Cyber cops blunt hacker attack on CBI website
|Digital vigil: Project Building in Ranchi|
|Digital vigil: Project Building in Ranchi|
|Two village kids walk past the dry check dam on a scorching afternoon|
|A view of sun burnt cauliflower farm|
|Pahan Munda, a farmer showing his destroyed crops|
|The prayer hall at RIMS in Ranchi lies deserted on Monday. Picture by Hardeep Singh|
Ranchi, May 28: Saying it with roses might have been innovative but it certainly was not economical.
The tactic of public chastisement by handing out flowers to traffic violators, perhaps made famous by a Sanjay Dutt starred Bollywood film, might have served the cause, but soaring flower prices, thanks largely to weather disturbances and a number of shutdowns observed, has broken the back of the police department’s finances.
So its back to the tried-and-tested method of distributing pamphlets to create awareness among the masses for the city traffic police officers.
SSP Praveen Kumar inaugurating the awareness campaign here today, however, took a diplomatic stand towards the sudden change in stance.
“The purpose is to make the denizens familiar with fundamental traffic rules and regulations in place. Although we are cracking down on violators by conducting regular checks, we thought of educating masses before imposing fines on them,” Kumar said.
He added that the response on the first day was good but there was a lot of ground to be covered. “Our men are doing their best to create awareness. The campaign will gain pace in the coming days, when we will aim to spread the message of safe road habits throughout the city,” the SSP said.
The traffic police have also put up hoardings and posters (with illustrations) at various traffic points like Kanta Toli, Sarjana Chowk, Sujata Chowk and Doranda, among other places, to reach out to people.
A bunch of 40 from Ranchi University and NCC cadets also joined hands with the police officers and are working as volunteers to make the campaign success, sources said.
Prodded about the most common traffic violations, Singh was quick to list parking of vehicles in No Parking zones and stopping vehicles on zebra crossings at traffic intersections, not wearing a helmet and talking on your mobile phone while driving consisted some of the oft repeated violations.
Meanwhile, with the administration cracking down on autos plying without proper permits, the three-wheelers have gradually tried to fade away from Ranchi roads.
“We had received a notice from the district administration to phase out autos without permits. Only 1,006 autos have been issued permits till date and we will try and clear the rush of applications seeking permits from today,” Singh said.
|Paperwork, fencing delay launch of open jail in Hazaribagh; central prison screens inmate dossier|
Ranchi, May 11: Good things come to those who wait. And for a home away from home, prisoners of five central jails are doing just that.
The much-touted open jail in picturesque Hazaribagh, which was slated for a March inauguration, will now house “reformed” inmates only by July-end, a delay apparently caused by extensive paperwork and formulation of detailed guidelines for the first-of-its-kind prison in the state. Highly placed officials said the only job left was erecting a 3-metre wire fence around a clutch of 30 cottages spread over two acres.
IG (prisons) Vijay Kumar Singh said jail posts had already been identified and they were waiting for the state government to show the green light. “Altogether eight posts have been identified — a jail superintendent, a jailer, a warden, a head warden, a medical officer, a paramedical staff, an industry expert and an agriculturist. The jail will open soon,” he said.
According to highly placed sources, the entry criteria to these halfway homes had been relaxed. “Earlier, we had decided to house prisoners who had completed 75 per cent of their term, but now the figure has been brought down to 50 per cent. However, those booked under certain sections like 302 of IPC, or for narcotics crime will not be eligible for the open jail. Also, good mental and physical health for a period of at least a year is mandatory,” said a senior jail official.
The remission period has also been doubled. “Normally, prisoners with 10-year term can avail remission up to 40 months (one-third of the term). However, in the open jail, inmates can avail remission equivalent to the term of their stay,” the official added.
The concept of open jails has its roots in the west. It is meant to house prisoners displaying good conduct, and act as a halfway house for those whose release is due soon. There are 27 open jails across India, including a few in Rajasthan and Maharashtra. And although a fairly new concept, these jails have thrown up several success stories.
In Jharkhand, the authorities are also planning to set up various small-scale industries within the open jail premises to help prisoners earn a decent livelihood.
