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Air pollution situation in Delhi of an emergency nature: Delhi High Court

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DPCC has also been asked to provide the court with details of action taken by it, against any violations, in the last five years.

Air pollution in Delhi
File Photo

Air pollution in the national capital is of an “emergency nature”, the Delhi High Court on Monday observed and said this situation would not have arisen if the authorities had implemented laws and rules in place to prevent environmental degradation.A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva was of the view that while legislations were in place for ensuring maintenance of air quality levels, individuals and departments tasked to enforce the rules, “have not done their work”. It directed officers of all concerned authorities, including Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), that “all the rules have to be followed to the ‘t’ as the situation today is of an emergency nature”.”This situation would not have arisen if all authorities had implemented the rules,” the court said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The court, referred to particulate matter-PM 2.5 and PM 10-and said as per the statutory norms their levels are not to exceed 60 microgram per cubic meter per day and 100 microgram per cubic meter per day, respectively. However, as per DPCC monitoring stations, their levels are always far in excess of 400/500. It directed DPCC, represented by advocate Sanjeev Ralli, to “analyse data from 2011 onwards and to provide us a monthly average chart of each pollutant.” Another exercise the panel has been directed to carry out is to give a weekly chart of the pollutants during the months from October to February for all the years from 2011 to 2015. DPCC has also been asked to provide the court with details of action taken by it, against any violations, in the last five years. Meanwhile, on the issue of traffic management to reduce the timings of idling vehicles, the court observed that despite its direction for zero tolerance towards violation of rules, especially by people who jump onto other carriageways to get ahead during traffic snarls, police was doing nothing. “People in Delhi need to be disciplined. Send anyone who changes carriageways to turnaround and go in the opposite direction from which they came, as they do in Mumbai,” the bench said while hearing a PIL initiated by it on the issue of increasing air pollution in Delhi. Delhi Traffic Police, in an affidavit, told the court that it had identified 14 areas in the city which were heavily congested and that, in those places, it had observed zero tolerance for violation of rules.

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

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

Thinking of buying second-hand gadgets online? Think again!

The story of this Delhi youth might make you reconsider your online deals.

Representational Image

File Photo
Buying products from e-commerce websites can prove to be a nightmare, as was the case of Akshay Manocha, a Delhi youth. In the last week of February, 2015, Manocha intended to buy an iPhone after seeing an advertisement of the same on the popular website, OLX.com.The youth, contacted a mobile phone number which was given alongside the advertisement. The voice on the other end told Manocha to meet at Jasola Metro Station in South East Delhi at 3 PM, the following day.When he reached the venue, he was further called at the Round About Jasola Vihar where he was asked to sit in a car already parked there. As he sat in the car, four persons seated in the car robbed him of his mobile phone and ATM card at gun-point.The accused then asked for his PIN number of his ATM card and withdrew 25,000 rupees.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, during a scuffle with Manocha, one of the accused dropped the pistol from the car and could not pick it up due to large public presence. Moments later, Manocha was dropped at a secluded spot after which the four people fled the area.The youth approached the police as he had noted the car’s number, but problems for the investigators had just begun. Not only was the registration number a fake, the pistol which was used to rob Manocha, turned out to be a toy gun.To complicate police investigations further, when cops approached the management of OLX, they were informed that the number given along with the advertisement belonged to a person based in Uttar Pradesh. After chasing the case for more than 9 months, investigators got their first lead when they got to know about a phone call made from the sim previously owned by Manocha.Within no time, Delhi police arrested all the accused who were identified as Ahmed Raja (29), Jahangir (22), Altmas (22) and Hashim (21). All of them belong to Sambhal district in Western UP and are said to have started the racket after suffering huge losses in cricket betting.”Accused Ahmed Raza, Jahangir and Altmas belong to good and educated families. After passing out 12th standard from their native place, they got involved in cricket betting. After some time, they came to Delhi for further studies and took admission in 3-D Interior Designing course. Meanwhile, they suffered huge losses in cricket betting due to which they were unable to continue their studies, so they started looking for easy sources of money,” said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, DCP, South East.Further investigation is under progress and efforts are being made to ascertain their previous involvements, police said.

BJD seeks action against Congress MLA for watching ‘objectionable’ video in House

Meanwhile, the MLA denied the allegation and claimed innocence over the matter.

Picture for representational purpose

BJD MLA Pramila Mallick on Monday demanded action against a senior Congress lawmaker accusing him of watching “objectionable” video on his mobile phone during the Question Hour in the Assembly today, a charge denied by the MLA.”The Congress member allegedly watched adult video inside the House. It is a matter of shame for all of us, particularly the women members. I demand strong action against him and a probe into the matter,” Mallick, also the president of BJD’s women wing, said while drawing attention of the Speaker. Outside the Assembly, she said she came to know about the matter from a private television channel, which aired the lawmaker watching the objectionable video inside the House.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, the MLA denied the allegation and claimed innocence over the matter. “I will give a clarification in the House tomorrow,” Naba Kishore Das, the MLA from Jharsuguda, told reporters.Though Das admitted that a certain video opened on its own while he was surfing the Internet on his mobile phone, he said, “I have never seen any adult video in my life. It appeared accidentally. I immediately shut it down after I noticed it.” Congress MLA Prafulla Majhi came to the rescue of Das and said he did not find any objectionable material in the video.

Pansare murder: Chargesheet filed against Sanatan Sanstha member Sameer Gaikwad

Pansare, a veteran CPI leader, and his wife were shot by two unidentified motorcycle-borne persons in Kolhapur in February this year

Govind Pansare

Police on Monday filed a charge sheet in a local court against Sameer Gaikwad, an activist of right- wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha, arrested in connection with the murder of Communist leader Govind Pansare.Gaikwad, who was arrested on September 16 in connection with the murder of Pansare, is in judicial custody till December 18. The 392-page charge sheet, filed by police before judicial magistrate R D Dange, mentions a list of 77 witnesses.Pansare, a veteran CPI leader, and his wife were shot by two unidentified motorcycle-borne persons in Kolhapur in February this year. While his wife survived, Pansare later died in a Mumbai hospital. He was one of the leaders who spearheaded the anti-toll movement in Kolhapur district of western Maharashtra. Meanwhile, veteran Leftist leader N D Patil and Pansare’s daughter-in-law Medha Pansare today met Kolhapur’s new DSP Pradeep Deshpande in connection with the case. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Nirbhaya Case: Subramanian Swamy hopes that juvenile order is in public interest

“My guess is that the high court will set a new standard so that juveniles who commit heinous crimes do not have an easy out just by claiming to be juveniles,” Swamy added.

Subramanian Swamy
File Photo

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday said that he was hopeful about the courts handing down an order to prevent the release of the juvenile involved in the December 2012 gang rape case in outer Delhi.”The main important thing that the management committee has to consider is the mental health which has been provided under the rules as a precondition for setting him out into society. So, what has been finally decided is that the court has reserved its orders, but it has said that it has understood the gravity of the situation and we will definitely give an order which in the public interest. And the most important part which the court have observed is that the rules do provide that the juvenile must be a law abiding citizen before he is released into mainstream society,” Swamy told media.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “My guess is that the high court will set a new standard so that juveniles who commit heinous crimes do not have an easy out just by claiming to be juveniles,” he added. Holding the Congress responsible for the continuing lawlessness against women in society, Swamy further stated that the law has to be amended which is lying in the Rajya Sabha. He accused the Congress of blocking the passage of the legislation into law. “Such an important law has been blocked for almost six months. It is a shame on the Congress Party. It could have been passed in the Rajya Sabha on a priority basis, as it has already been passed in the Lok Sabha. The Congress are to be blamed for continuing lawlessness against women in our society,” he added. Meanwhile, the victim’s father said that the juvenile convict must not be freed as he might be a “threat to society”. “It is not about being a juvenile or an adult, but about crime. The crime he has committed and after he is released it will definitely affect the youth in the country. He is a threat to the society. I believe that he should not be released anyhow. The person who can sit inside jail and learn to be a jihadi, what will he do outside,” asked the victim’s father.

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.

12 Osmania University students held for ‘organising’ beef festival

A students’ group had declared that it would hold a ‘beef festival’ on the campus on December 10, coinciding with the World Human Rights Day, while another group also announced its plan to organise a ‘pork festival’ the same day, which had raised the possibility of confrontation.

Police detaining an Osmania University student who was trying to organise beef festival in Hyderabad on Thursday.

PTI
At least 12 students were arrested from their hostel rooms on Osmania University campus for allegedly organising a “beef festival” in defiance of a court order asking for a status quo on holding either beef or pork festival, police said in Hyderabad on Friday.The students were arrested on Thursday night, a senior police official said, adding that, “We have arrested them under contempt of court case”. The students were being produced in the court today. Meanwhile, the situation on the OU is normal now against the backdrop of a mild tension of Thursday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A students’ group had declared that it would hold a ‘beef festival’ on the campus on December 10, coinciding with the World Human Rights Day, while another group also announced its plan to organise a ‘pork festival’ the same day, which had raised the possibility of confrontation.Police had said on Thursday to have foiled a bid by students to organise the beef festival even as some students claimed that they held the event inside their hostel rooms. Police had also rounded up over 100 persons who came in different groups and tried to barge into the campus either opposing or supporting the beef festival, amid a mild tension in and around OU.A city civil court had passed the status quo order on the ‘beef festival’ three days back, which amounts to staying the holding of the festivals, on a petition filed by an advocate. The petition contended that these events are in violation of Cruelty Towards Animal Act and Cow Slaughter Act, and hurt the religious sentiments of the people. The High Court on Wednesday upheld the order of the city civil court.Shankar, one of the organisers, had yesterday said that all the students “celebrated” the festival in their hostel rooms as the police did not allow them to come out. Some pictures showing the students eating beef were circulated in social media but it was not known whether they consumed beef yesterday.

FIR filed against Russian diplomat who allegedly assaulted Delhi traffic cop

The Delhi Police has no authority to arrest the diplomatic due to his ‘diplomatic immunity’ which is why through the MHA, intervention of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is being sought.

The Russian diplomat’s car, stopped by police

ANI
An FIR has been registered against a Russian diplomat who in an allegedly intoxicated state allegedly hit a constable in Moti Bagh in Delhi. Meanwhile the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been briefed about the incident.The diplomat has been booked under IPC Section 186- obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions, 353- assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, 332- voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty and 337- causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Police has no authority to arrest the diplomatic due to his ‘diplomatic immunity’ which is why through the MHA, intervention of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is being sought.Following this, the Russian Embassy will be left to contemplate action on the diplomat. Earlier on Wednesday, the diplomat, who was severely intoxicated, rammed into a police barricade and also rear-ended a motorbike, injuring two.The incident happened late at night around 1:30 am where the diplomat after hitting the bike was asked to stop by the police. But instead of stopping, he slammed his car into the barricade.The diplomat refused to come out of the car and allegedly punched and abused a constable on duty. Besides the other biker who has been admitted in AIIMS, the Russian official also sustained injuries and was seen with a heavily bleeding nose.

Trapped in a watery hell: What it was like to be stuck during the Chennai floods

At first, from what I understood, the entire city had a power shutdown and several areas were waterlogged.

