The government, on Wednesday, said that it has cancelled the FCRA licence of close to 20,000 of the 33,000 NGOs operating in the country after they were found to be flouting certain norms laid out in the Foreign Contributions Registrations Act, 2010.
The FCRA or Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 is nothing but a regulatory act formed to keep a check on civil society bodies that may be receiving foreign funds in an illegal manner. Therefore, the cancellation of an FCRA licence means that the NGOs in question can no longer take funds from a foreign contributor but they can continue to work on donations given by Indian companies and individuals.
Home Ministry officials said after cancellation of the FCRA licences of around 20,000 NGOs, only 13,000 NGOs in the country are legally valid now to receive foreign funds.
The exercise of reviewing the working of the NGOs was started about a year ago and the process is still continuing, official sources said.
Among the 13,000 valid NGOs, around 3,000 have submitted applications for renewal while Ministry of Home Affairs received 2,000 new applications for registration under the FCRA for the first time.
An additional 300 NGOs are currently under prior permission category but not registered under the FCRA. This means that although these NGOs don’t hold a FCRA licence, they can accept funds from foreign sources by taking prior permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The FCRA licences of around 16 NGOs were renewed by the Home Ministry under the “automatic” route and all the cases were reviewed thoroughly and except in two cases, 14 NGOs have been put under the prior permission category, while papers of two other NGOs are under examination.
As per FCRA, if an NGO is put under prior permission category, it is barred to receive foreign funding from abroad without taking permission from the Home Ministry.
With inputs from PTI
First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 19:12 IST
Prominent daily newspaper Kashmir Reader was back on the stands on Wednesday after a gap of three months. A ban was imposed on the newspaper on 2 October by the state government during the unrest in Kashmir Valley. The government had called the newspaper a threat to “public tranquility.”
An order issued by the deputy commissioner of Srinagar had said that the material and content published by the newspaper “tends to incite acts of violence and disturb public peace and tranquility.” Now in its order for revocation, the deputy commissioner said, “Kashmir Reader was directed to abstain from printing and publishing under Section 144 of the CRPC. That order remains enforceable for two months only as such has lapsed on 30 November, 2016. Since no extension has been ordered by the government, there is no ban on publishing of the newspaper as on date.”
During the unrest nearly 100 people were shot dead and 14,000 injured in the street protests and stone-throwing incidents, bringing the state to a halt. It was the media that continued to highlight the stories of killings and injuries caused by the pellets fired by the security forces to control the protests. In many incidents, journalists were threatened, beaten up or not allowed to perform their duties.
The government’s anti-press sentiments were clear when Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti walked out of a press conference in August after being questioned about the public protests. She had ridiculed the journalists and said, “Thank you, now have a cup of tea,” while walking off the podium, where she was accompanied by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. It is believed that the government’s behaviour towards the media only angered the people protesting on the streets more.
In Kashmir, the ban on Kashmir Reader was seen as a warning to the whole media fraternity. In their first editorial after resuming publication, the newspaper wrote, “When a government decides to ban a newspaper, unheard of in the 21st century until we were arbitrarily barred from publishing, it could either mean the administration’s lack of confidence in addressing the cause(s) of such widespread unrest or a failure to muster required political resources for a process of resolution.”
Now it looks like the government wants to make amends with the media. After the Kashmir Editors Guild elections selected Fayaz Kaloo as its president, the chief minister met the guild members along with Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu.
According to a spokesperson, the chief minister during the meeting with the guild, said, “She hoped the guild would play its role in strengthening the institution of journalism in the state and assured the government’s support.”
The guild members later visited the Kashmir Reader office on Tuesday, where Kaloo said that the curbs on the media are nothing new but every time there was a crisis, the media has dealt with it head on and will continue to do so. “Our strength comes from the challenges we face on a day to day basis but it has its own costs,” he said.
First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 17:38 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> FCRA licences of around 20,000 of 33,000 NGOs have been cancelled by the government after they were found to be allegedly violating various provisions of the FCRA, thus barring them from receiving foreign funds. This was conveyed to Home Minister Rajnath Singh during a review of the Foreigners Division of the Home Ministry in New Delhi on Tuesday.Giving a detailed presentation, Home Ministry officials said after cancellation of FCRA licences of around 20,000 NGOs, only 13,000 NGOs in the country are legally valid now to receive foreign funds. “The exercise of reviewing the working of the NGOs was started about a year ago and the process is still continuing. The cancellation of the FCRA licences of the NGOs done over a period of one year,” a Home Ministry spokesperson said.Among the 13,000 valid NGOs, around 3,000 have submitted applications for renewal while Home Ministry received 2,000 new applications for registration under the FCRA for the first time. An additional 300 NGOs are currently under prior permission category but not registered under the FCRA. However, FCRA licences of around 16 NGOs were renewed by the Home Ministry under the “automatic” route and all the cases were reviewed thoroughly and except in two cases, 14 NGOs have been put under the prior permission category while papers of the two NGOs are under examination.As per FCRA, if an NGO is put under prior permission category, it is barred to receive foreign funding from abroad without taking permission from the Home Ministry. A Home Ministry official tonight said of the around 33,000 NGOs registered under the FCRA, 27,000 were due for renewal this year. Of these 27,000 NGOs, around 19,000 NGOs have submitted applications for renewal under the FCRA.And of the 19,000 NGOs, FCRA licences of 15,500 NGOs were renewed. Among the total 27,000 NGOs, 8,000 have time till February for renewal of their licences under FCRA. The official said just FCRA licences of just 222 NGOs were cancelled in recent past
Guwahati: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday the security of the more than 200-kilometre-long Indo-Bangladesh border was a priority for the BJP government and it will be completely sealed in next one and a half years.
“We are committed to sealing the 223.7-km Indo-Bangladesh border and the process is on. It is expected to be completed within the next year and a half,” Singh said addressing BJP workers in Guwahati.
“Bangladesh is our neighbouring country and we share a good and warm relation, which we will continue to pursue and remain committed to in the future,” he said.
The Union minister, without referring to the issues of illegal migration and granting of citizenship to Hindu refugees, assured the people of Assam that BJP was committed to protect the interests of the indigenous population of the state as per Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
“We are committed to Clause 6 of the Assam Accord and will protect it even if we have to amend the Constitution,” he said.
Referring to the updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, Singh said the process is underway and the state government should complete it soon.
The Union minister said the Centre will make no compromise on the issue of insurgency as he claimed that violence has considerably come down in the state.
“If any people or group have any grievances, problems or issues, we are ready to talk to them… We are ready to embrace them and talk. But if there is violence, there will be no compromise,” he added.
First Published On : Dec 26, 2016 19:20 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the security of the more than 200-kilometre-long Indo-Bangladesh border was a priority for the BJP government and it will be completely sealed in next one and a half years.”We are committed to sealing the 223.7-km Indo-Bangladesh border and the process is on. It is expected to be completed within the next year and a half,” Singh said addressing BJP workers here.”Bangladesh is our neighbouring country and we share a good and warm relation, which we will continue to pursue and remain committed to in the future,” he said. The Union minister, without referring to the issues of illegal migration and granting of citizenship to Hindu refugees, assured the people of Assam that BJP was committed to protect the interests of the indigenous population of the state as per Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.”We are committed to Clause 6 of the Assam Accord and will protect it even if we have to amend the Constitution,” he said. Referring to the updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, Singh said the process is underway and the state government should complete it soon. The Union minister said the Centre will make no compromise on the issue of insurgency as he claimed that violence has considerably come down in the state.”If any people or group have any grievances, problems or issues, we are ready to talk to them… We are ready to embrace them and talk. But if there is violence, there will be no compromise,” he added.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dalbir Kaur, the sister of Sarabjit Singh, who died in a Pakistan jail in 2013, joined the BJP on Sunday. “She joined the party in the presence of BJP MLA and Punjab Minister Surjit Jyani at a conference organised by the party’s Kisan Morcha here,” Punjab BJP Kisan Morcha general secretary Gurwinder Singh said in Fazilka.When asked by reporters, Kaur confirmed that she had joined the BJP. Kaur had grown close to the BJP even in 2005, during her struggle to get her brother out of jail, and there were reports of her joining the party.Sarabjit died following an attack on him by inmates of a Lahore prison in April 2013. He was convicted for terrorism and spying by a Pakistani court and sentenced to death in 1991. However, the government stayed his execution for an indefinite period in 2008. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh could not attend the Kisan Morcha’s conference because of inclement weather.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh arrived in Manipur capital, Imphal on Saturday to review the security situation in the wake of a blockade imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC).General Singh will also visit Assam to review the security situation there. Meanwhile, a curfew from Lamlong Bridge to Pangei area has been relaxed from 6 am to 5 pm. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju had on Friday visited Manipur to take stock of the situation and asked the state government to step up its efforts in restoring normalcy.Earlier, expressing concern over the long blockade of a highway connecting Manipur, the Home Ministry on Thursday rapped the state government for “failing” to discharge its “constitutional” duties in ensuring smooth flow of traffic on roads despite repeated requests.
ALSO READ AAP, Cong should not do politics on Najeeb Jung’s resignation: Kiren RijijuHome Minister, Rajnath Singh also asked Nagaland Chief Minister, T R Zeliang to ensure there is no disturbance in the movement of vehicles passing through his state, as there have been reports of the Naga Students Federation (NSF) calling for a blockade of vehicles in Nagaland.In a stern message to Manipur Chief Minister, O Ibobi Singh, Rajnath said the state is facing an extremely distressing economic situation because of the continuous blockade of National Highway 2.
ALSO READ Centre slams Manipur Govt over economic blockade The blockade in the state was announced by the UNC after the Manipur Government decided to upgrade the Sadar Hills and Jiribam areas to full-fledged districts. Following the state government’s decision on November 1, UNC militants blocked the Imphal-Dimapur and the Imphal-Jiribam highways indefinitely.
Following the debacle with army deployment in her state earlier this month, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has written a stern letter to the Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh over the presence of 15 CRPF personnel to provide security to income tax officers during raids in the state. Mamata, in the letter, said, “It has come to the notice of the state government that the Ministry of Home Affairs and the central government are making available 15 personnel of the CRPF, for apparently, providing ‘security’ to Income Tax officials and staff deputed for operations in West Bengal.” Here is the copy of the letter
Mamata said this was never conveyed to the state government, even though the alleged MHA instructions were reported by the media. However, an advisory by the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 20 December to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), mentioned that 15 CRPF personnel would be deployed in the state.
“The matter has been considered in this ministry and it has been decided that CRPF shall make available 15 personnel to Income Tax Department, Kolkata, for providing security to officers and staff deputed for search and seizure operations to be carried out by the Income Tax Directorate,” the advisory said.
The letter, addressed to “Dear Rajnath Singhji”, said that the Banerjee government strongly objects to “this decision which is blatantly unconstitutional, illegal and against all principle of constitutional federalism. Stating that the deployment of any central police force of the Union to any state can only be done at the request of the state government, her letter said, “The decision must immediately be revoked. The state government and its police forces will provide all necessary help and protection.”
Mamata had earlier this month accused the BJP government of “deploying the army” along a highway toll plaza at the second Hooghly Bridge, about 500 metres from the secretariat ‘Nabanna’ in neighbouring Howrah district, and said she would not leave till the army was withdrawn. “The state government has not been informed about this deployment by the Centre. This is clearly a violation of the rules and understanding (between the Centre and the state), when the army is deployed without informing a democratically elected government,” Mamata had said a day later at a press conference.
With inputs from agencies
First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 18:03 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Weeks after West Bengal Chief Minister termed the army exercise in the state as an attack on federal structure, Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that the deployment of 15 CRPF personnel to provide security to income tax officers during raids is unconstitutional and illegal.Banerjee, in a letter addressed to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “It has come to our notice that the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to make available 15 personnel of the CRPF for apparently providing ‘security’ to Income Tax officials and staff deputed for operations in West Bengal. No communication in this regard has been received by the state government.””The State Government objects strongly to this decision, which is blatantly unconstitutional, illegal and against all principles of cooperative federalism,” the letter reads.Stating that the deployment of any Central Police Force of the Union to any State can only be done at the request of the state government, letter said, “The decision must be immediately revoked. The Chief Minister also said that the state government at its police forces will provide all necessary help and protection.”On the other hand, an advisory by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the CBDT, dated December 20, mentioned that 15 CRPF personnel would be deployed in the state.“The matter has been considered in this Ministry and it has been decided that CRPF shall make available 15 personnel to Income Tax Department, Kolkata for providing security to officers and staff deputed for search and seizure operations to be carried out by the Income Tax Directorate,” the advisory read.However, when contacted, CRPF officials remained tight lipped. They refused to give information whether the deployment plan was shared with the state government or not.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India’s dream of splitting Pakistan into several geographical entities is “nothing but a fallacy”, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said today, terming it as “dream of a madman” which will never be realised.”BJP’s dream of splitting Pakistan is nothing but a fallacy. In fact it is dream of a madman which will never be fulfilled,” Khan said in a statement a day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh warned that Pakistan would get “splintered” into 10 pieces if it failed to quell terrorism. Khan described Rajnath’s remarks as just a “shallow claim”. “India is being divided not by any other country, but its own policies,” Khan said, accusing ruling BJP of following anti-minority polices and targeting Muslims, Christians, Dalits and other groups.Addressing a Martyrs’ Day function in Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir, Singh yesterday said, “Pakistan came into existence after India got divided on religious lines but it could not keep itself united. In 1971, it got split into two and, if it does not mend its ways, it will get splintered into 10 pieces and India will have no role in it.” Responding to Singh’s remarks, Khan claimed that life has become miserable for minorities in India and they are “facing risks and threats under the Modi government.” “Indian government has erected a wall of hatred in the whole country. BJP government’s hands are stained with the blood of innocent Kashmiris,” he said.
