CBI chargesheets nine policemen in TN custodial death case

Agencies
September 27, 2020

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New Delhi/Madurai, Sept 27: The CBI has chargesheeted nine Tamil Nadu policemen for murder, conspiracy and other offences in the custodial death case of the father-son duo who were arrested on a "fake" charge of violating the lockdown and tortured in Sathankulam police station in June this year, officials said Saturday.

The policemen have also been accused of destruction of evidence in the charge sheet filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Madurai on Friday in the alleged torture and murder of shopkeepers J Benniks and his father RP Jeyaraj, who ran a mobile phone shop in Thoothukudi district.

The ghastly crime had triggered a massive outrage prompting the chief minister to seek a CBI probe in the matter.

In its charge sheet, the CBI has named the then Inspector and SHO S. Sridhar, Sub Inspectors K. Balakrishnan, P. Raghuganesh, Head Constables S. Murugan, A. Samadurai, and Constables M. Muthuraja,  S. Chelladurai, X. Thomas Francis and, S. Veilumuthu posted at the police station.

The CBI rushed to file the charge sheet as the three-month custody of the accused is getting over on September 30 making them eligible for bail, sources said.

The agency has alleged that after the torture of the two victims in the police station which led to their death, the police officials destroyed evidence and filed "fake" charges against them of violating the coronavirus lockdown by keeping their shops open beyond the permitted time, they said.

When asked what was the motive behind the incident, the officials said the probe is being kept open.

During the investigation, nine CBI officers contracted COVID-19 while one of the accused sub-inspector died.

All the remaining accused police personnel are under judicial custody, they said.

"A CBI team camped continuously at Madurai and worked untiringly in the cases, even through the odds of COVID 19 pandemic," CBI Spokesperson RK Gaur said.

"The CBI investigation revealed that the father-son duo were arrested in the evening of 19.06.2020 and allegedly tortured at the Sathankulam Police Station by the accused in the evening as well as in the intervening night, consequent to which both of them succumbed to the injuries and died in the intervening night of June 22, 2020 and June 23, 2020," he said.

After investigation, a combined charge sheet in both the cases has been filed, he said.

"Further investigation is continuing to look into the role of other persons in the case," he said.

Meanwhile, the Judicial Magistrate probing the incident had told the Madras High Court that the policemen thrashed the deceased father-son the whole night in the police station. "Lathis were used" for allegedly assaulting them and a table carrying bloodstains bears testimony to the grisly crime.

The findings were based on a statement of a woman police personnel attached to the police station where the alleged crime took place.

After the alleged torture, Jeyaraj and Benniks were sent to sub-jail under remand at around 2.30 AM on June 20 where they were kept as prisoner number 3636 and 3635 respectively.

In the morning at around 7.45 am, Benniks complained of a wheezing problem and was taken to Kovilpatti government hospital in an autorickshaw. The doctors declared at 9 AM that he could not survive, the FIR had alleged.

Two days later at around 10.20 PM on June 22, Jeyaraj complained of fever and was taken to the government hospital.

In the morning at around 5.40 AM the next day, doctors told the authorities that treatment failed and Jeyaraj too had died, it said.

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News Network
October 16,2020

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Mumbai, Oct 16: As people have settled down to remote work that became a norm following the nationwide lockdown, a global survey found that 52 per cent employees and 64 per cent C-suite executives interviewed in India prefer to continue with the new ways of doing business or work.

Almost overnight, the business world shifted to remote work, unleashing a more agile workforce and a period of experimentation and innovation at work. About 52 per cent employees and 64 per cent C-suite executives in India are seeing just how effective remote work can be and embrace the new ways of working, according to the 'The Work Survey' by cloud-based company ServiceNow.

The survey was conducted during September 1-10 among 900 C-suite executives and 8,100 office professionals from companies of 500 or more employees in countries including the US, the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, India, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand.

In India, The Work Survey was conducted among 100 C-suite leaders and 1,000 employees from various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, telecommunications and public sector.

Further, the survey showed that in India, there is a strong appreciation of digital transformation and also an appetite for more.

Both executives (69 per cent) and employees (55 per cent) interviewed acknowledge the need for further investment as the top priority for organisations seeking to leverage any pandemic-induced cost savings.

There is likely to be any funds for this purpose, with 91 per cent of India's executives interviewed agreeing that cost savings will be derived by changes to company operations, brought on by Covid-19, it added.

The survey also showed that India holds the number one global standing when it comes to utilisation of digital workflows.

While the trend at first seems encouraging, there is still a long road ahead, it stated.

"Seventy-four per cent of India's executives said their business continues to use offline workflows, the lowest among all other countries surveyed (US 89 per cent, UK 98 per cent, Australia 98 per cent)," said ServiceNow Managing Director (India and SAARC) Arun Balasubramanian.

While the figure indicates greater adoption of digital workflows in India, there is clearly plenty of scope for greater utilisation of digital work processes, he added.

