1984 Sikh Massacre

1984 Sikh Massacre: SC Takes SIT On Record

Senior Advocate HS Phoolka on Thursday apprised the Supreme Court about the sham trial that has taken place in the 1984 cases.

Senior Advocate HS Phoolka cited the SIT report which was filed on November 29, 2019. According to the SIT report, in FIR No 433/84 PS Kalyanpuri, while police after clubbing various cases sent a challan in respect of the murder of 56 persons, the trial court framed charges only in respect of the killing of 5 persons and no change was framed in respect of remaining murders.
The report stated that witnesses appeared before the court and gave evidence about the killings of their nears and dears but since no charge was framed in respect of the rest of the murderers/accused persons, the testimony of witnesses went waste and nobody was punished.

The report also stated that it is not known why charges were framed only for 5 murders and not 56 murders and why the trial court did not order a separation of the trial for each incident of crime.

According to the report, it is also seen from the perusal of judgments found in these files that when the witness stated in the court that she had seen the incident and could identify the culprits, the public prosecutor did not even ask her to identify the rioters out of several accused persons present in the court.

A bench of Justices AS Bopanna and PS Narasimha took the report of the Special Investigation Team on record and adjourned the hearing for two weeks. The court also asked Senior Advocate HS Phoolka to file a note.

The court was hearing Petitioner S Gurlad Singh Kahlon, who had sought the court’s direction for setting up of the SIT to ensure speedy justice for the riot victims. (ANI)

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Coimbatore Blast

SIT To Nab Men Accused Of Software Engineer’s Gangrape In Chaibasa

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the gang-rape incident of a Jharkhand girl in Chaibasa, said a police official on Saturday.

Superintendent of Police Ashutosh Shekhar said that the incident against the 26-year-old software engineer took place on October 20 at around 7 pm when she was out with one of her friends. The SIT is probing some suspects in the case and is also investigating every aspect to nab the perpetrators.
The official said that nearly 9 to 10 persons had dragged the victim to a darker area where she was gang-raped.

The official stated, “She was dragged from that place to an isolated area when they gang-raped her”.

To probe the case SIT has been formed. And, raids are being conducted to arrest the accused. She was also admitted to Sadar Hospital where certain medical tests were conducted.

Earlier, a case of molesting minor girl students surfaced in June 2022. In the case, Jharkhand Police arrested the principal of a private school on charges of molesting minor girl students. (ANI)

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IAS Narain On Charges Of Sexual Harassment

MHA Suspends IAS Narain On Charges Of Sexual Harassment

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday placed Jitendra Narain, a 1990-batch senior IAS officer of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) Cadre and then Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, under suspension with immediate effect over an allegation of an alleged sexual assault of a lady, according to an official statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Joint Secretary (Union Territory Division) in MHA Ashutosh Agnihotri said that the action was taken the day after the MHA received a report on October 16 from Andaman and Nicobar Police regarding the alleged sexual assault.
“As the Report indicated the possibility of grave misconduct and misuse of the official position on the part of Jitendra Narain, the Union Home Minister directed to take immediate strict action against the officer concerned as per law,” he said.

The Home Ministry in a statement said, “The Ministry received a report on October 16, 2022, from Andaman and Nicobar Police regarding the alleged sexual assault of a lady by Jitendra Narain, IAS (AGMUT:1990), the then Chief Secretary, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and others. As the Report indicated the possibility of grave misconduct and misuse of the official position on the part of Sh. Jitendra Narain, IAS (AGMUT:1990), the Union Home Minister directed to take immediate strict action against the officer concerned as per law.”

“Accordingly, Jitendra Narain, IAS (AGMUT:1990) has been placed under suspension with immediate effect and disciplinary proceedings have been ordered against him,” it added.

The Home Ministry said that it is committed to ensuring zero tolerance towards the acts of indiscipline by its officials irrespective of their rank and status “especially with regard to incidents involving the dignity of women”.

“An FIR has been registered and active in the criminal case is being taken separately by the SIT of Andaman & Nicobar Police,” it said. (ANI)

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Moosewala Murder Accused

Punjab Police SIT To Probe Escape of Moosewala Murder Accused

Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav on Tuesday constituted a four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the escape of gangster Deepak Tinu from police custody in Mansa and to ensure an effective and speedy investigation.

The SIT comprises Inspector General of Police (IGP) Patiala range MS Chhina as Chairperson, while, three members include AIG Anti-Gangster Task Force (AGTF) Opinderjit Singh, SSP Mansa Gaurav Toora and DSP AGTF Bikramjeet Singh Brar. Station House Officer (SHO) Police Station City-1 Mansa shall offer complete assistance to the SIT, while, the SIT can also co-opt any other officer from Bathinda and Patiala Ranges for assistance.

DGP Gaurav Yadav apprised that investigations into this case are going on at full pace and several Police teams are on a manhunt to nab the escapee.

Adopting a proactive approach, Punjab Police immediately suspended and apprehended the errant Mansa CIA Incharge Pritpal Singh, and First Information Report (FIR) was registered against him for dereliction of duty. The accused cop was also dismissed from the service under article 311.

