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Rohit Tandon, Paras Lodha sent to 4-day ED custody by Delhi court in money laundering case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court on Thursday sent city- based lawyer Rohit Tandon and businessman Paras Mal Lodha, arrested in connection with a money laundering case, to four- day custody of the Enforcement Directorate.The duo were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Ashok Kumar, who allowed their custodial interrogation till January 2.The ED had arrested Tandon in New Delhi Thursday morning in connection with a money laundering probe in a case of seizure of Rs 13.6 crore post demonetization after the police raided his law firm premises as part of an anti-black money operation. Lodha was arrested on December 21 and later the court had sent him to seven-day ED custody on December 22. Advocate Vikas Garg, appearing for the ED, moved two applications before the court seeking 14-day custodial interrogation of Tandon and seven days extension of custody Lodha. However, the court only allowed four days of custodial interrogation for both of them.The ED submitted that as per the FIR, Tandon knew about the details of persons involved in the alleged money laundering racket. “The accused is needed to trail the proceeds of crime and to co-relate the collected information and identify the beneficiaries,” he said.Senior advocate Mohit Mathur, appearing for Tandon, denied the allegations, saying “what they (ED) are saying is the proceeds of crime, I am saying it is my money”.”The Ministry of Finance does not say violating Centre’s November 8 demonetization notification will make it an offence. Any amount of money can be deposited in accounts till December 30,” he said.Seeking extension of Lodha’s ED custody, Garg said “in this matter, an amount of around Rs 20 crore is involved.Search was conducted in Delhi and Kolkata where five locker keys and computer data were collected. In the raid at his Delhi apartment, 10,000 incriminating documents were collected. Lodha is needed in order to correlate the collected data.”Lodha’s counsel Sushil Bajaj said there was no ground to extend the custody of his client who is entitled to be released on bail. “When ED says it has already probed and recovered things, then why is his custody needed? Nothing has been recovered from his possession,” he claimed and added that in case of custodial interrogation, Lodha’s lawyer should be permitted to be present.The counsel also sought medical attention for him as he was suffering from ailments like mouth cancer and also had brain tumour which was removed and has two stents in his arteries.The agency suspected that Tandon was allegedly instrumental in the illegal conversion of demonetized currency worth about Rs 60 crore in purported connivance with Lodha and arrested Kotak Mahindra Bank manager in Delhi, Ashish Kumar.With Tandon’s arrest, the investigative agencies have now nabbed some of the major players of the two high-profile black money rackets unearthed after the note ban.Tandon’s case pertains to an operation of Delhi Police’s Crime Branch and the Income Tax department earlier this month when they had seized Rs 13.6 crore, of which Rs 2.6 crore was in new currency, allegedly from a law firm that he is associated with.The ED had booked a PMLA case against him based on the police FIR. The lawyer was earlier separately searched by the tax department where it was said that he had declared undisclosed income worth over Rs 125 crore to the taxman.

From crimes against women to juvenile offenders, Indian courts acted tough in 2016

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A debatable amendment in juvenile law paved the way for prosecution of children between 16-18 years as adults for heinous offences with a 17-year-old rape accused becoming the first such offender to be tried in 2016 by one of the city trial courts, which acted tough in dealing with crime against women.From renowned climate scientist R K Pachauri to Peepli Live director Mahmood Farooqui to sacked AAP minister Sandeep Kumar, several well-known faces came under the lens for crime against women, as courts dealt with several cases of betrayal of relationships.”These are the times when gruesome crimes against women have become rampant and courts cannot turn a blind eye to the need to send a strong deterrent message to the perpetrators of such crimes. Such offences require exemplary punishment,” Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain remarked in his verdict in one of the cases.While the maximum punishment of death for two was pronounced in the Jigisha Ghosh murder case of 2009, the progress of a case which was keenly watched globally was the 2014 case of gangrape of a Danish national in which five vagabonds were sentenced to life.Several offences against women and children by their trusted friends or family members and persons in authority also shocked the conscience of the nation, with courts acting tough on the accused and saying perpetrators of such crimes do not deserve any sympathy.Courts “cannot and should not give a licence to those who keep on looking for opportunities to exploit the sentiments and vulnerability of girls”, Additional Sessions Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj said in another order. A widely-reported case was the award of seven-year jail term to Farooqui for raping an American friend at his residence.Pachauri, the ex-TERI boss, was under constant media glare in a case of sexual harassment lodged by his former colleague and continued to remain on bail. However, he was allowed to go abroad several times by various courts.While some activists criticised the latest amendment in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 for treating offenders aged between 16-18 years as adults for heinous offences like rape and murder, a juvenile board this August transferred a rape case against a 17-year-old for prosecution by a regular court under the penal law.Among other such cases, two men were sentenced to life term and 10 years, one for raping a step-daughter and the other for violating his daughter and making her pregnant, with judges observing that the “sacrosanct relationship” of father and daughter was “demolished” and the children could not be given a safe environment.While a teacher was sent to jail for six months for sexually harassing a girl student in 2013, one of the Delhi courts sent JNU student, Anmol Ratan, to custody for betraying the trust of a fellow student who was allegedly raped by him after spiking her drink.Several Delhi courts dealt with over half-a-dozen cases of crime against women involving AAP leaders and MLAs including that of sacked minister Sandeep Kumar who spent two months in jail in a rape case after a CD of an alleged sex scandal surfaced. AAP members also faced prosecution in cases of crime against women ranging from sexual assault, molestation, attempt to murder, domestic violence, threat and abetment to suicide with controversial Okhla, Narela, Sangam Vihar and Deoli MLAs, Amanatullah Khan, Sharad Chauhan, Dinesh Mohaniya and Prakash Jarwal, respectively cooling their heels in Tihar jail for sometime in connection with one or the other offences against women.Former AAP minister Somnath Bharti’s encounter with law was far from over as the case lodged by his estranged wife for alleged domestic violence continued in a trial court. Another AAP worker Ramesh Bhardwaj, allegedly involved in abetting suicide of a woman party worker, was given bail by a court here after he remained in jail for some days.Cases of stalking and voyeurism affecting privacy of women were also dealt with sternly as the perpetrators got varying jail terms by courts which stressed the need for “zero tolerance” to crime against women and asked the government to formulate policies to sensitise youth towards gender equality.”Whether it is a public transport system or public place or shopping malls or multiplexes, women find themselves vulnerable to the threat of stalking everywhere,” a court observed.Even women, who lodged false rape cases, were not spared by the courts which pulled them up and directed initiation of perjury proceedings against them for misusing laws meant to protect them, with a court observing in one such case that a woman had humiliated the accused and “made a mockery of the judicial system”.A court here also felt it was time now to have laws to protect and restore the dignity of men charged with false rape cases “as everyone is just fighting to protect the honour of women”, and it has to be examined whether a person acquitted of rape charges be considered as a “rape survivor”.So was the position in a domestic violence case in which the court imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on a woman for lodging a false case against her second husband and condemned it saying if she was spared, “a wrong message would go that laws to protect women are being misused.”To sum up the courts’ role in dealing with crimes against women, another judge observed “the increasing trend of crimes against women can be arrested only once the society realises that any form of deviance against women would not be tolerated and more so in extreme cases of brutality”. “Hence the criminal justice system must instill confidence in the minds of people, especially women.”

Air Marshal C Hari Kumar to take charge of Western Air Command

Thu, 29 Dec 2016-03:00pm , New Delhi , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Air Marshal C Hari Kumar, who is the present Commander in Chief of Eastern Air Command, will be the next Commander in Chief of the Western Air Command.Air Marshal SB Deo will be the next Vice Chief of the Air Staff. He is presently the Commander in Chief of the Western Air Command. Deo will take over from Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, who is all set to be the new Indian Air Force (IAF) chief. He will hand over the charge of the Western Air Command to Hari Kumar. Deo was commissioned into the fighter stream in 1979.Prior to taking over as Air Officer Commanding in Chief of Western Air Command, Deo was the Director General Air Operations at Air Headquarters and Air Officer Commanding in Chief of Eastern Air Command.

Pune techie’s murder: Suspect arrested, police say he ‘smartly planned’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A youth from Bengaluru, who was detained in connection with the brutal murder of a young woman IT professional here, has been arrested, with police suspecting it to be a case of one-sided affair.Santosh Kumar (25) was arrested late last night, days after he was detained for questioning, police said today.”During investigation, it was revealed that Santosh Kumar had very smartly planned the murder. The accused claimed that he was present in Bengaluru on the day of the incident,” Additional Superintendent of Police Rajkumar Shinde said.Antara Das, 21, was attacked with a sharp weapon near Kanbay Chowk in Talawade on the outskirts of Pune on Friday night, barely 500 metres from her workplace. She was declared dead upon arrival in a hospital.Her parents had alleged that a youth was stalking and harassing her for some time.The ASP said it was found that Kumar, who hails from Bengaluru and is also an IT professional, had tasked someone to execute the attack.A search is on to nab that person, he said.”We have arrested Kumar under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) and he will be produced before court today,” Shinde said.The accused had provided CCTV footage to the police, claiming that he was in Bengaluru on the day of the incident.Shinde said it was suspected to be a case of one-sided affair from Kumar’s side. The victim, however, treated him just as a friend.”There are messages between them which showed that Kumar was forcing her to have a relationship with him. However, she was non-responsive and even reprimanded him for harassing her. We are looking out for the other person in this connection and the manhunt has been intensified,” he said.

India Goa crash: Twelve hurt as plane veers off runway

At least 12 passengers on an Indian airliner were hurt when it veered off the runway, officials say.

Rs 104 cr deposit | Being Dalit’s daughter is no licence for corruption: Ram Vilas Paswan to Mayawati

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Slamming Mayawati for linking the Enforcement Directorate action against BSP to her being a Dalit, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday said her Dalit origin does not give her a “licence” to indulge in corruption and she should let the law take its own course. Paswan, a prominent Dalit face of the ruling BJP-led NDA, hit out at the former UP chief minister over alleged deposits of Rs 104 crore in BSP’s bank account following the note ban and said it was shocking that a party claiming to represent the most downtrodden sections of society has so much money. “My party LJP works for Dalits. We have six Lok Sabha members and the total money in LJP’s bank account is Rs 1,03,198. Being a daughter of a Dalit does not give you licence to indulge in corruption. She must let law take its course and let authorities probe her party’s account,” he told reporters. Mocking Mayawati’s strident opposition to demonetization since it was announced on November 8, the LJP president said it has now become clear “why likes of her and RJD chief Lalu Prasad” have been its most vocal critics.”They were hit the hardest. That is why they are making so much of noise,” he said.Referring to deposits of Rs 1.43 crore in bank accounts of Mayawati’s brother, Paswan said she must come clean on the source of the money. “Who is he? What is his source of income? Why is she afraid? She should let agencies probe all accounts and deposits,” he said.The disclosure of deposits in BSP’s bank account is not the end but only the first chapter and more details will come out soon, he said.He also took potshots at joint programme by Congress, TMC, RJD and some other regional outfits against demonetization. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is an ally of Congress and RJD, supports note ban and they are opposing it for political reasons, he said and dared these parties to withdraw support from Kumar’s government if they are serious in their opposition.

SP Tyagi a ‘sound professional’, shouldn’t be treated like criminal: Air Chief Marshal Raha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Describing former IAF chief SP Tyagi as a “sound professional”, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Monday said he should not have been treated like a “common criminal”.Tyagi, arrested on December 9 in AgustaWestland chopper scam case, was today granted bail by a special court here.Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar granted the relief to Tyagi on a personal bond of Rs two lakh and one surety of like amount.”You know, it is sub-judice so it won’t be right for me to say anything. But, it is very unfortunate, I think for sure, that a person of his stature has been indicted by the CBI and other investigating agencies. He has been put under custody,” Raha told NDTV’s “Walk the Talk” programme.He said the arrest “obviously” hurts the morale of the people of the armed forces. “I can’t say it doesn’t dent our image or reputation. It definitely does and I am sure we will go by the law of the land. And the judicial process will be completed on the (basis of) evidence produced. I will be very happy if he can acquit himself because for the reason that he is the former chief,” he said. Talking about his personal rapport with Tyagi, Raha said he has worked under him.”I have worked with him as well. So I knew him quite well. Professionally, he is very sound and it is very unfortunate that this kind of accusations are there. It does dent our reputation. We are just hoping that the thing gets settled quickly this way or the other. Whatever is the decision of the court or the judicial process, we will go by that. We will accept it,” he said. Asked if he agreed that he should not have been kept with common criminals, Raha replied saying he agrees. “I don’t know the exact evidences that the investigating agencies have but if they could treat him a little more respectfully I would be be very happy,” he said.

Protesting on 100 ft high mobile tower since last 50 days, Punjab teacher finally climbed down

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 50 days after he climbed a 100-ft high mobile tower near Punjab Chief Minister, Prakash Singh Badal’s residence in Chandigarh to demand a government job, Deepak Kumar, 35, an elementary school teacher from Fazilka in Punjab finally called off his protest and got down from the tower after he was given the appointment letter on Saturday.Kumar, 35, had climbed the tower in Sector 3, Chandigarh on November 3, along with another teacher, Rakesh, 31, from Gurdaspur and had been atop the tower ever since. Both the teachers had passed the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) conducted by the state government to fill posts of elementary teachers for Class 1 to 5, but were not shortlisted for the jobs.Over 300 such teachers under the banner and ETT Pass Unemployed Teachers Union had been protesting in various parts of Punjab, including Bathinda and Jalalabad demanding jobs. However, the government asserted that TET was an eligibility test and did not guarantee a job. The posts which are left vacant are those of reserved categories including that of ex-servicemen quota and freedom fighters, but the protesting teachers demanded that the seats be de-reserved and they should be hired.As others continued the sit-in protest on ground, Kumar sustained on a minimal supply of food and water on the tower, and bore the winter chill as temperatures dropped during the night. He sat determined, not to get down until he was given the appointment letter. Various attempts by the police to convince him to get down had failed to deter him.On Saturday morning, when the government issued a joining letter, he agreed to climb down.”Deepak has called off the protest after he was given an appointment letter by the government. But, there has been no decision on the other 360 teachers who are still waiting for jobs. We have decided to continue our sit-in protest till our demands are met,” said ETT Union President, Amarjit Singh Kamboj from Bathinda. The teachers have been demanding that all the candidates who had qualified the TET during 2011-16 be given government jobs.

NRI couple in Norway lose custody of child, seeks Sushma Swaraj’s help: All you need to know

A five-and-a-half-year-old boy was taken away from his NRI parents by Norwegian authorities on Wednesday, reports said. The officials accused the parents of beating the child. This is the third such incident in the past five years where a child was taken away by the Child Welfare Department of Norway. Speaking to The Indian Express, the father of the boy, Anil Kumar said that the authorities did not even give them prior information. The child, Aryan, was taken into custody on 13 December from his kindergarten school at 9.30 am. “They did not give us prior information. At 10 am, the same day, four policemen came to my house, took my wife into custody, and interrogated her from 11.15 am to 2.45 pm,” said Kumar

Kumar, who is a citizen of Norway, moved to Oslo 26 years ago from Punjab and is a owner of an Indian restaurant. Speaking to CNN-News18, Aryan’s father said that the authorities had absolutely no evidence against them and that the authorities did not have summons to take Aryan.

