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Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia’s office burgled: Documents, computers allegedly stolen

New Delhi: Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s office was burgled late night on Thursday, the city police said.

File photo. PTI

File photo of Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. PTI

“There was a robbery at the Patparganj office of Deputy CM late night on Thursday. The exact time is not yet known,” deputy commissioner of police (East) Omvir Singh said.

“The district forensic team has lifted finger-prints from the crime scene,” Singh said.

“The office was being shifted and most of the articles were already moved. However, some documents and two computers were stolen,” he added.

Aam Aadmi Party worker Pankaj Singh told IANS that the lock of the office was broken and some documents, including letterheads as well as CPUs of two computers, were missing.

“The burglers also turned away the CCTV cameras and took away the DVRs that had the recordings,” Upendra Kumar, who is in-charge of the party office, said. The police, along with a dog squad, came to Sisodia’s office on Friday morning to investigate the theft, he added.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 12:21 IST

Goa: AAP leader claims sting operation bid; man detained

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An AAP poll aspirant in Goa has alleged an attempt to conduct a “sting operation” on him at the behest of his “political opponents” and filed a complaint with police in this regard.Police have detained a man after party Goa unit coordinator and aspirant from Panaji Assembly seat Valmiki Naik claimed in a press conference that an “agent from Ghaziabad called him on Wednesay with an offer to convert black money into white, saying he (Naik) may need cash since it’s an election time.””This was obviously meant to be a sting operation to trap me and demolish AAP’s credibility, but they simply don’t understand that AAP is clean and honest,” he told reporters today.Naik said efforts are “underway to entrap and implicate prominent AAP leaders and candidates in criminal cases with the aim of maligning the party’s image.” He also referred to the summons issued by the ACB last week to AAP’s Chief Ministerial nominee Elvis Gomes in connection with a land grab case.Goa is going to polls next year.When contacted, the police said the detained person, who hailed from Ghaziabad, has been working as a waiter in a hotel here.”After Valmiki Naik informed us about a suspicious person offering to convert black money into white through phone, that person was immediately detained. He was interrogated and produced before Deputy Collector. He was later released on a bond,” said police inspector Siddhanth Shirodkar.He said the man told them during investigation that he didn’t know who Valmiki was and called him after getting his number from internet.

Hyderabad: Conmen rob finance firm of 40 kg gold after posing as CBI officials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of four persons posing as CBI officials struck at a private finance firm branch in neighbouring Sangareddy district of Telangana and made away with huge amount of gold, police said.Around four persons entered the branch at RC Puram area at around 9.30 am and posing as CBI officials they told the staff they are checking money exchange and later threatened them on gun point and robbed gold before fleeing away in a four-wheeler, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Madhapur Zone) Vishwa Prasad said.Preliminary reports said around 40 kg gold was robbed from the finance branch. However, police said they are in the process of collecting more details from the staff.”We are verifying…the exact quantity has to be ascertained,” Cyberabad Joint Commissioner Stephen Raveendra said. Further probe is underway.

BK Bansal suicide: CBI DIG Sanjeev Gautam removed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Sanjeev Gautam was on Wednesday removed from former Director General Corporate Affairs Bal Kishan Bansal’s suicide case probe. Sources said, Gautam, a 1995 batch Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officer (Custom & Excise), has been sent to the parent department.BK Bansal, a senior bureaucrat, who committed suicide along with his 31-year-old son in September end had in his alleged suicide note, mentioned that his family was tortured by Gautam and his team members. Bansal, had named several persons for making his family’s life “hell”, including Gautam, Superintendent of Police Amrita Kaur, Deputy Superintendent of Police Rekha Sangwan and Investigating Officer Harnam Singh, apart from an unnamed head constable.In July, Bansal was arrested by the CBI on charges of corruption. Hours after he was produced in court, his wife Satyabala and daughter Neha were found hanging in two separate rooms at their residence in Neelkanth Apartments on July 22. The Supreme Court earlier in November issued notices to the Centre and the CBI on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the controversial suicide case.

I wanted to quit earlier, PM Modi asked me to carry on, says Najeeb Jung

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Najeeb Jung on Friday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a day after springing a surprise by tendering resignation as Delhi’s Lt Governor even as he said that he had wanted to quit earlier but was asked by the PM to continue.Jung reached the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) at South Block here around 11.30 AM and spent a little over an hour inside.Sources said it was a courtesy meeting. on Thursday, in his brief resignation statement, Jung had thanked Modi for his help and cooperation.Rejecting speculation that he quit as pressure was mounting on him, Jung was quoted as saying by NDTV that there is no politics behind his decision and that he wanted to quit earlier as well.”I had offered to resign as I had been appointed by the previous UPA government, but the PM asked me to carry on. After three years, I requested the PM to relieve me but he asked me to carry on,” he said.
ALSO READ AAP, Cong should not do politics on Najeeb Jung’s resignation: Kiren Rijiju”After three and a half years, I requested the PM again on Tuesday that I would like to resign on personal grounds,” Jung was quoted as saying.Jung also said that he would like to write a book.
ALSO READ Najeeb calls it quits, speculation over new ‘Jung’ beginsOver the last two years, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has time and again taken on Jung over his perceived closeness to Modi.Earlier in the day, Kejriwal had an hour-long meeting with Jung over breakfast during which the latter reminisced their nearly two-year-long association in governing the city besides discussing other issues.
ALSO READ Arvind Kejriwal meets Najeeb Jung, says he resigned due to personal reasonsThe Delhi Chief Minister said he was invited by the Lt Governor for the breakfast meeting that came a day after Jung’s sudden resignation from the post.Sources said Jung and Kejriwal spoke about the bitter- sweet times and spent some light moments.Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also called on Jung.Asked why Jung quit, Kejriwal said, “He resigned due to personal reasons.”Though publicly Kejriwal had made stinging attacks on Jung on many occasions, both of them are known to share a cordial relationship at personal level.Asked about his meeting with Jung, Sisodia said, “We had a very good chat. He shared memories of the last two years and also of his days as a bureaucrat. He said that he was mulling quitting over the last one year.”He wants to spend time with his family and focus on academics. He said that he could not quit due to things like chikungunya (outbreak in the city).”Sisodia said he shared a “good rapport” with Jung and thanked him for his cooperation especially in areas of education. “We will work for the people if Delhi irrespective of circumstances be that easy or tough.”On who could be next LG of Delhi, the Deputy Chief Minister said many names are doing the rounds but nothing official has come up.Sources close to Jung had said yesterday his resignation has nothing to do with his acrimonious relationship with the AAP government over matters of jurisdiction and he was contemplating to quit for last few months.The Chief Minister was in Ranchi yesterday when the news of Jung’s resignation broke.

Either Sidhu or wife will get ticket, not both: Amarinder Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of giving party tickets to both Navjot Sidhu and his wife for the upcoming assembly polls in the state, saying the ‘one-family-one-ticket’ norm will be strictly enforced.Interestingly, the comments by Singh, who is leading Congress’ campaign in Punjab, came a day after the cricketer- turned politician met Rahul Gandhi.Congress has already finalised half of its candidates for the polls in the state and Singh said it was for the Sidhu couple to decide who among them will contest on Congress ticket. He also said there was no talk in Congress about offering Deputy Chief Minister’s post to Sidhu, adding it was all media creation.”I will meet Sidhu soon to work out the modalities of his joining the party,” the former Punjab chief minister told reporters. Asked about reports of Sidhu contesting from Amritsar East constituency where his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu is a sitting MLA, Singh said, “It was up to the Sidhu couple to decide who will contest. The party will strictly adhere to one-family- one-ticket norm in all cases.”While Navjot Kaur joined the Congress last month, Sidhu is yet to join the party. When Kaur was asked if her husband would join Congress, she had said “Hum do shareer ek aatma hai, fir ek dusre ke bina kab tak reh paenge? (We are two bodies one soul how can we live separately)”.Sidhu’s entry into Congress has been speculated for a long time. Earlier, he was in talks with AAP but the negotiations did not yield any result and led to a split in Sidhu’s recently formed outfit Awaaz-E-Punjab.Asked about selection of remaining candidates, Singh winnability will be the sole criteria and even clearly indicated that some sitting MLAs may be dropped.

Muzaffarpur: JD(U) MLC’s son booked in a murder case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Son of a ruling JD(U) member of State Legislative Council Dinesh Singh was on Wednesday booked in a case of murder of a worker in Fatehpur village of Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district.On the basis of a statement given by the wife of deceased, an FIR has been registered with Kanti police station against Chottu Singh, son of JD(U) MLC Dinesh Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, West, Ajay Kumar said.The police recovered dead body of labourer Suresh Sah near Chainpur canal under Kanti police station this morning, the DSP said.The wife of deceased said in her complaint that Chottu Singh had forcefully called her husband at his home late last night. She alleged that Chottu Singh was involved in illegal liquor trade. Her husband, who worked as a painter at the residence of MLC Dinesh Singh, had come in contact with Chottu Singh.The DSP said that police is investigating into the matter.

Nexus of traffickers, terror networks dangerous, should be urgently addressed: India at UN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has described the nexus between organised traffickers and terrorist networks through illicit financial linkages as a “dangerous phenomenon” that should be urgently addressed using counter-terrorism financing tools and sanctions regimes.”The nexus between organised traffickers and terrorist networks through illicit financial linkages is a dangerous phenomenon,” India’s Deputy Permanent Representative Tanmaya Lal said at a UN Security Council debate on ‘Trafficking in Persons in Conflict Situations’, here on Wednesday.Lal said the low rates of conviction for crimes of trafficking across countries needs to change.”The persistence of this transnational organised crime and its links with terrorist networks despite the various collective efforts of the international community is a challenge that requires a stepping up of our efforts, more effectively using the existing counter-terror financing tools and mechanisms and sanctions regimes in this regard,” he said.Lal also voiced concern that situations of armed conflict provide fertile ground for trafficking in persons especially from the vulnerable groups, including women, children and refugees for sexual slavery and forced labour or as fighters.He said that in recent times, heinous actions of terrorist groups such as ISIS or Boko Haram specifically targeting women and children in situations of armed conflict as a deliberate tactic of war add an even more serious dimension to such crimes as such groups continue to act with impunity.”The primary focus of the Security Council is to address threats to international peace and security. While increased focus on addressing trafficking in persons and its linkages to terrorism and armed conflicts is timely, we must strengthen international collaboration to better implement the various existing mechanisms, including through more effective coordination of the various entities at the UN,” he said.While the Security Council should retain its focus on situations of armed conflict, Lal said broader mechanisms should be more fully utilised to strengthen national capacity building including in criminal justice capacities, regulatory frameworks of banking and financial institutions to disrupt illicit financial flows and improve regional and inter-regional cooperation.Outlining the measures taken by India to address issue of trafficking, he said India unveiled a comprehensive draft legislation this year aimed at prevention of trafficking and protection and rehabilitation of trafficked persons.India also continues to work closely with UN agencies including UN Women and the Office on Drugs and Crime.UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, highlighting the plight of victims of human trafficking, underlined at the debate the need to ensure justice for victims and accountability forperpetrators, as well as to address underlying factors by focusing on human rights and stability.”If conflict gives oxygen to traffickers, human rights and stability suffocate them,” Ban told the Security Council at its ministerial-level meeting on trafficking.Ban said there is need for strategic leadership in ending war and also in preventing conflicts and sustaining peace, noting the UN’s commitment to supporting its member states in early action and in preventive diplomacy.

GJM chief Bimal Gurung surrenders in Madan Tamang murder case, granted bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung, his wife Asha and several senior leaders of the hill outfit surrendered before a city court today which granted them bail in connection with the murder of All India Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang.Gurung and 17 others surrendered before the chief judge, city sessions court, Subhra Ghosh as per direction of the Calcutta High Court which had granted them anticipatory bail.Gurung, who is also the chief of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in Darjeeling, his wife Asha, Deputy Chief Executive of GTA Col Ramesh Allay and 15 others were given bail on a bond of Rs 10,000 each by the chief judge. A division bench comprising justices Ashim Kumar Roy and M M Banerjee had on December 14 granted anticipatory bail plea to 22 persons accused in the murder of Tamang and directed the petitioners to surrender before the chief judge of city sessions court here by December 21.The high court had directed that charge should be framed in the murder case by February 1, 2017 before the designated CMM court here. The bench also directed that all accused should be present in Kolkata, a day before the framing of charge against them and none of them would be able to leave the jurisdiction of city court without the court’s leave till disposal of the trial. Tamang was hacked to death in Darjeeling town on May 21, 2010 when he was overseeing preparations for a public meeting.The CBI had on May 29, 2015 filed a charge sheet against the GJM leaders under IPC sections for murder and criminal conspiracy in the Tamang case. The investigating agency had filed the final supplementary charge sheet before the court against Gurung, his wife Asha, former GJM leader Harkabahadur Chettri, GJM Assistant General Secretary Binoy Tamang, Pradeep Pradhan, Deputy Chief Executive of GTA Col Ramesh Allay and 17 others for criminal conspiracy, murder and other charges. Prime accused in the case Nickol Tamang had, however, disappeared from Pintail village near Siliguri, in August 2010 where he was being held by the state CID for interrogation following his arrest.Pema Tamang, wife of Nickol, had moved a Habeas Corpus petition before the Calcutta High Court praying that her husband be traced.The high court had then directed the CBI to take up the Madan Tamang murder case and the Nickol Tamang disappearance case. Tamang’s widow Bharati had later moved the Supreme Court seeking early completion of investigation and arrest of the accused persons.

