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DDCA row: Gopal Subramanium writes to NSA for officers, BJP brands it ‘cheap publicity’

“AAP is in fact ‘pakhandi’ aam aadmi party (PAAP),” he said in a dig. The more muck Kejriwal will throw at Prime Minister Narendra Mod and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the more he will sink into it, Sharma said.

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Juvenile Justice Bill shouldn’t be passed, says Ram Jethmalani

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“I don’t know if it will be passed, but according to me it shouldn’t be passed,” Jaithmalani told reporters.

Former law minister Ram Jethmalani

File Photo
Former law minister Ram Jethmalani, on Tuesday, said that there is no need to amend the Juvenile Justice Bill, adding that it was totally ‘unnecessary’ to change it just because of one incident.”I don’t know if it will be passed, but according to me it shouldn’t be passed,” Jaithmalani told reporters.”The Juvenile Justice Bill is completely fine and there is no need to amend it just because of one incident. It is totally unnecessary,” he added.The BJP had earlier assured disappointed Nirbhaya’s parents that the Juvenile Justice Bill would be passed in the Parliament, on Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said the Bill should be passed in the Parliament without any further delay after having a healthy discussion.The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on also stuck to their guns in opposing the Juvenile Justice Bill, saying ‘lowering the age of juveniles is not in the interest of justice’.With the Supreme Court is showing its inability to prohibit the release of the juvenile in the Nirbhaya gangrape case in the absence of laws, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said, on Monday, the ruling dispensation at the Centre is keen to pass the Juvenile Justice Bill and was also ready to bring supplementary agenda on it in the Parliament.The apex court had dismissed the petition of Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard.Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years.

40 held for enforcing strike against ‘India’s blockade’ in Nepal

Kathmandu: At least 40 people were arrested in Nepal on Sunday for trying to enforce a strike called by a breakway CPN-Maoist party faction against “India’s blockade” of major border trading points with the landlocked country.

The strike called by the hardline CPN-Maoist (Biplav), a breakway faction of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, had little affect in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, though normal life was partially hit in other parts of the country.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Some shops in Kathmandu remained shut but most vehicles plied on roads in the capital.

At least 40 people have been arrested for trying to enforce the strike and vandalising vehicles, police said.

Five Maoist cadres were arreested in Kanchanpur district of far-west Nepal for vandalizing a jeep with an Indian number late.

A truck carrying bricks was set ablaze by Maoist cadres in Dhading district, some 60 kilometres west of Kathmandu.

“Our strike is against India’s blockade and its interventtion in Nepal’s internal affairs,” the party said a in a statement.

But Nepalis criticised the strike, expressing their frsutration over the ‘bandh’ at a time when people are already strained by fuel shortage, medicines and other essential goods because of the ongoing agitation by Madhesi people, who share strong cultural and family bonds with North Indians.

The Madhesi agitation, over demands to safeguard their interests and more representation in the new Constituion, near the border trade points has been on for more than two months now. Relations between India an Nepal have nosedived over the issue.

Madhesis, the main constituents of Nepal’s plains, seek an amendment to the Constitution, redrawing the seven-provinces model in the new charter.

PTI

NIA announces cash bounty on terrorists who killed 18 army men in Manipur

The investigation agency has declared money rewards ranging from Rs 2-7 lakhs on the wanted terrorists, including senior leaders of NSCN (K) Starson Lamkang

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has declared cash bounty for information leading to arrest of 24 terrorists belonging to various organisations, who killed 18 army personnel in an ambush in Manipur’s Chandel district on June 4. The terrorists belong to National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) and Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO).The investigation agency has declared money rewards ranging from Rs 2-7 lakhs on the wanted terrorists, including senior leaders of NSCN (K) Starson Lamkang, who is in-charge of the finance for the organisation, and was also involved in the decision making and giving directions. The NIA has said information on wanted leadership of KCP and KYKL will also be rewarded, adding that all these cadres are suspected to be hiding in the border areas of the India and Myanmar. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Rajnath Singh visits site of founding of Communist party of China

Singh, who concluded his six-day visit to China on Monday, also visited a nearby police station in Xin Tian Di which functions as a ‘paperless’ sub-bureau of Shanghai Public Security Bureau in an attempt to understand whether such a model can be adapted in India.

Rajanth Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday paid a visit to the founding site of China’s Communist Party here, perhaps making him the first BJP leader to visit the origins of the Red Movement.Singh, who concluded his six-day visit to China on Monday, also visited a nearby police station in Xin Tian Di which functions as a ‘paperless’ sub-bureau of Shanghai Public Security Bureau in an attempt to understand whether such a model can be adapted in India. Accompanied by Vice Minister of Ministry of Public Security, Chen Zhenmin, Singh visited the site where Communist Party of China was founded and has now been turned into a small museum.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh earlier met Mayor Yang Xiong who hosted a banquet for him.During the meeting, Singh discussed ways to deepen sister city cooperation between Shanghai and Mumbai, particularly the strengthening of exchanges between the two city police forces. He appreciated Shanghai Municipal Government’s efforts to establish the city as a leading global financial, economic, trade and transportation hub with particular focus on innovation and technology.Singh visited Shanghai Public Security Bureau’s Central Command and Control Centre, a centralised unit responding to emergency calls, monitors traffic and manages rescue drills.He also visited China Arts Museum where an exhibit of largest ever Indian arts to reach China, “Forms of Devotion, is being showcased as part of the India Culture Week. The CPC, with a membership of over 87 million, is currently the world’s second-largest political party. Founded in 1921, chiefly by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao, the CPC is the sole governing party of China.

dna Must Reads for morning: From Pakistan’s crackdown on terror to China unveiling first passenger jet

Hafiz Saeed

1. Pakistan admits Hafiz Saeed’s outfit is Lashkar wing; bans media coverage of JuDPakistan on Monday banned media coverage of militant groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawa as part of a crackdown on terror, acknowledging for the first time that the Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led outfit was a wing of the LeT. Read more here.2. Dawood Ibrahim’s security enhanced by Pak Army after Chhota Rajan’s arrest: Reports<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security of underworld don and India’s most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim has been enhanced in Pakistan after the arrest of his bete noire Chhota Rajan in Indonesia. Special commandos of the Pakistan Army have been deployed at Dawood’s residences in Karachi and Islamabad. Read more here.3. ‘India’s nuke programme among largest in developing nations’Stating that India has “one of the largest nuclear power programmes” among developing nations, a US-based think-tank on Tuesday said by the end of 2014 India had enough weapon-grade plutonium to possess an estimated stock of atomic weapons in the range of 75-125. Read more here.4. China unveils first big passenger jet to vie with Boeing, AirbusChina on Monday unveiled its first homegrown large passenger plane, fulfilling the Communist giant’s long-held dream of challenging the dominance of western aviation giants like Boeing and Airbus in the global commercial aviation market. Read more here.5. Russian airline sees no technical fault, pilot error in Egypt crashThe Russian airline whose jet crashed in Egypt, killing all on board, said on Monday the disaster could not have been caused by a technical fault or human error. Read more here.

Nehru government snooped on the birth of Netaji’s ‘love child’?

An intercepted letter, from ‘Communist spy’ ACN Nambiar to Bose’s nephew Amiya, shows it even gathered info on how Bose was extending his family tree in the West

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing that his government will declassify all files pertaining to Subhas Chandra Bose – starting with Netaji’s 119th birth anniversary on January 23, next year – as he sees “no reason to strangle history”, deeply personal information about Bose is likely to come to light. Especially because the Nehru administration and the British government had snooped on many an aspect of Bose’s life, even after his alleged death and disappearance in 1945. Letters with National Archives, read in conjunction with declassified British intelligence files, show that Nehru administration even snooped on the birth of Bose’s love child.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Among the letters intercepted by the Nehru administration was one written by ACN Nambiar, a London-based journalist considered a ‘communist agent’ by the British and a friend of both Subhas Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru. The letter was written to Bose’s nephew, Amiya Nath Bose, a resident of Calcutta (now Kolkata). An Intelligence Bureau memo (number 17262.CP.13) dated September 27, 1947 shows the letter was intercepted at the Elgin Road post office in Calcutta. The letter was detained and sent to Union Home ministry under Sardar Vallabhai Patel. The letter never reached Amiya Bose. The letter, dated August 18, 1947 and written from Zurich, Switzerland by Nambir reads, “I have received a note from a very prominent person in Indian public life, asking me for a verification of a report concerning the matter, apparently supplied by a person returning from Europe. Good deal of the information contained in the report is correct though certain things are likely to render themselves to misinterpretations.” The letter goes on to read, “Reports of the nature appeared also because of restlessness on part of a person to whom I had repeatedly suggested patience and need of greater care in dealing with the matter.” This intercepted letter was shared by the Nehru administration with the British government. The British generated their own intelligence on the matter since they had been deeply suspicious of Nambiar for his association with Soviet Union and Germany. A British Intelligence, MI5, did their background checks and generated their own report on the letter. The memo (No. 22/X.Br/45) dated October 6, 1947 marked ‘Secret’ and titled ‘SC Bose’s daughter’ indicates that the Nehru administration was even gathering information on how Bose was extending his family tree in the West. The British letter reads, “There can be little doubt that CAN Nambiar in his letter to Amiya Bose is referring to the existence of an illegitimate daughter born to Subhas Chandra Bose towards the end of 1942 by the latter’s companion and secretary Emily Schenkel. There were very few people who were aware that Bose had become the father of a child in Germany, but Nambiar was one of them. One may hazard the conjecture that the ‘very prominent person’ referred to by Nambiar is Pandit Nehru, who undoubtedly knows the main facts.” In effect, the British had drawn a conclusion, that Nehru had written to Nambiar seeking confirmation of information he had received about the birth of Bose’s daughter with an Austrian partner. The girl referred to by the British as an ‘illegitimate daughter’ was Anita Schenkel Plaff. Anita, 72, is a German economist and has seldom spoken about her father. But why did Nambiar, a Bose aide, contacted by Nehru to know about Bose’s daughter? In fact, the proximity of Nambiar to Bose was borne out by a telegram intercepted by the British. The telegram sent in April 1945 by Bose to Nambiar reads, “Indian legionaires must in no way fall into Anglo-American hands without a struggle. If possible, the legion is to play in Sovie-Russian hands as there is a possibility that they can be further employed, from Moscow, in India’s fight for freedom.” However, Nambiar was picked up by the British in 1945 after being suspected of being a Communist spy and interrogated for five weeks by an Indian security officer named Naurang Singh Bains. During the interrogation he said, “In September 1934, I had visited Mrs Nehru, hospitalised in Vienna, since Nehru had written to me to look after her. I also met Bose in Vienna, and came to know for the first time about his friendship with Emily Schenkel, the daughter of a Vienna postal inspector.”

