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Amid chill in relations with Pakistan, PM Modi wishes Nawaz Sharif on birthday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday greeted his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday, notwithstanding the severe chill in relations between the two countries.”Birthday wishes to Pakistan PM Mr. Nawaz Sharif. I pray for his long and healthy life,” Modi tweeted.Sharif turned 67 today.Modi extended birthday wishes to Sharif even though the two countries have been witnessing a severe chill in their relations because of repeated terror attacks in India emanating from Pakistan.Last year on this day, Modi had made a huge gesture by travelling to Lahore on an unscheduled visit to wish Sharif personally and attend the marriage ceremony of his kin.However, the warmth in the bilateral ties witnessed at that time evaporated after terror attack on the airbase in Pathankot on January 1 this year. Since then the relations have just been sliding as tensions escalated.

AJL case: CBI overpowered by PM Modi’s officers, says irked Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Retorting to the government’s handing over the enquiry into Associated Journals Limited (AJL) Panchkula case 2005 to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Congress Party on Saturday said it is a ‘witch hunt’ against the company and that the investigating agency has been overpowered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s officers.?If any government feels that CBI enquiry is needed into something, they are most welcome. Only thing is that it is clear that it is a witch hunt against the AJL of National herald in Panchkula. CBI itself has now become compromised. It is now full of officers of the police from the Gujarat cadre. All of them were known to be very close to the CM of that time, Narendra Modi. None of them were really people who used to come to the Centre. They all came with Mr. Modi. So clearly, CBI is an organisation that has been captured by Modi’s officers,” Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said.Terming the CBI as a personal organisation, Dikshit said the agency is controlled by the Prime Minister and the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party Amit Shah.”General talk in government is that the CBI now is little Gujarat. It’s not an independent organisation anymore, nor is it known for its professionalism. It’s known to become a hatchet organisation for Mr Amit Shah and Mr Modi,” said Dikshit. The BJP government in Haryana has handed over the enquiry into the alleged re-allotment of a plot to AJL in Panchkula in 2005 to the CBI.

Stand up to the National Anthem before movies: Full text of Supreme Court’s order

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to “instil committed patriotism and nationalism”, the Supreme Court ordered cinema halls across the nation to mandatorily play the National Anthem before screening of a movie and the audience must stand and show respect. The apex court 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”.”A time has come when citizens of the country must realise that they live in a nation and are duty-bound to show respect to the National Anthem which is the symbol of constitutional patriotism and inherent national quality,” a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said. Passing a slew of directions, the bench said fundamental duties as in the Constitution “do not allow any different notion or the perception of individual rights that have individual thought, have no space. The idea is constitutionally impermissible”. “The directions are issued, for 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 instil the feeling within one a sense committed patriotism and nationalism.”Here’s the complete text of the judgement: Supreme Court of IndiaWrit Petition(s)(Civil) No(s). 855/2016SHYAM NARAYAN CHOUKSEY v/s UNION OF INDIADate : 30/11/2016CORAM : HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE DIPAK MISRA HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE AMITAVA ROYFor Petitioner(s)Mr. Abhinav Shrivastav, Adv.Mr. Rituvendra Singh,Adv.Mr. Harmeet Singh Ruprah,Adv. For Respondent(s)Mr. Mukul Rohtagi,AGMr. Ashok Kumar Panda,Sr.Adv.Mr. Avijit Prasad,Adv.Ms. Movita,Adv.Mr. B.K. Prasad,Adv.We have heard Mr. Abhinav Srivastav, learned counsel for the petitioner and Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, learned Attorney General for India along with Mr. A.K. Panda, learned senior counsel for the Union of India. This Court on 28.10.2016 while entertaining the Writ Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India had noted the submissions advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioner, made reference to the enactment, namely, Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. It had also taken note of the averments in the petition. It has been averred in the petition that sometimes National Anthem is sung in various circumstances which are not permissible and can never be countenanced in law. The emphasis is on showing requisite and necessary respect when the National Anthem is sung or played.The assertion is that it is the duty of every person to show respect when the National Anthem is played or recited or sung. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties and awaiting the reply from the Union of India, as an interim measure, it is directed that the following directions shall be scrupulously followed:(a) There shall be no commercial exploitation to give financial advantage or any kind of benefit. To elaborate, the National Anthem should not be utilized by which the person involved with it either directly or indirectly shall have any commercial benefit or any other benefit.(b) There shall not be dramatization of the National Anthem and it should not be included as a part of any variety show. It is because when the National Anthem is sung or played it is imperative on the part of every one present to show due respect and honour. To think of a dramatized exhibition of the National Anthem is absolutely inconceivable.(c) National Anthem or a part of it shall not be printed on any object and also never be displayed in such a manner at such places which may be disgraceful to its status and tantamount to disrespect. It is because when the National Anthem is sung, the concept of protocol associated with it has its inherent roots in National identity, National integrity and Constitutional Patriotism.(d) All the cinema halls in India shall play the National Anthem before the feature film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the National Anthem.(e) Prior to the National Anthem is played or sung in the cinema hall on the screen, 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. After the National Anthem is played or sung, the doors can be opened.(f) When the National Anthem shall be played in the Cinema Halls, it shall be with the National Flag on the screen.(g) The abridge version of the National Anthem made by any one for whatever reason shall not be played or displayed.We have so directed as Mr. Mukul Rohtagi, learned Attorney General for India submits with all humility at his command and recommend that National Anthem has to be respected. The directions are issued, for 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. In this regard, we may refer to clause (a) of Article 51(A), Fundamental Duties occurring in Part IVA of the Constitution. It reads as follows:“51A. Fundamental duties – It shall be the duty of every citizen of India – (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem”.From the aforesaid, it is clear as crystal that it is the sacred obligation of every citizen to abide by the ideals engrafted in the Constitution. And one such ideal is to show respect for the National Anthem and the National Flag. Be it stated, a time has come, the citizens of the country must realize that they live in a nation and are duty bound to show respect to National Anthem which is the symbol of the Constitutional Patriotism and inherent national quality. It does not allow any different notion or the perception of individual rights, that have individually thought of have no space. The idea is constitutionally impermissible. Mr. Rohatgi has submitted that the Union of India shall circulate this order to the Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories. That apart, Mr. Rohatgi submits that the order shall be shown in the electronic Media and published in the print media so that every one knows that such an order has been passed and follow the same in letter and spirit. This order shall be given effect to within a period of 10 days. Let the matter be listed on 14th February, 2017 for further hearing. (Madhu Bala) (H.S. Parashar) Court Master Court Master

Poll Results: Over 78% DNA readers don’t support Opposition’s agitation against demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PM Modi’s decision on 8th November to scrap Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes to counter the problem of black money took the nation by surprise. The opposition parties too were initially clueless about how to react. Soon however, some of the prominent opposition parties including Congress, TMC, AAP sharpened the rhetoric against PM Modi’s demonetization scheme. While some opposed the concept of demonetization, others alleged that the decision was leaked to prominent businessmen beforehand and is akin to economic emergency. We asked our readers: Do you support the Opposition’s agitation against demonetization? The result given below provides some clues to prevailing mood among the urban class regarding demonetization. The opposition have called for a Bharat Bandh on November 28 to protest the decision. Rahul Gandhi describing it as the world’s “biggest impromptu financial experiment” has asked for a JPC to probe the scam. Mamata Banerjee has asked the PM to apologise to the nation for demonetization. She was quoted as saying, “I can challenge that no one will vote for BJP. If I were you (PM), I would have apologised to the public. Why you are so egoistic? You have branded everyone in the country a black marketeer and have yourself turned into a saint.” Kejriwal too have amped up the rhetoric trying to highlight the plight of the poor people. Hpwever, surveys seem to suggest that the opposition may be missing out a trick in this issue. A C-Voter survey found that 80-86% support PM Modi’s war on black money and believe that the inconvenience caused by the demonetization is worth the effort of combating black money.DNA poll on demonetization asking readers if they supported the Opponent’s agitation found an overwhelmingly positive response for PM Modi’s move. 78.39% said that they did not support the Opposition’s agitation against demonetization. Meanwhile, 13.7% support the Opposition’s agitation and 7.68% said that while they didn’t support the agitation, they believe that the implementation was faulty.Data split 79% of our respondent were from India. 8% residing in USA also took part in the poll. In India, respondents were from major metros like Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi. 31% of the voters were in the age group 25-34. 24% from 35-44 and 13% of the respondents were above 65. Here are some selected comments from our readers:RaviImplementation faulty? I have nothing to do with BJP or government, but common sense do you expect operation of this scale to be perfect with no trouble to anyone? Is this even feasible? Think a bit my dear.Dr Arpit BrijwasiSorry By mistake i vote Yes. I apologize.????????????Venkat Instead of demonetization Mr. Modi can take steps to get back the non-payable bank loan of Rs. 8 Lakhs crore in total,he can move steps to bring back black money from swis banks which is his election promise .Demonetization does not going to bring dramatical change as he think for which people paying.Ashok JainThis is an excellent move. People at large are very happy and ready to face some difficulty. As far as queues are concerned, our generation was habitual of this. We spend hours in kerosene line, ration line, Vanaspati Ghee line and many more. Waiting period for telephone was 10 years, for two-wheeler also it was the same position. In a nutshell, public has no problem. Problem is being faced by only two category politicians and corrupt Government employees. They do not know what to do with this money. When on TV channel these people say that only 6% black money is cash by giving the reference of IT raids conducted. But major black money is with the corrupt Govt people and in the form of cash, gold, jewels and benami properties.UmeshIn my view opposition shall support the move in larger perspective and set an example like Nitish is doing.Jaya Support this initiative but the dependencies could have been managed well to avoid this painful inconvenience to common people. This black money surgical has to continue in other illegal incomes …(Gold , Immovable properties, accounts in foreign countries)JaganIt is now or never. Every day you don’t get a bold and well meaning PM. After the support and success of this operation he will definitely hop full length and extract the black money in all its ugly forms. Evidently he had already set in motion the Road Roller to crush all those bad elements cornering the legitimate wealth of the nation by illegal means. The necessary legislation is already in place. They shall smell their own sh… Jai bharat Jai Hind.With inputs from agencies

Tata’s boardroom battle with ousted chairman Mistry escalates | Reuters

By Aditi Shah

MUMBAI Tata Sons, holding firm of India’s $100-billion salt-to-software Tata conglomerate, launched a broadside on Thursday against its ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry, criticising his performance and removing him as head of the group’s flagship business.In a nine-page statement, Tata accused Mistry of trying to take control of one of Tata’s units and creating distance between the promoter, Tata Sons, and its group companies.It also blamed him for nearly causing losses and eroding shareholder value.Sources in Mistry’s camp dubbed the Tata Sons’ criticisms as “fallacious” and said they reflect “desperation.”The war of words between the two sides has escalated, as Tata attempts to convince the boards of Tata group companies, which it does not have majority stakes in, that it was justified in ousting Mistry as chairman of the conglomerate last month.The Tata Sons board has already suffered two major setbacks, as the board of Indian Hotels last week, and that of Tata Chemicals on Thursday, both backed Mistry, saying he would remain chair of those group companies. Tata Sons on Thursday axed Mistry as chair of its main cash cow Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), however, as it owns a stake of over 70 percent in that company.The corporate power struggle is set to continue over coming days as Mistry remains chairman of other key Tata companies like Tata Steel and Tata Motors, whose boards are set to meet soon.”It was fair expectation of Tata Sons that Mr. Mistry would gracefully resign from the boards of other Tata companies,” the group said in its statement, adding that his refusal to step down went against Tata’s values and ethos.Mistry’s office did not respond to an emailed request seeking comment.

Mistry was axed as chair of Tata Sons in a boardroom coup last month, with family patriarch Ratan Tata brought back to helm the company temporarily.Since then the camps have traded barbs on a regular basis, leading to a drop in share prices of listed Tata entities and sparking concern among shareholders and other stakeholders.DIVIDEND DECLINES
Tata Sons said on Thursday it had received queries from across the globe about its removal of Mistry as Tata Sons chair, and offered an explanation to provide the “desired perspective” behind the decision.The group has criticised Mistry for his inability to turn around loss-making units during his four-year term, instead continuing to blame them as “legacy hot spots” and writing off huge amounts which have also not resolved the problem.

The company would have shown operating losses over the past three years, but for dividends from its flagship firm TCS, Tata Sons said, adding that “significant dependence” on TCS was a source of concern for its board. bit.ly/2fzQiSj Dividends from 40 listed Tata companies, except TCS, fell to 7.8 billion rupees ($117 mln) in the fiscal year ending March 31, from 10 billion rupees three years ago, Tata Sons said.Expenses, other than interest on debt, more than doubled to 1.8 billion rupees over the same period and impairment provisions have jumped to 24 billion rupees from 2 billion rupees, “indicating inability to stem falling values,” it said.Sources close to Mistry said Tata Sons used selective data in its representation. Mistry has also blamed Ratan Tata for some of the company’s biggest debacles and alleged failures in corporate governance at Tata Sons and some group companies.

Tata Sons has blamed Mistry for “consciously dismantling” the group’s existing management structure, thereby reducing the control and influence, between Tata group companies and their major shareholder and promoter, Tata Sons.Tata Sons has alleged that Indian Hotels’ support for Mistry shows his “ulterior motive” of trying to gain control of the company with the support of the independent directors. Sources close to Mistry dismissed the allegation, and said Tata had attempted to fault independent directors for demonstrating their integrity and independence.Tata have now called an extraordinary general meeting of all Indian Hotels shareholders in an attempt to get Mistry removed as a director from the board.Tata Sons has made several other allegations against Mistry, including a conflict of interest with Shapoorji Pallonji group, his family firm, which also owns a 18.41 percent stake in Tata Sons.Sources close to Mistry said that Tata had nothing to show for its allegations of a conflict of interest and called them a smear campaign unworthy of either the Tata group or a response. ($1 = 66.3929 rupees) (Additional reporting by Devidutta Tripathy in Mumbai and Darshana Sankararaman in Bengaluru; Editing by Euan Rocha, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Mike Collett-White)

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

‘It’s a rejection of politics as usual’: Shashi Tharoor surprised by Donald Trump’s victory

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Dubbing the election of Donald Trump as the 45th United States President as ‘surprising’, the Congress on Wednesday said it reflected the rejection of politics by the people of America. ‘It’s an amazing result. No one would have expected this a year ago. Even after he became the Republican nominee, the expectation was that Hillary would win. I have stuck my neck out and said in a number of public forums that I was expecting her to win. So, this is quite a surprise,’ Congress leader Shashi Tharoor told ANI. ‘The hostility that they (people) feel has expressed itself on a strong vote for Trump. In many ways, it may be the last stand of white America because demographics will make America progressively less and less white in the years to come. Finally, it is also a rejection of politics as usual. Increasingly, around the world voters are saying we don’t like the way our lives are. Whether from the left or the right, there is a rejection,’ he added. Tharoor said the win is a surprise because Trump is so untypical of even the party which nominated him. ‘The Republican mainstream establishment does not look like Trump, doesn’t behave like Trump, doesn’t speak like Trump. But he has somehow struck a chord with the electorate. Partly, I am afraid it is negativism. He has given expression to fear, to hatred, to racism, to bigotry against foreigners and immigrants and refugees, to xenophobia,’ he added. Tharoor asserted that there is a lot of unpleasant stuff that has come out in the air because of Trump’s campaign and the language of his supporters which now cannot be put back in pandora’s box.’It is out there and we have to live with it. It will certainly affect the perception of America around the world. If we look at the exit polls, Hillary has swept the minority by large margins. Trump has a won a majority of white voters including surprisingly white women. One of the striking things about this is of course he has dominated the non-college educated white blue collared working class vote, which is the section of society that has felt most affected by the recent developments,’ he added.Asserting that there is a sense of uncertainty around the world, the Congress leader said how it all will end up will depend on how things stabilise and what kind of administration Trump brings in.’Will he bring in those kinds of Republicans who work for George Bush who know how to deal with the world or is he going to bring in a cast of characters who are hostile to the world, hostile to globalization’that may create a different world altogether,’ he added.After the media exploded with Trump’s victory, the new U.S. President took to the stage and pledged to begin the ‘urgent task of rebuilding our nation’ while also bringing Americans together.Speaking at his victory party in a New York hotel ballroom, Trump said Democratic rival Hillary Clinton called him to concede the race. I just received a call from Secretary Clinton,’ Mr. Trump said. ‘She congratulated us on our victory, and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign,’ Trump said. Trump, who has in the past threatened to punish his critics, said he was seeking to appeal even to those who hadn’t supported him. Trump’s surprising performance at the polls ended Hillary Clinton’s quest to make history as the first female president of the United States. The 70-year-old celebrity businessman who had never before run for office, is poised to become the oldest president ever elected to a first term.