Amidst cashless drive, Deputy NSA worried about cyber attacks on banks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With government pushing for cash-less economy, Deputy National Security Advisor Arvind Gupta asked banks on Tuesday to adopt a robust infrastructure so that digital transactions are secured. In the recent past, he said, several high profile attacks have taken place on the banks, “this is a worrying trend”. “Cyber security issues are now top of the national security agenda and such issues are given more importance than even the nuclear issues that used to top the international security agenda,” Gupta said.He also asked the banking industry to be more forthcoming in sharing the incidents of financial security frauds and helping in chalking out timely response. “Now, with India going towards less cash economy, major thrust for the government is to promote digital transactions, banking industry must make a robust infrastructure so that digital transactions are secured,” the Deputy NSA said.Terming cyber threats as a major challenge to both national and global security and economies, he said there was a need for clear legal framework to fix the responsibility in case of an attack that cripples networks and affects consumers. “Also, unlike the nuclear issue, the concept of deterrence in cyber space is somewhat restricted. Offence is easier than defence in cyber space. To attack is cheaper than to defend,” Gupta said.The Deputy NSA said cyber space knows no boundaries and cyber criminals and attackers cannot be tracked easily. The problem in jurisdiction in cyber space is difficult to resolve, he said. “It is difficult to attribute the source of attack in the cyber space, and non-attributability encourages the cyber criminals and attackers to undertake more such attacks,” Gupta said addressing a seminar on Cyber Security organised here by CII in partnership with Israel’s Tel Aviv University.With cyber space growing too rapidly and new products and services coming online everyday, the Deputy NSA said “It is difficult to keep track of the vulnerabilities that comes with these technologies. We are witnessing a rapid advances in technologies, both offensive and defensive, in cyber warfare.” Stressing that the governments have been entrusted with the leading role in cyber security matters related to national security, he said, “They cannot work alone, they need cooperation. Cooperation between government and industry is critical to any cyber defence strategy.” He said there was a need for regular and meaningful dialogue between various stakeholders particularly, the government, private sector and academia in creating an ecosystem for a robust cyber defence strategy.Addressing the seminar, Israel’s Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said India and Israel have been cooperating in a number of fields including agriculture. “We will do the same in cyber security field,” he said.Carmon said there was a need for creating awareness sharing knowledge and getting prepared for such attacks.Expressing his country’s desire to share its expertise in the field of cyber security, he said, “We know how defend ourselves from physical as well as cyber attacks.” “Cyber diplomacy needs cyber protagonists and partners. We are sure that we have good kind of partner (as India). Cyber security is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Let’s imagine the unimaginable and get prepared,” the Israeli envoy said.Former Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay stressed on the need to make the lawmakers aware about the issue and strengthen our own cyber instruments. He also stressed on the need to add cyber security in the school curriculum and proper faculty to train the trainers.

Will throw Badals into jail if found guilty of misconduct: Amarinder Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh asserted on Monday that he would “throw the Badals into jail if found guilty of misconduct” if Congress forms the next government in the state. He said that he would review all decisions taken by the SAD-BJP state government in the last three months.Accusing both Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal of circumventing established rules and norms to push their electoral agenda, Amarinder said, “The game plan of the Akalis had been thoroughly exposed and only a total rout in the polls could really teach them a lesson. “I will review every act of the Badals and throw them into jail if found guilty of any criminal act or misdemeanour if Congress formed the next government,” he said in a statement.Any decision taken in violation of established rules would be revoked, and the accountability would be fixed. Action would also be taken against civil servants found facilitating such violation, the former Punjab Chief Minister claimed. The senior Congress leader also hit out at the special session convened by the state Cabinet on Monday.The Governor has refused to give his assent to the ordinances and bills proposed by the Akali government in the state, thus it is clear that there is sheer desperation behind the summoning of the special session of the Assembly today, he said.Amarinder reiterated his request to the Election Commission for “immediate imposition of the Code of Conduct in the state to prevent further deterioration of political environment in the run-up to the Assembly elections.” The Congress leader also welcomed Suresh Gogia from TMC into the party fold. Punjab goes to polls next year.

Indiscipline in armed forces to be viewed ‘seriously’: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indiscipline on part of security force personnel must be “viewed seriously” and deserting work by disobeying orders of superior officers is an act of “gross misconduct”, the Supreme Court has ruled.A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur also said that past conduct of a delinquent employee can be taken into consideration while imposing a penalty on him.The court’s remarks came as it dealt with a plea filed by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) against the Delhi High Court’s August 2014 judgement directing reinstatement of a constable, Abrar Ali, who was dismissed from service due to his alleged acts of indiscipline and misconduct.In its verdict, the apex court held that though Ali was found guilty of deserting the force for a period of five days and not improving his conduct in spite of penalties imposed on him on three earlier occasions, the penalty of dismissal from service is “excessive and harsh” and “in our view, the penalty of compulsory retirement would meet the ends of justice”.The bench, which also comprised Justices DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao, said “indiscipline on the part of a member of an armed force has to be viewed seriously. It is clear that the respondent (Ali) had intentionally disobeyed the orders of his superiors and deserted the force for a period of 5 days. Such desertion is an act of gross misconduct and the respondent deserves to be punished suitably.”The bench directed that Ali shall be entitled for notional continuity of service till the date of completion of minimum service required to make him eligible for pension but he will not be entitled for payment of salary and allowances for that period.Ali was appointed as a constable in CISF in September 1990 and in October 1999, an inquiry was proposed against him under the CISF Rules for allegations of misconduct and misbehaviour.According to the charges, he was posted at CISF unit in Dhanbad when he had disobeyed the orders of his seniors and was habitual of committing indiscipline. In November 2000, Commandant of CISF unit in Dhanbad held him guilty of all the charges levelled against him and he was ordered to be dismissed from service.Ali then filed an appeal to the Deputy Inspector General of CISF. While he was exonerated of the charges of maligning the image of the force, his appeal was rejected in 2001.After his revision plea against the order was dismissed by the Inspector General of CISF, Ali had approached the Delhi High Court which allowed his plea and asked CISF to reinstate him as constable with notional seniority in his rank.

Supreme Court says indiscipline in armed forced to be viewed seriously

New Delhi: Indiscipline on part of security force personnel must be “viewed seriously” and deserting work by disobeying orders of superior officers is an act of “gross misconduct”, the Supreme Court has ruled. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur also said that past conduct of a delinquent employee can be taken into consideration while imposing a penalty on him.

The court’s remarks came as it dealt with a plea filed by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) against the Delhi High Court’s August 2014 judgement directing reinstatement of a constable, Abrar Ali, who was dismissed from service due to his alleged acts of indiscipline and misconduct.

In its verdict, the apex court held that though Ali was found guilty of deserting the force for a period of five days and not improving his conduct in spite of penalties imposed on him on three earlier occasions, the penalty of dismissal from service is “excessive and harsh” and “in our view, the penalty of compulsory retirement would meet the ends of justice”.

Supreme Court of India. Reuters

Supreme Court of India. Reuters

The bench, which also comprised Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao, said “indiscipline on the part of a member of an armed force has to be viewed seriously. It is clear that the respondent (Ali) had intentionally disobeyed the orders of his superiors and deserted the force for a period of 5 days. Such desertion is an act of gross misconduct and the respondent deserves to be punished suitably.”

The bench directed that Ali shall be entitled for notional continuity of service till the date of completion of minimum service required to make him eligible for pension but he will not be entitled for payment of salary and allowances for that period.

Ali was appointed as a constable in CISF in September 1990 and in October 1999, an inquiry was proposed against him under the CISF Rules for allegations of misconduct and misbehavior. According to the charges, he was posted at CISF unit in Dhanbad when he had disobeyed the orders of his seniors and was habitual of committing indiscipline.

In November 2000, Commandant of CISF unit in Dhanbad held him guilty of all the charges levelled against him and he was ordered to be dismissed from service.

Ali then filed an appeal to the Deputy Inspector General of CISF. While he was exonerated of the charges of maligning the image of the force, his appeal was rejected in 2001.

After his revision plea against the order was dismissed by the Inspector General of CISF, Ali had approached the Delhi High Court which allowed his plea and asked CISF to reinstate him as constable with notional seniority in his rank.

First Published On : Dec 19, 2016 14:11 IST

Demonetisation: Rs 18 lakh in new 2,000 currency notes seized in Noida

Noida: Rs 18 lakh in new currency notes have been seized from Sector 57 in Noida and three men have been arrested in this connection, said the police on Sunday.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The three accused–Vinay Kumar from Jind, and Mahendra Kumar and Praveen Kumar from Hisar–were arrested last evening by a team of Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorist Squad and Income Tax Department.

“The arrests were made following a tip off that some people were carrying a huge amount of counterfeit currency in Bhishanpura village in Sector 57,” Deputy Superintendent of Police UP ATS (Western UP Wing) Anoop Singh said.

The team searched the car of the accused following which Rs 18 lakh in new currency notes of Rs 2,000 was found, he said.

No counterfeit or old currency notes were found. The car has also been impounded, the DSP said.

The team is interrogating the accused and more arrests and seizures are expected on basis of the information, he said.

First Published On : Dec 18, 2016 11:49 IST

Parliament’s Winter session on verge of washout

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With only one day left, the Winter session of Parliament is on the verge of a washout as it failed to transact any business again on Wednesday due to the standoff between the government and Opposition over demonetization, AgustaWestland scam and some other issues.Even on the penultimate day today, both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha continued to witness deadlock that began with the start of the session on November 16 over the manner in which a debate should be held on demonetization and related aspects. The Rajya Sabha saw sharp exchanges between Treasury and Opposition members as they tried to outshout each other over different issues, throwing the House into pandemonium.The Opposition, led by Congress, said demonetization along with vagaries of weather had hit the farmers and demanded farm loan waiver to give relief to them.On the other hand, BJP members shouted slogans while displaying copies of a news report which claimed that some people in the erstwhile UPA regime had allegedly received money in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal. They wanted to know who was behind the chopper scam.Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the ruling side was not allowing Parliament to function, which was “unprecedented”. “It is the ruling party which is disrupting the House… in both Houses (of Parliament), it is the ruling party which is not allowing the Parliament to function. It is for the first time in the history of independent India that the ruling party is not allowing the House to function,” he said. Azad, who had given a notice to raise the issue of distress among farmers after demonetization, was called by the Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien to speak but he could hardly make his submission as ruling party members created uproar. “I have given the floor to the Leader of the Opposition. It is the convention of the House that when Leader of the Opposition or Leader of the House wish to speak, they are heard in silence,” Kurien said but BJP members did not heed. Union ministers too interjected as Azad rose to speak with I&B Minister M Venkaiah Naidu wanting to know what he wanted to say and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi saying the members of the ruling side want a discussion on the corruption issue.Kurien told Naidu that Azad had given a notice to raise farmers distress and even without a notice the Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the House are allowed to speak whenever they wish to speak.To Naqvi, he said the ruling side can give a notice to raise a discussion on the issue they want, and asked Azad to make his submission.Alleging that the Centre was anti-farmer and its policies were ruining crops, Azad said farmers are dying, their vegetables rotting and crops welting and they are not sowing seeds. Farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and other states are facing grave distress and the Centre should waive off their loan, he demanded.

Andhra Pradesh: Cops seize Rs 17.30 lakh in new currency from Krishna district

Vijayawada: Police have seized Rs 17.30 lakh in Rs 2,000 denomination, allegedly meant to be exchanged for a commission, from a person in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The man, along with an accomplice, allegedly brokered a deal with some persons for exchanging the scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for a six per cent commission, a senior police official said.

He used a police constable, his close relative working in Gudivada rural police station, as a shield for the operation. However, the persons who wanted to exchange the old currency did not turn up and Rahman started on his return journey.

During a routine check, police intercepted his vehicle at Pedaparupudi late last night and found the bundles of new Rs 2,000 notes.

“We have detained the man while a hunt is on for his accomplice. The constable in question seems ignorant of the operation as this man only wanted to use him as a shield,” Gudivada Deputy Superintendent of Police Ankineedu Prasad said.

“We are now investigating from where he got such huge cash,” the DSP added.

First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 14:42 IST

India is grateful to Sardar Patel for his role in freedom struggle, says PM Modi

Thu, 15 Dec 2016-10:05am , New Delhi , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid his tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 66th death anniversary and said the nation is grateful to the latter for his role in freedom struggle and decisive leadership.”Tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his Punya Tithi. India is grateful to him for his role in freedom struggle and decisive leadership,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted. Sardar Patel had played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence. He successfully united the country by the unification of about 565 princely states after independence.He served as the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India.

