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After Modi’s barbs, Congress accuses him of ‘confrontational mindset’

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

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

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Naqvi cites National Commission for Minorities data, says talk about intolerance ‘politically manufactured’

“Information related to the requirement of minorities before the budget would also be collected from the grass-root level,” he said. Naqvi said that to ensure that funds reach intended recipients, the Minority Affairs Ministry has formed monitoring committees at district and state level comprising of MPs, MLAs, officials and others.

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

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PM Modi to visit Noida on Thursday, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav to give it a miss

Interestingly Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will not be attending the programme, owing to the so-called “Noida jinx”. Noida jinx, as per political circles, has in the past caught up with several chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, including Veer Bahadur Singh, Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Kalyan Singh and Mayawati, who lost their chairs soon after visiting Noida.

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Also ReadIndiaRespect for Indians grew after PM Modi’s foreign visits, says Sushma SwarajIndiaCPI(M) thinking about introducing retirement policy in partyIndiaHeroin trade strained India-UK relations in 1980s: UK filesIndiaPM Modi to visit Noida on Thursday, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav to give it a missIndiaCongress dubs Centre’s Smart City project as ‘unconstitutional’IndiaOdd-even formula: Delhi govt tells agencies to allow date-wise parking <!– /.block –>

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Centre suggests morality provisions for lawyers

The Centre has suggested the Supreme Court make a ruling to debar lawyers for the commission of any offence involving moral turpitude as do other professions like medicine, CA and engineering, as the existing law for advocates is silent.The government also said that the Apex court and high courts have power under the Constitution to frame rules with respect to contempt of court by lawyers.Filing a compilation on the consequence of contempt in related professions other than law, the government said that in professions like medicine, architecture, engineering, charted accountancy, company secretary etc, the respective Acts regulate the professions by debarring professionals on the commission of an offence related to moral turpitude.However, in the Advocates Act there is no provision to debar a lawyer who commits any serious offence involving moral turpitude. Even the Bar Council of India and the state bar councils have the power to suspend or disqualify only when the lawyer is found guilty of the offence, the government said.Furthermore the Advocates Act does not have any provision to debar lawyers from the profession for commission of any serious offence like rape, murder or corruption etc.Suggesting that the Supreme Court should interpret the law and rule on the issue, the government said “The Supreme Court of India should interpret section 24 A of the Advocates Act and give it wider meaning, including in its ambit the provision of debarring a professional if he commits an offence of moral turpitude.”Every high court in India under section 34 (1) of Advocates Act and the Supreme Court under Article 145 of the Constitution of India has the power to frame rules with respect to the contempt of court committed by the lawyers,” the government also said.On November 26, while hearing a contempt plea against an advocate for contempt of one of the courts in Uttar Pradesh, the Apex court had sought the Attorney General’s assistance. The court also asked him to give detailed legal provisions in regard to other professions dealing with debarring professionals for the commission of an offence involving moral turpitude.The Allahabad High Court had found the lawyer guilty of contempt of court for his ” repeated” misconduct towards a judge more than a decade ago . The lawyer was also restrained from appearing before the concerned trial judge in Etah.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Shiv Sena demands declaration of date for starting Ram Temple construction

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“Building Lord Ram’s temple is a national work,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.

Shiv Sena

Terming construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya as a “national work”, Shiv Sena on Friday said those who have come to power with Lord Ram’s blessings should end his exile and demanded that a date be declared for starting the temple construction.”Building Lord Ram’s temple is a national work,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said. “We want a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. But our Lord Ram, like an outcast, has to live in a tent-like mandir. Those in power should be ashamed of this situation of Lord Ram’s temple. Those who have come to power and are holding important posts with the blessings of Ram, should ensure that his exile period ends,” the ruling alliance partner said. The Sena also said that the issue is consistently raked up prior to the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, and stones for the construction of the temple start arriving at the site.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The next UP Assembly polls will be held in 2017.”We are seeing the charged up atmosphere (during polls) for last many years and are once again seeing it. Once again stones have reached Ayodhya and workers have started carving the stones. The question that now arises is what happened to the stones that have been carved in the last 20-25 years?” the party sought to know.”Construction of a temple is necessary but it is not necessary to keep carving the stones for it. Declare a date for starting the construction and stick to it,” the Sena added.

UP minister Ompal Nehra sacked for asking Muslims to help build Ram temple in Ayodhya

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Akhilesh Yadav

Uttar Pradesh minister Ompal Nehra has been sacked, after commenting that Muslims must give up their claims on mosques in Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi and help build temples in those places.The minister made the comment on Thursday at a function in Bijnore, reports NDTV. This morning, he was sacked by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.Mr Nehra had said, “Where can a Ram temple be built if not at Ayodhya? Muslims should help in building a Ram temple in Ayodhya and a Krishna temple in Mathura and give up their claim on mosques there. In fact I would say that Muslims should join Kar Seva (volunteer) for the Ram temple.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has been gathering truckloads of stones for a temple at the site in Ayodhya, where the Babri Masjid once stood, and was destroyed by Hindu fanatics in 1992.

Mumbai double murder: Chintan Upadhyay sent to police custody till January 1

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The rest of the accused have been sent to police custody till December 28.

