Telangana governor’s intervention aimed at revoking the controversial order on RTI

Following instructions from Telangana’s Chief Secretary to Public Information Officers (PIOs) to obtain permission from their respective senior secretaries and department heads before providing information under the Right to the Law Act. information (RTI), the Hyderabad-based think tank Forum For Good Governance (FGG) urged Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan’s intervention during the call to order.

The official decree, dated October 13, is criticized by RTI activists as well as by former bureaucrats. Tagging the office of the Chief Minister, Minister KT Rama Rao and Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, the former IAS A Murali officer tweeted that “the government wants to operate in the dark and hide everything from the citizens”.

“… some administrative units or offices provide information to applicants on a routine basis without proper verification of records with reference to the information sought by the application,” reads the order which ordered special chief secretaries, senior secretaries and to Chiefs (HOD) to request PIOs to obtain orders from them before providing information to any requester under the RTI Act.

According to M Padmanabha Reddy, secretary of FGG, the order, if implemented, will further delay the process of obtaining information, in addition to increasing bureaucracy. For example, if a citizen wishes to know the work carried out and the amount spent in his village as part of the employment guarantee scheme, he will submit an RTI request to the secretary of the Panchayat of the village who cannot write directly to the Special CS or HOD. He should make a request to the Mandal Officer, who in turn should forward it to the District Panchayat Officer. An application will have to go through four levels, increasing the workload at each stage, Reddy explained in his petition to the governor.

PIOs must either provide information or reject it within thirty days of receiving the request, Reddy said, adding that this was at the discretion of the PIO and allowed its independent operation. “The Supreme Court of India has upheld the discretionary powers and independent functioning of the PIO. The said order of the chief secretary is contrary to article 7 (1) of the RTI law. The chief secretary of a state cannot interfere with the law passed by the Indian Parliament, ”he added.

According to FGG, if a PIO regularly provides information, it should be trained instead of taking away its independence and discretion. The organization asked the governor to order the chief secretary to withdraw the disputed order.

YSRCP workers ‘attack’ TDP offices, Chandrababu calls for protection of Amit Shah

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) offices were vandalized on Tuesday evening by suspected YSRCP workers across Andhra Pradesh. According to reports, the main TDP offices in all 13 districts, including the capital Amaravati, Mangalagiri, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, have been targeted.

Sources said TDP offices came under attack after party leaders questioned the YSRCP government’s “mismanagement” of the state’s power crisis. TDP leaders also accused their YSRCP counterparts of being involved in the illicit drug trade.

TDP leaders, including former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, also targeted the state government over Telangana police carrying out an operation against cannabis smugglers in the Araku valley of Visakhapatnam district. . “Our demand for the publication of a white paper on the coal and power crises in the state and the raising of the issue of Telangana police carrying out an operation in Andhra Pradesh angered the leaders. of the YSRCP. The ruling party leaders ordered these attacks on our offices to silence us, ” said Lokesh Naidu, member of the legislative council and son of Chandrababu Naidu.

TDP leaders alleged that Andhra Pradesh police were not cracking down on the drug trade because several YSRCP leaders were involved with cannabis growers and smugglers.

TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu also complained to Union Home Secretary Amit Shah and Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan about Tuesday’s attacks on party offices . Naidu asked Amit Shah to provide central security cover to TDP offices and party officials and said that “the attacks were premeditated and politically motivated.”

It was learned that Shah assured to look into Naidu’s request and asked Naidu to file a formal complaint with the police about the attacks.

N Chandrababu Naidu also told the governor that YSRCP gangs attacked TDP militants with sticks and sticks at the party office in Mangalagiri.

“The local police took no action to stop the ruling party crowds. YSRCP thugs under Lella Appi Reddy arrived in large numbers and attacked our Tadepalli party office. The attacks were launched to shake the morale of the opposition cadres, ” Lokesh Naidu said.

Hyderabad: 23-year-old technician arrested for selling child pornography

A 23-year-old man employed by a software company in Hyderabad has been arrested by police for selling child pornography through social media platforms.

The accused, Vangala Madhukar Reddy, was identified by the Telangana Police Women’s Security Wing Cyber ​​Patrol Team. He was arrested Thursday at his home in Nustulapur in Karimnagar district and his phone and laptop were seized.

