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Marketing Team Head
Man found guilty of killing British
schoolgirl in Goa
A high court in Goa has convicted
one of the two men charged with the
rape and killing of 15-year-old British
teenager Scarlett Keeling in 2008.
The court found Samson D’Souza
guilty of “culpable homicide not
amounting to murder”. It upheld the
acquittal of Placido Carvalho.
A lower court had acquitted both
men in 2016 after a prolonged trial,
but the Central Bureau of
Investigation appealed against the
verdict. D’Souza will be sentenced
today and faces the possibility of
spending decades in prison.
Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown
said it has been “an absolute
nightmare for 11 years”.
Is Bihar Governor a puppet, asks
civil service exam paper
A question in a paper of the main
examination of the Bihar Public
Service Commission (BPSC) has
sparked a controversy, after it sought
to know from the civil service
aspirants if the state Governor was
“merely a puppet”.
The second question in the first part
of the General Studies Paper II, held
last Sunday, asked candidates to
“critically examine the role of the
Governor in state politics, particularly
in the context of Bihar. Is he merely a
Examination controller Amarendra
Kumar said BPSC members or its
senior officials had no idea about the
contents of the paper, but said those
who set the questions would be asked
Vistara flight makes emergency
landing with little fuel left
A Vistara flight from Mumbai to Delhi
with 163 people on board made an
emergency landing in Lucknow on
Monday after it had only a few
minutes of fuel left.
The plane hovered over Delhi for
hours due to poor weather
conditions before it was diverted to
Lucknow by air traffic controllers.
The pilot, who issued a “Mayday”
call, has been grounded by the
Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
The authorities are ascertaining the
facts of the incident.
India establishes first dolphin
The foundation stone of India’s first
dolphin research centre will be laid in
Patna, Bihar, on Oct 5, after an
Mr D.K. Shukla, a senior officer
from Bihar’s Department of
Environment, Forest and Climate
Change, said the setting up of the
National Dolphin Research Centre is
good news for the conservation of the
endangered Gangetic river dolphins.
It will also help in research to save
the endangered mammal.
Bill introduced to end commercial
The Central government is planning to
ban commercial surrogacy in India to
protect the exploitation of women
with the introduction of the Surrogacy
(Regulation) Bill on Monday.
The legislation allows surrogacy
only for married couples who have
been childless for five years and only
close relatives will be permitted to act
as surrogates to infertile couples for
“ethical altruistic” reasons.
The ban closes the door for those
unmarried or divorced to become
parents. Experts felt that those who
can afford will look to the countries
where renting a womb is allowed.
India to make new bid to launch
India will make a new bid to launch a
landmark mission to the moon next
Monday, a week after aborting lift-off
at the last minute because of a fuel
leak, an official from the Indian Space
Research Organisation said.
The launch at the Satish Dhawan
Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra
Pradesh, was halted with only 56
minutes and 24 seconds left.
India is aiming to become just the
fourth nation after Russia, the United
States and China to land a spacecraft
on the moon.
Andhra Pradesh gets first
Five years after Telengana was
bifurcated from it, Andhra Pradesh got
its first full-time governor with the
appointment of Biswa Bhusan
Harichandran on Tuesday. But the
state government is scouting for a
suitable place for his official residence.
Mr Harichandran succeeds
Mr E.S.L. Narasimhan, who was
serving as the governor for a decade.
After Telangana was carved out of
Andhra Pradesh in 2014,
Mr Narasimhan was given charge of
both states. He functioned from the
Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad.
Museum on Indian prime ministers
to come up next year
The Central Public Works Department
plans to complete the establishment of
a new Museum on Prime Ministers of
India in the Teen Murti Bhavan
complex in Delhi by March next year.
An official said the construction of
the museum is underway and the cost
would amount to Rs66 crores.
The iconic Teen Murti Bhavan was
the official residence of Jawaharlal
Nehru, the country’s first prime
Unique scheme feeds poor,
manages waste, builds roads
India’s first garbage cafe has been
launched in Ambikapur,
Under this scheme, the
municipal corporation will provide
food to the poor and homeless
when they collect and donate
Those who fetch 1kg of plastic
waste will be offered a full meal,
while those collecting 500gm will
get a substantial breakfast.
