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Maharashtra IPS officer booked for rape in Madhya Pradesh

“We will take appropriate action against Matani after probing the charges against him. We are also contacting senior officials of Maharashtra Police,” he added.

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Tamil Nadu Elections: DMK Chief Karunanidhi terms Rs 22 crore as ‘insufficient’ poll fund

On March 12 this year, Karunanidhi had appealed to the party workers to make contributions to the party’s election fund for the 2016 assembly polls. DMK is hoping for a turnaround in its poll fortunes after being badly mauled by the ruling AIADMK in the 2011 assembly and last year’s Lok Sabha elections.

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Groundwater status alarming across 16 states and 2 UT’s: House panel

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While reviewing the status of groundwater, the standing committee of parliament on water resource, river development and Ganga rejuvenation noted that groundwater across 1071 locations across 16 states and two union territories is being over exploited.

Worried about the indiscriminate extraction of groundwater for irrigation, industries and domestic use and its groundwater contamination, a parliamentary panel has asked the Union ministry of water resources to carry out a study to detail impact of groundwater extraction on farming, health and environment. The panel has asked the ministry to submit the report in six months from now.While reviewing the status of groundwater, the standing committee of parliament on water resource, river development and Ganga rejuvenation noted that groundwater across 1071 locations across 16 states and two union territories is being over exploited. These locations comprise of blocks, mandals, talukas and districts are spread over a total area of 5 lakh square kms of the country and have been termed as ‘dark blocks’. These dark blocks stretch from plus localities such as the capital’s Defence Colony and Hauz Khas to districts in southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The committee are gravely concerned that the country is on the path towards a serious water crisis in the near future due to over-extraction and quality deterioration of groundwater,” the parliamentary panel said. While recommending that a study be carried out, the panel specifically asked the ministry to map agricultural land falling in dark blocks. According to the the data provided on the annual ground water withdrawal, irrigation sector accounted for the maximum share; 90.75%, followed by domestic and industrial sector, whose combined share was 9.25%.The committee noted that states such as Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan saw high levels of groundwater extraction for irrigation. In Punjab, irrigation accounts for 97.9% groundwater withdrawal while in Haryana and Rajasthan, the figures stand at 94.5% and 88.4% respectively.Along with indiscriminate groundwater extraction, high contamination of water in rural habitations was reported in the year 2015. The parliamentary panel was informed that as of May 2015, states have reported that water in 63,282 rural settlements was contaminated by heavy metals or toxic metals such as arsenic, flouride, salinity, iron and nitrate. Some of the states worst hit due to groundwater contamination are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Punjab, Assam and Tripura.

‘Achhe din’ only for Modi, not aam aadmi: Rahul Gandhi in Amethi

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The Congress leader alleged the Modi government thrice tried to finish the land acquisition law brought by the UPA government but every time the move was blocked by his party.

Rahul Gandhi
File Photo

Intensifying his attack on the Modi government over price rise, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on said ‘achhe din’ has come only for the Prime Minister and not the common man.”The aam aadmi is groaning under unprecedented price rise. It is no achhe din (good times) for them. It is achhe din only for the Prime Minister,” he said on the first day of his two-day visit to his Amethi Lok Sabha constituency. Rahul, who led the opposition attack against the NDA government within and outside Parliament, said only his party was fighting strongly against BJP on the price front.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”BJP is responsible for the unprecedented price rise in the country,” he said, adding, “inflation is at its peak. Nothing has been done for farmers and the youth”. Addressing a few roadside meetings, including at Nigoha and Chatoh, he asked village heads to raise their voice against cancellation of food park and paper mill projects in Amethi and said Congress wanted all welfare schemes of the Centre and the state to be implemented through gram pradhans.Later, at a meeting of newly elected village heads at Ramsapur village in Chatoh block, Rahul said, “We could have changed the face of Amethi through mega food park and Hindustan Paper Mill and these projects would have provided employment to 15,000-20,000 people. Land was given for these projects, but BJP doesn’t want that a food park or paper mill is set up here.” He said 40 different factories were to be set up in the food park, which would have benefited farmers the most, but all hopes have been dashed. “We want the village heads to raise their voice against this. Besides, they should protest curtailment of their rights,” he said.Noting that the modern panchayati raj system was the brainchild of his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Rahul said Congress favoured more powers for village heads. He claimed various laws enacted by the previous Congress governments gave more powers to village heads, unlike the legislations brought by the Modi government.The Congress leader alleged the Modi government thrice tried to finish the land acquisition law brought by the UPA government but every time the move was blocked by his party. Rahul interacted with village heads on different issues, during which a gram pradhan asked him about the logic behind fixing minimum educational qualification by Haryana government for contesting panchayat elections. The Congress leader appeared to be in agreement with the decision of Haryana’s BJP government when he said a village head should have some minimum educational qualification to bring about development of the village.He also enquired about progress of MNREGA scheme, another pet project of the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government. Earlier at Nigoha, Rahul said that during the Lok Sabha election campaign Modi had promised to deposit Rs 15 lakh in every person’s account after bringing back the black money stashed away abroad. “Has it been deposited?” he asked sarcastically.Promising to carry on development work in his Lok Sabha constituency, he said, “We will complete development works in Amethi. We will fight unitedly as a single person cannot continue the struggle alone.” There was minor trouble during Rahul’s visit when Congress workers clashed with each other after one car hit another. Two people were injured in the clash.

Panchkula plot case: BJP looking for black cat in black bag, says former CM Bhupinder Hooda

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Haryana Vigilance department on Saturday registered an FIR against former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and three others in Panchkula Industrial Plot case on orders of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda

Haryana’s former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday said allegations of corruption in Panchkula Industrial Plot case against him is a case of political vendetta as the BJP government is behaving like a blind man looking for a black cat.”It is a complete case of political vendetta and witch hunting. This government has failed on every front and trying to divert the attention from their corruption cases. They are behaving like a blind man looking for black cat in black bag in dark night which is not there,” Hooda told ANI here. Haryana Vigilance department on Saturday registered an FIR against former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and three others in Panchkula Industrial Plot case on orders of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Haryana government has also recommended a CBI inquiry into the case. The three others, against whom the case has been registered are former Chief Administrator of Haryana Urban Development Authority DPS Nagal, former Chief Finance Officer S.C. Kansal and another former officer of HUDA B. B. Taneja. Chief Minister Manohar lal has said that there were allegations of nepotism and favoritism and cheating in the allotment of 14 industrial plots by HUDA in Panchkula.

Mercury hovers near freezing point in parts of North

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Foggy conditions were witnessed in the city during the morning, significantly reducing the visibility to 500 meters.

Winters in North

Reuters
Cold wave coupled with fog affected normal life in most parts of North India, as road and rail traffic were hit in the region, while mercury hovered around freezing point in some parts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan on Saturday. Delhiites woke up to a chilly Saturday with the minimum temperature settling at 6.8 degrees Celsius, one notch below the season’s average. The maximum temperature was recorded at 21 degrees, also a notch below the normal, said a MeT department official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Foggy conditions were witnessed in the city during the morning, significantly reducing the visibility to 500 meters. In Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar witnessed the season’s coldest night so far with the minimum temperature settling at a low of minus 4.4 degrees as the cold wave tightened its grip in the Valley where mercury slipped further below the freezing point. The night temperature in Srinagar dipped further by over a degree from the previous night’s minus 3.2 degrees Celsius and settled at a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius, causing fringes of famous Dal Lake to freeze, the MeT official said. The mercury in Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley, also went down to a low of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, the official said. The tourist resort of Pahalgam which serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra in south Kashmir registered a low of minus 7.9 degrees Celsius. The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 10.5 degrees Celsius. Leh, in the frontier region of Ladakh, was the coldest place in the state with minus 13.7 degrees Celsius. The temperature in the nearby Kargil town also dropped nearly three degrees to a low of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius. In Haryana, Narnaul was the coldest at 1.6 degrees Celsius, as ongoing cold conditions continued unabated in the state and neighbouring Punjab. Hisar also reeled under biting cold at a low of 4 degrees Celsius.Cold conditions also swept Karna and Ambala with 5 and 6.7 degrees Celsius respectively. Chandigarh experienced a cold night at 5.6 degrees Celsius, down two degrees than normal, the MeT Department here said. In Punjab, Amritsar reeled under severe chill at a low of 2.2 degrees Celsius, down two notches while Ludhiana also experienced a cold night at 4.2 degrees Celsius. Patiala recorded a low of 6.7 degrees Celsius. While in Rajasthan, biting cold conditions continued to prevail as Churu in plains was the coldest place at 1.4 degree Celsius whereas the sole hill station Mount Abu was freezing at zero degree Celsius.Meanwhile, dense fog affected movement of trains under North Western Railway with 10 trains running late, a railway spokesperson said.

Panchkula industrial plot case: Vigilance department registers FIR against former CM Bhupinder Hooda

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The FIR was lodged even as Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar recommended CBI probe into the alleged irregularities during the previous Congress government.

Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda
File Photo

An FIR was lodged on Saturday by the Haryana Vigilance Bureau against the then Chairman and Chief Administrator of HUDA for alleged irregularities in allotment of industrial plots in Panchkula three years ago when the then Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was at the body’s helm.The FIR was lodged even as Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar recommended CBI probe into the alleged irregularities during the previous Congress government. The Vigilance Bureau registered the case under relevant sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act against the then Chairman of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), a post held by Hooda, as also former IAS officer DPS Nagal and two other officials of the authority. The FIR does not mention Hooda by name but names of others — Nagal, then HUDA chief finance officer S C Kansal and another official B B Taneja, besides 13 beneficiaries, figure in it, a senior Vigilance Bureau official told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hooda dubbed the move as “political vendetta” unleashed by the BJP government. “They (BJP) have unleashed political vendetta against us (the Congress leaders),” the former Chief Minister told PTI while reacting to the development. He alleged that Khattar government had failed on all fronts and was desperate to divert public attention from its own alleged failures. With the Vigilance Department registering an FIR in the case, the matter would be referred to CBI, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s OSD Jawahar Yadav said.Talking to reporters at Ludhiana today, Khattar said, “…The Vigilance report says that norms were not followed and the plots were alloted to favourites and close ones.” He rejected the allegation of “political vendetta”, saying “Wherever wrongs have taken place, we are duty-bound to take action. We don’t initiate any action by targeting anyone.” Khattar said the state’s advocate-general has favoured a probe by an independent agency and added the matter will be referred for a CBI probe.Outspoken Haryana Minister Anil Vij also said, “This matter will be probed by CBI. Large-scale irregularities have taken place in plot allotments, which were distributed to favourites by the previous regime.”Senior Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad hit out at the BJP government for targeting political opponents.

Check out bseh.org.in for Class 10 and Class 12 Haryana Board of School Education (HBSE) 2015 results

The results of HBSE (Board of School Education, Haryana) results in 2015 were announced on Thursday. Results of Class 10th (Senior Examination) and Class 12th (Senior Secondary Examination) can be checked on the website bseh.org.in or indiaresults.com. Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide for students to check their results: 1) Visit bseh.org.in or indiaresults.com2) Clock on ‘Senior Secondary Examination Result Oct 2015, for Class 12 results and ‘Secondary Examination Result Oct 2015’ for HBSE class 10 result3) Enter your roll number, and check your results. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>You can also call on the toll free number 1800 180 4171 or Whatsapp on 8571867627. The Board of School Education Haryana (HBSE), Bhiwani came into existence in 1969. It started with a staff of 100 officials allocated from Punjab University and conducted the first examination of matriculation level (10th Class) in 1970. The Board adopted 10+2 pattern of education and conducted XII class examination under the new scheme with effect from 1987. Presently, it has the strength of more than 800 officials/officers and is examining 10 lakh + (one million +) candidates in examinations conducted by the Board. The Board of School Education Haryana has introduced the semester system of education from academic year 2006-2007, and claims to be the first Board in India to do so.

