NHRC team reaches Odisha to probe Kunduli rape-suicide

first_imgA five-member team of National Human Rights Commission reached Koraput district of Odisha on Monday to probe the alleged gang rape and suicide of a minor girl near Kunduli.The NHRC team, led by Deputy Superintendent of Police-rank officer Ravi Singh, will be in Odisha till February 9. On Monday, the team held discussions with Koraput Additional Superintendent of Police, District Child Protection Officer and officials of Human Rights Protection Cell of Odisha Police. It will visit Musaguda village in Kunduli on Tuesday to interact with the family members of the victim.On February 7, the team will visit SLNM Medical College and Hospital in Koraput where the victim had been admitted after the alleged gang rape. The NHRC officials will hold discussions with the doctors who examined, treated and counselled the victim. Speaking to media persons in Koraput, Mr. Singh said anyone who has any evidence or information about this incident can provide it to the team.The NHRC constituted this team for on-the-spot investigation following the petition filed by a social activist. The commission also directed the State authorities and the State HRPC Additional Director General to submit report about the alleged gang rape and suicide of the minor girl.The girl had allegedly committed suicide inside her house at Musaguda under Pottangi police station on January 22. On October 10, 2017, she had alleged that she had been gang-raped near Kunduli by four persons in combat attire, like security personnel. On November 7, the HRPC of Odisha Police had stated that as per the medical report the victim, she had not been raped.On November 8, the Odisha government ordered a judicial enquiry into the incident by a sitting district judge. A parallel enquiry by the State Crime Branch was also ordered.The culprits, however, are yet to be identified.last_img read more

2G: Kanimozhi learns candle making in Tihar Jail

first_imgKanimozhi at the Patiala House court for the 2G trial in MayLodged in the assistant superintendent’s office in Tihar Jail in a cell especially created for her because of security reasons, Kanimozhi misses her 10-year-old son Adithyan the most. He is under the care of his grandmother Rajathi Ammal. She,Kanimozhi at the Patiala House court for the 2G trial in MayLodged in the assistant superintendent’s office in Tihar Jail in a cell especially created for her because of security reasons, Kanimozhi misses her 10-year-old son Adithyan the most. He is under the care of his grandmother Rajathi Ammal. She also misses her diamond nose-pin, an accessory she has sported since she was a little girl. She had sought permission to continue wearing it, saying she felt “improperly dressed” without it, but jail authorities did not allow it, or indeed any other jewellery.Adithyan visits her often, but not often enough, as jail rules allow visits by family members twice a week. That is the only time her calm cracks. “Once she broke down and kept saying sorry to her son”, disclosed a jail official who understands Tamil. Though the prisoners meet their families in ‘mulaqaat’ (meeting hall) with a glass shield in between, she was allowed to meet her son in the superintendent’s office because she wanted to hug him.Jail officials say Kanimozhi keeps to herself and does not interact much with other inmates. By various accounts, she appears to be an Orhan Pamuk fan. On May 20, when she was sent to jail, she carried a half-read My Name is Red with her. Museum of Innocence by the same author is keeping her company now. Kanimozhi spends her time reading and writing poetry. “She keeps writing something or the other and is completely immersed in it”, reveals a jail official. She was earlier lodged in ward number 8, which is called the ‘mulayaza’. It is a place where new inmates are lodged for the first six months to prevent them from interacting with the more hardened inmates. It is the only ward which has a spacious courtyard in the centre, where inmates can mingle with each other.advertisement”She is the calmest of the 2G lot and doesn’t make unreasonable demands”, says the jail official, referring to the other vvips lodged in Tihar for the 2G spectrum scam. They include former telecom minister and Kanimozhi’s party colleague A. Raja, the Balwa brothers, Unitech’s Sanjay Chandra, Karim Morani, Kalaignar tv’s managing director Sharath Kumar, senior bureaucrats and corporate executives.Till June 10, it was not very difficult for her or for the others in the 2G case to spend the day since they had daily hearings at Patiala House. They were out of the prison at 9 a.m. and returned around 6 in the evening. The day was spent in the air-conditioned CBI court, where the accused could meet their families. Now, with the courts closed for vacation till June 24, the day has to be spent in the jail.A jail official said that she once enquired about a beauty parlour on the premises. “She was told about one run by jail inmates which is free of cost, and the other run by Jawed Habib which costs money. She has not visited either yet”, the official saidlast_img read more

