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CPCB, a look at the science behind the air quality index

“Engineers can establish these stations, technicians can run it, but you need people who understand atmospheric science, to understand the data,” said Jakhwal. Hence, CPCB regularly absorbs students from various universities training them in their special sets of skills.With two more automatic stations being set up, their biggest asset to maintain air quality, is knowledge, said Jakhwal, which has finally made people take note of the state of affairs.Meanwhile, the honour of ‘severe’ air went to Muzaffarpur, Bihar, on Tuesday.White elephants
Scientist at the Air Laboratory for 29 years, DC Jakhwal, calls these stations the CPCB’s white elephants. Necessary as they are, each costs 1.1 crore to set up, roughly 12 per cent of that to maintain the sensitive equipment annually – eight machines for eight parameters – and depend heavily on connectivity to monitor remote areas. For now, the lab has 39 such stations across India connected to it, with Gaya joining on Tuesday itself.

Aradhna Wal

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Chintan Upadhyay feared that lawyer could be a pain in his neck: Police

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Was advocate Haresh Bhambhani killed just because he happened to accompany Hema Upadhyay to the workshop where the murderers had laid a trap for her? Or is it that he was also a target, and was lured to the workshop with an intent to be murdered along with Hema?

Was advocate Haresh Bhambhani killed just because he happened to accompany Hema Upadhyay to the workshop where the murderers had laid a trap for her? Or is it that he was also a target, and was lured to the workshop with an intent to be murdered along with Hema? Contrary to the belief that Bhambhani was an accidental victim, the probe officials have concluded that the accused had planned the lawyer’s murder along with that of Hema. According to police, Hema’s husband Chintan Upadhyay, who was arrested on Tuesday for plotting the double murder, feared that once Hema gets eliminated, Bhambhani could prove to be a pain in the neck.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “It is clear that they had planned to eliminate both. They had even made arrangements for two boxes to dispose of both the bodies,” said an officer from Kandivli station. “Hema was made to believe that they have evidence against Chintan which would help her win the legal case. They knew that this would make Hema bring along Bhambhani to the workshop to verify the evidence,” said sources in Kandivli police station. “Chintan, who has been involved in a bitter legal case with wife Hema over their divorce issue, was scared of Bhambhani raising suspicion if Hema disappeared suddenly,” said an officer pointing out that right from the beginning Bhambhani had been representing Hema in her legal fight. “Chintan feared that needle of suspicion will fall on him, and hence decided that the lawyer needs to be eliminated as well,” he said adding “the money that Chintan was supposed to pay Hema as alimony was also sent to Bhambhani to be forwarded to Hema”. Bodies of artist Hema Upadhyay, 43, and her counsel Haresh Bhambani, 65, were found in Kandivli nullah on December 12 evening. Upadhyay and Bhambhani were reportedly missing since December 11 and missing complaints of both of them were registered at Santacruz and Matunga police stations respectively by their relatives. During the course of the investigation, police ascertained that Upadhyay and Bhambhani were last seen leaving together from the Upadhyay’s studio located at Veer Desai road in Andheri (W). Upadhyay had filed for divorce with an estranged Chintan in 2010, 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 and Bhambhani was representing her. The celebrated artist couple was in news when in 2013 Upadhyay filed a criminal case against Chintan for sketching obscene paintings on the walls of their bedroom.

BSF plane crash: Grieving relatives confront Union Home Minister Rajanth Singh

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A small 20-year-old BSF plane ferrying the force’s technical personnel to Ranchi crashed in Dwarka area on Tuesday and burst into flames just outside IGI airport shortly after take-off.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh extend his condolences to the family members of BSF plane crash victims at Safdarjung airport in New Delhi on Wednesday.

PTI
Tearful relatives of the victims of the BSF plane crash here that killed all 10 occupants confronted Union Minister Rajnath Singh today with a slew of questions including why “old aircraft” were being used and lives of troops put at risk.As Singh and mourning relatives bid adieu to victims amid grief and anger, the Border Security Force(BSF) chief D K Pathak maintained that its crashed Beechcraft Super King was completely “airworthy” and flying “very well” and rejected allegations about any possible defect in the 11-seater aircraft. A small 20-year-old BSF plane ferrying the force’s technical personnel to Ranchi crashed in Dwarka area on Tuesday and burst into flames just outside IGI airport shortly after take-off.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Why are old aircraft being used and lives of troops put at risk?” was one of the questions faced by Singh. A distraught and agitated daughter of Sub-Inspector Rabinder Kumar, who was among the 10 personnel killed in yesterday’s crash, asked Singh and BSF Director General D K Pathak to “address” these issues so that soldiers on the line of duty are not killed in such mishaps. “Jawab dijiye (give me an answer). Why only soldiers get killed in such accidents and it never happens to VIPs,” she asked as soon as Singh began meeting the families after paying tributes and placing floral wreaths on mortal remains of the victims.A composed and moist-eyed Home Minister consoled the young woman and assured that their grievances would be looked into as he said he would review each and every aspect that they have underlined. The silence of the foggy and wintry morning at the airstrip was broken when the family members, one by one, started wailing, and their screams rent the sombre air. The next of kin of other personnel who had come to pay their respects to their near and dear ones at the BSF hangar at Safdarjung airport here had more or less the same grievances and stories to tell.”My son-in-law told me that the planes in the BSF air wing are getting old and new ones are expected in sometime. I don’t know when will these new aircraft come but surely he will not be there to see them,” said the father-in-law of the co-pilot Rajesh Shivrain. The family members of another personnel said they were being told that the BSF fleet is growing old and new acquisition is stuck in “red tape”.”This is worrying, for us and everyone who is associated with this wing. We just want that a soldier’s life should not be put at stake by using old machines,” a family member of Assistant SI D P Chauhan said. BSF Director General D K Pathak said the ill-fated aircraft was 20 years old and in the aviation (domain) an aircraft has life till 40-45 years.He said the main probe into the crash is being done by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and that it would be “premature” to speculate on the possible reasons for the mishap. The BSF Chief said the plane B-200, registered as VT-BSA, was flying about 3-4 days in a week. “As I said, this aircraft has been flying very well…it had been flying three to four days in a week and there was absolutely no problem. Whenever any kind of a snag is reported it is promptly attended to and aircraft is not made airborne until it is certified by the technicians that it is worthy to fly,” he said.

Let Jaitley emulate LK Advani on resignation: Congress

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Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad reminded that when Advani’s name cropped in Jain Hawala case, he stepped down from public posts and even contest 1998 election, till the Supreme Court absolved him.

Prime Minister Modi, senior leaders LK Advani, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu at the BJP parliamentary party meeting
B B Yadav
dna
The Congress and the CPI(M) on Tuesday jumped over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment that finance minister Arun Jaitley will come out of the DDCA (Delhi District Cricket Association) corruption charges with “flying colours” in the same manner as Lal Krishna Advani did in the Hawala case.Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad reminded that when Advani’s name cropped in Jain Hawala case, he stepped down from public posts and even contest 1998 election, till the Supreme Court absolved him. Azad and Congress’s deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said the Congress had not “manufactured” any allegation against Jaitley but it came from his own BJP colleague cricket-turned MP Kirti Azad first in a Press conference on Sunday and then in the Lok Sabha on Monday. If Kirti Azad was levelling false charges, why no minister nor any BJP MP rose to contradict him in the House, they asked pointing out how seven ministers led by Venkaiah Naidu were on their feet when a Congress member referred to the charges in the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to Kirti’s claim in the House that the Modi government has already ordered a CBI probe in October into the DDCA functioning from 2008 and 2013 and everybody knows who was its president during those years, the Congress leaders asked the Prime Minister to make public all details instead of carrying on a hush-hush inquiry to help Jaitley.Showing flexibility from its earlier demand of instituting a joint parliamentary committee (JPC), Congress on Tuesday switched to demanding an impartial time-bound court-monitored probe. The leaders said Jaitley should step down during the inquiry for the sake of own dignity and honour and generate a public confidence into such an investigation. They said a lot has come into public domain against him since the CBI raid on Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s office to look for report of a probe ordered by him into the DDCA.Azad and Sharma said the inquiry cannot be free and fair if Jaitley continues as the finance minister, particularly when the Enforcement Directorate and Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) that will be involved in the probe come under his ministry. Surjewala challenged Jaitley to make public the SFIO report in which he claims to have got a clean chit, pointing out that it probes the corporate bodies and no any individuals and that it did indict the corporates involved in the DDCA corruption.The Congress leaders also claimed that Jaitley had the inkling of all wrongs in DDCA from the beginning as he had opposed, as then leader of Opposition, the then UPA government’s move to bring the sports bodies into the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Surjewala said it were the Congress that wanted to bring all sports bodies under RTI in 2011 when Ajay Maken was the sports minister but it gave up because of no consensus reached. “We did not have the majority in the Rajya Sabha to push for it when then leader of Opposition opposed.”

Estranged husband Chintan Upadhyay arrested in murder case of Hema, her lawyer

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A team of Kandivli police on Tuesday afternoon produced Chintan and four other accused – Vijay Rajbhar, 40, Pradeep Rajbhar, 22, Azad Rajbhar, 19 and Shivkumar Rajbhar, 19 – arrested earlier in the case, before a magistrate court in Borivli.

Contemporary 43-year-old artist Chintan Upadhyay was arrested by the Kandivali police in the wee hours of Tuesday in connection with the murders of his estranged wife Hema and her lawyer Haresh Bhambhani. According to the police sources, Chintan was called for questioning around 11.30 pm at the police station. Chintan was questioned for over five hours after which he was formally placed under arrest. “We wanted Chintan to answer a few questions, but the latter kept giving unsatisfactory replies,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Deputy commissioner of police, Zone XI, Vikram Deshmane said, “After we found involvement of Chintan in the murder conspiracy we arrested him.” A team of Kandivli police on Tuesday afternoon produced Chintan and four other accused – Vijay Rajbhar, 40, Pradeep Rajbhar, 22, Azad Rajbhar, 19 and Shivkumar Rajbhar, 19 – arrested earlier in the case, before a magistrate court in Borivli. Chintan’s defence counsel Satish Maneshinde told the court that, “relations between Hema and Chintan were cordial and whenever Chintan visits Mumbai he used to stay with Hema.” Prime accused and a wanted in the case, Vidyadhar Rajbhar, had met Chintan in Jaipur a few days before the double murder. The police claimed that this meeting was part of a conspiracy. Countering this claim, Maneshinde said, “Vidyadhar knew Chintan for the last many years. The two used to interact with regards to work. Just because Chintan spoke to Vidyadhar does not mean he had a role in the murder.” He added that Chintan had last spoken to advocate Bhambhani with regards to alimony money. After hearing the arguments, the court remanded Chintan in police custody till January 1, while earlier arrested accused persons were remanded in police custody till December 28. Relatives and friends of Chintan, who were present at the court, refused to speak on the matter. Bodies of Hema and Bhambhani were found wrapped in card boxes in a sewer in Kandivli on December 12.

Union Cabinet approves India’s INDC document at COP21

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INDCs were voluntary pledges that countries made to cut carbon pollution at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris from November 30 to December 12.