Cold wave sweeps north India; Leh records minus 12 degree Celsius

Delhiites woke up to a chilly morning with the mercury dipping to 6.8 degrees Celsius, a drop of nearly five notches from Saturday when the minimum settled at 11.5 degrees.

A train moves on snow covered railway tracks after seasons first snowfall, in Anantnag district of south Kashmir

PTI
Cold wave swept in several parts of north India today with Leh in Ladakh region experiencing the coldest night of the season at minus 12 degrees Celsius and higher hills of Himachal Pradesh receiving another spell of moderate snowfall.Delhiites woke up to a chilly morning with the mercury dipping to 6.8 degrees Celsius, a drop of nearly five notches from Saturday when the minimum settled at 11.5 degrees. According to MeT officials, Sunday’s low was two notches below the season’s average. In Jammu and Kashmir, Leh experienced the coldest night of the season so far as the mercury plunged 12 degrees below freezing point. Leh recorded a minimum of minus 12.1 degrees Celsius — down by over seven degrees from the previous night’s minus 4.6 degrees.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The night temperature in Srinagar – the summer capital – decreased marginally. The city recorded a low of minus 0.8 degrees as against 0.6 degrees the previous night. Most parts of Himachal Pradesh shivered under piercing cold wave conditions as high altitude tribal areas and other higher ranges received another spell of moderate snowfall and foggy conditions prevailed in mid and lower hills.The mercury dropped by a few notches and Keylong in tribal Lahaul and Spiti district recorded minimum temperature at minus 4.6 degrees Celsius while Manali and Kalpa recorded a low of minus 3 degree and minus 2.2 degree Celsius. The high altitude tribal areas groaned under biting cold wave conditions with minimum temperatures staying between minus eight and minus 14 degrees Celsius.Dark convective clouds overcast the sky in state capital Shimla and strong velocity icy winds swept the region causing sharp fall in day temperature which dropped to 8.8 degrees Celsius, forcing people to stay indoors. Meanwhile, cold wave conditions swept many parts of Haryana and Punjab, with Narnaul turning out to be the coldest place at 2.5 degrees Celsius.Narnaul in Haryana reeled under biting chill as the minimum temperature today dropped four notches below normal level. While Hisar experienced a cold night at 4.5 degrees Celsius, three notches less than normal, minimum temperature in Ambala however, settled within the normal limits at 9.3 degrees Celsius. In Punjab, Amritsar had a cold night at 6 degrees Celsius while Ludhiana also experienced the chill at 6.8 degrees Celsius.

Unfortunate that people still defecate in public: Supreme Court

While upholding Haryana’s law that aspirants must have toilets at home to contest panchayat polls, a bench of justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre observed, “It is a notorious fact that the Indian population for a long time had this unhealthy practice of defecating in public.”

It’s “unfortunate” that even after a century of Mahatma Gandhi’s movement against unhealthy practice of defecating in public, India is yet to get rid of the menace, the Supreme Court today said.While upholding Haryana’s law that aspirants must have toilets at home to contest panchayat polls, a bench of justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre observed, “It is a notorious fact that the Indian population for a long time had this unhealthy practice of defecating in public.” “The Father of the Nation wrote copiously on this aspect on various occasions. He took up with a missionary zeal the cause to eradicate this unhealthy practice. At some point of time, he even declared that the priority of this country should be to get rid of such unhealthy practice than to fight for independence.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is unfortunate that almost a hundred years after Gandhiji started such a movement, India is still not completely rid of such practice. The reasons are many. Poverty is one of them. However, this unhealthy practice is not exclusive to poorer sections of rural India,” the court said. In its order, the court said that if people still do not have a toilet it is not because of their poverty but because of their lacking the requisite will.”In a bid to discourage this unhealthy practice, the State has evolved schemes to provide financial assistance to those who are economically not in a position to construct a toilet.As rightly pointed by the respondents, if people still do not have a toilet it is not because of their poverty but because of their lacking the requisite will. One of the primary duties of any civic body is to maintain sanitation within its jurisdiction. Those who aspire to get elected to those civic bodies and administer them must set an example for others.”To the said end if the legislature stipulates that those who are not following basic norms of hygiene are ineligible to become administrators of the civic body and disqualifies them as a class from seeking election to the civic body, such a policy, in our view, can neither be said to create a class based on unintelligible criteria nor can such classification be said to be unconnected with the object sought to be achieved by Act,” the court said.

Congress leaders ‘have DNA for wrongdoings’: Anil Vij

On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Vij took a dig at Congrss President Sonia Gandhi for her comment that she was not afraid of anyone as she was the daughter-in-law of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
File Photo
AFP photo
Outspoken Haryana Minister Anil Vij on Thursday stoked yet another controversy by saying “all Congress leaders have DNA for wrongdoings”.On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Vij took a dig at Congrss President Sonia Gandhi for her comment that she was not afraid of anyone as she was the daughter-in-law of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.”Everyone knows that Congress leaders are not afraid of doing wrong things. The DNA of all of you (Congress people) is the same,” Vij tweeted.In yet another tweet, the Health Minister in the BJP government, who is known to even take on his own government at times, also took a dig at Indira Gandhi.”This is the same Indira Gandhi who crushed all democratic rights to impose Emergency. Her soul is still alive among all Congress leaders,” he wrote.In one of his recent tweets, Vij had attacked Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and his brother-in-law Robert Vadra. He had advised Rahul to quit politics and start property dealing business with Vadra, even suggesting the name of the business venture as “Rahul and Vadra properties”.Vij had tweeted, “Rahul should quit politics and open property dealing shop with his brother-in-law Robert Vadra– Rahul and Vadra properties.”The controversial tweets from Vij have come at a time when Congress members continued their protest against alleged “vendetta politics” in the National Herald case. Vij has been critical of the Nehru-Gandhi family on many occasions in the past as well.In one of his tweet in April this year, Vij, while commenting on Rahul Gandhi’s journey by train to meet farmers in Punjab, wrote, “after looking at the pictures of Rahul Gandhi sitting in a train like a terrified and scared child, which appeared in today’s newspapers (in April), it appears like a child had run away from his home”.Vij through his numerous tweets has also taken a dig at Robert Vadra over his company’s land deals in Haryana.

Minimum educational qualification mandatory for Panchayat polls: Supreme Court

The petition had challenged validity of Haryana’s Panchayati Raj (amendment) Act 2015 which fixes matriculation as essential qualification for general candidates contesting panchayat polls, while the qualification for women (general) and Scheduled Caste candidates has been fixed at Class VIII.

Supreme Court
File Photo

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the validity of recent amendments in a Haryana law which fixes various criteria including minimum educational qualification for candidates contesting panchayat polls.”The writ petition is dismissed,” a bench comprising justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre said. The petition had challenged validity of Haryana’s Panchayati Raj (amendment) Act 2015 which fixes matriculation as essential qualification for general candidates contesting panchayat polls, while the qualification for women (general) and Scheduled Caste candidates has been fixed at Class VIII.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, in case of a woman candidate belonging to the Scheduled Caste category contesting election for the post of panch (panchayat head), the minimum qualification would be Class V.

Why is AIIMS rejecting Magsaysay award winner & whistleblower Sanjiv Chaturvedi’s donation?

Chaturvedi has long had a troubled relationship with the government due his various anti-corruption activities and a knack for uncovering scams wherever he has been posted.

Alleging ‘humiliating and discriminatory treatment’, Magsaysay award winner and serial whistleblower Sanjiv Chaturvedi wrote to Prime Minister Modi, asking to meet him, as his donations to All India Institute of Medical Sciences has not so far been accepted. Chaturvedi, an Indian Forest Services officer, had pledged to donate the Rs19 lakh cash award to the medical institute for the treatment of poor patients.On 21 September, he had sent a check to be deposited into the account of the Director AIIMS. However, in his letter to the PM, dated 5 December, he wrote that AIIMS had not deposited this amount and the matter had been kept pending on “flimsy grounds”. Chaturvedi cried foul saying that no other donor has ever been questioned, yet in his case, “knowing fully well about my credentials and source of funds, the matter was deliberately referred to Health Ministry, just to negate the contribution.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chaturvedi has long had a troubled relationship with the government due his various anti-corruption activities and a knack for uncovering scams wherever he has been posted. AS the Chief Vigilance Officer in AIIMS, he exposed corruption involving powerful politicians and bureaucrats, which lead to his removal from the post. Earlier in his career, as an officer in Haryana, he blew the lid off several cases of corruption in planting projects in Hisar and Jhajjar, involving officials and ministers in the then Congress state government. The investigation had led to the suspension of nine officers.Such a career may have earned him the Magsaysay Award for his “exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office”. However, it led to “harassment” from the Haryana government, many obstacles in trying to change his cadre from Haryana to Uttarakhand as the central government refused to let the transfer go through till the Central Administrative Tribunal, earlier this year forced the Appointments Committee of Cabinet to pass the cadre change order.Chaturvedi reminded the PM of his fraught history in his letter, saying that his simple, “humanitarian” gesture had fallen prey to the “intolerance of the establishment towards honesty and honest civil servants”. He also wrote that his treatment was a “direct result of annoyance of Mr. JP Nadda”, the union health minister and President AIIMS. This, because Chaturvedi had launched an enquiry into corruption cases of one of his “protege officers”, “on whose departmental chargesheet, Health Ministry is sitting for the past one year”. Chaturvedi added that since Nadda became the union minister, things have worsened for him, and his survival depends on “judicial intervention” and the PM’s own interventions. In news Sanjiv Chaturvedi has long had a troubled relationship with the government due his various anti-corruption activities and a knack for uncovering scams wherever he has been posted. As the Chief Vigilance Officer in AIIMS, he exposed corruption involving powerful politicians and bureaucrats, which lead to his removal from the post. Earlier in his career, as an officer in Haryana, he blew the lid off several cases of corruption in planting projects in Hisar and Jhajjar, involving officials and ministers in the then Congress state government. The investigation had led to the suspension of nine officers.

Rajya Sabha paralysed for second day; opposition demands VK Singh’s ouster from cabinet

No government business could be transacted as the House was adjourned repeatedly as members of BSP and Congress pressed for ouster of Singh from the Council of Ministers as well as Parliament for ‘dog’ analogy after the killing of two Dalit children in Haryana

VK Singh

Rajya Sabha was paralysed for the second consecutive on Friday, with the some opposition parties gunning for minister V K Singh for his ‘dog’ remarks and some others creating ruckus over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s reported comments on Ram temple.No government business could be transacted as the House was adjourned repeatedly as members of BSP and Congress pressed for ouster of Singh from the Council of Ministers as well as Parliament for ‘dog’ analogy after the killing of two Dalit children in Haryana. Adding to the pandemonium, members of Samajwadi Party protested against Bhagwat’s remarks that ‘ground should be prepared’ for building Ram Temple in Ayodhya and demanded action against him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government ruled out any action against Singh, arguing that he has already clarified on the issue. With regard to Bhagwat’s comments, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said people have “fundamental right” to reiterate commitment for construction of a temple but the government will respect the court’s decision. Ruckus began soon after the House met for the day and mourned the death of former member M A M Ramaswamy.BSP chief Mayawati said the government’s attitude over Singh’s comments was “very sad and unfortunate”. As Deputy Chairman P J Kurien disallowed her and asked her to give a notice for making a statement, her party members rushed into the Well raising anti-government slogans. Not to be left behind, Naresh Agarwal (SP) raised the issue of Bhagwat’s comments.Kurien did not allow this as well and asked them to make mentions during the Zero Hour. “Please give notice. This is against rules. You cannot make a statement without notice,” he said. Immediately thereafter, SP members rushed into the Well of the House raising slogans.Mayawati alleged that social and communal atomsphere in the country has detoriated since BJP came to power, as the government instead of taking action against the rabble-rousers was indulging in soft-peddling such issues. “Dalit virodhi yeh sarkar nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi (anti-Dalit government will not be allowed)”, “V K Singh murdabad (down with V K Singh)”, the BSP members shouted.With members of the two parties not listening to his pleas for order, Kurien adjourned the House for 15 minutes.Similar scenes were seen when the House met at 11.30 am with slogan-shouting BSP members again trooping into the Well.