Hema Upadhyay

Artist Chintan Upadhyay who was produced in a local court after being arrested late on Monday night, has been sent to police custody till January 1, while the rest of the accused have been sent to police custody till December 28.Chintan, was a suspect in the murder case of his estranged wife Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambani and was detained last night after fresh evidence in the case surfaced, the police said. Additional CP (North) Fatesingh Patil had said that Chintan was arrested after the police found inconsistency in his statements. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides Chintan, the police have arrested four persons in the case — Azad Rajbhar, Pradeep Rajbhar, Vijay Rajbhar and Shivkumar Rajbhar alias Sadhu and have booked them for murder and causing disappearance of evidence.Except Sadhu, who was nabbed from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the remaining three — who are in the business of manufacturing and selling fibre glass used by Hema and Chintan for their installations — were picked up from Kandivali.The bodies of noted installation artist Hema (43) and Harish (65) 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. 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. Harish had represented Hema in this case.

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.

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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.

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

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

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

Go fight in polls, not here, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan tells BJP MP, Mulayam Singh Yadav

Speaker rebukes BJP MP and Samajwadi Party supremo over horse-trading in local body polls.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan

dna Research & Archives
A BJP MP and Samajwadi party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, on Friday, clashed in the Lok Sabha over alleged horse-trading in local body polls in Uttar Pradesh, prompting Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to tell them ‘to go and fight’ in elections in the state.Daddan Mishra, a BJP MP from Shrawasti, raised the issue of alleged horse-trading in the elections of block president and district president.”There is a lot of horse-trading taking place and polls should be conducted directly by the people. I also urge the Government of India to look into the matter,” Mishra said as he raised the issue in Zero Hour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To this, the Speaker said the issue was not under the purview of the Centre and was a state subject, but Mishra continued speaking on it.It was the SP chief who sprang up to defend the state government.”Let the polls happen under the eyes of people. We have no objection to it. The election results speak for itself,” Yadav said.The Samajwadi Party has fared better than the BJP in the state polls.As his party chief took charge, Dharmendra Yadav rushed to join him. He was also joined by SP member Tej Pratap Yadav, even as the two sides sparred with each other.”Wahaan jaake lado (Go and fight there). The talks on local body polls don’t happen here. Go and work there,” Mahajan said.

Uttar Pradesh DGP puts foot in mouth

Jagmohan Yadav has put the proverbial foot in his mouth at a press conference he had called to brag about the “sterling” performance of the UP Police in the recently concluded panchayat polls.

Uttar Pradesh DGP Jagmohan Yadav has put the proverbial foot in his mouth at a press conference he had called to brag about the “sterling” performance of the UP Police in the recently concluded panchayat polls.Asked about repeated incidents of violence in Pratapgarh, he said: “You know why lawlessness continues in that district. I don’t want to take any names, but everyone knows the reality about who is responsible.” He was obviously alluding to the UP minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias ‘Raja Bhaiyya’ who is known to treat Pratapgarh, his home district, as his personal fiefdom.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He did not stop at that. Asked about the spike in rape cases in UP, he said he would be able to better explain in private why rapes happen. “I have studied the psychology behind rape. If you come to me privately, I will explain it much better,” he told the reporter who had asked the question.Asked what his future plans were, he said: “I am planning a country wide tour in the new year.” The DGP is due for retirement on December 31.

Supreme Court appoints Justice Virendra Singh as UP Lokayukta

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

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

Two suspected jihadists planning attacks in Delhi during Christmas arrested

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

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

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

Three more arrested in double murder case

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

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

Emergency meeting to select a new UP Lokayukta inconclusive

The meeting, which began at 6 PM, continued for almost five hours to meet a Supreme Court deadline.

The Akhilesh Yadav Government was rapped by the Supreme Court on Wednesday for not having elected a Lokayukta.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The marathon meeting to appoint a new Lokayukta in Uttar Pradesh remained inconclusive on Tuesday as the selection committee failed to reach a consensus.The three-member selection committee comprising Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court DY Chandrachud and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Swami Prasad Maurya could not hammer out a name and will meet on Wednesday again, a senior official said. The meeting, which began at 6 PM, continued for almost five hours to meet a Supreme Court deadline.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The emergency meeting was held a day after the apex court pulled up the state government for not appointing Lokayukta in the state despite its directions and ordered compliance by December 16, saying it seemed that appointing authorities have their “own agenda”.The present ombudsman Justice N K Mehtrotra has already spent nine years in office.Pulling up the state government for not appointing Lokayukta in the state despite its directions, a bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N V Ramana said, “Why do you not appoint the Lokayukta? Why has our order not been complied with? Why can’t the Chief Minister, the Governor and the Chief Justice (of the High Court) sort this out?””We don’t mince words. It seems, each one of you have your own agenda… you make the appointment by Wednesday,” it said, fixing the petitions on the issue for hearing on December 16.Earlier in the day, the Governor told reporters that the state will have a new ombudsman tonight as a meeting had been convened this evening to hammer out the issue. The last meeting of the selection committee held on September 27 to appointment new Lokayukta remained inconclusive with High Court Chief Justice questioning the validity of the process after a Bill was passed in the state assembly.HC Chief Justice Chandrachud was of the view that as a Bill was passed in the state assembly, deciding name of Lokayukta could amount to its contempt. He suggested to take a legal opinion for the same. The UP Assembly had passed the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2015, to amend Lokayukta Act dropping Allahabad High Court Chief Justice from the selection committee.The bill proposed that the committee be made a four-member body comprising the CM, Leader of the Opposition, Speaker and a retired judge who would be selected in consultation with the CM and Speaker. Before this, the Supreme Court had on July 23 asked the government to suggest a name for new Lokayukta by August 23 after which the government finalised the name of former justice Raveendra Singh Yadav and sent it to the Raj Bhawan for the first time on August 5.The state government and the Governor have not been on the same page on Yadav’s nomination and the file recommending his name moved back and forth nearly half a dozen times between Raj Bhawan and the state government. The amendment was passed after the Governor refused to accept the appointment on the grounds that a proper meeting of the selection committee was not held and also the Allahabad HC Chief Justice had expressed reservations in view of Singh’s proximity to the ruling Samajwadi Party.The bill is still awaiting the Governor’s assent. With no consensus over his name, Yadav had opted out of the race for the key post by sending a letter to the chief minister.