Days after India submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) before COP21, the Union Cabinet on Tuesday gave its ex post-facto approval to the document.INDCs were voluntary pledges that countries made to cut carbon pollution at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris from November 30 to December 12.In its INDC submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), India had announced that it aims at achieving around 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India in its INDC also pledged to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

India toughens law for juvenile crimes

The Indian parliament passes a bill which allows juveniles between 16 and 18 years of age to be tried as adults for serious crimes like rape or murder.

Failure of government’s policies fuelling price rise: Opposition in Lok Sabha

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Government on Tuesday came under attack from the opposition on the issue of price rise with members alleging failure of its macro-economic policies in controlling the spiralling prices particularly of pulses.Citing examples of onion, pulses and tomatoes, TMC MP Saugata Roy said although the government says that inflation has come down, but the prices of essential commodities have continued to rise.He said the government has not been able to pass on the benefit of declining global fuel prices to the consumer. “There is a problem with macro-management. Fuel prices have gone down, but rather than passing on the benefit to people, the Finance Minister sees fuel as a milch cow,” Roy said during a debate on price rise in the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On pulses, he said the government should ensure timely import of the commodity in order to keep the prices under control. “I think one major step would be import on time and that too from countries which are closer to ours, like Myanmar,” he said, adding that pulses prices are already very high and was expected to be the steepest this year. Roy asked the government to elaborate the steps taken to boost the production of pulses and edible oil in order to contain their prices in the domestic market, saying there was no proper mechanism for procurement of pulses in the country.Demanding implementation of recommendation of the M S Swaminathan committee for establishment of “pulses villages”, he said farmers were not growing more pulses because of the huge price fluctuation. He said the government has reduced expenditure on agriculture sector and unless it is increased and said steps should also be taken to increase production of edible oil. He suggested that the Centre ask states to undertake dehoarding drive vigorously and take quick policy decision “because next year also, there will be problems”.BJD leader B Mahtab too said price rise was due to domestic structural problems. While the average prices of vegetables earlier were less than Rs 10, it was now not going below Rs 30. Observing that the problem of high pulses prices was “more manmade than natural”, he said traders were buying pulses from other countries and hoarding them and waiting for the domestic prices to rise.To this, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said there was truth in this and the government was concerned over it.Paswan also sought suggestions to deal with the issue.

Did not invite PM Modi for convocation: AMU VC

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Vice Chancellor clarified that any invitation to the PM involved a large responsibility and before taking any such decision, he would not only have to consult various bodies of the university but also different organisations representing teachers and students

Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor Lt Gen (Retd) Zameeruddin Shah on Tuesday said that his recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi was solely for the purpose of ensuring funds for different development projects of the university.Shah told PTI that reports suggesting that his meeting with the Prime Minister was to invite him for the university’s next convocation, is mere speculation and entirely baseless. “The question of inviting the PM was not even raised. Therefore, any media report suggesting that I had gone with the purpose of inviting the PM is entirely speculative.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I met the Prime Minister solely to apprise him about the inequitable funding for AMU, when compared to several other central universities,” he said. The Vice Chancellor clarified that any invitation to the PM involved a large responsibility and before taking any such decision, he would not only have to consult various bodies of the university but also different organisations representing teachers and students. He added that he was not interested in stoking any controversy at the campus by indulging in any divisive issues whatsoever.Ever since an AMU-based youth organisation aired a suggestion earlier this month for inviting the PM to the campus, speculation has been rife about Modi’s arrival here. Interestingly, only two PMs of the country have addressed convocation ceremonies at AMU. In 1948, the then PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and in 1964, PM Lal Bahadur Shastri delivered the convocation addresses at the university.On the shortage of funds for several projects in the campus, the AMU VC said that the university was falling short of funds for construction projects at its three off-campus centres in Kerala, West Bengal and Bihar.The VC said that the AMU had earlier been involved in some important environmental projects under Ganga cleaning programme and he had conveyed the enthusiasm of the university’s scientific community in environmental issues, solar energy and nanotechnology, to the PM. Shah claimed that the PM responded favourably to all issues raised by him.

Two arrested after religious book burnt in Meerut

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The two were arrested and sent to jail, Mawana police station in-charge Surendra Bhati said adding attempts are being made to nab other accused.
Representational Image

Two persons were arrested on Tuesday after a religious book was allegedly burnt at Subhash Chowk under Mawana police station area in Meerut. Mawana police station in-charge Surendra Bhati said the incident occurred yesterday when some residents of the Kalyan Mohalla were having a bonfire at Subhash Chowk.Suddenly, Tihai Muhalla residents Afroz (30), Rahbar Zaidi (27) and their friends, came and allegedly threw a religious book in the fire and fled to their home, Bhati said.Agitated people allegedly attacked and started beating the accused, Bhati said adding the police arrived at the scene after getting information and rescued them. He said the police registered cases against five persons, including Afroz and Rahbar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The two were arrested and sent to jail, he said adding attempts are being made to nab other accused.Meanwhile, Rahbar’s brother, Arshad has filed cases against 10 named and 150 unnamed persons for allegedly attacking their home and beating the accused. Based on initial investigations, Bhati said, Afroz is suspected to be a “drug addict” and his family had ousted him from home “few months back”. He had since been living in a mosque near his home, Bhati said.Police and administrative officers have been camping in the sensitive areas and keeping a close eye on the situation. Bhati said the situation is under control.

Union Minister VK Singh should be sent to a reform home: BSP

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Earlier, General V.K Singh (retired), who has been at the centre of the ‘dog analogy’ controversy, was jeered at by some members of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

VK Singh

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Mishra on Tuesday, while speaking in the Rajya Sabha, said people with polluted mindsets like Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retired) VK Singh should be sent to reform homes.”People with polluted mindsets like Minister V.K. Singh should also be sent to reform homes,” Mishra said. Objecting to Mishra’s comment, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “We take strong objection to Mishra ji’s remark on V.K. Singh ji, it should be expunged.”Earlier, General V.K Singh (retired), who has been at the centre of the ‘dog analogy’ controversy, was jeered at by some members of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. In October, Singh had kicked up a row when he reacted to the killing of two Dalit children by reportedly saying that the government is not responsible if someone ‘throws stones at a dog’. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Tarmac bus hits Alliance Air’s stationary plane at Kolkata airport

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Zee 24 Ghanta
An Alliance Air aircraft on Tuesday suffered “extensive” damage after a Jet Airways tarmac bus ferrying its crew rammed into the vacant stationary plane at the international airport here.No injuries have been reported in the incident which occurred at around 5.25 AM. Air India subsidiary Alliance Air’s flights to Silchar and Shillong were cancelled as the plane was grounded. While Air India said the incident was a “gross act of negligence”, Jet Airways said that the coach accidentally collided with the stationary aircraft.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to officials at the NSCB international airport here, the plane was parked at bay 32 and was preparing to leave for Silchar when the driver of the Jet Airways bus lost control of the vehicle and it hit the aircraft near its left wing. “The aircraft sustained extensive damage on the right engine, right landing gear and also some other parts because of which the flight operations to Silchar and Shillong had to be cancelled.”AAI (Airports Authority of India), Police, CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) and other authorities have taken serious note of this gross act of negligence and are investigating the incident,” Air India said in a statement.In a separate statement, Jet Airways said “no one was injured in the collision” and it has started investigation into the incident.”A coach transporting Jet Airways cabin crew at the Kolkata airport accidentally collided with a stationary aircraft of another airline,” it added. Air India said it was a clear fogless morning when the Jet Airways tarmac bus intruded into the slot marked at bay 32 and hit the aircraft VT-ABO (ATR 42).

Juvenile Justice Bill shouldn’t be passed, says Ram Jethmalani

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“I don’t know if it will be passed, but according to me it shouldn’t be passed,” Jaithmalani told reporters.

Former law minister Ram Jethmalani

File Photo
Former law minister Ram Jethmalani, on Tuesday, said that there is no need to amend the Juvenile Justice Bill, adding that it was totally ‘unnecessary’ to change it just because of one incident.”I don’t know if it will be passed, but according to me it shouldn’t be passed,” Jaithmalani told reporters.”The Juvenile Justice Bill is completely fine and there is no need to amend it just because of one incident. It is totally unnecessary,” he added.The BJP had earlier assured disappointed Nirbhaya’s parents that the Juvenile Justice Bill would be passed in the Parliament, on Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said the Bill should be passed in the Parliament without any further delay after having a healthy discussion.The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on also stuck to their guns in opposing the Juvenile Justice Bill, saying ‘lowering the age of juveniles is not in the interest of justice’.With the Supreme Court is showing its inability to prohibit the release of the juvenile in the Nirbhaya gangrape case in the absence of laws, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said, on Monday, the ruling dispensation at the Centre is keen to pass the Juvenile Justice Bill and was also ready to bring supplementary agenda on it in the Parliament.The apex court had dismissed the petition of Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard.Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years.

Sword-wielding youth attacks 22 people before being shot

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Following an altercation with his parents, Balvinder Singh attacked his parents and 22 other people, including passer-bys, fatally injuring a few.

Representational Image

File Photo
In a frenzied sword attack, a 28-year-old software engineer, on Tuesday, left 22 people including his parents and three constables injured before being fatally shot by police.The attacker’s parents and an auto driver are in a critical condition. The policemen, who suffered serious injuries as they tried to stop him, and the other wounded were also undergoing treatment at a local hospital.According to Karimnagar Deputy Superintendent of Police, J Rama Rao, the trouble began at 7 AM after Balvinder Singh alias Babloo (28), of Laxmi Nagar locality in Karimnagar town, entered into an altercation with his parents – Amruth Singh and Baby Kaur- and allegedly attacked them with a sword.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leaving his parents lying unconscious in a pool of blood, Balvinder ran out of his house wielding the sword and began randomly attacking passers-by and people on the road, police alleged.It was a scary scene as an auto-driver and a dozen other victims were bleeding profusely, eyewitnesses said.As the police patrol team reached the spot, Balvinder attacked three constables and wounded them seriously.Subsequently, police opened fire.Balvinder was then taken into custody and shifted to Government District Head Quarters hospital in Karimnagar, where he died within three hours of being admitted, hospital sources said.Balvinder was working in a company in Bangalore.His parents and the injured auto driver Narayana, also admitted in the same hospital, are said to be in a critical condition.Further investigations are underway, the DSP said.

AAP allegation, malicious and tarnishing Jaitley’s reputation, says his advocate

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Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s advocate Manik Dogra on Tuesday said that all allegations made by the Aam Aadmi Party are baseless and malicious and aimed at tarnishing the reputation of his client.

PTI
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s advocate Manik Dogra on Tuesday said that all allegations made by the Aam Aadmi Party are baseless and malicious and aimed at tarnishing the reputation of his client. “Our argument was that all the allegations made by the AAP are wrong, baseless and malicious. This is only to tarnish the reputation. Mr. Jaitlety has filed a suit for damages seeking the damage of 10 crore against the defendant. We are very confident and hopeful for the success,” Dogra told the media here.He also added that all defendants individually and collectively have made themselves liable to compensate the plaintiff for a sum of Rs 10 crores.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaitley had filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of AAP for allegedly defaming him in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) controversy before a Delhi court which took cognizance on his plea.Jaitley’s action comes in the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bunglings in Delhi’s cricket body, DDCA, of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.