Sahitya Akademi awards pile up gets bigger as leading Rajasthani author also returns prize

Jaipur/New Delhi: Leading Rajasthani and Hindi writer Nand Bhardwaj on Thursday returned his Sahitya Akademi award to denounce “rising religious intolerance and attack on freedom of expression”, as the CPI-M hailed the protesting writers for doing the country proud.

In a letter addressed to Sahitya Akademi, Bhardwaj said: “There is growing concern among writers and intelligentsia against attacks and killing by hardline communal forces and the failure of Sahitya Akademi to stand up for them (writers).

“I praise the writers who have returned the awards, and I also want to return my award, which I won in 2004 for my Rajasthani novel ‘Samhi Khulto Marag’,” Bhardwaj said. He also sent back the prize money of Rs 50,000.

Image courtesy: Sahitya Akademi website

Image courtesy: Sahitya Akademi website

Bhardwaj has become the latest of Indian writers drawn from various languages including Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Tamil, Gujarati and Assamese to return their awards, primarily those conferred by Sahitya Akademi.

Most were upset over the Sahitya Akademi’s failure to come out in defence of MM Kalburgi after he was murdered in Karnataka on 30 August. A few also spoke out against the lynching of a Muslim man near Delhi over rumours that he killed a cow and ate beef.

In Panaji, Goa writers came down on what they said was a rising culture of intolerance towards freedom of speech but said they would not be returning their awards for now.

Eleven Konkani award-winning writers told the media that they would create a lobby of other creative artists and other Padma award winners from Goa.

“We are disheartened by the lack of adequate response of the Sahitya Akademi following the murder of Kalburgi,” writer Damodar Mauzo said.

“While we have resolved not to return our awards, we are conveying our sentiments to the Akademi. We want them to speak out at the meeting of the committee which will be held soon,” he said.

The press conference was also addressed by writers Pundalik Naik, Dilip Borkar, Datta Naik, Hema Naik, Nagesh Karmali and N. Shivdas. They also vowed to protest at the forthcoming 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

West Bengal Governor KN Tripathi, however, accused writers returning the awards of being politically motivated.

“Several incidents occurred in the country from the time they received the award… It makes one wonder if there is a small group who are lobbying for the return of these awards,” Tripathi said in Kolkata.

“How it is that none of them were prompted to return the awards earlier and why now?” he asked. “Why did they not return the award when the (2013) Muzaffarnagar riots happened?”

The CPI-M, however, hailed the Indian writers for doing the country proud.

“What is heartening about the writers’ protest action is the range and variety of the writers who have stood up to be counted,” an editorial in the CPI-M organ “People’s Democracy” said.

“What binds them is their deep moorings in secular and democratic values. It is a clear and bold expression of how the country will not succumb to Hindutva authoritarianism,” it said.

“By returning the awards bestowed on them and by resigning from the positions they hold in the Akademi, they have also spoken out against the growing attacks on plurality and cultural diversity by the Hindutva forces,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist said.

The protest began with important Kannada writers returning their awards to the Kannada Sahitya Parishat on the slow progress in the Kalburgi murder investigation.

IANS

Reeling from protests and quakes, Nepal chooses new prime minister | Reuters

KATHMANDU Nepal’s lawmakers on Sunday chose a new prime minister who must reunite a country deeply divided over a fresh constitution, tackle crippling fuel shortages and kick-start reconstruction after two devastating earthquakes.

Many people from Nepal’s plains feel the constitution signed last month perpetuates long-standing domination by highland politicians. Fierce protests have left at least 40 dead and led to essential oil and gas deliveries from India being cut off.

The new prime minister, K.P. Sharma Oli, vowed after his confirmation to tackle Nepal’s woes, not least the devastation wrought by the earthquakes, which killed nearly 9,000 people in April.

“I will work alongside everybody to implement the constitution, repair the damage inflicted by the earthquake and address the hardships raised by the Indian blockade,” he said.

Nepal accuses neighbouring India of imposing a blockade in an attempt to force Kathmandu to listen to the demands of those in the plains of the south. India, while making clear its objections to the new constitution, denies this.

Oli, leader of the centre-left Communist Party of Nepal (UML), did win support in parliament from a group from the lowland Tarai region that had opposed the constitution.

The Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (Democratic) voted for Oli after he signed an agreement to review the demarcation of provinces – the key sticking point for ethnic groups that feel the new regional boundaries set down in the constitution take away their power.

NEED FOR COMPROMISE

In total, Oli won the support of 338 out of 587 lawmakers.

However, another lowland group said it would not take its seats in the newly formed parliament and would keep protesting.

Oli has until now taken a hard line towards demands from the south, although coalition politics may push him to be more flexible, since he is likely to need support from some plains parties to form a government.

Moreover, he will have to address relations with India, strained over Delhi’s opposition to the new constitution and the fuel shortages caused by the lack of deliveries from India.

“K.P. Oli is under pressure to deal with the Madhesi issue,” said Lok Raj Baral, a political scientist.

Almost six months after the earthquakes, the focus on party politics has drawn criticism.

Foreign donors gave $4.4 billion to Nepal in June to help earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation, but political infighting has meant that the National Reconstruction Authority, formed the same month, has yet to begin work.

“The people of Nepal are terribly annoyed,” said Baral. “The politicians have become bogged down in non-issues like this election.”

K.P. Oli’s political journey began in a 1970s pro-democracy movement, inspired by Maoist Naxalbari insurgents in neighbouring West Bengal, that aimed to abolish Nepal’s monarchy.

After many years in prison, he emerged as a more moderate leftist.

(Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

MM Kalburgi murder: Six awardees to return Kannada Sahitya Parishat honour

However the police has not been able to find a major breakthrough in the Kalburgi murder case.

Six awardees of Kannada Sahitya Parishat’s ‘BMTC Aralu Sahitya’ award are returning awards on October 3 at Kannada Sahitya Parishat in Bengaluru to condemn the delay in arrest of research scholar Dr MM Kalburgi’s assasins.Karnataka Police, probing the murder case of Kannada scholar MM Kalburgi, had earlier questioned Sanatan Sanstha activist Samir Gaikwad arrested in connection with the murder of Communist leader and rationalist Govind Pansare in Kolhapur.However the police has not been able to find a major breakthrough in the Kalburgi murder case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kalburgi, who often courted controversies with his outspoken stand on various issues including idol worship, was shot dead at point-blank range by two unidentified men at his residence in Dharwad on August 30.

Ajit Doval wades into the frame as India calls its Nepal Envoy for consultations

The high-profile National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has been brought into the frame by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the recently triggered Nepal crisis as India’s worst fears have finally come true in the landlocked Himalayan country forcing India to call its ambassador in Nepal Ranjit Rae to New Delhi for consultations.

China, it transpires, has been behind India’s latest diplomatic embarrassment as Nepali politicians like Khagada Prasad Sharma Oli, better known as KP Oli, have cleverly played the familiar China card against India in the recent promulgation of Nepal’s new constitution.

Protests in Nepal. APProtests in Nepal. AP

Protests in Nepal. AP

With the help of Nepalese leaders like Oli and his comrades China has successfully managed to score a crucial brownie point over India in the constitution episode.

China has made deep forays into the Nepalese political establishment that explains Kathmandu cocking a snook at New Delhi on the sensitive issue of promulgation of Nepal’s secular and democratic constitution.

Oli, the top leader of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified-Marxist – Leninist) , has been in the forefront of Nepalese left-leaning politicians in handing a most severe diplomatic embarrassment to India by promulgating Nepal’s new constitution without addressing Indian concerns.

The government of India has got classified reports from Kathmandu suggesting that Oli has furthered China’s agenda in promulgation of Nepalese constitution which largely keeps the Madhesis under-represented in Nepal’s polity. Since Nepal’s Madhes region borders India the Madhesis are looked upon by China as Indian stooges and therefore their political and demographic rights have been ignored in the Nepalese constitution.