Mumbai double murder: Fourth suspect detained in Varanasi in Hema Upadhyay murder case

The suspect, identified as Shivkumar Rajbhar alias Sadhu, was tracked down and detained by a Mumbai police team which had rushed to the temple town on Sunday following inputs that the culprits might have fled to Uttar Pradesh.
File Photo
PTI
Mumbai police on Monday detained a key suspect from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in connection with the double murder case of well-known installation artist Hema Upadhyaya and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani on the basis of information provided by three already under detention since Sunday.The suspect, identified as Shivkumar Rajbhar alias Sadhu, was tracked down and detained by a Mumbai police team which had rushed to the temple town on Sunday following inputs that the culprits might have fled to Uttar Pradesh.”We haven not arrested but detained Shivkumar Rajbhar alias Sadhu in Varanasi,” Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police had detained on Monday Azad Rajbhar, Pradeep Rajbhar and Vijay Rajbhar in Mumbai in connection with the sensational twin-murder. Based on information provided by the trio, the police detained Sadhu, who is suspected to have played a key role in the murder of the artist and her lawyer, police said.Three detained from Mumbai are in the business of manufacturing and selling fibre glass, which was used by Hema and her estranged husband Chintan Upadhyaya, also an artist, for their installations, said an officer privy to details of the probe. Those detained had known Chintan for the last few years. One among them had called up Hema on her mobile phone before her murder, police said.The bodies of Hema (43) and Bhambhani (65), their hands and feet tied with ropes, were recovered stuffed in cardboard boxes from a drain in suburban Kandivali on Saturday following which police were called in. Their body samples have been sent for chemical analysis and autopsy reports are awaited, a senior police officer said.”As per our probe their bodies (in boxes) were transported in a tempo from suburban Juhu to Kandivali (W),” DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni said.Police have also quizzed the driver of the vehicle who dumped the boxes in the drain thinking they contained broken antiques. The statement of the transporter has been recorded, police said.Earlier, the police had on Saturday recorded the statement of the watchman at Hema’s apartment on Juhu Tara Road and her domestic servant Lalit Mandal. Hema’s husband Chintan, who was in Delhi and arrived in the city yesterday, was also questioned by the Crime Branch.The Baroda-born artist, who was locked in bitter divorce proceedings with her husband, had in 2013 filed a case against Chintan, alleging he painted obscene pictures of women on the walls of their matrimonial home in Mumbai to harass her. Bhambani had represented Hema in the case.According to police, Hema’s domestic help had filed a missing complaint at Santacruz police station on Saturday after she did not return home whole of Friday. Bhambhani’s younger daughter Anita had also filed a similar complaint at Matunga police station the same day.Hema was last seen by the watchman of her apartment building at 11 am on Friday. According to Anita, Bhambhani had left his King Circle home in Matunga to meet Hema at around 6.30 PM on Friday. Investigators said Bhambhani met Hema at her art studio in Andheri around 8.30 PM on Friday before talking to his wife on phone. Thereafter the Bhambhani family could not establish any contact with him despite calling him several times.Police suspect that an unidentified person known to the duo had called the lawyer to give fresh evidence in a property dispute involving Hema, who was suspected to have been strangled with Bhambhani by the perpetrators of the crime.Additional Commissioner of Police (North Region) Fatehsingh Patil claimed his team was “very close” to cracking the case.. Police said Bhambhani’s car, in which he had left for the meeting, is still to be traced.

Japan PM Shinzo Abe enjoys ‘Banarasi Thali’ at PM Modi’s banquet in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a banquet for his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe after the two leaders performed ‘Ganga Aarti’ on the banks of river Ganges in Varanasi on Saturday. A grand cultural event, including performances by Grammy nominee Ricky Kej and speed painter Vilas Naik, was also held which enthralled the Japanese delegation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe take part in Ganga Puja at Dasashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a banquet for his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe after the two leaders performed ‘Ganga Aarti’ on the banks of river Ganges in Varanasi on Saturday. A grand cultural event, including performances by Grammy nominee Ricky Kej and speed painter Vilas Naik, was also held which enthralled the Japanese delegation.A unique fusion performance of Japanese drums- taiko and Sitar was part of the extravagant evening. A captivating dance performance ‘An ode to the ‘Sari’ through music’ which was choreographed by Daksha Seth was also part of the programme.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the guests were treated to a pure vegetarian feast.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Governor Ram Naik were also present at the banquet. Earlier Prime Minister Modi and Shinzo Abe performed the ‘Ganga Aarti’ at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, which is one of the holiest places in Varanasi.Abe, who was dressed in a traditional Nehru jacket, took part in the holy rituals along with Prime Minister Modi amid chants of holy mantras, flanked by priests. India and Japan had signed a pact to develop Varanasi as a ‘Smart City’ when Prime Minister Modi had visited Japan last year. The plan is to develop Varanasi on the lines of Japanese city of Kyoto.With Agencies

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

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

Congress

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

India’s malnutrition rates falling faster than before; Bihar, UP worst performers

The report, that details nutrition data from across 28 states and Delhi, shows that 38.7 per cent of children under 5 in India are stunted, which is a measure of chronic undernutrition.

