The agitation by municipal employees in the national capital seems to be snowballing into a crisis for the city with MCD school teachers deciding to go on indefinite strike from Monday.The showdown between AAP Government and the BJP-led municipal corporations over funding of salaries escalated further as city-wide protests marked the fifth day of a civic workers’ strike, leaving roads strewn with garbage and several hospitals locked.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain on Sunday held an emergency meeting with senior officials from East and North Delhi Municipal Corporations to take stock of the situation and discuss solutions. The civic doctors had said that they have been on indefinite strike in solidarity with sanitation workers since yesterday. Around 7,000 doctors and 12,000 nurses are said to have joined the strike.
At least 15 policemen were injured on Sunday when a stir by Kapu community members seeking reservation under Backward Class category turned violent as the agitators went on rampage and set four coaches of Ratnachal Express on fire at Tuni station in East Godavari district.Though no passenger was injured in the incident as they had alighted from the train before the bogies were set ablaze, the agitators, gathered at Tuni to attend a public meeting addressed by their leader Mudragada Padmanabh, pelted the engine of the train with stones and also attacked police personnel, before ransacking the railway station. A total of 15 policemen, including a senior district police officer, were injured in the violence.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The protest forced the authorities to stop all trains running between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada stations, causing a huge inconvenience to passengers. Road traffic on national highway 16 was also disrupted due to the protests. Reacting to the incident, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said he was committed to reservation for the community. “I am committed for the reservation for Kapu community for which a Judicial Commission was also constituted,” he told reporters in Vijayawada tonight.He said reservation benefits would be extended to the community without exceeding the total reservation by 50 per cent as per the decision of the Supreme Court. However, Padmanabh accused the Chief Minister of giving “false promises” to Kapus on their inclusion in BC category. “Let the CM realise the gravity of the situation,” he had said addressing the rally.The agitators also damaged police vehicles in the area and set ablaze at least two of them. State Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) R P Thakur told PTI: “They have set on fire four bogies of the train, besides damaging some police vehicles and torching two. Our people are trying to control the situation.Additional forces have been rushed to the spot.” According to a senior police officer from East Godavari district, the situation was under control and peaceful and additional forces have been deployed to maintain law and order. He said the protesters attacked Tuni (Rural) police station and damaged four police vehicles, besides some private vehicles.South Central Railway General Manager Ravindra Gupta tonight held a disaster control meeting with the higher officials in Hyderabad. With several trains being regulated at various stations on the Vijayawada-Rajahmundry-Visakhapatnam section, the SCR officials are making arrangements to provide food and water to passengers and attend to their medical needs. Additional RPF personnel have been deployed to provide security to railway passengers.
Delhi Ministers, AAP MLAs and hundreds of party workers on Sunday hit the streets to clear the garbage dumps in several areas of the capital as the strike by over 60,000 sanitation workers of BJP-ruled municipal bodies demanding payment of their dues entered the fifth day.As Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal extended support to the protesters who are demanding their dues, the striking workers maintained they will continue with their protest until their “just” demands were met. Rajendra Mewati, general secretary of the United Front of MCD Employees, warned that the situation may “deteriorate” if the government continues to engage PWD workers. Hospitals run by the civic bodies were also hit hard as around 7,000 doctors and 12,000 nurses joined the strike on Saturday seeking payment of their dues. The nearly 12,000 strong engineering staff of the civic bodies has also struck work since Saturday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kejriwal, who is in Bengaluru to undergo naturopathy treatment, hoped that “some solution” will emerge after the High Court hears the matter next week. “I support demand of protesting MCD employees that they should get their full salaries. I hope some solution will emerge after Tuesday’s High Court hearing,” he said. AAP legislators and workers joined the PWD taskforce, which has been pressed into action yesterday to shift garbage to landfill sites, particularly in East and North Delhi where the strike has had maximum impact.Also, more than 2,000 Delhi Jal Board workers teamed up with PWD workers for the cleanliness drive. PWD Minister Satyender Jain held a meeting with North and East MCD commissioners at his residence. Kejriwal lauded the PWD staff for working through the night to clear garbage and urged AAP functionaries to help the department personnel.”I am told PWD people and trucks worked whole nite to clean up garbage. I would urge all AAP volunteers to help PWD,” he tweeted, urging them to “keep it up”. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who took part in cleanliness drive in his Patparganj constituency, alleged a “salary scam” in the corporations. He said the government is looking for a “permanent solution” to the problem.Besides Sisodia, Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra, PWD Minister Satyendra Jain and Assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel participated joined in the cleanliness drive in their respective constituencies. Delhi Congress workers held demonstrations across the city holding the AAP and BJP responsible for the ongoing MCD employees strike.BJP Delhi Pradesh president Satish Upadhyay appealed to sanitation workers and medical staff to withdraw their stir in the “larger interest of the people of Delhi” or, at least, modify the nature of protest to ensure basic sanitation and health services.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday slammed Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj for her remark on Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula after she reportedly said that the scholar was not a member of the Dalit community.”How does it matter whether he was a Dalit or just a Backward Class boy. It should not be justification for his death,” said Yadav. Even if he was not a Dalit, and was just a backward class boy; how could she justify his death on this basis, asked Yadav. Claiming that Swaraj is from the RSS, Lalu said that one should be ashamed of justifying that a person who has been killed was Dalit or was from backward class.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Swaraj had on Saturday said that Vemula, who committed suicide in the Hyderabad Central University, was not a Dalit. “The facts have come out in the case and as per as my complete knowledge, that student (Rohith) was not a Dalit. By calling him a Dalit student, this whole case has been raised a communal incident by some people,” Swaraj said.On Rohith’s birth anniversary on Saturday, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi sat on fast along with the protesting students at the Hyderabad Central University. Gandhi said, “When you let what has happened to Rohith happen in the country, it will happen to you one day, no matter who you are. You will one day find that the same people, who crushed Rohith, will be blocking your path to freedom, to progress…Rohith was also an Indian youngster who was searching for truth. Nobody has right to take away the right to ‘search for the truth’, this is exactly what happened with Gandhi ji and Rohith as well,”Rohith, a PhD student at the university, committed suicide by hanging himself in his room. He was among the six research scholars, suspended by the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) in August last year in connection with an alleged attack on an ABVP leader.
Congress is likely to convene a meeting of opposition leaders ahead of the budget session of Parliament so as to ensure coordination among them on the floor of the House to corner the government on various issues.A senior Congress leader, who declined to be identified, said talks with other “like-minded” parties was almost a certainty ahead of the session. The government is set to take a decision this week on the schedule of the session, which is likely to begin on February 23.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There has been no such formal consultation among the opposition parties ahead of parliament sessions since the BJP-led NDA came to power 20 months ago. The Pathankot terror strike, imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh and suicide by a dalit research scholar at Hyderabad Central University are among the matters on which opposition parties could make a common cause.The budget session comes ahead of assembly elections in five states — West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala.
BJP has different frontal organisations, including those for women, minorities, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, farmers and other backward classes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on Sunday reviewed the functioning of various frontal organisations of the party and asked them to spread awareness about various schemes launched by the government.Modi had a meeting with the office bearers of various morchas of BJP after Shah met them for the first time after his re-election as party president. Modi, besides taking stock of various activities of these frontal organisations, sought suggestions from them about bringing in improvement in government’s schemes and for ensuring the benefits reached the targeted groups.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shah asked these organisations to expand their activities so they touched every section of the society, party sources said. BJP has different frontal organisations, including those for women, minorities, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, farmers and other backward classes.
At least 7 eye patients reported problem in their eye sight after alleged use of infected injection by doctor at the Ophthalmology department at Sir Sunderlal Hospital.”The seven patients had consulted Dr OPS Maurya on Jan 28, he asked them to buy an injection collectively for Rs 23,500,” said Sanjeev Mishra, SHO Lanka Police Station.”Five of the victims have given a joint complaint, they lost sight in one eye next day,” he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>These sufferers reached Lanka police station to lodge an FIR against the Benaras Hindu University professor Dr OP Singh Maurya, who gave injection to them.Further details are awaited.