The Madhesis have been demanding their representation in Nepal’s political and parliamentary architecture as per their demographic strength and not on the basis of the area they are populated in. The Madhesis account for over 50 percent of Nepal’s population though area-wise they account for only 20 percent of the total Nepalese landmass.

China looks upon the Madhesis as India’s pocket borough and therefore a threat to its influence in Nepal.

This explains India’s strong reaction on 21 September on Nepal’s political development, the third in as many days. Here is the complete text of the Ministry of External Affairs on Nepal with pithy analysis in parenthesis after each paragraph.

“We are deeply concerned over the incidents of violence resulting in death and injury in regions of Nepal bordering India following the promulgation of Constitution yesterday. Our freight companies and transporters have also voiced complaints about the difficulties they are facing in movement within Nepal and their security concerns, due to the prevailing unrest.”

(Decoder: India is unhappy and in many ways it conveys not just anger but also the state of things which have gone beyond India’s control)

“We had repeatedly cautioned the political leadership of Nepal to take urgent steps to defuse the tension in these regions. This, if done in a timely manner, could have avoided these serious developments.”

(Decoder: Mark the verb “had”. It denotes that more than India it is Nepal’s loss.)

“We have consistently argued that all sections of Nepal must reach a consensus on the political challenges confronting them. The issues facing Nepal are political in nature and cannot be resolved through force. We still hope that initiatives will be taken by Nepal’s leadership to effectively and credibly address the causes underlying the present state of confrontation.”

(Decoder: Key words here are “all sections” and “still hope”, the former implying the Madhesis and the latter showing that all is not lost and India will continue to deal with the challenges in a hands-on fashion.)

The bottom line is this. Now that Oli’s antics have put a spanner in the works of India on the issue of Nepal’s new constitution, the Indian response has gone beyond the MEA’s usual conventional bounds and Oli’s shenanigans are now under a scanner by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

Journalist Nikhil Wagle claims threats from Sanatan Sanstha, Mumbai Press club expresses concern

Mumbai: Journalists Nikhil Wagle and Shyamsundar Sonnar have said they have been getting threats from Hindu group Sanatan Sanstha, following which the Mumbai Press Club on Monday urged the Maharashtra government and police to take serious note of the threats.

In a statement, the Mumbai Press Club noted with “serious concern” the Sanatan Sanstha threatening Wagle since 2011.

Police have found Wagle’s name mentioned in regular telephonic talks between Sanatan Sanstha members and Samir Gaikwad, who was arrested last week in connection with the killing of Communist leader Govind Pansare in Kolhapur in February.

Image courtesy: ibnliveImage courtesy: ibnlive

Image courtesy: ibnlive

The press club also expressed solidarity with Sonnar, who works with Marathi daily Prahaar and who has already filed a police complaint over threats from the Sanatan Sanstha, which targeted him in an article in its mouthpiece Sanatan Prabhat on September 1, 2015, in which it labelled him as “anti-Hindu”.

Wagle, known for his aggressive stance on various public issues, says he has received threats from the Sanatan Sanstha on Twitter and also through its mouthpiece Sanatan Prabhat, which ran an article warning him on airing his views.

Maharashtra Police offered him security cover, which he declined saying that as a media person, he would not be able to work under such measures.

“Last week, four police officers visited me to offer security. They have even given a letter to this effect, but I have rejected. I am a journalist. How will I function with security? Moreover, it is the duty of the government to ensure security of all people, not just mine,” Wagle told media persons here on Monday.

Around four years ago, Sanatan Sanstha’s office bearer Abhay Vartak staged a walkout from a television show hosted by Wagle.

The Sanatan Sanstha has once again shot into prominence after Gaikwad was arrested from Sangli in Maharashtra and two others from Karnatata in connection with Pansare’s murder.

Pansare, 81, and his wife Uma were shot at by two motorcycle-riding attackers on February 16 near their home. While Pansare died from his injuries four days later, Uma survived but was left crippled.

Following Gaikwad’s arrest, many organisations and political parties have demanded a ban on the Sanatan Sanstha.

IANS

SC stays Haryana law on educational bar for panchayat elections

In a setback for the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the state law providing that a candidate aspiring to contest the panchayat elections should have cleared the class 10 examination.

A bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre stayed the operation of the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2015, passed by the state assembly on 7 September, after the petition challenging the amended law was mentioned before the court.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

While staying operation of the amended provision providing for educational qualifications for contesting local body’s elections, the court also issued notice to Haryana government and the Election Commission.

Under the amended law, a person from the general category should have passed the class 10 examinations and a Dalit should have passed class 8 to be eligible to contest local body’s elections.

The court was moved by the Communist Party of India-Marxist”s woman wing, the All India Democratic Women Association, Rajbala and others.

The court order came after senior counsel Sanjay Parikh and Kirti Singh appearing for the petition mentioned the matter before the court.

IANS

Bihar Elections 2015: Six Left parties join hands; vow to fight NDA and Nitish Kumar’s grand alliance

The six Left parties which joined hands today include the Communist Party of India (CPI), CPI(M), CPI(ML), Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI)(Communist), All India Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and were currently in the process of finalising the seat-sharing for the 243-member Assembly.

Six major Left parties on Monday joined hands to contest the forthcoming Bihar Assembly elections and vowed to fight the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance.Asserting that they were starting an “agitation” for the state, which would “defeat feudal, communal and corporate forces”, the Left parties said they have come together to provide an option to the public to provide “people’s rule” in the true sense.The six Left parties which joined hands today include the Communist Party of India (CPI), CPI(M), CPI(ML), Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI)(Communist), All India Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and were currently in the process of finalising the seat-sharing for the 243-member Assembly.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Top leaders of the six parties shared dais while addressing a meeting of their workers and supporters, which they called “people’s political convention.” Speaking on the occasion, CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said “We have been waiting for this moment for years. We were asked whey can’t the Left parties unite. Today we have come together to make the saffron brigade of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and grand alliance of RJD-JD(U)-Congress bite dust in the Bihar Assembly polls.” He said 2014 was a year of elections, as well as, ‘jumla’ (rhetoric) and Modi, but 2015 was a year of agitations across the country forcing BJP and RSS on the back foot.Bhattacharya also attacked RJD chief Lalu Prasad accusing him of collaborating with those who massacred the Dalits in the state and hit out at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for shielding them by dismantling the Amir Das Commission formed to probe into the outlawed Ranveer Sena (a militia formed by landlords of dominant castes).

Millions strike to protest against Modi’s labour reforms | Reuters

KOLKATA, India Protesters wielding Communist flags clashed with police in Kolkata on Wednesday as millions of workers across India went on strike, the latest display of opposition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s economic reform package.

Modi’s plan for reviving India’s slowing economy has met with fierce protest and Wednesday’s strike came days after the premier abandoned a pro-industry land reform which the opposition had said would hurt India’s farmers.

Unions called the one-day action against Modi’s plans to loosen rigid labour laws, which they say will put jobs at risk.

Nearly 150 million workers in banking, manufacturing and construction, backed by 10 major unions, stayed away from work. Taxi and rickshaw drivers stayed off the streets in Delhi, and shops and banks closed in left-wing stronghold Kerala in the south.

In Modi’s home state of Gujarat, banking services were hit. Industry group ASSOCHAM estimated the strike cost the economy $3.7 billion.

OVERHAUL

Modi plans to launch the biggest overhaul of labour laws in decades, giving companies greater flexibility in hiring and firing workers – reforms that economists and businesses say will help job creation and unleash more economic growth.

These changes would make it tougher for employees to form unions or to go on strike, but include measures to expand the social security net to the huge unorganised sector, which refers to India’s millions of small, privately-owned businesses with uncertain legal status.

In Kolkata, a city with a strong socialist tradition, protesters said they were attacked by police, but police officials said 30 arrests were made after the strike threatened to turn violent.

TV images showed union members using the poles of hammer and sickle Communist flags as weapons in clashes with other political parties. Shops and schools were closed, and trains services disrupted.

Economists say India urgently needs to liberalise land and labour markets to speed up economic growth that slipped to 7 percent in the June quarter, raising worries that the full-year figure could undershoot the official target of 8-8.5 percent.

The proposed labour revamp did not reach parliament in the session that ended last month due to fears it would cause a political backlash, and unless unions back down, may not do so in the winter session.

Opposition parties already blocked Modi’s reform agenda in parliament, delaying the introduction of a uniform goods-and-services tax aimed at making it easier to do business in India.

“We are determined to go ahead with reforms,” said a senior government official. “But politics will determine the timing.”

(Writing by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Raissa Kasolowsky)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Shashi Tharoor saddened by Yakub’s hanging, says execution has never prevented terror attack

Taking it to micro blogging site, Tharoor said, “Saddened by news that our government has hanged a human being.”

Senior Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who is saddened by the hanging of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Abdul Razak Memon said that the state-sponsored killing diminishes us all by reducing us to murderers too.Taking it to microblogging site Twitter, Tharoor said, “Saddened by news that our government has hanged a human being.”A little over 22 years after 12 coordinated blasts rocked Mumbai, killing 257 people and injuring over 700, the lone convict on death row in the case -Yakub Memon, was executed about two hours after his lawyers last-gasp plea to get the death warrant stayed was dismissed by the Supreme Court in an unprecedented hearing that began in the wee hours and ended at dawn.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tharoor further added, “There is no evidence that death penalty serves as a deterrent: to the contrary in fact. All it does is exact retribution: unworthy of a government.”However, stating that we must fight against terrorism w/all the means at our command, Tharoor also sahid, “Cold-blooded execution has never prevented a terror attack anywhere.”Tharoor also added that he is not commenting on the merits of a specific case and that’s for the Supreme Court to decide. “Problem is death penalty in principle & practice,” he said.Meanwhile, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja, reiterating his party’s opposition to capital punishment, said India should say no to the death penalty.In this regard I am moving a private member resolution in the Rajya Sabha, its listed for 31st July. Till the Government and Parliament decide upon death penalty statute, India should have a moratorium of death sentences, he added.Defending Yakub Memon’s execution, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that Supreme Court’s ruling is a slap on the face of those who were trying to protect a terrorist.

