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PM Modi eyeing BMC polls, misled people about Rs 1.06 lakh crore Mumbai projects: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stones for projects worth over Rs 1.06 lakh crore in Mumbai, Congress today alleged that he “misled” about the cost of the projects which was actually much lower.”The PM announced various projects with an eye on civic polls including several Metro projects the cost of which is not more than Rs 44,000 crore,” Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam said.”By saying the total cost of projects is over Rs 1 lakh crore, the PM has lied and the statement was made only with an eye on the coming BMC polls,” he said.BJP-led Maharashtra Government had no concrete plan of action nor had it arranged funds for the projects, he said. Nirupam also said that police’s action against Congress workers yesterday created “an atmosphere of terror”. Congress workers had no plans to disrupt the PM’s rally at BKC (Bandra-Kurla Complex) but the police detained them on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s orders, he alleged.Modi laid foundation stones for many key infrastructure projects worth over Rs 1.06 trillion in the megapolis, including the country’s longest sea-bridge and two Metro lines. “Developmental works of over Rs 1.06 trillion are getting started in a single city at a single event. This will be a big milestone in the city’s history,” the Prime Minister said at his rally. PTI MM KRK

Madhya Pradesh: ‘Salad’ likely to be on platter for prisoners in jails

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Madhya Pradesh government is mulling to offer ‘salad’ along with the daily meal served to inmates across all prisons in the state, an official said.”Providing ‘salads’ along with the meals is one of the measures being mooted by the Jail Department in its effort to make the food in state’s prisons more nutritious,” Sanjay Choudhary, Director General (Jail) said.The issue was discussed at a meeting in Bhopal on Friday convened to review the functioning of jails in state.It was chaired by Minister for Jail Kusum Mehdele and attended by Jail department’s senior officials along with the superintendents of 39 district and 11 Central jails.After the Bhopal’s Central prison jail break by eight operatives of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in October this year, Jail department had banned outside food items, mostly brought by the family members of the inmates in all jails of the state.”The meeting was informed that essential items like tooth-paste and brush would also be provided in the jails. However, there would be total ban on bidis and cigarettes,” a Public Relations department officer said. It was also decided that additional barracks would be constructed in those jails that are housing more inmates than their capacities.”Outer walls of the jails would also be constructed. The minister assured that the issues raised by the jail superintendents would also be soon sorted out,” he added.

Bengaluru man with alleged ISIS links held in Kullu

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

JD (U) lodges complaint with I-T dept over BJP land deals ahead of demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ruling JD U on Friday filed a complaint with the income tax department seeking lawful action into the land purchased by the BJP in various districts of Bihar for establishing their party offices just ahead of demonetization.In a memorandum submitted to the taxmen, JD (U) spokespersons Sanjay Singh, Neeraj Kumar and Rajiv Ranjan Prasad, have alleged irregularities in the deals made by the saffron party office bearers in the state and sought action under Income Tax Act, 1961 into the matter.The complaint comes after the expiry of the JD (U)’s 24 hour ultimatum to the Bihar BJP unit to declare the funding sources behind the deals as well as answer various other queries relating to the large-scale purchases. The party has also said it will review its stand on demonetization after looking at situation post December 30.“A part of the payments have been made in cash and as per our information, black money has been used in the dealings,” they said. The party had earlier made public the registry documents of land purchases in different districts of the state in support of their allegation of corruption. They had also claimed of having details of land purchase by the BJP in 31 places in Bihar between August and November.According to the complaint, “The registration of the lands have been made in the name of BJP, the payment has been made by somebody else. In most cases, the PAN number provided are of persons other than those who made the payment.”It may be recalled that Bihar Registration, Excise and Prohibition minister and congress MLA Abdul Jalil Mastan too had said he had asked for the registry papers from the districts and will look into the matter.

Mumbai: 3 dead, 14 injured in cylinder blast in Mankhurd

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a cylinder blast early Thursday morning in Mankhurd’s Maharashtra Nagar, three people died and 14 were injured.The LPG gas cylinder burst around 6 am in a two-storeyed house, which caused the upper floor to collapse on the one-storeyed houses next to it. The dead bodies were taken to Shatabdi Hospital, Govandi, and the injured were hospitalised in Shatabdi and Sion hospitals.The blast caused fire and the residents of Maharashtra Nagar called the fire brigade. The firemen rescued at least 20 people. In total, members of four families were victims of the blast. Out of five members of Wankhede family, three were declared brought dead viz Kasturbha Wankhede (60), Rekha Wankhede (30) and Sanjay Wankhede (35) and two were injured. “At 6 am, we heard a blast and all ran outside. All opened the doors but it was fully black and we could not see anything. We realised there is a fire and we informed the fire brigade. When the fire was doused, we learnt that 3 houses had collapsed and injured were taken to hospital”, said Anusaya Chavan, a resident of Maharashtra Nagar. The Trombay police have done the primary investigation. “We think the cylinder blast was due to gas leakage. At present anything concrete cannot be said. We are yet to talk to injured people as they are under emergency care,” said Sunil Khade of Trombay police station. The remains of the structures are being demolished. Further investigation will be carried out by Trombay police.

Maratha morcha: Give quotas or face poll debacles, community warns Devendra Fadnavis

Nagpur: Maratha Kranti Muk Morcha met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday and warned him that if the state government fails to accommodate quotas for the community an electoral rout might be a possibility.

Shiv Sena MLAs and MLCs at the Maratha Morcha in Nagpur on Wednesday. Sanjay Sawant/FirstpostShiv Sena MLAs and MLCs at the Maratha Morcha in Nagpur on Wednesday. Sanjay Sawant/Firstpost

Shiv Sena MLAs and MLCs at the Maratha Morcha in Nagpur on Wednesday. Sanjay Sawant/Firstpost

This is for the first time that the morcha established a direct contact with the chief minister despite holding over 40 silent rallies all over Maharashtra since 9 August this year seeking reservations.

“The chief minister is the highest authority of the state. So please don’t send us back empty handed. If you fail to give reservation to Maratha Community then we will teach you a lesson but not through bullet but ballot in the next election,” a delegation member of the Maratha Kranti Muk Morcha apparently told Fadnavis during the meeting in Nagpur.

The delegation sought to know from the chief minister when Prime Minister Narendra Modi could implement a decision as big as demonetisation overnight why the state can’t give reservation to the Maratha community in a speedy manner. The delegation made it clear that it wants a resolution to the issue in a time-bound manner.

Upon suggestion from state Education Minister Vinod Tawde, Fadnavis assured the delegation that a panel would be formed with experts as members from different fields to discuss the Maratha reservation issue threadbare.

The Nagpur edition of the Maratha Morcha started by 12 noon from Yashwant Stadium and ended at Moris T point at 3 pm on Wednesday in which over 1.50 lakh people from all age groups and varied professions participated. More than 150 all-party MLAs, MLCs and ministers were part of the rally.

Three senior ministers of the state government Chandrakant Patil, Vinod Tawde and Deepak Sawant personally took Morcha delegates — Rutuja Mohite, Ankita Bhandwalkar, Himani Bhaltilak, Sanjana Wanapur, Jayashree Bhuiwar and Vaishnavi Daph — to the chief minister.

Apart from reservations, other major demands of the Morcha included the amendment in Atrocities act, capital punishment to the accused in the Kopardi rape case and the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations.

Among the political participants in the rally Maratha leader from BJP Chandrakant Patil, minister Vinod Tawde, MLC and opposition party leader Radhakrishna Patil, MLA Nitesh Rane, NCP MLA Shashikant Shinde, MLC Narendra Patil, MLC Vidya Chavan, BJP MLA Aashish Shelar and MLC Pravin Darekar were prominent. From the Shiv Sena, Cabinet Minister Eknath Shinde, Minister of State Dada Bhuse, Ravindra Waikar, Sanjay Rathod and MP Sambhaji Raje Bhosle were persent.

Several schools and colleges and business establishment remained shut in Nagpur although no incidents of violence were reported.

First Published On : Dec 14, 2016 20:11 IST

Three, including main accused arrested in Punjab dancer murder case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two persons, including the main accused, were arrested on Monday in connection with the murder of a dancer during a marriage ceremony in Bathinda, police said on Monday.Lucky Goel (Billa), who allegedly shot dead the dancer, and Sanjay Goel, whose weapon was allegedly used in the incident, have been arrested, Bathinda DSP (Maur) Davinder Singh said.According to the police, the prime accused Lucky Goel has no criminal background. Sanjay who is the son of a former municipal corporation councillor, is being produced in the court. Both the friends, Sanjay and Lucky are small time business owners in Maur Mandi.On Saturday night Kulwinder Kaur (22) was shot dead on stage allegedly by an inebriated Billa after he was not allowed to dance with her troupe during the marriage function of a local commission agent’s son in Maur in Bathinda.A group of the groom’s friends, who were allegedly drunk, were firing in the air and tried to come on to the stage to join the dancers, police said. On being prevented from dancing on stage, one of the men from the group, Billa, allegedly opened fire with his .12 bore gun, hitting Kulwinder in her head.
ALSO READ Watch: Dancer shot dead on stage by drunk man in Punjab wedding Besides, police have arrested the owner of the marriage palace, Jagseer Singh, for allowing use of weapons at the venue and a case has been registered against the groom’s parents. (With inputs from India Today.)

Bhatinda shooting case: Punjab police arrest two men, including main accused

Bathinda: Two persons, including the main accused, were arrested on Monday in connection with the murder of a dancer during a marriage ceremony, police said.


Screenshot of the dancer. CNN-News18

Billa, who allegedly shot dead the dancer, and Sanjay Goyal, whose weapon was allegedly used in the incident, have been arrested, Bathinda DSP (Maur) Davinder Singh said.

On Saturday night, Kulwinder Kaur (22) was shot dead on stage allegedly by an inebriated Billa after he was not allowed to dance with her troupe during the marriage function of a local commission agent’s son in Maur here.

A group of the groom’s friends, who were allegedly drunk, were firing in the air and tried to come on to the stage to join the dancers, police said.

On being prevented from dancing on stage, one of the men from the group, Billa, allegedly opened fire with his .12 bore gun, hitting Kulwinder in her head.

Besides, police have arrested the owner of the marriage palace, Jagseer Singh, for allowing use of weapons at the venue and a case has been registered against the groom’s parents.

First Published On : Dec 5, 2016 20:21 IST

Rajya Sabha MP holds march in support of demonetization in Pune

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hundreds of people on Sunday took part in a march in Pune, which was carried out in the support of the Centre’s demonetization move.The march, organised in the morning by Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Kakade, started from Deccan Gymkhana area and concluded at the Council Hall. “The decision of demonetization will have positive effects on the Indian economy in future and Rs 9 lakh crore have been deposited in banks post the demonetization move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Kakade, also a well-known developer, said.”To support PM Modi’s fight against black money and corruption, the march was organised here, which saw hundreds of persons in attendance,” he said. Modi on November 8 had announced his government’s decision to demonetize the Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.

