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India: Madras high court questions Jayalalitha death cause

Court asks why the body of former chief minister J Jayalalitha cannot be exhumed for investigation.

SP Tyagi is like family, but won’t have sympathy if he’s found guilty: IAF chief Arup Raha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Outgoing Air Force chief Arup Raha came out in support of former chief SP Tyagi, recently arrested in the Rs 3,600 AgustaWestland helicopter deal case being probed by the CBI, drawing a parallel with the Bofors case where charges of corruption could not be established.Calling Tyagi a member of the Air Force family, Raha said his sympathies were with the former chief. “If a member of your family goes through a rough patch, you will have sympathy for him. If he is found guilty, punish him,” Raha said on Wednesday while addressing a press conference. He is due to hang up his uniform on December 31.Raha appeared to downplay the allegations, saying nothing could be proved as in the Bofors case. “Corruption issues have come up from time to time. Despite investigation, not much was achieved,” he said.Tyagi, who has been granted bail, was recently arrested three years after CBI named him as an accused in the helicopter deal. The agency was not able to file a charge sheet but arrested him for custodial interrogation based on new facts.A Delhi court granted Tyagi bail despite CBI’s opposition. It is alleged that as Air Force chief Tyagi took kickbacks to change the specifications of the VVIP helicopters, swinging the deal in favour of AgustaWestland.

Congress imposes ‘one family, one ticket’ rule for Punjab elections

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Facing a tough electoral battle in Punjab next year, Congress has decided not to let sitting MLAs in general seats change their assembly segments and strictly apply the “one family, one ticket” formula by not allowing two people from a family to contest. “These two rules are non-negotiable. We have decided that all sitting MLAs in general seats must defend their own segments. They will not get to replace their seats. Replacements will be allowed only in case of 34 reserved seats. Also, the decision to allot one ticket per family is final. It will not be bent,” Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh said in an interview.He said the remaining party tickets for Punjab are likely to be finalised by early next week when the party’s Central Election Committee headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi would meet. The former Punjab Chief Minister said allowing sitting MLAs to shift to other constituencies would send “wrong signals” to the party workers. “Everyone must go into this battle thinking they are winning,” Amarinder said at a time when many sitting MLAs of Congress, including some senior leaders, want to shift to other constituencies.Among those are six-time MLA from Sanaur Lal Singh, who wants to shift to Samana, but is unlikely to be obliged. Another MLA demanding a change is Indian Youth Congress President Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, who is hoping to shift to Muktsar though he represents Gidderbaha in the Punjab assembly. “No changes will be allowed for any general candidates,” Amarinder categorically said.Singh also said the first list of 61 candidates announced a few days back reflected the sentiment that the MLAs will have to defend their turfs when it comes to general seats. Former Punjab CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who was seeking to contest from Sunam has been fielded from Lehra, which she currently represents in the assembly. Similarly, the “one family, one ticket” rule will apply, said Amarinder.”The CEC is likely to meet on Tuesday,” he said, as 56 seats are pending declaration. Punjab assembly has 117 seats. On “one family, one ticket” rule, Amarinder referred to his own family in which his wife and Patiala MLA Preneet Kaur had stepped down in his favour. Similarly, sitting MLA from Qadian Charanjit Kaur Bajwa has stepped down in favour of her brother-in-law Fateh Jung Bajwa. Guriqbal Kaur Babli, the Nawanshahr MLA has vacated her seat for her son Angad Saini whose name has been announced in the first list.Also, former Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer Amar Singh, who was principal secretary to AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh when he was the state’s chief minister, has been fielded this time from Raikot reserved seat instead of his brother and sitting MLA GS Boparai. Congress is seeking to wrest power from the ruling Akali- BJP combine after two successive defeats. The state appears set for a tough three-cornered fight with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party seeking to queer the pitch for both Congress and Akali-BJP alliance.

Rahul Gandhi meets Karunanidhi, says DMK chief is doing well

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday called on DMK patriarch Karunanidhi, who is undergoing treatment for lung and throat infection at a private hospital here, and said the leader was doing well.”I just met him, I wanted to personally wish him a speedy recovery. I was very happy to see that he is doing well and the doctors told me that he is going to go home pretty soon and that is good news,” he told reporters.Flanked by senior party leaders including Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president Su Thirunavukkarasar and DMK treasurer M K Stalin, he hailed Karuananidhi as a “leader of the Tamil people, leader of Tamil Nadu, so I thought I would come and wish him personally.”To a query, he said, “Yes I met him (Karunanidhi), I said hello to him and he is doing well hopefully he will be out (of the hospital) soon and Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) has also sent her regards to him.”The 92-year-old Karunanidhi was admitted to Kauvery Hospital here on the night of December 15 following complaints of difficulty in breathing due to throat and lung infection. Yesterday, he underwent tracheostomy at the hospital to optimise breathing and later the hospital said the DMK chief’s condition was stable. Last night, after the tracheostomy procedure, his condition improved and even he watched a Rajinikanth starrer ‘Batcha’ on his laptop.This is the first visit that Rahul Gandhi is paying a visit to Karunanidhi in last many years. Even during his several previous visits to Tamil Nadu Gandhi he did not call on the nonagenarian leader though Congress and DMK are allies. Weeks ago, when he had visited Apollo Hospitals here to enquire about the health of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, there were expectations in the DMK camp that he could pay a visit to party patriarch Karunanidhi as well. However, he did not visit the DMK chief then Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh during his brief visit. After visiting Karunanidhi, Rahul Gandhi immediately took a flight to Delhi from here. Former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP, P Chidambaram, TNCC president Thirunavukkarasar, Congress Legislature Party leader Ramasamy received him at the airport and also later saw him off.

VVIP chopper scam: Italy’s top court orders retrial of ex-Finmeccanica executives

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Italy’s highest court on Friday ordered a re-trial of former top executives at defence group Leonardo Finmeccanica over allegations of bribery in a 2010 contract to provide a dozen helicopters to the Indian government.In April a Milan appeals court sentenced former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi to four and a half years in prison for corruption and falsifying invoices, overturning a previous lower court ruling.Bruno Spagnolini, former head of the group’s helicopter unit AgustaWestland, was sentenced to four years in jail over the €560 million ($585 million) contract. The case went to the highest court after the two executives launched an appeal. Both executives will now have to be tried again in front of Milan’s appeals court.Last week India’s federal police arrested the former head of the air force SP Tyagi, 71, who was at the centre of allegations of impropriety in the order of 12 helicopters meant to fly senior Indian politicians. The deal was cancelled in 2014 after Orsi was arrested on suspicion of paying bribes to secure the deal.AgustaWestland opposed India’s decision to cancel the order and the contract is currently suspended and the subject of international arbitration in Paris.The case against Finmeccanica itself was dropped by prosecutors back in 2014 while AgustaWestland agreed on a €7.5 million settlement with the court the same year.

West Bengal CID arrests chairman Pawan Ruia in connection with Railway complaint

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ruia Group Chairman Pawan Ruia was on Saturday arrested by West Bengal CID from his New Delhi residence in connection with a complaint of theft lodged by railways last month.Ruia was arrested from his residence in Sundar Nagar area in the national capital on Saturday morning, a senior CID officer said.Ruia was arrested on the basis of complaint of Railways ministry regarding theft of its goods worth Rs 50 crore which went missing from the Jessop factory premises in Dum Dum in the city, the officer said. He has been booked under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), the officer said.The Railways had filed an FIR with the Dum Dum Police Station after an inspection team found several equipment and coaches worth Rs 50 crore were missing from the factory premises at Dum Dum.The CID had summoned Ruia four times in the past in connection with its probe into a theft case in the Jessop factory in Dum Dum where a fire had broken out on October 17. A Special Investigating Team was formed by the CID to probe the theft at the factory premises.Ruia had moved Calcutta High Court which refused to stay proceedings against him in connection with the case filed by the CID following the fire and directed him to cooperate in the investigation.Ruia had moved the High Court seeking quashing of the case filed against him by CID, claiming he is not the chairman of Jessop and he is neither the director nor a shareholder, or an occupier of Jessop and Co Ltd or any of its premises. Former workers of the factory had alleged that the fire was part of a “conspiracy by a third party” following which the West Bengal government ordered a CID probe into the incident.

Peter Mukerjea seeks laptop in prison to write autobiography

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former media baron Peter Mukerjea, arrested in Sheena Bora murder case with his wife Indrani, on Friday filed an application in the CBI court in Mumbai seeking permission to use a laptop in the prison so he could write his autobiography.”I want to write an autobiography and for that I want a laptop without Internet in the jail,” Peter told the special CBI court judge H S Mahajan during the hearing on Friday. In a handwritten application, Peter also said he was finding it very difficult to write in long-hand.If allowed, he would work on the laptop for four hours a day and afterwards hand it back to jail authorities, the application said. “(I am) 61 years old and suffering from occasional memory fatigue and laptop will be of great help to aid in continuing the work without locating details during the writing and scripting process,” Peter said in the application.He also applied for permission to go to Bangalore to attend the wedding of his niece.CBI is likely to file its reply to his applications on December 14. The court is likely to hear arguments on framing of charges in the Sheena Bora murder case on December 19.Interestingly, the court had at the last hearing granted the prime accused in the case Indrani Mukerjea’s application seeking permission to deposit some demonetized currency notes in the bank (through someone outside the jail).Indrani, her former driver Shyam Rai (who has turned approver in the case) and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna are accused of killing her daughter Sheena inside a car in April 2012. Peter is accused of being party to the conspiracy.

Sheila Dikshit’s son-in-law files contempt plea in HC against estranged wife

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Syed Mohammed Imran, son-in-law of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking contempt action against his estranged wife and some cops alleging that he was arrested “casually” in a criminal case in contravention of the apex court guidelines.Dikshit’s daughter Latika has alleged that her estranged husband Imran took away papers of a land, owned by her at Nainital, despite having been told not to do so. An FIR under penal provisions relating to cheating, dishonest misappropriation of property and theft has been lodged against Imran.Referring an apex court verdict, Imran said that the police needed to follow the “checklist/guidelines which have been laid down by it against casual arrests in cases under Section 498A (harassment to woman by her husband and her in-laws) of the IPC as also under cases where punishment is for seven years or less”.
ALSO READ Sheila Dikshit’s son-in-law denied bail in case theft, misappropriation of his wife’s propertyThe plea, which came up for hearing before Justice Manmohan, alleged that Imran was “vexatiously and illegally” arrested and detained by Delhi Police without following proper procedure and this “malafide act” of the cops was at the behest of his wife, who belongs to an “influential political family”.Advocates P Banerjee and Neeraj Kumar, appearing for Imran, argued in the court that a false and fabricated FIR was lodged against their client without application of mind and checking the genuineness of his wife’s complaint regarding matrimonial dispute and that he was wrongfully confined in custody for 15 days.
ALSO READ Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit’s son-in-law sent to 2-day police custodyThe counsel said the contents of the FIR “ex-facie” showed that the allegations in the complaint pertained to matrimonial dispute but the FIR was lodged under other penal provisions.The FIR does not disclose commission of any offence under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property) and 380 (theft) read with section 66 of the IT Act, which have been invoked by the police, he said. “The allegations in the FIR are in the nature of matrimonial dispute. The respondents ought not to have registered in a routine manner and in fact should have forwarded the complaint for approval of the DCP/Additional DCP, before registering an FIR,” the plea said, adding that the “police officers have bypassed the law”.To this, the court asked Imran’s counsel to show the law which says that if a section is not added at the time of lodging of an FIR, fresh sections cannot be invoked later on. “According to me, the Criminal Procedure Code says that the magistrate can add sections on his own. Even at the stage of appeal, a charge can be added,” the judge said and posted the matter for further hearing to December 15.Imran was arrested on November 10 from Bangalore and brought here on transit remand, and was granted bail by a court here on November 24. Latika and Imran had got married in 1996, but were living separately for the last 10 months. In her complaint filed in June, Latika had alleged that Imran’s attitude had changed towards her and had become aggressive and rude after her mother lost in the Delhi Assembly polls.

