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RSS pays for 6.5 lakh pants via cheque

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cashless? No problem. That’s the attitude the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) exuded as it settled the bill for an order of 6.5 lakh pants entirely in cheque. Not only that, the resulting Rs 19 lakh due in sales tax was all settled in cheque by the Sangh, sending a firm message to black money hoarders and demonetization doubters, that going cashless was not really a problem.“The RSS does not go in for any transaction other than the regular day-to-day expenditure of the Pracharaks so we faced no problem after the decision to demonetize old currency was announced,” said RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya.Vaidya also stated that training exercises were also underway for the cadre and senior pracharaks to help them better understand how to conduct digital transactions. He also pointed out that RSS Pracharaks or offices handle very little cash which is why the Sangh was not much affected with the decision to demonetize currency.The 6.5 lakh pants were ordered over four months ago, when the Sangh had taken the momentous decision to shed their shorts for khakhi brown full pants. More than four months ago in July 2016, the RSS gave orders to 3-4 mills from Bhilwada to make 13 lakh meters of cloth. Vaidya revealed that while the RSS had sent three lakh meters of cloth outside Maharashtra so that the pants would be stitched at respective places, the RSS on its own had used the remaining cloth to make 6.5 lakh full pants which were stitched by giving the orders to the tailors.As a result of this, the RSS were able to conduct the Vijayadashami Sanchalan or march in Dussehra in October this year, in their changed attire of full pants, instead of the traditional half pants.Apart from the RSS, Vaidya said that he believed that demonetization was for the good of the people and generally it was being seen as a positive move. “I have been getting feedback from a cross section of society which says that they are happy about the decision to demonetize currency.”

Demonetization | ‘Will pressure Modi to resign if fails to solve problems’: Rahul leads fractured Opposition to attack PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eight Opposition parties under Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, and Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, on Tuesday, joined hands against demonetization and launched an attack on Prime Minister Modi, accusing the party of “corruption.”Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who had steered the Opposition’s unity, had invited 16 political parties, but in the end only eight turned up. Unexpectedly, no joint programme was announced, leaving it for parties to chalk out their own protest programmes on a common minimum agenda against demonetization. The Congress will launch its own nationwide protest from January 5.The press conference was attended by the Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the DMK and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, while the JD-U, Samajwadi Party, BSP, CPI (M) and NCP decided to give it a miss. Ahead of the meeting, the leaders held a meeting at the Constitution Club. Sources said that Mrs Gandhi had carefully chosen the venue, so that it didn’t appear to look like a Congress sponsored programme.On the issue of demonetization though, Opposition party members however seemed to slightly differ in their demands. While Mamata demanded the resignation of Modi for “pushing India back by 20 years through demonetization,” Rahul had a different slightly viewpoint. Instead of endorsing Mamata’s call for Modi to resign, the Congress vice-president wanted the PM to explain clearly why he went in for demonetization, “instead of constantly changing the goalposts.”Rahul added, “We (Opposition) would certainly put pressure on him to resign if he neither justifies the move nor solves the problems of the people suffering from his arbitrary financial experiment.”The Congress leader also continuously referred to allegations that Modi had benefitted financially from the Sahara and Birla corporate houses, when he was Gujarat chief minister.In a counter attack on Rahul at a press conference at BJP headquarters in Delhi, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad described him as “lacking maturity” as he kept making “baseless and shameless comments against the PM.” Prasad also pointed out that none of the Opposition leaders at the joint press conference had repeated Rahul’s allegations.He went on to accuse Rahul of “trying to save the corrupt” by demanding a disclosure in Parliament the names of account holders received from foreign banks.

Here’s why Uddhav Thackeray will be sharing the stage with PM Modi for the first time

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose party had boycotted a function involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, will attend the public function in Mumbai on December 24 to be addressed by Modi. The Prime Minister, after laying the foundation stone for two Metro rail projects, elevated rail corridors project, the Mumbai Trans Harbour link and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial off Arabian Sea, will address a public function in suburban Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). “There will be only one function to lay the foundation stone for these projects and Uddhav Thackeray will attend the proceedings at the MMRDA grounds in BKC,” a close aide of the Sena chief said on Wednesday.On October 11 last year, Modi had laid the foundation stone of a grand memorial to Babasaheb Ambedkar at the Indu Mills compound in the heart of Mumbai, a function which was boycotted by Shiv Sena whose chief Uddhav Thackeray was not invited. Sena is a part of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre as well as the BJP-led Maharashtra government.Meanwhile, NCP president Sharad Pawar is in Delhi and will attend the birthday celebrations of Ajit Singh, former union minister and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief on Thursday. “Pawar saheb will attend the function to lay the foundation stone of Pune Metro in Pune if invited. His office in Mumbai has not received an invite,” one of the aide of the Maratha strongman said.

Nitish Kumar says his party will analyse "notebandi" effects post Dec 30

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar chief minister and JD (U) national president Nitish Kumar, among the few in Opposition who supported scrapping of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes by PM Narendra Modi, said on Monday that his party will hold a meeting post December 30 to analyse the effects, as well as the good and bad of demonetisation and then take any further stand on it.“My personal stand in known to everyone. I supported notebandi on November 9. But, I have also been saying that demonetisation alone is not sufficient to take on black money hoarders. The government should also attack on “benami” (proxy-owned) properties and enforce liquor prohibition if it is really serious about hitting on black money,” Nitish said while addressing a news conference in Patna on Monday.The Bihar CM said Prime Minister has asked for 50 days for the situation to improve and they will wait and watch till then. “It is a national issue. We will call a party meeting and take suggestions from everyone on it. They we’ll see what has to be done,” he said.The party spokespersons too have earlier said that the party will review its stand on demonetisation post December 30, when PM Modi’s 50 day time will end.It may be mentioned that Nitish has been among the few Opposition leaders who unequivocally supported demonetisation of big notes by even going against his alliance partners Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress.Reiterating that cashless economy will not work in India, Nitish said, “As per my information, even in the United States cashless transaction are limited to 40-45%. While cashless transactions in India too will increase, it is not going to happen suddenly, no matter how much you advertise about it,” he said.He also said the Centre should take an initiative to make it mandatory to disclose the name of those who make even 1 rupee donation to political parties. Nitish was referring to Election Commission of India’s recommendation to limit anonymous donations to Rs 2,000.

DYFI activist murder: Double life imprisonment for 11 RSS activists

Mon, 19 Dec 2016-01:16pm , Thiruvananthapuram , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Additional Sessions Court in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday announced double life sentence for 11 Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activists in Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activist Vishnu’s murder case.One of the accused got life imprisonment and the 15th accused in the case got three years imprisonment for helping the accused to hide after committing the crime.According to the prosecution, the accused armed with swords, iron rods and other weapons attacked Vishnu and killed him at Kaithamukku.Out of the total 16 accused in this case, one died in 2008 and another was acquitted by the court on Friday while one is still absconding.

Pampore attack despite strong intelligence warning

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>About 24 hours before a convoy of Rashtriya Rifles was ambushed near the Kadlibal area in Pampore town on Saturday afternoon, intelligence agencies had dispatched information of a “possible terror attack” on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway.While intelligence agencies based in the Valley have, on multiple occasions, dispatched similar inputs, it is the brazenness of this particular ambush that has security forces, especially in areas close to National Highways, concerned.Officials told DNA on Sunday that not only has the highway crossing through Pampore area become increasingly vulnerable to such ambush, but the elaborate planning that takes place before such attacks is a growing concern.For instance, the intelligence input before the Pampore attack on Saturday, in which three Rashtriya Rifles personnel lost their lives, had stated that proscribed outfits were planning a major stand-off with the Indian armed forces on the highway. It even had specifics that there was a strong possibility that convoys would be targeted using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).According to a senior security official in Kashmir, at 12.30 pm on Friday, a message based on human intelligence was dispatched. It warned security forces of the possible attack.”Credible input suggests that militants have planned IED blasts followed by firing on NHW or a major town today (Friday). Take all necessary precautions,” read the portion of the input.According to some senior officials of the Jammu and Kashmir police, all precautions were being taken but the race against time was lost when around 2 pm, three motorcycle-borne gunmen ambushed the convoy. The exchange of fire lasted around 10 minutes, following which the militants escaped.What has the security establishment now thinking is the elaborate ambush plans, starting from planting IEDs, surprise attacks on convoys and a well thought-out escape route.Sources say areas in city outskirts like Pampore in south Kashmir is considered more vulnerable to such attacks, especially since the Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) is located near Sempore. The EDI, too, has come under attack on more than one occasion and the area is one of the link roads that connects south Kashmir with Srinagar city.The area is strategic for militant activities as it is located between Tral, Pulwama areas like Kakapora, Ratnipora and Khrew. On the other side of the river are open vast fields, which provides a good escape route.”The presence of militants in Pulwama and in areas close to the banks of Jhelum river is the reason that the highway has witnessed so many attacks,”said a senior J&K police official.This year alone, seven major attacks on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, mainly in south Kashmir, have taken place, with Pampore being the fourth such attack in the Valley since August.What is more troublesome is the indication that emanates from ambush. They suggest the capability and network of groups like the Laskhar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), which are suspected to behind the Saturday attack.IEDs are an added worry. Sources say the use if IEDs had decreased since the armed insurgency erupted in Kashmir in late 80s.One of the first IED blasts that announced the arrival of insurgency was in July 1988 in the Lal Chowk area of Srinagar. Over the years, convoys have witnessed the same tactics. However, the counter-insurgency witnessed in the Valley in the past three decades had rendered the usage of IEDs to a minimal, with militants resorting to attacks using grenades.A senior intelligence official told DNA that local youth who who joined HuM or LeT in the past few years did not get training in making IEDs, but now some of them are trained by “foreign militants, “referring to Pakistani nationals fighting under LeT. It is likely that local militants, who mostly make the Hizb ranks, might have received training in making IEDs as well.Last month, a bullet-proof ‘Rakshak’ jeep of the police came under attack in Awantipora of Pulwama district, which injured three police officials.

Maharashtra: 72% voter turnout for 3rd phase of local body polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The tentative voter turn out for the third phase of local body elections, in which polling took place for 19 municipal councils and two nagar panchayats in Maharashtra on Sunday, was 72.76%, officials said.The voting took place in Aurangabad, Nanded, Bhandara and Gadchiroli districts. 1,947 candidates were in fray for 409 seats, whereas there were 111 candidates for the direct elections to the 19 posts of municipal council president in this phase, officials from State Election Commission (SEC) of Maharashtra said. “The tentative voter turn out for the third phase was 72.76%,” officials added.”For a total of 5,16,478 voters, 683 polling booths were established. Counting of votes at all these places will start from 10 AM tomorrow,” they added. The election to the Desaiganj municipal council in Gadchiroli has already attracted a lot of attention. The Maharashtra Election Commission has countermanded the election to one ward of the municipal council after Rashtriya Samaj Paksha president and state Dairy Development Mahadev Jankar allegedly tried to pressurise a poll official and influencing the election process. However, Jankar has denied the allegation.

SC to hear plea seeking Shahabuddin’s transfer to Tihar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear the plea filed by Asha Ranjan, the wife of slain journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, seeking shifting of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) strongman Mohammad Shahabuddin from the Siwan jail in Bihar to Tihar Central Jail in New Delhi for a free and fair trial in the case relating to her husband’s murder.The apex court had deferred the hearing to December 15 during the hearing last week.Asha Ranjan’s plea stated that free and fair trial against Shahabuddin was not possible if he remain lodged in the Bihar jail as witnesses would not be able to depose against him with his goons threatening them.Shahabuddin is facing trial in 45 criminal cases.Meanwhile a separate petition is filed by Chandrakeshwar Prasad, whose three sons had been murdered at the behest of the RJD leader.Forty-two-year-old Ranjan, the bureau chief of The Hindustan, was shot dead in July this year at Phal Mandi near the Siwan railway station, barely half-a-kilometre from the police station.The Bihar Government had recommended the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) to probe the case.The case came into limelight again after a photograph appeared in the media showing murder suspects Mohammad Kaif and Mohammad Javed with gangster-politician Mohammed Shahabuddin after his release from jail.Kaif, however, later rubbished all accusations against him and said he has no involvement in Rajdeo’s murder case.

You may soon have to pay more for safer trains

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railways has decided to increase passenger fares for raising its resources in order to create a special safety fund. The proposal for total grant of funds for creation of the same has been rejected by the Finance Ministry, sources said. According to the new plan, a safety cess will be levied to generate funds for strengthening track and upgrading signalling system and elimination of unmanned level crossings among other safety-related works to prevent mishaps.Earlier, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had written a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking Rs 1,19,183 crore to create the special Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh for undertaking various safety works. Sources said the proposal has not been accepted by the Finance Ministry which has asked railways to raise its own funds by increasing fares.The Finance Ministry has, however, agreed to provide 25 per cent of the total amount required for creating the special safety fund.“Though, the Railway Minister is not in favour of raising fares at this juncture when passenger bookings are falling and fares of AC-2 and AC-1 are already on higher side, the reluctance of Finance Ministry to provide a bail-out package has left the minister with no option,” a source said.According to the plan, the cess on Sleeper, Second Class and AC-3 will be higher while it will be marginal for AC-2 and AC-1. Though, a final decision in this regard is yet to be taken and modalities are still being worked out, sources said.