India’s latest data on the state of nutrition came as a mixed bag, with malnutrition rates declining faster than before but not nearly fast enough for to meet global targets. The India Health Report: Nutrition 2015 was released on Thursday by union health minister JP Nadda and Union women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi. The report, and health experts from Public Foundation of India and the International Food Policy Research Institute, who jointly organised the launch, cautiously congratulated India for its progress, but stressed that a lot more needed to be done, and fast.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The report, that details nutrition data from across 28 states and Delhi, shows that 38.7 per cent of children under 5 in India are stunted, which is a measure of chronic undernutrition. Additionally 19.8 per cent are wasted, indicating acute undernutrition and 42.56 per cent are underweight which is a composite of the two conditions.India’s average annual rate of decline for under-five stunting, between 2006-2014 has been 2.3 percent per year, much better than the 1.2 percent per year rate that the country saw during 1992 and 2006. However, India still lags behind its neighbours and even some sub-Saharan countries. Nepal has an average annual decline rate of 3.3 percent per year, and Bangladesh matches that of India.This, as Professor Ramanan Laxminarayan from PHFI, co-author of the report, said, meant that child undernutrition weakly correlated with income, as despite India’s economic dominance in subcontinent ïn terms of per capita income”.This has been observed among states too, as different states with similar income levels performed differently. Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, for example have similar income levels, yet Gujarat had a much higher rate of prevalence of stunting. Kerala and Goa had similar rates of stunting prevalence when Goa has almost double of Kerala’s per capita net state domestic product.Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were the worst performers, with high levels of stunting, calling for immediate action to be taken in those areas.Additionally, there is the added burden of obesity and overweight populace leading to a possible epidemic of noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as Dr, Soumya Swaminathan, director general Indian Council of Medical Research pointed out. She also called for a relook at existing midday meal schemes, to reconstitute their carbohydrate content with proteins, and make sure micronutrients were sufficient,.Dr. Laurence Haddad, co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report, also released today, and a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute urged India to increase its commitment and its spending on countering malnutrition.Health minister Nadda, took note of all the points, especially Haddad’s argument of spending on nutrition being a great investment for the country — one rupee spent on a person would yielded Rs 34, a benefit cost ratio of 34 is to 1. He also spoke about the various interventions by his ministry, such as a mandatory 48 hour period to stay in hospitals during childbirth to provide counselling and initiate breastfeeding, establishing nutrition rehabilitation centres at district and sub-district levels, and the National Iron Plus Initiative to control anemia at all stages of life.Experts also called on the government to check other social determinants, such as mothers with less than ten years of education, underage mothers, adolescent girls with low Body Mass Index, open defecation, so as to save people from the irreversible effects of cognitive impairment and susceptibility to chronic disease, and the country from a disastrous economic burden.

CPI leader Bardhan’s condition ‘critical but stable’

Ex-Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, CPI state council secretaries of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka were amongst those who called on the former general secretary of the Left outfit on Friday.

AB Bardhan

The condition of veteran CPI leader AB Bardhan, who was admitted to a hospital in New Delhi on Monday after he suffered a paralytic stroke, is “critical but stable”, CPI said on Friday.”Senior CPI leader Bardhan, a veteran of Left movement who was admitted to GB Pant Hospital after he complained of breathlessness, continues to be critical but stable. He had brain haemorrhage,” CPI said in a statement. Doctors attending to him are making “all-out” efforts to save Bardhan, who still is in ICU, the party added.Ex-Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, CPI state council secretaries of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka were amongst those who called on the former general secretary of the Left outfit today. Ninety-two-year-old Ardhendu Bhushan Bardhan has been a leading figure of the trade union movement and Left politics in Maharashtra. He had won as an Independent candidate in the Maharashtra Assembly in 1957.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He later rose to become the General Secretary and then the President of the All India Trade Union Congress, the oldest trade union in India. Bardhan moved to Delhi politics in the 1990s and became the Deputy General Secretary of the CPI. He succeeded Indrajit Gupta as the general secretary of the party in 1996.

Delhi Police nab kidnappers of minor girl days after her return

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

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

No significant increase in communal violence: Govt tells Rajya Sabha

The Minister said a total of 644 communal incidents were reported in 2014 across the country in which 95 people were killed and 1,921 others received injuries.

There has been no significant increase in incidents of hate crimes against minority communities over the years, Rajya Sabha was informed on . “No significant increase in such crimes has been reported by the state government, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said when asked whether it was a fact that incidents of hate crimes against minority communities have increased. Replying to another written question, Rijiju said there is actually a decline in the number of communal incidents that took place in 2014 and 2015.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Minister said a total of 644 communal incidents were reported in 2014 across the country in which 95 people were killed and 1,921 others received injuries. In 2015, till October, there were 650 incidents of communal violence in which 84 people lost their lives and 1,979 others were injured, he said.Replying another question on lynching of a man in Dadri, Rijiju said as per a report received from Uttar Pradesh government on October 5, 2015, some members of a particular community entered the house of a person on the intervening night of September 28-29 and beat him and his son on the allegation of slaughtering a banned animal. One of the persons later succumbed to his injuries. The state government had informed that a criminal case was registered against 10 persons, he said.

