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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

In The End, Gujjars Call Off Their Agitation

Gujjars, demanding 5 percent quota in jobs in Rajasthan, on Wednesday night called off their 17-day agitation after the state govt assured them that it will complete within six months the quantifiable data collection for the purpose.

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Gujjars, demanding 5 percent quota in jobs in Rajasthan, on Wednesday night called off their 17-day agitation after the state govt assured them that it will complete within six months the quantifiable data collection for the purpose.

"I have called off the agitation. I am satisfied with what the state government has offered to us," Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, spearheading the agitation, told reporters after holding talks with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and a Committee of Ministers appointed by the state government in Jaipur on Wednesday night.

Bainsla and his team agreed to the government's assurance that it will complete the quantifiable data collection within six months and keep four percent backlog of services.

"The Government has promised that the quantifiable data shall be ready within six months. Four per cent backlog will be kept while one per cent reservation will continue. Many other facilities for students have also been promised," he said after signing an agreement with the government in this regard.

Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal said the government will file a review petition in the Rajathan High Court for considering the five percent reservation under SBC to Gujjars, Gadia Lohar, Raika-Rebari, and Banjara in Rajasthan till the quantifiable data exercise is completed.

He said that the government will complete the quantifiable data collection within six months and submit it to the OBC commission as directed by the High Court on 22nd December last year.

A delegation of around 40 members led by Bainsla first held a meeting with the committee of ministers comprising Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal, Energy Minister Jitendra Singh, himself a Gujjar, and Transport Minister B K Sharma for over 7 hours.

After the meeting, the Gujjar leaders signed an agreement with the state government and later met Chief Minister at the CMO and called off the agitation.

According to the agreement, the government has promised to dispose the cases lodged against the agitators. A three-member committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) will decide upon 170 cases in which chargesheets have been filed in courts.

The committee will take decision within two months on such cases. Remaining 254 cases lodged during 2010-2011 will also be disposed within the same duration.

The government said that one percent reservation to these communities will continue (under the reservation ceiling of 50 percent) and four percent vacancies will be kept reserved for Special Backward Class and will be filled later accordingly.

The government has already announced to start recruitment on 1 lakh vacant posts in the state services and now four percent (4,000) shall be kept reserved for SBC category.

After completing the data collection exercise as directed by the HC, a special recruitment drive would be started to fill these vacancies within three months, the agreement said.

The agitation, which began on 20th December, has seen the Gujjars blocking several rail and road routes, causing hardship to people and loss to various industries in the state.

The agitators have been blocking Mumbai-Delhi rail tracks at Pilukapura in Bharatpur, and Jaipur-Agra National Highwayat Dausa and several other roads in support of their demand.

The state government assured the Gujjars to send the provisions of the reservation act to the Center for its inclusion in the IXth schedule of the Constitution.

It was also assured to dispose the pending cases of government services to the kin of those killed.

The government said that it has already disposed 58 such cases and four cases are pending in which the kin of deceased is to be given government job.

Pending cases of compensation to injured and pension to those permanently disabled during the previous agitations will also be disposed, expeditiously.

No fundamental provision of Devnarayan Board will be changed and the decision to increase its budget will be taken in the next state budget 2011-12 to carry out developmental works in the gujjar populated area.

Increasing the scholarship to the students of SBC, opening up of new schools, colleges and other educational intuitions, hostles, expansion of medical facilities in the Gujjar populated area were other assurances made by the government to which Gujjars agreed.

The written agreement was signed by Kirori Singh Bainsla, Coordinator of Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) PK Dev.

11 Gujjar delegates also signed the agreement as members. Roop Singh, aide of Bainsla, said that the agitators squatting on the Delhi-Mumbai tracks at Pilukapura, have been asked to vacate the rail tracks.

The Jaipur-Agra national highway and several other interior routes in Bharatpur, Karauli and nearby places will also be unoccupied shortly, he said.

The agitation began on 20th December and Gujjars led by Bainsla occupied the Delhi-Mumbai rail tracks at Pilukapura in Bharatpur district.

Several interior roads in Karauli, Bharatpur, Dholpur, Alwar, Sawaimadhopur and Jhunjhunu districts were also blocked by the agitators.

However, after few days, the agitators unoccupied railway tracks in Dausa, Bhilwara, Tonk and several roads, but kept closed the rail tracks at Pilukapura in Bharatpur and at Malarna in Sawaimadhopur, Jaipur-Agra highway at Dausa and a few routes in Bharatpur and Karauli.

Jaipur-Ajmer highway and Jaipur-Kota highway were also blocked for several hours during the agitation at Ajmerand Bundi districts respectively, and were reopened following the intervention of civil administration and police authorities.

