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Massive clashes inside Kolkata's Dum Dum Jail after inmates upset over court closure due to Coronavirus outbreak
MMNN:21 March 2020

Kolkata Massive clashes erupted on Saturday inside the Dum Dum Jail in Kolkata, West Bengal, after inmates became upset over court closure due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. Since the court won't be working, the judge will not be able to hear the bail pleas which have angered the jail inmates.
In addition to this, all inmates have been asking for masks and sanitisers.
The inmates have allegedly vandalised the jail premises, attacked the jail officers, and tried torching the jail properties. A massive stone-pelting also took place.
Barrackpore CP Manoj Verma and other senior officials went inside the jail to bring the situation under control. Three fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the fire.
Massive tear gas was also fired by the police. When last reports came in, the fire was still raging inside the jail premises.

Indian Railways to halt 3,700 trains to support Janata Curfew against coronavirus COVID-19 - first time in its history
MMNN:21 March 2020

New Delhi: In the wake of the highly contagious coronavirus pandemic and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's calls to observe `Janata Curfew` on Sunday (March 22, 2020), the Indian Railways has decided to halt thousands of trains as part of measures to contain the further spread of the deadly virus.
According to the Railway Ministry, around 3,700 trains had been cancelled from midnight of March 22 till 10 PM, in line with the Prime Minister's appeal of a day-long curfew to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The Railway Ministry on Saturday also decided to put brakes on as many as 709 trains. According to information, 584 trains have been cancelled completely and the rest 125 trains partially.
''The Indian Railways has suspended train services of over 3,700 passenger locomotives and long-distance mail and express trains, which were scheduled to start their journeys on Sunday due to call of `Janata Curfew`, '' a release from the Rail Ministry said.
According to the order issued by the Railway Ministry, no passenger or express train will originate from any railway station of the country between Saturday and Sunday midnight to 10 PM on Sunday. This will lead to the cancellation of around 2400 passenger and 1300 express trains.
The Railway Board has issued directions to all zonal heads that passengers already travelling in trains during the shutdown should not face any hassle.
Pitching for "social distancing", PM Narendra Modi had on Thursday called for a 'Janta curfew' from 7 AM to 9 PM on March 22, saying no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of their houses, and asserted that it will be a litmus test to show India's readiness to take on the coronavirus challenge.
This experience will serve the nation well, he has said.
"This Sunday, that is on March 22, all citizens must follow this curfew from 7 AM until 9 PM. During this curfew, we shall neither leave our homes, nor get onto the streets and refrain from roaming about in our societies or areas. Only those associated with emergency and essential services may leave their homes," the Prime Minister said.

Kanika Kapoor's relatives' samples sent for coronavirus COVID-19 testing; FIR against singer updated
MMNN:21 March 2020

Lucknow: Coronavirus-infected Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor's family members in Kanpur have been kept in isolation and their samples have been sent for testing in Lucknow. Reports on Saturday (March 21, 2020) said that samples of 35 people, including Kapoor's maternal uncle, his family members, have been taken and sent to Lucknow for testing after it emerged that the singer was infected with the deadly coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the Lucknow district administration. which had come under fire after police mentioned the wrong date in the FIR against Kanika Kapoor following a complaint by Chief Medical Officer (CMO), has been rectified.
''The report from CMO for FIR against Kanika inadvertently mentions the date of her arrival as 14th march. It is actually 11 th March. The police, during the investigation, will correct this factual part, '' Sujeet Pandey, Commissioner of Police, Lucknow, said.
An FIR was lodged against Kapoor at Sarojini Nagar Police Station on Friday for alleged negligence in compliance of necessary directives to safeguard against the spread of deadly coronavirus disease post her return from London earlier this month.
As per the FIR, the CMO claimed that Kapoor had returned to Lucknow from London on March 14. The same day she tested positive for coronavirus at the airport and was asked to go for home quarantine. But despite that she freely attended parties and mingled with a large number of people.
However, people of the city later came down heavily on the administration and counterclaimed that the singer had returned on March 11. The same has now been fixed and the date of Kanika's arirval in Luckow has been corrected to March 11.
Earlier, an FIR was filed against Kanika Kapoor on Friday (March 20, 2020) night under Sections 188, 269, 270 of Epidemic Act 1987. The singer was booked after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a high-level meeting at his official residence and issued an order in this regard.
The FIR was reportedly lodged against Kanika Kapoor for concealing facts and putting the public in danger.
Last week, the central government had invoked the Epidemic Act 1897 to combat novel coronavirus in India. The decision was taken in a meeting convened by the Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba with representatives of the Indian Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and other ministries, said media reports.
Under this Act, all the states and union territories have been advised to invoke the provisions of Section 2 of the Epidemic Disease Act 1897. The section includes special measures to be taken by the Centre to “prescribe regulations as to dangerous epidemic disease.” The section also includes the detention of people or any vessel that comes from international shores and is seen potent to spread the epidemic in the country.
According to reports, Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor, who tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, had stayed in room no 602 of Hotel Taj, which has also now been closed for two days.
Those who were present in the high-level meeting included Deputy Chief Ministers Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Maurya, several cabinet ministers and party`s Secretary (Organisation) Sunil Bansal to discuss the situation.

Maharashtra govt decides to replace AC local services by non-AC from March 20
MMNN:19 March 2020

MaharashtraAmid the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide, the Maharashtra government on Thursday decided to cancel the AC local services from March 20 till further orders. It will be replaced by non-AC services. Thus, the total number of services will remain the same.
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to reduce public transport commuter count by at least 50 per cent as part of measures to avoid crowding and enforce social distancing. After chairing a review meeting in Mumbai, CM Thackeray said that suburban trains, state-run buses and private ones will run only with 50 per cent of their seating capacity.
Maharashtra currently has 49 coronavirus positive cases, the highest for any state.
The number of commuters on the suburban trains of the Western Railway (WR) has reduced by over 8 lakh, the day when Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray appealed to people to avoid non-essential travel in view of the coronavirus outbreak in the state.
According to WR, on March 17, 32.60 lakh passengers travelled on their suburban trains as against 40.75 lakh on Monday (down 8.15 lakhs)."The number of commuters reduced by around 25 per cent," Ravinder Bhakar, chief spokesperson of WR told news agency PTI.

Coronavirus impact: UGC tells universities to postpone exams, suspend evaluation work
MMNN:19 March 2020

New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed all universities and affiliated colleges on Thursday (March 19, 2020) to postpone examinations till March-end due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The evaluation work will be suspended during the period too.
"All universities and affiliated colleges should postpone exams till March 31 and suspend evaluation work. A further schedule should be decided following a review of the situation," the commission said in an order.
School, colleges and educational institutions in several states had been closed till March 31 in the wake of coronavirus scare. The continued widespread of coronavirus has taken a toll on multiple economies.
To combat the deadly coronavirus, states across the country have closed down all educational institutions, gyms, night clubs and spas. The Central Government has issued an order to close down all monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which also includes the Taj Mahal.
This will have a huge impact on the exchequer as there are more than 3000 monuments under ASI. The Health Ministry has also issued a notice that passengers travelling to India will not be allowed from EU Countries, the UK, European Free Trade Association, and Turkey from March 18, 2020.

Centre directs its employees to work in three shifts to tackle coronavirus spread
MMNN:19 March 2020

NEW DELHI: The central government on Thursday (March 19, 2020) altered the working hours of its employees and directed them to work in three shifts as part of measures to combat the spread of coronavirus. ''50 per cent of Group B and C employees are required to attend office every day, and the remaining 50 per cent of staff should be instructed to work from home,'' a statement from the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions said.
Working hours of the employees should be altered, the statement suggested.
The Group of Ministers (GoM) also met today to review the situation arising out of coronavirus situation, which has so far claimed three lives in India and affected at least 168 people so far.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also address the nation on Thursday (March 19) at 8 PM, during which he will talk about issues relating to COVID-19 and the efforts to combat it.
Notably, the Prime Minister also chaired a high-level meeting on Wednesday to review the ongoing efforts to contain COVID-19. He discussed the ways to further strengthen India’s preparedness, and this included enhancing testing facilities.
"Prime Minister emphasised on actively engaging with individuals, local communities and organisations in chalking our mechanisms to fight the COVID-19 menace. He also urged officials an technical experts to deliberate on the steps to be taken next," a statement from PMO said.
The Prime Minister also expressed gratitude to all those at the forefront of combating COVID-19 including the various state governments, medical fraternity, paramedical staff, armed and paramilitary forces, those associated with the aviation sector, municipal staff and others.

Lawyer of convicts writes to International Court of Justice, seeks stay on March 22 hanging
MMNN:16 March 2020

New Delhi: Nirbhaya rape and murder case took a new twist on Monday (March 16) as the counsel for convicts wrote to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) seeking a stay on the March 20 hanging of the 4 convicts. The lawyer also demanded that all the records of the lower court should be brought to the ICJ so that the case can be presented before it.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today rejected the plea of Mukesh Singh, one of the four death-row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, paving the way for convicts' hanging on March 20.
Mukesh has sought restoration of all his legal remedies alleging that his earlier lawyers misled him.
The SC bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah held Mukesh's plea as not maintainable and said the review petition and the curative petition have both been dismissed in the case.
The convict had sought quashing of all orders passed by courts and the rejection of his mercy petition by the President since the day his curative petition was dismissed by the top court on the ground that the earlier lawyer Vrinda Grover had misled him.
The plea, filed through advocate M L Sharma, sought a CBI probe into alleged "criminal conspiracy" and "fraud" hatched by the Centre, the Delhi government and advocate Vrinda Grover, who is the amicus curiae in the case.
Meanwhile, Asha Devi, he mother of the victim, today appealed for justice saying she has also been suffering for the past seven years.
She told ANI, "I would also want to appeal to the President to help me get justice for my daughter as well. People know me and my children by the name of Nirbhaya. I have also been dying for the last seven years," adding that she had to cope with people`s taunts about how she created a drama in these last seven years.
"I have to listen to all the things and taunts of the people say. People say I am creating a drama. I want to tell the whole country that if there someone who has been a victim to a crime and her/his family is demanding justice, and if this is a drama then I want to say that yes I am creating a drama," she said.
On March 5, a trial court issued fresh warrants with March 20, 5.30 am, as the date for the execution of the convicts -Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Singh (31).
Notably, a 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was brutally gang-raped and assaulted by six men in a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012 and was thrown out on the road. She succumbed to her injuries at a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012.

Bihar govt will bear entire expenses of coronavirus positive patients, says CM Nitish Kumar
MMNN:16 March 2020

Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday (March 16, 2020) said that the state government will bear the entire expenses of patients found positive of coronavirus under the Mukhyamantri Chikitsa Sahayata Kosh Yojana. While addressing Bihar assembly session Nitish Kumar further also declared that the state government will also provide ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh to the kin of people who die due to coronavirus.
Asking the people of the state to take preventive measures, Nitish Kumar said that people should avoid going to any kind of public gatherings and urged them to make use of face mask. He said, ''Mask is not only for the deceased but those who are healthy should also ensure that they are using a mask so that they don't get affected by the virus.''
The Bihar CM also expressed concern over the rising case of corona across the globe and said that corona has infected more than 148 countries and more than 6000 cases have been reported globally which is a very alarming situation. He said that the cases of the corona have also been reported in the Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring country Nepal therefore people of the state need to take extra care during the emergency situation.
He also informed that all kind of government event have been cancelled with immediate effect and 100 isolated ventilators have been placed to deal with the situation. Meanwhile, screening is being done in Patna and Gaya airport to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.
Till now India has reported 116 positive cases and two deaths with Uttarakhand reporting its first case and one fresh case each in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

Kerala woman who joined ISIS reveals how Pakistani woman used to help her in camp
MMNN:16 March 2020

New Delhi Nimisha (now Fatima), a woman from Kerala who joined ISIS, has made a big disclosure saying that a Pakistani woman used to come to the ISIS camp in Afghanistan and used to meet all the terrorists living in the camp.
Indian intelligence agencies suspect that Pakistan is behind the strengthening of the ISIS terrorist group in Afghanistan.
In 2016, 21 people from Kerala reached Nangarhar in Afghanistan via different routes.
But the security forces arrested hundreds of terrorists in a major operation by Afghanistan Security Forces.
Last year, on November 15, 2019, Kerala's Nimisha alias Fatima was also among those who were arrested.
Nimisha, who is in Kabul jail with her 3-year-old daughter, told security agencies that a Pakistani woman used to help her financially in the camp of Nangarhar and also used to meet other terrorists.
Nimisha hails from Trivandrum and converted to Islam three years ago to become an ISIS terrorist with her husband in Afghanistan.
She was 7-month pregnant when she decided to move to Afghanistan.
Nimisha's mother Bindu while talking to Zee News said, "One day in 2016, Nimisha called and told me she was going to Sri Lanka but after a few days there was a news that a total of 21 people are missing from Kerala and all of them have joined ISIS in Afghanistan. Among those 21 people, one of the girls was Nimisha."
Her mother also told Zee News that Nimisha wanted to become a doctor and they had no idea that there was a conspiracy to brainwash her and make her a terrorist.
One day. Nimisha told her mother Bindu that she is married to a man named Baxon aka Isa. Baxon had left Christianity and converted to Islam.
According to Bindu, Nimisha was a victim of love jihad and with the help of a Muslim organization, she was married to Baxon.
She also said, "Nimisha was brainwashed here in Kerala was sent to Afghanistan as an ISIS terrorist."
Like Nimisha, a girl named Marin also left Christianity and converted to Islam and changed her name to Mariam.
Mariam also became an ISIS terrorist along with her husband, a man named Yahiya who was earlier known as Bastin.
According to a report of Indian intelligence agencies, Mariyam is among the ISIS associated terrorists of Kerala who have been arrested in Afghanistan.
Reports also say that Bastin was killed in the operation of the security forces.
Of the 21 people who went missing from Kerala, 6 are women and three are children. In Kerala, the conspiracy to make terrorists through love Jihad is still continuing.

Indian Railways to abolish booking of tickets through agents, venders
MMNN:13 March 2020

New Delhi: In a big decision, the Indian Railways will soon end the system of booking train tickets through agents and venders. The announcement in this regard was made by Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in Lok Sabha. The announcement is part of the Indian Railways’ ongoing crackdown on touts and unauthorised ticket sellers.
Speaking in Lok Sabha, the Railways Minister said that due to penetration of smartphone in the Indian household, train tickets can now be easily booked online through mobile phone using the IRCTC App.
Goyal informed the MPs in Lok Sabha that in the past one year, the Indian Railways has taken several steps to end corruption and the nexus of rail agents and venders in booking train tickets and arrested several persons in this connection.
Goyal said that an assessment of railway stoppages will be done and unnecessary stoppages will be abolished to reduce the time of travel. According to the Railways Minister, the Consultative Committee of Parliament has given its nod for the proposals made by the ministry.
Union Railway Minister also attacked the previous Congress-led governments in Lok Sabha, saying they presented separate railways budget only to mislead people.
Replying to a discussion on demands for grants of the Ministry of Railways, he said separate railways budget was only a "balloon" and only attracted "claps" in the House.
He said the "fake" announcements used to only "mislead people in elections". Citing some examples, the Railways Minister said some projects are pending since 1974.
He said allocations for the sector was enhanced to Rs 1.61 lakh crore this year from Rs 54,000 crore in 2013-14. The increased allocation is being used on 58 super-critical and 68 critical projects, Goyal said, adding the current government fixes big target and make all efforts to achieve that.
"We fixed a target for electrification of 6,000 km of the rail line and reached 5,200 km as against 600-650 km of electrification in 2013-14," he said. Goyal also criticised the previous governments on pension funds for the sector, stating they did not take any steps to strengthen this fund.
"In 2014, this fund was very low. We built that adequately," he said, adding this government took calibrated steps to increase revenues for railways, rather than hiking fares by 60-70 per cent and burdening passengers.
On his ministry’s criticism over the slow pace of work in states, Goyal said if states provide help in terms of land availability and other clearances, the project will be implemented at a fast pace.
For north-eastern states, he said several projects are underway. Earlier about 60 helplines numbers were there for registering complaints, but "we have only one (139) for general complaints" and another (182) for security-related matters.
He said the Rail Ministry has sent a written reply to all members who have participated in the discussion.

TDP MLA meets CM Jagan Mohan Reddy amid indications of switching parties
MMNN:13 March 2020

Amaravati: The Telugu Desam Party suffered yet another blow as its veteran leader and Chirala MLA Karanam Balarama Krishna Murthy on Thursday (March 12, 2020) met Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy here amid indications that he has switched loyalties to the ruling YSR Congress.
Murthy's son Venkatesh formally joined the YSRC but, because of apparent technical reasons, the former did not.
Former MLA Paleti Rama Rao also joined the YSRC on the occasion.
The father and son, besides Rama Rao, met Jagan Mohan Reddy at his residence here on Thursday evening and discussed Chirala constituency development issues.
Murthy is the third MLA of the TDP to switch sides to the YSRC in recent times, though the other two too had not formally joined the ruling outfit.
The TDP had won 23 seats in the elections to the 175-member assembly last year.
While Venkatesh spoke to the media later, his father left soon after meeting the Chief Minister.
We have decades of association with the TDP but, attracted by the welfare programmes of this government, we joined the YSRC. We have our father's support, Venkatesh said.
Murthy, a strong man for the TDP in Prakasam district, had previously served as an MP and an MLC as well.
Meanwhile, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting with his party leaders from Prakasam district in the wake of the latest setback and appointed a new in-charge for Chirala constituency, party sources said.
All the three rebel TDP MLAs have not officially become members of the YSRC as they apparently want to avoid attraction of the anti-defection law provisions.
Jagan Mohan Reddy had also set a pre-condition that any legislator wishing to join his party should first resign from their post.
In fact, the first TDP MLA to crossover, Vallabhaneni Vamsi Mohan, used his suspension from the party as a ruse to seek recognition in the assembly as an unattached member.
Shocked by it, the TDP did not suspend Guntur MLA Maddali Giri when he too switched sides.
While three MLCs also jumped over to the YSRC from the TDP, one formally resigned from his post.
In recent days, many former legislators left the TDP and walked over to the YSRC.
The TDP suffered the biggest blow in Kadapa, the Chief Ministers' native district, where former minister Ramasubba Reddy and former MLC Satish Reddy quit the party.
While Ramasubba Reddy joined the YSRC, Satish is expected to follow suit.
In Prakasam district, another former MLA Kadiri Babu Rao too had joined the ruling party.
In Visakhapatnam district, while former MLA S A Rahman already joined the YSRC, another ex-legislator P Ramesh Babu is also expected to follow, having resigned from the TDP.

SAARC leadership could chalk out strong strategy to fight coronavirus: PM Modi
MMNN:13 March 2020

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday proposed a video conference of SAARC leaders to chalk out a joint strategy to fight coronavirus and set an example for the world.
"I would like to propose that the leadership of SAARC nations chalk out a strong strategy to fight coronavirus. We could discuss, via video conferencing, ways to keep our citizens healthy," he said.
"Our planet is battling the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. At various levels, governments and people are trying their best to combat it," Modi said on Twitter.
South Asia, which is home to a significant number of the global population, should leave no stone unturned to ensure that the people are healthy, he said.
Together, the prime minister said, we can set an example to the world, and contribute to a healthier planet.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is A regional intergovernmental organization that comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Tahir Hussain denies involvement in Delhi violence, says no role in killing of Intelligence Bureau employee Ankit Sharma
MMNN:27 February 2020

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Haji Tahir Hussain, who is a corporator from Ward 59 of Nehru Vihar, East Delhi Municipal Corporation, has denied his involvement in the death of Intelligence Bureau (IB) employee Ankit Sharma through a video statement.
In the video, Tahir Hussain is heard denying his role in inciting violence claiming that he was a victim of mob violence and was rescued by Police two days ago.
The AAP corporator's statement comes after an IB employee was found dead in a drain in northeast Delhi's Chand Bagh area. Calling himself “a peaceful Indian Muslim”, Tahir said he will always work for the country and Hindu-Muslim relations.
Tahir Hussain told ANI, "I worked to stop violence, I'm innocent. I stopped people from climbing up my building. On February 24, police conducted a search of my building and moved us out from there, and later, we shifted to a safe location. Till 4 pm on February 25, police were present at the building."
Several videos, however, have been shared on social media in which Tahir, dressed in a red sweater and white shirt, is seen moving around his rooftop. He is also in the same dress in the video which he posted in his defence.
The brother of Ankit Sharma on Wednesday told Zee News that Tahir Hussain was behind the killing of his brother. He said that hundreds of rioters took refuge at the AAP corporator's house. They pelted stones from there and also fired bullets along with throwing petrol bombs.
Notably, the death toll in the communal violence in northeast Delhi has reached 34 on Thursday.

Delhi HC judge transfer: Law Minister RS Prasad says, 'well settled process was followed'
MMNN:27 February 2020

Hours after the transfer of Delhi High Court Justice S Muralidhar raised eyebrows, the Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday (February 27) issued a statement saying that "well-settled process was followed" and that the whole thing is being politicised by the Congress party.
In a series of tweet, the BJP minister wrote: "Transfer of Hon’ble Justice Muralidhar was done pursuant to the recommendation dated 12.02.2020 of the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India. While transferring the judge consent of the judge is taken. The well-settled process have been followed."
Prasad added, "By politicising a routine transfer, Congress has yet again displayed its scant regard for the judiciary. People of India have rejected Congress Party and hence it is hell-bent on destroying the very institutions India cherishes by constantly attacking them."
The minister said that his party respected the judiciary and that it was the Congress' record of compromising the independence of the judiciary. "We respect the independence of the judiciary. Record of Congress in compromising the independence of the judiciary, superseding judges even of Supreme Court during Emergency is well known. They rejoice only when the judgment is of their liking otherwise raise questions on the institutions itself," he wrote.
On the issue of Judge Loya, Prasad said, "The Loya judgement has been well settled by the Supreme Court. Those raising questions do not respect the judgment of the Apex Court pronounced after elaborate arguments. Does Rahul Gandhi consider himself above even the Supreme Court?"
Further, he slammed the Sonia Gandhi-led party claiming that they had no right to lecture the ruling party about objectionable speeches. "The Party, which is the private property of one family, has no right to lecture about objectionable speeches. The family & its cronies have routinely used the harshest words against the Courts, the Army, the CAG, the PM and the people of India," he said.
Late on Wednesday (February 26) night Justice S Muralidhar, who was hearing cases related to Delhi violence, was issued a transfer notice. He has been sent to the Punjab and Haryana High Court as part of a routine transfer recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium.

Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan, wife Tazeen Fatma, son Abdullah Azam shifted to Sitapur jail
MMNN:27 February 2020

New Delhi: Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan, his legislator-wife Tazeen Fatma, and MLA-son Abdullah Azam have been shifted to Sitapur Jail due to security reasons, according to sources. The senior SP leader along with his wife and son had surrendered before a Rampur court on Wednesday and were sent to judicial custody till March 2.
The noose around the Khans tightened in the wake of Abdullah's allegedly fake birth certificate case, besides several other cases. Jail Superintendent of Sitapur, DC Mishra, said that the Samajwadi MP and his son Abdullah will be provided with special security inside the jail , while Tazeen Fatma Azam will be kept in women's barracks.
Notably, the case relates to two birth certificates for Abdullah Azam, who allegedly also gave a wrong date of birth while filing his nomination papers for the assembly elections in 2017. His election was set aside by the Allahabad High Court last December, and he also approached the Supreme Court, which is still hearing the case.
Earlier on Monday, Rampur's Additional District Judge Dhirendra Kumar had rejected an anticipatory bail plea filed by the family and issued non-bailable warrants and notice for attaching their property.
All three family members on Wednesday surrendered before the court, which sent them to judicial custody. Without questioning the judge's ruling, SP president Akhilesh Yadav reportedly stated that that the BJP government was indulging in the vendetta against the politician.
A Rampur BJP leader Akash Saxena had lodged an FIR at Gang police station on January 3, 2019, alleging fraud related to Abdullah Azam's two birth certificates. In April, police filed the charge sheet in court. It alleged that Azam Khan's son also had two passports and two PAN cards.
In one birth certificate, issued by the Rampur municipality, Abdullah's birth date was mentioned as January 1, 1993. The other certificate said he was born in Lucknow on September 30, 1990, according to the charge against him.
A case was also registered against Azam Khan and his wife as they had submitted an affidavit testifying their son's second birth certificate. Azam Khan represents Rampur in the Lok Sabha and his wife is an MLA from the Rampur assembly seat.
Abdullah won from the Suar assembly segment in 2017. The Allahabad High Court had set aside his election last December on a plea by defeated BSP candidate Kazim Ali Khan, who alleged that the SP candidate was under 25 when he filed his nomination papers in 2017.

Strict action against those cheating in Uttar Pradesh high school and intermediate examinations, over 3 lakh candidates quit examinations
MMNN:21 February 2020

Uttar Pradesh : The effect of an initiative taken by the Yogi Adityanath government to stop cheating in examinations is being reflected in the high school and intermediate examinations under the Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Council. Due to the Yogi government's strictness to stop copying in the examinations, 3,58,618 candidates have left the examination within three days of commencement of examination till now. The examinations started on February 18.
Significantly, on the first day of the examinations, of Hindi and General Hindi subjects, 3,16,116 candidates had left the examination and this number kept on increasing for the third consecutive day. As of 7 pm on February 20, the number released by the UP board of those leaving the examination reached 3,58,618. A total of 65 candidates have been caught cheating so far while FIR has been filed against 12 candidates and administrator of the examination centre involved in this.
This time in the UP Board's High School and Intermediate Examination, the country's largest examination system, a total of 56,07,118 candidates have registered and 7,784 examination centres have been set up across the state for this examinations. Those appearing for the high school examination consists of 30,22,607 candidates and 25,84,511 candidates have registered for the intermediate examination.
However, in some districts, question marks are being raised on the board's claim of conducting a test without copying due to the leak of paper on Thursday. The board has also claimed to deal with such people strictly. As of now, it is believed that in the coming days many main subjects examinations are going to be held for both high school and intermediate and so the number of candidates leaving the examination will increase further.

After Amulya Leona, another girl displays 'Dalit Mukti, Kashmir Mukti & Muslim Mukti' placard in Bengaluru
MMNN:21 February 2020

Bengaluru: A day after Amulya Leona incident of raising pro-Pakistan slogans at an anti-CAA rally organised by AIMIM in Karnataka, the state police on Friday (February 21) took another girl in custody for holding a placard reading 'Dalit Mukti, Kashmir Mukti & Muslim Mukti' in Kannada. The girl was sitting among Hindu Jagaran Samiti members who were protesting against Amulya Leona. The Bengaluru Police later disclosed the name of the woman as Arudra.
Confirming the incident, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said that the girl was taken in custody for interrogation. "The girl is a fashion designer ... she is not minor ...She is regretting her action," he said, adding "She does not know anything about CAA /NRC." "Who is instigating these people we need to find out," he added.
Meanwhile, Bhaskar Rao said, "a case has been registered against the girl (Amulya) and others. She has been remanded to judicial custody. We are looking at role of organisers. Role of honourable MP(Asaduddin Owaisi) does not figure anywhere as he was also an invitee."
Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, however, told ANI, "Amulya Leona comes from a place where Naxals have been very active for a long time. She has shared a lot of posts on Facebook. We will investigate these angle as well."
Earlier in the day, Amulya Leona's residence at Gubbi Gadde village Chikmagalur was vandalised by some protesters. Keeping the family's safety in mind, security detail has been provided to the family.
The police filed an FIR against Amulya under Section 124A (Offence of sedition) of the Indian Penal Code and she has been sent to 14-day judicial custody.
Amulya Leona, 24, had raised 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogan during an anti-CAA rally organised by AIMIM in Karnataka on Thursday.
Amulya Leona's father and small-time Janata Dal (Secular) leader Oswald Naronha condemned his daughter's act, and added "the guilty should be punished as per law". He claimed that he had tried advise Amulya many a times but she does not heed his advice.

China denies delay in granting permission to special Indian flight to coronavirus hit-Wuhan
MMNN:21 February 2020

Beijing: China on Friday (February 21) denied any delay in allowing a special Indian flight to the coronavirus-hit Wuhan city to deliver medical supplies and evacuate remaining Indians from there, saying the concerned departments of both the countries were in touch to finalise the schedule.
India on February 17 announced that it will send Indian Air Force's largest plane C-17 Globemaster with medical supplies to Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus, and bring back its nationals as well as citizens from all neighbouring countries who were still stuck there on the return flight.
The special flight to Wuhan is reportedly awaiting clearance from China.
India evacuated 647 Indians and seven Maldivians by operating two Special Air India flights to Wuhan earlier this month.
Asked why there is a delay in granting permission to the third Indian flight, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told an online press briefing on Friday that China has assisted India earlier to evacuate a large number of Indians from Wuhan and Hubei province.
The competent departments on the two sides are still in communication on the arrangement for the remaining 80 people that India plans to fly home. There is no such a thing as China delaying giving flight permissions, he said.
Geng said the Chinese government attaches high importance to the lives and health of all foreign nationals in China.
A Chinese official on Thursday said 29 foreign nationals in China were infected with the novel coronavirus and 18 of them have recovered.
We have offered them all the necessary help they need and will continue to do so. At present, China's prevention efforts have been proven to be effective, he said, referring to Chinese health officials' observation that the cases of the virus have started declining.
We hope that relevant countries will respect the reasonable recommendations given by the WHO (World Health Organisation) and avoid overreacting. China will continue to work with the international community to fight against the epidemic and promote the global cause of public health, he said.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the novel coronavirus in China has risen to 2,236 with 118 more casualties reported, mostly from the hard-hit Hubei province, while the overall confirmed infection cases have climbed to 75,465, Chinese health officials said on Friday.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal meets Home Minister Amit Shah, says no discussion on Shaheen Bagh issue
MMNN:19 February 2020

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday and both the leaders agreed that the Centre and Delhi government need to work together for the development of Delhi.
After the meeting, CM Kejriwal took to micro-blogging site Twitter asserting that the meeting was very good and fruitful. "Met Hon’ble Home Minister Sh Amit Shah Ji. Had a very good and fruitful meeting. Discussed several issues related to Delhi. Both of us agreed that we will work together for the development of Delhi," tweeted CM Kejriwal.
He also said, "It was a good meeting, held in a cordial atmosphere. We held discussions on various issues. We agreed that the Central govt and Delhi govt need to work together for the development of Delhi. We will work together."
When asked if they had discussed the matter of Shaheen Bagh during their meeting, the CM said, "There was no discussion on that."
The two met for the first time after CM Kejriwal took oath for a third consecutive term on February 16 (Sunday). "It is a courtesy call. He is to seek Centre`s cooperation to run Delhi government smoothly," a senior Delhi government official told news agency IANS.
Kejriwal, who won the state Assembly polls with a thumping majority, has been demanding full statehood for Delhi. He has often been at loggerheads with the Centre on the issue of law and order, which comes under the control of the Union Home Ministry.

Cabinet approves Rs 4,458 crore scheme to boost dairy sector, benefitting 95 lakh farmers
MMNN:19 February 2020

New Delhi The Cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs 4,458 crore scheme to boost the dairy sector which will benefit 95 lakh farmers, said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar. Addressing an event in the national capital, Javadekar said that the Cabinet has approved the launch of the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission which will cover the all rural areas as well.
The Cabinet has also approved the elevation of Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG) in Gujarat as Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics. It also gave a nod to the creation of the 22nd Law Commission.
The Cabinet also decided to make the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) voluntary for farmers, said Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. He added that the decision was taken in the cabinet meeting following some complaints regarding the scheme launched in April 2016.
PMFBY is compulsory for loanee farmers availing crop loan and Kishan Credit Card (KCC) account for notified crops, while it is voluntary for others. The scheme provides comprehensive crop insurance from pre-sowing to the post-harvest period against non-preventable natural risks at extremely low premium rates of 2 per cent for Kharif crops, 1.5 per cent for rabi crops and 5 per cent for horticulture and commercial crops.
The cabinet also gave its sanction of Rs 6,000 crore for the Farmer Producers` Organisation (FPO) as the government has a target of creating 1,000 FPOs in the next five years.

Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami announces subsidy for ulemas to buy 2-wheelers; Rs 15 crore for Haj house
MMNN:19 February 2020

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday (February 19) announced 50 per cent subsidy for 'ulemas' to buy two-wheelers and also hiked their pension from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000, during the Budget Session of the state Assembly.
Palaniswami also announced that Rs 15 crore fund would be allotted for Haj house.
The Chief Minister further said that his government will celebrate former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa`s birthday as `State Women Children Protection Day` on February 24. In the state Assembly, the Chief Minister said, "Our state government will celebrate former CM J Jayalalithaa`s birthday on February 24 as State Women Children Protection Day, as she had worked for women and children and had launched many schemes for them."
Jayalalithaa, popularly known as `Amma`, breathed her last on December 5, 2016, at Chennai`s Apollo hospital.
On Tuesday, Palaniswami accused the DMK of deceiving the people over the CAA and dared it to explain "which minority" community has been affected by the law in the state.
Making an intervention in the state assembly when a DMK member batted for a House resolution opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Chief Minister slammed the principal opposition party and said it was deceiving the people on the issue.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly, debating the 2020-21 budget, witnessed exchanges over the controversial law even as protests by Muslims against it continued for the fifth day at Old Washermanpet in Chennai.

Kashi-Mahakal Express inaugural run special: Berth No. 64, Coach B5 reserved for Lord Shiva
MMNN:17 February 2020

New Delhi: Indian Railway's move to reserve seat number 64 in coach B5 for Lord Shiva on the Kashi Mahakal Express, which was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (February 16) from the Varanasi junction, has created controversy as the berth was turned into a mini-temple devoted to Lord Shiva.
The seat number 64 of coach B5 in the Kashi-Mahakal Express has been turned into a mini-temple devoted to Lord Shiva, while it was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing from Varanasi junction on Sunday.
Pictures dedicated to Lord Shiva were kept on the seat by Railway authorities, who are mulling to keep this seat reserved for the Lord in the days ahead, said an ANI report, adding that offering prayers at the seat on auspicious days and occasions are also being considered.
The IRCTC, however, said on Monday that the seat was reserved for Lord Shiva during its inaugural run as a "one-time affair" to seek "blessings" for the success of the new project.
Issuing a statement, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) said the train staff had "temporarily put the photos of Shri Mahakaal" on an upper berth during the inaugural run on Sunday to perform a pooja.
"The inaugural run was also not open to passengers. There is going to be no such reserved or dedicated berth for this purpose in the commercial run of the train which is starting from February 20, 2020 onwards," the statement added.
Notably, AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted a photo of the Preamble of the Constitution, tagging the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and questioning the move by railway authorities.
The train, which will connect three Jyotirlingas -- Omkareshwar near Indore, Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain and Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi, is scheduled to begin its first commercial run on February 20.
It will be the third train to be run by the IRCTC, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations.

Supreme Court judgment on Permanent Commission will uplift women across country not just in Army, say officers
MMNN:17 February 2020

New Delhi: Women Army officers on Monday (February 17) welcomed the Supreme Court order directing the Centre to grant them the Permanent Commission (PC), saying it will help uplift women across the country and not just in the armed forces.
A woman officer, who was accompanied by some other women colleagues from the Army, said whoever qualifies for the job should be given the opportunity to command.
The SC order, which has to be implemented within three months, will uplift women across the country and not just those in the Army, she said.
"Commanding cannot be done right away. It needs training. So give them training and whoever fits the benchmark, should be given the opportunity. As per the Supreme Court ruling, the order will be applied on all serving women officers," the officer said.
Advocate Meenakshi Lekhi, who appeared for women officers, said the apex court judgment has given equal rights to the women officers as their male counterparts.
She said a long-pending right has been given to women officers through this order.
"The sky is virtually the limit," Lekhi said, adding the top court has also made some observations on how the army authorities have been "misleading" the court on the issue.
The top court termed "disturbing", the Centre's argument of physiological limitations and social norms for denying women officers command posts and said there will not be an absolute bar on giving them command postings.
It also said women officers in the past have brought laurels to the country and a change of mindset is required on the part of the government to put an end to gender bias in the armed forces.
The top court said despite there being no stay on a 2010 Delhi High Court verdict allowing the grant of permanent commission to women officers, the Centre has over past one decade shown scant regard in implementing the directive.
It said engagement of women officers in the Army has been an evolutionary process and the Union of India should have acted in accordance with the Delhi High Court judgment when there was no stay on it.

Delhi court issues fresh death warrant for 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case convicts, to be executed on March 3 at 6 am
MMNN:17 February 2020

New Delhi A Delhi court on Monday issued a fresh death warrant for the four convicts of the Nirbhaya gangrape case. The new date issued by the Patiala Court for the hanging of Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, and Mukesh Singh is March 3 at 6 am.
"I expect this to be the final verdict and have high hopes," said Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi. Nirbhaya's father, Badrinath said, "It is a very good thing that people are happy and the whole country is happy. Now the hanging os definite. The guilty will be afraid now. Crime will stop only if punishment is metted out."
Nirbhaya's lawyers Seema Kushwaha said, "Where will the delayed tactics be adopted now when the court said that everything will be done in seven days. The lawyers are trying to mislead."
Earlier in the day, the court heard a plea seeking the issuance of fresh death warrants against all the convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana pronounced the order on a petition. Tihar Jail`s law officer handed over a status report to the court.
Special Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan apprised the court about the current status of the case and also stated that three out of four convicts have already exhausted their legal remedies. There is no petition pending in any court, Mohan said. He also mentioned that Delhi High Court had given seven-day time to the convicts and that period is over.
On February 14, the Supreme Court had dismissed Sharma`s petition. President Ram Nath Kovind had also rejected the mercy petitions of convicts Akshay Thakur and Mukesh Singh. The Delhi High Court on February 5 granted a week`s time to the four convicts to avail of all legal remedies available to them and said that the convicts cannot be hanged separately since they were convicted for the same crime.
A Delhi Court had issued a death warrant against the four convicts on January 7 and they were scheduled to be executed on January 22 at Tihar Jail. Later, the execution was suspended indefinitely by a Delhi court.
The case pertains to the gang-rape and brutalizing of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in Delhi. The woman had died at a Singapore hospital a few days later. One of the five adults accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail during the trial of the case.

Sushma Swaraj Bhawan, the new name of Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra in Delhi
MMNN:13 February 2020

New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday (February 13) decided to rename Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, Delhi as Sushma Swaraj Bhawan & Foreign Service Institute, Delhi as Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service.
The announcement is being made on the eve of her birth anniversary falling on 14th February in honour of the legacy and decades of public service of the former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to pay tribute to her invaluable contribution.
Remembering Sushma Swaraj, EAM Dr S Jaishankar tweeted, "Glad to announce that the Government has decided to rename Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra as Sushma Swaraj Bhawan and Foreign Service Institute as Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service. A fitting tribute to a great public figure who continues to inspire us."
On Augst 6, 2019 Sushma Swaraj passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest. A politician of many firsts, her demise marked an end to a political era in Delhi, where she was the last of surviving former Chief Ministers after the death of Sheila Dikshit.
Sushma Swaraj became the first woman Chief Minister of Delhi in 1998, albeit for a short period. Her successor was Sheila Dikshit, who went on to occupy the post for 15 long years and who passed away last month.
In her political career spanning over five decades, Sushma Swaraj was the first full-time woman External Affairs Minister (2014-19). She was also the first woman Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha -- between 2009 and 2014.
She entered politics when few women did so. She was not only the first woman spokesperson in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but also in any national party, and became the youngest Cabinet Minister in Haryana at age 25 in 1977.
Born to a father who was a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Sushma Swaraj joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after Emergency and steadily rose the ranks.

Maternal uncle arrested for allegedly killing family of 5 in Delhi's Bhajanpura
MMNN:13 February 2020

New Delhi: The horrific murders of five members of a family in Northeast Delhi's Bhajanpura was allegedly carried out by the maternal uncle of the head of the family, Shambhu Chaudhary. Police arrested Shambhu's maternal uncle Prabhu Mishra on Thursday for the crime.
Prabhu committed the gruesome crime as he was unable to return Rs 30,000 that he had borrowed from Shambhu who had been putting pressure on him to pay back the amount. Shambhu and Prabhu had quarrelled over the money on several occasions with the former demanding that he (Prabhu) return the money at the earliest.
Police initially arrested Prabhu on the basis of suspicion. During interrogation, Prabhu broke down and allegedly confessed to the five murders.
All the five dead bodies were in a house in Bhajanpura on Wednesday. The five identified as Shambhu Chaudhary (43), his wife Sunita (37), son Shivam (17), son Sachin (14) and daughter Komal (12) had been killed with a sharp-edged weapon and bore injury marks on their neck and other parts of the body.
Police began investigating the case from a personal enmity angle as no traces of loot was found in the house. Shambhu ran a small juice stall and also drove an e-rickshaw in the locality. Hailing from Bihar's Supaul district, he was a tenant in the house where he and his family were killed.
The murders came to light after neighbours complained of a foul smell emanating from the house, which was locked from outside, and informed the police. The police broke open the door and found the five decomposed bodies. A forensic team was also called to the spot to collect evidence, said Ved Prakash Surya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northeast).

Fire breaks out at Rolta Technology Park building in Mumbai's Andheri East
MMNN:13 February 2020

Mumbai: Fire breaks out in an office building at Andheri East, Mumbai on Thursday (February 13). As many as 12 fire tenders reached the spot to douse the massive fire.
The reason behind the fire incident is yet to be ascertained. People near the building were evacuated as soon as the incident took place.
A level-III fire has been reported at Rolta company in Andheri East. The fire is said to be confined to the server room on the second floor of the Rolta company.
Meanwhile, the search operation is underway to search and rescue any trapped persons.
Because of aluminum cladding and glass facade and no ventilation situation is still grave.
Meanwhile, firemen are battling from inside as well as outside the building using special appliances, donning breathing apparatus sets, to douse the fire
A total of 27 vehicles have reached the spot, including 11 fire engines and 9 jet tankers, control the fire.

Second group of 25 foreign envoys in Jammu and Kashmir for two-day visit
MMNN:12 February 2020

JAMMU AND KASHMIR A second group of foreign envoys reached Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday on a two-day visit, February 12-13, to take stock of the ground situation after the abrogation of Article 370. The delegation has 25 diplomats, including 10 from the European Union (EU), from different countries.
The group will visit Baramulla, Srinagar and Jammu where they would meet representatives of the civil society, including youth from different ethnic, religious and socio-economic communities, local business and political leaders, civil administration and representatives of mainstream media.
They will also receive a briefing about the development programmes being implemented, get an assessment of the security situation, and witness for themselves the progressive normalisation of the situation.
The group comprises of envoys from Afghanistan, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, European Union, France, Germany, Guinea, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Rwanda, Slovak Republic, Tajikistan, Uganda, and Uzbekistan.
The team reached Srinagar at 11 am and after reaching their hotel took a Shikara ride in Dal Lake. After this, the members went to the hotel back there they are meeting various delegations. They will get information about the situation arising after August 5. They will stay the night in Srinagar and on Thursday go to Jammu where they will meet LG and maybe with some political leaders.
India had taken the first batch of 15 envoys on January 9-10. These envoys included from countries of Latin America, Africa, ASEAN and envoy of the US. The demand for statehood, restoration of internet, development dominated the discourse during the envoy's meet with civil society in Srinagar.
US had called the visit an important step but raised concern over the detention of political leaders. US state dept's Alice Wells in a tweet had said, "Closely following @USAmbIndia & other foreign diplomats’ recent trip to Jammu & Kashmir. Important step. We remain concerned by the detention of political leaders and residents, and internet restrictions. We look forward to a return to normalcy."
In October 2019, a group of European parliamentarians were taken on a visit but that was in their private capacity.

Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi breaks down, says 'losing faith in court and legal procedures'
MMNN:12 February 2020

Delhi Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi on Wednesday broke down outside a trial court premises in the national capital while protesting over the delay in the hanging of the four convicts in the gangrape and murder case of her daughter. This happened after the Patiala House Court offered Pawan Gupta, one of the convicts, legal aide saying that a condemned convict is entitled to it till his last breath.
The parents of Nirbhaya and the Delhi government had moved the court on February 11 seeking fresh death warrants for the four convicts after the Supreme Court granted liberty to the authorities to approach the trial court for issuance of fresh date for the execution of these convicts.
A weeping Asha Devi stated that she has been patiently fighting for the last eight years but she is losing faith in court and its legal procedures. "I am losing faith and hope now. The court must understand the delay tactics of the convicts. Now if a new lawyer is provided to convict Pawan he/she will take his/her own time to go through case files," stated Nirbhaya's mother.
She also said, "The judge does not want to fix a date for hanging the convicts and is supporting them. I appeal to the Supreme Court to issue the death warrant as the Patiala House Court is in no mood to issue a fresh death warrant."
Wiping her tears, she further said, "I am wandering here and there to get justice for my daughter. These convicts are using delaying tactics. I don't know why the Court is not able to understand this."
Earlier, crying inside the court premises, she said, "What about my rights? I am standing with folded hands. Please issue the death warrant. I am also a human being. It’s been more than seven years." Replying to her the judge said, "You have rights that's why we are listening to you."
The advocate for Nirbhaya's parents said, "All delay tactics are being used. Pawan Gupta has not filed curative and mercy petitions. The Delhi High Court's order had directed them to exhaust remedies if available in seven days but that time has lapsed. Now they can't say that they want remedies."
Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana expressed displeasure over delay from Pawan's side who said he has removed his earlier lawyer and will need time to engage a new one. District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) provided Pawan's father with a list of its empanelled advocates to chose from.
The date of execution, first fixed for January 22 in Tihar jail, was postponed for 6 am on February 1 by a January 17 court order. The trial court later, on January 31 stayed, "till further orders" the execution of the four convicts in the case, who are lodged in Tihar Jail.
The Tihar jail authorities had filed a status report on Tuesday before the trial court stating that no legal option was preferred by any convicts -- Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) -- in last seven-day period, granted by the Delhi High Court.

Now, non-subsidised LPG cylinder to cost you more! Price hiked by Rs 144
MMNN:12 February 2020

New Delhi: State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on Wednesday (February 12, 2020) hiked the price of non-subsidised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders across metro cities by over Rs 100. The new rates would be applicable from today. The LPG cylinder prices had not increased after January 1, 2020.
According to Indian Oil, "In Delhi price of Indane gas rose to Rs 858.50 (increased by Rs 144.50), in Kolkata Rs 896.00 (increased by Rs 149), in Mumbai Rs 829.50 (increased by Rs 145) and in Chennai Rs 881.00 (increased by Rs 147)."
Indian Oil is the country`s largest fuel retailer which supplies LPG under brand Indane.
Currently, LPG consumers in the country have to purchase the fuel at market prices.
The government subsidises 12 cylinders of 14.2 kg each per household in a year by providing the subsidy amount directly in the bank accounts of users.
This subsidy amount depends on changes in the average international benchmark LPG rate and foreign exchange rate.

Budget Will "Energise Financial System And Credit Flow" Says PM Modi
MMNN:1 February 2020

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hailed the Union budget which comes amid a major slowdown in economy, saying it will "increase income and investment, demand and consumption, energise the financial system and credit flow". The budget has further strengthened the government's commitment of minimum government, maximum governance, the Prime Minister said, adding that it has also eased the taxation process.
Besides putting more money into the hands of the salaried class through optional tax cuts, the budget, PM Modi said, opened up options for employment generation.
"Smart cities, data centre parks, biotechnology - we have taken several policy initiatives," the Prime Minister said, adding that India is going to become a "big part of the global value chain".
The budget comes amid a downward spiral of the GDP over the last five quarters. It slowed to 4.5 per cent in the July-September quarter - the weakest pace since 2013. This is the biggest slowdown since the 2008-09 global financial crisis.
The Finance Minister has said the fiscal deficit is estimated at 3.8 per cent (revised estimate for 2019-20) of the gross domestic product in the current financial year, and the government aims to lower it to 3.5 per cent in the financial year ending March 2021.
The fiscal plan, she said, is based on three main themes: an "aspirational India, economic development for all and a caring society".

Rs 100 Crore For India Hosting G20 Presidency: Finance Minister
MMNN:1 February 2020

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the Budget presentation in Lok Sabha on Saturday said India will host the G20 Presidency in 2022 and the government has allocated Rs 100 crore for making preparations for this historic occasion, where it will drive global economic agenda.
The Group of 20 nations (G20) is an international grouping consisting of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US.
It was conceived as a bloc to create a common platform to bring together the industrialised and developing economies, to have a discussion on international economic and financial stability. With India hosting the G20 Presidency, it is expected to play a crucial role in driving the global economic agenda.
The meeting of world leaders is usually preceded by ministerial meeting of finance and trade ministers, and central bank governors. This meeting designs the economic agenda for the world leaders to discuss. In 2022, India would look to leverage this opportunity to increase its footprints in the global economic agenda.
The G20 is often credited with containing the shift to protectionism in the backdrop of the global financial meltdown in 2008. To counter this economic meltdown, the G20 decided to a three-fold increase in the International Monetary Fund's budget and gave development banks more remit.

Budget Highlights 2020: Know Key Takeaways Of Union Budget
MMNN:1 February 2020

New Delhi: Union Budget 2020 was today presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanin a bid to revive the economic growth and boost people's income. The Budget is based on three themes - aspirational India, economic development for all, and caring society. The Finance Minister began her speech by saying that the Budget 2020-21 is for boosting income and improving the purchasing power of people. The Finance Minister said the fiscal deficit is estimated at 3.8 per cent (revised estimate for 2019-20) of the gross domestic product in the current financial year, and the government aims to lower it to 3.5 per cent (budget estimate for 2020-21) in the financial year ending March 2021. She proposed to allocate Rs 69,000 crore to the healthcare sector and Rs 12,300 crore to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flagship cleanliness programme Swachh Bharat Mission. The Finance Minister also earmarked another Rs 3.6 lakh crore towards the supply of piped water to households. Here are some of the highlights of budget 2020.
Highlights Of Union Budget 2020:
Budget Highlight: INCOME TAX:
The income tax rates have been revised.
5% tax for income between Rs 2.5-5 lakh
10% tax for income between Rs 5-7.5 lakh as against 20%
15% tax for income between Rs 7.5-10 lakh as against 20% 20% tax for income between Rs 10-12.5 lakh as against 30%
25% tax for income between Rs 12.5-15 lakh as against 30%
30% tax for income above Rs 15 lakh
Income tax rates will be significantly reduced for those who forego reliefs, exemptions, said Finance Minister
Budget Highlight:HEALTHCARE
Rs 690 billion will be spent toward healthcare spending
Budget Highlight: TRANSPORT
100 more airports are planned by 2024
Over 6,000 km of highways in 12 lots will be monetized by 2024
One major airport will be privatized
High-speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will be actively pursued, Nirmala Sitharaman says while presenting Union Budget 2020.
The government is committed to doubling farmers' income by 2022, the Finance Minister said, as she proposed to allocate Rs 2.83 lakh crore for agriculture and rural sectors such as irrigation.
Budget Highlight: MANUFACTURING
Schemes that encourage manufacturing of mobile phones, electronic equipment and semiconductor packaging will be introduced
Private sector to build Data Centre Parks throughout the country will be encouraged
80 billion rupees over five years to be provided for quantum technologies and applications
Milk processing capacity to be doubled by 2025
Insurance cover for bank depositors to be raised to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh
Budget Highlight: INFRASTRUCTURE
5 new smart cities in public-private partnership mode
Delhi-Mumbai Expressway to be completed by 2023
100 more airports to be developed by 2024
Estimated nominal GDP growth rate for 2020-21 is 10 per cent, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Wealth creators will be respected in this country, tax harassment will not be tolerated, she added.

ISRO unveils female humanoid for Gaganyaan mission: Meet Vyommitra
MMNN:22 January 2020

ISRO The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday unveiled the female humanoid to be placed in the first unmanned mission under the Gaganyaan mission. Gaganyaan is India's first human space mission.
Named Vyommitra, the robot is a prototype of humanoid and will go as a trial before the Gaganyaan goes up with the astronauts. 'Vyommitra' will simulate most of the human body functions and report back to ISRO.
ISRO scientist Sam Dayal said, "It will try to simulate a human and report back to us. We are doing this as an experiment."
Earlier, ISRO had announced that four astronauts have been identified for the Gaganyaan mission. Sources told Zee Media that all the four astronauts selected for the mission are men but their identity cannot be revealed.
The training of the astronauts will start in Russia in January. The shortlisted astronauts will receive training for 11 months. After receiving training in Russia, the astronauts will receive module-specific training in India. In this training, the astronauts will be trained in crew and service module designed by ISRO, learn to operate it, work around it and do simulations. On January 1, 2020, ISRO chief had said that the Gaganyaan project is currently the top priority of the scientists at Bengaluru-based ISRO.
As per the ISRO sources, India's heaviest launch vehicle “Bahubali” GSLV Mark-III will the carry astronauts to space. Notably, the Union Cabinet has already sanctioned Rs10,000 crore for the Gaganyaan project. This followed the announcement made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day last year, stating that the Gaganyaan launch in 2022 will coincide with the 75th year of India’s Independence.
Though the first Indian to go into space was Rakesh Sharma in 1984 but the spacecraft in which he went was not Indian. Therefore, Gaganyaan will be the first-ever human space mission conceived and developed in India, as a distinct illustration of the Prime Minister’s 'Make in India' vision.
On September 21, 2019, ISRO chief Dr K Sivan had said that the Gaganyaan mission is extremely important for India because it will boost the science and technology capability of the country.

Interpol issues Blue Corner notice against fugitive godman Nithyananda
MMNN:22 January 2020

New Delhi: The Interpol has issued a Blue Corner notice against fugitive self-styled godman Nithyananda, wanted in India for alleged rape and abduction, officials said on Wednesday.
Officials told IANS that the notice was issued much before on the request of Gujarat Police to locate the controversial godman. A Blue Corner notice makes it mandatory for member countries to share whereabouts of a person involved in a crime.
Nithyananda had allegedly fled India without a passport to save himself from a rape case registered against him in Karnataka.
The Ministry of External Affairs had last year cancelled Nithyananda`s passport, and also "sensitised" all its foreign missions and posts to keep track of his movements.
The MEA said Nithyananda had a passport issued in 2008 with a 10-year validity but it was cancelled before 2018. Nithyananda had applied for a fresh passport but was denied police clearance.
Recently, Ecuador denied Nithyananda`s presence and said it had rejected his request for asylum.
Nithyananda`s real name is Rajashekharan and he is a native of Tamil Nadu. He opened an ashram near Bengaluru in the early 2000s. His teachings were said to be based on those of Osho Rajneesh.
In 2010 a video of him in a compromising position with an actress emerged online and he was later arrested on charges of rape. He was also arrested and charge-sheeted in a separate case of rape later.
According to reports, Nithyananda is now being investigated by French authorities for alleged fraud involving $4,00,000.
Last month, an FIR was registered against Nithyananda after two girls went missing from his ashram in Ahmedabad -- Yogini Sarvagyapeetham. He was charged with kidnapping and wrongful confinement of children to make them collect donations from followers to run his ashram

Those who have problems with CAA can come to us: Rajnath Singh
MMNN:22 January 2020

Meerut: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday strongly defended the Citizenship Amendment Act and said that the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre does not discriminate between Hindus and Muslims and those who have problems with the law can come to us.
Addressing a mega rally in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act in Meerut’s Shatabdi Nagar, the Defence Minister said, ''We promised that we will bring CAA. We have fulfilled our promise. We did nothing wrong. We didn't do any injustice to anyone. The law was brought in the best interest of the country. Despite our sincere efforts, the law is being seen from the point of view of Hindus and Muslims. I want to say that those who have problems with the law, they can come to us.''
The veteran BJP leader also slammed the opposition parties for deliberately opposing the citizenship law and instilling fears in the minds of the minorities.
''Some political parties are conspiring against the government and spreading rumours to create fear in the minds of minority community members. I urge you not to fall in their trap. The Narendra Modi government is continuously working for your welfare,'' Singh said.
While stressing that the amended Citizenship Act is not anti-Muslim, Singh said that the Modi government remains committed to the welfare of all sections of the society as it works with the motto of 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas.'

Earlier today, Singh called the youths and children of Jammu and Kashmir as ''nationalists'', who are sometimes being misguided by people with a vested interest.
The comments from the Defence Minister came days after Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said that the girls and boys, as young as 10 and 12, were being radicalised in Kashmir, adding that it was a matter of concern.
"The kids of Jammu Kashmir are nationalists. They shouldn't be seen in any other way," Singh, who visited the NCC Republic Day Camp in Delhi, said when asked about his opinion on kids in the state who are being motivated to join the National Cadet Corps.
The BJP veteran leader had come to Meerut to address a mega rally in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act as part of the government's effort to reach out to Muslims to address their concerns regarding the CAA.
Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma and BJP state president Swatantra Dev Singh were also present at the rally which was attended by nearly 30,000 people.
This is the first big rally in favour of CAA in the Meerut district and local leaders have been working overnight to ensure overwhelming strength at the rally.
On Tuesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed a mega rally in Lucknow during which he clarified that there is no provision in the amended law for taking anyone's citizenship away and the law will not be withdrawn despite protests.
“A canard is being spread against the CAA by the Congress, SP, BSP, and Trinamool Congress,” he said. The CAA is a law to grant citizenship, he added. “I want to say that irrespective of the protests, it will not be withdrawn,” Shah added.
According to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

Indian Navy signs MoU for seabed data with GSI
MMNN:21 January 2020

New Delhi: The Indian Navy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Geological Survey of India (GSI) for the sharing of seabed sediments data, products and expertise for naval application in meteorology and oceanography.
The MoU was signed on Tuesday between Commodore AA Abhyankar, who heads the Indian Navy`s Oceanology and Meteorology Directorate and N Maran, Deputy Director-General of GSI.
GSI`s marine and coastal survey division based at Mangaluru has mapped most of India`s 2.1 million square kilometres `Exclusive Economic Zone` and has a vast repository of offshore data, according to an official statement.
"This data collected using GSI`s state-of-the-art oceanic research vessels Samudra Manthan, Samudra Kaustubh, Samudra Shaudhikama and Samudra Ratnakar, will now be used by Indian Navy`s rapidly growing blue water fleet for reliable and accurate oceanographic modelling to support their expansive maritime operations in the Indian Ocean region," it read.

Will bring anti-Citizenship Amendment Act resolution soon, says Mamata Banerjee, appeals other states to boycott law
MMNN:20 January 2020

New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday (January 20) announced that a resolution against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) would be passed in the state Assembly soon. The Trinamool supremo, who has strongly opposed the amended citizenship law, said that she would urge other states to pass such a resolution.
The CPI(M) government in Kerala and the Congress government in Punjab have already passed a resolution demanding to scrap the contentious CAA.
Meanwhile, the Congress government in Rajasthan has reportedly decided to move a resolution in the state Assembly against CAA in the Budget session beginning from January 24.
Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray is also planning to bring out such a resolution in the state assembly, news agency ANI has reported.
Besides, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh also also considering to bring in resolution in the legislative assemblies against the enforcement of the CAA, senior Congress leader Ahmad Patel had said earlier.
On January 22, Mamata is scheduled to take out a rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Population Register and National Register of Citizens.

Hizbul Mujahideen on verge of being completely wiped out in south Kashmir: J&K DGP Dilbag Singh
MMNN:20 January 2020

Kashmir. The proscribed terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen is on the verge of being completely wiped out in south Kashmir asserted Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh on Monday. Singh also said that the year 2020 started with several successful operations.
The DGP also said that a total of three terrorists, including HM commander Wasim Ahmed Wani, were neutralised in Shopian district. Active since 2017, Wani had 19 FIRs against him and was also involved in the killing of four civilians and cops each. The second terrorist was Adil Sheikh and the third was identified as Jahangir.
The three terrorists were gunned down by security forces after an encounter in Wachi village of Shopian district. A cordon and search operation was launched by a joint team of Indian Army's 55 Rashtriya Rifles and Special Group of Jammu and Kashmir police in the morning after credible inputs were received about the presence of terrorists in Wachi village. During the operation by security forces, the three terrorists, who were hiding in a residential house, opened fire on security personnel which led to the encounter.
Sheikh belonged to Zainapora village in Shopian. He was responsible for looting eight weapons from the residence of former PDP MLA Ajaj Mir in Jawahar Nagar in Srinagar on September 29, 2018. The second terrorist was identified as Waseem Wani, a resident of Urpora village in Shopian district, while, the identity of the third militant is still unknown.
Speaking on former Jammu and Kashmir DSP Devinder Singh, he said that the case has been transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), adding that it will not be right for him to make a comment on it. "Some findings have come out, they are before the NIA. His custody is being given to the investigating agency. It is being investigated in the right direction," he said.
On reports that Devinder Singh's visit to Bangladesh, the DGP said, "It has come to our knowledge that his daughters studied in Bangladesh. It is being investigated if his visits were only restricted to that angle."

Shaheen Bagh protestors look to Jan 22 Supreme Court hearing
MMNN:20 January 2020

New Delhi: The Shaheen Bagh protest entered 37th day here on Monday as protestors are not willing to quit without a concrete result on the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Except appeals by some low-rung police officers, no serious effort has been made to persuade the activists to leave the spot. The number of protestors is swelling as people talk of the January 22 apex court hearing and are gearing up to withstand the odds till then.
"We will not go back an inch. We are getting an unprecedented support and look towards the apex court with hope," said Mohd Ehtesham, a protestor.
The Delhi High Court had refused to intervene on the issue of removal of protestors and the onus was on the administration, said Mehmood Pracha, a lawyer. "The fight is not only about the CAA, but to save the Constitution. The government design is mischievous and it`s also targeting Dalits," Pracha said.
On the important role of the judiciary, former Union Minister and a noted lawyer Salman Khurshid said on social media, "One hopes the Supreme Court will be able to find a solution that balances the competing aspirations within the federal structure and constitutional morality, keeping in mind the conventions that need to be respected. Of course, the Supreme Court judgment will be the last word till a future Parliament chooses to reverse it."
"January 22 could be a big day for the people who are against the draconian and divisive CAA," said Zulqarnain, who has been participating in the protest site from day one.

Prepaid mobile phone services to be restored in Jammu and Kashmir
MMNN:18 January 2020

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government will restore the voice calling and SMS services on prepaid SIM cards in Kashmir, government spokesman Rohit Kansal said at a press conference in Jammu on Saturday.
He said that restricted 2G Internet service will be restored on the postpaid SIM cards in Bandipora and Kupwara districts of Kashmir and 10 other districts of Jammu.
Internet was suspended all across Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5. The broadband services were, however, restored later in Jammu region.
Also, mobile and broadband services were restored in the Ladakh region but in Kashmir, all forms of Internet continued to remain suspended.
The government had earlier restored Internet services in hospitals and government offices in the valley.

NIA begins probe against DSP Devinder Singh arrested with Hizbul terrorists in J&K
MMNN:18 January 2020

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the arrest of Jammu and Kashmir DSP Devinder Singh for ferrying Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, is expected to bring the suspended cop to Delhi for interrogation. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on January 16 asked the agency to start the investigation into Singh's arrest and take a close look at his alleged involvement with terror groups, according to news agency ANI.
According to reports, the NIA will also take the arms and ammunition, that was recovered from Singh's residence during a raid, into its possession. A day after Singh's arrest, the Jammu and Kashmir Police conducted raids at the police officer's properties and recovered AK-47, hand grenades and a pistol.
Devinder Singh was arrested on Saturday along with Hizbul Mujahideen commander Naveed Babu, his accomplice Rafi Ahmad and a lawyer named Irfan from a car on the highway near Kulgam. He was allegedly helping Babu travel to Pakistan in connivance with Irfan.
Baba is an ex-cop who disappeared in 2017 and joined militancy. He was the second top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in south Kashmir area after Riyaz Naikoo. According to the police, Baba was involved in the killing of many policemen and burning of orchards in Shopian. There are 17 cases said to be registered against Baba.
Following his arrest, he was interrogated by a joint team of the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir and was booked under the Unlawful Activity Act. During his interrogation, Singh maintained that he had no any link to Hizbul militants and that he was taking the terrorists to surrender; but interrogators have dismissed his claims.
According to IANS sources, a sum of Rs 12 lakh may have been given to Singh to move out the two Hizbul militants to Jammu on their way to Chandigarh and onward to Delhi to carry out attacks on or before the Republic Day.
Davinder Singh was posted with the anti-hijacking unit at Srinagar Airport and was one of the officials that received the 16-member delegation of foreign ambassadors which visited Kashmir on Thursday. On January 13, he was suspended from his services and is likely to be stripped of all his awards, including a gallantry medal for anti-militancy operations on August 15 last year.
Intelligence sources told IANS that Singh disclosed that he had put up the terrorists at his Indira Nagar house in Srinagar, right next to the Army's 15 Corps Headquarters, and thereafter accompanied them to Jammu in a car driven by the Hizbul overground worker.
Since the arrest of Singh and the two Hizb militants, security agencies carried out multiple raids across the Union Territory, especially Srinagar and south Kashmir, and seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition stashed by the officer and the terrorists.

Nirbhaya case: Fresh death warrant issued for convicts hanging on February 1
MMNN:17 January 2020

New Delhi: A fresh death warrant has been issued on Friday (January 17) for the hanging of Nirbhaya rape and murder convicts on February 1 at 6 am.
The hanging of all the four convicts will take place at the same time in Delhi's Tihar jail.
Reacting to the latest development, Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi on Friday said that political parties were playing politics over the sensitive issue. "The government can`t see our pain. I lost my daughter seven years ago I want justice," Asha Devi told Zee News.
Earlier, she had alleged foul play in the case and that the execution of four convicts was deliberately being delayed.

BJP releases first list of 57 candidates for Delhi assembly election; Kapil Mishra to contest from Model Town
MMNN:17 January 2020

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday released its first list of 57 candidates for the upcoming assembly election in Delhi.
Take a look at the party candidates of BJP for Delhi assembly election:
Narela: Nildaman
Timarpur: Surendra Singh Bittu
Adarsh Nagar: Rajkumar Bhatia
Badli: Vijay Bhagat
Rithala: Manish Chaudhary
Bawana (SC): Ravindra Kumar
Munrika: Master Azad Singh
Kirari: Anil Jha
Sultanpur Majra (SC): Ramchandra Chabariya
Mangolpuri (SC): Karam Singh Karma
Rohini: Vijendra Gupta
Shalimar Bagh: Rekha Gupta
Shakurbasti: SP Vats
Trinagar: Tilakram Gupta
Wazirpur: Dr. Mahendra Nagpal
Model Town: Kapil Mishra
Sadar Bazaar:
Chandni Chowk: Suman Kumar Gupta
Sadar Bazaar: Jay Prakash
Badli: Vijay Bhagat
Matia Mahal - Shree Ravinder Gupta (Minister)
Ballimaran: Smt. Lata Shori
Karol Bagh (SC): Yogendra Chandalia
Patel Nagar (SC): Parvesh Ratan
Moti Nagar: Subhash Sachedeva
Madipur (SC): Shri Kailash
Tilak Nagar: Rajiv Babbar
Vikaspuri: Shri Sanjay Singh
Uttam Nagar: Krishna Gehlot
Dwarka: Pardyun Rajput
Matialia: Rajesh Gehlot
Nazafgarh: Ajit KHarkhde
Bijwasan: Satprakash Rana
Palam: Vijay Pandit
Rajinder Nagar: RP Singh
Jangpura: Sardar Kulpreet Singh Bhakshi
Malvia Nagar: Salendra Singh Monty
RK Puram: Anil Sharma
Chhatarpur: Brahm Singh Tawar
Deoli (SC): Arvind Kumar
Ambedkar Nagar (SC): Khusi Ram
Greater Kailash: Shikha Rai
Tughlkabad extension: Vikram Badhuri
Badarpur: Ramvir Singh Bidhuri

1993 Mumbai blast convict 'Dr Bomb' Jalees Ansari, who jumped parole, arrested
MMNN:17 January 2020

New Delhi: Jalees Ansari, a doctor by profession and convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, who was out on parole, and had gone missing from his home in Mumbai, was on Friday (January 17) arrested from Kanpur. A joint search was launched by Mumbai Crime Branch, Mumbai ATS and other intelligence agencies after Ansari was reported to have gone missing during his parole.
Ansari, also known as 'Dr Bomb' for his alleged expertise in bomb-making, was reportedly staying at his Mumbai residence after being released on 21-day parole. However, he mysteriously disappeared on Thursday morning following which his family members lodged a 'missing' complaint at the Agripada Police Station. In their complaint, one of Ansari's four sons Zaid told the police that his father was missing since the morning of January 16.
The Mumbai Police then launched a manhunt to trace Jalees Ansari, wanted in over 50 bomb blast cases all over the country. The Mumbai Police also deputed several teams to locate him.
Ansari has been serving a life term and was recently released from the Ajmer Central Prison in Rajasthan.
During the parole period, Ansari was directed to visit the Agripada Police Station to mark his attendance every day. Over 250 people died while 713 others were injured after a series of bomb blasts rocked Mumbai City on March 12, 1993.

BJP slams AAP for inducting Sharia law defender Shoaib Iqbal in party
MMNN:10 January 2020

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party launched a no-holds-barred attack on the Aam Aadmi Party on Friday by releasing a purported video where newly-inducted AAP leader Shoaib Iqbal`s son Mohammad Iqbal is seen vehemently defending 'sharia' law.
"Councillor Mohammad Iqbal who is the son of Shoaib Iqbal said in his speech during the CAA protest that `Narendra Modi, you may be a Mota Bhai (elder brother) of whosoever it may be... listen to me, from this square of this Jama Masjid we tell you that we are ready to be killed but will not tolerate infringement on sharia," said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra. Patra added, "What kind of language is this, will this country run according to Sharia now?"
Interestingly, Shoaib Iqbal joined the Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday which makes his son`s alleged comment a politically significant weapon for the BJP which it wishes to use against the ruling party of Delhi ahead of the Assembly polls.
Accusing the Aam Aadmi Party of indulging in "politics of appeasement", Patra sought to highlight communalism in the violent anti-CAA protests. The BJP spokesperson claimed, "An atmosphere of violence is being created about CAA, across the country. So it can be said that a 20-20 match of appeasement is going on."
Using the 'sharia' comment of Iqbal, Patra further alleged that "Aam Aadmi Party, Congress, TMC, Asaduddin Owaisi`s party together want to create an atmosphere of violence and arson by inciting Muslims."
He also read out a long list of cases pertaining to criminal intimidation, voluntarily causing hurt, robbery, dacoity, among others which are slapped against former Congressman Shoaib Iqbal who joined AAP ahead of Delhi polls.
"This is an unending list, and these are just a few examples of the credibility and credentials of Shoaib Iqbal, who has joined the Aam Aadmi Party yesterday," said Patra.
Iqbal is known to wield influence in Ballimaran, Matia Mahal and Chandni Chowk Assembly constituencies which have a considerable Muslim population.
Delhi will go to polls on February 8.

Suspected ISIS terrorists instructed to attack police and Army recruitment camps, target RSS leaders: Delhi Police
MMNN:10 January 2020

New Delhi:The three suspected ISIS terrorists, who were arrested on December 9, confessed on Friday that they were instructed to launch attacks on police and Army recruitment camps. The Special Cell of the Delhi Police arrested the trio from Wazirabad in the national capital after a brief encounter. Several arms and ammunition were also recovered from them.
During the investigation on Friday, the suspected terrorists said that they were also ordered to target Hindu as well as RSS leaders across the country including the Delhi-NCR region. Further, they were also asked to target Hindu leaders based on posters displayed across several places in the national capital.
The terrorists spoke in code words and the Special Cell is trying to decode them. The team is still questioning the suspects.
On Thursday (December 9), in a press conference, the Delhi Police said that the three terrorists were radicalised and they were a part of an ISIS-inspired module. They were arrested by a team of the Special Cell after 14 rounds of firing.
As per a tip-off, six murder accused in the murder of K P Suresh, leader of Hindu Munnani for Thiruvallur East district, absconded from Tamil Nadu. They went to Nepal and from there they entered India. They had a foreign-based handler who was helping them. They were planning attacks in NCR and Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier, sources with the intelligence agencies had warned that at least five ISIS-trained terrorists had entered India through Nepal and were believed to be in Uttar Pradesh. Following which districts close to the Nepal border like Basti, Gorakhpur, Siddharthnagar, Kushinagar and Maharajganj were put on high alert.
Basti IG range Ashutosh Kumar had confirmed the report saying that they had received information about two terrorists entering the country and that they were currently in Uttar Pradesh.

Indefinite suspension of internet not permissible: SC on J&K restrictions — Key points
MMNN:10 January 2020

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday (January 10) said that the indefinite shutdown of internet and restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir was unwarranted, thus rebuking the government for the communication lockdown in the region since August last year. The court said that the indefinite suspension of internet violated India's telecom rules and ordered the J&K administration to review all curbs in a week's time.
Below are some of the key highlights from Justice NV Ramana's ruling as he delivered the verdict on J&K restrictions today:
The court will not delve into the political intent behind the orders. Liberty and security are always at loggerheads. It is the court's job to ensure that the citizens are provided all rights and security.
Kashmir has seen a lot of violence and that it will try to maintain a balance between human rights and freedoms with the issue of security.
It is no doubt that freedom of speech is an essential tool in a democratic setup. The freedom of internet access is a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.
Suspension of free movement, Internet and basic freedoms cannot be an arbitrary exercise of power. Mere expression of dissent or disagreement against a government decision cannot be the reason for internet suspension. Suspending internet should be reviewed forthwith. Such suspension can only be for a limited time period and is subject to judicial review.
Freedom of speech and expression includes the right to internet within Article 19. The administration must consider restoring government websites and e-facilities where internet abuse is minimal. A complete ban on the internet must be considered by the state only as an extraordinary measure
The test of proportionality needs to be satisfied in such restrictions. This freedom can only be restricted after relevant factors are considered and only if there are no other options. All restrictive orders in Jammu and Kashmir over the past five months following the scrapping of Article 370 are to be made public so they can be challenged legally in Jammu and Kashmir High Court and Supreme Court.
Disagreement does not justify destabilization. The power under Section 144 of CrPC cannot be used as a curb on the legitimate expression of democratic rights. The freedom of the press is a part of right under 19(1)(a) and is required in every modern democracy.
Magistrates, while passing prohibitory orders, should apply mind and follow doctrine of proportionality.
It (Section 144) can't be used as a tool to oppress difference of opinion.

Centre begins One Nation One Ration Card facility in 12 states
MMNN:1 January 2020

New Delhi: The Central government has commenced One Nation One Ration Card facility in as many as 12 states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Jharkhand, and Tripura from Wednesday (January 1, 2020).
The beneficiaries of the public distribution system of these 12 states will now be able to get their share of ration from their current ration card while residing in any of these states. By June 2020, all the states of the country will be connected with the One Nation One Ration Card facility.
Under this provision, a standard format of the new Ration Card is being provided asking the states to emulate the new format, which will be launched from June 1, 2020. The ration cards issued by different states and union territories will have a similar standard format.
On the basis of the old card, beneficiaries of the public distribution system will be able to get a new ration card.
The facility would be made available after biometric/Aadhaar authentication on electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan had told the Lok Sabha on December 3, 2019.
Paswan had also informed the House that the facility of inter-state portability under the 'One Nation One Ration Card' would be available only through the FPSs having fully online ePoS devices.

