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JKLF chairman Yasin Malik detained before protest march in Pulwama

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JKLF chairman Yasin Malik was on Friday detained at Pulwama as he led his supporters to stage a protest march against Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to issue identity certificates to West Pakistani Refugees.Malik was detained along with several of his supporters.They were taken into preventive custody, a police official said.Separatists groups had called for protests on Friday against the government decision to issue identity certificates to West Pakistan Refugees living in the state since partition in 1947.The state government has decided to issue identity cards to the refugees and had to issue clarification after protests from opposition parties and separatists against the move. Initially, reports had said the opposition was against the government move to issue domicile certificates, but the state government said it was issuing identity certificates.Other political organisations, including BJP and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, have slammed separatists for opposing the issuance of certificates to the refugees.The refugees, settled in Jammu and Kashmir, are citizens of India and have the right to vote in parliamentary polls. However, they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. They do not enjoy voting rights to the state assembly and local bodies.

Jammu and Kashmir: Yasin Malik detained ahead of protest march

Srinagar: JKLF chairman Yasin Malik was on Friday detained at Pulwama as he led his supporters to stage a protest march against Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to issue identity certificates to West Pakistani Refugees.

Separatist Yasin Malik. AFP

Separatist Yasin Malik. AFP

Malik was detained along with several of his supporters. They were taken into preventive custody, a police official said.

Separatists groups had called for protests on Friday against the government decision to issue identity certificates to West Pakistan Refugees living in the state since partition in 1947.

The state government has decided to issue identity cards to the refugees and had to issue clarification after protests from opposition parties and separatists against the move.

Initially, reports had said the opposition was against the government move to issue domicile certificates, but the state government said it was issuing identity certificates.

Other political organisations, including BJP and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, have slammed separatists for opposing the issuance of certificates to the refugees.

The refugees, settled in Jammu and Kashmir, are citizens of India and have the right to vote in parliamentary polls.

However, they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. They do not enjoy voting rights to the state assembly and local bodies.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 18:50 IST

Controversial remark: NCP seeks EC intervention, demands action against Raosaheb Danve

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday urged the Election Commission to take cognizance of Maharashtra BJP chief Raosaheb Danve’s remark that ‘lakshmi’ comes a day before polls and said if proper action is not initiated on this matter then there will be no democracy left in the state.NCP leader Nawab Malik said Danve’s remark proves that the BJP has spent black money in the local bodies polls, adding the complaint filed against one of the BJP MLAs for demanding liquor from the Excise Department makes the matter more serious.”This is misuse of power. His remarks prove that there was distribution of liquor in the local bodies polls. We will meet the Election Commission in this matter and demand a probe into the matter. The Election Commission must take this matter seriously otherwise there will be no democracy left in the state,” Malik told ANI.Danve had last week said that the day before polling was an important one as ‘lakshmi’ comes home a day before the elections and one should accept it.”Do not refuse it and be determined to cast your vote,” he said while addressing a rally at Paithan in Aurangabad district on Saturday.The Maharashtra Election Commission later issued a showcause notice to him for his remark.

Rs 35 lakh in new notes seized from 2 Jaipur businessmen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two businessmen were caught here allegedly with Rs 35 lakh in new currency notes while they were exchanging old notes.Following a tip off, a team of Rajasthan police’s special operation group (SOG) nabbed Sunil Gupta and Priyanshu Gupta in Vidhyadhar nagar area and recovered around Rs 36 lakh last night.”Rs 35 lakh is in new currency notes of 2000 and remaining cash is in demonetized notes of Rs 100,” SP, SOG, Vikas Kumar said.They were allegedly getting the old notes exchanged on 25% commission, officials said.Income tax department has been informed and further probe is being carried out, Kumar said.Earlier, Deedwana police in Nagaur district of the state seized Rs 6.72 lakh of unaccounted cash from a person, including Rs 5.68 lakh in new Rs 2000 notes.Rest of the amount is in Rs 100 and Rs 50 denomination, police had said, adding they have detained Ajit Malik after he failed to give a satisfactory answer.On Tuesday, police had detained five persons with Rs 14 lakh new notes from the city outskirts in Bhankrota.Another Rs 4 lakh, including one lakh in new Rs 2000 denomination, was recovered from three persons near Taranagar of Churu district.

Jammu and Kashmir: MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid to file motion against cops for assaulting him

Srinagar: Alleging some policemen had assaulted him in Anantnag district last week, Jammu and Kashmir Independent legislator Sheikh Abdul Rashid on Thursday said he would move a privilege motion in the Assembly in this regard.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“There was an attack, a murderous assault, on me on 2 December by some police officials… It was not just a physical attack but it has also destroyed my ego and self-respect. I have decided to file a privilege motion in the Assembly against the attack,” Rashid told reporters in Srinagar.

The legislator, who represents north Kashmir’s Langate in the Assembly, said the incident took place when he was on way to Dooru area of Anantnag for offering condolences to the family of Sajad Ahmad Malik.

Police had claimed that Malik was a history-sheeter and had decamped with a rifle from a police station after which he fired towards an army patrol where he was killed in the exchange of firing.

However, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) has claimed that Malik was an ex-sarpanch belonging to the party and termed the killing as a “politically motivated custodial murder”.

Rashid said on the way to Dooru, he was stopped by police at Khanbal, Anantnag and told that he cannot go further.

“I was manhandled, my clothes were torn, they abused me, kicked me and hit me with gun barrels. They then took me in their vehicle to Bijbehara police station, where a senior police was apologetic about the attack,” he said, adding the Deputy Inspector General of Police concerned told him that the Station Head Officer and a sub-inspector have been placed under suspension.

The legislator said he has also approached Chief Judicial Magistrate, Anantnag for filing a case.

“We have approached the CJM, Anantnag. He took cognizance of the matter and received my application. He has fixed 24 December as the date of hearing in the matter,” he said.

He said his Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) would take out a peaceful march on the occasion of World Human Rights Day on 10 December in Srinagar.

First Published On : Dec 8, 2016 16:34 IST

India should plan offensive, adversary should ‘feel the pain’: Ex army chiefs

Tue, 6 Dec 2016-10:06pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India should plan offensive and covert operations to take target militant leaders and hit the Pakistani Army hard, two former Army chiefs said on Tuesday. Former Army chief Gen (retd) Bikram Singh was of the view that Indian should exploit the fault lines in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) so that the Pakistani Army is forced to concentrate internally and not externally. “We need to create asymmetric capabilities which includes doing covert operations and targeting militant leaders,” he said, adding the adversary should “feel the pain” and be put in an “embarrassing spot”.Speaking at Agenda Aaj Tak here, former Army chief Gen (retd) VP Malik said, “Till now we have been focusing on defensive operation. We now have to look at offensive operation.” He was of the view that an all-out war between India and Pakistan or India and China was “unlikely”. To have a better planning of security needs, military experts should be roped into the government and be made minister of state for Defence, Malik suggested.

Maharashtra Municipal council polls: BJP makes massive gain, breaches NCP- Congress strongholds