Nagrota attack as shameful as 26/11, proves that surgical strikes can’t end cross-border terrorism: Chidambaram

New Delhi: Former Home Minister P Chidambaram has said the recent Nagrota attack is as “shameful” as the 2008 Mumbai carnage and has “disproved” the belief that surgical strikes can end cross-border terrorism.

Speaking at the launch of former National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon’s book, titled “Choices:Inside the making of India’s foreign policy’, Chidambaram said there was no “unified command” at the level of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

“What happened at Nagrota is just as shameful as what happened in Mumbai. The cross-border, cross-LoC action will not prevent Pakistan-based terrorist groups from attacking Indian installations and camps,” he said last night.

“The strikes restore balance at the border. It sends a signal to Pakistan that if you can do it we can do it. But to imagine that surgical strike will put an end to cross-border action, that has been disproved by what has happened in Nagrota,” he said.

Former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

Former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

He claimed that there was “no coherence” at the level of MHA and attributed it to discontinuation of a “good practice”.

“I think the practice of having a Home Minister, home secretary, the special secretary, the DIB, the director RAW and NSA meet every day was a good practice. The practice has stopped. That is why there is no coherence, no coordination, no unified command at the level of home affairs,” he said.

Noting that engaging Pakistan is the “only answer” that India has, Chidambaram said the present government started at one extreme and has now swung to another extreme.

“The first extreme was over-enthusiasm and the second is their own making. Eventually you have to live with your neighbours. The only answer is to engage Pakistan through trade, cultural exchanges or people to people exchanges,” he said.

About surgical strikes, Chidambaram said the ownership should have been left to the army.

“First, the ownership should have been left to the army like we have in the past. Second, we should not make statements like ‘Pakistan called us yesterday and begged us to stop’ or make statements like ‘I will gouge their eyes’. These statements make us a laughing stock.

“Our cross-border strikes do not deter Pakistan sufficiently. There are other options that can be explored. Going public about surgical strikes limits your options,” he said at the launch which was also attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He said though India’s response to 26/11 attacks was “extremely poor”, it gained “enormously” by choosing not to retaliate militarily.

“Our capacity to respond was extremely poor. It took us three to four days to clear three to four terrorists holed up in a hotel. Retaliation was not an option. Neither desirable nor feasible at that point of time.

“India gained enormously by not retaliating. By the time the UPA stepped down, Pakistan had been virtually isolated… What we now witness are daring attacks on Army camps… One must measure the efficacy of a policy by its outcomes. The ceasefire along the LoC did produce an outcome,” Chidambaram said.

About the deteriorating security situation in Kashmir, he said his government’s policies brought several years of “relative peace and tranquillity” in the Valley, but “all that lie shattered today”.

“Origin of this decline is the completely unethical, unacceptable coalition between two parties that were bitterly opposed to each other. That is the greatest provocation in the Valley. As long as that unethical combination remains, I can’t see any way forward in Kashmir,” he said.

First Published On : Dec 3, 2016 15:35 IST

Cops manhunt to nab KLF chief’s aide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Police have launched a manhunt in the Capital and neighbouring areas to nab Kashmeer Singh, the absconding aide of Harminder Singh alias Mintu, the chief of banned terror outfit Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF).The fact that Singh had aides in Delhi has alarmed the intelligence agencies about the possible hideouts of former Sikh militants in the Capital, who might be making attempts to revive the movement.The Special Cell of Delhi Police is conducting raids at various guest houses, hotels, bus stands, railway stations and all the other probable hideouts.“Mintu was in touch with associates of terror groups in Pakistan,” said Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Suresh Arora. The dreaded terrorist would be subject to “intensive interrogation” when he would be brought from Delhi, the DGP said.Security at Asia’s largest prison, Tihar Jail in Delhi, has also been stepped up. The intel- agencies have alerted the authorities of the jail that also houses six more Khalistani militants. Apart from strict checking, a close watch is being kept at the militants and gangsters.Sources said Singh had a few associates in Delhi, who were earlier also a part of the Babbar Khalsa force.Former Chief Minister Amrinder Singh claimed that the chief of KLF, Harminder Singh Mintu, was deliberately made a part of the plan so that his arrest later could be used to quieten the noise following the jailbreak.“I have written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, explaining to him the gravity of the situation. I told him if he viewed things dispassionately, he would know what is going on,” said the Former CM. “Whenever there is a situation in Punjab in which Akali Dal is down, it tries to create polarisation. Earlier, they tried to tear Guru Granth Sahib and then Gita, thinking that this will polarise the state,” he added. Contradicting Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal’s claim of Pakistani hand in the escape of Mintu, Amrinder Singh said, “Had the whole thing been plotted from across the border, Mintu would have escaped out of India, instead of waiting in Delhi to be nabbed.” He further said he has apprised the Election Commission (EC), requesting it to impose the model code of conduct in Punjab.MATTER OF CONCERNThe fact that Singh had aides in Delhi has alarmed the intelligence agencies about the possible hideouts of former Sikh militants in the Capital, who might be making attempts to revive the movement.Sources said Singh had a few associates in Delhi, who were earlier also a part of the Babbar Khalsa force. Security at Asia’s largest prison, Tihar Jail in Delhi, has also been stepped up.The intel-agencies have alerted the authorities of the jail that also houses six more Khalistani militants.

Note ban: Manmohan Singh rediscovers virtues but his silence during UPA decade is still loud

A day after Narendra Modi‘s 8 November demonetisation move, a friend forwarded a message saying “kuch bhi kaho bhaiyon, Manmohan Singh devta admi (PM) tha” (Whatever you say about him brothers, Manmohan Singh was a godly man). The message carried an implicit meaning, the former prime minister during his decade-long tenure allowed you to do whatever made you and all concerned to do whatever they wanted to do — white, grey or black.

Manmohan’s doctoral philosophy in economics and politics cautioned him not to ever think or say na khaunga na khane dunga (Neither will eat nor will allow others to eat). He thus would happily turn a blind eye, see nothing, speak nothing to wrong doings, fixing and scams after scams. And of course, for him, “cash for vote” never happened to save his regime in summer of 2008.

(L) Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image courtesy PIB(L) Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image courtesy PIB

(L) Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image courtesy PIB

If someone got an opportunity and dared to ask him pointed questions on scams he would conveniently blame it all on pulls and pressures of a coalition. If all round public pressure was built, CAG slammed for Commonwealth, 2G, Coalgate and so on when the responsibility of wrongdoing would land at his doorstep he would seek shelter in an Urdu couplet, “Hazaaron jawabon se acchi hai meri khamoshi, na jaane kitne sawaalon ka aabru rakhe.” (My silence that is better than a thousand answers, for I kept dignity of end number of questions). He thus remains a devta (God), for his past and present followers ever willing forgiveness even for all kinds of sinners.

It is interesting to note that the person who was condemned while in office for happily presiding over biggest loot and policy paralysis in Independent India and was thrown out of office by people in 2014 with humiliating numbers, only 44 Lok Sabha MPs has suddenly been rediscovered by a section of people as a virtuous economist, able administrator, astute politician and a prolific public platform speaker. It should be left to individual judgment to conclude why Singh is now being looked as an angel to a certain section of people and politicians.

A prime minister by chance, Singh will always be judged by history as the one who owed more allegiance to his political boss in 10 Janpath. He rather chose to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the happenings around him during his tenure in office both in UPA 1 and UPA 2.

So when leader after leader from Congress benches, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Satyavrat Chaturvedi with supportive voices from other friends in opposition, Sharad Yadav, Naresh Agrawal, Derek O’Brien, Sitaram Yechuri were thundering in Rajya Sabha that Singh wants to speak and be immediately be allowed to speak, the nation was taken by surprise. The curiosity was overpowering as to what he would speak and since so many opposition leaders were so enthusiastically rooting for him to speak, it was anticipated that the contents of his speech would be as desired by his political boss in the Congress. It is important to note what was said about him, on his survival instincts even when he was the prime minister that he “is an overrated economist and underrated politician.”

The former prime minister began with the right note: “The Prime Minister has been arguing that this is the way to curb black money, to prevent the growth of counterfeited currency notes and also to help in control of terrorist finance activities. I do not disagree with these objectives…” and then changed gear into a typical politician who only knew the art of survival.

Mark his words: “Even those who say that this measure will do harm or will cause distress in the short run, but is in the interest of the country, in the long run, I am reminded of John Keynes, who once said, ‘In the long run, we are all dead’. And therefore, it is important to take note of the grievances of the people, the ordinary people, who have suffered as a result of this imposition on the country overnight by the Prime Minister…”

Singh is essentially saying that no prime minister should take harsh decisions for heralding longer terms goods for the nation. Think of present and only present and do what can make you stick to your chair. To put it simply be a status quoist. His advice to Modi is thus: don’t think “in the long run” for he could no longer be there — be a survivor, don’t ever consider being a visionary and maker of a different world or domestic order and society.

Singh indeed was speaking from his own experience. It would be worthwhile to remind how Manmohan gulped one humiliation after another by his fellow party colleagues and most of all public condemnation by Rahul Gandhi when the Congress vice-president tore an ordinance drafted by his cabinet when Manmohan was travelling to the USA as prime minister and was about to have a summit meeting with American president. The politician in Singh took all that meekly and quietly. Despite that worst ever public humiliation he continued to hail Rahul’s leadership.

About Singh’s profound remark that “in fact (demonetisation), it is a case of organised loot and legalised plunder of the common people”, less said the better.

When Singh said “and what is more, what has been done can weaken and erode our people’s confidence in the currency system and in the banking system”, he perhaps had in mind the kind of habit many had developed during his regime and before, keeping loads of currency notes in their mattresses, bed boxes, wall cavity in car seats, doors and elsewhere.