UP Minority Minister Mohsin Raza accuses PFI of radicalising Muslim youth
MMNN:1 January 2020

Uttar Pradesh Uttar Pradesh's Minority Minister Mohsin Raza accused Popular Front of India (PFI) of misleading the Muslim youths and spreading Islamic extremism in the country. He also called PFI a front for the banned group SIMI and claimed that the organisation received its funding from Pakistan's intelligence wing ISI.
He further alleged that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, which supports organisations like PFI, too get their funding from ISI.
"When Pakistan Zindabad slogans were raised in Lucknow, member of the "tukde-tukde" gang Umar Khalid was also there," Raza said.
While earlier today, the UP government wrote to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) seeking a ban on PFI, alleging that the organisation played a key role in triggering violence during the recent anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in the state.
The MHA, on the other hand, is considering a legal option before imposing a ban. It is also likely to talk to security agencies before reviewing the past activities of the Delhi-based organisation.
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh, who has also suggested banning the PFI, in a report had blamed the PFI volunteers of spreading violence in the state during anti-CAA protests and that nearly 22 of its members have been arrested by the police.
''A number of SIMI activists are now in the PFI and have been instigating violence in the state. Nearly 22 of their members have been arrested during recent protests. The PFI is active in seven states including Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Asam, West Bengal, Keala, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh,'' the DGP said in his report.
So far as many as 19 people have died in clashes in UP during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

BJP blames Congress, AAP for CAA violence in Delhi, says they must apologise for misleading people
MMNN:1 January 2020

NEW DELHI Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday slammed the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for inciting violence in Delhi by spreading misinformation over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The senior BJP leader said both the parties should apologise to the people of the nation for instigating violence in the national capital. Addressing a press conference, Javadekar remarked that the Congress and AAP misled the people of Delhi and instigated them to damage the public property during anti-CAA protests on December 15. “In a peaceful city like Delhi, the atmosphere that was created by spreading misinformation on #CitizenshipAmendmentAct, and the damage that was done to property, Congress and AAP are responsible for it. They must apologise to the people,” Javadekar said. Javadekar also lashed out Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for making false claims and failing to work for the development of the Delhi during his tenure as the chief minister. It is to be noted that Assembly election in Delhi is scheduled to be held sometime in February. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar: The Union Minister also hit out at AA for not allowing the municipal corporations to do development work and stopping the release of Rs 900 crores required to complete various development projects in the national capital. He added that people of Delhi are surprised to see that CM Kejriwal slept for around 4.5 years and is now doling out schemes only to win the election. "AAP strangulated the neck of municipal corporations' attempt of development work, Rs 900 crores were not given. Today, ppl of Delhi are surprised that AAP slept through 4.5 years and in the remaining six months they have doled out schemes," Javadekar noted.

Hearing on bail plea of 15 accused in Daryaganj violence postponed till Jan 7
MMNN:28 December 2019

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday (December 28) adjourned the hearing on the bail petition filed by fifteen accused who were arrested after a protest against the newly amended citizenship law in Daryaganj area turned violent last week. The court will be hearing the matter next on January 7.
The counsel for the arrested claimed that the police had detained many people but decided to arrest only 15 who have no prior antecedents. The court will also hear on the same day the arguments on the bail plea of other six persons arrested in the case. The court has asked the police to verify the address and other details of one of the arrested accused in the case. One of those arrested had claimed he was a juvenile. However, the police said he told them he was 23.
Last Friday, Delhi Police had arrested 15 people who it claimed were part of the violent protests in Daryaganj area which saw arson and stone-pelting.
On December 20, Delhi Police had detained around 40 persons for taking part in violence in Daryaganj area and said strict legal action would be taken against those found involved in the violence and vandalism. Later, the police released more than 16 persons, including several minors, against whom no violence case was registered.
Several policemen and protesters suffered injuries in violent clashes during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, in Daryaganj area on December 20.
Protests have erupted in various cities against the newly-enacted citizenship law, which grants Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

Rahul Gandhi attacks BJP over CAA, NRC again, says party spreads hate wherever it goes
MMNN:28 December 2019

GUWAHATI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday made a blistering attack on the ruling BJP over the Citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens and accused the saffron brigade of spreading hatred wherever it sets its foot across the country. ''Wherever the BJP goes, it spreads hate. In Assam, youth is protesting, in other states, protests are happening as well. Why do you have to shoot and kill them? BJP doesn't want to listen to the voice of people,'' Rahul Gandhi said.
The Gandhi scion made these remarks while addressing a rally in Assam's Guwahati.
While expressing fear that Assam might return to the path of violence due to policies of the BJP governments at the Centre and the state, Rahul said that the spirit of Assam Accord which brought peace to the state, should not be ruined. "I fear Assam is returning to the path of violence because of the BJP's policies," he said, referring to the amended Citizenship Act.
The Congress MP said that the BJP and the RSS will not be allowed to attack the culture, language and identity of Assam and the Northeast.
"Assam can never progress with hatred and violence. Everyone has to come together and tell the BJP leaders that they can't attack the culture, language, identity and history of the state," Gandhi added.
Earlier on Saturday, Rahul Gandhi attacked the ruling party for accusing him of lying about the existence of detention centres for refugees in the country.
The Wayanad Congress MP said that he has posted a video on his Twitter handle with two contradictory claims - one where PM Modi denies the existence of detention centres in the country and second where visuals are available of a detention centre in Assam.
While speaking to reporters, Rahul Gandhi said, "I have tweeted a video where Narendra Modi is saying that there are no detention centres in India, and in the same video there are visuals of a detention centre, so you decide who is lying."
The BJP leadership has been attacking Rahul Gandhi ever since he accused the Prime Minister of lying about the existence of detention centres in the country.
Last week, PM Modi had denied the existence of any detention centre in the country and accused the Congress party of spreading lies and fear among minority communities. His comments came during a massive rally organised at Delhi's Ramleela Maidan.
The passing of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act in Parliament has triggered massive protests across the country with protesters demanding revocation of the Act. The protesters allege that the citizenship law is communal in nature as it grants citizenship to refugees on the basis of religion.

Pakistan troops violates ceasefire, fire mortar shells in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua
MMNN:28 December 2019

Jammu: The Pakistan Army on Saturday violated the ceasefire in the Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. According to information, the Pakistani Army resorted to shelling across the border in Hiranagar sector of the district. The ceasefire violation took place on late Friday.
On Friday, the Pakistani Army violated the ceasefire in the Sunderbani sector in Rajouri. The ceasefire violation from across the Line of Control by Pakistan started at around 1:15 pm today by firing small arms and shelling with mortar. The Indian Army retaliated befittingly to the violation.
On December 25, one civilian woman and a soldier of the Indian Army were killed in ceasefire violation in the Uri sector on Wednesday as the Pakistan Army is targeting civilian population on LoC from its artillery guns deployed in villages in PoK.
On Friday, Defence Ministry sources said that ceasefire violations across LoC in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan Army nearly doubled in 2019 with around 3,200 instances reported so far compared to last year. "Pakistani Army is continuously firing in Keran Valley, Poonch, Uri, Krishna Ghati and Akhnoor sectors," a source in the ministry said.
In 2019, a total 3,200 incidents of ceasefire violations from across the LoC has have been reported compared to 1,629 incidents in 2018, or almost double.
In December this year so far, 329 incidents have been reported which are also nearly double the 175 cases reported in the same month last year. A senior Indian Army officer said that during winter, ceasefire violations on the LoC are very low but this year, it is at an all-time high.Further details are awaited.

Anti-Citizenship Act protests: Islamic outfits, Kashmiri stone pelters behind violence, mayhem, say sources
MMNN:26 December 2019

New DelhiIslamic organisations Popular Front of India`s (PFI), Islamic Youth Federation, and Kashmiri stone pelters are being used to create ruckus amid protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the country, according to sources on Thursday. The sources added that Pakistan's spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is funding them.
According to security agencies, the nefarious conspiracy to spread violence in the country in the name of opposition to the Act is being done by these organisations. People from PFI organization from Kanyakumari and Kerala were sent to different parts of the country while people from Islamic Youth Federation, Maharashtra are also included. The location of the people of these groups was found in places of violence in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai, has also said that the stone pelters of Kashmir were called to protest against the Act in Uttar Pradesh. Citing a news report, Rai said that there was an attempt to spoil the atmosphere across the country, including Uttar Pradesh. He said that there was no involvement of common people in this disturbance, adding that people doing vote bank politics are behind this violence.
He has appealed to the workers to go to the common people about the rumour being spread by the opposition parties about this law and give the right information about this law. Later talking to the media, Rai while attacking the Congress and those opposing this law, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have clearly told the people that this law is not going to cause any harm to the citizens of the country.
Rai added that the Congress, their allies and other parties are still opposing this law, adding that those opposing the law are doing dirty politics. On the question of the steps being taken by the Central government regarding the instability in the country with this law, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister are constantly appealing to the people to maintain a state of harmony in the country. Along with this, the MHA is taking the necessary steps.

Mamata Banerjee warns BJP over CAA, NRC, says this fight belongs to all, not just Muslims
MMNN:26 December 2019

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday warned the BJP government at the Centre against implementing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 and the National Register of Citizens across the country. The firebrand Bengal politician alleged that the ruling BJP was trying to muzzle the protests against the amended citizenship law through brutal force.
Criticising the BJP government, the Trinamool Congress chief said, ''In the BJP-ruled states, particularly Uttar Pradesh, brute force is being used to curb the movement. But I would like to tell the BJP, don`t try to muzzle the movement through force. If anybody tries to terrorise people and use brute force, then the people of the country, of Bengal, will not support that."
The West Bengal CM also appealed to the students to continue their movement on the issue ''without bowing to threats and repression.''
The TMC supremo said that ''I’ve been part of students agitation. In Assam, after NRC, 18 lakh people’s names were omitted. I had sent a three-member delegation to Lucknow so that we don’t violate the section 144 CrPC. They were prevented from coming out of the airport. You’re coming every day here, eating sweets, creating a disturbance, they took out a rally in Central Kolkata, Siliguri our organisation cancelled their rally in Asansol for their rally.''
Speaking on the CAA issue, Mamata said, ''I don’t know when my mother was born. I know my mother’s and father’s date of death but don’t know when they were born. If I cannot tell, how can you? First, they pressed for Aadhar card, now saying not important. They spent crores.''
''BJP is lying. This is not just a fight for Muslims. It is also a fight for Hindus. If they snatch our rights then how will we survive?'' she asked.
She warned that the agitation for protecting one`s rights will continue, even if "one has to give one`s life for that." "The movement will continue till the law is scrapped," Banerjee said at Rajabazar in north Kolkata before leading yet another march against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.
Attacking the BJP government in Karnataka, Mamata said that the state's CM had announced compensation for deceased, but later took it back. ''He said that they were criminals,'' Mamata said.
Amid a massive gathering in the Muslim-dominated pocket, Banerjee extended full support to the students fighting against CAA and a proposed National Register of Citizens.
"The students are being threatened that their careers will be finished. They should not bow to these threats and continue their protests," she said amid blowing of conch shells and incessant slogans of "No CAB, No NRC".
Despite the CAB or the Citizenship amendment Bill becoming an Act, Trinamool is still using 'CAB' in most of its posters and slogans.
The march went past Narkeldanga, Sealdah station, Acharajya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road, Nonapukur before culminating at Mullickbazar, as innumerable people lined both sides of the streets to welcome Banerjee. This is Banerjee`s fifth march in Kolkata on the issue.
The CAA seeks to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before December 31, 2014.
As per the Act, such communities will not be treated as illegal immigrants now and will be given Indian citizenship. The legislation has led to intense protests in most parts of the country, and over 20 people have died during the agitation so far. In Bengal, trains, buses and railways stations have been torched and vandalised, and roads and train tracks blockaded by the protesters.

Congress, Tukde Tukde gang instigated anti-CAA violence in Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah
MMNN:26 December 2019

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday slammed the Congress for instigating violence in Delhi in the name of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, urging the people to teach a lesson to the Congress in the upcoming Assembly election in Delhi.
“When debate on the Citizenship Amendment Bill took place in Parliament, no one was ready to say anything and instead, they kept on beating around the bush. No sooner did they (Congress) come out, than they started spreading lies on the CAA, thus triggering unrest in Delhi. Led by Congress, the tukde-tukde gang, is responsible for unrest in Delhi. Time has come to punish them. People of Delhi should punish them,” said Shah.
The BJP leader also took potshot at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, claiming that Aam Aadmi Party had not achieved anything in their five-year term and was confident that the BJP would defeat them in the upcoming Delhi Assembly polls.
He accused Kejriwal of fooling the public with false advertisements while not having fulfilled his poll promises. "Kejriwal government has not performed in the last 57 months, but in the last three months of the term, they have been advertising their achievements and claiming credit for everything. Kejriwal can only go on dharna but the people of Delhi made him the Chief Minister now he cannot do that," he said.
He also expressed confidence that the saffron party will be victorious in the Delhi assembly polls and wipe out the AAP.
He accused Kejriwal of fooling the public with false advertisements while not having fulfilled his poll promises. "Kejriwal government has not performed in the last 57 months, but in the last three months of the term, they have been advertising their achievements and claiming credit for everything. Kejriwal can only go on dharna but the people of Delhi made him the Chief Minister now he cannot do that," he said.
He also expressed confidence that the saffron party will be victorious in the Delhi assembly polls and wipe out the AAP.

India successfully test-fires upgraded version of Pinaka guided rocket system
MMNN:19 December 2019

Odisha. In a boost to the artillery power of Indian Army, an upgraded version of indigenously developed Pinaka guided rocket system was successfully test-fired from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the Odisha coast on Thursday (December 19).
Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Pinaka is an Artillery Missile System capable of striking into enemy territory up to a range of 75 kms with high precision.
On March 12, India had successfully conducted the third trial of the Pinaka guided missile in Rajasthan's Pokharan.
Pinka is equipped with a high-end guiding kit which includes an advanced navigation and control system, according to an official press release. The missile can hit targets with a high level of accuracy to achieve results desired. In Monday's trials, the missiles managed to successfully hit targets 90 kilometres away.
Mounted on a Tatra truck for mobility, Pinaka missile system can fire a salvo of 12 HE rockets in 44 seconds. Each Pinaka battery consists of: six launcher vehicles, each with 12 rockets; six loader-replenishment vehicles; three replenishment vehicles; two Command Post vehicle (one stand by) with a Fire Control computer, and the DIGICORA MET radar. A battery of six launchers is capable of neutralising an area of 1,000 m × 800 m.

Agitators torch vehicles, vandalise police post as anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests turn violent in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow
MMNN:19 December 2019

Lucknow. Protests against the amended Citizenship Act turned violent in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow on Thursday (December 19) with the protesters resorting to stone pelting at policemen. The rampaging protests also set some vehicles on fire and vandalised a police outpost in Lucknow.
The violent protests forced the policemen to fire tear gas shells at the protesters and resort to lathicharge to maintain law and order. The mob started violence old city area of Lucknow. It is to be noted that the area is a sensitive zone because it has a sizebale Muslim population.
Talking to ANI, SSP Lucknow, in Husainabad, said that situation in Lucknow is now under control. He added that mob turned violent during anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest but the policemen kep their cool and handled the situation with patience.
"Situation is under control now. Mob had turned violent but force didn't lose their patience. Mob has been dispersed forcefully so that there is no loss of life or property. The force is now being moved to other location. 40-50 arrested across the district," said the SSP.
Meanwhile, the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests continue in several parts of the country, including Delhi on Thursday. The protesters also took to the streets in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Patna and several other parts of the country.
Meanwhile, sources told Zee Media that Pakistan's intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is funding illegal Muslim immigrants and Rohingyas to incite nationwide riots and violence across India. According to sources, ISI is conspiring for stone-pelting in sensitive cities across the country and disrupt the peace and normalcy in the country by financial funding. The ISI angle is also being looked into the violence that erupted during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Jamia Nagar, Seelampur and Jafrabad areas of Delhi.

Delhi HC rejects Nirbhaya convict's juvenile plea, slaps Rs 25,000 fine on advocate
MMNN:19 December 2019

New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Thursday (December 19) has disposed of the Nirbhaya convict Pawan Kumar's plea that he was a juvenile at the time of the offence on December 16, 2012. His advocate had sought time to file fresh documents in the matter. The court has also asked the Delhi bar association to take action against Pawan Kumar's lawyer AP Singh as the latter failed to appear before the court.
The High Court has also slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on the advocate.
Earlier in the day, the court recalled its adjournment order in the case and decided to hear the matter today itself as lawyers of Nirbhaya's parents objected to the development. The court master called up the lawyer of Pawan Kumar to inform him that the matter would be heard today itself, but after receiving the call the advocate became incommunicado.
Earlier, the High Court adjourned the plea of Nirbhaya case convict Pawan Kumar Gupta's lawyer AP Singh submitting that he was a juvenile at the time of the offence on December 16, 2012. The advocate sought time to file fresh documents in the matter.
The High Court said that in view of the Supreme Court verdict, this court has no jurisdiction in terms of Section 7 of the Juvenile Justice Act. Further, the court observed that on the basis of pieces of evidence the convict was not a juvenile at the time of the offence.
The court also deprecated the lawyer's move of delaying tactics just to avoid the death sentence.
On Wednesday, Pawan Kumar Gupta moved the court claiming that he was a juvenile at the time of the offence in 2012 and should be treated under the Juvenile Justice Act. The convict said that his ossification test was not done by the Investigation Officer, therefore, he should be given benefit of doubt under the Act.
Notably, the apex court had also rejected the review petition filed by Akshay Singh Thakur, one of the death-row convicts in the case. The newly-constituted three-member bench, comprising Justice Bhanumathi, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice AS Bopanna heard Akshay's plea on Wednesday.
Notably, Delhi's Patiala House Court deferred the hearing on the hanging of Nirbhaya rape and murder convicts till January 7, 2020. It, however, directed the Tihar Jail authorities to issue a notice to the convicts giving them one week to clarify the status of their mercy petitions. The case will next be heard on January 7.

Heavy rain, hailstorm damages crops in Madhya Pradesh's Dewas
MMNN:13 December 2019

Dewas: Unseasonal rainfall and hailstorm on Thursday caused significant damage to the wheat and pulse crops in the Dewas region in Madhya Pradesh.
Speaking to ANI, Neelam Singh Chauhan, Agriculture Officer, Dewas, said: "The extent of the damage caused to the crops is not yet known. We have instructed officials to go to the villages and assess the damage."
Chauhan further stated that the villages between Kannod and Khategaon were the most affected areas following the severe hailstorm.Heavy rains and hailstorms lashed the villages of Sundrel, Borani, Manjipura, and many more, which caused the area to be covered in a thick layer of ice.
Following heavy rainfall, water has filled up in the lower parts of many cities. Roofs of several houses have collapsed in villages leaving people distraught. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted that thunderstorm accompanied with lightning was likely to take place at isolated places in East Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Thursday.

J&K HC judges tell Supreme Court no minors detained in jails after Article 370 scrapped, terms allegations wrong
MMNN:13 December 2019

New Delhi: No minor was detained or lodged in jails in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre scrapped Article 370 and Article 35A ending the former state's special status with India. The above information was filed in a report by four judges of Jammu and Kashmir High Court who visited all the all jails in the newly-formed Union Territory. The report mentions that allegations of minors and juveniles being detained by state authorities in the valley have been found to be wrong.
Former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had in September 2019 heard a petition in which it was alleged that several minors had been detained in jails across Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier in August, in a habeas corpus petition, activist Enakshi Ganguly said that several children were detained and released by security personnel after the government announced the repeal of Jammu and Kashmir's special status. "We have received the juvenile justice report. Will take a call after we read it," Justice NV Ramana said. During a brief hearing, Ganguly submitted before the court that the children detained in the region were as young as nine years old. "They would need psychological help now," she said.
The apex court had then said that it will study the latest judicial report on the alleged detention of kids and fixed the matter for further hearing on December 13. Justice Ramana asked senior advocate Raju Ramachandran and Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta to be ready for Friday's (Dec 13) Constitution bench hearing in the main matter pertaining to abrogation of article 370.

Japan PM's India visit deferred amid anti-Citizenship Act protests in Assam
MMNN:13 December 2019

New Delhi: Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's India visit has been deferred due to violent protests in Assam against the Citizenship Act. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to meet his Japanese counterpart in Assam, which is currently an epicentre of the anti-CAB protests. The Indo-Japanese has hence been deferred but the venue will remain the same as India plans to host the future summit in Assam.
"With reference to the proposed visit of Japanese PM Abe to India, both sides have decided to defer the visit to a mutually convenient date in the near future," Ministry of External Affair (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
Earlier on Friday, the Japan government had said that Prime Minister Abe plans to visit India, but they need to look at the situation here. A Japanese delegation which was to arrive in India today had also cancelled their tickets.
Assam, particularly, is witnessing massive protests over Citizenship Act. Ahead of the Indo-Japenese summit, walls across the city were painted in yellow. However, agitators protesting against the Act, destroyed the walls and sprayed 'No CAB' and 'AJSU' slogans over them.
To control the deteriorating law and order situation over the Citizenship Act, eight columns of the Indian Army was on Thursday deployed to Assam, as CRPF-BSF personnel Tripura as per the requests made by the governments of the two states.
Citizenship Amendment Bill allows six immigrant communities, barring Muslim, from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh for Indian citizenship. It was passed in the Parliament earlier this week and became an Act after President Ram Nath Kovind's nod on Thursday.
Protesters have expressed concerns that refugees allowed by the Bill could endanger the identity and livelihood of indigenous people.
Amid the protests, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen also cancelled his visit to India. However, the Ministry of External Affairs said that linking the cancellation of the visit to Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is "unwarranted".

Anti-CAB protests: Assam government shifts top cops, extends Internet suspension for another 48 hours
MMNN:12 December 2019

New Delhi: In the wake of widespread protests against Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 in Guwahati, the Assam government has appointed Munna Prasad Gupta as the new Police Commissioner of Guwahati. The administration has also made other changes in the police department besides extending the time limit of Internet suspension in the state for another 48 hours, beginning 12 noon today. The current NIA IG, GP Singh, who is Assam-Meghalaya cadre IPS of 1991 batch, has been asked to take over as Assam ADG Law and Order, while the present ADG Law and Order Mukesh Agarwal has been shifted as ADG CID, as per the state government orders. The state government also made several other changes. Munna Prasad Gupta has been appointed as the new Guwahati CP, while eight DCP rank officers were transferred in the state. Notably, a protestor was killed in Guwahati, and three others received bullet injuries after police fired at protestors, who were pelting stones at the convoy of a foreign delegation. The police took this step to provide cover to the foreign delegation. In the ongoing protests, renowned Assamese actor and BJP leader Jatin Bora quit the party to lodge his protest against the passage of the CAB. The states of Assam and Tripura are witnessing violent protests in the wake of the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019. Five columns of the Indian Army have been deployed in Assam, while three columns of Assam Rifles have been deployed to Tripura to maintain law and order. Meanwhile, the Nagaland government has issued an advisory warning state people to avoid traveling to Assam in view of the present situation. It has also issued contact numbers for any assistance or any information. The CAB will give Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zorastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, was passed in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday (December 11) with 125 votes in favour and 99 against it. Earlier the Bill was passed in Lok Sabha with a thumping majority on December 9.

Delhi's Patiala House court issues notices to all convicts in Nirbhaya case
MMNN:12 December 2019

New Delhi: Delhi's Patiala House court on Thursday (December 12) issued notices to all four convicts and their counsels on petition filed by Nirbhaya's parents seeking to expedite the execution process of the convicts of Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case
Tihar jail authorities have already filed a status report in Patiala House court on the status of the legal remedies availed by the four convicts. As per the status report of Vinay Sharma and Pawan Kumar, the mercy petition of Vinay was filed on November 4. The Tihar authorities have also submitted the copy of reply of another accused Pawan on notice issued to him by jail authorities.
Amicus in the case told the court that Akshay has not filed the review petition and Mukesh has to file a curative petition. It was argued in the court that no execution warrant can be issued unless all legal remedies are availed by the convicts. Judge Satish Arora however observed, "curative petition can not be an endless exercise"
Earlier, the Court had asked Tihar jail authorities to come up with the status report and the legal remedies being sought by the convicts in Nirbhaya gang rape case. The Public Prosecuter Rajiv Mohan had informed the court that Execution warrant not not been issued yet.
Delhi's Patiala House Court had earlier allowed the plea of Nirbhaya's parents that has sought transfer of the case to another court. The case will now be heard by Additional Sessions Judge Satish Arora on November 28.
Counsel for Nirbhaya's parents, advocate Seema Smriddhi Kushwaha said, “We had approached the court when legal remedies of the convicts got exhausted. We had sought court’s direction to expedite the execution of the rape convicts.”
Nirbhaya was brutally gangraped on December 16 in 2012, inside a running bus by six people in Delhi. Out of the six convicts one committed suicide in prison and another, a juvenile, served maximum punishment of three years in a reform home. The four rapists were awarded death sentence by the trial court , which was later upheld by the High court and the Supreme Court.

Complete trial in rape and POCSO cases within 6 months: Centre to high courts
MMNN:12 December 2019

NEW DELHI: In the wake of Unnao and Hyderabad rape and murder cases that shook the entire nation, the Centre has taken a pathbreaking decision. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has written to the Chief Justices of all High Courts in the country directing them to complete the trial in all the cases of rape and those registered under the provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act within six months.
The Law Minister has further directed the chief ministers of all the states to finish the probe into such cases within two months.
Prasad further informed that as many as 1,023 fast-track courts will be set up across the country to conduct the trials in a speedy and efficient manner. Currently, there are 700 fast-track courts set up in India. The total number of fast-track courts will reach 1,723 with the addition.
The decision comes in the aftermath of the brutal rape and murder of Unnao and Hyderabad victim which sent shockwaves throughout the country, leading to angry protests and increasing demand for quick justice.
A 23-year-old gang-rape victim was set ablaze by five men, including two of her rapists, on December 5 while she was going to Raebareli for a hearing of the rape case which she had filed against the perpetrators of the crime. The woman died late on December 6 at Safdarjung Hospital after suffering from 90 per cent burns.
Before the victim was cremated, her sister had said that the family of the victim will not cremate the 23-year-old woman's mortal remains until Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visits them. The sister of the victim said that CM Yogi must visit them and give an immediate decision.
In another horrific case, a woman, in her mid-20s, was allegedly raped by four men on November 27. They later set her on fire and dumped her body in the outskirts of the city. Her badly burnt body was recovered a day later by the police, after which the investigation began, leading to the arrest of the four accused. The gangrape and murder case of the doctor had outraged the nation leading to massive protests in several cities demanding justice to the victim and stringent punishment to the accused.
On Friday, December 6, the four men were killed in a police encounter at the same spot where the crime was committed. The Cyberabad Police, confirming the encounter, said the accused snatched weapon and fired on police and hence, in self-defence, the police fired back, in which the accused were killed.

Centre has approved eight medical colleges in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh: Ministry of Home Affairs
MMNN:10 December 2019

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy in a written reply to a question informed Lok Sabha on Tuesday (December 10) that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre has approved establishment of eight medical colleges in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions. Reddy informed that these medical colleges are currently under various stages of implementation and they will be constructed in the districts of Doda, Kathua, Baramulla, Anantnag, Rajouri, Udhampur, Handwara in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the district of Leh in the Union Territory of Ladakh.
The Union Minister stressed that the Centre was fully committed to the overall development of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the newly created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Reddy also informed the Lower House of Parliament that certain 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) allowances like Children Education Allowance, Hostel Allowance, Transport Allowance, LTC, Fixed Medical Allowance that were not being given to nearly 4.5 Lakh state government employees in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir have been approved for an estimated cost of Rs 4800 Crores, for all such employees, who are now working in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh, since the day these new Union Territories came into existence.
According to the Union Minister, after the creation of the two Union Territories, a total of Rs14,559.25 crores has been allocated that were being given to the states. Out of this, Rs 2,977.31 crores has already been released to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and Rs.1,275.99 crores has already been released to the UT of Ladakh till date.
Reddy also informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply that 84 infiltration attempts have been made by Pakistan-based terrorists since August 2019 and 59 terrorists have entered inside Indian border. He also said that 22,557 terrorists have been killed by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990 and 1,011 terrorists have been eliminated, 42 terrorists have been apprehended and 2253 have been pushed back/returned due to efficient vigil of security forces from 2005 till October 31, 2019.
"As per MHA report Infiltration attempts are part of proxy war agenda of an adversary to replenish the depleted terrorist strength in the valley to achieve its intention to ratchet up violence in Jammu and Kashmir and internationalize the issue. Relentless domination operations, ambushes and patrols are being conducted to thwart infiltration attempts. In addition, a robust counter-infiltration grid is in place to foil infiltration attempts," said the minister in his written reply.

84 infiltration attempts made since August 2019, 2253 terrorists pushed back: Ministry of Home Affairs
MMNN:10 December 2019

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday (December 10) said in Lok Sabha that 84 infiltration attempts have been made by Pakistan-based terrorists since August 2019 and 59 terrorists have entered inside Indian border. Minister of State in MHA G Kishan Reddy said this in a written reply to questions asked by YSR Congress Party MP Sridhar Kotagiri. The MHA also said that 22,557 terrorists have been killed by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990 and 1,011 terrorists have been eliminated, 42 terrorists have been apprehended and 2253 have been pushed back/returned due to efficient vigil of security forces from 2005 till October 31, 2019.
"As per MHA report Infiltration attempts are part of proxy war agenda of an adversary to replenish the depleted terrorist strength in the valley to achieve its intention to ratchet up violence in Jammu and Kashmir and internationalize the issue. Relentless domination operations, ambushes and patrols are being conducted to thwart infiltration attempts. In addition, a robust counter-infiltration grid is in place to foil infiltration attempts," said the minister in his written reply.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in Lok Sabha that situation in Kashmir valley is completely normal after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. He said that it is not possible for him to make Congress's condition normal, because the party had predicted bloodshed in Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Shah noted that violence did not erupt in Kashmir and not one bullet was fired.
"Situation in Kashmir valley is completely normal. I can't make Congress's condition normal, because they had predicted bloodshed after abrogation of Article 370. Nothing of that sort happened, not one bullet was fired. 99.5% students sat for exams there, but for Adhir Ranjan this is not normalcy, 7 lakh people availed OPD services in Srinagar, curfew, section 144 removed from everywhere. But for Adhir only parameter for normalcy is political activity. What about local body polls which were held?" said the Union Home Minister.
Responding to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's question over the detention of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, Shah said that the Congress thinks that the release of Kashmiri leaders can be the only parameter to weigh normalcy in the region. "What according to you is normal? Political activity in the country is normal, children giving exams is normal. What according to the Congress is normal?" asked the Union Home Minister.

Everything you need to know about Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019
MMNN:10 December 2019

Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, passed the Lok Sabha test on Monday (December 9) after intense debate and arguments from the government and the opposition on the Bill for over six hours. The Bill was passed after midnight with 311 MPs voting in its favour and 80 against. Union Home Minister Amit Shah gave a detailed explanation after the bill was tabled for discussion and said that it is a part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance manifesto.
At present, the Citizenship Act, 1955 regulates who may acquire Indian citizenship and on what grounds. A person may become an Indian citizen if they are born in India or have Indian parentage or have resided in the country for a period of time, etc. But illegal migrants are not eligible to become Indian citizens. An illegal migrant is a foreigner who: (i) enters the country without valid travel documents, like a passport and visa, or (ii) enters with valid documents, but stays beyond the permitted time period, reported PRS India.
Illegal migrants may be imprisoned or deported under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920. Under the 1946 and the 1920 Acts, the Centre has the power to regulate the entry, exit and residence of foreigners within India. In 2015 and 2016, two notifications were issued by central government exempting certain groups of illegal migrants from provisions of the 1946 and the 1920 Acts. These groups are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014. According to PRS India, the notifications meant that illegal migrants belonging to these communities will not be deported or imprisoned for being in India without valid documents.
In 2016, the BJP-led government at the Centre had introduced a Bill to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Bill aimed at making illegal migrants belonging to these six religions and three countries eligible for citizenship and made some changes in the provisions on registration of Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders. The Bill was sent to a Joint Parliamentary Committee, which submitted its report on January 7, 2019 and was passed by Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019. The central government, however, did not table the Bill in Rajya Sabha and it lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 passed in Lok Sabha on December 9, 2019 seeks to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship. The Bill, however, exempts certain areas in the North-East from this provision. The Bill also makes amendments to provisions related to OCI cardholders. According to PRS India, a foreigner may register as an OCI under the 1955 Act if they are of Indian origin (e.g., former citizen of India or their descendants) or the spouse of a person of Indian origin. The foreigner will then be allowed to enjoy benefits such as the right to travel to India, and to work and study in the country. The Bill amends the Act to allow cancellation of OCI registration if the person has violated any law notified by the central government.
Eligibility for citizenship for certain illegal migrants: The Act prohibits illegal migrants from acquiring Indian citizenship. Illegal migrants are foreigners who enter India without a valid passport or travel document, or stay beyond the permitted time.
The Bill amended the Act to provide that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan will not be treated as illegal migrants. In order to get this benefit, they must have also been exempted from the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 by the central government. The 1920 Act mandates foreigners to carry passport, while the1946 Act regulates the entry and departure of foreigners in India.
Consequences of acquiring citizenship: The Bill says that on acquiring citizenship: (i) such persons shall be deemed to be citizens of India from the date of their entry into India, and (ii) all legal proceedings against them in respect of their illegal migration or citizenship will be closed.
Exception: Further, the Bill adds that the provisions on citizenship for illegal migrants will not apply to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, or Tripura, as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. These tribal areas include Karbi Anglong (in Assam), Garo Hills (in Meghalaya), Chakma District (in Mizoram), and Tripura Tribal Areas District. It will also not apply to the areas under the Inner Line” under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. The Inner Line Permit regulates visit of Indians to Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland.
The Bill further reduces the period of naturalisation for such group of persons from six years to five years.
Grounds for cancelling OCI registration: The Act provides that the central government may cancel registration of OCIs on five grounds including registration through fraud, showing disaffection to the Constitution, engaging with the enemy during war, necessity in the interest of sovereignty of India, security of state or public interest, or if within five years of registration the OCI has been sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more. The Bill added one more ground for cancelling registration, that is, if the OCI has violated any law that is in force in the country.
Issues to consider
Whether differentiating on grounds of religion is a violation of Article 14 of Indian Constitution
The Citizenship Amendment Bill provides that illegal migrants who fulfil four conditions will not be treated as illegal migrants under the Act.
The conditions are (a) they are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis or Christians; (b) they are from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan; (c) they entered India on or before December 31, 2014; (d) they are not in certain tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, or Tripura included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, or areas under the “Inner Line” permit, i.e., Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland.
Notably, Article 14 of Constitution guarantees equality to all persons, including citizens and foreigners. It only permits laws to differentiate between groups of people if the rationale for doing so serves a reasonable purpose.
The question is whether this provision in Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 violates the right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution as it provides differential treatment to illegal migrants on the basis of (a) their country of origin, (b) religion, (c) date of entry into India, and (d) place of residence in India. The Bill differentiates migrants based on their country of origin to include only Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Statement of Objects and Reasons in the Bill (SoR) states that people from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh have migrated to India for a very long time, and these countries have a state religion, which has resulted in religious persecution of minority groups. While the SoR of the Bill says that millions of citizens of undivided India were living in Pakistan and Bangladesh, it has not explained the reason behind including migrants from Afghanistan.
It is also unclear why migrants from other neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka (Buddhist state religion) and Myanmar (primacy to Buddhism) are not included in the list. It is to be noted that Tamils has had a history of facing persecution in Sri Lanka. In Myanmar, there is a history of persecution of a religious minority, the Rohingya Muslims.
Several Tamils from Sri Lanka and Rohingya Muslims have escaped from persecution in their respective countries in order to seek refuge in India. Since the Bill aims at providing citizenship to migrants escaping religious persecution in their own countries, it is not clear why illegal migrants belonging to religious minorities from these countries have been excluded from the Bill.
Second, the Bills only includes certain minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, but it is a known fact that there are other religious minorities in these countries, who face religious persecution and seek refuge in India.
For example, Ahmadiyya Muslims have been facing constant persecution in Pakistan and atheists are also facing serious troubles in Bangladesh. It is unclear why these people were not included in the Bill.
The Bill also fails to explain why there is a differential treatment of migrants based on their date of entry into India, i.e., whether they entered India before or after December 31, 2014.
The Bill also excludes illegal migrants living in areas covered by the Sixth Schedule, that is, notified tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. The Bill also excludes the Inner Line Permit areas. Inner Line regulates the entry of persons, including Indian citizens, into Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. Notably, when an illegal migrant residing in these areas becomes Indian citizen, he/she would be subject to the same restrictions in these areas, as are applicable to other Indian citizens.

Self-styled godman Nithyananda sets up Kailaasa, own 'Hindu sovereign nation'
MMNN:4 December 2019

New Delhi: Fugitive self-styled godman Nithyananda, accused in rape and kidnapping cases in Ahmedabad, has reportedly established a country of his own, several thousand kilometres away from India. A website named reveals that Nithyananda has formed his own country, reportedly near Ecuador, and calls it the 'greatest Hindu sovereign nation'. Moreover, his country named Kailaasa has its own flag known as 'Rishabha Dhvaja', which features Swami Nithyananda himself, along with Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. It also has a constitution, emblem and its own passport.
"Kailaasa is a nation without borders created by dispossessed Hindus from around the world who lost the right to practice Hinduism authentically in their own countries," reads the introduction on the website. Kailaasa has its own government, functioning departments including education, treasury, commerce and others. One can also apply for the citizenship of Kailaasa.
"Though the Kailaasa movement is founded in the United States, and spearheaded by members of the Hindu Adi Shaivite minority community, it is created for, and offers a safe haven to all the world’s practising, aspiring or persecuted Hindus, irrespective of race, gender, sect, caste, or creed, where they can peacefully live and express their spirituality, arts, and culture free from denigration, interference and violence," is what Nithyananda's Kailaasa is more about.
The 'Hindu' nation also calls for donations for the country and through it, a person can get an opportunity to gain citizenship of Kailaasa. It claims to eventually have a 'Dharmic Economy' and a Hindu Investment and Reserve Bank, where cryptocurrency will be accepted.
"The citizens will be given a Kailaasa passport which, by the grace of Paramashiva, the holder of this passport is allowed free entry in all eleven dimensions and 14 lokas, including Kailaasa," the website stated.
News agency IANS, quoting cyber experts, said that the website was created on October 21, 2018, and it was last updated on October 10, 2019. The website has been registered in Panama with its IP located in Dallas in the US.
Elaborating the causes Kailaasa stands for, the website states, "In a world ravaged by war, ecological destruction, hatred and division, Kailaasa stands as a bold vision of human potential, co-existence, organic living and alignment with nature. As a stateless nation, it does not seek new territory but rather diplomatic recognition as the legitimate representative of the ideology of enlightened humanity."
"Based on its principles Kailaasa supports causes such as gender equality, fight against global warming, universal access to holistic education and healthcare, vegetarianism etc. Kailaasa is bringing spiritual, religious, social, cultural, historic, economic and political legitimacy to Sanatana Hindu Dharma so that it may benefit all of humanity," it further read.
Kailaasa also sends its followers regular newsletters, allows a person to contribute. Meanwhile, the country also has a Gurukul system of education, which is free for all and free healthcare facilities.
Of its founder, Nithyananda, the website writes, "Nithyananda Paramashivam is the founder of the Kailaasa nation and reviver of the enlightened civilization. He is revered, regarded & worshipped as the Living Avatar (incarnation) of super-consciousness by millions. His Divine Holiness is the 293rd Guru Mahasannidhanam (Pontiff) of the oldest Shaiva Aadheenam (temple monastery complex) – Madurai Aadheenam; He is the founder of the largest Shaiva Aadheenam – Bengaluru Aadheenam; He is the Acharya Mahamandaleshwar (spiritual head) of Atal Akhada & Mahanirvani Peetha. His Divine Holiness is the founder and spiritual head of Nithyananda Hindu University – world's largest Hindu University."
Nithyananda reportedly escaped to Ecuador through Nepal. He is accused of allegedly raping his former disciple under the garb of spirituality.
In November, the Gujarat Police arrested two of his associates, and also booked him under charges of abduction, wrongful confinement, voluntarily causing hurt, intentional insult to provoke breach of peace and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code as well as charges under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act.

Shiv Sena to oppose Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Parliament
MMNN:4 December 2019

New Delhi: BJP's former NDA alliance partner Shiv Sena will oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Parliament, which was approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday. Making its stand clear on the issue, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said that its MPs will strongly oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 when it is tabled in Parliament by Home Minister Amit Shah during the ongoing winter session. According to Shiv Sena, the bill poses a threat to national security. Shiv Sena MP Rajendra Gavit today expressed his strong reservation over the bill during a discussion in Parliament. It may be noted that the Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that seeks to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The Bill, which amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants in select categories eligible for citizenship, has been attacked by the opposition, minority outfits and others for leaving out Muslims and also on the ground that it is at odds with the Constitution, which does not differentiate between citizens on the basis of their faith. The Bill has been opposed vehemently by opposition parties like Congress, Trinamool, DMK, Samajwadi Party, RJD and the Left and even regional parties like BJD have expressed reservations. The Bill has sparked resentment in the northeast, and there are indications that the government is working out a compromise intended to reassure states in the region over the implications of granting citizenship to a large number of Hindus who have come from Bangladesh over the decades. However, the Centre has srongly rejected the Opposition allegation, saying that the BJP government has always worked to unite the country and its people. The Bill holds significance since the BJP leadership equates it with the Centre's move to nullify Article 370 that gave special status to the erstwhile state of J&K.

Prime suspect Rakesh Verma arrested from Mohan Nagar
MMNN:4 December 2019

New Delhi: In a major development in the Ghaziabad family suicide case, the city police on Wednesday arrested the prime suspect Rakesh Verma from Mohan Nagar. His family had provided the police with important information about him after they were taken into custody for enquiry following the incident.
Verma's name was mentioned in the suicide note. He is a relative of the family. After the initial investigation, the police had suspected his involvement in the gruesome incident. On Tuesday, his location was traced in Kolkata.
On Tuesday morning, five members of a family - a couple, their two children and another woman - were found dead in Vaibhav Khand area of Ghaziabad's Indirapuram. They committed suicide by jumping from the eighth floor of their apartment. Before the trio jumped to death, the couple strangled their children - a daughter and a son - and stabbed them while they were sleeping inside the house, the police said. A pet rabbit was also strangled.
While the wife died at the spot, the other woman was seriously injured and admitted to a hospital. However, she later succumbed to her injuries.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury calls Finance Minister ‘Nirbala’ Sitharaman, BJP protests
MMNN:2 December 2019

DelhiIn a controversial remark, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday (December 2) said in Lok Sabha that even though he respects Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, he thinks that she should be called 'Nirbala' (weak) because she is unable to assert herself much on policies of the government.
"Even though I respect you, but at times I think you should be called "Nirbala" than Nirmala as you may not be able to assert yourself much on policies of the government despite being a Minister," said Chowdhury, who is also the Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha.
The Behrampore MP made the controversial comment during a discussion on the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lower House. The BJP MPs protested against Chowdhury's remark and demanded that he must apologize for attacking the Finance Minister in this manner.
Chowdhury also said that Sitharaman has not long-term vission, mission and perspective for Indian economy and this is the main reason why she had always resorted to knee-jerk measures in order to boost the ailing economy.
On Sunday (December 1), Chowdhury had sparked a political row by claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are ‘infiltrators’ as both belong to Gujarat and are now living in Delhi.

Ready to make strictest law: Rajnath Singh condemns rape, murder of Hyderabad veterinarian
MMNN:2 December 2019

NEW DELHI: Condemning the brutal gangrape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad that has sent shockwaves across the nation, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said in Lok Sabha that there "cannot be a bigger inhuman act" than the heinous crime and the government was ready to bring the strictest law over brutality against women if there is consensus in the House.
The Defence Minister, who is also the Deputy Leader of the House, said, "Entire country is hurt. All lawmakers cutting across party lines have condemned the incident and demanded to give harsher punishment to the accused involved in the incident."
After the Nirbhaya incident, a strict law was made and people thought that the number of such incidents would go down," Singh said while maintaining that "Such gruesome acts have been happening continuously."
The Union Minister said the government has no objection if the House takes up a detailed discussion on the issue."Whatever agreement is reached on a tough law, we are ready to make it," he said while adding that he had no words to condemn the incident.
The issue of gang rape and murder of 26-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad was debated hotly in both Houses of Parliament on Monday with leaders across party lines condemning the gruesome act and calling for stricter laws against perpetrators.
Leading a nationwide chorus of anger and uproar over the heinous crime, Samajwadi Party leader Jaya Bachchan said in the Rajya Sabha, "I think it's time, whether it's Nirbhaya or Kathua, or whatever happened in Hyderabad...the people now want the government to answer how much these people have received justice" while adding that "the accused in the rape cases should be named and shamed publically. These kind of people should be brought out in public and lynched."
Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, over the calls for a new law, said to tackle crimes against women a change of mindset is required and not a new bill.
“What is required is not a new bill. What is required is political will, administrative skill, change of mindset and then go for kill of the social evil,” he said.
The 26-year-old veterinarian was gang-raped and killed allegedly by two truck drivers and two cleaners near a toll plaza on Outer Ring Road (ORR) at Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad on the night of Wednesday.
They later shifted the body to a place near Shadnagar town and set it afire. The charred body of the victim was found on Thursday.

Rapists should be lynched, says Jaya Bachchan in Rajya Sabha amid rage over Hyderabad rape case
MMNN:2 December 2019

NEW DELHI: The issue of gang rape and murder of 26-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad was debated hotly in both Houses of Parliament on Monday with Samjadwadi Party (SP) leader and veteran Bollywood actress Jaya Bachchan saying that rapists should be "brought out in public and lynched".
Leading a nationwide chorus of anger and uproar over the heinous crime, the SP leader said in the Rajya Sabha, "I think it's time, whether it's Nirbhaya or Kathua, or whatever happened in Hyderabad...the people now want the government to answer how much these people have received justice" while adding that "the accused in the rape cases should be named and shamed publically. These kind of people should be brought out in public and lynched."
The 26-year-old veterinarian was gang-raped and killed allegedly by two truck drivers and two cleaners near a toll plaza on Outer Ring Road (ORR) at Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad on the night of Wednesday.
They later shifted the body to a place near Shadnagar town and set it afire. The charred body of the victim was found on Thursday.
The Hyderbad case stirred up an uproar in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha with lawmakers across party lines condemned the gruesome act and called for stricter laws against perpetrators.
Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, over the calls for a new law, said to tackle crimes against women a change of mindset is required and not a new bill.
“What is required is not a new bill. What is required is political will, administrative skill, change of mindset and then go for kill of the social evil,” he said.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that no government or leader would want that such an incident to occur in their state. "This problem can't be solved by just making laws. To eradicate such acts, there's a need of standing together against such crimes," he added.

Sonia Gandhi not to attend Uddhav Thackeray's oath ceremony, says country facing 'unprecedented threats' from BJP
MMNN:28 November 2019

NEW DELHI: UPA chairperson and interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said that the country was facing ''unprecedented threats from BJP'' in a letter to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.
In her letter, Sonia regretted that she would not be able to attend Uddhav's oath-taking ceremony, which is scheduled to take place shortly.
In her letter, the Congress president said that the Sena, NCP and her party have come together under quite extraordinary circumstances, at a time when the country faces unprecedented threats from BJP.
Sonia Gandhi also wrote a separate letter to Maharashtra Congress leader Balasahab Thorat in which she hoped that the new government will work in the best interest of people of Maharashtra.
''I have confidence that Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena will work together in a spirit of cooperation to give people of Maharashtra a stable and responsive govt that will uphold constitution & value of democracy,'' the letter from Sonia Gandhi read.
Now, with the support of the Shiv Sena in both the houses of Parliament, the Congress has increased its alliance numbers in the lower house and Sonia Gandhi has adopted an aggressive stance against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
Congress has been alleging that they tried to sabotage the formation of the alliance government in Maharashtra.
Congress interim president has been attacking the government but it is the first time that she has shown her MPs that Congress will adopt an aggressive stance against the government both inside and outside Parliament.
The youth and the student wings of the party have also been hitting the streets often now, said a party leader.
During the recent Constitution Day agitation led by the Congress, Sena MP Arvind Sawant and others were by her side, a new political formation in Parliament.
In the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting, Sonia Gandhi came down heavily on the top leadership of the government.
She said, "The Governor behaved in an unprecedented and most reprehensible manner. There is no doubt that he acted under the instructions of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister. The BJP`s pre-poll alliance did not hold because of its own arrogance and over-confidence. Every effort was made to blatantly sabotage the three-party alliance government formation, but we appealed to the Supreme Court and the Modi-Shah government was totally exposed".
Sonia Gandhi also lashed out at the government`s inefficiency in tackling the economic problems and soaring prices.

Indian Navy successfully test-fires BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in Arabian Sea
MMNN:28 November 2019

NEW DELHI: Indian Navy successfully test-fires indigenously developed BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in the Arabian Sea, news agency ANI quoted sources as saying on Thursday.
According to reports, it has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

NCP leader Ajit Pawar not taking oath today, says 'I'm not angry'
MMNN:28 November 2019

Mumbai. Ahead of Uddhav Thackeray’s swearing-in, NCP leader Ajit Pawar said that he is not taking oath today and added that he will do whatever the party supremo Sharad Pawar will ask me to do. Talking to Zee News, he said, "I am not angry, I am very much in the NCP, and now going with my sister (Supriya Sule) to participate in the oath ceremony."
He further said that six leaders will be taking oath from each party (Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress), and the decision on Deputy Chief Minister is yet to be taken by the party.
When asked if he will be chief minister for two-and-half years, he said "I am not authorised to decide on it, the party will determine then I will tell you. So far, no such decision has been taken."
He added, "If I laugh, people say I am laughing. If I remain silent, they say I'm silent. What should I do? I will go ahead according to the party's president's decision."
Since morning, there were speculations that Ajit Pawar is not happy. He also went to meet Sharad Pawar, and then made a statement that he is not taking oath today.
Notably, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine will release their Common Minimum Programme for Maharashtra, ahead of the swearing-in ceremony.
The Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-Congress combine, also known as the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi on Wednesday, stated that the NCP will have its deputy chief minister, while Congress party will get the Speaker's post.

Sachin Tendulkar warns of fake Twitter account in son Arjun's name, seeks action from Twitter India
MMNN:27 November 2019

Mumbai: Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar took to microblogging site Twitter, on Wednesday, to speak about his children Arjun Tendulkar and Sara Tendulkar's Twitter account. Tendulkar informed that his children have no official twitter handle and any account made in their name is fake and not to be trusted.
The master blaster further tagged an account with the user name @jr_tendulkar and informed that it is wrongfully trying to impersonate Arjun Tendulkar and posting controversial tweets. He asked Twitter India to take the matter into concern and block the account.
His tweet says, ''I wish to clarify that my son Arjun & daughter Sara are not on Twitter. The account @jr_tendulkar is wrongfully impersonating Arjun and posting malicious tweets against personalities & institutions. Requesting @TwitterIndia to act on this as soon as possible.''
The fake account created in the name of Arjun Tendulkar has around 1800 followers on twitter and that of Sara Tendulkar has 7,493 followers. There are several other fake accounts made in their names including fan clubs which generally target at creating memes.
In 2018, a software engineer was arrested in Mumbai for creating a fake account of Sara Tendulkar on the microblogging site Twitter for posting objectionable comments against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.
Celebrities and Sports personality kids have always been targeted by malicious users to spread rumors and create controversies over social media. The tweet by Sachin Tendulkar confirming fake accounts in name of his son and daughter will prevent any kind of controversy which could have popped in the future.

Chidambaram’s judicial custody extended till December 11
MMNN:27 November 2019

New Delhi: A special CBI court at Delhi`s Rouse Avenue Complex on Wednesday (November 27) extended the judicial custody of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram till December 11 in INX Media money laundering case. Chidambaram was presented before the court at the end of his judicial custody today.
The former union minister was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on October 16 and subsequently sent to judicial custody by the court in Tihar jail till November 27.
Arguing for P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal pointed out in the court how findings of Delhi High Court are exactly like those stated in ED’s counter-affidavit. He also said that the ED has argued that a “wrong message will be sent to the country,” if he’s granted bail.
Senior Counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing on behalf of P Chidambaram, submitted that only grounds on which Delhi High Court denied bail as ‘gravity’. The legislature defines gravity with the quantum of punishment it has, and basic demarcation is 7 years or above 7 years.
Singhvi concluded by saying that in bail matters, the court should refrain from “going into merit.”
Earlier in the day, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arrive at Tihar Jail to meet former Union Minister P Chidambaram.
On November 15, the Delhi High Court had dismissed Chidambaram's bail plea and observed that prima facie allegations against him were serious in nature and he played an "active and key role" in the offence. Thereafter, he approached the Supreme Court challenging the order.
The case pertains to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during the tenure of P Chidambaram as the finance minister.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a corruption case in this regard in May 2017. Later that year, the ED also lodged a money laundering case.
The Congress leader was first arrested by the CBI on August 21 in the INX Media corruption case but was granted bail by the Supreme Court two months later.

326 incidents of incursion by Chinese soldiers into Indian border areas in 2018: Govt
MMNN:27 November 2019

New Delhi: Chinese soldiers transgressed into the Indian border areas at least 326 times in 2018, according to the data revealed by the central government on Wednesday in Parliament. Replying to a question on rising incidents of incursion by the Chinese troops, Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Shripad Naik informed the Lok Sabha that during the last three years at least 326 incidents of incursion by Chinese soldiers took place into the Indian territory.
''As per the report, 273 incidents of incursion were reported in 2016, 426 held in 2017,'' the MoS said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. The data for 2019 is being collected and there have been no casualties so far, Naik added.
The minister, while outlining the reasons for these incidents of incursion, said that there is no commonly delineated Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the border areas between India and China. He added that there are areas along the LAC where both sides have differing perception of the same.
''Due to both sides undertaking patrolling upto their respective perception of the LAC, transgressions do occur. The government is taking measures to ensure that the defence forces are in a state of readiness to meet operational and security challenges,'' Naik said.
The MoS Defence, replying to a question if the matter of such incursions/transgressions was discussed with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his recent visit to India, stated that views were exchanged on all outstanding issues, including the boundary dispute.
Issues that were discussed also included efforts to arrive at a mutually-agreed framework for a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement based on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles agreed by two sides in 2005, the Minister stated in his reply.
''There were talks on continued efforts to ensure peace and tranquillity in the border areas and additional Confidence Building Measures'' he added.
The MoS Defence, replying to a question if the matter of such incursions/transgressions was discussed with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his recent visit to India, stated that views were exchanged on all outstanding issues, including the boundary dispute.
Issues that were discussed also included efforts to arrive at a mutually-agreed framework for a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement based on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles agreed by two sides in 2005, the Minister stated in his reply.
''There were talks on continued efforts to ensure peace and tranquillity in the border areas and additional Confidence Building Measures'' he added.

Mamata Banerjee government to provide land to refugees
MMNN:25 November 2019

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced at the state secretariat that all the refugees living in the state for over 40 years will be given a shelter.
Bengal CM said, "Around 11 lakh refugees living in the state on the central government's land will be given ownership of Centre's land." She added that that refugee colonies living on central government's land will be regularised.
The displaced people will also be given land rights by the Trinamool Congress government, Banerjee said.
"We have decided to regularise the entire land. This is solely because it has been a long time now. They are living on the Centre’s land, still the central government is not regularising them," Banerjee said.
Suggesting that refugees also have rights, Banerjee added, "Since 1971, its been almost 48 years now, but still they (refugees) are left hanging without a home or land."
Bengal CM's announcement comes even as the central government is planning to introduce the National Register of Citizens (NRC) all over the country after it was introduced in Assam.
Alleging that the TMC is protecting illegal immigrants from Bangladesh as they are the party's votebank, senior BJP leaders have said that NRC should be implemented in West Bengal.
Earlier in January, West Bengal authorities gave land titles to about 30,000 refugees who have lived in settlement colonies for years, and promised that thousands more will also get property rights.

Terror strike averted in Delhi, Assam; police arrests 3 terrorists with IED
MMNN:25 November 2019

New Delhi: In a major development, Delhi Police averted a terror strike by arresting three terrorists with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) from Assam on Monday. The police also recovered banned literature and other explosive materials from their possession.
According to police, the arrested terrorists, who are said to be inspired by the ISIS, were planning to launch a major terror attack at Assam's Ram Mela. They were also planning an attack in Delhi later.
DCP Pramod Kushwaha, Delhi Police Special Cell confirmed the report and told news agency ANI, "A terror strike has been averted as three persons have been apprehended with Improvised explosive devices (IED)."
The police claim that the terrorists were planning attacks in other parts of the country too apart from the capital city.
The terrorists have been identified as Ranjit Ali, Islam, Jamaal and are said to be residents of Goalpara in Assam.
The police further said that they were in touch with some people in Delhi as well who were inspired by their module. The police have launched an investigation into their links in Delhi.
Along with IED, around 1 kg explosives, bomb-making material, some knives, and swords were also recovered from the arrested terrorists' possession.

India won’t let ISI-backed SFJ disturb its stability: Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh
MMNN:25 November 2019

Birmingham: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh asserted that India will not allow Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)-backed forces such as the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) to disturb its harmony and stability but strongly advocated peace and friendship with Pakistan to enable both countries to move forward towards development and progress.
The Chief Minister was in Birmingham, UK, on Sunday night to address the Indian diaspora on the sacred occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji.
Birmingham: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh asserted that India will not allow Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)-backed forces such as the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) to disturb its harmony and stability but strongly advocated peace and friendship with Pakistan to enable both countries to move forward towards development and progress.
The Chief Minister was in Birmingham, UK, on Sunday night to address the Indian diaspora on the sacred occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji.
In an informal chat with mediapersons, the CM said SFJ was a hardcore terrorist group, with no ideological basis for its campaign, and had to be treated as such. Describing SFJ’s so-called legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannu as a fraud, operating under the directions of Pakistan’s ISI, the Chief Minister said Pannu’s sole motive was to divide the Sikhs, and India, to promote the ISI agenda. Referring to the terror modules busted in Punjab in the past couple of years, along with large-scale arrests and seizure of weapons, he said these had exposed SFJ’s intentions, but both the Punjab government and the Indian government were dealing with it with an iron hand.
Earlier, addressing the diaspora, the Chief Minister called for cordial and friendly relations with neighbours to promote peace, in line with Guru Nanak Dev ji’s philosophy, for the collective resolution of global problems. Both India and Pakistan had been through a lot, and it was time now for them to let go of the past and move forward in the spirit of friendship to ensure their respective progress, he stressed.
Citing the Kartarpur Corridor as a beginning towards better relations between India and Pakistan, Captain Amarinder hoped it would set the stage for opening of other important religious shrines in Pakistan to Indians seeking `khulle darshan deedar.’ The Chief Minister recalled his family’s association with Kartarpur Sahib, which his grandfather had rebuilt after it was devastated by floods back in 1927, as well as other gurdwaras now in Pakistan.
Thanking both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan for this historic initiative, he shared with the audience that he had an interesting chat on cricket with Imran on their bus journey from Zero Point to Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara, in the context of the fact that the latter’s uncle had played for Patiala in the pre-independence era.
In his informal chat with mediapersons later, the Chief Minister reiterated his demand for waiver of passport condition and the $20 fee for travel through the Kartarpur Corridor, pointing out that India had never imposed any such tax on those visiting Ajmer Sharif and Nizamuddin Dargah etc from across the border.
At the commemorative event, the Chief Minister honoured several prominent NRIs based in the UK.
Pointing to Guru Nanak’s philosophy of oneness of God, the CM underlined the need to rise above religion and caste to protect the future and facilitate the development of Punjab and its people. What the founder Guru of Sikhism had indicated 550 years ago was happening now, he said, pointing to global problems like pollution and water scarcity. He stressed the need for friendship and togetherness to tackle these problems and look ahead, towards the creation of a better future for the next generation.
His government, said Captain Amarinder, would continue with the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations for another year to disseminate the message of the Guru, who had taught the importance of protecting the nature through his ideology of `Pawan Guru, Paani Pita, Maata Dharat’. The decision to set up the Guru Nanak chair in 11 universities, including one in Iran, was aimed at researching the Guru’s travels and philosophy so that the same could be disseminated effectively for the good of humanity, he added.
The Chief Minister sought the Indian diaspora’s help and support in enabling the industrial growth of Punjab, which he stressed needed to be weaned away from the water-guzzling paddy crop. Indians, especially the Sikh community, had worked hard to contribute to the society of whichever country they had chosen to settled in, and it was time now for them to look back at their roots, said Captain Amarinder, urging them to invest in Punjab’s economic growth. Punjab had been divided thrice, and in the process had lost precious resources and industry, which the Punjabis had rebuilt from the scratch with their hard work, he observed, adding, however, that much more was still required if the state had to be saved for the future generations. “You must remember where you originated, and must contributed in any way you can for the progress of Punjab,” he appealed to the diaspora.
The Chief Minister invited Indians in UK to the Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit, being held on December 5-6, to help the state make its much-needed shift from agriculture to industry for its economic progress and for the generation of employment for the youth. Pointing out that Punjab was suffering the problem of plenty, with surplus paddy and wheat crops with insufficient storage, he said the state needed investment to break away from its agricultural cycle to become an industrial state. Indians in other countries should contribute to these efforts in order to secure the state and its future generation, he said, adding that his government would appoint an officer in the CMO, in the rank of deputy PSCM, to handle queries of all NRIs and facilitate them in making investments in Punjab.
Earlier, Ruchi Ghanashyam, High Commissioner of India to UK, said the message of Guru Nanak Dev ji was more relevant than ever before, in view of the challenges of terror and divisiveness being faced by the world. She lauded the celebrations organised by the Punjab government to mark the 550th Prakash Purb, which she said was being commemorated in the UK also in a big way. She also presented the Chief Minister with a hand painted photograph of Kartapur Sahib Gurdwara.
On the occasion, a representative of the Lord Bishop of Birmingham presented to the Chief Minister a special plaque created to mark the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of the Founder Guru.

Fadnavis, Maharashtra CM for 2nd time, tells BJP workers ‘Modi hai toh mumkin hai’
MMNN:23 November 2019

New Delhi BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, who became the Maharashtra CM for second time in a row after a surprise early Saturday morning oath ceremony, while greeting workers outside party office in Mumbai said “Modi hai toh mumkin hai,” as reported by new agency ANI.
“We will provide a stable government. Modi hai toh mumkin hai,” said the second time chief minister.
Minutes after Devendra Fadnavis took oath as chief minister, PM Modi tweeted his congratulations to him and his deputy and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar.
“I am confident they will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra,” PM Modi tweeted.
In a stunning turn of events from last night when NCP chief Sharad Pawar announced that Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray will be the CM face of Sena-NCP-Congress combine in Maharashtra, the state woke up to the news of BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis taking oath alongside NCP’s Ajit Pawar.
The state of Maharashtra was placed under President’s rule on November 12 after no party could claim the numbers required to form a government.
The Sena, which was BJP’s pre-poll alliance partner, broke ranks over the issue of rotational chief ministership. Uddhav Thackeray then made the lone Sena minister, Arvind Sawant, in the union cabinet to resign. Thereafter, the Sena got in talks with the NCP and the Congress. Thackeray’s rare call to party chief Sonia Gandhi set the ball rolling in the Congress camp and subsequently the talks over the government formation in the financial capital of the country among the ideologically divergent parties gathered pace.

Sharad Pawar parades NCP MLAs who were with nephew Ajit during oath taking
MMNN:23 November 2019

Mumbai. Hours after Ajit Pawar revolted with a few MLAs and took oath as deputy chief minister, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said most of the MLAs were unaware of what was going on and have now started coming back.
During a joint press conference with Shiv Sena, Pawar presented three MLAs-- Rajendra Shinge, Sandeep Kshirsagar and Sunil Bhusara-- who said they were present with Ajit Pawar at the time of the oath-taking ceremony at Raj Bhavan this morning.
“Ajit Pawar’s decision is against the party line and is indiscipline. No NCP leader or worker is in favour of an NCP-BJP government,” he said.
The NCP chief also said that the Devendra-Fadnavis-led government won’t be able to pass the floor test in the state assembly.
“Even if Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has given them a deadline of November 30, this government will not be able to pass the floor test,” he said.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray termed the development as a “mockery of democracy”. In his brief statement in the joint briefing of Sena-NCP, Thackeray took a veiled jibe at chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. “I think from now on elections should not be announced and instead of saying ‘I will return’ some people should use Fevicol and sit in the chair,” Thackeray said.
Pawar has also called an urgent meeting of NCP legislators in which a decision on removing Ajit Pawar as NCP’s leader of legislature party is likely to be taken. The party will also elect its new legislature party leader. “I cannot take such a decision on my own. The decision on disciplinary action will have to be taken in the legislators’ meeting today,” Pawar said replying to a question on disciplinary action against Ajit Pawar.
He also said that those who unknowingly went with Ajit Pawar will not face any action. “But those who made a choice and knowingly went to Raj Bhavan to participate in the oath-taking ceremony will have to face action,” the NCP chief said.
Pawar said those who chose to defect will have to face anti-defection law and people will also not support them in the bypolls. “Moreover, all the three parties Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP will ensure that they do not get re-elected,” he said.
Thackeray, who was flanked by Aaditya Thackeray and Sena leader Sanjay Raut, said, “This is a surgical strike that has been done in the dead of the night on Maharashtra and the people of the state will avenge it.”
On being asked if there is any fear of Sena MLAs going with the BJP, Uddhav Thackeray dared the opposition and said “They can try and see. Maharashtra is not going to leave them”. Thackeray added that he is with Pawar in this fight.
The BJP and Sena, which fought the assembly elections in Maharashtra together, fell out over the chief minister’s position and equal distribution of portfolios, ending a three-decade-old alliance. The national party said the Sena had betrayed them.
Governor BS Koshyari invited the BJP, Sena and NCP, respectively, but no party could prove a majority within the prescribed deadline.
President’s Rule was imposed in Maharashtra on November 12 after the governor told the Centre that no party was in a position to form the government in the state.
And on Saturday, the BJP formed a government with the help of the NCP’s Ajit Pawar.
The BJP had staked claim to form the next government in Maharashtra late on Friday on the strength of its own 105 legislators along with the NCP’s 54 and 11 Independent legislators, a senior BJP leader said on Saturday.
The national party now claims it has the support of 170 legislators, 25 more than the 145 lawmakers needed for the majority mark in the 288-member house. The party has been given a week until November 30 to prove their majority on the floor of the assembly.

Five of family from Noida burnt alive in car crash at Etah
MMNN:23 November 2019

Agra Five members of a businessman’s family were burnt alive after their car crashed into a trailer truck and caught fire in Uttar Pradesh’s Etah district early Saturday, police said. A girl in the car who was saved by workers at a nearby brick kiln was taken to a hospital in Agra after sustaining head injury. ‘The accident occurred near a brick kiln of Himmatpur in Etah district when a car rammed into truck carrying cement from behind at about 4.30 am on Saturday. Those in car were from same family from and were heading towards their village Naya Gaon in Etah district,” said Dharmendra Singh, the incharge of Baghwala police station in Etah district. “The man driving the car might have fallen asleep while driving and car rammed into truck from behind. The car caught fire because of gas kit fitted in it. Barring a girl who was dragged out by those who rushed from the nearby brick kiln, all others were burnt alive. The girl had head injury while being dragged out of burning car and has been referred to SN Medical College in Agra. Among the five burnt alive was Sunil Kumar Katheria alias Santosh (36) who was probably driving the car,” he said. Others killed include Vimla Devi (30) wife of Sunil Kumar and sister Poonam (22), Luv Kush (son of Sunil) aged 10 years, Bablu (40) who was Sunil’s uncle and was from Kurawali in Mainpuri. The bodies have been sent for post mortem in Etah, Singh said. The officer said Sunil Kumar was running a business in Nodia.

Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi to hold talks over Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena goverment in Maharashtra
MMNN:18 November 2019

New Delhi NCP supremo Sharad Pawar on Monday evening reached Congress president Sonia Gandhi's residence to hold talks over the formation of a coalition government in Maharashtra together with Shiv Sena.
On Sunday, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik had said after a meeting of the party's core committee that Pawar will decide the future course of action over government formation after meeting Sonia Gandhi. Malik also informed the media that the NCP core committee was of the view that President's rule in Maharashtra must end and an "alternative government" should be formed as soon as possible.
It is to be noted that the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena leaders are in touch with each other over forming a coalition government in Maharashtra after the snapping of ties of between BJP and Shiv Sena over the chief minister's post.
"We had had a discussion over the current political situation in the state, and we have come to the conclusion that the President's rule should end and an alternative government should be formed," said Malik.
"Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi will meet on Monday and discuss the possibility of formation of an alternative government in Maharashtra. On Tuesday, (other) leaders from the NCP and Congress will meet and discuss future course of action," he added.
In a related development, Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan had said on Sunday that his party was trying to find if the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP can come together and form the new government in the state.
Notably, BJP and Shiv Sena contested the October 21 Assembly polls together with the BJP finishing as the single largest party after winning 105 seats. The Shiv Sena ended at second place after winning 56 seats in 288-member Maharashtra Assembly. However, the BJP-Shiv Sena failed to form the government as Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray demanded rotational chief ministerial post, a demand rejected by the BJP.
Meanwhile, Pawar added a new twist to the ongoing political drama in Maharashtra by saying that since BJP and Shiv Sena fought the election together and they have to choose their paths on forming the next government in the state. President's Rule was imposed in Maharashtra on November 12 after no party or alliance failed to form the government.

Nominate your representatives to test water samples: Ram Vilas Paswan challenges Arvind Kejriwal
MMNN:18 November 2019

Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday slammed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the latter's accusations of calling a BIS report on drinking water in national capital as "false and politically motivated", and challenged him to nominate his representatives to test the water samples again.
In an escalated war of words, Paswan, during Parliament session on Monday said, "You cannot drink tap water directly. At many places water comes in all sorts of colours, yellow, blue... name your officials for a team which will also have top BIS officials. Let them go to any area, pick samples and get them tested from any lab."
Denying Delhi CM's claim who said that the report which stated that Delhi along with Kolkata and Chennai has failed in almost 10 out of 11 quality parameters of drinking water was false and politically motivated, Paswan said "He is doing politics now."
Later, taking to microblogging site Twitter, the LJP chief said, "Today, on the first day of the winter session, I announced on the floor of the Lok Sabha that the Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal must nominate your representative to test the water samples again. We nominate Mr. Pramod Tiwari, DG (BIS) and Mr. J. Roychowdhury DDG (Labs) BIS on behalf of BIS."
Paswan further said that this joint team will collect water samples from every area of Delhi and get it tested in any government certified lab. "We do not mind. My aim is to provide clean drinking water to people not only in Delhi but across the country," he added.
He further challenged AAP chief and said Kejriwal should ask his MLAs to call a press conference and say that pure drinking water is being supplied in Delhi. "People of Delhi will decide if they are right or wrong," he added.
On Saturday, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan released the second phase of the Bureau of Indian Standardisation (BIS) study which stated that all 11 Delhi samples did not comply with the quality norms. It said piped water was also unsafe for drinking water.
Later, posters were seen in parts of Delhi slamming the AAP government for making people to drink "poisonous" water.
Posting one such poster, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan tweeted, "Arvind Kejriwal is giving poison to the people of Delhi in the name of free water supply. Delhi water was found to be the most poisonous in a survey of 20 cities. The AAP government is making tall claims of development but has failed to even provide safe drinking water to the people."
Replying to Vardhan's post, Kejriwal said, "Sir, you are a doctor. You know this report is false and politically motivated. A person like you should not become a part of such dirty politics," said Kejriwal, who is the chairman of the national capital's water utility, Delhi Jal Board.
"A city's water quality cannot be judged on the basis of just 11 samples. Moreover, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan is not disclosing where the samples were taken from. I will take five samples from each ward of Delhi, get it checked and then put the data in public," he had declared.
"I want to say with challenge that no CM can claim that we have done politics on such a matter," said Paswan in the Parliament session.
"We are not doing politics over water, we want to seek the support of Parliament on the issue. There should be no politics over the safe quality of drinking water...," he said.
The testing of water samples was conducted to check organoleptic and physical parameters and know the chemical and toxic substances and bacteriological quality besides virological and biological parameters.

The sky is clear now, no need for odd-even again, says Arvind Kejriwal
MMNN:18 November 2019

NEW DELHI Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday (November 18) said that the odd-even scheme will not be extended in the capital city, adding “The sky is clear now, so there is no need of it.”
Addressing a press conference, the Chief Minister also appreciated the AAP government's effort in improving potable water, and said "Any city's water quality cannot be judged on basis of 11 samples. Moreover, Ram Vilas Paswan ji isn't disclosing where were samples taken from. I'll take 5 samples from each ward of Delhi, get it checked and put data in public."
On Sunday, the Delhi Chief Minister had said that the air pollution in the national capital is due to stubble burning and added that as the farm fires are coming to an end, the air quality is improving.
"A very strong correlation can be seen between stubble burning and the spike in air pollution in north India. As soon as stubble burning began in the first week of October, the AQI started rising. Now that burning is coming to an end, air quality is also improving..," Kejriwal tweeted.
Notably, the air quality in Delhi improved marginally today, but remained in the "poor" category for the second consecutive day. At 9 am on Monday, the air quality index (AQI) in the national capital stood at 207 against an AQI of 254 at the same time on Sunday.
In the morning the Air Quality Index (AQI) docked at 211, according to the Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
The AQI was recorded the highest in Chandni Chowk at 307, Airport at 298, IIT Delhi at 283, Lodhi Road at 228, Mathura Road at 219, Delhi University at 199, Dhirpur at 198, Pusa at 167, and Ayanagar at 131. The AQI in Noida stood at 187 and Gurugram at 268.
Meanwhile, schools in Delhi-NCR reopened on Monday afer remaining closed from November 14-15 due to the rise in pollution levels.

Meeting of Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena delegation with Governor postponed till further notice
MMNN:16 November 2019

New Delhi: There seems to be no end to the deadlock in Maharashtra, which is currently reeling under political crisis after the election results were announced. Minutes before heading to the Raj Bhavan, Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena's meeting with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was postponed till further notice.
A delegation from the three parties was supposed to have a meeting with the Governor at 4:30 pm.
Though the scheduled meeting triggered speculations about Congress-NCP-Sena jointly staking claim to form the government in Maharashtra, the parties maintained that they were to meet Governor Koshyari only to discuss farmers' issue and the agrarian crisis in the state and not the political scenario.
"I am aware that our joint delegation is to meet the Governor. This is clear that we are meeting for the farmers' issue and nothing about government formation will be on our agenda in that meeting," said Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan.
While NCP leader Nawab Malik stated, "Governor has allowed our request to meet him and during this meeting, we will discuss farmers issues only, there should not be much speculation about it. Members of NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress will be part of the delegation meeting the Governor".
An alliance with Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena hasn't been finalised by Congress and NCP yet. According to sources, the Congress will first sort-out modalities with its alliance partner NCP after which it will initiate talks with Shiv Sena for the government formation in Maharashtra.
The three parties are having talks for the formation of a secular and non-BJP government in the state where the President's Rule was imposed earlier this week.
Maharashtra was placed under President's Rule on November 12 after none of the major parties were able to form government. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally Shiv Sena were not able to sort out their differences over power-sharing.
The BJP emerged as the single-largest party in the state with 105 seats in 288-member assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44.
Amidst the deadlock, interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar would meet on Sunday to discuss their next course of action.

Delhi court admits parents' plea seeking transfer of case to another judge
MMNN:16 November 2019

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday admitted a petition filed by parents of Nirbhaya who was gang-raped in 2012, seeking transfer of the case to another judge after the two judges who were hearing the case got transferred. In December last year, Nirbhaya's parents had approached the court seeking the case to be fast-tracked. Due to the transfer of the judges, the matter kept on getting adjourned. Taking cognisance of the matter, District Judge of Patiala House Court today slated the plea for transfer of judge to November 25. Speaking to ANI, advocate Seema Samriddhi Kushwaha, who is representing Nirbhaya`s parents in the case, said, "We approached the court when legal remedies of the convicts got exhausted. We are seeking the court`s direction to the Tihar Jail authorities to expedite the execution of the rape convicts." On December 16 in 2012, a 23-year-old paramedic student was gang-raped inside a running bus by six persons in the national capital. The victim, who was severely assaulted and thrown out on the road along with her male friend, succumbed to injuries a few days later. Out of the six perpetrators, one committed suicide by hanging himself in prison, while another, a juvenile, served maximum punishment of three years in a reform home and was set free in 2015. The remaining four rapists were convicted and handed death sentence by a trial court in 2013, which was confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014. The Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court`s verdict in 2017. On October 31, earlier this year, the Tihar Jail administration had issued a notice to the convicts asking them to file a mercy plea before the president. As per law, the convicts can plead for mercy from the President and seek commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment. If the President allows the mercy petition, then the convicts may escape the gallows.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directs officials to ensure no stubble burning takes place in UP
MMNN:16 November 2019

Lucknow: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday issued strict instructions on stubble burning and has directed officials to ensure that burning of crops does not take place in the state. According to the Chief Minister`s office, Yogi Adityanath has issued strict instructions on stubble burning and Principal Secretary SP Goel has talked to all commissioners in the state asking them to ensure no stubble burning takes place.
Chief Minister has last month also appealed to farmers to avoid burning the stubble that is left in the fields after harvesting of crops."Due to stubble burning, the animals do not get their rightful share of fodder and the practice also kills the friendly bacteria and fungi present in abundance in the soil. Thus the practice permanently damages the environment and fertility of the soil," the statement read.
Yogi said the concerned departments must spread awareness among the farmers regarding the issue. An attempt should be made to promote such technique among the farmers that instead of burning, they should convert the stubble into organic fertilizer.
The Haryana government on November 13 had penalized 189 farmers for stubble burning in the state. Meanwhile, the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has so far disbursed over Rs 19.09 crore to 29,343 non-basmati paddy cultivating small and marginal farmers from across the state, who have not burnt the paddy residue.

