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Ensure benami properties law won’t hit common man: Shiv Sena to PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the proposed law against ‘benami’ properties would not hit the common man as hard as the demonetization measure that has “harried the middle class”.Vowing to carry forward the war against corruption and black money post-demonetization, Modi had on Sunday said the government will soon operationalise a strong law to effectively deal with ‘benami’ properties.”Modi launched a surgical strike against black money to weed out money stashed abroad. But the truth is, not a single penny has been recovered. The rich of the country have incurred not even a dime’s loss after the demonetization, whereas the commonman has been harried,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.”Now what is the government’s plan against benami properties? We hope that the middle class citizens are not crushed under the harsh steps taken by the government as did happen after demonetization. Hope that the real benami property holders do not legalise their properties while common man is stripped naked,” the ruling alliance partner said.It also said the steps taken against the rich and black money holders in fact had an adverse effect on the common people.Once an announcement on benami properties is made, those possessing estates will convert all of it into “white” within 24 hours, like hundreds of crores were converted into “white” after the demonetization decision, the Sena said.”It seems that laws are only meant to safeguard the rich while the poor get crushed under them,” it further said.The party also said that those who were hailing the surgical strike across the LoC have now stopped doing so after continued attacks by the neighbouring nation killed over 50 soldiers since the Indian military action.The Sena also sought to know from the government if it will ensure that Kashmiri Pandits get their “fair share” of land back in Kashmir before it starts accumulating ‘benami’ properties.

Home for reptiles: 70 snakes found from an apartment in Pune

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 70 snakes mostly deadly Russell’s vipers and cobras illegally kept for extracting venom have been seized from a residential apartment in Pune where a man was living with his wife and children. Ranjit Kharage (37) was arrested along with his alleged accomplice, identified as Dhananjay Belkute (30), for allegedly keeping the snakes in wooden boxes and gunny bags for extracting and selling venom, police said on Tuesday.The seizure was made on Monday from the rented apartment of Kharage, where he was living with his family. “We recovered 41 Russell’s vipers and 31 cobras from one of the rooms in the flat and investigations have revealed that the duo allegedly extracted venom from these reptiles and used to sell or smuggle it,” said a police inspector, attached to Chakan Police station.A case has been registered against the duo under relevant sections of Wildlife Protection Act, he said. According to police, they received a tip off on Sunday that snakes had been kept in a flat in the outskirts of Chakan, following which a team of police raided the place. “When we went there, Kharage was not at home. However, his wife and children were present. We found that the snakes were kept in wooden boxes and gunny bags in the flat and even children knew about it,” said the police officer.Since it was dark, the search team evicted the occupants, locked the house and the next morning all snakes were seized. “Investigations revealed that the duo used to get snakes from jungles and even from snake catchers in the area for venom extraction and smuggling,” he said.Police also found some venom stored in small bottles in the possession of the two. All the seized snakes would be handed over to forest officials, police added.

It’s raining cash | Watch: Audience showers Rs 40 lakh on Gujarati folk singers

Mon, 26 Dec 2016-02:05pm , Navsari , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At a time when people are facing a cash crunch, residents in Gujarat’s Navsari district, showered Rs 40 lakh on folk singers during a musical event.The event was organised by the Shri Gurjar Kshatriya Kadia Samaj on Sunday night.The audience showered Rs 10 and Rs 20 currency notes on folk singers Farida Mir and Mayabai Ahir.The organizers, however, claimed that the money collected during the program will be used for social work.Earlier, new Rs 2000 notes were showered on folk singer Kirtidan Gadhvi in the Palanpur area of Gujarat’s Banaskantha district. The event was organised by the Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple.

Mumbai: Fire destroys Sydenham Management Institute’s library

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The library of Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education (SIMSREE) was destroyed after a fire broke out at the College building in Churchgate on Sunday morning.Books, wooden furniture, and computers on the third floor of the Institute were destroyed. The fire spread rapidly because of books and wooden furniture​. Though the exact reason for the fire is not known yet, a short-circuit is believed to have caused the fire.“The entire floor will have to be cordoned off for some time. Students are on a term break at present, but once classes begin on January 2, we will need to find classrooms. We are yet to assess the total damage,” an official from the college told Hindustan Times.Official said that the restoration work will take time.“We received a call at 5.21 am and the blaze was doused by 7.30 am. As it was a holiday, crowd management wasn’t a problem.” said an official from the fire department.Four fire tenders and seven water tankers were sent to the spot. Fire officials suspect that a short-circuit may have caused the fire, but it is yet to be confirmed.

Parrikar, Naik at loggerheads over Madkaikar’s entry in BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The entry of former Congress legislator Pandurang Madkaikar into Goa BJP, has led to a war of words between two union ministers Manohar Parrikar and Sripad Naik, with the latter claiming that he was not consulted on the latest induction.”I was not consulted before taking decision to allow Madkaikar enter the party. I was just told at the last minute. I was not in favour of the decision,” Naik said.Naik is apparently upset as his son Siddhesh was hopeful for a ticket from Cumbharjua constituency which was represented by Madkaikar before joining the BJP.Madkaikar joined the party last week after which Parrikar had addressed the Vijay Sankalp rally in Cumbharjua constituency during which he amply made it clear that the three-time MLA (Madkaikar) would be contesting on the BJP ticket from that constituency.However, Parrikar claimed, talking to mediamen on Sunday that “as far as Sripad Naik is concerned he was totally taken into confidence before the decision (of Madkaikar’s entry) was taken.”Naik, who is union AYUSH minister, however, claimed that he was consulted just as a formality.He said he was informed after the decision was taken.”Such induction is against the principles of the party. I will take up the matter before party leaders in Delhi,” Naik said.Madkaikar, a former BJP minister had left the party to join the Congress. He left the Congress last week claiming that the party had no future in Goa.

Delhi: Brace yourself for foggier days ahead, says IMD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Delhiites gear up to usher in the New Year in style, weather might play a spoilsport, with dense fog and smog expected in the coming week. The national Capital was engulfed in a thick layer of fog on Sunday, resulting in a low visibility of around 300m.At 8.30am, visibility was recorded at 600m. It dropped down to 300m at 11.30am, before improving a bit three hours later. A shallow layer of fog enveloped the city till afternoon, while sun was not visible throughout the day. Maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded at 24.5 degrees Celsius and 8 degrees Celsius, respectively.According to an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official, the maximum temperature was expected to rise in the coming week, with shallow fog likely to occur in Delhi-NCR, especially on December 29 and 30. The weatherman said the maximum humidity was recorded as 98 per cent, whereas minimum was at 91%. “Though the weather was quite pleasant on Sunday, the coming days might be a little warmer, as maximum temperature is going to increase,” said R Vishen, Scientist-In-Charge, Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), IMD.Meanwhile, despite the weather helping, air quality in the Capital remained in the “very poor” category. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Sunday marked the Capital’s air under “very poor” category. “The winter has finally begun to set in and there will be more smog in the coming days. The air quality might even reach the “severe” category,” said Anumita Roy Chowdhury, Head of the Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) clean air campaign.In the neighbouring east and west Uttar Pradesh, moderate fog with isolated dense fog in many areas is expected to build up in the next few days. This weather spells trouble for people with asthma and a weak immune system.

Kerala: Stampede in Sabarimala temple amid heavy rush; 40 injured, 3 critical

Sabarimala : At least 40 pilgrims were injured, three of them seriously, in a stampede at the Sabarimala temple on Sunday night after a barricade gave way in the huge rush, authorities said.

Due to the heavy rush, a rope barricade between ‘Sannidhanam’ and ‘Mallikapura’ snapped and the pilgrims, who were leaning on it fell on each other, Pathnamthitta District Collector R Girija told PTI.

According to ANI, Ayyappa Dharma Sena President Rahul Easwar has said that the situation has been brought under control.

The injured were initially taken to the Sannidhanam hospital of which two seriously injured were shifted to Kottayam medical college hospital and three others to Pamba hospital, she said.

The two grievously injured pilgrims have suffered head and rib injuries but they are conscious, she said. There was a heavy rush of pilgrims today, the penultimate day before the culmination of 41-day ‘mandala pooja’.

According to the temple authorities, with Monday being a key day in the two-month-long Sabarimala festival, there was an unprecedented rush of devotees on Sunday and the incident occurred when the sanctum santorum of the temple was opened late Sunday evening.

The stampede occurred just as the holy ‘Thanga Angi’ procession carrying ornaments worn by Lord Ayyappa on Mandala pooja on Monday had reached the temple this evening.

The procession starts from Aranmula Sree Parthasarthy temple four days before the Mandala pooja.

To control the crowd, police had set up barricades but on account of the huge rush, the barricade broke and caused a stampede, in which the pilgrims got injured.

Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said there was heavy rush of pilgrims at the shrine when the ‘thanga angi’ procession arrived.

He was at the temple shortly before the stampede and had left the shrine after the ‘deeparadhana’ (evening prayers) with the Thanga Angi.

The minister said he was on his way to the hospital. He later said the situation has been brought under control.

Police are restricting the movement of pilgrims from downhill Pamba to Sannidhanam because of the heavy rush.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Dec 25, 2016 20:32 IST

Gujarat: 6 dead in car and state transport bus collision

Sun, 25 Dec 2016-07:44pm , Jamnagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six persons, including a 7-year-old girl, were killed and as many were injured when the car they were travelling in collided head-on with a state transport bus in Jamnagar district on Sunday. The accident took place near Sanosara village on Kalavad-Dhoraji road, police said. “Victims belonged to Rajkot city and were returning by car after attending a family function at Savarkundla in Amreli district. The injured were taken to Kalavad health centre,” said an officer from Kalavad police station.The ST bus was heading towards Gondal in Rajkot district. The deceased were identified as Nitesh Kataria (27), Nidhi Kataria (20), Mohit Kotak (20), Dhara Kotak (26), Isha Kotak (7) and Ahuti Anadkat (19).

Punjab: Congress gets a boost ahead of elections, SAD, AAP and BJP leaders join party

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress got a boost on Sunday, ahead of the Punjab Assembly elections, with some leaders from Shiromani Akali Dal, Aam Aadmi Party and BJP joining the party in the presence of PCC chief Amarinder Singh here on Sunday. Former SAD leader from Atam Nagar and councillor Kamaljit Singh Karwal, once considered close to MLA Simarjit Singh, and former AAP central executive committee member Yamini Gomar were among those pledged their allegiance to Congress.Other AAP leaders to join Congress were LR Nayyar, former chief commissioner (Income Tax), and party observer Gagan Sahni. Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Congress president Amarinder said all these leaders had joined the party “unconditionally”. “They had become completely disillusioned with the policies of their respective parties and the agendas of their leaders,” he said.Amarinder hailed their joinings as another milestone in the Congress’s journey towards a “clear majority” in the upcoming Assembly polls, saying these developments highlighted the “complete wipeout” of all the other parties in the fray. Karwal, who had met Amarinder in Delhi, was associated with SAD since 2007, except for a brief period in 2014. “The anti-people policies of the party,” he said, had encouraged him to take the decision to move to the Congress.Yamini, who had openly accused Kejriwal and AAP of being “anti-Dalit, anti-Sikh and anti-Punjab,” said, “AAP was in a total mess, with its leadership befooling the people of Punjab with fake promises.” “AAP leadership is not even ready to blink its eyes over the issues of corruption and promotion of criminals in the party,” she said.Yamini said there was hardly any AAP leader who fulfilled the party’s motto of not being involved in corruption and not having criminal record. “More than 70% of the AAP volunteers, who had joined the party with an aim to see Punjab on roads of progress, are completely shattered with party leaders busy promoting their own vested interests”, she said.Many more genuine people in AAP, who were feeling suffocated there, would join Congress fold in the coming days. Yamini, who contested 2014 Lok Sabha elections on AAP ticket, said no honest person who has the interests of Punjab in his heart can remain with AAP, given the complete moral bankruptcy of its leadership.She said the Congress could save the state and its people from doom. Both Nayyar and Sahni also backed Yamini, saying AAP was a party of “corrupt and greedy individuals who had no interest in the welfare of the people of Punjab.”Meanwhile, a number of the BJP leaders from Doraha, also joined Congress. Prominent among them were Doraha BJP Mandal chief Rahul Bector, vice-president Anish Bector, secretary Varun Sharma and general secretary Anoop Bector, besides several Municipal Councillors and other BJP leaders.