On 90th anniversary of RSS, Mohan Bhagwat asks Hindus to unite, set own houses in order

I, hereby remembering the Almighty and my ancestors, take a pledge that, I have become a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to protect the sacred Hindu Dharma, Hindu Sanskriti and Hindu Society, and to make this Hindu Rashtra independent…”

This was the pledge that was taken by 99 selected swayamsevaks (volunteers) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Nagpur in March 1928. The original pledge was a hand-written one in Marathi by the then Sangh chief Dr KB Hedgewar. Almost nine decades later, the present RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday evening, while referring to Hedgewar, gave a call to unite and organise Hindus across the world, at an event in New Delhi.

“Hindu(ism) is not a sect; whosoever believes in our diversity is a Hindu. Whether one calls oneself Hindu or a Bharatiya — it means the same. Who were our ancestors in this country? It was Hindus. Hedgewar had said that while you want to see the whole world as a family, first unite those who believe in Hindutva, bring them to your fold — not in fear of Muslims or Christian missionaries. Even if there is no Muslim or Christian, the duty lies in uniting the Hindus as they are unorganised. The others, who are skeptical of being a Hindu due to any reason or are outside the fold, will follow automatically,” said Bhagwat while speaking at an event to commemorate 90 years of the RSS.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat addresses the audience at the release of collectors' editions of Sangh publications. Firstpost/Debobrat Ghose

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat addresses the audience at the release of collectors’ editions of Sangh publications. Firstpost/Debobrat Ghose

Sending out a strong message, the RSS chief asked the Hindu community to first set its house in order. “the problem is not with others. First, set your own house in order. We talk of having a global family, but we discriminate against our own people — the Dalits. That needs to be stopped. Keep your own principles of life in order. That’s what Sangh says — for it, the importance lies in ‘what a man is’ and ‘not on what he’s doing’.”

Emphasising the role of India as a global leader, he said Bharat has to organise and strengthen itself first, so that we can organise at the global level.

An hour-long address by Bhagwat was more about making people understand the genesis, principles and functioning of the 90-year old RSS. And that is what its publication division, the Bharat Prakashan has attempted to do by bringing out collectors’ editions of its bilingual magazines Organiser (English) and Panchajanya (Hindi). The magazines have covered the journey and evolution of the Sangh since its inception in 1925, by digging out information from archives and old communications.

After releasing the collectors’ edition, Bhagwat urged that while the magazines would help people to know about the Sangh, those willing to know more could visit an RSS shakha. His emphasis was on making people understand the Sangh as an entity.

The existence and functioning of the RSS has always been a debatable subject that has often led to controversies. Speculations have been made on the role (read interference) of the Sangh in the policy-making of the government and that of the swayamsevaks in the public domain. The collectors’ edition divides the RSS journey into four phases — 1925 to 1947, 1947 to 1977, 1977 to 2005 and thereafter, vis-à-vis the roles played by the respective Sarsanghchalaks.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat releases the collectors' editions of Sangh publications at a function in New Delhi. Firstpost/Debobrat Ghose

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat releases the collectors’ editions of Sangh publications at a function in New Delhi. Firstpost/Debobrat Ghose

“The Sangh is a nothing but a thought process, which evolved out of collective thinking of all in the country over the years. There are misconceptions about the Sangh in the public domain. We never get into any argument and try to avoid any kind of opposition and controversy. Instead, we ensure maintaining a cordial and friendly interaction with all. If anyone wants to know about the RSS, one needs to be free from prejudices and look into it objectively with an open mind. If you have pre-decided notions, you’re bound to have misconceptions,” emphasised Bhagwat.

“The Sangh’s sole objective is man-making and to run shakhas, and it’s the swayamsevaks who perform their duties in society. There’s no other means to know the Sangh than to visit a shakha. One can’t be informed about the RSS by talking about it. You visit a Sangh shakha, if you feel good, stay with it. If not, you can move ahead. But, get your misconceptions cleared. There’s no sanction on visiting us,” Bhagwat signed off.

“The attempt has been made to do an objective analysis of the Sangh through this collectors’ edition and answer many queries in the public domain that has taken the shape of enigma or misconception. Questions have been raised from time to time on the role played by the RSS during India’s freedom movement, post-Independence, during the Emergency and the organisational structure of the Sangh. The two editions will help people to better understand the RSS,” said Jagdish Upasane, group editor Bharat Prakashan, who also spearheaded the collectors’ edition along with its two editors Praful Ketkar and Hitesh Shankar.

First Published On : Dec 2, 2016 11:26 IST

Demonetisation: Trains halted, roads blocked in Bihar as Jan Aakrosh Diwas begins

Patna: Several trains were halted in Bihar as the Left parties and others on Monday began a nationwide shutdown to protest demonetisation, police said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The supporters and workers of the Left parties including the CPI, CPI-M, CPI(ML) and other parties stopped over a dozen long route trains at Patna, Gaya, Jehanabad, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur railway stations.

“Several trains were halted to enforce shutdown,” a police officer said. Roads were also blocked at various places across the state.

However, ruling parties of the grand alliance in Bihar — the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress — have decided not to join the shutdown, but to stage protest march against demonetisation.

While another ruling party Janata Dal-United of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has decided to keep away from both the shutdown and protest against domenetisation.

Infact, Nitish Kumar has repeatedly publicly supported demonetisation that prompted BJP President Amit Shah on Sunday and Lok Janshakti Party chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan to thank him.

“The state administration has made elaborate security arrangements in view of the shutdown,” said a senior government official.

The Left parties enjoy a strong support base in over a dozen districts in Bihar.

First Published On : Nov 28, 2016 10:04 IST

Demonetisation: Trains halted, roads blocked in Bihar as Jan Akrosh Diwas begins

Patna: Several trains were halted in Bihar as the Left parties and others on Monday began a nationwide shutdown to protest demonetisation, police said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The supporters and workers of the Left parties including the CPI, CPI-M, CPI(ML) and other parties stopped over a dozen long route trains at Patna, Gaya, Jehanabad, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur railway stations.

“Several trains were halted to enforce shutdown,” a police officer said. Roads were also blocked at various places across the state.

However, ruling parties of the grand alliance in Bihar — the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress — have decided not to join the shutdown, but to stage protest march against demonetisation.

While another ruling party Janata Dal-United of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has decided to keep away from both the shutdown and protest against domenetisation.

Infact, Nitish Kumar has repeatedly publicly supported demonetisation that prompted BJP President Amit Shah on Sunday and Lok Janshakti Party chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan to thank him.

“The state administration has made elaborate security arrangements in view of the shutdown,” said a senior government official.

The Left parties enjoy a strong support base in over a dozen districts in Bihar.

First Published On : Nov 28, 2016 10:04 IST

India won’t achieve anything till women get empowered: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said India will not be able to realise its potential and glory and act as guiding force to the world for peaceful coexistence till its woman power comes forward. “Till India’s ‘matra shakti’ (women power) turns active and comes forward, India will not be able to achieve its potential and pristine glory and act as a guiding force to the world to show it the new path of peaceful coexistence,” he said while speaking at the inauguration of the 3-day training camp of Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, the women wing of RSS. Bhagwat said India through its rich traditions has the potential to act as a guide to the world and that can only be realised when Hindus, including women, unite and get together.The RSS chief added that in this fast-emerging world where science is progressing rapidly, India has the potential to show the world the path to future where there is peace and coexistence without discrimination of any kind.”India has the potential to take the world forward and no other nation,” he said.Bhagwat said while the world order changed from being bipolar to unipolar, America’s supremacy was waning and Russia was again emerging and China was also fighting with the two in this competition to outdo each other, but lamented that no one talks about India as of now. “But India has the potential to emerge. It may not be visible today, but it will emerge,” he said. “India does not just follow tolerance, its rich traditions also follow the principles of acceptance and respect,” he said. He added that while the world is full of conflicts and “fault lines” continue to exist in the fast-emerging world and India has the potential to lead the world and show it the future path. H also called for a world free from conflicts Talking about technological and scientific advances, he said, today the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes have turned defunct and tomorrow a new world may emerge where there could only be financial transactions through electronic or cashless mode. He said a time may come when 90 per cent of the work may be done through instruments of technology. The RSS chief said fanaticism and communalism give rise to conflicts and the world has to realise the goal of peaceful coexistence. PTI SKC

SC judge recuses himself from hearing of Mohammad Shahabuddin case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Supreme Court Justice Uday Umesh Lalit has rescued himself from hearing the case of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Member of Parliament (MP) Mohammad Shahabuddin on grounds that he had appeared as a lawyer for the latter.The apex court is now likely to hear the matter after four weeks.Last month, the apex court had issued a notice to Shahabuddin, the Bihar Government and the Centre seeking their replies to shift Sahabuddin from the Siwan district jail in Bihar to the Tihar jail in Delhi.The hearing of the case is now scheduled to be held on November 28.Slain journalist Rajdeo Ranjan’s widow Asha Ranjan had filed a plea before the apex court seeking their replies on the same.Hearing Asha Ranjan’s plea on October 17, an apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Mishra had directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete the murder probe within three months.The apex court also issued notices and sought responses from Shahabuddin and Bihar Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav.During the last hearing, Tej Pratap had admitted that he had accepted a bouquet from one of the murder accused, but denied his involvement in the murder.Forty two-year old Ranjan, the bureau chief of The Hindustan, was shot dead in July this year at Phal Mandi near the Siwan railway station, barely half-a-kilometer from the police station.The Bihar Government has recommended the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) probe into the case.The case came into limelight again after a photograph appeared in the media showing murder suspects Mohammad Kaif and Mohammad Javed with gangster-politician Mohammed Shahabuddin after his release from jail.Kaif, however, later rubbished all accusations against him and said he has no involvement in Rajdeo’s murder case.Meanwhile, a separate petition filed by Chandrakeshwar Prasad, whose three sons had been murdered at the behest of the RJD leader.Shahabuddin, who had been in jail for more than 10 years in connection with multiple cases, was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7 in connection with the murder of a man who witnessed the killing of two brothers in Siwan.

Jammu and Kashmir: Terrorist neutralised, two soldiers injured in Shopian encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A massive gunfight broke out in Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir on Monday in which a terrorist was neutralised and an Army personnel sustained injuries.A joint team of 62 Rashtriya Rifles and the JK Police launched an operation last night after receiving specific information about untoward elements.One AK 47 rifle along with other ammunition and warlike stores were also recovered.A total of two Army soldiers were injured in the overnight operation and were immediately evacuated and are stable now.On Sunday, an Army jawan was killed in a ceasefire violation in Poonch district.The firing from Pakistan came hours after an Indian soldier was killed and a civilian was injured at the RS Pura Sector.

Nitish Kumar and Congress rule out Mahagathbandhan possibilities for 2017 UP polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Chief Minister and JD (U) boss Nitish Kumar on Wednesday ruled out possibilities of a Mahagathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh ahead of 2017 assembly polls but said that Congress, being one of the oldest and biggest political outfits, should take an initiative to commence the alliance talks. Congress has also said it was not aligning with the Samajwadi Party (SP). On the party strategist Prashant Kishore’s meeting with the SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav at his Delhi residence, UP Congress chief Raj Babbar the party had not mandated Kishore to discuss any alliance prospects.In Patna, Nitish was also replying to a query from media persons on whether the JD (U) was in talks with the Congress for a poll alliance in UP. “JD (U) has always taken an initiative in forming an anti-BJP front. We are in talks with local parties, including Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal, but nothing is final yet,” he told reporters here.On the question of a grand alliance in UP, Nitish said, “A grand alliance would have been possible if the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) would have come together like the JD (U) and RJD did in Bihar. As that is not happening, any coalition there will be an alliance not grand alliance.” Nitish added that the merger process of six secular parties including SP, JD (U) and RJD with Mulayam Singh Yadav as its leader was in an advance stage but couldn’t fructify.Refraining to comment on the SP feud or Akhilesh Yadav’s non projection as the next UP CM, Nitish said it is their internal matter and our good wishes are with them to resolve it soon. Nitish, however, said, he was not participating in SP’s foundation day function despite an invitation from Shivpal Yadav due to Chhath festival, which is not just a Mahaparv in Bihar, but also being performed at his home.The JD (U) has been quite vocal about making a foray into UP’s electoral politics with party president Nitish himself addressing 10 and odd public meets there. “We will contest the UP polls. However, the nature of our participation has not yet been finalised,” he said. Political observers feel the JD (U) is banking on the Kurmi votes in UP and are hopeful of some secular and non-Yadav OBC votes which may come with regional alliances.

