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'India-Pak talks only on PoK now'

7 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Kalka/Jammu: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh here on Sunday said there would be no talks with Pakistan unless it acts against terrorists. And, if talks were held with Islamabad in future, they would be only on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Singh said at a rally ahead of the flagging off BJP's Jan Ashirwad Yatra for the October assembly polls in Haryana. On the scrapping of the provision granting a special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, Singh said the decisions had sent jitters to Pakistan and it became a cause of concern for them. "Now it (Pakistan) is knocking every door and approaching various nations for help. Have we committed any crime? And they are trying to threaten us. However, the US has snubbed Pakistan, telling them to initiate a dialogue with India," he said. Singh said people in Pakistan say there should be talks with India. "What should we talk about? Why there should be a talk? If there would be any talk with Pakistan, it would happen only when it stops..
                 

Suicide bombing at wedding hall kills 63 in Kabul

7 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Kabul: Joy and celebration turned into horror and carnage when an Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber targeted a packed Afghan wedding hall, killing at least 63 people in the deadliest attack to rock Kabul in months, officials and witnesses said on Sunday. The massive blast, which took place late on Saturday in west Kabul, came as Washington and the Taliban finalise a deal to reduce the US military presence in Afghanistan and hopefully build a roadmap to a ceasefire. The groom recalled greeting smiling guests in the afternoon, before seeing their bodies being carried out hours later. The attack "changed my happiness to sorrow", the young man, who gave his name as Mirwais, told local TV station Tolo News. "My family and my bride are in shock, they cannot even speak. My bride keeps fainting," he said. A wounded man receives treatment as people gather around him at the Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital. Pics/AFP "I lost my brother, I lost my friends and my relatives. I will never see happiness..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

8 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Going a-stray While promoting her upcoming movie with Sushant Rajput, Shraddha Kapoor stops to engage with a stray on set in Goregaon over the weekend. Pic/Sneha Kharabe Going the whole hog The allure of fresh produce shines with new glimmer each day. As it were, Brisbane-born chef Drew Nocente — who spent his childhood growing up in a family barn and now spearheads the kitchen at Singapore's famed contemporary Australian restaurant, Salted and Hung — will be coming to Mumbai next month as a guest chef for a series at Magazine Street Kitchen. Drew's latest menu incorporates the logic of the "whole hog," which makes use of all parts of an animal (the chef is famous for his grills). His intriguing fare will be available to city diners on September 13. Ahead of the special dinner, he told this diarist, "India is an exotic country. The spices and ingredients are vastly different from what we usually see at home. I'm interested in working with them to see how it will works in t..
                 

Mumbai: BMC begins sealing city's leaky pipelines

8 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Inadequate rainfall is not the only reason why the city faces water cuts every year. A number of leaky pipelines are a major reason for water wastage. Officials of the Hydraulic Engineering department have started fixing pipeline leakages on a priority basis over the past few months, leading to a significant drop in the number of complaints of water leakages. While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) receives some complaints of leakages from citizens on its helpline number, others are noticed during routine inspections. In January this year, the HE department officials dealt with 4,044 such complaints, the number dropped to 3,235 in February. The number of complaints continued to reduce until June when the BMC received 2,810 complaints. Additional Municipal Commissioner Pravin Darade said, "There are long-term and short-term measures to ensure that freshwater is saved for human consumption. As part of short-term measures, we are focussing on repairing leakages on a priority ba..
                 

Ganesh Chaturthi 2019: Mandals in Mumbai vow to go green

8 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
More than a year since the plastic ban came into effect, Ganesh mandals have decided to spread awareness through the festival. With Ganeshotsav barely two weeks away, Mumbaicha Samrat Khetwadi Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal conducted their Aagman Sohala on Sunday by holding up placards of 'Say No To Plastic' during the procession. Bigger mandals have decided to set up plastic crushers and use butter paper bags to distribute prasad for the 10-day long festival. Even though the ban on single-use plastic came into effect last June, it has been hardly successful over the past one year. Plastic bags were reportedly back in the market within a couple of months of the ban. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has collected over 60,000 kg of plastic in the last year and has imposed a total fine of R3 crore. The ban on using thermocol and plastic items had hit Ganeshotsav festivities last year. However, Ganesh Mandals were later allowed to use them. But this year they have come forward t..
                 

