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Chhattisgarh: BJP registers victory in municipal council polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP on Friday registered victory in the Bhilai-Charoda municipal corporation and Sarangarh municipal council polls putting to rest speculation that demonetisation would impact party’s prospects in the recently held civic elections in Chhattisgarh.”BJP’s nominee Chandrakanta Mandle won the mayor’s seat in Bhilai-Charoda, defeating Congress candidate Jyoti Banjare by a margin of 4922 votes,” a state election official said. Mandle received 27,184 votes followed by Banjare in the second position of the tally with 22,262 votes, he added.Likewise, BJP’s Amit Agrawal defeated Congress’ Suraj Tiwari for the post of president of Sarangarh Municipal Council by 1096 votes. Agrawal secured 6221 votes, while Tiwari got 5125 votes.BJP put up a good show in Bhilai-Charoda winning 16 out of 40 wards (for corporators) while the main Opposition Congress managed to get 13 and remaining 11 went to Independent candidates.Besides, BJP also won byelection held in four wards for corporators and Independent candidates emerged victorious in 2 wards (by-poll).”The victory clearly indicates that it is peoples’ stamp of approval for demonetisation decision of Prime Minister. It is also a signal that people of the state will bring BJP to power for the fourth consecutive time in the next 2018 assembly election,” state BJP chief Dharamlal Kaushik told reporters.The victory that came on the 50th day of demonetisation brought cheer to Chief Minister Raman Singh led BJP who had suffered a setback in the urban body election for 10 municipal corporations held in 2014-15.Congress had won four out of 10 corporations then while the ruling BJP was reduced to four, two less from previous time in that election.Besides, rest of the two seats were won by Independent candidates.

Mainpuri: Woman molested, assaulted along with husband in public view in SP bastion

In a shameful manifestation of public apathy and the influence of local thugs in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri district, a woman was reportedly molested and later beaten up along with her husband in broad daylight as bystanders stood and watched, while some even chose to film the assault.

The video, which has gone viral on social media, since Tuesday shows a group of men brutally caning a woman and a man while a pack of bystanders watched the incident. The woman was seen bleeding from the head, yet no one from the crowd intervened.

According to reports, the couple’s young daughter was also present when the incident took place, however, the attackers fled the scene before the police arrived, according to a report in Jansatta.

The main culprit, identified as Anand Yadav, a resident of Kishani, Mainpuri district, was nabbed on Wednesday morning based on the video and eyewitness account and a case has been registered against him and two unknown miscreants, according to Dainik Bhaskar.

According to a report published in Patrika, Vandana Tiwari and Ashwin Tiwari were asking for directions to an address in Kishani Bazaar area when a local resident tried to grab the woman’s neck scarf and grope her. The couple tried to resist, after which they were badly beaten up.

Another report in Zee News,  said Vandana and Arvind have registered a complaint with the local police and threatened to shoot themselves if the culprits were not arrested soon.

Meanwhile, this is not the first incidence being reported from the area. In another shocking incident from July this year, a Dalit couple was murdered by a local shopkeeper after a spat because the couple owed him Rs 15. In August, two labourers were reportedly beaten to death by some local cops as they refused to give bribe at a checkpoint.

Mainpuri is just 20 km away from Saifai, the hometown of the ruling Akhilesh Yadav family. With Assembly elections nearing, a gruesome incident of attack and molestation in the Samajwadi Party bastion could hamper UP Chief Minister’s claims of an improving law and order situation.

First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 17:43 IST

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.

Kejriwal takes on Delhi BJP chief over statehood issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> By denying statehood to the national capital, BJP wants the people of Delhi to remain “second class” citizens, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday, referring to a purported statement by Manoj Tiwari, which the latter denied having made.The Delhi BJP chief said Kejriwal, in his “hurry” to lodge his opposition, was latching on to a “false report”. The online exchange started with Kejriwal’s tweet: “This is insulting to the people of Delhi. BJP does not want to give Delhiites the rights to be full citizens, want to keep them as second class citizens in their own country.” Tiwari, who recently replaced Satish Upadhyay as BJP’s Delhi President, tagged Kejriwal in his reply, saying he would send him “the complete video tomorrow”.”At least listen to the complete statement. Why the hurry in opposing? I will send you the complete video tomorrow. You have latched on to a false report again,” Tiwari tweeted. Tiwary later said the party was in favour of statehood for Delhi but stressed that there was a need to determine its limits. “The issue of statehood for Delhi was mentioned in our election manifesto. We support statehood, but one should also keep in mind that Delhi is not just the capital of any state, but the entire nation.”Therefore, the limits of statehood, especially in light of Kejriwal’s protest in Delhi ahead of Republic Day celebrations in 2014, must be determined,” Tiwari said. Since storming to power, the Aam Aadmi Party government has repeatedly clashed with the Centre over the contentious issue of granting statehood to Delhi. The government had also a released a draft bill on statehood in May. However, there has been no progress on that front. PTI SBR

BJP understands the ‘pain’ caused to Mayawati by demonetization: GVL Narasimha Rao

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said it clearly understands the pain and agony of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati as she was unable to utilise her money collected from selling party tickets.”We understand the pain and agony of the leaders like Mayawati because she has sold all the tickets in Uttar Pradesh and collected large sums of money in cash and possibly she is unable to really utilise that money. We can understand her agony as this demonetization move will not only hurt all political leaders, but also the hoarders of black money,” BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao said.He said that people have overwhelmingly supported the Centre’s decision while parties like the SP and the BSP, are only opposing because this move has hit them hard.Expressing similar views, BJP leader Manoj Tiwari said people have not complained about scrapping the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, as there is an overall consensus that this decisions will clean up the economy.”Yes, I agree, that there are inconveniences. I have been seeing a lot of people standing in queues, but they are also supportive of the Prime Minister’s decision. Although Mayawati alleges that demonetization is a decision taken for selfish interest, but if it helps in eradicating black money and helps the nation to progress then what is the harm. We are not bothered by the accusations made by her,” Tiwari said.The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief yesterday said demonetization has brought nothing but an economic emergency, as people are suffering due to it.She accused Prime Minister Modi of ?blackmailing? people by busting into tears on several occasions. “If riots and scuffles break out due to the prevailing condition, then only the Prime Minister will be responsible for that.” Mayawati said.

