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No interviews for Class-III, IV govt jobs from Friday: PM Modi

The ministries have been asked to send a consolidated report to the DoPT by January 7 in this regard. “Report so to be furnished with the approval of the minister or minister in-charge shall include the details of the name and number of posts where the interview is discontinued and posts for which the exemption has been sought within the purview of the administrative ministries or departments,” the order said.

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Bengal committee to take call on alliance with Congress: Sitaram Yechury

There is intense speculation in political circles over the likelihood of an alliance coming up between the CPI-M and the Congress, both are in a state of disarray, in the state ahead of the election to oust the TMC in power. The CPI-M today ended its five-day plenum which it held after a gap of 37 years to revamp the party organisation. More than 400 leaders, including politburo and central committee members, attended the plenum.

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Come January 1, eatables in Parliament canteen to get costlier <!– /.block –>
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Animal Welfare Board advises Centre not to allow jallikattu, claims PETA

“We want to respect that but also ensure that there should be no cruelty. Therefore, we will give you good news in the next couple of days. We will give you good news so that the cultural practice can be followed as well as cruelty should not happen to animals. We have found out some ways and will announce by January 1. The government is positive on the issue,” he had said.

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>New York Police Department foils suspected Islamic State backed attack on New Year’s eve<!– /.block –>UP CM Akhilesh Yadav attends ‘Saifai Mahotsav'<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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After Modi’s barbs, Congress accuses him of ‘confrontational mindset’

“Modi believes in only branding,” he said while demanding that the NDA government should come out with a white paper on the amount of money earned through cess and whether it has been used for the purpose for which it was collected

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Also ReadIndiaSaradha scam: Madan Mitra’s bail plea rejected, custody extended till January 14IndiaSnag forces RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to travel in non-bullet proof car in KochiIndiaPM Modi wants bureaucrats to give ideas for ‘transformative change’IndiaOdd-even scheme will fail, AAP looking for escape route, says BJPIndiaCPI(M) plenum ends, party bats for ‘flexible tactics’ to deal with emerging political situationsIndiaFrom Dadri to Yakub Memon’s death: 16 things India outraged about in 2015 <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Bigg Boss 9: Gossiping, fighting and New Year celebrations! All that happened on Day 81!<!– /.block –>Uttar Pradesh: Beat rape accused with shoes, panchayat tells victim<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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India in pictures in 2015

A selection of news photographs from India that define the year that was 2015.

New Indo-Nepal bus service begins

“It returned with 44 Nepalese passengers for Delhi in the evening,” said BM Upreti, in-charge of Indian police post at the barrage.

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Russian officials get quirky holiday gift: Book of Vladimir Putin’s one liners<!– /.block –>Jaypee gets green nod to expand limestone mining capacity in Andhra Pradesh<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Congress mouthpiece row: Haryana Minister Anil Vij grabs opportunity, attacks Nehru

The Health minister in the BJP government, who is known to even take on his own government at times, has in the past also attacked Indira Gandhi. “This is the same Indira Gandhi who crushed all democratic rights to impose Emergency. Her soul is still alive among all Congress leaders,” he had earlier tweeted.

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Why is Western media so biased against India?

Someone who doesn’t live in India or hasn’t experienced its diversity, will never understand exactly how people from such distinct backgrounds live together with such harmony. When one sees the Western world grapple with issues like immigration or diverse religious groups, it makes one realise just how flexible our cultural system is, to allow so many people of so many backgrounds live with each other peacefully.

Nirmalya Dutta

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<!– /#sidebar-second –>After Sri Lanka President Sirisena’s outburst, Jayawardene & Sangakkara apologise for chaos created at Enrique concert<!– /.block –>Sebi slaps Rs 6.5 lakh fine on three entities in non-disclosure cases<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Mamata Banerjee rejects CPI-M charge of lack of industrialisation

Turning to annual Gangasagar mela in the district, She said her government had not only withdrawn tax that was collected by the previous government from the pilgrims for visiting the mela, but also started giving insurance to the pilgrims. “We don’t say it but we get things done,” she said.

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Andhra Pradesh to get big Microsoft push for growth, public services <!– /.block –>
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<!– /#sidebar-second –>Van Gaal admits he has no idea of how to solve Man Utd’s problems<!– /.block –>Andhra Pradesh to get big Microsoft push for growth, public services<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Building collapses in Chandigarh, 6 killed, several trapped

Efforts were still on to rescue around eight labourers believed to be buried under the debris, police said, adding the area has been cordoned off.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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Also ReadIndiaGirl abducted outside her college in Gurgaon finally rescued after manhuntIndiaSexist comments against Smriti Irani: BJP demands Nilamoni Sendeka’s arrest, protest at Congress HQIndiaChristmas nightmare: When ‘Santa’ threw acid on a mother and child in KeralaIndiaCentre to allow bull taming sport ‘Jallikattu’IndiaJourno’s jottings 2015: When politics over beef claimed a life in DadriIndiaSheena Bora murder case: Peter Mukerjea’s judicial custody extended till January 11 <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>’Laddu’ weighing over 8,000 kg sets Guinness Record in Andhra Pradesh<!– /.block –>Freight rates remain flat on sufficient trucks position<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Mumbai – CCTV cameras bring down crime rate: Survey

Not only in the premises, many working parents have installed CCTV cameras in their drawing rooms, to keep an eye on their baby-sitters. They can access the live footage on their smartphones, so that they can ensure the infant is safe while they are out. Besides, several breakthroughs in police investigations have happened only due to the footage captured by CCTV cameras. For example, the case of abduction, rape and murder of young techie S Esther Anuhya of Andhra Pradesh.

dna Correspondent

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Also ReadIndiaGood news from Tadoba reserve: Tiger numbers risingIndiaWhy 2016 could be a watershed year in Indo-Pak tiesIndiaSulking Akhilesh Yadav skips Sefai fest, strains show in Yadav clanHealthHPV vaccine in universal immunisation could bring up old fearsIndiaMumbai: Minor boy held for demanding Rs 5 lakh from actressIndiaMiffed at delays in warship building, Parliamentary Panel asks for single point accountability <!– /.block –>

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TN Governor K Rosaiah, Sharad Pawar attend the ‘Rs 7 crore Yagam’ performed by Telangana CM KCR

However, opposition parties such as Congress, BJP and CPI(M) hit out at him for allegedly misusing government machinery. President Pranab Mukherjee is expected to attend the ‘yagam’ tomorrow, according to a release from Rao’s office. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu would also attend the event tomorrow.

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Also ReadIndiaChina hails PM Modi’s meeting with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in LahoreIndiaRahul Gandhi needs to speak up more in Parliament: Ashok ChavanIndiaControversial BJP MLA Sangeet Som claims he got death threat from ISISIndiaAAP calls Robert Vadra’s criticism of VIP exemption for Delhi’s Odd-Even formula hypocriticalIndiaCentre should go to court if it is against DDCA probe: Arvind KejriwalIndiaModi’s Pak visit transformative moment for subcontinent, Cong criticism childish: BJP <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>’India most tolerant country in the world’,says violin virtuoso L Subramaniam<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Be wary of that imported scotch being offered for cheap! It may be fake

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Sources said a huge racket involved in this business exists in and around Mumbai.

Tempted by that offer of a bottle of premium scotch claimed to be sourced from a “duty-free” shop and being offered at a hefty discount for your New Year bash? Do not fall prey to the lure as there are chances that this bottle may be a cheap brand of liquor being passed off as the original.”With December 31 round the corner, bootleggers and counterfeiters are cashing in on the increased demand for liquor by trying to pass off duplicate liquor as the original brew for cheaper by claiming that it has been sourced from duty-free shops. For instance, a bottle of high-end whiskey which costs Rs 5,000 in a wine shop may be sold for around Rs 2,500 by these people with the bottle containing mid-range liquor,” said a senior state excise department official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier this month, the state excise flying squad raided a building in Andheri (West) and arrested six people involved in manufacturing and sale of duplicate Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). They also seized bottles of premium whiskey brands and raw material.The prime target of these rackets, which make a killing due to the margins involved, is the neo-rich class which seeks to shift from low quality liquor to premium brands but is unable to distinguish between original and duplicate versions.Liquor smugglers also try to cash in on the higher demand for liquor by bringing in duty-evaded alcohol from neighbouring states Goa and Daman, which have liberal excise duty regimes than Maharashtra, leading to cheaper goods.The flying squad also intercepted 500 boxes of duty-evaded IMFL and beer, which were brought into Maharashtra from Goa and Madhya Pradesh, and arrested two people. The stash, which is worth Rs18 lakh, includes 350 boxes of whiskey and 150 boxes of a popular brand of strong beer.Sources said a huge racket involved in this business exists in and around Mumbai. The kingpins and foot soldiers of this illegal business rent premises on a temporary basis in Bandra, Santa Cruz, Khar, Vile Parle, Andheri and Goregaon and prepare duplicate liquor.These counterfeiters purchase empty bottles from bhangar (scrap) shops or order original-looking replicas of bottles and caps from other countries which are then brought to Maharashtra via neighbouring states.Though it is mandatory for all retail outlets to smash bottles of premium imported brands, like scotch and single malts, and deface or remove labels from empty IMFL bottles to prevent their misuse, it is difficult to ensure that individual consumers followed suit.”It is necessary for people to purchase liquor from authorised wine shops because there are chances that bootleggers may be bottling cheap quality alcohol in bottles of premium brands and passing them off as originals. Such liquor may also be harmful for health,” said a senior state excise official.

Kiren Rijiju asks IPS officers to be flag bearers of social change

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Encouraging the budding police officers, he said diligence, honesty and efficiency will have a big role to play in the personal and professional lives while holding important positions in the districts of their respective states

Kiren Rijiju

Indian Police Service officers should become the flag bearers of social change and champions of good governance, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said on Thursday. Addressing the valedictory function of the 90th special foundation course for IPS officers at Haryana Institute of Public Administration in Gurgaon, Rijiju said as agents of change the young officers must sow creative seeds for furthering the progress of this great nation, which is known for unity in diversity. Encouraging the budding police officers, he said diligence, honesty and efficiency will have a big role to play in the personal and professional lives while holding important positions in the districts of their respective states.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 15-week residential training course from September 13, 2015 to December 24, 2015 was conducted for 77 IPS officers belonging to various state cadres of the 2010, 2012 and 2013 batches who did not attend the regular foundation course with their batchmates. Out of these 15 weeks, 13 weeks have been devoted for the academic inputs to teach important subjects like law, economics, history, constitutional and politics, and also public administration besides the needed inputs in languages and ICT.One week village visit was also organised to study socio-economic scenario of the villages. During training they were involved in number of extracurricular activities like games, cultural functions and social services to ensure all round development of their personality.As an important part of training they were sent for trekking in Hamta Pass, Himachal Pradesh for a week. Rijiju said the objective and purpose of this course is to groom these officers in such a way that they acquire requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and the administrative acumen required for efficient discharge of their duties.

Rajasthan govt targetting Congress leaders, alleges Sachin Pilot

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Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot made the accusation while addressing a public meeting in Jhalawar, about 330 kms from Jaipur.

Rajasthan Congress on hit out at the Raje-led dispensation, alleging that the BJP government was “targetting” Congress leaders and workers and “implicating” them in false cases by “misusing government machinery”.Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot made the accusation while addressing a public meeting in Jhalawar, about 330 kms from Jaipur. The RPCC chief also alleged that the Vasundhara Raje government had “insulted the mandate given by the people by not working in their interest”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP government was “targetting Congress leaders and workers” and “implicating them in false cases” by misusing government machinery, Pilot alleged. “Congress party will strongly oppose the wrong policies of the government and will expose it. The government weakened public welfare scheme initiated by the former government and ignored the interests of people and farmers,” he said.Pilot said that nearly 60 farmers committed suicide in the state due to “negligence” of the state government while other farmers whose crops were damaged due to bad monsoon were still looking for compensation. “People of the state gave a strong mandate to BJP but unfortunately the government is not working in the interest of people. This is the insult of the mandate. Corruption has become rampant, inflation is skyrocketing,” he further alleged.