Haryana: 16 people lose vision after botched cataract surgery

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij has ordered a departmental probe into the incident.

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
At least 16 people suffered partial vision loss after undergoing cataract surgery at a charitable hospital at Maheshnagar in Ambala, officials said on Tuesday.Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij has ordered a departmental probe into the incident.Ambala Senior Medical Officer (SMO) Dr Vinod Kumar Gupta said the charitable society ‘Sarv Kalyan Sewarth Samithi’ at Maheshnagar conducted the cataract operation on 16 patients on November 24.”The society had no mandatory clearance from us to hold the camp. They had applied for permission in 2013, but it was denied by us as we first wanted to conduct an inspection of the hospital and get details of the surgeons who will conduct operations,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”However, without permission they conducted the camp. Our team had raided the hospital but it is locked. Case had been registered in this connection by the police regarding negligence on the complaint of the SMO,” he said.Dr Gupta said these societies hold such camps as they get huge incentive amounting to Rs 1000 per person operated upon. He said most of the patients have now contacted PGI at Chandigarh for further treatment of their eyes. Sources at PGI said the condition of the eyes of the patient, who were operated upon, is bad.A similar incident had taken place at Samalkha in Panipat in March in which 13 patients suffered from vision loss.

Haryana min-SP spat – Anil Vij resorting to cheap tactics for popularity: Congress

The minister had on Thursday stormed out of a meeting of the District Grievances and Public Relations Committee after the police officer refused to follow his order to leave the venue following heated exchanges between them.

Vij has the time to spend on Twitter but cannot call a meeting of the officials of his department to discuss the problems: Congress. (Fiie Photo)

dna Research & Archives
The Haryana unit of Congress on Saturday condemned the spat between state Health Minister Anil Vij and IPS officer Sangeeta Kalia, following which she was shunted, saying the minister resorts to various kinds of tactics to gain cheap popularity. The party also accused the BJP of not respecting women contrary to the claims made it. “Health Minister Anil Vij resorts to various kinds of tactics to gain cheap popularity. He has misbehaved with a woman officer and used foul language for which action should be taken against him,” Haryana Congress spokesperson Krishan Murti Hooda said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”BJP makes tall claims about respecting women but even the Prime Minister or the Chief Minster have never done so. There is a huge gap between what they preach and practice,” the spokesperson said. IPS officer Kalia, SP of Fatehabad district, was today shunted out, a day after a spat with Vij during a meeting, triggering angry reactions against him from the opposition and on the social media. The minister had on Thursday stormed out of a meeting of the District Grievances and Public Relations Committee after the police officer refused to follow his order to leave the venue following heated exchanges between them. The video of their spat went viral on social media.Hooda further alleged that Vij has the time to spend on Twitter but cannot call a meeting of the officials of his department to discuss the problems.The spokesperson also alleged scam by the BJP government in the state in providing compensation to paddy farmers.

Congress slams Haryana woman SP’s transfer, questions BJP’s ‘beti badhao, beti padhao’ sloganeering

Condemning the action, Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza said the BJP government proclaims from the rooftops about ‘beti badhao, beti padhao’ seeking to empower the girl child.

Congress on Saturday came down hard on Haryana government over the transfer of IPS officer Sangeet Kalia following a spat with state Health Minister Anil Vij during a meeting, saying the action reflected the “anti-women mindset” of the BJP-led dispensation.Condemning the action, Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza said the BJP government proclaims from the rooftops about ‘beti badhao, beti padhao’ seeking to empower the girl child, but acts against a girl from an ordinary family who has come up in life against all odds. “The action shows the anti-women mindset of the BJP government in Haryana. Instead of punishing the minister, the officer has been shunted out,” she told reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related read: Woman SP Sangeeta Kalia transferred for arguing with Haryana health minister Anil VijClaiming that this was not the first such action by the Haryana government, Oza said it had also proceeded against a woman Chief Medical Officer (CMO) following a complaint by another minister. The Congress leader demanded Kalia to be brought back to her original position and the Chief Minister to “punish” the minister after going into the matter.The minister had on Thursday stormed out of a meeting of the District Grievances and Public Relations Committee after Kalia, SP of Fatehabad district, refused to follow his order to leave the venue following heated exchanges between them. The video of their spat went viral on social media.

Drought-hit India’s quest for water hampered by rice cultivation

Water table drops to depth of nearly 100 m in some states | Water-intensive crops and back-to-back droughts to blame | Local officials impose rules to address shortages

Representational image

AFP
Pleas by local Indian officials for farmers to switch from rice to oilseeds and pulses and protect dangerously low water levels are falling on deaf ears, and may be further undermined by government policies encouraging cultivation of thirsty crops.Back-to-back droughts for the first time in nearly 30 years mean some rural areas in the north are running out of water for human consumption and agriculture, prompting warnings of serious consequences if urgent action is not taken.”It is unlikely that India will have another drought next year; three years in a row has never happened before,” said Ashok Gulati, a farm economist who advised the last government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”But with extreme events increasing due to climate change, you never know. If we don’t wake up now then, God forbid, people will leave farming to become labourers at railways stations.”With more than two-thirds of the 1.25 billion population living off the land, water scarcity could affect the majority and hit long term food supplies.As world leaders meet in Paris next week to agree a deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, India says climate change is already hurting the agriculture and water sectors, and the impact is amplified by poverty and a heavy reliance on farming.Locally, officials are trying to change farming habits and enforce stricter rules on water usage.”We are encouraging crop diversification; we are going for pulses,” said Amit Kishore, chief development officer in Rampur, a farm belt city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.”We have been trying to convince farmers to shift to horticulture as well, but the uptake has not been satisfactory.”Four out of Rampur’s six administrative areas are so-called “dark zones”, with 80 percent or more of groundwater exhausted. In those zones, the practice of boring wells has been banned this fiscal year.Without urgent action, the region risks going the way of Punjab and Haryana, two parched states where the groundwater has sunk even further.Some farmers in those states now need to dig 300 feet (91 metres) for water, compared to five feet (1.5 metres) in the 1960s, according to research by a local government scientist.”RICE SELLS”Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged farmers to use water wisely, advocating a “per drop, more crop” approach that includes water-saving methods like drip irrigation.Yet his 18-month-old government has also boosted incentives to grow water-intensive rice, wheat and sugarcane that India exports, at the expense of crops like oilseeds or pulses that it has to import.Little wonder some farmers in the northern farming belt are ignoring the advice of local officials.”We grow rice because that is what sells,” said Babu Ram Saini, standing by a pond in Jiwai Jadid village in Rampur. “Productivity for lentils is so low that we’ll not be able to sustain ourselves without massive government support,” he said.Some experts are advocating tougher measures to force more efficient use of water. Wastage is encouraged by the supply of free or subsidized power which boosts politicians’ popularity.”We have been trying to tell farmers that if you continue growing rice, more places are going to become dark zones,” said V.K. Mishra, a regional head of the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute in Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow.”We should make a law that you can’t grow rice in areas where the water table is very low.”Rice covers 62% of Punjab’s area under cultivation, up from 10 percent in 1970. The expansion of rice has been similar in neighbouring Haryana.Though the droughts have hit crops, India still produces more rice, wheat and sugar than it consumes, drawing accusations from the World Trade Organization that stockpiling to provide cheap grain to the poor unfairly distorts trade.”It is quite natural for our farmers to go for rice and cane when both power and water are almost free,” said economist Gulati, adding that selling such produce abroad is like exporting “precious water for free”.

Intolerance debate – ‘Incredible India’ not worth Aamir Khan, says Haryana minister Anil Vij

They are just actors specialist in making somersault,” the Health and Sports said in a tweet.

The senior minister also termed Khan’s remarks on the intolerance issue as “unnecessary and untimely” and urged him to review it.

File Photo
Haryana minister Anil Vij on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on Aamir Khan for his remarks on intolerance, saying the actor is not “worth” being the brand ambassador of ‘Incredible India’ campaign. The minister also said that actors with such opinions should not be made brand ambassadors as they are “specialist in somersault”. “Incredible India not worth living – Aamir Khan. Don’t make them Brand Ambassadors. They are just actors specialist in making somersault,” the Health and Sports said in a tweet.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The outspoken minister had yesterday given a new twist to the intolerance issue, alleging some people were raking it up at Pakistan’s behest to thwart India’s chances of getting permanent membership of the UN Security Council.The senior minister also termed Khan’s remarks on the intolerance issue as “unnecessary and untimely” and urged him to review it. An ambassador of ‘Incredible India’, a government’s campaign to promote tourism, Khan was at the centre of a raging debate on Monday after he expressed “alarm and despondency” over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months.

Venkaiah Naidu rejects Robert Vadra’s accusation, says law to take its course

Robert Vadra, whose land deals are being probed in BJP-ruled Haryana and Rajasthan, had on Sunday contended that he was being subjected to a “political witch-hunt” and used as a “political tool”.

Robert Vadra

Reacting to Robert Vadra’s claim that he was being subjected to a “political witch-hunt,” Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said the government is not vindictive but the law must be allowed to take its course.”I don’t wish to comment on Robert Vadra. Law will take its course. We don’t discriminate against anybody. We have not harassed any political opponents since we came to power. The law must be allowed to take its course. I don’t want to make any personal comments about anybody,” Naidu said here.Robert Vadra, whose land deals are being probed in BJP-ruled Haryana and Rajasthan, had on Sunday contended that he was being subjected to a “political witch-hunt” and used as a “political tool”. Son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the controversial businessman said a distinction should be made between him as an individual conducting business like anyone else and the politics of the family of his wife Priyanka Gandhi Vadra “without constantly attempting to link the two”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Congress dares BJP to act against Robert Vadra

Vadra said a distinction should be made between him as an individual conducting business like anyone else and the politics of the family of his wife Priyanka Gandhi Vadra “without constantly attempting to link the two”.

Robert Vadra

Congress on Sunday alleged that the BJP was indulging in “gimmicks” to defame Robert Vadra and dared the ruling party to act against the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi if he has flouted any law.”If Robert Vadra has violated any laws, why does not the BJP take actions against him? (They are trying to) Just indulge in gimmicks (hawabazi) to defame him. It is the ill intention of BJP to defame the family of Sonia Gandhi and Indira Gandhi,” senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh said. Vadra, whose land deals are being probed in BJP-rule Haryana and Rajasthan, on Sunday contended that he was being subjected to a “political witch-hunt” and used as a “political tool”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Alleging that there was a “sustained political attack” on him, 46-year-old Vadra claimed that BJP was using attacks on him as a “political tool whenever they need to divert public attention”. The BJP meanwhile has described Vadra’s assertion as “farcical” and said the party did not believe in politics of revenge, alleging that he used his connection with the Gandhi family to do business.Vadra said a distinction should be made between him as an individual conducting business like anyone else and the politics of the family of his wife Priyanka Gandhi Vadra “without constantly attempting to link the two”.

BJP targets ‘defensive’ and ‘silent’ Robert Vadra on land deals

“I wonder whether it is a very defensive approach because Robert Vadra has not spoken on the facts that are related to allegations that are coming against him. He has not cleared anything on it till date,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI.

