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Good that Congress is reconciling with historical facts: Jitender Singh

The article published has been written and published by the party’s Mumbai unit and has caused a stir within the rank and file. It clearly blames Nehru for the state of affairs in Kashmir, China and Tibet and states that Nehru should have listened to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s views on international affairs.The article, which does not reveal the name of the writer, has been published in this month’s issue of ‘Congress Darshan’ Hindi edition as a tribute piece to mark Patel’s death anniversary on December 15.”Despite Patel getting the post of deputy prime minister and home minister, relations between the two leaders remained strained, and both had threatened to resign time and again,” the article says.

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DDCA row: BJP demands apology from Arvind Kejriwal; AAP hits back

“He should come forward and present an example before the nation. Earlier they rubbished the committee report, but now they are considering it as a sacred book. The report also states that there should be a Commission of Inquiry into the matter. A whistleblower had alerted the Delhi government well in advance that the formation of the Commission will be scuttled through the Lt Governor,” he claimed.
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<!– /.block –>Farmer suicides not political but socio-economic issue: Nitin Gadkari <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaTrinamool Congress claims CPI(M)’s rally was a flop showIndiaHurriyat cautions against possible attempts to vitiate Indo-Pak peace processIndiaFormer Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sueIndiaGujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youthIndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt conducts trial run with 750 private busesIndiaHyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Remember the name: Chhangte Lallianzuala — the player who broke Baichung’s long-standing record<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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PM Modi’s visit fruitful only if Pakistan stops sending terrorists, says Praveen Togadia

The VHP leader said he was not averse to jeans and modern education, but stressed that “we want our youths to respect our rich culture and their parents and go to temples”. Togadia also said that VHP will put pressure on the government to make a law to counter “love jihad”.

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<!– /.block –>JNU students oppose invitation to Baba Ramdev to deliver keynote speech <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaTrinamool Congress claims CPI(M)’s rally was a flop showIndiaHurriyat cautions against possible attempts to vitiate Indo-Pak peace processIndiaFormer Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sueIndiaGujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youthIndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt conducts trial run with 750 private busesIndiaHyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Farmer suicides not political but socio-economic issue: Nitin Gadkari<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Hurriyat cautions against possible attempts to vitiate Indo-Pak peace process

“Any party or group that stands in the way of attempts to achieve peace are enemies of the people of South Asia. The leadership in India and Pakistan should invite and involve all the stakeholders – especially the people of Kashmir – to contribute and be a part of this process. The rabble-rousers should be reined in so that issues can be addressed and peace becomes the order of the day in the South Asian region,” he said.

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<!– /.block –>Former Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sue <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaTrinamool Congress claims CPI(M)’s rally was a flop showIndiaHurriyat cautions against possible attempts to vitiate Indo-Pak peace processIndiaFormer Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sueIndiaGujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youthIndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt conducts trial run with 750 private busesIndiaHyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups <!– /.block –>

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Odd-even formula: Delhi govt conducts trial run with 750 private buses

On December 4, the Arvind Kejriwal government had announced that 4,000 buses will be “general” buses while 2,000 buses to be taken from schools after their duty hours will have 50 per cent seats reserved for women. The government recently issued a helpline — 011-23370209, for applicants who want to register with this new bus service.

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<!– /.block –>Hyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaTrinamool Congress claims CPI(M)’s rally was a flop showIndiaHurriyat cautions against possible attempts to vitiate Indo-Pak peace processIndiaFormer Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sueIndiaGujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youthIndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt conducts trial run with 750 private busesIndiaHyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and Afghan leaders meet, agree to revive peace talks<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Hyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups

“The trio wanted to reach Srinagar from where they wanted to explore joining some terror organisation. They did not have any well-prepared plan,” the police had said.

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Also ReadIndiaTrinamool Congress claims CPI(M)’s rally was a flop showIndiaHurriyat cautions against possible attempts to vitiate Indo-Pak peace processIndiaFormer Assam Congress minister makes comments against Smriti Irani; BJP to sueIndiaGujarat: 50 booked for rioting during funeral procession of Patel youthIndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt conducts trial run with 750 private busesIndiaHyerabad Police questions youths who allegedly wanted to join jihadi groups <!– /.block –>

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Patel youths detained for attempt to protest against Ramdev

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The Yoga guru had been in Surat since the last four days to take part in the mass Yoga camp at Puna Gaam area of the city

Five youths were on Thursday detained by police here for trying to protest against Ramdev over his reported remarks against the Patel quota movement, even as the Yoga guru once again denied making any statement against the community. As Ramdev was scheduled to visit Swaminarayan Gurukul on SG Highway area in the city, Patel community youths, associated with the quota agitation body Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), reached the site to protest against him this evening. “We detained five Patel youths for trying to stage protests on the busy road, as Baba Ramdev was scheduled to arrive at the Gurukul this evening. We released them a couple of hours after Ramdev left,” Sola Police Inspector DV Rana said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yesterday, Ramdev faced similar protests by the Patel youths, who stormed into his Yoga camp in Surat and shouted slogans against him for allegedly taking government’s side on quota issue. Ramdev held a press conference in Surat yesterday and clarified that Patel youths got “misguided” due to some “false” media reports about his statement. The Yoga guru had been in Surat since the last four days to take part in the mass Yoga camp at Puna Gaam area of the city. Three days back, while addressing students at a different function in Surat, he had reportedly ‘advised’ the Patel youths, who are agitating for reservation, to think about the country before thinking about themselves. “Every citizen, be it Patidar (Patel), Kshatriya or Brahmin, should first think about his country, not about themselves,” he was quoted as saying in the report.Enraged over his reported comments, the Patel youths alleged that he was against the community’s demand for reservation under OBC quota and is taking government’s side. Following this, Ramdev held a meeting with the Patel members in Surat and told them that the media report was “false” and created “misunderstanding”. Today, on his arrival at the airport in Ahmedabad, he once again clarified that he has not said anything against the Patel community. “Due to some false media reports, they got angry. They met me yesterday on this issue and went satisfied. I never said anything against Patels. I have no differences with them,” Ramdev said.

Gujarat HC asks state govt to ban ‘sky lanterns’ during kite-flying festival

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The bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice V M Pancholi passed the order on a public interest litigation filed by Mehsana resident Jivanbhai Rabari.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to ban manufacturing, sale and use of sky lanterns within two days, noting that these small hot-air balloons, launched during the kite-flying festival on the occasion of Uttarayan, are known to start fires.The bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice V M Pancholi passed the order on a public interest litigation filed by Mehsana resident Jivanbhai Rabari. The PIL said that last time 21 incidents of fire caused by sky lanterns were reported in Ahmedabad city alone. In an incident in Ramol area, three children were charred to death as several huts caught fire after a lantern landed on one of them.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The petition was filed in February. In their affidavits, the state government and the police have admitted that sky lanterns are hazardous. As the final order of the HC is yet to come, the petitioner had sought an interim order as this year’s kite flying festival is approaching.The HC noted during the hearing that a majority of the victims of fires caused by sky lanterns are poor people. It directed the state Home Secretary to issue a notification announcing the ban in two days. The ban shall be in operation till January 31.

Rs 1,800 crore advance extended under Mudra scheme: Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel

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Patel also called upon women entrepreneurs to take advantage of the women’s empowerment schemes, notably the Women Industrial Park, set up by Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) at Sanand.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Bollywood actress Kajol light lamps at Vibrant Garima Business Women Conclave 2015 in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

PTI
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Saturday said Rs 1,800-crore advances were extended to small and big industrialists during a camp under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna’.Patel also called upon women entrepreneurs to take advantage of the women’s empowerment schemes, notably the Women Industrial Park, set up by Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) at Sanand.”Rs 1,800-crore advances were extended to small and big industrialists during a camp under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna in Gujarat,” she said inaugurating the Vibrant Gujarat Business Women Conclave organised by Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patel said that industrial development in the state was no more restricted to urban areas and it has spread to rural and even remote areas in the tribal belt. The Chief Minister also asked women to fight social evils, superstitions and social inequality.Bollywood actress Kajol Devgn, present on the occasion, exhorted women to work, which she said was necessary for self-esteem. GCCI Women Wing Chairperson Grishma Trivedi said one purpose of this conclave is to encourage women entrepreneurs in rural areas.Under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna’ banks, NBFCs and MFIs would provide loans between Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh to the unfunded sections of the society.

MPs ‘condemn’ Guj High Court judge’s anti-quota remark, warn of impeachment

The meeting was attended among others by Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Thawar Chand Gehlot.

Members of a Parliamentary panel on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, cutting across party lines, on Thursday assailed the alleged “anti-reservation” remarks of a Gujarat High Court Judge and warned of impeachment proceedings against him. The members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on SC/ST at a meeting in Parliament House “condemned” the remarks by Justice J P Pardiwala and resolved to stage a protest in front of B R Ambedkar’s statue on December 23.The meeting was attended among others by Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Thawar Chand Gehlot. “At the meeting the remarks of the judge were condemned and it was decided that MPs will protest on December 23 in front of the statue of B R Ambedkar. The judge has abused the Constitution and we will move impeachment proceedings against him in Rajya Sabha,” BJP MP Udit Raj told PTI. He said the process of moving an impeachment motion against the judge has begun with several MPs already having signed the petition. Signatures of 50 members are required for moving such a motion. Weeks after the Supreme Court scrapped the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, BJP member Udit Raj had targeted the judge in the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pardiwala, while declining to drop the charge of sedition against Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel, had recently said,”If I am asked by anyone to name two things which have destroyed this country or rather has not allowed the country to progress in the right direction, then the same is reservation and corruption.” “It is very shameful for any citizen of this country to ask for reservation after years of independence. When our Constitution was framed, it was understood that reservation would remain for a period of 10 years, but unfortunately it has continued even after 65 years of independence,” he had reportedly said in his order.

Gujarat govt to spend Rs 525 crore to raise Sardar Sarovar dam height

The Chief Minister visited Kevadia after inaugurating the ‘Statue of Unity’ foundation raft concrete work at Sadhu Bet island.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel paying tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his death anniversary at Sadhu Bet near Narmada Dam in Kevadia on Tuesday.

PTI
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Tuesday said the state government would spend Rs 525 crore on raising the height of Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river, which is likely to be completed by February 2017.”After a long wait of eight years, in June 2014 the Centre finally gave its clearance to Gujarat government to raise the height of Sardar Sarovar dam from 121.92 metres to 138.68 metres,” Patel told PTI after reviewing the ongoing work of installation of radial gates at the Sardar Sarovar dam at Kevadia town around 100 kms from Vadodara.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chief Minister visited Kevadia after inaugurating the ‘Statue of Unity’ foundation raft concrete work at Sadhu Bet island. Top officials of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited briefed her on the progress of work. The government had sought the go ahead for the installation of 30 steel radial gates over Sardar Sarovar Dam, for which the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) had already given its nod to Gujarat government in June 2014, she said.Sardar Sarovar Project is an ongoing, inter-state multi-purpose project on the Narmada river, which envisages hydro-power generation of 1,450 MW to be shared by Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. It will also provide water for irrigation to 17.92 lakh hectares of land in Gujarat and 2.46 lakh hectares in Rajasthan, she said.”Raising the height means assured water for irrigation to an additional area of 6.8 lakh hectares, 40 per cent more power generation and enhanced water supply,” Patel said.She added that the government intends to complete the work of raising the height of dam by February 2017, seven months ahead of its schedule.Speaking at the inauguration of the ‘Statue of Unity’ raft concrete work earlier, she said, “This huge construction work on 182 meters tall statue of Sardar Patel will be completed on June 3, 2018, which will cost around Rs 2,979 crore. The contract has been given to leading construction company Larsen and Toubro.””Rs 1,347 crore will be spent on the main statue, Rs 235 crore on the exhibition hall and convention center. Another Rs 83 crore will be spent on the bridge connecting the memorial to the main land, while Rs 657 crore will be for maintaining the structure for 15 years,” Patel said.This statue would be double the size of New York’s ‘Statue of Liberty’ and would inspire future generations, she said, adding, “It would generate employment in the tribal areas of Narmada district as well as boost the tourism sector.”

Hardik Patel denied bail in sedition case by Surat court

The Surat police had arrested Hardik in October on charges of sedition for allegedly inciting a fellow activist Vipul Desai ‘to kill policemen instead of committing suicide’.

Hardik Patel

AFP
The bail plea of Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, who is behind bars in a sedition case for allegedly inciting a fellow activist to kill policemen instead of committing suicide, was on Thursday rejected by a district and sessions court here.Principal District Judge Geeta Gopi dismissed the bail plea of the 22-year-old firebrand leader, who spearheaded the agitation demanding reservation for the Patel community under the OBC category. Two sedition complaints were filed against Hardik, the first one in Surat and another in Ahmedabad. On November 16, Hardik, who is lodged in Lajpore jail here, moved his bail plea before the sessions court, claiming that he was booked under false charges, as mere spoken words do not amount to sedition.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plea said the state government deliberately slapped false charges on him to keep him away from the recently-held local bodies polls across the state. The Surat police had arrested Hardik in October on charges of sedition for allegedly inciting a fellow activist Vipul Desai ‘to kill policemen instead of committing suicide’.Later, Ahmedabad crime branch also invoked sedition charge against him through a separate FIR filed on October 21 for allegedly inciting Patel youths to resort to violence in order to destabilise the state government. During the arguments on December 7, the Surat city police had opposed bail to Hardik, claiming that he may tamper with evidence if released on bail when the investigation is still on against him.The prosecution also argued that there is high possibility that Hardik will not cooperate in investigation once released on bail. Hardik has also filed a bail plea before an Ahmedabad court in the second sedition case filed against him, where the order is likely to be pronounced tomorrow.In the second case filed in Ahmedabad, the Gujarat High Court had recently dropped IPC sections 121 – pertaining to waging war against the government, 153(A) – promoting enmity between different communities and 153 (B) – assertions pre-judicial to national integrity, on the FIR against Hardik while retaining the charge of sedition.

