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CBSE paper leaks: Students take to streets; Cong demands HRD min’s sacking

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New Delhi, Mar 29 :- Students here took to the streets on Thursday to protest the CBSE’s decision to hold re-examination of Class 10 Mathematics and Class 12 Economics papers, even as the Congress demanded that Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and the board chairperson be sacked

Amid massive protests over the paper leaks issue, Congress president Rahul Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, going into rhyme, saying “in everything there is leak, the ‘chowkidar’ is weak”

Javadekar, however, put up a brave and said the culprits will not go scot-free. He termed the issue as ?unfortunate?

The BJP rejected Rahul Gandhi’s charge, saying the Congress president was referring to the UPA rule

“Rahul Gandhi is remembering his days,” Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a Cabinet briefing

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the party demands that HRD Minister Javadekar and CBSE Chairperson Anita Karwal be sacked and a judicial probe by a high court judge be ordered into the matter

The Delhi Police, which had registered two cases in connection with the leaks, started questioning the owner of a coaching centre in Rajender Nagar whose name was shared by the CBSE in its complaint and is suspected to be behind the alleged leak

The office of the CBSE had received an unaddressed envelope on March 26 containing four sheets of handwritten answers of the Class 12 Economics paper, the board said in its complaint to the Delhi Police

In its complaint to the police, the Board has said that they received a complaint by fax on March 23 from an “unknown source” that a man running a coaching institute in Rajinder Nagar was involved in paper leakage

Meanwhile, cries of ‘we want justice’ resonated at Jantar Mantar as students gathered there this morning to protest the re-examination of Class 10 Mathematics and Class 12 Economics papers

Holding placards and shouting slogans such as ‘stop playing hit and trial with our lives’ and ‘It’s not the students who need a re-test, it’s the system’, students rued how they have been left “traumatised” after hearing the news of re-examination

Many of the students claimed that almost all the papers were leaked a day before the examinations, and demanded that if a re-examination is to be held, it should be held of all the subjects

Bhavika Yadav, a Class 10 student of St Thomas School, said, “We were shocked after hearing the news of the re-examination. Why should we suffer just because a handful of students got the leaked paper before the examination?”

Gandhi, taking to Twitter to attack the government, also used the hashtag ?BasEkAurSaal?, a reference to the government being left with one year of its term

Javadekar said that the CBSE will declare the date of re-examination probably on Monday or Tuesday

“This (paper leak) has been a breach by the culprits and we will not let go any culprit scot-free. The police is on the job and I am very sure, they will nab the culprit as they have done in case of the SSC exam leak case. We have also instituted internal inquiry,? he told reporters here

Noting that being a sensible parent, he could not sleep last night, Javadekar said he could ?understand the pain, anguish and frustrations? of students and parents because ?we are one of them?.

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Amid Chorus for Federal Probe Into Kathua Rape, a Look at CBI’s Track Record in J&K

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Family members of those accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Jammu’s Kathua have been sitting on a protest since their arrest, demanding an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Their contention is that the current probe by the state police’s Crime Branch is “biased”. Members of the lawyers’ body in Kathua too has demanded the same. As demand swells for a CBI probe, News18 takes a look at the federal agency’s track record in Jammu and Kashmir.

Shopian Double Rape and Murder

On May 30, 2009, the lifeless bodies of a 17-year-old and her 22-year-old sister-in-law were discovered near the shallow Rambi Ara stream in Shopian, south Kashmir. The two had gone to work on their small orchard across the Rambi Ara the previous day.

On the orders of the district magistrate, a three-member team of doctors was called in from nearby Pulwama district to conduct an autopsy. The team confirmed that both women had been raped. A report issued by the Forensic Science Lab Srinagar also confirmed the rape and murder on June 6, 2009. The family alleged that the women were raped and killed by Indian army men.

After a massive public outrage, the state government handed over the investigation to CBI. However, the agency gave a clean chit to five police officials who had earlier been indicted by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the state police that had probed the case earlier.

