|2014-01-29||Murder convict corporator removed from his post|
MURDER CONVICT CORPORATOR REMOVED FROM HIS POST
By Yogesh Sadhwani, Mumbai Mirror | Updated: Jan 28, 2014, 11.34 PM
Ulhasnagar corporator Pappu Kalani, who faces charges for 19 other serious offences, is serving a life term for his role in the 1990 murder of a BJP activist.
Ulhasnagar Corporator Pappu Kalani, convicted in a murder case in November last year, was removed from his post on Tuesday. The state Election Commission took the decision along the lines of Supreme Court judgment, which states that elected representatives, once convicted, stand to lose their posts.
Confirming the development, State Election Commissioner Neela Satyanarayan said, "Pappu Kalani has received a life term. I have asked the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation commissioner to disqualify him."
The 63-year-old corporator has been given a life sentence in the case and has as many as 19 serious offences registered against him. Kalani, who has been chosen as the Ulhasnagar MLA for four consecutive terms, was arrested in 1992 under Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (TADA) Act and put behind the bars for nine years. He was discharged in several other cases that ranged from extortion, assault, attempt to murder and murder, but finally in November, he was found guilty of murdering BJP activist Inder Bhatija.
Kalani and three gangsters, Bachie Pandey, Baba Gabriel and Harshad Shaikh, were convicted for murdering Bhatija in 1990. Bhatija was shot dead in April 1990, two months after his brother Ghanshyam was gunned down. Back then, Kalani was contesting the assembly elections from Ulhasnagar on Congress ticket, while the Bhatija brothers were backing BJP candidate Sitaldas Harchandani.
On February 27, the polling day, Bhatijas allegedly caught Kalani's associates casting bogus votes. Inder's brother Ghanshayam was murdered the same evening. Inder filed several complaints, accusing Kalani of getting his brother killed. In April 1990, Inder was gunned down too. While Ghanshayam's case is still being heard, a Kalyan court judge pronounced judgment in Inder murder case in November.
Meanwhile, sources revealed that Kalani, who was an independent corporator from panel no 18 and is currently lodged in jail, will not be able to contest the forthcoming Assembly elections as well.
|2014-01-25||Mumbai University's first woman controller of exam|
Mumbai University's first woman controller of examinations quits
TNN | Updated: Jan 25, 2014, 03.16 AM IST
MUMBAI: Padma Deshmukh, Mumbai University's first woman controller of examinations (CoE), has quit to go back to her college as the in-charge principal. University registrar M A Khan said her resignation has been accepted.
The resignation within a year of her appointment has raised eyebrows and brought back the focus on the university's most controversial post. "Deshmukh has resigned from her post. She claimed that she has been invited by the management at CHM College, Ulhasnagar (where she is an associate professor), to act as in-charge principal. Her resignation has been accepted but she will be relieved only after the selection of a new COE," said Khan.
When contacted, Deshmukh said she has "not yet" resigned and is preparing for the next examination that will begin in March.
Khan, on the other hand, said: "The process of appointment (of the next CoE) has started. An advertisement has been uploaded on the university's website and will appear in newspapers on Saturday. The last date for applying is February 10."
Deshmukh was appointed in the middle of the exam season last May when the university was going through a tumultuous time. There were several goof-ups during the exams and the university had a tough time dealing with the teachers' strike timed with the tests. The goof-ups continued during her tenure, but she managed to streamline several exam processes.
The CoE's post has been the most controversial in the university in recent years. None of the recent incumbents managed to complete the tenure of five years.
Officials in the examination house said Deshmukh was under tremendous pressure from her seniors during her term and quit a month ago. "Since she was very upright, it was evident she would not be able to continue for long under the current circumstances in the university," said one.
Mumbai: Mumbai University's first woman controller of examinations (CoE), Padma Deshmukh, has resigned from her post to go back to her college as the in-charge principal. Though Deshmukh has denied the development, university registrar, M A Khan, said that her resignation was accepted. Her resignation, within a year of her appointment, has raised many eyebrows and brought back the focus on the university's most controversial post.
Khan said, "Deshmukh has resigned from her post. She claimed that she has been invited by her management at CHM College, Ulhasnagar (where she is an associate professor) to act as in-charge principal. Her resignation has been accepted but she will be relieved only after the selection of a new COE." He added, "The process of appointment has started and an advertisement has been uploaded on the university's website and will appear in news papers on Saturday. The last date for applying is February 10."
However, when asked, Deshmukh said that she has 'not yet' resigned from her post and she is already preparing for the next examination that will begin in March. She was appointed in the middle of the exam season last May when the university was going through a tumultuous exam season. There were several goof-ups that were reported during the exams, and university also had a tough time dealing with the exams during the teachers' strike. The goof-ups continued even during her tenure. However, she managed to streamline several exam processes.
The CoE's post has remained the most controversial post in the university in the recent years. Though the tenure of the post is five years, incumbents in the last few years have not managed to complete the tenure. After Vilas Shinde was asked to vacate the post in the January 2012, the university gave additional charge to SM Suryawanshi and the Deepak Wasave, both assistant registrars in the examination house, before Deshmukh was appointed in 2013.
University officials in the examination house claimed that she was highly pressurised by the higher-ups during her term. "Since she was very upright, it was evident that she would not be able to continue for long under the current circumstances in the university," said the official.