The flooded ground floor in the hospital

Latha Srinivasan
Monday, November 31I woke up expecting to go to work as usual, despite the rain. But by 9 am, things had changed. I had to rush my 72-year-old mother to the hospital as she was unable to move and was slurring. Worried that she had suffered a stroke, I got her admitted immediately at the Global Hospital (Perumbakkam) for an MRI and CT scan. Getting all the required tests took up the whole day, after which I spent a sleepless night at the hospital. Tuesday, December 1Mom was weak and unable to eat and I was anxiously waiting to meet the doctors. It was raining heavily by 9 am and I was informed that the attending physician was running a little late. By noon, I found out that though my mother’s tests were fine, she had extreme weakness and she could be discharged only on Wednesday. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At around 3 pm, my cousin called to inform that I should leave the hospital ASAP as the Perumbakkam lake near the hospital had suffered a breach. I assured him that things seemed fine, so I would manage. However, by 6 pm there was two feet of water at the entrance of the ground floor and the hospital staff had placed sand bags to prevent it from coming inside. Meanwhile, people on Twitter were reporting that heavy rains had caused severe waterlogging in several areas in the city and that people who were stranded were being accommodated in other people’s homes, schools, marriage halls etc. When I went into the cafeteria for dinner at 9 pm, I realised that the situation could soon turn serious as food was running out. There were some 150 patients and those attending to them, stuck in the hospital because of the rain and they all moved to sit in the lobby on the first floor to wait out the night. At 12:30 am, the power suddenly went out and I heard the nurses running around in the darkness. I stepped out to see what was happening and one of the nurses informed me that water had inundated the generator room causing a shutdown. We were now on limited power only for ICU and critical patients. She also told me that there was a lot of water on the ground floor. From what I could see, medical equipment had been moved up to the first floor and were lined up in the corridors. Now, I was worried, but I still didn’t think that there was a need for panic. And who would I call in the middle of the night anyway? From what I understood, the entire city had a power shutdown. So I headed back to the room to get some shut eye.Wednesday, December 2I woke up at 7 am to find out that there was still no electricity and now, no water as well. Luckily, the hospital staff had filled a bucket of water in each room during the night. I immediately ran to check the situation on the ground floor. What I saw startled me. The entire ground floor was filled with dark, murky water. The Sai Baba idol in the lobby, which is a source of resilience and strength during testing times when loved ones are ill, was submerged in four to five feet of water. The hospital had created a makeshift kitchen to provide hot food and beverages to patients as they were the priority. But the 100-odd outpatients and their families had also been stuck there for nearly 24 hours. While the hospital may have been able to provide them some facilities like drinking water, how much longer could everyone be sustained in this water deluge with no power and no access to fresh supplies? People struggled to make calls as the telecom networks were erratic. My mobile had about 40% power and I wasn’t sure how long that would last. When I finally managed to ask one of the doctors what was happening, he said, “There’s some eight feet of water outside the hospital and the only way out is on boats. We have spoken to the relevant people, including the Chief Minister’s office, the Army and others. They have assured us that help is on the way.” It was at this point that I officially panicked – we had no water, no power, no telecom network and no damn way of getting out of the hospital! And my car was sitting in the parking lot in five feet of water.Twitter had come to my rescue earlier, so I quickly managed to send out a couple of tweets asking for help, as only emergency services had power in the hospital and people needed to be rescued immediately. The bad network was causing more panic. But I managed to call Shreesha Reddy of India Today TV and Dhanya Rajendran of The News Minute, both of whom made calls to various people for help. Meanwhile, the hospital staff was working hard to ensure that patients were fine. By 10:45 am, one of the doctors told me there were only three more hours of power left for patients on ventilator. But the nurses said, “Madam, even if we have to pump their hearts manually, we will do it – we will not allow a single patient to die, don’t worry.”There was no help in sight for nearly three hours now and I had been on my feet the whole time, walking around to try and get proper phone network. It was then that a call came through from the Tamil Nadu Health Minister DR C Vijaya Baskar who told me that the fire service personnel and even the army had been informed about helping us. I appraised him about the drastic circumstances and that it had already been nearly 12 hours without electricity.Meanwhile, India Today TV put me live on air to explain what was happening at Global hospitals in Perumbakkam. I did so and continued to wait, hoping to see a boat come in or a helicopter land. But more than an hour passed and there was still was no sign of any help, though the rains had stopped. It was around 12:30 pm that we finally saw a fishing boat come in, evoking spontaneous claps from the almost 50 people standing on the first floor. People started to smile a little and the anxiety reduced, but then came the scramble as to who would leave first. Everyone wanted to get on that boat, but it could accommodate only 12 at a time. Meanwhile, a second boat came in. One of them went in the direction of Shollinganallur and the other to Medavakkam. The administrative staff quickly swung into action before chaos ensued and created a list of dialysis patients and outpatients who had been stranded. They sent them out first and then patients who had got discharged were taken to safety.It was more than two and a half hours later that I could finally get on the boat with my mom. Too weak to walk, she was in a wheelchair and we would have to wade through 3-5 feet of water to get on the boat. But the staff assured me they would figure it out and four men just lifted the wheelchair and carried her over the water and set her on the boat. I was so thankful to them. On the other hand, I was really scared to wade through the muddy water, being petrified of snakes and scorpions. The water was ice cold and waist high and I held the hand of the doctor leading the way, who encouraged me ahead till I reached the boat. Around me in the boat, I saw an old couple, a two-year old who had undergone surgery on his hand crying and being comforted by his parents, and some other patients.But as soon as we got onto the fishing boat, it started to rain again and the fire and rescue personnel told me that we had to wait out the rain. I was exhausted as I had been on my feet for most of the last 24 hours. Nature seemed to be testing everyone beyond their limits. We quickly grabbed umbrellas, plastic bags, towels and anything else we could find, to cover our heads. All of us on the boat – except my mother – were cold and wet and some of us were shivering. No one had eaten anything that day and it was after 2 pm. When the rain slowed a little, I urged the boat guys to move out and we did. We were instructed to sit tight in the boat and not make sudden movements as the boat could be thrown off balance. As soon as we moved out from the hospital portico, the rain and cold wind hit us hard. I was holding the umbrella over my mother’s head, but the rain was ruthless. We were all soaking wet and had to travel nearly 2.5 kms on that boat to get to safety. The men navigated the waters carefully so as not to hit electrical posts, open wires, hard objects or anything else that could fatally injure any of us or leave us stranded in the water. The water depth had to be constantly monitored by men navigating the bot. We saw an ambulance, a water lorry and numerous vehicles sitting in eight feet of water as we moved out of the hospital gates. The area around the hospital is marshy and through the rain and cold we crossed the water body slowly. We actually rode on roads that were inundated in more than five feet of water and saw many homes submerged. There was not a single soul in sight. and the areas were uncannily eery and deserted. That 15-minute ride was perhaps one of the longest ones in my life. I kept asking every few minutes when we would reach safety.Finally at 3 pm, we reached land, after a struggle of over seven hours. But our ordeal wasn’t over yet.​ As soon as got to the Shollinganallur signal, the men quickly helped us out as they needed to go back and fetch more patients. We had been told at the hospital that there were two ambulances and a jeep there, that would help us reach home. The fire and rescue personnel put my mom in the ambulance along with another family. But the ambulance driver flatly refused to drop us home, stating that the vehicle was only to take patients to another hospital. The other family managed to find an auto in the rain, but with my mom unable to walk, I didn’t know what to do. I tried reasoning with the ambulance drivers, but to no avail. I had to leave my mom in the ambulance, to try and make calls, but didn’t have a proper signal and realised I was on my own. After 10 minutes, I headed out to find an auto and saw a government vehicle parked nearby. When I spoke to the gentleman inside, explaining my situation, he replied, “Why don’t you speak to the Health Minister? He is right here.” I have never written much on politics nor do I know the protocol of what one can say or not say to politicians, but in this situation I needed to get my mom home and didn’t care how. Seeing the Health Minister near the boat in two feet of water, I wading there, introduced myself and asked for help. I may have possibly even said so several times in front of TV cameras that seemed to be interviewing him, but I just didn’t care. But the Minister happened to remember having spoken to me on the phone earlier in the morning. Immediately, another man came forward, arranged for a Tata Sumo and had my mom transferred into the vehicle. As soon as I got into the vehicle (which I then knew was the Health Minister’s) Vijaya Baskar and his First Secretary Radhakrishnan came and shook my hand, assuring me, “Don’t worry. We’ll take care. You’ll reach home safely.” I told Radhakrishnan that it was very important that the remaining patients in the hospital got help. He told me they had arranged for a 15 KVA generator, but couldn’t transport it in the boat. “We’re now getting smaller generators that can be taken to the hospital. Don’t worry, we will take care of everyone in the hospital,” he said.I left in the Health Minister’s car, with a fire and rescue person and the driver, and finally reached home at about 4 pm. The fire and rescue person carried my mom up the flight of stars and gently sat her in the sofa in the living room. My mother and I hadn’t had even a drop of water for over nine hours by then. But we were both finally safe and back home and I have never been so relieved in my life. Besides, when I saw the newspapers over the next few days or so, I realised that the Health Minister and Radhakrishnan had kept their word – they had helped the hospital and ensured that not one patient’s life was lost there. And I was truly grateful to them for that.

Dadri Lynching: Police documents raise doubts on weapons used by accused

A senior police officer, when asked if Vishal and Shivam were taken by police to identify more suspects, said, “The accused had identified some people but we cannot arrest them arbitrarily. The accused have tendency to mislead the police but it is our job to refine the evidence gathering process”.

A file photo of Danish Saifi

Even though Mohamad Akhlaq’s family have repeatedly expressed their satisfaction over the investigation into the brutal murder over beef, this September, police documents raise certain questions which cops might find hard to answer when the case will go on trial, later this month. As per the recovery memo, which lists the weapons recovered by the police in the aftermath of the murder, they have recovered just five sticks. Out of the 10 arrested, police says no weapons have been recovered from four of the arrested men, which include Shivam and Vishal Rana, the son of a local BJP leader. Police claimed to have recovered five sticks, out of which three are shown to be smeared with blood. An iron rod is shown to have been recovered from one of the accused identified as Vivek. The other accused in the case from whom police have recovered a weapon include Rupinder, Om, Sandeep , Saurav and Gaurav. The recovery memo does not clearly mention Vishal and Shivam, who, allegedly, were the ones to have announced from a temple in Dadri’s Bisara village on the night of September 28, that Akhlaq had slaughtered a cow. Interestingly, in early November, Subodh Singh, the investigating officer of the case, was transferred to Varanasi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Meanwhile, in his statement in front of a magistrate, Danish Saifi identified three more men involved in the attack, taking the number of accused to 19. The statement quotes Danish saying that the accused, after using abuses against him and his father, alleged that they had slaughtered a cow. The mob, according to Danish said, ‘Maaron saalon ko. Hinduon ka khoon pani samajh rakha hai (Beat this scum up. They think Hindu blood is like water) Confessional statements of Shivam and Vishal, accessed by dna, also quote the two main accused on how they attacked Akhlaq and his younger son Danish, after they found out that the family had slaughtered a cow. In addition to the confession, police documents quoted Vishal stating, “I know the people who provoked us to take the step. I don’t know them by their name but I can recognise their faces and can identify them if police takes us to them”. A senior police officer, when asked if Vishal and Shivam were taken by police to identify more suspects, said, “The accused had identified some people but we cannot arrest them arbitrarily. The accused have tendency to mislead the police but it is our job to refine the evidence gathering process”. The “evidence gathering process”, which the senior police official mentioned, also takes into account fine details of the case such as who among the accused used what kind of weapons to attack Akhlaq and Danish. According to medical reports, while Akhlaq had sustained 18 injuries, Danish had also suffered multiple injuries including a fractured skull. It is yet to be known if police has established the exact role of each of the accused men. When asked to comment on the ongoing probe, Yusuf Saifi, counsel for Akhlaq’s family said, “If we find any discrepancies in the probe we will point them out to the authorities. SSP Kiren S and the police team investigating the matter have done a great job till now. We hope police uncovers the entire truth.”

Tamil Nadu relief efforts shadowed by ‘Amma stickers’ row, AIADMK denies role

As soon as messages went viral on social media claiming that “AIADMK workers” were asking NGOs and volunteers to paste “Amma” stickers over relief material, the ruling party sent across counter-messages.

Twitter
The ongoing relief work in Tamil Nadu has been shadowed by charges in social media that AIADMK workers were nudging NGOs to paste stickers of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on relief material, a claim dismissed by the ruling party as “false”.As soon as messages went viral on social media claiming that “AIADMK workers” were asking NGOs and volunteers to paste “Amma” stickers over relief material, the ruling party sent across counter-messages.It said such claims in the social media were totally false and asked volunteers to complain to party headquarters or police if at all such demands were made.”We wish to reiterate that there is no such message in any form to anyone from the party. It is evident that it was a rumour and work by unscrupulous elements to defame the party and our honourable Chief Minister,” a senior AIADMK functionary declining to be named, told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is a rumour, a canard spread by unscrupulous elements,” he said, adding efforts were being made to identify them. To another question, he said, “there is no need for us to insist that stickers of the CM be pasted on relief material. Our partymen are already busy discharging duties assigned to them in connection with relief work,” he said.He said there was a report of a relief-truck halted on Tiruvallur-Tiruttani Road, by some men who falsely claimed to be ruling party workers, asking them to paste “Amma” stickers and banners.Following such claims in the social media, DMK chief Karunanidhi had hit out at AIADMK “for delaying relief by many hours” so as “to paste stickers of Amma on relief materials to seek publicity.”Meanwhile, a Defence Public relations official here said Army men have been sent to Cuddalore for relief work.On reports of “logistical glitches” in relief work involving Army personnel here due to lack of coordination among State, Central agencies, he said, “Relief work is going on by the Army,” but declined to elaborate.Also Read: AIADMK asks volunteers to call and register complaints. Read full report here

Aurangabad doctors summoned in kidney racket probe in Akola

For the last three days, Akola police have been trying to connect the missing links in the racket. According to police sources, it’s likely that many others too are involved in the racket. So far, five victims have approached the police.

After one of the victims identified in connection with the kidney racket busted recently in Akola revealed that her kidney was removed at an hospital in Aurangabad, Akola police, on Saturday, summoned four doctors from Aurangabad for enquiry. Akola police also took the first victim, who highlighted the issue of kidney racketing, for conduct of medical check-up. The suspected international kidney racket was brought to light after one Santosh Gawli lodged a police complaint, alleging his kidney was removed in Sri Lanka.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Akola police then arrested a moneylender, who had forced a daily-wage worker to travel to Sri Lanka to sell his kidney to repay a debt of Rs 20,000, and two others. For the last three days, Akola police have been trying to connect the missing links in the racket. According to police sources, it’s likely that many others too are involved in the racket. So far, five victims have approached the police. Chandrakishore Meena, SP, Akola, said police are making enquiries in connection with the case. “We have called four doctors from Aurangabad to give us details about the surgery and they have been asked to submit all the documents in this connection.” Doc duped of Rs 5 lakh Meanwhile, one more case involving a kidney racket has emerged. Three persons, including two women from Delhi, allegedly duped a Thane doctor of Rs 5 lakh after promising him to get a kidney transplant done for his ailing father. The doctor concerned was looking for a matching donor when he came in contact with the trio – Khaif Khan, Karippa and Neha Mehra – who posed as employees of Max Hospital in Delhi. They demanded Rs 20 lakh from Krishna and asked for Rs 5 lakh in advance. They took the patient to Delhi a few months back and kept him there for some days only to be sent back citing unavailability of donors in September this year. As nothing materialised after that, the doctor grew suspicious and lodged a cheating complaint on Friday evening. The Badlapur police have filed cases under sections 420, and 406 rw 34 of the IPC and have launched a hunt for the trio.

