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CHANGE ON THE GROUND

Police Reform: Lucknow, NOIDA To Have Police Commissioners Under Commissionerate System

Special police will also be deployed to manage traffic in Lucknow and Noida.

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LUCKNOW (Uttar Pradesh): The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to set up the police commissioner system in Lucknow and Noida cities. This constitutes a major step towards police reforms in the state.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced the decision after a state cabinet meeting in Lucknow on Monday. He said that the cabinet has approved the Police Commissionerate system proposal, which was pending for decades because of lack of political will. He said the decision would further improve the law and order situation in the state.

The police Commissionerate System, when implemented, will leave the district magistrates with only revenue related work and all decisions regarding law and order will be taken by the police commissioners.


AIR Lucknow Correspondent reports that Lucknow and Noida will be developed into better cities on Smart and Safe City model. One ADG level police officer will be posted as Police Commissioner in Lucknow which will now have 40 police stations after addition of 2 new police stations. He will be assisted by 2 Joint Commissioners of Police of IG rank and 9 of SP rank.

On the same pattern, ADG level officer will be Police commissioner if Noida and will be assisted by 2 Additional Commissioners of Police ACP who will be DIG rank officers.

A woman police officer of SP rank will also be appointed for the security of women in the city.



Special police will also be deployed to manage traffic in Lucknow and Noida and additional CCTV cameras will be installed across the city with the use of Nirbhaya Fund.

Former DGP of Uttar Pradesh Brij Lal welcomed the decision and congratulated CM Yogi Adityanath for taking such a bold step.

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CHANGE ON THE GROUND

HISTORIC: 644 Terrorists From 8 Terror Groups Surrender With Arms In Assam

The terrorists have deposited 177 arms, huge ammunition and other explosive materials.

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GUWAHATI (Assam): 644 militants from 8 outfits on Thursday laid down their arms in Guwahati, Assam before Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal and senior officials.

Among those who surrendered include 50 terrorists from ULFA (Independence), 8 of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), 178 from Adivashi Dragon Fighter (ADF).

The terrorists have deposited 177 arms, huge ammunition and other explosive materials.

Welcoming the militants to the mainstream, Chief Minister Sonowal appealed them to contribute in the nation-building process. He said that laying down of arms would further boost the peace process in the state.


Terming it as one of the largest instances of the terrorist surrender in Assam, Director General of Police (DGP) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said January 23 would henceforth be marked as a special day.

Mahanta said this will impact the peace process favourably. He hoped that more boys in different extremist groups would come forward to join this peace process.

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CHANGE ON THE GROUND

IRCTC To Pay Compensation Of Rs 100 Each To 630 Passengers Of Tejas Express

The Tejas Express and a few other suburban and outstation trains were held up due to a technical problem on the outskirts of Mumbai.

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MUMBAI (Maharashtra): Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has said that it will pay a compensation of 100 rupees each to around 630 passengers of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express because of a delay.

The Express, the second IRCTC-run train which commenced commercial operations from January 19, was delayed for over an hour on Wednesday afternoon as it was entering Mumbai. The train reached the Mumbai Central station around 1 hour and 30 minutes late.

The IRCTC spokesperson said the passengers will have to apply as per the refund policy. They will be given a refund after verification.


According to railway officials, the premium train departed from Ahmedabad at 6.42 am, two minutes late. But it arrived at Mumbai Central at 2.36 pm instead of the scheduled time of 1.10 pm.

The Tejas Express and a few other suburban and outstation trains were held up due to a technical problem on the outskirts of Mumbai.

The IRCTC spokesperson said that as the train was delayed, around 630 passengers who travelled up to Mumbai Central will be given compensation.



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AGENTS OF CHANGE

‘Orange Cafe’ By Acid Attack Survivors To Open In Varanasi On January 29

After the Sheroes Hangout Cafe in Lucknow and Agra, acid attack survivors in Varanasi will soon have a cafe that will be run by them.

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BANARAS/KASHI (Uttar Pradesh): After the Sheroes Hangout Cafe in Lucknow and Agra, a new cafe, owned and managed by acid attack survivors, is set to be inaugurated in Banaras/Kashi on Basant Panchami (January 29)—a day which marks the advent of spring in north India.

The cafe is named The Orange — with reference to UNESCO’s ‘Orange the World’ Campaign which sets aside 16 days starting from November 25 every year to galvanise action against all forms of violence against women.

The man behind the project is Ajay Kumar Patel, who started the ‘Red Brigade’ in 2011 which is an NGO that trains women in self-defence.


Patel said: “We are starting The Orange Cafe from a rented place but we soon plan to get ownership of the place. Our aim is to make sure that the acid attack survivors own the café and run it themselves.”

‘The Orange’ was initially planned to be situated at the iconic and divine Assi Ghat—one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations—but the property rates there proved to be too prohibitive. Eventually, the selected sited is now at Varanasi’s Durga Kund area in a 600 square feet space.

Patel has been travelling through the state since the past two years to connect with acid attack survivors in various districts.



He short-listed four survivors, who were willing to shift to Varanasi and take on the responsibility of running the cafe.

So far, Patel has short-listed 4 candidates to run the café, namely, Rekha Devi (35) (acid attack during a loot attempt in 2015) from Jaunpur, Somvati (18) (acid attack following a village dispute in 2015) from Bareilly, Vimla Passi (39) (acid attack followeing rape in 2008) from Rae Bareli and Badam Devi (35) (acid attack over a property dispute in 2012) from Varanasi.

We are now training these women to cook food, serve the customers and undertake the billing. We do not want them to depend on others for these tasks. For the first four months, we will pay them a token amount but they will later share the profit among themselves,” said Patel.

Somvati from Bareilly, who is hopeful of a better life in this new venture, adds, “I want to ensure good education for my 10-year-old son and the cafe will help me fulfil my dream’’.

Somvati was attacked with acid by her neighbour three years ago when she spurned his advances.

The decor, with hints of orange and red to mark the struggles of women, has been conceptualised by the Visual Arts Department of the Banares Hindu University. “We wanted everything to be hand-painted, but time constraints have made us use flex as well”, said Patel.


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