Flipkart Billion Capture+ review: Decent first attempt but not a winner

first_imgThe smartphone market in India has been quite crowded for a while. There are a lot of brands today itching to get a piece of it, especially in the highly popular budget and mid-range segments. It’s no longer just the tech companies pushing out devices, but we’re also seeing budget phones from telecom makers like Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone. E-commerce platforms are also getting into the mix with Amazon India launching the 10.or series this year and now Flipkart bringing its own smartphone , the Billion Capture+.As a debut smartphone, the Capture+ looks ambitious to take on current players in the lower mid-range segment. Priced at Rs 10,999 for the 3GB + 32GB version and Rs 12,999 for the 4GB and 64GB variant, the handset will take on the likes of the Moto G5, Redmi Note 4 and Amazon’s 10.or G, among others. Flipkart’s phone comes with everything you would expect in the price segment and looks good, at least on paper. But how well does it translate in real life?DesignIf you’ve seen Xiaomi’s Redmi 4 and Mi A1 then you’ve seen the Billion Capture+. Flipkart’s phone to a large extent borrows design cues from both the smartphones to some extent, which have become a sort of a gold standard in the budget segment. The Capture+ has an aluminium build, while the back has plastic on the top and bottom and a metal panel in the middle that feels smooth to the touch. Flipkart doesn’t mention the plastic back, but once you hold the phone you’ll find that the finish feels more plastic than premium. This makes it feel rather cheap, and the company could have provided a better metal finish like Xiaomi has with the Redmi Note 4. With that said, the Capture+ doesn’t look unattractive, but it doesn’t look inspiring either.  advertisementThe Billion Capture+ does have sturdy build to it and the frame is pretty solid, but it is also a bit on the thicker side at 8.5mm. It’s mostly comfortable to hold and use with one hand, but it can feel a little heavy at 176 grams. The edges around the back are slightly curved and don’t seamlessly join the frame, but it does give a good grip when holding it. If you look around the frame, you’ll find the volume controls and power button on the right, a dual hybrid SIM tray on the left, a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top and a USB Type-C port on the bottom with speaker grilles on either sides.DisplayThe Capture+ features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920) display with bezels around it. I mention bezels because we’re slowly moving towards edge-to-edge displays. While the trend started for high-end smartphones, we’ve seen 18:9 displays trickle down to budget phones like Micromax’s Infinity and LG Q6 already. Next year, you can expect more phones to sport full-screen displays. The Capture+ has a traditional 16:9 screen, which is alright because there still a market for it and there will be for at least a few more years. But bezels aside, displays in general have improved in recent times, and Flipkart’s phone leaves you wanting a little more. We’re seeing more and more budget smartphones coming with stock Android that makes the Capture+ look heavy in comparison Despite a full-HD display, the colours on screen are pretty dull and washed out. Moreover, the brightness levels aren’t great and even at its maximum brightness, you will find it difficult to read the screen outdoors. A dull display may help increase battery life, but it really doesn’t provide the best viewing experience, especially when watching videos. Moreover, you’re going to want to keep the brightness level on maximum when watching videos or playing games to enjoy the experience, which will inevitably cause more battery drain. Overall, this isn’t the brightest of sharpest display out there, which is a shame as its competitors like the Moto G5 and Redmi Note 4 do much better at producing crisp 1080p displays.Performance and softwareThe Billion Capture+ is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor with Adreno 506 GPU and coupled with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM. I tested the 4GB variant and found that the overall performance to be pretty fluid and snappy. The phone is decent at multitasking and is quite fast at opening and closing apps without any lag or stutters. The phone will pretty much handle most daily apps that you throw at it including web browsing, messaging and social media.My experience with playing some graphic intensive games were quite uneven. At times I found games like Asphalt 8 to work smoothly, but I did notice some stuttering and drops in frame rate every now and then. Browsing through heavy websites and apps was smooth as well and I did not find anything to complain about here.advertisementThe phone runs on Android 7.1 Nougat and is powered by Smartron’s AI smarts. Despite the company’s promise of stock Android, the Billion Capture+ had a few too many pre-loaded apps for my liking, which will also disappoint many others. You get apps like Flipkart (obviously), Myntra, Ola, PhonePe, Microsoft’s Office suite and tronX app to name a few. The latter is a Smartron-powered service that includes purchasable products, cloud storage and security features. We’re seeing more and more budget smartphones including Amazon’s 10.or range coming with stock Android that makes the Capture+ look heavy in comparison. I’m also not confident the phone will age well in terms of performance as the bloatware will weigh it down