Nandini Sundar booked for murder of Chattisgarh tribal, calls FIR absurd, vindictive

Delhi University (DU) Professor Nandini Sundar along with other persons have been booked for the murder of a tribal person in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.

According to police sources, apart from Sundar other people booked for the murder include Vineet Tiwari, a member of Joshi Adhikar Sansthan, a Delhi base NGO, Sanjay Parate, Chhattisgarh state secretary of CPI (M), and JNU professor Archana Prasad, along with other alleged Maoists.

Nandini Sundar. Twitter @nandinisundarNandini Sundar. Twitter @nandinisundar

Nandini Sundar. Twitter @nandinisundar

According to a PTI report, all the accused are booked under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 and 149 of IPC at Tongpal police station. The report further adds that the Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) SRP Kalluri had stated that“strongest possible action will be taken against those guilty after the investigation.”

According to another report in Hindustan Times, armed Maoists killed “Shamnath Baghel with sharp weapons late Friday at his home in Nama village in Tongpal area.”

It is alleged that Baghel and some of his associates were spearheading a protest against Maoist activities in their village since April and the accused in the case provoked the Maoists to kill him.

According to the report, Baghel and other villagers had lodged a complaint against Sundar and others in May for allegedly inciting tribals against police.

Sundar however, rubbished all allegations made against her stating that action against her was “patently absurd.” In an email reply to Firstpost, she said, “The FIR is patently absurd. How can we be charged with murder and rioting when we are not even there? This is clearly part of IG Kalluri’s attempt to intimidate and harass journalists, lawyers, researchers, political leaders and human rights activists who have exposed the reign of fake encounters, gang rapes etc. that are going on in Bastar.” ” In particular, this is a direct fall out of the CBI chargesheet of special police officers turned constables for arson in Tadmetla in 2011, an operation which Mr. Kalluri directed,” she added.

However, as reported by PTI , the Inspector General of Police, Bastar Zone has stated that strict action will be taken against the accused after due investigation.

Meanwhile, various public intellectuals have come out in support of Sundar. Historian Ramchandra Guha, attacking Chhattisgarh police in a tweet wrote, “This vicious and vindictive FIR proves beyond doubt that Chhattisgarh is a police state.”

Senior Supereme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan also backed Sundar in his tweet.

All the contact numbers mentioned on the official website of Chhattisgarh police were unreachable but when Firstpost contacted Niraj Kumar Bansod, Collector and District Magistrate of Sukma district, to enquire about the FIR, he said that he was unaware of the incident and needed to get in touch with concerned authorities to give any information regarding the case.

MoS Aviation Jayant Sinha just gave us a masterclass in chivalry and humility

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In India, we are led to believe that our politicians are venal creatures who simply aren’t in touch with the common man. While that might be true for many of our elected officials, there are a new band of politicians who seem to be more down-to-earth. Social media sites have gone some way to suggest that they aren’t as bad as they are made out to be and some ministers have gained a positive image because of Twitter. Whether it’s Sushma Swaraj coming to the rescue of stranded Indians (and Pakistanis) or Suresh Prabhu helping passengers, Twitter has changed our perception of several ministers.And now it seems like Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha is another minister whose good deeds are making waves on Twitter. As per Twitter user Shreya (@ShreyaPradip), the minister came to her rescue while she was travelling with her ailing mother. It seems like she was given a seat with more leg space since her mother was ill. However, it turned out that the seats belonged to Jayant Sinha, the Aviation Minister and his wife, but Sinha insisted that the girl and her mother sit there while he went and found another seat. Shreya later tweeted: “@jayantsinha @IndiGo6E Ache din is wen Aviation Minister gives his 1st class seat 2 me n my ill mother, sits in d eco class himself Thnx Sir”.She was also quoted saying by Indian Express: “I was in flight from Bengaluru to Ranchi which had a halt at Kolkata. My mother is ill and can’t walk so they gave us the seats near door cz it was vacant. At Kolkata, the seats were booked and it belonged to Mr. Jayant Sinha and his wife. When they arrived, they saw us and insisted on sitting on the same place and they took another seat”.

Full text: Cyrus Mistry says DoCoMo decision had unanimous OK of Tata Sons board

Ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry in a statement has said that the allegations by the Tatas that he handled the DoCoMo issue “in a manner inconsistent with Tata culture and values” are baseless. The statement further said the agreement with Docomo had been executed before Mistry became executive chairman of the group.

Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry. AFP file photoRatan Tata and Cyrus Mistry. AFP file photo

Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry. AFP file photo

Earlier in a tell-all letter to Tata Sons board, Mystry had alleged that the deal structure of Tata Teleservices and DoCoMo raised many questions.

On Friday, Mistry had refuted all allegations of not keeping the board in the know of the solar farms deal with Welspun.

In the statement today, Mistry also said that to suggest that Mistry acted on his own is as false as it is mischievous and that all decisions were taken with unanimous approval of Tata Sons Board.

Here’s is the full text of the statement by Mistry on DoCoMo deal:

1) Insinuations that the Docomo issue was handled under the watch of Mr. Mistry in a manner inconsistent with Tata culture and values are baseless. The suggestion that Ratan Tata and the trustees would not have approved of the manner in which the litigation was conducted is contrary to what transpired.

2) A number of discussions on the Docomo situation had been held in the Tata Sons board. Mr. Mistry had always mentioned that the Tatas should honour all commitments within the law. This stance is based on Tata Sons’ board view and was always consistent with the series of board meetings in which the Docomo issue was discussed.

3) To begin with, the agreement with Docomo had been executed before Mr. Mistry became executive chairman of the Tata Group.

4) Tatas under Mr. Mistry requested Docomo to join the Tatas in seeking the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Docomo did not agree. Nevertheless, Tatas applied to the RBI for approval. Since RBI approval was not forthcoming, Docomo initiated arbitration. The Award was passed in favour of Docomo and against the Tatas. Tatas under Mr. Mistry did not challenge the Award in the UK. On the contrary, RBI was approached once again by the Tatas for permission to pay the amount awarded. RBI again refused permission.

5) Docomo sought enforcement of the Award in the Delhi High Court. In order to show their bonafides, Tatas deposited a sum in excess of Rs. 8,000 crores in Court.

6) Throughout the above process, Ratan Tata and N.A. Soonawala, Trustee, were kept informed and they participated in separate meetings held with Mr. Mistry. They also participated in the meeting with the legal counsel (who also happened to be a trustee of the Dorabji Tata trust) and who represented Tatas in the litigation. At all times Ratan Tata and Soonawala concurred and approved the course of action adopted by Tatas and as advised by legal counsel.

7) All decisions were taken with the unanimous approval of the Tata Sons Board. In fact, all decisions were collective decisions and the actions were consistent with every such collective decision.

8) In light of the above facts, to suggest that Mr. Mistry acted on his own, or contrary to “Tata values”, or without the knowledge and/or concurrence of Ratan Tata and Soonawala is as false as it is mischievous.

Cyrus Mistry’s letter gives rise to serious questions, Ratan Tata can’t keep mum for long

Cyrus Mistry‘s letter to the Tata Sons board on Tuesday, a day after he was unceremoniously sacked as group chairman, has blown the lid off the workings in the Group. Mistry has levelled serious allegations against the working of the group during his predecessor Ratan Tata‘s time.

Primarily, he has said in the letter that he was not given a free hand as promised before he accepted the job. Mistry also mentioned that he was dogged by the huge debt he inherited.

Ratan Tata. ReutersRatan Tata. Reuters

Ratan Tata. Reuters

“Prior to my appointment, I was assured that I would be given a free hand. The previous chairman was to step back and be available for advice and guidance as and when needed. After my appointment, the Articles of Association were modified, changing the rules of engagement between the Trusts, the Board of Tata Sons, the Chairman, and the operating companies. Inappropriate interpretation indeed followed, and as elaborated below, it severely constrained the ability of the group to engineer the necessary turnaround,” he has said in the letter.

Mistry has placed on record his performance matrix vis a vis the charge that he was sacked for non-performance. In the letter to the Tata Sons board, Mistry said that he could not believe he was ousted for non performance issues simply because only recently he was lauded for his performance by the nomination and remuneration committee and independent directors, notably Vijay Singh, Farida Khambatta and Ronnen Sen.

He spelt out the irony of the trio who had praised him for his performance and then two of them were part of the coterie to vote him out of office.

Listing out the legacy hotspots that he inherited, Mistry said despite all the troubles ailing the group, largely caused by deals signed before he came to office, the group’s operating cash flows grew at 31 percent compounded annual growth rate, its valuation increased by 14.9 percent per annum in rupee terms (as against Sensex’s 10.4 percent) and Tata Sons’ net worth increased from Rs 26,000 crore to Rs 42,000 crore.

Ratan Tata, the former chairman and present incumbent, clearly had not left Bombay House when he vacated his chair based on his self-laid rule of giving up office after reaching 75 years of age.

Mistry has alleged that Tata remained a towering figure influencing the decisions even during the board meetings, which forced him to circulate a corporate governance note “in order to clarify the distinct roles of Tata Trusts, Tata Sons Board and the Boards of the operating companies”. Mistry said he was pushed to be a lame duck chairman.

However, the specific allegations made by Mistry are more serious than these. These raise doubts about the much-touted Tata ethics.

Among them the key one is the allegation of fraudulent transactions in Air Asia. “A recent forensic investigation revealed fraudulent transactions of Rs 22 crore involving non-existent parties in India and Singapore. Executive Trustee, Mr. Venkataraman, who is on the board of Air Asia and also a shareholder in the company, considered these transactions as non-material and did not encourage further study. It was only at the insistence of the independent directors, one of whom immediately submitted his resignation, that the board decided to belatedly file a first information report,” the letter says.

This is a serious charge, which the Tatas need to answer.

Apart from this, a realistic assessment of the fair value of the “legacy hotspots”, which Mistry lists as Indian Hotel, Tata Motors PV, Tata Steel Europe, Tata Power Mundra and Tata Teleservices, would result in a write-down of Rs 118,000 crore. This is because the huge increase in the capital employed in those companies from Rs 132,000 crore to Rs 196,000 crore. The increase is due to operational losses, interest outgo and capital expenditure.

On the much-discussed Nano project, Mistry has alleged that before 2013, “in order to shore up sales and market share, Tata Motors Finance extended credit with lax risk assessment”. This resulted in NPAs mounting to more than Rs 4000 crore.

More importantly, he has said the loss-making Nano is not shut down because that would result in stopping “the supply of the Nano gliders to an entity that makes electric cars and in which Mr Tata has a stake”.

According to the letter, “IHCL, beyond flawed international strategy, had acquired the Searock property at a highly inflated price and housed in an off balance sheet structure.” Due to this, the company had to write down nearly its entire net worth in three years’ time. “This impairs its ability to pay dividends,” the letter has said.

Mistry has also said that his desire was to create an institutional framework for effective future governance of the group.

Mistry’s letter raises serious and pertinent questions. Why is Nano not being shut down despite being a loss-making unit? Is it true that the model is alive only to feed orders for a vendor in which Tata has stake in? Why did Tata Motors Finance extend credit without making necessary risk assessment of the Nano? Is the group averse to taking professional decisions and just cater to somebody’s personal and emotional indulgence? If not, why Mistry being made a lame-duck chairman? Moreover is the much-touted Tata governance all a facade after all?

The group is yet to say give a credible and detailed statement on the whole issue. As always, it seems to have gone incommunicado, which will negatively impact the group in particular and also project a poor image of the corporate India’s governance practice globally.

As is seen in the letter the Tata Sons board seems to have been paying obeisance to the God within. But the doubts that are now lingering in the public minds are serious. The God should answer.

DCW issues notice to CBI in Bansal family suicide case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Commission for Women on Thursday issued notice to CBI demanding an independent inquiry into the suicide case of BK Bansal and his family. The women’s panel chief chief Swati Maliwal has also sought a report on the action taken in the matter. Maliwal has also threatened legal action against the Central Bureau of Investigation if it fails to furnish the details of the case within 48 hours.The notice reads, “Prima facie, this appears to be a shocking instance of alleged victimisation and abetment of suicide of the family of an accused. The Delhi Commission for Women is deeply concerned about the same and has taken up the case of the alleged torture and suicide of the wife and daughter of Mr. Bansal.”According to DCW officials, the women’s panel has also sought details, demanding transparency due to the involvement of the senior officials in the case. “Since the accused officers in the case are high ranking officers of CBI and the name of a senior politician is also being alleged, the DCW has demanded the list of steps which have been undertaken by CBI to ensure transparency and independence of probe into the allegations of Bansal,” said a senior DCW official.The official added that the women’s panel sought details of whether an FIR for abetment of suicide and other relevant provisions of law has been filed against those named in the suicide note. “We have also asked the CBI of the possibility of conducting narco-tests on all those named in the suicide note is being explored,” the official added.The notice comes two days after Bansal along with his son Yogesh, committed suicide at their East Delhi residence on Tuesday. Bansal was a former Director General (DG) in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and was being probed by CBI in a graft case. In a detailed suicide note which Bansal left behind, he had named senior DIG officer Sanjeev Gautam, along with two female officers and another officer, who he alleged had played a pivotal role in torturing his family. It also alleged that Gautam also dropped the name of a top BJP leader to intimidate him during questioning.Bansal’s wife Satyabala and daughter Neha had also committed suicide on July 19 soon after his arrest. In his suicide note, Bansal had written, “On July 18 and 19, 2016 two CBI female officers, named Amrita Kaur and Rekha Sangwan, slapped my wife, scratched her and then abused her. DIG Gautam later asked one of the lady officers to torture my wife and daughter to an extent that both of them were just left to die.”However, following allegations, the CBI had issued a statement claiming that an internal probe into the matter has been initiated.”We have examined the matter and decided to probe the allegations. If any violation is established during the probe, strict action will be taken against the CBI officials concerned. The competent court will be informed,” read a media statement.

India accuses Pakistan of harbouring terrorists as they spar again at the UN Human Rights Council

India is dealing with a “terrorist state” which channels billions of dollars to support terrorist groups. It still awaits “credible action by the Pakistani government to bring the perpetrators of 2008 Mumbai attacks and the 2016 Pathankot attacks to justice,” India told the UN Human Rights Council in a hard-hitting statement on Monday.

“The latest terrorist attack in Uri, where 18 Indian soldiers lost their life and over 20 injured, only underlines that the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan remains active,” India said using its Right of Reply (RoR), during a general debate on the implementation of Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, responding to a statement made by Pakistan.

“The recovery of GPS, grenades with Pakistani markings, communication matrix sheets and equipment and other stores made in Pakistan, and patterns of infiltration and attacks, is clear evidence of involvement of terror organizations based in Pakistan or territory under its control,” India stated.

It (India) “deeply regrets” its neighbour’s continued misuse of the Council to make “tendentious references” about internal matters pertaining to its state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Pakistan has a “selective approach” in dealing with terrorists inside Pakistan as well as outside its boundaries and its continued support to terrorists in J&K is the main challenge to protecting the human rights of the citizens in the state, India said.

“In Pakistan, our region is dealing with a terrorist state, which has for years with complete impunity channelized billions of dollars from international aid, to training, financing and supporting terrorist groups as militant proxies against it neighbours,” the statement said.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Internationally proscribed terrorist entities and their leaders continue to roam the streets of Pakistan freely and operate with State support; even raising funds openly in flagrant violation of Pakistan’s international obligations.

“We await credible action by the Government of Pakistan to bring all those involved in the 2008 Mumbai attack and the 2016 Pathankot attack to justice,” India told the Council.

The “irresponsible and short-sighted” Pakistani policy of using terrorism as a state policy has not only affected India but has had deleterious impact on the stability of South Asia as a whole and beyond.

