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Singing national anthem in theatres doesn’t make anyone patriotic, says AIMIM MLA Imtiyaz Jaleel

Aurangabad: Local AIMIM MLA Imtiyaz Jaleel on Tuesday said national anthem need not be played in cinema halls as people go there for entertainment.

He said that merely singing the national anthem in a cinema hall does not make anybody patriotic.

“I love my country and have great respect for our tri-colour and national anthem, but I don’t want to show my patriotism, respect and love for this great country by singing the national anthem in a cinema hall,” Jaleel said in his post on social media.

He said playing the national anthem in cinema halls is “a big no as people go there for some entertainment and not for getting any certificate on patriotism”.

Imtiyaz Jaleel. Image Credit: TwitetrImtiyaz Jaleel. Image Credit: Twitetr

Imtiyaz Jaleel. Image Credit: Twitetr

The MLA said playing the anthem could be made mandatory in schools and colleges.

His comments came against the backdrop of an incident in a cinema hall in suburban Mumbai wherein a family was being asked to leave by the audience for not standing up while the national anthem was being played.

In Maharashtra, it is mandatory for all cinemas to play the national anthem before every film.

Jaleel said that love and respect should come from within and not just by singing the national anthem before start of a film.

Jaleel said an MNS leader, who was one of the panelists on a television programme, had said that he be sent to Pakistan.

“I don’t know when these nautanki artists learn to call a spade a spade. Don’t thrust your superficial patriotism on us. It’s my country and I don’t have to prove my love for India to any Tom, Dick and Harry,” he added.

Meanwhile, MNS activists demonstrated at Shivaji Park in Mumbai over Jaleel’s comments.

PTI

No need to play national anthem in cinema halls, people go there for entertainment: AIMIM MLA Imtiyaz Jaleel

“I love my country and have great respect for our tri-colour and national anthem, but I don’t want to show my patriotism, respect and love for this great country by singing the national anthem in a cinema hall,” Jaleel said in his post on social media.

File photo

Local AIMIM MLA Imtiyaz Jaleel on Monday said national anthem need not be played in cinema halls as people go there for entertainment.He said that merely singing the national anthem in a cinema hall does not make anybody patriotic.”I love my country and have great respect for our tri-colour and national anthem, but I don’t want to show my patriotism, respect and love for this great country by singing the national anthem in a cinema hall,” Jaleel said in his post on social media.He said playing the national anthem in cinema halls is “a big no as people go there for some entertainment and not for getting any certificate on patriotism”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The MLA said playing the anthem could be made mandatory in schools and colleges.Watch: Video shows family thrown out of theatre for not standing for national anthemHis comments came against the backdrop of an incident in a cinema hall in suburban Mumbai wherein a family was being asked to leave by the audience for not standing up while the national anthem was being played.In Maharashtra, it is mandatory for all cinemas to play the national anthem before every film.Jaleel said that love and respect should come from within and not just by singing the national anthem before start of a film.Jaleel said an MNS leader, who was one of the panelists on a television programme, had said that he be sent to Pakistan.”I don’t know when these nautanki artists learn to call a spade a spade. Don’t thrust your superficial patriotism on us. It’s my country and I don’t have to prove my love for India to any Tom, Dick and Harry,” he added.Meanwhile, MNS activists demonstrated at Shivaji Park in Mumbai over Jaleel’s comments.

Tree-felling near Taj Mahal under the scanner: NGT seeks final report by 16 December

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has directed the local commissioner, probing illegal felling of 4,000 trees in the Eco-Sensitive Zone near the Taj Mahal, to submit the final inspection report by 16 December.

Taj Mahal. AFP.Taj Mahal. AFP.

Taj Mahal. AFP.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar gave this direction to advocate M C Mehta, who was appointed as local commissioner to enquire into the tree felling incident.

“What is this going on? We had given blanket orders to assist the local commissioner. Give us a final report or close down the matter.

“List this matter on December 16, 2015 and by that the report must come on record. On that date the final report should be positively filed by advocate M C Mehta. He is at liberty to take assistance from any institution he wants,” the bench said.

Advocate General Vijay Bahadur Singh, appearing for Uttar Pradesh government, said that the matter has been pending since long and the local commissioner appointed by the tribunal was delaying the proceedings in the case.

“Nothing adverse has come in the interim report as there is no mention of cutting of trees by the local commissioner. This matter should come to an end now,” he said. The tribunal had earlier directed Uttar Pradesh government to provide assistance to the inquiry into the alleged illegal felling and sale of 4,000 trees.

Mehta had stated that further study would be required with the aid of the specialised agency to submit a final report in the case. The tribunal had directed an inquiry into the issue after taking note of a media report and issued notice to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Uttar Pradesh government.

According to the report, a former Agra DFO had allegedly cut trees in 500-m-radius of the Taj Mahal, which is an eco-sensitive zone.