The DGP said, “The SIT will conduct a day-to-day investigation into this case and all persons against whom evidence comes on record will be arrested and a police report against them will be submitted in the concerned court of trial.”

Meanwhile, the SIT has been directed to conclude the investigation in an expeditious manner. (ANI)

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Ankita Murder Family

Ankita Murder: Family Seeks Noose For Culprits, CM Assures Action

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Tuesday spoke to the father of Ankita Bhandari, who was murdered in Rishikesh, and assured him of justice in the case.

“I had spoken to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami over the phone. He has given full assurance that justice will be served in my daughter’s case,” said Ankita’s father.

He further stressed on capital punishment for the culprits and said, “We demanded that the culprits be given capital punishment. CM Dhami has also talked about giving full cooperation from the police and administration in the whole matter,” Virendra Bhandari added.

The family members also agreed with the constitution of SIT in the case.

The Uttarakhand Chief Minister slammed the opposition tactics over the matter and stressed a fast-track approach in the case.

“I have asked that probe be done in fast track court for swift justice to Ankita Bhandari. The accused have been arrested, strictest action taken. STF was also formed. The opposition raising matter only for political reasons, action taken is just as per legal process,” said CM Dhami.

Earlier, the Uttarakhand Police probing the horrific Ankita Bhandari murder case said Tuesday that the SIT had recovered two vehicles allegedly used in the crime from a resort where Ankita worked in Rishikesh.

DIG P Renuka Devi said the SIT will now record the statements of the women employees of the Vantara Resort, owned by the main accused Pulkit Arya, son of expelled BJP leader Vinod Arya.

“We are analysing all the evidence. A post-mortem report has been received. We will record the statements of women who worked at the resort. Two motorcycles used in the crime have been found. We will apply for police custody of the accused for interrogation, including Ishita, in the resort of the main accused Pulkit Arya,” the DIG told ANI.

The body of Ankita Bhandari, 19, was recovered from the Chilla Canal in Rishikesh on September 24. “It has been found from the CCTV footage that these two vehicles were used by the accused for going to Chilla barrage and coming back,” the DIG said.

The murder case sparked massive outrage and protests were reported from various parts of the state. Angry locals even set on fire the resort where Ankita worked. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami then ordered officials to ensure law and order in the state. (ANI)

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Ankita Bhandari Murder

Ankita Bhandari Murder: Locals Burn Down Aryas Resort in Rishikesh

The Vanatara resort in Rishikesh owned by expelled BJP leader Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit Arya, who is an accused in the Ankita Bhandari murder case, was set on fire by angry locals on Saturday.

Anger over the horrific crime poured onto streets in other parts of Uttarakhand as well as locals jammed the bus station in Pauri. Protestors also gheraoed District Magistrate’s office in Pauri.

In Rishikesh, locals protested against BJP MLA Renu Bisht and vandalized her car. The MLA had to be escorted away by the police to safety.

Locals also set the Vanatara resort in Rishikesh on fire. The resort is owned by BJP leader Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit Arya. Three accused, including Pulkit, have been arrested in the murder case.

The body of 19-year-old Ankita Bhandari who was reported missing a few days ago was also recovered on Saturday from the Chilla canal in Rishikesh. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami ordered a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to be formed to probe the case.

“The body of daughter Ankita was recovered this morning. This heartbreaking incident deeply pains my heart,” Dhami tweeted.

“In order to ensure the harshest punishment for the culprits, an SIT has been formed under the leadership of Deputy Inspector General of Police P. Renuka Devi ji and ordered an in-depth investigation of this serious matter,” Dhami wrote.

The development comes after three persons, including Pulkit Arya, were arrested on Friday after they confessed to having pushed Ankita into the canal after an altercation.

Additional Superintendent of Police Shekhar Suyal said today “The deceased’s brother and father were here and they identified the body. The body found at the barrage is of Ankita Bhandari.”

“The search operation was going on from 7 am, we took out the body of a woman, her relatives came here and identified it as the body of Ankita Bhandari. The body has been taken to AIIMS in Rishikesh,” said a State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) official.

While talking to ANI, Chief Minister Dhami said, “Strictest action will be taken against all the culprits, regarding this, we have formed SIT under the leadership of DIG P Renuka Devi, which will get to the bottom of the whole matter, investigate it and work to bring the culprits to justice. The perpetrators will not be spared.”

On Friday Uttarakhand authorities had also bulldozed portions at the Vanatara Resort owned by Pulkit, where Ankita Bhandari was working as a receptionist.

CM Dhami said that district magistrates have been ordered to take action against all resorts inside Uttarakhand which have illegal construction. (ANI)

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Chandigarh university

Chd Uni Row: CM Sets up 3-Member All-Women SIT

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has constituted a three-member all-women SIT (Special Investigation Team) of police officials to probe the case in which a Chandigarh University student allegedly made objectionable videos of her hostel mates, police said on Monday.