Amid winter of discontent, Rajya Sabha passes Disabilities Bill

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> For the first time since the Winter session began on November 16, Rajya Sabha saw a legislative action as it passed the Disabilities Bill in a cordial atmosphere which did not last long as the Opposition again created uproar, leading to early adjournment for the day. In the Lok Sabha, however, stand-off between the government and the Opposition resulted in a washout again. The Rajya Sabha witnessed unusual bonhomie and meeting of minds over the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, with both the Opposition and the government agreeing to pass it, setting aside temporarily their confrontation over demonetizationand other issues like alleged misuse of office Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju with regard to a power project in Arunachal Pradesh.The foundation for it was laid as soon as the House met for the day, with members cutting across party lines pitching for immediate passage of the “crucial” legislation without any discussion.Among those who pressed for it were Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, BSP chief Mayawati, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and SP leader Naresh Agarwal.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi agreed to immediately take up the bill which stipulates up to two-year jail term and a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh for discriminating against differently-abled persons.Expressing happiness over the rare unanimity on display, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien decided to set aside the Zero Hour to take up the bill. However, he did not agree to passage of the bill without any debate, saying there could be some members who would like to speak on it, particularly those who have moved amendments.Accordingly, the process to pass the bill took place partly during the Zero Hour and partly in post-lunch session.However, as soon as the bill was passed, uproar was again witnessed as Congress members raked up the demonetization issue and Rijiju matter.This led to adjournment of the House till tomorrow at around 2.45 pm.The Disabilities Bill, passed just three days before the Parliament session ends, aims at securing and enhancing the rights and entitlements of disabled persons. It provides for imprisonment of at least six months up to two years, along with a fine ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 5 lakh for discriminating against differently-abled persons. The bill also gives effect to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and related matters. Earlier during Zero Hour, Azad said priority should be given to the passage of the Bill. “This should be passed without any discussion.”He said if the Bill is not passed today, it cannot be taken up by the Lok Sabha for passage in the current session ending Friday. “You can take it up right now (and) pass it straight away without any discussion,” he said.Similar views were expressed by Mayawati and Agarwal, leading to consideration of the legislation which was moved by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot.During the short debate, some members pointed out that the reservation for the disabled should be against the cadre strength and not vacancies.In response to some amendments moved by K K Ragesh and Yechury (both CPI-M), Gehlot said while framing rules efforts would be made to ensure that four per cent reservation is granted against cadre strength.Yechury also pointed out that the original bill had a provision of 5 per cent reservation for the disabled, but the amendment was for 4 per cent only.To this, Gehlot said the bill has raised the quota from the prevailing 3 per cent to 4 per cent.The process of passing the bill was still underway when the clock struck noon and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Hamid Ansari came in to conduct the Question Hour. Some members said the process of consideration and passage of the Bill be continued.However, Ansari said Question Hour should be taken up. Meanwhile, Congress members were seen on their feet, including its Deputy Leader Anand Sharma, with some of them being heard raising slogans over allegations against Rijiju. Ansari insisted on taking up the Question Hour and told the members that there cannot be a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ character. However as the protests continued, he adjourned the House till 2 pm.When the House re-convened, rare unanimity was witnessed again and the Disability bill was passed.After the Bill was passed, Anand Sharma (Cong) raised the issue of allegations against Rijiju, which led protests from the members from the Treasury benches. Kurien told Sharma: “There is rule, there is a procedure.Go by that. You cannot suo motu raise an allegation.” Members of the Congress and the BJP indulged in shouting slogans and counter-slogans in the House. Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the allegations against Rijiju are “totally false and fabricated. … I dare you for a debate on this.” Particularly addressing the Congress members, he said, “Your party is misleading you.” Kurien told Sharma that to raise an allegation, a member has to give prior intimation to the Chairman.Sharma said he was merely referring to the media reports, which was not accepted by the Deputy Chairman. Amidst constant din, Kurien adjourned the House for the day. In the Lok Sabha, the three-week deadlock over demonetisation issue deepened with the government accusing the Opposition of making attempts to fail the “pro-poor” decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, inviting a furious response.Congress members were also angry over Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s decision to allow Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) to raise the issue of AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal scam, ignoring their leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s plea to have his say. Sonia Gandhi too was seen protesting against Mahajan’s decision.Kharge shouted angrily as to why the BJD member was allowed to speak as he repeatedly banged the bench.With members of Congress, TMC and others raising slogans in the Well, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar fired a fresh salvo at the Opposition, citing a sting operation aired on a news channel to allege that Congress, SP and BSP leaders had joined hands to “finish off” the government’s efforts to bolster the white economy.Kumar insisted that the ruling side was ready for a discussion on demonetisation but the Opposition was running away and disrupting proceedings.”It is a very sad day. The leader (Kharge) of the Opposition is challenging the Speaker. He cannot do that. It is very unfortunate. We are always ready for discussion,” Kumar said and then cited the sting to attack the Opposition.”They have become ‘note-jugaad’ (managing currency) parties. It is a conspiracy to finish off what Modi has brought for the poor,” he said.Jagdambika Pal (BJP) claimed that the Opposition would be exposed. “It is a matter of shame that the Congress which participated in freedom struggle has become a commission agents,” he said amid vociferous slogan-shouting by Opposition.Opposition members were also heard raising slogans against Union Minister Kiren Rijiju over an alleged case of corruption in an Arunachal pradesh hydal project.With ruckus continuing, the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.

Banks take back $184 billion of old notes, RBI says | Reuters

By Suvashree Choudhury
| MUMBAI

MUMBAI Indian banks have taken back 12.44 trillion rupees ($184.24 billion) of high-value currency that the government abruptly abolished last month, Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor R Gandhi said on Tuesday.That represents about 80 percent of the 15.44 trillion rupees in 500- and 1,000-rupee notes that were circulating before Prime Minister Narendra Modi abolished them on Nov. 8, in a surprise move targeting counterfeiters and people holding undeclared wealth. Analysts had estimated that only about 13 trillion of those abolished notes would be deposited at banks, because people with undeclared cash would be wary of attracting the scrutiny of tax authorities.Indians have until Dec. 31 to turn in their old notes.Economists said total deposits were likely to reach about 13 trillion to 13.5 trillion rupees by the end of the year, in line with the estimates.”The old notes of 500 and 1000 rupees which have been returned back to the Reserve Bank and the currency chest amounted to 12.44 trillion rupees as of Dec. 10, 2016,” Gandhi said in a short news briefing.

The RBI has printed some 1.7 billion new 500- and 2,000-rupee notes, which will replace the abolished notes, Gandhi said. That is a fraction of the 24 billion individual notes that were withdrawn. Modi’s action has created a widespread cash shortage that has hit many aspects of the economy, from manufacturing to consumer demand.But Modi says it was necessary to crack down on India’s shadow economy, although Indians have resorted to ingenious ways to try to deposit their undeclared assets, such as splitting up their money and paying others to temporarily park it in their bank accounts.

The government and the RBI have vowed strict action against those believed to be trying to deposit undeclared assets, including tougher scrutiny of all deposits of more than 250,000 rupees.The RBI on Tuesday also asked banks to keep all CCTV footage from Nov. 8, in another bid to scrutinise depositors.A source at the Central Bureau of Investigation told Reuters on Tuesday it had arrested an RBI officer in Bengaluru for “unauthorised changing” of 600,000 rupees in old 500- and 1,000-rupees notes.

RBI Deputy Governor S.S. Mundra, at the same news briefing, said a junior central bank official had been “suspended” because “he was recorded to be present in a bank branch where some suspected transaction was happening.” “We have instituted investigation and due action would be taken once the details are ascertained,” Mundra said.($1 = 67.5199 Indian rupees) (Additional reporting by Abhirup Roy, Devidutta Tripathy in MUMBAI and Aditya Kalra in NEW DELHI; Editing by Rafael Nam, Larry King)

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

First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 19:49 IST

Exgratia for Burhan Wani’s kin announced, authorities seek objections within seven days

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has cleared an ex-gratia to next of kin of 17 persons, including Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani’s brother, killed in militancy-related incidents in the Valley, while giving one week’s time for filing of any objection before formal orders are issued.

Burhan Wani’s killing by security forces in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Kokernag area on 8 July this year triggered unrest in the Valley, which has left as many as 86 people dead.

According to a notification issued yesterday by Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, ex-gratia relief under rules has been cleared by the District Level Screening-cum-Consultative Committee (DLSCC) in favour of next of kin of those persons who died in militancy-related incidents.

Funeral of Burhan Wani. ReutersFuneral of Burhan Wani. Reuters

Funeral of Burhan Wani. Reuters

Among the 17 names in the list of persons killed in militancy-related incidents is Wani’s brother, Khalid Muzaffar Wani, who died in firing by security forces in Buchoo forest area of Tral on 13 April last year.

The DLSCC meeting took place under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Pulwama, Muneer-ul-Islam, on 24 November. The deputy commissioner has sought objections, if any, to the notice within seven days before the formal orders are issued.

Under the rules, an ex-gratia of Rs four lakh is sanctioned in such cases.

Army had said that Khalid was an over-ground worker of Hizbul Mujahideen and was killed in an encounter. However, locals claimed that he had no links with militancy.

Khalid (25) was pursuing Masters Degree in Political Science from the Indira Gandhi National Open University.

Also on the list is Shabir Ahmad Mangoo, a contractual lecturer who died when he was allegedly beaten up by the army personnel at Khrew in Pulwama on August 17 this year.

Locals had claimed that army conducted house to house searches for the youths, who were leading violent protests in the area, which was resisted by the residents of Khrew.

In the ensuing clash, 30-year-old Mangoo died.

Army had ordered an inquiry into the incident, saying such incidents would not be tolerated.

“These raids were not sanctioned in the first place. It is unjustified. Nobody can support it and it will not be tolerated,” the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda had said.

First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 15:19 IST

Punjab: 13 teachers killed in road mishap due to dense fog

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thirteen teachers, including four women, were killed when their vehicle collided with a truck due to dense fog on Fazilka-Jalalabad road on Friday, police said.The police said the teachers were on their way to school and that the mishap was caused due to poor visibility.Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal expressed grief over the incident and condoled the deaths. He said the loss of teachers, who chisel young minds for the future of the nation, was ‘irreparable’ and it has not only traumatised their families, but their students and the nation as well.The Deputy CM and SAD chief said he and his government were with the bereaved families at this critical hour and pray to Almighty to grant them strength to bear the enormous loss. He also advised all to use utmost caution while driving in the coming days when dense fog dominates during early and later hours of the day.Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh and AAP state convener Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi also condoled the deaths.They said the incident was a sad moment and his heart went out to the bereaved families.Amarinder asked the state government to change the school timings in order to ensure that “school teachers, students and other staff are not exposed to the risk of such accidents due to fog.”

Karnataka: Unaccounted cash worth Rs 11.13 lakh, mostly in new notes, seized in Belagavi

Belagavi: Unaccounted cash to the tune of Rs 11.13 lakh, mostly in the denomination of new Rs 2000 notes, and mobiles were recovered from two persons near the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Belagavi on Thursday, police said.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The sleuths of City Crime Investigation branch on a definite tip off took Manjunath and Vishwanath into custody, they said.

Of the recovered cash, Rs 8.5 lakhs was in denomination of new Rs 2,000 notes, Rs 1.5 lakh in Rs 100 currency notes and remaining Rs 50,000 in demonetised Rs 500 notes, they added.

The duo who claimed to be engaged in gold business said they had brought the cash meant to be handed over to a third person but failed to produce any valid documents, police said.

They were produced before the court and remanded to judicial custody, they added.

First Published On : Dec 8, 2016 08:17 IST

Principals of Delhi govt-run schools can appoint retired teachers: Manish Sisodia

New Delhi: Principals of Delhi government-run schools can appoint retired teachers in case of “shortage” of teaching staff in their institutes.

This was announced by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio, during the annual function of a Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in Mayur Vihar Phase I in New Delhi on Tuesday.

File image of Manish Sisodia. PTI

File image of Manish Sisodia. PTI

“If there is shortage of a teacher in any school, then the principal need not ask the deputy director or send file to him. Now, the principals will be able to appoint retired teachers of government schools for such vacancies,” Sisodia said.

Retired TGT and PGT teachers of government schools will have to register themselves on the education department’s website if they want to apply for such posts. They will be able to select a school of their choice, a senior government official said.

The applicants will be interviewed at the school concerned by a selection committee comprising principal, a teacher and two to three members of the school management committee, he said.

The retired teachers who are not selected in any school, will be included in a panel to be prepared by the education department for future appointments as the need may arise, the official said.

Sisodia RPT Sisodia said it is often difficult to permit teachers to go on leave due to shortage of teaching staff. Appointment of retired teachers as per need will solve this problem.

Previously, the government had allowed school principals to appoint estate managers for maintenance of cleanliness and sanitation. Earlier, the principals or teachers were engaged in ensuring cleanliness at the schools but now the estate managers discharge this duty, the official said.

First Published On : Dec 7, 2016 08:43 IST

Arunachal Pradesh: 17 Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan employees suspended

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Arunachal Pradesh government has suspended 17 employees working under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for remaining absent from their duty for an excessively long period. Taking action against the absentees, 17 teaching and non-teaching staff under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) posted in various educational institutions of Damin and Parsi-Parlo administrative circles under Kurung Kumey district, Deputy Commissioner Kangki Darang, also the district SSA project director, suspended them recently, an official release said in Itanagar on Monday.The suspended officials were found absent from their place of posting since a long time, it said. Some of them were reported to have not joined their duties since the beginning of the current academic session, thereby affecting the smooth functioning of the schools located in remote outposts.The DC has directed Kurung Kumey district Deputy Director of School Education (DDSE) to carry out an inquiry against all the suspended officials individually and submit report before December 20 for further necessary action. Darang became the first DC to reach Ruba, the last village on the Indian side at the Indo-China border in Kurung-Kumey sector after trekking for several days and also the first Deputy Commissioner to reach Damin on foot. He visited various government establishments and institutions during his week-long tour recently, the release said.