Sunil Paraskar gets relief in rape case; victim model says will move Bombay High Court

Paraskar, in July, 2015, had filed an application for discharge on the grounds that the allegations leveled against him were false and claimed that he had enough evidence to prove that the victim fabricated the case with an intention to implicate him and teach him a lesson.

Suspended police officer Sunil Paraskar was on Friday discharged from an alleged rape case which a 26-year-old model had slapped against him in May 2014. While the Dindoshi sessions court is yet to put out the detailed order copy, the victim said she would definitely approach the Bombay high court to seek justice. Paraskar, in July, 2015, had filed an application for discharge on the grounds that the allegations leveled against him were false and claimed that he had enough evidence to prove that the victim fabricated the case with an intention to implicate him and teach him a lesson.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Paraskar, who was represented by lawyers Rizwaan Merchant and B Jagtaap before the sessions court, in the discharge application asked, “Is it possible for a girl, who has been allegedly raped, to continue maintain a pally relationship with the accused and keep sending messages to him on a friendly note?” Stating that the entire case was false and fabricated, Advocate Jagtaap said, “We have evidence in the form of the video recording, produced by one of the lawyers who initially appeared on behalf of the victim, showing the victim – while discussing the case with the advocate – stating that she wants to fix the IPS officer permanently.” He further said the defence was quite clear while arguing the matter. “Our stand was that the evidence in the charge sheet is so weak that – even if the court proceeds with recording the evidence – the case would not culminate in conviction and proceeding with the case would be a waste of court’s precious time. The police had hurriedly registered the case without verifying the facts.” Meanwhile, the prosecution claimed that the entire act of balancing and evaluating the evidence would only come at the later state of trial. “Prima facie there was enough evidence. However, the decision of either approaching the higher authorities would be taken only after going through the detailed order copy,” the prosecution said. Paraskar had been charged with various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 376(2) (rape by a police officer), 376 C (intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand home, etc) and 354(D) (stalking), which the model had accused against the officer.

Beef vs Pork fest: Police step in to stop both events on Osmania University campus

The DCP also sought the co-operation of students to enusre peace, adding all possible steps would be taken to maintain tranquillity in the campus.

Seeking to avoid a showdown between rival camps of students at Osmania University by holding “beef” and “pork” festivals on the same day, police on Friday stepped in saying they would not permit any event that would mar peace in the campus. “In order to maintain peace and tranquillity on the campus, with regard to proposed festivities in the Osmania University campus in next 8 days, it is decided not to permit celebration of any festivities on the campus by any students/ organisations/groups,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (East Zone) A Ravinder said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The DCP also sought the co-operation of students to ensure peace, adding all possible steps would be taken to maintain tranquillity in the campus. While Leftist student organisations have declared that they would hold a ‘beef festival’ on December 10 in the campus, coinciding with the World Human Rights Day, another group of students announced plans to organise a ‘pork festival’ in parallel on the same day, setting the stage for a confrontation.Escalating the row, BJP MLA Raja Singh had said that he would stop the proposed ‘beef festival’ and called for a ‘Chalo University’ march on that day. The university authorities had earlier said that activities such as ‘beef festival’ and ‘gau (cow) puja’, which are not related to academics and research, will not be permitted in the campus. Meanwhile,Chairman of the Minorities’ Commission for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Abid Rasool Khan, said he will write to Telangana government seeking action against Raja Singh for his alleged “provocative statements” on the issue. Asked about the MLA’s reported statement that he would “kill or be killed to protect cows” to oppose the beef festival, Khan said “Telangana government has to seriously look into this matter and we will also write to government in this regard.”The Commission, following complaints over Singh’s speeches, had called for reports from the state government and the police. The minorities panel serves both the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Beef vs Pork Festival: Showdown likely in Osmania University campus

The organisers of the beef ‘festival’ had said that it was being planned as a means to “save democratic principles” in the wake of alleged attempts to curb dietary habits of certain groups, coinciding with International Human Rights Day on December 10.

A showdown appears to be on cards on Thursday with the defiant students’ group deciding to go ahead with its plan to conduct a ‘Beef Festival’ on December 10 in Osmania University campus here despite university authorities’ refusal of permission and a BJP MLA vowing to stop it.Another group of students had announced plans to organise a ‘Pork festival’ in the university campus on December 10. “In fact, we did not apply for permission. Permission is not required for what we eat in our college and our hostel. We will definitely go ahead with the event,” Shankar, an organiser of the ‘Beef Festival’, said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Noting that Ganesh festival and “Nagula Chavati” celebrations, among others, do take place at the campus, he asked how come these religious events are taking place in the university premises with people from outside coming in. Meanwhile, BJP MLA Raja Singh, who had vowed to stop the ‘Beef Festival’, said he would go ahead with his plan if the organisers tried to conduct the event even after refusal of permission.”101 per cent, we will stop it, if they go ahead with the Beef Festival even after the government saying so (denying permission),” Raja Singh said.He had earlier said a ‘Gau puja’ should also be allowed on December 10 if the ‘Beef Festival’ is permitted. Raja Singh had also hit out at Telangana BJP President G Kishan Reddy for “not speaking in favour of stopping the “Beef Festival” and demanded his resignation, saying his action amounted to “stunting the growth of BJP in Telangana”.The organisers of the beef ‘festival’ had said that it was being planned as a means to “save democratic principles” in the wake of alleged attempts to curb dietary habits of certain groups, coinciding with International Human Rights Day on December 10.They said they have also complained to the State Human Rights Commission against Raja Singh for his “provocative comments”. Pork has been a nutritious food choice and “pig-rearing provided livelihood to certain communities” in the country, said Solanki Srinivas, a leader of the students’ group in the varsity planning to hold ‘Pork Festival’.OU authorities said yesterday the university has been established for the purpose of imparting higher education and conducting research in various disciplines. “The primary objective of the University is purely academic and research oriented. It is, therefore, informed to all the concerned including the teachers, students and staff of the university that activities such as “Beef Festival” and “Gau-Puja” which are unrelated to academics and research will not be permitted on the campus,” they said.

Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa to conduct aerial survey of flood affected areas

Earlier, Jayalalithaa had sought Rs. 2,000 crore for flood relief work. The Centre released a financial aid of Rs. 939.63 crore. Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha members offered to donate a part of their MPLADS fund for rehabilitation and rescue work.

Chennai floods
File Photo
PTI
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa will conduct an aerial survey of flood affected areas of Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallu on Thursday.There is water logging in many parts of Chennai due to heavy rains and normal lives remains disrupted. More than 500 people have so far been evacuated in flood-hit Tamil Nadu by several National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, claimed OP Singh, NDRF Director General (DG), on Wednesday. “The teams have evacuated more than 500 people so far. Also, we are getting calls, messages from affected people and our teams are responding accordingly,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, the Indian Air Force (IAF) lifted three NDRF teams from the Palam airport for flood-hit Tamil Nadu on Wednesday evening with relief materials. Earlier, Jayalalithaa had sought Rs. 2,000 crore for flood relief work. The Centre released a financial aid of Rs. 939.63 crore. Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha members offered to donate a part of their MPLADS fund for rehabilitation and rescue work.Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took stock of the flood situation in Tamil Nadu and discussed it with his cabinet colleagues, including the Home and Finance Ministers. “I want to inform the House that today morning the Prime Minister met the Home Minister, Finance Minister and myself and discussed the flood conditions in Tamil Nadu. We exchanged information on the situation,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said in the Lok Sabha.The Indian Air Force has already deployed two MI-17 choppers at Tambaram and two MI-17s are being moved from Tirupati to Chennai for relief and rescue operations. Five Chetak helicopters are also operating from Tambaram. In addition, four MI-17 – two each at Bangalore and Nagpur – are on standby.The National Disaster Management Authority will coordinate the relief activities on behalf of the Centre. The authority has a round-the-clock Toll Free helpline number 1078 for this purpose.Heavy rains and water overflowing above the danger level at Railway Bridges in Chennai-Gudur section has impacted the functioning of trains following which the South Central Railway (SCR) has cancelled 12 trains and assured full refunds of fare for the same.Meanwhile, Tambaram railway station in Chennai has been turned into a makeshift shelter for the stranded passengers there. Chennai Airport will remain closed till Friday. From Thursday, Chennai bound flights will be landing at INS Rajali Airbase of Indian Navy at Arakonam which is about 60 kilometers from Chennai.

Very heavy rains may lash Tamil Nadu over next 2 days: Regional Meteorological Centre

Due to the low pressure over southwest Bay of Bengal rains could be expected at some places in Tamil Nadu and Puduchery, the weather office said.

People being rescued from Chennai floods earlier this week

PTI
The low pressure over Bay of Bengal will bring rains to Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Sunday, the Regional Meteorological Center said on Saturday, warning of ‘heavy to very heavy rains’ for the two days.Due to the low pressure over southwest Bay of Bengal rains could be expected at some places in Tamil Nadu and Puduchery, the weather office said. There was a possibility of rains in most places in the state and the neighbouring union territory for the next two days with the likelihood of heavy to very heavy rains in some places, it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Vedaranyam (Nagapattinam) and Adiramapatinam (Tanjavur) received 3 cm and 2 cm of rainfall, respectively. Meanwhile, the inter-ministerial Central team which is touring the state to assess the damage caused by rains and flood will submit its report to the Centre within a week, TVSN Prasad, Joint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry, who is leading the team, said.Related Read: Tamil Nadu rains: A break down of the flood situation in numbers

My statement blown out of proportion, claims suspended BJP MLA OP Sharma

Sharma has already stands suspended for the entire winter session of the Delhi assembly for his remarks against Lamba, while the matter was referred to the house ethics committee on Thursday.

AAP MLA Alka Lamba

A high drama ensued at the Delhi assembly on Friday with AAP legislator Alka Lamba and five other party legislators walking out demanding fast-tracking of the house ethics committee’s decision on BJP lawmaker OP Sharma. Speaking to dna, Lamba said Sharma’s membership of the assembly should be revoked. “He has called me goondi (thug) on several occasions during the session, but the tipping point for was when he questioned my character,”Lamba said, adding that justice should be delivered in this session itself.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Sharma has already stands suspended for the entire winter session of the Delhi assembly for his remarks against Lamba, while the matter was referred to the house ethics committee on Thursday. “He is calling me his sister and on the back foot now, but have not apologised to me. I’m not willing to forgive him,”Lamba said. She further alleged that instead of taking action against Sharma, leader of opposition Vijendra has brought a stop work proposal. “Surprisingly, the BJP MLAs had blamed us for hindering work in the assembly,”Lamba said.However, Sharma said the entire episode in the assembly has been scripted by AAP as part of their preparations for the Punjab assembly elections.The issue of drug abuse is prevalent in Punjab. He says a discussion on the deaths of homeless people’s death was underway at the assembly. “It was on police record that the deaths were due to cold, while Lamba claimed they were a result of drug addiction. She claims to be working for homeless drug addicts late nights, to which I merely reiterated. That particular statement was taken out of context and blown out of proportion,”said Sharma.Asked to explain his ‘goondi’comments, Sharma said they were based on clear CCTV footages on how she bullied the shopkeepers during an anti-drug drive in August this year.The winter session was to end on Saturday, but has now been extended till December 4. 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi assembly are under AAP, while there are just three BJP legislators. Meanwhile, amidst the chaos, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015, was tabled in the house, of which a no detention policy for students up to class VIII is a highlight.

My statement was taken out of context, blown out of proportion, claims suspended BJP MLA

Sharma has already stands suspended for the entire winter session of the Delhi assembly for his remarks against Lamba, while the matter was referred to the house ethics committee on Thursday.

A high drama ensued at the Delhi assembly on Friday with AAP legislator Alka Lamba and five other party legislators walking out demanding fast-tracking of the house ethics committee’s decision on BJP lawmaker O.P. Sharma. Speaking to dna, Lamba said Sharma’s membership of the assembly should be revoked. “He has called me goondi (thug) on several occasions during the session, but the tipping point for was when he questioned my character,”Lamba said, adding that justice should be delivered in this session itself.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Sharma has already stands suspended for the entire winter session of the Delhi assembly for his remarks against Lamba, while the matter was referred to the house ethics committee on Thursday. “He is calling me his sister and on the back foot now, but have not apologised to me. I’m not willing to forgive him,”Lamba said. She further alleged that instead of taking action against Sharma, leader of opposition Vijendra has brought a stop work proposal. “Surprisingly, the BJP MLAs had blamed us for hindering work in the assembly,”Lamba said.However, Sharma said the entire episode in the assembly has been scripted by AAP as part of their preparations for the Punjab assembly elections.The issue of drug abuse is prevalent in Punjab. He says a discussion on the deaths of homeless people’s death was underway at the assembly. “It was on police record that the deaths were due to cold, while Lamba claimed they were a result of drug addiction. She claims to be working for homeless drug addicts late nights, to which I merely reiterated. That particular statement was taken out of context and blown out of proportion,”said Sharma.Asked to explain his ‘goondi’comments, Sharma said they were based on clear CCTV footages on how she bullied the shopkeepers during an anti-drug drive in August this year.The winter session was to end on Saturday, but has now been extended till December 4. 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi assembly are under AAP, while there are just three BJP legislators. Meanwhile, amidst the chaos, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015, was tabled in the house, of which a no detention policy for students up to class VIII is a highlight.