Gujarat local body polls: We must analyse setback in rural areas, says CM Anandiben Patel

The Chief Minister received a grand welcome at Khanpur office as the BJP has retained the six municipal corporations: Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Surat, Jamnagar, Vadodara and Rajkot.

Chief Minister Anandiben Patel
File Photo
PTI
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Wednesday said the BJP will have to analyse the reasons for its poor performance in the local body polls in the rural areas of the state.”Though we have done well in municipal corporations and municipalities, it is also a fact that the results in district and taluka panchayat bodies are not up to the expectations,” Patel admitted while addressing the party workers outside BJP office in Khanpur area in Ahmedabad.”We have been doing several developmental works across Gujarat. We have also undertaken an exercise to strengthen the party organisation. Still we have to now analyse what went wrong. We will find out and address these problems,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chief Minister received a grand welcome at Khanpur office as the BJP has retained the six municipal corporations: Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Surat, Jamnagar, Vadodara and Rajkot. The Chief Minister, though, expressed some disappointment for not surpassing the previous tally of 151 at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.”We have won in all the six corporations with a thumping majority….of the 56 municipalities we have captured 40, while eight went to Congress. People used to say that BJP will get only 80 to 90 seats in AMC (of the total 192), but we have captured 142,” Patel said.”In the last election we won 151 seats. I wished we would surpass that, but we could not. This is not a big issue. Some seats sway here and there. Overall we have done well in all the six corporations,” she said.Though the counting is not yet over, Congress was leading in 18 of the 31 district panchayats. In 230 taluka panchayats with a total of 4,778 seats, it was leading in 2,204 while BJP was ahead in 1,798 seats.

Gujarat local body polls: Counting of votes today, crucial test for BJP

The six municipal corporations registered only 45 % voter turn-out, but elsewhere it was over 60 %. The State Election Commission had made all the preparations for the counting at several places across the state, officials said.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
Counting of votes for the crucial local bodies polls in Gujarat, a litmus test for the ruling BJP against the backdrop of Patel quota agitation, will be conducted on Wednesday. Voting for six municipal corporations was held on November 26, while that for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities was held on November 29.The six municipal corporations registered only 45 % voter turn-out, but elsewhere it was over 60 %. The State Election Commission had made all the preparations for the counting at several places across the state, officials said.The elections are being seen as a challenge for the BJP and the Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, as they come after the Patel quota stir. These are also the first major elections in the state after Anandiben took over from Narendra Modi. The Congress is hoping to make a comeback in the state, cashing in on resentment of the Patel community against BJP.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patel leaders who are demanding inclusion in the OBC quota had appealed the community members to vote against BJP and for Congress ahead of the elections. All the six municipal corporations — Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar, and Bhavnagar — are at present controlled by the BJP. Most of the other local bodies in rural and semi-urban areas too are controlled by the BJP.Meanwhile, the SEC today conducted re-polling at a booth each in Dahod and Mahisagar districts.”Some people had stormed into a booth in Ghodiya village of Zalod tehsil in Dahod and broke the EVM machine when polling was underway for district and taluka panchayats last Sunday. Similar incident took place in Nani Bhugedi village of Santrampur in Mahisagar. So we are conducting repolling today,” said SEC secretary M V Joshi.Ghodiya has 854 registered voters while Nani Bhugedi has 921 registered voters.

Patel Quota Row: Gujarat HC drops ‘waging war against govt’ charge against Hardik Patel and co

Justice J B Pardiwala, after hearing the arguments, ordered the removal of three IPC sections in the FIR – section 121 (waging war against government), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity) – against Hardik and his aides.

Hardik Patel

In a partial relief to Patel quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel, the Gujarat High Court today dropped the charge of ‘waging war against government’ against him and his five aides but upheld the stringent sedition clause against them. Justice J B Pardiwala, after hearing the arguments, ordered the removal of three IPC sections in the FIR – section 121 (waging war against government), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity) – against Hardik and his aides.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court, however, refused to drop IPC sections 124 (sedition) and 121-A (conspiracy to wage war against government), which attract punishment of life imprisonment or up to 10 years.In October, the city Crime Branch had lodged an FIR against 22-year-old Hardik and five of his close aides under charges of sedition and waging war against the government.Later, Hardik, Chirag Patel, Dinesh Bambhaniya and Ketan Patel were arrested. They are currently behind bars. Two other aides of Hardik – Amrish Patel and Alpesh Kathiriya – were not arrested as the high court had granted them interim protection. In another development, the high court today extended their interim relief from arrest for another 15 days. This was the second sedition complaint against Hardik after he was booked under the same charge by Surat Police.In November, Hardik and others moved the high court to set aside the FIR against them, claiming that their protest to seek reservation for Patel community does not amount to “sedition or waging war against government”.During the arguments on November 2, public prosecutor Mitesh Amin had strongly defended the stand of Crime Branch for slapping stringent charges against the Patel leaders, stating that the FIR is based on the call interceptions made by it.

Sudheendra Kulkarni favours autonomy for Kashmir

Kulkarni who was speaking for promoting India Pakistan unity also said that both countries have over glorified the contribution of Mahatam Gandhi and Quaid-I-Azam.

A month after he faced ‘paint attack’ from Shiv Sena supporters in Mumbai at the book launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Sudheendra Kulkarni embroiled in a fresh controversy on Friday.The chairman of the Observer Research Foundation supported former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah’s view on Kashmir and said that both India and Pakistan need to accept that the territories occupied by the two countries cannot be snatched away. Instead, the two countries should provide autonomy to the people of Kashmir.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delivering a lecture at the Pakistan High Commission at New Delhi, Kulkarni blamed Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel for partition of India. He went on to add that both India and Pakistan in their historical texts have ‘over glorified’ Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Kulkarni also went on to add that India should treat Pakistan as equal and not play a big brother role all the time.”Neither India can ever occupy the PoK and nor will Pakistan ever be able to get control over what is called in Pakistan as India occupied Kashmir. Kashmir should be given administrative autonomy,” he said.Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Modi’s foreign trips, Kulkarni also said that Modi should plan a Pakistan visit. “He has gone to every neighboring country except Pakistan. Prime Minister should visit Pakistan and resume dialogue,” he said.Kulkarni who was speaking for promoting India Pakistan unity also said that both countries have over glorified the contribution of Mahatam Gandhi and Quaid-I-Azam.”Mahamat Gandhi in 1944 accepted the legitimacy of demand for a separate nation in the Gandhi- Jinnah talk,” he said. Kulkarni also said that had Congress met Jinnah’s demand for safeguarding the rights of minority, tragedy pf partition could have been avoided. “Jinnah worked as ambassador or Hindi-Muslim unity, but later went on to demand partition. But today neither the Congress nor the BJP accepts this truth.” he added.The former BJP member blamed both Nehru and Patel for the partition of India. “Both Nehru and Patel went on to become enthusiastic supporter of Pakistan. They helped in shaping the two nation theory,” he said.

Biggest cash heist solved: Driver arrested, Rs 22.50 crore recovered

New Delhi: Delhi Police in Friday arrested the driver who fled with Rs 22.50 crore stashed in a cash replenishment van here and claimed that they solved “the biggest misappropriation ever from a cash van in its history”, within 12-hours by recovering the money.

The police arrested the 35-year-old driver identified as Pradeep Shukla from a godown in Okhla Industrial Area which was raided by the police team in the wee hours on Friday. Nine cash boxes, containing “approximately” Rs 22.50 crore have been recovered, said DCP (Southeast) M S Randhawa.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

After the heist, Shukla, had allegedly taken shelter at a godown of electrical wires in Okhla Industrial Area.

A source in Delhi Police said that Shukla had spent around Rs 11,500 from the stolen amount to pay off for some articles purchased in connection with the heist, roasted chicken for dinner and alcohol.

“Shukla knew the caretaker of the godown and asked him for shelter in the night, telling him that he would leave early on Friday. The caretaker was, however, found to have no involvement in the crime,” said a senior police official.

Four cash replenishment vans had taken off from the Vikaspuri branch of Axis Bank with around Rs 38 crore on Thursday afternoon, of which the van heading south-east (DL-1LK-9189) was carrying around 22.50 crore, said the senior official.

A police source said that the amount was recorded as Rs 10 crore, which is the limit of cash transit suggested by the police in view of security. The discrepancy led to some confusion in the initial phase of the investigation.

According to the police, there were two persons in the van – driver Pradeep Shukla and armed guard Vinay Patel. On their way to Okhla, Patel asked Shukla to stop the van around 3.40 PM for he wanted to relieve himself at the roadside.

Shukla told him that he would wait nearby, but fled. Soon he switched off his mobile phone too.

Senior police officials said that the case was cracked on the basis of human inputs and the entire industrial area at Okhla Phase III was searched intensively, leading the team to Shukla, who was hiding at the electrical wire godown.

Shukla has been booked for criminal breach of trust and other relevant sections of IPC, police said.

During interrogation, it emerged that Shukla was planning to run away with the cash in the next few hours, police added.

Police said that this could be the biggest cash heist in Delhi after the January 2014 gunpoint robbery of Rs 7.69 crore from a businessman at BRT corridor near Moolchand flyover.

PTI

Biggest heist in Delhi: Driver of ATM cash van flees with Rs 22.5 crore

The incident was reported in the evening when the armed guard accompanying the van asked the driver to stop the vehicle near Govindpuri Metro station so that he could relieve himself by the roadside, said police

In what could be the biggest cash heist in the national capital, the driver of a cash transit van allegedly fled with around Rs 22.5 crore from southeast Delhi’s Govindpuri area on Thursday. The incident was reported in the evening when the armed guard accompanying the van asked the driver to stop the vehicle near Govindpuri Metro station so that he could relieve himself by the roadside, said police. The driver, identified as Pradeep Shukla, told the guard that he would wait for him in a lane nearby and was last seen taking a sharp turn. When the guard returned, the vehicle and the driver were nowhere to be seen, said police.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The guard, Vinay Patel, informed the matter to the branch concerned of the private bank whose cash they were carrying and bank authorities immediately called up police. They told police that they had sent four cash transit vans — with total cash of around Rs 38 crore — from their Vikaspuri branch in the day, and the van (DL 1LK 9189) which headed towards southeast Delhi was carrying around Rs 22.5 crore. However, the final evaluation of the heist would be possible only after the accused is nabbed, police said.Personnel from at least two subdivisions of Delhi Police’s southeast district were roped in along with a specialised crime team and the cash van was soon recovered from near a petrol pump close to the spot where the accused driver had deserted the guard. However, the boxes containing the cash were missing, said police.Senior police officials who rushed to the spot after the incident was reported maintained that this was not a case of robbery but criminal breach of trust. Scores of pickets and police check points were set up across the city and checking was intensified at the borders to track down the accused, said police.CCTV grabs have been obtained from nearby premises while eyewitnesses are being examined and several teams have been put on the case, police added. Police said that this could be the biggest cash heist in Delhi after the January 2014 gunpoint robbery of Rs 7.69 crore from a businessman at BRT corridor near Moolchand flyover.

