Thursday, November 28, 2013

City cops get their hands on SpeakAsia scam promoter




Day After Pal’s Arrest, His Confidant Is Picked Up

 

Mateen Hafeez TNN

    Delhi police made another arrest in the SpeakAsia fraud case on Wednesday even as the firm’s promoter, Ram Sumiran Pal, held on Tuesday, was cleared to be brought to Mumbai.   The economic offences wing of Mumbai police executed the transfer remand of Ram Sumiran Pal, who had been hiding in Dehra Dun, in a New Delhi court on Wednesday and will be producing him in a local court on Friday. 

    “Pal is the first accused arrested who actually engineered the fraud. He is the master planner of the ponzi scheme which left over 24 lakh investors poorer by over Rs 2,276 crore,” said a police officer.

    Working on leads provided by Pal, the Delhi police crime branch arrested Satish Pal on Wednesday. “Satish, a confidant of prime accused Pal, was staying in Najafgarh. His active role was confirmed by Mumbai police, who have obtained his transfer warrant to Mumbai,” said Ravindra Yadav, addl. CP, crime. 

    Satish Pal, 36, a commerce graduate, remained an active associate of Ram Sumiran and his absconding brother Ram Niwas, two of the brains behind SpeakAsia, and played a major role in the scam.   He told the cops he came into contact with the Pals
when he shifted to Mumbai in 2007 and joined their company, Seven Rings. In 2011, when the scam was wrapped up, he escaped.
 
    He went to Malaysia and made himself and his family comfortable there with his share of the scam money. Next year, when Ram Sumiran went to Malaysia to evade arrest, he stayed with Satish for over a month. In 2013, Satish sneaked back into India when he learned that Mumbai police had contacted Interpol.
 
    Police in Mumbai said Ram Sumiran, 37, was working as manager with an international bank when he quit and started GrowRich Associates, a scheme in which he promised high returns to investors. His brother Ram Niwas had also started a similar firm.
 
    When they wanted to expand, they joined Manoj Kumar Sharma, who was running Tulsiyat Tech. “Ram Niwas is the designer of the SpeakAsia fraud while Ram Sumiran would look after finance. After they made some money, Ram Niwas wanted to transfer it outside India. They then collaborated with Harendar Kaur’s Singapore-based automobile firm. They gave it a new name, Haren Venture, and transferred money using it as a platform,” a police source said. She was made SpeakAsia’s global chief. Sharma, Ram Niwas and Kaur are wanted by police.
 
    The scamsters are also accused of laundering about Rs 701 crore. “The Pal brothers are originally from Kanpur and stayed in Mira Road. We want to find out about their investments in Malaysia and about the Rs 700 crore. Their office in Eden Garden building at Mira Road has been sealed,” the source said. The police have also sealed over a hundred properties belonging to SpeakAsia office-bearers in Mumbai that are worth over Rs 105 crore.
 
    Till date, 17 persons have been arrested in the scam. The police have frozen 215 bank accounts with over Rs 141 crore. The Bombay high court has asked the police to file a chargesheet on or before December 16.
 
    (With inputs from Delhi) 

 THE TOP FIVE IN FRAUD FIRM

 Manoj Kumar Sharma, the India CEO of SpeakAsia 
Role: He planned, designed and engineered the scam. Has fled the country, lookout notice out against him 
 
Ram Niwas Pal, promoter  
Role: He brought the finances to start SpeakAsia. Suspected to be into ponzi schemes since 2003. Wanted 

Ram Sumiran Pal, promoter 
Role: Ex-manager of an international bank. Joined hands with his brother and Sharma’s Tulsiyat Tech to start SpeakAsia. Arrested
 
Rajeev Mehrotra, technical head of SpeakAsia 
Role: Handled the website. Arrested, out on bail
 
Harendar Kaur, global head of SpeakAsia online 
Role: Singapore-based businesswoman who allegedly helped transfer money from India to abroad through her own firm. Wanted





The Times of India, November 28, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

EOW struggles with frauds worth 12K cr



 

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: A manpower shortage in the city’s Economic Offences Wing has led to slow disposal of hundreds of cases, involving nearly Rs 12,394 crore.
 