Give notice to Nandini Sundar before moving against her: SC tells Chhattisgarh govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tursday asked the Chhattisgarh government to give advanced notice of four weeks to social activist Nandini Sundar and others before proceeding against them in the case relating to the alleged murder of a tribal man in Naxal-affected areas of the state.The apex court also took on record the assurance given by the state government that Sundar and others, who have been booked for the alleged murder, will not be arrested or interrogated as of now. A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Adarsh Goel granted liberty to Sundar and others to approach the court if any notice of arrest or interrogation is served upon them. “ASG Tushar Mehta says that Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad, Vineet Tiwari and others will not be arrested or interrogated. State government is directed to give four weeks advance notice before proceeding in the case. Liberty to petitioners to approach court after the notice is served,” the bench said.The bench, however, refused to entertain Sundar’s plea that the state should first take permission from the court before arresting or interrogating her and other activists in the case.”No, they can’t be stopped perpetually. If there is a crime, they need to proceed. It is their statutory right. They will first give you notice and then they can proceed,” the bench said, adding that the activist can approach the court after the notice is served. The bench also did not take on record ASG Mehta’s statement, saying when a statement is already been made that they would not be arrested, then nothing else is required.”We don’t need to look at everything. You have made a statement. Now it is on record. You will have to give advance notice. As and when you want to proceed, show us the material,” the bench said.On November 7, Delhi University Professor Sundar, JNU professor Archana Prasad and others were booked on charges of murder of a tribal villager in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. At the outset, senior advocate Ashok Desai, appearing for Sundar and other activists showed some newspaper clips and said that IG Bastar Range K Sivarama Prasad Kalluri has recently made a statement that Nandini Sundar and others will not be able to enter Bastar and people will stone them. He said this should not be allowed.Mehta countered the argument claiming whenever there is a hearing on the matter, there are news reports and if the court wants to take on record these materials, then it should also have a look at the records which the state government wants to submit to the court. The bench, however, disposed of the application filed by Sundar and said if any notice is issued, then they have the liberty to approach the court.The court had on November 11 taken on record the statement of Chhattisgarh government that no action will be taken against Sundar and others till November 15 and had asked the state to find a peaceful solution to the Naxal problem there and adopt a “pragmatic” approach towards life. Police had claimed that alleged armed Naxals had killed the villager, Shamnath Baghel, with sharp weapons on the night of November 4 at his residence in Nama village under Kumakoleng gram panchayat in Tongpal area, around 450 kms from Raipur. Baghel and some of others were spearheading protests against Naxal activities in their village since April.An FIR was lodged against Sundar, Archana Prasad (JNU Professor), Vineet Tiwari (from Delhi-based Joshi Adhikar Sansthan), Sanjay Parate (Chhattisgarh CPI-M State Secretary) and others for the murder of Baghel based on the complaint of his wife, the state police had said. They were booked under section 120B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 and 149 of IPC at Tongpal police station.

Delhi University Prof Nalini Sundar, Maoists booked for tribal man’s murder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi University Professor has been booked along with Maoists and others on charges of murder of a tribal villager in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, police said on Monday.”An FIR was lodged against DU Professor Nandini Sundar, Archana Prasad (JNU Professor), Vineet Tiwari (from Delhi’s Joshi Adhikar Sansthan), Sanjay Parate (Chhattisgarh CPI (Marxist) State Secretary) and others along with Maoists for the murder of Baghel based on the complaint of his wife on Saturday,” said Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) SRP Kalluri.They were booked under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 and 149 of IPC at Tongpal police station, the IG said adding, “strongest possible action will be taken against those guilty after the investigation”.Though the case was registered on Saturday, the matter came to light late Monday evening.Armed Naxals had allegedly killed the villager, Shamnath Baghel, with sharp weapons on late night on Friday (November 4) at his residence in Nama village under Kumakoleng gram panchayat in Tongpal area, around 450 kms away from here.Baghel and some of his associates were spearheading the protest against Naxal activities in their village since April this year.”As per the complaint lodged by the victim’s wife, her husband had been getting threats from Maoists since he and other villagers had complained against Sundar in May this year. Even armed ultras were referring to that complaint and anti-Maoist demonstrations while attacking Baghel on Friday,” the IG said.His wife has sought action against Sundar and others accusing them of murdering her husband, Kalluri added.Notably, Baghel and other villagers of the region had earlier given a complaint with Tongpal police in May this year against Sundar, Prasad, Tiwari, Parate and an unidentified woman activist from Sukma for allegedly inciting innocent tribals against the government and seeking their support for Maoists.Villagers of Nama and the neighbouring Kumakoleng village (both under Kumakoleng village panchayat) had started a self-motivated protest against Maoist activities in their villages after forming its own security group named “Tangiya (axe) group” in April this year.”Following the development, according to villagers, Sundar and others went in the village to allegedly threaten them not to oppose the Maoists,” the IG said.Sundar had gone to the village with fake name Richa Keshav, he added.A letter was then written to the Vice Chancellors of both DU and JNU informing that Bastar police was conducting an inquiry against both the professors following complaint received against them, he added.

Delhi: Court sends senior judge to 14 days judicial custody on corruption charges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special court here on Thursday sent Senior Civil Judge Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal to 14 days judicial custody on allegations of illegal gratification. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) accused Lakhanpal, a sitting judge at Tis Hazari District Court (THC), of allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs. 20 lakhs.The CBI also arrested the judge’s husband Alok, a criminal lawyer and Vishal Mehan, a court commissioner (CC) appointed by her on charges of corruption.In its press release, the BI stated, “A case was registered U/s 7 & 8 of P. C. Act, 1988 against the Advocate on a complaint alleging that in a matter being heard by a Senior Civil Judge (West), Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, she had appointed an advocate as Local Commissioner for conducting an inspection of the disputed property and submitting his report. The Advocate (appointed as Local Commissioner) allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs.2 Lakh for himself as well as Rs.20 Lakhs for the said Senior Civil Judge for deciding the matter in the favour of complainant.”Acting on the complaint, the CBI laid a trap and arrested Mehan when he was accepting a bribe. During his interrogation, Mehan confessed and claimed that he was allegedly acting on directions of the judge. The Lakhanpal’s were then arrested when Mehan delivered their share of the money to them. The CBI further conducted a raid at Lakhanpal’s residence at around 2 am on the intervening night of September 28 and 29 and recovered almost Rs. 94 lakhs, two locker keys and other material. Sources close to the case claim that almost Rs. 60 lakhs were recovered from Lakhanpal’s bedroom, whereas the remaining amount was found in their sons’ room.Special Judge (CBI) Sanjeev Agarwal allowed CBI’s plea and remanded Alok and Mehan to two days police custody. “Source of huge recovery of Rs. 94 lakhs is yet to be established and the investigation is at a very nascent stage, therefore fair investigations and interest of justice requires two days PC remand each be granted,” the court said.”Regarding Ms. Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal only judicial remand has been sought, as it is stated that the investigation qua her is at initial stage and she may influence witnesses and tamper with the evidence,” the court added.According to sources, the complaint was registered on September 27. During the raids, two independent witnesses – one official from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and a government schoolteacher, were present at the time.The CaseSources within the CBI state that the matter involved a property at Saraswati Garden in West Delhi’s Kirti Nagar area. Apparently, the judge had appointed Mehan as a CC to inspect the property and submit his report. This report is crucial since it becomes a part of the judicial report. A judge would then base his, or her final order based on the submissions made in the report.Court sources claim that Rachna Lakhanpal, who started out as a public prosecutor, was elevated to the position a judge and rose through the ranks to become a senior civil judge. It was rumoured that she was going to be promoted to the position of the Additional District Judge (ADJ)when the new round of promotions would be announced in the next few months to come.Alok Lakhanpal and Mehan will be produced in court on Saturday, whereas Rachna will be produced on October 13.

