Yuva Sai Sagar

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Month: July 2016

Modi degree row: Gujarat HC stays CIC’s order to provide details to Kejriwal

The Gujarat High Court stayed the Central Information Commission’s order on Friday asking the Gujarat University to provide information on the degree earned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice VM Pancholi accepted the varsity’s demand for stay. It also issued notices to Central Information Commissioner M Sridhar Acharyulu, the union government and Kejriwal seeking their responses and posted further hearing to September 6.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The university had approached a single judge bench of the High Court last week seeking to quash the CIC order. However, justice SH Vora only issued notices to the three respondents but did not stay the CIC order. The University then moved the division bench.
ALSO READ Modi degree row: DU has returned our RTI application seeking PM’s degree details, claims AAPSenior counsel Tushar Mehta, representing the GU, argued on Friday before the division bench that the varsity was not a party to proceedings before the Information Commission and no hearing was given to it before passing the order, in violation of principles of natural justice.On April 29, CIC directed Delhi University and Gujarat University to provide information on degrees earned by Modi to the AAP leader.
ALSO READ No political pressure on Modi degree: DU clarifies after AAP’s allegationsCIC’s order came a day after Kejriwal wrote to Acharyulu saying he does not object to government records about him being made public and wondered why the Commission wanted to “hide” information on Modi’s educational qualification.AAP had questioned Modi’s BA and MA degrees, alleging discrepancies in certificates. In response, BJP president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had released copies of the Prime Minister’s degrees.

Modi degree row: HC stays CIC order asking Gujarat university to give info to Kejriwal

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Friday stayed the Central Information Commission’s order asking the Gujarat University to provide information on the degree earned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice VM Pancholi accepted the varsity’s demand for stay.

It also issued notices to Central Information Commissioner M Sridhar Acharyulu, the union government and Kejriwal seeking their responses and posted further hearing to 6 September.

The university had approached a single judge bench of the High Court last week seeking to quash the CIC order. However, justice SH Vora only issued notices to the three respondents but did not stay the CIC order.

File photo of Gujarat High Court. PTIFile photo of Gujarat High Court. PTI

File photo of Gujarat High Court. PTI

The University then moved the division bench.

Senior counsel Tushar Mehta, representing the GU, on Friday argued before the division bench that the varsity was not a party to proceedings before the Information Commission and no hearing was given to it before passing the order, in violation of principles of natural justice.

On 29 April, CIC directed Delhi University and Gujarat University to provide information on degrees earned by Modi to the AAP leader.

CIC’s order came a day after Kejriwal wrote to Acharyulu saying he does not object to government records about him being made public and wondered why the Commission wanted to “hide” information on Modi’s educational qualification.

AAP had questioned Modi’s BA and MA degrees, alleging discrepancies in certificates. In response, BJP president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had released copies of the Prime Minister’s degrees.

Parrikar greets DRDO, IAF for successful missile test-firings

New Delhi: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday congratulated DRDO and IAF on the successful test-firings of a medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM), developed jointly with Israel.

Defence Minister  Manohar Parrikar. News18Defence Minister  Manohar Parrikar. News18

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. News18

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had on Thursday carried out two successful test-firings of the new missile, with a strike range up to 70 km, from a defence base off Odisha coast. The missile for IAF was again test-fired on Friday.

Parrikar rejected report in a section of media that the second test had failed to accomplish the desired targets and said “it was perfect”.

He said that of the two different tests carried out on Thursday, one was at a higher altitude and the other shorter
altitude.

“But the real and challenging test was today which was accomplished successfully. The MRSAM successfully hit a
manoeuvring target, replicating a possible real life scenario,” Parrikar said.

PTI

Arunachal Pradesh: Torrential rains, landslide disrupt life, five Intelligence Bureau member missing

Five officials of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) are reported missing after landslide and torrential rains hit Bhalukpong in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday.Officials said the incident was reported around noon after a IB hut in the area was hit by a landslide. At least two people have been reported killed in the area due to the natural disaster.A team of 30 Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force personnel have reached the affected area and are looking for the missing officials, they said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Kameng district Superintendent of Police A Koan had earlier said that the landslide occurred when a small hillock near the Old Inspection Bungalow caved in and buried several houses.

Uniform Civil Code: Owaisi says govt wants to form ‘Hindu Rashtra’, Cong claims BJP eyeing UP Elections

Government has asked the Law Commission to examine the issue of implementation of a Uniform Civil Code, a move welcomed by the BJP and opposed by the Muslim Majlis and some activists.The Department of Legal Affairs has asked the Commission, a recommendatory body, to submit a report on the issue that has always been dear to BJP and the sangh parivar The move assumes significance as the Supreme Court had recently said it would prefer a wider public debate before taking a decision on the constitutional validity of ‘triple talaq’, which many complain is abused by Muslim men to arbitrarily divorce their wives.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government is likely to inform the Supreme Court of its decision to refer the matter of the common code to the Law Commission when the matter comes up in September. Reacting to the government decision, the BJP favoured a uniform civil code saying that it has been opposed due to vote bank politics despite finding a mention in the Constitution.
ALSO READ Modi government considering implementing Uniform Civil Code: Sources “There should be an open debate over it. The Constitution calls for it and those who oppose it only shows their intolerance to the Constitution. We have always advocated it. There should be uniform civil code. It has been opposed due to vote bank politics,” party’s National Secretary Shrikant Sharma said. Implementation of a uniform civil code is one of the core issues of BJP and the sangh parivar but the NDA governments in 19989 and 1999 and the current dispensation headed by Narendra Modi have put the contentious issues like scrapping of Article 370 and construction of Ram temple on the back burner. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s Asaduddin Owaisi dubbed the decision of the government as a move to turn the nation into a “Hindu Rashtra”. “I challenge the government to impose total prohibition. If the government is serious about the civil code, it should withdraw the tax rebate extended to Hindu Undivided Families in the next session of Parliament,” he said. He claimed that the government is diverting the attention of the people as it has failed to provide employment and fuel the growth of the economy.Shaista Amber, who had been fighting for the cause of Muslim women, said the Commission should hold wider consultations before reaching at a conclusion. But senior advocate K T S Tulsi said the issue of a common civil code is related to equal rights for both men and women as enshrined in the Constitution. He wondered why only men have thew right to give a triple talaq. “That right should be with Muslim women also,” he said.Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda had earlier said that the issue could be referred to the Law Commission for examination. Gowda had said “wider consultations” will be held with various personal law boards and other stakeholders to evolve a consensus and the process may take some time. “…Even the Preamble of our Constitution and Article 44 of the Constitution do say that there should be a Uniform Civil Code…it needs to have a wider consultation,” he had said. A decision “cannot be done in a day or two. It will take its own time”, Gowda had said. Congress today accused the Centre of deliberately raking up the issue in view of the 2017 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, saying it was “cheap politics” of BJP for creating communal polarisation. Party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said that when election in a major state advances, divisive atmosphere is sought to be created deliberately and it is “cheap politics of BJP” aimed at polarisation.He said it was a “fact” that whenever elections approach, issues like Uniform Civil Code, Article 370 of the Constitution granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir and building of Ram temple in Ayodhya are raised to create an atmosphere of communal polarisation. “And after gaining power, they are put on the back burner,” he said. Singhvi said the way the matter has been raised could not be seen as a “genuine” move aimed at arriving at a consensus on the issue of Uniform Civil Code by talking to all concerned. “If it is political stuntbazi, we condemn,” he said.

Sheena Bora murder case: Indrani Mukerjea sat on daughter and strangled her, says driver Rai

Mumbai: Immediately after Sheena Bora’s murder and the subsequent disposal of her body on 24 April, 2012, key accused Indrani Mukerjea allegedly threatened her then driver Shyamvar Rai, who has now turned approver, saying “it won’t be good” for him if he disclosed the incident.

In his confessional statement, which was unsealed by the special CBI court on Friday, following a Bombay High Court directive Thursday, Rai has submitted that Indrani had ‘implicated’ him in an arms case by planting a gun on him soon after Sheena’s murder.

The petition seeking copy of Rai’s confessional statement was filed by Indrani’s former husband Sanjeev Khanna through his lawyer Shreyansh Mithare.

Kisi se kuch kahna nahi, nahi to tumhara bhi thik nahi hoga. (Don’t tell anything to anybody (about the murder) or else it won’t be good for you,” Rai stated quoting Indrani.

Rai’s arrest by Khar police here under Arms Act in August 2015 had blown the lid off the murder.

The trial court recently allowed him to turn approver in the murder case and become a prosecution witness.

According to prosecution, 24-year-old Sheena was murdered on 24 April, 2012. Indrani, Khanna and Rai had allegedly strangled Sheena, Indrani’s daughter from an earlier relationship, inside a car. Her body was later found in a forest in Raigad.

Sheena Bora. PTI.Sheena Bora. PTI.

File photo of Sheena Bora. PTI.

The crime, which came to light last year, is allegedly linked to certain financial dealings.

In his confession recorded last year by a magistrate, Rai had said that Indrani gave him a parcel and asked him to keep it carefully.

“After the murder, Indrani gave me a parcel and asked me to keep it carefully. Later Indrani’s secretary Kajal gave me advance salary of three months and asked me to leave the job”, Rai stated.

He said that when he opened the parcel, he found that it contained a a country-made pistol.

Rai said he failed to dispose of the gun on two occasions as he developed cold feet. He said he was arrested when he tried to get rid of the gun for third time.

About his arrest in August last year, Rai said when he was dumping the gun he suddenly saw some cops around and tried to flee. However, police stopped him and the gun was found on him. “Later they took me to the police chowky where I narrated the incident (about Sheena Bora case),” he said.

Rai said that in March 2012, a month before Sheena’s murder, Kajal had told him that Indrani asked her to open a Skype account for him as she wanted to speak to him (Rai).

“Indrani told me that you are my trusted servant. I want to talk to you. You don’t reveal anything to anybody. Then she said she will take care of my children’s school as well as family’s medical expenses and promised me to make my job permanent”, Rai stated.

According to Rai, Indrani told him that her son Mikail and daughter Sheena are maligning her by addressing her as their mother. She also told him that she is locked in a property dispute with her children.

“Sheena has an affair with Rahul (son of former media baron and Indrani’s current husband Peter Mukerjea who is also arrested in the case) so I want to kill Sheena and Mikail. You don’t worry… your job is of a driver. Another person from Kolkata will do the job (murder)”, Rai said quoting Indrani.

He stated that Indrani later came to Mumbai and asked him to tell Mikhail to come to the city. “She asked me to tell Mikail that she (Indrani) has a lot of wealth and if he comes to Mumbai then they (Rai and Mikail) both can have lot of fun”, Rai said.

“I followed Indrani’s instructions but Mikail refused to come,” Rai said in his confession, which runs into 14 pages.

He stated that Indrani left Mumbai after some days before handing him a doctor’s prescription. Rai said Indrani told him that she would let him know later about what to do with the prescription.

As per Rai, Indrani again contacted him on Skype and directed him to collect a parcel from a person coming from Kolkata.

She also told him to buy six bottles of the prescribed medicine and contact her after reaching Delhi.

“When I reached Delhi, Indrani told me that the person to whom the medicines have to be handed over could not be contacted and hence asked me to come back to Mumbai”, Rai claimed.

He said that Indrani later instructed him to go to Kolkata with the medicines and hand them over to a person at the airport there.

“On 22 April, 2012, Indrani told me to hire a car and go to Lonavala taking old route and later come back to Mumbai via Khandla and Khopoli. She asked me to park the vehicle at her residence (Marlow building at Worli)”, Rai stated.

Next day, I was told to pick up Indrani from airport and we reached home. He said Indrani asked him to take her to Lonavala through the same route on that day.

“Upon reaching there, Indrai asked me to purchase a 20-litre petrol can. When we reached Khandala she ventured out of the vehicle and scouted some places, saying it is perfect for Mikail.

“Then she called Mikhail and spoke to him over phone. After that when we reached Khopoli she asked me to take Pen route, did the same thing, and remarked that it was a nice place for Sheena. Remember these places we have to come back tomorrow (24 April, 2012)”, Rai said.

He claimed that on 24 April, Indrani first visited a medical store, then a wine shop and handed him over a packet. “She told me that she will return after going to a parlour,” he stated.

Rai stated the packet contained a vodka bottle, two bottles of mineral water, six bottles of medicines and a liquor bottle along with hand gloves.

He further stated that Indrani later mixed the medicines in water and liquor bottles.

“On that day, Indrani left her home for suburban Bandra and picked up (Sanjeev) Khanna and Sheena from outside National College. She gave Sheena one of the water bottles and after some time when I saw from the rear mirror the girl had dozed off.

“After a while, Indrani told me to park the vehicle roadside and asked Khanna (who was sitting alongside Rai on front seat) to shift to back seat”, Rai stated, adding Indani also asked him to come to back seat and gag Sheena.

“I saw Khanna grabbing Sheena by her hair and Indrani strangulating her after sitting on her lap. When I gagged her, Sheena bit my finger and it began to bleed. However, later she dropped down on the seat”, Raid stated.

Rai said that Indrani told him that Sheena now “got a three-bedroom flat”.

As per Rai, Indrani also told him that since Rahul was continuously calling on Sheena’s mobile phone, she (Indrani) would send him a message (from Sheena’s phone) “to shut him up”.

“Indrani and Khanna stuffed Sheena’s body into a bag and asked me to keep it in garage”, Rai stated.

He said when they returned to Indrani’s house, he saw Mikail sitting there and having drinks.

“Indrani told me that even after drinking so much liquor, Mikail has still not lost his senses. At this, Khanna said that Mikail can be taken care of later as there would be a problem in carrying two bodies”, Rai stated.

He disclosed that Indrani called him in early hours of 25 April and told him to take out the bag (containing Sheena’s body) from the garage.

He said Indrani also asked him to keep the petrol can in the car dickey.

“Indrani and Khanna then made Sheena’s body sit on the back seat. I was driving the car with Khanna by my side and Indrani sitting next to the body. Indrani asked me to drive towards Pen. Khanna purchased 10 litre petrol on the way and by that time Indrani was busy applying makeup to Sheena”, Rai stated.

At Pen, Indrani asked Rai to stop the car at the location chosen by them to dispose of Sheena’s body.