eventually.The fingerprint sensor on the rear isn’t the fastest out there. It takes about 0.8 seconds to unlock which is quite slow and one expects a far snappier sensor in 2017 and at this price point. But the sensor is mostly accurate so there is some takeaway in that. The dual speakers on the bottom could have been a lot powerful, but you’re left wanting a little more punch to it.CameraOne of the biggest highlights of the Billion Capture+ is its dual rear camera system that comprises of a pair of 13-megapixel sensors, one RGB and one Monochrome and with f2.0 aperture. Dual rear cameras have become somewhat of a standard this year with almost every other smartphone from budget to high-end now sporting a dual camera system. Flipkart says the phone offers impressive low-light shots, more light in each frame and DSLR-like bokeh effects, among other things. It also comes with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.To be honest, the dual cameras were largely disappointing. Outdoor shots under bright sunlight lets in too much light and the images look overexposed. The reds and greens were too bright and lacked accuracy. The cameras also have a hard time focusing on the subject and you’ll likely capture a few hazy shots before one really clear image. The images also lack detailing so I wouldn’t suggest zooming in on them or seeing them on a display bigger than 5.5-inch. SInce the sensors let in a lot of light, it works better in low-light conditions. However, images captured in poor lighting will come with a lot of noise and will lack detail. XPreviousNextThe Portrait Mode was pretty underwhelming as well. The subject would look artificially laid on a blurred background, which makes it look photoshopped rather than seem like a natural depth of field image. This is probably because the bokehs generated rely on software, which isn’t great at differentiating the subject from the background. You’ll find that the subject will have heavy blurring around the edges or look cut out and artificially  pasted on the background. There is a Supernight mode that you can use to capture low-light shots as it smoothes out the photos via software and removes a lot of noise. I found the feature to be pretty good and prefered using the mode almost always for low-light photography.advertisementFront camera disappoints as well, but perhaps not as much as the primary cameras. The 8-megapixel sensor looks good on paper, but doesn’t really work great in real life. Selfies captured were oversaturated and lacked sharpness. The colours looked on the warmer side of things and will look quite hazy when viewed on a larger display.BatteryThe other big highlight apart from the dual rear cameras is the battery. The Capture+ packs a large non-removable 3500mAh Li-Polymer battery that promises up to 30 hours of calls over 3G and 12 hours of video streaming. Now, my experience with this has been quite middling. On an average, streaming movies or TV shows on Netflix or videos on YouTube for an hour drops the battery level down by about 10 per cent. On an average, you should get about 9-10 hours of battery life, which is decent. I found myself needing to the charge the phone only once before going to bed. The phone takes about an hour and a half to charge from zero to 100 per cent, which is pretty fast considering its large battery capacity The headset supports Quick Charge over USB Type-C and it takes about an hour and a half to charge from zero to 100 per cent, which is pretty fast considering its large battery capacity. The only real problem I have is with the standby time. Considering the battery you’re getting, the standby time isn’t exceptional here and you’ll probably get about 4 days idle time on 4G before the phoned dies on you.Should you buy it?Flipkart’s entry in the smartphone game comes at a time when the market is quite crowded and some players like Motorola and Xiaomi are seated firmly in the budget to mid-range segment. Xiaomi, especially, has been dominating the budget to mid-range market in recent times and has invested a lot in advertising both online and offline as well. For Flipkart, the Billion Capture+ will largely ride on the e-commerce platform’s name. The company will need to promote the phone a lot more especially on its website if it wants to grab people’s attention.As far as competition is concerned, the Billion Capture+ will face off against the likes of the Moto G5, Redmi Note 4 and Amazon’s 10.or G to name a few. Flipkart has launched a decent first smartphone and provides a few compelling features such as good battery life, fast charging, a decent build and performance that could attract buyers. But the phone feels wanting in pretty much every other area such as design, camera and software, which makes it fall short in front of its competition, especially since most others offer near stock Android experience and have upped their camera game. Without proper marketing, the Capture+ risks getting shunned to the background.Flipkart will probably use the Capture+ to test the waters a little and see how consumers are reacting towards it. It may come out with a another phone that will look to fix some of the shortcomings of the Capture+ based on user feedback and I would suggest waiting for that one to arrive. The Billion Capture+ just isn’t compelling enough to buy right now considering what other brands have to offer today.Capture+ review7.5/10Good stuffDecent build qualitySnappy performanceGood battery lifeBad stuffUninspiring designPoor camerasBloated softwarelast_img read more

