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Have we learnt anything from our past mistakes??

A Note from the Editor’s Desk

Is ‘under pressure’ M.V. Lawrence: Administration pressing an Sensationalization is not the idea unfit vessel for Ross Trip? Bureau Report Sheekha News Service

Port Blair, Jan 31: Is Administration gearing up for another embarrassment? M.V. Lawrence is being made ready for its service to Ross Island from 3rd February. This boat with a capacity of 100 people was doing ferry service for the last three years in Kamorta. As its bottom plates developed some holes, it was towed back to Port Blair a month ago. Around 20 days back one day docking of the vessel was done for dabbling to seal the hole temporarily. Originally the whole bottom plate had to be gauged and replaced with a new one. Even painting and bottom cleaning was not done before undocking, till the last report obtained by Andaman Sheekha. Now it has been learnt that M.V. Lawrence will be in the service of the tourists from Monday to Ross Island. In order to meet the deadline of Lt. Governor, fire line repairing and installation of Life jacket is being done. Paining is done to give it a facelift. Is the intention here is to only please the higher officials rather than concentrating on the safety and security of passengers

and crew members? General Public would like to know that has this vessel been inducted into the fleet without proper IRS Survey? In the present scenario, it will be better if IRS Surveyor goes through all the mandatory guidelines before giving a survey certificate. Thickness of the bottom plate needs to be gauged and the work done to seal the holes needs to be evaluated with a great sense of responsibility to avert another mishap. When contacted the Secretary of Shipping Services, Mrs. Puniya S. Srivastava assured Andaman Sheekha that no vessel will be pressed into service if it is unfit.

“It is one of the boats that we have identified but DSS will ensure that it is fit condition before it is operated and a safety audit in any case will be done. He must have taken some action to repair it,” the secretary told Andaman Sheekha. However, the Secretary advised Andaman Sheekha to cross check the facts with the officers of Directorate of Shipping Services so that the news doesn’t cause unnecessary panic. But as a tradition the Direction is never available to give a quote to media and in all cases Andaman Sheekha is always diverted towards the Dy. Director, Mr. Veraiah, (See page 2)

Readers must note that the news regarding M.V. Lawrence is being carried by Andaman Sheekha for the information of General Public and also Lt. Governor, Chief Secretary and other senior officers. The idea is to keep our readers up-to-date with right information and not to trigger panic. As Lt. Governor, in his speech during the meeting to mourn death of tourists, had said and we quote “this tragedy should not have happened and perhaps could have been prevented, if every individual, whether in

Govt. or private services had done their job properly.” Hence as a responsible media unit, Andaman Sheekha feels that this piece of information must reach to public and also to senior officers of A & N Administration, so that there remains not even tiniest piece of doubt about safety of public at sea. Andaman Sheekha is also sure that as a knee jerk reaction, a ‘Rejoinder’ will surely published in Government Daily but nothing of that sort will dilute the truth.

Bishnu writes to LG on unemployment issue Port Blair, Jan 31: The Member of Parliament, Mr. Bishnu Pada Ray in a letter written to the Lt. Governor, A&N Islands has raised the problem of unemployed youth of these islands. He has urged for restricting entry of non-locals in govt. jobs of A&N Administration, issuing of inner line permit, constitution of Staff Selection Committee/Board and grant of allowances to unemployed. The MP has also suggested various measures


for 100% job reservation for the local educated youth of A&N Islands. These include getting regulation under article 240, bringing Acts through Parliament etc. for the purpose, a communication from MP Bhawan said.   



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Is ‘under pressure... who is kind enough to provide us all required information, most of the time. In this case when Andaman Sheekha tried the mobile number of Deputy Director, several times, the number was engaged in three

occasions and after sometimes the number was switched off. Hence his comments are not available in this regards. As the matter is almost out that Andaman

Andaman Sheekha (From page 1) Sheekha is coming out with a news tomorrow regarding M.V Lawrence, it is expected that overnight the decision of docking the vessel and repairing it completely, will be taken. In any case it will be good for public.