The Dutch Mystery: We don't know why Mumbai police are delaying his arrest, says Avdhut Shinde

8 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Almost three months after Avdhut Shinde disappeared following the death of his wife Sharmila in their home in The Hague, on May 21, the Dutch police have finally requested the Mumbai police to 'arrest' him. "The revised administrative request sent by the Dutch police via Interpol clearly states: 'Arrest him, and hand him over to Dutch authorities as he is a murder manslaughter suspect'," said a senior police officer from The Hague on condition of anonymity. We sent our revised request last week to locate and arrest Avdhut. I don't know why the cops there [in Mumbai] are delaying it," the officer said. However, the Mumbai police have been reiterating that they had been told 'only to trace Avdhut' but added that their Dutch counterparts have requested them to record the statements of Avdhut's father and children — possible eyewitnesses in the case. "As there was a problem in interpreting the Dutch and Marathi languages, the Dutch police requested us to record their statements in En..
                 

Where is Cong headed?

10 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
With Sonia Gandhi's comeback in the saddle, the grand old party's stability can now be assured, say the Congress's rank and file that was thrown in a void after Rahul Gandhi's resignation and refusal to helm the party affairs. The Gandhi scion had his reasons — while he put some in a public domain, the exact nature of other decision-makers that discouraged him from taking up the job again may never surface even when the party's modern history is written. A long-time Congress leader from Maharashtra who has done his politics in New Delhi for most of his career said that the party's control now rested with the veterans who were a guiding force for Sonia in her first term of 19 years as the national president of the once most powerful political force in the country. A senior journalist friend in New Delhi, who has been following the Congress for decades, said a common feeling in the party is that Rahul worked very hard and yet the Congress couldn't deliver the expected results in th..
                 

Mumbai: Zomato's Gold membership no longer viable

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Tired of being arm-twisted by food aggregators into offering loss-making discounts to customers, over 1,350 restaurants in the country—all under the umbrella of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) which has 5,00,000 restaurants across India as members—have logged out of the apps. If you are a customer of Zomato, EasyDiner, DineOut, Gourmet Passport, MagicPin and NearBuy, you will no longer be able to avail offers such as Zomato Gold's two-on-two drinks or a 50 per cent discount by DineOut for its ongoing festival. The move, restaurateurs say, has been growing from small murmurs of angst, culminating into a final protest that was announced a day ahead of Independence Day. Rahul Singh, owner of The Beer Café, which has 40 outlets across India and NRAI's president, saying it's almost like a mass bunk at a college. "We took a unanimous decision to protest the arm-twisting methods followed by all aggregators. The fear of missing out [FOMO] became an epidem..
                 

Three names, many histories and one pincode

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
What's in a name? Much, in an area as variously referred to as Kennedy Bridge, Pavan Pul or Congress House. Tell a cabbie "Kennedy Bridge" and he says "Pavan Pul bolo na." Asking for Congress House, I hear "Aap Shapur Baug jayenge?" He has decided I must live in this Parsi enclave off Grant Road. Kennedy Sea Face (Marine Drive) is named for Lieutenant Colonel Michael Kavanagh Kennedy who served in the Engineers in Bombay. Kennedy Bridge, however, is for John Pitt Kennedy, Government Railway Engineer in 1850. Saadat Hasan Manto called this Pavan Pul—Bridge of Breeze. The Urdu author was windblown walking from Byculla, where he lived, to Nana Chowk, where he worked at Jyoti Film Studio for Ardeshir Irani, director of the first talkie. In 1937, Manto wrote Kisan Kanya for Irani, the first indigenously processed film. The colourful mujra dancers' kothas around Congress House featured in his story Haarta Chala Gaya. Vitthalbhai Patel Road (after Sardar Patel's elder brother, co-found..
                 