Slain Colonel Mahadik’s buddies ensure sweet Diwali for unit jawans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Classmates of an Army officer from Maharashtra, who laid down his life battling militants near the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district last year, have sent 400 packets of sweets to soldiers in his unit.Col Santosh Mahadik, the Commanding Officer of 41 Rashtriya Rifles, was critically injured during the operation in the Haji Naka forest area of Kupwara near the LoC in Kashmir in November and succumbed to his injuries at a hospital later. “The mithai boxes, weighing just over 300 kg, landed at Srinagar airport and are being sent to the 41 Rashtriya Rifles, for distribution among the soldiers the martyr once commanded,” a classmate of Mahadik, involved in this initiative, said. Col Mahadik was a student of Sainik School, Satara. “This Diwali, we thought of his comrades in arms, who suffer harsh climes and the enemy from across the border, as well as some within. We thought this would be a nice gesture for soldiers, who spend Diwali away from their families,” he said.An officer from the elite 21 Para-Special Forces unit, Col Mahadik was awarded a Sena Medal for gallantry during Operation Rhino in the North-East in 2003. Mahadik’s wife Swati last month joined the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai as part of the SSCW (Non-tech) course for 11 months’ training before she joins the Army as a lieutenant. An ace football goalkeeper, a skilled horse-rider and a passionate boxer, Mahadik was an all-rounder, his friends recall.Despite the inhospitable terrain that made the Kupwara operation immensely challenging, the colonel particularly chose to lead his battalion.

Sanitation will be an election issue in upcoming polls: Venakiah Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sanitation will be an election issue in upcoming polls as people living in cities and towns will vote for those who vouch for hygiene and such a political implication will help in effective implementation of Centre’s ambitious ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said. The Urban Development Minister also exuded confidence that the NDA government will achieve all the stated objectives of the flagship programme, including making India open defecation free (ODF) by 2019.”Sanitation is becoming an issue with the people. As we go along, it will become a political and even election issue. Citizens in urban areas will vote for those who ensure hygiene. “I am sure political parties who know how to garner votes will factor this in their calculations. These political implications will drive the success of this important mission,” Naidu said.Interestingly, the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), an NDA constituent, earlier this week had announced formation of ‘Swachh Abhiyan Samiti’ within the party to push the agenda of the programme, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi two years ago. Modi had given a clarion call to make the Clean India campaign a mass movement. Naidu stressed that behavior change towards using toilets and dumping waste in garbage bins is “key” to the mission’s success.To a question, Naidu sought to allay apprehension that the government may miss the deadline of achieving the goal of making India ODF, saying the stated objectives of the Mission will “surely” be attained. He said the Centre has managed to attain 35% of the target of constructing individual household toilets during 40% of the mission period, suggesting that implementation of the programme is on-track.Buttressing his claim, Naidu said 22.97 lakh individual household toilets have been built in urban areas since the mission’s launch as against the stated target of constructing 66.42 lakh toilets.He said Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have already declared themselves as ODF in urban areas, while Kerala is going to make such announcement “very soon”.Naidu said that a total of 405 cities and towns have been declared by respective states as ODF. Nearly as many will be declared ODF by March next year, he added. “During the first year of this mission, progress was slow but picked up momentum over the last one year. This was primarily on account of growing awareness among people about sanitation and spirit of competition among the states and urban local bodies further to ranking of cities based on sanitation levels,” Naidu said.The Minister observed that managing solid waste generated in country’s urban areas was a “bigger challenge” and spoke about the government’s focus on ‘door-to-door’ collection of refuse, its transportation and scientific processing to tackle the problem.He said the government has plans afoot to manage 65 million of tonnes of solid waste generated in cities and towns and convert it into 50 lakh tonnes of compost and 400 MW of energy annually.”To encourage these waste-to-wealth projects, the government has come out with policy initiatives like extending market assistance of Rs 1,500 per each tonne of compost produced and purchase of power generated from solid waste by the DISCOMS has been made mandatory,” said the Minister.He said, “Attitudes are changing certainly with rising awareness about sanitation and the implications of poor hygiene. These efforts need to be changed into a jan andolan as called for by the Prime Minister.”

Triple talaq an internal Muslim issue, says RSS

Hyderabad: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Tuesday said the issue of triple talaq was an internal matter for Muslims but made it clear that the RSS was against gender bias.

Representational image. Agency

Representational image. Agency

RSS General Secretary Suresh Joshi said the Muslim community was discussing the issue of triple talaq.

Bhaiyyaji, as he is popularly known, was talking to reporters on the final day of a three-day all India executive council meeting here.

He pointed that it was the Muslim women who moved the court seeking justice.

“Any kind of gender based injustice is not good in this modern world. We wish they get justice. The courts must also consider this issue humanely,” he said.

On Uniform Civil Code, he said the issue had been debated for long and the RSS had taken a clear stand that the law must stop any kind of discrimination.

“There can be issues of some traditions but if they are disturbing the cultural fabric of the society, then the law must interfere and end it,” he said.

Denying that the issue of Ram Mandir was being raised for electoral gains in Uttar Pradesh, Bhaiyyaji said the Hindu community desired a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya.

“But to do this first all legal issues have to be cleared.”

The RSS leader said that BJP President Amit Shah addressed the Sangh conclave.

Without making a direct comment on the functioning of the Modi government, he said the RSS as a responsible organization in a democratic set-up had a right to review the functioning of the government.

Calling for protection of Gourakshaks, Bhaiyyaji said cow protection was not just an emotional issue but related with the rural economy of the nation.

“Cow must be protected, Gourakshaks must get protection and specifically there must be efforts to protect and save local cow breeds,” he added.

Asked about the ban on Pakistani artists in India, he said while the RSS believed that art had no boundaries, these were rare conditions and hence they welcome the ban.

Three potential gun-snatchers arrested in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three youth, allegedly planning to snatch weapons from police and join Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit, were arrested in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Monday, police said.Mohammad Asif Khan, Adil Ahmad Najar and Saqib Nazir Bhat were taken into custody during a joint operation by police and Rashtriya Rifles in Awantipora area of south Kashmir Pulwama district, a police official said. He said police acted after receiving specific information that a group of youth are being motivated by Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Rashid Bhat alias “Mosa” to snatch weapons from police and to join the banned militant group.”During question, the trio confessed that they had hatched a conspiracy to snatch weapons from pickets set up by police for the protection of minority communities or police so that afterwards they could join militant ranks,” the official said. He said a case under unlawful activities act has been registered against the arrested persons and investigations started.Over the last three months, there have been a number of incidents in which weapons have been snatched from police personnel in Kashmir valley. At least 67 guns, including INSAS and Carbines, have been looted during this period.

Kerala: Country bomb hurled at CPI-M worker’s house in Kannur, gunman injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A country bomb was hurled at the residence of a CPI(M) worker at Cheruvancherry in Kannur district, injuring his gunman, police said on Saturday. The incident took place at around 12.30 pm on Friday, they said.The area near Koothparambu is a BJP stronghold. The activist, Ashokan, a block panchayat president, had quit BJP before the local body polls in November last year.Police said as there were threats to him, he had been provided security. His gunman, Renjith, was injured in the attack. Window panes of the house were also damaged.Some persons having affiliation to BJP have been named in the FIR, police said.Yet another BJP worker was attacked by three unidentified persons in Idiyanchira near Thrissur district in Kerala on Friday. The worker is seriously injured and is undergoing treatment. The party has alleged Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers behind the attack.Earlier this week, the Congress moved an adjournment motion in the Kerala Assembly to discuss the rising political violence in Kannur.The Opposition party has accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the CPI (M) rivalry behind the rising crime in the city and making Kerala as a murder center.Declining the allegation of the Congress, CPI (M) leader and Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the RSS makes deliberate attempt to create law and order problems in Kannur and alleged that till now six peace talk has failed as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) kept away from it.With ANI/PTI inputs

Row over Parrikar crediting RSS: BJP says Congress speaks language of Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hitting out at the Congress party for calling Manohar Parrikar a ‘national embarrassment’ after the Defence Minister gave credit for the recently conducted surgical strike to the teachings of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday launched a veiled attack on Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and said the grand old party’s ‘youth leader’ has been an embarrassment for India endless times.The BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao said that they do not suggestions from the Congress party as to, who should be the Defence Minister of India as they have issues with the ruling dispensation and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fight against terrorism. “Who else accept Manish Tewari knows it better about the national embarrassment because his party and his party’s youth leader has been an embarrassment for our nation a lot many times,” Rao said. “Before accusing the Defence Minister of our country, Congress party should think once. Today also, Congress party has issues with the ruling government and Narendra Modi for their fight against them fighting terrorism,” he said, adding that the Congress party should answer as to why they have issues with the Centre fighting against terrorism and why do they speak the language of Pakistan.”Following Parrikar’s statement giving credit of the recently conducted surgical strikes to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) teachings, the Congress fired yet another salvo at the Defence Minister and said that the latter is an embarrassment to the nation and is unworthy of his post. “The Defence Minister is very quick to credit everyone from the mythology to the RSS for the operations along the LoC. This leads to two inescapable conclusions, number one: Manohar Parrikar does not deserve to be the Defence Minister of India, this man is a national embarrassment; number two: that the operation along the LoC were unfortunately targeted more domestic consumption rather than changing the behaviour of the deep state in Pakistan,” Manish Tewari said.”The problem is that where the government has to speak it is keeping silent. And the Goa declaration of BRICS is perhaps the most sterling example of the government’s absolute and abject failure. Despite all the rhetoric and the laser sharp discords on terror and isolating Pakistan what you have is one sundry remark. One little generic remark in almost a 20 paragraph Goa declaration and what does it say, “We strongly condemn the recent several attacks against some BRICS countries including that in India.” I read the statement for the second time, we have an attack in Uri, we lose security personnel and the government is not even able to convince its interlocutors that it was a terrorist strike,” said Tewari.Speaking at an event in Ahmedabad, the Parrikar said,”I wonder that a Prime Minister from land of Mahatma Gandhi and a Defence Minister from Goa and surgical strikes, the situation was quite. maybe the RSS teachings were there, but this was very different kind of combination”.

RSS to start giving India’s own ‘Nobel Prize’ from next month

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Calling it India’s own Nobel Prize, the cultural unit of RSS, with a go ahead from the Ministry of Culture is all set to introduce awards in the field of Arts, Culture and Literature– Naimishya Samman.A grand extravaganza in the form of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsava, will be held in Varanasi next month, to kickstart the first edition of the awards. The jury for it will comprise of prominent International and Indian artists like Sonal Mansingh. The budget for the Banaras extrvaganza has been fixed at around Rs 220 crore, out of which around Rs70 crore have been kept for the awards and the rest for the event, sources said.The Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsava, which is an initiative of the Ministry of Culture is currently going on in the national capital and its other editions will be held in Bangalore, Jammu and Kashmir apart from the one in Varanasi. “The Sanskriti Mahotsava will be held each year now. It is a confluence or arts and culture, where in, we try to bring together artists from remote places to showcase their talent,” said a senior official with Ministry of Culture.The one in Varanasi, however is going to be different from the rest as it will see an assembly of scholars and artists from all over India where they will be honored.The cultural unit of RSS – Sanskar Bharti is behind the introduction of idea of this award. “The idea was proposed to the Ministry of Culture by us. We thought that Indians working in the field of arts, culture and literature should also get their due. Why should the great Indian writers wait to win a Nobel Prize, we should honor them with our own award that is equally respectable,” theatre and cultural coordinator for Sanskar Bharti, Shailesh Shrivastava told DNA.The awards will have categories like Peace, Human Rights, Literature, Visual and Performing Arts, Science, Education and others.The awards have been slated to be an annual affair, starting from November this year.

Congress responsible for contemporary fragmented Indian society: RSS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Telling the Congress Party that it has no right to preach to the government or to progressive, democratic and secular forces of the country, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Sunday blamed the former for creating a contemporary fragmented society for vote bank politics and, added that had it not done so, Jawaharlal Nehru, the nation’s first prime minister, would have introduced the Uniform Civil Code (UCC).”The Congress is responsible for the contemporary fragmented society. It is the Congress that initiated vote bank politics. Had it not done, Pandit Nehru (first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru) would have brought the Uniform Civil Code. The Congress’ social philosophy is a reactionary social philosophy and they are behind the fundamentalists, so the Congress has no moral right to preach to the government or to the progressive, democratic and secular forces of the country,” RSS ideologue Professor Rakesh Sinha told ANI.Dubbing the Congress as a party of “reactionaries” and having “blinkered vision”, Professor Sinha said, “Due to their blinkered vision and intention of vote bank, the Congress party is no longer a supporter of progressive positions, and they are behind the reactionary forces.”His reaction came in the wake of former union law minister and Congress veteran M Veerappa Moily stating this week that plurality, diversity and multiplicity is the real valuable culture of the country, and thus, the implementation of UCC is next to impossible in India.The RSS ideologue, however, sought to know as to when there was no demand for a “Hindu Civil Code”, the Government of India formulated the Hindu Civil Code and that was a progressive step, but who stopped them from bringing the Uniform Civil Code; if they legislated it for Hindu society, why did not they legislate for a Indian society?Accusing former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of bowing before fundamentalists, Sinha said, “Despite the clear and unambiguous directive and the verdict of the Supreme Court of India to formulate Uniform Civil Code, Rajiv Gandhi bowed down to the fundamentalists’ pressure.”Moily, who was reacting to the move of the Muslim Personal Law Board (MPLB) to boycott the UCC while terming it as “not good for the nation”, said the concept and the design of India is unity in diversity.”So, it is not uniform, we have hindered castes, then have 100 personal laws. I think this is impractical and one can’t implement personal law that very strongly governs the lives of the people of this country,” Moily said.