Port Blair

'Delhi air pollution higher than Beijing' report denied

Nominations invited for National Award for Child Welfare; last date Feb 28 Port Blair Jan 31: The Directorate of Social Welfare has invited nominations from individuals and institutions for the National Award for Child Welfare for the year 2013 & 2014 which has been instituted by the Government of India, Ministry of Women & Child Development to give recognition to individuals and Institutions who have made outstanding contribution towards Child Welfare. The National Award for Child Welfare will be given to three individuals and five institutions who have worked for the welfare of children for some years. Paid Officers of the Institutions are not eligible for the award. The award caries a cash prize of Rs 3 Lakhs and a citation to each

institution and Rs 1 Lakh and a citation to each individual. The nominations of suitable individuals and institutions for the year 2013 and 2014 must reach the Directorate of Social Welfare at Goalghar by Feb 28, 2014. The same shall be scrutinized by the selection committee constituted at the UT level which will thereafter recommend the names of the selected individuals and institution to the National Level Committee. The format for submission or application can be obtained from the office of Director Social Welfare at Goalghar. The criteria for selection of institutions is that it should not be entirely Govt. funded. It could be Govt. aided or otherwise. The institution should have been in the field of Child

Welfare for some years and should have, to their record, a good performance in the field. The branches of the institutions working independently will also qualify for selection of the Award. The selection of the award will be made solely on the basis of quality of performance and the number of children served by the institution. The criteria for selection of individual are that they should have worked for the cause of children for some years. Paid officers of the institution are not eligible for the selection. The sole basis of the selection will be the quality of work performed by the individual for the cause of children and its significance for the cause, a communication said.

Andhra Pradesh: BTech student jumps to death from college building Machilipatnam: An engineering student from the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) on Friday allegedly committed suicide from his college building in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, police said. Naveen Kumar (20), who was pursuing his

BTech at the premier institute, leaped to death from the second floor of the building on Friday morning. He was apparently upset and depressed over his ill-health since a year, they said. The final year student succumbed at the Vijayawada Government

General Hospital while undergoing treatment. He hailed fr om Uppalavarigudem village of Lingampalem Mandal in West Godavari district, police said. Nuzvid Town police has registered a case and further investigations are being carried out.

The head of an environment measurement index has denied media reports suggesting it found air quality in the Indian capital, Delhi, to be worse than the China’s capital, Beijing. The Environmental Preference Index did not rank cities as it did not have comparative data, Dr Angel Hsu said. But it ranked countries and India was 174 out of 178 countries for air quality. China was at 176. The EPI is prepared by researchers at Yale and Columbia universities. However, an overall pollution rating, which includes factor s such as health impact and water and sanitation, put India at 155 China was ranked higher at 118. No accurate data “The EPI does not rank cities, nor do the data in the EPI provide any information on city-level performance,” said Dr Hsu of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy who is also the project director of the index. He said a lack of accurate data from India was a problem. “Beijing r epor ts [pollution] data on an hourly basis over a publicly accessible platform. Delhi’s reporting is not as consistent or transparent, making direct comparison impossible. Delhi may or may not have dirtier air than Beijing, but it is clearly behind in how it makes air quality information available to its citizens,” Dr Hsu added. Dr Gufran Beig, chief scientist at India’s System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research, has also refuted the report saying that the average con-

centration of smaller dust particles (PM2.5) - that penetrate deep into the lung was 210 microgram per cubic metre (m/cum) in Delhi this month. T his, he told the BBC, is not even half of Beijing’s PM2.5 level recorded this year. But the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi-based think tank, has pointed out that the average daily PM2.5 levels in Beijing dur ing 2013 largely remained below 250 m/cum and their winter peaks did not cross the 400 m/cum mark till December. In compar ison, Delhi recorded an average PM2.5 level of 240 m/cum since November 2013 but the peaks have hit as high as 575 m/cum this winter, the CSE said. The permissible limit of PM2.5 is 60 m/cum. Dr Sar ath Guttikunda, dir ector of Delhi-based Urban Emissions Info, refused to be dr awn into this number game. “Our pollution levels do not need to get worse than Beijing’s for us to wake up and take action. Delhi’s air is bad, very bad, and it’s getting worse by the year,” he warns. Winter smogs are common in Delhi, but this year’s haze has been sometimes severe, disrupting air and railway traffic. Rising pollution has been blamed mainly on a huge increase in the number of vehicles in the city, particularly diesel-driven cars. Delhi’s government introduced greener fuels for public transport in 2000 to control air pollution but the levels have continued to rise.