Thane: Man commits suicide, records act on mobile phone

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 50-year-old man allegedly ended his life by hanging himself and purportedly filmed the act on his mobile phone along with a suicide note recorded in his voice, police said on Sunday. The deceased, Babu Sheikh, blamed his daughter-in-law, with whom he had a tiff, and her family for the extreme step, they said.Sheikh lived with his family at Bhaskar Nagar in Ambernath township of Thane district. His son got married last month. However, there used to be frequent quarrels between the family and the daughter-in-law. On one occasion, there was a tiff between Sheikh and the daughter-in-law who later left the house and went to stay with her parents.On the night of December 22, Sheikh learnt from his younger son, how to record a video on mobile phone and later went to sleep in his room in the adjacent apartment. The next morning, when Sheikh’s family members went to wake him up, there was no response and they broke open the door and found him hanging from the ceiling, police said.As the deceased’s son recalled his father having asked him about recording on a handset, he checked his phone and found a purported video of his alleged suicide, which he apparently made by keeping the phone on auto recording mode.A voice recording was also found in the phone in which Sheikh alleged that his daughter-in-law, her father and brother defamed him and doubted his character, due to which he was ending his life, police said. The Ambernath police, based on a complaint by Sheikh’s younger son, registered an offence on Saturday under IPC section 306 (abetment of suicide) against the daughter-in-law, her father and brother, they said.No arrest has been made so far.

Denied leave, constable shoots self dead in Chennai

Denied leave, constable shoots self dead in Chennai

Sun, 25 Dec 2016-04:27pm , Chennai , ANI

Police sources said the constable was feeling unwell and had been requesting for leave. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A police constable allegedly shot himself in Chennai on Sunday morning after he was denied permission for leave. The constable named R Gobinath was found dead inside the premises of Armed Reserve Battalion in Chennai.The 25-year old native of Vadipatti village of Madurai was found dead with a bullet injury. Police sources said Gobinath was feeling unwell and had been requesting for leave.

31-year-old American tourist arrested for possessing satellite phone

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 31-year-old American tourist was arrested after being allegedly found in possession of a satellite phone, banned in India, while on his way to board a flight back home at the airport here, police said ton Sunday.Marks Jordan Andrew, a US citizen, was detained on Saturday after Immigration officials found the satellite phone in his bag.He was questioned by CISF, in-charge of airport security, and later handed over to local police.The American was arrested and a case registered under the Wireless and Telegraph Act, police said.He was produced before a city court which remanded him to 14 days judicial custody.Andrew, hailing from California, had arrived here via Mumbai-Bengaluru and was on his way back to US via Dubai when he was intercepted.Police said Andrew told them that he was unaware that satellite phones are banned in the country.

Mann Ki Baat highlights: Narendra Modi announces lucky draw schemes for digital payments

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday wished the nation on Christmas and said it was a day of service and compassion.

“I wish you all a Merry Christmas. It is the day when people should serve with compassion,” Modi said in his monthly radio addres ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

Modi said Jesus not only did serve the poor but he “has also appreciated the service done by poor, this is real empowerment”.

Lucky draw schemes for digital payments

He announced lucky draw schemes for people who use digital payment methods including e-banking, mobile banking and e-wallets.

In his monthly radio address to the nation ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi on the occasion of Christmas said 15,000 people who use digital payment modes will be given a reward of Rs 1,000 each by a lucky draw. This amount will be transferred to their accounts.

File image of PM Narendra Modi. PTIFile image of PM Narendra Modi. PTI

File image of PM Narendra Modi. PTI

“This scheme will last for 100 days (from Sunday). As such lakhs of people will get crores of rupees,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said there will be one big draw every week with winning price in lakhs.

“On the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti — April 14 2017 — we will be conducting a bumper draw in which the winning price will be in crores.”

Thanks people for enduring demonetisation ‘pain’

Modi thanked people for enduring the “pain” caused by the government’s November 8 decision to spike 500 and 1,000 rupee notes that has caused an unprecedented cash crunch across the country.

“I congratulate people for not only enduring pain but also for giving appropriate answers to those who were trying to mislead them,” Modi said in his monthly radio address to the nation ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

The Prime Minister said people faced hardships and inconvenience but “answered back those who publicly tried to mislead them”.

The move to recall 86 percent of the total currency in circulation was ostensibly aimed at to curb corruption and black money in the country.

However, it has led to people in large number queuing up to withdraw or deposit cash in overcrowded banks and ATMs.

Lauds India’s sportsmen, sportswomen

He also lauded the country’s sportsmen and sportswoman who have “made us proud”.

Modi praised the Indian cricket team for its performance in a recently concluded Test series against England. “It has been phenomenal this year, congratulate the team for beating England 4-0.”

He also congratulated the junior hockey team of India for winning the hockey World Cup. “After 15 years, our junior hockey team has won the world cup. I congratulate all the young players.”

“Our sportsmen and sportswomen have made us proud,” Modi said in his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat.

First Published On : Dec 25, 2016 12:27 IST

PM Modi wishes Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 92nd birthday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday extended his warm wishes to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 92nd birthday.”Wishing our most beloved & widely respected Atal ji a happy birthday. I pray that he is blessed with good health and a long life,” Prime Minister Modi said on Twitter.In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister also praised the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader for his service and leadership.”Atal ji’s exemplary service & leadership has had a very positive impact on India’s growth trajectory. His great personality is endearing.”Prime Minister Modi also tweeted out an old video of him meeting Vajpayee when the former was a ‘karyakarta’ of the BJP.”See what Atal ji does when he meets a party Karyakarta. This simplicity and warmth of Atal ji we all cherish,” Prime Minister Modi said along with the video.Vajpayee, the only non-Congress leader who served the nation as the prime minister and completed his full term, was born on December 25, 1924. He was among the founder members of the BJP.After former prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Vajpayee is the only prime minister to get three successive mandates.He was felicitated with country’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna, on March 27, 2015. His birthday is also celebrated as Good Governance Day.

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

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

26 Pakistani fishermen apprehended off Gujarat coast

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Coast Guard has apprehended 26 Pakistani fishermen and seized their five fishing boats off Gujarat coast near Kutch as they crossed the Indian territorial waters.A release issued by Defence PRO said in Ahmedabad that these Pakistani fishermen on five boats were held on Sunday when they were inside Indian territory.The Coast Guard vessel C-419 apprehended Pakistani fishing boats with 26 crew members on board.The PRO further said these boats and the crew are being escorted to Jakhau port for further investigation.Last month, at least 43 Indian fishermen were arrested by Pakistan for allegedly entering its territorial waters in the Arabian Sea.Pakistan and India often arrest fishermen from the other country for violation of their territorial waters in the Arabian Sea.

Winter Session officially terminated, President prorogues Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

Mon, 19 Dec 2016-09:07pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Both Houses of Parliament have been prorogued, officially terminating the Winter Session which witnessed a virtual washout due to the demonetization row. The President has prorogued the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on Sunday, it was officially announced on Monday.Last week, the Cabinet Committee of Parliamentary Affairs had recommended for prorogation of both Houses of Parliament soon after there were adjourned sine die after a month-long session that was virtually washed out over the issue of demonetization. The session, which began on November 16, saw almost daily disruptions over the note ban issue. The debate on the matter began in both Houses but remained inconclusive, and resulted in one of the “least productive” sessions in the last 15 years.Due to the repeated disruptions, Lok Sabha could function only for 15.75% and lost 92 hours, while Rajya Sabha worked for 20.61% and lost about 86 hours.

Manipur violence: Unrest spills to Naga dominated Senapati district; curfew on in Imphal East

Imphal: Violence on Monday spread to Senapati district of Manipur with two vehicles being torched even as indefinite curfew remained in force in Imphal East district and mobile data services suspended after protests over economic blockade by the United Naga Council.

However, curfew was lifted from Imphal West district early this morning.

Images from Sunday's protest against the United Naga Council (UNC)'s indefinite economic blockade. Imphal East: Angry people had set on fire vehicles in Imphal East district but no casualties were reported .PTI

Images from Sunday’s protest against the United Naga Council (UNC)’s indefinite economic blockade. Imphal East: Angry people had set on fire vehicles in Imphal East district but no casualties were reported .PTI

Amid heightened tension, unidentified persons torched two vehicles including a passenger bus at Naga Taphou area in Senapati district this morning, a police officer said.

Last night, four vehicles of former minister Marung Makunga were vandalised at Saombung in Imphal East district, the police said.

The police are on high alert to contain spread of violence in the wake of Saturday’s incident at Imphal-Ukhrul Road during which 22 vehicles were vandalised by a mob.

Mobile internet services were snapped till 25 December and Imphal East district was brought under indefinite curfew till further orders on Sunday after locals resorted to violence and vandalised vehicles on Imphal-Ukhrul road while protesting against the ongoing economic blockade by the United Naga Council (UNC) on the National Highways since 1 November.

The landlocked state has been experiencing severe hardship in supply of essential items since 1 November after UNC imposed an indefinite economic blockade on the two national highways that serve as lifeline for the state.

The blockade was imposed following the state government’s announcement of formation of seven new districts, four of which have been formally inaugurated.

Tension in the state escalated after militants ambushed Manipur Police and other state forces in the last few days that left three policemen dead and 14 others injured last Thursday.

The attack was followed by triple bomb blasts at Nagaram area in Imphal West district allegedly by Manipur Naga People’s Front the very next day.

In another incident, suspected militants overpowered a small outpost of Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) at Nungkao area on Sunday in Tamenglong district and fled with nine service weapons.

