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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

VOL. 13 ISSUE 27

Family rescued from brick kiln by government departments and NGO PAGE 2

Prosecution wants charges of ‘unnatural sex’ against Mazurier PAGE 3

Toxic debts leaving bank staff out of pocket: Union Public sector bank employees staged a two-day protest demanding pay rises and strict action against big business defaulters APURVA VENKAT & SHWETA NAIR

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ome of the country’s biggest firms are defaulting on huge bank loans, according to striking bank workers. The massive losses incurred by banks across the country means staff are not being paid a proper wage, according to the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA). Public sector bank workers were promised a pay rise in November 2011 but they are still waiting. On Monday 87 banks and 8, 50, 000 workers stayed away from work and staged protests across India over a twoday period. In a press release by the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), the top 50 bank loan defaulters were listed with an amount adding up to Rs. 40,528 crores. Kingfisher Airlines topped the list with a loan default of Rs.2673 crores that it borrowed from public sector banks. The other companies that made the list of defaulters include National Agricultural Co-operative, Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited, Innareddy

Bank employees protest in Bangalore for pay revision and strict action against loan defaulters. Photo Credit: KPN News Computers and Software Association (India) Ltd, Educomp Infrastructure & School Management Limited, Delhi

Airport MET EX Limited and Lanco Hoskote Highway Limited. None of these companies responded to media

enquiries. C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary, AIBEA said: “Kingfisher Airlines

is due to pay almost Rs.7000 crores if we add public sector and private sectors banks loans that were lent to them. The amount we have mentioned in the press note is excluding the loans given by State Bank of India, IDBI and private banks.” The bank associations have declared the 48-hour strike demanding a pay revision which was promised in November 2011. They have also demanded stringent action against the increasing number of bad loans. According to the press release, the total number of fresh cases of bad loans in the public sector banks totalled Rs.1 ,19, 613 crores in 2012-13, as compared to Rs. 92, 808 crores in 2011- 2012. Venkatachalam added: “The government is not publishing the defaulters’ list as they have a nexus with the corporates. We have demanded these cases be taken as criminal offences. We also want a fast-track recovery of these loans that must be put into action.” As of March 31, 2013, the total amount of bad loans including private, foreign and public sector banks has amounted to Rs. 1, 94,000 crores. Continued on Page 4

Notorious Nawaz and gang arrested by crime branch Mayuri J RAVI Rowdy Kulla Nawaz, along with three others, was arrested by the Organized Crime Wing of the Central Crime Branch on Thursday. Nawaz, alias Kulla Nawaz alias Kullu, 38, was arrested along with Rafeeq. They are both residents of Someshwaranagar. Sharpudeen and Abrar Pasha, residents of Ramanagara village, were also arrested along with the duo. There are 13 cases of dacoity and murder registered against Nawaz in Siddapura, Mico Layout, Electronic City, Commercial Street and Banashankari police stations since 2004. In 2012, he was arrested under the Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and slum grabbers act (Goonda Act) 1985.

Rafeeq has been registered for three cases which includes attempt to murder and dowry harassment cases. Based on the statements given by Nawaz and Rafeeq, Nawaz had murdered their rival Vasim’s elder brother Zabi last year when Vasim was in jail. Nawaz was arrested and kept at Bangalore Central Jail. After being recently released from jail, Vasim had made many attempts to kill Nawaz but had failed. In retaliation, Nawaz and his gang hatched a plan to murder Vasim and take away all the valuables. Before the gang could execute the plan, the crime branch police arrested them. The police seized one Maruti van, two iron choppers, and two knives from the gang.