PTI

NDA govt targetting Nehru-Gandhi family to weaken Congress: Ahmed Patel

The political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi also said the results of local bodies’ polls in Gujarat scheduled to be held on November 29 will bring a downfall of the ruling BJP in Gujarat.

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Saturday alleged that the NDA government was indulging in revenge politics and targetting the Nehru-Gandhi family with a view to weaken Congress. “The NDA government is indulging in revenge politics to weaken the Congress. The throwing of muck is not just happening now, since the Independence they have been doing this against the Nehru-Gandhi family. They know that to weaken Congress they have to target and weaken the Nehru-Gandhi family,” Patel said in reply to a question over BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s recent charges against Rahul Gandhi. “All the allegations are baseless and Rahul Gandhiji has given an apt reply,” Patel added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi also said the results of local bodies’ polls in Gujarat scheduled to be held on November 29 will bring a downfall of the ruling BJP in Gujarat. The Rajya Sabha MP is here to campaign for his party ahead of local polls that are being fought amid the Patel quota agitation. Congress hopes to make a mark in the elections riding on the Patel quota agitation. The Congress leader campaigned in Danilimbda ward for the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections which are going to be held tomorrow. “The result of the local bodies polls will bring the downfall of BJP in Gujarat. This polls will have a definite impact on the 2017 (Gujarat Assembly) elections,” Patel told reporters here. “I am hopeful that Congress will do very well in the local bodies polls,” he said.According to him, BJP’s claim of ‘Gujarat model’ has failed in Bihar and common people are facing inflation and unemployment. “The debt on the Gujarat government is Rs 1.75 lakh crore and they have to take loan to pay the interest. The growth rate of the state is around seven per cent, which earlier during Congress government used to be around 15 per cent. This tells the state of economy of Gujarat,” Patel alleged Voting for the municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar will take place tomorrow, while that for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities will take place on November 29.

BJP MLA, Shiv Sena MP fight over open space encroachment in Andheri

Local BJP legislator Ameet Satam and Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar are sparring over the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) action against the illegal encroachments here.

Sudhir Shetty
dna
What is encroachment to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is perfectly legal for the Shiv Sena. The BJP and the Sena are fighting over a massive open space that has allegedly been encroached in Andheri (West). The 1-acre plot is located in Juhu’s Ritambara College Lane. Local BJP legislator Ameet Satam and Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar are sparring over the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) action against the illegal encroachments here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> While Satam wants the BMC to take stern action against encroacher Sanjay Pardeshi and demolish the illegal shanties from the plot, Kirtikar wants the BMC to stop all action and withdraw the cases against Pardeshi. BMC officials say that they have already registered an FIR against Pardeshi under the Maharashtra Region and Town Planning (MRTP) Act, following a massive demolition in February earlier this year. Officials also pointed out that the plot belongs to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and is reserved for a Recreation Ground. Says Satam: “I have asked the BMC to take stringent action against Pardeshi for the illegal encroachment. He has usurped the land that is meant for a recreation ground. Once it is cleared of encroachments, we will develop a nice garden on that plot, which can be used by local residents. Pardeshi is a habitual offender and the BMC should file a case under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act.” Kirtikar, on the other hand, has written to the BMC, backing Pardeshi. “The BMC’s action under the MRTP Act is illegal. It looks like the BMC is acting under pressure from a developer. Records show that the BMC’s demolition drive itself was illegal. The BMC must withdraw the case against Pardeshi,” Kirtikar said in his letter. Local residents and citizen groups are now up in arms against Kirtikar for backing illegal encroachments. “We have been fighting against this slum mafia for a long time. We want our open space back. It is shocking to know that the local Member of Parliament is backing a criminal. We will write to the Shiv Sena leadership about this,” said local resident Ashok Pandit. Kirtikar did not respond to calls and text messages but Pardeshi denied that the shanties were illegal. “This is a conspiracy to evict us. We have all records to show that our structures are legal. A slum scheme is already under way on the same plot. So how can these shanties be illegal? There is a nexus between the BMC, police and the local legislator who are working for a developer,” Pardeshi alleged.

Afghan local police stymied by poor supplies, misuse – U.S. report | Reuters

WASHINGTON Local Afghan police are poorly supplied and often asked to perform duties outside their mission, undercutting the effectiveness of the units created in 2010 to help bring security to rural people, U.S. investigators reported on Monday.

The U.S. military has spent about $470 million supporting Afghan Local Police (ALP) units since their inception and expects to spend another $420 million through 2018 to sustain the program, the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in an audit report.

ALP units were established in 2010 under the authority of the ministry of the interior to expand security by training rural Afghans to defend their communities against insurgents. The units employed some 28,073 personnel as of August 2015 out of a total 30,000 authorized.