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Ruling BJP on Monday emerged as a major gainer in the first phase of municipal council polls in Maharashtra, winning 851 seats across 164 urban local bodies, making inroads into the traditional strongholds of Congress and NCP.Elections were held for 3,705 seats spread over the 147 municipal councils and 17 nagar panchayats, of which results have been announced for the 3,510 seats so far. Counting for rest of the seats was still on. Of the 147 municipal councils, where municipal chiefs were elected directly, BJP nominees won at 52 places, compared to the around half a dozen places, where that party held the civic chief’s posts in these bodies. BJP made inroads into the Congress and NCP strongholds, winning 851 seats. Shiv Sena won 514, NCP 638, Congress 643, MNS 16, BSP 9, unrecognised parties 119, local coalitions 384, CPM 12 and Independents 324 seats.In the last elections, BJP tally was 298, Sena 264, Congress 771 and NCP 916 As results started pouring in BJP’s favour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the victory as a “win for pro-poor and development politics of BJP.” In the polling held yesterday across 25 districts, around 70 per cent of the electorate had exercised their franchise. The elections, held against the backdrop of demonetisation, were seen as ‘mini’ Assembly polls and a test of popularity of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who led the BJP’s campaign to extend his party’s influence in the rural areas, where Congress and NCP has held sway for long.Taking note of BJP’s performance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded Fadnavis and Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve for the “grassroot level work”. “I laud BJP Karyakartas, CM @Dev_Fadnavis & @raosahebdanve. Their grassroot level work ensured people place their valued trust in BJP,” Modi said. “I thank people of Maharashtra for placing their faith in BJP in local body polls. This is a win for pro-poor & development politics of BJP,” the PM tweeted.Talking about the party’s performance, Fadnavis said, “We won due to the blessings of Chhatrapati Shivaji and the people of Maharashtra.” Hailing the mandate for the BJP, he said it shows that people are with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of transparency. In response to Modi’s tweet on the poll outcome, Fadnavis tweeted, “Thanks Sir! You inspired confidence in people that our Nation is transforming.Mandate shows Maharashtra is with your vision of transparency.” The CM added that he was satisfied that people were trusting him to solve problems and challenges facing the state. He thanked the BJP leaders and ministers for working unitedly. Reacting to the results, Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan conceded that his party need to work harder, whereas NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik alleged that BJP won due to money and the fact that it was in power. “We need to work harder and rework our strategy in the upcoming phases. BJP’s money power helped them win more seats. This is not the only reason for their success. We also need to work hard,” Chavan told reporters.In Parli municipal council in Beed district, Women and Child Development Minister Pankaja Munde of the BJP was outsmarted by her cousin and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde. The panel backed by Dhananjay, who is the Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council, won 27 of the total 33 seats in Parli.”I accept the people’s verdict. I will analyse what went wrong and what led people to give this verdict,” Pankaja said. State Revenue minister Chandrakant Patil said, “BJP is expected to bag 50 municipal council president posts, while in another 50 councils the party will increase its tally considerably.”Terming the party’s performance as “overwhelming”, he said five years ago BJP was negligible in these areas and the outcome showed that people have accepted the demonetisation decision. Responding to a query senior Congress leader Narayan Rane’s criticism that sycophancy and not merit was the priority for selection of party candidates, Chavan said it was Rane’s personal view. “Rane is a member of the state parliamentary board, which selects candidates. If he says posts are sold, he is making a grave allegation and must substantiate it. I will take action,” the former Chief Minister added.The comments made by senior party leaders from Ahmednagar district Balasaheb Thorat and Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil blaming each other for the results were also unwarranted, Chavan said adding, “Making such allegations and counter-allegations publicly was wrong.” As to Rane’s demand that Congress and NCP should fight the polls in alliance, Chavan said the decision on alliance was left to district units and Rane was part of this decision made at the state level. If this decision has to be reconsidered it will be discussed at the party level, he said.NCP leader Nawab Malik said, “BJP won due to money and the fact that it was in power. However, it will bear the brunt of demonetisation in the next phase.” “BJP leaders Raosaheb Danve, Pankaja Munde and Babanrao Lonikar could not get their candidates elected,” Malik pointed out.In all, 212 civic bodies, comprising municipal councils and nagar panchayats, are going to polls in four phases. The next rounds of voting are scheduled on December 14, December 18, and January 8.

Kashmir: Curfew imposed in parts of Srinagar ahead of separatists’ protest march

Kashmir: Curfew imposed in parts of Srinagar ahead of separatists’ protest march

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Srinagar: Authorities on Friday imposed curfew in parts of Srinagar to prevent a protest march called by the separatists, officials said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Curfew has been imposed in seven areas to maintain law and order,” the police said.

Separatists have called for the march to the Jamia Mosque in the city’s Nowhatta area.

Congregational Friday prayers have not been allowed inside the mosque.

Separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has been kept under house arrest while Muhammad Yasin Malik was arrested and shifted to the Srinagar central jail on Thursday.

Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain under house arrest.

Meanwhile, the ongoing unrest has entered the fifth month after it started in Srinagar on 9 July.

Ninety-five people have been killed and over 12,000 injured during the ongoing violence in the valley.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Updates on govt’s war on black money, Modi’s Japan visit; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. War on black money: Jewellers asked to surrender CCTV footage to govtI-T sleuths will look for customer movement in shops since 8 pm on Tuesday. Read more. 2. PM’s Japan visit: Modi meets Emperor Akihito; to meet Shinzo Abe later todayIndia and Japan will ink about 12 pacts and possibly sign a crucial civil nuclear deal on Friday. Read more.3. Blast rocks German consulate in Afghan city; 2 dead, several wounded​The bombing was claimed by the Taliban in retaliation for NATO air strikes last week​. Read more.4. Rio medallist Sakshi Malik’s noble future plans will only increase your respect for herSakshi Malik talks about changes in life after Rio bronze, Pro Wrestling League (PWL), future plans and impending marriage. Read more.5. Playing an Indian girl is what drew me to the part: Deepika Padukone​Playing an Indian girl is what drew me to the part: Deepika Padukone​. Read more.

Kashmir unrest: Separatists in huddle over ‘future strategy’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the unrest in the Valley entering its 123rd day on Tuesday, the separatists held a meeting here with traders and other organisations to chalk out the future course of action. Hurriyat faction chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik and Hurriyat faction head Syed Ali Geelani were present in the meeting in which all the forums including educationists, transporters, civil society members, religious, social and political organizations, bar association were called.According to reports, various issues regarding the ongoing uprising and other issues like education and conduct of examination came up during talks.The meeting comes after the government allowed the trio to meet on Sunday for the first time in the past four months since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8th, which threw the entire Valley into turmoil. On November 2nd, authorities did not allow a similar meeting of separatists, by barring their entry into the residence of Geelani.

Kashmir school fire: Jammu & Kashmir govt sees separatist hand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid increasing incidents of burning of schools, the state government on Monday pointed accusing fingers at separatists, saying they had started the “era of destruction” in Kashmir but were now trying to find an escape route. Education Minister Naeem Akhtar also ruled out any probe into these incidents, saying, “One does not have to research for the source of this huge conspiracy against the hapless people of Kashmir.”In a statement, he said, “burning of schools is one of the ploys to keep the fire burning (in Kashmir)… It is the same people who are promoting looting of banks, torching of shops and vehicles, stoning innocents, intimidation of citizens, who are responsible for burning the educational institutes.”Over the last few months, around 25 schools have been burnt down mysteriously across the Kashmir valley. Asserting that “no inquiry is needed to find out who is behind all this”, the minister said, “It is those people who have created this tirade against education, because they see it as a threat to their vested interests.” Akhtar said the separatists had mounted a tiger and are now trying hard to keep the conflict going.Targeting Yasin Malik, the minister said in the initial phase, the JKLF chief and others were “at the forefront of driving the shutdowns but now they have distanced themselves and thrown the ball solely in the court of (hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman) Syed Ali Shah Geelani.”Defending his decision to hold Board examinations as per schedule, the Education Minister said the government is not trying to invent or impose anything new in the academic arena of the state.”We are only trying to safeguard the career of lakhs of students, whereas separatists, with their shutdown calls, are trying to destroy their academic career,” said Akhtar, who is also government spokesman.Referring to the Malik’s statement that the burning of schools in Kashmir was a conspiracy to defame the separatist leaders, Akhtar said, “those saying that government decision to hold exams has forced students to torch the educational institutes should go for a self-introspection”.The Education Minister appealed to people from all schools of thought to keep the education conflict-neutral. “Just see Palestine or the recent happenings in Aleppo, Syria. Their schools are never shut even if there are bombings, killings and full-fledged war. They know that education is the key and in no way they can stop education. Compared to that, Kashmir is a peaceful region, except for the insecurity caused by the hartal politics being promoted through stone-pelting and intimidation,” Akhtar said.”In Kashmir too, we faced unfortunate deaths for which all of us are heartbroken and pained, but for saving the future generation, education has to go on,” he said.Taking on Yasin Malik, Akhtar said, “It is the examination time for leaders like Mohammad Yasin Malik who is now facing questions from the people over the way they are pushing Kashmiris into perpetual economic and academic disempowerment.” He also asked him to clarify whether he is with militancy or non-violence.”Malik is famous for saying that he was inspired by (Mahatma) Gandhiji when he announced ceasefire and abandoned his path to martyrdom whereas he is promoting others to do so and continues to glorify violence. Now I want to ask him whether he stands with violence or Gandhi Ji’s principles of non-violence. Has he again changed his thoughts,” Akhtar asked.Congress wants sternest punishmentCondemning the burning down of schools in Kashmir, state Congress chief G A Mir on Monday said it is an attack on the future of children and the culprits must be identified for sternest punishment.”We express disappointment over the incidents of burning down of school buildings in various parts of the valley and strongly condemn these unlawful activities, which are being performed to destroy the career of our children,” Mir said.The former Tourism Minister said it the inefficiency and incompetence of the State, which is not able to protect the infrastructure in the valley and secure the future of children from being getting ruined. He said the burning down of schools is an attack on the future of our children and the culprits must be identified sternest punishment.”The attack on schools is a ploy to damage the education system. The government must come out of the deep slumber and stop such unlawful activities,” he said.Describing burning down of schools as one of the greatest tragedies, the Congress unit chief said the government must rise to the occasion to protect education institutions, as such type of unfortunate incidents reflect the utter failure of the state government.

