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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Delhi News Highlights: Water supply to be hit again in parts of Delhi; Hindu College professor Ratan Lal, arrested over social media post, gets bail

Delhi News Today Highlights: Ratan Lal's comments have potential to disturb public harmony, prosecutor told court; There was no intention or motive behind the post, Lal's counsel argued

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 23, 2022 7:30:36 am
Tourists drink water from taps at Rajghat, on a hot summer day in New Delhi. (PTI)

Delhi News Highlights: Water supply in Delhi is set to take a further hit with production being affected at the water treatment plants (WTPs) at Haiderpur and Bawana. The Delhi Jal Board said in a note issued on Saturday. The areas where supply is likely to be affected till the situation improves are North Delhi, Northwest Delhi, West Delhi, and parts of South Delhi.

A Delhi court Saturday granted bail to Delhi University professor Ratan Lal on furnishing a bond of Rs 50,000 and a surety of that amount. The Hindu College associate professor was arrested over his allegedly objectionable social media post regarding the claims of a Shivling being found in Gyanvapi mosque and was produced in court.

In other news, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Saturday said his government will set up model schools in the southern state on the lines of Delhi, and will soon send a team of officers for coordination. Rao, along with his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, visited a Delhi government school in the national capital where officials briefed the Telangana chief minister on the change in the education system in the city under the AAP government.

Live Blog

Delhi News Highlights: Overnight rains in parts of Delhi-NCR brings relief from scorching heat; IMD forecasts dust storm today; DU’s Hindu College professor arrested for post on ‘Shivling’; Follow live updates here.

22:25 (IST)22 May 2022
‘They never left home, were under financial strain’: Neighbours of 3 women found dead in Vasant Vihar

A day after 54-year-old Manju Devi and her two daughters, Ankita (30) and Anshika (26), were found dead at their Vasant Vihar residence, neighbours said the family hardly left their home following the death of Manju’s husband, Umesh Srivastava (55), due to Covid last year and were under financial strain.

The Delhi Police said it was a case of triple suicide as all the windows and doors were locked from inside, the glass panes were sealed with aluminium foil and tape, and an LPG cylinder was left open. Police also found four angithis in the room.

DCP (Southwest) Manoj C said Manju had been bed-ridden for years: “Prima facie… there is no foul play. We have recovered four suicide notes with multiple pages. The women haven’t blamed anyone. They were upset after Umesh’s death and were also in a financial crisis. We are investigating the matter as the notes will be examined and verified…,” he said. (Read More)

20:55 (IST)22 May 2022
Delhi gets unified MCD after a decade

The unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) formally came into existence on Sunday, with IAS officers Ashwani Kumar and Gyanesh Bharti assuming charge as the new civic body's special officer and commissioner, respectively.

The MCD was trifurcated in 2012 during Congress leader Sheila Dikshit's tenure as the chief minister. It is now reunified by merging the three civic bodies - North, South and East municipal corporations.

With the special officer and the new commissioner taking charge, the exercise to reshuffle and reorganise the municipal staff will begin.

The erstwhile SDMC's Central Establishment Department will act as the nodal department for the transfer and posting of officials and staff for the unified MCD. (PTI)

20:54 (IST)22 May 2022
AAP's Amanatullah Khan demands apology from Delhi Police; sends legal notice

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Amanatullah Khan has sent a legal notice to the Delhi Police through his lawyer demanding an "unconditional public apology" for allegedly violating his and his family's "fundamental rights". Khan, an MLA from Okhla, was recently arrested during an anti-encroachment drive in Madanpur Khadar and had earlier been declared a "bad character" by the Delhi Police. He is currently out of jail on bail.

"Delhi Police is constantly targeting me. This time Delhi Police attacked my right to live with dignity besides defaming my family. Delhi Police is weaving imaginary stories about me without any evidence," Khan tweeted Sunday sharing the copy of the notice.