Robert Vadra

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, who has so far not answered a single question on the allegation that have been raised against him, is making an attempt to somehow distance himself from the Nehru-Gandhi family.”I wonder whether it is a very defensive approach because Robert Vadra has not spoken on the facts that are related to allegations that are coming against him. He has not cleared anything on it till date,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He is additionally seeking to create distance between himself and the Nehru-Gandhi family because the allegations primarily point out to his actually taking benefit with that kind of proximity,”he added. Kohli further said Vadra is making an attempt to distance himself from the Nehru-Gandhi family. “Where all the allegations then come that he has made use of the proximity to the Nehru-Gandhi family, when especially they were in power. I think this interview raises more questions and answers none,” he added. Kohli also said that Vadra has nothing to fear if he has not broken any law.”As long as he has done everything legally, what is there to fear”. This interview perhaps seem to be more defensive point of view because he has not answered a single question on the allegation that have been raised against him. This he has not done ever,? he addedVadra, whose land deals are being probed in the BJP-ruled states of Haryana and Rajasthan, earlier on Sunday said that a distinction should be made between him as an individual conducting business like anyone else.Vadra alleged that the BJP was using attacks on him as a ?political tool to divert public attention?. The Congress president’s son-in-law further said in an interview that he has always conducted business transparently in accordance with the law but he was being ‘singled out’ and ‘lies’ were spread about him.

Harish Rawat denies making ‘cow slaughter’ remark

According to reports, Uttarakhand Chief Minister had on Thursday said that that people who slaughter cows have “no right to live in the country”.

Harish Rawat

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Friday denied making the controversial remark on cow slaughter and dared the news agency, which reported it, to prove that he had made such a remark.”I have already said what i had actually said. My statement has been misreported and i do not have anything to do with the malicious report. Now it is up to the agency to prove that Harish Rawat had said such a thing, the recording of my speech is available,” Rawat told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to reports, Uttarakhand Chief Minister had on Thursday said that that people who slaughter cows have “no right to live in the country”. “Anyone who kills cows, no matter which community he belongs to, is India’s biggest enemy and has no right to live in the country,” Rawat had reportedly said at a function in Haridwar. Last month, Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar had drawn major flak for saying that Muslims should give up beef if they wanted to live in India.

After consumers get power bills running into crores, Haryana asks officials to ensure accuracy

Chandigarh: After recent incidents of consumers getting electricity bills running into crores of rupees, Haryana’s power distribution agency has cautioned officers to ensure accuracy in the bills.

Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) managing director Nitin Yadav on Wednesday issued directions to the firm’s officers to ensure that bills issued to the consumers are checked properly at their level.

Representational image. Image courtesy: ReutersRepresentational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

Representational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

“The officers will verify the correctness in the billing in a time bound manner before final printing and would inform the billing agency. Otherwise, strict action would be taken against the responsible officer,” Yadav said.

The directions come after the latest incident of a tyre repair shop owner in Faridabad was issued a bill of over Rs.77.89 crore.

In the past, consumers have been issued bills of as high an amount as Rs.234 crore and Rs.132 crore.

The agency has also extended its support to the consumers by providing ‘Special Electricity Bills Counters’ in all its operation circles to resolve complaints regarding their bills.

IANS

Bihar poll results ‘ominous’ for country: Haryana minister

The newly-formed JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance secured 178 seats in the 243-member House. RJD made a resounding comeback on Bihar’s political stage and emerged the leader of the pack with 80 seats while JD(U) bagged 71. Congress also made impressive gains winning 27 seats out of 41.

Senior Haryana minister Anil Vij on Tuesday cautioned that the Bihar election outcome was ‘ashubh’ (ominous) for the country, claiming caste politics triumphed over India’s unity, integrity and development in the eastern state.”Bihar chunav mein jaatiwadi rajneeti jeet gayee aur ekta akhandta vikas haar gaya. Desh key liyee bahut ashubh hein! Savdhan! (In Bihar polls, caste politics won and unity, integrity and development got defeated… It’s very ominous for the country. Cauntion!),” Vij, Haryana Health Minister and five-time BJP MLA from Ambala Cantt, tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ‘grand alliance’ of JD(U), RJD and Congress routed the BJP-led NDA to score a landslide two-thirds majority in the Bihar Assembly giving Chief Minister Nitish Kumar a third term in office in a battle in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi staked his all.The newly-formed JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance secured 178 seats in the 243-member House. RJD made a resounding comeback on Bihar’s political stage and emerged the leader of the pack with 80 seats while JD(U) bagged 71. Congress also made impressive gains winning 27 seats out of 41.Vij, known for his bold tweets and outspoken nature, has even left his party, government and Chief Minister Khattar embarrassed on several occasions.Recently, Vij had asked the Centre to declare cow as national animal and even begun an online poll on whether the bovine should replace Royal Bengal Tiger as national animal.He has reasoned that the cow needs protection as the tiger can protect itself.In July, the minister took the Twitter route to express his displeasure over the state government bypassing him and appointing Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra as the state’s brand ambassador for ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ campaign.”I do not have any information of anybody appointed Brand Ambassador of my department for Beti Bachao programme,” he had then tweeted.In another tweet in February this year, Vij said: “Thank You Chief Minister For Taking Keen Interest into My Departments. I am Relaxed.” The minister was apparently upset with Khattar showing “interest” in departments handled by him.Vij is also the Sports and Youth Affairs Minister in the BJP government in Haryana, which was formed after the party came to power for the first time in state’s nearly five-decade history wresting power from the Congress in the polls in October last year.

Chinese lights spell darkness for traditional potters this Diwali

New Delhi: For generations, Indian homes were lit up by diyas, or traditional earthen lamps, during Diwali. Potters now complain that customers prefer cheaper Chinese electrical lighting or more pricey products in shopping malls, jeopardizing their livelihoods.

Until a few years ago, hundreds of potters and their families would be overworked in the run up to Diwali, churning out tens of thousands of small and big clay lamps that would brighten innumerable homes and businesses.

The diya business has now sharply declined.

Go for decorations that are environmentally friendly and also help out the community. AFPGo for decorations that are environmentally friendly and also help out the community. AFP

Go for decorations that are environmentally friendly and also help out the community. AFP

“There is a huge fall in the sale of diyas. For what is supposed to be a festival of lights, our life has entered a dark phase,” Harkishan, the head of Kumhar Gram, Delhi’s largest colony for potters, told IANS.

“Diwali has lost its traditional charm as Chinese products have taken over the Indian markets.

“People are more interested in decorating their homes with Chinese lights or jelly candles rather than with the traditional diyas,” he said.

Harkishan, 60, who won the National Award for Terracotta art in 1990, is not the only one despairing.

Harkishan, who arrived in Kumhar Gram in 1971 from Haryana, said the latest products in markets had jolted their business. “Every year there is at least a 30 percent fall in sales.

“Chinese products are choking our business,” he said, adding that today’s young ones may simply turn their back on diyas and other earthen products.

Krishna, 30, another potter, agreed.

“Earlier we did not even get time to rest during Diwali. But now we do not even sell half the products we prepare. Diwali is no more a busy time,” added Krishna, who learnt the craft from her family elders.

“Now people head to malls and supermarkets. They are no more interested in buying earthen lamps and more from potters,” Krishna told IANS.

“Worse is they don’t mind spending more on other products. We hardly get a customer or two now. How can we survive?”

Others in the potters’ hub said that often prepared products — including diyas — remain unsold. This never used to happen until about five years ago.

There was a time when Indian families went only for simple earthen lamps. Now the demand is mainly for decorated and fancy lamps.

No wonder many potters are slowly moving away from their traditional business in search of greener pastures.

“Only years ago our shops used to be crowded during Diwali. Now we wait and wait for buyers,” complained a woman who has been selling clay products in Malviya Nagar in south Delhi for the past 30 years.

Different types of clay are used to prepare diyas. Much of it comes from Haryana, Harkishan explained, adding that even the quality of clay was not as good as it used to be earlier.

Potters are angry that successive governments have not done much to protect the traditional business of pottery.

“Earlier soil (clay), used to prepare diyas, was easily available in Delhi itself,” another potter said. “Now we have to bring it from states such as Haryana and Rajasthan.

“We face several problems while transporting the clay. Shouldn’t the government be taking care of such simple issues?”

IANS

Bihar Elections 2015: Rumblings within BJP, NDA over poll debacle grow louder

BJP MP Hukumdev Narayan Yadav said RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s suggestion for a review of reservation was “ill- timed” and “agitated” backward castes and Dalits

Narendra Modi

Rumblings within BJP and NDA over the Bihar debacle grew louder with some leaders blaming the RSS chief’s quota review remarks and controversial statements on Dadri lynching and Haryana Dalit killings for the rout.A couple of leaders also sought to attack party MP Shatrughan Sinha saying his statements helped create an atmosphere against the BJP.BJP MP Hukumdev Narayan Yadav said RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s suggestion for a review of reservation was “ill- timed” and “agitated” backward castes and Dalits. “The party should analyse why backward castes voted solidly for the grand alliance. What Bhagwat ji said agitated voters from backward castes and Dalits,” he told PTI. He said that though Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah clarified the issue but it did not work as “people have generally come to believe that the government follows whatever the RSS says. Bhagwat ji did not say bring an end to reservation. He only said review it. But they asked why review?”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also underlined that “not everybody who voted for the Modi government agrees with the views of RSS or is its supporter. The party and government at the Centre should be sensitive to their sentiments too.” Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, whose party HAM (S) is an NDA ally, also said that one of the reasons for the alliance’s is defeat is Bhagwat’s remarks. “One reason is also that such a statement should not have come at this hour. Lalu ji deftly twisted the remarks and placed the distorted version before the communities concerned. People of Bihar believed in what Lalu said.”We did clarify it later but people did not believe our clarification and the beneficiaries of reservation including OBCs and EBCs deserted us,” Manjhi said. LJP Secretary General Abdul Khaliq said that Bhagwat’s remarks consolidated Yadavs behind RJD chief Lalu Prasad while the “statements of leaders justifying Dadri killings” consolidated Muslims, that scripted the victory of the grand alliance. “More than the lynching incident, which was very unfortunate one, it is the remarks of some leaders after it justifying the incident that did us in. Muslims polarised out of fear and decisively voted for the grand alliance, damaging even LJP in its stronghold where it used to get Muslim votes,” he said.He also cited Union Minister V K Singh’s ‘dog’ remark while he was attempting to delink the central government from the murder of two Dalit children in Haryana. “I wonder why those who have nothing to do with Bihar polls made such remarks in the middle of the polls. These remarks were twisted and used to their benefit by the Opposition,” he said. “For everything… like if somebody throws a stone at a dog, then the central government is responsible… it is not like that),” Singh had said.Senior BJP leader and Union minister Uma Bharti said the issue of beef was “tossed up” in the elections and along with that the “subject of intolerance was spread in a big way”. “And at that time too, some leaders also indulged in making statements (bayanbaazi). I feel that it was a complete planned and manufactured packaging. “I believe that, to influence the Bihar elections, Shatrughan Sinha made statements at that time and those statements became a part of the packaging,” she said.

Is the Modi wave over? Here’s what the data says after Bihar fiasco

There’s been a dip in the number of share % in votes since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, the BJP won 282 seats and garnered 31.4% of the votes. Since then the BJP has contested elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkand, Delhi and Bihar.So how has the party fared since then? In Haryana, the party won 33.2% of the vote-share which was enough for ML Khattar to be sworn in the Chief Minister. This number was slightly lower than the LS vote share when the BJP won 27.3%. However, the number was significantly lower in Jammu and Kashmir where 34.4% while the state elections resulted in 23% votes. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Maharashtra, the numbers were similar (27.30% in Lok Sabha and 27.8%) in state elections. In Jharkand, the numbers dipped more to 31.30%, while in Delhi it also dropped from 46.4% to 32.20%.Similarly, Bihar saw a drop from 29.4% to 24.4%. There’s a drop in all states other than Maharashtra . In Maharashtra and Haryana, BJP went alone in the assembly election, whereas it was in alliance with Shiv Sena and HJC respectively in general elections 2014.

Bihar Elections 2015: Non-BJP Chief Ministers hail Nitish-Lalu’s victory, BJP CMs silent

No Chief Minister of a BJP-ruled state – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Haryana, Goa, Madhya Pradesh etc. has as yet reacted to the verdict.