SIGAR investigators who audited the program found the logistics system that supports local police is inadequate, with supplies “often diverted, delayed, of inferior quality or heavily pilfered,” the report said.

ALP units are supposed to be resupplied using current ministry of the interior processes, but officials indicated that supplies are often diverted to Afghan National Police units or are delayed significantly.

“Without the necessary supplies at the unit level, the ALP’s ability to fulfill its mission will be hindered,” the report concluded.

The audit report also found that local police are often misused or assigned tasks they are not supposed to perform, such as providing personal security for government officials.

In one instance, coalition advisers stated that “a politician requested 50 ALP personnel and proceeded to use them as personal bodyguards,” the report said.

Another adviser said provisional police chiefs, who are appointed by the Afghan president, are not professional policemen and therefore “often lack the fundamental knowledge of how a police force should function.”

They also may be susceptible to political influence, the report said.

(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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

Upset with ‘anti-people’ acts, Maoist couple surrenders

A Maoist couple carrying cash reward on their heads, surrendered along with weapons in Raipur on Thursday citing disappointment with the “anti-people” activities by the outlawed CPI (Maoist) in Bastar, police said.

A Maoist couple carrying cash reward on their heads, surrendered along with weapons in Raipur on Thursday citing disappointment with the “anti-people” activities by the outlawed CPI (Maoist) in Bastar, police said.”Sannnu Poyam (40) and his wife Maini Majji (22) turned themselves at the police headquarter, Naya Raipur, expressing their desire to join the mainstream,” Additional Director General of Police (anti-naxal operations) R K Vij said in a press conference.The commander of military platoon No. 13 of Maoist, Sannu, a native of Jangla in Bijapur district, has been involved in several naxal incidents in south Chhattisgarh during past a decade, Vij said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He surrendered along with an AK-47 rifle.Sanuu had joined the banned outfit as a member of its frontal wing-Dandakaranya Adivasi Majdoor Sangh in 2003 and since then has served in different capacities within it, the ADG said adding he was carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh on his head.Similarly, Maini was also a crucial member of the outfit who was delivering the role of a doctor for Bhairamgarh Local Guerilla Squad (LGS) in Bijapur.She also worked in the press section of the rebels for sometime as she had studied till class seventh, he said.A reward of Rs 1 lakh was announced for her arrest.The two will be rehabilitated as per the policy of the state government, Vij said.Talking to reporters, surrendered cadre Sannu said, “I was disappointed with the activities of my colleagues like destroying school buildings, halting development works and snatching ration and ration card of villagers.People were both afraid and troubled with the activities of Maoists which prompted me to quit the movement.”Besides, exploitation of local leaders from senior cadres of Andhra Pradesh was also one of the reasons for surrender, he said.Moreover he claimed that the platoon that he had left has been going through a tough time in dearth of cadres and armoury.

Three year old boy found dead after being rescued from 80 feet borewell

A three-year-old boy, who had fallen into a borewell yesterday evening, was found dead this morning after being rescued.

Image courtesy: ANI’s Twitter handle
A three-year-old boy, who had fallen into a borewell on Wednesday evening, was found dead this morning after being rescued.The locals immediately alerted the authorities after toddler Anil fell into an 80-feet deep borewell while playing near the fields on Wednesday evening.Tractors and JCBs were used to dig up a parallel hole to rescue the boy. The local authorities even alerted the army to help them in the rescue operations.

India, Pakistan army commanders agree on restraint on LoC

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Jammu: Local field commanders of the Indian and Pakistani armies on Monday decided to exercise restraint to respect the bilateral ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between them, an army official said.

Representational image. Image courtesy: PTIRepresentational image. Image courtesy: PTI

Representational image. Image courtesy: PTI

“A brigade-level flag meeting was held between the Indian and Pakistani army at Chakan Da Bagh crossing point on the LoC in Poonch district today (Monday). The field commanders discussed a host of issues including the ongoing ceasefire violations, targeting of civilian areas and sniper actions on the LoC,” Indian army’s northern command spokesman Colonel S.D.Goswami told IANS.

“At the meeting that lasted for nearly an hour, the two sides decided to ensure restraint so that the bilateral ceasefire between the two sides is respected,” he added.

Police sources told IANS that the India army was represented by Brigadier H.S. Sarin while Brigadier Usman represented the Pakistan side.

IANS

UP cop broke an old man’s typewriter, see what social media did after that

The cop abused him and kicked his typewriter until it was broken into pieces.

