first_imgCognizant Technology Solutions Corp. has said that the civil rights lawsuit filed against the company by American workers who accuse it of bias against employees who aren’t Indian, is wrong. The laid-off employees allege that they were fired and replaced by “less qualified” South Asian employees.At least three former American employees — Christy Palmer, Edward Cox, Vartan Piroumian — accused the firm of forcing them out of their jobs. They said they were treated poorly by Indian supervisors and colleagues, denied promotions and were given low-performance ratings. according to Bloomberg. The case was filed in September 2017 and the information technology giant could face a class action.The plaintiffs have accused the company of using fraudulent H-1B visa applications to secure South Asian workers from overseas, giving them preference to over American workers. Even when making local hires, the company favors South Asians, the complaint said. South Asians are also given more promotions than their non-South Asian counterparts and it the company non-South Asians at disproportionately high rates. At least 75 per cent (if not more) of Cognizant’s employees are South Asian, despite South Asians making up about 12 per cent of the American IT Industry, the complaint said.Cognizant contends that the accusations against the firm are not covered by federal civil rights law. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, but plaintiffs’ factual allegations, on their face, plainly pertain to a claim of discrimination based on national origin — not race,” Cognizant said in a court filing. It also said that the complaint is clearly targeted at “visa holders, but visa-status allegations have nothing to do with race.”U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee said on March 15 in Los Angeles that she would rule on Cognizant’s request to dismiss the claims without a hearing.Cognizant is the biggest United States-based sponsor of H-1B visas, and received received 29,000 H-1B visas in 2017. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) received the second most number of H-1B visas, according to the Department of Homeland Services.Cognizant isn’t the only IT firm that has been accused of preferring Indian employees.TCS faced a similar lawsuit in 2017. The California judge rejected a request from TCS to dismiss a 2015 lawsuit accusing it of violating anti-discrimination laws by favoring South Asians. The case was expanded into a class action lawsuit.The law firm representing disgruntled TCS and Cognizant employees is also accusing Infosys Ltd. and Wipro Ltd., two other IT outsourcing firms, of similar practices.While TCS, Infosys and Wipro are headquartered in India, Cognizant is based out of Teaneck, New Jersey. Related ItemsCognizantInfosystata consultancy serviceslast_img read more

first_imgThe New York State Supreme Court sentenced an Indian American woman to 12 years in prison for throwing her newborn baby in trash. Nausheen Rahman, 30, had, before her sentencing, submitted a plea before the court saying that her actions were a result of orthodox Muslim upbringing, which looks down on unwed mothers.“When I became pregnant, I was terrified of the response of my father and the cultural backlash that I knew I would experience, so I hid my pregnancy out of fear; fearing condemnation and estrangement from the family and an unspoken terror that would brand me as an evil and wicked person for the rest of my life,” her statement said.“It is the cultural corruption (of Islam) that places young girls and women under very rigid and unforgiving circumstances,” she told the court.Nausheen’s father, Aamir Rahman, refused to comment on what his daughter did, India West reported.The sentence was agreed upon when Rahman pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Sept. 12, according to Nausheen Rahman’s attorney Michael Cirigliano. “If we had gone to trial, she would have faced 25 years to life,” he told the publication. He also said that the judge could have imposed more years despite the negotiated plea.The judge did not heed Rahman’s plea for leniency before her sentencing on Dec. 11, according to a Staten Island Advance report.Calling her actions “unthinkable, unforgivable, callous,” he said: “You took a harmless child and put it in a garbage bag as if it was a worthless piece of trash. Today and only today do you show an ounce of remorse, so your sentence is well deserved.”Rahman, a resident of Staten Island, New York, has been in custody since March 12, 2016. The police had found a newborn baby, sucking on his thumb in a fetal position, wrapped inside a garbage bag in a trash bin outside Rahman’s house. After her arrest, she gave a confession to the police saying that she had not checked to see whether the baby was breathing. Rahman told detectives in a video-recorded interview last year: “I was like, ‘OK, he’s not crying, he’s not moving, maybe he’s dead. When I picked it up to put it in the bag, that’s when I saw he wasn’t breathing.”Rahman has already served almost 22 months of her 12-year sentence. Related ItemsNew Yorklast_img read more

first_imgThe long-term water supply projects in Rajasthan will be completed on time to ensure the availability of water in the geographically difficult areas. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has given instructions for speeding up implementation of water supply schemes for both drinking and irrigation.Mr. Gehlot said at a review meeting here after the appointment of committees for the Rajiv Gandhi Jal Sanchay Yojana that the long-term projects would permanently resolve the issue of paucity of water caused by scanty and erratic rainfall in the State. “The projects should be formulated to meet the local needs and regularly monitored,” he said.The progress of projects financed by institutions such as the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Japan International Cooperation Agency and New Development Bank as well as the dam, canal and small irrigation projects was reviewed on the occasion.The committees appointed at the district, block and village panchayat levels for the Yojana will coordinate the activities of various departments and monitor the progress of work for water conservation.last_img read more

first_imgView comments Spoelstra, 47, and his wife announced earlier Wednesday that they are expecting their first child, a son.Lauri Markkanen scored 25 points and Robin Lopez added 22 for the Bulls, who were 7 for 28 from 3-point range and got five of those makes in the final 2 minutes. Chicago fell to 1-5, matching its worst start since 2007-08.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutDion Waiters also scored 13 for the Heat, who were without starting forward James Johnson — a late scratch with right knee tendinitis.Miami was rolling early, up 20-6 after 8 minutes and 35-20 midway through the second quarter. The Bulls started 1 for 10 from the floor, Whiteside had eight rebounds in the game’s first 4:50 and everything was working for Miami. Heat: Whiteside made his 200th appearance with the Heat. … This was one of Miami’s four November home games. The Heat play at home three times in the next four weeks, and have 17 of their next 24 on the road. … Miami hasn’t lost four straight games in the same homestand since March 10-16, 2008. … Justise Winslow made his first shot, giving him seven straight makes over three games.NEW ERAWednesday marked the first time since March 26, 2003 that the Heat and Bulls played and Dwyane Wade wasn’t on either roster. Miami and Chicago played 71 times between 2003-04 and last season; Wade played for Miami in 64 of those games, sat out four and played for Chicago in the three Bulls-Heat matchups last season.SPO STATSAmong the 30 current NBA coaches, only San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich has held his job longer than Spoelstra. But there are only nine coaches who are younger than the Heat sideline boss: Luke Walton, Tyronn Lue, Brad Stevens, Dave Joerger, former Heat assistant David Fizdale, Frank Vogel, Jason Kidd, Michael Malone and Hoiberg. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games That is, until the Bulls started attacking.A 24-10 run by Chicago tied the game late in the half, seven of those field goals by the Bulls coming in close proximity to the rim. Chicago led by as many as six in the third and probably should have been up more, missing five shots at the rim late in the quarter.The Heat reclaimed the lead with a 10-1 run to end the third, Tyler Johnson scoring five of those points and Dragic hitting a late 3 as Miami took a 67-64 lead into the fourth.TIP INSBulls: Chicago tinkered with its starting lineup, adding David Nwaba and having Paul Zipser come off the bench. Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg is exploring certain combinations ahead of the looming return of Bobby Portis (suspension). … The Bulls trailed by as many as 14 in the first quarter, the earliest they’d faced such a deficit so early this season. … Justin Holiday missed 12 of his first 13 shots.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next LATEST STORIES Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFPMIAMI — Goran Dragic scored 20 points and Tyler Johnson added 19 as the Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls 97-91 on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) to end a three-game slide.Hassan Whiteside returned from a five-game absence with a bruised knee and scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Heat, who went 3-3 on their six-game homestand and gave coach Erik Spoelstra what has apparently become his annual gift — it was the fourth straight year Miami played and won on his birthday.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Hayward, in blog post, expresses thanks for support QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

first_imgChot chooses Gilas veterans Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Cignal will once again parade the core of the Red Lions, fresh from their triumph in NCAA Season 93, with 2017 Aspirants’ Cup Season MVP Robert Bolick and hardworking forward Javee Mocon counted on to provide the leadership.The Hawkeyes edged Racal Motors in three games in the Aspirants’ Cup Finals last season before making it a championship double with a sweep of Centro Escolar University in the Foundation Cup.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAlready the winningest mentor in the developmental ranks, Fernandez pushed his PBA D-League title collection to eight championships.Cignal, however, has lost valuable members of its championship teams with Raymar Jose and Jason Perkins being picked in the top four of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft and Pamboy Raymundo and Oping Sumalinog joining Tanduay Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netReigning back-to-back titlist Cignal HD-San Beda will be returning to the PBA D-League after all.Coach Boyet Fernandez and his boys are returning to defend the throne for the Hawkeyes as they push the participating teams this upcoming 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup to 13 squads.ADVERTISEMENT Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ View commentscenter_img CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Read Next The Hawkeyes’ entry also increased the number of school-based teams to eight this first conference, while also bringing the count of participants to a record-tying 13, the same number of teams which joined the 2011 Foundation Cup.Aside from Cignal, also joining this year are CEU, Tanduay, Marinerong Pilipino, Batangas-EAC, Zark’s Burger-Lyceum, JRU, AMA Online Education, Wangs Basketball, Gamboa Coffee Mix, and newcomers Perpetual, Powerball-St. Benilde, and Mila’s Lechon.The 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup tips off on January 18.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’ PLAY LIST 02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’01:50Palace defends Duterte’s absences from Asean events00:50Trending Articles01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justicelast_img read more

first_imgPerpetual’s win over St. Benilde forfeited Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Jeff Horn, left, of Australia and Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines fight during their WBO World welterweight title bout in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, July 2, 2017. Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight world title to Horn in a stunning, unanimous points decision in the Sunday afternoon bout billed as the Battle of Brisbane in front of more than 50,000 people. (Photo by TERTIUS PICKARD / AP)Some colleagues of Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao expressed their dismay at the results of the recent scoring review conducted by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) that declared Australian Jeff Horn as the clear winner.“Yun ang tingin nila eh, ang tingin ng karamihan hindi,” Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said in an ambush interview on Tuesday. “Karamihan ng mga komentarista, boxing aficionados, hindi eh. I don’t know what their gauge was.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend (“That’s what they think, but majority of the people disagree with them. Most of the commentators and boxing aficionados disagree with them.”)The WBO re-examined the fight after Pacquiao and Games and Amusement Board, the Philippine government’s sports regulatory body, blasted the referees and the judges and demanded a review after the senator lost in Brisbane on July 2.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsPacquiao said the WBO’s decision no longer surprised him.READ: WBO review rules Horn beat PacquiaoFor his part, Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said that the WBO had to uphold its decision because it credibility was at stake.center_img China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Former Sen. Rene Saguisag recently criticized Pacquiao, saying that the boxer-turned-politician continued with his training despite reports that the Maute terrorist group had slipped into Sarangani, Pacquiao’s home province.READ: Ex-Senator Saguisag slams lawmakers for lame stance on martial lawBut Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV believes that Pacquiao succeeded in juggling his duties at the Senate and his boxing career.“Siguro nung congressman siya. Pero ngayon, as a Senator, hindi naman siya naga-absent at present naman siya sa mga investigations. Nagspo-sponsor siya. Nagi-interpellate siya,” Trillanes said in an interview.(“Maybe it was different when he was a congressman. But now, as a senator, he is rarely absent and he is present during investigations. He sponsors, he interpellates.)“He is active, kumpara nga dun sa iba na wala namang second profession, pero hindi niyo naman maririnig yung boses. I believe, ginagampanan niya yung kanyang trabaho,” he added.(“He is active, compared to others who do not have a second profession but you barely hear their voices. I believe that he is able to do his job”.)Sen. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian also expressed his support towards Pacquiao.“I was rooting for Senator Manny,” Gatchalian said.“Nakita ko yung dedication niya sa trabaho niya and he really tried to manage his time in both the boxing profession and here in the Senate (I saw his dedication in his work),” he added.The topic of the boxer-turned-politician’s retirement from his sports career drew mixed reactions from the senators. Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR (“As a friend, I would really advise Senator Manny to think about these two difficult jobs. Senate is not an easy task. The pressure is too great. And he has to really analyze if he could manage these two big responsibilities.”)