October 25, 2020
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TDP president Chandrababu Naidu needs some lessons on what to tell mediapersons when asked about his stand on Telangana.

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Hyderabad Blues
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Yet Another Rape

It's been a sad week in Hyderabad. Another shocking incident of rape has brought to light the escalating crime scene in the city. A 22-year-old IT professional who the police have named as Abhaya, was raped by a car driver and his accomplice off the Outer Ring Road (ORR) towards the Kolluru exit. The girl who had been to Inorbit Mall in HiTec City came out at 7.30 pm and waited for an auto near Mindspace junction for half an hour before boarding the Volvo car being driven by the accused V Satish (30) and N Venkateswarlu (28). Abhaya boarded the car which belongs to a travel company and asked Satish to drive her to her hostel. The victim got suspicious when the duo began taking a detour. When she tried calling her boyfriend who lives in Bangalore, the two men snatched her cellphone and threatened her. The car passed through four junctions, three toll booths of the 22-km ORR stretch with Abhaya locked inside the car. After raping her on the city’s outskirts, the men dropped Abhaya near her hostel and threatened to harm her family if she dared to lodge a police complaint. 

It was her friends who finally took her to the Madhapur police station. She was reluctant to tell the police she had been raped but broke down after medical tests and revealed the gruesome ordeal she had been through. Swift investigations by the Cyberabad police revealed that there were only 77 V6 S-60 white Volvos in the city. A CCTV grab outside Birla Open Minds School revealed an image of the car. With the help of the NIA, police zoomed in on the car and nabbed the main accused. While car driver Satish hails from Warangal, Venkateswarlu is from Nalgonda. They both lived in PJR Colony, Kukatpally.

Cyberabad Police Commissioner CV Anand admits that the investigation exposed loopholes in security along the ORR route. Apart from the malfunctioning cameras, at one toll booth, the car number was not registered. Police are now advising women to take photos of number plates of vehicles they board and send them to friends. Women are being advised to download press button software on mobile which will alert friends and family when they are in danger.

Sense of Isolation

It is the third suicide in EFLU (English and Foreign Languages University) this year. BEd student Usha Sahoo, who hailed from Sambalpur, Odisha, committed suicide by hanging herself in her hostel room. Twenty-three-year Usha was said to be depressed over a relationship. Student groups in EFLU had alleged that Usha had been harassed by university authorities. But some friends are now saying that Usha was depressed and though a bright student, would mostly keep to herself. Police say that Usha had attempted suicide once earlier in a flat where she was living. Earlier this year, two other students Mudassir Kamran of Kashmir and Mohd Mohiudeen of Chennai committed suicide on the EFLU campus. These sad incidents point to the growing sense of isolation among young people these days when they face problems. The need for constant counselling is a must for students, whether the issues are academic or personal.

Wanted: A New Script

TDP president Chandrababu Naidu needs some lessons on what to tell mediapersons when asked about his stand on Telangana. Out in Andhra Pradesh, his common refrain when asked about bifurcation is this: "Seemandhra and Telangana are like my two eyes. I cannot do without any one of them." In Delhi, he modified this a bit by saying that it was like asking a father to choose between his children. On an interview in CNN-IBN during his fast in the national capital, Naidu was being hammered by Rajdeep Sardesai to state his stand on Telangana. So Naidu asked Sardesai, "Tell me Rajdeep, how many children do you have?" On being informed that the latter had two children, Naidu responded, "Can you tell me which child you love more? You can't. Just like that, I can't tell you which region's aspirations I favour." Naidu tried the same trick when Karan Thapar came down to AP Bhavan to interview him. "Tell me Karan, how many children do you have," he asked. Karan Thapar's reply was: "I don't have children." A bit taken aback, Naidu, a seasoned politician, nevertheless persisted. "Tell me how many children your father had.."  Will someone please hand Naidu a new script? 

Sibling Surprise 

The latest buzz around town is that Chiranjeevi's brothers, actors Pawan Kalyan and Nagababu, are planning to join the Telugu Desam. Naidu has not reacted so far to the rumours but it is old news that "Power Star" Pawan Kalyan and Chiranjeevi have had strained ties of late. Chiranjeevi has been conspicuously absent during Pawan Kalyan's Attarinteki Daaredi functions. When a piracy issue had affected the movie, older bro Chiranjeevi was not around to help his sibling tide over the crisis. Besides, Chiranjeevi's rather muted stand on a united Andhra Pradesh has not gone down too well in the film industry. Rumours are afloat that Pawan Kalyan and Nagababu have been in touch with actor Balakrishna, NTR's son and Naidu's brother-in-law. Reacting to the news, TDP leader Yanamala Ramakrishnudu says that while he has no knowledge of such a meeting, Pawan Kalyan and his brother were welcome to join the Telugu Desam. 

Bureaucrats United

The CBI charges against retired IAS officer P C Parakh in the coal scam has triggered outrage among the AP IAS Officers Association. "Whenever any scam breaks out, it is us bureaucrats who are first targeted. But the fact is that most of the times, we are left with no choice but to sign on files," says one officer.  The association has pledged its support to the former Coal Secretary Parakh. Association honorary secretary J Raymond Peter called for an amendment to Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act for making prior sanction mandatory in respect of retired officers for any cognizance of offence to be taken by a court. The association also wants an amendment to Sec 197 of the CrPC to clarify whether the scope of the section extends to accusations of criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. This, the association, feels, is an absolute must given the recent tendency of the CBI to bypass the prior sanction requirement. It is charging officers by invoking IPC sections dealing with criminal conspiracy (Sec 120-b) and criminal breach of trust (Sec 409).  The association wants provisions in the proposed Civil Services Performance Standard and Accountability Bill to protect legitimate decisions taken by civil servants.


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