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Honour killed policemen, troopers with ‘martyr’ title, HC urged

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New Delhi: A plea was filed in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday seeking it direct the government to issue the honourific of “martyr” or “shaheed” to paramilitary or police personnel who sacrifice their lives in the line of duty.

The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed before a division bench headed by Chief Justice G. Rohini, who posted the matter for July 29 for further hearing.

Citing that 31,895 paramilitary personnel sacrificed their lives in the last 53 years in the line of duty, the PIL said the honour of being called a “martyr” or “shaheed” still eludes the troopers and officers of paramilitary and police forces in the country.

The plea was filed by advocate Abhishek Choudhary, who apprised the court that “the personnel of the three armed forces of the country, namely army, navy and air force, are called ‘martyr’ or ‘shaheed’ when they are killed during duty, but unfortunately the men/women of police and paramilitary forces who are killed in anti-Maoist operations, rendering internal security duties and guarding our borders in extreme conditions are not given the stature of a ‘martyr’.”

“In many places, like along the Pakistan border, paramilitary personnel work along with army men and in Maoist-affected states, they work with air force officials. But in case of death in action, the Central Armed Police Personnel (CAPFs) are not accorded ‘martyr’ or ‘shaheed’ status,” the plea said.

Choudhary said honouring them will not only act as a morale booster but also enhance their self-respect.

(IANS)

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New Australia Bill Gives Police Power to Spy on WhatsApp Messages

The spying powers are limited to only "serious offences" such as preventing terrorism and tackling organised crime in Australia, dailymail.co.uk reported

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New Australia bill gives police power to spy on WhatsApp messages.

Australia is mulling a strict law that gives enforcement agencies power to track messages on platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram that offer end-to-end encryption and also to force users to open their smartphones when demanded, a media report said.

The controversial encryption bill comes at a time amid allegations of encrypted platforms facilitating spread of rumours, hate speech and even criminal activities like child trafficking and drugs businesses.

In countries like India messages circulated in WhatsApp have been linked to several lynching cases, forcing the government to ask platform to take suitable preventive action.

But the new Australia bill also raises privacy concerns as under the proposed legislation, the Australian government agencies could compel companies to build spyware.

The proposed laws could force companies to remove electronic protections, assist government agencies in accessing material from a suspect’s device, and in getting technical information such as design specifications to help in an investigation, News.com.au reported on Wednesday.

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WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Critics have slammed the bill for being broad in scope, vague and potentially damaging to the security of the global digital economy, the report said, adding that a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has been scrutinising the bill.

The laws will help security agencies nab terrorists, child sex offenders and other serious criminals, Australia’s Attorney-General Christian Porter was quoted as saying.

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About 95 per cent of people currently being surveilled by security agencies are using encrypted messages, he added.

The spying powers are limited to only “serious offences” such as preventing terrorism and tackling organised crime in Australia, dailymail.co.uk reported. (IANS)