In an article on Firstpost, R Jagannathan very well argued, “whether demonetisation and the replacement of old notes with new ones are enough to damage confidence in the banking system is questionable. One would have thought that prolonged inflationary policies through unabated money printing — which was what happened during UPA 2, when the fiscal deficit crossed 6 percent — would have done more to debase the currency than a demonetisation to replace currency notes. And just to refresh his memory, the first major bank scam happened during his watch in 1992, when Harshad Mehta actually looted bank cash to make hay in the stock markets. And as for restrictions on people drawing their own cash, any banking system can — at times — place such restrictions. Banks even now place restrictions on daily cash withdrawals from ATMs. When banks fail, then too restrictions happen.”

Singh and others in opposition ranks can be rest assured as and when Modi rises to speak in Parliament on demonetisation, he would surely respond to the charges and advice given by his predecessor.

First Published On : Nov 25, 2016 19:43 IST

Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit’s son-in-law was arrested under Domestic Violence Act

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s son-in-law was arrested by Delhi police from Bengaluru on Friday under Domestic Violence Act. According to The Hindu, The son-in-law Imran had been separated from Dikshit’s wife since last 10 months. The couple has two children. A complaint against Imran was filed at the Barakhamba Police station and a case under the provisions of Domestic Violence Act was registered.

British PM should apologise for Jallianwala Bagh massacre: Shashi Tharoor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A viable reparation formula for colonial exploitation by British is difficult but a British Prime Minister “bending on knees” asking forgiveness on the centenary of Jallianwala Bagh massacre will wash away in many ways the sense that there are wrongs that have not been acknowledged, feels Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.The issue of reparation came into limelight after Tharoor spoke at Oxford on the proposition ‘Britain Owes Reparations to Her Former Colonies’ last year and his speech went viral on social media and was hailed by fans and critics alike. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also had congratulated him for having said “the right things at the right place”.And now he has come out with a book ‘An Era of Darkness: The British Empire In India’ which discusses, in depth, the variety of ways in which the British nearly destroyed India during the heyday of the Empire.”You cannot quantify the wrongs done. What is far more important than financial reparation would be an apology. “People who are not responsible today for the wrongs done by their forebearers in the past era apologise nonetheless to people who are not the ones to whom wrong was done. But it is in a sense an entire society apologising to entire people,” Tharoor, MP from Thiruvananthapuram, told PTI in an interview. According to him, a viable reparation formula is difficult as a just sum would not be payable and a payable sum would not be just.Citing two examples of Willy Brandt, the German social democrat leader who was in no way related to the crimes of the Nazis, going on his knees at Warsaw ghetto and apologising, and more recently Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologising for the Komagata Maru incident though Canada did not actually kill anybody, he says these offer a model in the Indian context too. “These two apologies offer a model for a future British Prime Minister on the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre to come to that site, bend his or her knees and beg forgiveness for all sins committed in the past.”That I think will wash away in many ways the sense that there are wrongs that have not been acknowledged,” the former Minister of State for External Affairs said. In the book, he also writes, “David Cameron s rather mealy-mouthed description of the massacre in 2013 as a ‘deeply shameful event’ does not, in my view, constitute an apology.”Nor does the ceremonial visit to the site in 1997 by Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, who merely left their signatures in the visitors’ book, without even a redeeming comment.”Whoever the PM is on the centenary of that awful crime will not have been alive when the atrocity was committed, and certainly no British government of 2019 bears a shred of responsibility for that tragedy, but as a symbol of the nation that once allowed it to happen, the PM could atone for the past sins of his or her nation,” Tharoor said.The Jallianwala Bagh massacre had taken place in Amritsar on April 13, 1919. On hearing that a meeting of nearly 20,000 people was taking place at Jallianwala Bagh, Brigadier General R E H Dyer had ordered 50 riflemen to shoot at the crowd. More than 1000 innocent Indians were killed and over 1,100 injured. Tharoor, however, feels reparation is a bit of red herring.”I got into that debate because that happened to be the topic of the debate at Oxford that I was invited to. “It is not necessarily the principal theme that I would have chosen for the debate and is certainly not the principal theme of my book because it actually concludes in the brief discussion on reparation issue that almost any amount that would do justice to crimes and losses suffered would be unpayable.”He said his speech at Oxford was inspired by decades of reading and passion about engagements with history and based on what he thought he knew. On three most unpardonable things of the British, he names economic exploitation and ruination of India on the basis of which the colonial rulers built up their own property; cruelties and exaltation and glorification of those who perpetrated these; and racism and discrimination.He said his book, published by Aleph, is written as an argument and it is not a narrative history or a dry scholarly work.

Kashmir unrest: Farooq Abdullah meets PM Modi, presses for dialogue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Friday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the situation in the Kashmir Valley which continues to witness unrest for over 100 days.During the meeting, Abdullah stressed for an early dialogue with all the stakeholders who were willing to come to the table for negotiation so that the stalemate can end in the Valley.The former Chief Minister, who has been touring the entire state, said that the Prime Minister listened patiently to him and was receptive to the suggestions he made.”I am sure that the Prime Minister will urgently address all the issues that have been flagged by me and others from the state,” Abdullah told PTI after the meeting.The former Chief Minister said that National Conference has played the role of a constructive opposition party and would continue to do so.”We are willing to do anything for the people of the state who have been victims of unrest for over three months now.”The education sector has suffered. Tourism industry, which is the mainstay of the economy, has been hit badly. The people living along the Line of Control and International Border are suffering. I have requested to take into consideration all these factors and make attempts to bring some relief to the people in the state,” he said.Abdullah, however, refused to share other details about the meeting.”The meeting took place in the most cordial atmosphere and the Prime Minister was equally concerned about the situation in the state,” the NC leader said.As many as 85 people, including two policemen, have been killed and thousands of others injured in the unrest in the Valley triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in July. Around 5,000 security forces personnel have also been injured in the clashes.

Pierce Brosnan demands removal of his image from India ad

Former Bond star Pierce Brosnan demands his image is dropped from an advert after accusing an Indian mouth freshener company of duping him into endorsement.

Aircel-Maxis case: Dayanidhi Maran refutes claims of pressurising Sivasankaran to sell stakes

New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran on Thursday refuted before a special court CBI’s claim that he had pressurised a Chennai-based telecom promoter to sell his stakes in Aircel to a Malaysian firm Maxis Group in 2006.

While arguing on framing of charges against him in the Aircel-Maxis case, the former union minister claimed that during the time period in which the alleged crime was committed, as claimed by the CBI, Chennai-based businessman C Sivasankaran was in talks with several other companies to sell his stakes in Aircel.

File image of Dayanidhi maran. AFP

File image of Dayanidhi maran. AFP

“There is no reason why I would try to facilitate a business transaction, which may even attract criminal charge, which was not even embryonic at that time. “Allegations against me are that I am trying to help in Aircel and Maxis business. Am I facilitating a deal which was non-existent,” the ex-minister’s counsel argued before Special Judge OP Saini.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing on behalf of Dayanidhi, said there were initial talks in 2004 with regard to this business. “Then Aircel tried to do business with several other companies and it was only in October 2005, the business transaction between Aircel and Maxis was finalised,” the counsel said.

CBI has claimed that Dayanidhi pressurised Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel and two subsidiary firms to Maxis Group.
The agency had also claimed that the politician had forced Sivasankaran to sell his three companies to Malaysia’s Maxis Communication Berhad, also an accused in the case. The arguments on the point of framing charges remained inconclusive.

The court had earlier held it had the jurisdiction to try the matter against Dayanidhi Maran, Kalanithi Maran and others as the Aircel- Maxis deal “fairly and squarely falls within the description of 2G scam”.

The court’s order on jurisdiction issue had come as it dismissed the pleas of the Maran brothers and other accused challenging jurisdiction of the special 2G court to try two cases filed by CBI and Enforcement Directorate in the Airce-Maxis deal, claiming that these matters did not directly or indirectly fall into the category of 2G spectrum cases.

CBI had filed charge sheet against the Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall, T Ananda Krishnan, M/s Sun Direct TV (P) Ltd, M/s Astro All Asia Networks Plc, UK, M/s Maxis Communications Berhad, Malaysia, and M/s South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd, Malaysia and then Additional Secretary(Telecommunication) late Dr JS Sarma.

They were chargesheeted for the offences punishable under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. All the accused persons have also moved bail pleas which are pending before the court.

The court had on 24 September, issued open warrants of arrest against Krishnan and Marshall on CBI’s plea stating that summons issued to them could not be served. The court had also ordered that the trial against Maran brothers and two accused companies be segregated from that of those based in Malaysia – Krishnan, Marshall, and two firms, Astro All Asia Network PLC and Maxis Communication Berhad, saying their appearance may take a long time which may lead to a delay in the proceedings.

Former PoK PM to lead march to LoC on Nov 24

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Former prime minister of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan has announced plans to march towards the Line of Control (LoC) on November 24.Addressing a meet the Press event today, Khan said the participants would attempt to enter the Indian side of Kashmir by breaking ceasefire at three points in Poonch and Mirpur. Dunya News quoted Khan as saying that he would also take other Kashmiri political parties into confidence over the proposed rally. The former prime minister has urged youth to gather at the LoC and move towards Kashmir in order to inform the international community about the unrest in the Kashmir. Khan said that the Awami Tehreek has made the Kashmir issue a flash point. A public contact campaign would be launched on the 11th Muharram, he added.

India should have attacked Pakistan after 2001 Parliament attack: BJP MP RK Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Former Home Secretary RK Singh on Monday said India should have attacked Pakistan after the December 13, 2001 terror strike on Parliament.”After the parliament attack, we had mobilised troops, but did not act. We should have attacked Pakistan, as it was an act of war,” he said.Responding to the reports that the Jaish-e Mohammed may attack Parliament, the former home secretary said, “Just want to convey to them that this will be crossing of ‘red line’.”Indian intelligence agencies have received reports about Jaish-e-Mohammad’s (JeM) plans to execute a 2001 style attack on the Parliament to avenge the Indian Army’s surgical strikes along the Line of Control (LoC), reported by a leading dailyJeM may also target Delhi Secretariat, Akshardham and Lotus Temple, the report added.According to the report, Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) has given a free hand to JeM to avenge the surgical strikes by the Indian Army.On September 18, four heavily armed JeM militants had stormed a battalion headquarters of the Army in North Kashmir’s Uri town in the wee hours, killing 18 soldiers and injuring 19.In retaliation to the attack, seven terror launch pads across the LoC were targeted by the army on the night of 28 September in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heli-borne and ground forces were deployed.