    Records with TOI show that from January 1, 2010, to October 2013, the EOW has registered 449 cases, the biggest involving SpeakAsia and the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL).
 
    Most officers are burdened with more than 10 cases each. An officer said, “In each case, we have to record the statements of hundreds of people (especially in the case of ponzi/‘double your money’ schemes), make seizures, conduct raids and send evidence for forensic audit and analyses. Staff shortage delays investigations.” The fraud amount in the NSEL case alone stands at Rs 5,600 crore, while in the case of SpeakAsia, the police estimate it to be more than Rs 2,276 crore.
 
    Since its inception in 1994, the EOW has registered more than 2,000 cases. But it has only 76 police officers and 174 constables in its 11 units. “Our priority is to help people by disposing of cases so that the culprits can be punished,” an officer said. 
 

SHORT-STAFFED

Economic Offences Wing, with just 76 officers, probing cases involving over 12,000 crore
Most officers burdened with about 10 cases each
They say most cases are long-winding, involving hundreds of people and lack of staff is delaying investigations
 

EOW units work overtime as court proposal pending

Mumbai: Lamenting the shortage of staff and the battle to dispose of mounting cases in the city Economic Offences Wing, an officer said, “But most often, victims do not come on board and charges are not framed. In 2012, the city police chief had sent a proposal to the state law & judiciary department recommending the setting up of a special court to try EOW cases. But the proposal is still pending.” Last month, a reminder was sent about the recommendation.
    Another officer said, “Nowadays, many people have become greedy and fall prey to ponzi schemes. They want their money to double overnight and hence invest randomly. We have found victims who have invested in three to four ‘double your money’ schemes.” Such victims, he said, feel that if they lose money in one scheme, they will recover it from another.
    SpeakAsia has more than 24 lakh investors or panelists, but one investigating officer is struggling to file the chargesheet against more than one-anda-half dozen accused. In fact, many EOW units are working overtime. In the case of NSEL, the EOW had to take help from the detection crime branch to raid more than 185 places at a time last month. The team was to raid, videograph and record statements of the accused and seal premises.

 

HOW PONZI SCHEMES WORK

    Afraudulent company floats a scheme. People invest. The money collected is used to reimburse initial investors. As people start getting money, more invest. As money is collected from new investors, commission is paid from their kitty to those who joined earlier. Older investors start showing cheques they received to new and prospective investors, boosting confidence in the scheme. Investors start getting friends and relatives into the scheme. The founders shut shop and flee once a huge amount is collected.
 

UNDER PROBE FOR FRAUD

Ravindra & Vasuda Deshmukh | Aryarup Travel and Club Resort | Promised investors 86% returns a year and commission if they roped in others 

Sandeep Shukla | Aurum Realty, Yes Cube Infrastructure, Bristal Builders & Developers | Promised investors 75-100% returns a year

 
Masood Ahmed | City Limousine | Promised 50% returns a year
 
MMM India | Duped more than 70,000 people of nearly Rs 2,000 crore
 
SpeakAsia | Duped investors to the tune of Rs 2,276 crore



The Times of India, November 25, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gate breached but residents win a breather


AFTER TEARS, SC BRINGS CAMPA CHEER: Wednesday morning’s pitched battles with police and civic officials (left) made way for celebrations by afternoon (above) after the Supreme Court stayed the demolition of illegal flats in Campa Cola till May next year



SC Order Brings Two-Day Demolition Drive To A Dramatic End, Court To Hear AG’s Alternative Accommodation Proposal

Linah Baliga | TNN


    Emotions bubbled over on Wednesday after the Supreme Court stayed the demolition of 96 illegal flats across seven buildings in the controversial Campa Cola society in Worli until May 31, 2014. The announcement came minutes after civic bulldozers brought down a gate of the society and changed the mood of residents from despair to relief within the span of an hour. 

