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BJP sets new code for state units for Modi rallies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP has stipulated an eight-point list of ground rules for its state units across the country to be followed each time there is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in a place. A letter shot off from 11, Ashoka Road, spells out detailed guidelines to be followed from ten days ahead of any rally.The directions, to ensure that the programmes are “successful from every angle”, range from launching a cleanliness drive to arrangements for the light and sound system. In a bid to give an impetus to the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by engaging the party in the drive, the BJP has asked the state units to begin a special cleanliness campaign ten days before Modi’s rally. Not just this. The party also wants an everyday update of reports with photographs sent through email to the central office, according to party sources.The Swachh Bharat campaign envisages creating awareness about cleanliness, eliminating open defecation by constructing toilets, encouraging scientific means of solid waste management and eradicating manual scavenging. A fortnight after demonetization, Modi had spoken about building a Swachh Bharat free of all forms of filth within one generation, while addressing the Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai through video conferencing.Besides the cleanliness campaign, BJP has asked the state party to ensure that hoardings and posters put up ahead of Modi’s rally highlight the central government schemes and achievements. “All hoardings should be visually similar and each one should carry some message,” the letter sent by BJP general secretary Arun Singh on November 30 said.The letter also said that there should be a maximum of seven party leaders sharing dais with the Prime Minister during the rally and that the sitting order should be conveyed to the party headquarters, sources said. However, in election-bound states, the number of leaders on stage with the Prime Minister could go up to eleven. The details of these leaders as well as those who would be receiving the Prime Minister at the airport or helipad have also to be sent a week in advance.Party sources said such an exercise is undertaken from time to time to “streamline” arrangements ahead of the rally. Modi addresses at least three rallies in a month in some part of the country or the other.The BJP leadership wants the state unit to appoint one of its office bearers to take responsibility for the arrangements for the rally, and coordinate with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), keeping it informed about it.The state party has also been told to send main points for the Prime Minister’s speech to the BJP office ten days in advance, the sources said. Keeping in mind every detail, the BJP’s central leadership has asked the state unit to avoid frequently changing the agency hired for the light and sound system for Modi’s rallies.

Burning of schools in Kashmir a clear plan to ensure students at protests, says BJP

Sun, 6 Nov 2016-11:35am , New Delhi , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Urging the Jammu and Kashmir government to stop the burning of schools in the state, the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) on Sunday said these acts of arson were a clear attempt to ensure the presence of students at anti-government protests. BJP leader and spokesman GVL Narsimha Rao told ANI, “This is clearly an attempt to scare away children and youth and to ensure that they are available to protest. The state government and local authorities are dealing with this issue on a high priority and we hope this problem of law and order will be put to rest quickly.”The Centre had last week asked the Mehbooba Mufti-led state government to check such attempts and make efforts for the reopening of schools which have been closed since July 9. As many as 31 schools and 110 government buildings have been damaged in the Kashmir Valley since the current unrest began nearly four months ago.The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has taken suo motu cognisance of this development and asked the state government to take steps to prevent such incidents and “unmask” the culprits.

J&K: Another school set on fire in Bandipora district, flames doused

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another school was set on fire in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. The flames have been doused, reports ANI.As many as 31 schools and 110 government buildings have been damaged in Kashmir Valley since the current unrest began four months ago.Among the schools, which were set ablaze by unknown persons, 25 were government-run, two private and four were run by trusts or other social organisations, official sources told PTI.Out of the 110 government buildings, 65 were either completely gutted or partially burnt down and 55 were damaged through “other means”.Over the past few months, miscreants burnt down schools across the Valley which is in the grip of unrest following the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.Amid outrage over the issue, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court took suo motu cognisance of this development and asked the state government to take steps to prevent such incidents and “unmask” to culprits.The Centre had also earlier this week asked the Mehbooba Mufti government to check such attempts and make efforts for reopening the schools which have been closed since July 9.With ANI/PTI inputs.