I would have counter-threatened India: Musharraf reacts to tough-talk from Indian leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Pakistan army chief Pervez Musharraf, who was the architect of Pakistan’s Kargil aggression in 1999, has said he would have counter-threatened India in response to the strong statements by Indian leaders in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack. “I would be counter-threatening India,” Musharraf said in response to a question. The former Pakistani military dictator was referring to the statements made by Indian leaders and military officials after the Uri terror attack on September 18.Asked about his suggestion of “counter-threatening”, Musharraf said, “Yes, because they are threatening us that they are going to strike us at the time and place of their choosing. Now, this has been said by nobody less than Prime Minister, Defence Minister and the military general, the director general military operations. This is a very serious matter,” Musharraf, while speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum on Thursday, stated that he has said in an interview that threats like striking at the time and place of choosing should not be made. “What will Pakistan do? Obviously, we will strike at the time and place of our choosing,” the former President said. “That will escalate the war. So don’t do it. I think the war hysteria that is being created in India, I repeat, India, not in Pakistan, is an issue. They do that always. This is not the only time. Every time they do that,” he alleged.

Not scared of CBI probe: Bhupinder Singh Hooda

Sun, 25 Sep 2016-10:23pm , Jind (Har) , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday said he is not “scared” of CBI probe against him and will continue to raise the voice of the people.Addressing a rally at Karsola and Rajpura Bhain villages, Hooda said if gets the support from the public he can bring the state government “to its knees.” “I came here for ‘Mann ki Baat.’ Tell me whether I committed any mistake during my Chief Ministership? If not then support me,” he said. “I am ready to take on this anti-people BJP with your support,” Hooda said.He said during the Congress rule Haryana was the number one state in terms of development but in the two years of the BJP rule, it has come down to No 16. He alleged that INLD (Indian National Lok Dal)along with BJP is conspiring against him. “Even some of the former Congress leaders who are now with BJP are conspiring against me, I am not scared,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh: Former Amethi MLA Amita Singh demands imposition of President’s rule

Former minister and senior Congress leader Amita Singh demanded imposition of President’s rule in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, to “improve law and order situation” in the state.”In Uttar Pradesh, at present, President’s Rule appears to be best option to improve the law and order situation,” she said while addressing a press conference.The former Amethi MLA also alleged that her assembly segment was suffering under “worst” conditions of law and order. She alleged that there was a series of criminal activities like murders, dacoities and kidnappings in Amethi district, and said she has sent details of all such incidents to higher level police officers including the IG and DGP.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Amethi needs direct monitoring by DGP (Director General of Police) regarding the worst conditions of law and order, especially its assembly segment under the parliamentary constituency,” she said.The former state minister asked Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to take stock of the situation in the district. “Otherwise, the CM himself will be forced to respond to all the questions of public related to law and order” she said.
ALSO READ Kairana exodus: Congress accuses BJP of ‘vitiating the atmosphere’ in Uttar PradeshSingh also targeted local MLA and Uttar Pradesh Mining Minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, alleging he was responsible for all the negative developments in Amethi. “Administration in Amethi has been totally paralysed and it needs complete overhauling including immediate transfer of incompetent police officials,” she said.

Ishrat Jahan case: News report completely ‘vindicates’ position I had taken on two affidavits, says P Chidambaram

Former home minister P Chidamabram, who drew flak for the alleged two affidavits filed by the Centre in the Ishrat Jahan case, on Thursday said the reports published in a leading daily ‘completely exposed the fake controversy created by the NDA government’, adding that it vindicates his stand.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The news report published today comprehensively exposes the fake controversy created by the NDA government on the two affidavits filed by the Central government in the Ishrat Jahan case,” Chidambaram said in statement. “The report completely vindicates the position that I had taken on the two affidavits. The first affidavit (6 August 2009) disclosed the “intelligence inputs” that had been shared by the Central government with the State government,” he added.He further said Judge Tamang in his report on September 7, 2009 found that Ishrat Jahan and three others had been killed in a fake encounter. “The report caused uproar in Gujarat and elsewhere. The first affidavit was misinterpreted and misused to defend the encounter,” he said, adding “It was, therefore, necessary to clarify the first affidavit. Hence, a ‘further affidavit’ was filed clarifying that intelligence inputs, do not constitute conclusive proof and it is for the State government and the State police to act on such inputs,” he added.The former finance minister further said the contents of the ‘further affidavit’ (especially paras 2 and 5) are absolutely clear and correct. “It is unfortunate that most people who commented on the matter had not cared to read the ‘further affidavit’,” he added. Chidambaram also said the five “missing” documents completely vindicated the position he had taken. “The sequence of events conclusively establishes that we had acted in a totally transparent manner. The draft of the ‘further affidavit’ was vetted by the Attorney General, the highest law officer of the country, before it was filed,” he said.”The file passed through the hands of the Home Secretary at least 3 or 4 times. Ultimately, the ‘further affidavit’ was filed in Court on the orders of the Home Secretary,” he added. The former union minister said he takes full responsibility for filing the ‘further affidavit’ which was absolutely the correct thing to do. “The moral of the story is that even a doctored report (of the Inquiry Officer) cannot hide the truth. The real issue is whether Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in a genuine encounter or a fake encounter. Only the trial of the case, pending since July 2013, will bring out the truth,” he added.According to a report published in a daily, a Union Home Ministry official, who headed the probe into the missing documents in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, not only told a witness the questions he would ask but also suggested to him what answers he should give that he had not seen any of the documents.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had earlier said many documents related to the preparation of the ministry’s second affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case are missing and an internal inquiry has been ordered.

More trouble for Congress: Uttarakhand party chief flays CM Harish Rawat

New Delhi: Indicating further trouble for the Congress in Uttarakhand, the simmering rift between state party chief Kishore Upadhyay and Chief Minister Harish Rawat came out in the open with the former on Wednesday asking Rawat to respect “ministers, MLAs and district leaders” and meet them regularly.

File image of Harish Rawat. PTI

File image of Harish Rawat. PTI

“The Chief Minister should respect and give time to each and every party worker. Every Congress karyakarta (worker) should be respected,” Upadhyay told IANS.

He said: “When President’s Rule was imposed in the state, every Congress worker took to the streets to protest against this. Now that the government has been restored, the Chief Minister should at least meet his workers and respect their sentiments.

“The Chief Minister should give time and meet the district presidents, his ministers and the MLAs,” he added.

Upadhyay had earlier said that Congress in the state would “meet the same fate as the UPA government” if the “rulers of the state” ignore the party workers.

Meanwhile, at the Congress party headquarters, a senior Congress leader sought to downplay the reported conflict between Rawat and the pradesh Congress chief. “It is a fight between Harish Rawat and the state Congress president and High Command has nothing to do with it.”

Congress is facing similar dissension in other states too. Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi floated a new party two days ago.

Six Congress legislators on Tuesday joined the Trinamool Congress in Tripura, pushing the until now main opposition party in the state assembly to third spot.

In another setback to the Congress, former union minister and five-time MP from Mumbai Gurudas Kamat announced he was quitting the party and the political arena.

In the northeastern state of Meghalaya too, there is strong resentment among the Congress MLAs over continuation of Mukul Sangma as chief minister.

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dead at age 74 – media reports | Reuters

Former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, whose record-setting boxing career, unprecedented flair for showmanship and controversial stands made him one of the best-known figures of the 20th century, died on Friday aged 74, media reports said.

The former boxer died in a Phoenix-area hospital where he spent the past two days, family spokesman Bob Gunnell told NBC News.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the reports.

Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome, was hospitalized for a respiratory issue on Thursday.

(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Frances Kerry, Diane Craft and Paul Tait)

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

Senior TDP leader injured, wife killed in accident at Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Cooperative Bank (APCOB) Chairman and Former Minister P Venkateswara Rao was injured, while his wife and driver killed, when the car overturned on the outskirts of Hyderabad, early on Tuesday, police said.

The accident occurred on the Outer Ring Road near Tukkuguda within the Pahadi Shareef police station’s limits.

Venkateswara Rao and his wife were returning to Hyderabad from Vijayawada, when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it turned upside down.

File photo of Hyderabad police. AP.File photo of Hyderabad police. AP.

File photo of Hyderabad police. AP.

Police suspect that one of the rear wheels came off when the car was apparently running at a high speed. The vehicle hit the roadside railing and was dragged on for over 60 yards.

Rao’s wife Satyavani and driver Dasu were killed on the spot. The minister was taken to a nearby hospital and later shifted to a corporate hospital in the city.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock over the death of Rao’s wife. He enquired about the condition of Rao, a leader of ruling Telugu Desam Party.

Uneducated women give birth to more kids, says Kiran Bedi

Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi on Thursday said “uneducated women give birth to more kids” as they stay at home and are “not able to take their own decisions”.”Research shows that uneducated women are giving birth to more kids. Not that they are doing any crime, but they have more time than educated women, who go out to work. Uneducated women stay back at home and are not able to take their own decision,” she said at an event in Ahmedabad.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing college students, Bedi said, “Weaker students come to engineering colleges due to reservation and are not ready for the course.””Shall we leave weaker students who have secured admission due to reservation and are not ready for the course like that only? They should be taught by deserving students, so that they do not stay undeserving,” she added.The former IPS officer attributed the problems arising in universities like JNU, HCU to “breakdown of communication between teachers and the administration”.”Why are there problem in universities? The problem at JNU and HCU can be seen from the management perspective as it is a breakdown of communication between teachers and administrator,” she said.”If there is no regular contact between teachers, Vice Chancellors, administration, then it causes problems. If there is a regular contact in a house, the problem does not go public and gets solved inside,” Bedi said.Exhorting students to to pay education loans on time, she said, “We have turned ungrateful. We ask parents that it is your job to give us shelter, food, and say that if (Vijay) Mallya (former liquor baron) did not pay his loan, then why should I? We should be grateful to the bank and repay loan on time,” she said.

AgustaWestland scam: CBI questions ex-IAF Chief SP Tyagi for 10 hours

New Delhi: Former IAF chief SP Tyagi was on Monday questioned by CBI for around 10 hours over his alleged links with middlemen in the controversial Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal during which he was also quizzed about the source of funding for his post-retirement trip to Italy.

It was for the second time in three years that the retired Air Chief Marshal was being questioned in connection with the VVIP chopper deal but it was for the first time he was quizzed after an order of the Italian court on the matter. He was earlier quizzed in 2013.

Former IAF Chief SP Tyagi. PTIFormer IAF Chief SP Tyagi. PTI

Former IAF Chief SP Tyagi. PTI

The Milan Court of Appeals — equivalent of an Indian High Court — has given details of how alleged bribes were paid by helicopter-maker Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland to Indian officials through middlemen to clinch the deal. The order reportedly mentions the name of Tyagi at several points.

Tyagi who has been named in the CBI FIR reached the agency headquarters at around 10 am but refused to speak to media which posed questions about his role in the alleged corruption in the deal.

“I have told CBI what I had to say. You people(media) are inhuman,” he told reporters in response to questions in the night at the end of his questioning.