India beef lynching suspects charged

Police in India file charges against 15 suspects, including a juvenile, over the lynching of a Muslim man accused by Hindus of eating beef.

Andhra Pradesh House passes Bill to set up and regulate private universities

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The Bill aims at creating world-class centres of learning with an objective to establish universities, said Minister for Human Resource Development Ganta Srinivasa Rao.

Andhra Pradesh Assembly
File Photo

Aiming to promote higher education, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Monday passed a Bill for establishment and regulation of private universities in the state.The Bill aims at creating world-class centres of learning with an objective to establish universities, said Minister for Human Resource Development Ganta Srinivasa Rao. He said the Government would like to see world-class universities like Stanford set up institutions in the State.”Ultimate intention is to develop Andhra Pradesh as a sustainable ‘Knowledge Hub’ which would provide high quality, research-oriented and industrial relevant education,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking on the Bill, BJP floor leader Vishnukumar Raju said the private universities should not become money- spinning institutions and Government should exercise control on them. The courses offered by them should be guided by requirements of the country and state.Sravan Kumar (TDP) said the Government should have a role in appointment of Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of these varsities. A Satyanarayana (BJP) said the State should not acquire land for the private universities and let them do it on their own.Replying to the debate, the Minister said there will be no compromise with regard to public interest. An expert committee and a screening panel have been proposed to look into establishment and regulation of the private varsities.The House also passed the Andhra Pradesh Metropolitan Region and Urban Development Authorities Bill, Andhra Pradesh Value Added Tax (Third Amendment) Bill and Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board Bill.

Attempts being made to create conditions like 2002: Azam Khan

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Speaking at a programme on Sunday evening to handover financial assistance to 125 girls for their marriage, the Minister attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his statements on protection of cow, and the Ganga.

In an apparent reference to the Gujarat riots, Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan on Sunday alleged attempts are being made to create “disturbing” conditions like in 2002, with an eye on upcoming elections in many states.”Attempts are being made to create disturbing conditions as those had emerged in 2002, with a dangerous inclination, keeping in mind the upcoming elections in three states in 2016 and then in UP, in 2017,” the state Cabinet Minister said.Speaking at a programme on Sunday evening to handover financial assistance to 125 girls for their marriage, the Minister attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his statements on protection of cow, and the Ganga.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He again alleged that the BJP has taken massive donation from a “beef exporter”, a charge the party has already denied.He said the BJP had made all efforts in Bihar to garner support on these three issues – cow, the Ganga and the temple – but they received a “historic drubbing”.Khan asked the saffron outfits as to why they have not disclosed the details of the donations collected in the name of Ram Mandir.”Where is the huge amount of money? If the people s money is returned to them, it would help eliminate poverty to a very great extent,” he said.Khan, who is the national general sectary of the SP, today again spoke of his desire to become PM, just days after he asserted he is the “fittest” person to hold the post.”I possess all the capabilities and competence to hold the coveted position. The moment Narendra Modi steps down, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav himself would propose my name for that post. A proposal for any lesser position shall be an attempt to hurl insult upon me,” he said.”I have already issued a warning to the BJP to vacate the seat for I am coming. You are not capable of defending the country but I would exhibit the way to safeguard it,” he said.The Minister, who was the chief guest at the programme on the occasion of Minorities Day, opined that the Day is being observed at the behest of UNO, which instead of behaving like an independent organisation remained an “enslaved entity” of the US.There are super powers who are engaged in launching exploitation of poverty-stricken countries to augment their economies, he alleged.

Lokayukta should examine complaints against us before ACB or CBI: Delhi bureaucrats tell Kejriwal

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Disillusioned with the bitter state of affairs prevailing between the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, and a nagging fear of getting victimised in the crossfire, a group of bureaucrats as part of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh -Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories) IAS Officers Association met Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday, requesting him to set up a mechanism for filtering complaints received against them.

Disillusioned with the bitter state of affairs prevailing between the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, and a nagging fear of getting victimised in the crossfire, a group of bureaucrats as part of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh -Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories) IAS Officers Association met Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday, requesting him to set up a mechanism for filtering complaints received against them.Led by chief secretary KK Sharma, about 20 officers met Kejriwal, and asked him to put in place an institutional mechanism to sieve complaints received against them before forwarding them to the state anti-corruption branch (ACB) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior officials present at the meeting informed that the officers suggested to the CM that a neutral institution such as the Lokayukta of Delhi should ideally look into the complaints first to see if they are malafide, bonafide or purely out of political vendetta and personal vindictiveness.Reva Khetrapal has recently taken charge as Delhi’s Lokayukta.The officials suggested that if not the state Lokayukta, the civil service board that was set up under the directions of the Supreme Court to look into officers’ transfers, or even the state vigilance department’s complaint handling authority should see the merit of the complaints first before forwarding them to the ACB.”Police officials have a tendency to register an FIR first. At times, there could be bonafide mistakes. To find a flaw in a policy decision and then treat it like a criminal complaint is unfair,” said an official, who was present at the meeting.The official said that while had most of the recent complaints registered against Delhi’s bureaucrats are likely to be a result of the political war between the state and the Centre, it should be ensured that officers should be spared of any unnecessary harassment.”We told the CM that if there is a political war between two parties, their MLAs and ministers should be attacked and not the officers. When an elected representative is blamed, everyone understands it is political. But when cases are registered against officials, it gives the world an impression that they are corrupt,” an official said, adding that it not only causes severe damage to their reputation, but also brings huge stress to them and their family.”Even before a conclusion is arrived at, people jump the gun and call the officer corrupt,”the official said.Another official said that lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung had earlier sent a directive that all complaints will have to be looked by the vigilance department first before being forwarded to the ACB.”However, in the current situation, the directive is not being followed and ACB is directly registering all complaints,” the official said.According to officials, since Delhi is not a state, setting up the institutional mechanism is the only option to protect bureaucrats from getting caught in the Delhi government-Centre war.According to sources, while Kejriwal told the officials that the Delhi government will support them if they are targeted, setting up an institutional mechanism will need the support of the Centre.”The CM said he can implement our suggestion, if the Centre agrees,” an official said.Since the ACB in Delhi is controlled by the Centre, the association will also meet the union home secretary and Jung next week with the suggestion.The move comes after the recent raids at secretary to Delhi Cm Rajendra Kumar’s office and home by the CBI and after a case was registered by the ACB against vigilance secretary Chetan B Sanghi, on old complaints.

MoEF gives forest clearance for expansion of country’s largest open cast mine in Singrauli

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The block has 483 million tonnes of mineable reserves and with a 15 million tonnes/annum capacity, the life of the project will be about 22 years.

An expert panel of the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEF&CC) has recommended forest clearance for expansion of India’s largest open cast mine located at Nigahi in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh, with certain conditions. The expansion of the mine, under the control of Northern Coalfields Limited, is a part of the Singrauli coalfied and is located on a hilly pleateau with an elevation of about 400-450mts above mean sea level.The block has 483 million tonnes of mineable reserves and with a 15 million tonnes/annum capacity, the life of the project will be about 22 years.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The coal from the Nigahi extension block will feed the Vindhyachal Thermal Power Station which is the country’s largest power station with an installed capacity of 4,760MW.The project had come up for appraisal before the forest advisory committee (FAC) of the MoEFCC as it requires clearing of forest areas. Singrauli district, where the project is located, is known as the coal and energy capital of the country is home to dense, rich Sal forests. The Nigahi extension block will spread across 596.11 hectares and out of this the project needs to clear 424.5 hectares of forest comprising of 13,201 trees.During the appraisal of the project, the FAC noted the report of MoEFCC’s regional office at Bhopal that detailed the quality of forests. According to the report, a sizeable part of the extension block is covered by dense forests. Using satellite imagery the FAC confirmed that three major patches of very dense forests are present on the western end of the mine. Of this, two grids are classified as inviolate or out of bound for mining.Thus, even as they recommended forest clearance for the project the FAC has asked Northern Coalfields to not utilise the dense forests for mining owing to their richness. It also asked the company to provide details of the dense forest patches such as its area.The Nigahi coal block is located in the same region as the Mahan forests, where local villagers and Greenpeace India ran a campaign against a proposed coal mine of Essar that was eventually cancelled by the Centre. In fact, the MoEF&CC classified the forests around Mahan coal block as inviolate or out of bound for mining.

HC asks Uttar Pradesh government to reply to PIL against Azam Khan

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A division bench of chief justice Dr DY Chandrachud and justice S N Shukla here gave this order on December 17 on a pending PIL of a social activist Nutan Thakur seeking a direction for quashing of the said allotment order, along with action against concerned officers.

The Allahabad high court has directed Uttar Pradesh government to file a reply within two weeks to a PIL against cabinet minister Azam Khan in alleged transfer of 1500 sq yards of government land and building of Maulana Jauhar Ali Shodh Sansthan at Rampur to his Maulana Jauhar Ali Trust at an abnormally low annual lease rent.A division bench of chief justice Dr DY Chandrachud and justice S N Shukla here gave this order on December 17 on a pending PIL of a social activist Nutan Thakur seeking a direction for quashing of the said allotment order, along with action against concerned officers. The petitioner alleged that the allotment was done in blatant disregard to rules and regulations and without following transparent process.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, the court had sought a reply from the state government in this matter but at the time of hearing, the state counsel was not able to state whether as a matter of fact the counter affidavit had been filed in the registry.”We direct that the counter affidavit, if it has not already been filed, be filed with in a period of two weeks from today. “If the counter affidavit has been filed, it shall be tagged with the paper book. A copy of the counter affidavit shall be served on the petitioner appearing in person “,the court ordered while listing the PIL on 20 January, 2016.

Helpline, FB page launched for North East people in Chandigarh

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The page ‘Chandigarh Administration for the people of North East’ and toll-free helpline number- 1800-180-2130 was inaugurated by Vijay Dev, Adviser to the Administrator, UT Chandigarh.

Facebook logo
File Photo

Chandigarh administration on Saturday launched a dedicated helpline number and Facebook page to provide timely help to the people from North East residing in Chandigarh and in adjacent areas. The page ‘Chandigarh Administration for the people of North East’ and toll-free helpline number- 1800-180-2130 was inaugurated by Vijay Dev, Adviser to the Administrator, UT Chandigarh. Speaking on the occasion, Dev said such initiatives will provide a sense of assurance and safety to the North-East community.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> An official release said that UT Chandigarh DC Ajit Balaji has constituted a committee to safeguard the rights and freedom of the people of North East and it comprised Tapasya Raghav, SDM (E) and SP Roshan Lal as the nodal officer, along with the representatives of the North-East community. “With the united efforts of the committee along with strict action taken by the Chandigarh Police in cases of assault, the objective of safeguarding and protecting North-East people against any type of crime would be achieved,” said Adviser. Notably, five students from Sikkim were injured at a college here after they were allegedly assaulted by another group of students from Himachal Pradesh over racist remarks. The incident had taken place on Tuesday evening at a private college in Mullanpur, on the outskirts of the city, following which police had arrested 10 people.

Uttar Pradesh: Senior Congress leader shot dead

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The motive behind the murder is not clear, police said.