“Khanna and Indrani pulled Sheena out of car and I helped them. We placed her near a bush in the forest. Indrani covered the body with a sari and also threw the gloves on her. In the meantime, Khanna poured petrol on the body and Indrani set it on fire”, Rai claimed.

CBI had filed a chargesheet against Indrani, Khanna and Rai for murdering Sheena and disposing of her body, on 19 November last year.

As per the chargesheet filed by CBI against Peter in February this year, Sheena was killed as her relationship with Rahul was disapproved by the former media baron and Indrani.

Since her arrest, Indrani has been lodged in a women’s jail in Byculla in South Mumbai, While Peter, arrested last November on charges of being part of the murder conspiracy, and Khanna are in Arthur Road jail in the city.

Five IB men missing after landslide in Arunanchal Pradesh

New Delhi: Five officials of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) are reported missing after landslide and
torrential rains on day hit Bhalukpong in Arunachal Pradesh.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Officials said the incident was reported around noon after a IB hut in the area was hit by a landlside. At least
two people have been reported killed in the area due to the natural disaster.

A team of 30 Indo-Tibentan Border Police (ITBP) force personnel have reached the affected area and are looking for
the missing officials, they said.

West Kameng district superintendent of police A Koan had earlier said that the landslide occurred when a small hillock near the Old Inspection Bungalow caved in and buried several houses.

PTI

Won’t block China’s entry into MTCR as quid pro quo for NSG: India

India will impress upon China, which had torpedoed its NSG membership bid at the Seoul plenary, that taking care of each other’s “interests and priorities” was the basis for forward movement in bilateral ties.External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also dismissed suggestions that India, which has become a full member of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) earlier this week, will block China’s entry into the 35-nation grouping as a quid pro quo. In an oblique reference to China, he said only “one country” opposed India’s bid while some other nations raised “process-related” issues which did not mean that they were against India. They just had a different solution about India’s entry into NSG, he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, he said India would continue “impress upon that country that a relationship moves forward on the basis of mutual accommodation of each other’s interests, concerns and priority. This is a matter (NSG membership) which we have been discussing and we will continue to discuss because it is an important priority for India.” He also said that India’s objective is to enlarge areas of convergence and reduce area of divergence.Asked if India, which has become a full member of MTCR earlier this week, will block China’s entry into the 35-nation grouping as quid pro quo, Swarup said India does not believe in such “deal making” approach. Asserting that India granted the membership based on its impeccable non-proliferation record, he said any other country’s application will also be assessed on its own merits. He said India’s MTCR membership is expected to facilitate high technology tie-ups with Indian industry and ease access to high-tech items for our space and defence programmes.”While membership of the regime would not automatically entail any preferential treatment from other MTCR Partners, it would create the grounds for realignment of India in the export control policy framework of other MTCR Partners,” he said, asserting that membership of MTCR will not pose any restrictions on our national security programmes. Further, India has formal space cooperation with 35 countries including several MTCR Partners even prior to joining the MTCR and in the coming days, India can be expected to play an even bigger role as a provider of space applications to the global community, he added.

Guard who shot his colleague outside Shah Rukh Khan’s bungalow convicted to life imprisonment

The Bombay High Court recently upheld the life imprisonment handed down to a security guard who killed his colleague by firing at over a petty issue, in 2006, outside Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s bungalow in Bandra.A division bench of Justice VK Tahilramani and Justice Mridula Bhatkar while upholding the sentence of Yatendrasingh Chauhan said “He was fully aware of the consequence of his act and the injury caused is fatal and sufficient to cause death.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh had challenged the conviction handed down by session’s court in 2009. In his appeal he had pointed to the discrepancy in the testimony of the eyewitness Sandeep Lakhan. It was argued by him that since experts—the post mortem and the forensic expert—had said that firing was not contact shot (by placing the pistol on the body), as claimed by the eye witness and hence his testimony should be discarded. Further, the act was not premeditated and lesser charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder should be levelled against him instead of murder.However, after going through the prosecution evidence, the court overlooked the minor contradiction in Lakhan’s testimony. Regarding the lesser charge of being attracted to the crime, it said “It is true that there was no premeditation, however, it is not a case of grave and sudden provocation. The intention does not require premeditation but intention can be formed within a couple of minutes. The intention can be gathered on the basis of the act itself. In the present case, the appellant/accused was working as a security guard. He was holding licence of revolver. He was fully aware of the power of the firearm.”As per the prosecution’s case, the accused and the deceased were working in the company known as Top security and were posted as a security guard at Mannat bungalow owned by actor Shah Rukh Khan. On the night of August14, 2006, deceased Singh questioned the accused as to why he was sitting in the chair and whether his revolver is filled with bullets or not. He also asked the accused whether his fire arm was working or not.The accused, in anger, held Chandrapratap Singh with collar and then pulled the trigger of the revolver pointing at his chest, due to which the deceased fell down. After hearing the firing sound, security guards and other persons came running at the spot and shifted Chandrapratap Singh to the hospital where he succumbed to injuries.A case was registered against the accused who was arrested and tried for murder charges.

PM Modi to visit four African nations from 7 to 11 July

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a five-day visit to Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya beginning 7 July, with an aim to further deepen India’s engagement with the resource-rich African continent where China has been expanding its influence.

The prime minister’s visit comes within weeks after President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Hamid Ansari travelled to Africa to strengthen and reinvigorate India’s ties.

“The visit will provide opportunities to build on close contacts at the highest political level and enhance mutual cooperation and understanding on major issues of common interests,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

India’s current trade with Africa is around $75 billion and it has granted a whopping $7.4 billion for various developmental and capacity building projects in the past four years. India has implemented nearly 140 projects in 41 African countries during the period.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AFPPrime Minister Narendra Modi. AFP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AFP

Modi’s first destination will be Mozambique where he will have bilateral discussions with President Nyusi on 7 July to expand existing cooperation.

In the second leg of his tour from 8 to 9 July, Modi will be in South Africa, where he will have meetings with President Jacob Zuma and other senior leaders across the political spectrum.

South Africa was among very few countries which was known to have some reservations over India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

The prime minister is also expected to visit Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg and Durban during the visit, Swarup said.

India’s ties with South Africa is considered crucial and both countries work closely in various multilateral fora like BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa), tripartite grouping IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa), G-20 and BASIC, a bloc of four large countries — Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

On 10 July, the prime minister will have meetings with Tanzanian President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli on a range of areas with an aim to further enhance mutual cooperation and understanding on major issues of common interest, said Swarup.

On the final leg of his trip, Modi will travel to Kenya where he will have bilateral discussions with President Kenyatta.

The prime minister will also address students in the University of Nairobi during the visit.

“The visit of the Prime Minister to the African mainland reflects India’s desire to further strengthen and reinvigorate bilateral ties with our African partners,” said Swarup.

India had organised a four-day-long summit here with African countries in October last year which was attended by representatives of 54 African nations, including heads of state and government of around 40 countries.

PM reviews internal security situation, Rajnath Singh presents report card

The Union Home Ministry on Friday gave a detailed presentation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the country’s internal security scenario and the steps taken to strengthen it through multi-pronged strategy.Led by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the top brass of the Home Ministry briefed the Prime Minister on issues ranging from terrorism, infiltration from across the border, activities of left wing extremism, situation in Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast during the three-hour-long meeting. Sources said the Prime Minister reviewed the steps taken to strengthen the internal security situation in the country and how to improve them further.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The multi-pronged strategy include anti-militancy operations in different theatres, peace talks with some insurgent groups and development initiatives in Naxal-hit states, the Prime Minister was told, the sources said.The Prime Minister was also briefed about the illegal immigration from Bangladesh, fencing work along the Indo-Bangladesh border, modernisation of police forces and filling up of vacancies among other things. All these issues were discussed at the DGPs conference held in Kutch in December 2015 and the Prime Minister took stock of their progress, sources said.Besides the Home Minister, his two deputies — Kiren Rijiju and Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary — and Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi were present at the meeting. Today’s initiative was part of the review of the performance of various ministries undertaken by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister reviewed the performance of all social sector and infrastructure Ministries yesterday to ascertain whether budgetary allocations have been spent wisely.Review of ministries like Home, Defence, Finance, External Affairs and Personnel are being held separately.

Justice Dhingra panel gets extension till August 31 amidst BJP-Cong mudslinging

The Inquiry Commission, which is probing grant of land licences to some firms including that of Robert Vadra in Haryana, was on Friday given an eight-week extension even as its head Justice SN Dhingra rubbished allegations that a Trust run by him was being favoured by the government.The Haryana government extended the tenure of the Commission till August 31, a day after Justice Dhingra sought six weeks more just before the deadline was coming to an end, contending that he needed extra time to study additional evidence and documents that have come up before the panel. While the extension was granted, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said questions raised by Congress before submission of report by the probe panel makes one suspect that something is not right.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Haryana Governor extended the tenure of the one-man Commission upto August 31 on the same terms and conditions and with the concurrence of state Finance department, an official notification said. The Commission was set up on May 14, 2015 to probe into grant of land licences to some companies including that of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in Gurgaon during the Congress rule in Haryana. Insisting that he is not targeting Vadra, Justice Dhingra rubbished allegations of Congress that a Trust run by him was being favoured by the government.”Anybody is free to make allegations. But he should atleast come forward (and say) what money was given,” he said He said the allegations made against the Justice Gopal Singh Public Charitable Trust in Gurgaon, which he runs, are about a request being made for constructing roads in five villages as the Trust intended to start a Skill Centre for village women and a training centre for youth of the area.”The Centre (run by trust) requested the local administration that these villages should also be provided roads. If the administration has acceded to this request and if you say it is bribe or it is a favour being given to the Trust, I would like to have this favour for all villages of Haryana,” he said. Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala had alleged that “Justice S N Dhingra has sought favours from government of Haryana pertaining to Justice Gopal Singh Public Charitable Trust in Gurgaon, making him incompetent and unsuitable to deliver any verdict or report in the matter.”The Chief Minister, who was in Panchkula, said the Commission was constituted one year ago and at that time the Congress had no issues. Earlier also, the tenure of the Commission was extended and the approval was notified after 10 days, Khattar said, adding “Even then no one raised any issue.” The Commission had sought extension for six weeks, but the government has extended it for two more months, he said.To another question, he said the facts would become clear only after submission of the report. Earlier, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had sought scrapping the Dhingra Commission of Inquiry, arguing that it was “contrary to established rules and norms, without due cabinet approval and prompted by malice and political considerations”.The BJP government in the state had in December last year extended the Commission’s term for a period of six months and on June 17 this year its term had been extended till June 30. “Some more documents were given and I wanted to study them….If some substaintial material is there, I think it is the duty of the Commission to consider them,” he said.Talking about the nature of documents that came before the Commission, he said, they are relating to some sale deeds and transactions. Earlier, media reports had said the Commission headed by Justice Dhingra, a retired judge of Delhi High Court, was ready with its report which was supposed to have gone into mutation of a land deal between a firm M/S Skylight Hospitality owned by Robert Vadra and realty major DLF. The Rs 58-crore deal related to 3.5 acre land in Gurgaon’s Shikohpur village which was sold by Vadra to DLF. In October, 2012, senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka had cancelled the mutation of the land deal between Skylight Hospitality and DLF. It was mired by controversy over allegations of undervaluation.The Commission was to probe transfer or disposal of land, allegations of private enrichment, ineligibility of beneficiaries under the rules, and other connected matters, bringing Vadra land deal under the scanner. BJP had made the land deals under the previous Congress government in Haryana a major poll issue during the 2014 Lok Sabha and the state Assembly polls, alleging rules were relaxed to favour a few including Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.BJP today attacked Congress for making accusations against Justice S N Dhingra Commission, saying the opposition party was making “hue and cry” as it “fears that the outcome of the panel’s report can go against its leaders. “It is like ‘Chor ki darhi me tinka’ (they have guilty conscience). They (Congress leaders) now feel that something can go against in the (probe panel) report and that is why they are making such baseless accusations against Dhingra Commission. By levelling allegations, they are trying to fight it out,” BJP, general secretary and incharge of Haryana, Anil Jain said today.Lashing out at the Congress, Jain said, “whatever commissions they formed (during their regime), they were right and rest of them are incompetent. Congress party’s policy has been that its leaders should remain protected,” alleged Jain. However, BJP refuted the allegations that the commission was formed to target “particular persons”.”If we had to target any particular person or persons, then we would have done it at the initial time (when the government was formed). No particular person was being targeted through the formation of Dhingra Commission. The panel was probing several cases pertaining to grant of land licences,” Jain said.

26/11 Mumbai attacks: Pakistan claims it asked for additional evidence for probe, India counters it

India on Friday contested Pakistan’s claim that it has asked for additional evidence for the early completion of the Mumbai attack trial, saying it has not received any “fresh” communication from Islamabad.However, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said there could be further communications between the two sides in the coming days, asserting that India was committed to providing all cooperation to Pakistan in expediting the trial and bringing all perpetrators to justice. “Our position is very clear. We remain committed to providing all cooperation to Pakistan in terms of expediting the Mumbai attack trial and bringing all perpetrators to justice. The Pakistan Foreign Affairs spokesperson has claimed that their Foreign Secretary has written to our Foreign Secretary,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”No fresh letter has been received in this regard. What he has been referring to is a letter written in September last year. Our Foreign Secretary had replied to that letter. We keep hearing in the media about the list of 24 witnesses which are required by Pakistan to progress the Mumbai case trial. But so far we have not received any communication from Pakistan conveying the details of these 24 people. Because of our commitment to cooperate with Pakistan in bringing the Mumbai case trial to a speedy conclusion, you can expect further communications between the two sides in the coming days,” Swarup said.
ALSO READ Pakistan court adjourns 26/11 Mumbai attack case hearing till September 9His remarks came a day after Pakistan said it has asked India to provide “additional evidence” for the early completion of the Mumbai attack trial in which LeT operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and six others are accused. “Our foreign secretary has written to India’s foreign secretary to provide additional evidence so that Mumbai case trial is completed. The response from the Indian side is still awaited,” Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria had said at a press briefing in Islamabad yesterday.Asked about comments of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz that India was “shying away” from talks, Swarup said India has never ever shied away from engagement with Pakistan and is prepared to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan bilaterally in an atmosphere free from terror and violence. In fact it is India which has repeatedly taken initiatives to engage with Pakistan – be it Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invite to his Pakistani counterpart to attend oath taking ceremony or External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj going to Islamabad in December or Modi travelling to Lahore last December to wish Sharif, he said.
ALSO READ Police dog ‘Max’ who saved lives during 26/11 Mumbai attack passes away Noting that Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar was prepared to go to Pakistan in first half of this year, he said but Pathankot terror incident happened. Referring to Swaraj’s comments at a recent press conference, Swarup said, “After an incident like Pathankot, it is a natural and legitimate expectation of the government and people of India that there should be concrete action from the Pakistani side which has not denied the involvement of its nationals in the Pathankot attack.”Therefore, as the minister said we are awaiting a concrete investigation to take place at the Pakistani end.”
ALSO READ India must be permitted to probe 26/11 Mumbai attack: Omar Abdullah on Pakistan JITOn the status of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former navy officer in Pakistan custody, Swarup said India has repeatedly sought consular access to him. “Pakistan has a particular narrative regarding him. We believe the circumstances under which he was abducted in Iran remain very unclear. Those circumstances can be made clear once we have access to him. Pakistan by not giving access to him is in a way showing there is something to hide. So I think full clarity will come once we have accessibility to Jadhav,” the spokesperson added.