Aryavarta

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The word 'Aryavarta' has become quite popular. There are novels written about it, tele-serials based upon it, and it is increasingly being associated with an extremist Hindu vision of the past. But, the word 'Aryavarta' means land of the civilised people. Those who spoke Sanskrit were considered civilised, much as in Europe, in Classical times, when those who spoke Greek and Latin considered themselves to be civilised and non-Greeks to be barbarians. What we do know is the word 'Aryavarta' is found in two places. One in the Avestan manuscripts found in Iran. The Avestan manuscripts of the Zoroastrian people gives rise to the word Iran and it is supposed to be one of the 16 lands sacred to Ahura Mazda. People are not sure if this land, which is said to be in the north, actually refers to Afghanistan, Kazakhstan or Kashmir. Most Indians don't realise that the country of Iran is named after its Aryan heritage. This Aryan heritage was established in Iran over 1,800 years ago with the rise ..
                 

BMC spends over Rs 17,000 per pothole in Mumbai on repairs

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
As absurd as it sounds, an RTI query has revealed that in the past two years the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has spent over Rs 17,000 on every pothole that it repaired in the city and suburbs. The reply reveals that it spent over Rs 15 crore to repair 8,879 potholes in this period. But while this seems exorbitant, from 2013 to 2015, it spent over Rs 80 crore on repairing 3,654 potholes. In all, the BMC has spent over Rs 116 crore in the past six years on repairing potholes. In a reply to an RTI query filed by activist Shakil Shaikh, the BMC has said the actual expenses per pothole are Rs 17,693. "There is a lot of corruption happening in filling up potholes. How can filling one pothole cost over R17,000? It is beyond logic," said Shaikh. He added that though the civic body has spent crores on potholes and claimed to have filled more than 90 per cent this year, the roads are full of them and people have even died due to them. Also Read: BMC runs out of cold mix to fix ..
                 

Mumbai: No more free parking on five city stretches

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The BMC's much-awaited plan of introducing on-street paid parking, which is expected to be announced later this month, will include two stretches of arterial roads and three areas on a pilot basis. Once implemented, people will either have to park in the public parking lots in the area or at the pay-and-park slots on some arterial and internal roads that will be managed by contractors. The announcement comes over a week after mid-day reported about the civic body's pilot plan to allow on-street parking in three selected inside roads in the city. Speaking to mid-day, additional municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal said that a few final measures need to be taken before the on-street parking plan is announced. "Five stretches have been refined to be turned into no-free-parking zones for free movement of traffic. This is being done in the interest of the public and the plan is to encourage people to use public parking lots (PPL) and other paid parking wherever available," he said. "The pre..
                 

A life without Eunice

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
On the last Friday of July, the Reference Library at St Xavier's College, where I was fortunate enough to study for a Bachelor's degree a great many moons ago, dedicated a section to the memory of Eunice de Souza. She passed away on July 29, 2017, two days before what would have been her 77th birthday. There were all kinds of tributes paid to her in the weeks that followed, from students, writers, colleagues, and people from all walks of life, all of whom mentioned the impact, marginal or peripheral, she had on their lives. I mourned too, standing outside the crematorium in Dadar where her mortal remains were consigned to flames, surrounded by the young and old, friends and strangers, all looking on in respectful silence. What came to my mind that evening wasn't the hundreds of conversations she and I had continued over a quarter of a century, but the way in which her mere presence had irrevocably changed the course and quality of my life. Over the next few months, I began to grow used..
                 

Mumbai: Man receives multiple e-challans for illegal parking of scooter he doesn't own

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The traffic department appears to be facing frequent glitches in the issuance of e-challan. Days after a car owner was fined for 'riding without a helmet', a 55-year-old biker has received multiple e-challans in five months for illegal parking of a scooter he doesn't own. Suresh KK, a lensman at mid-day who owns a motorcycle — Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 — has been receiving e-challans on his mobile number since April 10 for parking a TVS Jupiter scooter in a no-parking zone at Bhoiwada. Till August 10, he has received a total of 10 e-challans for the same scooter with registration number MH 01 CX 4644, Suresh said. "On checking the Mumbai Traffic Police App, I found that all the challans were issued for the same TVS Jupiter scooter," he added. Also Read: No e-challans here, just 'pay and settle the matter', say Thane traffic police Scooter he has been fined for "When I noticed that 10 e-challans were issued to me for parking violation, I immediately tried to contact the ..
                 

