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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Taking ‘note’

At a recent “off-the-record” press briefing,the Special Cell’s Joint Commissioner was trying to explain the route of fake Indian currency notes printed in Pakistan and smuggled into India.

Published: August 26, 2013 12:48:13 am

At a recent “off-the-record” press briefing,the Special Cell’s Joint Commissioner was trying to explain the route of fake Indian currency notes printed in Pakistan and smuggled into India. When he said the notes were printed in Islamabad,an overenthusiastic journalist asked why the notes were printed in ‘Nepal’. With a straight face,the Joint CP pointed out that Islamabad was in Pakistan — not Nepal. Seconds later,as he again tried to explain how the notes were finding their way into India,a mobile phone rang loudly with a funny ring tone. Everyone burst out laughing,including the officer. The Joint CP said,“Lagta hai tum log in noton ko India aane nahin dogey Islamabad se (It seems you people will not let these notes enter India through Islamabad).”

Sharp memory

After arresting Abdul Karim Tunda,police claimed they took him to the shop from where he had allegedly purchased explosives two decades ago. Only Special Cell officers know what purpose was served by visiting the shop after so many years and it’s surprising how Tunda ‘managed to locate the shop’ in the crowded market a good 20 years later.

Hindi,please

The hearing in a PIL related to madarsas in the city was conducted in chaste Hindi by the High Court after the litigant said he did not understand English. “I am the litigant but I never understand what is being said in court because the lawyers and judges hold the hearing in rapid English,” the litigant complained. While the judges could easily converse with the litigant,the government lawyer was left flummoxed when his turn came to reply to the arguments. The lawyer began with a mix of Hindi and English,and then completed the arguments in halting Hindi after the court reminded him to “speak in a language the litigant could understand”. At one point,the judge addressed the counsel in Urdu.

Mafia ‘scare’

After the Uttar Pradesh government’s unpleasant experience over the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal,and the controversy that followed regarding police’s involvement with the sand mafia,the word ‘mafia’ is being seen as potentially ‘dangerous’ by the state’s politicians. Sources said the state police — especially in western Uttar Pradesh — have been clearly told to stay away from incidents that could lead to headlines. So,when a team of police officers in Hapur was thrashed by the liquor mafia,the top brass in the district police told the injured police officers to nurse their bruised bodies and pride in the privacy of their homes,away from media’s glare.

Ingenious sand miners

Sand mining is still going on,albeit discreetly,in Greater Noida. Police said the sand mafia had adopted a simple technique to ward off prying eyes. After sand has been excavated,the site is being filled with water pumped from the river. Villagers allege that during the day — when there is no sand mining — the water level near the banks is low. During early morning,however,the water level rises substantially because of artificial pumping of water by the mafia,they allege.

Bad press (release)

On a day when the overhead electrification on the Blue line failed for the third time in August,the DMRC issued a press release. Ironically,the first two points spoke of the record ridership that day. The technical problem was mentioned much later. If DMRC’s intention was to mask the snag,it didn’t work. Nearly all publications had headlines that the snag was magnified by the huge ridership seen that day,Rakshabandhan.

‘Blood-sucking leeches’

An order issued on August 10 by a district consumer forum refers to an insurance company as “a dangerous cobra snake… sitting on files deliberately to bite the consumer”. An earlier order by the same panel member had referred to the insurance company as a “blood-sucking leech”. Many consumers and consumer law experts regard insurance companies as villains. A customer doing the rounds of a court pointed to the “zillions of asterisks” of an insurance policy that surface only after claims are made.

British envoy on Modi

British High Commissioner to India Sir James David Bevan on Thursday said engaging with Narendra Modi did not mean an endorsement of his past. The British envoy was addressing questions by students after he delivered a lecture at Jamia Millia Islamia University. Bevan said,“Meeting with Modi is not a validation or endorsement of his past.” Referring to the death of three UK citizens in the Gujarat riots,he said,“We want trial and justice for that. Engaging in conversation would be better to support our cause.” To another question on providing visa to Modi,Bevan said,“It’s a hypothetical situation,so I would not like to comment on that.” He also said that it was part of his job to meet heads of all states in the country. “I have visited 26 of 28 Indian states and met their heads of state as well and that is how I met Modi.”

Missing councillors

The fight for tickets for the upcoming assembly elections has intensified among the municipal councillors. With many of them busy inviting senior party leaders to project inaugurations in their areas,councillors are hardly seen at the Civic Centre these days. “We are busy. There is no time to sit at the headquarters. We are going to the Civic Centre only when we need to get funds approved for projects or need officials to approve files of projects in our areas,” a senior councillor said.

Thrashed for no fault

On Friday,Asaram Bapu’s supporters beat up a TV channel OB van assistant during protests. The man was sitting next to the OB van when Bapu’s supporters,about 20 of them,thrashed him. After rescuing him,when police tried to catch his assaulters,they alleged the man had tried to pick someone’s pocket so they beat him up. Refusing to believe the story,police arrested them.

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