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First Lady gives away appreciation certificates to cultural contingent

Port Blair, Jan 31: Port Blair, Jan 31 A felicitation function was held in the auditorium of Government Girls’ School here today for the school children who presented a brilliant cultural programme to the President of India during his visit to the Islands. The First Lady of these Islands, Smt. Suneeti Singh graced the occasion as the chief guest and gave away the appreciation certificates to these school children. Addressing the gathering, Smt. Suneeti Singh congratulated the teachers and the students for putting up a great show during the ‘civic reception’ held in honour of the President of India. Smt. Singh described teachers as

the backbone of schools without whom, she said imparting good education to the students is not possible. They are the ones, who not only impart education but also

shape the career of the students, she said and urged the students to make it a habit to seek blessings of their parents and teachers as this will al(See page 6)

Kuldeep highlights issues related to DoT infront of Home Minister Port Blair, Jan 31: In the recent meeting with the Union Home Minister Shushil Kumar Shinde at New Delhi, PCC President Kuldeep Rai Sharma has also appraised him of the issues related to the Director of Transport, AN Administration for favourable consideration and early approval. Kuldeep, submitting various correspondences on the issue, stated that the A & N Administration has already submitted the proposal to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for creation of 638 posts of various catego-

ries keeping plan provision and stated that early creation of these posts will provide regular employment to the presently engaged workers on daily wages in the Directorate of Tr a ns p or t and will also improve the ef- operation and maintenance of (See page 5) ficiency of the Directorate in

CARI’s training programme on commercial flowers under TSP at Car Nicobar Port Blair, Jan 31: Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) conducted the training programme on scientific cultivation of flower crops to the tribal farmers of Car Nicobar under the TSP component of CARI in collaboration with KVK, Nicobar during 28th to 29th January 2014. `The first training programme was organized in the village Kakana on 28.01.2014 which was attended by 31 tribal farmers which consisted of 15 male and 16 female farmers. The second training programme was conducted in the village Perka on 29.01.2014. About

33 tribal farmers (18 male and 15 female farmers) of the village attended the programme. The two days training programme was coordinated by the course director Dr. V. Baskaran, Senior Scientist, Division of Horticulture and Forestry under the

guidance and supervision of Dr. S. Dam Roy, Director, CARI, Port Blair and Nodal officer, TSP along with Dr. D. R. Singh, Head, Division of Horticulture and Forestry, CARI, Port Blair and Dr. Nagesh Ram, Programme co(See page 5)


Port Blair


IN LCU L 33, the Oldest Amphibious Warship Of ANC to be decommissioned in mid April 2014

Port Blair, Jan 31: Indian Navy LCU L 33, the oldest amphibious warship of Andaman and Nicobar Command is tentatively scheduled to be decommissioned in mid April 14. The ship was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Dec 1980 at Goa by Rear Admiral Subir Paul, VrC, and has been part of all major operations in this Far Eastern Sea board during her 33 long years of service to the nation. One of the first few indigenously designed ships, commissioned into the Indian Navy, it was manufactured by Goa Shipyard Limited, Vascoda-Gama. The ship is the only unit in Andaman and Nicobar Command to receive the Unit Citation from the Chief of Naval Staff in 1999 and CINCAN’s Citation in 2013. The ship also participated in relief operations in Sri Lanka during the Tsunami of 2004, and was commended by then President of Sri Lanka, Her Excellency Chandrika Bandaranaike

Kumaratunga, for her role in humanitarian services following the Tsunami disaster. The ship played a vital role in the rescue of stranded tourist from Neil Island during the recent ‘Cyclone Leher ’. The ship battled rough seas and recovered 97 tourists from Neil Island. The ship has also been involved with the training of the marine police at Diglipur, Rangat, Mayabander and Hut Bay. The ship sailed for the last time on 24 Jan 14, and has traversed a distance of 1,15,500 NM at sea. In her last Operational Cycle, the ship has carried out all tasks set forth by the Command and has been at sea for around 205 days. The present and last Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Rajesh Shivadas had this to say about the grand old lady “After the glorious of 33 years in the service of her nation, IN LCU L 33 is ready to serve the nation in different way.”