“We call upon the Council to urge Pakistan to engage in honest introspection and focus its energies on acting against perpetrators of terrorist attacks on its neighbours from its own territory. Countering terrorism emanating from Pakistan, that has turned out to be the most acute violator of human rights, is the only way to address the risk to peace and stability of the region,” India said in the RoR statement.

Pakistan, earlier during the debate, had stated that it is “regrettable” that decades since the adoption of the UN Charter and the two covenants (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights), the people of “Indian-occupied J&K” are still being denied the right to self-determination.

“The repression and brutality they [Kashmiris] face is constant,” Pakistan said.

The Council is being asked to believe the “absurd narrative” of India that the situation in J&K is about terrorism, Pakistan said, adding that the Kashmiri people were being “bludgeoned and brutalized” by an occupying power so that they give up their “just” right to self-determination.

“Genuine human rights defenders like Khurram Parvez are stopped by India from speaking at the Council. This is a clear case of reprisals. Mr. President, you need to take action,” Pakistan said.

Kashmir is an integral part of India: Full text of Sushma Swaraj’s speech at UNGA

Giving a befitting reply to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday reiterate that Kashmir was, is and will be an integral part of India at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Here is the full text of Swaraj’s speech at the UNGA:

Hon’ble President,
On behalf of India and on my own behalf, I congratulate you on your election as President of the 71st United Nations General Assembly. Let me also take this opportunity to thank Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for his services to the United Nations, history’s largest peace movement.

Mr. President,

A year has passed since I stood here at this hallowed podium to address the members of the international community. Since then, much has changed in the world around us – some for the better, some for the worse and much which has been cause of great concern. There can be no better platform to ponder our actions and our achievements over the last year. We must remember that we will be defined not just by our actions, but equally, by our inaction.

Mr. President,

A number of issues have been debated in this august Assembly – from the necessity of global partnerships in sharing new vaccines and promoting access to affordable drugs to counter anti-microbial resistance, to the need for faster implementation of the Sendai Framework to mitigate the risk of natural disasters. From the challenge of ensuring well-ordered mobility of productive human resources, to the necessity of adequate consultations with Troop Contributing Countries before framing mandates for UN Peacekeeping Operations. But my time is limited. I would therefore, focus only on some of the most pressing issues facing the international community.

Mr. President,

The true challenge of our time is to end the curse of harsh poverty that still lurks in so many corners of our world; to ensure that the fruits of growing prosperity reach those who need it most; to take forward the mission of gender equality and protect women where there is gender regression; and to ensure peace across boundaries, not least because there can be no prosperity without peace.
I congratulate you for the priority you have given to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by making them the theme for the 71st UNGA. I am happy that the 17 goals adopted by this Assembly are matched by the development vision of my Government, which is geared towards the achievement of these same objectives. Under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Campaign), more than 400,000 toilets have been constructed in schools. The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Educate the Girl Child, Save the Girl Child) programme has become a nation-wide mission. The Make in India brand is receiving international acclaim. Almost 250 million bank accounts have been opened for the poor under the Jan Dhan Yojana, the largest financial inclusion programme the world has ever seen. Digital India is transforming the country. Under the Skill India initiative, a number of programmes are underway to enable youth to reap the demographic dividend. These initiatives have added a new dimension to India’s growth story, making it the fastest growing major economy in the world at a time of slow global growth.

Mr. President,

We are all aware that 1/6th of humanity lives in India. Therefore global success in realizing SDGs depends on the success achieved in India. We are committed to the wholehearted implementation of the Agenda 2030 as a national effort. We have decided to dedicate one day in each session of our Parliament for discussions only on SDGs. This will enable us to constantly monitor their progress and this will give us good results.
However, in a globalised world, national effort needs to be supplemented by international cooperation for the successful implementation of Agenda 2030.

Mr. President,

Climate change is yet another serious challenge confronting us. There are enough resources on this planet to fulfil everyone’s needs, but not enough to fulfil anyone’s greed, for greed is limitless. In this context PM Modi has championed a new concept – Climate Justice. If we respect nature, nature will respect and nurture us and future generations. But, if we exploit nature mindlessly, then we must be mindful that nature will unleash its fury upon us. In different parts of the world, we have already seen nature drift towards the unnatural – from torrential rain to excessive heat, from tsunamis to storms and cloudbursts.
We must curb reckless consumption, and adopt lifestyles in harmony with nature. Yoga, the storehouse of India’s ancient wisdom, epitomises a sustainable lifestyle. Let me record our gratitude for the unprecedented global response to the International Day of Yoga.
In the Paris Agreement, the principle of ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities’ and ‘Respective Capabilities’ has been acknowledged and accepted. This makes clear that while our responsibility is common, obligations are different. Developed nations must discharge their responsibility in the search for the common good, with finance and technology transfer.
India has launched an ambitious domestic effort to transform our energy mix to achieve 40% energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. The massive investments required entail a predictable and stable environment towards which we are working actively. Apart from this, our path-breaking initiative for an International Solar Alliance is intended to make efficient solar technology available for all.
I assure this Assembly that India will continue to play a leading role in combating climate change. We have decided to submit our Instrument of Ratification of the Paris Agreement on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who epitomised a lifestyle with the smallest carbon footprint.

Mr. President,

Let me now turn to a subject of the most critical importance, one which deeply concerns every member of this Assembly. This month we marked the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on this city. Tragically, less than 15 days ago, another attempt at killing innocents was made through an act of terror in this same city. We, who have suffered in Uri recently, understand the pain inflicted by the same forces. The world has been battling this scourge for long. However, despite the blood and tears of innocent victims, attacks this year alone in Kabul and Dhaka, Istanbul and Mogadishu, Brussels and Bangkok, Paris, Pathankot and Uri as well as daily barbaric tragedies in Syria and Iraq, remind us that these malevolent forces are yet to be defeated.
We must acknowledge that terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest violation of human rights. It targets the innocent and kills indiscriminately. Terrorism has gone way beyond affecting individuals or nations – it is a crime against humanity itself. But it is important to ask – who is behind this and who benefits from it? Terrorists do not own banks or weapons factories, so let us ask the real question: who finances these terrorists, who arms them and provides sanctuaries? We heard similar questions being asked by Afghanistan from this podium.

Mr. President,

History proves that those who seed extremist ideologies, reap a bitter harvest. The germ of evil has grown into a hydra-headed monster, backed by technological sophistication that threatens the peace and harmony of our world. We will not be able to win against terrorism by making specious distinctions between your problems and mine, between terrorists who attack you and those who attack me. For we do not know who this Frankenstein’s monster will devour next.
Therefore if we want to defeat terrorism, there is only one way – that we unite across our differences, add steel to our resolve and inject urgency in our response. We need to forget our prejudices and join hands together to script an effective strategy against terror. This is not an impossible task provided we have the will. We can do it, we must do it. Otherwise our future generations will forever hold us to account. And if any nation refuses to join this global strategy, then we must isolate it.
In our midst, there are nations that still speak the language of terrorism, that nurture it, peddle it, and export it. To shelter terrorists has become their calling card. We must identify these nations and hold them to account. These nations, in which UN designated terrorists roam freely, lead processions and deliver their poisonous sermons of hate with impunity, are as culpable as the very terrorists they harbour. Such countries should have no place in the comity of nations.

Mr. President,

On 21st September, the Prime Minister of Pakistan used this podium to make baseless allegations about human rights violations in my country. I can only say that those accusing others of human rights violations would do well to introspect and see what egregious abuses they are perpetrating in their own country, including in Balochistan. The brutality against the Baloch people represents the worst form of State oppression.

Mr. President,

The Prime Minister of Pakistan also said that India has placed pre-conditions for talks which are not acceptable to him. What pre-conditions? Did we impose any pre-condition before extending an invitation for the oath-taking ceremony of our Government? Did we impose any pre-condition when I went to Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference and agreed to begin the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue? Did we impose any pre-condition when Prime Minister Modi travelled from Kabul to Lahore? What pre-conditions? We took the initiative to resolve issues not on the basis of conditions, but on the basis of friendship! We have in fact attempted a paradigm of friendship in the last two years which is without precedent. We conveyed Eid greetings to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, wished success to his cricket team, extended good wishes for his health and well being. Did all this come with pre-conditions attached?
And what did we get in return? Pathankot, Bahadur Ali, and Uri. Bahadur Ali is a terrorist in our custody, whose confession is a living proof of Pakistan’s complicity in cross-border terror. But when confronted with such evidence, Pakistan remains in denial. It persists in the belief that such attacks will enable it to obtain the territory it covets. My firm advice to Pakistan is: abandon this dream. Let me state unequivocally that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so.

Mr. President,

As I said at the very beginning, we will be judged by our action and equally by our inaction. What goals have we achieved and what objectives remain unfulfilled? I would like to highlight two such pending tasks of this Assembly.
The CCIT was proposed by India in 1996. In 2016, despite the passage of two decades, we are yet to come to a conclusion. As a result, we are unable to develop a norm under which terrorists shall be prosecuted or extradited. Therefore it is my appeal that this General Assembly acts with fresh resolve and urgency to adopt this critical Convention.
Just as we need a more contemporary approach to combating terrorism, we also need a less outdated Security Council that continues to reflect the world order of an earlier era. The vast majority of nations share the belief that the UN should not remain frozen in 1945, just to serve the interests of a few. Whether it is institutions or issues, we must come to terms with present day realities and the challenges that confront us. An expansion in the Permanent and non-Permanent membership of the Council to reflect contemporary realities is therefore, an urgent necessity. We must move forward substantively towards text-based negotiations.

Mr. President,

If both these long pending issues are addressed during your Presidency, the success of this Session will be ensured.
The 21st century has begun in the shadow of turmoil, but we can turn this into a golden age in the history of civilization through united and concerted efforts. But what happens tomorrow will depend on what we do today.
Thank you.

Converting LoC into International Border ‘only option’ with India, Pakistan: Natwar Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upset by the Uri terror attack that claimed the lives of 18 soldiers, former foreign minister and seasoned diplomat K.Natwar Singh on Sunday said converting the Line of Control (LoC) into the International Border (IB) is the only solution in sight to end the bitter rivalry between India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir.”There is no solution, as every method has been tried. Eventually, I am not saying today or tomorrow, we can take 10 years, 15 years or 20 years, but in my judgment as a private citizen, and (former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister) Farooq Abdullah has also said, eventually the Line of Control (LoC) will become the International Border, that’s all,” Natwar Singh told ANI, adding that it is the only solution, as there is no other solution.”The most difficult problem we have in India is the Jammu and Kashmir issue, but it has now got involved into international affairs in the world and a lot of people have started taking interest in it. We have tried for 70 years, but nothing has happened; I am not saying today, it may happen in another 10-15 years, because there is no other answer. Especially, when they became a nuclear power, you cannot go for a war,” said the former minister of external affairs, while ruling out war as a solution to this problem.”Our people were saying during the time of (former Pakistan President) Gen. Pervez Musharraf that there was a seven-point agreement, even though the citizens of India and Pakistan don?t accept even one point. So, the solution to this is when the time is ripe, we can look at this (converting LoC into IB),” said the veteran diplomat.When asked if he was confident that after converting the LoC into the IB there would be no problem from the Pakistani side, Singh said of course not, if everything is accepted and when your borders are there, breaching the IB would not be possible.He, however, rejected Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement that the Uri terror attack could be the result of a reaction of the people to the situation in Kashmir, saying that the statements that come from Pakistan have been coming for the last 70 years, and he doesn’t think that India should pay too much attention to them.”No, I don’t agree, because the statements that come from Pakistan have been coming for the last 70 years, and I don’t think we should pay too much attention to them. I will not say we should not pay any attention, because what had happened in Uri, everybody is concerned about it in India. Our 18 soldiers have been killed and the whole of India is agitated and concerned about these things,” he said.”But this is not for the first time that this has happened, they have been doing all along. What they did in Bombay (Mumbai), more than 250 people died; what they did in Pathankot; what they have done in Uri; they did Kargil, but Kargil was serious, so we gave them a reply and they had to retreat in Kargil,” he added.Singh further said ‘there is a compulsion for Mr. Nawaz Sharif to speak on these things for internal reasons’, but public opinion has to be guided by the leadership. “The anger of our people is fully justified, but going to war is not an answer and I don’t think we will go to war,” he added.Asked whether he thought that India had been successful in isolating Pakistan at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he said, “Yes, we have been successful. When he (Sharif) made a speech at the UNGA, no country supported him, not even the Muslim countries as far as I know.”When asked if revisiting the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan was an option with India, Singh said, “No it’s not a serious matter, you cannot do it, and people who are talking about it are talking irresponsibly. You either go to war or talk to them. Both of us are nuclear powers, and thus, it is not that easy. When they were not a nuclear power, things were different, now we have to be very careful.”

JNU rape turns political as students’ union calls for protest against AISA, Anmol Ratan

After a 28-year-old JNU student filed a rape case against an All India Student Association (AISA) activist, accusing him of raping her in a hostel room on the university campus, national president of AISA, Sucheta De said that the association takes serious note of the fact that Anmol Ratan, a leading activist of AISA, is facing a criminal complaint of sexual assault.

He is henceforth expelled from the primary membership of AISA.”

De said this on a Facebook post. Asserting that AISA will be “unflinching” when it came to principles of gender justice even if it involved a leading member of the organisation, She said that the association and its members stood by the complainant and “will extend all possible support in her fight for justice.”

The AISA president shared the statement on her Facebook page.

De added that the police must not delay in taking all necessary action towards justice. “The University must also take disciplinary measures against the accused, and must extend all needed support to the survivor,” she said in the Facebook post. Vice-president of JNUSU Shehla Rashid and many others from JNU have shared De’s Facebook post.

Meanwhile, politics over the alleged rape started brewing inside the JNU campus when the joint secretary of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) Saurabh Sharma dubbed Anmol Ratan as “Rapist Left Brigade”.

Sharma called for various protests through the day and asked everyone to join a protest march — ‘Bekhauf Azaadi.’ Shishir Tripathi of Firstpost reported that Sharma has called for a class campaign in all schools of JNU from 10 am till 1 pm on Monday.

Sharma also said that JNUSU will protest at the administrative block of the university at 3 pm and will ask JNU vice-chancellor to rusticate the “rapist” and justice for the survivor.

JNUSU members will reportedly hold their evening ‘mess campaign’ from 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm in all hostels for “the justice to the survivor and to uphold our legacy of gender justice and to save JNU’s name, pride and culture.”

“Please join us at Sabarmati Dhaba at 10 pm for effigy burning of the Rapist Left Brigade,” Sharma told Firstpost.

Sharma also took to Facebook. Dubbing AISA as “hypocrite”, he said:

“Not mere an activist, but STATE SECRETARY of AISA : Mr. Anmol Ratan ( meaning a Precious jewel) is booked under 376/506 IPC for RAPE of a poor 1st year JNU Phd girl. Initial reports are coming that he even threatened The poor girl of CONSEQUENCES if she reports to Police.”

Anmol Ratan’s Facebook page has been suspended.

Screengrab of Anmol Ratan's Facebook page.

Screengrab of Anmol Ratan’s Facebook page.

The woman in question is a first-year PhD student. She alleged that Ratan raped her on Saturday. According to the complaint filed by her at Vasant Kunj (North) police station, she had posted on her Facebook profile that she wanted to watch Sairat movie and asked if anyone had a CD of it. It said Ratan apparently messaged her saying that he had a copy. Thereafter, he picked her up on Saturday on the pretext of giving her a CD of the film and took her to Brahamputra Hostel, where he stays.

She said in the complaint that he offered her a spiked drink and allegedly raped her. He also threatened her and asked her to not report the matter. However, the woman approached the police on Sunday and a case of rape was registered and further investigation is underway.

With inputs from agencies

PM Modi, Sonia Gandhi condole death of Nagaland militant leader Isak Chisi Swu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of Naga militant leader Isak Chisi Swu and said he will be remembered for his historical role in bringing out the Framework Agreement for Naga peace.”My heartfelt condolences to the family and supporters of Mr. Isak Chisi Swu on his demise. May his soul rest in peace,” Modi tweeted.”Mr. Swu will be remembered for his historical role in bringing out the Framework Agreement for Naga peace,” he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi said Swu had wished the best for the Naga people and aspired for peace. Swu, who led a bloody insurgency in the Northeast for over three decades, died here today following multi-organ failure.In her condolence message, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said she hoped that Swu’s legacy would evolve into that of lasting peace and reconciliation.The 87-year-old Chairman of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) was undergoing treatment for almost a year at a private hospital in South Delhi where he breathed his last around noon, Nagaland government spokesperson Kuolie Mere said.In August last year, the NSCN-IM signed a Framework Agreement with the government which the Prime Minister had described as a “historic” step to usher in peace in the state.The pact had been signed in the presence of the Prime Minister, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval by Muivah and government’s interlocutor R N Ravi at the PM’s residence.