Dadri lynching: Mohd Akhlaq’s son contradicts UP govt’s claims, says will go to any extent to get justice

Mohammad Akhlaq

A day after Uttar Pradesh government claimed that the family members of Dadri lynching victim, Mohd Akhlaq, did not want any further probe in the matter, his son on Monday said he would “go to any extent to get justice”.”I haven’t said that I don’t want any further probe,” his son, Sartaj Saifi said, adding, “Meine sirf yeh kaha tha mujhe CBI probe ki abhi koi zarurat nahi hai” (I only said that presently there is no need for a CBI probe).”Insaaf ke liye, mujhe kahin tak bhi jaana pada, toh mein jaounga (for the sake of justice, I will go to any extent),” he said in various tweets from his Twitter handle @sartajsaifi162.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Mein UP govt dwara ki gyi police karvayi se abhi tak santusth hun (I am satisfied with police probe till now),” Sartaj, who is a corporal with Indian Air Force, tweeted. When contacted, Sartaj told PTI over phone that he had got this tweeted to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s office.A UP government spokesperson had on Sunday said the mother, brothers and other kin of Akhlaq, a resident of Bishada village in Gautam Budh Nagar district whose killing in September sparked nationwide outrage, had called on Yadav at his residence here. According to the spokesperson, the family members of the victim said they were satisfied with the action taken in the case so far and with the Rs 45 lakh compensation extended to them.”They also said that they do not want any further probe in the matter,” an official release issued by the government had said.50-year-old Akhlaq was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son Danish critically injured by a 200-strong mob which barged into their house following rumours that the family had consumed beef. Cow slaughter is banned in UP. Following the incident, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said that Sartaj was being given accommodation at IAF’s Subroto Park residential complex in Delhi.Amidst debate in political circles over the issue, the Union government told Parliament during the current Winter Session that though no inquiry has been initiated by the Home Ministry into the Dadri lynching, a report has been sought from the state government.

Congress rejects Akhilesh Yadav’s alliance suggestion

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

Akhilesh Yadav

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

Supreme Court issues notice to UP government for not appointing Lokayukta

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

Supreme Court

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

Shiv Sena cautions RSS, says don’t politicise Ram temple issue

The Shiv Sena on Thursday said the issue surrounding the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya should not be politicised.

The Shiv Sena on Thursday said the issue surrounding the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya should not be politicised.Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who was reacting to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s assertion that the Ram temple would be built at Ayodhya within his lifetime, asked the right wing organisation to announce the date for the same.”We also want that the Ram temple should be constructed but they should give a definite timeframe for the same,” Raut told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The elections in Uttar Pradesh are approaching. If the Ram temple is made a political issue then the people won’t forgive us. The people should not be deceived on this matter,” he added.Expressing hope that the proposed Ram temple will be built at Ayodhya in his lifetime, Bhagwat had yesterday said it needs a careful planning.”The temple will be built within my lifetime. May be, we will see it with our own eyes. None can say when and how the temple will be constructed, but we need to be prepared and ready,” Bhagwat said while addressing a programme in Kolkata to pay tributes to brothers Ram Kothari and Sharad Kothari who were killed in police firing while performing the kar seva at Ayodhya in 1990.”We need to plan it carefully. A good mix of ‘josh’ (passion) and ‘hosh’ (sanity) is needed to complete the work which Ram and Sharad had initiated,” he added.

People of Uttar Pradesh have made those speaking on love jehad silent: Akhilesh Yadav

Terming as baseless the objections raised by Centre for the land made available by the state government for setting up AIIMS in Gorakhpur, Yadav said their argument is that the approach road there is narrow.

Akhilesh Yadav

Amid an ongoing debate on intolerance in the country, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday said those speaking on issues like love jehad and cow slaughter have become silent as they have been given a befitting reply by the people of Uttar Pradesh.”Several parties which were talking on cow, love jehad and other religious issues are silent now as they have been given a befitting reply in the state,” Yadav said at a function at Madan Mohan Malviya Technical University here.The chief minister also exhorted people not to get embroiled in religious issues.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming as baseless the objections raised by Centre for the land made available by the state government for setting up AIIMS in Gorakhpur, Yadav said their argument is that the approach road there is narrow.”If the Centre so wants, the state government is ready to make this apporach road four lane,” he said. Referring to the central government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, he said that this dream cannot be realised without taking Uttar Pradesh along.

When the skies turned dark in Lucknow in the middle of the day!

At around 4 pm, dark clouds took over and turned the sky black.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
The weather in Lucknow suddenly changed on Tuesday afternoon when clouds took over and it became dark in the middle of the day. Many parts of Uttar Pradesh faced severe dust storm and a thick layer of dust resulted in the sky turning black. According to reports, power supply in Lucknow was shut down as a precautionary measure. The temperatures in Unnao, Sambhal, Kanpur, Bundelkhand and Etawah dropped drastically after this sudden change in weather. Trees and hoardings were reportedly uprooted at many places after winds measuring upto 50 km lashed the city.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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

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

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

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

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

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

File photo. Image courtesy: PTI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PTI

Farooq Abdullah’s remark seditious, will take back land from Pakistan: Yogi Adityanath

Abdullah had yesterday said “PoK was part of Pakistan” and would remain with it while India.

“The statement given by Abdullah is irresponsible, seditious and amount to contempt of Parliament,” the BJP MP

BJP MP Yogi Adityanath on Saturday termed as “irresponsible and seditious” the statement of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on PoK, and said the part of Kashmir under Pakistan’s control would be taken back. “The statement given by Abdullah is irresponsible, seditious and amount to contempt of Parliament,” the BJP MP told reporters here. Abdullah had yesterday said “PoK was part of Pakistan” and would remain with it while India would continue to control its part of Jammu and Kashmir and claimed that former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had proposed this to the then President Pervez Musharraf. Adityanath said “every inch of land of Kashmir belonged to India and the part of Kashmir under Pakistan’s control would be taken back”. Asked if BJP was contemplating forging an alliance before Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, he said a decision in this regard will be taken by the party’s central leadership and Parliamentary Board.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related read: Dialogue only route to resolution of Kashmir problem: Farooq AbdullahThe BJP MP said Bihar Assembly poll outcome was the result of “casteist mentality”.

