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  • Bhanwari Devi case accused flees from police custody

     A man, accused in the Bhanwari Devi murder case, escaped from the police custody after a shoot-out between his accomplices and policemen at a court in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur city Thursday. Another accused was re-captured.

    The accused, Kailash Jhakhar, had been brought to the district and sessions court for a hearing of another case related to some land deals few years back, they added.

    Jakhar is accused of disposing the remains of nurse Bhanwari Devi who was abducted and then murdered Sep 1 last year at the alleged behest of sacked state minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress legislator Malkhan Singh Bishnoi.

    The Central Bureawu of Investigation (CBI) had arrested Maderna and Bishnoi in the case. It is alleged that Maderna and Bishnoi were being blackmailed by the nurse on the basis of sex CDs showing them in a compromising position with the nurse.

    “Some undertrials including two Bhanwari Devi murder case accused – Bishna Ram Bishnoi and Jhakhar – had been brought to the court for hearing in another case related to firing. Jhakhar is a member of Bishna Ram Bisnnoi’s gang,” a police officer told IANS.

    He added that a ground of about a dozen criminals was already inside the court premises.
    “They were armed. As soon as Jhakar and Bishna Ram got off the police vehicle, the criminals opened fire in the air to scare away the policemen. While Jakhar and all the attackers managed to escape, Bishnoi was caught on the spot,” said the officer.

    Officials said that a massive search operation has been launched to locate Jakhar.
    Bhanwari Devi had allegedly been kidnapped by three men – Shahabuddin, Baldev Jat alias Balia and Sohan Lal. As per the CBI chargesheet filed in a court, the trio murdered the nurse and then handed over her body to Bishna Ram Bishnoi and Jakhar who brunt her to ashes and dumped her remains in a canal in Jodhpur.

    Armed assailants descend on court, free Bhanwari case accused

    In a daring act, a group of assailants freed Kailash Jakhar, one of the accused in the Bhanwari Devi murder case, from police custody outside the District and Sessions Court in Jodhpur on Thursday. They also tried to snatch away one of the main accused, Bishnaram Bishnoi, after opening fire in the air but police foiled them. The cops arrested one Hanumanaram Vishnoi in connection with the incident and are questioning him to find out the whereabouts of the escaped prisoner and those who freed him. No one was seriously injured though one person was hit by a pellet apparently fired from a country-made pistol. The assailants also carried a sophisticated weapon which, onlookers said, looked more like an AK-47. Jodhpur's Commissioner of Police Bhupendra Dak blamed the jail authorities for ignoring the advice given by the police for extra precautions such as hand-cuffing while taking out those arrested in the case. However, the jail authorities pointed out that hand-cuffing was possible only if the court allowed it. The incident happened around 10.45 a.m. when both Jakhar and Bishnoi were being escorted out of the court by guards of the Jodhpur Central jail after presenting them in another case. The assailants reportedly more than a dozen, came in three vehicles — Bolero, Scorpio and Swift Desire — and started firing in the air to distract the police and scare away the litigants present. While Jakhar managed to flee, Bishnaram could not as one of the constables held on to him. Bishnaram again tried to escape in one of the vehicles the assailants had brought but the police managed to pull out the key from it before he could start it. The accused in the high profile Bhanwari case, investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, include the former Rajasthan Minister Mahipal Maderna and Congress MLA Malkhan Singh Bishnoi. Several cases, including those pertaining to land grabbing and narcotics smuggling are pending against the Kailash Jakhar-Bishnaram Bishnoi duo. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot after a high level review meeting constituted a committee to examine the larger issues arising out of the development and suggest remedial measures. The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Home Virendra Beniwal and Chief Secretary C.K. Mathew. The committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) with the Director-General of Police and Director-General (Crime) as members and Additional Director-General (Crime) as member-secretary, has been asked to look into the procedure of taking under-trials to court and back. The committee will review the security of the courts and consider measures such as installation of closed-circuit cameras on the premises. Alternative arrangements such as use of video conferencing between jails and the judiciary and setting up courts within the jail premises would be considered by the committee. The committee has been asked to submit its report in 30 days.