Four accused arrested by Crime Branch for plotting murder of a rowdy


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Toxic e-waste putting lives at risk Raju Peethala Plastic and e-waste from all over Bangalore is brought to Nayandahalli and burnt in the open under the pretext of recycling. Krishna, a 65-year-old man, who extracts rubber from spare parts of refrigerators, said: “I know that the smoke that comes out after burning these wastes is very harmful but then we are helpless. These plastic wastes are also burnt all along the railway tracks that pass through Nayandahalli.” Rakesh, a 17-year-old man who works in a recycling plant, said: “This plant is run by migrants from Bihar and I’m not aware of the effects caused by burning of e-waste and plastic waste. This plant is not authorized by the government.” According to The Environment Protection Act, one must ensure that dismantling or recycling of waste should not have any adverse effect on health and environment. Shivappa, a resident of Nayandahalli, said: “We know that the waste is burnt here. None of the government officials came here to inspect the conditions here and as we are not aware of the hazardous effects we did not complain to the concerned officials.” When asked about effects of burning e-waste and plastic waste, Vatsala, a

2 Family rescued from brick kiln Tuesday, February 11, 2014

specialized doctor for immune system, said: “If E-waste is burnt in open air, hazardous toxic elements like cadmium and lead are emitted into the open air which adversely affects the health of workers and residents in that area. Burning plastic waste can damage the immune system.” Speaking about the health effects of burning waste, she added that it had a severe effect on children and that inhaling toxic chemicals could eventually lead to respiratory problems and skin diseases. Suresh Heblikar, a Kannada actor and a well known environmentalist, said: “Burning of e-waste and plastic waste which consists of harmful chemicals, causes ground water pollution, air pollution and also affects biodiversity. Ground water pollution is a serious issue. The water which is used in the process of dismantling or recycling starts percolating with ground water and affects the soil as well.” Balakrishnan, a doctor at Nayandhalli said: “People in these surroundings are highly exposed to toxic chemicals and every day I get 5-6 cases of people with respiratory and skin problems. This is due to the pollution level in this area.” Ullash Kumar, an environmentalist in Bangalore, said that Bangalore is one of the most polluted cities in the country and that the city is highly af-

E-waste, releases toxic gases, being burnt at Nayandahalli

Tanisha DAs Seven members of a family from Odisha were rescued from a brick kiln in Hoskote, where they had been kept as bonded laborers.

Suresh Heblikar, Environmentalist and actor fected because of vehicle pollution and adding to this by burning e-waste and plastic has a severe affect on the health of residents. “The waste disposed in Nayandahalli comes from different parts of the country. Government is aware of all the kind of Illegal recycling plants. But they don’t take action as it is a livelihood for someone else,” he said. He added: “Even though it has an adverse affect on environment, government plays a smart game as they are much more concerned about their power. Illegal disposal and burning of waste is a big un-noticed string. Someone has to take severe action against it.” Rekha, regional officer of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board in Kengeri, said: “If the waste is burnt illegally we will convey the information to the BBMP and concerned action will be taken against them. We have Eparisaraa, India’s first government authorized e-waste recycler operations, for recycling of e-waste and plastic waste in a scientific and hygienic manner.” Byatarayanapura police said that they weren’t aware of that area. They added that they would go and inspect the area, where all the processing is done and that proper action would be taken against the plant owners.

Amarsinha Satnami, 45, with his wife, Anla Satnami and five children were rescued from MSB brick factory in Kannurahalli of Hoskote taluk. The family belonged to Nuapada village in Odisha and had come to work at the factory for six months, for which they were promised Rs 52,000. But they had been working at the factory for eight months and had only received Rs 30,000. The raid was conducted by four government departments and the NGO, ActionAid. Dr Kshitij Urs from ActionAid, who was present at the factory at the time of the raid, said: “It is very unfortunate. It is like slavery is seeping into the 21st century. “When we raided the brick kiln, the

owner, KH Muniyappa, asked us why we were raiding his factory when there are 24 brick kilns in the area with people from Odisha working there,” said Khithij. He added, “The state has released a certificate which makes it a case of bonded labor. The investigation for this case is still on. There was no physical abuse but cases will be registered under child labor law and Bonded Labor Act.” Kshitij said that it is the NGOs working in the state that get information about the bonded laborers and not the Labor Department or the Deputy Commissioner’s office that is responsible to look after these situations. “We are not competent authorities. It is the government departments that are mandated to conduct these raids. So when we get any information about such cases, we verify everything before we inform the government departments whereas it should be the other way around”, said Khithij.