AAP stands for ‘Accusing, Abusing Party’: BJP

With President Pranab Mukherjee rejecting the Bill to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the office of profit, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday branded the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as ‘Accusing and Abusing Party’ and asked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal not to demean the credibility of the President of India.”While addressing a press conference BJP party spokesperson Sambit Patra said the office of the President and that of the Election Commission of this country are independent institutes of great credibility, asserting that because Kejriwal has a certain ‘political ambition’, he cannot demean either.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have seen the drama of the AAP unfolding in front of us since yesterday. We have seen the frustration of the Chief Minister of Delhi Mr. Arvind Kejriwal. I would like to remind the office of Delhi Chief Minister, that sir, office of the President of this country, office of the Election Commission of this country are independent institutes and they are institutes of great credibility,” said Patra.”Because you have certain political ambition which did not get fulfilled, for god’s sake don’t demean the credibility of the President of India because at the end of the day, it demeans the credibility of the democracy of the country. Don’t demean the Election Commission of this country because after all, the issue of disqualification of 21 MLAs lies in front of the President and the Election Commission of this country and not with BJP. We don’t have to do anything with this,” he added.Further lashing out at Kejriwal for dragging the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in to the matter, Patra said the Delhi CM is obsessed with Modi.”Mr. Kejriwal is saying that BJP is scared of AAP, i would like to say that BJP is not scared of AAP. The AAP and Kejriwal are obsessed with Modi and that is the issue,” Patra said.”Mr. Kejriwal’s morning, begins with Modi, Modi, Modi his afternoon is Modi, Modi, Modi and his evenings are Modi, Modi, Modi. AAP has become an abusing and accusing party. AAP stands for Accusing and Abusing Party,” he added.With President Pranab Mukherjee rejecting the Bill to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the office of profit, Kejriwal earlier today alleged that Prime Minister Modi is ‘scared’ of the AAP while blaming him for posing an obstacle in the Delhi Government’s functioning.Kejriwal told ANI that Prime Minister Modi is not yet able to digest the AAP’s splendid win in the Delhi Assembly polls.The Delhi Government Bill to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the office of profit has been refused assent by the President, raising questions over the fate of 21 AAP MLAs, who have been appointed to the posts.The refusal puts a question mark on the membership of 21 AAP MLAs, who have been appointed Parliamentary Secretaries.The AAP Government had sought an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997 through which it had sought “retrospective” exemption for the parliamentary secretaries from disqualification provisions.Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung forwarded the Bill to the Centre, which in turn was sent to the President with comments.

Modi in US: Full text of PM Modi’s speech in US Congress

Here’s the full text of PM Modi’s speech in US Congress: Mr. Speaker,Mr. Vice President,Distinguished Members of the U.S. CongressLadies and Gentlemen.I am deeply honoured by the invitation to address this Joint Meeting of the U.S. Congress. Thank you, Mr. Speaker for opening the doors of this magnificent Capitol. This temple of democracy has encouraged and empowered other democracies the world over. It manifests the spirit of this great nation, which in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In granting me this opportunity, you have honoured the world’s largest democracy and its 1.25 billion people. As a representative of world’s largest democracy, it is indeed a privilege to speak to the leaders of its oldest.Mr. Speaker,Two days ago, I began my visit by going to the Arlington National Cemetery -the final resting place of many brave soldiers of this great land. I honoured their courage and sacrifice for the ideals of freedom and democracy.It was also the seventy-second Anniversary of the D-Day. On that day, thousands from this great country fought to protect the torch of liberty on the remote shores of a land that they did not know. They sacrificed their lives so that the world lives in freedom. I applaud …India applauds, the great sacrifices of the men and women from ‘The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave’ in service of mankind.India knows what this means because our soldiers too have fallen in distant battlefields for the same ideals. That is why the threads of freedom and liberty form a strong bond between our two democracies.Mr. Speaker, Our nations may have been shaped by differing histories, cultures, and faiths. Yet, our belief in democracy for our nations and liberty for our countrymen is common. The idea that all citizens are created equal is a central pillar of the American constitution.Our founding fathers too shared the same belief and sought individual liberty for every citizen of India. There were many who doubted India when, as a newly independent nation, we reposed our faith in democracy.Indeed, wagers were made on our failure. But, the people of India did not waver. Our founders created a modern nation with freedom, democracy, and equality as the essence of its soul. And, in doing so, they ensured that we continued to celebrate our age old diversity.Today, across its streets and institutions, in its villages and cities, anchored in equal respect for all faiths; and in the melody of hundreds of its languages and dialects. India lives as one; India grows as one; India celebrates as one.Mr. Speaker, Modern India is in its 70th year. For my government, the Constitution is its real holy book. And, in that holy book, freedom of faith, speech and franchise, and equality of all citizens, regardless of background, are enshrined as fundamental rights.800 million of my countrymen may exercise the freedom of franchise once every five years. But, all the 1.25 billion of our citizens have freedom from fear, a freedom they exercise every moment of their lives.Distinguished Members,Engagement between our democracies has been visible in the manner in which our thinkers impacted one another, and shaped the course of our societies. Thoreau’s idea of civil disobedience influenced our political thoughts.And, similarly the call by the great sage of India Swami Vivekananda to embrace humanity was most famously delivered in Chicago.Gandhi’s non-violence inspired the heroism of Martin Luther King. Today, a mere distance of 3 miles separates the Martin Luther King memorial at Tidal Basin from the statue of Gandhi at Massachusetts Avenue. This proximity of their memorials in Washington mirrors the closeness of ideals and values they believed in. The genius of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was nurtured in the years he spent at the Columbia University a century ago.The impact of the U.S. constitution on him was reflected in his drafting of the Indian constitution some three decades later. Our independence was ignited by the same idealism that fuelled your struggle for freedom.No wonder then that former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee called India and the U.S. ‘natural allies’. No wonder that the shared ideals and common philosophy of freedom shaped the bedrock of our ties. No wonder then, that President Obama has called our ties the defining partnership of the 21st century.Mr. Speaker,More than fifteen years ago, Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee stood here and gave a call to step out of the ‘shadow of hesitation’ of the past. The pages of our friendship since then tell a remarkable story. Today, our relationship has overcome the hesitations of history.Comfort, candour and convergence define our conversations. Through the cycle of elections and transitions of Administrations the intensity of our engagements has only grown. And, in this exciting journey, the U.S. Congress has acted as its compass. You helped us turn barriers into bridges of partnership. In the fall of 2008, when the Congress passed the India-U.S. Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, it changed the very colours of leaves of our relationship. We thank you for being there when the partnership needed you the most.You have also stood by us in times of sorrow. India will never forget the solidarity shown by the U.S. Congress when terrorists from across our border attacked Mumbai in November of 2008.And for this, we are grateful.Mr. Speaker,I am informed that the working of the U.S. Congress is harmonious. I am also told that you are well-known for your bipartisanship. Well, you are not alone. Time and again, I have also witnessed a similar spirit in the Indian Parliament, especially in our Upper House.So, as you can see, we have many shared practices.Mr. Speaker,As this country knows well, every journey has its pioneers. Very early on, they shaped a development partnership even when the meeting ground was more limited. The genius of Norman Borlaug brought the Green Revolution and food security to India.The excellence of the American Universities nurtured Institutes of Technology and Management in India. And, I could go on. Fast forward to today. The embrace of our partnership extends to the entirety of human endeavour-from the depths of the oceans to the vastness of the space.Our S&T collaboration continues to helps us in cracking the age-old problems in the fields of public health, education, food, and agriculture. Ties of commerce and investment are flourishing. We trade more with the U.S. than with any other nation. And, the flow of goods, services and capital between us generates jobs in both our societies.As in trade, so in defence. India exercises with the United States more than we do with any other partner. Defence purchases have moved from almost zero to ten billion dollars in less than a decade. Our cooperation also secures our cities and citizens from terrorists, and protects our critical infrastructure from cyber threats.Civil Nuclear Cooperation, as I told President Obama yesterday, is a reality. Mr. Speaker,Our people to people links are strong; and there is close cultural connect between our societies. SIRI tells us that India’s ancient heritage of Yoga has over 30 million practitioners in the U.S. It is estimated that more Americans bend for yoga than to throw a curve ball. And, no Mr. Speaker, we have not yet claimed intellectual property right on Yoga.Connecting our two nations is also a unique and dynamic bridge of three million Indian Americans. Today, they are among your best CEOs; academics; astronauts; scientists; economists; doctors; even spelling bee champions. They are your strength. They are also the pride of India. They symbolize the best of both our societies.Mr. Speaker,My understanding of your great country began long before I entered public office. Long before assuming office, I travelled coast to coast, covering more than 25 States of America. I realized then that the real strength of the U.S. was in the dreams of its people and the boldness of their ambitions.Today, Mr. Speaker, a similar spirit animates India. Our 800 million youth, especially, are particularly impatient. India is undergoing a profound social and economic change. A billion of its citizens are already politically empowered. My dream is to economically empower them through many social and economic transformations.And, do so by 2022, the seventy-fifth anniversary of India’s independence. My to-do list is long and ambitious. But you will understand. It includes:· A vibrant rural economy with robust farm sector;· A roof over each head and electricity to all households;· To skill millions of our youth;· Build 100 smart cities;· Have a broad band for a billion, and connect our villages to the digital world;· And create a twenty-first century rail, road and port infrastructure.These are not just aspirations; they are goals to be reached in a finite time-frame. And, to be achieved with a light carbon foot print, with greater emphasis on renewables.Mr. Speaker,In every sector of India’s forward march, I see the U.S. as an indispensable partner. Many of you also believe that a stronger and prosperous India is in America’s strategic interest. Let us work together to convert shared ideals into practical cooperation. There can be no doubt that in advancing this relationship, both nations stand to gain in great measure.As the U.S. businesses search for new areas of economic growth, markets for their goods, a pool of skilled resources, and global locations to produce and manufacture, India could be their ideal partner. India’s strong economy, and growth rate of 7.6% per annum, is creating new opportunities for our mutual prosperity.Transformative American technologies in India and growing investment by Indian companies in the United States both have a positive impact on the lives of our citizens. Today, for their global research and development centres, India is the destination of choice for the U.S. companies.Looking eastward from India, across the Pacific, the innovation strength of our two countries comes together in California. Here, the innovative genius of America and India’s intellectual creativity are working to shape new industries of the future.Mr. Speaker,The 21st century has brought with it great opportunities. But, it also comes with its own set of challenges. Inter-dependence is increasing. But, while some parts of the world are islands of growing economic prosperity; other are mired in conflicts. In Asia, the absence of an agreed security architecture creates uncertainty. Threats of terror are expanding, and new challenges are emerging in cyber and outer-space.And, global institutions conceived in 20th century, seem unable to cope with new challenges or take on new responsibilities.In this world full of multiple transitions and economic opportunities; growing uncertainties and political complexities; existing threats and new challenges; our engagement can make a difference by promoting:· Cooperation not dominance; Connectivity not isolation;· Respect for Global Commons;· inclusive not exclusive mechanisms; and above all· adherence to international rules and norms.India is already assuming her responsibilities in securing the Indian Ocean region. A strong India-U.S. partnership can anchor peace, prosperity and stability from Asia to Africa and from Indian Ocean to the Pacific.It can also help ensure security of the sea lanes of commerce and freedom of navigation on seas. But, the effectiveness of our cooperation would increase if international institutions framed with the mindset of the 20th century were to reflect the realities of today.Mr. Speaker,Before arriving in Washington D.C., I had visited Herat in Western Afghanistan to inaugurate Afghan-India Friendship Dam, a 42 MW hydro-electric project built with Indian assistance. I was also there on the Christmas day last year to dedicate to that proud nation its Parliament, a testimony to our democratic ties. Afghans naturally recognize that the sacrifices of American have helped create a better life. But, your contribution in keeping the region safe and secure is deeply appreciated even beyond. India too has made an enormous contribution and sacrifices to support our friendship with Afghan people.A commitment to rebuild a peaceful, and stable and prosperous Afghanistan our shared objective. Yet, Distinguished Members, not just in Afghanistan, but elsewhere in South Asia, and globally, terrorism remains the biggest threat.In the territory stretching from West of India’s border to Africa, it may go by different names, from Laskhar-e-Taiba, to Taliban to ISIS. But, it’s philosophy is common: of hate, murder and violence.Although it’s shadow is spreading across the world, it is incubated in India’s neighbourhood. I commend the members of the U.S. Congress for sending a clear message to those who preach and practice terrorism for political gains. Refusing to reward them is the first step towards holding them accountable for their actions. The fight against terrorism has to be fought at many levels. And, the traditional tools of military, intelligence or diplomacy alone would not be able to win this fight.Mr. Speaker,We have both lost civilians and soldiers in combating it. The need of the hour is for us to deepen our security cooperation. And, base it on a policy:· that isolates those who harbour, support and sponsor terrorists;· that does not distinguish between “good” and “bad” terrorists; and that delinks religion from terrorism.Also, for us to succeed, those who believe in humanity must come together to fight for it as one, and speak against this menace in one voice. Terrorism must be delegitimized.Mr. Speaker,The benefits of our partnership extend not just to the nations and regions that need it most.On our own, and by combining our capacities, we are also responding to other global challenges including when disaster strikes and where humanitarian relief is needed. Far from our shores, we evacuated thousands from Yemen, Indians, Americans and others.Nearer home, we were the first responders during Nepal’s earthquake, in the Maldives water crisis and most recently during landslide in Sri Lanka. We are also one of the largest contributors of troops to UN Peace Keeping Operations.Often, India and the U.S. have combined their strengths in science, technology and innovation to help fight hunger, poverty, diseases and illiteracy in different parts of the world.The success of our partnership is also opening up new opportunities for learning, security and development from Asia to Africa.And, the protection of environment and caring for the planet is central to our shared vision of a just world.For us in India, to live in harmony with mother earth is part of our ancient belief. And, to take from nature only what is most essential is part of our civilizational ethos. Our partnership, therefore, aims to balance responsibilities with capabilities. And, it also focuses on new ways to increase the availability and use of renewable energy.A strong U.S. support for our initiative to form an International Solar Alliance is one such effort. We are working together not just for a better future for ourselves, but for the whole world. This has also been the goal of our efforts in G-20, East Asia Summit and Climate Change summits.Mr. Speaker and Distinguished MembersAs we deepen our partnership, there would be times when we would have differing perspectives. But, since our interests and concerns converge, the autonomy in decision making and diversity in our perspectives can only add value to our partnership. So, as we embark on a new journey, and seek new goals, let us focus not just on matters routine but transformational ideas.Ideas which can focus:· Not just on creating wealth but also creating value for our societies;· Not just on immediate gains but also long term benefits;· Not just on sharing best practices but also shaping partnerships; and· Not just on building a bright future for our peoples, but in being a bridge to a more united, humane and prosperous world.And, important for the success of this journey would be a need to view it with new eyes and new sensitivities.When we do this, we will realise the full promise of this extraordinary relationship.Mr. Speaker,My final thoughts and words would reiterate that our relationship is primed for a momentous future. The constraints of the past are behind us and foundations of the future are firmly in place.In the lines of Walt Whitman, “The Orchestra have sufficiently tuned their instruments, the baton has given the signal. And to that, if I might add, there is a new symphony in play. Thank you Mr. Speaker and Distinguished members for this honour.Thank you very much.