More trouble for Kejriwal: AAP Punjab candidate claims Sanjay Singh asked him to deposit Rs 1 crore as party fund

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vinod Kumar, AAP candidate from the border constituency of Bhoa, alleged that he has been told to deposit Rs one crore as party fund or sit back home, a charge refuted by the party. He made this exposure at a news conference . Bhoa is in Pathankot district. Giving details, he said that he was summoned by the party’s Punjab incharge Sanjay Singh and organisation secretary Durgesh Pathak to the party office in Chandigarh and given this instruction.”I told them to connect me to party convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Sanjay Singh connected the phone. When I told him that these people were demanding Rs 1 crore, he said do whatever told by Sanjay Singh. “He (Kejriwal) said it is high tech poll that costs money,” he alleged. Significantly, Vinod Kumar, a former journalist, has levelled this allegation after getting the ticket. He said Sanjay told him that in case he was not in a position, the party could refund him Rs 30 lakh that he might have incurred so far on his campaigning. However, he would have to announce his withdrawal citing family reasons. He was warned that there were others who were willing to pay upto Rs two crore. The money is being collected by these people in the name of party fund, he said. Meanwhile, in a hurriedly called separate press conference here, AAP Punjab in-charge Sanjay tonight refused the allegation of demanding money levelled by AAP candidate from Bhoha, Vinod Kumar. Singh said that the allegations of demanding money are baseless and wild. Challenging the allegations Sanjay said, “If anyone proves the allegations of demanding money, I will not only leave politics but quit public life as well.”I am ready to face any inquiry regarding it.” “Vinod was not working hard and his campaign was going on a low pace so we were thinking about changing candidate from the seat. Even in the last meeting of Kejriwal with candidates at Sangrur, few candidates were warned for their poor performance and Vinod was among them,” said Sanjay. He said that the party changed its candidates with poor performance in Delhi elections too and will follow the same rule in Punjab as well.Singh said that Vinod was sending fake reports of his campaign to the party.”His own campaign incharge sent different reports of his daily activities that show he was lying. He was called and given one week time to pace up his campaign but he could not.Even in the PAC meeting held on Friday it was discussed to replace candidate from Bhoha” said Sanjay.”It is not the first time that anybody has leveled allegation against me. A person named Pavittar Singh held a press conference and alleged me of demanding money, after that a women, Hardeep Kingra and Davinder Sherawat leveled allegations against me but when it came to show proof the allegations fell flat,” he said.He said that nobody will be allowed to cheat the party and volunteers.”There were rumors that I wanted to contest elections in Punjab but there is nothing true in that. I was asked by party to contest elections in Delhi but I refused it that time and again repeat that I am not here to contest elections.” Meanwhile, AAP has announced Amarjeet Singh as new candidate from Bhoha replacing Vinod Kumar.”I was called on November 12 at a house in Chandigarh. AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak told me that I was not campaigning properly. They told me to get Rs 1 crore deposited with them so that they could take care of my campaigning,” Kumar told the press here.”I told them that AAP was fighting against corruption and our agenda was to campaign and contest polls without spending money. How could anyone who contests elections by spending Rs 1 crore be honest?””When I questioned them, they told me to take Rs 30 lakh and give up my claim on the ticket for the Bhoa seat. I suspect that if they were demanding Rs 1 crore from me, they could have been offered Rs 2 crore by someone else to get me replaced as the AAP candidate,” Kumar said. The AAP has announced its list of 80 candidates for the 117 assembly seats. Elections in Punjab are likely to be held early next year.The AAP, which has been facing infighting in the past three months, has seen allegations of collection of big sums of money in the run-up to Punjab assembly polls being made against its top leaders from Delhi.The AAP had suspended its Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur in August this year after a video clip surfaced, purportedly showing him taking money from a party supporter.Chhotepur has now floated a new party, Apna Punjab Party (APP), to counter the AAP.

Demonetization: Duo carrying Rs 27 lakh in new notes apprehended in Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police apprehended two men from outside Hazrat Nizammuddin railway station on Thursday who were allegedly carrying Rs 27 lakh in new currency notes which they received after exchanging old demonetised notes from some agents in Mumbai.The duo told Crime Branch sleuths about a Delhi-based man who has allegedly exchanged currency worth Rs 1.5 crores till now. On a tip-off from intelligence agencies, the Crime Branch team apprehended Ajit Pal Singh and Rajender Singh this evening, said a senior police officer.Singh and Rajender had returned from Mumbai after getting demonetised notes exchanged for new currency. During joint interrogation conducted by police, IT department officials and intelligence officials, they revealed that they were carrying money that belongs to one Sanjay Malik, who has a pharmaceutical company in Baddi. “We are on the lookout for Malik. It has emerged during investigation that he has got his money changed from Mumbai and he is taking commission from acquaintances for getting their old notes exchanged. He and his accomplices have so far brought Rs 1.5 crore of new currency from Mumbai,” said the officer.
ALSO READ Demonetization: Defunct notes of Rs 1.40 cr seized from builder in AhmedabadThe IT department has been informed and police might seek the help of their counterparts in Mumbai for further investigation, said another officer. “It looks as if some bank officials from Mumbai are involved in the racket. There is a well-oiled machinery of agents and sub-agents dealing in new currency and gold,” he said.Ajit Pal is involved with a firm that is engaged in the business of retail of medicine and is Malik’s friend. Rajender works under Malik. “They were travelling with new currency from Mumbai to Delhi by Sampark Kranti Express and had come out of the Nizammuddin railway station. They were in a car when their vehicle was intercepted outside the railway station by Delhi Police officials,” he said.

DNA Evening Must Reads: Arun Jaitley hits out at Manmohan Singh, Ratan Tata shares thoughts on demonetization, and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maximum black money transactions took place under UPA: Arun Jaitley hits back at Manmohan SinghTaking a dig at the opposition who have decided to launch ‘Aakrosh’ (anguish) Day over the demonetization issue, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that it was ironical of the previous government to consider it a blunder since it was under them that the black money transactions had become glaring and rampant. Read more here.Demonetization: Jaitley speaks to bankers, PM Modi calls cabinet meeting in the eveningRajya Sabha was adjourned till Friday after opposition created uproar and stormed the well over Prime Minister’s absence in the house post lunch on Thursday, demanding his presence throughout debate on demonetization. Follow latest updates on demonetization here.India summons Pak Dy High Commissioner over repeated ceasefire violationsMinistry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Vikas Swarup announced on Thursday that the MEA had summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Syed Hyder Shah and stated that despite calls for restrain, Pakistan violated ceasefire 27 times from November 12 to 21. Read more here.Demonetization causing great hardship, Govt should consider relief measures for poor: Ratan TataThe Tata Sons chairman took to Twitter to share his thoughts about the implementation, noting that it was causing ‘great hardship to the common man’. Read more here.Celebration in Nikki Haley’s village in Punjab after her appointment as US Ambassador to UNNikki Haley may have been born in the United States but her extended family back in India is thrilled that the South Carolina governor has been named by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump as ambassador to the United Nations. Haley’s parents hail from rural Punjab, in northwestern India. Read more hereRanbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor in Sanjay Dutt’s biopic!Rajkumar Hirani has finalised Sonam as the leading lady for his biopic on Sanjay Dutt. To know more about her role, click here.

PM Modi should be held responsible for post-demonetization deaths: Sanjay Nirupam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> City unit Congress president Sanjay Nirupam on Tuesday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi be held responsible for the deaths of “70 people” that are reportedly linked to the demonetization move.”Seventy deaths happened since November 8 due to chaos following the cash crunch (in the aftermath of demonetization decision),” Nirupam claimed at a street corner meeting at Byculla in South Mumbai. The meeting was the part of a Congress’ awareness programme “Money ki Baat” in the wake of scrapping of Rs 500 and 1000 notes, and its implications. “People died while standing in queues to withdraw their own money, due to inability to get medicines, due to (financial) hurdles in marriages of their daughters and the shortage of money to get medical attention.”Modi should be held responsible for the crisis and the deaths. He should apologise to nation for hardships caused to people,” the Congress leader said. Amid the hardships faced by people in the form of cash crunch and long queues outside banks, Nirupam demanded that printing of currency should be expedited to meet the shortage of money. “People have deposited Rs 5.45 lakh crore in their bank accounts (post demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes) but withdrawals are only Rs 1.36 lakh crore,” he said.

No preference given to Sanjay Dutt in parole, furlough: Maha govt to Bombay HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Maharashtra government has informed the Bombay High Court that it had not given any preference to actor Sanjay Dutt over other prisoners, while sanctioning furlough and parole leave to him during his imprisonment in the 1993 bomb blast case from 2013 to 2016.”According to provisions in Maharashtra Prison Manual, prisoners are released on furlough and parole after completion of conditions laid down by the sanctioning authority. However, no preference was given to sanction furlough or parole leave to convict Sanjay Dutt,” said Umaji Tolaram Pawar, Superintendent of Yerwada Prison in Pune, in an affidavit. Dutt was released in February, nearly 103 days ahead of the end of his full prison term.The affidavit was filed recently in response to a PIL by activist Pradeep Bhalekar who alleged that remission granted to Dutt was wrong and illegal as he was preferred over other prisoners who are waiting to get such leave on the basis of rules and good conduct.The PIL is slated to come up for hearing before a bench headed by Justice V M Kanade next week, petitioner’s lawyer Nitin Satpute told PTI. “What is the good behaviour and conduct that has been held as a ground for granting Dutt remission and reducing his sentence? What about the other convicts especially in petty offences who are rotting in jail. They have also filed applications seeking remission but there has been no order on those,” the petition argued.Dutt had surrendered in May 2013 after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction by a special court here for possession of arms and ammunition which was part of the consignment used in the Mumbai 1993 serial bomb blasts. During the investigation and the marathon trial, Dutt spent 18 months in jail. On July 31, 2007, the TADA court in Mumbai had sentenced him to six years’ rigorous imprisonment under the Arms Act and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000. In 2013, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling but reduced the sentence to five years following which he surrendered to serve the remainder of his sentence. During Dutt’s imprisonment, he was granted parole of 90 days in December 2013 and again for 30 days later. According to a government notification, parole leave of 30 days can be extended by a further period of 30 days, the affidavit said. Dutt was first granted parole for 30 days from December 21, 2013. This was extended by another 30 days. Again he was sanctioned parole leave for 30 days from August 26, 2015. On both these occasions, Dutt had surrendered before the authorities in time, the affidavit said.He was also granted furlough leave for two weeks from October 1, 2013 which was extended by another two weeks. Again he was sanctioned furlough leave for two weeks from December 24, 2014. However, this time he surrendered late on January 10, 2015, by overstaying two days, as per the affidavit. The proposed prison punishment to Dutt as he had breached the conditions of furlough leave by not surrendering in time and overstaying by two days. The proposal was sent to Home Department of Maharashtra government which quashed it and granted two days extension of furlough leave to Dutt which he had overstayed, the affidavit further said.However, the facilities of parole and furlough provided to Dutt by prison authorities were as per rules and regulations prescribed in Maharashtra Prison Manual and relevant Government Notifications, it added.

Central panel recommends cap on surge pricing for Ola, Uber

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dynamic pricing, commonly dreaded as “surge” pricing in taxis can be allowed for taxi aggregators such as Uber and Ola within a specified range, a central government panel has recommended.Officials from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said that dynamic pricing is important, but the same can’t be used to exploit people. “The guidelines will recommend allowing dynamic pricing but will put a cap on the maximum fare which can be charged,” a senior official said.The Union cabinet had, in August, decided to bring all app-based taxi services, under the regulatory framework which will allow state governments to fix a fare cap and check arbitrary charging.The panel, headed by highways secretary Sanjay Mitra, has also proposed waiving off the current cap on the number of taxis plying in the city.It also recommends allowing taxi aggregators to operate deluxe taxis, which will have a higher fare, sources said.The recommendations, which are likely to come out next week, will not be binding upon the state governments which may come out with their own set of rules. Karnataka, Delhi, and Maharashtra had framed rules for taxi aggregators.Uber had then taken the governments of Karnataka and Delhi to the high court over the rules, which had directed that the company should not charge surge from customers in Delhi and Bengaluru.The Delhi High Court in August banned surge pricing by taxi aggregators in the national capital region from August 22 and asked them to comply with the price caps notified by the Delhi government.Karnataka had, in March, cracked down on surge pricing by Ola and Uber, the practice of imposing a surcharge on fares when demand is high.A senior official said the ministry will largely support taxis, since they would reduce the number of personal cars on roads, thereby reducing the load on existing infrastructure.The guidelines will also state that the cabs should be compliant with the fuel requirement and measures for the safety and security of women commuting in the taxis.