Cops keeping 'hawk-eye' on drug trafficking suspect Ali Punjani

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Alleged drug trafficker and business tycoon Ali Punjani, who was admitted to Bandra-based Asian Heart Institute where he underwent angioplasty, was discharged on Thursday. Sources told mid-day that Punjani has now come on the radar of the Mumbai police. A senior doctor from the hospital confirmed to mid-day that Punjani had been discharged. Punjani, along with a woman and two men boarded a chauffeur-driven car and reached a five-star hotel barely a kilometre away from the hospital, the source told mid-day. mid-day visited the hotel, but Punjani and his family members refused to speak. However, another source told mid-day that the hotel room, in which Punjani has been staying, had been booked against the name of a woman who accompanied Punjani, who claimed to be his sister. Punjani was discharged from the hospital at 4 pm. Sources told mid-day that he had learnt about mid-day photographer waiting outside the hospital premises. "In a bid to dodge the media, Punjani and his relatives boar..
                 

The silence of the damned

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
As someone who was raised Catholic and who did immerse herself in the principle premise of the New Testament; loving your neighbour as yourself, which also entails doing good to those who hurt you, hate doesn't come naturally. It's easy to casually say I hate something or someone, but because I have been so deeply conditioned to look for the humanity in those who seem to exemplify evil, it's hard not to over-empathise, not to make excuses that justify their acts of oppression. I keep arguing for a subversive brand of political consciousness that has love as its foundation; love for self, love for those who are othered, love for those responsible for their othering; and frequently, I find myself feeling challenged by the conundrum of self assertion and empowerment and its relationship with humility and affliction. I think it's why I find myself drawn to the political activism of moral intellectuals like Cornel West and Bell Hooks, who preach the indivisible link between love and justice..
                 

The Dutch Mystery: 'We don't know why Mumbai police are delaying his arrest'

8 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Almost three months after Avdhut Shinde disappeared following the death of his wife Sharmila in their home in The Hague, on May 21, the Dutch police have finally requested the Mumbai police to 'arrest' him. "The revised administrative request sent by the Dutch police via Interpol clearly states: 'Arrest him, and hand him over to Dutch authorities as he is a murder manslaughter suspect'," said a senior police officer from The Hague on condition of anonymity. We sent our revised request last week to locate and arrest Avdhut. I don't know why the cops there [in Mumbai] are delaying it," the officer said. However, the Mumbai police have been reiterating that they had been told 'only to trace Avdhut' but added that their Dutch counterparts have requested them to record the statements of Avdhut's father and children — possible eyewitnesses in the case. "As there was a problem in interpreting the Dutch and Marathi languages, the Dutch police requested us to record their statements in En..
                 

BSP MLAs differ with Mayawati

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Jaipur: While BSP supremo Mayawati has slammed the acquittal of all six accused in the Pehlu Khan lynching case, BSP MLAs in Rajasthan have come out in support of it. Six MLAs of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which supports the Congress government in Rajasthan, met Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday evening and took a different stand from that of the party chief. Mayawati had on Friday tweeted in Hindi: "Due to the gross negligence and inaction of the Rajasthan Congress government, all six accused in the Pehlu Khan mob lynching case were acquitted by the lower court, this is unfortunate. If the government would've been cautious in bringing justice to the victim's family, would this (acquittal of the accused) ever be possible, perhaps never." BSP MLA Rajendra Guda, after his meeting with Gehlot, said, "Mayawati had been conveyed wrong information. She has been sitting in Lucknow and is not updated on the process of the probe. In fact, none of the Dalits under Chief Minister Ash..
                 

Mumbai: Walking on a 400m death line in Palghar

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Even as Palghar prepares to make room for the country's first bullet train, road infrastructure in several parts of the region continues to suffer neglect. For decades, the 2,000-odd residents of the villages of Vadhiv and Saravali in the district have been forced to walk through dirt roads and cross dangerous railway bridges, built over Vaitarna river, to reach the nearest railway station. Four people have died since March this year, after accidentally falling into the river, while attempting to cross the tracks on these bridges. The villagers are now demanding better road connectivity and a foot-over bridge to prevent any more casualties. Vadhiv and Saravali are situated between Vaitarna and Safale railway stations, but there is no road to connect them to either of these stations. While Safale is nearly 10 km from the villages, Vaitarna station is 3.4 km away. In both the cases, it's only possible to reach the stations after crossing a 400m-stretch on the bridge—in this scenari..
                 

