A True Story About Arm’s Length Decision-Making

first_imgSalespeople often get a bad rap, sometimes deservedly so. But some purchasing managers can hang with the worst of them. All the following events are true.The salesperson’s business is predominantly driven by RFPs and a process that is normally run by brokers. When this isn’t true, sometimes one of the stakeholders on the customer’s side is their purchasing agent or purchasing manager. As you might expect, the purchasing manager, much like a broker, exercises control off the process. They insure that the process moves along according to schedule and that it is done at arms length.The salesperson in this story was invited to present to the prospective customer. His company was one of three that made the finals round. The purchasing agent decided that each finalist would be given one hour to present.But before we get to what his issue was here I should share a bit more.This deal is worth a $500,000 annually and the typical contract is three years. It’s a service driven business, so the performance can vary dramatically from one provider to the next. As you might expect, trust, caring, flexibility, and communication are critical to choosing the right partner.Tick TockSo when the clock reached the one hour mark, the purchasing agent said to the salesperson, “That’s it. Your time is up.”It didn’t matter that the conversation between the sales team and the customer team was creating tremendous value for both teams.It didn’t matter that there were unanswered questions on both sides, and that a decision would be difficult to make without having deeper conversations.It didn’t matter that one hour wasn’t enough time to determine whether or not the provider was going to be the right fit or deliver the results the customer needed.The process had to be followed. Even to the detriment of the outcome. This is the worst example I have heard, but it is not all that different from slavishly following an arm-length process that doesn’t assist you in making a good decision.And people who purchase this way are starting to recognize just how broken the process is. See this article from the Financial Times. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Why You Aren’t Buried With Work

first_imgThere is a reason you aren’t buried with work that others are. The first rule to getting out of a hole is to stop digging. Some people I know have more work than they can handle. They really want to stop digging, but they can’t. They say “yes” to everything, and they are buried.But more people have too little work, and they are struggling. The first rule for getting into the hole to begin with is to start digging. You have the shovel. You have the time. But the work doesn’t take care of itself.First Things FirstFamed management guru, Peter Drucker, once said: “A business exists to create a customer.” I can’t find any evidence that he ever said, “The reason a business exists is to wait around for people who don’t know you or what you to do to beat a path to your door.”How do you create customers (or clients)? It starts with marketing. If you aren’t marketing, then how will anyone know who you are, why you exist, or how you create value? How will they know that they have the exact challenges for which you can provide the solution?Once you have awareness, you have to spend your time selling to your prospective clients, or what I call “dream clients.” You have to actively engage with them and gain commitments that create opportunities.But too many sales organizations, entrepreneurs, and business people believe that their job is only to offer whatever it is that they sell. So what should be their “first thing” is often their “last thing.” In some cases, sales and marketing is “no thing.”Take Care of the Funnel and the Funnel Takes Care of YouLook, if you take care of the funnel, the funnel will take care of you. If you invest your time and energy in sales and marketing first, and by that I mean make it your priority, you will have enough opportunities to build and grow a business.If you neglect the funnel, then the funnel has no way of taking care of you. You are always going to be desperate for business, and you are always going to struggle to get to the point that your business can sustain itself or grow (this is why I am, and always have been, a top of the funnel guy).last_img read more

Client Retention Lessons from Software as a Service

first_imgNot too many years ago, there was no such thing as software as a service (SAAS). The business model didn’t exist. Instead, you bought a packaged box with the software enclosed on a disk, and you ran the software on your computer.But software companies learned that they could create and capture more value with a better model. By delivering the software as a service, they could continually roll out new features and functions, reduce your hardware costs, and generally provide a better experience. But more important still, they could generate predictable revenue. As long as you are subscribed, you pay every month (or in some cases, every year).But SAAS companies worry that you will cancel your subscription if you aren’t getting the value greater than your recurring monthly payment. So smart SAAS companies devote themselves to ensuring you know how to get the most out of their software. They create training videos and walk-throughs to help you maximize your investment. They provide webinars to help you take advantage of new features. They don’t want you to defect, and the fact that your relationship is only with the service itself, and not a human being, is a problem for SAAS companies.But even though your business isn’t software as a service, you would do well to think of it as a subscription model. At any time your clients feel that they are no longer receiving value for the payment they send you for your services each month, they can cancel their subscription. They can defect, and they can sign up with your competitor. Churn is a problem.But you have an advantage over software as a service companies. You have the relationships that allow you to continuously create new value. You can do more than provide web-based support tools to help your clients help themselves figure out how to maximize their investment. You can schedule meetings and work with the stakeholders inside your client’s company directly. You can troubleshoot their issues, and you can ensure that they receive the support they need. You can ensure that you retain your clients by being accountable for delivering the outcomes that your clients need. This is what they bought when they bought from you.Even if you don’t think you have a subscription model, you do. Your clients can cancel their subscription. Your job is to create so much value that your clients would never dream of defecting. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Protest against Haryana’s ‘anti-farmer’ policies

first_imgSeveral farmers and farm labourers on Wednesday staged a protest against the Haryana government here, blaming it for adopting “anti-farmer” policies that have allegedly ruined the agriculture sector and rendering the farmers in debt.Prominent unions that came together to protest at the Sector 17 ground included the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha, Haryana Kisan Sabha, CITU and the Akhil Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union. The representatives of the unions submitted a memorandum to the government in support of their demands.Kisan Sabha leader Inderjit Singh said the “anti-farmer and anti-poor” policies of the ruling BJP government in Haryana and the Centre had ruined the agriculture sector.Farm produce prices“The BJP government is vigorously pursuing neo-liberal policies. Consistently lower prices of agricultural produce disproportionate to the prices of farm inputs and mounting indebtedness from both institutional and non-institutional sources have landed farmers in a debt trap,” said Mr. Singh.last_img read more