“Aryan cannot sleep. He cries all the time and he misses us. Aryan’s mother (Gurvinderjit Kaur) hasn’t stopped crying. We have never hit him, there is no evidence against us,” Kumar told the channel.

Kumar, who also is the vice-president of the Overseas Friends of the BJP in Oslo, said that Aryan was sent to a children’s welfare home in Hamar, about 150 kilometres away from Oslo. Kumar is a Norwegian citizen and his wife holds an Indian passport. They have appealed to the Indian government for help alleging that their son was taken away without any evidence and is suffering at a children’s home under the custody of child welfare department. External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj, on Thursday stepped in to help family.

Sushma sought a report from Indian Ambassador in Norway on the allegations made by the Indian couple that the Norwegian authorities had taken away their five-year-old child on frivolous complaint of abuse. BJP leader Vijay Jolly had written to her and the Indian Ambassador in Norway after the couple sought his help in getting back the custody of their child. The parents also alleged that the authorities asked leading questions to the child. “How will a small kid know? The questions were leading. We have never hit our child,” Kumar told News18.

Meanwhile, MEA officials said, “Our Embassy officials in Oslo have spoken to the boy’s father Anil Kumar Sharma and extended full support. However, Sharma informed the mission that he has hired a lawyer to represent him in the case.” When contacted, Norwegian Embassy spokesperson said, “The Embassy became aware of this case yesterday evening. We have asked relevant authorities in Norway to provide us with further information, and are awaiting their response.”

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“We met the child welfare officials twice, on 14 and 16 December, and they haven’t been able to produce any evidence. They said they received a complaint from a person. We are not sure who registered this baseless complaint against us… By doing this, he or she has ruined our family life,” Kumar was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

In his letter to Indian Ambassador Debraj Pradhan, Jolly had raised concern on “forcible custody” of the boy Aryan by Child Welfare Department of Norway on “baseless and fabricated complaint” in Oslo on 13 December. Jolly said he has received a call from a senior MEA official saying that help will be given to the Indian couple.

The Indian embassy in Norway confirmed to News18 that Indian ambassador Debraj Pradhan has already spoken to the child’s father. Quoting sources, the channel reported that Kumar has hired a lawyer to defend his family in court and “the ambassador will be meeting him again.”

Norway’s child welfare department was tight-lipped on the exact facts of the case. News18 reported:

“When the channel (CNN-News18) emailed them to ascertain the status of the case and the charges against the parents they responded saying, “The Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion is responsible for the general child welfare policy. However, the government does not have the authority to comment on or intervene in individual cases.”

It is still not clear when the child would be returned to his parents. Government sources have indicated that the legal processes may take time.

This is the third case since 2011 when children have been taken away from their Indian-origin parents by the authorities in Norway on the grounds of abuse. In 2011, a three-year-old and a one-year-old were separated from their parents, prompting the then UPA government to take up the issue with Norway. The Norwegian court later allowed the children to be reunited with their parents. In December 2012, an Indian couple was jailed on charges of ill treatment of their children aged seven and two years old. Later, they were were sent to their grandparents in Hyderabad.

What does the Child Protection Laws in Norway specify?

The Norway child act places great importance on family ties and child’s upbringing in a healthy atmosphere with their parents. According to the  Norwegian Child Welfare Act is applicable to all children and their parents living in Norway, regardless of their residential status, religion and nationality. The general child welfare policy is mainly comes under the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion in Norway. The child welfare cases are handled by the local child welfare services and their job is to conduct family investigations in case of child abuse.

The Child Welfare Service in Nowray is also known as Barnevernet. Barnevernet is an independent body and no ministers can instruct the board in decisions related to the welfare of child. Reports cite many cases where the Barnevernet has been criticised by social workers and child psychologists who argued that they need to reform their methods. Every year nearly 53,000 such cases were handled by the child welfare service in Norway.

How common is the practice of separating children?

The Indian Express reported that over 80 percent of cases where the Child Welfare Services concludes that some kind of intervention is needed, they offer various kinds of assistance to the parents. In 2014, at least 43,000 families got assistance and were let of, while 9,611 children were removed — temporarily or permanently — from the custody of the parents.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 15:02 IST

Exclusive: After demonetisation, Narendra Modi to tackle benami properties, deals

It may not be a happy new year for benami property holders. Come 2017 and Income Tax (I-T) sleuths may be knocking at their doors. And if proved a “benamidar” (benami property holder), one is likely to face rigorous imprisonment from one year up to seven years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given enough indications on various occasions about his intention to combat the black money menace in India by adopting stringent actions against people involved in benami properties and transactions.

And, to make it successful, unlike in the past, the Modi government has already cleared the ground making amendments in the original Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The provisions of the amended act came into force on 1 November 2016. It has given more teeth to the I-T Department to get cracking on benami properties and transactions, with a comprehensive tracking, identifying and finally taking stringent action against offenders.

Looking back at the Benami Transaction Act

More than two decades ago, in 1993-94 and 1994-95, two alternative budgets were presented by Delhi-based Citizens’ Parliament comprising 230 eminent citizens, including politicians from diverse political parties barring the Congress and the BJP.

The author of the two budgets was Professor Arun Kumar, a noted economist who holds authority on black money. The former professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had suggested levying wealth tax and property tax on all properties.

“Nothing much has happened in taking action against benami property holders since 1988, when the Benami Transaction Act came into being. We had suggested in our alternative budget to levy wealth tax and property tax on all properties above 25 square yard (20.9 square metres). This will bring every property under the tax net,” Kumar told Firstpost.

“According to my estimate, 62 percent of our GDP — that is Rs 93 lakh crore is the black economy. Given the situation, identifying the benami property holders is a tough job. Will the tax department be able to do it?” said Kumar.

Amended Benami Transaction Act

The legal framework for dealing with benami transactions in the old Benami Transactions Act was weak and nothing much was achieved. Now, the amended act empowers the I-T Department to inquire into any person, place, documents or property during an investigation into any matter related to a benami property transaction.

“The amendments have made the act stricter. Apart from imprisonment and penalty up to 25 percent, the benami property will be confiscated. The property rights would go directly to the Centre, and the government can make use of the property as it wishes purportedly to help rural development plans. Now action will be taken against both the actual owner and the property holder under a bogus name,” a senior I-T official said.

The benamidars invest black money in buying land and houses through multiple channels and use bank accounts of different people. The real owner always remains unidentified. From politicians to bureaucrats — properties like land and flats are bought by floating bogus companies in the name of other people while the actual face behind benami transactions get away unnoticed, untracked.

“It was not easy to track the unknown entities in the past. But after the introduction of permanent account number (PAN) and filing of I-T Returns, the tax department has been able to collect information. Now, information from property registration office, online registration records, Annual Information Report filed with the tax department, the municipal corporation record, etc, have made tracking easy. The amended Benami Transactions Act will make escaping tougher for offenders. Punishment is now stringent,” said chartered accountant Abhishek Aneja.

What is an offence under the new Benami Transactions Act?

Any transaction made under a fictitious name; transaction made without the knowledge of the owner; person who owns the property is not traceable; amount paid to buy property from an unknown source; on records the owner is another person, whereas benefits go to the one who paid for the property yet doesn’t show up in the record of the purchase will be considered a benami.

Benami transactions could be a property or any other asset — movable, immovable, tangible, intangible, any right or interest, or legal documents. Gold or finance securities, stocks and shares can also fall under benami transaction if the requirements mentioned in the act are not met.

However, property held in the name of spouse or children, paid from known source or joint ownership of property with siblings or relatives, paid from known source — are exempted.

Tracking mechanism to be used
According to sources at the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), increasingly it’ll be immensely difficult for those having benami properties or going for benami transactions to escape from I-T radar.

The tax authority now has new tools to track benami property holders. Besides, 360-degree profiling of people who file tax returns, the Intelligence and Criminal Investigation wing of the Income Tax at CBDT receives information from multiple sources such as Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), banks, Registrar of properties, annual information report (AIR) from banks, hotels, grand weddings, tours and travel agencies, high-value purchases like house, cars, jewellery, consumer durables, payments made through cards, and from transactions that attract tax collected at source (TCS) and tax deducted at source (TDS).

The database prepared from the information gathered by collating manual and electronic intelligence goes to the data warehouse unit for analysis. A new Non-Filers Management System (NMS) matches the data being obtained from various sources.

“The non-intrusive surveillance capabilities of the I-T Department have been enhanced. There is a huge database with the I-T Department. Parameters have been set to select cases automatically. Based on it, the creditworthiness of the owner of a property is also matched with the I-T returns. The crackdown will be on all those who have been avoiding paying taxes and show their actual income,” a CBDT source said.

“Though it’s tough and challenging for the I-T Department to determine legal and illegal holdings, it’s not impossible now, unlike in the past. The government might also come up with a scheme giving the benami property holders a chance to voluntary declare their hidden assets. In case that happens, and a person doesn’t comply and is caught later, he/she will face stringent punishment,” the source added.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 08:38 IST

Exclusive: After demonetisation, Narendra Modi sets sights on benami properties, deals

It may not be a happy new year for benami property holders. Come 2017 and Income Tax (I-T) sleuths may be knocking at their doors. And if proved a “benamidar” (benami property holder), one is likely to face rigorous imprisonment from one year up to seven years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given enough indications on various occasions about his intention to combat the black money menace in India by adopting stringent actions against people involved in benami properties and transactions.

And, to make it successful, unlike in the past, the Modi government has already cleared the ground making amendments in the original Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The provisions of the amended act came into force on 1 November 2016. It has given more teeth to the I-T Department to get cracking on benami properties and transactions, with a comprehensive tracking, identifying and finally taking stringent action against offenders.

Looking back at the Benami Transaction Act

More than two decades ago, in 1993-94 and 1994-95, two alternative budgets were presented by Delhi-based Citizens’ Parliament comprising 230 eminent citizens, including politicians from diverse political parties barring the Congress and the BJP.

The author of the two budgets was Professor Arun Kumar, a noted economist who holds authority on black money. The former professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had suggested levying wealth tax and property tax on all properties.

“Nothing much has happened in taking action against benami property holders since 1988, when the Benami Transaction Act came into being. We had suggested in our alternative budget to levy wealth tax and property tax on all properties above 25 square yard (20.9 square metres). This will bring every property under the tax net,” Kumar told Firstpost.

“According to my estimate, 62 percent of our GDP — that is Rs 93 lakh crore is the black economy. Given the situation, identifying the benami property holders is a tough job. Will the tax department be able to do it?” said Kumar.

Amended Benami Transaction Act

The legal framework for dealing with benami transactions in the old Benami Transactions Act was weak and nothing much was achieved. Now, the amended act empowers the I-T Department to inquire into any person, place, documents or property during an investigation into any matter related to a benami property transaction.

“The amendments have made the act stricter. Apart from imprisonment and penalty up to 25 percent, the benami property will be confiscated. The property rights would go directly to the Centre, and the government can make use of the property as it wishes purportedly to help rural development plans. Now action will be taken against both the actual owner and the property holder under a bogus name,” a senior I-T official said.

The benamidars invest black money in buying land and houses through multiple channels and use bank accounts of different people. The real owner always remains unidentified. From politicians to bureaucrats — properties like land and flats are bought by floating bogus companies in the name of other people while the actual face behind benami transactions get away unnoticed, untracked.

“It was not easy to track the unknown entities in the past. But after the introduction of permanent account number (PAN) and filing of I-T Returns, the tax department has been able to collect information. Now, information from property registration office, online registration records, Annual Information Report filed with the tax department, the municipal corporation record, etc, have made tracking easy. The amended Benami Transactions Act will make escaping tougher for offenders. Punishment is now stringent,” said chartered accountant Abhishek Aneja.

What is an offence under the new Benami Transactions Act?

Any transaction made under a fictitious name; transaction made without the knowledge of the owner; person who owns the property is not traceable; amount paid to buy property from an unknown source; on records the owner is another person, whereas benefits go to the one who paid for the property yet doesn’t show up in the record of the purchase will be considered a benami.

Benami transactions could be a property or any other asset — movable, immovable, tangible, intangible, any right or interest, or legal documents. Gold or finance securities, stocks and shares can also fall under benami transaction if the requirements mentioned in the act are not met.

However, property held in the name of spouse or children, paid from known source or joint ownership of property with siblings or relatives, paid from known source — are exempted.

Tracking mechanism to be used
According to sources at the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), increasingly it’ll be immensely difficult for those having benami properties or going for benami transactions to escape from I-T radar.

The tax authority now has new tools to track benami property holders. Besides, 360-degree profiling of people who file tax returns, the Intelligence and Criminal Investigation wing of the Income Tax at CBDT receives information from multiple sources such as Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), banks, Registrar of properties, annual information report (AIR) from banks, hotels, grand weddings, tours and travel agencies, high-value purchases like house, cars, jewellery, consumer durables, payments made through cards, and from transactions that attract tax collected at source (TCS) and tax deducted at source (TDS).

The database prepared from the information gathered by collating manual and electronic intelligence goes to the data warehouse unit for analysis. A new Non-Filers Management System (NMS) matches the data being obtained from various sources.

“The non-intrusive surveillance capabilities of the I-T Department have been enhanced. There is a huge database with the I-T Department. Parameters have been set to select cases automatically. Based on it, the creditworthiness of the owner of a property is also matched with the I-T returns. The crackdown will be on all those who have been avoiding paying taxes and show their actual income,” a CBDT source said.

“Though it’s tough and challenging for the I-T Department to determine legal and illegal holdings, it’s not impossible now, unlike in the past. The government might also come up with a scheme giving the benami property holders a chance to voluntary declare their hidden assets. In case that happens, and a person doesn’t comply and is caught later, he/she will face stringent punishment,” the source added.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 08:35 IST

Dalai Lama presides over 2lakh Buddhists bringing in New Year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The New Year will witness a sea of Buddhist monks and devotees at Bihar’s Bodh Gaya, where the 34th Kalachakra Puja is scheduled to be held from January 3 to 14. The Dalai Lama, who will preside over the ceremonies, is scheduled to reach Bihar, by the end of this month. “Kalachakra is one of the major religious festivals of Buddhists, and the preparations commenced almost four months in advance,” organising press officer Jamphel Shonu.Bodh Gaya, one of the most popular pilgrimage and tourist spots of Bihar which is home to the sacred Mahabodhi tree and temple, is set to host about two lakh national and international devotees, mostly Buddhists from Tibet, US and Europe, for the ceremonies.A major part of the preparation was construction of tent cities for accommodation of the visiting devotees and tourists, which is almost in its final phase. “We have also talked to the local district administration for public facilities and are getting all help,” he said. The construction of a mega-kitchen that can cook food for about one lakh persons every day is also underway.Several events such as prayer services, teachings, ritual dances and preliminary initiations are lined up from January 3, however, the main initiation ceremonies will be held between January 12 and 14. On the concluding day, there will be prayers for long life empowerment for the public and long life offering ceremony for the Dalai Lama.Strict security bandobast will be in place during the Kalachakra puja in the wake of 2013 Bodh Gaya serial blasts as well as the visit of the Dalai Lama, other dignitaries and lakhs of devotees and tourists. “Our political leader has already talked to the cops, who have assured us of taking foolproof safety measures,” the press officer said.As a number of tourists will be foreigners, the organising committee has also been in talks with the officials of the finance ministry to facilitate cash flow for devotees. “We have been assured that about 40-50 ATMs will be installed at the tent cities to avoid any cash crunch,” Shonu said.The Kalachakra Puja was earlier organised in Bodh Gaya in 2012 and 2003, and was thronged by about two lakh devotees on both occasions. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has instructed officials to leave no stone unturned for making the arrangements.