A special team was formed to investigate the case after the Women’s Safety Wing received reports that someone was circulating child pornography videos on social media. In search of the accused, the team went to his hometown and registered a case at the LMD police station in Thimmapur in the Karimnagar district.

According to police, Reddy was addicted to porn. His phone and laptop contained several such videos downloaded from the Internet. “He had set up a payment gateway with a QR code with the help of a friend so that he could take money without revealing his identity. He created a group in Telegram and set the entrance fee at Rs 100 to access 1,000 videos, ”police said in a statement. He has been sharing the links using Telegram since June 2021, they added.

Andhra Pradesh: 38-year-old man arrested for torturing and encouraging his wife’s suicide

A 38-year-old man was arrested in Atmakur town, Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh, for aiding and abetting his wife’s suicide.

Police said Moddu Penchalaiah, who “tricked” his wife Kondamma, 35, to hang herself while he was recording it on her cell phone, tortured her mentally and physically for nearly 13 years and was a extreme alcoholic. He was detained on Wednesday after sending the video to his wife’s family.

“Our investigation revealed that he sent the video to his wife’s family and relatives saying it was proof that he had not killed her. However, the video proves that he taunted her and urged her to take the extreme step. Before recording the video, he abused her and accused her of infidelity, ”Deputy Inspector P Shivashankar of Atmakur Police Station told The Indian Express.

The police reserved Penchalaiah under section 498A (any willful conduct likely to cause a person to commit suicide or to cause serious injury or danger to life, limb or health) and 306 (incitement suicide) of the Indian Penal Code. A local court placed Penchalaiah in judicial custody on Friday.

The investigation revealed that Penchalaiah, who worked as a security guard at an ATM, abused Kondamma for 13 years after their marriage. “He suspected that she was unfaithful to him and harassed her physically and mentally, almost daily. They have two children, aged 10 and 11, and even in front of them, he used obscene language towards her and often physically assaulted her. He is still intoxicated and constantly suspected his wife.

“During the investigation, we learned that Kondamma, tired of her constant abuse, returned to her family in the village of Kothapalli, taking the two children with her. However, the elders intervened and made them a compromise, after which she returned to Penchalaiah in JR Peta, ”said the SI.

As Penchaliah spent most of his income on alcohol, Kondamma accepted a resource person job at the office of the Mission for the Eradication of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) in Atmakur, and received an honorarium of Rs 6,000. per month which supplemented the meager income of the family.

Police said Penchaliah often went to the MEPMA office to check on Kondamma’s condition and brawled with her, berated her and cursed her in front of her colleagues.

SI Shivashankar, the investigator, said there was no suggestion of infidelity on Kondamma’s part. “In fact, she went to great lengths to keep the family together and the children safe,” he said.

Kondamma’s brother C Mallikarjuna, 29, said his sister often called him crying and complaining about the torture Penchalaiah had inflicted on her after coming home drunk. “She only endured it because of the two children. She was a strong person and wouldn’t have killed herself if he hadn’t taunted and pushed her to kill herself. When I saw the video, it made my blood boil. He should rot in prison for the rest of his life, ”he said.

The children are currently with their mother’s family. Officials from the district child welfare office said if the family wished, they could be transferred to a children’s home and the government would take care of their education.

Dagara Ranjith Kumar, Hyderabad cyclist
8,000 km and more: an amateur cyclist makes his way through India and adversity

Life had bottomed out for Dagara Ranjith Kumar. A TikToker with more than four lakh followers from Warangal District in Telangana, Ranjith had faced misery just a few months ago after his work at a farming business stopped paying off due to the pandemic. The Covid-19 had already claimed his father, a lawyer who has dedicated his life to providing for the needs of the family. Most people would sink into despair in the face of such adversity, but the 30-year-old has instead given in to the urge to travel and some soul-searching.

Today, Ranjith has found her calling in travel and has cycled over 8,000 km, covering most of the country in two trips in just six months. On September 10, he returned to Hyderabad after a trip to Leh, Ladakh by bicycle. What started as a tribute to his father has now given him a bunch of memories and life-changing experiences.

“I had seen my father’s difficulties. He has spent his whole life for the family. He loved to travel but could never go anywhere. When he passed away in July 2020, I knew I had nothing more to lose and had to live his dreams. It was now or never, ”says Ranjith, a pharmacist by training and organic farming expert by profession.