Non-BJP CMs hailed the Bihar election verdict

As the Mahagathbandhan led by Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Lalu Yadav’s RJD surged towards a certain victory in the Bihar elections, Chief Ministers from different states expressed their views on the outcome.West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee hailed the verdict:
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also praised the verdict and congratulated Nitish Kumar.
​Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah congratulated the Mahagathbandhan and the Congress leadership.
But he didn’t stop there.
PM Narendra Modi congratulated Nitish Kumar on his victory:
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who is set to return for a third term, acknowledged PM Narendra Modi’s call:
Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, who is from the Congress, also celebrated the verdict:
However, no Chief Minister of a BJP-ruled state – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Haryana, Goa, Madhya Pradesh etc. has as yet reacted to the verdict.

PM Modi should not test people’s patience: Sharad Pawar

Hitting out at attempts to polarise the society, the Maratha strongman said the Haryana Chief Minister tells people to go to Pakistan if they want to do a certain thing. This country belongs to all, he said.

Sharad Pawar

NCP President Sharad Pawar on Saturday slammed BJP on the issue of price rise saying that people are paying the price of the party-led government’s wrong policies at the Centre and state.”When the UPA was in power last year, the prices of tur dal was Rs 73 while now it is Rs 200. 5.40 lakh tonne imported dal is held up on the ship at the Mumbai port for the last 10 days because of wrong policies of the government,” he said while addressing a party rally here to protest the failures of the BJP government in the state which completed a year in office on Saturday. Pawar alleged that traders who helped BJP in the elections are hoarding essential commodities resulting in price rise.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Warning the government against arrogance of power, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not test people’s patience. “BJP won all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi but a few months later faced a humiliating defeat in the Assembly polls. BJP should keep in mind that arrogance of power can pull it down. People are saying instead of ‘acche din’ (better days), they wanted the old days back,” he said in a reference to BJP’s slogan of bringing ‘acche din’ after coming to power.Hitting out at attempts to polarise the society, the Maratha strongman said the Haryana Chief Minister tells people to go to Pakistan if they want to do a certain thing. This country belongs to all, he said.Lashing out at the BJP governments both at the Centre and in the state for issues ranging from price rise to law and order, Pawar said that the state government has done nothing mentionable in the year.Farmers, labourers and all sections of the society have suffered because of this government, he alleged.People need to decide how long they should tolerate the government, he charged. The communal elements who are spreading hatred in our otherwise peaceful society have gained confidence as the government is backing them, the NCP chief alleged. “The BJP had promised many things to come to power, but they haven’t been able to fulfill even basic promise like bringing down prices,” he said.Pawar said traders from pulses association told him that government is doing nothing to bring down prices. The government wants the traders who helped them during elections to benefit more, he alleged. Pawar further alleged that the government has failed to provide relief to farmers and common man even as the state is facing severe drought.He also took a dig at the state government over law and order situation in Maharashtra. “Also, the law and order situation is at its worst in the state and even worse in the Nagpur, the Chief Minister’s hometown,” he said. Pawar also lashed out at the Centre for shutting down pharma industries started during Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s period for the benefit of poor.Earlier, while addressing the rally, NCP leaders Chhagan Bhujbal and Sunil Tatkare too targeted the state government.Bhujbal raised the issue of writers returning the award and said that the government has gone insensitive, while Tatkare lashed out at the corruption within the government.”There are allegations of corruption against ministers. The government does not seem serious about all these issues. If the present conditions go on, Maharashtra will be beyond the control of this government,” Tatkare said.

New twist to Dalit children murder case, forensic reports contradicts victims claims

The spot examination revealed “no traces of outside entry into the premises when the alleged attack took place,” says the report submitted to the CBI, according to a media report.

Two children had died and their parents were badly burnt in the incident in Sunped in Faridabad with allegations that some upper caste people were behind it.

File Photo
In a new twist to the burning of a Dalit family in Faridabad days back, forensic experts of Haryana are understood to have concluded that the fire started from inside their house and not outside as claimed by the victims. The Haryana forensic team has submitted its report to the CBI, whose sleuths along with the investigating agency’s own forensic experts visited the crime site yesterday, a day after taking over the case from the state police. Two children had died and their parents were badly burnt in the incident in Sunped in Faridabad on October 20 with allegations that some upper caste people were behind it. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The team of Haryana experts has reportedly found a half-burnt kerosene oil plastic bottle under the partially burnt bed and a burnt match stick lying on a slab next to the window of the room. The spot examination revealed “no traces of outside entry into the premises when the alleged attack took place,” says the report submitted to the CBI, according to a media report. The team of experts included Director, Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) and Assistant Directors of the Physics and Chemistry divisions of the FSL, Karnal. However, none of the experts came on record and refused to make any statement.The reported contention of the forensic report raises questions over the allegation by Jitender, who had said that his house was set on fire by a group of upper caste men from outside. His four-year-old son Vaibhav and eight-month-old daughter Divya had died due to burn injuries suffered in the incident while he and his wife Rekha were injured.A First Information Report (FIR) was registered against 11 people on charges of murder, voluntarily causing hurt, rioting with deadly weapon and under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. All the 11 people have been arrested.Haryana Police, in its initial investigation, had said that the attack was linked to a clash on October 5, 2014, in Sunped in which three upper caste people were killed. When asked to comment on this, Cabinet Minister Capt Abhimanyu said mere said, “The CBI is working on the case…let the probe agency do its examination.”

Editor of Haryana govt magazine removed after it highlighted health benefits of beef

Chandigarh: The Editor of a Haryana government magazine, which carries an article mentioning positive effects of beef-eating, has been removed.

The magazine Shiksha Bharati has included “beef” besides “veal” (meat of young cows) among four “enhancers” which “directly affect absorption of iron in human body.”

The article details the importance of iron as “one of the important micro-nutrient which is required for human body on a daily basis and elaborates on the ill-effects of iron deficiency, its impact on health and various sources of iron.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma told reporters that the article “Iron-Vital for strength” was carried in the bi-lingual magazine which contains articles in Hindi and English and is published and printed by “President, Shiksha Lok Society-cum-Director, Secondary Education” from the office of Director, Secondary Education, Haryana, Panchkula.

He said that the Editor of the magazine clarified that the article was carried as it was based on a scientific report. Beef was mentioned along with lamb, veal and pork as enhancers with other animal food in the article.

“We said that it should not have been published in the Haryana magazine. We have removed the Editor of the magazine,” Sharma said adding further action in the matter will follow later.

The online edition of the 52-page magazine has been removed from the official website of the Primary Education Department.

However, the online edition of the magazine is still available on the official website of the Secondary Education Department.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who had sparked a controversy saying that Muslims should give up eating beef if they want to live in India, is the chief patron of the body publishing the magazine with Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma as the patron.

The magazine in its initial pages carries a disclaimer saying the views mentioned are of the contributors and it was not necessary that the department agrees with the views.

Jawahar Yadav, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister, declined to comment on the issue.

The Haryana Assembly had recently passed the Gau Sanrakshan Avm Gau Samwardhan Bill 2015′ Bill which favours complete ban on cow slaughter in the state and rigorous imprisonment ranging from three years to ten years for killing the animal.

PTI

Lt Guv pressuring Delhi Home Minister to grant parole to Om Prakash Chautala: CM Kejriwal

Reacting to the accusation of Kejriwal government, the LG Secretariat said “Lt Governor rejected parole prayer of Chautala on October 5 as there should be a gap of minimum six months from the date of termination of last parole.”
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dna Research & Archives
In yet another round of confrontation between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor, the AAP government on Wednesday accused Najeeb Jung of “pressurising” Home Minister Satyendar Jain to grant parole to INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala, serving a decade-long jail term in teachers’ recruitment scam case.Reacting to the accusation of Kejriwal government, the LG Secretariat said “Lt Governor rejected parole prayer of Chautala on October 5 as there should be a gap of minimum six months from the date of termination of last parole.” The LG office said no further application for parole from former Haryana Chief Minister has been received at the Lt Governor’s Secretariat.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior government official alleged that Jung recently had summoned Jain and allegedly “pressurised” him to expedite Chautala’s parole plea or grant him permission to be shifted to a Punjab jail. The Chief Minister has sent a two-page file noting on Chautala’s file expressing displeasure over LG’s alleged pressure on his minister and said he strongly oppose parole to the fomer Haryana CM.”The CM has sought a list of other convicts from the Home Department, who were similarly placed, given parole earlier,” an official said.In his file noting to Jung, Kejriwal asked Lt Governor when judge did not show any leniency on age, why is he showing?.”LG says the convict has been national president of a political party for five years. Everyone is equal before law,” Kejriwal said.Refuting government’s allegations, LG Secretariat today issued a statement stating that the LG had rejected parole prayer of Chautala on October 5 as there should be a gap of minimum six months from the date of termination of last parole.”Om Prakash Chautala had requested for parole for medical treatment. The Principal Secretary (Home) and Minister (Home), did not recommend the parole on the ground that convict had last availed one month parole w.e.f. April 4, 2015 to May 5, 2015 and further extended upto May 28, 2015 and he surrendered on June 3, 2015,” LG office said in the statement.It is further clarified, that based on the facts on file submitted by the Home Department, the right to grant or reject parole lies with the Administrator i.e. Lt. Governor of Delhi, it also added.

Pulses price rise: Gujarat, Tamil nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana sell tur dal at lower prices

The Centre had asked the state government to have meeting with millers, wholesalers and retailers to make pulses available in retail markets at reasonable prices.
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To give relief to common man from skyrocketing prices of pulses, four state governments including Gujarat have started selling tur dal at a lower price of Rs 120-145/kg at retail points.Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are distributing one kg of tur dal at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 50 through ration shops, while Tamil Nadu is selling urad and Canadian lentils at Rs 30 per kg to all consumers.”Besides continuing enforcement measures to check hoarding of pulses, state governments have taken proactive steps to make pulses available at reasonable prices… these initiatives by states will help in keeping prices of pulses at affordable rates,” an official release issued by the Consumer Affairs Ministry said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to reports received from the states, tur dal rate for retail distribution has been fixed at Rs 140/kg in Gujarat, Rs 120-140 in Chhattisgarh, Rs 145 in Uttarkhand.The Centre had asked the state government to have meeting with millers, wholesalers and retailers to make pulses available in retail markets at reasonable prices, it added. In Gujarat, millers have agreed to supply tur dal at Rs 135/kg, wholesaler will charge 1 per cent commission on it, while in Chhattisgarh, 1-2 kg of tur dal is being distributed at Rs 120-140 per kg in 17 districts through 150 outlets. In Uttarkhand tur dal is being supplied at Rs 145/kg in Dehradun, Haridwar as well as Udhamsingh Nagar and instructions have been given to all districts to provide pulses at this rate via ration shops in the state.Stating that some states already distributing pulses through public distribution system (PDS), the ministry said, “Both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are distributing one kg of tur dal at Rs 50/kg for BPL and AAY families.”In Haryana under the Dal Roti Scheme, 2.5 kg of chana is being provided for BPY and AAY families via ration shops. The state government has directed cooperative Hafed to procure pulses from the market and sell at Rs 50 per kg through its 70-80 centres, the statement added. In Himachal Pradesh too, chana and masoor dal are being sold at Rs 40-50 per kg through PDS outlets.Dal prices have risen across the country due to a shortfall in domestic output by two million tonnes in 2014-15 hit by poor rains. There is also global shortage of lentils. Nearly 75,000 tonnes of pulses were seized from hoarders in raids across 13 states till last week as part of the measures to control retail prices.As per the Consumer Affairs Ministry’s data, retail prices were still ruling high at Rs 200/kg today, while Urad is selling at Rs 190/kg, moong dal at Rs 130/kg, masoor dal at Rs 110/kg and gram at Rs 85/kg.

Dog analogy: My opinions are my opinions, says Union Minister VK Singh

Singh made the comment in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, the constituency he represents in the Parliament, while referring to the attack on a Dalit family in Haryana’s Faridabad which left two toddlers dead on the intervening night of October 19-20.