ALSO READ Pakistan will splinter into 10 pieces if it doesn’t stop conspiring against India: Rajnath SinghThe latest spat between the top ministers came amid strained relations between India and Pakistan after a series of terror attacks in India by militants crossing over from Pakistan. Khan went on to accuse India of openly interfering in Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan. “We wish peace in the region, however, will not accept Indian hegemony,” he asserted. Khan claimed arrest of Kulbhushan Jadhav and other Indian agents in Pakistan is “clear proof of Indian meddling into Pakistan affairs.”Jadhav, who was reportedly arrested in Balochistan after he entered from Iran, has been accused by Pakistan of planning “subversive activities” in the country.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday accused Pakistan of “conspiring” to divide India along religious lines and warned the neighbouring country that it would be “splintered” into 10 nations if it failed to quell terrorism.”Pakistan is conspiring to divide India on religious lines but it will not succeed. We were divided in 1947 on religious basis. We have not been able to forget that… All Indians are brothers, whether they are born from the womb of a Hindu mother or a Muslim mother,” he said addressing a Martyrs’ Day function in Kathua district.”We want to live in peace with Pakistan but it has indulged in sponsoring a proxy war against India. Every Prime Minister of India wanted to mend relations with Pakistan but it did not understand the language of peace and attacked India four times. But our brave soldiers gave them a befitting reply.”The Home Minister said Pakistan was waging the proxy war through terrorism, which is a weapon of the weak.”Terrorism is the weapon of the weak and not the brave,” he said.”Pakistan came into existence after India got divided on religious lines but it could not keep itself united. In 1971, it got split into two and, if it does not mend its ways, it will get splintered into 10 pieces and India will have no role in it,” he said.Singh said terror groups ISIS had the whole world worried because of its activities but failed to spread its roots in India because of the Muslims.”When the entire world is worried about ISIS, I can say it as the Home Minister of the country, as I know the reality that ISIS has not been able to spread its roots in India and the credit for this goes to the Muslims of the country, the followers of Islam,” he said.He said people might not know but when a member of somebody’s family got radicalised, others came to him to seek his help to save the child from the clutches of the ISIS.He also offered India’s cooperation to Pakistan to help eradicate the menace of terrorism from its soil.”If Pakistan is serious about eradicating terrorism but is incapable of doing that and wants cooperation, we are ready to help it eradicate terrorism from there,” the Minister said.Singh said India always wanted to have friendly relations with all its neighbours but Pakistan betrayed India and returned peace initiatives with terrorist attacks. “Narendra Modi, before the formation of his government, had held a party meeting and we decided if we want to make India a powerful country we need cooperation of all the neighbouring countries. So we decided to invite all the neighbouring heads of state/government and we invited Nawaz Sharif also, and he had come,” Singh said.”Sharif was invited not just to shake hands but let the hearts of the two countries to meet,” he said, adding Pakistan should understand “our intentions but it has failed to do so”.He also said Modi, “breaking all protocol”, went to attend a function in Sharif’s family while returning from Afghanistan.”We try our best that our neighbours live in peace with us. We want development of India as well as that of Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. All should progress. We want this. But what has Pakistan given us in return for our large-heartedness?”We got Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Uri where terrorists entered and launched cowardly attacks on our soldiers,” Singh said. “But we also showed them what we are capable of,” he added.”I thank our soldiers who succeeded in giving the message we cannot only hit them here but if need arises we can hit them anywhere,” Singh said, referring to the surgical strikes carried by the army inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.He said after Gurdaspur and Pathankot terror attacks, Pakistan had stated it wanted to cooperate and sent a team to India. “But after the team’s return to Pakistan, they refused to allow Indian SIT to visit Pakistan,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at Rajnath Singh, saying that while he agrees that Pakistan is trying to divide India along religious lines, the Home Minister and his “boss” Prime Minister Narendra Modi have also been doing the same. Responding to the remarks of Singh that Pakistan has been “conspiring” to divide India on religious lines, Rahul tweeted: “Yes Rajnath Singhji Pakistan is trying to divide India along religious lines; has it struck you that you & your boss have been doing the same’”Addressing a Martyrs’ Day function in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, the Home Minister said, “Pakistan is conspiring to divide India on religious lines but it will not succeed. We were divided in 1947 on religious basis. We have not been able to forget that… All Indians are brothers, whether they are born from the womb of a Hindu mother or a Muslim mother.”Singh said nowhere in the world other than India 72 sects of Islam live together peacefully. He said that as the Home Minister of the country, he wanted to make it clear that India is committed to taking along everybody and moving ahead on the path of development. He also offered India’s cooperation to Pakistan to eradicate the menace of terrorism from its soil.”If Pakistan is serious about eradicating terrorism but is incapable of doing that and wants cooperation, we are ready to help it eradicate terrorism from there,” the minister said.He said, “We want to live in peace with Pakistan but it has indulged in sponsoring a proxy war against India.”Every Prime Minister of India wanted to mend relations with Pakistan but it did not understand the language of peace and attacked India four times. But our brave soldiers gave them a befitting reply.”After repeated defeats, Pakistan has understood that it cannot defeat India in wars so it has resorted to sponsoring proxy war, he said, adding that “terrorism is the weapon of weak and not the brave”.Singh said that while the entire world was concerned about the spread of ISIS, the terrorist organisation has failed to spread its roots in India.
Sat, 10 Dec 2016-09:23pm , Haridwar , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that Congress vice President Rahul Gandhi cannot even make the wind blow and he talks about causing an earthquake in parliament with his take on demonetization. Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi earthquake’s statement, he said, “He said that if he will speak, then an earthquake would occur but he cannot even make the wind blow.”The Congress leader had on Friday said that if he speaks on demonetization in the parliament, then the ruling regime would be hit by an earthquake. He further said that the BJP will always stand by common people at the time of difficulty. “Decision like demonetization can be taken only by courageous person with long term vision,” he said adding that the situation would become normal in one month.”We need to take some difficult and rigid decisions in a bid to make India economically sound,” Singh added while addressing a public rally in Haridwar.
The 12-year-old who looked angelic last spring has become an obstreperous teenager this winter. He still sits at the back of the room, but is confidently full of beans, not shy or red-faced. He speaks glibly, jokingly, not breathless with the effort of talking — the way he was in spring.
The room has changed too. In spring, I met a large group, including many of the same students, in a classroom in their school. Now, they squat on rugs in the home of one of their senior teachers, so that they might prepare for, and take, exams. The private school premises have been shut since July, but the teachers (backed by parents) insist on exams even though the state government has granted mass promotions.
The students, mainly teenagers, are in pherans — black-on-fawn checks seem to be in fashion. A few of them are in bright, thick anoraks. Last spring, they were neatly turned out in bright uniforms, and sat in orderly rows at desks.
The look is not the only thing that has changed. The youngsters’ mood seems generally more relaxed than it was last spring. Girls in particular appear less angry than they were back then. Perhaps the angst of that season has been eased by stone-pelting, barricading and other protests through the summer and autumn.
A couple of them mimic Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s talk of ‘kaasmeer.’ Another complains that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was travelling while people were being killed in Kashmir. Yet another says he requests Modi to check the breaking of white goods such as fridges during forces’ operations within homes. They do not specifically disparage democracy, as some of them did last spring.
One points out that there is no Kashmiri in the Indian cricket team, citing it as proof of discrimination. Another student says Kashmir is a piece of Pakistan in India. Others respond that they want to be independent from both countries.
Beef and Hindutva figures such as (believe it or not) Baba Ramdev, Kashmiris having to show identity cards to ‘outsiders,’ … — the teenagers’ reasons for wanting ‘azadi’ have not changed much, but the means have, their expressions are relaxed than last spring – when the same students were taut with tension.
There are angry complaints about sisters and mothers being vulnerable during searches and when forces swoop in to take ‘pelters’ into custody. Some talk of being treated like ‘animals’ at the police station. That turns out to be a complaint about the level of chillies in the food given to detainees. Indeed, one who forgets the value of courtesies, hospitality, and ‘izzat’ in Kashmir is doomed.
They specifically mention that Irfan, who lived down the road, was killed in the second week of July, rather than all the other scores of teenagers who were killed in forces’ action this year. That gives a glimpse of the great impact the killing of even one locally known youth makes in Kashmir.
One teenager seems more angry than the rest. He seems staunchly anti-India. It turns out that he suffered assault and humiliation when he was locked up by the police for ‘pelting.’ Another boy has visible signs of injury on his face, but he refuses to say anything despite repeated requests from me and his schoolmates sitting around him. They prod him physically, and I approach so that he need not be heard by the entire room, but he looks diffidently down, silent.
Since he seems bashful amid all the attention, I do not even ask if I may photograph his injuries. He, like the rest of this room full of teenagers, and the area, have been through a lot already this year. And they will, one fears, go through worse yet.
First Published On : Dec 10, 2016 12:32 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A physically handicapped person has alleged that he was severely “humiliated” and “mocked” by a security officer at the Bangalore airport when he was to board a flight for the national capital. The incident comes even as the Disabilities Bill is being tabled in Parliament. The Bill proposes a jail term of up to two years and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh for people who discriminate against the differently abled.Twenty nine -year-old Nipun Malhotra, a disabled rights activist, who suffers from a congenital disorder called arthrogryposis and is wheelchair-bound, was allegedly asked to bend and stand despite his physical condition.Malhotra has complained to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and head of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), seeking an apology from the concerned officer and an assurance that disabled persons won’t be subjected to such humiliation and discrimination.The alleged incident took place around 2.45 pm on November 30 when Malhotra was flying to Delhi in an IndiGo flight. In the complaint dated December 7, Malhotra has termed the incident “horrible”. CISF sources confirmed that they have received a complaint and that the matter is being looked into.Malhotra’s complaint states: “He asked me twice to stand despite my saying that it would be impossible for me. He then asked whether somebody can lift me out of my wheelchair so that I might be properly checked… I could have tripped and fallen on my face. He insisted on this despite seeing that I use a belt on my chair.”Malhotra told DNA that the “inhuman treatment” by the CISF officer went on for around seven minutes and he even refused to issue a boarding pass. The episode ended only after the intervention of a senior officer, Malhotra said.Malhotra said he has travelled abroad but has never faced any difficulty. “What is terrible is the lack of action. The lack of insensitivity is shocking,” he said.In October too, a similar incident was reported from the Bangalore airport, where paralympian Aditya Mehta was allegedly forced to take off his prosthetic limb. Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), which operates the airport, however, refused to comment on the frequent occurrences of such incidents. A BIAL official, on condition of anonymity, said: “We have not received any complaint about this incident. If we get one, we will order an inquiry. We understand that persons with disabilities need to be treated sensitively.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four ships deployed by the Indian Navy for the evacuation of as many as 800 stranded tourists are standing outside the harbour at Havelock Island for the second day in a row due to bad weather.In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, four ships — INS Bitra, Bangaram, Kumbhir and LCU 38 — were deployed to carry out the evacuation operations by the Indian Navy after the Andaman and Nicobar administration sought help from them. But, the rough sea and torrential rains have barred these ships from entering the harbour.Sources in the Indian Navy say that ships can make any further movement only after weather improves. However, the Met office has predicted that the deep depression will further intensify into a cyclonic storm making the evacuation operations even tougher.On the other hand, the union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh requested the stranded tourists to not panic and that the government is making all arrangements for safe evacuation.”The government will launch the rescue operations immediately after the intensity of the cyclone reduces. The teams are ready in Port Blair,” he wrote on Twitter.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Home Minister Rajnath Singh tonight spoke to Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and enquired about the health of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who suffered a cardiac arrest while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Chennai.During the 10-minute telephonic conversation, Rao briefed Singh about the health condition of the Chief Minister and conveyed that doctors attending to her were taking all necessary steps.Rao, who is the Governor of Maharashtra and holding the additional charge of Tamil Nadu, was in Mumbai to attend a Navy Day event today. He told the Home Minister that he was rushing to Chennai to personally monitor the situation in Tamil Nadu arising out of the sudden deterioration in the health of Jayalalithaa, official sources said. Meanwhile, Home Ministry officials are in constant touch with the officials of Tamil Nadu government and assessing the situation. The sources said that law and order situation in Tamil Nadu was normal so far and adequate central forces were available in the state to assist the state administration. The central government will provide all assistance to Tamil Nadu government if any help is required, the sources said. 68-year-old Jayalalithaa, who has been undergoing treatment at a hospital here, today suffered a cardiac arrest and is being treated by a team of experts, including cardiologists, Apollo Hospitals said. Nine companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) of CRPF have been put on stand-by to be immediately airlifted from various places in the country to Tamil Nadu, if needed, senior CRPF officials said. A RAF company comprises around 100 personnel.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The who’s who of politics, including BJP chief Amit Shah, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Prakash Javadekar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray are expected to attend the marriage ceremony of Nitin Gadkari’s daughter in Nagpur on Sunday.Gadkari’s daughter Ketki, youngest of his three children, will tie the knot with Aditya Kaskhedikar, who works with Facebook in the US. According to sources, BJP president Amit Shah will come to Nagpur tonight from Delhi and return after the wedding. Apart from Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of State for Power, Coal Piyush Goyal and some other BJP national leaders are also likely to be present on the occasion.Maharastra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, his counterparts from neighbouring states- Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray are also expected to be in attendance. As the Winter session of Maharashtra Legislature is beginning from December 5, a number of ministers from the state have planned to attend the ceremony.Sources said Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao and Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit have expressed their inability to be present at the event, but said they would attend the reception to be held on December 8 in New Delhi. Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, who belongs to Nagpur, has two sons- Nikhil and Sarang.