Srijan scam accused dies in Bihar hospital

first_imgMahesh Mandal, one of the accused in the Srijan scam, died late on Sunday in a hospital in Bhagalpur, Bihar, due to a kidney problem, say doctors.Mandal, who was a Bhagalpur District Welfare Department Accountant (nazir), was arrested on August 13 and sent to jail two days later allegedly for being a conduit in the multi-crore Srijan scam in which an NGO had siphoned off government funds worth crores of rupees with the connivance of State government staff members and bank officials.Over a dozen people have been arrested related to the scam and sent to jail.Officials told The Hindu that Mandal’s condition had deteriorated in the Bhagalpur jail on Sunday night following which he was taken to Mayaganj Hospital where he died.“Mr Mandal had a kidney and sugar problem for which he had been taking medical treatment earlier. When his condition deteriorated on Sunday night, he was sent to Mayaganj hospital where he died”, Ramanuj Kumar, jailer of the Bhagalpur central prison, told local journalists. Mandal had earlier been provided dialysis in a prominent hospital in Mumbai.However, Mandal’s family members have charged that the government did not provide proper treatment to him as he might have spilled the beans in the Srijan scam in which several people would have been arrested.Earlier, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had declared in a programme that a big scam of siphoning off government money from the Bhagalpur district treasury by an NGO had happened, and the government had constituted a probe team.Also Read Seven arrested in Bihar NGO scam  Later, when the scam got bigger and bigger with the involvement of central bank employees and other officials, Mr. Kumar last Thursday recommended a CBI inquiry into the scam.The Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti is located in Sabour, about 10 km away from Bhagalpur. The NGO was founded by the late Manorama Devi and in the last ten years it has siphoned off over Rs 1000 crore from the government treasury through fraudulent means and in connivance with bank and government officials, said the investigating team.The NGO apparently was providing vocational training to women and selling pickles.Sources in the investigating team also told The Hindu that Mandal was a close associate of Ms. Devi and he had also accumulated huge illegal property. His son Shiv Kumar Mandal had spent a lot of money during the last local body election.After the death of Ms. Devi in February this year, her younger son Amit Kumar and his wife Priya Kumari took charge of the NGO. Both are absconding.The opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav recently had released pictures in which Ms. Devi was seen felicitating some state BJP leaders.Mr Yadav later demanded the resignation of the Chief Minister Mr. Kumar and his deputy in the cabinet Sushil Kumar Modi during whose regime, from 2006-2015, such a huge scam , “even bigger than fodder scam” he said, had happened.last_img read more

MBBS student raped inside Odisha college

first_imgA first year female MBBS student of a private medical college was alleged raped in the college campus here, the police said on Wednesday. The student alleged that she was raped by a peon of the college while she was returning to hostel on Tuesday night. “We have arrested a man based on the complaint of the girl,” Bhubaneswar Deputy Commissioner of Police Satyabrata Bhoi said.last_img

Afzal Guru’s son gets 88%

first_imgParliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s son Ghalib Afzal Guru has passed the Class 12 examination securing 441 marks (88.2%) out of 500 in the science stream.“I am thankful to Allah and attribute my success to my family. Situation was not stable in Kashmir in 2016 and 17 and it was not easy to study. However, local teachers helped me,” Ghalib said.He said his father wanted him to become a doctor. Afzal Guru was hanged in 2013 in the Parliament attack case.Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq congratulated him. “I am happy to know about Ghalib doing so well,” said the Mirwaiz.Hundreds of netizens posted messages on the social media and Ghalib’s personal Facebook page to encourage him on the feat.The brother of slain commander Wani, Naveed Aalam, secured 387 marks in the science stream.Around 55,163 students had appeared for the Class 12 examination.last_img read more

Mudslinging should stop, says West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi

first_imgWest Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Thursday came down heavily on the Trinamool Congress government saying that they should “remove dirt from their faces instead of throwing mud at the office of Governor”.“Enough harsh words have been said. They should stop throwing mud at the office of Governor. They should look at mirror and remove dirt from their faces,” he told journalists in Kolkata.last_img