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EDITORIAL..... The Way We Treat Our Women The Delhi law minister’s ignorance of the law is perhaps not his only weakness. The zealous politician’s familiarity with Indian tradition also seems perfunctory. Why else would he be so angry at alleged prostitutes? For his sake, let’s revisit ancient contexts when prostitutes were not just commercial sex workers but treated as revered members of society. Many of them were learned women who could discourse with their compa nio ns an d g uests wi th great facility and also engage in metaphysical discussions. A courtesan who was also a prostitute was much sought after as one who could relieve you of burdens and refresh and rejuvenate you so that you could carry out your duties as householder and citizen in a mo re en li ght en ed manner.Interestingly, the wo rd ‘h ar lot ’ i n ear li er times referred to a man who entertained others and had no fixed occupation; he was, pe rha ps, a va gab on d, an idler and a beggar. And then it came t o m ea n “ ma le lecher”, a licentious man given to sexu al excesses. Over time, the word came to be associated only with a woman who gave of herself for a consideration.I q b a l Si ng h’s bo ok , “ Gau ta ma Buddha,’ conjures vivid pictures of harlots who servi ced the need s of tho se filled with desire for pleasure. “The harlot was more than mere woman; she was a force of nature – irresistible, and beyond good and evil.” The author points out that seekers and initiates, the l aity, we re not u naffected by venal love that flourished unchecked. But even at that libertine age, ha rlo ts dr ew the i re of priests. “In vain did they invoke the wrath of gods and turn upon her the battery of th eir char act er ist ic vain did the moralists, realising that they we re do om ed to ha ve a lonely journey along the straight and narrow path,

inveigh against the depravity of the age.” Yet the “vogue of vena l l ov e f lou rishe d u nchecked. Beyond good and evil, beyond the reach of th e spl ene tic br ea th of priestly and prophetic censure, the scarlet woman rema in ed un mov ed on h er throne of glory.” When she saw the upholders of morality trying to reduce her to ashes w ith th eir f ier ce looks, she, who was herself of the nature of the flame, smiled a meaningful smile – a smile of understanding and pity, of forgiveness and promise. Beaten and in despair, some priests “found themselves knocking at her door, if not exactly in sackcloth, at least their remorseful eyes averted and downcast – the eternal prerogative of the penitent.” And she took in these prodigal children.... The label of ‘prostitu te’ d id not d ete r J esus Ch rist fro m w ash in g t he fe et of Ma ry Ma gda le ne who sought him out for salvation and who was subsequently purged of “seven sins”. She came to be vener ate d and ex al ted la te r, and is second only in stature to Mother Mary. That Christ thought it his privile ge to w ash a so -ca ll ed harlot’s feet speaks volumes of the respect he had for women even if they were thought to be harlots. Were they not also individuals and that too who served the needs of others selflessly? The story of Amrapali in Bu dd hist lor e is we ll kn ow n. She w as a r oy al courtesan, one who danced for the pleasure of the king and his court. She was also free to choose her lovers for she was declared the most be aut if ul and de si rab le woman and was accorded all respect and lived in comfo rt . Y et , o ne fi ne da y, Am rap al i d eci des t o r enounce everything and becomes a Buddhist nun. And the Buddha does not stop her on account of her antecedents.