Lalu calls Narendra Modi ‘Uncle Podger’, lends support to Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RJD chief Lalu Prasad demanded the Prime Minister reply to charges of alleged corruption against him levelled by Rahul Gandhi on Thursday, even as he compared Narendra Modi to ‘Uncle Podger’ for “messing up economy” by his demonetization move. Demanding the charges be probed under supervision of the Supreme Court, the RJD chief said, “The allegations levelled by Rahul Gandhi against Narendra Modi of receiving huge money is even a bigger quake than talked about. He gave details of sum of money with dates on which payments were made.” “The Prime Minister should reply to the accusation and if the allegations are wrong why does not he file a defamation suit against Rahul Gandhi?” he said. “The Prime Minister should announce a high-level probe under supervision of the Supreme Court into the allegations,” he added.Launching a blistering attack on the Prime Minister for “ill-planned” demonetization, Prasad mockingly described Narendra Modi as ‘Uncle Podger’– a bumbling character from Jerome K Jerome’s ‘Three Men in a Boat’– for “messing up economy” and “pushing it towards anarchy”. “Demonetization has flopped and those raising voice of people over anarchy caused by it are termed as traitors,” he said as a retort to PM’s comment on rivals at Varanasi.Prasad whose party has already announced a dharna against scrapping of notes in district headquarters of Bihar on December 28 said later a rally would be held at Gandhi Maidan in Patna. He said he would tour the state before the rally.
ALSO READ Rahul Gandhi is now trying to be new Kejriwal: BJPPrasad claimed support of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and said Kumar has also dismissed plea of converting the country into cashless society. “Nitish Kumar has said he would review demonetization after December 30…there is no difference in the grand alliance…we are strongly united,,” Prasad, whose party RJD is running coalition government with JD(U) and Congress in Bihar, said. He also supported Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s assertions that “only 5-6 big families close to PM are eating into the wealth of the country”. The RJD chief said the PM had sought 50 days from people for ending the problems caused after demonetization out of which only few days are left now. “This (demonetization) would also end up as ‘jumla’ like promise to give Rs 15-20 lakh to every citizen out of black money brought back home from abroad,” he said.

Bihar: Nitish Kumar govt set to approve 7th Pay Commission

Patna: The Bihar government on Wednesday paved the way for providing benefits of the 7th Pay Commission to the state officials and pensioners by announcing the setting up of a fitment committee for the purpose.

The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of state Cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna.

The three-member fitment committee would be headed by retired bureaucrat and former state Chief Secretary GS Kang while Secretaries of Finance and Rural Works Department Rahul Singh and Vinay Kumar respectively will be the members, Principal Secretary, Cabinet Coordination Department Brajesh Mehrotra told reporters.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. PTI

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. PTI

The committee would be asked to submit its report in three months, Mehrotra said.

There are around 4.5 lakh employees under Bihar government and 3.5 lakh pensioners who will get the benefit of new pay scale.

Ever since announcement of the 7th Pay Commission benefits for the central government employees, demand for similar benefits for the Bihar government have been coming.

The state Cabinet at its meeting today approved 20 proposals of different departments.

In another important decision, the Cabinet gave its nod to a proposal of the Home Department to enhance honorarium of SAP (State Auxiliary Police) personnel.

While junior commissioned officer of SAP would get a monthly honorarium of Rs 20,700 now in place of Rs 18,000 earlier for jawans the hike would be Rs 17,250 from Rs 15,000, Mehrotra said.

The cabinet also gave its nod to a proposal of state Civil Aviation Department to hire a new 7+2 seater helicopter on wet lease for five years at a cost of Rs 93,15,00,000.

First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 22:25 IST

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar gets anticipatory bail in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar gets anticipatory bail in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case

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New Delhi: A court on Wednesday granted anticipatory bail to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Sajjan Kumar. File photo. APSajjan Kumar. File photo. AP

Sajjan Kumar. File photo. AP

Additional Sessions Judge Vikash Dhull allowed the anticipatory bail plea of Sajjan Kumar, accused of instigating a mob to kill two Sikhs — Sohan Singh and son Avtar Singh — in Janakpuri on 1 November, 1984.

The case was taken up recently by a Special Investigation Team.

Nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed, mostly in Delhi, in riots that followed the 1984 assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards.

Some Congress politicians, Sajjan Kumar included, have been accused of leading the killer mobs.

First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 15:43 IST

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Road permit blocks Patna women auto drivers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In 2013, when eight women, for the very first time, stepped outside the confines of their home and took the driver’s seat in commercial auto-rickshaws in Patna, passengers wondered whether they were visiting a metropolis where it was not so uncommon to see female auto-drivers.For a state like Bihar, it was a novelty. Auto-rickshaw unions, the district administration and the transport authorities combined their efforts to make it possible and promised all help to the women drivers. However, half of them eventually left the profession.Three years on, in April 2016, more than 100 women expressed an interest to take up commercial three-wheeler driving. Top administrative and traffic officials inaugurated the training programme and again promised help—facilitating driving licenses, getting road permits and coaxing banks to disburse, finance among other things. But, over six months after the training programme ended, all but five are yet to hit the roads.The reasons are many, but the major hindrance is denial of road permits to women auto-drivers. “The regional transport authority (RTA), despite promising to grant road permits to women drivers, has failed to do so,” said Raj Kumar Jha, general secretary of Bihar State Auto Chalak Sangh.Jha said it was the same in 2013, when the state government had assured tax benefits in registration and facilitation in issuing necessary permits commercial licenses to women drivers, but failed to do so, resulting in only eight of the 35 trained drivers hitting the roads.This time, a few of them are on the road without permits. Among them is Ranjana Chauhan, who rues the apathy of the government, which “so vocally promises women empowerment”. “Every day we are harassed by cops because we don’t have permits. After the training was complete, my loan was sanctioned by the bank. What would I have done if not plied an auto-rickshaw?” asks the mother of three who started in August and earns Rs 500-600 per day.Most women drivers operate only prepaid rickshaws, either from Patna airport or railway station. “Prepaid is safer. One cannot haggle with a male passenger at their destination,” says another female auto-driver. Listing other hiccups faced by them, another woman driver said the auto-stands do not have basic facilities. “Competing with male drivers for passengers and at times facing indecent behaviour from travellers also a deterrent for many,” she adds. Naveen Mishra, rued absence of female-only auto stands.

Attacked over namaz break, Uttarakhand CM announces ‘short breaks’ for all

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Under flak over the decision on namaz break, the Harish Rawat government in Uttarakhand has said state employees, irrespective of their religion, caste and creed, will be allowed “special short breaks” to offer prayers during their festivals if they make a request for it.”A decision has been taken to allow special short breaks to state employees of all communities, creeds and castes for prayers, religious occasions and festivals. It will be given only if they make a request,” media advisor to the chief minister Surendra Kumar said in a statement. “The Chief Minister took the decision in view of the spurt in demands for holidays by state employees belonging to different religions and communities on festivals and religious occasions,” he said.The announcement came two days after the state cabinet allowed a two-hour break for government staff to offer namaz on Fridays. The cabinet’s decision to allow a special two-hour Friday break for Muslim employees had drawn flak from the opposition parties, including BJP, which had accused the government of indulging in “minority appeasement” ahead of Assembly polls.

SC to examine whether courts can add ‘rigorous’ to life terms

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Can the word ‘rigorous’ be added by courts when they award life imprisonment? The Supreme Court has agreed to examine the question whether courts are statutorily empowered to make life imprisonments tougher for the convicts by adding “rigorous” (harsh) to life sentence as the law does not provide for this.A bench headed by Justice P C Ghose considered a submission which said that neither the penal provision dealing with the offence of murder, nor the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) provide that the term “rigorous” can be added by courts while awarding life sentence to convicts.”Let notice be issued in the matter limited to the question whether life imprisonment could be coupled with the condition that such imprisonment has to be rigorous imprisonment, returnable after four weeks,” the bench, also comprising Justice U U Lalit, said.Senior advocate Parmanand Katara, appearing for convict Ram Kumar Sivare, who has been awarded rigorous life term in a murder case, has contended that the judgement pronounced by the courts below was “unconstitutional and ultra-vires” as penal and procedural laws do not empower them to qualify the life sentence with the term “rigorous”.”The award of rigorous life imprisonment by the lower court and the Chattisgarh High Court is violative of Article 21 (protection of life and liberty) and 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution,” the lawyer said.The apex court was hearing the appeal filed by Sivare, who is serving rigorous life term at a Chattisgarh jail, challenging the High Court verdict in a murder case.The High Court had upheld the trial court judgement convicting and awarding life term to Sivare and Bhuneshwar Prasad for stabbing to death one Anil Bhoyar on January 5, 2010 near a government hospital in Durg district of Chattisgarh following a tiff over a minor issue.The trial court had acquitted the third accused Manoj, which was upheld by the High Court.

Anupam Mishra, noted environmentalist and Gandhian ideologue, passes away at 68

Noted environmentalist Anupam Mishra wore many hats: he was an environmentalist, a journalist, an author and an authoritative voice in the field of water conservation in India. But after his demise, besides all these adjectives, he will be remembered as a true Gandhian ideologue and an effective communicator of his ideas, who emphasized on India’s ancient and traditional ways of water conservation.

Mishra, who belonged to Madhya Pradesh, died on Monday at the age of 68 after a long battle with cancer.

Anupam Mishra. News18

Anupam Mishra. News18

A Pune-based environmentalist and Mishra’s namesake Anupam Saraph, who came in touch with the late environmentalist in early 1990, says, “We came to know each other through a common friend, Joan Davis, Director of Water Research Institute in Zurich, who wanted us to meet as we shared the common name and had been working for a common cause. First, it was through postcards and then emails. Finally, we met after three years and our friendship continued till he breathed his last.”

Mishra had a witty and wise way to address any problem. He always used to look at issues with a different perspectives. He would use a mix of simple language and emotions to explain the gravity of water related issues with remarkable optimism.

“During the workshops that we attended together, I found a rare quality in him — he was an excellent listener who, instead of talking about his ideas or blowing his own trumpet, used to build up others’ perspective and present it with simplicity. The best way of paying tribute to Anupam would be to recognize his body of work and follow his ancient and traditional way of water conservation and rain water harvesting model, rather than blindly following modern technology,” Saraph said.

Mishra’s friends and associates remember him as a person, who never had any ego and believed in simple living based on Gandhian principles.

“Throughout his life, his lifestyle reflected commitment to Gandhian principles. In one word, he was truly Anupam (unique/incomparable in Hindi). I never saw him getting angry. Even when his views were being strongly opposed, he used to sweetly register his protest, and became ironical when he was sad,” said Ravi Chopra, Director, People’s Science Institute, Dehradun.

“What made him different from his fellowmen? It was his consistent hard work. He would go to the remotest parts of the country, where we couldn’t, to pursue his mission of water conservation. His uniqueness lay in appreciating the local and traditional ways of rain water harvesting and conservation of water bodies,” he said.

Mishra was highly influenced by his father Bhavani Prasad Mishra, a Gandhian poet and litterateur.

A recipient of Jamnalal Bajaj Award, Amar Shaheed Chandrashekhar Azad National Award and many others, Mishra was the editor of the bi-monthly ‘Gandhi Marg,’ published by the Gandhi Peace Foundation.

You don’t need money to protect environment; but you need to tell people about their tradition and they have to live up to it

Environmentalist Amla Ruia, Chairperson, Aakar Charitable Trust, which is also engaged in water conservation said, “It’s a great loss to India and to the cause of water conservation. He made immense contribution through his work, writing and guidance, and was a great human being.”

Referring to Mishra’s book titled Talab (Pond), which has been translated in many languages including French, Chopra said, “I owe a personal debt to him as I learnt so much from his works. I got immensely fascinated by his traditional ways of water harvesting.” Chopra feels that the country would miss Mishra’s sage advice on matters of environmental conservation.

“You don’t need money to protect environment; but you need to tell people about their tradition and they have to live up to it,” Chopra quoted Mishra as saying.

But, there is more to Mishra’s ideology.

Prof Anand Kumar, a leader of Swaraj Abhiyan and a close friend and associate for more than four decades, recalls Mishra’s staunch support to the anti-emergency movement and his association with Jayprakash Narayan.

“After his education from Delhi University, he got into Lohiya movement. He was close to Jaiprakash ji (Jaiprakash Narayan) and got to work with him in early 1970s during the surrender of dacoits. He wrote Chambal Mein Atmasamarpan (Surrender in Chambal), and through this work, people came to know about the historical contribution of JP.”

Kumar also states that during the emergency, when Jaiprakash Narayan was shifted to Mumbai for treatment, Mishra had even organised a secret meeting with him and other fellows on anti-emergency movement, a fact very few people know about him.

Mishra also played an instrumental role in scripting India’s first State of Environment report in 1980.

“He was a multi-dimensional personality, an effective communicator, an unassuming and humble person with remarkable clarity on the state of water resources and rivers in India. In the last 20 years, he helped me in my mission without any inhibitions. He attended his last public function on 28 November that was organized by us. Despite his falling health, he spoke extensively with alertness and was well informed,” summed up Himanshu Thakkar, Coordinator, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), an organization working for water resource development.

First Published On : Dec 19, 2016 20:00 IST

Sasikala names baby girl named after Jayalalithaa

Sun, 18 Dec 2016-07:10pm , Chennai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jayalalithaa’s aide, VK Sasikala named a new born baby girl of an AIADMK cadre as Jayalalithaa on Sunday, in memory of the late Chief Minister.The baby named “Jayalalithaa” by Sasikala is the child of Gaythri and Senthil Kumar. Resident of Theni district, Senthil Kumar is an auto driver, a party release said in Chennai on Sunday. Sasikala named the child after the former Chief Minister at the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa, where she continues to live.Jayalalithaa passed away on December 5 in Chennai after a prolonged hospitalisation stretching over two months.

Violation of code of conduct: Amit Shah gets clean chit by UP Police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Police has given clean chit to BJP President Amit Shah in two separate cases of alleged violation of code of conduct during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.While filing the final reports on Saturday, police said there was no evidence against Shah.Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Arun Kumar has fixed dates for filing of objection by the complainants in the two cases.The court has fixed January 17 in Baburam case while January 3 in Ramkumar case for filing of objections, according to the prosecution.Earlier this year the court had returned the final report to police in the Barwar case filed by Baburam, saying they were deficiencies and asked them to rectify it.Police had registered case against Shah on the complaint of the then Sub Divisional Magistrate Baburam under sections 188 IPC (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 123(3) of Representation of People Act (relating to appeal by a candidate to vote on basis of religion, race, caste, community or language) and on the complaint of Assistant Returning Officer Ram Kumar separately in Kakroli and New Mandi police stations in the district.The BJP leader was accused of making objectionable speeches in Barwar village.Shah had allegedly said that, “If (Narendra Modi) Modi wins, ‘mulla’ Mulayam’s government will fall”.The cases against the BJP leader were registered on the directive of the Election Commission which had banned the leader from campaigning in UP.