Sheena Bora murder case: Driver Shyamvar Rai says Indrani Mukerjea strangled daughter

Shyamvar Rai, who recently turned approver by a special CBI court, has claimed that Indrani Mukerjea, the main accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, had strangled her daughter inside a car on 24 April, 2012, reported Times Now.

In his 12-page statement to the magistrate, Rai gave details of events leading up to Sheena’s murder. “Indrani asked me to stop the car. Khanna got into the backseat. I was asked to cover Sheena’s mouth, while Indrani strangulated her.”

Indrani Mukherjee and Sheena Bora. AgenciesIndrani Mukherjee and Sheena Bora. Agencies

Indrani Mukherjee and Sheena Bora. Agencies

Indrani’s assistant had asked Rai to take three months severance pay, an amount paid to an employee on the early termination of a contract, and leave, claimed the 12-page statement, as reported by Times Of India.

According to India Today, Rai had also revealed that Indrani planned the murder well in advance and visited the location of the murder, a day before. On the day of disposing Sheena’s body, Indrani and Khanna strategically made Indrani’s murder look like suicide by immolation.

On reaching the spot of murder, Indrani, Khanna and Rai brought Sheena’s body out of the car and Indrani threw gloves and a saree on her daughter’s body, the India Today report added. Rai then said that Khanna sprinkled petrol over Sheena’s body and Indrani set the body on fire.

Nowhere in his testimony has Rai made any allegations against Peter Mukerjea, confirmed a lawyer, reported The Times Of India.

A special CBI court on 20 June had made Indrani Mukerjea’s former driver Shyamvar Rai, an approver in the Sheena Bora murder case along with granting him a pardon.

Earlier, on 11 May, Rai had sought to turn approver, saying he wanted to “disclose all truths” as he had taken part in Sheena’s killing by strangulation and was present at the time of the murder in 2012.

Recording his statement before a special CBI court then, Rai had said he was under “no pressure, threat or coercion” to reveal the facts in the case and was “repentant” about his act.

Rai was the first accused to be arrested in the Sheena Bora murder case in August 2015.

Vanamahotsav 2016-17: Maharashtra starts green drive with two crore sapling plantation

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Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal score high in Modi govt review, Healthy Ministry in bad health: Reports

Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal are among the top performing ministers in the Narendra Modi govt’s review meeting reveals NDTV.According to the report, the economics affairs secretary presented an update on each ministry’s work, and each ministry had submitted their presentation to the economics affairs secretary. The exercise reportedly lasted five hours, and comes before an expected cabinet reshuffle next week. Modi reportedly told ministers they need to work harder and this process will be repeated every three months. The PM reportedly said:<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The government has been announcing good schemes but the “doot” messengers (ministers and lawmakers) have not been able to take it to the public.” Under-performers included health, and the PM made it clear he would like faster progress for state-run hospitals and wants more AIIMS-like institutes across the nation. He also pulled up the telecom ministry and urge them to improve connectivity and deal with call-drops urgently. It’s believed that Goyal will be given a promotion.Earlier party sources had played down significance of the ‘review meeting’, saying such an exercise, which is also attended often by Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj, happens almost every month.There has been a strong buzz in the party for some time about a reshuffle. Uttar Pradesh, which goes to polls early next year, is likely to get more representation besides Assam, whose Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was a Union Minister before he returned to lead the state government.Sources had said that the reshuffle was on the cards with just around a month to go for the monsoon session of Parliament. They also said the current reshuffle will focus on Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab with around eight new faces expected from these three states. PM also had a detailed meet with Amit Shah on Wednesday, before attending the review meet. The top portfolios though are expected to remain unchanged in this round of cabinet reshuffle. With agency inputs

Two birds, one stone: Gadkari’s masterplan to save the environment and generate employment

Plantation drive on 1 lakh km of highways under the National Green Highways Mission will create jobs for 10 lakh youth and prove to be a game-changer for the rural economy, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday.Kick-starting the initial plantation drive on 1,500 km of National Highways at a cost of about Rs 300 crore, the Road Transport and Highways Minister said it is a unique venture and the government welcomed “start-ups” to join it unlike other programmes where prior experience is a must.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under the mission, the government plans to provide ‘green canopy’ on NHs at an estimated cost of Rs 5,000 crore, which is 1% of the road construction cost of Rs 5 lakh crore till 2019, and may link it with NREGA to boost the rural economy. “We will soon take up the length of National Highways to 2 lakh km from about 1 lakh km and plantation along these is our responsibility. Converting one km of highway into green provides employment to 10 people and today, we launched scheme for 1,500 km which will employ 15,000 people,” the minister said at an event here to mark the launch of the plantation drive.Ten states are already on board with the Centre in the initial phase, besides NGOs and other bodies, including four start-ups which will be given the job of greening highways of 10 km each initially. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has adopted NH 31 for plantation and maintenance of trees. Besides, Coal India and other such bodies have shown willingness. Gadkari said plantation will be accomplished on 3,000 km of national highways by the end of July.”Highways aside from environmental and aesthetic aspects have a huge potential to generate jobs and can prove to be a game-changer for agriculture and rural economy. It may even be linked with the NREGA scheme,” the highways minister said.Under the framework, the government has made it mandatory to set aside 1% of the total project cost of any NH contract to a Green Fund corpus for plantation. Calling upon government and private agencies to join hands under the initiative, Gadkari also said only serious players need to come forward as the projects will be monitored through satellite technology with payments to be made only after successful implementation.A combined effortAn app to monitor real-time progress of the plantation drive and plants was also launched on the occasion. Yes Bank was the knowledge partner for the project. Of the 10 states that joined hands for plantation, Haryana signed agreement for 415 km, Jammu & Kashmir for 100 km, Telangana for 150 km, Andhra Pradesh for 360 km, Madhya Pradesh for 150 km, and Assam for 50 km.So far, the government has roped in 22 agencies and will scale up the drive soon. Talking about environmental benefits that will flow from greening of highways, the minister said, “The afforestation will help in sequestering approximately 12 lakh mt carbon annually.”Gadkari said, “We are confident that the green highways project will go a long way in reinforcing India’s commitment made in CoP 21 summit for reducing carbon emissions up to 35% by 2030 from 2005 levels and develop additional carbon sink of 2.5 billion tonnes through green cover outside forests.”He said that unfortunately, not much emphasis was given on the greening of highways earlier. “Farmers can join hands with the government under this initiative and open their nursery. Wasteland will be converted into green forest,” the minister said.He said a pilot project to provide a canopy of bamboo on “one-km highway stretch” in Nagpur is also being planned. He also said the government plans to set up 1,300 roadside amenities which will house restaurants, washrooms and helipads and have local cuisine and cultural parks to showcase local produce.NHAI Chairman Raghav Chandra said: “We have set aside 1% of our project cost for transplantation, plantation, beautification and maintenance.” He added that 10 start-ups have initially shown interest. The programme will be replicated on non-NHAI roads as well, according to Highways Secretary Sanjay Mitra.The Green Highways Mission Director AK Bhattacharyya said initially PwC, IOC and Coal India have shown interest to adopt some highways.

Air India flight hits aerobridge, passengers escape unhurt

Mumbai: Around 330 passengers and crew members of an Air India (AI) flight from Riyadh to Mumbai escaped unhurt on Friday after the plane hit the aerobridge upon landing.

Some ground operators were injured in the mishap that caused partial damage on the aircraft’s left engine, an official said.

The mishap at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport triggered a blame game between AI and airport authorities.

File photo. PTI.File photo. PTI.

File photo of an Air India flight. PTI.

While no passengers or crew were injured due to the accident, some ground operators were injured, a Mumbai airport spokesperson said, adding the incident, involving a Boeing 777-300 ER plane, happened at around 3.20 pm.

Confirming the accident with flight AI 922, an airline official said the left engine sustained a minor bump and will be sent for inspection. The aircraft, which had around 330 passengers and crew members on-board, has been towed away to the hangar.

The national carrier blamed the airport personnel for the accident.

“AI 922 Riyadh-Mumbai flight hit the aerobridge (used by passengers to board a plane) while parking at the arrival bay. The accident happened because the guidance system of MIAL (Mumbai International Airport) displayed wrong information.

“Due to this wrong information, which is not compatible with this model of aircraft, the left engine of aircraft got into contact with the parked aerobridge,” an Air India official said.

But the airport spokesperson vehemently denied their role in the incident. “The accident has nothing to do with the guidance system of MIAL. The aircraft was being marshalled/guided by Air India staff during which it collided with the aerobridge. The aircraft suffered some minor damage.”

The MIAL said the accident did not lead to any disruption of operations at the airport, one of the busiest in the country.

MEA justifies India’s stance to abstain as UN appoints LGBT rights watchdog

India has abstained at the UN Human Rights Council voting in Geneva to appoint an independent expert to look into cases of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, a resolution which was passed by a narrow margin.In a 23-18 vote with six abstentions, the 47-member Human Rights Council on Thursday called for the creation of a three-year position for an independent expert to look into wrongdoing against gays, lesbians and transgender people. Defending India’s decision, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup in New Delhi said India took the decision considering the “legal” reality in the country.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The issue of LGBT rights in India is a matter being considered by the Supreme Court (SC) under a batch of curative petitions filed by various institutions and organisations. The SC is yet to pronounce on this issue.”As such we had to take this into account in terms of our vote on the the UN resolution to institutionalise the office of an independent expert to prevent discrimination against the LGBT persons,” Swarup told reporters.The expert is expected to be appointed at the next meeting of the Geneva-based body in September.The resolution was strongly supported by Latin America and the West, while many African and Middle Eastern countries joined China to vote against it. The expert’s duties will include assessing international human rights laws, raising awareness of violence based on sexual orientation and engaging in dialogue with member states and other stakeholders.The decision to create the post comes weeks after Afghan-origin Omar Mateen massacred 49 people at a gay bar in Orlando, Florida.

PM Modi to embark on Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya visit from July 7

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a five-day visit to Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya beginning July 7, with an aim to further deepen India’s engagement with the resource-rich African continent where China has been expanding its influence.The Prime Minister’s visit comes within weeks after President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari travelled to Africa to strengthen and reinvigorate India’s ties. “The visit will provide opportunities to build on close contacts at the highest political level and enhance mutual cooperation and understanding on major issues of common interests,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s current trade with Africa is around US $75 billion and it has granted a whopping US $7.4 billion for various developmental and capacity building projects in the past four years. India has implemented nearly 140 projects in 41 African countries during the period.
ALSO READ After President Mukherjee, PM Modi likely to visit African countriesModi’s first destination will be Mozambique where he will have bilateral discussions with President Nyusi on July 7 to expand existing cooperation. In the second leg of his tour from July 8 to 9, Modi will be in South Africa where he will have meetings with President Jacob Zuma and other senior leaders across the political spectrum.The Prime Minister is also expected to visit Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg and Durban during the visit, Swarup said. India’s ties with South Africa is considered crucial and both countries work closely in various multilateral fora like BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa), tripartite grouping IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa), G-20 and BASIC, a bloc of four large countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China.
ALSO READ President Mukherjee wraps up three-nation tour to Africa, returns todayOn July 10, the Prime Minister will have meetings with Tanzanian President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli on a range of areas with an aim to further enhance mutual cooperation and understanding on major issues of common interest, said Swarup. On the final leg of his trip, Modi will travel to Kenya where he will have bilateral discussions with President Kenyatta.The Prime Minister will also address students in the University of Nairobi during the visit. “The visit of the Prime Minister to the African mainland reflects India’s desire to further strengthen and reinvigorate bilateral ties with our African partners,” said Swarup.
ALSO READ India keen to make Morocco its economic hub for Africa: Vice President AnsariIndia had organised a four-day-long summit here with African countries in October last year which was attended by representatives of 54 African nations, including heads of state and government of around 40 countries.

Sartaj Aziz alleges India ‘avoiding dialogue’, MEA says ready to talk in terror-free atmosphere

With Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz asserting that New Delhi was avoiding dialogue with Islamabad, India on Friday responded strongly saying that it has never shied away from any engagement with the hostile neighbour and is prepared to discuss any issue in an atmosphere free from terror and violence.”As far as the comments of Sartaj Aziz are concerned, I would say that India has never ever shied away from any engagement with Pakistan and is prepared to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan bilaterally, in an atmosphere free from terror and violence,” Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Vikas Swarup told the media here.Asserting that it was India which has repeatedly taken initiatives to engage with Pakistan, Swarup added that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who first invited his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony in 2014.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’Thereafter, it was again the External Affairs Minister, who travelled to Pakistan in December 2015 and held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia conference which led to the decision to start a comprehensive bilateral dialogue with Pakistan,’ he said. Adding that it was Prime Minister Modi who yet again took the decision to travel to Lahore on a very short notice on December 25 last year, Swarup stated that Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar was prepared to go to Pakistan in the first half of January this year to hold initial discussions on the modalities of the comprehensive bilateral dialogue, but the Pathankot incident intervened.”After that incident of Pathankot, it was a natural and legitimate acceptation of both the governments and the people of India, that there should be concrete action from Pakistan which has not denied of the involvement of its nationals in the attack,”Swarup added. Following Prime Minister Modi’s statement where he placed the onus of stalled talks on Pakistan, Sartaj Aziz claimed that New Delhi was avoiding dialogue with Islamabad to avoid negotiations on crucial issues such as Kashmir. Quoting Radio Pakistan, the Dawn reported Aziz stressed that it was India and not Pakistan who was backing away from dialogues. He said that Pakistan had plans for extensive talks with India on issues such as Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, economic cooperation, trade, visas and the detainment of fishermen, amongst others.Aziz also alleged that the Indian Army had rejected an earlier agreement regarding Siachen between the two governments, as they had “stakes” in the glacier. In a recent interview to Times Now, Prime Minister Modi had said that due to his diplomatic efforts, India was not reluctant to engage with Pakistan. “Our approach has created difficulties for Pakistan, and they find it hard to respond on the matter in the international community,” he said.The Prime Minister also claimed there are “different types of forces operating in Pakistan”, and asked in a rhetoric fashion if one has to draw a line or set conditions for dialogue, will it be “with the elected government or other actors'” The dialogue between the hostile neighbours hit a major roadblock after the attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot in January.

