Godhra verdict: 11 get death

The Gujarat High Court, established in the yea...

The Gujarat High Court

11 convicts in the Godhra train burning case were on 1st march 2011 handed down death sentence while 20 others were given life imprisonment by a special court in the 2002 Godhra incident incident.

In 2002, the coach (S-6) of the train Sabarmati Express coming from Bihar (Darbhanga) destined to Gujarat (Ahmedabad) was burned in Godhra (Gujarat) . About 58 people were burned to death, which consists of mostly Hindu Pilgrims.

This event triggered a widespread communal violence in Gujarat that resulted in deaths of about 790 to 2000 Muslims and about 254 Hindus.

In the very first police FIR after the incident, the incident was viewed as an unplanned mob fury.

But, a special investigation team (SIT) of Gujarat state police put forth an argument that the act was pre-planned by a Muslim Group. It was said by the police that they had stockpiled about 140 liters of petrol a day before the attacks had to take place and the very purpose of these attacks was to kill the Kar-Sewaks.

In 2004, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav appointed Justice U C Banerjee to investigate Godhra incident.The Railways Ministry setup a commission that reported in 2005 that the fire was an accident. The Gujarat high court ruled the formation of this inquiry commission as “illegal” and “unconstitutional”. At present, all the reports of the commission by Railways stand invalid. Moreover, the outcome of this report has been questioned by BJP as politically motivated as its findings coincide with elections.

Special judge P. R. Patel considering this case as “rarest of rare” pronounced death penalty for 11 out of the 31 convicted in the case while 20 others were sentenced to life imprisonment.

“The court looking into their active role in the conspiracy and setting afire the S6 coach of Sabarmati Express train near Godhra, gave death penalty to 11 people,” public prosecutor J. M. Panchal said.

The court also slapped punishment on them under various other sections, which will be concurrent to their life term.

The prosecution had sought death sentence for all the 31 convicts, saying that it was a heinous act.

A special fast track court convicted 31 accused in Godhra train burning case.

Another 63 people were acquitted in the Godhra train burning conspiracy.

The special fast track court was appointed by Gujarat High Court after orders from the supreme court of India.

Mint Reports

Defence counsel I. M. Munshi said the convicts will definitely appeal against the punishment awarded to them.

“It (the punishment) is very difficult to swallow. Till we get the copy of the judgement, we cannot comment much,” Munshi said.

We definitely don’t what is more difficult to swallow – The killing of innocent people or the death sentence to those killed innocents. I think its the former.

Godhra Train Burning Results

Godhra verdict: Death for 11, life term for 20 – Economy and Politics – livemint.com.


Railway Budget 2011 – Dedicated Freight Corridor Project

The Indian Railways is facing a severe financial crunch. Mamata Banerjee has attributed it to the change in accounting practices by Lalu Prasad Yadav, which they have reversed. Moreover, the costs on salaries have invreased due to the sixth pay commission. THE Dedicated Freight Corridor project (DFC) is facing the wrath of the financial crunch. It was announced in 2005 to create dedicated corridors for freight that would help Indian trains, both passenger and freight travel at their maximum speeds. It was expected to complete in 2012, but looking at the current scenario, it does not seem possible.

(Read about the causes of Indian Railways financial crunch here)

The consequences of this financial crunch on the DFC project

  • The Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project, is expected to cost around Rs. 77,000 crore. This includes the costs of borrowing and inflation.
  • The DFC project is being banked on heavily to remove the congestion in the rail network and allow trains to move at the maximum 140 Kmph. Read more of this post

Railway Budget 2011- Causes for Indian Rail financial crisis

Dedicated Freight Corridors

Dedicated Freight Corridors

The Indian Railways in facing a financial crisis. Quite unlike the previous Indian Railways Minister Lalu Prasad yadav, who announced a surplus of Rs 25,000 crore (2008), this year things are going to be quite different.

Total revenues from passenger and freight this year for Indian Railways has been around Rs 92,000 crore. Forbes says that it could fall short by Rs 4000 crore.