Amit Shah, speaking on Maharashtra impasse, says party with numbers can approach guv
MMNN:13 November 2019

New DelhiHome Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday ended his silence on the Maharashtra impasse and his party’s breakup with the Shiv Sena that eventually contributed to the state being placed under President’s rule on Tuesday. Shah insisted that the demand for a rotational chief minister was a new one which was not acceptable to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Shiv Sena this week pulled out its lone minister Arvind Sawant from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, signalling the end of partnership between the two parties in Maharashtra.
Shiv Sena has since then been opened negotiations with the rival alliance comprising Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress headed by Sonia Gandhi.

In Telangana, another RTC worker commits suicide, fifth in a month
MMNN:13 November 2019

Hyderabad Another employee of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) killed himself by consuming pesticide in Mahabubabad district on Wednesday, the 40th day of an indefinite strike by RTC employees across the state.
It’s the fifth suicide by an RTC worker in the past month. Employees of the state-owned transporter have been on strike demanding a revision of salaries pending since April 2017 and recruitment to vacant posts.
Mahabubabad police said Avula Naresh, 45, a driver at the local RTC depot, ended his life by consuming pesticide because of financial troubles. “He was rushed to the local area hospital, where he died while undergoing treatment,” district superintendent of police Nandyala Koti Reddy told Hindustan Times.
Naresh left a suicide note in which he wrote that he was committing suicide because of financial problems caused by non-payment of his salary. Holding Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao responsible for his death, he appealed to Rao to ensure justice to the families of RTC employees.
“My death should be the last one among the RTC employees. No other employee should face the kind of difficulties I have been facing. Our family could not celebrate Diwali and we had no food and no new clothes for the festival. I sincerely wish at least after seeing my death, the chief minister will solve our demands,” Naresh wrote in the suicide note, according to the police.
Naresh, who belonged to Yellampet village in Maripeda block, had been working as a driver in the RTC since 2007. He had been actively participating in the ongoing strike. He is survived by his wife Poolamma and two school-going sons – Srikanth and Sai Kiran.
“Poolamma has been suffering from an illness for the last five years and Naresh was spending Rs 5,000 on her medicines every month. Added to this, the expenses on his children’s education caused a huge burden on him. Since he had not been getting a salary for the last two months, Naresh was under tremendous stress,” one of his colleagues in Mahabubabad depot told reporters.
On coming to know about Naresh’s death, a large number of RTC workers and activists of political parties gathered at the hospital and raised slogans against the government for its perceived indifference to the plight of the the striking RTC employees.
They tried to take out a rally with the body of Naresh from the hospital to the bus depot, but the police blocked their attempt. “At present, the RTC workers have blocked the road and are staging a dharna along with the body of the deceased,” the SP said.
This is the fifth suicide by RTC workers in the last one month. On October 28, K Neeraja, 31, working as a conductor in the Sattupalli RTC depot, hanged herself at her residence in Kaviraja Nagar colony in Khammam town. Two before this incident, a 53-year old driver of Narketpally depot in Nalgonda district committed suicide by consuming pesticide.
On October 12, a 52-year old driver, D Srinivasa Reddy of Khammam depot, died by setting himself ablaze. A conductor, B Srinivasa Goud, 46, of Ranigunz depot of Secunderabad, committed suicide at his residence on the outskirts of Hyderabad on October 13.
But, KCR declared that more than 48,000 employees who had been on strike since October 25, stood dismissed. An attempt to hold talks with the striking unions following a direction from the high court also failed.

JNU blinks, halves proposed hostel fee hike, scraps curfew rule
MMNN:13 November 2019

New Delhi Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University on Wednesday announced that it was rolling back a proposed hike in hostel fees and curfew hours after simmering unrest among students escalated into a major protest on Monday.
“JNU Executive Committee announces major roll-back in the hostel fee and other stipulations. Also proposes a scheme for economic assistance to the EWS [economically weaker section] students. Time to get back to classes,” education secretary R Subrahmanyam tweeted.
The students’ protest on Monday outside the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) building in Vasant Kunj, where the convocation ceremony of the university was organized had left Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, the guest of honour at the convocation, M Jagadesh Kumar, the university’s vice-chancellor trapped at the venue.
Here are 10 points of the controversial decision of the University to raise charges:
The students’ protest on Monday outside the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) building in Vasant Kunj, where the convocation ceremony of the university was organized had left Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, the guest of honour at the convocation, M Jagadesh Kumar, the university’s vice-chancellor trapped at the venue.
Here are 10 points of the controversial decision of the University to raise charges:
1.The hostel committee had introduced a service charge of ₹1,700 a month. The rent for a single-seater room was raised from ₹20 a month to ₹600 a month. For a double-sharing room, it was increased from ₹10 a month to ₹300 a month.
2.The one-time refundable mess security fee was more than doubled to ₹12,000 from ₹5,500.
3.On Wednesday, the JNU Executive Committee announced that the single-seater hostel room will now be RS 300 against the proposed hike of ₹600. The double-sharing room rent will be ₹150 instead of ₹300.
4.The proposal to raise refundable mess security to ₹12,000 has been scrapped and will continue to be at the earlier rate of ₹5,500.
5.The JNU executive committee also rolled back the curfew hour regulation that required students to be back at their hostels by 11 pm or face eviction. ”
6.It also scrapped the rule that all residents and guests should come to the dining hall appropriately dressed.
7.The university’s hostel committee had approved a new manual during a meeting on October 28, without consulting representatives of the students’ union.
8.The decision of the Inter Hostel Administration (IHA) - a body which manages 18 JNU hostels - sparked major objections with the JNU students’ union (JNUSU) organising several protests on the campus demanding its roll back.
9.The JNUSU had argued that the administration needed to consult the student community regarding the fee hike and questioned the logic of raising the fee for a double-sharing room from 10 a month to ₹300 a month.
10.The JNU administration appealed to all the students to return to their classes, lab works, and research activities “as major concessions have been given to students belonging to BPL category and removed the clauses related to dress and hostel timings from the hostel manual as per the feedback from the students. Resuming academic work will protect the careers of thousands of students from any further harm.”

Maharashtra comes under President's Rule as parties fail to form government
MMNN:12 November 2019

New Delhi: Maharashtra on Tuesday came under President's Rule after President Ram Nath Kovind approved Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's report recommending it. Earlier in the day, Governor Koshyari had sent a report to President Kovind stating that none of the four major parties - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) - could stake claim to form a government in the state and thus, President's Rule should be imposed in Maharashtra.
"It's been 15 days and I see no party in condition to form a government," the Governor said in his report to the President.
He further said that he "made all efforts to make a government but as per the current situation, a stable government is not possible."
The Maharashtra Assembly remains suspended now. The President's Rule has been implemented for six months but can be withdrawn anytime before it.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Union Cabinet too had recommended President's Rule in Maharashtra amid the political uncertainty in the state.

PM Modi leaves for Brazil to attend 11th BRICS summit
MMNN:12 November 2019

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a two-day visit to Brazil on Tuesday to participate in the 11th BRICS summit.
BRICS brings together five major world economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which comprise 42 per cent of the world population, contribute to 23 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product and around 17 per cent of the share in world trade.
The theme of this year's summit is economic growth for an innovative future.
PM Modi will arrive in Brasilia on the morning of November 13. The first day of the visit will witness the Prime Minister holding multiple bilaterals, as well as attending the closing ceremony of BRICS business forum, External Secretary (Economic Relations) in the MEA, TS Tirumurti, told reporters here.
A large business delegation from India is also expected to be present during the visit, especially to attend the BRICS business forum where the business community of all five countries will be represented.
Through a network of high level and working group meetings, the BRICS agenda has expanded considerably to include issues of mutual concern. In the run-up to the summit, several ministerial meetings in different sectors have already taken place.
In the area of counter-terrorism, India has taken the lead over the years to galvanise BRICS. It has worked closely within BRICS to not only take a strong stand against terrorism but also to bring about focused consultations on specific aspects related to terrorism.

Report of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari recommending President's Rule not true, says NCP leader Nawab Malik
MMNN:12 November 2019

New Delhi: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Mumbai President Nawab Malik on Tuesday dismissed reports of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari recommending President's Rule in Maharashtra saying that it's not true as NCP has time till evening to give a reply. Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Malik said that the Governor had called NCP on Monday evening to stake a claim, giving them time till 8.30 pm on Tuesday. He added that senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal will meet Sharad Pawar at 5 pm in Mumbai and a decision will be taken after their discussion.

Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh Lieutenant Governors to take oath on Thursday
MMNN:30 October 2019

Srinagar: The swearing-in of the newly-appointed Lt Governors of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will take place on Thursday amidst tight security.
J&K High Court`s Chief Justice Gita Mittal will first administer the oath to Radha Krishna Mathur as Lt Governor of Ladakh in Leh and then fly to Srinagar for administering oath to Girish Chandra Murmu as the Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources say despite the government offices having moved from Srinagar to Jammu, the oath-taking ceremony is being held in Srinagar to highlight Kashmir`s integration with the rest of the country.
Neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor Home Minister Amit Shah would be present in the oath-taking ceremonies.
On October 31, Modi would be in Gujrat at the Statue of Unity to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, while Shah would be in Delhi for flagging off a `Run for Unity` event.
According to sources, no other political leaders will be a part of the oath-taking ceremony.
Murmu, 59, a 1985 batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre, is seen as a close aide of Prime Minister Modi, having been his Principal Secretary when Modi was Gujarat Chief Minister.
Mathur, a 1977 batch IAS officer of the Tripura cadre, had retired as the Chief Information Commissioner in November 2018 after serving as Defence Secretary from 2013 to 2015. He was also the Chief Secretary of Tripura.
Satya Pal Mailk, 73, the outgoing Governor of J&K has been moved as the Governor of Goa.
As the transformation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories take place, the IAS, IPS and other central service officers of J&K cadre will continue to serve in the two new Union Territories.
According to the J&K Reorganisation Act, the Lt Governors will decide about the provisional strength, composition and allocation of officers after the Union Territories are notified.
The Act says the state government employees will be able to seek option to serve in either of the two Union Territories and this transfer will be determined by the Lt Governor.

Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United ready to be part of Narendra Modi government, hints KC Tyagi
MMNN:30 October 2019

NEW DELHI: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's party Janata Dal-United (JDU) may soon be a part of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the centre.
Bihar's ruling party may be included in the next Union Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The indication in this regard came from senior JDU leader KC Tyagi during the meeting of the party's National Council, which was held at Mavalankar Hall in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Speaking to the reporters, Tyagi said that if his party is given a ''respectable representation'' in the Union Cabinet then it is ready to be part of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the centre.
The indication from Tyagi came on a day when Nitish Kumar was re-elected as the Janata Dal-United national president for a period of three years till 2022.
This was the second time that Kumar was re-elected as the JDU national president.
Nitish Kumar had been elected as the national president of the JDU for the first time in 2016 after Sharad Yadav stepped down from its helm, handing over the reins of the party to Kumar. This time, he will remain president till 2022 before his re-election.
It may be recalled that the Janata Dal-United had decided not to be part of the Narendra Modi 2.0 government over ‘symbolic’ representation in the Union Cabinet.
Minutes before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s oath-taking ceremony, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had announced that his party Janata Dal (United) will not be part of the National Democratic Alliance’s Cabinet of Ministers at the Centre.
Kumar said that the decision was made after only one ministerial berth was allotted to the ruling party in Bihar, which would have been “just symbolic participation”.
“They wanted only one person from JDUin the Cabinet, so it would have been just symbolic participation,” Kumar said.
“We informed them that it is okay we do not need it. It is not a big issue, we are fully in NDA and not upset at all. We are working together, no confusion,” he added.
The regional party was reportedly unhappy with the portfolio that had been offered, sources said.
“We are not joining the government,” JDU secretary Pavan Varma had said adding, ''This our decision.”
The JDU was not part of the previous government as well even though it had rejoined the alliance in 2017.
In the Lok Sabha election 2019, the regional party had won 16 seats and the BJP secured 17 constituencies. The other NDA ally, the Lok Jan Shakti Party, won six seats while the only other seat in the state went to the Opposition Congress in Bihar.

Congress leader P Chidambaram sent to judicial custody till November 13 in INX media money laundering case
MMNN:30 October 2019

India.In a major blow to Congress leader P Chidambaram, a Delhi court on Wednesday sent him to judicial custody till November 13 in INX Media money laundering case. The court, however, rejected Enforcement Directorate's (ED) application seeking Chidambaram's remand for one more day.
On October 24, the court had sent Chidambaram to ED custody till October 30 (Wednesday) and during the hearing, the ED sought custody for one more day claiming that the interrogation of the former finance minister was incomplete because he was admitted to hospital twice during custody.
It is to be noted that on October 23, Chidambaram had approached the Delhi High Court seeking bail in the case being probed by the ED. On October 22, the senior Congress leader was granted bail by Supreme Court in the INX Media corruption case being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), but the former union finance minister remained inside Tihar jail because he was in ED custody till October 24.
Chidambaram is facing CBI and ED investigation for his alleged involvement in irregularities in granting of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to INX Media when he was finance minister during UPA regime at the Centre.
Chidambaram was arrested by ED on October 16, while he was in judicial custody inside Tihar Jail. On October 17, he was produced before a Delhi Court, which remanded him to ED custody till October 24 and then his remand was extended till October 30.
It may be recalled that Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on August 21 and he has been chargesheeted by CBI in the INX Media corruption case.

MMNN:25 October 2019

New Delhi The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has challenged the release on bail, of two Congress leaders--former finance and home minister P Chidambaram and former Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar—in the Supreme Court on Friday.
Chidambaram was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 23, in the INX Media corruption case, being probed by the CBI, while the Delhi High Court had given bail to DK Sivakumar on the same day in a case of alleged money laundering being probed by the Enforcement Directorate.
Despite the bail, Chidambaram will remain in ED custody till October 30. The ED is probing the money laundering angle in the original case of alleged irregular FIPB approval granted to INX Media --for foreign funding of Rs 305 crore in lieu of favours to his son—being probed by the CBI.
INX media corruption case was registered on May 15, 2017, almost 10-years after Chidambaram had granted the clearances in question as then finance minister.
Granting bail in the CBI case, the Supreme Court rejected the CBI’s claims that Chidambaram could influence witnesses and flee the country like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi. Chidambaram is now citing the SC order to seek bail in the money laundering case being probed by the ED as well, claiming that both the cases arise out of the same financial transaction and therefore, do not merit separate remands.
The senior politician also claimed that he fell sick twice during the two months in custody and his health could worsen if not released. Former Union minister was first arrested by the CBI on 21 August this year by the CBI.
The veteran Congress leader maintains that his arrest was malafide and only designed to harm his reputation as the agencies had no evidence of wrongdoing.
The CBI maintains that Chidambaram’s custodial interrogation was necessary as the case was complex and the former minister had been evasive in his replies. The agency had also claimed that Chidambaram had attempted to influence witnesses in the past and couldn’t be released.
Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar was granted bail in a money laundering case by the Delhi High Court, which held he cannot tamper with the evidence or influence witnesses. He was arrested by the ED on September 3 this year.
Shivakumar met the interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former party president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday after his release and said Congress workers need to ‘show strength’.
The alleged money laundering case was registered against him by the ED in Sept last year, based on a complaint filed the Income Tax Department, alleging tax evasion and hawala transactions amounting to crores.

‘Form Haryana govt but…’: Uma Bharti messages against Gopal Kanda support
MMNN:25 October 2019

New Delhi Uma Bharti, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader who exited electoral politics last year, on Friday spoke out against her party courting Haryana leader Gopal Kanda’s support to ensure that Manohar Lal Khattar, who is six seats short of the majority mark of 46 seats in the assembly, is able to form the next government.
In a string of eight tweets, Uma Bharti credited PM Modi and his efforts for the party’s performance in the Haryana elections. Then, she came to the point.
Uma Bharti said it did not matter if Kanda, who faces abetment to suicide charges for the death of an air hostess and her mother, had cleared the electoral test.
“I urge the BJP that we must not forget our moral position. We have a personality such as Narendra Modi and not just the country, the entire world is with Modi,” she said, asking the party to steer clear of Kanda
Gopal Kanda was a minister in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda cabinet back in 2012 when he was accused of abetting suicide of an air hostess who worked in MDLR airlines that he had launched. The airline had stopped operations three years earlier. Later the woman’s mother also committed suicide.
Kanda had to resign from the Cabinet after an outpouring of outrage over the allegation and a high decibel campaign launched by the BJP. Kanda later floated the Haryana Lokhit Party that fielded candidates across Haryana in this round of assembly elections. He was the only one to win.
But when it became clear that the Manohar Khattar’s BJP won’t get a majority on his own, Kanda stepped in to help the BJP with the numbers. Before the day was out, the influential politician and businessman also became the public face of the effort to get the seven Independent candidates - 5 BJP rebels and two others - to support Manohar Khattar.
Uma Bharti reminded her party that Gopal Kanda hadn’t received a clean chit and the cases against him were still before the court. “Whether Gopal Kanda is innocent or guilty, this is something that the law will decide on the basis of the evidence. But his winning an election surely does not acquit him of the charges. There are many factors that lead to a win in an election,” she said in her tweet.
Uma Bharti is the first senior BJP leader to have spoken out against Kanda. But on social media, the lawmaker and the BJP have been the target of many barbs, some of them backed by photographs of the BJP’s protests in 2012 when the air hostess committed suicide and left a note him for exploiting her.
Businessman Kanda had first started out with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in 2009 but when the party did not field him, Kanda contested as an Independent and won. He was inducted in Bhupinder Singh Hooda government which was also falling short of a majority and became the state’s junior home minister.
Kanda denies the accusations of involvement in the suicide and insists that he is a victim of political moves engineered by the Congress and INLD who were jealous of his successes.

Centre approves 18 roads on Indo-China border
MMNN:25 October 2019

Greater Noida Union minister of state for home affairs Kishan Reddy on Thursday, said that the central government has approved 18 roads stretching over 1,600 kilometers in Arunachal Pradesh to make the otherwise porous Sino-Indian border foolproof from infiltration from other side and to make patrolling easier.
Speaking at the 58th Raising Day of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at the 39 Battalion at Greater Noida’s Lakhnawali, Reddy said it is a matter of pride for the whole country that the ITBP has raised and deployed mechanised columns of power vehicles and machines for speedy mobilizsation of troops along the Indo-China border. “We have already sanctioned Rs 1,175 crore for construction of 18 local tracks stretching 1,607km in Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.
He added that taking cognisance of “evil designs” of enemies, the ITBP should be ready for larger roles in the future. “Our government has decided to give more strength and delegate more responsibilities to the ITBP. The force is to get two helicopters to operate successfully in remote and inaccessible areas, the purchasing process for which is in the final stage,” Reddy said.
Claiming that his government’s commitment to make security forces well-equipped to handle all kinds of critical situations, Reddy said any requirement raised by the forces will be fulfilled. “We cannot think of being safe in our homes without making security forced fully-equipped. In the last four-odd years, we have spent over Rs 50 crore on providing them a series of all-terrain vehicles, sports utility vehicles and snow scooters so that our soldiers can work even in the most adverse weather conditions,” he said.
The minister further said that besides giving a free hand to the ITBP in modernisation, his ministry has always been committed to the welfare of its brave soldiers. “New weapons are being procured in place of old and outdated ones. We cannot take chances with the lives of our soldiers,” he added.

Govt hikes MSP for wheat and pulses, says move to ‘increase farmers’ income’
MMNN:23 October 2019

The government on Wednesday hiked the minimum support price for wheat by Rs 85 to Rs 1,925 a quintal and for pulses by up to Rs 325 per quintal.
A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The MSP is the rate at which the government buys grains from farmers.
“In a move to increase farmers’ income, the Cabinet has increased the MSP of rabi (winter-sown) crops for the current year,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters after the meeting.
The CCEA has approved Rs 85 per quintal hike in wheat MSP to Rs 1,925 per quintal for the 2019-20 rabi crop, up from Rs 1,840 per quintal last year.
Barley MSP has also been increased by Rs 85 to Rs 1,525 per quintal from Rs 1,440 per quintal last year.
To encourage cultivation of pulses, the support price of masoor has been increased by Rs 325 to Rs 4,800 per quintal from Rs 4,475 per quintal last year.
Similarly, the MSP for gram has been hiked by Rs 255 to Rs 4,875 per quintal for this year from Rs 4,620 per quintal last year.
Among oilseeds, rapeseed/mustard MSP has been increased by Rs 225 to Rs 4,425 per quintal for 2019-20 rabi crop from Rs 4,200 per quintal during 2018-19.
The minimum support price for safflower has been hiked by Rs 270 to Rs 5,215 per quintal from Rs 4,945 per quintal last year.
The MSP for rabi crops announced for this year is in line with the recommendation of the government’s farm price advisory body CACP.
Wheat is the main rabi crop, sowing of which will begin next month. The crop will be marketed from next April onwards.

In revival plan for MTNL and BSNL, cabinet announces merger of the two
MMNN:23 October 2019

New DelhiThe Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to merge state-owned telecom firms Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL). Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad made the announcement and assured that neither MTNL or BSNL are being closed or being disinvested.
“BSNL and MTNL will be merged and the government will put in Rs 29,937 crore for revival of the companies,” he said.
The central government’s revival package for the two firms includes raising of Rs 15,000 crore sovereign bonds and monetising Rs 38,000 crore of assets in next four years. During the process of the merger, MTNL will act as a subsidiary of BSNL.
Prasad said voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) will be offered to employees to cut cost. The minister said 125% payout of salary, gratuity and pension over the remaining years of service would be given to employees if they opt for VRS at the age of 53 and a half years. He said around a half of the employees so fall in that age bracket.
The telecom minister said the merger is aimed at making the telecom firms “more competitive and bring in professionalism”. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the market share of BSNL and MTNL is less than 10%.
Both BSNL and MTNL are loss-making companies.BSNL has a staff 1.76 lakh on its rolls and the company has posted a net loss of ₹13,804 crore in fiscal 2018-19. The company has been making losses continuously since 2009-10 and has been declared ‘incipient sick’. MTNL, which has around 22,000 employees, has also been witnessing continuous losses over the last few years.
While MTNL is largely present in Delhi and Mumbai, BSNL has a wider network. TRAI data says BSNL had 116 million subscribers in August.
The state-run firms are struggling to target new customers with private players like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea offering lucrative deals.

Jailed Cong leader DK Shivakumar granted bail in money laundering case
MMNN:23 October 2019

New Delhi Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who is in Tihar jail in a money laundering case file by the Enforcement Directorate, was on Wednesday granted bail by the Delhi high court saying he cannot tamper with the evidence or influence witnesses.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court granted bail to another Congress leader P Chidambaram, who was also in Tihar, in the INX Media case being probed by the CBI. The senior leader, however, still remains in ED custody as it is probing the money laundering angle in the same case.
Justice Suresh Kait said the Karnataka Congress leader was “entitled” for grant of bail as no material has been shown to indicate that he was a flight risk.
The judge also said that Shivakumar, 57, cannot tamper with the evidence as the documents are with the investigating agencies.
The court further said that he no longer was in power and there was no evidence to show that he or his family members or close associates attempted to influence witnesses.
It however directed that he be released on bail on furnishing a bond of Rs 25 lakh and two sureties of like amount.
The other conditions laid down by the high court while granting him the relief include not leaving the country with the concerned trial court’s permission, making himself available for interrogation when required and not to influence the witnesses.
Earlier in the day, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi met Shivakumar at Tihar Jail. She was accompanied by party leader Ambika Soni.
DK Suresh, Congress MP and brother of Shivakumar, told ANI that Gandhi told DK Shivakumar that the entire party is with him. “This is a political case and other such leaders are also being targeted. We have to overcome this,” he said.
Shivakumar was arrested by the ED on September 3 in the money laundering case. He is lodged in Tihar jail under judicial custody and had challenged the trial court’s order denying him bail in the case.
Shivakumar, a seven-time MLA in Karnataka, was booked along with Haumanthaiah -- an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi-- and others for alleged offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The case was based on a charge sheet filed by the Income Tax Department against them last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and ‘hawala’ transactions worth crores of rupees.
The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of indulging in transactions involving huge amounts of unaccounted money on a regular basis through ‘hawala’ channels with the help of three other accused.

Sunni Waqf Board lawyer confirms compromise proposal in Ayodhya case
MMNN:17 October 2019

The lawyer for the Sunni Waqf Board, one of the Muslim parties in Ramjanambhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, on Thursday (October 17) confirmed that a compromise proposal was made to the Hindu parties through the SC-appointed mediation panel on Wednesday (October 16). Talking to Zee News, Sunni Waqf Board lawyer Shahid Rizvi said that the proposal was given to the three-member mediation panel by Sunni Waqf Board chairman Zafar Farooqi.
Rizvi added that the Sunni Waqf Board has put some conditions in the proposal and it is willing to give up its claim over the disputed property if the conditions are accepted. Rizvi also said that the mediation panel has submitted the Sunni Waqf Board's proposal to the mediation panel. Rizvi added that he was present during the meeting between the mediation panel and Zafar Farooqi.
A five-judge Constitution Bench of the SC headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday concluded the hearings of arguments in Ayodhya case and reserved its judgment in the case. The SC bench concluded the hearing after hearing the arguments from both sides for 40 days.
It is to be noted that the land dispute case is a civil and not a criminal matter and a settlement can be reached before the announcement of verdict by the apex court. The judgment, in this case, is set to be delivered before November 17, when CJI Gogoi is scheduled to retire.
Meanwhile, 153 companies of central forces will be deployed in Ayodhya district including central police force, state Armed Police Forces, CRPF's Rapid Action Force, and Uttar Pradesh Police ahead of the verdict in this case to maintain law and order.

Government obsessed with blaming opposition: Former PM Manmohan Singh hits back at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
MMNN:17 October 2019

New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday hit back at Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over her comment in which she had blamed Singh him for the ongoing bank crisis in the country, saying the government is obsessed with trying to blame the opposition for its failures.
The former prime minister slammed the Centre for failing to adopt people-oriented policies and stressed that the apathy of the BJP-led government at the Centre is exposed in the statements given by Sitharaman. "I have just seen the statements by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. I won't like to comment on that statement, but before one can fix the economy, one needs a correct diagnosis of its ailments and their causes. The government is obsessed with trying to fix blame on its opponent, thus it is unable to find a solution that will ensure revival of the economy," Singh said at a press conference in Mumbai. On Tuesday, Sitharaman had said that former PM Manmohan Singh and former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan were responsible for subjecting public sector banks (PSBs) to their "worst phase".
Singh said that the Centre and the RBI must find a solution for the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank crisis because it is affecting the lives of several PMC Bank depositors. "I expect the government of India, RBI and the government of Maharashtra to put their head together and provide a credible, pragmatic and effective solution to this case where 16 lakh depositors are trying for justice" he said.
On the repeated attacks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah over Article 370, the former prime minister said that the BJP should stop issuing certificate of patriotism and Congress party does not need such certificate from the BJP.
"The Congress party voted in favor of the bill to abrogate Article 370, not against it. We believe Article 370 is a temporary measure, but if a change has to be brought, it should be with goodwill of the people of J&K. Manner in which it was implemented is what we opposed," he said.
Singh also said that the much-advertised double engine model of governance of the BJP has failed Maharashtra. He added that the state has faced some of the worst effects of economic slowdown due to the wrong policies of the government.
"Ex-PM Manmohan Singh: Much advertised double engine model of governance on which BJP seeks votes has utterly failed. Maharashtra has faced some of the worst effects of economic slowdown. Manufacturing growth rate of Maharashtra has been declining for 4th consecutive years," said Singh.

Rs 4,000 fine for violating odd-even scheme in Delhi; PM, Union Ministers, CMs of other states exempted
MMNN:17 October 2019

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced that the fine for violating the odd-even scheme to be implemented in Delhi and NCR from November 4 to November 15 has been set at Rs 4,000.
Addressing a press conference, CM Kejriwal said that the vehicles of the Prime Minister, President, Vice President, Union Ministers, Chief Ministers of other states, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha leaders, Chief Justice of India, High Court justices, Election Commissioner, Comptroller and Auditor General will be exempted for the scheme that will be implemented for a period of 12 days.
However, the AAP chief said that the vehicles of the Delhi's Chief Ministers and other state cabinet ministers are not exempted from the scheme and will come under the radar of the hefty fine.
To make the scheme successful, Delhi Traffic Department had asked for around 2,000 extra CNG buses to ply across Delhi between these 12 days, and the Union Cabinet approved their request.
During the implementation period, the vehicles with an odd number will ply on odd-numbered dates and the vehicles will even number will ply on even-numbered dates. The scheme will be implemented for all four-wheelers, including vehicles running on CNG while all two-wheelers are exempted from the scheme.
In the scheme, on November 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14, cars with even number plates will be allowed to ply on Delhi roads while the ones with odd number plates will operate on alternate days.
Further, women, physically-handicapped, school buses and vans, vehicles wherein children are wearing school vehicles are exempted from the odd-even scheme.
The odd-even scheme has been introduced to combat the menace of pollution which assumes alarming proportions during winter, CM Kejriwal said. Saying that pollution is generating both from within Delhi and outside Delhi, Kejriwal said it was imperative to tackle the pollution effectively.
A total of 12 hotspots in Delhi where pollution is maximum have been identified and special emphasis will be laid on ensuring that the problem is tackled. Sweeping of roads will also be carried out using mechanised means to lessen dust particles in the air.
Earlier, Kejriwal had also appealed to Delhi residents to not burst crackers on Diwali, which is on October 27, as the resultant chemicals and smoke released leads to breathing problems in several people. A day before Diwali, which is celebrated as 'Chhoti Diwali', there will be laser show and entry for the same will be free.
This is the third time that the Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has implemented the Odd-Even scheme in the national capital. In 2016, the scheme was enforced twice.

India to build coastal surveillance system in Dhaka to provide LPG to northeastern states
MMNN:5 October 2019

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina met on Saturday for more than one hour during which delegation-level talks took place. India will be building Coastal Surveillance System in Bangladesh which will be the second surveillance system to be built by New Delhi in the neighbourhood after the Maldives.
As many as 20 units are expected to be placed by New Delhi and the aim is to increase Bangladesh's maritime domain and keep an eye on the shared Indo-Bangla coast. PM Modi said, "India Bangladeshi ties are an example of good neighbourly ties" with PM Hasina saying "cooperation will be strengthened in future."
Both PM Modi and Bangladeshi PM inaugurated three projects in energy, skill and social areas through remote control. On the energy front, Dhaka will be providing India, LPG to the northeastern states by using Bangladeshi trucks. This PM Modi said the project will be a "win-win" for both sides. This will be the second "energy bridge" after the "maitree pipeline" which is 130 km pipeline will connect Siliguri in West Bengal to Parbatipur in Bangladesh.
Leaders also inaugurated e plaque for Bangladesh-India professional skill development institute at the institute of diploma engineers Bangladesh, Khulna and Vivekananda Bhavan at Ram Krishna mission Dhaka.
At least 12 projects have been inaugurated by both sides in last year including three on Friday and nine through video conference in the last few months. Seven agreements were exchanged including Mou on withdrawal of 1.82 cusecs of water from Feni river by India for drinking water supply for the Sabroom town in Tripura.
Contentious issues including Teesta were discussed by both the leaders. PM Sheikh Hasina highlighted that the "people of Bangladesh are awaiting early signing and implementation" of Teesta waters sharing agreement, to which PM Modi informed that "his government is working with all stakeholders in India for the conclusion of the agreement soonest possible."
Both sides are looking to ink the agreement for water sharing for seven rivers--Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla, Dudhkumar and Feni River. Prime Minister Modi appreciated "Bangladesh’s generosity in sheltering and providing humanitarian assistance" to Rohingya Refugees displaced from Myanmar.
New Delhi will soon supply the fifth tranche of humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. India has been providing assistance since September 2017 under operation 'Insaniyat' for which PM Hasina conveyed the gratitude of the Bangladeshi government.
The NRC or citizen's role in Assam was raised by the Bangladeshi side to which, according to sources, an Indian government official said, "Matter did come. We pointed out that it was the ongoing process and we have to wait for the outcome. Its court-mandated and court directed."
There was a passing reference of developments in Kashmir and revocation of special status during Hasina-Modi talks and Bangladesh's "clear position which is appreciated by New Delhi and their statement is on record", the government source further said.
SAARC was not discussed in Modi Hasina meet, although BIMSTEC was discussed with both sides agreeing "to streamline the activities of BIMSTEC"
Connectivity, the big focus
To boost people to people ties and connectivity, Bangladesh has decided to remove restrictions on products being traded through Akhaura-Agartala port. Frequency of Maitree Express has been increased from four to five times per week and that of Bandhan Express from one to two times per week. Both sides have agreed on the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on the use of Chattogram and Mongla Ports for movement of goods from India's northeast to rest to India over Bangladeshi territory.
PM Modi likely to visit Bangladesh in March 2020, on the occasion of 100th birth anniversary of the father of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will take place and this could be the occasion of PM Modi's visit.
A government source said, "we keen to participate in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Birth Centenary in 2020" and "an invitation has been extended and accepted." Bangladeshi PM last week participated at the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in United Nations in New York.
The issue of high onion prices was not raised during PMs level meeting but India's trade minister Piyush Goyal has assured that all contracted supplies to Bangladesh in the pipeline should go through as soon as possible. On Friday, Bangladeshi PM publically highlighted the high cost of onions in her own country after India banned the export of the staple.

Terrorists hurl grenade at deputy commissioner's office in J&K's Anantnag, 14 injured
MMNN:5 October 2019

New Delhi: Terrorists on Saturday hurled grenade at deputy commissioner's office in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag injuring 14 people. Of the 14 injured, one person is a traffic cop and the other a journalist. One of them is said to be critical.
Minor injuries have been reported so far. The area is under cordon and search operation is going on.
Terrorists hurled the grenade at the entrance of the office complex at around 11 am.
After the incident, the Jammu and Kashmir police tweeted to say that a traffic policeman and a journalist were also injured. The tweet also said that only minor injuries have been reported so far and a follow-up action has been initiated.
This is the second grenade attack in J&K in a week.
On September 28, terrorists hurled a grenade at CRPF's 38 battalion personnel deployed in Nawa Kadal area of downtown Srinagar but there was no casualty.
The security personnel had cordoned off the area and launched a search operation to nab the terrorists.

Buses go off in Telangana as TSRTC strike begins
MMNN:5 October 2019

Hyderabad: Buses of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) went off the roads across the state as employees began an indefinite strike from Friday midnight to press for their demands.
Hundreds of passengers were stranded at bus stations across the state and people travelling to their destinations for Dasara and Bathukamma festivals faced severe inconvenience as over 10,000 buses remained confined to the bus depots.
Authorities were running skeletal services by using 2,100 hired buses and deploying temporary drivers and other workers. Buses of some schools were also pressed into service.
The Joint Action Committee of TSRTC employee unions claimed that all 50,000 employees are participating in the strike. JAC leaders said they were not afraid of the government threats to dismiss striking employees from service.
The government has declared the strike illegal and warned that those not returning to duties by 6 p.m. on Saturday will be dismissed from service.
Officials said Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) will be invoked to deal with the strike. They claim that TSRTC management had the power to dismiss the striking employees from service.
Taking a tough stand, the government late Friday night warned that only those reporting to duty by 6 p.m. on Saturday will be treated as TSRTC employees. The government said that the rest will never be taken back into the organisation.
Those who don`t report by 6 p.m. Saturday will be deemed to have given up jobs on their own, said an official statement after Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao held a review meeting with Transport Minister and top officials.
Rao, who held the meeting soon after his return from New Delhi, took serious note of the decision of the JAC to go on strike.
The government also dissolved the three-member committee of IAS officials constituted to look into the demands of the employees and declared that there will be no more talks with the union leaders.
After talks with the panel failed, JAC leaders decided to go on strike to press for their demands, the chief being merger of TSRTC with the government.
The government took strong exception to the JAC calling for strike at a time when it hoped that the income during Dasara and Bathukamma festivals will be of some help to the TSRTC, which is neck-deep in losses.

Civil society groups across northeast protest against Citizenship Bill
MMNN:3 October 2019

Guwahati After a break of nearly eight months, protests have resumed in northeast against Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and the Centre’s plan to enact the contentious legislation soon.
On Thursday, several civil society groups across the region held marches and sit-down protests to show opposition to the legislation which seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Jains, Hindus and Christians from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who entered the country before December 31, 2014.
The legislation, which was passed by Lok Sabha in January this year, lapsed as the NDA government at Centre could not table it in Rajya Sabha. A bill tabled, which is a property of Lok Sabha, lapses after term of the lower house ends, while that is not the case with Rajya Sabha. Term of 16th Lok Sabha ended in May this year with notification of the 17th Lok Sabha.
There are fears across most states of northeast that once enacted, the bill would lead to influx of religious minorities from neighbouring Bangladesh and might pose a threat to indigenous communities.
“The BJP-led government at Centre’s decision to go ahead with the bill will trample on rights of indigenous people. We have been opposed the legislation earlier and will continue to do so,” said Robertjune Khar Jahrin, general secretary of North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP).
In Shillong, hundreds of representatives from various organizations conglomerated near the monument of Kiang Nongbah held a sit-in protest carrying placards against Citizenship Bill.
In Manipur’s capital Imphal, many students and women came together under the banner of Manipur People Against CAB (MANPAC) and lined up along the town’s main roads holding posters opposing the legislation.
Similarly hundreds carried out a protest march in Nagaland capital Kohima. Protests against the legislation had rocked northeast in January this year as well.
Implementing the Citizenship Bill has been a poll promise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of this year Lok Sabha polls. In September during his first visit to the Assam after assuming charge, home minister Amit Shah had stated the government’s intent on enacting the legislation.

PMC Bank loan default case: HDIL’s Wadhawans arrested, 44 masked bank accounts found
MMNN:3 October 2019

MumbaiHousing Development Infrastructure Limited’s (HDIL) directors Rakesh Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan have been arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Mumbai in the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Case, said the sources in the agency. The EOW has also provisionally attached properties worth Rs 3500 crore which includes land parcels and commercial premises of HDIL.
The Wadhawans were unable to give satisfactory replies following which they were placed under arrest, stated sources. According to the agency, a total of 44 accounts linked with HDIL were masked by tampering bank software, which left them virtually hidden from the core banking system. Only a chosen few employees of PMC were in know of these bank accounts, revealed EOW sources.
The Mumbai Police had filed a case against the bank officials and HDIL promoters in the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank case on Monday.
PMC bank’s former Managing Director Joy Thomas had revealed that the bank’s exposer to real estate developer company HDIL stood 10.2 billion rupees ($144 million) by 2011 and this was hidden from the RBI..
Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Ltd. was able to dupe regulators about its growing exposure to a single property developer for at least a decade before the firm filed for insolvency, according to Thomas.
The bank used “dummy accounts” and other methods to hide its oversized loans said Bloomberg News.
HDIL, a slum redevelopment company which has now gone bankrupt has been delaying loan payments for the past few years.

Chidambaram to stay in Tihar till Oct 17, to get home food once a day
MMNN:3 October 2019

New Delhi Former finance minister P Chidambaram, who has been ordered to stay in Tihar jail till October 17, on Thursday convinced a Delhi Court to order prison authorities to let him get home-cooked food once a day. The 74-year-old Congress leader had moved a formal request soon after Special CBI judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar accepted the Central Bureau of Investigation plea to remand him in judicial custody for two weeks.
The Congress leader, who has also petitioned the Supreme Court for bail, had submitted that he had already lost 4 kgs as he is not accustomed to the food provided inside the jail.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who is representing the Central Bureau of Investigation that arrested Chidambaram in the INX Media case, told the court that the CBI did not have any objection to Chidambaram getting home-cooked food. Tihar jail authorities did oppose the request, arguing that making an exception for Chidambaram would be discriminatory to other inmates.
The judge ruled that the food would have to be delivered to the jail superintendent’s office so that the exercise to pass on home-cooked food did not translate into daily meetings with his family.
Chidambaram had complained about the jail food in his bail petition pending before the Supreme Court too.
“Chidambaram has been incarcerated for 42 days including the maximum permissible period of 15 days of CBI custody remand, and therefore, his continuing incarceration is in the form of punishment as his custody can neither be taken nor is required for the purpose of investigation,” Chidambaram said in his bail request, according to news agency IANS.
The Delhi High Court had this week rejected Chidambaram’s bail application, prompting the former minister to head to the Supreme Court for relief. Chidambaram’s counsel and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal asked a bench headed by Justice NV Ramana to grant an early hearing since the top court was going to be closed for Dussehra all of next week.
The judge has redirected Chidambaram to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who Justice Ramana said, would take a call if the Congress leader should get an urgent hearing.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested Chidambaram on August 21 in the INX Media case. He has been in prison since September 5 after his custodial interrogation by the CBI ended.
Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram were named in the INX Media case by INX Media group co-founders Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently in a jail in Mumbai in connection with the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora.

Working on plans for future moon mission, says ISRO chief K Sivan
MMNN:26 September 2019

Banglore ISRO Chairman K Sivan on Thursday said a plan is being worked out for moon mission in future, after Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-2 had a hard landing.
He said the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2 is doing “very well” and all the payload operations have commenced.
Asked if the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has a similar plan after Chandrayaan-2 lander’s hard landing, Sivan said, “We are working out a detailed future plan.” “A national level committee has been formed to find out what went wrong with (Vikram) lander. Once the committee submits its report, we will work on what to do in future,” he told reporters at the city airport.
Also, necessary approvals and all procedures have to be finished before making the announcement, he said.
Asked for an update on Chandrayaan-2, he said, “The orbiter is doing very well and all the payload operations have commenced. We have not received any signal from the lander.” He said the country’s space agency has a series of missions lined up in coming months and years.
“The most important mission for us is ‘Gaganyaan’, the manned mission to the space. ISRO is working very hard on it,” he said.
Gaganyaan, scheduled to be launched in 2022, aims to send three astronauts to space and bring them back safely.
“As per the prime minister’s announcement, we have to achieve this success by 2022,” Sivan said.
Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram lost contact with the ISRO base during its landing on the lunar surface on September 7.
Later, Sivan said it had hard landing.
Chandrayaan-2 comprised an orbiter, lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan).
Sivan was here to participate in a national conference on ‘System for Transforming India’.

GSK pharma recalls acidity tablet Zinetac over safety concerns
MMNN:26 September 2019

MumbaiGlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd on Wednesday announced recall of ranitidine hydrochloride tablets produced in India using API sourced from Saraca Laboratories Ltd following detection of genotoxic nitrosamine NDMA by authorities.
The company has also decided to suspend release, distribution and supply of all dose forms of ranitidine hydrochloride products to all markets, including India, as a precautionary action pending the outcome of ongoing tests and investigations, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals said in a regulatory.
GSK Pharma said it has been contacted by regulatory authorities regarding detection of genotoxic nitrosamine NDMA in ranitidine products.
Subsequently, Saraca Laboratories Ltd were notified by the European Directorate for V Quality of Medicines that its certificate of suitability for ranitidine hydrochloride has been suspended, it added.
GSK Pharma said it manufactures Ranitidine Hydrochloride IP Tablets in 150 mg and 300 mg (Zinetac) using API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) from Saraca Laboratories Ltd and another supplier, SMS Lifesciences India Ltd, for supply to Indian market.
As a precautionary action, it has decided “to initiate a voluntary recall (pharmacy/retail level recall) of Zinetac Tablets 150 mg and 300 mg products manufactured in India using API sourced from Saraca Laboratories Ltd”, the company said.
However, it said, the product manufactured using API from SMS Lifesciences India Limited will not be recalled at this point of time.
“However, all such products will remain on hold and they will not be released to the market while the company will await the test results,” it added.
The company further said it is continuing with investigations into the potential source of the NDMA.
“These investigations include continued engagement with our API suppliers,” the company said adding that Patient safety remains its utmost priority and the company is taking this issue very seriously.
Ranitidine hydrochloride is commonly used for treatment of ulcers of stomach and intestine.

RBI raises withdrawal limit for PMC bank customers to Rs 10,000 from current Rs 1,000
MMNN:26 September 2019

MumbaiThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday increased the withdrawal limit for Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank Ltd (PMC) depositors to Rs 10,000 from current Rs 1,000. This move would allow 60% of the depositors to withdraw their entire balance, it said.
This followed protests by bank depositors over RBI curbs on Tuesday that came just ahead of the festival and wedding season. The regulation limited cash withdrawal to Rs 1000 in six months, an order that many customers termed as ‘ridiculous’.
RBI said that the curbs were necessitated on account of major financial irregularities, failure of internal control and systems of the bank and wrong or under-reporting of its exposures under various off-site surveillance reports. It added that the relaxation has been given to reduce the hardships of the customers.
Apart from limiting the amount that could be withdrawn, the RBI in its earlier order had also debarred the PMC bank for six months from granting, renewing any loans and advances, make any investments, incur any liability, including borrowal of funds or accept fresh deposits, etc, without the prior written approval from RBI.
The RBI has also restricted it from disbursing, agreeing to disburse any payment, whether in discharge of its liabilities and obligations or otherwise, enter into any compromise or arrangements and sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of any of its properties or assets except as notified in the RBI notification of Monday.
This was followed by panic situation at bank’s Mumbai branches with depositors rushing to seek clarification and to withdraw money. On Thursday morning, some depositors also filed a complaint at Mumbai’s Sion police station against the bank directors accusing them of malpractices.

PM Modi to declare nation open defection free on Oct 2
MMNN:25 September 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary on October 2 will declare the nation open-defection free.
The announcement will be made to the crowd of over 20,000 Sarpanchs at Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad.
``Nearly half of the Sarpanchs will be from Gujarat and rest half from various other states,’’ said Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel adding, ``The first step of open defecation free country toward swachhta that PM had made has been achieved. This will be announced by the PM on October 2 at Ahmedabad during national Sarpanch convention’’.
The Deputy chief minister added that by taking Gandhi’s dream of cleanliness as social mission, the PM led the country in creating awareness in this direction.
He said that Sarpanchs from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattishgrah, Punjab, Haryana, Union Territories and other states will attend the convention.
In four groups, the Sarpanchs from other states will also tour some of the places related to life and time of Gandhiji in Gujarat. They will also be introduced to Gujarat’s culture of celebrating Navratra through performance of garba.
Also part of this celebration of Swachhta divas will be Gandhians,scholars, ministers and representatives of NGOs.
The NDA in its first term, which began in 2014, had taken up clean India missing and construction of toilets, especially in slums and rural areas.

Chinmayanand, arrested after rape allegation, no longer with BJP, says party
MMNN:25 September 2019

Chinmayanand, who was arrested last week over rape allegations, is no longer a BJP member, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the part said Wednesday.
“Chinmayanand isn’t a BJP member anymore,” UP BJP spokesperson Harish Srivastava confirmed to HT hours after his accuser, a 23-year-old law student from Shahjahanpur was arrested on charges of extortion by the special team probing the case.
But the party did not say when Chinmayanand exited the party.
Another BJP spokesperson Hero Bajpayee said, “Chinmayanand possibly did not renew his membership of the BJP”.
The comments are the first from the BJP since the scandal blew up in August.
A former Union minister, Chinmayanad was arrested on September 20, almost a month after the woman uploaded a video on social media alleging sexual assault and harassment. She had not named the BJP leader but her father went on to name Chinmayanad in a police complaint.
A day after his arrest, the former minister accepted that he took massages from the complainant and that he was ashamed of his conduct. He still has not admitted to raping her and he has not been charged for that offence.
Earlier in August, the BJP had expelled four-time MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, more than a year after he was arrested for allegedly raping a minor girl. The case was transferred to the CBI on July 30, two days after a truck rammed a car in which the survivor was travelling, critically injuring her and her lawyer and killing two of her aunts.

Amitabh Bachchan on Dadasaheb Phalke honour: ‘Most humbled, deeply grateful’
MMNN:25 September 2019

Actor Amitabh Bachchan is full of gratitude after he was named as this year’s winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his contribution to Indian cinema. Sharing his thoughts on the announcement, Amitabh tweeted a picture of himself and wrote a note of gratitude.
“There is a paucity of words searching a response.. for the generosity of words that pour in ..I am but deeply grateful and most humbled .. my sincerest gratitude,” the actor wrote alongside a picture in which he is seen with folded hands.
“What really resides in the mind shall never be known…and may it never….gratitude and express of immense humbleness..bear supreme today…and love,” he wrote.
Congratulating their father, son Abhishek Bachchan and daughter Shweta Nanda also took to social media and posted heartfelt messages. Shweta posted a picture from Amitabh’s younger days and wrote on Instagram, “Whose your Dada (Saheb Phalke) ? Uncontainable excitement, pride, tears, and general hysteria!!! Congratulations Papa.” “Overjoyed and so, so proud! #ProudSon,” tweeted Abhishek.
In his 50-year-long career, Amitabh has won four National Film Awards for Agneepath, Black, Paa and Piku. He is also the recipient of the Padma Shri (1984), the Padma Bhushan (2001) and the Padma Vibhushan (2015). The Government of France honoured him with its highest civilian honour, Knight of the Legion of Honour, in 2007.
The veteran star began his journey in showbiz in 1969 with Saat Hindustani. Last seen in Taapsee Pannu—starrer Badla, Amitabh is currently hosting the 11th season of his popular game show Kaun Banega Crorepati. He is also likes to sing and writes blogs regularly.
Amitabh recently completed the Lucknow shoot schedule of Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo, which also stars Ayushmann Khurrana. He will also been in Rumi Jaffery’s Chehre alongside Emraan Hashmi, and in Ayan Mukerji’s adventure fantasy drama Brahmastra. It also stars Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Mouni Roy and Nagarjuna.

BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand, accused of sexually harassing UP law student, arrested
MMNN:20 September 2019

Shahjahanpur: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Swami Chinmayanand, alleged accused in the rape case of Uttar Pradesh-based law student, was arrested by a special investigation team on Friday morning (September 20).
The 73-year-old politician was on his way to the hospital for a medical checkup when he was arrested and taken to the police line. Following chest pain complaints, he was undergoing medical treatment by a team of doctors at his ashram where he has been under house arrest since September 13.
The BJP leader has been accused of sexually harassing a woman student of Swami Shukdevanand Law College in Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur. Chinmayanand is the director of the institute.
The victim went missing on August 24, 2019, after posting a video on social media, appealing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for justice. She was later found in Rajasthan's Jaipur and produced before the court the same day. She refused to go back to her parents in Shahjahanpur following which the apex court directed Delhi Police to ensure her stay at All India Women's Conference (AIWC) hostel or YMCA for four days and provide her security.
Upset over delayed action against the BJP leader, the victim threatened to commit suicide if Chinmayanand was not arrested. Chinmayanand was the minister of state for internal affairs in the Vajpayee ministry.

INX Media case: CBI opposes Chidambaram's bail plea, next hearing on September 23
MMNN:20 September 2019

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday opposed the bail plea of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in connection with the INX Media alleged corruption case. Opposing his bail plea in the Delhi High Court, the CBI counsel said that if he is given bail, it will set a wrong precedent and this might influence the outcome of the investigation against him.
CBI, in its reply to the court, said, ''Probe held so far reveals that accused, while working as Finance Minister, demanded illegal gratification against which payments were made in India & overseas to accused and his son Karti by Indrani Mukherjee & Pratim Mukherjee.''
On Thursday, the Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi had extended the judicial custody of P Chidambaram in the INX media case till October 3. Hearing on his bail plea is scheduled to be held on September 23.
Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar allowed the counsels representing Chidambaram to get a few documents signed by their clients, including a parliament pass for his driver and a letter to the PNB bank manager for his bank account statement.
Chidambaram was produced before the court at the end of his 14-day custody in connection with the case.
He was arrested by the CBI on August 21 and was in its custody till September 5. The agency, through its counsel Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, moved an application in the court seeking an extension of Chidambaram`s judicial custody.
Kapil Sibal, representing the accused, strongly opposed the application. One of the counsels appearing for Chidambaram also moved an application seeking regular check-up and adequate supplement diet for his client in jail, asserting that he is facing various ailments and has lost some weight during his jail-term.
Sibal requested the court to allow Chidambaram to be medically examined in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Chidambaram is facing probe in cases registered by both the CBI and the ED pertaining to alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when he was the Union finance minister.

Chandrayaan 2: Deadline to re-establish contact with Vikram Lander nears
MMNN:20 September 2019

New Delhi: After the hard-landing of Vikram Lander on the lunar surface, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had expressed hopes that they have at least 14 days to establish contact with it. In these 14 days, ISRO achieved the status of Vikram Lander with the help of thermal optical photographs.
According to ISRO, during its final descent on the moon at 2.1 kms above the lunar surface, Vikram Lander lost its communication with ISRO ground station. The incident occurred in the wee hours of September 7. However, the ISRO scientists kept their hopes and continued to send signals from its Deep Space Communication Center. And while the Orbiter responded to every signal sent from the ISRO, there was no response from the Lander.
The US space agency NASA also tried establishing contact with lander Vikram by activating its deep space network - an array of worldwide space antennas. However, despite all its efforts, it failed to establish connection with the Lander. Unfortunately, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter also failed to spot Vikram lander.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter camera instrument sent pictures of the intended Moon touchdown site for the Vikram lander but shadows in the area could not capture the Lander's exact position.
Chandrayaan-2 had originally planned two process of experimentation:
The Orbiter had to observe the position from a distance of 100 meter from the surface of the moon while the Lander and the Rover had to land on the moon, scrape the soil there and burn it to collect information about the chemical elements present on it. However, in the event of loss of contact with Vikram Lander with ISRO, this experiment can no longer be performed.
The 14-day timeline given by ISRO for establishing contact with the Lander has a deadline of September 21 because after that the moon region will enter into a lunar light. On the afternoon of September 19, based on the photographs received by scientists, there was a long shadow appearing on the lunar surface.
As per ISRO, the Orbiter of India's second unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 continues to perform scheduled scientific experiments to complete satisfaction. ''All Payloads of orbiter are powered. Initial trials for orbiter Payloads are completed successfully. Performance of all orbiter Payloads is satisfactory,'' the agency said on Thursday.

Chidambaram’s judicial custody in INX Media case extended till Oct 3
MMNN:19 September 2019

A Delhi court on Thursday extended the judicial custody of former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media case till October 3
The 74-year-old leader’s lawyer Kapil Sibal also sought regular medical examination of his client to which Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said: “Whatever rights are given to other prisoner, same can be asked by him also through application.”
The Congress leader also made a request for bank statement of an account in a bank at Delhi’s Jor Bagh branch, which the court has allowed.
Opposing the CBI plea to extend his judicial custody, Sibal said. “The extension of custody cannot be mechanical process. The reason needs to be stated for the extension of the custody.”
Chidambaram has been lodged in Tihar jail since September 5 on charges of corruption in the INX Media case. On Wednesday, senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel met him at Tihar Jail. They were accompanied by Chidambaram’s son and Congress MP, Karti.
The CBI is probing alleged irregularities in the grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign investment to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007, when Chidambaram was finance minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. CBI registered an FIR in the case on May 15, 2017.
INX Media co-founders Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea have been charged with entering into a criminal conspiracy with Karti Chidambaram, P Chidambaram’s son, to secure clearance from FIPB for the foreign investment received by the company and evade punitive measures for not having the requisite approvals.
Indrani Mukerjea told CBI in March last year that a deal of $1 million had been struck between Karti Chidambaram and the Mukerjeas to secure approval from the FIPB in favour of INX Media.

We meet criteria for preferential trade status, India tells US ahead of PM Modi’s visit
MMNN:19 September 2019

India on Thursday said that it meets the criteria for the Generalised System of Preferences and the US should take a call on reinstating the trade concessions. New Delhi’s comments came a day after 44 influential US lawmakers called upon the Donald Trump administration to reinstate India as a beneficiary of the scheme of duty-free import for developing nations.
“Generalized System of Preferences is a unilateral decision, given by countries to other countries based on certain criteria. We are a developing country, we meet those criteria,” said foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale in a press briefing before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit.
In June this year, the US has removed India from the removed India from the list of beneficiaries under the GSP which allowed duty-free entry of Indian goods to US. India sold an estimated $6.3 billion worth of goods to the US under this programme in 2018. Washington had cited lack of reciprocal market access by New Delhi as the reason for doing so.
In a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, a group of US House members said ending the preferential status for India is costing their constituents every day. The support for India was bipartisan with 26 Democrats and 18 Republicans signing the letter. The group of lawmakers was led by Congressmen Jim Himes and Ron Estes.
The policies, the lawmakers observed, negatively affect US companies which were trying to access the Indian market. “Several US industries filed petitions under GSP’s market access criterion, which were accepted for review in April 2018. Ultimately, failure to make sufficient progress on the issues led to termination of India’s GSP eligibility on June 5, 2019,” the US lawmakers said in the letter.
Latest data by the Coalition for GSP shows that India losing the trade preferential status meant that American companies lost about $30 million in July.
New Delhi has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Generalised System of Preferences scheme that allowed zero tariff entry to some imports from 120 countries.
The GSP is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and meant to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for products from the beneficiary countries.
From September 21-27, PM Modi will visit the US. He will address the UN general assembly in New York and meet US president Donald Trump. The Prime Minister will address a rally of Indian Americans—‘Howdy Modi!’— at Houston on Sunday.

Govt bans e-cigarettes and e-hookas, announces jail term and fine for violations
MMNN:18 September 2019

New Delhi: In a major decision, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to ban the production, export, import and distribution of e-cigarettes.
Announcing the decision, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, ''The Union Cabinet has given the approval to ban e-cigarettes. It means the production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned.''
The announcement to ban production and import of electronic cigarettes is likely to shatter the expansion plans of companies such as Juul Labs and Philip Morris International.
The Finance Minister told a media briefing that an executive order will be passed to ban the products, which the government believes will advance tobacco control efforts in the country.
Sitharaman said e-cigarettes were becoming an increasing health risk as they were being used as a "style statement", and not as ''a tobacco cessation product.''

Mamata Banerjee meets PM Narendra Modi, urges him to write off West Bengal's debt
MMNN:18 September 2019

New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital during which she took up the issues of pending projects in her state.
Speaking to reporters after meeting the PM, Mamata said, ''We have been demanding Centre's support on changing Bengal's name. I have reminded the PM about it. My MPs had met him.''
''I have invited the PM for the inauguration of 'Deocha Panchami' after Durga Puja,'' she added.
The Trinamool Congress chief said that she has given papers on what her government has done in recent years in Bengal.
''We have asked him to write off Bengal's debt. I will try to meet the Home Minister too,'' Mamata said.
She categorically said that it was a meeting between two governments and not much should be read into it politically.
The firebrand TMC leader also refused to answer questions related to CBI's ongoing probe into the Saradha chit fund scam.
Interestingly, Banerjee had got Kolkata-made sweets delivered to PM Modi's 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence, a day before their meeting.
Banerjee flew to Delhi on Tuesday, which was also PM Modi`s birthday.
Her meeting with the PM comes at a time when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is trying to locate her close aide and former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar for
questioning in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam case.
Mamata's meeting with the PM has triggered intense speculations in the political circles and the Bengal unit chief of the Congress party, Somen Mitra, has accused the West Bengal CM of making a desperate bid to ensure an "escape route" for Kumar, who is currently untraceable.
"Do we understand that honourable CM of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee is going to Delhi on the day PM Modi celebrates his birthday, and as a return gift for the birthday wishes, request an escape route for the ex-Commissioner of Kolkata Police in the Saradha chit fund scam?", Mitra asked.
The state BJP in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya also dubbed it as the "last-ditch bid" of the fiery Bengal leader to save the police officer regarded as being close to her.
While the CBI is looking to question Kumar, Banerjee herself sat on a 'dharna' to protest of the CBI team visiting Kumar`s residence.
"Why is she seeking a meeting with PM Modi all of a sudden is anybody`s guess", Vijayvargiya said, recalling Banerjee`s sharp criticism of Modi during the 2019 general election campaign.
The last time the two leaders met was at the convocation ceremony at Visva Bharati University in Shantiniketan on May 25, 2018.
The Rs 2,500-crore Saradha chit fund scam involved a ponzi scheme that defrauded small investors and poor people with promises of astronomical returns. When the fraud came to light, several victims ended up committing suicide.
Many top Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders` names have been dragged into the scam investigation, including sitting MP Shatabdi Roy and former MP Kunal Ghosh. TMC leader Derek O`Brien has been quizzed in the matter by the investigation agency.
With the CBI now looking for Kumar, there is visible discomfort within the ranks of the TMC. RSS leader Indresh Kumar on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh saying he was "mentally ill" and compared him with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Digvijaya Singh booked for 'BJP, Bajrang Dal getting money from ISI' remark
MMNN:18 September 2019

BHOPAL: A criminal defamation complaint has been filed against Congress leader Digvijaya Singh for his controversial statement in which he had said that the BJP and Bajrang Dal are taking money from Pakistan's spy agency ISI.
RSS-affiliated right-wing outfit Bajrang Dal had earlier said that it will file a criminal defamation case against the senior Congress leader for alleging that its members were working for Pakistan's spy agency ISI and were receiving money from it.
The court has kept the matter for consideration on October 9, news agency ANI said.
Bajrang Dal national convenor Sohan Solanki had said, ''We strongly condemn Digvijay Singh's statement. We will take legal action and file a defamation case against him.''
Calling Digvijay Singh as 'anti-Hindu', Solanki said that the Congress leader has lost his political relevance and, by making such statements, he wants to further alienate his Congress party.''
The reaction from the Bajrang Dal convenor came shortly after Digvijaya Singh accused the BJP and the right-wing outfit of receiving money from Pakistan's spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
"Bajrang Dal and BJP are taking money from the ISI. Attention should be paid to this," Singh had said on Friday.
The former MP chief minister had triggered yet another controversy on Tuesday by saying that "people are wearing saffron clothes and raping."
"People are wearing saffron clothes and raping, rapes are happening inside temples, is this our religion? Those who have defamed our 'Sanatan Dharma', not even god will forgive them," Singh said during an event.
The event was also attended by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
Attacking the BJP, CM Kamal Nath said, "Some people are understandably unhappy at my participation here as they think they have the contract on religious matters."
Namdas Tyagi, also known as ''Computer Baba,'' said, "From every district of the state, saints will meet here in this Sant Samagam programme."

Pakistan army raises white flag, takes back dead soldiers from LoC: Report
MMNN:14 September 2019

The Pakistan Army has retrieved the bodies of two of its Punjabi soldiers killed recently by the Indian Army at the LoC after raising the white flag, Army sources said on Saturday.
The bodies were retrieved by Pakistan on September 13 following two days of unsuccessful attempts. An Army official said all attempts by Pakistan to take the bodies by force had been foiled.
However, the bodies of five Border Action Team (BAT) Special Services Group commandos killed during an infiltration attempt in the last week of July in the Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir, still lie unclaimed by Pakistan.
“We allowed Pakistani soldiers to claim the two dead bodies after they raised the white flag which is a gesture of peace. The first soldier had been killed around 10 September. The other soldier was killed during an attempt to retrieve the dead body,” a senior Army official told IANS.
As per Army sources, Sepoy Ghulam Rasool was killed in the Hajipir sector of PoK on September 10 during retaliation by India to a cease-fire violation. Rasool belonged to Bahawalpur in the Pakistani province of Punjab.
Another Punjabi soldier, Havaldar Nasir Hussain was shot dead during attempts to retrieve Rasool’s body. Hussain belonged to Narowal in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
The Indian Army has been undertaking the burial of several Pakistani soldiers whose bodies are left unclaimed. In the past, during the Kargil war, Pakistan did not claim the bodies of several of its soldiers who had been later buried by the Indian Army with full honours.

‘Medi-city’ to come up in Jammu and Srinagar soon, says governor Satya Pal Malik
MMNN:14 September 2019

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday said that scores of hospitals across the country were willing to invest in the “medi-city” for which the Central government has finalised land in both Jammu and Srinagar.
“We have decided to have a ‘medi-city’ in both Jammu and Srinagar. We have finalised the land. A lot of best hospitals across the country are willing to invest in them. We will bring them here and operate the medi-city,” said Malik at a public meeting here.
The governor said that Jammu and Kashmir is now directly connected to the national capital. “This is a golden opportunity. The situation is such that you can ask whatever from the central government. They have kept their hands open,” he said.
Malik was speaking at the inaugural function of a government hospital in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district.
The Governor also said that he had done more work than any ruling government in Jammu and Kashmir.
“In the eyes of the country, Governor is a person who plays golf and does nothing for public, he or she just rests during their governorship. But the amount of work that we’ve done in last one year, I don’t think even an elected government does that much work.”
On August 5, the Centre nullified provisions of Article 370, which gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir making it a Union Territory with legislature.

Odd-even scheme required to counter stubble burning in Delhi, says AAP leader Atishi
MMNN:14 September 2019

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi Marlena on Saturday said that it is imperative to implement the odd-even scheme in Delhi to counter stubble burning during the winter season.
“Due to stubble burning, the pollution level increases in the month of November and December in Delhi. To counter it, the odd-even scheme is required. This is a type of emergency measures which we take in order to control pollution,” she said while speaking to ANI in New Delhi.
The statement from the AAP leader came just a day after Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the odd-even scheme is not required in Delhi as the new ring road constructed by the Centre is already reducing air pollution.
“Now there is no such need (odd-even scheme) because the new ring road we have built is helping reduce pollution in Delhi to a certain extent. Besides, my ministry is pursuing road works of about Rs 50,000 crore. Cleaning of the Yamuna and other works to curb pollution are also underway,” Gadkari had stated.
On Friday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the car rationing or odd-even scheme will be implemented in Delhi from November 4 to 15. The Delhi Chief Minister said that studies have shown that the scheme helps to reduce air pollution.
During the 12-day scheme, vehicles will ply alternately on odd and even dates as per their registration numbers.

NASA helping ISRO establish communication with Vikram lander
MMNN:13 September 2019

Chennai: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is continuing its attempt to reach out to India's moon lander sending communication signals with its Deep Space Network (DSN), said officials. It is also reported the American space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is sending radio signals to Vikram. "Attempts are being made to reestablish communication links with the moon lander Vikram. The attempts will be made till September 20-21 when the sunlight will be there in the area where the Vikram has landed," an ISRO official preferring anonymity told IANS. The ISRO is trying to establish link with Vikram with its Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu near Bengaluru. Scott Tilley, an amateur astronomer who found American weather satellite IMAGE in 2018 that was considered to be lost, on September 10, tweeted: "#DSN 24 beams 12KW of RF at the #Moon in hopes of stimulating #Chandrayaan2's lander #VikramLander into communicating with home. "Here's a eerie recording of the searcher's signal reflected off the Moon and back to Earth via EME (Earth Moon Earth) on 2103.7MHz." "Meanwhile the DSN24 continues emitting its beacon in hopes #VikramLander will respond...A Good Night all!" he said in a recent tweet. The IMAGE satellite was launched by NASA in 2000 and lost contact after five years.

CBI court rejects Chidambaram's surrender application in INX Media case
MMNN:13 September 2019

NEW DELHI: A special CBI court on Friday dismissed senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram's surrender application a day after after the conclusion of arguments in the INX Media alleged corruption case.
Chidambaram had moved an application to surrender before the Enforcement Directorate in INX media case. He is currently lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody in connection with the INX Media case being probed by the CBI.
Earlier during the arguments in the case on Thursday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), had told Delhi's Rouse Avenue court on Thursday that Chidambaram was involved in corrupt practices during his term as union finance minister and received bribes worth crores.
"Chidambaram was involved in corrupt practices and received money in crores," Mehta told the single-judge bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait hearing Chidambaram`s plea seeking bail and challenging judicial custody order given by a trial court in the INX Media case.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, on the other hand, asked the court for an urgent hearing on the bail plea. He also requested the court to allow providing Chidambaram home-made food and extra time for family visits in Tihar prison.
However, the bench said that "this case will take some time" and also declined the request for home-made food and extra time for family visits.
The court asked Sibal why he approached the Delhi High Court challenging the judicial custody so late.
"Judicial custody was granted on September 5. You had approached the Supreme Court earlier. Why did you not come to the High Court challenging the order earlier," Justice Kait said.
The court issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking its response on the Chidambaram`s plea and asked them to file a status report in the bail plea within 7 days.
Next hearing on the matter is slated for September 23. Chidambaram`s lawyers have also withdrawn their second plea challenging his judicial custody.
The Congress leader was arrested by CBI in the INX Media case on Aug 21 and sent to CBI custody for interrogation.
Last week, a CBI court sent Chidambaram to judicial custody in Tihar Jail till September 19. Chidambaram is facing probe in cases registered by the CBI and the ED pertaining to alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when he was the Union Finance Minister.

Odd-Even scheme will be implemented from November 4 to 15 in Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal
MMNN:13 September 2019

New Delhi: Delhi will once again witness the Odd-Even number scheme in a bid to control pollution for a period of 12 days from November 4 to 15, announced Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday. Appealing to the residents of Delhi to help in combating the menace of pollution which assumes alarming proportions during winter, Kejriwal said that Delhi government will also procure and distribute masks to the people.
A total of 12 hotspots in Delhi where pollution is maximum have been identified and special emphasis will be laid on ensuring that the problem is tackled. Sweeping of roads will also be carried out using mechanised means to lessen dust particles in the air.
There will be a seven-point agenda to deal with pollution by the burning of stubble. He also said a war room will be set up to deal with pollution in Delhi.
Kejriwal also appealed to Delhi residents to not burst crackers on Diwali, which is on October 27, as the resultant chemicals and smoke released leads to breathing problems in several people. A day before Diwali, which is celebrated as 'Chhoti Diwali', there will be laser show and entry for the same will be free.
In the scheme, on November 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14, cars with even number plates will be allowed to ply on Delhi roads while the ones with odd number plates will operate on alternate days.
Kejriwal's 7-point Winter Action Plan is as follows:
- Pollution Free Diwali
- Odd-Even Policy
- Pollution Masks
- Preventing open burning/violation of construction dust rules
- Hotspot Action Plan
- Dust Pollution Control
- Delhi Tree Challenge
This is the third time that the Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has implemented the Odd-Even scheme in the national capital. In 2016, the scheme was enforced twice.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari slammed Kejriwal's decision of implementing the scheme and said that it wasn't required as of now and added that pollution on Ring Road has been significantly reduced due to central government's planned schemes.
"No, I don't think it is needed. The Ring Road we have built has significantly reduced pollution in the city and our planned schemes will free Delhi of pollution in the next two years," he told news agency ANI.

CBI likely to question Indrani Mukerjea in Byculla jail today
MMNN:10 September 2019

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: A special court allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation to question Indrani Mukerjea, currently in jail for the alleged murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, in connection to the INX Media case. Mukerjea had turned approver in the case in July and recently recorded her confessional statement against P Chidambaram.
Indrani Mukerjea and her husband Peter Mukerjea, co-accused in the murder case of her daughter, are former promoters of the INX Media Group.
CBI had filed an application before a special court in Mumbai to interrogate Mukerjea. The probe agency is likely to visit Mumbai's Byculla jail on Tuesday to question her, sources told Zee News.
Mukerjea, the former head of the INX Media, had last year after giving confessional statement against Chidambaram and his son Karti, filed a petition seeking to become an approver in the case in a Delhi court.
Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was on Thursday sent to Delhi's Tihar Jail after the court remanded him to 14-day judicial custody in the INX Media case.
He was arrested by the CBI amid highdrama from his home in Delhi's Jor Bagh on August 21, 2019.

Coal mafia behind assault on SAIL chief in Delhi, arrested along with 5 others
MMNN:10 September 2019

New Delhi: Delhi Police's Crime Branch on Monday arrested six people, including the prime accused Ashok Kumar Singh, a coal contractor and coal mafia, for attempting to murder the (Steel Authority of India Limited) SAIL Chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary in August.
Singh owns a trading business. In 2017, he had signed a contract with SAIL, under which, his company had to import coal from the US and he had paid Rs 80-85 crore for the same. However, the material was rejected by SAIL on inspection over its poor quality and his order was rejected. As a result, his money could not be recovered.
Singh tried to pressurise the SAIL Chairman to reconsider his decision of rejecting the consignment, but when Chaudhary refused, he hatched a plot to seek revenge.
To execute the plan, Singh contacted his acquaintance Sunil Barala, who also roped in his brother-in-law Chutku, to arrange four men to attack Chaudhary.
He was attacked on August 7 in South Extension area as he was returning home from office. A road rage attack was planned by the assailants. They followed Chaudhary's car and mid-way, attacked him with iron rods, sharp weapons and small knives.
"When my driver stepped down from the car to check the damage, the attackers also stepped down and one of them caught the driver by the neck. When I intervened, the three others overpowered me. They brutally kicked and punched me and one of the attackers pulled out an iron rod and sharp-edged weapons from their car with the intention to kill me," Chaudhary told news agency IANS.
The SAIL boss was saved when a police patrol team on a motorbike was on the route and they intervened. Two of the assailants who nabbed by the team on spot, which helped the crime branch crack the case.
Sources said that during interrogation, Singh refused to accept that he intended to eliminate Chaudhary. On the other hand, the SAIL chief had stated that the attack was aimed to kill him.

Tabrez Ansari wasn't lynched, died of cardiac arrest, say police; murder charges against 11 accused dropped
MMNN:10 September 2019

The investigation by Jharkhand Police into the death of 22-year-old Tabrez Ansari, who was earlier believed to be a victim of mob lynching, has found that he died due to cardiac arrest. Following the probe, the police dropped murder case against 11 suspects involved in the incident.
The incident had occurred on June 19, 2019, when Tabrez was beaten up by an angry mob over suspicion of theft in Dhatkidh village of Seraikela district in Jharkhand. It was suspected that the victim was involved in a bike theft.
Following the incident, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das had ordered a probe by a Special Investigation Team into the matter. The Chief Minister had also ordered suspension of the Saraikela police officer in-charge with immediate effect.
Tabrez's family had dismissed charges of theft, alleging that the accusations made against him were baseless.
His family members had said that Tabrez used to work in Pune and had come home for vacations on Eid when the incident took place. He was reportedly caught along with two others when they were on a bike when some people suspected him of being a thief.
While two others who were with him ran away, Tabrez was caught by the attackers. He was reportedly tied to an electricity pole and was beaten up all night. He was also allegedly forced to chant slogans of 'jai shri ram' and 'jai bajrang bali' after they asked him about his religion.
The incident came to light after a video went viral in which Pappu Mandal, the main accused, was seen beating Ansari, who was tied to a pole.
After the thrashing, the mob handed him over to the police, which took him to a police post. However, he had to be admitted to a hospital after his condition worsened and later succumbed to his injuries.
Ansari's wife Shaista Parveen lodged an FIR at the Seraikela police station and also claimed that she was not allowed to meet him. The family alleged that they could hear him asking for help while the main accused was hurling abuses at him in the presence of police officials.