A senior Congress leader was allegedly shot dead by unidentified persons in Sidhari area on Saturday.52-year-old Raj Narain Singh, president, cooperative cell of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC), was shot near Belaisa when he had gone for a walk this morning, Additional District Magistrate Ashutosh Dwivedi said.The leader had contested the state assembly election on Congress ticket in 1993 from Lalganj assembly segment, he said. The motive behind the murder is not clear, police said, adding that the probe was on. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Vyapam scam: Madhya Pradesh HC grants bail to former minister Laxmikant Sharma

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Sharma, a former Technical Education Minister, who has been lodged in Bhopal jail since June 2014, is likely to walk free tomorrow after the prison authorities complete the legal formalities for his release.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday granted bail to former state minister Laxmikant Sharma, an accused in the 2012 scam of police constable recruitment examination, conducted by Vyapam (MP Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal).Sharma, a former Technical Education Minister, who has been lodged in Bhopal jail since June 2014, is likely to walk free tomorrow after the prison authorities complete the legal formalities for his release.A division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice K K Trivedi granted bail to Sharma after his counsel told the court that other accused in the police constable recruitment test conducted by Vyapam in 2012 had got bail.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Counsel Anil Khare, Bhaskar Pandey and Praveen Verma said that their client was not the kingpin of the case. Sharma has only been accused of mediating in the case, they argued. CBI, the prosecution agency in Vypam scam, opposed the former minister’s bail stating that if he was released, he would influence the ongoing probe in the massive racket. The bench, after hearing the defence and the prosecution, directed that Sharma should be released on bail after he furnishes a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh.Earlier, the high court had granted bail to Sharma in some other scam relating to recruitment tests which were conducted by Vyapam.

President Mukherjee begins his 14-day southern tour

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Governor ESL Narasimhana and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao along with some of his ministerial colleagues and senior officials received the President at Hakimpet Air Force base

Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee today arrived here for his 14-day southern sojourn upto December 31, at the Rashtrapati Nilayam.Governor ESL Narasimhana and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao along with some of his ministerial colleagues and senior officials received the President at Hakimpet Air Force base. During the sojourn, the President will attend the convocation of Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME), Secunderabad on December 19, an official release had said earlier. The President would attend the second convocation of the Central University of Karnataka on December 22 at Gulbarga in Karntaka. On the same day, he will inaugurate the Magneto Encephalography Equipment and renovated heritage building of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He will also dedicate NIMHANS to the nation as an institute of national importance. On December 23, the President will attend the 150th anniversary of Bishop Cotton Boys’ School and lay the foundation stone of the State Cancer Institute at the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru.On December 25, the President will inaugurate the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam’s Veda-Patasala at Ai Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh. On December 27, Mukherjee would deliver the inaugural address at the Indian Economic Association’s Annual Conference at Prof Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, Hyderabad. On the same day, he will also attend the ‘Purnahuthi’ of ‘Ayutha Chandi Maha Yagam’ being organised by the Telangana Chief Minister at Erravelli village in Medak in Telangana for ‘Lok Kalyanam’ (universal prosperity) and ‘Vishwa Shanthi’ (universal peace).ESL Narasimhan, Governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will host a dinner in honour of the President on December 29. The President will host a reception for senior dignitaries of the state, Ministers, officials and others at the Rashtrapati Nalayam, Secunderabad on December 30. The Nilayam is one of the Presidential Retreats. It is customary for the President to visit the Nilayam at least once a year and conduct official business from there.

Parliament disrupted by deepening Arunachal crisis

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Only three business days are left in the winter session and government is pushing hard to pass some of the pending bills.

The deepening political crisis in Arunchal Pradesh on Friday rocked both houses of Parliament, with Congress members staging a walkout during zero hour on the issue in the Lok Sabha, and forcing repeated adjournments in the Rajya Sabha.As soon as the Lower House began proceedings, Congress MPs raised the Arunachal issue and trooped into the well and shouted slogan against the Governor. The Congress members continued their protest and shouted slogans despite Speaker Sumitra Mahajan saying many a times that the opposition should follow procedures and give notice as per the established norms. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Mallikarjun Kharge also trooped into the well later.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The opposition said the Speaker was not showing any ‘mercy’ towards them, and thus, they staged a walkout from the House in protest. In the Rajya Sabha, Congress members, amid pandemonium, forced repeated adjournments on the Arunachal issue. Members belonging to AIADMK, TMC and Left parties supported the Congress’ demand for the recall of the Governor. The House witnessed three adjournments in the pre-lunch session.As soon as the House took up zero hour mentions, Congress members trooped into the well in support of their demand; they also raised slogans against the Centre and the Governor. As noisy scenes continued, Deputy Chairman Prof. P J Kurien adjourned the House for 20 minutes till Noon. The situation was no different when the House resumed and again it was adjourned till 2.30 pm. Rajya Sabha Chairman Mohammed Hamid Ansari has admitted substantive motions moved by opposition parties to discuss the political developments in Arunachal Pradesh. Announcing this during zero hour, the Deputy Chairman said, only time has to be fixed for discussion on the motions.Meanwhile, Chairman Hamid Ansari called an all-party meeting in the afternoon to break the logjam. The House is facing disruptions on several issues, which have blocked the passage of key legislations, including GST Bill. Only three business days are left in the winter session and government is pushing hard to pass some of the Bills.The Chairman has reportedly called for similar powers as the Lok Sabha Speaker to take tough action against unruly MPs. It is understood that he may also call for changes in rules in this regard. Ansari’s decision came after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday.

UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, wife get stuck in Assembly lift for 30 minutes

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Officials in the assembly complex said the incident took place because of some technical problem and added that facts would come out only after a thorough investigation.

Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav and Dimple Yadav.
File Photo
PTI
Security personnel were thrown into a tizzy today when Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav were stuck in a VIP lift at the state Assembly building in Lucknow for nearly 30 minutes. The incident created panic in the building as both the Chief Minister and his MP wife failed to come out of the lift despite efforts by the CM’s security staff.Officials in the assembly complex said the incident took place because of some technical problem and added that facts would come out only after a thorough investigation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the couple could not come out even after 20-25 minutes of struggle, gas masks were requisitioned and an ambulance was kept ready in case of any exigency as an anxious crowd of Vidhan Bhawan employees and officials gathered outside the lift. However, after nearly 30 minutes of “captivity”, they managed to come out of the lift Number One especially used by the Chief Minister or the Speaker.Security men and assembly staff heaved a sigh of relief when the duo came out safe. Akhilesh and his wife had gone to the state assembly building to participate in an event when the incident occurred.

Hopes on GST dash as Rajya Sabha heads for complete washout

Leader of the House Arun Jaitley countered her statement by even producing a copy of comments of appreciation by her in the temple’s visitor book and power minister Piyush Goyal aggravated the situation by calling her statement as “another incident of manufactured problems and manufactured discrimination”.

Modi government’s hopes to pass key legislative bills, including the GST, seem to have all but dashed in the winter session with no let-off in disruptions in sight by the Congress-led opposition in Rajya Sabha during the last three days.Besides Congress and other opposition parties raking up one issue after the other, the ruling party’s members also played their role to stall the Rajya Sabha with ill-timed comments and playing some hardball politics, raising doubts whether there is an attempt of an internal sabotage by the treasury benches.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aware that the House will go in a tumult on the issue of religious intolerance that was ruling the roost at the start of the session because of Dadri and death of Dalit children, the BJP took a soft approach by yielding to opposition’s demand to have a discussion on the rational of celebrating Constitution Day on November 26.In a bid to strike cord with the opposition parties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself hit a conciliatory note in his reply to the debate. In a well-measured speech bereft of any harsh comments, Modi said that “nobody in the country needs to give a certificate of his patriotism. Everyone in this country is a patriot.”But the House got in a logjam over Congress member Kumari Selja’s statement regarding alleged denial of entry in Bet Dwarka temple. The House showed a glimmer of hope of conducting business with all members expressing solidarity during a debate on Chennai floods but the chances faded as BJP raked up Selja’s temple visit issue again.Leader of the House Arun Jaitley countered her statement by even producing a copy of comments of appreciation by her in the temple’s visitor book and power minister Piyush Goyal aggravated the situation by calling her statement as “another incident of manufactured problems and manufactured discrimination”. All hell broke loose after that resulting in washout for another two days until the minister expressed regret.When the House met again on December 4, to counter Congress charges on Dalit issue, BSP supremo Mayawati raised the matter of cabinet minister, VK Singh’s ‘dog’ remark on the murder of two Dalit girls in Haryana’s Faridabad. The issue was joined in by other opposition parties. Naresh Agarwal of the Samajwadi Party also demanded a reply from the government on the statement made by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat thus stalling proceeding of the house on December 4.The next week saw the Congress taking up cudgels on the Delhi High court notice to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case. Congress rushed to the well repeatedly blaming PM Modi for vendetta politics. All efforts made by Chairman Hamid Ansari and deputy chairman P J Kurien to delink parliament with a court matter failed to pacify Congress members resulting in a total washout of the entire week’s proceedings business from December 7 to 11.The penultimate week starting on December 14 began on a promising note with external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj giving a detailed account of her Pakistan visit during Heart of Asia conference and decision to start comprehensive bilateral talks with Pakistan.As soon as she completed, the house went through frequent disruptions on Abohar incident in Punjab with Mayawati accusing Punjab government of not acting against atrocities on Dalits. The issue kept the house busy till after afternoon and thereafter Congress raking up the issue of Kerala chief minister Ommen Chandy being deliberately kept out from a function of unveiling of statute at the insistence of the PMO. The day adjourned with members protesting for taking up SC/ST atrocities bill instead of Whistle blowers bill that was listed ahead.On the next day, angry Congress members raised their pitch against the Arunachal Pradesh governor for calling assembly session on his own without consulting the council of ministers and fixing up the agenda himself. They got support from Left parties and the JD (U). Calling it murder of democracy they trooped into the well and despite deputy chairman P J Kurien ruling that matter a governor can be discussed only after giving a substantive motion, they did not budge.The BJP got into double trouble when Arvind Kejriwal announced CBI raids at Delhi CM’s office on tweeter and Mamata Banerjee tweeting “shock” in solidarity. TMC member Derek O’Brien raised the matter in the Rajya Sabha that was soon joined by the members of the entire opposition, including Left parties and the Congress, arch rival of AAP in Delhi.Despite Smriti Irani and Piyush Goyal requesting the chair not to adjourn the House and if need be conduct the proceedings until midnight, the deputy chairman had no option but to adjourn it a few minutes after 3pm.While CBI raids took a back seat on Thursday as AAP and Congress resorting to brazen it out in public, the Arunachal Pradesh picked up heat again with almost entire coming in support of Congress seeking indulgence of the house to protect the constitutional norms in the state.Despite deputy chairman requesting that the matter for a substantive discussion is under consideration of the chairman, Congress led opposition did not allow house to function describing Arunachal developments a very serious matter that can jeopardise the security of the country.

Arunachal Pradesh political crisis: BJP declares rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul as next CM candidate

Today, a ‘no confidence’ motion by 11 BJP MLAs and two Independent members was ‘adopted’ with deputy speaker T Norbu Thongdok, who is also a rebel Congressman, in the chair.

Rebel Congress MLA Kalikho Pul celebrates with supporters after he was elected as” Chief Minister” by 33 legislators in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday.

PTI
In an interesting turn of events in the Arunachal Pradesh political upheaval, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday declared Kalikho Pul as their Chief Minister candidate.”The sitting chief minister has to prove his majority against the person we are proposing. We are projecting the name of Kaliko Pul for the post of Chief Minister,” leader of the Opposition Tamiyo Taga said.”The next step is to vacate the chief minister post. I have submitted one no confidence motion to be taken up tomorrow in the assembly. There would be a composite floor test for the government. Everything is same but the name is different composite floor test, it is not exactly a no confidence motion,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Today, a ‘no confidence’ motion by 11 BJP MLAs and two Independent members was ‘adopted’ with deputy speaker T Norbu Thongdok, who is also a rebel Congressman, in the chair. 33 MLAs said yes to no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and no MLA from the Chief Minister faction was present.Meanwhile, the Congress earlier on Thursday said there could be no business in the Rajya Sabha, because of the recent political developments in Arunachal Pradesh.Briefing media in New Delhi, leader of opposition in the Upper House Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Central government is using the Governor, who is upholder of the Constitution, for political gains. He alleged that the Centre is trying to destabilise Arunchal Pradesh government.In reply to a query, another spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala clarified that the Congress Party has not called any of its state leaders to Delhi on December 19.

