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Fragile Western Ghats paying price of development

On Friday, dna had reported that Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat and Kerala have recommended that only 19,702.85 sqkm of eco-sensitive area (ESA) should be retained as against the 56,825 sqkm that was identified by the K Kasturirangan-led committee, opening up the rest for development and commercial activities. The state governments were unhappy with the Kasturirangan report and thus the central Government had allowed them to physically verify their ESAs.

Nikhil M Ghanekar

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Updates: PM Modi leaves for Lahore for unexpected Pakistan visit, after speech at Afghan Parliament

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The relations between India and Pakistan witnessed some positive developments after chill for several months.

Modi

PM Narendra Modi has left for Lahore airport from Kabul, on an unexpected and impromptu visit to Pakistan. He will meet Nawaz Sharif there.Earlier, In a surprise development, it had been announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a stop over in Lahore, to meet his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif there on Friday afternoon.Modi was in Kabul on Friday, inaugurating the Afghan Parliament building and delivering a speech. Modi announced scholarships for 500 children of nartyred Afghan security forces.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: LIVE Updates: PM Modi addresses Afghan Parliament, announces 500 scholarships for childrenModi on Friday greeted his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday and wished him good health.”I wish the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Nawaz Sharif on his birthday and pray that he remains in wonderful health,” Modi, tweeted.The relations between India and Pakistan witnessed some positive developments after chill for several months. The two countries recently decided to launch a comprehensive dialogue after Modi and Sharif met in Paris.

Congress slams, BJP hails Modi’s sudden detour to Pakistan

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It also happens to be Nawaz Sharif’s birthday, and Modi has already extended his greetings.

PM Narendra Modi

The Congress has slammed PM Narendra Modi for announcing an unexpected visit to Lahore, Pakistan to meet PM Nawaz Sharif. The two will meet at Lahore airport.”If the decision is not preposterous then it is utterly ridiculous,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari. “This adventure of PM Modi is going to have serious implications on India’s national security”, he claimed.”Have relations with Pakistan improved that PM is meeting Pakistan PM today, without taking the people into confidence?”, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar argued.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli praised the decision.”Better relations with Pakistan are in the interest of the region. We will keep raising our concerns too. If two countries can try to work out a relation that brings peace not only between them but the entire region, it is something to be welcomed,” he said. Related Read: PM Modi to make sudden visit to Pakistan today after speech at Afghan ParliamentModi is currently in Afghanistan and will fly to Pakistan this afternoon before coming back to Delhi. It also happens to be Nawaz Sharif’s birthday, and Modi has already extended his greetings.Modi on Friday delivered a speech at Afghanistan’s new Parliament building, which India has built. He announced scholarships for 500 children of martyred Afghan soldiers. Among other things, he also promised that India and Afghanistan would always remain friends.Related Read: PM Modi addresses Afghan Parliament, announces 500 scholarships for children; promises everlasting friendship

60-year-old woman gangraped in Jind

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The incident took place on Friday evening when the woman had gone to Kaithal.

Representational image
File Photo

A 60-year-old woman was allegedly abducted and raped by three persons, police said on Sunday. The incident took place on Friday evening when the woman had gone to Kaithal. There she met her neighbours Jaybir and Jitendra who promised to drop her home. But they took her to a slum near Hansi Branch Nagar, where an unidentified person joined the duo and raped her, police said. The accused threatened the woman with dire consequences if she revealed the matter to anyone and dumped her near the Hansi Branch Nagar bridge. Based on a complaint of the woman, a case of rape, abduction and attempt to murder has been registered against the three persons, a police officer said, adding that further investigation into the case in on. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

IITians are not Indians, says Markandey Katju

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“Please don’t have any illusions, I also don’t have any illusions about you. You are not Indians. I don’t regard you as Indians.”

Markandey Katju

zeenews.com
Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju calls IITians non-Indians while addressing the students of Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay.He visited the Institution on Friday to speak on various issues. He said that the students of IIT do not have genuine love for the country and they are utterly selfish with no patriotism or idealism left among them.Later he took to twitter where he posted “Most of you IIT students have no genuine love for the country. You are utterly selfish, with no patriotism or idealism.”Katju further said, “Please don’t have any illusions, I also don’t have any illusions about you. You are not Indians. I don’t regard you as Indians.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He even said that he doesn’t expect anything from IIT students.”India should not have any hopes from you because eventually you will serve America or Germany,” he added.In his Facebook post, Katju mentioned that IIT students are utterly selfish.
He wrote, “All you want is to migrate to America (and most of you manage to do that), usually by first going for an M.Tech degree there (for which you get a scholarship), and then settling down there and enjoying comfortable life — and to hell with India.”Not only that, he even went on to the tax sector where he said, “Your education in IIT is largely subsidized by the Indian taxpayer. But after we Indians pay for your education, you are taken away by America who benefit form your knowledge, which was imparted by us.He lashed at IITians and further mentioned, “And after settling down in America, you will become NRIs — supercilious know-alls, who will give lectures to Indians about what is good for them and what is not.”

December 16 gangrape case: Juvenile convict’s village divided over his release

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Residents of the convict’s native village in Badaun district maintained that the youth, who did such a heinous crime, had no place in the village.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Even as the juvenile convict in December 16 gangrape case is set to walk free on Sunday after serving three years in a correction home, some residents of his native village here are not happy with the prospect of his return. The youth, now 20-years-old, was convicted of brutally assaulting and raping a 23-year-old medical student in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012, along with five others. The girl succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012.Residents of the convict’s native village in Badaun district maintained that the youth, who did such a heinous crime, had no place in the village. A senior resident Phoolchandra said that the incident has brought much infamy to the village and the country in the eyes of the world. He claimed that after the infamous episode, the village youth studying outside were also looked at contemptuously and are usually denied employment. As a result of which, employment is increasing in the village, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a stark contrast, the poverty-struck family members of the youth are eagerly waiting for his return. The family members said that the youth should be given a chance to repent and start a new life after returning to the village.The convict’s mother said that though no family member would go to Delhi to receive him, it was her wish that he returned to the village and helped the family living in abject poverty. She said that her husband was mentally challenged and her two daughters worked as labourers to support the family, therefore she needed her son to come back.Haji Tauseef Raza and few other village residents also seconded her opinion. They said that the youth, having served his sentence, had learnt a big lesson and should be allowed to start afresh. Raza said people of the village would fully support him.The Delhi High Court had on Friday refused to stay the release of the convict, stating he could not be stopped from walking free under the existing provisions of law. Meanwhile, the youth’s release was widely criticised by the parents of the victim and various other bodies, saying he must be kept in observation home until his reformation was ascertained.

MPs unite to defeat Bill to amend Section 377

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Criticising the attitude of MPs, a Bangalore-based NGO Sangama, working for the sexual and gender minorities, said that no responsible Parliament should ignore the harassment and persecution of sexual minorities on account of outdated and archaic Section 377.

While the Juvenile Justice Bill continues to languish in Rajya Sabha over a year now, Lok Sabha on Friday shot down an effort by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor to legalise gay sex through a private member’s Bill at the introduction stage itself. The MPs prevented any discussion aimed at dropping Section 377 from the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860 that criminalises homosexuality. The ruling BJP members pressed for division to flung out the Bill and scored victory as its introduction was disallowed by a majority of 71 as against 24 voting for it. Tharoor tweeted: “Surprising to see such intolerance.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Criticising the attitude of MPs, a Bangalore-based NGO Sangama, working for the sexual and gender minorities, said that no responsible Parliament should ignore the harassment and persecution of sexual minorities on account of outdated and archaic Section 377.Shashi Tharoor also said he was only fulfilling the Supreme Court’s wish in a ruling in December 2013, leaving it up to Parliament to remove the obnoxious Section from the statute. In a Twitter post, the former Union minister said: “Intro of Pvt. Member’s Bill 2 decriminalize consensual sex btwn consenting adults defeated in LS 71-24. Surprising to see such intolerance.” He said: “Notice of intent to oppose introduction of Bill came so late, there was no time 2 rally support.”In yet another tweet, he said: “We weren’t at passage. It was just “leave to introduce the bill” that was rejected by the intolerant. They couldn’t even debate!” He is, however, not dejected by defeat of his attempt as he tweeted further: “Will try again in future. We shall overcome!” Tharoor, however, found no resistance to two other private member’s Bills he introduced on Friday, one to amend the IPC to substitute a new section for Section 124A on sedition and another Asylum to protect refugees and asylum seekers and to determine their cases. In a landmark judgment in 2009, the Delhi High Court had stuck down Section 377 of the IPC as “unconstitutional” and decriminalised consensual sex among adult homosexual men. The Supreme Court, however, overturned the verdict on 12.12.2013 to re-legalise Section 377 while putting the ball in the government’s court, arguing that it was free to annul the law through legislation.Section 377 deals with “unnatural offences” and says “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with [imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.Rajesh Umadevi, director of Sangama said the retention of Section 377 was aimed at to harass and persecute sexual minorities, including transgender and various identities. “The insidious danger of Section 377 lies in the fact that it permeates different social settings including the medical establishment, family and the state. It also expressed the deep societal repugnance towards sexual minorities and provided the flag leaf of legitimacy for the harassment of sexual minorities,” he said.

Mumbai double murder: Hema Upadhyay was warned of threat to life hours before death

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The family members of artist Hema Upadhyay suspect the role of her estranged husband Chintan Upadhyaya in the double murder and want the police to probe it.

Hema Upadhyay

Mumbai artist Hema Upadhyay, who was found murdered last weekend along with her lawyer, had received a call hours before her death warning of a threat to her life, says a report in Indian Express.Upadhyay received a call last Friday evening allegedly from a person working in the studio of absconding accused Vidyadhar Rajbhar. Shankar Lal, who worked with the artist in her studio in Andheri.”Between 4 pm and 5 pm on December 11, Hema received a call from somebody after which she got hold of a screwdriver and removed her name plate from outside her office. When I enquired she said that she had received a call where the caller had asked her to beware as her life was in danger,” Shankar Lal told police, says Indian Express.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The family members of artist Hema Upadhyay suspect the role of her estranged husband Chintan Upadhyaya in the double murder and want the police to probe it.The deceased artist’s cousin brother Deepak Prasad told mediapersons on Thursday that he and his other family members “strongly suspect Chintan’s role behind the conspiracy to kill Hema and her 65-year-old lawyer Harish Bhambhani”. Prasad also said that the motive, as cited, of the prime accused Vidhyadhar Rajbhar and his men to kill Hema and her lawyer for Rs five lakh was not true, as she had financially helped Vidhyadhar in the past and never asked him to return her money. He also alleged that some years back, Chintan had threatened Hema that he would kill her and could go to any extent to do that.Meanwhile, a senior police officer, who is probing the case, told PTI on Friday that, “When a body is recovered and identified, police immediately take the statements of the deceased’s relatives to get their version.””In this case too, we had taken the statements of the deceased’s relatives. Hema’s relatives have accused Chintan of hatching the conspiracy to kill her,” he said.Based on the statements of Hema’s relatives, Chintan was constantly grilled for four days by several police officers in connection with the twin murders, he said. The deceased artist’s husband still remains a “suspect” in the case, he said, adding the motive behind the murder is yet to become clear. However, without proper evidence, police cannot arrest anyone based on mere allegations, he further stated.Only after the arrest of the Vidhyadhar, who is on the run, the police could get a clear picture about involvement of Chintan, if any, the officer said. He also said that Hema’s relatives were trying to build pressure on the investigating team by approaching the media and expressing their views which they have already mentioned in the statements given to police.Bodies of noted installation artist Hema (43) and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani wrapped in plastic and packed in separate cardboard boxes were found dumped in a drain in suburban Kandivali on December 12.So far, police have arrested four persons in the case namely Azad Rajbhar, Pradeep Rajbhar, Vijay Rajbhar and Shivkumar Rajbhar alias Sadhu and booked them for murder and causing disappearance of evidence. Except Sadhu, who was nabbed from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, the remaining three were picked up from Kandivali on Sunday.Three of the accused –Azad, Pradeep and Vijay– were placed under arrest on Tuesday after being booked under IPC sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).The three, who are in police custody till Saturday, are in the business of manufacturing and selling fibre glass used by Hema and Chintan for their installations. Sadhu was earlier remanded in police custody till December 22.Based on leads provided by the accused during their sustained questioning, teams of Mumbai Police has been searching locations in and outside Maharashtra to nab Vidyadhar, who used to make the material required by Hema for her work.