The Centre must consider according LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders) people a special status and recognise them as a separate group for safeguarding their rights, including right of privacy, the Madras High Court has said.The court order came ahead of the hearing by the Supreme Court in an open court on February 2 a curative petition of gay activists challenging its verdict criminalising homosexuality in the country.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his recent orders on two matrimonial discord cases involving a gay in one case and lesbian in the other, Justice N Kirubakaran said lack of statutory protection for LGBT people has started affecting the very social institution of marriage.”When more than 30 countries, including a conservative nation like Ireland, have decriminalised homosexuality and legalised gay marriage by way of referendum, getting 62.07 per cent votes in favour, why not India decriminalise homosexuality?”, he asked.”Why not the central government amend marriage laws to include the homosexuality as valid ground for divorce, as gays and lesbians cannot exhibit interest on the opposite sex which is required for consummation of marriage”.The Centre, which was directed to file its response by July last year, is yet to file the affidavit.When sexual orientation exhibited by majority persons was accepted by all, why not the sexual orientation of a section of people be recognised (statutorily), as they have different expression of human sexuality, the judge asked.”Could LGBT be considered as offenders merely for having exhibited their natural sexual orientation and their sexual acts, which are different,” the judge wondered and said he was “shocked” to notice non-consummation of marriages because either of the spouses was either ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’.Taking judicial note of wide prevalence of same sex relationships in the country, and the adverse impact it had on families, the judge impleaded the union ministries of law and justice and family welfare as parties to the proceedings. By a separate order, he also made the law commission of India also a party to the case.The judge also sought to know whether the Centre had taken any decision on deletion of Section 377 of IPC (unnatural offences) from the statute book, as suggested by the Supreme Court in Sureshkumar Koushal vs NAZ Foundation case, or whether it proposed to amend the section by introducing a provision to clarify that nothing contained in the clause should apply to any sexual activity between two consenting adults in private as per the 2009 Delhi High Court judgement.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Sunday said the country’s security is the top priority of the Central government and it will not allow anyone to disturb the nation’s peace and harmony.”The country’s peace and communal harmony will be maintained at any cost and we will never allow anybody to disturb it and those who are attempting to disturb it will be given befitting reply,” Rijiju, who is on a two-day Punjab visit told reporters. He said any attempt made to disturb peace in the country through the international border will always be foiled.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Such threats are being tackled stringently and security forces are being provided better infrastructure to foil the nefarious designs,” he said. Talking about the purpose of his visit, Rijiju said that he was here to take stock of the border area and problems being faced by the security people and inhabitants and to resolve such problems.The Union Minister of State for Home said he was here on the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to check the problems being faced by people living in villages near Indo-Pak border. The minister also paid obeisance at the sanctum sactorum of the Golden Temple and paid tribute to the martyrs of historic Jallianwalla Bagh, besides visiting the Integrated Check Post at Attari border.
The country was witnessing a gradual suppression of minorities with right-wing groups inciting incidents of communal violence in certain pockets across states, noted psephologist and co-founder of ‘Swaraj Abhiyan’ Yogendra Yadav has said.Speaking at the valedictory function of the ‘Sahabalve Sagara’ (harmony) national convention organised by ‘Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike’ here last evening, Yadav said the ‘lazy politics’ of secular parties had led to communal violence in several places. He said mere anti-BJP rhetoric would not work in the country and it was a fallacy to believe that communalism sprouted only when BJP assumed power. Prime Minister Narendra Modi became popular because secular political parties had failed to perform.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yadav said communalists were now making a mockery of Hinduism. Their idea was to suppress the minorities slowly and silently using small active groups as the feared that a sudden onslaught would affect the BJP government. Human rights activist Teesta Setalvad, who also spoke, said the RSS was setting the agenda for the BJP-led NDA government and their main agenda was to build a Hindu nation.The RSS considered Muslims, Christians and Communists as enemies of the nation, she alleged. Six resolutions were passed at the convention pledging to inculcate the values of harmony to counter communalism and fundamentalism. The convention also urged the Centre to pass the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill, 2011 and take strict action against those who make provocative speeches.
As outrage grew over the death of a six-year-old boy at a private school, the Delhi government on Sunday ordered all schools to file “safety report” within a month while the child’s family demanded a CBI probe into the incident.Police continued to question authorities of Ryan international school in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj area including principal Sandhya Sabu and some teachers as part of its probe after Divyansh Kakrora, a student of class 1, was found dead yesterday in a water reservoir of the school premises.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Alleging foul play in Divyansh’s death, his family demanded a CBI probe. He was cremated today at Dausa district in Rajasthan, where the family hails from.”We want the CBI to probe the matter,” relatives present at the boy’s cremation said.The initial postmortem report suggests that the child died of drowning, a senior police official said, adding that foul play cannot be ruled out at this point. An FIR was registered yeasterday at Vasant Kunj North Police Station under Section 304 (A) of IPC against unknown persons for causing death due to negligence.As the school authorities came under severe criticism from several quarters, the Delhi government held a meeting today where issues related to safety aspects in schools were deliberated upon in detail.At the meeting, presided over by deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, it was decided to order all schools to file a report to the government within one month about safety aspects at their premises. The government also decided to form a task force to verify the arrangements in the schools, officials said.The Delhi government had ordered a magisterial inquiry into Divyansh’s death on Saturday. Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio, said arrogant and insensitive behaviour of the schools on matters relating to safety of the children will not be tolerated at all.”We have asked principals of each school, be it government, MCD or private, to carry out a prima facie inspection and give us a report. As soon as we get the report, we will carry out an inspection based on their report. I will get all 3,500 schools inspected in the next one month through SDMs, fire department, PWD, DJB, education department and MCD,” Sisodia said.He said that safety and security of children is a serious matter and he himself will carry out random inspection of the schools.The Deputy CM also said the boy’s death had “shattered” everyone and that a team of government personnel will carry out inspection for an hour in each of the school buildings to ensure there is no repeat of the incident. Police said they are looking into all angles and have not ruled out foul play at this point.Ramhit Meena, the distraught father of Divyansh, blamed the school authorities for the child’s death.”It is conspiracy by the school authorities and someone in the staff must be involved in the incident. I received a call from the school and I rushed to emergency ward at the hospital, where I found the principal at the entrance. I kept asking everyone about what had happened but nobody responded. Then the principal took me to the doctor, who informed me that my son was brought dead at the hospital,” he said.Meena, who is a paramedic at AIIMS, further said, “When I sought answers from the principal, she asked me to stay put, claiming that it is for our own good. When I insisted, I was yelled at.”However, the principal of the school refuted the allegation and claimed that Divyansh was a special child, who was “hyperactive” and had a tendency of running away from classroom. She, however, could not explain how the child fell into the water tank beneath the amphitheatre of the school.Divyansh was last seen before the seventh period, which was around 12.20 PM. The authorities then started looking for him and after sometime he was found floating inside the pit which is used as a water storage tank. It is under the amphitheatre in the school’s playground. He was then rushed to a hospital, where he was declared brought dead.”He was a special child, who was hyperactive and had tendency of running away from classroom. The moment the child did not report to the teacher, she informed the coordinator. The entire school is geared up towards taking care of such children… And there were 20-odd minutes where the doctors even tried to revive him and, meanwhile the coordinator called up the parents, which is the normal practice. The police is now investigating the case… I can absolutely understand what the parents must be going through this moment. But the allegations (against the school) are wrong,” she said.In a letter to Sisodia, Vijwasan MLA Devinder Sehrawat said, “The parents of the students of the locality are very concerned after such an incident. I request the Delhi government to take strong action against the delinquency of the school authority. The licence of Ryan International should be cancelled. The swimming pool in the school that is being illegally run using DJB water should be immediately sealed. The officials, which may include personnel from DJB, should be strictly acted against.”A number of parents of children studying in the school came out openly demanding action against the school. “The school authority must be punished,” said an angry parent.
National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said the BJP and PDP could go ahead with formation of government in Jammu and Kashmir as they have requisite numbers as well as a “common programme”.During his brief interaction with reporters at the city airport, the former J&K chief minister said a state should not remain without government.”I don’t know if they (BJP and PDP) will form government or not. But, our party has been telling them to form government as they have numbers. A state must have a government,” Abdullah said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said it was necessary to take forward the common minimum programme the BJP and PDP had agreed to for forming their coalition government.”BJP joined hands with PDP and formed the government earlier. They are having a common programme. Now, to take ahead this programme, it is necessary that a government is formed in Jammu and Kashmir,” said Abdullah.Uncertainty over formation of government in J&K grew today with PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti saying she will take a call after “reassessing” whether ally BJP’s government at the Centre would take substantive steps in a “set time-frame” to address the “core” political and economic issues of the state.Meanwhile, Abdullah also welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to ease tension between India and Pakistan by creating an atmosphere of friendship.”I sincerely hope that Modiji gets success in his efforts to create an atmosphere of friendship with Pakistan. This step will help eliminate terrorism,” he added.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday regretted the absence of a Sikh regiment contingent in this year’s Republic Day parade even as opposition Congress termed it as a “grave omission”.Describing the absence of the Sikh regiment from the Republic Day parade as “sad and regrettable”, Badal has urged the central government to issue necessary instructions and guidelines to ensure that the regiment is never kept out of the parades in future.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Badal said, “A widespread feeling of hurt and resentment has been caused by the non-inclusion of the Sikh Regiment in the Republic Day parade where French President Francois Hollande was the chief guest.”Badal said the parade was always regarded as a great occasion to showcase India’s multi-cultural and multi-religious identity, highlighting its secular ethos.”As a vibrant and fiercely patriotic minority community in the country, the Sikhs are always seen as the most powerful symbol of this multi-dimensional identity and secular character of the country,” he wrote.He said Sikhs have made unparalleled sacrifices not only for the freedom of the country but also for defending that freedom against foreign aggression.”They have a strong presence in the armed forces and their patriotic and martial traditions are something on which the entire country rightly takes pride,” Badal said.”Because of these factors,” the Punjab Chief Minister said, “The presence of the Sikh regiment in the Republic Day parade is regarded as a natural part of our nationalistic symbolism.” Badal said the exclusion of the Sikh regiment from the parade would be regrettable at any time but it was doubly so this year “because of the presence of the French president as a special guest at the event.”The Sikhs have been facing several practices in France which amount to the denial of freedom to observe the fundamental religious practices to the community, including a ban on the wearing of turbans, one of the five symbols of their religion.”Badal said this would have been an appropriate occasion to demonstrate to the French dignitary the place of the Sikh community in India’s rich cultural identity and its contribution to the cause of freedom.The Chief Minister has appealed to the Prime Minister “to have the issue looked into. Necessary instructions and guidelines may also please be issued to ensure that in future the Sikh Regiment is always included in the Republic Day parade.”Regretting the absence of Sikh regiment, PCC president Amarinder Singh dubbed it as a “grave omission” particularly when President of France, where turban is banned in public places, was the chief guest.”There could not have been a better occasion to convey the importance of the turban to him,” Singh said.Ruing the state government’s “failure” to send its contingent to represent the glorious culture of the state at the parade, Amarinder said in Malerkotla, “The Akalis actually have no idea about the significance and importance of such occasions.”