Fish smokers at Banjul beach fear removal

first_imgBy Sailu BahWomen fish smokers at the Banjul beach have expressed their fear of a looming threat to dislodge them from the place they are currently occupying based on a purported notice emanating from the Department of Physical Planning. The women explained that the ownership of the place is being claimed by a Lebanese businessman who, they said, wants them to vacate the area.Speaking to this reporter on Saturday, 26 July 2014, at the beach in front of the main Banjul market, Yama Colley, one of the women fish smokers, said they now live in a state of constant fear of removal from the place where they work to earn income to sustain their families.“This place is our only source of livelihood as we have been toiling and moiling here for many years in order to earn a living for ourselves and families,” she revealed.Mai Sonko, the spokesperson of the women fish smokers, said they are facing the problem of removal from the place as it is being claimed by one Lebanese businessman. She explained that they have once received a notice from the Physical Planning Department asking them to vacate the place. She said their response was that they have nowhere to relocate to in order to continue with their work. She said they even went with a delegation to the Banjul City Council (BCC) to express their concern to the mayor of Banjul who, she said, told them to continue working until the place is needed and an alternative is found for them. She claimed that the Lebanese national had even promised to clear and give them the area behind the place, but that when this was done, he eventually changed his mind and told them that he needs both places.Madame Sonko explained that they have started working at the said place since 1995 and that they were the ones who cleared the grass, shrubs and trees that grew there and then built the sheds and ovens they use to smoke the fish.“We are pleading with the government to help us maintain the place as this is where we earn our livelihoods as wives, single parents and breadwinners to sustain our families, pay our children’s school fees, house rent, and attend to other pressing needs. We would also want the government to help us with proper storage facilities,” she appealed.Fatou Jammeh, another woman fish smoker, said “We are women who are powerless and helpless, so the little place we have here should not be taken away from us by anyone and government should intervene and help us.” ]]>last_img read more

Arsenic exposure linked to respiratory tract infection diarrhea icddrb

first_imgICDDR,BThe people exposed to arsenic in Bangladesh may be at higher risk of childhood respiratory tract infection and diarrhoea, says a new study of icddr,b.The recent systematic review study found links between arsenic exposure and respiratory tract infections or diarrhoea.”The harmful effects of arsenic are well-known yet many people including pregnant women continue to drink contaminated water,” said physician Anisur Rahman, head of icddr,b’s Matlab Health Research Centre and author of the review, in an icddr,b web post.He said the arsenic problem lingered because of the failure to identify an effective strategy to mitigate the problem.”Experience from field-level interventions indicated that people once had limited knowledge of arsenic exposure. Despite knowing the risks many wanted continuous water flow which many water filters could not provide. Rainwater harvesting, as an alternative, did not work in many areas and deep tube-well water may contain other elements in high concentrations, harmful to health,” Rahman observes.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 20 to 40 million people in the country are exposed to arsenic through drinking water or food, the long-term effects of which include skin lesions, cancer of various organs, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and developmental defects.Large-scale mitigation efforts had successfully reduced drinking water arsenic in rural Bangladesh, found another recent study conducted with icddr,b.Despite this, children still had elevated arsenic exposure through contaminated food. Use of arsenic-contaminated water from shallow pumps for irrigation can introduce arsenic into crops such as rice or paddy, contaminating food supply chains.Arsenic in staple food such as rice might have the most far reaching effect on a larger population.Recent findings by icddr,b researchers provide further evidence that arsenic exposure affects lung function both in children and adults.Exposure to arsenic-laced drinking water while in the womb can hamper lung function in children for many years after birth.”In addition, arsenic exposure may also interfere with specific vaccine response in children,” says physician Rubhana Raqib, senior scientist at icddr,b.Physician Muhammad Yunus, an emeritus scientist at icddr,b with extensive experience of conducting arsenic related work, observed that research has generated a large body of evidence to support a wide range of negative health effects stemming from arsenic exposure.”The adverse health consequences including increased death due to chronic arsenic exposure through drinking water are now well established by high quality scientific research from Bangladesh and other countries,” he said.Yunus said research will continue to unearth more adverse effects, but ultimately concerted effort to ensure arsenic-free water for the affected communities is all that is required.last_img read more

Rocking in Pink

first_imgPink might not be the new black, but it surely is the colour of the season. October is internationally the breast cancer awareness month and Delhi is living it up to inform about this one disease that can be fully cured if detected early.Leading the pack was Hard Rock Cafe. Last year they had organised a session with well-known gynecologists from the city who spoke up to dispell the great cancer myth. While breast cancer has no specific risk, some facets can be kept in mind. Chances are high if she might be susceptible to the risk if she has a family history. The main precaution is not to ignore abnormalities if they arise and are detected, say doctors. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This year Delhiites walked in pink on a cold Saturday in October early morning to support breast cancer charity event. Organised by HRC this event- Pinktober, is one of their in month long series of events for their breast cancer awareness program. Geared up in white tees and banners in their hands all the participants gathered early morning at Gurgaon and walked till Hard Rock Cafe, Saket also there were a number of school students present to show their support.This is HRD’s 14th year of celebrating Pinktober. A tribute night was also arranged as a part of the series where participants had a lot of fun, choices to savour on from the especially created pink menu followed by live performances.  People celebrated the courage of breast cancer survivors and their efforts to spread awareness. All the proceedings from these events will be donated to the charity Elle-Ogaan Cancer Foundation.last_img read more