‘Money ki Baat’ – Congress plans drive against demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’ amid the heated political discourse over the Centre’s demonetisation of high-value currency notes, the Congress will now organise ‘Money ki Baat’ with the citizens starting November 20.The city unit of the party, headed by Sanjay Nirupam, will embark on a mass awareness campaign on the “hardships” of the common man in the wake of the withdrawal of Rs 1,000 and old Rs 500 currency notes from circulation last week.Addressing a press conference, Nirupam claimed that the demonetisation move had “failed to curb black money and counterfeit currency”.”We will organise ‘Money ki Baat’ outside banks, railway stations and market places without disturbing the citizens…protests will also be planned.”We will tell the people that this demonetisation is a fraud. (It’s) an ill-conceived decision with no preparation to implement it,” he alleged.Nirupam said as part of the drive, open debates will be held in the “people’s court”.”This (demonetisation) has affected bullion as well as retail markets, apart from restaurants, vegetable vendors, theatres, healthcare, pharmaceutical, textile and leather sectors in Mumbai.”Production has virtually stopped and employment has been hit. The labour market has virtually collapsed and economic activities have come to a standstill,” he alleged.The Congress leader accused Modi of “dictating” the monetary policy which he said was “against the rules of RBI”.”How can the government decide that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes are illegal tenders without pumping in enough notes of lower denominations,” he asked.Nirupam said out of the Rs 17 lakh crore worth currency in the market, Rs 400 crore was counterfeit.”If putting an end to black money is the focus of the demonetisation, then what is the logic behind printing Rs 2,000 currency notes,” he said. Rebuking the Maharashtra government over collection of dues such as tax etc. in invalid currencies from the people, Nirupam demanded a “break-up” of the loss caused in stamp duty and octroi collection after the demonetisation.The state government had allowed the people to pay water tax, electricity bills, municipality taxes etc. in the scrapped notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500, which has resulted in a substantial rise in its coffers.The Congress leader said, “We require 2,300 crore pieces of currency notes and at present, our capacity is to produce only 300 crore pieces a month, (which means) this crisis will continue for seven months.”He alleged that the invalid tenders were being “illegally converted” into dollars at the rate of Rs 117 per dollar.”Gold prices have gone up and in places like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, bribes are being sought and paid in the new Rs 2,000 currency notes. All the cash is not black money and all the black money is not cash,” he said, adding that the brunt of Modi’s demonetisation move was being borne by the middle-income and low-income groups.”The patience of the people is running out,” he said.Nirupam sought Modi’s clarification on how he ran his “high-voltage” campaign for the 2014 general election as the BJP’s prime ministerial nominee.”How were the expenses met…was it all white money?,” he asked.

Watch: I have the new Rs 2,000 note, but where do I get the change now?

Watch: I have the new Rs 2,000 note, but where do I get the change now?


Modi’s surprise post-Diwali gift to the nation with a ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes have led people to rush to their nearest bank branches. When banks opened on Thursday morning, there were queues with some customers wanting to exchange the banned currency notes while others have come to withdraw money as ATMs are currently shut today. There were some who were here to deposit money.

Here’s Sanjay Patil from Prabhadevi, Mumbai who went to Bank of Maharashtra to withdraw money via cheque against his account for Rs 6,000. He expected to get Rs 100 notes for the amount but was surprised to get three notes in denomination of Rs 2,000. Patil said it took him as little as 15 minutes to get the cash.  Though excited about the newly released currency, Patil was a little disappointed not to have Rs 100 notes as he had no money on hand.

Firstpost spotted him outside Axis bank, where he had come to withdraw some more money hoping to get Rs 100 notes. “I won’t get any change for these Rs 2,000 notes and so I have come here,” said Patil.

We don’t know if Patil was able to get the Rs 100 notes that he was desperately looking out for or was he stuck with another bunch of Rs 2,000 notes!

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Delhi CM Avind Kejriwal seeks argument on charge in Arun Jaitley’s defamation case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders on Monday moved a city court seeking chance to be heard before it decided whether they would be put on trial in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley against them.Appearing before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass, Jaitley’s counsel informed the court that the Delhi High Court has dismissed the accused’s plea seeking stay on the trial court proceedings in the case. Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the complainant, urged the court that notice/charge be framed against the accused persons — Kejriwal, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai. Advocate Rahul Mehra, however, moved an application on behalf of all the accused seeking chance to address the argument on point of whether to frame the charges.The court has now put up the matter for further hearing on November 11. The court granted exemption from personal appearance for the day to Kejriwal, Ashutosh and Sanjay. The court had on May 19 dismissed the accused’s plea seeking stay of the proceedings in the criminal defamation case, after which they approached the high court.Jaitley had filed the criminal defamation complaint alleging that the accused had allegedly defamed him in Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) controversy. A civil defamation suit has also been filed by Jaitley before the Delhi High Court in relation to the matter seeking Rs 10 crore in damages.

‘Useless’ to always blame Rahul Gandhi: Congress on Bahuguna’s exit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress party on Friday said it is useless and baseless for people to always blame vice president Rahul Gandhi and claimed that Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s decision to switch her allegiance from the Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was expected. “When her father and brother left, it did not have any adverse affect on the party, so I don’t think her exit will now have any sort of effect. It doesn’t bother us at all. I think she should have taken her decision sooner,” Congress MP Sanjay Singh said.When asked why all rebel members of the party always blame vice present Rahul Gandhi’s leadership for their exit, Singh said, “It is useless and baseless. They just want to hide their failures by sprouting such useless excuses.”Rita Joshi on Thursday blamed Rahul Gandhi and Congress’ poll stratergist Prashant Kishor for her exit.”Prashant Kishore could be a poll manager, but he certainly is not the poll director. But, unfortunately, the entire direction and leadership of the election has been given into his hands. How long we have to walk, when we will stand and sit, all these things were told to us a day before, despite the fact that leaders are grassroot workers. Nothing could be more unfortunate than handing over the party on contract (to Prashant Kishor),” she said, adding that even senior leaders of the Congress are unable to put across their point in the party.”

South Mumbai: Major fire at Maker Tower leaves two dead; 11 rescued

Two people died on Tuesday in a fire at the Maker Tower in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai. Eleven people were rescued after eight fire engines rushed to the spot.

According to The Times of India, six jumbo tankers and one ambulance were also sent to the the building. The report also notes that the fire broke out in a residential apartment on the 20th floor in the A wing, at around 6.30 am.

Maker Tower is an upscale residential building in the city and according to sources, the fire reportedly started in Shekhar Bajaj’s apartment. Bajaj is the managing director Bajaj Electricals. Bajaj’s apartment has been gutted in the fire.

Shekhar Bajaj told Firstpost, “I don’t know the real reason ofor the fire. It could have been a short circuit. The incident happened at 6.30 in the morning and we weren’t aware. I am thankful to the Mumbai fire brigade. They have done a good job. All our family members are safe. As a precautionary measure we have undergone medical check-up.”

Mumbai Fire brigade said that there were family members and domestic help were stuck in the Bajaj family flat but that they have all been rescued without injury.

Author Shobhaa De, who also lives  in the building in Cuffe Parade, told NDTV that “everything is calm and under control” now.

with inputs from Sanjay Sawant

Delhi police registers case against controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after a Ministry of Defence official filed a complaint against controversial arms dealer and defence consultant Sanjay Bhandari, the Delhi Police on Sunday registered a case against him.The case has been registered under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) in connection with the recovery of confidential Defence Ministry documents from his house in South Delhi’s Defence Colony.The FIR was registered on Friday by Colonel Puneet Ahuja, an officer posted in the Ministry of Defence, alleging that the Ministry is the custodian of the classified documents that were recovered in the raid.According to the FIR the documents pertain to policy planning and Force Development branch of the Defence Ministry.Bhandari is already under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income-Tax (I-T) Department for allegedly holding a ‘benami’ property in London.The IT Department had been carrying out an investigation against Bhandari and the OIS Group in connection with a tax evasion case.Earlier in June, the IT Department carried out searches on two Bengaluru-based business premises associated with defence consultant Sanjay Bhandari, who is under investigation for ascertaining the sources of about Rs.70 crore received by his companies between 2009 and 2014.

West Bengal: Cobra venom worth Rs 200 crore seized in Siliguri

Sun, 16 Oct 2016-11:12am , Alipurduar (West Bengal) , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cobra venom worth Rs 200 crore was seized from four persons in Siliguri in north Bengal, a forest official said on Sunday.The venom, kept in five containers, was recovered from four persons from a hotel when a group of forest officials approached them as buyers on Friday, Baikunthapur Forest Ranger Sanjay Dutta said.The seized venom was said to have come from France via Bangladesh to Balurghat in South Dinajpur district, he said.

AAP alleges Manohar Parrikar of demeaning armed forces, threatens to file police complain

New Delhi: The BJP-AAP war of words on cross-LOC surgical strikes on Thursday intensified as the Arvind Kejriwal-led party accused Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar of “demeaning” the armed forces and threatened to file a police complaint against him.

Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra called Parrikar “Shah Rangeela”, the Mughal Emperor who it is claimed indulged in merrymaking instead of paying attention to his empire, and said while a high alert has been issued across the country, the Defence Minister was busy “celebrating over the corpses of martyred soldiers”.

A file photo of Manohar Parrikar. PTIA file photo of Manohar Parrikar. PTI

A file photo of Manohar Parrikar. PTI

It also lashed out Parrikar for his remarks comparing the army to Hanuman.

On 1 October, at an event in Dehradun, Parrikar had made a reference to the Ramayana in which the monkey god crossed an ocean in a single stride after he was reminded about his extraordinary powers by Jamwant.

“Indian troops were like Hanuman who did not quite know their prowess before the surgical strikes,” Parrikar had said.

Addressing a news conference, senior party leader Sanjay Singh said by giving such a statement, Parrikar was insulting the army which has time and again proved itself and did a remarkable job in 1948, 1965, 1971 and Kargil war with Pakistan.

The AAP said it will approach the police to file a compliant against Parrikar in the matter.

Its attack came on a day Parrikar questioned the “loyalty” of those who doubted the Army and sought proof of surgical strikes across the LoC.

BJP had earlier accused AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal of seeking proof in the garb of his statement congratulating the PM and army on the surgical strike.

AAP also alleged that BJP was doing politics over surgical strikes and claimed that such a military operation was not carried out for the first time as being “tom-tommed” by the saffron party.

“BJP’s GVL Narsimha Rao said that for the first time the army has been made aware of its capability. By saying this, we are demeaning the military and its sacrifice. Such statements are shameful and both Parrikar and Rao should apologise to the armed forces,” Sanjay Singh said, adding that in the last 15 years, surgical strikes were carried out nine times.

The AAP leader’s criticism came after posters congratulating the Prime Minister came up across Delhi and also in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.

Mishra asked whether Parrikar has forgotten that army has been honoured with 21 Param Vir Chakra and 63 Ashok Chakra awards.

“You are not aware of army’s strength, which is why the BJP is kneeling before (PDP chief and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister) Mehbooba Mufti.

“Parrikar is not aware of army’s strength which is why you invited the ISI to investigate the Pathankot attack. Give army the free hand and then it will show the enemy its place,” Kapil Mishra said in his blog post.

On Tuesday, Mishra had publicly taken on Mehbooba at an event here asking her if she considered Burhwan Wani and Afzal Guru as terrorists or not, inviting protests from her entourage. Later he left the venue, saying he does not want to share the dais with her.

Taking a jibe at Prime Minister, Mishra said even Narendra Modi has not applauded the army. “They have made a 56 inch stage and the show is on.”