No Boko Haram role in abduction of two Indians in Nigeria: Government

India on Friday ruled out involvement of terror group Boko Haram in the abduction of two Indians from Gboko, a town in the Benue state of north-central Nigeria, and said it appears that “local criminals” were involved.The duo -Mangipudi Sai Srinivas (from Andhara Pradesh) and his colleague Anish Sharma (from Karnataka)- were travelling to Dangote Cement Plc Plant in a car from their residential quarters around 7.20 pm on Wednesday when a group of armed men kidnapped them at a traffic signal.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I have obtained a detailed report on the two Indian nationals Sai Srinivas and Anish Sharma who have been abducted in Nigeria. I have … spoken to Mrs.Lalita Srinivas. I have assured her that we are doing everything to secure their release,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup described the abduction as “nothing surprising or new in that area”, saying such incidents keep happening there. Asserting that there has been no ransom demand so far, the Spokesperson said, “As far as our information goes there is no hand of terror group Boko Haram and it seems local criminal elements were responsible for the act.”He also said Indian mission in Abuja was in touch with Nigerian authorities in the matter and the ministry was hopeful that they will return safely. Asked about the status of another abductee Judith D’Souza, an Indian aid worker, who was kidnapped in Afghanistan last month, Swarup said during a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Tashkent on the sidelines of SCO Summit last week, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani assured that his security and intelligence agencies were making all efforts for her safe release.In this regard, the Spokesperson once again reiterated government’s advisory asking all citizens not to undertake “non-essential” travel to disturbed areas.

Hyderabad terror arrests signal deepening roots of Islamic State in India

Recent arrests of Hyderabad-based youths by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with their links to the Islamic State, signal the deepening presence of Islamic terror organisations in the country. In the recent years, the terror organisation has had a visible change in its operative strategy in the recent years to use internet to attract youth.

The NIA, on Wednesday, took 11 persons into custody after identifying them as Islamic State operatives.

“They came under the scanner after behavioural changes were noticed in them. On the basis of information passed on by the locals, the NIA kept a tab on their activities”, The Hindu quoted an official as saying.

More worryingly, those arrested were also found to be in possession of ammonium nitrate and other chemicals that are used in making highly destructive IEDs, The Hindustan Times reported.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The development is also critical since at least two of those detained were engineering graduates while one is believed to be a management graduate. Their handler, Yusuf al-Hindi, is reported to be in Syria.

Add to it, the city of Hyderabad is increasingly becoming the terror back office of India.

Besides the Islamic State, in the last few years, militants belonging to Islamic terror outfits such as Lashkar and SIMI have also been caught in Hyderabad.

Building a homegrown breed of militants seems to be the new strategy of the terror outfit. Up till now, 54 suspected IS sympathisers have been arrested across India. The prospect of “freelance jihadists” is worrying intelligence agencies.

“ISIS modules being set up in India is more dangerous than some youth wanting to travel to Syria,” a counter-terror official was quoted by the India Today as saying.

In January this year, the NIA arrested six suspected IS sympathisers from across the country. Union Home Ministry officials also believed that they might have been radicalised online, The Hindu reported.

The report also added that several low intensity explosives, detonators, wires, batteries and hydrogen peroxide and other material that can be assembled into IEDs.

The Islamic State has repeatedly invoked the 2002 Gujarat riots, Babri demolition, Kashmir and the 2013 Muzzafarnagar riots to incite Muslims to revolt against the dispensation. In a video released in May this year, the Syria-based terror group for the first time trained its guns against New Delhi.

“We will return,but with a sword in hand, to avenge the Babri Masjid, and the killings of Muslims in Kashmir, in Gujarat, and in Muzaffarnagar”, Aman Tandel, a Mumbai based student who escaped to Syria was seen threatening.

According to Intelligence Agencies, six Indian nationals have been killed in Iraq and Syria. A total of 23 Indians have gone to Syria, while only two of them have returned.

No FIR on complaint against Salman Khurshid, PK Bansal in abuse of office case

The CBI told a special court on Friday that it has not registered any FIR against Congress leaders and former ministers Salman Khurshid and PK Bansal for allegedly abusing their official positions to ensure extension of service of a PSU official after his superannuation.The agency made the submission before the court of Special CBI judge Vinod Kumar in its status report sought by the court earlier on a petition. The plea had sought registration of an FIR against both the politicians and several other officials of the Ministry of Water Resources and A K Jhamb, then Director (Engineering) National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC) Ltd.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In its report, the probe agency submitted on Friday that prima facie, the allegations against the accused persons did not warrant registration of an FIR. The court has now fixed July 20 for considering the status report filed by the agency.The court had passed the directions on the complaint filed by a former Assistant Engineer (Civil) of NPCC. The court had sought CBI’s response saying “perusal of the entire record shows that complainant had filed a complaint dated April 29, 2015, with the same allegation to Director, CBI. Therefore, it is necessary to know from CBI” He has claimed that “at the instance of Jhamb, the accused persons hatched a conspiracy to abuse their official positions and got Jhamb’s tenure as a Director (Engg) with M/s NPCC Ltd extended beyond March 31, 2011 (Jhamb’s retirement age)… despite earlier rejection of the plea by Public Enterprises Selection Board.””In view of the above facts and circumstances…it is requested to order to register proper FIR against the accused persons…,” the complaint said.

BJP all for uniform civil code, calls for open debate

New Delhi: BJP on Wednesday batted for a uniform civil code in the wake of the government asking the Law Commission to examine the issue with the party saying that it has been opposed due to vote bank politics despite finding a mention in the Constitution.

Representational image. Image courtesy. News18Representational image. Image courtesy. News18

Representational image. Image courtesy. News18

“There should be an open debate over it. The Constitution calls for it and those who oppose it only show their intolerance to the Constitution. We have always advocated it. There should be uniform civil code. It has been opposed due to vote bank politics,” party’s National Secretary Shrikant Sharma said.

Implementation of a uniform civil code has long been a core principle of the party and the Sangh Parivar but it, besides other contentious demands like scrapping Article 370 and building Ram temple, was kept out of the first NDA government’s agenda.

The Modi government has asked the Law Commission to examine the issue of uniform civil code.

518 Indians currently languishing in Pakistan jails

ndia and Pakistan exchanged the list of each other’s nationals lodged in their jails on Friday, with the latest figures showing that a total of 518 Indian prisoners, including 463 fishermen, are languishing in Pakistani prisons.”India and Pakistan today exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the lists of nationals (including civil prisoners and fishermen) of each country lodged in the jails of the other country consistent with the provisions of the Agreement on Consular Access,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Pakistan government handed over a list of 518 Indian prisoners, including 463 fishermen and 55 others, lodged in Pakistan’s jails to the High Commission of India in Islamabad, the Pakistan Foreign Office said.India and Pakistan are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody on January 1 and July 1 every year in accordance with provisions of the Agreement on Consular Access signed by the two countries on May 21, 2008.India today said it “remains committed to addressing, on priority with Pakistan, humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country.””In this context, we await confirmation of nationality of those from Pakistan who are otherwise eligible for release and repatriation and consular access to those Indian nationals in Pakistan’s custody for whom it has so far not been provided,” it said.

Modi govt claiming Delhi govt’s achievements as its own: Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday accused the Narendra Modi government of claiming AAP government’s “achievements” as its own in an advertisement on the ‘Make in India’ campaign.Kejriwal’s fresh salvo against Modi came following an ad released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry that was splashed across newspapers on Friday. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Modi govt counts Del Govt’s achievements as its own,” Kejriwal tweeted. Several AAP leaders also took jibes at the BJP government over the ad. The ad on ‘Doing Business in India: Made Easier At Every Step’ listed a series of measures taken towards ensuring ease of business.The steps listed under the section ‘Delhi’ included the facility of registration of VAT without the need for field verification by VAT inspectors through Delhi VAT Sewa App. “All sub-registrar offices have been digitised and records have been integrated with the land records department… Unified building Bye-laws has been notified,” were among the nine initiatives under the section on Delhi.AAP leader Ashish Khetan tweeted: “Modi ji can take all the credit, if that is what he wants. But please allow @ArvindKejriwal Govt to work.”In May, the DIPP had issued a statement listing similar steps towards facilitating ease of doing business. Centre had said it is “working conjointly” with state governments in Delhi and Maharashtra to improve India’s rank to top 50 in ease of doing business.

Good News! Private sector women employees may get 26-week maternity leave

All establishments, including in private sector, will have to provide 26-week maternity leave to their women employees under a new bill, which the government plans to push in the upcoming Monsoon Session, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said on Friday. While there is already a provision of 26-week or six- month maternity leave for the government employees, most private sector firms offer maximum three months of such leave. Besides, these benefits are not provided at all in many smaller establishments.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, the Minister said the new Maternity Benefit Bill, which seeks to enhance maternity leave to 26 weeks from existing 12 weeks, will be shortly taken up by the Cabinet for approval and the Ministry will push it for passage in the Monsoon session of Parliament. He, however, appeared to rule out making it mandatory to provide work-from-home option to the working mothers.
ALSO READ Maneka Gandhi wants working women to get 8 months maternity leave “There are certain establishments where they can get (the permission to work from home). But in other establishments they will get the facility of (26 weeks maternity leave) after amendment in the Act,” Dattatreya said.He was replying to a query about the steps being taken by his Ministry to promote the concept of work from home to increase women participation in the workforce. Asked about the paternity leave and other benefits for fathers, the Minister said, “The Bill is about mothers and children. It is not about the men.”
ALSO READ Good news! Tata Teleservices to give 6-month maternity leave to women employeesThe Minister also said that the model law that allows shops, malls and cinema halls, among other establishments, to run 24×7 throughout the year will increase women participation in the workforce as it allows them to work in night shits. “The is a pro-women law. Besides, it will help in employment generation. This will help increase women participation in the workforce,” the Minister said.The Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016, was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday. “The law also allows women to work in night (shifts).. There is provision for all facilities for women like drinking water, lavatory, creche, first aid and security,” he said.
ALSO READ Bharti Airtel nearly doubles maternity leave to 22 weeksThe Model law also provides for creches if the establishment has 30 women/50 workers. While adopting the model law, the states can modify it as per their requirements.

After Modi’s criticism, Swamy promises to tweet less and focus on Ram Temple, National Herald

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, whose tweets have not gone down well with the party leadership, indicated on Friday that he will be less active on his favourite media platform for a week to “concentrate” on cases involving Ram Temple, National Herald and Aircel Maxis.He, however, also made a tweet over India’s GDP calculation that raised a few eyebrows. “If I apply Samuelson-Swamy Theory of Index Numbers to India’s GDP calculation or RBI interests rates, media will scream anti-party activity!” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A few hours later, he tweeted, “Now Ram Temple, NH, impleading in Swami Dayananda’s WP in SC, Aircel Maxis, CSK ban etc requires me to concentrate. So few tweets for 1 week.” He also took a dig at journalists.”I filed 2G Scam case, lawyers made a lot of money defending the crooks. Now because of my tweets, presstitutes raking in cash in trucks!!”One of his tweets was over the killing of a Hindu priest in Bangladesh. “It is painful to see daily murder of Hindu priests and activists in B’Desh. Hindu blood was shed to liberate these barbarians to create B’Desh,” he said.

West Bengal: BSF troops seize cattle on Indo-Bangladesh border of Malda district

The Border Security Force (BSF) troops seized as many as 1200 cattle from Sobhapur near Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal’s Malda district. The operation was carried out on Thursday late night amidst the special drive launched by the BSF against the smuggling of cattle across the international border.Sources in the BSF reveal that this huge consignment, comprising a huge number of cattle, was on its way to Bangladesh ahead of the Eid celebrations in that country. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“Our operation lasted the entire night and on several raids that were conducted, we managed to seize as many as 1200 cattle. The 36th battalion of the BSF carried out this operation around the Sobhapur BOP area,” said a BSF spokesperson. A day ago, the BSF troops had seized a huge cache of fake currency (FICN) from the same district. Considering these two incidents, the BSF has issued operational guidelines to further strengthen border domination so as to effectively check the menace of smuggling and activities of anti-national elements. On the other hand, troops and field commanders have been asked to maintain extra vigil on the border.

Stone-pelting near Jamia Masjid on Juma’at-ul-Vida in Kashmir

Srinagar: Mobs indulged in stone-pelting near the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar as also in parts of Sopore and Kupwara on Friday, on a day Kashmir was celebrating Juma’at-ul-Vida, the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadhan.

Barring these incidents, the festival was celebrated with religious fervor, with lakhs of devotees including men, women and children thronging mosques, shrines and Khankahs across the Kashmir valley to offer congregational prayers braving scorching summer heat.

Shortly after Friday prayers, mobs of youth resorted to stone-pelting near the Jamia Masjid and adjoining areas of Srinagar, leading to clashes with law enforcing agencies, officials said.

Police fired teargas shells and used batons to disperse the stone-pelting protesters to restore the law and order,
they said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The clashes near Jamia masjid and adjoining areas were continuing when last reports were received, they said.

Similar incidents were reported from main chowk in Sopore in Baramulla district as well as in Kupwara town but there was no immediate report of any causality, the officials said.

Earlier, Jamia Masjid witnessed the highest gathering where over 50,000 devotees offered the prayers, the officials said.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is also Chairman of separatist Hurriyat Conference, addressed the gathering before the
prayers.