Temperature drops to season’s lowest in Mumbai

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“Mumbai is seeing clear skies, even as the night temperature is dipping further as the winds are turning from north easterly to northerly,” said VK Rajeev, forecasting director, IMD Mumbai.

Mumbai is finally shivering in chill. Friday was the coldest day this December, with minimum temperatures – from Santacruz – recording 14.1 degree Celcius. While weathermen claim that clear skies and northerly winds are responsible for the chill, the denizens are finding comfort in sweaters, shawls and windcheaters. On Friday, Colaba the maximum temperature of 31.2 degree Celcius while the minimum recorded was 19.3 degree Celcius, which was lower than that recorded on Thursday which was 20.5 degree. Meanwhile, the maximum temperatures recorded at Santacruz was 33.3 degree Celcius while the minimum recorded was 14.1 degree celcius lower than 15.6 degree celcius minimum recorded on Thursday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “Mumbai is seeing clear skies, even as the night temperature is dipping further as the winds are turning from north easterly to northerly,” said VK Rajeev, forecasting director, IMD Mumbai. Weather officials had forecast that the temperatures were likely to dip this week, On Monday, Colaba recorded minimum of 23.0 degree Celsius while Santacruz saw the minimum temperature as 18.4 degree Celsius. Officials informed that in December 1949, temperatures had hit an all-time low of 10.6 degrees Celsius. Last December, the lowest recorded was 12 degrees Celsius.

Gangrape convict released: Delhi govt submits rehabilitation plan for juvenile

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The official noted that the government will act as per the existing Juvenile Justice Act.

The release of the juvenile was widely criticised by the parents of the victim and several actors.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Delhi government on Friday said that they have submitted a rehabilitation plan for the juvenile convict in December 16, 2012 gangrape case, who is all set to walk free on Sunday. The government said that as per the plan a one-time financial grant of Rs 10,000 will be given to the youth and a sewing machine will be arranged for him so that he can rent a tailor shop.”Government has already submitted its report in the court on the rehabilitation of the juvenile convict who has turned 20-year-old now,” said a senior government official.The official noted that the government will act as per the existing Juvenile Justice Act. In its report, Delhi government said that the juvenile needs help to sustain a business for an initial period of at least six months and meet the expenses such as renting a shop and procuring tailoring material.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The convict in the brutal December 16, 2012 gangrape-cum-murder case will walk free on December 20 after spending three years in the probation home with the Delhi High Court today refusing to stay his release.Meanwhile, the release of the youth was widely criticised by the parents of the victim and various other bodies, saying he must be kept in observation home until his reformation was ascertained.

House cannot be run by rules alone but by political consensus: PJ Kurien

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PJ Kurien lauded the Chairman’s initiative of convening the all-party meeting to end the logjam and said the step has came at an “appropriate time” as there are three more days left and members agreed to pass six bills and dispose of three more, besides holding discussions on important issues.
File Photo

After the logjam in Rajya Sabha was broken at an all-party meet, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien on Friday said the House cannot be run on rules alone (rpt) alone but by political consensus and asked members to adopt self restraint and not cross the benchmarks or break their oath.”It is not rules, it is actually the self restraint of members, responsibility of members. You cannot run the House by rules only. The House is run by political consensus and self restraint of the members and your adherence to democratic norms,” he told reporters after the all-party meeting convened by Chairman Hamid Ansari.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He lauded the Chairman’s initiative of convening the all-party meeting to end the logjam and said the step has came at an “appropriate time” as there are three more days left and members agreed to pass six bills and dispose of three more, besides holding discussions on important issues.Ansari convened an all-party meet today attended by leaders of various parties where it was decided to end the logjam with members sitting for extra time to dispose of pending legislations and take up important discussions in Rajya Sabha, which has not been functioning for past few days.Asked if the rules need to be amended to give more powers to the Chairman, the deputy chairman said, “Even if you amend the rules, the same thing can happen. I don’t think the amendment of the rules is the final solution. But that will also help.”Kurien, however, refused to give a direct reply on whether rules should be amended or not. “I don’t want to comment. But there is a feeling, some suggestions are there. Infact, hon’ble chairman himself once suggested amendment of the rules. I think it may be taken up,” he said.Asked if the weapon of suspending a member be given to the Chair, he said, “I don’t want to say that. I am only saying the present position. There is a feeling, including some journalists say why not you suspend these members and proceed.In Rajya Sabha rule book there is no such procedure. In Lok Sabha Hon’ble can do without a motion.”Here, Hon’ble chairman or I can do only if a motion is moved and passed in the House. And going by the composition of the House, do you think such a motion will be passed here. So we are trying our best to run the house….” he said.Kurien said “we were trying our best to run the House every day” and all weapons at their disposal like persuasion, appealing, requesting and even cajoling were used. Ansari had at a meeting of the Rules Committee of the Upper House reportedly sought change of rules to allow more powers to the Chair to suspend members creating frequent disruptions and hamper its functioning.

Modi Kutch visit: Gujarat govt spent Rs 31 lakh on building tent for PM, alleges Congress

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The annual three-day conference of Directors General of Police and Inspectors General of Police organised by the Intelligence Bureau was today launched in the presence of Modi and Union Minister Rajnath Singh.
File Photo
PTI
Gujarat Congress on Friday alleged that the state government spent Rs 31 lakh on raising a lavish tent for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Dhordo in Rann of Kutch, where he will stay during the ongoing meeting of country’s top police brass.The annual three-day conference of Directors General of Police and Inspectors General of Police organised by the Intelligence Bureau was today launched in the presence of Modi and Union Minister Rajnath Singh.”Prime Minister describes himself a Pradhan Sevak but improper expenses have been made to build a tent for him. The money spent is huge,” state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solnaki alleged.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are not against the conference as such, they should meet and discuss national security but our problem is the expense done behind it,” Solanki added.In a statement earlier on Friday, Congress leader Jayrajsinh Parmar claimed that Rs 31 lakh have been spent to build the tent for Modi.”The Prime Minister himself has appealed to countrymen to forsake the LPG subsidy but is now living in a tent worth Rs 31 lakh,” Parmar said.He also criticised the state government for providing “royal treatment” to the Prime Minister.”Gujarat government is spending huge money on the PM but not giving good price to farmers for cotton,” he said.

Act against Microsoft, US agencies for showing wrong Jammu and Kashmir map: BJP

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BJP MP Tarun Vijay on Friday asked the government to take up with the US a wrong map of Kashmir allegedly published by Microsoft and other American agencies, saying it was a “cartographic attack” on India’s sovereignty.

Tarun Vijay
File Photo

BJP MP Tarun Vijay on Friday asked the government to take up with the US a wrong map of Kashmir allegedly published by Microsoft and other American agencies, saying it was a “cartographic attack” on India’s sovereignty.”There is a cartographic attack on India’s sovereignty and unity. Microsoft and other American agencies are publishing a wrong map of India, and surprisingly, we are not making the correct and right noises against it. This is the map where entire Kashmir and our Aksai Chin are shown in China and Pakistan. This is an attack on India’s sovereignty. The Government must take up this issue very, very seriously,” he said in Rajya Sabha during the Zero Hour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vijay said he was in a NATO meeting in Brussels a month ago where “I saw the NATO Generals in a briefing showing India’s wrong map. I protested then and there. I said this was against India and if you think that you are a friend of India, you should not be showing these wrong maps,” the BJP member said and demanded that the government must protest against it.”To protect the sovereignty of India and to stop the cartographic attack on India by Microsoft and other American agencies, we must give them notice and we must boycott their products,” he said, adding that the wrong maps should be corrected.

DDCA row: BJP President Amit Shah summons MP Kirti Azad

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Amit Shah’s summoning of Kirti Azad came a day after BJP general secretary Ram Lal called him over the same issue.

BJP President Amit Shah
File Photo
PTI
BJP chief Amit Shah on Friday summoned party MP Kirti Azad, who has often attacked Arun Jaitley over “corruption” in DDCA when he had headed it, apparently in a bid to dissuade him from raking up his allegations at a time AAP has used them to target the Finance Minister. Azad, however, stuck to his decision of holding a press conference on the issue on Sunday.”It was a good meeting (with Shah). I will hold the press conference on Sunday,” he said.Though there was no official comment on what transpired in the meeting, party sources said Shah advised Azad to exercise restraint, noting that opposition parties have used these charges to attack BJP. Shah’s summoning of Azad came a day after BJP general secretary Ram Lal called him over the same issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP is understood to have told Azad that these are old charges dating back till 2013 when Jaitley headed DDCA and Congress was in power at the Centre as well as in Delhi but nothing came out of them.”With BJP now in power in Delhi, Congress and AAP are using the same charges to embarrass Jaitley and BJP,” a party leader said.

Sheena Bora murder case: Court allows Peter Mukerjea’s plea for home food in jail

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Peter had requested that he be allowed to get home food as he is a “senior citizen with heart ailments and is on medication to lower his cholesterol”.
File Photo
PTI
A magistrate’s court on Friday allowed former media baron Peter Mukerjea, arrested in connection with the Sheena Bora murder case, to get home food in Arthur Road prison in Mumbai where he has been lodged.”Permission is granted to provide home food to accused (Peter) in jail under proper supervision of jail superintendent,” Magistrate R V Adone said while allowing the plea moved by Peter earlier this week through his lawyer Kushal Mor.Peter had requested that he be allowed to get home food as he is a “senior citizen with heart ailments and is on medication to lower his cholesterol”. Apart from CBI, the jail officials had also opposed Peter’s plea saying they can provide less spicy and less oily food for Peter.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Peter (59), husband of prime accused Indrani Mukerjea, was arrested on November 19 for his alleged role in the murder conspiracy and has been in CBI custody. Indrani (43), her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her ex-driver Shyamvar Rai were already chargesheeted in the case. Peter has been kept at the high-security jail where Khanna and Rai are also lodged.In 2012, Sheena (24), Indrani’s daughter from previous relationship, was allegedly strangled in a car by Indrani and Khann, and her body was burnt and dumped in a forest in Raigad, about 84 kms from Mumbai. CBI has maintained that the murder could be the fallout of some financial transactions.The agency had said that Peter, during his interrogation, disclosed investment of crores of rupees made by him and Indrani abroad. The agency is expecting information from Interpol on the details of an account opened by Indrani in a bank in Hong Kong.