Govt may announce new Metro lines in Mumbai Metropolitan Region

In the next couple of years, there is a possibility of the state government announcing new Metro lines in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to connect various municipal areas with each other and with Mumbai. Among the first two, that are likely to be executed are Kasarvadavli-Thane-Wadala and Kalyan-Bhiwandi-Thane Metro routes.In order to identify which Metro lines will be feasible to enhance the connectivity in MMR, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has initiated the process to revise and update its Comprehensive Transport Study (CTS) report, so that new Metro lines and other transportation as well as infrastructure options can be looked at. Bid has been floated to appoint an agency for updating the CTS.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A lot has changed in the last decade since the existing CTS study was conducted in the MMR. There has also been substantial rise in the population in MMR. There is need to update the CTS report,” said UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner of MMRDA. The research for the last CTS study was done between 2005 and 2007 and was published by the MMRDA in 2008.”We already have Kasarvadavli-Thane-Wadala Metro line in pipeline. The next would be Kalyan –Bhiwandi-Thane corridor. Once the CTS is updated then other Metro lines in the MMR too will be identified for implementation,” said Madan.Once of the prime factors for having these two routes is to establish connectivity with the Kalyan Growth Centre planned by the MMRDA. The development authority is Special Planning Authority for Kalyan-Ambernath areas.Moreover, the state government has plans to make Bhiwandi a formal logistics hub because of numerous godowns. Various establishments operating in Mumbai, have their storage facility in Bhiwandi for cheaper real estate.Though various measures were recommended in the CTS report, but not even a quarter of them have been converted into reality by the development authority or through the urban local bodies in the MMR.Some of the recommendations include upgrading the existing suburban rail network, having a network of Metro rails, multiple sea links of the western coast of Mumbai, Sewri-Nhava Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, passenger water transport on both the coastlines of Mumbai, etc.

Apple CEO Tim Cook meets Modi, launches updated version of PM’s mobile app

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and launched an updated version of the ‘Narendra Modi mobile app’.”I am delighted to share that Mr. Tim Cook launched an updated version of the ‘Narendra modi mobile app’. Thank you Mr. Cook. This updated version contains a new volunteering network on the App,” the Prime Minister tweeted.Calling on the citizens to take at look at the new features called ‘my network’ in the app, he said that it empowers people to contribute on ‘lively and enriching forums’ where they can share their ideas and deliberate with others.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tim Cook, who landed in India this week, said the company would establish a Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru, the home of India’s startup scene. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday lauded Apple CEO Tim Cook’s long-term commitment to India and called for working in collaboration for growth and business opportunities.”Since he has made a public statement that his commitment to India is going to be of 1000 years, I also take this opportunity publicly to compliment the CEO of Apple (Tim Cook) who is in India for his public commitment for the attachment with India.”We need to work together for growth manufacturing investment and value addition,” Prasad said at an Assocham event.(With ANI inputs)

Modi greets Afghan President on birthday, this time correctly

New Delhi: Over three months after wishing him wrongly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday ensured that he greeted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the correct date of his birthday.

“Happy Birthday President @ashrafghani…got the date right this time. :),” Modi tweeted.

A file photo of PM Modi. AFPA file photo of PM Modi. AFP

A file photo of PM Modi. AFP

Ghani responded by a tweet: “Bahut dhanyavaad Mr. PM. It’s always a delight to hear from such dear friend of mine and a strong supporter of our people.”

Modi had earlier mistakenly wished the Afghan President on 12 February.

“Happy birthday @ashrafghani. Praying for your long life & exceptional health and a joyful journey ahead,” the Prime Minister had tweeted on that day.

Ghani had then tweeted back: “Greetings from Munich Mr. PM. Although, my Birthday is on 19th May, but I’d still like to thank you for your gracious words :).”

The faux pas had led to trolling of the Prime Minister on the social media.

Pak’s ‘RAW’ agent drama fake, excuse to label homegrown Baloch freedom movt India’s proxy war to cover its war crimes: Baloch Students Organisation

In his confession video, alleged Indian RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav mentions meeting and funding Baloch Students Organisation–designated as a terrorist organisation by Pakistan– as one of his espionage activities. Karima Baloch, chairperson of BSO Azad, in an exclusive interview to dna says the `fake accusations’ of R&AW agent by Pakistan is to cover up on its atrocities in Balochistan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“It will take more than one fake `RAW agent’ for Pakistan to hide and cover all mass graves, enforced disappearances, State-run genocide and war crimes that it is committing against Baloch Nation.’’Karima spoke on the atrocities and militarization of Balochistan, why Iran will never allow India to support Baloch liberation movement from its land, how China under the garb of economic development through CPEC is plundering Balochistan’s gold and mineral resources and why India should raise its voice against Pakistan’s oppression in BalochistanPakistan government last month released a video of an alleged Indian RAW agent Mr Kulbhushan Jadhav, where he states that his job was `gathering information, intelligence and directing various activities in Balochistan.’ He further mentions that he was the man for Mr Anil Kumar Gupta, Joint Secretary RAW and held meetings with his contacts in Balochistan Students Organisation. Is BSO in contact with Indian intelligence agencies ?NO. BSO-Azad has no contacts with Indian intelligence “R&AW” or any other intelligence agency of any country. In fact, it is our first time to hear these two names i.e Mr. Kulbushan and Mr. Anil Kumar Gupta. First of all, BSOAzad doesn’t need to follow directions from other foreign groups to love and protect it’s land. Baloch movement is an indigenous movement. It has been going on since 1948, the year Pakistan sent its fascist army to occupy Balochistan. There is no Indian presence or involvement in Balochistan. As i mentioned earlier, the allegation of Indian involvement in Balochistan is an excuse to label ingrown Balochistan freedom movement as a proxy war to cover up the war crimes Pakistani state has committed in Balochistan. Pakistan wants to show the world that its ruthless policy is in self-defence against foreign aggression. But, the world is not blind, deaf and dumb. It is now an open secret that almost 7 decades old Baloch movement is an indigenous movement, not a proxy war imposed by an outsider. In fact, we are in self-defence against Pakistani aggression because it occupied our land illegally, and without our consent. Under all the principles and conventions of International Law we have rights to resist against foreign aggression.Does BSO receive any directives, funding or support in its activities from India or any Indian agency including R&AW ?NO. If BSO- Azad or the Baloch movement had received any kind of economic support, then perhaps we would’ve been a step ahead of our goal. Pakistan repeatedly lies and tries to mislead the world opinion on Baloch Cause by using accusations that the Balochistan’s independence seekers are funded or they receive directions from India or other countries who are fighting their war against Pakistan through the Baloch cause. Undoubtedly, Pakistan state has terribly failed in her dramas because she has failed to disprove the Baloch movement as purely a National movement for independence. So Pakistan is, in fact, unconsciously accepting its own defeat by using such fake dramas against Baloch.Why do you think BSO is being linked in the controversy related to the arrest of Mr Jadhav ?BSO formed in 1967 had split in factions. To bring the organisation’s main goal is the independence of Balochistan and the struggle for greater rights of Baloch students, BSO-azad was founded by Dr Allah Nazar Baloch in 2002. It that believes in peaceful struggle, while striving to create political, ideological awareness and educating Baloch students and masses. The leadership and workers of BSO-azad , despite following a peaceful pattern of struggle, face brutal crackdown by the hands of Pakistan security forces. They are forcefully abducted from their schools, colleges and university campuses and hostels, later on, their mutilated bodies are dumped into wilderness. They are targeted and shot inside their houses by Pakistani forces and later on their bodies are displayed by forces as people that have been killed in armed confrontations. Such fake encounter cases involve murder of our core members, like our former secretary general of BSO AZAD, Raza Jahangir, Rasool Jan and central committee member Qamber Chakar Baloch. Many of BSO-Azad’s leaders and members have been illegally dissappearred by Pakistan army including our former chairman Zahid Baloch, for whom we have launched an international campaign for his save recovery from Pakistani torture cells, and also for Zakir Majeed Baloch, both of them are still missing. So i think in order to justify its war crimes and human rights violations in Balochistan, Pakistan uses such fake accusations (like one that mentioned in jadhav’s fake confession) against BSO-azad to further extend it’s brutal crackdown on it’s peaceful student activists.It will take more than one fake “Raw Agent” for Pakistan to hide and cover all mass graves, enforced dissaparances, State-run Genocide and War crimes that it is committing against Baloch Nation.When and why was BSO outlawed by the Pakistan government and designated it as a terrorist organisation ?In March, 2013, Pakistan banned BSO-Azad. The move is aimed at curtailing our growing resistance against Pakistani occupation. It would also provide Pakistani security forces pretext to abduct, torture, kill and dump bodies of our members and leadership. After the ban, Pakistan killed BSO Secretary General and many other members of BSO in fake encounters in the name of counter-terrorism. As we consider Pakistani state presence inBalochistan as illegal, so we don’t need a certificate from it to enlist us an outlawed organization.What role do you expect India to play in Balochistan’s liberation movement ?Perhaps India is too busy to care about us. Although we do expect from peace loving Indian people to raise their voice against Pakistani state war crimes in Balochistan.Balochistan is burning. Thousands killed, thousands missing, millions of Baloch displaced and resources are being sold to China. It is one of the worst humanitarian crisisses of the 21 century happening right next to Indian border. Pakistani state terrorism has crossed all its limits in Balochistan. Our kids, elders, artists, farmers, nomads and other are picked up in day light, tortured at dark nights in ISI dungeons and killed and dumped in desolated areas. Genocide by Pakistani state in Balochistan has to stop as soon as possible. We request not only to India, but also to the world civilized communities and to the United Nation to stop considering Pakistan’s inhuman business in Balochistan as it’s internal matter without any further delay. It is now or never, If the world wants to counter the insane army generals of Pakistan army and to stop the spread terrorism and global Jihad, then the world must have to step forward to support the freedom of Balochistan. An independent Balochistan will serve as bulwark against extremism and terrorism as secular and democratic state.Pakistan accuses India of interfering in Balochistan and conducting `terror activities’ through Iran.Pakistan has never come up with solid evidence of RAW’s involvement in Balochistan despite that it has been claiming that since ages. We are aware of India’s commercial ventures in the Western Balochistan occupied by Iran. Iran never let India to support Balochistan’s movement in the territory in fear that it also has a domino effect in the Baloch occupied by Iran. In fact, Iran supported Pakistan in 1970s to crush Baloch insurgeny. Therefore such a blame is contrary to common sense. Pakistan wants to counter Indian pressure on it by supporting and sponsoring terrorists groups in Kashmir, it has created its own narrative of Indian interference in Balochistan. If Pakistani state is confident on its stand, it should allow UN and international observers, investigation teams and international media to visit Balochistan. I believe the UN and investigations team would take neutral stance. I am sure Pakistan will never let such investigations. Let alone this, Pakistan should first allow international media and NGOs to visit Balochistan and frequently monitor the situation. Why does it not allow them and have put an iron curtain on the affairs in Balochistan? I will tell you the reason. Because, Pakistan does not want the world what is happening in Balochistan. It just wants to show even to its own patriots that all is well in the western front.Since 2003-2005, there is a resurgence in the armed insurgency in Balochistan. Can you provide a brief update on the current situation on ground.Balochistan never stopped to resist in the past. On the one hand, there are political parties that use peaceful means to free our people from the scourge of state terrorism and brutal suppression. Pakistan has not given political space to the political parties, and always tried to crush them by implying military and civilian forces. The armed resistance in Balochistan is in reaction to such brutal repression and military occupation of Pakistani armed forces. The armed movement is not also a new phenomena in Balochistan. It is the fifth insurgency. But this time there is a stark difference to the previous ones. Previously armed movement were not so wide spread, not so lengthy too. Current armed movement seems to be more sophisticated, more organised. It is also now led by common people. The armed movement in Balochistan is in against Pakistani military occupation of Balochistan.Pakistan has turned Balochistan into military garrison. In every two to 3 miles there are military check posts. They stop cars, drag people down, humiliate and abuse men and women equally. The majority of political activists were stopped in such military check posts and they were forcefully abducted. People of Balochistan see Pakistani military presence in Balochistan as tool of repression and extreme atrocities. Besides this, Pakistan is using religious terrorist organisations such as JuD, LeT, LeJ, Lashkar e Khurasan (an Islamic State, IS, affiliate in Balochistan backed by ISI) to crush Baloch movement and kill religious minorities. In such a situation, it is a basic right to resist. So, people of Balochistan are justified to resist using all means allowed by principles and conventions of International Law when a nation face the threat of forceful occupation, repression, genocide and so on. In short, the armed movement is an expression against Pakistan military occupation, used by people of Balochistan in self-defence. It is also countering spread of Islamism and Talibanization of Baloch in Balochistan.Geo-politically Balochistan is located strategically and China’s recent foray through the Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor has added one more stakeholder in the region. What do Baloch locals make of these “development projects” ?Pakistan with help of China has been looting resources of Balochistan, without consent of Baloch people. The development in Pakistani lexicon means looting and plundering of resources by Pakistan affluent Military Inc. People of Balochistan are even excluded to work as labourer on such projects. Even the labours are imported from Punjab. All the projects are owned by Pakistan military under Frontier Work Organisation, a combatant force which also can take commercial investments. Fauji Foundations is another example. Even the dummy government in Balochistan is not aware about specifications of such projects. There is no public disclosure about them.Mystery is a tool of colonialism to loot and plunder. We people of Balochistan do not accept such loot and plundering of our resources. Let us talk about CPEC. Pakistan has eliminated all the villages through which road networks pass through under CPEC projects just to meet up to Chinese demand of security. In Gwadar, Baloch are not allowed to enter from other cities. Pakistan wants our resources and land but not us. China has no economic development interests in Balochistan. It is only interested in taking out gold and mineral resources and turning Gwadar port to a naval base for its future military campaigns. It wants to use Gwadar port against India and US. Gwadar is strategically in the mid of Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. It has great strategic importance in military term. This is what China needs to be there to counter and monitor indian and US activities. Baloch resist such illegal Chinese ventures. We will never accept China to turn our coast to naval bases in the name of development. And we will not let any country to use our land and coast to be used against our neighbours such as India and Afghanistan. It is also reason that China is actively involved in genocide of Baloch people in Balochistan.Is there any dialogue for peace by Baloch seperatist leaders with the Pakistan government ? Do other Baloch leaders share the view of Mr Brahamdagh Bugti of Baloch Republican Party on negotiation with the Pakistan authorities ?As i said before, political parties in Balochistan apply peaceful means to achieve their goals. We believe in peace. We are not against any peaceful settlement of Balochistan issue. It is Pakistan that has militarized Balochistan, using brute force to suppress any dissent, let alone Baloch struggle for freedom. For a peaceful negotiation, Pakistan has to stop genocide, end occupation of Balochistan, and accept us as equal on the table of negotiation. Pakistan is not ready to do these. It does not want peace. Pakistani military believes in use of force to settle all the problems its facing.We are ready to negotiate with Pakistan under UN, US, EU and NATO supervision of such peace talk. There should be some international guarantors as Pakistani state is untrustworthy. In the past, Pakistan had killed Baloch leaders in the name of peaceful settlement on the negotiation table. Thus, a peaceful settlement of Balochistan issue is possible if there be some international guarantors.Currently, Pakistan does not seem in the mood of negotiations. It has speeded up the process of genocide. The situation in Balochistan is not better than in Syria. Regretfully, the world has not paid attention to the war crimes being committed by Pakistani military and state forces. One day, we hope, the world will also come to rescue us as they did in freedom of Bangladesh, South Sudan, Serbia and so on.

Vijay Mallya misusing his freedom courtesy NDA govt: Congress

Congress leader Manish Tewari on Monday alleged that the BJP-led NDA Government facilitated Vijay Mallya’s escape from the nation as a result of which the liquor baron is misusing that freedom to make all sorts of statements and claims.Tewari, who was responding to a poser about Mallya’s UB Group denying the Enforcement Directorate’s allegation that he siphoned off nearly Rs. 430 crore from the loan extended to Kingfisher Airlines by IDBI bank for acquiring property abroad, said the fundamental question is why this government allowed the liquor baron to flee from the country. “Sitting outside safe from the arms of the law, they can keep claiming what they want. So, therefore, this government facilitated Mr. Mallaya’s escape and now he is misusing that freedom to make all sorts of statements,” he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rubbishing all charges, the UB Group yesterday said that Mallya would provide full details of foreign exchange remittances in the next few days. “We are shocked at the allegation made by the Enforcement Department before the PMLA Court for the very first time,” the UB Group said in a statement. ?The basis of seeking a Non Bailable Warrant against our Chairman is erroneous and unjustified,? the statement added.Meanwhile, a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai will today pronounce its order on Enforcement Directorate’s plea for the Non Bailable Warrant (NBW) against Mallya in a money laundering case. The special court had on Saturday reserved its order till today on the agency’s plea. The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that Mallya diverted Rs. 430 crores for purchase of a property abroad from the Rs. 950 crores IDBI loan for his Kingfisher Airlines.