In April 2021, he shared a story on Instagram expressing his urge to cycle to various destinations. Not only was a motorbike trip expensive, but he thought it wouldn’t help connect with nature or people throughout the trip.

Having no experience in hiking or professional driving, Ranjith bought a bike with the help of a few friends. “As children, we all rode bikes, but I didn’t know that cycling was an expensive business. I learned how to use the gears on the 18 km return trip after purchasing the bike. On the fifth day, I left for Kanyakumari. Thirty-eight days later, I came back, having driven about 3,000 km, ”he says.

His investment for the trip was around Rs 1.5 lakh and included a bicycle, accessories including mounts and spare parts, a GoPro camera, memory cards and hard drives, a portable solar panel and batteries, camping gear, hiking gear and a new phone to edit videos. for social networks.

“I started my race with Rs 5,000 in hand. The rest is a loan, but during this race my YouTube subscribers have grown to 24,000. My channel ‘RanjithonWheels’ is doing well, ”he adds. The channel has so far uploaded 110 videos and has 69,200 subscribers. His Instagram account of the same name has 82,300 followers.

Ranjith says his trip to Kanyakumari was very inspiring, barring an incident near the Goa-Karnataka border when three young people fled with his bike and belongings. “I was in a deserted forest with a flat tire. Three boys in a van offered to help me and made me believe them. That night was memorable because at the police station, the cops refused to believe I was on a bike tour in May 2021 as the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak. My YouTube videos turned out to be documentary evidence and before dawn the three boys were taken to the police station and my things were returned, ”he recalls.

The episode did not prevent him from embarking on his next trip to Ladakh, eager to experience more. After purchasing a new round of touring, which cost him a lakh, Ranjith left Manali on July 20. What followed was a near-death experience when he was caught in a landslide near the Baralacha Pass in Himachal Pradesh.

He was riding a 13kg bike down a steep incline with almost 40kg of luggage all day when this happened. “By the time the debris was cleared, it was 7:30 pm and the nearest village was four kilometers upstream. Exhausted, I decided to erect my tent there. It was pitch black with no human around. The temperature had dropped to minus two degrees and the rain continued to fall, triggering another landslide in the same spot at 2 a.m. With no help expected until the morning, I shot a video testimony of my last words at 3 a.m. I was sure I wouldn’t survive, “he recalls. With the heat from a gas stove and hot water from a kettle, Ranjith had no choice but to wait.

Ranjith also remembers with gratitude the bikers who helped her when her hands and face went numb from the winter cold, offered her food and water in different places, and provided medical help when her nose started to bleed from the drought.

His most memorable experience, perhaps, was when a family from the village of Nimmu in Ladakh took care of him like a son. “I walked into a hotel as a guest, but by the time I left the next day, I was their son. We were all in tears. They introduced me to all the family members and I was even able to work on their farm. They didn’t take a rupee from me and instead packed dried fruit from their farm for my trip. All of this during a pandemic where people were trying to stay away from strangers, ”he sighs. He had other such warm experiences throughout the journey in Bhatinda, Jodhpur, Lonavla and in the small villages along the way.

The icing on the cake, the meeting with his idol Sonu Sood in the latter’s residence in Mumbai. Throughout his trip, Ranjith carried a sign with the photo of the actor-activist on the back of his cycle as a tribute. “When my dad was in the hospital for Covid treatment I felt helpless. It was inspiring to see how Sood was there to help everyone possible. One of the followers tagged him on Twitter with the photo It was a special moment when he met me for half an hour, ”says Ranjith, whose mother resides in Warangal with her sister.

The trip from Manali to Hyderabad via Ladakh and the West Indian States cost him just over Rs 60,000 in food, accommodation and miscellaneous expenses.

After 53 days, he’s back home in Hyderabad with his pharmacist wife and has already set his sights on a Nepal cycling expedition covering the eastern and northeastern states. This time he also had a trailer attached to the bike so he could carry his new pet dog.

“I have a loan of Rs 2.3 lakh to repay although I made about $ 800 on YouTube. If I stay here until I clear all my commitments, I will lose the meaning of life. I just want to live the moment without worrying about the next day, “he says. Since he already has the touring gear, Ranjith isn’t too worried.” Nothing can replace the feeling of accomplishment after hiking 50 km uphill to find another 100 km to go and a gentle breeze hitting your face. “