifesto, and Narsimha Rao used to vet it," said the President.

Pranab said PVN did not do as a regular politician when he chose Manmohan Singh to be his finance minister and the step testified his political sagacity.

"It was not easy for a normal politician to implement economic reforms, and PVN knew it. He was only the second prime minister after Jawharlal Nehru to make a person worked in his capacity as governor of RBI the finance minister. Nehru selected CD Deshmuk, who had worked as the governor of RBI, to be his finance minister in 1950," Pranab said.

He said PVN gave Manmohan Singh full freedom to navigate the crisis and introduce for-reaching economic reforms. Pranab said PVN had himself spearheaded the move for dismantling the license regime as the prime minister while holding additional charge of the industry ministry. He could appreciate the significance of the seminal policy of economic liberalization, Pranabh said, as he witnessed the making of the policy being deputy chairperson of the Planning Commission, and commerce minister in PVN's cabinet.

Pranab lauded PVN for his exemplary achievement in the foreign policy. "The visionary he was, PVN launched the 'look East' policy and gave India's engagement with ASEAN a different meaning. India became a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN in 1992 and Full Dialogue Partner in 1996. And now, we sit with them in the summit, as India is the largest trading partner of ASEAN," said Pranab.

Speaking on the occasion, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said PVN had missed an opportunity to become the President of India in 1987.

ESL Narasimhan, Governor of AP, K Rosaiah, Governor of Tamil Nadu, and PVN's daughter Vani Rao spoke on the occasion.


Six men behind the ghastly Delhi gangrape

Anatomy of the gangrape accused:

Ram Singh, 33Bus driver for two schools in Delhi and Noida each
Marital Status: Single
Role: Main accused.
A local bully in south Delhi's Ravi Das slum cluster, he was drunk at the time of the incident and triggered the altercation which snowballed into the horror
Details: Was tracked using CCTV footage of the bus Status: Arrested, claims to have 'remorse', sent to 14- day judicial custody.

Mukesh Singh, 31Driver-cum-cleaner
Marital Status: Single
Role: Was driving the bus. He is the younger brother of Ram Singh. He assaulted the girl and later attempted to destroy evidence
Details: Was among the only remaining family member that Ram Singh had left at the slum cluster
Status: Arrested, in judicial custody.

Pawan Gupta, 18Fruit vendor
Marital Status: Single
Role: He assaulted the victim's friend. He also helped in throwing the couple off the vehicle.
Details: Lived in Ravi Das camp with his family. He quit studies after Class 9. His mother maintains that he was not friends with the other accused.
Status: Arrested, expressed 'remorse' for assault, says did not rape the girl.

Vijay Sharma, 20
Assistant trainer in a gym
Marital Status: Single
Role: He brutally assaulted the girl's friend before sexually assaulting her. Had held him down as others beat him with iron rod.
Details: Was nabbed from his house in Ravi Das camp a day after the incident.
Status: Arrested, admitted to his involvement and sought capital punishment.

A juvenileName withheld. Cleaner-cum-helper
Role: Among the three persons who most demonically assaulted the girl. He solicited the couple on to the bus. He sexually assaulted her and kept brutalising her even after she lost consciousness.
Details: A runaway from a broken home, he was nabbed from Anand Vihar ISBT Status: Produced at Juvenile Justice Board.

Akshay Kr Singh, 20
Helper on Ram Singh's bus
Marital Status: Married, with two children
Role: Cooked food for Ram Singh's alcohol-fuelled 'party' on the fateful afternoon. Was the second man to have sexually assaulted the victim.
Details: Police nabbed him from his native village in Bihar's Aurangabad
Status: Arrested.