Akhilesh Yadav urges Centre to set up AIIMS in Gorakhpur

it would make provision for other infrastructure in its next budget and start construction

He said that the state has assured to provide 2.5 acre land and if the Centre provides fund,

A day after the Supreme Court slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for failing to appoint a Lokayukta, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday said that there was no laxity on his part and he was not at fault. “There was no dilly-dallying on the part of the state government. It is a known fact that who is responsible for the delay in appointment of new Lokayukta in the state,” Akhilesh said without taking any name. He said that the state government was not at fault from any point. “We honour the apex court’s order,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court had yesterday directly appointed retired Justice Virendra Singh as the new Lokayukta of UP after the state government failed to meet the deadline fixed by it. Akhilesh was speaking after launching 148 projects worth Rs 585 crore. In a veiled attack on the BJP led NDA government, he said, “Those who used to call our laptop distribution scheme a ‘jhunjhuna’ (plaything), are now themselves talking about digital India.” He said that it was known that those who were talking about Swacch Bharat, have gone with the broom. Stating that there were number of challenges before the country and the state, Akhilesh said debate should be held on development, but some people were raising other issues to distract attention.Referring to the issue of Japanese Encephalitis in east UP, he said he has requested the Centre to set up an AIIMS in Gorakhpur. He said that the state has assured to provide 2.5 acre land and if the Centre provides fund, it would make provision for other infrastructure in its next budget and start construction. Akhilesh said UP has come in the category of a state which decided the new agenda of development and other states were forced to follow it. He said that perception of those who used to call UP, ‘Ulta Pradesh’, has changed after witnessing the development.

Arunachal Pradesh political crisis: Gauhati HC stays all proceedings of present Assembly session till Feb 2

Coming down heavily on the notification issued by Governor J P Rajkhowa advancing the session, Justice Hrishikesh Roy observed that prima facie it was in violation of Art 174 and 175 of the Constitution dealing with convening of the session Governor and his message to House.

Rebel Congress MLA Kalikho Pul celebrates with supporters after he was elected as” Chief Minister” by 33 legislators in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday.

PTI
In a new twist to the ongoing political drama, the Gauhati High Court on Thursday kept in abeyance all decisions, including the removal of Arunach Pradesh Assembly Speaker Nebam Rebia, at a special “session” on Thursday, hours after Chief Minister Nabam Tuki was “voted out” and a dissident Congressman was “elected” as CM in a hotel.Coming down heavily on the notification issued by Governor J P Rajkhowa advancing the session, Justice Hrishikesh Roy observed that prima facie it was in violation of Art 174 and 175 of the Constitution dealing with convening of the session Governor and his message to House. The court order came on a writ petition filed by the Speaker challenging the Dec 9 notification issued by the Governor advancing the Assembly session to December 16 from the scheduled day of January 24, 2016.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier today, in a bizarre turn of events, Opposition BJP and rebel Congress MLAs got together in a local hotel to “vote out” the Nabam Tuki-led Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh and to “elect” a rebel Congress MLA as the new “chief minister”. The dramatic development came a day after they “impeached” Speaker Nabam Rebia in a make-shift “Assembly” premises in a community hall.Issuing notice, Justice Hrishikesh Roy kept in abeyance the impugned decisions including the notification issued by the Deputy Speaker restoring the membership of 14 suspended MLAs and the holding of the “session” at a new place and also the decision taken at the “session” yesterday in which the Speaker was removed. The judge allowed petitioner Kapil Sibal to implead the government of Arunachal Pradesh as a party respondent. He posted the case for next hearing on February 1, 2016.Eleven BJP MLAs and two Independent MLAs joined hands with 20 Congress rebels to meet at a conference hall of a hotel here as the Assembly premises have been sealed since Wednesday. Today, a “no confidence” motion moved by BJP MLAs and Independent MLAs was “adopted” with Deputy Speaker T Norbu Thongdok, who is also a rebel Congressman, in the Chair.A total 33 members of the 60-member house, including 20 dissident Congress MLAs, later “elected” another dissident Congressman Kalikho Pul as the new “chief minister” of the state. The Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and his 26 supporting MLAs boycotted the proceedings terming them as “illegal and unconstitutional”.The Chief Minister later wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking their intervention to “uphold” the Constitution in the face of the “unprecedented murder” of democracy and “bypassing” of a democratically-elected government by Governor Jyoti Prashad Rajkhowa.Angry over the Governor’s action in calling a session of the Assembly bypassing the government the Congress has paralysed the Rajya Sabha for the last two days. MORE PTI UPL Yesterday, a delegation led by Congress President Sonia Gandhi met President Mukherjee in Delhi and lodged a strong protest against Rajkhowa.”It is clear that the BJP top leadership in connivance with some dissident Congress MLAs planned to destabilize the democratically-elected Congress Government in Arunachal Pradesh. This is obviously a pre-planned design involving the highest functionaries of the Central Government in this unprincipled enterprise,” the Congress chief told reporters after handing over a memorandum to the President.On Thursday’s “proceedings” were held in the new venue as the make-shift premises where Speaker Nabam Rebia was ‘impeached’ on Wednesday was vandalised by miscreants and the MLAs opposing Tuki were not allowed to enter the Assembly premises by security forces. As per directive of the Speaker, the district administration has sealed the Assembly premises since Wednesday.The MLAs then with “due consent” from Governor J P Rajkhowa shifted the venue to the conference hall of a in Naharlagun. The “session”, which was chaired by Deputy Speaker T Norbu Thongdok passed the motion by voice vote and signature consent by 33 members in the absence of 26 Congress MLAs including Tuki and his council of ministers.Thongdok announced Pul as the “new Leader of the House” and said that the “proceedings” would be sent to the Governor who would ask the new chief minister and his council of ministers to take the oath of office shortly.

Rajendra Kumar at CBI headquarters for questioning

Facing ire of the Delhi Government for the raid conducted on the Delhi Secretariat, the CBI has said that it would be producing search cum seizure memo containing details of all seized items from Rajendra Kumar before the competent court.

Principal Secretary to Delhi Chief Minister, Rajendra Kumar who has been accused for criminal conspiracy and has a case registered against him by the CBI reached the investigating agency’s headquarters here today morning for questioning.He has been accused of setting up various companies to give work contracts without tenders which has been a huge loss to the Delhi government.Facing ire of the Delhi Government for the raid conducted on the Delhi Secretariat, the CBI has said that it would be producing search cum seizure memo containing details of all seized items from Rajendra Kumar before the competent court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI has said that seizures during the searches at all 14 places were in the presence of independent witnesses as per procedure laid down by the law.Kumar was questioned by the CBI for about seven hours late last night after the probe agency sleuths raided his Delhi Secretariat office.Kumar has been booked under Sections of IPC on charges of criminal conspiracy and under various Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly favouring a private company in five contracts worth 9.5 crore rupees during 2007 to 2014.The CBI carried out searches at 14 places connected with Kumar in the national capital, including his residence, and various locations in Uttar Pradesh.

Supreme Court appoints Justice Virendra Singh as UP Lokayukta

The bench regretted that its several orders have not been “heeded” by the constitutional functionaries — the chief minister, the leader of opposition and the chief justice of the Allahabad high court.

In an unusual order, the Supreme Court on Wednesday exercised its constitutional authority and appointed formed High Court judge, Justice Virendra Singh, as Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh after the state government failed to comply with its directives.In an embarrassment for the SP government in Uttar Pradesh, the bench examined a list of nominees and ordered the appointment.”The failure of constitutional functionaries to comply with the orders of the highest court of the land is deeply regretted and astonishing,” a bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, adding, “We, therefore, proceed to exercise our right under Article 142 of the Constitution to remedy the situation by passing an appropriate order.” The court said that it appoints Justice Singh as Lokayukta and asked the state government to file a report by December 20 indicating compliance of its order.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bench regretted that its several orders have not been “heeded” by the constitutional functionaries — the chief minister, the leader of opposition and the chief justice of the Allahabad high court.In the forenoon, the bench took strong note of the submission of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the state government, that though it had shortlisted five names but no consensus has been arrived at on a specific person.The bench then asked Sibal to provide the names by 12.30 PM itself and said, “we know how to get our orders complied with”.The law provides that a high-powered committee of the chief minister, the leader of opposition and the chief justice of the concerned high court together appoints the chief of the state ombudsman.Earlier on December 14, the apex court had rapped the UP government for not appointing Lokayukta in the state despite its directions, saying it seemed that appointing authorities have their “own agenda”.The bench was hearing the pleas filed by Mahendra Kumar Jain and lawyer Radhakant Tripathi seeking a direction to the state to appoint the Lokayukta at the earliest in pursuance of the Supreme Court orders.

Two suspected jihadists planning attacks in Delhi during Christmas arrested

Special Cell teams are conducting search operation at several places across UP, tracking other potential operatives of the jihadi outfit, said a police officer.

2 suspected jihadists planning attacks in Delhi arrested – Representational Image
File Photo

Two suspected operatives of a jihadi organisation, who were allegedly planning to carry out attacks in the national capital during Christmas and New Year, were detained by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on Tuesday.The two suspected operatives are believed to be natives of Sambhal district in Uttar Pradesh. Police refused to disclose the names of the operatives and the organisation they belong to. Special Cell teams are conducting search operation at several places across UP, tracking other potential operatives of the jihadi outfit, said a police officer.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The two youths detained by the police were already under the Special Cell’s scanner. However, they disappeared around two years ago, following which they are suspected to have crossed the border and attended training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan with their associates, the officer said.The two youths were detained on Tuesday from Delhi following intelligence input suggesting their presence. The police have also got certain leads suggesting that the duo, along with their associates, were allegedly planning strikes in the national capital during Christmas and New Year season, the officer said.It is also believed that the duo attended training facilities allegedly set up by LeT, the officer added. Earlier this month, the Special Cell had registered a case in connection with the presence of two suspected LeT operatives who allegedly infiltrated from PoK and were seen in the national capital, where they are allegedly hatching plans to target high profile individuals.

Three more arrested in double murder case

According to the Kandivli police, the three arrested on Tuesday are Vijay Rajbhar, Azaad Rajbhar and Pradeep Rajbhar. Police sources said all three accused were allegedly present at the workshop along with Shivkumar and wanted accused Vidhyadhar Rajbhar when the murder took place.

The Kandivli police on Tuesday arrested three more persons in connection with the murder of renowned artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani. The trio was arrested hours after one of the main suspect, Shivkumar Rajbhar, was arrested by Mumbai police in a joint operation with Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF), in Varanasi on Monday. According to the Kandivli police, the three arrested on Tuesday are Vijay Rajbhar, Azaad Rajbhar and Pradeep Rajbhar. Police sources said all three accused were allegedly present at the workshop along with Shivkumar and wanted accused Vidhyadhar Rajbhar when the murder took place. “The trio was placed under arrest for their involvement in the murder of Hema and Bhambhani. The trio knew the arrested accused Shivkumar and all of them trace their roots to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh,” said an officer privy to the investigation on condition of anonymity.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The investigations have revealed that Hema and Bhambhani were allegedly smothered to death in the metal fabrication workshop in Charkop area of Kandivali. “We have got four accused in our custody and Shivkumar have already confessed to his role in crime,” said a police officer. He added, “We have also recovered ATM cards, library cards, etc belonging to Hema and Bhambhani, from Shivkumar, proving his involvement in the crime. We are yet to ascertain the exact motive behind the murder and that would be clear once we have Vidhyadhar in our custody. A massive manhunt has been launched to arrest him.” The Kandivli police booked the trio for murder, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy and produced them before the local magistrate court which remanded them in police custody till December 19. Bodies of Upadhyay (43) and her counsel Bhambani (65) were found in Kandivli nullah on Saturday evening. Upadhyay and Bhambhani were reportedly missing since Friday evening and man missing complaints were registered at Santacruz and Matunga police stations respectively by their relatives. During the course of the investigation, the Mumbai police ascertained that Upadhyay and Bhambhani were last seen together leaving Upadhyay’s studio on Veer Desai road in Andheri (W). Upadhyay had in 2010 filed for divorce from an estranged Chintan, accusing him of domestic violence. The family court had passed a decree in favour of Chintan, which Upadhyay had challenged in the Bombay High Court. Bhambhani was representing her in the case. The celebrated artist couple was in news when Upadhyay filed a criminal case against Chintan in 2013 for sketching obscene paintings on the walls of their bedroom.