KOLKATA, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A court in Kolkata sentenced three men to the death penalty for raping and killing a 20-year-old woman in a case that sparked massive protests against the state government of West Bengal and led to calls for greater safety for women.
Three other men involved in the attack in 2013 were sentenced to life imprisonment while two of the nine men charged were acquitted due to lack of evidence and one died in jail.
“We are happy with the verdict and sentencing,” said the brother of the victim after the sentencing was announced by judge Sanchita Sarkar of the Bankshall Court in Kolkata on Saturday.
Public prosecutor Anindya Rout said: “The is a rarest of rare case owing to the brutality inflicted on the victim. So the death penalty is justified.”
Rout said they would appeal the acquittal of two of the accused.
The rape and murder of the college student in Kamduni village in the eastern state of West Bengal was shocking in its brutality and reminiscent of the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in Delhi a year earlier.
That case turned a global spotlight on the treatment of women in India, where police say a rape is reported every 20 minutes.
India has since introduced tougher laws against sex crimes, and lowered the age at which someone can be tried for rape and other crimes to 16 years from 18.
But there has been no letup in crimes against girls and women, with the number of rapes rising by 9 percent in 2014 from the previous year to 33,707.
Rape victims in India have to contend with an archaic, poorly funded and insensitive criminal justice system and an often lengthy judicial process.
The West Bengal incident, in which the woman’s throat was slit and her body dumped in a pond, led to the formation of a local activist group called the Kamduni Protibadi Mancha, which campaigned for quicker legal action.
The case was moved to the city sessions court in Kolkata after protests and alleged death threats to the accused and their lawyers.
Villagers calling for harsher penalties clashed with police outside the court during the trial.Mausumi Koyal, who is a part of the Kamduni Protibadi Mancha, said they were happy with the support received from various groups to fight for justice.
“But the acquittal of two was possible because of poor investigation into the case by police and its special CID [Criminal Investigation Department] arm,” Koyal said.
(Reporting by Sujoy Dhar, Writing by Rina Chandran, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Senior BJP leader Laxmi Kanta Chawla on Sunday hit out at her party-led government in Maharashtra for allotting land in Mumbai to actor and MP Hema Malini at “throwaway” price, terming it as “illegitimate benefit”.She also asked whether only the MP is promoting the country’s culture. “The Maharashtra Government has allotted a prime piece of land valued in crores to actor and MP Hema Malini for a dance academy for just Rs 70,000. For a Parliamentarian, this kind of benefit is illegitimate,” Chawla said in a statement issued here today.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A month after the BJP-led government in Maharashtra announced allotment of a prime piece of land to Hema Malini for a dance academy, an RTI activist claimed the plot valued in crores was being given for mere Rs 70,000.”The BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra should explain whether Hema Malini was the only one in the state who was propagating the country’s culture through her dance academy,” the former national vice-president of BJP said.”The government should stop the drama of charging Rs 70,000 for the land and give it for free,” she said sarcastically and demanded, “Those promoting culture as social work should also get land for free.”
The surprise presence of expelled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh at the swearing-in of Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta on Sunday fuelled speculation of his early return to the party.”I am present in SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s heart. It is much more than my presence in the party,” Singh, SP’s once powerful general secretary, told reporters after the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhawan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A political party may be guided by ‘swarth (vested interest)’, but not the heart, which is pure and selfless. If one resides in someone’s heart, it is immaterial whether one is in the party or not,” Singh said.His attendance at the event came days after the SP chief had said, “Amar Singh may not be the formal member of the party, Amar Singh was in my heart, he is my heart and he will remain there.”Yadav said he always had “very close ties” with Singh and “there is no change in those relations and they will remain for all my life”, dropping ample hints of his early comeback in the party fold.Though Mulayam is said to be backing Singh’s return to the party, a few senior leaders, particularly SP’s Muslim face Azam Khan, are wary. Amar Singh was present at the birthday function of the SP chief in Saifai on November 22, last year. In January 2010, Samajwadi Party Parliamentary Board had expelled Singh from the party, terming him as “intruder”.On his expulsion, Singh had said he was hurt when he was thrown out of the party fold on his birthday which falls on January 27. “But I don’t carry any baggage. Mulayam Singh has always been an elder brother to me and Akhilesh is like my son,” he had said.Singh had a long meeting with the chief minister Akhilesh Yadav here on January 26, fuelling speculation in political circles over his return to the party fold.Meanwhile, senior Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan, when asked about Amar Singh’s possible return to the party, said it was the “prerogative” of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to decide whom to keep in the party fold and whom to “show the exit”.”Netaji (Yadav) is the senior most in the party and it is his prerogative to keep anyone in the party fold or show the exit,” Khan told reporters in Rampur.He was reacting to Yadav’s recent remarks that “Amar Singh may not be the formal member of the party, Amar Singh was in my heart, he is my heart and he will remain there”.Khan took a dig at Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi over his visit to Hyderabad Central University following the suicide by a dalit research scholar.”Such deaths occur everyday… Rahul was expected to launch a sit-in when a person belonging to the minority community was murdered in Himachal Pradesh but he overlooked it as the state is ruled by the Congress,” Khan said. He was referring to the killing of a man from Uttar Pradesh by villagers of Sarahan in Himachal Pradesh who believed he was involved in smuggling of cattle.Khan also attacked RSS and Bajrang Dal over the incident of a youth being tonsured and paraded on a donkey in Kanpur for allegedly converting another man to Christianity without his consent. “All such acts are being done at the behest of RSS and BJP. It is a very old tactic of the RSS,” he said.
As PDP maintained suspense, opposition National Conference on Sunday slammed it for delaying government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, asking it urgently to either own or disown the alliance with BJP which was the “final legacy” of late Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.NC said the continued delay in government formation has put Jammu and Kashmir in a “precarious Constitutional situation” where two parties continue to be in alliance with adequate numbers but “are still adamant to rob the people of their Constitutional right to a have an elected government”. PDP’s statement following a party meeting that it wants assurance on its ‘Agenda for Alliance’ is yet another “contemptuous attempt to test the patience of the people and the continued and liberal indulgence of the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir”, NC spokesman Junaid Mattu said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This continued theatre of absurdity by PDP is not an alternative to the constitutional and political responsibilities of the largest political party in the Legislative Assembly and calls into question PDP’s seriousness in governing the state beyond its own partisan rhetoric and interests,” he said. “PDP’s alliance with the BJP is Sayeed’s final and definitive political legacy. PDP should either own it or disown it without any further delay. There is no third, middle-path,” Mattu said here.He said, “Any further delay in government formation while PDP and BJP continue to be in an alliance would not only be unconstitutional but would also discredit the neutrality and objectivity of political institutions in the state and for a state like Jammu and Kashmir, this comes with grave risks.” He added, “We hope the Constitution is respected and its principles upheld to safeguard the Constitutional rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”Mattu said if PDP wants “assurances” from BJP about the Agenda of the Alliance now, “what was Sayeed doing for the last ten months while every single political and developmental promise in the common minimum programme was flouted and broken by both parties in carefully cinematographed fixed matches?” The NC spokesperson said if PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and her party want to disown the final political legacy of their founder, they should do so and “allow the people of the state to exercise their democratic right to choose a new representative government that not only resumes the responsibilities of governance but also safeguards the sensitive strategic and political interests of the state”.He said people of Jammu and Kashmir participated in the elections in such large numbers not because they wanted PDP to “first betray their mandate by aligning with the BJP and then for the PDP spokesperson to come out week after week asking the people to continue living in endless political instability.”