Should India have a National Registry of Sex Offenders? Maneka Gandhi asks

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On Friday, Delhi High Court refused to stay the release of the juvenile convict in Nirbhaya rape case.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Juvenile convict in the December 16 gang-rape case is all set to be released from jail on coming Sunday. He has completed a jail term of 3 years, and amidst all protests, the Delhi High Court refused to stay the release of the juvenile. “We cannot prohibit juvenile’s release as per the statutory and existing provision of law,” said the court. The court also asked Juvenile Board to interact with convict, his guardians and officials of Delhi government regarding his post release rehabilitation.Nirbhaya’s parents and several activists are disappointed in the Court’s ruling. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Despite all our efforts for three years, our government and our courts have released a criminal. The assurance we were given that we would get justice, that has not been delivered. We are very disappointed. We haven’t seen him, not met him, but despite all our efforts, the criminal will walk free,” Asha Devi, mother of the victim, said. Following the judgement, Maneka Gandhi on Friday posed a question on Twitter for people to share their opinions on the ‘National Registry of Sex Offenders’. This will allow citizens to access a list of sexual offenders. Earlier in December too, Maneka had pitched the idea to Law Ministry to initiate mandatory registration of sex offenders by local police to keep them under surveillance and called for the enactment of a law for the same. “In cases where the accused are convicted for committing heinous crimes, the orders of the court may also include mandatory requirement of registration of the accused in local police station so that police can monitor their activities and keep track of their movements,” Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said in a letter to the Law Minister.She suggested that the offenders of heinous crimes should be mandated to provide their personal details to the local law enforcement agency on regular basis. Such an initiative by courts will ensure effective management and supervision of sex offenders and also reduce future offences leading to a sense of security among women and children, she said. On the other hand, there is a group of people who believe that this register may violate the right of convicts. Since there names will be available in a public domain, potential employers may decide not to hire them. The convict, who may have changed his behaviour after coming out of the jail, may have to face discrimination because of his past. According to National Crimes Records Bureau, sexual crimes such as rape have increased from 24,923 in 2012 to 36,735 in 2014 and in case of children, it has increased from 8,541 to 13,766 during the same period. Cases of assault on women with intent to outrage her identity have more than doubled from 40,613 in 2010 to 82,235 in 2014.Similarly, 11,335 cases were reported in 2014 of assault on girl children with an intent to outrage their modesty and 444 cases were registered under the category of insulting the modesty of girl children during the same period.

Over 6,600 posts for SC/STs lying vacant in Defence: Manohar Parrikar

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Parrikar said that the defence establishments have been instructed to put up their backlog vacancies of SC/ST on their respective websites.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
File Photo
PTI
Over 6,600 posts reserved for SC/STs are lying vacant in the defence sector, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.As per the data given by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a written reply, there are 3,430 Schedule Caste backlog vacancy in the defence establishment and 3,182 Schedule Tribe posts in the defence establishment. The maximum vacancy was in the Department of Defence Production with 2,572 posts lying unoccupied (as of April 28, 2015). It was followed by the Navy (defence civilians) with 1,971 cases, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parrikar said that the defence establishments have been instructed to put up their backlog vacancies of SC/ST on their respective websites. They have also been advised to form a Committee of Officers to monitor the progress of backlog vacancies meant for SC/ST, he said.De-reservation of SC vacancies is being discouraged and concerned defence establishments are advised to avoid de-reservation of SC/ST vacancies in accordance with the guidelines and provisions of DoPT.

Nirbhaya case: Delhi High Court refuses to stay release of juvenile convict, to be released

The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay the release of the juvenile convict in the December 16 gang-rape case.

The juvenile convict in Nirbhaya case

dna
The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay the release of the juvenile convict in the December 16 gang-rape case after completion of his 3-year jail term. The convict will be released on or before December 20.”We cannot prohibit juvenile’s release as per the statutory and existing provision of law,” said the court.The court also asked Juvenile Board to interact with convict, his guardians and officials of Delhi government regarding his post release rehabilitation.Reacting to the court’s order, Nirbhaya’s mother said, “Even after all our efforts, the juvenile convict will now be released.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two days ago, in a brave homage to her daughter, the mother of the victim took her name in public.The 23-year-old paramedical student Jyoti Singh was brutally sexually assaulted on the ill-fated night of December 16 three years ago, and died 13 days later, triggering a massive public outrage. Among many, her spirit continued to live, and in tribute she was given the name ‘Nirbhaya’ or brave heart.BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had pleaded that the juvenile convict should not be released till it is demonstrably assured that he has reformed himself and was not a menace to the society.Earlier in the day, the parents of the victim had expressed hope that the court would take a decision in favour of the society.”If someone like him gets released, it clearly shows the helplessness of the government and the law of our country. We hope that the High Court takes the decision in favour of the society because even the High Court knows the suffering of my daughter,” Nirbahaya’s mother said.”I have been reiterating that the juvenile shouldn’t be released, he has not committed a fault, he has committed a crime,” she added.

Nirbhaya case: Delhi HC to decide on juvenile; victim’s mother hopes court decision will favour society

“I have been reiterating that the juvenile shouldn’t be released, he is not committed a fault, he has committed a crime,” she added.

With the High Court expected to give its verdict on Friday over the release of the juvenile convict in the December 16 gang-rape case, parents of the victim expressed hope that the court would take a decision in favour of the society.”If someone like him gets released, it clearly shows the helplessness of the government and the law of our country. We hope that the high court takes the decision in favour of the society because even the High Court knows the suffering of my daughter,” Nirbahaya’s mother told ANI.”I have been reiterating that the juvenile shouldn’t be released, he is not committed a fault, he has committed a crime,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, father of the victim also hoped that High Court would not release the juvenile.”What we feel is that he should not be released, it won’t be good if he gets released. But whatever the decision of High Court be it would be for the betterment of society,” he said.”The HC also knows that that juveniles like him are involved in rapes of minor girls,” he added.The Delhi High Court had reserved its order on the release of the juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya gang rape case after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy plead that the juvenile convict should not be released till it is demonstrably assured that he has reformed himself and was not a menace to the society.Earlier, the mother of Nirbhaya, the gang-rape victim, took her name in public and said people who committed heinous crimes like rape should hang their heads in shame and not the victims or their families.The 23-year-old paramedical student was sexually assaulted on the night of December 16 three years ago and died 13 days later in Singapore.

Sailors abducted in Nigeria safe: Sushma Swaraj

“Our High Commissioner in Nigeria AR Ghanshyam met President of Nigeria on 12 Dec. He is making all efforts to secure their release,” she wrote further.

Following the reports of abduction of five Indian sailors in Nigeria, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday said that the sailors were safe and efforts were being made to secure their release.”I have the report on abduction of 5 Indian sailors in Nigeria. The contact with pirates is established. Indian sailors are safe,” Swaraj wrote in a tweet.”Our High Commissioner in Nigeria AR Ghanshyam met President of Nigeria on 12 Dec. He is making all efforts to secure their release,” she wrote further.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swaraj had yesterday sought a report on the abduction of the sailors.The request was made seeking help on Twitter, about five Indian sailors being kidnapped in Warri, Nigeria on December 11.

Onus of running Parliament smoothly on govt as well: Shashi Tharoor

Speaking to media, Tharoor said there will be constructive response from Opposition parties only if the government reached out to them in a “constructive way”.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Stating that Congress cannot be blamed for the logjam in Parliament, party leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday said the onus of ensuring its smooth functioning was “as much” on the government as he asked the Narendra Modi dispensation to take the party’s concerns “very seriously”.Speaking to media, Tharoor said there will be constructive response from Opposition parties only if the government reached out to them in a “constructive way”. At a time when Congress is up in arms against the government, Tharoor will on Friday introduce three private members bills seeking to amend Section RPT Section 377 of IPC to de-criminalise homosexuality, offering rights to foreign nationals seeking asylum in India and amending Section 124A of IPC to ensure that the sedition term is not misused.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The political responsibility of disruption should not be placed only on the opposition party or parties that are disrupting. The political responsibility goes as much to the government, its Parliamentary management and the overall attitude of the government to the opposition parties and the nation,” he said.”My own view very much is that many of the concerns that the Congress party has been articulating inside and outside the Parliament, including those made today in the meeting with the President, should be taken very seriously by the ruling party,” the Congress leader added.Defending Congress, the Parliamentarian said the party believed in debates and has “more talented” debaters than the government has on the treasury benches. He also reminded that the first session after the NDA government came into being had seen 105 per cent business.”So, what the Congress party has been saying, and I speak privately, I am not a spokesperson of the party… The Congress party has been saying understandably is that in our country there is an onus in the Parliamentary system on the government to make the Parliament run. And that means reaching out to the opposition in a constructive way. And when they do so, there will be constructive response,” he said.On him presenting the bills at a time when the Congress is being accused of disruptions, Tharoor said him introducing the bills in private capacity was very much in sync with his party’s stand.”Even though my party’s concerns which we have been articulating inside and outside the House are well known… Last Friday afternoon, the party did not object to the discussion on private member bills going ahead. “And in fact, some Congress members had introduced private members bills last time. Therefore, I do not believe that I have been out of sync,” he added.

Double murder: Man arrested from Varanasi confesses to crime

Sadhu Rajbhar confesses to killing celebrated artist Hema Upadhyay, lawyer Bhambani; Cops on the lookout for 4 more suspects

Hema Upadhyay

In a major breakthrough, the Mumbai police have arrested one of the suspects, Shivkumar alias Sadhu Rajbhar, allegedly involved in the sensational murder of renowned artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambani.Dna had on Monday reported about the alleged involvement of Rajbhar.The arrest was made in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on Monday. The police have also recovered 11 ATM cards of Upadhyay and Bhambhani from the suspect.The police have now launched a manhunt for one Vidyadhar Rajbhar, another suspect. The police have learnt that the double murder was committed in a metal fabrication workshop at Kandivli on Friday night.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>UP Special Task Force (STF) chief Sujit Pande told reporters in Lucknow that Shivkumar had confessed to his crime. Shivkumar has told the police that he and four others were involved in the murder. The UP police have also recovered the visiting card of celebrated artist Chintan Upadhyay, Hema’s estranged husband, with whom she has been fighting a divorce case.According to Shivkumar’s confession, a dispute over Rs 5 lakh was the main motive. However, the police do not believe this as the only reason.Police officials said Shivkumar’s father Vidya Rajbhar alias ‘Gotu’ was in charge of a godown in Charkop, Mumbai, where Hema used to store her works. Rajbhar had taken a loan of Rs 5 lakh from Hema, who had been persistent in demanding it back. Shivkumar told the police that he had called Hema on Friday evening, telling her that he had crucial information regarding her estranged husband Chintan.The Mumbai police, on receipt of specific information that Shivkumar was hiding in Bada Gaon in Varanasi, sent a team to UP. They then roped in the STF and picked him up.”We have handed over the custody of Shivkumar to the Mumbai police and they will be taking him for further investigation”, additional director general of police (law and order) Daljit S Chowdhary of UP police told dna.Shivkumar has reportedly told the police that men from UP and Mumbai were involved in the murder.