Krishna Kumar with the typewriter

Image Credit: ANI
Krishna Kumar, a 65-year old Hindi typist, who usually sits outside the General Post Office in Lucknow with his typewriter and struggles to earn a bare minimum for his family was in for a shock on Saturday.A sub-inspector, Pradeep Kumar, reportedly asked him to vacate the spot where the old man has been working for almost 10 hours a day for the last 35 years. When Krishna protested, the cop abused him and kicked his typewriter until it was broken into pieces. Local reporters present there caught the action on their cameras and the news spread like wildfire on the social media. There were vehement protests regarding the incident on several social media platforms and an outrage towards the insensitivity of the sub-inspector.Seeing no action being taken, several people on the social media offered to pay for a new typewriter for the man. The pictures of the incident did several rounds on Facebook too. A lot of people tagged the UP CM office and CM Akhilesh Yadav and asked him to take prompt action. The Chief Minister’s Office took note of the posts and initiated action against the sub-inspector. CM Akhilesh Yadav later ordered the suspension of Pradeep Kumar for is actions. The CMO also tweeted to the DSP and DM of the area to gift Krishna Kumar with two typewriters.

Hyderabad: Teacher beats 11-year-old boy unconscious

ANI
11-year-old Tanish Yadav was beaten up by his school teacher and lost consciousness in Hyderabad on Thursday evening. Yadav studies at Krishnaveni Talent School and was rushed to Golconda Hospital by the authorities.Yadav later regained consciousness and is now undergoing tests at Sri Sai Ram Hospital. Doctors who examined have stated he has no external injuries but has complained of back pain. His mother has stated to media that he is unable to walk because of the severe back pain. Yadav’s family has filed a police complaint. The police has begun investigation into the incident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yadav was reportedly beaten on Wednesday by the same teacher. He was allegedly slapped with such force that the boy’s tooth broke. Local media reports that action is likely to be taken against the teacher and the incident investigated by the director of the Krishnaveni Talent School group.

One cabin, two directors: Locked doors greet MTSU staffers

Govt intervenes to end turf war between MTSU, AIILSG; BC Khatua will be MTSU chief
Amit Bandre
dna
Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) was without ‘brain’ for a few hours on Monday. The Mumbai Transformation Support Unit (MTSU) – the think-tank that comes up with out-of-box ideas for MMR’s development – was left without office space on Monday morning. As usual, MTSU staffers, including director BC Khatua, came to their office at Botawala Building on Monday – only to find themselves locked out. The villain? For those who are aware about the developments in MTSU, it’s a familiar name – the All India Institute of Local Self Government (AIILSG). It’s the turf war between the two that climaxed in the lock-out.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> AIILSG, which was running MTSU all along, decided to completely shut down the latter’s operations in June this year. It even absorbed some of the MTSU’ staff and researchers. The idea didn’t go down well with the state government, which decided to take over the reins of MTSU itself. The government breathed fresh life into the ‘idea incubator’ and decided to fund MTSU under the leadership of former bureaucrat Khatua. However, last week, AIILSG appointed one of its senior officers as director of MTSU and she visited the office to take charge. With two directors and one cabin, a musical chair started. On Monday, after Khatua found that he and his staffers have been locked out, he decided that enough is enough. In search of a solution, Khatua headed straight for the office of the chief minister and the chief secretary. The government passed a resolution: Khatua and only Khatua will be the director of MTSU. “The matter has been resolved with the state government passing an order. But this move by AIILSG was unwarranted and unacceptable. After all, they also work with and for the state government,” said Khatua. Director-general of AIILSG, Ramanath Jha, was unavailable for comments. On Monday itself, the government also decided to scout for a new office premise for MTSU. Till such time, it will continue functioning from Botawala building, opposite the iconic Asiatic Society of Mumbai, for another two to three months. MMR’s ‘brain’ was thus restored. Let ideas flow now.

12 Indian fishermen injured, 20 boats damaged in attack by Sri Lankan navy

One of the boats was sunk and the four fishermen in it jumped into another boat to save themselves, Sahayaraj, president of the local fishermen’s association,said

fishermen

Twelve fishermen were injured and 20 boats damaged when they were attacked allegedly by Sri Lankan naval personnel for fishing in their territorial waters.One of the boats was sunk and the four fishermen in it jumped into another boat to save themselves, Sahayaraj, president of the local fishermen’s association,said. He alleged that Lankan naval personnel came to the area in seven boats late last night, stripped some of them and beat them with sticks and stones and also damaged the 20 boats.The injured fishermen were treated at private clinics on their return. All the fishermen were part of a larger group, which had put out to sea in 531 boats yesterday. Meanwhile, N A Bose, President of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Fishermen’s Association alleged that this was one of the most brutal attacks on Indian fishermen and warned that they would be forced to go on agitation if steps were not taken to stop such incidents. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

List of 100 Smart Cities to be out by September 1, says Venkaiah Naidu

The Government is set to announce by September 1 the names of urban centres that would figure in the list of 100 smart cities, a flagship scheme of the Narendra Modi administration.