A Pakistani court will finally hear from Wednesday a petition to prove the innocence of legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in the murder case of a British police officer, nearly 85 years after his execution by the colonial government.Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice Ijazul Ahsan constituted a division bench headed by justice Khalid Mahmood Khan to hear the case from February 3. The petition was last heard by justice Shujaat Ali Khan in May 2013, when he referred the matter to the chief justice for the constitution of a larger bench.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Advocate Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi, chairman of the Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation, had in November filed a plea in the LHC for early hearing of the matter.In the petition, Qureshi said Bhagat Singh was a freedom fighter and fought for independence of undivided India. The case was filed against Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru for allegedly killing British police officer John P Saunders.Singh was hanged by British rulers on March 23, 1931 at the age of 23, after being tried under charges for hatching a conspiracy against the colonial government. He said Singh was initially jailed for life but later awarded death sentence in another “fabricated case”.The petitioner further said Bhagat Singh is respected even today in the subcontinent not only by Sikhs but also Muslims as the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah twice paid tribute to him.”It is a matter of national importance and should be fixed before a full bench,” he said and pleaded the court to set aside the sentence of Singh by exercising principles of review and order the government to honour him with state award.In 2014, Lahore police provided the copy of the original FIR of the killing of Saunders in 1928 to the petitioner on the court’s order. Singh’s name was not mentioned in the First Information Report of the murder of Saunders for which he was handed down death sentence.Eighty three years after Singh’s hanging, Lahore police searched through the record of the Anarkali police station on court’s order and managed to find the FIR of the murder of Saunders.Written in Urdu, the FIR was registered with the Anarkali police station on December 17, 1928 at 4.30pm against two ‘unknown gunmen’. The case was registered under sections 302, 1201 and 109 of Indian Penal Code.Petitioner Qureshi said special judges of the tribunal handling Singh’s case awarded death sentence to him without hearing the 450 witnesses in the case. Singh’s lawyers were not given the opportunity of cross-questioning them, he said.”I will establish Bhagat Singh’s innocence in the Saunders case,” Qureshi said.
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KOLKATA, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – An Indian court sentenced three men to the death penalty for raping and killing a 20-year-old woman in a case that sparked massive protests against the state government of West Bengal and led to calls for greater safety for women. Three other men involved in the attack in 2013 were sentenced to life imprisonment while two of the nine men charged were acquitted due to lack of evidence and one died in jail. “We are happy with the verdict and sentencing,” said the brother of the victim after the sentencing was announced by judge Sanchita Sarkar of the Bankshall Court in Kolkata on Saturday.
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A controversy erupted on Sunday over whether Canada’s Ontario province Premier Kathleen Wynne was presented a Siropa when she visited the Golden temple in Amritsar, with SGPC authorities denying extending such an honour, while the Canadian High Commission released a photograph of her with the traditional Sikh robe.The Golden Temple authorities rolled out the red carpet for Wynne, who paid obeisance at the holiest of the Sikh shrines and also cooked food at the community kitchen.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, according to Golden Temple’s Information Officer Gurbachan Singh, she was not presented the Siropa, the traditional robe of honour, a gesture usually extended to dignitaries visiting the shrine.The SGPC had announced on Saturday evening it would not offer her Siropa because of her views favouring same-sex marriages opposed by the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikh religion.”No Siropa was presented to Wynne,” Gurbachan Singh said. However, the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi released a photograph of Wynne in the evening with the Siropa.Besides Gurbachan Singh, Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee Chief Secretary Harcharan Singh was also seen in the photograph.When asked to comment on it, Gurbachan Singh said, “The photograph is morphed.” Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said, “The SGPC’s decision was correct not to offer her Siropa. To pay obeisance in the Golden Temple is everyone’s right, but to give siropa to dignitaries, Sikh tenets need to be followed carefully.”Former Akal Takht jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti had issued an edict in 2005 against same-sex marriages. Courtesies were, however, extended to Wynne when she arrived at the temple, with senior staff members, including special staff which usually receives the VVIPs during their visit, welcoming her.The Premier was presented a gold plated photo of the Golden Temple along with a set of Sikh religious books by SGPC Chief Secretary Harcharan Singh. Gurbachan Singh, who showed Wynne around, said, “The premier was also apprised of the Sikh history with regard to the Golden Temple. The Ontario premier took keen interest in Sikh history.”Wynne later wrote in the visitor’s book it was a humbling experience for her to visit the shrine. Canada has a sizeable Sikh population and three members of the community were sworn-in as ministers in the Justin Trudeau cabinet last year.
To maintain public order and peace in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad on February 2, the day of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, the police would impose prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC.Over 20,000 police personnels would be deployed that day, Hyderabad Police Commissioner M Mahendar Reddy said. Assembly of five or more persons within a radius of 200 meters from the polling stations will be prohibited under the CrPC.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There will be a web-casting from 3,200 polling stations which will be connected to Command and Control centre of Hyderabad City Police for monitoring. All the CCTV cameras under community CCTV project will be used,” Reddy said.The prohibitory orders will remain in force from 6 AM to 8 PM on February 2.
A new National Vaidik Education Board would be constituted this year as part of efforts to revive the ancient Indian tradition of learning, yoga guru Ramdev claimed on Sunday.Ramdev was speaking at Gurukul Kalwa, 25 km from here, during a programme to pay tributes to his guru Acharya Baldev, who passed away earlier this week. Ramdev said steps were needed to revive the Gurukul system of education.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Now efforts will be made to ensure that the Arya Samaj and Gurukal tradition of education do not face any neglect,” he said, claiming that a new National Vaidik Education Board would be constituted this year. Himachal Pradesh Governor Devvrat also paid tributes on the occasion and noted Baldev’s contributions in revival of the Arya Samaj.
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LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – “Kung Fu Panda 3” showed plenty of power at the U.S. box office with a solid opening weekend of $41 million at 3,955 theaters as the durable family franchise dominated moviegoing.
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Taken from: Andhra Pradesh: Kapu protest for Backward Class status turns violent, train set afire
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Kakinada/Vijayawada/Hyderabad: The stir by Kapu community members seeking reservation under Backward Class category turned violent on Sunday with agitators setting four coaches of Ratnachal Express on fire at Tuni railway station in East Godavari district, disrupting train movement on the Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam section.
However, timely intervention of railway officials ensured that no passenger suffered injuries in the incident, said Vijayawada Station Manager N Suresh Babu.
He said the agitators, gathered at Tuni to attend a public meeting addressed by their leader and ex-minister Mudragada Padmanabh, pelted stones at the train and attacked some police personnel, before ransacking the railway station.
The demonstrators also blocked portion of national highway 16, bringing vehicular traffic between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada to a halt in afternoon.
According to a release issue by South Central Railway, Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam Ratnachal Express was stopped at 15.20 hours between Tuni and Hamsavaram railway stations on Rajahmundry – Visakhapatnam section of Vijayawada Division by ‘Kapunadu Garjana’ agitators who sat on the track, climbed on the locomotive and damaged hose pipe/ glasses of the locomotive.
The incident forced authorities to stop all trains running between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada stations, causing a huge inconvenience to passengers.
South Central Railway CPRO M Umashankar Kumar said, “After the passengers in the coaches got down from the train, four coaches were set on fire. However, passengers are safe”.
The agitators also damaged police vehicles in the area and set ablaze at least two of them.
Confirming the incident, state Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) R P Thakur told PTI: “They have set on fire four bogies of the train besides damaging some police vehicles including torching two police vehicles. Our people are trying to control the situation. Additional forces have been rushed to the spot”.
According to sources, one police constable sustained injuries in stone pelting at the spot.
In view of the agitation, at least 15 passenger trains running on the Vijayawada-Rajahmundry-Visakhapatnam section of Vijayawada division have been regulated.
Meanwhile, Padmanabh held Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu “responsible” for the situation.
“Chandrababu is solely responsible for present situation as he has driven Kapus to streets in frustration by giving them false promises of inclusion in BC category. Let the CM realise the gravity of the situation,” Padmanabh said at the meeting.
BEIRUT/AMMAN At least 60 people were killed, including 25 Shi’ite fighters, and dozens wounded on Sunday by a car bomb and two suicide bombers in a district of Damascus where Syria’s holiest Shi’ite shrine is located, a monitor said.
Sunni fundamentalist Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to Amaq, a news agency that supports the group. It said two operations “hit the most important stronghold of Shi’ite militias in Damascus”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the casualties were expected to rise from the suicide attacks in Sayeda Zeinaba, a district of southern Damascus where the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and other Iraqi and Iranian militias have a strong presence.
Rami Abdulrahman, head of the British-based Observatory, said the suicide bombers had targeted a military bus carrying Shi’ite militias who were changing guard there.
The explosions occurred as representatives of Syria’s government and its divided opposition began convening in Geneva for the first U.N.-mediated peace talks in two years.
Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari, head of the government delegation at Geneva, said the blasts in Damascus just confirmed the link between what the government says are a Saudi-led and funded Islamist “opposition” and terrorism.
State television showed footage of burning buildings and wrecked cars in the neighbourhood.
Syrian state news agency SANA, quoting an interior ministry source, said a group of militants had detonated a car bomb near a public transport garage in the neighborhood’s Koua Sudan area.
Two suicide bombers then blew themselves up nearby as people were being rescued. The authorities put the dead at 45 people.
“Bodies were still being pulled from the wreckage,” a witness told state news channel Ikhbariyah.