India needs to support Baloch rights in Chabahar as well: Naela Quadri Baloch

Weeks before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s August 15 Red Fort speech, when he mentioned human rights atrocities by Pakistan in Balochistan, prominent separatist leader Naela Quadri Baloch had been quietly meeting policy makers, retired military generals, intellectuals and rights groups, making a case for Indian intervention in Balochistan.
The feisty leader, in her second visit to India, is laying the groundwork for a ‘government in exile’ by building public consensus. In a conversation with dna, Quadri talks about how helping Balochistan will help India kill two birds with one stone – weaken Pakistan and its sponsoring of terrorism, and give a safe passage to Indian in Eurasia. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>You faced trouble in getting a visa to India and had to miss an important seminar on Balochistan liberation in Delhi…I applied for the visa from Kabul, where I have been staying for a year now. Normally, visa for India is cleared in three days. Mine got delayed, although I applied a month ago. They first said it was ‘out of our mandate’. Later I heard foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had to intervene.Since Modi’s speech, the cause of Baloch liberation has caught public attention in India.In my first visit, I went to different cities and met various rights groups, women’s organisations, students groups and received a positive response. We have received support from the Rashtriya Swayamwevak Sangh (RSS) and Muslim organisations. There were lots of questions and counter-questions, but they all finally agreed that it is in India’s interest to take up the cause of Balochistan liberation. As a first step, we got the moral intervention when PM Modi made the speech. We now need India’s consensus for a ‘government in exile’.What case did you present?Independent Balochistan will benefit India first in security. Weakening Pakistan will weaken the terrorism being sponsored from there. It will also help in containing China, which is developing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and prevent it from setting up a base in Indian Ocean. Thirdly, it will provide a safe and short passage to India in Eurasia, which it can get in Balochistan through the sea route. This is beneficial for India to get its resources, gas, oil from the region as its energy requirement will double by 2030.But Balochistan has no say in any of the projects or policies of Iran, Pakistan or Afghanistan where the province is spread. So how will it help India?Balochis are not helpless. India is developing the Chabahar port in Iran, which is in occupied Sistan Baloch province. We welcome India. Why is China so insecure and not able to move freely in the province for its CPEC project? (Armed Baloch insurgents attack Chinese employees in Balochistan as it opposes Pakistan’s occupation and Chinese involvement.) We don’t want the same to happen to Indian nationals in Chabahar as we love and respect India.What do you expect from India in the development of Chabahar port?We want India to emphasise to Iran and Afghanistan to protect the human rights of Baloch nationals living in their region. Iranian forces have already started killing Baloch people and displacing villages for the development of ports, like the ones in Kumb-Moradabad and Roshanabad.Pakistan’s development of Gwadar port for China has resulted in the genocide of our people and now Iranians are doing the same in Chabahar. India can’t criticise human rights atrocities against Balochs in Pakistan and ignore those being committed in Iran. It needs to take a stand.You are here to form a government in exile. What is its mechanism?This will be a representative government for 40 million Baloch nationals all over the world. Our liberation movement has trained us in creating democratic political structures like the Baloch Students Organisation, which has numerous units. We will ask the Baloch people to follow this pattern and elect representatives/councillors and send them to India. They will be facilitated in India for a National Council Session here. They will create a constitution; adopt a flag and national anthem, which will be recognised by the council. There will be elections among councillors, after which a cabinet will be formed. We want this process to be autonomous by the Balochs, for the Balochs and of the Balochs and no interference from India. We want India to provide moral, logistical support and resources to create this government.

Rajnath to inaugurate 10-day long cultural heritage festival today

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’.

CPI cautions BJP, RSS against imposing triple talaq views

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Saturday cautioned the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) not impose their opinions on triple talaq on Muslims, as it could lead to religious conflagration. CPI national secretary D. Raja told ANI, “BJP ministers and RSS should also understand that this issue should not be forced, as it can deviate people and can pit one religious community against the other. We all should strive for building a consensus. The fundamental point is, irrespective of religious affiliation or irrespective to what religion a person or women belongs to.”Raja said, “The women rights must be upheld and protected. That is what all religions should understand. We are in 21st century and it is time that our religions must relook at the positions of women and they must be treated equally. He further said that women should have all rights and their right to equality should be non-negotiable thing, adding that this is what all religions should understand and strive for. Earlier, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu urged the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) not to politicize the issue of Uniform Civil Code ( UCC) and said it is high time that all communities should come together and uphold the dignity of women irrespective of their religion.Naidu further questioned the denial expressed by the AIMPLB with regard to debating the issue of Uniform Civil Code. “What is the objection? I don’t understand, you join the debate, let there be a debate, you put forth your point of view,” said Naidu.”The government wants a debate across the country. There are three issues – first is gender justice, second non discrimination, third is need of women. These are the issues, debate and discuss them. Why are you becoming political?” he asked.Speaking about triple talaq, Naidu said that people are confusing the divorce practice with the Uniform Civil Code. “Some people are trying to confuse the issue of triple talaq with Uniform Civil Code. About the issue of triple talaq, the Law Commission wanted views of all. The religious workers, the social workers, sociologists, prominent public personalities, they need to acknowledge the basic principle of equality of all human beings men or women and work in that direction instead of misleading the people,” said Naidu. On Thursday, the AIMPLB said they will boycott the Uniform Civil Law as they feel it is not good for the nation. “We will boycott the questionnaire sent by the Law Commission and we have decided that Muslims of the country will not answer this question as it is not acceptable and not good for the nation,”Hazrat Maulana Mohammad Wali Rahmani of the MPLB told a press conference here. The Law Commission earlier last week sought public opinion on the exercise of reforming family laws of all religions. However, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has been defending the triple talaq system and termed the filing of the affidavit as ‘un-islamic.’They claim that triple talaq is a personal law and the Centre has no right to modify it.

Pakistan DGMO confirms Indian soldier Chandu Babulal Chauhan is in Islamabad’s custody

An Indian Army soldier who “inadvertently crossed over” to the other side of the Line of Control (LoC), a day after the surgical strikes, is in Pakistan’s custody, confirmed Islamabad’s DGMO.

ANI reported that the neighboring country’s DGMO accepted that Chandu Babulal Chauhan is in their custody. This is the first reaction by Pakistan on the incident.

Islamabad was informed about the soldier’s movement on the hotline by India’s Director General Military Operations Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, according to an Army release issued by the Defence Ministry.

Chauhan belong to 37 Rashtriya Rifles and crossed the LoC with a weapon. The release also said that such incidents were not rare and soldiers who cross over are returned through existing mechanisms.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured that the release of the Indian soldier was being taken up with Islamabad and all efforts are being made to ensure his early release.

Chauhan had allegedly been captured by Pakistani troops at Jhandroot, west of Mankote, and was now being kept at the military headquarters in Nikayal.

India has repeatedly written to Pakistan, seeking his return but has not got a positive response yet. Sources said that while India’s message was received by the other side, they have not responded yet.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said on Sunday that the mechanism through the DGMO has been activated seeking return of the soldier.

Chauhan’s grandmother had passed away after hearing the news of his crossing over to Pakistan.

Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention protects captured military personnel, some guerrilla fighters, and certain civilians. It applies from the moment a prisoner is captured until he or she is released/repatriated. One of the main provisions of the convention makes it illegal to torture prisoners and states that a prisoner can only be required to give their name, date of birth, rank and service number if applicable.

With inputs from agencies

Terror, hatred can never succeed: Rahul Gandhi on attack on BSF camp

Mon, 3 Oct 2016-07:59pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Condemning the militant attack on the two adjoining camps of BSF and Army in Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said on Monday terror and hatred can never succeed against the courage and resolve of our soldiers.”Strongly condemn the attack on the army base in Baramulla.Terror&hatred can never succeed against the courage&resolve of our bravehearts,” he said on Twitter.A BSF personnel was killed while another was injured when militants attacked two adjoining camps of Army and the paramilitary force in Baramulla.The heavily-armed terrorists attacked the two camps belonging to Rashtriya Rifles and Border Security Force (BSF) late Sunday night, leading to a fierce gun-battle with the security forces. “My thoughts&prayers are with our soldiers as they defend and protect our country. Salute to the martyr who laid down his life,” Gandhi said.

Baramulla attack: Two terrorists, one jawan killed in assault on army, BSF camps

Srinagar: At least two terrorists and a BSF personnel were killed while one BSF jawan was injured when militants attacked two adjoining camps of Army and the paramilitary force at Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The heavily-armed terrorists attacked the two camps belonging to Rashtriya Rifles and Border Security Force late Sunday night, leading to a fierce gun-battle with the security forces.

Following the firefight, two terrorists were killed by the forces while one BSF personnel, who was hit by bullets, succumbed to his injuries later, a Home Ministry spokesperson said in New Delhi.

The martyred jawan has been indentified as Constable Nitin while the injured personnel is Constable Pulwinder. Both belong to the 40th battalion of the BSF, officials said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval discussed the incident and necessary instructions have been given to the forces.

Singh also spoke to Director General of BSF KK Sharma and asked him to provide all possible treatment to the injured jawan.

This was the first major attack on security forces by terrorists after the Indian Army launched surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir last week.

The attack comes despite intelligence inputs about possible terrorist attacks on security installations in Jammu and Kashmir following the operations in PoK on 29 September.

The strike comes exactly a fortnight after terrorists struck at army brigade headquarters at Uri, 102 km from Srinagar, killing 19 soldiers.

J &K: 2 militants neutralised in attack on Rashtriya Rifles camp in Baramulla; 1 jawan martyred

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three days after the Indian Army’s surgical strike on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), militants launched a major attack on an Army camp at Baramulla town on late Sunday evening. Late night reports said two terrorists and a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan were killed. One jawan was wounded.The gunfight started at 10.30 pm when unknown militants attacked the 46 Rashtriya Rifles camp at Janbazpora area.Taking advantage of the darkness, militants first lobbed grenades and then opened heavy fire on the camp, sources said. The Army immediately retaliated on the militants. The exchange of heavy firing between the militants and the Army was on till reports came in.“Terrorists opened fire on the Army camp. The exchange of fire is still going on”, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar, told dna.Panic has gripped the area, which has been witnessing massive protests and stone-pelting for the last few months. The entire area has been rattled by gun roars as the locals apprehend another major standoff between the troops and the militants in the area.“Colleagues in Baramulla town are phoning with reports of massive gunfire in their vicinity. Prayers for all in the area”, tweeted Omar Abdullah, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister.It was not immediately known whether it was a fidayeen strike or a standalone militant attack on the Army camp. There was no confirmation of any casualty immediately.Locals said that the entire area has been sealed and heavy volume of gunfire has broken the eerie calm in the area. “We were retiring to bed when we heard the gunshots. We do not know what is happening in the vicinity. It seems heavy gunfight is on,” said a local of the old town.The attack has come four days after Indian Army launched surgical strikes on the terror launch pads on the other side of Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The attack comes 15 days after four Jaish-e-Mohammad fidayeens barged into the Army’s 12 brigade headquarters at Uri and unleashed mayhem, killing 19 soldiers and injuring 20 others.

Shahabuddin case: SC to resume hearing on petition challenging ex-RJD parliamentarian bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court is set to continue its hearing over a petition demanding the cancellation of the bail granted to former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Member of Parliament Mohammad Shahabuddin, who is facing criminal charges in around 50 cases.The argument, which was inconclusive yesterday in the apex court, will continue today, where a victim’s lawyer and the Bihar government have pleaded to the division bench to cancel his bail.Lawyer Prashant Bhushan had earlier on Monday told the apex court that there were 45 cases against Shahabuddin, out of which nine are related to murder and ten are related to convictions.Bhushan told a division bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, that Shahbuddin is a serious threat to society if his bail is not cancelled. Shahabuddin’s lawyer asked for more time to respond.The top court was hearing the petitions challenging a Patna High Court order to grant bail to Shahabuddin earlier this month.The top court had on September 19 issued a notice to Shahabuddin while hearing pleas of the Bihar Government and Chandrakeshwar Prasad against the bail granted to him.The Bihar Government had earlier filed an appeal before the apex court, challenging the Patna High Court’s order of granting bail to Shahabuddin.The petition has been filed by Bhushan on behalf of the victim’s family, which was upset to see Shahabuddin walk free.Shahabuddin, who had been in jail for more than 10 years in connection with multiple cases, was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7 in connection with the murder of a man who witnessed the killing of two brothers in Siwan.Shahabuddin’s release from jail evoked widespread criticism of the grand alliance in the state with the opposition accusing the government of paving way for his release by not opposing the bail strongly in the court.

SC to hear petitions challenging Shahabuddin’s bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear a plea for the cancellation of bail of former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Member of Parliament Mohammad Shahabuddin.Lawyer Prashant Bhushan had earlier on Monday told the apex court that there were 45 cases against Shahabuddin, out of which nine are related to murder and ten are related to convictions.Bhushan told a division bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, that Shahbuddin is a serious threat to society if his bail is not cancelled. Shahabuddin’s lawyer asked for more time to respond.The top court was hearing the petitions challenging a Patna High Court order to grant bail to Shahabuddin earlier this month.The top court had on September 19 issued a notice to Shahabuddin while hearing pleas of the Bihar Government and Chandrakeshwar Prasad against the bail granted to him.The Bihar Government had earlier filed an appeal before the apex court, challenging the Patna High Court’s order of granting bail to Shahabuddin.The petition has been filed by Bhushan on behalf of the victim’s family, which was upset to see Shahabuddin walk free.Shahabuddin, who had been in jail for more than 10 years in connection with multiple cases, was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7 in connection with the murder of a man who witnessed the killing of two brothers in Siwan.Shahabuddin’s release from jail evoked widespread criticism of the grand alliance in the state with the opposition accusing the government of paving way for his release by not opposing the bail strongly in the court.