Apex court to examine petition making playing of national anthem mandatory in theatres

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court has agreed to examine a plea, whether playing of the National Anthem should be made mandatory at theatres, ahead of screening of any movie. A PIL was filed by one Shyam Narayan Chouksey, also sought court’s direction to the government to frame regulations to ensure respect and dignity to the National Anthem . The lawyer of the petitioner asked the bench headed by Justce Dipak Misra to issue directions that no abridged version of the National Anthem shall be sung at any point of time.He further said, the national anthem should not be used for commercial purposes or for entertainment purposes. Also the petitioner suggested that it should not be sung before those, who don’t understand. The petitioner also pleaded that the National Anthem should be played in the cinema theatres across the country before the feature film. The court asked the government to reply on the practicability.Amidst the raging debate on nationalism, the BJP-led central government has recently released a fresh set of guidelines to maintain sanctity of the national anthem and national emblem. The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the state governments and other law enforcement agencies to initiate action against those, found disrespecting the National Anthem and the state emblem.

‘Pokemon Go’ hurts religious sentiments, claims PIL seeking ban on the game

Ahmedabad: Two PILs filed in the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday, have sought ban on the popular location-based augmented reality game, Pokemon Go for “hurting religious sentiments” and posing a threat to the “public safety”.

Alay Dave, one of the petitioners, told the Gujarat High Court that in the game, images of ‘eggs’ are shown in the places of worship of various religions (shown on the map on mobile phone’s screen), which “is seriously hurting religious sentiments of many worshippers”.

Another PIL claimed the mobile game was a threat to “public safety” as the players have to walk around to capture cartoon characters which appear on the phone’s screen, leading to accidents.

The Gujarat High Court, however, have asked the state government to inform it about possible actions it can take to prevent illegal downloading of the popular game as another PIL, which supported the game, argued that the US-based company which has developed Pokemon Go should be allowed to make it available legally in India as it did not hurt any religious sentiments.

The division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice VM Pancholi asked the government pleader how the downloading of the game could be stopped after it was told that legally the game was still not available in India, and the people were downloading its pirated copy.

As the government lawyer sought time to file a reply, the court adjourned the hearing to November 9.

Supreme Court to resume hearing of Mumbai dance bars case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court will on Wednesday resume hearing of the Mumbai dance bars case, where the bar owners have challenged the stringent norms regulating bars, while the Maharashtra government is justifying the need for these restrictions to ensure the safety and dignity of women working in these establishments.The apex court had on August 30 issued a notice to the Maharashtra Government over a new law for dance bar licences, while asking the BJP-led state government to reply within six months.Dance bar owners have objected to the restriction of maintaining a 1-km distance from any religious or educational structure claiming it was not possible in big cities. They claimed that another curb of shutting down the bars before 11.30 p m is discriminatory in the time when the central government was promoting round-the-clock business by commercial establishments.Maharashtra Government’s counsel Shekhar Nafade had, however, said they would fight the objections at the next hearing as the government had every right to frame rules in the interest of society.The apex court had in May directed the Maharashtra Government to grant licenses to eight dance bars within two days and asked them to give an undertaking that they would not engage employees with criminal antecedents near the dance area.The Dance Bar Regulation Bill, that was unanimously passed by the Assembly on April 13, among other things, prohibits serving liquor in performance areas and mandates that the premises must shut by 11:30 pm. It also imposes heavy penalties on dance bar owners and customers for not following these rules.The apex court had on 2 March rejected certain suggestions like providing live CCTV footage to police of performances in the dance bars and asked the state government to grant licences to owners within 10 days after they comply with the modified guidelines.

National SC panel for CBI probe into Dalit woman’s rape-murder

Expressing concern over the delay in arresting culprits in the brutal rape and murder of a Dalit woman in Perumbavoor near Kochi, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has asked the Kerala government to hand over the investigation in the case to CBI.”I have asked the state government to recommend a CBI probe into the rape and murder. It is a matter of concern that the culprits have not been arrested so far,” Commission’s Chairman P L Punia told PTI over phone from New Delhi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punia, who had visited the victim’s mother in hospital and her house in Perumbavoor earlier this month, said the state police had told him that the culprits involved in the crime would be arrested soon.”But they have failed to nab the culprits even two weeks after the murder. I feel that the state police investigation is not going in the right direction. So I have strongly asked the state government to recommend a CBI probe into the case,” he said.Punia said he had on Friday last written to the state government seeking CBI probe into the rape and murder of the 30-year-old law student on April 28 in her house.”I have also sought an Action Taken Report on the steps taken by the state government in giving Rs 10 lakh compensation it announced for the victim’s family and providing a government job for the victim’s sister,” he said.Meanwhile, Kerala State Police Complaints Authority Chairman, Justice K Narayana Kurup, today criticised the way the police handled the investigation in the initial stage.The authority had sent showcause notices to five senior officers related to the complaints about “lapses” in the investigation, he said. The rape and brutal murder of the woman became an issue in the just concluded assembly elections in the state with the opposition attacking the UDF government over the handling of the case.