Amid protest over controversial statement over the death of two Dalit children in Haryana, Union Minister VK Singh on Sunday said “his opinions were his own”, reported a leading daily.Singh kicked up a storm on October 22 with his comments that the Centre cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog. Singh was trying to shield the Centre from criticism for the Faridabad incident, but his choice of words prompted the opposition to demand for his ouster.”See, the thing is, never associate local incidents with the Central government (sarkar). There is an inquiry going on… For everything… like if somebody throws a stone at a dog, then the government is responsible…it is not like that,” Singh said in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, the constituency he represents in Parliament, while referring to the attack on a Dalit family in Haryana’s Faridabad which left two toddlers dead on the intervening night of October 19-20.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jottings of the week: VK Singh’s dog remark bites him and moreAccording to Indian Express, Singh made a comment on the sidelines of a book release programme held at the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata. He also took a dig at the media, saying it had the habit of misquoting people to make news more palatable.However, a short while before Singh arrived there for a book release, he was greeted with protests and shown black flags by Left Front supporters. A group of around 60 protesters waved black flags in front of the Raj Bhavan south gate and shouted slogans of “VK Singh go back” .Meanwhile, the National Commission for Schedule Castes issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh DGP and the Delhi Police Commissioner, directing them to register FIR against Union minister VK Singh for his dog remarks.Taking suo motu cognisance of his comments, the NCSC also asked Uttar Pradesh Police to submit an action taken report within 10 days based on its directive of filing an FIR against the Union minister.

Gripped by Panthic crisis, Punjab struggles to maintain peace and harmony

Chandigarh: The Panthic (religious) crisis in Punjab continues with the Panj Pyaras (five favourites of the Guru) and the Akal Takht Jathedars failing to resolve the conflict over pardon to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda. Though the Akal Takht revoked the pardon under pressure from various quarters on 16 October, the issue refuses to die down. The desecration of the copies of the Holy Granth Sahib has only added fuel to fire.

Trouble started a month ago when in an unexpected move on 24 September, the Akal Takht Jathedars announced that they had pardoned the Dera Sacha Sauda chief. He was charged with blasphemy for dressing like Guru Gobind Singh. They said it was done on the basis of the clarification received from the latter. A wide section of Sikhs reacted angrily and there were protests all over the state.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

It was alleged that the decision had been taken by the Akal Takht under pressure from the Akali Dal which was looking forward to some kind of settlement with the Dera before the 2017 assembly elections. Dera Sacha Sauda has a huge following in Punjab, especially in the Malwa region. The Dera’s support had been crucial for the victory of the Congress in the 2007 assembly elections.

Akali Dal leaders were quick to deny the charge of any understanding with the Dera, but there were not many takers for this. It is widely believed that Akali Dal controls the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) and all its decisions are influenced by the Akalis.

Upset at the decision of the Akal Takht, the Panj Pyaras passed a `Gurmatta’ (resolution) to summon the Sikh high priests, including the Akali Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, before the supreme temporal seat of Sikhism for questioning. The `Panj Pyaras’ demanded their resignation as they had worked against the tenets of Sikhism. In case they did not give their resignation, the Panj Pyaras asked the SGPC to sack them.

The Akal Takht jathedars refused to oblige. Instead, in a dramatic turn of events the SGPC suspended the ‘Panj Pyaras’. Its president Avtar Singh Makkar said the decision to summon the jathedaras was against Panthic traditions and maryada (tenets) of the Akal Takht. While three of the `Panj Pyaras’ were asked to report to the Sikh Mission office at Hapur in Uttar Pradesh, two of them were transferred to Kurukshetra in Haryana. According to Satnam Singh, one of the Panj Pyaras, the suspension was not valid as SGPC service rules did not apply to them.

It led to another round of protests against the SGPC.

Meanwhile, the incident of desecration of the Holy Granth Sahib took place and there were several instances of the pages of the Holy Book being torn in different parts of Punjab. Many in the community suspected the hand of Dera Sacha Sauda in it. But it refuted the charge, condemned the incident and appealed to the people to maintain peace and calm. However, the protests continued unabated and the police had to resort to firing in Kotkapura resulting in death of two persons at Faridkot and injury to more than 60 people.

As protests continue in Punjab, the Sikh community is getting divided with people taking sides. Faridkot, Kapurthala, Barnala, Sangrur, Ludhiana, Moga and Ferozepur districts have seen several protests in the last few days. Anger also seems to be growing against Akali Dal leaders. A vehicle of Akali Dal MLA Darshan Singh was vandalised by protesters near Talwandi Sabo.

Speaking to Firstpost, Didar Singh Nalwi, vice president of the Haryana SGPC, said what was happening in the SGPC was very regrettable. “The present crisis is dividing the Sikh community. This is the result of the political interference of the Akalis in religious matters. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who yields enormous influence over the SGPC, should desist from controlling the body.”

Professor (Retd) Manjit Singh of Swaraj Abhiyan, said the present chaos in Punjab is because of political interference in religious matters. Sometimes the leaders deliberately allow such controversies to linger to divert people’s attention from the real issues facing the state.

Congress attacks PM Modi for silence on Dalit killings

Modi did not even react “openly and loudly” to the “fringe elements” who seem to be “taking over the mainstream of the country”, Congress spokesperson RPN Singh.
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AFP photo
Congress on Sunday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for remaining silent on the killing of Dalits in Haryana but talking at length about his proposed visit to Britain.Party spokesperson R P N Singh said rather than talking about the “burning issues” touching every Indian and rise in prices of essential commodities, he chose to present a detailed itinerary about his proposed visit.”It is unfortunate that the PM did not touch on issues that are prevalent and in the heart of every Indian. He did not even condemn the killings of Dalits in Haryana and the atrocious language used by his minister against the Dalits. He dwelt on detailed itinerary of his proposed visit to Great Britain and his plans to visit B R Ambedkar’s house in London. But he did not say how to safeguard the interest of Dalits in the country,” Singh said in a statement following the PM’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio address.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi did not even react “openly and loudly” to the “fringe elements” who seem to be “taking over the mainstream of the country”, he said.”He is the Prime Minister of this country and instead of touching the issues prevalent today, his only talking about his itinerary in Britain is tragic for the country,” he said.Singh’s reference was to the recent killing of two Dalit children in Faridabad allegedly by some persons of upper caste and the death of a 15-year-old Dalit boy under mysterious circumstances in Haryana.The party has also demanded the sacking of Union Minister V K Singh who has kicked up a storm with his remark that the Centre cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog to shield it from criticism for the Faridabad Dalit burning incident.”The PM did not even mention the burning issue of price rise at a time when pulses are off the plate of the common man,” Singh said.

Delhi: 15-year-old girl allegedly raped by minor, police arrest accused

New Delhi: A 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped in east Delhi’s Pandav Nagar area with the accused in the case suspected to be a minor, police said on Saturday.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The accused, a resident of a slum cluster in Shashi Garden area, has been apprehended by police, said an official.

According to police, the incident was reported on Friday evening when the girl was returning from a visit to the grocer’s shop. On her way back, scared by a pack of stray dogs, she tried to hide behind some bushes near a temple when the accused pulled the girl inside his shanty, police said.

His dwelling was close to the spot where the girl was hiding, they added.

It was alleged that the accused was following the girl and took advantage of the situation to drag her inside his shanty and force himself upon her, said the official.

Her relatives approached police after she returned home and told her mother of her ordeal. She was subsequently taken for a medical examination, which confirmed rape, said the official.

A case was registered under relevant sections of IPC and the POCSO Act and the accused was apprehended from his house immediately. Police said it was found that the accused is addicted to drugs and often created ruckus in his slum cluster.

PTI

Nitish Kumar questions PM Modi’s ‘silence’ over Haryana Dalit toddlers’ murders

At the same election meeting in Vaishali district, Kumar also raised the controversial dog remark against Dalits by union minister V K Singh to highlight the “insenstivity” of NDA ministers.

“BJP leaders talk of jungle raj in Bihar. Is the Haryana incident an example of Mangal raj?” asked Nitish Kumar (PTI)

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday questioned the “silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over burning to death of two Dalit children in Haryana. “Over 100 hours & Modiji hasn’t uttered a word on Dalit killings in Haryana yet him invoking Gandhiji s ideals is nothing but preposterous,” Kumar said in a tweet message. He referred to the Faridabad incident during his election rallies in the day at Lalganj in Vaishali and other places.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At Lalganj, Kumar said “BJP leaders talk of jungle raj in Bihar. Is the Haryana incident an example of Mangal raj?” At the same election meeting in Vaishali district, Kumar also raised the controversial dog remark against Dalits by union minister V K Singh to highlight the “insenstivity” of NDA ministers. With Ramvilas Paswan and Jitan Ram Manjhi on its side, NDA is hoping to win a bigger chunk of Dalit votes that constitute about 20 per cent of the total votes in Bihar.In such a condition, the Faridabad incident has spelt trouble for NDA as it has given the grand secular alliance an opportunity to attack it.

Path shown by Mahatma Gandhi extremely relevant today, says Modi on UN’s 70th anniversary

New Delhi: The ideals and path shown by Mahatma Gandhi are extremely relevant today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday in a message on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the UN which assumes significance in view of the recent incidents of violence in the country.

File photo. Image courtesy: PTIFile photo. Image courtesy: PTI

File photo. Image courtesy: PTI

“Greetings to everyone on UN Day. UN completes 70 years in service of humanity, committed to its goal of making the world a peaceful place,” he said.

“The ideals and path shown by Gandhi ji are extremely relevant today and they resonate with the UN charter and ideals of the UN,” Modi said.

His reference to Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals and path assumes significance in view of the recent incidents of violence, like lynching of a man in Uttar Pradesh over beef-eating rumours and burning of a Dalit family in Haryana.

The Prime Minister said India is at the forefront of various initiatives of the UN and is committed to doing our best in supporting UN in their endeavours.

He noted that on the UN day, iconic buildings worldwide will be illuminated in blue at night and said, in India, Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad will be illuminated.

PTI

Dalit boy death: SIT formed to investigate case, Khattar maintains boy committed suicide

The move to form the SIT-headed by a DSP came as Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar came under attack for claiming that the boy, Govind, had committed suicide.

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar

PTI
A Special Investigation Team has been formed to probe the death of a 15-year-old Dalit youth in Gohana here, a day after two ASIs were booked on murder charges following allegations from the family that he died in police custody.The move to form the SIT-headed by a DSP came as Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar came under attack for claiming that the boy, Govind, had committed suicide.Police said the postmortem, which was conducted by a board of doctors, showed that the boy died due to hanging.”The SIT has been formed in the case. The report of the postmortem, which was conducted by a board of doctors, says that the boy died due to hanging. There was also a mark on his neck,” the Rohtak Range Inspector General of Police, Shrikant Jadhav, told PTI today. On the directions of Jadhav, a SIT had also been formed to conduct further investigations in the case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The SIT will be headed by Rohtak Police DSP rank officer Amit Bhatia,” Superintendent of Police, Sonipat, Abhishek Garg said on Saturday. He said the situation in Gohana town was peaceful after protests by the boy’s family, which had alleged that he was beaten by police and died in custody after being accused of pigeon theft.The two Assistant Sub-inspectors were booked on murder charges and also under sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act on the direction of National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Commission.On Friday, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had told reporters here that “the post mortem report will throw light on why the suicide took place and for what reasons.” He had said the boy’s family was involved in a dispute with another family over some money and pigeon and that the boy was not questioned and he had himself gone to the police station.Congress had attacked the Chief Minister for claiming that the boy had committed suicide even before the investigation was completed.”When Chief Minister of the state like ML Khattar will pre-judge a case before investigation, may I ask who will punish the guilty in this country. It is shameful, it is condemnable and it is reprehensible,” chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala had said. He alleged that it reflected a mindset which is anti-dalit, anti-poor and anti-backward that is “taught in the school of RSS and BJP.”The Gohana incident had come close on the heels of two Dalit children being burnt alive at Sunped village in Faridabad district.