“So, it’s really up to him now to assess his time and his capability and also the efforts he is putting in these two big responsibilities,” he added. “But it’s really time to assess. Ganitong disruptions sa buhay mag-assess talaga tayo kung ano yung landas na gusto nating puntahan (With disruptions in life like this one we really need to assess what path we would like to follow).” –Airei Kim Guanga, intern /atmSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “Siyempre kailangan nila panindigan yung pagkakamali nila,” Angara said. “Once binawi nila yun, magkaka-issue. Yung credibilidad nila apektado.”(“Of course, they have to stand by their mistake. If they retract that decision, there will be issues and their credibility will be affected.”)“Nakakita ka na ba ng WBO na nagsabi na ang dapat nanalo ay yung kabila? I’m not aware of any case or any fight na sinabi nila nagkamali yung mga judges nila,” he added.(“Have you witnessed the WBO say that the winner is the other party? I’m not aware of any case or any fight where they said that their judges were wrong.”)Some senators came to their colleague’s defense when asked to comment regarding the criticisms being thrown at the neophyte senator.ADVERTISEMENT The senators all agreed, however, that Pacquiao’s retirement would be entirely up to him.Sotto encouraged Pacquiao to challenge Horn to a rematch, especially since Pacquiao, Sotto jokingly added, would earn “billion dollars per fight.”Angara, for his part, said that he would “respect” whatever Pacquiao’s decision would be.“Iba yung kondisyon ni Manny. Manny is not an ordinary 39-year-old. Yung katawan niya pang-trenta lang,” Angara said.  “Kung feeling niya kaya niya, rerespetuhin ko yun dahil siya lang nakakaalam talaga kung kaya niya.”(“Manny’s physical condition is different. Manny is not an ordinary 39-year-old. His body is that of a 30-year-old. If he feels that he can still do it, I will respect that because he alone knows if he can still do it.”)Trillanes affirmed that he remained a “boxing fan of Manny” and recalled the time when he was in detention the latter’s fights brought him “joy and pride every time.”“Si Senator Pacquiao lang ang makakasagot niyan – kung kaya niya o hindi na niya kaya. Ako, I believe, kung kaya pa niya, sige lang lumaban pa siya kasi he should continue to make our countrymen proud,” Trillanes said.(“Only Senator Pacquiao can answer that – whether he could still do it or not. For me, I believe that if he could still do it, he should keep fighting because he should continue to make our countrymen proud.”)Gatchalian advised Pacquiao to “really analyze” if he could manage two big responsibilities – being a boxer and being a senator.“As a friend, I would really advise Senator Manny to think about itong dalawang mabigat na trabaho,” Gatchalian said. “Senate is not an easy task. Napakabigat nung pressure. And he has to really analyze kung kaya ba talagang i-manage yung dalawang napakalaking responsibility.” View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

first_imgIndian weightlifters won four medals on the opening day of the XIXth Commonwealth Games but failed to clinch a gold.Ngangbam Soniya Chanu, who was expected to win the first gold for India, had to be content with a silver after 17-year-old Nigerian student Augustina Nwaokolo put in her best show at the Games to win the 48kg title at the weightlifting complex of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Monday. India’s Sandhya Rani Devi Atom finished with a bronze.Among the men, India’s Sukhen Dey and Srinivasa Rao won silver and bronze medals respectively in the 56kg class. Malaysia’s Amirul Ibrahim won the gold.Nwaokolo also set a new Commonwealth Games record of 175kg after a snatch lift of 77kg and clean and jerk attempt of 98kg.After gliding through the opening stage with three confident lifts in the snatch, Nwaokolo then succeeded with 94kg and 98kg in the clean and jerk before failing with 100kg.Chanu began her campaign by lifting 73kg in her first snatch attempt. In her second and third attempts, she tried to lift 76kg but failed. In clean and jerk, Chanu lifted 94kg in her first attempt but failed to lift 103kg in her other two attempts. Chanu lifted 167kg in total to win silver.”It was a sad day for me. I think God was not with me today. My coach was really hopeful that I will win gold but I will say I am unlucky that I missed two chances of winning gold here,” Chanu said.advertisementOn the other hand, Sandhya failed to impress in her very first attempt.She lifted 70kg in her second attempt but failed to lift 73kg in her third attempt. However, she improved her performance in clean and jerk as she lifted 90kg in her first attempt and then found success in lifting 95kg to make a new Commonwealth Games record, which was soon broken by Nwaokolo. She lifted 165kg in total to settle for bronze.”I am happy to win bronze here but disappointed that I could not do better in snatch. I missed the gold medal but let’s hope we win in the men’s category. We were sure to win the gold here but it all went wrong today.We were hoping for the best results as we worked hard but I will say it’s our bad luck,” Sandhya said.Coach Harnam Singh also said it was unfortunate that India did not win gold. “I apologise to everyone because I had said India will win a gold medal in 48kg,” he said.Erika Yamasaki of Australia, the bronze medallist in Melbourne, crashed out of the event after failing three times while attempting 88kg in clean and jerk.The 23- year-old collapsed on the floor and began crying after her unsuccessful attempts.last_img read more

first_imgBOXINGLight flyweight Amandeep Singh; bantam weight Akhil Kumar; flyweight Suranjoy Mayengbam; light welterweight Manoj KumarATHLETICSMen’s: High jump (Nikhil Chittarasu, Hari Sankar Roy); 100m (G. Nagaraj, Md Abdul Najeeb Qureshi, Krishnakumar Satish Rane); 400m (Vinay Chouldhry, Harpreet Singh)Women’s : 1500m (Jhuma Khatun, O.P. Jaisha, Sushma Devi); 100m (H.M. Jyothi, Satti Geetha); 400m (Mandeep Kaur, Manjeet Kaur)GYMNASTICSMen’s: Rings (Ashish Kumar); pommel horse (Ashish Kumar)Women’s: Vault (Dipa Karmakar)HOCKEYWomen’s Gr A: Trinidad vs IndiaMen’s: India vs AustraliaSHOOTINGWomen’s: 50m rifle 3 position singles (Lajjakumari Gauswami, Tejaswini Sawant)Men’s: 10m air pistol pairs (Gurpreet Singh, Omkar Singh); 25m rapid fire pistol pairs (Vijay Kumar, Gurpreet Singh); double trap singles (Asher Noria, Ronjan Sodhi)NETBALLIndia vs Trinidad and TobagoSWIMMINGMen’s: 50m breaststroke (Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Puneet Rana, Sandeep Sejwal); 100m butterfly (Virdhawal Khade, Arjun Muralidharan); 100m backstroke (Rohit Rajendra Havaldar, Balakrishnan Melkote Badrinath, Rehan Poncha); 400m individual medley (Merwyn Roark Chen, Rehan Poncha)Women’s: 50m backstroke (Fariha Zaman, Jyotsna Pansare); 50m freestyle (Talasha Satish Prabhu, Sneha Thirugnanasambandam); 100m breaststroke (Poorva Kiran Shetye)WEIGHTLIFTINGMen’s: 77kg (Sudhir Kumar)WRESTLINGWomen’s: Freestyle: Nirmala Devi (48 Kg), Babita Kumari (51), Geeta (55)last_img read more

first_imgThe Delhi Metro was the choice of Delhiites trying to reach the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium for the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on Thursday.The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation was responsible for ferrying more than 70 per cent of the total number of spectators. According to official Metro ridership figures, 45,000 people used the Metro to reach the stadium. On Thursday, the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, Jangpura and Jorbagh Metro stations recorded a total ridership of 45,000 people.The stadium’s Metro station recorded the maximum ridership of 22,000 spectators while 18,000 and 5,000 commuters used the Jangpura and Jorbagh stations respectively. Unlike the day of the opening ceremony, the glitches on the Metro lines were minimal on Thursday. An equal number of people used these stations for getting back to their homes after the closing ceremony.The Delhi Metro had made elaborate arrangements to handle this rush with full support from the Central Industrial Security Force and the Delhi Police. Officials said they ran trains at an all-time high frequency of less than two minutes on the Central Secretariat-Sarita Vihar (Line-6) section.last_img read more