The second highest gathering in the city was recorded at the holy shrine of Hazratbal on the banks of Dal Lake where over 25,000 people including women and children offered prayers and had a glimpse of the holy relic of the last prophet of Islam (PBUH) enshrined there.

All the mosques, shrines and Khankahs across the valley were jam packed and forced the management of these religious places to temporarily arrange mats on the roads to cope with the heavy rush of devotees.

People were seen offering prayers in open under the scorching sun. The Kashmir valley is going through hot summer days over the past one week with the Maximum temperature in Srinagar settling at season’s high of 34.4 degrees Celsius – three degrees above normal during this part of the season, on Thursday.

Modi government considering implementing Uniform Civil Code: Sources

In perhaps the biggest move since it came to power, the central government is mulling the introduction of the Uniform Civil Code and has asked the law commission to submit a report to see if implementation is viable in the near future, reports News 18. Responding to the demand, the law commission has promised to consult stakeholders and political parties before taking a decision. Commission head Balbir Singh Chauhan said he would speak to the stakeholders before submitting a report. Sources however admit the decision would be difficult given the upcoming the UP election in 2017.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to India Today, Law Minister Sadananda Gowda asked the chairman of the panel to examine the issue of implementation. He said: “We have to consult with all the stakeholders about this. The Uniform Civil Code was in the agenda of the BJP too. The question (on its implementation) has been asked so many times in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.” A top BJP leader told India Today, “Unless there is consensus, nothing will happen.”Article 44 of the Indian Constitution says:44. Uniform civil code for the citizens The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of IndiaWhat is Uniform Civil Code?Article 44 of the constitution of India lists Uniform Civil Code as one of the Directive Principles of state policy. Directive Principles of State policy, which comprises the Part IV of the Constitution of India, are guidelines for the State and Central governments to help them in framing laws and policies. The BJP had promised to implement the UCC in its election manifesto in 2015. However, these Directive Principles “shall not be enforceable by any court, but the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws”, according to Article 37 of the Constitution which talks about the application of the Principles contained in Part IV.Read more…

Amarnath Yatra: Rajnath Singh to visit Jammu and Kashmir to review security arrangements

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visit Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the security arrangements for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra on Friday.As per reports, the Home Minister had yesterday chaired a high-level meeting during which he discussed the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had earlier this month conducted mock exercises at Baltal and Pahalgam base camps to assess the preparedness and response mechanism of all those involved in management of the Yatra.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first mock exercise, which was conducted along the route from Baltal in Ganderbal district between June 23 to 25, dealt with simulated scenarios involving a cloudburst and a fire. The second mock exercise was conducted along the camp sites on the Chandanwari route from June 26-28 and covered both natural as well as man-made disasters.After the drills, post-exercise analysis was carried out by the NDMA experts in which they discussed the entire operation and underlined the areas that needed improvement. The annual Amarnath Yatra to the cave shrine in south Kashmir will begin from July 2.

#IThankMyDoctor trends on twitter on National Doctors’ day

On 1 July, Friday, India celebrates National Doctors’ Day honouring the legendary physician and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. He was also awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1961.

Millions of twitter users on Friday, in India expressed their gratitude to their doctors using the now trending hashtag #IThankMyDoctor.

Here are some of the tweets celebrating National Doctors’ day:

She the people.tv paid tribute to Dr. Saroj Sanan in her fight against drug addiction.

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi tweeted about India’s first woman physician.

While some called their doctors ‘gods’, others lauded their doctors over their strong commitment to their patients.

Some tweets chose to be funny instead, in order to mark the occasion.

As doctors become the heroes of the day, other professionals rallied for their profession too.

Jammu and Kashmir Deputy CM flags-off first batch of Amarnath Yatris

Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh flagged-off first batch of 1282 Amarnath Yatris, who left for the holy cave shrine from Jammu amid tight security on Friday morning. The batch of pilgrims, comprising of 900 men, 225 women and 13 children, left from Bhagwati Nagar at 5 a.m.The authorities have made elaborate arrangements for boarding and lodging of yatris in Jammu and other parts of the State.Jammu and other parts of the State. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will today visit Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the security arrangements for the Amarnath Yatra.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had earlier this month conducted mock exercises at Baltal and Pahalgam base camps to assess the preparedness and response mechanism of all those involved in management of the Yatra. The pilgrims will reach the base camps of Nunwan Pahalgam in Anantnag District and Baltal in Ganderbal District this evening.

Irrfan Khan: Bollywood actor criticised over Islam remarks

Muslim clerics criticise Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan over his controversial statement about the practice of animal sacrifice in Islam.

From Pampore to Infinity: Why India must exploit Pakistan’s fault-lines

Much has been written, said and debated about the recent ambush of a CRPF convoy in Pamporev – killing eight and seriously injuring 22. How many times Pampore has been mentioned in such notorious setting in the last 27 years of terrorism in J&K is anybody’s guess.

Incidentally, the first time when a vehicle was blown up in an IED (improvised explosive device) attack, it was an army one-ton vehicle travelling from Khrew to Srinagar, in 1990, in which an army JCO lost his legs. Now, as back then, the usual blame game is on.

A Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) version of the incident quoted in a prominent magazine read, “While Road Opening Party (RoP) duties are of the CRPF, it is the Army’s duty to dominate the area and protect the corridor. There were lapses at multiple levels, both by the CRPF and the Army, mainly in the Army’s area of domination and corridor protection,”

File photo of Indian PM Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. PTIFile photo of Indian PM Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. PTI

File photo of Indian PM Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. PTI

“The stretch where the CRPF bus came under attack was completely unprotected. The bus got separated from the main convoy for a few minutes. That was time enough for terrorists to target it.”

According to a CRPF official, “The army mine protected vehicle (MPV) response was delayed”. So on and so forth.

According to the media, more MPVs are to be sent to J&K. The home minister is to visit J&K in the aftermath of the Pampore ambush. Statements have been made that the terrorists are feeling frustrated and want to keep the pressure up, and that the army is free to “react” in any manner.

Media has also flashed that the army is to conduct RoP duties – whether this is indeed an official direction which applies to the entire stretch of roads in troubled part of J&K, in addition to area under domination, is unclear. There have been plenty articles on the ambush, some suggesting that the convoy timings be reviewed, CI/CT (Counter-terrorism/Counter-insurgency) command structure be reviewed (actual unity of command instead of Unified Command), and highlighting the need for reviewing tactics; some suggesting that the Mehbooba government is taking baby steps to denounce terror, and the likes.

There are discussions on social media as as well about the need for cross-border raid(s) – like against two terrorist camps in Myanmar. One scholar has commented that the removal of bunkers close to roads in face of public protests (orchestrated by terrorists?) has increased the chances of terrorist strikes. All these recommendations and comments are germane to dealing with the issue undoubtedly.

However, two issues talked about by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his interview to Arnab Goswami are also significantly relevant in the above context: First, the PM reflected aloud as to who should India talk to in Pakistan about the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ (read red lines) with respect to terrorism; will it be the elected government or with other actors. He also said that because of this India will have to be on the alert all the time.

Second, on the issue of terrorism, Modi said that, ‘the world never bought India’s theory on terrorism. They would sometimes dismiss it by saying that it’s your law and order problem. Today, the world has to accept what India has been saying about terrorism. India’s dialogue on terrorism, the losses India has suffered due to terrorism, the losses suffered by humanity, the world is now acknowledging that.’ What the Prime Minister said reflects the ground reality, but it needs to be examined more closely if we indeed want to change from our current CI-CT policies, and method of countering proxy wars being waged on us by our opponents.

In the above context, India must acknowledge the following ground realities that are likely to remain unchanged:

One, the Pakistani military’s control over their country is increasing by the day – the entire parliament meeting at Rawalpindi in the Army HQ being just one indication; Pakistani military ‘must’ continue to sponsor terror and persisting confrontation with India and Afghanistan in order to remain in power and make billions – the namesake democracy remains powerless; Pakistani military has bartered the country’s sovereignty, and not only for economic gains; to say that terrorists are getting demoralized is fooling ourselves considering that just eight to ten terrorists striking Charlie Hebdo shook entire Europe – and Pakistan is hatching thousands, if not millions, of radicals annually.

And, with Pakistan willingly providing China a lifeline to the Indian Ocean, China will wilfully partner Pakistan in terrorism, even nuclear terrorism – with Pakistan assisting China against Uyghurs in Xinjiang and whitewashing China’s genocide in Xinjiang in exchange for China’s help in whitewashing the Pakistani genocide in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan – you scratch mine and I scratch yours; the US administration continues to back the Pakistani military – witness recent US announcement of $800 million aid to Pakistan simultaneous to Pakistan granting Rs 300 million to Darul Haqqania madrassa (University of Jihad) for the year 2016-2017 – Mullah Mansour Akhtar and Sirajuddin Haqqani being two of its prominent products.

There have been three major terrorist strikes in J&K on CRPF and BSF in the past five months (twice in Pampore), killing 15 security personnel. Whether there will be any incidents during the Amarnath Yatra that kicked off on Friday, is yet to be seen.

Sure, a review of all CI-CT measures including command and control, intelligence, timings of move, need for security bunkers etc must be reviewed, but is that all that needs to be addressed when cross-border terrorism is being sponsored by Pakistan, or shall we say China-Pakistan since China too is pumping in money to fuel terrorism in J&K?

The mere fact that China backed Pakistan is again demanding more evidence in the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks clearly indicates that there can be no improvement from the Pakistani side irrespective of the false solace we are drawing from gloating that Pakistan stands isolated and no one can blame India for not trying for peace – the blame is entirely on Pakistan.

But, does this change the ground situation in any way? Is Pakistan really “isolated” with China completely supporting her protégé – with PLA (People’s Liberation Army) inducted into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), with three army divisions eventually to be deployed, and the US looking the other way?

“I continued to advocate for an aggressive and proactive counter and forward intelligence thrust against Pakistan. My voice was rarely heard and mostly ignored. The Pakistani establishment is a geopolitical bully. The best response to blunt such a bully is to take the war inside his home. India has allowed itself to be blackmailed by Pakistan even before it went nuclear,” wrote MK Dhar, former Joint Director, Intelligence Bureau, in his book ‘Open Secrets – India’s intelligence unveiled’, published in 2005, 11 years ago.

“The sabre rattling of ‘coercive diplomacy’, which is nothing but sterile military power, cannot convince the Islamist Pakistani Establishment that India can take the border skirmishes inside their homes and hit at the very roots of the jaundiced Islamist groups”, Dhar wrote.

Merely saying that the army is free to ‘respond’ is pointless – unless we are content with artillery barrages or an odd tactical level raid to satisfy egos momentarily. Army’s existing sub-conventional doctrine with its much publicised cliché of ‘iron fist in velvet glove’ is totally inward looking.

Pakistan has co-located her terrorist training facilities with army establishments saying any strike on these would be considered an act of war. But then today’s war is at sub-conventional level and while conventional strikes remain an option, best will be getting hold of the numerous fault-lines of our opponents and exploiting them as deterrents.

This must be done through covert politico-military missions at the strategic level controlled by the highest political authority – the prime minister. In the absence of this, we can continue to remain in the current state of Parkinson’s from Pampore to infinity. Hiding behind the Emperor’s clothes of doing much cross-border does not match with the happenings on the ground.

(The author is a veteran Lieutenant General)

Rajasthan Women’s Commission member Somya Gurjar resigns after clicking selfie with rape victim

On Thursday, Somya Gurjar, the Rajasthan Women’s Commission member, who posted a selfie with a rape victim, resigned after facing flak on social media platforms and in political circles for her actions. According to a report by NDTV, Gurjar was also reprimanded by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

The selfie clicked by Gurjar with the rape victim courted controversy, prompting the chairperson of the commission to seek a written explanation. Interestingly, the chairperson Suman Sharma is also in the selfie, along with Somya Gurjar.

Photo credit: Twitter @CNNnews18Photo credit: Twitter @CNNnews18

A file photo of Somya Gurjar clicking a selfie with the rape victim. Photo credit: Twitter @CNNnews18

The selfie was clicked by Gurjar on Wednesday, when she along with Sharma had gone to meet the victim in Mahila police station (Jaipur North).

“I was talking to the victim when the member of the commission clicked these selfies. I am not aware when she (Somya Gurjar) clicked. I do not favour such act and has sought a written explanation from her. She has been asked to submit the explanation by tomorrow,” Sharma said.

Interestingly, two pictures, in which Gurjar is seen clicking the selfie, went viral on WhatsApp. Both Gurjar and Sharma are in the frame of the selfie, and pictures (of the selfie) were clicked by someone standing near them in the chamber of the police officer.

In the pictures, Gurjar is seen holding the mobile device, while the chairperson, who is also in the frame (of the selfie) is seen holding the hand of the victim.

In an incident at Alwar district, a 30-year-old woman was allegedly raped by her husband and his two brothers who tattooed expletives on her forehead and hand for not giving Rs 51,000 as the dowry.

On Monday, an FIR was registered under sections of 498-A (Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act), 376 (punishment for rape) and 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) of IPC and an investigation in the case has been initiated.

With inputs from PTI

Ola, Uber! Improve your service instead of using nationalism as a shield

You know civilisation is in danger when cab companies in your country go to war. We have Ola and Uber now declaring open hostilities on that rickety but for some reason suddenly popular soapbox called nationalism. So many people are clambering onto it there is no room left.

Fighting against each other. Image courtesy News18Fighting against each other. Image courtesy News18

Fighting against each other. Image courtesy News18

Ola accused Uber of being a foreign company and disobeying the laws of the land. Okay, and then Uber accused Ola of being funded by foreign companies or the other way around and the top bosses are writing these painfully garbled messages that no one quite understands. It is better to remind that they are cab companies and not the IMF or the World Bank.

And isn’t getting foreign investment all about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trips abroad and his staying awake 20 hours a day and inviting the world to make in India.

And, instead of going to court against each other, why not just compete in giving us folks a better deal. Prima donnas on wheels.

I confess I am not an authority on cabs in that if I need one I call for one and then wait nervously for it to show up. Else, I hail one and then do the standard quiz questions giving him my blood group, my PAN card number, my destination, my college degree, my s**t eating servile grin and then wait nervously while he decides whether to take me or not.

Most often not.

I also attract the most surly, unfriendly, rude (are you getting the drift) drivers in all of cab-land and therefore my relationship with the industry is tenuous at best.