First Published On : Dec 19, 2016 15:23 IST

West Bengal: Police jeep rams two-wheelers, 2 killed including CRPF jawan, 6 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Angry protesters on Monday torched a police vehicle after a police jeep lost control and rammed two motorcycles and a bicycle, killing a CRPF jawan and his pregnant wife, and injuring six others in New Mal area in Jalpaiguri district.The incident happened on Sunday evening when the police jeep, carrying three police personnel, was coming to Malbazar from Odlabari and the driver lost control of the vehicle on National Highway 31, police said.The jeep first hit a scooty, killing Shambhu Tirkey, a CRPF jawan and resident of Lislever tea garden area, on the spot, they said.Tirkey’s wife, Leena Lakra, who was pillion riding, succumbed to her injuries on the way to Malbazar hospital.The CRPF jawan had taken his pregnant wife, an ICDS worker, for medical check up and was returning home when the incident happened, police said.After hitting the scooty, the jeep hit a motorbike and then a bicycle, injuring Nisha Kheria, Tanjul Islam, Ketla Munda, Rajesh Busphor and two others.The injured have been admitted to a hospital.Soon after the incident, residents blocked the National Highway and pelted stones at passing vehicles. They also torched the killer vehicle, alleging the driver was in an inebriated state.”The driver fled the spot after the incident. The three police personnel in the jeep have also sustained minor injuries. A large police contingent has been sent to the area to keep the situation under control and lift the road blockade.”Investigations are on the ascertain the reason behind the incident and trace the driver,” a senior district police officer said.Meanwhile, two police personnel were injured after the protesters pelted stones at the police contingent.”Five rounds of tear gas shells had to be lobbed to control the unruly mob. We have arrested one of the agitators.The security personnel are camping there to keep the situation under control,” the officer added.

Watch | Viral video: Lioness roams on streets of Virpur village in Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A lioness was seen roaming on the streets of Virpur village in Sasan Gir in Amreli on Sunday. The village is close to the Gir National Park. According to Jansatta, the lioness was in the village for quite sometime and even had meal of the calf she had caught right on the streets, much to the bewilderment of the residents.The lioness was later forced to return to the jungle by the Forest Department.Watch the video below:

Kerala ragging case: Victim with kidney damage undergoes dialysis, 5 accused surrender

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five of the seven students accused in the ragging case in government polytechnic, in which a first year student suffered kidney damage, have surrendered before police, police said on Monday.The five senior students surrendered before the Deputy Superintendent of Police at Changanassery on Sunday night.According to police, there are a total of seven accused in the case and two are still absconding.On December 2 night, eight first-year students of the polytechnic at Nattakom here were allegedly subjected to brutal ragging by a gang of senior students at the men’s hostel of the college.Two students–one hailing from Irinjalakkuda in Thrissur district, and another from Cheranallur in Ernakulam district– were seriously injured in the incident. They have been admitted to hospitals in Thrissur and Ernakulam respectively.The student from Irinjalakkuda has been hospitalised with kidney damage, police said.He was put on dialysis after doctors diagnosed him with kidney damage. The victim underwent dialysis three times after his admission in the hospital 11 days ago.The accused allegedly forced the victim to consume liquor mixed with some harmful powder following six hours of brutal ragging which included hard physical exercises like push-ups.The accused were absconding after police booked them for allegedly ragging their juniors in the hostel.They have also been suspended from the institution.Two cases have been registered against the accused based on two separate complaints by the two students, police said.Meanwhile, the state human rights commission has sought a report from the education department on the alleged ragging incident.

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

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

Writer from Kerala charged with sedition for allegedly insulting national anthem

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Malayalam writer and theatre artist was on Sunday charged with sedition for allegedly showing disrespect to the national anthem, police said.Kamal C Chavara, alias Kamalsy Prana, was taken into custody on charges of insulting the national anthem in a Facebook Post. A case was registered against him by police at Karungapally in Kollam a few days ago following a complaint from Yuva Morcha activists.The case under 124 A (sedition) has been registered against the writer, police said. As per the complaint filed by the Yuva Morcha activists, Kamal had posted some excerpts from his novel “Smasanangulude Nottupusthakam” on Facebook, which they alleged was an insult to the national anthem.
ALSO READ Kerala: Six people arrested for not standing during national anthem, later released Police said Kamal would be handed over to their counterparts at Karunagapalli.The incident comes close on the heels of the arrest of 12 persons earlier this month for not standing up when the national anthem was being played before the screening of a film at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in Thiruvananthapuram.
ALSO READ Chennai: Three youths beaten up for not standing during national anthem in theatreThe Supreme Court had recently directed that cinema halls across the country must play the national anthem before the screening of a film and people should stand up as a mark of respect. The ruling, however, has received mixed reactions from legal experts with a few terming it as “judiciary’s over-enthusiasm” and others saying playing it and respecting it won’t cause any harm.

Kerala: Student brutally ragged in Kottayam Government Polytechnic College, suffers kidney damage

Kottayam : A first year student of the Government Polytechnic College in Kottayam has been hospitalised with kidney damage after he was brutally ragged by eight senior students, police said on Sunday.

Police said the student has been admitted to a hospital in Thrissur and was put on dialysis after doctors diagnosed him with kidney damage.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The accused allegedly forced the victim to consume liquor mixed with some harmful powder following six hours of brutal ragging which included hard physical exercises like push-ups.

The eight students of the institute at Nattakom in the district are absconding after police booked them for allegedly ragging their juniors in the hostel.

The students, accused of ragging first year pupils in the hostel attached to the polytechnic, were booked early this month. They have also been suspended from the institution.

The victim underwent dialysis three times after his admission in the hospital 10 days ago, police said.

Police in Chingavanam in the district is probing the case.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy visited the student at the hospital in Thrissur. Chandy urged the government to bear the expenses of the student’s treatment.

Earlier, in two separate complaints lodged with police, two students, including the one currently undergoing treatment at the Thrissur hospital, had alleged that they were subjected to brutal ragging by their seniors at he institute.

The other pupil is admitted to a private hospital in Eranakulam, police said.

The accused in the two incidents are members of the same group. Two cases have been registered against them, police said, adding that investigation is underway.

Meanwhile, the state human rights commission has sought a report from the education department on the alleged ragging incident.

First Published On : Dec 18, 2016 18:29 IST

Pampore attack: Army conducts intensive search, cordons off three villages after militants kill three jawans

Following the Saturday’s attack on an Army convoy in Pampore that claimed the lives of three soldiers, the Indian Army on Sunday conducted a house to house search in the area in a quest to nab the militants behind the attack.

According to a report by India Today, the Indian Army has cordoned off three villages in the region and a massive search operation is on in the region.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

In the lethal attack on an army convoy on Saturday, three Indian soldiers were killed, while two other jawans were injured. The attack was staged at a place crowded with civilians in Pampore of Jammu and Kashmir on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

According to a report in PTI, army sources said that the militants were able to inflict casualties as the forces exercised restraint and did not retaliated in order to avoid civilian casualties.

The army convoy was on its way from Jammu to Srinagar when the attack took place in Pampore.

Preliminary investigations suggest that the militants might have used motorcycles to carry out the deadly attack and search operations were going on in the surrounding areas since Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army on Sunday payed tribute to the martyrs: Naik (Gnr) Ratheesh, Gunner Farate Sourabh Nandkumar and Gunner Shashikant Pandey.

In a solemn ceremony at Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar, many senior officials from security agencies including Jammu and Kashmir Police, CRPF, BSF and SSB, joined General Officer Commanding, Chinar Corps, Lt Gen J S Sandhu and all ranks in paying homage to the martyrs. Many officials from the civil administration, including Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmed Khan were also present on the occasion.

“Martyr Naik (Gnr) Ratheesh C (35) had joined army in 2001 and hailed from Kotolipram, Kannur district in Kerala and is survived by his wife and a son,” an Indian Army official told PTI.

He said 33-year-old Gunner Farate Sourabh Nandkumar of Bhekrai Nagar village in Pune of Maharasthra had donned the uniform in 2004 and is survived by his wife and twin daughters.

Gunner Shashikant Pandey (24) had four years of service and was on his way to join his unit in the Valley. Hailing from Zharian area of Dhanbad district in Jharkhand, he is survived by his parents, the official said.

The mortal remains of the martyrs would be flown for last rites to their native places where they would be laid to rest with full military honours, he said.

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Dec 18, 2016 17:54 IST

Just ditched: After marrying and duping 11 men, Kochi woman’s luck runs out

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A team of Kerala Police along with their Noida counterparts has arrested a woman and her two accomplices for duping over 10 men of several lakhs of rupees and jewellery after marrying them, in Noida sector 120.Loren Justin, a resident of Kochi, had registered a case in October against his wife Megha Bhargav, who, he alleged, had disappeared with jewellery worth Rs 15 lakh sometime after their marriage. Kerala Police during investigation found that Justin was the fourth man duped by Bhargav in the state. She had married fourmen in Kerala and duped them all, police said on Sunday.In total she had married 11 men in Kerala, Mumbai, Pune, Rajasthan and Indore, they said. Bhargav used to target divorcees and men with physical disabilities, they said, adding some days after the marriage she used to give food laced with sedatives to her husband and his family members and then eloped with cash and jewellery.Dinesh Yadav, SP (City), said, “Woman was traced to a house in Amrapali Zodiac Society in sector 120 here through electronic surveillance after which she was arrested last evening.” Her two accomplices were also arrested with her, police said.

AP official found in possession of assets worth Rs 5 crore, Rs 7 lakh in new notes seized

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior official of Excise and Prohibition Department has been allegedly found in possession of assets worth about Rs five crore and Rs seven lakh in Rs 2,000 notes were also seized from him, Anti Corruption Bureau sources said on Sunday.Raids on the properties of Additional Commissioner K Lakshman Bhaskar were conducted at 11 places in AP and Telangana on Saturday and Sunday that led to unearthing of huge assets worth about Rs five crore, they said.New currency notes of Rs 2,000 denomination worth Rs seven lakh was also recovered from the accused.Several crucial documents relating to Bhaskar’s properties and his benamis were also seized during the raids, the ACB sources said.The sleuths are yet to open his lockers in various banks, which could reveal more treasure, they said.He was apprehended and taken to Visakhapatnam as part of investigation of the case, the sources said.Bhaskar, a native of Ramanapalem area in West Godavari, had worked in various Excise Department in Visakhapatnam.The raids were conducted in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Rajahmundry and his hometown Ramanapalem, they added.

Dalai Lama spiritual leader: India to China

“Recently in disregard of China’s strong opposition, India insisted on arranging for the 14th Dalai Lama’s meeting with President Mukherjee,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India on Friday dismissed China’s objection to the meeting between exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and President Pranab Mukherjee. Mukherjee hosted the Dalai Lama and other Nobel Peace laureates at a conference on children’s rights on Sunday.“Recently in disregard of China’s strong opposition, India insisted on arranging for the 14th Dalai Lama’s meeting with President Mukherjee,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said.Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup responded: “His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a respected and revered spiritual leader. It was a non-political event organised by Nobel laureates dedicated to the welfare of children,” he said.