UP panchayat polls: One killed in violence, magistrate injured; 74% voting recorded

In Mainpuri a 30-year-old man was killed while five persons were injured in exchange of fire between two groups during the panchayat polls even as the driver of the vehicle carrying the wounded to hospital died when it met with an accident.

Voters display their voter id cards while standing in queues to caste their votes during the first phase UP Panchayat elections in Mirzapur on Saturday.

PTI
74 % voting was recorded in first round of election for gram pradhans and panchayats in 74 districts of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday which saw stray incidents of violence that left one person dead and a magistrate injured.”Around 74 % votes were polled in the first phase. Barring stray incidents, the polling was by and large peaceful,” State Election Commissioner S K Agarwal said.In Mainpuri a 30-year-old man was killed while five persons were injured in exchange of fire between two groups during the panchayat polls even as the driver of the vehicle carrying the wounded to hospital died when it met with an accident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Supporters of Debu Yadav and Pappu Yadav — two of the contestants for the post of village pradhan — clashed and opened fire at each other after voting started this morning in Chirra village, police said.Six persons, including Debu and his brother-in-law Ajit, were injured in the firing.The jeep carrying the injured to hospital overturned near Fardpur. The driver, identified as Avneesh (28), died on the spot whereas Ajit succumbed to injuries during treatment, they said.Agarwal said that while repoll has been ordered at a few places, FIRs were also lodged. He said that in Mirzapur a candidate Deepak Yadav along with his supporters attacked police and administration personnel in which city magistrate was injured. There were around 2.97 crore people eligibile to vote in this phase. The elections will be held in four phases.

Drought-hit India’s quest for water hampered by rice cultivation

Water table drops to depth of nearly 100 m in some states | Water-intensive crops and back-to-back droughts to blame | Local officials impose rules to address shortages

Representational image

AFP
Pleas by local Indian officials for farmers to switch from rice to oilseeds and pulses and protect dangerously low water levels are falling on deaf ears, and may be further undermined by government policies encouraging cultivation of thirsty crops.Back-to-back droughts for the first time in nearly 30 years mean some rural areas in the north are running out of water for human consumption and agriculture, prompting warnings of serious consequences if urgent action is not taken.”It is unlikely that India will have another drought next year; three years in a row has never happened before,” said Ashok Gulati, a farm economist who advised the last government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”But with extreme events increasing due to climate change, you never know. If we don’t wake up now then, God forbid, people will leave farming to become labourers at railways stations.”With more than two-thirds of the 1.25 billion population living off the land, water scarcity could affect the majority and hit long term food supplies.As world leaders meet in Paris next week to agree a deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, India says climate change is already hurting the agriculture and water sectors, and the impact is amplified by poverty and a heavy reliance on farming.Locally, officials are trying to change farming habits and enforce stricter rules on water usage.”We are encouraging crop diversification; we are going for pulses,” said Amit Kishore, chief development officer in Rampur, a farm belt city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.”We have been trying to convince farmers to shift to horticulture as well, but the uptake has not been satisfactory.”Four out of Rampur’s six administrative areas are so-called “dark zones”, with 80 percent or more of groundwater exhausted. In those zones, the practice of boring wells has been banned this fiscal year.Without urgent action, the region risks going the way of Punjab and Haryana, two parched states where the groundwater has sunk even further.Some farmers in those states now need to dig 300 feet (91 metres) for water, compared to five feet (1.5 metres) in the 1960s, according to research by a local government scientist.”RICE SELLS”Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged farmers to use water wisely, advocating a “per drop, more crop” approach that includes water-saving methods like drip irrigation.Yet his 18-month-old government has also boosted incentives to grow water-intensive rice, wheat and sugarcane that India exports, at the expense of crops like oilseeds or pulses that it has to import.Little wonder some farmers in the northern farming belt are ignoring the advice of local officials.”We grow rice because that is what sells,” said Babu Ram Saini, standing by a pond in Jiwai Jadid village in Rampur. “Productivity for lentils is so low that we’ll not be able to sustain ourselves without massive government support,” he said.Some experts are advocating tougher measures to force more efficient use of water. Wastage is encouraged by the supply of free or subsidized power which boosts politicians’ popularity.”We have been trying to tell farmers that if you continue growing rice, more places are going to become dark zones,” said V.K. Mishra, a regional head of the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute in Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow.”We should make a law that you can’t grow rice in areas where the water table is very low.”Rice covers 62% of Punjab’s area under cultivation, up from 10 percent in 1970. The expansion of rice has been similar in neighbouring Haryana.Though the droughts have hit crops, India still produces more rice, wheat and sugar than it consumes, drawing accusations from the World Trade Organization that stockpiling to provide cheap grain to the poor unfairly distorts trade.”It is quite natural for our farmers to go for rice and cane when both power and water are almost free,” said economist Gulati, adding that selling such produce abroad is like exporting “precious water for free”.

BJP objects to man accused of hate speech against Narendra Modi in Rahul Gandhi’s padyatra

During the Lok Sabha election, Masood had said that he will “chop” Narendra Modi, then the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, into pieces and was subsequently arrested and jailed.

Rahul Gandhi please tell the nation what is your stand about what Imran Masood and all that he had uttered,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said.