    When demolition squads reached the spot at 9.30am on Wednesday, residents used Tuesday’s strategy of blocking the gate with cars and forming human chains as they prepared to battle the authorities. Around 10.30am, a bulldozer was moved over the front gate of BY Apartment and police managed to enter with BMC officials. They instructed residents to move their cars and a brief lathi charge ensued as members resisted. Residents complained some people, including women, were injured in the melee. They said the society’s core committee members were called by the BMC to discuss the agenda for the day. “Couldn’t the cops have waited for 15 minutes for our people to return? We were willing to co-operate. How did male cops touch women?” said Sunanda Varma, a resident of Midtown.
 
    However, DCP (zone 3) Vinayak Deshmukh said, “We have registered a case against 30-40 residents of Campa Cola for obstructing policemen who were performing their duty. We went to the compound in the morning and were trying to clear the space for implementation of the SC order. It was after they tried to create obstacles that we were compelled to use force.”
 
    Residents living on the sanctioned floors planned to file a complaint against the BMC for breaking down their gate and said they would approach human rights’ bodies against the cops. Shiv Sena member Rahul Narwekar advised them to do so, saying the gate also protected the private property of lawful residents.
 
    Just then at 11.40am, core committee member Ajay Mehta learnt that in New Delhi, Fali Nariman, Supreme Court senior counsel had suo moto moved the apex court headed by Justice G S Singhvi. The news of the SC granting suspension of the BMC demolition of the 96 flats till May 31, 2014, was received with a mix of tears and cheers. Slum dwellers from the neighbourhood arrived with drums and residents waved the tricolour and burst firecrackers.
 
    “This is half the battle won. It’s not over till it is really over. But this moment calls for champagne,” said a resident. A slum dweller who joined the celebrations said, “A house is a house, be it a hut or a posh flat. It is built with hard-earned money.”
 
    Before the order arrived, the BMC had disconnected the electricity of a sixth floor flat in BY Apartments besides allegedly dismantling the door of an apartment and disconnecting water supply.
 
    “The SC order was not expected at all. We were also surprised. No hearing was scheduled for 
today. Electricity was disconnected for 22 flats in BY Apartments, a gas and water connection was also removed,” said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner. This is the second time demolition plans for Campa Cola were abandoned. Earlier on May 2, the SC had ordered a stay of five months.
    (With inputs from Mateen Hafeez)

 
The Times of India, November 14, 2013

Cops summon another defaulter in NSEL scam


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The city economic offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police on Wednesday summoned Balbir Singh Uppal, the director of Loil Overseas Foods, Loil Continental Food and Loil Health Foods, in connection with the Rs 5,600-crore NSEL scam. The three companies together defaulted over Rs 703 crore to NSEL. 

    According to details earlier published by NSEL, initially Loil Continental Foods had an outstanding of Rs 335 crore, Loil Health Foods Rs 289 crore and Loil Overseas Foods Rs 84.5 crore. Part of this was paid off by the three companies during the initial months.

 
    Rajvardhan Sinha, additional commissioner of police (EOW), said that they summoned Jagmohan Garg, director of Mohan India, too, for questioning. “Till date, we have identified 166 properties belonging to different defaulters. Of these properties, we have attached 102 properties and are busy in other properties. The EOW has frozen various bank accounts and sealed properties collectively worth Rs 145.57 crore,” Sinha said. Among the attached properties, 12 belong to N K Proteins and are located in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Delhi.
 
    “We will be making some arrests in the case soon and don’t want to disclose the findings of our probe. We are collecting evidence against the accused and will be attaching some more properties in the days to come,” Sinha said. The police have so far arrested five persons in this case.
 
    Jignesh Shah, chairman of the FTIL group, the promoters of NSEL, will again be summoned for questioning, said a police source.
 