Cops to send car involved in Navy Nagar accident for RTO inspection for expert opinion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to build a water-tight case against the wife of a Lance Naik who was arrested on Sunday for mowing down two children while learning driving in the Navy Nagar area, the Cuffe Parade police will rely on a report from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) to rule out any glitch in the vehicle being cited as a defence at a later stage. The couple had bought the vehicle very recently, the police said.“Normally people do tend to claim in court that some fault had occurred in the vehicle, and hence the mishap took place. We would be sending the vehicle for RTO inspection. Their expert opinion would clarify whether the vehicle had some technical glitch or not,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone I, Manoj Kumar Sharma.The RTO inspection report would later be part of the charge-sheet that would be filed against the couple in the court, police said. “We would also be recording more statement of witnesses to bolster our case,” Sharma added.According to the police, Sangeeta Rai, wife of Lance Naik Santoshkumar was practicing driving, without a drivers license,with her husband seated beside her on Sunday afternoon.“Sangeeta could not spot two brothers, Akshansh, 13, and Abhay Dhyani, 7, and instead of applying brakes, she pressed the accelerator and went on to hit the cycle on which they were riding, killing them on the spot,” said another police officer.As per the police, after the mishap, the children were rushed to INS Ashwini Hospital in Navy Nagar. “The couple first informed the defence staff about the mishap and did not make any attempts to flee. They wanted to report the matter to the police themselves,” said the officer.Meanwhile, the bodies of the two children were handed over to their family for last rites. Their father Raviprasad Dhyani was inconsolable and had fainted after he saw the bodies of his children, and had to be admitted in a hospital.Chief Defence spokesperson, Commander Rahul Sinha, said, “It is very unfortunate that such an incident took place in the restricted area of the army. A court of inquiry has been ordered for the same. The incident could have been avoided. There are driving schools within the army, if they (couple) would have used it, the environment would have been much safer for all of them. It isn’t the first incident where a learner hits the accelerator instead of the brake. ”When asked if the army would take any action on the Lance Naik who was present in the car at the time of the accident, he added, “It depends on the authorities, whether they would take any action on it.”

Assam Muslim bodies defy order to keep madrassas open on Fridays, govt not amused

New Delhi: The recent notification issued by the Assam government to keep all schools open on Fridays has resulted in a stand-off between the education department and Islamic organisations of the region.

The stand-off has provided the Congress with an opportunity which has been seen trying its best to flare the issue up by infusing secular versus communal debate.

Representational image of a madrassa in New Delhi. ReutersRepresentational image of a madrassa in New Delhi. Reuters

Representational image of a madrassa in New Delhi. Reuters

A meeting held among Islamic leaders at Badarpur in Assam last Sunday, decided to defy the order that they perceive as infringing upon the rights of Muslims. The meeting decided to keep madrassas closed on Fridays and open on Sundays in contravention to the government order on the weekly holiday of schools.

The government of Assam in an order issued last week said that all schools under the state government are to remain open on Fridays and closed on Sundays in a bid to bring in uniformity in the weekly holiday system in all the schools under the government.

The order on holidays did not go down well with the Islamic organisations as madrassas have been following the tradition of remaining closed on Fridays to perform mass prayers.

Ataur Rahman Majharbhuyan, secretary of North East India Naduwa Tu Tamir, an Islamic organisation of the region told Firstpost that the meeting decided that madrassa students will not attend classes on Fridays and will sit in classes on Sundays.

“Even if the government opens the madrassas on Fridays no student will attend classes. If no madrassa teacher  turns up on Sundays given the government order to remain closed on Sundays, the senior students of madrassas will teach the junior ones and will continue the classes defying the order,” he said.

In the sidelines of the meeting, some students of a madrassa in Badarpur on Sunday flung open the doors of Deorail Title Madrassa marking the beginning of the movement.

Siddek Ahmed, former Congress minister, who was also present at the meeting threatened to take the issue to the high court if the government of Assam did not roll back its decision.

“In the last six months of BJP rule in Assam, we have noticed that Muslims have been denied the right to do business and get appointed in government jobs turning them into second class citizens of the country,” he said without stating any empirical evidence as to which jobs and businesses have Muslims been denied and how.

Ahmed further added, “Now trampling upon the right to religious education of the Muslims the government has issued the weird notification to keep madrassas open on Fridays.”

Maulana Fazlul Karim, general secretary of Jamiyat Ulema E Hind said that the BJP-led Assam government has issued this blanket order in violation of existing rule which says that madrassas will remain closed on Fridays.

“The order is passed to appear anti-Muslim. Madrassas remain closed on Fridays even in Gujarat, the home state of the Prime Minister, let alone Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab,” he said.

“Like madrassas even Sanskrit schools have a different rule for weekly holidays. Why the government is not compelling the Sanskrit schools to follow the same notification?” Karim asked.

Pranab Goswami, principal of a Sanskrit School in Assam informed told Firstpost that Sanskrit Schools do not follow the rule of having weekly holidays like other schools.

“We have holidays on every eighth day after full moon and new moon and next day after full moon and new moon. That way we have two holidays every fourth week,” he informed when asked about the holiday system followed by Sanskrit schools.

But the resistance from the Islamic organisations did not go down well with the government that is keen to implement the order.

Ramesh Chandra Jain, secretary to the department of education in Assam said, “We have ordered the madrassa teachers that it will be difficult for them if they do not follow the order. So they have to fall in line.”

When asked since Sanskrit schools have different rules for weekly holidays whether the new order is applicable to them also he said, “The rule is applicable to all schools. But Sanskrit schools do not  remain closed on Fridays.”

The stand-off between the weekly holiday of  madrassas is likely to make an impact on the Uttar Pradesh assembly election.

Haider Hussain Bora, secretary, All India United Democratic Front said, “The question is not about politicising the issue, but about the rights of our fellow citizens to practice their religion.”

He further questioned, “We are asking when Himanta Biswa Sarma was the education minister in the Congress regime he did not find any flaw about the weekly holiday system of madrassas. He found fault only after joining BJP. Does not this very fact signify that there is an intention to create differences in communal lines behind the order?”

First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 21:00 IST

I-T dept seizes Rs 1.56 crore from cooperative bank in Jaipur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Income Tax department here has seized Rs 1.56 crore, including Rs 1.38 crore in 2,000 rupee notes, from a cooperative bank in the city.Following complaints of irregularities in exchange of notes, the IT department conducted a raid at the Integral Urban Cooperative bank on Sunday.”Total cash of Rs 1.56 crore, including Rs 1.38 crore in new Rs 2000 notes, was seized from the bank,” an income tax official said.As per the initial probe, the stakeholders of the bank were replacing their unaccounted income with new notes.”Gold and silver jewellery from an anonymous locker were also seized. The locker was being operated by the owners,” the officer said.Further investigation into the matter is on.

PM Modi an expert on misleading people: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is misleading the nation by diverting attention towards demonetization.”Prime Minister’s statement (in Bahraich) is another attempt to mislead people. He is an expert on misleading people. He has failed miserably in bringing back black money from abroad, so he has diverted people’s attention through demonetization. Again, he is playing the same game,” said Congress leader PC Chako.On Sunday, the Prime Minister while addressing the rally in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, via phone asserted that his fight against black money and graft would go on. He also used the occasion to lampoon the opposition for not allowing him to speak on demonetization in parliament.”They (opposition) come to the Well of the House…threw paper at the Speaker. We want to put forth the government’s view point…but they are not allowing us to do so,” he said.On Saturday, he said, “Government has always said we are ready to debate. I am not being allowed to speak in the Lok Sabha, so I am speaking in the Jan Sabha.””From the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, I want to share something with my friends in the opposition,” Modi said.

Gujarat woman sets Guinness Record for maximum haircuts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A beautician residing in Gujarat’s Surat city has become a Guinness World Record holder for cutting the hair of 571 people continuously for 24 hours. Sheetal Shah, who owns a boutique parlour in Surat, started on Saturday at 9.14 a.m. and ended 24 hours later on Sunday.She said the idea of creating a world record came casually during a discussion with her husband. “I always wanted to do something unique in my life. I was discussing this with my husband. We later approached the Guinness officials and they gave their approval for it. Since it was the weekend, all things went smoothly,” Sheetal told ANI.She heaped and praised her employees for the immense support they gave her to complete the task. “I had the support of my team. Without them, I wouldn’t have completed this task. Each and every employee of mine worked with me for 24 hours straight,” she said.The previous record was of 521 persons done by a London-based couple.

65-year-old share trader murdered in Mumbai, body found in Kandivali flat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A dead body was found in flat of Pratik Apartment, Kandivali West in Mumbai on Sunday evening. According to the police, they had received a call from the neighbours that a smell was coming from a flat number 401 of the building.Following the call, Kandivali police reached the spot and started investigation. During the probe, they found a dead body in the flat. “According to prima facie investigation, the body has been identified as Devendra Jayantilal Doshi (65) who is supposed to be the share trader. He used to live alone in his flat and would work from home.” said Mukund Pawar, senior police inspector of Kandivali police station. “The investigation is going on and it is clear that Doshi had been murdered a few days back by stabbing knife,” he added.A case was registered at the Kandivali police station on Sunday night against an unknown person under section 302(committing murder) and 452(for causing grievous hurt with intent) of Indian Penal Code act.

Delay in candidates’ list unnerves Cong leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday attempted to sooth nerves of his partymen who are getting uneasy in the wake of delay in declaration of candidates for the upcoming assembly elections. Singh said that the delay in announcement would not impact the campaigning by the Congress candidates, who would get ample time. On speculation surrounding ticket allocation for senior party leader Manish Tiwari, he said the decision is vested with the Congress president Sonia Gandhi. He said that the state unit would request Priyanka Gandhi to join the electioneering to boost party’s fortunes.Singh, the face of Congress in Punjab said that he would move the court over the demonetisation related deaths. He also extended full support to the proposed strike by the industries over the issue on December 16.Extending his support to the Chamber of Industrial & Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana, also said that the impact of demonetization on the state’s industries, already in the doldrums.

Demonetization leaves a trust deficit, consensus eludes GST

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the trust between the government and the Opposition parties at a low ebb, thanks to feud over demonetization, the crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) seems to be headed for a delay, that could well see it missing the April 1, 2017 deadline.This was apparent from the lack of consensus at the GST Council meeting—represented by ministers and officials of Union and state finance departments—on Sunday, and the decision to call off Monday’s sitting.The Council was looking to pass four proposed laws—Central GST (CGST, state GST (SGST), integrated GST (IGST) and Compensation Act—in the ongoing winter session that ends on December 16.With Finance Minister Arun Jailtey informing that the discussions on the legislations were initiated but would require more time and that the next meeting would be held on December 22 and 23, these Bills can now be presented only in the Budget session.“The discussion is moving quite satisfactorily. Hopefully, in the next meeting we will be able to clear them. Next sitting was tomorrow, but some of the states’ representatives wanted to return in view of the Eid,” said Jaitley.On whether postponement and failure to finalise the draft Bills would result in the government missing the April 1 deadline, Jaitley said: “The Budget session starts in January. Our target is April 1. If April 1 is the first possible date when it can be implemented then the last day is also constitutionally defined as September 16, 2017. We don’t have the luxury of time because after five months and 16 days, curtains will be down on the old taxation powers”.Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said it was demonetization which had “eroded the mutual trust and the cordial environment”.“I come from Kerala, where the Centre’s demonetization is destroying its entire cooperative structure. Co-op sector accounts for more than one-third of bank deposits in Kerala and you (Centre) expects me to come and have a handshake on GST. So well, it’s their (Centre’s) own making,” said Isaac.MS Mani, senior director, Deloitte India, believes April 1 date for implementation of the proposed unified indirect tax was not completely ruled out by the outcome of Sunday’s meeting but it did point to a likelihood of its delay.He said that in all the discussion on date, the Council seems to have forgotten classification of goods and services under different rate brackets, which have been finalised. “Trade and industry are eagerly waiting not only for the date of introduction of GST but also for the rate application to the products and services manufactured by them,” he said. The Deloitte tax expert said it was sad to see an important economic and tax reform being swept by the political storm caused by demonetization.“Political reasons are determining the fate of GST, which is not the correct thing, because ideally GST is an economic and tax reform, and economic and tax reforms should not be dictated by political compulsions,” he lamented.