The CBI attributed the cause of the teen’s death to “asphyxia as a result of ante-mortem drowning” in a stream and said the injuries on her head were “simple in nature, not sufficient to cause death”. In the case of the 22-year-old, the charge-sheet said there were “no ante-mortem injuries” and death was a result of drowning by “asphyxia”.

Pathribal Fake Encounter

In 2003, the CBI took over investigation into the killing of five civilians by Army allegedly in a staged gunfight. The army had picked up the civilians from their homes, killed them and mutilated their bodies beyond recognition before labeling them as Pakistani militants responsible for massacre of 36 Sikhs at Chittisinghpora in 2000.

The CBI in its charge sheet stated that following the killing of Sikhs in Chittisinghpora, the army unit based in the area was under “tremendous psychological pressure” to show results. The CBI indicted personnel of 7 Rashtriya Rifles camped at Shangus in the fake encounter.

The CBI had said the army personnel entered into a criminal conspiracy to pick up some innocent persons and staged an encounter.

The Supreme Court on May 1, 2012 gave the army eight weeks to decide whether the accused should be tried by a regular criminal court or face a court-martial.

On June 29, 2012, the army opted for Court of Inquiry to try the five accused. However, on January 23, 2014, army the closed the case saying the evidence recorded couldn’t establish prima facie case against any of the accused.

The families, in April 2016, filed a writ petition in the High Court, seeking re-opening of the case and re-conducting the trial of all the accused in a criminal court. The writ was dismissed.

Later, the families filed the same writ in the Supreme Court, which on August 17 last year issued notice to the Government of India, army and the CBI, rekindling hope among the families of the victims.

The Supreme Court, however, in August 2017, gave a glimmer of hope to the kin of five villagers killed by the army by admitting a plea challenging a Jammu and Kashmir High Court verdict that upheld the Army’s decision to close proceedings against five soldiers involved.

2006 Srinagar Sex Scandal

The CBI had also investigated the infamous 2006 sex scandal in which two ministers, top police officers and several influential people were among those named as accused. They were charged under various sections of the Ranbir Penal Code, the criminal code applicable in the states, including under Section 376 for the rape of a 15-year-old girl.

The other charges included procurement of girls, intimidation of witnesses and wrongful confinement of the victims.

The trial of the 14 accused was shifted from Srinagar to a Chandigarh CBI court on orders of the Supreme Court.

The court acquitted most of the accused and the CBI drew criticism for not following the case meticulously.

In February this year, a woman who was allegedly involved in the sex scandal claimed that the CBI had forced her to change her testimony.

Interestingly, the name of then J&K CM Omar Abdullah had also surfaced in the case, which led to him resigning from the post in July 2009. The governor had eventually rejected his resignation.

Killing of 4 IAF officers in 1990

The CBI also probed the killing of four Indian Air Force personnel on the outskirts of Srinagar on January 25, 1990.

According to an FIR registered in Police Station Sadder, unidentified militants fired upon Air Force employees living as tenants in Rawalpora, Srinagar on January 25, 1990. In the indiscriminate firing, 40 employees, including a woman, were injured, and two died on the spot. The assailants escaped from the spot.

The CBI took up the investigation on the basis of a state government notification in 1990 and a charge-sheet was filed on August 31, 1990 under Section 120-B read with Section 302 of the RPC, Section 3 and 4 of TADA and Section 27 of Arms Act in the court of 3rd Additional Sessions Judge (TADA case Jammu) against the accused persons.

During the course of trial, a transfer application was filed by the accused, which was rejected after which they approached the High Court in Srinagar to transfer the case. The High Court stayed the proceedings of the trial court. For now, the court at Srinagar is hearing the transfer appeal.

The CBI identified JKLF leaders Mohammad Yaseen Malik, Manzoor Ahmed Sofi, Javed Ahmed Mir, Showkat Ahmed Bakshi, Javed Ahmed Zargar and Ali Muhammad Mir, as accused in the case.

Now, the CBI is seeking transfer of the case to Jammu wing of the High Court.

The Mehran Lateef Case

On May 13, 2008, Mehran Lateef Mir, a three-year-old boy, returned home from the school and in the afternoon stepped out of his home to buy sweets from a local shop. That was the last time his mother saw him.

