RTI activists murder ExBJP MP 6 others sentenced to life

first_imgAhmedabad: A special CBI court Thursday sentenced former BJP MP Dinu Bogha Solanki and six others to life imprisonment for killing RTI activist Amit Jethwa in 2010 after he tried to expose illegal mining activities in the Gir forest region.Special CBI Judge K M Dave also imposed a fine of Rs 15 lakh each on Solanki and his nephew, also an accused in the case. While pronouncing the verdict on Thursday, the court held Solanki, who was the Junagadh MP from 2009 to 2014, and his nephew, Shiva Solanki, guilty of murder and conspiracy. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!The others who were convicted in the case are Shailesh Pandya, Bahadursinh Vadher, Panchan G Desai, Sanjay Chauhan and Udaji Thakore. The court convicted all the seven accused for murder last Saturday. Jethwa, a lawyer, was shot dead for exposing through RTI applications the illegal mining in and around the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in which Solanki was allegedly involved. In 2010, Jethwa filed a public interest litigation (PIL) against the illegal mining in and around the Gir sanctuary, the only abode of Asiatic lions. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedSolanki and his nephew were made respondents to the PIL, and Jethwa produced several documents showing their involvement in the illegal mining. While the PIL was being heard, Jethwa was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court here on July 20, 2010. Initially, Ahmedabad police’s crime branch probed the case and gave a clean chit to Dinu Solanki. Dissatisfied with the investigation, the high court handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2013. The CBI filed a charge sheet against Solanki and six others in November 2013. Charges of murder and criminal conspiracy were framed against them in May 2016. The court examined 196 witnesses during the first trial and as many as 105 of them turned hostile after being threatened by the accused. The slain RTI activist’s father, Bhikhabhai Jethwa, then moved the high court seeking a retrial. The high court ordered a fresh trial in 2017. “Our judiciary takes time but it has finally delivered justice to our family… even a criminal like Solanki is brought to justice,” Bhikhabhai Jethwa said after the court’s verdict.last_img read more

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Xstrata gains global recognition for HIVAIDS community program in South Africa

first_imgXstrata Coal South Africa has won a prestigious Business Excellence Award from the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria (GBC). The GBC Award for Business Excellence in HIV/AIDS Expanded Community Initiatives recognises Xstrata Coal’s innovative public-private partnership which has strengthened local health services and extended HIV/AIDS and TB testing, counselling and treatment in two health districts of Mpumalanga province that have a population of over 1 million people.  Approximately one in four adults in the province is living with HIV.The award will be presented to Xstrata at a gala awards dinner on June 9 in New York City.  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Mick Davis, Chief Executive, Xstrata will address the event, which is being held in conjunction with the United Nations 2008 High-Level Meeting on AIDS on June 10 and 11. Davis said: “I am delighted that the Global Business Coalition has recognised Xstrata Coal’s initiatives to respond to HIV/AIDS and TB and support the communities in which we operate in South Africa with a Business Excellence Award.  As Xstrata Coal’s groundbreaking public-private partnership demonstrates, through collaboration, business, government, communities and others can combine resources and leverage each other’s strengths to counter the HIV and TB pandemics far more effectively than any one participant could achieve alone. ”The award recognises the collaborative partnership that Xstrata Coal and its implementing partner Re-Action have established with the Mpumalanga Department of Health and Social Services, district health authorities and community-based groups, including traditional healers. The partnership includes co-investment from the US President’s Emergency Fund for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), which matches funding provided by Xstrata. Through the partnership, Xstrata is working closely with government, community-based organisations, PEPFAR and others to upgrade infrastructure at primary care clinics and four of the Province’s hospitals; facilitate the recruitment and retention of health workers in these government facilities; and enable community members to access antiretroviral treatment at their local primary care clinics, including through two Xstrata-sponsored health clinics.Peter Freyberg, Xstrata Coal Chief Executive commented: “We are very proud to be part of a partnership that is responding to the significant issue of HIV/AIDS and TB in South Africa with speed and determination. The success of our programme depends on the commitment and co-operation of each of our partners, and I extend my thanks to the provincial and district health authorities, Re-Action, PEPFAR and communities who are working with us to stop the spread of HIV and TB.  We expect to welcome other companies working in South Africa to join our partnership in the near future, to strengthen health services and extend access to HIV testing, counselling and treatment to additional communities.”“We’ve reached a critical moment in the struggle against global epidemics, and are poised to move from merely fighting to winning,” said John Tedstrom, Executive Director of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.  “We congratulate Xstrata, which has shown the world how companies can deliver remarkable improvements in the health and well-being of the workforce and the broader community.   Businesses like Xstrata possess the skills, resources and influence to achieve otherwise inconceivable outcomes.  We need many, many more to make their own contribution.”Xstrata Coal’s HIV/AIDS workplace and community programs have been recognised by the annual GBC awards three times in the past four years, winning the Business Excellence Award for voluntary counselling and testing in 2006 and gaining a commendation in 2005.last_img read more

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