Delhi: Car thief killed in encounter with police, deceased’s family alleges encounter was fake

New Delhi: A car thief was killed in an encounter with police in outer Delhi’s Kanjhawla area on Wednesday even as his family alleged that it was a fake encounter.

The deceased was identified as Abhishek while police is looking for his accomplices.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Police received a call at 6.50 am that a car that had been stolen from the Uttam Nagar area had been spotted in the Karala area that comes under the jurisdiction of Kanjhawla police station.

Head constable Vikram and constable Lal Chand reached the area and tried to intercept the car, DCP(Outer) MN Tiwari said.

They signalled the car to stop near Inder Enclave phase-II, Mubarakpur Road but the occupants of the car opened fire on police, he said.

In retaliation, police also fired at the criminals.

“They tried to engage our men by opening fire and our officers retaliated by firing back and we had fired two rounds in response,” he added.

During the firing, the occupants sped away towards Kanjhawla, the officer said.

Later, police got to know that a man had been admitted to Savitri hospital with bullet injuries. On investigation, it was found that the injured man was the car thief who was shot in the police firing.

Abhishek was then shifted to Baba Saheb Ambedkar hospital where he succumbed to injuries, the officer said.

According to the officer, the car had two to three occupants and police have launched a search to nab them.

Police is also trying to find whether Abhishek was a member of a gang of auto-lifters.

With the help of GPS system installed in the robbed car, the vehicle was found in a field in Kulasi village in Bahadurgarh area of Haryana.

Abhishek’s family is alleging that he was killed in a fake encounter by police.

Congress to follow RSS, BJP model in Uttar Pradesh, to engage its youth wing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a leaf out of the RSS BJP model, Congress too will mobilise its students and youth wing for Uttar Pradesh election campaign. Strategist Prashant Kishor, assisting the Congress in Uttar Pradesh polls has held two meetings with the members of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) and Indian Youth Congress (IYC).The two organisations are scheduled to begin their campaign from October, engaging thirteen prominent universities of the states. They also plan to engage the local doctors, lawyers and intellectual community and are to come out with a student manifesto. Leaders in-charge for UP including Sheila Dikshit, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Raj Babbar will be participating in these meetings.Unlike in the BJP, where RSS and its frontal organisations, including its student wing plays an active role in the election campaign, the Congress does not enjoys any such culture. Now with Kishor steering its poll campaign, the plan is to engage and make optimal use of the party’s youth brigade.Not only will NUSI and IYC members engage on social media platforms, they will also be holding discussions and electoral debates on university campuses.”Since twitter is not very popular amongst students in the state, we have been asked to focus on WhatsApp and facebook groups. These pages will not provide one way opinion, but will be open to suggestions and student interactions,” informed Abhinav Tiwari, National Secretary of NSUI.The active members and volunteers of the youth wing are currently attending workshops acquiring skills to head these campaigns. These members will then be divided into various teams, who will be going on to university campus. Each team will also have a member from Kishor’s team who will monitor and assist the student leaders.Kishor’s team has also identified the students’ issues and the promises made by Akhilesh Yadav’s government, which were not fulfilled. UP government had promised laptops and tablets to every student who passed class 12. But only a handful of them were ever given out. The promise of giving away smartphones to student was also completely forgotten. “State government had promised an unemployment allowance of Rs 1,000 per month to youth. Youth in UP does not want cash allowance, they want job security,” added Tiwari. In its engagement with the university students, NSUI will be highlighting these issues.Amongst the various universities that the team has shortlisted, three universities are in Prime Minister’s constituency itself. These interactions will be held in Banaras Hindu University, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith and Sampurnanand Sanskrit University. Similar meetings will be held at universities in Kanpur, Allahabad, Aligarh, Jaunpur, Ghaziabad and Noida.”In cities like Kanpur and Banaras where there are management and law colleges, we will invite students from these campuses too to participate in the discussion,” added Tiwari.While the student unions are fine tuning their strategy, they will hit the ground after Rahul Gandhi’s Khat Rally comes to an end next month. “Senior national leaders incharge for UP, will be participating in these students interactions. We will come up with a students’ manifesto at the end of the session,” added Tiwari.

Swamy’s criticism proves government’s economic policies are failure: Congress

Attempting to corner the government over Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy’s remarks on Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian, Congress leader Pramod Tiwari on Thursday said Swamy’s criticism proves that the NDA government’s economic policies have been a failure.Swamy earlier said that he wants Arvind Subramanian to be sacked, as he had badmouthed India in the international arena and had also encouraged the grand old party to become rigid on their GST Bill clauses.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Subramanian Swamy’s remarks on Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian makes two things clear. He said the setbacks in the economy is because of these people. This proves that government?s economic policies have been a failure. Subramanian Swamy has accepted it,” Tiwari told ANI here.”He is pointing fingers at PMO’s economic advisor. He should prove it, it is a serious allegation,” he added.Further taking a dig at the government, Tiwari asked, “Who is country’s Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley or Subramanian Swamy.”Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had yesterday backed Arvind Subramanian and said the government has ‘full confidence’ in the Chief Economic Advisor.Jaitley, at a press briefing, said the BJP does not share Swamy’s views, adding that the Chief Economic Advisor’s advise to the government in economic matters have been of ‘great value’.Earlier in the day, Swamy had launched a scathing attack on Arvind in a series of tweets.”Who said to US Cong on 13/3/13 the US should act against India to defend US Pharmaceuticals interests? Arvind Subramanian MoF !! Sack him!!! Guess who encouraged Congi to become rigid on GST clauses” Jaitely’s economic adviser Arvind Subramanian of Washington DC,” he tweeted.Speaking to ANI here after he tweeted against Arvind, Swamy reiterated his salvo he had used against RBI Chief Raghuram Rajan, saying that the CEA was a ‘green card holder’ and was probably not an Indian citizen.

After Raghuram Rajan, is Arvind Kejriwal next on Subramanian Swamy’s list?

BJP MP from East Delhi Mahesh Girri on Sunday sat on a hunger strike outside the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, demanding that the chief minister prove the allegations regarding the murder of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) official MM Khan.

Girri asked Kejriwal for a public debate over his allegations.

Earlier, in a letter to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, Kejriwal had accused the Governor of trying to “save” Girri and NDMC vice-chairman Karan Singh Tanwar in Khan’s murder.

Khan, an estate officer of NDMC, was shot dead in Jamia Nagar on 16 May, a day before he was scheduled to pass the final order on the lease terms of a hotel which was functioning on a property leased out by the civic body.