That said, let’s go back to the battlefield. Why either should worry about the other breaking RBI rules is beyond my grasp. Let the RBI worry about irregularities. We have enough fiscal policemen and agencies in the alphabet soup. As far as you and I are concerned, these companies should safely drive us to our destinations and try and give service with a smile.

Nor do we need them waving the flag in our faces. You are a business. Go about it.

Here is a perfect example of two entities using the new sword in the scabbard called nationalism. Like patriotism it is another refuge for nothing else to do and offers everyone a sort of protection against retribution for being arbitrary, parochial, immature and hostile in taking on the opposition.

We are more Indian than you.
No ,we are thousand times more.
No,we are thousand plus one into eternity.
Arre, you don’t even know the national anthem by heart.
Intolerant anti-nationals.

Go fight each other on the roads of Indian cities. Stop expecting the public to get involved in your slurs against each other which, quite frankly, amount to very little. Indians don’t give a whistle in the wind if Ola is funded by jackrabbit or Uber is the most law respecting organisation on the planet.

As if their warring isn’t bad enough the Uber boss Bhavik Rathod bungs in a company called Alibaba. This firm ostensibly has Chinese backing and asks if this doesn’t make it Chinese and shouldn’t companies run by local entrepreneurs be more valuable than foreign ones.

And Jack Ma of Alibaba must be sitting in his office thinking, hey dude, how did I get into this mess, I don’t even know you.

And I am trying to wrap my head around this corporate-speak blather and thinking, hey why don’t you two bosses sit down and work out how to get a smile on the faces of your drivers and ensure they take us where to go without fear, huh! How about that?

Especially single women.

Manohar Parrikar lauds HAL, ADA on induction of Tejas planes

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday congratulated the state-run HAL and Aeronautical Development Agency on the induction of the first two home- grown Light Combat Aircraft Tejas into IAF and said the planes will be a force multiplier. “Moment of National pride. Indigenously developed Tejas fighter jet inducted into Air Force. Tejas will take our air strength to new heights,” Parrikar tweeted.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said, “Congratulations to HAL and ADA for successful induction.” HAL handed over the first two Tejas aircraft this morning to IAF in Bangalore, which makes up the first squadron named ‘Flying Daggers’. The commissioning of the India-made fighter planes comes more than three decades after LCA went into development.The squadron will be based in Bengaluru for the first two years before it is moved to Sulur in Tamil Nadu. IAF, which plans to induct six aircraft this financial year and about eight in the next, has said Tejas will feature in its combat plan next year and would be deployed in forward bases also. LCA will eventually replace the ageing fleet of MiG-21 planes.

48-day long annual Amarnath yatra kicks off amid tight security

Amid tight security, the 48-day long annual Amarnath yatra began on July 1 in Jammu under the shadow of the recent terror attacks in the state, with Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh flagging off the first batch of 1,282 pilgrims for the cave shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas.Drones are being used for aerial security of the Amarnath base camp at Bhagwati Nagar area of Jammu city for the first time while at least 20,000 security personnel have been deployed along the two routes. “Adequate security has been put in place to ensure smooth and peaceful conduct of Amarnath yatra this year,” Singh said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first batch of pilgrims, comprising 900 men, 225 women, 13 children and 144 sadhus, left in a convoy of 33 vehicles escorted by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel from Bhagwati Nagar base camp at 0500 hours on Friday, a police officer said.
ALSO READ Jammu and Kashmir: Amarnath yatra transportation fares remain unchangedChanting ‘Bam Bam Bholay’ and singing bhajans, the pilgrims, who reached the Bhagwati Nagar base camp from various parts of the country, left for their onward journey to Pahalgam and Baltal base camps from where they will proceed to the cave shrine, located at a height of 3,888 metres on Saturday. The state is reeling under increased terrorist incidents and attacks on security forces in the Kashmir Valley, posing a huge challenge to the security apparatus in ensuring a peaceful and incident-free Amarnath yatra. Eight CRPF personnel were killed and at least 21 others injured when two militants attacked its CRPF convoy at Pampore in Pulwama district on June 25.As many as 12,500 central paramilitary personnel and 8,000 state policemen will be deployed along the two routes in South Kashmir’s Pahalgam and Northeast Sonamarg.
ALSO READ Centre plans to make Amarnath Yatra a grosser for the localsTight security arrangements outside a base camp ahead of Amarnath Yatra in Jammu on June 29 (Credit: PTI) To review the situation and take stock of security measures put up for Amarnath yatra, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is arriving on a two-day visit in Kashmir and is likely to take part in ‘Pratham Darshan’ of the ice lingam at the shrine.Talking to reporters after flagging off the yatra at Bhagwati Nagar base camp, the Deputy Chief Minister said adequate security forces have been sent by the central government to ensure an incident-free yatra. Flanked by Minister of State for Tourism Priya Sethi and BJP MP Jugal Kishore, Nirmal Singh said that the state government and Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) have made all arrangements with regard to boarding and lodging, medical and other facilities enroute the cave shrine from Lakhanpur to Amarnath cave for the pilgrims.He said that special enquiry centres have been set up by police and other agencies for all type of information, particularly the weather conditions enroute to the pilgrims.As an increased security measure, drones have been inducted for aerial security and crowd management at Amarnath base camp in Jammu winter capital city. “With upgradation in technology, many new electronic surveillance systems have been inducted in the security set up,” a senior police officer said.CRPF will be using the drones for security of Bhagwati Nagar base camp here and a monitoring centre has been set up at the camp. “This will be in addition to the manual security in and around the base camp”, the officer said.

Delhi-Centre tussle: Supreme Court to hear AAP govt’s plea to restrain HC

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on Monday the plea of AAP government in Delhi seeking a direction that the High Court be restrained from delivering its judgement on issues including the scope of powers of the city government to exercise its authority in performing public functions. A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur will hear the appeal of Delhi government in which it has been claimed that only the apex court has jurisdiction under the Constitution to deal with issues relating to the powers of States and Centre.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for the Arvind Kejriwal-led government, mentioned the matter for urgent hearing before the bench that also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud. “No judgement be allowed to be delivered without decision on the jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court with regard to the dispute in question,” the senior lawyer said. She further said that the dispute is centered around the powers of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) under Article 239A of the Constitution. It has been alleged by the AAP government that it is unable to function as most of its decisions are either annulled or changed by Centre at the behest of Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung on the ground that Delhi is not a complete state. At the outset, the bench was not inclined to accord an urgent hearing saying, “let the Delhi HC come out with its judgement and you (Delhi govt) are free to raise all the issues before this court.” “The pendency of this SLP will not come in the way of the Delhi High Court in delivering the judgement. We will examine the issue as and when it comes before us,” the bench observed.However, the apex court later agreed to hear the plea of Delhi government on Monday. The Delhi government, in its appeal, has alleged that its power to do public services in the state has been adversely affected. It also raised a question as to whether the Union of India can take over all powers of the state government. There is an ongoing power tussle between Delhi government and the LG on various issues including the control over the Anti-Corruption Branch and power to transfer or retain bureaucrats.The HC had on May 24 reserved its verdict on the plea of the AAP government seeking a stay on the proceedings on the petitions arising out of its standoff with the LG over powers to appoint bureaucrats in the national capital and other issues. The AAP government had sought a stay on proceedings on the ground that the issues involve a dispute of “federal nature” between the Centre and Delhi government and the Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to deal with the matter. “If framers of the Constitution had wanted that disputes of federal nature to be dealt with by the various high courts, then there would have been no exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 131 in such issues,” it had argued in the high court.During earlier arguments on the application, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain had told the bench that Article 131 does not come in the way of jurisdiction of high courts under Article 226 of the Constitution. He had said that power of high courts cannot be ousted as Article 226 is a part of the doctrine of basic structure of the Constitution.A total of 11 cases arising out of the confrontation between the LG and Delhi government are being heard together by the high court. Delhi government had on May 28 last year approached the high court challenging the Centre’s notification of May 21 giving the LG absolute powers to appoint bureaucrats in the city. It had also challenged the July 23, 2014 notification limiting the jurisdiction of the Anti Corruption Branch to Delhi government officials only.

On Chandra Shekhar’s 89th birthday, it’s time to recall a PM with a difference

As an officer serving in the Special Protection Group (SPG), I had the privilege of working with four successive prime ministers — Rajiv Gandhi, VP Singh, Chandra Shekhar and PV Narasimha Rao. By ‘working’, I don’t mean I enjoyed unbridled access to the prime ministers but I oversaw various aspects of their security from close quarters and that exposed me to some facets of the four VIPs. Among them, I found Chandra Shekhar most simple, caring and accessible to the SPG personnel who remained concerned about  the wellbeing of the officers and men guarding him and his family members.

Even though he lasted for a very short period, he was known for his decision-making based on sound reasoning.

Once, a group of young civil service aspirants came to VP Singh requesting the enhancement of the age of candidates and pressing for an increase in the number of maximum attempts to appear for the entrance exams. VP Singh would always be evasive to their pleas and tacitly convey that their requests could be met, thereby raising false hopes — typical of a politician! Now the same group of young men met Chandra Shekhar when he succeeded VP Singh.

Without committing himself to their demands, he asked the cabinet secretary to examine the issue, and once it was made clear that the relaxation was not possible, Chandra Shekhar, during his subsequent meeting with this group, plainly told them that it couldn’t be relaxed.

The group protested and raised anti-prime minister slogans.

File image of former Indian prime minister Chandra Shekhar. Wikimedia Commons

File image of former Indian prime minister Chandra Shekhar. Wikimedia Commons

Undeterred and unfazed, Chandra Shekhar shouted at them and also counselled that the time wasted by coming to the prime minister’s home time and again could be better utilised in focussing on UPSC preparations and that way, the protesters would stand greater chances of success. Chandra Shekhar never practiced politics of cheap populism. His decision was for the larger interests and he did not care for any brownie points, which politicians normally go for.

Another important anecdote that comes to mind is about an Assam cadre IPS officer, whose wife was slain by Ulfa terrorists and he was next on their hitlist.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had deputed him to Bihar as a temporary reprieve. This officer’s elder brother, an inspector-general with the UP police, was detailed to oversee the prime minister’s security bandobast when the latter was camping at his hometown of Ballia. The I-G requested me to facilitate a meeting with the prime minister, wherein he could make a request to have his brother from the Assam cadre permanently transferred to Bihar, away from the Ulfa threats in Assam.

As soon as the prime minister heard this request, he said on compassionate grounds, “I can have his deputation period to Bihar extended by a year or so but I can’t have him permanently transferred to Bihar.”

The I-G reiterated his plea and said “Sir, the terrorists have even sneaked into Bihar and may kill him, and Assam is a sure-shot deathtrap”.

Without taking a second, Chandra Shekhar crisply responded, “I-G sahib, once your brother has joined the IPS, these occupational hazards will continue. If every police officer keeps seeking a transfer because of the fear of terrorists, how will the police function?”. The I-G did not have any counter argument and took his leave immediately. He knew his decision would evoke mixed emotions, but sometimes hard decisions have to be made.

That was Chandra Shekhar.

National interests were always uppermost in his mind and decisions he took were quick and conclusive.  It’s very rare to find prime ministers not wanting to stay in their designated bungalow. But, Chandra Shekhar was satisfied by continuing to stay in his MP’s accommodation at 3, Safdarjung Lane. Never did he attempt to occupy his official residence — on to which he was certainly entitled — at 7, Race Court Road. He lived with his extended joint family and would eat sitting on the floor with the entire household, plus his personal staff.

Simple vegetarian food amid discussions on a wide range of topics.

Chandra Shekhar was very caring of the security detail. In peak winter season, SPG personnel deployed at his house were served hot tea at regular intervals. On festivals like Holi and Diwali, everyone was served sweets. Such gestures were unprecedented and that they were coming from the Prime Minister of India made all the difference. Further, whenever he went out to a marriage or party, he would bluntly tell the host to look after his security detail first .

He invariably spared time to talk to his security complement more often than not, keeping them in good humour. That was characteristic of Chandra Shekhar. Once in 1990 while at Ballia, he asked me about his next programme. Hearing that it was Allahabad and I was going to cover it and knowing that my parents were living there, he directed his staff to load several kilos of sweets and fruits for my aged parents in addition to hand-woven sarees and dhotis .

Such noble gestures were frequently witnessed and I was not the exception.

There are endless accounts of Chandra Shekhar’s benevolence, generosity and large-heartedness. His term lasted only six to seven months but the impact he left behind is profound and will last for ever.

1 July is his birthday and these anecdotes are a tribute to that Young Turk — rustic in appearance but packed with so much finesse.

The author is a retired IPS officer who was in the SPG when Chandra Shekhar was prime minister. Views are personal

Jammu and Kashmir: Indian Army foils infiltration bid along LOC in Kupwara

Army on Friday foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LOC) in Karnah area of Kupwara district of Kashmir. However, no casualties were reported.”Army personnel noticed movement of heavily armed militants trying to infiltrate into Indian territory near the Eagle Post in Safar forest area of Karnah,” a police official said.There was exchange of fire between the troops and militants for nearly an hour but no casualties have been reported so far, he added. “Searches are on in the area,” he said.

Vadra land scam: Extended inquiry time for fair probe, says Manohar Lal Khattar

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said that he extended the tenure of the SN Dhingra Commission of enquiry so that it could look in to all the aspects thoroughly.”Justice Dhingra would know the reason, he asked me for some more time, and following my duties, I gave him time. I gave him time so that he could properly look into all aspects, because it would create problem if any new issue comes up in the end,” said Khattar. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Khattar rejected Robert Vadra’s allegation that the Vadra’s allegation that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is targeting him for political gain. “On the basis of some legitimate facts we constituted this commission a year ago. And the point to be noted here is this commission was constituted long back, why are they making statements at a time when the result is about to be declared. Such actions show that there is something fishy,” said Khattar.After Justice Dhingra sought six more weeks to probe land licences to companies, including that of Robert Vadra’s in Gurgaon, the Congress party had accused him of compromising his position and taking undue advantage of his proximity to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The Haryana government has already extended the term of the Dhingra Commission of Inquiry twice. The controversy around Vadra is based on a 3.5-acre plot in Gurugram, which he bought in 2008 for Rs. 7.5 crores and sold just months later for 58 crores to DLF, India’s largest real estate developer.