Maharashtra: Remote sensing technology to check illegal structures

In a bid to curb the mushrooming illegal structures, the state government has decided to identify and check illegal structures across the state with the help of a remote sensing technique.According to the state urban development (UD) circular, the planning and development authority will be appointed to weed out illegal structures. “The competent development and planning authority would ask authorised agencies to take 0.6m resolution satellite images of the city structures. The collected images would be handed over to designated officers, who will verify the same and make base-maps with details of approved structures, plans and proposed plans. If anything apart from these structures surfaces, it would be demarcated and termed as ‘illegal structures’ or ‘encroachments’,” the circular stated.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It further states that every six months, same remote sensing method should be used to map the structures. “The designated officers will verify the structures physically once again. If unapproved structures are surfacing, notices will be issued to them immediately. List of the unauthorised structures has to be made from time-to-time. The authority should remove these structures after issuing notices. They should make sure that no such structures should come up and occupy open spaces illegally,” said a senior UD official.He added that on recommendation of the Sitaram Kunte committee, the government recently legalised over two lakh illegal structures. “The government cannot afford to legalise illegal structures repeatedly. We want to make sure that no illegal structures come up. If they do, then immediate action should be taken to avoid the hassle of regularising them. If something goes wrong with the same, the planning authority will be held responsible,” said the UD official.In a hearing of the Public Interest Litigation filed by social activist Ravi Talreja, the Bombay high court had directed the state government to use sensor mapping system to check for illegal structures and to subsequently take action. The court was of the view that modern technology would surely help to identify illegal structures and asked the state to make the use of this technology mandatory for municipal corporations.

Encroachments an insult to God: Supreme Court

Observing that allowing unauthorised places of worship is ‘insult to God,’ the Supreme Court on Tuesday came down heavily on the state authorities over their inaction to remove illegal structures which have come up on roads and pavements across the country in the name of worship.”You have to demolish such structures. We know you are not doing anything. None of the states are doing anything. You have no right to allow it. God never intended to obstruct the path. But you are obstructing the path. It is an insult to God,” a bench of justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra observed.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The courts remarks came after states and union territories have failed to comply with its previous directions to file affidavits spelling out steps they have taken to remove illegal religious structures from public roads and pavements.With a warning to them, the top court sought their action taken report within two weeks and made it clear that failing which the chief secretaries of the concerned states will summoned for their personal presence to explain non-compliance of various directions of the apex court passed from time to time since 2006.”We don’t appreciate this type of attitude,” the bench said, adding that the orders and directions of the apex court “are not passed for to be kept in the cold storage….Do we pass orders for keeping in cold storage? If you have no respect for court orders, we will deal with the states,” the bench said.The court was hearing PIL filed in 2006 seeking directions were given to states to remove unauthorised structures, including places of worships, from public places.It had on March 8 received a contempt petition against Chhattisgarh government, following which it had asked the state to ascertain the factual position on the basis of allegations made in it.The apex court had directed all other states for compliance of the interim orders passed by it from time to time in this regard.

Supreme Court pulls up states, UTs over illegal religious structures

The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up states and union territories for their failure to comply with its directions to file affidavits spelling out steps they have taken for removal of illegal religious structures from public roads and pavements.The apex court gave them a final chance with a direction to file the affidavit within two weeks failing which the Chief Secretaries of the concerned states will have to be present personally to explain the non compliance of various directions of the apex court passed from time to time in this regard.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A bench comprising Justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra posted the matter in the second week of May, observing “we don’t appreciate this type of attitude.” The bench which was about to pass an order for summoning the Chief Secretaries at the first instance, modified it after a plea was made by some lawyers appearing for various states.The apex court was hearing the petition filed in 2006 in which directions were passed earlier to the states to remove unauthorised constructions, including places of worships, from roads and public places.On March 8, the court received a contempt petition against Chhattisgarh government after which it had asked the state to ascertain the factual position on the basis of the allegations made in the contempt petition.The apex court had also directed all other states’ counsel to take necessary instructions with regard to the compliance of the interim orders passed by it in this regard from time to time.