Mystery surrounding Dalit minor’s death continues to deepen

“Some members of the Gadia Lohar community had on Wednesday approached the Sonepat police, charging the boy with the theft of a pigeon and demanding appropriate action against him,” said superintendent of police, Sonepat, Abhishek Garg.

Tensions continued to simmer in Sonipat district’s Gohana town on Friday, where a 15-year-old Dalit boy died under mysterious circumstances after being summoned by the local police for allegedly stealing pigeons on Wednesday evening.The youth’s family, along with several hundred members of Haryana’s Dalit community, staged a massive demonstration for the second day, refusing to perform the boy’s last rites. They demanded the arrest of two assistant sub inspectors who, they believe, had tortured Govinda after he was summoned.Later in the evening senior Haryana police officers held meetings with elders of the community, following which Govinda was cremated in his hometown of Devipura. Also, the two policemen were suspended and an official internal inquiry was initiated after they were named in the FIR.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Govinda’s brother Gautam has claimed that the 15-year-old was brutally beaten in custody and had prominent cuts across his body. He also claimed that his arms and legs had been fractured. The family had also recorded a video which shows the boy’s lifeless body with injury marks on his abdomen and legs.”Some members of the Gadia Lohar community had on Wednesday approached the Sonepat police, charging the boy with the theft of a pigeon and demanding appropriate action against him,” said superintendent of police, Sonepat, Abhishek Garg.Gautam said he had dropped his brother at the local police station. “In the evening I went to pick him up. The cops told me and family of Govinda’s friend, who was also accused, to pay Rs5,000 for their release. When we brought them the money, they told us to get Rs10,000. I pleaded with them that I didn’t have that kind of cash, but they said my brother won’t be released until I paid. I then arranged for more money. When my mother went to the police station later that evening to give Govinda some food, the cops told her he had escaped. How is it possible to escape from police custody?” Gautam told reporters.According to the mother, on Thursday morning, she had gone to fetch water from a government pipeline close to the house of Govinda’s uncle. The home, according to the family, is empty. “I noticed that the door was open. When I entered, I found my child’s lifeless body there,” she said.An autopsy revealed that the death was hanging. The family believes that either he died in police custody, after which the accused policemen put the body there, or he was tortured severely and hence he committed suicide.Questions are also being raised as to why a juvenile board official was not present at the local police station when the boy was summoned, as per the general protocol.However, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, in a press conference on Friday, said it was a case of suicide and that the death should not been given a casteist colour.”As per information, two families Gadia Lohar and Dhanik had some dispute over money and pigeons. Their matter was resolved in the police station, where two people mutually decided to contribute the money. However, one family gave its share and the other didn’t,” he added.

BJP fumbles as opposition hits out on VK Singh’s Dalit remark

Bihar still has three phases of polls to go in which 162 seats are up for grabs. A shift in Dalit sentiments which the BJP is trying to woo with the help of Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitan Ram Manjhi can change its fortunes.

Jolted by opposition’s united attack over union minister Gen VK Singh’s objectionable remarks on Dalit issue in the middle of Bihar elections, BJP’s leadership on Friday oscillated between cutting a sorry figure to launching a counter attack.Bihar still has three phases of polls to go in which 162 seats are up for grabs. A shift in Dalit sentiments which the BJP is trying to woo with the help of Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitan Ram Manjhi can change its fortunes.After union home minister Rajnath Singh rapped VK Singh on the knuckles for his dog remark on Dalit killing in Faridabad, the BJP fielded its Dalit spokesperson and former chairperson of national commission for scheduled castes, Sonkar Shastri to counter opposition with aggression.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government cannot be held responsible for the murder of the two Dalit children in Haryana, General Singh had said and then quickly went on to add, “If someone throws stones at a dog, the government cannot be held responsible.””We can’t get away by saying that statements were misinterpreted or twisted. We need to be extra careful while putting forth our views. I feel that as leaders of the ruling party, we must all be extra cautious while making any statement ensuring that there is no possibility of our statements to be interpreted in the wrong way or send an incorrect message,” Rajnath said.BJP ally, Manjhi, a former Bihar chief minister and Mahadalit leader, was also unsparing in his criticism of Singh’s remark, saying it showed his ‘feudal’ mindset.But an unsparing opposition from Congress, BSP, JD (U), RJD to AAP – used Singh’s remarks to its advantage making its anti-BJP blitz louder.Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a rally in Bihar, chief minister Nitish Kumar said, “The people voted for them in Haryana and helped them form the government. What happened there? Dalit kids were burnt in Haryana. If there is ‘jungle raj’ in Bihar then isn’t Haryana witnessing mangal raj.”Nitish also tweeted that he was “Aghast at the senseless comment made by some BJP leaders including Union Minister on tragic Dalit killings in Haryana.”Asking the PM to apologise, Congress reiterated its demand for immediate sacking of V K Singh. While AAP filed a police complaint against V K Singh demanding that an FIR be registered against him under the SC/ST Act.Taking suo motu congnisance of VK Singh’s controversial comments, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) issued a notice to DGP of Uttar Pradesh and SSP of Ghaziabad directing them to register an FIR against V K Singh and submit an action taken report within 10 days.As opposition’s clamour kept growing, BJP tried to get on an offensive by fielding its Dalit face, Vijay Sonkar Shastri who attacked National Commission for Scheduled Castes chairperson PL Punia of acting like a Congress spokesperson and also took on Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and BSP leader Mayawati for shedding ‘crocodile tears’ over the killing of two Dalit children.”Punia must explain whether he wants to act like a Congress spokesperson or somebody in a constitutional post. Can he act as a party leader while holding the NCSC chief post? We have strong objections to his comments. “There are talks that the Commission under him does not work and Dalits are not getting justice. Can Punia give one example where somebody from the Scheduled Castes has benefited from his work?” Shastri told media persons soon after Punia criticised Singh for his comments. Shastri raked up cases of violence against Dalits when Congress was in power in Haryana and the Centre as well and recalled that many of them had fled Murchpur village as no action was taken against the accused. Unlike this, Haryana police has acted swiftly and arrested eight of the 11 accused. The CM has also ordered a CBI probe, Shastri said.

Two new road projects to decongest traffic in Gurgaon: Manohar Lal Khattar

The Chief Minister said the Centre is bringing a bill for setting up Real Estate Regulatory Authority to protect the interest of home buyers and to improve the credibility of real estate sector.
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Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said Haryana government will soon undertake two new road projects, ‘Northern Peripheral Road’ and ‘Southern Peripheral Road’ for decongestion of traffic in Gurgaon. Construction of the new roads would not only ease traffic jams but would also provide excellent connectivity to daily commuters of Gurgaon, the Chief Minister told mediapersons.A new metro line would also be started between Sector-21 Dwarka, New Delhi and Gurgaon IFFCO chowk, he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chief Minister said a proposal has also been made to start Regional Rapid Rail Transit services at Delhi-Gurgaon- Alwar and Delhi-Sonipat-Panipat and it will reduce dependence of commuters on road-based transportation. He said high-speed cable car facility would also be provided between Dhaula Kuan and Manesar upto Dharuhera and discussions for the same are being held with a Spanish company.This mode of transportation would have speed reaching upto 60 km/hour. Based on new technology, it would help in decongestion of traffic and provide another transport facility to the people of Haryana and Delhi, he said.The Chief Minister said the Centre is bringing a bill for setting up Real Estate Regulatory Authority to protect the interest of home buyers and to improve the credibility of real estate sector. On this occasion, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sanjeev Kaushal, Additional Chief Secretary Town and Country Planning P Raghvendra Rao were also present among others.

Over 15,000 tons of pulses seized from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Haryana

About 7,033 tonnes of lentils were seized from Maharashtra, 5,487.74 tonnes from Karnataka, 2,051 tonnes from Rajasthan and 764.07 tonnes from Haryana.

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Intensifying crackdown against hoarding, four states including Maharashtra and Karnataka on Friday seized over 15,000 tonnes of pulses, while prices saw a modest dip in some parts of the country. This takes the total seizure of pulses so far to 50,656.79 tonnes, recovered in 3,149 raids carried out in 10 states. The seized lentils will be offloaded in the market to boost supply.”Raids to check hoarding are continuing in various states. Today, four states reported that they have seized 15,335.95 tonnes of pulses, mostly imported tur dal,” a senior Consumer Affairs Ministry official told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Of which, about 7,033 tonnes of lentils were seized from Maharashtra, 5,487.74 tonnes from Karnataka, 2,051 tonnes from Rajasthan and 764.07 tonnes from Haryana, according to the statement issued by the Consumer Affairs Ministry.”As a result of action taken by states, there has been a decrease of about Rs 200/quintal in mandi rates in Mumbai and also in futures trading of chana,” the Ministry said. Retail prices of pulses have also declined in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, it added. So far, the largest quantity of pulses has been seized in Maharashtra at 30,373 tonnes, followed by Karnataka (5,967 tonnes), Chhattisgarh (4,525 tonnes), Telangana (2,546 tonnes), Madhya Pradesh (2,295 tonnes), Rajasthan (2151 tonnes), Haryana (1,932 tonnes), Andhra Pradesh (859.87 tonnes), Tamil Nadu (4.32 tonnes) and Himachal Pradesh (2.44 tonnes). Raids are being carried out after state governments were exhorted to intensify action against hoarding.Earlier on Friday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met importers to discuss problems faced by them in procuring pulses from the global market. Dal prices have risen across the country due to a shortfall in domestic output by 2 million tonnes in 2014-15 hit by poor rains. There is also global shortage of lentils.(With Agency Inputs)

Faridabad Dalit children burnt alive: RAF platoon deployed to maintain peace

A segment, comprising six officials, of the platoon shall be present round-the-clock at the victim’s house, sitting on a charpoy right outside the room in which the family was sleeping when the incident took place.
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A platoon of Haryana’s special Rapid Action Force was deployed on Friday to maintain law and order in Sunpedh village where two children of a Dalit family were burnt alive by upper caste men three days ago.A segment, comprising six officials, of the platoon shall be present round-the-clock at the victim’s house, sitting on a charpoy right outside the room in which the family was sleeping when the incident took place. The room has now been sealed by a team of forensic experts who visited the spot on Thursday evening.”The special RAF platoon arrived late last night and their duty started at 8 AM today. They will be present at the spot in two shifts of 12 hours each,” said an official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Most officials in the platoon were drawn out from the three companies of special RAF officials still deployed at Atali village near Ballabhgarh where communal clashes had taken place around three months ago, said the official. Villagers confined themselves to their houses, leaving shops closed and streets deserted even as more than 300 police personnel are deployed in the area.”Police personnel from several districts, including Ballabhgarh, Faridabad and Gurgaon, have been deployed here to maintain law and order, though the situation is under control right now,” said a police official.Meanwhile, Jitender, the father of the deceased children, is undergoing treatment at a government hospital, where he was taken last evening after he developed burn wound infections on his hands. The doctor attending Jitender said that he had not taken food or water for almost 20 hours and also complained of breathlessness.Several political leaders, including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, visited him and condemned the incident. Seven persons have so far been arrested in connection with the incident. In their complaint, the family had named 11 people who allegedly scaled walls in the wee hours of Tuesday, poured fuel inside the room through a window and set it afire, said police.Two-and-a-half-years-old Vaibhav and 11-month-old Divya died in the incident.