Sonia Gandhi attacks Modi govt, says those who had no role in drafting Constitution are now laying claims on it

“People who never had faith in the Constitution, nor had they participated in its drafting, are now swearing by it and are laying claim to it.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday targetted the government on issue of intolerance alleging that ideals and principles of the Constitution were under threat and being attacked deliberately.”People who never had faith in the Constitution, nor had they participated in its drafting, are now swearing by it and are laying claim to it.”They are now having a discussion on commitment to it.There cannot be a bigger joke than this,” she said, utilising the discussion in the Lok Sabha on the commitment to the Constitution as part of 125th birth anniversary celebrations of B R Ambedkar to attack the BJP.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: Rajnath Singh attacks Congress on ‘Secularism’ issue, says the word most misused in politicsInsisting that whatever being witnessed over the past few months was “totally against the principles” of the Constitution, she recalled Ambedkar’s warning to hit out at the ruling dispensation, as she sought to highlight the contribution of the Congress in the drafting of the Constitution and in the freedom struggle.She said Ambedkar had observed that howsoever good a Constitution may be, if those implementing it were bad people, then the utlimate effect would only be bad.At a time when BJP is seeking to appropriate the legacy of Ambedkar, Gandhi also utilised Ambedkar’s praise of the Congress for its contribution in the drafting of the Constitution, indicating that the Congress could lay the rightful claim on the document.Gandhi said Ambedkar had said at that time “I was surprised when I was chosen as the chairman. There were more learned and better people than me in the Committee. It was the discipline of the Congress party that enabled the Drafting Committee to give full information about every Act in the Constitution”.The Congress chief also said it was the Congress party which had spotted the “unique talent and capability” of Ambedkar who had returned after higher studies in US, UK and Germany on political theory and economics and was passionately fighting for the cause of the scheduled castes and the oppressed.She said on the morning of 26 November 1949, when the Constitution was formally adopted, Dr Rajendra Prasad complimented Ambedkar by saying, there could not have been a better chief for the Drafting Committee.At a time when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s legacy is under attack, the Congress President underlined that Nehru was among the four stalwarts that guided the Drafting Committee. The others being Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad and Maulana Azad.She said of the eight committees of the Drafting Committee, the chairman of these were either Nehru, Patel or Prasad. Azad was a prominent member of five of these committees.The history of the Constitution is very old and linked to the country’s freedom struggle and that it why it is interlinked with the Congress.She recalled that it was under Nehru, the Congress in its Karachi session in March 1931, had brought a resolution on fundamental rights and economic rights.When some BJP members sought to protest, she pointed out to them that what she is saying is history to which no one could have any objection.She noted that there was no doubt that the Constitution gave equal voice to the poor and secular values to the country, made democracy more representative and government more accountable.Hailing the greatness of the Constitution, she said that it happens very rarely in the world that a galaxy of stalwarts work in unison to produce a document of such magnitude.She said that the Constitution had proved to be flexible and had witessed more than 100 amendments in view of the changing circumstances.

Azam Khan writes three-page letter to sympathise with Aamir Khan over backlash

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh minister Mohd. Azam Khan on Tuesday sympathised with Aamir Khan over the backlash triggered by the Bollywood actor’s revelation that his wife contemplated leaving India due to “growing intolerance” in the country.

Azam Khan came up with his own ridiculous idea of what causes rape. PTIAzam Khan came up with his own ridiculous idea of what causes rape. PTI

Azam Khan came up with his own ridiculous idea of what causes rape. PTI

In a three-page letter, urban development minister Khan said Aamir was a great and gifted actor and that “he shall not think on these lines as India was for all and that some comments from some people cannot be construed as opinion of the majority”.

He also urged the actor to feel for himself how such harsh words and acts would be hurting the millions of commoners, as he himself was a star.

Likening the feelings of the actor on intolerance to his own, the minister, known for his penchant for controversies, went on to write that the Bollywood actor need not be demoralised with the conditions prevailing in the country, as millions of Muslims had chosen to stay back in India instead of going to Pakistan because of their faith in the likes of Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel.

He also urged Aamir Khan to educate the illiterate Muslims that they should not be used by politicians. The Uttar Pradesh leader concluded his letter with three couplets, suggesting India was for all.

Bring law in Parliament for building Ram temple: Pravin? Togadia

Pravin Togadia

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) general secretary Pravin Togadia on Monday called for building of Ram Temple at Ayodhya by passing a law in Parliament.”Ashok Singhal was synonymous to Ram Temple Movement. The real ‘shrandhanjali’ (tribute) to him will be to build Ram Temple,” Togadia said at the condolence meeting for Singhal held here. Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Governor O P Kohli were also present at the meeting. “We demand that to build the temple, way of Sardar Patel should be used. For building Somnath Temple, Sardar Patel did not go to talk to people, nor did he wait for court order, but he brought a resolution in the Parliament,” Togadia said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In the same way, present Parliament should bring in a law for building of Ram Temple,” Togadia said. The Ram temple issue is presently before the Supreme Court. “Following western culture there was an attempt before and after independence to separate religion from social and political life of India contrary to its age old tradition. However, Singhal’s main contribution was he succeeded to bring religion back to social and political life of the country,” Togadia said.Togadia went on to describe Singhal as one of the “tallest” Hindu leaders of the time and listed many movements started by him. Kohli said, “Before Singhal, Hindus were feeling ashamed to assert their identity but after his various agitations now Hindus proudly assert themselves.”The Chief Minister heaped praise on work carried out by Singhal to revive Hinduism in the country and remembered how he was instrumental in imparting training to thousands of Sangh Parivar workers.Many saints who had come from various parts of state also offered condolence to Singhal.89-year-old Singhal passed away on November 17 following cardio-vascular failure and septicaemia after he was admitted to a hospital in Gurgaon with complaints of acute breathlessness and pneumonia.

Had reasons to believe that Hardik was abducted, says aide

Ahmedabad: In an affidavit filed before the Gujarat High Court on Monday, Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel’s aide claims that he had reasons to believe that Hardik had been abducted on 22 September and that was why he filed a habeas corpus petition.

“The apprehension…proved to be correct, real and genuine,” says the affidavit filed before the division bench of Justices K S Jhaveri and R P Dholaria by Patel aide Dinesh Bambhaniya’s wife Pintuben Patel through his lawyer advocate B M Mangukiya.

Hardik Patel. PTIHardik Patel. PTI

Hardik Patel. PTI

Last month, the High Court had sought an affidavit substantiating the charges made in the habeas corpus petition.

The petition was filed by Ketan Patel and Bambhaniya when Hardik had gone missing after a public meeting in Aravalli district on September 22. Hardik surfaced the next day and the petition claimed he had been abducted by some persons who “looked like policemen”.

But the Gujarat government alleged that Hardik himself had fled after the meeting and was in contact with Ketan Patel and Dinesh Bambhaniya during the period.

Since Bambhaniya, Ketan Patel and Hardik are in jail after arrest on sedition charges, Bambhaniya’s wife filed the affidavit on Monday.

It says that the Gujarat government and the police are targetting the community after the mega rally of Patels here on 25 August over OBC quota demand. More than 300 cases were registered against the community members.

Police kept Hardik and others under constant surveillance, it alleges.

Hardik was first arrested in Rajkot in September for allegedly insulting the tricolour, then Surat police arrested him for alleged sedition last month, followed by arrest by Ahmedabad crime branch on the same charge, says the affidavit.

Patels are not treated as citizens in the state any more after the 25 August rally and they are being treated by the police as “slaves”, it says, adding that against this background, her husband and Ketan Patel were very much sure that Hardik had been abducted.

The court scheduled the further hearing for December 3 as Arvalli police sought time to go through the affidavit.

PTI

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

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

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

Rout in Bihar ended BJP’s Gujarat model: Ahmed Patel

Ahmed Patel

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Friday said the drubbing suffered by the BJP in Bihar Assembly elections marked the “end” of the “so-called” Gujarat model.Taking a dig at the saffron party, Patel said, “Two things may look appealing but don’t last long. They are jalebi (a sweet) made from poorly cooked oil and the BJP’s Gujarat model. The shelf life of their model has ended with the conclusion of Bihar elections”. He said the poll results in Bihar and Delhi underline the “decline” of the BJP.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming the forthcoming local bodies elections in Gujarat as a “semi-final” to the 2017 Assembly polls, Patel said the Anandiben Patel government is on its way out of power in the state. “It is not just in Bihar but the BJP has also been wiped out in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s (Lok Sabha) constituency of Varanasi in recently-held elections to the local bodies,” the senior Congress leader told PTI. “The PM, who used to tweet even if his party won a stray local body election, remained silent when the defeat struck his own backyard…Time has come for the people of Gujarat to bid good bye to their (BJP’s) model,” he said.While six municipal corporations–Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar–will go to polls on November 22, elections to 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities will take place on November 29. Counting of votes will be done on December 2. Patel said the NDA’s claim of developing as many as 100 towns as smart cities in future is actually the “smart real estate cities of Gujarat”.”Those who ruled Gujarat for the past 20 years could not build even a single smart city in the state and they are now talking about building 100 smart cities across the country in next five years,” he said sarcastically. “Under the name of smart city, they will take away power of local bodies and form a company that will manage the entire area of about 50 acres of land which will be smart real estate and will make money (sic),” he said.Patel also questioned the imposition of the ‘Swachh Bharat’ cess.”Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar stand at 79th and 310th positions respectively in the list of dirtiest cities in the country,” he said.

Quota agitation: Patel group seeks upper caste support, appeals to uproot BJP

File Photo of Patel agitation

PTI
Sardar Patel Group, which is in the forefront of Patel community’s agitation for reservations in OBC category, on Friday announced formation of ‘Samrasata Manch’, a forum of all “general category castes” who want reservations.SPG chief Lalji Patel said it was an attempt to expand the base of the ongoing agitation in Gujarat. “Till now Patels are spearheading the movement to get themselves included in quota. Under this forum other general category castes such as Brahmins, Rajputs and Jains who too are deprived of this (reservation) benefit have joined hands with us. We all will work together,” he said at a press conference here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lalji Patel-led SPG works closely with Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti in the quota agitation. He also appealed these fellow general category castes to vote against BJP in the coming local body polls in Gujarat.”The way BJP-led government committed atrocities on us, it’s time we sent a strong message to them. I appeal all the communities to join hands with us to uproot BJP. Please vote against BJP candidates in these polls,” said Patel. “We don’t want to limit our agitation to only Patels as there are many castes who are financially weak and need reservations. This forum is an attempt to wake up this government before 2017 (Assembly) polls,” said Patel.Rajput leader Arjunsinh Gohil, Brahmin leader Varang Thaker and Jain leader Hitesh Shah were also present at the announcement. “Rajputs are now with the Patel community in its fight. Time has come to teach a lesson to BJP and its government as they used excessive force to crush the movement and sent many Patel leaders to jail,” said Gohil.

To revive quota stir, Hardik Patel forms new core group from jail

Hardik is currently in jail in Surat, where he is facing a case of sedition. He formed the new core committee of PAAS to take forward the movement during his incarceration, said PAAS spokesperson Harikesh Patel

Hardik Patel

Looking to revive the Patel community OBC quota stir that lost steam following the arrest of its leaders, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel on Wednesday appointed a new ‘core committee’ for the campaign.Hardik is currently in jail in Surat, where he is facing a case of sedition. He formed the new core committee of PAAS to take forward the movement during his incarceration, said PAAS spokesperson Harikesh Patel. Eleven conveners of PAAS were appointed as the members of this core committee, which will take decisions related to the agitation, the spokesperson said. Hardik handed over the list of committee members to his father at a court in Surat.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He took the judge’s permission and handed over the list to his father. From now on, these 11 members will take decisions in the absence of Hardik and the three other conveners who, too, are behind the bars,” said Harikesh.This new group will work in coordination with 25 other PAAS conveners whom Hardik has appointed as ‘advisers’. The new core committee includes Nikhil Savani from Surat, Atul Patel from Ahmedabad, Ravi Patel from Himmatnagar and Kirit Patel from Patan.PAAS at present has 144 conveners across Gujarat. “Since these conveners live in various parts of the state, Hardik has constituted this new core committee to streamline our internal administration,” added Harikesh.Hardik and three of his key aides — Ketan Patel, Dinesh Patel and Chirag Patel — are facing charges of sedition and waging war against the government. Hardik is lodged in Surat jail while the others, who were part of the previous core committee, are being held at Sabarmati jail here.

All work and not much pay for India’s manufacturers | Reuters

VADODARA, India In the office of the small paint factory he helps run, Pramod Patel is clear on the problem holding back India’s manufacturing growth: cash, or a lack of it.

Clients, he says, are taking months to pay, sometimes 150 days compared to the standard 30, choking up businesses like his Reliable Paints and hampering the creation of much-needed jobs.

“We have a lot of potential in our business, but we have no confidence in the payments,” says Patel, speaking over the noise of a mixer whirring behind him. Workers around him prepare paint to be decanted by hand into cream and grey coloured cans.

While there is no comprehensive data for the cash cycle of India’s manufacturing industry, manufacturers interviewed by Reuters in the industrial heartland of Gujarat say cash is moving at a glacial pace.

All those interviewed by Reuters reported clients delaying payments, sometimes for the best part of a year, evidence of an uneven recovery and of India’s credit drought as banks tackle $100 billion of troubled loans.

Central bank data shows that loans to medium-sized industrial companies were down 10 percent by mid September, compared to the start of the financial year in April. Loans to small companies dropped more than 3 percent in the period.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who once ran Gujarat as chief minister, India has sought to improve life for manufacturers. He wants to boost a sector that accounts for under a fifth of the economy, compared to a third for China, the world’s largest manufacturer.

But the reality on the ground is tough.

Even India’s industrial bellwether, Larsen & Toubro (LART.NS), has reported deterioration. Chief Financial Officer R. Shankar Raman says payments take around 100 days after they fall due, compared to a standard 60-75 days.

That is hovering around the longest payment period in over a decade, he said.

“MADE IN INDIA”

India badly needs manufacturing to fuel its recovery and create jobs. After all, India will be home to a working age population of 900 million people by 2020, roughly a fifth of the world’s potential workers.

Modi’s government has promised to make it simpler to operate in the country, with plans for a unified bankruptcy code, a unified goods and service tax, and more flexible labour laws. Last week, it lifted restrictions on foreign investment in 15 sectors, including defence.