    SCERT introduces text book lessons that promote gender equality

    The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has introduced gender friendly lessons in its text books for Class I, VI and VII. Hoping to contain the girl child dropout rate in Class VII and removing the stereotypes from textbooks, SCERT has introduced lessons on gender equality. These include images showing a man helping his wife in the kitchen and in another picture, helping his young daughter get ready for school. In another text , the story of a girl child studying hard to eventually take up a job, are being told through illustrations in the form of a 'Burra Katha' (local folk tale). Sketches of bright-eyed young girls walking into junior colleges or sharing the stage with boys for a performance are the Andhra Pradesh government's first baby steps towards gender sensitive education. The story in the first language textbook of Class VII, 'Sita Istalalu', ends with the girl child enrolling into college and then becoming an officer, complete with a personal assistant as shown in the image. In another story, 'Meti Balika', a physically challenged girl child is shown performing on stage to the cheers of her classmates. "There is no gender bias in our textbooks anymore. In social studies we have introduced a chapter on gender disparities. These issues have been addressed in our lessons in all our books," says B Seshu Kumari, director, SCERT. This is the first time since the state of Andhra Pradesh was formed that a state curriculum is being developed locally. The state until 2008 was following the national curriculum that was in place, which too had remained unchanged since 1992-93.

    'Call Me Maybe' Tops Billboard Hot 100: How Carly Rae Jepsen Got To No. 1

    "Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, so here's my number..." Chances are, if you own a radio, a television, or know a 12-year-old girl, you probably know how this phrase ends. "Call Me Maybe," Carly Rae Jepsen's viral hit, is officially the No. 1 in the U.S., after dethroning Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The "Call Me Maybe" craze started in February, when Justin Bieber and his girlfriend Selena Gomez (along with a few of their famous friends), recorded an adorable lip-sync video to Jepsen's infectious pop song. Thanks to Bieber -- and his 21 million Beliebers -- "Call Me Maybe" became an overnight internet sensation. However, now Jepsen has one accolade that not even Biebs could accomplish: Her single is currently No. 1, while Bieber's single "Boyfriend" is holding steady at No. 10. But how did Jepsen get to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 summit? Take at look through our timeline below to see how Jepsen went from a Canadian folk artist to a worldwide pop phenomenon in less than a year.

    Steel Navratna’s pride in tatters: Is safety ignored at VSP?

    During the national safety day celebrations at the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) in March this year, CMD AP Choudhary said productivity of the organisation is directly linked to its safety performance which, in turn, will have a huge bearing on the plant's profitability. He went on to claim that VSP had made giant strides in improving safety in the plant. D Chandra Sekhar Varma, joint chief inspector of factories, who also spoke, was no less eloquent when he lauded the VSP for showing 'very positive' signs of declining rate of accidents.

    Contrary to their claims, eight major mishaps have taken place in the steel plant in the last one year. While Wednesday night's disaster was waiting to happen, a big question mark hangs over safety at VSP with lives of workers and officers in danger. A safety department is in place since 1990 and each of the process plants has a dedicated safety officer who is responsible for advising the plant with regard to safety aspects. But shockingly, safety norms have been neglected by the authorities even as the plant expansion works taken up at Rs 12,500 crore are on at a feverish pace. Sources said a risk strategy group was allegedly disbanded during the tenure of CMD PK Bishnoi. "Safety is not about wearing helmets or shoes. Focus should be on the safety of the equipment and those who handle the key units in a highly combustible environment but the management is clueless," pointed out a senior executive in the blast furnace unit. Enquiries have revealed that too much dependence on contract labour even in critical units is leading to mishaps at regular intervals. "Had the senior managers isolated the valve to absolve the abnormal pressure building up in the oxygen plant, the explosion could have been averted but who will take the call," the officer sought to know.

    The blast on Wednesday night was caused by improper supply of oxygen to the converter in the steel melting shop II. The technical staff reportedly blew oxygen not once, but thrice to the converter, due to which the gas gushed back at great pressure and exploded. According to industry experts, the oxygen section is a crucial part of a steel plant as it helps facilitate the extraction of steel from iron. Once the iron is melted in the blast furnace, it is taken into the basic oxygen furnace where oxygen is blown over the molten iron to remove impurities such as carbon, sulphur, etc. Once the carbon in the molten iron is brought below a certain percentage it becomes steel. "Oxygen is a dangerous commodity but it cannot explode unless there is a highly explosive mixture. There seems to have been some problem with the oxygen flow and perhaps when they were not getting adequate oxygen, they tried to fiddle with it causing the blast," pointed out a former officer. "The blast surely must have been caused by some slippage somewhere. All accidents occur due to negligence," reasoned a former top gun of VSP.