Watch: ‘Ambedkar India’s architect of water and river navigation policy,’ says PM Modi at Maritime Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Maritime India Summit on Thursday and praised Dr BR Ambedkar, calling him “the architect of the water and river navigation policy in India”.

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

“There is a reason why this important Summit has been organised today, on 14th April 2016. Today is 125th anniversary of a great son of India: Dr BR Ambedkar,” said PM Modi.

He said that Ambedkar had emphasised on creating a new waterways policy for India. “Many of us may not know that Babasaheb created two powerful institutions related to water, navigation and power. They were the Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission and The Central Technical Power Board. Dr Ambedkar emphasised importance of new waterways policy to lay the foundation for a regime of prosperity for millions of poor of India,” he said. “We have embarked on the development of National Waterways in keeping with Babasaheb’s vision and foresight,” the PM added.

The Prime Minister also claimed that India was the fastest growing economy in the world today. “With a GDP growth rate of more than seven percent, India is the fastest growing major economy today,” he said.

“We Indians are inheritors of a glorious maritime heritage. It is my government’s endeavour to revive and restore India’s position of eminence in the global maritime sector,” Modi said.

“In the very early days of our government, we announced the Sagarmala programme…We want to modernise ports and integrate them with SEZs, port-based smart cities, industrial parks, warehouses, logistics parks,” he said. “Our maritime agenda will complement this ambitious infrastructure plan for the hinterland which is going on at the same time,” he said.

“Long coastline of India along with diverse coastal regions and hard working coastal communities can become an engine of growth of India. Our vast coastline of 7,500 km offers a huge investment opportunity,” said the PM.

Modi also said that the year 2015-16 saw the highest-ever FDI inflow into India and that Moody’s had recently appreciated the ‘Make In India’ programme.

“Our vision is to increase port capacity from one thousand, four hundred million tonnes to three thousand million tonnes by 2025,” he said.

“With more than 14,000 km of navigable inland waterways, there is tremendous potential for development,” said the PM.

“Private ports have been growing at a very healthy pace and have nearly doubled their capacity in the last five years,” he said. “The maritime sector not only creates and facilitates economic activities; it also connects countries and civilisations,” he added.

The PM added that 18 percent of the population in India lived in 72 coastal districts.

Finally, Prime Minister Modi ended his speech by saying, “It is the right time to come to India, an even better time to come through the sea route.”

At the three-day summit, agreements entailing investments of over Rs 82,000 crore will be signed, Union Shipping and Ports Minister Nitin Gadkari had said, adding this includes 35 concession agreements of Rs 5,900 crore, 20 work orders of Rs 8,250 crore and 86 MoUs involving an investment of over Rs 68,700 crore.

More than a dozen Union ministers are expected to address the summit, for which 3,000 delegates, including 300 from 41 countries, have registered, he said. Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat will also be present.

Being held at NSE Grounds in suburban Goregaon, the summit will have 13 technical sessions, 200 exhibitors and 52 participants from South Korea, which is the partner country for the event.

It will also have a museum resembling a ship displaying the maritime history of the country, made by art director Nitin Desai.

India and South Korea also signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation and mutual assistance in the port sector, Gadkari said

Watch Modi’s inauguration speech here:

You can read PM Modi’s full speech here:

Hon. Governor of Maharashtra;

Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra;

His Excellency Mr. Kim Young-Suk, Minister of the Republic of Korea

Our Union Minister for Shipping, Mr. Nitin Gadkari

Other Dignitaries on the dais;

Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen!

I have great pleasure in being with you and welcoming you at the Maritime India Summit. This is the first time that a global event of such a large scale is being organised by India. I extend a warm welcome to all the esteemed guests attending this event in the maritime hub of India. I am sure, this event; together with the seminars and exhibition, will showcase the emerging trends and opportunities in the maritime sector.

We all know that oceans cover more than seventy percent of the Earth’s surface. We also know that oceans contain ninety-seven percent of the Earth’s water. Therefore, maritime transport can be the most extensive mode of transport. It is also the most eco-friendly mode of transport. However, there is one more aspect to this fact. Which is that, oceans contain ninety nine percent of the living space on the planet. This means that our lifestyle, transport systems and trading behavior should not spoil the ecology of the oceans. Also, maritime security, freedom of navigation and safety and security of sea lanes is equally important.

The challenges of climate change have shown that even offshore human behavior can change the ecology of glaciers and oceans. This is already causing a lot of concern for island countries and coastal communities in particular. I hope this summit will deliberate on these issues while discussing economic issues related with oceans. The elimination of sea piracy, which was a big threat to international shipping a few years ago, is a good example of how joint efforts by maritime nations can achieve outstanding results.

Friends! There is a reason why this important Summit has been organised today, on the 14th of April 2016. Today is the 125th birth anniversary of a great son of India who also lived and worked in Mumbai. I am referring to Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, who was the architect of our Constitution. He is also the architect of the water and river navigation policy in India. I offer my profound respects to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on this auspicious day. I also wish and pray that his wisdom continues to guide us in our efforts towards nation building.

Many of us may not know that Babasaheb created two powerful institutions related to water, navigation and power. They were: The Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission and The Central Technical Power Board. His observations while setting up these two organizations is a testimony to his great foresight.

I quote from his address on 3rd January, 1945:

“The objects which have led to the setting up of two organizations are to advise on how the water resources can be best utilized and how a project can be made to serve purposes other than irrigation.”

Dr Ambedkar had emphasized the importance of the new waterways policy in order to lay the foundation for a regime of prosperity for the millions of poor of our country. I am happy to state that we have embarked on the development of National Waterways in keeping with Babasaheb’s vision and foresight. With a GDP growth rate of more than seven percent, India is the fastest growing major economy today. The IMF and the World Bank have indicated even better prospects in the days to come. We are taking aggressive steps to ensure that our process of growth is both fast as well as inclusive. This summit is another step to realize Babasaheb’s dream of an economically strong, socially empowered and technologically equipped India.

I understand that more than 4500 dignitaries and delegates from around forty countries are participating in this Summit. I am particularly happy that the Republic of Korea is the Partner Country for this event. I thank the President of Korea and also the senior Minister, Mr. Kim Young-Suk who is present here.

Friends! We Indians are inheritors of a glorious maritime heritage. The world’s first dock was built at Lothal in Gujarat around 2500 BC during the Harappan Civilisation. This dock was equipped to berth and service ships. It was built after studying tidal flows.

In addition to Lothal, there were also some other Indian ports, which were major drivers of global maritime trade two thousand years ago. These included:

• Barygaza – which today is known as Bharuch in Gujarat;
• Muziris which today is known as Kodungallur near Cochin in Kerala;
• Korkai which is today’s Tuticorin;
• Kaveripattinam which is in Nagapattanam District of Tamil Nadu;
• and Arikamedu which is in Ariyankuppam District of Puducherry

There are many references in ancient Indian literature and in Greek and Roman works about the vibrant maritime trade of India with Rome, Greece, Egypt and Arabia. Ancient and medieval Indian traders maintained links with countries in Southeast and East Asia, Africa, Arabia and Europe.

Friends! Since my government took over, among other things, we have laid emphasis on building futuristicinfrastructure. This includes building next generation infrastructure in many sectors. Port, Shipping and Maritime infrastructure is prominent among them. It is my Government’s endeavour to revive and restore India’s position of eminence in the global maritime sector.

Building upon our glorious maritime tradition, we are working hard to achieve new heights in this area. In the very early days of our Government, we announced the Sagarmala programme. This is aimed at leveraging our long coastline and natural maritime advantages. It also focuses on promoting port led development, energizing the coastal economy and infrastructure development in these areas. We particularly want to modernize our ports and integrate them with Special Economic Zones, Port based Smart Cities, Industrial Parks, Warehouses, Logistics Parks and Transport Corridors.

I must mention that our vast coastline of 7500 kilometers offers a huge investment opportunity. Apart from the length of the coastline, India’s maritime potential also lies in its strategic location on all major shipping highways. In addition, we have an expansive and productive hinterland, through which flows a network of mighty rivers. Our maritime agenda will complement this ambitious infrastructure plan for the hinterland which is going on in parallel.

I call upon the global business community to partner with us to give shape to our process of port led development. I amsure, the long coastline of India along with diverse coastal regions and hard working coastal communities can become an engine of growth of India.

To enable the growth of the port and related sectors, we have carried out several reforms and taken a number of new initiatives.

• Under our ‘Make in India’ approach, we have taken many steps to make India a global manufacturing hub;
• Recently MOODY’s has appreciated the Make in India initiative;
• We have done a lot of corrections on the front of Ease of doing business – we have jumped up 12 ranks in World Bank’s ranking;
• A lot of simplification has happened in the processes for cross border trade;
• We have greatly liberalized the licensing regimes; This also includes the defence sector and ship building therein;
• We have taken almost sixty per cent of the defence items out of the licensing process
• Most of the FDI sectors are now put on automatic approval route;
• Shipyards are being given Infrastructure status; at par with the ports;
• Rebate of service tax on coastal shipping has been increased to seventy per cent;
• We have granted customs duty and central excise exemption on inputs used in ship building;
• A scheme of financial assistance to promote ship building has been approved;
• Customs and central excise duties have been exempted on bunker fuel for Indian flagged container ships;
• Tax issues of sea farers have been resolved;
• A new company by the name of Indian Port Rail Corporation, has been established to focus on the last mile connectivity to ports.
• We have enacted a legislation for declaring one hundred and eleven waterways as National Waterways-1.
• We have taken up skill development activities aggressively.

The results of our initial efforts are clearly visible:

• FDI inflows have gone up by 44 per cent since this government took over. In fact, the year 2015-16 has seen the highest ever FDI inflow into India;
• India’s highest ever quantity of cargo handled by major ports was in 2015;
• The port efficiency parameters have shown very good improvement;
• India’s fastest average turnaround time in ports was in 2015;
• In the last two years, our Major Ports have added 165 million tonne capacity with record additions each year;
• 94 million tonne capacity was added by these ports in 2015-16 alone which is the highest ever;
• The traffic in Major Ports has shown a healthy growth of more than four per cent in the last two years, despite global slowdown;
• The performance of the Major Ports in the last two years has been remarkable;
• Operating Profit margins which were declining, have increased;
• In 2015-16 alone, the operating profit of the twelve Major Ports has increased by nearly 6.7 billion rupees;
• During 2015-16, Kandla Port in Gujarat breached the one hundred million traffic landmark and displayed twenty per cent improvement in efficiency.
• Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust registered a net profit of ten billion rupees helped by a twelve per cent increase in efficiency.
• Our flagship companies like the Shipping Corporation, Dredging Corporation and the Cochin Shipyard have registered higher profits as compared to the previous year.

However, this is just the beginning. We want to do more. We are enhancing our own capacities of execution and implementation. The National Perspective Plan of the Sagarmala Programme has been released today. During the last two years, major ports have awarded 56 new Projects involving an investment of more than 250 billion rupees. This will create an additional port capacity of 317 million tonnes per annum. Our vision is to increase port capacity from 1400 million tonnes to 3000 million tonnes by 2025. We want to mobilize an investment of one lakh crore, or one trillion rupees, in the Port Sector to enable this growth. Five new ports are planned to meet the increasing demand of the Exim trade which will rise in proportion with the fast-growing Indian economy. New ports are also being developed by several coastal States of India.

The multiple measures to promote Coastal Shipping coupled with the anticipated rise in domestic production of coal, is expected to enhance coastal transportation of coal by at least four fold by 2025. We are engaging with our immediate and regional neighbours to promote shipping and maritime security. Recently India has signed a Coastal Shipping Agreement with Bangladesh which will be mutually beneficial. India is also engaged in the development ofChahbahar Port in Iran. A special purpose vehicle by the name India Ports Global Limited has been established to take up Maritime Projects overseas.

I am informed that the Ministry of Shipping is showcasing about 250 projects with investment opportunity in the Maritime Sector. These projects include various infrastructure development opportunities in 12 Major Ports, projects in eight maritime states and other agencies. Of these, over 100 projects have been identified under the SagarmalaProgramme. With more than 14,000 kilometers of navigable inland waterways in the country, there is tremendous potential for development in this sector. My Government is committed to integration in infrastructure. We are also committed to creating an enabling environment for investors and to facilitate investments with an open mind.

Friends! All this is being done to benefit the common man. This is being done to provide employment to the youth. This is particularly being done to empower coastal communities. Approximately eighteen percent of India’s population lives in 72 coastal districts. It comprises twelve percent of India’s landmass. Therefore, there is a need for holistic and sustainable development of coastal regions and communities. Development of coastal communities especially fishermen requires an integrated approach. As part of the Sagarmala programme, we will adopt a comprehensive approach with focus on capacity building and training, upgrading of technology and for improving physical and social infrastructure. This will be done in collaboration with the coastal states.

These initiatives will create employment opportunities of approximately ten million jobs over the next ten years. This includes four million direct and six million indirect jobs. To broaden livelihood opportunities further, we are planning to deploy modern and sophisticated fishing vessels. This would enable them to harness resources in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone. In addition, we are also focusing on value addition in fisheries, aquaculture and cold chain development.

The Port Sector in India is a good mix of Private and Public Ports, with both contributing to the growth of the sector. The PPP model of development has been quite successful in this sector and has helped in bringing latest technology and best practices. Private Ports have been growing at a very healthy pace and have nearly doubled their capacity in the last 5 years. They handle around 45 per cent of the total cargo. Most of these Ports are new, with modern facilities and can match the best international Ports in terms of performance and infrastructure.

Friends! India has had a glorious maritime history. We are on the path of shaping an even better maritime future. The maritime sector not only creates and facilitates economic activities; it also connects countries and civilizations. Moreover, it is the cleanest and cheapest carrier of global trade. Investing in maritime sector is not only investing in one’s own future; but in the future of the planet and that of coming generations. However, in this sector, no country can achieve the desired results in isolation. Nations have to collaborate to realize this potential and to overcome challenges in this sector. The objective of this Summit is to provide a platform and forum for such cooperation.

To conclude, I would like to say that:

• This is the right time to come to India;
• It is even better to come through the sea route;
• The Indian ship is well equipped for a long haul;
• Don’t miss it;
• Missing it means missing a pleasant journey and a great destination.

Once you are here, I assure you that I will personally hold your hands to see that your berthing is safe, secure and satisfactory.

Thank You!

With inputs from PTI

Congress ready to work with Nitish Kumar to defeat BJP in 2019: Digvijaya Singh

Responding positively to Nitish Kumar’s call for the “largest possible unity” among parties to defeat the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh said his party is ready to work with the newly-elected JD(U) chief at the national level.”Of course, yes,” Singh said here when asked if Congress is open to working at the national level with Nitish, who on Monday had called for “the largest possible unity among parties, including Congress and Left, to keep the BJP out of power after 2019 polls”. “We want this country to be secular, to be sort of accountable and responsible to the whole population and not to certain categories only. Therefore, I think, we are prepared to work with all those who want to keep the country together, who believe in the Indian Constitution, and whose politics is inclusive, and not exclusive,” the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister told PTI in an interview.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh said the Congress has been fighting the BJP “from the very beginning”. “We are very happy that Mr. Nitish Kumar who has sort of worked with the BJP (referring to JDU-BJP sharing power in Bihar in the past) very closely has realised it now. We are very happy that finally all political parties have come around and accepted the Congress party’s stand that we can’t have anything to do with communal forces like BJP,” he said.Asked if Nitish, who was elected JDU president on Sunday, would emerge as an alternative to the BJP and Congress, Singh said, “Every person has a right to be sort of be accepted as national leader and it’s for the people to decide.” Singh did not agree with the suggestions the Congress has not been able to revive itself even 22 months after badly losing the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.”We have been able to sort of contain the BJP in a number of states, and also it takes a little time for the people to understand the false promises made by Mr.(Narendra) Modi and BJP. So, it takes time for people to realise they have been taken for a ride by Mr (Narendra) Modi. It takes some time,” he added. Singh justified the Congress’ decision to enter into an electoral pact with the Left in West Bengal whereas fighting against them in Kerala, saying this is a question of regional leadership deciding to tie-up with like-minded parties.”So, therefore, there is no contradiction as such. In West Bengal, the way (Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee has conducted herself..therefore…there is a reason for Congress party to look for viable option and Left is the viable option in West Bengal,” he added.On whether the “delay” in Rahul Gandhi taking over as Congress president is taking a toll on the party’s rank and file, Singh said, “No one is opposing Rahul Gandhi as such. It depends on when the decision (on his taking over) is taken. The decision will be taken by Congress president”.