India should say no to death penalty, says CPI’s D Raja

In this regard I am moving a private member resolution in the Rajya Sabha, its listed for 31st July. Till the Government and Parliament decide upon death penalty statute, India should have a moratorium of death sentences, he added.

Reiterating his party’s opposition to capital punishment, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja said India should say no to the death penalty.We continue to hold our position, we oppose capital punishment. India should say no to capital punishment, Raja told ANI.In this regard I am moving a private member resolution in the Rajya Sabha, its listed for 31st July. Till the Government and Parliament decide upon death penalty statute, India should have a moratorium of death sentences, he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court earlier rejected 1993 Mumbai balsts convict Yakub Memon’s petition on his death warrant, paving the way for his execution tomorrow.A little over 22 years after 12 coordinated blasts rocked Mumbai, killing 257 people and injuring over 700, the lone convict on death row in the case –Yakub Abdul Razak Memon–was hanged after the Supreme Court this morning rejected his petition seeking stay of execution.

Pakistan army rakes up drone issue again, claims forensic tests show it was operated by India

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Army on Monday claimed that forensic tests of the drone it downed along the Line of Control (LoC) showed it was operated by the Indian Army.

Military spokesman said the visuals retrieved out of the drone indicate that the Quadcopter flew from Indian post.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Initially it remained close to the LoC, continuing surveillance throughout facing towards Pakistani side of the LoC, then crossed over the LoC and pictured a Pakistani post, the spokesman claimed.

The Pakistan Army has claimed that it downed an “India drone (Quadcopter) mission” on 15 July along the LoC.

The army also released images and video clips which show that the quadcopter started its flight from an Indian post and entered into Pakistani territory.

An image retrieved proves that after the purchase of this quadcopter it was taken inside M/S ASCOM office which is an Indian communication and Electronic Firm, the army claimed.

Another pre-flight picture indicates presence of an Indian soldier standing in the vicinity of quadcopter, it alleged.

An image probably taken before test flight of the drone on its arrival in forward areas indicate company headquarters of the Indian Sector, the army said.

An image taken by quadcopter immediately after flight from a post shows an Indian flag which proves that it started its flight from Indian post, it claimed.

But Chinese official media, the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC)-run People’s Daily Online, earlier reported that the phantom 3 drone was made in China by DJI, confirming Indian stance that it was of Chinese design.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar has also said that the drone was not in the inventory of the Indian defence forces.

The Pakistani army today also alleged that there was a “sudden spike both in terms of intensity, caliber escalation and air space violations by India” has been observed along LoC and the working boundary.

“Since 9 June 2015, 35 ceasefire violations have been committed by Indian troops,” it said.

PTI

Forensic tests show downed drone operated by India, claims Pakistan Army

An image retrieved proves that after the purchase of this quadcopter it was taken inside M/S ASCOM office which is an Indian communication and Electronic Firm, the army claimed.

crashed quadcopter

Pakistan’s Army on Tuesday claimed that forensic tests of the drone it downed along the Line of Control (LoC) showed it was operated by the Indian Army. Military spokesman said the visuals retrieved out of the drone indicate that the Quadcopter flew from Indian post.Initially it remained close to the LoC, continuing surveillance throughout facing towards Pakistani side of the LoC, then crossed over the LoC and pictured a Pakistani post, the spokesman claimed.The Pakistan Army has claimed that it downed an “India drone (Quadcopter) mission” on July 15 along the LoC. The army also released images and video clips which show that the quadcopter started its flight from an Indian post and entered into Pakistani territory.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An image retrieved proves that after the purchase of this quadcopter it was taken inside M/S ASCOM office which is an Indian communication and Electronic Firm, the army claimed.Another pre-flight picture indicates presence of an Indian soldier standing in the vicinity of quadcopter, it alleged.An image probably taken before test flight of the drone on its arrival in forward areas indicate company headquarters of the Indian Sector, the army said.An image taken by quadcopter immediately after flight from a post shows an Indian flag which proves that it started its flight from Indian post, it claimed.But Chinese official media, the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC)-run People’s Daily Online, earlier reported that the phantom 3 drone was made in China by DJI, confirming Indian stance that it was of Chinese design.Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar has also said that the drone was not in the inventory of the Indian defence forces.The Pakistani army on Tuesday also alleged that there was a “sudden spike both in terms of intensity, calibre escalation and air space violations by India” has been observed along LoC and the working boundary.”Since 9 June 2015, 35 ceasefire violations have been committed by Indian troops,” it said.

Drone shot down by Pak at LoC not sold to any govt, says Chinese manufacturer

Beijing: The Chinese firm, which reportedly manufactured the drone downed by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC), said the unmanned aircraft was not sold to any government, reinforcing India’s stand that it was not in its armed forces’ inventory.

The drone which Pakistan has claimed to have shot down along the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. PTI

The drone which Pakistan has claimed to have shot down along the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. PTI

Chinese drone maker, DJI, announced that governments are not their direct customers, in response to an earlier report that the alleged Indian “spy drone” shot down by Pakistan was made by it, the Global Times reported.

Earlier in an embarrassment for Pakistan, Chinese official media, the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC)-run People’s Daily Online, reported that the phantom 3 drone was made in China by DJI, confirming Indian stance that it was of Chinese design.

The Pakistani army had shot down the drone along the LoC on 15 July claiming it was from India.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar who refuted Pakistan’s claims of shooting down an Indian drone also said that it was not in the inventory of the Indian defence forces.

Pakistan had summoned Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad TCA Raghavan to lodge a protest over it.

The confirmation by the Chinese official media has put Pakistan in a fix considering the close strategic relations between Islamabad and Beijing.

The Global Times report also quoted DJI as saying that it is not difficult to purchase their drones through its website or through any vendors.

DJI is a Chinese technology company founded in 2006 by Frank Wang and headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong.

PTI

India reaffirms commitment to reconstruction efforts in Nepal

India had pledged US $1 billion in assistance to Nepal for its reconstruction programme which is over and above India’s existing developmental assistance

Nepal rescue work
Agencies
Reuters
Nepal’s former Prime Minister and chief of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Prachanda today met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who reaffirmed India’s unwavering commitment to the massive reconstruction efforts in the quake-battered country. Last month, India had pledged US $1 billion in assistance to Nepal for its reconstruction programme which is over and above India’s existing developmental assistance of another US $1 billion over the next five years. In the meeting, Swaraj conveyed India’s strong commitment to Nepal’s reconstruction process, sources said. Issues relating to Nepal’s Constitution also figured in the meeting. India has been favouring early finalisation of the Constitution.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prachanda, once an India baiter, has softened his stance towards the country in recent years. He had earlier frequently attacked India and accused New Delhi of interfering in Nepal’s affairs and “dictating” to its leadership. CPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda, arrived here yesterday on a seven-day visit. Four major political parties — Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist and Madhesi Peoples Forum Democratic — that together command 90 per cent majority in the 601-member Constituent Assembly have reached a 16-point deal to settle contentious issues of Constitution-drafting. The first draft of the Constitution was presented in the Constituent Assembly last week and is being deliberated upon. The draft Constitution will then be published in the Nepal Gazette for discussion by the people before its promulgation. However, some Madhesi (areas in the foothills close to Indo-Nepal border) parties and fringe parties are opposing the process, saying the proposed Constitution has failed to address their issues.Swaraj, who had visited Kathmandu last month for an international donors’ conference in the wake of the earthquake, had met the entire spectrum of Nepalese leadership, including Prachanda and encouraged them to finalise the the Constitution at the earliest. Also Read: India assures full support to Nepal in reconstruction efforts

Sitaram Yechuri indicates CPI(M) may take back Somnath Chatterjee

Associated with CPI(M) for the past four decades, Chatterjee, a ten-time MP, assumed the office of Lok Sabha Speaker after UPA government came to power in mid-2004 and became the first Communist MP to be elected to the high post.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechuri on Wednesday indicated that former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee will be reinducted into the party from which he was expelled seven years ago, as the two leaders shared a dais in Kolkata. “There are certain methodologies for such cases. Those methodologies are already taking place. You will get to know about it soon,” Yechuri told reporters on the sidelines of a programme here to mark the 102nd birth anniversary of party patriarch Jyoti Basu. Chatterjee shared dais with Yechuri along with Politburo members Biman Bose, Surjya Kanta Mishra and former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. CPI(M) expelled Somnath Chatterjee in July, 2008 after the then Politburo unanimously decided that he had seriously compromised the party’s position by refusing to step down as Lok Sabha Speaker.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Associated with CPI(M) for the past four decades, Chatterjee, a ten-time MP, assumed the office of Lok Sabha Speaker after UPA government came to power in mid-2004 and became the first Communist MP to be elected to the high post. After Left parties withdrew support to UPA government on July 9 that year over the Indo-US nuclear deal, Chatterjee remained determined to continue as Speaker, ignoring the party’s directive to resign.A defiant Chatterjee had then said he was above party politics given the nature of the post of Lok Sabha Speaker. While addressing the programme, Chatterjee said he had been able to become the Lok Sabha Speaker only because of the party and remembered how Jyoti Basu himself had encouraged him to take up the job of the Speaker in 2004.”When I became Speaker, Jyoti babu had told me that I need to set an example how a Communist performs well in parliamentary democracy also. I don’t know how I had performed but I had tried. There had been certain misunderstandings but I don’t want to talk about the past,” he said.

