Sunday, April 14, 2013

#Karunanidhi reiterates # demand for abolishing death penalty#

Chennai, April 13, 2013
DMK president M. Karunanidhi
 Renewing his demand for abolishing death penalty, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi on Saturday made a fresh pitch for a state cabinet meeting to adopt a resolution recommending commutation of the death sentence awarded to three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
“Our stand is that capital punishment should be abolished and should be taken off the law book,” Mr. Karunanidhi said, recalling his remarks that the death sentence of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan should be commuted on humanitarian grounds.
“If the state government has to approach the problem truly, it should not just stop after adopting resolutions in the Assembly, but pass a resolution in a cabinet meeting and send it to the Governor,” the DMK patriarch said.
His statement comes a day after the Supreme Court dismissed death row convict and Khalistani terrorist Devinderpal Singh Bhullar’s plea for commutation of his death sentence in a judgement that can have a bearing on the fate of over 20 convicts facing execution, including those held guilty in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination.
On the apex court’s observation that commutation of death sentence to accused cannot be done in the case of terrorists or those involved in mass killings on the ground of delay in deciding their mercy plea, Mr. Karunanidhi said in a statement “it has come as a very big shock to many expecting the verdict as well as our thinking.”
Mr. Karunanidhi cited the example of Thyagu, whose death sentence, he said, was commuted during his government’s tenure. “When we see that Thyagu has now become a writer and essayist, is publishing books and has become a respectable man in society, we should give a life to Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan and should use them for society,” he said.
The DMK chief has been repeatedly pressing for abolition of capital punishment.
His earlier comments in this regard came against the backdrop of the hanging of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru which triggered a fresh debate on the death penalty issue.
He had also virtually backed the demand for a CBI probe into the 1993 Palar landmine blast case in which four aides of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan are facing the gallows.
The four got a temporary relief in February this year with the apex court staying their execution on their plea seeking commutation of the sentence citing delay of eight years in disposal of their mercy petition by the President.

#Kunda DSP murder: CBI arrests key accused#

Pratapgarh (UP), April 13, 2013
A CBI team visits the Balipur village to probe the killing of DSP Zia-ul-Haq at Kunda in Pratapgarh district. File photo
 CBI on Saturday arrested a key accused in DSP Zia-ul-Haque murder and claimed to have cracked the case.
Babloo Yadav, son of slain village head Nanhe Yadav who allegedly shot Haque dead using a country-made gun, was apprehended here, CBI sources said.
The sources said CBI has detained two brothers of Nanhe Yadav and members of his domestic staff in connection with the DSP’s murder and is likely to arrest them soon.
The sources claimed Babloo, who is over 19 years of age, has, during intense grilling by CBI officials, confessed to have shot the police official. The officials were able to reproduce the complete chain of events which took place on March 2, 2013.
Asked about role of UP minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiya, in the murders, they claimed the probe in the larger conspiracy is still on.
CBI sources claimed Haque, who was posted as Deputy Superintendent of Police at Kunda, had reached the house of Nanhe Yadav after getting the news of his murder.
By the time he approached the site, the news of Yadav’s murder had spread and a large crowd gathered outside his house which was angry at the alleged apathy of the police and protested the police’s alleged failure to stop the murder.
At the house of Nanhe Yadav, Haque met a mob which entered into a scuffle with him while his fellow policemen allegedly deserted him, the sources said.
In the crowd was Yadav’s brother Suresh who was armed with a rifle. As the scuffle was on, Suresh was killed after his gun accidentally went off, they said.
CBI sources claimed that enraged by the killing of his father and uncle Suresh Yadav, Babloo Yadav, who had a country-made gun, came out of his house and shot Zia-Ul-Haque dead who was being beaten up by a mob.
The sources claimed role of other suspects -- brothers of Nanhe Yadav and his domestic help -- is also under probe and they are being questioned by the agency.
The sources said agency has recovered the weapon, allegedly used in the killing Haq, from Babloo.
The agency has already arrested alleged killers of Yadav -- Ajay Pal and Vijay Pal -- both sons of Kamta Pal who is also a suspect in his murder and is absconding, they said.
The Pal family was having land dispute with Nanhe Yadav’s family which resulted in village head’s murder, they claimed.
The case was handed over to CBI on a request of slain DSP’s wife Parveen Azad who accused Raghuraj Pratap Singh of having a role in the murder of her husband. She had also filed an FIR in this regard naming Raja Bhaiya and his close aides in the murder.
After getting the case, the agency constituted a team of 10 officers led by DIG Anurag Garg and SP Rakesh Rathi to investigate the case.
The team had recently made some important recoveries which included a blood-stained ammunition belt from a box concealed in a house of Suresh Yadav, one of the deceased, a bloodstained wooden rod from another area in the village and service revolver of Haque.
Kunda circle in Pratapgarh district comprises four police stations -- Hathigavan, Manikpur, Kunda and Nawabganj.
CBI has registered four cases pertaining to the three murders in village Balipur, police station Hathigawan in Kunda tehsil which included FIR registered by Haque’s wife Azad who had named five persons as accused in the murder of her husband.

UPA #vulnerable after DMK pullout, elections around the corner: Pawar#

UPA #vulnerable after DMK pullout, elections around the corner: Pawar#

PTI  Thane, April 13, 2013 
Key UPA ally NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said the Centre's ruling coalition had become "vulnerable" after DMK's pullout and that elections were around the corner.
Pawar, Union agriculture minister, also said since Congress was the majority party in the UPA, his party would respect its view on the alliance's prime ministerial candidate.
"UPA's position has become vulnerable after DMK's pullout. We have to prepare and plan for elections. I have suggested to the UPA chairperson to convene a meeting to discuss this and she is also of the same view," Pawar told reporters.
Amid conflicting voices on who should be the UPA's candidate for prime minister's post, Pawar said the coalition's spearhead Congress would have to take a call.
"Compared to the last time, UPA has shrunk. It is only the Congress, NCP and National Conference. Majority party has to take the call. We will respect the majority party's view," he said.
Pawar's statement follows similar hints by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had last month asked his partymen to gear up for a mid-term poll, citing a "confidential" report.
"I have come to know about a confidential report which says that elections will be held in November. You people start preparing for them," he had said addressing party workers in Lucknow.
The Samajwadi Party with 22 MPs and BSP with 21 are providing crucial outside support to the government and bailing it out in times of crises.

#1993 blasts convict Yakub Memon awarded Master's degree in # English Literature#

Press Trust of India | Updated: April 13,
Yakub Menon
Yakub Memon, the only convict in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case whose death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court, has been awarded a master's degree in English literature by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
Memon is lodged in the Central Prison in Nagpur. Alongwith him, seven other convicts, who are serving life-terms, were awarded IGNOU degrees yesterday.

The main convocation was held in New Delhi while a simultaneous function was held at the university's Regional Centre in Nagpur.
Memon, however, could not attend the convocation as police authorities refused him permission.

Dr Shivswaroop, Regional Director, IGNOU, told PTI that if the jail authorities permitted, he would like to hand degree certificate to Memon personally.

Memon, a qualified chartered accountant, cleared the MA examination with second division last year.

News sourced by