DDCA row: PM Modi backs FM Arun Jaitley, says he will pass ‘with flying colours’

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“Arun Jaitley will come through with flying colours in the same manner as L K Advani did in Hawala case,” the Prime Minister said at a weekly meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party.

Reacting to the District Cricket Administration (DDCA) controversy for the first time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told BJP lawmakers that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would “come through with flying colours,” from the controversy. “Arun Jaitley will come through with flying colours in the same manner as LK Advani did in Hawala case,” the Prime Minister said at a weekly meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party.The Prime Minister also said that the Congress is raking up manufactured allegations to defame the government, said Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, quoting Modi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has issued a notice to CM Arvind Kejriwal and five AAP leaders on a defamation suit filed by Jaitley against them. The political slugfest over DDCA affairs intensified on Monday after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of AAP for allegedly defaming him in the DDCA controversy before a Delhi court which took cognisance on his plea.Escalating the issue, BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has been indirectly cornering Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, late on Monday night called Jaitley a ‘napunsak’ in a tweet. However, later he claimed his Twitter account had been hacked.The one member Commission of Enquiry will be headed by former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium.Meanwhile, undeterred by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s decision to slap civil defamation cases against Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP colleagues for allegedly defaming him in connection with the DDCA controversy, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday said it is neither ‘scared’ nor ‘threatened’.

Mumbai double murder: Artist Hema Upadhyay’s estranged husband Chintan arrested

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Artist Chintan Upadhyay was brought to Kandivali police station late on Monday night, following which he was arrested.

PTI
The city police investigating the double murder case of artist Hema Upadhyay and lawyer Harish Bhambhani on Tuesday arrested her estranged husband Chintan Upadhyay.Artist Chintan Upadhyay was brought to Kandivali police station late on Monday night, following which he was arrested.So far, police have arrested four persons in the case namely Azad Rajbhar, Pradeep Rajbhar, Vijay Rajbhar and Shivkumar Rajbhar alias Sadhu and booked them for murder and causing disappearance of evidence. Except Sadhu, who was nabbed from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, the remaining three were picked up from Kandivali on Sunday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three of the accused — Azad, Pradeep and Vijay — were placed under arrest on last week after being booked under IPC sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).Bodies of noted installation artist Hema (43) and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani wrapped in plastic and packed in separate cardboard boxes were found dumped in a drain in suburban Kandivali on December 12. Hema, a Baroda-born installation artist, was locked in bitter divorce proceedings with Chintan, a contemporary artist. She had in 2013 filed a case against him alleging that he painted obscene pictures of women on the walls of their matrimonial home in Mumbai to harass her. 65-year-old Bhambhani had represented Hema in this case.

Seeing fury of agitation, Rajya Sabha to take up Juvenile Bill today

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Derek O’ Brien of the Trinamool Congress asked the government to pay heed to the public sentiment and discuss the Bill on an express basis.

Under pressure amid growing public protests that sparked off over the release of Delhi gang rape convict, political parties on Monday agreed to take up the Juvenile Justice Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill seeks to amend the law to try those aged over 16 and accused of heinous crimes as adults.After the apex court rejected the petition seeking stay on the release of the convict, who was a few months short of 18 when he and five others attacked the victim in a moving bus, her mother Asha Devi said, “What kind of crime will make them amend the law?”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Derek O’ Brien of the Trinamool Congress asked the government to pay heed to the public sentiment and discuss the Bill on an express basis.Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress said the party would support the Bill in the Upper House if brought on Tuesday.Both parties had earlier favoured sending the Bill to a parliamentary committee for further scrutiny, but the fury of protests changed their mind.The government pointed out that the Bill was listed on three days in the ongoing winter session. “The government is ready to bring it today, but the Congress is not allowing the House to function,” said union minister Prakash Javadekar.Replying angrily, Azad said, “It is brazen mischief by the government to defame the Opposition and divert attention from the (Arun) Jaitley issue.” He also criticised the government for bringing it through supplementary agenda.The Upper House is expected to discuss the Bill in detail on Tuesday and pass it without any hurdles.

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.

Mumbai double murder: Neighbours of key accused recall him as reclusive

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Vidyadhar, who is on run, was a resident of Charkop in suburban Kandivli (west) and used to stay in a rented flat with his wife, mother and sister in a two-storey building.
File Photo
PTI
Neighbours of Vidyadhar Rajbhar, the prime accused in the double murder of artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani, recalled him as a reclusive who mostly kept to himself. Vidyadhar, who is on run, was a resident of Charkop in suburban Kandivli (west) and used to stay in a rented flat with his wife, mother and sister in a two-storey building.”Vidyadhar shifted here with his family four months back. Though our interaction with Vidyadhar was very limited, he seemed to be a very simple person and used to keep to himself. We never had any problem with him,” said Yagnesh Jatwal, who runs a tailor shop, opposite to Vidyadhar’s building.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jatwal recalled that Vidyadhar had distributed sweets to his neighbours after birth of his daughter four months back.”His sister used to visit my shop for tailoring work,” he said.Jatwal said Vidyadhar was last seen on Saturday, the day when bodies of Hema and Bhambhani were found packed in cardboard boxes covered with plastic sheets in a drain in Kandivli. Another neighbour said that police sealed Vidyadhar’s flat on Sunday morning.”A large crowd had gathered here on Sunday morning and when I came here, I found police sealing his flat,” he said.Police have so far arrested Vijay Rajbhar, Azad Rajbhar, Pradeep Rajbhar and Shivkumar Rajbhar alias ‘Sadhu’ in connection with the double murders. Meanwhile, a police official said they are tracking Vidyadhar’s location by putting his mobile phone under surveillance.”We are trying to trace him, but he has switched off his mobile phone,” he said.Police had on Tuesday said that Vidyadhar’s last location was traced to Itarsi railway station in Madhya Pradesh and that he may surrender soon.Meanwhile, Hema’s lawyer Vinod Gangwal said the deceased’s family has already named Chintan Upadhyay, Hema’s estranged husband, in their statement and that police are “duty-bound” to include his name in the FIR.”If police do not do that (include Chintan’s name in FIR), we will approach court,” he said, adding that the police should have recorded statement of the family immediately after the murder came to light and not after four-five days.

State ACB goes on probe overdrive on Delhi government officials

The escalating war between the Centre and the AAP government took a new turn with the CBI raids at Delhi secretary at on Tuesday –but the worst hit in the months-old political crossfire has been the Delhi bureaucracy –more with allegations of the state anti-corruption branch (ACB) going on an investigation overdrive on officials placed with the Delhi government.According to sources, the situation has worsened in the last two months, with the Mukesh Meena-led ACB aggressively digging out age-old complaints against government officials, allegedly putting hundreds of other corruption complaints on the back burner.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior government official claimed the Delhi-government’s anti-corruption helpline 1031 has forwarded more than 500 corruption complaints against Delhi as well as central government officials to the anti-graft body after carrying out preliminary investigations on them.“None of those complaints have been acted upon so far. The ACB has decided to investigate complaints only against Delhi government officials, that too those which it has received independently,” the official told dna.“They didn’t even register an FIR against a DDA (Delhi Development Authority) employee who was caught red-handed accepting bribe by our Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM),” the official said. DDA functions under the central government.The ACB’s alleged ‘selective’ investigation also resonates with a memo issued by lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung in September this year, where the bureaucrats of Delhi government were advised not to follow any ‘illegal orders’ of the Delhi government. The memo also warned the officials of disciplinary action if they chose to follow such orders of the government.The situation has now demoralised many Delhi government officials, many of whom fear they might be targeted just for working with the Kejriwal government.Sources say some are even contemplating seeking transfers elsewhere from the central government, to save themselves of uncalled troubles.An example is that of a case registered against the state’s principal secretary Chetan B Sanghi and other officials for converting 350 industrial sheds from leasehold to freehold in 2011-12, when he was heading the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (DSIIDC) – a step which has been taken both by those heading DSIIDC before and after Sanghi.The case was registered weeks after Sanghi submitted a probe report on the alleged complaints of irregularities in Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA), on which the Delhi government was to set up a commission of inquiry, Kejriwal had revealed on Tuesday.While Sanghi has gone on a long leave and was not available for comments, another official said there is not much they can do if they are scheduled to be the next in the line of fire.“If they (ACB) choose to take up an empty case like that of the DSIIDC, they can slap any charge on us out of vindictiveness,” an official said.Similarly, secretary to CM Rajender Kumar who faced a lot of mud-slinging on Tuesday following the CBI raids in his office, was first interrogated by the ACB. He is also facing ACB investigations on a separate Rs100 crore CNG scam that took place during the Sheila Dixit regime. While the charges against him are yet to be proved by CBI, Kumar is still under the ACB net and has faced multiple interrogation sessions in the last few months. The anti-corruption branch is also probing deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, and has sent a notice to the government’s directorate of information and publicity (DIP) department for allegedly giving contracts of government advertisements to his relatives. A few officers from the department were interrogated by the ACB on Thursday.The anti-graft body has also initiated inquiries on an alleged scam regarding the procurement and disbursing of onions at a subsidised rate.Above all, ACB chief Meena had also ordered a probe into the helpline management of the AAP government’s anti-corruption helpline 1031 and an inquiry against the officials involved in setting it up.Talking to dna, an official from ACB said, “We are investigating the cases against Sanghi, Kumar and others and their details can’t be revealed as of now,” said an official. Meena remained unavailable for dna’s queries despite repeated calls and messages sent to him.A joint commissioner-ranked IPS officer, Meena was appointed in June this year by Jung against AAP government’s wishes. This was a first time that a joint commissioner ranked official was put at the helm of the anti-graft body; the post had earlier been occupied by an additional commissioner-ranked official since the start of the ACB.AAP had claimed that following the Delhi High Court’s order that allowed ACB to also act on corruption complaints against central government officials, the Centre had ‘taken over’ ACB from the Delhi government. However, the battle over the control of the anti-graft body continues.

Rajender Kumar meets Arvind Kejriwal after being quizzed by CBI

On Tuesday, Phoolka had described CBI’s action against Kumar as “politically motivated” and said his client was being made a “scape goat”.

Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar

PTI
Hours after Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar was quizzed by CBI in a case of alleged corruption, he met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at his residence in North Delhi’s Civil Line area on Tuesday night. Sources said that Kumar, along with senior lawyer H S Phoolka, who is associated with Aam Aadmi Party, reached the Chief Minister house situated on Flagstaff Road and apprised him about CBI’s action.”Rajendra Kumar had met Kejriwal last night after he was questioned by CBI officials. In the meeting, Kumar urged the CM not to defend him as he himself will handle the issue,” sources also said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The meeting between Kumar and Kejriwal had lasted for around half an hour, they said. On Tuesday, Phoolka had described CBI’s action against Kumar as “politically motivated” and said his client was being made a “scape goat”.The Principal Secretary of the Delhi Chief Minister was today also quizzed by CBI sleuths in the corruption case. The probe agency’s action yesterday evoked sharp reaction from Kejriwal who accused it of searching files “unrelated” to the probe against Kumar and claimed that a file relating to DDCA was scrutinised by it.