But in this corner of Gujarat – a state that was ranked top in a World Bank-supported study on the ease of doing business in India’s 29 states – manufacturers say the smallest and weakest among them could be pushed to the wall, unless reform is implemented and recovery arrives swiftly.

A plethora of different taxes still wrap small firms like Reliable Paints in red tape. Others report battling outdated factory rules: some are fined for a lack of spittoons, for example, in areas where spitting on the floor is forbidden.

There are signs of hope. L&T’s Raman says he expects the numbers to have hit the bottom, provided promised government spending kicks in and banks pass on lower rates.

“The way the recovery is structured right now, it is not broad based,” said economist Sonal Varma at Nomura. Government spending, however, could improve cash flows even for smaller firms within six to 12 months, she estimates.

Gujarat, for one, has pushed taxes online, cutting down on the paperwork and opportunities for corruption, and manufacturers say that had made processes smoother.

But until reforms come in, the bureaucracy is overhauled and real spending starts, factory managers in this baked corner of Gujarat – where paints, pumps and engineering parts dominate production – say their clients will continue to struggle.

“Our big problem is client liquidity,” said the director at one European firm supplying the construction industry. “And of course we have to deal with bureaucracy and corruption.”

Four years after shutting an office in Mumbai, he said he was still battling to conclude the process.

And with lots of workers, India needs more skilled ones.

“We have a young workforce,” said Vivek Sarwate, who runs plants outside the city of Vadodara for Schneider Electric (SCHN.PA), making components for the Indian power sector.

“But if this young country is not a skilled country, instead of an asset, this becomes a liability.”

($1 = 0.9268 euros)

(Additional reporting by Tripti Kalro in BANGALORE and Devidutta Tripathy in MUMBAI; Editing by Mark Bendeich)

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

Hardik Patel seeks bail from Surat court in sedition case

Later, the Ahmedabad crime branch also invoked the sedition charge against him and his associates and took his custody.

Last month, Surat police arrested Hardik on the charge of sedition under IPC for allegedly inciting a fellow activist to kill policemen.

Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Monday filed a bail application before the Surat sessions court in connection with a sedition case filed against him there. Hardik’s lawyer B M Mangukiya argued in the application that he was a victim of political vendetta and the state government was trying to implicate him in a false case only to keep him away from coming local body polls in Gujarat. The court would hear the application on November 19.Last month, Surat police arrested Hardik on the charge of sedition under IPC for allegedly inciting a fellow activist to kill policemen.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Later, the Ahmedabad crime branch also invoked the sedition charge against him and his associates and took his custody.After the completion of his police remand here on November 2, Hardik was sent back to Surat jail by a local court. Advocate Mangukiya said he will file a bail plea at the city sessions court here tomorrow.

Work on Smart City plan in six cities to begin soon: Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel

The six cities are Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Dahod. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) election is scheduled to be held on November 22.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel
File Photo
PTI
Gujarat Government will soon start the process of implementation of Smart City project in six cities of the state, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel said. Addressing a civic body polls meeting in Vadodara on Saturday night, Patel said, “Tendering and other processes for the Smart City project will begin soon.”The six cities are Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Dahod. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) election is scheduled to be held on November 22.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Appealing to voters to ensure BJP’s victory in the polls to be contested on 76 seats here, the chief minister said people should once again choose BJP to move ahead with the development it has brought to the state in the the last two decades. Currently, there are 62 corporators of the ruling party in the city.”(Narendra) Modi-led government at the Centre has announced a list of 98 cities (for Smart City project), which includes six cites of Gujarat. With an aim to achieve targets of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, the Smart City plan will promote integrated city planning, thereby contributing in the two flagship programmes of the NDA government,” she said.The Urban Development Ministry will provide Rs 100 crore to each city over the next five years for the Smart City mission, she said.”State government is committed to construct toilets in all 18,000 villages of the state in time-bound manner and the work of construction of two lakhs toilets in 3,000 villages is already completed,” she added. She also announced that soon free Wifi service will be made available in Vadodara and endeavours are on to make the city as an educational hub.Attacking opposition Congress, Patel said the party for 40 years since its inception in the state, it neglected basic development like sanitation, health, education.”Till 2001, female literacy rate in Gujarat was only 58 per cent and it was under the leadership of BJP and former chief minister Narendra Modi and the work he has done, today every girl of Gujarat goes to school,” she said.

Gujarat local bodies poll: Chief Minister Anandiben Patel starts campaigning for BJP

While the municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar would go to polls on November 22, the voting for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities will take place on November 29.

Anandiben Patel also admitted that it will be very tough for the party to handle all these elections taking place in quick succession.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Monday kick-started BJP’s poll campaign from in Ahmedabad for the local bodies poll and boosted party worker’s morale by telling them that there is no reason to worry about poll results as “God” is with them.During her speech at the inaugural function at BJP’s election office in Bapunagar area in Ahmedabad, Patel also reminded them that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is having high hopes from the party for the upcoming local body polls in the state.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Let us fight this election with all our strength. Remember that God is with us, so there is no reason to worry. You all are witness to the fact that how Gujarat received rain when we have lost hopes during this monsoon,” she said.”Though Narendra Modi is in Delhi, Gujarat always remains in his mind. Always remember that we have made a promise to him that Gujarat will never weaken in his absence. And I am confident that BJP will get absolute victory in this local body polls,” the Chief Minister said.While the municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar would go to polls on November 22, the voting for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities will take place on November 29. Patel also admitted that it will be very tough for the party to handle all these elections taking place in quick succession.”As the elections on various local bodies are taking place at once, it will prove to be a test for us. Earlier, we used to first conduct elections on municipal corporations, and then on municipalities, district and taluka panchayats” said Patel, who blamed Congress for this situation.”On the issue of four candidates-per-ward system, Congress went to High Court and then to Supreme Court. Due to such negative approach of Congress, we are facing this situation.But, BJP workers are ready to face any challenge” she added.

No relief for Hardik Patel in sedition case; SC says plea will be considered after completion of probe

Supreme Court on Friday rejected bail to Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and asked Gujarat government to conclude its investigation within 45 days.

Supreme Court on Friday rejected bail to Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and asked Gujarat government to conclude its investigation within 45 days.Supreme Court said that the plea will be considered after completion of probe. However, the court has asked Gujarat Police not to file charge sheet in sedition case without its permission and posts the case for hearing on January 5.The city Crime Branch had on October 21 charged Hardik and other members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) Chirag, Dinesh, Ketan, Alpesh and Amrish Patel in the case of sedition and waging war against the State government. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plea of Patel challenging the invocation of sedition charge against him for allegedly inciting a fellow activist to ‘beat up or kill’ Gujarat police men instead of committing suicide was referred by a Supreme Court bench to another bench on Wednesday.A bench of Justices V Gopala Gowda and Amitava Roy, which heard Patel’s lawyer Kapil Sibal for over half-an-hour, merely had said “we will send it to another bench” but did not assign any reason. The decision was taken after both the judges discussed with each other for nearly 2-3 minutes after Sibal concluded his arguments that the charge of sedition was not made out against his 22-year-old client.Invoking charges including sedition, the state police had said in its FIR that Hardik had exhorted activist Vipul Desai not to commit suicide but rather beat or kill 2-3 policemen.Referring to constitutional schemes on freedom of speech and expression, Sibal said the question is whether the alleged statement disturbed the “public order” or related to “incitement to commit an offence”. He also referred to the legal positions prevalent in the United Kingdom and the USA and said that the offence of sedition has been abolished in England.So far as the USA is concerned, various case laws suggest that the offence of sedition cannot be invoked by merely considering the “word of mouth” and there has to be a proximate relationship between the statement and the consequence, the senior advocate said.Sibal had sought urgent hearing of Hardik’s plea and said the alleged incident took place on October 3, the FIR was registered on October 18 and as a matter of fact no incident as a consequence of the statement took place. He also referred to statements by various persons and said the charge of sedition has not been invoked on them, whereas Hardik was forced to face the charge.The six people were booked under IPC Sections 121 (waging war against the government), 124 (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity). The city Crime Branch in its FIR, against Hardik and five others under serious charges of sedition, said the young leader had allegedly instigated his community to adopt violent means to wage “war against Gujarat government”.The probe agency had also put transcripts of various telephonic conversations and speeches of PAAS members and Hardik, wherein they had allegedly instigated the agitators of Patel community to wage war against the government. The complaint was lodged again.

dna Must Read for evening: Congress defends Rahul Gandhi remark, Indian killed in Nepal firing, SRK’s birthday & more

Here are the top 5 reads from dna.

1) Nothing wrong in Rahul Gandhi’s remark, PM Modi misused machinery: Congress- Party spokesman Anand Sharma said there was “nothing wrong” in Gandhi’s statement as it was a part of the political discourse. 2) Less girls in B-schools: Chanda Kochhar blames excessive focus on maths in entrance tests.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3) Indian killed as Nepal police clear protesting Madhesis from Indo-Nepal border: Ashish Ram of Raxaul in Bihar was killed as police opened fire on protesters. 4) #HappyBirthdayKingKhan: Shah Rukh Khan’s AbRam waving to fans outside Mannat will make you go awww!- Here is the most adorable thing you will read today. 5) Gujarat HC reserves order on second sedition FIR against Hardik Patel: The Gujarat High Court on Monday reserved its order after hearing arguments on a plea of Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and five others seeking quashing of FIR against them.

Gujarat HC reserves order on second sedition FIR against Hardik Patel

During the arguments in the court of Justice J B Pardiwala, public prosecutor Mitesh Amin strongly defended the stand of Crime Branch in slapping stringent charges against Hardik and five other quota leaders — Ketan Patel, Chirag Patel, Dinesh Patel, Alpesh Kathiriya and Amrish Patel.
File Photo
PTI
The Gujarat High Court on Monday reserved its order after hearing arguments on a plea of Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and five others seeking quashing of FIR against them by city Crime Branch on stringent charges of sedition and waging war against government.During the arguments in the court of Justice J B Pardiwala, public prosecutor Mitesh Amin strongly defended the stand of Crime Branch in slapping stringent charges against Hardik and five other quota leaders — Ketan Patel, Chirag Patel, Dinesh Patel, Alpesh Kathiriya and Amrish Patel.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to Amin, the FIR against them is based on call interceptions made by Crime Branch. In all, the Crime Branch has recorded more than 200 such calls made by these Patel leaders between July and September this year, he said.Amin alleged that the conversations were of “very caustic” in nature, such as the accused could be heard asking their supporters to torch police chowkies, dislodge railway tracks and murder policemen. These conversations were made as part of an attempt to topple the government, the prosecutor argued.Apart from the calls, police learnt that as many as 35 lakh messages, urging the community to resort to violence, were sent using social media platform immediately after Hardik was detained by police on the night of August 25. Amin submitted that the fallout of such communication was the statewide violence, which claimed seven lives, including that of a policeman.In the FIR filed on October 21, Patel leaders are charged under IPC sections 121 (waging war against the government), 124 (sedition — bringing hatred, contempt or disaffection towards the government), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity).Countering the prosecution’s arguments, Hardik’s lawyer B M Mangukiya said that people have all the right to express their dissent against the government, as it is a fundamental right in a democracy. He said that even if people get aggressive in their expression, it does not amount to sedition or waging of war against the government.According to him, dislodging railway tracks does not amount to sedition or waging war, as such protests take place across India frequently, yet no one is booked under such stringent charges. He also argued that the protests, though may be violent, were against the elected government run by the ruling party (BJP), and not against sovereignty of the government.After the conclusion of the arguments, Justice Pardiwala reserved the order. This is the second case of sedition against Hardik.The first case was filed by Surat Police on October 19 against him for allegedly advising a Patel youth “to kill policemen rather than commit suicide”. The 22-year-old firebrand leader is in the custody of Crime Branch in connection with the second sedition case till on Tuesday. The other two accused — Chirag Patel and Ketan Patel — are in the custody of the city’s Special Operations Group.Another accused Dinesh Patel is in the custody of Mehsana Police, while Alpesh Kathiriya and Amrish Patel were earlier granted interim relief from arrest by the high court.

Ahead of PM Modi’s visit, Patels write to British PM David Cameron about ‘atrocities’ on them

“As our PM is visiting the UK next month, PAAS has sent a letter to the British PM to inform him about what is happening in Gujarat. We want to tell the British PM that democracy no longer prevails here, as people’s voice is being mercilessly suppressed by the government,” organisation leader Varun Patel told reporters.