Cyclone Vardah: Tamil Nadu announces holiday for schools in 4 districts, Andhra Pradesh braces for impact

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Severe cyclonic storm ‘Vardah’ will make a landfall between north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh on Monday with both the coastal states putting in place a number of measures to deal with it and TN announcing holiday for all educational institutions in four districts.The Regional Meteorological Centre said ‘Vardah’ lay centred at 330 km east of Chennai at 1430 hours on Sunday and would move westwards before making landfall between north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts on Monday afternoon.Under its impact, rains will start on Sunday night and gradually increase on Monday in the northern districts of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram, S Balachandran, Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, said.On December 12, heavy to very heavy rains were likely in some places in these districts, he said, adding, strong winds could gust upto 80-90 kph.The sea would be rough, he said and asked fishermen to not to venture into the sea for the next 48 hours.Chief Minister O Panneerselvam held a meeting of the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority which also asked the armed forces to be on standby.”They should take necessary steps for ensuring the safety of their students especially hostel inmates and their water and food requirements,” an official release, detailing the discussions the Chief Minister had with his senior officials including Chief Secretary B Ramamohana Rao, said.Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the situation through a teleconference with Collectors and top officials this evening. He directed them to be alert and undertake necessary rescue and relief efforts in view of the cyclone threat. Food and other essential commodities should be kept ready in adequate quantities, he said.”Take all steps to prevent loss of lives and to minimise damages to crops and properties,” Naidu told the officials.Tamil Nadu Government also asked private establishments and undertakings in these districts besides coastal taluks of Villupuram to allow their staff avail holiday or work from home.Panneerselvam gave instructions for appointment of senior IAS officers as monitoring officers for these districts to oversee and monitor cyclone related works in coordination with the District Collectors, the release said. “Arrangements to be made for evacuating people in low lying and vulnerable areas. Relief centres to be kept in readiness along with necessary food, water and other arrangements. Army, Navy, Air-force and Coast Guard have been alerted to be on standby for deployment as and when necessary,” it said.One team of NDRF comprising around 40 personnel has been pre-positioned in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore, one in Tada, one in Salurupeta, one in Oongle, and one in Chitpore district.In addition, another team is moving to Salurupeta while teams are on standby in Guntur and Hyderabad.Three NDRF teams were pre-positioned in Chennai, two in Tamil Nadu’s in Tiruvalur, one in Mahabalipuram.Sources said another team is on its way to Chennai while one team has been out on stand by at Arakkonam.

India likely to miss April deadline for GST | Reuters

By Manoj Kumar
| NEW DELHI

NEW DELHI India is likely to miss a self-imposed deadline to launch the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April after a meeting of federal and state officials ended on Sunday without deciding who would administer the tax.Central and state finance officials failed to resolve their differences amid acrimony over Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s shock decision last month to abolish high-value banknotes in an attempt to combat tax evasion, forgery and corruption.The officials agreed to meet again on Dec. 22, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after talks in New Delhi on Sunday, pushing back a possible deal beyond the current session of parliament, which ends next week.The long-awaited GST would turn Asia’s third-largest economy into a single market for the first time, broaden the tax base and make life simpler for businesses that now pay a host of federal and state levies.

Jaitley said the government remains hopeful of implementing the new law from April 1, but officials said the GST is likely to be delayed by at least three months because the passage of legislation would slip.At Sunday’s talks some states raked up the issue of compensation for revenues they fear losing after the launch of the tax, as well as the economic shock from Modi’s crackdown on the cash economy, which has caused huge disruption to people’s daily lives and to businesses.

Calling demonetisation a “tsunami” that had hit economic activity across the country, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra has said that the government should consider deferring the launch of new sales tax.Under a constitutional amendment that enabled the GST, India needs to roll out the new sales tax in Sept. 2017 when the old system of indirect taxation is due to lapse.

Jaitley does not favour dual agencies auditing and scrutinising each taxpayer, saying that multiple authorities could end up acting at cross-purposes, but states are reluctant to relinquish their role. (Editing by David Goodman)

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

First Published On : Dec 11, 2016 22:20 IST

Syrian army advances in Aleppo but loses Palmyra to Islamic State | Reuters

By Laila Bassam and Suleiman Al-Khalidi
| ALEPPO, Syria/AMMAN

ALEPPO, Syria/AMMAN The Syrian army and its allies made new gains in Aleppo on Sunday, forcing rebels back into an ever shrinking pocket crammed with civilians, but lost control of the desert city of Palmyra to a swift Islamic State attack.Final victory in Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city before the civil war, would constitute the biggest triumph yet for President Bashar al-Assad and his coalition of Russian air power, Iran and Shi’ite militias. New army gains on Sunday south of Aleppo’s historic citadel in the besieged insurgent pocket appeared to bring that end closer, with a rebel official saying world powers seemed to be presenting rebels with a choice of “death or surrender”.But the Islamic State attack on Palmyra, 200 km (120 miles) to the southeast, threatens to inflict a serious blow on both Damascus and Moscow, which had trumpeted their capture of the ancient city from the jihadist group in March. Syrian state radio reported on Sunday that the army had evacuated its positions inside Palmyra, whose Roman-era ruins have become an emblem of the nearly six-year conflict. They were redeploying around the city in the face of large jihadist reinforcements after Moscow said its jets had killed hundreds of militants. Islamic State’s advance around Palmyra on Thursday and seizure of the city centre on Sunday despite its months of losses elsewhere showed how far Assad is from regaining control of Syria, even as he stands on the cusp of victory in Aleppo.Analysts have warned that even if Assad defeats the main rebellion, he may still face years of guerrilla insurgency and bombing attacks as he tries to reassert his authority.Heavy shelling and air raids pounded Aleppo’s rebel enclave from midnight on Saturday and throughout Sunday morning, a Reuters reporter in the city said, with explosions at a rate of more than one a minute. Gunfire was also heard. Russian and U.S. officials are meeting in Geneva on Sunday for more talks on an elusive deal for civilians and fighters to leave the city, diplomats said, but the rebel official said the Aleppo insurgents had had no word yet on their progress. FIERCE BOMBARDMENT

Thousands of refugees are still pouring from Aleppo’s areas of fighting. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, said more than 120,000 civilians had left the eastern part of the city as the government advance closed in, but that tens of thousands remained.The Turkey-based official from the Jabha Shamiya rebel group, which is present in Aleppo, said that the insurgents’ enclave was reduced to a narrow strip that was full of civilians and under very fierce bombardment. Without external intervention, the struggle would end badly, the official said: “The result will certainly be a complete end of the district, in a tragic way.” The mostly Sunni rebels include groups supported by the United States, Turkey and Gulf monarchies, but also some jihadist factions that receive no assistance from the West. The army seized the al-Maadi district on Sunday morning before rebels were able to return and continue fighting there, said the Jabha Shamiya official. A Syrian military source said the army and its allies had captured the al-Asila and Aaajam districts, southeast of Aleppo’s ancient citadel, as well as the southern portion of the Karam al-Daadaa neighbourhood.

The Observatory also said the army had advanced in those areas. Reuters reporters on a tour of Old City districts captured by the army saw how its historic covered market had been pounded, with ancient quarters reduced to a warren of defensive positions daubed with rebel slogans. “Embrace death for Aleppo” was one. State television showed footage of the east Aleppo fighting: a tank moving slowly along a street as soldiers ran alongside it, smoke and dust billowing around them.

PALMYRA
The civil war has pitted Assad and his allies against rebel groups but also involves a secondary conflict setting all of them against Islamic State.The jihadist group seized Palmyra in May 2015, one of its last major conquests after nearly a year of advances in Syria and neighbouring Iraq that took advantage of the region’s chaos following the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Its destruction of some of the best-known ruins and killing of the leading archaeologist in the city provoked global outrage and the army’s recapture of Palmyra was presented by Damascus and Moscow as vindicating Russia’s entry into the war. A video released online by the militant group showed images of the city and its ruins taken from near the medieval castle overlooking the area. The governor of Homs Province, where Palmyra is located, said on Sunday that the government would do all it could to retake the city. Islamic State has suffered a string of setbacks since late last year, losing its once long stretch of territory on the border with Turkey, an important source of supplies and recruits, as well as the city of Manbij. The group is fighting an assault on its most important possession in Iraq, the city of Mosul. It is also under attack north of Raqqa, its Syrian capital, following a series of air strikes that have killed some of its most important leaders.Russian news agencies reported that air strikes had killed 300 militants overnight near Palmyra but that more than 4,000 fighters had still managed to launch the attack on the city. (Reporting by Laila Bassam in Aleppo, Tom Perry in Beirut and Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman, writing by Angus McDowall; editing by David Stamp)

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

First Published On : Dec 11, 2016 21:32 IST

Jharkhand: 106 bombs recovered during anti-Maoist operation

Sun, 11 Dec 2016-09:06pm , Latehar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Altogether 106 bombs, including a pressure cooker bomb were recovered by security personnel during an anti-Maoist operation in Bakhar tola jungle in Barwaiya village under Maneka police station of Latehar district on Sunday, the police said. The security personnel comprising CRPF and District Armed Police were on a routine anti-Maoist operation when they stumbled upon 100 bombs of one kg each hidden in a ditch, Superintendent of Police Anoop Birtheray said.Following the recovery, he said a search operation was launched in the vicinity and a five kg pressure cooker bomb and five bombs of two kgs each were recovered from a nearby ditch. Altogether 106 bombs were recovered during the operation, he said adding the bombs were hidden deliberately to target the security personnel engaged in operations against them. However, the security personnel have foiled their attempt, Birtheray said and added that all explosives were defused by the Bomb Disposal Squad. Around 1,000 bombs were recovered in course of anti-Maoist operations in the district this year, the SP said.

Pot calling the kettle black: Mayawati says Modi running away from responsibility by blaming oppn

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi charged opposition parties with trying to “suppress” truth by blocking debate in Parliament on the note ban issue, BSP supremo Mayawati said it was a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. “By blaming opposition parties, the prime minister is running away from government’s responsibility and answerability…But his remarks are totally wrong. ‘yeh ulta chor kotwal to dantey jaisa hai’ (it is like pot calling kettle black),” she said in a statement.Mayawati said Modi was harping on the same tune and his speech at BJP’s Parivartan Yatra in Bahraich, addressed through mobile phone from Lucknow, was no different. The BSP chief was referring to Modi’s remark that since he was not allowed to speak in Parliament by opposition parties, he was compelled to speak outside on demonetization. “It is absolutely wrong on the part of the prime minister to say like this,” she said. “This is a wrong statement and does not behove the leader of the party in majority in Parliament to speak like this and mislead people,” she said.Mayawati said when the prime minister of a country accuses the opposition of not allowing him to speak in Parliament, it is a charge against him and not against the opposition. As Parliament remained deadlocked over demonetization, Modi came down heavily on opposition on Sunday, describing them as “discarded” parties trying to “suppress” truth. “Parliament is not being allowed to function for 20 days. We are ready for debate (on demonetization), but we are not being allowed to present our view point by those very parties that have been discarded by the electorate,” he said.”They (opposition) come to the Well of the House…throw paper at the Speaker, we want to put forth government’s view point…by they are not allowing us to do so…in a way they are trying to suppress the truth,” Modi said, and also accused rival parties SP and BSP of talking in similar refrain against note ban.