SC to hear petitions challenging Shahabuddin’s bail on Sept 28

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday decided to hear the cancellation of bail of former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Shahabuddin on September 28.Lawyer Prashant Bhushan told the apex court today that there were 45 cases against Shahabuddin, out of which nine are murder cases and 10 cases he had been convicted in. Bhushan told the division bench, headed by Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, that Shahbuddin is a serious threat to the society if his bail would not be cancelled. Shahabuddin’s lawyer asked for more time to respond in the matter.The top court was hearing the petitions challenging the Patna High Court’s order. The top court had on September 19 issued a notice to Shahabuddin while hearing pleas of the Bihar Government and Chandrakeshwar Prasad against the bail granted to him. The Bihar Government had earlier filed an appeal before the apex court, challenging the Patna High Court’s order of granting bail to Shahabuddin.The petition has been filed by Bhushan on behalf of the victim’s family, which was upset to see Shahabuddin walk free. Shahabuddin, who had been in jail for more than 10 years in connection with multiple cases, was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7 in connection with the murder of a man who witnessed the killing of two brothers in Siwan. Shahabuddin’s release from jail evoked widespread criticism of the grand alliance in the state with the opposition accusing the government of paving way for his release by not opposing the bail strongly in the court.

Supreme Court to hear petitions challenging Shahabuddin’s bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court will on Monday hear petitions challenging the Patna High Court’s order to grant bail to former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) parliamentarian Shahabuddin.The top court had on September 19 issued a notice to Shahabuddin while hearing pleas of the Bihar Government and Chandrakeshwar Prasad against the bail granted to him. The Bihar Government had earlier filed an appeal before the apex court, challenging the Patna High Court’s order of granting bail to Shahabuddin.Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan had also challenged the Patna High Court order of granting bail to the RJD strongman. The petition has been filed by Bhushan on behalf of the victim’s family, which was upset to see Shahabuddin walk free.Shahabuddin, who had been in jail for more than 10 years in connection with multiple cases, was granted bail by the Patna High Court on September 7 in connection with the murder of a man who witnessed the killing of two brothers in Siwan. Shahabuddin’s release from jail evoked widespread criticism of the grand alliance in the state with the opposition accusing the government of paving way for his release by not opposing the bail strongly in the court.

Leave lust for power, part ways with Lalu: LJP’s Chirag Paswan to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Chirag Paswan on Sunday cornered the grand alliance government for not initiating firm steps to tackle the rising crime in Bihar and said that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should leave the greed for power and part ways with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav.Expressing grave concern over the crime graph in the state, Chirag said that he was ashamed being a Bihari to witness the deteriorating law and order situation.”I am a Bihari, but I myself feel ashamed that our state is in the news only for crime. Our state has become a state where the culprits are given protection and the people associated with law are now frightened and scared,” he said.”It is a matter of grave concern for our state where due to fear of criminals, the judges asks for transfer, where police personnel are shot blatantly in broad daylight. It is high time that Nitish ji should wake up and leave the greed for power as well as he needs to leave the grand alliance involving people like Lalu ji who give protection to criminals,” he added.The LJP leader advocated the Bihar Government to take a firm stand so as to ensure that the people of the state feel secure.”It is his responsibility or such incidents will keep on happening, innocents will be killed, criminals will keep getting safety and there will be fear of criminals in the people as well in the police and judges,” he added.Bike-borne assailants gunned down Assistant Sub-Inspector R R Choudhary near Fathua over bridge on Saturday.The Bihar Police has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the broad daylight killing of the ASI.Inspector General of Police Nayyar Khan has said that the SIT would be headed by Patna Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and would probe the killing of two more police officers in Patna and Nalanda districts.ANI)

Lalu’s son Tej Pratap, Shahabuddin under SC scanner for Bihar scribe’s murder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday sent notices to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Yadav’s son and Bihar Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav and gangster-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin in connection with the murder of Siwan journalist Rajdeo Ranjan.”Issue notice to Bihar govt and the investigating agency, CBI. Notice also issues to Bihar govt and CBI,” a division bench of the Apex Court headed by Justice Dipak Misra and Justice C Nagappan, said after hearing the petition filed by Asha Ranjan, the wife of the deceased journalistThe apex court has given both two weeks time to submit their replies. The apex court also decided to monitor the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the journalist’s murder. The top court also ordered protection to the family of the slain journalist and fixed October 17, the next date of hearing in the case. Kislay Pandey, the lawyer appearing for the petitioner Asha Ranjan, the wife of the murdered journalist, said the court was made aware of the politico-criminal nexus working in Bihar.”The Supreme Court has directed the law enforcement authorities to ensure the safety and security of the Ranjan family. The CBI hasn’t conducted the investigation as yet. The court has taken cognizance,” he told the reporters. Ranjan, a journalist with over 20 years of experience and the bureau chief of the Hindi daily Hindustan, was shot dead in Bihar’s Siwan district.Five shots were fired at him from extremely close range near Siwan’s railway station. Ranjan was rushed to the hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Mulayam Singh Yadav appoints Amar Singh as SP General Secretary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amar Singh, who survived the recent “outsider” storm in ruling Samajwadi Party, was on Tuesday appointed SP General Secetary by party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.”You have been appointed general secretary of Samajwadi Party. I hope in the coming days you will strengthen the party in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections,” Mulayam said in a handwritten letter to Amar. he brief letter in Hindi signed by Mulayam on his Lok Sabha letter head was sent to media from state SP chief Shivpal Yadav’s official e-mail id. Though SP big wigs were strongly opposed to Amar Singh, often described as an “outsider”, Mulayam threw his weight behind him, first by making him a Rajya Sabha member some time back and now allotting him an important party post. Interestingly, during the feud between Mulayam’s brother Shivpal and son Akhilesh Yadav, Amar Singh was seen as the one who had engineered it. Akhilesh, while apparently referring to Amar Singh, had recently said that “people from outside the household” keep interfering in the Samajwadi Party’s affairs. Mulayam’s cousin Ram Gopal Yadav also had made a veiled attack on Amar Singh during the feud, saying they have no love for the party and hence are creating trouble. Commenting on that Amar had said, “Akhilesh is like a son and Mulayam like a brother.”Once the public face of the party, Amar was seen as Mulayam’s closest aide when he had the ear of “Netaji”. Amar along with his close associate Jaya Prada were expelled from the Samajwadi Party in February, 2010 and he floated his own political party, Rashtriya Lok Manch, in 2011. He fielded a large number of candidates in 2012 assembly polls but none won.He had joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha poll from Fatehpur Sikri but lost. More than six years after it expelled Amar, the Samajwadi Party made him its Rajya Sabha candidate a few months back, setting the stage for his return to the party. Amar had recently hosted a party for independent Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra and the guests included Mulayam and his brother Shivpal Yadav, much to the chagrin of Akhilesh, who shunted out Chief Secretary Deepak Singhal, who too attended the dinner.He also divested Shivpal of his plum portfolios. Taking strong exception to the move, Mulayam within hours replaced Akhilesh as the party’s UP chief, with rivals in the SP accusing Amar of having influenced Mulayam.Amar Singh’s discomfiture grew with Akhilesh becoming more assertive and it was reflected in his statement last month that those close to Mulayam were being “insulted” in the party and he is being made to sit on back benches in the Rajya Sabha.He alleged he was being insulted, kept on “mute” and sidelined. But, backing Amar to the hilt, Mulayam said he stood by him in his hard times. Mulayam made the statement to defend Amar on the charge that he had triggered the family feud in Yadav clan.

RSS wants Hindu couples to produce more children

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) wants Hindu couples to produce more children citing threat due to apparent increasing population of the Muslim community, reports The Hindu. The RSS discourse was happening at a convention in Agra for newly weds. An RSS worker Darpan plead the attendees to pore over matter “for the sake of society, our culture and our civilisation.”He said that we must think of our fertility rates to keep our culture and civilisation alive.Hinting at Muslims, he also said there will be “demographic change” in Europe owing to their rising population and ‘original inhabitants’ of France will disappear. However, Darpan did not have an answer when asked by a participant how the families will feed a large number of children. He also couldn’t vouch for the authencity of the video which he used for presentation.

Not a messenger of the government: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Faced with a volley of complaints and demands from teachers at an event here, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat told them he was not a “messenger” of the BJP-led central government and they should approach HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.Addressing about 2000 young couples today at another function, Bhagwat urged them to work for family values and help inculcate patriotic sentiments in children. On the first day of his visit on Saturday, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief took part in Vishwavidhyalayi Avam Mahavidhyalayi Shaikshik Sammelan where teachers from 11 west Uttar Pradesh districts participated.Bhagwat asked the teachers to be agents of change and strengthen national sentiments in the students. He said he was aware of the problems in the educational field but he was not a representative of the NDA government. The audience included university teachers, academics and a large number teachers from schools in Agra and neighbouring districts. The teachers raised a number of their grievances but Bhagwat said RSS was an independent outfit and they will have to raise their issues with the government.”I know all of you are thinking that I am a messenger of the government but that is not true. I won’t be able to help you with issues like pension, work place harassment and others.”I would request you to please write to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.” He, however, promised he would try to present their case before the government.On the issue of declining Hindu population, Bhagwat said it was because of the current social environment. “Which law says that the population of Hindus’ should not rise? What is stopping them when population of others’ is rising. The issue is not related to the system. It is because the social environment is like this,” the RSS chief said.Bhagwat today addressed young couples at the Agra College as part of his four-day stay in the city to interact with groups representing various social strata and professions.

‘We did it. No, we did it’: Army and CRPF squabble over who killed Pampore terrorists

New Delhi: Hardly had the guns fallen silent after fierce fighting during Saturday’s ambush of a CRPF contingent by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pampore when a row erupted between the paramilitary force and the Army over whose personnel killed the terrorists.

While the Army claimed to have killed the two militants in retaliatory fire, the CRPF lodged a protest against it for “wrongly claiming credit”.

The CRPF, which has been involved in counter-militancy operations in the Kashmir Valley, alleged some Army troopers arrived at the scene after the encounter was over and started clicking selfies with the bodies of the slain militants.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Within no time, the Army’s Northern Command tweeted,” Army kills two terrorists who fired upon CRPF convoy at Pampore, Kashmir Ops in prog. Injured CRPF personnel being attended to”.

Fuming, the CRPF men and officers took up the matter with the Army’s top brass.

Soon thereafter, the official twitter account of Northern Command posted a revised message, saying “Update on Pampore ops. Injured CRPF personnel evacuated to hospital. Two terrorists killed in joint op by security forces.”

Unrelenting CRPF officers informed their top brass as well as that of the Army that there was no joint operation. They said the Army personnel arrived on the scene after the encounter was over and walked away with weapons and dates carried by the militants, besides clicking selfies with their bodies.

“They were wrongly claiming credit for an operation of which they had no clue,” said an officer who was associated with the developments on Saturday when two militants attacked a CRPF bus at Pampore, on the outskirts of Srinagar, killing eight personnel and wounding 21 before being felled in the counteroffensive by the paramilitary force.

The Army was shown videos of its men busy clicking selfies after which an embarrassed Northern Command tweeted: “Update on Pampore Ops. Two terrorists killed by CRPF in retaliatory action. Earlier tweet stands corrected.”

Director General of CRPF K Durga Prasad, who was today asked at a press conference about whether the Army had played any role in the encounter, said “Army’s 51 RR (Rashtriya Rifles) unit reached the spot after the incident got over.”

When contacted spokesperson for Srinagar-based 15 Corps Col N N Joshi refused to comment.