Reacting to this controversy, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy dragged the Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung further into the controversy. He demanded that the Governor must be dismissed as baseless allegations are being leveled against an elected MP.

Swamy also said, “If you have dared to question his (Girri’s) integrity then you must prove it. And you must apologise if ” as reported on Times Now. Swamy said Kejriwal should come out and face a debate.

The Delhi Chief Minister, meanwhile has reacted on Girri’s hunger strike outside his residence. He reiterated his allegations and demanded that Girri should be arrested. Kejriwal has alleged that Girri has links with the owner of the hotel, Ramesh Kakkar. He said that BJP is pressurising the police to not take action in the case and is instead indulging in theatrics.

On BJP’s demand for an open debate, Kejriwal asked if that is how BJPs justice system functions. Do we have open debates on murder cases? he asked.

BJP MP Mahesh Girri. Screen grab. CNN News18BJP MP Mahesh Girri. Screen grab. CNN News18

BJP MP Mahesh Girri. Screen grab from CNN News18

Meanwhile BJP leader Vijay Goel retorted back on the CMs statement saying why doesn’t Kejriwal answers Girri’s questions directly instead of responding to the media, Times Now reported.

In a letter to Kejriwal, Girri had invited him to Constitution Club to produce “evidence” he had against him in the MM Khan murder case on Sunday 4 pm.

Kejriwal did not accept the challenge following which Girri, accompanied by his party supporters, reached the Chief Minister’s flagstaff Road residence and sat on hunger strike.

The BJP MP has asked Kejriwal to either prove his charge against him or “resign” from the post of Chief Minister.

“If he manages to prove, then I will quit politics, otherwise he should do so,” Girri said.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leaders have also decided to throw their weight behind Girri maintaining that the Delhi CM must apologise if he cannot prove his allegations. So far, Subramanian Swamy, Vijay Goel and Manoj Tiwari from the BJP have joined the protest in a bid to support Girri.

Manoj Tiwari also joined the protest to stand with his fellow BJP leader. While talking to the Media he criticised Kejriwal’s “politics of lies” and termed his allegations “baseless” and an “attempt at character assassination.”

Mahesh Girri, who is continuing his hunger strike for the second day, said that Kejriwal cannot evade debate forever. Earlier, Girri had also written to the Delhi Police Commissioner stating that he is ready for arrest if need be and that he will fully cooperate in a probe.

On the other hand, aside from all the politics, MM Khan’s daughter has said that the politics being played around her father’s death is hurting her family. She said that she and her family has not levelled allegations against anyone and the truth In all the brouhaha aroound the issue, the investigation on the case is lost, she added. She also said,” We are simple people and we do not understand all this politics. We only wish for an unbiased probe in his death.”

Khan’s daughter also requested the BJP MP to end his hunger strike, saying she doesn’t want any one to go hungry.

Hitting back at Girri, AAP’s Delhi unit convenor Dilip Pandey said an open debate with Kejriwal would not solve the problem, instead the BJP MP should be ready for a fair investigation.

The party also reiterated its demand for arrest of Girri and Tanwar in connection with the murder.

The owner of the hotel, Ramesh Kakkar, was arrested on charges of murder.

AAP MLA from Okhla Amanatullah questioned Girri’s ties with Kakkar.

Pandey also alleged that Tanwar took money from Kakkar to get Khan transferred and the BJP leader had also threatened the NDMC officer.

Pandey claimed that a letter was written by Tanwar to Khan. AAP and people of Delhi want to know the content of the letter which has since gone missing, he claimed.

with inputs from agencies

Active polio strain found in sewage water; Telangana on ‘high alert’

The state of Telangana declared a “high alert” for polio after an active strain of the virus was found in samples of sewage water in the state capital, Hyderabad.

Rajeshwar Tiwari, Telangana‘s top health official, said on Wednesday that a vaccination drive will be launched next week after tests revealed the Type-2 polio virus in sewage samples.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The virus was found in regular lab tests conducted on samples of sewerage water collected at Amberpet on 17 May, he added.

He said about 350,000 children ranging from 6 weeks to 3 years old will be vaccinated in the weeklong campaign, which will start on Monday.

Two lakh vaccines were airlifted from Geneva immediately after the virus was detected, Hindustan Times reported. The government will bear the entire cost of medicines and vaccines to be administered to the children in these areas.

The virus strain was detected during random tests of sewage that have been carried out regularly since India was formally declared polio-free in 2014.

On 27 March, 2014, India along with 10 other countries of the South East Asia region was certified polio-free. After almost two decades and Unicef’s initiatives, polio was eradicated from the country.

This recent case in Telangana is a cause of worry and concern over the resurfacing of Polio in India. However, Hindustan Times quoted CK Mishra, additional secretary, health ministry, as saying “there is no need to panic”.

“India maintains its polio-free status as we have scanned the area and no polio case has been found,” he said.

“This is not the first time that a strain has been found but it is a vaccine-derived polio strain that is found commonly in children with low levels of immunity. They excrete it, which is why it is found in the sewage samples,” Mishra added.

The last case of the crippling disease in the country was detected in the eastern state of West Bengal in 2011.

With inputs from agencies

Thane: Why didn’t the confined victims of godman revolt? Cops baffled

The Samta Nagar police in Thane, which is probing a case wherein 28 people, including minors, were unlawfully confined in an ashram and made to perform religious rituals, is baffled about why the victims did not resist and kept facing harassment for over two months. The guru-disciple duo who ran the ashram had also confiscated the mobile phones of the victims so that they could not connect with the outer world, police sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Friday, the police had arrested self-proclaimed ‘god man’ Devendra Dubey and his disciple Bhagwandas Tiwari on charges of wrongfully confining 28 persons in their ashram in Thakur Complex, where they were allegedly trapped and were subjected to harsh treatment and intense torture under the pretext of pleasing the lord and attaining liberation. The police suspect that this is not the only incident wherein Dubey and Tiwari lured people from different states by offering them money and then making them work without wages.”If 28 people are subjected to such ill treatment then there are possibilities that the accused have set up their network across the state and opened several such institutions for making the people do odd jobs. We are baffled as to why 28 people followed the dictatorship of two men in the ashram and could not overpower them in order to set themselves free from their clutches,” said an officer of the Samta Nagar police station.The police suspect that there is something in the case that doesn’t meet the eye. “All the rescued people hail from north India and they are all well-versed in religious verses and are quite learned in the scriptures. Dubey and Tiwari, who hail from northern India, had set up their ashram in 2014. A few months ago, they started calling people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand to their Kandivli-based ashram to learn rituals and also promised to pay them Rs 600-1,200. Later, they were forcibly made to undergo severe fasts and were also made to do odd chores, in the false assurance that this work will lead them to heaven. The followers who had came there were not allowed to make any sort of communications with the outside world and even their cell phones were seized by the patrons. Under the pretext of religious achievements, the followers were physically tortured inside the ashram,” the officer said.”We are still investigating the case and all the doubts shall be answered after interrogating the accused, who are in remand at present. One of the accused had some contacts with people who would send victims to learn rituals in Mumbai. We are also trying to get leads from the accused to expose any similar ongoing acts and, after getting necessary information from them, we shall take relevant steps. We shall also ask the court to increase the tenure of their police custody so that we can get more details pertaining to the case. The rescued minors have been sent to a juvenile home in Dongri and the rest of the captives have been released. We have recorded the statements of almost all the victims,” said senior police inspector of Samta Nagar police station Dilip Yadav.