I am a rod

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
I am a rod. An iron rod. Not a gun. Not a stone. Not a sword. Not a bomb. Not a Molotov cocktail. I am a rod. A short iron rod. I do not advocate meaningless violence. I am a peace-loving rod… unless provoked. I am not a rod that you'll see at riots, being aimlessly brandished by rampaging mobs. I am not a rod that's used in civilian disputes, like road rage. I am a rod with a higher purpose. But I am not a cowardly rod, used for terrorist weaponry. No suicide bomb equivalent. No cruel use in ISIS beheadings. I am not a WMD, a weapon of mass destruction. To be dropped on an unsuspecting enemy in the dead of night. To massacre innocent women and children and decimate their land. I am specific in my aim. One man, one rod. I am a careful rod. No video or forensic evidence has ever been used against me. Because you will never see my identity. I am also proud that no court has ever convicted my brothers and sisters. Or, me. I am not above the law. I am the law. I'm not scared of bein..
                 

A woman, thinking

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
A woman, asleep on a train, wakes up suddenly to find she is the lone passenger. Terrified, she tries to pull the chain but it is broken. The train pulls into a station. She gets off, but it is eerily deserted. As the train leaves, it is suddenly full of people, leaning out, waving, laughing. Desperately, she chases after the train. Abruptly, she wakes up. It was a nightmare. This is how the film Rajnigandha (Tuberoses) begins: inside the mind of its protagonist Deepa, played by one of Hindi cinema's most unusual heroines, Vidya Sinha, who died last week. Rajnigandha, based on a short story by the celebrated Hindi writer Mannu Bhandari, remains true to its beginning. It features several train journeys, but is essentially a young woman's internal journey as she tries to figure herself out. Deepa is engaged to the prosaic Sanjay (Amol Palekar). He brings her tuberoses, a flower whose appearance, like his, is unassuming, but whose fragrance, like him, is steady. In Bombay for a job interv..
                 

Vasai's hero auto driver stops another robbery

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The Vasai autorickshaw driver, who had prevented a burglary attempt at a shop last month, has earned himself the hero tag with once again helping the police put a criminal behind bars. In the wee hours of Friday, Ganesh Pandey was waiting for passengers outside the Vasai railway station when he noticed a 19-year-old boy heading towards the platform with two expensive bicycles. "Around 2:30 am, I saw a boy riding one bicycle and carrying the other in his one hand and heading towards Vasai railway station. Suspecting that he was stealing the bicycles, I swung into action to nab him," said Pandey, who plies rickshaw at night. Suspecting something fishy, he called other autorickshaw drivers -- Jitendra Chaube, Bablu Yadav – who were nearby and followed the boy, identified as Aniket Rajbhar. Pandey and others nabbed Rajbhar after chasing him for about a kilometre. When they started asking him questions about the bicycles, he confessed that he had stolen them from Stella Bhabola Road i..
                 

Police write to RTOs: What is leading to faulty e-challan mess

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
In view of complaints pouring in about faulty e-challans being issued to citizens, the traffic police have written to the RTO telling them that duplicate registration numbers have been found to be a primary source of the problem. Traffic cops have received 432 complaints of faulty e-challans over the past two months alone. Speaking to mid-day, RTO deputy commissioner, Sandesh Chavan, said, "There is no way the same registration number can be issued for two vehicles, and this is not only for Mumbai but the whole of Maharashtra. Sometimes wrong e-challans get issued due to mistakes in checking the details. Those found using vehicles with duplicate registration numbers are booked for forgery. If the Traffic Police comes across a duplicate registration number, they start inquiries at their level and inform the RTO as well. When the cops get more details about the original and duplicate numbers, they start looking for the offending vehicle." According to records available with the Traffic P..
                 

