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Dhananjoy Chatterjee hanged

          Kolkata: Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who was sentenced to death for raping and murdering a 14-year old girl in Kolkata in 1990, was hanged this morning at 4.30, official sources said. According to reports, hangman Nata Mallik collapsed after executing the rapist. The formal announcement of the execution was made at around 0600 by senior officials of the Alipore jail, where the hanging took place. Since the convict's family had refused to accept his body, the last rites were likely to be performed by a Hindu organisation - Hindu Sanskaar Samiti. Meanwhile, a prayer ceremony was organised in Hetal's school for solace to Dhananjoy and Hetal. Chatterjee was convicted of raping and murdering Hetal Parekh on March 5, 1990. Chatterjee was a security guard in the building where Hetal lived with her parents and a brother.

          In Dhahanjoy's village Kuludihi, there was deathly silence throughout the night. Cordoned off by the police, nobody was allowed to enter or leave the village in the night. Dhananjoy's father, Bangshidhar, mother Belarani and wife Poornima were visited by their neighbours to comfort them, the police said. The family had stood behind Dhananjoy, the rapist- killer of schoolgirl Hetal Parekh in 1990, all through his 14- year long legal battle. Dhananjoy, a security guard at Anand Apartments at Bhowanipore, had fled to his village after raping and murdering Hetal. After he was arrested, the family fought back, selling the land they possessed to meet the legal expenses.

Dhananjay's ageing parents collapse (Go To Top)

          Kolkata: Tears, sadness and gloom engulfed the village of Bankura, home to Dhananjay Chatterjee, who was executed for raping and killing a schoolgirl 14 years ago early on Saturday. Despite appeals by his family and human rights groups, Dhananjoy, now 41, was brought out of his cell at dawn and hanged in the first execution for India in 13 years. Dhananjay was convicted for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Hetal Parekh in 1990 but the hangman's son said he pleaded not guilty till the end. "He walked up to the gallows on his own. He did not say anything, just uttered a few words like I am innocent and God bless you," Tarak Mullick, son of the hangman who carried out the execution told reporters in Kolkata, as he recounted his father's experience. Dhananjay's parents and brother, who fought a lengthy legal battle to save him, stayed home in their village, 200 km from Kolkata.

          The ageing mother and farther prayed outside a temple and collapsed as the confirmation of their son's hanging was aired on radio and television. Dhananjay's body was taken by a Hindu charity organisation and cremated. "The family of Dhananjoy Chatterjee are heartbroken. His father, mother are crying, they are inconsolable. We are trying to find ways to somehow pacify them on their loss," Provash Chatterjee, who heads a local voluntary group, Chetna Nagrik (people's awareness) Committee, said. Human Rights activits meanwhile have protested against the execution saying death penalty was too harsh in India's imperfect judicial system, where many with resources have escaped conviction. Activists said that Chatterjee, whose appeal for clemency was turned down by the country's president, had already lived on death row for more than a decade.

Tibetans say dangerous lake result of China's development work (Go To Top)

           Dharamsala: Tibetan government-in-exile has accused China of carrying out extensive construction on the river Pareechu, resulting in the formation of an artificial lake in Tibet, which is threatening flash floods in northern parts of India. The lake has formed behind a landslide late last month that blocked the Pareechu River, a tributary of the River Sutlej in Tibet, Indian satellite images show. China has denied any development work in the area. Eight villages on the banks of the Sutlej in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, around 370 km north of New Delhi, have been evacuated and 350 more villages are threatened by floods. China has ruled out controlled blasting of the landslip to allow the water to gradually drain because of the area's mountainous terrain, Indian officials said. Beijing has also barred Indian experts from visiting the lake. But army officers said the two militaries had begun to swap information through a hotline on the frontier. The exiled Tibetans, fighting for independence from China, have long opposed any activity by China in the region saying it threatened its sovereignty. "China always carries out development work at every river. So I cannot say that there is no development work going. We believe that there is work going on. If there is nothing then why isn't the Indian team being allowed to visit the area. And why is Chinese government not helping India in solving the problem," Tibetan government-in-exile's Prime Minister Samdhong Rimpoche said in Dharamshala town, headquarters of their government. Six power plants in Himachal Pradesh have partially shut down due to a fear of floods, disrupting power supply in northern India. The threat of flash flooding comes amid South Asia's worst monsoon flooding in 15 years that has killed more than 1,700 people, mostly in Bangladesh and eastern India.