Seven people were rescued from MSB brick factory, Hoskote

Match made in ashram

NIKITA NARVEKAR

a happy one. Marriages are arranged as and when At least 60 orphaned, divorced or the girl attains a marriageable age and widowed women have been married has a suitable match for her. However, off by a Karnataka NGO as part of a the organization maintains that it is up “rehabilitation process”. to the girl to make the final decision of whether or not to get married. Ablashram, an NGO for women and young girls in need, offers shelter to Speaking about public reception, Seteenagers from the age of 15. sha added: “We get five calls a day. We are fed up of receiving so many calls B.V. Sesha, Secretary of Ablashram, and have started restricting the matchsaid his group believes the best way to es that come for our girls.” He cites unfavourable femalemale ratio as one of the reasons for people approaching the NGO for good marriageable girls. Around 50 to 60 marriages have taken place in the ashram till date. The secretary added:“We maintain a lifelong relationship with these girls and they are free to come and visit B.V. Sesha, the secretary of Ablashram, welcoming the groom kill the stigma attached to women who seek refuge is to arrange marriage. He said,“We have a lot of programs under which we provide shelter, help and training to girls and help them live a normal life.” The ashram rehabilitates girls by aiding the marriage process. This includes selection of a partner, financing the wedding and keeping in touch with the girl to make sure her marriage is

us any time. All we want is a secured life for them.” Bharathi, who once lived in Ablashram, has been married for the past 12 years now and lives with her family in Mangalore. Her husband Raghuvendra came to the NGO along with his family searching for a bride. When asked about her life, Bharathi said, “I got married on August 11, 2002 and have a very nice husband and a seven-year-old boy. I did tailoring and computer courses in Ablashram which ended.” She said that she never imagined a life like this. “Earlier I had no identity or home of my own, but today I can rightly say this is where I live. I have an identity of my own. My husband comes from a nice background and does not stop me from doing anything.” She added, “I dreamt of a life like this and today I live it. If you dream about something, you will get it. God only has arranged this marriage for me”. Ablashram, situated in Basavangudi, south Bangalore, was started in 1905 by Chakravarthy Venkata Varada, who had married a widow. The couple initially started the ashram as a home for widows. Today it is home to destitute and orphaned girls from all over Karnataka.

We have a lot of programs under which we provide shelter, help and training to girls and help them live a normal life. - B.V. Sesha, Secretary of Ablashram


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Prosecution wants Pascal to face ‘unnatural sex’ charge Anannya Sarkar French rape accused Pascal Mazurier , charged yesterday with raping his daughter, will also face charges of having ‘unnatural sex’, according to the State Prosecutor. The Sessions Court, headed by

finally framed. This is the first step towards getting justice for my daughter. But he should be charged with more.” Mazurier had previously tried to get the charges dismissed by the court. He met his children on January 31 after the court passed an order to

Pascal Mazurier in custody of police ( File photo) Shubha Gowdar, framed charges of rape against Mazurier yesterday. Mazurier had been charged with allegedly raping his three-year-old daughter in 2012. BT Venkatesh, Special Public Prosecutor said, “We will file an application on Saturday asking the court to frame charges against him under Section 377 as well. We have all the evidences.” Commenting on this, Suja Jones, Mazurier’s estranged wife, said, “I am happy that the charges have been

this effect. He had filed a case of contempt of proceedings against his wife claiming that she had not allowed his mother to meet the children earlier last year. Speaking exclusively to The Weekly Observer about the meeting, his wife Suja Jones, said, “It was a traumatic experience for my children. I do not know how the court passed a decision according to which I had to take my children to meet Pascal’s mother with him being present.” Mazurier had also tried to meet the children on Christmas Day, in a