Wanted criminal shot dead in U.P. encounter

first_imgA wanted criminal, carrying a bounty of ₹2.5 lakh on his head, was gunned down in an alleged encounter with a joint team of the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana police in Noida on Monday.This takes the number of people killed in U.P. encounters after the Yogi Adityanath government came to power to 50. The suspect, identified as Balraj Bhati, was allegedly a sharpshooter of the notorious Sundar Bhati gang.Two head constables of the Haryana Special Task Force, Raj Kumar and Bhupendra, were injured in the shootout, the police said.A seven-year-old child and a 30-year-old man were among the three civilians injured in the shooting by the suspects, the Gurugram police said.A 9 mm carbine and a 9 mm pistol were recovered from Bhati, the U.P. DGP office said.Bhati was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead. A native of Shikarpur in Bulandshahr district, Bhati had 19 criminal cases against him in Haryana, Ghaziabad and Delhi. These included eight murder cases, while others related to extortion and under the Arms Act and Gangsters Act.U.P. STF Inspector General Amitabh Yash said the encounter went on for about 15 minutes. Bhati was the prime target of three States and was “successfully tracked and intercepted” on a tip-off by an informant, Mr. Yash said.Bhati’s car was intercepted and cornered at a crossing in Sector 47 Noida while he was allegedly on an extortion attempt. According to the police, when they asked Bhati to surrender, his gang opened fire at their teams.“When his vehicle was intercepted, he tried to escape from the spot and fired at the police teams. The teams chased his vehicle and when he reached Sector 49, his car tyres burst in the exchange of fire,” the police said.Bhati and his two aides tried to flee from the scene while firing at the police teams, the police added.“Our teams chased them. Bhati kept firing non-stop and he then climbed a rooftop and started firing from there, injuring three civilians and two head constables,” the Gurugram police said.Mr. Yash said Bhati was an accused in several murder cases and contract killings. In 2012, Bhati and his aide Jitendra had pumped 140 bullets into one Pappu Kataar and his wife in Bhati’s native village of Dalla Dusri over political rivalry concerning the post of a headman.Bhati did not stop there and in February 2014, Gulab Singh, the witness of the couple’s murder, was also killed by Bhati and Jitendra despite being under police protection, Mr. Yash said.A man named Vipin, who was fighting the legal battle in both cases, was also murdered in April 2014 in Bulandshahr.last_img read more

U.P. forms panel to tackle stray dogs

first_imgIn wake of attacks on children by feral dogs in Sitapur, the Uttar Pradesh government has constituted a State-level committee to “manage population growth of stray dogs, eradicate rabies and minimise clashes between humans and dogs”.The 11-member surveillance and implementation committee will be chaired by the Principal Secretary, Urban Development, as per the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules-2001, the government said in a statement.“This committee has been constituted by overriding the committee set up on June 29, 2017 in compliance of the order passed by the Supreme Court on March 09, 2016 in a writ petition, Animal Welfare Board of India vs. People for Elimination of Stray Troubles and others,” the government said.The members of the committee include senior officials like the Director of Animal Husbandry, Principal Secretary, Health, Principal Secretary, Panchayati Raj, and representatives of the Animal Welfare Board of India among others.The government step comes after more than a dozen children have died in Sitapur district and several others injured in attacks by feral dogs. While speculation was over whether the animals attacking the children were wolves, the District Magistrate, Sheetal Verma, has now clarified that as per probe it was found that they were in fact feral dogs.“The Wildlife Institute of India and Humane Society of India have confirmed that the animals are feral dogs and not wolves or other such animals,” Ms. Verma said.V.K. Gupta, Joint Director, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, animal disease research, also said that as per the findings of his team the animals looked ‘morphologically’ dogs but DNA sequence of the samples collected from the ground would help confirm it.Samples tested The IVRI has also tested samples of a dead dog from the affected area to test if the deaths of the children could be attributed to rabies. “The tests were found negative,” Mr. Gupta told The Hindu. Two more dead dogs, probably lynched by the enraged locals, were brought to the IVRI on Wednesday for post-mortem and their samples have been sent for rabies test. According to the government reports, most of the attacks have taken place while the children were alone in the mango orchards or out to defecate in the open.While the causes behind the aggressive behaviour of the dogs are still being studied, the government has so far caught more than 40 dogs and sent them to the Kanha Upvan in Lucknow for sterilization and to be released later. Drones deployed The police have deployed drones and night-vision binoculars and camera traps to map the areas especially during dawn and conduct regular combing of the area to trap the animals.During his visit to the affected area — Khairabad in Sitapur — on May 11, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said that since most of the attacks were recorded when children went out to defecate, the affected 22 villages would be chosen under the Open Defecation Free project.last_img read more

Rebel floats parallel Hindu Yuva Vahini

first_imgA rift has surfaced in the Hindu Yuva Vahini, formed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in 2002, with its former leader Sunil Singh creating a splinter outfit with the same name and declaring himself its national president.Hindu Yuva Vahini’s State general secretary P.K. Mall said that the outfit has nothing to do with Mr. Singh’s group, as he and some others were removed by Mr. Adityanath on January 30, 2017, on charges of indiscipline.Mr. Singh, however, claimed that he recently held a meeting with senior Hindu Yuva Vahini leaders and was unanimously elected the national president of the outfit.Charge of indiscipline Refuting this claim, Mr. Mall said, “No member of the Hindu Yuva Vahini attended the so-called meeting in Lucknow last week. Those expelled by chief patron Yogi Adityanath ji on the charge of indiscipline are creating confusion.”Mr. Singh even claimed that his organisation is the original one. “We will expand campaign for Hindutva and development in the entire country. We are the original Hindu Yuva Vahini with the support of all core members and blessing of my guru Yogi Adityanath ji,” he said.“It was I who raised a voice to declare Yogi Adityanath, a five-time MP then, the chief ministerial candidate, but the BJP did not pay heed to it. In Parivartan Yatra, taken out by the BJP, there was no photograph of Yogi ji.No new nameAsked about reports that his organisation was named Hindu Yuva Vahini (Bharat), he said, “It will be Hindu Yuva Vahini, and we will be working for it.”“We will strengthen the Hindu Yuva Vahini across the country in the days to come. First, on the list are Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan,” Mr. Singh said.last_img read more