Srirangam temple’s website allegedly hacked by Pakistani hackers

Cyber police suspect that some Pakistan-based hackers could have hacked the website, which was temporarily suspended.

Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam. Image Courtesy: srirangaminfo.com

The website of the famous Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam in the district was temporarily suspended after it was hacked allegedly by some hackers based in Pakistan, police said on Saturday. They said the website, which was found hacked on Friday night by some unidentified persons, was used for booking rooms and poojas besides making donations.Cyber police suspect that some Pakistan-based hackers could have hacked the website, which was temporarily suspended.The problem was later sorted out and the website started working from this morning, officials said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Japan and India sign bullet train deal

India agrees to buy a high-speed bullet train from Japan, in an attempt to transform its creaking rail system.

UPSC says no paper admit cards for civil services main exam

About 15,000 candidates have qualified in this year’s civil services preliminary examination, results of which were declared on October 12.

UPSC building

No paper admit card will be issued for this year’s civil services main examination, scheduled to begin from Friday, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has said. The candidates will have to download their e-admit cards and take a printout thereof. UPSC will be conducting the main examination at 23 centres from December 18 to 23. The civil services examination is conducted annually in three stages — preliminary, main and interview — to select officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Commission has uploaded the e-admit cards on its website at www.upsc.gov.in. The candidates are advised to download their e-admit cards and take a printout thereof. The candidates will have to produce the printout of their e-admit cards at the allotted venue for appearing in the examination,” a press release issued by the UPSC said.”No paper admit card will be issued for this examination by the Commission,” it said. In case the photograph is not visible or available on the e-admit cards, candidates are advised to carry identical photograph for each session along with proof of identity such as valid identity card, Aadhar card, voter identity card, driving license, passport etc. to the venue of the examination.About 15,000 candidates have qualified in this year’s civil services preliminary examination, results of which were declared on October 12.As against a record number of 9,45,908 candidates who had applied for the exam, about 4.63 lakh wrote the test on August 23, which is about 49% of the total applicants.

Paris climate talks: World on brink of climate accord, India backs final draft

The final draft runs into 31 pages and asks countries to pursue the target of limiting the average rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degree celsius. But there is no clear roadmap elucidated that will ensure that this target will be achieved.

French President Francois Hollande made an impassioned appeal on Saturday to finalise a historic climate accord, that will for the first time get most countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, just before a draft of the final agreement was released. Nearly 200 countries are still involved in hectic parleys at the international climate change summit that has already crossed its Friday deadline. The release of the final draft will be followed by last round of negotiations and setting the tone for arriving at a deal, Fabius, the chair of the summit, said, “We have an ambitious and balanced agreement. This text establishes a long-term ambitious but necessary goal, also enables each delegation of the countries to return with their heads high.” Raising the political pitch and recalling the failed 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, Hollande said, “What is the point of all this work if we don’t take the deal? All the conditions are met. The landmark agreement for the planet is now ready.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The final draft runs into 31 pages and asks countries to pursue the target of limiting the average rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degree celsius. But there is no clear roadmap elucidated that will ensure that this target will be achieved.Notably for India the principle of common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR) was included in the text while issues relating to finance were also resolved. Union minister for environment, forests and climate change Prakash Javadekar backed the final draft text, signalling India’s support for a climate accord. “We are happy that India’s concerns have been taken care of in the final climate draft of the negotiating text. It is a balanced text and a way forward.” The minister, though, is expected to raise certain reservations India has about the text during the next plenary session. While going to press, negotiators had still not returned after studying the text of final draft. The ministerial negotiations are expected to go beyond midnight Saturday, sources said and French foreign minister will personally speak with ministers to iron out last minute differences.

Chennai floods: Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa grants solatium to kin of 23 dead

She condoled the demise of the victims of rains and flood and granted the solatium from the Disaster Relief Fund

J Jayalalithaa

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today granted a solatium of Rs four lakh each to the kin of 23 people killed in rain-related incidents in the State.All the victims were killed in the first week of this month in Kanchipuram district.She condoled the demise of the victims of rains and flood and granted the solatium from the Disaster Relief Fund, an official release here said.Drowning, wall-collapse and electrocution were the major reasons listed for the deaths of 23 people.Also, she granted a solatium of Rs four lakh to the next of kin of a Chennai Corporation sanitary worker, who died of heart attack while on work in a flood-hit area in Chennai on Friday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

People welcome Delhi government’s odd even vehicle scheme: Survey

However, the survey reveals that 64% of people feel that with the new rule being implemented, traveling would become a big problem, unlike the 35% who feel against it.

The AAP government’s decision to allow private vehicles with odd and even registration numbers to ply on the roads of the national capital only on alternate days starting January 1, 2016 has met a positive response. As per a survey carried out by ABP News and Nielsen, 57% of the total respondents have agreed to the new scheme of allowing private cars with odd and even number to run on alternate days of the week while 42% are not in favour of it.However, the survey reveals that 64% of people feel that with the new rule being implemented, traveling would become a big problem, unlike the 35% who feel against it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The survey further reveals that traffic jams (32%) seem to be the reason behind air pollution in Delhi followed by vehicles on Delhi roads.It has also has found that almost a fourth of the respondents do not own a car or a bike. 42% have a bike.11% of those who own a car or a bike use the Metro on a daily basis. These are more likely to be students as this percentage is 19% among 18-23 year olds.The poll has found that those who own a car or a bike seem to use cab/taxi few times a month or less often. Almost half of the respondents said they never use cab/auto. It also revealed that autos are used more often, especially by women. Slightly more than a quarter of the respondents said they never use auto.Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues will be covered under the odd- even scheme of vehicles. The AAP government is considering to exempt women commuters from the scheme. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia on Friday said his government is also contemplating shutting schools during the January 1 to January 15 period.Delhi Government is studying three existing Acts under which it can impose a fine for violating the scheme.

Park Street rape case: Public prosecutors did not press for maximum punishment for convicts

Public prosecutors in the Park street rape case did not press for maximum punishment, family unhappy with the quantum of punishment

File Photo
In a move that surprised everybody in the courtroom, the Public Prosecutors supervising the trial in the controversial Park Street rape case did not press for maximum punishment before the Kolkata Sessions Court was to pronounce the quantum of punishment. The Public Prosecutors, comprising the Special Public Prosecutor, Chief Public Prosecutor and Public Prosecutor, were pressing for maximum punishment—life imprisonment for the three accused Nasir Khan, Ruman Khan and Sumit Bajaj—when the court convicted them for the crime on Friday. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, on Friday, the Prosecutors reportedly were heard telling the magistrate that the accused were ‘not directly’ involved in the crime and did not press for maximum punishment. On Friday, the Sessions Court sentenced the three convicted for a term of 10 years along with a fine of Rs one lakh. The court in its order said that the fine would be given to the two daughters of the victim.Hours after the court pronounced minimum punishment, the family members expressed their anguish over the judgement. “We will continue to fight for justice. We will take our fight forward and make sure that justice is served to my daughter,” said father of Suzette, Peter Jordan.

Delhi HC not in favour of retired judges who head tribunals taking up private work

The court also said “a whole-time employee is expected to bestow all his time, energy and resources to the whole time employment and not to divert the same to any other job, work or vocation.”

The Delhi High Court on Friday observed that if retired judges who head or are part of statutory bodies, tribunals and commissions also simultaneously get involved in any other “commercial-legal” activity like arbitration, it may jeopardise reputation of their office.A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said “not only would pursuing such a vocation or occupation simultaneously with the office occupied be at the cost of the work of the said office, but may also jeopardise/ appear to jeopardise reputation of the said office…”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court also said “a whole-time employee is expected to bestow all his time, energy and resources to the whole time employment and not to divert the same to any other job, work or vocation.””Moreover, retired judges appointed as chairpersons or members of statutory bodies, tribunals.. discharge judicial /quasi-judicial functions and their involvement in any other commercial legal activity or as arbitrators would necessarily require them to interact, in all possibility, with same set of people…, giving rise to speculation about their impartiality in discharge of their duty in such capacity.”The court noted that though some statutes on appointment of chairperson/member of tribunals/statutory bodies prohibit taking up of any other work, this provision was not present in all legislations, and this “lacuna” resulted in some judges being entitled to taking up arbitrations while others who were similarly placed were barred.”It is precisely to remedy such a situation that amendments to the existing legislations/new legislation are/is proposed. However, the said process, inspite of our waiting for the last nearly five years, has not yielded any fruit,” it said.It, however, did not issue any directions on the issue as it felt the subject fell in the “domain” of the legislature. It only asked the government “to bestow special attention on the issue and to ensure that appropriate legislation is made at the earliest”.The court’s observations came in its judgement disposing of a PIL by NGO Common Cause, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, seeking that no retired Supreme Court or High Court judge should take up arbitration work while he/she was a chairperson/member of any government appointed constitutional /statutory body, commission, commission of inquiry, tribunal or appellate body.

ISIS flag hoisting in Kashmir bid to portray contradictory picture: CRPF

CRPF Special DG Bhagat said radicalisation of Kashmiri youths was a “critical issue” which posed much wider threat.

ISIS Flag waved in the Valley

The CRPF on Friday said the incidents of hoisting of ISIS and Pakistani flags in parts of Kashmir were an attempt to portray a contradictory picture of patriotic Kashmiris, and described the radicalisation of youths as a “critical issue”.”There are reported incidents of waving of Pakistani and ISIS flags, but I would rather like to submit that these could just be an attempt by some people, perhaps, to sway it otherwise. “Otherwise, I can always say the people of Kashmir are as patriotic and as heroic as anybody else from the country can be,” CRPF Special DG S K Bhagat told reporters here. Bhagat said radicalisation of Kashmiri youths was a “critical issue” which posed much wider threat.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The situation of the Valley is a bit complex. There are foreign militants and then there are militants who get the local support. So in that situation, especially, there is an attempt from across the border to put in militants who could disrupt the situation which is day-by-day improving,” he said. “One thing which I think is very very important is that apart from the challenge of militancy, the radicalisation of youths becomes a critical issue. Perhaps this radicalisation poses a much wider and a much diverse threat viz-a-viz the militancy situation,” he said.The CRPF Special DG, however, said that radicalisation was not religion specific. “That is not the issue. We are not hinting at religion as such because that interpretation is wrong,” he said. He said that radicalised youths could be some people who could be “misguided” but there was a need to look into what the people at large want.”They want a good life, they want a secure life. They want a life in which they can prosper and their aspirations can be met. They can have a grand life. They can actualise what they aspire for.”So, those issues are very important and radicalisation is one thing that is a challenge not only for the country…but has international dimensions also,” Bhagat said. Bhagat said the state government faces many challenges in terms of development, education, better networking facilities and also in terms of meeting the aspirations of the people. “The more it is able to do, the better the situation shall be…it is only through the process of development, education, outreach and other things that you are able to take care of these issues which are coming up in large numbers,” the senior CRPF officer said.He said nobody should think the security forces feel that the citizens of Kashmir were different from the citizens from the rest of the country.”That is just not the issue. Not just the CRPF, the Army, the BSF have taken a sizeable number of people from here into the forces, including some ex-militants also, but there has been no complaint. When we have no complaints from them, including the ex-militants, why should we have complaints from the citizens? he asked.The officer was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a passing-out parade of CRPF where 648 new recruits joined the force.