Situation in Kashmir wasn’t surprising: Mohammad Yasin Malik

Mon, 31 Oct 2016-12:03am , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, who was released after four-months of detention on Saturday, claimed on Sunday the ongoing agitation in Kashmir was “indigenous” and “spontaneous” and would continue till people support it. “The situation in Kashmir after the killing of (Hizbul Mujahideen commander) Burhan Wani was a spontaneous reaction. It surprised India and the world but there was nothing surprising in it,” he told reporters here.”People of Kashmir had opted for peaceful means for resolution of the Kashmir issue during similar agitation in 2008, 2009 and 2010. But the military response of the government forced the likes of Burhan Wani to take up arms,” he said. “Burhan Wani and his associates never went to Pakistan but still joined militancy after they realised that the peaceful means for resolution of the Kashmir issue was being crushed by the government,” Malik said.He claimed the burning of schools in Kashmir was a conspiracy to defame separatist leaders.

Kashmir logjam: Yashwant Singh, 5 others in Srinagar to meet separatist leaders Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

New Delhi/Srinagar: Senior BJP leader and former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha is leading a five-member team to Srinagar for talks with separatist leaders in a fresh bid to break a logjam after more than three months of deadly unrest in the Kashmir Valley.

The team includes former bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah, who has served in Jammu and Kashmir, ex-Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak, journalist Bharat Bhushan and activist Sushobha Barve. Reports said it is an independent outreach programme and that the team is expected to meet separatists.

Sinha confirmed to IANS that he and other “people of goodwill” will try to “meet all” during their visit to the Valley that began on Tuesday. “We came here for humanity. Our motto is to share the grievances and pain (of Kashmiri people),” Sinha said.

He said they have requested many people for a meeting but didn’t divulge more details.

However, informed sources told IANS that the delegation during their three-day stay in Srinagar would meet representatives of the two factions of the separatist Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

Former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha. PTI

Former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha. PTI

Before meeting Geelani, Sinha told PTI that they had not come as a delegation. “We are few people of goodwill who have come here on the basis of humanity. The aim is to share the pain and sufferings of the people. If we can do that, we will consider ourselves as fortunate,” he said.

Asked if the team will be meeting other separatist leaders like Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, Sinha said they are trying to meet everyone.

In response to a question about timing of the visit, the former Finance Minister said, “That is an eternal question why did you not do it before. We are doing it at a time which is quite appropriate.”

Asked if they had been invited by the separatists, Sinha said, “We do not have an invitation (from Geelani). We had requested (for a meeting) and we are going to see him.”

The delegation is also scheduled to call upon moderate Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.

Mirwaiz was released from Chesma-Shahi sub-jail late last night where he was lodged on 27 August. Geelani, Mirwaiz and JKLF chief Yasin Malik have been jointly issuing weekly protest programmes ever since the unrest started in the Valley. According to ANI

They are also expected to meet Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Yaseen Malik, who has been moved from jail to a Srinagar hospital after his health deteriorated. And after two months of detention at a guest-house-turned-jail in Srinagar, the Mirwaiz is now under house arrest at his upscale Nigeen residence.

The fresh bid to break ice between separatist groups and the government comes after 108 days of unrest and shutdown that have disrupted normal life in the Kashmir Valley since the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.

At least 92 persons were killed and over 12,000 injured in clashes between protesters and security forces. Police have arrested over 7,000 suspected ring leaders of stone throwers. Some have been let off. The Sinha-led delegation is also expected to meet civil society and trade groups including the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) and the Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies (KCSDS).

They will call on Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Governor NN Vohra.

BJP harbouring criminals, Dawood henchman part of polls: NCP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>NCP on Friday claimed that an accomplice of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim was part of BJP’s campaign for general and Assembly elections.”He (Riyaz Bhati) was actively involved with BJP during recent Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls. He is also a member of BJP working committee,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik told reporters at a press conference.Malik claimed that Bhati had charges of land grabbing and extortion pending against him. “After our expose, BJP is saying that they will slap a case against us. We accept their challenge and are ready to fight legal battle,” he said referring to release of photographs purportedly showing Bhati with some BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and others, by NCP yesterday.BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari had yesterday threatened to file a defamation suit against Malik, saying BJP has nothing to do with Bhati. Malik said he wanted to know on whose direction Bhati was provided security by police. “We have been asking a question since yesterday as to on whose direction police security has been provided to the gangster (Bhati) since December 2014?””He was roaming the entire world with a fake passport under the name of Fulji Bhati. He was arrested at Sahar airport (Mumbai airport) on the basis of a red-corner notice, following an IB alert that Fulji Bhati is actually Riaz Bhati,” Malik claimed. The NCP leader said Bhati got bail within 15 days of his arrest.”Why sections of MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act) were not slapped on him (Bhati). Why no chargesheet has been filed even after 365 days. So, at some level he has political blessings of BJP government,” Malik said, adding that they will file a writ petition if Bhati is not booked under MCOCA.Malik yesterday alleged that ruling BJP had admitted people with criminal background into its fold including Bhati, and sought clarification from Fadnavis, who heads Home portfolio. He had claimed that Bhati was arrested by the ATS last year, but was admitted to the BJP and made executive committee member of the Mumbai BJP. Replying to NCP’s allegations, the BJP spokesperson Bhandari yesterday said: “Mumbai unit of BJP has not announced its executive committee, so there is no question of Bhati being a member. Bhati was voter in the MCA election and has been included in a special MCA committee.”

Stepmother targeting Akhilesh Yadav with black magic, says SP MLC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Udayveer Singh, who is said to be close to UP CM Akhilesh Yadav has accused Mulayam Singh’s second wife Sadhna of having ill will against her stepson Akhilesh Yadav and targeting him, reports IANS. He also said that black magic was used to harm him.He also said that Sadhna and Shivpal Yadav were in cahoots to bring down Akhilesh. He added that Yadav was jealous of CM’s popularity.The first-time MLC also said that Mulayam Singh should step down and let Akhilesh take charge. Singh wrote all this in a private letter addressed to Mulayam Singh, but it was leaked.Udayveer Singh said that he was expressing his views which he believed many in the party also agreed with it.SP leader Ashu Malik said that Singh’s letter was not “even worth 500 votes” and that “any attempt to humiliate Netaji (Mulayam Singh) will not be tolerated.”

Surgical Strikes: Attack on terror launch pads conducted on Mulayam Yadav’s advice, SP hoarding claims

“Mulayam Singh’s opinion counts, he has been a former home minister and is considered as a senior person in the Indian politics,” said Shamsher Malik, the district president of Samajwadi Yugjan Sabha. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Samajwadi party on Sunday justified the posters crediting party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav for the surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) and said that it was the former, who advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to target Pakistan.Shamsher Malik, the district president of Samajwadi Yugjan Sabha, said they are not playing any politics over the sacrifices and valour of the soldiers as the posters were displayed to congratulate the jawans and Mulayam Singh Yadav.”The poster credits Samajwadi Party supremo Mulyam Singh for the surgical strikes because Mulayam Singh did call Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked him to conduct the surgical strikes while stating that the Samajwadi Party is with them in this step,” said Malik.”Mulayam Singh’s opinion counts, he has been a former home minister and is considered as a senior person in the Indian politics,” he added.The Samajwadi Party put up hoardings in Muzaffarnagar claiming that Prime Minister Modi ordered the surgical strike only after consulting Mulayam Singh Yadav.In the hoardings put up at Novelty Chowk in the city, the pictures of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Malik can be seen.