Irom Sharmila bats for Kashmir’s creative conflict widows

first_imgIrom Sharmila is back as a campaigner, but far from her home in Manipur.Once the face of a movement against the Armed Forces (Special Powers Act) Act, or Afspa, Ms. Sharmila had fallen off the radar after breaking her marathon fast in August 2016 and contesting a disastrous election eight months later.She left Manipur and married her long-time British partner Desmond Coutinho in Tamil Nadu’s Kodaikanal in August 2017 to focus on her own life.But the activist in her staged a comeback as brand ambassador of Aaashh, an initiative of Pune-based NGO Sarhad for violence-affected women weavers and artisans of Jammu and Kashmir. Aaashh is Kashmiri for hope.“We have been associated with her since her days of fasting in (Manipur capital) Imphal. She visited us in May and agreed to become the brand ambassador of the handmade items produced by the women associated with Aaashh,” Sanjay Nahar, founder of Sarhad, told The Hindu from Pune.A social, cultural and educational organisation, Sarhad has been working among orphans and widows of conflict-torn areas beginning with the Punjab, Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir. The NGO’s school in Pune has about 200 extremism-affected boys and girls from Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Manipur.Mr. Nahar, Ms. Sharmila and Mr. Coutinho left for Srinagar on June 3, met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Jammu and Kashmir women’s commission members before touring Kupwara district to meet the conflict widows and women primarily into weaving.Aaashh has about 200 women concentrated in Kupwara’s Poshpora. The initiative had 70 women to begin with, and is set to expand to other areas of the State.“The Kashmiri women related to Ms. Sharmila who had gone through similar ordeal in another part of the country. She motivated them, gave them courage to move on from the trauma of the past,” Aqib Bhat, Mr. Nahar’s Kashmir-based associate, said while returning to Srinagar from Poshpora on Wednesday evening.“It is not easy for these women who have perhaps endured more than I did. We connected because of a common cause,” Ms. Sharmila, 46, said.Mr. Nahar said Ms. Sharmila, now based in Kodaikanal, could relocate to Bengaluru or a suitable location in Kashmir depending on the situation.“Campaigning against AFSPA in Kashmir is very much on for her. But she is clear about self-sustenance first and using non-violent methods to combat oppressive laws,” he said.last_img read more

Parties must set aside egos, says Tejashwi

first_imgThe Congress should let other parties be in the “driving seat” in States such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where it is not the largest Opposition party, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav has said, asserting that “egos” need to be set aside to jointly take on the BJP in 2019.The issue of a prime ministerial candidate is secondary and it is more important for the Opposition parties to come together to “save the Constitution”, said the Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly and the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.“In my view, the talk about a prime ministerial candidate should be secondary because there is danger facing the country. The Constitution, democracy and reservation are in danger,” the former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister said.He cited the example of UPA-I, when the decision to appoint Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister was taken after the elections, to buttress his point.Mr. Yadav, who declared that the Opposition can win by coming together, said the 2019 elections will be a contest between Gandhi-Ambedkar-Mandal versus Golwalkar-Godse.Social justice“So all political parties in the Opposition that believe in social justice and secularism should set aside their egos and differences and come together to save the Constitution,” the 28-year-old leader said, referring to the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, B. R. Ambedkar and the Mandal Commission on reservation versus RSS ideologue M.S. Golwalkar and Nathuram Godse.The BJP wants to enforce “RSS law” in the country, Mr. Yadav alleged, recalling Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde’s remarks that the party had come to power to change the Constitution.Stressing the need for an Opposition alliance, he said the Congress, being the larger party, has a larger responsibility in taking others along. “But the Congress has to see how it will manage alliance partners. In Bihar, we [RJD] are the largest party, so it has to make a strategy accordingly , Mr. Yadav said.Noting that the BJP and the Congress have a direct fight in almost 18 States, he said in States such as U.P. and Bihar, the Rahul Gandhi-led party should let the largest Opposition party sit in the ‘driving seat’.last_img read more

Housing project RWA complains against developers to RERA

first_imgThe residents’ welfare association of Greenopolis, a group housing project in Sector 89 here, on Thursday submitted a complaint against the developers to the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), Gurugram. The issues raised by the RWA in the complaint included the three-year delay in completion of the project, non-payment of external development charge and internal development charge, and non-registration of the project under the RERA Act. The RWA has urged the authority direct the developers — Orris Infrastructure Private Limited and Three C Shelters Private Limited — to submit the phase-wise completion schedule and handover possession of all apartments within six months. The complaint stated that the developers had jointly marketed the project and did most of the bookings in mid-2012 with a promise to deliver possession before the end of 2015. The RWA submitted that despite receipt of nearly 90% of the consideration amount under the apartment buyer’s agreement, the developers had failed to deliver possession as promised. The complaint said the developers discontinued all construction activity at the project site in early 2016, when construction of the project should have been completed. When construction activity failed to resume at the site for over six months, RWA members and several buyers held meetings with the developers. They also also visited the site and the Departments concerned, including the Department of Town and Country Planning and the Chief Minister’s office. To their shock, the RWA members said, they were informed in the meetings that the developers did not have funds to complete the project. Further, the association alleged, the building plan submitted and approved by the authority concerned showed a chemical effluent drain passing through the middle of the project but this was not shown in the site plan enclosed in the apartment buyer’s agreement.Project licenceThe RWA also alleged that the project licence had expired due to non-payment of external and internal development charges, and the size of the project had been changed without approval from buyers. When contacted, Orris Infrastructure Private Limited managing director Amit Gupta said the land and the licence belonged to them but construction was the responsibility of Three C. He claimed that a huge chunk of external and internal development charges had already been paid and that only Three C’s share was outstanding. Mr. Gupta said they had already applied for registration under RERA six months ago but the delay had been caused by the Authority.A representative of Three C Shelters Private Limited said pending payment of over ₹90 crore from unit holders had caused the delay. He added that four towers were almost ready but they could not apply for occupation certificate due to delay in registration under RERA. He blamed Orris Infrastructure Private Limited for not paying their share of the external development charge.last_img read more