Opposition protests over demonetisation disrupts RS proceedings

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition parties on Monday continued their tirade against government in Rajya Sabha over the woes of employees and the pensioners due to the cash crunch following demonetization, as vociferous protests forced the wash out of the first half of the day’s proceedings.Congress, BSP, SP and TMC members trooped into the Well of the House raising slogans demanding the government’s reply on the problems faced by employees and pensioners, forcing Deputy Chairman P Kurien to adjourn the proceedings till noon and again till 1400 hours as similar scenes continued.Soon after the Upper House mourned the death of two of its former members and the listed papers were laid, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “The government employees and pensioners are not getting their salaries. I want to know from the goverment if there is a financial emergency.” He said there is no cash in ATMs located even in the Parliament complex. “When we are not getting money from ATMs in Parliament, how do we expect it outside? It seems there is a financial emergency.”Stating that it is a serious issue, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien called members to resume the discussion on demonetization that had began on November 16. “I am agreeing that you are raising an important and serious issue. It is for the government to reply. You start discussion. If all of you shout, what is the benefit? The only remedy is discussion,” he said.But unrelenting Opposition members trooped into the Well raising slogans — “Logon ka paisa, logon ko do (give the money that belongs to people)”, “Hosh mein aao, Hosh mein aao, Pradhan Mantri House mein aao (Come to your senses, PM come to the House).”As protesting members started shouting at high pitch, Kurien said: “You want a solution to the problem, then go back and raise the issue. Then the government will reply. This is not the way. There is anarchy in the House. I am not going to adjourn. Slogan shouting is no solution. You will get certain headlines in newspapers and nothing more. I will not adjourn.”The Treasury benches countered the Opposition shouting “We want discussion, We want discussion.” As the Opposition members refused to heed to the Chair’s repeated pleas to return to their seat, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu suggested the Chair to take up the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2014.Opposition members did not heed to this, even as Naresh Agarwal (SP) said that the entire nation has been crippled due to demonetization. As the protests continued, the House was adjourned till 1200 hours.

Donald Trump to retain high-profile Indian American prosecutor appointed by Obama

New York: US President-elect Donald Trump is going to keep Indian American Preet Bharara in his job as a high-profile federal prosecutor with charge of Wall Street and important security matters in New York.

Bharara, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, told reporters after meeting with the president-elect on Wednesday that Trump asked him to continue as the US District Attorney for Southern New York and “I agreed to stay on.”

Bharara has the reputation of being a crusader against financial institutions that have been blamed for the recent great recession and have been attacked by Trump for causing economic hardship around the nation.

He has taken action against major banks like Citibank and JP Morgan Chase, forcing them to pay billions of dollars to the government to settle the cases.

He has prosecuted over 100 of Wall Street executives for criminal activities like stock trading irregularities using insider information.

File photo of Donald Trump. APFile photo of Donald Trump. AP

File photo of Donald Trump. AP

They include several Indians like Rajat Gupta, the former head of the consulting company McKinsey and Goldman Sachs director, who served two years in jail for colluding with the Sri Lankan American hedge fund operator Raj Rajaratnam in a stock market scam.

The meeting with Trump and the offer to have Bharara is unusual both because he is a Democrat and an Obama appointee — the only one so far that the Republican has said he will keep on – and because despite its visibility, the job is not of the high-level that Trump is currently trying to fill.

Therefore, it shows the importance Trump attaches to the areas of potential prosecution that Bharara oversees.

Like Bharara, Trump is highly critical of Wall Street manipulations and irregularities, saying: “Wall Street has caused tremendous problems for us.”

“I’m not going to let Wall Street get away with murder,” Trump has declared, and Bharara would be his minion to ensure that.

Bharara has prosecuted several New York politicians for corruption. The senior-most among them is state assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, who was given a 12-year sentence for corruption.

Bharara, whose full name is Preetinder Preet Singh Bharara, was born in Ferozepore in 1968 and immigrated to the US as a child.

He sparked a diplomatic stand-off between India and the United States in 2013 when he had a Dalit Indian diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, arrested and strip-searched over allegations that she had made a false statement in the visa application for her maid.

Other diplomats accused of similar offenses were not similarly treated by Bharara and the humiliating action against Khobragade, the Deputy Consul General in New York, brought retaliatory action against by India against US diplomats in India.

Secretary of State John Kerry expressed regret for the incident and the matter was diplomatically resolved with her being allowed to leave the US without prosecution.

Citibank paid a $158 million fine to settle a case Bharara brought against it for misleading the government about loans and in another case made a $7 billion payment to the government after Bharara began investigating its Mexican unit.

JP Morgan Chase was made to forfeit $7 billion for failing to inform authorities about a massive investment fraud by a client.

First Published On : Dec 1, 2016 15:36 IST

Nagrota attack LIVE: Civilians are safe, says Manohar Parrikar; Modi briefed

Nov 29, 2016

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Jammu: Militants attacked an army camp in Nagrota in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday morning, officials said. The attack reportedly started around 5.30 am with militants firing at a field regiment camp located in the garrison town of Nagrota near the headquarter’s of Indian Army’s 16 Corps in the state.

At least, two-three suicide attackers are believed to be holed up in the area as a heavy exchange of fire is going on between the militants and security forces. However, their exact number is still not confirmed.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The ongoing firing has killed two jawans and injured two others, one of them being a junior commissioned officer.

CNN-News18 reported that the Indian security forces killed one terrorist later in the morning. According to the TV news channel, the militants entered the area dressed in army clothes.

“A group of heavily armed militants, believed to be four-to-five in number, attacked the 166 field army regiment camp in Nagrota area of Jammu today (Tuesday) morning,” a police officer told IANS.

“After entering the camp, the militants fired at the Officers Mess inside the camp. Two militants were killed and three soldiers injured. Other militants are still firing inside the camp,” the officer added.

According to CNN-News18, the militants are currently holed up inside the officer’s mess near the camp.

The camp is situated close to the headquarters of the Indian Army’s 16 Corps — a massive military formation that acts as a nerve centre to fight militancy and defend the borders in the Jammu region.

This is the seventh terror attack in the last seven days. “The encounter is currently in progress, however, the number of militants is still not confirmed. We will able to give more details only once the operation is over,” Defence PRO, Manish Mehta told the news channel.

The security forces have cordoned off the area and ordered to shut down all schools Nagrota tehsil as a precautionary measure.  “We have ordered the closure of all schools and education institutions in Nagrota tehsil in view of the terror attack”, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Simrandeep Singh said.

“We have ordered the closure of all schools and education institutions in Nagrota tehsil in view of the terror attack”, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Simrandeep Singh said.

In view of the attack, the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway has been closed for traffic in the area, PTI said.

An alert has been sounded in Jammu city as well.

The attack came around the same time when an infiltration bid was undergoing near the Chambliyal Border Outpost in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir.

(With agency inputs)

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 12:45 IST

Punjab jailbreak: Deputy CM suspects Pakistan’s involvement to revive terrorism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a sensational jailbreak, chief of Khalistan Liberation Front militant outfit Harminder Mintoo escaped on Sunday along with five other prisoners after armed men in police uniform stormed the high-security Nabha prison in Patiala, exposing “lapses” and raising doubts of possible collusion of insiders, with the Centre seeking an immediate report.Punjab DGP Suresh Arora said that “the unidentified assailants came in police fatigues and were carrying small firearms.” He said that they told police personnel deployed on jail premises that they were bringing a prisoner. “Later, they fired indiscriminately and fled with six criminals, including a terrorist,” he said, adding over 35 rounds were fire and there was no casualty among the jail personnel, who were allegedly taken offguard and did not offer any strong resistance.”The firing was also done from inside the jail. We will see why the firing was not effective,” the DGP said and added there is a “conspiracy somewhere”. “Had there been effective firing, it would have been the other way round,” he said.
ALSO READ Punjab jailbreak: Accused arrested, two suspicious cars impoundedPunjab government sacked two senior prison officials, Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent, suspended ADGP (Jails) and formed an SIT to probe the jail break. It ordered a separate inquiry committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Jagpal Singh Sandhu to look into the “security lapses”. “There are two aspects. One is that the jailbreak will be probed and the second thing is lapses. Who is responsible, if there is any connivance?” the DGP said.Those who escaped from the high-security prison included hardcore Khalistani militant Mintoo, who was arrested by Punjab police in November 2014 after he was deported from Thailand and was wanted in 10 terror cases. Meanwhile, a woman, who was in an SHO’s vehicle, died after being hit by a bullet when the police opened fire at her vehicle after it jumped a barrier about 20 km away from the prison. The incident occurred at a ‘naka’ on Patiala-Gulha Cheeka road, police said.
ALSO READ Punjab jailbreak: Khalistani terrorist escapes, high alert in Northern statesAfter the jailbreak, security agencies in northern states were sent into high alert and Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. He sought an immediate report on the incident, besides directing the state to step up security in jails.National Security Advisor Ajit Doval spoke to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal who apprised him of the details of the incident and steps being taken to apprehend the six absconders. Sukhbir said Pakistan could be behind the incident as it was desperate to revive terrorism in the state post-surgical strike across LoC and vowed that the “conspiracy” will be unravelled soon.
ALSO READ Punjab jailbreak: Kejriwal demands Deputy CM Sukhbir’s resignationThe others who fled were gangster Vicky Gaundar, Amandeep Dhotian, Gurpreet Sekhon, Nita Deol and Kashmira Singh, who is also a terrorist. The DGP said that the prisoners had fled towards Haryana. Punjab government has announced a reward of Rs 25 lakh for any person who provides information leading to the arrest of the under-trial prisoners. With Punjab going to polls early next year, the opposition Congress said the incident exposed the “complete breakdown of law and order” in the state and triggered fears of revival of terrorism ahead of Assembly elections. Mintoo was arrested in 10 cases including the 2008 attack on Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and recovery of explosives at Halwara Air Force Station in 2010. A high alert has been sounded in Punjab and Haryana after the incident with security around railway stations, airports, inter-state bus terminuses and other places of key importance stepped up.The CM held a meeting with top brass including State Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal following the incident. A manhunt has been launched to trace the prisoners who escaped, Sukhbir Badal, who also holds the home portfolio, said and added that a special task force has been formed to track them.The Deputy CM said a special investigation team under an ADGP rank officer has also been constituted which shall look into lapses as well as any conspiracy theories surrounding the jail break incident. “Special Investigation team has been asked to submit report within three days in this regard,” he said.The Home Secretary has also been asked to submit a report. “Home Secretary will give me a report on wherever any lapse has taken place. Whosoever will be found responsible in this incident, strict action will be taken against him,” he said.Prabodh Kumar, Additional Director General of Police, Internal Vigilance Cell shall head the SIT comprising Paramraj Singh, IGP/Patiala Zone, Ishwar Singh, IGP, Nilabh Kishore, IGP/Counter Intelligence, Amar Singh Chahal, DIG/Patiala Range and Gurmeet Chouhan, SSP/Patiala.He said the red alert has been issued throughout the state and security at all jails has been furthered tightened. However, Deputy CM said that there was no need to worry adding, “they (prisoners) will not be allowed to run away. Police is after them. We will catch them soon.” Sukhbir had rushed to Nabha jail after the incident, an official spokesman said.ADGP (Jails) MK Tiwari has been placed under suspension, the spokesman said adding that the government has dismissed both the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of High Security Nabha Jail with immediate effect. Meanwhile, ADGP (Railways) Rohit Chaudhary has been posted as new ADGP (Jails) and S Bhupati, an IPS officer has been appointed as the Superintendent of Nabha High Security Jail. Sukhbir also summoned jail minister Sohan Singh Thandale, officials said.The jailbreak incident triggered sharp reactions from the opposition with Punjab Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh alleging connivance of the Badal government in the “brazen daylight” jailbreak. The “shocking manner” in which the gangsters walked into the high-security jail and freed a dreaded Khalistani terrorist along with other convicts clearly shows complicity at the highest levels, he told reporters during the second day of the his road show in Sangrur.Amarinder said the law and order situation in the state had “deteriorated to unprecedented levels” under the Badal regime, especially in the run-up to the Assembly polls. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal demanded the resignation of Sukhbir. “Punjab Home minister shud immediately resign taking responsibility of jail break and killing of innocent girl by Punjab police,” Kejriwal said in his tweet. AAP spokesman and in-charge of party’s affairs in Punjab, Sanjay Singh demanded resignation of Sukhbir and Jail Minister Sohan Singh Thandal. Meanwhile, an eyewitness said that he saw two vehicles outside the prison and some people coming out from inside while firing. “After firing, they tried to flee in their vehicles. One of them threw a quilt near the gate after taking out weapons wrapped in it. They fled while firing,” the youth said. “They were carrying a large number of weapons. As they were not changing magazines, so obviously there were a number of weapons. Three to four people were in police uniforms. “One of them was in sub-inspector’s uniform. They returned from a railway crossing that is around one kilometre from here kept on firing before escaping finally,” he said.

Punjab jailbreak: Kejriwal demands Deputy CM Sukhbir’s resignation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday demanded “immediate” resignation of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal over Nabha jailbreak in which six prisoners, including Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Mintoo, escaped.Blaming Punjab police for killing a woman, he tweeted, “Punjab Home Minister shud immediately resign taking responsibility of jail break and killing of innocent girl by Punjab police.” “This shows complete breakdown of law n order in Punjab,” Kejriwal said in another tweet attacking Sukhbir who also holds the portfolio of the home minister of the state.In a sensational jailbreak, chief of Khalistan Liberation Front militant outfit Harminder Mintoo escaped along with five other prisoners after armed men in police uniform stormed the high-security Nabha prison here. A woman, who was in an SHO’s vehicle, died after being hit by a bullet when police opened fire at her vehicle after it jumped a barrier about 20 km away from the prison. The incident occurred at a ‘naka’ on Patiala-Gulha Cheeka road, police said.
ALSO READ Punjab: Unarmed woman killed in police firing after car jumps barrierMeanwhile, AAP national spokesperson Sanjay Singh demanded resignations of jail minister Sohan Singh Thandal and the Deputy Chief Minister. Sukhbir has no “moral right” to keep the portfolio of the Punjab home minister “even for a day” because under him the state is being “pushed toward anarchy”, he said. “Be it attack on a religious preacher, murder of Mata Chand Kaur of Namdhari Sect, series of sacrilege incidents, the drug haul in Punjab, murder of RSS ideologue or the jailbreak, he has completely failed as the home minister,” Singh said.On Sukhbir alleging that Pakistan “could be behind the jailbreak”, the AAP leader said, “If he is right that Pakistan was indeed behind Nabha jailbreak, then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh should also quit for failing to protect the international borders.”Slamming Sukhbir, AAP Punjab convener Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi alleged, “He does not think twice before blaming Pakistan for the ills of Punjab. Every time he constitutes a Special Investigation Team and puts the issue under the carpet. They have yielded no results so far.” “Such daredevil attack on the jail by armed men in police uniform could not have been possible without active connivance of the state government or higher police officials,” Ghuggi alleged and demanded that there is a need to immediately deploy paramilitary forces in Punjab.