first_imgFrom trends to watches, a lowdown on everything new in the city.Restaurant review Sinful delights Launched in July 2010 by the Alchemist Group, Kebab Khan is a concept, fine dining restaurant at Panchkula. The eatery maps the journey of Kebabs from Persia, Afghanistan, North West Frontier, Pakistan and Awadh till,From trends to watches, a lowdown on everything new in the city.Restaurant reviewSinful delights Launched in July 2010 by the Alchemist Group, Kebab Khan is a concept, fine dining restaurant at Panchkula. The eatery maps the journey of Kebabs from Persia, Afghanistan, North West Frontier, Pakistan and Awadh till Hyderabad in India. It draws the diner to a luscious array of kebabs, including 25-30 different types from various regions. Done up in rich colours, the place has a regal, warm feel. Offering North West Frontier Cuisine, it specialises in kebabs with select curries and breads as supplements. Try their nalli gosht, tawa amritsari kukkad and galauti kebab.Thai flavours Enjoy a Thai spread at Zen Garden in the five star boutique hotel Bella Vista in Panchkula. Tri-city’s only authentic Thai cuisine finedining restaurant, this roof-top eatery offers a picturesque view of the Shivaliks. Done up in shades of maroon, burgundy and gold, the fine-dining restaurant recreates mini-Thailand. Thai fixtures, bamboo and the gold leaf logo add to the appeal. Executive Chef Manohar, armed with 15 years of experience from Dubai, has used his expertise for rustling up authentic Thai flavours. The vegetarians must try spicy thai corn cakes, todman khao phot served with sweet chilli sauce and larb woonsen in spring roll wrapper. Non vegetarian specialties include northeastern thai pork salad, yum mu isaan in the appetisers and thai ginger chicken.What’s upCool shades As it gets hotter, the palette is getting brighter, especially when it comes to accessories. Punjabi fashionistas are teaming up pastel ensembles with funky neckpieces and flipflops in acid hues-think electric blue, sunshine orange, flaming red and bubblegum pink!advertisementClutch this Moving beyond cocktail saris, cocktail clutches are the in thing. Staying true to form, clutches in a delectable riot of colours are being flaunted by the younger segment, which is adventurous about accessories.What’s downLong is passeGowns! The red carpet look was never too hot here, but it’s totally out with summer at our door. Even for parties, short one piece dresses and jumpsuits are a rage. Not only are they fuss-free and figure flaunting, but also keep you cool on those sweltering days!Embellishment overdoseToo many accessories and jewellery are passe. Glam up your outfits with minimal, lightweight accessories this summer.Hair storyPrim and proper, neat hairstyles are out, and natural, even slightly messy look is in.Products basketTie me up The World Cup might be over, but not cricket fever. Get into the mood with these digitally printed, funky Satya Paul, ICC inspired ties in woven silk. Rs 995 upwards.Serve in style This two-tiered cake stand turns every thing into a special occasion. Elegant and functional, it can be used either traditionally for chocolate and fruit or as a purely decorative display. Rs 25,000.Bag this Stylish Shield evening bag with rivet details for a casual evening about town. Made in vegetable tanned faux crocodile leather. Rs 3295.Lion king The strong lion stands on a threepieced cut mahogany granite base. In clear Swarovski crystal, the asymmetrical faceting accentuates its power and charisma. Rs 55,000.Flaunt it Super-flattering, psychedelic Tunic by Neha Periwal. Ideal to sport at a dinner party. Price on request.Sport this The watches of the Montblanc Sport Collection are designed for an active lifestyle of watch freaks and sportspeople. Montblanc’s fine jewellery accessories are a real statement. Price on request.Sole comfort These flip-flops from Tommy Hilfiger are an absolute summer staple and a perfectly comfortable, holiday wardrobe accessory. Rs 1399.Look who’sComing for dinnerJonita Doda is currently filming for Punjabi flick Yaara o Dildaara with Harbhajan Mann and Kabir Bedi, slotted for release in September. The model, who’s just finished shooting for a series of Pantaloon ads, loves to flaunt light, airy and loose fit clothes, ponytails and wavy hair. Her favourites include flowing dresses teamed with chunky neckpieces. She says, “I also have a thing for chunky belts and earrings. I’m careful not to overdo accessories.”last_img read more

first_imgThe proposed merger between the two federations running the national game has been put on hold with the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) asking for more time before it can respond to the sports ministry’s proposals.The government had mooted a formula whereby the strength of Hockey India’s executive board was to be raised from 17 to 33 to accommodate IHF members, with the working committee also expanded to comprise five individuals.However, IHF president RK Shetty said his federation needed more time to discuss it among the members and has asked for eight more days to reply to the sports ministry’s proposals.”This issue has been hanging fire for three years and one cannot expect it to be resolved in a couple of days,” Shetty told MAIL TODAY on Tuesday.”Therefore, we have written back to the ministry and asked for seven more days to think about the matter.””We will only be able to make a detailed response to your proposal after we analyse the impact of each point and study the pros and cons of it. We anticipate that a diligent and responsible process will take a week and we accordingly request you to grant us time till June 21 to revert to you,” read Shetty’s letter to sports minister Ajay Maken.Hockey India does not have too many objections to the government proposals, and secretary general Narinder Batra has sent a point-by-point response to the 10 clauses.”I would not want to divulge too much about our response, but we have sent our reply within the stipulated time,” Batra told MAIL TODAY. Maken termed the development as positive and said that the acceptance of the ministry’s proposal by Hockey India and the positive tone and tenor of IHF gave him hope that the two bodies will come together at the earliest in the interest of the game.advertisementShetty said he will have to take all the other IHF office-bearers, including former president KPS Gill, on board before submitting an official response.Even if there is a merger between the two bodies at the national level, the bigger concern about the state units remains.”What happens if there are problems at the state level? There are so many court cases pending throughout the country,” the IHF president said.Talks between the two rival federations are also essential before they join hands.”We had a few discussions with Hockey India earlier also, but they never advanced past the initial stages.” Gill, who is now an advisor in the IHF, is proposed to be made the life patron, according to the ministry’s plan.”He has kept IHF alive for the last three years and spent his own time and money in court battles. I have discussed the proposals with him and he agrees with my views,” Shetty added.last_img read more