    “While we had issued summons to 74 people, more than 70 have turned up till date. Some of them did not come for questioning citing health reasons. We are not in a hurry. We are in the process of recording and corroborating statements,” said a police officer. 
 
The Times of India, November 14, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Producer sent to police custody

NSEL SCAM

Mateen Hafeez & Partha Sinha TNN

Mumbai: Arun Kumar Sharma, co-producer of Bollywood movie “Satya 2” who was arrested in connection with the NSEL scam, was on Tuesday produced before the Esplanade court and remanded to police custody till November 16. Sharma is the fifth person to be arrested in the Rs 5,600-crore NSEL scam. Others arrested so far include Amit Mukherjee, Anjani Kumar Sinha, Jai Bhaukhandi and Nilesh Patel. 

    To recover investors’ money that has not been repaid by some of the borrowers from NSEL, the city police’s eco
nomic offences wing (EOW) has attached movable and immovable properties belonging to several accused who have been arrested in this case. These properties are currently worth over Rs 13.7 crore.
 
    “Sharma’s office has not been sealed yet. We are making inquiries and his Worli office, which was purchased for Rs 38 crore, will be sealed first,” said Rajvardhan Sinha, additional police commissioner, EOW. “We are currently focusing on Mohan India and its transactions,” he added.
 
    The police have so far sealed Mukherjee’s 2BHK flat at Ivory Heights in Mira Road (worth Rs 70 lakh), a 3BHK apartment in Royal Samarpan in Borivili (worth Rs 4 crore), a Range Rover (worth Rs 60 lakh) given by Mohan India, besides freezing five bank accounts. The EOW said it has frozen one of Bhaukhandi’s bank accounts, sealed a 1BHK flat in Thane’s Paanchpakhadi (Rs 60 lakh) and a car (Rs 17 lakh), which was given by Mohan India. The police have also sealed Anjani Sinha’s 2,200 sq ft flat at Odyssey II in Hiranandani (Rs 4.5 crore), a 1BHK flat in Nerul (Rs 40 lakh) and an 1,800 sq ft flat in Panchavti Apartment (Rs 1 crore). His five bank accounts have also been frozen. 
 
The Times of India, November 13, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NSEL scam: Cops arrest producer of ‘Satya 2’

Arun Kumar Sharma who directed movie Satya 2



Mateen Hafeez & Partha Sinha TNN

Mumbai: The city police’s economic offences wing (EOW), which is probing the Rs 5,600-crore National Spot Exchange (NSEL) scam, on Monday arrested Arun Kumar Sharma for defaulting on the repayment of Rs 159 crore he had borrowed earlier. Sharma is the producer of the recently released Bollywood movie “Satya 2” and also a director of Lotus Refineries, one of the biggest borrowers from the spot exchange. 

    Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime), said, “We have arrested Sharma for his involvement in the NSEL case. We have found some fake receipts with him.” Rajvardhan Sinha, additional commissioner of EOW, said, “He was called for questioning and later we arrested him once his role was established in the case. He had borrowed Rs 159 crore from NSEL, which is outstanding. His books of accounts suggest that they splurged the money on real
estate, decorating their office, etc.”
 
    Sharma invested money to produce “Satya 2” and “Dehradun Diary”. He invested up to Rs 15 crore in “Satya 2”. Talking about Sharma’s role, Sinha added, “The intention was to splurge money in non-productive areas and not to return the money.”
 
    Sinha said Sharma purchased an office in Worli for Rs 38 crore. He is said to have spent Rs 1 crore on furniture and Rs 10 lakh on furnishing it. “He created books of accounts showing all payments were made in advance for the goods he would receive. However, he could not produce the relevant papers to show the transactions and the deals,” added Sinha.
 
    Sharma’s company is one of the biggest borrowers in the NSEL scam with an outstanding aggregating to about Rs 252 crore when the scam broke. Interestingly, soon after NSEL had declared Lotus Refineries a defaulter, on September 30 Sharma had moved Bombay high court with a counter claim of Rs 2,773 crore from NSEL. In its suit, Lotus Refineries had alleged the NSEL officials had fudged bank statements relating to funds transfer through the RTGS mode, aggregating to Rs 1,704 crore.
 