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

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

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bengaluru man with alleged ISIS links held in Kullu

Sat, 17 Dec 2016-08:30pm , Shimla , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A 23-year-old man from Bengaluru with alleged ISIS links was arrested on Saturday by team of NIA and local police from Banjar area in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.Abeed Khan was arrested from a church where he was staying with a fake identity for the past four-five months, police said. Confirming the arrest, Director General of Police Sanjay Kumar said that Khan is being interrogated by intelligence agencies. Sources said that the man was named by some of his accomplices during interrogation after they were arrested in Delhi.They said that Khan has admitted that he was influenced by the ideology of ISIS terror group. The NIA and police refused to divulge further details in this connection, saying that investigations are underway.

We did great with the Hindus, want to thank you: Donald Trump

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>US President-elect Donald Trump has acknowledged the contribution of Indian-Americans in his electoral triumph, saying his victorious campaign did “great with the Hindus”.”We have a lot of people here tonight from the Indian community, Hindus. We did great with the Hindus,” Trump said while addressing thousands of his supporters during a “Thank You” rally in Orlando, Florida, the key battle ground state where he emerged victorious.The event in Florida, which has a sizeable Indian-American population, was attended by a large number of community members. This is for the first time that Trump has acknowledged the contribution of Indian-Americans and Hindus in his historic electoral victory. “Where are they? We have a big group. There they are. I want to thank you. You folks were amazing. They were amazing and voted and they were fantastic,” Trump said, pointing his fingers to the Indian-American community present at the rally.Fortnight before the elections, Trump attended a charity event organised by Republican Hindu Coalition to raise funds for Hindu victims of terror in Kashmir and Bangladesh. This was for the first time a presidential candidate attended an Indian-American event.In his address, Trump pledged to work for betterment of India-US relationship and said he would be the best friend of India in the White House. He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his economic reforms and steps that he has taken to remove bureaucratic red tape. After Trump’s address, his family members visited temples in both Florida and Virginia; a first time for a presidential campaign.The Trump Campaign also released an advertisement in which he was seen saying “Aab Ki Baar Trump Sarkar”, copying Modi’s historic 2014 election punchline.Republican Hindu Coalition chairman Shalabh Salli Kumar said all this had an impact on voting pattern of Indian- Americans, who traditionally have been a strong Democratic supporters. Based on a survey, Kumar said more than 60% of the community members voted for Trump this time.In his address, Trump asked people to dream big. “Dream big and bold and daring. I am asking you to believe in yourself and asking you to believe in America. Together we will make America great again,” he said.Trump reiterated his plan of extreme vetting of refugee, asylum and visa applicants seeking to enter the US from regions where terrorists have strongholds. He said his administration will suspend immigration from some regions where applicants “cannot be safely processed or vetted” due to a lack of government records.

Delhi:19-year-old Dawood ‘fan’, who used to boast on Facebook, arrested with illegal weapons

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 19-year-old “fan” of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and a supplier of illegal weapons have been arrested from southwest Delhi, and three locally-made guns have been seized from them, police said today.Jatin, who had created a Facebook profile in the name of ‘Bhai Jatin Baniya’ with personal descriptions reading ‘Dawood at Crime City’ and ‘Only Boss Secret’, was arrested from Kapashera area after a trap was laid to nab them, they said.Jatin had uploaded photos of Dawood and pistols on his social media profile. He had after an altercation with some boys about eight months ago, and had procured the ‘desi katta’ from 22-year-old Rahul, said DCP (Southwest) Surender Kumar.Three ‘desi kattas’ and live rounds have been seized from them, he said. To ensure his hegemony, Jatin used to flaunt the gun among his peers and his actions were reported to authorities by a ‘Police Mitra’, the officer added.During interrogation, he confessed to procuring the weapon illegally with Rahul’s help.

Rahul Gandhi seeks appointment with PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the last day of the winter session on Friday, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and leaders of 14 other opposition parties will march from parliament to the Rashtrapati Bhawan to lodge protest with President Pranab Mukherjee against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization move and the “miseries” it has unleashed on the common man.Besides, Rahul has also sought appointment from PM Modi to present a list of demands of farmers that he apparently collected during his extensive tour of election bound state of Uttar Pradesh.Gandhi had created a flutter yesterday by alleging that he had “detailed information about PM Modi’s personal corruption” and wanted to speak on it in the Lok Sabha.Keeping up the reputation of wasting time in pandemonium, both the houses of parliament saw unruly scenes on the penultimate day also and got adjourned without conducting any business.”This is for the first time in the history of India that it is the ruling party that is not letting the House function,” alleged leader of opposition from Congress, Ghulam Nabi Azad in the Rajya Sabha.He soon as deputy chairman P J Kurien allowed Azad to raise the matter “Distress among farmers due to drought, floods and demonetization”treasury benches created got up leveling charges of corruption on Congress in Agusta Westland helicopter deal.Amid pandemonium, a war of words ensued between junior parliamentary affairs minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and opposition leaders Azad, Sitaram Yechury of CPM and Derek O’Brien of TMC.Despite trying hard, Kurien could not quieten the two warring sides and kept adjourning the house, finally calling it a day at five minutes past two.Later, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar blamed “myopic” strategy of Congress leadership and Rahul Gandhi for wasting parliament’s precious time.He said, it was very surprising that both TMC and Communists accepted and followed Congress without a murmur, without whimper, blindfolded.” My question to TMC and Communist is do they also subscribe to Congress note-jugaad. Do they accept, are they ready to concede Agusta Westland helicopter scam that is opening up like 2 G and Coal,” said Ananth Kumar.Claiming that government throughout pursued a path of reconciliation, Ananth Kumar accused Rahul Gandhi of masterminding the gagging of the Parliament.”The only time Parliament was gagged was in 1975-76….Congress has something to hide that’s why they have stopped business of Parliament,” said Ananth Kumar.

Bihar to host 5 lakh Sikhs for 350th Prakashotsava in January

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 350th Prakash Parv of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh guru, is less than a month away and preparations are in full swing at his birthplace Patna Saheb, to ring in the grand celebrations from January 3 to 5, 2017.Expected to host over 5 lakh Sikh pilgrims from across the globe, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has described it as a matter of pride for the state to be part of such a grand occasion.To keep up with the CM’s promise, the Patna district administration in association with the Takhat Sri Harmandir Ji Patna Saheb Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee is working round the clock to make all arrangements. All preparations are being monitored at the Chief Secretary level and former bureaucrat G S Kang has also been roped in.Patna district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, who is continuously monitoring the work, told DNA that all arrangements will be final by December 25. “Our preparations are in an advanced stage. The guests are expected from December 31. But, we will be ready to welcome them a week in advance,” he said.The renovation and beautification of the gurudwara, built at Guru Gobind Singh’s birth place commenced as early as in 2014. All houses and shops on the roads leading to the gurudwara, have been asked to get a fresh coat of white paint on the exterior and the administration will reimburse the cost if the house owners wish to claim it.Another major by the administration is the construction of three tent cities — at Gandhi Maidan, Kangan ghat and bypass area, which will provide free accommodation to over 50,000 people. Besides lodging arrangements, 24×7 ‘langar’, medical lounges, ATMs, etc. will also be provided. A makeshift gurudwara is also coming up at Gandhi Maidan.While PM Modi has agreed to participate in the event, some of his cabinet colleagues are also expected at the occasion. The government has also shared a list of hotels/guest houses with their contact on its website for the benefit of outstation devotees. The Bihar government has already declared a three-day public holiday starting from January 3.

Bengaluru: Youth kills Flipkart delivery man for Rs 12,000 smartphone

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 22-year-old gym trainer allegedly killed a 29-year-old Flipkart delivery man in in order to steal a smartphone, reports NDTV. The incident happened on December 9, 2016 in Bengaluru.Varun Kumar, the 22-year-old trainer ordered the phone from Flipkart and asked it to be delivered at his gym. When the delivery man Nanjundaswamy came to the gym he was attacked by the trainer with an iron rod and a flower pot. After he lost his consciousness, Kumar slit his throat and dragged his body to the basement cellar.He kept the phone worth Rs 12,000 and then stole other phones too from Nanjundaswamy.The police say that Varun had planned the murder, possibly with help. He had sneaked the kitchen knife to the gym.The police was alerted after Nanjundaswamy’s family filed a missing person’s complaint as he didn’t come home after two days.The police traced the last delivery address and found his body in the gym cellar. They were able to pin Varun to the murder as he did not opened the gym following the murder. He was arrested this week.

Delhi govt should have some powers, otherwise it can’t function: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government should have some powers otherwise it cannot function, the Supreme Court observed on Wednesday while listing for final disposal the appeal of the AAP government against the high court verdict which had held that the LG was the administrative head of national capital.The “elected government in Delhi should have some powers otherwise it cannot function. The matter needs to be decided fast”, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and A M Sapre said. The bench listed the matter for final disposal on January 18 and said since it will hear the matter in detail, no interim orders will be passed on various interim applications as of now. Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, said that they are challenging the order of the high court which has ruled that the Lieutenant Governor (LG) was the administrative head and whose prior consent is needed in all administrative decisions.He said that the high court has held that the aid and advice of council of ministers are not binding upon the LG.”The elected government in Delhi cannot appoint the chief secretary or cannot even appoint a class IV officer by itself,” Subramaniam said, noting that under the constitutional scheme of things the council of ministers is required to give aid and advice to the LG. He said that the Constitution mandates that when there is difference of opinion on any issue, then the matter could be referred to the President.As an interim relief, the senior lawyer sought stay order from the court on the decision of the LG to appoint the three- member Shunglu committee to inspect 400 files of the AAP government after the Delhi High Court verdict came.The Shunglu committee, which has submitted its report last month, was formed by LG Najeeb Jung on August 30 to examine over 400 files on decisions taken by the AAP dispensation. The committee was chaired by former CAG V K Shunglu with ex-chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami and ex-chief vigilance commissioner Pradeep Kumar as its members. “Stay should also be granted on compulsary referrence to the LG on every decision taken by the government and the LG should be directed to strictly comply with the provisions of the NCT Act,” he said. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said that no notice has been issued and therefore no reply has been filed on the appeals of the Delhi government. The bench said that since the matters are being listed for final disposal, there was no need of reply as of now as everything could be raised during arguments. Subramaniam then said that as an interim measure lawyers appointed by the Delhi government to represent it in the apex court should be allowed to function by the bench. This submission was opposed by Kumar who said that since 1950 as per the convention the lawyers from central agency of the Ministry of Law and Justice has been looking after the affairs of all Union territories in the country.”Now since Delhi has been declared as a Union Territory by the high court, the lawyers who were appointed by the AAP government have not allowed to function,” Kumar said. Subramaniam said that it is open to the elected government to appoint any lawyer to represent itself in various courts. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan also concurred with the view of Subramanian and said that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written to the registry of the Supreme Court that ‘vakalatnama’ (power of attroney) of the Delhi government lawyers should not be accepted.To this, the bench said that there has been occassions when two lawyers – one from the Delhi government and one from the Centre — have before it in a single matter representing the same party. It told the SG that lawyers representing the Delhi goverment in this matter should be allowed to represent it and posted the matter for final hearing to Janurary 18. Earlier, the AAP government had told the apex court that no “precipitative action” should be taken on the Shunglu committee report till the apex court adjudicates the Delhi- Centre row.On September 9, the apex court had refused to grant an interim stay on the Delhi High Court’s August 4 verdict and sought response within six weeks from the Centre on seven appeals of the AAP dispensation. It had also declined to stay the decision of LG Jung to set up a three-member committee to scrutinise over 400 files and past orders of the elected city government. In its verdict, the high court had rejected several pleas challenging the LG’s authority after which he had ordered examination of the files.

Why Rahul Gandhi not exposing PM Modi outside Parliament? asks Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday dared Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to “expose” Prime Minister Narendra Modi if he has documents at his disposal, saying Congress and BJP indulge in such “friendly match” but do not make any disclosure.”If Rahul Gandhi actually has papers on Modiji’s personal involvement in corruption, then why doesn’t he expose it outside Parliament?”Friendly match – BJP says they have AgustaWestland against Congress. Cong says they have Sahara/Birla against BJP. Both don’t disclose,” Kejriwal said in a series of tweets.The chief minister was reacting to Rahul’s remarks that he wants to present in the Lok Sabha detailed information about “personal corruption” by Modi but is not being allowed to do so by the PM.On demonetization, Kejriwal claimed the traders were miffed with BJP.”The traders of the country are saying BJP will take money from us, vote from us and call us thieves? The real thief dines with the PM,” he tweeted.AAP leader Ashish Khetan tweeted, “If Rahul Gandhi is not allowed to speak inside the House, then he should speak outside and disclose the information he has about Modiji.” Kejriwal’s prodding assumes importance as he has been targeting the Prime Minister over certain allegations pertaining to the latter’s tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar has rejected Rahul’s allegation terming it “false and baseless” and “very unfortunate”.”The allegation was made out of desperation and he (Gandhi) should apologise to the nation,” Kumar told reporters.

Gen Suhag has under 3 weeks in office: Can India ever avoid political delays in naming service chiefs?

Come New Year, India will have a new Chief of Army Staff (COAS), as the incumbent, General Dalbir Singh, is due for retirement. The very fact that the central government is yet to announce his successor has already made news. In fact, the issue will only get further politicised, just the same way Dalbir Singh’s appointment was, two years ago. And it’s all because of a convention that the incoming COAS (or for that matter, the new chief of Indian Navy or Indian Air Force) be announced two months in advance, in order to make the transition smooth.

Invariably, the vice-chief of army staff, who in turn is the senior-most in the service after the COAS, is promoted to the chief’s post (normally a term of three years or the age of 62, whichever is earlier), provided he is not superannuated (turning 60) before the day of assumption (if he is made chief on his last day in office, then he automatically gets an additional two years as chief).

Dalbir Singh Suhag is due for retirement on 1 January, 2017. PTI file imageDalbir Singh Suhag is due for retirement on 1 January, 2017. PTI file image

Dalbir Singh Suhag is due for retirement on 1 January, 2017. PTI file image

This convention, it seems, has been broken by the government. Only a fortnight remains for the new COAS to take charge, but as The Indian Express reported, the Modi government has not yet appointed Lt Gen. Praveen Bakshi, who heads Kolkata-headquartered Eastern Command, and the senior most General to succeed Dalbir Singh as the vice-chief (that post had gone to a relatively junior officer). Nor has the government officially announced Bakshi as India’s next COAS. The newspaper speculates that Bakshi’s background as an armoured corps officer is being held against him, as the post of COAS usually goes to those coming from infantry. The only armored corps officer to have made COAS was General Krishnaswami Sunderji, more than two decades ago.

However, all this is not to suggest that General Bakshi will not be made COAS. The point is that the delay by the government in announcing a name is giving rise to all sorts of speculation. In case Bakshi is being ignored or superseded by a junior for the post of COAS, he will be the next such officer to suffer this fate, starting with General SK Sinha in 1983.