Fear grips Uri residents amid high alert

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fear has gripped the people living in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir after Indian army carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir on Wednesday night.Jammu and Kashmir has put the administration in border districts on high alert to meet any exigency in case Pakistan resorts to any misadventure.”We have been alert for so many days now. We have chalked out a plan which we can implement at any point of time,” Mohammad Harun Malik, district development commissioner of Poonch, told dna.The administration has identified several safe places including schools and government buildings where they can lodge displaced people in case of evacuation.”We did not want to create any panic at this point of time. People are well aware of the situation. There was firing in Sabzian last night too,” said MalikPoonch area often witnesses shelling and firing from across the LoC. In fact, Pakistani forces breached the Line of Control few years ago and beheaded Lance Naik Hemraj and mutilated the body of another army soldier. The head of the soldier was later taken away by fleeing Pakistani soldier.Pakistan has been violating the border ceasefire at will for the last few years. Several villagers have been killed and property worth crores destroyed in the shelling.Inside a well laid room Abdul Rashid, 68, is frantically flipping television news channels. Everytime news about border escalation flashes on the screeen, Rashid rubs his hands in panic. Flashback of 1998 cross LoC shelling plays in his mind. Rashid’s two houses were raised to ground and his family had a narrow escape.”How can I forget that fateful day. It was Friday I had gone for Namaz when someone told me shells have landed in the village. And one of the shells hit my home,” Rashid, a retired government employee told dna.Cut to September 2016, Rashid’s worries have magnified. Neither are there any underground bunkers nor are any safety valves.”The bunkers have been damaged in 2005 earthquake. People have constructed new houses. Families have grown manifold. If shelling resumes this village is bound to suffer given the fact that we are in direct firing range of across the LoC,” he said.Like other border areas Uri has suffered in silence before 2003 ceasefire when guns were ogling fire from both sides of Line of Control. Hundreds of people have died umpteen suffered permanently disabilities. Hundreds of houses were damaged and property worth crores destroyed.”No one can feel the pain than us. We know the effects of war because we are the sufferers. How can a person living in cozy air condition rooms know what war is? War is devastating. We have suffered its effects”, said Jameel Ahmad, a shopkeeper of Uri.

Jigisha murder: Two get noose, one escapes with life term

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Savita Ghosh heaved a sigh of relief when the judge pronounced death sentence to two of her daughter Jigisha’s killers and life to one. Her husband JN Ghosh, who has been living listlessly for the past seven years, finally lifted his head and looked up when the judgment was announced. Grateful, the parents left courtroom number 306 in South Delhi’s Saket district court with tears in their eyes.”I have been waiting for this day for the past seven years. The quest for justice has kept us alive all these years,” said Savita. “I know vengeance is wrong and my daughter will never return, but at least my heart got some solace knowing that her killers got the death penalty,” she added.On July 14, a Delhi sessions court convicted Amit Shukla, Ravi Kapoor and Baljeet Malik of kidnapping and killing IT executive Jigisha Ghosh. “No escape from the conclusion that the crime was committed by the accused persons,” additional sessions judge (ASJ) Sandeep Yadav had announced in the open court.All three have been held guilty under sections 364/302/201/394/468/469/471/34b of the Indian Penal Code. Kapoor was further convicted under the relevant sections of the Arms Act.On Monday, the court gave the death penalty to Ravi Kapoor and Amit Shukla, and life sentence to Baljeet.”Offence in the present case was committed in cold-blooded, inhuman and cruel manner,” the court said. “Convicts were satisfied only by brutally mauling her to death. In other words, convicts behaved in uncivilised and barbaric manner against a helpless girl,” he added. “The magnitude and brutality exhibited by convicts while committing the crime brings this case within the category of rarest of the rare case,” the court said.”This is a landmark judgment because for the first time death penalty was given in a case riddled and built around circumstantial evidence,” said HGS Dhaliwal, former deputy commissioner of police (South).This trial sets a precedent because for the first time, a sessions judge ordered a probation officer (PO) to prepare a pre-sentencing report (PSR), as mandated by the Delhi High Court, before he could award the convicts any punishment.A suitable punishment was then awarded based on the observations made by the PO in this report. According to the PO, claims of Kapoor and Shukla were “unsatisfactory” for various reasons. Both had multiple criminal charges against them, including convictions, and were involved in various violations within jail. Also, the duo can’t be reformed or rehabilitated and would “continue to remain a threat to the society”.The judge spared Malik of noose since the PO observed that he could be reformed. “If released, Malik planned to become a gym trainer to support his family,” the PO noted.All three convicts were imposed a fine of Rs 9 lakh under various sections of which Rs 6 lakh will go to Jigisha’s parents as compensation.Jigisha, an operations manager with Hewitt Associate Pvt Ltd, was kidnapped on March 18, 2009 after her office cab dropped her near her home in south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar, around 4 a.m. Her dead body was found two days later in Surajkund, almost 18 kms away. Jigisha was robbed of her valuables, including ATM card, gold jewellery, and money.A week later, her killers were caught after a constable recognised Baljeet from the Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) at an ATM in South Delhi. Upon sustained interrogation, it was revealed that all three accused had also murdered television executive Soumya Vishwanathan.

Yasin Malik detained ahead of seminar by separatists

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was detained hours after his release on court orders even as Jammu and Kashmir government allowed the separatist Hurriyat Conference to hold a seminar for opposing construction of Sainik colony for Kashmiri Pandits and soldiers in the Valley.Malik, who was released on bail on Saturday after a week-long detention in a case related to 1987 elections, was picked up by police late on Saturday night from his Maisuma residence and lodged at Kothibagh police station, police said on Sunday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The detention of Malik, who has been at the forefront of fresh efforts at unity among separatists, came hours ahead of a joint seminar by separatist outfits at the residence of hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani.The separatist groups had last week decided to launch an awareness campaign against the setting up of separate townships for Kashmiri Pandits and constructing Sainik colonies in the valley. The seminar at Geelani’s residence is part of the joint strategy adopted by the separatist groups. They are planning to hold a silent sit-in on June 15 against any government move to set up the township for Kashmiri Pandits or retired military personnel of the state.The separatist groups have alleged that these townships and colonies are being constructed to settle people from other parts of India in Kashmir to change the demography of the Valley.The PDP-BJP government in the state has made it clear that there would be no separate townships for Kashmiri Pandits but transit accommodation will be provided to them till the security situation improves allowing them to return to their native places. It has also ruled out setting up any Sainik colony in Kashmir in view of “scarcity of land”.

Sainik Colony row: Mufti does U-turn; releases separatists Geelani, Farooq from house arrest

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has retracted her decision to put separatists leaders, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, under house arrest to prevent them from holding a protest rally against the proposal to set up a Sainik Colony in Kashmir.

Mehbooba, according to ANI report, has decided to go soft on the separatist leaders and has given a nod to their release.

The issue had been a soft spot for the Mufti government ever since she assumed power after the demise of her father and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. The row started when reports surfaced that the government is planning to allot land for setting up shelters for the Kashmiri Pandits and army personnel in the state.

The Mufti government had however, tried to dismiss it as a “demand made by the state subjects” which is still under review. She also clarified that the colony has nothing to do with ‘non-state subjects’. Taking on the opposition for blowing the issue out of proportion, Mufti had said that gossip mongrels were using a non-issue to “disrupt peace in the valley.”

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mebooba Mufti. AFP

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mebooba Mufti. AFP

However, the proposal for the colony did not specify whether non-state subjects could be allocated the space or not, drawing Mufti government much flak from the Opposition and the separatist leaders, reports said.

Following this, in an unprecedented move, both the factions of separatist groups,  Hurriyat conference and the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) had decided to come together against the government’s decision allocate land for separate colonies for Army personnel and Kashmiri Pundits in the valley.

The hard-line separatist leader Geelani and JKLF leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq met and agreed that it was a do or die situation for Kashmiris and freedom fighter, according to an India Today report.

The two groups decided to come together to launch a campaign against the establishment of Sainik Colony in the valley. Following this, the government had ordered a house arrest for the two senior leaders to preserve the law and order situation in the valley, and arrested the JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik— which it later backed away from.

Earlier on 25 May, the Jammu and Kashmir government had ordered the arrest of Malik on the eve of another such protest rally planned in the state.