The heavily populated area in the south of the city is a site of pilgrimage for Shi’ites from Iran, Lebanon and other parts of the Muslim world.
Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaki was quoted as saying the attacks were prompted by “terror groups” who sought to “raise their morale after a string of defeats” by the army.
The United Nations has said it is aiming for six months of talks, first seeking a ceasefire and later working toward a political settlement for Syria. The nearly five-year conflict has killed more than 250,000 people, driven more than 10 million from their homes and drawn in global powers.
The Sayeda Zeinab shrine area witnessed heavy clashes in the first few years of the war but has since been secured by the Syrian army and Shi’ite militias led by Hezbollah, which has set up protective roadblocks around it.
The shrine houses the grave of the daughter of Ali ibn Abi Taleb, the cousin of Prophet Mohammed, whom Shi’ites consider the rightful successor to the prophet. The dispute over the succession led to the major Sunni-Shi’ite schism in Islam.
Iraqi and Iranian Shi’ite militia groups that have volunteered to fight Sunni Islamist radicals in Syria in a conflict that has heavy sectarian overtones often say they are coming to Syria to defend the shrine.
Rebels says the area is the first destination of thousands of Shi’ite militias drawn from Iran to Afghanistan alongside neighbouring Iraq where they are based before heading to fight in battlefields across the country.
Shi’ite militias from the region led by Hezbollah have played a crucial role in covering the shortfall in manpower faced by Syrian President Assad’s overstretched army during nearly five years of conflict.
(Reporting by Laila Bassam; Writing by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Catherine Evans)
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MELBOURNE Novak Djokovic vanquished Andy Murray for the fourth time in an Australian Open final on Sunday to win a record-equalling sixth title and serve notice to his rivals that he could surpass even his stellar 2015 this year. The Serbian’s fifth crown in six years on his favourite court not only allowed him to match Roy Emerson’s record Australian Open tally but also brought him level with Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg on 11 grand slam titles. He has won four of the last five slams, 38 of his last 39 matches, and at this rate Roger Federer’s record 17 is within range of the 28-year-old.
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New Delhi: Keeping up the offensive on the Rohith Vemula suicide issue, Congress on Sunday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not taking any action against Union ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya.
Party’s senior spokesman Anand Sharma regretted that the Prime Minister did not even refer to the issue in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme despite the fact that the dalit scholar’s death has sparked of agitation on university campuses in the country.
He alleged that the Prime Minister’s “failure” to sack his colleagues showed that the sympathy he showed towards Rohith in a speech last week was just a “pretence”.
Sharma alleged that senior BJP leaders were adding insult to injury by claiming that Rohith was not a dalit.
He accused the government of being “directly responsible” for the tension and the agitation in the wake of the suicide of Rohith.
Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi had yesterday gone on a day-long fast at Hyderabad Central University backing protesting students on the Dalit scholar suicide issue and accusing the Prime Minister and the RSS of trying to crush the spirit of students by imposing “one idea from the top”.
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Dehradun: The inquiry committee, set up by Uttarakhand government to examine the controversial infertility medicine produced by Ramdev‘s pharmacy, has submitted its report which is “not in favour” of the yoga guru.
The state government had formed the three-member committee last year to probe ‘Putrajeevak Beej’, an ayuvedic product which allegedly promises a male child.
The report has been sent to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat and will be submitted to the Union government after he gives the go ahead, state’s Principal Secretary, Health, Om Prakash, said.
“The inquiry report on Putrajeevak medicine is not in favour of Ramdev. The report has been sent to Chief Minister Harish Rawat,” Prakash said, while refusing to divulge the details.
The product courted controversy when on 1 May, Rajya Sabha MPs led by JD(U)’s K C Tyagi demanded a ban on it and sought stringent action against the manufacturer.
The Centre had then directed the Uttarakhand government to launch an inquiry into the matter.
However, Ramdev had rejected the allegations, saying the medicine helps in curing infertility in women and termed as “false and misleading” reports that it promises a male child.
The committee, which was earlier headed by AYUSH Drug Controller PD Chamoli, however, gave a clean chit to Ramdev, saying that the nomenclature of the drug was in accordance with the ancient Ayurvedic books and literature.
But, after the Chamoli committee report, the state government asked the DG Health and state law department to examine the matter and submit its report, which has turned out against Ramdev, Prakash added.
Lamenting the delay in finding an amicable solution to the Naga political problem, Congress on Sunday said it would play an effective mediatory role and secure political and economic solution for Naga people.”Given the opportunity, we shall play an effective mediatory role to secure political and economic solution for the Naga people,” Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) president K Therie said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that Naga people were complaining about the delay in finding a solution to the Naga political problem, he said respecting the will of the people should be the way to find out the solution. He was addressing a press conference at Dimapur after touring all the 11 districts of the state under the mission “NPCC Mass Contact for Change” from January 21 to 30.The NPCC president accused the Naga People’s Front (NPF) government of siphoning off funds from centrally sponsored schemes meant for poor people. Therie alleged that the government has paid only three days’ wages under MGNREGA during the current fiscal. He said there were 4,15,000 job card holders in the state and if 100 days were to be multiplied with wages of Rs 167 per day, the amount would be about Rs 693 crore per year.”Where has this money gone? This money has been missing for the last three years,” Therie alleged.Claiming that Old Age Pension Scheme has also not been paid, he alleged that Food and Civil Supplies Department was receiving enough commodities but it was not reaching the people. He said DAN government has “miserably failed” to deliver during the 12 years of its rule.Assuring good governance, the NPCC appealed to the people of Nagaland to wake up from years of suffering under NPF rule and work to bring change in governance of the state.”NGOs may raise their voice, but cannot change the government. So we appeal to them to join the political system so that we can salvage the situation,” he said.
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Originally posted here – Infertility medicine issue: Probe report submitted not in favour of Baba Ramdev
SYDNEY Shane Watson’s unbeaten hundred could not prevent Australia falling to a seven-wicket defeat to India in the third and final Twenty20 match on Sunday as Suresh Raina hit a four on the last ball to complete a 3-0 clean sweep in the series.
India were chasing 198 to win and needed 17 runs in the final over as Yuvraj Singh hit a four and a six off the first two balls from paceman Andrew Tye and Raina hit the final ball through point with his team needing two.
All-rounder Watson, leading Australia in the absence of the injured Aaron Finch, powered the hosts to 197-5 with an unbeaten 124 after winning the toss and opting to bat.
Australia made five changes to the side that lost the last match in Melbourne to concede an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, handing debuts to batsman Usman Khawaja and part-time wicketkeeper Cameron Bancroft.
Watson, named player of the match, was the fulcrum around which the hosts’ batting revolved and it was due to his 71-ball knock, which was studded with 10 fours and six sixes, that Australia posted a strong total.
India replied with half-centuries from in-form opener Rohit Sharma (52) and Virat Kohli (50), who was named the player of the series, and then Raina’s 25-ball 49 to chase down the steep target.
Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan got India off to a rollicking start, scoring 46 in just 3.2 overs, with fast bowler Shaun Tait going for 24 runs in the third over.
Rohit and Kohli then added 78 for the second wicket to keep India strongly on course, before both batsmen fell to leg spinner Cameron Boyce.
Yuvraj, who did not get an opportunity to bat in the last two matches, was sent in ahead of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at number five and though the left-hander struggled initially to put bat on ball, he produced the goods when his team needed.
Raina and Yuvraj added 53 for the unbroken fourth wicket.
The 3-0 sweep in Australia took India to the top of the T20 rankings in a timely boost ahead of the World Twenty20 at home from March 8-April 3.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Toby Davis)
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In a shocking case of apathy, Anita Ghai- a disabled passenger – was denied a wheelchair while de-boarding from an Air India flight.However, the airlines has issued a statement rebuffing the allegations and said that the wheel-chair had been provided to the passenger. “Since the flight was parked at a distant bay it took some time to bring the wheel chair. Since passengers were getting down from the aircraft, our support staff actively helped the passenger to come out of the aircraft ensuring any inconvenience and the wheelchair was provided at aircraft doorstep,” an Air India statement said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We deeply regret any inconvenience caused to the passenger. However, we strongly deny the statement appearing in media. We at Air India give utmost importance to passenger’s safety and comfort,” the statement added.Ghai has said that the airlines was ‘blatantly lying’ and asserted that she is contemplating legal action. “I complained for a reason and not they are denying what happened. They are blatant liars. It was a case of complete negligence and I was traumatised. They should just acknowledge their mistake. If they don’t I will ensure they don’t do this again to disable people, just because we are vulnerable,” Ghai said.Narrating her side of the incident, she said that she was made to wait for more than 30 minutes for a wheel chair which never came and that she had to crawl out of the aircraft waiting for the coach to arrive with the chair.”For around 15 minutes I was made to wait after all the passengers had de-boarded. They (stewards) told me that the wheel chair will come, but it did not. The door of the plane is narrow so I knew the chair could not be brought inside, but they did not even have an aisle chair. I can’t stand as I have polio, so I crawled down the steps waiting for the chair,” she said.According to Ghai, she was finally provided with a wheel chair at the arrival hall and not at the bay.Anita Ghai, Associate Professor, Delhi University, took the Alliance Air (Air India’s regional arm) flight from Dehradun on Friday, with four of her colleagues.