New Delhi: The BSF on Wednesday said the exact area from where terrorists who attacked the Pathankot IAF base infiltrated is still a matter of “conjecture” and that there was no direct evidence of a breach in the security system along the Indo-Pak border.
Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir had on Tuesday said in a written reply in Lok Sabha that “four Pakistan-based terrorists entered Punjab via Janial road, Dhusi turn, near Ravi river bridge, Gulpur Simli village-Akalgarh and attacked airforce station in Pathankot.”
Border Security Force chief KK Sharma said there are many “variables” on the border, marked by riverine gaps and other unguarded patches and Pathankot could be one of those. “That is still a matter of conjecture. It is suspected they came from this area (as mentioned in the Minister’s reply)… But there is no direct evidence of a breach (of the border fence),” he said.
The DG added that due to riverine areas and other gaps in the undulating terrain on the border, it is “not possible to erect a fence” everywhere.
Putting an end to speculation about the number of terrorists involved in the Pathankot attack, Ahir’s statement made it clear that only four militants had entered the airforce station to carry out the strike.
The answer was seen as contrary to a statement made by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 4 March. He had said that charred remains, apart from four bodies of terrorists, were found at the debris after security forces searched the Pathankot airforce station when the operation ended.
Talking about the Indo-Bangla border, the DG said non-lethal weapons given to BSF troops will “stay” as both the sides are determined to reduce the number of deaths on the frontier.
He said the incidents of smuggling of fake Indian currency notes along the border, especially in the notorious Malda area, has “drastically” gone down post demonetisation.
Asked if hostilities could increase in the wake of new Pakistan Army chief taking over, he said it was a “million dollar question” to him too.
Sharma added that the 2.5-lakh personnel strong force is running a special financial literacy programme for its troops so that they can save and invest better for their future.
First Published On : Nov 30, 2016 20:38 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the Centre agreeing that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would speak on demonetization in Parliament ‘if there is a proper debate’, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday said the former would not do any ‘favour’ as ‘it is his duty to answer to questions’ of opposition parties.Congress leader Kharge said, “Prime Minister Modi is not doing any favour to us by intervening in Parliament. It is his duty. He should come and listen to our debate and answer to our questions.”Earlier, Kharge had said that demonetization had harmed the economic system, the farmers, the youth, labourers and women among others and they are in distress.Seeking to break the deadlock, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had yesterday told the Lok Sabha that Prime Minister Modi would speak on demonetization, but the opposition’s demand for a debate with a provision for voting remained unimpressed, forcing another adjournment.With opposition parties firm on their stand, Singh said nobody is questioning the government?s intentions over demonetization.He said the government was willing to listen to the complaints and suggestions of different parties over the execution of the demonetization move.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday about the Nabha jailbreak in which a hardcore Khalistani terrorist escaped along with five other prisoners and sought a detailed report from the state government. The Home Minister, who was in Hyderabad, also asked the Chief Minister to take urgent steps to tighten security in all jails in Punjab, officials said.During the 15-minute telephonic conversation, Badal briefed Singh about the incident and steps taken to nab the culprits. “I have told the Home Secretary to get a report from the Punjab government immediately. If the Punjab government needs any assistance, we will provide it,” Singh said.Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal also spoke to the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and apprised him of the details of the incident. He updated the NSA on steps being taken to apprehend the culprits. Concerned over the incident, Home Ministry asked the Punjab government to send the report as early as possible.
ALSO READ Centre seeks report from Punjab govt on jailbreakUnion Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi also spoke to Director General of Punjab Police and asked him to ensure adequate security in all jails in Punjab. In the sensational jailbreak, a group of armed men in police uniform attacked the high-security Nabha Jail in Patiala and fled with six prisoners, including Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Mintoo, an accused in 10 cases.The incident came two days after Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked security forces to guard against attempts to disturb peace through “vicious” political campaign or by external extremist forces during the election process in Punjab and four other states. “We have to keep strict vigil against external extremist elements who may try to create disturbance in Punjab. There have been increased activities of the Sikh terrorists in recent months.
ALSO READ Attempts likely to disturb peace during assembly polls: Rajnath Singh”Similarly in Manipur, we have to ensure peace keeping in mind the ethnic divide. In Uttar Pradesh too, there may be attempts to disturb law and order through vicious political campaigning. We have to keep strict vigil and take proper steps to ensure peace during election,” he said at the DGPs conference in Hyderabad on Friday.
New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday spoke to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal about the Nabha jailbreak in which a hardcore Khalistani terrorist escaped along with five other prisoners and sought a detailed report from the state government.
The home minister, who was in Hyderabad, also asked the chief minister to take urgent steps to tighten security in all jails in Punjab, officials said.
During the 15-minute telephonic conversation, Badal briefed Singh about the incident and steps taken to nab the culprits.
“I have told the home secretary to get a report from the Punjab government immediately. If the Punjab government needs any assistance, we will provide it,” Singh said.
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal also spoke to the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and apprised him of the details of the incident. He updated the NSA on steps being taken to apprehend the culprits.
Concerned over the incident, Home Ministry asked the Punjab government to send the report as early as possible.
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi also spoke to Director General of Punjab Police and asked him to ensure adequate security in all jails in Punjab.
In the sensational jailbreak, a group of armed men in police uniform attacked the high-security Nabha jail in Patiala and fled with six prisoners, including Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Mintoo, an accused in 10 cases.
The incident came two days after Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked security forces to guard against attempts to disturb peace through “vicious” political campaign or by external extremist forces during the election process in Punjab and four other states.
“We have to keep strict vigil against external extremist elements who may try to create disturbance in Punjab. There have been increased activities of the Sikh terrorists in recent months. Similarly in Manipur, we have to ensure peace keeping in mind the ethnic divide. In Uttar Pradesh too, there may be attempts to disturb law and order through vicious political campaigning. We have to keep strict vigil and take proper
steps to ensure peace during election,” he said at the DGPs conference in Hyderabad on Friday.
First Published On : Nov 27, 2016 16:55 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to the Martyrs column at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad on Saturday. The Prime Minister arrived in the city on Friday to participate in the annual conference of top police officers of the country that would focus on cross- border terrorism, infiltration and radicalisation of youth.Modi stayed overnight at the Police Academy and took part in the ‘Yoga session’ for an hour from 6 am, as part of the conference of Directors General of Police (DGPs) of all states.Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the three-day conference at SVPNPA on Friday afternoon. Union Ministers of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, besides National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval are among those who attended the event.Rajnath Singh inaugurated the three-day conference at SVPNPA on Friday afternoon. Union Ministers of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, besides National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval are among those who attended the event.Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, his Cabinet colleagues and state BJP president K Lakshman were among those who welcomed Modi at the airport on Friday evening.Modi at the airport on Friday evening.”After the ‘Yoga session’, the Prime Minister would participate in deliberations with the top police officers from 8 am till 5 pm on Saturday,” a top police official told PTI.Issues like cross-border terrorism, radicalisation of youth and attempts to lure Indians into Middle East terrorist groups, like ISIS, will be discussed threadbare at the meeting.Filling up of vacant posts in various police forces, reforms in police forces, menace of narcotics smuggling and human trafficking will also be discussed extensively during the conference.The Prime Minister and Home Minister will interact with the top police officers and get their feedback about the internal security situation and various aspects of police personnel, official sources said.This is for the third time since Independence that the conference is being held outside Delhi. It was held in Guwahati in 2014 and Kutch in Gujarat last year. The idea of holding the meeting of DGPs and IGPs outside Delhi was mooted by Modi after he assumed power in 2014.The conference is being attended by around 100 DGPs of states, Director Generals of Central paramilitary forces and their Inspectors General. Rajnath Singh will also take part in the valedictory function on Sunday.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an exclusive interview with DNA – WION, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said that the recent agitation in Kashmir was an attempt to topple the democratically elected government of PDP-BJP in the valley. “The agitation was funded from abroad and Pakistan and the separatists wanted to topple our government. The behaviour of the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was exemplary. She didn’t cave into any pressure,” said Ram Madhav.The recent unrest in Kashmir continued for more than three months and consumed many lives. BJP leaders tried to reach out a number of times, which included two trips by Home Minister Rajnath Singh to the valley to meet a number of stakeholders. Ram Madhav said that the time has come for the civil society leadership to take responsibility and stand against terrorists. “We understand that terrorists and their supporters have created fear in the valley but civilian leadership needs to rise to the challenge,” he said. Ram Madhav was responding to the question that in the early days of the agitation, houses of senior PDP leaders came under fire of local protesters and terrorists.He was categorical that the Indian state will not bow under any pressure tactics accruing from violence by the agitators. Madhav admitted that the unrest was intensely present in rural areas, though many urban areas remained calm. He also said that civil society must come out in support of normalcy in the state and asked the local leadership to participate in the healing process. “The religious leadership which includes maulvis and preachers, must come forward and participate in the healing process,” said Ram Madhav.When asked about eroded legitimacy of the PDP in the valley, he said, “What was National Conference doing? If legitimacy is the case then NC, PDP and INC have legitimacy collectively.” He further added that the two flag issue, campus flag row and resettlement issue had nothing to do with the agitation. “These issues were created by the NC and certain mainstream parties. NC also made resettlement an issue,” said Ram Madhav. He insisted that the habit of picking non issues has become a nemesis in Kashmir. However, he added that the BJP remains committed to the return of Pandits to the valley and there would be no compromise on the issue. Speaking on insurgency, Ram Madhav said, “What local issues can be resolved by attacking a CRPF camp? Protests have to be in the spirit of democracy.”After three months of violence and lockdown, the Kashmir valley seems to be liming back to normalcy. However, Ram Madhav said that Pakistan needs to create normalcy on the border and that the onus lies with them. “We have no appetite for violence. India reserves the right to respond and that’s what the government is doing,” he said. He reiterated that the mutilation of Indian soldiers is unacceptable and such actions would not go unpunished.
Sun, 20 Nov 2016-03:22pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar was today honoured with an international peace prize for his efforts in ensuring world peace.Home Minister Rajnath Singh gave away the “Dr Nagendra Singh International Peace Award” to the spiritual leader at a function at Vigyan Bhawan here.The award has been instituted in the memory of Dr Nagendra Singh, first Indian judge at International Court of Justice, Hague.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hailing the Centre’s move to demonetize Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the action will bring probity in political and administrative works besides reducing the gap between rich and poor.There are some hardships being faced by the people following the demonetization but this will continue for a short time only as the government is putting in all efforts with full sensitivity to normalise the situation, he said. “Naturally, this decision will result in curbing economic sources of corrupt and terrorists. It will also increase probity in political and administrative works,” Singh said. This move will also help in reducing the gap between rich and poor people, he said.The Home Minister said the central government decided to demonetize Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes with an aim to rein in corruption, black money and terrorism. “It is a historical and brave decision taken for national interest. Terrorism, extremism and naxalism will come down.Such decisions are taken by people who are doing politics not only for formation of government but also for society and nation building,” he said. Singh said the way people have welcomed the decision of demonetization and provided cooperation and support, it is commendable.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena came out in support of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday, who is under attack from BJP for drawing a comparison between the Uri terror attack casualties and the deaths after demonetization, saying an apology by him for the comments will not change the truth. BJP has sought an apology from Azad, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, for his remarks but he has rejected the demand. “Will the truth change if Azad apologises?” asked an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’. “In the Uri attack, 20 jawans were martyred. Due to the demonetization, 40 brave patriots have lost their lives (while standing in queues at banks to exchange demonetized notes). “The difference is in the attackers. Pakistan attacked us in Uri, where in the case of demonetization (deaths) it was our own rulers,” Sena, a partner of the BJP-led alliance at the Centre, said. “Even if the number of deaths caused by inflation, recession and unemployment rises from 40 to 40 lakh, this government will say they are victims of patriotism. “We only hope that going by this rate, a time will come wherein we have to declare the entire country as a martyr,” Sena said.Parliament was stalled for the last two days due to ruckus caused by charges and counter charges by the ruling NDA and Opposition over demonetization. Sena has been unrelenting in its attack on the Centre over demonetization and had even joined hands with some opposition parties in demonstrations in Delhi over the issue.Two days back, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and is believed to have conveyed BJP’s unhappiness over NDA ally participating in a march against demonetization even as the Sena stuck to its criticism, saying it could have been implemented in a better way.
Assam: Rajnath Singh speaks to CM Sarbananda Sonowal after militant ambush in Tinsukia
New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and took stock of the situation in the wake of ambush by militants in which three army personnel were killed and a few others injured.
During the 10-minute telephonic conversation, Sonowal briefed the Union Home Minister about the militant attack, the situation arising of the incident and the steps taken to nab the culprits.