Saradha scam: CBI might shift Madan Mitra to another state

The source said that if CBI at all decided to shift Mitra from West Bengal, then that would be for getting more disclosures about his alleged involvement in the scam.

Madan Mitra

Trinamool Congress MLA and former minister Madan Mitra might be shifted to another state by the Special Crime branch of CBI probing the multi-crore Saradha ponzi scam.”We may decide to shift Madan Mitra to another state. A decision which is yet to be taken,” a CBI source investigating the scam told PTI. Mitra, who was arrested by the agency last December, is currently lodged in Alipore central correctional home after his bail was rejected by Calcutta High Court recently. To a query, he said “it is not a question whether we are happy or not happy by keeping Mitra here. We are very professional in our approach and do what is required as per law”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We were not happy when Mitra was granted bail by a lower court for which the high court was moved instantly,” he said. During his confinement since December, Mitra spent most of the time in a state-run hospital before his short-lived bail citing various ailments. However, doubts were raised about his illness as he was discharged the next day after he got the bail and declared medically fit by the hospital authorities.The source said that if CBI at all decided to shift Mitra from West Bengal, then that would be for getting more disclosures about his alleged involvement in the scam. CBI had also named Mitra as a major beneficiary in the supplementary chargesheet which it had submitted in the court. Meanwhile, CBI has summoned Trinamool Congress state general secretary Shankudeb Panda for interrogation regarding the Saradha scam tomorrow.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announces ban on sale of alcohol from April 1, 2016

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday announced that sale of alcohol will be banned in the state from April 1 next year.

File photo

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday announced that sale of alcohol will be banned in the state from April 1 next year.Keeping one of his promises made before the Bihar Assembly elections, Nitish Kumar said, “I know people will say that even after banning liquor it will be sold illegally, if it happens then we will deal with that strongly.”He further added, “Women in the state started an anti-liquor campaign, I really appreciated that. Those villages which will help us in our campaign against liquor will be awarded.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, LJP leader Chirag Paswan said, “Welcome move of banning sale of liquor. let’s see how successful it is.”According to reports, the Bihar government earned nearly Rs. 3,500 crore last year through taxes on the sale of alcohol.This is the first major announcement by Kumar since he was sworn in as Chief Minister for the fifth time last week.

Read: Here’s what Rahul Mukerjea emailed to his father Peter when Sheena Bora disappeared in 2012

The Sheena Bora murder case has has taken a new twist with various news channels gaining access to Rahul Mukerjea’s email to his father Peter a month after Sheena’s “disappearance” on 27 May, 2012. Rahul, in the email documents accessed by CNN-IBN writes” this is all mighty strange.”

“No Facebook activity, she is usually very active leaving comments and post for her friends the 21st April. Then there are the dodgy (contradictory) texts I receive on the 25th April, but no confirmation,” the e-mail reads.

“It has been more than 1 month now and I am sure that your are aware that I have still not heard from Sheena herself. The text message that I receive from her cellphone on 25th April expressing her desire to discontinue our relationship.”

“I can deal with a break-up myself, but this seems more like a missing persons. There may be more trouble ahead,” the e-mail reads.

“In the past, Indrani has sent e-mails and texts from other people’s account or phone. In fact I received a text from you from other number,” he elaborates.

“I cannot fully accept as in the past there was instance where I had received text message from you pretending to be Pete (papa) while I was speaking to him on the phone.

“I have (sought) legal advice in this situation and have been advised that circumstances surrounding her disappearance are characteristic of something untoward,” the e-mail adds.

In the letter, Rahul warned Indrani to reveal the truth saying she has impersonated Sheena in the past. “If the report goes to public domain it will raise a lot of question for lot of people. I have sought legal advice, advised that circumstances surrounding her disappearance are characteristic of something untoward. Even Sheena’s work place believes signature on resignation letter forged,” warns Rahul.

CNN IBN image.CNN IBN image.

IBN-Live image.

Peter replied to Rahul saying, “Let bygones be bygones. Lets all move on and be happy.”

In his email, Rahul said that he had sought legal advice and was warned that Sheena’s disappearance could lead to something “untoward”. He also questioned Indrani as to why Sheena did not take any personal belongings and why none of her close friends and family members had heard from her.

Rahul wrote that for some reason, “… the truth is being withheld” and that Sheena’s well-being is his only concern.

Peter Mukerjea is the fourth accused to be arrested in connection with the case so far. His wife Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her driver Shyamvar Rai were arrested by the CBI earlier.

“Rahul Mukerjea is an important link in the murder of Sheena Bora, as he has provided several important materials to the investigators against the accused in the case,” the CBI source added to PTI.

According to investigators, Sheena was blackmailing Indrani that if she did not give her a 3BHK flat in the city, she would expose her by telling people that she was Indrani’s daughter, and not sister, as the latter had claimed. Meanwhile, the police custody of Peter, who was arrested on Thursday last, will end today and the CBI is expected to seek further remand of his, a CBI officer said to PTI.

With inputs from PTI

Congress to contest Uttar Pradesh elections on its own

Meanwhile, former Union Minister Khurshid told ANI that the overall sentiment during the meeting was that to contest elections alone, but added that things depend on ground realities.

. “In today’s meeting, the notion of alliance was out rightly rejected,” PL Punia said.

File Photo
The Uttar Pradesh Congress convened a meeting here on Saturday in which it was decided that the party would contest the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections on its own.The decision taken at the ‘UP Congress Chitan Shivir’ puts to rest speculation of the Congress contesting the UP elections in alliance with regional parties. The meeting, which was attended by UP Congress Working Committee (CWC) members, former Congress Ministers and MPs, was held at Himachal Bhawan.UP Congress general secretary Madhusudan Mistry, UP congress president Nirmal Khatri, former union minister Salman Khurshid, Congress leaders PL. Punia, R P N Singh, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Rajiv Shulka were among those present at the meeting. “All the senior leaders of the Congress party have rejected any coalition politics in Uttar Pradesh and they have asked that the Congress should contest the elections on its own,” RPN Singh told media after the meeting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, former Union Minister Khurshid told ANI that the overall sentiment during the meeting was that to contest elections alone, but added that things depend on ground realities. “In today’s meeting, the notion of alliance was out rightly rejected,” PL Punia said.

ASEAN Summit: Tricolour upside down as Modi, Abe shake hands; Twitterati wonder how PM failed to notice

Narendra Modi greeting Shinzo Abe of Japan at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Malaysia with the Indian flag hung upside down in the background.

ANI
In an embarrassment for India, the tricolour was seen hoisted upside down during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo-op with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe before bilateral talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.The national flag was in the background of Prime Minister Modi and Abe’s customary handshake at the Summit and was hoisted on a stand next to that of Japan.The flag is seen with the green at the top and the saffron below as the two leaders met for the second bilateral on the sidelines of 13th ASEAN-India Summit here.”It was an inadvertent mistake in the rush of things. It was unfortunate,” official sources requesting anonymity told PTI<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, the Ministry of External Affairs is yet to comment on it Meanwhile, Twitterati wondered how PM failed to notice. Some also said that it was careless mistake by the organisers, demanding an explanation too.Prime Minister Modi is in Malaysia for the summit and will be addressing the Indian diaspora there on Sunday. In his speech he emphasised on India’s economic growth, strong fundamentals, regular reforms and a welcoming environment setting the premises for asking investors to look at India. At the ASEAN Summit in Malaysia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked the global investment community to invest in India and draw comfort from its fast economic growth, strong fundamentals, continuous reforms and a welcoming environment. “By almost every major economic indicator India’s doing better than when we took office 18 months ago,” Modi spoke.

Social media reacts strongly to Kerala Education Minister’s comments

The Minister recently stated that boys and girls shouldn’t sit together in class on campus.

Kerala Education Minister Rabb

On November 17, Kerala Education Minister PK Abdu Rabb stated, “As education minister I don’t agree to the practice of boys and girls sitting next to each other in the classroom.” He further added that they could next to each other on chairs, but not together on benches.Predictably, his comments have not gone down well with many people in Kerala and on social media. Meanwhile, there have also been protests in Kerala on the statement. On Wednesday, students from the Ernakulam Law College formed a human chain in protest against the Rabb’s comments.The New Indian Express has quoted Tito Antony, KSU Ernakulam district committee president, as saying, “These are times in which men and women scale new heights irrespective of their gender. The minister’s comment is ridiculous. I think he doesn’t know which time he is living in. We will come out strongly against such institutions which campaign to bar boys and girls from behaving normally.”

After being battered by rains for four days, Tamil Nadu breathes a sigh of relief as normalcy returns

Chennai: Much to the relief of people of Tamil Nadu, the fury of North East monsoon has subsided with only a few districts experiencing rains and life has been gradually limping back to normal.

The death toll in rain-related incidents across Tamil Nadu stands at 79.

Tiruvallur district along with some areas around Madurai had experienced moderate showers even as the severely affected Kancheepuram was inching back to normalcy. In Chennai, civic authorities were pumping out water from inundated localities in south suburban Velachery, one of the worst affected, with boats being used to transport people to safer places.

Image courtesy: APImage courtesy: AP

Image courtesy: AP

Boats had also been deployed at Velachery, Perumbakkam, Saidapet, Thoraipakkam and Nandambakkam to rescue people. Meanwhile, areas in Korattur in the city were still in knee-deep water and according to authorities it could take a couple of days for water to dry up fully. Suburban areas in the city were still inundated.

In Kancheepuram district, the Army and Air Force were deployed since Tuesday to rescue stranded citizens as torrential rains left residents marooned. Respite from rains for the last two days enabled people to venture out to buy essential commodities. The Navy and Coast Guard had also joined rescue operations.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has already announced an allocation of Rs 500 crore towards relief and rehabilitation besides a solatium for the next of kin of the dead.

According to the Met office, there could be rains in the neighbouring union territory of Puducherry besides moderate rain in some areas of Chennai on Wednesday. The state has largely been spared of any outbreak of diseases after the incessant rains following precautionary measures launched by authorities.

Vegetable prices, especially in the affected areas, have skyrocketed following poor arrival of the produce from other states.

Southern Railway had on Tuesday cancelled over 15 trains bound for various destinations due to water-logging on tracks. A few trains were also cancelled today.

Most of the schools and colleges in Chennai and suburbs remained closed on Wednesday.

PTI

West Bengal: Man dies after RPF personnel allegedly pushes him off for boarding ladies coach

Railway services on the Howrah-Bandel line has been suspended currently.

dna Research & Archives
A man was pushed off a running train at Hindmotor of Hooghly district of West Bengal on Tuesday. The 35-year-old man, identified as Dipu Sharma, succumbed to death.Sharma had boarded the ladies coach of the local train on the Howrah-Bandel line when a female RPF personnel spotted him and allegedly pushed him off the running train. Later, passengers started an agitation on the Hindmotor railway station condemning the incident. The RPF had to allegedly resort to a lathicharge to disperse agitators. The passengers in return pelted stones at the RPF personnel.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, tension prevails at the railway station and massive police force has been deployed at the spot to maintain law and order. The police, on the other hand, has ordered a probe into the matter. Railway services on the Howrah-Bandel line have been suspended currently.

Nurses at Delhi civic body-run hospitals go on strike over staff shortage, pending promotions

New Delhi: Nurses at the major municipal corporation-run hospitals in the national capital launched an indefinite strike on Monday, causing inconvenience for the patients admitted at these facilities.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The striking nurses are demanding recruitment for filling of staff shortages and clearance of pending promotions.

Among the hospitals where nurses have gone on strike are the Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, Swami Dayanand Hospital, Kasturba Hospital and Rajan Babu TB Hospital.

“We have raised these issues several times with the municipal corporation. Nurses have repeatedly requested the authorities concerned to look into these issues.

“The administration has not responded. We are launching an indefinite strike from today. Promotions for nurses who have been in the department for years are still pending. How can we continue to work under such conditions?” said Sushma Kumari, president, Delhi Nurses Union.

“Nurses from Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, Swami Dayanand Hospital, Kasturba Hospital and Rajan Babu TB Hospital have joined the strike,” she added.

A senior nurse at Rajan Babu TB Hospital, said, “Patients are being inconvenienced; the administration should initiate negotiations to settle the issues. There is acute staff shortage and the administration should take stock of the situation.”

Meanwhile, authorities said that more nurses have been pressed into service recently and the administration is looking into the demands of the nurses.

PTI

Shiv Sena pushes for Mayor bungalow as site for Bal Thackeray memorial

Ministers in Maharashtra are likely to raise the memorial site issue with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

The scenic bungalow offers an uninterrupted view of Dadar Chowpatty and has been the official residence of Mayor for more than four decades now.