Radio City's 'Plastic-Free Beaches' mission culminated with a Clean-up Drive at Juhu Beach

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
When India was waking up to its 73rd Independence Day, Radio City India's leading radio network took up the mantle to make Juhu beach garbage free by taking up a clean-up drive. An extension to the Kar Mumbaikar initiative, the activity aimed to create awareness amongst Mumbaikars on environmental cleanliness. Spearheaded by Radio City's Kasa Kai Mumbai’s RJ Archana, the activity garnered support from Bollywood personalities like Dia Mirza, John Abraham, Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha etc along with responsible Mumbaikars. In the recent past, the high-tides in the Arabian Sea left behind tons of garbage on the beaches of Mumbai – a sign that it’s high time that we focus on conserving the marine ecosystem. Taking this thought ahead, Radio City in association with Golden Citizen Trust geared up to make Mumbai city a better place. Radio City’s RJ Archana interacted with officials on the ground highlighting the causes and solutions of this issue to restor..
                 

Rainwater harvesting sites in Mumbai civic schools awash with garbage

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The ambitious plan for rainwater harvesting in civic schools seems to have gone down the drain. A member of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) education committee has revealed the dismal situation with visual proof, of how areas prepared for rainwater harvesting have turned into places to dump garbage. A letter has been written to the authorities about this because as much as '2 lakh was spent per project. While two civic schools were inspected, the member wants all such schools reviewed. BMC schools built or reconstructed after 2007 had provisions for rainwater harvesting. Other than the required arrangement of pipes for this from the roof of the building, this included constructing a sump on the ground floor. But visits to two civic schools have shown how these ground floor sumps have turned into garbage dumps. Also Read: This man invented rainwater harvesting system for just Rs 250 Sumps become garbage dumps Sainath Durge, Core Committee member of the Yuva Sena, who..
                 

Mumbai: IMC Ladies' Wing Women Entrepreneurs' Exhibition presents wide canvas of products

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
It’s time for one of Mumbai’s most anticipated events, the IMC Ladies’ Wing Women Entrepreneurs' Exhibition. The 32nd edition presents a wide canvas of products in fashion, jewellery, lifestyle and gourmet, an impeccably curated showcase for women entrepreneurs from across the country who don’t have their own retail presence. Their passion and unique individual stories give the exhibition a distinctive flavour. In the fashion segment of the exhibition, Manju Jalota’s Alankrit presents a delightful selection of Chikankari. The senior lady with an army background has been working diligently to revive one of India’s oldest crafts and improve the lives of ‘Chikankari’ craftsmen. Celebrity designer Rhea Pillai showcases embroidered kurtas made of organic material extracted from bamboo, milk and lotus stem. Ramola Bachchan’s First Resort presents holiday essentials to wear the whole year-round. Devina Salarpuria’s Studiomoda celebra..
                 

No e-challans here, just 'pay and settle the matter', say Thane traffic police

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
To curb corruption and bring more transparency to the Traffic department, the Mumbai, Thane and other commissionerates introduced e-challans. For these, payments have to be made online or at traffic department offices, not to traffic cops. But Thane cops have bypassed e-challans and adopted a pay-the-police-on-the-spot approach. If violators cannot pay, they have to go to the traffic division and bribe contractors, or 'settle the matter' to claim their vehicle. In a sting operation, mid-day unearthed these wrongdoings in the Thane traffic department. On August 14, Dilip Bhanushali, a businessman from Mulund, had gone for some work with his son to the Thane court. When Bhanushali came out, he found traffic cops asking contractual towing van boys to pick up his bike. He and his son requested the boys not to tow the bike. "One of the towing boys told me to pay R200 and take the bike back. When I asked if he would give a receipt, he replied, of course not," said Bhanushali. Bhanushali pays..
                 

Ready for Ganesha?