BJP demands clarification from Centre over Pratibha Patil's revelation

ANI/PTI | 23 hours 23 min ago

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday demanded a clarification from the Congress-led UPA Government over former President Pratibha Devisingh Patil's disclosure that she converted capital punishment into life imprisonment or lighter sentences for some of the criminals convicted of rape and murder after recommendations from the Union Home Ministry during her tenure.
Lashing out at the Centre, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the nation is certainly entitled to know as to why the government recommended a lighter punishment when the court has given serious punishment in such offences, involving rape and murder.
"The former President of India Pratibha Patil has publicly stated that some of the criminals convicted of dastardly rape and murder, their capital punishment was converted to either life imprisonment or lighter sentences by exercising the power of pardon. But she has clarified (that) the constitutional provision that such power she exercised upon the recommendations of the Union Home Ministry," said Prasad.
"The country is certainly entitled to know the answer because there must be right earnestness to ensure that this strong anger of the country is properly tapped so that we can make the future safe for our daughters, sisters and brothers and entire women power of the country," he added.
While speaking to a Marathi news channel, Patil had earlier on Saturday said that when she went through files of perpetrators of atrocious crimes such as rape, she had asked the Home Ministry whether to continue keeping the punishment of life sentence or reconsider the punishment. The former president went onto say that the government chose to turn the capital punishment to a life imprisonment.
During her tenure, Patil reportedly gave five persons accused of rape charges respite from their punishment of being hanged till death.
Amid the nationwide outrage over the Delhi gang-rape incident, which led to death of the 23-year-old victim, Patil's revelation has created uproar, as people are persistently agitating for capital punishment for the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

BJP disapproves of restrictions, questions 'hurried' cremation
Holding that ‘a nation in shock’ is entitled to display its sense of despair, BJP disapproved of ‘Emergency-like’ restrictions against anti-gang-rape protests and renewed its demand for a special Parliament session to adopt strict laws on crime against women.
Expressing ‘profound condolences’ to members of the victim's family and saluting her courage, the party also questioned the ‘hush hush’ manner in which she was cremated.
BJP said that a proper debate in Parliament on the issue would ‘certainly be able to tap upon the serious sense of distress and dismay which is sweeping the country’ after the ‘supreme sacrifice of that young brave daughter’ of the country.
The main opposition party assured that it would cooperate with the the government in all suitable legislative measures to strengthen laws relating to crime against women, in strengthening the judicial architecture to ensure the speedy justice to those who are victims and taking actions against the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.
"The government needs to come quickly with a proper structured response and to reflect upon the serious concerns of the country, it is imperative that a special session of Parliament be called at the earliest which we have been demanding for some time," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.
Criticising the government for ‘converting Delhi into a chavni (cantonment)’, he said this ‘unfair’ act of authorities reminds of Emergency era and added that ‘a nation in shock is certainly entitled to display its sense of despair, anger and pain’.
"...why should Delhi be sealed like this. Why should Delhi be converted into a chavni reminding ourselves what is happened during Emergency. This is very very unfair.
"Metro trains have been closed, people cannot move. I think, a nation in shock is certainly entitled to display its sense of despair, anger and pain. That is what democracy is about. We don't appreciate it at all," he said.
The party also criticised the manner in which cremation of the victim was done.
"The hurried manner in which cremation the done was avoidable. We understand the right of privacy. The right of privacy has to be respected. But this hush hush manner certainly raises a lot of curious questions too," Prasad said.


Karuna praises Chidambaram amid calls for bigger role

Chennai: Lavishing praise on Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, DMK chief M Karunanidhi Saturday said he was among the few who had a place in his heart as the senior Congress leader was virtually projected by some speakers at a function as a potential Prime Ministerial candidate.

The DMK patriarch himself made a reference in his speech to the loud applauses and cheers from the audience whenever speakers expressed their wish to see a 'dhoti-clad' Tamilian occupying the Prime Minister's post, an apparent reference to Chidambaram.

Calling Chidambaram one of the few who had a "place in my heart," Karunanidhi traced his political career starting as a Minister of State in the early 1980s till his present position.

"What next? You (the audience) have expressed your aspirations through your applause and cheers. Some speakers spoke about a dhoti-clad Tamilian becoming Prime Minister. So, that also answers the question regarding a saree-wearing Tamil becoming Prime Minister," he said in an apparent reference to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who has also set her eyes on a bigger role at the national level.