‘Kejriwal and Nirupam should ask for their parents’ wedding night video’: BJP MLA Rameshwar Sharma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the controversy surrounding Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam asking proof of the surgical strikes by the Indian Army refusing to die down, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Rameshwar Sharma on Wednesday stirred a fresh controversy with his remark wondering whether such people even ask the video proof of their conception from their parents. Sharma, the MLA from Bhopal, also said that the language and tone of Kejriwal and Nirupam sound similar to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. ‘Be it Arvind Kejriwal or Sanjay Nirupam or be it any other leader, those who speak against the Indian Army and those who don’t believe in the army, are those who will only believe in their lineage after watching the video of their parents wedding night,’ Sharma said.’The Indian Army has been sacrificing their lives and blood for the nation and those who don’t believe in them are traitors. They all are Pakistani agents. Their language and tone matches with that of Nawaz Sharif,’ he added.Kejriwal and Nirupam have been facing widespread criticism ever since they asked the Centre to release the video of the September 29 predawn surgical strikes carried out by the army across Line of Control (LoC).Kejriwal, however, later clarified that the reason behind his demand was to counter the false propaganda of Pakistan, which has been calling the strike as ‘farce’.Rejecting BJP’s criticism, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused it of playing politics over the anti-terror surgical strike and said why was the party “scared” when he had only asked the Prime Minister to counter the false propaganda by Pakistan. Maintaining that Aam Aadmi Party believes that surgical strikes did take place, Kejriwal said that in his video message yesterday he had only appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give a befitting reply.In a rare gesture, Kejriwal “saluted” Modi for the surgical strikes by the Army on terror launch pads across the LoC. At the same time, he had urged the Centre to counter the smear campaign by Pakistan and international media, but BJP alleged that Kejriwal had in the garb of his statement questioned the Army’s assertion on surgical strike and insulted the armed forces.”I have supported the Prime Minister, applauded the army. I only said that Pakistan is spreading false propaganda in the world that surgical strikes did not happen. We all believe that surgical strikes took place,” Kejriwal told reporters at the Jodhpur civil airport. “Pakistan is spreading the propaganda across the world and international media is running this that surgical strikes did not take place. I had only appealed to the PM that a befitting reply should be given to Pakistan.”If I said that we have to counter Pakistan’s false propaganda then why is the BJP so rattled and scared? We all have to counter Pakistan’s propaganda and we should all, irrespective of the party, strengthen PM’s hands in this,” Kejriwal said.Claiming that Kejriwal “sought proof” on the anti-terror operation, the BJP asked him not to belittle the armed forces by getting influenced by Pakistani “propaganda”. At a press conference today, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the AAP leader should answer whether he believed in the Indian Army or not. Kejriwal later retorted: “I am unhappy. Ravi Shankar ji is saying I am playing politics. Am I playing politics or they?””I and my party are with Narendra Modi in his every step against Pakistan and its mischiefs,” said Kejriwal.”It is time that all the citiznes and political parties are united and strengthen the hands of the prime minister against Pakistan,” he said. Earlier, Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam calling it “fake”, provoking stinging criticism from BJP even as his own party said it “totally dissociates” from his remarks. “Every Indian wants surgical strikes against Pakistan but not a fake one to extract just political benefit by BJP. politics over national interest(sic),” Nirupam tweeted, kicking up a row over the emotive issue.The Congress leader went on to demand “some evidence” to prove the surgical strikes did take place and accused the Centre’s ruling BJP of indulging in politics over the issue.With patriotic sentiments running high amid soaring tensions with Pakistan, Union Minister Uma Bharti said leaders who cast “doubt over the army’s surgical strike should take Pakistani citizenship”.”Those leaders who say that if Pakistan is demanding evidence about surgical strike, they should be given the evidence, such people should take the citizenship of Pakistan,” Bharti told reporters in Pune.The Congress had yesterday asked the government to put forth “credible” evidence of last week’s surgical strikes, carried out by the Army across the LoC, to “expose” Pakistan which has denied any such action.Congress senior spokesman Anand Sharma had also sought to dismiss the claim that the surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads was the first such retaliation by the Indian Army, insisting that it had responded earlier too “as per the need or provocation”.”Around a week ago when the DGMO on behalf of the government announced that a surgical strike has been carried out against the Pak terror camps in PoK, we all supported.Honourable Sonia Gandhi supported, Rahul Gandhi supported, even I personally supported it.But the way BJP has put banners all over the country, the way surgical strike is being politicised, used for political benefit and simultaneously from all over the world questions are being raised on the reality of the surgical strike, we have the questions to ask the government,” he said.Nirupam said the government will “have to come with some evidence” without compromising national security to give reply to the whole world.As the row erupted, Congress dissociated itself from Sanjay Nirupam’s remarks, saying it had taken a serious note of those.”Congress dissociates itself from Nirupam’s remarks and has taken a serious note. It’s time for the government to expose Pakistan’s malicious propaganda. The evidence should be made public,” said party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

Surgical strikes: Modi govt must handle unpleasant questions with maturity, not rancour

So, what if Sanjay Nirupam, Arvind Kejriwal or any ‘aam aadmi‘ raises questions on the surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army on 29 September?

Raising questions is the privilege a democracy offers to its citizens: The promise of free speech, not an anti-national activity, certainly (in this case) not disrespectful to our jawans who put their lives at risk at every moment of their lives, not just during surgical strikes. Every citizen of India has an absolute right to ask questions to the elected government, and guess what, even the unpleasant ones.

File image of Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam. AFP

File image of Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam. AFP

That’s what differentiates this country from a fake republic in our neighborhood where the government works by remote control.

Let’s get one thing clear. By making a big controversy out of such questions on an issue of national interest, we are making ourselves an object of ridicule and thus, belittling a brave act by our jawans. That is precisely what Union minister Uma Bharti did when she said in Pune that politicians who “doubt the army’s surgical strike should take Pakistani citizenship”.

“Those leaders who say that if Pakistan is demanding evidence about the surgical strike, they should be given the evidence; such people should take the citizenship of Pakistan,” Bharti told reporters in Pune.

Now, this isn’t the way to silence critics and questioners. The world is watching how the largest democracy in the world deals with criticism. We don’t want to send signal that we do so by awarding Pakistan citizenship to the questioners. There are two facts worth mentioning here that tells us why the Narendra Modi government needs to respond to questions on the surgical strikes.

First, that this wasn’t the first instance of across-the-LoC surgical attacks is something security experts have said on multiple platforms. Even during the time of the UPA government, there were cross-border raids. Former Congress minister P Chidambaram has gone on record as saying that the army had conducted major surgical strikes across the LoC in 2013.  It’s just that those operations were not announced to the world by the then government. The army was always vigilant and always did its job, whether or not its actions were publicised.

Second, no one can deny that for the Modi government, the recent surgical strike has been a major face-saver, after the Uri attack. Emotions were riding high and every Indian craved Pakistani blood — war or otherwise. Modi had good political reasons to walk the talk and show the world that the glory of his 56-inch chest isn’t a myth. If he failed to act, the inaction would have backfired badly.

If we don’t behave as a democracy in its true spirit, we are no different than them

War isn’t an option for either India or Pakistan; the government knew this well. The alternative, besides the diplomatic efforts, was to conduct an army strike in selective areas without escalating tensions beyond a point. This was particularly important ahead of the crucial state elections next year, and to justify his merit and present himself as the nation’s best political choice in the 2019 General Elections, which aren’t far.

Note that the announcement of the surgical strikes was done by the DGMO, not the defence minister. This was designed to give credibility to the entire exercise by letting the army say it in its own words. But that doesn’t mean the government isn’t answerable to the counter-questions on this subject. The simple reason is the obvious political gain for Modi and his government. This is evident from the way the BJP used this army operation to score a political point.

File image of P Chidambaram. PTI

File image of P Chidambaram. PTI

The jawan who risked his life in the darkness of 29 September doesn’t expect any congratulatory words or rewards. He does his duty silently and doesn’t need to explain this to anyone. The onus, obviously, lies with the elected government to answer the questions.

Nirupam and Kejriwal asked for proof of the action. Whether this question — doubting an army operation — is warranted or not is a matter of larger debate.

The question that should be asked is not whether the surgical attacks took place, but whether the attacks were over-hyped by the Modi government for political reasons. Whether or not this was the first-of-its-kind is a different issue. The narrative is what should be scrutinised. But the larger point here is how the government has dealt with the unpleasant questions.

In a multipolar political set up, political parties that are not in power are relevant only because they can question the ruling party’s actions on behalf of the people. The questions can be unpleasant and tough. If we start branding Kejriwal and Nirupam, or for that matter anyone, ‘anti-national’ for questioning the actual nature of surgical strikes, we are certainly not acting in the right spirit of democracy. The very idea that patriotism is a patented privilege only for those who toe the government line is flawed, if not alarming for a country that boasts the virtues of its democratic setup.

The Modi government should deal with such questions with maturity and a sense of responsibility (to the extent national security permits), instead of letting its ministers award Pakistani citizenship to questioners using the measure of patriotism. Creating an unnecessary controversy, we are making us and our army an object of ridicule. The Pakistani government and the anti-India elements (the real enemies of the State) they nurture, will be having a lot of fun watching the government suppressing questions with contempt, because that’s what they do in their country.

If we don’t behave as a democracy in its true spirit, we are no different than them.

Surgical strikes: Discussions on operations will be an insult to the Army, says Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: Hitting out at those “seeking proof” of the surgical strikes in PoK, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said further discussions on the operations will be an “insult” to the “commendable” task carried out by the Army.

“There is no need to respond to such irresponsible comments and demands. Fortunately, Congress has also realised its mistake and distanced itself from the comments of its leaders…AAP has also made it very clear,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

He said nobody has any doubt about the “credentials and commitment” of the Indian Army which has done a “commendable” job and further discussions on the operations will be an “insult” to the force.

Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

“I don’t think any Indian citizen has got any doubt. Nobody is doubting the credentials and commitment of the Indian Army. It did a commendable job…It would be an insult to the Army if we further discuss,” he said.

Naidu said the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) himself had given the statement about the operations in full details and also shared the information at an all-party meeting.

He wondered if giving further details will be in the interest of the nation.

Observing that entire country is happy about the surgical strikes, he said the world has also acknowledge the step taken by India.

“Only Pakistan is saying something because they have to say something. They are not in a position to conduct funera or last rites of their own citizens…This is their culture,” he said.

Earlier, addressing the event, the minister said India does not want war with anybody, but will give a befitting
reply if continuously provoked.

“…We never want a war with anybody. If somebody continuously provokes us, we will give them a befitting reply like our jawans gave the reply recently,” he said.

Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had accused the BJP of indulging in politics over national interest and called the surgical strikes on terror camps as fake, the comments which were slammed by his own party.

Cong steers clear of Sanjay Nirupam’s remarks, asks Modi to call Pak bluff

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress dissociated itself from its leader Sanjay Nirupam’s remarks on surgical strikes, saying it has full faith in the armed forces even as it asked the government to use “all information and evidence” at its disposal to call “Pakistan’s bluff” and expose its false propaganda.The party said it has taken serious note of Nirupam’s remarks calling the surgical strike “fake”, signalling trouble for the Mumbai Congress chief. It also claimed that similar surgical strikes had been undertaken in the past too but the information had not been made public in interest of national security.Party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala, however, steered clear of questions whether Nirupam and Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh who had also raised some doubts over the action of the armed forces, would be served show cause notices.”Indian National Congress disagrees completely from the statement of Sanjay Nirupam. It has taken a serious note”, Surjewala said insisting that the party has “full faith” in the bravehearts of Indian armed forces.Nirupam had tweeted that “every Indian wants surgical strikes against Pakistan but not a fake one to extract just political benefit by BJP. politics over national interest(sic).”Nirupam had later told reporters in Mumbai that it is up to the government to prove the surgical strikes did take place.Surjewala noted that party chief Sonia Gandhi has unequivocally supported Indian armed forces and the government on the issue of surgical strikes against terrorists in Pakistan as also in taking all steps for demolishing terror infrastructure against India.”We reaffirm the same,” he said.Insisting that there never has been a reason to raise a question or doubt on the statements by the DGMO on surgical strikes, he, however, said that government needs to “call the Pakistani bluff and false propaganda” on the issue.This, he said, should be done by the government using “all information, evidence and instruments at the disposal of Indian state”.”We are proud that even in the past our forces have successfully conducted such surgical strikes on numerous occasions,” the Congress spokesperson said.He said that forces had taken such action on September 1, 2011, July 28, 2013 and January 14, 2014 while “giving befitting reply to the enemy”. “In its maturity, wisdom and in the interest of national security, Congress government avoided making loud claim for the effective response and action of Indian Army, which had the full support of political leadership”, he said in the backdrop of BJP projecting the strikes as symbol of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “strong” leadership. Congress General Secretary Gurudas Kamat, a known Nirupam detractor, latched on to the Mumbai Congress chief’s tweet to tell partymen that no one should “abuse their positions to embarrass the party and the country”.Without naming Nirupam, Kamat tweeted: “Honble Congress President Sonia Gandhi & VP Rahul Gandhi had complimented the Indian Army & the Govt for Surgical Strikes against Pakistan.” “No one else in Congress should abuse their positions to embarrass the Party and the Country. #LoveYourArmy #TrustYourArmy(sic),” he said.At the Congress briefing, Surjewala wanted the Modi government “stop politicising” the sacrifices and bravery of Indian soldiers for “myopic political gain”. Surjerwala also targeted Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. “In a serious and challenging situation where Pakistan continues to export terror, like (the attack) in Baramulla yesterday, and commit ceasefire violations, we will like to ask Prime Minister, if the immature and casual statements being made by Parriker and other Union ministers have his sanction and support,” he said.Surjewala dismissed suggestions that Congress was speaking in the same voice as that of the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the issue of the surgical strikes. Army conducted surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads along the LoC on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from PoK.The next morning, the DGMO had given this information to the media in a press conference. Pakistan, however, has been dismissing the claim as “fabrication of truth” and said India was creating “media hype” by re-branding cross-border fire as surgical strikes.