Three accused including a girl student from the college have been arrested in connection with the case.
The SIT team will be under the supervision of senior IPS officer Gurpreet Kaur Deo.

“SIT will go to the bottom of the conspiracy. No person is to be spared if found involved. One student and two others were arrested. Thanks to DGP Himachal Pradesh for excellent co-operation. Electronic devices were seized and sent for forensic examination,” said DGP Punjab, Gaurav Yadav.

He further appealed to everyone to maintain peace and said, “Don’t fall to unverified rumours. Let’s work together for peace in society. Appeal to everyone to maintain peace and harmony.

Earlier in the day sources said that the Chandigarh University varsity has been shut for students till September 24.

The decision comes in the wake of massive protests by students demanding action against the allegations that objectionable videos of several students at the girls’ hostel of Chandigarh University in Mohali were recorded by a fellow hosteller and shared on social media. Two accused have been arrested and one detained in connection with the incident.

Visuals today from the campus of the University showed several students carrying their luggage as they left the premises.

Protests that began on Saturday night continued till late on Sunday.

Protesting students alleged that a student made videos of girl students while taking showers in the hostel. The video was later made viral on social media. The protesting students also claimed that after the videos went viral, girl students living in the hostel attempted suicide. However, police refuted all these claims of suicide.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) GS Bhullar spoke to the protesting students late on Sunday night and tried to pacify them by saying “implicit faith is necessary” and “law is being followed”.

“We will keep coming to you, implicit faith is necessary,” said DIG GS Bhullar.

DIG Bhullar told ANI that there was a communication gap earlier, which the police are trying to bridge.

“The issue has been of communication gap. We have been clarifying again and again. We are assuring students that law is being followed and all legal procedures are being undertaken,” DIG Bhullar said.

The Mohali Deputy Commissioner (DC) Amit Talwar also dismissed as “rumours” that students have attempted suicide.

“No information about suicide has come out. It is a rumour that has been spread. We have not been brought forward any information that a suicide has taken place,” Talwar said.

On Sunday, one accused identified as Sunny Mehta was arrested. The youth belongs to a village under the Rohru Sub division of Shimla district, nearly 130 km away from the northern town.

The detained person has been identified as 31-year-old Rankaj Verma.

Both the accused were nabbed by a team led by Dr Monika, Superintendent of Police, Shimla and were handed over to Punjab Police from Rohur and Dhalli police stations respectively.

“Punjab Police has arrested and has left with the accused from Rohru in case FIR no 194/22 dt 18/9/22 u/s 354C IPC, 66E IT act PS Sadar Kharad Punjab. The 23-year accused, resident of Rohru has been handed over to them,” read a statement of Shimla Police.

The girl student of Chandigarh University in Mohali has also been arrested by police. She had reportedly said that she had made videos of some girls and sent them to a youth in Shimla. (ANI)

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‘Govt Showed Unusual Hurry In Forming SIT To Probe Zubair Case’

Nutan Thakur, a lawyer in the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court, feels Yogi Government action in AltNews case smacks of unethical bias

I have been following the cases registered against AltNews co-founder Mohammad Zubair in Uttar Pradesh under various Sections of IPC. In all, there are six first information reports (FIRs) filed against the fact-checker Mohammad Zubair.

These FIRs mainly pertain to making alleged sarcastic comments against a news channel anchor, hurting sentiments of Hindu community, making objectionable comments on religious deities, uploading provocative posts etc. in Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar and Hathras districts of the state. Each case is being handled by a separate Investigating Officer (IO).

One fine day, out of the blue, the Uttar Pradesh government orders setting up a special investigation team (SIT) headed by an IPS officer to oversee the bunch of cases. As the proceedings go, all the IOs will now need to submit their findings or evidence to the SIT head.

There are separate provisions in the CRPC and a proper channel for the formation of an SIT but the “unnecessary haste” shown in the Mohammad Zubair case apparently reflects a political bias.

As far as I can make out, none of the charges is as complicated that an Inspector or a Sub-Inspector rank officer in a station (where the FIR is registered) cannot investigate and submit a charge sheet.

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And contrary to the official claim, I am sure this will not only slow down the investigation but also affect the morale of ground-level investigation officers. For, this (formation of SIT) is also, in a way, about questioning their ability.

It has been about a week since the formation of the SIT, but nothing new has come out yet. As far as the process goes, team members are selected for the SIT after which it begins it probe. So, if you see, this could also be a ploy to further delay the investigations and keep the case in suspension. Such delay tactics are often used to keep an accused in custody and deny him bail from a court of law.

Zubair claims himself to be a fact-checker and none of the cases against him (in UP) are related to his ‘vocation’. I have not gone through his ‘findings’ but if his ‘acts’ have come to such a level that he has been booked for other offenses, his primary ‘occupation’ is also a matter of investigation.

But here, the purpose of registering criminal cases against Zubair seems dubious. It is more like to teach him a lesson for standing up against a particular ideology. Such retributive actions only reflect the ‘anxiety’ of the Uttar Pradesh government to prove its muscle power in silencing the critics.

As told to Rajat Rai