Venkaiah Naidu

The Government is set to announce by September 1 the names of urban centres that would figure in the list of 100 smart cities, a flagship scheme of the Narendra Modi administration.”By September 1, the list of 100 cities will be announced officially. It is almost ready,” Union Minister of Urban Development and Housing M Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday. “Initially, only 20 cities will be taken up on priority. These 20 cities will be selected on certain parameters, which have already been communicated to the 100 cities. Not only 100 cities, those guidelines had been sent to other aspirant cities also,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of ‘National Conclave on Smart Technologies’ organised by Smart Cities Council India.Explaining further, he said the competition among cities will be in terms of providing better amenities to citizens and administration, including accountability and transparency, based on which ranking would be provided.He said the implementation of the mission will be done by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). The SPV will plan, appraise, approve, release funds, implement, manage, operate, monitor and evaluate the Smart City development projects.Each smart city will have a SPV which will be headed by a full time CEO and have nominees of Central and State Governments and Urban Local Body on its Board. “Initially, the Government will provide Rs 100-crore fund to the SPV and there will be a matching fund from state governments and local bodies,” the Union Minister said.According to him, the local bodies should be “bold enough” to take tough decisions such as increasing user fees wherever required. Taking a dig at political parties, he said regardless of party in power, no civic body is willing to increase charges fearing a backlash from the public.”Smart city requires smart leader, vision and should be able to take tough decisions, and ensure people’s participation. Then only this (smart city concept) will become successful,” he opined.Smart City is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious project aimed at recasting the urban landscape of the country by making cities more livable and inclusive, besides driving the economic growth.

Himachal Pradesh: 4 feared dead, over 100 roads blocked after cloudburst in Mandi

Heavy rains flooded several areas in Dharamsala, Kangra, Sujanpur, Sundernagar and other places. National Highway 88 was blocked at two places, while over 100 link roads were blocked in Mandi, Kullu, Chamba, Shimla and Kangra districts due to major landslides, police said.

Cloudburst in Shimla

Photo Courtesy: ANI Twitter
Four persons including three members of a family were feared dead as flash floods triggered by a cloudburst wrecked havoc in Dharampur area of Mandi district, 250 km from here, this morning, inundating vast areas, washing away vehicles and blocking over 100 roads in the region. Three members of a family were feared to have been buried alive after their house collapsed due to a landslide while a sadhu was washed away in the gushing water of swollen Son Khud, a tributary of Beas river, police said.About a dozen people waiting at Dharampur bus stand, had to rush to the first floor as Son Khud water entered the bus stand, inundating shops and houses, they said. Three buses, over four dozen houses and shops were washed away, while half a dozen light vehicles were swept away in the floods, police said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Heavy rains flooded several areas in Dharamsala, Kangra, Sujanpur, Sundernagar and other places. National Highway 88 was blocked at two places, while over 100 link roads were blocked in Mandi, Kullu, Chamba, Shimla and Kangra districts due to major landslides, police said.All major rivers and their tributaries in the state are in spate and people living along the river banks have been asked to remain vigilant by the authorities and take necessary precautions. Local MLA Mohinder Singh and BJP leader P K Dhumal said that five persons have died in floods but the local administration confirmed only three persons were buried alive.The local MeT office has warned of heavy rains at some places tomorrow along with rains and thunderstorms in lower, mid and higher hills of the state over the next six days. Sundernagar in Mandi district was the wettest in the region with 162 mm rains, while Sarkaghat and Dharamshala recorded 135 mm and 121 mm rains, according to MeT officials. Gaggal recorded 108 mm, Sujanpur Tira 98 mm , Bhoranj 95 mm, Jogindernagar 93 mm, Dehra Gopipur 85 mm, Mandi 84 mm , Shimla 71mm, Amb 57m, Nadaun 51 mm, Kheri 50 mm, Una and Sangrah 48 mm, Nahan 43 mm, Bijahi 37 mm and Baldwara, Jubbar Hatti and Jhandutta 35 mm, MeT officials said.The maximum temperatures dropped by few notches and Una recorded a high of 27.0 degree Celsius, followed by Solan 26.4 degree Celsius, Sundernagar 25.5 degree Celsius, Dharamshala 24.8 degree Celsius, Bhunter 24.2 degree Celsius, Nahan 23.3 degree Celsius, Manali 22.8 degree Celsius, Kalpa 21.6 degree Celsius and Shimla 20.2 degree Celsius.Meanwhile, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has directed all the Deputy Commissioners, Police, Home Guards and all departments concerned to be vigilant in the wake of heavy rainfall and incidents of recent landslides and flash floods in the state.Terming the flash flood incident of Dharampur in Mandi district as unfortunate, he directed the district administration to carry out adequate measures in providing relief and rescue to the people of the area and to compensate the affected as per relief manual. He said that it was distressing that the public property in Dharampur suffered heavy loss due to floods in Son River following heavy rainfall. He directed the district administration to sound alarm for the people, warning them against venturing to go near the banks of swollen river beds, rivulets or Nullah.