CBI sources said that during the probe they came across a trip undertaken by Tyagi to Florence, Venice and Milan in Italy after he retired in 2007. They said it is being probed who accompanied him on the trip and who funded for the

The sources claimed that Tyagi was also confronted with response received from Italy on the judicial requests of CBI.

He was also understood to have been asked about the statements of middlemen Carlos Gerosa and Guido Hashke, to Italian authorities, who had purportedly claimed to have met Tyagi on several occasions between 2004 and 07.

Tyagi has denied allegations against him claiming innocence and that the change of specifications, which brought Agusta Westland into contention, was a collective decision in which senior officers of Indian Air Force, SPG, NSA and other departments were involved.

CBI had registered a case against Tyagi along with 13 others including his cousins and European middlemen.

The allegation against the former Air Chief was that he reduced flying ceiling of the helicopter from 6,000m to 4,500m (15,000ft) which put AgustaWestland helicopters in the race for the deal without which its choppers were not even qualified for submission of bids.

CBI sources said the agency has called Gautam Khaitan, a former board member of Aeromatrix and who is also named in the FIR, for questioning on Wednesday while cousins of Tyagi — Sanjeev, Rajeev and Sandeep — have been called later
this week.

It is alleged by Italian prosecutors that bribes to clinch the deal were paid through middlemen and routed through a consultancy contract between AgustaWestland and companies owned by middlemen.

Khaitan and the Tyagi cousins have strongly refuted allegations against them.

VVIP Chopper Scam: AgustaWestland was never blacklisted, says FM Arun Jaitley

Sharpening the attack on Congress on the AgustaWestland chopper deal, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on Saturday said the theory that the company was blacklisted during the UPA rule and it was lifted by NDA was a “figment of imagination”.Delhi Daredevils vs Kolkata Knight Riders Live Cricket Score, 26th T20, Indian Premier League 2016, April 30, 2016Jaitley disputed the statement of former Defence Minister A K Antony that the UPA regime had blacklisted AugustaWestland Finmeccanica after the bribe issue come out on the chopper deal.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Targeting Antony, he said the statement given by him to the party suffers from a “misnomer” as much as its mentions that the company was blacklisted by the UPA regime and that it was lifted by the NDA.
ALSO READ VVIP chopper scam: Former Deputy Chief of Indian Air Force JS Gujral questioned by CBI”This is a figment of somebody’s imagination,” Jaitley, a former defence minister, said during an interaction with the audience after releasing the NDA vision document for the May 16 Kerala assembly polls.He alleged that the decision to award the contract was influenced by bribery.
ALSO READ VVIP chopper scam: Congress acted immediately after finding ‘transactions of bribery’, says Veerappa Moily”The buck stops with those who took the decision and the decision was influenced by bribery. The fact that there was bribery is unquestionably there. There is a transaction in which bribe giver is being convicted. We are only struggling to find out the identity of the bribe taker,” he said.”Obviously, the bribe taker has to be among those who influenced to ward the contract. Strangers don’t get bribes. Those who influenced decision get bribes,” Jaitley added.

Kerala Assembly polls 2016: Cricketer Sreesanth declares Rs 7.37 crore worth assets

Former cricketer and BJP candidate from Thiruvananthapuram S Sreesanth has declared assets worth Rs 7.37 crore.The 33-year-old former pace bowler, seeking his maiden electoral luck in the May 16 Assembly polls, has Rs 42,500 cash in hand while Rs 35,000 with his spouse, according to the affidavit filed by him along with his nomination papers. His movable properties include a Jaguar XJL car, worth Rs 1.18 crore and a Rs 30,000 worth motor bike, which he received as prize for ‘Man of the Match’ in a cricket match.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides, as many as 55 sovereigns of gold and cricket World Cup medals (diamond-studded), worth Rs 3,00,000 and Rs 5,00,000 respectively, are the other movable assets, it said. His spouse has 375 sovereigns of gold worth over Rs 82 lakh, the affidavit said.Sreesanth’s immovable properties include a residential property worth over Rs 5.5 crore in Edapally in Kochi in a 5.26 acres of land with a built up area of over 9,000 square feet.

Teach BJP a lesson for dislodging my govt: Deposed Uttarakhand CM Rawat

Dehradun: Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat has asked the people of the state to teach a befitting lesson to the BJP, accusing it of hatching a conspiracy to topple an elected government.

Rawat held rallies at Tharali, Narayanbagad, Karnaprayag and Gopeshwar in Chamoli district on Sunday and asked people to teach a befitting lesson to the BJP, accusing it of hatching a conspiracy to topple an elected government, creating political instability in the state and derailing its development.

He addressed the rallies as part of the second phase of his save democracy yatra to mobilise public opinion against the imposition of President’s rule in the state.

A file photo of Harish Rawat. PTIA file photo of Harish Rawat. PTI

A file photo of Harish Rawat. PTI

He said though he had no idea when the clouds of political uncertainty will lift from Uttarakhand, assembly elections were not far away and people had a chance to teach a lesson to those guilty of derailing the state’s development.

Assembly elections in Uttarakhand are due early next year.

Rawat also highlighted the decisions taken by him in “public interest” at the two Cabinet meetings he chaired during the brief revival of his government recently in the wake of the High Court’s verdict revoking President rule in the state on which a stay was put by the Supreme Court just a day later.

Though their implementation will depend largely on what the Supreme Court rules on 27 April, Rawat took nearly a dozen populist decisions at the two cabinet meetings with an eye on assembly polls including reappointment of guest teachers and hiking their salary to 15000 per month, setting up a committee to look into reduction of land circle rates, a pension of Rs
3100 for identified statehood agitationists, an increase of Rs 200 in the pensions of widows, old women and the handicapped.

Pradesh Congress President Kishore Upadhyay, who accompanied the former chief minister, claimed large crowds attended the rallies.

This is the second phase of Rawat’s save democracy yatra which covered constituencies of rebel MLAs in its first phase.

Chhagan Bhujbal admitted to ICU for high blood pressure, chest pain

Mumbai: Former Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, presently under judicial custody in an alleged money laundering case, was on Monday admitted to ICU in south Mumbai after he complained of severe chest pain and high blood pressure.

Senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal. AFP

Senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal. AFP

“He was brought in today with severe chest pain and a very high blood pressure of 180/120. Thus, we immediately shifted him to ICU. He is conscious but unstable. He will be shifted to JJ Hospital once his condition stabilises,” Rohan Sequeira, Associate Professor and Head of Medicine at multi-speciality Saint George Hospital, told PTI.

Bhujbal was shifted to the government-run hospital reportedly from Arthur Road jail here where he has been lodged after his arrest last month under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The former PWD minister and his nephew and former MP Samir Bhujbal are in judicial custody till 27 April.

The ED had filed two FIRs against Bhujbal, his son and nephew among others under the provisions of PMLA, based on Mumbai Police FIRs, to probe the Delhi-based Maharashtra Sadan construction scam and the Kalina land grabbing case.

Cyclist crushed to death by former Uttar Pradesh minister’s jeep

A cyclist came under the wheels of former Uttar Pradesh agriculture minister Laxminarayan Choudhary’s speeding jeep and was crushed to death on Wednesday, reported The Times of India. Another motorcyclist was injured in the incident that took place near Govardhan in Mathura district, the report said.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

According to the report, the vehicle belonged to the former minister’s wife Mamta Choudhary, who incidentally is the Zila Panchayat president.

While Bahadur (30) died on the spot, Vishnu (29) was injured and has been admitted to a hospital, police said.

Following the incident, irate villagers blocked the Mathura-Goverdhan road for over three hours. Eyewitnesses told The Times of India that the former minister and his nephew were travelling in the jeep, which had a red beacon on top. The jeep came at high speed and hit the cyclist and the motorcyclist and crashed into a nearby shop. Choudhary and his nephew were not hurt in the incident.

Angry villagers first damaged the car and then placed the body on the road, blocking Mathura-Goverdhan road for over three hours. The car has been seized, police said.

“The road blockade was lifted after intervention by local administration,” ASP Anupam Singh said.

The police claimed that the former minister had rushed the victims to the hospital, however, reports suggested that the police did not put the name of the jeep’s driver in the accident complaint, even though they were aware who the vehicle belonged.

With inputs from PTI

NLSIU prof slut shames law student for wearing shorts: Classmates protest by showing up to class in shorts

A storm is brewing in National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in Bengaluru after a professor slut-shamed a girl during a lecture for wearing shorts. Professor V Nagaraj of NLSIU on 4 April allegedly shamed a girl for turning up in shorts for the lecture. When the student stood up against the statements made by the professor, Nagaraj even cast aspersions on her character.

Representational image. Image courtesy: Twitter

Representational image. Image courtesy: Twitter

Among several unsavory statements, Professor Nagaraj is alleged to have said, “We all know why parents marry their children off – so that they can have sex. Just because the parents marry off their children for this reason, it does not mean that the children have sex in front of their parents.”

Needless to say, the comments did not sit well with the third year students of LLB class who protested by turning up in shorts the next day. They demanded an apology from the professor, but he refused, and still vehemently denied that he made statements such as, “You can come to class without a dress also. That is how your character is, I’m going to ignore you.”

A student of NLSIU from the same class released a ‘statement of condemnation,’ and addressed it to all faculty members and the vice chancellor.
Speaking to HuffPost India, Professor Nagaraj said that the matter should be “objectively” investigated by a body constituted by the University administration. “The matter I reported to the head of the institution as soon as the allegation started. Now it for the university administration to handle this,” he said.

It is genuinely worrisome when a premium institute like NLSIU gets in the limelight for such reasons. However, the professor in question was clearly in denial about any wrongdoing when he said this to Legally India:

“Nothing like (what is described in the statement) happened. Students are making false and baseless allegations. It is for the university authorities to examine this incident. This is the first time that students have made such a statement (whereas) I have been teaching for 27 years.”

Former in-charge of NLSIU’s sexual harassment committee, Prof VS Elizabeth, however, responded with a near perfect statement after the incident, a part of which read:

It is important that all of us, particularly faculty, should think before we make comments, particularly should not be casting aspersions on people’s character based on what they wear or don’t wear. After all the amount of cloth we use to cover our bodies does not proportionately reflect our morality. Many sexual abusers of children and women most certainly wear more clothes, does it mean that they are more moral than the rest of us?

The statement of condemnation was removed from Facebook by the student.