Hyderabad University’s new interim VC M Periasamy on Sunday had a meeting with students’ representatives, SC/ST teachers’ forum of University of Hyderabad and JAC members. The meeting resulted in the agreement of certain demands by the groups. “The conditional agreement by the students is that the University, MHRD and Centre must take action against some people,” M Periasamy said. “But the students have agreed for regular functioning of university from tomorrow,” he added. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>M Periasamy has said that students and other groups will give him the demands in writing. Rahul Gandhi, sat on a fast yesterday along with the protesting students at the Hyderabad University. He said that Prime Minister Modi was trying to crush the spirit of Indian youngsters by imposing one idea from on top. Addressing the protesting students at the university, he said, “When you let what has happened to Rohith happen in the country, it will happen to you one day, no matter who you are. You will one day find that the same people, who crushed Rohith, will be blocking your path to freedom, to progress.”The students have been agitating after Rohith, a PhD student at the university, committed suicide by hanging himself. Rohith and five other students were suspended by the university in connection with an alleged attack on an ABVP leader.With agency inputs.
BEIJING One of China’s leading Christian pastors Gu Yuese is being probed for suspicion of embezzling funds, state-backed church authorities in Zhejiang province said, a move that comes after the pastor opposed a campaign to remove crosses from atop churches.
“We feel deeply shocked and filled with regret,” the government-backed Hangzhou Christian Council said in a statement on its website regarding Gu’s investigation, adding that the investigation was due to his individual conduct.
The Council gave no further details of the charges or evidence against Gu in its post late on Friday night.
It said it had been notified by a “relevant department”, but did not say who was conducting the investigation. Police in Hangzhou did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
Gu could not be reached for comment.
Zhejiang, on China’s eastern coast, is known for its large Christian population. Previous campaigns by authorities there to dismantle crosses on top of churches have incensed the local religious population.
Gu’s Chongyi church, which has a congregation of 10,000 followers, is known internationally as the largest Protestant church in the Chinese-speaking world.
Gu, who had frequently met with visiting foreign guests and appeared at government-organised ceremonies, previously spoke out against the campaign to tear down crosses, according to a few of his followers.
Two Gu supporters in Zhejiang told Reuters by phone on Friday that they had not been able to get in touch with him, and he had recently sent a message to followers that was critical of the cross removal campaign. They declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.
It was unclear whether Gu’s investigation was linked to the note.
“Ironically, he was kind of elevated as almost a poster boy in the government established system for showcasing religious freedom in China,” said Bob Fu, director of the ChinaAid Association, a Texas-based Christian nonprofit that advocates for freedom of religion in China.
Authorities in the region have said crosses are removed because they violate regulations against illegal structures. Rights groups say demolishing crosses restricts Christianity and religious freedoms.
The ruling Communist Party says it protects freedom of religion, but keeps a tight rein on religious activities and allows only officially recognised religious institutions to operate.
Protests broke out in 2014 in the heavily Christian city of Wenzhou, also in Zhejiang, over the government’s cross demolition campaign.
(Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Ryan Woo)
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NAYPYITAW After decades of struggle, hundreds of lawmakers from Aung San Suu Kyi’s camp will form Myanmar’s ruling party on Monday, with enough seats in parliament to choose the first democratically elected government since the military took power in 1962.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) won some 80 percent of elected seats in November’s historic vote, but the junta-drafted constitution means it will have to share power with the army that for years has suppressed, often brutally, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and her allies.
The first sitting of the NLD-dominated parliament is another step in Myanmar’s drawn-out transition which started with the election and will go on until the NLD government officially starts its term in April.
“We are likely to announce the president in the second week of February,” said Win Htein, a senior member of the party. Other NLD officials said the presidential nomination process may begin towards the end of the month.
This week, the party will focus on appointing parliamentary speakers, who were announced last week. It will also prepare for the start of state and regional assemblies on Feb.8, some in places dominated by large ethnic minorities such as Shan State in the east or Rakhine in the west.
Each of the parliament’s two chambers will appoint its presidential candidate and the military officials who hold a quarter of seats will put forward their nominee. Combined chambers will then vote on the candidates. The winner will become president. The other two will serve as vice presidents.
Expectations are towering for Suu Kyi, who spent 15 years under house arrest after the NLD swept to power in 1990 but was barred from taking office, and is regarded with an almost religious-like zeal in the Southeast Asian nation.
Myanmar’s 51.5 million people expect the NLD to quickly fix everything from bringing peace to fracted ethnic states to stopping the abuse of the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine by the Buddhist majority.
“They (people) hope that every problem will be solved automatically after the NLD becomes the government, FDI will come in,” said Shwe Mann, the outgoing speaker of parliament who is close to Suu Kyi, referring to foreign investment.
But under the 2008 constitution, Suu Kyi is barred from becoming president because her children are not Myanmar citizens. She has given no indication as to who will take over from outgoing President Thein Sein and the NLD has no clear number two.
Suu Kyi has said she will be “above the president”, and in complete control of the government, but the NLD has not explained how she will do this.
“To accomplish the challenges, they need to choose the right people and put them in right positions,” said Shwe Mann. “This is also my main concern, because it will decide the performance of her government.”
(Editing by Antoni Slodkowski and Nick Macfie)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Highlighting benefits of the just- announced Crop Insurance Scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said awareness about it should be spread across the country so that at least 50 percent of the farmers join it within two years.In his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, he also pitched for continued efforts to popularise Khadi and awareness to save girl child, mentioned about the recently launched ‘Start-Up India’ programme and talked about the upcoming International Fleet Review to be held in Visakhapatnam. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi said he needs the “maximum help” from people about spreading awareness regarding the Pradhan Mantri Crop Insurance Scheme which was launched earlier this month. “In our country, a lot is said in the name of farmers. I don’t want to get involved in that debate. But farmers face a major crisis. In natural calamity, their entire effort goes waste. His one year goes waste. To give him security, only one thing comes to mind and that is crop insurance,” he said in this year’s first edition of the monthly radio programme.”In (the New Year) 2016, the central government has given a big gift to the farmers — Pradhan Mantri Crop Insurance Scheme. This scheme has been brought not for the purpose that it should be praised or the Prime Minister should be hailed,” he said.The Prime Minister said that for so many years, there has been a talk regarding crop insurance but “not more than 20-25 per cent” of the country’s farmers had been been able to benefit from such schemes. “Can we take a pledge that we should connect at least 50 per cent of the farmers to this scheme in two years? I need this help from you. Because if a farmer joins the scheme, he will get huge help during a natural calamity,” he said.Modi said this time, the scheme has got “wide acceptability because it has been made quite extensive and easy and involves use of technology. Not only this. If something happens to the crop within 15 days after harvest, even then help is assured.”Usage of technology will ensure speedy assessment and disbursement of compensation, he said. “The biggest thing is that the rate of premium has been kept so low which nobody would have imagined. The rate of premium for Kharif crop has been kept 2 per cent while for Rabi crop it is one-and-a-half per cent. “Now tell me, if any farmer is deprived of the benefits of this scheme, will he not suffer loss? I want the awareness about this scheme to spread,” he said. The Prime Minister also referred to the ‘Start-Up India’ scheme rolled out on January 16 and said it had infused new energy among the youth.He said there was a wrong notion earlier that the initiative is limited to the sophisticated area of Information Technology and now it has become clear that there are enormous opportunities under this programme in all kinds of sectors and areas, including farming.In this regard, he gave some examples of Start Up in farming sector in Sikkim which was recently declared an Organic State. He invited more examples of Start Up initiatives.In his nearly 30-minute radio broadcast, Modi also talked about cleanliness and beautification efforts being made in the country as also the upcoming South Asian games to be held in Guwahati and board examinations for Class X and XII.Referring to efforts to beautify places like railway stations, bus stands, temples, mosques, churches, besides keeping them clean, he asked people to send photos to him displaying this endeavour. He also appealed to the people to keep statues clean as a mark of respect to departed leaders.Modi also underlined the importance of duty of citizens along with their rights. He referred to the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi which was yesterday and said people should every year observe a two-minute silence at 11 AM in the memory of the country’s martyrs.Talking about popularising of Khadi regarding which he had issued an appeal in his first ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme in October 2014, the Prime Minister said more and more youths are now using Khadi products. He, once again, asked people to have at least one set of Khadi clothing as part of their wardrobe.With regard to the International Fleet Review being held from February 4 to 8 in Visakhapatnam, Modi said naval assets several countries across the world will participate in the event being hosted by India. He said the event is of major significance and importance in the maritime history.While talking about the upcoming board examinations, Modi asked the students to appear without tension or anxiety. He asked the successful students of last year to send their examples to him so that he could publicise them and the students appearing now could learn how to appear without tension.He said people can listen to the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ episodes again by giving a missed call to the number 8190881908.