But, fact remains that the previous Manmohan Singh government had also raised many an eyebrow when it announced General Dalbir Singh as COAS in 2014. The then incumbent, General Bikram Singh, was to retire only on 31 July, 2014. But the outgoing government of Manmohan Singh announced the then vice-army chief, Lt Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag, as next Army Chief in March, 90 days ahead of schedule, well before the standard two months. Going by convention, the announcement on the next COAS should have been made on or around 31 May, by which time there would have been a new government at the Centre. So why did the Manmohan Singh government make an announcement that should have been made by the Modi government? Why was the outgoing government in such a hurry? There has been no answer to this question.

Of course, the Modi government has more or less followed convention, by announcing the appointment of Indian Navy chief, Admiral Sunil Lanba, 40 days ahead of schedule (it should have been 60 days). Incidentally, his predecessor, Admiral Robin Kumar Dhowan’s appointment by the previous UPA government in 2014, also didn’t stick to the norms; his appointment came after an unprecedented gap of almost two months, after the equally unprecedented and untimely resignation of Admiral    Devendra Kumar Joshi. For two months, India did not a have a navy chief.

Going by convention, a serving chief has to not only be the senior most officer, but he also needs to possess experience of being a commander. Not all Lt Generals, Vice-Admirals and Air Marshalls are “commanders”. Unfortunately, the UPA government was not consistent in sticking to these established norms. While it wanted General Suhag, the senior most in the Indian Army having command experience, to succeed General Bikram Singh, it conveniently overlooked these norms in appointing Admiral Dhowan, who was not the senior most Vice-Admiral, and nor did he have any command experience. The Indian Navy has two operational commands — the Western Naval Command in Mumbai and the Eastern Naval Command in Vishakhapatnam. There is also the Southern Naval Command headquartered in Kochi, but it is a training command without real operational jurisdiction on high seas.

With the possible exception of Admiral Sushil Kumar, who was controversially made chief after the dismissal of Admiral V Bhagwat under the NDA regime in 1998, nobody heading the Southern Command has become chief. But in Admiral Dhowan’s case, this fundamental requirement of becoming a commander as perquisite for the consideration of the post of Naval chief was given a go by.

After the resignation of Admiral Joshi and Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, the flag officer commander-in-chief of the Western Naval Command was the senior most. As per established norms, he should have become the new navy chief. Predictably, however, he too resigned in protest, claiming being overlooked. The government reportedly overlooked him because quite a few naval accidents happened under his leadership of the Western Command, the reason for which Admiral Joshi had resigned earlier, under “moral grounds”.

This logic is dubious, to speak the least. First of all, as the armed forces in India are strictly under civilian control, any moral responsibility for the lapses should have been with the real leaders, which, in this case, was the defence minister. As Railways Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri once had resigned from the Union Cabinet after an accident; he did not ask the chairman of the Railway Board to quit. But then no Cabinet minister resigns under moral ground anymore.

So, could the government have turned down Admiral Joshi’s resignation, something Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had done in the case of General KS Thimayya, who had offered to quit following his souring of relations with the then Defence Minister Krishna Menon? Ships had sunk, aircraft had crashed and soldiers were killed in the past in peace time; but no chief had been punished. Nor for that matter do these mishaps affect the careers of the officers directly in charge, not adversely. So, why should these incidents have gone, first against Admiral Joshi and then Vice-Admiral Sinha?

It is this inconsistency on the part of the government of the day that unnecessarily makes senior military appointments a political issue. All the more so when confidential military matters are selectively leaked to the media from the South Block, as has been the norm in the last few years. See how documents regarding former Army Chief VK Singh’s actions in Jammu and Kashmir came to the political domain? There was nothing illegal on the part of VK Singh to launch “hearts and minds” campaigns in Kashmir to promote what he called “stability”, and another ex-army chief Shankar Roychowdhury called “sadbhavana”. But more importantly, General Singh’s actions had the complete approval of the then Defence Minister AK Antony. But Antony did not protest when his colleague, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, demanded a CBI inquiry against General Singh.

But for these partisan considerations, it’s anybody’s guess what the government of the day can do about the appointments. I, personally, do not believe the principle of seniority is a must in determining a service chief. When in December 2011, US President Barak Obama nominated General Martin Dempsey as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in place of Admiral Michael Glenn Mullen, he hadn’t even completed one year of his four-year term that had begun in April. In fact, Obama picked him as Admiral Mullen’s successor just one month after making him Army Chief. Besides, he was not the senior most four-star officer in the US when his new job was announced.

Now, could General Dempsey have achieved the top military position in India, had he been an Indian officer? Our system, and factors such as age and political considerations play a more decisive role in an officer’s career than his competence. I think India needs competent service chiefs irrespective of age. And when one talks of age, I do not necessarily buy the logic that one should give positions to those who are relatively young on a platter. General Martin Dempsey may have been young, but then the fact also remains that the United States recalled General Douglas MacArthur back to active duty three years after he had retired as the Chief of the US Army Staff in 1938. General Peter Jan Schoomaker, who had retired in December 2000, was recalled to head the US Army in August 2003. The point to be reiterated is that it is ability that alone should matter.

India is one of the few democratic countries in this part of the world where the armed forces are strictly under civilian control. We should be proud of our armed forces that they have always treated the principle of civilian control as sacrosanct. It is therefore unfortunate to see the appointments of the chiefs of our military services becoming partisan issues with political overtones.

First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 19:29 IST

Assam: Rs1.55 crore in new currency notes seized

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Assam police on Monday raided a local businessman’s house here and seized about Rs 1.55 crore in new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 currency notes.Additional Director General of Police (CID) Anil Kumar Jha told PTI that a CID team acting on a tip-off seized the money from the house of Hardie Singh Bedi, who owns a hotel and bar and runs shop rental business in the city.He said during the operation at the house in Beltola area of the city, the police seized Rs 1,54,81,000 crore cash in new currency notes that were unveiled after demonetisation. “Out of the total amount, Rs 1,54,06,000 was in Rs 2,000 notes, while the remaining Rs 75,000 was in new Rs 500 notes,” Jha said.The police have handed over the case to income tax department and its deputy commissioner P Borah is carrying out further investigation, the senior police official added.

Muzaffarnagar: RSS leader dies of shock after son’s arrest in theft case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An RSS leader died of heart attack after his son was arrested in a theft case at Khatoli town in Muzaffarnagar, police said on Sunday .A police team led by Sub Inspector Ajay Kumar arrested Abheykand Sharma from his house on Saturday for the latter’s alleged role in a theft case, SHO K P Singh said.Abheykhand’s father Chetan Prakash died later due to the shock over his son’s arrest, he said.Meanwhile, SI Ajay Kumar, was suspended over allegedly misbehaving with the accused’s father.A group of Hindu activists also staged a protest against the incident.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Twin blasts kill 29 in Istanbul, I-T raid in South Delhi, VVIP chopper scam & more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Turkey: At least 29 killed, 166 wounded in twin blasts outside Istanbul soccer stadiumA car bomb followed by a suicide bombing less than a minute later killed 29 people and wounded 166 outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul on Saturday night, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said. Read moreI-T dept raids law firm in South Delhi, seizes Rs 10 crore, including Rs 2.5 crore in new notesDelhi Police on Saturday raided the office of a law firm in southeast Delhi’s Greater Kailash-I area and recovered Rs 10 crore in cash, of which Rs 2.5 crore was in new banknotes released after demonetization. Read more VVIP chopper scam: Ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi drags in then PMO, says I am not running awaySP Tyagi, former Air Force chief, was sent to four days’ police custody, following his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday for allegedly receiving kickbacks in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal. Read more After Barkha Dutt, Ravish Kumar’s Twitter account hacked by Legion; says @LalitKModi leaks coming up nextHours after hacking NDTV Consulting Editor Barkha Dutt’s Twitter account, a group called ‘Legion’ hacked senior journalist Ravish Kumar’s official Twitter handle. Read moreMumbai: Law student assaulted for feeding stray dogsA 33-year-old law student was allegedly attacked on Friday night by a man and a woman from a neighbouring building who objected to her daily routine of feeding stray dogs inside her housing society. The Charkop police has registered an FIR against the two neighbours. Read more

Bihar: ATM guard killed near police station while resisting robbery bid

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A security guard of an ATM kiosk in Patna was murdered by unidentified assailants on Friday night while resisting a robbery bid by the criminals.The incident took place in Maurya Lok complex barely 200 metres away from Kotwali police station in the heart of the state capital. Maurya Lok complex is a popular shopping centre in Patna which houses hundreds of shops and some prominent offices including those of regional passport officer, Patna municipal corporation and NABARD.According to the police, Deepak Kumar, a guard with the Central Bank of India ATM, was found dead by his son on Saturday morning. “When he did not respond to phone calls, his son went to check on him. He found him lying in a pool of blood with his throat slit,” a police official told DNA.The criminals, however, were unsuccessful in looting the ATM.Soon after the incident came to light, local residents and relatives of the security guard demonstrated against the administration by blocking roads and burning tyres. They demanded the arrest of the criminals and a compensation to Kumar’s kin.Patna SSP Manu Maharaaj has removed Kotwali SHO Avinash Kumar. “No tolerance will be shown for slackness in patrolling, law and order and crime related incidents,” he said in a statement. A special investigation team (SIT) of police has been constituted to probe the matter. They will also look into the CCTV camera footage of the incident.

Demonetization debate eludes House

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A debate on demonetization eluded the House on Friday even as the Opposition was prepared for it.For a change, it was the treasury benches that created an uproar in Lok Sabha, rejecting the Congress demand to initiate it after the Opposition was ready for discussion without a rule, climbing down from its demand for voting, towards the fag end of the Winter Session.With just three working days left of the session, the chances of demonetization being debated in Parliament seemed narrow.Earlier in the day, an Opposition delegation met Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who had tried to find a way out of the Opposition-Government standoff on the proposal that discussion can be held without any rule.Later, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who had not been attending the House because of health reasons, had a separate meeting with the Speaker. Gandhi, who turned 70 on Friday, walked up to BJP patriarch Lal Krishna Advani before the House assembled.The Opposition, which had been creating ruckus since start of the winter session for voting in Lok Sabha and presence of the Prime Minister in Rajya Sabha, reversed its stand after the Speaker told them that they can move a resolution at the end of debate, for seeking a vote, sources said.However, government is insisting that a debate has already begun under rule 193, which does not entail voting.Inside the House, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was ready with a written speech. However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, government’s floor manager to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament, was on his feet to oppose the debate proposed by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.He wanted Opposition to first apologise for disruptions over the last 16 days.”For 16 days they have disrupted the House and held the House hostage. Majority wanted to debate. But Congress, TMC and Left members were not allowing House to function. The situation has reached such a stage that the President had to speak against disruption.They must tender apology to people of the country,” he said.Kharge sought deferment of the question hour to discuss demonetization and its repercussions, but even before he could speak, BJP members, backed by Kumar, started shouting to remind him about the President’s remarks castigating disruption. A verbal duel forced a brief adjournment.Both the Houses of Parliament were adjourned for a four-day recess, with no rapprochement in sight in a session which has been a wash-out. The blame game between the two sides continued outside Parliament.Rahul Gandhi, who was denied an opportunity to speak, accused government of blocking the debate to prevent him from speaking. He claimed an “earthquake” would have occurred if he got the opportunity to speak.Later, while talking to reporters, Ananth Kumar cited the rule book to say the debate on demonetization had already begun under rule 193 and could not be suspended midway for a fresh discussion on the same subject.”Suddenly, today Rahul Gandhi came prepared. They felt that all business should be suspended forthwith and he should be allowed to speak. That’s the way Congress can run, not Parliament of India,” he said.

Allahabad HC denounces triple talaq

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Allahabad High Court on Thursday pronounced a judgment, questioning the constitutionality of triple talaq. Observing that in India, Muslim law has taken a course contrary to the spirit of the Holy Quran, it said that the judicial conscience “is disturbed at this monstrosity”. “The question which disturbs the Court is should Muslim wives suffer this tyranny for all times? Should their personal law remain so cruel towards these unfortunate wives?” read the judgment administered by Justice Suneet Kumar. “Personal laws, of any community, cannot claim supremacy over the rights granted to the individuals by the Constitution,” it noted. The case was filed by two wives of a man, the first wife was 53 years of age, and the younger one was 23. The first wife was the first petitioner who approached the court on the grounds that her marriage was not yet null, and the second wife, the second petitioner, approached the court on the grounds that since the first wife was now divorced, she should now no longer harass her and her husband. The first wife had two children, and the husband took away one of them she bore and threw her out of the house with the other child. The court refused to enforce the divorce of the first woman, and also refused to nullify the marriage of the second woman, maintaining that “the legality of the marriage/divorce and rights of parties is kept open”.Also read: Women will no longer live in fear

Booze ban in Bihar: CM Nitish claims prohibition promoting communal harmony

Kisanganj: Terming prohibition as a “revolutionary step”, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday claimed that the move has promoted communal harmony in the state, with members of all religions supporting the liquor ban.

“The decision of liquor ban has further promoted communal harmony in Bihar as members of all religions are whole heartedly supporting booze ban, which is a revolutionary step,” he said addressing a ‘Chetna Sabha’ here as part of his ‘Nishchay Yatra’.

Accompanied by Excise and Prohibition Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan and Energy Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav, the CM highlighted “positive effects” of liquor ban.

File photo of Nitish Kumar. PTI

File photo of Nitish Kumar. PTI

“The road accidents have come down by 19 percent between April and November this year when compared to the same period last year,” Kumar said.

The booze ban has also substantially lowered rate of crimes like murder, kidnapping and riots in the state, he said.

“Cases of murder have gone down by 24 percent between April to November this year when compared to the same period last year. Likewise, incidents of loot came down by 16 percent, kidnapping for ransom by 48 percent and riots by 37 percent,” Kumar said.

As part of the Nishchay Yatra, the chief minister is taking feedback from people about prohibition.

He asserted that liquor ban had resulted in economic prosperity of the state, which is reflected by rise in the sale of cars and tractors, milk and sweets in the last seven months since prohibition came into force.

The JD(U) leader told the gathering about the human chain which would be formed by more than two crore citizens on 21 January  in favour of the ban, and urged people to participate in it.