    During the day, EOW also froze the immovable properties of three ex-employees of NSEL — Anjani Kumar Sinha, Amit Mukherjee and Jai Bahukhandi. The day also witnessed Joseph Massey and Shrikant Javalgekar, both top officials in the Financial Technologies (FTIL) group, being questioned by the police about their roles in the NSEL scam.


The Times of India, November 12, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blasts accused turns to textbooks in jail

STUDY TIME


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Ehtesham Siddiqui, arrested for allegedly planting a bomb in the first-class compartment of a local train in 2006, has taken to studying.
 
    Lodged at the Arthur Road jail, he has completed a threeyear degree course in tourism and certificate courses in Urdu and Arabic languages and human rights, said Shahid
Nadeem, a lawyer attached to the Jamiat-ul-Ulema, which is providing legal assistance to bomb blast accused. 

    Siddiqui, facing trial under the stringent Mahrashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), is also doing several distance courses, and the court has allowed him to attend Sunday classes at a suburban Mumbai college. He is escorted by a group of six policemen to the college every Sunday.
 
    Recently, he memorized the Quran in 10 months, Nadeem said.   “On his request, the Indra Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) started an exam centre in Arthur Road jail,” added Nadeem.
    Siddiqui was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad on charges of conspiracy, participating in bombmaking, transporting bombs and planting them. He has told the court he has been framed. 

    “Before arrest, he would sell books. He reads a lot. Siddiqui was earlier lodged in the anda (high-security) cell), but he has now been shifted to another barrack. He is also helping other inmates understand the law,” said Nadeem.
 
    Siddiqui had filed an application before the MCOCA court last year asking the court to instruct ATS to provide his call data records. He insisted that his mobile phone location would reveal that he was not present at the spot when the blast took place. The investigating agency told the court they had lost the records. Later, the court asked four mobile companies to provide the CDR of all suspects in this case, and the companies said they would charge Rs 33 lakh for providing data. After the court’s intervention, the CDR was provided. 
 
The Times of India, November 10, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

NSEL defaulters diverted funds abroad, say police

5,600CR SCAM


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The Mumbai police’s economic offences wing (EOW), which is probing the Rs 5,600-crore NSEL fraud case, has found that some defaulters had diverted money made from NSEL trading to buy companies abroad but the funds transfers were not always legal. For instance, Aastha Minmet, a sister concern of Juggernaut, invested about Rs 8.3 crore in a Singapore firm, Akshaj Ventures.
 
    “We have come across several defaulter firms that have invested money in buying companies abroad. We don’t want to share all the details of our probe at this stage. There are clear indications of hawala in some cases and we are in touch with the Enforcement Directorate (ED),” said Rajvardhan Sinha, additional commissioner of police, EOW. 

    Meanwhile, the EOW on Friday questioned B G Pawar, an accused in the NSEL scam, Mohit Aggarwal of Juggernaut, some directors of Kasturi and ARK Imports. “We are questioning them about the land, plants & machinery bought by
their companies and several other issues. We will be calling some other directors on Monday,” added Sinha.
 
    He said that the arrested accused and former NSEL office bearer Anjani Sinha had made more than Rs 70 crore. Anjani Sinha is said to have a large investment in real estate. “We have written to the RBI to find out why a huge amount of money went abroad and what was the reason given by the companies while transferring the funds,” said an officer.
 
    The investigating officers are also compiling the second list of properties that are to be attached. On Thursday and Friday, the EOW sent messages to collectors and tehsildars in various states to attach 25 properties belonging to the defaulters. The police are also planning to make the sixth arrest on Saturday in the NSEL fraud case. “We will pick up a suspect on Saturday,” police sources said.
 