Following High Court directions, the CBI on February 6, 2014 took over investigation in the case.

After relentless investigations that continued for over two years, the CBI found no clues about Mehran’s whereabouts. The case was closed after a city court accepted CBI’s closure report to the effect.

Ten years have passed since with no news of Mehran.

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J&K govt to probe audio clip on Kathua rape-and-murder case

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The Jammu and Kashmir government has forwarded to probe agencies an audio clip in which two people are heard discussing how money was collected purportedly in the name of the eight-year-old Kathua rape-and-murder victim but never reached her family. In the audio clip, which has gone viral on social media, the two can be heard discussing that a huge sum of money was collected in the name of the victim but that her family did not get it.

The discussion in the audio clip also suggests that a fight has already begun among the people who helped collect funds in the name of the girl. “I have heard the audio clip. When this clip came to me, I forwarded it to agencies for probing it,” Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh told reporters here. He also said the “heinous and barbaric” nature of the killing of the girl that rattled entire country must be deeply probed in all its aspects.

“Those who have done it must be punished severely.” “It is sad what has happened with the girl. No human being can do such an act. It is heinous. It is unfortunate that such an incident has been given communal colour. Court has taken cognizance of it (reports by media). I condemn the attempt to polarize the incident. it should not have happened,” Singh said. He said the episode gave bad name not only to Jammu and Kashmir but to the entire country. Now the case is with the court and the government will act on the directions of the court.

A thorough investigation should be done. Action will definitely be taken, he said. The Deputy CM also said if the court directs for a CBI probe, the J&K government will act accordingly. “The girl should get justice and if anybody feels the probe has been biased they can go to the court and put forth their side,” he said. Asked about a girl from Kulgam (Kashmir) alleging sexual exploitation by a politician, he said, “it has been brought to my notice now and I will verify it. Whosoever is the girl or the politician, justice will be done”.

He said the Congress would play “disruptive politics” in Jammu and Kashmir in coming months and asked people to be cautious of its conspiracies. The way the Congress played politics (over the Kathua case), it is an example of divisive politics of the party.

A right-hand man of (Congress leader) Ghulam Nabi Azad was leading an agitation in Jammu and at the same time they were part of the candlelight march,” Singh said, alluding to Jammu High Court Bar Association President B S Salathia.

Salathia has worked as the chief electoral agent of Ghulam Nabi Azad during the 2014 general elections, which Azad lost.

 

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Rape case was wrongly projected, claims Dy CM

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Smelling a bigger conspiracy hatched from across the border to set Jammu and Kashmir on fire by raking up the Kathua incident, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Thursday said the case was “wrongly projected” by opposition parties and a section of media.
Nirmal’s statement is contrary to the stand of the coalition partner, PDP, which has hailed the BJP high command for taking action against its two ministers — Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga — for supporting those persons who were demanding handing over of the case to the CBI.
“Our ministers had resigned on moral grounds because a wrong perception was created at the national level against the BJP as some forces were hell-bent on giving a religious colour to the Kathua murder and alleged rape case,” the Deputy Chief Minister said while interacting with mediapersons here on Thursday.
While the BJP leadership is claiming the case was wrongly projected at the national level, the PDP had passed a resolution on April 15 to thank the people of the country and the media for positively supporting and highlighting the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl.
When his attention was drawn towards Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti earlier attending two programmes along with two BJP ministers, who were forced to resign, Nirmal put onus on her.
Lal Singh and Ganga were forced to resign on April 13 for attending a rally of the Hindu Ekta Manch on March 1.Even after attending the rally, both the ministers had attended functions presided over by the Chief Minister.
When asked how these two ministers became an eyesore within a couple of days, Nirmal said, “It is better to ask this question to the Chief Minister only.”
However, he smelt a deeper conspiracy at the national and international level to polarise the highly sensitive state after the Kathua incident. “After the formation of the PDP-BJP coalition government in J&K, some forces inimical to people are working to create a communal divide,” he said while blaming Pakistan, its henchmen in J&K and opposition parties for hatching a conspiracy to fan communal tension.

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