The state government had called in forces from the Center besides its own deployment but no untoward incident took place during the agitation and it passed off peacefully.

However, it caused huge loss to railways, tourism, transport and other industries in the state and caused hardship to people.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot congratulated the agitators after the stir and said that the government will fulfil its promises and commitment.

"I congratulate Gujjars that they called off the agitation. They were squatting on rail tracks in the severe cold which was painful for us also. We will fulfil our promises made to the Gujjars," Gehlot said.

League India Politics Desk
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CHANGE ON THE GROUND

President Gives Nod to Ordinance for Death Penalty for Rapists of Children Below 12

There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.

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NEW DELHI: President ram Nath Kovind promulgated The Criminal Law amendment ordinance, 2018 to amend Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to pave way for a death penalty to those found guilty of raping children up to the age of 12 years.

The President’s nod to the ordinance came after the Union Cabinet’s approval yesterday for tightening the law against people involved in rape, following public outcry over cases of sexual assault and murder of minors in Kathua and Surat and the rape of a girl in Unnao.

“Whereas Parliament is not in session and the President is satisfied that the circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action.

Earlier, the Cabinet on Saturday approved the promulgation of an Ordinance to amend Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 to introduce the death penalty for rape of children younger than 12 years.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment.

Several political leaders cutting across party lines hailed Centre’s move.

“Now, therefore, in an exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 123 of the Constitution, the President is pleased to promulgate the following ordinance,” the gazette notification said.

The ordinance stipulates stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape, particularly of girls below 16 and 12 years.

The death sentence has been provided for rapists of girls under 12 years.

The minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from the rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.

According to the ordinance, in case of rape of a girl under 16 years, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which means jail term till the convicts “natural life”.

The punishment for gangrape of a girl below 16 years will invariably be imprisonment for the rest of life of the convict.

Stringent punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years has been provided with the minimum jail term being 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence.

Gangrape of a girl under 12 years of age will invite punishment of jail term for the rest of life or death, it said.

The Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act stand amended with the promulgation of the ordinance after the approval of the President.

The measure also provides for speedy investigation and trial.The time limit for investigation of all cases of rape has been prescribed, which has to be mandatorily completed within two months.

The deadline for the completion of a trial in all rape cases will be two months.

A six-month time limit for the disposal of appeals in rape cases has also been prescribed.

There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.

It has also been prescribed that a court has to give notice of 15 days to a public prosecutor and the representative of the victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of a girl under 16 years of age.

Enhancing the powers of the judiciary to provide stringent punishment in rape cases, the Union Cabinet had approved a number of measures, such as strengthening the prosecution, besides setting up new fast-track courts in consultation with the states and high courts concerned,  according to an official.

The National Crime Records Bureau will maintain a national database and profile of sexual offenders.

This data will be regularly shared with the states and the Union territories for tracking, monitoring and investigation, including verification of antecedents of sex offenders by the police, the official said.

The present scheme of One Stop Centres for assistance to the victim will also be extended to all districts in the country.

 

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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

CRPF Officer Martyred in Gunfight with Maoists

The martyred security person was a native of Madhya Pradesh.

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SUKMA (Chhattisgarh): An officer of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was martyred in a gunfight with the Maoists in a dense forest in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.

The gunfight took place on Friday night in Kistaram police station area when a team of CRPF’s 212th battalion was out on a search-cum-area domination operation, Deputy Inspector General of Police (South Bastar Range) Sundarraj P said.

The deceased was a native of Madhya Pradesh.

Security forces have launched a combing operation in the area, located around 500 km away from the state capital Raipur.

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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

Govt Extends Ceasefire Agreement with Two Naga Insurgent Groups

The NSCN (Isak-Muivah) and the NSCN (Khaplang) are among other groups that operate in Nagaland.

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NEW DELHI: The Centre has extended the ceasefire agreement with two insurgent groups in Nagaland for one more year, starting April 28.

According to the Home Ministry, the parties to the ceasefire agreement are – the Centre, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Neokpao-Khitovi) and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Reformation).

“It was decided by the Government of India to extend the suspension of operation with the NSCN-R and the NSCN-NK for a further period of one year with effect from April 28,” an official of the ministry said in New Delhi.

The pact was signed by Satyendra Garg, Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry, and Jack Jimomi of the NSCN-NK, and Viniho Kiho and Toshi Longkumer of the NSCN-R.

The NSCN (Isak-Muivah) and the NSCN (Khaplang) are among other groups that operate in Nagaland.

While the NSCN (I-M) had entered a ceasefire agreement in 1997 and has been maintaining it since then, the pact with the NSCN (K) ended after the group attacked a military convoy in Manipur in June 2015, killing 18 soldiers.

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