breach of his bail conditions, and had gone to Jones’ house accompanied by the Yelahanka Police. Jones, on that occasion, had refused to let him meet the children. Jones added, “The presence of their father rattled the children and they were scared. They asked me if he would hurt them. Also, while leaving, Pascal tried to talk to one of them. One of my children is the victim and the other two are witnesses. How can he be allowed to meet them?” C om me nt i ng on this, Puroshottam, a prosecution lawyer, said, “This could indeed have a negative impact on the kids. They are witnesses and one is the victim. The children should not have been made to meet their Photo: KPN grandmother in the presence of their father.” When asked about his repeated attempts to meet the children and the possible adverse impact of it on them, as alleged by his wife, Mr Mazurier said, “My trying to meet them cannot have an adverse impact on them. What their mother is doing by not allowing their father to meet them, someone who had always been there in their lives, can have worse repercussions for my children.” The court is scheduled to meet on February 15 to fix a date for the trial where the new application will be filed.

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Family of cop shot in encounter demand action Anannya Sarkar Relatives of a cop who died after an encounter are demanding the Central Bureau of Investigation launch a probe. Mallikarjuna Bande got wounded in an encounter shoot-out between the police and the notorious sheeter Munna Darabar, who was also killed in the same gun battle. Bande was shot in the head at point-blank range. He succumbed to his injuries on January 15. Bande’s injury, his treatment and his eventual death caused a furor in Gulbarga, his native place, and also led to people questioning the system as allegations about the possible loopholes in the encounter procedure followed by the Indian police surfaced. The CID submitted a report on January 29 after probing the January 8 encounter but Bande’s wife has accused his colleagues of negligence during the encounter. “He would often tell us stories about gun-battles between the police and notorious goons. Little did I know that he would die during such an encounter,” said Mallikarjun Palamor as he recounted his brave friend, Mallikarjuna Bande’s heroic exploits. Mallikarjun Palamor had studied with Mallikarjuna Bande and was the best friend of the dead officer. The news about Bande’s injury came as a shock to Palamor as he found out about it from the news channels. He rushed to the hospital in Gulbarga, only to find his best friend unconscious, fighting for his life. Narrating the scene at the hospital, Palamor says, “His wife was in a mess. The place was filled with cops. We were not allowed to see him.” Palamor recounted, “Throughout the public agitation and the protests, Bande’s health kept deteriorating. Demanding a probe was secondary, we wanted better treatment for him first. Important

people came to visit him. But that was not enough. We needed to get him out to save him, which did not happen.” Palamor was there with him as Bande battled for his life and then was shifted to Hyderabad. Throughout the agitation for him to be shifted to London for better treatment, Bande spend sleepless nights with his friend. According to Palamor, Bande always had leadership qualities and was a great communicator. “Bande did not belong to an affluent family and so he knew the value of hard work. After college, he used to work night shifts in a local garments’ showroom. He therefore wanted a stable, government job.” Bande got married in 2001 and has a daughter and a son. His wife worked as a supervisor in the Women and Child Development Department, Gulbarga. Both of them were extremely hard-working people. Soon after Bande’s death on January 15, Gulbaraga saw mass protests until his body was taken to his native place. Initially a compensation of 15 lakhs was announced which was later increased to 50 lakhs. But both his wife and Palamor want a CBI probe into his death as Palamor said, “The compensation will not bring back my best friend. He deserves to get justice and that is all we want.”

Photo: The Hindu Slain Police Inspector Malikarjuna Bande

New road will be highway robbery for locals

The Mysore - Bangalore highway which has been proposed to be converted into an 8 lane road Sureshkumar The state government’s proposal to convert the existing four lane Mysore-Bangalore road into eight lanes has angered people running business along the road. The increase in traffic is said to be the reason for the proposal.

But the tens of thousands of people living and running businesses along the road do not want the extra lanes and say they have not been consulted. Sidharaja, 45, who runs a retail cement shop in Kumbalgodu along Mysore-Bangalore Road said, “What is the need to convert the existing road? We already have the six-lane NICE

road that connects Bangalore with Mysore. “It is a huge problem for the shop-keepers particularly. I am in this business for 15 years, I have seen how building owners and shop keepers suffered when they laid this four lane road a few years back. I don’t want to suffer like them.”