Petty fine for not voting shows BJP isn’t serious and this is just a gimmick: Congress

The government last week announced rules under the act which makes voting compulsory in local body polls. Apart from the fine, there won’t be any penal action.
Representational Image

Gujarat Congress on Saturday said the provision of a meagre Rs 100 fine for failing to vote in the local body polls showed that the BJP government’s compulsory voting law was nothing but “a gimmick”.”Imposition of just Rs 100 fine for not exercising the franchise proves that BJP is not serious about electoral reforms but only believes in gimmicks and headline-grabbing,” Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said. The government last week announced rules under the act which makes voting compulsory in local body polls. Apart from the fine, there won’t be any penal action.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If the government was serious about electoral reforms, it should have framed the rules at the time of introducing the bill in which it had announced that there will be penal action against those who fail to vote,” Doshi said.”We are against the concept of compulsory voting because it is against the basic tenets of democracy,” he clarified.”The BJP government wants to make voter accountable, but it itself is not accountable….It has failed to provide basis things like water, good education, healthcare to people. It should come out with a white-paper on what it has done to cater to the basic needs of people,” the Congress leader said.Governor O P Kohli gave assent to the controversial Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009, which makes voting compulsory, last November. It came into effect last month. Elections to 253 municipalities, 208 taluka panchayats, 26 district panchayats and six municipal corporations in the state are expected to be held in this October.

India,Bangladesh to start implementation of historic land boundary agreement today

At one minute past midnight on Friday, some 50,000 residents along the border will light candles and celebrate their “new found freedom” following a historic deal sealed between the two countries’ prime ministers.

India and Bangladesh signed the agreement during PM Modi’s recent visit to Bangladesh (File photo)

PTI
Bangladesh and India will this week finally swap tiny islands of land, ending one of the world’s most difficult border disputes that has kept thousands of people in stateless limbo for almost 70 years.At one minute past midnight on Friday, some 50,000 residents along the border will light candles and celebrate their “new found freedom” following a historic deal sealed between the two countries’ prime ministers.”The 68 candles mark our 68 years of endless pain since 1947 and the agonies and poverty we faced living in no-man’s land,” said Golam Mostafa, who lives in an Indian enclave in the Bangladesh district of Kurigram.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mostafa and other residents of the 162 enclaves — small pockets of one country’s territory surrounded by the other — lack basic services such as schools, clinics, power and water because they are cut off from their national governments. Under the agreement finalised in June and coming into effect tomorrow, the “islands” will effectively cease to exist, as each country will assume sovereignty over all enclaves in its territory.Residents can choose to live in India or Bangladesh and will be granted citizenship. They can stay put or choose to move across the 4,000-kilometre long border. With the land swapping less than 48 hours away, excitement has gripped the enclaves, with villagers holding feasts, rehearsing their new national anthem and preparing for celebrations including traditional games.”It’s like Eid day here. It’s like a new found freedom,” Rabbul Alam, who lives in the Indian enclave of Dahala Khagrabari, some 400 kilometres north of Dhaka, told AFP. One of the weirdest enclaves, Dahala Khagrabari is situated in Bangladesh’s northernmost district of Panchagarh, is surrounded by a larger Bangladeshi enclave, which is circled by an even bigger Indian one.”For an outsider, it is difficult to know who is a Bangladeshi or who is an Indian here. Even we get confused. Only some concrete pillars mark which part is Bangladesh and which is India,” Alam said. The enclaves date back to ownership arrangements made centuries ago between local princes. Local legends say the enclaves were the result of 18th-century chess games by two competing princes.The parcels of land survived partition of the subcontinent in 1947 after British rule and Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence with Pakistan. Bangladesh endorsed a deal with India in 1974 in a bid to dissolve the pockets, but a souring of ties in the next few decades meant India only signed a final agreement in June during a visit to Dhaka by premier Narendra Modi, keen to strengthen regional ties.

AAP-BJP standoff on Delhi municipalities is a symptom of a much larger problem

It would be tempting to see the garbage-dumping protest by sanitation workers of the East Delhi municipal corporation over not being paid their salaries as just a manifestation of the confrontation between Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which controls the Capital’s municipal corporations as well as the central government, and one that Delhi-ites will have to live with till the municipal elections next year. But it is actually a reflection of a much deeper, and country-wide, problem – the financial state of local governments and the attitude of state governments towards them.

Just last week, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal mocked the BJP – if you can’t run the municipal corporations, he said, hand them over to us, we will run them. This came when the three municipal corporations approached the Delhi government for funds.

Did the statement come from Kejriwal’s belief that he is above all proprieties or from ignorance about the status of municipal corporations? If he was just being sarcastic and flippant – he has used both to good effect during election campaigns – someone needs to tell him that as chief minister every word he utters will be weighed for its import.