As the Shiv Sena gets ready to observe the death anniversary of its founder Bal Thackeray tomorrow, the party is reportedly pushing for the city Mayor’s bungalow as the site for the late leader’s grand memorial. The sea-side bungalow is located across Shivaji Park in Dadar, where Thackeray established the Shiv Sena in 1966 and also addressed the annual Dussehra rallies. A senior Sena leader, requesting anonymity, today said party Ministers in Maharashtra are likely to raise the memorial site issue with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow. The Government has set up a committee, headed by Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya, to suggest sites for the grand memorial.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A government official said the panel has submitted its report. “The final decision is to be taken by the Chief Minister who also holds Urban Development portfolio,” he said. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Sena leader said the party is sticking to the choice of Mayor’s residence and is averse to raising the memorial at Wadala (one of the suggested sites) as it is too far away from Shivaji Park and nearby Sena Bhavan, the party headquarters. “The Sena has made elaborate arrangements to announce the selection of the memorial site once the Chief Minister approves the proposal” he added.Thackeray, who died on November 17, 2012, was cremated at the Shivaji Park, the sprawling ground which currently houses a small memorial for him in a corner. The Sena-ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has constructed a landscaped garden at the cremation site, where Shiv Sainiks visit regularly to pay their respect to the late leader. “During his lifetime, Balasaheb had hosted several top political leaders and held important meetings at the Mayor’s bungalow,” he said.The scenic bungalow offers an uninterrupted view of Dadar Chowpatty and has been the official residence of Mayor for more than four decades now. A piece of land adjacent to the residence may have to be acquired for the memorial, the Sena leader said. “Both the adjacent land and Mayor’s bungalow belong to the BMC and hence there will not be much of a problem.” Meanwhile, MNS chief Raj Thackeray, accompanied by historian Babasaheb Purandare, today visited Nashik to conceptualise and finalise a site for another memorial for his late uncle in the city, about 200 km from Mumbai.

Odisha: 3 trains catch fire at Puri railway station

Train services to and from Puri railway station had been suspended for the time being, an official said.

A high-level probe has been launched into the incident and efforts are on to ascertain the circumstances that led to the fire, the CPRO said.

A fire broke out on Thursday in three express trains at Puri railway station here, damaging at least four bogies, but no one got injured in the incident, railway officials said. Some bogies of New Delhi-Puri Nandankanan Express and Tirupati Express were damaged due to the fire, but there was no report of injury, Chief Public Relations Officer of East Coast Railway JP Mishra said. The fire first started in coach No 11 and 12 of the Nandankanan Express shortly after it arrived at platform No 4 from New Delhi and the passengers had disembarked, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a short while, fire erupted in the Tirupati Express which was on platform No 2 and fire tenders were called in to control the blaze, officials said adding there were no passengers in these trains. Thereafter, a fire also broke out in the Puri-Howrah Express which was scheduled for departure tonight, triggering successfully panic among passengers, they said. A high-level probe has been launched into the incident and efforts are on to ascertain the circumstances that led to the fire, the CPRO said.Train services to and from Puri railway station had been suspended for the time being, he said. At least six fire tenders where called who successfully controlled the fire. Also, railway officials are working on war footing to restore normalcy. Meanwhile, Railway Protection Force personnel have detained a man on suspicion of his complicity in the fire incident.

Goa priest’s death: Kin meet CM Laxmikant Parsekar for speedy probe

Bismarque’s family suspect foul play in his death last week and had yesterday refused to organise his funeral seeking a swift probe into the incident.

Family called on Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar over activist’s death probe (Image source: goabjp website)

The family of activist and Catholic priest Bismarque Dias, whose body was found in a river in his village under mysterious circumstances last week, called on Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday and demanded speedy probe into the incident even as they continue to put on hold Dias’s funeral. “Parsekar assured the family members of the deceased that his viscera report as well as the preliminary death report will be made available expeditiously,” said Valmiki Naik, an activist who was part of delegation comprising Dias’s kin that met the CM. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bismarque’s family suspect foul play in his death last week and had yesterday refused to organise his funeral seeking a swift probe into the incident. They have kept the body in morgue. Bismarque, a non-practising Catholic priest and an activist, was found dead on November 7 in the backwaters of his village St Estevam after going missing on November 5. Meanwhile, BJP legislator Vishnu Wagh, who claims himself to be classmate of the deceased, has demanded that a special investigation team be set up to ensure a “fair” probe. “Goa’s firebrand environmentalist and social activist has died under mysterious circumstances. His friends and relatives are not ready to believe that his death was accidental and many people have expressed fear that somebody might have conspired to physically eliminate the fighter father,” Wagh said in a letter.A delegation, led by Bismarque’s brother Mario Dias, yesterday called upon state DGP T N Mohan and demanded that the probe be handed over to the crime branch. Bismarque was the leader of a band of musicians who used to organise musical protests against several projects in the coastal state including an upcoming golf course and a new greenfield airport. He was currently spearheading a protest against the government’s plans to build an electronic city in the state.He was also involved in protest against several tourism projects requiring large-scale land acquisition. On November 5, he went for an overnight picnic with two friends and was seen last going for a swim in the river. While the first autopsy report said he died of drowning, the second autopsy, conducted due to public pressure, said there were no external injuries but the cause of death can not be ascertained until the viscera report comes.

Tipu celebrations: Calm finally returning to violence-hit Madikeri

A youth who received gunshot wounds during the violent incidents on Tuesday was “very critical” at a private hospital in Mysuru, a senior police official said.

Tipu Sultan
Wikimedia Commons

Uneasy calm prevailed here and elsewhere in Kodagu district where a BJP enforced a bandh on Wednesday, a day after being rocked by violence over celebrations of the birth centenary of 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan that claimed the life of a local VHP leader.A youth who received gunshot wounds during the violent incidents on Tuesday was “very critical” at a private hospital in Mysuru, a senior police official said. IGP (Southern Range) B K Singh, who had denied the shooting yesterday, confirmed that one person had suffered gunshot wounds, adding, he could not say who did it and only a probe would bring it out. He also said he had no information yesterday about the incident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Regional Commissioner in Mysuru would inquire into the entire circumstances leading to the violence yesterday, he said. Meanwhile, the body of 60-year old Kuttappa, who died during the violence with the circumstances leading to his death not being clear, was buried at Madapura near here. Several BJP leaders, including Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, party state unit President Prahlad Joshi and MPs Naleen Katil and Pratap Simha were in attendance.Police maintain that the victim fell from a boundary wall as he tried to escape stone-throwing crowds during a district-wide shutdown called against the celebrations. But eyewitness claim he suffered severe head injuries in stone- throwing and died. In Bengaluru, Home Minister G Parameshwara said that according to initial reports, the victim fell from a compound wall and the post mortem report was being awaited.He also said the situation was returning to normal and the additional forces deployed in Madikeri would continue to remain there for some more days. Parameshwara said if BJP had not given a call for bandh, “certain incidents” would not have occurred and the party should introspect rather than blaming the government for organising the Tipu Sultan birth anniversary celebrations.The entire district observed a bandh today in response to the call given by BJP and other organisations. In Bengaluru, BJP and Sangh Parivar outfits staged demonstrations against the government over the Madikeri violence and the remarks of Jnanpith awardee Girish Karnad.Karnad had said that it would have been “apt” had the Bengaluru International Airport at Devanahalli near here been named after Tipu Sultan rather than Kempegowda, a feudatory ruler under erstwhile Vijayanagara Empire who founded Bengaluru in 1537.

Sensex rises in special trading session on Diwali | Reuters

MUMBAIThe Sensex made modest gains in a special ‘muhurat’ one-hour trading session for Diwali on Wednesday, spurred on by a string of economic reforms aimed at drumming up foreign investment in a range of industries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government announced on Tuesday a relaxation of foreign direct investment rules in 15 sectors, including mining, defence, civil aviation and broadcasting, in a bid to encourage investment and speed growth.

Analysts said the move on the eve of one of India’s biggest holidays was aimed at taking back the reform initiative following the ruling party’s humiliating defeat on Sunday in a state election.

Shares touched a six-week low on Monday after Modi’s heavy defeat in the Bihar elections raised concerns that his government will struggle to pass policy reforms.

Dismal corporate earnings in the second quarter have also dampened sentiment.

The Sensex ended 0.48 percent higher while the Nifty gained 0.54 percent on Wednesday to snap out of a five-session losing streak.

Gains were lead by Axis Bank, up 2.56 percent, Sun Pharma, up 2 percent and Larsen & Toubro, up 1.29 percent. Meanwhile, cigarette maker ITC fell 0.74 percent.

Traders believe gains made during the ‘muhurat’, or auspicious time, bring prosperity and wealth in the year ahead.

Both the Nifty and the Sensex had chalked up losses in 11 out of 12 sessions until Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Asian stock were largely flat on Wednesday after a mixed batch of Chinese data showed growth in the world’s second-biggest economy was still in low gear.

Indian markets are expected be to remain volatile heading towards the end of the year, with the winter session of parliament beginning later this month and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meet on December 16 likely to influence the direction of the markets.

The head of RBI warned on Tuesday that a rate hike by the Fed in December could upset markets but that it was nonetheless necessary.

The markets will be shut on Thursday and resume trading on Friday.

(Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Mumbai, editing by Louise Heavens)

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

Complying with SC order on advertisements: AAP govt to Delhi HC

The Centre, represented by advocate Anil Soni, had also alleged that Delhi government was flouting apex court guidelines and cannot get away with it, whether the three- member committee was formed or not.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The Aam Aadmi Party government on Thursday told Delhi High Court that it was complying with Supreme Court’s directions on government advertisements in “letter and spirit”.The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath by the Delhi government which also said the Centre was yet to set up a committee to oversee release of advertisements by governments and their agencies, as directed by the apex court. The city government’s senior standing counsel, Rahul Mehra, told the court that the Centre and various states have filed a petition seeking review of the SC verdict. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, NGO Nyayaa Path, represented by senior advocate Chetan Sharma, told the court that the city administration was releasing an advertisement every time there was some untoward incident. Citing the example of a girl who was stabbed to death in Anand Parbat area of north Delhi in July, Sharma said the Delhi government had released advertisements saying the 19- year-old girl was stabbed more than 30 times, while forensic reports had showed she was stabbed only four times. He also told the high court that the review plea has been filed in the apex court with regard to whose photographs can be displayed on the advertisements issued by governments.After hearing brief arguments on the petitions of the NGO and others including Congress leader Ajay Maken alleging that Delhi government has violated the apex court directions, the bench listed the matters for further hearing on December one.On the last date, the Centre had told the high court that it was in the process of forming the committee.The Centre, represented by advocate Anil Soni, had also alleged that Delhi government was flouting apex court guidelines and cannot get away with it, whether the three- member committee was formed or not. The Centre had also alleged that Delhi government was misusing state exchequer funds to glorify Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party.The Delhi government has been refuting these allegations while stating on affidavit that it has “not spent a single penny from exchequer on photograph of any government functionary on government advertisements or campaigns which was released” after the apex court judgement. It had said the source of payment was the government advertisement funds earmarked for the department of information and publicity.

Maharashtra: It’s going to be Congress-NCP in Kolhapur

BJP’s experiment with Tara Rani group didn’t help much, NCP to support the Congress to retain the civic body

Supporters erupt in joy after the Congress wins the Kolhapur civic polls

PTI
The Congress emerged as the single-largest party, winning 27 out of 81 seats in the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) elections. It has also got the backing of three other candidates.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had ditched the Shiv Sena and allied with local group Tara Rani Aghadi, secured 32 seats for the alliance. The BJP’s own tally increased from three to 12. The Shiv Sena won four seats.The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), with which the Congress ruled the civic body in the previous term, has announced support to the Congress to cross the magic figure of 42.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The party could win only 15 seats compared to 25 seats last time but remained in the king maker’s position. Though the Congress’ tally went down to 27 from 31 in the last polls (when Tara Rani corporators had supported them) and it fell short of majority by 14 seats, the outcome is being seen as a revival of the party in this western Maharashtra district. This seems to be impressive, considering the fact that the Congress had lost all 10 assembly seats in the district in 2014, with the Sena occupying six of them. Amidst speculations that the NCP might extend support to the BJP-Tara Rani alliance, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “No question of supporting the BJP. We would support the Congress. Since the Congress has won more seats, the mayor would also be from their party.” Congress leader Sachin Sawant was, however, guarded in his comments. “High-level meetings with the NCP is still on,” said Sawant. While the Congress is reportedly offering the deputy mayor’s post to the NCP, the latter is insisting on an old formula in which each party got the chair on a yearly basis. Meanwhile, PWD minister and Kolhapur’s guardian minister Chandrakant Patil of BJP said: “We accept the people’s verdict. We will work as a constructive opposition.” He said that the BJP could have won at least 12 more seats by little more efforts where it lost by 50-100 votes.

Airtel 3G data down for updation; company says services have resumed

Airtel users have been complaining about data services since Friday morning.