The legal notice sent to Delhi Police Commissioner on Saturday by Khan's lawyer demanded an "unconditional, written, public apology" to his wife and children allegedly for "brazen infraction" by the force of their fundamental rights.

The notice claimed that Khan, who is also the chairman of Delhi Waqf Board, was "peacefully" protesting against the anti-encroachment drive by South MCD in the interest of the local public on May 12. (PTI)

19:56 (IST)22 May 2022
Delhi govt plans to build 45-km-long ‘patrol passage’ alongside Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary

The Delhi government is planning to construct a 45-km-long peripheral road alongside the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary boundary, which will function as a patrol passage to boost security.

According to forest officials, they have faced several incidents of encroachment and trespassing on forest land. “The sanctuary is a very big and is surrounded by densely populated areas and villages such as Fatehpur Beri, Bhati Mines, Rajpur Khurd, Jaunapur, Chandan Hula, Asola Gaon among others. There are farmhouses and banquet halls in the vicinity as well. We have witnessed several incidents of encroachment and trespassing on forest land… anti-social elements also create problems at night. So, this corridor will help us in securing the area,” said a senior official from the forest department.

The sanctuary is situated in the South Delhi Ridge section of the Aravalli range on the Delhi-Haryana border. It is spread over an area of 6,784 acres and covers 32.71 sq km. (Read More)

17:46 (IST)22 May 2022
Noida: Over 600 fires in 4 months, but public participation in mock drills less than 10%

At least 600 incidents of fire have been reported in Gautam Buddh Nagar in just four months, but the public turnout for awareness campaigns and mock drills in residential societies across Noida and Greater Noida has been dismal, officials said.

The Fire Service department has held more than 100 campaigns in these regions to educate people about safety equipment and preventive measures, but the attendance has "not even been 10 per cent" of the total number of residents, they said.

Private security personnel, too, "do not know much about fire safety" in several societies, they lamented.

In 2022, 626 incidents of fire have been reported in Gautam Buddh Nagar from January till April end. There were 1,372 fire incidents in 2021, 1,246 in 2020, 1,729 in 2019 and 2,017 the preceding year, according to official data. (PTI)

17:01 (IST)22 May 2022
‘Too much deadly gas…’: Victims of triple suicide in Delhi’s Vasant Vihar left warning note, say police

An investigation into the alleged triple suicide case in Vasant Vihar has revealed that the 54-year-old woman and her daughters had been planning to end their lives for days, said the police. The police added that they found purported suicide notes and a “warning” sign on the wall of the house saying “GAS CHAMBER”. The note taped to the wall of the house alerted people of the presence of hazardous gas in the house and gave instructions to open the windows and switch on the fan, said the police.

On Saturday night, 54-year-old Manju Devi and her two daughters Anshika (26) and Ankita (30) died after inhaling toxic fumes from an angithi inside their home in Vasant Vihar.

Officers investigating the case said that incident looks like a “suicide pact” as the family had sealed their window panes with foil and tape. (Read More)

15:20 (IST)22 May 2022
Officials deny reports of Ministry ordering ASI to conduct excavations at Qutub Minar

After reports emerged that the Union Ministry of Culture has ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct excavations at the Qutub Minar in Delhi, officials at the Ministry said that no such directions have been issued.

After Culture Secretary Govind Mohan visited the monument on Saturday, it was reported that the ASI has been ordered to conduct excavations to ascertain whether Qutub was built by Qutubuddin Aibak or Chandragupta Vikramaditya.

The Ministry insists that it was a regular site visit by its officials and no such decision has been taken so far. However, officials at ASI were not available for a comment. (Read More)

11:29 (IST)22 May 2022
Delhi: Special officer visits Ghazipur landfill site, apprised of December 2024 deadline to clear it

On the first after being deputed as the special officer of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Ashwani Kumar visited the Ghazipur landfill siteand waste-to-energy Plant Saturday and was apprised of an action plan to clear the dumpsite by December 2024.