Govt floats draft guidelines for implementing IPR policy in academic institutions
MMNN:9 September 2019

A patent right will rest with the academic institution if a student, researcher or faculty member has used its resources and funds for developing a product, according to draft guidelines floated by the government on the implementation of IPR policy for academic institutions.
However, if an institution determines that an invention was made by an individual on his or her own time and unrelated to his or her responsibilities towards the institution and was conceived without use of its resources, then the invention shall vest with the individual or inventor.
These guidelines are floated with an objective to foster innovation and creativity in the areas of technology, sciences, and humanities by nurturing new ideas and research, in an ethical environment.
It would also help in protecting intellectual property rights (IPRs) generated by faculty or personnel, students, and staff of the academic institution, by translating their creative and innovative work into IP rights.
“The ownership rights on IP may vary according to the context in which the concerned IP was generated. In this regard, a two-tier classification is suggested for adoption,” it said.
In case of copyright, the draft has suggested that the ownership rights in scholarly and academic works generated utilising resources of academic institution, including books, dissertations and lecture notes, shall ordinarily be vested with the author.
On the other hand, the ownership rights in lecture videos or massive open online courses, films, plays, and musical works, shall ordinarily be vested with the academic institution.
Similarly, ownership rights over integrated circuits and plant varieties; and industrial designs will rest with the academic institution if a student, researcher or faculty member have used its resources and funds for developing the product.
The guidelines also said the academic institution is free to enter into revenue sharing agreement with the researcher, in cases of commercialisation of innovation, and creation as per the advice of IP Cell.
It added that the academic institution may appoint a committee of experts to address the concerns of the aggrieved person and all disputes shall be dealt with by this committee.
It has also suggested creation of IP Cells in academic institutions to ensure the effective applicability of these guidelines.
The Cell will be responsible for conducting awareness programmes for students, faculty, researchers, and officials. Besides, it would conduct advanced-level awareness programmes.
“IP Cell shall provide an environment for academic and R&D (research and development) excellence and conduct dedicated programmes on IPR for the undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as organise regular IPR counselling programme for research scholars,” it said.
The other objectives of these guidelines include laying down an efficient, fair, and transparent administrative process for ownership control and assignment of IP rights and sharing of revenues generated by IP, created and owned by the academic institution.
“These guidelines shall apply to all IP created at the academic institution, as well as, all IP rights associated with them, from the date of implementation of these norms,” it added.
The 23-page model guidelines on implementation of IPR policy in Academic Institution have been prepared by the Cell for IPR Promotion & Management (CIPAM), under the commerce and industry ministry.
The IPRs are statutory rights. Owners of these exclusive rights get protection for a specified period of time like 20 years in case of patents. These rights include copyrights, patents, trademarks, geographical indications, and industrial designs.

UP law student alleges rape by BJP’s Chinmayanand, files complaint in Delhi
MMNN:9 September 2019

The postgraduate student who had levelled harassment charges against Swami Chinmayanand, on Monday alleged she was raped by the BJP leader who also physically exploited her for one year.
Addressing media persons here, she claimed that the Shahjahanpur police was not registering the rape case.
“Swami Chinmayanand raped me and even exploited me physically for one year,” she alleged before media persons, her face covered with a black scarf.
“The Delhi Police has registered this complaint at Lodhi Road police station and has forwarded it to Shahjahanpur police, which is not registering the rape case,” she said.
“On Sunday, the SIT quizzed me for about 11 hours. I have told them about the rape. Even after telling them everything, they have not arrested Chinmayanand yet,” she said.

Bengal forest guard poses with rescued king cobra round his neck, faces enquiry
MMNN:9 September 2019

A departmental enquiry has been initiated against a forest guard in West Bengal after photos of him posing with a rescued king cobra around his neck got circulated.
“An enquiry has been initiated against the forest guard,” Kumar Vimal, divisional forest officer, Jaldapara National Park said. The incident happened in Alipurduar district near the border with Bhutan.
“The forest staff are experienced and skilled in catching poisonous snakes and dangerous animals. However, posing with a venomous snake for the camera is never a good idea and could be extremely dangerous,” added the DFO.
Wildlife activists pointed out that such acts by forest department employees also defeat the campaign of the department that the common people should not harass or irritate animals in the wild or in a zoo.
“This is not only dangerous but also unethical. It is unfortunate if forest department employees do such things just for getting applause on social media. These acts send negative messages to the people,” Animesh Bose, programme coordinator, Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation, an NGO based in Siliguri said.
On Thursday night, the forest staff at Lankapara range under Jaldapara National Park (JNP) in Alipurduar district, about 690 km away from Kolkata received a message that a king cobra was spotted at a village near the Indo-Bhutan border.
A team of six to seven forest employees, including forest guards, reached the area near Lankapara Tea Estate, about 43 km from the district headquarters of Alipurduar.
Though it was late at night, a large crowd gathered at the spot and the foresters managed to rescue the snake that was about 10 feet long.
However, before releasing it into the deep forest, one of the guards took the snake and garlanded himself with it and posed for the cameras. The photos and the video went viral drawing the attention of the department officials.
One of the most venomous snakes, the king cobra is found in different parts of Alipurduar district.
In a similar incident in June 2018, Sanjay Dutta, forest ranger of Belacoba range in Jalpaiguri district was caught posing with an 18-foot python in a village of Jalpaiguri district in north Bengal.

P Chidambaram sent to Tihar jail till Sept 19 by Delhi court in INX Media case
MMNN:5 September 2019

Former finance minister P Chidambaram was sent to Tihar jail till September 19 in the INX Media case after a Delhi Court declined to accept his request to free him on bail. In a last-ditch effort to convince the judge to keep Chidambaram out of Tihar jail, his legal team had minutes earlier even offered his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate which could take him into custody to question him.
It was an offer high on symbolism, particularly since the Supreme Court had already rejected his request for pre-arrest bail in the INX Media case being investigated by the ED.
With the top court’s order in its favour, the Enforcement Directorate can arrest him any time. But the ED has decided against making its move today. That left Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar with only two options: Either release Chidambaram on bail or remand him in judicial custody.
Judge Kuhar ruled in favour of sending him to Tihar.
“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, nature of offences, stage of investigation, the accused is remanded to judicial custody,” the judge ordered.
The judge had heard both sides argue on Chidambaram’s next stop for a little over 30 minutes before he reserved his order. As the two sides waited for him to come back to court with his verdict, Chidambaram who has spent 15 days in custody of the CBI looked a little tired. Like always, he had been standing in the accused box as he waited for the judge to return.
A court staffer brought him to chair. It wasn’t the first time that Chidambaram had been offered a chair but he had always, pointedly and firmly, declined. Today, he decided to sit down.
His team had been prepared for the verdict, and quickly moved requests.
Sibal started with a request to carry his spectacles and prescribed medicines to Tihar jail, India’s largest and most populous. Chidambaram, who has been the country’s former home minister, also requested a separate cell with a bathroom in light of concerns over his security. The judge accepted these two sets of application. On the third - a formal request to surrender to the Enforcement Directorate - the judge issued notice to the ED to seek its stand.

‘India with Russia in development of its Far East’: PM Modi in Vladivostok
MMNN:5September 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Plenary Session of the 5th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. He said that brainstorming at forum will strengthen human welfare for entire humankind. ‘Putin’s vision for its Far East similar to Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, said PM Modi in Valdivostok. PM Modi said India will walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Russia in its development of Far East region. “The relation of India and Far East is not new but ages old. India is the 1st country which opened its consulate in Vladivostok. Even during Soviet Russia when there was restrictions on other foreigners, Vladivostok was open for Indians, Modi added. India will walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Russia in its development of Far East region

2 dead as 100 years old building collapses in Ahmedabad
MMNN:5September 2019

Two women died after a two-storey building collapsed in Amraiwadi area in Ahmedabad on Thursday afternoon. Rescue operations are underway.
BJP’s Amraiwadi councillor Baldev Desai said the structure was 100 years old.
There have been no reports of any casualties so far.
More details awaited.

India, Russia want to diversify, strengthen bilateral relations: PM Modi
MMNN:3 September 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said he looks forward to discussing regional and international issues of mutual interest with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Vladivostok to attend the Eastern Economic Forum.
He also said his visit underlines the desire of the two countries to diversity and further strengthen bilateral relations.
Modi’s visit to the Russian Far East Region is the first by an Indian prime minister. “I look forward to discussing with my friend President Putin the entire gamut of our bilateral partnership as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest,” the Prime Minister said in his departure statement ahead of his two-day visit beginning Wednesday.
In Vladivostok, Modi will participate as the chief guest at the 5th Eastern Economic Forum at the invitation of President Putin.
He will also hold the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit with Putin. “I also look forward to meeting other global leaders attending the Eastern Economic Forum, and interacting with Indian Industry and business representatives participating in it,” Modi said.
The forum focuses on development of business and investment opportunities in the Russian Far East Region, and presents enormous potential for developing close and mutually beneficial cooperation between India and Russia in the region, he pointed out.
“Our two countries enjoy excellent relations, based on the strong foundation of our special and privileged strategic partnership. Both countries cooperate extensively in the strategic fields of defence, civil nuclear energy and peaceful uses of space. We have robust and growing trade and investment relations.
“Our strong partnership is complemented by a desire to promote a multi-polar world and the two countries closely cooperate towards this end in regional and multilateral fora,” Modi said.

Bengal governor summons DGP to discuss law and order situation
MMNN:3 September 2019

A day after he said that he was pained by incidents of violence, Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar summoned the director general of police (DGP) to his residence to discuss the law and order situation in the state.
The meeting at Raj Bhavan lasted a little over 30 minutes. This is the first instance that the governor, who took oath in July, summoned an officer of the state to discuss law and order.
Though none in the state administration would formally comment on it, officers said Sunday’s violence in Bhatpara area in Barrackpore in which local MP Arjun Singh of the BJP sustained head injuries and had to be hospitalized, was the catalyst for the governor’s decision to call the DGP for a meeting.
The governor enquired from DGP Virendra (he goes by only one name) why the violence has continued in this area for the past few months, said an officer.
The governor’s office did not release any statement about the meeting.
On the other hand, Arjun Singh, who was released from the hospital on Tuesday, accused Bengal’s ruling party Trinamool Congress of conspiring to murder him.
“I shall talk to the concerned persons for the state of West Bengal (so that it) gets peaceful atmosphere. The state of West Bengal does not need violence. Bengal must be on (the) path of progress,” Dhankhar said on Monday morning after meeting Singh at a hospital.
TMC leaders also did not comment but a minister said that if the party has anything to say at all, it will do so later. On Monday, however, Saugata Roy, TMC Lok Sabha MP had remarked that the governor should not speak politics.
A former advocate and Lok Sabha MP (1989-1991) from Janata Dal, Dhankhar (68) was sworn in as the 28th governor of the state in July.
On Monday, Dhankhar said he was troubled by violence, irrespective of who was the target.
“Holding this Constitutional position, my objective is that we must believe in the rule of law and we must believe in peace. We must avoid violence and I am in pain looking at the violence. I am in pain that something happens to teachers, lawyers, doctors and journalists. We must have a system where everyone acts in a disciplined manner and without violence,” the governor said.
Arjun Singh said that he has told the Union home minister Amit Shah and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla that Barrackpore Police commissioner Manoj Verma can get him killed any moment.
“I have told the Union home minister and LS speaker that Manoj Verma has conspired to kill me. He can get me killed by goons any moment, or he can even do the act himself,” said Singh.
“I have taken part in many agitations in the state since the days of the Left rule. But I have never seen that without even speaking to anyone, police starts beating up people including the MLA, councillors and women,” said Singh referring to the clash on Sunday.

Car-borne assailants shoot at police constable in Delhi, bullet hits passer-by
MMNN:3 September 2019

A 50-year-old man was killed when unidentified car-borne assailants opened fire on a police constable in northeast Delhi’s Nand Nagri area, police said on Tuesday.
The incident happened on Monday and the deceased has been identified as Raju, a resident of Harsh vihar, they said.
“Our constable Ajay, posted in Nand Nagri police station, was passing through Tanga stand, Nand Nagri, at 11:39 pm on Monday when he saw some suspicious persons sitting in a Swift Desire car,” said Atul Kumar Thakur, Deputy commissioner of police (North East) On being inquired by the constable, the suspected persons started running away.
“During the chase, a man from the car opened fired at the constable but the bullet hit one passer-by and they managed to flee away. The victim was rushed to GTB Hospital where he was declared bought dead,” said Thakur.
Police have registered a case under section 302 (punishment for murder) of IPC and teams have been formed to nab the accused, he added.

Take up Issue of Sikh Girl's 'Forced' Conversion to Islam with Pakistan, Amarinder Tells Centre
MMNN:30 August 2019

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh urged External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday to take up the issue of a Sikh girl being reportedly kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam in Pakistan. "Shocking incident of a Sikh girl being kidnapped & forced to convert to Islam in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan," Singh tweeted, tagging a video. In the video message, the family of the girl has claimed that she was abducted and forcibly converted to Islam. The family has sought Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's help. The chief minister urged Khan to take a firm and immediate action. "Call upon @ImranKhanPTI to take firm and immediate action against the perpetrators. Request @DrS Jaishankar to strongly take up the issue with his counterpart at the earliest," he said.

Mobile Services Partially Restored North Kashmir's Kupwara District
MMNN:30 August 2019

Srinagar: Incoming mobile services have been restored for post-paid subscribers in Kashmir Valley's Kupwara district, officials said on Friday.
All post-paid subscribers of state-run BSNL, Jio and Vodafone in the north Kashmir border district will benefit from the decision, they said.
According to the officials, there was a technical issue in allowing outgoing mobile services and it would take some time to overcome the problem.
Services for pre-paid subscribers, who don't get monthly bills, have not been opened yet, they said.
Landline, mobile and internet services were suspended on August 5 when the centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370.
The state administration is opening up the communication system gradually and has restored landline services in 46 of 96 telephone exchanges in the Valley, officials said.

CBI Conducts Joint Surprise Checks at 150 Places across Country Against Corruption
MMNN:30 August 2019

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday carried out joint surprise checks at 150 places across the country against corruption, officials said. The special drive was conducted primarily at such points of corruption where common citizens or small businessmen feel maximum pinch of corruption in the government machinery, they said.
The drive will sensitise all stakeholders about possible avenues of corruption and the difficulties common citizens face while seeking services from such departments, the officials said.
The checks were conducted in Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Guwahati, Srinagar, Shillong, Chandigarh, Shimla, chennai, Madurai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Gandhinagar, Goa, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Nagpur, Patna, Ranchi, Ghaziabad, Dehradun and Lucknow.
The departments where surprise checks were conducted included railways, coal mines and coal fields , medical and health care organisations, customs department, Food Corporation of India, and other departments like power, municipal corporations, transport, Directorate of States, fire services, sub-registrar offices, GST department, national highways, Airport Authorities of India, public sector oil companies, Directorate General of Foreign Trades, financial institutions, BSNL, Shipping Corporation, and others.

Amid High Alert in Tamil Nadu, NIA Conducts Raids at 5 Places in Coimbatore
MMNN:29 August 2019

Chennai: Amid high alert in Tamil Nadu following an input on entry of terrorists, the National Investigation Agency is conducting searches at five locations in Coimbatore district.
Sources said that places of five men, Umar Farooq, Sanabar Ali, Sameena Mubin, Muhammad Yasir and Sadam Hussain, who were on NIA's radar for alleged ISIS link, were searched by the agency.
In June, NIA arrested Mohammed Azarudeen, who is the alleged mastermind of ISIS Tamil Nadu module. Sources said that the raids that are underway today are in connection with this case and the alleged ISIS links.
Tamil Nadu has been on high alert since Thursday midnight following intelligence inputs that a six-member group of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had infiltrated the state.
The reports suggested six members of the terror outfit entered the state by sea from Sri Lanka. The Tamil Nadu Police have launched a combing operation and raided several locations. One Pakistani and five Sri Lankan Tamil Muslims are among the six to have made their way into the state.

Money Laundering Offence Against Nation, Need Chidambaram's Custody to Unearth Conspiracy: ED to SC
MMNN:29 August 2019

New Delhi: Money laundering is an offence against "society and nation", the ED told the Supreme Court Thursday and said it needed custodial interrogation of former finance minister P Chidambaram to unearth the larger conspiracy in the INX Media money case under PMLA.
The Enforcement Directorate told a bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna that it cannot show the material collected during the probe to Chidambaram at this stage as the evidence related to money trail of layers of money might be erased.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for ED, said there is no requirement of "exposing the materials, sources and evidence to the accused at the stage of pre-arrest bail" and investigation is the exclusive domain of the probe agency.
"Money laundering is an offence against the society and the nation and probe agency has a right and duty to unearth the entire conspiracy," he told the bench, adding that the apex court has consistently held that economic offences are "gravest of grave" irrespective of the sentence prescribed for it.
"I have materials to show that laundering of money continued after 2009 and even today (in the INX Media case)," he said, adding that the ED wants to interrogate Chidambaram in custody and without the "protective umbrella" of anticipatory bail.
The apex court is hearing a plea filed by Chidambaram who has challenged the August 20 verdict of the Delhi High Court denying him anticipatory bail in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases lodged by the CBI and ED. The arguments in the case would continue during the day.

Fire Breaks Out in Telangana Express in Haryana, Passengers Safe
MMNN:29 August 2019

New Delhi: A fire broke out in two coaches of the Hyderabad-New Delhi Telangana Express at Asaoti station in Haryana on Thursday, Northern Railway officials said. All passengers are safe.
Fire broke out in two coaches of the train at 7:43 am and both have been isolated, said Northern Railway Spokesperson Deepak Kumar. It has now been controlled.
"Train number 12723 Hyderabad NDLS Telangana Express was stopped between Asaoti and Ballabgarh at 7:43am due to heavy smoke and flames from wheels of the ninth coach from the rear end. The up and down movement has now been stopped in the affected section," Kumar added.

Having No Means of Communication is 'Biggest Punishment' for People of J&K, Says BJP Minister Javadekar
MMNN:28 August 2019

New Delhi: Emphasising the importance of communication tools, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said the "biggest punishment" for people is when they have no means of communication. The Information and Broadcasting Minister, speaking at the National Awards for community radio event here, also hailed the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir as "historic decision."
"We did a lot of work. In Kashmir, people did not get the right of development like the rest of the country. So that they get this right of development, Article 370 happened. It is a historic decision. The development that Jammu and Kashmir did not have, it will get it now."
He also said, "the people didn't get reservation, they will get it now, they didn't have right to education, they will get it now, they were being left out of government schemes that are doing well, they will get its benefits now. All the laws will now be applicable there. So, now they will grow at a higher rate than the rest of the country."
Javadekar said at present, the situation in India is such that everyone has a mobile phone through which one can talk to each other across cities. He said that India has emerged as the largest user of the mobile phone in the country.
"This is the power and need of communication...when people store everything in their hearts and are unable to tell anyone about it, is the biggest punishment. When you cannot talk to anyone, you cannot contact anyone and you have no tool to communicate, that is the biggest punishment," he said, adding that one of the biggest medium of communication is community radio.
"Incidentally, the minister's comments come in the backdrop of restrictions imposed on communication services in the Kashmir Valley after the abrogation of the Article 370 by the Union government on August 5.
The minister gave away awards in five categories for the years 2018 and 2019. While in 2018 for the Radio Namaskar, Odisha received the first prize, the second prize was bagged by Radio Sharda, Jammu and Kashmir in the Thematic Category, in 2019 the first prize was won by Friends Radio, Tripura followed by Salaam Namaste in Uttar Pradesh.
Javadekar also said that the government led by Narendra Modi was taking decisions at high speed and unlike earlier governments which gave annual reports of its work, this government gave 50 days and 75 day reports. He also released a booklet of 75 days of the Modi government highlighting its achievements called "Jan Connect."

K'taka Minister Urges Visitors to Contribute to Flood Relief, Sets Up 2 Donation Boxes in Office
MMNN:28 August 2019

Bengaluru: Karnataka Minister for Mining and Geology CC Patil, who took charge on Wednesday, put up two boxes in his office where visitors can contribute for flood relief. “I have kept donation boxes in my office. Those who visit my office to wish me, please don’t bring anything. Instead, please contribute towards flood relief,” Patil told News18, adding that he would give all the money, thus, collected to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
In the box, it is written: Instead of greeting me with bouquets, please contribute money for flood victims’ relief fund. The newly appointed minister hails from north Karnataka that has been badly hit by the deluge. A leader from the Opposition said Patil, instead of resorting to publicity stunts, should put pressure on the Centre for funds.
This year, Karnataka has faced the biggest floods in years. As many as 82 lives were lost and lakhs of people were rendered homeless. According to government records, 2097 cattle were killed, 7.82 hectares of crops were lost, landslides damaged 5,000 hectares of area and 35,000km roads were affected. About 2.37 lakh houses have suffered severe damage, 6.96 lakh people were displaced and 8.67 lakh people were shifted to relief camps. Overall, the state is said to have suffered losses worth over Rs 32,000 crore. The Centre is yet to release any funds to the state.
However, Revenue Minister R Ashoka said his government had received all sorts of help from the Centre. After attending a flood review meeting, Ashoka said, “The Centre had sent 42 companies of personnel to handle the Karnataka floods. Losses worth about Rs 32,000 crore loss have been assessed and the Union government is helping us in all possible way. We will try to get funds from the Centre.”
So far, Karnataka CM’s Relief Fund has received contribution worth Rs 110.1 crore. The Congress has been hitting out at the BJP government for not being able to get funds from the Centre.

Jaishankar Holds talks with Russian Counterpart Lavrov; Reviews Preparation for PM Modi's Visit
MMNN:28 August 2019

Moscow: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday reviewed the preparations for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the country next week and discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Talking to reporters at a joint press conference here, Lavrov said that the preparations for the talks between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and India on creation of a free trade zone have been finished, with all required procedures fulfilled.
"Today, we focused on preparations for Prime Minister Modi's visit to Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin and participation in the 5th Fifth Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok as chief guest," Lavrov said.
The two sides "thoroughly discussed" the visit's agenda and came to the conclusion that they are on the right track, he was quoted as saying by the state-run Tass news agency. The 5th Eastern Economic Forum will take place in Vladivostok on September 4-6.
"EAEU focuses on the deepening of trade and economic cooperation with New Delhi. As of today, all procedures required for the launch of official talks on concluding a free trade zone agreement between EAEU and India have been completed. The speedy launch of a respective negotiations process will be a milestone of cooperation between India and EAEU," Lavrov said.
The EAEU is a five-nation international organisation comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Russia established in 2015 to create conditions for the stable development of the economies of the member states. The EAEU region with a population size of over 180 million holds huge potential to increase trade.
Lavrov also said that his talks with Jaishankar also focused on "a number of specific issues, including the necessity to intensify work on creation of an international transport corridor North-South in the Russia-India-Iran format."
The Russian minister said that respective departments would continue meaningful consultations on the subject. Jaishankar arrived in Moscow on Tuesday on a two-day visit to Russia to finalise the preparations for Prime Minister Modi's visit to the country.
This is his first visit to Moscow since assuming office in May.
"40 years to the day I first came to Moscow. The world has changed but India-Russia relations remain steady," Jaishankar tweeted on Tuesday.
Jaishankar will also meet Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov. Days ahead of Jaishankar's visit, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval travelled to Moscow and held talks with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev during which both sides underlined support for principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference of third parties.
Delivering a speech at the discussion platform of the Valdai Discussion Club on the issue 'The prospects of India's policy in the Indo-Pacific region' on Tuesday, Jaishankar said that the changing world had thrown up new concepts and approaches and the Indo-Pacific was one of them. India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military maneuvering in the region.
China has been trying to expand its military presence in the Indo-Pacific, which is a biogeographic region, comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.
China claims almost all of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the sea.

Relief for P Chidambaram After Supreme Court Grants Him Protection from Enforcement Directorate Arrest
MMNN:27 August 2019

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday extended till tomorrow protection from arrest granted to former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case.
A bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna said it would hear the arguments of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Chidambaram's two petitions, including the challenge to remand orders, on Wednesday.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, filed an application seeking direction to the ED to produce the transcripts of the questioning conducted on December 19 last year and January 1 and January 21 this year in the case.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for ED, said he would like to reply to the fresh application during the course of his arguments.
The transcripts will show whether Chidambaram was evasive during his questioning, as alleged by the ED, Sibal said.
He also told the bench that the ED cannot place documents in the court randomly and "behind the back" for seeking Chidambaram's custody.
"They are just producing documents at random and saying this is part of the case diary," Sibal said, adding, "They cannot place the documents behind the back and seek custody of accused."
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, also appearing for Chidambaram, referred to the constitutional and legal provisions and said that fundamental right of citizens under Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) cannot be suspended.
Singhvi argued that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was amended in 2009 whereas the allegations in the case are of 2007-2008.
"You try and paint a person as a kingpin when these alleged offences did not exist at that time," he told the court during the arguments which will continue in the post lunch session.
The apex court had on Monday extended till Tuesday the protection from arrest given to Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the ED.
Chidambaram was the Union minister for finance as also home during the UPA-I and UPA-II government from 2004 to 2014.
The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister.
Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case against him in 2017.

'He Ruined Lives of Many Girls': Law Student Missing After Harassment Charge at ex-Union Minister
MMNN:27 August 2019

Lucknow: Days after she accused former union minister and BJP leader, Swami Chinmayanand, of harassment and “destroying the lives of several girls”, a law student from SS Law College in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur has gone missing from her college hostel.
In a video posted on Friday, the girl alleged that Chinmayanand, director of her college, is threatening to kill her and her family as she has evidences that could land him in trouble. She asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath for help.
In the clip that has now gone viral, the girl can be seen requesting PM Modi for help. “I’m (name withheld) from Shahjahanpur and am pursuing LLM from SS College. A big leader of the saint society, who has destroyed the lives of several girls, has been threatening me with life. I have all the evidences against him. I request Modi ji and Yogi ji to please help me. He has even threatened to kill my family. Only I know what I have been going through. Modi ji please help me, he is a sanyasi and is threatening that the police, DM and everyone else is on his side and no one can harm him. I request you all for justice.”
She is untraceable since Saturday, a day after posting the video on Facebook live. No report or case has been lodged by the police so far.
Her father has given a written complaint against Chinmayanand, former MoS Home.
“The last time she came home was on Raksh Bandhan. I asked her why her phone remained switched off so frequently. She said, ‘if my phone goes off for a longer duration then understand that I am in trouble. My phone will go off only when it is not in my hands’. My girl was going through a lot of pain and trouble but didn’t divulge much. She told me she was being sent to Nainital by her college administration,” her mother said.
The father of the girl has alleged that he has been trying to contact her for many days but she is untraceable. “My daughter never told me anything personally. She looked worried when she was home on Raksha Bandhan. She has been missing since four days. I have given a written complaint against college director Swami Chinmayanand but no action has been taken yet,” he said.
No case has been registered against Swami Chinmayanand by the police so far. When asked, S Chinappa SSP Shahjahanpur, said he doesn’t know anything about the viral video.
Last year, Yogi Adityanath government had decided to withdraw the rape and abduction case lodged against Swami Chinamayanand. The FIR against him was lodged in November 2011, on the complaint of a girl who had spent several years at his ashram.

In Meeting With Amit Shah, Jagan Reddy Explains Plans to Have 4 Capitals For Andhra
MMNN:27 August 2019

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekhawat during his visit to Delhi and explained his plans to assign four new capitals for the state.
Reddy, who was in the national capital for the inter-state council meeting on the development initiatives being undertaken in Maoist-hit areas, is said to be mulling over the idea to establish capitals in Vizianagaram, Kakinada, Guntur and Kadapa in a bid to decentralise development.
According to YSRCP Sources, during his meeting with Amit Shah, Reddy is said to have highlighted his proposal to make Amaravati only the administrative capital while pushing for development in the other four cities as well. For this, the state government plans to establish Regional Development Boards.
Following the recent flooding of the Krishna River, which led to road links being cut off between Amaravati and Vijayawada several political leaders, local farmers and members of the business fraternity raised concerns over the city being chosen as the capital.
The Minister for Municipal Affairs Botsa Satyanarayan himself struck controversy when he said that Amaravati is not the safest capital at all after 8 lakh cusecs of water, which was let through the Prakasam Barrage, drowned the river-front areas.
The cost of construction is also said to be significantly higher in Amaravati as compared to the other areas in the state. Several political parties including the opposition Telugu Desam Party and Janasena, however, hit out at the government’s plans to shift the capital city from Amaravati.
Responding to their criticism, Satyanarayana said that the discussions are going on over the issue. He also blamed the previous Chandrababu Naidu government citing likely corruption in land deals.
“The previous TDP government and leaders purchased huge amounts of land before announcing the capital. The government will explore the names and details of those who are indulging in this. We can only give more clarity over this after further discussions.”
Among other issues that were taken up during the discussion between the Andhra Pradesh CM and Amit Shah was the matter of financial aid to the state and reverse tendering in respect of the Polavaram headworks and hydel power project.

Setback for Chidambaram as SC Refuses to Hear 'Infructuous' Plea Against Dismissal of Anticipatory Bail
MMNN:26 August 2019

New Delhi: In a setback for Congress leader P Chidambaram, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain his petition challenging the dismissal of anticipatory bail in a corruption case lodged by the CBI in the INX Media scam.
At the outset, a bench comprising justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna said since Chidambaram has already been arrested and is in the custody of the CBI, his appeal in the case has become infructuous.
However, the bench said Chidambaram is at a liberty to seek remedy in accordance with the law.
Chidambaram, whose CBI custody is ending on Monday, will be produced before a trial court where the agency can further seek his custody.
However, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and AM Singhvi said in their arguments that the CBI ensured that Chidambaram's plea become infructuous by arresting him when he was seeking protection from arrest.
They said that immediately after the high court had dismissed his anticipatory bail plea in both CBI and ED cases on August 20, the senior Congress leader had moved the apex court in the post lunch session and his matter was listed for hearing on August 21.
While attempts were being made to get his petition listed for hearing on Wednesday, an order was passed that the matter will be heard on August 23. Chidambaram was arrested on late evening of August 21.
Sibal narrated the sequence of events from August 20 to August 21, and said "the whole purpose of the CBI was to defeat the fundamental rights of my client, (Chidambaram) and his liberty guaranteed under the Constitution. He should have been heard but the matter was listed for hearing on Friday and not even Thursday".
However, the bench said on that ground Chidambaram's plea against the high court decision cannot be entertained.
"So far as the CBI case is concerned, we are not inclined to hear it. We dismiss the special leave petition (of Chidambaram) in CBI case," the bench said.
It said the senior Congress leader can challenge the dismissal of his anticipatory bail in the CBI case on different grounds.
At present the apex court bench is hearing issues relating to the money laundering case lodged by the ED in connection with the INX media scam in which Chidambaram was granted protection from arrest till today.

Embankment in Punjab Collapses as Pakistan Releases Water; Flood Threat Looms in Atleast 17 Villages
MMNN:26 August 2019

Chandigarh: A crucial embankment in Punjab's Ferozepur district collapsed early Monday due to heavy discharge of water from Pakistan, posing a threat of flooding in at least 17 villages.
For the past three days, local authorities have been working on a war footing to strengthen the 50-foot embankment in Tendiwala village along the swollen Satluj river with the assistance of the Indian Army, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and locals.
Over 17 villages located on the right bank of the Satluj and along the Indo-Pakistan border are facing flood threat owing to the strong current of water coming from Kasur in Pakistan, an official told IANS. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday asked the Water Resources Department to work out a joint action plan to strengthen the embankment to avert the flooding of nearby villages.
Presiding over a high-level meeting here to review the flood situation in the state, the Chief Minister directed the Principal Secretary, Water Resources Department, to ensure strengthening of the Tendiwala embankment.
The Chief Minister also directed the Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepur to keep NDRF teams on standby to meet any exigency arising out of the floods. Deputy Commissioner Chander Gaind said that 500 persons have been evacuated and 630 given necessary medical aid in 15 flood-affected villages in Makhu and Hussaniwala areas.
Locals rue that Pakistan has released toxic water from its tanneries into the Satluj that has created havoc in their villages. The Satluj water enters Pakistan via a creek and because of the river's natural course, one its tributaries flows back near Tendiwala village.
This season it brought huge flows of highly toxic waste of leather tanneries in Kasur district of Pakistan into India. The pollutants have caused skin-related diseases in the villages along the border. Even livestock have been affected.
Gatti Rajoke, the last village in India before the international border, is one of the worst affected villages due to the water released by Pakistan.

22 Senior Tax Officers Facing Corruption Charges Made to Retire as Part of Govt’s ‘Clean-up’ Drive
MMNN:26 August 2019

New Delhi: The government has forced 22 more tax officials into retirement for their alleged roles in corruption cases and links with other charges, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to purge the I-T department of the "black sheep”.
This comes just two months after the government had compulsorily retired 27 high-ranking officers of the Indian Revenue Service officers, including 12 from the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The action was taken after the officers were named in alleged corruption cases.
“The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has compulsorily retired yet another 22 senior officers of the rank of Superintendent/Administrative Officer under Fundamental Rule 56 (J)... due to corruption and other charges and CBI traps,” the CBIC said.
In June, 12 senior government officers, including a chief commissioner, principal commissioners and commissioner of the Income Tax Department, were directed by the Finance Ministry to retire under Rule 56 of the General Financial Rules (GFRs).
Sources had told News 18 that some of these officers were found guilty of corruption, having illegal and disproportionate assets and sexual harassment.
News18 had earlier reported that the Cabinet Secretariat and the Central Vigilance Commission had given verbal instructions to the vigilance heads in many departments to expedite the process of identifying officers for compulsory retirement under Fundamental Rule 56(j) of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972.
Though 56(j) that provides for compulsory retirement of government staff in public interest has existed for several decades, it has sparingly been invoked.
Under the section, the performance of an officer who has turned 50 or 55 or has completed 30 years of service (whichever is earlier,) is being reviewed to ascertain if he/she is liable for compulsory retirement.
This rule to punish non-performers was revisited immediately after the first Modi government came to power in May 2014.
Among high-profile 56 (j) retirements in recent past were MN Vijaykumar (IAS), K Narasimha (IAS), Mayank Sheel Chohan (IPS) and Raj Kumar Dewangan (IPS).

Arun Jaitley, Senior BJP Leader And Former Union Minister, Dies At 66
MMNN:24 August 2019

NEW DELHI: Arun Jaitley, former Finance Minister and the chief troubleshooter of the BJP, has died at Delhi's AIIMS hospital, two weeks after he was admitted following complaints of breathlessness. He was 66. Leaders across party lines visited Arun Jaitley's home to pay tributes to the leader. He will cremated tomorrow.
In a brief statement, AIIMS said Arun Jaitley died at 12.07 pm. "It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Shri Arun Jaitley... Shri Arun Jaitley was admitted in AIIMS, New Delhi on 09/08/2019 and was treated by a multidisciplinary team of senior doctors," said AIIMS in a statement. The veteran BJP leader, who was brought in to the hospital on August 9, had been put on life support and was being monitored by a multidisciplinary team of doctors.
Senior leaders including Smriti Irani and Hardeep Singh Puri have reached AIIMS. Mr Jaitley's body will be taken to his home soon and the funeral will be held tomorrow. Before the funeral at Nigambodh Ghat, Mr Jaitley's body will be kept at the BJP office till 2 pm.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in the UAE, said Mr Jaitley was a "political giant, towering intellectual and legal luminary."
"Arun Jaitley Ji was a political giant, towering intellectual and legal luminary. He was an articulate leader who made a lasting contribution to India. His passing away is very saddening. Spoke to his wife Sangeeta Ji as well as son Rohan, and expressed condolences. Om Shanti," PM Modi tweeted.
Home Minister Amit Shah said Arun Jaitley had guided him for years. "Deeply saddened by Arun Jaitley's death. His death is a personal loss for me. I have not just lost a senior party colleague but also a member of my family, who guided me for several years," Mr Shah tweeted.
Mr Jaitley's long-time colleague and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh said he will always be remembered for "pulling the economy out of the gloom and putting it back on the right track."
Nirmala Sitharaman, who succeeded Mr Jaitley as the Finance Minister, said Mr Jaitley's "intelligence, sagacity, astuteness have no match."
Mr Jaitley's urbane and articulate manner had helped him win friends across party lines and industry.
President Kovind, PM Modi, Amit Shah along with political leaders like Mayawati, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Nitish Kumar and Yogi Adityanath had visited Mr Jaitley in hospital.
Mr Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been an important part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet in the BJP government's first term. He held the finance and defence portfolios, and often acted as the chief troubleshooter of the government. During his tenure as finance minister, Arun Jaitley led the enactment of a bankruptcy code and the Goods and Services Tax or GST.
Mr Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election presumably because of his ill-health. Arun Jaitley also had to skip the presentation of the interim budget in February when he was in hospital in the United States for treatment. The lawyer-turned-politician also had triple heart bypass surgery when he was 52.
He had undergone a kidney transplant on May 14 last year at AIIMS with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal filling in for him in the finance ministry at that time.
Mr Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April last year, was back in the finance ministry on August 23, 2018.

Arun Jaitley's Last Rites At Delhi's Nigam Bodh Ghat Tomorrow: JP Nadda
MMNN:24 August 2019

NEW DELHI: Former finance minister Arun Jaitley's body will cremated at Delhi's Nigam Bodh Ghat tomorrow, said BJP Working President JP Nadda on Saturday. "From AIIMS, Arun Jaitley's body will be taken to his home in Kailash colony. His body will be kept there till 10 am tomorrow and from there it will be taken to the BJP headquarters for party workers and the public to pay their last respects. His funeral procession will begin from the BJP headquarters to the Nigam Bodh Ghat, where last rites will be performed," Mr Nadda said.
He, however, added the timing for the cremation of Mr Jaitley's body is yet to be decided.
Praising the veteran BJP leader for his contribution to the nation and the party, Mr Nadda said, "All the people of India are deeply saddened by the death of Arun Jaitley Ji. Pleasant by personality, a team player by attitude and a savior for the government in times of need, he served the party and nation with full commitment."
Mr Nadda added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to Mr Jaitley's family members and that the whole cadre of BJP was with them in this hour of grief.
The former finance minister died at the age of 66, at AIIMS, New Delhi. He was admitted to the AIIMS earlier this month after he complained of restlessness. He was placed under observation at the hospital's cardio-neuro-centre.

UAE Is India's "Valuable Partner" To Help Reach $5 Trillion Economy: PM
MMNN:24 August 2019

ABU DHABI: India's relations with the UAE are "at their best ever" as bilateral ties have been elevated from a mere "buyer-seller" to that of a comprehensive strategic partnership in the last four years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said as he highlighted the excellent rapport between the leadership of the two countries.
PM Modi in an interview with the UAE's official news agency, WAM, said that India has found a "valuable partner" in the UAE to achieve its ambitious dream of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy.
"India has embarked on the ambitious, yet achievable, path to be a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024-25. We are targeting about USD 1.7 trillion dollar worth of investments in the coming five years. To achieve this vision, the government is working to promote inflows from domestic as well as foreign sources," PM Modi said, who is in the UAE on the second leg of his three-nation tour.
The Prime Minister believes that his third visit to the UAE, in the last four years, reflects the desire and will of the two countries to sustain the momentum achieved in the bilateral relationship.
"We consider the UAE as a valuable partner in realising the objective to reach USD 5 trillion economy through a mutually beneficial partnership," said PM Modi who started on Friday night a two-day state visit to the UAE.
"There has been an increasing interest in investments in India in sectors ranging from renewable energy, food, ports, airports, defence manufacturing and other sectors," the Prime Minister added.
"UAE investments in (sectors such as) infrastructure and housing are being enhanced. The UAE is our third largest trade partner with about USD 60 billion bilateral trade in 2018-19. Many of our companies are investing here in the UAE. Both countries are working closely and vigorously to implement the commitment of USD 75 billion investment by the UAE in India," he said.
Annual bilateral trade between India and the UAE stood at about USD 60 billion. The UAE is also a key source of energy for India, being the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil for India, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement in New Delhi ahead of his visit to the kingdom.
On his relations with Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, PM Modi, said that "the Crown Prince and I regard each other as brothers. We have developed enormous goodwill and mutual respect. I believe that the excellent rapport between the two of us is an important driving force in realising the true potential of our relationship."

Money Trail, Old Questions and Intelligent People: Courtroom Drama as CBI Goes After Chidambaram
MMNN:22 August 2019

New Delhi: The CBI on Thursday produced Congress leader and former union minister P Chidambaram, arrested in the INX Media case, before a Delhi court and sought his custody for five days, saying there is a need to unearth a “larger conspiracy”. He was produced before Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar and the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of the CBI, said Chidambaram was not cooperating with the probe agency and was evasive in his answers.
Chidambaram's advocates opposed the CBI plea on the ground that all the other accused, including his son Karti, have already been granted bail in the case.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chidambaram, argued that the first arrest in the case was of Bhaskar Raman, chartered accountant of Karti, who is presently out on bail. Besides that, Peter and Indrani Mukherjea, also accused in the case, are out on default bail as they are in jail in connection with another matter, Sibal said.
He also questioned why bureaucrats in the FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) were not arrested if they had given wrong approval for foreign investment in INX Media. He contended that grant of bail was a rule and the issue before the court was of personal liberty.
Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, told the court that the agency was not extorting confession but it has the right to reach the root of the case. "It is a serious case involving intelligent people and we will fail in our duty if we don't get to the root of the case," he said.
Besides Sibal, senior advocate Abhishek M Singhvi also appeared for Chidambaram and opposed CBI's plea by saying that the former Union Minister was not a flight risk.
Singhvi said that the entire CBI case was based on the statement of Indrani Mukherjea, who has turned approver in the case. He said Chidambaram cannot answer what CBI wants to hear and added that the agency cannot seek remand on the ground of evasive replies.
Singhvi further contended that police remand can only be granted in special circumstances and this was a case where there was no new development. He pointed out that the arrest was made only 11-12 months after Indrani’s statement.
He said the agency was asking Chidambaram only old questions since his arrest on Wednesday night.
Mehta countered the arguments made on behalf of Chidambaram, saying that everybody was equal before the court. He said certain facts about the case cannot be narrated in an open court and also opposed the plea that Chidambaram be allowed to argue for himself, saying he has able lawyers representing him.
Mehta said that Chidambaram entered into a criminal conspiracy with others in the scam.
Chidambaram was arrested last night after issuance of non-bailable warrant against him.
Mehta said it is a serious and monumental case of money laundering. He also said Chidambaram's custodial interrogation was necessary to unearth the "quid pro quo and larger conspiracy" and he is required to be confronted with documents.
Opposing CBI's arguments, Sibal contended that what the agency has said should not be taken as "gospel truth". He said that Chidambaram was asked 12 questions and he had already answered six of them previously.
Investigators don't know what to ask and they don't have questions ready with them, Sibal told the court, adding that after his arrest on Wednesday night, Chidambaram was interrogated only on Thursday morning at 11 am.
During the arguments, Chidambaram said he has not slept for last 24 hours.
Sibal further argued that CBI could have written a letter to Chidambaram for producing the documents alleged to be in his possession and the agency cannot say he was evasive during the investigation. He also contended that what has been stated in the CBI case diary was not the truth and cannot be considered as evidence.
Mehta, during his arguments, placed the Delhi High Court's judgement dismissing Chidambaram's anticipatory bail plea and also referred to the observations made in it. He said charge sheet has not been filed in the case yet and the case is at pre-charge sheet stage, therefore, "we need material which Chidambaram is holding".
"Effective investigation is possible only in custodial interrogation," he argued. Mehta contended that serious, active and informed role of the accused is made out and money trail is made out and has to be probed.
Soon after entering the courtroom, 73-year-old Chidambaram was seen having discussion with his party leaders and senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Vivek Tankha. Chidambaram's family members, including his wife Nalini and son Karti, are also in the courtroom along with other senior advocates including Dayan Krishnan. Heavy security arrangement has been done outside the courtroom.
He was arrested late Wednesday night from his Jor Bagh residence. The CBI had registered an FIR on May 15, 2017, alleging irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to the INX Media group for receiving overseas funds of Rs 305 crore in 2007 during Chidambaram's tenure as the finance minister. Thereafter, the ED lodged a money laundering case in this regard in 2018.

PM Modi Begins Three-nation Trip, Says Engagements Will Strengthen Ties With Time-tested Friends
MMNN:22 August 2019

New Delhi: Ahead of his visit to France, the UAE and Bahrain, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the engagements will strengthen India's relations with time-tested friends and help explore new areas of cooperation.
Modi will visit the three countries from August 22 to 26. He will reach France on Thursday.
In his departure statement, the prime minister said his visit to France reflects the strong strategic partnership which the two countries deeply value and share.
From August 22-23, he will have bilateral meetings in France, including a summit interaction with President Emmanuel Macron and a meeting with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.
Modi will also interact with the Indian community and dedicate a memorial to the Indian victims of the two Air India crashes in France in the 1950s and 1960s.
Later, from August 25-26, he will participate in the G7 Summit meetings as Biarritz Partner at the invitation of President Macron in the sessions on Environment, Climate, Oceans and on Digital Transformation.
"India and France have excellent bilateral ties, which are reinforced by a shared vision to cooperate for further enhancing peace and prosperity for our two countries and the world at large," the prime minister said.
He said the strong strategic and economic partnership is complemented by a shared perspective on major global concerns such as terrorism and climate change.
"I am confident that this visit will further promote our long-standing and valued friendship with France for mutual prosperity, peace and progress," Modi said.
During the visit to the United Arab Emirates from August 23-24, the prime minister said he looks forward to discussing with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan the entire gamut of bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Modi said he also looks forward to jointly release the stamp to commemorate the 150thbirth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi along with the Crown Prince.
"It will be an honour to receive the 'Order of Zayed', the highest civilian decoration conferred by the UAE government, during this visit. I will also formally launch RuPay card to expand the network of cashless transactions abroad," the prime minister said in the statement.
Frequent high-level interactions between India and the UAE testify to our vibrant relations, he said.
The UAE is the third-largest trade partner and fourth-largest exporter of crude oil for India, he said.
"The qualitative enhancement of these ties is among one of our foremost foreign policy achievements. The visit would further strengthen our multifaceted bilateral ties with the UAE," Modi said.
The prime minister will be in Bahrain from August 24-25. This will be the first-ever prime ministerial visit from India to the Kingdom.
"I look forward to discussing with Prime Minister Prince Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa the ways to further boost our bilateral relations and share views on regional and international issues of mutual interest," Modi said.
The prime minister would also be meeting King of Bahrain Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and other leaders.
"I would also take the opportunity to interact with the Indian diaspora. I will be blessed to be present at the formal beginning of the re-development of the temple of Shreenathji - the oldest in the Gulf region in the wake of the auspicious festival of Janmashtami. I am confident that this visit would further deepen our relationship across the sectors," Modi said.

Ordinary Leave Period of Rajiv Gandhi Case Convict Nalini Extended by Three Weeks
MMNN:22 August 2019

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday extended by another three weeks, the ongoing ordinary leave of Nalini Sriharan, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The leave period expires on August 25.
A division bench comprising Justices MM Sundresh and M Nirmal Kumar said the same conditions ordered by it earlier would apply during this period.
The court had on Tuesday directed the Tamil Nadu government to file its reply to Nalini'a plea, seeking an extension of her ongoing ordinary leave by 30 days from August 25.
Nalini had submitted that she has moved the court as the state DIG Prisons in his August 13 letter had rejected her representation for extension of the leave for another 30 days.
Earlier last month, allowing a petition by Nalini, the court had granted her 30 days ordinary leave for making arrangements for her daughter's marriage.
After being released from the Central Prison in Vellore on July 25, Nalini has been residing at Sathuvachari there.
Lodged in prison for over 27 years, she had originally sought a six-month leave to make arrangements for her daughter's marriage.
During the hearing of Nalini's leave plea, the Public Prosecutor had submitted that the 'Tamil Nadu Suspension of Sentence Rules 1982' provides for a maximum 30 day period as ordinary leave (parole) for a convict at a point of time and hence the court can consider granting leave within this limit.
The court in its order had noted that Rule 22 speaks about the extension of 30 days' leave, but it can be exercised only after the initial grant.
Nalini, in her petition, said that despite her sincere efforts, she was not able to complete the arrangements for the marriage of her daughter within the leave period.
Nalini and six other people are serving life imprisonment in the case related to the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi by a suicide bomber at an election rally in
Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.

Former MP Chief Minster Babulal Gaur Cremated with Full State Honours
MMNN:21 August 2019

Bhopal: The mortal remains of former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Babulal Gaur were consigned to flames here on Wednesday.
Governor Lalji Tandon, Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Thawarchand Gehlot and Nityanand Rai, BJP vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state BJP chief Rakesh Singh were among those present along with hundreds of party workers.
Gaur was cremated at Subhash Nagar crematorium with full state honours. The last rites were performed by his grandson Akash.
The veteran BJP leader died due to cardiac arrest on Wednesday morning at a private hospital here.
The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh declared a three-day mourning in the state. The government also declared a half-day holiday at all government offices on Wednesday.
Chief minister Kamal Nath and many state ministers visited Gaur's house here in the morning to pay homage.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Approves Reform of Army Headquarters
MMNN:21 August 2019

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the first batch of reforms in the Army including relocation of 206 officers from the Army headquarters, setting up of a separate vigilance cell and forming an umbrella organisation to focus on human rights issues.
Last year, the Army, based on 12 independent studies, finalised a reform roadmap to make the 1.3 million-strong force leaner and meaner as well as to enhance its combat capabilities.
"The defence minister has approved certain decisions regarding re-organisation of Army headquarters," the defence ministry said.
It said 206 Army officers are being relocated from the Army headquarters and they will be be made available to various field formations and units.
The officers to be relocated include three major generals, eight brigadiers, nine colonel and 186 Lt Colonel/Major.
Another key approval given by Singh is to set up a separate vigilance cell under the Army Chief with tri-services representation.
Presently, the vigilance department operates through multiple agencies and there is no single point interface.
"An independent vigilance cell will be made functional under Chief of Army Staff (COAS). Accordingly, Additional Director General (vigilance) will be placed directly under the COAS for it," the ministry said.
The vigilance cell will have three Colonel-level officers, one each from Army, Indian Air Force and Navy.
According to officials, the umbrella organisation for human rights issues will operate under the Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS).
Officials said it is being set up to accord high priority to human rights convention and values.
"It has been decided to set up a special human rights section headed by ADG (Major General rank officer) directly under the VCOAS," the ministry said.
The organisation will be nodal point to examine any reports of violation of human rights.
"To enhance transparency and ensure the best of investigative expertise is available to the section, a Police officer of SSP/SP rank will be taken on deputation," said the ministry.
The reform initiatives were finalised by top commanders of the Army in October last year to usher in transformative reforms in the force.
The reforms will also include restructuring the Army's officer cadre, bringing down age of key commands, arresting rising revenue expenditure and "right-sizing" the force.

Chandrayaan-2 One Step Closer to Moon After Successfully Entering Second Lunar Orbit
MMNN:21 August 2019

Chennai: The second Lunar orbit manoeuvre for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was successfully completed on Wednesday, said India Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
According to ISRO, the orbit manoeuvre began at 12.50 p.m. and took 1,228 seconds to complete. The orbit achieved is 118 km X 4,412 km. All spacecraft parameters are normal.
The next Lunar bound orbit manoeuvre is scheduled on August 28, 2019 between 5.30 a.m. - 6.30 a.m. On Tuesday, the Chandrayaan-2 was put into its first Lunar orbit.
On July 22, the Chandrayaan-2 was injected into an elliptical orbit of 170X45,475 km by India's heavy lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III) in a textbook style. The spacecraft comprises three segments - the Orbiter (weighing 2,379 kg, eight payloads), the lander 'Vikram' (1,471 kg, four payloads) and rover 'Pragyan' (27 kg, two payloads).
The Indian space agency said the major activities include Earth-bound manoeuvres, the trans-lunar insertion, lunar-bound manoeuvres, Vikram's separation from Chandrayaan-2 and touch down on the Moon's South Pole.

'Our Heart Was Almost Stopping', Says ISRO Chief K Sivan on Chandrayaan-2 Entering Moon's Orbit
MMNN:20 August 2019

Bengaluru: "Our heart was almost stopping", was how ISRO Chairman K Sivan described the tense moments when team Chadrayaan-2 attempted to inject the spacecraft into the lunar orbit on Tuesday.
As ISRO scientists started firing Chandrayaan-2's onboard liquid engine to put the spacecraft in an orbit around the Moon, Sivan said, "our heartbeat increased". "For 30 minutes, our heart was almost stopping," he said after the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver was completed successfully at 0902 hours as planned, using the onboard propulsion system.
But Sivan said the proposed soft-landing on the moon on September 7 is going to be a "terrifying" moment as it is something ISRO has not done before, whereas LOI maneuver had been carried out successfully during the Chandrayaan-1 mission also.
"Now the tension has only increased, not reduced," he said while addressing a press conference.

Foreign Minister Jaishankar Meets His Bangladeshi Counterpart, Discusses Bilateral Ties
MMNN:20 August 2019

Dhaka: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday met his Bangladeshi counterpart A K Abdul Momen and discussed ways to strengthen the bilateral ties. The meeting took place at the State Guest House here, The Daily Star newspaper reported.
Momen will also host a lunch in honour of his Indian counterpart. Earlier, Jaishankar paid tributes to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi.
Jaishankar is scheduled to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence.
India is a leading development partner of Bangladesh as it has extended concessional lines of credit to the tune of around USD 8 billion. Jaishankar will leave for Kathmandu on Wednesday morning to attend the fifth meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission.

No Link With His Business, Says Kamal Nath After Nephew Ratul Puri's Arrest in Bank Fraud Case
MMNN:20 August 2019

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, whose nephew Ratul Puri has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an alleged Rs 354 crore bank fraud case, said he had no connection with Puri’s business.
“I have no connection with the business they are doing. But it appears to be purely a mala fide action. I believe and have full faith that the court will take a corrective stand in this case,” Nath said on Tuesday.
Puri, former executive director of digital data storage company Moser Baer, is being investigated by three main central probe agencies — the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the CBI and the Income Tax department.
The ED officials said Puri was placed under arrest under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) late Monday night.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Moser Baer called Puri’s arrest unfortunate. “The arrest by Enforcement Directorate is unfortunate. Moser Baer had operated in accordance with all legal compliances and this case now, when Moser Baer is in National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), is motivated,” it said.
Besides Ratul and the company, his father and Managing Director Deepak Puri, Directors Nita Puri (Ratul's mother and Kamal Nath's sister), Sanjay Jain and Vineet Sharma were also been booked by the agency for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption.
Ratul had resigned from the post of executive director in 2012, while his parents continue to be on the board, the bank said in a statement.
The company is involved in the manufacture of optical storage media like compact discs, DVDs, solid state storage devices. It was taking loans from various banks since 2009 and went for debt restructuring a number of times, the bank has alleged in the complaint which is now part of the CBI FIR.
When it was unable to pay the debt, a forensic audit was done and the account was declared as "fraud" by the Central Bank of India on April 20, 2019, it has alleged.
"...The MBIL has committed fraud and cheated the complainant bank thereby making a wrongful gain to themselves and a wrongful loss to the lender bank which is a custodian of public money," the complaint to the CBI said.
Primary security of the bank consisting of stock of finished goods. semi-finished goods and raw material have also been dishonestly and fraudulently removed by the company and its directors in order to prevent the distribution amongst the creditor banks to satisfy the debt, the bank has alleged.
"The funds granted by the banks have been misused and misappropriated by MBIL and its directors for their own personal use, MBIL and its Directors and promoters have also committed fraud in respect of reporting book debts, which were also one of the primary securities of the bank," it said.
The bank claimed that the company and its directors forged and fabricated documents to induce Central Bank of India to release funds, it said.
"MBIL has cause unlawful loss to our bank to the tune of Rs 354.51 crore as on November 29, 2014 and interest thereon by getting unlawful gains," the complaint said.

CBI Gets 2 More Weeks from SC to Finish Probe in Unnao Rape Survivor's Road Accident Case
MMNN:19 August 2019

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday granted two more weeks' time to the CBI to complete the ongoing investigation in a road accident case in which the Unnao rape survivor and her lawyer have sustained critical injuries.
A bench comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose extended the time for completing the probe after the CBI moved an application seeking four more weeks on the ground that the statements of the rape survivor and her lawyer have not been recorded so far.
The bench also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to pay Rs five lakh to the lawyer, who is in a critical condition.
The Supreme Court had earlier directed the investigation agency to complete the probe within a stipulated time period of 45 days, and also ordered that the Uttar Pradesh government provide Rs 25 lakh to the survivor as interim compensation.
The bench had also told the CBI that an extension of not more than seven days would be given for investigation of the road accident, only in exceptional circumstances.

Not Afraid of Arrest, Will Surrender in 3-4 Days, Says Bihar MLA Booked for Possessing AK-47
MMNN:19 August 2019

Patna: Bihar Independent MLA and strongman Anant Singh - allegedly evading arrest in connection with a case lodged under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) has said he will surrender in court in the next three-four days.
In a video message, the Mokama MLA also asserted that he will interact with the journalists on his return.
"I am not afraid of getting arrested. I have come to see my ailing friend and will surrender in the court in next three-four days.
"But first of all, I will go to my flat and interact with journalists," the legislator said in the video clip sent to media houses on Sunday.
Singh was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) after a police team raided his ancestral house at Ladma village in Madhepura district and seized an AK-47 rifle, a magazine, live cartridges and two hand grenades on Friday.
The Parliament has recently passed an amendment to the anti-terror law UAPA to give powers to the Centre to designate an individual as terrorist and seize his properties.
The accused legislator claimed that he had sought time with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar but failed to get an appointment.
Contending that he did not visit his ancestral house in the past 14 years, Singh said, "Why would I keep weapons like AK-47 in a house which is shared by my enemy?" He, however, did not disclose who he was referring to as his enemy.
Singh also questioned the police for allegedly not informing his family or journalists before conducting raids.
A second raid was carried out at the official residence (1, Mall Road) of Anant Singh on Saturday for his arrest but the MLA was found to be absconding, Superintendent of Police (Rural), Patna, Kantesh Kumar Mishra said.
His accomplice Chhotan Singh was, however, apprehended from the residence during the raid, he said.
A sword and a mobile phone were also seized from the legislator's official residence.
Dismissing the MLAs allegations, the SP said the raid was carried out in the presence of a magistrate, as well as the caretaker of the house, in accordance with the law.
The entire exercise has been recorded on video, the officer claimed.
Mishra also said that a separate FIR was being lodged with Sachivalaya police station in Patna against the Independent MLA for giving shelter and protection to Chhotan Singh, an accused in connection with a criminal case lodged with Barh police station.
Singh nicknamed "Chhote Sarkaar"- has a lengthy criminal record and was recently summoned to the police headquarters in Patna for giving his voice sample in connection with an attack on a Mokama-based contractor.
He was formerly known to have shared a close relationship with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar but the two apparently fell out ahead of the 2015 assembly elections. Singh then left the JD(U) and contested and retained his seat as an Independent.

Come September, IndiGo & SpiceJet Will Shift Their Operations to Delhi Airport's Terminal 3
MMNN:19 August 2019

New Delhi: SpiceJet and IndiGo airlines on Monday announced shifting of its operations from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 of Delhi Airport. The move, taken in consultation with Delhi International Airport, will take place with effect from 00:01 hours on September 5, 2019, a statement released by GMR group said.
While operations for SpiceJet will completely shift from T2 to T3, IndiGo will only partially shift its operations. IndiGo flights of 5000 series will operate from T3, while rest will continue to operate from T2. The shift is to pave way for infrastructural enhancement of T2, increasing its capacity from 15 to 18 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA), the statement said.
GMR group, which currently operates the Delhi Airport, also said in the statement that this move will enhance the experience of passengers at T2. After the shift, GoAir and IndiGo will be the only two major airlines operating from T2. The move will reduce the passenger load at T2 by 27 percent.
Following this move, flight operations of Indigo and SpiceJet at Terminal 1 will remain unaffected. Delhi Airport authority and airlines are currently working together to ensure smooth movement of operations from T2 to T3, with minimal disruption to passenger experience.
Commenting on the development, Mr. Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO-Delhi International Airport said, “With Delhi Airport witnessing a surge in passenger traffic, DIAL is enhancing the capacity of T2. The move will ease the pressure of fast growing traffic, so that the capacity enhancement works at Terminal 2 can be carried out effectively and efficiently”.

Rajnath Singh’s remark on ‘no first use’ policy irresponsible and unfortunate: Pakistan
MMNN:17 August 2019

Pakistan on Saturday said the “substance and timing” of Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement on the possible change in India’s ‘no first use’ policy of nuclear weapons is “highly unfortunate” and “reflective of India’s irresponsible and belligerent behaviour.”
“The substance and timing of the Indian Defence Minister’s statement is highly unfortunate and reflective of India’s irresponsible and belligerent behaviour. It further exposes the pretence of their ‘No First Use policy’ to which we have never accorded any credence,” a statement by Pakistan Foreign Ministry read.
The statement further said that Pakistan has always “proposed measures relating to nuclear restraint in South Asia” and has “eschewed measures that are offensive in nature.” It added that the country will “continue to maintain a credible minimum deterrence posture.”
Singh on Friday had told ANI that the future “circumstances” would determine what would happen to India’s “no first use” policy of nuclear weapons.
The statement appears to have rattled Pakistan, which has never had adopted the same policy itself, despite most of the countries in the world including China abiding by it.

ED files first charge sheet in IL&FS case, attaches Rs 570 crore assets
MMNN:17 August 2019

The Enforcement Directorate has filed its first charge sheet in the IL&FS alleged illegal payment default crisis case even as it has attached assets worth about Rs 570 crore, officials said on Saturday.They said a prosecution complaint or charge sheet has been filed under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before a special court in Mumbai on Friday.
The charge sheet details the roles of the directors and others in allegedly perpetrating the funds crisis and alleges corrupt practices were adopted by them that led to financial bunglings.
The central agency also issued a provisional order for attachment of assets, under the PMLA, and attached bank accounts and immovable properties located at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Brussels, Belgium. These assets, commercial and residential, are held by the committee of directors of IL&FS Financial Services Ltd (IFIN) Ravi Parthasarathy, Ramesh Bawa, Hari Sankaram, Arun Saha and Ramchand Karunakaran, the ED attachment order said.
Saha and Karunakaran were arrested by the agency in June. The bank accounts and immovable properties held “indirectly” by Aircel founder C Sivasankaran, in the name of his family members and group companies, have also been attached, they said.
The total value of the provisionally attached properties is worth about Rs 570 crore. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed a money laundering case in this incident in February this year on the basis of an FIR filed by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police. The agency, in its probe and in the charge sheet, said the senior management of IL&FS indulged in acts of commissions and omissions leading to illegal personal gains to them at the expense of the company.
“In criminal conspiracy with each other and promoters of various private entities, they have in flagrant violation to the prudent and established norms, sanctioned and disbursed huge loans to the companies which were already under financial stress and defaulted on repayment of loans earlier taken from IFIN, an IL&FS subsidiary,” the ED alleged.
The ED said in order to maintain the credentials of IFIN so that they could continue to receive high remuneration, the directors allegedly falsified the accounts and indulged in”circuitous transactions” to artificially boost the balance sheet of IL&FS group, whereas actually these illegal activities were leading to further losses to the group.
“By adopting the same modus operandi, in criminal conspiracy with Sivashankaran, they fraudulently financed various companies of Siva Group out of which Rs 494 crore remained outstanding,” the ED said. It said between 2015-16 to 2017-18 financial years, the financials of IFIN were showing a negative trend, in spite of that the performance related pay, deputation cost and commission that these members of senior management received increased substantially.
“It was also seen that the shares of ILFS Limited were transferred to employee welfare trust (EWT) at a very concessional rate which sold these shares of IL&FS held by it, to various entities outside the group at a huge premium and later distributed the cash so generated to the employees of which larger chunk was received by these persons,” the ED said.This was despite the fact that the trust was running in operational losses, it said.
The agency is expected to file more charge sheets as the probe progresses.

Plea filed against Fadnavis for ‘misuse of power’ in transfer of bank accounts
MMNN:17 August 2019

A petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court against the Maharashtra government’s alleged move to transfer accounts of police staff and beneficiaries of various schemes from nationalised banks to Axis Bank, in which Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s wife holds a senior position.
Petitioner Mohanish Jabalpure, in his plea filed last week, said the state government, through a circular on May 11, 2017, effected transfer of the bank accounts of police officials and beneficiaries of Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana to the private bank.
The petition alleged the chief minister misused his power and promoted Axis Bank, causing losses to nationalised banks.
The petition is likely to come up for hearing in the Nagpur bench of the high court by the end of this month.
Jabalpur has prayed for the high court’s direction for revocation of the government circular and all approvals, agreements, permissions and actions taken in pursuance of it.
He has also sought a high-level probe into the transactions done following the issuance of the circular, as well as into the agreement between Axis Bank and the government.

Priyanka Gandhi’s aide booked for assaulting, threatening journalist
MMNN:14 August 2019

A journalist has filed a police complaint here against an aide of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, alleging he assaulted and threatened him during the Congress general secretary’s visit to Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh.
Nitish Kumar Pandey, a resident of Varanasi, said in his written complaint that Gandhi’s personal secretary, Sandeep Singh, also touched his camera when he was covering her visit to Umbha village on Tuesday for a regional TV channel.
Ghorawal police station in-charge CP Pandey confirmed an FIR has been filed based on the journalist’s complaint.
A video of Gandhi’s aide misbehaving with a journalist during her visit had gone viral on social media. It showed a reporter asking a question to Gandhi on scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution when he was pushed back and an argument started.
The aide is heard accusing the reporter of being pro-BJP and asking questions at the behest of the saffron party in return for money.
Tagging the video, the media advisor to the UP chief minister asked the Congress leader to stop doing “theatrics”.
In a tweet, Mirtunjay Kumar said, “Priyanka Gandhiji please stop the theatrics of wiping the tears of the poor”.
He wondered where were those who claimed to side with press freedom when Gandhi’s secretary misbehaved with a journalist and she did not say anything to him.
“The UP government is committed to ensuring security of journalist,” Kumar said.
Gandhi was visiting Umbha to meet the families of 10 tribals shot dead in a land dispute last month.

After Samjhauta Express, Delhi-Lahore bus service cancelled
MMNN:14 August 2019

The five Mirage-2000 fighter pilots of the Indian Air Force who dropped bombs on the terror facility of the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Pakistan are being named for the Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry to be announced on the eve of Independence Day, official sources said.
The fighter planes had destroyed the JeM camp in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s province after entering Pakistani airspace for the first time in 48 years following a suicide bombing claimed by the terror group.
Forty troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed in the car bombing in Pulwama on February 14 that led to escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan.
The five Mirage pilots being named for the military honours are Wing Commander Amit Ranjan and Squadron Leaders Rahul Basoya, Pankaj Bhujade, Shashank Singh and BKN Reddy.
This is the first time that the Indian Air Force is identifying the pilots who struck targets in Balakot with Israeli-origin Spice 2000 bombs.
The February 26 operation by IAF involved Mirage 2000s and 2000is that carried out the attack, Sukhoi 30s MKi that acted as decoys and were also meant to provide cover in case the Mirages were intercepted, Phalcon AWACS and Embraer AEWS mid-air refuellers, and Heron drones for photographing the targets after the attack.
One of the five pilots later spoke about how the airstrike was over in all of 90 seconds.
But the preparations for the airstrikes had gone on for days. In the days ahead of the strikes, the Indian Air Force had increased the number of air patrols flown along the Line of Control to throw off Pakistan air defences.

Another jolt for Mamata, former Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee joins BJP
MMNN:14 August 2019

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress received another blow on Wednesday with former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee joining the Bharatiya Janata Party, which stunned critics with a stellar show in this year’s parliamentary election. Chatterjee’s close confidant Baisakhi Banerjee also joined the BJP with him.
Mamata Banerjee had asked Chatterjee to step down as Kolkata mayor in November last year, after matters relating to his personal life made headlines, creating discomfort for his party. Chatterjee was also a minister in the West Bengal government and is currently a member of the legislative assembly.
He is among several of those who have deserted Trinamool Congress and joined the BJP after the latter won 18 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats – 4 short of Trinamool’s tally of 22.
“Sovan had a big contribution in making Mamata Banerjee the chief minister of Bengal,” said BJP leader Mukul Roy, also a former confidant of the Trinamool Congress leader. “Sovan joining the BJP is a big development in Bengal politics.”
Roy claimed with the Wednesday development the BJP will surely win Kolkata Corporation, and Mamata’s party will get opposition’s status in state assembly.
BJP general secretary Arun Singh claimed people and Trinamool Congress leaders are disappointed with the working of Mamata Banerjee. “Several people are joining BJP because they are impressed with the leadership of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah,” Singh said.
The former Kolkata mayor said he had raised within the Trinamool Congress the issue of stopping opposition parties from contesting the panchayat elections, but nobody listened to him. “Modi government is taking bold steps to strengthen the country,” Chatterjee said. “There should be no negative politics at this point of time.”

Jammu celebrates first Eid after Article 370’s removal
MMNN:12 August 2019

Muslims in Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, celebrated Eid al-Adha or Bakrid on Monday amid security restrictions for the first time after the revocation of Article 370.
Jammu’s divisional commissioner Sanjeev Verma said Eid prayers were offered peacefully in all the 10 districts of Jammu region—Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur, Reasi, Rajouri, Poonch, Ramban, Kishtwar and Doda.
Officials said 5,000 people came to Eidgah, the main venue, and offered prayers amid strict security arrangements.
“At Eidgah here, civil society participated in the celebrations and I hope that this Eid is a harbinger of peace, prosperity and development for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Verma said.
“Eid is being celebrated with happiness and vigour. The prayers have been offered peacefully amid security arrangements. It is a very pious occasion and it must be celebrated with peace and happiness,” Jammu deputy commissioner Sushma Chauhan, who was also present, said.
Authorities also eased restrictions across the Kashmir Valley and in other parts to allow people to pray and celebrate the festival of Eid.
“We received reports of the successful conclusion of Eid prayers from the Kashmir Valley in Baramulla, Ramban, Anantnag, Shopian, Awantipora, Srinagar and other places,” Rohit Kansal, the state’s principal secretary (Planning Commission) and chief spokesperson, said.
People from all walks of life came to the Eidgah and greeted each other after performing the Eid prayers.
After prayers, the head Mufti extended congratulations to the people of the state and the nation.
“On the pious festival of Eid al-Adha, I congratulate the entire humanity and I also request all Muslim brethren across the world to follow the path shown by Almighty Allah,” he said.
“I also appeal to all the Muslim brethren as we celebrate Eid today that we should also follow the tenets of Islam in true spirit because doing so would keep this world going. I also appeal to people from all the religions that they should join the celebrations and greet their brethren with sweets and embrace each other with love and harmony,” he said.
Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, one of the two most important festivals of the Islamic calendar, marking the willingness of Ibrahim, or Abraham, to sacrifice his son on God’s command.
They mark the holiday by slaughtering animals such as sheep and goats and the meat is shared among family and friends and also donated to the poor.
Hope for peace
Like several others, Sajjad Ahmed, who belongs to Kashmir, said he prayed for peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir.
“I extend Eid Mubarak to all from the bottom of my heart. I prayed for peace in the state and also prayed for an early end to the sufferings of Muslims in the sub-continent. Going by the circumstances in Jammu and Kashmir, I hope that peace and stability returns at the earliest,” the 35-year-old said.
Sajjad hoped people of the state would once again uphold the tradition of humanity.
Farman Ahmed also said he prayed that the prevailing circumstances are over as early as possible and “we live in total harmony in this paradise called - J&K”.
Manzoor Ahmed, 51, said he celebrated Eid with happiness and gaiety like others.
“The situation is normal. Schools have been reopened. People are resuming their normal routine but international media tried to mislead the outside world about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. There is nothing to worry about and Jammu and Kashmir and its people are totally safe,” said Ahmed.
‘Restrictions will be lifted soon’
Jammu’s divisional commissioner Verma, who is head of the 10 districts, also congratulated people of the region for exhibiting wisdom and responsible behaviour.
“Barring a couple of stray incidents, media also reported with utmost responsibility. Those who indulged in wrong reporting were taken care of well in time,” he said.
When asked about the gag on the communication network, he said the mobile internet services will be resumed soon.
“The administration doesn’t want to disturb the 1.50 crore people of Jammu and Kashmir but certainly some trouble-makers, including rumour mongers, needed to be dealt with,” he said.

After Samjhauta Express, Delhi-Lahore bus service cancelled
MMNN:12 August 2019

Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on Monday cancelled the Delhi-Lahore bus service as Pakistan has decided to discontinue it in the wake of India revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, said a senior official of the public transporter.
On Saturday, a senior Pakistani minister has announced to suspended the friendship bus service from Monday. A Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus was scheduled to leave for Lahore on Monday 6 AM. However, it did not leave due to the Pakistan’s decision to suspend the bus service, the official said.
“Consequent to Pakistan’s decision to suspend the Delhi-Lahore bus service, DTC is not able to send bus (from Delhi to Lahore) from August 12,” said a statement from DTC.
Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) had on Saturday also telephonically informed the DTC about suspension of the service from Monday.
The last bus for Lahore left Delhi on Saturday morning carrying two passengers while the return bus from the other side reached the national capital carrying 19 passengers in the evening of the same day.
The bus service did not operate on Sunday.
The bus service was first started in February 1999 but suspended after the 2001 Parliament attack. It was restarted in July 2003.
It had, however, continued with a depleted number of passengers even when bilateral relations between the two countries had worsened following the Pulwama terrorist attack and Balakot surgical strikes in February this year.
The Lahore-Delhi bus service is operated from Ambedkar Stadium terminal near Delhi Gate. DTC buses ply every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and PTDC buses every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, from Delhi to Lahore.
For the return trip, DTC buses leave Lahore every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday whereas the PTDC buses are available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Wrestler Babita Phogat, father join BJP ahead of Haryana polls
MMNN:12 August 2019

International wrestler Babita Phogat and her father Mahavir Phogat, whose family inspired the Aamir Khan-starrer Bollywood film ‘Dangal’, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday, ahead of the assembly election in their home state of Haryana.
They joined the BJP in the presence of Union sports and youth affairs minister Kiren Rijiju, party’s general secretary in-charge of Haryana Anil Jain and its state chief Subhash Badala.
Lauding the father-daughter duo, Rijiju said Babita has brought laurels to the country by bagging medals at several international events. The BJP believes that the induction of the Phogats into the party will help it politically in the poll-bound Haryana. Assembly elections are due in the state later this year.
Mahavir Phogat had joined Jannayak Janata Party founded by Ajay Chautala, the jailed elder son of former chief minister OP Chautala, ahead of the national elections this year. He was made chief of the party’s sports cell. But the party ticket that the family had expected didn’t come.
An Arjuna awardee, Babita won a silver medal at Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010 and a gold medal in the same event at Glasgow. She won a bronze medal at 2012 world championship.
The 29-year-old Babita’s family came to be known nationwide following the success of Dangal, which is loosely based on the lives of Phogat sisters, all of them wrestlers, and their father who coached them against all odds.
Mahavir Phogat is a Dronacharya awardee and Aamir Khan played his role in the movie Dangal. A book titled Akhara also has been published on him.
Babita had sued the Haryana government for not upgrading her as the deputy superintendent of police despite the many medals that she had won. She was a sub-inspector. But she lost the case in June this year and later, according to her family, has resigned from service.
The Phogat family is from Balali village of Dadri and there is speculation that the family expects Babita to be fielded from either Badhra or Dadri assembly segments of Dadri district.
Babita, who is recovering from an injury, also aims to qualify for the Olympics and eventually bring home a gold medal.

‘Ek Desh, Ek Nishan’: J-K village heads told to hoist tricolour on 15th August
MMNN:9 August 2019

Union Minister of State for Home, G Kishan Reddy said on Friday that village heads of all Gram Panchayats of Jammu & Kashmir have been advised to hoist the national flag on the Independence Day, August 15.
The separate flag of Jammu and Kashmir became defunct after Parliament annulled Article 370 that allowed Jammu and Kashmir to have a separate constitution and a flag.
Earlier on Friday, few students in Government Degree College in Kathua were reported by news agency ANI to have hoisted the national flag at the gates of the institution.
Former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is likely to unfurl the tricolour on Independence Day in Leh in the newly-created union territory of Ladakh. Dhoni, an honorary lieutenant colonel in the Indian Army, is at present stationed in Khrew in the Pulwama district of Jammu & Kashmir, along with members of his Territorial Army battalion.
The abrogation or Article 370 means that all laws applicable to people of India including fundamental rights shall be applicable to people of J&K. In short, J&K is now constitutionally recognized as an integral part of India.
Earlier on Wednesday, former J&K deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh had removed the J&K flag from his vehicle.

