Monday, August 2, 2010

in brief: July 2010

State yet to set up SHRC
Nine states are yet to set up State Human Rights Commissions (SHRC), Rajya Sabha was informed. Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Goa, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Uttarakhand have not yet constituted State Human Rights Commission, Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken stated in a written reply to a question in the Upper House. "The government and NHRC have been requesting to all those states, which have not yet constituted their State Commission, to do so," he said in reply to question about the action taken by the government to get SHRC Constituted in all states. The government of India and National Human Rights Commission are keen that every state sets up a Human Rights Commission, the Minister said.

Pandey new DGP
Jyoti Swaroop Pande, an IPS officer of 1976 batch, has taken over as Uttarakhand Director General of Police. Pande was the Director General (Technical Services) before he was appointed the state DGP. He replaced Vijay Raghav Pant who was holding the charge of acting DGP since July 12. Before that Subash Joshi was the DGP and was relieved of his charge in the wake of alleged beating of a ruling BJP MLA by police.

Nature’s fury
A total of 80 districts across India have been "adversely affected" by recent floods. These districts include 14 in Andhra Pradesh, 10 each in Arunachal Pradesh and Kerala, 15 in Assam, five in Bihar, one each in Goa, Meghalaya, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Pudducherry, five in Haryana, and eight each in Mizoram and Punjab, water resources minister Pawan Kumar Bansal informed. He said while the state governments are "primarily responsible" for undertaking relief measures at the ground level, the centre supplements the efforts of the states by providing logistic and financial support. The minister said flood management is a state subject and the schemes related to it are executed by the state governments. "However, a plan scheme -- Flood Management Programme -- has been approved in principle by the central government at a total cost of Rs. 8000 crore during the XIth Five-Year Plan to provide central assistance to the state governments to undertake flood management and anti-erosion work," he said. Besides assistance under the Flood Management Programme, Bihar, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have been provided a total of Rs.183.66 crore grants-in-aid for taking up flood protection works on border rivers under the central 'River management Activities and works related to Border Areas' during the XIth Five-Year Plan. These states share international borders with Nepal and Bangladesh.

Bus falls into gorge
At least 12 people were killed and 10 others injured when a bus in which they were travelling fell into a gorge at Nirbha area on Himachal Pradesh-Uttarakhand border on Tuesday. The area is 27 kms from Kalsi area of Uttarakhand, said Dehra Dun Senior Superintendent of Police G.S. Mortolia. He said most of the passengers travelling in the bus belonged to Tyuni area of Uttarakhand.

Bravehearts
The body of Gorkha Rifles soldier Rohit Gurung, who died during patrolling two days ago in Kashmir, was brought to his hometown in Dehradun, Uttarakhand for final rites on Monday. Gurung was killed by a landmine explosion while patrolling in the Poonch area of Kashmir on Friday. "Today, indeed, it is a very sad day for all of us...bid the final farewell to one of our fallen comrade. The soldier was from the battalion which was deployed in the northern areas in field and he was in operations when his death took place," said K. Mukherjee, Commanding Officer of the 62nd battalion of the Gorkha Rifles. Gurung's father said that he was proud of his son, as he laid down his life in the service of the nation. "It hurts, but at the same time I am happy that my son sacrificed his life for the country. I still say that if I had another son, I would have sent him to the Indian Army as well," said Gopal Singh.

Chinese national held
Four persons, including a Chinese national, were arrested with 2.4 kg of a banned aphrodisiac herb in Uttarakhand's Almora district, police said. The police team also recovered Rs 3.50 lakh cash from their possession. Acting on a tip off, the police stopped a jeep near Falsima village and arrested the four persons who were allegedly smuggling 2.4 kg of Yartsa Gambo, the banned herb, they said. The suspected smugglers have been identified as Jhen Heng Jhau, a Chinese national, Vijay Kumar and Yogendra Singh, both residents of Bareilly district in Uttar Pradesh, and Vijay Kumar of Udhamsingh Nagar in Uttarakhand. The accused were going to New Delhi for selling the herb, police said, adding investigation was on to get more details in the case.

Financial assistance
Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank has approved a scheme for providing financial assistance to writers for publishing their books. The state's culture department would have the right to sanction upto Rs 2 lakh to the writers for publication of their book. However, if the publication requires more than Rs 2 lakh, the department has to forward the matter to the government, an official release said.

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