Ahead of Assembly polls, Dilip Ghosh appointed West Bengal BJP chief

Ghosh has been an old RSS hand and was a state BJP general secretary after joining the party some time back.

Ahead of West Bengal Assembly polls next year, BJP on Friday announced the appointment of Dilip Ghosh as its new state president, replacing Rahul Sinha, whose term had ended.Ghosh has been an old RSS hand and was a state BJP general secretary after joining the party some time back. Sinha, whose term ended in September, has been made a national secretary, a BJP statement said. His appointment puts an end to months of speculation as the party mulled whether to let Sinha continue till the polls or replace him as demanded by many West Bengal leaders, who had argued that BJP was steadily losing its support after putting up a strong show in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and needed a leadership change.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state is likely to go to polls in April next year. The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress and the CPI(M)-led Left block, besides Congress and BJP, are the main parties in the fray. BJP had fetched close to 17 per cent votes, its highest, in Lok Sabha elections in the state and the party had then hoped to consolidate its gains to emerge as a major challenger to the TMC. However, its dismal showing in subsequent local elections have made things more difficult for it, political watchers believe.

Konkan Railway officials save elderly woman stuck in toilet by detaching coach of train

Her husband who was just outside the washroom heard Sheikh’s cries and alerted co-passengers as well the train attendants and ticket-checkers.

Representational image

File Photo
In one of the most astonishing incidents of railway rescue, Konkan Railway officials detached an entire coach from a train so that a lady whose leg was stuck in the toilet commode could get relief. Passengers of the detached coach had to be accommodated in another coach. The incident happened in the early hours of Friday.Speaking to dna about the incident, KR chief spokesperson Siddheshwar Telugu said, “Rabiya Sheikh, an elderly lady aged about 65 years, residing at Ghatkopar, was travelling with her husband Kasam Sheikh in S-10 Coach of 10111 Dn Konkan Kanya Express from Mumbai to Karmali. While coming out of the washroom between Khed and Chiplun, though she opened the door, she slipped and her leg got stuck into the Indian style commode.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Her husband who was just outside the washroom heard Sheikh’s cries and alerted co-passengers as well the train attendants and ticket-checkers.“Even though the washroom door was dismantled, and despite the TC, Coach Attendant and co-passengers trying there level best, Sheikh’s leg remained stuck in the commode. By then the train had crossed Chiplun,” said the official.At Ratnagiri, KR’s Regional Railway Manager, BB Nikam along with doctors and officers as well as staff attended the lady in distress. “In what was a very brave decision, we decided to detach the coach itself so that Sheikh could be given relief by cutting the commode with cutters in a meticulous manner,” said the official.Thankfully Sheikh was left with just a swollen leg and was treated at the local civil hospital, said Telugu.

Parliament disruptions: JD(U) blames it on "arrogance" of ministers

Uproar by Congress and other opposition parties against alleged “vendetta politics” in the wake of the court summon to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and others in the National Herald case continued to disrupt Rajya Sabha for the fourth day with the House witnessing two adjournments in the pre-noon session.

As Parliament witnessed repeated disruptions and adjournments, Janata Dal (United) on Friday blamed “arrogance” of some ministers for it and asked the government to engage with the opposition to find a solution.”The ruling party should engage with the opposition to end the deadlock. They should try to find out a solution,” JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said outside Parliament. Uproar by Congress and other opposition parties against alleged “vendetta politics” in the wake of the court summon to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and others in the National Herald case continued to disrupt Rajya Sabha for the fourth day with the House witnessing two adjournments in the pre-noon session.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We want Parliament to run. The arrogance of some ministers is coming in the way of a smooth functioning of the House,” Tyagi said. Asked about the public money spent on running of Parliament, he said, “I am worried about the expenditure incurred on running Parliament as well as losses of poor farmers not getting their minimum support price. It is more than losses incurred in Parliament.” “Wheat farmers, rice farmers, cotton farmers do not get adequate support price for their crops and we are worried about them,” he added.

Parrikar’s birthday bash; NCP demands inquiry into funding

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had said more than 50,000 people will be participating in the celebrations planned in Panaji and Parrikar would be felicitated by his colleagues Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari and Shripad Naik.

Manohar Parrikar
File Photo

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Friday demanded an inquiry into the funding of a reception planned to celebrate the birthday of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on December 13.The BJP, however, has said that the birthday will be a low-key affair and infact it’s the people of Goa, who are celebrating it as a token of love for their ex-Chief Minister. “We demand an inquiry into from where the money being spent on birthday celebrations of Parrikar is coming,” NCP Goa Spokesman Trajano D’Mello told reporters in Panaji on Friday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has already said that government funds won’t be spent on Parrikar’s birthday bash. “Also, Parrikar has appealed to the people not to release any advertisement nor gift flowers on the occasion and instead contribute the money to Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for Chennai flood victims. So now the question comes as to from where the funding for the birthday bash is coming,” D’Mello said.He said that it’s a “white lie” that the party is not funding the birthday celebrations. “We have come to know that even birthday advertisements are designed in the BJP local office,” the NCP leader alleged.The BJP, however, rubbished the allegations. “It is the people of Goa who want to celebrate birthday of their leader. We have already made it clear that there’s no spending from government. It is love of the people of Goa towards Parrikar that has resulted in this celebration,” BJP Goa chief Vinay Tendulkar said.Parrikar would be turning 60 on December 13. Earlier this week, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had said more than 50,000 people will be participating in the celebrations planned in Panaji and Parrikar would be felicitated by his colleagues Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari and Shripad Naik.A 135-member committee has been formed to hold the function which is touted as one of the biggest birthday bash in Goa ever.

Park Street rape case: Suzette Jordan’s rapists pronounced guilty

Suzette Jordan, the Kolkata woman, was gang-raped in the dead of the night on February 5, 2012.

After almost four years of a tough legal battle, a Kolkata session court on Thursday pronounced three of the five men accused in what came to be known as the Park Street rape case, as guilty.Suzette Jordan, the Kolkata woman, was gang-raped in the dead of the night on February 5, 2012. Her case was vilified by the judgement, after struggling against much social stigma, coming directly from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who had accused Jordan of fabricating the case, questions over what she was doing in a club, and intimidation from the more powerful families of the rapist. Jordan, who passed away in March this year from encephalitis, had made a powerful statement by shunning anonymity and revealing her identity to support other victims of sexual assault.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While two of the accused are missing, the court booked the other three under Sections 376(d), 323 and 506 of the IPC. Jordan’s family, her parents, two daughter and sister, have finally been given enough cause to celebrate, saying they were “happy” with the order and that Suzette’s soul would now rest in piece.Her lawyer, Anirban Guha, said that this was justice, though it came late. However, “better late than never” he told dna. “If she had been alive today, she would have been very happy,” said Guha. He added that Suzette’s actions made it possible for many other women to break their silence and fight legal battles over sexual assault. He called her an icon who gave courage to countless other women.With the positive verdict, he said the state was now trying harder to catch the missing two accused. However, the family and he were aware that this was not the end of the road, as the now convicted could appeal in higher courts.”We have fought so far and will will fight again,” said Guha.The quantum of punishment is to be pronounced on Friday.

Good Samaritan comes to aid of woman whose hearing aid was stolen

Unable to cope with the sudden loss of hearing and also unable to mop up the required money for a replacement, Prerna was looking at a bleak time ahead. Thankfully that is about to change.

There is good news for Prerna Bamne (46), whose cochlear implant device’s sound processor, costing Rs 2.5 lakh, was stolen from her residence in a small chawl in Andheri on Friday. Unable to cope with the sudden loss of hearing and also unable to mop up the required money for a replacement, Prerna was looking at a bleak time ahead. Thankfully that is about to change. After reading dna report on Prerna’s predicament, and her husband registering an FIR over the issue with DN Nagar police station, a Good Samaritan has come forward to donate Rs 2.5 lakh to make good the stolen device.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prerna had lead a normal life till 2011. She suffered hearing loss in 2012, after which she started talking loudly with the family members. Repeated tests too failed to give any hope in reviving her condition. It was after running from pillar to post that some NGOs came forward to fund her cochlear implant surgery, which cost around Rs 5.8 lakh. But the theft in her house in April 2015 again left her deaf. She had kept the implant in dry box at night to get it rid of moisture. “I really admire Rustom Hormazdiyar, an 88-year-old retired general manager and company secretary of a chemical manufacturing company who has come forward to help Prerna,” said Prerna.

5 farmers committed suicide in Nashik in past 5 days

“This is a very sad situation. We have been counseling farmers and trying to create awareness that ending life is no solution,” said resident district collector Ramdas Khedkar.

dna Research & Archives
Five farmers have committed suicides in last five days since December 1, 2015 in Nashik district out of which four have been in Malegaon tehsil and one in Igatpuri.Sunil Desale, 35, a resident of Sherul village in Malegaon, hanged himself from a tree to end his life. A bus driver who was taking his bus from Chinchagavhan to Dhule was passing through Sherul on Friday when he saw a body hanging from a tree in a farm in Hiswal area of the village. He reported to the villagers who rushed to the farm and identified him as Sunil Desale.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sunil’s wife had committed suicide two months earlier. Two persons ending their life in a span of two months has sent the family into shock. The couple leaves behind two sons, aged 6 and 4. The Desale family owns five acres of farm land and had taken a loan of Rs six lakh. They had also started a poultry business, but the poultry shed was blown away by a storm two years ago. They still have to repay the co-operative bank loan for the poultry. Unable to bear the personal and financial loss, Sunil must have pushed himself to end his life, villagers said.Another farmer Krushna Shinde, 40 years, ended his life on December 3, 2015. Krushna, an ex-serviceman had retired from the Indian army after a service of 13 years. He has since taken to farming at his native village at Waghere in Igatpuri tehsil. He had taken a loan for digging a well and to start a dairy business. Two months ago he had taken a loan from a private bank also. Burdened by the losses in agriculture and the rising expenses of his children, ailing parents and the marriages of his brother and sister, Krushna consumed pesticide in his farm on Thursday afternoon and ended his life. When family members realised this, they rushed him to the civil hospital in Nashik. However, Krushna breathed his last on Friday morning.On December 1, three farmers from different villages in Malegaon tehsil ended their lives in separate incidents.Ganesh Bachchav, 33, a resident of Sonaj village, ended his life by hanging himself from a tree in front of his house in the farm. Ganesh had little more than one acre of dry land and he had taken a loan of Rs one lakh on it. He was dealing with the failure of his crop and taking care of his ailing father and daughter. His brother is also said to be under medical treatment. Unable to make ends meet, he ended his life.Pravin Magar, 48, consumed pesticide on the morning of December 1 and ended his life. The Magar family owns collective land. Pravin had 2 acres as his share however his land was dry. He had a loan of Rs 3 lakh which he had to repay.Mahesh Sonawane, 36, resident of Padalde village also consumed pesticide in the afternoon of December 1. Mahesh had taken onion, cotton crops on his five-acre land. But the drought situation with no water led to losses. He had a debt of Rs 75,000.Malegaon has faced drought for three consecutive years leading to huge losses to crops in the region. The farmers have been in distress as their worries were added by unseasonal rains and hailstorm. For the last 11 months till December 5, 19 farmers in Malegaon tehsil alone have ended their lives.“This is a very sad situation. We have been counselling farmers and trying to create awareness that ending life is no solution. Efforts are being made to help. Even the officials are counselled and briefed to have a dialogue with the farmers at the local level to discourage any such tendencies. We have even requested the banks to be considerate and not pressurise for loan repayment immediately but give the farmers extended time to do so. The situation is tough and we have to see that the farmers do not take the extreme step”, stated resident district collector Ramdas Khedkar.