“I am deeply anguished by the death of army soldiers in an attack in Tinsukia and pray for speedy recovery of the injured. We are monitoring the situation,” Singh said.
Three jawans were killed and four others seriously injured in the ambush by a joint group of ULFA(I) and NSCN(K) militants at Pengeri in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district on Saturday.
A group of about 15 militants attacked an army convoy early this morning and severely damaged two vehicles killing one jawan on the spot and seriously injuring six others, a defence spokesman told PTI.
Two of the injured succumbed to their injuries on way to the hospital, he said.
First Published On : Nov 19, 2016 13:33 IST
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<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday and took stock of the situation in the wake of ambush by militants in which three army personnel were killed and a few others injured.During the 10-minute telephonic conversation, Sonowal briefed the Union Home Minister about the militant attack, the situation arising of the incident and the steps taken to nab the culprits. “I am deeply anguished by the death of army soldiers in an attack in Tinsukia and pray for speedy recovery of the injured. We are monitoring the situation,” Singh said.Three jawans were killed and four others seriously injured in the ambush by a joint group of ULFA(I) and NSCN(K) militants at Pengeri in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district today. A group of about 15 militants attacked an army convoy early this morning and severely damaged two vehicles killing one jawan on the spot and seriously injuring six others, a defence spokesman said.Two of the injured succumbed to their injuries on way to the hospital, he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three soldiers were killed and four seriously wounded on Saturday in an attack in Assam, officials said. Heavily armed militants of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) ambushed an army convoy near the Pengeri reserve forest in the eastern Assam district of Tinsukia, about 550 km (340 miles) from the state’s main city of Guwahati. The vehicle they were travelling in was damaged after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by suspected ULFA terrorists went off.”Militants belonging to the ULFA militants attacked the army convoy with rocket propelled grenades, hitting a truck and a jeep. Three soldiers were killed and four critically injured in the attack,” Mukesh Agarwal, Assam’s additional police chief, told Reuters. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told ANI, “I strongly condemn this attack, the perpetrators will be punished. I have directed officials to go to Tinsukia.”Home Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed anguish over the incident. “Deeply anguished to learn of the death of army soldiers in a blast in Tinsukia. I pray for the speedy recovery of our injured soldiers.”The Home Minister also said he spoke to Sonowal.The injured were airlifted to a nearby army base hospital with multiple wounds, according to the officials. “The area is thickly forested and that gave the militants an edge to attack and escape immediately after the strike,” an army commander said, requesting not to be identified. Army, police, and paramilitary troopers have since launched a massive hunt for the rebels and to seal escape routes, an army official said. The ULFA has been fighting for an independent homeland in Assam since 1979. It now operates out of bases in Myanmar, bordering Assam. With inputs from ANI/Reuters.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the Shiv Sena joined hands with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to march to Rashtrapati Bhavan on the demonetization move by the Narendra Modi-led government, party president Uddhav Thackeray said the hardships faced by the people after the delegalisation of high-value notes needed to be alleviated.Speaking to reporters at Shivaji Park in Mumbai, on Thursday, which is the fourth death anniversary of late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, Uddhav said while they were with the Centre in the war against black money, the people needed a relief from the hardships faced by them.Uddhav sought that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) withdraw its curbs on allowing district banks to exchange Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes. Uddhav said he had told Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who had called him, that “if the intention was good, the procedure also needed to be good.” The Shiv Sena has also sought an extension of the deadline for exchanging and accepting old notes.It is believed that Singh shared with the Sena chief the government’s steps to ease the pressure on citizens queuing up at banks and ATMs amid a massive cash crunch. Rajnath is also believed to have told the Sena chief that government and NDA allies all need to speak in one voice on the floor of the Parliament.The Sena has been strongly critical of the government on the decision. Amid relentless queues at ATMs and banks for cash, Uddhav accused the government of ‘torturing people’ and warned Prime Minister Modi of a ‘surgical strike’ by people. “If you have guts, conduct a surgical strike on Swiss Banks where Indian money is stashed. Bring back this black money,” he said, adding, “Do not betray the people’s trust or you will see the impact of peoples’ ‘surgical strike’ against you.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP national president Amit Shah said on Saturday that his party has not decided whether to project anyone as its chief ministerial candidate in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.In several states like Rajasthan, Chhatishgarh, Gujarat, Goa and Madhya Pradesh no one was projected as the CM face, he said. “The party has not yet decided whether it will go to the polls projecting a CM face or not”, he said at a programme here.Shah’s reply came to a specific question whether BJP will project Home Minister Rajnath Singh or party MP Yogi Adityanath for the key post. The BJP president said that BJP is cadre-based party where internal democracy is still alive. “It is not as if being born into a particular family will make an individual a leader…all have to work hard in my party…have to sweat it out”, he said.On UP, he said there are immense possibilities and the development of the country is not possible without the development of the state. “BJP believes in politics of performance and not appeasement,” he said spelling out three priorities for UP — infrastructure development, youth-oriented employment facilities and better law and order.”Government in UP should be for people, not for a family, BJP stands for politics of performance, not appeasement,” Shah said claiming that law and order situation in BJP ruled states was much better as per the National Crime Records Bureau.To a question, Shah said, “I have to expand my party…it is not my responsibility to take care of other parties…some political parties will be weakened in times to come…my aim is to strengthen my party”.
Bollywood must immediately find the identity of the BJP’s speechwriter.
It may finally discover an heir to the Salim-Javed legacy.
On Monday, while speaking at a rally in Kairana, BJP leader and India’s home minister Rajnath Singh thundered in his famed baritone: “Those using muscle power to terrorise people… hum dekhenge ki usne kitna mas ka doodh piya hai.”
Maa ka doodh, Bollywood has shown us, is the ultimate proof of courage; the elixir that separates real men from those brought up presumably on cow’s milk.
On the big screen, when Amitabh Bachchan bashed up baddies bred on dabbe ka doodh (Mard) and challenged goons who had partaken of maa ka doodh (Khoon Pasina) to come and face him, it evoked thunderous applause, inducing the audience to throw coins at the screen. One could almost imagine the taalis and seetis that rang out when Rajnath delivered those lines in Kairana.
When it comes to expressing a hero’s anger and machismo, it would rank just alongside Dharmendra’s biggest contribution to cinema: Ka****e, mein tera
doodh khoon pi jaoonga (Sholay).
Rajnath is obviously angry. Perhaps he is fuming just the way he was when told that Hafiz Saeed was behind the JNU ruckus last year. So, unable to control his emotions, he is dealing in screen-shattering dialogue. (At the same venue he claimed to have told Pakistan “seena thok ke” about its terror links.)
But, who are these people whose childhood dietary preferences he wants to check out? And why?
Kairana, it is evident, is the new Ayodhya or Muzaffarnagar for the BJP. With elections on the horizon, it wants to hardsell Kairana as a symbol of the imminent threat to Hindus by you-know-who.
In the BJP rule book of politics, polarisation is always the basic denominator in a poll equation. Having benefitted from Ayodhya, Gujarat, Muzaffarnagar, “Love Jihad”, beef ban and other emotive issues that polarise, the BJP always keeps looking with a fine-toothed comb for issues that could be turned into its new poll cry.
This election, it is trying to latch on to Kairana.
A few months ago, when BJP parliamentarian Hukum Singh released a list of Hindu families that had “migrated” from Kairana because of threat from Muslims, the BJP had pounced on the controversy like an eager child that has re-discovered its favourite toy. But, its enthusiasm was later dampened by reports that rebutted the claim. Several reports exposed the holes in Hukum’s theory.
It was established by several media organisations reporting from the ground that Kairana was battling a law and order problem. A war between gangs of local goons, unfortunately, was distorted by Hukum as an existential threat to Hindus. As Firstpost had argued then, it was yet another Malda moment — a mischievous misrepresentation of facts to raise the communal temperature of the state.
But, the BJP just can’t let Kairana go. It needs to continuously cry wolf to keep the electoral pot boiling. Why waste a good story for want of facts, no?
So, the BJP has entered the poll fray in Kairana with another Salim-Javed inspired slogan: Maa-behno ki aan mein, BJP maidan mein. Let’s hope they don’t forget to put Nihalchand Meghwal’s picture on posters to convey its concern for ma–behen.
It is unfortunate that the BJP has to go back to communal dog whistles to win UP. With the current Mahabharata in the Mulayam Singh Yadav parivar, rising anti-incumbency, disarray in the Congress whose leader Rahul Gandhi is competing in dialogue-baazi with corny stuff like ‘khoon ki dalali’ and the confusion among Mayawati’s supporters, the election should have been a cakewalk for the BJP.
Instead of going back to its regressive politics, the party could have worked on addressing the fault lines, healing the fragmented polity and society of the state and selling a development agenda for the state. But, its focus on emotive issues shows it lacks the courage to digress from its favourite formula.
Maybe, Rajnath is right. Perhaps it takes maa ka doodh to chart out a new path in a state as important as UP.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP will launch its third Parivartan Rath Yatra from Sonbhadra on Monday, which will be flagged off party president Amit Shah in the presence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh. MoS Dr Mahendra Pandey, MoS Anupriya Patel and state party chief Keshav Prasad Maurya among others. Ramlila Maidan in Sonbhadra has been decked up for the occasion, where Amit Shah will flag off Rath Yatra. While from nearby Railway Maidan in Sonbhadra, the leaders will address the gathering. Among other places, this Rath Yatra will also visit the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi in coming days.One more Parivartan Rath Yatra is scheduled to be flagged off tomorrow from Ballia by Amit Shah, whereas two Rath Yatras flagged off from Saharanpur and Jhansi earlier, are already visiting the constituencies mobilising the support in favour of BJP.All these four Rath Yatras will visit all the 403 assembly constituencies of the state where hundreds of public meetings and thirty-six mega public meetings will be organised by the party. Out of it, six mega rallies will be addressed by the Prime Minister including one in Lucknow on December 24th, when these Rath Yatras will culminate.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There was a need to take states into confidence on banning cow slaughter, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday, maintaining that cow was protected even during Mughal rule.”Cow slaughter and beef was banned since the vedic times. Even during the Mughal rule, it was banned during the times of Bahadurshah Zafar, Akbar and Jehangir. It has even been written in the ‘Babarnama’ that one cannot rule over Hindustan unless you stop cow slaughter,” he said at a function in New Delhi in memory of those killed during a demonstration on the issue 50 years ago.The Home Minister said there was a need to take the states into confidence on the matter, though many states have already banned cow slaughter after increased awareness over the issue.”As far as cow is concerned, it is not just a cultural issue, it is an issue of faith. But besides being an issue of faith, it is also an issue which should be viewed from economic, historical and scientific perspective,” he said.Singh said the NDA government was working towards enforcing complete ban on smuggling of cattle to Bangladesh and taken a number of steps in this regard, but achieved only “partial success” keeping in view the long borders.”I want to tell you on behalf of our government that we want that cow shuld be protected. We have tried to stop the smuggling of cows to Bangladesh from across the borders. But the borders are very vast and we have achieved only partial success. We have taken a number of measures and will try to put a complete ban on smuggling of cows, but I feel this will take some time,” Singh said, adding Article 48 of the Constitution mentions that governments will work to stop cow slaughter.”We should understand that India is a federal country and there is need to take the states into confidence. Many states have already banned cow slaughter and recently Jharkhand has done so,” he said.Paying tributes to those who died on November 7, 1966 while raising the issue of cow slaughter in Delhi, the Home Minister said “I believe they gave their supreme sacrifice for a big goal. I pay my tributes to them. I also laud you for remembering them even after 50 years.”His remarks come days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi dubbed some people protecting cows as “criminals” masquerading as cow vigilantes and sought action against them.RSS general secretary Bhayyaji Joshi said cow protection movement has come a long way as “there is a government now in place whose Home Minister is sitting among cow protectors and paying homage” to those killed 50 years ago for seeking efforts in this direction.
New Delhi: With tension along the Indo-Pak border escalating, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said the NDA government will do everything possible to counter the shelling and do the needful to protect the honour of the country.
“We will do whatever necessary action should be taken to protect the honour and prestige of the country,” he told reporters when asked about the continuous shelling from across the border in Jammu region.
Asked about the strategy to counter the Pakistani shelling towards civilian areas, Singh said he has already spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti about the safety of people living along the border.
“Strategy is strategy. It cannot be disclosed,” he said.
Asked how India was retaliating to Pakistani firing, the Home Minister said “ask the neighbour”.
On the possibility of revival of hotline between Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers to de-escalate tension along the border, Singh said “Let them (Pakistan) be prepared first for that”.
A total of 18 people, including 12 civilians, have been killed and more than 80 suffered injuries in Pakistani shelling and firing along IB and LoC in Jammu since Indian Army carried out surgical strikes against terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on 27 September.
BSF had on Tuesday said that 14 Pakistani Posts were destroyed in retaliatory action by its troops along International Border (IB) in Ramgarh and Arnia sectors of Jammu frontier.
In view of the relentless shelling, the Jammu and Kashmir government has closed over 400 schools along the IB and LoC in
Udhampur: Lashing out at the separatists, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday alleged they were not allowing schools in the Kashmir Valley to function because they wanted a new generation of uneducated youths who can pelt stones and can be used as “cannon fodder”.