When our reporter informed him that he may get four times the market price of his land under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act passed in 2013, Siddharaja said, “I personally know how much the government paid when they took land for this road in 2004. I don’t be-

lieve that the government would pay four times market value for our lands. Why should they pay such a huge amount when there is an existing good road?” Hemanandappa, 52, who owns a grocery shop along the road said, “The government should not spend tax payers’ money on such projects. The project will take years to complete and we will incur heavy loss during those periods. This shop is my only source of income so it will make a huge impact on my family if the project is approved.” Ramakrishna, 54, who runs a retail tile shop in Kumbalgodu said, “Earlier when they built this road we lost our shop and it took years for me to set right the losses. I cannot take it once again. On those days the market value of these lands was Rs.350 per square feet but now it is Rs.5000.” Ramesh, 30, who runs a stationary shop said, “It takes too much time to complete until then it will be a huge hindrance to our business. Even if the government gives higher compensation it is not that easy to find another shop or land for our business.”

I have seen how building owners and shop keepers suffered when they laid this four lane road a few years back. I don’t want to suffer like them. - Sidharaja


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sochi’s Winter Olympics closing ceremony will feature Indian flag Bhaskar Dutta Even as the sporting community in India celebrates the lifting of an international order that restricted its athletes from representing the country at a global level, the country’s highest sporting authority is awaiting written confirmation. Earlier today, in an impromptu decision taken at Sochi, Russia, which is the venue of the current Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose to revoke the fourteen-month ban. It was imposed on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) after its refusal to comply with official directives requiring it to sack corruption tainted top officials.

Rajeev Mehta, new Secretary-General, IOA

continued from page 1 According to Venkatachalam, banks are facing losses because of the increasing number of Non Performing Assets (NPA) and this is affecting the increment in the salaries of the bank employees. Shankar Devdare, General Secretary of All India Oriental Bank Employees’ Federation said: “The profits that the banks make have to be used to write off the bad loans. Almost 60 per cent of the profits go into this. In the case of Kingfisher, no agency in the country can prosecute them because of their power. The United Breweries are running in profits while the airline is debt-ridden.” Prakash Prabhu, affected by the strike said: “When we default a single EMI payment we get so many notices and threats of legal action. Why should common people like us suffer for big corporates not repaying their loan? Why are they not using strict methods to recover the amount? Why can’t their property be seized and they be brought to the roads?Why should I not be able to use my bank because of this rich people’s mistake?” Nobody from the Indian Bankers Association was available for

Speaking exclusively to The Weekly Observer, Rajeev Mehta, the newly-appointed secretarygeneral of the Indian Olympic Association, said, “I received a telephone call from the IOC earlier today about the lifting of the ban. “We have not yet received any written confirmation about the issue.” The reversal of the ban comes after three Indian athletes participating in the games were not allowed to officially represent their country, march with the Indian flag at the opening ceremony or bear the colors and insignia of their nation The athletes, led by veteran luger Shiva Keshavan, were forced to participate as ‘independents’, a term normally reserved for athletes who do not have any national identification due to political or war-related issues. The other athletes are Alpine skier Himanshu Thakur and cross-country skier Nadeem Iqbal. Fourteen months ago, in December 2012, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose to suspend its Indian member. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was accused of persistently electing officials who were embroiled in corruption. Despite repeated notifications by the IOC to find alternative

Indians will fly their flag at the Winter Olympics candidates for top posts in the IOA, the Indian body chose to delay the matter to such an extent that despite the presence of Indians in the games, until now, India has no official record of representation in the games. The decision to ban the IOA was taken after the appointments of Lalit Bhanot as the secretary-general and Abhay Singh Chautala as the president of the organization in 2012. In 2013, Bhanot, who has now been replaced by Rajeev Mehta, spent ten months in prison due to his involvement in the 2010 Commonwealth Games scandal, whch saw thousands of crores going missing. Bhanot said, “I am not aware of the situation and the recent developments.” When he was asked about the lengthy delays in implementing the changes that were specified

by the IOC and the controversy surrounding his removal, he said, “The matter is over. I really do not want to comment on this.” Similarly in 2013, Chautala, who is the son of Om Prakash Chautala, the former Chief Minister of Haryana, was sentenced, along with his father to ten years of imprisonment due to his involvement in a teacherrecruitment scam in the state. Chautala, who was the president of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) for 12 years, became the president of the IOA after the IABF amended its constitution in order to enable him to stand unopposed in the elections. Subsequently, the IABF was suspended by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) because of possible malpractices in its election practices.