Chart: Monsoon may be reviving but a rural recovery is unlikely this year

A much-needed revival in monsoon may have finally happened towards the end of June but experts still vary as to whether this will indeed result in a recovery in the rural economy.

According to the data from the Indian Meteorological Department, the rainfall deficit in the country has progressively decreased over the last three weeks.

ReutersReuters

Reuters

Overall the country’s deficit in the first two weeks of June was 25 percent of long period average. This decreased to 18 percent by the end of next week and further to 12 percent by 29 June.

Region wise, South Peninsula has witnessed the maximum rainfall. Here the monsoon has been consistently in surplus this year and as of 29 June the excess rainfall stood at 22 percent. Meanwhile, the widest deficit is in East and Northeast India – 27 percent as of 29 June.

However, experts are of the view that it may be too early to assess the evenness of rainfall distribution. It is the distribution that matters for the farm sector more than the overall rain situation.

However, there is a view that even if the rain fall and its distribution are normal this year, it may not be enough to repair the rural economy because the damage caused by the two back-to-back droughts is huge.

Mithilendu Jha, Associate Director, India Ratings & Research, said in a research note estimates for a complete recovery in the farm sector the country will need more than two favourable monsoons.

“Nearly 15 percent of tractor loans disbursed during 2014 and 2015 were overdue for more than three months as of March 2016. The average delinquency rate for close to 12 months seasoned loans was only 9 percent during 2009 amid deficient rainfall and low agri-GDP, and still it took nearly two years for the delinquency rate and agriculture output growth rate to completely normalise,” he said in the note.

Comparing 2015 with the 2009, another drought year, he says monsoon was deficient in 47 percent of subdivisions (as classified by the Met) last year compared with 64 percent in 2009. However, nearly half of these subdivisions have faced two consecutive deficient monsoons by 2015 unlike in 2009.

“…Unlike the 2009 downturn, the current cycle has so far seen almost five years of muted growth in not only production and price but also acreage and crop yields,” he says in the note.

During the 2009 slowdown, the production of all crops dropped 4 percent Y-o-Y. However, over 25 percent increase in minimum support price for both food grain and non-food grain crops and nearly 4% drop in key input cost (diesel and fertiliser) lessened farmers’ problems.

In 2014 and 2015, not only the production suffered but also the growth in minimum support price was low at a CAGR of below 3 percent. Even after factoring in the reduction in diesel prices in the last two years, farmers’ net profit has been growing at a CAGR of below 10 percent since 2014 and hence impact on farmers’ income has been more pronounced, the note says.

Data by Kishor Kadam

Uttarakhand: At least 30 killed, several missing after heavy rains trigger landslides

At least 30 people have been confirmed to be dead and more than 40 are reportedly injured in Uttarakhands’s Pithoragarh and Chamoli districts after heavy rainfall battering the state since Thursday triggered landslides. The casualties may mount during the day as Pithoragarh district authorities along with National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force are still engaged in recovering those trapped in their homes. According to sources, around 15 families have been trapped after a landslide. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to officials from the District Mitigation and Management Center, in Pithoragarh, eight people were killed due to landslides while in Chamoli, five people have died. The incessant rains have halted movement on the Thal-Munsyari road and the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway while in Chamoli, the Alaknanda river has crossed its danger mark.The cloudburst in Singhali area of Pithorgarh district early this morning brought over 100 mm rains in two hours in a region of 50 sq km, flattening homes in over seven villages, according to officials. According to disaster management office sources, the cloudburst occurred in the villages of Singhali, Patthakot, Ogla and Thal villages.
ALSO READ 5 more killed in Uttarakhand cloudbursts, toll mounts to 6Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, who is is Delhi, expressed grief at the loss of lives and announced a compensation of Rs two lakh each to the families of the victims.The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a yellow code warning for Friday and an orange code warning for Saturday, indicating an alert. It has forecasted that “heavy to very heavy rainfall is very likely at isolated places”. As per the Met department’s benchmarks, this means that there will rainfall in the range of 60mm-120mm. The alert has been issued for the districts of Nainital, Udhamsingh Nagar, Champawat, Almora, Dehdraun, Uttarkashi, Pauri, Haridwar and Tehri districts for the next 72 hours.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand: One killed as cloudbursts bury houses in Tehri district“Monsoon arrived in the state on June 20 and now it has picked up pace. Currently, a strong monsoon trough coupled a western disturbance, that is centred over Pakistan, has caused the heavy rainfall across the state,” said MM Saklani, assistant meteorologist, IMD, Uttarakhand.(With Agency Inputs)

RSS chief, Maha energy minister lead tree plantation drive

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Maharashtra Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Friday led the people of the city in a tree plantation drive launched across the state. Bhagwat planted a sapling near the RSS headquarters at Mahal in eastern part of the city, while Bawankule and other senior officials along with 10,000 children planted saplings in Ambajhari lake catchment area this morning.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior RSS functionary Dattatreya Hosabale later said the Sangh will be a part of the green drive and plant large number of trees throughout the year across the country through its units (shakhas). Bawankule was accompanied by MLCs Anil Sole and Prakash Gajbhiye, Divisional Commissioner Anoop Kumar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) A S K Sinha and school children in the plantation drive. Nagpur Metro Railway Corporation Managing Director Brajesh Dixit along with other officials planted trees on the busy Amravati road, which is also the route of the proposed Metro rail.The Metro Rail Corporation will plant about 5,000 trees in Nagpur during the season.

Indigenously built Tejas inducted into IAF

The Indian Air Force on Friday inducted the first squadron of the indigenously made Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas into its fleet.An induction ceremony to induct two Tejas aircrafts was held at the Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) in Bengaluru, which included a multi religious prayer. The crew members of the first squadron of Tejas, a multi-role supersonic single-engine aircraft designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in collaboration with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), also performed pooja and broke coconuts to mark the auspicious occasion. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>HAL handed over the first two Tejas aircraft to the IAF which will make up the ‘Flying Daggers’ 45, the name of the first squadron of the LCA. The aircrafts also performed a sortie during the induction ceremony.Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, who on May 17 took his maiden flight in Tejas, had termed the aircraft as good for induction. Air Force has said the idea is to have a total of six aircraft this financial year and about eight in the next.

Let’s debate Uniform Civil Code because we’ve long ignored real minorities

In the case against implementation of a Uniform Civil Code in India, it is often argued that since India is a secular, democratic republic and since its Constitution guarantees minorities the right to follow their own religion, culture and customs, implementing a common code of personal laws covering property, marriage, divorce, inheritance and succession would go against India’s secular fabric.

Representational image. Getty ImagesRepresentational image. Getty Images

Representational image. Getty Images

This argument which opponents of UCC repeatedly fall back on, is specious. In fact, by conveniently conflating several issues, bodies like the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) seek to actually undermine democracy’s basic duty, i.e., protecting the rights of minorities, thereby going against the fundamental principle of any constitutional democracy.

If that sounds self-contradictory, it isn’t.

But a word first on the context of the present argument. The Centre has reportedly asked the Law Commission, which has an advisory role on legal reform, to examine the implications of implementing a uniform civil code. Though the BJP has long argued for a national debate on this issue, despite being in power it has so far been unwilling to pick up the topic. This move, as reported by Economic Times on Friday, would therefore be the first time that a government has begun to investigate UCC’s on-ground implications.

According to the article, the law ministry has written to the Law Commission to examine the matter in relation to uniform civil code and submit a report. The ministry has also sent related documents to the Commission, which is currently headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan. The panel will submit a report after discussions with experts and stakeholders.

The Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, had recently favoured a debate on “common civil code” and had said the government would move forward only after a broad consensus and nothing will be thrust upon anyone.

“What is best in every religion, in every society should be taken out. I am of the firm view, marriage, divorce, inheritance and right to property these things should be common. Other things, of course, what is the way of worship, what is the way of other practices should be left to individuals. There is nothing against any religion in common civil code,” he said, adding that he favours the term “common” civil code over “uniform” since “Uniform conveys a different meaning”.

The minister’s statement goes at the heart of the debate over Uniform Civil Code. What bodies like AIMPLB have done is that they have approached the debate as a Hindu-Muslim binary and from there, launched a polemic against the move to have a common set of laws. And parties have latched on to this argument to turn UCC into a political debate with clearly drawn faultlines.

UCC, goes the dominant narrative, is a clever attempt to homogenize minorities — which is largely used to denote the entire Muslim community — and erode their identity. This patently dubious and morally repugnant argument needs to be called out.

In a recent move, resisting the Supreme Court’s suo motu decision to test the legal validity of triple talaq, the AIMPLB has said that the country’s top court has no jurisdiction to undertake the exercise as Muslim personal law is based on the Quran and not on a law enacted by Parliament.

“Muslim personal law is a cultural issue, it is inextricably interwoven with the religion of Islam. Thus, it is the issue of freedom of conscience guaranteed under Articles 25 and 26 read with Article 29 of the Constitution,” it said in an affidavit filed in court in March this year.

To argue that Article 25, which confers right to religion militates against a common civil code is a red herring. It is invalid and a spurious conflation. Right to worship or to practice religion should not be confused with individual rights relating to inheritance, marriage or divorce.

In fact, attempts to keep personal laws out of the ambit of judicial scrutiny all the while subjecting individual rights to its interpretation is doing grave injustice to real minorities within the religion-based divisions of communities.

What the debate over “secularism” often misses is that minority rights cannot be defended by separating it from human rights. The whole concept of minority itself is an artificial construct, because it is relative. In a group of 200, 25 maybe a minority but within this group, 20 is a majority. The 25 who claim minority status in a larger majority, cannot deny human rights to their own internal minorities (5) what they claim as minority rights.

The secularism debate, which reflexively seeks a ban on any debate over Uniform Civil Code, fails to take into account that in the name of protecting Muslims or other minorities’ rights, communal rights have been prioritized over human rights of individual within minority groups.

The defining feature of a functioning democracy is its adherence to the theory and practice of the fundamental principles of equity, justice and inclusion for all. That “all” includes women, men, young, old, able-bodied and disabled alike, and regardless of race, class, religion or sexual orientation.

The most handy example of how vulnerable these groups, for example women, are, within the larger minority groups became clear during the recent raging debate over triple talaq.

Thousands of Muslim women have recently sought support to abolish the “heinous” practice of ‘triple talaq’, which they have termed an “un-Quranic” practice.

A Times of India report says “over 50,000 Muslim women and men have signed a petition seeking a ban on triple talaq. The petition, spearheaded by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), has sought the National Commission for Women’s intervention to end this “un-Quranic practice”.

BMMA co-founder Zakia Soman said a national signature campaign was under way in different states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, MP, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Kerala and UP.

The report quotes a recent BMMA study which found that 92 per cent Muslim women supported an end to this practice where unilateral talaq is being frequently given over phone, text message and even email with women mostly at the receiving end.

Farah Faiz, Rashtrawadi Muslim Mahila Sangh (RMMS) president, recently gave a speech before a Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice A M Khanwilkar on how the AIMPLB and Muslim bodies had started operating sharia’h courts to impose rigid practices on unsuspecting Muslims.

“Women’s rights are equally protected by the Constitution. But these sharia’h courts and qazis do not allow women to enforce their rights. Defiance invites ostracisation. AIMPLB is attempting to give a religious tone to the debate on the validity of ‘triple talaq’ by terming it a practice ordained by Quran,” she said.

The line taken by the AIMPLB isn’t surprising. According to a report carried by Indian Express, the board feels the matter of triple talaq was “not an issue” among Muslims and that it had been brought up to implement a uniform civil code in the country.

“The so-called movement against this law has been started to introduce a uniform civil code in the country. It is more of a media hype… the issue is of no importance among Muslim women and there is no need to bring about any change in the laws.”

When positions are this hard and conflated, the natural reaction is shy away from even moving towards a common set of laws that upholds human rights, as has been the case. But then it is also India’s failure as a democratic republic. The government is right to move towards initiating at least a debate.

7 things you need to know about the indigenous LCA Tejas

The Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted the first squadron of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas on Friday, with two aircraft in the force fleet.After nearly three decades in the making, the first two Tejas aircraft were handed over to the IAF by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The induction ceremony took place at the Aircraft System Testing Establishment, Bengaluru in the presence of Air Marshal Jasbir Walia, Air Officer Commanding-in Chief, Southern Air Command.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Here are some things you should know about the home-grown LCA Tejas:
ALSO READ IAF chief flies LCA Tejas, reaffirms India’s first indigenous fighter’s capabilityCredit: tejas.gov.in
ALSO READ In a first, Made in India LCA Tejas and attack chopper LCH to fire at IAF’s exercise in Pokhran* Tejas is a 4.5 generation plane- equipped with helmet-mounted display and fly-by-wire, a computer-regulated and semi-automatic system for controlling the flight of an aircraft or a spacecraft.* Tejas has multi-role capabilities. It is designed to carry a host of weapons- air-to-air, air-to-surface, precision guided and standoff weaponry. In air-to-air ones, Tejas will carry long-range beyond visual range weapons, with highly agile high off-boresight missiles to tackle any close combat threat. Additionally, a variety of air-to-ground munitions and an extremely accurate navigation and attack system allow the LCA to attack surface targets over land or at sea with precision.
ALSO READ Watch: IAF chief Arup Raha flies the Light Combat Aircraft TejasCredit: YouTube screengrab*The name of the first squadron of the Tejas LCA will be ‘Flying Daggers 45’. IAF plans to induct six aircraft this financial year and about eight in the next. All squadrons of Tejas will be made up of 20 planes, including four in reserve. * The IAF wants future modified versions of Tejas to have Active Electrically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Unified Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite, and advanced beyond the vision range missiles. This upgraded version will cost between Rs 275 crore and Rs 300 crore.Yet another feature- mid air refuelling capability may only happen in the Tejas I A version, slated to come out in 2019.Credit: YouTube screengrab* Tejas will eventually replace the Mikoyan-Gurevich (MiG) 21, and will be used as a supplement to bigger fighter planes such as the Sukhoi Su 30 MKI* The squadron will be based in Bengaluru for the first two years before it is moved to Sulur in Tamil Nadu.Credit: tejas.gov.in* While the idea to have an indigenous fighter aircraft was conceptualised in 1970s, the actual work started only in the 80s and the first flight took place in January 2001. The project often ran into rough weather and came in for criticism over the delay.(With Agency Inputs)

National Doctors’ Day: Here’s what you should know about Dr BC Roy

Among the many days that India celebrates through the year like Children’s Day, Martyrs’ Day, Mahaparinirvan Diwas is a lesser known day — Doctor’s Day. Celebrated on 1 July, it marks the birth anniversary (and death anniversary) of Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy (1182- 1962).