Punjab jailbreak: Special Investigation Team formed by the police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accepting that the Nabha Central Jail incident was result of a conspiracy as well as security lapses, Director General of Punjab Police Suresh Arora on Sunday said five criminals came in a car and told santari (guardsman) that they want to handover a prisoner. “Following which the santari (guardsman) opened the gate and the criminals, who were carrying small arms, overpowered the santaris and as a result six prisoners, four known criminals and two terrorists, were able to escape,” said the DGP, divulging details of the jailbreak.”Their names are Harvinder Mintoo and Kashmir Singh (both terrorists), and gangsters Gurpreet Sekhon, Vicky Gonder, Amandeep Dhotia and Neeta Deol,” he said.Asked why did the santari open the gate so quickly, the DGP said, “There are two aspects of it: one, they escaped, and the second, what were the lapses and who are responsible for those lapses; is there any connivance, we will clear these things soon.”
ALSO READ Punjab jailbreak: Rajnath Singh seeks report from Punjab govt, ready to provide assistanceWhen asked when the criminals fired 100 rounds, why did not security guards respond, he said, “Not 100 rounds; we have found around 30-35 rounds. Though the security guards responded to the firing, it was ineffective, which will be probed into.”Answering a question that if police suspect a conspiracy, the DGP said, “If you say that it’s not a part of conspiracy, then it will be wrong. There is a conspiracy, which we have to unearth. In such a cases, there are also roles of insiders.”
ALSO READ Centre seeks report from Punjab govt on jailbreakHe said Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Home Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who visited the Nabha jail to take on the spot stock of the jailbreak, told them to arrest the escapees and fix responsibility of the incident. “Being a Home Minister his directions are very clear arrest the escapees, fix responsibility of the incident, and to prevent such incidents from reoccurrence by enhancing jails’ security.”When asked could Pakistan be behind the incident, he said, “As a police officer I will not comment on this. It is too early for me.”Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal held a high-level meeting of the civil and police administration, including intelligence officials, in the morning to review the situation. The state government has announced a reward of Rs 25 lakh to any person providing information leading to the arrest of these six escaped under trial prisoners.A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed by the Punjab Police to investigate the escape of six under-trials. Additional Director General of Police, Internal Vigilance Cell, Prabodh Kumar would head the SIT comprising IGP, Patiala Zone, Paramraj Singh; IGP Ishwar Singh; IGP, Counter Intelligence, Nilabh Kishore; DIG, Patiala Range, Amar Singh Chahal; and Patiala SSP Gurmeet Chouhan.At the same time, a massive manhunt has been launched to nab the escaped prisoners, and all districts have been alerted to lay nakas (barricades) and conduct mobile patrolling to nab the escapees. Meanwhile, the statement said, the state government took a series of administrative steps and a red alert has been sounded throughout the state, besides, tightening security apparatus at all jails.Both the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of the Nabha jail have been dismissed with immediate effect, following the incident. The state government has also ordered the constitution of an inquiry committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Jagpal Singh Sandhu to look into the security lapses that led to the jailbreak. ADGP (Railways) Rohit Chaudhary has been posted as new ADGP (Jails) in place of MK Tiwari, who has been placed under suspension, and S Bhupati as the Superintendent of Nabha High Security Jail.

Fake Aadhar-linked ration cards issued, government orders inquiry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Friday ordered an inquiry into the complaints of alleged irregularities during the transfer of old ration cards to new cards linked with Aadhar Cards under the National Food Security system in 2013.The government had launched the e-ration card facilities in a bid to link it with the Aadhar Card but it was found that the genuine Aadhaar Card numbers were being used to create fake identities to issue illegal ration cards. It was also alleged that the people whose identities were being used for the creation of illegal ration cards weren’t aware of the fact that ration was being availed illegally at subsidised rates on their behalf.Many people found that when they entered their Aadhar numbers in the ‘Track Food Security Application’ link on the website and found that the number was linked to the ration card of someone else.Food and Supplies Minister Imran Hussain has now ordered the inquiry following instructions from Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, after he found mismatch in the details in some cards during the verification exercise conducted by the Food and Supplies Department.Hussain has ordered a thorough inquiry to be conducted within 10 days and responsibility of the officials concerned to be fixed.”Vigilance cases will be initiated against those who have committed gross irregularities and FIRs will be filed, if required,” the minister said.He further said that the Food and Supplies Department will conduct a door-to-door survey for cross-checking of cards by establishing personal contact with card holders. The minister directed that the exercise, however, should not result in any harassment of card holders.It has also been directed that during the door-to-door survey, wherever card holders are not found to be genuine, lists must be prepared containing all the details.The state government had launched e-ration card facilities where people could check the status of their ration cards, distribution of rations, performance of officials of the department and so on. Through the online system, the real-time information about pendency and disposal of applications for food security and ration cards by inspectors and food and supply officers has been made available on the department’s website.The citizens can visit the website and click on the link ‘date wise disposal of applications by inspector’, which has been provided on the Delhi government website. The online facility was to improve transparency in the functioning of the department. The department has 70 offices in the city, where applications for grant of food security can be submitted.

More trouble for AAP, CBI files corruption case against leader

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In another setback to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against party legislator from Okhla, Amanatullah Khan, on Friday for the alleged recruitment scam and financial irregularities in Delhi Waqf Board when Khan was its chairman.The agency registered a corruption case against Khan after Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung recommended a CBI probe into the scam allegations, after he dissolved the board in October. This is expected to further escalate tension between the Centre and the AAP government.”We have registered a corruption case against the then chairman of Delhi Waqf Board and unknown persons under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act related to criminal misconduct and corruption,” said a senior CBI officer.The FIR has been registered based on the complaints submitted by BJP leader and RTI activist Vivek Garg, and Mohammad Mustafa, to the Delhi government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) in September.The case pertains to misuse of official position, financial irregularities and allowing encroachers and tenants to occupy Waqf Board properties in violation of the lease rules of the board, the agency said.The FIR alleged that the existing Waqf Board was illegally scrapped and superseded by the Delhi government under the directions of Deputy Chief Minister and Chief Minister of Delhi, CBI sources said.It alleged that another Waqf Board was constituted and its chairman was elected under the directions of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in contravention of the Waqf Act-1955 and Delhi Waqf rules of 1977.Sources also said that the ACB has submitted all documents related to the case to the CBI for further probe last week. ACB had grilled Khan and also carried out raids at the Waqf Board during preliminary inquiry into the complaints.”We have submitted our inquiry report to the CBI,” a source in ACB said.According to the complaints, when Khan was the Chairman of the board, around 40 people were hired in contravention to the recruitment rules. It was also alleged that the jobs were given to Khan’s relatives and AAP workers and that no advertisements were issued regarding the recruitment. They further alleged that the Delhi Waqf Board has recruited people on several key posts since Khan became the chairman of the body in March this year.On October 7, Jung dissolved the Waqf Board and referred the matter to the CBI. He directed the authorities concerned to reconstitute the board, quashing all appointments made by Khan. While Khan was the Chairman of the board, retired IPS officer Mehboob Alam was appointed as CEO. Both the appointments were struck down by the LG”for not having obtained the approval of the competent authority”.The LG office, in a statement, had said: “In view of the deliberate and persistent acts of illegality, violation of rules, allegations of corruption, possibility of mala fide intentions etc, the matter related to the Delhi Waqf Board is referred to the CBI for investigation.”Jung has also directed Divisional Commissioner A Anbarasu to constitute a committee to review the legality and propriety of all decisions and action taken by the Board after its constitution in March 2016 and submit its report . Earlier this month, the officer had submitted the report to the LG office .

Maharashtra: Retirement age of govt employees to be raised to 60, committee formed

Fri, 25 Nov 2016-12:07am , Mumbai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra government set up a committee on Thursday to look into the demand of raising the retirement age of its employees to 60 years from the current 58. Central government employees retire at the age of 60 years, while Maharashtra government staff retire at the age of 58. This has prompted the state government staff to demand increase of their retirement age.In this backdrop, the state government has set up a six-member committee to look into the demand. The panel, headed by retired IAS officer BC Khatua, will have principal secretaries of general administration and finance department. The two other members will be the Directors of Records and Treasury, while Deputy Secretary of the Services section will be its Member-Secretary, a Government Resolution (GR) issued here said.The committee has been asked to submit its report within the next six months, the GR added. There are around 15 lakh employees in more than 35 government departments across the state.

India summons Pak Dy High Commissioner over repeated ceasefire violations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Vikas Swarup announced on Thursday that the MEA had summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Syed Hyder Shah and stated that despite calls for restrain, Pakistan violated ceasefire 27 times from November 12 to 21. He added that the MEA called in Pak DHC on and issued a demarche, the 4th one in this month owing to continued ceasefire violations from other side of LoC. Swarup said that these violent acts constitute a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement of 2003.Swarup also dissuaded from internationalising the Kashmir issue as it has borne no fruit and advised Pakistan to first end state support to terror. While India is not ruling out the possibility of bilateral talks with Pakistan Foreign Affairs Minister Sartaj Aziz, Swarup said he could not confirm anything on the matter.In the aftermath of Indian army’s “punitive fire assaults”, DGMOs of India and Pakistan on Wednesday spoke at the latter’s request for an “unscheduled hotline interaction” during which the “unethical” act of mutilation of bodies of Indian soldiers by “terrorists” was raised. Indian DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh raised the issue of infiltration attempts by terrorists from Pakistan into Jammu and Kashmir and “unethical act of mutilation of the body of Indian soldiers close to the Line of Control by terrorists infiltrating from Pakistan”. Pakistan’s DGMO was exhorted to exercise strict control on their troops to refrain from any “nefarious activities”, it said.

Uproar in RS over demonetization, Dy Chair Kurien pulls up Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Anand Sharma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> An angry Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien today pulled up Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi after the ruling side created uproar. At the same time, Kurien also grilled Congress leader Anand Sharma after he made an attempt to raise a Point of Order, which was rejected as the Chair was not convinced with the argument. At 2 PM, when the House reconvened after two adjournments due to opposition uproar, Kurien allowed Sharma to raise a Point of Order. He claimed that the Constitution had been violated. His attempt to raise the Point of Order was disturbed by shouting from the Treasury benches, which provoked Kurien who angrily made certain comments targeting Naqvi. The Deputy Chairman’s comments were expunged later, marking a rare occurrence where the Chair’s remarks have been deleted from the proceedings of the House. Naqvi said the BJP members did not intend to cause any disturbance but wanted a debate on the issue as they were sad over the happenings in the House.Kurien then asked Sharma to specify which Article of the Constitution had been violated as claimed by him. “You say Constitution has been violated. Which Article has been violated,” he kept asking Sharma.Sharma gave various arguments including the one that the Monetory Policy is the domain of the RBI and the Prime Minister had made a departure from the established Constitutional norms by making the announcement.As Kurien kept posing his question, the former Union Minister was seen shuffling pages of the Constitution, saying he is looking for the Article.Sharma then said the Prime Minister had made the announcement on demonetization on November 8 when summons for convening the Parliament had already been issued and so he should have made the announcement in Parliament.However, Kurien was not convinced and he rejected Sharma’s Point of Order. Tiruchi Shiva (DMK) also raised a Point of Order on the situation arising out of the note ban, which has impacted farmers. He also raised the issue of Modi’s presence in the House during the discussion. Pramod Tiwari (Cong) also raised the Point of Order saying that Article 74 of the Constitution has been violated because the Prime Minister, as head of the government, had made the announcement in an address to the nation and so he should make a statement in the House as well.Kurien rejected this also, ruling that there is “no Point of Order”. He asked Tiwarni not to make a political speech in the House. “I am not bothered about the politics of it,” the Deputy Chairman said.After this, Kurien said that he would call the name of the member listed for speaking on the discussion and if the member does not stand, he will ask Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar to make a statement on the Prime Minister’s visit to Japan on November 11-12.Congress members trooped into the Well and started raising slogans, “Pradhan Mantri bhago mat”, PM sadan me aao” and “Narendra Modi bhago mat” (PM, don’t run away. PM, come to the House and Narendra Modi, don’t run away). BJP members too rose from their seats and started raising slogans, which could not be heard due to the din.Akbar rose to read the statement but could not complete it due to the commotion. He then laid it on the table of the House.Kurien then adjourned the House for the day.Earlier, a comment by Naresh Agrawal of SP agitated BJP members, with newly-nominated member Roopa Ganguly taking the lead in protesting against the remarks.Kurien asked her to calm down and told Naqvi that he has not understood the issue as all the members are shouting and that only one should raise the issue.