Tamil Nadu Polls: DMK offers 33 seats to Congress

It looks like the DMK and Congress are on the brink of striking a deal as to seat-sharing in the upcoming Tamil Nadu elections.A report in The New Indian Express quoted sources as saying that Congress could get about 33 seats to contest in the TN assembly elections in May.Reportedly, Congress would get one seat in every district and one in Chennai as well. The deal has been conveyed to TNCC president E V K S Elangovan who headed to New Delhi on Tuesday to discuss this with senior members of his party. Former TNCC president K V Thangkabalu has accompanied Elangovan on the trip to Delhi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Tuesday, the eight member seat-sharing committee of the Congress held discussions on the next round of talks with DMK reports the daily. Reportedly, Congress will sign the deal the day after Elangovan discusses the matter with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. As was widely reported, a week back, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mukul Wasnik had come to meet DMK president M Karunanidhi and others in Chennai. The Congress’ demand then was reported to be 63 seats. This was the number they had contested in the 2011 polls. But the DMK started to negotiate citing the split in the Congress in Tamil Nadu. G K Vasan started the Tamil Maanila Congress after breaking away from the Congress. The daily reported that DMK started with an offer of 15 seats and now seems to have reached 33.The daily adds that senior Congress leaders urged the DMK to share more seats stating that DMDK had also not joined the alliance which was expected earlier.

Delhi model’s suicide note says husband would beat her up, had rape case against him in Mumbai

The suicide note of former model Priyanka Kapoor, recovered by cops last week, has given them quite a glimpse into the alleged mistreatment’s meted out to her by her husband. According to officials of the Delhi Police, in the note, Priyanka (26) elaborated her experiences after getting married to Nitin Chawla, a businessman who was last week arrested on charges of dowry harassment.Priyanka, who ran an event management company, was found hanging from a ceiling fan at house number A-46 in Defence colony in the wee hours on Saturday. The couple married just a month ago.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I have known grief, I have known happiness, sadness and emotions, but my husband made me helpless for the first time. Nitin has a rape case on him registered in Mumbai. I never knew he would do so bad to me. He beat me like a devil just after a month of wedding. When I asked him to call my family he beat me hard. I had married Nitin just because he told me he loves me unconditionally. But now he asks me to leave his house. I broke my relations with my mother just because of him. He is a selfish man,” the note reads.Priyanka further goes on to write how she had expected to receive love and instead was only subjected to pain and regular beatings for petty issues. Priyanka also accused her mother-in-law stating that according to her, ‘whatever Nitin did was not wrong’.”Nitin wanted me to leave his house, so I am leaving the world,” she wrote in the note. According to senior police officials the couple used to fight a lot as was confirmed by some neighbours as well. “The accused had also not paid house rent and as a result confrontations between the couple had ensued. He also had issues with her going to clubs. When Nitin’s 10-year-old son from his earlier marriage came home, Nitin had an argument with Priyanka. He asked her to leave the house,” said the officer.The suicide note also states how the former model spent her last moments waiting for her husband. “Nitin has not come home since the last three days and only sent a message on WhatsApp to vacate his home,” the note reads.The night of Holi, the former model’s mother was unable to reach her on the phone. When the family went to her residence on the same evening, they were prompted to call the police after finding the door locked from inside.Police had broken the door only to discover lifeless body of Priyanka. They later arrested her husband and booked him under IPC sections 498A, 304B, 34 on the basis of a complaint filed by deceased’s sister Dimpi.

Sushil Kumar Shinde meets HCU students in jail, slams VC for not resigning after Vemula suicide

Hyderabad: Former union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Monday condemned the brutal police attack on students and faculty member of University of Hyderabad as he called on 25 students and two faculty members in Cherlapally Jail in Hyderabad.

He said the students who were staging a peaceful protest on 22 March on the campus were beaten up and arrested while Vice Chancellor P Appa Rao, who has been booked under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act is still roaming free.

Sushilkumar Shinde. PTISushilkumar Shinde. PTI

Sushilkumar Shinde. PTI

Talking to reporters, Shinde said Appa Rao should have resigned after he was named in the FIR booked following the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula.

“Instead of resigning, he went on leave and now he has come back as vice chancellor, which led to fresh unrest on the campus,” he said.

He also alleged that Appa Rao held a meeting with leaders of ABVP before resuming charge as the vice chancellor.

Shinde, who was accompanied by Congress party’s Telangana unit president Uttam Kumar Reddy and others, gathered details of the events of March 22.

He said the students showed him injury marks on their bodies due to brutal lathi charge by the police.

The former union minister also met Radhika, mother of Rohith Vemula and lauded her courage in fighting for the friends of her son. Paying tributes to Rohith, Shinde said he laid down the life for the country while following the path of BR Ambedkar.

Leaders of various student groups also met Shinde and briefed him about the incidents that occurred in the central university.


‘Yoga is for old people’: The Great Khali begs to differ on yoga’s health benefits

Till now we have heard that yoga is beneficial; it is good for both physical and mental health and is the ideal exercise for people of all demographics.

In fact, after India’s appeal, the United Nations even declared an International Day for Yoga, the first of which was celebrated with much fervour all over the world and India back in June. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lead the celebrations from the front, literally. Remember this?

Image Credit: PTIImage Credit: PTI

Image Credit: PTI

But the Great Khali, Former WWE star and India’s best known wrestler, begs to differ.

In an interview with Aaj Tak, Khali was quoted as saying that yoga is for old people.

In the video uploaded, he is heard saying, “Jo yoga hain, woh hain old bande ka kaam hain.” (Yoga is meant for old people.)

The wrestler also added that yoga does not win you Olympic medals or make great wrestlers. “Kapalbhati karke Olympiad mein gold aate, Great khali bane jaate, phir toh logon ne yehi karna tha, bed pe baith kar.” (If practicing yoga won you gold medals and made you The Great Khali, then everyone would just sit on a bed and do that.)

But at the same time, he he was quick to clarify that yoga was not a complete waste of time. ‘Main yeh nahin keh raha ki yoga bekar hai.’ (I am not saying that yoga is useless)

Here’s the full clip:

As expected, Twitter had much to say about Khali’s declaration.

Incidentally,there is video evidence of Khali, who is clearly not old and doesn’t appear to be lazy, practising yoga (more specifically, Pranayama) and even guiding his fellow housemates when he was part of the Bigg Boss House. What do you have to say about that, Great Khali?

Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani gets bail in sedition case

New Delhi: Former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani has been granted bail by a Delhi court in a sedition case related to an event conducted at the Press Club last month.

Image courtesy: IBNLiveImage courtesy: IBNLive

Image courtesy: IBNLive

Additional sessions judge Deepak Garg granted the relief to Geelani on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and one surety of the amount. Geelani’s counsel, Satish Tamta sought bail, claiming there is nothing on record that Geelani shouted anti-India slogans or asked others to do so.

It was a meeting of intellectuals to discuss the Kashmir issue, he said. “There was nothing in the event which led to any violence as there was nothing that could be called incitement,” Tamta said, adding that as per the Supreme Court order, shouting slogans merely doesn’t amount to offence under section 124-A(Sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.

However, the Delhi police had opposed the bail plea saying the
event was “an attack on the soul of India” and it was “contempt of court”. “The incident was a continuation of what had happened at JNU a day earlier. As per the statements of Press Club of India officials, anti-India slogans were shouted and Geelani was also involved in them. Geelani had violated the law of the land and the offence was grave,” the prosecution added.

Earlier, on February 19, a magisterial court had dismissed the bail plea of Geelani, who was arrested on February 16, after the police had alleged that “hatred” was being generated against the government.


Blatter appeals against six-year ban | Reuters

ZURICH Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has lodged an appeal against his six-year ban from football for ethics violations, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced on Thursday.

The Lausanne-based organisation said the 80-year-old Swiss wanted to overturn last month’s decision by the appeals committee of world football’s ruling body FIFA.

Blatter and Michel Platini, president of European football’s governing body UEFA, were banned over a payment of two million Swiss francs ($2 million) made by FIFA to the Frenchman in 2011, with Blatter’s approval, for work done a decade earlier.

Both men have denied any wrong-doing.

Blatter has vowed to “go to the end of my life to show that I’m innocent”.

Platini filed a similar appeal against his suspension earlier this month.

CAS said Blatter and FIFA’s appeals committee would exchange written submissions, with a three-arbitrator panel to be created before a hearing is held.

FIFA is seeking to turn the page on a long-running scandal that escalated in 2015 when police swooped on a luxury Zurich hotel to arrest football officials accused by U.S. federal prosecutors of corruption.

Dozens of people have since been charged in investigations that have spanned five continents.

Swiss Gianni Infantino, the former UEFA general secretary, was elected president of FIFA last month and pledged to refocus the organisation on football rather than corruption and litigation.

(Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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

Ahead of election, BJP, CPI-M workers clash in Kerala; 16 injured

Former Kerala BJP state President V Muraleedharan was among 16 persons injured in a clash between workers of the party and CPI-M at nearby Kattayikonam on Monday.A procession of BJP activists on certain local issues resulted in the clash with CPI-M workers, police said. The clash occurred after stones were allegedly pelted at the processionists, they said, adding most of the injured were BJP workers. The 16 injured were treated at the Medical College Hospital, sources in the hospital said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP has called for a 12-hour hartal tomorrow in the district protesting the attack on its workers by CPI-M.

Jat quota stir: Hooda demands dismissal of Khattar govt in Haryana and imposition of President’s rule

Chandigarh: Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today sought dismissal of the BJP dispensation in Haryana and imposition of President’s rule over its “failure” to tackle the violence during Jat quota agitation terming it the most “incompetent government” in the state’s 50-year history.

“We demand that government be dismissed, state assembly dissolved and President’s rule imposed. In the 50-year history of Haryana, never before have we come across such an incompetent government, which has failed on all fronts,” Hooda told reporters here.

Hooda also demanded setting up of a panel headed by a Supreme Court judge to go into the violence during the Jat quota stir.

“What happened was sad and unfortunate… a judicial commission of inquiry, headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, should be set up to go into the violence during the stir.”

Former chief minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda. AFPFormer chief minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda. AFP

Former chief minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda. AFP

On the arrest warrant issued against his former political advisor Virender after the latter failed to appear before police in a sedition case registered against him in Rohtak during the Jat stir, Hooda said, “he should join investigations. I am a law abiding citizen and I would say this to him”.

“A conspiracy was hatched by BJP and RSS to disturb Haryana’s peace, harmony and brotherhood. They wanted to create a new votebank. An attempt was made to divide people but we will not allow it to happen..why is the government hesitating in setting up the judicial commission if it has nothing to hide?” he said.

“What was the conspiracy, people need to know. We are of the view that this incompetent government cannot probe its own failures, therefore we demand a commission of inquiry headed by a Supreme Court judge,” Hooda said.

He claimed that before the Assembly election in the state in October, 2014, BJP had made several promises to people, “but they failed to fulfil any of those”.

Hooda said, “30 lives were lost and property worth crores of rupees was damaged during the agitation as the government failed to handle the situation.”

He said house of Congress leader and former Minister Geeta Bhukkal was burnt in Jhajjar, while another leader Anand Singh Dangi’s office was set on fire during the stir.

“The government had earlier said that the (Jat) agitation was leaderless. But things got complicated because the government was also leaderless. Had there been leadership even on one side, this situation would not have arisen.