first_img‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants “I feel like I knocked some rust off, which was great this week,” Woods said. “Figured a few things out as the week was going along. I just felt like I got better each and every day. My rounds got cleaner, and that’s what I want to have happen. I’ll be ready in a couple weeks.”His performance at a tournament he has won seven times was about the same as last year, when he shot 72 in the final round on a much tougher South course and tied for 23rd, never a threat to the win the tournament but picking up spots on the leaderboard.The difference was his outlook the rest of the year.He was just returning to the PGA Tour from his fourth back surgery last year, and Woods says he wasn’t sure how his back was going to hold up the early part of the year until he made it to Florida without any physical issues.While he conceded to some tournament rust — this was only his second event since he won the Tour Championship on Sept. 23 — Woods says there is far less uncertainty about what he expects out of his game.ADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ LATEST STORIES Patriots, Rams arrive in Atlanta, get ready for Super Bowl week “Got to have these little goals when I’m not in contention to win a tournament,” Woods said. “Still something positive to end the week on.”Another tiny victory: It was the first time since 2008 that Woods broke par all four rounds at Torrey Pines.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsWoods closed with a 5-under 67 and tied for 20th.It was never going to be enough to catch Justin Rose, though Woods believes he got enough out of the week to feel reasonably well about the start of his year. “Finishing the year the way I did, hitting it like I did was great because I finally built it to a place where I can take a little time off and I know what I’ll have when I come back,” Woods said. “I don’t have to go looking, searching for something. So that helps a lot.”Woods was stuck in neutral for much of the day after starting on No. 10. And then he made a pair of 12-foot birdie putts early on the front nine, saved par with a 10-foot putt on No. 4 and hit it tight on No. 5 for another birdie. After a three-putt par on the par-5 sixth, Woods closed with two birdies for his 67, his best score on the South course at Torrey since a 66 on Saturday in 2008, when he won this PGA Tour event by eight shots.The biggest question about Woods was the color of his Sunday shirt, which up close was red-and-white stripes, but with enough tiny streaks in the red that from a distance it appeared to be pink.So, was it pink or red?“Yeah,” Woods said with a smile.He now heads home to Florida for two weeks before returning at Riviera for the Genesis Open, where last year he missed the cut.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Tiger Woods waits to hit his tee shot on the 11th hole of the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course during the final round of the Farmers Insurance golf tournament Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)SAN DIEGO — With nothing to gain, Tiger Woods was happy to take whatever victory he could find at Torrey Pines.His goal Sunday in the Farmers Insurance Open, where he started the final round 13 shots behind, was to reach double digits under par. Woods birdied his last two holes for a 31 on the front nine of the South Course and finished at 10-under par.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town View commentslast_img read more

first_imgBrazil’s Neymar with teammate Dani Alves at a training session at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil, on June 16. (AP PhotoNeymar and his Brazilian teammates will be back in action for their second match at the World Cup, before Russia and South Korea have even kicked off their campaigns.Brazil won the tournament’s opening game last week against Croatia and on Tuesday will meet Mexico, which beat Cameroon 1-0 in its first Group A game. A win for either team would go a long way toward securing a spot in the next stage.Russia against South Korea is the second of two Group H matches on day six, which gets underway with Belgium against Algeria.High StakesBrazil striker Hulk is a doubtful starter after missing training for two days due to a left leg injury, meaning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari may have to change a winning formula.Scolari planned to leave the decision until game day, saying, “If he can’t play we lose something because this team has been playing together for a long time with this same system.”Five-time World Cup champion Brazil has won 16 of its last 17 matches, including the Confederations Cup on home soil last year, and Scolari attributes that to sticking with a formula.If Hulk is ruled out, Chelsea midfielder Ramires and 21-year-old Bernard could come into contention for a starting spot.The Brazilians got the benefit of a questionable penalty call in their 3-1 comeback win over Croatia, while Mexico had two contentious decisions go against them before Giovani Dos Santos found the back of the net against Cameroon.advertisementCoincidentally, Brazil and Mexico met at Fortaleza in the Confederations Cup last year, with Neymar scoring to help the home team to a 2-0 win. Neymar, who lived up to expectations last week with two goals in the win over Croatia, has had a change of hairstyles in between.The Mexicans have won seven of the last 15 matches against Brazil. And Mexico won the 2012 Olympic gold medal, beating Brazil in the final.Mexico “has always created difficulties for Brazil and I’m sure it won’t be any different this time,” said Oscar, who was on the Brazil team that lost the Olympic final.The winner of Tuesday’s match would be guaranteed a spot in the next round if Cameroon and Croatia draw their match on Wednesday in Manaus.last_img read more

first_imgIndia’s Rupinder Singh in action against South Africa on ThursdayThe Indian men’s hockey team won their fourth and final Pool A game 5-2 against South Africa Thursday to qualify for the Commonwealth Games semi-finals where they will take on New Zealand at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre on Saturday.India needed to at least draw the contest to have any chance of qualifying for the last four and they did it in style by thrashing the Africans, for whom it was a must-win contest.India finished second in Pool A with three wins out of four matches behind defending champions Australia, who won all four matches to top the group. In the other semi-final Saturday, World No.1 Australia will take on England.India got into business right at the start to earn their first penalty corner in the third minute. Drag-flicker VR Raghunath made no mistake in converting the opportunity to open the account for the 2010 silver medallists.India earned another penalty corner in the next minute but this time it was saved by agile South African goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterse.World No 9 India kept the pressure on and in the ninth minute Rupinder Pal Singh was successful in converting another penalty corner to make it 2-0.Ramandeep Singh then extended the lead to 3-0 in the 22nd minute by scoring a field goal. Four minutes later India scored another through forward SV to put India 4-0 in the lead.South Africa came out in a different gear in the second half and finally in the 42nd minute registered their first goal which came from the stick of Taine Paton. They scored once again in the 47th minute through captain Austin Smith’s penalty corner flick.advertisementBut India had the last laugh when in the 58th minute Manpreet Singh’s diving goal helped India take the score to 5-2.last_img read more

