Bhima-Koregaon clashes were pre-planned, says report

first_imgPune: The violent clashes in Bhima-Koregaon on New Year’s Day which left one person dead was not a riot, but a pre-planned attack, according to a report by the coordination committee to assist the police investigations.“Based on inputs from locals, we have gathered enough evidence to prove that the clashes were the culmination of a series of provocative acts orchestrated by Milind Ekbote and the followers of Sambhaji Bhide ‘Guruji’,” RPI (A) leader Dr. Siddharth Dhende, Pune’s Deputy Mayor and a member of the committee, told The Hindu.According to another committee member, the board erected near the tomb of Govind Ganapat Gaikwad, a Dalit from the Mahar communit, who is said to have performed the final rites of the slain Maratha King Sambhaji (Shivaji’s son), was pulled down by Hindutva activists on Ekbote’s instigation three years ago as a precursor to the events of December 29 last year. “Ekbote used to visit Sambhaji’s tomb at Vadhu-Budruk village (4 km from Koregaon-Bhima) and had even floated a ‘committee’ dedicated to its preservation. However, his real purpose during the course of his visits appears to foment caste tensions,” said the member, requesting anonymity.The report further points to inflammatory messages circulating on social media which strongly hint at a conspiracy.On December 15, a provocative message posted by a person allegedly belonging to a Hindutva outfit and doing the rounds on Facebook spoke of “mourning for” Dalits gathering to celebrate the bicentenary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle on January 1.The report refers to social media posts which went viral on December 30 and 31 asking activists to assemble at Vadhu-Budruk. Others spoke of a rally to be addressed by Ekbote and Bhide Guruji.The report further observes (based on inputs from locals and the regional press) that Ekbote was slated to hold a press meet on December 30 at Hotel Sonai in Perne Phata on the Pune-Nagar Road. The meet was apparently called off.“The people we spoke to mention that he held a conference somewhere else. We demand that the police pursue these leads with due diligence,” said Dr. Dhende.He further said that local shopkeepers in Vadhu and surrounding villages said that they were forced to down shutters on December 31 itself.“The next day, the villages adjoining Bhima-Koregaon practiced a veritable social boycott on the Bhim Sainiks and Dalits come to do homage to the Ranstambh (Victory Pillar). The visitors were not given food or water,” said Dr. Dhende.A mob of 1,500-2000 strong comprising of Hindutva activists believed to be the followers of Ekbote and Bhide Guruji was believed to have gathered on January 1 near Bhima-Koregaon at around 9: 30 a.m. with the sole purpose of wreaking havoc and disturbing the peace of the occasion, alleges the report. “The mob split into three groups and began furiously pelting stones, smashing shop windows, damaging vehicles in which the Dalits arrived, not even sparing police vehicles,” said a committee member.The report censures tardy police action which might have precluded the violence.The committee, comprising leaders from major Dalit outfits, was set up under the aegis of Vishwas Nangare-Patil, Inspector-General of Police (Kolhapur Range) on January 9. The octogenarian Bhide ‘Guruji’, a fervent admirer of the Maratha warrior King Shivaji who founded the Shiv Pratishthan, has a formidable following in the Western Maharashtra sugar-belt districts of Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur.Among his biggest followers include Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, both of whom regard Bhide Guruji as an exemplar of simple living and an inspirational teacher.The complaint against Bhide, Ekbote and their supporters in Pimpri was lodged by Anita Ravindra Salve, a member of the Bahujan Republican Socialist Party. Another criminal case was lodged against the duo in Auranagabad. Both cases have been transferred to the Shikrapur police in Pune district.The 85-year-old Hindutva leader has in turn accused Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) chief Prakash Ambedkar for wrongly blaming him for the Koregaon Bhima ‘conspiracy’. Rahul Phatangale, a 28-year-old youth, lost his life in the crossfire while he was out to buy vegetables at the time the violence erupted. Around 50 vehicles were burnt in the melee which raged for several hours.last_img read more

NU, Ateneo set up UAAP juniors finals rematch

first_imgSEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kai Sotto had 22 points, 19 in the second half, with eight rebounds while rookie Ian Espinosa had 19 points, four assists, and two steals.The two teams will start their three-game series on Monday at Filoil Flying V Center.NU swept the season series against Ateneo.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes ‘Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel PLAY LIST 01:28’Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement02:12Minors joining leftist groups worse off than drug users, parent says at Senate probe02:42PH 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 Yeng Guiao ‘confident, happy’ with Gilas roster ahead of final Fiba qualifying window Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes View comments Terrence Fortea lit up for 30 points to lead last year’s runners-up with 22 of those coming in the first half to put the Bullpups up 54-35, essentially setting up their return to the title round.“He really played well. Day in and day out, that’s how he is. He will try his best,” said NU coach Goldwin Monteverde of Fortea. “We really played well, we executed our plays, but the most important thing is we’re preparing for the Finals.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe reigning champions Blue Eaglets staved off Far Eastern University’s furious comeback to come away with a 90-82 win and a chance for a title repeat.FEU was down by as much as 21 points but the Blue Eaglets were able to hold off the Baby Tamaraws in the final seconds. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants FILE — Terrence Fortea leads the way for NU anew. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—It’s going to be a championship rematch as National University and Ateneo handled its respective foes in the semifinals of the UAAP Season 81 junior’s basketball tournament Friday at Filoil Flying V Center.The Bullpups had themselves a feast after an easy 94-72 victory over Adamson University.ADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. MOST READlast_img read more