Oil painting breaks Indian art record

An oil painting by an Indian artist sells for 239m rupees ($3.6m; £2.4m) at a Christie’s auction in Mumbai, setting a new world record for Indian art.

With GST plans in peril, BJP all set to target Congress on corruption issues

The decision was taken at a meeting attended by Union home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu and BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday.

As the Modi government started losing hopes of passage of its key reforms Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill amid the political chill in the ongoing winter session, the BJP is rolling up its sleeves to make the National Herald case and other “corruption” issues key in its offensive against the Congress.The BJP alleged that Congress was holding the country’s development “hostage” to its “selfish” political goal. The government will make efforts to reach out the Congress on GST but if the session ends in a washout, the party will take to the streets to protest against the Congress’s approach in Parliament, sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The decision was taken at a meeting attended by Union home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu and BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday.The BJP, which distributed booklets titled ‘National Herald Case — Family Greed and National Blackmail’ to party MPs at its parliamentary party meeting, is planning to aggressively take on the Congress inside and outside Parliament. The booklet, which begins with finance minister Arun Jaitley’s article “Why the Congress is Wrong”, is a compilation of editorials and articles in various newspapers.The GST bill was the focal point of the session, which could be a washout like the previous monsoon session. The Congress, which has been alleging political vendetta in the National Herald case, is now up in arms alleging that the governor of Arunachal Pradesh has summoned a special session from Wednesday without consulting the state government.Sources said that in a bid to Congress on board on GST, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu will meet congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad.”The parliamentary party expressed its concern over the negative politics of Congress and its attempt to obstruct the country’s development…Congress should see to it that the case does not overshadow national interest,” minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.The government and party will celebrate former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth day on December 25 as ‘good governance day’ during which a host of events will be held, Naqvi said.On January 12, the birth anniversary of Vivekananda, several programmes on empowering youth and skill development will be launched in Lok Sabha constituencies.The party MPs also decided to contribute Rs 10,000 each for Chennai flood relief, he said.Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar briefed MPs about the climate agreement in Paris and the members expressed their happiness over the outcome, Naqvi said.

CBI raids: Delhi CM Kejriwal trying to ‘hide something’ from CBI, says MoS PMO Jitendra Singh

Kejriwal on Tuesday vowed to continue the fight against the ruling dispensation till his last breath and dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that he was not at all scared of the CBI raid.
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dna Research & Archives
Taking on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his statement that the CBI raided his office looking for the DDCA files related to graft cases in which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is involved, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (MoS PMO) Jitendra Singh on Tuesday said he suspect of the AAP convener trying to hide something from the investigating agency since he is making a big a hue and cry about it.”The raids which were conducted today at 14 different spots simultaneously, out of which two spots belong to officers working in the secretariat of the Chief Minister. If the Chief Minister is making such a big deal about it, one would rather suspect that it is he who has something to hide and when he says that they were fishing some files which would go against the members of the present government at the Centre,” said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I would rather suspect the other way round. May be he was afraid or still apprehensive that there are certain files, he needs to keep hidden and afraid of being let out. The CBI is an autonomous body. The Narendra Modi government have ensured the independence and autonomy of CBI,” he added.Kejriwal on Tuesday vowed to continue the fight against the ruling dispensation till his last breath and dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that he was not at all scared of the CBI raid.”The raid was conducted to look for the files of DDCA (Delhi and District Cricket Association) in which Jaitley is involved in graft cases. I want to tell Modi ji, you scared other people through CBI, but you have no idea what Kejriwal is made up of. I will keep fighting till my last breath for the country,” Kejriwal said.The CBI has registered a case against Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar for allegedly favouring a firm in getting contracts from Delhi Government. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, hit back at Kejriwal for his unwarranted criticism of Prime Minister Modi following the CBI raid and alleged that a ‘nervous’ Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo is demeaning the PMO with his baseless allegation.Refuting Kejriwal’s allegation on the raid on Chief Minister’s office, the CBI has said that the raid was conducted on the Principal Secretary’s office following a warrant.

New Delhi: 794 driving licences seized by police for traffic violations

Five driving licences were seized for drunken driving.
Representational Image

As many as 794 driving licences were seized by the police on Tuesday for violations of traffic rules in the national capital on the first day of implementation of directions of Supreme Court’s committee on road safety.”The maximum number of driving licences were seized for red light jumping and over-speeding. Till 5 pm a total of 794 driving licences were seized,” said Muktesh Chander, Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic). The 794 drivers whose licences were seized will not be able to drive any motor vehicle for at least a period of next three months, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The number of driving licences seized for red light jumping were 368, over-speeding 287, using mobile while driving 66, and carrying passengers in goods vehicles 57.”Five driving licences were seized for drunken driving. The Traffic cops also impounded 43 vehicles for various violations, said the officer.The Operation Seizure by Delhi Traffic Police started at C Hexagon on Kasturba Gandhi Marg crossing at 10 am with Chander supervising the exercise.A three member committee chaired by Justice KS Radhakrishnan had directed all the states and Union Territories in the country to implement its directions on road safety and submit their reports within three months from September 1, 2015.

Kerala CM Oommen Chandy, ministers meet PM Modi, discuss Mullaperiyar issue

he rising water level in the Mullaperiyar dam due to rains is causing concern over the dam’s safety as five Kerala districts are downstream.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting with Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy in Kerala on Tuesday.

PTI
Raising the Mullaperiyar Dam issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday demanded that the Centre initiate chief ministerial level talks between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, involved in a dispute over the century-old reservoir.Chandy, who met the Prime Minister along with some of his cabinet colleagues at the Thiruvananthapuram Airport and spent about 15 minutes, also pressed for a second dam across Mullaperiyar to replace the ‘structurally week’ reservoir.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The dam is located in Kerala but operated and managed by Tamil Nadu. The rising water level in the dam due to rains is causing concern over the dam’s safety as five Kerala districts are downstream. Chandy later told reporters that the PM assured that he would “sympathetically” consider their various pleas. This is the second time Chandy had taken up the issue with Modi, who wrapped up his two-day visit to the state this evening. Chandy had recently met the PM in Delhi and discussed various issues of the state, including the dam issue.Setting aside the controversy over his exclusion from the statue unveiling function of R Sankar, Chandy handed over a memorandum to the Prime minister on the various demands of the state, including the FACT Package, setting up an All Institute of Medical Sciences in Kerala and upgrading of Regional cancer centre as National cancer centre. The Chief Minister said Kerala also should get one more smart city besides Kochi.Talking about the delay in completion of 500 km Gail pipeline across the state due to land acquisition issues, he said land had been acquired for laying the pipeline up to 350 km. The issue of rubber farmers, reduction of air fares to gulf were also discussed with the Prime Minister, he said. The Prime Minister later left for Delhi and was seen off by Kerala Governor, P Sathasivam, Chandy and other dignitaries.

Shakur Basti row: Urban Development ministry asks DDA not to carry demolition drive in winter

The action follows the demolition drive by Railways in West Delhi’s Shakur Basti area where a seven-month-old infant was killed on Saturday, triggering a political storm over the incident.

People burning an effigy of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu during a protest over the demolition of a Shakur Basti slum, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Tuesday.

PTI
A day after a political slugfest broke out over slum demolition issue, Union urban development ministry directed the Delhi Development Authority to put a hold on all demolitions in the city till winter is over. The DDA has been told not to carry out any further demolition till the winter period is over, according to sources in the ministry.”DDA Chairman has been told to do the needful for banning all demolitions in the winter months. It has been done to prevent people from hardship during the winter months,” the sources added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The action follows the demolition drive by Railways in West Delhi’s Shakur Basti area where a seven-month-old infant was killed on Saturday, triggering a political storm over the incident. While the Railways said child had died before demolition, the AAP-led Delhi government claimed that the death took place during the drive.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had met Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday and got assurance that no further demolition on railway land will take place without rehabilitation of the affected persons.

Modi in Kerala: Youth Congress workers arrested for waving black flags at Prime Minister

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As the PM’s motorcade was reaching the venue of a function where Modi later unveiled the statue of former chief minister R Sankar, the YC workers managed to wave the black flags and also released in air some balloons tied with black flags despite the presence of police personnel in large numbers.

PM Narendra Modi in Kerala on Monday.

PTI
Four Youth Congress activists were arrested on Tuesday in Kollam for waving black flags at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s motorcade on Tuesday evening in protest against exclusion of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy from a statue unveiling function.As the PM’s motorcade was reaching the venue of a function where Modi later unveiled the statue of former chief minister R Sankar, the YC workers managed to wave the black flags and also released in air some balloons tied with black flags despite the presence of police personnel in large numbers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Youth Congress activists were protesting the exclusion of Chandy from the statue unveiling function. A group of activists also held a fast in front of Sankar’s statue at Chinnakada in the heart of Kollam town. Youth wing workers of RSP also protested.Mahila Congress members took out a march to the venue of the function by covering their mouth with black band.

2017 UP Assembly Elections: BJP will form next govt in the state on its own

Popularity of the BJP due to its leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is rising sharply, and Congress has lost its ground in UP, he said in Jaipur at a programme where Ashok Parnami was re-elected party’s Rajasthan chief.
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PTI
BJP vice president and Central observer Dr Dinesh Kumar Sharma on Tuesday claimed his party would form the next government in Uttar Pradesh on its own. Not only ruling Samajwadi Party in UP, but all other parties are forging alliance to contest against BJP because his party is united and has formed government on its its own in the past, Sharma, observer in party’s Rajasthan and Gujarat organisational polls, told a press conference here.Popularity of the BJP due to its leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is rising sharply, and Congress has lost its ground in UP, he said in Jaipur at a programme where Ashok Parnami was re-elected party’s Rajasthan chief.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On a question whether Varun Gandhi could be a chief ministerial candidate in UP, as speculated by a section of media, Sharma said, the party takes unanimous decision on such major issues with opinions of its workers and leaders. Reminded of BJP’s performance in Bihar polls, he said the percentage of votes share has increased and his party either wins or learns but never loses in polls.Speaking on the disruptions in Parliament he said Congress was indulging in vote bank politics and not allowing the Houses to run as it is frustrated over losing grounds in state and Centre’s polls. Amit Shah, the party president, was to attend the programme at Jaipur on Tuesday, could not come due to other engagements, he said, adding training programme of the state unit would be planned later on in consulation the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

Maharashtra: Minor girl dies after suicide attempt along with teacher over ‘love affair’

The 17-year-old girl, a student of class X, had an affair with her ashram school teacher.

Representational Image

A minor girl, who apparently had an affair with a 27-year-old teacher in her school, died after both allegedly tried to commit suicide at a town near Nashik, police said on Tuesday.The 17-year-old girl, a student of class X, had an affair with her ashram school teacher Samadhan Subhash Patil. The duo, both residents of Galane village in Chalisgaon taluka of Jalgaon district, had been missing for last couple of days, Chandwad police station inspector Anant Mohite said.The two came to Chandwad tehsil town in Nashik district on Monday and allegedly consumed poison at Chandreshwari temple there, he said. Later, police rushed to the spot after some locals informed them about the duo lying there. The police rushed them to a hospital, but the girl died en route, he said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The teacher was later shifted to Nashik Civil Hospital, the police officer said, adding that they suspect that the duo tried to end their lives over their love affair.Meanwhile, the girl’s body was sent for postmortem and later handed over to her relatives. A case has been registered in this connection, police added.