Airtel’s 3G data services have been down in select parts of Mumbai since Friday morning.When we spoke to the company’s corporate communication team, they said that data services were down for about half hour in the morning, but services had been resumed since. However, when we spoke to Airtel’s customer care, an executive said that services were expected to be down for about four hours more, as the company was updating its data services. Meanwhile, Twitter was abuzz with complains about Airtel’s data services too.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reacting to Airtel’s recent 50% cash back offer for data used during the night, a Twitter user complaining about the data services said,

Dibakar Banerjee, Anand Patwardhan and 7 others return National Awards

Meanwhile, former students of the institution and alumni Pratik Vats and Vikram Pawar have decided to return national awards that they had received for their films while studying in the institute.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Bollywood director Dibakar Banerjee and 8 others have returned their National Awards to show solidarity with the protesting FTII students. The awardees are also protesting against the murders of rationalist author MM Kalburgi and activist Govind Pansare. Three ex-FTII students on Wednesday also announced the return of their national awards, after the agitating students called off their strike against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute’s chairman. Dibakar Banerjee had won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi for Khosla Ka Ghosla in 2007 and the National Award for Best Popular Film award for Oye Lucky Lucky Oye in 2009.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Filmmaker Anand Patwardhan also returned his National Award. Patwardhan had received 7 National Film Awards, including for Bombay: Our City (1985), In the Name of God (1990) which was based on the demolition of Babri Mosque, War and Peace (2002), Jai Bhim Comrade (2011), In Memory of Friends (1990) and Father, Son and Holy War (1995).Apart from Banerjee and Patwardhan, Tunnu Ki Tina​ writer Paresh Kamdar, Odia director Lipika Singh, Gulabi Gang director Nishtha Jain, Producer Kirti Nakhwa, actor Harish Kulkarni and Malayalam Cinematographer Hari Nair have also returned their national awards. Meanwhile, former students of the institution and alumni Pratik Vats and Vikram Pawar have also decided to return the national awards that they had received for their films while studying in the institute. “We are going to return our awards and have written a letter to the President for the same,” Vats said. Related read- FTII row: Two ex-students return national awards

Uttar Pradesh: Clash in Kanpur over ‘disrespect’ to religious poster

However, no one was injured in the incident, he said. Police, PAC and CISF personnel have been deployed in the area to maintain law and order.

Efforts are being made to placate the members of both the communities, the DM said.

A clash broke-out between two communities over alleged disrespect to a religious poster, following which police resorted to lathicharge to bring situation under control.District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said members of two communities engaged in a scuffle after poster of a Goddess was found on the ground at Darshanpurwa under Fazalganj police station here. They also pelted stone and raised slogans against each other. Police resorted to lathicharge to bring the situation under control, Sharma said.However, no one was injured in the incident, he said. Police, PAC and CISF personnel have been deployed in the area to maintain law and order. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, scheduled Taziya procession from Fazalganj area was couldn’t be taken out due to tension in the area till reports last came in. Efforts are being made to placate the members of both the communities, the DM said.Reports of skirmish between two communities also poured in from Raipurba area, Sharma added.

Around 14 killed, 30 injured as vehicle falls into gorge in Jammu

The heavily overcrowded matador was on its way from Ghordi to Ramnagar with mostly college students and government employees.

Representational Image

At least 14 persons were killed and 30 others injured, 10 of them seriously, when a vehicle fell into a deep gorge in the Ramnagar area of the district, early morning. The heavily overcrowded matador was on its way from Ghordi to Ramnagar with mostly college students and government employees, when it fell into a deep gorge near Dalsar area of the Ramnagar Tehsil, a police officer said on Tuesday. He said that 14 people including eight males, five females and one child died on the spot, whereas 30 others received injuries out of which the condition of 10 was reported to be serious. “Rescue work is still going on and it is taking time as the accident has taken place in a remote area where there is lack of transportation”, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The district administration fears that the number of casualties might increase. “14 deaths have been reported so far, but we fear more as some persons are still trapped and rescue operation is still going on”, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Deputy Commissioner Udhampur said. Meanwhile, the injured are being shifted to district hospital Udhampur from where the seriously injured have been referred to the Government Medical College (GMC) and Hospital Jammu.

Railways’ only own brand water at stations diktat raises commuter fury

The demand for Rail Neer was about 2,500 cases (each case holds 12 bottles) before the circular. Now, it is between 10,000-12,000 cases. IRCTC officials admit that it will take some time to revv up production.

Commuters take water from a public tap following a shortage of packaged drinking water at railway stations.

It’s double whammy for suburban railway commuters. As if the searing October heat is not enough, thousands of commuters are left with parched throats since Sunday, thanks to an ad hoc decision by the railways to sell only its own Rail Neer brand (manufactured by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) of packaged drinking water at stations.Both the Central and Western Railways have issued the circular that warns of penalties, if stall owners violate the diktat. Since one of the four Rail Neer plants nation-wide, at Ambernath, which supplies drinking water to the western zone, has been under-utilised, bottled water was unavailable at almost all railway stalls.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The demand for Rail Neer was about 2,500 cases (each case holds 12 bottles) before the circular. Now, it is between 10,000-12,000 cases. IRCTC officials admit that it will take some time to revv up production. The ‘only-Rail Neer’ diktat came after the CBI raids on a couple of senior Northern Railway officials and seven private firms – accused of thwarting Rail Neer supply at stations for bribes from private bottling firms and caterers. Dipesh Tank, a regular commuter, said: “On Sunday, I was surprised that the entire Vile Parle railway station did not have a single bottle of packaged water. Stall owners told me that there was no supply. Since I was very thirsty, I got off at Andheri. I got the same answer there also. Finally, I had to go out of the station to buy water.” Tank added that he saw several people asking for water but being told that there was none. Minesh Shah, a Borivli resident, too, had the same experience. “I was shocked on being told by a stall owner at Bandra that there was no bottle of water and he offered me water kept in a dirty-looking mug that I refused. How can the railways take decisions without keeping commuter interest in mind? The railways knows that since only railway stalls sell bottles on MRP, several people would prefer to buy water from platforms.” Meanwhile, senior railway officials said that the IRCTC-run Rail Neer plant has already increased production and will be able to meet the rise in demand. “It was a circular in 2001 that made it mandatory for all railway stalls and pantry cars to sell only Rail Neer, but post the CBI raids, the railway board issued a new circular. Since there was a scam involved, no one wants to take a chance and it has been implemented,” said a senior railway official. On water shortage, an IRCTC official said: “Our staff that used to work in a single shift is now working in three shifts. While we are able to produce high quantity of Rail Neer, supply to every station on WR and CR and other logistics need fine-tuning. It will take a couple of more days.”

Kolkata: Police permanently bars entry into Deshapriya Park hosting tallest Durga idol

The decision comes a day after a stampede-like situation was created on Sunday.

Image Courtesy: iamin.in
In view of the massive rush almost leading to a stampede-like situation on Sunday, Kolkata Police on Monday “permanently” stopped the entry of people inside Deshapriya Park in south Kolkata to view the tallest Durga idol, citing security and safety reasons.Stressing that the decision to bar entrance of people into Deshapriya Park was entirely because of security reasons, Kolkata Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purokayasta told PTI today, “Safety and security of the people are our prime concern. We cannot compromise with that so we have taken such a step. We have permanently stopped entry of common people inside Deshapriya Park. The puja will not be opened again this year,” Purokayasta said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the removal of the cover put on the idol, equal to the height of an eight-storey building, Purokayasta said, “To cover up the idol was the decision of the organisers and they removed it. We have not asked them to do so.”Also read: Kolkata- 11 people injured in a near-stampede situation at Deshapriya Park’s Durga pandalAsked whether, with the covers removed, Kolkata Police would divert or regulate traffic from the surrounding roads to allow people to have a glimpse of the idol, the CP said, “There will not be any traffic regulation there because a view curtain has been put up around the Park so that the idol cannot be viewed from outside.”In fact, hoardings and advertisements on the biggest Durga idol have been asked to be removed by Kolkata Police, a source in the police force said. Television channels, radio also have been instructed not to broadcast any item related to the Deshapriya Park puja, the source said.The decision to stop entrance of people into the Park for an “indefinite period” was taken after a massive rush led to an almost stampede-like situation in which five to six persons were injured yesterday evening.Following the massive rush, the CP along with senior officers of Kolkata Police visited the venue to take a stock of the situation on Sunday. Meanwhile, Kolkata Police on Monday took suo motu case against the organisers at the Lake Police Station on charge of violating rules and regulations.

Patel agitation: Hardik Patel’s detention sparks sporadic protests in Gujarat

An agitation was held for brief period in Bardoli town by some people but they soon called it off after police requested them not to resort to any kind of protest, said Bardoli town sub-inspector D R Vasava

Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti Conveyor Hardik Patel arrested by police on his way to protest in Cricket match from Rajkot Jamnagar Highway near Rajkot on Sunday.

PTI
Sporadic protests took places at few places in Gujarat while one state transport bus was set on fire in Morbi district following detention of Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel ahead of the ODI between Indian and South Africa at Rajkot on Sunday.”Some unidentified persons set afire a stationed ST bus at Mahendranagar area on the outskirts of Morbi city,” N S Malek, Inspector of B division police station in Morbi said, adding they were trying to trace the persons who are behind the incident. The officer said nobody was injured in the incident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, two incidents of protests were reported in Bardoli and Surat.In Surat, Alpesh Kathiria, convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) in city and also a close associate of Hardik, held a demonstration at Kamrej area along with his supporters and tried to block National Highway no 8, following which he was detained.”Around 17 people, including Kathiria, were detained by the police for around four hours as they tried to block NH-8 at Kamrej area,” Police Control Room officer of Surat (Rural) Sunil Sinh said.An agitation was held for brief period in Bardoli town by some people but they soon called it off after police requested them not to resort to any kind of protest, said Bardoli town sub-inspector D R Vasava. Meanwhile, Kathiria alleged that cops treated the members of Patel community like “terrorists” and they will avenge the treatment meted out to them by the government by voting against the ruling BJP in the upcoming polls to local bodies.”We are descendants of Sardar Patel, but now the police have treated us like terrorists. Police have conducted atrocities on us, but we will not remain silent and will take the revenge of all these acts of the police,” Kathiria told reporters.He alleged that members of Patel community were segregated and not allowed to enter the cricket stadium in Rajkot where the ODI was held between India and South Africa.”Those who were wearing T-shirts of the so-called ‘Vikas Purus’ who created a myth about development in Gujarat — our Prime Minister Narendra Modi — are allowed to go inside the stadium, but our Patel brothers, who wore T-shirts of Sardar Patel, were not allowed to go inside the stadium,” he alleged.Earlier in the day, Hardik, along with his supporters was detained by police while he was on his way to Khandheri cricket stadium in Rajkot to attend the match. Meanwhile, Hardik still continues to be in detention.

India v/s South Africa 3rd ODI: Rajkot stadium fortified amid protest threat due to Patel agitation

“If we are stopped or detained tomorrow, then our Patel community members will hold protest against the state and their police, who will then face our wrath,” they said.

Meanwhile, SCA honorary secretary Niranjan Shah urged Hardik not to agitate during the Rajkot match

The Rajkot stadium was fortified and the city secured with large deployment to ensure smooth conduct of the third ODI cricket match between India and South Africa as Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel emphasised visiting the venue to hold protests to push their demand for reservation.A day after Hardik said he would block the way of Indian and South African cricket teams to the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium and not let them enter the venue if he and his supporters are not allowed to go inside to stage an agitation, the 22-year-old leader today said they have got tickets for the match and will go to the stadium. He has also urged the Patel community members to remain present in large numbers during the match to raise their demand for reservation under OBC quota for which they have been agitating over last two months. “We have asked around 50,000 community members to rush to the SCA stadium tomorrow for agitation,” the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener said. “My match ticket has been purchased by Rajkot unit of PAAS and I am going to attend the match tomorrow,” Hardik said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of the threat and given the largescale violence the state witnessed recently over the quota stir, police have fortified the stadium, located on the outskirts of Rajkot city at Khandheri village, which will host the third cricket match under the Gandhi-Mandela freedom series. “Over two thousand policemen, three companies of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), one company of Rapid Action Force (RAF), and seven teams of quick response cells (QRC) and five Superintendents of Police (SPs) have been deployed to ensure smooth conduct of the match,” Rajkot Range IG D R Patel said. Besides, three drone cameras and 90 CCTVs have been installed at the stadium to closely monitor each and every movement of the viewers, he said, adding that if any police personnel on duty is caught watching the match instead of monitoring the crowd, will be punished. Meanwhile, Hardik’s close aide Dinesh Patel said PAAS conveners of Saurashtra region and other associates will go to watch the match and if they are stopped, the state government will have to face the wrath of the Patel community. “Hardik and members of PAAS, including Chirag Patel, Ketan Patel and myself have obtained tickets of the match and we will surely go to the venue tomorrow. If we are stopped or detained tomorrow, then our Patel community members will hold protest against the state and their police, who will then face our wrath,” Dinesh said.He claimed that more than 50,000 members of the community will throng the match venue to “press for our demands (for inclusion of the community in OBC quota) at an international event so that the world community will get to know about our demands.” When asked whether their stir will spoil the country’s image, Dinesh said, “We believe that the world should see how the Patel community is being harassed in the so-called development model of Gujarat”. He also expressed apprehensions that the BJP workers would cause a disruption at the stadium and blame Patels for that.”We have reports that BJP men will create a ruckus at the match venue and they will blame us for that. They are going to spoil the image of the country, we will never wish that,” he said.Meanwhile, SCA honorary secretary Niranjan Shah urged Hardik not to agitate during the Rajkot match. “This is a sport event and thus this is not a proper platform to agitate for such a demand. I humbly urge Hardik not to agitate during the Rajkot match and I am confident that he would consider my request,” Shah told reporters.Meanwhile, Rajkot district collector Manisha Chandra has asked officials with magisterial power to ensure that the match is played in a peaceful atmosphere.