She said the separatists were exploiting children from the poor families by instigating them to attack army camps, police stations and CRPF camps and were using them as shields, while their own children were safe.
“If the youths gets education they won’t pelt stones for them. The (separatist) leadership want a generation of uneducated youths who can pelt stones for them,” Mehbooba said in a scathing attack on separatists during a passing out parade of police officers.
“Today, I see that big leaders feel if schools open, poor children will get education and then they will not have time for stone pelting or might not be ready for that,” she said.
Stressing that leaders who give preference to the future and education of the children are needed and not the ones who use them as cannon fodder, she said, “for three months our schools are closed, we tried and even Delhi sent big delegations”.
“Our Home Minister (Rajnath Singh) came thrice, our Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) went there and an all-party delegation also went to meet them but they closed doors for them. The reply to the request of a civil society delegation led by Yashwant Sinha, which completed its three-day visit to Kashmir on Thursday, was given by burning of two schools,” the chief minister said.
“A civil society delegation went to meet them (separatists) and they opened their doors for them. The team
requested them that the future of children was getting spoiled and for God’s sake help to let the schools open and the reply came in the form of burning of two schools,” Mehbooba said.
With the unrest in the valley continuing for over a hundred days, she alleged that the separatists wanted that the children should get hurt to keep the “pot boiling”.
“They feel that let the children of poor people die. What will happen if they get injured or die they are not rich kids. It is a big challenge for us because till now they have handed over the gun to poor children and now they are using them as shields,” she added.
“Among all those killed or injured, 99 percent were small kids, not one from the rich family, not a single child of those leaders have been injured, only poor kids” Mehbooba said. She said that first the separatists thought that the uneducated youths would pick guns for them, but the youths in the past 25 years has realised that gun will not solve any problem.
“Children are not ready to pick up guns. Now they want a generation of illiterate children who can pelt stones for them, not only pelt the stones but in the process lose their lives. I was told that girl students want to go to school but are afraid that they would be attacked by stone-pelters when they see them in the white uniform,” Mehbooba said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Making a veiled reference, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday Pakistan was indulging in a proxy war and has been trying to harm India by taking “cowardly” aid of terrorism. “The neighbouring country has been carrying out proxy war. But terrorism is not a weapon of the brave but of cowards. Those who fight from behind are called cowards…they take the help of terrorism,” he said.Speaking at the 55th raising day event of border guarding force Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at its camp here, he said strict vigil by the force has resulted in 60% less transgressions into the Indian territory by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army this year. Referring to the current tensions between the two countries, he said the neighbour has been trying to harm India and was attempting to break and “destabilise” it by resorting to terrorism.Singh said an “evil eye” is being cast on India to thwart its progress as it is marching on as one of the fastest growing economies of the world. Situation along the Indo-Pak border continues to remain tense after terrorists attacked an Army camp in Uri killing 19 soldiers on September 17.In a retaliatory action, Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads in PoK on September 27. Firing by both Indian and Pakistani forces towards each other’s positions have been continuing leading to several deaths on both sides. Singh had earlier instructed border guarding forces not to fire towards the enemy first, but not to count bullets if they are fired upon.Later, while taking questions on the ceasefire violations by Pakistan, he said, “Our soldiers are responding to them befittingly.” To a question on the espionage case involving a diplomat of the Pakistani High Commission in India, he said the government is taking necessary action.
Manama: India and Bahrain denounced terrorism calling it a “hazard” to all countries and said terrorist in one country cannot be glorified as a freedom fighter by another, an apparent reference to Pakistan’s praise for Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani.
A joint statement, issued after Home Minister Rajnath Singh held talks with and Bahrain Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, said both the countries agreed on their strong stances against all forms of terrorism, saying “terrorism is a hazard to all countries and communities”.
Rashid said Bahrain is looking forward to working with India in the fight against terrorism and in strengthening the mutual and regional security.
“India and Bahrain reject the linking of terrorism to any race, religion or culture. Both the countries agreed that a terrorist in one country cannot be glorified as a freedom fighter by another, and the two sides called upon all states to reject the use of terrorism against other countries, to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of the state, and to fight terrorist infrastructure whenever it exists,” it said.
The joint statement was issued a day after Singh told Bahrain’s top leadership that Pakistan’s use of terrorism as “an instrument of state policy” was a matter of concern and the incitement from across the border was the main reason behind the current unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Home Minister, who is on a three-day visit to the Gulf country, on Monday also apprised Rashid about Islamabad’s open support and participation to glorify slain Hizbul Mujahideen militant Wani, saying it indicates continued free movement that terrorists and their supporters enjoy in Pakistan.
Bahrain is a key member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in which Pakistan is also a member.
The joint statement said the two sides agreed to actively implement the counter-terrorism agreement for which a joint committee was formed that held its first meeting on the sidelines of the visit.
India and Bahrain decided to hold regular committee meetings, in accordance to the clauses of the agreement.
The two sides also agreed to reinforce cooperation in exchange of information on ongoing terrorism-related investigations, exchange of information of ongoing organised crime investigations, including terrorism and drug trafficking, determine and exchange information on terrorism financing and organised crime sources and confiscation of terrorism money in accordance to the laws of both countries.
They resolved to study youth extremism and the use of the internet and how to tackle the issue, further cooperation in e-security and fight money laundering.
New Delhi and Manama agreed to promote participation in training courses and seminars that are held by the two countries for security officials to exchange expertise on crime fighting and other unconventional threats.
The two sides welcomed cooperation in anti-human trafficking and the fight against emerging security threats of the two countries. The two sides agreed to continue high level communication to reinforce security cooperation.
The Home Minister expressed thanks and appreciation to the Bahrain Interior Minister, hailing the historical ties between the two friendly countries that are based on love and peace.
Singh said Bahrain is a civilised and open society that promotes unity and co-existence and mutual visits will develop bilateral ties.
He said terrorism is a threat to the whole world and that India is ready to reinforce joint counter-terrorism cooperation with Bahrain.
Rashid hailed the first meeting of the Bahraini-Indian Joint Steering Committee as part of the agreement signed between the two sides on counter-terrorism to reinforce security cooperation, especially regional terrorism issues, a statement said.
He highlighted that Bahrain has experienced terrorist acts that caused loss of life and horrific injuries and damage to infrastructure.
The Bahrain Interior Minister said, “We look forward to working together in the fight against terrorism and in strengthening our mutual and regional security.”
He said the Joint Steering Committee should look at how “we can work together to address challenges and to follow up the progress of the agreed decision through exchange of visits and expertise and working to achieve common goals”.
The two sides agreed that the historical visit of the King of Bahrain to India in February 2014 built a basic foundation toward a strong partnership between the two countries, as well as the creation of opportunities to develop bilateral relations in various sectors.
The two sides also agreed that the exchange of high level visits has contributed to the implementation of important agreements between the two countries.
They discussed the visit of the Bahrain Interior Minister to India in December, 2015, that included the signing of the cooperation agreement on international counter-terrorism and trafficking of narcotics, psychotropic substances and chemical precursors.
Rashid said that Bahrain has throughout history been a link between East and West and the country has a special relationship with India due to the large Indian community in the Kingdom. He said Bahrain is a tolerant, peaceful and open country.
Rashid also invited Singh to visit temples and community centres that reflect the diversity of the Bahraini society. He said Bahrainis and Indians have lived together for generations and encouraged additional development in the ties between the two governments.
The Home Minister also called on Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and shared with them India’s concern over terrorism.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh today took stock of the situation along the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border where 27 Maoists were gunned down by security forces in a fierce gun-battle. Singh, who is in Bahrain, called up Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who apprised him about the incident and the prevailing situation in the state. The Home Minister assured the Chief Minister of providing all central assistance in its fight against the Naxals, official sources said. At least 27 Maoists, including their top leaders, were gunned down in a fierce gun-battle with security forces in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on the border with Andhra Pradesh yesterday, giving a major blow to the ultras. A commando of the elite anti-Naxal force, Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh was also killed, while another commando was injured in the encounter that took place in the cut-off area of remote Chitrakonda on Andhra-Odisha border.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Paying tributes to their slain comrade Gurnam Singh in a wreath laying ceremony with full honours, the Border Security Force (BSF) on Sunday hailed his supreme sacrifice and also said that fallen jawanhad been instrumental in foiling infiltration on the border.Speaking to the media here after the ceremony, Additional Director General (ADG) BSF, Arun Kumar informed that Gurnam was one of those personnel responsible for foiling the infiltration as Pakistan was trying to send men across the border under the cover of fire on October 19th and 20th.”Next morning he was on the same mount from where the infiltrators were sent back and he was shot at. It was becoming difficult for us to evacuate him from there due to the fire support of Pakistan and then we brought him to the Jammu medical college where he survived for two days,” Kumar added.Asserting that the doctors were trying everything to give him the best possible treatment, the officer further said that plans were being made to transport Gurnam to Delhi in an Air Ambulance, but unfortunately they lost him.”After Uri this was the first infiltration attempt along the International Border and was given befitting reply. We have been able to give them the proper response and have given them message that if they touch even one of our men, they will face severe consequences,” Kumar said.The Additional Director General also informed that Gurnam’s name will be recommended for the Gallantry Award.Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has offered his condolences to the heartbroken family of Gurnam Singh.”I am saddened by the demise of BSF jawan Gurnam Singh. He has given an example of bravery on the border and gave his life for the nation. I laud the sheer bravery and sacrifice of Gurnam Singh and offer my condolences to his grieving family,” Rajnath said in a series of tweets.However, the distraught and crushed family of the slain soldier have asserted that he would have been alive if provided with better medical facilities.Kulbir Singh, father of Gurnam said that had there been a separate hospital for BSF soldiers in RS Pura, proper treatment could have been given to him.”There is only one government hospital here in Bakshinagar. That is why we demand that there should be separate health care system for BSF soldiers. Had it been installed he could have been given proper treatment,” Singh told ANI.”We all are proud of my brother’s sacrifice”, said Gurnam’s sister Gurjeet Kaur.Distraught by the loss, the family has demanded from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to construct a special hospital for all the BSF soldiers so that similar case does not repeat in the near future.”I am proud of my brother’s sacrifice. Not only me but my all relatives are proud of him. We all prayed for his recovery but it did not happen. We have only one request to Modi government that a proper health care system be installed for the BSF soldiers like my brother, who was just lying there with his injuries without any attention,” said sister of Gurnam Singh.Gurnam succumbed to his injuries last night, after he was critically injured in an attack by Pakistani forces at border area in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.The family of Gurnam Singh, on Saturday had demanded that the government take him abroad for better medical treatment to ensure his survival.”Why is the government is still keeping him in the same hospital? Is there no other hospital in the country? The government can even send him to foreign (country), or a foreign doctor can be called. If ministers can go abroad for their treatment, then why can’t army men? asked Singh’s sister, Gurjeet Kaur.Still unaware about the actual condition of her brother, Kaur said that they had only got a call about the incident on afternoon Friday.Dr. Rajinder Thappa, Chief Medical Officer at the Government Medical College said that the jawan had breathed his last on Saturday night 11: 30 p.m.”His parents wanted him to be shifted to AIIMS for better treatment. We were about to do that yesterday but unfortunately he passed away,” Thapa told ANI.Gurnam received a bullet injury to his head on Friday when a Pakistani Ranger fired on his outpost in the Hiranagar area of Jammu.The BSF launched an aggressive offensive, killing a militant and seven Pakistani Rangers in retaliation.Gurnam was evacuated immediately to the Jammu Government Medical College where his condition remained critical.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Border Security Force Jawan (BSF) Gurnam Singh succumbing to his injuries last night after he was shot in cross-border firing, the distraught and crushed family of the slain soldier asserted that he would have been alive if provided with better medical facilities. The 26 year old soldier was being treated at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Jammu. Kulbir Singh, father of Gurnam said that had there been a separate hospital for BSF soldiers in RS Pura, proper treatment could have been given to him.”There is only one government hospital here in Bakshinagar. That is why we demand that there should be separate health care system for BSF soldiers. Had it been installed he could have been given proper treatment,” Singh said. “We all are proud of my brother’s sacrifice”, said Gurnam?s sister Gurjeet Kaur. Distraught by the loss, the family has demanded from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to construct a special hospital for all the BSF soldiers so that similar case does not repeat in the near future. “I am proud of my brother’s sacrifice. Not only me but my all relatives are proud of him. We all prayed for his recovery but it did not happen. We have only one request to Modi government that a proper health care system be installed for the BSF soldiers like my brother, who was just lying there with his injuries without any attention,” said sister of Gurnam Singh. Gurnam Singh, succumbed to his injuries last night, after he was critically injured in an attack by Pakistani forces at border area in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. The family of Gurnam Singh, on Saturday demanded that the government take him abroad for better medical treatment to ensure his survival. The family of Gurnam Singh, on Saturday had demanded that the government take him abroad for better medical treatment to ensure his survival. “Why is the government is still keeping him in the same hospital? Is there no other hospital in the country? The government can even send him to foreign (country), or a foreign doctor can be called. If ministers can go abroad for their treatment, then why can’t army men?” asked Singh’s sister, Gurjeet Kaur. Still unaware about the actual condition of her brother, Kaur said that they had only got a call about the incident on afternoon Friday. Dr Rajinder Thappa, Chief Medical Officer at the Government Medical College said that the jawan had breathed his last on Saturday night 11: 30 p.m. “His parents wanted him to be shifted to AIIMS for better treatment. We were about to do that yesterday but unfortunately he passed away,” Thapa told ANI.Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has offered his condolences to the heartbroken family of Gurnam Singh. “I am saddened by the demise of BSF jawan Gurnam Singh. He has given an example of bravery on the border and gave his life for the nation. I laud the sheer bravery and sacrifice of Gurnam Singh and offer my condolences to his grieving family,” Rajnath said in a series of tweets.Gurnam received a bullet injury to his head on Friday when a Pakistani Ranger fired on his outpost in the Hiranagar area of Jammu. The BSF launched an aggressive offensive, killing a militant and seven Pakistani Rangers in retaliation. Gurnam was evacuated immediately to the Jammu Government Medical College where his condition remained critical.