Hundreds protest against Sarovar dam (Go To Top)

          Bhopal: Activists protesting against the construction of the massive Sardar Sarovar Dam took to streets here Saturday alleging that it would drown hundreds of villages. When complete the dam is likely to displace around 50,000 families. Last week thousands of villagers living near the controversial Sardar Sarovar Dam, parts of which are in western Gujarat, were evacuated after it started overflowing because of heavy monsoon rains overnight. Authorities have since been diverting water into canals from the 110-feet high dam. Being constructed on the river Narmada, the dam will benefit the states of Madhya Pradesh, northwestern Rajasthan, western Maharashtra and Gujarat. Its height was was recently hiked by five meters to allow it more coverage, despite opposition by environment groups led by Booker Prize winning author Arundhati Roy and noted social activist Medha Patkar. "Since the first week of August some villages have already drowned and I am sue it is going to be more. It is just the beginning. At close to 110 metres height it has affected 12,000 villagers. If 2000 have migrated here another 10,0000 people are living in the low-lying areas," Patkar told reporters in Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh. The Narmada Valley development project is India's biggest dam project. Some 3200 small, medium-sized and large dams are to be built on the 1300-km (800-mile) long river and its tributaries to generate electricity and provide water to millions of people. The multi-billion-rupee project is being largely financed by state government and market borrowings after the World Bank withdrew financing in 1993, and is expected to be fully completed by 2025.

Manipur striking bodies call to boycott Indian goods (Go To Top)

          Imphal: Organisations spearheading the on-going stir have demanded immediate resignations of all MLAs and ministers for their failure to remove the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from Manipur as 14-hour bandh hit normal life in the state. Speaking to mediapersons today, three spokespersons of the 32 organisations which have been leading the agitation for a month now also said people would also start boycotting the `India made' items from August 16 next. In the first phase, cold drinks and mineral water would be boycotted, they said.

JMM activists chain themselves to protest against Soren's arrest (Go To Top)

          Ranchi: Dozens of activists of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chained and handcuffed themselves on Saturday to protest against the arrest of their leader Shibu Soren. Party chief Soren, a former union minister, surrendered earlier this month, after avoiding arrest for severals days, on charges of inciting arson and violence during a tribal rally in 1975. Prabhakar Tirkey, central secretary of JMM said their novel way of protest on the eve of the country's national day was to highlight state-sponsored suppression. "We want to come forward to demand our rights. The state government wants to use the might to suppress us. What kind of freedom is that? That is why we want to spread the message on the ocassion of Independence Day that the people of Jharkhand are not free completely. Their voices are being suppressed", Tirkey said in Ranchi. The protestors also demanded the sacking of state chief minister Arjun Munda terming Soren's arrest as "politically motivated".

RSS slaps legal notice on Arjun Singh over remarks (Go To Top)

          New Delhi: Rift between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Union Minister Arjun Singh deepened on Saturday, with the RSS serving him a legal notice for his alleged "objectionable" remarks. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) sent a legal notice to Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Arjun Singh demanding an "unconditional written apology" for his allegation that it was behind Mahatma Gandhi's assassination. In its three-page notice, the RSS has threatened to file a defamation case against the HRD Minister if he does not apologise. "In a party meeting he said the sole achievement of our group was the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Then he followed it up with a written statement that we perpetrate hatred and violence. The third thing we have taken objection to his terming us as experts in murder and mayhem. We have served him a legal notice and asked for a written apology," said Ram Madhav, spokesman of the RSS.

India will not tolerate any interference in LoC fencing: Pranab (Go To Top)

          New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday clarified that India will not tolerate any obstructions in the erection of anti-infiltration fencing along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Reiterating that Pakistan ought to show more "honesty" in curbing cross border movement of militants, the minister said that the fencing work was now at its last stages over with only 560 kms of the mountainous LOC terrain to be covered. "The fencing work is being undertaken keeping in view the Nations security and it is being erected well within Indian territory," the Defence Minister was quoted as saying in his Independence Day eve address to the armed forces personnel. The Minister expressed his happiness over the fact that Pakistan had of late given positive towards indications towards bringing in peace to the Kashmir valley. He said that " Pakistan would have to shed its old attitude for restoration of friendly ties with India by stopping support to militant activities". "We want peace with our neighbours and to resolve all disputes through dialogue. But for this Pakistan should make honest efforts. If terrorism ends, this will not only help both the countries, but have a very positive impact in the whole south Asian region," he further added.

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