Would have used machine guns: When General Dyer explained how Jallianwala Bagh massacre could’ve been worse

On 14 November 1919, almost eight months after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, a committee was formed after orders were issued by Edwin Montagu, the Secretary of State of India. The committee consisted of: Lord Hunter, Chairman of the CommissionMr. Justice George C. Rankin of CalcuttaSir Chimanlal Harilal Setalvad, Vice-Chancellor of Bombay University and advocate of the Bombay High Court<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mr W.F. Rice, member of the Home Department
ALSO READ Jallianwala Bagh massacre: Modern India’s worst atrocity remembered in tweetsMajor-General Sir George Barrow, KCB, KCMG, GOC Peshawar DivisionPandit Jagat Narayan, lawyer and Member of the Legislative Council of the United Provinces
ALSO READ PM Modi salutes martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh massacreMr. Thomas Smith, Member of the Legislative Council of the United ProvincesSardar Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Khan, lawyer from Gwalior StateMr H.C. Stokes, Secretary of the Commission and member of the Home DepartmentOn 19 November, after the commission had listened to witnesses, and then heard General Dyer. Dyer refused to be represented by legal counsel, he stated that he had gone to deliberately open fire if he found a crowd there. He said: “I think it quite possible that I could have dispersed the crowd without firing but they would have come back again and laughed, and I would have made, what I consider, a fool of myself.” He reiterated his belief that the crowd in the Bagh was one of “rebels who were trying to isolate my forces and cut me off from other supplies. Therefore, I considered it my duty to fire on them and to fire well”.After Mr. Justice Rankin had questioned Dyer, Sir Chimanlal Setalvad questioned him. Here’s how the conversation unfolded: Chimanlal Setalvad: ‘You took two armoured cars with you?’Dyer: ‘Yes.’Chimanlal Setalvad: ‘Those cars had machine guns?’Dyer: ‘Yes.’Chimanlal Setalvad: ‘And when you took them you meant to use the machine guns against the crowd, did you?”Dyer: ‘If necessary. If the necessity arose, and I was attacked, or anything else like that, I presume I would have used them.’Chimanlal Setalvad: ‘When you arrived there you were not able to take the armoured cars in because the passage was too narrow?’Dyer: ‘Yes.’Chimanlal Setalvad: ‘Supposing the passage was sufficient to allow the armoured cars to go in, would you have opened fire with the machine guns?’Dyer: ‘I think, probably, yes.’Chimanlal Setalvad: ‘In that case the casualties would have been very much higher?’Dyer: ‘Yes.’Chimanlal Setalvad: ‘And you did not open fire with the machine guns simply by the accident of the armoured cars not being able to get in?’Dyer: ‘I have answered you. I have said that if they had been there the probability is that I would have opened fire with them.’Chimanlal Setalvad: ‘With the machine guns straight?’Dyer: ‘With the machine guns.’Chimanlal Setalvad: ‘I take it that your idea in taking that action was to strike terror?’Dyer: ‘Call it what you like. I was going to punish them. My idea from the military point of view was to make a wide impression.’Chimanlal Setalvad: ‘To strike terror not only in the city of Amritsar, but throughout the Punjab?’Dyer: ‘Yes, throughout the Punjab. I wanted to reduce their morale; the morale of the rebels.’Chimanlal Setalvad: ‘Did it occur to you that by adopting this method of “frightfulness” –excuse the term-you were really doing a great disservice to the British Raj by driving discontent deep?’Dyer: ‘I did not like the idea of doing it, but I also realized that it was the only means of saving life and that any reasonable man with justice in his mind would realize that I had done the right thing; it was a merciful though horrible act and they ought to be thankful to me for doing it. I thought I would be doing a jolly lot of good and they would realize that they were not to be wicked.’Read more about the horrible incident here…

dna Morning Must Reads: From live updates on massive fire at Kerala temple to IPL 2016

1. Live | Kerala: Massive fire at Puttingal temple in Kollam: at least 75 dead, over 200 injuredAt least 75 people were killed and 200 others injured when an explosion took place at the Puttingal Devi temple during a festival at Paravoor, Kerala. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Pathankot attack: Trio from Team Modi to raise Maulana Masood Azhar issue with ChinaIndia is taking up the issue of Pakistan’s reluctance to investigate the Pathankot attack and prosecution of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar with the world community. Read more here3. IPL 2016: Ajinkya “Mr. Adaptable” Rahane gives Rising Pune Supergiants a dream startCriticised for being slow in T20 cricket, Mumbaikar slams 66* to help debutants Rising Pune Supergiants thump Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets. Read more here4. A word of caution for Indian students as US gets tough with illegal immigrantsImmigration is one of the hot button issues in the US election campaign. Almost every day candidates launch into attacks on abuses at borders and at immigrants scamming the system. Read more here5. No Khan clash: Shah Rukh’s ‘Raees’ to move release date to avoid clash with Salman’s ‘Sultan’The SRK-starrer will avert a clash with Salman, instead it might take on either Varun, Akshay or Hrithik’s films. Read more here6. This Game Boy does retro gaming in style, with a Raspberry Pi built inA DIY project by an avid gamer, the Pi Zero Game Boy can play everything from the Game Boy upto the newer SNES. Read more here

Street children from India ask the UN to secure their rights

There are some 18 million children living on the streets in India, according to data compiled by UNICEF (2000). Fifty four of them, along with a collective of some 14 civil society organisations from India and Nepal, met with officers of the UN Convention on Child Rights (UNCRC) this week in New Delhi to put forward their demands their rights and their protection, as the UNCRC drafts its General Comment for the rights of street children.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The General Comment on Children in Street Situation will be put out in 2017, and so far there have been 18 General Comments made by the UNCRC, key pieces of international law on children’s rights, laying out member-state governments’ obligations under the UNCRC.Mumbai alone has 37,059 children who live on the brutal streets of Mumbai, according to the first ever census of street children conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).The demands were basic. The children asked for protection on the streets, shelters to sleep in at night to get off the streets, alternative ways of employment and income for their families so that they don’t depend on the streets for livelihood; counselling and rehabilitation for broken families. They spoke about the homes they’re often forced into, asking for better places, a better education beyond just basic literacy to be introduced in these homes. Not all of them literate, they communicated with their audience through role-plays and skits.However, as Tushar Anchal of Plan India, one of the organisers of the consultation, told dna, these demands are so far unfulfilled by the state. The procedures exist but they don’t reach the children. He said that the government approximately spends Rs 2000 per child per month in these homes, but this doesn’t reach the ground situation. There has to be better utilisation of that money.According to Anchal, the response from the government representatives at the consultation, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights was positive, as the chairperson Stuti Kackar talked about the policies formulated by the Indian government so far — Integrated Child Protection Scheme’ which encompasses street children in need of care and protection and ‘National Plan of Action for Street Children — and the work that has to be done on them. According to Plan India, national policies so far have failed as they don’t take into account the views of the children themselves, hence this platform to bring them into contact with government and UN representatives.However, Anchal did admit that the commission could not speak for the concerned union ministry, of women and child development.India is one of the few countries that the UNCRC officials are going to, as its population dictates that it has the highest number of children in street situations. As Anchal said, if the previous 18 comments of the UNCRC were to be followed there would be no need for added action. Since governments have been lacking in implementation of policies, Mr. Gehad Madi, Member, UNCRC Committee & Advisory Board told the press that, “Developed By the UN’s highest authority on children’s right, the general comments lay out for the first time what the governments must do to respect children’s rights under international law. These Recommendations will prove to be a powerful tool to promote street children’s rights.”

Nitish’s JD(U) backs Lalu’s ‘half-pants’ comment, says full pants won’t modernize RSS

The Janata Dal (United) on Monday extended its support to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s statement on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), saying that merely turning to full pants won’t modernize the right wing organisation. ‘Lalu ji has said this after a thoughtful process because by merely wearing full pants instead of half pants would not turn you (RSS) into a modern RSS. You have to change your mentality, you have to change your thinking and you have to act in today’s terms. Just talking of Hindu fringe is not going to make them modern,’ JD (U) spokesperson Ajay Alok told ANI<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’We fully support Lalu ji that if you (RSS) don’t change your mentality then it is better to be in half pants,’ he added. With the RSS replacing the khakhi shorts with brown trousers, Lalu Prasad Yadav had pledged to return the volunteer organisation in ‘half pants’ again.With the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) replacing the loose fitting, flappy khakhi knickers with brown trousers, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday pledged to return the volunteer organisation in ‘half pants’ again. ‘The RSS has updated itself because they are now in power. They would wear full pants instead of half pants, but we would again make them return in ‘half pants’,’ Lalu told the media. ‘We have to remove BJP from all the country,’ he added.”The RSS has updated itself because they are now in power. They would wear full pants instead of half pants, but we would again make them return in ‘half pants’,” Lalu had said”We have to remove BJP from the entire nation,” he added.The announcement about the change in the dress code of the RSS was made in Nagpur by RSS general secretary Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi.”We have changed our uniform. We move with the times and are not rigid,” Mr. Joshi said. “We have decided to replace the khaki shorts with brown trousers.”He said the details of when the new uniform will become functional will be worked out. Care would be taken to ensure that the new trousers would be comfortable while doing physical activities, a component of the daily routine of the RSS morning shakhas (branches), he said, saying even cricketers and martial artistes wear full trousers.

Lalu taunts RSS’ dress change, says will make them return in ‘half pants’ again

With the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) replacing the loose fitting, flappy khakhi knickers with brown trousers, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday pledged to return the volunteer organisation in ‘half pants’ again.”The RSS has updated itself because they are now in power. They would wear full pants instead of half pants, but we would again make them return in ‘half pants’, Lalu told the media here. We have to remove BJP form all the country,”he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar came here to attend the marriage reception party of Shivpal Yadav’s son Aditya. Meanwhile, this announcement of change in the dress code of RSS was made in Nagpur on Sunday by RSS general secretary Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi in response to a question.The announcement was made in Nagpur on Sunday by RSS general secretary Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi in response to a question. “We have changed our uniform. We move with the times and are not rigid,” Mr. Joshi said. “We have decided to replace the khaki shorts with brown trousers.”He said the details of when the new uniform will become functional will be worked out. Care would be taken to ensure that the new trousers would be comfortable while doing physical activities, a component of the daily routine of the RSS morning shakhas (branches), he said, saying even cricketers and martial artistes wear full trousers.

Soni Sori’s sister, brother-in-law picked up by police, say lawyers

Chhattisgarh Adivasi activist Soni Sori’ sister Dhani Markam and her husband Ajay Markam have been allegedly picked up the police officials in Bastar and taken to undisclosed location with no reason for this detention, said Soni Sori’s lawyers in a complaint filed on Friday. According to the complaint, addressed to the DC police Chhattisgarh, the lawyers say that Ajay “Markam has been in police custody for a day and a half as of Friday evening, with no intimation to his family about his whereabouts and the reasons for his detention”. Calling the matter urgent, the lawyers added that on Friday, his wife and Sori’s sister Dhani was picked up by the “Bastar police” and taken to an “undisclosed location”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Friday, Sori’s father and Ajay’s mother went to speak with the IG of Bastar Range, SRP Kalluri, about Ajay’s detention. However, according to the lawyers, Kalluri spoke to them in “vulgar, abusive language” and openly “threatened and intimidated the family members” that he would destroy the entire family. He, allegedly, specifically mentioned that he would ensure that Ajay not be released from custody and that the family would suffer for Sori’s “indiscretions in questioning” Kalluri. Kalluri, allegedly also threatened that Sori would be killed and her nephew Lingaram Kodopi will also be jailed. On Thursday itself, the Bastar police visited the hostel of the nursing training institute where Dhani studies, wanting to take her away, said the complaint. However, the warden did not allow it without proper warrants. A “three-member police team again visited the hostel today and has reportedly taken away Ms. Markam from the hostel with them, without giving any information to the family or to the hostel authorities”, it adds. The lawyers appealed to the DG to take note of the ‘illegal activities of Bastar police”, calling it “open harassment and intimidation” of Sori’s family.Full text of the letter below”Sir,This is to bring to your notice serious incidents of intense harassment and intimidation of various relatives of our client, Ms. Soni Sori, by different police officials within the Bastar Range. Most urgently, as of today evening, Ms. Soni’s brother-in-law, Mr. Ajay Markam, has been held in police custody for a day and a half, with no intimation to his family about his whereabouts and the reasons for his detention. His wife and Ms. Sori’s sister, Ms. Dhani Markam, has also been picked up today by Bastar police and taken to an undisclosed location.As you are aware, Ms. Soni Sori was attacked with some corrosive chemical by three unidentified men on a motorcycle, while she was returning home around 10:30 pm on 20.2.2016. An SIT comprising of ASP Sukma Mr Santosh Singh, CSP Jagdalpur Ms Deepmala Kashyap and ASP Bijapur IK Elesela was set up to investigate this attack on Ms. Sori.Instead of conducting a genuine inquiry into a serious matter, the police under Mr. Kalluri have turned this investigation into an excuse for harassment of Ms. Soni’s relatives, as detailed below –1. Mr. Ajay Markam s/o Mohan Markam, is Ms. Sori’s brother-in-law and a close associate living in Geedam, Dantewada. He was taken in for questioning on March 1st, 2016, and extensively interrogated by ASP Sukma, Mr. Santosh Singh, in the presence of other SIT officials at PS Geedam, Dantewada. During this questioning, he was repeatedly told by the interrogating team that the police would arrest him for orchestrating the attack on Ms. Sori. He was asked to give his phone number to the investigators – a request with which he complied.Later that evening, he received a call from an unknown number on his phone, where a caller whose voice Mr. Markam did not recognize, spoke to him in Halbi, insinuating that Mr. Markam had ordered the chemical attack on Ms. Sori. As a responsible citizen, Mr. Markam gave full information about this mischievous call to the Town Inspector of PS Geedam verbally on March 1st itself. The next day, he took a letter with detailed information about this call to PS Geedam, but was advised to give that information to Kuakonda PS, since he was within the jurisdiction of PS Kuakonda at the exact time when he had received this mysterious call on his phone. He complied with this request also, and submitted written information about this call to PS Kuakonda on March 3, 2016.Then, on the 09.03.2016, Mr. Markam was picked up by TI of Kuakonda PS, Mr. Sharat Chandra and taken to the Kuakonda PS, kept there till late at night, and interrogated for the entire duration. Again, yesterday, on 10.03.2016, Mr. Markam, was picked up from his house in Geedam by the Mr. Sharat Chandra, TI of Kuakonda, and taken in for questioning in Jagdalpur. He has not been heard from since, and no information has been forthcoming to his family as to the reasons for his prolonged detention. Since this detention is well beyond the 24 hours limit, it is clearly illegal and violative of Mr. Markam’s fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 22(2) of the Constitution, and Section 57 of the CrPC.2.Today, concerned family members of Mr. Markam, including Mr. Mundra Ram Sori (Ms. Sori’s father and the father-in-law of Mr Markam), and Mr Markam’s mother Ms. Pali Markam, and his sister Jyoti Sori went to speak with the IG of Bastar Range, Mr. SRP Kalluri, to express their concerns about the well-being of Mr. Markam and to seek information about his detention. However, Mr. Kalluri treated them with utter disrespect, spoke to them in vulgar, abusive language and openly threatened and intimidated the family members that he (Mr. Kalluri) will destroy all of Ms. Sori’s family. He specifically mentioned that he will ensure that Mr. Markam will be not be released from police custody, and the rest of Ms. Sori’s family will also be made to suffer for her indiscretions in questioning Mr. Kalluri. He specifically threatened Mr. Mundra Ram Sori that his daughter, our client, Ms. Soni will be killed and that his grandson, Mr Lingaram Kodopi will also be jailed. This type of grossly offensive and threatening behavior towards an old, invalid person, who is also an ex-sarpanch and a victim of Naxalite violence, and other women family members, by a senior police officer is utterly shocking and painful.3. Ms. Dhani Markam w/o Mr. Ajay Markam, is the sister of our client, Ms. Soni Sori. She studies nursing in Adawal- Bodli, Bastar and resides in the nursing training institute’s hostel. Bastar police visited her hostel yesterday and wanted to take Ms. Dhani Markam away, but the warden of the institute did not allow them take Ms. Markam without proper warrants etc. A three-member police team again visited the hostel today and has reportedly taken away Ms. Markam from the hostel with them, without giving any information to the family or to the hostel authorities. It is a matter of serious concern to the family members that a young woman has been taken by the police to an undisclosed location and this is against all legal procedures of interrogation or detention.We request you to take note of these illegal activities of the Bastar police purporting to fulfill their investigative role. This type of open harassment and intimidation of the family members of our client is causing intense emotional strain on her and making her fearful of her own safety and that of those close to her. It is clear that through such intense persecution of all those associated with our client, the police wish to silence her and pressure her into withdrawing the serious charges of atrocities that she has leveled against them – if that happens, it will indeed be a very severe blow to the democratic framework of our nation. We request that you intervene at the earliest, restore Ms and Mr. Markam to their families, and stop further harassment of Ms. Soni’s family members, in order to instill a sense of safety and security amongst the residents of Bastar division.Sincerely,Adv. Shalini Gera”Sori, who had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls on an AAP ticket, was brought to the capital by the party and taken to the hospital as the local doctors were “unable” to identify the chemical and treat her.The 44-year-old Adivasi school teacher was arrested by the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch for Chhattisgarh Police in 2011 on charges of acting as a conduit for Maoists. During her imprisonment, she alleged that she was tortured and sexually assaulted by Chhattisgarh state police. By April 2013, the Indian Courts had acquitted her in six of the eight cases filed against her due to lack of evidence.With inputs from Aradhna Wal