CEC Sunil Arora rules out returning to bygone ‘era of ballot papers’
MMNN:9 August 2019

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Friday categorically dismissed the demand for doing away with EVMs and bringing back ballot papers, citing orders passed by the Supreme Court in the past.
He also said assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held only after receiving a formal communation from the union ministries of home, and law and justice to that effect.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and a host of other opposition leaders, including TDP’s N Chandrababu Naidu, Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray, have repeatedly claimed that Electronic Voting Machines could be tampered with and demanded a return to ballot papers.
“We are not going back to the era of ballot papers. The Supreme Court has more than once said that ballot papers are our past,” Arora told reporters at the Kolkata airport.
Banerjee has often said that EVMs were earlier used in developed countries like the US, UK, France and Germany but they all reverted to ballot papers.
Arora is in the city to attend events organised by the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences and IIM (Calcutta) on Friday and Saturday.
When asked about the possibility of holding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, where the House was dissolved in November last year, Arora said it could happen only after a formal communication was received from the union home ministry and the ministry of law and justice.
“We are waiting for the formal communication from the home and law ministries,” he said.
The Centre had on Monday abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and split the state into two Union Territories.
The UT comprising Jammu and Kashmir division will have a legislative assembly like Delhi, while Ladakh will not have one like Chandigarh.
When asked whether the National Register of Citizens (NRC), a hugely contentious issue in Assam, will be implemented in West Bengal, Arora said the matter was being looked at by the Supreme Court.
“Let the Supreme Court come out with a verdict. At the moment it is for Assam. The Supreme court has not given the verdict. I cannot give a verdict and cannot forecast,” he said.
Addressing rallies during the Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah had made a strong pitch for NRC in West Bengal.
The purpose of the NRC, which is being updated in Assam under the apex court’s supervision, is to identify bonafide Indian citizens living in the state and weed out illegal migrants.

Article 370 fall-out: Section-144 removed, Jammu schools and colleges to reopen tomorrow
MMNN:9 August 2019

Prohibitory orders banning congregation of more than 4 people under Section-144 has been removed from Jammu paving the way for reopening of schools and colleges in the region from tomorrow as per the order released by the Deputy Magistrate of Jammu district on Friday.
Relaxation for Jammu follows an assessment that situation in the region was normal.
Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Muneer Khan, while talking to reporters in Kathua described the situation in Kashmir to be “under control,”
“In Jammu, situation is normal. In Kashmir, situation is under control. All steps necessary to maintain law and order will be taken,” Khan said.
Earlier in the day, restrictions were lifted in the valley allowing people to offer Friday prayers in their local mosques.
People, who have mostly been indoors because of heavy security deployment in the wake of removal of special status for Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation, were allowed to go to mosques in their localities.
A PTI report quoted an official to suggest there were no untoward incident and the situation, as of late afternoon was fine in the Srinagar city and south Kashmir. The official, the report added, had said that reports from all areas were yet to arrive.
PTI said it had spoken to officials who reported minor incidents of stone-pelting in Sopore town of north Kashmir, 50 km from Srinagar that was contained immediately and the crowd dispersed.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had directed authorities to ensure that no Kashmiris is harassed and the Prime Minister in an address to nation on Thursday had assured to slowly return Jammu and Kashmir to normalcy.
Doval, who has been camping in Kashmir since Tuesday, spoke to locals and security personnel during a quick tour of the sensitive downtown area here on Friday, an official told PTI
It further reported that the NSA, accompanied by his aides and senior police officers, visited the Eidgah locality and stopped at various places to interact with locals. He later spoke to police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and thanked them for their wonderful work in maintaining law and order.
Security forces have been put on high alert across the Kashmir Valley preempting possible protests against the scraping of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and dividing it into two union territories.
The clampdown in Kashmir was imposed on Monday, hours before the government gave its nod to the proposal.
During easing of restrictions in some parts of the city, especially in the civil line areas on Thursday, the movement of the people remained thin, while a few shops mostly selling vegetables and medicines opened.

Sushma Swaraj cremated with state honours. PM Modi, other leaders in attendance
MMNN:7 August 2019

Former external affairs minister Sushma Swarajwas cremated at Delhi’s Lodhi Road electric crematorium on Wednesday with full state honours.
The last rites of the 67-year-old BJP stalwart were performed by her daughter Bansuri Swaraj, as her husband Swaraj Kaushal stood beside her.
Hundreds of people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and veteran party leader L K Advani, vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu and defence minister Rajnath Singh were at crematorium to bid her farewell.
The BJP’s working president JP Nadda, Nitin Gadkari, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Congress leader Anand Sharma were among others who attended the cremation.
Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay was also present. The body of the long-time BJP leader, who died here on Tuesday at the age of 67, was brought to the crematorium from the party office.
Draped in the tricolour, her body was kept at the BJP headquarters for public homage before it was brought to the crematorium.
Sushma Swaraj died Tuesday night at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after a cardiac arrest.
Swaraj who was the foreign minister in the first term of the Modi government in 2014, added a human touch to diplomacy. She opted out of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections over health issues.

Tears flow as nation pays tributes to people’s leader Sushma Swaraj
MMNN:7 August 2019

An emotional Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying tributes to former union minister Sushma Swaraj, who had won millions of hearts in the country and abroad by putting people at the core of Indian diplomacy.
Sushma Swaraj was brought home from hospital last midnight when doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences could not resuscitate her. Swaraj, who had tweeted a ‘thank you’ note to Prime Minister Narendra Modi hours earlier, had suffered a massive cardiac arrest and had been rushed to the hospital around 9.30 pm. She was 67.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Amit Shah, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Sonia Gandhi and envoys are among the dignitaries who have paid tributes to the veteran leader at her residence. Sushma Swaraj has been taken to the BJP headquarters to let party workers and others pay their last respects. She will leave for her last journey to the Lodhi Road crematorium through the streets of national capital Delhi for her last rites.
A visibly emotional PM Modi, who was among the early visitors to her house, was seen consoling her husband Swaraj Kaushal and daughter Bansuri, after paying his tributes. As Swaraj Kaushal spoke, tears welled up in the prime minister’s eyes.
Former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani and daughter Pratibha broke down as they entered the room where Sushma Swaraj was. Advani had mentored her for decades. Minutes before driving down to her house, Advani had penned an emotional note to recall “the promising young activist” he had inducted in her team, who turned out to be one of the most popular and prominent leaders of the party.
The tributes also flowed freely on social media where Sushma Swaraj had millions of ardent admirers and followers. Sushma Swaraj had deftly turned Twitter into a platform to empower to reach out to her with distress messages. She mostly responded swiftly, and effectively. She would often order officials to take steps to address grievances.
Vikas Swarup, a diplomat who worked closely with her before his elevation as the country’s envoy to Canada, tweeted: “Her legacy of making MEA a “people-centric” Ministry will live on forever.” India leg-spinner Poonam Yadav called her a people’s leader taken away too soon. “She was a people’s leader. A rare politician taken away too soon. Rest in peace!” Poonam wrote.
Hours before her death, Swaraj had hailed PM Modi after Home Minister Amit Shah got a move to revoke special status for Jammu and Kashmir cleared by Parliament.
“I was waiting to see this day in my lifetime,’ Sushma Swaraj had tweeted. A few hours later, she invited top lawyer Harish Salve over for tea on Wednesday.
As foreign minister in the first edition of the Modi government, Swaraj had engaged Harish Salve to represent India at the International Court of Justice to stop Kulbhushan Jadhav’s the death sentence ordered by a Pakistani military court. Salve had only agreed to take Re 1 as a fee from Sushma Swaraj. Salve told news channel Times Now that she told him to come over to take the Re 1 fee.
She died a little over an hour later.
Swaraj had been the youngest cabinet minister in Haryana, was elected seven times as a member of parliament, and also had a short stint as chief minister of Delhi. The party had parachuted her to the national capital because the Delhi BJP’s two veterans were too busy fighting. She could not turn the tide and lost the election. Sheila Dikshit won, and continued to rule the city for the next 15 years.

Admitting slowdown, RBI lowers growth forecast to 6.9 percent
MMNN:7 August 2019

With the headwinds to growth rising from all around, Reserve Bank governor Shaktikanta Das Wednesday admitted the economy is in a slowdown mode, but termed it as cyclical and not structural one, and exuded confidence growth will pick up the momentum fast.
The admission of the rising headwinds to growth led the monetary authority to slash the lending rates by an unprecedented 35 bps to 5.40 percent in the fourth successive rate reductions since he assumed power in December.
None of the macro-indicators have been promising since the past many months-plunging auto sales which hit a 20-year low in July, plummeting IIP growth which hit a 57-month low in June, falling exports and the continuing bloodbath in the markets, coupled with trade wars and increasing challenges to global economy all point to the gathering clouds.
The statement also comes amid many key personalities, including engineering giant Larsen & Toubro chairman AM Naik expressing concerns on the growth front.
“Our understanding is that at this point, it is perhaps a cyclical slowdown, not really a deep structural one.
Nonetheless, we have to recognise that there is room for certain structural reforms to be undertaken,” Das told reporters at the customary post-policy presser.
He, however, exuded confidence that growth numbers will move up faster going ahead driven by the measures being taken by the government and the central bank, and partly due to the base effect.
Based on his interactions, Das said the government is planning more measures to revive growth, and also pointed out to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statements on sector-specific booster doses on the anvil.
Attributing the slowdown to both demand as well as investment slowdown, Das said, “both demand and investment put together are having a dampening effect on growth.” The RBI itself has reduced its growth estimate downwards to 6.9 percent for FY20 from 7 percent it had projected in the June policy.
At present, Das said both urban and rural demand has been hit which is evident in the slowdown in sales of two- wheelers and tractors in rural areas and passenger cars in cities. However, he said RBI is hopeful of a revival and pointed out to the estimate of the growth number hitting 7.5 percent in the last quarter of the fiscal.
Moves like the RBI’s rate cuts of 1.10 percent in 2019, and also the commitment to ensure systemic liquidity in the surplus mode will also help, he added.
“I think credit flow will now revive and measures taken today will augment credit flow into the system. This should help boost growth numbers as well,” he said.
Speaking to reporters here last week, L&T chairman Naik had said we should consider ourselves “lucky” if growth touches 6.5 percent in FY20. It can be noted that the March quarter GDP printed at a five-year low of 5.8 percent while the FY19 GDP printed in at a four-year low of 6.8 percent and everyone is the same page that June quarter would be even lower than the preceding three months to March.
Others who have expressed concern on the growth include Bajaj Auto chairman Rahul Bajaj and mortgage major HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh.
Amidst all these, government has surprisingly set a target of doubling GDP to USD 5 trillion by 2025, which requires an annual growth rate of over 8 percent.

Govt revokes Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, bifurcates state into two Union Territories
MMNN:5 August 2019

NEW DELHI: The government on Monday revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, provoking outrage from the NC and PDP and triumph from leaders of India's ruling BJP.
Meeting a long-held promise of the BJP, Union Home Minister Amit Shah moved a resolution in the Rajya Sabha that Article 370, which allowed Jammu and Kashmir to have its own Constitution, will no longer be applicable.
"The president on the recommendation of Parliament is pleased to declare as from 5th of August 2019, all clauses of the said Article 370 shall cease to be operative... ," stated the resolution moved by the Home minister.
Shah also moved a bill proposing bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir division and Ladakh.
Shah, who introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill, said the union territory in Ladakh will have no legislature like Chandigarh. The other union territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Delhi and Puducherry.
As soon as Shah made the announcement, members of the Congress, TMC and DMK squat on the floor of the House, one of the PDP members tore his clothes and then along with another PDP member tore copies of the Constitution, prompting Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to order that they be physically removed.
When the House met, Naidu said he had used his discretionary powers to waive the requirement of the government to give advance notice and circulate a bill as the issue was of urgent national importance.
Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the entire Kashmir Valley is under curfew and three former chief ministers of the state and political leaders have been placed under house arrest.
He wanted the situation to be discussed first but Naidu allowed Shah to move the resolution.
Shah moved the resolution to abolish Article 370 as well as the state reorganisation bill along with listed bills to extend reservation for economically weaker sections in educational institutions and government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir.
The reorganisation bill provides for formation of union territory of Ladakh without legislature and a separate one for Jammu and Kashmir with legislature. While Naidu said only the bill for providing reservation is being moved now and the other would be done after it is circulated to members, the House in a voice vote approved the introduction.
Later Naidu allowed Shah to re-introduce the resolution and the reorganisation bill, saying copies have now been circulated to members.
But it was not put to vote and it was not immediately clear if the voice vote taken earlier was for all bills and resolution or only for the bill for reservation.
Shah had moved the resolution and the bills together.
But the introduction was opposed by Congress, TMC and DMK members who along with leaders in the House rushed into the well,
They first shouted slogans and then squatted in the well of the House. Those who squat on the floor included Azad, Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma and TMC leader Derek O'Brien.
Samajwadi Party (SP) members, however, did not join them in the well.
Amid the ruckus, PDP members Nazir Ahmad Laway and Mir Mohammad Fayaz shouted slogans and tore posters. Laway even tore the 'kurta' he was wearing. Later as the protests heated up, the duo tore copies of the Constitution, prompting Naidu to order their eviction.
"The Indian Constitution is supreme. Nobody can do it," Naidu said as he named two members and ordered marshals to physically remove them from the House. Before the marshals could do that, BJP leader Vijay Goel tried to intervene but was pushed back.
Naidu said the Indian Constitution is supreme and nobody has the right to tear copies of it.
"Tearing the Constitution in the House, shouting against India, will not be allowed. I will not just name (members) but also take action," he said. Azad said the opposition was not against the reservation bill but wanted the Kashmir situation to be discussed first.
While the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said the government was "rectifying" the historical blunder of imposing Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said there were enough empirical evidence and precedence where the governments have in past circulated and got approved bills on the same day.
Shah said the reservation bill will help provide economically weaker sections 10 per cent reservation in educational institutions and government jobs. This reservation will be besides existing reservation for SC, ST and OBC.
Noting that in past 38 times bills have been circulated and passed on the same day, he said this will be "null and void" after the resolution for abolition of Article 370 is approved.
Vaiko said the government was killing democracy.
"Emergency days have come back," he said.
"There is no emergency, only urgency," Naidu remarked.
Azad said Article 370 was integral to Jammu and Kashmir joining India and added that lakhs of security personnel and civilians have lost their lives in the state during 70 years.
"I strongly condemn the act of two or three members of Parliament (to tear copies of Constitution), none were from our party. We stand by the Constitution of India," he said.
He, however, said the BJP has murdered democracy. Shah retorted that people of Jammu and Kashmir were living in poverty and corruption because of Article 370.
Three families have looted the state for years, he said adding Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India on October 27, 1947 but Article 370 came in 1949.
"It is not true that Jammu and Kashmir joined India because of Article 370," he said.
Article 370 was always temporary and past governments did not remove it because of lack of political will and vote bank politics, he said.
Shah in his resolution said, "...the President, on the recommendation of Parliament, is pleased to declare that, as from 5th of August, 2019, all clauses of the said article 370 shall cease to be operative except clause (1) thereof."
"All provisions of this Constitution, as amended from time to time, without any modifications or exceptions, shall apply to the State of Jammu and Kashmir," it read.
Article 370 of the Constitution granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir whereby provisions of the Constitution which are applicable to other states are not applicable to J&K.
As per this article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, Parliament needs the state government's concurrence for applying all other laws.
It was introduced in the Constitution on October 17, 1949.
The announcement, capping days of uncertainty in Jammu and Kashmir, led to an uproar, in the House and outside it too.
India had failed Kashmir in keeping its promises, PDP chief and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufi said.
She said the government's unilateral decision "to scrap Article 370" is illegal and unconstitutional.
It will make India an occupational force in Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba said on Twitter.
"It will have catastrophic consequences for the subcontinent. GOIs intentions are clear. They want the territory of J&K by terrorising its people. India has failed Kashmir in keeping its promises," Mehbooba, who is under house arrest in Srinagar, said on Twitter.
"Not sure how long I'll be able to communicate. Is this the India we acceded to?" she asked. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah echoed her outrage, also labelling the government's move "unilateral".
"Government of India (GOI)'s unilateral and shocking decisions today are a total betrayal of the trust that the people of Jammu & Kashmir had reposed in India when the state acceded to it in 1947. The decisions will have far-reaching and dangerous consequences. This is an aggression against people of the State as had been warned by an all-parties meeting in Srinagar yesterday," he said.
The government, he said in a statement, had resorted to "deceit and stealth" to lay the ground for these disastrous decisions.
"Those of us who gave democratic voice to the people of Jammu & Kashmir, are incarcerated as lakhs of armed security personnel have been put on the ground... A long and tough battle lies ahead. We are ready for that," he said.
The mood was triumphant in the BJP quarters.
The government's move on Article 370, said senior party leader Arun Jaitley, is a monumental decision towards national integration.
His party colleague Ram Madhav also hailed the decision.
"What a glorious day. Finally the martyrdom of thousands starting with Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee for complete integration of J&K into Indian Union is being honoured and the seven decade old demand of the entire nation being realised in front of our eyes; in our lifetime. Ever imagined?" he tweeted moments after Shah's announcement.
Party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the move had opened the path of growth and development for Jammu and Kashmir.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said the government's decisions on Jammu and Kashmir are "brave" and "very necessary" for the interest of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir.
In a joint statement posted on the Twitter handle of the RSS, Bhagwat and his deputy Suresh Joshi said everyone should rise above their interests and political differences, and welcome and support the decision.
Celebrations broke out the Shiv Sena headquarters in Mumbai's Dadar area. Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray dubbing it as a "moment of pride" and a "historic day" for the country.

Govt's decision on Article 370 as a 'betrayal of trust': Omar Abdullah
MMNN:5 August 2019

NEW DELHI: Terming the government's move on Article 370 "unilateral and shocking", former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said it was a total "betrayal of trust" of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday moved a resolution in both the Houses of Parliament that Article 370 will not be applicable to the state.
"Government of India (GOI)'s unilateral and shocking decisions today are a total betrayal of the trust that the people of Jammu & Kashmir had reposed in India when the state acceded to it in 1947. The decisions will have far-reaching and dangerous consequences. This is an aggression against people of the State as had been warned by an all-parties meeting in Srinagar yesterday.
"GOI has resorted to deceit and stealth in recent weeks to lay the ground for these disastrous decisions. Our darkest apprehensions have unfortunately come true after the GOI and its representatives in J&K lied to us that nothing major was planned," he said.
He said that the announcement was made after the entire state, particularly the Valley, was turned into a garrison.
"Those of us who gave democratic voice to the people of Jammu & Kashmir, are incarcerated as lakhs of armed security personnel have been put on the ground.
"The scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A raise fundamental questions on the state's accession because that was done on the very terms enunciated in these articles. The decisions are unilateral, illegal and unconstitutional and will be challenged as such by the National Conference . A long and tough battle lies ahead. We are ready for that," he said.

Black day in constitutional history of India: Chidambaram on Article 370 move
MMNN:5 August 2019

NEW DELHI: Terming the revoking of Article 370 a "catastrophic step", the Congress accused the BJP of taking the decision "for votes" and said it marks a "black day" in the constitutional history of India.
The government on Monday revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Reacting to the development, senior Congress leader and former home minister P Chidambaram said, "We anticipated a misadventure, but did not think in our wildest dreams that they will take such a catastrophic step."
"Today is a black day in the constitutional history of India," he said outside Parliament.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the BJP of taking the decision "for votes". He also alleged that the party is playing with unity and integrity of the state

Govt advises Amarnath yatris to leave Kashmir
MMNN:3 August 2019

The Amarnath yatra ended 14 days ahead of its scheduled close on August 15 and the counter-insurgency grid in Jammu & Kashmir was strengthened with the additional deployment of security forces following the recovery of a large cache of ammunition, a Pakistan-made anti-personnel mine, and a US-made sniper rifle along the route of the yatra, and intelligence reports that highlighted the increased possibility of suicide bombing attacks in the Kashmir valley.
The cancellation of the yatra to one of Hinduism’s holiest shrines, and an alert issued to pilgrims and tourists to return home resulted in panic and a scramble for air tickets -- the road from Srinagar to Jammu is closed on account of landslides -- even as it unsettled residents of the valley and intensified speculation of a big move in the offing, perhaps the scrapping of Article 35A which restricts some benefits (such as government jobs and property ownership) to permanent residents of the state. Last weekend, the deployment of 100 companies of security forces (around 10,000 men) set off such speculation; HT learns that at least 150 more companies have now been deployed since.
The Union home ministry on Friday issued a guarded statement, saying, “Deployment of paramilitary forces in Jammu and Kashmir is based on the security situation there and requirements of rotation, and such things are not discussed in the public domain.”
In a press conference in Srinagar, the corps commander of the strategic 15 Corps, lieutenant general Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon; J&K director general of police Dilbag Singh; special DG, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Zulfiqar Hasan; and inspector general of police, Kashmir, SP Pani presented the reasons for the scrapping of the yatra, although they sought to play down the increase in deployment.
General Dhillon said searches have underway for the past three to four days after specific inputs of attempts to disrupt the Amarnath yatra by “terrorists, the Pakistan army and Pakistan”. He said that joint teams of the army, police and CRPF carried out extensive searches on both the routes of the yatra and the adjoining areas on the highway as well as the foot track leading up to the holy cave.
“We have major successes in these searches, some improvised explosive devices and caches of weapons and explosives have been recovered on these routes. A Pakistan army mine has been recovered,” he said. The general also showed an M-24 American sniper rifle that was also recovered.
“The searches are still going on,” he said.
The mine, whose pictures were shown to media, General Dhillon said, has “Pakistan ordnance factory markings”.
The decision to curtail the yatra was taken after Indian intelligence picked up heightened activities of Pakistan-based terror groups including the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). “With major threat coming from Pakistan-based groups, particularly JeM, and recovery of M-24 sniper rifle and an anti-personnel mine along the Amarnath pilgrimage route, the government decided not to take any chance. With personnel freed from yatra duties, the security forces can now concentrate on counter-insurgency grid,” said a senior J&K police offer who asked not to be named.
According to inputs conveyed to the national security establishment, Ibrahim Azhar, elder brother of JeM chief Masood Azhar, was sighted in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) last month. He is believed to have been headed to Kashmir. Intelligence reports indicate that Ibrahim Azhar, the main orchestrator of the Indian Airlines IC-814 flight hijacking in 1999, wanted to infiltrate into the Valley and lead attacks against the Indian establishment as revenge for the death of his son Usman Haider at the hands of security forces. Haider infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir in October 2018 and was gunned down by the Indian security forces in Tral, Awantipora, Pulwama on October 30, 2018. Another relative Talha Rasheed, son of Abdul Rasheed, brother-in-law of Masood Azhar, was killed on November 6, 2017, at Kandi Aglar, Pulwama, by security forces.
Intelligence intercepts indicated that Ibrahim Azhar fired up the Jaish cadre by saying that he wanted to die fighting Indian security forces in Kashmir, the same way his son died.
They also indicated that Azhar may have moved to forward Pakistan army post across the Line of Control (LoC) as a precursor to entering the state.
The intelligence reports also spoke of JeM targeting the Indian security forces using IEDs in the Sopore area of north Kashmir; trained JeM cadre being readied in Peshawar to infiltrate into Kashmir and engage the Indian security forces; and other terror groups, including the Hizbul Mujahideen, being

‘Democracy or dictatorship?’: Siddaramaiah on Karnataka Cabinet expansion delay
MMNN:3 August 2019

Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Saturday hit out at Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa for the “delay” in cabinet expansion and alleged that the administrative machinery has come to a standstill.
The Congress Legislature Party leader sought to know whether the Governor, who sent “letter after letter” to the previous government to prove majority, was not aware of the “plight of the people” under a one-man cabinet in the state where different regions were reeling from drought and floods.
“Administrative machinery has come to a standstill. Is this a democracy or dictatorship?” Siddaramaiah said on Twitter.
“Why Yediyurappa who showed hurry in taking oath as the chief minister was not showing similar hurry in expanding the cabinet? People of the state are in distress due to drought and floods in different parts,” he said.
BJP leader Yediyurappa assumed charge as the chief minister on July 26 and proved majority on the floor of the Assembly on July 29, after the ouster of the Congress-JD(S) government.
Siddaramaiah pointed out that there are no ministers for revenue, agriculture and rural development departments, which have to deal with drought and floods.
“Is the Governor who sent letter after letter (to previous Kumaraswamy-led government) to prove majority, not aware of the plight of the people of the state under one man cabinet with no ministers?” he asked.
As the H D Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition government “delayed” the trust vote after moving a motion seeking vote of confidence in the Assembly, Governor Vajubhai Vala had written two letters to the then chief minister and one to the then Speaker fixing deadline to prove majority, which, however, was not adhered to.
Subsequently, the Kumaraswamy government collapsed with the defeat in the trust vote on July 23.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao too questioned the delay in Cabinet expansion and said the administration in the state has not taken off.
“It has been eight days since taking oath as Chief Minister, still council of Ministers has not been formed, and such possibilities are also not visible. It looks like Yediyurappa is in mood to continue the regime under his monopoly for some more time,” Rao tweeted.
Amid criticism from the opposition and pressure within on cabinet formation, Yediyurappa had on Friday said he would discuss it with the central leadership during his visit to Delhi next week.
According to top sources in the state BJP, the Cabinet expansion may take five to six days, as it can happen only after the chief minister gets approval from central leaders.
Only 10 to 12 members are likely to be inducted into the ministry in the first round, they said.
It is likely to be a tight rope walk for Yediyurappa who will have to satisfy the aspirations of many in the party and outside. With the then Speaker Ramesh Kumar disqualifying 14 Congress and 3 JD(S) legislators until the expiry of the term of the House, they cannot contest by-polls and become Ministers immediately, unless they get respite from the Supreme Court, where they have moved an appeal.
The resignation by the rebels MLas and their abstaining from Kumaraswamy’s trust vote had made way for the BJP to come to power.
Meanwhile, disqualified Congress legislator K Sudhakar met Yediyurappa here on Saturday.
Later, Sudhakar said he had come to congratulate Yediyurappa on becoming the chief minister and discussed developmental works to be undertaken in his Chikkaballapura constituency.
He said he was upset with the functioning of the previous coalition government. “I will discuss with my people on the next course of action. I will go by their order,” he said.
He criticised the Congress and former Speaker Ramesh Kumar for disqualifying the MLAs and termed it “immoral”, “inhuman” and “unlawful”.
“We have approached the Supreme Court challenging the disqualification, and have complete trust in it,” he added.
Congress and JD(S) have both expelled disqualified legislators from their respective parties and have begun preparations for by-polls in 17 constituencies.

First Amarnath, now Machail Mata yatra suspended over security reasons in J-K
MMNN:3 August 2019

The 43-day-long ‘Machail Mata Yatra’ in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir was suspended on Saturday due to security reasons, officials said.
Authorities have asked people not to start the yatra and those on the way should leave and get back.
“The yatra has been suspended with immediate effect due to security reasons,” Deputy Commissioner of Kishtwar Angrez Singh Rana told PTI.
The yatra commenced on July 25 and was scheduled to end on September 5.
Thousands of devotees from across the country visit the scenic Paddar valley, also famous for its sapphire mines, during the yatra and pay obeisance at the holy shrine of goddess Durga in Machail village of Kishtwar after trekking a 30-km arduous route.
Kishtwar, which was declared terrorism-free over a decade ago, was rattled by the killing of state secretary of BJP Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar on November 1 last year, followed by assassination of senior RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma and his security guard inside a health centre on April 9.
The annual Amarnath Yatra has already been suspended due to security reasons.

Supreme Court orders Unnao cases to be transferred to Delhi
MMNN:1 August 2019

Supreme Court on Thursday transferred all five case related to the Unnao gang rape from Lucknow CBI Court to CBI Court in Delhi.
The CBI court must complete the trial within 45 days and hold hearings on a day-to-day basis. On the Rae Bareli 'accident', the apex court ordered the CBI to complete the probe within seven days. "As an exception, CBI can take another week," the Chief Justice said.
The Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to pay ₹25 lakh to the survivor as interim compensation. It also directed the government to provide CRPF protection to her and her family.
An enquiry will be conducted by Secretary General, under the supervision of a sitting Supreme Court judge nominated by the CJI, on whether any lapse or negligence by registry officials caused the Unnao victim's letter to reach the CJI late.
The Bench also gave liberty to the accused to move the Supreme Court directly in case they want to challenge the order, since it was given ex parte due to the facts/circumstances of the case.
The Supreme Court on August 1 insisted on getting a complete picture of what is transpiring in both the Unnao rape case and the CBI investigation into suspicions of foul play behind a road ‘accident’ in Rae Bareli on Sunday when a speeding truck rammed into a car carrying the 19-year-old rape survivor, injuring her grievously and killing two of her aunts.
As soon as the court session began, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to inform the CBI Director immediately that it wanted full details on both cases.
The CBI, which had been investigating the shocking Unnao rape case, was given responsibility to probe the accident case recently. Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a four-time BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Bangermau, is an accused in the rape case and was arrested last year in April. The Uttar Pradesh BJP has already claimed that Sengar was suspended from the party in 2018.
On August 1, the CJI showed the urgency and importance with which it considered the Unnao rape survivor should get justice.
The Chief Justice told Mr. Mehta that he should ensure that a responsible CBI officer was present with the case details at noon.
But a few minutes later, Mr. Mehta was back before the Bench with an update that the probe officers were not in town as they were in the midst of the case investigation. Mr. Mehta said the case records could be brought to court at the earliest only by evening. He even suggested that the court re-schedule the meeting for Friday (August 2).
“Tomorrow is another day, Mr. Solicitor. We will see separately what can be done tomorrow. We want this to happen today,” Chief Justice Gogoi responded.
The court suggested that the CBI Director could be briefed by his probe officers telephonically. The CJI refused to postpone the meeting, which he said could even be held in chambers as the details of the rape case investigation may be sensitive in nature and not to be outed at this point.
At one point the CJI said lightly, “The CBI must be having its own special flight, you bring them here in that... The Solicitor must be having his own flight”.
“My Lord, I have no such thing. In fact, I find it difficult to get tickets even on ordinary flights,” Mr. Mehta replied while assuring to make the necessary arrangements for the meeting.
Mr. Mehta said that it may not however be possible to bring the case records to the court by noon.
The court also agreed to transfer both the Unnao cases — rape and road accident – for trial in a court outside Uttar Pradesh. A petition filed by the victim’s family for transfer of the Unnao rape case to a place outside Uttar Pradesh has been pending in the Supreme Court for some time.
Family’s letter
In fact, what has now spurred the Supreme Court to urgent action is the belated knowledge of the existence of a letter dated July 12 from the victim’s family to the CJI. The letter had come days before the Sunday ‘accident’ and was lying in the Supreme Court. It expressed the family’s fears, saying they were threatened by the accused persons. It had sought the court’s protection.
On July 31, the CJI said, in open court, that he did not know about the letter until the previous evening. It is recorded to have reached the Supreme Court registry by July 17.
On Wednesday, he had sought a report from the Supreme Court registry on why the letter did not reach him for all these days. The CJI had also decided to take suo motu cognisance of the letter, assuring that no effort would be spared to bring justice to the victim.
The letter narrated the incidents of July 7-8 when some people allegedly associated with Sengar, the sitting BJP legislator, threatened the victim’s family with dire consequences. It had sought a direction for registration of FIR against the persons who had intimidated them.
The letter signed by the girl, her mother and aunt stated that on July 7, Naveen Singh, son of an accused in the rape case, Shashi Singh, Manoj Singh, brother of another accused Kuldeep Singh, and one Kunnu Mishra visited their house and threatened them. The next day, another person came to their house. The victim and the family said that along with the letter they were also annexing the video of the car in which these persons came to their house.
An FIR, which was lodged a day after the car crash, names the BJP legislator, his brother Manoj Singh Sengar, Vinod Mishra, Haripal Singh, Naveen Singh, Komal Singh, Arun Singh, Gyandendra Singh, Rinku Singh and Awadhesh Singh as accused.

Abdullahs meet Modi to press for early polls in J&K
MMNN:1 August 2019

A delegation of the National Conference (NC), led by Srinagar MP and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and comprised his son and also former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday to press for Assembly elections by the year-end and amid growing speculation that the Centre may be mulling some precipitate action on abrogation of Article 35A.
Mr. Omar Abdullah told media after the meeting that they sought time with the Prime Minister to apprise him of the situation in the State. “We had sought time from Prime Minister Modi to tell him about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. There had been tension in the Valley in the last few days, and we wanted to tell him about that. We requested him that no step which affects the environment there should be taken,” he said.
The State is under President’s rule after the BJP pulled out of the coalition with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr. Abdullah said it had been “one and a half years since a popularly elected government ruled the State and the NC wanted elections held before the year ended. “People should be given a chance to make a decision. We [NC] will accept the mandate, whatever it may be,” he added.
The NC’s demand for early polls is significant in that the BJP recently held a meeting of its core group on Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi. At the meeting, BJP working president J.P. Nadda asked the State unit to be prepared for polls. National vice president of the party Avinash Rai Khanna has been appointed in charge of the State polls.

India evaluating Pakistan’s proposal of facilitating consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav: MEA
MMNN:1 August 2019

India is evaluating Pakistan’s proposal of facilitating consular access to former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav in the light of the recent verdict by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the External Affairs Ministry said on August 1. Pakistan has sent a proposal to India for facilitating consular access to Mr. Jadhav. “We will reply to Pakistan through diplomatic channels,” the Ministry’s spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. Last month, the ICJ, in its ruling in the case, directed Pakistan to provide full consular access to Mr. Jadhav.

Modi govt will take necessary steps for benefit of J&K: Ram Madhav on Article 35A
MMNN:31 July 2019

SRINAGAR: Evading a direct response to a question on whether the Centre had any plans to revoke the constitutional provisions giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said on Wednesday the Narendra Modi government would take necessary steps for the benefit of the state at an appropriate time.
"The BJP's stand on it (repeal of Article 35A of the Constitution) is very clear but it is not the party which is going to decide (on the matter). The decision will be taken by the prime minister and his government, but I can assure you that whatever decision they will take, will be in the interest of the state," Madhav told reporters here.
He said the state's political parties were creating an atmosphere of fear in Kashmir by linking the movement of central armed paramilitary forces with other issues to save their political turf.
"Leaders of local regional parties are creating fear psychosis for their political interests. Moving forces in and out of Kashmir as per the requirement of the security grid is an ongoing process. Extra forces are brought in for Amarnath Yatra or elections, like there is going to be block level elections for panchayat. But linking the movement of forces with other issues is being done for personal interests," he said.
Article 35A of the Constitution gives powers to the state to define the state's permanent residents.

Congress committed to justice for Unnao victim and her family: Priyanka Gandhi
MMNN:31 July 2019

SRINAGAR: NEW DELHI: Declaring that the Congress is committed to justice for the Unnao rape survivor, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday said the harassment of the young woman's entire family was not possible without protection from those in power.
Amid the uproar over the accident case of the Unnao rape survivor, Priyanka Gandhi also said the "strands are now coming apart" and the names of BJP leaders and the police cover-up are coming to the fore.
The Unnao rape case and the harassment of the entire family of the rape victim was not possible without protection from those in power, she said in a tweet in Hindi.
"The Congress is committed to justice. We will fight this strongly," she said.
The CBI has booked suspended BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and 10 others on murder charges in the accident case of the Unnao rape survivor.

Amarnath yatra suspended till August 4
MMNN:31 July 2019

SRINAGAR: SRINAGAR: The Amarnath yatra will remain suspended till August 4 as the IMD has forecast heavy rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir over the next few days, Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) said on Wednesday. "In view of inclement weather conditions, shooting of stones and landslides particularly in Jammu region, the yatra will remain suspended till August 4, 2019," an SASB spokesperson said.
He said the India Meteorology Department has predicted heavy rainfall for next few days all over Jammu and Kashmir, which may cause landslides and shooting of stones on the Jammu and Srinagar national highway, particularly in the stretch between Ramban and Banihal.
The spokesperson said the track from Baltal and Pahalgam has become slippery due to recent heavy rainfall and the situation is likely to aggravate in the next couple of days.
The yatra was suspended on Wednesday as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident, officials said.

Yediyurappa asks departmental heads to put on hold orders issued in July
MMNN:26 July 2019

BENGALURU: Karnataka chief minister-designate B S Yediyurappa has instructed heads of all departments to put on hold orders relating to new projects that were issued in the current month by the H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government until further review.
He has also put on hold all transfers that were cleared, but have not been executed.
In a letter to all Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and secretaries of various departments, Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar said the CM-designate has directed that orders issued in July 2019 clearing new projects should be put on hold with immediate effect until further review.
He said the CM-designate has also instructed that proposals of transfers that were cleared in July, but have not been executed should be put on hold until further orders.
During the debate on the trust vote in the assembly, the BJP had accused the Congress-JD(S) coalition and the outgoing Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy of clearing projects and transfer of officials, despite having lost majority.
"Power greedy @hd_kumaraswamy again proving that he's above anything & everything. Despite having no majority, -Keeps himself busy in clearing PWD & irrigation bills.
-Transfering 2000+ officials.
Now working overnight, just to save his source of commission!!?" BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje had tweeted.
Another senior BJP leader Jagadish Shettar in the assembly had said instead of being in the House, Kumaraswamy was said to be in his chamber clearing the files at the last minute.
The 14-month-old Congress-JDS coalition government headed by Kumaraswamy collapsed on Tuesday after losing the vote of confidence in the assembly in a climax to the three-week long intense power struggle.

20 years of Kargil War: Nation commemorates India's victory
MMNN:26 July 2019

NEW DELHI: India on Friday commemorated 20 years of its victory over arch-rival Pakistan in the Kargil War, saluting the supreme sacrifices and valour of the fallen heroes in recapturing several mountain heights seized by Pakistani intruders in Kashmir.
It was on July 26, 1999, Indian Army had declared successful culmination of 'Operation Vijay', declaring a victory after nearly three-month-long battles on the icy heights of Kargil. India had lost around 500 soldiers in the war.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh led the nation in paying tributes to the Kargil heroes, extolling the courage, bravery and dedication of the soldiers who were part of the operation.
Singh said the "unwavering courage and supreme sacrifice" of the Kargil martyrs ensured the safety and sanctity of India's borders.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh paid tributes to the war heroes at the Kargil War Memorial at Dras in Jammu and Kashmir.
"July 26 is immortalised as ' Kargil Vijay Diwas' and represents a saga of glorious victory of the nation in the Kargil conflict fought from May-July in 1999. Indian Army soldiers fought legendary battles in Dras, Kaksar, Batalik and Turtok Sectors. We salute the courage, valour and sacrifices of our martyrs and heroes," the Army said in a statement.
President Kovind was scheduled to participate in the function in Dras but bad weather prevented him from reaching the venue. He paid respects to the fallen soldiers at the Army's 15 Corps headquarters in Kashmir's Badami Bagh cantonment.
The Indian Army responded to the intrusion with 'Operation Vijay', fighting battles on rugged terrains and difficult peaks.
The Indian Air Force had joined the operation with their 'Operation Safed Sagar' under which, the IAF for the first time used high-precision bombs to target the enemy.
The Mirage-2000 aircraft played a crucial role in the battles fought during the war and also hit enemy targets bunkered in at the Tiger Hill, besides tasting success at Muntho Dhalo in June 1999.
"Mirage-2000 was the game changer in the Kargil War. It skewed the asymmetry of the military assets in our favour," senior IAF officer, Gp Capt Anupam Banerjee told PTI.
Banerjee, who flew several sorties during the war, said, Mirage-2000 made a big difference for India.
A number of events were organised by the Army in the run-up to Kargil Vijay Diwas, including one at the Gwalior Air Base on June 24, when the base was virtually turned into a theatre of conflict with a dramatic reenactment of some milestones of the 1999 operation.
On June 24, 1999, Mirages had bombed Tiger Hill using laser-guided precision bombs, and eventually recaptured the strategic position.
Air Marshal B S Dhanoa, who was the commanding officer of the 17 Squadron at the time of the war, said deploying Mirage-2000 jets and air support to ground forces had turned the tide of the 1999 war in favour of India.
"Tiger Hill was also a message at that particular time that no matter how small your are, no mater how precariously you are positioned, we will be be able to get you and hit you," Dhanoa said.
The Parliament also paid tributes to the Kargil heroes.
In brief remarks in Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Singh said Pakistan can fight neither a full-fledged war nor a limited one with India and is waging a proxy war.
The IAF on Friday paid their homage with a special video showing glimpses of its operations during the 1999 conflict.
With taglines like 'Valour Unhindered', 'Determination Unmoved' and 'Courage Unparalleled', the Air Force prides itself as the 'Keeper of the Blue Skies' and always 'ready for whatever it takes'.
Various cities across the country hosted commemorative events to mark Kargil Vijay Diwas.

Lok Sabha members demand exemplary action against Azam Khan
MMNN:26 July 2019

NEW DELHI: Cutting across party lines, members in Lok Sabha on Friday condemned Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan's sexist remarks to BJP member Rama Devi and demanded exemplary action against him.
Azam's remarks to Devi when she was in the Chair during a discussion on the triple talaq bill on Thursday were slammed as double-meaning, malicious, utterly condemnable and a blot on all legislators by the ministers and MPs who spoke after BJP's Sanghmitra Maurya raised the issue during the Zero Hour.
A number of members from various parties, including BJP, Congress, NCP, Trinamool Congress, DMK and BJD, said a strong message should be sent by the House against such conduct.
However, there were also some heated exchanges between the Congress and BJP MPs during the proceedings.
"This is a blot on all legislators including men," textiles minister Smriti Irani said and also attacked SP leader Akhilesh Yadav for supporting Khan in the House on Thursday after the row erupted.
It was repugnant that a leader stood in solidarity with a "lech", she said.
Azam Khan and Akhilesh Yadav were not present in the House.
If Khan had made these comments outside Parliament, then police would have come to the woman's rescue, Irani said as she urged political parties to rise above political differences and appealed to Speaker Om Birla to take action.
A member cannot abuse the privilege Parliament gives him to make such comments and get away, she said.
After hearing the members for nearly an hour, Speaker Om Birla said he will hold a meeting with leaders of all political parties and take a decision.
Stating his party is against any kind of misbehaviour against women, leader of the Congress Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury referred to his party leader Sonia Gandhi being called "Italian puppet and daugher of Italy" in the past, remarks which drew strong protest from the members of treasury benches who said the issue should not be politicised.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman wondered why there was "dilemma" and "hesitation" in taking a stand on the issue, in an apparent dig at the opposition party which objected to her remarks.
Sitharaman said Azam Khan's comments were utterly condemnable and said the House was looking to the Speaker to take exemplary action.
Chowdhury said the person at the centre of the issue should also be heard, referring to Azam Khan.
He suggested that the matter be sent to privilege or ethics committee. He later agreed with the prevailing view that the Speaker should take a call.
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said either Khan should tender an apology or he should be suspended from the House.
Several other women MPs expressed unhappiness over Azam Khan's remarks and demanded that Speaker take strict action against him.
Trinamool Congress member Kalyan Banerjee said a person who does not show respect to women does not know Indian culture.
NCP's Supriya Sule said she hangs her head in shame at Khan's offensive language and called for strict punishment.
His behaviour was not tolerable and members should speak in one voice, she said.
JD(U)'s Lalan Singh said the Speaker should take strongest action so that such behaviour is not repeated.
DMK's Kanimozhi wondered how women would be treated outside Parliament when they are "insulted" in such a way inside. Apna Dal's Anupriya Patel said the entire nation is ashamed.
Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said the House should leave the matter to the Speaker.
BJD's B Mahtab said Azam Khan's remarks were "unpardonable" and deserved exemplary action. "It was one of the darkest days," he added.
Union Minister Arjun Meghwal said Azam Khan's comments were double-meaning and he has a history of making such remarks outside the House as well.
Actor and Trinamool Congress member Mimi Chakraborty, who is a first time MP, said whatever happened on Thursday was shameful and cannot be part of her learning exercise.
AIMIM Asaduddin Owaisi said he respected the sentiments of the House but took a dig at the government asking about the fate of a group of ministers, which was constituted following a wave of allegations of sexual harassment against women in the "Me Too" movement, including against the then Union minister and BJP leader M J Akbar.
Participating in the debate on the triple talaq bill, Khan had Thursday referred to the intervention of Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and read out a couplet "... tu idhar-udhar ki baat na kar ..." (do not divert from the topic).
At this, Rama Devi, who was presiding over the proceedings, asked Khan not to "look here and there" and address the Chair. To this, the SP member made sexist remarks at the Chair, triggering acrimonious scenes. The remarks were expunged from the records.

‘Must for gender equality, justice’: Govt on triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha
MMNN:25 July 2019

Lok Sabha on Thursday took up for consideration the contentious bill to make the practice of instant triple talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband.
Moving the bill for consideration, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the legislation was a must for gender equality and justice as despite an August 2017 Supreme Court verdict striking down the practice of instant triple talaq , women were being divorced by ‘talaq-e-biddat’.
He said, since January 2017, 574 such cases had been reported by the media.
The ban on ‘triple talaq’ has been enforced through three ordinances issued by Narendra Modi government as the related bill couldn’t be passed by the previous Lok Sabha.
A fresh bill was introduced by the new government in June during the ongoing Parliament session.
Under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, divorcing through instant triple talaq will be illegal, void and would attract a jail term of three years for the erring husband.
Prasad said to allay fears that the proposed law could be misused, the government had included certain safeguards such as provision of bail for the accused before trial.
While the bill makes triple talaq a “non-bailable” offence, an accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail. A provision has been added to allow the magistrate to grant bail “after hearing the wife”, the minister said.
The Opposition termed the penal provision for the Muslim husband ‘discriminatory’ and also objected to the 3-year jail term for the practitioner of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ as disproportionate and counter-productive. Those opposing the Bill said it was ‘discriminatory’ as it sought to target only Muslim women even when the problem of abandoning-wives was not unique to the community.
Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said the majority enjoyed by the NDA government doesn’t mean that Parliamentary committees--where such contentions Bills should be debated--are bypassed. He demanded a comprehensive Bill to empower women from all religions and sections.
Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay drove the above point home by expressing his party’s opposition to the practice of ‘triple talaq’ yet requesting the Centre to drop the 3-year jail term which he called “arbitrary and excessive.” “We support Muslim women who have a problem with ‘triple talaq’. But the Bill is excessive, arbitrary as a jailed husband can’t support his family or give maintenance to his separated wife,” the TMC MP said while demanding that the Bill be referred to a joint select committee.
Minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the argument against 3-year jail term was specious and mischievous as it sought to side with the guilty. “Those who do not refrain from ‘triple talaq’ deserve to be jailed,” he said. “All the major Islamic countries had banned “triple talaq” and therefore it couldn’t be argued that there was even a religious ground for opposing it,” he added.
NDA ally JD(U)’s MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh declared that his party will abstain from voting on the “triple talaq” Bill as it was fundamentally opposed to any interference on this matter and added that the Bill was likely to create mistrust within the Muslim community. “The government should instead try to awaken the community to women’s rights,” he said, adding that despite being a part of the NDA, his party had a long standing policy of divergence on controversial issues including common civil code and article 370.
Opposing the BIll, AIMIM chief Osaduddin Owaisi said its real purpose was to drive a wedge between the Muslim community and its religion. “The BJP should fly all its women MPs in a special plane to the Sabarimala shrine in Kerala if it really wanted to empower women,” he said before closing his speech.

Infosys founder’s son-in-law among 3 Indian-origin ministers in team Boris
MMNN:25 July 2019

After appointing Priti Patel to the high-profile role of Home secretary, Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday promoted junior minister Alok Sharma to the rank of a cabinet minister with the portfolio of international development.
Johnson, who began the process of forming his team soon after being appointed prime minister by Queen Elizabeth, also promoted Rishi Sunak, son-in-law of Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy to the role of chief secretary to the Treasury under new chancellor Sajid Javid.
As the international development secretary, Sharma, 51, will be responsible for a overseas British aid in a department committed to spending 0.7% of the UK’s national income as international aid each year. Britain has long stopped traditional aid to India, but funds some programmes in selected states.
Hampshire-born Sunak, 39, has been MP for Richmond, Yorkshire, since 2015. He was a junior minister in the department of local government, and as the chief secretary to the Treasury, he will attend cabinet meetings.
Agra-born Sharma, who is MP for Reading West since 2010, was the employment minister in the Theresa May government. He was one of the foremost supporters of Johnson in the recent Conservative leadership election.
When Johnson was the foreign secretary in the May government, Sharma had the junior role of parliamentary under secretary of state in the Foreign Office with responsibility for the Asia-Pacific region. He often responded on the government’s behalf in parliament on Indian issues.
The appointments of Patel, Sharma and Sunak mean it will be the first time the UK prime minister’s cabinet table will have three ministers from the 1.5 million-strong Indian community.
A fervent Brexiteer who campaigned with Johnson during the 2016 EU referendum campaign, Patel’s role as home secretary puts her in charge of immigration, among other sensitive issues such as security.
Patel will have to take a call on the large number of Indian students caught up in the language test cheating row that has increasingly come on the centre stage during the home secretaryship of her predecessor, Sajid Javid.
She will also be under pressure to implement her promise made during the referendum campaign to relax visa norms to allow the recruitment of chefs from the Indian sub-continent in the UK’s struggling Indian restaurant industry.
Patel was nominated as the ‘Indian Diaspora Champion’ by Cameron and played a frontline role in interactions between the government and the 1.5 million-strong Indian community in the UK, visiting Gujarat and India several times in recent years.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Patel international development secretary in July 2016 but sacked her in November 2017 after it emerged that she held unauthorised meetings with the Israeli government during a holiday.
The appointments of Patel, Sharma and Sunak are part of Johnson’s new-look government that excluded several leading lights in May’s team. It remains a Conservative government, but Johnson brought in new faces to prepare for United Kingdom leaving the European Union in 99 days time on October 31.

Kumaraswamy out, Karnataka to head for short spell of President’s rule
MMNN:25 July 2019

Having forced the exit of HD Kumaraswamy from the chief minister’s office, the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership is in two minds about forming the next Karnataka government and is looking at the possibility of bringing the state under a short spell of central rule till there is more clarity about the numbers.
It is on account of this reluctance to form the government that the BJP’s presumptive chief minister BS Yeddyurappa wasn’t getting the green signal from the party’s top leadership that he had hoped for.
“I’m awaiting instructions from Delhi. I can call legislature party meeting any time and go to Raj Bhavan,” the 76-year-old told reporters yesterday after meeting leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological fount of the BJP.
This contrasts sharply with Yeddyurappa’s impatience in pushing outgoing chief minister HD Kumaraswamy to face the trust vote over the last week.
The BJP is conscious that it is not seen to be hankering for power. It also wants to play safe and not end up in a position where a hurriedly-formed government is not able to survive the change in the numbers that might follow over the next few weeks.
There is a strong view, a BJP leader said, that the party should wait for the outcome of the case before the Supreme Court and their resignation letters before Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.
One of the possibilities that the BJP wants to avoid is a situation where the Congress and the Janata Dal Secular are able to convince some of the 15 rebel lawmakers to withdraw their resignation.
For the record, Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah have both declared that they would never let the rebels rejoin their respective parties. “But what if they change their stance… The Yeddyurappa government would again be in a minority,” a BJP leader said.
The 14-month-old Kumaraswamy government resigned on Tuesday after failing to prove its majority in the floor test following three weeks of power tussle that saw 15 legislators withdrawing their support to the coalition. The Congress-JDS alliance had secured 99 votes in its favour and 105 against on a trust vote motion moved in the 225-member assembly by chief minister HD Kumaraswamy last Thursday.

Anti-terror bill passed in Lok Sabha; Amit Shah defends amendments
MMNN:24 July 2019

NEW DELHI: Home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday defended amendments to an anti-terror law, saying they are was essential to keep law enforcement agencies one step ahead of terrorists.
Responding to a debate in Lok Sabha on a bill seeking to amend the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, he asserted anti-terror laws would not be misused and used only to root out terrorism.
He said that provision in UAPA (amendment) bill, which was later passed in the Lower House by a voice vote, to designate a person suspected to have terror links as terrorist is necessary to root out terror.
Hitting out at the Congress for opposing the amendment, he said if the UPA was correct in amending anti-terror laws in their tenure, then so is the NDA.
He said, in the name of ideology, some people promote urban Maoism and the government has no sympathy towards them.
The government fights terrorism and it should not matter which party is in power, Shah said, referring to amendments made in anti-terror laws by successive governments.
During a division of votes, demanded by AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi for consideration of the bill, as many as 287 MPs supported it and only eight opposed it.
Amendments brought in by some opposition members were also defeated by huge numbers during division of votes.
When the AIMIM member insisted on division of votes over amendments, Speaker Om Birla quoted rule to say that he can ask the members supporting or opposing them to stand up for counting, if he feels it appropriate.
In his speech, Shah lashed out at people behind urban Maoism, a term used by the BJP and its ideological allies for those it blames for supporting Maoists, and said the government had no sympathy for them.
"In the name of ideology, some people promote urban maoism. We have no sympathy for them," he said.
Left-wing violence was initially considered an ideological and gullible people were misguided to kill others, he said.
"The only purpose of this law is to root out terrorism. We will ensure that this law will not be misused," he said.
The Congress under the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had brought in UAPA, he said, targeting the opposition party, whose members earlier questioned the rationale behind the law.
Radical preachers are propagating ideology of hate and terrorism, Shah said, claiming that terrorism is born out of a person's mindset and is not about institutions.
"It is the priority of the government to root out terrorism," he said.
"Some (opposition) members said that we have destroyed the federal structure by bringing this amendment. If the federal structure has been destroyed then it was destroyed during the UPA time as the law was enacted then," he said.
If somebody indulges in terrorist activities then definitely the NIA will seize his computers and other devices, he added.

Two BJP MLAs support Congress-led govt in Madhya Pradesh during voting on bill
MMNN:24 July 2019

BHOPAL: In a major blow to the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, two of its MLAs Narayan Tripathi and Sharad Kol on Wednesday voted in favour of the Congress government during voting on a bill in the assembly.
Tripathi and Kol, both former Congressmen, said they supported the seven-month-old Kamal Nath-led government, which enjoys a slender majority in the house, as they wanted to develop their respective assembly constituency.
During the division of votes on the Criminal Law (Madhya Pradesh Amendment) Bill 2019, a total of 122 MLAs voted in favour of the Congress government, which assumed office in December last year.
In the 230-member house, the ruling Congress has the support of 121 MLAs, including Speaker N P Prajapati, who did not take part in the voting. Besides the 120 MLAs of the Congress and its allies, two BJP MLAs also supported the bill.
Later, talking to reporters, Tripathi (elected from Maihar) and Kol (Beohari) said they extended support to the Nath government because they want to develop their constituencies.
The BJP MLAs said this was their "ghar wapsi" (homecoming).
Reacting to the voting, chief minister Kamal Nath said, "The BJP says daily that we are a minority government and one which could fall any day."
"However, during voting in the assembly on criminal law amendment bill, two BJP MLAs voted in favour of our government," Nath said.
The development in Madhya Pradesh comes a day after the Congress-JD(S) government fell in Karnataka, where the BJP is looking to form its government.
The BJP had narrowly lost power in Madhya Pradesh during the November 2018 assembly polls.

Vistara to stop giving 200ml plastic water bottles to flyers
MMNN:24 July 2019

NEW DELHI: Vistara will stop giving plastic water bottles on board its flights, in a bid to reduce plastic usage. The airline, which had earlier banned chewing of gutka on its flights, on Wednesday said it “plans to remove all individual-sized 200ml water bottles from its flights, This initiative was implemented on Delhi-Mumbai flights on July 16, and will be extended to all flights across the airline’s network in phases over the coming weeks. Economy class customers, who were hitherto given water in small plastic bottles, will now be served mineral water in environment-friendly paper cups.”
The airline said it has “reduced single-use plastic usage and has a further 50% reduction target this year. The airline continues to undertake several other eco-friendly initiatives to support its award-winning inflight service with minimal use of plastics, by switching to packaging from renewable and bio-degradable sources.
Vistara is the first and only carrier in India to serve oxo-biodegradable cutlery and pouch to economy class customers. It has also replaced plastic casseroles with aluminium dishes in economy and China casseroles in Premium Economy, plastic straws and stirrers with paper or wooden ones, and disposable bowls in economy class with reusable ones,” the airline added.
Last June, Vistara had banned consumption of 'gutka' (tobacco) on board its aircraft.

Opposition walks out of Lok Sabha, says only PM Modi can tell if Trump’s lying on Kashmir mediation claim
MMNN:23 July 2019

NEW DELHI: Opposition leaders on Tuesday staged a walk out in the Lok Sabha after they failed to get the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to respond to the statement of US President Donald Trump claiming that the Indian Prime Minister Modi had asked him to mediate in the Kashmir issue, reported news agency ANI. Earlier, Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice till 3 pm following an uproar by the Parliamentarians demanding a response from the Prime Minister on the issue.
According to ANI, Congress MP Manish Tiwari said the Prime Minister must address the Lower House and clarify if the US President was lying when he attributed the conversation to him. He also said that Trump’s statement on Kashmir issue was like a “blow to the unity of India.”
The Ministry of External Affairs earlier on Tuesday had rejected Trump’s remarks, made during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, that Modi had asked him to mediate in resolving the Kashmir issue with Pakistan.
The Congress said it was happy to hear government’s reiteration ofIndia’s ‘no third party involvement’ in Kashmir stand but was unhappy withPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the issue. It insisted that the Prime Minister made a statement instead of the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
“Why is PM ‘mum’ on what transpired between the two heads of states, more so when it affects our sovereignty?” , Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked in a tweet.
In another tweet, he tagged the remarks of Trump put out by the White House.
“Now, ‘Whitehouse’ puts up @POTUS assertion in ‘black & white’ that PM Modi asked him to ‘mediate on Kashmir’!” He said. “When will our PM ‘wake up’ & call the bluff if President Trump is lying? Or Did PM Modi ask @POTUS to mediate?” Surjewala wondered.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also, demanded a clarification from none other than Prime Minister Modi .
“President Trump says PM Modi asked him to mediate between India & Pakistan on Kashmir! If true, PM Modi has betrayed India’s interests & 1972 Shimla Agreement. A weak Foreign Ministry denial won’t do. PM must tell the nation what transpired in the meeting between him & @POTUS,” Rahul’s tweet said.
Earlier, Congress leader Milind Deora said that for the sake of India’s national interest, all parties must rise above politics and welcome MEA’s statement refuting the Prime Minister’s alleged remarks.
“We must also ask whether BJP would have extended the same courtesy to Dr. Manmohan Singh had a US President made such a claim,” he said.
The Congress along with other opposition parties on Monday night demanded a clarification from Modi on whether there has been a shift in India’s position of no third party involvement in the Kashmir issue after Trump offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on the matter.
Surjewala had said India has never accepted third party mediation in Jammu and Kashmir.
“To ask a foreign power to mediate in J&K by PM Modi is a sacrilegious betrayal of country’s interests. Let PM answer to the Nation!” he had tweeted.
In another tweet, Surjewala said “deeply disturbing and distressing” is the claim by Trump that PM Modi made a “request to him for mediation on Kashmir”.
“No Indian PM has ever dared to breach the cardinal principle of ‘no third party mediation’ in terms of 1972 Simla Agreement.Why is PM mum?” he said.
Trump, who is known to make inaccurate statements, claimed Prime Minister Modi asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue.
“I honestly don’t think Trump has the slightest idea of what he’s talking about. He has either not been briefed or not understood what (Prime Minister) Modi was saying or what India’s position is on 3rd-party mediation. That said, MEA should clarify that Delhi has never sought his intercession,” senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted earlier.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Monday wondered whether the Indian government will call the US President a liar or whether there has been a shift in India’s position on third party involvement in dispute.
“Personally I think @realDonaldTrump is talking out of his hat when he says @PMOIndia asked for US involvement in solving the Kashmir issue but I’d like to see @MEAIndia call Trump out on his claim,” Abdullah tweeted. CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury asked whether “our twitter-friendly PM” has the courage to rebut the US president who has made a public statement.
“What does this say about our long-held position of sovereignty over the Indian state of J&K, as defined in the Simla Agreement?” he said.
“India has always maintained its a bilateral issue, with no scope for third-party interference. What is this government up to?” Yechury asked.
India maintains that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral one and no third party has any role.

Lashkar, Islamic State in plans with Pak army to target Indian assets in Afghanistan
MMNN:23 July 2019

The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is working closely with Islamic State in Afghanistan and has drawn up plans with the Pakistan Army to target Indian and US assets and interests in the war-torn country, people familiar with developments said on Monday.
During a recent meeting between LeT operatives and a team of Pakistan Army and the country’s spy agency Inter- Services Intelligence in Jaba area of Dangam district in Kunar province, the terror group was directed to attack Indian and US assets, the people, including intelligence officials and diplomats in New Delhi and Washington, said on condition of anonymity. LeT commanders were tasked to carry out different types of attacks, including with suicide bombers sent from Pakistan, they added. The move comes at a time when Pakistan is under intense pressure from the US and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to crack down on LeT and other groups such as Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). LeT founder Hafiz Saeed was recently arrested on terror financing charges.
This also coincides with reports by the Pentagon and a UN panel about the presence of hundreds of LeT cadres in Afghanistan. The Pentagon report put the number of LeT operatives at 300, while the UN report said 500 fighters are active in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces alone.

“LeT’s presence in Afghanistan has been observed to be steadily on the rise. According to recent inputs, Hafiz Saeed’s son Talha Saeed is taking more interest in operational affairs in Afghanistan,” said an official who didn’t want to be named. The information on LeT activities has been shared with the US and Afghanistan.
The reasons for LeT focusing on Afghanistan are strategic rather than ideological, including the creation of safe havens for its fighters and a belief the Taliban are in a commanding position, the people said. With its fighters easily crossing the porous border, LeT wants to take credit for an “Islamic victory” in Afghanistan and has been increasing its presence in Kunar, Nangarhar and Nuristan, they said.
The presence of LeT fighters has also been reported in Badakhshan, Laghman, Kabul, Ghazni, Wardak, Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Kandahar and Helmand provinces and it maintains good relations with IS, the people said. The IS has provided tacit support for LeT to increase its presence, they added. While the LeT has so far avoided carrying out direct attacks in Afghanistan, it coordinates with al-Qaeda and Taliban in attacks on foreign and Afghan forces. The UN panel had also reported the LeT was a key provider of fighters, weapons and finance for the Taliban and Haqqani Network.
Several madrassas in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar are supporting the LeT in Afghanistan, including Ganj Madrassa, which helps recruit cadres, Jamia Ashrafia, Hazrat Bilal Madrassa, Markaz Khyber, which is headed by local JuD leader Qari Nouman, Markaz Al-Madina.
The JeM, which has traditionally had strong ties with the Afghan Taliban, has also stepped up its operations in Afghanistan and its cadres are fighting under the leadership of the Taliban, the people said. These cadres include a significant number of battle-hardened JeM militants and suicide bombers from Pakistan’s Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces, they said.
The JeM leadership also conducts its own operations in Afghanistan that are directed from a base in Peshawar, the people said.
JeM has also set up another front in Quetta that is used for attacks in Afghanistan’s Ghazni provinces. JeM currently has its cadres in Nuristan, Kunar, Laghman, Khost, Ghazni, Geelan, Helmand and Nangarhar areas.

‘Backstabbed by rebels…will happen to you too’: Cong’s Shivakumar warns BJP
MMNN:23 July 2019

NEW DELHI: Karnataka Minister and Congress’ chief trouble shooter, D K Shivakumar, on Tuesday said that the party’s rebel MLAs have backstabbed them and warned the BJP that these lawmakers could do the same to them.
“We are angry because of the backstabbing by the rebels. It will happen to you as well... You are misguiding them,” Shivakumar told the BJP said while participating in the discussion on the confidence motion in the assembly moved by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy whose government is battling an existential crisis following the resignation of 16 MLAs earlier this month.
Thirteen of the MLAs belong to the Congress and three to the Janata Dal (Secular). Two independent MLAs, who were made ministers recently to provide stability to the government, have also quit the cabinet and withdrawn their support to the government.
Ahead of the trust vote, Shivakumar lashed out at the rebels for petitioning the Mumbai police Commissioner to protect them when he visited the city earlier this month.
“When I went to Mumbai I knew that prohibitory orders had been issued. I wasn’t allowed inside the hotel because MLAs gave a complaint to Mumbai police Commissioner that we will storm into the hotel and asked that we shouldn’t let in. I worked with them for 40 years, am I a dacoit? Couldn’t I have locked them in my house when I tore their resignations?”
Shivakumar was particularly anguished with Congress MLA MTB Nagaraj who had indicated on July 13 that he would take back his resignation and would also try to convince another lawmaker - K Sudhakar - to withdraw his resignation as well. But Nagaraj returned to Mumbai the next day and hasn’t taken back his resignation yet.
“Yes I was the reason MTB Nagaraj got a ticket. We spoke to him and he gave a statement as well. Couldn’t we have locked them up? No because we have trust in them. Bring them here, let them vote against this government…… I told MTB Nagaraj I’ll see him in the battlefield politically,” Shivakumar said.
The coalition government has accused the opposition BJP of orchestrating the resignations to seize power. The BJP denies the charge.
The Karnataka Assembly floor test will be held Tuesday evening according to the latest deadline of 6 pm set by the Speaker KR Ramesh. The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing of the petition filed by the two independent MLAs who asked the apex court to direct the Speaker to hold the trust vote on Tuesday.
Speaker Ramesh also summoned the rebel MLAs, 13 of whom have asked for four weeks time.

India successfully launches world's first mission to South Pole
MMNN:22 July 2019

NEW DELHI: India successfully launched its second Moon mission-Chandrayaan--2. It is world's first mission to Moon's South Pole. If successful, the mission, will make India the fourth nation to soft land on the Moon after the US, Russia and China. Here's a look at the various soft landings that have taken place on the Moon and why south pole holds significance.

Every Indian immensely proud today: PM Modi after Chandrayaan-2 launch
MMNN:22 July 2019

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday lauded the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after the successful launch of India's indigenous moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, and said that every Indian is immensely proud today.
In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Modi stated that this mission will further encourage youngsters towards pursuing science, research and
"Special moments that will be etched in the annals of our glorious history! The launch of #Chandrayaan2 illustrates the prowess of our scientists and the determination of 130 crore Indians to scale new frontiers of science. Every Indian is immensely proud today," Prime Modi tweeted.
"Indian at heart, Indian in spirit! What would make every Indian overjoyed is the fact that #Chandrayaan2 is a fully indigenous mission. It will have an Orbiter for remote sensing the Moon and also a Lander-Rover module for analysis of lunar surface," he added.

He further shared two photographs of himself watching the launch of Chandrayaan-2. "#Chandrayaan2 is unique because it will explore and perform studies on the south pole region of lunar terrain which is not explored and sampled by any past mission. This mission will offer new knowledge about the Moon," the Prime Minister said.
"Efforts such as #Chandrayaan2 will further encourage our bright youngsters towards science, top quality research and innovation. Thanks to Chandrayaan, India's Lunar Programme will get a substantial boost. Our existing knowledge of the Moon will be significantly enhanced," he added.
Chandrayaan-2 was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
The spacecraft took off at 2.43pm, exactly a week after the mission was aborted after a technical snag was detected less than an hour before the launch.
In the run-up to the launch, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), on its Twitter, gave regular updates about preparations.
ISRO had successfully completed the launch rehearsal of the Chandrayaan-2 mission on Saturday.
Chandrayaan-2 will explore a region of Moon where no mission has ever set foot. The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover together referred to as "composite body". The probe's total mass is 3.8 ton and is expected to land on the Moon's south polar region on September 6 or 7 this year.
It will be the first Indian expedition to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface. This mission will make India the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to carry out a soft landing on Moon.

I'm daughter of this soil, hope to get permanent or longer resident permit: Taslima
MMNN:22 July 2019

NEW DELHI: Relieved after getting a one- year extension on her residence permit, Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen has expressed hope that the government will consider giving her either a longer permit or a permanent one as she is the "daughter of this soil" and even her cat is Indian.
"India is my home. It would have been better if I did not need to worry every year. There is also the option of issuing residence permit for five or 10 years. I requested former home minister Rajnath Singh ji for this in 2014 as I want to live in India for rest of my life," she told PTI in an interview.
Nasreen's residence permit was extended for one year by the home ministry on Sunday. She is a citizen of Sweden and has been getting residence permit on a continuous basis since 2004.
The 56-year-old writer was last week given a three-month residence permit following which she took to Twitter to request home minister Amit Shah to extend it for one year.
"I am called a foreigner but I feel like the daughter of this soil. I hope the government will reconsider giving me a permanent or a longer resident permit. I have passed 25 years in exile, still I have to worry every year about the ground beneath my feet. It affects my writing also," she said.
"I feel Delhi is the only place in the subcontinent where I can live peacefully. I would have been very happy if I could live in East or West Bengal but now it is not possible. Now, I want to live the rest of my life in Delhi. If you don't consider me Indian, my cat is Indian, who is like my daughter and has been with me for 16 years," she added.
Nasreen said that despite several countries offering her permanent residence, she chose India as she felt a cultural connect here.
"My home, my books, my clothes, and my documents everything is here. I don't have any home somewhere else. I am settled here. Why I should leave India," she said when asked about the reason for staying in the country.
"I am a European citizen but I left Europe and the US to live here. I chose India over all other countries which offered me citizenship or permanent resident permit," said Nasreen.
She feels that India is much more liberal than any other country in the world as far as freedom of speech is concerned.
"The Constitution gives you human rights and freedom of speech. There has been a lot of criticism of the government which gets published, so how can I say there is no freedom of speech. I have seen many nations where there is no such freedom," she said when asked about the notion in a section of society that there was curtailment of freedom of speech.
The author said there were such issues in the US as well during the Iraq war, but they happen several times and go away as well.
"It's not like nobody is allowed to criticize or oppose the government. Sometimes on social media we get attacked when we write something that people don't like. It happens but it is not that dangerous that I will be sent to jail. I don't think that it is an alarming situation in India," said the writer.
"As far as mob violence is concerned it is not staged by government. Some anti-social elements do it and they should be punished strictly," she said.
She said the English sequel of her popular novel 'Lajja' is getting released next year.
"I am writing so many things. In the beginning of next year Harper Collins will release the sequel of Lajja called 'Besharam (shameless)," Nasreen said.

Sheila Dikshit, former Delhi CM and Congress leader, passes away
MMNN:20 July 2019

NEW DELHI: Former chief minister of Delhi and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit passed away in Delhi on Saturday at the age of 81 years.
On Saturday morning, she was admitted in a critical condition to Escorts hospital in the capital following cardiac arrest.
A multi-disciplinary team of doctors carried out the advanced resuscitative measures. Her condition stabilised temporarily. However, she had another cardiac arrest and despite all the resuscitative efforts, passed away at 3:55pm, hospital said.
Her cremation is scheduled to take place at Delhi's Nigam Bodh ghat at 2 pm on Sunday.
Dikshit served as the chief minister of Delhi for three terms from 1998 to 2013. She was the longest serving chief minister of Delhi.
In the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, under her leadership, the Congress party managed to push AAP candidates on the third place in five of the seven seats in Delhi, besides registering growth in its vote share.
In January this year, the three-time former Delhi chief minister was appointed president of the city unit after the incumbent Ajay Maken stepped down citing health issues.
Despite being an octagenarian, Dikshit led the party in Lok Sabha polls and herself contested against Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari from the North East Delhi seat. She lost by over 3.66 lakh votes.
Dikshit became an MP for the first time from Kannauj Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh in 1984. She was also a close associate of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and a minister in his cabinet.
President Ram Nath Kovind extended his condolences to the family of the Congress leader and said that her term was a period of momentous transformation for the capital.

Kashmir issue will be resolved soon: Rajnath Singh
MMNN:20 July 2019

JAMMU: Defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday the Kashmir issue would be resolved soon and no power on earth could stop the final resolution. Addressing a meeting after inaugurating a bridge on the river Ujh in the Kathua district, Singh said, "I am saying this with all responsibility that the Kashmir issue will be resolved soon. I am sure of your (people) support."
The minister said he had invited for talks several times the people who claim to be fighting for the resolution of Kashmir problem. "They didn't come forward. They have sent their children outside for education, and are forcing 12-14 years children to pelt stones".
"What kind of Azadi do they have in mind? Do they want the type of Azadi Pakistan has. Let me tell you (separatists) whether you talk or not, Kashmir issue will be resolved soon", Singh said.
He urged people to stay united and work for personal and the country's betterment. "You have many opportunities. You can join the defence forces. You can excel in sports. There is no limit to opportunities to the people of Jammu and Kashmir", he said.
At 1,000 metres, the bridge on the river Ujh is the longest in the state constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
The minister also paid tribute at the Kargil war memorial in Drass on the 20th anniversary of Kargil victory. He also interacted with soldiers. Union Minister of State (PMO) Jitendra Singh and chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat accompanied Singh during his visit.
The defence minister is on a day-long visit to the state.

India in touch with Iran to secure release of Indians aboard British-flagged ship
MMNN:20 July 2019

NEW DELHI/LONDON: India on Saturday said it was in touch with Iran to secure release of the Indians on board a British-flagged oil tanker seized by the Gulf country in the Strait of Hormuz.
"We are ascertaining further details on the incident. Our Mission is in touch with the Government of Iran to secure the early release and repatriation of Indian nationals," external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to a question on the detention of Indian crew members along with the oil tanker Stena Impero by Iranian authorities.
According to a media report, 18 Indian nationals are among the 23 crew members of the British-flagged oil tanker seized by Iran amid fresh escalation of tensions in the Gulf region.
The Stena Impero was seized on Friday by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Iran's seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker was allegedly due to a collision with an Iranian fishing boat, Iran's official news agency IRNA said.
"There are 18 Indian and five crew members from Russia, Philipines, Latvia and other countries on board of Stena Impero. The captain is Indian, but the tanker is UK-flagged," the news agency quoted Allahmorad Afifipour, director general of Ports and Maritime Affairs of Hormuzgan province, as saying.
Stena Bulk, a Swedish company which owns the vessel, said they have been unable to contact the ship, which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway in the region.
"Soon after the vessel was approached by unidentified small naval craft and a helicopter during her transit of the Strait of Hormuz in international waters...the vessel suddenly deviated from her passage to Jubail and headed north towards Iran," the company said in statement.
The vessel was in full compliance with all navigation and international regulations, it said.
Erik Hanell, President and Chief Executive, Stena Bulk, said: "There are 23 seafarers onboard of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationality. There have been no reported injuries and the safety and welfare of our crew remains our primary focus."
"We are in close contact with both the UK and Swedish government authorities to resolve this situation and we are liaising closely with our seafarers' families," Hanell said.
In early July, British marines and Gibraltar police seized an Iranian tanker off the Southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.
Gibraltar claimed that the ship was transporting crude oil to Syria "in violation" of the EU sanctions placed on Damascus, escalating tensions in the Gulf.

5.6 magnitude earthquake jolts Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, other Northeast states
MMNN:19 July 2019

A 5.6-magnitude earthquake hit Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and other northeastern states on Friday afternoon.
The epicenter of the quake was located at a depth of 10 km at East Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh, the Met Office website stated.
According to reports, tremors were felt in Guwahati, parts of Assam, Dimapur in Nagaland, among other areas at around 2:52 pm.
No casualties have been reported so far, officials said, adding that more details are awaited.