first_imgJagannath Mishra: Trapped”The Press Bill? I have nothing more to say about it. I have said all there was to say … but hasn’t it created a sensation? Quite something … no one else has had the guts … it requires guts to get it through, you know?”Between strangled giggles,Jagannath Mishra: Trapped”The Press Bill? I have nothing more to say about it. I have said all there was to say … but hasn’t it created a sensation? Quite something … no one else has had the guts … it requires guts to get it through, you know?”Between strangled giggles and gulps – like a drowning man coming up for air – Bihar’s Chief Minister Dr Jagannath Mishra confronts visitors in his office. His pudgy hands, flashing six rings nervously, finger first one pen, then another. Greasy hair slicked back from a round, jowly face, his eyes shift from person to person, never meeting those of the interviewer.Every few minutes he grunts and uncomfortably moves his bulk in the chair, calling a halt to further question. “Bas, bas, that’s enough,” he says, looking around frantically for respite, but there are no comforting distractions. Fawning secretaries and officials wait in hushed silence for his reactions. State ministers and hangers-on line the edges of his offices for a few minutes of his time. There are only more questions to which he either has no answer, or flat predictable comment.Mishra is also said to have inherited many of his brother’s fetishes: for esoteric religious rituals, for ‘fixing’ files and documents, for unabashedly raising finance, and most of all for keeping his family and friends in clover.When asked a particularly uncomfortable question, such as his alleged obsession with tantric rituals, Dr Mishra’s face turns a colour of deep chocolate. “Fareb hai, fareb hai…sab fareb hai” (Lies, lies … it’s all lies), he mutters, even more frantically shifty-eyed, like some desperately beleaguered form of caged ape in a travelling circus.advertisementPhoney Bravura: There is a touch of gallows humour these days as his portly figure bustles out every morning in Patna to approach long benches of petitioners waiting for his darshan outside his official residence.There is a phoney bravura about his utterances as he sits in his office redecorated to resemble a suburban mithai shop – a false ceiling in ornamental plaster, walls panelled in mauve-coloured material, and a reading lamp more suitable for a starlet’s bedroom.An unending stream of visitors in his chair-lined office wait to be summoned by a nod of his rotund face, a wave of a beringed finger, or simply a short, snappy grunt.Today, Bihar’s chief minister is a man trapped. As his notorious “anti-press bill” hangs fire in New Delhi for the Central Government’s assent, the nation-wide stir it has aroused has cornered the wily overlord of Patna in the most controversial clinch of his political career. Today the very throne he hoped to retain forever is threatened, and as the Bihar agitation mounts into a major movement, Mishra’s raj prevails shakily.Only a few months ago, things were different. Mishra was behaving like a man possessed; convinced of his crusade against the media, he had been busy putting the finishing touches to an elaborate scheme he believed would silence the most potent opposition in the state – the press.He was breathing fire and brimstone, taking out massive advertisements in newspapers propagating the bill, issuing statements and addressing press conferences to propound his cause.Nervous reactions such as these are all that Mishra is capable of these days. Gone is the bluster, the tough-guy image, the shrewd-operator tactics of a chief minister of one of the worst-administered states in the country. Even his loyal supporters in the party agree that Mishra did not expect the bill to boomerang so violently.Says dissident Congress(I) MLA Ashwini Kumar Sharma, who has been avidly campaigning against Mishra: “The man is a liar. He assured many legislators privately that he was pushing through the bill with Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Vasant Sathe’s approval. Now he must pay for his misdeeds. He has never taken the state legislature party into confidence on any issue let alone the press bill.”Even senior officials of the Bihar Government today admit that the anti-press bill agitation throughout Bihar has become a peg for widespread grievances among the state’s 70 million inhabitants: rampant corruption and maladministration, increasing economic backwardness and social bigotry, atrocities like the Bhagalpur blindings, growing scarcities and misappropriation of state and Central Government funds have reduced life in Bihar to a nightmarish ordeal.”Welcome to hell,” is the greeting a foreign journalist was met with when he recently called upon the editor of The Indian Nation, Patna’s premier English daily.Bihar in the consciousness of not only outsiders, but those who live there, has assumed the image of some terrible geographical aberration, a grim backwater that only sinks deeper into its morass of collective evil, Former chief minister Abdul Ghafoor, now an independent MLA, agrees that things have reached a nadir in Bihar: “True, there was always corruption, casteism and inefficiency before but Jagannath Mishra’s Government seems to have institutionalised all these things.” But Mishra himself argues that “corruption is everywhere – not any more in Bihar than in Uttar Pradesh.”advertisementFrom the Urban Cooperative Bank case, now pending judgement in the Supreme Court, to harassment of senior officials to an alleged Union Home Ministry probe into his affairs (for a complete charge-sheet of Mishra’s misdemeanours see box alongside) Mishra and his government has been racked by scandal ever since he became chief minister for the second time in June 1980.Sections of the bureaucracy are so demoralised in Bihar due to repeated transfers and blatant promotion of corrupt officials that day-to-day administration has virtually come to a standstill, paralysing an already inefficient machinery.Mishra’s political colleagues, his family, friends from his community of Maithali Brahmins, have been shamelessly afforded sinecures. As Mishra continues in office, his family and friends continue to prosper.Ironically, those who knew him at earlier stages of his life, have contrary impressions of the man. They remember him as a fairly innocuous professor of economics, totally under the thumb of his oldest brother, the former railway minister, the late Lalit Narain Mishra.Lalitbabu was the towering patriarch of the family – a legendary fundraiser for Mrs Gandhi, a Central cabinet minister for 15 years – and Jagannath his adoring brother back in Patna entered state politics to suit his needs and demands.Lalitbabu was the wheeler-dealer incarnate but Jagannath, entering the Bihar cabinet as irrigation minister in 1972, used to leave the dirty deals to him. “He was never a straight talker or a simple man but he wasn’t such an operator then,” says a Patna journalist who knew him well in the mid-1970s.Obvious Choice: It was after Lalitbabu’s death in January 1975 in the Samastipur bomb blast that Jagannath became Mrs Gandhi’s obvious choice for chief ministership. It was a characteristic choice: she knew the family well and was assured of their loyalty; moreover Jagannath was prone to easy control.He was not as shrewd as his brother but politically more pliable. Says Dr Mishra today of his elder brother: “He was the greatest influence in my life … if it wasn’t for him I would be nobody.” His official biodata plugs the point further by pompously claiming “…Dr Mishra has inherited the legacy of Lalitbabu’s eager desire to see Biharat par with the front line states of India.”Having cast himself in the mould of his revered elder brother, Mishra sees himself as his legitimate political successor, and the scion of the Mishra family’s political authority. He has also inherited many of his brother’s fetishes: for esoteric religious rituals, for “fixing” files and documents, for unabashedly raising finance, and most of all for keeping his family and friends in clover.advertisementAlmost the first controversy