Port Blair

Nine Sri Lankan fishermen arrested off Chennai coast for illegal entry Chennai: Nine Sri Lankan fishermen have been arrested by the Indian Coast Guard for illegally fishing in Indian waters.In a sea-air coordinated operation, Coast Guard arrested the fishermen, who were fishing in two boats some 38 nautical miles off Chennai coast on January 29, an official release said.Coast Guard's sur-

veillance aircraft Dornier located the fishermen and ICGS Rajkamal personnel arrested them and seized the boats. They have been handed over to Tamil Nadu Police.The Coast Guard has arrested 308 Lankan fishermen and 59 boats for illegally entering and fishing in India's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the last one year alone.


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Kuldeep highlights..... Bus Services throughout the islands. On the issue of grant of Grade Pay of Rs.1900/- in the Pay Band of Rs.5200-20200/- to the Bus Conductors and Grade Pay of Rs.2400/- to the Checking Inspector of Directorate of Transport, Kuldeep has stated of the disparity in scale of pay of Bus Conductors and Checking Inspector of the Transport Department of AN Islands when compared to their counterpart of other Union Territories like Delhi, Goa, Daman and Pondicherry. The Bus Conductors and Checking Inspector serving under the AN Administration are drawing the pay in the Pay Band of Rs.5200-20200/- with a Grade Pay of Rs.1800/- and Rs.2000/- respectively, where as the Bus Conductors of Delhi, Goa, Daman and Pondicherry are drawing the pay in the pay Band of Rs.5200-20200/with a Grade pay of Rs.1900/- and

CARI’s training...... ordinator, KVK, CARI.The different topics covered under the training programme were scope and importance of flower crops in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, commercial cultivation of flower crops like tuberose, jasmine, anthurium, orchids, cost economics of cultivation of different flowers, nursery management and protected cultivation of flower crops like gerbera. The other resource persons during the training programme were Dr. Nagesh Ram, programme coordinator, KVK, Mr. S. K. Pandey, SMS (Agronomy), Mr. T. Ravi Kumar, SMS


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Checkin Inspectors with a Grade Pay of Rs.2400/-.Kuldeep then stated that the AN Administration has taken up the issue of up-gradation of pay scale of the Bus Conductors and Checking Inspector of Motor Transport Department of ANI with Ministry of Home Affairs vide letter No.MT/54-4/ ESTT/Vol/-11/1194 dated the 24th November, 2011. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways though has issued No objection to the proposal but vide their OM No. RT-13015/2/2012T(Part.I), dated 28Oct./7th November 2013 has intimated, that the Ministry of Home Affairs being the nodal ministry in respect of the UT Administration of A&N Islands, the proposal of Andaman & Nicobar Administration need to be forwarded by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Department of Expenditure for their approval; which is still awaited by the A&N Administration. (From page 3)

(Fisheries sciences), Mr. V.K. Singh, SMS (Horticulture), Zachariah George, SMS (Animal Sciences), Mr. Ajay Pandey, SMS, (Seed science and Technology). The village head man of the respectively graced the occasion as chief guest of the training programme. The trainees were much interested in cultivation of flowers and showed keen initiative to grow flowers at Car Nicobar for economic returns and to meet their social and aesthetic requirements. The programme ended with vote of thanks proposed by Mr. V. K. Singh, SMS (Horticulture).



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First Lady...... ways bring them good fortune and motivate them to do well in their careers ahead, she said. The First Lady also appreciated the cultural programme, especially the creative music and creative singing presented by the students during the Republic Day function-2014. Amazed by the simplicity, honesty and god fearing character among the students in these Islands, she said it is this character and nature that will make them good citi-

zens of the country. She also encouraged the girl students to join the Armed Forces for a distinguished career and serve the motherland in true spirit. She also visited the Craft & Art Gallery and evinced keen interest on the exhibits displayed there. The First Lady also interacted with Kumari Sumi Oommen, a visually challenged student of Girls’ School, who presented an impressive patriotic song. Welcoming the chief guest and others present on the occasion, the Secretary

Andaman Sheekha


Port Blair

(From Page 3)

(Education), Shri DN Singh showered all praise on the teachers and officials, especially the two Deputy Directors - Smt. Leela Varghese and Shashi Kumar - for their tireless effort in making the cultural programme a grand success during the President’s visit. He also presented a memento to the First Lady on the occasion. The function concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by the Deputy Director (Education), Shri Dharmendra Kumar.