Ambikapur plans to use the
plastic for the construction of roads.
The first such road has been built
in the city by mixing 800,000
plastic bags with plastic granules
Rag-pickers look for recyclable objects in heaps of garbage.
P. Rajagopal surrendering at the Madras High Court.
An Indian restaurant tycoon, known
as the “Thosai King”, died in hospital
yesterday, a week after beginning a
life sentence for the murder of a love
P. Rajagopal, 71, was convicted for
the murder of his love interest’s hus-
band in 2004, but only went to jail
this month when the Supreme Court
rejected his final appeal.
Rajagopal, who turned his Saravana
Bhavan restaurant into a global chain,
died at Chennai’s Vijaya hospital
where he was taken to on Tuesday
with heart problems.
“We failed to revive him and he
passed away this morning due to
cardiac failure,” a hospital official said.
Before beginning his sentence, Ra-
jagopal had pleaded to be allowed to
remain free because of his ill-health.
When he gave himself up on July 9,
he arrived at the Madras High Court
(MHC) in an ambulance with an
oxygen mask strapped to his face.
The MHC on Tuesday allowed Ra-
jagopal to seek treatment at a private
hospital for a range of health issues. A
division bench gave the order on a
petition filed by Rajagopal’s son
R. Saravanan, reported the Hindustan
Hours after Rajagopal surrendered
on July 9, he was admitted to the
prisoner’s ward of Stanley Govern-
ment Medical College Hospital.
According to doctors who were
treating Rajagopal, his health began
deteriorating last Saturday.
“Since Rajagopal has diabetes, hy-
pertension and kidney-related issues,
he is critical now. As his kidneys are
failing, he is admitted into the Inten-
sive Care Unit and is on ventilator
support,” Dr P. Ramesh, Resident
Medical Officer at the Stanley hospi-
tal, had said on Monday.
Mr Saravanan in his petition to the
High Court said that he was not in a
position to attend to his ailing father.
“While our father was taking pre-
scribed drugs for his age-related ail-
ments, the nature of drugs and treat-
ment were changed at Stanley Govern-
ment Hospital,” said Mr Saravanan.
“So, his health has started deterio-
rating since Saturday. He suffered a
cardiac arrest on Saturday.”
He also said that the Stanley hospi-
tal lacks medical facilities which are
essential for his father’s treatment.
“Some of the tests suggested by
doctors are unavailable at Stanley
hospital. In order to improve his
health, we want to treat our father in
a private hospital where he has been
treated in the past.”
Mr Saravanan also said that keep-
ing his father in Stanley hospital was a
violation of rights under Article 21 of
The murder for which Rajagopal
was convicted dates back to 2001.
He wanted to marry his employee
Prince Santhakumar’s wife Jeevajyothi
who would have been his third wife.
However, Ms Jeevajyothi rejected
the restaurant owner’s advances. Ra-
jagopal then ordered Santhakumar’s
A Sessions Court found Rajagopal
guilty and sentenced him to 10 years
jail in 2004.
When Rajagopal appealed against
the judgment, the High Court changed
it to a life-term conviction in 2009.
Though Rajagopal sought relief
from the Supreme Court, it upheld the
High Court order in March.
While he was scheduled to surren-
der on July 7, Rajagopal petitioned
the Supreme Court to give him more
time. However, the court rejected his
plea and directed him to surrender
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‘Thosai King’ dies in hospital
Constable Meena Ghodke may be in
the bottom rank of her local police
force, but it is the highest anyone has
climbed in her village – man or
woman – and she could not be
Not for Ms Ghodke the usual
wrench from school to farm work,
early marriage and motherhood.
Part of a wave of young Indian
village women who want more from
life, the 26-year-old had plans.
“I didn’t want to work as farm
labour or marry. I spent half my school
days toiling in the farm, but the yield
was always poor. I never felt re-
warded,” she said at her home in
Beed, a town in the western Maharash-
tra state. “When I got selected, the
villagers felicitated me,” she said with
a smile as she carefully pinned on her
name tag, buckled her belt and tied
her hair in a tight bun before leaving
for the local police station.
