Haryana, August 28, 2017: Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s quantum of punishment for his conviction in rape will be pronounced today. As Dera Sacha Sauda followers tore down the city when he was pronounced guilty, here are ten things to know about today’s historic announcement.
1. The Special Court for the decision of punishment is set up in Rohtak’s Sunaria where the convict will be brought.
2. On Monday, Jagdeep Singh who is the same CBI Special Court Judge to find Gurmeet Rahim guilty, arrived in Rohtak by air today at 2:30 pm. The hearing to last for 1.5 hours.
3. Haryana Police along with paramilitary forces have established multi layered security around Rohtak. The army, until further orders, is on standby. 10 km around the prison premises no movement of individuals is allowed.
4. Shoot at sight is to be issued immediately if “anti-social elements” are spotted, said Rohtak DC Atul Kumar.
5. Section 144 is implemented in Rohtak, while Curfew is in the process in Sirsa. Punjab, too, is on high security. As a preventive measure, local residents are asked to stay indoors.
6. Manohar Lal Khattar, Haryana CM, and his official residence are also tightly secured ahead of the hearing.
7. Mobile and Internet services remain shut in Haryana and Punjab. Schools are officially shut for today as well.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a 60-billion-rupee ($842 million) plan to tackle water shortages in the country’s seven heartland states where agriculture is a mainstay.
India, the world’s second-most populous country, faces the worst long-term water crisis in its history as demand outstrips supply, threatening farm output and overall economic growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.
Almost every sector of the $2.6 trillion economy is dependent on water, especially agriculture, which sustains two-thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people.
“Water shortages in the country not only affect individuals and families; the crisis also has an effect on India’s development,” Modi said. “We need to prepare the new India to deal with every single aspect of the crisis.”
The plan launched by Modi would help replenish ground water and boost overall availability in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat states, which produce staples such as rice, wheat, sugar and oilseeds.
India is the world’s leading producer of an array of farm goods, and nearly 60% of the irrigation for agriculture comes from ground water, mainly through electric water pumps. Subsidised electricity gives farmers an incentive to pump out more water, a key reason behind fast-depleting water tables in the vast country.
Supplying clean drinking water to millions of poor people and reviving moribund irrigation projects were a key part of Modi’s policies for India, where the monsoon accounts for nearly 70% of the annual rains needed to water farms and recharge aquifers and reservoirs.
Nearly half of India’s farmland, without any irrigation cover, depends on annual June-September rains to grow a number of crops.
Drinking water is also an issue, as about 200,000 Indians die every year due to inadequate access to safe water and 600 million face high to extreme water stress, according to the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, a think tank chaired by Modi.
According to UK-based charity WaterAid, about 163 million people in India — roughly 12% of the population — do not have access to clean water close to home.