A line needs to be drawn in the sand between freedom of expression and unadulterated bullying by the left-wing student unions in the ‘prestigious’ Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The unholy fiasco over 27-year-old student Najeeb Ahmed, who still remains untraceable, is indicative of a larger political ploy where no anarchical behaviour is out of bounds and legality, and logic and reasoning become cuss words on the altar of regressive leftist politics.
To be clear, one isn’t talking of the burning of Dussehra effigies inside the JNU campus, where ‘the triumph of good over evil’ was celebrated by lighting up Ravana’s 10 heads, that included those of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Baba Ramdev and V-C Jagadesh Kumar. Even if in poor taste, the acts fall within the students’ right to dissent and should draw no penal action.
But it is difficult to understand what right was being upheld when 12 of the JNU’s top brass, including a diabetic lady official, were kept confined for nearly 24 hours within the administrative block, without access to food and water by the left-backed JNUSU.
The demands of the nearly 200 agitating students ranged from the fantastic “bring back Najeeb immediately” — as if the varsity administration knew about his whereabouts — to the ridiculous “administration acted in an insensitive manner and is trying to shield ABVP culprits”, that indicates either a misunderstanding of the legal-criminal procedure or worse still, a callous disregard for the laws of the land with an eye to score political points.
The events leading to the disappearance of the first-year MSc Biotechnology student on Saturday, following a brawl on campus the night before, are unclear. Contradictory eyewitness reports have emerged, recounting that Najeeb was last seen boarding an auto on 15 October. According to his mother however, Najeeb had called her around 11 am on that day and said that he was waiting for her at the hostel, but was nowhere to be found thereafter.
Meanwhile, JNU has once again turned into a battle zone between ABVP, who allege that they are being wrongfully accused of a crime they did not commit, and left-backed students’ unions who are convinced that the right-wing students’ outfit is responsible for Najeeb going ‘missing’.
The point that should not be lost sight of, however, is that the disappearance of a student from campus is a matter for the police and relevant authorities to investigate.
An FIR has been lodged at the Vasant Kunj North Police Station, the police has launched an inquiry, multiple students have been summoned and the procedure has kicked off in right earnest.
“We have some leads and these are being explored to ensure a safe rescue. Details cannot be shared now,” additional DCP (South) Nupur Prasad was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. A cash reward of Rs 50,000 has been announced for information about him.
About 10 squads investigators have left for Najeeb’s hometown in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, and are gathering information about his whereabouts. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has announced the formation of a Special Investigative Team (SIT) and has asked the police commissioner to expedite the probe.
It’s not as if the wheels of the machinery aren’t moving but when the aim is to turn every issue into a political game and try and score points against the administration – and in turn against the Narendra Modi government at the Centre – then the truth can be bent and subverted to meet narrow ends.
According to the V-C, who along with his colleagues was locked inside their rooms for close to a day, pleading with the agitators that they (administration) are as concerned about the missing student and is determined to help the police in every way to help trace him, bore no fruit.
“They have wrongfully confined us since 2.30 pm with unreasonable demands like bring Najeeb immediately. These things are not in our hands but with the police. We are doing whatever we can. We also want the safe return of Najeeb. But they (students) have not even listened to our pleas. There is a lady official who is unwell and she too is inside,” the V-C was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
On JNUSU president Mohit Pandey’s claim, that the confined officials had access to food and water, India Today quoted the V-C as saying: “We slept on the floor. This is a complete lie that we had been provided food. Our several colleagues are sick and they spent the whole night without any facility…Students have become relentless and adamant and think that we are not doing our best.”
On the students’ charges of insensitivity and laxity in taking action, the V-C said, while speaking to the media, that they have been in constant touch with the police with regards to the search for Najeeb and that the proctorial investigation into the violence had already started.
“How can we take action against any student before the investigation is over. We have to hear all versions and come to a fair decision,” the V-C said.
In between, as the gherao was called off, the issue created a rift between the left-wing student organisations – with some going on to blame JNUSU president Pandey of taking a unilateral decision.
According to a student leader, as quoted by The Telegraph: “Demands from small radical student groups had forced us to do a gherao that wasn’t feasible because it is exam time and the support is low,”
“It’s not yielding anything and the teachers too have withdrawn support,” the student leader said.
The regressive politics of the left has gained in aggression ever since a left alliance of CPIM-backed SFI and CPI-ML’s AISA won the recent student union polls over the right-wing ABVP. Just a few days back, PTI reported about an incident where a section of JNU teachers had accused the student union members of resorting to violence, while a discussion on the feasibility of introducing courses in yoga and Indian culture was going on at a meeting.
Professor Amrita Singh, according to a DNA report, was allegedly abused and attacked inside the university campus by a group of students on 7 October.
“I stepped out of the academic council meeting late Saturday evening, and was immediately surrounded by around 20 students. They started calling me out, abusing me, calling me “sanghi” and didn’t even let me move. When I, along with the JNU registrar and proctor tried to get into our car, we were stopped and surrounded by the students who started banging on the car. Some of them even laid down in front of the car,” Professor Amita Singh, Dean of School of Law and Governance, was quoted, as saying by the newspaper.
For the regressive left, which finds itself increasingly redundant, academic institutions like JNU are an ideal battleground from where political campaigns against the current NDA government can be launched.
Reports have already emerged of an effort to communalise Najeeb’s disappearance, which may come in handy during the upcoming Assembly polls in UP. One won’t be surprised if Najeeb becomes the victim of a larger, more sinister game.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Movie buffs can have a cool date with Karan Johar’s romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM) on Diwali weekend without fearing any disruption for doling out on Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.Going against the jingoist cries from several quarters not to screen movies having Pakistani artists and banish all Pakistani actors, union home minister Rajnath Singh has assured Bollywood producers full police protection to the theatre exhibitors and audience wherever the movie is going to be screened.”The home minister has assured us full protection and not to worry about the release of the movie. I came here as a concerned and unsure person but am much relieved after meeting the home minister. He assured us that he would speak to all chief ministers and ensure that the film is screened without any fear,” said Mukesh Bhatt, Producer’s Guild president.Amid threats by groups like Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) that they would vandalise cinema halls to block the screening of ADHM because it stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, Bhatt had gone to seek protection from Rajnath Singh. He was accompanied by other film producers and union minister Babul Supriyo.However, Karan Johar has urged his movie was shot much before tension between India and Pakistan escalated. “I beseech you to know one thing– that over 300 Indian people in my crew have put their blood, sweat and tears in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, he said.”Producers do understand the sentiment of the nation. MNS cannot have the right to take law in their hands. They have harassed people before,” Babul Supriyo said.However, it up to the theatre owners to decide and screen the film. A section of cinema owners in four states have said they will not release ADHM because along with Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, it features Fawad Khan.When asked about Pakistan’s decision to ban all Indian films, Bhat said, “What India has got to do with. They are a closed society and have done it for 35 years. Let us celebrate the spirit of Diwali by watching this entertainer. Our job is to entertain not to do politics,”Bhatt added.Striking a conciliatory tone Bhatt described MNS activists as brothers that have gone astray and instead of being confronted should be transformed.Home ministry sources said that Rajnath Singh is also planning to go to Mumbai on Friday coinciding his visit with film’s release.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The makers of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” including Karan Johar were assured both by the Centre and Maharashtra government on Thursday that no one will be allowed to stall the upcoming release of the Bollywood film that is facing threat from the MNS for featuring a Pakistani actor.The assurance was given by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during separate meetings with Johar and a delegation of the film fraternity that included its producer.The film, that features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in a cameo role, ran into trouble after Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) said they won’t allow release of any movie in India that featured Pakistani artistes. It is due for release on October 28, ahead of Diwali.
ALSO READ ADHM row: HM Rajnath Singh assured support for film’s release without any violence, says Mukesh BhattFilm & Television Producers Guild of India president Mukesh Bhatt and Apoorva Mehta from Dharma Productions, which is behind “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, led a film fraternity delegation and met Singh in Delhi to discuss the smooth release of the film. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Bhatt said they decided to meet the Home Minister as there is a sense of “fear” and the law and order situation especially in Mumbai is going out of control. “We requested him to give us assurance along with the chief minister of the state that law and order will be intact and our movie ‘ADHM’ which is releasing on October 28 should not face any difficulty.”They have assured us whatever support we want he will provide to us. He said that he will talk to chief ministers of the states so that the law and order remains in place and violence does not take place near theatres. Full security will be given to all exhibitors. The way we celebrate Diwali, (We want) everyone get entertained and celebrate it with happiness,” Bhatt added.
ALSO READ ‘Ae Dil…’ gets police cover, MNS says ‘Hai MushkilUnion minister Babul Supriyo, who was also part of the delegation, said, “MNS is a party of goons. They should not be allowed to take law and order in their hands.” Bhatt said that he is not worried about MNS threats after the Home Minister’s assurance and he is confident that “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” will have a smooth release.Fadnavis assured Johar that the Maharashtra government will not allow anyone to disturb law and order. “The state government would like to reaffirm that the government will not allow anyone to disturb law and order and stern action will be taken. Democratic protest is fine but unlawful activity will not be tolerated,” Fadnavis assured Johar, who called on him in Mumbai.
ALSO READ MNS cannot take law and order in their own hands: Babul Supriyo Police had taken strict action against MNS workers on Thursday for protesting and raising slogans outside Metro Cinema in South Mumbai. Twelve activists of the MNS who had gone to Metro theatre to threaten them were arrested and sent in judicial custody till November 4.Meanwhile, continuing with their agitation, the MNS shifted the scene to Maharashtra’s Nagpur city where some party workers this afternoon demonstrated in front of cinema hall at the main business locality in Sitabuldi against the release of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” . They later submitted a memorandum to the theatre manager not to screen the film.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1) Senior UP Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi joins BJP; hits out at Rahul for ‘khoon ki dalali’ remarkAhead of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi on Thursday joined Bharatiya Janata Party and hit out at Rahul Gandhi for his “khoon ki dalali” remarks. Addressing media, Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, “Today I have resigned from Congress to join BJP. Developments in recent past have left me numb.” Read more…2) Panama papers: Pakistan SC issues notice to Nawaz Sharif, others in corruption casePakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members in the ‘Panama Papers’ leaks case, acting on petitions seeking his disqualification over alleged corruption and illegally possessing assets abroad. The court heard several petitions, including by Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which accused Sharif and his family members of illegally transferring money abroad after the Panama Papers leaks showed his family of possessing properties in the UK. Read more…3) Security of 3.2 million debit cards compromised, forensic probe ordered: ReportA forensic probe has been ordered after security codes of as many as 3.2 million debit cards on various platforms were reportedly compromised. According to Economic Times, several victims have reported unauthorised usage from locations in China and the card holders are being asked by the banks to change their security codes. The report says that the State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, YES Bank and Axis Bank are among the worst hit. Of the cards affected, 600,000 cards belong to the RuPay platform while 2.6 million are believed to be on the Visa and Master-Card platform. Read more…4) Trump calls Clinton’s tax plan a disaster; compares India’s growth rate with ‘dying’ US economyRepublican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday cited India and China’s high growth rates to compare them with America’s economy, which he said is “dying”, as he slammed his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s plans to boost the economy and called her tax plan a disaster. As the two candidates came face-to-face for the third and final presidential debate at the University of Nevada here, just three weeks before the elections, they sparred on issues concerning the economy, nuclear weapons, Russia and their fitness to be US President. Read more…5) JNU: VC, other officials allowed to go; HM asks police to set up special team to trace missing studentJawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar and other officials who were confined on the campus premises by a section of students, who were protesting over a missing hostel inmate, were allowed to go after being held for 22 hours. The students, who are agitating over alleged inaction by the university in the case of missing student Najeeb Ahmed, have temporarily called off their gherao and allowed the VC and some other officials to come out of the building where there were held since Wednesday afternoon. They were allowed to leave to attend an important academic council. Read more…6) ADHM row: HM Rajnath Singh assured support for film’s release without any violence, says Mukesh BhattUnion Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured full support for the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM) in cinema halls, said Film & Television Producers Guild of India president Mukesh Bhatt. Speaking to media after their meeting, Mukesh Bhatt said, “Rajnath Singh ji assured us 100% support and that he will convey to CM to maintain law and order.” He also said that the Home Minister said he would speak to the chief minister of every state and that ADHM will release without any violence or issue. Read more…
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singer and Bharatiya Janata Party MP Babul Supriyo accompanied the President of Producers Guild, Mukesh Bhatt and Apoorva Mehta from Dharma Productions and met the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday to discuss the smooth release of the Karan Johar-directed Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and condemned the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) for taking the law into their own hands by vandalising multiplexes.Addressing the media before the meeting, Babul Suprio said, “It’s a simple law and order case. It is a national release so they wish to meet the Home Minister and it is very gracious of Rajnath Singh ji to give us time. I think MNS should not have the right, power and the audacity to say that they are going to break multiplexes and take law in their own hands.””They have always been a party of goons, they have harassed couples on Valentine’s Day, broken card shops and all that, so no one is allowed to take law and order in their own hands,” he added.He added that the audience is the decision maker, not MNS which is planning to break multiplexes, “Let the audience decide what to do,” he said.Ae Dil Hai Mushkil featuring Fawad Khan in a cameo role ran into trouble after MNS said they won’t let any movie featuring Pakistani artistes release in India.To reduce opposition over the release of his directorial venture, Filmmaker Karan Johar had made a fervent appeal against stalling the release, saying he will not engage with Pakistani talent in future.MNS continued their protests as the party rejected Johar’s statement that he will not “engage with talent” from Pakistan in future.The Maharashtra government has, however, assured protection to cinemas where the film will be screened from Diwali weekend.