Boston Olympics Got Costs Wrong

first_imgBOSTON — Boston’s failed bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics underestimated costs for hosting the games, potentially leaving Massachusetts taxpayers on the hook for significant cost overruns, a state-funded report released Aug. 18 concludes.Boston 2024, the local group organizing the bid, had projected that construction costs for the Olympic Stadium, athletes village and other key facilities would total about $918 million out of a proposed $4.6 billion plan.But the Brattle Group, a Cambridge-based consultancy, concludes a “more reasonable estimate” for construction costs likely would have been more than $970 million higher, based on previous games.The firm also cast doubt on Boston 2024’s savings, revenues and other projections, noting state transit officials believe Boston 2024 failed to take into account a number of variables in its transportation budget, which could have increased the costs by as much as $1.3 billion.The report concludes the financial implications for the state could have been substantial while its economic impact modest.“The State and Local governments, while having only limited ability to influence and shape the bid, would bear significant financial risks as the ultimate guarantors,” the Brattle Group stated. “The taxpayers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would be the ultimate risk bearers.”Boston 2024 organizers had no immediate comment on the report.The Brattle Group report had been in development well before Boston’s bid imploded last month, the victim of low public support and persistent questions about its finances.Gov. Charlie Baker and legislative leaders commissioned the independent analysis in June, capping costs at $250,000.But Boston 2024 and the U.S. Olympic Committee announced on July 27 that they would to end the planning efforts after Baker declined to throw his support to the plan and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh refused to sign a guarantee committing taxpayer dollars to cover any overages.Boston in January was named the USOC’s pick to go up against Paris, Rome and other international cities, besting Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.“Even though the bid was withdrawn, this report demonstrates that there were a series of real risks associated with bringing the games to Massachusetts,” Senate President Stan Rosenberg said in a statement.Some Olympics opponents agreed: “The healthy skepticism expressed by voters and leaders in the State House was warranted,” the No Boston Olympics groups said in a statement. “Massachusetts dodged a bullet.”Others were unimpressed by the findings. Evan Falchuk, a former gubernatorial candidate who led the push for a ballot referendum that would effectively prevent state taxpayer dollars from being used on the games, questioned why it took so long for the elected leaders to come to the conclusion.“The Brattle Group report lays out in black and white that Boston 2024 and its enablers in our government were lying,” he said. “The bid is over, but the Olympic saga must be a wakeup call for voters.”Laura Oggeri, a spokeswoman for Walsh, said many of the Brattle Group’s concerns mirrored questions the mayor had throughout the bidding process.Going forward, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said, the report still could serve as a resource for the state as it seeks to spur economic development and improve Boston’s much-maligned transit system.(PHILIP MARCELO)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Canadians creating more waste and lack coordinated way to deal with it

first_imgAn extensive report by the three countries in the North American Free Trade Agreement suggests Canadian homes and kitchens continue to generate more and more waste.And the Commission For Environmental Co-operation concludes there’s a big role for the federal government to help deal with it, starting with co-ordinating the handling of organic garbage from households across the country and helping create markets for products generated through recycled waste.“To have standards available that allow purchasers or agricultural users to know what they’re getting is something that we see has a real potential value,” said report co-author David Donaldson. “That’s one area that real co-ordination at a national level could be useful.”Environment Canada said federal, provincial and territorial governments are working to find solutions to waste issues.In recent years the governments released guidelines on compost quality and are working to increase the amount of organic waste diverted from landfills.“Increasing organic waste diversion is one of the ongoing priority areas of work,” the department said in an email.The federal government also provides money to municipalities for recycling projects through the $675 million Green Municipal Fund.Non-hazardous waste is a provincial and local responsibility in Canada, making it tough to get current information on waste and how it is disposed, Donaldson said. The most recent information in his report is six years old.But that’s enough to suggest that Canadians, already among the world’s champion garbage creators, are making more of it.Residential food, yard and paper waste per person increased from about 230 kilograms per person in 2002 to almost 300 by 2012.“We, as North Americans, are very good at consuming,” Donaldson said.Less than a third of that waste is diverted from landfills into recycling, composting or other such facilities.Simply dumping that material into a hole in the ground squanders an opportunity to turn that waste into a valuable commodity such as soil compost, Donaldson said.It also wastes existing capacity. The study suggests that Canadian composters are underused by 38 per cent and could take 1.6 million more tonnes of waste than they currently do.The report says a national agency is needed to collect data and share best practices. In Nova Scotia, for example, disposing waste in clear bags instead of black ones lets recyclers see what’s inside more easily and has increased organics and recyclables diversion by up to 40 per cent.A consistent product, assuring consumers that compost they buy has the same qualities whether they buy it in Saskatoon or Chicoutimi, Que., would go a long way toward building a market. That’s a job for a federal group, said Donaldson.Governments can also increase recycling by making it more expensive to simply toss waste in the landfill.In Alberta, landfill tipping fees are as low as $25 per tonne, while it costs at least twice that to run a small composting operation, says the report.“It does create a disincentive for organizations to dispose of organic waste in a way that would be ideal,” Donaldson said.Government can also provide incentives for energy created during treatment of organic waste such as biogas to feed back into the system.And they can also provide the education and information to encourage Canadians to generate less waste in the first place.The benefits are big, from reducing taxes spent on landfills to increasing the productivity of agricultural soils. Improving the handling of organic waste could even cut 3.4 megatonnes from Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions as dumps release less methane and carbon dioxide.Recycling organic waste mimics natural cycles, said Donaldson.“You’ve really taken from the land when you grow food,” he said.“You’re taking these nutrients and you’re not returning them. Just that capacity to use nature and benefit from that is an important place to start.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960Note to readers: This is a corrected story. Previous version used Council on in name of organization in para 2last_img read more