An Uttar Pradesh Minister’s son-in-law is one of the 10 persons accused of plotting the Rae Bareli vehicle collision in which the victim of the alleged Unnao gang rape was left critically injured. Arun Singh, the Nawabganj block pramukh and son-in-law of Ranvendra Pratap Singh, alias Dhunni, a Minister of State holding the Agriculture, Agriculture Education and Agriculture Research portfolios, is listed as accused no. 7 in the FIR lodged by the uncle of the survivor of the alleged rape. She is battling for her life in a hospital in Lucknow with multiple fractures, head and chest injuries. Mr. Arun Singh confirmed to The Hindu that he was in fact the same person named in the FIR. The FIR lists him as one of the persons accused of intimidating the family of the victim. The complainant, her uncle, said he and his family had faced repeated threats from Kuldeep Singh Sengar, MLA, and his men and were being intimidated to change their statements in court or compromise with the MLA or face dire consequences. ‘Falsely implicated’Along with the rest, Mr. Arun Singh faces charges of murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation. Asserting that he was being falsely implicated due to “personal and political rivalry” with a former block pramukh in Nawabganj, Awadesh Singh, he alleged that his rival shared a link with the jailed uncle of the victim. Mr. Arun Singh had defeated Maya Singh, Mr. Awadesh Singh’s wife, to win the post. Mr. Arun Singh said he was a litigant in the 2006 murder case of a Dalit block pramukh, Ram Naresh Nirmal, in which Mr. Awadesh Singh is an accused. “Awadesh Singh is a history-sheeter with over 40 criminal cases and my political opponent,” he said. “He is using the uncle as a shield… he feels if he falsely implicates me or sends me to jail, then he will be able to manage his case,” Mr. Arun Singh said. In the FIR relating to the collision, the uncle mentions Mr. Awadesh Singh as being among the people who would come to visit him in jail. The police have so far traced the owner of the truck to Fatehpur, which shares borders with Unnao and Rae Bareli.Mr. Arun Singh downplayed his political links with his father-in-law. “I have no political connection with him. He is my father-in-law but not my political guardian,” said Mr. Arun Singh, who is considered close to Mr. Sengar and Unnao BJP MP Sachhidanand Hari, alias Sakshi Maharaj. Mr. Arun Singh’s name also surfaced last year in the assault case of the survivor’s father, who died in custody in suspicious circumstances. He was questioned but not formally charged. He says he is innocent. “I have never seen the uncle by face. I have never seen the victim and I don’t even know where their house is,” he said, adding he had not met Sengar in over six months. Mr. Arun Singh said he was ready to undergo a narco test and cooperate with any agency–the CBI has taken over the collision case and even lodged an FIR, which includes him–in the investigation. The uncle of the survivor was on Wednesday granted a day’s parole to attend the cremation of his wife and relative, who died in the Rae Bareli collision while they were on their way to meet him in jail. Awadesh Singh was not available for comment.
With questions being raised over the cleanliness in the Commonwealth Games Village, Union Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar tonight directed Delhi Government to take control of the maintenance of the complex which will house the athletes.The maintenance of the Games Village was under the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) which is under direct control of Union Urban Development Ministry.Highly-placed sources told PTI that Chandrasekhar directed the city government to take control of the maintenance and cleanliness of the Games Village from tomorrow following criticism by the Commonwealth Games Federation.They said the CWG Organising Committee will be the overall incharge of the Games Village but Delhi government will look after the issues of maintenance and cleanliness.Already 40 DANIPS (Delhi, Nicobar and Andaman Island Police Service) officers have been deployed in the Games Village and if required more officials will be put into service. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit will visit the Village tomorrow to assess the ground situation.Cleanliness and maintenance of the Games Village had come under sharp criticism from foreign participants as well as Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive Mike Hooper who described the facility as “filthy and unimaginable”.Concerned over the unhygienic conditions at the Games Village, Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell shot off a letter to Cabinet Secretary asking him to take immediate steps to fix the deficiencies in the residential zone of the Village, which he said has “shocked” advance parties from New Zealand, Canada, Scotland and Ireland.”The final preparations for the Games Village have been of concern to the CGF since viewing the residential zone along with a number of Commonwealth Games Associations advance parties on September 15,” Fennel said in a strongly-worded statement.advertisementBut the embarrassed organisers, while promising to sort out all the glitches within the deadline, came out with a bizarre defence that the issue of cleanliness was a matter of difference in perception.”For us and for you it is clean. But they (the foreign countries) have a different standard of cleanliness. It is a matter of difference in perception,” Organising Committee spokesperson Lalit Bhanot said.New Zealand Chef de Mission Dave Currie, who is camping in Delhi, threatened to pull out if the cleanliness issue of the residential zones where his country’s athletes will stay is not sorted out.”There are some realities, I guess, that if the village is not ready and athletes can’t come then obviously the implications of that are it is not going to happen. If the village isn’t ready, the athletes can’t arrive,” Currie said.”It’s not our decision. We’re not saying we’re not coming or the country’s not coming. What we’re saying is they’ve got a real challenge with the village and they need to take urgent attention to address it,” he added.