10 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
"Why the sulk, Pheroze? I must admit that despite the long face, you are looking really 'with it', especially with those trendy earmuff-like things. Is it after you watched that film, Gully Boy? I believe it was quite the rage," Lady Flora's battery of questions didn't exactly go down well with her friend, Sir PM. "Not Gully Boy but Ganesh Chaturthi. These 'things' are called noise cancelling headphones, and I have decided to wear this for as long as the 10-day festival carries on in the city. I am not quite sure if my hearing can take the high decibel levels any more. And, I actually thought you'd come by to wish me and the missus on Navroze. I know, it's peak tourist season for you, but a wave would have sufficed," Sir PM realised he might have said too much, after the last line was uttered, so quickly tried to amend things with, "here, try some lagan nu custard. It's a far cry from your Yorkshire pudding but I am sure you will appreciate it." Lady Flora took a few spoonfuls and reli..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Are we already leaving? Mira Rajput Kapoor's daughter Misha seems unwilling to leave Santa Cruz Food Hall on Saturday. Pic/Shadab Khan A lesson in a circus act Since 2009, educator Shaheen Mistri has been admirably leading Teach For India (TFI), a volunteer-driven programme to plug the gaps in our education system. And, the fruits of her labour are going to be showcased in a play at the Royal Opera House next month. TFI's The Greatest Show On Earth has been written, conceptualised and executed by in-house talent. It comments on the complexities of the Indian education system through the metaphor of a circus. Shaheen Mistri "The Greatest Show on Earth is a chance to listen to the painful yet powerful stories of the kids and to realise just what is needed to make a better world for them," says Mistri. "I believe that everyone who sees the show is going to walk out feeling inspired by what children can create when given opportunities to live up to their potential." Wrong, right and right ..
                 

Mumbai: Two-year-old dies in a freak pothole accident in Thane

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Mumbai's potholes have become the jaws of death again. In Shanti Nagar, Ulhasnagar, a two-year-old boy died after his uncle's bike toppled. In a strange series of events, when a truck went over a deep-seated pothole, the jerk caused its tyre to burst, which broke the ring of the tyre and hit the bike behind. The bike was carrying three people, one of whom was a toddler, who passed away soon after arriving at the hospital. On Friday evening, the truck was transporting some heavy material in Shanti Nagar when it neared the pothole. The busted ring hit the bike so hard that the rider couldn't control his bike and fell down. The three riders were Arjun Pal (30), Sabulla Chaudhari (16), and Habibulla Chaudhari (2). They were immediately taken to the nearby Maxlife Hospital. Also Read: BMC spends over Rs 17,000 per pothole in Mumbai on repairs Rhe ring from the truck's tyre A spokesperson from the hospital said, "Habibulla had a serious injury on his head. When we took him for an MRI, h..
                 

Where are the men?

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
"Are you a virgin?" Ajith Kumar, playing a lawyer, asks his own client, a woman, this offensive personal question, and in an open court. The woman looks him in the eye and says no, unrepentant and without guilt—as any man would. In this, and many other effective ways, H Vinoth's Nerkonda Paarvai (Direct Gaze), the quietly powerful Tamil remake of Pink, calls out our double standards when it comes to women's morality. Pink, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu, was directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury in 2016. Nerkonda Paarvai is a superbly directed film led by Ajith Kumar, one of Tamil cinema's biggest stars. The prosecution claims that the men were not molesters, but the girls were of loose morals and soliciting. Ajith emphasises that regardless of a woman's virginity, character or any circumstance: No. Means. No. Vinoth directs a clever genre-bender: a thriller, courtroom drama and feminist film. Information comes to us in slivers. The sequence of what actually happened c..
                 

Nirupam, Shaikh on BJP-Sena radar?

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
While parties gear up for the upcoming Assembly elections, speculations are rife about two senior leaders of Mumbai Congress being on their way to the ruling parties of the state. One of the leaders whose name is making the rounds is former Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam, who is said to have got feelers from the Shiv Sena. The other leader is the party's sitting MLA from Malad west, Aslam Shaikh, who the people in the know say is being tapped by the BJP. But Shaikh's induction is supposedly being delayed because of opposition from BJP leaders in his constituency. Nirupam was removed unceremoniously as the Mumbai Congress chief ahead of the Lok Sabha (LS) election, with sources saying he was unhappy with the affairs of the city unit that he headed since early 2015 till the beginning of LS campaign this year. He has been Sena's Rajya Sabha and Congress's LS member in the past. He lost a LS election in 2014 (Mumbai North) and 2019 (Mumbai North-West). 'Not going anywhere' Aslam ..
                 