PDP legislator alleges police harassment

first_imgPeoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislator Aijaz Mir, whose personal guard decamped with eight weapons and joined Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfit last week, on Thursday accused the police of harassment.“A policeman abused me. He levelled serious allegations and accusations against my family. Is this how the police probe cases, by humiliating even legislators and start levelling baseless allegations,” said Mr. Mir.Special Police Officer (SPO) Adil Bashir, a resident of Shopian, on September 31 stole seven rifles of security guards and one pistol of Mr. Mir from his residence and joined the Hizbul Mujahideen later.The police constituted a Special Investigation Team to investigate the case. Mr. Mir claimed he was in Jammu when the incident took place. According to the SIT, the SPO was in touch with militants for long. Seven of Mr. Mir’s personal security personnel remain behind bars for questioning.“We came into politics despite threats and volatile situation in south Kashmir. Even after facing threats, we are being humiliated, which saddened me a lot. I am dejected of the system,” said the MLA.Meanwhile, a PDP spokesman condemned the “harassment of PDP lawmaker.” “The party has taken strong objection to the harassment of the PDP MLA by officers at the Rajbagh police station. He was in the police station to cooperate with the investigating officer. However, the officers misbehaved with the legislator and this needs to be looked into. He should not be treated like a criminal,” said the spokesman.Hizb module bustedMeanwhile, the police busted a Hizbul Mujahideen module and arrested two militant sympathisers from Kupwara.“Acting on specific input, the police detained Shakir Ahmad Wani and Ghulam Mustafa Sheikh, both residents of Tekipora, Lolab, for questioning. After sustained questioning, a pistol was recovered on their disclosure. The module was engaged in providing logistics support to terrorists apart from luring more youth into terrorism,” said the police.last_img read more

Cong. made hollow promises: Khattar

first_imgHaryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday said his government has ensured a corruption-free and transparent administration during its four years of rule unlike the previous Congress regime.“As we now enter an election year, the government will shift from the fourth to the fifth gear to further expedite the development process in the State,” Mr. Khattar said at a press conference here.Hitting out at the Congress, Mr. Khattar said during the ten years of its rule, the government only made hollow announcements without any budgetary provisions.“The difference between them [Congress] and us [BJP] is that we only made announcements that could be fulfilled. The previous government made announcements without making adequate budgetary provisions. It’s on record that on November 1, 2013, several big announcements were made by the then government, but later the officials concerned found that the required budget was not made available to implement them,” said Mr. Khattar.Announcements galoreMr. Khattar added that the previous government, on an average, made 6,500 announcements during its ten years of rule, whereas the current BJP government has made 6,800 announcements in four years. “The work on announcements made in 2018 is in progress and it would be completed in 2019. In the last four years, the budget of the State has been increased by 90% and it would be further increased to 100% by the end of fifth year of this government,” he said.Accusing the previous government in the State of using power as an object of enjoyment, Mr. Khattar said the BJP was working with the spirit to serve people.‘Corruption, nepotism’“During the tenure of the previous governments, there was large-scale corruption, nepotism and regionalism. In the politics of over 48 years, they worked to divide society along caste lines. But after taking over the reins in the State, we gave the slogan of ‘Haryana Ek, Haryanvi Ek’ and brought about a change in the system by rising above party lines,” said Mr. Khattar.last_img read more