In photos, rhinos, tiger flee to higher ground in flood-hit Kaziranga
MMNN:19 July 2019

A tiger escaped from a wildlife park in India’s flood-ravaged Assam and stretched out on a shophouse bed Thursday, startling residents and shining a spotlight on the plight of animals caught up in the deluge.
The adult tiger -- weighing more than 200 pounds (90 kilogrammes) -- was like many other beasts in the World Heritage-listed Kaziranga National Park, trying to reach dry land as the reserve became submerged by heavy rains.
Wild buffalos running in floodwaters, exhausted rhinos resting on patches of land and elephants crossing a road were some of the unusual sights as rangers raced to reach animals struggling in the waters.
More than 50 wild animals have died so far, including some in traffic accidents, as they tried to cross a busy highway outside the park and reach the nearby Karbi hills, local media reported.
The tiger was about to cross the highway when it appeared to change its mind and jumped into a scrap dealer’s tin-roofed compound, sending onlookers into a tizzy.
“The owner was about to open the shop at 8:30 in the morning when he saw the tiger jump inside,” Bhaskar Choudhury, head veterinarian for the non-profit Wildlife Trust of India, told AFP.
“One of the doors was open and it was dark inside. The tiger decided to go in and sit on the bed.”
Choudhury said instead of tranquilising the big cat, his organisation was waiting for sunset to allow the creature to emerge from the compound and take off on its own.
Meanwhile, forest rangers are using boats to traverse the parklands -- now a large expanse of water -- as they search for stranded or injured animals.
“It had been a long time since this type of flood has affected Kaziranga National Park,” forest ranger Pradut Goswami told AFP.
The UNESCO-recognised Kaziranga is home to two-thirds of the world’s remaining one-horned rhinos and several have been spotted basking in the sun on a patches of high ground surrounded by water.
With Assam usually one of the worst-hit Indian states during the annual rains, the park has been building ridges for the animals to swim to, although not all of them utilise the elevated areas.
The floods, which are in their second week, have so far killed at least 27 people in Assam, sweeping away houses and boats.
Across South Asia, including Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan, the death toll has risen above 300 with millions of residents affected and hundreds of thousands displaced.

‘Know you are in hurry’: Speaker taunts Yeddyurappa who wants floor test voting to start
MMNN:19 July 2019

Karnataka’s HD Kumaraswamy government on Friday headed into a confrontation with Governor Vajubhai Vala who has ordered him to prove his majority in the assembly by 1.30 pm, telling the assembly that the Governor could not dictate the proceedings of the legislature.
“The (trust vote) motion is the property of the House... The governor cannot dictate the proceedings of the house,” Karnataka minister Krishna Byregowda told the state assembly shortly after Chief Minister Kumaraswamy red-flagged the governor’s directive.
Follow LIVE updates on Karnataka political developments here.
In his letter to Kumaraswamy last evening, Governor Vala had pointed to the 15 ruling coalition lawmakers who resigned from the assembly and the two independents who withdrew their support to conclude that the Congress-JDS coalition appeared to “have lost majority/confidence of the House”.
Kumaraswamy pointed to this message from the governor last evening and asked Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to take a call. For effect, Kumaraswamy recalled that the Supreme Court’s interim ruling on the rebel MLAs did underline that the speaker would function unfettered.
“You, Speaker sir, must decide if the governor has such powers to direct us on a matter that is already in the House... Matters (trust vote) need to be discussed,” Kumaraswamy said shortly before the 1.30 pm was due to expire.
As the clock struck 1.30 pm, BS Yeddyurappa, the BJP chief in the state and the BJP’s presumptive chief minister demanded that the assembly vote on the trust motion in line with the Governor’s direction. Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, however, promptly rejected this demand. “According to our rules, there is no opportunity to go for division without discussion. I know you are in a hurry but that is not possible,” the Speaker said.
As for the governor’s letter, Ramesh Kumar said that communication was addressed to the chief minister and it was for him to respond to the letter the Governor wrote. The assembly was adjourned for an hour when the BJP protests continued.
Byregowda, the senior minister who intervened during the chief minister’s speech to amplify the points that his boss made, stressed that the governor’s directive had not come before the assembly started discussing the trust vote but after the House took it up. By then, the trust vote had already become a property of the House and wasn’t subject to the Governor’s directions.
The senior minister stressed that they could not be mute spectators when wrongs are committed because they would otherwise, be complicit in such improprieties. The attacks on the governor soon got shriller, and louder.
“In May 2018, the Governor gave the BJP 15 days to prove majority but we’re given 15 hours. If this doesn’t smack of conspiracy, what does?” he asked, underscoring that if one institution goes against the rules, it would lead to problems.

Our MLAs are being kidnapped, Cong alleges in assembly
MMNN:18 July 2019

BENGALURU: The Congress Thursday alleged in the Karnataka assembly its MLA Shreemant Patil, who suddenly disappeared after being with them at a resort and went incommunicado, had been 'kidnapped' as part of efforts to 'topple' the coalition government. As the assembly debated the confidence motion moved by chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, senior minister D K Shivakumar alleged Patil was kidnapped and admitted to a hospital in Mumbai.
Raising the issue, Shivakumar said "With folded hands I am requesting the Speaker of the house, my party MLAs have been kidnapped.I have got a call from the family members. I want you to bring them back sir. We want police protection."
The Congress MLAs said in unison that the lawmakers were living in fear and Patil was kidnapped, kept in a room, taken by a special flight and then admitted to a hospital.
Shivakumar said they would produce documents to show that Patil was forcibly admitted to the hospital to skip assembly.
"I have documentary evidence. He is being held in a hospital... Patil traveled with Lakshman Savadi (former BJP MLA) in the flight," he alleged.
Congress state president Dinesh Gundu Rao alleged Patil was with him till Wednesday, attended a meeting and was in good health. However, suddenly he disappeared from the resort, where his party MLAs were staying.
Rao said, "When we tried to check where he had gone, we could not find him. He was in good health but see the drama of the BJP."
The remark led to pandamonium with BJP shouting him down amid acrimonious exchanges between the treasury benches and the opposition.
Intervening, Kumaraswamy said "In the case of Patil, you must explain, who sent his photos on WhatsApp, who travelled with him in the flight. The speaker has the responsibility to safeguard the MLAs since numbers matter in the vote."
C T Ravi of the BJP told the Congress members Patil was in their 'custody' only and they were making the allegation against his party as they lacked numbers. "They don't have the numbers. They are playing this game."
The Speaker then asked "Should I blindfold myself and say I have no relation with it? Where are we heading?"
He told the House that he got a letter, not written on the letterhead, purportedly by Patil saying he had developed chest pain and had been hospitalised.
"Evidence before me is that it is not natural.... I am disturbed," the speaker said and directed Home Minister M B Patil to get in touch with the MLA's family and enquire about his condition and report back to him.

Flood fury forces Kaziranga tiger to take shelter in shop
MMNN:18 July 2019

GUWAHATI: Images of a fully grown tiger "relaxing" on a bed inside a shop in Assam's flooded Kaziranga National Park has created a buzz on social media and thrown spotlight on the plight of animals as the state battles the deluge.
The pictures of the Royal Bengal Tiger on the bed at a shop at Harmoti near Bagori range of the World Heritage Site along National Highway 37 on Thursday were widely shared on social media after the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) posted it on Twitter.
"Our vet @samshulwildvet is on a mission to tranquilise this #tiger to get him out of bed!", the organisation which is cooperating with the state's forest department in the massive efforts to save wildlife during the flood, said in a series of tweets.
Locals told reporters the tiger entered the shop of Rafikul Islam at around 7 am and was noticed relaxing on his bed. Over 95 per cent of the Park is submerged, rendering animals shelterless and forcing them to look for refuge in human habitations.
KNP Bagori Range Officer Pankaj Bora, however, said the tiger was not being disturbed and only its movement was being monitored. Forest officials are waiting for the animal to leave on its own. If it doesn't, only then attempts will be made to shift it to a forest.
Several famed one-horned rhinoceros and other animals have reportedly died in the floods that have engulfed vast swathes in Assam's 29 out of 33 districts. Large parts of Manas National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary are also submerged, forcing wild animals, including including rhinos, elephants, deer and wild boars, to take refuge in artificial highlands constructed within the parks or migrate to the southern highlands of Karbi Anglong hills.

India warns Pakistan against 'farcical attempts' to implement ICJ's order on Kulbhushan Jadhav
MMNN:18 July 2019

LONDON/THE HAGUE: India has warned Pakistan that its conduct will be under watch and any "farcical attempts" claiming to implement the ICJ's order in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case would mean going back to the world court or the UN Security Council for remedies.
Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" in April 2017 based on an "extracted confession". India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, to seek a stay on his death sentence and further remedies.
A 16-member bench headed by President of the Court, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, by 15-1 votes ordered Pakistan on Wednesday to undertake an "effective review and reconsideration" of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav.
"It is a good moment for us to help Jadhav get justice and ensure he gets a fair trial," India's lead counsel in the case, Harish Salve, told reporters in London on Wednesday in the the wake of the judgment.
Salve indicated that the next steps would involve access to the Indian national by India's consular officials in Pakistan, who will then be able to ensure he gets full legal representation.
Asked about the means at India's disposal if Pakistan did not fully comply with the ICJ verdict, he noted: "If there is a violation of the order, we can go back to the ICJ to seek further instructions. If a country brazenly violates such an order, there are other provisions, including sanctions in the [UN] Security Council and other remedies.
"I am sure Pakistan would not go that way, or at least I hope so ... Their conduct is under watch and any farcical attempts will not go unnoticed ... if a country decides to behave rogue and not comply, there are measures available."
"There is an obligation of result, of fair adjudication after allowing Mr Jadhav consular access and Pakistan must take all steps necessary, including legislative measures," the senior Indian lawyer asserted.
Reacting for the first time to the verdict, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday tweeted: "Appreciate ICJ's decision not to acquit, release and return Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav to India. He is guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan. Pakistan shall proceed further as per law." In its 42-page ruling, the ICJ ruled that Pakistan had "breached" the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which gives countries the right to consular access when their nationals are arrested abroad.
The world court found that by not informing Jadhav without delay of his rights under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Pakistan breached the obligations incumbent upon it under that provision.
"The judgment has restored our faith in the rule of law, in the ICJ and in the systems which we as mankind put together to protect the citizens of the world," said Salve.
"We had challenged the conduct of Pakistan in its brazen refusal to adhere to the Vienna Convention and allow consular access to Mr Jadhav... The court found Pakistan guilty of internationally wrongful acts and that it must cease those acts," he said.
The ICJ has declared that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Jadhav without further delay of his rights and to provide Indian consular officers access to him in accordance with Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Salve admitted that while India's ambitious call for an annulment of Jadhav's death sentence was not met, the court had been categorical in its verdict that Pakistan must do everything to make the Vienna Convention a living reality.
India moved the ICJ on May 8, 2017, for the "egregious violation" of the provisions of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan by repeatedly denying New Delhi consular access to Jadhav.
Salve said he had a "degree of personal satisfaction" that he did not resort to the kind of adjectives used by Pakistan in trying to accuse India of state-sponsored terrorism during the course of the hearings, except to describe them as "unfortunate".
"I had told the court that my upbringing and India's traditions do not allow me to reply in that language," he said, adding that the vindication came in the form of the ICJ rejecting Pakistan's allegations against India of abuse of process.
While Pakistan has claimed that Jadhav was taken into custody after he illegally entered Balochistan from Iran in March 2016, India says that he was abducted from Iran where he had business interests in Chabahar and maintains his innocence.
The verdict in the high-profile case comes nearly five months after the bench had reserved its decision on February 21 after hearing oral submissions by India and Pakistan. The proceedings of the case took two years and two months to complete.

9 killed, 18 injured in shootout in land dispute in Sonbhad of UP
MMNN:17 July 2019

Sonabhadra Land dispute in Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh took the form of massacre and this quarrel killed 9 people. After this whole incident there is panic in the whole area. It is being told that those killed were of 6 men and three women and all were from the same party.
According to the information, in Gob Panchayat Murthia village in Ghorwal Kotwali area of ​​Sonbhadra, on Wednesday, 9 people were killed in the fight between two parties, while 18 were injured in the land dispute. After the dispute, both the sides sticks with the bullet as well, the garbage also goes fiercely.
After the information, all the officials including the Superintendent of Police reached the spot. In the injured, 18 have been admitted to the community health center Ghorwal while severely injured half a dozen people have been sent to the district hospital. Land dispute has been reported between the Guzul and the Gond caste.

Hema Das came forward to help Assam flood victims, gave his half salary to the relief fund
MMNN:17 July 2019

new Delhi. India's Star Women's Athlete (Spinner) Hima Das has taken an admirable step to help Assam flood victims. Hima Das has expressed the desire to help the flood victims on Tuesday. He announced to give half of his salary to the relief fund from the Indian Oil Foundation. Let Him know that Hema Das is from Assam State and these days he has been in the headlines by winning 3 gold medals in the Kladno Memorial Athletics last 11 days.
Hima also sought help from big figures
Hima Das has tweeted the request to help Assam flood victims with large companies and big personalities. Hima has said in his tweet, "In our state Assam, the situation is very bad due to the flood, 30 out of 33 districts are affected by this, so I want to appeal to the big corporate houses and people that this is the problem of our state Help in the situation. ' Hima also tweeted four photos of Assam with her tweet, in which the seriousness of the flood could be seen clearly.
15 deaths due to flood in Assam
Let us know that due to the flood in Assam, the situation has become much more severe. 15 people have died due to flood and land slide (landslides) in the state, while 46 lakh people are affected by it. According to an Assam State Disaster Management Officer, 46.28 lakh people of 4,175 villages are affected by the flood. NDRF teams have gathered to help the flood victims.

Pakistan opened airspace for aircraft flying from India after 139 days
MMNN:16 July 2019

new Delhi. Pakistan has opened its Airspace Monday night at 12.41 for 139 days after the Indian and other aircraft. The Indian Airlines Department reviewed the matter and now the movement of aircraft between the two countries started. Indian Air Force had an Air Strike on Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist camps in Balakot, Pakistan on February 26 after the Pulwama attack. The next day, Pak aircrafts tried to infiltrate into Kashmir. Since then Pak had stopped air space.
While flying off the air space, all the flights towards Europe and the Gulf countries were crossing the Arabian Sea over Gujarat. Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to go to Kyrgyzstan to participate in the SCO Summit. Then Pak had opened his airspace for Modi for 48 hours, but Modi did not use Pak Airspace.
Air India suffered a loss of Rs 491 crore
The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority has removed the restrictions on air space with immediate effect for all civilian aircraft. Air India was losing about Rs 491 crore due to the closure of Pak Airspace. According to the data of the International Civil Aviation Organization, about 70 thousand passenger passengers of 233 planes were getting annoyed every day. It was taking one and a half to two hours to reach the destination. According to Air India, the opening of the airspace will cost Rs 20 for flights going to the US. Per li Will decrease
Indian Air Force had air strike on 26th February
A fidayeen attack on the convoy of CRPF jawans was held on February 14 in Pulwama, Kashmir. The terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed took responsibility for the attack. There were 40 soldiers in this martyr In response to this, on February 26, the Indian Air Force had made air strikes at the bases of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot, Pakistan. According to media reports, more than 250 militants were claimed to be killed. Pak feared that India did not attack the second, so he banned the airspace.

40 years after retirement, the Air Force personnel donated Rs. 1 crore to the Ministry of Defense.
MMNN:16 July 2019

new Delhi. 74-year-old CBR Prasad, who retired 40 years ago from the Air Force, donated Rs 1.08 crore to the Defense Ministry. They handed over checks to Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday. Prasad said, "I have fulfilled my full responsibilities. I thought there should be something to protect the country, so I took this decision. I gave my daughter 2% and my wife 1% to the full earnings of my life. After this, 97% of the remaining is imposed in the country and social service. "
I also do social service with business

  1. Prasad said, "I had retired from Air Force after nine years of service. After this I got a job offer from the railway, which I did not take. Then I opened a poultry form. For the last 30 years, I have been doing social service with business. A sports university has also been opened. "

  2. Rajnath Singh asked Prasad why did he decide to donate? On this, Prasad said that when I was working in the Air Force, then the Great Engineer, GD Naidu, came to Coimbatore as Chief Guest. He said that India is a great country. Our thinking is different from people from other countries. We should serve the country and society after fulfilling our family responsibility. Since then, I took this decision. "

  3. Prasad said, "My dream was that I would illuminate the name of the country by winning medal in the Olympics, but it could not be possible. That's why I opened a 100-acre sports university, where children are given training. Now my dream boys and girls have to open 2 separate sports universities. "

43 lakh people affected by floods in Assam, 90 percent of Kaziranga National Park submerged
MMNN:16 July 2019

Guwahati With heavy rains, people's life in Assam has been derailed. In Assam floods, 30 districts out of 33 districts are in gruesome condition, due to which about 43 lakh people have been affected. On Monday, the Assam government declared a red alert in view of the state's bad situation. Due to water, a large part of the state has been separated from the country. With the death of four people on Monday, the number of people who died due to floods has increased to 15.
In the villages like Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darang, Udalguri, Baksa, Barpeta, Nalbari, Chirang, Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar, the rain continued and the 4,157 villages of the state have been submerged. The rising water level of the Brahmaputra river is becoming dangerous for the submerged parts of the state. Due to rain, 10 other rivers flowing above the state are also flowing above the danger mark.
For one horned rhinoceros, 90 percent of the famous Kaziranga National Park has sunk in the world. Animals are not unaffected by the flood. In the last two days, 17 wild animals have died. It is difficult to save life for one thousand elephants and hundreds of deer in Kaziranga National Park. Continuous rescue operation is in progress to bring the animals trapped in the floods safely. Contact with road through Upper Assam has broken. People have come out on the streets for help.
83,000 people were evacuated from flood affected areas in 183 relief camps throughout the state. Ferry services were closed due to the sharp streams of water. To avoid the drowning of animals, it can be seen moving out of the park. Agricultural work has also been affected in the state, which has brought about 90,000 hectares of agricultural land flooding. There are many farms where the standing crops are now wasted due to water.
According to the state government, teams of 15 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) of 380 personnel, have been deployed to save people from flood affected areas. The State Health Department has also been instructed to look after the medical system.

55 children were injured due to the highten line wire on a primary school building
MMNN:15 July 2019

Lucknow. In Uttar Pradesh, the lives of people are being affected due to rain, there has been a big accident in the state's Balrampur. 55 children are reported to be impaired due to the collapse of the highten line wire on a primary school building here.
After the incident, all children have been admitted to the hospital, out of which 6 are being treated as delicate. Half of the children have been admitted to government hospital after dense, while others have been admitted to private hospital.
The lineman has been suspended while taking action immediately after the accident. While delivering the statement on the incident, DM Balrampur said that all children are out of danger and their treatment is going on.

Home Minister Amit Shah's Owaisi, in the Lok Sabha, says, 'Add a habit of listening too'
MMNN:15 July 2019

new Delhi. Home Minister Amit Shah and AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi were seen face-to-face in the Lok Sabha today. This incident took place when BJP MP Satyapal Singh was speaking about the NIA amendment bill. During this interaction between Owaisi, Amit Shah gave him permission.
Actually, when the discussion started in the Lok Sabha on the revised bill, Satyapal Singh said that terrorism is flourishing because we see it with political spectacles while we should fight together with them. During the speech, suddenly Audie stood up and began to oppose them. On this, Amit Shah tipped him out saying that 'Ovasi sahib, do not make a habit of listening too, will not do this way'
Later, Home Minister Amit Shah said that while both the members are speaking, nobody should speak in the meantime. He said that. Both Raja and Satyapal Singh are different points.

speaker stays deferred till July 19, speech of chief minister
MMNN:15 July 2019

Bengaluru / Mumbai The crisis of the Congress-JDS government of Karnataka, which is in trouble, remains the same. However, he has got the chance to avoid the demand of presenting the majority of the BJP today. Today the Speaker has adjourned the House till Thursday till hearing the power and opposition. During the proceedings in the House today, the Chief Minister demanded that the majority test be deferred till Thursday and the Speaker adjourned the house till Thursday after hearing both the parties. At the same time, the state's present government has got a little more time to convince its rebel legislators.
Meanwhile, state BJP President BS Yeddyurappa came to the conclusion that Kumaraswamy will no longer be the chief minister and the BJP is going to form the government in the state. He said that Mr. Kumaraswamy now has no majority in the House and he resigns from the post.
Earlier, efforts were made to convince the rebels of Congress to be shocked on Sunday when rebel legislator MTB Nagraj returned to Mumbai on Saturday to discuss the discussions with senior Congress leaders and live with other rebels. There he said that there is no question of withdrawing the resignation. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear further hearing in the case of not accepting the resignation of 10 rebels.
Nagraj tried to convince
Congress leader Nagraj had earlier admitted it but later turned back to Mumbai while retelling. Several Congress leaders including Congress leader and former CM Siddaramaiah, Shivkumar met Nagraj in Bangalore on Saturday and tried to persuade them. Nagraj also indicated that he could reconsider the resignation.
However, their tunes remained unchanged when they reached Mumbai. Simultaneously, efforts to rescue the 13-month-old Kumaraswamy government seem to have failed. In a discussion with journalists in Mumbai, Nagraj said that we are firm on the verdict. There is no question of withdrawing the resignation. However, he also said that he was the resident of resigning with him Sudhakar can take this step upon withdrawing resignation.
Kumaraswamy resigns: BJP
Meanwhile, the BJP again demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Kumaraswamy on Sunday. State President BS Yeddyurappa said that if the Swami is honest and believes in the democratic system then he should resign immediately or give confidence vote on Monday. He told reporters that 16 MLAs of Congress-JDS had resigned and have declared support to the BJP. Kumaraswamy does not have a majority. Therefore, they should quit immediately or earn trust vote.

Modi will go to America in September to participate in the United Nations meeting, meet with Indian community
MMNN:13 July 2019

Washington. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go to America in September. News Agency gave information about this. They will attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting here. Along with that, he will also address the Indian-American community in Houston.
According to the news agency, due to the population of Indian immigrants, only one in Houston and Chicago will be chosen for the Prime Minister's program. However, those who know the matter say that Modi will address the Indian community on September 22 in Houston itself. After this, on 23 September he will deliver a speech at a special meeting on climate change in the UN.
Modi has done programs in New York and Silicon Valley
Houston is also called the world's energy capital. Energy security is also a priority for Modi. This will be the third opportunity after becoming Prime Minister in 2014, when Modi will give a speech to the Indian-American community in America. Earlier in 2014, Modi's programs were also held in the New York Madison Square Garden and in Silicon Valley in 2016. There was a huge crowd of Indians on both occasions. According to an estimate, more than 20 thousand people from across the US used to listen to these programs in these programs.
The 70,000 capacity NRG stadium may not be
ready for the proposed program to be held in Houston. However, those who make the event say that they can organize the event at the NRG stadium. Its viewer capacity is 70 thousand. One of the reasons for choosing Houston for the event is that there is a large number of Indian communities living there. Last year, the Governor of Texas and the Mayor of Houston also visited India. Apart from this, former Texas Governor Rick Perry (now Energy Minister) has a very close relationship with Indian-Americans.

Ram Madhav said: BJP will rehabilitate displaced Hindus in Muslim-dominated areas of Kashmir
MMNN:13 July 2019

new Delhi. BJP general secretary Ram Madhav has said that the party is preparing for the rehabilitation of displaced Hindus in the Kashmir Valley. Hindus will be rehabilitated in Muslim-dominated areas of the Kashmir Valley. This proposal has got almost the approval of the high command.
Ram Madhav said in interview to News Agency Reuters, Kashmiri Hindus are also called Pandits. In 1989, the armed rebellion started against the Hindus in the Kashmir Valley. Because of this, about 2 to 3 lakh Pandit left the valley. Returning to their home of Hindus is their fundamental right and they will be respected. After re-establishing them in the state, full security will also be provided.
There are 70 lakh people living in
Kashmir valley, while 70 lakh people are living in Kashmir valley, 97% are Muslims. Due to terrorist incidents and tension in the valley, there are other security forces including the army. In the last 3 decades, 50 thousand people have been killed in Kashmir.
According to Madhav, in the past, the BJP-PDP coalition government had proposed to make a township separately or for existing Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir, but no work was done on this. There was no support from local political parties, Muslim leadership and groups representing Hindus in the creation of separate enclaves. The Home Ministry refused to make any comment when the buildings were built to restore the Hindus in Kashmir.

After meeting with DK Shivkumar, Congress rebel legislator Nagraj indicated signs of withdrawing resignation
MMNN:13 July 2019

Bengaluru Congress rebel MLA MTV Nagraj gave a signal to withdraw the resignation on Saturday after meeting party leader DK Shivkumar. On the other hand, five more MLAs of the alliance have reached the Supreme Court in the case of accepting resignation by Ramesh Kumar. Before this, 10 more rebel legislators filed petition in this case. The Supreme Court has ordered the Speaker to maintain the status quo till July 16. This will be the next hearing on Tuesday.
Since the resignation of 10 rebel MLAs of Congress and JDS, Mumbai has remained. All these MLAs arrived at Shirdi with special aircraft on Saturday. Here the MLAs visited the temple of Sai.
I spent many decades in Congress- Nagraj
Nagraj after meeting Shivkumar said that the situation at that time was such that we resigned. But now Sivakumar and other leaders have asked me to withdraw my resignation. I will talk to Sudhakar Rao in this matter. After this I will see what to do. I spent many decades in Congress
Nagraj and Sudhakar resigned on July 10. Apart from these two MLAs, 14 more legislators have submitted their resignations. However, the resignation of any legislator was not accepted. Nagraj did not make any announcement directly to withdraw his resignation. Shivkumar said that we should stay together, should die together. We worked together for 40 years in the party. Every family lives in high and low. We will overtake them all. Glad that Nagraj has assured that they will be with us.
Welcoming the decision to prove Kumaraswamy's trust vote, BJP
former Chief Minister Yeddyurappa said that the BJP welcomes the decision to ask for time to prove CM's faith. Yeddyurappa said that the people of Karnataka were disgusted with the corruption of the present coalition government. This is the reason why the legislators of both parties are resigning. Many more dissident MLAs are ready to leave the party. That is why Kumaraswamy has asked for time to prove the faith and we have no objection. This government will fall in the next few days.
13 Congress MLAs and 13 JDS MLAs resigned,
Umesh Kamatalli, BC Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Shivaram Habbar, H. Viswanath, Gopalaiya, B Biswaraj, Narayan Gowda, Muniritana, ST Somasekhara, Pratap Gowda Patil, Muniratna and Anand Singh resigned. Are. At the same time, suspended Congress MLA Roshan Baig also resigned on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Sudhakar, MTB Nagraj resigned.

'Jai Shri Ram' again in Kolkata, 'Political', poster engaged in the statement of Amartya Sen
MMNN:12 July 2019

Kolkata. In West Bengal, once again, there is a political hotness in the name of 'Jai Shri Ram'. This time the controversial statement given by Amartya Sen, honored with Nobel Prize, is causing it to be seen. The posters of the statement given by Amartya Sen on the streets of Kolkata have taken place last days. Although any political party has refused to put up these posters, in spite of this, politics can again be warmed up in this case. In fact, on July 5, Amartya Sen had said that 'I have not heard Jai Shri Ram before. It is now being used to beat people. I think that there is no association with Bengal culture. Nowadays, Ramnavmi is celebrated much in Kolkata. Never heard this before.
In the posters on the streets, it has been written that Amartya Sen is asking her four-year-old granddaughter about her favorite god, she is telling the name of Durga.
So far none of the posters have been found. The distance from these posters has also been made from the TMC, but it is being speculated that the blue and white colors in which the poster is made are the favorite color of Trinamool Chief Mamta Banerjee.

RTGS with IMPS, NEFT will not charge on transactions
MMNN:12 July 2019

new Delhi. The country's leading bank State Bank of India often keeps making big announcements for its customers. In the direction of promoting digital payments, the bank has already offered several offers and now the news is that the State Bank will completely eliminate the charge imposed on IMPS in the coming days. The bank has terminated the charge imposed on IMPS in addition to the NEFT and RTGS used for online transactions, instead of RBI's decision.
Now news that Bank of immediate payment of RTGS and eliminate the charge on July 1 tax on NEFT On August 1 is charging tax on services (IMPS) is scheduled to end. Explain that with the help of IMPS, the user can transfer a large amount immediately.
At present, there is no charge for the transaction done through IMPS till 1000 rupees. The transaction between 1 thousand and 10 thousand rupees plus 2 GST is to be given.
This service was publicly started on 22nd November 2010. Through this service, the money can be sent from one bank account to another bank account at any time. This service can be used 24x7 full year even during bank holidays.

the parliament lasted till midnight and the debate took place, the speaker arranged for meals.
MMNN:12 July 2019

new Delhi. In the last few years, you have hardly heard that there is no ruckus in the Parliament and its proceedings have not stopped till the appointed time. But on Thursday, something happened that really is worth knowing about. Actually, in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, MPs worked till midnight and discussed a special issue.
This discussion was about the grant of railways demands and in addition to the power, the MPs of opposition parties were also present in the House during this period. Meanwhile, opposition parties accused Modi government of selling the assets of the railways. They had said that the BJP-led NDA is selling dreams to people instead of doing much on the ground. At the same time, BJP has claimed that bypassing the charges of the opposition, the shortfall in rail accidents is 73% in the last five years.
Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla knew that this debate could last long. Given this, he asked for food for all and arrangements for the MPs to leave the house.
Officials said that Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla had already told his secretaries to arrange adequate food and water for the convenience of members, employees and security personnel as well as transportation facilities.
On the discussion till late night in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Railways, S. Angadi said that the railway is like a family that keeps everyone together. All the MPs gave good salaries. Since the arrival of PM Modi, the Railways have been changed. The streets which Vajpayee did about Modi are taking trains.
Inaugurating the demands of the Ministry of Railways, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that civil aviation minister wants to sell Air India while the Railway Minister wants to sell the assets of the railways. The BJP-led NDA government has failed to achieve its goals continuously after coming to power in 2014. Hitting the government, Chaudhary said that the budget has been said to spend Rs 50 lakh crore on the railways, while Suresh Prabhu, the predecessor of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, had claimed to spend Rs 8.5 lakh crore, what happened to him.
Participating in the discussion, BJP member Sunil Kumar Singh said that the number of train accidents has decreased by 73% between 2014-2019. He pointed out the previous Congress governments and said that the interests of the party and their leaders were top priority during his tenure while the country's interest was top of the NDA government. He said that the position and performance of the railways has now been much better than before. BJP's Gopal Chinya Shetty insisted on promoting PPP model and said that this would encourage the progress of the country.
No bullet train for India
Sudip Bandopadhyay of Trinamool Congress said that the concept of bullet train in India is not possible. He accused the government of cheating and making false promises, saying that the proposed bullet train is in fact a fast speed train, not a bullet train. He also demanded from the Government to pay attention to the bridges of the railways that have been over 100 years old.
Toilets are free at the station
Participating in the discussion, Shiv Sena member Rahul Ramesh Shewale demanded from the Central Government to provide free toilet facility to the railway stations. He said that free Wi-Fi facility is being provided free of charge at railway stations but money is being taken for the toilet.
Cleansing of handmade sloppy
DMK's Kanimori said that the arrangement for clearing the mud by rail in the railways is a matter of shame for the country. They alleged that Rave is doing this work through contractors to hide it. Until the news was written, the discussion on the demands of the Ministry of Railways was in discussion at the Lok Sabha.

promoter Rakesh Gangwal said: Pan shop also runs better than this
MMNN:10 July 2019

new Delhi. The controversy over the promoters of the Indigo airline came out open on Tuesday. Promoter Rakesh Gangwal (66) has charged Ghollar (governance lapses) on co-founder Rahul Bhatia (58). Gangwal has said that the company has deviated from its principles and operational values. A paan shop can solve cases better than this.
Indigo is the largest airline in the country. In 2004, Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia established it. Flight started on August 4, 2006.

Need to take immediate action: Gangwal

  1. Gangwal has complained to market regulator SEBI. SEBI has asked the airline's Board of Directors to reply by July 19. Indiglio's parent company Interglobe Aviation released this information in regulatory filing on Tuesday. The news agency has quoted sources saying that SEBI investigation is continuing since the news of differences between IndiGo's promoters in May.
  2. Gangwal has questioned some related party transactions (RPT), saying that Bhatia has got the right to have unusual control over Indigo by the shareholders' agreement. The rules and laws related to operating are not being followed. Immediately effective steps will not be taken, the results will be unfortunate.
  3. Gangwal had written a letter to IndiGo's board demanding EGM on June 12 but, Bhatia had opposed the proposal. Bhatia had told the company's board that Gangwal was doing such things because of being ego-hearted. Their unrealistic demands should not be ignored.
  4. In a letter written on June 12, Bhatia alleged that Gangwal was working with the Hidden Agenda. They offered a package. They are not ready to talk differently on the issue of relatable party transactions. Tell Rakesh Gangwal of IndiGo 37% and Rahul Bhatia 38% stake.

Police arrested Karnataka's 'politics', minister DK Shivakumar for incitement in Mumbai
MMNN:10 July 2019

Mumbai. The future of the coalition government of Karnataka is in crisis. After the rebels of Congress and JDS legislators, they have begun to celebrate the era of celebration. On one side, where CM Kumar Swamy has talked about the formation of a new Cabinet. On the other hand, politics has been heated after reaching Mumbai to meet rebel legislators of DK Shivakumar today. The rebel legislators have refused to meet minister Shiv Kumar. Sivakumar was stopped by the police from going to the hotel, after which he sat outside the hotel. Shivkumar has been arrested after Section 144 was imposed by the Mumbai Police.
After the delay in accepting the resignation by the rebel legislators before it, the rebel legislators turned to the Supreme Court. Now the petition in this case will be heard on Thursday in the Supreme Court.
Sivakumar, who came out of the hotel where the rebel legislators were staying before, said that I have booked rooms in this hotel. My friend has stayed here. There is a small problem between us which will be solved by negotiation. There is no such thing as scare. We love and respect each other.
However, the police stopped Shivkumar from entering the hotel. After reaching out of the hotel gate, the police did not allow them to enter.
10 rebel MLAs of Congress and JDS of Karnataka are staying at the Renaissance Hotel in Mumbai. At the same time, after knowing about the arrival of Minister Shivkumar to Mumbai, strict security arrangements have been made by the Mumbai Police outside the hotel.
Mumbai Police say that the Minister Shivakumar will not be allowed to enter the hotel where rebel legislators are staying. Although they will not be prevented from going to the hotel gate.
On the other hand, Minister Sivakumar, about the security arrangements of the police, says that 'Mumbai police or other security forces should be deployed. Let them play their duty. We are going to meet our friends We were born together in politics and would die together. They are the people of our party. We have come to meet him. '

Al Qaeda chief threatens Kashmir, says - Army, attack on government continuously
MMNN:10 July 2019

new Delhi. Al Qaeda has now been disturbed by the continuous crackdown on terrorist organizations in Jammu and Kashmir. Al Qaeda Chief has issued a video threatening India about Kashmir. Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has said in the video that continuous strikes should continue on the Indian Army and the Jammu and Kashmir government without ceasing. Video message has been released from 'Do not Forget Kashmir' title. In the video, Al Qaeda chief has also talked about the role of inciting terrorism across the border in Kashmir.
Zawahiri has said the terrorists in Kashmir addressing 'Mujahideen in Kashmir'. In this situation, the Indian Army and the Government should be constantly attacked by focus. This will ruin the economy of India and it will take the loss of people and equipment.
While speaking in the video, there was a rifle in the right hand of Jawahariri and the Quran in the left hand. However, Zawahiri did not mention Zakir Musa of terrorists killed in this entire video in May, but speaking Kashmir was repeatedly showing his picture. Explain that Zakir was the founder of the Indian cell of Al Qaeda.
Zawahiri said that the fight in Kashmir is not a different matter, but it is the jehad of Muslims all over the world. Not only that, Zawahiri militants in the video are issuing instructions for mosques, markets and Kashmir where Muslims are not attacked.
Since the Pulwama attack, the Indian Army has launched a special campaign to break the terrorist bases and tatter modules in Kashmir. This has started to break the back of the terrorists.

RSS role in ‘nation-building’ now a part of Maharashtra varsity’s syllabus
MMNN:9 July 2019

The history of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its role in ‘nation-building’ have been included in the syllabus of a university based in Nagpur, where the Sangh has headquarters.
The Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University has included RSS history in the second year BA (History) course.
While the third section of the syllabus has details about the role of RSS in nation-building, the first section speaks about the establishment of the Congress party and the rise of Jawaharlal Nehru and the second section dwells on issues like the civil disobedience movement.
A source close to the development said the move is part of efforts to make students aware about ‘new trends’ in history.
Satish Chafle, a member of the Board of Studies of the university, told PTI Tuesday that a chapter on the Sangh’s role in nation-building has been introduced in the History of India (1885-1947) unit, which is part of the fourth semester for the second year of Bachelor of Arts (History) course. The university syllabus had a chapter on “introduction to RSS” for the MA (History) course in 2003-2004.
“This year, we have introduced the contribution of the RSS in the nation building for the students of history so that they can know about new trends that take place in history. New trends like Marxism, new Marxism or new modernism have become a part of history as new trends,” he said.

Amarnath Yatri was inside a vehicle when hit by a shooting stone on highway
MMNN:9 July 2019

TA pilgrim on the way to Amarnath shrine was injured Tuesday after he was hit by a shooting stone on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Ramban district.
47-year-old Mahadev Malekar, a resident of Noapara in 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, was traveling in a cavalcade of vehicles carrying pilgrims to twin base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal, when hit by a shooting stone at Digdol, 130 kms from Srinagar, said a police official.
“He was hit on his face. After first aid and other requisite treatment at the Ramban district hospital, he was referred to Government Medical College and Hospital in Jammu,” he added.
The Jammu-Srinagar national highway, also called NH44, was blocked at three points --Digdol, Gangru and Mom Passi-- due to landslides and shooting stones triggered by rains since 9.30 am on Tuesday.
Several pilgrims taking the Baltal route were stranded between Magerkot and Panthial while those on Pahalgam route were stranded between Nashri and Ramban between 9.30 am to 12 noon.
Traffic had finally begun to move towards Srinagar after the debris were cleared by noon.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police have been protecting pilgrims from shooting stones in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baltal by forming shield against stones while pilgrims cross mountainous paths.
Over one lakh pilgrims have performed the Amarnath Yatra during the last eight days and another 5,964 yatris left Jammu for the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday, said officials. To date, 1,11,699 pilgrims have performed the ongoing Yatra, officials said.
This year’s 45-day long Hindu pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine started on June 30 and will end on August 15, coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.

To Naresh Goyal’s foreign trip request, high court’s Rs 18,000 crore googly
MMNN:9 July 2019

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought to know the central government’s stand on a plea by former Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal seeking quashing of a lookout circular against him.
Justice Suresh Kait refused to grant any interim relief to Goyal while posting the matter for August 23 for further hearing.
According to the plea, on May 25, Goyal was going abroad for some meetings with foreign investors who had reportedly infused some interest in the defunct jet Airways. However, he and his wife were stopped and off-loaded from the aircraft.
The plea said that despite repeated requests Goyal was not given a copy of the lookout circular and alleged that his name was not mentioned in any FIR and hence he is “not an accused”.
The lawyer for the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) told court that it was a serious fraud of Rs 18,000 crore and the investigations are underway. He sought four weeks time from the court to file documents.
Goyal’s lawyer said that his client had to travel abroad by July 10 to preserve his NRI status and not allowing him to do so is a violation of fundamental rights.
The lawyer said the Jet Airways founder needs to meet foreign investors. The court then asked if the investors can be spoken to over the phone or by using any other digital platform.
“Can’t investors be spoken to over the phone, digitally. Money can be transferred through RTGS and other methods,” the court said.
In a lighter vein, the judge said that if he wants to go abroad he can do so by depositing Rs 18,000 crore.
The court remarked that right to go abroad is limited. Justice Kait said that at several instances, the person runs abroad and then the government has to spent crores of rupees to get them back.
According to the corporate affairs ministry, lookout circular against Naresh Goyal was issued after an inspection by the ministry found large-scale irregularities at Jet Airways.
Jet Airways shut its operations in April due to acute cash crunch. Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal had resigned from the board of Jet Airways in March following a debt restructuring plan.
Jet Airways is undergoing insolvency proceedings.

1.50 lakh additional interest free loan, no tax on interest up to 3.50 lakh on loan for buying house till budget / 45 lakh
MMNN:5 July 2019

new Delhi. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the first budget of the second term of the Modi government on Friday. Inaugurating the budget speech, he said that our objective is strong citizens for a strong country. On buying house for 45 lakh, additional interest of 1.50 lakhs on home loan has been tax free, i.e. tax of Rs 3.50 lakh will be tax deduction.

'Add a trillion dollar economy in 5 years'

- Finance Minister Sitharaman said, "The mega projects we started in the last five years, it is time to move forward. Chanakya policy says that if the determination is achieved then the objective is fulfilled. There is a lion in Urdu- "If there is any way out, then there is a way out, the lamps burn with air."
- "Our economy has reached $ 2.7 trillion in five years. Our aim is: Minimum Government, Maximum Governance. We have some objectives for achieving 5 trillion economy. In this fiscal year we have set a target of $ 3 trillion. We are the world's 6th largest economy. We have made many structural improvements and there are many more improvements now. "
- "We have added a trillion dollar economy in five years. We have set 10 goals. The first goal is to develop physical structure. Second- to deliver digital India to every sector of the economy. Third- green homeland and pollution free India Fourth - Emphasis on MSME, Startup, Defense, Auto and Health Sector Fifth- Water management and clean rivers Sixth- Blue Economy Seventh- Gaganajay and Chandrayaan Mission. Eighth- Foods. Ninth - Healthy society, Ayushman India and well-nurtured women - children 10th- People's participation, minimum government and maximum rule. " Investment
- According to Sitharaman, "India needs to invest Rs 20 lakh crore every year. FDI should come in aviation, media animation and insurance. 100% FDI will be allowed in the area of ​​insurance intermediates. "
- "Between 2018 and 2030, there is a need of 50 lakh crore investment in Railway Infrastructure. The PPP model will be used in the development of quick development and services related to passenger hire. "
- "In March 2019, the National Common Mobility Card was launched for transport in the country. This is the country's first indigenous payment system. Through this, people can pay a variety of transport charges. "
- "For all GST registered MSMEs on fresh or incremental loans, 2% of the grant is Rs. 350 crore. Has been provided. The retailers with turnover of 1.5 crores will be given pension under the Prime Minister's Karmayogi Monsoon Scheme. Under this, 30 million additional shopkeepers will get the benefit of pension. "
- "I propose to create a social stock exchange so that the enterprises and organizations working in the social welfare sector can collect capital. This stock exchange will work under SEBI. "

- The Finance Minister said, "Gandhiji had said that the soul of India lives in the villages. The origin of all our efforts is the spirit of Antodaya. We have kept the village-poor-farmers in the center of our plans. Except those who are not inclined, they will get electricity from each rural household. "
- "By 2022 we have set a target for everyone. 1.95 crore houses will be constructed from 2019-20 to 2022. They will have toilet, electricity and LPG connections. "
- "The goal of building per house has been 114 days instead of 314. 97% of the people will get roads in every season.
- "Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, 1.25 lakh km roads will be constructed in the next 5 years. 80250 crores will be spent on this. " - "Electricity and domestic gas will reach every house by 2022."
- "Zero budget farming will be emphasized. Its purpose is to return to the basic methods of farming. This will accomplish the goal of doubling the income of the farmers. "
- '35 million LED bulbs were distributed under Ujala scheme. This amounted to around Rs 18,341 crore Has saved. These savings are annually. " "The Ministry of Water Supply will work with the government on a water-live mission. Under this, water will be delivered to every rural household by 2024. " Startups - Women-Travelers
- According to Sitharaman, the government will launch Study In India Scheme. Under this, foreign students will be given higher education in India. Five years ago, there was no Indian university in the top 200 universities of the world and now this list includes 3 universities of India.
- "Exclusive TV channel will be started for startups. Energy and Aspire plans will expand. "
- "Woman Tukaram Narayanani will be launched, Vivekananda said that the world can not be happy till then, the situation of women does not improve, a bird can not fly with a wing. The participation is a golden saga. I propose a committee, which should keep its suggestions on enhancing this partnership. "
- "Overseas Indians who hold Indian passports will be able to get their support in coming to India. They will not have to wait 180 days. "
- "In order to promote India's growing influence and leadership, the Indian Embassy and High Commission will be opened in some other countries. Four new embassies will be opened in 2019-20.
- Sitharaman said, "The women holding the Jan Dhan bank account will get Rs 5000. The facility of overdraft will be available. Records of Rs 4 lakh crore were recovered from IBC and other efforts. "
- "NPAs in commercial banks have dropped by more than one lakh crore rupees. During the last 4 years, recovery of 4 lakh crores has been done. Domestic credit growth has increased by 13.8%. 70 thousand crores will be given to increase the capital of the public sector banks.
- "Public sector banks will be given an additional 70 thousand crore rupees".
- "One woman working in the Self Help Group will get a loan of Rs 1 lakh under the money scheme."
- "NPAs in commercial banks have dropped by more than one lakh crore rupees. Domestic credit growth has increased by 13.8%. 70 thousand crores will be given to increase the capacities of public sector banks.
- "100 billion crores will be invested in infrastructure for the next 5 years."
- "New coins of two, five, ten, and twenty rupees were issued. Very soon it will be available to the people. "
- "Thank you for becoming a responsible citizen of the country. Foreign debt is below 5% against GDP, it is the lowest in the world. "

The Finance Minister said, "Direct tax collection has increased from 6.38 lakh crore in 2013-14 to Rs 11.37 lakh crore in 2018-19. The increase has been 78%. "
- "Corporate tax is 25% for companies with turnover of Rs. 250 crore annually. Now companies with turnover of 400 crores will also be covered under 25% corporate tax. That is, 99.3% of companies will be within the scope of 25% corporate tax. Only 0.7% of companies will be out of this slab. "
- "If the loan has been taken to buy an electric vehicle, then on payment of interest it will get an additional rebate of Rs 1.5 lakh in income tax."
- "Income tax shall not be investigated in case of startup and fund mobilized by them."
On buying a home of up to 45 lakhs, additional interest of 1.50 lakhs on home loan has been tax free, i.e. tax of Rs 3.50 lakh will be tax deduction for tax. The first exemption limit was Rs. 2 lakhs. "This discount is for the house to be purchased by March 31, 2020.
- "More than 120 million people have Aadhar card. Those who do not have PAN, can fill income tax returns with Aadhar card.
- "To prevent the tendency of making business payments in cash, TDS will be 2% for withdrawing more than 10 million from a bank account in a year."
- "Surcharge will be increased to 7% for those earning between Rs 2 crore and Rs 5 crore, which will increase the surcharges for 3% and annual income of more than 5 crore rupees."
- "Companies with turnover of more than 50 million can offer low-cost mode of digital payment, so they or their customers will not have to pay any additional fee (MDR)."
- "Excise duty and road-infrastructure cess @ petrol-diesel will be charged at Rs 1-1 per liter. Custom duty on gold and precious gems will be increased from 10% to 12.5%. "
- "National Education Policy will be created to change the education system. World-class institutions will be set up from 400 crores.
- "Proposals for the formation of the National Research Foundation, through which the disputes of the departments will be settled. Research of national interest will be given priority. It will also be decided that the research could not be duplicated. "
Break the tradition and take a budget in the folder

- Sitharaman met President Ramnath Kovind before presenting the budget. Earlier, breaking the tradition, Sitharaman came out with a budget in place of a briefcase instead of a briefcase. So far, the finance minister used to reach Parliament in a briefcase only with a budget. Chief economic advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian said on the budget the budget said that it is an Indian tradition. It is a symbol of Western mentality coming out of slavery. You can call it a budget rather than a book.
- This is the first budget of Nirmala Sitharaman. After 49 years, a women's finance minister presented the budget. Prior to Nirmala Indira Gandhi presented the budget in 1970.
- From budget to budget, the budget word is derived from the French word Bougget. It means - leather bag. The trend of budget briefcases started in the UK. In Britain, one minister handles the same budget briefcase to the other. While the Finance Ministers used different briefcases in India.
- In 1860, Britain's budget chief William Gladstone used red briefcases to keep the budget. The Queen's Monogram was installed on it. It was named Gladstone Box India's first budget was presented to the British Parliament on 18 February 1869 by James Wilson. Wilson was a finance member in India Council Traditionally, Wilson also took the budget documents into a leather bag (boget).

home, electricity-gas connection to every poor by 2022; Clean water to all by 2024
MMNN:5 July 2019

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the first budget of the NDA-2 government on Friday. During this time, he said that there are villages, poor and farmers in the center point of government. Given this, the government prepares the plan. He said that the government's goal is that by 2022 all rural households will have their own house. Apart from this, by 2024 all have been targeted for clean water. Sitharaman said, 1.95 crore houses will be built in the next five years. All the poor will have their own home till 2022. There will be gas-power connections and restrooms. He said that the initiative of the government is to bring about change in the life of the rural family. He said that under the Pradhanmantri Awas Yojana, average average time of 314 days was in construction of house, now the government has brought it to 114 days.

30 thousand km of road will be constructed under green technology: Sitharaman

He said, schemes such as Bharatmala, Sagarmala and Flying are reducing the gap between rural and urban areas and improving transport services. Under Green Technology, 30 thousand km of road will be constructed. Apart from this, 1.25 lakh km roads will be constructed under the Pradhanmantri Gram Sadak Yojna at a cost of 80 thousand crore. For this, the government has imposed Road & Infrastructure Cess on petrol diesel.
'Every household will work with water' Mantra - Finance Minister

Sitharaman has said that under the Ministry of Water Resources constituted to deal with the water crisis, each house will be provided clean and adequate water by 2024. He said that for this purpose the government has created the Ministry of Water Power by adding all the water related ministries. This Ministry will work with the State Governments to work with the mission to provide water to every household.
"The goal of doubling the income of the farmers will be fulfilled
," said Sitharaman, "10 thousand new farmers' producing organizations will be built in the next 5 years. '' Zero budget farming will be emphasized. '' Its aim is to return to basic farming. The goal of doubling the income of farmers will be fulfilled, special emphasis has been placed on the self sufficiency and exports of foodgrains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables.

Government will spend Rs 100 lakh crore on infrastructure in 5 years, the difference between village-city will be less
MMNN:5 July 2019

new Delhi. The Modi government has stressed on improving the infrastructure in this budget. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in the budget speech Friday that the central government will spend Rs 100 lakh crore on upgradation of infrastructure in the next five years. Infrastructure Projects work to reduce the gap between village and city in the country. Several provisions have been made for the development of roads, waterways, metro and railways in the budget.
Sitharaman said that we need to create employment from infrastructure, digital economy and small industries. Projects such as Bharatmala, Sagarmala and Flying improved considerably in Transport Infrastructure and the gap between the village-city decreased. In the second phase of the Bharatmala project, the State Governments will help in building roads. Foreign investment will be made in many development projects.

Infrastructure will accelerate in these areas
- Housing: The Finance Minister said that the Government has targeted the housing for all by 2022. 1.95 crore houses will be constructed from 2019-20 to 2022. These will provide toilet, electricity and LPG connections. The goal of preparing the house has been reduced from 314 to 114 days. "
- Street: build 1.25 million km of roads under the Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojana in the next five years to improve road connectivity to every village. 80 thousand 250 crores will be spent on this. 97% of the people will find the road in every season.
- Railways: This year the modernization of the stations will start. Between 2018 and 2030, there will be an investment of Rs 50 lakh crore in Railway Infrastructure. To increase connectivity, PPP models will develop development and services related to passenger hire. In 2018-19 300 km of metro line was approved. Now the metro lines will be laid in PPP models in smaller cities. The government will start the National Transport Card. It is easy to book tickets for railway and other transport resources.
- Waterway: The government will increase the traffic of cargo ship in the Ganges river in the next four years. The emphasis is on increasing the number of waterways in the country.

Former Governor Urjit Patel said - The Reserve Bank did not take action on the loan at the right time.
MMNN:4 July 2019

New Delhi The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has ordered to deploy 100 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of Pulwama terror attack and prevailing threat perceptions in the state. In a urgent communication to the J&K Chief Secretary and Director General of Police on Friday, the Ministry has informed the State Administration about the deployment. Of the100 companies, 45 will be from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 35 from the Border Security Force whereas just 10 companies are from the Sashstra Seema Bal and Indo-Tibetan Boder Police (ITBP) each. “MHA has taken the threat perception in the state seriously as the the Intelligence agencies have sent alerts indicating fresh attacks in the Valley”, a source in the Ministry said on condition of anonymity. The security reviews of the state by the Home Ministry also prompted the Government to reinforce additional deployment, the source added. The extra deployment has also been done in view of upcoming Lok Sabha Election in April and May. After a series of security review meetings in MHA with all stakeholders in the security setup, need for deployments in sensitive areas was felt, another senior Government functionary told UNI

Opposition Rallies Against Modi Government At N Chandrababu Naidu's Fast
MMNN:11 February 2019

NEW DELHI: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's daylong fast demanding special status for his state on Monday became a rallying point for various opposition leaders who visited the protest venue to back him and attack the central government. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, National Congress chairperson Farooq Abdullah, NCP's Majeed Memon, Trinamool Congress's Derek O' Brien, DMK's Tiruchi Siva and Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav were among those who met the TDP chief to express their support. The TDP president is demanding that the centre fulfil promises made during Andhra Pradesh's bifurcation in 2014 and alleges that PM Modi was not following ''raj dharma'' by denying the state special status. "The prime minister has stolen from the people from Andhra Pradesh and he has given that money to Anil Ambani. That is the fact of the matter," Mr Gandhi alleged at the protest venue Andhra Bhavan in an apparent reference to the Rafale fighter jet deal with France. The government and Anil Ambani have rejected Mr Gandhi's allegations of corruption in the deal. Derek O'Brien recalled PM Modi's speech in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday and said he didn't talk about development or special category status but "started a personal attack". "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others," he said. The PM said in his rally that Mr Naidu was indeed a senior, but only in losing elections, switching alliances and ditching his father-in-law NT Rama Rao. Lashing out at the prime minister, Omar Abdullah said, "Modi has stooped so low, he's making personal attacks against Naidu, who is doing a great service to the country." "The Jammu-Srinagar highway is closed for six days. They cannot clear the 30km road, but they want to rule the country," he added. Adding his voice to the chorus of criticism, Mr Memon alleged that the central government was meting out step motherly treatment to the state and the BJP was attacking Mr Naidu because he has taken the lead in uniting rival parties against it. "We will show the BJP its place in the elections. I assure you on behalf of Sharad Pawar ji," Mr Memon stated. Mulayam Singh Yadav said he was not well but had come to show endorse Mr Naidu's stand. "Naidu is fighting the battle for the poor, the farmers and all those who are oppressed," he added. Stating that Mr Naidu was fighting for a just cause, DMK leader Siva said the Modi government would be ousted in three months. "The powers of the state are being encroached upon...the rights of the minorities are being violated." The TDP had walked out the BJP-led NDA last year protesting the "injustice" done to Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation. Mr Naidu's ''Dharma Porata Deeksha'' (a day-long protest for justice), which began at 8 am, is likely to end at around 8 pm. He will also submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on February 12. Mr Naidu paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat and also to the Ambedkar Statue at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan before sitting on the hunger strike.

Money laundering case: Vadra appears before ED for 3rd time
MMNN:9 February 2019

New Delhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra on Saturday appeared before Enforcement Directorate for the third time in connection with a probe into allegations of money laundering in purchase of foreign assets.Mr Vadra reached probe agency’s office at Jamnagar House around 10:50 hrs. The ED case against Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property located at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million GBP (British pounds), which is allegedly owned by him.He was questioned by the probe agency on February 6 and 7 for several hours. During his last round of questioning on February 7, the investigating team has shown him some property documents and exchange of electronic mail which indicated that he owns the property in London, a reliable source in the agency said on condition of anonymity. However, he denied having any link with the property in question, the source further said.His statement would be recorded under section 50 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as it was done on last two occasions. Vadra is also expected to depose before the ED on February 12 in Jaipur in an another money-laundering case related to a land scam in Bikaner. The Rajasthan High Court has directed him to cooperate with the agency in the case. He was granted interim bail till February 16 by a Delhi Court.

Rafale row: Oppn slam Govt, Nirmala Sitharaman dismisses charge
MMNN:8 February 2019

New Delhi, A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended good wishes to all Opposition parties for ‘healthy competition’ during fast approaching Parliamentary elections, the BJP-led NDA regime and the opposition parties clashed in the Lok Sabha fiercely on Friday over the Rafale aircraft deal. While Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the slogan shouting Congress members and others that they were only “flogging a dead horse”, Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge accused the ruling side of being ‘desh drohi’ (harming national interests). The issue figured prominently during Question Hour and later during Zero Hour with Congress members led by Gaurav Gogoi among others trooping into the well and demanding that a JPC should be formed at the earliest. Members from opposition parties Congress, Trinamool Congress and TDP tried to show a unity of purpose and repeatedly raised anti-government slogans targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi especially. Opposition members Gogoi, Sushmita Dev, Rajiv Satav (all Congress), Prasun Banerjee, Arpita Ghosh, Kalyan Banerjee and Saugata Roy (all Trinamool) and Ashok Gajapathi Raju (TDP) carried placards displaying reports in a section of media that claimed that a senior Defence ministry official had objected to ‘interference’ from the Prime Minister’s Office. Mr Kharge and Trinamool member Roy said media reports have suggested that the PMO and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had especially interfered into the working of the Defence Ministry and even a senior bureaucrat had objected to the same. Citing internal noting in the government, Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress said PMO officials and Mr Doval was “having parallel parleys with officials of French government” on Rafale. He said the senior official had objected that PMO’s interference had “weakened the negotiating position of the Ministry of Defence”. Mr Kharge said what has been reported in a leading daily was ‘not a small matter’ and it related to national security. “Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, we in the Congress are trying to weaken Air Force and that we are working against national interests, instead it is you who are being ‘desh drohi (working against national interests),” Mr Kharge told the agitated BJP members. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said when everything has been discussed and Supreme Court has also given a ruling, what was the justification in raising the same issue time and again and disturb the proceedings of the House. Amid anti-government slogans from the opposition members, responding to the members, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the opposition leaders and also a section of media were only “flogging a dead horse”. The Minister said during the debate on Rafale on January 4 during Winter Session, she had already answered to all queries and controversies on the Rafale deal with France. Moreover, she said the media report smacks of motivation as it did not include in the report the noting from the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar who had said categorically that there was “nothing wrong and everything was on right track”. She said the newspaper should have published Mr Parrikar’s response to the noting where he had asked the officer concerned to remain ‘calm’. “The routine queries on any matter from the Prime Minister’s Office should not be taken as interference….,” she said adding if that was the case, what was Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) doing during the UPA dispensation. “The NAC was virtually running the PMO,” he said. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar also said that it was not in the fitness of things that opposition parties should raise an issue in Parliament based on media reports. “On Rafale, we have detailed debate in the House and still the opposition members are raising the issue and disturbing the proceedings of the House when we are to take up the Budget…This is not proper,” he said.

BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma demands actions against AAP regime
MMNN:6 February 2019

New Delhi, BJP member from West Delhi Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma has raised the issue of alleged panic being created among the electorate by the Arvind Kejriwal government in the capital that their names have been ‘deleted’ from the voters’ list and said such a regime should be dismissed for spreading falsehood. “Telephone calls are being made by the Delhi government and voters are being told that their names have been deleted….They have tried to spread that around 30 lakh names were missing on voters’ list, but if we go to the Election Commission’s website we don’t find anything like that,” Mr Verma said in Lok Sabha on Wednesday. “Jo Arvind Kejriwalji kah rahen haen, ki Delhi key 30 lakh vote ke naam cut diye gayen, woh aisa kaisa kah sakten haen (How can the Chief Minister Kejriwal say that names of 30 lakh Delhi voters have been deleten),” the West Delhi representative said. Mr Verma alleged that the Delhi Education Department has collected telephone numbers of parents of school students and are “misusing” the numbers for political purpose and spreading falsehood. “The hubs from where the calls are made to parents should be raided. There has to be an FIR, and such a government should be dismissed forthwith,” he demanded.

In Mamata Banerjee vs CBI, BJP Brings Up A Red Diary, Pen Drive
MMNN:4 February 2019

NEW DELHI: What is Mamata Banerjee scared of, the ruling BJP questioned today as it clashed with the Bengal Chief Minister, who has launched a sit-in protest over an investigation into two chit fund scams allegedly involving members of her Trinamool Congress party. The confrontation between the BJP and Bengal's ruling party flared up on Sunday after a CBI team that wanted to question Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar was taken to a police station and detained for hours before they were released. "Is Mamata Banerjee trying to protect herself? Why is she running way from the inquiry," asked Union Minister Prakash Javadekar. A furious Mamata Banerjee had last evening accused the centre of sending CBI officers after "one of the best officers in the world, someone who's integrity, bravery and honesty are unquestioned." Rajeev Kumar had headed a special probe into the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams in which thousands of small investors were cheated of their money. The CBI says that he had ignored multiple summons over the past two years and that the agency wanted to ask him about missing evidence. "Is it to hide evidence, the chit fund scamster in his testimony said there is one red diary. There is a diary and a pendrive," Prakash Javadekar said. The senior BJP leader also pointed out that it was not his party but Rahul Gandhi's Congress that had filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking for an investigation into the chit fund scams. The constitutional mechanism, he said, had clearly failed. The BJP also took potshots at Rahul Gandhi for his tweet expressing support for Mamata Banerjee last evening. "Diagnosed: Multiple Personality Disorder is characterized by at least two distinct and enduring personality states - there is trouble remembering certain events, beyond ordinary forgetfulness. These states alternately show in person's behavior. Get well soon, Rahul ji," the BJP tweeted

Interim Budget 2019-20: Goyal highlights Modi govt’s initiatives & progs
MMNN:2 February 2019

New Delhi, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday presented his maiden interim budget in the Lok Sabha highlighting initiatives and schemes of the BJP government for the common man of the country. Reaffirming the government’s commitment against tax defaulters, Mr Goyal said almost Rs 3 lakh crore has already been recovered in favour of banks and creditors. On Inflation, Mr Goyal said, “It is a hidden and unfair tax; from 10.1 per cent during 2009-14, we have broken the back of back-breaking inflation.” “Current account deficit is expected to be 2.5 per cent this year,” said Mr Goyal. “While inflation in December 2018 was 2.1 per cent. Fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.4 per cent in the revised estimate of 2018-19,” he said. He also added that the government has initiated efforts to bring full representation for economically weak backward classes, by giving them reservation in jobs and education. The Minister lauded government’s decision to increase MSP by 1.5 times the production cost for all 22 crops for the welfare of farmers and for doubling their income. Also, to provide assured income support for small and marginal farmers, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme has been approved.He said, “Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, 6,000 rupees per year for each farmer, in three instalments, to be transferred directly to farmers’ bank accounts, for farmers with less than 2 hectares landholding.” This initiative will benefit 12 crore small and marginal farmers, at an estimated cost of Rs 75,000 crore.”Instead of rescheduling of crop loans, the farmers severely affected by natural calamities will get 2 per cent interest subvention and additional 3 per cent interest subvention upon timely repayment,” he added further.

Budget 2019: 12 Crore Farmers to Get Rs 500 Per Month Directly in Bank Accounts
MMNN:1 February 2019

New Delhi: Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in his budget speech today announced the plan of the government to provide an assisted income support to small and marginal farmers under the scheme Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PMKISAN). Under the scheme a direct transfer of Rs 6,000 per year will be made to the bank accounts of farmers owning less than two hectares of land, Goyal told the parliament today. "Farmers earlier did not get full cost for their produce. Farmers income has reduced over the years. Income support to farmers small and marginal farmers Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN) has been approved. Famers having 2 hectares and less will be provided with Rs 6000 per annum directly into their accounts," Goyal said. The amount will be directly transferred to the accounts of farmers in three equal installments. According to the Agriculture Survey, the small and marginal holdings taken together (0.00-2.00 hectare) constituted 86.21 per cent in 2015-16 against 84.97 per cent in 2010-11 while their share in the operated area stood 47.34 per cent in the current census as against 44.31 per cent in 2010-11. The programme, the FM said, will be funded 100 per cent by the Central government and the government estimates 12 crore farmer families to be directly impacted by the scheme. The estimated expenditure under the scheme will come around Rs 75,000 crores every year completely borne by the Centre. Rs 20,000 crore will be spent in this financial year, Goyal claimed. Earlier this week on Monday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi promised to implement a nationwide minimum income for the poor if the Congress is voted to power in May this year. "Assured supplemental income would also meet their (farmers') essential needs before the sowing season and would enable them to live a respectable life," FM Goyal said in his speech.

Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar assumes charge as Vice Chief of Naval Staff
MMNN:30 January 2019

New Delhi, Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar has assumed charge as Vice Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy said on Wednesday. An alumnus of Sainik School, Amaravathi Nagar and National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, Pune, he was commissioned into the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy on July 1, 1982, it added. The Admiral has held various challenging Staff and Command assignments during his distinguished naval career spanning more than three decades. After having completed his specialisation in Navigation and Direction at Kochi in 1989, he served as the Navigating Officer of Indian Naval Ships Beas, Nilgiri, Ranvir and Vikrant. His other sea tenures include Commanding Officer of INS Kulish and Ranvir, and Executive Officer onboard INS Brahmaputra. Among his shore tenures, the important ones include Staff officer (Ops/ND) at Indian Naval Work-up team, Head of Training Team (Navy) at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Defence Advisor at the High Commission of India in Singapore and the Chief Staff Officer (Operations) of the Western Naval Command. On promotion to Flag rank, he has held the important assignments of Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST), Chief of Staff (COS) of Southern Naval Command and Flag Officer Maharashtra and Gujarat (FOMAG). In the rank of Vice Admiral he has been the Commandant of the National Defence Academy and the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff. He graduated from Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and has attended the Army Higher Command Course at Mhow as well as the Expeditionary Operations Course at Quantico, Virginia, USA.

Former Defence Minister George Fernandes dies at 88
MMNN:29 January 2019

New Delhi, Former Defence Minister and veteran socialist leader George Fernandes passed away here on Tuesday.He was 88. He had been suffering from swine flu for the last few days. A veteran Parliamentarian who was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1967, Mr Fernandes served several times as a Union Cabinet Minister, holding portfolios such as communications, industry, and railways, besides defence.He had represented Muzaffarpur and Nalanda from Bihar in Lok Sabha. In a Tweet, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy expressed grief and said, “Very sad to hear about George Fernandes’ demise. He was a very good friend in his later years. Earlier we had ideological. differences due to his being socialist and I for market based economy but we were united in opposing TDK and residual Nehru family.” He was the icon during the emergency, imposed by Indira Gandhi.

Param Dharam Sansad will announce date of Ram temple construction: Swarupanand
MMNN:24 January 2019

Prayagraj, Dwarka Sharda Peth Shankaracharya Swami Swarupanand Saraswati has announced that the Param Dharam Sansad would be organised in the Kumbh from January 28 to30, where the date for the construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya would be announced. The Param Dharam Sansad convened by Swami Swarupanand Saraswati would be a separate one that had been announced by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), also to be held in Kumbh on January 31 and February 1. “I had already said about the possible date to commence the construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya and in the Param Dharam Sansad it would be ratified by the sadhus and saints,” he told mediapersons here on Thursday. The monk who is opposed to the saffron brigade also questioned about the construction of a statue of Lord Ram at Ayodhya. “Eminent persons are remembered by construction of huge statues but how can statues be made of the God?” he asked.

PM inaugurates Subhas Chandra Bose museum at Red Fort
MMNN:23 January 2019

New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the Subhas Chandra Bose museum at the Red Fort.The PM unveiled the plaque to inaugurate the Museum on the Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The museum provides a detailed account of the freedom fighter and the history of Indian National Army. It also showcases various artefacts related to the revolutionary leader and the INA. The artefacts include wooden chair and sword used by the Netaji, besides medals and badges, uniforms and other artefacts related to INA. Mr Modi also visited the Yaad-e-Jallian Museum, (museum on Jallianwala Bagh and World War I). He also visited the Museum on 1857- India’s first war of Independence and Drishyakala- Museum on Indian Art at Red Fort, New Delhi. The PM had laid the foundation stone for the museum on October 21, 2018. It marked the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Azad Hind Government, formed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Holding aloft the values of freedom, Mr Modi hoisted the National Flag at Red Fort, to commemorate the occasion. An award in the name of the Netaji was announced by the PM to honour those involved in disaster response operations. The occasion was the dedication of National Police Memorial to the nation, on October 21, 2018. The values and ideals of the freedom fighter and INA were once again brought to the fore by PM in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, on December 30, 2018. He released a commemorative postal stamp, coin, and First Day Cover, to mark the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of Tricolour on Indian soil by the revolutionary leader. He recalled how on Netaji’s call, many youths from the Andaman had dedicated themselves to the freedom of India. The flag on the 150 feet high mast is an attempt to preserve the memory of the day in 1943, when Netaji unfurled the tricolour. As a mark of respect to Netaji , Ross Island had been named as ‘Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep’. Earlier, in October 2015, family members of the Netaji Subhas had met PM and requested for declassification of the files relating to Netaji, available with the Union Government. Digital copies of 100 Netaji Files were released by the PM in January 2018 in public domain at National Archives of India. The Yaad-e-Jallian Museum provides an authentic account of Jallianwala Bagh massacre that happened on April 13, 1919. The museum will also showcase the heroism, valour and sacrifices made by Indian soldiers during World War-1. The Museum on 1857- India’s first war of Independence portrays the historical narrative of the 1857 war of Independence, showcasing the valour and sacrifices made by Indians during the period. The Drishyakala- Exhibition on Indian Art showcases Indian art works from 16th century till India’s Independence. Ahead of the Republic Day, Mr Modi’s visit to these museums is a tribute to the memory of brave freedom fighters who laid down their lives for the nation.

PM Modi to address Brigade rally after poll schedule announcement
MMNN:22 January 2019

New Delhi/Kolkata, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the BJP rally at the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata after the announcement of the Lok Sabha poll schedule.The BJP high command has informed the Bengal party unit about the revision of the PM’s rally at the Brigade. Earlier Mr Modi was supposed to address the rally on February 8. According to BJP Bengal President Dilip Ghosh, the Prime Minister will address a rally at Asansol on the same date. Mr Ghosh, further informed that PM Modi will also address two rallies -one on January 28 in Siliguri and the other in Thakurnagar either on January 31 or on February 2. “The party high command has directed us to arrange rallies in the districts to be addressed by Mr Modi and party president Amit Shah before the proposed Brigade rally. It is also not possible to arrange the mega rally at the Brigade within such a short time,” Mr Ghosh maintained. Mr Amit Shah will flag off a party rally on Tuesday from Malda and another from Jhargram on Wednesday. He will also address three other rallies from Suri, Jainagar and Krishnanagar during his ongoing visit to Bengal. Informatively, on January 19, Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had organised a ‘Grand Alliance rally’ of the opposition leader at the Brigade Parade Ground to give a clarion call to oust the Narendra Modi government at the Centre

Union Ministers flay Congress leader Hariprasad’s remarks on Amit Shah
MMNN:18 January 2019

New Delhi, Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Rajyavardhan Rathore on Thursday castigated Congress leader B K Hariprasad for his ‘cheap statements’ on BJP president Amit Shah falling ill ‘which show the frustration of Congress leadership’. Taking to Twitter, Mr Goyal said the cheap and disgusting comment of B K Hariprasad on Mr Shah’s health shows the level of the Congress. ‘There is cure for flu but there is no cure for mental disease from which the Congress leaders are suffering from,’ he said. Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr Rathore in his missive said, ‘Sad but not surprised to see Congress leaders completely abandon decency and dignity. ‘Such cheap statements show the frustration of Congress leadership.’ Health Minister J P Nadda also condemned the comment, saying these reflect the Congress mentality.

Prez reaches Prayagraj to worship at Sangam in Kumbh Mela
MMNN:17 January 2019

Prayagraj, President Ram Nath Kovind, reached the Sangam city on Thursday morning to worship at the Kumbh Mela here. UP governor Ram Naik, chief minister Yogi Adityanath welcomed the President at the airport and they left for the Kumbh Mela immediately. During his brief visit to Prayagraj, the President will inaugurate the Gandhian Resurgence Summit in the Kumbh Mela area and unveil the statue of Bharadwaj Muni , officials here said. The Gandhian Resurgence Summit is being organised by the Parmarath Niketan, the Harijan Sevak Sangh and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance. During his over three hours stay, the President will worship at the Sangam and meet the prominent sadhus and saints.He is expected to return to New Delhi in the afternoon.

Make Details Of Meeting On Ex-CBI Chief Public: Mallikarjun Kharge to PM
MMNN:15 January 2019

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to bring in the public domain key documents related to sacked CBI chief Alok Verma, including the Central Vigilance Commission report and the details of the Selection Committee meeting on January 10 that led to the controversial ouster. "The actions of the government... indicate that it is scared of having the CBI headed by an independent director," said the Congress parliamentarian, saying the government should "come clean" by releasing these reports so the "public can draw its own conclusion". Mallikarjun Kharge represented the opposition in the three-member Selection Committee, in which the votes of PM Modi and Justice AK Sikri decided Alok Verma's removal as Director of the CBI or Central Bureau of Investigation. Mr Kharge had put up a dissenting note in which he cited the Vigilance report, which said there was no evidence of the main corruption allegations against Alok Verma. That is the report he wants to be made public, along with one by Justice AK Patnaik, who monitored the vigilance probe. "Despite my best efforts to convince the members of the committee that we should be following the due process of law and the principles of natural justice, the members chose to take a decision based on the report that now stands disowned by Justice Patnaik," Mr Kharge has said in his letter to PM Modi. The Congress leader said the media had widely reported that Justice Patnaik had said "there was no evidence of corruption against Verma" and "what the CVC says cannot be the final work" and termed the action of the committee "very, very hasty". "Such huge embarrassment could have been avoided if the committee had decided to independently examine the report of the CVC, the report of Justice Patnaik, the submissions of Alok Verma in his defence and draw its own conclusions before reaching a decision," said Mr Kharge. He said it was unfortunate that the "manipulative actions of the government" were directly responsible for causing "deep embarrassment to the judiciary", adding that a member of the judiciary had been forced to defend the decision. The government, alleged the Congress leader, seemed to be worried about something and in a tearing hurry to dispose a man from his office. "An irrational decision was taken to transfer Alok Verma as Director General Fire Services even after his superannuation." Mr Kharge said both Mr Verma's removal and the appointment of an interim CBI chief were illegal. He said the government must call an immediate meeting of the Selection Committee to appoint a director without delay.

PM to get first-ever Philip Kotler Presidential award
MMNN:14 January 2019

New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday received the first-ever Philip Kotler Presidential award, at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, here. The award, offered annually to the leader of a nation, focusses on the triple bottom-line of people, profit and planet. The Award Citation says, “Shri Narendra Modi is selected for his outstanding leadership for the nation. His selfless service towards India, combined with his tireless energy has resulted in extraordinary economic, social and technological advances in the country.” ‘Under his leadership, India is now identified as the Centre for Innovation and Value Added Manufacturing (Make in India), as well as a global hub for professional services such as Information Technology, Accounting and Finance,’ the Citation added. ‘Mr Modi’s visionary leadership has also resulted in the Digital Revolution (Digital India), including the Unique Identification Number, Aadhaar, for social benefits and financial inclusion. It is enabling entrepreneurship, ease of doing business, and creating a 21st century infrastructure for India,’ the citation mentioned. The Citation mentioned initiatives such as Make in India, Startup India, Digital India, and Swachh Bharat, “which have positioned India as one of the most lucrative manufacturing and business destinations in the world.” Prof Philip Kotler is a world renowned Professor of Marketing at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. Owing to his ill-health, he deputed Dr Jagdish Sheth of Emory University, Georgia, USA, will confer the award, according to a release here on Monday.