Pampore attack: CRPF DG dismisses Parrikar’s suggestion that SOPs were not followed

Rejecting suggestions that not following SOPs might have led to high casualties in Saturday’s ambush by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pampore, CRPF on Monday said all laid down procedures were “absolutely” adhered to by its personnel.It, however, said the security drill will be reviewed and convoys of the central paramilitary force will be provided bullet-proof protection while moving in the state. CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad, during a press conference at the force’s headquarters here said his men, before laying down their lives, valiantly fought back the two terrorists and fired as many as 91 rounds.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I really have no comments to make on that…but whatever SOPs are in position right now they have been followed and that’s the reason why I said that we will require and can have a look at them again. “They (standard operating procedures) were absolutely followed,” he said when asked to comment on Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement voicing doubt over whether the SOPs were followed properly by the bus-borne CRPF personnel.He said the force will look at “tweaking” its security drills this time too, as always, and as a special measure, 3-feet high and 3mm thick bullet proof plates will be used on vehicles to provide them armoured protection, as was being done by the army. Prasad added the force needs to do a “little bit more” of vehicle checking by deploying security check posts with JK police so that they can “detect” possible terrorists travelling undercover.”We will have to conduct vehicle checks at more places and more frequently. The militants who came to attack were wearing normal black trousers and T-shirts and were not wearing usual ‘kaftaans’ that they could be identified,” he added.It has been decided that henceforth convoys will move in blocks of at least three vehicles so they are better protected. Eight CRPF personnel were killed and 21 injured in the ambush by suspected LeT militants. The CRPF DG said the force had “intercepts” about the militants planning to target security personnel in the Kashmir Valley but there was no specific indication about the location. Prasad, who is expected to travel to the ambush site tomorrow, said they had “some information” about a few “surrendered militants” having helped the two slain terrorists in carrying out the attack.He said, after dropping the two terrorists at a busy marketplace in Pampore, a car that had brought them there, reversed and zipped away towards Srinagar city. The DG praised his troops who were onboard the ill-fated bus. He said that three of his martyred men Head Constable Vir Singh fired 39 rounds from his AK series rifle, Constable Satish fired 32 rounds from his INSAS rifle and Head Constable P Yadav fired 20 bullets before succumbing to injuries.Prasad said the terrorists, who attacked the bus from “very near” and fired as many as 200 bullets from AK rifles, were neutralised by CRPF troops who were onboard a bullet proof mobile bunker as part of their road opening task. The DG said the entire ambush lasted between 3 and 7 minutes. Army’s 51 RR (Rashtriya Rifles) unit reached the spot after the incident got over, he said, adding all the 45 CRPF men in the bus were armed.Prasad said five troopers injured in the attack out of 22 are in intensive care on ventilator and the condition of one jawan is “very critical.” All the slain personnel have been accorded due last rites and the service compensation they deserve for sacrificing their lives in the line of duty has been released, he said.He said some issues had cropped up over erection of the statue of Head Constable Vir Singh, who hailed from Uttar Pradesh’s Shikohabad, with locals opposing it. The DG said, following the intervention of CRPF officials, the matter was settled and it was decided that a memorial gate would be constructed to pay tribute to Singh.

Subramanian Swamy’s tweets get fiercer, personal, leave BJP fuming in silence

There was a stoic silence at the BJP headquarters over its MP Subramanian Swamy’s tweets targeting senior union ministers, but the unease within the party was palpable.As Swamy’s tweets got more bellicose and even personal, the unrelenting attack apparently aimed at finance minister Arun Jaitley, besides senior officials, has caused anguish within the BJP, party sources said. BJP leaders want the leadership to warn Swamy, they said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the third consecutive morning, Swamy created a flutter with his tweets. “People giving me unasked for advice of discipline and restraint don’t realise that if I disregard discipline there would be a bloodbath,” he threatened.This came a day after Jaitley had countered Swamy’s criticism of economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das saying it was “an unfair and false attack on a disciplined civil servant in the finance ministry.”The minister had also criticised Swamy after he demanded the ouster of Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian.”The party has said it doesn’t share Swamy’s view. I will also add one more fact from the point of view of discipline of Indian politicians to what extent should we attack those, the discipline and constraint of whose offices prevent them from responding and this has happened more than once,” Jaitley had said.Swamy went a step further on Friday. “BJP should direct our Ministers to wear traditional and modernised Indian clothes while abroad. In coat and tie, they look like waiters,” he said. He took no names but the message, minutes after images of Jaitley wearing a suit on his China tour flashed on television, appeared implicit.Senior BJP leaders are of the view that he has crossed the line and that personal comments were unacceptable, sources said. The party, however, was treading cautiously and had refrained from making any statement in response to the tweets.One of the reasons for the silence, according to sources, was that a considered decision had to be made at the top level on how to deal with the Rajya Sabha MP’s diatribe. So far, it was Jaitley alone who has been openly taking on Swamy, in response to his comments.The sources also refuted that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological mentor, was backing his tirade. They said while the RSS did support his induction into the party and Rajya Sabha because of the role he played in the past few years when he took on the Congress leadership, it would not be in favour of such an open criticism that could hurt the government and the party. From attacking the Gandhis, Swamy had started training his guns within the BJP.On Wednesday, BJP leaders had said that Swamy’s criticism of Subramanian were his personal views, unlike when he attacked RBI governor Raghuram Rajan.Crossed the lineSenior BJP leaders are of the view that he has crossed the line and that personal comments were unacceptable, sources said. The party, however, was treading cautiously and had refrained from making any statement in response to the tweets.

BJP will focus on Ram Temple, Article 370 at right time: Union Minister Harsh Vardhan

Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh): The BJP has not given up Ram Temple and Article 370 issues and the party will focus on these at an appropriate time, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday.

Harsh Vardhan_Firstpost-Naresh Sharma

Harsh Vardhan_Firstpost-Naresh Sharma

Stressing that BJP’s top priority is ‘Rashtriya Dharm’, he said, “Ram Temple, Article 370 (which grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir) have not been left. Right now, the party is working on common programme of the alliance (NDA).”

“The party will work on the two issues at the appropriate time,” the Union Science and Technology Minister said at the sidelines of ‘Vikas Parv’ programme here.

On reservation issue, Vardhan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already spoken on it.

The Union Minister also said the Centre, after holding talks with the states facing drought, has swiftly provided help to them.

The Central government led by Modi has in the last two years strengthened the country’s economy, which was in a crippled state, he claimed, adding “Foreign investment, growth rate have risen manifold and the country’s economy is back on track.”

The NDA government has set an example by remaining corruption free in last two years. The country has progressed, prospered and is marching ahead to emerge as an economic power in the world, he added.

Raghuram Rajan exit: With rock star gone, PM Modi’s task will be lot tougher now

Forget Raghuram Rajan, the serving Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, who declared on Saturday that he isn’t in for another innings at Mint Road. Come September, Rajan will be part of our past — for Indians here and abroad. There is no point lamenting on brain drain and trying to discover new angles to ‘Operation R3’, which was executed with surgical precision by BJP warhead Subramanian Swamy and duly supported by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) camp.

Raghuram Rajan. ReutersRaghuram Rajan. Reuters

Raghuram Rajan. Reuters

To all those ladies and Rajan fan-club members who have drooled over the good looks of the central bank governor, it is time to get ready to bid adieu to your idol, the rock star. Simply because Rajan will no longer be around to add that extra spark to an otherwise boring RBI lecture or a post policy presser. Time then to look out for a new idol.

The Rajan era will be soon over. The next big question that begs an answer is: What lies ahead for the RBI? There isn’t any easy answer to that.

Rajan and other RBI chiefs

What differentiated Rajan from his predecessors (most of them IAS officers who served the central government or former career bankers) was that he saw things from an international perspective. Rajan was no superman or an avatar sent by the heavens to restore lost dharma.

Not even his enemies will dispute that Rajan possessed the international experience and perspective that most of his predecessors at RBI lacked. More importantly, Rajan had the stature to question the government if the situation demanded.

The job of an RBI governor cannot be strictly compared to other top bureaucratic positions created by the government since the RBI is the real guardian of the economy. Its mandate is to do what it takes to ensure financial stability in the economy, not what the government wants it to do from time to time.

The credibility of the institution is ascribed to its ability to function fearlessly regardless of the political dispensation it is operating under.

Often, the central bank takes up the role of a corrective force in the system and calls a spade a spade compared with the political dispensation, which is largely guided by a please-the-electorate agenda. This is why international observers and academics attach more credibility to the voice of the RBI than the finance minister or prime minister on economic matters.

It is not wise to conclude that majority of the media, economists and industry captains batted for Rajan due to what novelist and columnist Shobhaa De found in him—chiselled features and sex appeal. There is much more to the central governor than that!

The reason Rajan has the support of  a large and diverse section of the country and abroad should be simple and logical to even a naïve mind. Rajan, who had initiated monetary policy reforms in the crucial banking sector in India after a very long time and dared to take on the powerful crony capitalist-political lobby, should have continued as the RBI chief for another year or more till the task was accomplished.

Rajan was open to see those challenges through as he has stated in his farewell letter.

The importance of being Rajan

Why Rajan? Can’t these tasks be continued by another pair of hands? Not unless the governor’s successor has the right mix of a strong spine and a fine brain that Rajan possesses. There is no surety that his successor can see things through with the same sense of urgency, especially with respect to digging out bad loans in the banking system.

Many of Rajan’s policies, including the bank cleanup exercise, were not entirely welcome to the Modi-government (on account of the huge capital implications attached to it). No one dared to gag Rajan because of his stature and acceptance globally. Just as Rajan predicted the 2008 financial crisis, he has saved India from an impending banking crisis by setting the ball rolling for a massive bad loan cleanup.

Theoretically, the RBI is answerable to the government. It is not an independent organization. That’s the reason why the government has had the last laugh after most debates and ‘creative tensions’ with the RBI in the past.

Government vs RBI

Many a times, the government has dictated policies to the central bank. In 2010, it was announced in the February Union Budget that the RBI will issue new bank permits. Remember, this was at a time when the central bank was battling for consolidation in the banking sector.

There have also been instances when the government has announced the RBI monetary policy a few hours before the RBI could, thanks to the customary pre-policy consultations between the RBI governors and finance ministers. There is also a precedent of finance ministers openly expressing anguish over the central bank’s reluctance to cut rates.

Remember the famous line of P Chidambaram, former finance minister, if the government has to walk alone to face the challenge of growth, then we will walk alone. Chidambaram was miffed that the then RBI governor D Subbarao refused to cut rates in the way the government wanted him to do. But, even Subbarao, himself a former civil servant before he took charge as RBI governor, did not have the persona to take on the government publicly to the extent Rajan did on multiple issues. Subbarao was known to be more of a consensus man in RBI circles.

It was Rajan who put up a brave face when he had to take tough calls even against the government’s wishes and industry perception.

If PM Narendra Modi fails to appoint someone who can stand up for the RBI’s independence and credibility, then it will undermine the RBI’s role on two immediate issues.

First, the new monetary policy committee will effectively set the policy direction by deciding the inflation target for the RBI. In the new regime, the new committee (which is yet to be formed) will have equal members from the RBI and the government with the governor having the casting vote in case there is no majority view. If the new governor is a government man, effectively, the government will hijack the monetary policy. That’s bad news for the country, since RBI always has a long-term view on monetary policy, while the government typically looks at short-term priorities.

Two, will the ongoing bad loan cleanup continue or not is a question whose answer will have to be seen, after Rajan’s exit. Rajan’s bold call to dig out the dirt in the banking system once and for all and bring credibility to the bank balance sheets made him the enemy of cronies and crooks. The central bank governor had opponents even within the RBI with respect to the bank cleanup exercise, let alone among sections of the government.

Cronies were unhappy because Rajan’s twin steps—curtailing fresh restructuring by withdrawing special dispensation on provisions and the March 2017 deadline for full disclosure of bank balance sheets—meant that the era of constant evergreening of corporate loans in the system came to an end. In just three months (Jan-March 2016), banks declared Rs 2 lakh crore NPAs taking the total outstanding bad loans to Rs 6 lakh crore. Some of the big, politically-connected industrialists, who have been looting the public sector banking system as if it was their personal piggy bank, were angry since there would be no more free lunches for them.

Post Rajan, PM Modi’s task of reviving the economy and bringing back the credibility of the world to India will be even tougher. Rajan was the face of credibility for many outside India when the official growth numbers announced by the government were seen with skepticism and suspicion. Credibility and transparency are big factors for international investors.Once Rajan leaves RBI, Modi’s challenge is to bring in another face who can offer the same comfort to the outside world.

A strong central bank is critical in the context of the unfolding global scenario, Brexit, and commodity price reversals. That task is a lot tougher for PM Modi now that the trusted sentinel of the Indian economy is set to retire from the battlefield.

Look at BJP’s ad spending before pointing finger at AAP: RJD to Jaitley

With Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accusing the AAP-led government in Delhi of using advertisements to manipulate the media, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Sunday came in strong support of the latter, saying the BJP should first look at its own expenditure on advertisements, before passing comments on the Kejriwal-led government.”I find it very bizarre, laughable. Mr. Jaitley should look at the way his government is functioning. It is a government purely (based) on advertisement, no work and just spectacle. When they completed two-years, look at the advertisements they gave. Just see how disturbed they get when there is partially critical assessment of their work,” RJD leader Manoj Jha told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I think Mr. Jaitley should look at his government and its advertisements before commenting on Kejriwal ji,” he added.Hitting out at Jaitley for accusing the Delhi government, earlier the AAP said that he should look at his own conduct in this regard.”I would ask Jaitley ji, what is the need of advertisement of the Haryana government in Delhi and other states; what is the need of advertisement of the Kerala government in Delhi and other states; what is the need of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh government’s ads in other states,” AAP leader Somnath Bharti said.According to reports, Jaitley assailed the AAP government in Delhi, saying the government is using advertising funds to manipulate the media.”While “friendly” media is being given advertisements, media houses which are critical of the AAP government are being denied ad revenue,” Jaitley said in an interview.