File image of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. Image courtesy: Wikimedia/ commonsFile image of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. Image courtesy: Wikimedia/ commons

File image of Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

A legendary physician, he has contributed greatly to the Indian medical scene. An article in The Hindu mentions that he was the one to establish the Indian Medical Association in 1928 and even the Medical Council of India. He also played a crucial role in establishing the Indian Institute of Mental Health, the Infectious Disease Hospital and even Kolkata’s first-ever postgraduate medical college.

In his younger days, Bidhan came across an inscription that read, “Whatever thy hands findeth to do, do it with thy might” and he completely imbibed this in his life. Even when he joined politics in 1925, he ensured that his medical service was not disrupted. He would still devote an hour everyday to serve the poor with his medical knowledge.

He was Mahatma Gandhi’s close friend and doctor. Though he wanted to continue his profession, when his name was proposed to be the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, it was on Gandhi’s advice that he took up the post.

His contribution to the country was rewarded by a Bharat Ratna award in February 1961.

Surface-to-Air Missile Barak-8 test fired from ITR Chandipur

Medium range Surface-to-Air ballistic missile, Barak-8, was test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off Odisha coast this morning. Barak-8, developed in collaboration with Israel, was test fired from launch pad no-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at 8:16 am. The four-meter long ballistic missile, which can hit the target within a range of 70 km, weighs 275 kg and can carry a payload of 60 kg.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but was deferred at the last moment and postponed for today. According to reports, the test-firing of the missile was jointly carried out by Indian defence personnel, DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries. Earlier, Indian Navy had successfully test launched the long range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM). The test had been undertaken on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata on December 30, 2015, officials said.Such type of medium-range surface-to-air missiles having striking ranges from 50 to 70 km, can fill the gap of existing missiles that India has in its armoury, they said. As a safety measure, Balasore district administration in consultation with the defence officials had temporarily shifted 3,652 civilians residing within 2.5 km radius of the launch pad No.3 of the ITR at Chandipur to nearby shelter centres this morning to ensure a safe launch of the missile, a district revenue official said.Fishermen engaged in sea fishing along the Bay of Bengal in three Odisha coastal districts namely Balasore, Bhadrakh and Kendrapada were asked not to venture into the sea during the time of the test launch.

India successfully test-fires surface-to-air missile for second day

Balasore (Odisha): On Friday, India successfully test fired the new surface-to-air missile, developed jointly with Israel, with a strike range upto 70 km, from a defence base off Odisha coast, a day after two rounds of similar trials were conducted.

“The test was successful. With this, DRDO has created history by conducting three consecutive trials of the medium range missile successfully in two days,” a DRDO official said.

The test was conducted to validate various parameters and it met the mission requirements. The missile was test launched successfully twice on Thursday, he said.

The medium range missile (MR-SAM) for the IAF was successfully test launched from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur at around 10.26 hours, a DRDO official said.

A Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) being successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range off Odisha coast  on Thursday. PTIA Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) being successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range off Odisha coast  on Thursday. PTI

A Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) being successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range off Odisha coast on Thursday. PTI

The missile, positioned at launch pad-3 of the ITR, swung into action after getting signal from the radars to intercept a pilotless target aircraft (PTA) over the Bay of Bengal, officials said.

Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile, they said.

“The missile along with MF-STAR will provide the users with the capability to neutralise any aerial threats,” said a Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist.

A laboratory of DRDO based at Hyderabad, has jointly developed this missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), he said.

Earlier, Indian Navy had successfully test launched the long range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM). The test had been undertaken on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata on 30 December, 2015, officials said.

Such type of medium range surface-to-air missiles having striking ranges from 50 to 70 km, can fill the gap of existing missiles that India has in its armoury, they said.

As a safety measure, Balasore district administration in consultation with the defence officials had temporarily shifted 3,652 civilians residing within 2.5 km radius of the launch pad No.3 of the ITR at Chandipur to nearby shelter centres this morning to ensure a safe launch of the missile, a district revenue official said.

Fishermen engaged in sea fishing along the Bay of Bengal in three Odisha coastal districts namely Balasore, Bhadrakh and Kendrapada were asked not to venture into the sea during the time of the test launch.

Bikaner land case: ED issues fresh notice to Robert Vadra linked firm

ED has issued a fresh notice to a firm linked to Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, in connection with its probe into alleged money laundering in a land deal in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district.Officials said the summons for production of documents was issued for the second time as the agency had earlier dismissed as “unauthorised” the appearance of a lawyer in response to the notices first sent in this regard last month. They said the firm, Ms Skylight Hospitality, has been given two weeks time to furnish financial statements and other documents of the firm to the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Last week, a lawyer had made appearance before the ED in response to the first notice sent in the case but it was dismissed by the probe agency as “unauthorised” as he was neither carrying any relevant papers nor an authorisation letter from the company about him being their representative.The notice has been sent after the ED had conducted extensive searches in this case in Bikaner district and other places last month and had claimed to have seized a number of documents. The agency is expected to issue summons to a number of other people and entities involved in the case in the near future, sources said. The probe is related to the purchase of 275 bigha land allegedly by the company in the Kolayat area of the border town of Bikaner.The central probe agency had registered a criminal case of money laundering in this case last year on the basis of FIRs filed by the state police after the local tehsildar had made a complaint. The ED has not mentioned the name of Vadra or any company linked to him in the FIR but it named some state government officials and some of the “land mafia”. While filing the case, it had also taken cognisance of reports that had referred to a firm allegedly linked to Vadra which had purchased some of these Bikaner located lands. Vadra has denied any wrongdoing even as Congress party called the action “sheer political vendetta”.ED had conducted similar searches in the case in Delhi last year. Rajasthan government had in January last year cancelled the mutation (transfer of land) of 374.44 hectares of land, after the land department claimed to have found that the allotments were made in the names of “illegal private persons”.

Thane ATM heist case: 6 people arrested, over Rs 3 crore cash recovered

Six people have been arrested in connection with Thane ATM cash van robbery case.A gang of nearly seven dacoits, wielding knives and chopper, had looted the office of an ATM cash handling company in Thane on Tuesday in the wee hours and decamped with over Rs 9 crore, police said.The incident had taken place on Tuesday when the dacoits, who had their faces covered with monkey caps and handkerchiefs, barged into the office in Teen Hath Naka area at about 3.00 am where 4 to 5 staffers were engaged in counting money, Thane Police spokesperson inspector Sukhada Narkar said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Praveen Dixit, Maharashtra DGP said that the cash worth Rs 3 crore 12 lakh (out of 9 crore 16 lakh) recovered and three cars that were used in robbery also seized.There are reports of presence of some other accused in other states, our teams chasing them,more arrests likely to be made soon, said Dixit.According to initial reports, the amount was pegged at around Rs 12 crore but after counting of the booty looted, police have estimated a sum of over Rs 9 crore. The dacoits kept the three security guards and staffers at bay at gun-point while some of them stacked off the cash.They had also disconnected the CCTV camera connection before fleeing the spot, the officer said. According to a complaint lodged by one of the staffers, the accused spoke in Hindi and Marathi and were attired in half-pants, shirts and vests.An offence was lodged under 395 (dacoity), 397 (preparation to commit dacoity), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (2) and relevant sections of Arms Act, she said. All the accused are at large now and no arrest has been with regard to the incident, police said.With agency inputs.

India abstains from UN vote on LGBT rights watchdog; activists slam PM Modi’s silence

Expressing disappointment over India’s move to abstain from voting in the UN Human Rights Council to appoint an independent investigator to help protect the rights of homosexuals and transgenders worldwide, the LGBT community members on Friday demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence and speak about ‘inclusive society’.Throwing light on the fact that the Private Member Bill brought by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was unanimously rejected by the Parliament, Transgender activist Akkai Padmashali said it reflected ‘intolerance’ on the government’s part.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This is very disappointing. When the United Nations Human Rights Council had a special session on sexual orientation and gender identity, India took a strange stand, which is very disappointing. This is not the first time. When Mr. Shashi Tharoor of the Congress presented a Private Member Bill in the Parliament on 377, the Parliament unanimously rejected it. That shows intolerance,” Padmashali told ANI.”India not supporting it in UN shows you are homophobic and a biphobic. I demand the Prime Minister to break his silence to speak about inclusive society. Any kind of fundamentalism and criminalism is unacceptable,” Padmashali added.Rajesh Umabharti of the Sangama Orgaisation for LGBT said the government’s stand in this regard was not surprising as it reflected the “fascist” mindset.”It is really not surprising. It is the second time it has happened. With the present government, it is not at all surprising. This government is anti-minority; it comes from a fascist kind of mindset. Prime Minister doesn’t take a stand on LGBT matters. It is stupendously stupid on part of this government to abstain from the issue,” Umabharti told ANI.After a heated debate lasting almost four hours, the 47-member state forum overcame strong objections by Saudi Arabia and Muslim countries to adopt a Western-backed resolution by a vote of 23 states in favour and 18 against with six abstentions.The United States and major European countries backed the resolution, while China, Russia and 16 African and predominantly Muslim states rejected it. India, South Africa and the Philippines were among the abstainers.

26/11 Mumbai attack: Pakistan asks India to provide additional evidence; Congress says Centre should turn down demand

Pakistan on Friday said it has asked India to provide “additional evidence” for the early completion of the Mumbai attack trial in which LeT operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and six others are accused. “Our foreign secretary has written to India’s foreign secretary to provide additional evidence so that Mumbai case trial is competed. The response from the Indian side is still awaited,” Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said at a press briefing. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Zakaria, however, did not elaborate when exactly the letter was written. Pakistan arrested seven Lashkar-e-Taiba-linked militants, including Lakhvi, for their role in the 2008 Mumbai attack in which 166 people were killed. Former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Friday ticked off Pakistan for asking India for more proof on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and said Islamabad is citing excuses to ward-off responsibility of an inhuman attack, which claimed hundreds of innocent lives. Asserting that India should not fall into Pakistan’s trap, Khurshid told ANI, “This is excruciatingly unacceptable. Excuses that are being sought to ward-off responsibility of an inhuman attack in Mumbai. And I don’t think this is the way to go forward and I hope the Government of India doesn’t get taken in.” Mumbai attack mastermind Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum are accused of abetment to murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the Mumbai attack. Lakhvi is living at an undisclosed location after he got released from jail on bail a year ago. The other six suspects are in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi. The case has been going on in the country for more than six years. India has been urging Pakistan to complete the trial at the earliest. It has said that enough evidence has been shared with Islamabad to prosecute the accused. However, Pakistani officials say India has not provided enough evidence needed to successfully complete the trial. Meanwhile, Zakaria also said that the dialogue was the only option to resolve all outstanding issues with India. “It has been said many times earlier that peace talks is the only way forward for relations between Pakistan and India,” he said.Asked about threats against Pakistani artists in India by extremists, he said there are many other people in India who welcome and support artists and promote people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.”Both India and Pakistan agree that atmospherics should be improved and people-to-people contacts always help,” Zakaria said. He said religious tourism is part of such efforts and Pakistan has been encouraging it.Zakaria also said that influential US Senator John McCain would shortly visit Pakistan and hold important talks on various issues.

FIR filed against Jharkhand BJP Prez Tala Marandi’s son in an alleged sexual harassment case

An FIR has been filed after court’s order against Munna Marandi, son of Jharkhand BJP President Tala Marandi in a sexual harassment case.On Thursday there were reports that Munna had allegedly married a minor girl. Earlier on Wednesday, another minor girl had also accused him of sexual abuse.According to reports, the marriage with the minor girl reportedly took place on June 27, in Godda region of Jharkhand and the reception was held on 29 June. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to a news report, a letter by SDN Academy says the girl was born on July 25, 2005, and is enrolled in the sixth standard. The report said that Marandi’s son was earlier set to marry the minor’s cousin, but the girl’s family backed out of the marriage.Regarding the claims of sexual abuse, an Indian Express report said the minor girl had submitted an application before the State Commission for Women against Munna for sexually abusing her for two years with the promise of marriage.

Robert Vadra land deal: Justice Dhingra received favours from Haryana govt, must resign, says Congress

The Congress party on Friday criticised the judicial commission-led by Justice SN Dhingra for the delay in probing land licences issued to companies, including that of Robert Vadra’s, in Gurgaon and said it was being used by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for political witch-hunt.Seeking resignation of Justice Dhingra, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asserted that the former has compromised his position on the behalf of undue advantage leveraged to him by the Haryana Government-led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Justice Dhingra has clearly compromised his position, by accepting undue favours from Government of Haryana for a trust of which he is chairman. He is no longer fair and prejudiced and consequently in the highest tradition of the democracy, we expect him to resign as the judge of the commission,” said Surjewala.
ALSO READ Robert Vadra land deal report runs into controversy”This is mere ploy, Justice Dhingra is being used by the higher leadership of the BJP. He said that the report is ready and at the last minute he did a somersault and now he says he has fresh evidence and he will submit the evidence after four to six weeks. It is clear that the people in the government, who want to use Dhingra commission for political witch-hunt and vendetta have rejected his report and want him to write another report,” he added.Late on Thursday, Justice Dhingra, in a letter to Khattar Government, informed that he was to submit the report. But before he could proceed to Chandigarh he received a bunch of sale deeds from someone who said that these docs are about benami transactions of those who benefited from the grant of licenses.
ALSO READ Justice Dhingra Commission seeks 6 weeks time to give report on Robert Vadra’s land deals”I was to submit report today. But before I could proceed to Chandigarh I received a bunch of sale deeds from someone who said that these docs are about benami transactions of those who benefited from the grant of licenses,” he said in his letter.”Therefore I deferred my Chandigarh visit to consider these documents. I need six more weeks time. If no extension is granted then I will submit my report tomorrow itself,” the letter added.The Haryana government had earlier twice extended the term of the Dhingra Commission of Inquiry.The controversy around Vadra is based on a 3.5-acre plot in Gurugram, which he bought in 2008 for Rs. 7.5 crores and sold just months later for 58 crores to DLF, India’s largest real estate developer.

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