Maharashtra government has invited bids from consultants for setting up a ‘Formula 1 Racing Track’ in the state.Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation which has been entrusted with the job of putting up the track has invited bids from consultancy firms in this regard.Bids are to be submitted by December 23 and may be opened on the same day, according to the tender document on the website of the corporation.The consultants should be able to complete the work in six months, it said.As per the tender, the consultant submitting the bid should have completed an assignment of giving consultancy services for at least one racing track, should have experience in designing race circuits or other sporting facility on a similar scale and should have knowledge of F1 Racing and other forms of Formula racing around the world.The tender does not indicate the possible location of the racing track but according to reports it is expected to come up along the Mumbai-Pune expressway.
Karim Tabet, Providence Equity PartnersNordic investment group East Capital Explorer has struck a deal to sell its entire 63% in pan-Baltic cable operation Starman Group to Providence Equity.The agreement in principle would see East Capital Explorer sell its stake in Starman for an upfront payment of €81 million in cash with the potential of an additional earn-out of up to €5 million payable in 2017. According to the investment group, the deal represents a total enterprise value of €210 million.East Capital Explorer expects to make a gain of €35 million on exiting Starman, representing a rate of return of over 30%.The group said that since it acquired Estonia’s Starman in 2013 the cable operator’s revenues and EBITDA had grown on average by 11% a year.In February last year, East Capital Explorer made an additional investment in the operator that enabled it to acquire Lithuania’s Cgates to create a pan-Baltic cable TV and broadband provider. Cgates extended this consolidation in July by acquiring fellow Lithuanian operator Kava.“I am pleased to announce this, which will be one of the largest private equity transactions in the Baltics to date. We have strengthened investments in technology, product development and market consolidation, and worked closely together with the management team. This has enabled Starman to outgrow its competitors and transform from a national challenger into a regional leader. We are confident that Providence will enable Starman to continue to develop successfully in this exciting and fast evolving market,” said Kestutis Sasnauskas, head of private equity and real estate at East Capital.Aivo Adamson, CEO of Starman Group, said: “Starman has in recent years intensively focused on growth and expansion in our Baltic home market, supported by East Capital Explorer. We are committed to offering our clients innovative and superior telecom and entertainment solutions. We are confident that with the addition of a strong financial investor, with over 25 years of experience of telecom investments, as our new majority owner, we can continue on the path of innovation and growth in the Baltic region.”Karim Tabet, managing director at Providence, said: “The acquisition of Starman Group would represent Providence’s continued commitment to investing in infrastructure to support the delivery of high quality media and communication services in the Baltic region.”
Content security specialist Verimatrix has acquired the assets that comprise the Akamai Identity Services (AIS) product from CDN giant Akamai.The acquisition will help Verimatrix provide a common authentication system to reduce friction within the content distribution workflow for TV everywhere services and ultimately support new ways to increase the value of the content chain on a global level.According to the company, AIS enables content providers and video service operators to bring authenticated TV everywhere services to market by providing a common framework for implementing and scaling proprietary provider-operator relationships.Mike KleimanVerimatrix will offer the enhanced and rebranded authentication services as an integrated component of the Verimatrix Content Authority System and Viewthority, its newly launched connected content distribution platform, as well as a standalone solution.Verimatrix now has access to the over 300 existing global operator integrations for AIS, which features identity standards support for new integrations such as SAML and OAUTH. The solution features flexible fraud protections to meet contractual obligations, prevent credential sharing, and mitigate password sharing, plus self-service configuration tools for operators for a custom subscriber experience, according to the company.“This acquisition fits perfectly with our roadmap to streamline content workflows via cloud-based technologies to connect global consumers with great content. We are able to extend the value of these global identity services under our solution umbrella and provide a more flexible, yet standards-based alternative that will improve the experience for consumers and open new markets for content providers and programmers,” said Mike Kleiman, COO of Verimatrix.“As a long-standing partner, we know that Verimatrix will be able to enrich the AIS core technology and help content providers take TV Everywhere to the next level. This is a natural extension to Verimatrix’s value proposition of securing and enhancing revenue by supporting new ways to monetize content,” said Campbell Foster, VP of media industry and product marketing, Akamai.