Under attack over the issue of intolerance, BJP on Monday hit back at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, accusing him of practising double-standards as it questioned his presence with hate speech accused Imran Masood during his ‘padyatra’ in Saharanpur. “Today he (Masood) is welcoming Rahul Gandhi and Rahul is happy to be welcomed. Rahul Gandhi please tell the nation what is your stand about what Imran Masood and all that he had uttered,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said.During the Lok Sabha election, Masood had said that he will “chop” Narendra Modi, then the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, into pieces and was subsequently arrested and jailed. BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma accused Gandhi of having double-standards. In his defence, Masood said he was not “communal”, adding that he had apologised for his remarks. “Who does not commit mistakes? I had apologised too. BJP spews venom against Muslims and Modiji remains silent,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sharma also made light of Gandhi’s pro-farmers ‘padyatra’ saying the Congress leader had no right to talk about their interest as they had suffered the most during the 10-year UPA rule that saw a large number of suicides by farmers. “When Congress was in power, it did little to help farmers. They were always under stress due to a host of issues, including shortage of urea. So many farmers committed suicide and now he is talking their welfare. He has no moral right to do so,” Sharma said.Instead of attacking the Modi government, Gandhi should introspect over the shrinking base of Congress and why it was losing everywhere and now forced to ride piggyback on a “corrupt” politician like Lalu Prasad, the BJP leader said. The Centre had recently released Rs 6000 crore to sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh to pay farmers, he said.

Rahul targets PM Modi; says Congress stands with farmers, oppressed

Saharanpur (UP): Rahul Gandhi on Monday took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his foreign trips, saying while the PM was busy flying abroad Congress stood with farmers and labourers even as he launched a ‘padayatra’ to highlight the plight of sugarcane farmers in Uttar Pradesh.

He also took a dig at Modi’s ‘achche din’ slogan, asking where have those promised good days gone, saying Congress good days will come once farmers, labourers and the poor felt good.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. PTICongress leader Rahul Gandhi. PTI

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. PTI

“When Narendra Modi is flying to England, Rahul Gandhi is standing here amongst you in your fields. I want to tell you that we are with you. Congress is standing with you and will die and keep standing with you,” he said, addressing the farmers ahead of starting his ‘padayatra’.

Rahul, who was seen standing next to controversial Congress MLA Imran Masood, who was jailed in March last year for his hate speech against Modi, said, “We don’t want such an India where the poor, farmers and oppressed are unhappy. We don’t want a suit-buit government. We want that India should be of the poor, labourers and small people.”

Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, he said, “When Lok Sabha elections were held a lot of people supported Narendra Modi. He claimed that he will change India. He does not even remember his own slogan of ‘achche din ayenge’. When we talk of ‘achche din’ people laugh across the country. Where are those good days?”.

“He travels abroad, flies to London, Singapore, America, but good days have not come. In India, ‘achche din’ will only come when farmers, labourers, poor, dalits, tribals will have good days. Only then will good days come for Congress,” he said.

Talking about Uttar Pradesh, he asked chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to come forward and keep up to his promise of bringing a change in the state by resolving the farmers’ issue of their pending payments of sugarcane and restarting the sugar mills.

“Akhilesh Yadavji, you claimed to belong to the new generation and promised to change Uttar Pradesh. You still have one-and-a-half years time to change Uttar Pradesh. Go amidst farmers and resolve the sugarcane issue, give money to farmers, start the shut sugar mills and provide jobs to youth,” he said.

In an apparent dig at Modi and BJP, Rahul said for him everyone was one and an Indian, be it from any religion or caste. “I don’t divide people and work to unite them and will continue to do so,” he said.

The Congress vice president also highlighted how the farmers were not welcome in banks that laid a red carpet for the rich and how the Congress-led UPA waived off Rs 70,000 crore of farmers’ loans.

He said the government launched the world’s biggest job scheme in MNREGA that provided guaranteed jobs to the poor and gave crores of money in the hands of the poor.

PTI

Rahul Gandhi takes potshot at Modi, says PM was busy flying abroad, Congress stood with farmers

Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, he said, “When Lok Sabha elections were held a lot of people supported Narendra Modi. He claimed that he will change India. He does not even remember his own slogan of ‘achche din ayenge’. When we talk of ‘achche din’ people laugh across the country. Where are those good days?”.

Image Courtesy: Twitter

Rahul Gandhi on Monday took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his foreign trips, saying while the PM was busy flying abroad Congress stood with farmers and labourers even as he launched a ‘padayatra’ to highlight the plight of sugarcane farmers in Uttar Pradesh.He also took a dig at Modi’s ‘achche din’ slogan, asking where have those promised good days gone, saying Congress good days will come once farmers, labourers and the poor felt good.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”When Narendra Modi is flying to England, Rahul Gandhi is standing here amongst you in your fields. I want to tell you that we are with you. Congress is standing with you and will die and keep standing with you,” he said, addressing the farmers ahead of starting his ‘padayatra’.Rahul, who was seen standing next to controversial Congress MLA Imran Masood, who was jailed in March last year for his hate speech against Modi, said, “We don’t want such an India where the poor, farmers and oppressed are unhappy. We don’t want a suit-buit government. We want that India should be of the poor, labourers and small people.”Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, he said, “When Lok Sabha elections were held a lot of people supported Narendra Modi. He claimed that he will change India. He does not even remember his own slogan of ‘achche din ayenge’. When we talk of ‘achche din’ people laugh across the country. Where are those good days?”.”He travels abroad, flies to London, Singapore, America, but good days have not come. In India, ‘achche din’ will only come when farmers, labourers, poor, dalits, tribals will have good days. Only then will good days come for Congress,” he said.Talking about Uttar Pradesh, he asked chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to come forward and keep up to his promise of bringing a change in the state by resolving the farmers’ issue of their pending payments of sugarcane and restarting the sugar mills.”Akhilesh Yadavji, you claimed to belong to the new generation and promised to change Uttar Pradesh. You still have one-and-a-half years time to change Uttar Pradesh. Go amids farmers and resolve the sugarcane issue, give money to farmers, start the shut sugar mills and provide jobs to youth,” he said.The Congress vice president also highlighted how the farmers were not welcome in banks that laid a red carpet for the rich and how the Congress-led UPA waived off Rs 70,000 of farmers’ loans.He said the government launched the world’s biggest job scheme in MNREGA that provided guaranteed jobs to the poor and gave crores of money in the hands of the poor.