First Published On : Dec 8, 2016 19:15 IST

Advani loses cool as House remains stalled for 16th day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior BJP leader L K Advani has maintained a stoic silence for a long time. But, on Wednesday, as disruptions over demonetization stalled business in the House for the 16th day, he lost his cool and vented his anger before Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar.After Lok Sabha was adjourned 15 minutes before lunch break, Advani called Kumar to his seat and said, “Who’s running the House? It is running on its own…. Neither the Speaker nor Parliamentary Affairs Minister is running it.”Amidst the din, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had adjourned the House around 12.45 pm till after lunch. Advani was seen asking an official on the reporter’s table till what time the House had been adjourned. When he was told 2 pm, Advani said, “Why 2 pm, it should be adjourned sine die.”The 89-year-old leader described the situation as disgraceful. Kumar and minister of state for Parliamentary Affairs S S Ahluwalia were seen trying to pacify Advani and pointed to the press gallery, from where several media-persons were watching. Advani retorted, “I am going to say it publicly… I will tell the Speaker. Both sides are party to this.”However, he left Parliament without talking to anyone. Around an hour earlier, Advani was seen talking in the Parliament lobby to a group of around eight BJP MPs, including Minister of State for Finance Arjun Meghwal and chief whip Rakesh Singh. Sources said Advani was agitated and repeatedly said “aisa nahi ho sakta (it cannot be like this).” According to sources, Advani was believed to have told Naidu that if MPs did not work, they should not draw salaries.Sources close to Advani said he was venting his anguish over a handful of people holding Parliament to ransom. Congress cashed in on Advani’s remarks. “He has brought up the correct perspective that it is the responsibility of the Government to keep the House in order. It is the responsibility of the government of the day to make sure proper floor management and that maximum work is done during working hours of both the Houses. So, we take it as good advice and are hopeful that the government should take it as good advice,” said Congress’s Sushmita Dev.However, later in the day government sources said efforts were being made to reach an understanding with the Opposition to find a way out of the deadlock. A Congress leader said the issue will be discussed with other Opposition parties on Thursday morning.

Listen to your guru: Congress mocks BJP over LK Advani’s outburst in Rajya Sabha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Exasperated at the repeated disruption of Parliamentary proceedings over demonetizaton, BJP elder L K Advani blamed both the ruling and opposition benches for the deadlock, and even pulled up the Speaker and Parliamentary Affairs Minister for “not running the House”. After rare outburst by Advani, both the government and main opposition Congress, which is leading the protests in the two Houses of Parliament, tried to shift the blame for his anguish to each other.”Neither the Speaker nor the Parliamentary Affairs Minister is running the House,” he was heard remarking just before Lok Sabha was adjourned 15 minutes ahead of the lunch recess amid slogan-shouting by Congress and TMC members.”I am going to tell the Speaker that she is not running the House … I am going to say it publicly. Both sides are a party to this,” he said as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar Kumar was seen pacifying the BJP stalwart.Congress was quick to latch on to Advani’s angry remarks, telling the government to pay heed to the “good advice” of the BJP veteran and get the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha going.”L K Advani is a very senior leader of the BJP and has been in Parliament for a long time. BJP considers Advani ji as their ‘margdarshak’ and guru. I expect that the BJP is not hearing out the opposition, but at least BJP should hear out their ‘margdarshak’,” Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev told reporters.”I thank him. Advani has brought correct perspective to the whole issue. It is the responsibility of the government to make sure that maximum work is done during the session.”Advani is one of the senior most Parliamentarians. We hope the government will take his good advice,” she said.Top Union ministers, however, attributed Advani’s anguish to his anger with opposition parties and insisted they were to “blame” for the impasse.”He was upset with opposition,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.Top Union ministers attributed senior BJP leader L K Advani’s anguish in the Lok Sabha over its continued disruptions to his anger with opposition parties and insisted they were to “blame” for the impasse “He was upset with opposition,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said after the House was adjourned yet again today amid ruckus. Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu said Advani’s anguish was the “reflection of agony of a senior parliamentarian and politician” over the conduct of opposition parties. Earlier, Advani had expressed deep distress over the way the Lok Sabha proceedings were being conducted, saying neither the Speaker nor the Parliamentary Affairs Minister was running the House and that “both sides are party to this (disruptions)”.A visibly agitated Advani was heard expressing his unhappiness to Kumar over the continuing protests in the House when some opposition members had close to the treasury benches raising slogans in the Well.Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said,” Advaniji is a senior member. Parliament should run. It is not.He is sad. He is feeling bad. The way Congress and TMC are disturbing the parliament, nobody will like it,” he said.Later talking to reporters, BJP’s Venkaih Naidu said everybody is sad, including himself, but the opposition is not letting the House to function.”What is their (opposition) strategy? Why are they going on this suicidal path, I am not able to understand. But the way Parliament is functioning, the people of the country are sad,” he said.He said while the opposition is saying they are not against remonetisation, they are at the same time not ready to discuss the problems faced by people, an issue they have been raising. They are also coming out and saying that they will not let the house function, he said.”But I am hopeful and optimistic. I hope there will be some ‘parivartan’ (change) in their mind and they will cooperate in the functioning of the house,” he said.He said, “Now a policy decision has been taken. You find the policy decision, fight against black money wrong, you say it in the house. Give good suggestion. You cannot have a comparison. Government has taken a bold, historic, revolutionary step.”The people of the country are very happy. Instead of helping the people, solving the problem and moving the country towards digital transfer of money, they are trying to create panic in the society. That have failed in that as well. They are showing their frustration. That is contempt of Parliament and democracy,”

Demonetization has brought people’s power into prominence: PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Asserting that the people have supported demonetization, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said his government has brought ‘Janshakti’ (people’s power) into prominence with the decision and flayed the opposition, saying it got “exposed” in Rajya Sabha by not agreeing to a debate despite his presence there twice.Hitting out at opposition parties, he told BJP MPs at a parliamentary party meeting that Parliament in the past had debated decisions of previous governments that had caused social tensions and conflict but they were not allowing discussion on a major reform like demonetization. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said Modi asked MPs to spread awareness about a “less-cash” and digital economy in the same way they enroll people in voters list during elections and highlight the use of EVMs irrespective of which party one votes for.Modi’s message was for members of all political parties, Kumar said.”In a democracy, ‘janshakti’ (people’s power) should be above ‘rajya shakti’ (state power). My government has brought this into prominence,” Modi said, referring to the people’s “support” to demonetization despite facing hardships. To buttress his point, he also recalled how a large number of people gave up on their LPS subsidy on his call at a time when the debate was about whether 9 or 12 subsidised cylinders should be given annually to a household.The opposition is not interested in a debate over demonetization, he said, telling party members that their job is to educate people, who have shown utmost discipline. He said that no major political party has demanded a rollback of demonetization and that it would have been better, had they discussed the issue and offered suggestions to the government. That opposition parties did not agree to a debate despite his presence in the Rajya Sabha, a demand made by them earlier, has exposed them, he said.The parliamentary party passed a resolution condemning opposition parties as it accused them of “shifting goal posts” over the issue. It also hailed people for their support. Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan made a presentation during the meeting about his ministry’s work to shift towards less-cash and digital transactions. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, a former Goa chief minister, spoke about how the state government was working to ensure that 60 per cent of transactions in the state were cashless.

Universities, protests and dissent: The importance of ‘quiet’ politics must also be considered

Student-led agitations grew by over 148 percent in the five-year period between 2009 and 2014, an analysis from the Ministry of Home Affairs data on police organisations shows. In general, the country witnessed a 55 percent rise in protests in the same period, amounting to an average of 200 protests each day.  The analysis posits a correlation between literacy rates and incidence of protests, with Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra accounting for more than half of the protests. The ‘underdeveloped’ states such as UP and Bihar, on the other hand, account for less than one percent of the protests in the five-year period.

What stands out from these numbers is the rise in student-led protests. The data seems to have captured the rumblings of a phenomenon that exploded post the 2014 general elections, especially with Narendra Modi government’s interventions in the arena of higher education. It is only over the last two years that we have come to realise the full force of this movement, from Hokkolorob protests at Jadavpur University, Occupy UGC movement to the protests in wake of Rohith Vemula’s suicide, and subsequently, the response to the crackdown on JNU students. However, the surge in the number of student-led agitations in the preceding years points to much deeper socio-economic causes, to which adequate attention has not been paid. The unfolding of student politics in India in recent times, especially now in the much more dramatic context of global politics, warrants careful analysis.

In April 2015, when a fledgling student group at IIT-Madras issued a pamphlet announcing a lecture to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, little did they know that it will attract national limelight (the institute student body recently banned the distribution of pamphlets in the campus ostensibly due to environmental reasons). Quoting from Annihilation of Caste, it said, “Ambedkar proposed to annihilate caste by destroying Hinduism. He says, ‘You must destroy the Religion of the Shrutis and the Smritis. Nothing else will avail’. ‘Hinduism is a veritable chamber of horrors and it must die for caste to vanish’”. Consequently, an anonymously written letter undersigned by ‘Students, IIT Madras’ reached Smriti Irani-led MHRD. The letter accused the concerned student group Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) of “creating hatred among student in the name of caste and trying to polarise the ST, SC students (sic)” and “trying to create hatred against the Honourable Prime Minister and Hindus”. The ministry swung into action and sought comments from the institute in an official letter, which included handwritten notes, as reported by The Telegraph: “Unfortunate. IITs were never used for such purposes. Pl get comments”.

File image of Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

File image of Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

Ideologically on the same page as the ruling dispensation, the Dean of Students acted to “de-recognise” the student group. In the days that followed, the IIT-M campus resembled a fortress with protests by students inside as well as different ideological groups outside. The de-recognition of APSC led to the group being catapulted to the centre of a sharply polarised national discourse. Similar groups sprang up at other universities overnight, in solidarity, and much of this battle was waged on social media. It is important to note that this happened at an institution which takes pride in its “apolitical” credentials. Politics of any sort indeed triggers deep anxiety among the IITs which have constantly sought to distance themselves from the political spaces that exist in institutions such as JNU, with the underlying assumption that they somehow exist outside politics.

And yet, it ought to be recognised that one would be hard-pressed to find one singular imagination of student protests or student movements. Even in institutional spaces that are deemed explicitly political and within movements deemed explicitly progressive, new arrangements, alliances, and tensions have taken shape. For instance, the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) at JNU was born out of the failure of organisations such as SFI and AISA to take up issues around caste. However, even amidst the fragmented landscape of social movements, student groups have found common ground to express their political creativity and unsettle totalising narratives.

What the APSC case does is that it provides an instance of the polarising context that set in leading up to the 2014 general elections and thereafter, and against which we could read the data on student protests. Interestingly, the 2014 Lok Sabha elections witnessed increased voting by young people. The turnout among the ‘first-time voters’ (18-22) and ‘other young voters’ (23-25) was 68 percent, 1.4 percent above the national voter turnout, a Centre for the Study of the Developing Societies (CSDS) analysis shows. The number is significant as the turnout among young voters remained below the national average in the past. It would, however, be naïve to treat the polarised context in itself as a possible cause. The history of social movements in India that drew heavily on student politics — ranging from the anti-Hindi struggle to the anti-Emergency movement — point to the layered socio-economic circumstances that resist easy reductions. It is then pertinent to look at some of the characterisations of student politics in the country in recent times.

An important strand of argument looks at student politics primarily in response to the “neoliberal” reconfiguration of our universities and the economy at large. It is a structural feature of the Indian economy that sectors that contribute the most to productivity in terms of GDP do not provide the proportionate number of jobs. Unemployment, and youth unemployment in particular, has been a persistent feature of the economy with successive governments failing to address the issue. This is in addition to cuts in public sector jobs. There could be as many as 10000 applications for a single government job, as Craig Jeffrey reports, as part of his research, published in The Guardian. With the continued prioritisation of capital intensive industries accompanied by the agrarian crisis, the problem is unlikely to go away, says Delhi based researcher, Thomas Crowley in Jacobin Magazine. Economic instability, the arguments goes, does not only have a bearing on youth aspirations, unemployment and access to education, but it also compels the state to engage in repressive measures to create distractions. These measures include the kind of crackdown on student leaders like Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid. Student politics in this sense comes to be defined as a response to a repressive state.

Additionally, the changed composition of universities following the implementation of affirmative action policies is treated as an opportunity, even though they remain inherently exclusionary as argued by Satish Deshpande and Mary E John in The Hindu. Furthermore, the “neoliberal university” becomes “less a space for critical engagement, debate and inquiry, and more a skills factory for the technocratic workplaces owned by transnational capital.” The administrators act in nexus with state-capital to discipline different forms of activism. The reconfiguration of spaces of learning then generates disillusionment, and such spaces are to be rescued through student activism. As an example, the Occupy UGC movement sought to protest the discontinuance of fellowships for MPhil/PhD — among the reasons for the move are budgetary cuts for higher education and the likely opening up of education to international trade, as pointed out by Ayesha Kidwai.

I would argue that looking at student politics solely in terms of a “neoliberal” development is an easy critique, one that we must stretch. This has implications for how we look at student protests in contested times. First, taking the incidence of protests as the sole indicator of political dynamism risks reducing the nature of our political engagements to some predetermined schema. It also implies that we contest correlations such as that between ‘underdevelopment’ and protests, and go beyond them. Bihar and UP may account for only one percent of the registered protests between 2009-2014, but ethnographic literature has mapped the complex linkages between larger macroeconomic shifts, gendered youth cultures, and students’ political engagement — sometimes good, sometimes bad. The lack of protests doesn’t take away from the political richness of the dynamics in the region which could be as potent as any protests.

Second, while overt crackdown on dissent is a feature of the current political regime, we should also remember that a lot of our institutional spaces are interstitial in nature. It means that spaces for negotiation and engagement do exist albeit in the interstices of power and surveillance. We should, therefore, also consider the importance of ‘quiet’ politics in addition to protests and demonstrations.

Finally, as a conceptual alternative, the notion of ‘precarity’ offers a useful way of looking at student politics, and here I draw on Wanda Vrasti’s essay, Struggling with Precarity: From More and Better Jobs to Less and Lesser Work, The Disorder of Things.  Precarity usually refers to a sense of uncertainty mixed with anxiety. It is usually used to denote some sense of betrayal, either by the state or the society. However, as different scholars have argued, precarity is a consistent feature of life under capitalism. This is a problem as well as an opportunity. In terms of the latter, it is imperative that we re-appropriate ‘precarity’. We then look at precarity not just in terms of loss and betrayal but as a series of contingencies that offer opportunities to build solidarities and seek common ground, however shifty it may be.

The author is a fellow at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), Bengaluru. 

First Published On : Dec 7, 2016 13:19 IST

Jayalalithaa’s demise: Meet the family members of late Tamil Nadu chief minister

The late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa breathed her last at 11.30 pm on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest. She had been admitted to Chennai’s Apollo Hospital since 22 September after complaining of fever and dehydration. The actress-turned-politician, who joined the AIADMK under her mentor MG Ramachandran’s tutelage, remained a spinster all her life. But while she remained at the centre of Tamil Nadu politics, her family has seldom been in the limelight. Here are a few of the prominent family members of the departed leader.

N Ragachar:

Jayalalithaa’s paternal grandfather. According to the book Amma: Jayalalithaa’s Journey from Movie Star to Political Queen, written by veteran journalist Vaasanthi, he was a doctor who served the Mysore royal family during the reign of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV.

Rangaswamy Iyengar:

Jayalalithaa’s maternal grandfather, hailed originally from Tamil Nadu’s Srirangam, but moved to Bangalore. According to Vaasanthi’s 2016 book, he got a job at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in the Karnataka state capital. After her mother chose to enter the film industry in Chennai, Jayalalitha and brother Jaya Kumar remained in Bangalore with their grandfather, where Jayalalithaa went to the Bishop Cotton School.

Jayaram:

Jayalalithaa’s father Jayaram was a lawyer but died when she was just two years old. According to Jayalalithaa: A Portrait, also written by Vaasanthi, Jayalalithaa wrote in the 1970s that her father died under mysterious circumstances after squandering the family wealth.