    In a related development, the Saharanpur police on Friday took the custody of two accused, Amit Mukherjee and Anjani Sinha, and took them to Uttar Pradesh. 
 
The Times of India, November 9, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sexual abuse plaint against cop: Inquiry still pending

‘VICTIMS GETTING THREAT CALLS’


Mumbai: Assistant commissioner of police Milind Bhise, currently probing allegations made by two Kurla men against a police inspector about the latter sexually exploiting them, is yet to complete his inquiry. The probe ordered on October 23, was supposed to be completed within 10 days.
 
    On October 23, the two men, aged 24 and 25, approached Qauiser Khalid, additional commissioner of police, alleging that an inspector from Chunabhatti police station, had forced them to come to his cabin , where he allegedly dressed up like a woman and had unnatural sex with them. Khalid had instituted a probe into the matter.

    “When we resisted the
first time, he threatened to frame us in false cases,” one of the complainants had told Khalid. The additional commissioner told this correspondent that he had asked the ACP to speed up the inquiry and submit the report at the earliest. 

    Salim Qureishi, a social worker, who took the duo to Khalid told TOI cops had harassed him for taking action. “They are making threatening calls to the two men on their cell phones. One of the victims received a call from a constable who asked him to come and meet the senior police inspector. If this continues, the victims may themselves withdraw their complaints fearing police action against them,” said Qureishi. TOI’s attempts to contact Bhise have gone in vain. — Mateen Hafeez 

The Times of India, November 8, 2013

Cops attach NSEL defaulters’ assets

25 PROPERTIES

 

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The economic offences (EOW) wing of the Mumbai Police on Thursday issued orders to attach 25 properties of the defaulters in the Rs 5,600-crore National Spot Exchange (NSEL) fraud case. In a related development, the Saharanpur police filed a transit remand plea in the Esplande court seeking the custody of two accused, Amit Mukherjee and Anjani Sinha.
 
    Rajvardhan Sinha, additional commissioner of EOW, said that investigators have till date identified more than 105 properties belonging to the defaulters. “All the properties will be attached under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act (which empowers the police to attach immovable assets of the accused). In the first phase, we have issued the orders to attach 25 properties. Order copies have been sent through fax to the collectors concerned and t e h s ild a r s. In the next
phase, we will be sending orders to attach the remaining properties,” said Sinha, adding that the police was still busy identifying more properties. “We will inform the MPID Act court on Friday about our order,” he said.
 
    The purpose of attachment is to avoid the sale or purchase of such properties. ARK is among the companies mentioned in the first phase of attachment. “We have not valued the properties but we are confident of recovering the money of investors,” said Sinha. The immovable properties are in the form of land and buildings across the country.

    Market sources said the total value of these 105 properties account for about 70% of the total value of the amount to be paid by 24 borrowers.    The police have so far arrested Mukherjee, Jay Bhaukhundi, both former top officials of the now-defunct exchange, Anjani Sinha, former MD of NSEL, and Nilesh Patel, MD of N K Proteins, one of the largest borrowers (around Rs 970 crore). 
 
    Ateam comprising six policemen from Uttar Pradesh on Thursday approached the Esplanade court seeking the custody of Anjani Sinha and Mukherjee. The UP police told the court that they have also registered a case and wanted the custodial interrogation of the two. The suspects would be taken to a Saharanpur court where they will be formally arrested.
 
    Patel’s father in-law, Shankarlal Guru, former NSEL chairman, was summoned on Thursday for questioning but he didn’t turn up. He sent an email saying he was not keeping well and would appear before the police later. Guru had resigned from his post on August 19. 
 
The Times of India, November 8, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Two on bike killed at deadly freeway turn





Rider Lost Control And Hit Safety Wall


  Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: Two youngsters died on the Eastern Freeway in the early hours of Monday after their motorcycle crashed into the safety wall ahead of an electric pole on a curve near the southern end of the flyover. This is the third major accident on the 13.5km freeway; in all, five lives have been lost in the last three months.
 