Chidambaram sat in the front row among the audience and did not speak at the function where Karunanidhi released the book titled "Chidambaram: Oru Paarvai", a compilation of speeches by various personalities about the Congress leader.

Earlier, speakers including actor Kamal Hasan and renowned Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu, said Chidambaram fitted the bill to play a bigger role.

Kamal Hasan said he had the right to believe Chidambaram would scale further heights from being a Finance Minister. "I hope he gets to play a bigger role."

Vairamuthu also made similar remarks with other speakers expressing their desire for a "dhoti-clad Tamil politician" leading the nation. The tone was set by the Editor of the book 'Ilakiya' Natarajan when he said in his welcome address that Chidambaram was capable of becoming a Prime Minister.

Seeking the help of Chidambaram in implementation of the controversial Sethusamudram shipping channel project, which would faciliate a shorter navigational channel through the Palk Strait, Karunanidhi said his name would be etched in history should he play an active role in this matter.

Karunanidhi wished the Finance Minister played a bigger role for the sake of implementation of the project which has run into rough weather following objections over the proposed demolition of the mythical 'Ram Sethu' or Adam's Bridge.

Recalling that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone for the project in the presence of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi a few years ago during DMK rule, Karunanidhi said it was now gathering dust.

"We all, including Chidambaram, should take a vow for the implementation of the project as it will augur well for the nation's economic development besides helping big ships cut down their (journey) duration," he said.

Tamil superstar Rajnikanth was also present at the function where the first copy of the book was received by Chidambaram's mother Lakshmi.

Earlier, a two-minute silence was observed in remembrance of rape victims following an appeal by the Finance Minister in the backdrop of the death of 23-year old victim of Delhi gangrape.



South Delhi SDM complains police interfered while recording gangrape victim's statement

New Delhi, Dec 25: The sub-divisional magistrate of South Delhi has complained to her higher-up Deputy Commissioner that Delhi Police officials interfered and misbehaved with her while she was recording the gangrape victim's statement  in Safdarjang Hospital.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has asked Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to order a “high-level independent inquiry” into the “interference” by top police officials when an executive magistrate sought to record the 23-year-old gangrape victim’s statement at Safdarjung Hospital on Saturday.
In her note to Shinde on Monday, Dikshit has cited a letter sent to her by Deputy Commissioner (East) B M Mishra on Saturday following a complaint from Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Vivek Vihar) Usha Chaturvedi in this regard.

According to Mishra’s letter, Chaturvedi faced “interference” from “ACPs and DCP of Delhi Police, while recording the statement of the rape victim”. Dikshit noted that the contents of the SDM’s complaint and Mishra’s letter were “alarming and serious”.

Following is the text of her letter:

"Respected Sir,

The undersigned went to Safdarjang Hospital  to record the statement of rape victim.  DCP,  South, ACP Vasant Vihar and ACP Defence Colony were present alongwith a huge entourage of police personnel .

They showed a copy of questions and asked me to record the facts.

The brief was far from the actual event of night of crime as discovered from statement of victims .

They tried to pressurise me and when I refused they misbehaved and tried to intimidate me. Finally I was able to start recording after forcibly evicting police personnel."

Sd/-Usha Chaturvedi

Sub Divisional Magistrate"

Chaturvedi has also claimed that the briefing she got from these police officials, based on the statement of the victim’s friend and their investigations, did not match the victim’s actual statement.

“They tried to pressurise me to record the statement as per their convenience and when I refused, they misbehaved and tried to intimidate me.

Also, a huge amount of time was wasted over the issue of videography during the recording of the statement of the victim as the police were trying to dissuade me from doing this.

Finally, the videography was not carried out as the mother of the victim refused the same,” wrote Chaturvedi.
She said that she was finally “able to start the recording of the statement of the victim at around 8 pm after forcibly evicting the police personnel from the ICU”.

Mishra had already sent a copy of Chaturvedi’s complaint to Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna, the Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary of Delhi.


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