The separatists have condemned any efforts to establish pockets of kashmiri Pandit and army settlements, stating it is an attempt “to change Kashmir’s demography”. The Hurriyat spokesperson had alleged that the new communal government will use its entire force and machinery to dilute Kashmir’s demography to suit its own agenda, according to a India Today report.

The Mufti government has however categorically denied allegations of giving a go-ahead to Sainik Colony, according to The Indian Express report.

The Opposition has raked up the issue in the Assembly several times, staging protests and walk-out from the House. The National conference leader, Omar Abdullah‘s series of tweets have angered the chief minister much.

Sainik colony row: Separatists leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq briefly detained ahead of meet

Separatists leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were briefly put under house arrest on Sunday ahead of their meeting on the Sainik colony issue. They were later released. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik is still detained, ANI reported.According to reports, both factions of the Hurriyat Conference and the JKLF are launching a joint effort against the state government’s decision to set up separate colonies for Sainiks and Kashmiri Pandits in the valley.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Post the 2008 Amarnath land row, this is reportedly the first time in eight years the separatists are assembling at one platform. Though the Jammu and Kashmir Government has reiterated that it has no plans to set-up a Sainik colony in the Valley, the controversy was raked up after reports that the government is planning to set up shelters for “floating population” and implement a new industrial policy that allows a non-state subject to get land on lease anywhere in Kashmir for 90 years.

Jammu and Kashmir: JKLF chief Yasin Malik released on bail

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was released on bail on Saturday in a 29-year-old case. He was arrested here last week. Malik was presented before the special judge, TADA court who granted him bail, a JKLF spokesman said. After being granted bail, Malik went to his residence in Maisuma, he added. Malik was arrested by police on May 25 from his office in Abi Guzar area of the city, the spokesman said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The JKLF chairman was sent to Srinagar Central Jail on May 28. Subsequently, he was granted bail and released on June 3. However, on the same night, police arrested him again in connection with a case registered in 1987, the spokesman added.

NCP demands removal of Eknath Khadse over MIDC land deal

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Wednesday intensified its attack on Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse, alleging there was “black money” involved in the purchase of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) land near Pune.”The way MIDC’s land worth Rs. 23 crores was bought for just Rs. 3 crores, the black money was used in it and it clearly indicates that there is a case of conflict of interest,” NCP leader Nawab Malik said. “There are serious allegations against Khadse, including his conversation with Dawood Ibrahim (Mumbai underworld fugitive) from Karachi,” he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Malik said when there are grave allegations against Khadse, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should remove him from his post. “But the BJP and Chief Minister Fadnavis and several others are trying to defend the Revenue Minister at a time when there are several cases registered against him,” he added.
ALSO READ BJP rushes to beleaguered Eknath Khadse’s defenceThe NCP leader’s reactions came after there were media reports that Chief Minister Fadnavis had summoned the Revenue Minister. A delegation of Congress ministers also met the Maharashtra Governor and demanded Khadse’s resignation over the land deal and his involvement in calls made to gangster Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistan.However, Khadse had denied changing reservation of the MIDC plot at Bhosar​i, as acquisition process was in progress. The Aam Aadmi Party had recently demanded Khadse’s ouster, alleging that calls were made from Dawood’s residence in Karachi to his mobile phone, a charge the minister rubbished as “baseless” saying the phone number was not in use for last one year.

Jat quota stir: Sedition case filed against agitation chief for allegedly instigating violence

Jind, Haryana: A sedition case was registered against Jat Sangharsh Samiti chief Yashpal Malik and 125 others on Friday for allegedly threatening peace and communal harmony in Haryana by instigating people to launch a fresh quota agitation.

Malik had organised a meeting at a local Jat Dharamshala on Wednesday where he announced another agitation on 5 June demanding reservation for Jats, withdrawal of cases registered during the previous protests and compensation to those killed during the agitation in February.

Haryana was on the boil in February this year when members of Jat community held protests and indulged in arson seeking reservation in government jobs.

File photo of the Jat agitation. PTI

File photo of the Jat agitation. PTI

Thirty people were killed in the violence and there was extensive damage to property during the stir whose epicentre was Rohtak district.

“A case has been registered against Yashpal Malik and 125 others for instigating people for agitation that can disturb peace and harm communal harmony in the state,” police said.

The case has been registered under Section 124 A (sedition), 153 A (1) and 153 (b) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race etc) of the IPC.

Malik had threatened to stage protests in other states as well, police said.

The Jat leader and his followers used language which could potentially instigate people to launch violent agitation against Haryana government and create law and order problem in the state, they said

Police said they have launched an investigation in the case, adding they are likely to arrest the persons involved.

Jammu and Kashmir separatists call for shutdown on Thursday

Even as authorities ruled out exclusive colonies for Kashmiri Pandits or Sainik colonies in the Valley, the issues brought the divided separatist camp together with chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF calling for a shutdown on Thursday to counter “plans to change the demography” of Jammu and Kashmir.Chairman of moderate Hurriyat Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF Chief Mohammad Yasin Malik called on hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani at his Hyderpora residence this evening and held a closed door meeting for about one-and-a- half hours in which they decided to call for the general strike on May 26, a statement issued by hardline Hurriyat said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The leaders held a detailed discussion over the serious situation prevailing in the Jammu and Kashmir and deliberated upon the future course of action in this regard,” the statement said.The leaders also called for a peaceful protest after the Friday prayers against the “proposed plans of creation of the separate clusters for the Pandits, establishment of Sainik colonies, harassment of the Jammu Muslims, new anti-Kashmir industrial policy and the attempts of demographic changes in Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.Appealing for people’s support to make the proposed shutdown call a success, they said, “It is our collective fight for our collective existence and every citizen should play his part in this regard.”

Bihar road rage: Rocky Yadav ‘confesses’ to shooting Aditya Sachdeva

In a sensational development MLC Manorama Devi’s son Rocky Yadav has confessed that he shot a teenager for overtaking his SUV in Gaya last week, according to police sources.Sources also states that Rocky’s gun license will be suspended soon and added that he procured a gun in 2013 stating that it was to protect himself from Naxals.According to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report, the youth was shot by the bullet from Rocky’s gun.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, Rocky had earlier claimed that he had never fired any shots, nor had he gone into hiding.
ALSO READ Bihar road rage: How did Rocky get gun license without verification, Tejasvi Yadav asks Centre(MLC Manorama Devi’s son Rocky Yadav)When asked the police have said that he has confessed to the crime, Rocky said, “Just because someone says it does not make it true and it is also false that I was in hiding as I was in Delhi. My mother called me to come here and then I surrendered before the police.”
ALSO READ Bihar road rage: Slain Aditya’s parents question Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s silenceAsserting that he would disclose his side of the story in court, Rocky reiterated that he never fired any shots at the youth, which comes as a contradiction to the statement by Gaya Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Garima Malik, who claimed that the JD(U) leader’s son had admitted to committing the crime.”In his statement, Rocky Yadav admitted committing the crime. I assure you that we will soon arrest others involved in the case. The investigation will reveal about his whereabouts and these things would be addressed later on,” Malik told the media.
ALSO READ Bihar road rage: Slain Aditya’s parents question Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s silenceEarlier, state Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav has asserted that Rocky had procured a gun license without verification, clearly through the influence of someone powerful within the government.Rocky Yadav was arrested on Tuesday morning from his father’s farm in Bodh Gaya, while the Excise Department on Wednesday sealed the house of Manorama Devi.A local court on Wednesday remanded Rocky Yadav, who allegedly shot dead a student for overtaking his vehicle in Bihar, to two-day police custody.The court had earlier sent Rocky to 14 days’ judicial custody.Rakesh Ranjan Yadav alias Rocky is accused of killing Class XII student Aditya Sachdeva after an argument with the youth for overtaking his vehicle on Saturday night.

VVIP chopper scam: Congress activists burn Amit Shah’s effigy

Enraged by the BJP president Amit Shah targeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi over the VVIP chopper scam, women activists organised a protest on Friday and set his effigy on fire.The activists were led by Bhopal district unit president and corporator Raisa Malik and former spokesman of state Congress unit, Arif Masood among others. They raised slogans against the BJP president and set his effigy ablaze at Charbatti Square in Budhwara area.Shah had yesterday attacked Gandhi and asked to name the bribe-takers in the Rs 3600 crore AgustaWestland chopper deal.