    Monday’s accident occurred close to the Wadi Bunder turning point around 2am. The victims, Naresh Bhandary (19) and Pratik Salve (21) were from Govandi. “Bhandary was riding at high speed. The two had left their residence saying they were going to meet friends. Ahead of pole number 9, which lies on a curve, Bhandary lost control of his bike, which skid and crashed into the safety wall. The two fell on the road,” said subinspector Bharat Patil of the Dongri police station.
 
    Bhandary’s skull got smashed while Salve sustained severe head injuries. “A passerby saw them lying on the road, bleeding. He informed the police, who took the two to JJ Hospital. Doctors pronounced them brought dead,” Patil said.   The police have registered a case of negligent driving and death due to negligence under the Indian Penal Code and speeding under Motor Vehicles Act. 

    Senior police inspector Sandeep Dal said, “Bhandary quit studying after he failed class X. Salve was a class IX dropout.” Their bike has been sent to the RTO for examination. Deepak, Salve’s uncle, who claimed the body, said he would often leave at night but would return home safely. The police are not sure if the rider was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. “We are waiting for medical reports,” an officer said. 

    In the first and third weeks of October, two accidents occurred in similar circumstances on the same curve: in the first week, a motorcyclist died after hitting the safety wall beyond poll number 9 around 3am; on October 20, a speeding motorcycle hit the same safety wall around 3.30am—three were on the bike, of whom one pillion rider was flung in the air, fell on the road below and died, while another man, along with the rider, fell on the flyover (the rider died and the pillion rider suffered serious injuries).



The Times of India, November 6, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Teen dies under bus, mob attacks Ghatkopar hosp

The area (top) where Raj Devendra (inset) fell off a bus and was crushed. A ransacked site (above) inside Rajawadi Hospital, Ghatkopar

 


Sumitra Deb Roy & Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: A mob of 20 allegedly ransacked the civic-run Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar and assaulted the doctor on duty on Sunday noon after an accident victim was declared dead on arrival.
  
  Raj S Devendra (17) allegedly fell off a running bus near Garodia Nagar, Ghatkopar (East), and came under the wheels. Fellow passengers and friends who brought him to the hospital around 3.30pm said he had serious head injuries.

    Devendra was taken to the casualty ward where doctors found that his heart had stopped beating. “His head injury was serious, and that was probably why he died on the spot. But as per protocol, the doctor ran an ECG test to confirm the clinical finding. When casualty medical officer Dr Kashinath Jadhav broke the news to the boy’s relatives and friends, they got upset and attacked the doctor,” said senior medical officer Dr Anil Chopde.
 
    Jadhav was hit with the blood pressure measuring machine, said Chopde. “There was swelling on his forehead. The BP machine broke because of the impact. The assault marks are clear. He sustained injuries on the shoulder. He was treated but did not require admission. The incident has naturally left him traumatized.” The casualty room’s security glass door was vandalized.
 
    One of Devendra’s friends complained that the doctors did not show any urgency when he was brought to the hospital. “We had to run around for a stretcher and go looking for the emergency room. Every second is precious for an accident victim,” the friend said. He said he was not aware of what triggered the fight.
 
    The Tilak Nagar police said they would book those responsible for the violence. Hospital authorities said they have submitted CCTV footage to the police to aid their investigation.

THE LAW

March 2009 ordinance | Anyone indulging in violence against medicare service personnel and damaging or causing loss to the property of a medicare service institution will be punished with imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of Rs 50,000. The offender may also have to pay twice the damage caused as compensation
 

PAST ATTACKS ON HOSPITAL STAFF

Sept 14, 2013 | 40 people attack Shivneri Hospital, Ulhasnagar, following a patient’s death after being injected with anaesthesia. They rip off the anaesthesiologist’s clothes and assault the surgeon
 
July 20 | Relatives of a Mumbra-based historysheeter, Ahmed Shaikh, ransack Thane Civil Hospital and assault doctors and staff because an intern did not communicate the news of his death immediately
 