Madhya Pradesh: 10 dead, 17 injured as bus falls into reservoir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ten were killed persons died and 17 others injured on Sunday when the mini-bus in which they were travelling fell into the backwaters of a dam at Pali village, around 50 km from Vidisha.”The 32-seater bus was on its way to Lateri in the district from Bhopal. It fell in the backwaters of Sanjay Sagar dam while crossing a bridge at around 3 PM,” Vidisha SP Dharmendra Choudhary told PTI.The deceased included four men, three women and three children. The injured were rushed to a hospital, he said. The victims drowned in the water which was 20-25 metre-deep and the death toll could rise as the rescue operation was going on, Choudhary said.Preliminary investigation suggested that the driver was speeding to reach the destination in time and lost control over the vehicle. Asked if the bus fell into the water after hitting a pothole on the bridge which had no railing, the SP said the probe is on.

Cartoon row: Ajit Pawar says Saamana cartoonist has been made ‘bali ka bakra’, Sena will pay heavily

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said on Thursday the Shiv Sena will pay heavily for “mocking and belittling” the Maratha community, adding that the ‘Saamana’ cartoonist has been made a scapegoat by the saffron party. The office of Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ at Sanpada in Navi Mumbai was stoned two days ago over a cartoon it had carried alluding to the ongoing Maratha rallies. The cartoonist Shrinivas Prabhudesai had expressed regret over his work on Wednesday.Addressing reporters in Mumbai on Friday, Pawar said, “People from across the political spectrum agree that the demands of the Maratha community are valid. At a time when they are organising peaceful and silent protests, the Sena is busy mocking and belittling them. I am 100% sure that they will pay a very high price for doing this.””While the cartoonist has expressed his regret, everybody knows that it is the editor of the newspaper, who is finally responsible for ensuring that no content that hurts sentiments gets published in his newspaper, or does not cause a law and order problem. In this case, the cartoonist was merely made a ‘bali ka bakra’ (scapegoat),” he said.
ALSO READ Sena’s mouthpiece publishes cartoonist’s apology after attack on office for ‘mocking’ Maratha protests’Saamana’ Executive Editor Sanjay Raut had said that there was no reason for him to apologise and that the cartoon had not caused any kind of dent or electoral damage to the party. Pawar further said the NCP has not yet got into an alliance with the Congress for the upcoming local body polls. “We are still in the process of a dialogue and no concrete decision has been taken as yet. But, this is clear…we want an alliance that gives us a respectable share of seats,” he said.”We will not back any Congress candidate until we have fixed a formula. If the Congress puts up its candidates without a consensus, we will put ours as well,” Pawar added.

Delhi shocker: 21-year-old woman stabbed 28 times by stalker, dies

Delhi has done it again. In a shocking and brutal case, a 21-year-old woman was stabbed 28 times by a stalker in Burari on Tuesday morning. The woman succumbed to her injuries. The heinous crime was caught on camera as news channels showed footage of a man repeatedly stabbing the woman. We are not embedding the video because of the disturbing visuals.

“The man was harassing my sister for a long time. He stays in Rohini. We had registered a complaint after which he had calmed down until now,” ANI quoted the victim’s brother as saying.

This crime took place just days after a 32-year-old married woman was stabbed to death allegedly by her lover on Sunday, who then committed suicide in southwest Delhi’s Inderpuri area.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The woman was stabbed by her 30-year-old lover Sanjay. “The woman knew Sanjay from before her marriage and the two were in a relationship,” the officer had said, adding that “their affair continued even after her marriage.”

The officer had also said that the woman “had stopped all contact and communication with Sanjay and started avoiding him. This had enraged Sanjay.”

According to the police, Sanjay confronted the woman on Sunday while she was returning home and they had a heated argument. In a fit of rage, Sanjay allegedly slit his wrist first and then allegedly stabbed the woman multiple times and inflicted more injuries on himself.

On Thursday, two teenaged girls were allegedly gang raped by five boys in Delhi’s Aman Vihar.

According to CNN-News18, the two girls were sitting in a park with their male friends when they were attacked by the five culprits.

Four of the accused have been nabbed by the police while one of the accused is absconding. The accused might be minors, according to the police.

Delhi registered 1,893 rape cases in 2015, or more than five per day, according to the Crime in India 2015 report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on August 30, 2016.

Delhi was followed by Mumbai with 712 cases, Jaipur (279), Pune (266) and Nagpur (166) among mega cities (population of one million or more) across the country. Delhi had reported three times as many rape cases (when rape cases considered only the female population and not the total population) as Mumbai in 2014.

Source: National Crime Records Bureau

Rapes registered declined in 2015, but this was not for want of trying, IndiaSpend reported in September 2016, since attempted rapes increased 4.8 percent. As many as 39 attempted rapes were reported in 2015 in Delhi, the highest number among mega cities; down from 59 cases in 2014.

As in 2014, Delhi reported more gang rapes than any other city, according to the same NCRB report: among the 1,893 rapes registered in 2015, 80 were gang rapes. Rapes in Delhi had tripled and the reform process promised after the 2012 Nirbhaya case had failed, IndiaSpend reported in August 2016.

With inputs from agencies and IndiaSpend

New Delhi: 28-year-old woman stabbed to death by stalker

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking incident, a 28-year-old woman was on Sunday repeatedly stabbed to death by a stalker in the national capital, two months after the victim registered a complaint against him.The incident took place near the victim’s house in West Delhi’s Inderpuri. According to Times of India, Laxmi, a mother of two, was stabbed by the accused Sanjay Kumar, who had been harassing her for six years.On Sunday evening, Kumar followed Laxmi on her way back from work. When she stopped at a grocery store to buy milk, Kumar slit his wrist with a kitchen knife, and later attacked her when she reached an abandoned park, family members of the victim said.However, when she escaped, Kumar chased her and stabbed her in the stomach. He also stabbed himself, they said. Both of them were rushed to the hospital where the victim was declared dead on arrival. Kumar succumbed to his wounds on Monday.According to the report, the police had arrested Kumar after the complaint has been filed against him, but the matter was resolved when his family gave the police a written undertaking saying he would not cause trouble for the victim. Despite this, Kumar would also call Laxmi several times a day asking her to meet him. He had also reportedly threatened her 11-year-old and 7-year-old children.

Search engines to block ads on sex determination

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Search engines Google, Yahoo and Microsoft on Monday informed the Supreme Court (SC) that they have developed a system to block advertisements on sex determination online.Appearing for the Centre, solicitor general Ranjit Kumar told the bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra that he has been apprised on Monday about the “proposed list of words” that would be “auto-blocked” by these engines.If someone searches for these words, the sites would give a warning and nothing would be reflected on the internet, as it is prohibited in India, he said.The companies told the court that they will comply with the provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic TechniquesAct as the Indian law prohibits pre-natal sex determination. They have identified 22 key words, including “sex determination” that will be harder to search.Petitioner Sebu George Mathew petitioner had moved the court, alleging that online search engines displaying ads of sex determination kits was a violation of laws in India.The PCPNDT Act was brought in to stop female foeticide and arrest the declining sex ratio in India. Under this Act, gender selection is prohibited. After the court’s direction, the Centre held a meeting with the search engine giants.Senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, counsel for the petitioner, pointed out that there are agencies which still publish advertisements.

A guy started a Twitter poll to see if India was ready for nuclear war with Pakistan. And everyone freaked out!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The abnormal is normal on Twitter but even then, there are times when one stumbles upon things that belies belief. On Sunday, in retaliation to the Uri attack that left 18 jawans dead, one Twitter user – Sanjay Dixit – actually started a poll asking Indians if there were ready to lay down their lives in case there was nuclear war between the two neighbours. While Yes was leading at 78% earlier, Pakistanis reportedly ‘hijacked’ the poll which led to 43% saying yes and 57% saying no. We wonder if Harry S Truman had a similar sort of discussion before deciding to bomb Nagasaki and Hiroshima.Twitter reactionsIn fact, India and Pakistan has once argued about attacking with a nuclear bomb. When the Modi government came to power, Nitin Gadkari and Pakistani analyst Tariq Pirzada had a shouting match where Pirzada said that Pakistan wouldn’t hesitate to use a nuclear bomb if India attacked Pakistan. Pirzada had threatened Gadkari: “… Pakistan itna powerful hai ki they’ll be able to wipe out New Delhi anytime if threatened!”He’s not the only one, recent Pakistani defence minister Khawaza M Asif also threatened to use nuclear weapons on India in this interview:

Parlakhemundi deaths: Odisha CM Patnaik orders probe into triple suicide case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the mysterious deaths of former manager of Parlakhemundi palace Anang Manjari Patra and her two siblings, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday ordered a probe by Crime Branch into the incident. “The chief minister has ordered Crime Branch of Odisha Police to probe into the mysterious death of former palace manager and her two siblings,” a release issued by the chief minister’s office said.The police on Sunday had recovered bodies of the former palace manager Anang Manjari Patra, her brother and Maharaja Gopinath Gajapati Narayan Deb’s ex-personal assistant (PA) Sanjay Patra and her sister Bijaylaxmi Patra in a house at Parlakhemundi. The police also found another sibling Santosh Patra in a critical condition in that house. Both the former manager and the ex-PA were accused of keeping the ailing Maharaj Deb under “house arrest” and “misappropriation of royal family properties”.Meanwhile, three suicide notes have been recovered from Anang Manjari Patra’s house, DGP K B Singh told reporters. He said the suicide notes were written in separate handwritings. “Four persons attempted suicide in Paralakhemundi. Three of them died and one was rescued alive. He is out of danger. Once he gains consciousness, we will get details about the incident. Meanwhile, we have recovered three suicide notes and we are examining them. We have sent forensic science team also,” Singh said.Soon after the Chief Minister ordered the probe, Special DG (Crime) BK Sharma said, “A six-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) will be formed for the investigation. The team will be led by an Additional SP and the SIT is likely to visit Parlakhemundi tomorrow.” The police on Sunday had found Sanjay Patra’s body hanging from the ceiling while bodies of Anang Manjari and her sister Bijaylaxmi were found in another room of the House. Santosh alias Tulu was rescued in critical condition from the kitchen, police said.Though prima facie it appears that the trio had committed suicide, the government ordered a crime branch probe as the family members of the victims suspect otherwise. Anang Manjari’s brother Amulya Patra, who was staying at another house in Parlakhemundi town, blamed the local MLA, a television channel and some other local leaders of creating a situation for which the four persons attempted suicide. He also alleged that the former employees of Paralakhemundi palace were under duress following the hue and cry over the allegation about them keeping the king under “house arrest and misappropriating royal property”.In a letter to the chief minister, the King’s daughter Kalyani Devi, who is currently staying in Chennai, had urged him to inquire into the property transactions of the royal family for the past 35 years. Cutting across party lines, local leaders had also demanded the arrest of Anang Manjari Patra and her brother Sanjay Patra. The police had also registered a case in connection with the alleged illegal transaction of royal properties and the King being kept under “house arrest”.After the allegations were made about the Maharaj being kept under “house arrest”, the Gajapati district administration had rescued him on August 15 and sent him for treatment to a private hospital in Chennai.