Second Supermoon of 2014 to be visible soon. Check Dates Bangalore, Jan 29: The world is going to see the Supermoon in upcoming days. The second of the five supermoons of 2014 would be visible on Friday, an organisation working for popularising astronomy said on Tuesday. Space Foundation said the first supermoon of 2014 appeared on January 1 - making January the single calendar month with two supermoons until January 2018. Friday's supermoon would be visible around 3.30pm. The remaining three supermoons will be visible on July 12, August 10 and September 9. The one in

August would be closest to Earth. "A supermoon is when the moon makes its closest approach to Earth in its orbit than usual. It appears as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter," said Space Foundation president CB Devgun. According to the organisation, the term supermoon came from astrologer Richard Nolle over 30 years ago in 1979. During the phenomenon, the Earth, moon and sun are all in a line, with the moon in its nearest approach to earth. Prior to 1979, supermoons were called perigee full moon or perigee new moon.


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Port Blair


Regional Office of ANSCB inaugurated at Rangat

Gurudas Biswas Port Blair, Jan 31: State Cooperative Bank Ltd has opened its Regional office for North & Middle Andaman at Rangat at 1.00 pm on 31/1/ 2014. The building of the Regional office of Cooperative Bank for North and Middle Andaman has been inaugurated by Mr. N.K.Sharma, I.A.S., Secretary, Cooperation cum Registrar of Co-operative Society, A& N Administration in presence of Mr. Bhagat Singh, Chairman, ANSCB. Other dignitaries

R.Meneka, Assistant Commissioner Rangat, Dy.S.P. Rangat, and villagers of Rangat were also present on the occasion. The official of the Bank has declared that the Regional office of the State Cooperative Bank will work daily from 8.00 am to 6.30pm regularly. This unit has facilitated with ATM privileges too. The Director of the Bank has also assured to the people that very soon the State Cooperative Bank will

launch door to door service for the Senior Citizen and specially-abled people of the region to give away their allowances. Besides this the when our correspondent asked the MD about improvement of the Billyground Branch? The MD replied that the most important task of functioning the Regional office has done and now very Port Blair, Jan 31: The Haj soon the building of Committee of India, Mumbai Billyground Branch will start has announced Haj 1435 (H) functioning. – 2004. The bonafide residents of A&N Islands desirous of performing Haj during the year 2014 are requested to submit the Haj application form complete in all respect to the State Haj Committee latest by March 15, 2014. The prescribed application form and other details can be had from the Office of the Chairman, State Haj Committee, functioning in the second floor of the Directorate of Social Welfare building at Goalghar during office hours from Feb 1, 2014 on all working days between 9 am to 1 pm. In a press release received here , the A&N Island State Haj Committee has clarified that a person

Announcement of Haj 1435 (H) - 2014

Bishnu takes up new work under MPLAD at Hut Bay

Port Blair, Jan 31: On the d emand of t he Gener al Pub lic of VK Pur Panchayat, Hut Bay, Mr. Bishnu Pada Ray, Member of Parliament has decided

to undertake the work of Construction of Community Hal l, Ra v ind r a Na gar under V. K. Pur Panchayat, Hut Bay, Little Andaman, under the MPLAD Scheme

for the development of the ar e a an d la id t he fou nd at i on st one i n a simple function organized by the general public of the area on 30/01/2014.


can perform Haj through Haj Committee of India only ‘once in a life time’. If anyone gets a confirmed seat by giving false information it shall be cancelled at any stage, even at the time of boarding the flights. The entire amount deposited by such Repeaters shall also be forfeited; applicants must have a valid Indian International Passport issued on or before March 15, 2014 and validly atleast upto March 31, 2015; the application must give details of their account in a bank having IFS Code; only physically and mentally fit applicants are permitted to apply and applicants must submit a self-attested solemn declaration of plain paper in the format given in the instruction booklet, the communication added.