Mayawati hits out at PM Narendra Modi, says he is running away from responsibility

Lucknow: Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi charged opposition parties with trying to “suppress” truth by blocking debate in Parliament on the note ban issue, BSP supremo Mayawati on Sunday said it was a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

“By blaming opposition parties, the prime minister is running away from government’s responsibility. But his remarks are totally wrong. ‘yeh ulta chor kotwal to dantey jaisa hai’,” she said in a statement.

Mayawati said Modi was harping on the same tune and his speech at BJP’s Parivartan Yatra in Bahraich, addressed through mobile phone from Lucknow, was no different.

The BSP chief was referring to Modi’s remark that since he was not allowed to speak in Parliament by opposition parties, he was compelled to speak outside on demonetisation.

File photo of BSP chief Mayawati. PTI

File photo of BSP chief Mayawati. PTI

“It is absolutely wrong on the part of the prime minister to say like this,” she said.

“This is a wrong statement and does not behove the leader of the party in majority in Parliament to speak like this and mislead people,” she said.

Mayawati said when the prime minister of a country accuses the opposition of not allowing him to speak in Parliament, it is a charge against him and not against the opposition.

As Parliament remained deadlocked over demonetisation, Modi on Sunday came down heavily on opposition, describing them as “discarded” parties trying to “suppress” truth.

“Parliament is not being allowed to function for 20 days. We are ready for debate (on demonetisation), but we are not being allowed to present our view point by those very parties that have been discarded by the electorate,” he said.

“They (opposition) come to the Well of the House, throw paper at the Speaker, we want to put forth government’s view point, but they are not allowing us to do so, in a way they are trying to suppress the truth,” Modi said, and also accused rival parties SP and BSP of talking in similar refrain against note ban.

First Published On : Dec 11, 2016 19:03 IST

Demonetization means ‘complete demolition’ of Indian economy: Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Continuing to hit out at the BJP over demonetization, Banerjee claimed that the ‘most corrupt people were talking about removing corruption’. She also claimed that demonetization meant ‘complete demolition of the Indian economy’.The TMC supremo wrote on Twitter: “The most corrupt people are talking about removing corruption. #Demonetization done only to help Modi babu and his close associates. Demonetization has meant complete demolition of the Indian economy. The arrogant and destructive attitude of this govt. is trying to destroy the world’s largest democracy.”The war of words between TMC and BJP over Mamata Banerjee’s hard stance against demonetization escalated on Sunday. BJP West Bengal President Dilip Ghosh had earlier claimed that Mamata Banerjee had ‘lost her mind’ because she lost ‘hundreds of crores’ due to demonetization. Continuing the attack, he told ANI on Sunday: “Jab woh Delhi mei natak kar rahi thi,hum chahte to unka baal pakad ke nikal sakte the;hamari Police hai wahan. Par hum aisa nahi karte. Ek CM iss tarah ke shabd PM ke liye istemal karti hain vo theek nahi hai.” (When Mamata was protesting Delhi, we could’ve dragged her by the hair, the Delhi police is ours. But we didn’t do it. A CM speaking like that about the PM is not right.)Hitting out at Ghosh’s comments, TMC’s Derek O’Brien said: “New low in politics, 3rd class politics; made dangerous, threatening, false & personal allegations against Mamata Banerjee.” Earlier, Ghosh had said Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has lost her mind after the demonetization drive and that was the reason behind her recent visits to Delhi and Patna.Speaking at a meeting of the party’s youth wing held at Paschim Medinipore district’s Jhargram yesterday, Ghosh said Banerjee has lost her mind and is crying for losing thousand of crores of rupees in the recent demonetization of higher currency notes.”…That was why she (Banerjee) is visiting New Delhi and Patna. And failing to achieve anything, she is sitting in Nabanna (Secretariat). We had thought that she will ultimately jump in the Ganges… this person (Banerjee) has lost her mind and we are not ready to see her insanity… the state’s people have realised their mistake of bringing in the change in West Bengal,” Ghosh said.Reacting sharply to Ghosh’s statement, the TMC said that after failing to fight Banerjee on her stand on demonetization, the BJP has started spewing “dangerous personal threats to the Bengal CM”.”The BJP cannot fight Mamata Banerjee on policy, good governance and her principled stand on demonetization on behalf of millions who are affected,” the statement released by TMC said. “BJP is desperate to silence the voice of the opposition. So how low do they stoop’ The Bengal BJP president spews deeply dangerous, threatening, abusive and completely false personal statements against her. A new low in politics,” it said.A day earlier Mamata Banerjee had claimed that PM Modi had no solution for the hardships of people due to demonetization. ‘Modi babu knows that #DeMonetisation now derailed. Except giving bhashan, he has no solution,’ Mamata tweeted.Prime Minister Modi had made an appeal to the opposition to help inform the masses that they do not need to stand in queue and can use mobile banking for cash transactions.”From the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel I want to share something with my friends in the opposition. Yes, during elections we have a lot of heated debates. But we all call for increased voter turnout. Likewise, yes, you can oppose me but do teach people about banking, using technology for financial transactions,” he said while addressing the farmers at a rally in Gujarat’s Deesa.The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo who from the beginning opposed the demonetization and demanded its roll back, earlier on Thursday sharpened her attack on the Prime Minister and said the latter must resign because the move has led to “economic disaster” in the country and he has “no moral right” to continue.Alleging the country’s growth and business have been hit due to demonetization, she said the Prime Minister “doesn’t trust” anyone and he “doesn’t understand” what is good for the country.She has also questioned the motives behind the government’s move, alleging that nobody but the Prime Minister and his aides have benefited from the scheme.With inputs from agencies

BJP’s Dilip Ghosh says Delhi Police could’ve dragged Mamata ‘by the hair’, TMC calls it a ‘new low’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The war of words between TMC and BJP over Mamata Banerjee’s hard stance against demonetization escalated on Sunday. BJP West Bengal President Dilip Ghosh had earlier claimed that Mamata Banerjee had ‘lost her mind’ because she lost ‘hundreds of crores’ due to demonetization. Continuing the attack, he told ANI on Sunday: “Jab woh Delhi mei natak kar rahi thi,hum chahte to unka baal pakad ke nikal sakte the;hamari Police hai wahan. Par hum aisa nahi karte. Ek CM iss tarah ke shabd PM ke liye istemal karti hain vo theek nahi hai.” (When Mamata was protesting Delhi, we could’ve dragged her by the hair, the Delhi police is ours. But we didn’t do it. A CM speaking like that about the PM is not right.)Hitting out at Ghosh’s comments, TMC’s Derek O’Brien said: “New low in politics, 3rd class politics; made dangerous, threatening, false & personal allegations against Mamata Banerjee.”Earlier, Ghosh had said Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has lost her mind after the demonetization drive and that was the reason behind her recent visits to Delhi and Patna.Speaking at a meeting of the party’s youth wing held at Paschim Medinipore district’s Jhargram yesterday, Ghosh said Banerjee has lost her mind and is crying for losing thousand of crores of rupees in the recent demonetisation of higher currency notes.”…That was why she (Banerjee) is visiting New Delhi and Patna. And failing to achieve anything, she is sitting in Nabanna (Secretariat). We had thought that she will ultimately jump in the Ganges… this person (Banerjee) has lost her mind and we are not ready to see her insanity… the state’s people have realised their mistake of bringing in the change in West Bengal,” Ghosh said.Reacting sharply to Ghosh’s statement, the TMC said that after failing to fight Banerjee on her stand on demonetization, the BJP has started spewing “dangerous personal threats to the Bengal CM”.”The BJP cannot fight Mamata Banerjee on policy, good governance and her principled stand on demonetization on behalf of millions who are affected,” the statement released by TMC said. “BJP is desperate to silence the voice of the opposition. So how low do they stoop’ The Bengal BJP president spews deeply dangerous, threatening, abusive and completely false personal statements against her. A new low in politics,” it said.A day earlier Mamata Banerjee had claimed that PM Modi had no solution for the hardships of people due to demonetization. ‘Modi babu knows that #DeMonetisation now derailed. Except giving bhashan, he has no solution,’ Mamata tweeted.Prime Minister Modi had made an appeal to the opposition to help inform the masses that they do not need to stand in queue and can use mobile banking for cash transactions.”From the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel I want to share something with my friends in the opposition. Yes, during elections we have a lot of heated debates. But we all call for increased voter turnout. Likewise, yes, you can oppose me but do teach people about banking, using technology for financial transactions,” he said while addressing the farmers at a rally in Gujarat’s Deesa.The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo who from the beginning opposed the demonetization and demanded its roll back, earlier on Thursday sharpened her attack on the Prime Minister and said the latter must resign because the move has led to “economic disaster” in the country and he has “no moral right” to continue.Alleging the country’s growth and business have been hit due to demonetization, she said the Prime Minister “doesn’t trust” anyone and he “doesn’t understand” what is good for the country.She has also questioned the motives behind the government’s move, alleging that nobody but the Prime Minister and his aides have benefited from the scheme.With inputs from agencies

Muzaffarnagar: RSS leader dies of shock after son’s arrest in theft case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An RSS leader died of heart attack after his son was arrested in a theft case at Khatoli town in Muzaffarnagar, police said on Sunday .A police team led by Sub Inspector Ajay Kumar arrested Abheykand Sharma from his house on Saturday for the latter’s alleged role in a theft case, SHO K P Singh said.Abheykhand’s father Chetan Prakash died later due to the shock over his son’s arrest, he said.Meanwhile, SI Ajay Kumar, was suspended over allegedly misbehaving with the accused’s father.A group of Hindu activists also staged a protest against the incident.

AIADMK claims 470 people die grieving Jayalalithaa, announces Rs 3 lakh welfare fund

Chennai: The ruling AIADMK on Sunday said 470 persons had died of “shock” after the demise of party supremo and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on 5 December, and announced a relief of Rs 3 lakhs each to the families.

File photo. PTI

File photo. PTI

The party released a list of 190 persons, who had died of shock, and said the toll of such persons stood at 470.

Condoling their death, the party announced a welfare fund of Rs three lakh each to the families of the deceased.

Further, a total of six persons had attempted suicide so far, it said, releasing the details of four such persons.

The party had already named one person who had allegedly attempted suicide and another who had severed his finger after coming to know of Jayalalithaa’s death, and announced Rs 50,000 for them.

The party also announced Rs 50,000 on Sunday for the four persons towards their medical treatment.

Having had hospitalised since 22 September, 68-year-old Jayalalithaa suffered a cardiac arrest on 4 December , and passed away the next day.

First Published On : Dec 11, 2016 15:05 IST

470 people died of grief following Jayalalithaa’s demise: AIADMK

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Sunday said that a total of 470 people have died so far of grief and shock following the death of former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.”Total 470 people died, unable to bear death of Puratchi Thalaivi Amma, Rs. 3 lakh aid will be given to each families,” the AIADMK tweeted.Earlier, the party had announced Rs. 50,000 for a party functionary, who allegedly attempted self-immolation and a similar amount to another person, who chopped his finger following Jayalalithaas’s demise on December 5.