Body parts of two women recovered from outskirts of Lucknow

On Thursday, Lucknow Police had found severed heads of two girls off the Lucknow-Hardoi by-pass road in Manpur area in Sitapur district, packed in a trolley bag

Body parts of two females recovered in outskirts of Lucknow – Representational Image

RNA
The Lucknow Police on Friday have recovered bags with dismembered legs and torsos of two female bodies dumped in the city outskirts in Madiaon area, as reported by Indian Express. On Thursday, Lucknow Police had found severed heads of two girls off the Lucknow-Hardoi by-pass road in Manpur area in Sitapur district, packed in a trolley bag. They suspect that the body parts belong to the same girls whose heads were recovered and are on the lookout for complaints related to two missing girls.“Prima facie, we suspect that the heads and these bodies could be the same. We are getting it ascertained by medical examination. We have not been informed of any complaints related to two girls going missing in districts in the entire Lucknow Range,” said Additional SP, Trans-Gomti Jai Prakash.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the team of Sitapur Police has arrived in Lucknow to coordinate the investigation, police are also examining CCTV footages of the gate of dental college where the gunny bag was found. The locals reported to the police that they initially spotted gunny bag containing four dismembered legs in Ghaila area, followed by two travel bags containing two female torsos 500 metres away from the spot.Aliganj Circle Officer Pratap Gopendra claims that the bodies seem to be that of girls in their late 20s and are about three days old.A case has been registered in Manpur police station against unidentified persons for murder and destruction of evidence.

Arvind Kejriwal behaving like the tyrant Muhammad bin Tughluq, says Congress

The Delhi government on Friday announced a slew of measures starting January 1 to bring down pollution levels in the national capital.

Arvind Kejriwal

Criticising the solution advised by Delhi Government for tackling the menace of ever rising pollution in the national capital, the Congress Party on Saturday said that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has ruined the Delhi Transport system and was behaving like the Turkic conquerer Muhammad bin Tughluq, who looted and plundered many Indian kingdoms.”Kejriwal is a very immature chief minister who doesn?t know the capacity of his public transport system. Without knowing that he is issuing a ‘Tughluq’ order which is not possible. He should see whether we have enough public transport to carry people” Congress leader Pramod Tiwari told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This could be possible only in countries which have a strong public transport system. I think Kejriwal is very much frustrated and he is doing the same thing which emperor (Tughluq) did to Delhi. He (Kejriwal) has ruined the system after Sheila Dikshit and is just doing cheap publicity stunt,” he added.Related Read: After criticism, AAP puts car control norm in Delhi on 15-day trialThe Congress leader asserted that he would certainly raise this issue in the Parliament and would ask not to get it implemented till Kejriwal gives alternative of a viable public transport.The Delhi government on Friday announced a slew of measures starting January 1 to bring down pollution levels in the national capital. According to the announcement, vehicles with odd and even number plates will be driven on alternate days.Delhi Chief Secretary KK Sharma said that extra DTC buses will be started and collaboration would be sought with the Delhi Metro to run more number of trains to manage the commuters who will not be able to drive down to their destinations.The announcement was made after an emergency meeting called by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a day after the Delhi High Court said living in Delhi was like ‘living in a gas chamber’. Plans submitted by the Environment Ministry and the Delhi Government were ‘not comprehensive’, the judges said, because they did not specify responsibilities and a timeline.The National Green Tribunal had earlier ripped into the Delhi Government for not acting ‘seriously’ on the menace.

Delhi’s ‘odd-even formula’: Twitter mocks Kejriwal govt’s anti-pollution move

“Particularly in winter when the pollution is high, we will implement for some time odd-and-even-number vehicle operations,” Delhi Chief Secretary K.K. Sharma told reporters on Friday after an emergency meeting.

Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi will soon ban private cars from its roads on alternate days, according to their registration numbers, in an attempt to improve air quality in the world’s most polluted city. Smog has blanketed the national capital this week, as countries try to thrash out a deal to fight climate change at a UN summit in Paris. “Particularly in winter when the pollution is high, we will implement for some time odd-and-even-number vehicle operations,” Delhi Chief Secretary KK Sharma told reporters on Friday after an emergency meeting. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We will make all efforts to start it from the first of January.” The government will run extra buses and ask the metro rail network to increase its services to cope with more people, he said. It will also consider shutting down inefficient coal power plants. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said implementation would be a challenge.”But something urgent needed to be done in view of the emergency situation,” he tweeted. “Lets assess after trying for a few days.”The World Health Organization said last year India had 13 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, and poor air caused hundreds of thousands of premature deaths each year. The federal government is planning to force all commercial trucks more than 15 years old off the road from April and is reviewing how it checks vehicle emissions. Here’s how Twitter reacted to the incident: With inputs from Reuters

Centre begins process of declassifying Netaji files

Principal secretary in the PMO Nripendra Misra, on Friday officially handed over the first set of files related to Netaji to the Director General, National Archives of India Serya Guha.

The central government on Friday handed over the first batch of 33 files related to Netaji to the National Archives of India, setting the stage for their declassification beginning on January 23, 2016. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his meeting with the extended family of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on October 14 had assured that the files labeled classified so far will be made public.Principal secretary in the PMO Nripendra Misra, on Friday officially handed over the first set of files related to Netaji to the Director General, National Archives of India Serya Guha. Emphasizing that history cannot be created by those who forget their own history, the Prime Minister had categorically stated that his government did not believe in constraining or strangulating history in any way, and was committed to opening up information on Netaji to the people of India. According to an RTI reply, the PMO had said there were a total of 58 files related to Netaji in its custody. Recently the government told Rajya Sabha that there were 134 classified files which are being examined for the purpose of declassification.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a written reply, minister of state for home affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said, “Government is examining all the files in its custody for the purpose of declassifying the same. “As per available records on date, Ministry of Home Affairs is in possession of 12 files. Among these 12 files, three files are classified and nine files are unclassified,” the minister said. He said as per available record, as on date, the Prime Minister’s Office is in possession of 58 files.Prime Minister had assured Netaji’s family that all possible effort towards the same would be made, from the declassification of Netaji files to taking up the matter with other nations. He had further promised that the declassification and public release of the files would begin on 23rd January, 2016, the Birth Anniversary of Netaji. “Working towards this commitment, the government has been undertaking the process of due diligence stipulated under declassification procedures and guidelines,” said a government spokesman. He said the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs were separately taking action for release of files under their custody. “This marks an important milestone in fulfilling the long pending demand of the people of India, for the declassification of files related to Netaji,” he said,The Centre last April had also set up a committee headed by the cabinet secretary to review the Official Secrets Act in the light of increasing demands for declassification of the files on Netaji. Early this year, it had emerged that the Intelligence Bureau had spied on Bose’s family for over 20 years starting under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s government. In past, the government had stonewalled all queries related to these files, saying their declassification will hamper India’s relations with some foreign countries.Most democracies in the world declassify secret documents after 25 to 30 years. But in India the Official Secrets Act an archaic law perpetuated by the government hampers access to government material even for research purposes. In the US, declassification is automatic after 25 years – with nine exceptions – while in the UK, all classified files are reviewed after 30 years to ascertain whether they still need to be kept under wraps. India amended the 1925 Act in 1967, but instead of making it liberal, made it it even more stringent.

India’s forest cover increases to 21.34% of country’s total geographical area

Forest covers of a geographical area includes all lands having a tree density of 10 per cent and more and have a minimum area of one hectare.

India”s total forest and tree cover has increased by 5081 sq km in the past two years, the latest Indian State of Forest Report (ISFR 2015), released by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), says. Released on Friday by Union minister of environment, forests and climate change, Prakash Javadekar, under whose ministry the FSI comes, the mood among FSI officials and the minister was celebratory, as the biannual report was held up as a sign of India solidly on the path of achieving its INDC targets, as the climate change talks went on Paris.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Forest covers of a geographical area includes all lands having a tree density of 10 per cent and more and have a minimum area of one hectare. Tree cover estimation is a sample based exercise and the report explains that it comprises tree patches less than a hectare in the form of block plantations, linear plantations and scattered trees.The report says forest cover has increased by 3,775 sq km to take it to a total of 7,01,673 sq km, which is 21.34 per cent of the country’s geographical area (GA). Tree cover has gone up by 1,306 sq km to a total of 9,2,572 sq km or 2.82 per cent of the country’s GA. The mangrove cover of the country has increased by 112 sq km to 4,740 sq km.Maharashtra, however, saw a decrease in the forest cover to 50,628 sq km out of a total geographical area of 3,07,713 sq km. In 2013 its forest cover was 50,632 sq km, which was also a decrease from the 2011 data. Both reports attributed the decrease to encroachment on forest lands, with the 2015 report adding rotational felling and diversion of of forest area for non-forestry purposes as reasons.These numbers are all as compared to previous assessment carried out in 2013.The 2013 ISFR too reported such an increase at least in forest covers. The forest cover of the country had increased by 5871 sq km taking it to 697808 sq km country-wide as compared to the 2011 data. However, mangrove cover decreased by 34 sq km as compared to 2011 data, while in 2011 the mangrove cover had increased by 23.34 sq km as compared to 2009.The 2015 report shows the growing stock — the volume of all living trees in a given area of forest or wooded land more than a certain diametre at breast height — has increased by 110.34 million cubic metre. In 2013, there had been a decrease of 389.11 million cubic metre.India’s carbon sink, crucial in the current need to reduce carbon dioxide from the air, has increased by 103 million tonnes to 7044 million tonnes in 2015. In 2013 too there had been an increase of 278 million tonnes.Javadekar, buoyed by the report and the good news it carried, declared that such a report had been complied by using high resolution satellite data, so that each tree was accounted for. He added that he would ensure that afforestation meant trees that survived more than just 5 years. He took a dig at a “previous environment minister, whom he declined to name, who had apparently called this government’s environmental targets impossible.Javadekar also added that the government would also focus on reducing encroachment and chulhas that ran on wood for fuel, bringing LPG connections to every household.

Cidco launches its own smart-city project

The corporation plans to develop eight nodes under the project. They are Kharghar, Kamothe, New Panvel, Kalamboli, Ulwe, Taloja, Dronagiri and Pushpak Nagar.