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Kingdom this month, Patel quota agitation leaders on Sunday said they have sent a letter to the British PM David Cameron about alleged atrocities and police crackdown on Patel community in Gujarat.The Patel leaders have also announced to stage a protest against Modi during his UK visit to highlight the issue.Through the letter, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), which is spearheading the movement to get reservation for Patels, said it aims at highlighting the plight of the community, which is “wrongfully targeted by the BJP-led state government for raising the voice”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”As our PM is visiting the UK next month, PAAS has sent a letter to the British PM to inform him about what is happening in Gujarat. We want to tell the British PM that democracy no longer prevails here, as people’s voice is being mercilessly suppressed by the government,” organisation leader Varun Patel told reporters.Varun said this during a press conference held to convey the future road map of their ongoing agitation after their main leaders, including PAAS convener Hardik Patel, has been arrested by police on stringent charges of sedition and waging war against government.Hardik’s key aides Chirag Patel, Ketan Patel and Dinesh Patel are also in police custody at present.According to Varun, PAAS has also made a DVD containing clips of various video footage as well as newspaper cuttings highlighting “police atrocities” against PAAS leaders after their mega rally here on August 25.”Along with the letter, we have also sent a DVD to the British PM as well as to the leader of opposition in British Parliament. This is our way to send a strong message to Modi during his UK visit. Our Patel brothers in UK have also planned to stage protests during Modi’s visit there,” he said.Apart from the British PM, the DVD will be sent to the United Nations, national as well as international human rights commissions, international NGOs working for human rights and all the countries having democratic set up, he said.Revealing their plans for the upcoming local body elections in November, Varun said that PAAS will make an appeal to the community to ‘eliminate BJP’ in this election.”Our only aim now is to uproot BJP. PAAS will ask the Patels not to vote for the BJP candidate, even if he is from Patel community. We are also planning to field independent candidates against BJP,” he said, who was also accompanied by fathers of Hardik, Chirag and Ketan during the press conference.According to Hardik’s father Bharatbhai Patel, his son and others were wrongfully implicated by police at the behest of BJP-led Gujarat government.”Hardik was just fighting for the rights of Patel community. His acts are not subject to sedition. Even though, my son and others are arrested to crush the agitation. This is clear violation of our rights as citizens,” Bharatbhai, a farmer by profession, said.In July this year, the Patel community launched an agitation seeking Other Backward Class (OBC) status. The community, under the leadership of Hardik, had held public demonstrations, with the largest one that was held in Ahmedabad on August 25. Hardik’s detention at the Ahmedabad rally had led to incidents of violence and arson across the state resulting in curfew in several cities and towns.Hardik has been arrested in an alleged case of sedition and waging war against the government over his provocative remarks, in which he had asked his supporters to kill policemen rather than commit suicide for the cause of reservation.

PM Narendra Modi calls for ushering unity, peace and harmony

PM Modi paying a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary in New Delhi

PTI
Marking 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is credited for bringing together over 500 principalities to unite India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that ushering an atmosphere of “unity, peace and harmony” were the first conditions if India has to move forward and attain new heights of development.Addressing thousands of participants at Rajpath, who had come to join government sponsored event – Run for Unity – PM Modi said, “If the country has to move forward and attain new heights of development…, then the first condition is unity, peace and harmony…Unity is our biggest strength.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PM’s assertion assumes significance as it comes in the backdrop of warning shot given by international credit agency Moody’s Analytics and growing protests by artists, writers and scientists over rising intolerance.Moody’s Analytics, a division of Moody’s Corporation has advised PM Modi to keep his party members “in check or risk losing domestic and global credibility” and deliver promised reforms if he does not want to risk losing domestic and global credibility.Announcing that ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’ scheme will soon be launched under which one state will choose another state each year to learn about other state’s culture and language, PM said, “I have formed a small committee which is preparing its modalities.”PM also used the occasion to remember former PM Indira Gandhi for sacrificing her life on October 31 that coincides with Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary but at the same time did not forget to take a dig at dynastic politics. Recalling that Patel never promoted any family member in political life he said, it has become a bane of our politics in current times.But this did not find any favour from Congress that mocked at BJP’s attempts to appropriate the legacy of its leader Sardar Patel and asked the PM to release the communique signed by Sardar Patel for banning the RSS after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and the correspondence Sardar had with the then RSS chief MS Golwalkar and Syama Prasad Mookerjee of the Jan Sangh.“Sardar Patel had given a detailed order banning the RSS… First they should read it, then they will run in the opposite direction,” Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said.“They do not have heroes and icons and therefore they are borrowing them and borrowing them foolishly…. Sardar Patel had taken important decisions and one of them was banning the RSS,” charged Sharma.Meanwhile, upset at seeing posters put up by the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) mentioning Patel’s action of banning “deshdrohi” RSS, some swayamsevaks have sent a legal notice to the Congress.The notice sent on behalf of Sandeep Kulkarni and Rakesh Mudgal sought an apology “for making defamatory/spurious statement against RSS, failing which my clients shall be left with no alternative except to approach the court for criminal and civil legal actions entirely at your risk and cost.”The hoardings said “Many many salutations to ‘Iron Man’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who unified the country and banned anti-India RSS”.

Uttar Pradesh Guv Ram Naik finds himself a new controversy, stops national anthem mid-way

In a quick damage control measure, a Raj Bhawan official clarified that it was due to a minor confusion and there was no intention to insult the national anthem.

It triggered a controversy with questions being raised whether it tantamount to insulting the national anthem.

File Photo
Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik on Saturday stoked a controversy when he ordered stopping of national anthem mid-way as it was being played during the end of the oath taking function for ministers in Raj Bhawan.As the national anthem was played at the end of the event, Naik waved at his staff indicating that Jana Gana Mana be stopped and even verbally instructed his personnel to do so as he wanted to take up a pledge of national unity to mark the National Integration Day on the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Naik’s instructions, the playing of Jana Gana Mana was stopped mid-way, but it triggered a controversy with questions being raised whether it tantamount to insulting the national anthem.In a quick damage control measure, a Raj Bhawan official clarified that it was due to a minor confusion and there was no intention to insult the national anthem. “The programme had not ended and the playing of national anthem got underway…the Governor had to administer national unity pledge before the event concluded,” he said.Opposition Congress demanded an apology from those responsible for the lapse, saying playing of the national anthem cannot be stopped mid-way. “This is most unfortunate and condemnable…. We demand an apology from those responsible,” Congress spokesman Dwijendra Tripathi said.

Run for Unity: PM Modi not suitable for his post, says Congress

“They only speak and do not take any action and everyday they do politics. Narendra Modi is not suitable for his post, he lacks knowledge,” said Anand Sharma

Congress leader Anand Sharma

The Congress on Saturday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his speech on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and said the former is not suitable for his post as he lacks knowledge.”They only speak and do not take any action and everyday they do politics. Narendra Modi is not suitable for his post, he lacks knowledge. He does not know how to maintain the decency of his post. If he would have maintained decency, then he would not have insulted those who have sacrificed their lives for the nation,” Congress leader Anand Sharma told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: PM Modi flags off unity run, honours Sardar Patel, says unity and harmony necessary”If he truly remembers Sardar Patel, then he should apologise first and clear it if he is sticking to the promise of undertaking of the RSS. He should also put the order of Sardar Patel beneath his statue in which he had ordered restrictions on the RSS. Then it will be a true respect to Sardar Patel,” he added.Congress leader Rajeev Shukla said that Sardar Patel has always belonged to the Congress and talking about his legacy is not right.”This family (Nehru-Gandhi) has sacrificed its lives for the nation. If he (Narendra Modi) wants to unite the nation, then it should be done with a pure heart,” Shukla told ANI.Honouring Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel”s immeasurable efforts in uniting the nation, Prime Minister Modi on Saturday reminded the nation that the legacy left behind by a great leader like Sardar Patel and Indira Gandhi must be passed to future generations.The Prime Minister pitched the “Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat” programme, where every year two states will connect and learn about each other”s language and culture.

PM Modi flags off unity run, honours Sardar Patel, says unity and harmony necessary

Modi also used the occasion to take a dig at dynastic politics, saying it had become a bane of our politics and recalled that Patel never promoted any family member in political life.

PM Narendra Modi flagging off run for unity

ANI
Invoking Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s work for national integration, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said “unity, peace and harmony” was the first condition if India has to move forward and attain new heights of development.”Unity is our biggest strength… We have to move forward with the mantra of unity, peace and harmony,” he asserted at an event marking the 140th birth anniversary of Patel, against the backdrop of protests by artistes, writers and scientists over alleged “rising intolerance” after the Dadri lynching, beef row and other incidents.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi also used the occasion to take a dig at dynastic politics, saying it had become a bane of our politics and recalled that Patel never promoted any family member in political life.At the National Integration Day to mark birth anniversary of India’s first Deputy Prime Minister, where Modi flagged off ‘run for unity’, Modi asked people to take forwards Patel’s message that the nation can sacrifice anything for its unity.”If the country has to move forward and attain new heights of development, then the first guarantee is….Irrespective of our language and attachment of our feelings and ideology to any inspiration or system from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Atak to Cuttuck, if our goal is to take Mother India to new heights in the world, then the first condition for that is unity, peace and harmony.”If 125 crore Indians with the mantra of unity, peace and harmony walk one step together shoulder to shoulder, then the country will move 125 crore steps in one go.”Our strength is a nation bound together by unity and which can sacrifice everything for unity and this is the message of Sardar sahab,” he said, recalling that Patel’s life was dedicated to national unity.The Prime Minister also announced that ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’ scheme will soon be launched under which one state will choose another state each year and then promote its language and culture. “I have formed a small committee which is preparing its modalities,” he said. At the beginning of his speech, Modi also remembered former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary, saying she sacrificed her life on this day and it cannot be forgotten.

PM Narendra Modi to flag off ‘Run For Unity’ tomorrow on Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary

On the eve of the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, the pledge of National Unity was administered at many offices of the Government of India in New Delhi today, the statement said.

PM Modi will address the people assembled at Rajpath for the “Run For Unity” and administer the pledge of unity to the assembled gathering.

File Photo
The 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on Friday will be celebrated across the country, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging off the ‘Run For Unity’ at Rajpath. The day is being celebrated as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ (National Unity Day). The Prime Minister will first offer floral tributes at Sardar Patel statue on Parliament Street at 7.30 am, a PMO statement said. After this, he will address the people assembled at Rajpath for the “Run For Unity” and administer the pledge of unity to the assembled gathering, it added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi will then flag off the ‘Run For Unity’ from the lawns of Vijay Chowk around 8.15 am. The participation is voluntary and a large number of people including school-children and sports persons are expected to join the ‘Run for Unity’, the statement added. On the eve of the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, the pledge of National Unity was administered at many offices of the Government of India in New Delhi today, the statement said.Celebrations are also being organised in states which Union Ministers would be attending at different places.

Hardik Patel moves Gujarat HC against phone tapping by cops

Hardik’s father Bharat Patel filed the petition on his behalf as Hardik himself is in the custody of police here.

The Patel leaders and members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti conspired to topple the state government, FIR against Hardik says.

Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel today moved the Gujarat High Court challenging the interception of his and his associates’ phone calls by the police and seeking an independent inquiry into it. “The petitioner challenges the legality…of unlawfully tapping telephones not only of the petitioner but of several thousands persons of the Patidar community…which they (police) have admitted in the FIR against the petitioner,” said his plea calling it the “grossest violation of personal liberty”. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hardik’s father Bharat Patel filed the petition on his behalf as Hardik himself is in the custody of police here. The city crime branch had on October 21 registered an FIR against Hardik and his aides Chirag Patel, Ketan Patel, Dinesh Patel, Alpesh Kathiria and Amrish Patel on charges of sedition and waging war against the government. The FIR mentions details of call interceptions of the Patel leaders. The Patel leaders and members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti conspired to topple the state government, it alleges.When Hardik was produced before a magistrate, it was revealed that the police had started tapping the phones in August, though the permission for it was obtained only on October 3. Hardik’s petition, filed through his lawyer B M Mangukia, is likely to be heard on November 2. The 22-year-old firebrand leader is also facing a sedition case in Surat for allegedly advising a Patel youth “to kill policemen rather than committing suicide”.Meanwhile, Chirag Patel’s father today wrote to the city Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha alleging that the crime branch official tried to pressurise him to make his son withdraw a habeas corpus petition before the High Court charging Hardik was abducted by some people last month.

HC seeks EC’s reply over Gujarat minister’s fake degree row

The division bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice N V Anjaria issued notice to the ECI after the petitioner added the Commission as a party to the PIL. On October 13, the HC had issued notices to Gujarat government

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday sought a reply from the Election Commission of India to a public interest litigation petition alleging that Gujarat minister of state Shankar Chaudhari holds a bogus MBA degree.The division bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice N V Anjaria issued notice to the ECI after the petitioner added the Commission as a party to the PIL. On October 13, the HC had issued notices to Gujarat government, State Election Commission, the minister and the Superintendent of Police of Patan district. It also issued notices to Patan-based Sheth K B Vakil Vividhlaxi Vidyalaya where Chaudhari completed his std 12th in 2011 and the National Institute of Management (NIM) of Vadodara where he got his allegedly bogus MBA degree.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chaudhari is minister of state for Health and Family Welfare with independent charge of Urban Housing. The petitioner Farsu Goklani is a Patan-based Congress worker. As per the school records obtained under RTI Act, the minister passed std 12th in 2011, but his affidavit before the State Election Commission in 2012 stated that he had completed MBA in the same year (2012) from NIM, the PIL points out.No institute can grant an MBA within a year of completing the std 12th, and the minister should be prosecuted for providing false information in the affidavit, it says. Chaudhari’s election should be set aside and he should be sacked from the ministry, the PIL demands. Chaudhari, MLA from Vav in Banaskantha district, was made a minister after Anandiben Patel became Chief Minister in May 2014.