DU Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh distances himself from controversy surrounding Nandita Narain

Delhi University had constituted a fact-finding committee to look into some complaints from DU colleges against Narain, who has been summoned to appear before it on October 19. With the timing of the call being close to that of the VC demitting office, Narain had alleged that it was a deliberate attempt on his part to trouble her before leaving.
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The outgoing vice-chancellor of Delhi University, Dinesh Singh on Friday distanced himself from the controversy surrounding the formation of a fact-finding committee against St. Stephen’s College professor and varsity teachers’ association president Nandita Narain.Delhi University had constituted a fact-finding committee to look into some complaints from DU colleges against Narain, who has been summoned to appear before it on October 19. With the timing of the call being close to that of the VC demitting office, Narain had alleged that it was a deliberate attempt on his part to trouble her before leaving.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh, whose term as VC ends on October 28, said, “I have no role to play in sending any summon to anyone. If the fact- finding committee has sent summon to someone, they must have found something against the person… The committee works on directives of the university, I have nothing to do with it.” Meanwhile, Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), of which Narain is president, today held an emergency meeting of the Executive Council to discuss the issue.”DUTA has unanimously expressed strong condemnation of the outgoing VC’s attack on the DUTA president for discharging her duties as the elected representative of the teaching community… It sees the attack on Narain as an attack on DUTA as an institution of the academic community,” a statement from DUTA reads.”The DUTA Executive has also resolved to write to the Visitor and the MHRD on the prevailing situation, demanding immediate intervention and reversal of the VC’s action and an official reprimand to him,” it added.

Sahitya Akademi: Platform chosen by writers to voice their protest is wrong, says Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma

He asserted that the Centre fully supported the writers’ cause for protest and condemned the killing of noted author M.M Kalburgi, but said that returning the awards bestowed upon them was not the correct approach.

Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma on Tuesday said that he has been misquoted by a leading English daily over his opinion on the ongoing crisis in the Sahitya Akademi and clarified that he was only against the ‘platform’ which the writers had chosen to show their protest.”These writers are the pride and glory of our country. They have made the nation proud with their achievements but I want to appeal to them that the platform that they have chosen to voice their protest is wrong. Law and order is a matter of the state and should not be meddled with,”Sharma told ANI here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> He asserted that the Centre fully supported the writers’ cause for protest and condemned the killing of noted author M.M Kalburgi, but said that returning the awards bestowed upon them was not the correct approach.”The very organisation that is honouring them with the awards is a non-political one. There is absolutely no politics involved. What they should do is write to me or to the Prime Minister voicing their concerns and we will always back them. I can become their voice and endeavour to ensure their demands are fulfilled,” Sharma added.Also Read: Culture minister Mahesh Sharma suspects motives of writers returning Sahitya Akademi awardsHe also said that the writers should channel their anger towards a platform where their cause will actually be heard and suggested them to write to the state government or Chief Minister.”They should continue to do what they are doing but they can try another way of doing so. It is their own organization that they are raising their voice against. If they want to protest they should do it on another platform”, Sharma said.The Culture Minister was slammed for saying earlier that, “if they (writers) say they are unable to write, let them first stop writing. We will then see”. Meanwhile, the Akademi has called an emergency meeting of its executive board on October 23 to discuss the situation,

Mumbai: 23-year-old man held for theft, molesting pregnant woman

The accused has been booked under sections 457 (lurking house-trespass or house-breaking by night in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 380 (punishment for theft) and 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
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Kalachowkie police arrested a 23-year-old man in the wee hours of Sunday who audaciously entered a house, committed a theft and allegedly molested a pregnant woman, while her husband was asleep. The accused has been identified as Sankesh Mohite, a resident of Jijamata Nagar in Kalachowkie. According to the police, the victim, 23, stays with her husband and daughter in Kalachowkie area. On Saturday night, the victim was sleeping next to her daughter, while her husband slept in another corner of the room. “The couple had not locked the door properly before sleeping. Around 2.30 am on Sunday, victim’s husband suddenly woke up and was shocked to see the accused sitting besides his wife. He was trying to undress the woman,” said an officer from Kalachowkie police station.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> He added, the husband then got hold of the accused and shouted for help. “Meanwhile, when the victim checked her husband’s wallet she realised that cash Rs3,000 were missing from it. The accused then revealed his identity to the husband. On seizing an opportunity, Mohite pushed the husband and fled from the spot,” the officer said. The couple then got a complaint lodged at the Kalachowkie police station. “The neighbours, however, kept chasing the suspect and with the help of night police patrolling team they managed to apprehend him. On searching Mohite, we found Rs3,000 cash and he admitted of having committed the crime,” the officer said. Mohite has been booked under sections 457 (lurking house-trespass or house-breaking by night in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 380 (punishment for theft) and 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

BJP leader Giriraj Singh compares beef and mutton to difference between sister and wife

“There is a difference between a man’s relationship with his wife and that with his sister. Similarly, there is a distinction between meat of goat and cow.”

Union Minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh always finds a way to headlines and most often for controversies. According to a report by The Indian Express Singh, Singh said on Thursday that the way there is a difference between a sister and a wife, similarly there is a difference between cow and goat meat.This statement was a reaction to Lalu’s earlier remark that there is no difference whether someone who eats mutton as opposed to a person who eats beef. When asked about his statement, Singh told The Indian Express, “There is a difference in the sacredness between a man and his wife and man and his sister.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During the Lok sabha elections in 2014, Singh had sparked the controversy by saying all Modi’s critics should leave India and settle in Pakistan. Meanwhile, another RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh continued the controversy by saying that even saints and gurus used to eat beef as per the Vedas, to which Giriraj responded by saying that the entire RJD camp has gone mad.

Call for Jammu bandh tomorrow over MLA Engineer Rashid’s beef party

Jammu has extended its backing for the Bandh call while the chambers of commerce and industries have refused to extend their support.

VHP today demanded immediate arrest of Rashid for hosting ‘Beef party’ (File Photo of Kashmiri Pandit protest against beef party)

PTI
A call for a day-long bandh in Jammu tomorrow was given on Friday by Panthers Party, which was supported by High Court Bar Association, to protest the killing of cows in Udhampur district and the ‘beef party’ hosted by Independent MLA Engineer Rashid. The Panthers Party has “called for a complete one-day Jammu Bandh to protest against the killing of three cows in Udhampur district yesterday. The party will also be protesting against the beef party that was hosted by the Independent MLA Engineer Rashid,” its spokesman said.The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Jammu has extended its backing for the Bandh call while the chambers of commerce and industries have refused to extend their support. “We have decided to extend our support to the Jammu bandh call to protest the killing of cows in Udhampur and the beef party hosted by engineer Rashid”, a spokesman of the Bar Association Jammu said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The transporters union in Jammu have so far not taken any decision on extending support. “We are yet to decide whether to extend support or not,” a spokesman of the transporters union said. Meanwhile, VHP today demanded immediate arrest of Rashid for hosting ‘Beef party’ but said it will neither support nor oppose the Jammu Bandh.

‘Proud Indian’ singer Abhijeet calls Ghulam Ali a ‘dengue artist’ from ‘terrorist country’

‘Proud Indian’ singer Abhijeet calls Ghulam Ali a ‘dengue artist’ from ‘terrorist country’; slams media too

PTI
Singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya on Friday, in a series of tweets, supported Shiv Sena’s stance against Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali from performing in Mumbai, saying that ‘nation and patriotism’ took priority over music and branded the maestro as a ‘dengue artist’.Taking to micro blogging site, Abhijeet said, “These shameless people have no self respect, no work except terrorism. So called Hindu political parties jst shout 4 mileage bt never tk action agnst these Dengu Artists from terrorist country.These qawwals don’t come here on their merit but due to paki Dalals #prestitute and @MaheshNBhatt,?”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the singer’s remarks have sent shockwaves, he was fully backed by the Shiv Sena, who said that they welcome his statement as he speaks for the nation.’Also read: Shiv Sena’s antics over Ghulam Ali leave a discordant note in the world of artIndian artists like actor Shabana Azmi, designer Wendell Rodricks and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt have expressed their displeasure towards the maestro’s ban saying that music knows no boundaries, while Pakistan’s censor board chief hoped that the Indian government will handle the issue ‘responsibly’. Also read: Salman Verdict: Abhijeet loses the plot, calls the victims ‘dogs’Meanwhile defending its stance against Pakistani artists performing in India, Sena said what they had done was in true spirit of patriotism and slammed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for inviting the singer to perform in the national capital, accusing him of doing ‘vote bank politics’.Sena leader Sanjay Raut clarified that this was nothing personal and that they did not have any enmity with Ali.”Our fight is with Pakistan, we do not have any enmity with Ghulam Ali. This is a patriotic sentiment and if Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee do not understand it, then it is unfortunate for them. They are doing vote bank politics through Ghulam Ali,” Raut said. The Sena mouthpiece Saamna in an editorial today said that banning Ali was their tribute to all the Indian soldiers, who had died in the recent ceasefire violations.(With agency inputs)

Dadri lynching: Meat in Mohammad Akhlaq’s fridge was mutton, not beef

Meanwhile, the situation in Bisara village, is kept under a controlled calm. Akhlaq’s son Danish has also been shifted out of the ICU as his condition showed some signs of improvement. But he remembers nothing about the lynching.

The meat found in the fridge of Mohammad Akhlaq’s family, who was lynched to death, was mutton and not beef, reports a leading daily.On September 29, Mohmmad Akhlaq was dragged out of his home and stoned to death on a village street after a public announcement from the local temple that the family had slaughtered a calf and eaten its meat. According to the report, forensic test has proven that the meat the mob found in Akhlaq’s fridge was mutton.The family members of Akhlaq had also claimed that there was no beef, but the mob did not listen to them. Meanwhile, the situation in Bisara village, is kept under a controlled calm. Akhlaq’s son Danish has also been shifted out of the ICU as his condition showed some signs of improvement. But he remembers nothing about the lynching.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The two main accused in the Dadri lynching case Shivam and Vishal, were arrested on Saturday, while two more accused were arrested on Thursday, raising the total number to ten.However, the UP government’s report sent on Monday made no categorical mention of “beef consumption or cow slaughter” and simply says that Mohammad Akhlaq’ and his son Danish were attacked by some unidentified people over unconfirmed allegations of having consumed “pratibandhit pashu ka maans” (meat of an animal banned from slaughter).Amid outcry over lynching of a man in Dadri over rumours of consuming beef, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has alleged that some forces doing politics on communal lines were conspiring to defame his government and stall development in the state.

Is cow slaughter becoming the Hindutva equivalent of drawing the Prophet?

In the Islamic world, drawing the Prophet or burning the Koran can lead to extreme retribution. Is the act of cow slaughter also heading down that path?