The post requires the candidate to possess a master's degree with at least 55% of the marks or its equivalent grade of B in the UGC 7 point scale, and at least 15 years experience as lecturer or 15 years of administrative experience of which 8 years shall be as deputy registrar or an equivalent post.
|2014-01-12||Woman murdered as mother-in-law sleeps|
Woman murdered as mother-in-law sleeps
Pradeep Gupta | TNN | Updated: Jan 12, 2014, 12.56 AM IST
ULHASNAGAR: A woman, Meena Lassi (55), was killed at her fourth-floor flat in Ulhasnagar in the presence of her visually impaired mother-in-law (85), who also has a hearing problem, on Friday night. The accused, who mutilated Meena's eyes after killing her, also made away with Rs 7 lakh.
The police have picked up three labourers who had carried out painting and carpentry work at the victim's house a couple of days ago.The incident came to light when Meena's son, Sunny (28), who runs an immigration business in Khar, returned home. "I opened the door using a duplicate pair of keys. I switched on the light and saw there was blood on floor. My grandmother, Bhagwanti, was fast asleep. I went to the bedroom and found my mother lying in a pool of blood," Sunny said. He then called up his elder brother Bharat and the Ulhasnagar police.
Cops said the missing money suggested the motive was robbery. "Bharat was supposed to get married on February 12 and that is why there was so much cash in the house," said inspector Mahendra Chavan. An inside job is being suspected as the incident took place between 10am and 9.45pm when the victim's sons were away.
"We have detained three persons and are questioning them," said senior inspector Sidharth Wagh.
|2014-01-08||Rise and Fall of Gangster MLA Papu Kalani|
Rise and Fall of Gangster MLA Papu Kalani
By Ganesh N | Published: 08th December 2013 09:22 AM |
Last Updated: 08th December 2013 09:22 AM
The packed courtroom at Kalyan near Mumbai in Maharashtra fell silent as Additional Sessions Judge Rajeshwari Bapat-Sarkar pronounced the accused persons as guilty of committing the murder. At that moment, one of the accused, a man in his mid-sixties, sought permission from the court to speak. All the eyes and ears were glued to what this man would now say. In a frail voice, he begged the court not to send him to prison as he was aged and his wife was also unwell. “I will banish myself from this city for the rest of my life. Please do not send me to prison,” said the man. As he spoke he moved towards the bench to hand over the medical file of his wife to the judge. However, his body appeared to be shaking and the file slipped and fell on the ground.
Former MLA and gangster Suresh alias Papu Kalani, who had managed to control Ulhasnagar city with a vice-like grip for close to three decades, looked defeated and heartbroken. Though Kalani has been booked in over two dozen cases ranging from murder, attempt to murder, engineering bomb blasts to graft, he was never found guilty and convicted. On December 3, a few days after the conviction, the court sentenced Kalani and three others to life imprisonment in a 23-year-old murder case. Also convicted and sentenced along with him were Bacchi Pandey and Baba Gabriel, known associates of fugitive terrorist Dawood Ibrahim. The life imprisonment came as a big blow for a man who has represented Ulhasnagar city in the Maharashtra Assembly four times since 1990 and twice from inside the jail as an under-trial booked under Terrorist And Disruptive Activities Act (TADA).
Since the 1980s, Kalani controlled Ulhasnagar by winning elections to the local self-government and Assembly. “Crimes happened in his quest for power. My brothers Ghanshyam and Inder were killed because they had raised voice against bogus voting engineered by Kalani when he contested the Assembly elections on a Congress ticket for the first time in 1990,” said Kamal Bhatija.
Political patronage ensured that Kalani, who had become an MLA, was not arrested for both the murders for the next two years till there was change of guard in the state with Sudhakarrao Naik becoming the chief minister.
These were not the only crimes in which the police did not initiate any action against Kalani. In October 1990, gangster Navin alias Anna Shetty who belonged to rival Gopal Rajwani gang was murdered under police protection. Shetty who was in the prison was brought by the police on the pretext of questioning him in another case. The police vehicle in which he was travelling was ambushed resulting in the death of Shetty and police constable Surve. The prosecution had said that Kalani had connived with the police to kill Shetty. Kalani was subsequently acquitted for lack of evidence in this case. In 1992, autorickshaw union leader Maruti Jadhav was killed; the FIR named Kalani but no immediate arrests were made.
“His arrest in November 1992 came as a shock not just for Kalani but for everybody else as he had become a man who was above law. Even during his eight years and nine months in jail, Kalani managed to win two elections in 1995 and 1999,” said Kumar Ailani, BJP legislator from Ulhasnagar. He was released by the Supreme Court in 2001 on bail when the Thane police in an affidavit said that they did not apprehend any trouble from him. Thane police were wrong; post-bail, 19 cases were registered against Kalani.
Kalani had contested the 2004 Assembly elections from Ulhasnagar on a ticket from Republican Party of India (Athavale). The city of Ulhasnagar did not let him down again and he was elected for the fourth time.
Ulhasnagar, an erstwhile military camp, about 40-odd km from Mumbai, came into being as a place to settle the Sindhi refugees from Pakistan. The community—essentially entrepreneurs, traders and businessmen—was often a soft target by criminals from Marathi community. Kalani through his acts of crime emerged as a don which was hailed by his community.“In the 1980s, Kalani’s was one of the richest families in Ulhasnagar. I remember the first video player in Ulhasnagar was purchased by the Kalani household. During the period of his arrest and subsequent release, the ground realities had changed as there were hundreds of millionaires in Ulhasnagar who had developed their own contacts in the state’s power corridor. Kalani was no longer needed to get their work done,” said a former politician from Ulhasnagar.