Karti is being targeted because he is my son, says P Chidambaram

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday said Karti is being targeted only because he is his son but “the real target is me” and rejected as “malicious and totally false” allegations that he has undisclosed assets abroad.Asia Cup 2016 Live: India vs Bangladesh, Final T20 Live Cricket Scorecard & Ball by Ball CommentaryChidambaram also said that if the Government is of the view that Karti has alleged undisclosed assets he would ask it to make a list in this regard and his son will voluntarily execute any document necessary to transfer such assets to it for a nominal consideration of Rupee 1. He was reacting to a recent media report about the alleged investments of Karti in real estate across the world.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A few days ago, a news report was published containing wild and reckless allegations against my son, Mr Karti Chidambaram, and by implication against me. It was obvious to everyone that it was a planted story.” “If the Government is of the view that Mr Karti Chidambaram has undisclosed assets, I would ask the Government to make a list of such alleged undisclosed assets. Mr Karti Chidambaram will voluntarily execute any document necessary to transfer those assets (allegedly undisclosed) to the Government for a nominal consideration of Rupee 1. Let the Government become the owner of the alleged undisclosed assets.The media report alleged that Karti has built a huge empire for himself in different parts of the world by making investment in real estates and engaging in other business activities in 14 countries and that this had come to light through documents recovered during raids by Enforcement Directorate and investigation wing of Income Tax in the Aircel-Maxis scam. “I am issuing this statement on behalf of all the members of my family. We know that Karti is being targeted only because he is my son and the real target is me. I understand the political motive behind the accusations and the timing of the story. I have nothing but pity for those who make these false accusations. Ultimately, truth will prevail,” Chidambaram said in a statement.He said Karti runs a legitimate business, apart from managing inherited property, adding he has been an income tax assessee for many years. Chidambaram also said that Karti has duly and regularly filed his income tax return, including a statement of assets and liabilities, every year and that the assessments have been completed upto Assessment Year 2013-14 by the Income-tax department.”All his(Karti) assets and liabilities have been duly disclosed in his tax returns. He has no undisclosed asset anywhere. He and his business are fully compliant with the laws and regulations of the Income-tax department and of all other regulatory authorities concerned. The allegation that he has undisclosed assets is preposterous, malicious and totally false,” Chidambaram said. Karti has already said his business was fully compliant with all laws and regulations of the country and rejected charges of money launderingFor two days last week, Parliament was disrupted on the issue of alleged assets of Karti with the AIADMK and parties like BJD demanding a thorough probe and action against the former minister’s son. On Wednesday, the Lok Sabha had a discussion on the issue with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley telling the house and there are “no holy cows” for the government to protect and that action would be taken against anyone found guilty “howsoever important” one may be.

West Bengal Elections | Watch: Mamata Banerjee explains why scam-tainted Madan Mitra got a ticket

Mamata Banerjee in an exclusive interview to Zee 24 Ghanta in the run-up to the Assembly elections answered questions about several controversial issues. One issue was the Saradha scam, which has been a major talking point in West Bengal over the last few years. Former state Minister Madan Mitra who is currently in custody in connection with the Saradha scam has again been given a ticket by the Trinamool Congress. Explaining the rationale behind this move, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said that she did not understand why Mitra had still not been given bail. Alluding to the much hyped footage which shows Mitra with Saradha owner Sudipto Sen, Banerjee said the leader went to a programme because he was invited. The West Bengal CM claims that at the time Madan was unaware of the source of Saradha group’s funding. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Putting the onus on the erstwhile Left Front government, Mamata said that chit funds have been prevalent since 2000. Why they didn’t crack down on them, she asked. According to Mamata Banerjee, if Mitra has truly done anything illegal, he should be punished. But she alleged that, as of now, a farce is being carried out in the name of interrogation. She also alleged that there was a secret tie-up between the Left and BJP. Watch the clip in Bengali:

Ishrat Jahan case: Former Gujarat Intel chief demands perjury case against RVS Mani, P Chidambaram

Former Gujarat Intelligence chief RB Sreekumar on Wednesday slammed RVS. Mani over his claims that he was pressurized to file the second affidavit in the Supreme Court in the Ishrat Jahan case and demanded perjury case against the former undersecretary and former home minister P Chidambaram. “It is a shame on Mr. Mani. It is purely for his career interests and selfish interests against the interest of the rule of law, principles of the constitution, he made an amendment of the affidavit then and he is revealing it now,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When asked that Mani is claiming to have been pressurised to sign the second affidavit, he said, “Tomorrow the minister will ask you to get something? will you do it? Service rules never say that you can violate the Constitution of India. We cannot go against truth.”He said that India was passing through a dark phase as the politicians were making use of security matters for political gains. “This is false defence that any corrupt officer takes. Corruption is not by money, corruption is also dishonest action. This person should be prosecuted under 193 IPC, which is for perjury, including Chidambaram. Does Rajnath Singh have guts? They want to gain political capital out of the whole thing,” he said.”India is passing through a dark phase, our rulers are interested in making votebanks and converting any security situation for their political advantage,” he added. Mani has alleged that the changes in the second Ishrat Jahan affidavit were made at the political level by the then UPA government and that he was ‘tortured; to sign it.His claims came days after the former home secretary G.K. Pillai alleged that Chidambaram as the country’s home minister during the UPA regime ‘bypassed him’ and rewrote an affidavit submitted to a court on Ishrat Jehan, the 19-year-old student killed in an encounter in 2004. Chidambaram earlier on Monday said the revised affidavit was absolutely correct, adding he accepts full responsibility for the affidavit as a minister.

BJP adds Ishrat Jahan, P Chidambaram issues to its strategy to target Congress

Former Home Secretary GK Pillai’s allegation against Manmohan Singh government in the Ishrat Jehan case and P Chidambaram’s remarks on Afzal Guru have given BJP fuel for its “nationalism” campaign and to take on Congress.Capitalising on the Ishrat issue, BJP on Friday released two articles written by Arun Jaitley in June 2013 and February 2014 when he was leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, a day after Pillai said the affidavit submitted to the Gujarat High Court in 2009 about LeT links of Ishrat and her accomplices was changed at the “political level”. Inside the House, BJP leaders sought clarifications from Congress on the issue and Chidambaram’s comments, amidst protests from Congress members.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his articles, Jaitley had accused government of changing affidavit to implicate Narendra Modi, who was then Gujarat chief minister. He had said this had caused “irreparable damage” to the country’s intelligence agencies and their ability to undertake covert operations against terror. “Only Pakistan and LeT would have the last laugh. The myopic political regime in Delhi has not realised the significance of destroying institutions. Harass Gujarat government even if it means destroying India’s security apparatus, the object of the Congress party is clear,” his 2013 article said.It said the “growing Modi phobia” was behind CBI move to question IB in the Ishrat case.Meanwhile, inside the House, BJP’s Anurag Thakur raised the issue during zero hour saying a conspiracy was hatched to frame his party leaders. “Former home secretary has distanced himself from Ishrat’s affidavit and former home minister has raised questions over the hanging of Afzal Guru. In Ishrat Jehan case, the affidavit submitted to the Gujarat High Court in 2009 about her links with LeT and her accomplices was changed at the political level. A deliberate attempt was made to malign the then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi,” he said.Outside Parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu asked Congress to clarify its stand on the two issues. “The opposition party needs to come clean on how it looked at both the cases,” he told reporters.Chidambaram had said in interviews that it was possible to hold an opinion that Guru’s case was perhaps not correctly decided.The Congress questioned the timing of Pillai’s remarks. “How to establish political pressure… it is unfortunate…. Why say it today,” Renuka Chaudhury said.The then UPA government had submitted two affidavits – one that the four, who were killed in an alleged fake encounter, were terrorists and the second saying there was no conclusive evidence– within two months in 2009.

Jat agitation: Former Haryana CM Hooda asked to leave Rohtak

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was asked to leave Rohtak on Tuesday night, the town worst hit by Jat violence, by the district administration which cited maintenance of peace as the reason for the order.Hooda, a Congress leader, has been asked to leave Rohtak “to ensure peace and harmony,” official sources said. Hooda told PTI that he had received the order advising him to leave Rohtak and not stay here for the night by the district administration for maintenance of law and order.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”As a law abiding citizen I complied with the directions issued by the Principal Secretary A K Singh and left the town immediately,” he said, adding he was on his way to Delhi.Asked whether the administration could issue such a direction, he said it could do so keeping the law and order in mind. Hooda’s close aide and senior Congress leader B B Batra said two IPS officers first came to Hooda’s residence and verbally asked him to leave the town.”But Hooda declined saying he cannot leave on verbal instructions,” Batra said, adding the former Chief Minister sought an administrative order.Batra said that later an order was issued by Principal Secretary A K Singh, who has been appointed the Special Officers for Rohtak during the Jat agitation. He issued the order on ground of maintenance of law and order. The former Chief Minister immediately complied with the order and left for Delhi, Batra said.

dna Morning Must Reads: From harrowing account of journalists at Patiala House Court to Indian-origin wins at Grammys

1. I was called a terrorist: dna reporter recounts harrowing ordeal at Patiala House CourtAzaan Javaid shares a first person account of his ordeal at Patiala House Court. Read more here2. Former DU lecturer SAR Geelani arrested in sedition case<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani was arrested on Tuesday on sedition and other charges in connection with an event here in which anti-India slogans were raised, police said. Read more here3. Will discuss cricket only with coach: MS DhoniIndian limited-overs skipper says he has not moved on from now-suspended CSK. Read more here4. Grammys 2016: Anoushka Shankar loses; Asif Kapadia and other Indian-origin nominees shineSitarist Anoushka Shankar and documentary director Asif Kapadia were the two Indian names in the race to win Grammy 2016. Read more here5. There’s now an app that predicts earthquakes more accurately than official warning alertsThe researchers behind the app say their tests show the app is more reliable than the US Geological Survey. Read more here

Global economic conditions favourable, but Centre unable to get act together: Manmohan Singh

New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh has criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the centre for its economic policies, saying it has not been able to benefit from falling oil prices and “fortuitous circumstances” to boost the rate of investment in the country.

“The economy is not in as good a shape as it could be, despite the fact that the situation today is much more favourable than it was when we, the Congress-led UPA, were in government,” Manmohan Singh said in an interview to the weekly India Today.

This was his first wide-ranging interview since he demitted office after the Congress-led government he presided over for 10 years was voted out of power in 2014 general elections.

He told the magazine that the shrinking of the economy was worrying him as “the government is not able to get its act together to persuade the business community to take advantage”.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh. AFPFormer prime minister Manmohan Singh. AFP

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh. AFP

Manmohan Singh said oil prices had at the time (when the Congress was on power) gone up to $150 a barrel. “Today, they are close to $30 a barrel. This has significantly helped India’s balance of payments, the current account deficit has come down.”