JKLF chairman Yasin Malik detained ahead of founder’s funeral in absentia

Police on Wednesday detained JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik hours ahead of the funeral prayers in absentia for party founder Amanullah Khan, who died in Pakistan yesterday.”Ahead of Gayibana Nimaz-i-Jinaza (funeral prayers in absentia) for JKLF supreme leader Amanullah Khan, Malik was arrested by police,” a spokesman of the JKLF said in a statement.The spokesman claimed that authorities have imposed “curfew” in Lal Chowk, Maisuma, Kokerbazar, Kothibagh, Abi Guzar, court road and other adjoining areas.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amanullah Khan, one of the founders of pro-Independence JKLF, died in Rawalipindi, Pakistan, on Tuesday.

Police detain Yasin Malik, impose restrictions ahead of JKLF founder’s funeral

Srinagar: Police on Wednesday detained Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front(JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik hours ahead of the funeral prayers in absentia for party founder Amanullah Khan, who died in Pakistan on Tuesday.

“Ahead of Gayibana Nimaz-i-Jinaza (funeral prayers in absentia) for JKLF supreme leader Amanullah Khan, Malik was arrested by police,” a spokesman of the JKLF said in a statement.

The spokesman claimed that authorities have imposed “curfew” in Lal Chowk, Maisuma, Kokerbazar, Kothibagh, Abi Guzar, court road and other adjoining areas.

File photo of JKLF leader Yasin Malik. ReutersFile photo of JKLF leader Yasin Malik. Reuters

File photo of JKLF leader Yasin Malik. Reuters

Amanullah Khan, one of the founders of pro-Independence JKLF, died in Rawalipindi, Pakistan, on Tuesday.

Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has also been put under house arrest.

“Mirwaiz was put under house arrest this morning.He was scheduled to head the Hurriyat’s condolence meeting and join the funeral prayers at Lal Chowk, but a heavy contingent of police arrived at his Nigeen residence this morning and put him under house arrest,” a Hurriyat spokesman said.

Meanwhile, authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions in parts of Srinagar ahead of the proposed funeral prayers for Amanullah Khan.

Restriction were imposed in the city centre Lal Chowk, Maisuma and adjoining areas to prevent JKLF from holding the funeral prayers, officials said.

They said heavy contingent of police and paramilitary CRPF has been deployed in these areas of the city.

“All shops and business establishments in Lal Chowk, the commercial hub, are closed and traffic is being diverted to other routes,” the officials said.

While Latur faces water crisis, 10,000 litre water used for BJP minister Eknath Khadse’s helipad

At a time when several parts of Maharashtra are facing severe water crisis, thousands of litres of water were used for a make-shift helipad at a village, close to the airport, where Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse landed for reviewing drought situation in Latur district.Local officials used 10,000 litres water for the helipad at Belkund village where the minister paid a visit to review the drought and water scarcity relief measures on Friday. Incidentally, Belkund is just around 40 km from Latur.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When asked about this “wastage” when Latur is being supplied water through rail wagons, Khadse, a senior BJP leader, said he wasn’t aware of the issue. Opposition NCP termed the use of water as “arrogance” of power” by the BJP-led government.NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik told PTI the incident shows the government is “non-serious” on drought and has become “arrogant” due to power.”The minister could have landed at Latur where there is a proper airport and then driven to the village in a few minutes. But Khadse wanted to insult people in the drought- affected area who are struggling for a single drop of water,” he said.Latur is one of the worst-affected districts in Marathwada region and of late two special trains carrying water were rushed to the parched city to tide over the crisis.”Allegations of Opposition on this issue are baseless. Water at Latur helipad used was very little, as required for safety measure to control the dust and for safe landing of chopper.”Since last fifteen days I took the initiatives and Railway and the state government machinery have been working day and night for water supply to Latur. It’s unfortunate that instead of appreciation, Opposition is making baseless allegations,” the minister said.

To meet Jat deadline, Haryana Cabinet clears quota bill

Aiming to meet the April 3 deadline set by Jats, the Haryana Cabinet on Monday passed a Bill to provide reservation to the community in government jobs and education, paving the way for tabling of the proposed legislation in the Assembly before March 31.The draft Bill on reservation to Jats and four other castes — Jat Sikhs, Rors, Bishnois and Tyagis — was cleared at a Cabinet meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar here, official sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bill, which proposes reservation for Jats and four other castes by creating a new classification in the Backward Classes category, is likely to be tabled in the ongoing Budget session of the state Assembly, which is scheduled to end on March 31, the sources said. The government plans to provide 10% reservation in educational institutions and Class-III and IV government jobs for these communities, they said.It has proposed 6% reservation for Jats and the four other castes in Class-I and Class-II jobs, sources said. Apart from giving reservation to Jats, Haryana government has also proposed to bring a separate Bill for the setting up of a permanent Haryana Backward Classes Commission, they said.This was the first step in meeting the demands of Jats who carried out violent protests in Haryana last month and have threatened to resume the stir if the quota law is not made by April 3. Jats had threatened to relaunch their agitation on March 18 but put it off till April 3 after the BJP government assured them that it would bring the Bill in the ongoing Budget session. Jat leaders have been demanding reservation in the existing Backward Classes (BC) category.The BC quota is bifurcated into two — BC-A and BC-B — having 16 and 11 per cent reservation, respectively. Jats had last month launched a stir demanding reservation in BC category. The agitation, which had taken a violent turn, left 30 people dead and 320 persons injured and resulted in huge damage to property. Jat leaders have told the government that in case the reservation breaches the overall 50 per cent ceiling, then the government should include the proposed legislation in the ninth Schedule of the Constitution to save it from judicial review. “We want that whatever Bill is tabled should be legally tenable,” All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti President Yashpal Malik had said.The decision that no protest would be held till April 3 if the reservation Bill is passed in the ongoing session was announced by Malik here after talks with Haryana Chief Secretary DS Dhesi and DGP Yashpal Singhal on March 18.

Pakistan set India 119 to win at World T20 | Reuters

KOLKATA Pakistan overcame a sluggish start to post a competitive 118-5 against India in a rain-hit World Twenty20 Super 10 match at Eden Gardens on Saturday.

Put into bat after rain and a wet outfield had reduced the Group Two contest to an 18-overs-a-side game, Pakistan found the going difficult, especially against India’s slow bowlers on a prodigiously turning track.

Shoaib Malik (26) and Umar Akmal (22) provided quick runs towards the end to give Pakistan’s pace-heavy attack something to defend.

The match between the winners of the first two editions of the tournament was originally scheduled in the picturesque north Indian city of Dharamsala before Pakistan’s security fears led to it being moved to Kolkata.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Ed Osmond)

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

Jat leaders give ultimatum, tell Khattar govt to meet quota demand by March 17

Chandigarh: Jat leaders in Haryana have threatened to resume their quota agitation, which rocked the state last month and claimed 30 lives, if the Manohar Lal Khattar government does not meet their demand by 17 March.

“On 17 March, we will decide on the next mode of action on whether to block roads, railway tracks or any other type of agitation,” All India Jat Mahasabha chief Yashpal Malik told PTI over phone today.

Jat leaders from across the state have decided that community members will hit the streets again if the state government does not act, he said, adding that dharnas this time would also cover the rural areas. “The state government has time till 17 March.

So far the government has not responded to any of our demands,” said Akhil Bhartiya Jat Mahasabha president, Hawa Singh Sangwan. Yesterday, members of the Jat community held demonstrations across the state. Malik said the “government is keen to crush the members of Jat community even though their protest was peaceful”.

He also said the government should control its ministers from issuing statements against the Jat community. He claimed that the Jat agitation continued since 2005-06 in 13 states, including Uttar Pardesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Madhya Pardesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana, in a “peaceful manner”. Political outfits in Haryana have for their vested interests given the Jat community a bad name, he said as he sought a probe by a sitting Supreme Court judge into incidents of violence in Haryana recently.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The state government must bring a Bill in the ongoing budget session of the Assembly to ensure reservation for Jats, he said. “Those who fired upon peaceful protesters in Haryana recently must be dealt with sternly,” he said, adding that those killed during the agitation must be compensated by the Khattar government through award of jobs to their next of kin.