Vedavalli:

Jayalalithaa’s mother. After her husband’s death, Vedavalli went back to her grandfather’s house in Bangalore. In order to support her children, she took the job of a typist. However, unsatisfied with the meagre earnings it offered, she chose to try her luck in films. She adopted a screen name, Sandhya, and played character roles. She was instrumental in bringing Jayalalithaa into the film industry after the family suffered a financial crisis. She died in 1971. In an interview to Rediff, the late CM said that her mother had been a major influence on her.

Jaya Kumar:

Jayalalithaa’s brother, with whom she lived in Bangalore in her formative years. Relations between the siblings strained in the 90s following the death of Jayalalitha’s mentor MG Ramachandran. Jaya Kumar died in an accident in 1995, as per this report in The Indian Express.

Deepa:

Jaya Kumar’s daughter and Jayalalithaa’s niece. According to a report in The Times of India, she made numerous attempts top meet her aunt over the years, but was not allowed to do so. Back in 2014, following Jayalalithaa’s release from prison, Deepa and her husband tried to meet the AIADMK chief, but weren’t let in. Even when Jayalalithaa was ailing in hospital, she was all alone as Deepa was turned away by the police at the hospital.

VN Sudhakaran:

The nephew of Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala. Jayalalithaa once considered Sudhakran her foster son, but later disowned him. In September 1995, he was married off to Satyavati, the granddaughter of legendary Tamil actor Sivaji Ganesan. He was convicted in the disproportionate assets case, in which Jayalalithaa and Sasikala were also implicated, and sentenced to four years in prison.

Vasudevan:

Jayalalithaa’s elder step-brother, who according to this report in Deccan Chronicle, was the son of Jayaram, who married Vasudevan’s mother Jayamma before marrying Jayalalithaa’s mother. Estranged from Jayalalithaa, Vasudevan currently lives in obscurity in a village in Mysuru district.

First Published On : Dec 6, 2016 17:36 IST

Giriraj Singh’s ‘Nasbandi’ advice shot down by Nitish Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Giriraj Singh has advocated ‘Nasbandi’ (sterilisation) after demonetization for population control to spur development, but the idea was trashed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as “bakwaas” (nonsense).The Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) had come up with the idea yesterday and had said after “notebandi” (demonetization), there is an urgent need to make laws for “nasbandi” (sterilisation) in the country.”India has 17% of the world population which adds population equal to Australia every year. The country only has 2.5% of land mass of the globe with only 4.2% of water resources. In this scenario, the population explosion in the country is proving to be a big roadblock for development. We need a population control act to tide over the problem,” Singh had said.He had also reportedly talked about sterilisation to control the population growth at a function in his Nawada parliamentary constituency on Sunday last.Chief Minister Nitish Kumar trashed the idea as “bakwaas” (nonsense). “The country has seen effect of Nasbandi earlier,” he said referring to the mandatory sterilisation drive during Emergency period.

After demonetization, Union Minister Giriraj backs sterilisation, faces criticism from opposition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Minister Giriraj Singh has advocated ‘nasbandi’ (sterilisation) after demonetization for population control to spur development, but the idea was today trashed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who said the country has seen the effect of such a move in the past.The Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) had come up with the idea yesterday and said that after “notebandi” (demonetization), there is an urgent need to make laws for “nasbandi” (sterilisation) in the country. “India has 17 per cent of the world population which adds population equal to Australia every year. The country only has 2.5 per cent of land mass of the globe with only 4.2 per cent of water resources. In this scenario, the population explosion in the country is proving to be a big roadblock for development. We need a population control act to tide over the problem,” Singh had said.He had also reportedly talked about sterilisation to control the population growth at a function in his Nawada parliamentary constituency earlier.Chief Minister Nitish Kumar trashed the idea as “bakwaas” (nonsense).”The country has seen effect of nasbandi earlier,” he said, referring to the mandatory sterilisation drive during the Emergency period.Singh’s party BJP, however, chose to remain cautious over his remark. The party sought to distance itself from the word ‘nasbandi’, but asserted the need for birth control for nation’s development.”There may be some differences while choosing words to communicate one’s message. What Giriraj Singh meant to say is to have birth control measures in order to check population explosion. This is the government’s policy to go for birth control. Even some social organisations work in the field… I am not saying anything on nasbandi,” Bihar BJP president Nityanand Rai told PTI.Leaders from other parties slammed Singh for the remark, saying he is merely trying to create a sensation by making such statements. Bihar Congress president and minister Ashok Choudhary said, “People like Giriraj Singh, who belong to an ideology, are trying to create a sensation in the society by making such statements. If they are really concerned about the nation’s development, they should correct it through policy measures…He is trying to sow division in the society.” Stating that both the Central and state governments have already taken a lot of effective steps to check population, Choudhary said, “It has been found that wherever female literacy level is high, fertility rate is low and vice-versa. We are trying to create that kind of system and hence, the state government has decided to open 10+2 school in every panchayat.” RJD spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwari said Singh was known for his controversial statements.”No one takes note of his statements. He must respect the dignity of the post of minister,” he said.

Demonetization: Nitish Kumar changes stance, questions BJP silence on land purchase

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday questioned BJP’s silence on the issue of “large-scale purchase of land” in the state ahead of demonetization and said if the matter comes before his government it will act on it. “The JD(U) has raised the question of large-scale purchase of land by BJP in Bihar ahead of demonetization for opening offices… BJP should answer from where they got this much of money for the purpose,” he told reporters after his newly- launched programme ‘Lok Samvad’.Kumar’s party JD(U) has questioned BJP’s land purchase and has even demanded a CBI probe into it. Asked if the state government would act on a complaint of land purchase, he said, “The issue is raised by party and has not come to my level. But, if something comes, the registration department will certainly look into it.” On a question of reports of large flow of money in Jan Dhan accounts, particularly in Naxal-affected areas of Bihar, he said the matter concerns the central government and added, if any assistance was sought from the state it would provide it.In reply to an another question on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stress to convert the country into a cash-less economy, Kumar said “It can be an idea, but use of cash is part of people’s habit and total cashless is not possible.” He trashed as “bakwas” (baseless talk) of Union Minister of State Giriraj Singh advocating “nasbandi” (sterilisation) along with demonetization, for better result.
ALSO READ Demonetization: In Patna, Mamata calls Nitish Kumar a traitor; says country in a state of ‘super emergency’Kumar reiterated that he supported demonetization as a measure against black money, but emphasised “desired results will come only when it is coupled with a hit on benami properties including real estate, gold, diamond and prohibition”. He refused to comment on TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s oblique remark of “gaddar” (traitor) for his support to demonetization.Kumar also congratulated Modi for winning the TIME magazine’s Person of the Year via online reader’s polls. He expressed sadness over the health condition of Tamil Nadu counterpart Jayalalithaa and prayed for her early recovery.

Axis Bank suspends two managers arrested by ED in money laundering racket

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Axis Bank suspended two of its managers on Monday after they were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case for their alleged involvement in settling of unaccounted money. The accused officials will be produced before the Tees Hazari court at around 2 pm on Monday for further interrogation.Both managers had allegedly taken gold bricks as bribe to convert Rs 40 crore black money into white. Money from three bank accounts was transferred to jewellers via RTGS mode of payment to buy gold. The ED is probing the case and has initiated an investigation into the matter to unmask the other people involved in the corruption.Old high denomination currency notes, which ceased to be legal tender from midnight of November 8, 2016, were laundered using the banking channels by a set of hawala and entry operators in connivance with bank officials.On the basis of specific information received on November 22, 2016, Delhi police intercepted three persons carrying around Rs 3.7 crore in old denomination notes in front of Axis Bank’s Kashmere gate branch. The case was then handed over to Income Tax department for investigation. After preliminary investigation, Delhi Police registered an FIR on November 29, 2016. On the basis of FIR, Enforcement Directorate registered a case under PMLA, 2002 on November 30, 2016, and initiated investigations.During the investigation by the ED, the following modus operandi was revealed:After demonetization of the high denomination currency notes, certain persons having old currency notes were looking to convert their old currency notes into gold even at inflated rates. Such persons were contacted by the jewellers who collected the cash from these parties as advances against gold to be sold at high prices ranging from Rs 45,000 to Rs 50,000 per 10 grams. The cash so collected was laundered through banking channels with the help of money launderers who are professionally qualified Chartered Accountants and managing several dummy/shell companies. Finally, payments from such shell companies were made through RTGS to Bullion dealers and the physical gold so purchased at market rate of Rs 31,000 to Rs 32,000 per 10 grams was handed over to the persons from whom advances were received. The Enforcement Directorate broke this modus operandi in the case of one group of Rajeev Kushwaha CA, Devendra Kumar Jha and Raj Kumar Sharma. Various shell companies, namely, Sunrise trading company, Himalaya International, RD Traders etc, who have bank accounts in Axis Bank’s Kashmere Gate branch, were used to deposit cash to the tune of Rs 39 crore between the period November 10 to November 22, in close connivance with the bank managers Vinit Gupta and Shashank Sinha. These cash deposits were in the installments of Rs 90 lakh to Rs 99 lakh so as to avoid detection or reporting to government agencies. In several instances, more than one such cash deposit in a day were made into these accounts. These cash deposits were then further transferred by way of RTGS to M/s Beagle Marketing Pvt. Ltd. on the same day, which is another shell company managed and controlled by Rajiv Singh Kushwaha by way of dummy directors.Upon investigation, it was found that one of the director of Beagles Marketing, Ram Charan, was found to be a petty labourer working for daily wages and staying in a slum at Anna Nagar Jhuggi Camp, New Delhi. Ram Charan expressed ignorance about the existence of the company. It was found that directors of the other shell companies were also persons of no means. On the instructions of the jewellers and Rajiv Kushwaha, the funds were further transferred by way of RTGS from the account of Beagle marketing to various Bullion Traders named Aadi Traders, Siddhi Vinayak Jewellers, Tushar Jewellers etc in lieu of purchase of gold bars. Though invoices were raised by these bullion dealers in the name of Beagle Marketing Pvt. Ltd., the physical delivery of the gold was given to jewellers. The gold purchased by these jewellers was further sold to various buyers at Rs 45,000 to Rs 50,000 per 10 grams.While interrogating the middleman, it was revealed that the bank officials agreed to this modus operandi in exchange for commission or bribe of 2% of the amount deposited in cash in these accounts. This gratification was given to bank managers Vineet Gupta and Shobhit Sinha in the form of gold bars (at 1% each). One of the gold bars has been recovered and seized from Lucknow using information received from Sinha’s statement. Another two kilos of gold bars have been seized from one of the jewellers.During the interrogation of the bank managers, it was revealed that huge amounts of cash was also exchanged in the initial three days without following due procedure prescribed by RBI. For this bulk exchange, forms and unverified identity documents were received from certain customers along with old currency notes which were exchanged by giving them new currency notes amounting to several lakhs. The directorate has arrested both bank managers for their connivance and further investigations are in progressReacting to the arrest, an official spokesperson of the bank said, “The bank is committed to following the highest standards of corporate governance and has zero tolerance towards any deviation on the part of any of its employees from the set model code of conduct. In this particular case, the bank has suspended the erring employees and is cooperating with the investigating agencies.”

Don’t behave like a bully: JD(U) to Mamata on ‘gaddar’ jibe at Nitish

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The JD(U) on Sunday hit back at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her ‘gaddar’ (traitor) jibe at party chief Nitish Kumar for backing the Centre’s demonetisation move, and cautioned her against behaving like a ‘dada’ (bully).”Woh didi ke roop mein bahut achchi lagti hain, unhe dada ke rup mein vwyahar nahin karna chahiye (she looks good in the role of didi…she should not behave like a bully,” JD(U) secretary general K C Tyagi told reporters on the sidelines of a function here. Mamata had made the remark on November 30 at a dharna in Patna. Criticising the JD(U) for not opposing the demonetisation of high-value currencies despite being wary of the NDA-led Centre, she had said that the people would not spare the ‘gaddars’ (betrayers), indirectly referring to Nitish Kumar.The JD(U), a constituent of the ruling Grand Alliance in Bihar, had stayed away from Mamata’s dharna on note ban in the Bihar capital while another constituent, RJD, had backed the Trinamool Congress chief’s stir.The local JD(U) leaders had charged the Trinamool Congress with being “a party of scamsters”.Nitish while speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in Delhi yesterday had remarked that too much aggression could spoil the perception of people (about a leader) in an apparent reference to Mamata’s caustic remarks at the Patna dharna.

Dowry death social crime but can’t convict husband without proof, says Delhi court

New Delhi: It is a heinous crime to hang one’s wife to death but a husband cannot be convicted without any reliable evidence, a Delhi court has said while acquitting a man and his family members in a murder and dowry death case.

The court freed the man, his father and two sisters, all residents of east Delhi, saying there was no cogent evidence that the woman was subjected to cruelty or harassment for demand of dowry.

Representational image. News 18

Representational image. News 18

“While it is proved that husband being the companion in the house ought to be able to explain as to the circumstances under which his wife was found lying hanged in the bedroom but there also exists an obligation on the part of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond all reasonable doubt…

“Undoubtedly, it is a social and heinous crime to have the wife hanged to death but without any proper and reliable evidence, the court cannot by itself justify its conclusion of murder by the husband,” Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Kumar Malhotra said.

While the victim woman used to stammer and was having hearing disability, her husband was deaf and dumb.

The court absolved the four accused of the charges under sections 304B (dowry death), 498A (subjecting woman to harassment by husband and in-laws), 302 (murder) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.

The court said prosecution has failed to prove its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt, benefit of which must go in favour of the accused.

According to prosecution, the couple got married in May 2006, and the woman was found hanging in her matrimonial house in April 2008.

The complaint was lodged by the victim’s father at Kalyanpuri Police Station against her husband and in-laws on the allegations that she was harassed by them for dowry which led to her death.

The court said except for demand of motorcycle which was alleged to have been made after one-and-a-half month of the marriage, there are no specific allegation in respect of demand of dowry or harassment by the accused.

It noted that the prosecution witnesses said that the demand for motorcycle was withdrawn as the woman’s husband could not get driving licence due to his hearing and speaking disabilities.

First Published On : Dec 4, 2016 09:50 IST

Nitish backs Modi’s decision, but party divided on the issue

“This ‘notebandi’ is a positive step which will lead to benefits. It will happen,” said Nitish while addressing a JD(U) meeting here. Terming corruption and black money as a big sin and a “festering wound” which must be eradicated, he said,
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday once again supported the demonetization process, calling it is a positive step, divisions within the his Janata Dal (United) came out in the open, with former party chief Sharad Yadav targeting the Central Government over the move. “This ‘notebandi’ is a positive step which will lead to benefits. It will happen,” said Nitish while addressing a JD(U) meeting here. Terming corruption and black money as a big sin and a “festering wound” which must be eradicated, he said,“Severe steps will have to be taken. That is why we offered our support to this (demonetization). It is a positive beginning.” He even refrained from any criticism on the implementation issue, which has been vociferously raised by Opposition parties. His only criticism of the Modi government’s decision was that mere demonetization will not end the problem of black money. Yadav has also called for a crackdown on benami properties and hoarders of gold and diamonds immediately. Immediately after his speech, Sharad Yadav alleged the decision is aimed at capitalising banks that were “sinking” due to the Rs 8.5 lakh crore burden of NPAs and that its goal is not to target black money.