The pandemic has helped companies forge new and better ways of working, something India's executives (97 per cent) and employees (93 per cent) firmly agree on.

However, one of the biggest challenges for India to overcome is transforming the many old processes that remain disconnected across systems and departments.

Less than half of Indian employees (49 per cent) and executives (42 per cent) believe they have a fully integrated system for workflow management across business functions.

"The appreciation for digital workflows in India is among the highest in the world but there is still a long road ahead for the sub-continent. We are on the cusp of an unprecedented wave of workflow and workplace innovation and there's no going back," Balasubramanian added.

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Agencies
October 15,2020

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Palakkad, Oct 15: Jnanpith laureate Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri, popularly known as Akkitham, the renowned poet of simplicity in Malayalam literature, passed away due to old age related ailments at a private hospital in Thrissur on Thursday.

He was 94 and is survived by his son and a daughter.

Akkitham's wife predeceased him in 2019.

The well known literary genius of Malayalam, Akkitham was hospitalised last week.

Known for simple and lucid writing, the poet and essayist of Malayalam was honoured with the country’s highest literary honour, the Jnanpith award for 2019.

He was presented the Jnanpith award at a simple function held at his house in Kumaranalloor near here on September 24.

Akkitham’s literary works was date back to 1950. Since then his works also brought him recognition, gradually elevating him to the status of an accomplished writer in Malayalam literature.

He was also honoured with the 'Ezhuthachan' award, the highest literary award by Kerala Government and was honoured with the “Padma Shri” by the Government of India.

Akkitham is recipient of several other awards including 'Kerala Sahitya Akademi' award, 'Odakkuzhal' award, 'Vallatho' award, 'Vayalar' award, 'Aasaan' award, besides many other honours.

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News Network
October 16,2020

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New Delhi, Oct 16: With LJP's abrasive comments on JD (U) raising suspicion within Bihar NDA and apprehension of damage due to vote division, BJP has decided to showcase its unity with Nitish Kumar, who might be attending the odd dozen rallies that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kickstart from October 23 in the state.

Indications are that the despite Chirag Paswan's "Modi se Bair Nahin, Nitish Teri Khair Nahin" (No enmity with Modi but will not spare Nitish) stance, the Bharatiya Janata Party is gradually distancing from the allies and political realities may force the party to dump LJP finally to salvage the BJP-JD (U) alliance performance.

With LJP trying hard to give the message that it wants a BJP Chief Minister in Bihar and is solidly behind PM Modi, the BJP on Friday tersely told Chirag Paswan not to create confusion by repeatedly talking about his relations with its senior leaders and sought to counter the impression that LJP is "B team of BJP".

"We have no relations (with LJP), and we do not like this politics of spreading confusion," Union minister Prakash Javadekar said in the backdrop of repeatedly laudatory remarks of Paswan about Modi and other BJP leaders and his assertion that the next government in the state will be a BJP-LJP government.

BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav went to the extent of accusing the LJP leader of resorting to "politics of lies" and reminding him that till February this year Paswan was praising the Bihar government.

"Chirag should not live in illusion, nor nurse or spread any illusion," Yadav tweeted as the LJP leader's sustained attack on Nitish Kumar has raised doubts in JD (U) circles of a larger BJP game plan.

Insisting that its alliance with 's alliance in Bihar is with JD(U), Jitan Ram Manjhi's HAM(S) and Vikassheel Insaan Party, BJP on Friday unveiled plans for Modi's 12 rallies and expressed confidence that the alliance will win a three-fourth majority in the state.

In the three-phased state polls beginning October 28, Modi will hit the campaign trail from October 23.

During most of these rallies, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will share dais with Modi. This is expected to dispel the notion of a rift in the alliance, an idea which is being pushed through LJP's aggressive attacks on Nitish Kumar.

"The LJP is nothing more than "vote katwa" (vote spoiler) and it will not be able to make much impact," said BJP's Bihar in-charge Devendra Fadnavis.

The BJP has planned Modi's rallies in all key districts, where candidates from adjoining districts will attend and seek people's vote in Modi's presence. Fearing anti-incumbency; BJP falls back on brand Modi again and is pushing development narrative as a counter to the formidable caste-community--Muslim Yadav plus Left voters among the downtrodden.

Seeking to reach out to a larger audience, BJP will also put up screens in assembly constituencies, where Modi's speeches will be broadcast live. An indication of the campaign increasingly being centred around the persona of Modi was also in the speech of BJP President J P Nadda in Banka where he listed

He listed out development measures launched by the Modi government for Bihar. Nadda did raise the contentious issues of Ram temple, abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and scrapping of the practice of instant triple talaq but they were muted with the focus largely on Modi's development works, law order under Nitish and alleged "jungle raj" during RJD regime.  He also recalled that Modi had announced a Rs 1.25 lakh crore package for the state in 2015 and a Rs 40,000 crore for infrastructure development.

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