I’m the fittest person to become Prime Minister: Azam Khan

Azam Khan claimed that even his Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav will support his candidature for the Prime Minister’s post.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Claiming to be the “fittest” person to become the Prime Minister, senior Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan on Tuesday said that he aspires to take up the top job and that “if Narendra Modi resigns and all MPs elect me the PM it will send a good message across the country and India will progress each passing day”.Khan claimed that even his Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav will support his candidature for the Prime Minister’s post. “When the time comes, Mulayam Singh will propose my name,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When reporters asked Khan about posters being put up in Lucknow demanding his elevation to the post of deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, he said, “You are insulting me. I want to be become the Prime Minister and I deserve to hold the post. That’s why I have removed posters of me becoming deputy chief minister.”Reminded that UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had recently floated the idea of Mulayam as Prime Minister and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as the deputy Prime Minister at an event in Delhi, Khan said, “I’m the fittest person to become the Prime Minister of the Country and I aspire to be the Prime Minister.”On the CBI raids at the office of Rajinder Kumar, the Principal Secretary of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Khan said, “The central government and the BJP have shown disrespect to political beliefs… Everyone knows that it’s a bias action… I think there should not be raids at office of any chief minister of the country without prior permission.”

Mumbai double murder: Key suspect Sadhu Rajbhar detained in Varanasi

In a major breakthrough in double murder of installation artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani, the Mumbai police in joined operation with Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force on Monday detained Sadhu Rajbhar, the main suspect, from Varanasi.

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In a major breakthrough in double murder of installation artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani, the Mumbai police in joined operation with Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force on Monday detained Sadhu Rajbhar, the main suspect, from Varanasi.According to reports, Rajbhar is a metal facrication artist by profession.A Mumbai Police team which is probing the case had gone to Uttar Pradesh .According to police, the bodies of Hema (43) and Bhambhani (65), their hands and feet tied with ropes, were recovered from a drain in suburban Kandivali on Saturday night. The bodies were stuffed in two cardboard boxes.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Their samples have been sent for chemical analysis and their autopsy reports are awaited, the senior offical said.In this connection, police has also quizzed the transporter, who confirmed that he dumped the two boxes in a nullah in Kandivali on Saturday afternoon thinking that it contained broken antiques.Also, police on Saturday recorded the statement of the watchman at Hema’s apartment in Juhu Tara Road and her domestic servant Lalit Mandal.Besides, Hema’s estranged husband Chintan, who was in Delhi and arrived in the city on Sunday, was questioned by the Crime Branch.According to police, Hema’s domestic help had filed a missing complaint at Santacruz police station on Saturday.Hema and Bhambhani were missing since Friday evening, said police, adding the watchman of Hema had last seen her on Friday at 11 AM.Whereas according to Anita, at around 6.30 pm on Friday Bhambhani had left his King Circle home in Matunga to meet Hema.As per police, Bhambhani met Hema at her art studio in Andheri and at around 8.30 PM on Friday. Then he had a word with his wife on phone, after which the Bhambhani family couldn’t speak with the latter despite calling him frantically several times.(With PTI inputs)

Chennai floods: UP Congress chief booked for maligning RSS using ‘morphed’ photo

As per the complaint, Khatri used a stray 2010 photo of some unidentified people to depict an RSS worker creating disruptions during flood relief operations in Chennai.

Congress

Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Nirmal Khatri has been booked for allegedly trying to malign the RSS by “morphing” a photo that purportedly shows its activist disrupting flood relief operations in Chennai.A case was registered against Khatri on Friday under Section 469 of the IPC (forgery for purpose of harming reputation) and Section 66D of the Information Technology Act (cheating using computer resource) on the complaint lodged by some senior BJP leaders and RSS workers, Circle Officer (Sadar) Asim Choudhary said on Saturday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the complaint, Khatri used a stray 2010 photo of some unidentified people to depict an RSS worker creating disruptions during flood relief operations in Chennai. The photo had gone viral on Facebook and other social networking sites.

Samajwadi Party not for alliance in 2017 UP polls, but open for 2019 elections: Akhilesh Yadav

Speaking during ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’ conference in New Delhi, Akhilesh reiterated that he would like to see his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav don the role of Central leader after 2019 elections.

Akhilesh Yadav said SP will face assembly polls, which he termed as “more than agni pariksha” (acid test) on the back of “developmental” works its government has done as he listed projects his dispensation completed/has proposed.

PTI
Samajwadi Party (SP) is open for tie-up for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said on Friday even as he ruled out the possibility of forging alliance with any party for 2017 state assembly polls.Speaking during ‘Agenda Aaj Tak’ conference in New Delhi, Akhilesh reiterated that he would like to see his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav don the role of Central leader after 2019 elections.Akhilesh indirectly ruled out possibility of SP heading into next Lok Sabha election under Nitish Kumar, contending that the Bihar Chief Minister and RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav had considered his father as their leader when the grand alliance came into being.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are ready for the assembly polls. We are keeping eye on 2019 polls too. We will get clear majority in (assembly polls). So, no alliance for the state election. But it will be good if anyone is interested in joining us for upcoming elections of 2019,” Akhilesh said.Akhilesh expressed confidence that “someone” from UP will play the role of Central leader during the 2019 polls and wished the person to be a samajwadi (socialist).Asked if his party will accept Nitish Kumar as the leader going into the next general elections, Akhilesh said, “When the grand alliance (ahead of Bihar polls) took shape, Netaji was its president. All the leaders made him the president. But on internal politics, only Netaji can speak, I cannot .why SP pulled off But both Nitish and Laloo had considered him as their leader.”Akhilesh said SP will face assembly polls, which he termed as “more than agni pariksha” (acid test) on the back of “developmental” works its government has done as he listed projects his dispensation completed/has proposed.The Chief Minister termed as “big verdict” BJP-led NDA’s drubbing in the recent Bihar elections, but added it was voters in Uttar Pradesh who had defeated “communal forces” in the state first.On being asked if SP, which had pulled out of grand alliance for Bihar elections, learnt a “lesson” from the poll results there, Akhilesh said it were the “fissiparous” forces which needed to take lessons from the outcome as he referred to Dadri episode and demands of ban on cow slaughter – though without naming any organisaiton.When an attendee at the event asked the SP leader whether it was acceptable to him if Rahul Gandhi was made Prime Minister and himself as his deputy, Akhilesh referred to the offer he had made to the Congress vice president last week.”See, I had given that formula (Mulayam as Prime Minister and Rahul as Deputy Prime Minister). My father made me a Chief Minister. So, I will do something for my father,” he joked.When questioned about RSS reiterating its stand of constructing Ram temple in Ayodhya, the SP leader said, “people of Uttar Pradesh are sensible. They were deceived by acche din talk once, but that will not work with them now.” Akhilesh also dismissed a question that his party worked as “shock absorber” for NDA headed by BJP during Bihar election, saying the Amit Shah-led party and SP were “completely different” outfits in nature.Akhilesh avoided speaking directly when asked if SP will support NDA Government over GST and said his party was in favour of a formula that will “not affect states and people”.When one of the attendees asked why SP doesn’t control its leader Azam Khan from allegedly making “vicious” statements as it embarrasses Muslims in the country, Akhilesh defended his cabinet minister saying, “You don’t listen to him completely. None speaks sweeter than him.”He reiterated his government carried out developmental works in constituencies led by leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sonia Gandhi.To a teaser why SP leaders were “afraid” of CBI, Akhilesh said in a lighter vein, “Congress people can tell you better about it”.

Delhi Police nab kidnappers of minor girl days after her return

On December 22, the minor’s father lodged a missing person’s complaint with the Uttam Nagar Police station, following which the police immediately swung into action to locate the missing girl.

Delhi Police arrested two men who kidnapped, gang raped and attempted to murder a 14-year-old girl who hailed from Uttam Nagar, West Delhi. Several cases of kidnapping, attempt to murder, rape among others have been filed against the accused Mohit alias Kishan and Vipin, both 22 years old. A third consort – Devendra, alias Daku Singh, believed to be Mohit’s brother is absconding.On December 22, the minor’s father lodged a missing person’s complaint with the Uttam Nagar Police station, following which the police immediately swung into action to locate the missing girl. The minor, traced to Yatharth Hospital, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh on December 6, was suffering from a gunshot wound and alleged history of sexual assault. She was later shifted to Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, whereupon she was questioned by the police and her statement recorded by a court’s magistrate.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a press conference held at the Delhi Police Headquarters, Joint Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak south-west range said “Based on the victim’s testimony and verification, two of the three accused were arrested and interrogated by the police on December 9 where they admitted to all charges. A car used in the kidnapping was also recovered by police personnel.”According to the minor girl’s statement, Mohit obtained the minor’s telephone number and proceeded to have several conversations with her over a period of few days. He then convinced her to run away with him on December 22. Once the minor was in his possession, Mohit and his accomplice Vipin, bundled her in their car – Hyundai Santro, and made their way to Tugalpur village near Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh where she was gang raped by them and a third accused Devendra aka Daku Singh. On December 5, Vipin, drove the victim in a white Mahindra Bolero, to a field near the village where she was held captive on the pretext of freeing her. However, the other two culprits awaited them and proceeded to rape her. As the minor attempted to escape the clutches of her captives, Devendra shot her above the abdomen with a country revolver and her body was dumped in a dry well in Tugalpur village, Uttar Pradesh.The girl, who was grievously injured pretended to be dead and later cried out for help when she was sure her molesters had gone away. She was rescued by locals and transferred to the hospital for treatment.The minor is now recovering at the hospital while police personnel continue their hunt for the third accused. According to a statement from the police, Mohit and his brother Devendra are history sheeters, though there seems to be no prior record for Vipin.

Ganga rejuvenation: NGT bans plastic from Gomukh to Haridwar

The Tribunal passed a slew of directions to keep the river pollution free. It held that if any hotel, dharamshala or ashram releases their domestic waste and sewage into Ganga or its tributaries then “it shall be liable to pay environmental compensation for causing pollution of the river at the rate of Rs 5,000 per day”.