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Marriage to minor girl not legally valid: HC MADURAI: Holding that their marriage was not legally valid, the Madras high court on Friday rejected the plea of a 17-year-old girl to go with her husband. Hearing a Habeas Corpus petition by one A Ganesh, husband of the minor girl, a divison bench of justice S Tamilvanan and justice V S Ravi of Madurai bench said that the marriage between the couple was not legally valid. The court directed police to lodge the girl in a women's home till April

15 this year, when she becomes major, and produce her before the court the next day for passing final orders. The court could not permit her to go with the petitioner as it would be against law. The court said that the Delhi high court order cited by the petitioner's counsel, permitting a minor girl to go alongwith her lover, was not a reasoned decision and it was a judgement passed without reference to statu-

tory provisions. The Justices said a marriage involving a minor girl would be a nullity in the eye of law and there was no necessity even to obtain a divorce decree with regard to such a marriage. They opted for the Class 10th certificate of the girl to determine her age though the petitioner produced a doctor's opinion to prove that she was major. "Only school certificate will prevail," the court said.

Web portal on Gandhi’s life launched NEW DELHI: A first of its kind web portal, “ Mahatma Gandhi for children”, was launched on Friday evening as a tribute to the Father of the Nation on his 66th death anniversary. The portal was launched by the advisor to the Prime Minister on public information infrastructure and innovations and chairman of the National Innovation Council Sam Pitroda during a Twitter conference, says a press release. T he p or tal “Search for Gandhi” - targets children from the age of 6 to 15 years and is available in English as well as Hindi. The portal br ings Gandhi’s life story to educate and inspire children through audios and videos

by cr ea t ively integrating facts, games and quizzes. A freedom fighter, a visionar y and a leader, Gandhi’s life is filled with lessons that are imperative even in today’s scenario, it said. Games and quizzes have been designed to drive the visitors to know more about Gandhi and how they could put his message to practice in their own lives. Unlike text books, the portal provides an interactive, innovative and tech-


Port Blair

SC satisfied with police handling of Kejriwal’s dharna The Supreme Court on Friday expressed satisfaction with the response of the Delhi Police and its handling of the two-day dharna by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Jan 20-21. Accepting the response of Delhi Police, an apex court bench of justices RM Lodha and Shiva Kirti Singh said, “They have acted reasonably fast, and did not remain simply dormant.” “Having regard to the statement made by the DCP headquarters with regard to the action taken once the dharna started on Janu-

ary 20, 2014, at 12.00am, we are satisfied that no further order needs to be passed in the present petition and the same is disposed of,” the court said, while accepting the response from Delhi Police to the queries the court posed in the last hearing. Kejriwal sat in protest demanding the suspension of four police officers who had refused to act on the orders of his ministers. The issue of full statehood for Delhi and control of Delhi Police by the state rather than the central government also came up during the dharna.

nology driven platform. The Twitter confer ence s aw hundreds of tweets coming in from several countries around the world, that were answered by Sam Pitroda @pitrodasam and Ja ha nvi P r as ad @jprasada, Founder, Youth 4 Gandhi Foundation. The por t al is available at

Normal life affected in Kashmir due to strike by Hurriyat SRINAGAR: Normal life in Kashmir was partially affected due to a strike called by moder at e faction of Hurriyat Conference to protest the Army’s decision to close the Pathribal fake encounter case. Shops, offices and business establishments in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk and surrounding areas remained closed due to the str ike called by the Hur r iya t faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Work in courts was also affected as Kashmir

High Court Bar Association ha s s up por ted t he str ike call of Hur r iyat. However, life was unaffected in civil lines and other areas of the city. T he s tr ike ca ll evoked minimal response in other districts of the valley. Transport services, though thin, were plying on all routes across the valley. Hur r iyat Confer ence had called for the shutdown to protest the closure of the Pathribal fake encounter case relating to the killing of five innocent

per s ons who wer e later dubbed as foreign militants in March 2000. After lengthy legal pr ocess to deter mine whether the five army personnel accused in the case should be tried in view of the immunity under AFSPA, the Army opted for general court martial. The Army recently closed the case for lack of evidence, a decision that led to widespread condemnation from both the mainst r eam and s ep ar a tist camps in the valley.

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