Meanwhile, in Rohtak, the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge SK Garg rejected the interim bail plea of Prof Virender Singh, political adviser to former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Virender has been booked under several charges, including sedition, in connection with clashes during the Jat agitation.

Police are searching for Virender and moved court contending his custodial interrogation is needed to establish his involvement in inciting Jat community members during the agitation.

Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki had yesterday referred to the violence by miscreants during the recent Jat quota agitation in his address to the state Assembly, saying these events derailed the state from the “fast track of development”.

“These events also aim to derail the state from the fast track of development,” Solanki, who did not use the word ‘Jat agitation’, said in his address on the opening day of the Haryana Assembly’s Budget session. He said he has full faith that the state government enjoys the total support of all the “right-thinking people of Haryana”.

The state government would restore mutual love and brotherhood and continue to keep the state on the road of swift economic growth and all-round progress in keeping with the mantra of ‘Haryana ek-Haryanvi ek’.

In a reference to the violence during the stir, Solanki said, “A few weeks back some dark forces created law and order problems in eight districts of the state… These attempts were thwarted by swift and resolute action by the government and peace and order were restored in all parts of the state in a short time.”

He also placed on record the government’s appreciation of the contribution of the armed forces and paramilitary forces in restoring peace and order in the wake of the agitation.

“I also appreciate the widespread criticism of the cowardly attempts to strike at the roots of amity and mutual goodwill,” he had said.

PTI

ICC WT20 2016: Afridi leads Pakistan cricketers in raising toast to Indian fans, security

Kolkata: Indian fans and the country’s security environment got a rousing endorsement from the Pakistan cricketers on Sunday, with visiting skipper Shahid Afridi acknowledging that his boys get more love from sports buffs here than from those back home.

Another seasoned Pakistani campaigner Shoaib Malik, married to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, gave the thumbs up to the security provided to the team and asserted that he never faced any security issue during his frequent trips to India.

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on his arrival at the Kolkata airport on Sunday. APPakistan captain Shahid Afridi on his arrival at the Kolkata airport on Sunday. AP

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on his arrival at the Kolkata airport on Sunday. AP

In a series of media interactions on Sunday, a day after setting foot on Indian soil to take part in the World Twenty20 tournament, the Pakistan cricketers played the role of goodwill ambassadors to perfection, stressing on the cultural similarities between the two neighbours and underscoring the importance of cricket in bringing the two nations closer.

“We get lot of love from fans here, even more than the love we get from fans in Pakistan,” Afridi told media persons at the Eden Gardens ground.

The 36-year-old dashing all-rounder recalled that he has been coming to India for two decades during his long career.

“Cricket is a sport which has brought the two countries together. Can there be anything better than politics and cricket to bring the two countries together?” he said.

However, Afridi disagreed with a media person that by not opting out of the tournament despite being given a choice by the authorities in Islamabad to travel or not to travel to India, the cricketers have disagreed with the Pakistan government’s apprehensions about their security in India.

“It is not a question of disagreement. Whatever decision the government takes, we back it. We are not politicians,” he said.

Pakistan were earlier scheduled to arrive here on Tuesday but that got delayed as the country’s government wasn’t happy with the security arrangements in India. Finally after an assurance from Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the team finally arrived here on Saturday evening.

But Afridi said the delay did not hamper their preparations as they were already training in Lahore.

“We were mentally and physically ready that definitely we will go.”

Afridi turned a tad sentimental as he profusely praised the Eden Gardens, particularly its boisterous crowd, where Pakistan would be playing a warm-up game as also two Super Ten group B fixtures including the high-voltage clash against India on March 19.

“Talking about the fans, my cricket is about to end. The sort of love I have got here I will remember all through my life. People here really love cricket and the cricketers. They love good performances.”

Pakistan have a clean slate at Eden in the limited over format, winning each of the six games they have played at the hallowed venue. And the statistics has made Afridi upbeat about his side’s prospects in the first two games.

“Good that we are playing our first two games here. We have always enjoyed playing on this ground. This ground suits us,” said Afridi, who has played 398 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), 94 T20Is and 27 Tests.

Malik thanked the Indian government for the security arranged for the team.

Firstly, I would like to thank the Indian government. The security is very good.”

“My wife is from India and I come to India a lot. I have never faced any security issue,” the 34-year-old acknowledged.

Malik said he has always got lot of love from the Indian people and the media.

“I don’t really see any difference between Pakistani people and the Indians. We eat the same food, we speak the same language. I am very happy to be in India. I’m honoured to be in India.”

Coming to matters cricket, Afridi said his team – particularly the batsmen – needed to play according to the team plan, and admitted that was not the case in Bangladesh where Pakistan fared poorly in the recent Asia Cup.

However, he made it clear that the side would not be weighed down by the Bangladesh debacle, and instead approach the coming engagements with a positive frame of mind.

Reminded that Pakistan have never won a game against India in World Cups, be it in the 50-over format or Twenty20, Afridi said: “This (Pakistani record vis-a-vis India) is negative. However, negatives comes with positives… I’ve always taken things positively.”

At the same time, the Pakistan players gave ample evidence of their combative side.

Afridi dimissed Indian batsman Rohit Sharma’s argument that there was nothing to “go gaga” over Pakistan speedster Mohammed Amir, who has been in fine form since returning to international cricket after serving a five-year ban for spot fixing.

“For me, Mohammad Amir is the best… his name is there among the top international bowlers.”

Malik virtually threw a challenge to those giving his team the underdogs tag, saying Pakistan were rated as underdogs before both the 1992 World Cup and the 2009 World Twenty20 and ended up winning both.

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni got glowing tributes from Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed, who called him his idol, and said he wanted to be a “finisher” like the Ranchi boy.

IANS

Noida: After Snapdeal employee’s abduction, a fashion designer goes missing

Days after Snapdeal employee Deepti Sarna was abducted and found, a woman fashion designer has gone missing from Noida under mysterious circumstances.Shipra Malik left her home on Monday afternoon for Chandni Chowk. The last call made by the victim’s mobile phone was to 100. Her last location was found to be Lajpat Nagar in South Delhi.”The woman lives in Sector 37, Noida. She left Noida yesterday afternoon and was going to Delhi. Her last location is Lajpat Nagar. From there, she had called on 100. After that, her location cannot be traced,” Superintendent of Police Dinesh Yadav said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A missing person’s report has been filed. The police are investigating whatever her family are providing in writing. She is being searched for. She used to run a boutique in Chandni Chowk,” he added.

3 more killed in Haryana as Jat agitators pay no heed to leaders

Three civilians were killed in Haryana when stone-pelting mobs attacked security personnel trying to clear a road blockade in Sonepat, raising the death toll to 19 in the nine-day Jat reservation stir.This, after the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS), the main body spearheading the anti-reservation stir, appealed to community members to lift blockades and return to their homes.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AIJASS leaders Yashpal Malik and Jaipal Singh Sangwan told dna that they have withdrawn the agitation as the Centre has assured reservation to Jats under the OBC category.“Both the Centre and the Haryana government have assured us that the Bill for reservation will be brought and passed in the coming assembly session. We have agreed to withdraw the stir on their assurances,” said Malik. However, many places such as Kaithal, Hissar, Rohtak and Sonepat witnessed several incidents of violence and arson. The Haryana government was still on tenterhooks as accepting Jat reservation can annoy the other OBC communities of Saini and Gujjars. Worrying signs of such a clash appeared in Hissar on Sunday evening and Monday and the government had to impose curfew.As signs of the stir spreading to Rajasthan and UP appeared, Union home minister Rajnath Singh briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The five-member committee, headed by parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, which held its first meeting on Monday, met Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and other state ministers on Tuesday to ascertain the state government’s views on how to go about the vexed issue, acceding to which can give rise to reservation demands from other castes.The Army and paramilitary forces cleared blockades on state and national highways near the Delhi border and also took control of the Munak canal, the lifeline for Delhi’s water supply. Security forces also took control of certain other key flashpoints in Haryana — national highway number 8 and several state highways. Still, the situation remained grim in many parts of the state.The CRPF repaired the Saifabad water treatment plant and restored the Delhi-Rewari-Jhajjar road that was ripped apart by the agitators. The CRPF is also trying to restore NH 1 — between Sonipat and Panipat – that was damaged in three places.The Centre had asked 49 columns of the Army and 52 paramilitary companies to go to Haryana and they had to be airlifted and deployed at key trouble points.