Mumbai cops rescue 28 youngsters including 12 minors from clutches of self-styled god-man

The Mumbai Police have rescued as many as 28 youngsters, including 12 minors, from the clutches of a self-styled god-man, who have confined them in a bungalow in Mumbai’s Kandivali area.The god-man had allegedly used to force the youngsters into performing rituals that were physically and mentally torturous.Police inspector Sunaina Nate of the Samta Nagar Police Station said, “One of the children managed to inform his kin about the exploitation he was subjected to. The kin immediately informed police about the matter.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Acting on information, a team of the Samta Nagar Police raided the premises on Friday evening and rescued 28 youths, including 12 minors, mostly hailing from Uttar Pradesh, said Nate.The inspector said the youngsters were subjected to exploitation in the name of religious rituals.”Two people – Bhagwandas Tiwari and Devendra Manoj Dube have been arrested in this connection and further investigation into the case is on,” said inspector Nate.

Jaitley disapproves of Swamy’s "personal" offensive, Congress dismisses it as "meek" defence

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley broke his silence on BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s offensive against RBI governor Raghuram Rajan saying he did not approve of personal comments against anyone.Jaitley’s response came after Swamy on Thursday shot off a second letter in less than a fortnight to Prime Minister Narendra Modi levelling six allegations against Rajan and seeking his dismissal. However, the Congress dismissed it as “meek” defence of RBI governor saying Swamy’s attack was an assault on the institutional mechanisms in India.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The finance minister said the RBI was an important institution which made its own judgments. “One can agree or disagree with their judgment but that’s a debate on issues. But, I don’t think we should allow a public discourse where instead of debate on issues we concentrate on debate on persons,” Jaitley told a television channel.He was reacting to Swamy’s letter which said that the allegations against Rajan were “prima facie true” and required terminating the services as RBI governor immediately in “national interest”.The Congress questioned the Prime Minister’s silence on the issue. “Otherwise it seems that Swamy has been unleashed on the RBI governor by design. Saying that we disapprove of personal attacks on RBI governor is not enough. Why has the Prime Minister not come out and spoken against the unprecedented attack on the governor? Otherwise it seems a design to unleash Swamy on the RBI governor,”said Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari.According to Swamy, Rajan’s insistence on raising the interest rates led to recession in domestic and small and medium industries and thereby causing not only a sharp decline in output but also a massive unemployment of semi-skilled labour. Swamy went to the extent of accusing him of being anti-national in intent as being a profressor of finance he ought to have known the consequence of high interest rate.The diatribe against Rajan also referred to his “innuendos”, “holding on to his green card” and being a member of the US dominated Group of 30.”Despite being a government official he has been publicly disparaging of the BJP government. For example, he has by innuendos in effect held our government responsible for the climate of intolerance in the country. In a Washington Meet recently he disparaged the growth rate of India as being equal to a cockeyed person in the land of blind persons,” Swamy said adding that this was a violation of the rules governing public officials.Swamy also alleged that he has been sending confidential and sensitive financial information using his Chicago University email id to various persons around the world and said it was “reckless disregard of the national security interests of India.” He said Rajan insisted on permitting Sharia compliant financial institutions although there is no such provision in the RBI Act.In his letter on May 17, Modi had asked the PM to dismiss him saying he was “mentally not fully Indian” and had “wilfully wrecked”the economy.Congress’s Tiwari said that it sent the message from the ruling dispensation “that if you do not play ball with us, if you do not move in tandem with us, then we will hound you, we will come after you. The intention is very simple: that if you are a self-respecting man, you will possibly put in your papers and go and then we will be saved of the embarrassment of having not to renew your term. This is the worst form of fascism and the oldest trick in the fascist movement.”

Maharashtra: First full 50-wagon water train to reach Latur tomorrow

The first full 50-wagon water train left from Miraj near Pune for drought-hit Latur at around 10:55 pm on Tuesday. It carries 25 lakh litres of water, railway officials informed.The rake was stabled for loading at around 7:20 am on Tuesday but loading of all 50 wagons could get completed only by 9:45 pm, over 14 hours later.According to railway officials, a power outage at Miraj caused the water-pumping mechanism at Central Railway’s jack-well to stop working between 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. This meant that water could not be drawn from the Krishna river nearby during this time.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking to dna, Ashok Tiwari, senior divisional operations manager, Pune railway division said, “The rake should reach Latur by Wednesday morning.”Officials at Latur said unloading the rake should take about three hours.

Is India for Hindus only, HC asks Nagpur civic body

Expressing anguish over the move to recite “Hanuman chalisa” at an AIDS awareness programme, the Bombay High Court has asked the BJP-ruled Nagpur Municipal Corporation if, according to it, “India is for Hindus only”.The Nagpur bench of the court, while hearing a PIL yesterday, asked NMC “whether India is for Hindus only” and expressed strong reservations over the plan to recite ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ at its AIDS awareness event, in association with Poddareshwar Ram Mandir Trust.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The event is planned at Kasturchand Park ground here tomorrow. “Why only recital of Hanuman Chalisa and why not from Quran, the Bible or other religious literature? What is the nexus of AIDS awareness and Hanuman Chalisa recital? Is it only Hindus who contract AIDS? Is chanting of Hanuman Chalisa the only remedy for eradication of this deadly disease? the division bench of justices Bhushan Gavai and Swapna Joshi said.”If people can come for this event, they will also come for recitation of Quran and Bible,” they observed. The judges disposed of the PIL filed by former corporator Janardan Moon, after both the NMC and programme convener Dayashankar Tiwari, who is the ruling party’s leader in the civic body, agreed to disassociate with the two events (AIDS awareness and Hanuman Chalisa event), and pay the cost of stage and ground (used for the event) on pro-rata basis. The judges asked the respondents (NMC and the temple trust) to keep at least an hour’s gap between the AIDS awareness programme and the Hanuman Chalisa recitation, which over 1.5 lakh people are expected to attend.The court further directed to ensure that separate banners are put up backstage during both the programmes, with individual names of organisers. The NMC was also asked to give wide publicity to its AIDS awareness programme, without mentioning the Hanuman Chalisa event. “We dispose the PIL after accepting statements of NMC and Tiwari, that they would totally disassociate with Hanuman Chalisa recital and only hold AIDS programme,” the court said.The judges said that they were not against any religious programme, but only concerned with government agencies associating with it.

