Nation bids adieu to Sarabjit Singh with state honors


  1. Nation bids adieu to Sarabjit Singh with state honors

May 4th, 2013

The mortal body of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh was consigned to flames in his village with full state honors amid mournful emotions.

Sarabjit Singh:

  • Indian citizen from Bhikhiwind, Punjab.
  • Inadvertently crossed the zero-line, bordering with Pakistan in 1990, in an inebriated state while working in his fields which run along the border.
    Arrested by the Pakistan Rangers and was charged by the Lahore police alleging his role Lahore bombings.
  • Tried in the Lahore HC and was sentenced to death in 1991.
  • His all mercy petitions were rejected but his death sentence was repeatedly postponed by the Government of Pakistan.
  • He succumbed to the serious injuries he received when he was brutally attacked by six fellow prison inmates.
  • Punjab (India) assembly declared him a National Martyr.

Supreme Court questions ‘Z security’ for Mukesh Ambani

The Supreme Court questioned ‘Z’ security to industrialist Mukesh Ambani when the government was unable to provide security to the common man. The Apex court asked “Why is state providing security to such person when the rich can afford to hire private security personnel?”

In a brief order, the Bench directed all States to inform the Delhi government of the movements of their VIPs and violation of the rule would be viewed seriously. The court suggested for the creation of a mechanism to assess security threat of VIPs.  It expressed concern over security cover being provided even to persons who faced rape or murder charges, and said this must be stopped. The Bench said unless there was specific information about threat perception, no VIP security should be provided to these persons.

What is Z security?

Depending upon the threat perception the security cover has been classified into four categories:

  •  Z+ category: security cover of 36 personnelhighest level
  • Z category : 28 personnel (security cover by the Delhi police or the ITBP or CRPF personnel)
  • Y category : 11 personnel
  • X category : 2 personnel

The Special Protection Group (SPG) protects the Prime Minister of India. It is one of the eight Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). 

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are the following police forces of the central government of India:

  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) [Includes Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA)]
  • Border Security Force (BSF)
  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
  • Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)
  • Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
  • Railway Protection Force (RPF)
  • National Security Guards (NSG) [Included Special Protection Group (SPG)]

Ireland introduces new bill on limited abortions

The government of Ireland has unveiled a long-awaited bill that envisages new rules governing when life-saving abortions can be performed, a point of potentially deadly confusion for women in a country that illegalizes abortions. The bill has come after an Indian origin woman, Savita Halappanavar, died due to blood poisoning last year after she was refused a termination because her dying foetus still had a heartbeat.

What is in the Bill?

The Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill envisages provisions through which women could obtain abortions, which are currently illegal.  The proposed law states that in cases of a “real and substantial” risk to the life of the woman due to risk of suicide, three consultant doctors, one obstetrician and two psychiatrists, must unanimously certify the need for a termination. If a unanimously decision is not agreed upon, a second panel comprising three more doctors will have to be convened. The bill also sets a maximum 14-year prison sentence for anyone involved in an illegal abortion.

Opposition to the Bill:

The bill in its current for is facing opposition from anti-abortion activists who are against the bill’s provisions for women who threaten to kill themselves if they are denied a termination. As per them, this would make it easy for a woman to obtain abortion.

About ‘Savita Halappanavar’:

Screenshot_1Savita Halappanavar’s (an Indian born Irish) death in October 2012 had led to a widespread protests in Ireland and a call to re-look at the abortion laws.

– 31 year old dentist originally from Belgaum, India who moved to Ireland in 2008.
– Died on October 28, 2012 in Galway, Ireland.
– Her death led to widespread protests, in Ireland, India, England and other countries and a call to re-look at the abortion laws.
– Suffered miscarriage when she was 17 weeks pregnant.

Her husband claimed that the University College Hospital Galway where she was admitted denied her an abortion because a fetal heartbeat was present, despite the fetus being declared nonviable. This led to septicemia (blood poisoning), multiple organ failure and her death. The fetal remains were eventually removed but too much time had passed.

Why she was denied abortion at the right time when she needed it?

  • Under Irish law on abortion, and Offences against the Person Act 1861 abortion is illegal in Ireland.
  • As a result Irish women have to travel to UK each year to undergo abortion.
  • Abortion in the Republic of Ireland is illegal unless it occurs as the result of a medical intervention performed to save the life of the mother.
  • However, the availability of abortion services can be even more restricted in the absence of a readily available method of determining the circumstances in which an abortion might be lawfully obtained.
  • However, a judgment of the Irish Supreme Court in 1992, commonly known as the “X case”, permits abortions where the life of the mother is at risk, including from suicide.
  • Abortion is a controversial issue in Irish politics and five national referendums have been held on the topic in the last 30 years.

Reactions over her Death

  • Her death led to protests by local community, and Indian community in particular.
  • In India, the Ministry of External Affairs of India summoned the Irish ambassador over the issue.
  • Human rights group Amnesty observed that the death of the Indian Dentist “illustrates gap in Irish law” and asked Irish government to amend its law on abortion in the with international human rights law.

Jenita Mary Nongkynrih – A Woman scientist from Meghalaya gets ISRO award


This year’s ISRO Young Scientist Award was given to Jenita Mary Nongkynrih,  a young woman scientist from Meghalaya.

Award: Citation and cash of Rs 50,000

Project: She was awarded for her Urban Information system project in the North East

Fast Facts about Jenita Mary:

  • Currently working as a scientist at the North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC),
  • Holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Eastern Hill University.

Abdul Hamid is the new Bangladesh President

May 3rd, 2013

Abdul Hamid was sworn in as 17th Bangladesh President replacing Zillur Rahman, who died last month.  Abdul Hamid was previously the parilamentary speaker of Bangladesh Assembly.

Historical background

  • Parliament speaker and acting President since March 14 when Mr. Rahman went for medical treatment to Singapore.
  • Member of the Awami League.
  • A former lawyer.
  • Political career began when he joined Bangladesh Chhatra League in 1959.

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