Opposition fumes over Mulayam’s birthday bash, Samajwadi Party unfazed

However, the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh dismissed the criticism saying while people were displaying their “love” for Mulayam, opposition was indulging in petty politics over the issue.

Fifty of the 75 districts have been declared drought-hit and the money could have been distributed among the affected farmers: Opposition

PTI
Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s massive birthday bash has drawn flak from the opposition which on Sunday questioned the “ostentatious” display of wealth and “garish” expenditure running into crores of rupees when the state was grappling with drought situation.However, the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh dismissed the criticism saying while people were displaying their “love” for Mulayam, opposition was indulging in petty politics over the issue.Renowned composer-singer A R Rahman last night performed on the second day of the three-day bash to celebrate the 76th birthday of Mulayam. The indoor athletic stadium, where the main function will be held, has been decked out in the SP colours of green and red. Hundreds of welcome gates and huge hoardings have come up on all the roads leading to Mulayam’s native place Saifai, around 200 km from state capital Lucknow. Cakes weighing 76 kg were also cut in various districts by partymen to celebrate birthday of the leader.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked about the event, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said while his party respects the senior leader and wishes him long life for service to the nation, “it is their responsibility to act by example, to set the example to the whole nation and to the people of the country”. “That example cannot be of ostentatious display of wealth, of garish expenditure running into hundreds of crores which may obviously be better utilised for the welfare of the poor people of that state reeling under the series of misfortunes. So I think we can only request and ensure this is not repeated in the future,” he said in Delhi.BJP said that the money spent on the celebrations could have been used for the drought-affected districts. “Fifty of the 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh have been declared drought-hit and the money could have been distributed among the affected farmers,” BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said yesterday.But the Samajwadi Party was unfazed by the criticism and also denied allegations of misuse of government exchequer. “While the entire state is praying for long life of ‘Netaji’ (Mulayam), the opposition is involved in negative publicity. There is no misuse of government machinery or exchequer for AR Rahman concert and other programmes in Saifai,” party spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury said.”The event was organised by ‘Sri Ranvir Singh Smriti Samaroh Samiti’ for environment conversation. Lakhs of people converged at the event, where their love for netaji was visible. Opposition should shun petty politics on the matter,” Chowdhury said. “Mulayam was never in favour of celebrating birthday but he is overwhelmed by the response of partymen and people from all sections of the society,” he added.

A lot of waste comes when there is a storm, says Azam Khan on Amar Singh

Amar Singh was present when the SP supremo cut the cake at a grand function organised at Atheletics Stadium, Saifai on Saturday evening.
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Continuing his barb against expelled Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Amar Singh, senior Uttar Pradesh Minister Mohd Azam Khan said a lot of waste comes when there is a storm.”A lost of waste comes when there is a storm. I have nothing more to say about this question,” Azam, who was in Mainpuri, while returning from Saifai told reporters when asked about Singh.On a query that the cake cutting ceremony being held before time on Mulayam Yadav’s birthday on Saturday, Azam said, “It is a conspiracy against me. I celebrated Netaji’s (Mulayam’s) birthday by cutting cake at the right time at midnight.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amar Singh was present when the SP supremo cut the cake at a grand function organised at Atheletics Stadium, Saifai on Saturday evening. Yadav cut the cake around 8 pm and shared it with Singh on the dais.On a question on cow protection, the senior SP leader said that he protects animal and breed the animal at his own house. He said that recently he gave Rs 20 lakh during inauguration of cow shelter home in Mathura.”Today people breed dogs and let it sit next to them, but leave cows outside their houses to eat polythene. Cow must be protected,” said Azam. On Ganga, Khan said that he was committed to ensure smooth flow and purity of the river.

Rahul Gandhi to meet farmers, undertake ‘Kisan Padyatra’ in Uttar Pradesh

The Congress Vice President will be interacting with farmers in Hardakhedi, Sikrikalan and Patni villages of the district.

Assembly elections in the state are likely in the first half of 2017. (PTI)

File Photo
Rahul Gandhi will be reaching out to farmers in Uttar Pradesh by undertaking a Kisan Padyatra in Saharanpur district on Monday. The Congress Vice President will be interacting with farmers in Hardakhedi, Sikrikalan and Patni villages of the district.Saharanpur is part of western Uttar Pradesh where there is a major issue of payment arrears to sugarcane growers who are seeking a higher price for their produce. Assembly elections in the state are likely in the first half of 2017.

Uttar Pradesh: Dalit family beaten up for touching idols at temple

A Dalit couple and their relatives were beaten up, abused and issued life threats for allegedly touching idols at a temple in Chitrakoot.

A Dalit couple and their relatives were beaten up, abused and issued life threats for allegedly touching idols at a temple in Chitrakoot. The police have registered FIR against the culprits. However, no arrests have been made so far. The Dalits in Rajapur town have announced a march on Sunday if the accused are not arrested by then. National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) chairman P.L. Punia on Saturday said the commission will take action against culprits involved in the beating up of a Dalit family for allegedly touching idols at a temple in Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh. “The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has taken its cognizance and there will be probe against them,” Punia said. “Whenever these kinds of incidences take place, the commission intervenes and ensures that probe is done against the culprits,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Congress to contest Uttar Pradesh elections on its own

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

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

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