Rabindranath Tagore experts, politicians hit out at Kalyan Singh for national anthem remarks

Kolkata: Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh on Wednesday drew flak from Tagore experts, constitutional figures, academicians and politicians for seeking an amendment in the national anthem “Jana Gana Mana”.

While Singh’s Tripura counterpart Tathagata Roy chose micro-blogging site Twitter to assert that there was no such need, two former vice-chancellors of Rabindra Bharati University named after the bard lashed out against the Rajasthan governor calling him “ignorant” about both the anthem and Tagore.

Addressing the convocation ceremony of Rajasthan University, Kalyan Singh on Tuesday said he respected Tagore but called for dropping the word “aadhinayak” as it signified the British empire.

Roy, a BJP leader from West Bengal, asserted: “It has been 67 years since independence. Why should our adhinayak be the British? I don’t think it is right to make any change in the national anthem.”

Former RBU VC Subhankar Chakraborty said: “I am shocked and ashamed at Kalyan Singh’s comments. If he had the minimum knowledge about Tagore, or the song, he would not have uttered what he said. In the song, the people are the adhinayaka – the king of kings.

“Such was Tagore’s faith in the people, that once when he was asked who he considered the best king of Europe, he replied, ‘the people’,” Chakrabort, who has authored a book on Tagore, told IANS.

AFPAFP

AFP

Academician and Tagore expert Pabitra Sarkar also assailed Singh.

“His comments smack of ignorance, lack of education. He does not know when and in what context the song was written. Leave aside Bengali writers, even Irish literary figure W.B. Yeats and American poet-critic Ezra Pound have clearly stated that the song is not an eulogy to British rulers,” Sarkar, also an former vice chancellor of RBU, told IANS.

Sarkar said Tagore in the poem spoke about the eternal Indian spirit, the “mono adhinayaka” (the supreme inner spirit). “Had Kalyan Singh read the remaining verses of the poem he would have desisted from making his laughable and deplorable observations.”

Both the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Communist Party of India also assailed Kalyan Singh.

While CPI-M leader Brinda Karat accused him of speaking like an “RSS pracharak”, D. Raja of the CPI accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of “attempting to destroy the country’s secular democratic fabric”.

First sung by a choir in 1911 in the 26th session of the Indian National Congress at the city’s Greer Park, “Jana Gana Mana” was composed and set to tune by Tagore – the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913- days after the British government annulled the partition of Bengal.

Independent India’s constituent assembly adopted the first stanza of Brahmo hymn as the national anthem on Jan 24, 1950, after an intense debate that saw Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s “Vande Mataram” lose out narrowly following objections, particularly from Muslims.

However, Singh is not the first person to express misgivings about the song.

Critics had opposed making it India’s national anthem, claiming it was written as an eulogy to King George V, as its composition coincided with the Coronation durbar of the British emperor in New Delhi.

In 1937, Tagore in a letter admitted that one of his pro-establishment friends had requested him to write a paean for the emperor. “I was stunned at that, and also angered. As a result of this catastrophic reaction, I have declared the victory of the dispenser of India’s destiny in the Jana Gana Mana song.”

“That great charioteer of human destiny cannot, by any means, be fifth or sixth, or any George,” said Tagore who holds the unique distinction of having composed the national anthems of two countries – India and Bangladesh.

IANS

Hong Kong vetoes China-backed electoral reform proposal | Reuters

HONG KONG Hong Kong’s legislature on Thursday vetoed a China-backed electoral reform package criticized by opposition pro-democracy lawmakers and activists as undemocratic, easing for now the prospect of fresh mass protests in the financial hub.

The rejection had been expected and will likely appease some activists who had demanded a veto of what they call a “fake” democratic model for how the Chinese-controlled territory chooses its next leader in 2017.

But it was a setback for Beijing’s Communist leaders, who said in response that they remained committed to universal suffrage for Hong Kong but signalled no further concessions to the pro-democracy opposition.

Beijing had pressured and cajoled the city’s pro-democracy lawmakers to back the blueprint that would have allowed a direct vote for the city’s chief executive, but with only pre-screened, pro-Beijing candidates on the ballot.

The vote came earlier than expected, with only 37 of the 70 members of the Legislative Council, known as “legco”, present. Of these, 28 legislators voted against the blueprint and eight voted in favour, while one did not cast a vote.

“Today 28 legco members voted against the wishes of the majority of Hong Kong people, and denied them the democratic right to elect the chief executive in the next election,” said the city’s current pro-Beijing leader Leung Chun-ying.

“Universal suffrage for the chief executive election has now been blocked. Universal suffrage to elect all members of legco has also become uncertain. I, the government and millions of Hong Kong people are disappointed.”

A spokesman for China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress (NPC), said a few Hong Kong lawmakers remained “stubbornly opposed” to the central government.

“It fully exposes their selfish interests, hinders Hong Kong’s democratic development and damages the essence of Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” the spokesman said, in comments carried by state news agency Xinhua.

“VICTORY OF DEMOCRACY”

In an unexpected twist, moments before the ballot a large number of pro-establishment and pro-Beijing lawmakers suddenly walked out of the chamber. The votes of one-third of legco members are sufficient to push through a veto.

Democratic lawmakers, all 27 of whom voted against the plan, marched to the front of the chamber immediately after the veto and unfurled a sign calling for genuine universal suffrage and for Hong Kongers not to give up.

Some carried the yellow umbrellas that became a symbol of the mass protest movement that brought parts of the former British colony to a standstill last year.

“This veto has helped Hong Kong people send a clear message to Beijing … that we want a genuine choice, a real election,” said pan-democratic lawmaker Alan Leong.

“This is not the end of the democratic movement,” he said. “This is a new beginning.”

Outside the legislature, pro-democracy protesters broke into cheers and clapped wildly after the result.

“It’s a victory of democracy and the people,” said a 75-year-old pro-democracy protester surnamed Wong, who fought back tears.

Meanwhile, around 500 pro-Beijing supporters outside the chamber staged a minute’s silence then began chanting: “Vote them down in 2016!” calling for democratic lawmakers to be kicked out of the legislature in a citywide election next year.

Hundreds of police were in and around government headquarters with thousands more on standby, but there were no reports of trouble.

Weeks of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong late last year posed one of the biggest challenges in years for China’s ruling Communist Party. Then, more than 100,000 people took to the streets.

ONLY OPTION

The reform proposal was laid out by the NPC Standing Committee in Beijing last August and supported by Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leadership.

Opponents, however, want a genuine democratic election in line with Beijing’s promise of universal suffrage made when the territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Rejection of the proposal now means going back to the old system where a 1,200-member committee stacked with pro-Beijing loyalists selects Hong Kong’s leader.

Democratic lawmakers want on Beijing to restart the democratic reform process and put forward an improved, truly democratic electoral package.

But the NPC spokesman indicated that would not happen, saying that Beijing’s proposal was a “constitutional, lawful, fair and reasonable” decision. “It is legally binding and unshakeable,” he said.

Hong Kong lawmaker Michael Tien said that meant the rejected blueprint remained the only option. “It’s very simple. They put forward a proposal. The legislature for this term vetoed it,” he said.

“Next year is legco elections. The power is now in the hands of the voters. If the voters really want the current package they would then have to choose candidates that will support this package in the next term.”

(Additional reporting by James Pomfret, Clare Baldwin, Twinnie Siu, Saikat Chatterjee, Farah Master, Venus Wu, Viola Zhou, Shan Kao and Michelle China in HONG KONG, David Brunnstrom in WASHINGTON and Ben Blanchard and Sui-Lee Wee in BEIJING; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Alex Richardson)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

CPI (ML) ND activists protest attacks on journalists in Uttar Pradesh

Members of the New Delhi Committee of CPI (ML) ND demanded the removal and the arrest of UP minister Ram Murthy Singh Verma, who they said was associated with such mafia groups.

File photo of journalist Jagendra Singh.

The national capital saw another round of protests following successive attacks on journalists in Uttar Pradesh, this time by the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) New Democracy. The CPI(ML) ND agitated outside of UP Bhawan, charging the Samajwadi Party-led UP government with protecting the sand mafia and land mafia nexus in the state, while not taking action agasint the brutalisation of scribes who raised the issues.Members of the New Delhi Committee of CPI (ML) ND demanded the removal and the arrest of UP minister Ram Murthy Singh Verma, who they said was associated with such mafia groups. They demanded he be arrested for the murder of journalist Jagendra Singh, for burning him alive after Singh wrote against Verma. Barely two days ago, UP cabinet minister Shivpal Yadav had asserted that the state government would not be sacking any of their ministers without a probe. This is being seen by many as the SP government protecting its own men.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The protestor also brought up attacks on other reporters, such as journalists Deepak Mishra, and Haider who they said have been attacked in the past week for exposing gambling dens, illegal and deals, and Prashant Tandan of Rae Bareilly and Anuj Shukla of Mirzapur. They said that SP “heavyweight” Ramgopal Yadav has strongly came forward in support of the culprits and that he is known for sheltering illegal mining.The gathering was led by Aparna (President IFTU), Com Mrigank, Spokesperson of Delhi Committee CPI (ML) ND, Poonam Kaushik (Gen. Sec. PMS) and saw the participation of students, trade union activists and intellectuals.The protestor were also surrounded by the Delhi Police and repeatedly told to terminate their protest. Later a memorandum addressed to the UP Government was handed over through the Resident Commissioner.