Municipal corporations – or any rural or urban local body – are not departments that state and central governments can play passing the parcel with. Local bodies have been given the status of third tier of government by the 73rd and 74th constitution amendments in 1993 and 1994 and a state government asking for a local body to be given to it is as unlawful and undemocratic as the central government seeking to take over a state government using Article 356 of the Constitution on flimsy grounds.

The situation that Delhi is facing today – cash-strapped municipal bodies unable to provide services and a state government that is unable or unwilling to bail them out – is not of AAP’s making. It predates the formation of the AAP government. But Kejriwal can take a step towards solving the problem by simply tabling the report of the fourth State Finance Commission of Delhi.

PTIPTI

PTI

Just like the financial sharing between the centre and the states is set out by the Finance Commission, that between states and local bodies are set out by State Finance Commissions (SFCs). In Delhi, the recommendations of the third are currently being implemented. The fourth SFC was set up in 2009 to make recommendations for the 2011-16 period. According to the Delhi state BJP, this SFC submitted its report in April 2013 to the Shiela Dixit government but this was not even tabled in the state assembly, let alone being implemented. The BJP claims the fourth SFC increased the share of local bodies in state government tax revenues from 4 percent to 12.5 per cent and that is why the Dixit government sat on the report.

This too is not peculiar to Delhi. The Fourteenth Finance Commission report lamented the fact that states were lax in setting up SFCs; the number of SFCs varied from two to five. (State governments were to set up SFCs within one year of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments coming into force.) Many SFCs, it said, were still to submit their reports (the fourth Delhi SFC submitted its report three years after it was mandated to), state governments took their own time in deciding on reports or rejected the recommendations without assigning reasons.

Can the central government dare to do the same with the recommendations of the national Finance Commissions? No central government has ever rejected the core recommendations of successive Finance Commissions relating to financial devolution to the states and local bodies for fear of incurring the wrath of the states. States, however, clearly do not have any such trepidations.

Local governments are important not just because of the constitutional status they enjoy but because they are the cutting edge of government. Basic services – primary education, primary health, drinking water, sanitation, street lighting, roads – are all in the jurisdiction of local governments. Much is being made about the huge allocations for physical infrastructure in the budget and how this will transform the country. But the Fourteenth Finance Commission gives local bodies Rs 2.87 lakh crore. The transformative potential of spending this money on the provision of basic services will equal, if not exceed, that of spending on highways, ports and smart cities. Can Narendra Modi’s Swachch Bharat Abhiyan go anywhere at all without the involvement of the local bodies?

But state governments just do not want to do unto local governments what they want the centre to do unto them. Indeed, the devolution of functions, funds and finances, which the constitutional amendments envisaged, is still patchy. Rajesh Tandon, president of Participatory Research in Asia, points out that nothing reaches local bodies without the blessings of the state governments.

The Fourteenth Finance Commission has tried to ensure that at least the grants it provides reaches the states promptly. It has said the grants will be released in two instalments and the state government should release the money to the local governments within 15 days of receiving it. Any delay will mean the state government should pay interest for each day from its own pocket. But this does not cover devolution of other funds from the state to the local bodies. Clearly, pressure needs to be brought on states to play fair towards local governments. Kejriwal kind of statements and attitude just will not do.

Such confrontations, however, are bound to happen when the state and local governments are ruled by different parties. The answer, then, lies in local governments taking steps to augment their resources, something that often becomes a victim of laziness. It is so much easier to demand money from another tier of government than generate it on one’s own.

The Fourteenth Finance Commission reports lists several areas that can generate resources for local bodies – property tax reform, land-based instruments, taxes on advertisements, entertainment, professions and trades, municipal bonds, among other things. Often state governments will have to take steps to ensure this can happen and they may need to be pushed to do this. This has to come on to the discourse agenda. Cooperative federalism cannot just be a centre and states issue. The local bodies have to be as much part of this process.

Bizarre: Goan village bans kissing, other ‘obscene behaviour’ in public

Panaji: A village panchayat in Goa has “banned” kissing in public holding that “such obscene behaviour” by some couples and holidayers creates nuisance to the local people.

ReutersReuters

Reuters

Salvador do Mundo village panchayat, located near state capital Panaji, passed a resolution recently banning kissing in public along with consumption of liquor and playing loud music openly.

“We adopted the resolution since we have been getting several complaints from the local people about the obscene behaviour (of some couples and holidayers). We had to control it,” said Reena Fernandes, deputy sarpanch of Salvador do Mundo.

According to civic authorities, villagers were also concerned over the obscene behaviour of those on picnic to the sylvan settings of the coastal hamlet.

After adopting the resolution, the civic body has put up banners urging the public as well as visitors to cooperate with the order.

Goa has, of late, witnessed a debate on moral policing with state Directorate of Art and Culture banning jeans, sleeveless top and other informal dresses in office.