Hashimpura’s long wait for justice

first_img“I don’t know why Allah saved me! Perhaps, I was spared to seek justice for my brothers and myself,” reflects Mohammad Usman, as he gently limps towards a small shop owned by his friend, on the road leading to Hashimpura. Nestled in the bustling city of Meerut, in Uttar Pradesh, residents in Hashimpura now recall the ‘massacre’ of 1987 when close to 45 Muslim men were picked up by the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and 38 of them were shot dead at close range under the cover of the night, on May 22. Five survived. The PAC is an armed unit of the State Police deployed to tackle the law-and-order situation.Hashimpura has no distinct markers or landmarks apart from a defunct cinema hall named ‘Gulmarg’ located a few blocks away. You might drive past Hashimpura locality without giving it even a second glance. The slightly built Usman, in his late fifties, with silver-grey hair, and wearing a faded cream kurta, baggy white pyjamas and dark sleeveless coat, blends perfectly into the nondescript landscape. But the scars on his body chronicle a sordid story. So does his aching limp, to which he makes several references in our conversation.On that fateful night, on Friday, Usman cheated death not once but twice. He was shot at twice, the first bullet piercing his abdomen and exiting from the lower back. The second punctured his right thigh, leaving him with a permanent limp. “The PAC men should have been hanged!” he says, his voice shaking in anger and regret. “They left me a wreck in my 20s and made me forever dependent on others. I was bedridden for over a year.”After a long wait of 31 years, the Delhi High Court, on October 31 this year, sentenced 16 personnel of the PAC — some of whom are still serving men — to life imprisonment for abducting and later shooting dead the 38 men. In doing so, the court overturned the trial court’s decision to acquit the same, in 2015. But the order brings little succour to Usman.For Usman, the conviction has come a little too late; a mere consolation, not justice. The trauma has not only crushed him morally but also wrecked him financially, forcing him to take up menial jobs. But he had to quit work eventually, as the condition of his leg did not permit him to work long hours. The ₹5 lakh compensation which he received when the Samajwadi Party was in power in the State was spent on paying debts from medical treatment and pooling into the donations and contributions for the legal fight of the survivors. He even had to sell his two-storey house in Hashimpura and move to Ahmed Nagar, another locality 3 km away. He trembles as he recalls the day when he along with the four others survived the massacre, termed by many as one the biggest custodial killings in the country.Massacre on a holy dayIt was a hot May afternoon and the last Friday of Ramzan in 1987 when, after attending prayers at the local mosque, the men of Hashimpura retired to their homes. The atmosphere outside was tense, following weeks of communal clashes in Meerut in the aftermath of the opening of the locks of the Babri Masjid. A curfew had been imposed when a search operation was launched by the Army and the PAC in Hashimpura on May 22. This was after two rifles belonging to the Constabulary were allegedly looted by “anti-social elements”, and the brother of an army Major posted there had been shot dead in a locality adjacent to Hashimpura. There are different narratives of the days leading up to the massacre and its likely trigger, and things are still inconclusive to this day. Two survivors, Zulfiqar Nasir (right) and Mohammad Usman, recollect the fateful day, at Hashimpura.  | Photo Credit: R_V_Moorthy  Some of the survivors of the night were rescued by locals and the remainder by the State police. Clearly, their ordeal was not over. The policemen who found Usman threatened to poison him to death if he named the PAC in his statement. Usman initially gave in and for almost a month his family did not know his whereabouts as he was taken to Delhi for treatment. His five brothers had also been lodged in jail. The massacre took place in two phases. As the Delhi High Court judgment notes, the policemen stopped firing in the Gang Nahar after they noticed the headlights of an approaching vehicle and then moved the truck towards Hindon canal, stopping at its culvert. A PAC jawan, Leela Dhar, even sustained injuries after a ricocheting bullet hit him. After the first three persons were shot, the others in the truck screamed for help. As they tried to jump off, the PAC fired at them indiscriminately.The PAC men then got down, opened the rear portion of the truck and finished the task. They dumped the bodies into the Hindon river. The incident left behind grieving families, including widows and mothers who lost their breadwinners. Hazra, in her seventies, lost three members of her family: son Naeem, who was only 14, her brother-in-law Zaheer, who worked the embroidery on clothes, and his son Javed, 13.In several ways, the Hashimpura massacre is also testimony to the mental strength of the survivors and their families, who despite the odds, did not abandon hope for justice. The legal battle was supported by the victims themselves through donations and contributions.“No political party helped us,” says Zulfiqar. The Samajwadi Party only gave us some economic relief in the form of ₹5 lakh compensation (in 2015). We did not get help in the same magnitude that we suffered. But we didn’t allow any politician to interfere.”Their faith in the courts remained unshaken. Babuddin, another survivor, filed the first First Information Report at Link Road police station in Ghaziabad. Originally from Dharbanga in Bihar, he was visiting his uncle in the hope of finding a job in Hashimpura when he was also picked up. Today, he works as a weaver.Recalling her numerous trips to the Tis Hazari court in Delhi for the trial, Hazra asks, “How could we answer our conscience if we had given up the battle?”Zaibunnisa’s struggle was even harder. Her husband, Iqbal, who was 29, was also killed leaving her with three young daughters to look after. The youngest girl, Uzma, was born only two days before the incident.Holding a photograph of Iqbal, a handsome young man with a neat moustache and neatly packed black hair, Zaibunnisa becomes emotional. “We had been married for five years. Our dreams were also not complete. My daughters did not experience the love of a father,” she says.Iqbal was shot in the head. The family never got to see his body but identified his clothes. For Zaibunnisa, it meant starting life afresh by sewing and doing labour work. Today she lives alone in a house gifted to her by a son-in-law. All her girls are now married. Her eyes well up as she recalls life with Iqbal. “He didn’t do anything. He was scared of the police and never stepped out of Meerut,” she says, recalling that tragic separation.Targeted killingsThe Delhi High Court pronounced the case as “targeted killings” of Muslims and a custodial killing. The judgment assumes significance in the context of impunity in custodial death cases and police brutality. Despite being accused of such a grave crime, the PAC men continued to be in service. The Hindu spoke to four of the convicted PAC men, who had claimed in court that they were not present when the killings happened. One of them, Niranjan Lal, 64, who was a section commander then and now retired, claims his innocence. He says that he and his team did get into the truck but were asked to drop off at the Meerut Police lines, deposit their weapons and go back to their tents.Lal says that as a consequence of the case, he retired as head constable, a post he had been promoted to early in his career. “Had this case not come about, I would have retired as inspector. I would have never allowed it to happen. I thank God that I was not a part of such an incident,” he says. Lal and his three associates claim that they were made to drop off so as to avoid the lone Muslim among them, Samiullah Khan, from being a part of the