Delhi police to cordon off areas during India-Africa summit

Traffic snarls are expected in the city for the next two days in view of major arrangements for VVIP movements during the India-Africa summit, even as Delhi Traffic police on Tuesday said that they have developed the best strategy to keep the capital congestion free.

Foreign delegates listening to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj while her addresses during The India-Africa Summit in New Delhi on Tuesday.

PTI
Traffic snarls are expected in the city for the next two days in view of major arrangements for VVIP movements during the India-Africa summit, even as Delhi Traffic police on Tuesday said that they have developed the best strategy to keep the capital congestion free.Several parts of Lutyens’ Delhi and Central Delhi – including India Gate C-Hexagon – will be restricted during the peak hours on both the days. Also major roads like Sardar Patel Marg, Lala Lajpat Rai Marg and Aurobindo Marg will be made out of bounds for general public every now and then in view of VIP movements, said a senior traffic official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have taken the best measures to keep Delhi congestion free. However, there is no harm in starting your journeys a little in advance,” said Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander.The traffic plan for the summit shows that India Gate C-hexagon will be off limits for at least two hours while dignitaries head to Rajghat and the trade fair at Pragati Maidan. Other roads being used by the delegates will be closed for around 40 minutes.Teen Murti Marg, Akbar Road, Tees January Marg, Rajesh Pilot Marg, Subrahmaniam Bharti Marg, Mathura Road and Bhairon Marg will remain closed between 5.30 pm and 10.00 pm tomorrow, the official said. Ashoka Road, Akbar Road, Teen Murti Marg and Sardar Patel Marg will be closed on both days. Also no traffic will be allowed on Amrita Shergil Marg, Max Muller Marg, Maharishi Raman Marg and Arch Bishop Makrious Marg on both days of the summit. The Ring Road stretch between Sarai Kale Khan and Shanti Van will be closed between 8 am and 10 am and again from 4 pm to 8 pm on Thursday. Commuters moving towards north can divert from Nizamuddin Bridge and turn from Akshardham towards Pushta Road. Then they can again join the route near Kashmere Gate ISBT through the Geeta Colony flyover, said Joint Commissioner (Traffic) Sandeep Goel.He added that, another possible diversion would be opting for the upper ridge road and head towards Karol Bagh, and then move towards north. Commuters should avoid Barapullah Road, Lodhi Road, Safdarjung Road, Kamal Ataturk Marg, Mother Teresa Crescent for east-west movement across the city, police said.Commuters have also been advised to use C-Hexagon-Akbar Road-Maulana Azad Road to reach North or South Block from India Gate or C-Hexagon-Ashoka Road-KG Marg to reach Gole Dakkhana and Connaught Place. People heading towards the Airport can use Shanti Path or RTR Marg. There shall also be no restrictions en route to New Delhi and Old Delhi Railway Stations, traffic officials added.

Sedition charges against Hardik Patel upheld by Gujarat HC

In a setback for Hardik Patel, Gujarat High Court on Tuesday rejected Hardik Patel’s petition challenging sedition complaint against him.

In a setback for Hardik Patel, Gujarat High Court on Tuesday rejected Hardik Patel’s petition challenging sedition complaint against him.Gujarat High Court has upheld sedition charges against the Patel quota agitation leader. Hardik was arrested by the city crime branch on the charges of sedition and waging war against the government.Hardik had on Monday filed a plea in the Gujarat High Court seeking to have the FIR against him quashed.The petition, filed by his lawyer B M Mangukia, said the First Information Report was vague and was only aimed at suppressing the agitation of the Patel community for reservation in OBC category. His actions did not amount to sedition or waging war against the government, it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This is the second FIR against Hardik where he has been accused of sedition (under section 124-A of IPC).Earlier, Surat police had booked him for sedition for allegedly advising a Patel youth to kill policemen rather than committing suicide. His petition seeking to scrap that FIR is already before the High Court.Ahmedabad police’s crime branch filed a fresh FIR for sedition against Hardik and five of his associates after taking his custody from Surat police.

Hardik Patel moves Gujarat HC, seeks scrapping of 2nd sedition FIR against

This is the second FIR against Hardik where he has been accused of sedition (under section 124-A of IPC).

Hardik’s lawyer said, the report was only aimed at suppressing the agitation of the Patel community for reservation in OBC category.

Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, arrested by the city crime branch on the charges of sedition and waging war against the government, on Monday filed a plea in the Gujarat High Court seeking to have the FIR against him quashed. The petition, filed by his lawyer B M Mangukia, said the First Information. Report was vague and was only aimed at suppressing the agitation of the Patel community for reservation in OBC category. His actions did not amount to sedition or waging war against the government, it said. The plea is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This is the second FIR against Hardik where he has been accused of sedition (under section 124-A of IPC). Earlier, Surat police had booked him for sedition for allegedly advising a Patel youth to kill policemen rather than committing suicide. His petition seeking to scrap that FIR is already before the High Court. Ahmedabad police’s crime branch filed a fresh FIR for sedition against Hardik and five of his associates after taking his custody from Surat police. As per the FIR, Hardik and others allegedly incited the people to resort to violence after the Patel community’s massive rally here on August 25. In a related development, the High Court today issued a notice to Gujarat government on petitions of three close aides Hardik’s — Chirag Patel, Ketan Patel and Dinesh Patel — who too have sought to quash the same FIR.Justice JB Pardiwala issued the notice to the state government and adjourned the hearing to October 29. These three and Hardik are currently in the custody of city crime branch.

Patels in Surat threaten to convert for reservation

Local Patel leaders called this move as a symbolic protest against the state government, which according to them, has denied reservation benefits to the community members under OBC category.

The state-wide agitation for quota is being spearheaded by Hardik Patel, a 22-year-old commerce graduate who is hogging the limelight after organising a massive rally in Ahmedabad on August 25.
File Photo
AFP photo
With Gujarat government not heeding to the Patels’ demand for OBC status, at least 500 families of the community have threatened to leave Hinduism and convert to another religion for getting benefits of reservation in jobs and education. These families reside in Pasodara village near Surat city, around 260 kms from Ahmedabad. Local Patel leaders called this move as a symbolic protest against the state government, which according to them, has denied reservation benefits to the community members under OBC category.”At least 500 Patel families of Pasodara have decided to go for conversion in the wake of the government’s denial of reservation benefits to the Patels. We have conveyed our wish to convert to various Hindu organisations and leaders of our religion,” said Raju Bodara, a prominent member of Akhil Bharatiya Patidar Sena, a Patel group, in Surat district.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vijay Patel, a local resident, said the families are “compelled” to take such a step.”Looking at the current situation, where the government is terrorising Patels by various means, we are left with no other option but to convert. We are compelled to do so. This government and our religious leaders should now do introspection on this issue,” he said.”We are consulting legal experts to know more about our rights after conversion. We are also studying the Constitution. There must be a law which will give us all the benefits of reservation after conversion,” Vijay added.The state-wide agitation for quota is being spearheaded by Hardik Patel, a 22-year-old commerce graduate who is hogging the limelight after organising a massive rally in Ahmedabad on August 25.

Sedition charges: Voice-matching test on Hardik Patel soon; aides’ houses searched

The voice-matching test, to be conducted in a day or two, was needed to verify claims of Ahmedabad Crime Branch that Hardik’s phone interceptions revealed he intended to wage a war against the Government.
File Photo
PTI
Police will conduct a voice spectrography test on Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel, who along with five associates, is facing charges of sedition and “waging war” against the Gujarat Government, officials said on Sunday.In a related development, Crime Branch sleuths late Saturday night conducted searches at the houses of three aides of Hardik and claimed to have found “material evidence” in connection with the sedition case.The voice-matching test, to be conducted in a day or two, was needed to verify claims of Ahmedabad Crime Branch that Hardik’s phone interceptions revealed he intended to wage a war against the Government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We will conduct a voice spectrography test on Hardik Patel tomorrow or the day after in Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) at Gandhinagar,” K N Patel, ACP (Crime Branch) told PTI.Crime Branch late last night conducted searches at the houses of three Hardik aides – Chirag Patel, Ketan Patel and Dinesh Patel – who are also members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) – on the city’s outskirts and “found material evidence” in connection with the case, he said.Besides Hardik and his three aides, two other leaders of PAAS – Alpesh Kathiria and Amrish Patel – were booked by Crime Branch under IPC Sections 121 (waging war against Government), 124 (sedition – bringing hatred, contempt or disaffection towards the Government), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity).”During the searches, we recovered two pen drives, one hard disk and one laptop. These items will be sent to the FSL for examination as part of the ongoing probe,” Patel said.The ACP said Crime Branch yesterday conducted voice spectrography test on Ketan, Chirag and Dinesh at the FSL with a view to substantiating the allegations against them in the sedition case.Meanwhile, Hardik, who faces two cases of sedition (in Surat and Ahmedabad), was today produced before a city court which extended his police remand by seven more days. He was booked for sedition by Crime Branch on October 21. The first case was filed against the 22-year-old firebrand Patel leader by Surat Police on October 19 for allegedly advising a youth of his community to kill policemen.Hardik, spearheading the agitation seeking reservation under OBC category for the Patel community, has been hogging the limelight since he held a massive rally here on August 25. His detention from the venue had sparked state-wide violence, in which 10 people were killed.

BJP govt has destroyed Haryana, says INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala

Slamming the first ever BJP government in Haryana led by Khattar, who has been giving details of its “achievements” on completion of one year, Chautala said they have destroyed the state.

Abhay Singh Chautala
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Haryana’s main opposition on Sunday accused the Manohar Lal Khattar government of “destroying” the state and cheating people by going back on its promises made before Assembly polls.”The Chief Minister says they have undertaken Vikas (development), but I will say that they have done Vinash (destruction),” senior INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala said.Slamming the first ever BJP government in Haryana led by Khattar, who has been giving details of its “achievements” on completion of one year, he said they have destroyed the state. Hitting out at Khattar government’s claims that it had taken various steps to rein in corruption, Chautala, speaking with party leaders Ashok Arora and Rampal Majra, asked “why have they failed to take action on the chargesheet which we submitted to the (then) Governor last year about various acts of ommission and commission of the previous Congress government in the state?”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I had recently asked Chief Minister about what his government intended to do about the chargesheet and he had assured the members in the state Assembly that his government will get an inquiry done into this. We (INLD) had even said that if we are found wrong on any of the facts which we raised in our chargesheet, then action be taken against us. But one year has passed, they are still dilly dallying the matter, which indicates there is tacit understanding between the Congress and the BJP,” he alleged.Chautala raked up “a mega scam in the making” pertaining to the purchase of 1509 Basmati variety of rice from farmers at the price of general variety rice by government agencies.”While the purchase rate of this particular variety last year was at Rs 3,300 per quintal, now the government agencies are procuring it at Rs 1,450 per quintal. However, the farmers allege that they are being paid only between Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,300 per quintal. I demand a high level probe by an independent agency into this scam,” he said.Criticising the government over its claims of having taken many pro-farmer decisions, he said, “Immediately after they came to power, there was acute shortage of pesticides (urea). A couple of months back, the government claimed to have made highest ever payment of Rs 1,092 crore for crop damage, but still there are many farmers who have not got any compensation…Farmers including cotton farmers affected by white-fly pest attack have not been adequately compensated,” he said.Chautala also claimed that BJP has gone back on promises in its poll manifesto.”They promised unemployment allowance to youths and to give Rs 15,000 per month salary to the Safai Karamcharis and equal pay scales to employees at par with Punjab, none of which has been fulfilled. On the contrary, during the past one year, many sections including employees, guest teachers, nursing students, laboratory assistants and other sections have been forced to hit streets as the promises made to them by the BJP have not been fulfilled,” he said.The INLD leader said “no concrete step has been taken to ensure early completion of SYL Canal, which would have helped Haryana get its share of water”. He charged the Khattar government with failing to end favouritsm in jobs, “which had ruled roost during previous Congress regime”.On the law and order situation in the state, he alleged that it has worsened ever since present government took over.While recent incidents at Sunped in Faridabad and Gohana, in which two Dalit children were burnt alive and a Dalit youth died allegedly in police custody, have shaken the state, “there has been a manifold increase in crimes against Dalits and women”, he said.”As many as 100 Dalit families of Bhagana village in Haryana were forced to convert while victims of Mirchpur incident are still living in a state of fear and insecurity,” he said.On the power issue, he stated, “they made tall promises of giving 24-hour power supply to the people, but the truth is that they are fiding it difficult to supply even four hours of power (in rural areas). Moreover, they also burdened the consumers with hiked power rates.”We give the government time till November 1 to roll back the increased power rates or else we will be forced to hit the streets to protest,” he said.On the rise in rates of pulses, Chautala said, “Recently, huge stocks of pulses were seized from hoarders in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, both of which are ruled by the BJP…pulses, which are selling at around Rs 70 per kg in neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, have shot through the roof in our country and are selling at well above Rs 200 per kg”.”But the government is not worried about common consumers…we only hear about row over beef or some irresponsible statements made by the BJP Ministers, be it at the Centre or Haryana,” he said.On the minimum qualification criteria for various posts of Panchayati Raj institutions, Chautala said, “Today, if a referendum is conducted, 99 per cent people in the state will not favour this”.On Khattar’s recent visit to US and Canada to attract investments, he said, “This was just an eyewash. No new investment has come to Haryana”.Meanwhile, Chautala said preparations were underway for INLD’s ‘Samman Rally’ on November 1 in Rohtak, to celebrate the birth anniversary of former Deputy Prime Minister, late Devi Lal. Chautala said among other leaders, they had also invited Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, to participate in the rally.