Three militants, including two NSCN(K) insurgents arrested in Manipur

A self styled ‘chairman’ of NSCN(K)’s ‘Amamchat region’, Khumlo Abi Anal, was nabbed by Imphal West district police commandos during a search operation in a super market under Lamphel police station on June 11 last, a press release issued by the Manipur police said.

In the aftermath of the June 4 ambush on an Army convoy in which 18 soldiers were killed, three militants, including two NSCN(K) insurgents, have been arrested in Manipur.A self styled ‘chairman’ of NSCN(K)’s ‘Amamchat region’, Khumlo Abi Anal, was nabbed by Imphal West district police commandos during a search operation in a super market under Lamphel police station on June 11 last, a press release issued by the Manipur police said.He hails from Lambung village of Chandel district, the release said.The police commandos also arrested another NSCN(K) activist Pammei Kakilong alias Kaling 9310 of Chingkhulong village of Tamenglong district while conducting frisking at Sagolband Salam Leikai in Imphal West district on June 11, the release said<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In another search operation conducted jointly by Imphal East police commandos and 40 Assam Rifles at Kiyamgei village in Imphal East district on June 10 last, one Md Jahid Ali (22), an activist of outlawed Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP-MC) outfit, was arrested, the release said.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury donates Rs 3.25 crore to quake-hit Nepal

Yechury said he had collected the money from the people of India at the grass-roots level for providing relief to the earthquake-affected people of Nepal.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has donated Rs 3 crore 25 lakh to Nepal Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund after collecting the money from Indian people to help the quake-hit nation.Yechuri, who arrived in Nepal yesterday on a two-day private visit, handed over a cheque of Rupees 3.25 crore equivalent to over Nepali Rupees 5.20 crore to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala at his official residence at Baluwatar.Yechury said he had collected the money from the people of India at the grass-roots level for providing relief to the earthquake-affected people of Nepal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CPI(M) chief said he was happy to hand over the assistance to the Prime Minister on behalf of the people of India. He also congratulated Prime Minister Koirala for signing a deal among the four major partites on Monday, paving way for drafting a new Constitution.Koirala said it was his wish to conclude the peace process during his premiership as it would help establish peace and stability in Nepal that would pave way for attaining economic prosperity and development for the country.Yechuri also met other top Nepali leaders, including President Dr Rambaran Yada, UCPN-Maoist chief Prachanda and CPN-UML chairman K P Sharma Oli.The CPI(M) leader was also present during the signing of the peace accord between the ruling Seven Party Alliance and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in 2006.

Manipur ambush: Army recovers second body of insurgent

New Delhi/Imphal: The Army recovered the second body of an insurgent, who was injured in an ambush on an Army convoy in Chandel district of Manipur on 4 June, from a village close to Myanmar border.

Security sources said the body was recovered in the jungles of Leibung village near the ambush site on Sunday and bore three bullet wounds. It is suspected that KYKL (Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup) cadre was left behind in the village after he succumbed to the injuries while being taken back by the insurgents.

The Manipur ambush killed 20 jawaans and injured 11

The Manipur ambush killed 20 jawaans and injured 11. AFP

Identification of the body will be performed at Imphal, said a police source.

The Army had earlier recovered the body of NSCN-K cadre on 4 June.

As per communication intercepts, it was a group of about 25-28 insurgents who had carried out the deadly ambush, claiming lives of 18 armymen.

It is believed that the group has now divided itself into sub-groups of 4-5 men and are trying to make their way into Myanmar.

It is feared that 2-3 groups could have successfully moved out even though security forces have launched an extensive combing operation.

“There are two routes which can be used to get out of that area. Combing operation has started from both sides of the route and we hope to get some of the attackers,” the  sources told PTI.

The Army believes that majority of the attackers came from KYKL and rest from Khaplang group of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) and the KCP (Kangleipak Communist Party).

The Army is keen to carry out “joint operations” with Myanmar to take out “camps” across the border, the sources said even as they ruled out any “hot pursuit”.

Hot pursuit is a term used when security forces cross borders in search of suspects who have crossed over.

Security sources have admitted that there was an intelligence failure and that a “sense of complacency” could have crept in as no attacks had happened in that area for long.

According to initial reports, there were four vehicles moving in the Moltung area of Chandel district when the ambush took place.

The insurgents had used “lathod guns” (used for firing grenades) along with automatic rifles. The first truck carrying about 5-6 soldiers also had barrels of fuel which  exploded taking out the trucks behind it.

The second truck was carrying about 18-19 soldiers while the rest of the about 46 member-strong convoy were in the other trucks.

The bodies of majority of the soldiers were charred completely.

PTI

IIT Madras row: RSS mouthpiece justifies action to ban APSC

In an editorial “Unmasking pseudo-Ambedkarites” in its lastest edition, RSS also attacked Rahul Gandhi for visiting Mhow on the birth anniversary of Ambedkar.

PTI
RSS mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ on Saturday justified the action taken against a Dalit students body by IIT, Madras, and claimed educational campuses are “afflicted with red ideology.”In an editorial “Unmasking pseudo-Ambedkarites” in its lastest edition, RSS also attacked Rahul Gandhi for visiting Mhow on the birth anniversary of Ambedkar. It said use of institutional space and symbols without permission amounts to “indiscipline” and the institution has every right to question students.’Organiser’ also said educational campuses are “afflicted with red ideology” and forums like Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) in IIT-Madras are used for “propagating anti-Hindu and anti-Bharat divisive ideology”, which Ambedkar would never have approved. “Nobody can and should support ban on any student outfit for criticising government policies; definitely not, if the students are talking about caste-based discrimination in education sector,” the editorial said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It said there is neither any ban from government nor the notice issued to APSC for criticising the Prime Minister, as propagated by the group and secular media/intellectuals, and the HRD Ministry had only forwarded a complaint by another section of students. “The issue of administrative disciplinary action against the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) in IIT-Madras and Rahul Gandhi turning to Ambedkar birth memorial are “similar attempts to mask great nationalist reformers like Babasaheb with Communist garb of class divisions or Congress’ way of vote bank politics,” the editorial said.

Army launches trace-and-hunt operation in Manipur

Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag on Friday rushed to Manipur and took briefings from the 3 Corps in Dimapur and also discussed the issue with senior police officers, a source said.

Relatives mourn the death of Manoj Kumar, a soldier who was killed in an ambush in Manipur, at his village in Himachal Pradesh on Friday

PTI
The army on Friday launched a massive manhunt in Manipur, which senior officials in New Delhi, off-the-record, termed as ‘trace-and-hunt’ operation. Eighteen soldiers were massacred and 11 grievously injured in an ambush by insurgents on Thursday. Security forces on foot and aided by military choppers are combing the area in the remote mountainous forests of Manipur’s Chandel district, close to Myanmar border. This was here the army convoy belonging to the 6 Dogra Regiment was attacked with land mines, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag on Friday rushed to Manipur and took briefings from the 3 Corps in Dimapur and also discussed the issue with senior police officers, a source said. The Indo-Myanmar border has been closed to prevent the attackers, suspected to be belonging to Manipur rebel outfits, National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) or NSCN(K), Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) and Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), from crossing over. Questions are also being raised on the army’s failure to detect such a threat despite the incident happening close to the regimental centre and whether the standard operating procedure was followed while sanitising the road that the convoy took. The incident happened despite the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in place in the insurgency-hit state.

CPI and IIT-Madras students condemn action against Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle

CPI National Secreatry D Raja said dissent is a part of our democracy.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Friday condemned the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras’ action against a student group for allegedly spreading ‘hatred’ against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and said people have a right to criticise the government. “I strongly condemn the action taken by the IIT authorities in Chennai against a student group. This is an outrageous and discriminatory action against particular group of students…Even if they accuse Prime Minister Modi and his government, then what is the problem. Dissent is a part of our democracy. People have right to criticize the government of the day,” CPI national secretary D Raja said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Meanwhile, Ramesh, an APSC member and IIT Madras student, said they have a constitutional right to hold discussions. “There is no explanation in mail as to why they de-recognised the body. We explained that we have a constitutional right to discuss…Whatever we discuss is according to the Constitution,” he said. “We were told that we were de-recognized and told that we can’t hurt the feelings of the masses. Rational thought is being demolished, only superstition and pseudo science are being allowed,” said another IIT Madras student who is also a part of the APSC. The IIT Madras has come down heavily on the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) after a Union Human Resource Development Ministry’s letter to the institution’s director about the student group’sinvolvement in spreading ‘hatred’ against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Ministry had cited an anonymous letter received by them describing the activities of the student group in question.

Tibetan father of four sets himself alight in China: reports

A Tibetan father-of-four set himself on fire in protest at China’s rule over the Himalayan region, overseas media and rights groups said, adding it was unclear whether he survived.