CBI raids: ‘It has become fashion for Kejriwal to quarrel with Centre’: Venkaiah Naidu

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With Arvind Kejriwal blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raiding his office, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said that it has become a ‘fashion’ for the Delhi Chief Minister to bicker with the Centre and blame them for everything.

With Arvind Kejriwal blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raiding his office, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said that it has become a ‘fashion’ for the Delhi Chief Minister to bicker with the Centre and blame them for everything.”It has become fashion for Delhi Chief Minister to quarrel with Central Government and to take Prime Minister’s name for everything. Prime Minister has nothing to do with this. There is a law, there is a Constitution and law has to take its own course,” Naidu told reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu added that he did not have details of the raid as they do not monitor the CBI.Kejriwal slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the raid and accused him of resorting to ‘cowardice’.”CBI raids my office…When Modi cudn’t handle me politically, he resorts to this cowardice,” he tweeted.

Narendra Modi to make his first Kerala visit as PM amid row over snub to CM Oommen Chandy

The Prime Minister will inaugurate the Combined Tri services commanders conference at INS Vikramaditya, the largest aircraft carrier of the country, on Tuesday.
File Photo
PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake his first visit to Kerala from Sunday which is already in controversy after Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said he was being kept away from a function where the PM will be present by an outfit of Hindu Ezhava community. The Prime Minister will inaugurate the Combined Tri services commanders conference at INS Vikramaditya, the largest aircraft carrier of the country, on Tuesday.Later, Modi will be attending two functions close to the backward Ezhava community, apparently in an effort to woo them with assembly polls expected early next year. Modi will unveil the statue of former Kerala Chief Minister late R Sankar, a well known leader of the Ezhava community, who had headed the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) and the Kerala PCC.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, the programme has run into controversy with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy allegedly being asked to stay away by SNDP General Secretary Vellapally Natesan. Chandy himself in a press note had brought up the issue saying he would not be attending the function as Natesan had requested him not to attend and was “deeply saddened”.Natesan has not stated the reason for asking Chandy to keep away from the function. Chandy has already informed Prime Minister’s office that he would not be attending the function. Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi described the action as pettiness of the worst kind and wanted that Prime Minister should himself refuse to go to the function.”It is an insult of the Constitutional position of a Chief Minister. PM should respond ….and should even refuse to go himself (to the function) as the deceased former Chief Minister of Kerala and also the current one have been insulted by this petty act,” Singhvi said.When asked if the Congress could raise the matter in the Parliament, Singhvi said “we have all options open.” Soon after his arrival at Kochi, his first to the state after assuming office as Prime Minister in May last year, by a special airforce flight by 4.10 PM at the INS Garuda naval air station, he will leave by helicopter for Thrissur to address a public meeting of BJP workers at 5 PM. After the meeting, Modi will return to Kochi and stay there, a government press release said.On December 15, the Prime Minister will receive a tri service guard of honour at INS Garuda and inaugurate the Combined Tri services commanders conference. Modi will also be visiting the Sivagiri mutt and pay homage at the samadhi of social reformer Sree Narayana Guru and offer floral tributes and plant a sapling. He will then move to Vaidika Mutt, where Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore had met the Guru 90 years ago. He will also be planting a tree sapling, Swami Sachidananda, General coordinator of the Prime Minister’s visit said.A large plaque of ‘Daiva Dasakam’, inscribed in Malayalam along with its English translation, will be unveiled by Modi. He will then proceed to Sarada mutt in the Sivagiri campus and address the public for a few minutes. Modi will then return to Delhi via Thiruvananthapuram airport by 5.15 PM in a special Airforce flight.

Chennai Floods: When snakes took refuge in an airplane!

In the recent floods, numerous snakes have crawled out of the woodworks and found their way into homes and even aircrafts.

An aircraft seen drifted away into neighbouring forests after heavy rainfall that led to waterlogging of Chennai airport.

PTI
When the movie came out, no one thought it could actually happen. But after the Chennai floods, it looks like ‘Snakes on a Plane’ is no more just a movie title! The flood waters had inundated the airport and those who have been cleaning the aircrafts now, have been in for a rude shock. Numerous snakes had sought refuge in tyres and the underbelly of airplanes, according to news reports. A king cobra was discovered hiding in the tyres of an aircraft, but luckily the reptile didn’t cause any harm to any of the men who were working on the ground. But they reportedly managed to get it out of the tyre and it was released in a safe place.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Watch the video of the airport workers rescuing the cobra:However, in another instance, two men who were cleaning an aircraft were not so lucky, stated a regional newspaper report. While cleaning, a poisonous viper was found and the snake seemed to have been really riled up, as it bit both the men.In the recent Chennai floods, numerous snakes crawled out of the woodworks and found their way into homes and even aircrafts. However, animal rescue experts have been offering to help deal with any such instances. In the wake of Chennai floods, know your snakes. Don’t panic. Don’t kill. Identify and act. #chennaifloods #snake
Posted by Surfing Bay of Life Surf School & Surf Shop on Monday, December 7, 2015Just rescued a Cobra and a checkered keelback ( water snake)from pallavakam. These snakes were inside the bedroom. If…
Posted by Shravan Krishnan on Tuesday, December 1, 2015Related Read – #ChennaiDoggyPatrol: When animal lovers rescued our furry friends during the floods

PM Modi greets Sonia Gandhi on her birthday

“On her birthday, greetings to Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi. May Almighty bless her with long life & good health,” Modi tweeted.

PM wishes Sonia Gandhi on birthday
File Photo
PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday greeted Congress President Sonia Gandhi on her 69th birthday, wishing her a long life and good health.”On her birthday, greetings to Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi. May Almighty bless her with long life & good health,” Modi tweeted.Modi’s greetings came even as the Congress party and the government were locked in a bitter fight with the opposition alleging “political vendetta” after Sonia and her son Rahul were summoned by a court in the National Herald case. Congress on Tuesday stalled Parliament and took to streets over the issue.

TN floods: Former Congress union minister V Narayanasamy holds slippers for Rahul Gandhi?

“We don’t have such a culture (of sycophancy) in the Congress. Rahul carried his shoes throughout and he didn’t even let his security personnel carry them for him,” Narayanasamy said.

V Narayanasamy and Rahul Gandhi

Former Union Minister V Narayanasamy held slippers for Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as the latter visited flood-affected Puducherry on Tuesday, reports NDTV.V Narayansamy, Congress lawmaker and once a Minister of State (MoS) in the Manmohan Singh PMO, was seen in a video holding the slippers while the Congress vice president removed his shoes to walk in a flooded area, and then placing them down for him to wear. Rahul Gandhi was seen putting them on without much surprise.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Narayansamy defended himself after the incident came to light. “As a courtesy I offered my chappals as Mr Rahul Gandhi removed his shoes to walk barefoot in the water,” he claimed. He added that there was no ‘culture of sycophancy’ in the Congress, ironically going on to praise Rahul Gandhi.”We don’t have such a culture in the Congress. Rahul carried his shoes throughout and he didn’t even let his security personnel carry them for him,” Narayanasamy said.

Delhi’s ‘odd even rule’ for cars to be date-based

Delhi has 90 lakh registered vehicles, almost a third of them are cars

PTI
The Aam Aadmi Party government on Tuesday announced that the odd-even rule for cars starting January 1 will be based on odd and even days of the month.For instance, cars bearing number plates ending in odd numbers would be allowed on cars on odd dates like January 1, 3 and 5, while even-numbered cars can ply on even dates like January 2, 4 and 6, Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai said.Rai further said that the restrictions would be in place from 8am to 8pm. dna was the first to report that the odd-even car rule will be applicable only during the peak traffic hours of the day, instead of all 24 hours.The minister also clarified that no restrictions would be in place on Sundays.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing the press, Rai said they would assess the system on January 15, after collecting air samples from 200 spots, following which further decisions would be taken.The minister said the government is contemplating on those who can be exempted from the rule, including two-wheelers, emergency vehicles as well as women, and come up with a decision in the next few days, while the complete blueprint of the plan would be ready by December 25.The Delhi government said it had held detailed discussions with Delhi Traffic Police and Delhi Metro for coordinating the exercise.Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will hold a further review meeting of all departments on December 10. The Delhi announced the odd-even formula in response to judicial warnings of rising air pollution, and after the Delhi High Court said that Delhi was becoming a “gas chamber”.Rai said 1,000 low-floor buses would be bought to meet the shortage of more public transport when the number of vehicles go down from January 1.Delhi has nearly 90 lakh registered vehicles, almost a third of them are cars.Rai further said a closure notice will be sent to NTPC’s Badarpur power plant in the next seven days. Talking to dna, a senior from NTPC said, “We are yet to receive an official communication from the Delhi government in this regard. Only after that, we will be able to decide on the next course of action.”

Eyewitness in murder case of former Delhi MLA shot dead

According to the police, the incident took place at around 7:20pm on Tuesday evening when the driver Vipin was travelling on his motor cycle.

The only witness in the murder of former MLA Bharat Singh, was shot dead at by unidentified armed assailants in outer Delhi’s Japanese Park, Sector 12, Outer Delhi’s Rohini subcity area. According to the police, the incident took place at around 7:20pm on Tuesday evening when the driver Vipin was travelling on his motor cycle. A group of men came in their I-20 car and started shooting at Vipin. The driver, according to police, received six bullets wounds in the process.The official further said that he was taken to BJRM hospital in a critical condition and succumbed to injuries before Police Commissioner B S Bassi reached the hospital.A case has been registered under section 302 at Prashant Vihar police station against unidentified men. Police are trying to analyse the CCTV footage of the area to ascertain the identity of the culprits.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “We are currently analyzing CCTV footage and have constituted special teams to nab the accused.” the official further added. Bharat Singh was a former INLD legislator who was shot dead in March this year when he was attending a religious function in West Delhi’s Najafgarh area. Singh was attacked by over six armed men who had reached the spot in a SUV, the person including including the alleged mastermind, identified as one Udaiveer alias Kaale, and Nitin Sherawat, the son of a former Delhi MLA, were arrested by Crime Branch. Singh was the younger brother of local strongman Kishen Pehalwan, who has more than two dozen criminal cases registered against him.In 2012, Singh escaped narrowly by hiding in the bathroom when eight gunmen shot at him in his office. He had received three of the 54 shots fired at him but he survived to tell the tale after spending nearly two months in a hospital and losing a kidney.

Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi seeking central funds for West Bengal

Around 130 people died in the heavy floods in July, which also destroyed crops and vegetables on 8,000 hecatres of agricultural land. Referring to West Bengal’s debt problem, she said “even after more than four years of our rule, we are still repaying the debt left behind by the previous Left Front government.”
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PTI
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here seeking adequate central funds for the state. Banerjee said she demanded central aid for relief and rehabilitation of lakhs of people affected by recent floods in West Bengal.”I had controlled the flood within 3 days after returning from London,” she said emerging from the nearly half-an-hour meeting with Modi.Around 130 people died in the heavy floods in July, which also destroyed crops and vegetables on 8,000 hecatres of agricultural land. Referring to West Bengal’s debt problem, she said “even after more than four years of our rule, we are still repaying the debt left behind by the previous Left Front government.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I hope they will give us justice. It was not a political meeting,” she said when asked about the meeting with the PM.The Chief Minister said a meeting of the full Niti Ayog should be called and all states invited so that disbursal of funds to states can be discussed. Earlier, the Planning Commission used to invite each state to discuss fund allocation but that is not happening now, so a full meeting the Ayog should be called, she said.On the ongoing debate on tolerance issue, she said “tolerance or intolerance I am a secular person.” Asked about her stand on disruption of parliament, she said “some issues come up in a democracy but we do not support disruption everyday.”

CBI arrests top Delhi IAS officer for seeking bribe

Sanjay Pratap Singh, Principal Secretary, Department of SC, ST and Minorities, and his personal assistant were arrested after the complainant approached Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office.

The CBI on Tuesday arrested a Principal Secretary in the Delhi government for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 2.2 lakh from the owner of a firm that supplies security guards and other manpower for clearing pending bills.Sanjay Pratap Singh, Principal Secretary, Department of SC, ST and Minorities, and his personal assistant were arrested after the complainant approached Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office. They said the businessman, whose firm supplies peons, security guards and other staff for sundry works to various agencies, had accused Singh, an IAS officer of 1984 batch of AGMUT cadre, of demanding Rs 2.2 lakh as bribe for clearing bills for services rendered by the company.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CBI sleuths laid a trap after which Singh and his personal assistant were arrested.”The complainant had recently approached Chief Minister’s Office. The CM’s office then guided the complainant in trapping the official and tonight got SP Singh arrested by CBI red-handed. CBI acted on the complaint received from CM Office,” a Delhi government spokesperson said.

Have taken note of odd-even formula of plying of vehicles: Delhi Police

The odd-even rule will be implemented from January 1, 2016 till January 15, 2016.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
Delhi Police on Tuesday said they have taken note of AAP government’s odd-even formula of restricting movement of private vehicles in the national capital from January one but need some more clarity on the matter.”We have taken note of the scheme but some more clarity is needed in the concerned matter for which another meeting has been scheduled on December 10,” said Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander.However, the implementing authority (the police in this case) are still not clear about under what provisions of law will they prosecute offenders if the formula, meant to curb air pollution in the national capital, is implemented from January 1, said a senior traffic official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a meeting held on Tuesday — chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and attended by all cabinet ministers, Muktesh Chander and other senior officials — at the Delhi Secretariat, the matter was discussed with Delhi Police for the first time, said the senior official.Also read: Air quality of Delhi set to dip further in the next two daysDelhi Government today said that the odd-even scheme for plying of private vehicles in the city will be in force from 8 AM to 8 PM from January 1 for an initial period of 15 days and there will be no restrictions on vehicular movement on Sundays.After the meeting, Kejriwal said his government was yet to take a call on whether the scheme will have two-wheelers on its ambit. Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said the government will come out with a detailed blueprint by December 25 which will answer all the questions being raised by experts and public. He added that the government will soon come out with details of exemptions like those who are ailing and disabled.A decision on whether women will be included in ‘exemption list’ is yet to be taken.

6.5% of India suffering from some form of mental disorder

He said there were three centrally-run mental health institutes, 40 state-run medical hospitals and 398 departments of psychiatry in various medical colleges (183 in government and 215 in private) across the country to treat patients suffering from mental illnesses, including schizophrenia both in urban and rural areas.

More than six per cent of the total population is suffering from either a common or a severe mental disorder such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia, Health Minister JP Nadda said on Tuesday.”In 2005, the National Commission on Macroeconomic and Health reported that 10-20 million (1-2 per cent of population) suffered from severe mental disorder such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and nearly 50 million (5 per cent of the population) from common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, yielding an overall estimate of 6.5 per cent of the population,” the Union Minister said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said there were three centrally-run mental health institutes, 40 state-run medical hospitals and 398 departments of psychiatry in various medical colleges (183 in government and 215 in private) across the country to treat patients suffering from mental illnesses, including schizophrenia both in urban and rural areas. “The government is also implementing the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) in 241 districts in all the 36 states/UTs. Activities under DMHP include school and college counselling services, work place stress management and suicide prevention and community outreach activities,” he said.

National Herald case: Congress activists stage protest, try to march to PM residence

Activists of Delhi Congress and the party’s youth and women wings tried to march towards Prime Minister’s official residence on 7 Race Course Road, raising slogans in support of their leaders and slamming BJP, but were stopped by policemen, deployed there in large number.

Scores of Congress activists on Tuesday staged a protest and tried to take out a march from Teen Murti Bhavan to the Prime Minister’s official residence, accusing the BJP-led Centre of pursuing politics of “vendetta” in the National Herald case to “malign” the image of the party and its top leaders.Activists of Delhi Congress and the party’s youth and women wings tried to march towards Prime Minister’s official residence on 7 Race Course Road, raising slogans in support of their leaders and slamming BJP, but were stopped by policemen, deployed there in large number. Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken accused the BJP-led NDA government of following “vendetta politics” to “scare” the party.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Image Credit: PTI”The government is following a set pattern in targeting Congress leaders under its vendetta politics. Previously P Chidambaram and Virbhadra Singh were attacked and now they are trying to malign the image of our top leaders,” Maken said, adding the party will “resolutely” oppose such moves.”We will not allow BJP to pursue political vendetta. You will see a series of such protests throughout the country because the people will stand by the Congress as they know whatever BJP is doing is political vendetta,” said Shobha Oza, Mahila Congress president.
Image Credit: PTIYouth Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja said that “revenge politics” was being pursued by the BJP after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister.”As soon as Narendra Modi became PM, they have targeted Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi. We are protesting against this vendetta politics,” Raja said.
Image Credit: PTIA local court on Tuesday gave Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and four others, accused in the National Herald case, exemption from personal appearance but asked them to be present on December 19 when the case will be heard. The Delhi High Court had yesterday dismissed the plea of the Gandhis and others for quashing of summons in the Herald case.In the wake of the development, Congress members on Tuesday paralysed Parliament protesting against alleged “vendetta politics” leading to repeated adjournments in Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha. Image Credit: PTI

Karnataka Lokayukta resigns over alleged bribery scandal

Rao, who had resisted growing calls for stepping down following the allegation, had tendered his resignation on Monday and it was accepted by Governor Vajubhai R Vala on Tuesday, ending months of uncertainty hanging over the institution.

Karnataka Lokayukta resigns
File Photo

Facing the prospect of his removal, controversial Karnataka Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao has resigned over an alleged extortion racket in the anti-graft ombudsman’s office involving his son.Rao, who had resisted growing calls for stepping down following the allegation, had tendered his resignation on Monday and it was accepted by Governor Vajubhai R Vala on Tuesday, ending months of uncertainty hanging over the institution. “Hon’ble Governor of Karnataka is pleased to accept the resignation of Dr. Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao, as Lokayukta of Karnataka State with immediate effect,” a Raj Bhavan communique said on Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rao is on a long leave since July last after his son Ashwin Rao was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in connection with the case. A motion moved by BJP and JDS and also supported by the ruling Congress seeking the removal of Rao is pending before the Karnataka Assembly with the Speaker Kagodu Thimappa considering it before referring the issue to the Karnataka High Court Chief Justice to take the process forward.According to the Lokayukta Act, recently amended to simplify rules for removal of the anti-graft ombudsman, on admission of the motion, the presiding officers shall refer the matter to the High Court Chief Justice for investigation into the grounds over which the removal is sought. If the charges against the Lokayukta are proved by the inquiry, it is then taken up for consideration and adoption of the motion and sent to the Governor for assent.The investigation for proof of misbehaviour or incapacity of Lokayukta has to be done as provided in the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968, by a three-member committee, comprising two judges and a jurist. The scandal surfaced after Lokayukta Superintendent of Police Sonia Narang wrote a letter to the Registrar of Karnataka Lokayukta about the complaint she received from a person who alleged that someone from the Lokayukta office demanded Rs 1 crore in bribe to avoid a raid. The SIT has arrested 11 persons, including Ashwin Rao, and registered five cases in connection with the alleged racket.In another development, a motion seeking removal of Upa Lokayukta Subhash Adi, moved by the Congress but not supported by BJP and JDS, is also before the Assembly. In their petition against Adi, the ruling party members have accused him of “misuse of office, misconduct and inefficiency”. The Opposition maintains there are no specific charges against Adi and the move against him is an attempt to shut down the Lokayukta institution itself.Former Upa Lokayukta SB Majage had earlier alleged that Adi had closed a case of misconduct against a medical officer from Hubballi, which was a being handled by him. Following that, some Congress leaders had demanded Adi’s resignation. The Congress leaders had also alleged that the medical officer was a relative of Opposition BJP leader in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar, during whose Chief Ministership Adi was appointed as the Upa Lokayukta. Procedure for removal of the Upa Lokayukta is similar to that for a Lokayukta.The Assembly Speaker has, however, said that he is not convinced with the evidence produced that alleged Adi had shown favouritism and exceeded his jurisdiction.

Proceedings in Parliament stalled due to Congress protest

Congress members in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha stormed into the Well no sooner had they met for the day, protesting over the “politics of revenge”.

Parliament proceedings stalled
File Photo

A vociferous Congress on Tuesday forced adjournment of both Houses of Parliament till 11.30 hours, a day party president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi were asked to appear before court in connection with the National Herald case.Congress members in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha stormed into the Well no sooner had they met for the day, protesting over the “politics of revenge”.The court on Tuesday allowed the exemption plea of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others for the day. In Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge to explain what his party was protesting against. But Kharge did not respond to her as Sonia Gandhi, sitting next to him, gestured him apparently not to say anything.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After hearing Speaker’s call, TMC leader Sudeep Bandopadhyay also told Gandhi to respond to the Chair. She responded to him in gestures but could not be heard in the din. TMC members were also on their feet but the reason for their protest could not be known due to the din.Similar scenes were witnessed in Rajya Sabha where slogan shouting Congress members stormed the Well as soon as it met for the day. They raised slogans like “Tanashahi nahi chalegi” (dictatorship will not be tolerated)” and “Badle ke rajnathi nahi chalegi (politics of revenge).Deputy Chairman P J Kurien got listed papers of the day tabled amidst the din and asked Congress members to go back to their places and explain the reason for their protest. “Instead of shouting slogan, one of you stand up and say what is your grievance,” he said. “Let me also know… I am not able to understand anything.” Congress member however did not pay heed to his requests and continued shouting slogans.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said their problem is the court not the government. Congress, he said, should respect the judicial process and work under the due process of law.”At least the Chair must know what is the grievance, what is the provocation,” Kurien said as he asked if the Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad would like to say anything. Azad however did not oblige. With Congress members unrelenting, both Houses were adjourned till 1130 hours.