Pak summons Deputy Indian High Commissioner over LoC firing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Pakistan on Monday summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh and lodged a protest over alleged ceasefire violations by India at the LoC that resulted in the death of four civilians, and also over New Delhi’s refusal of diplomatic flight clearance to Pakistani aircraft.Singh conveyed “strong condemnation of the unprovoked ceasefire violations by Indian occupation forces on the LoC in Khuiratta sector on November 19,” the Foreign Office said. The violations resulted in the death of four children, including three girls, and injuries to two other civilians, it said. “The Deputy High Commissioner was told that the deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas was highly deplorable,” it said.India was urged to respect the 2003 ceasefire understanding in letter and spirit; to investigate the continued incidents of ceasefire violations; stop targeting the villages and civilians and maintain peace along the LoC, according to a statement by the Foreign Office. Pakistan also expressed concern over Indian refusal of diplomatic flight clearance to Pakistani aircraft.This action by the India constituted a violation of the 1991 bilateral agreement between Pakistan and India, it said. Pakistan has summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale twice in less than a week – on November 10 and 14 – this month over Indian ceasefire violations at the LoC after the death of seven of its soldiers. Pakistan has also alleged that Indian forces have been using heavy weaponry such as artillery fire at the LoC.

Change PM, not notes: Kejriwal on demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upping the ante against demonetization, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday exhorted people to “change” the Prime Minister instead of defunct notes, saying those supporting the exercise were against the country, even as AAP announced a march to Parliament on Tuesday. Countering his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis’ contention that opposing the decision was “anti-national”, Kejriwal said it was those who were in support of the drive that were against the country and the citizens.Kejriwal also continued to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue, asking the latter to come clear on his “relations” with a mobile wallet company, claiming its business has seen an “upswing” since demonetization.”Note nahi, PM Badlo (Change PM, not note)…Fadnavis ji, fire is raging across the country following the decision of the Prime Minister. The person who is standing with the PM on this would be against the country and the citizens,” the Chief Minister, who is touring poll-bound Punjab, tweeted. In another tweet, he urged Modi to either “waive off” farmers’ loans or deposit Rs 10,000 in each Jan Dhan account using the money deposited by people in banks since November 10, the day banking opened post demonetization. Kerjriwal had earlier set a three-day deadline to the Centre demanding that demonetization, “a massive scam”, be rolled back. He will also address rallies in Varanasi, Meerut and Lucknow next month to corner the government on the issue.The deadline expired yesterday and AAP said tomorrow’s march to Parliament was part of its plan to sustain the momentum of its pitched battle against the exercise. Several ministers of the Delhi cabinet, led by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, will take part in the march. Alleging that the drive by the Modi government was a “scam”, senior AAP leader Ashish Khetan said common people were suffering while the loans of big industrialists were being waived off.”We will be a undertaking Sansad March tomorrow under the leadership of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. demonetization was aimed at giving BJP the advantage of being the only one with the largest amount of black money in new currency which they can use in the elections,” Khetan told a press conference. Apart from party leaders, Delhi ministers will also join the march, which will start from Jantar Mantar around 11.30 AM.

India doesn’t need PM Modi’s tears, but solution to financial crunch: Sisodia

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lambasting the Centre’s move of demonetisation to curb black money, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday said the people of the nation don’t need Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emotion but a solution to the ongoing financial crisis.”The people now don’t need the Prime Minister’s tears but a solution. The solution is not about the long queues at the ATMs ‘it’s a huge problem. Business is suffering due to this. The farmers cannot cultivate now due to your policies you will be able to see the result after five to six months in the form of inflation,” Sisodia told ANI.Asserting that the nation has elected him to fight corruption and questioned if he should not do it, Prime Minister Modi turned emotional on Sunday and said that he left his home and family for the nation.The Prime Minister, who was speaking for the first time on demonetisation after announcing the decision on November 8, also used the occasion to hit back at those questioning his bold and effective step to combat corruption and menace of black money.Silencing his critics, the Prime Minister said in Goa that his decision was not a display of arrogance but aimed at fulfilling the commitments made to the nation.Earlier on November 8, Prime Minister Modi took a major step and announced demonetisation of Rs. 500 and 1,000 currency notes with effect from midnight, making these notes invalid in a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption.In his televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister said people holding notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 can deposit the same in their bank and post office accounts from November 10 till December 30.In a press release, the government reassured there is enough cash with the RBI and supply of cash to bank branches and ATMs are being stepped up gradually.

Demonetisation a hasty decision by Modi govt: Tejaswi Yadav

Varanasi: Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Tejaswi Yadav on Thursday said the Centre made a “hasty” decision to demonetise the currency which has severely affected the day-to-day activities of the common people.

Tejaswi Yadav. News18

Tejaswi Yadav. News18

He said the Union government should have made proper arrangements before announcing scrapping of Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes.

The RJD leader, however, said his party supports “all the decisions that are taken to check the flow of black money and fake currency in the market and corruption”.

“The decision has been taken in haste. It has led to a lot of inconvenience. People are unable to carry out their day-to-day activities. The Centre and RBI should have made all arrangements keeping in view the problems to be faced by the public,” he said.

“There are long queues at ATMs, bank branches, petrol pumps, medical services have been hit, traveling by bus and trains has become difficult, small shopkeepers are unable to carry out their business,” Yadav said and questioned the timing of the announcement, saying it has been made just a few months ahead of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

He asked why Modi made the announcement after two-and-a-half years of becoming the Prime Minister and what is the BJP government doing to bring back the black money stashed abroad?

He alleged that BJP also politicized the issue of “surgical strikes” by the army against on terror launchpads in PoK and said it will bite the dust in Uttar Pradesh like in Bihar”.

Pak summons Indian envoy; India protests over unprovoked firing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India protested to Pakistan on Wednesday over the unprovoked firing from across the border to give cover to infiltrators when its Deputy High Commissioner was summoned for the sixth time in over two weeks against alleged “unprovoked ceasefire violations” on the LoC.Foreign Office (FO) said Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Mohammad Faisal summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh to “strongly condemn the unprovoked ceasefire violations on November 8 by the Indian Forces on the Line of Control (LoC) in Khuirata and Battal sectors”.This is the sixth time in over two weeks that the Indian Deputy High Commissioner has been summoned to the FO here. The FO said the violation by India resulted in the death of four civilians, including a woman and a 10-year-old girl, besides causing injuries to seven others.On his part, Singh protested against the unprovoked firing from Pakistani Rangers, saying it was primarily to give cover to infiltrators. He also said casualties on the Indian side include both civilians and security forces in the ceasefire violations by the Pakistan.The FO said that the Director General urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding; investigate the continued incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit, stop targeting the villages and civilians and maintain peace on the LoC.It claimed that so far, this year, India has committed 222 ceasefire violations out of which 184 have been on the LoC and 38 on the Working Boundary, resulting in killing of 26 civilians and injuries to 107 others.​

Pak summons India’s Deputy HC over ‘ceasefire violations’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the fifth time in just over two weeks, Pakistan summoned on Tuesday the Indian Deputy High Commissioner and lodged a strong protest over alleged “unprovoked” firing by Indian forces along the LoC.”Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Dr Mohammad Faisal, summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner, Mr JP Singh, today and strongly condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations” by the Indian Forces yesterday on the LoC in Nikial and Jandrot sectors, Pakistan Foreign Office said. “The firing resulted in the death of 3 civilians, including a woman and injuries to four others, including a 5-year-old boy, the Foreign Office said in a statement. “The Director General urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding; investigate the continued incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit, stop targeting the villages and civilians and maintain peace on the LoC,” the statement said. Deputy High Commissioner Singh has also been summoned to the Foreign Office over ceasefire violations on October 25, 26, 28 and November 1.On October 27, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to the foreign ministry and conveyed the decision of the Government of Pakistan to declare an Indian High Commission official “persona non-grata”.

Guptas deny meeting South Africa’s Mcebisi Jonas

The wealthy family at the heart of South African corruption allegations denies meeting a top politician, who said he was offered a bribe.

Detention of Rahul Gandhi an ‘undeclared emergency’: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Describing the detention of their vice-president Rahul Gandhi and other political leaders by the police as an act of ‘undeclared emergency’, the Congress Party on Thursday said it was the ‘darkest night of democracy’.”Former chief minister Sheila Dikshit was arrested, Chief Minister of Delhi was arrested, and the Deputy Chief Minister was arrested and if this is not undeclared emergency that what is it,” asked Congress leader Tom Vadakkan.Talking to ANI, Vadakkan said yesterday was the darkest night of democracy as an undeclared emergency was seen.”Vice-president Rahul Gandhi was arrested twice and for what? To convey his condolence to the grieved family, he was stopped and the family members were manhandled in the hospital, in the parking lot they were moved out of the spot by the rattled Bharatiya Janata Party government,” he added.Gandhi was detained by the Delhi Police for trying to meet the family members of an ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, who allegedly committed suicide over delays in implementation of the one rank one pension scheme for the armed forces.The senior Congress leader alleged that the Modi government is curbing the voices that are being raised against his regime, and warned that the latter risked facing heavy repercussions.Angry at being detained by Delhi Police, Gandhi took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ?Let?s see how long I have to wait here. I am certain that I will talk to the family. This is a strange behaviour. This is Modi’s ji’s country,” Gandhi told ANI here.Gandhi being detained twice by the Delhi police amid high drama and the movement of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal restricted snowballed the protest. Several leaders of Congress and AAP including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia were also held by the police even as Rahul and Kejriwal tore into Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Fresh jitters for AAP as EC sends notices to 27 more MLAs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party’s woes increased on Wednesday after the Election Commission (EC) issued show cause notices to 27 of its MLAs on a petition seeking their disqualification for allegedly holding offices of profit.The commission has asked the MLAs to file their responses by November 11. The petition forwarded to EC by the President’s House about two weeks ago had sought cancellation of membership of 27 AAP legislators.The petitioner claimed that the MLAs held posts of Chairpersons of Rogi Kalyan Samitis (RKSs) of different government hospitals in Delhi without any sanctity of law.These 27 MLAs include seven legislators from the earlier list of 21 MLAs against whom the EC is already considering a similar plea for holding the offices of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries. The two separate cases thus have put the future of 41 of the 67 AAP MLAs at stake as it can lead to their disqualification from the assembly. The list includes Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, his deputy Rakhi Birla, former Deputy Speaker Bandana Kumari, and estranged AAP MLA and Swaraj Abhiyan leader Pankaj Pushkar.According to the complaint, the Delhi Government through an executive order had approved constituting Rogi Kalyan Samitis in all the hospitals with a governing body under the chairmanship of local MLA that was in violation of the mandate of the scheme. The petition contested that the order of appointing MLAs either by the present government or by the earlier government as Chairperson of the Rogi Kalyan Samiti was wholly illegal and void ab initio without any legal sanctity.However, the AAP-led state government is not overly worried as it feels the petition will not stand legal scrutiny because the Rogi Kalyan Samitis were set up by the Sheila Dikshit cabinet on October 5, 2009. Moreover, in July 2014, the then Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had also stated in the Parliament that MPs/MLAs will be the chairpersons of the committees. The National Rural Health Mission website clearly states that an MP/ MLA can become a chairman/member, the state government sources said.

Kolkata: Former sex worker found murdered at NGO office, 2 rescued girls also missing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking incident, a former sex worker who was also a caretaker of the NGO – Durbar Mahila Sammanaya Committee office at Asia’s largest red light districts – Sonagachi in Kolkata was found murdered on Wednesday morning.While her body was found hanging from the ceiling of the NGO office, two girls, who were rescued a couple of days back from the adjacent Bowbazar red light area, were also missing from the same office.The girls were to be produced before the court, following which they would be sent back home. Till the completion of the formalities, the girls were to remain at the NGO office.When other members of the NGO came to office on Wednesday morning, they saw the main gate and other doors opened. When they reached the third floor of the office, they spotted Rai’s body hanging from the ceiling and the two girls missing. Immediately, they informed the police and her body was sent for post-mortem. Later, the NGO filed a complaint with the police.Meanwhile, the post-mortem report of Rai revealed that she was strangulated and suffered serious injuries on the head.Police believe that traffickers could be involved in the case and may have murdered the care-taker in a bid to free the rescued girls from the NGO. Other sources reveal that the crime might have been committed by some insider. However, the police is not ruling out a possibility of the two girls committing the crime as well.“We have registered a case of murder and are exploring all angles,” said Subhankar Sinha Sarkar, Deputy Commissioner of Kolkata Police (North Division).