operation as he could not be trusted, and to also avoid suspicion. Samiullah, from Deoria, corroborated this explanation.The CB-CID, which was handed the probe, filed a chargesheet in the criminal court in Ghaziabad in 1996. The Delhi High Court noted in its order that over 20 warrants issued by the criminal court between 2000 and 2003 had failed to produce an outcome. The trial was later transferred to Delhi on the orders of the Supreme Court after the survivors and their families were not satisfied with the progress of the investigation, alleging bias. Charges were framed against the accused by the trial court in May 2006: there were 19 originally, but three, including platoon commander, Surendra Pal Singh, died during the trial. The charges filed were for murder, criminal conspiracy, kidnapping and disappearance of evidence, among others.Retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, Vibhuti Narain Rai, who was then the superintendent of police of Ghaziabad, says that despite political parties which claim to be sympathetic towards Muslims coming to power, neither was a prosecutor appointed in the case for long nor was an investigation properly supervised. It was only in May 2014 that the statements of the accused were recorded. But a year later, all 16 PAC men were acquitted by the trial court, which noted that the evidence required to connect them to the killings was missing.“When they got a clean chit, I thought there is nothing called law in India,” recollects Zulfiqar. The acquittal was challenged by the survivors and their families and the National Human Rights Commission was allowed by the court to seek a further probe. The High Court then allowed additional evidence to be recorded in the case. Rebecca Mammen John, counsel for the victims in the High Court, says the ‘General Diary’ entries kept by the PAC that marked the battalion in question moving towards Hashimpura, and the return entry were the evidence that really clinched the case.However, she rues that there was no urgency displayed by even the judiciary to take the case forward despite it having been transferred to Delhi. While there were serious indications of a cover-up and destruction of evidence, a lot of evidence was also not brought forward and was at the PAC level, says John. But the larger questions, of conspiracy and culpability, still remain unanswered. Was this a standalone case of a few PAC men going berserk betraying their communal mindset? The senior-level officer prosecuted in the case was a sub-inspector.“My 36 years of experience in the IPS tells me that he cannot take such a big decision. And even if he takes such a decision, his under-command will not obey,” says Rai. He believes the PAC wanted to “teach the Muslims a lesson” which is why they selected the healthiest of the lot.John says there was “absolutely no evidence” on record to support the theory that it was a case of revenge killing: “There was no attempt on the part of the prosecution to find out if these men acted on the instructions of their superiors or political masters.”.Back in Hashimpura, Hazra says the conviction has provided “dil ko sukoon (solace)”, but insists that the PAC men deserve death: “Those policemen kept their jobs, lived a normal life and groomed their children and their future and are going to jail when they are almost ready to die. And look at us!”While the conviction has brought a sense of consolation, the survivors are still grappling with questions. Naeem, another survivor, has only one question: Were we targeted because we were Muslims?Zulfiqar chips in and wonders, “There were many Muslim localities in Meerut they could have chosen. Why did they pick on Hashimpura?”The question hangs in the air.center_img  One theory is that the killings were retribution for the murder of Prabhat Kaushik, a young Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker who had died of a bullet injury. The shots were allegedly fired from Hashimpura. This was on May 21. It was alleged that the Prabhat’s brother, Satish Kaushik, who was posted as a major in Meerut then, had orchestrated the custodial killings to avenge his personal loss. However, none of this was ever brought on record or his role investigated.Shadab Rizvi, a senior journalist from Meerut, who reported the incident, says there was “no direct link” between Prabhat’s murder and the massacre. His account of the events leading up to the massacre are as follows. The PAC men harboured a grudge against local Muslims after they were allegedly attacked with stones and acid bottles while trying to enter the area for a search operation following a communal incident a day earlier. “The PAC men were angry with the Muslims of Hashimpura over their aggressive stance. They took them to a canal in Ghaziabad and killed them there for the reason that the battalion was based there and they felt it was a lot safer,” says Rizvi.The most popular narrative is that on the fateful day, the Army went on a door-to-door and roof-to-roof search-and-arrest operation and rounded up over 600 Muslim men. They were then paraded out of the narrow lanes to the main street, near a peepal tree. The Army then handed over the men to the PAC who sorted them into three groups: the aged, the boys and the young men. Between 42 and 45 of the healthiest men were then packed inside a yellow-coloured truck of the C-Company of the PAC’s 41st battalion and driven away. The detainees, forced to keep their heads low, were clueless about where they were headed. They assumed that like the rest, they would be taken to Abdullahpur jail, 4 km away, or the nearest police station. “But it was an act of deceit. They told us that some of the senior officers wanted to speak to us, so we agreed to go. It was a search operation only in name,” says Zulfiqar Nasir, another survivor.The events of the day were captured by a photographer, Praveen Jain, whose graphic black and white images show petrified Muslim men and boys with their hands raised being forcefully paraded through the lanes of Hashimpura by Army soldiers. The images proved to be crucial testimony in the conviction of the accused. Jain says he had no idea the photographs he clicked that day would become “historical”. “I had no hint of what was in store for these men. No weapons were recovered from the locality and I believed they were being arrested as a formality, to be released later,” he recalls.Zulfiqar Nasir was a high school student then, barely 17. Today, seated on a sofa in his house in Hashimpura, which over the past three decades has become a rallying place for the victims and families for a prolonged legal battle. Zulfiqar was the first to survive the brutality that day and narrate the experience before the media. That evening, after the truck was driven near the Gang Nahar in Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of Delhi, the PAC dragged the men out of the vehicle and then shot them using their .303 rifles. First it was Yasim and then Ashraf. Zulfiqar was third. Like the first two, he too was thrown into the canal. But he feigned death and miraculously survived by concealing himself under the bushes. Later, he escaped on foot. “It was dark and the PAC men wore helmets to avoid identification. The night turned out to be my ally as the constables could not see where I got hit,” Zulfiqar recalls.He was too terrified to understand what the PAC men were saying to each other. Even while shooting him, they did not speak to him or make any communal taunts. “All they did was prod each other to hurry up and finish the job,” he says. While in the truck, they communicated very little with each other and whispered whenever they had to say anything.A ghost of a placeIn Hashimpura, the throbbing sounds of the cottage looms resonate in the backdrop. Hashimpura was once a weaving hub for traders who came here from different States to purchase cloth. Most men here today work as daily wage labourers, small artisans or run stalls for a living. Zulfiqar is relatively better off and trades in tube-well spare parts.last_img read more