that embroiled him when he became minister in 1972 was his involvement in the Urban Cooperative Bank scandal, a phoney bank, that he had allegedly helped set up.During both his terms as chief minister he tried to smother the affair, and at present the decision to reopen the case, which he had had withdrawn last year, lies with the Supreme Court. The protracted affair, has dogged Mishra all his political career despite his frantic efforts to close it.There was a time, for example, that he actually professed great regard and affection for journalists. He was protected by Emergency restrictions on the media during his first tenure as chief minister from 1975-77 and later Mishra was an avid cultivator of the Patna press during the Janata Party rule.”He would frequently drop into the office for a chat,” admits a news agency chief in Patna, “his public relations with the media was always excellent. It was only when he became chief minister again in 1980 and the exposures about his regime began that the attitude began to change.”In fact, the scale of his wheeling-dealing apparently also grew during his second term as chief minister. Alleges Sudhir Kumar Mishra, his nephew who has now broken away from him to join the Sanjay Vichar Manch: “I remember that during his first chief ministership he was always running out of cash – he would occasionally borrow the odd hundred rupees. And the Janata days were so bad that he would not have money to pay for five litres of petrol.”Adds opposition leader Karpoori Thakur: “He always had the mentality of a feudal overlord, but this time he has surpassed all limits. Now his only ambition seems to be is to achieve enough security for himself and his family for the next few generations.”Mishra’s life-style has not been especially modest. Though he neither drinks nor smokes, his manner is not exactly underplayed. From the loud, checked silk waistcoats he sports – even in blistering Bihar summers – to the fancy chappals he buys in the corridors of New Delhi’s Connaught Place and the hideous colour schemes he favours for his rooms – pink walls and pink satin drapes – there is a flashiness in his manner. The khadi dhoti-kurtas are as fake as the tongue-clicking platitudes fed to the rows of petitioners waiting on benches for him.The greatest of Mishra’s kinks are his bizarre religious beliefs, his devoted espousal of astrologers, tantrics and godmen of that ilk. Although he steadfastly denies these connections and says he believes “in no one but God” one blatant evidence is the six rings flashing on his pudgy fingers – two large diamonds among the assortment – that change according to the changing confluence of his ruling planets.His jewelled fingers, however, pale into insignificance compared to the outrageous stories about the devout practices he is said to advocate – the most preposterous claim being that earlier this year he witnessed the sacrifice of 108 goats in a tantric temple on the Uttar Pradesh-Bihar border, completing the exercise by bathing in the cascade of blood. “How can I do such a thing when I am a vegetarian myself?” gasps an alarmed Mishra when asked if the incident is true.Superstitious: Still, stories of his devotion to a band of ritualists abound, often supported by his own superstition-ridden habits. Sudhir Mishra, the erring nephew who has been kicked out the chief minister’s camp and was arrested while participating in the journalists’ rally last fortnight insists that the stories about the tantrics are true.”If you were to put on a few beads and dress in funny clothes and send word to his bungalow that a new tantric is in town, he will come rushing for consultations.” Sudhir also alleges that stories about how the chief minister has beaten all records in feathering his own and his family’s nest for their combined future are true.Says he: “Either he has some long-term megalomaniac vision of his political future or he wants to make enough money to retire.” Sudhir Mishra’s disobedience campaign may be a case of sour grapes – it is alleged that he was keen to be made an MLA or MP – but it is certain that closer kin of the chief minister have done quite well in life since he assumed office.The brother just older to Jagannath called Mritunjaya Mishra – known as Balu Babu – was once a humble development officer with the Life Insurance Corporation. After a bad start in politics – he contested the 1977 assembly elections as an Independent against Congress(I) – he is at present a director of the Bihar State Marketing Cooperative Union (BISCOMAN), of the Bihar State Financial Corporation, Jute Corporation of India and the Bank of India.The brother older than him is Shyamanarain Mishra – better known as Jalebi Babu – who has been chosen mukhiya (headman) back in the village of Balua Bazar this year. Though the appointment may sound humble, it is crucial for the Mishra clan to control their landed interests and apparently Jalebi Babu discharges his duties well.The fourth brother, Kamalnarain Mishra – affectionately called Ladoo Babu – is a contractor but it is widely alleged that he operates as a commission agent on behalf of his chief minister brother.Though Jagannath’s own six children are comparatively young – the eldest son is an engineering student in Delhi and the eldest daughter is married – they have on occasion been the subject of allegations.Last year, it was claimed by the Patna University Students Union that the B.A. (Hons.) examination in economics had been rigged to allow the chief minister’s second daughter, Sangeeta, to obtain the second place from the top in the results.It was alleged that she had never been an exceptionally brilliant student, and to make matters appear normal not only had there been an inordinate number of students obtaining first divisions but also she had deliberately been placed second so that the “fixing” did not seem obvious.His nephew, Ranjit Mishra, son of Shyamanarain has featured in a scandal involving the Bihar State Electricity Board’s (BSEB) issuing of unfair contracts to a Bombay manufacturer. And Shyamanarain himself is mentioned in opposition leader Karpoori Thakur’s long list of allegations as being instrumental in getting mechanical engineers appointed in jobs reserved for civil engineers.Prospering: Despite the welter of charges against him and his government, the Mishras of Balua Bazar in north Bihar 500 km from Patna continue to prosper. Till 1977 not a single member of the clan owned property in Patna; today all three of the chief minister’s brothers have acquired a small house each.Prosperity is evident among Dr Mishra’s personal staff as well. His private secretary, Indukant Mishra, who handles his schedules, has built a house in the Kankarbagh suburb of patna this year. So has his personal security officer.Even Dr Hargovind Singh, who was Mishra’s academic guide, and who, it has been said, virtually ghost-wrote his doctoral thesis, was first made director of a social sciences research institute in Patna, and an MLC last year when it became impossible for him to get further extensions.When he began his campaign to intimidate the press, Mishra’s primary motive was to guarantee his own regime. “He probably thought he could kill two birds with a stone: gag the local press and ingratiate himself into Mrs Gandhi’s good books by setting an example of his efficiency,” says the editor of a Patna newspaper.”Instead, he finds himself undefended by both the ruling party in the state or the Centre.” But if Mishra goes, he will probably be carried out crying: “Yeh sab fareb hai…”AllegationsA part from the Urban Cooperative Bank scandal, following are some of the charges leveled against Jagannath Mishra and his Government:Last year opposition leader Karpoori Thakur alleged that the Union Home Ministry conducted an enquiry against him. Specifically, Thakur claimed, the charges were the Bihar Cabinet’s