Talks between AAP and Navjot Sidhu are for a bigger cause of ‘saving Punjab’: Sanjay Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Talks between former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and Aam Aadmi Party are going on, AAP senior leader Sanjay Singh said in Chandigarh on Thursday, even as suspense continued over which way the cricketer-turned-politician would finally go after Congress recently maintained that it had no reservation if he joins the outfit “unconditionally”.”Talks are going on with Sidhu. There is no denying this. Talks have been underway for the past 4-5 days,” Singh told reporters here. Sources said Sidhu held a meeting with AAP’s co-in-charge and Delhi Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s confidante Durgesh Pathak here late last night. They said former BJP MP is pushing for the deputy chief minister’s post and added that the bone of contention was also some 7-8 seats which Sidhu has demanded, including seats for Hockey Olympian Pargat Singh and two Independent legislators, Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains.They also indicated that a section in the party favoured an alliance with Sidhu’s outfit Aawaz-e-Punjab rather than the former BJP MP joining AAP. “An alliance with Sidhu’s Awaaz-e-Punjab will boost party’s prospects but giving him deputy CM’s post will not go well with the party cadre,” they said, adding, the alliance will help strike balance between the demands of the two sides.They indicated that the party was not keen on giving him the deputy chief minister’s post but it was ready to induct his wife in the Cabinet if the AAP comes to power. “Our party constitution states that we cannot give seats to two people from one family. Since the Bains brothers are sitting MLAs, they would want tickets, a demand which we would not be able to fulfil,” the leader added.Sidhu had last month floated his ‘Awaaz-e-Punjab’ forum in what many had then thought was the outcome of Sidhu’s talks with AAP having “failed” at that time. After the development, Kejriwal had said his respect for Sidhu will continue irrespective of whether “he joins (AAP) or not”, indicating that the party had not shut its doors on him.However, Sidhu had later attacked Kejriwal and dubbed AAP as “anarchy in the garb of democracy”, saying the AAP chief wanted only “yes men”. In a clear indication that talks with the former BJP MP leader were progressing, Singh said not too much should be read into Sidhu’s utterances, asserting that the two sides were engaged in talks for a bigger cause which was how “save Punjab”. “A long time has passed (since Sidhu made these remarks), if we get involved in small things, then Punjab’s interests will take a back seat. What he has said in his speech or in his statement, that is not the issue, that is not important.”The issue is how to save Punjab, how to save the state from corruption, from drug menace, how we will restore the lost glory of our farmers. We are thinking about this and we have to think about these issues,” Singh said.Asked if AAP has offered Sidhu the post of the Deputy Chief Minister in case the party wins next year’s Punjab polls, Singh said, “At this stage, the only thing I can say is that talks are going on.” On whether Sidhu and other members of his forum will join AAP or will there be any alliance with his forum, Singh said, “The whole formula will be put before you. What will happen and how it will happen, all this you will come to know but wait for some time.” Asked at what stage these talks were, he said, “They are currently on, but I cannot tell you at what stage these are. When we take a final decision, it will be made public”.Praising the role played by Sidhu in raising a voice for what was right, Singh said, “And in this (their effort to save Punjab), there are some people who have played a role for state’s betterment, our effort is that all such people should join hands. This is a fight for justice and all such forces should come together.” “In the interests of Punjab, all those people we need to talk to, we will do that,” he added.”We will make honest efforts for it but what the result will be, this only time will tell. We have not set any time frame for these talks (with Sidhu) but when we make any final decision, we will make it public,” he said. Asked if Sidhu was an important factor for Punjab, Singh said, “Look, he and his wife (Navjot Kaur, who was BJP MLA from Amritsar-East) raised their voice on issues concerning people, they raised voice against the Badals and how they were plundering the state”.On Sidhu reportedly also negotiating with Congress, Singh replied, “It will be better if you put this to question to Sidhu or Congress…but as far as our talks are concerned, they focus on common issues of how to save Punjab…”To another question, Singh said the upcoming Punjab polls will be fought under Kejriwal’s leadership. Replying to another query, he said, AAP has no problem in inducting the members of Sidhu’s Awaaz-e-Punjab forum.Regarding Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav’s claim that AAP’s graph had gone down in Punjab, Singh said, “AAP will win more than 100 seats and SAD-BJP will be completely wiped out.” “What we did in Delhi, history will repeat itself in Punjab. People are wise, they know that many forces have taken (electoral) plunge which will try to create obstacle but these forces will face defeat,” he said.On if Kejriwal will contest from Punjab, Singh said, “These are your speculations.” He also hit out at the ruling Akalis who have claimed that AAP will fail to create an impression in the upcoming Punjab polls and took a dig at those alleging that the AAP government in Delhi had failed to deliver on its promises.”In Delhi, all that we had promised in our manifesto, we have worked to fulfill them. We had promised to make power cheaper by half, we promised free water, we talked about Mohalla Clinics, we did all this. We improved standard of education in government schools, installed CCTV cameras in buses for women’s security, ended Raid Raj and Inspector Raj, odd-even formula became a worldwide hit. Our work speaks for itself. Earlier, people used to say learn from (developed nations like) the US, now world is saying learn from Kejriwal and AAP,” Singh said.

Navi Mumbai: Mayor Sudhakar Sonawane demands immediate recall of NMMC Commissioner Mundhe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after passing a no-confidence motion against Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe, Mayor Sudhakar Sonawane on Wednesday demanded his immediate recall by Chief Minister saying that the officer has lost all his right to head the civic body. “This officer was exercising his executive powers absolutely autocratically. He lost all the sense of democratic style of functioning and this is the reason why almost all the corporators cutting across party lines voted against him,” he said.The motion was passed 105-6 at a special meeting convened by the NCP-ruled Corporation yesterday, which was chaired by Sonawane. This is the first time in the history of the civic body that such a motion has been passed against its commissioner. Mundhe, who was present in the House, later alleged that he was not allowed to put forth his side. Sonawane said the House has apprised the state government about the motion and demanded immediate recall of the officer and wants him to be replaced by another IAS officer.”We informed the state government about the motion passed against the officer through an e-mail. We are going to send a hard copy of the decision today and hope that the Chief Minister would call the officer immediately to take action on our motion,” the Mayor said.He said the section 36 (3) of Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations Act, 1949 stipulates that if such a motion is passed by even 60 corporators, then administrative head should be sacked with immediate effect. To a question that Mundhe was targeted by politicians as he cracked whip on illegal activities that eventually clashed with the interests of the powerful lobby of politicians, Sonawane said, “These kind of allegations have no element of truth.Only being honest does not mean everything. An officer who heads administrative things should have the capacity and ability to take every concerned stakeholder along with him. He or she cannot misuse the executive powers blatantly.” In 111-member NMMC, the Sharad Pawar-led party has the highest number of corporators and also holds post of Mayor whereas as the Deputy Mayor belongs to Congress.Interestingly, the 16-member crucial standing committee is ruled by Opposition Shiv Sena. Yesterday, during the voting, the BJP opposed and voted against the no-confidence motion.However, an unfazed Mundhe has said he would continue doing his job until further government orders. “I will continue doing my work until I am ordered not to do so by the state government. I had asked the Mayor to let me put my side in the House, but I was not given a chance to do so,” he alleged.Known for his strict and upright decisions, Mundhe, for the first time in NMMC”s history, had proposed a survey to map properties falling under its limit. However, the survey was stonewalled for over 90 days by the unwilling corporators. Mundhe took this decision following an alleged “scam” wherein over 15,000 property owners allegedly found to have evaded paying property tax to NMMC over last decade. “I rationalised the tendering process system, cracked whip on illegal activities and have mechanised one of the best grievance redressal systems (in NMMC). People are very happy,” Mundhe had told PTI a day before the no confidence motion was proposed.Local residents feel that Mundhe is an “upright officer” and he was being targetted for acting against illegal constructions supported by some corporators in the area.”Ever since Mundhe took over as the civic body chief six months back, he has been going cracking against illegal constructions, mostly raised by these corporators, across Navi Mumbai. They are targeting him as he has put a full stop to the menace of illegal works,” said Ravi Srivastava, a local resident and activist.

Pakistan summons Indian Deputy High Commissioner to protest against ceasefire violations

Pakistan summons Indian Deputy High Commissioner to protest against ceasefire violations

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Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh to protest Indian ceasefire violations along the International Border (IB), the Foreign Office said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

An infant and an elderly man were killed and seven people were injured in heavy mortar shelling by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) in villages along the Sialkot IB on Monday, Dawn online reported.

The attack came at night when residents of villages in Bajwat, Chaprar, Harpal, Sucheet­garh, Merajkey and Charwah sectors were asleep, the daily quoted senior officials of the Punjab Rangers as saying.

A strong protest was also lodged with the UN Military Observer Group (UNMOGIP) “regarding unprovoked firing by Indians across the IB”, Inter-Services Public Relations said.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria last week alleged that India has committed more than 90 ceasefire violations in 2016.

He claimed that Pakistan has “never violated the ceasefire agreement” signed between the two countries in 2003 to maintain peace at the border and the Line of Control.

Jain girl’s death after fast: No murder charges against parents, only culpable homicide, say police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hyderabad police, probing the case of the death of a 13-year-old girl who died after a 68-day fast, on Sunday said the incident did not attract murder charge as there was no “intention” or “wilful act” on the part of her parents or the community members.Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Lokayukta had called for a report from police regarding the death of the girl following a complaint filed by the child rights NGO Balala Hakkula Sangham.NGO president Anuradha Rao had alleged that the girl’s parents and family members made her undertake the fast for 68 days which led to her death on October 3.On October 9, police registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the parents and other relatives of the girl, a class 8 student.But the NGO had sought the case filed under section 302 of IPC (murder) against the accused.In a report to Lokayukta, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North Zone) said, “…neither there is an intention nor wilful act on part of the parents of the child and community members. The act of the child is nothing but a ritual in their community”.Considering these facts, police registered a case under IPC section 304 (culpable homicide) and under Juvenile Justice Act, but it does not attract murder charge, the report said.The probe was on, therefore the petition by NGO may be dismissed, the police said, adding that no arrests had been made yet.The death of the girl due to the fast had caused outrage and triggered a debate across the country about such rituals.As per the police’s preliminary probe, her fast of 68 days ended on October 1, and she was on liquid diet thereafter. On October 3, she suddenly fell ill, and was declared ‘brought dead’ at the hospital.

Most of AAP Cabinet out of Delhi when city was reeling under dengue, chikungunya: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Congress has accused AAP government ministers of “squandering” public money on foreign trips at a time the city was reeling under dengue and chikungunya. AAP government ministers made “10 foreign trips in the last 18 months” with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Health minister Satyendra Jain making the most of the journeys abroad, Delhi Congress chief spokesperson Sharmishtha Mukherjee said, citing an RTI reply her party obtained.”Sisodia travelled abroad six times in the past 18 months and he has incurred an expenditure of Rs 30,73,450 on just three foreign trips– Rs 10 lakh per trip. His expenditure for travels to Athens and Finland have not been furnished, and only partial expenditure has been given for his trip to Sao Paulo,” she said.”Health Minister Satyendra Jain made three foreign trips in one year, incurring an expenditure of Rs 18 lakh Rs 6 lakh per trip,” she said reading from the RTI reply.”Not only the CM and Deputy CM, but most of the AAP Cabinet ministers were out of Delhi at a time of Dengue and Chikungunya spate leaving the people to fend for themselves,” she said.Congress has extended its ‘Vasooli Diwas’ signature campaign– under which it seeks recovery of the money of Delhi tax payers from the ruling AAP for publishing advertisements– till October 28, she added.

Indian Deputy High Commissioner summoned in Pakistan for ‘ceasefire violation’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad on Thursday over the killing of a civilian in India’s “unprovoked ceasefire violation” across the LoC and sought an immediate probe. Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that 28-year-old villager Abdul Rehman was killed in “unprovoked firing by India in Karela sector of the Line of Control (LoC)” late last night.12 others, including women and children, were injured in the incident, the FO said in a press release. The Indian Deputy High Commissioner was called in by the Director General (South Asia & SAARC) over “unprovoked ceasefire violations on the LoC by Indian forces”, it said. “It was conveyed that the Indian side must investigate the incident and share the findings with Pakistan, India must instruct its troops to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit, refrain from intentionally targeting the villages and maintain peace and stability on the LoC,” the release said.It further added that Pakistan notes with “deep concern that during the last couple of months, there have been a number of ceasefire violations from the Indian side on the LoC and the Working Boundary”. Separately in Rawalpindi, the Pakistani military handed over a protest letter to the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) representative.”UNMOGIP representative was handed protest by GHQ (Pakistan’s General Headquarters) regarding targeting of civilians by Indian Army and use of heavy calibre mortars,” Zakaria said in a tweet.”UNMOGIP has been requested to immediately investigate the matter,” he added.Pakistan and India have been accusing each other of violating the ceasefire of 2003 in Kashmir since the Uri terror attack last month. India has maintained that UNMOGIP has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the LoC. India has always stated that it has “no role to play whatsoever”.

Kishtwar fire: Over 621 people affected, 80 houses gutted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A major fire has completely destroyed Sukhnoi village in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, gutting 80 out of a total 84 households, but no one was injured, officials said. “Out of 84 houses, 80 in the Sukhnoi village in the Warwan block of the Kisthwar district were gutted in a fire that broke out late last night,” Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kishtwar, Ghulam Nabi Balwan said. Soon after receiving the information, senior police and district administration officials rushed to the spot. “The villagers had no option but to stay in the open last night as it is a remote village and tents will not help them due to snowfall in the area during the coming months,” the DC said. He said that the government has already sent free ration for the villagers, who have decided to stay in rented accommodation during the winters. “As the winters are fast approaching and it would be difficult for the people to reconstruct their houses or stay in the tents, they have decided to stay in rented accommodation during the winter, the government will pay the rent for them,” Balwan said. He said that there was no loss of life or injury in the inferno that destroyed almost the entire village.

J&K: Police seize over 150 pigeons being used for espionage, probe ordered

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir Police has seized more than 150 pigeons allegedly being smuggled for the purpose of espionage and a probe has been ordered into the issue.On October 5th, three people were apprehended at Vikram Chowk in Jammu after they were found carrying 150 Pigeons in Banana Boxes.They were then booked under Section 144 cruelty to Animals Act and the birds were given to an NGO called SAVE (Save Animals Value Environment).But the NGO chairman after noticing some suspicious things wrote to Deputy Commissioner Jammu who then gave orders to enquire if the pigeons were being to be used in spying activities.According to Namrata Hakhoo from SAVE, these Pigeons had some rings in their claws and special magnetic rings attached to them which raised their suspicions.Pigeons being used for spying and other untoward endeavours is not a recent development, as earlier this month, a pigeon, apparently from across the border, was taken into custody after a letter written in Urdu and addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was found with it by BSF personnel at Simbal post in Bamial sector.On September 23, a white pigeon, apparently from across the border, with “some words written in Urdu” was found in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district.