Supreme Court dismisses PIL on use of Hindi in official language

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking direction to amend the Constitution to make Hindi as official language of work in the apex court and High Courts, dubbing it as a “frivolous PIL” and stopped short of imposing a cost of Rs one lakh on the lawyer who had filed it.A Bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice UU Lalit said the petition filed by advocate Shiv Sagar Tiwari, a seasoned lawyer of the apex court, was “abuse of the process of law” and wastage of judicial time which warrants imposition of cost of Rs one lakh on him.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, when the lawyer said he cannot even pay Rs 1000, the bench asked him “why does he file such type of petition” and also asked him “why do you waste the time of the court.” The matter came after a bench headed by previous CJI H L Dattu had issued notice in the matter in 2014. Tiwari in his petition had sought for a direction to be issued to the Centre to amend Article 348 to bring it in tune with Article 343. Article 343 provides for use of Hindi as official language of the Union while Article 348 provide for language to be used in Supreme Court and High Courts.While dismissing the PIL, the bench noted that the use of English was permitted for the first 15 years after the Indian Constitution came into force and thereafter by way of law, the same can be extended.Senior Advocate V Mohana appearing for Centre submitted that the use of English has been authorised by way of the Official Languages Act.The bench also noted that “apart from the fact that the prayer is fallacious, the petitioner has not carefully appreciated the scope of Articles 343 and 348.” It then withdrew the cost of Rs one lakh on Tiwari.However the bench observed “if costs are not imposed in such cases, someone will get the bright idea every morning to file such writ petitions seeking amendments to the Constitution.”

Varanasi prisoners go on rampage to protest beating of inmate, take jail superintendent hostage

Varanasi: The superintendent of a district jail in Varanasi was taken hostage while his deputy was seriously injured as inmates clashed with prison staff on Saturday and took control of a section of the prison barracks.

Representational image. IBNLiveRepresentational image. IBNLive

Representational image. IBNLive

The inmates went on the rampage in the morning after two of their prison mates were allegedly beaten up by guards at Varanasi district jail at Chowkaghat in the Cantonment police station area, police sources said.

Jail superintendent Ashish Tiwari was taken hostage by the inmates, who were unhappy over several issues, including “poor quality” of food served at the prison, they said.

The prisoners have taken control of a portion of the jail barracks and locked it from inside, they said. As irate inmates clashed with jail officials, deputy jail superintendent Ajay Rai received serious injuries while several prison guards too were assaulted, they said.

The senior jail official has been taken to hospital, the sources added. A large police force has been deployed in and around the prison with efforts on to enter the barracks seized by the inmates.

DM Raj Mani Yadav and senior prison department officials are at the jail to deal with the situation, the sources said, adding that an NDRF team has been dispatched to the prison.

Assam Assembly Elections: PM Modi’s comments on Gogoi’s age ‘undignified’, says Congress

Congress on Monday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment on Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s advancing age as “undignified”.”It was a very undignified statement from a Prime Minister. Gogoi was made Chief Minister by the people of Assam, not Modi. Who is he to judge whether Gogoi should be made CM or not?” Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari told reporters here. He was responding to PM Modi’s comment at an election rally on Saturday where the latter had brought up the issue of the Assam CM’s age, saying, “Gogoi ji, in a few years you will be 90 years. You are my elder. I come to Assam to (offer) pranam to you and not fight with you”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the affidavit filed for the upcoming Assembly election, Gogoi’s age is about “79 years”. Tiwari said there is no substance in Modi’s statements which was full of “rhetorics”. “Except rhetoric and unsubstantial statements, the PM does not have anything to say. In the last 22 months, he has not fulfilled a single promise made to the people of Assam,” he said.On the other hand, he has only discriminated Assam, Tiwari claimed. “We have only seen economic morass, insecurity on border and instability on political front,” he added.Tiwari alleged that Modi is giving false promises to the people of Assam solely to garner votes. “BJP will be responsible for complete political and economic breakdown of Assam, God forbid, if people of Assam make a wrong decision,” the Congress leader said.Tiwari said, going by the last 22 months’ national experience, “I appeal to the people of Assam to vote for a Congress government for the fourth term.”

Direct queries on quota to RSS chief, Congress tells Modi

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct questions on “revisiting reservation” to his ideological mentor, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

File image of RSS cadres. PTIFile image of RSS cadres. PTI

File image of RSS cadres. PTI

“The prime minister today, while speaking with regard to Dr. (Babasaheb Bhimrao) Ambedkar said certain things which are absolutely and clearly economical with the truth. He talked about not revisiting reservation. The question to the prime minister is who raised the issue of revisiting reservation? Was it raised by the Congress? Was it raised by anybody in the opposition? The issue was raised by the secretary general of RSS Mohan Bhagwat,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari.

“So, the PM would be well advised if he directs these queries with regard to revisiting reservation to its or to their ideological mentor,” he added.

Bhagwat had earlier stirred a controversy by pitching for a review of the reservation policy.

IANS

‘BJP worker’ files complaint against Kanhaiya Kumar in UP

A complaint was on Friday lodged against JNU students’ union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar in a court in Firozabad for his alleged derogatory remarks against the Indian Army at an event in New Delhi.The complaint was lodged by Mayank Tiwari, who is said to be a BJP worker, in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate and it would come up for hearing on April 2.Tiwari has alleged that on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8 Kanhaiya had used derogatory language against women and the Indian Army at a programme organised in the national capital.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He alleged that the JNUSU president had said “in Kashmir army men detain women and rape them.”

Free speech is fine, as long as it’s applicable to everybody

A BJP youth leader by the name of Kuldeep Varshnay offered Rs 5,00,000 as a reward for cutting off JNU students’ union leader Kanhaiya Kumar’s tongue. While this is deplorable, it needs to be noted that Varshnay is still free at the time of writing this piece while Kanhaiya was arrested following a cultural programme he had allegedly organised at the JNU campus on February 9.

Representational image.Representational image.

Representational image.

The BJP leader clearly incited (if not incentivised) people to commit violence and yet walked free, while Kanhaiya’s speech was criminalised immediately though it wasn’t an incitement to violence. Moreover, posters were put up in Delhi offering Rs 11 lakh as reward for Kanhaiya’s murder, but again, no arrests were made.

This causes us to wonder if the laws that criminalise speech are the same for everyone or are they merely being used as a tool to protect the sentiments of the majority. For example, during the Delhi gang-rape protests in 2012, there were many comments and slogans that called for “death to the rapists”. Even last year, following agitations after the framing of the Juvenile Justice (Amendment) bill, there were calls for death penalties to be imposed on juveniles accused of rape. One couldn’t come by any article online without reading comments like “No trial, direct death for rapists”. One begins to wonder why these incitements to violence went unpunished.