A day after three alleged ISIS sympathizers were remanded in 10 days’ NIA custody, the father of an arrested Kashmiri youth claimed that his son was “innocent” and had gone abroad for a job to support his family.”I am a poor man and have debt on me. My son went abroad to relieve us of the debt. He is innocent and has no connection with them (ISIS),” Abdul Sattar Sheikh, the father of Sheikh Azhar-ul-Islam, said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Azhar, hailing from central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, was one of the three youths, who were arrested on Friday for purportedly being on a mission to carry out terror attacks in India and some other countries.The trio were deported from the UAE and they were detained by NIA upon their arrival at the IGI airport.Adnan Hussain from Karnataka and Mohammad Farhan from Maharashtra are the other two youths.Azhar’s father said the allegations leveled against his son were untrue as he had nothing to do with ISIS.”He is not involved in it. Check our family history. No one among us has ever taken the path of violence. People in our area will vouch for him. What do we have to do with them (ISIS)?” he questioned.Sheikh said his son is being “framed” and appealed the government for his release.The youths were produced before a Delhi court, which remanded them in 10 days’ NIA custody yesterday.
Asserting that natural calamity is the biggest disaster for the farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that his government aimed at bringing 50 percent of the farmers under the ambit of the National Crop Insurance scheme. Addressing the nation in the 16th edition of his ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme, Prime Minister Modi said, “Let us integrate as many farmers as possible with the crop insurance scheme.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Indian Government has given a wonderful gift to the farmers in 2016, i.e. ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’. Can we pledge to bring 50 percent of the farmers to the scheme in the next two years?” he added.The Union Cabinet had earlier this month approved the ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ for farmers’ welfare. As per this scheme, there will be a uniform premium of only two percent to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5 percent for all Rabi crops. In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only five percent.The premium rates to be paid by the farmers are very low and balance premium will be paid by the government to provide full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.The new Crop Insurance Scheme, which is in line with ‘One Nation, One Scheme’ theme, incorporates the best features of all previous schemes.
New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders, including Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, on Sunday cleared garbage piled up by protesting civic workers in various parts of the national capital.
Employees of three civic corporations of Delhi are on indefinite strike from 27 January, demanding immediate payment of their salaries and pending wages.
In some areas, sanitation workers have not only refused to clear garbage but have littered it on the streets.
While Sisodia cleaned up garbage in his assembly constituency Patparganj in east Delhi, Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra swept streets in the city’s Karawal Nagar.
Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel also led a team in Shahdara area to clear the garbage littered on the street.
Delhi’s civic body was divided into three entities in May 2012, and all three are run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The BJP has accused the AAP-controlled Delhi government of starving the civic corporations of funds, leading to the present crisis. The Delhi government denies the allegation.
The Delhi government on Saturday formed a taskforce as part of special arrangements for removing garbage from across the national capital.
The public works department of the city government has deployed 93 vehicles to clean garbage dumps.
In a blistering attack on Congress, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday accused it of doing ‘tamasha’ politics over the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula, and asserted that the party never bothered about Dalits during its own rule.”…It is long misrule and divisive agenda of Congress party and also vote-bank agenda of Congress that has spoilt the social harmony and that’s why an incident like that at Hyderabad (Central) University has happened,” Naidu said addressing a public meeting here ahead of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Rohith’s is not the first incident (suicide)…10 (such suicides) incidents have happened during Congress regime. Nobody had time. No Sonia, no Rahul and no Digvijay Singh,” he said.”Nobody came to Hyderabad Central University. Nobody consoled nor condoled. Suddenly now they are doing drama,” the Union Parliamentary Affairs minister alleged.On Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi holding a fast on HCU campus on Saturday over the suicide by Dalit student Vemula on January 17, he said, “When you were in power you never bothered to think about Dalits. A Dalit family committed suicide in Warangal (a district in Telangana). You never bothered to visit and condole and console.” “In the same university, 10 children committed suicide but you never bothered to come to Hyderabad. There was no question of offering dharna because your own government was there (in power),” the senior BJP leader said.”You were silent then and violent now. This is all ‘tamasha’ going on. Congress party is doing ‘tamasha’ politics,” Naidu alleged.”Why didn’t you remember then. Now you have lost power and now you are free and that’s why you are doing dharna here (in HCU). Is this a joke?” he asked.He also called for keeping educational institutions out of politics.”Don’t do cheap politics. Let us not do that…let us not do injustice to the children. Let university campus be kept out of politics. Focus should be on education on the campus and that is the change we are striving for. They are doing injustice to Rohith’s soul by their acts,” he said.Naidu stressed that there is need to take preventive, corrective and appropriate action to see to it that universities get rid of caste and communal politics and also of anti-social elements.”That should be the duty of every political party. But doing cheap and caste politics…only Congress and its allies can do it,” he claimed.
After reports quoted BJP leader Yashwant Sinha saying that PM Narendra Modi and his government would meet the same fate as the Indira Gandhi-led Congress govt after the Emergency, the senior politician has denied having made the comment. “I was taking part in a discussion yesterday, the subject of which was ‘Is dialogue dead’. I started by saying that consensus is the soul of democracy and consensus can be achieved only through dialogue. And therefore, dialogue cannot be dead in a country where democracy is strong and thriving,” he explained.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He added that he went on defending this position. “When some people referred to some cases of intolerance… I reminded them of imposition of Emergency by Indira Gandhi and I said that people of this country taught her a lesson in 1977. Because it is not in our spirit to be intolerant, it is not in our spirit to stifle dialogue. Therefore, both democracy is alive and dialogue is alive. That is what I said.” he said.”Anyone who has reported anything else, has completely misunderstood what I have said and has done injustice to me,” Sinha said slamming the media.Sinha, who was finance minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, was reported to have commented without naming Modi, “…the people of India will consign him to the dust, you just have to wait for the next elections.” Alluding to the general elections in 1977 when Congress was ousted from power, he said such a neglect (of dialogue) will make the government last “19 months”, the same duration as the Emergency. “We all know how the people of India reacted to the Emergency which was the “most concerted democratic effort in our country to still the voice of dissent,” he was reported to have said. He had also said that under Vajpayee, the NDA government was able to pass several important legislations with the help of dialogue with opposition. His onslaught came on the same day when another BJP leader, actor-MP Shatrughan Sinha, said that veteran leaders Vajpayee, L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi “deserve much more than what they have been given”. “Currently these leaders including me are trapped between oppression and respect,” Shatrughan said in Pune. With agency inputs.
Senior IPS officer Dattatray Padsalgikar was appointed as the new Police Commissioner of Mumbai on Saturday.
Padsalgikar will replace the incumbent Mumbai Police chief Ahmad Javed, who is set to become India’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia after his retirement on Sunday.
Born on 26 August, 1958 and an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1982 cadre, Padsalgikar was on deputation to the central government in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) for the past few years, but was repatriated earlier this month in preparation for his new charge.
Padsalgikar has vast experience in terror and counter-terror operations and had been playing a critical role in gathering evidence against the Pakistani non-state actors who directed the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008, according to IANS.
He helped procure the telephonic intercepts from the USA between the terrorists and their handlers which effectively nailed them in the case, officials said.
According to Indian Express, Padsalgikar will be the first Maharashtrian police chief of Mumbai in 8 years.
Another report in Asian Age said that he has worked as Assistant Superintendent of Police in Nagpur and Karad (Satara). The report further said that in Mumbai, Padsalgikar has worked as Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Detection in the crime branch, DCP in Economic Offences Wing, DCP in South Mumbai, DCP of the Bandra-Jogeshwari stretch and Superintendent of Police in Osmanabad and Satara. In the IB, he has worked in Nagaland, New Delhi and Washington (US).
Padsalgikar’s appointment was welcomed by senior officers in Mumbai police, according to Mid-Day. He is not only one of the most senior-most officers in Maharashtra but he also has the image of an honest and non-controversial officer.
With his appointment, the commissioner’s post was downgraded from the DGP rank.
“Government is pleased to appoint DD Padsalgikar, IPS (1982) as the next Commissioner of Police, Mumbai with effect from January 31 on superannuation of Ahmad Javed, IPS (1980), the present Commissioner of Police, Mumbai.
“The post of Commissioner of Police, Mumbai stands downgraded to the rank of Additional Director General of
Police till further orders,” a senior official had said.
Earlier in the day, Javed had got an official send off from his fellow police officers at Naigaon Police parade ground in Central Mumbai.
During his short speech, Javed had thanked the state police force for supporting him and had congratulated the 13 President Medal’s recipients from Mumbai police.
Javed had said he is proud to take over his next assignment.
New Delhi: In his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, he also pitched for continued efforts to popularise Khadi and awarness to save girl child, mentioned about the recently launched ‘Start-Up India’ programme and talked about the upcoming International Fleet Review to be held in Visakhapatnam.
Khadi can provide employment to crores of people in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday in his first “Mann Ki Baat” address of 2016. “Khadi has the power to provide employment to crores of people. It has now become a symbol and a centre of interest of the nation’s youth,” Modi said.