Jat agitation: Curfew lifted from Hissar, Hansi

Curfew was lifted from Hissar and Hansi towns of the district in Jat stir-hit Haryana even as road and rail traffic from here to various destinations remained suspended.An official spokesman said that curfew has been lifted in view of the improvement in the situation. Security personnel will keep a vigil till restoration of normalcy, he said.Road traffic on national and state highways from Hissar to various destinations, including Delhi, Chandigarh, Sirsa, Siwani and Bhiwani, however, remained suspended.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railway services from Hissar to places, including Delhi, Ludhiana, Bhiwani and Sadulpur were also not operational.Spokesman of All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti Ram Bhagat Malik said here that they would hold a meeting later this afternoon and then decide on the future course of action, including lifting of blockades by their supporters.

Jat quota row: Leaders refuse to withdraw stir in Haryana, attack CM Khattar

Chandigarh: Jat leaders on Friday refused to withdraw their agitation till a legislation is passed giving quota to the community under OBC even as the authorities in the worst-affected district suspended Internet and mobile SMS services due to the stir which has disrupted rail and road traffic.

The protesters accused Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar of resisting their demand as he was “not from the community” even as the state government called an all-party meeting to end the impasse.

Normal life has been severely affected in various parts of Haryana with the agitation affecting supplies of essential commodities like milk, vegetables, LPG and petroleum products in several parts of the state including Rohtak, Jind, Bhiwani, Sonepat and Hisar.

Police lathicharge Jat community members  during their agitation for reservation in Rohtak. PTIPolice lathicharge Jat community members  during their agitation for reservation in Rohtak. PTI

Police lathicharge Jat community members during their agitation for reservation in Rohtak. PTI

Internet and mobile SMS services have been suspended indefinitely by authorities in Rohtak district in the wake of the protests by Jat community which is demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions under OBC category.

The agitators, who have rejected Khattar’s offer of enhancing quota for economically backward classes, blocked several roads in Panipat affecting vehicluar movement to Uttar Pradesh.

Haryana Roadways suspended its bus services on many affected routes in view of the agitation.

The administration has imposed prohibitory orders in the entire Rohtak district, banning assembly of five or more persons.

The protests have disrupted road and rail traffic with the worst hit being the Rohtak-Jhajjar region, the epicentre of the protests, besides Bhiwani, Sonipat and Hisar.

The Jat leaders showed no signs of relenting and claimed that they will seek “support” from the community leaders from Uttar Pradesh.

“We are not going to withdraw our agitation till our demand is met. We will intensify our agitation in other parts of the state, including Panchkula and Yamunanagar,” All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti’s national president, Yashapal Malik, said.

“We want BJP government in Haryana to bring a legislation in the upcoming budget session to include Jats in OBC category. They should bring a law in the Assembly with regard to Jat reservation and get it passed,” he said.

“All political parties including Congress, BJP and INLD are in support of our demand. Only Haryana CM has problem in giving reservation to Jats,” he said.

Malik accused Khattar of having “casteist mentality” as he did not belong to the community.

“Khattar has ‘jatiwadi mansikta’ (casteist mentality) because he is not a Jat. He is trying to prove himself as a leader of non-Jat people in the state by way of not giving reservation to Jats as was done by former Haryana CM Bhajan Lal in the past.

“His (Khattar) stand is against party line. The problem in Haryana today arose because of his mentality,” Malik alleged.

Malik said that Rajasthan and Maharashtra governments had brought legislations in their respective assemblies to grant reservation to Gujjars and Marathas respectively.

Meanwhile, the order for the suspension of mobile Internet and SMS services indefinitely in Rohtak were issued by Rohtak Deputy Commissioner D K Behera in the wake of Jat agitation spreading in the district.

The order said it is feared that anti-social elements are spreading provoking pictures through Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and SMS which could further disturb the law and order situation in the district.

However, mobile services will continue in the district.

Meanwhile, Khattar on Friday called an all-party meeting in Chandigarh to discuss Jats’ demands and how to end their agitation.

Haryana Cabinet of Thursday had appealed to the agitators to call off their protest in the larger interest of the state.

Protesting Jat and Khap leaders had already rejected the state government’s offer which had announced enhancement of the reservation quota under EBC and the annual income ceiling from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.

It had also announced an enhancement of the quota of reservation for Economically Backward Classes in the state from 10 to 20 per cent but the community remained adamant about their demand for reservation under OBC category.

PTI

West Bengal: Student beaten to death by teacher in Murshidabad

A student of AL-Islamia Mission in Murshidabad district of West Bengal was allegedly beaten up by its teacher, following which he died on Tuesday morning.The 12-year-old student identified as the Shamim Malik was beaten up by the headmaster and warden of the school, Halif Sheikh and Liton Sheikh for indiscipline on Monday.After his situation deteriorated, Malik was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to death this morning. However, the parents of the student allege that they were not told that their son was beaten up mercilessly. They claim that school authorities told them that Malik had a bad fall from the stairs. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The locals organised a road blockade for several hours demanding arrest of the teachers.Meanwhile, the duo – headmaster and the warden were arrested based on the complaint registered by the student’s parents.“Based on the complaint filed, we have arrested both the headmaster and warden of the school. Later, both of them were produced before the local court, where they were remanded to two days of police custody,” C Sudhakar, Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad district said.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar discharged from Pune hospital

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who was hospitalised on Sunday following a ‘minor kidney problem’ and ‘water retention’, was discharged on Wednesday morning.”He is absolutely fine and after keeping him under observation for over two days, we have now given him discharge from the hospital this morning,” said Dr Sanjay Pathare, Assistant Director, Medical Services, Ruby Hall Clinic.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”After discharge from the hospital, Pawar left for Mumbai by a helicopter”, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said. “After landing at the Mahalaxmi helipad, the NCP chief will proceed to his home in South Mumbai,” he added.After speculation on social media about his health, Pawar took to tweeted on Tuesday and said, “I am well and perfectly fine.”

Pakistan conspires to merge Gilgit-Baltistan into mainland

Behind the veil of bonhomie, Pakistan is quietly annexing parts of its occupied Kashmir into the mainland sparking fears of its nefarious designs.Pakistan is all set to merge the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) with the mainland, making it as its fifth province. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is holding a high-level meeting on January 14 to discuss future of Gilgit-Baltistan.Previously known as Northern Areas, the GB had been part of erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. However in 1970, GB was made a separate administrative entity, the arrangement which remained until 2009 when it was made a self-governing territory of Pakistan with separate legislative assembly and chief minister.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, Pakistan has been working on evolving consensus to merge it with the mainland sparking fears of formal division of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The issue has sparked anger in PoK as well as in Jammu and Kashmir with pro-independence JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik writing a letter to Sharif cautioning him against merging the GB with Pakistan.Even PoK Prime Minister Abdul Majeed has warned the Sharif government against any attempt to make Gilgit-Baltistan fifth province of Pakistan.”Apprehensions have been raised in various quarters that your government may reach a consensus to merge Gilgit Baltistan with Pakistan. This will have implications on the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir. If Pakistan imposes its sovereign writ over Gilgit Baltistan, India will then have a political and moral right to integrate Kashmir with it,” Malik wrote to Sharif.Elaborating, he said from 1947 people of Jammu Kashmir have been striving for their birth right and lakhs of people have given lives for this struggle.”If your government incorporates Gilgit Baltistan into Pakistan, and if as a consequence, India consolidates its hold in Kashmir, this would amount to bartering of people’s aspirations. Kashmir is not about territory. It is about rights of people. Bartering these rights for land means killing the aspirations of the people,” he said.Referring to China-Pakistan Corridor (CPEC), Malik said economic development is good but they have no moral right to make policy that will adversely affect the future of millions of Kashmiris.”Bartering away territory for economic growth does not make you statesman. It is opportunity for you to become a statesman by not bowing to economic pressures. Become a statesman and resist short term temptations,” he said.BJP too has expressed serious concern over the reported move of merging GB with Pakistan. “It is unnatural and illegal. Pakistan fears a mass rebellion and that is why they are dividing Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. India will not tolerate it. People at centre would be discussing this issue,” Vibodh Gupta, BJP state vice-president, told dna.

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