    Plant sources said skilled persons and experienced officials are not at hand to manage key units such as pressure gauge, motor guards and circuit section. "Where the hot metal at 3,000 degrees and water interact, even a slight aberration could lead to a catastrophe. It's like an atom bomb which could explode any moment," explained YSR Congress leader Jupudi Prabhakar, who worked as a metallurgical engineer in Midhani.

    Another point in question is that employees and officers sent abroad for training on blast furnace management get posting in sinter plant and other units. Some time back, a group of officers and employees was sent abroad for training in blast furnace but they were posted in another wing after they returned. "Previously, the management used to send newly-recruited employees to Bhilai, Rourkela and Bokaro steel plants for training. But now the focus is more on commissioning of new units, expansion of business and filing success reports," rued Bharat, a senior official in the steel melting shop (SMS).

    Google, Amazon lead rush for new Web domain suffixes in bids to ICANN

    Amazon and Google are staking claims to large swaths of the Internet under a new system for labeling Web domains, bolstering their ability to control traffic as the Web expands beyond the realms of “.com,” “.gov” and “.org.”

    The bids by those companies to acquire new domain names such as “.book,” “.shop” and “.movie” renewed fears among competitors that a powerful few will dominate the Internet marketplace of the future.

    A slate of roughly 2,000 new Web suffixes, including “.app” and “.sex,” was revealed Wednesday by the nonprofit organization tasked with regulating domain names, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The group announced last year that it would take applications for new domain names to foster growth and competition online. The new domains are scheduled to go into effect next year.

    “We’re standing at the cusp of a new era of online innovation,” said Rod Beckstrom, president of the group, known as ICANN.

    If Internet users embrace the new domains, the companies that control them could bear considerable influence on Web traffic.

    Amazon has applied to control the “.book” and “.movie” names, for example, meaning that anyone else selling those items would have to get the company’s permission to be listed within that domain.

    The National Retail Federation had urged that oversight of such generic domain names be given to impartial entities rather than individual companies.

    “The results for now are as potentially unfair to businesses and consumers as we feared they might be,” said Mallory Duncan, general counsel for the trade group.

    For example, if a grocery store controls the “.grocery” suffix, it could theoretically exclude competitors from listing their sites there.

    Duncan said consumers may not realize that the new domains are under private control and that the open competition that prevails within the “.com” realm may not exist within, say, “.grocery.”

    “Consumers going to that domain may not realize that all of their shopping is being done with one company instead of a competitive market,” Duncan said.

    Google was among the most prolific applicants, seeking to register 101 names at an application cost of $18.7 million. Never lacking in its quest for virtual completeness, the company is seeking to control “.mom,” “.dad” and “.kid.”

    Amazon applied for 76 new names, including “.amazon” and “.zappos.”

    The expansion of Web domains has the potential to make over how surfers conceive of the Internet. Until now, entities have largely broken down by type of institution: “.gov” for government agencies, “.com” for businesses and “.org” for other groups.

    The new suffixes add a potentially confusing array of categories. Among the many that have been formally proposed are “.sucks,” “.rip” and “.vip.” While some might sound like jokes, the fact that the application fee for each is $185,000 tends to keep things serious.

    Applicants were heavily concentrated in North America (911), Europe (675) and the Asia-Pacific region (303). There were only 17 applications from Africa, which raised questions about whether the cost of an application was too high to be equitable.

    Many of the potential new domain names are being sought by multiple companies. The most popular was “.app” with 13 applications, but even “.sucks” is the prize in a three-way contest.

    The applicants must first pass an initial review by ICANN. If groups competing for a domain name cannot reach an agreement among themselves, the names will be auctioned off.

    ICANN said it expects the first new address to go live in 2013.

    What’s not clear, however, is whether consumers will embrace any of the new names.