The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) launched its smart-city project on Friday in Vashi in the presence of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.The corporation plans to develop eight nodes under the project. They are Kharghar, Kamothe, New Panvel, Kalamboli, Ulwe, Taloja, Dronagiri and Pushpak Nagar.Since Cidco is a town planning agency and not a municipal body, its nodes could not be included in the central government’s project. Hence, Cidco has decided to develop its own smart city.The corporation will spend around Rs 2,000 crore on the project and it will be self-financed. “We are using land as a source for financial self-sustainability,” said Sanjay Bhatia, vice-chairman and managing director, Cidco.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Free broadband services and computers to all zilla parishad schools and 55,000 homes for the economically weaker section at a cost of Rs 10,700 crore are the other highlights of the project.

Gujarat State Election Commission refuses to divulge party-wise vote shares

As per the final results, BJP won just 60 out of the total 230 taluka panchayats, while Congress made an impressive comeback by capturing 124 taluka panchayats. 46 taluka bodies had a hung verdict.

Though it has been two days since the results of local body polls in Gujarat were declared, the State Election Commission on Friday refused to divulge details of the vote shares of the parties.”SEC is not bound to share all the details with everyone. We can’t give all the information. We have shared some figures on our website. Other than that nothing more would be released from our side,” State Election Commissioner Varesh Sinha told PTI when asked about vote-shares and ‘none of the above’ votes.As per the final results, BJP won just 60 out of the total 230 taluka panchayats, while Congress made an impressive comeback by capturing 124 taluka panchayats. 46 taluka bodies had a hung verdict. Of the 31 district panchayats, Congress won 21, BJP won six, while in four others no party emerged as a clear winner as the many independents won. The BJP had won 30 district panchayats in 2010.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP however retained the control of all the six municipal corporations and also won 40 out of the 56 municipalities. Congress won in nine municipalities, while in three municipalities independents were winners. No party emerged as a clear winner in four others.

Govt firmly commited to impose liquor ban in Bihar from April 2016: Nitish Kumar

The CM, however, refused to state clearly whether prohibition would be only on country-made liquor or also on English brand.

The CM said that Excise and Prohibition department was preparing a detailed policy on the ban.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday once again expressed his government’s firm commitment to impose liquor ban from April 1 next year but did not spell clearly whether prohibition would only be on country made liquor or also include Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). “There is no confusion in the mind of the government. Liquor ban will come in Bihar from April 1, 2016,” Kumar told reporters.The CM, however, refused to state clearly whether prohibition would be only on country-made liquor or also on English brand. “Everything will be there in the new Liquor policy,” he said refusing to go into details. Kumar’s comment was sought on media reports quoting officials of Excise department that prohibition could only be on domestic liquor that was hitting hard the poor section of the society and not expensive foreign brand. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The reports highlighted that doing away with a revenue of nearly Rs 4,000 crore annually from liquor would not be easy in support of argument that ban would only be on domestic liquor. The CM said that Excise and Prohibition department was preparing a detailed policy which would come to him around the month of January next. “Much before April 1, 2016 after seeing every aspect which includes agreement with liquor companies, a policy would be announced,” he said. “Our commitment to implement prohibition from April 1, 2016 is firm and it will be implemented in every condition,” he said.

India yet to confirm Sushma Swaraj’s visit: Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit

Heart of Asia conference, which will discuss regional cooperation on Afghanistan, is scheduled to begin in Islamabad on December 9.

Amid reports of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s likely visit to Pakistan to attend a conference, Pakistan Ambassador to India Abdul Basit on Friday said that they are yet to get confirmation in this regard from the Indian government.”We have not got confirmation yet,” the Pakistan Envoy told exclusively to ANI when asked about Swaraj’s participation in the conference on Afghanistan to be held in Islamabad. If Swaraj visits Pakistan then it will be the first bilateral visit at the Foreign Minister’s level to Pakistan under the NDA government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Heart of Asia conference, which will discuss regional cooperation on Afghanistan, is scheduled to begin in Islamabad on December 9.India has been invited for the conference. But, the MEA has not yet given any indication as to who will represent India there.

Delhi Police not consulted about AAP govt’s proposed car restriction to curb pollution

In a radical step to curb air pollution that has assumed “critical” level, Delhi Government today announced that private vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers will be allowed to ply only on alternate days starting January 1

Hours after the Delhi Government made an announcement about restricting plying of private vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers to alternate days, the Delhi Police on Friday said that it was not consulted in connection with the proposal.”Delhi Police has not been consulted for the concerned proposal. If the proposal ever comes to us, it shall be examined by the traffic department and further action will be taken only in public-interest,” Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said. “If the proposal comes to me, only then I shall be able to comment further on the issue. On our part, nothing can be said at this juncture,” Bassi added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a radical step to curb air pollution that has assumed “critical” level, Delhi Government today announced that private vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers will be allowed to ply only on alternate days starting January 1, which drew mixed reactions. In an emergency meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a day after the High Court compared Delhi to a “gas chamber”, the government also decided a series of steps to cut pollution which included shutting down of a thermal power plant and making it mandatory for vehicles to have Euro VI emission norms from 2017.The odd/even number scheme, similar to the one in place in Chinese capital Beijing and Singapore, allows vehicles with number plates ending with an odd number to be driven one day while those ending with an even number can be plied the next day, meaning that a motorist will be able ply his vehicle only for 15 days in a month.

Chennai rains: Maha govt will evacuate 150 IIT-M students from TN, says CM Devendra Fadnavis

“Maharashtra Govt immediately arranged for 2 buses from Bengaluru for the stranded students & will ensure that they reach home soon,” he said.

The Maharashtra government has arranged two buses to evacuate about 150 Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) students hailing from the state who were stranded in the Chennai deluge,Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday. “Around 150 students from Maharashtra studying at @iitmadras were stranded in #ChennaiFloods and got in touch with Maharashtra govt,” the Chief Minister tweeted. “Maharashtra Govt immediately arranged for 2 buses from Bengaluru for the stranded students & will ensure that they reach home soon,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

PIB expresses regret for ‘photoshop gaffe’ during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Chennai

The photo was soon removed after questions were raised in social media about its authenticity.

The doctored image PIB used during PM’s visit to Chennai

Picture Courtesy: PIB Twitter page
Facing flak for posting a doctored photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi surveying Tamil Nadu floods from a helicopter, PIB on Friday expressed regret saying the incident happened due to an “error of judgment”. In the picture posted by Press Information Bureau (PIB) on its website and Twitter, houses and water were reportedly seen clearly through the chopper’s window which the critics pointed out could not be possible during an aerial survey.The photo was soon removed after questions were raised in social media about its authenticity.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a clarification issued here, the PIB said, “Out of the seven pictures released, one picture used the technique of merging two pictures. This is being referred to as ‘photoshopping’ in sections of media. This happened due to error of judgment and the picture was subsequently deleted. PIB regrets the release of the above mentioned picture and inconvenience caused is regretted,” it said in the statement.The Prime Minister had made an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of Chennai, its suburbs and Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts yesterday.

Jammu & Kashmir: Two militants, soldier killed in encounter in Kupwara

Two militants and a soldier were on Friday killed in an encounter between the ultras and security forces in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, an army official said.

PTI
Two militants and a soldier were on Friday killed in an encounter between the ultras and security forces in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, an army official said.Security forces launched an anti-militancy operation in Wadder Bala village of Handwara in Kupwara district following information about presence of two to three heavily armed militants in the area, the official said.He said two militants were killed in the exchange of firing between the two sides.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”One soldier was also martyred while another soldier was injured in the operation,” the official said.

Chennai floods: Fuel supply takes a hit across rain-hit city

Supply of fuel in Chennai has taken a hit due to “logistic problems” faced by oil companies, even as availability of essential commodities like milk, water and vegetables remain affected across Tamil Nadu on Friday.

Reuters
Supply of fuel in Chennai has taken a hit due to “logistic problems” faced by oil companies, even as availability of essential commodities like milk, water and vegetables remain affected across Tamil Nadu on Friday.Since most of the places across Chennai and its suburbs have been cut off due to heavy rain, oil tankers were unable to transport fuel, according to Indian Oil Corporation officials.Absence of tanker drivers has compounded the problem.”There are stocks available for supply of fuel, but tanker drivers have not reported for work as their families were affected by the floods. It is the logistics problem we are facing now,” an IOCL spokesperson told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Motorists were seen standing in large queues for several hours at some fuel outlets where there was supply. The fuel supply maybe restored soon as water level was receding in several areas, the official said.Essential commodities, however, remained in scarce supply. While supply of state-run Aavin-milk packets were totally hit, a packet of one litre milk sold by private suppliers was priced at Rs 90, whereas 1 kg tomato was available at Rs 80/90.

Centre, States must work together for India’s progress, says PM Modi

“States have the most important role in India’s progress. India can move ahead only on the strong shoulders of the states and not from Delhi alone. If we walk together shoulder to shoulder then results will automatically come,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said his government was taking states on board for development of the country, asserting that India can move ahead only on the “strong shoulders” of the states and not from Delhi alone.”India is not going to progress from Delhi,” Modi said while delivering the inaugural address at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in Delhi.Citing various measures taken by his government like setting up special departments for states at the Centre in taking them along, Modi said the states have the most “important role” in India’s progress.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”States have the most important role in India’s progress. India can move ahead only on the strong shoulders of the states and not from Delhi alone. If we walk together shoulder to shoulder then results will automatically come,” he said.Modi said it is important that the world knows about our states and their strengths.During his 40-minute speech that was laced with humour, the prime minister also said that a decisive mandate given to his party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections was crucial to the country’s progress.Having a stable Government is a very big thing and this can’t be ignored. Fractured mandates always have uncertainty,” he said, adding, there was “despondency” all over before his government took over office in May last year.

Saina Nehwal to donate Rs 2 lakh for Tamil Nadu flood victims

Star shuttler Saina Nehwal will donate Rs 2 lakh for the people affected by heavy rains and flood in Tamil Nadu, her father said on Friday.

Star shuttler Saina Nehwal will donate Rs 2 lakh for the people affected by heavy rains and flood in Tamil Nadu, her father said on Friday.”Saina would like to donate Rs 2 lakh to the victims of rains in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. I am going to make it happen,” Saina’s father Harvir Singh said.Saina, currently ranked number two in BWF world rankings, is training under renowned coach Vimal Kumar in Bangalore.Unprecedented heavy rains over the last several days have led to widespread devastation in Chennai and its neighbouring districts in Tamil Nadu. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

AAP’s VAT amendment bill proposes paying in advance for imported goods, heavy penalty for tax evaders

Industry experts say prices of imported goods may go up, govt dismisses claims saying there is no increase in tax percentage.