Mumbai: Chopper crashes in Aarey Colony in Goregaon, 4 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A helicopter caught fired after it crashed in the jungles of Aarey Colony in Goregaon (East) in Mumbai on Sunday afternoon. Four persons inside the chopper ‘Robinson R44’ were injured in the mishap and have been hospitalised, officials said.According to the fire brigade officials, the incident occurred around 12:15 pm near at Jambli maidan, Filter pada, near Stable no. 21 & 22.”Three fire engines and ambulances were rushed to the spot as soon as we are informed about the mishap. The fire has been doused,” said a fire brigade official. He added that four persons were injured and were rushed to the hospital by the police before the fire brigade arrived.”We are investigating how the mishap took place,” said a police officer.According to ANI, the 1992 made ‘Robinson R44’, which was originally with Pawan Hans, was later sold to a private aviation company which used it for joy ride after repairing it.

Cyclonic storm Vardah likely to cross Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border on Monday

Vijayawada: Authorities on Sunday sounded an alert in Andhra Pradesh and adjoining Tamil Nadu as cyclonic storm ‘Vardah’ over the Bay of Bengal has turned into a “very severe” one.

The storm is likely to cross north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coast by Monday afternoon, said Indian Meteorological Department on Sunday.

According to IMD, ‘Vardah’ over west central and adjoining south Bay of Bengal moved further westwards and lay centred at 530 hours over west central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal about 520 km east-southeast of Nellore, 490 km east-southeast of Machilipatnam and 480 km east-northeast of Chennai.

“The storm is very likely to move nearly west-southeastwards and maintain its intensity till Sunday evening. Thereafter it will weaken gradually while moving towards south Andhra Pradesh coast and adjoining north Tamil Nadu coast,” the IMD said.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The Met office has forecast light to moderate rains at many places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over south Andhra coast and north coastal Tamil Nadu from Sunday evening for subsequent 36 hours. Light to moderate rains are likely to occur over north coastal Andhra.

Strong winds with speed of 40-50 kmph are likely along the coast from Sunday. The speed may increase to 70-80 kmph at the time of landfall. Damage to thatched huts, power and communication lines, roads and crops is expected.

As the sea will be rough, fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea for next 48 hours. Authorities have hoisted third warning signal at all ports on Andhra coast.

District administration in Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore have been alerted to take all precautionary measures. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who has cancelled his visit to the UAE and Kuwait, is monitoring the situation from the command and control centre in Vijayawada.

Naidu deputed four senior IAS officers to four districts to take necessary steps to minimise the loss of lives and property. Two teams of National Disaster Response Force have reached Nellore district.

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

Dense fog in Delhi, train, flight services affected

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhiites woke up to a foggy Sunday with poor visibility leading to cancellation of eight trains & delay in several flights.The minimum temperature was recorded at 12.4 degrees Celsius which was 3 notches above normal. The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 22 degrees Celsius, said a MeT department official.The visibility at 5.30 AM was 50 meters and 100 meters, respectively at Safdarjung and Palam, he said. It was recorded later to be 300 meters at Safdarjung while it was 200 meters at Palam at 8.30 AM, the official said.The fog affected train movement with cancellation and rescheduling of several trains.Ninety trains are running late and another 28 trains have been rescheduled while eight have been cancelled due to the fog, said a senior Railway official.The flight operations at IGI Airport, however, remained normal with no disruption due to fog, said a Delhi Airport spokesperson.The humidity level was 90 per cent at 8.30 AM. The day is forecast to be clear with dense to very dense fog reappearing next morning, said the MeT official.Yesterday, the minimum temperature was recorded at 11.2 degrees Celsius while maximum settled at 21.6 degrees Celsius.

Govt cancels licence of NGO Lawyers’ Collective run by Indira Jaising

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Licence of an NGO run by noted lawyer Indira Jaising has been cancelled permanently by the government for alleged violation of FCRA, an action termed by the organisation as “preposterous” and an attack on “right to free speech” guaranteed under the Constitution.Jaising, who was the Additional Solicitor General of India under the previous UPA government, had violated Foreign Contribution Regulation Act norms by receiving foreign funds between 2006-07 and 2013-14 when she was a government servant, the order said.Reacting to the government’s move, the NGO issued a statement expressing wonder at how an order could be issued on Sunday when all the government offices are closed.”Lawyers Collective has received an order dated November 27, 2016 cancelling its registration to receive foreign contribution…at its registered office at Mumbai.”The cancellation order is on the grounds that LC allegedly has violated the terms and conditions of its registration certificate, violated the provisions of the FCRA, and most importantly, acted against ‘public interest'”, the statement said even as it noted that “strangely enough, the order is passed on a Sunday, when government offices are closed.In June, the licence of Lawyers’ Collective was suspended by the Narendra Modi government for six months for alleged violation of FCRA by using the funds for rallies, dharna with political “hue and colour”, a charge denied by the association which termed it as an act of “vindictiveness”.The organisation has also been put on the list of 25 NGOs found allegedly taking part in activities detrimental to the country’s interest, official sources said.The Home Ministry earlier had said, “It is really surprising how a senior law officer, such as an ASG can simultaneously and for such a long period be on the rolls of a private entity, being paid (out of foreign contribution) for undisclosed purposes in gross violation of rules applicable to law officers of Union of India”. Jaising, who served as ASG between 2009 and 2014, has represented social activist Teesta Setalvad in an FCRA violation case against Setalvad’s NGO ‘Sabrang Trust’ and ‘Citizens for Justice and Peace’.Jaising and senior Supreme Court lawyer Anand Grover are the office bearers of the Lawyers’ Collective.Grover was part of a lawyers’ team to petition the Supreme Court on behalf of 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon hours before he was to be hanged.The Lawyers Collective (LC) statement said the order repeats what is alleged in the show cause cum suspension order dated May 31 and “disregards LC’s replies in fact and in law.At the same time, certain new allegations have surfaced such as ‘diversion’ of foreign contribution and utilisation for ‘personal gain’, which are not borne out by the facts or the records, are absolutely false and defamatory.”It is preposterous for the MHA to suggest that LC has no record of work, when the government itself has acknowledged LC’s contributions towards advancing women’s rights, securing access to affordable medicines, protecting the rights of HIV positive people as well as transgender persons and continues to call upon LC for its legal inputs,” the statement said.The statement said the NGO reiterates that the current proceedings under FCRA, including the latest cancellation order, are only a continuation of the harassment and persecution of the organisation, especially of its two trustees and senior advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover perpetrated by the government, over last one year.”Both Jaising and Grover have been and are continuing to take up sensitive cases, in their professional capacity, against the powerful functionaries of the present ruling establishment,” the statement said.The action is perceived to be a “clear attack on the right to legal representation of persons who need legal services the most and a gross abuse of powers by the government of the day.”It is also a clear attack on the right to free speech and association guaranteed by the Constitution of India. The entire proceedings against LC under FCRA are nothing but an attempt to discredit the long-standing credibility of the organisation and that of its trustees, and a part of the larger clampdown on civil society spaces in India,” it said.The NGO termed it as “preposterous to allege that LC has acted against public interest whereas LC has always strived to advance public interest through its pioneering work.”LC is exploring all legal options to challenge the cancellation order, including its defamatory contents, and will take necessary action in an appropriate time,” the statement said.

AAP rally held in Benaulim seat for Goa Assembly Elections

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the run up to Goa legislative assembly elections, politically important Benaulim constituency witnessed a rally taken out by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Royla Fernandes.”AAP is the only party to begin its campaigning here, even as other political outfits are yet to decide their candidates. The first round of door-to-door campaigning in the constituency is completed,” Fernandes, an architect-turned-politician said on Wednesday. The rally was held on Sunday.The Catholic voter dominated constituency in south Goa, next to Margao town, was traditionally a Congress bastion until it was won by Goa Vikas Party candidate Caetan Silva during the 2012 Assembly election. “The door-to-door campaign of AAP in Benaulim began prior to Arvind Kejriwal’s rally held on May 22 in Goa. All volunteers have knocked every door in the village,” Fernandes said.She said the AAP volunteers have heard the problems faced by people in this constituency and would be suggesting practical solution for them. “We are touched by desire of the people to fight corruption and people are joining in this revolution for clean and honest politics,” Fernandes added.AAP has announced its 30 candidates who will be contesting the upcoming assembly election in Goa. The party has decided to field candidates in all the 40 constituencies.

Jayalalithaa dead: PM Modi pays his last tribute to the Tamil Nadu CM

Chennai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Chennai on Tuesday to pay his last respects to chief minister Jayalalithaa who passed away last night.

J Jayalalithaa with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a file photo. PTI

J Jayalalithaa with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a file photo. PTI

Clad in a white kurta and trousers, Modi was received at the airport by Governor Vidyasagar Rao. The Prime Minister later boarded a helicopter to INS Adayar en route to Rajaji Hall, where Jayalalithaa’s body is lying in state.

In a series of tweets last night, the Prime Minister, who enjoyed a good personal equation with the late leader, had said that he was “deeply saddened at the passing away of Selvi Jayalalithaa. Her demise has left a huge void in Indian politics.”

Jayalalithaa, a popular leader who showered the poor with populist programmes, died last night at a private hospital in Chennai after battling for life for 75 days.

The 68-year-old leader had suffered a massive cardiac arrest on Sunday evening.

First Published On : Dec 6, 2016 14:01 IST

Woman who lost husband in 26/11 set to complete HSC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>November 26, 2008 is a day Mumbai never forgets. The terrorist attack resulted in hundreds of deaths and left citizens on edge. While the day affected everyone, several individuals have shared inspiring stories of how they picked themselves up after losing a loved one. An anonymous woman, who was profiled on Humans of Bombay on Sunday, shared her story of how she completed her education after she lost her husband at Mumbai CST.“I’ve always been a homemaker while my husband worked at the railway station. We were very content with our lives,” she said.The woman spent most of her time raising her two daughters, while her husband would work. One day, she fell ill and the family faced difficulties. It was at this time when her husband requested his mother to come from their native place in Bihar to take care of his wife. “After a few months when I recovered and my mother-in-law was leaving to return to Patna, my husband went alone to drop her off at the station, sometime around 9 pm. I was sleeping when my sister-in-law called me around 10 pm, told me about the attacks and said my husband wasn’t answering his phone. I rushed down to the phone booth to call him and after trying many times someone finally picked up and said, ‘the person who’s phone this is, is dead; come claim the body’.It took the woman a few months to recover, but as time went by she began pulling herself together. “I had two daughters who had their whole lives in front of them and I had to make sure that I did everything I could to educate them better. I received compensation from the government which I used for their education and to take care of the house and my mother. I was also offered a job by the Railways, but since I had only studied till Class VIII, I couldn’t get a job that paid me half as well, but I took it anyway. I wanted to set a better example for my daughters, so after a few months I decided to join school again,” she recalls.During that period, she would prepare food for her children, drop them to school, go to work, return to make dinner, do her homework and then attend night school. “I have no idea where the strength came from. I just loved that I was educating myself to never feel helpless again—I finally passed my SSC and I am on my way to clearing my HSC and through this time I got my promotion as well.”While remembering her husband, the woman says she knows that he would be proud. “Sometimes life takes people away. I still sometimes question why 26/11 had to ever happen, but the only way to fight back is to not give up. Every year, that day marks the death anniversary of my partner, but it also remains the day I became independent, where I didn’t succumb to the terror but used the pain to make my girls and me stronger.”