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Karl Marx, had written in The Communist Manifesto: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower.” Now very few of us might agree with Marx’s economic theories, but he did hit the nail on the head when it came to explaining the power religion had over the masses. From the brutal murder of secular bloggers in Bangladesh to the killing of four cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo in France, to burning the Koran in Pakistan, there are certain acts which elicit retribution from the believers. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the Charlie Hebdo massacre, political commentator Bill Maher had blasted liberals and “hundreds of millions” of the world for allegedly supporting the Islamic terrorist massacre of Charlie Hebdo’s staff. He said on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, “I know most Muslim people would not have carried out an attack like this. But here’s the important point: Hundreds of millions of them support an attack like this. They applaud an attack like this. What they say is, ‘We don’t approve of violence, but you know what? When you make fun of the Prophet, all bets are off.”When Kimmel expressed some scepticism about the number, Maher replied: “Absolutely. That is main stream in the Muslim world that when you make fun of the prophet, all bets are off. You get what’s coming to you. It’s also main stream that if you leave the religion you get what’s coming to you, which is death. Not in every Muslim country in majority numbers, but this is a problem in the world that we have to stand up to.”Is Maher right? The reaction from across the world showed that his remarks might not be very off. In India, six FIRs were filed against the Mumbai editor of Urdu magazine Avadhnama, Shirin Dalvi for putting up the cartoons in her paper. Three FIRS were fined against Dalvi, she had to wear a burkha to prevent being recognised and even forced to make an apology. Meanwhile, the Avadhnama has shut down now. She was quoted saying: “I would first want to begin with an apology for having printed the title cover of Charlie Hebdo. It was a mistake and I had no intention to hurt anybody’s feelings. I firmly believe in Prophet Mohammed – sallallahu alahi wa sallam – Peace be upon Him.”Now India wasn’t the only country which felt the after-effects of the Charlie Hebdo fall out. In Pakistan, thousands protested against Charlie Hebdo and tried to storm the French consulate in Karachi. In Niger, ten people died, while dozens were injured, and nine churches burned.There were violent demonstrations in Pakistan, Algiers and Jordan, while peaceful protests were held in many other parts of the world. All of it suggested that what Maher said wasn’t so off the mark, the Islamic word was incensed by the fact that someone had decided to draw the Prophet. The Dadri IncidentThe Dadri incident isn’t just heinous because of the fact that a man was mercilessly beaten to death for allegedly consuming beef. What’s more worrying is the reaction from the political class. It all started with the forensic team testing the meat to see if it was actually beef and the victim’s daughter asking: “Will they bring my father back if it isn’t beef?” In a piece titled Mainstreaming the Lynch-Fringe, journalist Shekhar Gupta wrote: “The Dadri incident is a chilling turning point in our politics. It marks the rise of Hindu supremacist mob militancy that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won’t unequivocally condemn or disown. It will criticise the killing, but qualify it in a half-dozen ways.”But the question, is would her father’s death and horrific lynching be justified if it was beef? Why should a person feel that somehow eating beef made the man responsible for his fate? While Narendra Modi maintained his now-infamous Manmohansque-silence on Patel-less issues, others from the BJP suggested that it was an ‘accident’, perhaps like a hurricane or a tsunami, an act of nature which couldn’t be controlled.Dr Mahesh Sharma who was in the news for his sudden zeal for Indian culture called the incident a misunderstanding, saying: “This (incident) should be considered as an accident without giving any communal colour to it. I feel this incident occurred due to some misunderstanding and the law should truthfully act against whoever is responsible for it.”While controversial VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi went further and commented that beef eaters deserved such treatment, BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj supported her statement. Meanwhile facts have emerged which suggest that it was a BJP worker’s son, along with the priest who made the announcement that the guilty man had slaughtered a cow, 7 of the 10 arrested were related to BJP’s Sanjay Rana.But it’s not just the BJP who painfully shied away from stating the obvious. Not one mainstream politician, including the likes of Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav or Arvind Kejriwal, spoke up about the ridiculousness of the situation. The Congress’ Digvijay Singh went as far to say that the Congress supported the laws against cow slaughter. As he pointed out, 24 out of the 29 states in the country already had laws against cow slaughter, laws put in place by state governments ruled by the Congress.The history of cow slaughter in India The history of cow slaughter is complicated. The perception that cow slaughter was introduced in India by Mughal rulers is fallacious. Early texts suggest that even our gods liked cattle meat. Indra liked bull’s meat while Agni preferred cow’s and bull’s meat, which explains why they were routinely sacrificed and even used as medicine. (Read Prof Ram Puniyani’s explanation in The Hindu about how beef-eating habits changed in ancient India)To be fair, it doesn’t matter whether people or inhabited ancient India ate beef or not, it’s as immaterial in the course of things as the fact whether ancient India had nuclear weapons or not, or helped discover the Heisenberg principle.Being proud of our heritage is fine, but should modern-day laws be based on what might or might not have done aeons ago?The fact is that despite all the claims about the peaceful nature of Hinduism, what the political class is implicitly telling the masses is that there’s no greater sin than cow slaughter. And eating beef will justify retribution, just like burning the Koran or drawing the Prophet does across the Islamic world. We’ve often been told that Hindutva is not Hinduism, but the tacit silence of the leaders suggest acquiescence.In 1985, the Supreme Court of India had defined Hinduism saying:” When we think of the Hindu religion, we find it difficult, if not impossible, to define Hindu religion or even adequately describe it. Unlike other religions in the world, the Hindu religion does not claim any one prophet; it does not worship any one God; it does not subscribe to any one dogma; it does not believe in any one philosophic concept; it does not follow any one set of religious rites or performances; in fact, it does not appear to satisfy the narrow traditional features of any religion of creed. It may broadly be described as a way of life and nothing more.” It’s fair to say that unless Hindus, the so-called silent majority speak up, that way of life will be dead soon.

Dadri killing: FIR against Lalu Prasad Yadav over Hindus-beef consumption remark

The BJP has been critical of the grand alliance post RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s remark that that even Hindus eat beef.

Lalu had stoked a controversy with his remark that Hindus too eat beef

Lawyer Shiv Shankar Jha has registered a case against Lalu Prasad Yadav in CJM court over the latter’s comment on Hindus and beef consumption.The BJP has been critical of the grand alliance post RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s remark that that even Hindus eat beef. Lalu had stoked a controversy with his remark that Hindus too eat beef and accused the BJP and its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of communalising the issue. Meanwhile, the political parties are raising their pitch for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence and speak on the Dadri lynching incident. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With agency inputs

Incredible idiocy: To impress politician, AP Congress workers stuff doves into rockets

A combination of the need to impress a politician and the absence of sense — common or otherwise —has resulted in the ghastly deaths of at least two doves in the town of Kovvuru in Andhra Pradesh.

The Times of India reports that Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) workers, eager to welcome APC C chief N Raghuveera Reddy to Kovvuru, stuffed live doves into rocket cones and fired them into the sky.

Slightly flawed in theory, a disaster-in-the-making in practice. Unsurprisingly, two of the birds were killed as the rocked detonated, while the rest were left with scorched wings and claws.

To make the event truly memorable, party workers strung little party flags around the necks of the doves. And to make sure that the birds didn’t wriggle free before the grand finalé, they were stuffed into paper cones which were sealed.

A screengrab of the Youtube video that showed the doves being stuffed into paper cones

A screengrab of the Youtube video that showed the doves being stuffed into paper cones

Reddy, along with former minister Kondru Murali, Rajya Sabha MP KVP Ramachandra Rao, West Godavari district Congress minister Rafiulla Baig and Mahila Congress president S Padmasri, arrived in Kovvuru on Saturday to attend a party meeting, The Hindu reports.

After complaints were lodged, the police filed a case under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Inspector P Prasada Rao of Kovvur police station told IBN-Live, “We are studying the video footage. The culprits who put the two (doves) in cones will be arrested.”

Meanwhile, Deccan Chronicle reports that Reddy has expressed his regret at the ‘dove rocket’ incident and stated that there will be no such things in the future.

We certainly hope not.

The video of this ridiculous incident can be viewed below:

Bihar polls: Sonia Gandhi, Amit Shah to address rallies today

Congress President Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to hold two rallies in Bihar on Saturday, the first one being at Kahalgaon near Bhagalpur where polling is slated in the first phase on October 12.The Congress president will then fly to Birgunj near Gaya to address her second rally, where polling will be held in the second phase on October 16. Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah also has his rally scheduled in Purnia, where the polling will be held in the fifth phase on November 5.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Elections for the 243-member Bihar Assembly will be held in five phases between October 12 and November 5.The counting of votes will take place on November 8.

One dead, two injured in crude bomb blast in Kolkata

One person died and three others were injured in a minor crude bomb blast in a factory godown at Cossipore, Kolkata on Friday afternoon.

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One person died and three others were injured in a minor crude bomb blast in a factory godown at Cossipore, Kolkata on Friday afternoon.Three persons were trying to clear out trees growing in this abandoned factory at Cossipore, when the bomb went off. All of them sustained serious injuries and they were admitted to the RG Kar Hospital for treatment.“One 43-year-old person, Sanjib Das was brought dead at the R G Kar hospital. Two others, Amrito Sarkar and Sagar Das have been seriously injured. We are investigating the case,” said a senior police official. Police suspect more bombs could be hidden inside the factory godown and they have begun a search for them. Bomb Disposal Squad and sniffer dogs have rushed to the spot.Two months earlier, as many as 15 bombs were required in the same godown. Meanwhile, the police have begun a thorough investigation into the case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Sporadic violence in Srinagar, Pak flags raised in Eidgah area

Image courtesy: ANI
Pakistani flags were raised before namaz in Srinagar’s Eidgah area on Friday.There were reports of stone pelting as well. Security forces fired tear gas shells to disperse protesters from the area.Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik and Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were put under house arrest on Thursday to prevent them from leading rallies on the occasion of Eid on Friday. According to reports, several other top separatist leaders, including Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Shabir Shah and Nayeem Ahmad Khan, have also been kept under house arrest. Meanwhile, internet services have also been shut down in view of apprehension of misuse of data services by anti-national elements on Eid. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Shocking: Couple beaten up by a mob in Hardwar for ‘misusing’ guest houses

Station in-charge, Piran Kaliyar police station, Rajiv Rauthan said that around 12 people, including Sanwar, Nafroz, Sajad and Mahroom have been booked in this connection.

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A young couple was allegedly dragged out of a guest house in Piran Kaliyar area here and beaten by a mob, following which a case was registered against 12 people and two of them were arrested today. The incident occurred on September 16 but police swung into action today after a video of the incident went viral on social media sites.Station in-charge, Piran Kaliyar police station, Rajiv Rauthan said that around 12 people, including Sanwar, Nafroz, Sajad and Mahroom have been booked in this connection.Out of the 12, two have been arrested, an official at Roorkee Civil Lines police station said. The police action is based on a video which went viral recently showing a mob attacking a young couple near the dargah, he said.The video showed a young couple being dragged out of a guest house in Piran Kaliyar by a mob which abuses them and beats them up while they pleaded with it to let them go. The entire act was recorded and uploaded on the mobile messaging app, police said. Meanwhile, locals alleged that some of the guest houses in the holy town are being misused by unwed couples. The couple was taught a lesson because of this, they added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

It’s Patels v/s Patels in US as PM Modi set to visit country

An influential section of the Patel community on Sunday said they are opposed to a planned rally against Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visits the US this week while another group in the Silicon Valley said they would hold protests against him over the handling of the recent reservation agitation in Gujarat.

Narendra Modi

An influential section of the Patel community on Sunday said they are opposed to a planned rally against Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visits the US this week while another group in the Silicon Valley said they would hold protests against him over the handling of the recent reservation agitation in Gujarat. In a media statement, the group of Patels, said they believe that the agitation in India is politically motivated and these protests do not represent the voice of the entire Patidar (Patel) community.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We Patels in the US are not taking any sides. Our intention is to make everybody aware that not every Patidar is against Prime Minister Modi. We do not support people who are tarnishing the reputation of our community and great country of India,” said Danny Patel, CEO of PeachState Hospitality.There are about 150,000 Patels living in the US and those supporting the rally against Modi at the UN are a minuscule number who are misrepresenting the community, said the statement.”Modi is coming here to further a bigger vision that he holds for India and instead of supporting his vision some people are trying to thwart his vision for petty political gains which the majority of us feel is not right,” said Ravi Patel of Sree Hotels.”Patidars in the US are an industrious and peace loving community that has the progress of India close to their hearts,” the statement added. “As members of the overseas Patidar community, we condemn it. This is an exercise in political mudslinging and we do not want to be a part of it,” said Baldev Thakor, president of Maya Hotels and a Patel community member.”We wholeheartedly support Modi in his initiatives to take the country to greater heights,” he added. Meanwhile, another section of the Patel community held a meeting in Silicon Valley to organise the protest rally against Modi when he visits California next week.”While we are honoured to have the Prime Minster of India and fellow Gujarati Narendra Modi in Silicon Valley next week, we must not ignore the facts that gross violations of human rights and brutality by Gujarat police has occurred and the state and central governments have failed to serve and protect innocent civilians,” they said in an emailed statement to community members.”Please note that this is not against or pro any political party. This is not against Modi. However, as the Prime Minister of India, we need Modi to recognise that those who are responsible for unconstitutional brutal actions must be punished. We demand justice,” they said.

Punjab: Dera Sacha Sauda followers hold protest over ‘non-screening’ of Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s MSG-2

Several cinema owners were refraining from screening the film fearing backlash from some radical Sikh groups, as the Dera head had been at loggerheads with the community.

Dera followers have openly declared that they would not lift their blockade unless the film MSG-2 was screened in theatres (Representational Image)

Rail and road traffic was on Saturday blocked at various places in Punjab by a large number of Dera Sacha Sauda followers, who were demanding screening of a movie featuring Dera chief Gurmit Ram Rahim in the cinema halls of the state. The protesters said that there was ban imposed by the government on the film and it should be screened in the theatres of the state.Several cinema owners were refraining from screening the film fearing backlash from some radical Sikh groups, as the Dera head had been at loggerheads with the community earlier for allegedly hurting their religious sentiments. Though the film MSG-2 was not banned in the state but the state police on Thursday had asked all the District Police Chiefs to ascertain whether the release of the movie will pose any threat to law and order in the state, official sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Keeping in view possibility of tension building up in the town and few other places in the State between the Dera followers and others the district administration has taken all possible steps to check any untoward incident. In order to maintain law and order heavy police force has been deployed at various places. Meanwhile, senior police officials of the Bathinda district and Bathinda Zone said that they were keeping a strict watch on the situation and claimed that it was peaceful at the moment.The Sirsa-headquartered sect followers blocked rail and road traffic including from Moga to Kotakpura, Moga to Ludhiana, Moga to Ferozepur, Moga to Amritsar and Moga to Jalandhar and Ludhiana, which remained suspended for several hours putting a large number of passengers to inconvenience. Ludhiana-Ferozepur bound trains were stopped at Railway station here since early morning.Dera followers have openly declared that they would not lift their blockade unless the film MSG-2 was screened in theatres.Messenger of God 2 (MSG 2), a sequel of MSG, yesterday hit the theatres in over 2000 screens across the country. “Punjab government is suppressing the fundamental rights of people by not allowing the film to be released by putting pressure,” Dera spokesman Aditya Insan said.Meanwhile, All India Sikh Students Federation President Karnail Singh Peer Mohammed today appealed the state government not to allow screening of MSG-2, saying if it is shown in theatres in the State it could create a law and oder problem.