File Photo of Tibetans protest

AFP
A Tibetan father-of-four set himself on fire in protest at China’s rule over the Himalayan region, overseas media and rights groups said, adding it was unclear whether he survived.Tenzin Gyatso attempted to self-immolate after being “upset” by tightened security ahead of the 80th birthday of exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, sources told Radio Free Asia, which is backed by the US government. The 35-year-old staged his fiery protest on Wednesday in Daofu, in a Tibetan-majority area of the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, RFA said. “While he was burning, security personnel stationed in the area rushed to put out the fire and took him away,” a source named Tawu Tenzin told the media outlet. “It is hard to know now whether he has died or is still alive.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He has the same name as the Dalai Lama, who is denounced as a separatist by Beijing and whose birthday is on July 6. Two years ago police opened fire on Tibetans marking his birthday in Daofu, shooting at least one monk in the head and seriously wounding several other people, two overseas groups said. The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said that Tenzin Gyatso set fire to himself outside a government building where “political education” was taking place. “It is believed that the tight security and oppressive atmosphere in the… area in the last few days triggered Tenzin Gyatso’s self-immolation protest,” the group on Friday cited a Tibetan in contact with local sources as saying.Police in Ganzi prefecture, which includes Daofu, told AFP they were not aware of the reported self-immolation attempt. There have been 140 such acts in Tibet and elsewhere since 2009, most of them fatal, both the ICT and RFA said. They peaked in the run-up to the ruling Communist Party’s pivotal five-yearly congress in November 2012, and have been less common in recent months.Many Tibetans accuse the government of religious repression and eroding their culture, as China’s majority Han ethnic group increasingly moves into historically Tibetan areas. Beijing condemns the acts and blames them on exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, saying he uses them to further a separatist agenda.The Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace laureate who has lived in India since 1959 after a failed uprising in Tibet, has described the burnings as acts of desperation that he is powerless to stop.

Modi should pack Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War’ for inflight reading on his way to China

When it comes to China, it is best for India to think along parallel tracks: the economic relationship, the cultural linkages, and the border standoff have to be dealt with separately, even though they may be interlinked.

This is what Narendra Modi should keep in mind as he begins what promises to be the most important visit by an Indian Prime Minister to its most important neighbour: China.

To come back with some diplomatic or economic gains, Modi needs to understand three things: first, how China thinks; second, how it is executing its strategy for Asian dominance; and three, how it sees India and how we see it. And yes, Modi’s in-flight reading en route to China should include a copy of Sun Tzu’s classic, The Art of War. The Chinese leadership knows this text by heart.

Reuters imageReuters image

Reuters image

So what do we need to know about how China thinks or acts?

First, Chinese power has historically been focused on creating a cohesive society internally, through constant and brutal internal warfare. China has seldom sought territorial conquests outside during its five thousand year history. China considers itself culturally superior to the rest of the world, and believes the world should pay obeisance to its power and cultural refinement. “All under Heaven” was the mandate the Chinese gave their emperors. It did not change under Mao’s Communist dicatorship or Deng’s authoritarian capitalism that China adopted after Mao. China seeks formal recognition by the world, and India, of its superiority, culturally or otherwise. India poses a threat to its cultural superiority, if not economically or politically.

Second, China projects power more or less the way Sun Tzu, a second century BCE Chinese military strategist, taught it. The key elements of Sun Tzu strategy are deception and the consistent building of one strengths clandestinely. Sun Tzu advocated intimidating and overwhelming the enemy without war. China fights a war rarely, and then too only if it thinks it can win overwhelmingly. The key Sun Tzu precepts to note are the following quotes from his book:

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”
And
“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

To counter China, India needs to understand when China is bluffing, and when it is genuinely capable of going to war over an issue.

In 1962, China went to war by fooling Nehru into believing the border issue was a small thing, when it was actually a big deal for China, which had just invaded and taken over Tibet. Even as it prepared for war, it lulled Nehru into believing it was all for peace. Little wonder we lost 1962.

Since the 1980s, China has been building its economic and military might slowly, but consistently. When Communist Soviet Union appeared to be a threat, it used the US as counter-weight to show strength to the enemy. After Mao, Deng realised that military might could not be sustained without economic might. China built the most powerful manufacturing capability over the next 20 years and became factory to the world. The world woke up too late to the Chinese threat.

Having achieved economic and military might next only to the US, China is now implementing the second of Sun Tzu’s maxims: subduing the enemy (or enemies) without fighting. It yanked Hong Kong out of Britain’s grasp without a fight. It has embraced Taiwan in an economic partnership where the latter ultimately has to succumb to a Hong Kong-like solution and Chinese takeover. The west will not fight over Taiwan. China has also enticed the rest of Asia with economic partnerships – and neutralised them. It is now trying to browbeat Japan and India to yield on its territorial claims by a show of high belligerence.

China is unlikely to go to war or push its luck too far on these issues, but only if both Japan and India play their cards right. We should not only build an alliance, but also beef up our economies and military might even while talking trade and culture with the Chinese. These parallel tracks are key to containing China. When they see strength, they back off.

This is what we can learn from Sun Tzu: “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

Right now, both India and Japan are relatively weak vis-à-vis China. This is, therefore, a very good reason to appear strong and economically and politically aligned.

China is doing the same to us with its string-of-pearls alliances in the Indian Ocean. From Sri Lanka to Bangladesh to Nepal and, most certainly, Pakistan, China is trying to tell us it has us surrounded. Resistance to its geopolitical aims is pointless.

We have to stare back, and silently keep building our military strengths and alliances. We don’t need to provoke, but frequent trips to the north-east, regular consultations with the Dalai Lama on Tibetan concerns, and strategic conferences with the US, Japan, and Vietnam are vital to doing a Sun Tzu on China.

On trade, too, China currently holds the high cards – seemingly. In 2014-15, says Mint quoting the Confederation of Indian Industry, India imported $45 billion more from China than what we exported. Our manufacturing has hollowed out due to China.

Modi needs to tell China that this is unsustainable. China has to buy more from India, or allow its currency to appreciate significantly against the rupee. There is need for a direct rupee-yuan currency market that is not intermediated by the US dollar.

We could also throw hints that lucrative infrastructure projects could be offered to China if it is more reasonable on trade balance.

We can bring up the issue of Chinese dams on the Brahmaputra – and throw in the possibility of international arbitration for disputes in the area. China won’t accept, but we should bring it up nevertheless.

We should also whisper in Chinese ears about Islamic terrorism emanating from Pakistan. The Chinese know all about it, but there is no reason why we should not fan their fears relentlessly and give them unsolicited intelligence on what we know about the jihadi terror.

What we should never do is bring up the border issue or its alliance with Pakistan every time we meet up. Our interests are best served by indicating that we can defend ourselves. Bringing up the border repeatedly makes China feel that its actions on the border are rattling us. They are long-term players, and they are looking for signs that we are desperate for a settlement. We should never be desperate for a settlement of the border issue. We should be willing to wait till kingdom come. In fact, Modi should surprise China by never bringing up the border. If they want to, they can.

We also need to understand China’s real interests: they definitely want Tawang, the birthplace of the Dalai Lama, and probably not the whole of Arunachal Pradesh, which they call lower Tibet. But they will never tell us this. They are desperate to end Tibetan resistance to Han Chinese rule by taking all the Tibetan holy places and ensuring that the next Dalai Lama is under Chinese control. We should never support such a move – and must make it clear in closed-door meetings that India will never recognise a China-appointed Dalai Lama.

Unlike Pakistan, where our relationship is blighted by that country’s unremitting hatred of India (at least, as far as the Pakistani army is concerned), in China’s case the underlying cause of tension is not innate hostility (despite our humiliating defeat in the 1962 war), but the long-term power asymmetry that has gone unaddressed.

This asymmetry is what China wants to retain, and which Modi needs to correct. This correction is what China wants India to be deflected from through belligerent action.

When you are perceived as weak, bullies will try and intimidate you. And China is nothing if not a bully. This is what explains Chinese border incursions last September, just when President Xi Jinping paid a visit to India after Modi took over as PM; this is what is at play even now, as China’s official media keeps up a high-decibel anti-India chant, whether by warning him against visiting the north-east, and especially Arunachal Pradesh, or by alleging Modi is “playing little tricks” on the border.

This is typical Chinese strategy – to keep the other side off-balance by constantly trying to unsettle it with pinpricks or intimidation even while officially talking peace and good neighbourliness.

Last September, Modi appeared irritated that Xi’s visit was timed with a border incursion in the Chumar sector of Ladakh. He noted: “Yeh chhoti chhoti ghatnayen bade se bade sambandhon ko prabhavit kar deti hain. Agar daant ka dard ho to saara sharir kaam nahin karta hai”, The Times of India quoted Modi as telling Xi.

However, this time the government’s response seems to have been different. Even as the Chinese media upped the ante on Modi’s “little tricks”, the Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar ticked off the Chinese by protesting against their proposed investment in infrastructure in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and Modi himself met legislators from the north-east, including Arunachal Pradesh, to send a simple message to Beijing: two can play the game. Even as this shadow-boxing was on, Modi talked peace and poverty eradication as a joint India-China responsibility.

One hopes Modi and his China advisors have read Sun Tzu.