PTI

UP: Bride ditches groom who failed to do basic maths sum, says his family lied

New Delhi: An bride walked out of her wedding ceremony after her groom-to-be failed to solve a very simple math problem, police said Friday. The bride tested the groom on his math skills and when he got the sum wrong, she walked out. The question she asked: How much is 15 plus six? His reply: 17.

The incident took place late Wednesday in Rasoolabad village near the industrial town of Kanpur in northern Uttar Pradesh state, local police officer Rakesh Kumar said Friday.

The groom’s family tried persuading the bride to return, but she refused. She said the groom had misled them about his education.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“The groom’s family kept us in the dark about his poor education,” said Mohar Singh, the bride’s father. “Even a first grader can answer this.”

Local police mediated between the families and both sides returned all the gifts and jewelry that had been exchanged before the wedding, Kumar said. Last month, another bride in Uttar Pradesh married a wedding guest after her groom-to-be had a seizure and collapsed at the wedding venue.

The groom’s family had not revealed that the groom was epileptic. While the groom was rushed to a hospital in Rampur town, the bride asked one of the wedding guests to step in and married him.

Associated Press

Police arrest Godhra carnage convict on the run since November last year

Ahmedabad: A convict in the 2002 Godhra riots, who was on the run since November last year, has been arrested by Bharuch police.

Representational image. PTI

Salim Yusuf Zarda was awarded death penalty in the Godhra train burning case, the incident which had triggered one of the worst riots in the state of Gujarat.

He had jumped the 15-day parole granted to him. He did not turn up at Vadodara Central Jail where he was lodged, on November 18 last year.

Zarda was nabbed late last night by a team of Amod taluka police when they were searching for car thieves on Amod-Bharuch highway, Bharuch Superintendent of Police Bipin Ahire said on Friday.

“Since the past few weeks, car thefts have become rampant in and around Amod. Local police received a tip-off that thieves conducted recce at night in their car before stealing the four-wheelers. To nab them, a team of Amod police was patrolling on Amod highway last night,” Ahire said.

At around midnight, the police intercepted a car with 3-4 persons inside, suspecting them to be the thieves. On checking their identities, one of the persons was identified as Salim Zarda following which he and the others were detained and later arrested, he said.

“We are now interrogating them about their possible involvement in car thefts in our area. We will hand over Zarda to Godhra police after completing necessary formalities,” he said.

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Zarda is one of the 31 convicts in the Godhra train burning case in which 59 people lost their lives on 27 February in 2002.

Zarda and 10 others were awarded death penalty by a special trial court in March 2011, while 20 convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment.

He was granted parole by the Gujarat High Court on 3 November, 2014 to renovate his house in Godhra town. As per the conditions of parole, he had to report back in the jail by 18 November, but he did not return.

Since then, police had been searching for him.

PTI

Bangalore: Teacher accused of sexually assaulting 7-year-old girl

Bangalore Police Commissioner MN Reddi on Wednesday said the teacher accused of sexually assaulting a seven-year-old school girl has been taken into custody and urged the people to maintain calm while assuring a swift probe into the case.”In the west division area of Bangalore city, there was an incident where a physical training cum general teacher is alleged to have sexually assaulted a girl of seven years old in a school. And the parents and the other locals gathered in large numbers outside the said school and demanded that justice should be instantly given to that particular person,” Reddi told the media here.”Our officers and force led by our Additional Commissioner Mr. Alok Kumar stood firm and said that we will not allow such instant justice methods and they will be booked and we will investigate and we will produce them before the court which alone has the authority to impose any penalty,” he added.Reddi, however, said that some of the unruly elements of the local area did not pay heed to the request made by the Additional Commissioner following which the force had to use tear gas and baton charged the agitators to bring the situation under control.”And some of the unruly elements of the local area did not pay heed to what our Additional Commissioner requested them and tried to convince them over microphone and said that there is no need for spoiling peace in this area. Never the less, there was a law and order situation where in there was stone throwing, bottles were thrown, the policemen were injured and we had to use tear gas and lathi charge to disperse the crowd,” said Reddi.”And I request the public of Bangalore city to keep calm, no need to pay heed to any rumours. The local area has been brought under control,” he added.

West Bengal: At least 15 monkeys die after consuming rat poison

Representational Image

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At least 15 monkeys died on Sunday after consuming rat poison, mistaking it for food in the Manikpur area of the district.Local forest department officials said a hawker was passing on village road with his wares of rat poison to sell in the neighbouring areas, when a troop of monkeys pounced on him mistaking the poison packets for food.”The frightened hawker left his wares and fled the spot. The monkeys then tore off the packets and consumed the poison, which killed them. Local residents buried 13 of them before we reached the spot. We have recovered two dead monkeys and a post mortem will be conducted,” said Forest Range Officer Shyamal Mukherjee.