    “It’s going to present users with a lot of new choices,” said Brian Cute, chief executive of the Public Interest Registry, which runs the “.org” domain. “If you have 50 choices of toothpaste, the average consumer is going to the brands they know. That could be the case here.”

    Cong rejects TMC, SP's choice of PM as President: Reports

    In reportedly another twist in Presidential race, UPA on Thursday rejected PM Manmohan Singh's name as president. Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party, came out with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's name.
    Earler, on WednesdayTrinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party, came out with Prime
    Minister Manmohan Singh's name, along with that of former president APJ Abdul Kalam and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee as their

    Their political manoeuvre probably put Congress' initial choice of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and vice president Hamid Ansari out of serious reckoning and opened up the possibility of several scenarios.

    Though some Congress sources ruled out the possibility of Singh participating in the presidential race, there was no official response from the party to the odd manner in which SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee mentioned the PM name at a joint press conference.

    The West Bengal chief minister drove to Yadav's house from Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's residence where, after the meeting, Banerjee had disclosed to the media that Mukherjee and Ansari were the Congress party' choices - and in that order.

    Later, ignoring both the names, Mulayam and Mamata declared that the PM, Kalam and Chatterjee were their choices, saying any one of them would be acceptable to them. They also made it clear that the names they had proposed were not in order of preference.

    The name of Singh as a possible presidential candidate had done the rounds for some time.

    But a few days ago, the PM himself ruled out any such move, saying, "I am happy doing what I am doing."

    Gandhi, too, heaped praise for his stewardship of the government and the country at the Congress working committee though some Congress leaders had urged the UPA to undertake bold measures to shore up the government's image.

    After making the announcement, the SP chief discussed the issue with NDA convenor Sharad Yadav while the BJP's core group decided to wait for the Congress response to their suggestion since they were UPA allies.

    Chiranjeevi son’s wedding to be political-cum-filmy event

     It is all set to be another fairy tale wedding in Hyderabad on Thursday. Although it will lack national and international razzamatazz like Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik’s wedding, the marriage of actor-turned Congress leader Chiranjeevi’s son Ram Charan Teja, is expected to be a mega event.

    Ram Charan, who made a debutant entry into Tollywood with his ‘Chiruta’, is all set to tie the nuptial knot on June 14 with Upasana Kamineni, the eldest daughter of a corporate hospital tycoon Anil Kamieni and grand daughter of Pratap C Reddy of Apollo hospitals.

    Unlike the weddings with European cutlery, Chinese chandeliers and exotic flowers from Bangkok, the couple say they decided to give a 'desi ' touch to their pre-wedding and post-wedding ceremonies. Local folk weavers of Kalamkari have been hired to weave special carpets for the D-day.  Celebrity fashion designer, Tarun Tahliyani, has designed the wedding costumes for Ram Charan and his childhood sweetheart Upasana. The  wedding mantapam set at the Temple Tress resort in Gandipet and also the Sangeet set at the Annapurna studio, were designed by popular art director Anand Sai. The family has hired two security companies to keep a tab on all the movements; CCTV have been installed at various places. Nearly 200 cars including 10 Mercedes have been hired to ferry the guests and two Merc Phantoms have been specially booked for family use.

    On Tuesday, the sangeet ceremony was held at a specially-made set in the Annapurna studios, which was attended by nearly 2,000 guests including stars from the film industry, and their families.

    Weight Loss Discovery Making National Headlines

    Did you know you can lose weight without dieting? That’s what one new weight loss product wants you to believe, after claiming you can lose 30 pounds in six months, without changing what you eat.

    It’s called the Sensa Weight Loss System, and it’s one of the most talked-about diet products on the market today –featured in The New York Times, Time Magazine, and Dateline NBC. Some are calling the Sensa diet “revolutionary” because of its radically new approach to weight loss.

    Sensa boldly claims to help users lose significant weight, without changing their existing diet or exercise routine. All dieters have to do is sprinkle scented "Tastants" on their food, and watch the weight fall off.

    We were skeptical to say the least.

    The Sensa Weight Loss System goes against everything we’ve been taught about losing weight, so we dug a little deeper to find out the truth about Sensa. Is it just another weight loss scam or does Sensa actually work?