There will be a complete ban on use of plastic of any kind from Gomukh to Haridwar along Ganga with effect from February 1, the National Green Tribunal directed on Thursday while slapping a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day on erring hotels, dharamshalas and ashrams spewing waste into the river.The Tribunal passed a slew of directions to keep the river pollution free. It held that if any hotel, dharamshala or ashram releases their domestic waste and sewage into Ganga or its tributaries then “it shall be liable to pay environmental compensation for causing pollution of the river at the rate of Rs 5,000 per day”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The green panel divided the cleaning work of Ganga into different segments –Gomukh to Haridwar, Haridwar to Kanpur, Kanpur to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal. Besides the plastic ban, the Tribunal also prohibited throwing of any municipal waste, construction and demolition wastes into Ganga and its tributaries while announcing that violators will have to pay an environmental compensation at the rate of Rs 5,000 per incident.”There shall be complete prohibition on use of plastic i.e plastic carry bags/plastic plates, glasses, spoons, packages and allied items in all cities/towns falling on the river Ganga and its tributaries in Segment A Phase -1 (Gomukh to Haridwar). “Under no circumstances, plastic carry bags of any thickness whatsoever would be permitted. The procurement, storing and sale of such plastic bags, plates, glasses, spoons etc are hereby prohibited, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said adding,”these restrictions would become operative with effect from February 1, 2016.” The Tribunal, which did not pass any order with regard to nine hydro-power projects in Uttarakhand as the matter is pending in the Supreme Court, said that all the projects would build their own sewage treatment plants (STPs) and make them operational within three months.The green bench further held that all the seriously polluting industries which are operating without consent from Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board shall be closed with immediate effect.On the issue of mining on the river bed, the Tribunal said it shall be carried on in a highly regulated manner and under strict supervision. “No mechanised river bed mining would be permitted. No JCBs (mechanical excavator) would be permitted to operate on the river bed,” it said. The bench, also comprising Judicial member M S Nambiar and expert members D K Agrawal and B S Sajwan, directed Uttarakhand government (in coordination with Ministry of Textile) to provide bio-degradable materials including jute bags and such other items which can be permitted in the entire segment. “We direct the state government and public authorities to ensure that public facilities like toilets are provided on the appropriate places in colonies abutting river Ganga all along segment-A of phase 1. Toilets should be connected and linked to bio-digesters or STPs constructed for that purpose alone,” it said.The bench directed the state government to prepare an action plan to provide bio-toilets for pilgrims in Uttarakhand during the festive seasons. The Tribunal, in its 150-page judgement, also directed that at least 100 meters from middle of the river Ganga would be treated and dealt with as “eco-sensitive and prohibited zone”.”No activity whether permanent or temporary in nature will be permitted to be carried on in this zone including camping. The only exception would be points for picking up and dropping the guests who are doing rafting in river Ganga. “The area beyond 100 meters and less than 300 meters would be treated as regulatory zone in the hilly terrain. The area upto 200 meters shall be prohibited area in the plain terrain and more than 200 meters and less than 500 meters would be treated as regulatory zone,” the bench said.The green bench also held that there would be no throwing of any medical or bio-medical waste into the river on the river banks.”If any hospital is found throwing such waste anywhere on land, water bodies or other places, state pollution control board and municipal authorities would recover Rs 20,000 per violation,” it said.With regard to Rs 258 crores which was provided for Ganga cleaning project, the green panel noted that Rs 78 crore has been spent and directed Uttarakhand government and its various departments to divert remaining Rs 180 crore for carrying out its directions including setting up of STPs.The Tribunal further held that “no work in relation to sewer line network shall be carried out by Uttarakhand and/or any public authority/body except at Gangotri where the sewer line network has been completed and at Gopeshwar where 96 per cent work has already been completed and both are connected to the STP.”Wherever there is a town which is closer to the industrial clusters, it will be ensured that that the treated sewage water from the town is recycled for industrial purposes or other permissible purposes. However, on other places it should be used for agriculture and horticulture purposes. Every effort should be made not to discharge more than 25 per cent of the total release from the STPs into Ganga,” the bench said.It directed Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh governments to set up 15 STPs, 24 bio digesters in 6 months to reduce sewage discharge in Ganga.”There shall be a team constituted of senior officers from Uttarakhand Pey Jal Nigam, state pollution control board and representatives of the government from Department of Urban development. They shall submit quarterly reports to the Tribunal in regard to operation and management of STPs and bio-digestors,” it said.Observing that Ganga is not only sacred but lifeline of cities, the Tribunal also imposed massive fines ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore on industrial units along the river for discharging waste.With regard to work on stretch from Haridwar to Kanpur, the green panel has convened a meeting of officials including Chief Secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, secretary of water resources, MoEF secretary and others on December 22.

Even beef-eaters can be RSS members, says senior leader Manmohan Vaidya

The leader said this in Arunachal Pradesh.

dna Research & Archives
At a time when the question of eating beef has dominated the national discourse frequently, with many states going for stricter laws and the Dadri incident leading to the debate about intolerance, a senior RSS leader has made a sensational statement.According to The Telegraph, Manmohan Vaidya said that RSS doesn’t dictate food habits but eating beef is not traditional across the country. However, he stated that it is fairly common practice in Arunachal Pradesh. He said that beef eaters can also become part of RSS. According to the report, there are nearly 3000 RSS members in the state who consume beef. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vaidya also firmly rejected charges of growing intolerance in the country. He said people of certain ideologies are always intolerant to contrarian views. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi earlier said that those who beef can go to Pakistan. One is unsure whether he is aware that some RSS members are beef-eaters.

Watch: Major landslide brings Chandigarh-Manali NH 21 highway to a standstill

Several individuals travelling on the Chandigarh-Manali highway witnessed a landslide as rocks and loose earth collapsed onto the tarmac and the river along the highway.

Rocks and loose earth tumble onto the highway along the river bank on NH21, as captured by the video posted by Suresh Sharma
screengrab
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The landslide occurred near the Hanogi temple on the National Highway 21 (NH21) between Chandigarh in Punjab and Manali in Himachal Pradesh.The temple is located in the Mandi district. The state Public Works Department (PWD) of the state is working with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to clear the highway at the earliest. Suresh Sharma posted this video of the landslide on his facebook page, <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Landslide near Hanogi temple that blocked Chandigarh-Manali national highway today.
Posted by Suresh Sharma on Sunday, December 6, 2015A diversion via Mandi-Kotala-Bajjura road for vehicles travelling to Manali has been created until the highway is safe to reopen.

Acid attacks: Supreme Court asks, states, UTs to rehabilitate victims, ensure free treatment

The Supreme Court in September had issued show cause notices against governments of Kerala, Karnataka, Mizoram and Madhya Pradesh.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday asked states and UTs to compensate, rehabilitate and ensure free treatment to acid attack victims as per its guidelines.The Supreme Court in September had issued show cause notices against governments of Kerala, Karnataka, Mizoram and Madhya Pradesh asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for not filing responses to its directions on issues like rehabilitation of acid attack victims. A bench comprising Justices MY Eqbal and C Nagappan had asked the Chief Secretaries of the four states to file their replies to the contempt notices within two weeks and posted the matter for hearing on September 23.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: Russian acid attack victim goes back; India to pay medicine billsThe bench was hearing a PIL filed by a Bihar-based NGO Parivartan Kendra seeking the court’s direction on the rehabilitation of the victims. Earlier, the court, which had passed a slew of directions on the issue, had given two weeks more “as a last chance” to certain states for filing counter affidavits. “In the event, this order is not complied with, then Chief Secretary of the respective defaulting States and the Union Territories shall appear in person before this Court on September 9, the next date of hearing,” it had said.Prior to this, the court had come to the aid of acid attack survivors by issuing directions including an order to all private hospitals across the country to provide free treatment, including medicines and expensive reconstruction surgeries, to such victims. It had asked all state governments and Union Territories to “take up the matter with the private hospitals” to ensure that acid attack victims are attended to immediately and adequately. The hospitals, where such victims are rushed after the incident, would have to provide a certificate or document stating that the person was an acid attack victim and the document would enable her or him to access free treatment, including surgeries, at a later stage, it had directed.On the banning of off-the-counter acid sale across the country, it had asked all states and UTs to notify acid as a “scheduled substance” to stop its unregulated sale. The court had also said its order should be sent to Chief Secretaries of all states and UTs, who in turn, would ensure that it reached District Magistrates for compliance and directed them to publicise it to ensure awareness among the people. (With PTI inputs)

After Mohan Bhagwat, now Praveen Togadia pitches for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya

“I am hopeful that the way the son of Gujarat, Sardar Patel, got Somnath temple built, in the same manner, the son of Gujarat Narendra Modi, who is firm on will power, will decide about the construction of a huge Ram temple,” Togadia said at a public meeting.

Praveen Togadia
File Photo

Days after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, VHP leader Praveen Togadia on Sunday made a pitch for the construction of a Ram temple at Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya.”I am hopeful that the way the son of Gujarat, Sardar Patel, got Somnath temple built, in the same manner, the son of Gujarat Narendra Modi, who is firm on will power, will decide about the construction of a huge Ram temple,” Togadia said at a public meeting. “If the need so arises, he (Modi) will enact a law in a joint session of Parliament,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Togadia said that a resolution for the construction of a Ram Temple was passed at BJP’s national executive at Palanpur in Himachal Pradesh in 1987. “This (construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya) has a mention in BJP’s manifesto as well,” he added.The VHP leader said he was “hopeful” that under the leadership of Modi, work on a Ram Temple will be completed. “For this, Hindus must be ready to support Modi,” he said.”On Shaurya Diwas (observed by Hindu outfits on Dec. 6), we take two resolutions; one: to build Ram Temple, and to establish Ram Raj,” he said. Defining ‘Ram Raj’, Togadia said “it means employment to 10 crore youths, education to scores of children, free health facility to poor Hindus and well-being of farmers”. Togadia said that VHP was providing education to children and free medical treatment to poor Hindus in a big way.On December 2 in Kolkata, RSS chief Bhagwat had expressed hope that the Ram temple in Ayodhya would be constructed in his lifetime.

Botched eye-surgery in MP: Not possible to restore eye sight of 40 patients, says AIIMS docs

Pandit, however, conceded that a standard procedure was not adhered to while conducting the surgeries. “The eye surgeon who had carried out the operation has said that operation theatre was not in order,” he added.

Most of the patients of botched-up cataract surgery conducted at a government camp in Barwani district last month have complained of a total loss of vision and only three-four of them could get their vision restored, according to an AIIMS ophthalmologist. A team of six expert doctors from the Delhi-based premier institution, led by ophthalmologist Dr Atul Kumar, today started examining the patients who complained of a blurred vision since the surgeries were held last month. “We have examined 45 patients. Of them, 40 have complained of losing their vision completely. Pus formation has taken place in their eyes due to infection,” Kumar said. He said only 3-4 patients, out of 45, may regain their vision. Kumar said the AIIMS was ready to render all possible help to the victims if the Madhya Pradesh government sends them to Delhi for further treatment.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The patients have been treated at two private hospitals here after they developed swelling in eyes, coupled with irritation and blurred vision, after undergoing cataract surgeries conducted at a government camp in the district during November 16 and November 21. Kumar said the infection in their eyes could have been caused due to improper medicine. “The quality of medicines used during government’s cataract eye operation camp should be probed,” he said.Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Health Department Joint Director, Sharad Pandit said it would be premature to draw any conclusion on reason behind the incident since a probe is on. “The investigation being carried out so far has pointed out that the patients have contracted both bacterial and fungal infection. We are also looking at the upkeep of operation theatre, the medical implement and the medicine used during the time of operations,” he said. Pandit, however, conceded that a standard procedure was not adhered to while conducting the surgeries. “The eye surgeon who had carried out the operation has said that operation theatre was not in order,” he added.For its part, the government had already suspended seven persons, including Dr R S Palod under whose guidance the camp was organised, and six personnel of Health department.​ Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had talked to Union Health Minister JP Nadda and sought his cooperation in the treatment of the patients. After his discussions with Nadda, the team of doctors was sent to Indore. The state government has announced that it will bear entire cost of treatment of the eye patients. It has also set up a team to probe the incident, and has suspended six people, including an ophthalmologist.

Congress rejects Akhilesh Yadav’s alliance suggestion

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had suggested that an alliance with Congress is possible in an arrangement where Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is the Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi his Deputy.

Akhilesh Yadav

Congress on Friday debunked suggestions from the Samajwadi Party projecting Mulayam Singh Yadav as the Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi as his Deputy after the next polls, saying no alliance is being planned with that party.”As of now, Indian National Congress has no intention of tying up or having any understandaing with the Samajwadi party so the subsequent question does not arise,” party spokesperson Sushmita Dev told reporters. She was asked about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s suggestion that an alliance with Congress is possible in an arrangement where Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is the Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi his Deputy.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Akhilesh made the comments in the course of a conversation at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here in the presence of the Congress vice president. However, Rahul refused to comment when asked about it. The UP Chief Minister was replying to a question on whether he was ready to extend his “good” personal relationship with Gandhi to a political level with the Congress.