Ms Ghodke has now worked four
years as a constable and is in Beed’s
anti-human trafficking unit. Beed lies
in the parched Marathwada region
where years of drought have ravaged
crops, forcing farmers to migrate and
fuelling a demand for brides to work
alongside their men so the family
“My elder sis-
ter got married
when she was in
(aged 14). There
were five other
girls with me in
school who, too,
dropped out to
get married and
work as farm
I didn’t want that
Ms Ghodke said. So when she spotted
a police recruitment ad in a local
paper, her escape plan hatched.
At the time, she was battling family
pressure to wed but pleaded with her
father to allow her to take the test,
then arrange a marriage if she failed.
Women make up a little over seven
per cent of the total police force in
India, mostly in the constabulary.
Maharashtra began setting aside
one in three police posts for women
more than two decades ago, and today
it employs nearly 20 per cent of the
overall 100,000 women constables
across India, showing the highest ratio
of any state. In Beed, more than 3,500
women have applied for the 100 or so
police jobs advertised from 2014 to
2018, police data reveals.
In a batch of 630 women constables
trained at a police training centre in
Maharashtra’s Solapur district, most
were from villages, officials said. Des-
peration drove them to do that.
“There is no water, no jobs there,”
said Ms Kavita Nerkar, who heads the
Solapur training centre. “You get a job
after 12th grade (aged 18) and you get
a police uniform. That is aspirational
for many. Their parents get better
respect in the villages. That matters a
lot. I see parents motivating them now
to join the force.”
Ms Nerkar’s counterpart at the all-
women police training centre in Khan-
dala, a hill town in Maharashtra, said
the “passion and pride” that comes
with a uniform drew girls to the force.
“When I go to villages, a lot of
young girls ask me about what they
should do to join the force,” said
Ms Smita Patil, a superintendent and
principal of the Khandala training
centre. I’s a big change from a life of
debt bondage on sugarcane farms,
where workers typically sign up for six
months’ labour, taking the money in
advance, then get trapped in repay-
ments and can end up exploited and
unable to break free.
This migration pattern has stoked
child marriage numbers as employers
prefer to hire couples for sugarcane
cutting, which requires two people to
work in sync – one cutting the crop,
the other tying up stalks – and also
offer better wages.
Couples earn up to Rs1 lakh
($1,980) for six months, so parents
marry off daughters to farmers seeking
a bride for labour, said Mr Prakash
Thakur, head of Dhekanmoha village.
Nearly half of local women in Beed
marry before 18, national family
health survey data shows, double the
national average. “But at Dhekanmoha
and the adjoining Jujgavan village, five
women have joined the
police in the last four
years. This is a first,” Mr
Jobs with the police
offer a starting salary of
Rs18,000 ($355) a month
and saves parents the cus-
tom of saving to pay a
groom’s family to take
their daughter in mar-
riage. “The system of
dowry is prevalent in
these parts, but parents
of women who joined the
police did not have to give any
money,” Mr Thakur said.
Dr Meeran Borwankar – who re-
tired from the elite Indian Police
Service (IPS) in 2017 – recalled a
recruitment drive for constables she
ran in 1996 as a local superintendent.
“Not a single girl qualified. They
were thin and weak,” she said.
Dr Borwankar then recounted a
more recent recruitment drive when
“girls came in dozens”. She added:
“They were physically fit, agile and
motivated... they were so overjoyed
when they became constables.”
To become a constable, applicants
must have finished 12th grade, un-
dergo a physical fitness test and sit for
a written test spanning general knowl-
edge, mathematics and science.
Ms Sindhu Ugale – who at 33 is a
police “naik”, a rank higher than
constable – said school helped prepare
her for the written test, but she had no
idea what the fitness test would entail.
Despite this, she ran 100 metres,
then 800 metres and managed a long
jump on the day. Failing was not an
option. “All those years of toiling in
the farmland, walking miles for water
and grazing cattle made me physically
fit,” said Ms Ugale, now a married
mother of two. “I gave it my best shot.
I was desperate for a job. I wanted to
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Police constable Meena Ghodke next to her son at her home in Beed.
“You get a job after
12th grade (aged 18)
and you get a police
uniform. That is
many. Their parents
get better respect in
– Ms Kavitha Nerkar who heads
the Solapur training centre
Parched fields yield rich crop of women cops
July 19, 2019
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