All women above 40 will be examined for breast cancer

In its fight against cancer, the Punjab government has asked the state-run hospitals to encourage all women above 40 years of age visiting there to get themselves examined for any symptoms of breast cancer.”The move is aimed at early detection of initial symptoms of breast cancer among the women. Any women detected with any abnormal lump or symptom will be referred for further investigations to rule out the possibility of breast cancer,” an official spokesman said here today.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said, special emphasis will be on women who have a family history of any such cancer. “The doctors will examine all women patients who volunteer for such physical examination,” he said, adding they would also be informed about the initial symptoms of cervical cancer.Breast, cervical and uterus cancers are more common among women, whereas esophagus, prostate and oral cancers in men, he said. Even the patients visiting dental out patient department (OPD) will be examined for any signs of abnormality in oral cavity and suspected patients will be persuaded for further investigations.The health department would also provide educational material regarding cancers at the government hospitals and put up display boards. Punjab government is committed to fighting the menace of cancer and a financial aid of Rs 1.50 lakh is granted from the Chief Minister’s Cancer Relief Fund to all cancer patients of the state for treatment in any of the empanelled hospitals, he said.

Supreme Court stays execution of convict who raped and killed 4-year-old

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the execution of a death row convict who was earlier sent to gallows by it for raping and later killing a four-year-old girl in Mumbai in 2008.Vasanta Sampat Dupare, 55, had filed a petition seeking the court to review its November 2014 judgment, saying before dismissal of his appeal the police had failed to place before the court the original records.A three-judge bench, headed by justice Deepak Misra, asked the state government to provide copy of evidences and exhibits to the death row convict and decided to hear the review plea on April 12. The court also agreed to hear the plea in open, and ordered the public prosecutor to remain present on the day.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”You (lawyer) satisfy us as to how our judgment was wrong. Till that time the execution of sentence will remain stayed,” the court said.The apex court, on November 26, 2014, had rejected the appeal of Dupare against the Bombay High Court verdict upholding his death penalty, awarded by the trial court, in the case, saying “the injuries caused on the minor girl are likely to send a chill in the spine of the society and shiver in the marrows of human conscience.”Describing rape of a child as “an anathema to the social balance”, and offender as a “menace to the society,” the top court in its verdict had used strong words against Dupare.”The rape of a minor girl child is nothing but a monstrous burial of her dignity in darkness. It is a crime against the holy body of a girl child and the soul of the society and such a crime is aggravated by the manner in which it has been committed.”

Bombay HC slams Maharashtra on custodial deaths, asks it to install CCTVs in 6 weeks

Lambasting the Maharashtra government for its failure to stop custodial deaths, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday gave it six weeks time to install CCTV cameras at police stations.”If there is a political will to tackle the problem, then the state government can do it, but it seems that it is not serious in addressing the issue,” a bench headed by Justice V M Kanade said.Government pleader informed the high court that custodial deaths numbered 36 in 2013, 39 in 2014 and 41 last year.”We are shocked to hear this… custodial deaths in Maharashtra are increasing every year. One and a half years ago, we had directed the State to install CCTV cameras in the police stations but the government has not done this.” “We feel that the government is not serious to deal with the issue of custodial deaths,” the bench observed.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prosecutor Sandeep Shinde argued that currently the process of inviting tenders for installing CCTV cameras is on and an expert committee was slated to meet today to decide on the modalities for procuring the cameras. He urged that a reasonable time frame should be given to the State to carry out this objective.Shinde said the government was “very serious” to obey high court orders on installing CCTV cameras at police stations.Amicus curaie Yug Choudhary said the high court had passed orders in 2014 about CCTV cameras at police station but the government had failed to do this. Prosecutor Mankovar Deshmukh, who also appeared on behalf of the State, said a committee had been constituted to prevent custodial deaths.Deshmukh also said that all custodial deaths are not due to police harassment and some prisoners also die because of natural causes. The high court asked the State to file a report on the recommendations of the committee.The bench said that a general perception in the mind of common man has been that “rich people get away but poor prisoners are subject to the alleged torture of police… we want to change this perception.”The judges asked the state to install CCTV cameras in the police stations within six weeks and during the same period it also sought details of custodial deaths in the last two years such as name of police stations concerned, dates of death and arrest of deceased and the number of times he or she has been remanded.The judges were hearing a bunch of petitions, including a PIL, on the increasing number of custodial deaths cases in the State.

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