Jammu & Kashmir: Probe into use of 153 pigeons for espionage across LoC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Jammu and Kashmir is probing the possibility of use of over 150 smuggled pigeons for the purpose of espionage to pass on secret information to the Pakistan Intelligence Agencies across the Line of Control (LoC).The CID is investigating a case in which 153 pigeons were seized by the police that were being smuggled from the Punjab border to the sensitive Pulwama district of south Kashmir, a police officer said.”Few days ago, police seized few cartons from a Kashmir-bound vehicle in which 153 pigeons were being smuggled to the Kashmir Valley. The pigeons had strange pink marking and suspicious rings after which the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Jammu referred the case to the CID for investigation,” Sunil Gupta, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jammu, told PTI.He said that the police has handed over the case to the CID whereas on its part it has registered a complaint under atrocities towards Animals Act and the accused were produced in the court where they paid the fine.”As far as the other side of the case is concerned, CID is investigating it under the directions of DC Jammu,” he said.When contacted, the DC Jammu, Simrandeep Singh, said that he got message that the pigeons could have been used for transmitting secret messages across the border.”The pigeons were packed in extremely cruel conditions. A case under prevention of cruelty to Animals Act was filed and the court released the pigeons and the man after depositing the fine,” he said.He said that after becoming suspicious of the strange pink markings on the pigeons and different types of rings attached to them, he instructed the CID to probe the matter before the birds are released.”The CID is examining the purpose of special colour applied to the pigeons and whether they were any colour code. We want to be fully sure before the pigeons are released,” the DC said.The pigeons were having different colour rings and some of them had different and special magnetic rings attached to them. The birds have been handed over to an NGO- Save Animals Value Environment (SAVE) and would be released only after the investigation is completed.”The CID is investigating the case and after that decision will be taken whether to release the birds or not. As of now the investigation is going on,” the DC said.Earlier, the authorities had received intelligence inputs that the terrorists might use unconventional means to target security installations in the region following which restrictions were imposed on the air-borne activities in the state.

Delhi Cabinet advises LG to dissolve Shunglu Committee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Friday advised L-G Najeeb Jung to dissolve the Shunglu Committee set up by him to examine 400 files pertaining to decisions the AAP dispensation has taken since coming to power.Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said a decision in this regard was taken at a Cabinet meeting today chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The Delhi Cabinet termed the three-member Shunglu Committee- which was looking into the files- unconstitutional.Sisodia told a press conference here, there is no provision in the Constitution, or in any statute or rule, which mandates setting up of an “external committee” to inquire into ongoing projects of public welfare, question officers and “threaten” to recommend administrative and criminal action against them. He requested Jung to return all files of the government saying “various important works are being affected” due to this.”The Committee has created a dangerous climate of fear and uncertainty among the bureaucracy, thus threatening to derail the government functioning in its entirety, noted the Cabinet,” he said.”We have requested the L-G to dissolve the committee as the Lt Governor has no power. The jurisdiction of L-G is well defined under Article 239AA of Constitution of India, the GNCTD Act, 1991, and the rules framed under the Act,” he said.If the committee continues its “illegal” functioning, not only will it imperil public welfare, it has also the potential to create a serious constitutional crisis in the national capital, noted the Cabinet, according to the Deputy CM. Sisodia said the “impounding” of over 400 files by L-G is against the transaction of business rules and GNCTD Act.”Cabinet also brought to the notice of the L-G that the August 4 Delhi High Court judgment which is being invoked by him to take such actions, has not become final and is presently under challenge before the Supreme Court,” he said.Notices have already been issued by the apex court and the matter is to be finally heard on November 25, he said. “It would have been prudent for the L-G to await the final decision of the apex court before taking such unilateral actions bypassing the elected government,” said Sisodia.He claimed that several officers have reported to their respective ministers that they were summoned by the committee informally and grilled for many hours for decisions taken by them in public interest over the last one-and-a-half years.”Such summoning of officers through oral instructions and then questioning them over the content of the files without duly recording and authenticating the officers’ version is against the well-established norms of transparency and propriety,” he added.

AAP leader Manish Sisodia quizzed by Anti-Corruption Branch in DCW case

New Delhi: The Anti-Corruption Branch questioned Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday in connection with its probe into an alleged recruitment scam in Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).

Sisodia was summoned by the ACB on 7 October informing him about the questioning.

The Deputy CM arrived around 11 am at the ACB office on Friday and his questioning continued for over two hours, said a senior ACB officer.

“In the documents that were probed by the ACB, it was found that there was a letter from the office of Sisodia that had authorised DCW as a body with financial autonomy. As per rules, only the LG can grant financial autonomy to a body. We will be questioning him on this aspect,” sources had said.

A file photo of Manish Sisodia. PTIA file photo of Manish Sisodia. PTI

A file photo of Manish Sisodia. PTI

The ACB has been probing the matter for the last few months and based on the questioning of Maliwal’s staff, it was found that due procedure “was not followed in appointments” and an FIR under relevant section of Prevention of Corruption Act and sections 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the IPC was registered against her.

Meanwhile, DCW chief Swati Maliwal termed ACB’s summoning of Sisodia as “political vendetta” and claimed that he had no role in the appointments made to the women’s panel.

“ACB summoning @msisodia reeks of political vendetta. He has no role in DCW appointments. DCW was always autonomous.

“Sad. ACB pursuing false case against me, not taking action on my corruption complain against Shiela Dixit for past 3 weeks despite evidence (sic),” Maliwal said in a series of tweets.

Telangana map officially redrawn adding 21 new districts

Siddipet : Nearly two-and-half years after it came into existence as India’s 29th state, Telangana‘s map was redrawn on Tuesday with the creation of 21 new districts.

As a Dasara gift to people, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government unveiled the new districts with an aim to improve administration at the grassroots level.

This has taken the total number of districts in India’s youngest state to 31.

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao formally inaugurated Siddipet district at 11.13 am, the auspicious time set by astrologers.

File image of K Chandrashekhar Rao. PTIFile image of K Chandrashekhar Rao. PTI

File image of K Chandrashekhar Rao. PTI

Siddipet is the home district of the Chief Minister and carved out of Medak district.

Before unveiling the plaque, Rao unfurled the national flag and performed religious rituals.

Simultaneously, 20 other new districts were inaugurated by his cabinet colleagues.

Telangana, which has a population of 3.5 crore, was carved out of Andhra Pradesh and it came into existence as India’s 29th state on June 2, 2014.

Telangana Assembly speaker S. Madhusudhana Chary inaugurated Jayashankar district while Council Chairman K. Swamy Goud launched Jangaon district. Both these districts are being carved out of existing Warangal district.

Warangal Rural, another district being carved out of existing Warangal, was inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari.

Another Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahamood Ali inaugurated Jagitial district, created out of existing Karimnagar district.

Sixteen other districts inaugurated on Tuesday were; Yadadri, Peddapally, Kamareddy, Medak, Mancherial, Vikarabad, Rajanna, Asifabad, Suryapet, Kothagudem, Nirmal, Wanaparthy, Nagarkurnool, Mahabubabad, Jogulamba and Medchal (Malkajgiri).

Barring Hyderabad, the existing 10 districts have been split into three or four districts.

The government has also created 25 new revenue divisions, 125 new mandals, four new police commissionerates, 23 new police subdivisions, 28 new circles and 91 police stations.

The government last month issued draft notification for creating 17 new districts but later decided to create four more districts in view of strong demands from various sections.

Though the protests were on for creation of more districts in different parts of the state, the government made it clear that there will be no further addition.

On an average, each district will have population of two to four lakh families, except Hyderabad where the number is much large.

TRS, in its election manifesto, had promised to create 14 new districts but the demands from various regions forced it to increase the number.

The Chief Minister’s reorganisation of districts was another step towards sustainable development and creation of golden Telangana.

He claimed that the move will help in effective monitoring and implementation of welfare schemes. He said the officials will be able to pay attention to the development of each and every poor family.

Opposition parties have criticised the government for reorganising the districts in an ‘unscientific’ manner.

Congress party’s Telangana unit President Uttam Kumar Reddy said the government carried out the process in an irrational and unilateral manner.

New map of Telangana.

Former AAP volunteer files FIR against MLA Naresh Balyan, associates file cross complaint

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An FIR was filed on Sunday by a former AAP volunteer against the party Uttam Nagar MLA Naresh Balyan, one of whose supporters in turn filed a cross FIR in an assault case. The cross FIRs have been filed at west Delhi’s Uttam Nagar police station.In his FIR, former AAP volunteer and president of Mohan Garden RWA Henry George has accused Balyan and his associates of trespassing his office, attacking him and issuing threat to his life this afternoon, police said. A case has been registered against Balyan under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 451 (assault) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC, Vijay Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West), said.Also, a case has been registered against George on the basis of a complaint by one of the MLA’s associates. He has accused George and his aides of abusing and assaulting the MLA and his supporters who were passing from near his office.The case against George has been registered under sections 323, 341 and 506 of the IPC. Kumar said no one has been arrested so far and the probe is underway.

Chennai: MK Stalin visits hospital, talks to doctors about Jaya’s health

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK treasurer and Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly MK Stalin on Saturday visited Apollo Hospital and talked to the doctors there regarding the health condition of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.”We have been told that her condition is improving. Our wishes on behalf of the DMK and our party chief Kalaignar (M Karunanidhi) for a speedy recovery and resumption of her work,” he told reporters after the visit to the hospital.Accompanied by party colleagues, including Deputy Leader of Opposition in Assembly Duraimurugan and former minister K Ponmudi, Stalin also called on Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, state Finance Minister O Panneerselvam and state Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar at the hospital and inquired about the health of the chief minister.Meanwhile, Jayalalithaa continued to be under constant monitoring, Apollo Health Management said. “The respiratory support is being closely watched and adjusted. Lungs decongestion treatment is being continued,” a statement from the hospital said.

Baramulla attack ground report: Sky over army camp during the battle lit up like it was Diwali

The file clips that television channels kept showing during Sunday night’s attack on armed forces camps in Baramulla did not begin to do justice to what was actually happening. Those who saw it at ground zero say that it was like Diwali.

The divisional headquarters is right across the river from the Rashtriya Rifles and Border Security Force camps that were attacked. Apparently, army men opened up with whatever they had, firing from all directions. Some of those who heard the gunfire from up close say they must have heard the sound of no less than 3,000 bullets, and perhaps a dozen much louder blasts — no doubt from mortar shells.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Firing began when the armed men were apparently spotted lurking in the dark on the river bank. Later, covering fire for the attackers also came from an adjacent house.

The army held back from trying to surround the attackers from behind during the two-hour encounter. One reason was to avoid collateral damage: residential houses have come up over the past few years almost right up to the perimeter of those camps, which are near the eastern end of Baramulla. The Old Town is down the river to the west. Over the past couple of decades, the city has spread in this direction and to new colonies south of the river such as Sangri.

The attackers apparently descended from the hills to the south of Baramulla Old Town. From that vantage, they could have either gone towards the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) camp at the stadium beside the highway from Baramulla to Handwara, or towards this RR camp at the eastern end of the city.

There has been speculation, probably unfounded, that the attackers crossed the river — possibly from the Khawaja Bagh locality, which is spread along the bank of the Jhelum a little upriver from the camps that were attacked.

The relatively upper crust southern portion of Khawaja Bagh, uphill from the national highway, contains huge mansions. Relatively more congested parts of Khawaja Bagh are spread along the river, below the highway. Some residents of the city speculate that militants might lurk in that area.

It is true that they could theoretically have crossed the river from there to the camps that were attacked. But that is a very unsettling thought. For, they could surely have attacked the Divisional Headquarters on the same side of the river even more easily. And the office of the Senior Superintendent of Police and the residence of the Deputy Commissioner are also a little further downriver along that bank of the Jhelum.

The reason Khawaja Bagh is in focus is that militants had attacked an army convoy on the national highway right at Khawaja Bagh exactly a month before the lethal attack on the Uri Brigade base. Some city residents are convinced that those militants had come out of some of the bungalows in Khawaja Bagh. They must have conducted recce operations from there over the previous few nights.

Army convoys used to move at night during those first few weeks of this year’s unrest in Kashmir, in order to steer clear of stone-pelting mobs. The army has been under strict instructions not to shoot in response.

On one occasion, a convoy commander (Major) ran up and down his long convoy to prevent his angry troops from firing back while they were being pelted further along that highway on the outskirts of Srinagar. On at least two occasions, convoys remained on the highway between Anantnag and Srinagar for several hours at night, facing angry demonstrations without firing back. Several CRPF convoys have reversed or turned away at high speed to avoid stone-pelters on arterial highways.

The August attack on the convoy at Baramulla had resulted in a 15-minute shoot-out on the highway in the dark. Several army personnel were casualties. The attackers got away, although a Quick Response Team jumped out of a vehicle just ahead of the vehicles that were directly under attack, and put up a brave fight.

The next day, the Corps Commander, Lt-Gen Satish Dua, ordered that convoys should move during the day and should shoot at the legs of any stone-pelters who tried to stop them.
As anger rises in the army’s ranks following the Uri attack, the brass are going to find it increasingly difficult to impose restraint.

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