KVS Mani lying, wants to weaken Ishrat Jahan case: former SIT chief Satish Verma

IPS officer Satish Verma, who assisted the CBI probe into the alleged Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, on Thursday trashed the allegations levelled against by former under secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as ‘wrong and baseless’ and accused him of attempting to weaken the case in the prevailing atmosphere that has been created by some vested interests. Verma, who headed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the Ishrat case, told ANI in an exclusive conversation that their purpose is to divert the attention from several CBI chargesheets pending in various CBI courts so as to diminish the authenticity of the chargesheets and also to declare that evidences produced in the support of the chargesheets wrong.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Countering Mani’s claim that he was pressurised and tortured, Verma said, “There is no evidence to support the charges. Second thing, when police records the statements of witnesses, they don’t take their signature. Mr. Mani was also a witness and thus there was no question of pressurising him to put his signature.””Further, Mr. Mani has spoken about physical torture by cigarette…; I must say the CBI never tortures anybody in such a way in any of their investigations. Suppose, I had done what Mr. Mani was claiming? it would be a big misconduct and perhaps it would be a crime under law. He was an officer of the Government of India, he must be aware of the fact that he could take legal action against me (for misconduct). Also, the highest investigating agency like the CBI, which doesn’t tolerate such misconducts, would also have taken some action. Hence, the charges are baseless,” he added.The senior IPS officer further said they are making personal attacks on those who have played a notable role in the CBI inquiry because they could not adopt any other means.Tearing into Mani’s claim that he had not filed the second affidavit, Verma said it is wrong. “He had filed two affidavits in 2009. But, those affidavits have no impact on the result of the investigation. Why had he changed the affidavit, he knew it, because he had done it. Now, he is saying that there were political reasons for it. As far as I know, in his first affidavit, he has written more than necessary things, and if the things were changed in the second affidavit, I believe those changes were right because in the first affidavit so many things were written in a way as if he was an investigating officer,” said Verma.”On the contrary, the role of the Government of India was limited to passing on intelligence inputs, which was said officially at that time. The Centre’s affidavit, which was prepared by Mr. Mani, should also have only those things (inputs), but he had supported the entire details of investigation, which was not his job,” he added.However, it has come out to the fore of late that only passing on intelligence was not their job, said Verma, adding that the Intelligence Bureau was deeply involved in this case.”The IB officials had kept them under unlawful custody, and thereafter, they were murdered executing a premeditated plan. That is why Mr. Mani had written all the details in the affidavit to prove/justify that the encounter was right, which were actually told by the IB,” said Verma.”Mr. Mani, however, submitted all these before us (CBI), but later found that he should have not told all those things to the CBI, and then he started levelling allegations against me,” he added.Rajendra Kumar, who is an IB officer and an accused in the case, is taking support of David Hadley’s statement, claimed Verma, adding it is also an irony that a senior IB officer like the former is taking the help from an attributed terrorist, and many people, including former home secretary, are coming out in his support.”But, their statements won’t make any impact, and the facts and evidences should be such that they could prove that Ishrat’s movement, activities and training were of a terrorist. And, in the CBI’s investigation, no such evidences were placed us,” he concluded. Mani had claimed that he was hauled up and harassed in 2013. He said he was tortured by CBI officer Satish Verma. He alleged that the CBI tried to make him say that he drafted the first affidavit under pressure from the Intelligence Bureau.

‘Fan’ connects Shah Rukh Khan to his ‘Dillipan’

New Delhi: Superstar Shah Rukh Khan loved every bit of getting back to his “roots” here on Tuesday. From visiting his college in Delhi University’s North Campus to the lovers’ spot at PVR Priya, the actor was upbeat about sharing his “Dillipan” that he has got to showcase on the big screen with his upcoming film “Fan”.

Shah Rukh Khan. AFPShah Rukh Khan. AFP

Shah Rukh Khan. AFP

After an overwhelming experience at his alma mater, Hansraj College, where he finally collected his graduation degree 28 years after passing out of the institution, SRK held a media conference at the PVR Priya theatre in south Delhi to promote “Fan”.

“I love you Shah Rukh,” screamed his several fans, who had won a contest of sorts to meet the actor and were seated in the balcony of the theatre, which SRK described as the “unaffordable” hostspot for lovers of his time.

Looking suave in a bearded look, the 50-year-old couldn’t thank “Fan” director Maneesh Sharma enough for letting him explore his “Dillipan”.

He said he had been longing to play a Delhi boy, and that he was “more envious than jealous” of other actors who got to play such roles on screen. Because he has been living in Mumbai for the past 25 years, he felt would have forgotten the ‘Delhi dialect’, but he is glad that with “Fan”, he could go back to it.

“I would like to thank Maneesh that he brought me to my roots and gave me a Delhi character to play. This film is very special to me. Not just is this story special, but technologically, the visual effects and make-up that have been used in this film, I think that hasn’t been used anywhere in the world.

“I feel for Hindi films, there will be something to look upto in terms of where we can go with visual effects and make-up,” Shah Rukh said.

The film features Shah Rukh in two avatars — one as superstar Aryan Khanna, a reflection of his own persona, and another as Gaurav, a fan of the superstar.

He was in the capital to launch a special anthem “Jabra fan”, to be used as a promotional song for the movie. A peppy track, it features Shah Rukh in Gauravs’s avatar, dancing away on Delhi’s streets.

To a question posed by IANS on whom was he a fan of while growing up, SRK said: “I was not a fan of the extent shown in the film… So, as far as liking is concerned, there were two or three people I grew up really loving and trying to know about as there was no internet back in those days to be able to read up on some or collect a picture.

“One would be Mr. Milkha Singh. I loved stories about him, and how he used to be a champion. I used to be a big fan of his. The second would be Muhammed Ali… I was into sports, so I always liked his being little brashy and bratty, and still being so good at his sport.

“Then of course, all of us have grown up being Mr. Amitabh Bachchan’s fans. I was one of them too. So, yes these three people… And strangely, because I was into sports, I have mostly sporting people that I was a fan of… Like Sunil Gavaskar.”

Interestingly, Shah Rukh even mentioned Olympic gold medal-winning Bruce Jenner, who has become Caitlyn Jenner.

“I am glad that me and my daughter both know him or her as well because I never thought my children will be introduced to Bruce Jenner in a different avatar — kind of like ‘Fan’…. like I am being introduced in a different avatar after 25 years.”

Shah Rukh also said he loved reading about and even got the opportunity to meet Mother Teresa, and that he was also a fan of actor Michael J. Fox.


Now, Anupam Kher declines visa offer by Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit

A day after Anupam Kher questioned if his visa had been denied because Pakistan was afraid he would expose the country’s terror nexus, the actor said that the Pakistan High Commission had called him on Wednesday to offer him a visa to attend the Karachi Literature Festival.Kher was one of the 18 Indians invited to the four-day festival by the organisers, but said he was the only one whose visa had not been cleared. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Kher said, “Thank you Mr. Abdul Basit for your call and offering me a visa to visit Karachi. I appreciate it. Unfortunately, I have given away those dates now.”Earlier in the day, taking a jibe at Kher, Congress leader Manish Tewari said that if the poster boy of tolerant India is keen to go to Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi must talk to ‘his drop by friend’ Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and facilitate a visa.”If the #posterboyof “tolerant” India is so keen to go to Pak, his friend PM Modi can surely talk to his drop by friend Nawaz & facilitate it” Tewari tweeted.Kher had on Tuesday said that he was very saddened on being denied a visa as he was looking forward to participate in the literature festival and use the platform to dispel misunderstandings about India in the minds of people there.BJP had termed as ‘unfortunate’, the denial of visa to the actor saying it will be a ‘setback’ to the process of people-to-people contact to help improve ties between the two countries.BJP also questioned the silence of so-called ‘pseudo seculars’ who are vocal on issues pertaining to the performance of Pakistani artistes in India and attack BJP and the government, saying it is ‘shameful’.Kher was denied a Pakistani visa in May 2015 as well, when he wanted to visit Pakistan for an event organised by an NGO.

Injustice meted out by Rajiv Gandhi to him reflects in book: BJP on Pranab Mukherjee’s autobiography

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said that the second volume of President Pranab Mukherjee’s autobiography clearly reflected his pain and dismay over the injustice meted out to him by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.”What Mr. Pranab Mukherjee has said is a matter of fact. Now, we must understand that Pranab Mukherjee, as a political master, has his own capability and merit and even the opposition have always recognized it. Therefore, injustice has been done to Mr Pranab Mukherjee and his pain is reflecting in his book,” BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Rajiv Gandhi always felt threatened by Pranab Mukherjee, therefore, he was dropped as a cabinet minister, his capability was known when Sonia Gandhi wanted to pick a Prime Minister, she wanted to make 7 RCR (the official residence of the Prime Minister) a puppet of 10 Janpath. So, they did not pick Pranab Mukherjee, but unfortunately Manmohan Singh,” he added.Disappointed over his expulsion from the Congress in 1986, President Mukherjee, has in the second volume of his autobiography ‘The Turbulent Years 1980-1996’, recalled that he “spent many sleepless nights wondering why he was dropped from the union cabinet and driven out of the party”.”I can only speculate. My personal equation with Rajiv was always good, though limited,” he said.”On April 26, 1986, I was at Kamalapati Tripathy’s residence when his daughter-in-law Chandra brought me the shocking news that I had been expelled from the party for six years. No one from the party leadership had bothered to inform me,” writes the president in his autobiography.President Mukherjee writes, “Perhaps, I should have sensed Rajiv’s growing unhappiness and the hostility of those around him and taken pre-emptive action. However, I remained engrossed in my work, as is my usual way. Many of the actions, all without malice or ill-intent, were used by my detractors to project me as someone unwilling to accept Rajiv’s leadership. Petty things were blown up into huge issues.”Recalling another incident that may have angered Rajiv Gandhi, President Mukherjee says, “During the meeting of the CPB to select Congress candidates for the general election of 1984, the nomination of incumbent Lok Sabha members Kamal Nath from Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh and Professor Nirmala Kumari Shaktawat from Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, was opposed by some people close to Rajiv, including Arun Nehru. I strongly protested and insisted on their nomination. The vehemence of my protest perhaps displeased Rajiv, who reputedly said, ‘Reserve it for the consideration of the president’- meaning himself.””Clearly, Rajiv did not like my proximity to Kamalapati Tripathi. Media reports speculating about dissident activities may also have angered him,” he added.However, in answer to the question of why he dropped me from the Cabinet and expelled me from the party, the President says: “All I can say is that he made mistakes and so did I. He let others influence him and listen to their calumnies against me. I let my frustration overtake my patience.”

Supreme Court to hear Congress’ plea challenging President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh today

The Congress who branded the President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh as a ‘murder of democracy’ will challenge the Centre’s decision in Supreme Court on Wednesday.In its petition, the Congress accused the Governor of working at the behest of the Centre to topple its government. However, the Centre slammed the opposition for challenging the President’s decision saying that the government had done its job by saving the people of the state after the Congress Government failed to govern Arunachal Pradesh. “This is not the first time that the President’s rule has been imposed in a state, the Congress had imposed President’s rule more than 100 times in independent India. If the Congress challenges President’s rule in Arunachal then it amounts to challenging the decision of the President of India. President has applied his wisdom to give assent to Cabinet’s recommendation,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress dubbed the President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh as ‘murder of democracy’ by the BJP-led Centre and accused it of misusing power. “Bharatiya Janata Party wants its government everywhere. You can’t impose President’s rule because people didn’t favor you. We will fight in the court and also tell the people how the BJP misuses its power. It is very unfortunate and it is a murder of democracy,” Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge told ANI.Despite the vehement opposition by the Congress, President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday gave his assent to imposition of central rule in Arunachal Pradesh. Three days back, Union Cabinet had recommended President’s Rule following the political crisis in the state.In December last year, Arunachal Pradesh was rocked by a political crisis as 21 rebel Congress MLAs joined hands with 11 of BJP and two independents to impeach Assembly Speaker at a makeshift venue.The move was termed as illegal and unconstitutional by the Speaker. The rebel group MLAs congregated at a community hall after the state Assembly complex was allegedly sealed by the local administration, and impeached Mr. Rebia in an impromptu session chaired by Deputy Speaker.

US police officer acquitted in Indian grandfather assault case

In a jolt to a paralysed Indian grandfather’s bid to seek justice, an American police officer who brutally assaulted him has been acquitted by a US court on the grounds of being “presumed innocent” after two mistrials could not establish his guilt beyond doubt.Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala threw out the case against Alabama police officer Eric Parker, who faced up to 10 years in prison for using excessive force against 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel in the February 6 incident last year.Haikala, on Wednesday filed a 92-page opinion, ending with, “The Government has had two full and fair chances to obtain a conviction; it will not have another.” Parker still faces a state charge of misdemeanour assault in Limestone County.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The result in this case is by no means satisfying. Hindsight brings clarity to a calamity,” Haikala was quoted as saying by AL.com. “Mr Patel’s celebrated arrival in this country to begin a new life with his son was interrupted in two tragic minutes.If Mr. Parker or Mr. Patel could take that time back, both would surely do things differently and avoid the events that have forever changed both of their lives,” the judge said. “Mr. Patel had — and has — just as much right to be free from excessive force as every citizen of this country. He is welcome here, and it is appropriate to grieve his injury.However, that injury, standing alone, does not provide the basis for a criminal judgement against Mr Parker,” she said. The judge wrote that Parker is “presumed innocent” and that evidence offered at two trials has not eliminated “reasonable doubt” as to his guilt.”Two juries have communicated as much after lengthy deliberations that produced thoughtful questions and, ultimately, deadlock. The Court has no reason to expect a different result in a subsequent trial given the totality of the evidence that the parties have provided,” the judge said.Haikala had not ruled for more than two months, with both sides predicting a ruling any moment for the last few weeks. Federal prosecutors had filed a motion yesterday arguing against acquittal, stating that a reasonable jury could view the video and listen to testimony and decide Parker intentionally used excessive force in slamming Patel onto the ground.A team of three federal prosecutors had twice tried Parker last year for the takedown of Patel. Both trials ended with a deadlocked jury. India on Thursday raised the issue with the US and demanded expeditious investigation into the matter. Indian Consulate was also in touch with Patel’s family and had provided them assistance. The US government, in the aftermath of the incident, had expressed condolences to Patel’s family. The Governor of the US state of Alabama had apologised for the brutal police assault on Patel.

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