Chandigarh: Mounting a scathing attack on Pakistan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said its entire establishment is engaged in fuelling terrorism in India making management of the Indo-Pak border “challenging” and warned that “those who breed snakes get bitten by them”.
He slammed Islamabad for adopting a “very flexible” approach to deal with terrorism and said if it wanted, India can help it carry out an anti-terror campaign in PoK. Singh asserted that India is against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and does not breed any hatred towards Pakistani people.
Addressing a two-day Regional Editors Conference from north and northeast states, he said, “Pakistan is so obsessed with Kashmir that it cannot see the difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist. When there is a talk about state and non-state actors, the argument put forward is that Pakistan is a non-state actor.
“The truth remains that the entire establishment in Pakistan is engaged in fuelling terrorism in India. And that is why managing our borders with Pakistan, as compared to other countries, has become a challenging task.” Pakistan has adopted terrorism as its state policy and is getting isolated in the entire international community, the minister said.
“Pakistan is so obsessed with some issues that it cannot do any good, nor can it see its own good. By adopting terrorism as state policy, it is isolating itself not only in south Asia, but in the entire international community. “In Brics’ Goa declaration, terror was strongly condemned.
It was stated that no state should allow its territory to be used for terror activities,” he said. He also denounced Pakistan for adopting a “very flexible” approach to deal with terrorism.
“As far as our relations with Pakistan are concerned, the biggest hurdle is that Pakistan’s approach towards terror remains very flexible. Those who breed snakes get bitten by them. Pakistan should understand this. India wants that terrorism should be wiped out from the entire region,” Singh said.
The minister said, “We want to say that we do not breed any hatred towards Pakistani people, but if we have hatred, it is towards Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. “If Pakistan’s intention to act against terrorism remains clear, India will help it conduct an anti-terror campaign in PoK. It can also take help from anyone in the global community, but its intention is not clear. If terror factories operating across the border are closed down, it can usher peace in the region and open doors for development.”
Singh said that four months ago a committee was formed to give suggestions on sealing the border with Pakistan. “The Madhukar Gupta Committee has submitted its report. We have also prepared an action plan. We will completely secure the Indo-Pakistan border by 2018,” he said.
Physical barriers have been put up along 2,034.96 km of the 2,289.66 km-long Indo-Pak border, he told the gathering. “The rest of the boundary is 254.80 km long. It includes riverine areas and tough terrain. We have decided to create physical barriers wherever possible. Where physical barriers like erecting fencing is not possible, non-physical barriers should be created,” he said.
“For non-physical barriers, there are solutions like sensors, radars and laser wall. These all will be used,” he said, adding a pilot project in this direction is being implemented by BSF in Jammu, Punjab and Gujarat. “The use of non-physical barriers on experimental basis will help ascertain up to what extent it is helpful and what sort of loopholes are there which need to be addressed. A report in this regard is expected to come by the end of the year,” he said.
Talking about the surgical strikes by the Army across the LoC, Singh said it was a counter-terror operation. “Our forces did not cross the LoC to carry out an attack on Pakistan, but they carried out pre-emptive anti-terror surgical action to destroy the terror launch pads there,” he said.
The minister said India’s ties with China are “good to a large extent” and that there was a drop in the cases of transgression in the past two years. “We consider our borders with China and Pakistan as strategic and sensitive. As far as our border with China goes, ITPB is entrusted with guarding it. We keep talking on perceptional differences (related to border).
“Overall, I can say our relations with China are good to a large extent. Its result is that after 2014, there has been a drop in cases of transgression. Till September, 170 such incidents took place. The number was 270 in the corresponding period last year and 432 in 2014,” he said.
“Earlier, transgression cases were high, but there has been a decline in the past two years. We have tried to resolve our border issues with China from time to time. We have focused on development and trade,” Singh said.
Singh also touched on insurgent groups in northeast. “India is actively engaging with neighbouring countries that share border with our northeastern states to put a stop to any anti-India activity. “Talks were held to urge the insurgents groups which are active in northeast to leave the path of violence. We have acted strongly against those were adamant,” he said.
“A framework agreement has been signed with NSCN-IM and there has been a good progress in it,” he said. As a result of steps undertaken by the Narendra Modi government over the last two years, there is peace in large parts of Tripura, Assam, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. Also, there has been a decline in incidents of violence in Manipur and Nagaland, he said.
The violence in northeast is at its lowest level in the last 20 years, he claimed. The Home Minister said that for effective border management, India is engaging with neighbouring countries at diplomatic level to find solutions to the problems. “The Bangladesh government has entered an agreement with India to tackle the problem of fake Indian currency notes. Terror outfits get their funding from fake currency notes and narcotics. To end this, our government has taken several steps,” the minister said.
“I can say that after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, we have brought changes in the national security structure…our agencies are better prepared. As far as the coastal security is concerned, we have taken several effective steps,” he said. Talking about the Left-wing extremism, he said, “We have deployed more forces in 10 affected states. In 2009, 37 battalions of paramilitary forces were deployed in Naxalism-hit regions. Now 100 battalions are deployed in the affected areas.”
“Our security forces do not want to kill anyone, but some times they have to act in self defence. Till September, 140 Naxals were killed. There has been a considerable decline in Left-wing extremism,” he said.
“We are also working to deal with the challenges posed by cyber crime and cyber terrorism,” Singh said. Singh said steps are being taken to bolster security at the Indo-Bangladesh border and more forces have been deployed. Taking potshots at those trying to “politicise” the surgical strikes, he said there should be no debate on issues concerning national security. “It is very unfortunate”.
Asked about the evacuation of people living within 10 km of the International Border after Army’s action, Singh said, “Sometimes such precautions have to be taken. We thought Pakistan will retaliate, but you must pat the back of our forces, nothing happened.”
Chandigarh: In a blistering attack on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said its entire establishment is engaged in fueling terrorism in India and warned that “those who rear snakes would be bitten”.
India is against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, but does not hate “its people”, the minister said and offered help to conduct anti-terrorism campaign in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir for the “closure of terror factories”.
The Home Minister’s attack on Pakistan comes a day after Prime Minsister Narendra Modi dubbed it as the mothership of terrorism. Addressing the two-day Regional Editors Conference from north and northeast states, he said, “Pakistan’s
entire establishment is engaged in fueling terrorism in India and that’s why, the management of areas along the Indo-Pak border has become a challenging task…But those who rear snakes should know they would bite them.”
By adopting terrorism as its state policy, Pakistan is getting isolated not only in South Asia but also in the international community, Singh said. “Pakistan is so much obsessed with some issues that neither can it benefit others nor can it see its own welfare.
Its obsession with Kashmir has reached such a level that it cannot tell apart a terrorist from a freedom fighter,” the Minister said. He termed Pakistan’s flexible attitude towards terrorism as “the biggest hindrance” in the bilateral relationship.
“As far as the relationship between India and Pakistan is concerned, the biggest hindrance is Pakistan as its attitude towards terrorism is quite flexible. As far as India’s intention is concerned, we want to eliminate terrorism from the entire region,” Singh said.
He said the logic of state and non-state actors which used to be given in connection with Pakistan has now turned “hollow”. The Home Minister stressed that India “hates” Pakistan sponsored terrorism and not its people.
“No hatred towards people of Pakistan. We do not hate people of Pakistan and we do not want to keep a distance from them. We hate Pakistan-sponsored terrorism only. “If its intentions remain clear, India can help Pakistan carry out an anti-terror campaign in PoK. If Pakistan wishes, it can seek our help and India is ready to help it. It can also take help from anyone in the global community. But its intentions are not clear,” he said.
Singh said that with the closure of “terror factories in Pakistan, peace and harmony will prevail in South Asia and a way to development and prosperity will open.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>24 people were killed and 50 injured in a stampede on an overcrowded Rajghat bridge on the border of Varanasi and Chandauli when followers of a religious leader were crossing it to attend a congregation on Saturday afternoon. The incident took place in Ramnagar police station area of Varanasi when thousands of followers of Jai Gurudev were proceeding towards Domri village in Chandauli for the two-day samagam (camp) which began today, ADG (Law and Order) Daljit Chaudhary said.PTIPrime Minister Narendra Modi, MP from Varanasi, expressed anguish over the incident and asked senior officials in Varanasi to take stock of the situation. He also announced a solatium of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured.Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has directed the Commissioner, Varanasi, to institute a magisterial inquiry into the incident. He extended an ex gratia of Rs five lakh each to next of kin of those killed and free treatment to the injured, who have been admitted to different hospitals in Varanasi and Chandauli.RAJNATH SINGH SPEAKS TO VARANASI COMMISSIONER”I’ve spoken to the Commissioner of Varanasi who apprised me of the situation. I also asked the Varanasi Commissioner to provide all possible help to those affected by the tragedy. There have been loss of lives and people have been injured also. It is a sad incident,” Rajnath Singh said. “Deeply pained by the loss of lives in stampede at Varanasi. My condolences with bereaved families. Prayers for speedy recovery of injured. Health Secretary, GOI has spoken to the Health Sec & other Senior Officials of Uttar Pradesh & have assured them all the necessary support,” Union Health Minister JP Nadda tweeted.OPPN HOLD UP GOVT RESPONSIBLEBJP blamed authorities for lack of arrangements and management at the bridge which led to the stampede in which several lives were lost.”Proper arrangements should have been made for such a big congregation at the Jai Gurudev samagam which was not done…Even the local intelligence unit failed to give any input in this regard which resulted in mismanagement and loss of life,” BJP state unit president Keshav Prasad Maurya said.PTIBSP supremo Mayawati said it is the responsibility of the state government and local administration to ensure proper arrangements and police force for such public functions so that no untoward incident occurs which was however not done in Varanasi.Congress communications department chairman Satyadev Tripathi said Varanasi incident is the fallout of “administrative failure”.(With Agency Inputs)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tripura BJP president Biplab Kumar Deb has alleged that he was attacked by ruling CPI(M) cadres at his rented residence in Agartala, following which two youths were arrested.Duty officer of West Agartala police station said members of a local club were returning home in a mini truck last night after immersing Durga idol when they hit Deb’s vehicle, which was parked in front his house at Krishnanagar locality.The vehicle was slightly damaged in the collision and there was an altercation between the two sides when the driver protested. Police rushed to the spot on receipt of the information and two youths were arrested in connection with it, he said.Deb, however, alleged that the youths were CPI-M cadres and they attempted to enter his house after hitting his vehicle. He said the attackers also manhandled his personal security officer, who fired two rounds in the air to disperse the gathering. The firing, he claimed, happened “a few minutes” before the police reached the spot.”I also called up the district superintendent of police, who immediately rushed to the spot with additional forces,” the BJP leader said.Terming the attack as “pre-planned”, Deb said on October 11, a group of CPI-M cadres led by Shantanu Bhattacharya, a local committee member of CPI-M, had attacked him but he was rescued by Tripura State Rifles. “Despite a written complaint to police the next day, no action was taken against the attack. Had there been any action on the incident, the last night’s attack would not have happened,” he said.BJP National President Amit Shah and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh have been informed of the incident, Deb added.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria has stated that New Delhi has not formally conveyed any plans to Islamabad to completely seal its border with Pakistan by December 2018.According to Dawn, when asked to comment on Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s remarks that India would seal the border with Pakistan completely by December 2018, Zakaria said, “we don’t have the details.” He further said that on the one hand the Indian government talked of establishing a peaceful neighbourhood, and on the other, their actions contradicted their claims.Zakaria expressed his regret over India not sharing evidence on the Samjhota Express incident, despite India’s commitment to do so and claimed that the world knew that the attack, which killed mostly Pakistanis, was carried out by “RSS and Abhinav Bharat’s operatives”.Highlighting the Kashmir issue, he re-iterated that Pakistan would continue to raise the human rights situation there at all bilateral and international forums.Reacting to Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement that the Indian government has no intention of providing proof of the surgical strikes claimed to have been carried out by the Indian Army across the LoC, he said that India was “desperate to divert attention of the international community from grave human rights violations” in Kashmir.Zakaria emphasised that Pakistan was not facing international isolation and was very much engaged in world affairs, adding that a number of multilateral events and high-level visits are taking place in and out of Pakistan.