“Sardar Patel said India’s independence is in Khadi, India’s civilization represents Khadi, farmers’ welfare is in Khadi,” he added. According to an article on NDTV, Narendra Modi said that to fulfill demand for Khadi, additional jobs of 18 lakh man days will be generated. Daily Excelsior reported that Modi also called for technological up-gradation of the industry and noted (appreciatively) that the solar energy was now being used to power the loom.
In his radio address, Modi also appealed to people to observe two minutes silence on the 30th of January each year to pay tributes to the martyrs of the nation. “If the entire nation observes silence every 30 January 11 am, you can imagine the energy that a single moment will generate. It should be made a practice,” Modi said.
Highlighting benefits of the just-announced Crop Insurance Scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said awareness about it should be spread across the country so that at least 50 per cent of the farmers join it within two years. Modi said he needs the “maximum help” from people about spreading awareness regarding the Pradhan Mantri Crop Insurance Scheme which was launched earlier this month. “In our country, a lot is said in the name of farmers. I don’t want to get involved in that debate.
But farmers face a major crisis. In natural calamity, their entire effort goes waste. His one year goes waste. To give him security, only one thing comes to mind and that is crop insurance,” he said in this year’s first edition of the monthly radio programme. “In (the New Year) 2016, the central government has given a big gift to the farmers — Pradhan Mantri Crop Insurance Scheme. This scheme has been brought not for the purpose that it should be praised or the Prime Minister should be hailed,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that for so many years, there has been a talk regarding crop insurance but “not more than 20-25 per cent” of the country’s farmers had been been able to benefit from such schemes. “Can we take a pledge that we should connect at least 50 per cent of the farmers to this scheme in two years? I need this help from you. Because if a farmer joins the scheme, he will get huge help during a natural calamity,” he said.
Modi said this time, the scheme has got “wide acceptability because it has been made quite extensive and easy and involves use of technology. Not only this. If something happens to the crop within 15 days after harvest, even then help is assured.” Usage of technology will ensure speedy assessment and disbursement of compensation, he said. “The biggest thing is that the rate of premium has been kept so low which nobody would have imagined. The rate of premium for Kharif crop has been kept 2 per cent while for Rabi crop it is one-and-a-half per cent. “Now tell me, if any farmer is deprived of the benefits of this scheme, will he not suffer loss? I want the awareness about this scheme to spread,” he said.
with agency inputs
Melbourne: An Indian-origin Fijian who is Australia’s most wanted Islamic State terror recruiter has reportedly been killed in Syria, according to media reports today.
The report of Neil Prakash’s death, a Melbourne-born radical, was posted on secure communications app Telegram, quoting an IS member.
The IS claim Prakash, also known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, has been “shahada” – the terror group’s description when a fighter is killed. No details have yet emerged of how or where he reportedly died, Herald Sun reported.
The terrorist, who allegedly had contact with some of those accused of plotting an Anzac Day terror attack in Victoria, flew to Syria in 2013, the report said. Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that commemorates those who served and died in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
Until recently Prakash had used social media to groom potential terror recruits, but was forced to change his communication methods because of concerns he would be tracked by countries fighting IS. Federal Government and police sources were last night unable to confirm Prakash’s death, which would hurt the terror group’s international recruitment efforts, the report said.
However, one Government source has admitted that Prakash had “gone quiet” recently on his usual communication platforms. Reports of Prakash’s death have been communicated within IS groups. If Prakash’s death is eventually confirmed by anti-terror agencies, it would be likely to lead to an increase in security measures, with the Australian believed to have local supporters and sympathisers, the report said. Australian police last year issued a warrant for his arrest.
After a six- year-old student in South Delhi from Ryan International School was found dead in a water tank under the school’s amphitheatre yesterday, the Delhi police on Sunday have said that they are analysing the CCTV footage of the school lobby and the playground. The Delhi police have also issued notice to the principal of the school and have asked the deceased child’s school teachers to join probe.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The incident had triggered demands for cancellation of its licence even as Delhi government ordered a magisterial probe into the case.An FIR was registered at the Vasant Kunj North Police Station under Section 304 (A) of IPC against unknown persons for causing death due to negligence yesterday. “Investigation of the matter is underway and whatever legal action needs to be taken, will be taken,” DCP (South) Prem Nath said. The boy’s body had been sent for postmortem examination at AIIMS, police added.The boy was identified as Divyansh Kakrora, a class I student at Ryan International School in Vasant Kunj, police said. He was last seen before the seventh period, which was around 12.20 pm. The authorities then started looking for him and after sometime he was found floating inside the pit which is used as a water storage tank. It is under the ampitheatre in the school’s playground. The school authorities then took him to a hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead. It was around 2.40 pm that the hospital authorities informed the police about the matter, police said.Delhi Government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident. “We have ordered District Magistrate of New Delhi to probe the case. I need a report to take action. The probe will find facts and fix responsibility for the child’s death,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the Education portfolio, said.His parents are both paramedic staff at AIIMS, police said, adding the family lives in Sultanpur locality in south Delhi’s Mehrauli area. The boy’s father termed it a conspiracy and alleged that someone from the school authority was behind the incident. Several police teams were rushed to the spot after the incident came to light. The school authorities were questioned and a case of negligence is likely to be registered in connection with the incident, a senior official said adding how he fell into the pit is still to be ascertained.With agency inputs.
Chennai: Tamil Nadu government has set the ball rolling for establishing the state’s first 800 mw supercritical coal-based power plant, with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa laying the foundation stone for the Rs 6,000 crore project.
Public sector unit BHEL has been awarded contract for the Rs 6,376 crore project which will come up at Athipattu in Tiruvallur district over 250 acres of land, the government said today. Jayalalithaa laid the foundation stone for the project on Friday.
“This is the first time in Tamil Nadu that a 800 mw unit is being established under the supercritical technology. The project will be completed in August 2019 and 19.2 million units of power a day will be generated,” an official release said. In the first phase, BHEL has been awarded a Rs 2,759 crore contract towards taking up works relating to Boiler, Turbine and Generator, besides engineering, procurement and construction, among others, it said.
Jayalalithaa gave away the work order to BHEL MD Atul Sobti. The release said the project was part of state government’s efforts to make Tamil Nadu ‘power-surplus,’ even as demand for electricity, which was key for agricultural and industrial growth, was also increasing.
The National Security Act (NSA) has been invoked against BJP’s District Minority Cell’s Vice President Anwar Mev by the Dewas district administration for allegedly keeping beef in his house, according to a report in The Indian Express. Anwar Mev aka Anna has also been expelled from the party after right-wing activists seized meat, which they claimed to be beef, from his home in Freeganj area of Tonk Khurd town. Nine other accused, including Mev’s sons, brothers and nephews who are among the nine accused, have also been kept in the local jail. Two more accused are absconding. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The district administration took the decision using a primary report from the government veterinary hospital to declare the meat as beef. The final report from a lab in Mathura will arrive in weeks, the report said. An advisory board will decide whether Mev’s detention under NSA is justified or not. The investigating officer has said that they have initiated the process of externing the five accused out of the district boundary. Meanwhile, Tehsildar Kanhaiyalal Tilwari has requested the municipal and police authorities to remove mutton and chicken shops in three days from the areas where temples and schools were located, the report said. Right-wing activists submitted a memorandum to the tehsildar objecting to the mutton and chicken shops. Tilwari added that the shops won’t be shut down, but would be moved away from the town and sheds would be provided to the shopkeepers. The shop owners have said that they have been working in the area for decades and had never faced any issues. Tilwari maintained that the move was made as locals had voiced their issues.
New Delhi: The Delhi government has proposed setting up Local Complaints Committee (LCC) in every district of the national capital which the victims of sexual harassment at workplace denied justice by the Internal Complaints Committees (ICC) can approach.
According to the proposal drafted by the Women and Child Development department, District Magistrates or Additional District Magistrates will be notified as District Officers (DOs) to exercise the powers and discharge functions under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013.
The DO will constitute the LCC in his district and will further appoint a nodal officer in every ward, municipality to receive the complaints and forward it to the concerned Committee within a period of seven days.
The DO will also monitor the timely submission of reports furnished by the local complaints committees and take measures as may be necessary for engaging NGOs in creating awareness about sexual harassment and the rights of women.
The members of the LCC will include a chairperson, to be nominated from among eminent women in the field of social work and committed to the cause of women. There will be one member from among the women working in municipality in the district, two members, of whom at least one shall be woman, to be nominated from among such NGOs or associations as are committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues related to the protection of women from sexual harassment.
Also, an officer dealing with women and child development in the district, shall be it ex-officio member.
The chairperson and every member of the LCC will hold office for three years from the date of their appointment as may be specified by the DO.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal has expressed sadness over the fact that even after two years of the passage of the Act, the DOs and LCCs have not been notified in the city till date. She had written to Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung about it.
“There has already been a considerable delay in this regard. It cannot be overemphasized that the Act virtually exists on paper and steps are yet to taken for its effective implementation,” she had said in her letter, adding, the Commission has been receiving a large number of complaints regarding sexual harassment at workplace.
Under Section 5 and 6 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, state is required to set up a LCC to investigate complaints related to sexual harassment from cases which cannot be dealt with by the ICC or where there is no ICC.
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