India would have achieved many milestones had Vajpayee returned to power in 2004: PM Modi
MMNN:12 January 2019

New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Congress-led UPA had wasted 10 years between 2004 and 2014 and asserted that the NDA regime has proved that a government can be run which will not be afflicted with the charge of corruption. “Congress-led regime had wasted 10 years between 2004 and 2014. I have said the country’s history would have been different if Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had become Prime Minister. Similarly, India would have achieved many milestones had Atal Bihari Vajpayee returned to power in 2004,” Prime Minister said addressing the concluding session of BJP’s two-day National Convention here. He said the NDA regime in last four and half years has proved that the country’s ‘self confidence’ lost during Congress regime has been regained. “There is a neo confidence. Every man and woman now wants to contribute in nation building. They have faith that tax they are paying are now being used effectively and sincerely,” Mr Modi said. The NDA rule has also established that a government can be be run which has not been afflicted with the charge of corruption, Prime Minister said. “No corruption charge has stuck on us,” he said making an obvious reference to Congress party’s attempts to bring in corruption charge against the Prime Minister on Rafale aircraft deal row. In his first public speech after the Parliament nod to 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections, Prime Minister said this latest initiative is a gift to youth of India and also ensures justice to everyone. “This new affirmative action will not deprive any community of their existing privileges. I know there will be attempts in certain quarters to mislead people on this,” he said adding the party workers should be also alert about such machinations. The government has been working hard to help improve the conditions of the farmers, Prime Minister.”Those who were responsible for working for farmers, had made Anna-data — just vote bank (Mat-data),” he said castigating Congress party’s “shortcut” policies. “But we are working hard on a long term method to bring a lasting and long term solution to problems of the farmers,” Prime Minister said.

Our fight is against financial mismanagement, malnutrition, declining job opportunities and diminishing investments
MMNN:11 January 2019

Bhopal, Madam Governor has highlighted that ‘How the government of all of us will shape the future of the state’. I believe that there are many challenges before us in the economic context, but Madhya Pradesh is the name of transforming challenges into opportunities. We will walk on this harsh path with careful steps. We know that if we do not take lessons from the past 15 years of history, then future will never forgive us. We believe that the works done are themselves a source of publicity, so we should avoid making blank announcements and focus only on our work. The citizens of Madhya Pradesh have chosen the new government for change. These changes are for good governance. In the last 24 days, the footsteps of change are becoming audible. We want to remove ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ from the government to establish the sense of ‘Our government’. Now every citizen can proudly say, ‘I am also the government’. We want to delegate the command of power to the citizens of the state in true sense. Believe it but whenever power is ‘person-oriented, democracy gets damaged. It should have a sense of collectivity. Democracy has set the responsibilities of all, the ruling party, opposition and public. We believe that the government should work properly and for this, the opposition must be strong and responsible. I want to make it clear that our fight is not against the opposition. Together we will fight our battle against economic downturn, malnutrition, crime, decreasing employment opportunities and lessening industrial investment in Madhya Pradesh and we will succeed. Health, education and infrastructure are also our priority. Our farmer brethren have to overcome their difficulties. Loan waiver is not a permanent solution. They do not have very big expectations. We have to ensure that they get the value of their crops which they want. Daughters are a form of Devi in the Bharatiya Sanatan Sanskriti. We take inspiration from them. Should we allow them to be tormented today? Not at all. We are taking steps for their empowerment. We are fulfilling the duty of a father by giving them Rs 51 thousand when they leave for their home. When daughters are happy, progress too smiles. The bright future of the state lies in the youth. If opportunities are provided to them, then we will climb the steps to progress. This is possible only when there is investment in Madhya Pradesh and this cannot be attracted through big events only. We need to take big steps, we will have to remove red tapism and spread a red carpet instead. Be it a Gaushala for the holy cow, be it the Vangaman Path of Lord Rama or the incessant flow of classical rivers like Narmada we will work with complete commitment towards the manifesto. We can proudly say that Madhya Pradesh is the state which houses maximum number of tribal brethren and they give full support in the development of the state. Now it is our turn to support them, to return their happiness. We will join hands with Scheduled Caste, General y and every category to move ahead. We all will talk collectively for the change only and change only for good governance.’

Won't Allow Gay Sex In The Army, Says Chief General Rawat
MMNN:10 January 2019

Gay sex will not be allowed in the Indian Army, its chief General Bipin Rawat said on Thursday when asked to comment on the Supreme Court decriminalizing homosexuality. "We will not allow this to happen in the Army," said General Rawat, addressing his annual press conference. He said the Indian army has its own laws on homosexuality. "We are not above the country's law but when you join the Indian Army, some of the rights and privileges you enjoy are not what we have. Some things are different for us," he said. A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court last September unanimously decriminalised a part of a colonial-era law under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which banned "consensual unnatural sex", saying it violated the rights to equality. When asked about the Supreme Court ruling on adultery, he said the Army is "very conservative". "We can't allow it to perpetrate into the Army," he said. The court had struck down the anti-adultery law, saying it was unconstitutional and dented the individuality of women and treated them as "chattel of husbands".

SC reinstates Alok Verma as CBI director but with rider
MMNN:8 January 2019

New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside the Central Government’s order divesting Alok Verma’s powers as CBI Director and sending him on leave. The Top Court said a select committee, comprising the Prime Minister, the CJI and the Leader of Opposition will decide on the action, if any, against Mr Verma.The Court said the meeting of the select committee would be convened within a week. A division bench, headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, ordered Verma not to take any major policy decision with regard to the functioning of CBI on his resuming as the agency’s Director. Justice Kaul passed the order, as CJI Ranjan Gogoi is on leave today.

BJP fires ‘Eurofighter missile’ at Congress, Rahul: Says Michel was pushing Rafale’s ‘rival’ firm
MMNN:7 January 2019

New Delhi,After months of one-upmanship between the Congress and the government on Rafale deal, the BJP on Monday virtually fired ‘Eurofighter missile’ at the Congress President Rahul Gandhi and accused that all talks about Rafale is nothing but aimed at serving the ‘commercial interests’ of Rafale’s rival company. “The entire bogey of falsehood campaign against Rafale is now clear ….it is accentuated by extraneous considerations,” BJP leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here in reference to media reports alleging that the AgustaWestland scam middleman Christian Michel was also lobbying for the Eurofighter to win the same deal for 126 jets. The reports claimed that Michel and an associate had prepared a ‘strategy paper’ to reach out to an influential ‘political navigator’ and Indian Air Force officials to tilt the contract in favour of Eurofighter. The Eurofighter Typhoon consortium, according to company website, brings together the brightest minds in European aerospace in order to create a world class weapon system. It is built on the strength of four European nations: UK; Germany; Italy and Spain, and their leading aerospace and defence companies, the website says. The Law Minister Mr Prasad said: “The available documents in public domain raise serious suspicious circumstances of the intention of Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party”. “It is too well known that the Congress party has never been happy unless there is a deal in a defence deal,” he said eloquently and cited instances of various defence scams including Bofors, submarine and AgustaWestland chopper. However, he said now in the case of Rafale row – and persistent allegation of corruption against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP -, he said, “… is evident that there was a close proximity of the middleman who were pushing the case of Eurofighter in contrast to Rafale”. “In this light the entire bogey of falsehood, entire campaign of canard unleashed by Rahul Gandhi in particular and the Congress party is completely false and based upon pure commercial competition interest,” Mr Prasad alleged. On the same issue, earlier in the day Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore also had tweeted saying: “BIG: Agusta middleman Christian Michel was lobbying for Eurofighter against Rafale! Is this why Congress has been spreading misinformation on the Rafale issue?”.

Akhilesh Yadav Meets Mayawati, No Congress In UP Grand Alliance: Sources
MMNN:5 January 2019

Once bitter rivals and now allies in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party boss Mayawati met in Delhi on Friday to discuss a mahagathbandhan or grand alliance to take on the BJP in the heartland state. The two leaders, both upset with the Congress, do not want it as part of their alliance, sources said. The alliance, say sources, will have room for smaller parties. The final decision on seat-sharing will be taken after January 15, sources said, adding Chaudhary Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal or RLD is likely to get three seats in the grand alliance. Even though the Congress will be kept out of the coalition, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati do not intend to field any candidate in Amethi and Raebareli - the stronghold of the Gandhis, sources added. Akhilesh Yadav had last week indicated at payback when his party's only lawmaker in Madhya Pradesh did not make it to new Chief Minister Kamal Nath's list of ministers. The Congress, he said, had gone back on its promise to do so, despite his party's role in helping the Congress reach the majority mark. "Thanks to the Congress, they did not make our vidhayak (legislator) a minister," Akhilesh Yadav had told reporters last week. By doing so, the Congress had "cleared the path for Uttar Pradesh," he had said. Mayawati, after ruling out a pre-poll alliance with the Congress, had reluctantly extended support to the party after the recent round of assembly elections to keep the BJP out of power in Madhya Pradesh, where the Congress fell a whisker short of majority. Earlier this week, she said she would "reconsider" her support if the cases filed in the two states against the "innocent" during April's all-India strike by Scheduled Castes are not withdrawn. The Congress, she said, should not work like the BJP, which did not keep its promises. Amid the hints dropped by the Samajwadi Party and the BSP, the Congress had last week said it was open to an alliance in UP with any party that wants to "free" the people from BJP rule. The BJP and its allies had won 73 of the 80 seats in the last general elections in Uttar Pradesh, but lost Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls to Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav last year. Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati are expected to meet again next week, sources said.

19 AIADMK, TDP members suspended for 4 days for creating disruption in LS
MMNN:3 January 2019

New Delhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Thursday named and suspended 19 AIADMK and TDP members from attending the proceedings of the House for four days for creating uproar over Cauvery issue and Special Category status demand for Andhra Pradesh. As soon as the House reassembled at 1200 hrs after the first adjournment, the AIADMK and TDP members rushed into the well of the House and continued with their protest. The Speaker repeatedly warned the AIADMK and TDP members not to create uproar in the House, but the agitated members of both the parties continued to create ruckus in the House. The agitated AIADMK members also flung papers in the air in the House. Taking the name of the AIADMK and TDP members who were creating ruckus in the House, the Speaker said they are repeatedly violating the rules and are deliberately creating disruptions in the proceedings of the House. The Speaker said, ‘ I am constrained to name you under the rule 374 A.’ She said after taking name in such manner, under the rule 374 A, the members themselves are suspended from the proceedings of the House for four days. The 19 AIADMK and TDP members who were named by the Speaker includes –Maganti Murali Mohan Jayadev Galla, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao and C Gopalakrishnan. The Speaker then adjourned the House till 14:00 hours. Earlier, the continued bedlam in the Lok Sabha over issues including Special Category Status demand for Andhra Pradesh and plight of the people in Cauvery Delta forced the Chair to adjourn the House till 12 noon. As soon as the proceedings of the Question Hour commenced, AIADMK members and TDP members, including Jayadev Galla, and Ashok Gajapathi Raju, entered the Well, carrying placards and started slogan shouting. AIADMK members raised the issue of construction of dam across river Cauvery while the TDP was demanding special railway zone among other issues. Ms Mahajan on Wednesday named and suspended 25 AIADMK members from attending the proceedings of the House for five days for creating uproar over Cauvery issue.

Rahul brings ‘Rafale audio tape’, initiates discussions on aircraft deal
MMNN:2 January 2019

New Delhi, Lok Sabha had to be adjourned abruptly for about 10 minutes after Congress president Rahul Gandhi wanted to play ‘audio tape’ on Rafale on Wednesday. Initiating a discussion on Rafale in the Lok Sabha under Rule 193, and as expected, Mr Gandhi directed his tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government over the deal with France. Amid din and chaos due to uproad by sloganeering AIADMK members, Mr Gandhi said essentially the Rafale controversy rests on three pillars of pricing, process and patronage. He changed the pricing of the aircraft was changed by the Modi government and it shot up indiscriminately from what was finalised by the erstwhile Rs 526 crore. Mr Gandhi also said the AIADMK protests was only to shield the Prime Minister.He alleged a private company was favoured denying opportunities for the state-run HAL. Hardly within 20-24 minutes of proceedings after 1400 hours, the House had to be adjourned as Mr Gandhi wanted to play an ‘audio tape’ on Rafale. Mr Gandhi sought Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s permission to play it and as he was asked by the treasury bench including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, he said he will not authenticate it.”Because, he knows this is not true, he is not authenticating it,” Finance Minister said amid din. “This man is telling falsehood repeatedly,” said Mr Jaitley and maintained the French government had to issue a denial of his statement last time. Mr Gandhi, however, said, the ruling side was ‘terrified’ by the content in the tape. Speaker adjourned the House for about 10 minutes.

Rahul hoists party flag on Congress foundation day
MMNN:29 December 2018

New Delhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday hoisted the party flag on the occasion of its 134th foundation day. Rahul hoisted the flag at the AICC headquarters in presence of former prime minister Manmohan Singh, senior Congress leaders Motilal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad, A K Antony and other’s including party’s workers. The hoisting of flag was followed by playing Vande Mataram and the National Anthem.On the occasion, Mr Gandhi also cut a cake to celebrate the day.

LS adopts resolution to impose Prez’s rule in J&K
MMNN:28 December 2018

New Delhi, Lok Sabha on Friday adopted a statutory resolution, approving the proclamation issued by the President on December 19 imposing President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh moved the resolution stating, ‘That this House approves the Proclamation issued by the President on 19th December, 2018 under article 356 on the Constitution of India in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.’ The resolution was passed in the House by voice vote.Later, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed members to express their views on it, observing that the issue was important. ‘ As a special case, I will alow members to speak on the issue,’ she said. She said the Home Minister will give his reply after the members speak on the issue. The proclamation of December 19 said the President “is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of India, as applicable to the state.” It said the powers of the state legislature shall be under the “authority of Parliament”.

PAC shocked by failure of Health Ministry to complete 6 AIIMS projects Jayant Sinha
MMNN:27 December 2018

New Delhi, The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has noted with dismay that the approval for establishment of the six new All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh was granted by the government in March 2006 for completion by March, 2009 but none of the works, except those relating to residential complexes, had commenced within the period. It was aghast to note that the Health and Family Welfare Ministry had miserably failed to ensure completion of projects within 18 months from the commencement of work. The Committee was perturbed to note that state Project Monitoring Committees, formed to monitor the progress of the new AIIMS, had not been constituted for the two new AIIMS at Raipur and Rishikesh. The stipulated meetings were not held in the rest of the four AIIMS. Tabled in Parliament recently, the report said that it was surprised to note that the target dates were not achieved in any of the new AIIMS with delays ranging from four to five years even after the completion of second deadline. It noted with displeasure that 1,381 items of equipment with estimated cost of Rs 454 crore out of the total procurement orders for 5,834 equipment amounting to Rs 791 crore remain undelivered as on March 31, 2017 with delays up to 25 months. The 22-member Committee is chaired by Congress floor leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and has 15 members from the Lower House and seven from the Upper House. It also noted that the delays were due to non-readiness of site, non-acceptance of equipment by the institutes, reluctance on the part of vendors to make supplies due to delay in issue of delivery receipts certificate and submission of invoices and individual AIIMS have different status of progress of those civil works and recruitment and the vendors were requested to deliver the equipment at a later date so as to synchronise with site readiness and manpower availability in the six new AIIMS. The PAC was dismayed to observe non-installation of equipment resulted in delays in operationalisation of the critical healthcare facilities and deprived patients of diagnostic benefits. It desired the Ministry to urgently take steps for prompt and timely administrative action and effective monitoring in the procurement process of the state-of-the-art equipment for early delivery and apprise them of the action initiated in this regard. It recommended Health and Family Welfare Ministry to do a survey of all existing Employee State Insurance Corporation medical colleges and hospitals and desire that those having infrastructure of the level of AIIMS may be taken over by the Centre in consultation with the Ministry of Labour and Employment for upgradation to new AIIMS. It noted that out of the total fund of Rs 3,285.03 crore made available during 2011-17 to the six AIIMS that is Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh, Rs 2017.62 crore was utilised leaving an unspent balance of Rs 1,267.41 crore as of March, 2017. The Committee said the Ministry has sanctioned 305 faculty and 3,776 non-faculty post for each of the six AIIMS. However, the shortage against various faculty and non-faculty post in different AIIMS ranged from 55 per cent to 83 per cent and 77 per cent respectively restricting the functioning of various Departments and ultimately resulting in failure to provide treatment of required quality to the patients. It was astounded to note that the Ministry failed to provide adequate number of beds for patients which is a basic requirement for proper service delivery and quality patient care. The PAC has recommended the Ministry to steadfastly formulate and implement the common recruitment process urgently for all the AIIMS so that the required quality of treatment is dispensed to the patients.

PM pays homage Vajpayee, Pt Madan Mohan Malviya on their Birth anniversaries
MMNN:25 December 2018

New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday paid homage to Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said the country ought to reiterate its commitment towards creating the India, the poet-politician dreamt of. “Tributes to Atal Ji on his Jayanti. We reiterate our commitment towards creating the India he dreamt of,” Mr Modi tweeted. In an audio visual capsule attached to the tweet, Mr Modi hailed former Prime Minister’s achievements in multiple fronts and also recalled that among other things, it was Vajpayee who had given the right leadership in making the country Nuclear power. “Vajpayee’s words were not only the words of a BJP leader. When he spoke, it reflected the national mood….Atalji bol rahen haen, matlab Desh bol raha hae,” Prime Minister says in the audio-visual piece. “Vajpayee’s words created a faith amongst people. These also show Vajpayee’s decades of struggle in nation building,” Mr Modi says. Born on December 25, 1924, Vajpayee breathed his last on August 16 this year. In another missive in the micro blogging site, Prime Minister paid tributes to freedom fighter and three time president of Indian National Congress. He was respectfully addressed as Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and also addressed as ‘Mahamana’. “Remembering Mahamana on his Jayanti. He made everlasting contributions to our freedom movement and in education,” Prime Minister wrote in the micro blogging site. Born on December 25, 1861, Madan Mohan Malviya died on November 12, 1946.Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya was posthumously conferred with Bharat Ratna, country’s highest civilian award, on December 24, 2014

President’s Greetings on the eve of Birthday of Guru Nanak
MMNN:23 November 2018

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind has sent his greetings to fellow citizens on the eve of birthday of Guru Nanak Dev. In a message, the President has said, “Remembering the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev, I offer my greetings and good wishes on this sacred occasion to all my fellow citizens, including members of the Sikh community. The life of Guru Nanak Dev teaches us love and harmony. He gave us the mantra of ‘Ek Omkar Satnam’, which means that there is only One God. While emphasising values of love, peace and compassion, Guru Nanak Dev equated service to humanity with service to God. His preachings such as “Vand Chako – sharing with others, Kirat Karo – making an honest living and, Naam Japo- Remembering God at all times” capture the essence of his message. Let us resolve to follow the path shown by Guru Nanak Dev and work for the welfare of the society”.

Now, BJP reminds Congress of Kamal Nath ‘row’ vis-a-vis 1984 anti-Sikh riots
MMNN:22 November 2018

New Delhi, Union Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday took a dig at Kamal Nath, the Congress heavyweight in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, and reminded the Congress leadership on how quickly it had to make retreat in its decision for making Nath the party in charge for Punjab. “Mr Kamal Nath is in news these days due to Madhya Pradesh polls. For his role in 1980s, the Congress party had to change its decision and removed him as party in-charge for Punjab within a week,” Mr Prasad told reporters here. “Baat niklegi toh bahut duur taq jaegi (If we start talking about issues, we can really expose Congress),” the Union Minister said in reference to alleged role of various Congress leaders in the infamous 1984 anti-Sikh riots. A Delhi court on Wednesday convicted Naresh Sehrawat and Yashpal Singh of killing Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh and injuring three others in south Delhi’s Mahipalpur area during the 1984 mayhem. This is the first death sentence pronounced in the anti-Sikh massacre case in the aftermath of assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In June 2016, Kamal Nath was compelled to resign as party in-charge for Punjab after his appointment to the key post provoked controversy.In his resignation letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, Kamal Nath, now pradesh Congress chief in Madhya Pradesh, had urged the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi to relieve him from the post. “I request, I may be relieved of my charge to ensure that attention isn’t diverted from the real issues facing Punjab,” said Kamal Nath in his letter to Ms Gandhi. He also had said, “Till 2005 not single public statement or FIR was made against me and 1st time my name was mentioned in any forum was 21 years after 1984.” “I’ve been hurt by developments of past few days wherein unnecessary controversy has been created around the 1984 riots in Delhi”. Mr Kamal Nath, nine time MP from Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, is now considered to be in the race for Chief Minister’s post if the grand old party can dethrone BJP in the central Indian state.

In Process Of Presenting Report On Maratha Quota, Government Says
MMNN:21 November 2018

The Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court on Wednesday that it was in the process of tabling the State Backward Class Commission's recommendations on the Maratha quota issue before the state legislature. State's counsel, Additional Government Pleader Abhinandan Vagyani, informed the court that the state Cabinet had received the recommendations from the commission and was considering further action. "The state Cabinet is in the process of placing the report (the commission's recommendations) before the House and taking other appropriate steps," Mr Vagyani said. Following the state's submission, a bench of Justices BP Dharamadhikari and Sarang Kotwal disposed of all pending litigations in the high court on the issue of reservation for the Maratha community. The bench noted that the commission and the state had complied with the court's previous orders on submission of such recommendations and therefore, there did not remain any need for further hearing on the pending petitions. The bench was hearing a bunch of petitions filed between 2014 and 2015 after the then Congress-NCP government granted 16 per cent quota in government jobs and education to the Maratha community. While some of the petitions opposed the government's decision, two petitions had sought immediate implementation of the quota. In November 2014, in an interim order, a division bench of the Bombay High Court had stayed the then government's decision to provide the 16 per cent quota, on the grounds that it was in breach of the Supreme Court's order that prescribed an upper limit of 50 per cent for caste and community-based quota. On August 7 this year, while hearing the same petitions, another division bench of the HC had directed the commission to complete its research on the issue and submit its recommendations to the state in a time-bound manner. COMMENT The bench, led by Justice Dharamadhikari, noted on Wednesday that since the above order had been complied with, the pleas could be disposed of.

PM dedicates 3 major projects to people, describes Haryana as Himmat, Honsala, Hosh & Humsafar
MMNN:20 November 2018

Gurugram, While dedicating three major projects to the people of Haryana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the while the Kundli- Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway and Mujesar-Ballabhgarh metro link would bring revolution in the field of connectivity, Shri Vishwakarma Skill University would give renewed strength to the youth.The Prime Minister was addressing a Jan Vikas Rally at Sultanpur village in this district. Earlier, he inaugurated 83.320 kms long Kundli-Manesar section of Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway also known as western peripheral expressway and Mujesar-Ballabhgarh metro link through remote. He also laid the foundation stone of Shri Vishwakarma Skill University, village Dudhola, Palwal. On this occasion, Mr Modi and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar also flagged off first train on this route from Raja Nahar Singh Station Ballabhgarh. Paying rich tributes to the fallen heroes of the Indian Army during the Rezang La battle of Ladhak which completed its 56 years yesterday only, Mr Modi said that soldiers led by Paramvir Chakra recipient Major Shaitan Singh showed indomitable courage while fighting with the enemy, most of them hailing from Haryana. He described Haryana as ‘Himmat, Honsala, Hosh and Humsafar’. He said that this day assumes a special significance for Haryana as the entire over 135 kms long KMP Expressway has been completed with the inauguration of 83.320 kms long Kundli-Manesar section of the Expressway today. The first phase of the Expressway had been completed and made operation two years back, he added. Taking a dig at the previous government, Mr Modi said that the occasion today also gives as the opportunity to draw comparison between the working culture of present BJP government and previous Congress government. He said the work on this Expressway could have been completed 8-9 years ago but this is the result of the delaying tactics adopted by the previous government that it took 12 years to complete this expressway. He reminded that this Expressway was to be used in the Common Wealth Games but ironically the Expressway suffered the same fate as the games. He said that owing to the progress of the project reviewed by him at the central level and urgency shown by the State Government, the people of the State got this long awaited project today.

PM inaugurates Ballabhgarh metro link
MMNN:19 November 2018

New Delhi/Sultanpur (Gurugram), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated Ballabhgarh Metro Link which would facilitate travel for people of Delhi and Faridabad. Passenger services on the 3.2 km long Escorts Mujesar – Raja Nahar Singh (Ballabhgarh) section of the Kashmere Gate – Escorts Mujesar corridor (Violet Line) of Delhi Metro will commence at 1700 hrs. This section is the extension of the Kashmere Gate – Escorts Mujesar Violet Line (Line-6).This extension of Delhi Metro’s Violet Line was formally flagged off via remote by the Prime Minister during a public meeting from village Sultanpur (Gurugram). This 3.2 kilometre elevated section comprises two elevated stations – Sant Surdas (Sihi) and Raja Nahar Singh.The corridor now becomes 46.6 kilometres long. After the opening of this section, the Delhi Metro network becomes 317 (317.06) kilometres long.

Latest revelations show no guarantee by French govt backing Rafale deal: Rahul
MMNN:16 November 2018

New Delhi, Continuing his attack on the Narendra Modi Government on Rafale deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that latest revelations show that the Prime Minister got the deal cleared despite the fact that there were no guarantees by the French Government backing the deal. Taking to twitter, Rahul said,’’the latest skeleton to tumble out of the RAFALE cupboard: NO Guarantee by the French Govt. backing the deal. BUT, our PM says there’s a letter from the French promising to be faithful! That’s enough to call this a “Govt to Govt” deal?’’ Earlier on Thursday, the Congress charged the PM of compromising national interests by waiving the ‘Bank Guarantee/French Government’s Sovereign Guarantee’ in violation of Defence Procurement Procedure.

My Government Tolerant To All Religions": Mamata Banerjee On World Philosophy Day
MMNN:15 November 2018

KOLKATA: Mamata Banerjee today tweeted that her government respects all religions and schools of thought. The chief minister, on the occasion of World Philosophy Day, wrote in a Twitter post that tolerance is instrumental in the progress of civilisation. "Today is World Philosophy Day. We respect all schools of thought. We respect all religions. Tolerance is the key to the progress of civilisation. My best wishes to all," Ms Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle. In order to renew the national, sub-regional, regional and international commitment to philosophy, the UNESCO introduced the World Philosophy Day in 2002.

BJP Hits Back At Opposition, Says Congress Can't Look Beyond A Family
MMNN:14 November 2018

NEW DELHI: The BJP today said the Congress could not look beyond one family or recall the contribution of others to the country, hitting back at the opposition party after Shashi Tharoor credited institutional structures created by Jawaharlal Nehru for a "chaiwala" like Narendra Modi becoming the prime minister. "If democracy is thriving in India, it is because of the Constitution. It was the constituent assembly headed by Baba Sahab Ambedkar and having many other eminent people which laid the foundation of democracy," Union minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters. The Congress could not think beyond one family and this was underlined again, he said, without taking any name. Speaking at the re-launch of his book on Jawaharlal Nehru, Mr Tharoor, the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, had yesterday said if the country had a "chaiwala" as its prime minister, it was because the first prime minister of independent India had made it possible to create the institutional structures through which any Indian could aspire to rise to the highest office in the land. Mr Javadekar said the Congress talked only about one family and never mentioned the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The opposition party wanted to restrict historical references to one family, he added. PM Modi was such a "magnanimous" prime minister that he had mentioned umpteen number of times that all prime ministers had contributed to the country while the Congress never mentioned the name of PV Narasimha Rao, Mr Javadekar said. The BJP leader also rejected former Congress president Sonia Gandhi's charge that the government was undermining Jawaharlal Nehru's legacy. "It is not. We are making memorials of all prime ministers in the complex where Nehru lived. This is to pay tribute to everybody. It is not undermining. All prime ministers have contributed to this country. But that goes beyond one family and that is why the Congress is upset," he said. At the same event yesterday, Ms Gandhi had said the Nehruvian legacy was being "undermined" by those in power and that they had "contempt" for the country's first prime minister for all that he did to build an India, which they wanted to change for the "worse"

Over 70 percent voter turnout recorded in the first phase of assy polls in Chhattisgarh
MMNN:13 November 2018

New Delhi, Over 70 per cent voter turnout was registered in the first phase of Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh on Monday.Peaceful polling was held in 18 Assembly seats of remote Maoist-violence affected areas under the first phase of polling in Chhattisgarh. ‘The assembly constituencies which saw polling today are spread over 8 districts in Chhattisgarh,’ Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said at press conference here. ‘In many core naxal areas in the state, people participated with enthusiasm,’ he said

Rahul, Naidu jointly calls for united Oppn to ‘Save Country’, AP CM meets Pawar, Farooq
MMNN:2 November 2018

New Delhi, Considered as a breakthrough political move that may eventually lead to a grand alliance against the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday met Congress president Rahul Gandhi at the latter’s residence. The meeting took place hours after Mr Naidu met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah in the national capital. Sensing a favourable political atmosphere, the Congress president has urged all opposition parties to unite. “We had a very good meeting. The gist of the meeting was we have to defend democracy and our institutions and future of the country. So we are coming together to work, all opposition forces must unite,” Mr Gandhi said after the meeting with Mr Naidu. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister concurred, saying all opposition parties have to unite. “We are coming together, to save the nation. We have to forget the past, now it is a democratic compulsion to unite.” The meeting between Mr Naidu and Mr Gandhi is significant considering that the former had criticised the Congress party and praised Mr Modi before joining NDA in 2014. Mr Naidu quit NDA earlier this year citing the Union government’s refusal to grand Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh, a promise given to the state during bifurcation.Mr Naidu and Mr Gandhi had also met in Bengaluru at the swearing-in ceremony of H D Kumaraswamy as Karnataka Chief Minister. After his exit from the NDA, Mr Naidu has been a consistent critic of the Modi government, and is now working towards forming a common platform for opposition parties. Mr Naidu met BSP supremo Mayawati last week and also spoke to Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav.On his second visit to the national capital within a week, Mr Naidu met the Congress president. Earlier in the day the Andhra Chief Minister stressed the importance of unity among the opposition parties. During Mr Naidu’s meeting with Mr Pawar and Mr Farooq, it was decided that he will talk to the non-BJP parties in their effort to form the Mahagathbandhan. “Mr Naidu will talk to the regional leaders about meeting, and we will convene the meeting here,’ Mr Pawar and Mr Abdullah had said. Mr Naidu’s attempt to move closer to the Congress is viewed as forming an alliance in his state, where former chief minister and late Congress leader YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s son YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress has become the main opposition party. The Congress was defeated in the last Lok Sabha polls in Andhra Pradesh when the voters rejected the party holding it responsible for the state’s bifurcation. The Congress president had appointed former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy as AICC general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, as sources said, to cement the alliance with other parties and to re-build the party in the state.

PM hails contribution of Haryanvis in enhancing pride of country
MMNN:10 October 2018

Rohtak, While paying rich tributes to great leader Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday hailed the contribution of farmers, soldiers and sports persons of Haryana in enhancing the pride of country and said the state not only contributes maximum in the armed forces of the country, but also contributes 17 per cent in the national food basket, which is a major contribution. The Prime Minister unveiled the 64 feet tall statue of Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram, tallest in Haryana and laid the foundation stone of rail coach factory, to be set up at Barhi village in Sonipat district. Mr Modi said the statue of Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram, which he dedicated to the people, would give a distinct identity to Sampla and Rohtak. He also extended his greetings to the people of the state in advance, of Haryana Day on November 1. Addressing the Deenbandhu Samriti rally at Sampla in this district, Mr Modi said today, there is no village in the state, which does not have the representation in armed forces of the country. He said the credit goes to Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram, as he motivated the farmers to join the Army during the British rule. Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram could not live in independent India, but he had a deep understanding of the challenges and aspirations of people in the country. The Prime Minister also appreciated the state government, led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, for achieving the status of Open Defecation Free, specially to the Maharashi Dayanand University, which has achieved first position in the Swachhta Survey. He said the state has made a remarkable progress under the ambitious Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme. The daughters of Haryana are continuously increasing the pride of country. The Prime Minister also appreciated the state for having the first beneficiary under the Ayushman Bharat Yojna. He said that within just two weeks after the launch of the scheme, about 50,000 poor people have either got treated or their treatment is in progress. Underlining the role of Haryana in the development of country, Mr Modi called upon the people to work unitedly for building a new nation as this would be a real tribute to Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram. He said that it is matter of pride that today that is on October 9 he has unveiled the statue of great leader Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram, the tallest in Haryana and on October 31, he would unveil the statue of Iron man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which would be the tallest in the world. Both the leaders had worked for the welfare of farmers, he maintained. He said that Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram was the same leader who envisioned the Bakhra Dam and this is the result of his farsighted approach that farmers and people of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan are getting water. The Prime Minister said that the Rail Coach Factory which would come in village Barhi at a cost of Rs 500 crore would give impetus to the industrial development of Haryana and also provide employment opportunities to the youth. He said that with the setting up of Rail Coach Factory, 250 coaches of passenger train would be repaired and modernized every year. There would be no need to send such train coaches to far off factories for their upkeep. This would help increasing the availability of passenger coaches and the passengers would be able to get the facility of modern coaches. He said that the material including sheets, fans, fitting required for this Rail Coach Factory would be made available at the local level which would benefit the industries of Haryana. He said that this would also assist local engineers and technicians in enhancing their expertise in the field of rail coach factory. These experts would also be able to render their specialized services in the other parts of the country in the times to come, he added. Mr Modi said that during the last four years, the present BJP government has not only honoured several great leaders and personalities but also tried to follow the path shown by them. Apart from this, various welfare measures have been taken for the welfare of farmers and small traders who were feeling helpless earlier. He said that bank accounts of as many as 66.50 lakh beneficiaries have been opened under the Jan Dhan Yojna. Apart from this, the process of obtaining loan from banks has been simplified. The India Post Payments Bank has been started to provide bank like services at the doorstep of people through postmen. Referring to various steps taken by the present government in the interest of farming community, he said that an arrangement has been made right from seed to market. Persistent steps are being taken for ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers, providing hybrid seeds and adequate water for irrigation. He said that in Haryana, 50 lakh Soil Health Cards (SHC) has been issued to the farmers to ensure that farmers get the benefit of seasonal crops. Apart from this, claim amount of Rs 350 crore has been distributed among the farmers on account of crop damage due to natural calamities. Water has reached to even those tail ends in the State which were deprived of water for last about 30 years. He said that recently a historic pact has been inked between six states for the construction of Lakhwar Dam which would benefit Haryana immensely. He said that on the pattern of Mandi Act got enacted by Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram nine-ten decades back for ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers, the present government has launched a new scheme namely “Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan” (PM-AASHA). He said that present state government is also realizing its promise of giving atleast 50 per cent profit to the farmers over and above the cost of production. MSP of 21 crops including wheat and sugarcane has been increased. The MSP of paddy has been increased by Rs 200 per quintal. Now the paddy farmers would get MSP of Rs 1750 per quintal instead of Rs 1550 per quintal. Similarly the MSP of Maize, Sunflower and Bajra has been increased by Rs 275, Rs 1300 and Rs 525 per quintal respectively. Efforts were being made to double the income of farmers by 2022, he asserted. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar requested the Prime Minister to inaugurate the remaining section of Kundli Manesar Palwal (KMP) Expressway, the work on which is likely to be completed within one month. He said that Manesar Palwal section of the expressway has already been completed and made functional. Blaming the previous government in the state for delaying the project, he said that the present state government has fastracked the work on the project which was stalled for last several years. He said that the state government has also decided to develop Panch Gram Yojana along the expressway. Mr Khattar said that during his last visit Mr Modi had also announced to rename Garhi Sampla village as Chhotu Ram Nagar. Recalling the contribution made by Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram, he said that the great farmer leader had undertaken various welfare works for the upliftment of villagers, labourers and farmers. He said that Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram had got implemented the rule of 8-hour work for labourers and one-day holiday for traders. The Chief Minister said that following the vision of Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram, the present government had launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and Bhavantar Bharpayee Yojana for the welfare of farmers. As a result of the welfare policies and schemes of the government, the state has been moving ahead at both national and international level. He said that a provision is being made for the registry of property lying within ‘laal dora’ in villages. Apart from this, the State Government has also abolished ‘Remand Pratha’ in the interest of farmers so that they would not have to make frequent rounds of the Revenue Courts to get their land-related issues settled. He said that the state also ensured transparency in government jobs and now youth were getting jobs on merit basis. He said that 8.25 lakh youth have so far been provided employment under Skill Development Programme. On this occasion, Union Steel Minister Birender Singh thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making the farmers financially strong. He said that Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram had resolved to work for the welfare of poor, farmers, people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes. It was Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram who raised voice for Minimum Support Prices for crops. He said that Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram envisioned the Bhakra Dam in 1923 and today the farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan are getting sufficient water. Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat also recalled the contribution made by Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram for the upliftment of farmers, poor and people belonging to weaker sections of the society. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satyapal Malik said that the Swaminathan Report would immensely benefit the farmers. Haryana Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister O P Dhankar said that Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram had worked for the welfare of farmers and poor. He got the lands of farmers freed from clutches of landlords, got their loans waived off and ensured better prices of their produce. People used to call him as ‘Chota Ram’. The state government has been working to implement the ideals of Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram in letter and spirit. State BJP President Subhash Barala said that since independence, if anyone has ever tried to realize the vision of Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram then it was only Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Non-NDA states should reduce VAT on fuel to help consumers: BJP
MMNN:8 October 2018

New Delhi, BJP on Monday said all non-NDA states should come forward and help the consumers by reducing fuel price in their respective states. Under persistent attack by opposition parties for continuous price hike, BJP spokesperson and New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi said, ‘ There are things which are within control and there are things which you cannot control.’ She said it is high time, fundamental issues concerning fuel import and the prices are understood properly and ‘right questions are raised’. ‘Unlike what is being given out the Central role is essentially very limited when it comes to pricing of fuel, ‘ the BJP leader said. ‘The Centre has taken a decision and the PSUs will shoulder the burden. So, are the BJP states, I will say all non-BJP states including Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi should show sensitivity and try to help the common people,’ Ms Lekhi said in a press conference here. Answering questions, she said the Arvind Kejriwal led government was only indulging in false propaganda. ‘It is time the state governments also reveal how much they have earned due to VAT,’ she said, adding that several opposition ruled states are pointing at the Central government and not doing their part to mitigate the problems of the people. Ms Lekhi said notwithstanding the high prices of fuel, it is also a fact that the Central govt duty (tax) is ‘fixed’ and it is only the states which are charging in ‘percentage term’. ‘It is not the Central government which is increasing the taxes but the burden on the Central government to repay that oil bond prices has been there which no state is facing,’ she said. The BJP spokesperson said the narratives given out by opposition leaders were not correct.

PM Modi, Russian President begin bilateral talks
MMNN:5 October 2018

New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin began the crucial bilateral talks here on Friday.Both the leaders met at the Capital’s Hyderabad House. Before sitting for the parleys – where important issues like defence tie up is expected to figure prominently – both the leaders shook hands and posed for photographs. At one point both the leaders also embraced each other and took themselves into arms.The leaders are taking part in the delegation-level talks. “Welcome to India, President Putin. Looking forward to our deliberations, which will further enhance India-Russia friendship,” Mr Modi tweeted on Thursday evening after the two leaders held an informal meeting at Prime Minister’s official residence here. The two sides are expected to review bilateral ties, including defence cooperation during the 19th India-Russia Bilateral Summit.Mr Modi and President Putin may also deliberate on a range of regional and global issues.The two countries are expected to sign a number of agreements. All eyes are on the possible signing of a 5 billion dollar deal to procure most advanced air defence system, the S-400 Triumf.There will be exchange of Agreements and Press Statements, official sources said. Mr Putin will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The visiting dignitary will also interact with a group of talented children and will address India-Russia Business Summit. In the recent past, India has given much emphasis on its ties with Russia.Mr Modi flew to Sochi for an informal summit with Putin in May this year.The two countries have improved ties lately under bilateral arrangements as also in fora such as BRICS.

Uddhav Thackeray Will Visit Ayodhya After Dussehra, Says Sanjay Raut
MMNN:4 October 2018

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will visit Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh after Dussehra, senior party leader Sanjay Raut said today, before criticising senior ally BJP over the Ram temple issue. Mr Thackeray will announce the date of his visit during the party's annual Dussehra rally to be held in Mumbai on October 19, the Rajya Sabha lawmaker told news agency PTI. "The Sena has always championed the cause of Ram temple in Ayodhya. The BJP, despite being in power for four years, has not yet fulfilled its commitment of building a grand Ram temple there," he said. Mr Thackeray met Ram Janmabhoomi trust chief Janmejay Sharanji Maharaj at the party's headquarters Sena Bhawan in Mumbai yesterday evening, party sources said. Sharanji Maharaj invited Mr Thackeray to visit Ayodhya and told him that the trust needed the Shiv Sena's assistance in the construction of Ram temple, they said, according to news agency PTI. Senior Sena leader Arvind Sawant pointed out that before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the NDA had given three assurances to people -- to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution, construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya and to solve the Kashmir issue. Article 370 of the Indian Constitution accords special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. "We are not doing something which we haven't spoken of earlier. When nobody took responsibility of the Babri Masjid demolition, (Shiv Sena founder) Balasaheb did so. Now four-and-a-half years have passed (since NDA came to power) but the construction of Ram temple has still not begun and the issue is pending in court," Mr Sawant said. "The Sena will stand for the issue," said the Lok Sabha lawmaker from Mumbai South constituency. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party is a constituent of the BJP-led NDA governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra. The Sena, which has resolved to go solo in the future elections, has often targeted the BJP for "delaying" the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya despite having a majority. Mr Thackeray had recently said the BJP would once again rake up the emotive issue in the run-up to the 2019 polls.

"Bhima-Koregaon case: SC refuses to interfere with arrest of 5 activists
MMNN:28 September 2018

New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere in the arrest of five noted human rights activists in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence case. A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, said, “We don’t want to interfere in the arresting of five human rights activists, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.” It also declined to appoint a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for probe into the activists’ arrest. The court extended the house arrest of five accused for four weeks.It said the accused can approach the sessions court for relief. Five activists, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha, are under arrest at their respective homes since August 29.

"The More Mud You Sling, The More Lotus Will Bloom": PM Attacks Congress
MMNN:25 September 2018

The Congress is indulging in mud-slinging against the government because it finds it easier than debating on issues like development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, in an apparent reference to allegations on the Rafale fighter deal. Addressing a rally, the Prime Minister mocked Congress, saying the 125-year-old party had been reduced to such a condition that it was "begging" with small parties for alliances. He said even if the Congress gets allies, the coalition will not be successful. PM Modi said his government believes in social justice for all and that its 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas' (cooperation of all, development of all) campaign is not just a slogan. He expressed confidence that the BJP would emerge victorious in the upcoming Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh as well as in the Lok Sabha elections next year. "They (Congress) are indulging in mud-slinging because they find it easier... They have indulged in mud-slinging earlier too. But I want to tell them, the more you throw mud at us, the more the lotus (BJP's symbol) will bloom," PM Modi said. He was apparently referring to the charges of corruption being levelled by the Congress in the Rafale fighter deal. PM Modi said the opposition party, instead of indulging in mud-slinging, should engage in a debate on issues like development which "they do not dare to". Addressing the rally where BJP chief Amit Shah and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan were also present, the prime minister said the opposition parties had formed the "Maha-gathbandhan" (grand alliance) out of fear of losing the polls. "Congress has become a burden on the country today. It is the responsibility of BJP workers in democracy to save the country from it," he said.

"Naxal Supporters Will Soon Be Neutralised": Chhattisgarh Chief Minister
MMNN:24 September 2018

RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh Monday said his government is making efforts through development projects to "soon neutralise" the ideological and financial support Maoists receive from sympathisers from Raipur to Delhi. In an interview to PTI, the longest-serving BJP chief minister outlined several development-related activities, including those being undertaken in the state's Maoist-affected Bastar region. Mr Singh also exuded confidence of a consecutive fourth victory for the BJP in the upcoming Assembly polls in the state. Polls for the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly are due this year-end. The chief minister said his government has been working on a plan to completely eliminate maoism from the state since 2003 and that the strategy is showing results. "We have brought development in most (of the naxal-affected) areas and more than that we have been able to win the people's trust. Naxals are getting discouraged and Naxals activities are going down," he said. Referring to Maoists sympathisers, Mr Singh said maoists have got a very strong support system from Raipur to Delhi. "I feel the kind of support that is given Naxals and their ideology is very strong. They make big lawyers who take up their cases. So, they are economically strong too. "There are people of their (naxals) ideology who support them, from high courts to the Supreme Court (referring to some providing legal aid to them)," the chief minister said. He, however, expressed confidence that these sympathisers will soon be "neutralised". "Like the naxals are getting weaker, they (sympathisers) will also become weak. This fight (to check naxalites and their supporters) is of Chhattisgarh and other states. "We are getting successful (in checking naxal activities) and this support system will soon be neutralised," Mr Singh said. He also lamented that some human rights supporters are opposing action against maoists. "They make noise of human rights violation. They had come to me also. I asked them whether the human rights are of naxalites alone or of the common people also. They (naxals) abduct their children, girls and destroy schools. "They are the biggest violators of human rights as they keep the whole area (of their influence) captive. Why you (sympathisers and human rights defenders) don't speak then? You only think of them (naxals) only?" Mr Singh said. His assertion assumes significance as some human rights defenders were arrested last month from different parts of the country, including one Chhattisgarh-based activist, by state police forces. The Supreme Court is hearing a case on a plea made by a historian challenging the arrests. Talking about the upcoming Assembly polls in the state, Mr Singh said the BJP is confident of its victory and all set to form government after the elections. "The experience of the last three elections tells us that we will be in a better position in this poll. BJP chief (Amit Shah) has decided a target of 65 plus seats in the state. "We all are set to achieve that. Our workers up to the booth level are doing their jobs. We are sure that we will get a big victory this time," the chief minister said. Mr Singh, who has been the chief minister of the state since December 2003, rejected suggestions that there was anti-incumbency against his administration. "Sensing, somewhat, a little mood of anti-incumbency in some areas, we started a mass contact programme. We visited different parts of the state and heard the people's grievances, if any, and provided on the spot solution to them. "So, whatever little concern or problem they had from the administration, we have already provided solutions to them. Hence, no such (anti-incumbency) feeling exist," he said. The chief minister said the BJP is approaching the people with a promise and vision to make a 'New Chhattisgarh' by 2025. "When Chhattisgarh turns 25 (in 2025), our GDP will be doubled, farmers' income will be doubled. We will ensure 100 per cent literacy in the state. COMMENT "We are creating an educational hub in the worst naxal-affected Bastar region to Sarguja, and providing all possible support to the farmers of the state," Mr Singh said, outlining plans to approach voters ahead of the Assembly polls.

Talk Of Grenade Launcher, Ending "Modi-Raj" In Letters: Cops On Activists
MMNN:31 August 2018

Facing criticism on the raids and arrests targeting rights activists, the Maharashtra police today claimed solid evidence including "thousands of documents and letters" that established the activists' links to Maoists and their role in facilitating weapons and funding. "We have thousands of letters which show how these people were involved in the underground movement, how students from Jawaharlal Nehru University were being mobilised to overthrow the elected government. All these letters just make the Maoists links clearer," said Param Bir Singh, Additional Director General, Maharashtra Police, in a press conference this evening. He read out a letter exchanged between an activist arrested not this week but earlier in June, which spoke of planning "another Rajiv Gandhi-like incident to end Modi-raj". Some of the letters, he said, spoke of planning "some big action" which would attract attention. The senior police officer said they even found a rocket launcher pamphlet in one of the seized disks. "A letter written from Delhi-based activist Rona Wilson to Maoist leader Prakash on July 30, 2017, spoke of requirement of Rs. 8 crore for grenade launchers with four lakh rounds", he said. Rona Wilson was one of the five activists arrested in June in connection with violence between Dalits and upper caste Marathas at a mass event held on December 31-January 1 at Bhima Koregaon near Pune. The letter said to be written by her has not been submitted in court. The activists who were arrested on Tuesday - Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, activists Arun Fereira, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves - are under house arrest on the Supreme Court's orders. The Maharashtra police said there was enough evidence to prove that these activists were working to destabilize the government. The arrests are based on evidence gathered after the June arrests. The activists, police sources have claimed, were monitored closely for almost one week and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was briefed about "fresh evidence" before the raids. Police said the accused had been in touch with around 35 major universities and colleges 'to recruit young students to take their movement ahead

Ashutosh says AAP used his surname to garner votes in LS polls despite his protest
MMNN:29 August 2018

New Delhi, Amid the on-going fuss over Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi Marlena dropping her surname, former party leader Ashutosh on Wednesday revealed that during 2014 Lok Sabha polls he was introduced to party workers with his surname despite his opposition.He had unsuccessfully contested from the Chandni Chowk LS seat as a AAP candidate. Taking to Micro blogging site, Twitter, Mr Ashutosh said, “In 23 years of my journalism, no one asked my caste, surname. Was known by my name. But as I was introduced to party workers as Lok Sabha candidate in 2014 my surname was promptly mentioned despite my protest. Without naming any party leader, the former AAP leader claimed that on this matter he was later told that how could he win the elections without using the surname. At the same time, he clarified that he was not a part of the anti-AAP brigade. “I am no longer with AAP, not constrained by party discipline and free to express my views. It will be wrong to attribute my words as attack on AAP. It will be gross manipulation of media freedom. Spare me. I not member of anti-AAP brigade,” he asserted. On August 15, Ashutosh had resigned from the party citing personal reasons.

Ex-Raipur Collector Joins BJP Days After Resigning From Civil Services
MMNN:28 August 2018

NEW DELHI: Former Raipur collector O P Choudhary today joined the BJP, days after resigning from the Indian Administrative Service, ending speculation. "I have assumed the membership of the BJP," said Mr Choudhary, who tweeted a photo of him with BJP president Amit Shah and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh after joining the party. Talking to PTI, the former bureaucrat said he served the people of Chhattisgarh for 13 long years and did all to help them. "I am very satisfied with my tenure in the IAS. But bureaucracy has its own limitations. I want to work more for my people and my soil that is why I decided to leave the service," Mr Choudhary, who hails from Chhattisgarh, said. An IAS officer of the 2005 batch, he resigned from the service last week. He was allotted his home state as his cadre. His resignation has been accepted by the Union Personnel Ministry, the nodal authority for the service. Mr Choudhary, who is credited for bringing transformation in education in Chhattisgarh' naxal-affected Dantewada district, is likely to contest the upcoming Assembly polls from the Kharsiya seat, a Congress bastion in Raigarh district, sources said. Umesh Patel, son of former state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, who was killed in the Jhiram valley naxal attack in Bastar's Darbha region ahead of the 2013 Assembly polls, is the incumbent Congress MLA from Kharsiya. Mr Choudhary belongs to Patel's Aghariya community, a dominant OBC community in Raigarh, and he may dent the traditional Congress vote bank if the BJP decides to field him from the seat, the sources said. The former IAS officer was given the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2011-12 for his contribution in development of naxal-affected areas through education. Elections for the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly is due this year-end

"Not Inferior": Karnataka's Response After Nirmala Sitharaman's Rebuke
MMNN:25 August 2018

A day after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman openly blasted Karnataka Minister Sa Ra Mahesh at a press conference in Kodagu, the deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka G Parameshwara tweeted his disapproval saying, "It was disappointing to see you lash out at my colleague." Mr Mahesh on Friday had asked the union defence minister to wind up the press conference at the district commissioner's office, citing lack of time. "Our ministers have stayed back in Kodagu for weeks to oversee relief operations along with the district administration. You should extend to them the same respect that they extend for the help from your end," the deputy chief minister tweeted In an oblique indication that Ms Sitharaman was not the boss because she comes from the centre, Mr Parameshwara said "state governments derive their powers from our Constitution not from the centre... We are not inferior to the centre. We are partners." Lashing out at Mr Mahesh, Ms Sitharaman yesterday said, "I am following a minute-to-minute programme, minister. If officials are important, my parivaar (family) is also important.... Central minister follows the minister in-charge here. Unbelievable." When told the conversation was getting recorded on cameras, Ms Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, shot back "Let it get recorded." The government, in a statement today, sought to clarify the sequence of events. "The Defence Minister was interacting with ex-servicemen who had been adversely affected by the floods, when the District incharge minister objected and insisted that meeting with the officials be conducted first. The Defence Miniser clarified that welfare of ex-servicemen was an essential part of the Ministry of Defence and the same was scheduled in the program. However, the district minister insisted that the central minister immediately stop the interaction and proceed to the meeting with the officials," the clarification said. Ms Sitharaman on Friday visited many relief camps in Kodagu including one of the Seva Bharti camps run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS. She has donated Rs. 1 crore from her MLPAD (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) funds for rehabilitation in Kodagu. Mr Parameshwara has also accused the centre of "step-motherly" treatment, saying the government has not released any funds for the devastating floods in Kodagu. Karnataka on Friday sought Rs. 2,000 crore interim relief from the centre for relief and rehabilitation of flood victims in Kodagu. "I appeal to you to release an interim relief of Rs. 2,000 crore to enable the state government rehabilitate flood-hit victims," said Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

In Vijay Mallya Case, India's MTV Cribs-Style Video Of Mumbai Jail For UK
MMNN:24 August 2018

A television set, personal toilet and bedding, a washing area and a courtyard to take a stroll in the sunlight are just some of the highlights of Barrack Number 12 of Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail, the prospective residence of fugitive tycoon Vijay Malaya. The Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI, which is trying to get the liquor magnate extradited from the UK, has filed a 6-8 minute-long video documentary highlighting these facilities before a London court. The video was prepared after Vijay Mallya complained about "no natural light" or fresh air in Indian jails, prompting the UK judge to ask India for a video of the prison cell where it plans to keep the fraud-accused businessman. "The court wanted us to show if Indian jails are hygienic. We have given them proof of the hygiene level and medical facilities available in jail. In fact, the barrack in which Mr Mallya would be lodged is east-facing so it has lot of sunlight too," a senior level official told NDTV. "The cell has cross ventilation with a window and bars on opposite sides. The cell also opens to a courtyard," the senior official who was associated with the filming of the clip said. According to him, Vijay Mallya would also be given access to a library to keep himself occupied. "As far is security is concerned, the jail security matches international standards - we already informed court in last few hearings," the source said. The Home Ministry had recently carried out a security audit of the jail and its findings were also submitted in the court, he said. The cells are constantly watched through CCTV cameras and have additional guards posted both inside and outside the barrack to keep a round-the-clock vigil on the inmates. "Food is served four times during the day inside an earmarked area of the barrack, where the inmates are told to gather," the official added. Barrack 12 at the Arthur Road Jail houses high-profile inmates, including prisoners who face a security risk elsewhere, ones who could pose a threat to others, or ones who can trigger law-and-order challenges. Vijay Mallya has been based in the UK since he left India in March 2016 as banks stepped up efforts to recover Rs. 9,000 crore in unpaid loans. The extradition trial opened in London on December 4 last year. The court will take up the high-profile extradition case next on September 12

Rahul Gandhi's ISIS Reference In Germany Is "Unbelievable" To BJP
MMNN:23 August 2018

Rahul Gandhi's reference in Germany to terror group ISIS while warning about the impact of excluding people from development has provoked a sharp reaction back home from the ruling BJP. "It is very dangerous in the 21st century to exclude people," the Congress president said at the Bucerius Summer School in Hamburg, accusing the ruling BJP of excluding tribals, Dalits and minorities from the development narrative. "If you don't give people a vision in the 21st century, somebody else will. And that's the real risk of excluding a large number of people from the development process," he said. He linked incidents of lynching in India to anger because of joblessness and small businesses crashing after the cash ban and GST (Goods and Services Tax). "They (the BJP government) feel tribal communities, poor farmers, lower caste people, minorities shouldn't get the same benefits as the elite," he said. There is "something much more dangerous" that has happened, he added. The prime minister had "demonetized the Indian economy and destroyed cash flows to small and medium businesses, rendering millions jobless," the Congress chief commented. After the US attacked Iraq in 2003, Rahul Gandhi said, they brought a law that stopped a particular tribe in Iraq from getting jobs in the government and in the army. "It seemed like a very innocuous decision at that time. But it resulted in a large number of people joining insurgency that fought the US and caused massive casualties," he said. "It didn't end there. That insurgence slowly entered empty spaces. It entered the empty space in Iraq and in Syria and then it connected with...a horrific idea called ISIS," Mr Gandhi said. The BJP interpreted the comments as a "threat" and said Rahul Gandhi should apologise for the "veiled justification of terrorism". Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: "I do not understand the logic behind Rahul Gandhi's threat. This is a country that has rejected the idea of ISIS and earlier the idea of al-Qaeda as well... I do not understand the meaning of this threat - if you do not do this, that will happen. In fact, he or the Congress party should not say anything that will encourage such forces." BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra also condemned the remarks. "Horrified to hear Congress President Rahul Gandhi justifying the formation of ISIS in Syria and giving out a veiled threat that if Modiji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) doesn't give vision to India then soon someone else(read ISIS) would give the vision," Mr Patra said. "Unbelievable. He's a PM aspirant," he remarked, demanding the Congress president's apology.

No One Questions PM Modi": Navjot Sidhu Defends Controversial Pak Visit
MMNN:21 August 2018

Cricketer-turned-minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, attacked by critics for his visit to Pakistan for Imran Khan's oath ceremony and a controversial hug shared with the Pakistani army chief, hit back today with a detailed rebuttal. He also responded to criticism over being seated in the front row, next to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir "president" Masood Khan, during the swearing-in ceremony on Saturday. "My seat was changed at the last minute. I was told just 5 minutes before ceremony that I was to be seated on front row. I sat wherever they made me sit," Mr Sidhu said. Asserting that his visit was "not about politics" but a warm invite from an old friend, the Punjab minister pointed out that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had travelled on the bus to Lahore and Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unscheduled trip to Lahore in 2015, on his way back from an official visit to Afghanistan. During that surprise stopver, he said, PM Modi had hugged then prime minister Nawaz Sharif. "No one is questioning PM Modi," he said. On criticism from his own boss, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, he said: "I was criticised by the Captain, by top Congress leaders. It is not necessary that if the Captain has spoken against me, I should too." You can't, he added pointedly, try to please everybody. "He who tried to, pleases nobody." Navjot Singh Sidhu also defended the embrace he shared with Pakistani army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, saying it was an "emotional" response. "The Pak Army chief said they were making efforts to open a corridor from India's Dera Baba Nanak to the historic Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. What followed was an emotional moment," said the loquacious cricketer-turned-politician. Amarinder Singh, who has not shared the best of ties with his minister, had earlier ticked off Mr Sidhu publicly, saying "I think it was wrong for him (Navjot Singh) to have shown the affection he did for the Pakistan Army chief, I am not in its favour... The fact is that the man (Mr Sidhu) should understand that our soldiers are being killed everyday. My own regiment lost one major and two jawans a few months ago," the Chief Minister had said. Mr Sidhu was the only Indian to attend the oath-taking ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (the President House) in Islamabad, on the invitation of Imran Khan, his contemporary and friend from their cricket days. His defence has not silenced criticism from the ruling BJP, which targeted him and Congress President Rahul Gandhi. "He tried to implicate India in some way. He tried to say India is not the one who talks peace and prosperity. Who gives him the license to say all that but Rahul Gandhi," railed BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra. "What are you doing, Rahul Gandhi? Have you opened a Pakistan desk in India," said Sambit Patra.

100 Doctors Leave From Maharashtra To Help Kerala Flood Victims
MMNN:20 August 2018

MUMBAI: A team of around 100 doctors and paramedical staff from Maharashtra left for Kerala today to help the flood-affected people. The doctors flew to Thiruvananthapuram in two aircraft of the Indian Air Force. Maharashtra medical education minister Girish Mahajan was on board one of the aircraft to personally monitor relief efforts in the southern state. "A team of around 100 doctors and paramedical staff has gone to Kerala. Mahajan will discuss with the Kerala government about their requirement and our doctors and paramedics will be deployed accordingly," an official said. The medical team comprises 55 doctors, including Mumbai-based JJ Hospital's dean Dr Mukund Tayde, 26 doctors from the Sassoon hospital in Pune, 14 paramedics and some members of the minister's staff, the official said. The Maharashtra government had earlier pledged to give Rs. 20 crore to Kerala, which is reeling under severe floods, the worst in 100 years. The western state had sent 30 tonne aid consisting of ready-to-eat food packets, milk powder, blankets, bed sheets, clothes, soaps and sanitary napkins to Kerala. The items were selected on the basis of a list issued by the Kerala government, an official release had said. The deadly monsoon rains have claimed 210 lives in Kerala since August 8 and displaced over 7.14 lakh people from their homes.

38 Helicopters, Hundreds Of Boats Being Used For Rescue Ops In Kerala
MMNN:18 August 2018

KOCHI/THIRVANANTHAPURAM: With 324 dead and more than three lakh people shifted to relief camps, in what is the worst floods in Kerala in a century, an unprecedented rescue and relief operation is being led by the three services along with teams of the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF. 38 helicopters are involved in air-lifting the stranded and dropping relief material; 20 aircraft are being used to ferry resources. With some areas engulfed by overflowing rivers, people can be seen wading through chest-high waters past partially submerged houses. Those stranded on rooftops can be seen waving desperately to choppers for help. "In some areas, airlifting is the only option... thousands are still marooned," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, adding he was hoping the forces could step up their support for rescuers. "I spoke to the defence minister this morning and asked for more helicopters," Mr Vijayan said in Thiruvananthapuram, adding that he planned to send 11 more helicopters to the worst-hit areas. About 7,000 people have been saved so far, but some 6,000 are still awaiting rescue, say officials. 10 columns of the Army and 10 teams of Engineering Task Force, comprising 790 personnel, have been deployed in the state. 82 teams of the Navy, 42 of the Coast Guard have also been deployed along with five Companies of paramilitary troops for rescue and relief operations. During the current monsoon, Kerala has been hit with over a third more rain than average, according to the weather department. Heavy rainfall has been forecast for most parts of the state today, and authorities said they planned to implement controlled releases of water from dams to manage flows and minimise damage. Nearly 100 dams, reservoirs and rivers have overflowed in the state this monsoon. Rains are expected to subside to "light to moderate" levels tomorrow, the weather department said.

End Of An Era": Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India's Tallest Politician, Dies
MMNN:16 August 2018

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, three-time Prime Minister of India and one of the country's most respected politicians, has died. The announcement was made by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences or AIIMS, where the 93-year-old was being treated by a team of doctors for nine weeks. Mr Vajpayee, the BJP's tallest leader, was admitted to hospital on June 11 with a urinary tract infection and chest congestion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the hospital twice in 24 hours and top politicians from across parties arrived as the former prime minister's health worsened on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems. Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today," the statement by AIIMS said. Atal Bihari Vajpayee died at 5.05 pm. "He lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades," PM Modi tweeted soon after, describing his death the end of an era. A meeting of the Union Cabinet has been convened to mourn the former prime minister. Congress president Rahul Gandhi said India had lost a "great son" "loved and respected by millions". The BJP patriarch had announced his retirement from electoral politics at a public meeting in Mumbai back in 2005. It wasn't a surprise to many. He had not been keeping well. Since 2009, the veteran politician had largely been confined to his home on Krishna Menon Marg in the heart of Delhi, away from public life due to his failing health. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was considered the gold standard of leadership in the BJP and had admirers even among rival parties. His birthday -- December 25 -- is celebrated as Good Governance Day. Since morning, BJP chief Amit Shah and Union ministers Rajnath Singh, JP Nadda and Venkaiah Naidu and several other leaders had been visiting the hospital. At the BJP headquarters in Delhi, decorations put up for Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday were taken down as a somber note took over. LK Advani, one of Mr Vajpayee's closest colleagues and his deputy in the NDA government from 1998 to 2004, was among the visitors. 52 COMMENTS "To me, Atalji was more than a senior colleague- in fact he was my closest friend for over 65 year," Mr Advani later said in a cabine

Atal Bihari Vajpayee On Life Support, PM Modi Visits Him Again
MMNN:16 August 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah have rushed back to the bedside of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is on life support system at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi. The Prime Minister had visited the BJP patriarch last evening, Mr Shah earlier this morning. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi too visited Mr Vajpayee in the afternoon. The hospital, in a statement, said Mr Vajpayee's condition "continues to remain the same. He is critical and on life support systems". Mr Vajpayee, a three-time Prime Minister, was admitted to the premier hospital with kidney tract infection and chest congestion on June 11. The 93-year-old -- who retired from public life after his health turned frail -- has been under the supervision of Dr Randeep Guleria, the Director of AIIMS. For over three decades, Dr Guleria, a pulmonologist, has served as personal physician to Mr Vajpayee. Doctors from various departments, including nephrology, gastroenterology and cardiology are also on the team taking care of the former Prime Minister, sources said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Mr Vajpayee last evening - his fourth visit since the veteran BJP leader was admitted at AIIMS. Others on the visitors' list included Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, BJP lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi and Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani. Since morning today, BJP chief Amit Shah and Union ministers Rajnath Singh, JP Nadda and Venkaiah Naidu and several other leaders have visited Mr Vajpayee. Mr Shah also made a second visit this afternoon. "Doctors are treating him. He is critical. And doctors are doing their best to restore his health," Nadda told reporters. LK Advani, one of Mr Vajpayee's closest colleagues and his home minister in the NDA government from 1998 to 2004, was among the visitors. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was a minister in Mr Vajpayee's government, is expected to fly to Delhi later today to visit him. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia paid a visit to Mr Vajpayee this afternoon. Personally, I have been fortunate to receive much affection and advice from Atal-ji and an opportunity to understand public life... He was like a guardian to me. I wish him speedy recovery," tweeted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had headed governments thrice -- for 13 days in 1996, 13 months in 1998 and served a five-year term from 1999. His was the first non-Congress government to last for a full term in office. An outstanding parliamentarian, master orator, poet and liberal, Mr Vajpayee is hugely respected across party lines.

Simultaneous Polls Not Possible Now, Says Election Panel Amid BJP Push
MMNN:14 August 2018

Simultaneous elections are not possible without a legal framework as any extension or curtailment of the term of assemblies will require a constitutional amendment, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said today, a day after the BJP made a fresh push to hold Lok Sabha and assembly elections together. Pointing at the need for a legal framework, Mr Rawat ruled out holding simultaneous elections any time soon. "If the term of some state assemblies needs to be curtailed or extended, then a constitutional amendment will be required... Logistics arrangements with regard to 100 per cent availability of VVPATs (voter-verifiable paper trail machines) will be a constraint," the Chief Election Commissioner told reporters. "On the issue of 'one nation one poll', the Election Commission had given inputs and suggestions in 2015 itself... Additional police force, polling personnel would also be needed," Mr Rawat said. BJP President Amit Shah wrote to the Law Commission on Monday, supporting holding Lok Sabha and assembly elections simultaneously. In his eight-page letter, the BJP chief said the opposition to simultaneous elections seems to be politically motivated. Opposition parties have raised concern over the proposal, saying simultaneous elections would dilute India's federal structure. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a vocal supporter of simultaneous polls. The EC is in the process of procuring new electronic voting machines (EVMs) and VVPATs ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The EVMs -- 13.95 lakh ballot units and 9.3 lakh control units -- will be delivered by September 30; 16.15 lakh VVPATs will be delivered before November-end, Mr Rawat had earlier said. More VVPATs are being procured as backup in case these machines malfunction and need to be replaced during elections. If simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies are held in 2019, the EC will need some 24 lakh EVMs, double the number needed to hold only the parliamentary elections. During their discussion with the Law Commission on May 16, EC officials said they would need Rs. 4,500 crore to buy 12 lakh more EVMs and an equal number VVPAT machines. That estimate was based on current prices

Super Emergency," Says Trinamool As Team Is Stopped At Airport In Assam
MMNN:13 August 2018

Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid said he was shot at this afternoon at the Constitution Club near parliament, an area that has turned into a high-security fortress ahead of the Independence Day. The attacker managed to escape, said Mr Khalid, who is unhurt. Mr Khalid told NDTV that a man came from behind, punched him and pushed him to the ground. "I was coming back from a tea-stall and was at the gate of the Constitution Club when I was attacked. He had a pistol. I kept holding his hand to stop him from firing. He ran to the other side and fired. My friends overpowered him but he escaped," he said. In June, Umar Khalid had filed a complaint with the police, saying he had received death threats from gangster Ravi Pujari. This afternoon, the student leader had gone to the Constitution Club to speak on mob lynchings at an event -- "Khauff Se Azaadi", held by an organisation named 'United Against Hate' -- when he was attacked. It was ironic, he said, that he was attacked in the national capital when he was supposed to talk on lynchings. "I don't know who they were. The message is clear that you should live in fear, that you can be killed anytime if you speak against the government. Gauri Lankesh, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare were killed. Dr Kafil Khan's brother was attacked. We are raising our voice, what's wrong with that," he told NDTV and said he will file a complaint. The police are trying to verfiy the sequence of events. "It is being verified. He says he was attacked. Somebody pounced on Umar Khalid and pushed, thereafter he tried to fire at Khalid. But the person immediately couldn't fire. People started chasing him thereafter according to Khalid the attacker fired in the air," said senior police officer Madhur Verma. After the attack, fellow JNU student and activist Shehla Rashid said she was shocked and worried. "Shocking and highly condemnable. I spoke to Umar. He's okay, but we should be very very worried about his safety," she tweeted. The Congress has also condemned the attack and said "there is no place for violence in a democratic society". Dalit leader and Independent lawmaker from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani, who also alleged in June that he received death threats from Pujari, tweeted: Mr Khalid, who was one of the students accused of sedition along with Kanhaiya Kumar, had received another death threat two years ago. It happened around the time the police was looking for him in connection with the sedition case for allegedly organising an event against the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Intruder Rams Farooq Abdullah's Home With Car, Runs Inside; Shot Dead
MMNN:4 August 2018

A man was shot dead today after he forcibly drove into the Jammu home of former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and son Omar, walked in and vandalised the house. The two National Conference leaders, who have the highest Z-plus category security, were not at home when the incident took place. One security official was injured in the scuffle with the man, said to be in his mid-twenties. The Jammu police found an Aadhaar card on his person that identified him as Murad Ali Shah of the border district of Poonch. He was not carrying any weapon. It was only a case of forced entry into a VIP area and he smashed the lobby area and attacked the CRPF also," SD Jamwal, Jammu's top police officer said. Mr Jamwal did not elaborate on the circumstances that led the CRPF personnel to kill the man. Jammu police officer Vivek Gupta said the man had a scuffle with the duty officer before he entered the house, injuring the security officer. The man's father later lashed out at security forces for his son's death. "I want to know why was he killed. Where were the security guards when he breached the gate? Why didn't they arrest him?" the father of the intruder said. Murad Ali Shah's father runs a gun shop at Bantalab in Jammu Photographs of the house show a broken teapoy, parts of a broken wooden door and flowers strewn on the floor of the home in Bhatindi in the outskirts of Jammu. CRPF personnel shot him dead near the stairs that lead to the bedroom, Press Trust India quoted police as saying. Omar Abdullah said initial reports suggest the intruder was able to gain entry through the front door and in to the upper lobby of the house. SP Vaid, the state's top police officer said a case has been registered and an enquiry is being conducted into the breach of security. "He was warned but he didn't listen to the warning of CRPF security guard posted in the gate," the Central Reserve Police Force said in a statement. Farooq Abdullah, a sitting Lok Sabha member from Srinagar, is in New Delhi for the ongoing parliament session.

"Shameful": Nitish Kumar Breaks Silence On Bihar Shelter Home Rapes
MMNN:3 August 2018

Under opposition attack on a government-run shelter home in Bihar where over 30 girls were raped and tortured, Nitish Kumar today broke his silence and described the case as "shameful", promising strict, uncompromising action. "What has happened has shamed us. It is a sin. Such cases should not happen again and there should be an institutional mechanism. Those responsible for this should be taught a lesson," the Bihar Chief Minister said at the launch of a government welfare scheme for girls. "We have always said the guilty will not be spared, and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi has said on the floor of the assembly that we would like the CBI probe to be monitored by the High Court," he said. Nitish Kumar has been repeatedly targeted by the opposition, mainly RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who has accused him of trying to shield the accused because of their links with the ruling Janata Dal United. At the home in Muzaffarpur, girls -- one as as young as seven -- were drugged, raped, forced to sleep naked and scalded with boiling water by its politically connected owner and its staff, a police charge-sheet has revealed. Ten people, including owner Brajesh Thakur, have been charged in the document that detailed a network of police, politicians, administration and criminals exploiting and torturing the girls. Brajesh Thakur, seen grinning to the cameras while being arrested, runs several non-profits. There are also allegations that Bihar's Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma's husband visited the shelter home. The wife of an official arrested in the case has claimed that the minister's husband was a frequent visitor. Tejashwi Yadav seized the allegations to hit out at the Chief Minister. "Against heinous institutional mass rape in Muzaffarpur... sponsored and protected by Nitish Kumar government, we will stage a dharna on Saturday," tweeted Yadav Junior, who has taken over his party's RJD leadership in the absence of jailed father Lalu Yadav. A team of Bihar's top body to protect child rights had sent a scathing report about conditions in the home last year but the district administration and social welfare department allegedly sat on the report.

"Super Emergency," Says Trinamool As Team Is Stopped At Airport In Assam
MMNN:2 August 2018

Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress lawmakers have been stopped at the airport in Assam's Silchar, where they were planning to campaign against a draft citizens' list that has left out four million people from the state. The eight-member team of legislators and parliamentarians has not budged from the arrival lounge of the Silchar airport for hours. A large police presence at the airport greeted the delegation as it landed around 1 pm. When the lawmakers tried to exit the airport, they were stopped by a district official who said they "cannot go any further" and handed them a piece of paper explaining that large gatherings were banned in the district from last night. "Nothing in this paper tells me why I can't go into town," said Rajya Sabha member Sukhendu Shekhar Roy, who was leading the delegation. The argument soon escalated and Mr Roy was physically pushed. "Our members were roughed up. Sukhendu Shekhar Roy has a pacemaker, he was also roughed up," said outraged Trinamool leader Derek O'Brien in Delhi. Women MPs were also hurt, he said, adding: "This is a super-emergency. What is going on?" Officials at the Silchar airport said restrictions had been imposed in the district and large gatherings had been banned. The Trinamool team was to address locals and speak to residents in Silchar. A large number of Trinamool supporters gathered outside the airport and shouted slogans. Nobody was allowed to enter or leave the airport. Mamata Banerjee and her party leaders have aggressively campaigned against the citizens' list or National Register of Citizens for Assam, which was meant to be an exercise in identifying illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. The West Bengal Chief Minister says lakhs of people have been left out of the list over electoral politics and has warned of "civil war and bloodbath". The BJP, which rules Assam, has accused Ms Banerjee of fanning flames which are dormant, and trying to incite unrest.

"Arrest Me": Amit Shah's Dare To Mamata Banerjee Over Kolkata Rally
MMNN:1 August 2018

BJP chief Amit Shah's rally in Kolkata this month has come under a cloud again, with the Delhi unit of the party accusing the Bengal police of refusing permission. The BJP chief, who has handed his party a target of 50 per cent Lok Sabha seats in Bengal, plans to visit Kolkata on August 11. While the party is making plans to hold a protest outside the city police headquarters, Amit Shah said, "I am going. Let them arrest me if they want". Sources in the party's state unit, however, said the police have not refused permission, they are yet to respond. Four years ago, Kolkata's civic body had refused permission for a rally of Amit Shah. The rally was finally held after t he BJP got a go ahead from the Calcutta High Court. The face -off had fuelled the animosity between the BJP and Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress. Bengal is one of the few non-BJP, non-Congress states and ranks high on the target list of Mr Shah along with Kerala. As of now, the BJP has minimal presence in the assembly with just three seats. In 2014, the party won just two Lok Sabha seats from the state. But over the last two years, the BJP has managed to dislodge the Left and become the main opposition party in the state.