Nitish Kumar targets PM Modi, says Haryana witnessing ‘mangal raj’

“The people voted for them in Haryana and helped them form the government. What happened there? Dalit kids were burnt in Haryana. If there is ‘jungle raj’ in Bihar then isn’t Haryana witnessing mangal raj,” he said while addressing a rally here.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday highlighted Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retd.) VK. Singh’s dog remark in the wake of the murder of two Dalit children in Haryana, saying some call Bihar the ‘jungle raj’ but this incident reflected the ‘mangal raj’ in the BJP-ruled state.”The people voted for them in Haryana and helped them form the government. What happened there? Dalit kids were burnt in Haryana. If there is ‘jungle raj’ in Bihar then isn’t Haryana witnessing mangal raj,” he said while addressing a rally here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A central minister has said that the Centre is blamed even if a stone is pelted on a dog. Can you just imagine the mindset of such people, who compare the killing of two innocent Dalit kids with a stone being pelted at a dog,” he added.Continuing his tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his DNA jibe, Nitish said the people of Bihar would not have imposed their faith in him had his DNA been bad.”The Prime Minister said in Muzaffarpur that my DNA was bad. If my DNA was bad then why you (the people of Bihar) made me the Chief Minister for ten long years. My DNA is the same as that of any Bihari,” he said.The Chief Minister asserted that the recent uncalled for comments being made by the BJP leaders reflected their desperation as they could not digest the fact that they would lose the battle in Bihar.

Dalits have always been insulted in India on a large scale: Mayawati

Referring specifically to the death of the two Dalit children in Ballabgarh, she said, “”It’s a shameful incident. It clearly indicates that the BJP is not at all concerned or sensitive about Dalits.”

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader and former Uttar Pradesh chief Minister Mayawati on Thursday squarely blamed both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, besides other political outfits for perpetrating large scale atrocities on Dalits across the country.Addressing media in Lucknow with reference to the recent burning to death of two children in a village in the Ballabhgarh area of Haryana earlier this week, and also the murder of a 15-year-old Dalit boy in Gohana area of the same state allegedly by police, Mayawati said, “Dalits have always been exploited and insulted at all levels on a large scale, whether it is by the regimes of the Congress, the BJP and other opposition parties, whether it is at the Centre or in the states.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring specifically to the death of the two Dalit children in Ballabgarh, she said, “”It’s a shameful incident. It clearly indicates that the BJP is not at all concerned or sensitive about Dalits.””A Dalit family was burnt alive under police protection in the BJP-ruled state of Haryana. These governments have also been trying to protect the culprits who commit atrocities against Dalits. This shows their communal mindset towards Dalits,” Mayawati said.

Shiv Sena Dussehra rally: Dadri, not ink attack shame India, says Uddhav Thackeray

Defending the party’s actions against Kasuri book launch he said, “Incidents like Dadri, not the ink attack, shame India and lower country’s image. How did Dalit firing incident happen in Haryana?”

Thackeray said that the party acted in a democratic manner during the Kasuri episode”Responded with ink, since it was a book launch.”

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addressed the party’s annual rally held on the Shivaji Park ground in Dadar. Shiv Sena got the clearance from the Bombay High Court to hold the rally at Shivaji Park in Mumbai this year after separate applications moved by the BJP-led Maharashtra government and Shiv Sena, which also is part of the state government.”If VK Singh equates Dalits and dogs, why did you unveil Babasaheb’s memorial in Indu Mill?”, the party chief taunted BJP. PM Modi had commemorated Bal Thackeray at the Indu Mill. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defending the party’s actions against Kasuri book launch he said, “Incidents like Dadri, not the ink attack, shame India and lower country’s image. How did Dalit firing incident happen in Haryana?” Thackeray said that the party acted in a democratic manner during the Kasuri episode. “Responded with ink, since it was a book launch,” he said.He also spoke about India-Pakistan ties, “Keep culture and cricket aside, first sort out border issues.”He also hit out at the state BJP over the pulses price rise. “There was news that Dal worth 25 lacs stolen in Nagpur,” he said. “First protect Dal and then Pakistan,” he said.Thackeray talked about the party’s agenda, “We will not leave Hindutva, Marathi Manoos cause at any cost. We won’t compromise on that,” he said.

Dog analogy: If anyone’s sentiments are hurt, I apologise, says VK Singh

Singh had stoked a controversy on Thursday with his remark on the incident in Sunped village of Haryana where two toddlers were charred to death on the intervening night of October 19 and 20, saying, “If someone throws a stone at a dog, you will hold the government responsible.”
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As the Opposition parties attacked Union minister V K Singh for his dog analogy on the Dalit killings in Faridabad, he came out on Thursday evening and apologised to anyone who was hurt by his remarks. He clarified that somebody is deliberately trying to mix his two different remarks and create a confusion. “Let me be very clear, they were two different remarks and someone has mixed them. In case, because of this mixing of two remarks if anyone’s sentiments have been hurt, I apologise for it. The ones making a big issue of this are actually creating one of their own imagination. I have no intention of hurting anybody, I apologise wholeheartedly,” Singh said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He further added, “Few people from opposition are targeting us for no reason, I have fought for the country and we don’t believe in division. I have immense respect for Babasaheb Ambedkar and our Constitution and therefore there is no question of belittling anybody.” Also read- Dog analogy: Congress demands apology from PM Modi, asks him to sack VK SinghSingh had stoked a controversy on Thursday with his remark on the incident in Sunped village of Haryana where two toddlers were charred to death on the intervening night of October 19 and 20, saying, “If someone throws a stone at a dog, you will hold the government responsible.”

Dalit children burnt alive: BJP accuses Congress of giving ‘caste colour’ to the incident

Two children of a Dalit family died and their parents suffered burn injuries after their home was set on fire, allegedly by upper-caste Rajputs in Sunpedh, a village in Faridabad near Delhi, in the early hours of Tuesday.

Dalit Community members shout slogans against Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar after his visit to Sunpedh village where a dalits house was set on fire allegedly by men belonging to the upper-caste community, in Ballabhgarh in Faridabad on Thursday.

PTI
BJP hit out at the Congress on Thursday for giving “caste colour” to the killing of two Dalit children in Faridabad, calling it “height of insensitivity” that must be condemned. BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma said the incident was born out of enmity between two families and noted that three members of the other family were killed earlier.”It is nothing but frustration on the part of those who are giving this incident a caste colour. This is height of insensitivity. We condemn it,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two children of a Dalit family died and their parents suffered burn injuries after their home was set on fire, allegedly by upper-caste Rajputs in Sunpedh, a village in Faridabad near Delhi, in the early hours of Tuesday.Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had visited the family yesterday and alleged that weak people were being suppressed under the BJP government.”It was time for such people to do introspection over how many Dalits were killed when they were in power,” Sharma said, in a reference to incidents of violence against Dalits when Congress was power at the Centre as well as Haryana.BJP appreciates Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s decision to refer the case to CBI for investigation, he said.Related read- Dalit children burnt alive: 3 more accused arrested, 4 still absconding

Dalit children burnt alive: VK Singh courts controversy, says ‘government can’t be blamed if a dog is stoned’

However, in an afterthought – aimed to stress that the government must not be held responsible for every incident, Singh added: “If someone throws stones at a dog, the government is held responsible.”

Talking about the death of two Dalit children in Sunped village of Faridabad district of Haryana, Union Minister VK Singh on Thursday courted a controversy by arguing that the government is not responsible if ‘someone throws stones at a dog’.Speaking to the news agency, Singh said, “It was feud between the families, local administration failed, don’t connect it with the government”.However, in an afterthought – aimed to stress that the government must not be held responsible for every incident, Singh added: “If someone throws stones at a dog, the government is held responsible.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: How can I bury them with my own hands, says father of Dalit children burnt aliveVaibhav, a two-and-a-half years old, and his sister, 11-month-old Divya were burnt alive after some persons from an upper caste set their house afire while they were sleeping. Their mother Rekha suffered 70% burns and has been referred to Delhi for treatment. Meanwhile, seven accused have been arrested so far. Villagers of Sunped also staged protests throughout the day on Wednesday by placing bodies of children on the road until the administration persuaded them to lift a road blockade and perform the last rites.Visiting the Dalit family Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had accused the Prime Minister, Haryana chief minister, the BJP and RSS of practising “politics of crushing” those who are weak, resulting in such incidents.”This is an attitude shared by the Prime Minister, Chief Minister of the state and the entire BJP and RSS. The attitude is if somebody is weak, he can be crushed. What you have seen is the result of this attitude,” Gandhi said.

Uproar after two children burned alive, Haryana police arrest four | Reuters

BALLABHGARH, India Police in Haryana have arrested four men over allegations that they burnt alive two low-caste children, an official said on Wednesday, a case that triggered a street protest and drew condemnation from an opposition leader.

Authorities ruled out caste violence as a motive for the crime but India has a long history of such incidents, and the attack will feed concerns over rising intolerance after the rumour-fuelled killing of a Muslim man by a Hindu mob recently.

On Wednesday, two men carried the bodies of the dead children wrapped in white shrouds during a protest by about 1,000 people who blocked a major highway to Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, and argued with police.

Police in Haryana said a group of men killed the children, a girl of 8 months and her two-year-old brother, by setting alight gasoline poured through the windows of their home in Ballabhgarh, about 50 km from the capital, New Delhi.

The parents, who hail from the bottom rungs of India’s millennia-old social hierarchy rooted in the Hindu religion, were also injured in the attack, a state police official said.

The incident was a family feud and not related to caste violence, however, said Jawahar Yadav, an official from the office of Haryana’s chief minister.

“This is a fight among families, not about castes. It is an unfortunate incident,” Yadav told television channel CNN-IBN.

The family has alleged it was attacked by men belonging to a higher caste, in revenge for separate killings a year ago, the state police officer said, asking not to be named because he was not authorised to discuss the case with the media.Family members could not immediately be reached for comment.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked the state government for a report on the incident.

Rahul Gandhi, leader of the opposition Congress party, visited the area and criticised central and state officials for not making better efforts to protect poor people.

Caste-related violence has gripped India for decades.

In August, clashes erupted in Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s Gujarat after police arrested Hardik Patel, a young leader of the influential Patel clan, who organised a rally to demand more government jobs for his community.

Last month, a village council in Uttar Pradesh denied allegations that it ordered two young sisters to be raped because their brother eloped with a higher caste woman. The disavowal followed an international outcry triggered by the purported ruling.

(Writing by Aditya Kalra and Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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

Faridabad violence: Yogendra Yadav calls for zero tolerance towards crime against weaker section

Faridabad: Former AAP leader Yogendra Yadav has asked Haryana government to adopt “zero tolerance” in crime against weaker sections of society, in the wake of the burning alive of a Dalit family in Faridabad.

Yogendra Yadav. PTI

Yogendra Yadav. PTI

The leader who visited Sanped village in Faridabad on Wednesday, where the dastardly act took place, met the aggrieved family members and assured them all support, while condemning the state government for the turn of events.

“The incident happened because people from upper caste do not find it right that the dalits too can stand up with their heads held high. It is not merely a case of dispute of two families, but it is very well clear that the upper caste family killed these kids to prove that what they threatened to the dalit family, can be converted to action as well,” he said.

Two-and-a-half-years-old Vaibhav and 11-month-old Divya died after the assailants allegedly poured petrol through one of the windows of their house on the intervening night of 19-20 October.

While the children perished in the blaze allegedly set off by some upper caste people who had a running feud with the Dalit family, their mother Rekha, 28, suffered serious burns and is battling for life in a Delhi hospital. Their father Jitender, 31, also received injuries while trying to save them.

Yogendra Yadav, founder Swaraj Abhiyan also referred the Mirchpur and Gohana incidents, both in Haryana, saying that the Dalits are the victims in all such cases.

He said that the people of upper caste cannot digest the rule of equality.

Commenting on the failure on part of the District Police in preventing the incident, Yadav said that it is a serious matter that the family informed the SHO and the Commissioner of Police about the threat to their lives, but their pleas were not entertained.

He said that another example of lapse came forth at the time of the incident where six cops were posted to watch over the security of the family but four of the cops were sleeping while two have gone to take part in a religious programme in the village.

The Haryana government on Wednesday recommended a CBI probe into the incident.

Eight police personnel have been placed under suspension “for showing grave misconduct in discharging their duties and regular departmental inquiry has been initiated against them”.

Four of the 11 accused – Balwant, Dharam Singh, Kartar and Sanjay – have been arrested in the case.

PTI