Uneven road at Ghodbunder results in five-year-old's death

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
A five-and-a-half-year-old boy, who was travelling with his parents, died when he fell off the bike after it hit an uneven patch at Ghodbunder Road and came under a passing truck. Dinu Behra, a local chai vendor, said, "It is only because of these potholes and uneven patches on the road that accidents happen. Every single day there are incidents of bikes skidding here. I have kept a basic first aid box now for these people." Vikrant Das, the father of Vedant, said, "He was my only son and our life. We were going for Rakshabandhan. Near Kasarvadavali, there is a gap between the new road and the old one. I could not control my bike while going over the gap and it skidded, throwing Vedant on to the road when a tempo coming from behind ran over him," he said. "The tempo driver immediately applied the brakes but it was too late. We rushed him to the nearby Vedant hospital where he was declared dead during treatment. My wife also suffered a serious injury and needs surgery to her hand and sp..
                 

Mumbai diary: Saturday Dossier

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Lost for words (From left) MP Gopal Shetty, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari, and Minister of State for Education Vinod Tawde, at a ceremony in Borivali West on Friday. Pic /Sameer Markande Vegan ivory comes to Mumbai The buttons are made using the corozo nut of the fruit found in the forests The upcoming fashion week in Lower Parel will introduce a new, sustainable product on ramps, thanks to a collaboration between Pro Ecuador and sustainable fashion label. The collection will have buttons, embellishments and accessories made using a vegan ivory called corozo, which comes from a native wild palm that grows in the Ecuadorian rainforest. Called Tagua in the South American country, corozo had been the go-to material for buttons since the 1860s, till the appearance of plastic around the 1940s. Ecuador is the only place that produces and exports corozo blanks, which are used to make eco-friendly buttons. "The corozo nut that is extracted from the fruit is col..
                 

China ready to 'quell unrest swiftly' in crisis-hit HK

3 days ago  
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London: China will not "sit by and watch" and is ready to "quell the unrest swiftly" if the crisis in Hong Kong becomes "uncontrollable", China's ambassador to London said on Thursday. "If the situation deteriorates further into unrest uncontrollable by the SAR (Special Administrative Region) government, then the central government will not sit by and watch," Liu Xiaoming said in a televised press conference. "We have enough solutions and enough power to quell the unrest swiftly," he said. Images taken by AFP earlier on Thursday showed thousands of Chinese military personnel waving red flags and parading at a sports stadium in the city of Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong. Dozens of armoured personnel carriers and supply trucks were also parked nearby. "We hope this will end in an orderly way. In the meantime we are fully prepared for the worst," Liu said. He also protested against "foreign interference" in the Hong Kong protests and urged British Prime Minister Boris Joh..
                 

Art director's murder: Victim may have been killed for his art works

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
There is more to the murder of art director Krishnendu Chouwdhury than meets the eye, according to his closest associate Chinmoy Mandal. He suspects Chouwdhury was killed so that the conspirators could acquire hundreds of ready art concept designs from the laptop the in-demand art director was carrying with him on the day of the murder. The laptop has not been recovered. While the Palghar police have arrested the three accused who allegedly killed Chouwdhury and recovered his car, his most valuable item, his laptop, has not been found yet. Senior police inspector of Virar police station, Anil Dabade confirmed the same. Mandal claimed the laptop contains hundreds of ready concept art designs, which could be turned into thousands with slight manipulation and sold for crores. He told mid-day, "Chouwdhury was one of the most talented people I've worked with. His laptop contains hundreds of set designs and the value of each ranges from anywhere between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh depending on t..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Apun hi bhagwan hai Showrunner Vikramaditya Motwane seems to remind Nawazuddin Siddiqui who is the real God at the screening of their latest web show on Thursday. Pic/Bipin Kokate What's in a name? Monikers have a way of sticking. Often, we know someone by their pseudonyms so well that their birth names disappear from our memories. It was similar with YouTuber and comedian Lilly Singh, who for most of us was Superwoman for nine years straight. But on Wednesday, Singh put up a moving post explaining how she came to be called by that name inadvertently, and that while she was grateful for everything she had accomplished in these years, it was time to put the name to rest. "...at this time, it feels right to give thanks to the moniker Superwoman and to lay the cape to rest. Today my biggest and best super powers lay within Lilly and thus Lilly I shall be," she wrote, even as she changed her handle ID. Well, cheers to that and here's to new beginnings! Cricket in a Vidya Sinha film! Our i..