Priest Who Allegedly Offered Deal To Scrap Rape Case Asked To Step Down
MMNN:30 July 2018

After the family of a Kerala-based nun alleged that a priest made a phone call offering "land, building and safety" if she withdrew her rape complaint against a Bishop, the priest has been asked to step down. The Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) Congregation termed it as an unfortunate incident and clarified that they have nothing to do with the priest's alleged offer of land to nuns. "Father James has been asked to step down. An enquiry has been initiated," it said. The audio of the alleged phone call to a nun who has stood by the rape survivor is being investigated by the police. A 46-year-old nun has alleged that Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mullackal sexually abused her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. She went to the police only after the Bishop filed a complaint against her and five others, accusing them of threatening and blackmailing him. The Bishop, who has been booked for rape by Kerala police, has claimed innocence and said he is a victim of vendetta for taking disciplinary action against the nun. In the leaked phone call, one priest after introducing himself to the 30-year-old nun says: "We can buy some land, build a convent and shift you all there safely. This won't happen tomorrow but everything has a time. We can think about it." He also speaks about threats if the woman doesn't withdraw her complaint. "If you all are adamant on your stand, this won't happen. If you withdraw your complaint and go to one of your convents in Odisha, Andhra, threats may arise. But if you move independently and go under some other Bishop, there won't be any threats. It will be good if you think about this and if you decide to do this positively, I will help you in any way possible. I can't do everything, but will help in whatever I can do. In the sense that we can buy some land, build a house, shift them. They will support. I suggested this because they have said they will support," he says. The nun asks who will "support" the family, the Jalandhar Diocese? He answers with a "yes". "If we have to buy 10 acres of land and build a decent building for everyone, it's not easy. So they will help, but their condition is that this case must be withdrawn," he explains. The nun refuses the offer and tells him they won't withdraw any case. "We must get justice. We don't desire to lose any life, or sell our dignity," she says. The priest, who allegedly acted as a mediator, tries to persuade her and says, "I've understood the situation. I respect your feeling. I was just giving my suggestion. So they are actually thinking about buying some land for this in Erumely and Ranni area. So in that case, you can stay in that compound itself." NDTV has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of the leaked audio. "We have got the audio. We have taken the statement of the nun. We will file a case today after verifying the authenticity of the audio and establishing the identity of the priest," top police sources told NDTV. Speaking to NDTV, the family of the nun said, "We have been waiting for justice from the church. When the church failed to offer any help, we were forced to go to the police. We are not worried about the lives of our children. When someone becomes a nun or priest, they are willing to lay down everything for Christ. But there are many Judas' in the church, ready to betray Christ and people." National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma, who recently met the nun, had told NDTV, "The nun claims that the church has not been taking any action despite her complaints because the Bishop is quite influential in Punjab and Kerala.

Make Pankaja Munde CM For An Hour": Shiv Sena Pokes BJP On Quota Stir
MMNN:28 July 2018

Taking a dig at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Shiv Sena today said that his cabinet colleague Pankaja Munde should be made the chief minister for at least an hour to clear the Maratha reservation file. Ms Munde, who is the rural development minister, in a veiled swipe at Mr Fadnavis over the Maratha reservation issue, had recently said that she would not have delayed the decision if she was in-charge. "Had the file of Maratha reservation been on my table, I would not have delayed it even for a moment. This issue is being delayed as it is pending in the high court," Ms Munde had said while speaking to Maratha protesters at Parli in Beed district. In an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Shiv Sena said Ms Munde's statement, in other words, means the government was only dilly-dallying on the issue. "If Pankaja Munde can clear the file without any problems, she should be made the chief minister with the consent of everybody for at least for an hour, so that a decision is taken on the Maratha reservation file," it said. "Pankaja Munde's stand needs to be understood. There is no reason to believe that she intends to play politics over the issue. If she can request the prime minister to intervene, why can't Fadnavis go to Delhi and do that as well?" it asked. The party taunted PM Narendra Modi saying he is usually not in Delhi and has no interest left in the country's affairs. Even if the chief minister goes to Delhi to seek the Centre's help in resolving the Maratha issue, it is difficult to find the PM as he is mostly abroad, it said. The Sena said that crushing the protests is the policy of the government. "The Patel quota agitation in Gujarat was crushed. Hardik Patel was its face and hence it was easy for the government to stamp out the protest. Serious charges like sedition were slapped against Hardik and he was sent to jail," it said. "The government might have used the same method to crush the Maratha agitation in Maharashtra. However, it faces a difficult situation here as the entire Maratha community is leading the protest," the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said. The Sena, said Mr Fadnavis alone could not be blamed for the deteriorating law and order situation on the issue as tall promises made before the polls later create problems. "Promises (of reservation) made to the Dhangar and Maratha communities should be fulfilled now or else the file should be sent to Pankaja Munde for clearance so that the issue gets resolved," it said. Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil says Mr Fadnavis keeps working till 3 am, the Sena said in the editorial. "This must be true. The CM must have been spending sleepless nights due to the Maratha agitation and if he shuts his eyes, Pankaja might clear the file. Therefore, the CM should now find that file and fulfil the demand of the Maratha community," the Sena said. Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 per cent of the state's population, have been demanding 16 per cent reservation. The community had earlier taken out silent marches across the state to highlight their demands, prominent among them being that of reservation. The stir, however, turned violent earlier this week with the protesters pelting stones, torching vehicles, blocking roads and stopping train services in several parts of the state. The violence began after a 27-year-old protester from Aurangabad jumped to his death in Godavari river on July 23.

West Bengal To "Bangla": State Approves Name Change, Over To Centre Now
MMNN:26 July 2018

KOLKATA: West Bengal is a step closer to becoming "Bangla", with all parties in the state approving the name-change in the assembly today. The new name needs the centre's clearance. It will be "Bangla" in all languages, according to a leader of the state's ruling Trinamool Congress. On this at least, the ruling party concurs with its rival Left, which had suggested the name in 1999. Two years ago, a similar move had been stalled after the Mamata Banerjee government cleared a new name with three versions -- Bangla in Bengali, Bangaal in Hindi and Bengal in English. The centre suggested one uniform name. Mamata Banerjee has been angling for a new name for her state for some time now. One of her reasons is that West Bengal comes last in state lists, which means the Chief Minister gets to speak last in meetings, or often not at all It may mean a bump up for the chief minister but the name "Bangla" also has a downside. Many Bengalis find it difficult to overlook the other meaning of the word; Bangla is a term used for local unbranded liquor. The state is currently called "Paschim Banga" or "Paschim Bangla" in Bengali. In 2011, the previous Left government led by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had cleared the renaming of the state to "Paschimbanga". It was never cleared. Independence and partition in 1947 led to the division of the province of Bengal into West Bengal, which stayed in India, and East Bengal, which is now part of Bangladesh

Mumbai Bandh Called Off By Maratha Groups After Protests
MMNN:25 July 2018

MUMBAI: After day-long violence in pockets of Maharashtra, a Maratha group enforcing a bandh to press its demand for reservation in jobs and education, called off the strike in Mumbai city. Protests and strikes, however, are in progress in areas surrounding the financial capital. Through the day, protesters blocked arterial roads, including the Mumbai-Pune highway and the Eastern Expressway, and forced shops to shut. Local train routes were blocked in Jogeshwari and near Thane. Violence was witnessed in parts of the state on Tuesday after a protester committed suicide by jumping into a river in Aurangabad. Here are the top 10 updates on the Maratha protests: The Maratha Kranti Morcha, which is spearheading the agitation, had called for the shutdown in Mumbai, the financial heart of the country. Another group, the Sakal Maratha Samaj, had called for a bandh today in Navi Mumbai and Panvel. The protests in Navi Mumbai, roughly 20km off Mumbai, are on. In Kalamboli, one of the key areas of Navi Mumbai, the police had to use batons and teargas to control protesters, who were squatting on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Stones were thrown at two buses in Navi Mumbai. The protesters also forced shops to close in many areas. In Raigadh district's Kamothe, protesters took to the streets, shutting down shops and holding a bike rally. This morning, protesters blocked Mumbai-bound traffic on Eastern Expressway, one of the busiest and most important roads that is the north-south artery of the city.The Sion Panvel highway was also completely blocked. Jagannath Sonavne, a third protester who attempted suicide by consuming poison yesterday in Aurangabad's Deogaon Rangari, died in a hospital today. Posters of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were torn in parts of Thane, near Mumbai. Besides the reservation issue, the Maratha Kranti Morcha is upset with the Chief Minister over his allegation that some members of the community were planning violence during his visit to a temple at Pandharpur town in Solapur district. The peaceful protests by the Marathas suddenly turned violent on Tuesday after the death of a 28-year-old man, Kakasaheb Dattatreya Shinde, who committed suicide by jumping into the Godavari River on Monday. A second protester made a suicide attempt by jumping off a bridge in Aurangabad and was seriously injured. One constable died and nine other policemen were injured in stone-throwing as protesters clashed with the police and torched vehicles on Tuesday. Shiv Sena lawmaker Chandrakant Khaire was manhandled by protesters in Aurangabad when he went to attend the last rites of the farmer. Quotas for Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 per cent of the state's population, has been a hugely contentious issue.

Mehul Choksi Moves To Antigua, Gets Local Passport, Say Officials
MMNN:24 July 2018

NEW DELHI: Diamond trader Mehul Choksi, wanted for a Rs. 11,000 crore bank fraud along with his nephew Nirav Modi, has moved to Antigua and got a local passport, reported news agency Press Trust of India, quoting sources. The two men and their families skipped the country earlier this year. Last month, Centre's probe agency Enforcement Directorate told a Mumbai court that both should be declared as "fugitive economic offenders" and their assets worth Rs. 3,500 crores confiscated. Mehul Choksi has refused to return to India, saying he would be killed by mobs if he was brought back. His appeal for a cancellation of the non-bailable warrants against him, read: "There have been various cases of mob lynching in India... Even the applicant faces a similar threat as there are several persons who have grievances and anger against him (Mehul Choksi)." The application said Mehul Choksi is concerned that his former employees and debtors may harm him, and he would not be safe in jail from other inmates either

We Are MLA's Men," Claimed Alwar Mob Attackers: Victim's Friend To Cops
MMNN:23 July 2018

ALWAR: It took over three hours for the police in Rajasthan to take a mob attack victim to a hospital just 20 minutes away. Rakbar Khan, 28, bled to death as policemen, before taking him to hospital, arranged a shelter for his cows and paused for tea and snacks. They even gave the wounded man a wash, claiming he was "too muddy". Rakbar Khan and his friend Aslam were attacked at a village in Alwar by cow vigilantes who saw them walking with cows and suspected they were smuggling the animals. The Home Ministry today sought a report from the Rajasthan government over his death. The police reached the spot around 1 am, late on Friday night. It was around 4 am on Saturday when they reached hospital with Rakbar, who was declared dead. The Rajasthan police has asked a top-level panel to investigate the outrageous delay in taking Rakbar to hospital. "Rakbar had severe injuries due to the beating. He died of internal bleeding," a doctor said. A key witness who will be examined in the case, Rakbar's friend Aslam, gave different versions of the story on Saturday and on Sunday. Speaking to NDTV on Saturday, Aslam said: "I could not tell who the attackers were." He said he ran away when he heard the sound of firing. Exactly 48 hours later on Sunday evening, he said in a written statement to the police - known as a parcha bayaan - that he had heard people in the mob saying "you can't do anything to us, we are the MLA's men". The mob killing by cow vigilantes, the latest in a series of such attacks, has spurred a political row in the state where elections will be held later this year. The Congress targeted the state's ruling BJP. Congress president Rahul Gandhi commented that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "brutal new India". Home Minister Rajnath Singh refused to comment on the mob attack. His ministry has ordered a report on what happened.

You May Call Me Pappu, I Don't Hate You": Rahul Gandhi Hug Startles PM
MMNN:20 July 2018

You may call me Pappu, but I don't hate you," Rahul Gandhi said, looking directly at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then walking across to embrace him. It may not have been an "earthquake" but the Congress president's jaw-dropping gesture during the no-confidence motion debate in parliament came close to it, felt many lawmakers. The Congress president had been ridiculed for saying in a past session that if he was allowed to speak in the house, there would be an "earthquake". Earlier, in his sharpest attack on the Prime Minister on subjects ranging from the Rafale deal to GST (Goods and Services Tax), demonetisation and foreign policy, Rahul Gandhi had said repeatedly: "You can't look me in the eye." The PM, sitting directly across, smiled. Then came the twist. "You can abuse me, you can call me Pappu, but I don't have a speck of hatred against you. I will take out this hatred out of you and turn it into love. I am the Congress," said Mr Gandhi. He quickly left his seat and walked over to the prime minister, who was seen making a questioning gesture with his hand. The PM looked stumped as Mr Gandhi leaned in and enveloped the prime minister in a bear hug. As the Congress chief started walking away, the PM recovered and grabbed his sleeve. He was seen saying something into Mr Gandhi's ear and patting him on his back. Back in his seat, the 47-year-old was seen winking at fellow Congress MPs. "Score" -- many Congress lawmakers appeared to say without words. Sonia Gandhi told NDTV she was "very happy" with son Rahul's performance and "I am happy the media is changing too." Lawmakers across the house cheered and thumped their desks wildly. Opposition members gave Mr Gandhi a standing ovation. Congress leaders like Shashi Tharoor used the hashtag #BhukampAaGaya. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who was seen grinning throughout the Rahul Gandhi-PM Modi Instagram moment, said "such conduct is against the rules of the house." Along with some Congress MPs, even ruling party members were seen on their feet. One exception was minister Harsimrat Kaur of the Akali Dal, who said: "This is a house, not for Munnabhai's pappi jhappi." The ruling BJP was a tad more sporting as it tweeted: "We cannot thank you enough for the entertainment!

Amit Shah Dials Uddhav Thackeray, Sena To Vote With Government Tomorrow
MMNN:19 July 2018

NEW DELHI: The BJP's crotchety ally Shiv Sena decided to back the government in tomorrow's no-confidence motion after party chief Amit Shah dialed Uddhav Thackeray this morning. The conversation was part of the hectic consultations that have been on since morning on both sides of the political divide. The NDA's numbers ensure a comfortable outcome for the government. The big question is the decision of fence-sitters in view of next year's general elections. Sources in Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK and Naveen Patnaik's BJD indicated that the parties will abstain from voting, which will help the government by lowering the halfway mark. Telangana Rashtra Samithi is also expected to abstain. Here are the top 10 updates in this big story: The NDA has 312 members (without the Speaker) in the 533-member house. The majority mark, however, stands at 266 as 10 seats are vacant. The Congress and the other parties that support the no-trust motion have 172 seats. The AIADMK, Naveen Patnaik's BJD and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi together command 68 seats. Indicating that his party will not support the no-trust vote, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami said: "The TDP has moved this motion to highlight issues in Andhra Pradesh. No state supported Tamil Nadu when we stalled proceedings in parliament over Cauvery". Sources said this morning, BJP chief Amit Shah spoke to the party's cantankerous ally Shiv Sena, after its leader Sanjay Raut said Uddhav Thackeray will decide which way their 18 lawmakers will vote. Uddhav Thackeray is expected to convey his decision to his partymen in the evening. During the budget session, when Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party brought the no-trust motion against the government, Sena announced that it would abstain from voting. The opposition has made it clear the discussion and not the voting is their objective in this no trust motion. Asked about the matter, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, however, told NDTV, "Who says we don't have the numbers". The debate in Loka Sabha will be held from 11 am on Friday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be present in house, will respond to it. Yesterday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the opposition may have no confidence on PM Modi's government, "but I want to make it absolutely clear that the people of the country have full confidence". The No Confidence motion -- an extension of Andhra Pradesh's demand for special status that would involve extensive financial benefits for the state - was moved yesterday. By evening, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the matter will be taken up on Friday, stunning many opposition leaders who didn't expect it to come up before next week. The BJP, which was accused of stalling the no-trust move last time, is seen as changing its approach. Sources said it was because the party felt that once the no-trust vote is debated and defeated, the opposition would not have any excuse to disrupt proceedings in parliament.

Everyone Can Go": Top Court On Entry Of Women In Sabarimala Temple
MMNN:18 July 2018

NEW DELHI: The right of a woman to pray is a constitutional right and does not depend on laws, the Supreme Court said today while hearing a bunch of petitions that challenge the traditional ban on the entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age in the famous Sabarimala temple. "Every woman is also the creation of God and why should there be discrimination against them in employment or worship," said Justice DY Chandrachud, who was part of the five-judge constitutional bench that was hearing the case. In October last year, the top court referred the issue to a Constitution bench, framing five "significant" questions. The chief is these is whether the traditional ban amounts to discrimination against women and violates their fundamental rights under the Constitution. The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, also has Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, and Indu Malhotra. Today, state minister K Surendran said women should be allowed to offer prayers at the Sabarimala Temple, voicing the longstanding stance of the state's ruling CPM.

Activist Swami Agnivesh Attacked Allegedly By BJP Workers In Jharkhand
MMNN:17 July 2018

JHARKHAND: Social Activist Swami Agnivesh was punched, kicked and pushed to the ground allegedly by BJP Yuva Morcha workers in Jharkhand today. The alleged BJP workers had shown black flags and raised slogans against him. The activist had offered a dialogue, but got abuses in return. Chief Minister Raghubar Das has asked the police to thoroughly investigate the incident. Swami Agnivesh, was attending an event in Pakur, about 365 km from state capital Ranchi. He was flanked by tribals who were holding bows and arrows. He was attacked by a mob as soon as he came out of his hotel. The alleged BJP workers were chanting "Jai Sri Ram" as they thrashed the 80-year-old activist. "I am against any sort of violence. I am known as a peace-loving person. I don't know why I was attacked," Swami Agnivesh told NDTV. The BJP has condemned the attack, but in the same line added that we shouldn't see the attack in isolation and we have to consider Swami Agnivesh's "track record". "There is no place for violence in democracy. But Swami Agnivesh should have organised for his security," P Shahdeo, Jharkhand BJP spokesperson, said. Swami Agnivesh said he had informed the administration about his arrival. But there were no policemen around even after the protesters had gathered outside his hotel. Local reporters said BJP youth wing's workers were protesting his visit, but he was completely taken aback when he was attacked, he said. "I had offered to hold a dialogue with them. But nobody came to speak to me. I was going to a sammelan (seminar) with my tribal friends when they launched an attack. They were carrying black flags and without any warning pounced on me. They punched, kicked and dragged me on the ground. They also used cuss words," Swami Agnivesh told The activist likened the attack to mob lynchings that have been reported in several states in the past one year. In all the cases, the blood-hungry mobs had consumed rumours on social media, especially WhatsApp, about cow smuggling and presence of child kidnappers in their area. "I pleaded with them with folded hands... But they didn't think it was necessary to tell me why they were raining blows on me. They just went on and on," Swami Agnivesh said. Swami Agnivesh was rushed to hospital where doctors are running tests on him. He says that the stone that missed his head landed on his ribs and he is in immense pain. The attack appears to be pre-meditated, police said. They have detained 20 men and are sifting though the CCTV footage before making further arrests.

BJP Legislator's Wife Accuses Husband Of Having Affair With College Teen
MMNN:13 July 2018

JAMMU: A BJP legislator's wife today publicly accused her husband of having an extra-marital affair with a college student and marrying her, in a fresh twist to a case that has seen the MLA appear before the disciplinary committee of the party. Gagan Bhagat, BJP legislator from R S Pura constituency in Jammu district, has been accused by his wife Monika Sharma that he is living with the student after marrying her. The student's father, an ex-servicemen, has also accused Gagan Bhagat of abducting his daughter from a college in Punjab. The student and the legislator have denied the charges, calling them an attempt to defame him. Today, Ms Sharma negated Gagan Bhagat's claim he was paying her Rs. 1 lakh a month and said "not a single penny was given by him despite signing a maintenance form before a judge in April". She made an appeal to the BJP central leadership and also Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying a "daughter of your own family is seeking justice, not only for myself and my children but also for that girl who had just turned 19". Ms Sharma said she and the BJP MLA are married for 13 years. Her accusations come a day after Bhagat appeared before the disciplinary committee of the BJP in Jammu to clarify his position. Gagan Bhagat and Monika Sharma appeared before the committee separately amid protests led by the student's grandfather. The legislator refuted the allegations and claimed he and his wife were in the process of getting divorced. His wife, however, countered Gagan Bhagat's stand and told reporters that though they were living separately for nearly 10 months, no suit has been filed before any court for divorce. She was accompanied by their 12-year-old son and four-year-old daughter. Monika Sharma, also the state secretary of BJP's women wing, said she remained quiet for nearly one year in the interest of her family and keeping in mind the future of their children. "I did not have evidence to prove it (then), but now I have the proof and I have presented it before the committee yesterday," she said. "I have evidence they are married," Ms Sharma said, showing an incomplete marriage agreement reportedly signed by Gagan Bhagat and the student. She also showed a purported Aadhaar card of the student, which showed her as Gagan Bhagat's wife and her address on the document as Gandhi Nagar in Jammu. She said she managed to get the marriage certificate before the notary signed it and has cross-checked the Aadhaar card for forgery. "My mother-in-law visited the residence of the girl to inform her family about her affair with the MLA. On one occasion, she escaped on seeing me, leaving behind her phone. The selfies taken from the phone leave no doubt that they had an extra-marital affair and that they were married." During a visit to Ludhiana in November, she said her son, who was accompanying his father, lived with the student who had joined them there. "If they want to live together, let them admit it openly," she said. "My appeal to my party is that if a person holding such a position indulges in these things what will happen to the society." She said Gagan Bhagat visited her a few days ago and asked her not to appear before the BJP disciplinary committee. "Every time I have asked him to leave the girl he told me she might file a case against him if he dumps her," she said. COMMENT Asked whether she faces any threat, she said a "threat perception is there. My family is saying that they heard you will be killed, or meet an accident or roughed up."

In Outreach To Farmers In Punjab, PM Modi Talks Of Support Price Hike
MMNN:11 July 2018

MUKTSAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reached out to farmers with an address to a "thanksgiving" rally in Punjab, once known for its "Green Revolution". At the rally attended by thousands, he said he salutes the "hard working farmers from all over the country". "The farmer should have been the first to be uplifted. But for decades, you were ignored by the party that ruled India since Independence," he said, taking a dig at the Congress, which wrenched the state from its ruling Akali-BJP combine in last year's assembly elections. The "thanksgiving rally" in Muktsar -- 280 km from state capital Chandigarh -- was organised by the BJP and ally Akali Dal to mark the recent hike in minimum support price for 14 summer crops. The hike was the biggest during the four years of NDA rule, which will cost the government nearly Rs. 15,000 crore in public funds. "Our farmer brothers can now breathe easy... they can earn better... they can sleep peacefully... because of the MSP increase," the Prime Minister said. But this, he said, will give sleepless nights to the Congress. "They never thought we could make this happen. No one in the Congress is daring to come out and speak, because they know that did nothing for 60 years". The hike in support prices -- one of the pre-election promises of the BJP -- comes on the heels of massive farmer protests across the country. They also had the support of the opposition, which highlights farmers' suicides to accuse the government of being insensitive to their needs. Ridiculing what the government has called "a historic decision" Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has compared the MSP hike to applying band-aid to a "massive haemorrhage"

Rajinikanth's Wife Latha To Face Trial For Fraud, Says Supreme Court
MMNN:10 July 2018

CHENNAI: Actor-politician Rajinikanth's wife Latha Rajinikanth will have to face trial in a fraud case after she failed to pay dues to the tune of Rs. 6.20 crore to advertising firm Ad Bureau. The Supreme Court today said investigations will be made into the case against her and she will be put on trial after a chargesheet has been filed. The dispute started in 2014 over the movie "Kochadaiiyaan", starring Rajinikanth and Deepika Padukone, which was the directorial debut of Rajinikanth's younger daughter Soundarya. A loan of Rs. 10 crore was taken from the firm for the post-production work for the Rs. 125-crore film. The firm later went to court, alleging that Mediaone Global Entertainment Ltd, in which Latha Rajinikanth was a director, had defaulted on payment and Rs. 6.2 crore remained pending. Mediaone Global Entertainment Ltd was to refund Rs. 10 crore along with Rs. 1.2 crore promised as "guaranteed profit". The firm also said they had got involved with the project on Latha Rajinikanth's personal guarantee. The Karnataka High Court, however, cancelled legal proceedings against Latha Rajnikanth, saying the case was not of fraud but breach of agreement. The Supreme Court set aside that order, saying the High Court should not have cancelled the complaint at the initial stage. In February, the top court ordered that the balance payment be made within three months. Latha Rajanikanth assured the court that the dues will be cleared. The superstar's wife was pulled up by the Supreme Court last week for failing to ensure repayment. Asking why the payment wasn't made, the court said, "If you don't pay, then be ready to face trial."

PM Modi's 'Bail-Gaadi' Dig At Congress On Shashi Thaoor's Day In Court
MMNN:7 July 2018

JAIPUR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today tore into the Congress, calling the party a "bail-gaadi" and said several of its senior leaders were out on bail. The dig, a play on the Hindi word for a bullock cart, appeared to be aimed at Congress leaders like Shashi Tharoor who received protection from arrest in a case into his wife's death today. "Several leaders who are called stalwarts of the Congress and former ministers are out on bail these days," PM Modi said at a public rally in Jaipur where he pitched for the BJP's re-election in Rajasthan state polls due by the end of the year. He presented the Congress in stark contrast to the BJP, saying "We have no tolerance towards corruption. All our efforts are aimed at building a new India." Besides Mr Tharoor, who's anticipatory bail was converted to a regular bail by a court in Delhi today in the Sunanda Pushkar case, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi too are out on bail in the National Herald case of cheating and misappropriation. PM Modi said people were well aware of the "intentions" of the Congress party and criticised it for "questioning the capabilities of the army" - an apparent reference to the surgical strike on terrorist launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in 2016. "It is unfortunate that political opponents also committed a sin by raising questions on the capabilities of the army. This has never happened before and the people will not forgive those who are doing this kind of politics," he said. Saying that BJP had the singular agenda of development, he said, "Never forget what the previous government left in Rajasthan." The Prime Minister inaugurated several infrastructure projects said to be worth over Rs. 2,100 crore in the state today. PM Modi's visit is said to be a precursor to the BJP's official campaign for the Rajasthan assembly election slated to take place later this year.

On Jammu And Kashmir, Rajnath Singh Says Peace Through "Honest" Governance
MMNN:5 July 2018

SRINAGAR: On his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the imposition of Governor's rule, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today that peace and stability could be brought to the state through an honest, effective and efficient administration. Mr Singh also reviewed the security situation in the state at a high-level meeting attended by Governor NN Vohra, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and top civil and police officials in Srinagar. "The dream of a developed and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir will be realised when there is peace and normalcy in the state. It is our firm resolve to bring peace, stability and prosperity through an honest, effective and efficient administration for the problems facing the state," a statement quoted him as saying. Discussing the way forward for the state, Mr Singh said development and good governance had remained elusive for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the central government was committed to taking all possible measures to bring accountability and transparency in the system. "With a renewed focus on good governance and development, the Centre is looking forward to kindle new aspirations and hopes amongst the people of the state," he said. The home minister said the solution to problems lies in empowerment of the people and strengthening the institutions of local self-government. COMMENT Jammu and Kashmir was placed under governor's rule on June 20 after the BJP withdrew support to alliance partner PDP, prompting Mehbooba Mufti to resign as chief minister.

AAP Ki Dilli, Says Top Court, Emphasis On Elected Government: 10 Facts
MMNN:4 July 2018

NEW DELHI: The Lieutenant Governor does not have independent decision-making powers in Delhi and the real power must lie with the elected government, the Supreme Court ruled today in a spectacular legal victory for Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the long-running fight over who's the boss in the national capital. "The states should enjoy freedom without unsolicited interference from the centre...popular will cannot be allowed to lose its purpose," the court said, asserting that the Lt Governor must not be obstructionist. "A big victory for people of Delhi", said Mr Kejriwal, whose three-year rule in Delhi has been marked by protests and dharnas, most recently on sofas at Lt Governor Anil Baijal's home last month. "There is no room for absolutism and there is no room for anarchism also," the court said. Here are the 10 latest developments: "The cabinet must convey all decisions to the Lieutenant Governor but his concurrence is not required in all matters," the court said, making it clear that the Lt Governor is not the boss. The top court emphasised that except for anything related to land, police and public order, the Lt Governor has no independent decision-making powers under the constitution. "The Lt Governor is an administrator in a limited sense and is not the Governor. He is bound by the advice of cabinet advice in matters other than those exempted," the court said. Reading out the verdict, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said the Lt Governor needs to work harmoniously with the Delhi government. In 2016, AAP went to the Supreme Court against the High Court's order that the Lt Governor is the administrative boss of Delhi. The top court, disagreeing with the high court today, said the Lt Governor "should not act in a mechanical manner and stall decisions of the Delhi cabinet". Supreme Court's landmark ruling comes after Mr Kejriwal spent nine days protesting in a visitors' room at the Lt Governor Anil Baijal's house to get his attention. AAP wanted Mr Baijal to step in and end an officers' boycott that started after Delhi's top bureaucrat, Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, alleged in February that he had been attacked by AAP lawmakers at a late night meeting at Mr Kejriwal's home. After the officers agreed to talks, Mr Kejriwal ended the protest but started a signature campaign for full statehood for Delhi, a demand that was pushed by the BJP until it took power at the centre. The tussle started months after the AAP swept to power in Delhi in 2015, winning 67 of 70 seats and reducing the BJP to only three. AAP alleges that the BJP-led central government has since been exacting revenge and using the Lt Governor to block every decision taken by the Kejriwal government. Days after AAP came to power, the centre dropped a rule that required the Lt Governor to consult the elected government on every decision relating to police, public order and bureaucratic appointments.

In Delhi Family Deaths, Diary Notes Reveal One Man's Delusions
MMNN:3 July 2018

Investigations into the mysterious death of 11 of a family in Delhi are now focused on notes found in the house, which point at one man's hallucinations and delusions of an impending apocalypse. On Sunday, 77-year-old Narayan Devi, her children and grandchildren were found dead. She was on her bed while 10 others, including two 15-year-old boys, were hanging from a wire grid in the hallway of their home in Burari, north Delhi. None of the family members, including Narayan Devi, showed any signs of struggle and all died from hanging, confirms the autopsy. The police say Narayan Devi's youngest son Lalit Chundawa, 45, drove the "mass suicide" and jotted down the notes that included "instructions". He began writing these notes in 2015. He had reportedly taken a vow of silence a few years ago but had recently started talking again, about "visits" from his dead father. One of his notes appeared to predict doomsday and advised the family that they would be saved. The entry read: "Antim samay mein, aakhri ichha ki purti ke waqt, aasman hilegi dharti kaanpegi, us waqt tum ghabrana mat, mantra ka jaap badha dena, mein aakar utar loonga aur ko bhi utarne mein madad karunga (in your last hours, while your last wish is fulfilled, the skies will open up and the earth will shake, don't panic but start chanting the mantra louder. I will come to save you, I will bring you down and help with the others too)." The police say this was what Lalit believed advice from his father who had died 10 years ago. Lalit Chundawa allegedly told the family that he received this message from his father and everyone should follow it. The family was very superstitious and apparently believed that the end of the world was coming. According to relatives and friends, Lalit Chundawa communicated mostly by scribbling notes, even with customers who came to his grocery shop. Lalit Chundawa's sister Sujata, who lives in Panipat, wept over the unspeakable tragedy and said: "I can't believe that they committed suicide. Everyone was so happy. Someone has killed my family and the police have to find them." For more Delhi news, click here

11 Bodies, 11 Pipes: Cops Probe Chilling Details Of Delhi "Death House"
MMNN:2 July 2018

As the police investigate the events leading to the death of 11 of a family in Delhi, strange and chilling details are being examined closely. One of them is 11 pipes protruding from one wall of the house, all set close together. What has baffled investigators is that there was no water outlet on that side of the house in north Delhi's Burari in which the Bhatias lived until they were found hanging on Sunday morning. Only one, 77-year-old Narayan Devi, was found on the floor, with signs of strangling. The 10 others, including Narayan Devi's daughter Pratibha, 57, sons Bhavnesh, 50, and Lalit Bhatia, 45, and their families, were found hanging from a net attached to the ceiling. Bhavnesh's wife Savita, 48, and their three children Meenu, 23, Neetu, 25, and 15-year-old Dhruv, and Lalit Bhatia's wife Tina, 42, and their 15-year-old son Shivam were also hanging. Also found hanging was Pratibha's daughter Priyanka, 33, who was engaged last month and was, from all accounts, excited about her wedding later this year. Most of the bodies were four blindfolded, the mouths taped and hands tied behind the back. Handwritten notes and a diary found at the site indicate that the deaths were planned and that the family followed so-called instructions for "mass salvation", say the police. As for the mysterious pipes, they face an empty plot and are apparently not outlets for water. Four of the pipes point straight while four are bent. One pipe is a little away from the others. The police are investigating the significance of the pipes, but there are already murmurs of a spiritual link. Narayan Devi had one more son and daughter who lived away and are said to be in shock. The Bhatias had a grocery store and lived in an apartment on the first floor. They were in no financial trouble, as far as friends and relatives knew. One account suggest they became deeply religious after an accident that left Lalit Bhatia mute.

"Andhra Student Raped, Assault Filmed; Man With Video Demands 10 Lakhs
MMNN:30 Jun 2018

A 22-year-old engineering student from Andhra Pradesh has accused her seniors of raping her, filming the act and using it to blackmail her. In her complaint to the police, she said that two of her seniors took her to a birthday party in February last year, where they spiked her drink and raped her. As they had filmed the act, they blackmailed her and continued to assault her, police said. Both the software engineers passed out of the college this year. The police have charged them with gang-rape, and also under the IT Act for filming the act and using it to blackmail her. All the three accused have been arrested, the police said, adding they will be sent to judicial custody. The woman told the police that she had approached the management of her college in Agiripalli in Krishna district, but the officials did not inform the police. Instead they asked the men to delete the video and apologise to the girl, she alleged. The college management said they took prompt action. They didn't report the matter to the police to protect the identity of the girl and the future of the students, an official explained. However, after the purported mutual understanding negotiated by the college, the accused, Vamshi and Siva Reddy, in their early 20s, shared the video with their classmates and contacts, which translated into more trouble for the woman. Two months ago, the girl was threatened by a third student, Praveen, who had a copy of the video. He allegedly demanded Rs. 10 lakh and sexual favours from her. The girl then approached the police and filed a complaint. Praveen was arrested, the other students will soon be arrested, police said

"Siddaramaiah Says No Doubt About Stability Of Congress-JDS Government
MMNN:29 Jun 2018

BENGALURU: Former chief minister Siddaramaiah has said he was not unhappy about the ruling Congress-JDS coalition in Karnataka as was being projected, and there was no doubt about the stability of the government. Breaking his silence on the controversy over video leaks that purportedly showed his remarks on the fresh budget and longevity of the government, Mr Siddaramaiah termed video-graphing of a casual talk and making it public as "unethical". "What I have said, in what context I have said you do not know. Whoever it is, recording my casual talk with someone and making it public without knowing the context... Is it not unethical," he questioned when asked about the videos. Speaking to reporters after meeting Congress representatives in the drafting committee of the common minimum programme and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, he said: "You too don't know in what context I have spoken, nobody knows. So I don't have anything to do with it." "We have formed a coalition government to keep away the communal BJP out of power. The coalition government will be stable; there is no doubt in that. It will be stable," Mr Siddaramaiah, who heads the co-ordination committee of the two parties, added. A video showing Mr Siddaramaiah purportedly expressing doubts about the longevity of the JDS-Congress government surfaced on Tuesday, adding to the strains of the coalition. Another video surfaced on Sunday, purportedly showing him expressing his displeasure to Congress legislators over presentation of a fresh budget. "Who told you that I'm unhappy," he said in response to a question about speculation he was unhappy with the coalition government. Mr Siddaramaiah returned to Bengaluru last night after undergoing treatment for 12 days at a nature cure hospital in Dharmasthala. The videos were said to be recorded there without his knowledge. Divergent views have been aired in public by some Congress and JDS leaders on several issues, including presentation of the budget. Mr Siddaramaiah, who had held the finance portfolio in the previous government, recently said there was no need for a fresh budget and insisted that a supplementary budget would do. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who holds the finance portfolio now, is scheduled to present the budget on July 5.

"For Rajya Sabha Deputy Post, Congress Accepts Mamata Banerjee's Lead
MMNN:27 Jun 2018

With the government seemed inclined towards forcing an election for the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson, the Congress has decided to establish 2019 squad goals by supporting Mamata Banerjee's candidate, despite enough numbers to pitch its own. Opposition parties have been sounded out about Sukhendu Shekhar Roy of Trinamool Congress as a likely candidate for the post always held by the Congress, barring eight years between 1969 and 1977. With the election seen as one more test of the opposition's ability to unite against the BJP for state and national polls, the Congress, say sources, has decided to back Mr Roy as candidate. On record, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien denies that his party has put up any name. "There is no decision on any opposition candidate. We have not put up any name. The united opposition will come up with a name," he said. The Congress' PJ Kurien was Deputy Chairperson since 2012. The Congress, with 51 seats in the 245-member Rajya Sabha, would have been the natural claimant. The party, however, realises that to ensure a non-BJP victory, it needs the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Telegana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) on board; the Biju Janata Dal of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Telangana's ruling party, both favour Mamata Banerjee's party man for the role. These are the parties that have shown more interest in corralling non-Congress and non-BJP parties into a third front for mission 2019. The last time an election took place for the Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson's post was in 1992. The fight was between Congress candidate Najma Heptullah, who is now with the BJP, and Renuka Chowdhary, who was the opposition candidate. Najma Heptulla won with 128 votes against Renuka Chowdhary's 95. Twenty-six years on, a contest seems likely again with the BJP not ready to concede to a united opposition candidate even though the numbers are stacked against the ruling alliance. The nomination and election process will take place during the monsoon session of parliament, which starts on July 18.

"Nothing Above 'Family' For Congress," Says PM Modi On Emergency
MMNN:26 Jun 2018

MUMBAI: A BJP function to observe "Black Day" - the imposition of 1975 Emergency - was marked by a full-scale attack on the Congress, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi ripped into the party, saying for them, "nothing, no one and no constitution comes above the Family". Speaking at a party function in Mumbai, the Prime Minister said remembering Emergency is meant "not just to criticise Congress for the sin of attacking the constitution, but to create awareness about its dangers". The Congress government led by Indira Gandhi imposed the Emergency in 1975, during which fundamental rights were severely restricted, curbs were imposed on the media and several opposition leaders were jailed. The BJP has been observing the day as "Black Day". The announcement of the Emergency was made on June 25, days after the Allahabad High Court found Indira Gandhi guilty of electoral malpractices and disbarred her as a parliamentarian for six years. The Congress, the Prime Minister hinted, is walking the same line. "When a notice was served to the 'family', such was the arrogance, such was the ego, that even the Chief Justice of India was not spared... an impeachment motion was taken against him in Parliament," PM Modi said, pointing to the Congress effort to bring an impeachment motion against Dipak Misra. Throughout history, whenever the Congress, especially the family feels their power is about to go, they start spreading all sorts of lies, the Prime Minister said. Under the party, even institutions like the judiciary and Election Commission are not safe, he said. "After god, people of this country have faith in the judiciary. But the Congress plays on this, creates insecurity and doubt in the minds of people," he said, adding when the Congress "faced the reality of going from 400 to 40" seats in elections, they cast doubt on the Election Commission, He accused the party of "spreading lies" about fear and intolerance in the country. "They keep saying that Jan Sangh and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh would kill the Muslims... nowadays they keep saying the RSS will kill Dalits... all for creating a fear psychosis among the citizens... We are a big nation with a massive population, and such fear psychosis does have an impact on the people," he said. "They say only they (Congress) can fix the problem... It is all a big lie." PM Modi said it was important for the young people to be aware of what happened. "The youth of today enjoy freedom, they do not understand what it is to live without freedom. Hence they probably do not feel the pain and the anger of Emergency... Only a man who is thirsty understands the value of water," he said

Four Dead In 24 Hours As Heavy Rain Pounds Mumbai; Traffic, Trains Hit
MMNN:25 Jun 2018

Heavy rain in Mumbai since last night slowed down traffic and delayed trains, hitting thousands of school and office-goers on a Monday morning. Four people have died in Mumbai and adjoining areas since yesterday. Civic officials have placed pumps on stand-by as many low-lying areas in the city reported water-logging. A huge part of a compound wall of a residential complex in Antop Hill in south Mumbai's Wadala collapsed, taking along 15 parked cars. Dramatic pictures showed five other cars covered in debris. The civic body and the fire department have vacated an entire wing of the Lloyds Estate which houses many bankers. No casualties have been reported. Among the three people who died in Mumbai was a 15-year-old who died after falling into an open pit in the suburb of Malad. A 13-year-old was killed in Thane in a wall collapse. Two people died yesterday after a tree was uprooted near Azad Maidan in south Mumbai's Dhobi Talao. The heavy downpour led to water-logging in subways in Andheri, Khar and Malad suburbs, affecting traffic, Mumbai Police said. A container broke down on a bridge on the Eastern Express Highway, leading to traffic to slow down during morning rush hour Mumbai received 231.4 mm rain in the last 24 hours, a Met department official said. "So much rainfall is categorised as extremely heavy showers," IMD Mumbai Director Ajay Kumar told news agency PTI. "Expect showers to be as intense today as well," private weather forecaster Skymet said. Many Twitter users shared pictures of water-logging and traffic, with #MumbaiRains remaining the top trend on Twitter this morning. Mumbai Police tweeted with a dash of humour, "The showers are heavy but so is our 'bandobast' on the streets to 'be there' for Mumbaikars. We are #AlwaysUpForDuty to help you reach your destination with a little care & caution from you during your journey #RoadSafety #MumbaiRains."

5 Activists Gang-Raped In Jharkhand, Assault Filmed
MMNN:22 Jun 2018

Five women between the age of 20 and 35 who were performing a street play in Jharkhand were abducted and then gang-raped in a forest on Tuesday, the police said, adding that the assault was also allegedly filmed on cell-phones. "We are not ruling out the possibility of the involvement of trafficking gangs and are investigating all aspects," police officer Ashwini Kumar Sinha said. The women said in their complaint they were performing a play to raise awareness about human trafficking in the largely tribal Khunti district of Jharkhand when they were abducted. The women work for Asha Kiran, an NGO which is supported by a local Christian missionary group, said police officer Rajesh Prasad to news agency AFP. Police have also rounded up some supporters of Pathalgadi, an anti-establishment self-rule movement popular in several tribal villages. Unidentified men picked up nine activists during the street play being performed in the Kochang village and drove them into a dense forest, where the men were beaten up and the women raped, police officer Sinha said to news agency Reuters. Asha Kiran runs a shelter home for the rehabilitation of rescued girls in Khunti district of Jharkhand, which has been identified as a trafficking hotspot. There are around 200 rescued girls in Asha Kiran's shelter. "We are still processing what has happened," said Rajiv Ranjan Sinha of the Jharkhand Anti-Trafficking Network - a coalition of 14 grassroots organisations working in the state. "This is the first time field workers have been targetted and it is both surprising and shocking. It is now going to become more difficult to work on this issue." India has seen an increase in reports of human trafficking in recent years. Almost 20,000 women and children were victims of trafficking in 2016, a rise of 25 percent from the previous year, according to government data. Activists say the figures are under-reported, especially due to a lack of awareness in rural areas, emphasising the importance of programmes run by various charities to combat trafficking. "The incident underlines the dangers on the ground and the fact that human trafficking is an organised and ruthless crime," said Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini, an anti-trafficking charity that also works in Jharkhand.

At Trinamool Meet, Mamata Banerjee's Revealing Comment On Congress
MMNN:21 Jun 2018

The cautious stance of Bengal's Trinamool Congress about Congress slipped today when Mamata Banerjee took the stage at a party meeting. Talking of the political situation in the state, Ms Banerjee lumped the Congress with the BJP, the Left and the Maoists as the "darkest underbelly of society". "The CPM is falling at the feet of the BJP and clutching at their straws to stay afloat...Congress is opposing BJP in Delhi and holding hands here. Where are the rules, the principles of the Congress? CPM, Congress, Maoists and BJP... they are the darkest underbelly of society," the Trinamool chief said. Suggesting a nexus between the parties, she added, "Four heads have come together. They are looting money, stealing it, and lighting fires". Mamata Banerjee, who once belonged to the Congress and broke away to form her own party, shares a warm rapport with Sonia Gandhi, even though her stance about Congress participation in the united opposition against the BJP in 2019 is fuzzy. She has regularly sent representatives for the get-togethers called by the Congress - the last being Dinesh Trivedi at Rahul Gandhi's Iftaar party last Thursday. But she has also kept up with leaders like Karnataka Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Naidu, who are trying to patch together a non-Congress, non-BJP Federal Front. At the state level, the two parties are at loggerheads - an antagonism that has become sharper since the last assembly elections when the Congress entered an unofficial alliance with the Left Front. At the party's strategy session ahead of next year's general elections, Ms Banerjee also admitted to corruption and infighting in the party ranks, and asked her leaders to focus on the organisation.

BJP's Dilip Ghosh Comes Up With 'Encounter' Threat For Trinamool Leaders
MMNN:20 Jun 2018

KOLKATA: Dilip Ghosh, the BJP's Bengal chief, has waded into another controversy. This time, Mr Ghosh, who has been prepping for party boss Amit Shah's visit to West Bengal next week, declared that those leaders ruling the roost today would soon either be in jail or killed in encounters. "Every bullet will be made to count," Mr Ghosh said in north Bengal's Jalpaiguri 600 km from state capital Kolkata on Tuesday, according to a video of his speech. The BJP leader was leading a protest against the district administration who the party alleges was acting on directions of ruling Trinamool Congress government led by Mamata Banerjee. Turning to the Trinamool Congress leaders, he said leaders who indulged in hooliganism to do as they please in Bengal "will soon either be in jail or straight away there will be an encounter" "Remember Gabbar Singh's dialogue... How many bullets are in this gun," he said, a reference to the arch-villain of Bollywood blockbuster "Sholay" before he kills his three associates who let him down. "The bullets will be counted and given.... And corpses will be counted too," Mr Ghosh went on. Mr Ghosh left no room for imagination who were on his list. He even named the Trinamool's Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal, referring to him by his nickname that Mamata Banerjee frequently uses: Keshto. A fortnight ago, Trinamool lawmaker Abhishek Banerjee was severely panned for threatening to make Purulia district opposition free. A day after he said it, a youth was found hanging in Purulia with anti BJP messages scrawled on his shirt. Mr Ghosh's speech was a message to his political rivals that BJP workers, who are allegedly targeted by Trinamool Congress, would retaliate to violence with violence. "There is a limit to our tolerance," he said, pledging retributive action against alleged strong-arm tactics of Trinamool leaders. The local police has filed a case against Mr Ghosh and three others for the speech and the Trinamool Congress has condemned what it calls is a hate speech. This isn't the first time that Mr Ghosh has landed himself in a row for shooting off his mouth. In the past, he has also threatened beheading for those shouting anti-national or pro-Pakistan slogans. Ahead of this year's panchayat elections, he had claimed that the fight for the local body elections would not end at polling stations but would reach crematoriums. He had once also said the BJP could drag Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by her hair and throw her out for opposing the 2016 notes ban but later apologised.

Mehbooba Mufti Resigns As BJP Exits Jammu and Kashmir Alliance: 10 Facts
MMNN:19 Jun 2018

NEW DELHI: The signs were there for months, but Jammu and Kashmir's ruling coalition crashed today as the BJP yanked support from Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party (PDP), leaving the state facing Governor's Rule. "It had become untenable to continue with the PDP government in Kashmir," said senior BJP leader Ram Madhav, referring to reasons like deteriorating security and "discrimination" in parts of the state like Jammu and Ladakh. Mehbooba Mufti resigned not long after.
Here are the top 10 updates on the BJP-PDP alliance crash:
-1The PDP-BJP coalition, which was wobbly from the start, flat-lined just days after the central government decided not to extend the Ramzan ceasefire on anti-terror operations. The peace initiative was Mehbooba Mufti's idea.
-2The rift between the parties widened after the rape of an eight-year-old in Kathua. State BJP leaders were seen to support the men accused of kidnapping, gang-raping and killing the child from a Muslim tribal community. Two BJP lawmakers even participated in a rally to demand justice for the arrested men, all Hindus.
-3"Taking feedback from all institutions, the centre and the party was of the view that it is time the BJP withdrew from state government," Ram Madhav said.
-4Defending the decision to pull out support two years before time, the BJP leader said: "Fundamental rights of citizens including right to life and free speech are in danger."
-5A day before Eid, senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead along with two security guards in Srinagar. The same day, a soldier was kidnapped on his way home for Eid and killed.
-6"After the killing of Shujaat, there was no question of not continuing anti-terror operations," said Ram Madhav. In a series of tweets on Sunday, Union home minister Rajnath Singh announced that security forces had been directed to resume operations, indicating that the Ramzan ceasefire would not be extended.
-7The BJP has 25 lawmakers and the PDP has 28 in the 89-member state assembly, both far short of the majority mark of 45.
-8The Congress, which has 12 members, said there is no question of an alliance with the PDP.
-9The other major party in the state is the National Conference, with 15 seats. Its chief and former chief minister Omar Abdullah posted on Twitter: "And so it has come to pass..."
-10Since the two parties came to power in 2015, there had been a series of disputes - over PDP's promises of talks with separatists, the proposal to remove AFSPA or the Armed Forces' Special Powers Act that gives sweeping powers to the army in insurgency-hit areas, and the rollout of the government's flagship Goods and Services Tax.

Manish Sisodia, On Hunger Strike At Lt Governor's, Hospitalised: 10 Facts
MMNN:18 Jun 2018

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's sit-in protest at the house of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has been strongly censured by the Delhi High Court, which pointed out that a "strike" cannot be held at anyone's house and questioned who authorized it. AAP said it would respond. "This protest was the last possible option. We tried every democratic method before this," said senior party leader Sanjay Singh. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was on a hunger strike, has been hospitalized, Mr Kejriwal tweeted. Health Minister Satyendar Jain was also shifted to hospital last evening. Mr Kejriwal has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "give a green signal to IAS officers to end their strike".
Here are the top 10 facts in this big story:
-1"This can't be called a strike. You can't go inside someone's office or house and hold a strike there," the Delhi High Court said today in response to a petition.
-2Two other petitions have been filed - one filed by BJP Leader of Opposition in assembly Vijender Gupta and another against what Mr Kejriwal's government calls a "strike" by IAS officers. The court said the IAS association will be party to the cases, all of which will be heard on Friday.
-3Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was taken to hospital after his ketone levels shot up. "Manish Sisodia's ketone level reaches 7.4. Yesterday it was 6.4. ideally it should be zero. 2+ level is considered to be danger zone. Team of doctors reaching LG house to see him," read a retweet from Mr Kejriwal.
-4Yesterday, a group of Indian Administrative Service officers held a rare press briefing to deny that they were on strike, cited concerns about their security and said they have been "targeted and victimised" for political gains. Soon after, Mr Kejriwal reached out with a message, promising them security and seeking full cooperation.
-5Thousands of Aam Aadmi Party supporters attempted to hold a march to the Prime Minister's Office yesterday, but they were stopped midway by the police, who said they did not seek permission for a protest. AAP claimed 45,000 people had turned up for the protest march.
-6Senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechury has lent support to Mr Kejriwal, saying federalism is being undermined. In a series of tweets, he said the BJP, using offices of Governors and LGs, sought to "destabilise non-BJP democratically elected state govts". A number of CPM cadres took part in yesterday's protest.
-7Mr Kejriwal -- who started his protest on Monday evening -- says till Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal asks bureaucrats to change their approach, he will not leave the waiting room of the Lieutenant Governor's house-cum-office in Delhi. Three of his ministers - Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai and Satyendar Jain - who accompanied him, also went into protest mode.
-8After Satyendar Jain's hospitalisation, Mr Kejriwal tweeted: "Last nite, Satinder Jain's ketone levels increased n he complained of headache, bodyache, difficulty in breathing n difficulty in passing urine. So, he had to be shifted to hospital. Now, he is doing well. It is 6th day of Mansh's fast. He is doing well," Arvind Kejriwal tweeted this morning.
-9Mr Kejriwal's protest has been supported by most opposition parties - the key exception is the Congress, which is at loggerheads with AAP in Delhi. BJP ally Shiv Sena also sent messages of support.
-10Pawan Verma, spokesperson of BJP ally Janata Dal United, tweeted, "@ArvindKejriwal Those urging officers to non-cooperate against the elected government of the day, may reap immediate political benefit, but will destroy the very foundations of our Republic in the long run. What can happen against one elected govt can happen against another too!"

Cops Release Photo Of 4th Suspect In Journalist Shujaat Bukhari's Killing
MMNN:15 Jun 2018

A day after senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari and his two security officers were killed in the heart of Srinagar by three terrorists, the police have released the photo of a fourth suspect. The suspect, a bearded man in a white shirt, can be seen in the photo checking on the bodies in the car, not long after Mr Bukhari was shot dead. As someone pulls out one of the bodies from the car, the suspect is seen picking up a pistol and leaving, reports news agency PTI. The fourth man is suspected to be a local. The Editor-in-Chief of "Rising Kashmir" was killed when he had just left his office in Press Enclave and was heading to an Iftar party. The police suspect the killers were working for the Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar e Taiba. This was a planned attack," said Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta. "The attack would not be possible without local support," he told NDTV. Last night, the police released security footage of the terrorists on a bike. The faces of the rider and the third man are hidden by a helmet and a mask. The man in the middle is seen holding what seems to be a sack of weapons. His face is shielded from the cameras by the Mr Bukhari, 52, was given police protection after an attempt on his life 18 years ago. The father of two, who was often part of "track-2" diplomacy between India and Pakistan, was also said to be on a terrorist hit list. In 2006, Mr Bukhari was kidnapped by unknown gunmen who then attempted to shoot him at close range. Miraculously, the gunman's pistol got locked and the journalist ran for his life. In recent weeks, he had strongly backed the internal ceasefire announced by New Delhi for Ramzan. Just days ago, he tweeted on the killings of two policemen in Pulwama in south Kashmir. "It is heart wrenching to see these policemen getting killed during Shab e Qadr. May the families have courage to bear the loss. At the end two more Kashmiris lose lives. Violence must stop to create a space for dialogue," he posted. 0 COMMENTSThe police have put out a public appeal for help to identify the killers from the CCTV images. The informant's identity would be confidential, they assured. Hundreds of mourners in Kashmir today joined the funeral procession of Mr Bukhari at his ancestral village Kreeri in Baramulla. Despite heavy rain, crowds of villagers, friends and colleagues followed the procession through the streets of the village

On Opposition's PM Face, Tejashwi Yadav's Nuanced Response
MMNN:14 Jun 2018

NEW DELHI: Tejashwi Yadav, the son of Bihar leader Lalu Yadav, today said he was working with Rahul Gandhi to "save democracy and the constitution". The 28-year-old, seen as the political heir of Bihar Veteran Lalu Yadav, is known to share a rapport with the Congress chief. Today, on the question of the Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate of the united opposition, Tejashwi Yadav gave a cautious response that took nothing for granted. Tejashwi Yadav, who is seen as rooting for a united opposition, said he was happy that the opposition parties have realised that they have to remain united. "You can see the results after that," the young leader told NDTV in an exclusive interview, referring to string of opposition victories in the recent by-elections - starting with prestigious Gorakhpur and Phulpur and then onto Kairana and Noorpur. He has even said his party's victory in the recent by-election in Bihar's Jokihat was a spin-off of the alliance between Akhilesh Yadav and Dalit powerhouse Mayawati. Asked if Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav will accept Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister, Tejashwi Yadav said, "Rahul Gandhi has said that if the Congress becomes the single largest party, Congress will stake claim". But there was a rider. "I think whichever political party becomes the single largest, it will stake claim to the PM post. If you look at the opposition, a lot of people are capable of becoming PM," he said, adding, as of now, no one has officially staked claim. Calling the matter a "secondary question", he said right now, it was "more important to save the constitution". Last week, Tejashwi Yadav and Rahul Gandhi had a 40-minute meeting in Delhi. Sources said they discussed the political situation in the country and in Bihar. After the meeting, Tejashwi Yadav tweeted a photo of them together, quoting a couple of lines from British poet William's Wordsworth. The poem is titled "The French Revolution as It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement".

Bhaiyyu Maharaj Suicide: Spiritual Guru Shoots Himself In Head
MMNN:12 Jun 2018

Bhaiyyu Maharaj, a popular spiritual leader, has allegedly shot himself. He is in hospital in Madhya Pradesh's Indore. Reports suggest Bhaiyyu Maharaj shot himself over "domestic issues". He was taken to Bombay hospital in Indore. Bhaiyyu Maharaj reportedly acted as a mediator during the 2011 anti-corruption campaign led by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal. Earlier, he had refused to accept the minister of state status conferred on him by the Madhya Pradesh government. Another top police officer, "He shot himself on his right temple in a room bolted from inside. His body was brought out by breaking the door of the room and taken to hospital, where he was declared brought dead, according to news agency PTI. Visuals from Bhayyu Maharaj's residence in Indore. DIG Harinarayanchari Mishra says, ''We have seized the suicide note. In the suicide note, he has mentioned mental tension but the reason for the tension is not known as yet. We are investigating the case.'' Inspector General of Police Makrand Deoskar says, "The suicide note and pistol have been seized by police. All aspects of the case are being investigated. Family members are also to be questioned. Bhaiyyu Maharaj was known for his opulent lifestyle and for his links with influential politicans and businessmen. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar were reportedly counted among his followers. Bhaiyyu Maharaj Commits Suicide In Indore, Shoots Himself In Head Bhaiyyu Maharaj, a popular spiritual leader, has allegedly shot himself and is in hospital in Madhya Pradesh's Indore. Reports suggest Bhaiyyu Maharaj shot himself over "domestic issues". He was taken to Bombay hospital in Indore. Jayant Rathore, Indore Police, said that, "he has been admitted to the hospital, can't say anything else right now. He had shot himself in the head."

BJP, Used To Controlling Political Arena, Has Bihar Allies Acting Out
MMNN:11 Jun 2018

It may not be a multi-car pile-up (yet), but the hazard lights are on now for the BJP's coalition in Bihar where three of three partners of the national party are convinced that they're getting a raw deal. Exhibit A: Upendra Kushwaha, union minister, who heads the RSLP regional party and refused to attend a "unity dinner" hosted by the BJP in Patna last week, though he did find the time to fly into the Bihar capital just hours later, brutally making the point that his absence at the dinner was deliberate. "Amit Shah was not there either," he said defiantly, referring to the fact that the BJP chief, currently meeting other hurt allies, did not add Bihar to his make-good spree. Mr Kushwaha formed his own regional party five years years ago after splitting from the outfit headed by one-time mentor Nitish Kumar, who last year upended all political calculations by fleeing from a league of opposition leaders to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi's national coalition. As part of the switchover, he now runs Bihar with the BJP and not earlier partners Congress and Lalu Yadav, with whom he jointly contested the state election in 2015. Mr Kushwaha feels he is constantly sidelined by the BJP chief for Mr Kumar. So last week, a top leader from his party said it should be him, and not the Chief Minister, who is made the face of the alliance's campaign in Bihar in next year's national election. The Kushwaha caste, the leader reasoned, forms 10 per cent of Bihar's population; Mr Kumar's Kurmi caste, on the other hand, adds up to just 4 per cent Mr Kumar's party has also offered its take on the campaign, suggesting that it should be the Chief Minister and not the Prime Minister in whose name the election is contested. This is a tough sell: in the last national election, Mr Kumar's party, the JDU, won just two of Bihar's 40 parliamentary seats. The BJP and its then allies won 31, gamely riding the Modi wave. If Mr Kushwaha believes that it is Mr Kumar who gets all the attention in Bihar from the BJP, he may be misguided. Aides close to the Chief Minister point out that at last week's dinner, meant to portray a united front, Mr Shah was not present; instead, Mr Kumar had to make do with state-level BJP leaders as his hosts. The dinner ended without Mr Kumar offering a comment to the media waiting outside as he drove away. Not exactly good vibes. As Exhibit B of Sulking Allies, the Chief Minister has to contend with the fact that since he signed up with the BJP, he has got precious little to show for it. He has lost two crucial elections -- recently, he appeared to suggest that's because Muslims are turning on him -- and his main demand, that of special financial assistance from Bihar, has gone unheeded. Mr Kumar sough Rs. 7,600 crore from the centre for Bihar; despite being on the PM's team now, he was sanctioned Rs. 1,200; privately, even BJP leaders admit they thought that Mr Kumar would get more after his crossover. "Kite-flying," is how the Chief Minister dismissed the political natter about his angst with the BJP. Elaborating at a press conference today, he said, "There's no problem with seat-sharing, everyone's working smoothly." The attempt to take the edge off comes as top advisers like KC Tyagi have been activated into publicly expounding on the need for Mr Kumar to get top billing over Mr Modi in the 2019 campaign. Pawan Varma, another aide routinely critical of the BJP, who was alienated from the Chief Minister months ago, is now back in the inner circle. Signs, all these, of the usual on record "all-is-well" versus off-camera hostility. Next up is Ram Vilas Paswan. Exhibit C joined the PM's coalition ahead of the general election in 2014 and won six of Bihar's 40 seats. Sources say he's now concerned that the BJP will ask his party to contest fewer than that next year in order to allocate a larger share to the Chief Minister. Mr Paswan, a union minister and veteran Dalit leader, is also worried that so far, the centre has not chosen to circumvent the Supreme Court order that changed a special law which punishes discrimination against Dalits. In March, the top court banned the immediate arrest of those accused of persecuting Dalits and said prior approval of officials is required along with some inquiry before arrests are made. The centre has asked the court to reconsider its verdict, but has not issued an executive order that would restore the original law. Violent protests by Dalits led to at least seven people being killed. Mr Paswan and other leaders of backward castes have said the Supreme Court has weakened a law meant to protect the weakest sections of society. Mr Kushwaha and Mr Paswan have said recently that their collaboration with the BJP is not placed vertiginously. Earlier this year, a retinue of meetings -- five in a matter of two months -- between Mr Paswan and the Chief Minister incited talk of them exploring how to effectively gang up against the BJP in an attempt to hold their own. 0 COMMENTSBoth are worried about BJP leaders in Bihar being linked to communal riots in March since they draw heavily from Muslim support. It's unlikely that the acting up by any the BJP's allies will amount to much more than a play for what each ally sees as his deserved share of parliamentary seats. But for the BJP, which has become unaccustomed to electoral defeats, recent setbacks in by-elections in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar mean allowing allies to blow off steam -and perhaps even giving them something in return.

PM Modi Assassination Plot Revealed In Maoist Letter: Pune Cops To Court
MMNN:7 Jun 2018

Plans to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a "Rajiv Gandhi-like incident" have been revealed in a letter seized from a suspected Maoist, the Pune police told a court on Thursday. Five people were arrested on Wednesday for links with the banned CPI-Maoist - Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale, lawyer Surendra Gadling, activists Mahesh Raut and Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson. Described by the police as the "top brass of the urban Maoists", they were arrested in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon caste violence in January. The letter was found from the home of Delhi-based activist Rona Wilson, the police claimed in the sessions court, according to news agency PTI. The letter talked about the need for Rs. 8 crore to procure M-4 rifle and four lakh rounds, and also about "another Rajiv Gandhi incident", public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar told the court. "We are thinking along the lines of another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident. It sounds suicidal and there is a chance that we might fail but party must deliberate on our proposal...," the prosecutor quoted the letter as saying. "It is a very serious matter. It is known that Naxals are under pressure. It is sinister and dangerous. Many of these elements tend to link up with mainstream parties," said the BJP's Nalin Kohli. CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said: "Security agencies will do their work. The court is hearing. Let the court decide." A copy of the letter, released by ANI news agency, says: "...inspite of big defeats like Bihar and West Bengal, Modi has successfully established BJP governments in more than 15 states. If this pace continues then it would mean immense trouble for the party on all fronts...Col Kisan and a few other senior comrades have proposed concrete steps to end the Modi-era." Lawyers presenting the accused said the documents cited by the prosecution were fabricated and an attempt to frame them. Violence erupted in Bhima-Koregaon after Hindu activists protested a march by Dalits to mark the 1818 battle of Bhima Koregaon where British forces, mostly consisting of Mahar soldiers (who were Dalits), defeated the forces of Peshwa, ending the Maratha rule.

Pranab Mukherjee In Nagpur Live: Former President To Address RSS Event
MMNN:7 Jun 2018

NAGPUR: Former President Pranab Mukherjee is in Nagpur where he will be the chief guest at a function of the RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh today. The event has generated a lot of interest and controversy over the past few days, ever since Mr Mukherjee agreed to address RSS trainees at the Sangh's headquarters in Nagpur. Mr Mukherjee will deliver the main address at the function organised for RSS cadre training to become full-time volunteers or pracharaks. The RSS is the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP and several ministers visit its headquarters in Nagpur. Congress president Rahul Gandhi accuses the organisation of trying to divide the country on religious lines.

After Rahul Gandhi's Peace-Keeping, Karnataka Finally Gets 25 Ministers
MMNN:6 Jun 2018

BENGALURU: Two weeks after HD Kumaraswamy took oath as Karnataka Chief Minister, 25 ministers were sworn in today after ally Congress settled on its choice of ministers. The man behind the turmoil was DK Shivakumar - the Congress's biggest crisis manager at a time when the party was trying to prevent defections following a hung verdict in state polls. Mr Shivakumar, 56, wanted to be Deputy Chief Minister but sources say after a one-on-one meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, he agreed to the job of minister with two portfolios. He is likely to take charge of the irrigation ministry, with medical education as the second portfolio. Chief Minister Kumaraswamy and his party Janata Dal Secular were dead against a second Deputy Chief Minister after G Parameshwara of the Congress. Mr Shivakumar, a seven-time lawmaker, belongs to the powerful Vokkaliga caste like Mr Kumaraswamy. Mr Shivakumar was told that it would be difficult to accommodate two Vokkaligas at the top without making other sections unhappy. But he reportedly didn't give up hope until last evening, after Rahul Gandhi persuaded him to drop his demand. It may not end the bickering. Sources say some in the party are upset that he has been offered not one but two ministries. For now, the Congress has picked 15 cabinet ministers. Eventually, it will have 22 ministers in the 33-member cabinet. The meaty portfolios of finance, excise and transport will go to the JD(S). Even Mr Shivakumar's power portfolio in the previous Congress government has gone to the JD(S). The Congress gets home, industries and revenue among other portfolios. Both parties fought for the important finance ministry, but before any escalation, Rahul Gandhi reportedly advised Congress leaders to give in. As part of the understanding between the partners - who have learnt bitter lessons from their past partnership that ended with Mr Kumaraswamy joining hands with the BJP - a coordination committee will be set up with former chief minister Siddaramaiah as its chief. For the Congress, which failed to win the Karnataka election, it has been a tough balancing act driven by the bigger considerations - the 2019 national election and a strong, stable alliance to beat the BJP in Karnataka. The two parties have announced that they will contest the 2019 polls together in Karnataka. How the JDS-Congress came to rule Karnataka has been a huge confidence booster for opposition parties who turned Mr Kumaraswamy's oath ceremony into a show of unity against the BJP.

Bengaluru Ola Driver Allegedly Molests Passenger, Forces Her To Strip For Photos
MMNN:5 Jun 2018

A 26-year-old woman in Bengaluru was held captive in an Ola cab and allegedly molested by the driver who also forced her to strip for photos. The woman, an architect, was on her way to the airport in the early hours of Friday June 1 when the cab driver allegedly took a detour claiming it was a faster route. She was alone in the cab, and wanted to catch an early flight to Mumbai. The woman has told the police that the driver stopped the car at a deserted spot and assaulted her. He allegedly threatened to call more men and have her gang-raped. The driver allegedly forced the woman to strip, after trying to choke her. He took photos and allegedly shared them on WhatsApp. "Based on a mail from the woman, we have registered an FIR. We appreciate the lady for immediately informing the police, bravely," said senior Bengaluru police officer Seemant Kumar Singh. The driver, Arun V, was arrested within three hours. "We have also issued a notice to Ola Cabs as to why the police verification of this driver was not done," Mr Singh added. "We have zero tolerance for such incidents and the driver has been blacklisted from the platform as an immediate action upon receiving the complaint. Safety of customers is our top priority and we are extending our full support to the police authorities in their investigation," Ola said in a statement.

Army Called After More Violence In Shillong, Curfew Imposed In Many Areas
MMNN:4 Jun 2018

The Army has been called in to conduct flag march in parts of Shillong which have been witnessing violence for the last four days. The home ministry has sent in 11 companies of para-military forces to help the police maintain law and order in the Meghalaya capital. Fresh violence broke out in the city last night, prompting the police to use tear gas shells to control a mob. The unrest, which started on Thursday as two groups clashed in the city's Punjabi Line area, has now snowballed into a tribal versus non-tribal issue.

Sita Was Test-Tube Baby, Declares Yogi Adityanath's Deputy
MMNN:1 Jun 2018

LUCKNOW: A minister in Uttar Pradesh has shared his radical views on ancient India's gifts to modern science, adding to the stream of such comments derided by many as outrageous. Lord Ram's wife Sita is an example of a test-tube baby, UP's Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma has suggested. "When Sita was born there must have been something like a test-tube baby. (Her father King) Janak ploughed the land and a baby came out of an earthen pot, she became Sita. This means technology similar to a test-tube baby must have existed," Dinesh Sharma says in a video that became a rage on social media on Friday. He was apparently speaking at an event on Wednesday to mark "Hindi journalism day". At the same function, the minister shared another gem and said journalism "started during the Mahabharata". Dinesh Sharma said the character Sanjaya, who described the epic war of Kurukshetra to king Dhritarashtra was providing a sort of "live telecast". 5 COMMENTSHe also believed that "our google" started in ancient India, with the mythological character "Narad Muni" who was known to be an informer. "He could reach anywhere and transfer a message from one place to another by saying 'Narayana' three times," said the minister'. In April, Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb had embarrassed the BJP when he declared that internet originated from ancient India. He had also used the example of Sanjay, the narrator, saying he was able to describe the events on the battlefield because of internet and technology.

Kairana Shows 2019 May Not Be A Modi-Wave Election
MMNN:31 May 2018

The victory of the opposition in the Kairana by-polls has sent out an unambiguous message after the Gorakhpur and Phulpur wins of the Samajwadi Party alliance - a united opposition will trounce the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, the country's swing state with 80 parliamentary seats. The BJP had won the Kairana parliamentary seat by a margin of 2.4 lakh in 2014. Kairana was the epicentre of the infamous "Hindu exodus" theory floated by the BJP that, many believed, was aimed at tried and tested polarisation of voters. The BJP had pulled out all the stops, desperate to ensure that the opposition did not have the impetus to unite - the win in Kairana will provide that. Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the fig leaf of an expressway launch to campaign next door to Kairana, taking out a road-show and defying convention that prime ministers never campaign for by-polls. Nothing worked for the BJP. Not Yogi Adityanath's invocation of "Jinnah", which was countered successfully by Jayant Chowdhary of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), who said, "Ganna (sugarcane) mattered in the sugar belt of Western UP, not Jinnah." The BJP had a bad day at the office across the country with only Palghar in Maharashtra saving it the blushes. The signal sent by Palghar was that it was the index of opposition unity which defeats the BJP. Even Palghar, where Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis campaigned like a man possessed, the BJP's margin of victory came down to 20,000 from 2,30,000. After UP, Maharashtra sends the second largest contingent of MPs to the Lok Sabha - 48 - so the signal again to the Congress and Sharad Pawar's NCP is to unite. Interestingly, the Shiv Sena, which has broken off its 20-year-old "alliance" with the BJP, is also in play to ally with the BJP's opposition in Maharashtra. Sharad Pawar, considered the wily old fox of Indian politics, has checked the temperature and stopped his tacit alliance with the BJP, hopes to work out a similar "quiet understanding" with Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray. They have had three quiet meetings already, over Chinese food - a common passion. Mr Pawar is keeping senior Congress leader and trusted aide Ahmed Patel in the loop on his ventures with the Sena. So who are the real winners and losers in election season? Tejashwi Yadav in Bihar as the Jokihat victory has added to his stature. Jayant Chowdhary and Ajit Singh, his father, re-embraced by the Jats of Kairana at a time the party had no legislator anywhere. The RLD will now be a junior partner in the planned mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) between Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party. BJP leaders had ridiculed the regional heavyweights as "an alliance of snake and mongoose". But, the UP voters clearly like the story that "Bua (Mayawati) and Bhatija (Akhilesh)" are telling. The Congress will now have no choice but to hitch its wagon to the mahagathbandhan as a junior partner, with neither Mayawati nor Akhilesh exactly desperate to have the grand old party on board. The Congress and BSP will now ally for certain for the Madhya Pradesh polls. The BJP is not expecting great results from the elections later this year in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, where it is in power. Sources say that the Congress has already roped in a small regional party and the deal with Mayawati is done and dusted. The by-poll results across 10 states underline that regional parties and opposition math pose a huge challenge to the BJP. The Congress must internalise this reality, with barely 12 months to go for the general elections as its chalks out its alliances with regional players. Congress president Rahul Gandhi must now act as a catalyst and lynchpin for the united opposition, and for the time being, forget any prime ministerial dreams. The BJP is hoping to capitalise on Modi-versus-the-rest as one man takes on the disparate group of parties - what the BJP calls a "corrupt khichri" - but as the incumbent, PM Modi can't really seem to convince the voters, as recent results reveal. A key takeaway from UP is that the incessant demonisation of Muslims - which started with the 2013 riots in Muzzaffarnagar in western UP - is clearly producing diminishing returns. The lower caste consolidation in UP is also a reaction to the unapologetic "Thakur raj" run by Yogi Adityanath and the scary "freedom of encounters" apparently given to the UP Police. Kairana was a huge psychological mood-changer for both the opposition and the BJP. The opposition will now look to script unity across the country. The fence-sitters on the opposition may now want to consolidate against the threat from the BJP, which under Amit Shah has treated allies roughly, eaten into their space and given no quarter. Says a senior leader from the Congress - "imagine how radioactive the BJP is that even its oldest ally Sena balks at working with it". Amit Shah, with his gargantuan electoral appetite and arrogance in dealing with NDA allies, seems to have lost his strategic objective of keeping the opposition divided as he wants to win everywhere. The BJP will now have to eat humble pie if it wants to keep its remaining flock together. But it seems in no mood to, as Nitish Kumar - the Bihar Chief Minister who switched loyalties - is finding out the hard way after being marginalised and publicly snubbed by the BJP. Clearly, 2019 will not be a Modi-wave election as most of the promises made by candidate Narendra Modi remain unfulfilled. As predicted by union minister Nitin Gadkari, "achhe din (good times)" has become a millstone around the BJP's neck as to the voter, they seem elusive. The slogan has been virtually banned by the BJP and PM Modi has stopped using it since the BJP's Bihar defeat in 2015. Without a wave, real issues of agrarian distress, the unravelling effects of demonetisation, the huge job crisis, rising fuel prices and other bread-and-butter issues of "bijli pani sadak" (electricity, water, roads) will matter to the voters again. The BJP has already started using a pliable CBI against the opposition, registering cases and hoping to get leaders such as Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav to play ball. But in an existential crisis, these threats no longer have the same urgency. A senior leader says, "Enough is enough. I prefer to go to the voters and get results from them rather than this daily arm-twisting by the agencies." The opposition will have to hold onto the same spirit for a while and work out the tricky issues of sharing space and staying united while chalking out a story to tell the voters. Negative narratives don't really work. A senior BJP leader quips, "All the future PMs will trip over themselves. Their only agenda is survival." He is right, but survival is a need that cannot be underestimated. The opposition will have to prove it and work out a formula of unity. The BJP is now the real pole of politics, yet it finds itself floundering. With the party still claiming the biggest war-chest, the agencies and the charisma of PM Modi, don't underestimate Amit Shah just yet. But the BJP now has a real fight on its hands for 2019. It will not be a walkover. The beneficiary will be Indian voters, who like to keep politicians fighting and don't want to be taken for granted. It will be a rejuvenated united opposition against a BJP fighting its biggest fight

Election Commission Has Become The Mistress": Sena Attacks BJP Again
MMNN:30 May 2018

MUMBAI: In an attack on the Election Commission or EC over complaints of malfunctioning of EVMs and VVPAT machines in bypolls, the Shiv Sena today dubbed the poll panel, democracy and elections as "mistress" of those in power. The Sena alleged that its ally, the BJP which it said has an "autocratic mindset", has corrupted the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to serve its own purpose. It warned that people's loss of faith in the election process was "dangerous" for democracy. "Our country can no longer be called the largest democracy in the world. EVMs have spoilt the dem