Kumar and chief secretary Naresh Kumar were apprised of steps taken to control incidents of fire, site monitoring mechanism, stepping up of bio-mining/bio-remediation of legacy waste from 4,000 MT presently to 9,000 MT per day by June end by replacing old low-capacity machines with high-capacity trommel machines. Read more. 

11:28 (IST)22 May 2022
Delhi Police request Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to submit ‘hacked’ devices after ‘when a big tree falls…’ tweet

The Delhi Police have requested Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to join a probe and submit his electronic devices after he alleged that his Twitter account was hacked and “biased” tweets were uploaded from it on Saturday.

Chowdhury, a Lok Sabha member, posted a series of tweets alleging that someone had hacked his Twitter account after a tweet with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s infamous quote “when a big tree falls, ground shakes” linked to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots was posted from his account and later deleted.

Chowdhury filed a police complaint saying the post was “unscrupulous, biased and content tainted with absolute malafide” and that he was delivering a speech at a party office in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district when it was made. Read more. 

11:27 (IST)22 May 2022
Delhi: NDMC extends scheme entailing Rs 15 lakh compensation to kin of staff in case of Covid death

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has decided to extend till August the scheme which entails Rs 15 lakh compensation to the kin of its employees in case of their death due Covid-19 while on duty.

According to officials, the NDMC has decided to extend the compensation scheme from May to August or till the Covid pandemic is over, whichever is earlier. All employees of the council, including regular, contractual, RMR (regular muster roll), TMR (temporary muster roll), outsourced and other wagers, will be eligible to avail the scheme, said officials.

“The NDMC has been adopting all measures to safeguard and protect its employees from Covid-19, however in its continuous efforts to provide welfare scheme, the department has decided to assure financial help to their family members in case of death due to Covid attributable to duty so that such workers can serve NDMC in these difficult times,” said an official. Read more. 

22:19 (IST)21 May 2022
Hit-and-run: ‘Karan was excited about his sister’s wedding, wanted to help pay for everything’

At the home of Karan, the 18-year-old staffer with grocery delivery service Zepto who was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Tuesday, hangs a large-framed photograph of him flanked by his sisters Simran and Ritika.

The picture is a prominent, striking feature of the family’s home in Dwarka’s Goyla Dairy. “Karan took up the job to help my father with my wedding expenses. He just started working on April 9. The date of the wedding was not fixed… it was supposed to happen in November,” said Simran (20), who works as a room attendant at a hotel in the area. Read more

16:44 (IST)21 May 2022
Faridabad: Three dead in fire in battery-manufacturing factory

Three people died after a fire broke out at a factory which manufactures battery cells in Sector-37, Faridabad.

16:34 (IST)21 May 2022
Delhi University professor Ratan Lal, arrested for post on 'Shivling', gets bail

A Delhi court Saturday granted bail to Delhi University professor Ratan Lal on furnishing a bond of Rs 50,000 and surety of that amount. The Hindu College associate professor was arrested over his allegedly objectionable social media post regarding the claims of a Shivling being found in Gyanvapi mosque and was produced in court.

16:28 (IST)21 May 2022
If Lal's custody is extended, it is abuse of law: Defence counsel

"Custody should not be extended. This is an abuse of law. If anybody who is writing is taken into custody... jails will be thronged by intellectuals," Lal's lawyer submitted.

16:26 (IST)21 May 2022
Prolonged custody would impact his service as associate professor: Lal's lawyer

"He is an associate professor, the prolonged custody would have an impact on his service..he has no way to earn his livelihood. He may be suspended," Lal's lawyer submitted.

16:26 (IST)21 May 2022
Defence counsels argues data cannot be deleted in this case

The defence counsels have argued that in this case the data cannot be deleted. 

"In any criminal offence there should be intention and motive. There is no intention or no motive... He is also a follower of Shiva. If he finds someone trying to have control over the god, or has a low tolerance level, then he can't be held responsible for it," Lal's lawyer argued.