Defence firms under scanner for Sanjay Bhandari links

Some leading foreign defence firms, who are major players in the Indian market, have come under the scanner of investigating agencies for their alleged links with defence consultant Sanjay Bhandari who is being probe for alleged tax evasion. Sources said Bhandari’s call data records and documents seized from his premises during a recent IT search have allegedly showed that a number of officials from different foreign defence firms were in touch with him on a regular basis. He is said to have played a role in bagging contracts by the defence firms.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the companies claimed that they were touch with him and many Indian firms for offset obligations, investigating agencies believe there is more to it. Bhandari runs a company involved in carrying out offsets. During the searches carried out by the Income Tax department, papers of the Defence Ministry, including those related to a much-delayed proposal to buy mid-air refuellers, were allegedly found in his possession. Airbus, a contender for the contract, did not respond to emails sent by PTI asking if it was in touch with Bhandari. Investigators are now looking into how and why he got the documents.Another company under the scanner is French defence major Thales whose senior employees were in touch with Bhandari, the sources said, as per his call data records. “We understand from media reports that there is an ongoing investigation. We do not comment on the same,” Thales said in a statement said. “Bhandari is a key man linked to the world of defence deals. The current focus is to unravel his network,” one of the sources said, adding that some other companies too are being looked into.The Income Tax department had a few days ago carried out searches in half-a-dozen cities in connection with its probe into the alleged financial irregularities and suspected tax evasion in the DIAL-AAI deal relating to the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here. Premises of corporate consultant Deepak Talwar were also searched by the department. Talwar’s name has also come up during investigation into the Bhandari case. Officials remained tight-lipped about what else has come out in the raid on Bhandari and the exact involvement of defence firms. “It is a sensitive case and nothing more can be revealed as of now since a detailed probe into many aspects by various agencies is currently on,” another source said.

Nokia elevates Sanjay Malik to lead its India business

New Delhi: Nokia on Friday announced the elevation of Sanjay Malik as the new Head of India market, effective from August 1. He takes over from Sandeep Girotra, who will oversee the Asia-Pacific and Japan markets.



“In his new role, Sanjay will lead customer operations, drive the business growth strategy and superior customer engagement services for the India market. He will be based in Gurgaon,” a company statement said.

Malik is currently Head of Network Implementation at Nokia Global Services and is credited with efficiently driving growth and delivering strong performance both in terms of revenue and operational efficiency.

Girotra had been heading the Indian market since 2011.

Jharkhand: Policeman killed in encounter with Maoists

A police personnel was on Friday killed in an encounter with Maoists in Patharchhapra jungles of Giridih district today, the police said.Inspector General of Police (CRPF) Sanjay Anand Lathkar said the police personnel died in the encounter and his body was being brought to Pirtand in Giridih district. Giridih Superintendent of Police Akhilesh B Verior has rushed to the spot.

Not mandatory to disclose caste in application forms, rules Madras High Court

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday ruled that persons who do not wish to disclose their caste or religion in application forms for admission to educational institutions in the state, should not be compelled to do so.

Disposing of a PIL filed by one G Balakrishnan, the First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan, directed government to give wide publicity to a government order (GO) dated 31 July, 2000 in this regard.

The state government had issued the order with the avowed objective of having a casteless society, the bench said.

Madras High Court. Picture: News18Madras High Court. Picture: News18

Madras High Court. Picture: News18

Stating that counsel for the petitioner had submitted that the GO needed to be re-emphasised, the court directed the respondents to circulate the GO giving wide publicity “so that such persons who do not want to declare their caste or religion are not compelled to do so.”

The PIL was filed seeking a direction to educational authorities to take appropriate steps to implement the GO with regard to the non-insistence of religion and caste of the student who prefer to remain “without such narrow and divisive identities.”

The petition also prayed for appropriate instructions to to all educational institutions in the state to refrain from mentioning the religion/caste of the student in the Transfer Certificate issued by the institution concerned.

However, the bench refused to concede with the submission of the petitioner about not disclosing the caste and religion in the transfer certificate of students and said: “In so far as the transfer certificate is concerned, we cannot issue a mandatory direction that caste shall not be disclosed because some people may want to do so.”

“But if any person does not want the caste to be disclosed, we feel there is no need to mandatorily do so, keeping in mind the aforesaid government order.”

Madhya Pradesh: Accident on NH-7; two killed, 27 injured

Two persons were killed on Wednesday and 27 others injured, including 12 of them seriously, when the bus in which they were travelling hit a truck and overturned on National Highway-7 near Seoni.A bus carrying passengers from Jharia village to Lakhnadaun in the district hit a truck and overturned, leaving Sanjay Yadav (22) and Sonu Kahar (40) – both local residents – dead on the spot and injuring 27 others at NH-7, some 65 kms from district headquarters, Lakhnadaun police station inspector Shivraj Singh said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said the seriously injured have been rushed to the divisional headquarters, Jabalpur, for treatment adding that 15 others were being treated at a local hospital. Singh said initial investigations suggest that the bus driver, in a bid to save a motorcyclist, lost control over his vehicle and hit a truck and overturned.He said the driver of the rashly driven truck along with the conductor fled the spot. Police have registered a case and an investigation is on, the inspector added.

Thane to have special hospital for epidemics soon

Thane will soon have a special hospital to treat epidemics so that people do not have to go to Mumbai’s Kasturba hospital. The proposal, backed by Thane’s guardian minister and mayor, will soon be passed in Thane Municipal Corporation’s (TMC) general body meet this month.Whenever there is a widespread disease in Thane or an epidemic, the patients are sent to Kasturba hospital as the district does not have such a dedicated hospital. Such transfers are risky, expensive and time consuming.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hence, in a meeting Thane’s guardian minister Eknath Shinde, state health minister Dr Deepak Sawant and TMC officials recently, it was decided to set up a special hospital in the city.”The hospital will be built in Kharegaon in Kalwa on a four-acre plot and people from Thane, Kalyan, Dombivli, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Vasai-Virar, Mira road, Navi Mumbai, Shahpur, Dahanu, Mohada can come here for treatment,” said Thane mayor Sanjay More.”The proposal will be brought up in TMC’s general body meeting in June for approval; after which we will follow up the matter with the state government for funds,” he added.Thane district has a population of 2 crore, while the city of Thane has a population of over 23 lakh. Though the TMC has its own hospital and other health centres, people are dependent on Kasturba hospital for treatment of widespread diseases.Thus, the proposed hospital will ease the hardships of Thanekars as well as the entire district. To be built in a 1.70 lakh sqmtr area, the hospital will have 100 beds and will be as per Indian medical standards. It will have separate rooms for patients of contagious diseases and a 20-bed intensive care unit (ICU). A special ICU for children will also be there. It will have its own pathology laboratory, laundry section and other modern amenities.The hospital will be built at a cost of Rs37.05 crore and the yearly expenditure on its staff will be around Rs7.60 lakh.

Kejriwal seeks information on Modi govt’s consultants and officials

New Delhi: In a fresh salvo against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to name consultants hired by the Modi government since 2014.

In a hard-hitting response after the home ministry sought information about officials and consultants with the Delhi government, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader hoped similar facts were also being sought from other states.

File image of Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

File image of Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

“You have sought to know the number of IAS posts now held by other officers. As per my knowledge, there won’t be more than two or three such officers.

“I am confident that the central government would have also asked for this information from N Chandrababu Naidu, Vasundhara Raje, Devendra Fadnavis and Shivraj Singh Chouhan as well,” Kejriwal wrote in a letter.

The AAP leader said legal experts had told him the central government had no authority to seek this information from him.

Kejriwal remarked sarcastically that he was happy Modi was taking so much interest in the affairs of the Delhi government.

“The prime minister spends much of his time abroad. But when he is in India, much of his time is consumed on matters related to the Delhi government.”

Kejriwal then sought information about the number of consultants hired by the Modi government in the last two years.

He asked Rajnath Singh to tell him how many officers not from the IAS held posts meant for IAS officers in Uttar Pradesh when he (Rajnath Singh) was its chief minister.

Kejriwal’s letter came in response to a home ministry letter of May seeking details from the Delhi government about officers on deputation.

Kejriwal also asked Rajnath Singh to detail the steps taken by the central government to contain what he said was the deteriorating law and order situation in Delhi.

He said he was “worried” over rising incidents of crime in the capital.

“Day-by-day, incidents of rape are increasing. The law and order situation has been badly hit… There is jungle raj… As Chief Minister, I am worried.

“I request you to tell me what steps have been taken by the central government and the Lt. Governor to contain the situation.”

He asked Rajnath Singh to dedicate at least an hour every day on issues related to law and order in Delhi – till such time Delhi Police was made accountable to the elected government.

Earlier in the day, AAP leader Sanjay Singh accused Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung of “spying for the PMO” and alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wanted to destabilize the Delhi government.

Kejriwal also reiterated the claims made by Sanjay Singh.

“Shocking! LG snooping on CM (and) Ministers,” Kejriwal tweeted.

The remarks by the AAP leaders came after a published report said that Jung had complained to Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to Modi, that a railway officer was found working with the Delhi government while on study leave from his department.

Because of the national capital’s unique status, Delhi Police reports to the central government, not to the government headed by Kejriwal.

Kejriwal and his government have been feuding with the central government since taking power in February 2015 over issues of governance.

Kejriwal is pushing for full statehood for Delhi.

Maharashtra Sadan scam: Bombay HC extends interim relief to Pankaj Bhujbal

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday extended the interim protection from arrest granted to Pankaj Bhujbal, son of former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, and over 10 others who are facing charges of money laundering in Maharashtra Sadan scam.

While Pankaj, businessman Asif Balwa, Vinod Goenka and four others had challenged the non-bailable warrants (NBW) issued by a special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases, 11 others accused in the case had approached the HC seeking anticipatory bail following NBWs issued against them.

Justice Sadhana Jadhav, while hearing the petition of Pankaj and others challenging the NBW against them, said a single bench does not have jurisdiction to hear the petition and granted them liberty to move a division bench tomorrow.

While doing so, Justice Jadhav said she will extend the interim protection granted to the petitioners till June 10 by when they can approach a division bench.

Bombay High Court. Image courtesy: News18Bombay High Court. Image courtesy: News18

Bombay High Court. Image courtesy: News18

Meanwhile, another single bench of Justice PN Deshmukh extended till 1 July the interim protection from arrest granted to 11 others accused in the case.

The accused are Pravin Jain, Sanjiv Jain, Chandrasekhar Sarda, Jagdish Prasad Purohit, Bimalkumar Jain, Sanjay Kakade, Kapil Puri, Rajesh Mistry, Vipul Kankaria, Sailesh Mehta and Suresh Jajodia.

The court on Tuesday also allowed Sanjay Kakade to visit Hyderabad for a business assignment tomorrow and return by evening.

According to ED, the accused allegedly conspired with Chhagan Bhujbal, former PWD minister, to divert or ‘launder’ the “kickbacks” received by him through their firms.

The petitioners argued that the offences they are charged with are non-cognisable and warrants could not have been issued against them because they were not arrested during the interrogation which took place earlier.

On 30 March this year, ED had filed a 11,500-page charge-sheet naming Chhagan Bhujbal, Pankaj, Bhujbal’s nephew Sameer and firms such as D B Realty, Balwa group, Neelkamal Realtors and Builders, Neelkamal Central Apartment LLP and Kakade Infrastructure in connection with the case.