The Indian Railways is struggling with the financial burden of the sixth pay commission amounting to Rs 55,000 crore along with  ther financial woes. The reasons for the massive depletion of finances of Indian Railways have been many, but major of them are as follows.

Causes of financial crunch

  • Slow growth of freight business.
  • Decrease in passenger traffic
  • Increase in fuel prices (It has inflated its expenses by approximately Rs 1000 crore.
  • Reduced investment by private freight carriers (They have hold up Rs 2000 crore since Railways is not allowing to carry them more freight. They were given licenses during Lalu Prasad Yadav’s tenure as the Railway Minister)
  • Forbes says that this explains why the incremental freight loading target for 2010-11 is only 52 million tonnes compared to 60.3 million tonnes in 2009-10.Several other public-private projects including modernisation of railway stations have not taken off due to a paucity of funds.
  • In 2007-08, the Indian Railways had a self generated fund balance of approximately Rs. 19,700 crore. This was wiped out due to the costs on salary and dividends to the government in the year 2009-2010.

The consequences of this financial crunch Read more of this post

CitiBank and their city mess up

CitiBank in some confusionCitiBank and their city mess up

An active speak India reader has contributed this story to us.

From the contributor,

I would like to inform you that I have been repeatedly harassed by some of the concerned officials of CITI Bank who seem to be adamant and ignorant of an Indian Oil petrol pump- IBP Auto services. I am shocked and amazed in disbelief that CITI Bank officials read IBP as Indian Bharat Petroleum and charge a transaction fee every time I get petrol filled from this petrol pump. The worst part is that people at the customer care refused to verify the facts and their behaviour was much to be desired.

Facts which the CITI Bank have overlooked

IBP merged with IndianOil

IBP was inducted as an IndianOil Group company in February 2002. In the past five years, both IndianOil and IBP worked jointly to exploit new and emerging opportunities in the market place, simultaneously focussing on optimisation of infrastructure and operations, and reduction in manpower costs.

Click here to go the source page

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Star of month { March-2008 }

The star of the month for march 2008 goes to Dr. Manmohan Singh (Born on 26th september 1932)

Resume of Dr. Manmohan Singh – Prime Minister of India

He is considered one of the most qualified and influential figures in India’s recent history, mainly because of the economic reforms he had initiated in 1991 when he was Finance Minister under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.

Read more about him on Wikipedia

Union Budget – 08 – A populist one

It was an aggressive Finance Minister P Chidambaram going all the way to promote the mother of all loan waivers — the Rs. 60,000 crore farm loan waiver. Defying charges of his political opponents and even Left allies, Chidambaram chose a counter-offensive: “Let every politician and political party take a stand on our decision to write off farmers’ loans. They should stand up and say if they are for the farmers or against them. If they have the courage to oppose, they should stand up and be counted.”

Read more>>

More sources

Northeast gets over Rs.14 bn in the budget Economic Times
Union budget for 2008-09 — Populist but largely sane Hindu Business Line
Real estate welcomes Budget proposals for sector Hindu

India spends more on poor in budget 2008-09 Daily Times
Indian shares slip 1.38% after budget Daily Times
India increases defence budget to $26.40 billion Daily Times

Railway Budget – 08 – Simply Lalu


A buoyant economy helped Railways Minister Lalu Prasad better most of his estimates for the current financial year with a record cash surplus, though the pragmatic politician from Bihar has budgeted for a slowdown in his 2008-09 targets in his fifth consecutive railway budget.

An eye to elections due 2009, however, saw Prasad announce a 5 per cent cut in freight rates on petrol and diesel and a token drop in fares for all classes of passengers.

“Bowing to the hopes and expectations of millions of people, I have decided to reduce passenger fares and freight rates this year,” Prasad said in a characteristically entertaining speech in Parliament.

Read more>>

More on rail budget

Lalu and Feel Good Organiser
No-discrimination in rail budget: Lalu Sify
India Inc. Lauds Populist Railway Budget International Business Times