As a consequence of this, the Indian ministry later announced that it would suspend the IABF, effectively leaving it without any source of funding. Speaking to ‘The Observer’, Rajesh Bhandari, Honorary Secretary, Himachal Pradesh Olympic Association and secretary general of the IABF, said, “Now that the ban has been lifted, we would like to request the IOC and the IOA to lift the ban on the IABF. “ He added that Indian boxers have until recently performed well at international events, citing Vijender Singh, the first Indian to win a boxing medal at the Olympic games. He said these athletes were unduly punished because of the ban. “As a result of the ruling, they have banned doctors, referees, judges and coaches. Indian boxers are being severely deprived because of this.” The two main reasons why the IABF was suspended were manipulation of elections and the ban on the IOA by the IOC. “Our ban should also be revoked. We have answered all their queries”, he added. Commenting on the official delays that deprived Indian athletes from carrying the national flag at Sochi, Mehta added, “The issue is now over. I cannot comment on what has happened earlier.”

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EVENTS

THEATRE

A dancer’s plight Mahesh Dattani`s `Dance Like A Man` centers on an individual`s plight, where a dying form of art serves as the backdrop. Time: 7:00 PM Onwards Date: March 30 Venue: Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar

ART

Digital Painting The work in The Surreal Project - A Digital Art Exhibition is a combination of photo-manipulation and digital painting. Time: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM Date: Feb 15-Feb 16 Venue: Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, Vasanthnagar

comment.

BORROWER 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

LOAN NOT REPAID (IN CR.)

KINGFISHER AIRLINES WINSOME DIAMOND & JEWELLERY CO. LTD. ELECTROTHERM INDIA LIMITED ZOOM DEVELOPERS PRIVATE LIMITED STERLING BIO TECH LIMITED S. KUMARS NATIONWIDE LIMITED SURYA VINAYAK INDUSTRIES LTD. CORPORATE ISPAT ALLOYS LIMITED

2673 2660 2211 1810 1732 1692 1446 1360

Top 10 loan defaulters as per All India Banking Employees’ Association’s press release

BANK

What- Pathway to Abstractism Third-Eye, an Indian Art Gallery will be hosting an exhibition, featuring the works of AK Swapan Sarkar and Rajesh V Sheth. The exhibition promises to be atreat for the art lovers across the city. Time: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Date: February 28 Venue: Third Eye Indian Art Gallery, Old Airport Road

Music

RS (IN CR.)

UCO Bank Bank of Baroda Indian Overseas Bank Central Bank of India Corporation Bank Punjab & Sindh Oriental Bank of Commerce

245 445 137 314 262 46 55

Loans that Kingfisher Airlines has to repay to various public sector banks

Observer Team: Editor–Sreelakshmy Sivaram Chief Sub Editor-Prutha Bhosle Sub Editors– Sureshkumar Kumaresan, Sushmita Sen, Pranay Lakshminarasimhan News Editors -Sneha Mejari, Shweta Nair, Gaurav Kumar Picture Editor & Design Desk –Tanisha Das Assistant Chief Sub/ Emergency calls tracker– Raju Peethala, Soumya Basu Proof-reader-Rahul Sadhu, Saikat Ghosh Email- editor@iijnm.org An IIJNM Publication (For Private Circulation)

Alive India Music Festival Alive India today is India`s Longest Music Festival. This year the concert presents singers: Arijit Singh, Shefali Alvares, Zubeen Garg and Akriti Kakar Time: 6:30 PM Onwards Date: March 1 Venue: Phoenix Market City, Mahadevapura


The weekly observer issue 27