The law on freedom of speech is quite settled as far as India is concerned. All citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression but the State may pass laws that impose reasonable restrictions on exercising the right. The interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the state, maintaining friendly relations with foreign nations, decency and/or morality, contempt of court, defamation and incitement to violence are all reasonable restrictions it may consider. In my view, these restrictions are sensible as they criminalise only those speeches which affect the exercise of free speech.

This reasonableness also shields us from most forms of legislative overreach, which may infringe upon fundamental rights. For example, defamation, libel and slander have no place in a public debate as personal attacks result in heckling, can drown out voices and actually hurt free speech. Clearly, there can be laws that criminalise speech that affects the sovereignty of India. For example, writing a letter to the President of Pakistan asking him to invade India should ideally be a criminal offence. Decency and morality are questionable, but are needed to prevent public offence, and in fact, courts have been quite liberal in reading laws that criminalise obscene speech. Contempt of court is necessary for our judiciary to function effectively, it would be hard pressed to have a republic where people can openly advocate the disobedience of a court order and incitement to an offence is criminalised for obvious reasons.

However, when it comes to the “public order” test, things begin to get dicey. That’s when we begin to see the true face of how these laws are applied and for whom they are applicable. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris last year, many newspapers, in India and abroad, self-censored themselves and refused to carry the offensive cartoons. Two papers in India, however, did — one was the Mint and the other was a little known Urdu paper Avadhnama edited by a lady called Shrin Dalvi. The editor of Mint was not arrested for carrying the cartoons, but Dalvi was.

Her trial is underway and she is currently out on bail. She has received death threats and was forced to go into hiding fearing the safety of her children and family. Today, she lives without employment as there has been a social boycott of her by the Urdu Press. I have looked around and am yet to find any article that talks of people being arrested for threatening to kill her.

The same can be said of Kamlesh Tiwari, a purported member of the Hindu Mahasabha, who released a press statement saying that the Prophet of Islam was the world’s first homosexual. Over one lakh Muslims rose up in protest demanding that he be put to death for his statement. They further went on to advocate a call for blasphemy laws in India, laws which they felt should carry the death penalty.

What’s worrying is that most of the laws criminalising speech in India are bailable offences, which means you can’t be detained after being charged with hate speech. The Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh has detained Tiwari under the National Security Act, a law that provides for preventive dentition. He is, by any stretch of the term, a prisoner of conscience, but we don’t see a debate on free speech surrounding him. Contrast this with the uproar caused by the prosecution of MF Hussain for his paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses.

Was it that we felt freedom of speech was threatened when Hussain was prosecuted, but we don’t feel so when Tiwari is detained without a trial or a charge? One could argue that it is so because the Hindu community is more liberal thanks to their higher economic and social status in India (as outlined by recent reports on the status of minorities) or one could argue it’s because as a society, we enjoy living in an echo chamber and don’t like it when the voices that are echoed are different from the ones we are shouting ourselves.

There are very few laws that criminalise speech in India, except those that do so on grounds of “public order”, reflected in Article 19(2) of the Constitution. Most speech offences in India are ones which cause a break in public order and it’s important to realise that we are the people who are prone to disorder when we hear something we don’t like.

Varshnay is able to get away for the same reason the Mullahs who called for the head of Tiwari and Shirin Dalvi are able to get away. It is not smart politics to initiate a prosecution against a person who says something that the majority agrees with, irrespective of the fact that, prima facie, offences can be made out from these statements.

Calling for more free speech will mean getting around the idea that people like Tiwari will go around making their statements, free from prosecution. I am of the opinion that, no matter how distasteful, Tiwari has the right to make them, just like Kanhaiya has the right to make his speeches criticising the government and just like Hussain had the right to draw the paintings. It is the duty of the law and order administration of a civil society to ensure these people are safe while making these statements. A safe space for freedom of speech does not only mean a safe space for speech the majority can agree with. It means a safe space for all speech. We cannot criminalise speech just because the police have a tough time maintaining order following the way people react; that’s a copout, a copout the colonial administration that drafted these laws could afford, but a copout that is suicidal for any free-thinking democracy.

In the seminal US Supreme Court decision of Abrams vs United States, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, in his dissent, argued why freedom of speech was necessary for a democratic society. “The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas — the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market,” Holmes had written.

This is often called the marketplace of ideas, and it’s time that free speech advocates began campaigning for laws protecting ideas that they themselves can’t get behind, for that’s the real defence of freedom of speech. A free market of ideas must be open to all ideas, no matter how distasteful they may be.

The true test of a democracy’s character is a person who is able to say the most offensive and distasteful things while maintaining order while he does so. If as a people we want fewer laws criminalising speech, we need to start maintaining order in the manner we react to it.

From Kamlesh Tiwari to ‘anti-national’ JNU: Freedom of speech can have no restrictions

