12 dead as 12-day Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations ends in Maharashtra

Ganesh Chaturthi

At least 12 persons, including minors and an on-duty policeman, lost their lives during immersion ceremonies on Anant Chaturdashi, marking the end of the 12-day long Ganeshotsav celebrations throughout the state on Tuesday, officials said.

Four persons drowned in the Indrayani river in the twin cities of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, three in Aurangabad, two in Jalgaon and one each in Nashik and Beed during the day as thousands of the gigantic, large, medium and small idols of the popular elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha, were taken out for immersions in various water bodies.

In Mumbai, an Assistant Sub-Inspector who was posted on Ganeshotsav duty at Lalbaug in Parel, suddenly collapsed and died. Further details were awaited.One person was reported to be missing in Indrayani river in Pune and a search is on to trace him, officials said.Earlier in the morning, idols of Lord Ganesha were taken down from their pedestals amid chanting of the “Udvasana Mantra” and carried out of the various marquees, societies and individual homes in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Nashik, coastal Konkan districts and other towns in the state.

This was the 125th year of the state’s biggest public festival, started in a modest way by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1894 to rally the masses during the Independence movement and bypass restrictions imposed by the British rulers on public meetings. The idols were brought onto the roads to the accompaniment of ‘dhols’ (drums), cymbals, with thousands dancing and chanting “Ganpati Bappa Moraya, Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Ya” in clouds of auspicious red ‘gulaal’..Read More

 

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Bombay HC asks Maharashtra govt to explain Sanjay Dutt’s early release

Sanjay Dutt

The Bombay High Court on Monday asked theMaharashtra government to explain in detail its decision to release Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt early from jail on grounds of good conduct.

A division bench of Justice RM Sawant and Justice Sadhna Jadhav directed the government to file an affidavit justifying its decision, what parameters were considered for letting the actor out eight months early, and the procedures followed while showing leniency towards him.

Dutt was convicted and sentenced to five years in an arms possession case connected to the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case which he served in Yerawada Central Jail, Pune. He was released on February 25, 2016.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Pune-based activist Pradeep Bhalekar challenging the series of furloughs and paroles granted to Dutt when he was serving his sentence.The court sought to know if the Deputy Inspector General, Prisons was consulted, or whether the Jail Superintendent sent the recommendation directly to the Maharashtra Governor.

“How did the authorities assess that Dutt’s conduct was good. When did they get time to make such an assessment when he was out on parole half the time?” asked Justice Sawant.

Mumbai braces for mammoth Maratha ‘mook’ morcha

Image result for maratha kranti morcha

The Maharashtra government, police, BMC and other agencies are all set for a mammoth Maratha ‘mook’ (silent) procession that will be taken out on Wednesday, officials said. While the authorities anticipate participation of between 500,000-800,000 Marathas from across the state, the organisers are optimistic the figure could be more than three million.

Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane told media persons that the procession, starting at 11 a.m. from Byculla, will be peaceful and orderly, silent, have no political speeches and will end at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai by 5 p.m.a delegation will call on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and submit a memorandum of our demands. The main is reservations for the Maratha community in jobs and education, besides others, he said.

The Marathas have started trooping into Mumbai since early Tuesday from all over Maharashtra to take part in the morcha, 58th in the series of processions being held in different parts of the state since August 9, 2016. They have been reaching the state capital by trains, private vehicles, trucks, tempos and even two-wheelers, while waving Maratha flags and sporting bright orange turbans.

The Mumbai Police has geared up with over 7,000 personnel, including commandos, armed police, plain clothes officers assigned for providing security during the procession.There will massive traffic diversions,important roads either closed or made one-way, arterial roads opened, etc, to ensure smooth passage for the procession participants, said Deputy Commissioner of Police Rashmi Karandkiar..