National Herald Case: Sonia Gandhi, Rahul to appear in Delhi court on December 19; Congress chief hints at political vendetta

“We told the court that the accused are extremely keen, ready and willing to appear before magistrate at the earliest possible date. Earliest possible date was given on our request. On December 19, all accused barring one who’s in US will certainly be present at 3 pm” Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and others were on Tuesday directed to appear in person on December 19 by a Delhi court which allowed their plea seeking exemption from personal appearance for the day in the National Herald case.Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Harin Raval and Ramesh Gupta appeared for the Gandhis and other accused and moved separate pleas seeking exemption from personal apperance for their clients for today only.The Delhi High Court had earlier rejected their pleas for quashing the summons against them and made scathing observations on their “questionable conduct” regarding how they took control of the publication.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We told the court that the accused are extremely keen, ready and willing to appear before magistrate at the earliest possible date. Earliest possible date was given on our request. On December 19, all accused barring one who’s in US will certainly be present at 3 pm” Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.Singhvi termed the case political vendetta at its worst. “The ruling party (BJP) is using proxy litigation to target Congress leaders.”Earlier, when asked whether it is a political vendetta, Sonia had said, “I leave it on you to judge. I am daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. I am not scared of anything. Why should I be scared.””This has been filed directly by a BJP member, both the party he belongs to and himself have a long history of political and personal antagonism. We believe that the case has absolutely no legs to stand upon and we shall fight it within the confines of the law at every forum available to us and exercise every remedy available to us,” Singhvi told ANI.Justice Sunil Gaur had on Monday turned down their plea for exemption from personal appearance in the case in the trial court on Tuesday.Along with the Gandhis, five other accused–Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd–had challenged the summons issued to them by a trial court on a complaint by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against them for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in taking control of the now-defunct daily.The court had said that the Congress leaders need to explain what was the need to assign the “huge debt of Rs 90 crores” when this loan could have been repaid by AJL from its “sizeable assets” of Rs 2000 crore.Meanwhile, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to pre-empt any ex-parte order on appeals likely to be filed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul.

Delhi government may allow women’s vehicles to ply on all days of the week

Fraught with criticism over its decision to allow plying of odd and even numbered vehicles on alternate days of the week from day one of 2016 –especially from who cited safety concerns –the Arvind Kejriwal government may allow women’s vehicles to ply on all days of the week.Sources told dna that while the plan is at a preliminary stage, the government is contemplating to allow private vehicles driven by women on all days of the week, given that the capital is still unsafe for women commuting alone.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to sources, the government is also planning to fix certain hours in a day –ranging from morning peak hours to evening—when commuters will have to follow the rule, instead of making it a 24-hour rule.Moreover, Delhi’s roads will be opened to all vehicles on Sunday, when most people venture out of their homes.The plan in its current form would be applicable for private vehicles, including for ministers and officials working with the Delhi government. Public and commercial vehicles will be excluded from the plan.The government has already set up a steering committee headed by Delhi PWD minister Satyendra Jain with representatives of other departments concerned. The committee will study suggestions received by citizens and come up with a blueprint of the plan in the next two weeks.On the other hand, Jain and transport minister Gopal Rai had different views as far as plying of two-wheelers were concerned, but sources said the plan would start with cars, following which two-wheelers would also be brought in its ambit.In a radio advertisement which is likely to go on-air from Tuesday, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, requests citizens to go for car pooling as a measure to curb pollution in Delhi, at least for 15 days. “Let’s try it out for 15 days from January 1. If you face a lot of inconvenience, we will stop it. I wouldn’t do anything against your wish,” he says, urging people to send their ideas at [email protected] Will two-wheelers be allowed?Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain on Monday said that the ‘odd-even’ formula will not be applicable to two-wheelers in the national capital and the restriction extends only to the plying of private vehicles, including those entering from other states. A government spokesperson, however, said that exemption for two-wheelers was just a suggestion and a final decision is yet to be taken in this regard.”The odd-even (number plate) formula will be applicable only to private cars plying in Delhi. For now, the movement of two-wheelers, taxis, autos will be not be restricted on alternate days,” the minister said. He also said that private cars from other states entering Delhi shall come under this formula that will be effective from January 1. But the spokesperson said regarding the policy for two- wheelers that, “The government has been receiving many suggestions from people on the implementation of the formula. Till the government puts a blueprint on this out in the public domain, it is just speculation. Government has not taken a final decision in this regard.”

Chennai floods: Rahul Gandhi may visit city on December 8

Torrential rains have left at least 245 people dead since October 1, according to Tamil Nadu government.

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is likely to visit flood-affected parts of Chennai this week. Sources in the party said that Gandhi is likely to visit there on December 8. The flood-ravaged city was struggling to return to normalcy with partial restoration of telecommunication and train services, besides many roads also becoming fairly motorable even as water-logging woes continued in several areas.Torrential rains have left at least 245 people dead since October 1, according to Tamil Nadu government. The situation took a turn for the worse on Tuesday with large areas of the city flooded. The deluge destroyed crucial road and rail links, shutdown the airport, snapped power and telecom lines and left lakhs of people stranded. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

AAP govt’s formula to fight pollution: Odd-numbered cars of Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Delhi Home Minister Satyendra Jain said the government will only allow emergency vehicles like PCR van, fire tenders, ambulances on the roads of the national capital.

Outlining the contours of its ambitious plan to curb pollution through odd-even number plate formula, Delhi government today said odd-numbered cars will be allowed to ply on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while even-numbered vehicles will run on the other days – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.Delhi Home Minister Satyendra Jain said the government will only allow emergency vehicles like PCR van, fire tenders, ambulances on the roads of the national capital. Jain, who is also PWD and Health minister, said there is a need to take strict measures to clean the city’s toxic air and even-odd formula will also be applicable on all ministers and bureaucrats in the national capital region.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal yesterday said that the government would discontinue the move after 10 to 15 days if people faced problems. “On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, odd numbered vehicles will be allowed on roads in a week. “Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will have even numbered vehicles on roads, and we don’t care about which cars belonged to whom,” Jain said.The minister said that the government will only allow emergency vehicles like PCR Van, Fire tenders, ambulance to run on roads in the national capital.”Odd-Even formula will also be applicable on all ministers and officers. I will also use my car on alternate days and will use carpooling service on other days,” Jain said. The minister has also sought people’s suggestions on the government’s odd-even formula. People can send their suggestions to mailto:[email protected], he said.”Pollution level has gone up in winter in Delhi. Due to heavy smog, such a situation has emerged that people are being advised against going for exercise,” he said. Jain also said that the government also will do something about rampant use of generators by companies in the national capital which also contribute to pollution.”We will soon discuss this issue in a meeting,” Jain said. On December 4, the AAP government had come out with a plan of restricting private vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers to alternate days from January 1 in the national capital.

Chennai floods: Services pick up pace, Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh undertakes survey

In a big relief to the hapless residents, supply of milk and vegetables picked up pace today but there were complaints of scarcity in several places coupled with high prices for essentials.

At least 245 people have died in rain-related incidents since October one. (PTI)

File Photo
Flood-ravaged Chennai and its suburbs enjoyed further respite from rains on Saturday but residents battled scarcity of commodities and high prices while communication services and train services were partially restored. But air services, suspended till tomorrow, may take two or three more days to resume. Only technical flights and ferry services were operated today. However, intermittent rains and an overcast sky have left people worried. The Regional Meteorological Centre has forecast light rains in the next 24 hours for the city and suburbs.Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, S R Ramanan told reporters that heavy rains were possible in the coastal and southern districts of the state. He has advised fishermen of southern coastal districts against venturing into sea for fishing. At least 245 people have died in rain-related incidents since October one. The worst-hit city and suburbs and Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts took a pounding on Tuesday when a large number of areas were flooded. The deluge destroyed crucial road and rail links, shutdown the airport, snapped power and telecom lines and left lakhs of people stranded.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a big relief to the hapless residents, supply of milk and vegetables picked up pace today but there were complaints of scarcity in several places coupled with high prices for essentials.Mobile phone and internet services were getting restored in a staggered manner in several parts of the city.Bringing cheers to stranded passengers, Southern Railway announced resumption of services to several inter-State destinations including Bengaluru and Mysore from here effective tomorrow. Also, local train services here resumed today between Egmore-Tambaram.

Espionage racket: Sixth suspected ISI agent arrested in Kolkata

The police have slapped charges under Section 120B/ 121/ 121A/ 489B/ 489C of IPC.

In a span of two weeks, a sixth suspected ISI agent was arrested on Tuesday by the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police.The suspected ISI agent, identified as Saikh Moghal, was arrested near the Regional Passport Office at Brabourne Road.The police have slapped charges under Section 120B/ 121/ 121A/ 489B/ 489C of IPC. The accused is likely to be produced before the court on Wednesday morning.
<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday, the STF had arrested three suspected ISI agents – Irshad Ansari, Ashfaque Ansari and Md. Jahangir who had strong links with the ruling party Trinamool Congress.A week ago, the same agency had arrested a duo – Akhtar and Zafar Khan, who were suspected to be ISI agents.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imtiyaz Jaleel. Image Credit: Twitetr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PTI

16 suffer vision loss after botched eye surgery; hospital sealed in Ambala

Chandigarh: At least 16 people suffered partial vision loss after undergoing cataract surgery at a charitable hospital at Maheshnagar, officials said on Tuesday.

Ambala Senior Medical Officer (SMO) Dr Vinod Kumar Gupta said that the operation theater of hospital has been sealed.

“The operation theater was not found properly sterilized and well-equipped. It could be one of the reasons of infection,” he said.

Representation image. ReutersRepresentation image. Reuters

Representation image. Reuters

The registration of the hospital was also unsatisfactory. The receptionist of the hospital could not produce OPD and other records when SDM asked for it, Gupta said.

Charitable society ‘Sarv Kalyan Sewarth Samithi’ at Maheshnagar in Haryana’s Ambala district conducted the cataract operation on 24 November.

Gupta said that Dr Charanjit Singh had conducted the eye operations and had charged Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000 from each of the patients.

However, Dr Charanjit said that most of the patients were all right after the surgery and were operated in a proper manner.

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

“I have constituted a committee, SDM, Ambala CMO and Director from Eye Department, which will go and make inquiry, Vij said here.

“We have ordered to bear entire expenses of the patients including medicines,” he said.

Regular operations were being conducted and it was not an eye camp, he said, adding that “all affected are adults and there is no child”.

Out of 15, eye sight of 14 is improving, which is a big thing, he said.

“Eye Department head, Dr Jagat Ram told me this. I met patients at the PGIMER,” he said.

Gupta said that “The society had no mandatory clearance from us to hold the camp. They had applied for permission in 2013, but it was denied by us as we first wanted to conduct an inspection of the hospital and get details of the surgeons who will conduct operations.”

A similar incident had taken place at Samalkha in Panipat in March in which 13 patients suffered from vision loss.
Meanwhile, PGIMER hospital spokesperson said, “At present, 14 patients have responded very well to the treatment and in one case, we are trying to save the eye.”

The spokesperson said that 14 patients came to Advanced Eye Centre with post-operative infection on 26 and 27 November.

“All the patients had undergone cataract surgery in Ambala on 24 November. In PGI, these patients were treated with antibiotic injections in the eye besides topical and intravenous antibiotics,” the spokesperson said, adding that 11 patients required surgical procedure,” she said.