Supreme Court issues notice to UP government for not appointing Lokayukta

It had also directed the state government to take steps for selecting new incumbent of Lokayukta Justice (retd) N K Mehrotra within six months.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to Uttar Pradesh government asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against it for non- compliance of its order to appoint a new Lokayukta in the state.A bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and N V Ramana sought response from the state on a fresh contempt petition alleging that despite apex court’s orders to find a suitable replacement of current Lukayukta, no appointment has been made so far. On April 24, last year, the court had upheld the constitutional validity of amendment in UP Lokayukta Act for fixing eight-year tenure for the anti-corruption ombudsman.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It had also directed the state government to take steps for selecting new incumbent of Lokayukta Justice (retd) N K Mehrotra within six months. The apex court, in July this year, had taken note of a contempt petition alleging non-compliance of its on April 24, 2014 order and directed the state to do the needful within 30 days.The fresh contempt plea, filed by Sachidanand Gupta, alleged disobedience by the state government. Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for Gupta, said that the state administration needed to be issued the contempt notice for its brazen defiance of the orders.Earlier, Justice Mehrotra was appointed as Lokayukta on March 16, 2006 for six years and later, the government granted him a two-year extension by amending the Act under which the tenure was extended to eight years or till a successor took over. While upholding the constitutional validity of the amendment to the UP Lokayukta Act, the court had directed the state government to take steps to select a new ombudsman within six months.

98% houses built under JNNURM and Rajiv Awas Yojana vacant

As many as 98% of the houses built in Delhi under the previous government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and Rajiv Awas Yojana are lying vacant.

Union minister of state for housing and urban poverty alleviation Babul Supriyo on Thursday reeled out shocking statistics in the Rajya Sabha on how the poor are not interested in a large number of houses built by the government in big cities and towns.As many as 98% of the houses built in Delhi under the previous government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and Rajiv Awas Yojana are lying vacant.The empty houses constructed under the two schemes account for 79% in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Punjab 78%, Himachal Pradesh 63%, Chhattisgarh (48%), Maharashtra (43%), Sikkim (43%), Andhra Pradesh (38%) and Telangana (29%).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a written reply to a question, Supriyo said under JNNURM and Rajiv Awas Yojana, a total of 1,695 housing projects were sanctioned at a total cost of Rs 40,536 crore, involving Central assistance of Rs 21,101 crore, for construction of 13,92,589 houses.As many as 9,80,216 dwelling units under the two schemes have been completed, but 2,37,546 of them, which is one-fourth of the houses built, are not yet occupied by the beneficiaries, Supriyo disclosed, pointing out that the highest number of 52,966 houses out of 1.23 lakh in Maharashtra are vacant, followed by Gujarat where 29,126 out of 1.18 lakh houses are vacant and Delhi where 26,759 out of 27,344 houses are unoccupied.Other states with poor vacancies are Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These ten states account for 92% of vacant houses.MNREGA: The Government in Lok Sabha demolished the Congress claim of downgrading the UPA government’s flagship programme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) by slashing 40% expenditure on it and reducing the number of beneficiaries.Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia sought to put the government on the mat during question hour in the Lok Sabha, accusing the government killing the programme that was once dubbed by Narendra Modi as an example of failure of the Congress-led UPA government but included in his government’s success story in a U-turn. His contentions were, however, demolished with statistics by none else but Birender Singh, a former Congress leader from Haryana, who is now the rural development minister in the Modi government. Noting that the UPA Government had certainly allotted Rs 40,000 crore for MGNREGA in each financial year of 2010-11 and 2011-12 while spending only Rs 35,841 crore and Rs 40,000 crore respectively, the minister said actual expenditure as also allotment has gone up since the Modi government came to power.

Congress plans protest during Modi, Abe visit to Varanasi

Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Nirmal Khatri told reporters here that the local party unit would stage protest on December 12

File Picture

PTI
Congress on Thursday said it would stage demonstrations during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to the temple town on December 12, to protest the slapping of stringent National Security Act (NSA) against its MLA Ajay Rai.Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Nirmal Khatri told reporters here that the local party unit would stage protest on December 12. He, however, refused to disclose the nature of the protest. Rai is presently lodged in jail. He was arrested for his alleged role in the violence that erupted on October 5 during a protest march of seers and locals. The seers and locals were protesting the police lathicharge on a rally on the intervening night of September 22-23 against ban on immersion of idols in Ganga river.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress state president on Thursday held a meeting with leaders of 14 eastern Uttar Pradesh districts ahead of the ‘padyatras’ on Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s birthday on December 9. This padyatras, aimed at highlighting public grievances, would conclude on December 31.

Varun Gandhi expresses concerns over farmer suicides in Uttar Pradesh

He claimed that as many as 42 farmers have committed suicide in Lalitpur district alone, adding that farmers were committing suicide out of shame after failing to repay loans.

Varun Gandhi

Members in the Lok Sabha including several from the BJP on Thursday expressed grave concern over the agrarian crisis and made a strong plea for a fair deal to the farmer.Raising the issue in Zero Hour, they sought remunerative prices for farm produce and cheaper credit and loan waivers to farmers in states like Uttar Pradesh which have witnessed drought. Varun Gandhi (BJP) talked of the severe agricultural distress in Uttar Pradesh, saying 75 districts have been declared as drought hit. He said that Bundelkhand region of the state was worst hit with people not having enough to eat and has witnessed one hunger death. The situation there was like that of famine in other parts of world, he contended.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Things have deteriorated for cane growers with the state government not raising the sugarcane pr ices for the last three years, Gandhi said. He claimed that as many as 42 farmers have committed suicide in Lalitpur district alone, adding that farmers were committing suicide out of shame after failing to repay loans.Another BJP member Chhote Lal made a strong pitch for loan waiver for farmers in the state in view of the drought. Sushil Kumar Singh, also of the BJP, suggested that government should procure all wheat and paddy from farmers under a guaranteed price to help the agriculturists and also promote the production of cereals. Rahul Kaswan (BJP) underlined the need for a special economic package to Rajasthan to help drought-hit farmers.Kaushalendra Kumar (JD-U) regretted that farmers were not getting better prices for their produce despite Narendra Modi assuring in the Lok Sabha election campaign that he would raise them substantially after becoming Prime Minister. He also sought Indian companies to enter the seed production business dominated by foreign concerns which charge heftily from the farmers.Anto Antony (Congress) made a strong plea for better price for domestic rubber, contending that lakhs of rubber farmers are facing a crisis due to import of the commodity. He was supported by members from Kerala.As they sought a response from the government, Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured them that he would bring it to the notice of the concerned minister.

Cabinet approves six new IITs

At present, there are 16 IITs in the country.
File Photo

Six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will be set up in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Karnataka with the Union Cabinet on Wednesday clearing a proposal in this regard.A meeting of the Cabinet presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for operationalisation of these IITs initially by forming of Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in order to give them legal status till the amendment for their incorporation in The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 is enacted. At present, there are 16 IITs in the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Each new IIT will have an initial intake of 180 students in its first year which would increase to 450 in the second year and to 928 (840 Undergraduates, 80 Postgraduates and 8 PhDs) in the third year of their operation, an official statement here said. The total cost for running these IITs is Rs 1,411.80 crore and will be incurred between 2015-16 and 2018-19, it added.The new IITs will be operated from their temporary campuses for the initial period of three years before shifting to their permanent campuses in the 4th year. Each IIT will have a sanctioned strength of faculty members, with a faculty-student ratio of 1:10. The statement also added that the six new IITs will be registered as Societies as the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, contains no provision to enable establishment of new IITs.”Every new IIT commenced since its enactment has required an amendment to the Act itself. In light of this, it would be appropriate to establish the new IITs through the formation of Societies as it has not been possible to amend the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 to make provision for establishment of new IITs, before the admissions to academic session 2015-16 in these new IITs,” the statement added.

Heavy rainfall warning for next 4 days for south coastal Andhra Pradesh & Rayalaseema

The Met office has cautioned of more showers in the next four days across Tamil Nadu with some regions likely to witness heavy to very heavy rainfall.

File Photo of Chennai rains (File Photo)

Reuters
Heavy rainfall warning has been issued for the next four days for south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema. The Met office has cautioned of more showers in the next four days across Tamil Nadu with some regions likely to witness heavy to very heavy rainfall. Non-stop torrential rains since last night pounded several parts of Chennai and its suburbs and Puducherry triggering a deluge completely disrupting normal life as army was deployed tonight in two suburban areas to undertake rescue on a war footing. Two columns of army’s Garrison Infantry Battalion have been pressed into service in Tambaram and Oorapakkam after the Tamil Nadu government sought military assistance. The Navy is also on stand-by. All flight operations at Chennai airport were suspended tonight until further review and a number of flights disrupted as waters inundated the runway and the tarmac.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The rains that have virtually broken a 100-year-old record with one day’s rainfall covering a month’s average also flooded areas in Vadapalani, Valasaravakkam and Nandamvakkam as nearby lakes overflowed into the city. Adding to the woes, Chennai city and neighbouring districts braced for more rains as the Met deparment predicted heavy to very heavy rains in the next four days. Most areas of Chennai, which have already been lashed by rains for over a fortnight, went under water today severely disrupting train and bus services and forcing postponment of half-yearly school exams and closure of schools in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts. A large part of the road near Madhya Kailash temple in the heart of the city in an area that connects the IT corridor, caved in resulting in a huge crater and disrupting traffic.Even in hitherto unaffected areas, people complained that water entered their homes and roads flooded with surging waters. Several areas in the city went without power as supply was cut as a safety precaution. The situation has worsened in suburban areas of Tambaram and Mudichur after the Chembarakam lake overflowed and an unprecedented 26,000 cusecs of water was being released flooding the downstream areas. These areas had already suffered heavily during the earlier spells of rains.National Disaster Rescue Force has already despatched ten teams of which four are already in Chennai and the rest will be flying in tomorrow. “At the same time, we are also requisitioning teams from Bengaluru and Andhra Pradesh,” NDRF chief O P Singh said. Rescue work will begin and NDRF would deploy more teams if required. Teams carrying boats will also be sent to Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts. As the death toll in rain-related incidents touched 188, Chief Minister Jayalalithaaa reviewed the situation and deputed ministers to inspect the affected regions.Half-yearly exams in schools, which were to have begun on December 7, were postponed. Schools were closed today and will remain shut tomorrow as well. Flight operations also took a hit due to rains. Airport officials said one flight, which had left Colombo this morning, returned.Twelve trains leaving Chennai Egmore were cancelled due to water overflowing on railway tracks between Villupuram – Tambaram section. Also, eleven trains were diverted. Motorists had a tough time as not only arterial roads like Anna Salai and, GST Road were inundated but also many interior roads. Also, many roads were damaged, with several of them caving in inconveniencing motorists Puducherry and its suburbs continued to be lashed by heavy rains since last night and it recorded 15.2 cm rain in the last 24 hours ending 0830 hours today. Jayalalithaa said police, fire and rescue, National and State Disaster Forces and Coast Guard have been kept ready for need-based evacuation of people from flood hit regions.She reviewed the situation arising out of heavy rains in districts including Chennai, Tiruvallur, Cuddalore and Kanchipuram districts. She also ordered postponement of half-yearly examinations for school children to next month previously slated to be held from December 7. As a result of the rains, Poondi, Cholavaram, Puzhal and Chembarambakkam reservoirs that feed Chennai have touched 83.8 per cent of its capacity and out of the 14,098 lakes under PWD in Tamil Nadau 6,791 lakes are full. “I have ordered officials to take precautionary measures before releasing surplus waters from reservoirs and evacuate people living in low-lying areas,” she said.She also ordered a solatium of Rs four lakh to the kin of each of the four persons who were killed in rain-related incidents a few days ago in various parts of the state. Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy has sought immediate interim financial assistance of Rs 100 crore from the Centre, to take up relief works. In a release, Rangasamy said he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, seeking immediately an interim relief of Rs 100 crore to cope with the situation arising out of the rains. With agency inputs

Amitabh Thakur seeks Rs 10,000 as expenses for providing documents in DA case

The disproportionate assets case was registered against him at Gomtinagar police station in Lucknow.
File Photo
PTI
Suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur on Tuesday demanded Rs 10,000 from the Uttar Pradesh Vigilance Establishment as expenses for providing the documents sought from him in the disproportionate assets case.In a letter to investigating officer Daddan Chaubey, Thakur said, “I have been asked for Income Tax returns for the period 1992-93 to 2015-16, details of the house and car loan taken from Allahabad Bank, Gonda, certain amounts deposited in Ballia in 2002 and Meerut in 2011 etc.”As most of these documents are not available with me and I will have to go to Gonda, Ballia, Meerut and Bokaro (Jharkhand), where my IT returns are filed, it will require money.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said although he is willing to provide all the required documents but it is also the duty of the Vigilance Establishment to provide him the expenses incurred in procuring these documents.”I need Rs 10,000 from the department to provide the necessary information,” he said.The disproportionate assets case was registered against him at Gomtinagar police station in Lucknow. Thakur was suspended by the state government after he had filed an FIR against Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav for allegedly threatening him.

Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu reviews arrangements for next month’s investment summit

The three-day ‘CII Partnership Summit’ will be held in Visakhapatnam, about 350 km from Hyderabad, from January 10 with ‘Sunrise Andhra Pradesh’ as its main theme.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday reviewed the arrangements for next month’s CII summit that will see participation of delegates from 19 countries and seek to attract investments in the state. The three-day ‘CII Partnership Summit’ will be held in Visakhapatnam, about 350 km from Hyderabad, from January 10 with ‘Sunrise Andhra Pradesh’ as its main theme.The Information and Public Relations Department, in a release, said delegates from 19 countries, including US, UAE, Japan, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia and New Zeland, besides representatives from various industrial organisations in the country, will take part in the conference. Naidu, at a meeting here, took stock of preparations being made in the port city for the business event with officials concerned.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The focus of the summit will be on attracting investments and promoting industries and tourism in the state, he said. The summit is being organised by CII in association with the Andhra Pradesh government and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

No written exam for recruitment of police constables in UP: CM Akhilesh Yadav

Pointing out that there is shortage of constables in the Uttar Pradesh Police, Yadav said that adequate arrangements would be done to train the applicants.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday announced that there would be no written examination for recruitment to the post of police constable, adding that it would be done on the basis of physical test and the marks obtained by the applicants in high school.”Recruitment will be done very soon of thirty five constables. And the (Uttar Pradesh) Cabinet has taken the decision that examination will not be held. The recruitment will be done on the basis of marks obtained in Class 10th and 12th along with physical test,” said Yadav.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pointing out that there is shortage of constables in the Uttar Pradesh Police, Yadav said that adequate arrangements would be done to train the applicants.

NHRC team wasn’t sent for investigation to Dadri after Akhlaq’s lynching: Govt tells Lok Sabha

The killing of 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq by a mob in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh had sparked outrage in the country.
File Photo

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) did not send any team to Dadri after the lynching of a Muslim man over suspicion of eating beef.Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that as per information received from the NHRC, it did not send any team for on the spot investigation after the incident of killing a man over allegation of slaughtering a banned animal in September.The killing of 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq by a mob in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh had sparked outrage in the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rijiju said, “However, the Commission issued notices to the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh government and District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of Gautam Budh Nagar, UP, seeking report from them.”In the written reply, the Minister said although no inquiry had been initiated by the Home Ministry, a report had been sought from the state government on the incident. According to the report, some members of a particular community entered the house of a person on the intervening night of September 28-29 and beat him and his son up on the allegation of slaughtering a banned animal. One of the persons later succumbed to his injuries, he said.

Ex J&K CM Omar Abdullah slams Narendra Modi over ‘growing intolerance’

People are concerned over the growing sense of communal polarisation and intolerance in the country. Incidents like those witnessed in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri and Udhampur here are blots on the social fabric of our country and will continue to haunt the nation’s collective conscience for years to come,” the NC leader said during a rally. He addressed two public meetings at Khari and Banihal areas of Ramban district.

File Photo

Growing “intolerance” in the country and the incidents in Udhampur and Dadri are blots on the social fabric of the country and will continue to hauntthe nation’s collective conscience for years to come, former chief minister Omar Abdullah said. Slamming the state government, the National Conference’s working president said several core issues have been sidelined by PDP post its alliance with BJP and this might lead to feeling of further alienation among people in the state.”People are concerned over the growing sense of communal polarisation and intolerance in the country. Incidents like those witnessed in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri and Udhampur here are blots on the social fabric of our country and will continue to haunt the nation’s collective conscience for years to come,” the NC leader said during a rally. He addressed two public meetings at Khari and Banihal areas of Ramban district.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to the death of a truck conductor in a petrol bomb attack last month, he said that the murderous attack on the trucker in Udhampur by a frenzied, communal mob highlights the gravity of the situation the state is confronted with. Criticising the state government, Omar alleged that the PDP-BJP coalition’s policy of putting core political issues on the back burner did not auger well for the prospects of peace and stability within J&K as well as the South Asian region.He claimed that the spate in incidents of intolerance and communal confrontation in the country has created a sense of despondency and restlessness that could have far-reaching, adverse implications for the next generation.”PDP has acted as a ‘political courier’ that carried the alien ideology of intolerance and communal polarisation into J and K at the behest of those who have always harboured a dream to fragment and polarise the state,” he said. “Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a prolonged period of political unrest and turmoil. A state like ours cannot be starved of political engagement and initiatives to bring the disgruntled and disillusioned elements into the fold of our democratic processes and systems,” he said.Omar said the “continued failure” of PDP-BJP to articulate the need for political engagement with internal and external stakeholders is a threat to the fragile peace in J&K that has been earned after years of political persistence. “A lot of core political issues have been sidelined by the PDP post its alliance with the BJP and this risks further alienation and isolation in the state,” he claimed. Referring to the Rs 80,000 crore package recently announced for the state by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Omar said just numerics would not benefit people on the ground. “Packages alone would not help Jammu and Kashmir to emerge from the shadows of political uncertainty and unrest. It is very important that the political dimensions of the Kashmir issue are also addressed.”Economic packages need to be supplemented with political initiatives and measures. I spoke about this in the presence of a visiting Prime Minister and also articulated this in the Legislative Assembly,” he said.Targetting PDP, Omar said that during 2014 Parliamentary and Assembly elections in the state, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti campaigned against BJP and sought votes to stop its political march into the state.”But as soon as the election results were out, PDP leaders rushed to Nagpur and New Delhi to embrace top BJP and RSS leaders. Since the very incorporation of PDP, National Conference had highlighted their inherent political nexus with the BJP. Today, their political affiliation with the BJP and RSS is out in the open,” he alleged.Omar further claimed that his party had offered to provide unconditional outside support to PDP during the process of government formation but Sayeed had refused saying his party was looking for massive funding to the state which it will receive by aligning with BJP.He said that the Chief Minister’s office had been “trivialised” under Sayeed ,and that the existing atmosphere of “helplessness and political ineffectiveness” in the state could create an aversion towards a democratic system.Omar lashed out at the government over “developmental inertia” in the state especially the far-flung areas and for neglecting the aspirations of the state’s unemployed youth. “The perpetual delays in releasing timely wages to different categories of workers besides failure to provide financial assistance to categorized segments of the population has resulted in unimaginable miseries and an overall atmosphere of vulnerability and penury,” he said. “The promise of round-the-clock electricity has turned out to be another big, cruel joke,” he added.

Azam Khan hits out at Imam Syed Bukhari, calls him an ‘RSS agent’

Rampur (UP): Controversial UP minister Azam Khan renewed his attack on Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari alleging he was hand-in-glove with Hindu outfits which were “silent” on his son’s marriage to a Hindu though they were vociferously raising the issue of “love jihad”.

His comments have come a day after Bukhari said in Kanpur that “cows were being openly slaughtered” in Rampur, Azam’s Assembly constituency, and no one was raising voices against it due to the fear of the SP minister.

Bukhari claimed that the ruling Samajwadi Party will have to face a drubbing in the 2017 Assembly elections if its controversial leader Azam is not removed.

Azam told reporters, “Why they are keeping mum when Shahi Imam’s son solemnised marriage with a Hindu girl while it were these brigades which shouted furiously against love jihad?”

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

File photo. Image courtesy: PTI

The senior Samajwadi Party leader alleged that the Hindu outfits are hand-in-glove with the Shahi Imam.

“Since they knew that son of the Shahi Imam would be crowned Shahi Imam in future, they maintained silence issuing clear indication that Imam happens to be a member of their own saffron family,” Azam said.

He said that had it been someone else, the outfits would have protested.

“Had someone else committed that act, unimaginable situation might have emerged. But, since a person who had garnered votes for BJP by occupying a comfortable seat in ‘Shine India’ bus there were no dissenting voices because Imam was a part and parcel of their agenda,” he said.

Azam also expressed hope the like in the Imam’s case, the saffron outfits will not protest against any inter-religious marriage in the future.

“In future, if such solemnisations are repeated those should be treated as acceptable with happy gestures,” he said.

Two days ago, Azam had described Bukhari as an RSS agent in Mainpuri.

“If my son had married a Hindu girl, there would have been a storm in politics. But when Bukhari’s son marries a Hindu girl, the RSS remains silent,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bukhari claimed that the ruling SP will have to face a drubbing in the upcoming polls, if Azam is not removed.

Bukhari in a letter to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said that if Khan is not removed, then he will protest against the party in the next elections.

Speaking at a private function in Kanpur, Bukhari noted that people belonging to all religions can live happily in Uttar Pradesh, only when Khan is removed from office.

The Shahi Imam, who had often locked horns with Khan, a state cabinet minister, said that the latter was responsible for the poor state of affairs in Uttar Pradesh.

PTI

Drone eyes in sky keeping intruders off Vidarbha’s Pench tiger reserve

“There has been a fall in poaching and illegal entry after the drone was deployed (a few months ago). People are aware that they are being watched,” said Reddy,

The big cats of the Pench tiger project in Vidarbha as well as the flora and fauna there can now rely on the eyes in the sky to protect them from poachers and tree-fellers. The officials have pressed into service a drone which will keep an eye out for intruders, be it to hunt animals or fish in the reservoir there. Located near Nagpur, the Pench tiger reserve is the first in Maharashtra and the second in India after the Panna tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh to procure an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for conservation purposes. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Buoyed by the success, officials are planning to procure and deploy more drones to effectively cover reserve’s 257.26 sq.km core area and a 483.96 sq.km buffer zone, habitating 21 tigers, 33 species of mammals, over 160 species of birds, reptiles, fishes and amphibians. “We are using the drone to get an aerial view of the park,” MS Reddy, chief conservator of forests and field director of the Pench project told dna. “It provides us an aerial view of the park, its water bodies and helps map the area,” he said, adding the drone was being used for aerial reconnaissance, protection, photography and documentation. The drone can stream live photos and videos though it is not equipped with a night-vision camera as of now.”There has been a fall in poaching and illegal entry after the drone was deployed (a few months ago). People are aware that they are being watched,” said Reddy, adding the “idea itself acts as a deterrent”. “We are also using it to watch if fishing is taking place in the Pench reservoir, in violation of the ban. It helps us devise a strategy after estimating the strength of the fishermen,” he said. The drone in use costs around Rs 1.10 lakh and plans are afoot to buy bigger ones. “We are going in for bigger ones, as the one in use has a flight time of just 15 minutes. We are looking for a UAV which has a flight time of over one hour,” he added. Around 20 forest personnel have been trained in using the drone. “Technology is a great help in conservation,” he noted, adding the drone could observe intruders from a distance and could stay safe unlike camera traps which could be easily accessed and damaged. Located at a distance of around 70km from Nagpur, the Pench tiger reserve was declared as India’s 25th tiger reserve in 1999. It also has an eco-tourism area. The reserve is an important corridor between the forest areas of Madhya Pradesh (Pench Tiger Reserve) and Nagzira-Navegaon and Tadoba- Andhari Tiger Reserves in Maharashtra. African safariPlayers and coaches of the South African cricket team visited Pench on Saturday for a tiger safari. The team could get a glimpse of the big cat, a leopard and other birds and animals, said Reddy. Senior forest department officials and experts accompanied them.

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