Mumbai students ride Army tank, live soldier’s life in Kashmir

It is not every day that one gets to ride an Army tank and experience a soldier’s life, but school children from Mumbai did just that in Jammu and Kashmir, courtesy the Indian Army which gave them the opportunity through ‘Know Your Army’ initiative.Lt Gen R R Nimbhorkar, AVSM, SM, VSM General Officer Commanding of the Nagrota-based White Knight Corps, said the unique programme, which comprised 138 students, four principals and 19 teachers from nine Mumbai schools, enabled students to experience life in the Army.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cultural exchange programme with local schools A tour of the border areas was organised for students and teachers from various schools of Mumbai recently. They visited Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts as part of a week-long tour of the northern state during which they participated in a number of cultural exchange programmes with local schools and interacted with Army personnel. The students were exposed to a large spectrum of activities under the theme ‘Know Your Army’, Gen Nimbhorkar, General Officer Commanding, 16 Corps of Indian Army, said.ExperienceThe tour started with an experience of a tank ride that brought in a real sense of adventure and thrill for the students. They were also shown a wide range of weaponry used by the Indian Army. The children also witnessed some real action through a variety of demo drills. Army soldiers displayed their agility and skill by demonstrating drills that they regularly practice in counter insurgency and counter operations roles, including slithering, casualty evacuation, house clearance and rush drill.The experience showed the young minds how Indian Army soldiers braved tough conditions every day in their endeavour to keep peace in the region, Gen Nimbhorkar said. They also had a chance to interact with local students studying in Army Goodwill Public School, Rajouri, which is managed by the Army. Local students interacted heartily with their counterparts from Mumbai and participated in cultural programmes, debate and quiz competitions, he said. The principals and teaching staff who accompanied the students appreciated the ‘unique opportunity’ of experiencing the J&K region and the Army and expressed hope that there would be more such cultural exchanges which will bring the youth of the country together.Adventurous activitiesThe students experienced a series of fun-filled and adventurous activities, including trekking in the higher reaches of the Pir Panjal range, and understanding how the soldiers of Rashtriya Rifles are striving to bring peace in the region. They also visited the Hall of Fame, where they witnessed a wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial, said Gen Nimbhorkar, who hails from Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. “The students learnt and enjoyed pitching up tents for themselves. A selected few were given and exposure to fire small arms while all of them greatly enjoyed the adventurous but bumpy tank rides. The Army Dog Show mesmerised them and the children were fascinated by the highly trained and disciplined canines,” he said.The students also had an opportunity to witness the ongoing training activities in the Corps Battle School at Sarol, wherein soldiers are trained in operational requirements in an insurgency affected area. Students also enjoyed camp fire amid the calm and serene beauty of the region. The students experienced first-hand various activities and training that the soldiers undergo on a daily basis including slithering down from helicopters, obstacle training, and use of weaponry.The tour ended with a presentation ceremony at Nagrota where Gen Nimbhorkar presented certificates to students and encouraged them to serve the nation with pride and join the armed forces. The group comprised students and teaching staff from St Joseph Convent Girls High School, Father Agnel Technical High School, Springfield Public High School, Anjuman-e-Islam High School, St Stanliaus High School, St Mary’s High School and Billabong International.

Ajit Singh’s meet with Mulayam Yadav sparks buzz about alliance

Ahead of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh which are due next year, meetings between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chiefs have sparked a buzz of them forging an alliance.The recent development comes after RLD chief Ajit Singh met SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav at his residence in Delhi, on Sunday.The ruling SP is reportedly keen on a tie-up to woo Jat voters of western Uttar Pradesh in order to pose a counter to the BJP in the polls, reported Indian Express, quoting sources. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Though it is being said that SP will withdraw a candidate for Rajya Sabha to accommodate Ajit, the RLD chief denied reports of the possibility of an alliance.“There was no discussion on the possibility of an alliance. I have not even discussed the issue within the RLD organisation,” Singh told IE.However, people familiar with the matter told Economic Times on condition of anonymity that the party is all set to send Ajit Singh to the Rajya Sabha,MLC Ashu Malik who was present at the meeting said, “The top SP and RLD leaders met on Saturday night and Sunday. Both the leaders discussed farmers’ issues,” reported ET.

RSS-affiated Muslim body thanks NDA govt for providing justice in Malegaon case

Muslim Rashtriya Manch, affiliated to RSS, today hailed the Union government for providing justice to those who were “released” in the Malegaon blast cases and demanded compensation for them. Addressing a press conference here, Mohammad Afzal, national convener of MRM, said, “We are thankful to the Narendra Modi government for providing justice to all without any religion-based discrimination. “We welcome the release of the people, wrongly arrested in haste by the Maharashtra ATS, and at the same time we also demand compensation for them,” he said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Malegaon, a town in north Maharashtra, witnessed blasts in 2006 and 2008. A special court here last month dropped charges against eight Muslim youths for lack of evidence in the 2006 case.This month, NIA gave a clean chit to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and five others in the 2008 case. Afzal said he was talking about both the cases.He also sought proper investigation for those who are behind bars only on “suspicion”.”A neutral body should be set up to enquire into the allegations against such people,” he said. Afzal accused the UPA government of indulging in vote-bank politics. “The previous government tried do divide the two communities (Hindus and Muslims) for vote-bank politics,” he said.

Amar Singh and Beni Prasad Verma nominated by Samajwadi Party for Rajya Sabha elections

Over six years after it expelled Amar Singh, the Samajwadi Party on Tuesday “unanimously” declared him as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls, setting the stage for his possible return to the party.The party also nominated six others, including former Union minister Beni Prasad Verma, an influential Kushwaha leader who recently quit Congress and returned to the Samajwadi Party, and realtor Sanjay Seth for the biennial polls scheduled next month.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When asked about when would Singh, a former confidante of Mulayam Singh Yadav, rejoin the party, Shivpal Singh Yadav, a UP Minister and brother of party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said, “It will be decided by Netaji (Mulayam) and Amar Singh. We have earlier also sent Congress leaders Pramod Tiwari and P L Punia to Rajya Sabha.”Amar Singh along with his close associate Jaya Prada were expelled from the Samajwadi Party in February, 2010. He floated his own political party, Rashtriya Lok Manch, in 2011, and fielded a large number of candidates in 2012 assembly polls. However, none of his candidates won. He had joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha poll from Fatehpur Sikri but lost.SP says nomination is unanimous decisionSamajwadi Party denied there were “differences” over some candidates and claimed the decision on fielding them for the Rajya Sabha polls was “unanimous”.”The SP parliamentary board has unanimously decided seven names for Rajya Sabha. There were no differences and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav was authorised to take the final decision. The names were read out in the meeting,” Shivpal, also the party spokesman, told reporters.The board has taken the decision after much thought and it will strengthen the party, he said, refuting reports of certain “objections” raised over some candidates at the meeting held on Tuesday. The seven candidates are — Beni Prasad Verma, Amar Singh, Sanjay Seth, Sukhram Singh Yadav, Reoti Raman Singh, Vishwambhar Prasad Nishad and Arvind Pratap Singh.Seth is a controversial Lucknow-based builder, who was earlier recommended to be nominated an MLC by the ruling party but his name was not approved by Governor Ram Naik. The governor had also rejected the government’s proposal to nominate Rajvijay Singh and Kamlesh Pathak to the Legislative Council, contending that they did not qualify for it due to criminal cases pending against them.Both Ranvijay Singh and Kamlesh Pathak figure in the list of eight candidates for the Legislative Council polls. Others are Balram Yadav, Shatrudra Prakash, Yashwant Singh, Bukkal Nawab, Ram Sundar Das and Jagjivan Ram.The Governor had clarified that under Article 171(5) of the Constitution, MLCs are to be nominated from five fields literature, art, science, cooperative movement and social service, and these belonged to none of these category. The support of 37 MLAs would be needed for a candidate’s victory the Rajya Sabha polls.As per the existing strength of different parties in the 403-member state Assembly, Samajwadi Party with 227 MLAs would be able to get six nominees elected to the Rajya Sabha, the BSP two, and BJP one. Of the nine seats falling vacant, BSP has six and SP three.

Protest v/s protest: How the Congress, BJP acrimony played out on the streets of Delhi

On a sweltering Delhi morning, it was rare occasion to see Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh inside a police station, where they were briefly detained for defying prohibitory orders, as the acrimony between the ruling BJP and Congress spilled from the Parliament on to streets.Leading a march towards Parliament, which was called ‘Loktantra Bachao Yatra’ (Save Democracy), a combative Sonia asked government ‘not to try to frighten’ Congress and life has taught her “to fight on”. After a quick stop at the police station, Congress leaders and MPs were allowed to drive to Parliament. Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, party leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and others courted arrest at Parliament Street Police station after they were stopped from marching to Parliament. They were released after a short while.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Countering Congress march BJP MPs and allied parties staged a dharna in front of the Gandhi statue outside the Parliament building. While Congress MPs alongwith Rahul Gandhi returned to Parliament House complex, the BJP Mps showed them playcards and raised slogans against the Congress leadership, claiming that they were worried with the judgment of an Italian court.The AgustaWestland issue appeared to be weighing heavily on her mind as Sonia targeted the Modi dispensation accusing it of starting “this game of levelling baseless allegations against leaders of opposition parties.”Sonia also launched a direct attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). “I want to tell Nagpur, to those whose instructions run the Narendra Modi government, “No matter what you accuse us of, we will not bow down.”The Congress demonstration was called to protest against the imposition of President’s Rule in two states that it governed – Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The party says the BJP is misusing its power at the Centre to remove democratically elected governments in states led by the opposition. “Don’t think Congress is weak. We won’t succumb to your politics of vendetta and threats. We will fight you and continue to be an awakened opposition which will protect democracy,” Sonia said. “We have gathered at Jantar Mantar to send our message not just to Rai Seena Hill but also to people in Nagpur, who run Modi’s government,” Sonia said.Accusing the Modi government of “murdering democracy and destroying democratic institutions”, she said, “I want to say clearly that whatever effort you make to destroy democracy, we will not allow it to happen. We are used to waging struggle and we have faced many challenges in the past. “Modi government used pressure, money, incitement to destabilise our Governments in Arunachal, Uttarakhand. They may try to character assassinate us to deflect attention from their own failures. Character assassination is BJP’S old habit but I want to warn them: We won’t bow to politics of intimidation.On the raging farmers’ suicide issue, Sonia said, “We had taken steps for the betterment of farmers, workers, women and youth. But this government has destroyed it. Everybody is feeling harassed and sad today. Farmers are committing suicide. They have assumed power by showing false dreams.” She said Congress will continue to fight inside and outside Parliament against injustice. The Congress Chief appealed to her partymen “to reach out to the people and unmask Modi government in a democratic way”.Rahul said only two people’s writ runs in the country and those who stand against them are targeted with ‘false allegations.’ He said around 40 per cent of the country is facing a drought-like situation and ’50 farmers were committing suicide everyday’, but the prime minister ‘has nothing to say over the issue’. Making light of ‘Make in India’ programme, he said that Modi had promised two crore jobs per year after coming to power, but actually a mere 1.3 lakh jobs were generated last yearAttacking the Congress chief, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said if Sonia she fears none, then why is she afraid of a fair investigation. Alleging that the UPA government committed scams in sky (AgustaWestland), land (Adarsh), sea (submarine) and underground (coal), he sought to know why two key people, former governors M K Narayanan and B V Wanchoo were not questioned in the VVIP chopper scam. It was done only after the NDA came to power, he said.

Trupti Desai now wants RSS to admit women

Mumbai: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) must allow women to become its members, Trupti Desai, who has been leading a campaign for women’s right to worship in temples, said on Monday.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“The Bharatiya Janata Party was elected to power on the basis of women’s votes. Women should be allowed to join the RSS to which the BJP is affiliated,” she said.

Desai said she would soon write to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on the issue as part of her campaign for gender equality.

The demand was promptly opposed by Kanta Nalawade, vice president of the BJP’s Maharashtra unit who said Desai should focus her energies on other issues concerning women instead of making “ridiculous demands”.

Desai has been in the news for months for leading a campaign to secure women’s entry into the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district and the Trimbakeshwar Temple in Nashik district.

She is the founder of an organisation called the ‘Bhumata Brigade’ which claims to have 4,000 members.