decision to raise the price of spirit from 0.75 paise a litre to Rs 1.80 a litre – an unprecedented rise.The Bihar Government has pumped over Rs 1,321 crore in public undertakings but their cumulative loss has crossed Rs 200 crore.That Mishra scrapped sales tax on eleven items – including chappals and cosmetics – without giving substantial reasons.Mishra has also repealed the Passenger Goods Transport Act after transporters launched an agitation this year. The loss of revenue estimated is between Rs 15-20 crore annually.The most prevalent allegation against Mishra and his regime is the never-ending transfer of police officers and civil servants to lucrative positions. It is estimated that the average tenure of an IAS officer in Bihar, who number some 350, is no more than 11 months in a single job. The average tenure for an IPS officer, of which there are about 125 in the state is even less: nine months.Senior officials of the IPS are so demoralised by Mishra’s actions, that the seniormost officer in the service, Sudhish Narain Singh, has challenged his supersession in the High Court and may follow up his challenge in the Supreme Court.Forty-five IAS officers face corruption charges by the Vigilance Department.Fifty per cent of political pensioners in Bihar are said to be bogus.All of the 33 special schemes instituted by the Government like the social security pension scheme are alleged to be major conduits of revenue leaking and totally non-productive.BIHAR: RULE OF THE RODThe brutal lathi charge on Bihar journalists in Patna: Unprovoked attackThe agitation in Bihar against Jagannath Mishra’s ‘black’ press bill drew first blood last fortnight. Over 500 journalists from all over Bihar had assembled in Patna on August 21 for a convention to ponder the bill.They set out on a seven-kilometre peaceful protest march to the Raj Bhavan. As they walked down Baily Road the police attacked: senior journalists and editors writhed and rolled about in pain on the road as the lathis rained down on the defenceless marchers, barely a furlong away from Mishra’s residence.Some 38 journalists sustained bleeding injuries, a dozen were seriously injured, and about 200 were put under arrest, without food and medical aid. It was the most ruthless action the Government had taken yet against the pressmen and the following day the papers cried out in anguish.Said The Indian Nation, a leading English daily edited by Deenanath Jha, who had fainted under the lathi blows: “The brutal, unprovoked lathi charge was more unexpected and stunning than the anti-press bill itself.” The Searchlight, another leading English newspaper, commented: “It has once again brought to the surface an ugly face of the Government – it will go to any extent to suppress dissent.”Injured journalist Singh: Ruthles suppression of dissentPre-planned Attack: It was clear that the authorities – it is reported that the attack was planned in Mishra’s house – had decided to teach the media a lesson. The police, armed to the teeth with lathis and guns, had spread out across the road to block the progress of the procession beyond the railway crossing near the new secretariat complex, a prohibited zone.They came down heavily on the journalists without any warning or without declaring it unlawful. They seemed to have been tutored thoroughly in their job of smashing heads, and did not even spare Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Lalmuni Choubey who was passing by and tried to save the injured journalists.Informed sources say that Mishra himself earmarked some journalists for favoured treatment. In a shameful sequel to the action, a press note the next day justified the police action saying that the journalists had brought it upon themselves by brick-batting the policemen.Mishra affirmed that some “misguided” journalists and opposition leaders had planned it all. The brick-batting lie was nailed by Superintendent of Police Ram Chander Khan’s statement immediately after the beating which did not mention brick-batting at all. A senior police officer later told India Today: “We do not know who thought up this brick-batting theory,”Continuing Struggle: The press has reacted violently to the charge. Said Jha: “It has only added insult to injury.” The Action Committee of Journalists which had kept politicians out of the movement affirmed in a statement: “Our’s is a journalists’ struggle directed solely against the black bill and as soon as the bill is scrapped the struggle will automatically end.”Patna observed a spontaneous bandh on August 23 which evoked a massive response. Editors’ Guild Chairman S. Sahay rushed to Patna to express solidarity with the journalists. Bihar Governor A.R. Kidwai told a delegation of the Bihar Working Journalists Union that he was shocked to hear about the beating up of journalists. Lok Dal (Thakur) chief Karpoori Thakur warned that ‘Hitlerism’ was in the offing.Mishra himself seems to have lost his patience. On August 2, a similar procession of journalists demonstrated unhindered at the Assembly complex, and this time they obviously thought that the police cordon would politely part to let them through.But three weeks of agitation and anger have frayed the chief minister’s nerves; he flexed his muscles again during the bandh when even schoolboys felt the lathis. Police also rounded up his nephew Sudhir Kumar Mishra, now in the Maneka Gandhi camp, among others.A highly placed police officer warned privately that: “Mishra wants a total police raj in the state.” Mishra himself issued a warning in true gangland style: “I fervently hope that all sensible persons who have unwittingly joined the agitation will pull out of it.” There are few chances that his fervent wish will be granted.As the agitation against the press bill in the aftermath of the brutal lathi charge on journalists assumed the proportions of a 1974-type movement, the Mishra Government turned desperate. Mishra and his henchmen launched a drive to “buy support” and the first to rally round him were a group of nine “pliable” Urdu editors headed by Dr Khalid Rashid Saba, editor of Urdu daily Saathi and a Congress(I) mlc. But soon even Urdu journalists condemned them as self-seekers.Sponsored Dharna: When Mishra found that his editors had been isolated and his game exposed he asked some party leaders to organise a dharna under the banner of All India Newspaper Readers’ Association on August 16 in which a deputy minister played a leading role and about 1,000 food packets were distributed.Since it failed to draw any support, the Government allegedly sponsored another dharna by self-styled journalists to coincide with the rally of the trade unions. It was led by the Bihar Working Journalists Union which had not been very hostile towards the Government.The dharna in favour of the press bill on August 25 was launched under the auspices of the Bihar State Small and Medium Scale Newspapers Association. The participants claimed they were editors of dailies and weeklies so far unknown to the readers.State party Secretary Digvijay Pratap Singh and other Congress(I) workers drafted from the nearby rural areas became a laughing stock when they shouted slogans like “Implement the press bill” though it is yet to become an act.To add to the comedy, an old man went on an indefinite fast to get the bill implemented and as night fell a Congress(I) leader rushed to him to get the fast broken, saying that the Government had accepted the demand. It was not the end.On August 26, the Government employed four state buses to bring about 50 Government lawyers from the High Court to hold a demonstration and a procession of the lawyers who carried a banner which read “Practice Healthy Journalism”.The state Bar Council, however, condemned them. The pros and cons of Mishra’s beloved bill will, in the days to come, become increasingly a acrimonious.- Farzand Ahmed in Patnalast_img read more