On December 3, self-professed Hindu Mahasabha leader Kamlesh Tiwari, in a press note issued by him, claimed that the Prophet Mohammed was the world’s first homosexual. His comment was in response to Azam Khan reportedly calling RSS activists ‘gay’. This led to Tiwari being arrested even as the Hindu Mahasabha claimed that Tiwari wasn’t part of their group and was ‘created by the BJP and RSS’ to make them look bad.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tiwari’s remarks led to protests at various places, as a rioting mobs went on rampage in various parts of the country. But we will get back to that.On January 12, Kanhaiya Kumar, the Students’ Union President of JNU was arrested and remanded to three days’ custody allegedly for making remarks that were considered to be anti-national. Reportedly, he was part of a group that was celebrating Afzal Guru, a known terrorist who was hung for his role in the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament.Now, there are rumours that Kumar hadn’t made those remarks and that the video of students shouting anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans was actually made by ABVP supporters to nail Kumar even as another video did the rounds showing Kumar condemning the pro-Pakistan slogans and saying JNU did not support anti-national activities. For starters, just because this video exists doesn’t mean Kumar hasn’t made pro or anti-national remarks, but for the sake of this article, let us assume he did make ‘anti-national comments’. Just like Kamlesh Tiwari was arrested under the extremely vague Section 295 A, Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested under Section 124 A or sedition charges. To be fair, both laws are vague, and have no place in a modern democracy. While the former has barely caused a whimper among our intolerance brigade and is only used by ‘internet Hindus’ to make a point, the latter seems to have become a full-fledged debate which is seen as an anti-intellectual government cracking down on a hapless student community.What is sedition? Sedition, as defined by our Constitution, isWhoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India, a shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.The wording as we can see, like Sec 295 or Sec 153, is extremely vague. Who decides what brings hatred or contempt? Does criticising the government become the same thing as criticising the nation? Can I be put away for three years simply for making a joke about Modi and hugs? Does criticising Modi or Smriti Irani or Amit Shah become equivalent to criticising the nation?Not only is the wording vague, it’s extremely dangerous too because, with a slight twist, this sedition charge can be brought against anyone, as it was against Hardik Patel, the reservation activist who allegedly told youngsters to kill policemen instead of committing suicide. It has been used against Arundhati Roy for her remarks about needing a plebiscite (or referendum) in Kashmir. It has been used against Tamil folk singer Kovan for allegedly criticising Jayalalithaa. All of the aforementioned cases show the vague laws are used to crush dissent.Legally speaking, it can only be termed sedition when (as the SC observed in ’62), “…words and speech can be criminalised and punished only in situations where it is being used to incite mobs or crowds to violent action. Mere words and phrases by themselves, no matter how distasteful, do not amount to a criminal offence unless this condition is met.”This means that only if it can be proved beyond doubt that someone’s trying to incite a mob against the government, can one be charged with sedition.What’s more dangerous with this law is that it is against Freedom of Speech, no matter how much our nation’s most offended anchor might shout about it as he draws faulty comparisons with a soldier’s death. Goswami ranting and raving at students, in many ways, epitomises the bluntness with which people seem to have picked sides in the JNU row. From a left v/s right debate, it seems to have become a with us or with them debate where you either pick the side of JNU students and be branded an anti-national or castigate the JNU students like Arnab did while harping on vaguely about Lance Naik Hanumanthappa’s achievements.Get out of my headHow the hell can the government (this one or the previous one) tell me what I think? What if I don’t like the idea of India? I had no choice in the matter of being born in this nation. As long as I am not attacking the state or inciting violence, how can the state arrest me for having an opinion? Just like Kamlesh Tiwari shouldn’t have been arrested for his comments, Kanhaiya Kumar shouldn’t have been arrested for his remarks (if he did make them) about the Indian state. You cannot, in a modern democracy, arrest someone for having an opinion. It doesn’t matter how idiotic, vile or stupid the opinion is, as long as it is not physically hurting another individual or leading another individual to cause harm, you cannot use the state’s machinery to crush them.Politically speaking, the JNU incident might not harm the government as much as, say, the Dadri one. But the arresting of people simply for having an unpopular opinion (and this is not a unique case as we’ve seen all over the country) displays the government’s arrogance. It is indeed shocking that the BJP is making all the mistakes that the Congress made during its tenure as it crushes dissent using the tools at its disposal. It’s an open secret that the RSS cannot stand JNU, an institution it sees as anti-national, which is ironic when you consider the less-than-brave stand of the organisation during the freedom struggle.If our founding fathers were around, they’d be dismayed at the alacrity with which the government uses colonial laws to crush people whose views they don’t agree with. If there was one quality that united our founding fathers, it was their combined love for dissidence as they rebelled against the British to get us our freedom. Despite what our Constitution says about ‘reasonable restrictions’, true ‘freedom of speech and expression’ can have no restrictions. One should be allowed to say whatever one desires, as long as that speech or viewpoint is not physically hurting another individual, it shouldn’t be muzzled. That is how a 21st century democracy is supposed to work.

Chhattisgarh HM Ramsewak Paikra and three others injured in road accident

Chhattisgarh’s Home Minister Ramsewak Paikra and three others were injured when their SUV vehicle collided with a pick-up van in the state’s Balrampur district, police said.The incident took place late this evening between Ghat Pendari and Moran village in Wadrafnagar area when the minister was heading towards his native place Chendra in Surajpur district from Wadrafnagar, a senior police official told PTI. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Paikra, his aide Rakesh Tiwari, guard Sanjay Singh and the driver sustained injuries, he added. When the SUV reached between Ghat Pendrai and Moran, it collided with the pick-up van coming from the opposite direction, the official said. A police team rushed to the spot and the minister and other injured were admitted to the hospital of South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL) in Bhatgaon, the official said. Paikra, who had sustained injuries on his head, legs and chest, is being shifted to Ambikapur hospital for further treatment, he added.

Look up definition of beef before speaking: Congress tells Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij

The Congress on Wednesday lashed out at Haryana’s Health Minister Anil Vij who said that those who cannot live without eating beef should not visit the state, asking the latter to look up the definition of beef before making controversial statements.”Clearly Anil Vij is agitating and can’t tolerate the current Chief Minister in the state appointed by the BJP. So he is trying to stay in the news by making such controversial statements,” Congress leader Pramod Tiwari told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that Vij was clueless regarding the happenings in his own department, he added that the minister was unaware about the definition of beef as well.”Just as he is clueless about the Constitution, he is clueless about the definition of beef. We do not eat cow meat anyway, but he needs to educate himself on what is beef exactly,” Tiwari said. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took a passive stand over the matter saying that there are different laws in terms of banning of beef and that action must always be taken within the “legal framework”.”There are different laws in terms of banning of beef and those have been there for a long time in different states. On the other side, the eating habits of individuals which is also an issue. But whatever has to be done needs to be done in the legal framework,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI.Earlier, Vij created a furore by saying that those who consumed beef should defer from visiting Haryana. “There are some countries we don’t visit because food and drinking habits there don’t suit us. Likewise, those people who can’t live without eating beef should not come to Haryana,” Vij told the media.Vij said Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has clarified that there is no plan for licences to allow foreigners to have beef in Haryana, where there are stringent cow protection laws in place.However, a day after Khattar was quoted as saying that he was open to relax the beef ban for foreigners in the state, his OSD stated that the Chief Minister had said any such move can be possible only if there is a provision in the Cow Protection Act, passed by the Assembly last year.”There is a ban on liquor in Gujarat, but there is a special permission under which foreigners can consume alcohol. Likewise, the CM was asked whether there would be any special permission under which foreigners could eat beef in the state, to which he replied that people of Haryana do not eat beef and are against cow slaughter. But, he said, if there was any provision in the Act, it was possible; otherwise it wasn’t,” Jawahar Yadav, OSD to the Chief Minister, told ANI.Under the provisions of the law, cow trafficking, slaughtering and eating beef are banned in the state. The law clamps a complete ban on cow slaughter in the state and provides for imprisonment ranging from three years to 10 years for killing the animal.

Delhi University students protest against Subramanian Swamy’s seminar on building Ram temple

Delhi University authorities are maintaining that they have nothing to do with the subject of the seminar and the organisation had booked the venue for the event which is available to outsiders for hiring.

dna Web Team

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dna morning must reads: From looming Governor’s rule in J&K to Panasonic’s display at CES 2016

While Deepika is still tight-lipped about her entry into Hollywood, boyfriend Ranveer has indirectly given us the confirmation. “I feel very happy for Deepika and I am very proud of her”, he says. Does he have any Hollywood aspirations too? Read more here

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Mumbai: Soon an ‘e-challan system’ for traffic offenders in the city

He further said that those who are not carrying credit or debit cards when caught breaking a traffic rule, will be given a 15-day window to pay the fines through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT).

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