AFSPA to continue in Nagaland

first_imgNagaland has been declared a “disturbed area” for six more months till June-end under the AFSPA, a Home Ministry notification said on Monday. The Ministry said the central government is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of State of Nagaland is in such a disturbed and dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of civilian power is necessary.A ministry official said the decision to continue the declaration of Nagaland as “disturbed area” has been taken as killings, loot and extortion have been going on in various parts of the State which necessitated the action for the convenience of the security forces operating there.last_img read more

8,000 riders penalised on Day One of helmet rule in Pune

first_imgCitizens’ groups in the city continue to remain fiercely divided over Pune police’s compulsory helmet rule, which has come into force from January 1.While nearly 8,000 two-wheeler riders were penalised for violating the rule on New Year’s Day, several bike riders remained hostile to it despite Pune Police Commissioner K. Venkatesham warning that offenders would be taken to task.With mounting pressure from anti-helmet outfits and politicos, even the police seemed ambivalent about enforcing the rule too rigidly.This has prompted a city-based NGO Parisar, associated with urban safety issues, to send a legal notice to the Director -General of Police, the State Transport Commissioner and the Police Commissioners of the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad regions for “failing to ensure the strict compliance” of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, 1988.Sujit Patwardhan of Parisar observed that in July 2003, the Bombay High Court had passed an order directing the implementation of the provisions of Section 129 of the Act, which make the use of protective headgear compulsory for every person driving or riding pillion on a motor cycle of any class or description.In March 2005, the HC had again taken note of the non-compliance of the 2003 order and directed that the provisions of the MV Act be strictly implemented in the entire State from July 1, 2005.“In spite of the said judgment, a large number of two-wheeler drivers continue to flout these mandatory provisions of Section 129 of the MV Act. This legal notice is to put ‘constructive pressure’ on the police to carry out their promised enforcement and not be swayed by the anti-helmet faction,” Mr. Patwardhan told The Hindu.A recent survey by the NGO revealed that barely 28% of riders and 1.1% of pillion riders used a helmet.“Pune has the highest number of two-wheelers in the country – a number which is only increasing every year. But so are the fatalities. Other than some token ‘awareness programmes’, no consistent effort has been taken by civic authorities to bring down the number of accident-related deaths. So, we are left with no option but to take legal recourse,” said Ranjit Gadgil, Programme Director, Parisar.Mr. Venkatesham said that the objective behind making helmets compulsory for riders as well as the pillion was to bring about discipline and drastically reduce deaths from two-wheeler accidents.“As opposed to last year, this time on New Year’s Eve there were no fatal accidents owing to our enforcement of the helmet rule,” he claimed, Violators, he added, will undergo counselling sessions.‘Misplaced priorities’ However, RTI activist Vivek Velankar, founder of the Sajag Nagrik Manch and part of the anti-helmet faction, asserted that the decision to wear or not wear a helmet ought to be an individual choice.“With traffic crawling on Pune’s congested roads, 80% of citizens never wear helmets. Instead of repairing dysfunctional roads and apprehending traffic offenders, the Pune police is merely trying to enforce a law which usually degenerates into a revenue garnering exercise for the authorities,” Mr. Velankar alleged.He observed that the most vociferous advocates of the helmet rule usually were people who owned four-wheelers and had seldom worn a helmet.Mr. Velankar said the rule only helped increase the market for spurious helmets.“The traffic policeman seldom checks if a rider is wearing an ISI-quality helmet or not. If the helmet is of dubious quality, how can it act as protective headgear,” he observed, adding that in the end, the two-wheeler rider is compelled to buy a helmet for ₹800 to avoid a ₹500 fine.last_img read more

Australia’s New Science-Lite Government

first_img SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—Australia’s scientific community and incoming Prime Minister Tony Abbott are off to a rocky start. Unveiling his picks for Cabinet posts at a press conference in Canberra today, Abbott left science out in the cold. Pressed by reporters on the omission, Abbott replied that Australia’s national research agency, CSIRO, would fall under the portfolio of industry minister Ian Macfarlane.“Scientists around the nation are asking, ‘Where’s the science minister?’ ” said Catriona Jackson, CEO of Science and Technology Australia, an industry group representing 68,000 scientists and technologists. The Australian Academy of Science, added Les Field, the academy’s policy secretary, “is surprised and disappointed that Prime Minister Abbott has not announced a minister for science.” Australian news media are reporting that this will be the first time an Australian government has not had a science minister since the science portfolio was created in 1931.The omission comes on the heels of the incoming government’s threat to micromanage grant selection at the Australian Research Council, with awards in philosophy, religious history, and the intersection of art and climate change singled out as “ridiculous research grants that leave taxpayers scratching their heads.” Other research areas that may need to brace for tough times include climate science and environmental protection. In 2009, Abbott dismissed climate change as “absolute crap,” and today reiterated his campaign pledge to scrap the carbon tax established by the outgoing Labor government. Abbott’s alternative is a fund, capped at AUD $3.2 billion, that would fund carbon sequestration and reimburse businesses for the direct costs of reducing emissions.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Wikimedia Downgrade. Tony Abbott, prime minister-elect of Australia, has decided not to appoint a minister for science in his new government.last_img read more