Sat, 15 Oct 2016-11:41am , New Delhi , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh will inaugurate the 10-day ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ (RSM) at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi on Saturday. Nearly 2,000 artists from across the country will showcase India’s cultural heritage through performances, arts and cuisines.’Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ in Delhi is one of the five such festivals planned for this year which will be organised at multiple venues, including Varanasi, Bangalore and Jammu and Kashmir, from November 15 to 25.The seven zonal cultural centres have been given slots to present their arts during the festival which would showcase an amalgamation of ‘Ek Bharat, Srestha Bharat’, ‘Hamaari Sanskriti, Hamaari Pahchaan’ and ‘Swachh India’.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a jibe at Pakistan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said it could seek the help of India if it could not root out terrorism on its own. Addressing a public rally in Bengaluru, he said Pakistan was getting isolated from the world for abetting terrorism.”If Pakistan government wants to get rid of terrorism and if Pakistan government on its own cannot root out terrorism, then it can seek help of India. India is ready to root out terrorism from Pakistan,” he said. He said constant efforts were made to improve relations with Pakistan, pointing out that Narendra Modi had invited in May 2014 all the heads of governments of neighbouring countries for his swearing in as Prime Minister to send a message that India wants to have better relations with them.But Pakistan did not understand this and tried to take advantage in “violation”, he said, apparently referring to the Uri terror attack. “We do not hate people of Pakistan but hate terrorism in Pakistan.”Singh said terrorists from Pakistan crossed the borders and killed 18 soldiers but what the Indian jawans did in retaliation was sending a strong message to the world that the country was not weak but strong. He also said the greatest example of India being a secular country was it declared itself a secular state rather than a theocratic state unlike Pakistan that called itself an Islamic state.At the rally, former Dalit IAS officer K Shivaram, who has acted in some Kannada films, joined the BJP.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh attended the All India Christian Council on Friday and spoke on religious tolerance and terrorism. He called India a ‘University of Tolerance’ as it has high tolerance for different religions. He also added that terrorism affects all countries and the global community should fight it together. “All sects of Islam are found in India. All the important religions of the world are found in India. Even if you leave others out, you will find Jews, Parsis in India and everyone have the freedom the practice their own religion. That is why I say it won’t be an exaggeration to call India an University of tolerance, because tolerance is important for peaceful existence,” Singh said. “Even when India was divided on the basis of religion, we did not allow it to become a theocratic nation, but India is a secular state,” he added. Addressing the gathering, Singh said, “We have a lot of challenges. When it comes to terrorism, if a nation makes it a part of state policy it is very unfortunate. We might have differences in our thinking, but do we need to take the help of guns to resolve these differences. If we have differences, we can sit and resolve those issues. Terrorism not only affects India, but many other countries and the entire global community should come together to fight terrorism,” he added.
Fri, 14 Oct 2016-10:20am , Meerut , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A school principal has been arrested for allegedly posting controversial content on Facebook on the Prime Minister and RSS leaders on Dussehra.Mudassir Rana, who heads a private school in Saradhna area, has been charged under Section 153-A of IPC (promoting disharmony) and relevant sections of IT Act, police said here. Rana was arrested yesterday following a complaint and sent to jail, they said.It is alleged that Rana had in his Facebook post depicted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and other Sangh leaders, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and yoga guru Ramdev in an objectionable way.
New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday reviewed the security situation in the country, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, NSA Ajit Doval and other top officials.
During the hour-long meeting, top officials briefed the Home Minister and Defence Minister on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the 56-hour gunbattle between militants and security forces in Pampore which ended on Wednesday with the killing of two ultras.
The two ministers also took stock of the situation along the Indo-Pak border and the Line of Control and steps taken to check attempts of infiltration from across the border, official sources said. Unrest in Jammu and Kashmir has been continuing ever
since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on 8 July that led to violent protests and clashes with security
forces and death of 84 people.
Terrorists also killed 19 soldiers at an army station in Uri on 18 September which led to the surgical strikes by Indian Army on terror launch pads in PoK 10 days later. The top security officials also gave briefings on the overall situation in the country and steps taken to maintain peace in view of the ongoing festival season.
The Home Ministry has already sent an advisory to all states to deploy additional forces in sensitive places to foil any attempt by terrorists to disturb peace and attempts by miscreants to try to create communal disturbance.
Lucknow: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday hailed Narendra Modi as the first Prime Minister of independent India who has been able to hold country’s head high at the international level and give the message that “we are not a weak nation”.
“I want to welcome Modiji here as for the first time in the history of Independent India he has succeeded in holding country’s head high at international level. He has succeeded in giving the message to the world that Bharat is not weak but it’s a ‘damdar‘ (powerful) nation,” Singh said while welcoming Modi’s in his parliamentary constituency.
Singh represents Lucknow in the Lok Sabha.
He said Modi has succeeded in checking “wholesale corruption at the top” and should be congratulated for that.
Giving message of following good values, Singh said Ram had, till the last moment, tried to give message of peace but in the end, killed Ravana, “who was synonymous to terror”.
Mayor Dinesh Sharma in his speech tried to refute the Opposition allegation that the event was organised for taking political mileage sating that the theme — ‘Atank ka samool naash ho‘ (Let Terrorism be finished entirely) of this year’s ‘Ravana Dahan’ was decided last year.
“We have decided the theme last year. Every year Ramlila has a different theme and it’s decided a year in advance. The Ramlila Samiti used to invite presidents, prime ministers and chief ministers every year but no one came. This year also we have sent a routine letter to PM and we came to know that PM has accepted it through news channels,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Won’t count bullets if attacked, will retaliate: Home Minister Rajnath Singh”We never open fire first, but if attacked, in retaliation we never count the bullets after pulling the trigger,” said Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Read more.2. Trump says ‘will never drop out’, over 20 prominent Republicans call for ending presidential bidDonald Trump’s latest controversy surrounding lewd remarks made about women has become the tipping point for many within the Republican Party. Read more.3. Kashmir can never be ‘integral part of India’; dispute a ‘failure of the UN’, says Pak envoyIndia termed Pakistan a ‘fly by-night operator’ and called it out for misusing the UN forum.. Read more.4. Durga Puja: How changing times reflect in the idols of the goddessEmbracing the spectrum from traditional to contemporary, Durga Puja is a reflection of the times with a transgender Durga, for instance, and even a Barbie Durga. As it occupies a larger secular, social space, it’s not just about religion but art too, says Yajnaseni Chakraborty. Read more.5. Karan Johar is the best tarot card reader: Farah KhanOne of the things Farah reveals in the show Yaaron Ki Baraat hosted by Sajid Khan and Riteish Deshmukh about KJo is that he is the best tarot card reader in town! Read more.
The Home Minister on Friday stated that the government has decided to seal the entire stretch of the 3,323-km-long Indo-Pak border (1,225 km in Jammu and Kashmir, 553 km in Punjab, 1,037 km in Rajasthan and 508 km in Gujarat) by December 2018. Rajnath Singh also said that the development of the procedure will be done in a planned way, with a monitoring framework set up to review the progress, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually and annually. On the question of securing the riverine belts and areas where it is geographically unfeasible to put the physical barrier along the border, Singh said that the government will look into technological solutions to ensure every inch of our land is guarded. It may be recalled that similar indications had also been given by the government after the recent terrorist attacks in Gurdaspur and the IAF base at Pathankot.
On the question of securing the riverine belts and areas where it is geographically unfeasible to put the physical barrier along the border, Singh said that the government will look into technological solutions to ensure every inch of our land is guarded. It may be recalled that similar indications had also been given by the government after the recent terrorist attacks in Gurdaspur and the IAF base at Pathankot.
The decision is warranted with heightened proxy war by Pakistan that is likely to escalate further. Incidents of infiltration have gone up and 100 terrorists are reportedly ready to infiltrate from launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Infiltration has also been attempted through the international border in Punjab and J&K in addition to trans-border smuggling of goods, narcotics and fake Indian currency in Punjab, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.
India fenced and floodlit 461 km of Punjab’s border with Pakistan from 1988 to 1993. The 1,048 km Rajasthan-Pakistan border was fenced and floodlit by 1999. Of the construction of 340 km of border roads and 137 km of link roads along Pakistan border in Gujarat sector sanctioned, 294 km of border roads and 136 Km of link roads had been completed till a few years back. The challenges remained along the LoC in J&K and the unfenced 93 km of Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. BSF had also proposed shifting of 23.380 km of fencing closer to the border in certain stretches of Ferozepur sector in Punjab due to the problems being faced by farmers in cultivating their lands. A dozen laser walls are already installed in the India-Pakistan border in Punjab in areas prone to infiltration.
India has erected 407 km border fencing in J&K in areas where there is high threat but the gaps between posts can only be covered through patrolling or ambushes which spread the security forces thin on the ground and is not 100 percent foolproof despite best efforts especially in hours of darkness, fog and adverse weather. Pakistan has been employing heavy cross-border firing to assist the infiltration and terrorists have also been using explosives to make gaps in the fencing or dig holes under the fence. In addition, heavy snows buried the fence especially in north Kashmir and large portions are also destroyed annually because of avalanches.
The new fence tried out – in consultation with the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) – uses stronger material and will have night-vision cameras, alarms and visual map displays integrated with the fence, all linked to a monitoring room, giving the local military commanders real-time data enabling quick reaction against any attempt to tamper with the fence. The fence is also proposed to be lit up using LED lighting where feasible. Existing fence in Jammu Sector is already lighted.
There is no denying that we need ‘smart’ borders. As per news reports, Israel has evinced interest in helping out in this venture. We need to optimize the best technology. Abroad, solar panels, rechargeable batteries, and diesel generators support extensive floodlighting with enough power. Operators pan and tilt the cameras remotely whenever any suspicious activity is observed. However, such arrangements are not feasible along active borders where Pakistan resorts to unprovoked firingy. Modern electronic surveillance involves detection of movement, and is largely based on seismic, acoustic, inductive sensors, and infrared sensors. Seismic sensors can distinguish between people and vehicles. Inductive sensors detect metal in an object that is moving, while an IR sensors can detect human body heat from a distance of up to 100 metres. The Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS) in use by the Army are mostly imported and primarily meant for guarding houses or premises. These are ineffective with snowfall and the DRDO has not been able to come up with one suitable for snow conditions.
However, despite smart fence fitted with cameras and consoles with commanders, limitations of adverse weather and visibility conditions will continue. This needs to be beefed up with Night Vision Devices (NVDs), Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) and Hand Held Thermal Imagers (HHTIs) which are in very limited numbers. The army post at Uri, which recently suffered a ghastly terrorist attack, did not have a single thermal imager despite being under enemy observation from three directions. The use of radars, as done abroad to detect smugglers as along the US-Mexico border, has the danger of giving away the electronic signatures of the equipment to the enemy. Besides, radars also have a dead zone. A mix of electronic surveillance and dogs would be very successful.
We use the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs) for surveillance but in limited numbers, because of the paucity of resources and restrictions on flying of multiple UAVs simultaneously in the same area or zone. There is a need to speed up the induction of the Battlefield Surveillance System (BSS), Battlefield Management System (BMS) in the army, and equipping infantry with hand-held Mini Aerial Vehicles (MAVs). Modern MAVs with forward-looking IR can identify objects at extremely long distances. America’s MQ-9 Reaper UAV used for homeland security has cameras capable of identifying an object the size of a milk carton from altitudes of 60,000 feet, forward-looking IR detecting humans at distance of 60 km. MAVs are also being weaponised. The US military is developing swarms of tiny unarmed drones that can hover, crawl and even kill targets. These micro UAVs will work in swarms to provide complex surveillance of borders and battlefields. Aside from a laser weapon they can also be armed with incapacitating chemicals, combustible payloads or even explosives for precision targeting.
Despite excellent achievements of Isro, we still have not gone for 24×7 satellite surveillance along our borders with both China and Pakistan. China already has 24×7 satellite surveillance along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India. A recent media report of a 45km-deep Chinese incursion in Arunachal points to this critical void. Iran is building a 700km-long, 10-feet-high and a three-feet-thick wall along its border with Pakistan, which is still not complete. If we are going for a similar 3,323-km-long Indo-Pak border wall with Israeli assistance, it is unlikely to be completed by December 2018. Nevertheless, it would be a good beginning and we must ‘not’ neglect other borders especially border infrastructure in the northeast, which remains pathetic because of gross neglect over a decade by the previous government.
The government must also seriously consider three issues. Firstly, the Army’s Technical Support Division (TSD) that the UPA government disbanded to the great advantage of Pakistan’s ISI, must be re-established if the NDA government is serious about countering Pakistan’s proxy war on India. Secondly, the government needs to examine the villages located close to the border. When Farooq Abdullah, then the chief minister of J&K, was asked why the few border villages very close to the LoC could not be relocated in hinterland J&K by a foreign student at the National Defence College Course in 2000, he said he had thought about it and had already asked the Centre for Rs 120 crores to shift the first village. Creating a vacant belt would deter infiltration since any movement can be engaged by fire. Also, we may not mine the LoC but certainly patrols can keep adding IEDs.
Third, the principle of ‘One Border, One Force’ that we have muddled up completely because of turf wars. China has put her entire border along Myanmar, India and Afghanistan under the newly-created Western Theatre Command, which includes militias and border forces. The least we can do is putting our entire land and sea borders under the MoD. This would pay off immensely when it comes to defending India.
The author is veteran Lt. General