Desai has said she will now start a campaign on April 28 for women’s entry into the Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai followed by the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

Maharashtra: Order ED probe into selling of sugar factories, says Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetti

Announcing that his Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) would stage demonstrations during Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s tour of western Maharashtra if farmers’ issues are not addressed, Lok Sabha MP and SSS president Raju Shetti would meet chief minister Devendra Fadnavis demanding inquiry in to scam in the selling of sugar factories to private players.Shetti told dna over phone that 35 sugar factories in the state were sold to people with vested interests by the sugar barons for Rs 1,076 crore. Alleging that there is scam worth crores of rupees, Shetti said that he would be seeking inquiry by the enforcement directorate and for this he would meet Fadnavis on Monday. He said that he was ready to provide all the necessary information to ED in this regard.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uddhav would be undertaking a Western Maharashtra tour after this month end. It was Shetti as well as social activists Anna Hazare and Medha Patkar who had alleged scam worth hundreds of crores in selling of sugar factories to private entities.Shetti is part of the mega-alliance comprising BJP-Shiv Sena along with Rashtriya Samaj Party led by Mahadev Jankar, Republican Party of India led by Ramdas Athavale, Shiv Sangra organisation led by Vinayak Mete. He alleged that while selling the factories their valuation was manipulated and the factories were sold to people who were close to the sugar barons and that too at much lesser prices.Shetti said that the SSS would launch a statewide agitation from May 1 (Maharashtra Day as well as Labor Day). “The government can leisurely find time for bringing back the black money invested abroad but what is more easy was to bring out black money through such deals in the field of white sugar,” he said.Patkar speaking to dna told that she had already demanded inquiry in to the selling of sugar factories. Shetti said that he would meet Fadnavis on Monday to demand ED inquiry and also demand for payment of dues towards fair and remunerative price for the sugar cane growers. “Around 20 per cent money due towards the payment of FRP is pending with sugar factories which are getting very good market price for sugar. Many factories have not paid these dues despite the fact that crushing season for 2015-16 is coming to an end,” Shetti concluded.

dna Morning Must Reads: India signs climate pact; Harsha Bhogle takes dig at Dhoni; Sunny Leone’s interview and more

1. India signs climate pact along with over 170 countries at United NationsAt the 175 nations signing ceremony for the climate agreement, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “This is a moment in history. Today you are signing a new covenant with the future.” Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Muslim body for Ram temple in Ayodhya sans Supreme Court verdictThe Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), a prominent pan-India organisation of Muslims working for communal amity in the country, has declared that it wants construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya to begin without waiting for the Supreme Court verdict. Read more here3. Reliance Industries posts biggest quarterly net profit in 8 years at Rs 7,398 croreReliance Industries on Friday reported its highest quarterly net profit in over eight years as fall in oil prices boosted refining and petrochem margins. Read more here4. Harsha takes dig at Dhoni after captain’s insipid batting and another Pune lossUnfazed by his ouster from Indian Premier League’s (IPL) commentary panel, veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle took a dig at India and Rising Pune Supergiants’ (RPSG) captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for an unusually slow innings which he played against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Friday. Read more here5. Biggest risk I’ve taken is coming to India, says Sunny LeoneShe is not just an actor (and self-confessed dork), but a brand that spans an app, a perfume line, a production house and a cricket franchise. Roshni Nair meets the self-effacing Sunny Leone, who has now entered the world of books with ‘Sweet Dreams’. Read more here

Muslim body for Ram temple in Ayodhya sans Supreme Court verdict

The Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), a prominent pan-India organisation of Muslims working for communal amity in the country, has declared that it wants construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya to begin without waiting for the Supreme Court verdict.The body, known for its affiliation with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), would soon begin talks with the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) towards this end, and is confident of working out an out-of-court settlement. However, parties to the age-old dispute have their reservations about the chances of the rather radical idea.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It’s indeed a shame that Ram Lala (as Lord Ram is known fondly) is kept under a makeshift tent in the place of his birth. He should get his rightful due and a grand temple should be built for his worship,” says Mohammad Afzal, national convenor of the MRM.The issue was taken up at the MRM’s national conclave at Nagpur earlier this week, and there was consensus on starting a campaign to facilitate the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya at the disputed spot by working out a mutually agreeable solution with the Muslim parties in the title dispute pending before the Supreme Court.”Right-thinking Muslims do not want conflict with the Hindus. They want development, education and prosperity,” says Afzal who is in Ayodhya to work out a consensus at the local level befoe beginning parleys with the BMAC.However, his initiative has hit the predictable hurdles already. “This won’t work,” says BMAC convenor Zafaryab Jilani, virtually fuming at the very idea of giving away the disputed land in Ayodhya on a platter. “The matter is before the apex court, and all parties concerned would do well to wait for the judgment.”Muslim clerics hold a similar opinion. “People trying to work out such simplistic solutions should remember that this is a very emotive issue for Indian Muslims, and no one should play with such strong religious sentiments,” says renowned Sunni cleric Kalid Rashid Firangi Mahali.Prominent Shia Maulana, Kalbe Jawwad dismisses the MRM idea as a “gimmick” driven by political reasons just before the 2017 UP Assembly elections.However, Afzal is not disheartened. “Muslims, especially the clerics, should understand that for any mosque, the land should either belong to a Muslim or to a waqf (Muslim trust). Muslims do not have ownership of the ‘garbh griha’ (sanctum sanctorum) in Ayodhya. So the idea of building a mosque there is against Islam itself,” he asserts. “I only hope good sense will dawn on Muslims and they will see light of reason, the sooner the better” he adds.MRM formed to bridge the gapThe MRM was formed in 2002 by “nationalist Muslims” to bridge the Hindu-Muslim chasm. With a presence in 25 states, it has 10,000 active workers and over 10 lakh followers. It is involved in volunteering work, and much of it’s campaigning is on ideological grounds. Earlier this year, MRM campaigned to convince Muslim religious leaders to hoist the national flag from madrasas on Republic Day. MRM has also been felicitating Muslims in Uttar Pradesh who own and rear cows.

Curfew lifted in Handwara: Markets reopen, normalcy returns

Srinagar: Restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Handwara town were completely lifted after six days after the four-hour curfew relaxation on Tuesday remained peaceful.

Life returned to normal as markets opened when curfew was relaxed in the morning from 8 am to noon.

“Life has returned to normal in Handwara town after six days today. It was decided to lift curfew restrictions completely from the town,” a senior police officer told IANS in Srinagar.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The civil administration also removed an army bunker from the town after 20 years, using an earthmover machine to demolish the concrete bunker in Handwara Chowk.

Counter-insurgency Rashtriya Rifles soldiers had vacated the bunker last Tuesday when a mob attacked the bunker and set it ablaze partially.

Trouble had erupted in the town after wild rumours spread there last Tuesday that a school girl had been molested by a soldier while she was using a public convenience facility, near the bunker in the town square.

Five people were killed in firing by security forces in the widespread violence that engulfed Handwara and adjacent areas in Kupwara district after the molestation allegation.

The girl later deposed before the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) of Handwara that she had not been molested by anybody and that some local youth were responsible for accusing her and spreading the molestation rumour in the town.

Based on her statement, police on Monday arrested a local youth named Hilal Ahmad Bandey who the girl said had spread the rumour in the town.

Kupwara district magistrate Rajeev Rajan has suspended five lower-rung government employees in the district for stoking passions during the Handwara flare up.

Manipur: Major Amit Deswal killed in encounter with militant

Major Amit Deswal of 21 Para was on Wednesday killed in an encounter with ZUF militants in Manipur’s Tamenglong district.Army officials said one militant was also killed in the encounter which occurred during a combing operation undertaken by Rashtriya Rifles and Special Forces personnel. While the militant was killed in an earlier encounter, the Major, hailing from Jhajjar district in Haryana, lost his life during an exchange later in the same area.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He succumbed after being evacuated from the encounter site. The combing operations are continuing, army officials said.

Bihar: RJD MLA’s sister sexually assaulted, succumbs to injuries, two accused surrender

The lone sister of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLA from Bhojpur district Saroj Yadav, succumbed to her injuries which she sustained while resisting sexual assault on Monday night.Shaili Devi was being treated in Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in Patna.40-year-old Shaili took a shared auto-rickshaw from Keshavpur when some youths boarded the vehicle on the way and started misbehaving with her. When she resisted, one of the men attacked her with an iron rod and later threw her out of the vehicle after badly assaulting her. She was hit on her head.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The two accused, who allegedly assaulted the sister of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) legislator Saroj Yadav, surrendered before the Arrah court on Wednesday.Some local residents spotted her and rushed her to hospital in a critical condition. She died on Tuesday during treatment.The FIR lodged with the Chandi police station lists five people as accused, of which the identity of three is not known. The MLA blamed the police for the rising crime and criticised the state government, saying when the sister of an MLA is not safe, how will the common man feel themselves safe.After the incident, a large number of supporters of the MLA from Barhara blocked the Patna-Ara road and disrupted traffic for about four hours.

Jammu and Kashmir: 2 militants killed in encounter, top leadership of Hizbul Mujahideen almost finished, say police

Two top Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including a former policeman, who was in the security detail of a PDP Minister and fled with two AK 47 rifles last year, on Thursday killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, with the army calling it a “major breakthrough”. Naseer Ahmad Pandit and Inamul Haq alias Waseem Malla were shot dead in an encounter with a joint team of local police, CRPF and Rashtriya rifles at Vehil village near Shopian, about 55 km from here, army said. “It was a joint operation of police, CRPF and Rashtriya Rifles. We were able to eliminate the two top terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen. Their killing caused a serious dent in the top leadership of Hizbul Mujahideen,” General Officer Commanding of Army’s Victor Force Major General Ashok Narola told reporters in Awantipora.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming the killing of Pandit and Malla as a “major breakthrough” in the anti-militancy operations, the officer said the top leadership of the terrorist outfit was now “almost finished”. Narola said the operation was “clean” with the security forces suffering no casualties. “With the killing of Waseem Malla and Naseer Pandit in Shopian district this morning, the top leadership of Hizbul Mujahideen is almost finished. “While Malla was a A++ category militant, Pandit who deserted police to join Hizbul Mujahideen ranks last year was also A-Plus category militant,” Narola said.He said Malla, a resident of Pehlipora in Shopian, was the mastermind behind the killing of three policemen in cold blood at Amshipora village of Shopian on April 6 last year. Pandit, a resident of Karimabad village of Pulwama, had decamped with two AK rifles on March 27 last year from the residence of PDP Minister Altaf Bukhari’s residence. “For the last two years, these people had created a lot of problems for the people and were involved in atrocities and we are satisfied on their elimination,” the Army officer said.The two were among a group of 11 young militants whose photographs were widely circulated on the social media last year. “Of the 11 in the photo, two were eliminated earlier and two today and Insha Allah the rest will also be dealt with, which is a matter of time,” he said.

‘Homosexuality not a crime’: How the RSS is trying to re-invent its public image

It is not just the dress code which the Rashtriya Swayamwevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organisation of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has changed in the last few days.

The RSS is trying to re-invent its image. AFP

The RSS is trying to re-invent its image. AFP

RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said at an event on Thursday in New Delhi, “I don’t think homosexuality should be considered a criminal offence as long as it does not affect the lives of others in society.”

“Sexual preferences are private and personal. Why should RSS express its views in a public forum? RSS has no view on that. It is for people to have their way. Personal preference of sex is not discussed in RSS and we don’t even want to discuss that,” PTI quoted Hosabale as saying.

However, before any of us could get excited for such a progressive stand taken by RSS, Hosable clarified on Twitter that he thought homosexuality needed to be treated like “a psychological case”, even though he re-iterated that it was not a crime.

Nevertheless, there is still an important change in the RSS stand on homosexuality that comes out through Hosabale’s remark.

Even when Hosabale tweeted out that homosexuality is a “socially immoral act”, he began his tweet by confirming that he stood by his earlier remark that homosexuality was certainly not a crime. When compared to earlier statements made by RSS leaders on the issue, like the time Ram Madhav said criminalisation of homosexuality is ‘debatable’ or the time when the organisation said that there can be no compromise with gay rights, it seems the RSS has certainly further softened its stand on homosexuality.

Now, instead of saying that the issue of criminalisation of homosexuality was ‘debatable’, an RSS leader has come out and said that homosexuality is definitely not a crime. And that too, twice.

Even though there is still a long way to go before RSS’ point of view on homosexuality can be called progressive, the right-wing organisation has taken a number of steps which seem to indicate that it is trying to re-invent its image, especially among the youth.

Even in a PTI report in which an RSS leader had rejected the perception that the organisation changed its dress code to attract the youth, the leader had still said that “khaki shorts made way for trousers following a long pondering on suggestions made to this effect by its cadre and the change is in sync with time.”

One of the most important factors in deciding what is “in sync with time” is the youth. After all, it is mostly the youth of a country which decides what is in sync with time and what is outdated. But it is not just about the dress code.

On Sunday, RSS general secretary Suresh Bhayyaji Joshi had said that restriction on entry of women in any temple is “unfair” and managements in the temples doing so should change their mentality, PTI had reported.

This statement came at a time when there was a lot of outrage and protests against the restriction on entry of women in temples like Shani Shingnapur temple and Trimbakeshwar temple.

In fact, the right-wing organisation had to later face criticism from a Hindu outfit for this statement.

According to another report in IBNLive, RSS on 11 March had passed a resolution on caste discrimination and social harmony. The report added that the resolution was meant to address the sense of unease within the Sangh after the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula and the Jat agitation in Haryana.

The report added that RSS leaders had even told Dalit BJP MPs to tell the voters that the Sangh was not anti-Dalit.

These reports about the RSS’ attempt at an image makeover and its influence on BJP MPs, however, raise the question of why Lok Sabha voted against the introduction of a private member’s bill brought by Congress MP Shashi Thraoor to decriminalise homosexuality.

They also raise the question about whether the perception about parties thought to be Hindu nationalist parties is going to change or needs to change.

As Jaideep Prabhu wrote in this Firstpost article, “it is difficult to discern any Hindu agenda in the BJP’s governance either between 1998 and 2004 or since 2014.” The article also said that the actual important issues for Hindus were liberation of temples from government control, difficulty faced by Hindus in starting their own schools and colleges and the assault on many Hindu customs and traditions, something which the BJP government had not paid much attention to.

It is still difficult to say, though, whether the attempt by RSS to re-invent itself and change its perception will succeed or not.

(With agency inputs)