‘Response of govt seems to indicate indifference’: Ex-navy chief writes heartfelt open letter to PM Modi

Former chief of the Indian Navy and former internal Lokpal of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Admiral (retd) Laxminarayan Ramdas has written a heartfelt open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to direct his government to take action to prevent the spread of religious intolerance in the country.

Laxminarayan Ramdas. Reuters

Laxminarayan Ramdas. Reuters

“My religion taught me values of love and respect for all beings. My brand of Hinduism was not filled with the kind of violence, intolerance represented by the current brand of “Hindutva” that seems to be fanning the flames of division and fear across the country,” Ramdas wrote in his open letter to the PM.

He also said that people from minority communities, especially Muslims, were being asked to repeatedly prove their loyalty to the nation. He said their places of worship was under attack and they were even being targeted for their eating habits.

Ramdas added that the more disturbing fact, however, is that “Sadly, time and time again, the response of the government seems to indicate an almost studied, but certainly not benign, indifference . The co-ordinated response of those in government seems to be to downplay the serious and vicious nature of these allegations and attacks – by terming them ‘sad’ and ‘unfortunate’ – whereas there should be outrage and a demonstrated will to ensure that this society will not tolerate such behaviour.”

The ex-navy chief also pointed out that there were MPs and cabinet ministers were leading the way in making provocative comments.

Ramdas’ open letter comes on the same day on which Prime Minister Modi, through his Mann Ki Baat address on radio, said that diversity of religions and castes is the beauty of India and that the ‘mantra’ of unity should be carried forward through thinking and expressions.

Invoking Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel ahead of his birth anniversary, he strongly batted for ‘unity in diversity’ while asserting that peace, harmony and unity are the key to progress.

“The mantra of unity should always be the medium of our thinking, our behaviour and expression,” Modi said.

“India is full of diversity. It has different sects, different religions, different languages and different castes. There are so many diversities in our India and this diversity is our beauty,” the Prime Minister said in his 35-minute programme.

He said if this diversity was not there, “we would not have been able to feel proud. Therefore, diversity is the mantra of unity.”

Mentioning the upcoming birth anniversary of Patel on 31 October, Modi said, “Let us pay tribute to Sardar (Patel) Sahab. Take the unity mantra forward.”

With inputs from PTI

PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat: Unity will take country forward, diversity is India’s beauty

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of incidents of violence with communal and casteist overtones, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said diversity of religions and castes is the beauty of India and that the ‘mantra’ of unity should be carried forward through thinking and expressions.

PM Narendra Modi. Reuters

PM Narendra Modi. Reuters

Invoking Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel ahead of his birth anniversary, he strongly batted for ‘unity in diversity’ while asserting that peace, harmony and unity are the key to progress.

“The mantra of unity should always be the medium of our thinking, our behaviour and expression,” Modi said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

“India is full of diversity. It has different sects, different religions, different languages and different castes. There are so many diversities in our India and this diversity is our beauty,” the Prime Minister said in his 35-minute programme.

He said if this diversity was not there, “we would not have been able to feel proud. Therefore, diversity is the mantra of unity.”

Mentioning the upcoming birth anniversary of Patel on 31 October, Modi said, “Let us pay tribute to Sardar (Patel) Sahab. Take the unity mantra forward.”

His comments assume significance as recently there have been incidents of violence lynching of a man over beef-eating rumours in Uttar Pradesh and burning of a Dalit’s house in Haryana, which had communal and casteist overtones.

Referring to the ‘Run for Unity’ organised every year on Patel’s birth anniversary, Modi said these are actually the ‘run for progress’.

“In other words, the run for unity is the guarantee for run for progress,” he said, while noting that earlier he used to get a chance to participate in this event.

In an effort to reach out to Dalits, the Prime Minister invoked BR Ambedkar, saying he was feeling excited about his upcoming visit to the UK where he will visit the ‘Ambedkar House’, where the architect of the Constitution lived. The property was recently acquired by India from the British government.

“A day after Diwali, I am going to Britain. This time, I am excited about my visit to Britain and the reason for it is special. A few weeks back, I had gone to Mumbai to lay foundation stone for a big memorial for Ambedkar…

“Now, in London, I will formally inaugurate the house where Dr Baba Sahab Ambedkar lived, which recently became Indian government’s property and a place of inspiration for 125 crore Indians,” he said.

He noted that the issue related to acquisition of this complex had been entangled for several years and now it is the property of 125 crore Indians.

“When Ambedkar’s name is associated, you can imagine how much happiness people like me have,” Modi said.

He said Ambedkar was an inspiration for the dalits, the oppressed, the deprived, the backwards and all other Indians who live a difficult life that if there is will power, one can make progress in life and get educated. “This is the place (in London) where Ambedkar did his devotion.”

The Prime Minister said the central government also encourages capable Dalit youth.

During the programme, he also announced abolition of the practice of interview for Group D,C and B posts in government jobs from 1 January, next year. He also said several important schemes will be launched ahead of Diwali.

He also talked about how the ‘Swacch Bharat’ Abhiyan is being carried forward by media and common people, the importance of organ donation, progress of the ‘MP Adarsh Gram Yojana’ as also the festivals of Navratra, Eid and Diwali.

PTI

Court sends Hardik Patel to police custody for seven days

Ahmedabad: An Ahmedabad court on Sunday sent Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel in seven days remand of Crime Branch of city police in connection with an alleged case of sedition and waging war against the State.

Metropolitan Magistrate SJ Brahmbhatt passed the order on an application of the probe agency seeking 14 days remand.

Hardik Patel. PTI

Hardik Patel. PTI

The 22-year old leader of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) was produced before the magistrate at his residence late last night.

In a marathon hearing that lasted till early Sunday morning, the probe agency said it needed to “know about the persons behind the quota agitation and the source of funding behind it”.

Seeking a 14-day remand of Hardik, Crime Branch submitted that custody of the accused is needed to interrogate him to know who all have been supporting their agitation, whether PAAS is a registered organisation and and how he was appointed as its convener.

It also sought the remand to know that who funded the accommodation of people who attended various public rallies of Hardik.

The probe agency said that an investigation will have to be carried out on the aspects of rioting incidents that broke out every time when PAAS leaders were detained by the police in various parts of Gujarat.

As Hardik mentioned in a public rally here on 25 August that their agitation would give a blow to the present state government and will also harm the Centre, a probe is needed on this part to ascertain if he had hatched any conspiracy against the central and state governments, the plea said.

It said the emerging Patel leader had also incited members of his community to resort to violence across the state.

The police plea also stated that the probe agency required to conduct voice spectrography test to verify Hardik’s voice in phone calls that were intercepted by Crime Branch wherein he had talks with some persons against the government.

Opposing the remand application, Hardik’s advocate BM Mangukia said the probe agency could not give any specific reasons in the FIR to establish the case of sedition and of waging war against the State.

Mangukia also submitted that the city crime branch intercepted the phone calls of Hardik and other PAAS leaders illegally, and hence breached the privacy of his client.

He said Crime Branch started intercepting phone calls in August only as it has been mentioned in transcriptions of phone conversation between Hardik and his aides, while the state’s Home Department gave permission (to the intercept calls) on 3 October.

Crime Branch had filed a second case of sedition against Hardik and five others on 21 October while charging them under Indian Penal Code sections 121 (waging war against government), 124 (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity).

Others who have been charged include – Chirag Patel, Dinesh Patel, Ketan Patel, Amrish Patel and Alepsh Kathiria.

Three PAAS members – Dinesh, Ketan and Chirag – have been arrested in the case.

The first case was filed against the firebrand Patel leader with the Surat Police on 19 October for allegedly advising a Patel youth to kill policemen.

PTI

Sedition FIR against Hardik Patel to crush quota stir: Congress

Gujarat Congress on Saturday came out in support of the Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel by saying that registration of sedition cases against him was an attempt to crush the reservation stir.

Congress supported quota for EBCs among upper castes, and would raise the issue in the election campaign. (PTI)

File Photo
Gujarat Congress on Saturday came out in support of the Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel by saying that registration of sedition cases against him was an attempt to crush the reservation stir.With the elections to the local bodies announced, Congress also said the BJP government should have provided reservation to the economically backward sections (EBCs) among the upper castes. “By slapping sedition charges against Hardik Patel, the BJP government has shamed the democracy. The way the charges of sedition are being filed … it is evident that government is trying to crush the agitation,” Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela said. “They are doing this because they foresee the defeat in the local bodies polls,” Vaghela added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Polls to the local bodies were announced by the State Election Commission yesterday. Elections to six municipal corporations will be held on November 22, while that for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities on November 29.State Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said the party’s preparations for the polls were almost over. “When the quota agitation took place, we had demanded that apart from 49 per cent reservations for OBCs, STs and SCs, another 15 to 20 per cent reservations should be given to EBCs of all upper castes,” Solanki said. “The government could have done it by bringing ordinance or calling a special session of Assembly. But, instead it chose to crush the agitation,” he said, adding that Congress supported quota for EBCs among upper castes, and would raise the issue in the election campaign.Police have filed sedition cases against Hardik Patel and five of his associates in Surat and Ahmedabad.The 22-year-old Hardik was yesterday arrested by the city crime branch in connection with the second sedition case registered against him and sent to judicial custody by a Surat court. Solanki also said that his party would raise the issues such as inflation, corruption, failure in delivering health care, law and order situation and farmers’ problems during the campaign.Congress also said it would challenge in the court the elections to municipal corporations as the State Election Commission has decided to have four representatives per ward instead of one.

PM Narendra Modi visit will deepen India-UK bonds: UK minister Priti Patel

Everyone in the Indian community is even more excited about PM Modi’s visit, she said

Prime Minister Modi is an inspirational leader, she said. (File Photo)

AFP
The senior-most Indian-origin member of the British government Priti Patel has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK next month will deepen the bonds between the two countries. Patel, who is leading the British government charge on the much-anticipated visit as Prime Minister David Cameron’s Indian Diaspora Champion, said the visit will mark the highlight of Modi’s many international tours this year. “This visit will deepen our existing bonds in education, business, security, culture and much more. In particular there is such an opportunity to showcase the relationship, show the vibrancy of the UK India Diaspora community in particular, celebrate their contribution and success and hard work.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Prime Minister Modi is an inspirational leader and with the visit coinciding with Diwali, everyone in the Indian community is even more excited about this event. It is a great privilege to host him at such an auspicious time. He will get one of the best welcomes ever. Without a doubt the UK visit will be the icing on the cake,” she said, describing the event as a “personal highlight”. Patel, the UK’s minister for employment, highlighted how Modi’s first visit as prime minister will also mark a stronger collaboration on job creation and growth.She said, “This visit will mark the beginning of a new era in our relationship. London is the most important financial centre in the world, which is an opportunity for India as it seeks investments to grow and access to finance and continues its creation of jobs and infrastructure for inclusive and sustainable development. “We are ranked incredibly highly when it comes to ease of doing business, whether it is our very low rates of corporation tax or our long-term economic plan. And I have no doubt that this will all be of great interest to the Indian government and the PM,” she said.Stressing her government’s commitment to “stand shoulder to shoulder” with Modi, Patel said there was an opportunity to collaborate more in the field of innovation, R&D, new technologies, environmental and climate change issues. “He is a remarkable man and a visionary when it comes to India’s economic growth. We are seeing that clearly in Make in India, Skill India and the focus on young people and jobs and growth. It is similar to the economic approach that we have in this country, outlined by Cameron and Osborne,” she said. In reference to the personal connect between Modi and Cameron, she added, “David Cameron has invested a great deal in the UK-India relationship. I have been twice with the PM and he has been to India three times in the last Parliament.He has a very warm relationship with the Indian PM. This visit will demonstrate the strength of that unbeatable combination of our two leaders”.

Surat District Court sends Hardik Patel to 14 days judicial custody

In the remand application, Inspector J S Gedam of Crime Branch sought custody of the trio to find out who were instigating them to “wage war against the State Government”.
File Photo
PTI
Surat District Court quashed Patel agitation leader Hardik Patel’s 4-day remand by Surat Police on Friday. Hardik was also sent for 14 daysin judicial custody on Friday. Hardik, arrested earlier this week, is currently in custody of Surat Police in another sedition case.On Friday, Crime Branch had filed a case against Hardik and five others, charging them with sedition and “waging war against the Gujarat Government”, among other offences. Besides Hardik, Chirag, Ketan and Dinesh, the others booked in the case are Amrish Patel and Alepsh Kathiria, both members of PAAS who are currently absconding. Dinesh and Chirag were arrested by police on Thursday from outside the Gujarat High Court, while Ketan was apprehended on Friday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All accused were charged under IPC Sections 121 (waging war against Government), 124 (sedition – bringing hatred, contempt or disaffection towards the Government), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity).In the remand application, Inspector J S Gedam of Crime Branch sought custody of the trio to find out who were instigating them to “wage war against the State Government”.”The probe agency needs to interrogate the accused to know about the persons, who have been backing the agitation of PAAS,” said the plea.The application said the probe agency needs to know the source of funding of the agitation. It also sought to conduct voice spectrography tests of the accused (to match their voice samples with phone intercepts).