It has also helped the government reduce its fiscal deficit, he said. “In the hands of a purposeful government, this could be an opportunity to step up investment in the economy in a big way.”

The former prime minister pointed out that the rate of investment in India now was “as low as 32 percent” – down three percent from 35 when the Congress was at the peak of its power.

“Yes, it did come down in the last two years of our government but as I said, we had the disadvantage of a sharp hike in oil prices which is not there today.”

He said in all this, India was “obviously missing an opportunity” because the country was a net importer of commodities and needed to benefit from low commodity prices.

“It helps the balance of payments. It helps the control of inflation as well as the fiscal deficit.” Manmohan Singh, who faced criticism over his purported silence when his ministers were accused of widespread graft during his rule, said the incumbent government was facing a “crisis of confidence”.

“People don’t believe the government. When they go and call on the ministers, they say the right things, but when they come out, all of them say that nothing much has changed.”

He said that it also happened because of a “growing view” that the BJP has not delivered “in areas in which it had made huge promises”.

“The PM (Modi) talks about ‘vikas’ but in the growth rate, there is no significant difference from when we left power. In our last year, the growth rate was 6.9 percent while the latest figures today show that it is hovering around 7-7.2 per cent.”

“So, despite the significant improvement in the balance of payments, the economy is not moving forward which was the aspiration and for which the government had made promises,” the former prime minister said.


Watch: Sunny Leone on political correctness, being objectified, and why she had to change her name

Why are only men asking questions to Sunny Leone? Why not a woman? Why is everyone tossing the same old cliches at her? What do you get when a feminist is in conversation with Sunny? In the first episode of a new interview series on Firstpost, Contributing Editor Anna MM Vetticad – journalist, author and women’s rights commentator – speaks to the former porn star, Penthouse model and now Hindi film actress about political correctness, objectification and why Karenjit Kaur Vohra had to change her name to enter the glamour business in the West.

JD(U) gives Nitish govt’s ‘image building’ task to workers

At a meeting of party district presidents and office bearers at the residence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, emphasis was also laid on establishing better connect between the workers and the government, a party statement said The ruling JD(U) on asked party workers to improve the image of the state government in Bihar by highlighting its good works.At a meeting of party district presidents and office bearers at the residence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, emphasis was also laid on establishing better connect between the workers and the government, a party statement said. The meeting was presided over by state party chief Basistha Narayan Singh but the Chief Minister was not present.The meeting was presided over by state party chief Basistha Narayan Singh but the Chief Minister was not present.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Election strategist Prashant Kishor, who was recently appointed as advisor to the CM on planning and programme implementation, particularly the “seven resolves” of Kumar, was also present at the meeting. Former speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary and ex-minister P K Shahi, both vice president of the JD(U), attended the meet.The state chief told the district presidents to locate venues for opening party offices at district level. The district presidents have been entrusted with the task of hearing problems of the workers at grassroots level and communicate it to the state unit for better connect with the government.

Amar Singh is a spent cartridge, not coming back to SP, says Azam Khan

Lucknow: Former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh is a spent force and there is no chance of his return to the party from which he was expelled in 2010, Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Mohammad Azam Khan said.

“He is a ‘daga kartoos’ (spent cartridge) and is not coming into the SP,” the urban development and minority affairs minister told reporters late Monday night in Kanpur.

Azam Khan. AFPAzam Khan. AFP

Azam Khan. AFP

“While I can fetch votes for the ruling party, people like Amar Singh who travel in BMWs are not even sure whom their wives will vote for,” Khan remarked.

The minister’s comments are in stark contrast to recent hints dropped by SP leaders about the return of former Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh to the party fold.

SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav recently said Amar Singh “is in my heart”, while his younger brother and Public Works Department Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav said Amar Singh was always a family.

On Monday too, Yadav said in Jaunpur that whenever Mulayam Singh wants, Amar Singh will be back in the party.

There have been strong indications that both sides may bury the hatchet before the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, due early next year.


Arunachal Pradesh crisis: CM Nabam Tuki, ministers dismissed following President’s Rule imposition

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and all his ministerial colleagues were dismissed on Wednesday with immediate effect by the Governor of the state, a day after President’s Rule was imposed following political instability.In an office memorandum, Governor Jyoti Prashad Rajkhowa said all other political appointments made by the Chief Minister, such as advisers, OSDs and special officers also stand terminated.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Security coverage of former chief minister, ministers and parliamentary secretaries will be immediately assessed by the Standing Committee and action taken accordingly,” the Governor said.The memorandum said this is being done in pursuance of the notification made by President Pranab Mukherjee to bring the state under central rule.All precautionary, preventive, and other measures will be taken for maintenance of law and order and public peace, the memorandum said adding, no bandhs, road blockades, gheraos and such illegal activities are to be allowed.The Governor directed the chief secretary to immediately seal the offices of the former chief minister, ministers and parliamentary secretaries and to ensure that all government files, documents are taken in safe custody.Rajkhowa, based on whose report the Union Cabinet decided to impose President’s Rule in the state, also asked the chief secretary to take into custody all official vehicles and office equipments retained with the former chief minister, ministers and parliamentary secretaries.The Governor ordered that all the files meant for disposal by the CM, ministers and parliamentary secretaries, including those regarding transfer and postings of officers in the rank of SPs, joint secretaries, director, head of departments and chief engineers be sent to him.However, proposal for transfer and postings for other officers should be disposed off by the chief secretary and principal secretaries concerned, the memorandum said.

Shashi Tharoor on why India is ‘stuck’ with the Parliamentary system

Former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on Monday said Parliamentary system was “ill-suited” to Indian national character but the country was “stuck” with it as it was conditioned to look at the British as “embodiment of everything”. He said it was difficult for Parliamentary system to work in a country as populous and as diverse as India.”One of the reasons we are stuck with this parliamentary system that is so ill-suited to Indian national character is because it was the system that the British ran and we were very well conditioned to look at the British as an embodiment of everything,” he said. Speaking on the last day of the Jaipur Literature Festival at a session entitled “On Empire”, Tharoor was in conversation with British Labour Party MP Tristam Hunt and journalist Swapan Dasgupta about British imperial rule in India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The former minister recalled reading about how Indian nationalist leaders had reacted with horror when Clement Attlee, a member of the Simon Commission, had suggested that the country would be better off under a presidential system. “The Simon Commission came in 1930, to explore very theoretically, the idea of a future constitution. Clement Attlee, member of that commission, reported in his diary he suggested to Indian nationalist leaders that they would be better off with a presidential system of government. He said they reacted with horror,” Tharoor said.The Congress Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram said India should not necessarily be grateful to the British for institutions the country inherited. “We have a system of government that was created in a tiny island which is today a country of 60 million and each MP represents about 100,000 people. “We then latched this on to our country with such diversity and extraordinary ranges of caste, creed, colour, culture, cuisine, conviction, costume and custom and expected it to work despite challenges of coalition government and we have done this in such a way that each MP is representing 2 million people. It is physically impossible to be in touch with all those you are representing.”In the session which was virtually a sequel to Tharoor’s now-viral Oxford Union debate speech, he also said it was impossible to put a monetary value on historical reparations owed by Britain to India because the damage inflicted over 200 years was “colossal”.”One cannot possibly put a value, especially not a monetary value, on the colossal damage inflicted by Britain on India over 200 years,” he said. Hunt said the entire aspect of Britain’s imperial history had earlier not been taught in British schools, but was now being added to the syllabus.

India should not ‘overreact’ to Pathankot attack: Pervez Musharraf

Former Pakistan President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf has called on India to not ‘overreact’ to the terror strike on the Pathankot IAF base saying that both nations were victims of extremism and also accused New Delhi of creating pressure on Islamabad over terrorism.Speaking in an interview to a Pakistani news channel, Musharraf said that terrorism was prevalent in both India and Pakistan due to which incidents like Pathankot would keep happening.”Terrorism is prevalent in both India and Pakistan. We are also victims of the same so we should not over react to what happened in Pathankot. Yes, of course we want to control such incidents, but one should get hyper over such incidents,” Musharraf said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”India’s first reaction to every terrorist attack is Pakistan but India is not free of terrorism or extremism themselves,” he added.Accusing New Delhi of creating pressure on Islamabad when it came to terror attacks, the former President alleged that terrorism and extremism was quite prevalent in India as well.
ALSO READ Pathankot attack: Pakistan hands over initial probe findings to India”India simply can’t create pressure on Pakistan when it comes to terrorism. We may be a small country but we have honour of our own. There are lots of areas in India where extremism is rampant. India always treats terrorism as a one-sided issue and that infuriates me. They can’t just bulldoze us when something happens there,” Musharraf said.He also said that there was a lot of ‘disgruntlement’ among the Muslim community in India since Prime Minister Modi came to power.
ALSO READ New video warns of more attacks like Pathankot; threatens to strike at key military facilitiesComparing the Prime Minister’s leadership with that of his former counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he added that ties between India and Pakistan had flourished under the latter as he was more ‘sincere’ in his approach.”I interacted with Vajpayee sahab and at the time we had very good ties with India. It all comes down to leadership in the end. We were moving forward with him and Manmohan sahab. Unfortunately, it’s not working under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. His popularity has dampened post his loss in Delhi and Bihar,” Musharraf said.”Vajapayee and Manmohan were more sincere when it came to resolving dispute. A good leader is always flexible. Things can’t work out if you are hell-bent on your own stand,” he added.Downplaying Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit to Islamabad, he added that it was just a case of ‘showmanship’ and there was nothing substantial about his visit.”I know what he said in Afghanistan. He arrived here after badmouthing Pakistan there. What kind of attitude is that? Badmouthing us when it comes to something substantial and then showing off by coming here? So I don?t place much importance to his visit. I simply look at the substance, which is missing,” the former President said.

Rajnath Singh should rethink his assessment of ISIS after Malda violence, says VHP

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had on December 27 said that global terror outfit Islamic State has failed in its attempts to establish roots in India due to strong family values in the society which act as deterrent to radicalisation.
“Today, IS being talked across the globe. But India is the lone country in the world where it has not been able to establish its roots due to family values of the Indian culture,” he had said during a conference in Lucknow.


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Kerala Congress hits out at SNDP chief Vellappally Natesan

In his article, Sudheeran alleged that the CPI(M) has not quit the poltics of violence in the state.

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Pathankot attack was anticipated, locals were cautioned by Punjab Police

“How can terror and talks go together? This is the second attack on our motherland Punjab. Government should call off the talks and instead give a strong retaliation to it,” Taranjeet Singh said.

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276 fined on second day of odd-even plan implementation in Delhi

Under the scheme, private cars having odd registration numbers will be allowed to ply on odd dates and those with even numbers on even dates.

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Pathankot attack: Nation is proud of its brave soldiers for neutralising terrorists, says Rajnath Singh

Gun shots could be heard at around 11:00 am after a brief lull as security personnel conducted combing operation in the premises.


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