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Yakub Memon hanged till death

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Nagpur: Yakub Memon, convicted in the March 12, 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, was hanged till death at the Nagpur Central Jail in Maharashtra on Thursday morning, officials said.

He was sent to the gallows — on his 54th birthday on Thursday — after several of his court appeals and clemency petitions were rejected by various courts, including the Bombay High Court, the Supreme Court, the Maharashtra governor and the president of India.

Memon was hanged at 6.35 a.m. A medical team at the jail pronounced him dead a short while later.

His body was sent for an autopsy by a medical team from a Nagpur government hospital, before being cleared for the last rites.

The last of the legal procedures continued till barely a couple of hours before the execution this morning before sunrise.

Memon was the first — and only convict out of 100 in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case — whose hanging was upheld by the Supreme Court.

The death sentence of 11 others was commuted to life.

A Mumbai Special Court had sentenced him to death in July 2007.

The death warrant was issued by a Special TADA Court judge on April 29, scheduling the execution for July 30.

Maharashtra had started preparations for the noose for Memon almost three weeks ago.

Memon filed a fresh appeal in the Supreme Court, followed by a clemency plea with the Maharashtra governor, again a fresh plea in the apex court and a final appeal with the president of India.

He got no relief from any quarters, paving the way for his execution.

The Supreme Court on early Thursday rejected a last ditch attempt by 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon to stall his execution.

Memon had challenged the rejection of his mercy petition by the president.

Past midnight on Thursday, the apex court bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Justice Amitava Roy rejected Memon’s plea seeking 14 days’ time before the execution of his death sentence is carried out.

(IANS)

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Diesel Exhaust Converted Into Ink by Indian Innovators To Battle Air Pollution

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

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representational image. VOA

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

In a cabin, young engineers pore over drawings and hunch over computers as they explore more applications of the technology that they hope will aid progress in cleaning up the Indian capital’s toxic air – among the world’s dirtiest.

While the millions of cars that ply Delhi’s streets are usually blamed for the city’s deadly air pollution, another big culprit is the massive diesel generators used by industries and buildings to light up homes and offices during outages when power from the grid switches off – a frequent occurrence in summer. Installed in backyards and basements, they stay away from the public eye.

“Although vehicular emissions are the show stoppers, they are the ones which get the media attention, the silent polluters are the diesel generators,” says Arpit Dhupar, one of the three engineers who co-founded the start up.

The idea that this polluting smoke needs attention struck Dhupar three years ago as he sipped a glass of sugarcane juice at a roadside vendor and saw a wall blackened with the fumes of a diesel generator he was using.

It jolted him into joining with two others who co-founded the start-up to find a solution. Dhupar had experienced first hand the deadly impact of this pollution as he developed respiratory problems growing up in Delhi.

An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.
An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.

A new business

As the city’s dirty air becomes a serious health hazard for many citizens, it has turned into both a calling and a business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking at ways to improve air quality.

According to estimates, vehicles contribute 22 percent of the deadly PM 2.5 emissions in Delhi, while the share of diesel generators is about 15 percent. These emissions settle deep into the lungs, causing a host of respiratory problems.

After over two years of research and development, Chakr has begun selling devices to tap the diesel exhaust. They have been installed in 50 places, include public sector and private companies.

The technology involves cooling the exhaust in a “heat exchanger” where the tiny soot particles come together. These are then funneled into another chamber that captures 70 to 90 percent of the particulate matter. The carbon is isolated and converted into ink.

Among their first clients was one of the city’s top law firms, Jyoti Sagar Associates, which is housed in a building in Delhi’s business hub Gurgaon.

Making a contribution to minimizing the carbon footprint is a subject that is close to Sagar’s heart – his 32-year-old daughter has long suffered from the harmful effects of Delhi’s toxic air.

Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.
Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.

“This appealed to us straightaway, the technology is very impactful but is beautifully simple,” says Sagar. Since it could be retrofitted, it did not disrupt the day-to-day activities at the buzzing office. “Let’s be responsible. Let’s at least not leave behind a larger footprint of carbon. And if we can afford to control it, why not, it’s good for all,” he says.

At Chakr Innovation, cups, diaries and paper bags printed with the ink made from the exhaust serve as constant reminders of the amount of carbon emissions that would have escaped into the atmosphere.

There has been a lot of focus on improving Delhi’s air by reducing vehicular pollution and making more stringent norms for manufacturers, but the same has not happened for diesel generators. Although there are efforts to penalize businesses that dirty the atmosphere, this often prompts them to find ways to get around the norms.

Also Read: Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

Tushar Mathur who joined the start up after working for ten years in the corporate sector feels converting smoke into ink is a viable solution. “Here is a technology which is completely sustainable, a win-win between businesses and environment,” says Mathur. (VOA)

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