June 17, 2012 | St George Hospital’s ICU is ransacked by relatives of a deceased patient, alleging indifference by doctors
 
Feb 8 | A 51-year-old man, admitted to KEM Hospital for intracranial bleeding, dies. On hearing the news, his wife slaps a nurse


The Times of India, November 4, 2013

‘Usmani planned to smuggle drugs along India-Nepal border’

REVEALED DURING INTERROGATIONS


Mateen Hafeez TNN


Mumbai: Indian Mujahideen’s suspected operative, Afzal Usmani (37), who was caught last week on the Indo-Nepal border, told interrogators that he wanted to get into the drug dealing business from Nepal. Usmani, who had fled from a sessions court in Mumbai on September 20, was caught by the state ATS on October 27 while he was trying to flee into Nepal. 

    The accused is alleged to have participated in over a doz
en bomb blast cases. “Usmani told us he had planned to steal cars and sell them in Nepal. He also said that he knew of some drug peddlers and wanted to smuggle narcotics between Indian and Nepalese drug traders since it is a profit-making business,” said a police source. 

    The investigators said Usmani told them that he had already planned on creating secret compartments within the
doors of a car to store the narcotics, and intended to peddle at least four to five kg drugs to generate a likely profit of over Rs 5 lakh per trip,” an officer said. Usmani was first caught in 2008 for his alleged role in stealing cars that were used for the Gujarat bomb blasts.
 
    “When Usmani planned his escape to Nepal , he might have been in touch with drug lords. We are now questioning him about their whereabouts as drug money is generally used to finance terror operations,” the source added. 
 
The Times of India, November 4,2013

Saturday, November 2, 2013

‘Provide MBBS, engg seats for minorities’

Mateen Hafeez & Hemali Chhapia TNN


Mumbai: In an endeavour aimed at faster educational progress, the minorities ministry wants at least 420 additional seats for MBBS and 720 seats for engineering colleges in the state. Andhra Pradesh is the only state to have set aside 4% seats in its medical, dental and engineering colleges for minority students.
 
    In the state, the ministry conducted a meeting with directors of medical and technical education and instructed them to send proposals to Medical Council of India (MCI) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). This followed last month’s sanction of Rs 190 crore from the Central government and the state ministry for minorities’ development and education. 

    “Besides additional seats in medical and engineering colleges in the state, we also want to start a second shift (in existing colleges) for minority students in various engineering colleges. We are trying to get it sanctioned soon and want it to start from the 2014 academic year,” said Arif Naseem Khan, minorities
development minister. 

    Khan conducted a meeting on Wednesday in Mantralaya with secretary and joint secretaries of minorities’ affairs, officials of higher and technical education, medical education and the principal of J J School of Architecture. Such meetings
were conducted a few months ago and proposals were sent to MCI and AICTE but the concerned departments had some queries. “This time we are sending the proposal with all the queries answered and hope to get a positive reply,” added Khan. S Mahajan, chairman of Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), said the minorities minister stressed on the need for access to quality education. “We plan to write to the AICTE and request additional seats for minority students who qualify in the entrance test,” said Mahajan. A letter will be dispatched to MCI, too. 

    A similar effort was made last year when the minister had first proposed the idea of reserving seats. “Last year, the DTE had written to the AICTE seeking permission to run a second shift and the plan was to accommodate minority students in the evening shift. However, permission did not come from Delhi,” added Mahajan. The DTE will now ask for extra seats in the morning college itself.
 
    AICTE chairman S S Mantha said the count of minorities and women in professional education has risen over time. “We want 40 seats each in pharmacy colleges in Aurangabad, Karad and Amravati districts for minorities. We also insisted minority students be given at least 13 seats. All expenses will be borne by the ministry,” said Khan. The ministry has already started the second shift in 12 polytechnic and 44 ITI institutions for minorities in many districts. “We are getting a good response.” 
 
 
The Times of India, November 2, 2013