Sources said besides industrial activities, the focus was on medicinal plants and dairy. “The land in Hazaribagh is suitable for cultivating medicinal plants, so we are developing a medicine farm there. But the high point is a dairy. We will provide cattle to prisoners who want to run dairies. After their released, they can take the cattle with them,” a source said.
The selection process of prisoners to be shifted to the open jail, which can house a maximum of 100 inmates, has, meanwhile, begun. Singh said workshops on dos and don’ts would begin at all the five central jails from next week.
On March 28 and April 28, the IG had held meetings with superintendents of all central jails and directed them to identify inmates who could be shifted. Two screening committees — one at district level and the other at IG level — were formed. The district level committee comprises the jail superintendent, the deputy commissioner and the SSP. The other panel is formed by the IG (prisons), additional IG (prisons), DGP and a representative from the home department, who will give the final go-ahead.
Ranchi, May 11: High on attitude, VIP politicians have been known to keep Birsa Munda Jail authorities on their toes. But Kamlesh Singh’s recent “disappearing act” for three days gave them the jitters.
One among the three tainted ministerial colleagues of former chief minister Madhu Koda, Singh had moved to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences on May 7 after being released from AIIMS in New Delhi, where he had been allowed to go for treatment.
Yet, till yesterday, authorities at Birsa jail had no clue about their VIP ward, forcing superintendent D.K. Pradhan to file an affidavit in a CBI court saying they had not been kept informed about the former minister’s whereabouts.
Today, it was left to RIMS, where he was being treated for bronchial asthma, to issue a formal note to the jail authorities about his presence.
“I got the information this evening from the hospital,” Pradhan confirmed.
As per rules, police officials escorting Singh should have informed Birsa jail about his arrival in Ranchi on May 7.
According to RIMS medical superintendent S.K. Choudhary, Singh was referred to the hospital from AIIMS. “In his discharge note, AIIMS stated that he may be admitted to the hospital here,” he said.
On May 8, Singh was admitted to ICU after he complained of hypertension. He was kept under observation till yesterday and sent back to cottage (number 6) at RIMS.
Singh, and his three colleagues, MP Madhu Koda, Harinarayan Rai and Anosh Ekka, have been in Birsa jail for over a year and a half after being booked by the vigilance bureau for siphoning government funds and amassing assets beyond their known sources of income. The CBI is on their case now.
Lodged in the upper division section in a cluster of eight cottages with a separate kitchen for jailed VIPs, Koda and Singh were the more demanding of the four, said jail authorities.
And visits to hospitals seemed to be a favourite vocation of both. Rai kept himself busy with puja-paath, while Ekka insisted on VIP comforts like meals on time and clean sheets.
“Every other day, they complain of some new ailment and demand hospitalisation,” a jail official said on condition of anonymity about Koda and Singh. “We don’t take chances and try to seek the court’s permission to send them to hospitals. But after a time, it gets on your nerves,” he confessed.
Ever since Koda was in jail, he has been complaining of a shoulder pain.
He was referred to AIMS an innumerable number of times. But, he never stopped complaining. And once, he even came back without a medical report.
“Last time, he came back from AIIMS without any medical report. When asked, he claimed the doctors didn’t give him any,” the official said.
“When we called the AIIMS director, he said a report was handed over to Koda and that they did not stock OPD patients’ medical reports. We went back to Koda, who then said he had misplaced it.”
Koda’s wife and advocate visited him three to four times a week. Otherwise, he preferred to be alone and approached jail authorities only when he needed something.
Ekka was only concerned about what he called “simple pleasures” of life like clean sheets, an extra foam mattress, 6am newspaper and 8am breakfast. His wife and relatives visited him regularly.
Recently, another jail official confided, he asked for a computer in his cabin. “He wanted to learn computers like Koda,” said the official. “When we asked him why, Ekka sounded offended and shouted back, ‘if Koda can get one, why not me?’.”
Officials admitted managing the four VIPs wasn’t easy. “No VIP leaves his attitude behind and wants to live life king-size even behind bars,” the official declared.
Pradhan maintained the one thing they were seriously concerned of were disputes or fights involving the high-profile inmates. “As brawls are common in jails, our main concern is to provide them security as even a scar on their body will make headlines,” he said.