The charges relate to alleged irregularities in the construction of the state guest house Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi and the Kalina land-grabbing case in Mumbai.

Dadri: Bisada holds panchayat; demands filing case of cow slaughter against Akhlaq

A few speakers at a panchayat, organised in Dadri’s Bisada village on Monday to demand the filing of a case of cow slaughter against Mohammad Akhlaq, who was beaten to death last September by a mob on rumours that he ate beef, called for violence and extolled the virtues of cows.Mahesh Kumar Ahuja, a Shiv Sena leader, even asked people to have more children, so that they can be enlisted in the army. Organised by local BJP leader Sanjay Rana, it was attended by around 100 people, including members of Shiv Sena’s western UP unit, who did not shy away from making controversial remarks.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Wherever Muslim population is about 10%, there is no trouble. When their population exceeds 10%, trouble starts,” said Ahuja, who identified himself as the chief of Shiv Sena’s western UP unit.”In India, youth form 65% of the population. I would request people to have more than two kids. If you people do not have more kids, who will join the army and the police?” he said.The panchayat issued a 20-day ultimatum to the Uttar Pradesh government to register a case of cow slaughter against the family of Mohammad Akhlaq. Among the speakers were family members of those arrested for allegedly beating up Akhlaq to death at his residence in Bisada and attacking his family as well.”The Mathura lab report has revealed that it was cow meat. This proves that we are the real victims,” said local BJP leader Sanjay Rana, whose son and nephew have been accused of leading the mob that attacked Akhlaq’s family.”We are giving 20 days to the UP government to register a case against Akhlaq’s family. If it is not done, no one can stop our anger. Whatever decision is taken at the mahapanchayat that will be held after 20 days will be the responsibility of the UP government,” Rana said.Rana’s son Vishal and nephew Shivam have been accused of announcing from a temple loudspeaker that a calf had been slaughtered and asking people to gather outside the residence of Akhlaq. As per the case diary accessed by dna, Vinay, a UP home guard and an accused in the case, had said that Shivam had claimed that the meat being pulled by a dog was thrown to the street by Akhlaq.Vinay’s father, Om Mahesh, who also spoke at the panchayat, said: “My son was innocent and was given a clean chit earlier but was arrested under pressure. I got his name removed from the statement of Akhlaq’s daughter but later his (Akhlaq’s) son (Danish) was made to name my son. The UP government is doing injustice to us. Do Hindus not vote at all? Do only Muslims vote?” said Mahesh.Om Prakash, father of another accused, said: “It is not Akhlaq who has been killed but a killer of a cow”.The panchayat took an even more bizarre turn when village elders began to speak. While Vijay Pratab Sisodia lamented the loss of a blacksmith (Akhlaq was one), he said that Akhlaq did not die of beating but due to mob fear. Bhag Singh, former village head of Bisada for 15 years, received quite an applause when he said, “marenge nahim, marenge (we will not die, we will kill)”, if UP government does not take action against Akhlaq’s family.There was heavy police deployment in the area, which has been under Section 144 since last year’s panchayat election. Meanwhile, a juvenile-accused was released on bail on Monday.

1993 blasts case: Prosecution says it doesn’t need approver

The prosecution in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case on Monday said it had enough evidence against the accused and did not want any approver. Firoz Khan, one of the accused, had applied to the special TADA court seeking to become an approver and get pardon. “We told the court that we don’t want any approver in the case as there is enough evidence,” Special Prosecutor Deepak Salvi said. Judge GA Sanap is likely to hear Khan’s application tomorrow. The court is hearing final arguments in the case. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven accused — extradited gangsters Abu Salem, Mustafa Dosa, Karimullah Khan, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, Tahir Merchant and Abdul Quayyum — are facing trial in the case in which the court had earlier convicted 100 men, including Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. The trial of these seven men was separated as they were arrested later. As many as 257 people were killed in thirteen powerful blasts in Mumbai on March 12, 1993.

New Delhi: Hospital guard arrested for beating patient for not following queue

A woman guard posted at Sanjay Gandhi Hospital was on Tuesday arrested for allegedly beating up a patient for not following the queue.According to a senior police official, one patient along with her daughter had come to the OPD. “As it was a long queue, the patient tried to jump and when the lady guard objected to it, they entered into an argument,” said a police officer. “The lady guard slapped the patient and later another lady guard started beating her. However, the matter was resolved only after the intervention of other people present in the area,” said police.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The guard was arrested under section 323 (assault), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 34 (common intention) and was later released on bail. A purported video depicting the incident surfaced which showed the guard slapping the patient and both pulling each other’s hair in the end. Sources said that a inquiry has been ordered in the incident.

Only development which has happened is on front of communalism: Sanjay Jha on Modi govt

Congress claimed that the “honeymoon phase” of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government is over and people have started questioning the Centre. “The honeymoon phase of Modi-led government is over and it cannot be extended further anymore. In a democracy, people have the right to question the government and it has already started with the Centre,” Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Releasing a book on the “failures” of the Modi government in the last two years, he alleged that “the only development which has happened is on the front of communalism”. “Opposition parties like Congress and the media have seen this development of communalism happening during the current government’s tenure,” Jha alleged, adding “a dangerous communal environment has been created in the country through issues like ‘ghar wapsi’ and ‘beef ban'”. He also claimed that BJP’s aim to have ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ is a product of their “inner-hatred towards secularism”.Claiming that the voice of dissent against the Modi-led government has been “suppressed systematically”, the Congress spokesperson said, “We should fear as the country is in hands of a government that knows to manipulate sentiments of people.”

Activists want GMO-free and chemical-free India by 2020

A group of activists promoting organic farming launched ‘jaivik kranti’ (organic revolution) against genetically modified crops and use of pesticides in agriculture for protecting biodiversity through a five-year action plan.The group also organised a dialogue today where state government representatives from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana held discussions on farmer suicides, biodiversity loss, drought situation in the country and pulses and oil seed crises. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The group will target 11 states and 101 cities across the country to create 1001 ‘javik grams’ (organic villages) with the support of 5,000 local women’s food processing units. Each ‘jaivik gram’ will have a seed bank and an operation ‘ghani’ (cold press) and ‘chakki’ (flour mill).”We want GMO-free and chemical-free India by 2020. We want governments and ordinary citizens to realise that the GM miracle and chemical miracle is false miracle. We have paid too higher prices and we will not pay that price because we have better systems,” environmental activist and founder of Navdanya, Vandana Shiva.She was addressing a press conference on the issue that was also attended by Maharashtra MP Sanjay Dhotre and Maharashtra governments’ Special Task Force Chairman Kishore Tiwari.”The problem of farmer suicide and water loss in Maharastra is caused by killer crops like sugarcane and BT Cotton. More than 50 per cent of the area in Vidarbha and Marathwada should be given food crop cultivation including pulses, oil seeds and millets,” Kishore said.The government has recently capped royalty for the new genetically modified (GM) traits at 10 per cent of the maximum sale price of BT cotton seeds for the first five years in a bid to regulate the cotton seed market. PTI HC UZM

Simhastha-Kumbh Mela: 19 devotees hurt in bus-truck collision

Atleast 19 devotees from Gujarat on their way to Simhastha-Kumbh Mela underway in Ujjain were injured on Friday, three of them seriously, when the bus carrying them collided with a truck in Patharpada village near here.The ill-fated tourist bus from Vadodara in Gujarat was heading for Kumbh via Badhnawar area when a truck-laden with soyabean oil cans coming from Petlawad area here collided head-on, District Superintendent of Police Sanjay Tiwari said. He said the three seriously injured have been admitted to a hospital at Dahod in Gujarat.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A case has been registered and a probe is on.

Senior bureaucrat serves legal notice to Sushil Modi

BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi has been issued legal notice by senior bureaucrat K K Pathak, who alleged that the legislator made derogatory remarks against him on the issue of prohibition.In the legal notice served to Modi yesterday through his counsel Sanjay Singh, Principal Secretary (Excise, Provision and Registration) Pathak, has asked the BJP leader to clarify within 15 days whether he had made those remarks or the media reported the same on its own. Annexing a copy of the report published in a vernacular daily on May 5, Pathak described Modi’s reported remarks as “indecent, unlawful, disgraceful and derogatory” and added that his “sentiment and dignity have been hurt by it”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He regretted that Modi allegedly used words like ‘nirankus’ (autocrat) and ‘sanki’ (eccentric) against him and said that he is a “public servant whose his duty is for betterment of public safety and security”, besides his actions are always “under control of the government and the honourable court”. Asserting that there is a provision for annual health check of serving bureaucrats under their service rules, Pathak said Modi, being a former deputy chief minister, finance minister and labour minister of Bihar himself, is supposed to know about it.Pathak has been under sharp attack from the opposition for strict enforcement of prohibition in Bihar which came into force from April 5, under which consumption, manufacturing and transportation of all types of liquor and palm juice, called Tadi in local parlance, is strictly banned in the state.

Uttar Pradesh Elections: Battle royale in Amethi on the cards

The stage is set for a battle royale of sorts in the famous constituency of Amethi which has been a pocket borough of the Gandhi-Nehru family. Rahul Gandhi represents Amethi in the Lok Sabha. Earlier, Sonia, Rajiv and Sanjay Gandhi have held the seat.The VIP seat is readying for a contest between senior Congress leader Sanjay Sinh’s present wife Amita Sinh nee Modi and ex-wife Garima Singh, who is preparing to contest on a BJP ticket.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sanjay Sinh, who presides over the 1,200-year-old Amethi royal family, has been so rattled by the development that he has had to issue a written statement to salvage the situation.Worse, the controversy comes at a time when the Congress high command is said to be considering Sinh for UP Congress presidentship. Interestingly, Sinh had won the Amethi Lok Sabha seat on a BJP ticket in 1998.Sinh’s son from Garima, Anant Vikram Singh, who is the legal scion of the royal family, has announced that his mother would be contesting the 2017 Assembly election from Amethi as a representative of the royal family.”My mother’s name has been proposed as a BJP candidate from Amethi for the upcoming election, and we are awaiting the green signal from the party leadership,” Anant told reporters in Amethi. Earlier, Anant was himself reported to be preparing for a contest against his step-mother. But he has denied these reports.The sudden development has apparently taken Sanjay Sinh by surprise. “I had divorced Garima Singh and for the past 28 years, there has been no relation between us,” he said in a statement released to the media.Anant and his mother have been occupying a portion of the royal palace in Amethi despite severe opposition by Sanjay and Amita. The dispute over the palace has often erupted into violent skirmishes, one of them even marked by firing and death of a policeman in 2014.In his statement, Sinh said he was the head of the royal family and Anant had no authority to declare who would represent them in the election. “Anant has committed the crime of insulting his ancestors, getting carried away by the advice of some immature people,” Singh stated.Sinh had married Amita, an ace badminton player, after the mysterious murder of her husband and eight-time national badminton champion Syed Modi. The murder, of which Sinh was also an accused, was investigated by the CBI for several years but the probe remained inconclusive.

