Daily Archives: March 2, 2014

CB Breakthrough in Pachyderm Poaching

The Crime Branch, which has been assigned the probe into back-to-back killing of tuskers in Sambalpur in January last, made a headway and arrested two members of the poaching racket from remote forest pockets of Jamankira on Saturday.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the CB along with Sambalpur and Deogarh police arrested Bhika Lohura (48) and Jhina Badhei (40) belonging to Kulchipadadihi village of Deogarh’s Riamal police limits. From their possession, the cops seized explosives as well as raw materials required for gun-making.

They were produced before the SDJM Court at Kuchinda. The Crime Branch has secured their remand for seeking details into the poaching operations. Along with Bhika and Jhina, a third accused will be in CB remand for three days beginning Sunday, Additional Director General of CB BK Sharma said. Preliminary investigation revealed that while Bhika was directly involved in the poaching and manufactured the rifles used in the killings, Jhina supplied raw materials. They formed the front of the racket and were entrenched deep in the forests. Bhika killed the elephants, removed the ivory and disposed them. “We need to know the modus operandi, disposal of ivories so as to understand the marketing link as well as the source of the arms, ammunition and explosives,” Sharma added.

Meanwhile, the Wildlife Wing, which has been struggling to gather intelligence on poachers in the State, has decided to set up a toll-free number seeking real-time information from the public about incidence of poaching in the State.

The move came after three tuskers were shot dead in Bamra and Dhama forests of Sambalpur in January and in all cases the tusks were missing.

When Sambalpur Forest Division cracked down, it arrested three persons and seized customised jeep, huge volumes of ammunition as well as navigational gadgets.

Subsequently, the Forest and Environment Department asked the Crime Branch to probe into the incidents and a seven-member SIT was formed.

Since the wildlife crime cell has virtually been dormant in the Wildlife Wing in absence of manpower, the Forest and Environment Department has asked the Chief  Wildlife Warden to put in place the toll-free number.

Special Secretary Debabrata Swain, in a letter to CWW SS Srivastava, has directed that a register has to be maintained for keeping record of the calls and actions taken by the wing.

Police arrested Bhika Lohura (48) and Jhina Badhei (40) belonging to Kulchipadadihi village of Deogarh’s Riamal police Bhika was involved in poaching and manufacturing rifles, while Jhina supplied raw materials

Now, walk to charge your cell phone

To address growing demands to recharge electrical devices in a world that is constantly facing power outages, researchers developing a new, portable charging source that relies on human walk.

Led by material scientist Zhong Lin Wang, the team of US researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology has created a backpack that captures mechanical energy from the natural vibration of human walking and converts it into electrical energy.

This technology could revolutionise the way we charge small electronic devices.

The backpack contains a device made from thin, lightweight plastic sheets, interlocked in a rhombic grid.

As we walk, the rhythmic movement that occurs as weight shifts from side to side causes the inside surfaces of the plastic sheets to touch and then separate, touch and then separate.

The periodic contact and separation drives electrons back and forth, producing an alternating electric current.

This process, known as the triboelectrification effect, also underlies static electricity.

Wang added highly-charged Nano materials that maximise the contact between the two surfaces – pumping up the energy output of what Wang called the triboelectric nano generator (TENG).

“The TENG is as efficient as the best electromagnetic generator and is lighter and smaller than any other electric generators for mechanical energy conversion,” explained Wang.

In the lab, the team showed that natural human walking with a two-kg load generated enough power to simultaneously light more than 40 commercial LEDs.

“The backpack would be able to generate between 2 and 5 watts of energy as the wearer walks – enough to charge a cell phone,” noted researchers in a study published in the journal ACS Nano.

Congress and BJD fan pet issues

Stepping up its attack on the BJD, a poll-bound Congress today organised three rallies in the undivided Koraput district, an old party bastion with a sizeable chunk of tribal population.

Addressing big gatherings at Malkangiri and Jeypore, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Jaydev Jena and All-India Congress Committee-appointed in-charge of state party affairs B.K. Hariprasad, lashed out at the Naveen Patnaik government for trying to usurp central schemes such as cheap rice while failing to develop the state, which was labelled as the poorest in the country by the Raghuram Rajan committee.

“He has been making allegations against the Centre accusing it of neglecting Odisha. The truth is that he has failed miserably to make use of central schemes while trying to take undue credit for some of them such as subsidised rice,” said Hariprasad, addressing the rally at Malkangiri where the party has taken up the cause of tribals being branded as Maoists by the police.

“Not only are the tribal people suffering under this regime, the farmers, too, are committing suicide. The Centre, on the other hand, has been extremely generous to the state giving it a central university at Koraput and setting up the state-of-the-art Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bhubaneswar,” said Hariprasad.

The tone and tenor of the Congress leaders did not change at Rayagada where Jena tore into Naveen accusing him of depriving the poor tribal people of their full quota of the subsidised rice allotted by the Centre. The party MLA from Bisam Cuttack, Dambrudhar Ulaka, trotted out figures to substantiate the charge made by his party chief.

The meeting at Rayagada, however, was marred by the heckling of Hema Gamang, wife of former chief minister, Giridhar Gamang and an aspirant for the party ticket from Gunpur Assembly constituency, by the supporters of Ramanaguda block chairman Purushottam Gamang.

With the disturbance exposing the growing factionalism within the party, Jena warned the hecklers against breaking discipline. “We are not going to tolerate such behaviour,” he said.

The other embarrassment for the party, of late, has been the queer behaviour of veteran Bhupinder Singh, who has made himself incommunicado amidst speculation that he might quit and join the BJD. Both Jena and Hariprasad refused to comment on speculations with regard to Bhupinder’s future saying the leader of Opposition was unwell and unreachable at the moment.

In yet another development, Arya Gyanendra, an All-India Congress Committee member and a known opponent of Jena, lashed out at the state party leadership for ignoring sincere leaders while selecting candidates for Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections. He said he would stay away from party programmes for a year as a mark of protest.

The party, on the other hand, sought to extract the maximum political mileage out of its Malkangiri rally accusing the district police of preventing supporters from reaching the meeting venue. It has called a shutdown in the district tomorrow to protest alleged police atrocities against its supporters today.

The Congress is keen to retain its hold on undivided Koraput district where it has four sitting MLAs and a Lok Sabha MP, who is its trump card as far as mobilising tribal support is concerned. Sources said Nabarangpur MP Pradeep Majhi, a livewire, has been trying all the tricks in the bag to win over the tribals of the area who appear to be upset with the police for engaging in a witch-hunt against them.

The BJD hit back at the Congress with a sit-in before the Raj Bhavan here today to ramp up its protest against the Centre’s continued refusal to grant Odisha the special category state status while according the same to the yet-to-be-born, Seemandhra.

The ruling party, which is organising a state-wide agitation on the issue, has planned a major show of strength with three rallies at Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Sambalpur on March 5, the birth anniversary of Biju Patnaik, which is celebrated as ‘panchayati raj divas’.