Twelve patients will be discharged today on oral and topical drugs and are being advised follow the checkup schedule, she said.

PTI

Chennai rains: More train cancellations likely tomorrow

The met office has forecasted scattered to heavy rainfall on Tuesday in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu following a trough of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, closer to Sri Lanka.

A fresh spell of rain battered many parts of Tamil Nadu and disrupted normal life, submerging pockets of Chennai under water. Schools and colleges in Chennai were once again shut as a result of the continuous rain.The met office has forecasted scattered to heavy rainfall on Tuesday in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu following a trough of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, closer to Sri Lanka.Due to water overflowing at the railway tracks in Villupuram – Tambaram section, Southern Railways announced that the following trains are cancelled/diverted on Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Anil Kumar Saxena, Addl DG (PR) said, “Two sections are badly affected, Chennai Egmore Villupuram section and Chennai Central Gudur are the two sections. Because of these two sections getting affected, train operations are badly impacted. More train cancellations likely to happen on December 2. We appeal to passengers to check their train status, we’re trying to inform people. Senior officers of Chennai division monitoring situation, keeping an eye on the situation. Trains cancelled on Dec 2Karaikkudi – Chennai Pallavan ExpressMadurai – Chennai Egmore Vaigai ExpressChennai Egmore– Pondicherry ExpressChennia– Tiruchirappalli Express

Chennai rains: Here are the important helpline numbers issued amid flood alert

According to reports, the flood alert has been issued to the people living on the banks of river Adyar in Chennai, as the area remains to be battered by the un-relenting rains affecting daily life.

In the wake of the flood alert that has been issued in parts of Tamil Nadu, the Chennai Corporation on Tuesday announced emergency contact numbers for all the regional zones in the city for the people to contact in case of any emergency due to the floods. With the MET predicting heavy rains over the already rain-hit Chennai and northern Tamil Nadu for the next three to four days, the state government issued a flood alert today. The Chennai Airport has also been temporarily closed amidst heavy rainfall in the city. The Army has been re-called and so have additional forces to carry out rescue operations in the flood-hit areas. NTL India, a conventional call taxi provider, has introduced 15 boats with trained rescue emergency team in several parts of the city.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to reports, the flood alert has been issued to the people living on the banks of river Adyar in Chennai, as the area remains to be battered by the un-relenting rains affecting daily life. The met office has forecasted scattered to heavy rainfall on Tuesday in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu following a trough of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, closer to Sri Lanka. Twelve trains leaving Chennai Egmore were cancelled due to water overflowing on railway tracks between Villupuram – Tambaram section.Related read: Chennai rains- List of trains cancelled/divertedThe trains that have been cancelled are-12605 Chennai Egmore-Karaikkudi Pallavan Express, 16105 Chennai Egmore-Tiruchendur Chendur Express, 16713 Chennai Egmore -Rameswaram Express, 16115 Chennai Egmore-Puducherry Express, 12693Chennai Egmore-Tuticorin Pearl City Express, 12661 Chennai Egmore-Sengottai Pothigai Express, 16101Chennai Egmore-Rameswaram Express, 16179 Chennai Egmore-Mannargudi Mannai Express, 16177 Chennai Egmore-Tiruchchirappalli Rockfort Express, 11063 Chennai Egmore-Salem Express, 16175 Chennai Egmore-Karaikal Express and 16183 Chennai Egmore- Thanjavur Uzhavan Express.Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and assured full support from the government to the state. “Spoke to Jayalalithaa ji on the flood situation in parts of Tamil Nadu. Assured all possible support & cooperation in this unfortunate hour,” the Prime Minister tweeted.He had earlier instructed the immediate release of financial assistance of nearly Rs. 940 crore to deal with the flood situation in rain- battered Tamil Nadu, hours after Jayalalithaa wrote to him for funds to sustain relief work.Helpline numbers-Tree fall, Water logging – 1913Sewage overflow – 45674567, 22200335State Emergency – 1070District Emergency – 1077Electricity – 1912Fire & Rescue -1011st Regional Office (Tiruvottiyur) – 94451900012nd Regional Office (Manali) – 94451900023rd Regional Office (Madhavaram) – 94451900034th Regional Office (Tondiarpet) – 94451900045th Regional Office (Royapuram)- 94451900056th Regional Office (Thiru. Vi. Ka. Nagar) – 94451900067th Regional Office (Ambattur) – 94451900078th Regional Office (Annanagar) – 94451900089th Regional Office (Teynampet) ? 944519000910th Regional Office (Kodambakkam) – 944519001011th Regional Office (Valasaravakkam) – 944519001112th Regional Office (Alandur) – 944519001213th Regional Office (Adyar) – 944519001314th Regional Office (Perungudi) – 944519001415th Regional Office (Sholinganallur) ? 9445190015 (ANI)According to social media certain schools and colleges are opened to accomodate people stuck in the heavy rainsSRM Univeristy , MCC , MGR University, Sathyam Cinemas (Royapettah), AGS Villivakkam, Phoenix Mall and many other public…
Posted by Pradeep Kumar on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

DERC asked to prepare guidelines for raids on consumers: Delhi Power Minister Satyendra Jain

Responding to several complaints of MLAs that power companies raid consumers late in the night and early in the morning, Jain said the government has got to know about this issue.

Delhi Power Minister Satyendra Jain.
File Photo
PTI
Delhi Power Minister Satyendra ​Jain on Tuesday said that the government has asked the state’s power regulatory body to prepare detailed guidelines for electricity companies for raiding suspected consumers’ residence.Responding to several complaints of MLAs that power companies raid consumers late in the night and early in the morning, Jain said the government has got to know about this issue.”Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has been asked to prepare guidelines for power companies regarding schedule of raids on the residence of suspected consumers involved in wrongdoings,” Jain told the House.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP MLA Anil Kumar Bajpai moved a Calling Attention Motion towards installation of electricity meters. Bajpai said that government should allow people to install their own electricity meters.Jain said that there is already a provision under which anyone can install own electricity meters, adding that most people don’t know about this rule.

Volkswagen Group to recall 323,700 diesel cars in India | Reuters

NEW DELHI Volkswagen’s Indian unit will recall 323,700 diesel cars after a government investigation found it had flouted local pollution limits, the latest blow to a company that has admitted to cheating emission tests.

Volkswagen Group India will recall cars from Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi brands across various models equipped with the EA 189 engines, it said in a statement late on Tuesday.

In November, India found cars made by Volkswagen’s local business had surpassed nitrogen oxide emissions limits, with significantly higher variations in some Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars.

The findings came two months after the carmaker admitted to cheating U.S. diesel emissions tests and said that up to about 11 million vehicles worldwide could be affected.

The emissions scandal is the biggest business crisis in the carmaker’s 78-year history. It is facing slowing orders for new cars, its labour boss said, with consumers shunning purchases after news of the cheating broke in September.

To fix the issue in India, Volkswagen said it will update the software carried in EA 189 engines after getting an approval from the ministry of heavy industries and testing agency, the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).

Ambuj Sharma, additional secretary in the ministry of heavy industries, said the voluntary recall would begin this month.

In the wake of the scandal, India will, over the next six months, test diesel vehicles manufactured by all other carmakers to assess if the problem is industry-wide, Sharma said.

Volkswagen sold 26,479 vehicles between April and October giving it less than 2 percent share of the passenger vehicle market, industry data showed, lagging carmakers such as Toyota Motor Corp, Ford and Maruti Suzuki.

(Reporting by Aditi Shah; editing by David Clarke)

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

India restores federal funding for AIDS programme after criticism | Reuters

NEW DELHI India will fully fund its AIDS control programme federally, the health minister said on Tuesday, restoring support months after it was criticised for slashing its contribution and asking individual states to fill the gap.

India’s globally-lauded AIDS programme has been in disarray since last year due to payment delays that worsened after Prime Minister Narendra Modi slashed the federal budget in February by a fifth and asked states to pitch in.

Several states complained of lack of clarity about how much they need to contribute and payment delays have left thousands of health workers unpaid and hampered prevention activities.

Health Minister J.P.Nadda said Modi had decided the expenses incurred in running the nationwide programme will be borne by New Delhi, effectively restoring the earlier funding arrangement.

“We can’t be complacent … the government of India is very serious on this issue,” Nadda said while addressing a gathering on the occasion of World AIDS Day in New Delhi.

It was not immediately clear whether the budget cut would be restored, but an official at the National AIDS Control Organisation said they were in talks with the finance ministry.

The United Nations envoy for AIDS in Asia and the Pacific told Reuters in October new HIV infections in India could rise for the first time in more than a decade, as states were mismanaging the prevention programme.

Government data released on Tuesday showed 86,000 new HIV infections were recorded in 2015, compared to 128,000 in 2007, but the rate of decline has slowed.

“The slowdown identified in the rate of decrease of new HIV infections in last few years is a key issue,” the government said in a statement. “The current estimates highlight key challenges that will need to be addressed with urgency.”

India’s AIDS programme has been largely successful — estimates showed HIV prevalence during 2007-15 declined from 0.34 percent to 0.26 percent among adults, while annual HIV-related deaths declined by more than half to 67,000.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra/Ruth Pitchford)

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

Sheena Bora murder case: Peter Mukerjea sent to judicial custody till December 14

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had on Saturday conducted a polygraph test on Mukherjea and had seeked for his judicial custody.
File Photo
PTI
A Mumbai Esplanade court on Tuesday sent former Star TV CEO Peter Mukerjea, who was earlier arrested in connection with the Sheena Bora murder case, to judicial custody till December 14.The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had on Saturday conducted a polygraph test on Mukerjea and had seeked for his judicial custody.According to reports, the CBI officials questioned Peter on his personal life, his conversations with wife Indrani and his own statements during the test at the Central Forensic Science Laboratory. Peter was arrested on November 19 in connection with the Sheena Bora murder case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Peter’s wife Indrani Mukerjea is in prison for allegedly murdering Sheena Bora, who is Indrani’s daughter from an earlier relationship.

Sparring over the Constitution: Rahul Gandhi takes a sly dig at Narendra Modi’s speech

‘They are the people of India. Constitution gives all Indians fundamental rights. All of us here swore an oath to protect these rights for each one of our citizens,’ he added.

Rahul Gandhi

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for failing to mention the contribution of Indians to the framing of the Constitution of the country. ‘I listened to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi talk about our Constitution a few days ago in the parliament. He mentioned Gandhi, he praised Ambedkar, he spoke about the contribution of Rajendra Prasad and Sardar Patel,’ Gandhi said in Lok Sabha.’He even had a couple of words for Nehru. While I listened to his speech, I could see how profoundly we differ in our thinking,’ he added. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gandhi also said that for Prime Minister Modi the people he mentioned were intellectual heroes to be worshiped. They had all the answers to India’s problems. ‘For me what was heroic about the people Prime Minister Modi mentioned was their ability to listen to the people of India. They are my heroes not because they had all the answers but because they had the humility to ask the right questions,’ he added.Gandhi further said that for him the real authors of the constitution were people of the country Prime Minister did not talk much about. ‘They are the people of India. Constitution gives all Indians fundamental rights. All of us here swore an oath to protect these rights for each one of our citizens,’ he added.

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