JD(U) meet: Nitish hails demonetization, Sharad differs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Amid growing protest by opposition against demonetization, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on again voiced support to the Modi government’s decision, saying it is a positive step which will lead to benefits.”This ‘notebandi’ is a positive step which will lead to benefits. It will happen,” he said addressing a JD(U) meeting, where differences in the party came in the open as former party chief Sharad Yadav targeted the Modi dispensation over demonetization. Terming corruption and black money as a big sin and a “festering wound” which must be eradicated, Kumar said, “Severe steps will have to be taken. That is why we offered our support to this (demonetization). It is a positive beginning.”The JD(U) president also refrained from any criticism on the implementation issue, which has been vociferously raised by the opposition. He, however, added that demonetization alone will not end black money. He asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to also launch a crackdown on benami properties immediately and target black money hoarded in assets like gold and diamonds. “Currency forms a significant part of black money but total black money is much more than that. The country’s money has been laundered to overseas as well and that too should be brought back,” he said.Kumar’s remarks in support of demonetization, which has united most of the opposition parties against it, came after Yadav hit out at Modi dispensation over the issue. Yadav alleged the decision is aimed at capitalising banks that were “sinking” due to Rs 8.5 lakh crore of NPA and its goal is not to target black money. The decision has forced entire country to stand in queue, said Yadav, who played an active role in rallying opposition’s protests before Kumar declared his support to demonetization.He, however, also spoke in the same vein that his party supports the step but is critical of the ill-prepared manner in which it was executed. Kumar, however, did not touch on the implementation part of demonetization, merely saying that his government does everything with due preparation and so should the Centre.”We support demonetization. It should be implemented with preparation. We do our work with full preparation. They (Centre) should also have done that. “We said there can be nothing better if it helps curb corruption, bring out some amount of black money and illegal work is stopped to some extent,” he said.

Narendra Modi is better than Donald Trump, says JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar

Mumbai: JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “better” than US President-elect Donald Trump.

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI file imageKanhaiya Kumar. PTI file image

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI file image

Kumar was speaking at a panel discussion titled ‘From Bihar to Tihar‘ at Times LitFest. “Despite several differences (he may have with Narendra Modi), Modi is better than Trump. There has been a rise in authoritative sentiment across the world and if you see the kind of language that was used in (US) presidential election, the comments made against migrants and women were unprecedented,” said Kumar, who earlier this year faced a sedition case over “anti-national” slogans at Jawaharlal Nehru
University.

The student leader quoted the iconic African American leader Martin Luther King, saying, “Bad people are shouting not because they are more powerful but because the good people are quiet.”

Speaking about Najeeb Ahmed, the JNU student who has been missing for the past several weeks, Kumar said, “The government is actually doing nothing but throwing some issues before us. It is happening because there is no powerful opposition that would keep a check on this government. The issues of Dadri (lynching by cow-vigilantes), JNU’s anti-national slogans and Najeeb’s missing are being diverted. In Dadri, the committee is focusing on whether it was beef or not, in Rohith Vemula case, the committee was set up to decide his caste, in JNU’s anti-national slogan case, the committee was set up to find out whether footage was doctored or not. There are many other similar cases,” he said.

“Why was no chargesheet filed in the JNU anti-national slogans case even after nine months if the government was serious?” Kumar asked.

First Published On : Dec 2, 2016 22:55 IST

PM Modi better than Donald Trump: Kanhaiya Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “better” than the US President-elect Donald Trump. Kumar was speaking at a panel discussion on ‘From Bihar to Tihar’ at Times LitFest here.”Despite several differences (he may have with Narendra Modi), Modi is better than Trump. There has been a rise in authoritative sentiment across the world and if you see the kind of language that was used in (US) presidential election, the comments made against migrants and women were unprecedented,” said Kumar, who earlier this year faced a sedition case over ‘anti-national’ slogans at Jawaharlal Nehru University.The student leader quoted the iconic African American leader Martin Luther King, saying “bad people are shouting not because they are more powerful but because the good people are quiet.”Speaking about Najeeb Ahmed, JNU student who has been missing for the past several weeks, Kumar said, “Government is actually doing nothing but throwing some issues before us. It is happening because there is no powerful opposition that would keep a check on this government. The issues of Dadri (lynching by cow-vigilantes), JNU’s anti-national slogans and Najeeb’s missing are being diverted.”In Dadri case, the committee is focusing on whether it was beef or not, in Rohith Vemula case the committee was set up to decide his caste, in JNU’s anti-national slogan case the committee was set up to find out whether footage was doctored or not and there are many other similar cases,” he said. Why no charge sheet was filed in the JNU anti-national slogans case even after nine months if the government was serious, Kumar asked.

SC refuses to entertain plea to play national anthem in courts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea of a BJP leader and lawyer seeking playing of national anthem in all courts before the start of proceedings. A bench of justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said it is not inclined to entertain the plea of BJP spokesperson Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted that the petitioner should file a proper application.”Whether right or wrong, our order should not be overstretched. Bar (referring to Upadhyay) should show some retrain,” the bench said. Earlier in the morning, Upadhyay mentioned the plea before the bench which had on November 30 made it mandatory for cinema halls to play national anthem before screening of a movie and the audience must stand and show respect. The bench has then sought AG’s assistance to learn his view on the plea of Upadhyay.In its November 30 order, the apex court had said that “love and respect for the motherland is reflected when one shows respect to the national anthem as well as to the national flag. That apart, it would instill the feeling within one a sense committed patriotism and nationalism.” It had said that when the anthem is played the national flag shall be shown on the screen and the order should be given effect in a week’s time.The bench had also said that prior to the anthem being played or sung in the cinema hall, the entry and exit doors shall remain closed so that no one can create any kind of disturbance which will amount to disrespect to the national anthem and the doors can be opened once it is over.

Cyclone Nada makes landfall near Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cyclonic storm Nada has further weakened into a depression as predicted and is currently making landfall between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu ​at 50 km wind speed, the MeT Department said on Friday. “A large chunk of the depression has crossed coast early morning. However, over 25% of the system is yet to make the landfall which will happen soon,” a MeT official said. He said mild to moderate rain coupled with squally winds were being witnessed in parts of Tamil Nadu.ANI reports that upto four cm rain was received in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Puducherry. The MeT department says Chennai is to receive light showers. MeT forecasts moderate rainfall in North coastal Tamil NaduCyclone Nada which weakened into a deep depression on Thursday moved Westnorth-Westwards and became a depression about 40 km East south East of Karaikkal (Puducherry Union Territory), the official said. “The cyclone passed off peacefully. (Landfall) through Karaikal (Pondy region) coast at 5 am. Wind velocity down,” Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi said.ANI reported that the deep depression over southwest Bay of Bengal moved westwards with speed of about 10 kmph and crossed north Tamil Nadu coast near Nagapatti. Cuddalore Collector Rajesh Kumar said, “We have identified, strengthened 41 cyclone relief shelters. NDRF teams have already arrived.” Area Cyclone Warning Centre Director, S Balachandran, had told reporters in Chennai on Thursday, “From a cyclonic storm, it has weakened into deep depression and in the next 24 hours is likely to cross the coast.” The deep depression crossed the coast between Cuddalore and Vedaranyam early Saturday morning.The weakening of the cyclone brings partial relief to the authorities who have put the state machinery on high alert, deploying National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response teams, and taking elaborate precautionary measures to tackle any eventuality. Earlier, the MeT office had said the cyclone would cross the state coast near Cuddalore and under its impact, heavy rains could lash Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry. Some coastal areas are likely to receive heavy rains, the official said.During and before the land fall of the depression, winds gusting upto 55 kmph are likely in coastal regions, he said.Earlier on Thursday, Agricultural Production commissioner and Secretary, Gagandeep Singh Bedi, said in Cuddalore that all the 32 revenue districts, including 13 coastal districts were being monitored continuously. “The district administrations are fully prepared (to handle any eventuality),” he said.State Revenue Minister RB Udaya Kumar said, “Be it heavy rains (which is expected) and gusty winds, all preparations are on (to tackle the situation).” He said during heavy winds power lines will be needing more attention and the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation is fully prepared to tackle the situation.Holidays had been declared in schools in various coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry for Thursday and Friday in view of the cyclone threat.The rains under influence of the depression have, however, brought cheers to the farmers hit by crop failure due to lack of water for irrigation. The current spell of rains marked revival of the north east monsoon which accounts for the major share of rains for the state, after it virtually remained inactive since its onset in October.

DNA Morning Must Reads: RBI’s steps to save payday blues; Karunanidhi hospitalised & more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RBI, banks take steps to save payday bluesFinance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are keeping a close watch as the payday approaches. Viewing the first week of the month as salary time, the central bank has released less cash in the past two days to ensure larger availability from December 1, sources said. Read detailsNagrota attack: Terrorists did recce of Army base for a week, local recruits believed to have aided themPost the Nagrota attack in Jammu, where seven Army men were killed on Tuesday, an assessment carried out by intelligence agencies reveals alarming findings. Intelligence officials believe that the terrorists had not only been in Indian territory for over a week, but also had the support of freshly recruited local militants. Read moreChinese govt reacts to WION expose, rejects accusations of military activity deep inside eastern AfghanistanChina’s Defence Ministry has rejected accusations of military activity deep inside eastern Afghanistan, after a report by WION last month about regular patrols by Chinese security forces there. Read full storyDMK chief M Karunanidhi admitted to Kauvery Hospital in ChennaiDMK chief M Karunanidhi was on Thursday morning admitted to Kauvery Hospital at Alwarpet in Chennai for allergy related issues. The 92-year-old former Tamil Nadu chief minister was reportedly rushed to the hospital at around 5.50 am. Read moreDemonetization: In Patna, Mamata calls Nitish Kumar a traitor; says country in a state of ‘super emergency’West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday called Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar a ‘traitor’ for deserting the anti-demonetization camp. She alleged that the country was in a state of ‘super emergency’ due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy of banning high currency notes. Read more

RSS urges to implement ‘Uniform Civil Code for stronger, integrated India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RSS on Thursday said the nation should come out of the prison of identity politics to make the Uniform Civil Code a reality and people, irrespective of differences, should arrive at a consensus to make it a reality.Delivering a keynote address on ‘Uniform Civil Code: The Need of the Hour here, senior RSS leader Arun Kumar said that UCC is essential to make the nation stronger and a more ‘integrated, progressive and developed’ one.”To ensure freedom, equality and justice, about which our Constitution professes, uniform civil code should be ensured. But unfortunately, every time when this topic comes up for discussion, it becomes an issue of identity politics,” Kumar, Akhil Bharathiya Saha Samparka Pramukh of the outfit, said.”This issue of identity politics was cultivated by Britishers…and carried on by our politicians…every time when the discussions start, our politicians come to this identity politics. Basically, this issue has become a victim of identity politics,” he said.Pointing to the need to put an end to identity politics, Kumar said the menace has come to such an extent that if it goes on, “our society will never be one. It will be segregated to so many parts that we cannot remain as one.” “If we want to remain as an integrated nation, we should come out of this identity politics,” he said.Stating that debates on UCC should be taken out of the issues of minority and religion, he said priority should be given on the interest of the nation.”The important thing is that what is the interest of the nation…what is the interest of the society…and what is the interest of our values and ethos which we accepted and made as the basis of a progressive country,” he said.Kumar also urged people to be ‘proactive’ to address all these issues and make the uniform civil code a reality.He reminded that former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi had batted for uniform civil code once.In the Shah Bano case, Rajiv Gandhi had pitched for uniform civil code. But later he surrendered to appeasement politics, he alleged.Discussion on the topic should go on but this should not be ‘misquoted and miscarried’ any more, he added.The talk was organised by RSS’s district branch here.

Fake notes with Rs 10 lakh face value found dumped in drain

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Locals on Wednesday rushed to collect a number of “Rs 500″ notes found floating in a drain, but were left disappointed after realising that they all were fake.Local police inspector K L Murthy said the fake notes had a face value of Rs 10 lakh.As the word spread about the notes being spotted in the drain near Mithulapuri Colony and Vikalangula Colony, residents of the nearby areas gathered at the spot to collect them, police said.Many of them thought they had struck a fortune, but were shell-shocked to know that the notes with the face value of Rs 500 were in fact counterfeit.”Two persons came to the spot on a bike and dumped Rs 500 notes into the drain before fleeing,” said K Ravi Kumar, a resident at the area.”We thought the unidentified persons might have thrown money as they could not exchange them with new currencies.However, after recovering the notes from the drain we realised that they were fake,” he added.According to Murthy, “Locals had recovered all notes and fled before we reached there. We suspect that some gangs behind circulation of counterfeit currency notes might have dumped them in the drain as they couldn’t utilise them anymore in the wake of demonetization.”He said efforts are on to trace the two persons who are suspected to have dumped the fake notes in drain.

Nagrota attack: Police probing JeM links

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police is probing if Jasih-e-Mohammed (JeM) was responsible for Tuesday’s terror attack on an army camp in Nagrota, that left 7 officers and jawans dead, after a note written in Urdu bearing the name of JeM’s Afzal Guru Squad (AGS) recovered from three slain terrorists, a senior official said on Wednesday. “We are working on these links. We are going into all details, and investigation has started (into the links of JeM with Nagrota terror attack after recovery of notes in Urdu)”, Director General Of Police (DGP) K Rajendra Kumar told PTI tonight. “Let us first complete the probe then we will able to say anything on it,” he added. According to reports, a note, along with three AK-47 rifles, magazines and UBGL grenades, was recovered from the site of attack, points to the involvement of JeM’s Afzal Guru Squad.The note, written in Urdu with name bearing at the end of AGS of JeM, says that they have avenged the death of Guru. The recovered explosives were being disposed off by controlled explosions.JeM have named a squad after Afzal Guru to target security forces in India last year. It was first exposed in November last year, when Indian Army repulsed a major fidayeen (suicidal) attack on its Gorkha Rifles (GR) camp near the Line of Control (LoC) in Tangdhar and recovered bags with Afzal Guru Squad markings.Guru’s name also cropped up in Pathankot when Rajesh Verma, who was abducted along with Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police told reporters that the militants had told him that they wanted to avenge the death of 2001 Parliament attack convict. The DGP further said that security agencies were probing if the group came from International Border (IB) and was part of a group of three militants killed at the border in Ramgarh sector in Samba yesterday.”We have visited Ramgarh in this direction,” Kumar said. Jammu was rocked by two terror attacks yesterday in which seven army personnel, including two Major-rank officers, were killed and eight other security-men, including a BSF DIG, were injured before six heavily-armed terrorists were killed in separate encounters.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi discharged from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who was on Tuesday admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital following viral fever, has been discharged. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress President Sonia Gandhi was discharged from a private hospital in Delhi on Wednesday, two days after she was admitted to the facility following viral fever.”Gandhi has recovered from fever and has been discharged in stable condition,” said Dr Arun Kumar Basu, senior consultant, Department of Chest and Pulmonology Medicine at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.69-year-old Gandhi was discharged around 11.30 AM.She was admitted to the hospital around 8 PM on November 28.Gandhi had been hospitalised for 12 days in August after she had fallen ill during a roadshow in Varanasi. She was operated upon for a shoulder injury also.

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