Nashik: 8th standard girl gang-raped by classmates, six accused held

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A minor school-going girl was allegedly gang-raped by boys from her class, two months ago. The case appears to be a consequence of over indulgence in social media.While six boys have been named as accused in this case, one of them, 21-year-old has been remanded to four days police custody.The mother of the girl who was studying in 8th standard in a well known English-medium school in Cidco locality in Nashik, reported to the police that her daughter was gang raped in September 2016.The case came to fore when on Sunday, the mother found a objectionable message on her daughter’s phone. She then probed the girl who alleged that she was raped by six boys during the Diwali holidays. The girl said she was threatened by the boys not to speak about the incident.Police said that the girl’s friend had formed a group on social media in which the victim was added along with many other boys from the class and school. Some of the boys had shared some “inappropriate” messages and images.The FIR mentions that the girl was asked to come out of the house under the pretext of getting her notebook. One of her classmates then asked her to accompany her to a house in the locality where there were other boys too. The girl stated that she was given a drink which made her drowsy after which she was raped.After the case was reported on Sunday evening, the police immediately held six boys, one of them being 21 years old. They were arrested and produced in the court on Monday. The court has remanded him to police custody for four days. The case is being investigated by Ambad police.Speaking about the increasing cyber activity, Commissioner of police Dr Ravinder Singal said, “This is a very sensitive issue. From the cases that we see, we find that children are indulging increasingly with social media and they don’t understand the gravity of it. This over indulgence in cyber activity is disturbing and there has to happen a discussion amongst parents and teachers. A serious dialogue on the issue which makes the children aware of responsible behaviour on the social media is necessary. They need to know that illegal writing on such media can land them under the scanner of the law enforcing agency and such inappropriate cyber activity can land their future in trouble”.

Jayalalithaa critical: Centre assures assistance to Tamil Nadu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J ayalalithaa’s health condition deteriorating following a cardiac arrest, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Monday assured all possible assistance from the Centre. Rijiju told the media that Tamil Nadu might require additional forces to maintain the law and order situation in the wake of the Chief Minister’s deteriorating health condition.”The practice is that if there is a situation in state and the state finds themselves inadequate to maintain the law and order situation then the Centre is always willing to send extra forces. It is our primary duty to ensure that the state is being helped in all possible way they require. But we cannot intervene on our own,” he added.Meanwhile, Union Health Minister JP Nadda said a team of four top doctors from Delhi’s prestigious AIIMS has been sent to Chennai on the request of Apollo Hospital. Jayalalithaa, 68, had a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening and was put on an extracorporeal membrane heart assist device, a life support system that aids heart and lung functioning.

Jayalalithaa health setback puts life in Tamil Nadu in suspended animation

Since Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday, everything in the state seems to be in suspended animation although normal life in the city and elsewhere is unaffected.

The entire AIADMK leadership, ministers and a large number of party workers are camping in and around Apollo Hospitals on Greams Road, where she has been admitted since Sunday evening, when the hospital issued a press release announcing the latest setback. The hospital had confirmed earlier that she had completely recovered from the medical conditions for which she was admitted and was on a path of recuperation. An AIADMK leader had also announced a few hours earlier that she would be going home soon.

It’s rather impossible to gather anything new other than what the hospital has said: That she is on an “extracorporeal membrane heart assist device” and is being treated by a team of experts that includes cardiologists, pulmonologists and critical care specialists. The hospital did admit that she was in a critical condition.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Even as get-well messages pour in from all over the country — from national and state government leaders and ministers, all that Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK leadership, her supporters and well-wishers can do is to wait. The procedure that the hospital said that it has conducted on her is not very unusual in critical situations and it does take time for the patient to stabilise and recover.

In simple terms, “extracorporeal membrane heart assist device” means that the functions of her heart and lungs have been temporarily taken over by an external machine (extracorporeal means outside the body). Right now, she is on such a life support system because of the cardiac arrest and it takes the load from her heart and lungs and helps her recover. It’s somewhat similar to a heart-lung machine that’s commonly used during a coronary bypass surgery.

Given that the emotions of party workers run high during such distress situations, the state administration is reportedly taking all necessary precautions for ensuring normal life. Media reports said that senior police officers across the state have been ordered to report for law and order duty by Monday morning. There were also reports that both the state cabinet and the top brass of the police held late night meetings on Sunday night to ensure that there are no untoward incidents. Live TV feeds from the surrounding areas of the hospital showed considerable frenzy among her supporters. Prayers by groups of women appears to be a common sight. Party supporters are also organising prayers everywhere across the state.

Anything beyond what’s officially announced is speculation. Since Sunday, social media has been rife with rumours and unconfirmed reports, some of which were mischievous and misleading. Doctors will have to wait and watch and her supporters have to hope for the best. Medical literature shows that the present situation could last a few days. Reportedly, Dr Richard Beale, the critical care specialist from the UK, who had advised Apollo Hospitals on her treatment earlier, as well as the team from All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (Aiims) have been consulted and they will provide continued to support.

Jaya was admitted at the Apollo Hospitals more than two months ago with distress to her lungs and heart and also some infection. Although the hospital was tight-lipped about her condition initially, it later admitted that she was on respiratory support and on medicines to fight the infection. Later on, the hospital chairman Dr PC Reddy himself told the media that she had fully recovered and could go home whenever she was ready.

First Published On : Dec 5, 2016 11:30 IST

Tamil Nadu: 2 dead as speeding car hits two-wheeler near Pallikonda

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A car hit a two-wheeler near Pallikonda on the Chennai-Bengaluru Highway on Sunday killing two men and seriously injuring other, reports TOIThe accident had taken place at Okanapuram around 12.10 pm the man riding the bike attempted to cross the road without seeing the speeding car moving towards Chennai.The man riding the car has been identified as Santhosh and the two riding pillion who were killed are known R Ajith Kumar, 25, of Reddiyur village and K Jayamurthy, 40, of Eda Krishnapuram village.Santosh, 20, has sustained grave injuries and has been admitted to Government Vellore Medical College Hospital (GVMCH).

Jayalalithaa cardiac arrest: Chennai re-emerges as a city of the wildest rumours

At around 6 pm on Sunday, PTI put out the following tweet, attributing this information to the AIADMK:

At around the same time, cardiologists, pulmonologists and a battery of critical care physicians were struggling to revive Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. She had suffered a massive cardiac arrest at 5 pm and had been immediately put on ECMO or extra-corporeal membrane heart assist device. This is a life-sustaining intervention to provide both cardiac and respiratory support to persons whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange to sustain life. Either the party apparatus was blissfully unaware of the development or was deliberately trying to mislead everyone.

That Tamil Nadu’s political culture is famously opaque when it comes to disseminating information is well known. In this case, medical bulletins in the initial days only spoke of fever and dehydration and it was only when critical care specialist Dr Richard Beale was flown in from London to corroborate the line of treatment that people realised there was more than what meets the eye. For the better part of the 70-odd days, Jayalalithaa has been on the ventilator, as she is suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. She has also been given passive physiotherapy.

File image of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. PTI

File image of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. PTI

In fact, people reacted with surprise when she put her thumb impression on the forms of the party candidates in the by-elections. The reason given was that her right hand was swollen.

Only in the past two weeks or so when Apollo Hospitals chairman Dr Prathap Reddy has been speaking to the media, has there been some clarity on the chief minister’s condition. The discussion at the hospital centered around when Jayalalithaa could be discharged. But Sunday evening has pushed the situation back to square one. A top source grimly described the chief minister’s condition as “more than critical”.

But while the mainstream media has reported on Jayalalithaa’s health with restraint — not overstepping the line, refusing to speculate, WhatsApp has shown itself to be the spoilt cousin. With every forward giving incorrect information under the halo of authenticity, WhatsApp converted Chennai and several cities around the world into a web of rumours.

Many received WhatsApp messages that there would be an editors’ meet at midnight. No clue as to who had called for it. Some spoke of Section 144 imposed in Chennai. Again wrong. All of them designed to create panic and confusion.

On Twitter, several people tweeted mentioning the worst. Suddenly a lot many people “knew” a doctor working at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai or were “friends” with one of the doctors in the Aiims team.

As evening passed into the night, the media contingent (or circus, as the critics would like to say) had become very large. It will only get larger as Monday wears on. Battling sleep, tiredness, anxiety, rain and the mosquitoes of Greams Road. Jayalalithaa’s health is a big story to cover for all media — print, television and digital. Regional, national and international. But at the same time, it runs the risk of degenerating into a Peepli Live. Accuracy in disseminating news is the only way to fight rumour-mongering.

The entire Tamil Nadu police machinery has been on duty since 7 am on Monday, suggesting the law and order machinery is gearing up for something untoward. This kind of a bandobast has not been seen since 22 September when Jayalalithaa was admitted to hospital. What would really help is if the administration told the citizens the truth, so long as it didn’t compromise the law and order situation.

In October, more than 50 people were arrested by the Tamil Nadu police for spreading rumours about Jayalalithaa’s health. Many of these arrests were on the basis of complaints filed by the AIADMK IT wing. Ironically, the same party spread wrong information about its own leader.

Information — and accurate one at that — is always at a premium in Tamil Nadu. That makes the challenge of doing journalism all the more in the state. especially at a time like this.

First Published On : Dec 5, 2016 07:35 IST

We have summoned Mahesh Shah to re-appear before us today: I-T dept

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahmedabad: Mahesh Shah, a property dealer from the city, was allowed to go home on Sunday morning after he was questioned for six hours overnight by Income Tax personnel. However, the I-T department has summoned Shah to appear before the concerned officer again on Monday morning.Pramod Chandra Modi, the Director General (Investigations) in I-T department, on Sunday said, “As per Shah’s request, the process of recording his statement temporarily concluded on Sunday morning and we have summoned him to appear before us on at 11.30am on Monday. If he does not show up, we know how to ensure he does so.”Shah shot into limelight after he declared Rs 13,860 crore under the Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS), which closed on September 30. He was picked up from the office of a regional channel for questioning on Saturday.During his interview to the news channel, Shah refused to reveal name of persons who allegedly used him as a front to declare the whopping amount, saying that he would do that only in front of I-T officials.Meanwhile, apprehending possible threat to his life, city police deployed two guards outside his residence in Satellite area.Sources said though Shah claims he is not financially sound and the I-T returns of the last few years shows his annual income to be only Rs3 lakh, documents recovered from his residence by the I-T department prove otherwise. While a page shows an entry by Shah of gifting a property worth lakhs to his son, another indicates he gifted a property to his wife too.When the I-T officers asked him about these entries and asked for details of the two transactions, sources said Shah was unable to give any satisfactory answers. Shah claimed he had bought the properties from his savings, but when asked to describe his savings per year, he was unable to do so. He was also not able to answer questions related to his other investments and fixed deposits.He also failed to answer questions about the interest rates he had earned from savings, and if he had paid tax on the interest earned.Sunday dramaThe I-T department allowed Mahesh Shah to go home at 10am
He first went to his daughter’s house in Prahladnagar.
He was later escorted to his residence at Jodhpur Square under police security. Monitesh Mahesh Shah speaksThe I-T department had called me on Saturday evening to provide my father’s medicines, and so I went there.
My father is innocent and Income Tax department should not grill him much.
But, I-T department should question those whose names my father will reveal.
My father has not shared any information with me about his disclosure and at whose behest he did the same. Rajkot connection to Shah?Rajkot -IT team has carried out searches at two offices – a goldsmith’s and a travel agency’s – in the last 24 hours.
Sources said their offices were probably searched as they were good friends of Shah.

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