    Our intrigue and skepticism soon turned to excitement as we uncovered what could be the future weapon in the war on obesity.

    Is Sensa the Celebrity Diet Secret?

    Always on the forefront of weight loss technology, Hollywood celebrities were eager to try Sensa for themselves.

    Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger recently told Access Hollywood she lost 25 pounds using Sensa, and says it fits perfectly into her busy schedule.

    “I noticed my body was changing and the weight was just floating off,” says Patti, who was named by EXTRA as one of the most amazing weight loss success stories of 2010. “Sensa fits perfectly into my lifestyle, because I don't have to change anything.”

    Patti’s dramatic weight loss has been featured in US Weekly, People Magazine, and Life & Style where she was quoted as saying, "Sensa was the easiest solution. You just sprinkle the pounds away."

    Sensa Reviews in the Media

    Hollywood celebrities weren’t the only ones catching on to this non-diet craze.

    Harper’s Bazaar reviewed Sensa in a two-page article called “Easiest Diet Ever?” The review said Sensa sets “no restrictions on what you may put on your plate--or how much--Sensa practically pleads, 'Eat. Have some more! You want butter with that?'"

    When Sensa was featured on Dateline NBC, they interviewed a group of study participants who had been asked to sprinkle Sensa on all their normal foods. Shockingly enough, every single person they interviewed had lost weight. None of them ever reported feeling hungry or deprived, because they were still able to eat their favorite foods--they just ate less of them.

    Mystery 'forest boy' shows face 10 months on

    “Nearly a year after he first arrived here, the whole thing is still a mystery,” Thomas Neuendorf from the Berlin police told The Local.

    “We have conducted all the investigations we know how. We have compared his DNA with international missing persons lists, we’ve made public appeals, we’ve sent his fingerprints around the world to see if he was involved in anything picked up by authorities anywhere but have come up with nothing.

    “He has now – after intense discussions - finally given us permission to release a photograph of him and we are appealing for information about who he is.

    “At first he spoke just English, but it would seem this is not his mother tongue, that he had learned it. But the specialists we had in could not say where he was from.

    “Certain aspects of his DNA indicate he most likely comes from Europe.”

    Neuendorf said the boy was still sticking to his original story - that his mother Doreen died in a car accident when he was 12, and his father Ryan had taken him to live in the woods for about five years. They slept in a tent or found shelter in hunting sheds.

    Ray says that one day his father died after falling over last August, and he buried him in a shallow grave and followed his emergency instructions – walk north until you find civilisation and ask for help.

    He showed up in central Berlin last September and told astonished officials he had no idea where he was from – but that he had walked for five days to reach them.

    “We thought all sorts of things at first – that he was doing it for a bet or something,” said Neuendorf.

    “There were things that did not fit with his story – he was relatively clean and the tent he had with him did not look like it had been used for five years. It was also simply unimaginable that someone could live near Berlin for such a long time without being seen.

    “But such a long time afterwards and we are still mystified as to who he is.”

    A few more details have come to light – Ray told his carers he saw his father getting money “out of the wall,” said Neuendorf, and they would go shopping.

    “He remembers the word Lidl, and it would seem the pair of them went shopping – they didn’t just live off berries. But he says he cannot remember anything like a town name or a street name.”

    Ray also said they once saw a “vehicle on rails” and said he had wanted to go on it, but that his father said it was too expensive, said Neuendorf.

    “There is something strange about this whole story,” he said. “Whenever we want to go into details with him, he breaks it off, saying both of his parents are dead, and that no-one else knows him. He seems to have an astounding lack of interest in finding out who he is.”

    But Ray is healthy, and seems to be happy enough in the youth housing project where he is living – and although no-one is sure how old he is, it is clear he cannot stay there forever.

    “At some time he will have to be given a family name, a nationality and an official date of birth – that is the law in this country,” said Neuendorf.

    “So we are now appealing for witnesses who may have seen him – perhaps with his father – when they were in a shop or something. We haven’t managed to get anything in all this time. It really is a mystery.”

    Ray is described as being between 16 and 20 years old, 1.80 metres tall with dark blonde hair and blue eyes. He has three scars on his forehead and three smaller ones on his chin as well as a 1cm scar on his right arm. His teeth show no sign of dental work.

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