BJP will have to bite Hardik Patel bullet in civic polls; Gujarat HC shuts escape route, orders immediate elections

By Swati Bhan

Ahmedabad: In a major embarrassment to the Anandiben Patel-led Gujarat government, the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday ordered the state Election Commission to start the process for civic polls in the state immediately and asked the state government to provide all security measures.

The civic elections in the state for all major cities, including Ahmedabad and Vadodara, were due in October.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. Reuters

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. Reuters

The court termed ‘unconstitutional’ the ordinance of the state government to delay the polls. The court went on to say that the decision of the Election Commission to delay the polls was illegal too.

The Election Commission had suggested that the delay was proposed after assessing the law and order situation. The state has been facing some unrest in the last few months following the agitation for quota by the Patels.

The agitation led by the 22-year-old Hardik Patel had managed to garner support among the youth from the Patel community and there were incidents of violence during the stir. The government had managed to bring it under control after a crack down on the agitators and the arrest of a few Patel leaders. It feared outbreak of caste wars in the state.

Citing these fears, the State Election Commission had argued that the law and order situation in the state was not conducive for elections hence the election should be postponed by a few months.” The BJP, which at present rules all the corporations, also feared a backlash from the community.

But setting aside these arguments the court has ordered the state Election Commission to start electoral process immediately.  The two-bench judge, which was hearing a petition filed on 9 October, was led by acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel.

The petition had challenged the executive order passed to delay the election by three months.

Second sedition case against Hardik Patel; two aides arrested

Dinesh Patel and Chirag Patel of Patidar Anamant Andolan Samiti (PAAS) were arrested by Ahmedabad crime branch from outside the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday evening when they stepped out of the court.
File Photo
AFP photo
A fresh case of sedition was on Wednesday filed against Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and five others by the crime branch which also arrested two of his aides, even as the Gujarat High Court asked the government how a statement against police could amount to sedition.Dinesh Patel and Chirag Patel of Patidar Anamant Andolan Samiti (PAAS) were arrested by Ahmedabad crime branch from outside the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday evening when they stepped out of the court. Surat police have already invoked the grave charge of sedition against Hardik, which he has challenged in the high court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hardik is currently in the custody of Surat police. The ACP said he may be arrested in the present case by seeking a transfer warrant.In the case filed by Surat police, Hardik is accused of instigating a Patel youth to kill policemen instead of committing suicide. In the FIR filed by the crime branch in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, the accused are charged with IPC sections 121 (waging war against the government), 124 (sedition — bringing hatred, contempt or disaffection towards the Government), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 153-B (assertions prejudicial to national integrity).K N Patel, assistant commissioner of police, crime branch, who is the complainant in the second case, said, “We have been keeping a watch on them for the last three months. After the Patels’ mega rally at GMDC ground here on August 25, we found that the accused had incited the people to resort to violence. They made phone calls and used other media to incite people against the government,” the ACP said.”Our surveillance suggested they had asked people in different parts of the state to set on fire police chowkies and public transport buses, hurl stones, attack houses of MLAs and even bomb the Assembly. They hatched a conspiracy to topple the government,” the police officer said.The FIR names six office-bearers of PAAS including Hardik Patel, Dinesh Patel, Chirag Patel and Alpesh Patel.Earlier on Wednesday, hearing the petition filed by Hardik’s father Bharat Patel seeking to quash the sedition charge slapped against his son, Justice J B Pardiwala asked the public prosecutor Mitesh Amin to clarify how the charge was applicable in the case. The judge also asked whether Hardik’s advise to kill policemen would attract section 153(a)(promoting enmity between different groups).”How should I construe that a government established by law in India would include the agencies of the government (police)… Here is a case… where akrosh (anger) and pain is against the police… a state agency… Government maintains law and order by police. (How) this (Hardik’s words against the police) was affecting any government established by law in India,” the judge asked.The Patel leader’s advice to Surat youth Vipul Desai seemed to be a personal conversation, he said.”Did he incite people or was it a one-to-one message to Vipul Desai which unfortunately was broadcast by media? Had it not been videographed, it would have been a dialogue between two people,” the court said. Amin sought time to take instructions from investigating officer, so the court posted the next hearing to October 23.Earlier, Amin submitted that the sedition charge should be seen in the context of entire sequence of events following the August 25 rally addressed by Hardik here, and his October 3 conversation with Vipul Desai should not be seen in isolation. Hardik had tried to incite persons of his community against a particular class of persons which is police, he said.”Giving advice of killing police is prima facie an act of sedition,” said the prosecutor. Also, Hardik was well aware of media presence when he spoke to Desai, Amin said. But the judge then said, “The hatred was (directed) against the police.”The court also asked how the section 153 (a) of IPC (promoting enmity between two groups) was invoked. “This (Patels’) agitation seems to be different (with the demand) that whatever benefits are being given to other communities should be given to us also,” the judge said.Hardik’s lawyer B M Mangukiya said his client did make the controversial statement in Surat, but it wasn’t sedition. The words were spoken by “a boy of 22 years” which were not addressed to public at large, he said.On October 3, Hardik had allegedly advised Desai to kill the police rather than taking own life. “If you have so much courage… then go and kill a couple of policemen. Patels never commit suicide,” Hardik allegedly told Desai who had announced that he would commit suicide in support of the quota agitation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caste-related violence has gripped India for decades.

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

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

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

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

Hardik Patel sent to police custody till Oct 23 by Surat court

Just after he was granted bail last evening by a local court in the flag case, Surat police had arrested him in the sedition complaint which was filed in that city.

A case of sedition was filed against Hardik for his alleged controversial remarks instigating his community youth to kill cops instead of committing suicide. (File Photo)

PTI
A Surat Fast track court has sent PAAS convener Hardik Patel to police custody on Tuesday till 23 October. Hardik Patel was arrested yesterday on sedition charges.A day after he was arrested, Patel quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel today moved a petition before the Gujarat High Court seeking to set aside the sedition charges filed against him in Surat. Hardik’s father Bharat Patel moved the plea on behalf of his son through his advocate B M Mangukiya and stated that no offence can be attributed to the Patel leader. “No offence can be disclosed by spoken words of Hardik and no overt act can be attributed to him by those words, thus no offence has been made out,” the plea said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plea is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow. A case of sedition was filed against Hardik for his alleged controversial remarks instigating his community youth to kill cops instead of committing suicide. Hardik, who was detained by Rajkot rural police ahead of the India-South Africa One-Day International on Sunday as he had threatened to disrupt the match, was arrested yesterday by the Rajkot rural police for allegedly insulting the national flag.Just after he was granted bail last evening by a local court in the flag case, Surat police had arrested him in the sedition complaint which was filed in that city.Surat city DCP Makrand Chauhan had filed a complaint against Hardik in Amroli police station for advising a Patel youth to kill policemen. The sedition case was filed under section 124(A) of IPC at Amroli Police Station in Surat under which any accused, if convicted, can be sentenced to maximum of life imprisonment, while the minimum sentence is of three years.The section reads, “whoever, by words, either spoken or written..brings hatred or contempt, or excites disaffection towards the Government shall be punishable with imprisonment for life…or with minimum imprisonment up to three years.” Other IPC sections included in the FIR against Hardik are section 115 (Abetment of offence), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups, 505-2 (incite one community against another) and 506 (criminal intimidation).The 22-year-old emerging Patel leader had on October 3 allegedly advised a Surat-based youth from his community to kill cops rather than ending his life.

Navratri Madness: Medical staff and nurses in trouble for Garba in hospital ICU

Gujarat Health Minister Nitin Patel called the incident “improper” and asked the hospital authorities to take action against the people involved in organising the dance.

YouTube

In an insensitive act, medical staff and nurses of a government-run civil hospital here played garba with loud music inside a newly-opened Hemodialysis ward for patients suffering from kidney related ailments. After a video showing the staff playing ‘garba’ in front of patients lying on their beds surfaced today, Gujarat Health Minister Nitin Patel called the incident “improper” and asked the hospital authorities to take action against the people involved in organising the dance.Incidentally, the staff started playing garba, moments after Nitin Patel left the hospital premises in Sola area yesterday after inaugurating the Hemodialysis ward for kidney patients. “I have learnt that some of the medical staff of that hospital had organized garba inside the newly inaugurated ward. I have taken a serious note of it and asked the hospital superintendent to serve show cause notices to those who were involved,” said Patel.”This new facility inaugurated yesterday is aimed at reducing financial burden on kidney patients. Instead of helping patients, the staff organized garba inside the ward, which is not proper at all,” added Patel.In the video, around 30 female as well as male staff members, including uniformed nurses, can be seen playing garba to loud music as patients looked on while resting on their beds.”After the minister inaugurated the new ward, some of the staff members played garba inside the ward,” said RMO at Sola Civil Hospital Dr Dilip Patel.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to hospital superintendent Dr H K Bhavsar, action will be taken as per government order. “These staff members did not take any permission from me to organize such an event inside the ward. We will serve show cause notices to them,” said Bhavsar. Striking a different note, Dr Rajesh Vishwakarma, head of ENT department in the civil hospital said that playing music in front of the patients for around 10-15 minutes does not have any adverse effect.
“Playing garba in front of patients will not affect them if volume is not much high. As far as playing of garba in a dialysis centre is concerned, I do not think one can play DJ-like sound in such a centre… so there is no question of effect on patients’ health,” he said.When he was told that garba was performed for about 20-25 minutes, Vishwakarma reiterated that it must not have made any effect on patients’ physical health. “Sometimes some patients do not like loud music due to psychological reasons, but such music do not affect patients’ physical condition,” he said. A city-based garba tutor Rakesh Sompura, who runs a group called ‘Chix and Rexx’, believes that garba can even act as a ‘musical therapy’ for a person suffering from illness. “We have instances that playing of garba in front of a patient can become a musical therapy to those suffering from mental or physical illness,” said Sompura.

Hardik Patel moves Gujarat High Court to set aside sedition charges

Hardik, who was detained by Rajkot rural police ahead of the India-South Africa One-Day International on Sunday as he had threatened to disrupt the match, was arrested yesterday by the Rajkot rural police for allegedly insulting the national flag.

PTI
A day after he was arrested, Patel quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel on Tuesday moved a petition before the Gujarat High Court seeking to set aside the sedition charges filed against him in Surat.Hardik’s father Bharat Patel moved the plea on behalf of his son through his advocate B M Mangukiya and stated that no offence can be attributed to the Patel leader.”No offence can be disclosed by spoken words of Hardik and no overt act can be attributed to him by those words, thus no offence has been made out,” the plea said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plea is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow.A case of sedition was filed against Hardik for his alleged controversial remarks instigating his community youth to kill cops instead of committing suicide.Hardik, who was detained by Rajkot rural police ahead of the India-South Africa One-Day International on Sunday as he had threatened to disrupt the match, was arrested yesterday by the Rajkot rural police for allegedly insulting the national flag.Just after he was granted bail last evening by a local court in the flag case, Surat police had arrested him in the sedition complaint which was filed in that city.Surat city DCP Makrand Chauhan had filed a complaint against Hardik in Amroli police station for advising a Patel youth to kill policemen.The sedition case was filed under section 124(A) of IPC at Amroli Police Station in Surat under which any accused, if convicted, can be sentenced to maximum of life imprisonment, while the minimum sentence is of three years.The section reads, “whoever, by words, either spoken or written..brings hatred or contempt, or excites disaffection towards the Government shall be punishable with imprisonment for life…or with minimum imprisonment up to three years.” Other IPC sections included in the FIR against Hardik are section 115 (Abetment of offence), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups, 505-2 (incite one community against another) and 506 (criminal intimidation).The 22-year-old emerging Patel leader had on October 3 allegedly advised a Surat-based youth from his community to kill cops rather than ending his life.

Watch: Hospital staff perform Garba in an ICU in Ahmedabad

In a bizarre incident, a video footage has emerged of the staff of the Sola Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad performing Garba, and that too in the ICU.

In the video, the ICU is seen decorated with balloons and flowers while the staff can be seen doing rounds of the room while doing Garba.

Photo courtesy: Twitter @ANI_newsPhoto courtesy: Twitter @ANI_news

Photo courtesy: Twitter @ANI_news

Earlier in the day, the Finance, Medical Education and Health and Family Welfare Minister of Gujarat, Nitinbhai Patel, had inaugurated the new dialysis centre in the hospital, reports India News.

But soon after Patel left, the hospital staff started playing Garba with loud music inside the ICU.

When asked about the incident, Patel said that it took place after he had left the hospital. He has asked for a report from the hospital on the same, reports Patrika.

Medical Superintendent of the hospital, HK Bhawsar, talking to ANI, said that although there was an inauguration function, no Garba event was planned. “This shouldn’t have happened,” Bhawsar said, adding that notices will be sent to all who were involved.

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