AAP leaders turn up at DU to check Modi’s degree, VC tells them to come back tomorrow

AAP leaders including Ashish Khaitan, Ashutosh and Sanjay Singh turned up at DU to check out PM Modi’s degree but were told that the VC was busy.Ashish Khetan was quoted saying by NDTV: “We want to meet the VC so that the truth comes out. They’re telling us he’s busy.” Sanjay Singh added that there was an atmosphere of fear, and wondered why they wouldn’t reveal the details.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier in the day, Ashutosh had tweeted: Last week we had gone to DU to find out truth about Modi’s degree but were denied any excess or information.Today we will go again.”
ALSO READ Modi degree row: Why Arvind Kejriwal’s claims fall flatThey claim that the VC had told them to come back on Wednesday.
ALSO READ Modi degree row: Delhi University says different names is only a ‘spelling mistake'”Docs in DU have been sealed. BJP presents Farzi docs in a PC n gets real records sealed? Why? Implement CIC order. Allow inspection,” Kejriwal tweeted.Earlier, addressing a press conference, AAP leader Ashutosh said Modi’s name does not match with what has been mentioned in the BA marksheet and the MA degree and claimed there were discrepancies in the year of passing as well.”Nakal ke liye bhi akal ki zarurat hai (One needs brains even to copy). The BA marksheet is dated 1978 while the degree is of the year 1979. His name in the BA marksheet is Narendra Kumar Damodardas Modi while in Masters degree, it is Narendra Damoderdas Modi,” said the AAP leader.He further said, “1975 marksheet has the PM’s name as Narendra Kumar Damodardas Modi, the 1976 one spells it as Narendra Damoderdas Modi and the 1977 one spells it as Narendra Damodardas Mody. “His MA degree says he had done his post-graduation in ‘Entire Political Science’. Is that even possible ? There are a lot of glaring discrepancies in his degrees and masters’ degree,” said Ashutosh.”If degree is of the same student, why did the name and the roll no. change from 1977 to 1978? Was there a change of name executed? Why was there a change of roll no.?” it asked.It also alleged that the roll number was missing from the MA certificate. “The degree in 1983 appears to have been prepared by someone who doesn’t usually do the task; missing roll no. and use of extraneous ‘Entire’ is glaring,” it said. Shiv Sena backs PM over degree row Asserting that the nation doesn’t run on educational qualifications, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday said the row over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degree is uncalled for, adding one must instead shift their attention on grave issues, including drought and unemployment.”A country doesn’t run on degrees. Who has what degree, a country doesn’t run on that. What is one’s experience of administration, what are the sentiments on the basis of which one will administer is important,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told ANI.”This degree controversy is uncalled for. There are many more problems in the country such as drought, unemployment. Nobody is talking on such important issues. I will say if our PM does not have a degree and he is running the nation well then this degree row should end immediately,” he added. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released Prime Minister Modi’s college degrees and demanded an apology from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his desperate attempts to turn a ‘blatant lie into truth’ by questioning his educational qualification.However, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said the college degrees of the Prime Minister as shown by BJP president Amit Shah and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were ‘fake and forged’.

Maha govt to declare drought in over 29,000 villages, HC told

In the wake of acute water shortage in various parts of Maharashtra, the state government has informed the Bombay High Court that it would declare drought in over 29,000 villages in the state and all relief prescribed in the Drought Manual, 2009 would be provided.The government in its reply to a batch of PILs on water shortage issue, has told the court that it would issue a corrigendum and clarify that wherever reference is made to a ‘drought-like situation’ and ‘drought-affected areas’, the same should be read as ‘drought’. The affidavit said last week the government was strictly implementing various schemes and taking various measures to mitigate the water scarcity in drought-hit areas and more particularly in Marathwada and Vidharbha regions.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court also took note of the contention of Acting Advocate General Rohit Deoit that it would not be possible for the government to supply drinking water daily to all districts but it would be supplied on a regular basis.Deo assured the court that potable water would be supplied to all districts affected by drought regularly till the onset of the monsoon. The government had earlier told the high court, which is hearing the PILs, that it had declared ‘drought-like situation’ in over 29,000 villages in Maharashtra.One of the petitioners, Sanjay Lakhe Patil had alleged last week that the government has failed to implement the Drought Manual of 2009 as well as the Drought Management Plan, 2005. He had submitted that the state government has deliberately not declared drought in Maharashtra or in the actually affected areas.”This was done in order to ensure that additional relief which is normally given to villages which are declared as drought-hit villages is not given and these villages have been avoided,” Patil had argued. After perusing the affidavit, the court had noted, “Prima facie we are satisfied that the government has given a serious thought and has considered this issue in detail and is taking immediate steps for the purpose of ensuring that in the month of May and part of June this year all adequate measures as mentioned in the Drought Manual are being undertaken.” The court posted the petitions for hearing on May 24 to ensure that the government is implementing the provisions under the manual.

AAP hold rallies against ‘BJP-Congress corruption alliance’, over 300 detained

Over 300 AAP supporters and some party leaders were on Saturday detained as they took out a protest march towards the residence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging a BJP-Congress alliance in corruption.Following a rally at Jantar Mantar, where party chief Arvind Kejriwal and its top brass attacked Modi and his government for not taking action against Sonia Gandhi in AgustaWestland chopper scam, groups led by Sanjay Singh and Kumar Vishwas went to gherao residences of the Prime Minister and the Congress President.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kejriwal left the venue before the protest march began. Several AAP MLAs, including Deputy Speaker of the Delhi Legislative Assembly Bandana Kumar, participated in it.Police, which had made extensive preparations by putting up three layers of barricades, detained senior AAP leaders Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Dilip Pandey along with party volunteers, and took them to Parliament Street police station.”Over 300 people were detained from the first layer of barricade in Parliament Street as they started their march from Jantar Mantar. And over 100 were detained in the morning. They were a separate group who had reached near Tughlaq Road police station, which is near the PM’s residence, to protest.”The protesters were detained under Section 144 of CrPC. They have all been taken to Parliament Street police station,” DCP, New Delhi, Jatin Narwal said.

All for 10 grace marks: Badminton star Prajakta Sawant moves Bombay High Court

International badminton player Prajakta Sawant has approached the Bombay High Court (HC) seeking directions to the Mumbai University to grant her 10 grace marks in one subject under the sports quota.Sawant is a commerce student at Rizvi college, Bandra. Last year, she scored 19 marks in business management and could not clear the subject.After revaluation, she scored two extra marks, still short of nine. The university can grant her those extra marks as grace marks under the sports quota.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In August last year, the college provided her a letter addressed to the director of physical education and sports, requesting the authority to grant Sawant 10 marks under rule 0.229 of the Mumbai University Rules and Regulations.However, Sawant or the college did not receive any response to the letter. Following this, she sent a letter to the vice chancellor. When she didn’t get a reply to this letter as well, she moved the HC.Mumbai University vice chancellor Dr Sanjay Deshmukh said: “If the matter is in court, it would be improper to comment at this point of time.” Registrar Dr M A Khan said: “We will have to verify the facts of the case and then only a decision can be taken.”In her plea, Sawant said that she has been representing India for the last nine years, in the sub-junior, junior and senior levels in singles/doubles and mixed doubles.She has won 12 international medals and her name figures in the Limca Book of Records in 2010 for being the first Indian girl to win a gold medal in the sub-junior Asian Badminton Championship.The petition prays directions to the university to grant her the grace marks. The petition came up for hearing on April 28, and the court has directed the university to file its reply and posted the matter for further hearing in June.

Russian national alleges rape by guest-house owner in Goa

A 25-year-old Russian woman has allegedly been raped by the owner of a guest-house where she was staying, Pernem police said on Friday.The incident took place on Thursday morning when the girl was asleep in her room, Inspector Sanjay Dalvi said. The accused has been identified as James D’Souza, owner of Morjim Club guest house, and has gone missing after the complaint was filed.”Medical examination of the woman has confirmed rape,” Dalvi said.The victim was supposed to leave the country in the first week of May.

‘Can’t take that sight no more’: Bengaluru citizens take up fight against visual pollution

The 10-year old’s voice booms across the street, inviting morning walkers and passers-by. A jogger stops to volunteer and is soon scrapping layers of paper and paint off a lamp post. Like him, about 200 Bengaluru citizens have taken it upon themselves to strip the city of illegal posters, hoardings and bills — ugly eye sores that don pillars, lampposts and walls of public utility buildings.

“It’s taken three of us 20 minutes to clean one pillar,” says another volunteer Lalitha. “There are about seven to eight layers of bills stuck on top of each other,” she tells us as he sprays water on the pillar to soften the posters and then scrape them off, inch by inch.

A screenshot from the video.A screenshot from the video.

A screenshot from the video.

The posters, bills and hoardings made of flex are of all shapes and sizes. The content too is as varied. There are larger than life faces of local corporators and MLAs, dotted by smaller faces of areas representatives, sidekicks and me-toos. Then, there are posters of films that you wouldn’t normally see advertised in the papers. As you peel the layers from the walls, you find a world of information — bills that say “house for rent”, “cook available”, “call for massage” and a lot more.
Of course, it’s anybody’s guess as to how many people stand in the middle of the road, take down numbers from these bills and make the call.

These posters staring at us at every nook and corner have ruined the city’s façade. In 1981, the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act came into force. The High Court too has rapped the civic authorities on several occasions, directing it to control the “menace”. But despite a 30-year old law, there is no stopping the law breakers.

“There is no point cribbing”, says Kavitha Reddy, one of the organisers of ‘KillBills’, the drive against illegal posters. “Citizen participation is equally important for ensuring that the city is cleaner, greener and visually less polluted. There is no point in cynicism. We need to reclaim the city from polluters. Hopefully this will also wake up the BBMP.”

On day one of the #KillBills drive, citizens managed to scrape off illegal posters from 12 areas in Bengaluru, including Indiranagar, HSR layout, Sanjay Nagar and Bellandur. Twenty-four tractor loads of illegal bills and posters made their way to the scrapyard. So far 30 kilometres of Bangalore has got ridden of visual pollution. But this is just the very beginning. There are still 680 square kilometres more to go.

PM travels abroad, but should spend a day each in drought-hit regions: Shiv Sena

New Delhi: Shiv Sena member Sanjay Raut on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to spend a day each in drought-hit Bundelkhand and Marathwada so that his government can take steps to solve the problems faced by the affected people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

He also asked how can one expect thirsty and hungry people to raise ‘Bharat Mata ki jai‘ slogans.

“Our respected Prime Minister travels within the country and abroad. But I request him to go to Bundelkhand and Marathwada for a day each. I am sure he will go and after seeing the conditions of people he will take steps to alleviate the problems,” Raut, whose party Shiv Sena is  NDA constituent, said in Rajya Sabha.

In a hard-hitting speech during a discussion on drought, he said people hit by drought, even though they have ‘Bharat Mata’ in their hearts, have empty stomachs and are thirsty.

“I don’t want to link it with religion, but to hunger. Those who are famished and have become paupers, how do you expect ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ (slogans) from them, we will have to think,” Raut said.

Referring to the slogan of “Congress-mukt Bharat” given by the Prime Minister, he said “first we have to create a drought free and poverty free India. When the country becomes drought free, it automatically will become Congress free.”

“We believe that Pakistan is our greatest enemy,” but hunger and poverty are even greater enemies, he said. “We have talks with Pakistan, they can be held. But the poor, who are leaving there homes, discussions should be held with them also,” the Shiv Sena member added.

Referring to a statement by a bank official that farmers cannot live by farming alone and there is a need for them to have other sources of income, he said when even MGNREGA was not being implemented properly, such people were talking of additional income sources for the poor.

“(Vijay) Mallya escaped after taking away Rs 850 crore of State Bank and you can do nothing, but a farmer who owes a few thousands, you take action against him,” Raut said, adding that people in Maharashtra were living in grave difficulty.

“We talk of ‘achche din‘ but the responsibility of providing water to people is also ours,” he said.
Raut said the problem of drought was not of one state but of several states and added that over 200 districts were affected and many people cannot even get rice or pulses to eat.

Outcome of Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary talks will be futile: Shiv Sena

The Shiv Sena on Tuesday said the outcome of the meeting between the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the ‘Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process’ conference in New Delhi, would be futile.”We have become tired speaking on this issue (Indo-Pak talks). What would be the benefit of these talks? The two prime ministers met in Lahore. But then what happened. We had the Pathankot terror attack,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There is no use of these stop-start talks. We know the outcome, it’s futile. The people of this country have been bored with such moves by the government,” he added.Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry held bilateral talks focusing on a range of sticky issues including Pathankot terror attack probe, the first such formal meeting between the two top diplomats after talks were deferred in January following the strike by Pakistani terrorists.They are also believed to have deliberated on ways to take forward the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD) which has been stagnant.​India has been pressing for action against terrorists responsible for the audacious attack on the premier IAF base, to move ahead in the talks.