16:24 (IST)21 May 2022
Received at least six complaints against Lal: Prosecutor

"I am also a student of this university..if I am having some respectable post, my responsibility to the society is much more. He is an authority on Ambedkar. He should have thought prior to posting that. You should have behaved in a responsible manner. We have received many complaints, atleast six of them," the APP submitted.

16:22 (IST)21 May 2022
It is electronic evidence, had to approach Google once deleted, prosecutor argues

The prosecutor rebutted the arguments by stating, "It is electronic evidence. One click and it can be deleted in one second. Then we had to approach Google etc." 

16:19 (IST)21 May 2022
Could they not have served a notice before arresting him, Lal's counsel argues

"Maurice Nagar PS is 200 metres away from his home. Could they not have served a notice before arresting him? Is he a hardened criminal?" the lawyer argued.

16:16 (IST)21 May 2022
Lal hadn't called for violence, nor created enmity between groups, Lal's counsel argues

"He is an authority on Ambedkar. The person of this stature and intellect... and a devotee of God Shiva had not called for any violence or created any enmity between groups,"his lawyer submitted.

Dozens of shops were gutted after a fire broke out in Jhandewalan’s cycle market on Friday afternoon. (Express)

Meanwhile, Parts of the city recorded rainfall and strong winds on Friday evening, even as some areas recorded heatwave conditions. A thunderstorm or dust storm along with light to moderate rainfall and strong winds of about 30 to 40 kmph would occur over parts of west, northwest, northeast, southwest, central, east Delhi and the NCR, including Bahadurgarh, Ghaziabad, Indirapuram, Noida and Gurgaon, IMD said. In it's bulletin, IMD said that a wet spell was likely over northwest India from May 20 to 24. While a dust storm or thunderstorm is on the forecast for Delhi on Saturday, the city could witness rainfall from May 22 to 24.

In the meantime, dozens of shops were gutted after a fire broke out in Jhandewalan’s cycle market on Friday afternoon. The Delhi Fire Services rushed 27 fire tenders to the spot after they were informed that a fire had erupted at 2 pm in one of the shops next to Videocon Tower, and it was doused within three hours. As per locals and shopkeepers, a short circuit in one of the shops on the ground floor resulted in a fire which spread to adjacent shops.

A 25-year-old MBA graduate was found hanging at her parents’ home in Palam Vihar Extension Thursday, with her family alleging she was harassed for dowry by her husband and his family. Police have registered an FIR against her husband, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and his wife under IPC sections 304-B (dowry death) and 34 (common intention).

Police said the woman, Ritu Yadav, allegedly wrote on her arm and palm that her husband and in-laws were responsible for her death and that he had only married her to collect dowry. Police said she also allegedly wrote on her palm that she had left a five-page suicide note, and they have recovered the notebook in which it was written.

READ | In Gurgaon, 25-yr-old woman hangs herself, leaves suicide note blaming husband scribbled on arm

Stating that it is the only government to pay the highest minimum wages to unskilled workers in the country, the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) government Friday hiked their salary by around 3 per cent. After the hike in dearness allowance(DA), the monthly wages of unskilled labourers have been increased from Rs 16,064 to Rs 16,506 per month. Similarly, the wages for semi-skilled labourers have been increased by Rs 494 and will be Rs 18,187 per month.

READ | Delhi govt hikes minimum wage of labourers

A 19-year-old delivery staffer employed with grocery delivery platform Zepto succumbed to injuries after his two-wheeler was hit by an unidentified vehicle from the rear in Dwarka. A case of hit and run has been filed, said the police. The victim, Karan Raju, was a resident of Goyla Dairy and joined Zepto two months ago. His father said Karan joined Zepto about two months ago to help the family financially and save money to buy a gift for his sister’s wedding, scheduled for November.

READ | Delhi: 19-year-old, who joined Zepto delivery job to buy gift for sister’s wedding, killed in hit-and-run

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