The Arvind Kejriwal government is likely to table a new Value Added Tax (Third) Amendment Bill, 2015, in the assembly this session to enable collection of tax in advance on goods imported from outside India. According to a provision in the bill, the government can collect a certain percentage of the value added tax on imported goods at the time of customs clearance, while the rest of the tax can be collected later after further calculation, sources said. The tax will also have to be paid in advance on goods not meant for sale or consumption in Delhi, which will be later adjusted or refunded by the government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Industry sources claimed that prices of imported goods will go up, since dealers have to pay a lump sum amount of money on goods even before they are sold. Delhi government officials, however, dismissed the claim saying the bill doesn’t propose an increase in taxes and that dealers will pay the same amount of taxes, just in different phases. At present, goods worth Rs 10,000 crore are imported every month through the three land ports and the international airport of Delhi. A major quantity of liquor, chocolates and perfumes, among other items of regular use are imported by the country.The bill has a provision to impose strict punishment on tax evaders, with an imprisonment of a year if the tax evasion amount is more than Rs 1 crore, and a fine of minimum Rs 50,000, which can also go up four times the evaded tax amount. The bill was cleared by the Delhi cabinet on Wednesday and is likely to be tabled in the assembly on Thursday. The winter session of the Delhi assembly is set to go on till Friday.The bill proposes to set up special courts and special public prosecutors for tax evasion cases. It also proposes a provision where officials of trade and taxes department can carry out investigations on tax evasion cases and also prosecute offenders before the metropolitan magistrate court without referring complaints to the police. “The bill, once cleared by the assembly, will solve two purposes. Firstly, Delhi government will have an authentic information of the exact number of companies in Delhi which import goods and what goods they import,” said a government official, adding that it will empower the government officials who will not have to depend on the Delhi police to investigate and prosecute a tax evader.The bill will also enable the government to ensure dealers install a point-of-sale device to keep a tab on tax evaders.

PM Modi’s best bet on GST is his predecessor; hopes Manmohan will be able to convince Congress leadership

PM hopes Manmohan will be able to convince Congress leaders and get the Bill passed

After the tea break, it’s time to read the tea leaves. Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi get the backing of the Congress in passing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in Parliament or not? Though Modi reached out to the Opposition over a cup of tea on Friday, the bad taste of politics still lingers. Modi, who is in Paris on Monday (today) for the Climate Summit, is betting on his predecessor Manmohan Singh to swing around the Congress and ensure the passage of the Bill.But the Congress is in no mood to forget the past. “He (Modi) has humiliated us on foreign soil. That was not prime ministerial…,” senior spokesman Anand Sharma said. During the meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence, finance minister Arun Jaitley is understood to have explained to Gandhi and Singh the government’s position on the three changes the Opposition was seeking. The Congress sought a week’s time to reply. Modi told Singh that the government was ready to talk anytime. And government sources said the ball is in the Congress court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the Congress court, an intense debate has started. Some leaders, close to vice-president Rahul Gandhi, argue that there is no point in working out a compromise formula by sacrificing the party’s three non-negotiable issues. Modi is pinning his hopes on Singh as it was the latter who made the Friday meeting with Gandhi possible. Modi had sought the good offices of Singh at an event in the Rashtrapati Bhavan recently. The government expects that Singh’s equations with Gandhi and with consumer-states like Bihar and West Bengal, led by JD (U) and Trinamul Congress (TMC), respectively, backing the legislation, the Congress may ultimately fall in line. The government is also ready to explore some “face savers” for the Opposition party, provided the Congress shows some flexibility, sources said.Congress insiders say that much of the government’s conciliatory tones will be judged on Monday, when the issue of intolerance that dominated the two-day special debate on Constitution will be in focus again in the Lok Sabha. A call attention notice of CPI (M)’s P Karunakaran and Congress’ K C Venugopal has been listed for discussing “situation arising out of incidents of intolerance in the country.” A similar notice by CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechuri is awaiting admission in the Rajya Sabha, where Opposition parties are mulling to censure the government, through a resolution.The government has agreed for a discussion on intolerance, an issue dear to the Opposition. It appears that the Congress seems more interested in the “intolerance debate,” sources said. The government’s readiness to debate “intolerance” in both Houses of Parliament may prevent disruption, but the Congress says it hasn’t softened its stance on key issues. “We don’t call it intolerance. Our notice is to discuss the orchestrated campaign to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation and the assault on constitutional rights and also how senior ministers humiliated top intellectuals, historians and scientists of the country. That is not merely intolerance,” said a Congress leader in the Rajya Sabha. “We want the GST to be pro-industry, pro-trade and pro-consumer. We have also asked the government to discuss our proposals and get back to us. We hope there will be more structured meetings,” said another senior Congress leader. Asked if the Prime Minister’s speech in the Lok Sabha had helped reduced some bitterness, senior Congress spokesman Anand Sharma said that Modi had humiliated us on foreign soil. But he said that the PM has ultimately realised that parliamentary democracy “can’t be run by diktat and sermon, and, has therefore, tried to reach out”. The party says it will also watch Modi’s speeches in Paris. “He repeatedly said India received no respect before he came (to power) and that previous governments had done nothing. Yesterday, he turned his own speeches upside down and gave credit to previous governments. Does he really think people’s memory is that short?” said Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh also questioned the Prime Minister’s memory. “He should either accept that he was trying to fool the people of India or he has a habit of telling lies,” he said.Looks like a tea break won’t break ice so fast. The Congress’ three demands 1. An 18% cap on GST in the constitutional amendment itself. (The government feels that this would restrict future flexibility in making changes as it would require the approval of both Houses of Parliament by a two-thirds majority. Also, in emergency situations, like war or other eventualities, it would create a problem). 2. Revoking of powers to states to impose a 1% tax on supply of goods, over and above the GST rate 3. An independent redressal mechanism to resolve issues that may arise between states or between the Centre and states

How many years to correct mistake, Salman Rushdie asks about ‘Satanic Verses’ ban

New Delhi: Hours after former finance minister P Chidambaram described the ban on Salman Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses” in India as wrong, the author asked how many more years it would take to correct the “mistake”.

Salman Rushdie in a file photo. ReutersSalman Rushdie in a file photo. Reuters

Salman Rushdie in a file photo. Reuters

Rushdie’s remarks was prompted by Chidambaram’s admission on Saturday that the Rajiv Gandhi government’s decision to ban the controversial novel was a mistake.

Chidambaram, who was minister of state home affairs when the ban was imposed in October 1988, had said at the Delhi Times LitFest on Friday that he had “no hesitation in saying that the ban on Salman Rushdie’s book was wrong.”

Rushdie took to Twitter to say, “This admission just took 27 years. How many before the ‘mistake’ is corrected?”

The publication of the “Satanic Verses” in 1988 was followed by a fatwa by Iran’s religious leader Ayatollah Khomenini calling for Rushdie to be killed, forcing the author to go into hiding.

Earlier in 2012, the author had to pull out from the Jaipur Literature Festival citing threats by some Muslim groups and had to even cancel a subsequent video address in the same festival.

PTI

BJP slams Farooq Abdullah for his remarks on Kashmir, demands an apology

Jammu: BJP on Saturday sought an apology from former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah for saying that PoK is part of Pakistan, and said he was “deliberately raking up” the issue in order to remain in news for his political survival.

“Probably Farooq Abdullah is either suffering from amnesia or deliberately raking up the settled issue in order to remain in news for his political survival,” BJP spokesperson Virender Gupta told reporters.

Farooq Abdullah. File photo. AFPFarooq Abdullah. File photo. AFP

Farooq Abdullah. File photo. AFP

Gupta strongly condemned the statement the National Conference Patron made on Friday that “PoK is part of Pakistan” and will remain with it while India will continue to control its part of Jammu and Kashmir.

The BJP spokesperson said Maharaja Hari Singh while signing the Instrument of Accession made the whole of Jammu and Kashmir, under his control, part of the Dominion of India.

He said Farooq Abdullah’s father Sheikh Abdullah had even endorsed the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India.

Gupta said Pakistan was an aggressor which forcibly occupied the part of Jammu and Kashmir that is presently under its occupation and that it was India which took up the matter with the UN Security Council.

He added that the Indian Parliament, in a resolution in 1994, unanimously resolved its determination to get vacated PoK, part of Jammu and Kashmir, from illegal occupation of Pakistan.

“Abdullah by his uncalled-for statement has acted against the resolution and harmed the interest of the nation and weakened India’s position on the J&K issue,” the BJP spokesperson said.

Replying to queries about the reported demand in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) of joining India, Abdullah had said on Friday, “It will never happen. It (PoK) is part of Pakistan and will remain part of Pakistan. This (Jammu and Kashmir) is India’s part and will remain part of India…”

Gupta said Abdullah must seek apology from the nation for his this blunder and set things in the right perspective. It looks like that the leaders of National Conference have been so much demoralised and frustrated that they have lost their wit and giving such irresponsible statements, he alleged.

PTI

Meet the man behind the bicycle that produces day-long electricity for an hour of pedalling

Lightning fact: An hour of pedalling can produce electricity that will run a rural household for 24 hours by a running lights, a small fan, and charging a cell phone

Indian-origin American billionaire Manoj Bhargava on Friday revealed a bicycle, the Free Electric bicycle, which produces electricity when pedalled. Priced at between Rs 12,000 – 15,000, Bhargava said that the cycles had the power to take the electricity to millions of homes in rural India where there was no electricity.Bhargava said that the idea came to him while watching NASCAR on the TV, the popular American car racing event, when he saw a man push a pump, which propelled a jack to lift a car. “The car moved so fast that it nearly flipped. I was surprised that such a motion could propel a jack so fast. Then, I asked my innovators to work on it. They tried the pumping function, but it did not work. We worked on the product it for a while, and at first the product turned out too heavy. We then worked to strip it off the unnecessary parts,” said Bhargava.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, Bhargava and his team did not tell us whether they intended to market the product, or work with the government to make it reach the masses, or how much electricity does one cycle produce within a stipulated period of time. They, however, revealed that an hour of pedalling can produce electricity that will run a rural household for 24 hours by a running lights, a small fan, and charging a cell phone. Production in India is slated to start in March, 2016. Bhargava, son of a publisher from Lucknow, left India with his family in 1967 when he was 14. He grew up in the US and entered Princeton College, where he dropped out to come back to India to be a monk. During his travels, he formed the Hans Foundation. He went back to the US and eventually came up with a drink called Five Hour Energy. As part of State 2 Innovations, the inventions wing of his ventures, Bhargava has also produced a water purification machine that cleans even seawater to drinking water, and another project which uses graphene cables to harness earth’s heat to produce electricity.

Delhi Cabinet approves salary hike of MLAs

In July, a group of AAP legislators had demanded a significant hike in salary, arguing that their earnings were not enough to run their family and offices.

The AAP government on Friday approved a hike in salary and allowances of Delhi MLAs. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at his residence. “Cabinet has approved a hike in salary and allowances of MLAs. The government will now send the approved proposal to the Lt Governor for his nod,” sources said. They, however, did not specify the quantum of hike in allowances and salary. Delhi has 70 MLAs.In July, a group of AAP legislators had demanded a significant hike in salary, arguing that their earnings were not enough to run their family and offices. In October, a three-member committee headed by former Secretary General of Lok Sabha PDT Achary had recommended two-and-half-fold hike in salary from current Rs 88,000 per month to Rs 2.10 lakh.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The committee, which had submitted its report to Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, had favoured a 400 per cent hike in basic salary of MLAs from Rs 12,000 to Rs 50,000 per month.

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