Top Naxal leader arrested: Kerala’s most wanted Maoist is a law graduate with IT diploma

A top Maoist leader, who was wanted in at least 20 cases in Kerala, his wife and three others, were arrested on Monday near Coimbatore in a “big breakthrough” for the police of four southern states.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

But did you know that the Maoist leader who was the most wanted Naxal in Kerala is well-educated ? Roopesh, apart from being a Maoist, was also a law graduate with a diploma in Information Technology, according to reports.

Roopesh, before he became in charge of the Western Ghats zone of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the leader of the Maoist movement in Kerala with his wife, had initially joined the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), according to The New Indian Express.

His wife, Shyna, is a former Kerala High Court employee, intelligence officials told NDTV. Moreover, she came in the news in 2011 after she wrote a letter to Kerala CM Oommen Chandy, calling for action against police officials for allegedly harassing her 71-year-old mother and her two children, reported Indian Express.

The report also said that Roopesh had written a novel in 2013 which was published by two publishing houses in Kerala under the titles ‘Maoist’ and ‘Vasanthathile Poomarangal (Flowering trees of spring)’.

Their elder daughter Amy said that her father had gone into hiding in 2002 and her mother in 2008.

“As a daughter, I would support their struggles. I realise my parents’ struggle is also meant for me and my future. For me, they are the true leaders who remain dedicated to their cause,” Indian Express quoted Amy as saying.

Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said on Monday night that the arrest of Roopesh and the others were made by Andhra police following a joint operation undertaken by Andhra, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu police.

He said this was a “big breakthrough” and could be achieved due to ‘co-ordinated’ efforts of the four state governments.

“At least five Maoists have been arrested. For the past two months, police of Andhra, Karnataka Kerala and Tamil Nadu were undertaking joint operations to nab them,” he said.

“The Maoists are being questioned. Roopesh will be brought to Kerala,” he said.

Besides the couple, others arrested were Anup from Kerala, Veeramani from Karnataka and Kannan from Tamil Nadu, the sources said, adding, all would be taken to Kerala for further questioning on the way to Andhra Pradesh.

(With inputs from PTI)

Top Maoist leader arrested: Kerala’s most wanted Naxal is a law graduate with an IT diploma

A top Maoist leader, who was wanted in at least 20 cases in Kerala, his wife and three others, were arrested on Monday near Coimbatore in a “big breakthrough” for the police of four southern states.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

But did you know that the Maoist leader who was the most wanted Naxal in Kerala is well-educated ? Roopesh, apart from being a Maoist, was also a law graduate with a diploma in Information Technology, according to reports.

Roopesh, before he became in charge of the Western Ghats zone of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the leader of the Maoist movement in Kerala with his wife, had initially joined the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), according to The New Indian Express.

His wife, Shyna, is a former Kerala High Court employee, intelligence officials told NDTV. Moreover, she came in the news in 2011 after she wrote a letter to Kerala CM Oommen Chandy, calling for action against police officials for allegedly harassing her 71-year-old mother and her two children, reported Indian Express.

The report also said that Roopesh had written a novel in 2013 which was published by two publishing houses in Kerala under the titles ‘Maoist’ and ‘Vasanthathile Poomarangal (Flowering trees of spring)’.

Their elder daughter Amy said that her father had gone into hiding in 2002 and her mother in 2008.

“As a daughter, I would support their struggles. I realise my parents’ struggle is also meant for me and my future. For me, they are the true leaders who remain dedicated to their cause,” Indian Express quoted Amy as saying.

Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said on Monday night that the arrest of Roopesh and the others were made by Andhra police following a joint operation undertaken by Andhra, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu police.

He said this was a “big breakthrough” and could be achieved due to ‘co-ordinated’ efforts of the four state governments.

“At least five Maoists have been arrested. For the past two months, police of Andhra, Karnataka Kerala and Tamil Nadu were undertaking joint operations to nab them,” he said.

“The Maoists are being questioned. Roopesh will be brought to Kerala,” he said.

Besides the couple, others arrested were Anup from Kerala, Veeramani from Karnataka and Kannan from Tamil Nadu, the sources said, adding, all would be taken to Kerala for further questioning on the way to Andhra Pradesh.

(With inputs from PTI)

Kolkata: Deceased senior CPI-M leader’s son joins BJP

Arunava Nandy, the son of late CPI(M) leader Amitava Nandy, joined BJP on Monday and was welcomed to the fold by the party’s state unit president.

Arunava Nandy, the son of late CPI(M) leader Amitava Nandy, joined BJP on Monday and was welcomed to the fold by the party’s state unit president.”Arunava is from a family of a well-known Communist leader. His joining the party will certainly add strength to BJP and inspire more youths to come and join us,” BJP state president Rahul Sinha said. When asked why he chose to join BJP despite being from a Communist family, 36-year-old Arunava, who has never been associated with any political outfit, said “I cannot let a party or its leaders dictate what I should be doing, whom I should talk to or not talk to. This is the situation in both CPI(M) and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In fact, I think people have forgotten the ideology which my father used to believe in. Things have changed a lot in CPI-M and that’s why I thought of joining BJP and working for it,” he said. Amitava Nandy, who was a former CPI-M state committee member, was an MP from Dum Dum Lok Sabha constituency. He lost to Trinamool Congress’s Saugata Roy in 2009. The veteran leader passed away in 2014 after prolonged illness.

Beyond the red lines

In China, the red lines are clear. Any direct criticism of the Communist Party has in the past, brought lengthy jail terms for dissident writers and artists, with a vague “subversion” law deployed frequently to muzzle critics.



5 days after being shot, Govind Pansare succumbs to injuries

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Unfazed by expulsion, Bihar CM Jitan Manjhi calls cabinet meeting again

Patna: Unfazed by the uncertainty over his continuance, Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi called a cabinet meeting on Tuesday and might recommend dissolution of the state assembly, an official said.

“Manjhi has called a meeting of his cabinet at 4 pm on Tuesday. Though the agenda is not known, he may take some big decisions, including recommending dissolution of the state assembly,” an official in the chief minister office here said.

The development came a day after Manjhi insisted that he remained chief minister till he fails to prove his majority in the state assembly. A Janata Dal-United leader close to Manjhi, however, said he “may or may not recommend dissolution of the state assembly, but by holding a cabinet meeting, he wanted to send a strong massage that he is still a chief minister”.

In the last cabinet meeting on 7 February after senior Bihar minister Narendra Singh had proposed dissolution of the assembly, 21 of the 28 ministers had walked out.

Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi. IBNLive

These ministers were considered close to former chief minister Nitish Kumar.

The battle lines have clearly been drawn as Manjhi, expelled from the ruling JD-U Monday, sought to prove his majority on the floor of the assembly and his predecessor, Nitish Kumar, staking claim to form the government, accused Manjhi of “horse-trading”.

Things came to a boil on Monday when Nitish Kumar met Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi and formally staked claim to form the government.

He, along with 130 legislators of his JD-U, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Congress and the Communist Party of India marched to Raj Bhavan.

Manjhi, hand-picked by then chief minister Nitish Kumar as his replacement when he quit last year after the JD-U’s rout in the Lok Sabha polls, also met the governor and sought to prove his majority in the assembly but by “secret ballot”.

In the 243-member assembly, the JD-U has 115 legislators – most of whom are reportedly with Nitish Kumar. It is backed by 24 legislators of the RJD, five of the Congress, two Independents and one from the CPI.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 88 legislators and is supported by three Independents.

IANS

Left parties to skip US President Barack Obama banquet

This time, the Indian Communists will skip the ceremonial banquet at Rashtrapati Bhavan for the visiting US president Barack Obama. Instead, the four Left Parties are planning anti-US protests on January 24, the day before Obama lands here.When contacted, CPM politburo member and Rajya Sabha MP Sitaram Yechury said he would be away in Kolkata on January 25, when president Pranab Mukherjee hosts the banquet for Obama.But, according to party sources, the Left parties had decided to hold protests against US “imperialism” and “military interventions” in other countries and none of its leaders would be attending the dinner. Rashtrapati Bhavan sources said invitations had been sent to all political parties.During his visit in 2010, Obama had expressed his pleasure to meet an Indian Communist at the Rashtrapati Bhavan banquet. When Yechury was introduced to him, Obama had said “I am glad to meet an Indian Communist. I am told that Communists have been part of the political mainstream.” Yechury told him that the Indian Communists have always been in the political mainstream in the country.Though the Left parties did stage protests during the US president’s visit, a ritual almost for the Communists, CPM and CPI leaders had made a departure from traditional practice by attending Obama’s speech in Parliament and the banquet.CPM mouthpiece “People’s Democracy” in its editorial released on Friday said the invitation to Obama by the Modi government conveyed “a strong signal to the world that India is cementing its position as a “subordinate ally” of US imperialism. “This is a significant shift that will shape the demise of India’s long held faith in pursuing an independent foreign policy. While India has and shall continue to develop friendly relations with all countries in the world, India’s foreign policy must always be dictated by its `enlightened national interests,” the crux of which is the solidarity with the developing world in resisting global domination by any power.”The CPM, which had taken the lead in opposing the nuclear deal between India and the US, is also opposed to any dilution in the liability law. Party leaders have said that India should not give in to “pressure” from the US and dilute the liability clauses.During the visit of US president George W Bush in 2006, the Left parties, which were then an outside supporter of the ruling Manmohan Singh government, had taken to the streets across the country protesting Washington’s policies, particularly regarding interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the Left had taken a softer approach towards his successor Obama.