Apprehending influx of Maoists from Chhattisgarh a day after the carnage in Sukma, the Odisha Police on Tuesday sealed the border with the neighbouring State and sounded a high alert in the Malkangiri district. In a similar step, Madhya Pradesh Police too has issued a high alert in Balaghat district, bordering Chhattisgarh.The Odisha Police deployed its elite anti-Maoist Special Operation Group, District Voluntary Force (DVF) and jawans of the CRPF and the BSF to ensure there was no influx of the ultras in Odisha, State DGP K.B. Singh said.Mr. Singh said there was every possibility of Maoist ultras preferring to take shelter in Odisha as Maharashtra has already sealed its border with Chhattisgarh.“The central forces and State police have been told to undertake area domination exercise and flush out Maoist rebels, if any,” the DGP told reporters.Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said, “We have sounded a high-alert in the border areas. The whole district has also been put on extra vigil.” Monitoring has been intensified in all entry and exit points at the bordering areas. Besides, instructions have been given to police officers and combing police parties to coordinate with their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh, he said.A similar alert has also been sounded along the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB), police said.M.P. Police intensifies patrollingIn the wake of the Sukma attack, Madhya Pradesh Police has also issued a high alert in the Maoist-affected Balaghat district, a senior official said on Tuesday.“The areas under Balaghat police range are bordering with the Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. So, we have put the security forces on high alert,” Inspector-General (Balaghat Range) G. Janardan told PTI on Tuesday.He said the patrolling along the borders has been intensified to check the activities of Naxals.“This area has also been Naxal-affected and the police has intensified patrolling at the borders of Kawardha and Rajnandgaon districts of Chhattisgarh and Gondia district of Maharashtra,” Mr. Janardan added.
Rajasthan on Friday became the second State, after Madhya Pradesh, to pass a Bill providing for death penalty to those convicted of raping girls of 12 years and below. The State Assembly passed the Bill seeking to amend the Indian Penal Code with the insertion of new provision by voice vote.A deterrentHome Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, who introduced the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018, in the House, said it was a “progressive legislation” aimed at protecting the girl child by laying down a deterrent punishment, including death sentence, to the offenders.“The Bill will become a law after it gets the Presidential assent. The Rajasthan Assembly has conveyed its feelings to the President. We hope that a similar initiative will be taken by other States and even by the Centre,” Mr. Kataria said after the House rejected a motion moved by some Congress members to circulate the Bill for eliciting public opinion.According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s 2016 report, the cases of crimes against children have seen a steady increase in Rajasthan. The State recorded 4,034 such cases in 2016, which was 3.8% of the crimes against children registered across the country. In 2015, the State had registered 3,689 cases of crimes against children.Mr. Kataria said the Bill had inserted two new sections, 376-AA and 376-DD, in the IPC.Section 376-AA provides for capital punishment or rigorous imprisonment ranging between 14 years and lifelong incarceration. Section 376-DD makes a similar provision for gang-rape of a girl child, while laying down death penalty or imprisonment from 20 years to lifelong incarceration for those convicted of the offence. Each of the persons constituting the gang will be deemed to be guilty of the offence.
The Tripura High Court on Thursday rejected the bail application of former Minister and CPI(M) leader Badal Choudhury, indicted in the alleged ₹640-crore Public Works Department scam of 2008. Lawyers representing the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly insisted on bail citing Mr. Choudhury’s fragile health. After the bail plea was rejected, counsel indicated their decision to move the Supreme Court. Mr. Choudhury was admitted to the ICU of the government GBP Hospital after he complained of chest pain in the custody of West Agartala police on Wednesday.He was locked up at the police station barely for 30 minutes after the police took his custody upon his discharge from the private hospital where he took admission a week ago ending his disappearance amid intensive police search.Street protestsThe CPI(M) has been organising street protests for the past two days protesting the alleged forceful removal of Mr. Choudhury from the private hospital. The party alleged that police officials misbehaved with its leader at the police station.Former Member of Parliament, the 69-year-old CPI(M) veteran was made prime accused in the case filed by the Vigilance Department. The investigation was later handed over to the Crime Branch.Sources said senior police officials were consulting doctors at the GBP Hospital on taking back Mr. Choudhury in their custody.Remains elusiveMeanwhile, former Chief Secretary Y.P. Singh, who was the Principal Secretary incharge of PWD in 2008, remained elusive despite searches by a team of the Crime Branch at New Delhi and Gurugram. Another accused, former PWD Chief Engineer Sunil Bhowmik, was arrested and remanded in custody.
Star Indian sprinter Hima Das won her second international gold in women’s 200m with a top finish at the Kutno Athletics Meet in Poland on Sunday.Hima, who has been struggling with a back problem for the past few months, clocked 23.97 seconds to clinch the gold while VK Vismaya bagged the silver in 24.06.National record holder Muhammed Anas also won the gold in men’s 200m race with a time of 21.18 seconds.This was Hima’s second competitive 200m race of the year. She has a personal best of 23.10s, which she clocked last year.In her first competitive 200m race of the year, the Assam runner had clocked 23.65s on her way to gold in the Poznan Athletics Grand Prix, also in Poland, on Tuesday. Vismaya had finished third in that meet with a personal best time of 23.75.Hima is the reigning world junior champion and national record holder in 400m.National record holder Muhammed Anas also won the gold in men’s 200m race at Kutno Athletics Meet in Poland on Sunday.M P Jabir won the gold in men’s 400m hurdles in 50.21 seconds while Jithin Paul was third in 52.26 secs.Indians swept the women’s 400m race through P Saritaben (52.77 secs), Sonia Baishya (53.73 secs) and R Vithya (53.73 secs).Read More | Poznan Athletics Grand Prix: Hima Das wins 200m gold in PolandAlso See: