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UP Elections 2017: Another bout of power struggle in SP over ticket selection

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bitter power struggle between Akhilesh and Shivpal Yadav came to the fore once again today on the ticklish issue of ticket distribution with the Chief Minister differing with his uncle over selection of candidates.As reports of strains over ticket distribution cropped up, Opposition took a swipe at the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh with BSP supremo Mayawati saying the infighting has split Samajwadi Party into two camps.Shivpal, who had replaced Akhilesh as state party chief during a bitter feud in the Yadav clan, however, maintained there was “no problem” and if there is any it would be resolved.”The matter of ticket (distribution) will be cleared. As soon as elections will be announced, all problems will be resolved…When I have already said everyone’s opinion is being considered, there is no problem…Why are you (media) creating problems,” he posed.After Akhilesh reportedly sent a parallel list of candidates to his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shivpal today met the SP supremo at his residence here for over three hours apparently to iron out differences.Akhilesh is believed to be opposed to nomination of Sigbatullah Ansari, who is the brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari. He also does not favour giving ticket to Atiq Ahmed from Kanpur, who faces over 40 criminal cases including those of murder and attempt to murder, and Aman Mani Tripathi, now arrested by CBI in a case related to the killing of his wife.These names have reportedly upset Akhilesh Yadav so much, sources say, that he has sounded out his father Mulayam and asked him to intervene. The choice of candidates for 175 seats by Shivpal has apparently not gone down well with his defiant nephew Akhilesh who, according to party insiders, prepared his own list of preferred candidates for all the 403 UP Assembly seats and sent it to Mulayam. The list drafted by the Chief Minister carries his name as well as a candidate from Bundelkhand region where he will embark on a ‘Rath Yatra’ on December 28.During their recent public turf war, Akhilesh had insisted he should have a say in the ticket distribution as the election was a test of his government’s performance. This is Akhilesh’s second power play in the last three days. On December 24, Akhilesh had met first-time MLAs at his residence and promised to give them party tickets.

Dhulagarh riot: Pressure mounts on Bengal govt as Governor summons DGP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A week after clashes erupted in Howrah district’s Dhulagarh, the Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi summoned Bengal Director General of Police (DGP), Surajit Kar Purkayastha on Thursday. This comes a day after BJP Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly led a delegation and met the victims of Dhulagarh incident.On the same day, the Bengal government removed the district Superintendent of Police, Sabyasachi Raman Mishra and posted him as SRP Sealdah, a post considered less significant. The Deputy Commissioner of Howrah Police Commissionerate (Traffic), Sumit Kumar was posted as the new Superintendent of Police, Howrah (rural) district.Meanwhile, a team comprising central leaders of the BJP are all set to visit Dhulagarh next week.On December 13, clashes between two communities erupted following the Milad-ul-Nabi celebrations in Dhulagarh. Locals in the village alleged that ‘unprovoked’ clashes erupted after an infuriated mob in a procession of Milad-ul-Nabi celebrations started charging bombs at the houses. However, members in the procession allege that they were prevented from taking out the procession, following which violent clashes broke out.Local residents claim that they had to flee with their children and elderly as soon as the mob hurled country-made bombs at their houses. Later, the mob allegedly looted the houses and fled with the money and jewellery, later, setting it on fire.“Nothing is left. We are looted of all our belongings. They ransacked and vandalised our houses and eventually set them on fire. We could not save a single penny from our houses, only managed to save our children and ran for life,” said a local, Lakshmi Mallya.

Gujarat HC starts hearing appeals in Naroda Patiya riot case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat High Court on Monday started hearing appeals in the 2002 Naroda Patiya case, including those filed by former BJP minister Maya Kodnani and Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi.Defence lawyers started arguments before the division bench of justices Harsha Devani and A S Supehia. While Kodnani, Bajrangi and other convicts have challenged the verdict of the trial court, the Supreme Court- appointed Special Investigation Team has filed appeals against acquittals of 29 accused. It has also sought enhanced punishment for some of the convicts.The hearing is likely to be conducted on a daily basis. Last month, Justice Akil Kureshi had recused himself after which the case was transferred to the present bench. Before that, Justices M R Shah, K S Jhaveri, G B Shah, Sonia Gokani and R H Shukla had recused themselves from the matter. Also, in April 2015, the apex court had stayed the proceedings after SIT complained that Justice R R Tripathi of the high court was hearing only Kodnani’s appeal expeditiously. Tripathi retired and the case went to another division bench.97 people belonging to the minority community were killed by a mob during a riot in Naroda Patiya area of Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning incident in which 59 karsevaks died. The trial court had on August 30, 2012 awarded life imprisonment to Kodnani and 29 others, and “imprisonment till death” to Bajrangi. It had acquitted 29 others.

Transgender women in India face bias despite laws, says activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Transgender women in India face persistent bias that denies them education and jobs despite India having progressive laws for transgender people, according to a leading activist.In a landmark judgment in 2014, India’s Supreme Court ruled that transgender people had equal rights under the law, and granted legal status to the third gender. Alongside the right to marry and inherit property, they are also eligible for quotas in jobs and educational institutions.But most of India’s estimated 2 million transgender people face discrimination from a young age with transgender women particularly abused, reflecting the entrenched patriarchy in the country, said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a founder of the Asia Pacific Transgender Network. She said many transgender people are thrown out of their homes by their families, lack a formal education and are denied jobs. They are forced into sex work, begging or dancing at weddings to make a living.”We have among the most progressive laws for transgender people: the 2014 judgment gives us the right to choose our gender identity, so if I believe I’m a woman, I’m a woman,” Laxmi said at a panel hosted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and Asia Society on Monday. “But people are still biased. That’s why no one will hire us, except in the non-profit sector, and we have no choice but to beg or do sex work.” Laxmi, who prefers to go by her first name, was born into an orthodox Brahmin family. She became one of the most flamboyant advocates for transgender people, petitioning to recognise the category on all official documents including passports. Transgender women, known as hijras, have long been considered auspicious in India. They are featured in Hindu mythology, and their blessings are sought at weddings and births, even as abuse and exploitation are common.TREATED AS INFERIORTransgender people were included in India’s census survey of 2011 for the first time. There are 490,000 transgender people in the country, according to official data, a number that activists say is only a fraction of the real number. But there are moves to extend more benefits to the community. The eastern state of Odisha this year became the first to give transgender people welfare benefits such as pension and housing.India is also revising its rehabilitation scheme for bonded labourers to include transgender people. Laxmi said while the law is supportive, biases against transgender women reflect the entrenched patriarchy in India, where the mistreatment of women has become a major issue in recent years.Women face a barrage of threats ranging from child marriage, dowry killings and human trafficking to rape and domestic violence, largely due to deep-rooted attitudes that view them as inferior to men. “When to be feminine itself is not acceptable, then everything becomes taboo: red lipstick is taboo, being flamboyant is taboo, dressing a certain way is taboo,” said Laxmi, wearing a bright orange saree with chunky jewellery, and her trademark scarlet lipstick and red sindoor on her forehead.”When a woman still becomes powerful, the patriarchy assassinates her character and calls her names.”But the community cannot wait for laws to improve its lot, and must continue to fight for its rights, she said. “No one will bring us our rights to our doorstep; we have to lobby, we have to all be activists. We have to demand and take our rights,” she said.

‘I am the voice of my conscience,’ says Bengal Governor after Mamata’s attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> West Bengal Governor KN Tripathi on Sunday responded to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s charge that he was speaking “in the voice of the central government” by saying he was only speaking the “voice of his conscience”.”I am the voice of my conscience,” Tripathi told reporters when asked about the charges Banerjee levelled against him after he had criticised the CM over her stand on presence of army at toll plazas. Tripathi, who seemed visibly hurt with the comments made by the Chief Minister and TMC delegation, refused to say anything else and left for the venue of a book launch function in the city. “Every person should be careful while making allegations against a responsible organisation like the Army… Do not let down the Army. Do not defame the Army,” Tripathi had told reporters on the sidelines of a programme yesterday.In a repartee, the Chief Minister had said, “The Governor is speaking in the voice of the Central Government! He was not in the city for about 8 days. Before making statements, all details should have been checked. It is very unfortunate.” The exchanges between Banerjee and Tripathi were triggered by the Chief Minister’s objection to the presence of Army personnel at toll plazas, making her wonder if it was an “Army coup”.

Mamata vs Army: TMC MLAs stage dharna, Army to continue exercise till midnight

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Trinamool Congress MLAs and other senior leaders of the party staged a sit-in demonstration in front of the Governor’s House and will stay there till the army withdraws its exercise of collecting data on load carriers operating in the state of West Bengal.The senior leaders, some of them ministers in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet are also a part of the sit-in. With black cloth tied around their mouth, the party leaders raised slogans against the army’s exercise. While Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi is likely to meet a Trinamool Congress delegation around 6 pm on Friday evening, MLAs allege that they are going to continue their protests till the exercise is withdrawn.Meanwhile, the army clarified its stand on the exercise and maintained that it will continue till midnight as scheduled. “The three-day routine exercise was scheduled from November 30 till December 2 and under no circumstances will it be withdrawn. Out of the total 19 places that have been identified, statistical data collection at two places is over. Data will be collected in the remaining 17 places till midnight today,” said Major General Sunil Yadav, officiating GOC – Bengal Area, while briefing media at the Army Eastern Command Headquarters on Friday.

CBI arrest SP leader Amanmani Tripathi arrested in wife’s mysterious murder case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Samajwadi Party leader and an eastern Uttar Pradesh strongman Amanmani Tripathi in a case involving the mysterious death of his wife Sara Tripathi. Sara had died in a car crash on National Highway-2 when the couple were on their way to the National Capital last year. Amanmani had come out unscathed in the car accident prompting Sara’s mother t suspect the death, Sara’s mother, Seema Singh, had lodged an FIR against Amanmani and his family members, which included his parents, for murdering her daughter. Subsequently the case was taken over by CBI. The agency on Friday confirmed that Amanmani had been arrested and would be produced in front of a court to face murder charges.Tripathi’s father, former UP minister Amar Mani Tripathi, too is serving a life sentence for the murder of a Lucknow poetess, Madhumita, 12 years ago. Amanmani was also arrested in connection with another case of kidnapping lodged against him in Lucknow last year.According to officials , Sara had married Amanmani at an Arya Samaj temple in Aliganj area of Lucknow in July 2013.Her mother has alleged that Amarmani and his wife Madhumani, who are serving life terms for the murder of poetess Madhumita Shukla, were against the marriage. She has accused the couple of conspiring to kill Sara. Following the death of her daughter, Seema Singh had petitioned Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav seeking the transfer of investigation to CBI. After which the UP government had sent its recommendation to the Centre for a CBI inquiry into the case.The arrested accused was in news when Shivpal Yadav, during a feud with UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, announced the candidature of Amanmani from Nautanwa assembly constituency in Maharajganj. In October, Akhilesh in a statement had said that he had “no idea” about a new list of Samajwadi Party candidates for the crucial Uttar Pradesh assembly elections which included the name of Amanmani.

Sanskrit translation of PM Modi’s select poems released

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday released Sanskrit translation of selected poems written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at BHU here.Releasing the poems, written originally in Gujarati by Modi and translated by award-winning translator and Sanskrit scholar Rajalakshmi Srinivasan, Javadekar said, “They reveal about his (PM’s) patriotic thoughts and actions.” Written as ‘Aankh Aa Dhanya Che’ in Gujarati, the Sanskrit translation comes with the title ‘Naynam Idam Dhanyam’.”The poetry is reflection of PM’s thoughts and action, his patriotic feelings, and sensitiveness towards our villages, the poor, the farmers and our soldiers,” Javadekar said.Invoking Modi’s humble background, Javadekar, the PM has love and respect for army jawan since his childhood.”His sensitiveness towards our jawans can be gauged by the act that when our jawnas used to offer money during their train journey for tea, Modi and his family refused to accept the money out of love and respect for them,” he said.The Minister said the Sanskrit version of this poetry book is an effort to promote the language and also for the benefit of Sanskrit-loving people.”Varanasi is the most appropriate place for the release of this book because Modi is a Lok Sabha member from here and BHU, an institution founded by Madan Mohan Malaviyaji, who along with Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters wanted to impart education to all Indians,” he said.He further added, “Britishers didn’t want our people to get educated and they only provided education to some selected ones only to produce few bureaucrats as per their small requirement to rule us.”Calling PM a ‘Dharmayogi’ and a nature-lover, The Union minister said, “His poetry revels his mindset of a karmayogi, working endlessly for the benefit of the country and also his efforts to protect and preserve our environment.”Rajalakashmi said she has translated the Tamil version of this poetry book also.BHU Vice-Chancellor G C Tripathi said, “The poems of PM Modi carries a lot of sentiments.”Javadekar said people now a days feel there has been criminalisation of politics. “But politics is most misunderstood and underrated profession,” he said.”Not all politicians are bad. We have highly educated parliamentarians and we must boast that nearly 60 had been professors, teachers, and 30 among them have received education in world class institution and even taught thereat,” he said.

Bring ‘parivartan’ in yourself before launching it in UP: Congress to BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Monday took a jibe at Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ‘Parivartan Yatr’ and said if the leaders of the saffron party really want to bring ‘Parivartan’ then first they have to bring change within themselves.”If they really want to change something then first they have to bring change inside themselves and accept in front of public that they made false promises. Then only they will be able to regain the trust of the people of Uttar Pradesh,” said Congress leader Vijendra Tripathi.Tripathi further said that BJP has only made false promises in past two and a half years and have failed to perform on grounds and added that the reality of BJP is known to all.On Sunday, in the wake of upcoming assembly election in Uttar Pradesh, BJP initiated the Parivartan Rath Yatra from Bundelkhand.This Yatra is to pass through entire Bundelkhand before entering Kannauj, Mainpuri, Jaswant Nagar, Badaun and Firozabad all strongholds of leaders of ruling SP’s first family.Two more Parivartan Rath Yatras will be taken out, one from Sonbhadra and another from Ballia on 8th and 9th November respectively.These Parivartan Rath Yatras will cross-cross all the 403 assembly constituencies in next fifty days before culminating at Lucknow on December 24 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a mega rally.

Blow the whistle for Swachhata

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For 75-year-old Athro Tai of Hasanpur village in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district, the construction of a toilet in her household this past June has become a matter of pride. On the toilet wall, a freshly painted sign in red screams “Izzat Ghar” at passers-by. It also neatly frames her state of mind. For all her life, she had defecated in the open, in the fields. That changed when a five-member team of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) activists visited the village, stayed put for five days, and unleashed a carefully devised five-pronged strategy. “They befriended us, heaped shame on us, and opened our eyes to the risk of disease because of open defecation. I told my son that I, my bahu or my granddaughters will no more defecate in the open and he must get the toilet constructed,” says Tai.The “shaming” that she was subjected to is part of a new strategy being followed in India’s latest campaign to end open defecation, the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Behavioral modification and community mobilisation, known as “triggering”, precedes toilet construction in CLTS initiatives. Five-member groups of CLTS workers pitch camp in villages, build rapport and speak in the local language. They then express disgust at open defecation, assemble the villagers and demand to be taken to open defecation sites. Here they crank up the shame factor, wonder aloud at how the village can claim to protect the honour of its women in such surroundings, collect faeces in a bag to bring back to the village, and then demonstrate the risk of illness when faeces come back to the community through flies. Once he was convinced, Hasanpur Gram Panchayat’s (GP) young pradhan, Mohit Kumar, took to motivating the villagers. “Out of 450 families here, 69 did not have toilets. Ultimately, I was able to convince seven families to construct toilets using their own funds, and the GP pitched in for the other 62 households. My task was made easier because of incidents of molestation in nearby villages.” After Hasanpur self-certified itself as an Open Defecation Free (ODF) village, teams were sent from the district and block level for physical verification.But Kumar’s work was not over. The onus of ensuring that the new converts to sanitation did not go back to old ways also lay with him. The new CLTS strategies learn from the mistakes of earlier sanitation drives of the Indian government like the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and Total Sanitation Campaign. An estimated 9.7 crore toilets were built under these schemes between 2001 and 2014 but failed to wean the beneficiaries off open defecation. Government officials frankly admit that those toilets were either never built or were of poor quality, and were used to stock grain and household implements, even tether goats.So at about 5 am daily, Kumar leads six volunteers ‑— usually two men, two women and two children — into the fields for checks. “A pradhan has to lead from the front. Otherwise, I cannot keep the volunteers motivated,” he says. These volunteers are part of the Nigrani (Surveillance) Samiti, a team of 35 who take turns each dawn to police the village for violators. “We blow a whistle when we see one, and calmly advise him or her to give up the old practice. In a few hours the rest of the village also comes to know that so and so was caught defecating in the open,” says Asa Ram, who proudly flaunts the whistle, a fluorescent orange vest and torch, the kit that the panchayat gives its Nigrani Samiti volunteers. It has been six months now and the Samiti will be wound up in a few weeks. Kumar says they no longer find any violators. In some villages, pradhans have also begun imposing penalties on violators. Raees Ahmed, the head of Doodhli village, collected Rs.7,000 from 12 violators. “I imposed fines of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 and deposited the amount with the Chief Development Officer (CDO) in Bijnor. It is just a month since we have become ODF. But the penalties and the Nigrani Samiti are having the desired effect,” says Ahmed.A wider challengeThe district administration has also not left anything to chance. Every morning, from 4 am onwards, a team of 11 data operators, each dedicated to the 11 blocks in Bijnor district, ring up the pradhans of the 300-odd ODF gram panchayats. “Our job is to make sure they go out every morning. The pradhans also have the responsibility of daily sending photos of the nigrani samiti out on rounds, which we have to verify,” says Chandresh Rai, the 30-year-old supervisor of the ODF War Room that has been set up at the CDO office.Both the “Izzat Ghars” and the “ODF War Room” are CLTS innovations that have been pioneered in Bijnor, claims CDO Indramani Tripathi. “For those who have resisted using toilets, we coined the Izzat Ghar to link it to notions of honour of women, cleanliness, and pride in maintaining the toilet in good condition,” says Tripathi. The ODF War Room helps him monitor the entire range of CLTS activities. They track CLTS teams, verify the list of eligible beneficiaries for toilets dispatched by GP, disburse payments on completion of milestones, analyse photos of toilet construction, and send out officials for physical verification where necessary. But Bijnor district’s bid to declare itself ODF a few months down the line may not be free of controversy. According to the Baseline Survery conducted in 2011-12, Bijnor had an estimated 2,22,000 households without toilets. But under the SBM, the government is not mandated to build toilets for all these households. An official said many of these households were joint families who lived in the same homestead and put down demands for multiple toilets. So, the administration has now set itself a target of 90,000 toilets. It is also expecting a good number to build toilets without any monetary incentive from the government.Uttar Pradesh SBM director Amit Gupta is, however, clear that only the absolutely deserving must get government funding. “The gram panchayat draws the list of beneficiaries to ensure that it remains a bottom-up process. Where panchayats convince beneficiaries to finance their own toilet construction, we are releasing the saved funds for other community incentives,” says Gupta.With 1,128 gram panchayats, the Bijnor administration must build an average of 80 toilets in each village to meet the “compressed demand”. So far, over 300 GPs have been declared ODF, and CDO Tripathi claims that work is on in another 600 GPs. Vigilance is also being mounted from the ODF War Room to ensure that the funds distributed for toilet construction are utilised properly. “We ask the head of the household to first dig a double pit, before the first installment of Rs.5,000 is disbursed. After the toilet seat is installed, we release the next Rs.5,000 so that work on the superstructure can begin. The final Rs.2,000 is released when the work is completed and geo-tagged,” Tripathi says. However, Bijnor may not become the first ODF district in UP. Neighbouring Shamli, a much smaller district, has fewer toilets to build to reach the target. Gupta claims that 35 of UP’s 75 districts are doing well in terms of meeting Swachh targets. “The challenge is to motivate officials, and provide CLTS training to grassroots activists,” he says.Quality concernsThe CLTS training is also taking time because there are very few in India who can provide this training. “It is a very specialised programme that teaches both officials and activists innovative strategies to keep their cool, mix seamlessly with villagers, target their psyche and achieve the necessary behavioural changes,” says Gupta.Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar Upadhyay concurs about the quality of training. At Shekhpura Alam, a village where triggering activities were completed in early August, a few holdouts remain. One of them is Sajjan Singh, a young farmer who owns 70 bighas (28 acres) of land, but does not have a toilet in his house.Upadhyay quickly summons a crowd around Sajjan. “Look at this man! He owns 70 bighas, is dressed smartly but prefers to do tatti (defecate) in the open,” Upadhyay raises his pitch dramatically. Those assembled break into derisive laughter. Sajjan is visibly embarrassed. “Promise me, here and now, that you will build a toilet, and that too with your own funds.” Sajjan looks around for a moment, and then feebly replies: “I promise.” Upadhyay exhorts the crowd to applaud the man.“I have worked on toilet construction in earlier government campaigns. We just built the toilets and disengaged. But the CLTS training has taught me to approach the issue differently,” says Upadhyay. He claims that officials travel across the district to goad panchayats to meet targets. But villages like Shekhpura Alam also reveal the difficulties that the government is facing.Village pradhan, Savita Devi, is just a figurehead; her father-in-law Devraj Singh exercises the real authority in her name. As many as 105 toilets have to be built in this village of 550 homesteads. As toilet construction has just begun, the Nigrani Samiti, which has just been set up, currently advises people to cover the faeces with soil. “We are facing resistance from the people but we are not abandoning our Gandhigiri,” says Sullu, a member of the Nigrani Samiti. However, she does not appear motivated to continue the voluntary service and wants to be paid. “I tell them that I will go by myself on the morning rounds, even if they don’t come and that has the desired effect,” claims Devraj. But officials are also aware that the war to improve sanitation does not end with declaring a village as ODF. With open drains, and solid and liquid waste piling up within their precincts, ODF villages like Hasanpura have more work to do to go up the “swacchata” index. “The next phase in ODF villages involves mobilising the community to undertake solid and liquid waste management, keeping the surroundings of households clean and tidy, and ensuring that stagnant water does not collect,” says Parameswaran Iyer, secretary, union ministry of drinking water and sanitation.

Aligarh Muslim University’s female students stand against discriminatory hostel rules

Sometime October  last year, a graffiti scrawled at the sidewalk of the faculty of arts in the north campus, caught the attention of the most oblivious passerby. A silhouette of girl; painted red, rested on the floor, with a message accompanying it – loud and clear: “I am out tonight!”

This was part of the campaign called ‘Pinjra Tod’ started by the female students of different colleges and universities in the Delhi, against the discriminatory hostel rules; the most significant being the ‘curfew timing’ in girls hostels which disallowed female students from staying out late.

It was a protest against the ‘discriminatory rules’ that applied only to female students; rules that automatically made male students the privileged lot.

A year on to the campaign, the discrimination remains in various universities across the country and now the protest has reached to Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

The women hostel dwellers of AMU are now posing resistance to what a student remarked as “ against the demeaning moral policing at the hands of the hostel administration”.

Women protesting at Aligarh Muslim University. Firstpost/Shishir TripathiWomen protesting at Aligarh Muslim University. Firstpost/Shishir Tripathi

Women protesting at Aligarh Muslim University. Firstpost/Shishir Tripathi

The Indira Gandhi Hall (one of the girl’s hostel of AMU ) is witnessing a clash between the students and the Provost starting from the eve of the big event organised at AMU on the birth anniversary of Sir Syed Day, which is celebrated every year on 17 October. This is the first major stand that the female students of the university have taken since the Students Union was formed on 13 October 2016 in which girls had actively participated.

Large numbers of AMU female students have been protesting since Sunday morning demanding the resignation of Farrukh Arjumand, the Provost of Indira Gandhi Hall. Over 500 girls have signed the petition and the demand list and about 400 girls have been sitting on ‘dharna’ for the last two days and two nights. A few girls also slept out in the open through the night. The second night saw hungry protesters as most of the Indira Gandhi Hall girls boycotted the dinner on the much-celebrated occasion of Sir Syed Day. The reasons behind the protest have been a series of alleged untoward remarks and behaviour of the hostel administration. There has been seething anger among the students towards the inconvenient rules-regulations and public shaming of the hostel girls at the hands of the authority.

Women protesting at Aligarh Muslim University. Firstpost/Shishir TripathiWomen protesting at Aligarh Muslim University. Firstpost/Shishir Tripathi

Women protesting at Aligarh Muslim University. Firstpost/Shishir Tripathi

The recent protest was triggered by an incident in which the provost stopped hostelers from attending the cultural evening held on Saturday, October, 15 and threatened the girls of expulsion in case they sought help from the newly elected Students’ Union.

The hostelers have prepared a long petition, against the hostel management, including a strong demand for Provost’s resignation along with other demands for the improvement in hostel management. Students from Delhi also joined hands in solidarity. Members of Pinjra Tod group boosted the morale of the protesters with their presence.

“Students are disappointed in the vice chancellor as he did not listen to them and kept insisting on calling it off. Vice Chancellor did not come to meet the girls despite knowing the fact that some of them will be spending the night in the open. He came in the early hours of Monday morning only to reprimand the girl students for their alleged misconduct”, said one of the protesting students.

“Moral policing and inconvenient rules of girls’ hostel is reportedly a widespread phenomenon in AMU”, remarked another protesting student. AMU has been catching attention in matters regarding the female students. In the past there has been a major issue of stopping the female students from accessing the university’s library and also the issue of the choice of female students in taking admission either in Abdullah College for women or in the departments on main university campus.

Women’s issues have been a major bone of contention in AMU, which keeps erupting in one way or the other. The recent ongoing hostelers’ protest is not just a demand for the resignation of the provost but a bigger agitation in the direction of changing the rules for women on campus.

A protesting student who did not want to be identified said, “On most trivial issue the hostel authorities resort to character assassination. Like if we go out of the hostel, it is assumed that we are indulging in some wrongdoings. If we go to Delhi for some educational purpose or to give an entrance and we if we get late while returning, which usually happens given the distance we are not allowed to enter the hostel. Our character and intention is questioned”.

She adds, “This harassment is not limited to the hostel timings. If we try to reach out to hostel authorities with any other complaint or demands like for better food, or a cooked breakfast, we are threatened of being thrown of out of the hostel. We are threatened that if we hold any protest or in any manner become part of any such gathering we will be thrown out of hostel.”

Some of the very reasonable demands made by the girls are 24 hours hostel entry, ambulance facility, permission to be part of all events of the university, abolishing of late entry fine in the hostels, inspection of hygiene condition, providing of newspapers and magazines etc.

The letter written by the residents of the IG Hall to the Dean Student’s Welfare (DSW ) of the AMU clearly reflects the angst and pain of the female students. “In response to the past one year and the recent chaos created by the misuse of the administrative powers of the Provost , Indira Gandhi hall appeal and demand the immediate change of our Provost , Farukh Arjmanad, on democratic ground as she being the dictator tries to suppress every genuine issue of the hall raised by the resident students by threatening us with expulsion , remarking us on our character “ using rude language and our parents and family on every petty issue”, states the letter.

The demand note further reads, “Every voice raised against the mismanagement of the provost has been every time met with brutal threats and immoral allegation”.

Ideologies do not run universities, says BHU V-C defending his position as RSS ideologue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defending his position amidst allegations of trying to impose the sangh ideology on students in Banaras Hindu University (BHU), the Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi says: “I have never forced students to go to shakhas or follow RSS ideology, they can chose to do whatever they want.”An RSS ideologue, Tripathi, who is believed to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi further adds, “I believe in the RSS ideology but I would never try to impose it on the students. I know that ideologies don’t run universities, neither do governments. Universities are run by the statutes and mandates that are defined for them.””Governments can give directions to universities and universities will have to comply,” he adds.On Thursday, the Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar’s meeting with Vice Chancellors of various central universities in BHU was also linked to government idea of filling up the vacant faculty positions with RSS cadre. According to the ministry’s own report submitted in parliament last year, 1,310 posts of professors are lying vacant in various universities.Talking about BHU being chosen as the location for meeting, Tripathi says: “Only 20 per cent of weightage is given to interview in faculty hiring, rest is the academic record. So I cannot say how much can government decide on hiring an RSS or non-RSS person.”Tripathi has allowed RSS units to conduct rallies inside the university campus and has himself been seen hoisting the RSS student wing ABVP’s flag on various occasions. “Having a RSS unit or shakha inside the university is not illegal. Shakhas have always existed in universities. Some people with agendas are just trying to malign the name of the university.”The V-C has also been accused of creating a hostile environment for girls in the campus. He has stopped girls from using the 24 X 7 library in the campus and their hostel timings have been restricted to 8 pm every night.”What is wrong in restricting women timings to 8 pm. I treat the girls in my university as my own daughters, I do not want them to step out after 8 pm. Will you not ask your sister where is she going if she is stepping out of house after 8 pm. Girls of our university are good but some girls from other universities come here and spoil the atmosphere,” he adds.

NGT’s website hacked: Litigants, lawyers unable to access daily orders and judgements

New Delhi: The hacked website of National Green Tribunal remained unaccessible for the second consecutive day on Wednesday after it was blocked by National Informatics Centre, with officials hoping that it would become operational in another couple of days.

National Green Tribunal's logo. Image courtesy: conservationinida.org

National Green Tribunal’s logo. Image courtesy: conservationinida.org

“This site can’t be reached,” said a message posted on the green panel’s website. NGT officials said the NIC was working on the site, which came under cyber attack with a group posting profanities, and it was likely to be restored soon.

“We have already complained to National Informatics Centre and the site is blocked as of now. We are in touch with them and hopefully the website would be restored in a day or two,” said an NGT official on condition of anonymity. The NGT officials said they were providing the causelists of cases to the NGT Bar Association who are in turn circulating it to others.

A case has already been registered in the cyber cell at the Tilak Marg police station in this regard. Litigants and lawyers, who accessed the website for a list of hearings scheduled were having a tough time as they could not access important contents like daily orders or judgements.

Advocate Balendu Shekhar, who represents East Delhi Municipal Corporation in the green panel, said the NGT’s orders used to get uploaded daily by the evening but after the hacking episode, the site has been down for two days now.

“The biggest issue is of compliance of the NGT order. Non-availabilty of the judicial order leads to delay in implementation of the order. So there is always a threat of contempt looming large,” he said. Another lawyer Gautam Singh said the NGT website was quite useful as it gave out the composition of bench, list of cases, daily orders, judgements or any latest announcements.

“There is now a delay in execution of orders as we have to ask for the orders which were earlier available online,” he said. Amul Mani Tripathi, a litigant, blamed the NGT officials for the problem and said he has filed a case but was totally unaware about when it would be listed for hearing.

The NGT website was hacked on 3 October evening by a group claiming it was an act of “revenge” against Indian army’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control.

UP Elections 2017: SP declares 9 candidates, Akhilesh ‘not aware’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a brief lull, turf war in the ruling Samajwadi Party resurfaced on Monday as it declared candidates for 9 Assembly seats, including murder-accused Aman Mani Tripathi, leaving Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav visibly unhappy as he said he was “not aware”.Yadav, who had demanded a say in selection of candidates for the next year’s elections during his power tussle with uncle and state party unit chief Shivpal Yadav recently, said the candidates may be changed.”I do not have any information..I am at present inaugurating this building..Tomorrow I will start metro work in Kanpur. In future, more candidates will be changed,” he told reporters at the sidelines of an event when referred to the announcement.Earlier in the day, Shivpal Yadav declared the SP candidates for 9 Assembly seats besides changing the nominees of 14 constituencies for the 2017 polls. Among the candidates announced is Aman Mani Tripathi, son of Amar Mani Tripathi, who is in jail in connection with poetess Madhumita murder case. Aman Mani, who himself is accused of killing his wife last year, has been given ticket from Nautanwa seat in Maharajganj district.Asked about the party giving ticket to Aman Mani and refusing ticket to Atul Pradhan, who is considered close to him, Akhilesh said, “I have given up all my rights.. All the rights are with people”.On being quizzed further over the issue, he said, “Now I can either be truthful or political. I cannot change some of my habits.” Later in the day, a meeting was held at SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence in which Ramgopal Yadav, Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh were present. “There are no differences in the party over ticket distribution,” Ramgopal said.Asked about giving ticket to Aman Mani, Ramgopal said he was given a ticket in 2012 also.On being asked about Akhilesh’s ignorance about the ticket distribution, Ramgopal added, “It was the work of state president and there is nothing wrong in it.” Akhilesh and Shivpal were locked in a power tussle recently after the Chief Minister Minister was removed as president of the party’s state unit to be replaced by his uncle. The flames of tussle were defused after intervention by Mulayam Singh Yadav.

BJP trying to create a Muzaffarnagar-like context in Kairana: Opposition

A five-member team of Opposition parties, which visited Kairana to look into the allegation of “migration” of Hindus from the area, on Friday attacked BJP chief Amit Shah, saying he wanted to “re-enact the script of post-Godhra riots and Muzaffarnagar killings” to reap electoral harvest in Uttar Pradesh.In a joint statement, members of the five parties JD(U), CPI, CPI(M), RJD and NCP, which visited Kandhla and Kairana yesterday, said that they held extensive meetings with a cross section of people, community associations and members of the local bar association.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”On the basis of the feedback and the insightful interaction, the members are of the unanimous view that BJP is trying to create a Muzaffarnagar-like context in Kairana and Kandhla,” they said in a press release.Alleging that the BJP’s top leadership has “unleashed the politics of demonisation and polarisation”, the Opposition members said that the “BJP and in particular its national president Amit Shah wanted to re-enact the script of post-Godhra riots and Muzaffarnagar killings as a precursor to reap electoral harvest in the impending UP elections.”JD(U) MP and spokesperson K C Tyagi, D Raja of CPI and Mohammad Salim of CPI(M), D P Tripathi of NCP and RJD’s Manoj Jha went to the western UP town to make an on-the-spot assessment. Attacking them, BJP said that these parties went there to “vitiate” the atmosphere and accused JD(U) and RJD in particular of “failing” to run Bihar.The Opposition delegation, however, claimed that people said that as far a few cases of migration from both communities, are concerned, the triggers were poor facilities for education, lack of proper medical care, unavailability of employment opportunities apart from grim law and order situation.”The members were also happy to see the nature and extent of positive bonding between the communities in spite of the forces committed to divide them. The members also appealed to the UP government to tone up the law and order situation and take all the necessary steps so that the BJP and the Sangh Parivaar fail to create wedges between communities,” the statement said.

Mathura clashes: Local court rejects police claim that Ram Vrikhsa is dead, orders DNA test

A local court in Mathura on Thursday refused to accept the police’s claim that Jawahar Bagh encroachers leader Ram Vriksha Yadav is dead and ordered a DNA test of his viscera and match it with his family members’ DNA sample.”Find out the whereabouts of the family of Ram Vriksha and ensure DNA test of his viscera in the presence of Chief Medical Officer Mathura,” Ninth Additional District Judge VS Tripathi ordered Highway police station SHO Subodh Yadav.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tripathi did not accept the SHO’s contention that Ram Vriksha Yadav is dead as his body has been identified by one Har Nath.”Identification by only family members or relatives can be accepted. Find out the whereabout of family members of Ram Vriksha and then ensure DNA test,” he said.The Magistrate passed the order during a hearing in a 2011 case in which Ram Vriksha was an accused and a non-bailable warrant was issued against him. The prosecution of the case Suresh Chandra Dubey said that on March 10, 2011, Ram Vriksha and his associates had a scuffle with employees at Baba Jai Gurudeo petrol Pump since they were not selling him petrol at 40 litres per rupee.An FIR was registered against Ram Vriksha and his associates at Highway police station in the case. Since Ram Vriksha and his associates did not turn up in the court in the case, non bailable warrant was issued against them.The SHO on Thursday submitted in the court that since Ram Vriksha is no more, the case may be dropped. However, the magistrate refused to accept it and ordered DNA sample matching.

Kairana migration | We are being defamed: Kandhla’s Muslim residents tell delegation of Opposition parties

​A delegation consisting of opposition parties like JD(U), CPI(M), CPI, and NCP met with the Muslim residents in Uttar Pradesh’s Kandhla city. KC Tyagi of JD(U), Mohammed Salim of CPM, D Raja of CPI(M) and DP Tripathi from NCP met with Muslim residents to discuss the Kairana exodus.Muslim residents told the delegation that the Hindus are moving out of Kairana only due to lack of education and medical facilities. “We have fought alongside Hindus to fight the British. We are being defamed,” said Maulana Badar to the delegation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>KC Tyagi told dna, “We don’t fight election in Uttar Pradesh, we have come here only to stand against nefarious designs like love jihad, cow slaughter. We are concerned about statements of Amit Shah who wants to make Kairana a national issue.”On Wednesday, a fact-finding BJP team visited Kairana to review the situation over alleged migration of Hindus.RJD leader Manoj Jha said, “We have asked the people to stand up to tough times ahead of the elections. The residents have to stand up to communal forces so that we can defeat them.”

Where are the advocates? Under-staffed law panel awaits members to complete reports on sedition, bail

The Law Commission, which has been asked to examine the need to amend the sedition law, is functioning with a Chairman and only one member since March, while it awaits appointment of eight more members. The term of the 20th Law Commission had ended on August 30 and the Union Cabinet had approved its reconstitution on September 9. Between September 14 — when an official notification was issued and March 10, the law panel was without a chairman or members. On March 10, former Supreme Court judge, Justice B S Chauhan was appointed chairman and Justice Ravi Tripathi, a former judge of the Gujarat High Court, a member.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the notification issued by the Law Ministry on September 14 constituting the 21st Law Commission, it would have a chairman, four full-time members including a Member Secretary and not more than five part-time members.A senior Indian Legal Service officer, equivalent to a Secretary, is appointed as Member Secretary. After G Narayan Raju was appointed Legislative Secretary in the Law Ministry in October last, the post has been laying vacant. One of the key issues pending before the law panel is a call on amending the Indian Penal Code amid allegations of abuse and arbitrary use of the law.The Law Ministry had urged the Commission to study the usage of the provisions of Section 124A (Sedition) of the IPC.The panel will have to look at the issue of revamp of the criminal justice system and recommend a bail law to ensure uniformity in the procedure of granting the relief. The two issues are pending with it for a long time. PTI NAB

Kolkata Police’s ‘dabangg’ officer shunted out by Mamata government

Kolkata Police’s ‘dabangg’ officer, Nagendra Tripathi, who ensured peaceful polling in parts of the city during the recent Assembly elections, was shunted out on Wednesday by the Mamata government.In an order, issued by the state home department, the IPS officer, posted as Deputy Commissioner of Kolkata Police II (Detective Department), Tripathi was sent on compulsory waiting.Tripathi had worked in Kolkata North and South areas during two phases of the assembly polls. On duty, he was seen warning the supporters of the ruling party to maintain the law and order situation in and around the polling stations.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was also captured in a CCTV footage slapping the owner of a sweet shop, who had kept his shop open which fell under 100 metres of the polling premises.Another IPS officer, Neelo Sherpa was replaced as the Deputy Commissioner of Kolkata Police II (Detective Department). Sherpa was earlier posted as the Superintendent of Police, Anti-Corruption Branch.Besides Tripathi, eleven other officers were transferred.

AAP MLA Jagdeep Singh arrested in assault case, later released on bail: Delhi Police

Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Hari Nagar, Jagdeep Singh, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly assaulting the manager of a waste management company, contracted by the area’s municipal corporation, and later granted bail, police said.”Singh has been arrested under IPC sections 323 (causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation and 341 (wrongful restraint). He was later granted bail,” DCP (west) Pushpendra Kumar said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, the MLA took to twitter to claim that it was a “rumour”.”I am at home its only a rumour,” he tweeted. Despite several attempts he could not be contacted.Singh is the seventh AAP legislator to be arrested by Delhi Police after former Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar, Manoj Kumar, Surinder Singh, Somnath Bharti, Akhilesh Tripathi and Mahendra Yadav.According to police, the incident took place on May 21 when some locals approached the complainant, Mohit, for a truck to be used for Shab-e-Baraat celebrations and he refused. The locals then forcibly took over the truck, which led to a heated argument between them and employees of the waste management company.Soon Singh intervened and a scuffle broke out. Singh allegedly thrashed Mohit, who is the manager of the company. However, the case was registered on May 23, two days after the alleged incident took place.

AAP MLA Jagdeep Singh arrested in alleged assault case, later released on bail

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Hari Nagar, Jagdeep Singh, was on Sunday arrested for allegedly assaulting the manager of a waste management company, contracted by the area’s municipal corporation, and later granted bail, police said.

“Singh has been arrested under IPC sections 323 (causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation and 341 (wrongful restraint). He was later granted bail,” DCP (West) Pushpendra Kumar said.

However, the MLA took to twitter to claim that it was a “rumour”.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“I am at home its only a rumour,” he tweeted. Despite several attempts he could not be contacted.

Singh is the seventh AAP legislator to be arrested by Delhi police after former Delhi Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar, Manoj Kumar, Surinder Singh, Somnath Bharti, Akhilesh Tripathi and Mahendra Yadav.

According to police, the incident took place on 21 May when some locals approached the complainant, Mohit, for a truck to be used for Shab-e-Baraat celebrations and he refused.

The locals then forcibly took over the truck, which led to a heated argument between them and employees of the waste management company.

Soon Singh intervened and a scuffle broke out. Singh allegedly thrashed Mohit, who is the manager of the company.

However, the case was registered on 23 May, two days after the alleged incident took place.

Mamata Banerjee to take oath as West Bengal CM today

Trinamool Congress (TMC) Chief Mamata Banerjee will be sworn-in as Chief Minister of West Bengal for a second term today.Kolkata Mayor Shovan Chatterjee, former Indian cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla and singer Indranil Sen are among the 17 new faces in the 42-member ministry.Banerjee met state Governor K N Tripathi yesterday and submitted the list of MLAs who will take oath today at the swearing-in ceremony to be held at Kolkata’s famous Red Road, an arterial link road.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This is for the first time that a chief minister will take oath on Red Road.Banerjee said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union Minister Babul Supriyo, Bangladesh Industry Minister, Bhutan Prime Minister, Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, Delhi ChiefMinister Arvind Kejriwal and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Singh Yadav have confirmed their presence in the ceremony.

Despite poll drubbing, Congress and CPI(M) to continue their alliance in West Bengal

Despite suffering humiliating reverses in the just-concluded Assembly elections in West Bengal, leaders of the Congress and the CPI-M on Monday asserted that their alliance will continue in the state.”We have formed an alliance not for this election only. The alliance will continue in the days to come. We will fight unitedly in future too,” state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said. He was accompanied by CPI-M state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mishra on his part said, “We will continue with the people’s alliance. We all have to fight unitedly against terror unleashed by the TMC. The TMC is trying to eliminate the Opposition in Bengal and we all have to fight unitedly against it.”The leaders were speaking to reporters after the CPI-M-led Left Front and the Congress jointly paid a visit to state Governor K N Tripathi. The two parties also submitted a memorandum over the “post-poll violence” across the state.Asked if the Congress and the CPI-M would attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Mamata Banerjee government, both Mishra and Chowdhury said, “The kind of situation that is prevailing in the state – attack on Opposition workers – is not conducive for attending any kind of ceremony. We are yet to receive any kind of invitation, though. We may not attend the ceremony.”The much-touted alliance managed to bag only 76 seats in the Assembly election whereas the TMC won an overwhelming 211 seats in the 294-member House.

UP govt declares seven districts in Bundelkhand drought-hit

Uttar Pradesh Government has declared eight districts, seven of them in Bundelkhand region, as drought-hit, even as Congress and BJP attacked the ruling SP, saying the decision should have been taken “long ago”.The decision was taken last night, a spokesman said here today. The districts declared are — Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Lalitpur, all falling in Bundelkhand region, and Kanpur for the rabi crop session, he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile BJP and Congress on Wednesday lashed out at the Uttar Pradesh government for having a non-serious attitude towards the water scarce Bundelkhand region. “The state government has been misleading the people by launching a canard that the Centre is not extending relief package to Bundelkhand but it has failed to promptly declare the districts falling in this region as drought-hit which was done only last night”, BJP spokesman Harishchand Srivastava said. “Had the state government been serious about the problems in Bundelkhand, it would have declared it as drought-hit long ago, so that proper arrangements could have started there to deal with the massive problems,” he said.The delay goes on to prove that the state government is not serious and had only been misleading the people by launching a false propaganda against the Centre, Srivastava said. Chairman of Congress’ communications department Satyadev Tripathi alleged that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has fallen prey to statistics presented by the officials and has gone by what they told him over the decision to declaring eight districts as drought-hit.”He should have done this long ago as the situation in Bundelkhand is very bad,” Tripathi said, adding that, today the entire state is in a very bad shape and needed to be declared as drought-hit.” “I demand that the government declare the whole state as drought-hit so that steps can be taken up for providing relief to all,” he said.

Fire at bio-diesel plant in Visakhapatnam SEZ put out

The major fire which broke out at the Biomax Fuels Limited’s bio-diesel manufacturing plant on Tuesday was extinguished completely by this evening by some 40 fire engines. No casualties were reported. A top-level government officer said the building fire safety norms had not been implemented at the plant.The fire broke out at around 7.30 last evening at the plant located in the Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone in Duvvada area. In a statement, Director General, State Disaster Response and Fire Services, T A Tripathi, said BFL had no fire safety systems as prescribed in the National Building Code, 2005.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his report to the Government, Tripathi said required safety distance between the storage tanks was not maintained; as a result the fire quickly spread from one tank to another. It engulfed 12 out of the 18 storage tanks.There was no proper captive fire control system, automated drenching system and sprinklers, he said.Watch how the fire officials continued to put out the blazeCollector Dr N Yuvaraj said in his report that according to the factory employees, short circuit in a motor sparked off the blaze.Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has ordered a joint inspection by the AP Pollution Control Board, fire services and factories department officials of all the industrial units in the Visakhapatnam district and their industrial safety audit within a week.

Odd-even live: Slow and steady start to second phase

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The odd-even experiment, aimed at curbing air pollution, will once again play out in Delhi roads from Friday, taking cars whose registration numbers end with even numbers off roads on the first day of its fortnight long implementation. However, not much rush is expected, Friday being a public holiday on account of Ramnavami.

Representational image. Getty Images

Representational image. Getty Images

One of the new exemptions in the second phase of the odd-even scheme is that vehicles ferrying children in school uniform will be exempted from the odd-even rule but there are concerns about what will happen when the car is on its way back after dropping the child.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said the government has not been able to arrive at a solution to the problem of cars returning after dropping school children and suggested car pooling.

Kejriwal said the government has exempted vehicles carrying children in school uniform during the second phase of odd even which could pose difficulty and suggest car-pooling with neighbours to avoid problems.

“We gave it a lot of thought but no solution could be found. It will cause some problems but vehicles could be shared with neighbours,” the Chief Minister said.

Kejriwal said the implementation of the odd even scheme in January did not reduce pollution “as much as expected” but it significantly helped reduce traffic congestion in the city.

The Delhi government, which has projected the second phase of the road-rationing policy as the “decisive” one, said that 2,000 traffic personnel, 580 enforcement officials and over 5,000 civil defence volunteers are being deployed for its smooth implementation.

Violators will be fined Rs 2,000 in accordance with relevant section of the Motor Vehicles Act and the scheme will not be implemented on Sundays.

Two hundred metro trains will make around 3,248 trips daily during the next fortnight, a rise of about 56 trips over the existing arrangements, DMRC has said. Fifteen additional feeder buses will also leave from stations across the city.

About 2,000 officials of Delhi Traffic Police will be deployed on roads daily. The traffic department has identified 200 intersections in the city where their personnel will be deployed in teams, with their sizes depending upon the volume of traffic in those intersections.

Anti-Naxal operations: CRPF officer succumbs to injuries in Chhattisgarh

New Delhi: A CRPF officer, who suffered severe IED splinter injuries and had slipped into coma for a month after an anti-Naxal operation in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, on Tuesday died at a hospital in Hyderabad.

The officer, Deputy Commandant BK Shyam Niwas, had been under intensive care of doctors due to grievous injuries on his head during an operation that took place on March 11.

“After showing signs of recovery, the officer eventually succumbed to injuries at around 8:30 am with his family by his side at a hospital in Hyderabad,” a senior officer of the paramilitary said.

45-year-old Niwas, a veteran of numerous successful anti-Naxal and counter-insurgency operations, is survived by his wife, a teenaged daughter and son. He was airlifted after the blast from Sukma to Bhadrachalam and subsequently to Hyderabad.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The officer, hailing from Keshogiri in Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh, had joined the country’s largest paramilitary in 1993 as a Sub-Inspector and rose through the ranks by way of getting out-of-turn promotions by the sheer dint of his dare-devil exploits in operations.

The incident in which Niwas got injured occurred under the Konta block of the worst Maoist violence affected Sukma district of the state when a squad of the 217th battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force men were securing an under-construction road and subsequently some Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were recovered.

While the bomb disposal squad was trying to defuse it under Niwas’s close supervision, the IED blasted causing serious injuries to him, his colleague and another Deputy Commandant Prabhakar Tripathi and Head Constable Ranga Raghavan.

Raghavan had succumbed to his injuries the same day when they were being evacuated to Hyderabad while Tripathi is stable now.

CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad described the slain officer a brave and gallant commander.

“His martyrdom is an irreparable loss to to the family and the force. The force stands by the aggrieved family in their hour of grief,” he said.

CRPF said Niwas was a “gallant officer and he served with great distinction in Punjab, Northeast and Chhattisgarh and was involved in many successful operations against the Maoists.

“He achieved martyrdom leading one such operation. He was very popular amongst his peers and subordinates alike for his sense of responsibility and leadership traits.”

A senior officer said IEDs have become a menace for security forces operating in Left Wing Extremism affected areas and Niwas’s death is yet another example how the Maoists are using these hidden deadly bombs to maim and kill these personnel.

Parts of south Bastar in Chhattisgarh and other states have witnessed an increasing usage of IEDs since May last year.

Early this month, Naxals had used a deadly cocktail of IEDs, explosives and trigger wires to target a civil CRPF vehicle killing seven personnel in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.

Kolkata flyover tragedy: WB Governor seeks report from state govt

West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi has expressed condolence to the kin of those killed in the flyover collapse in Kolkata and sought a report from the state government over the incident.The Governor, who visited the collapse site, advised the state government that proper supervision of all under-construction flyovers and bridges across the state be done at the earliest. He interacted with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and senior officials of the state government, police and army engaged in the rescue and relief work there.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tripathi prayed for quick recovery of the wounded and expressed satisfaction over the manner in which the state agencies undertook rescue and relief works. He also urged people to come forward to help the government agencies engaged in rescue operations.

JNU incident was a crime: Kiran Bedi

Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi has termed as “crime” the February 9 event held at the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and claimed the issue was blown out of proportion because it was “politicised”.”If you ask me on the JNU incident, it is nothing but a breach of law. JNU incident was a crime. That’s it. The whole issue became overblown because it was politicised and then police was expected to go easy,” Bedi said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The former policewoman was speaking at an event organised by CII Young India here which was attended by Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen and transgender activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi.Referring to both the JNU issue as well as the recent Jat agitation in Haryana, the 66-year-old BJP member said the Indian law had “weakened” over time and had become flexible and that it was imperative to “reverse the trend.””There has been weakening of the rule of law over a period. We have brought it to a very ‘lachkila’ flexible level where it should not be. So we are to reverse the trend. As a nation, India must start respecting rule of law and accept no compromises, whoever it may be – high or low,” she said.She went on to say that while Article 19 of the Constitution details freedom of expression, one must not overlook the clause that free speech comes with responsibility.”If you read Article 19 of Freedom of Speech, the media must also talk about the clause of responsible speech. But, it forgets about the the clause. I think if that is there, India will become even a better country to live in,” Bedi said.Transgender activist Tripathi said it was “wrong” to call students “anti-nationals” but said universities must be treated in a “dignified fashion.”Tripathi, who is the first transgender person to represent Asia Pacific in the UN, pointed out how research scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide faded out amidst the JNU controversy and asserted that universities must not be treated like “playgrounds for politicians.””I believe the JNU incident would have been different had it not been politicised. It should have been handled in a way typical of a university. We are only shouting about JNU but the poor child who committed suicide has not been given justice yet.””Today JNU has become a hot potato, tomorrow BHU and TISS will become one. Universities cannot be playground of politicians. A university has to be a university and it has to be treated and dignified in that fashion,” she said.

Prashant Kishor to attend Congress strategy meet for 2017 UP polls

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor will attend the meeting of Congress state, district and city unit office bearers to chalk out a strategy for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections here on March 10.Kishor, who had successfully managed the poll strategy of prime minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, will remain present in the meeting which has been convened for chalking out the plan for next year’s assembly polls, chairman of the communications department of the party Satyadev Tripathi said. Besides, the vice presidents of the Congress committee, general secretaries of district and city units will attend the meeting along with UPCC president Nirmal Khatri and AICC general secretary in charge of state affairs Madhusudan Mistry, Tripathi said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kishor reportedly had a meeting with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi earlier this week.

Relief for RK Pachauri: Court says one-day extension of Sharjah trip not deliberate

New Delhi: A sessions court in New Delhi on Wednesday set aside a magistrate court order asking TERI executive vice chairman RK Pachauri to forfeit his surety bond and said one-day extension of Pachauri’s Sharjah trip was “neither deliberate nor intentional”.

Additional Sessions Judge Raj Kumar Tripathi set aside a magisterial court order of 19 February and said: “Extension of one day schedule of return of revisionist (Pachauri) was beyond his control and his act was neither deliberate nor intentional, therefore, learned magistrate was not justified to dismiss the application of revisionist on 19 February and forfeit the surety bonds furnished by revisionist at the time of his travel.”

RK Pachauri. IBNLiveRK Pachauri. IBNLive

RK Pachauri. IBNLive

A magistrate court on 19 February ordered Pachauri to fortfeit his surety bond of Rs 4 lakh after failing to return to India on 18 February.

The court on 15 February granted permission to Pachauri to go to Sharjah from 16 to 18 February where he was to be conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award.

However, there was change in the date of arrival of Pachauri from Sharjah.

Therefore, his counsel Ashish Dikshit filed an application for giving intimation to the court regarding change of his date of arrival on 18 February, which was dismissed on next date by a magistrate.

A chargesheet was filed by police in a sexual harassment case against former TERI executive vice chairman Pachauri on Tuesday.

Pachauri was accused of sexually harassing a woman colleague in 2015. He stepped down as chairperson of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February 2015 and proceeded on leave from TERI where he was the director general.

In November, the woman researcher who accused him of sexual harassment quit her job at TERI, alleging she was treated badly. TERI denied the charge.

On 8 February 2016, Pachauri was appointed the executive vice chairman of the organisation. After severe criticism, TERI on 12 February asked him to proceed on indefinite leave.


Madhya Pradesh CM announces free education for SC students in govt colleges

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday announced free education for Scheduled Caste students in government colleges including, engineering and medical institutions.He announced the decision at a function in Maihar town on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sant Ravidas. He visited Maihar to thank the voters of the constituency who gave the BJP candidate Narayan Tripathi a convincing victory by a margin of over 28,000 votes earlier this month.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Congress bastion, it was wrested by BJP by fielding Tripathi who had earlier won from the seat on Congress ticket in 2013 Assembly polls. Later he joined BJP and resigned from the Assembly, to be reelected on BJP ticket.Chouhan on this occasion also said that Mahakumbh’ would be organized on the occasion of Ravidas Jayanti at Maihar every year.Ravidas’s birthplace Varanasi will be linked with the Mukhya Mantri Teerth Darshan Yojna (Chief Minister’s Pilgrimage Scheme) so that people can visit the place free of cost, he said.

Bengal Governor seeks report from chief secretary, Vice-chancellor over JU protests

Condemning the anti-India sloganeering inside Jadavpur University campus, West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi, on Wednesday sought a report on the incident from Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee and Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das.”Is there anything to appreciate or praise, regarding whatever happened there? Any Indian would condemn whatever happened there. I have sought a report regarding the incident from the Vice Chancellor and the Chief Secretary,” Tripathi, who is the JU chancellor, told PTI. Slogans in favour of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru were raised yesterday at a rally which was brought out by JU students to express solidarity with their JNU counterparts agitating against the arrest of their leader Kanhaiya Kumar for alleged sedition.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Slogans like “Afzal bole azadi, Geelani bole azadi” and “Cheenke ke lenge azadi” were raised. Other slogans like “Freedom from RSS, freedom from Modi government”, “Jab Kashmir ne maangi azadi, Manipur bhi boli azadi” were also raised. The Centre has sought a report from West Bengal government regarding the incident.

NDA wins 7 of 12 bypolls including Muzaffarnagar, Narendra Modi ‘happy’

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the victory of the BJP and its allies in the bypolls in various states showed that people had reposed faith in the “politics of development”.

The NDA constituents’ won seven out of the 12 bypolls whose results were declared on Tuesday.

Narendra-Modi-in-New-Delhi3_PTINarendra-Modi-in-New-Delhi3_PTIIn tweets after the bypoll results came, PM Modi said it was an “appreciable effort” by the NDA.

“Happy to see the victory of BJP and allies in by-polls in northern, southern, eastern, western and central parts of the country. I express gratitude to the people,” he tweeted.
“Appreciable effort by NDA. People across India reposed faith in politics of development, development & development. ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’,” Modi added.

Reacting to the bypoll results, the BJP said people have shown their preference for its developmental politics over “vote-bank politics” of the Congress and the Samajwadi Party governments.

BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma used the UP bypoll results to target the Akhilesh Yadav government, alleging it had “failed” on all fronts and people had voted against it.
All the three seats that went to polls were earlier held by SP but it could retain only one with Congress and BJP winning a seat each.

BJP also won the Ghaziabad mayoral elections.

“By misusing the official machinery and deploying its goons, SP had managed to win in local polls so far. People have given it a stern message now.

“A countdown to its government has begun. It has failed on all fronts. Corruption and crime are at a high while public facilities like education and health are in a disarray,” Sharma charged.

UP goes to assembly polls early next year.

BJP won two out of three seats in Congress-ruled Karnataka and presented the result as people’s “disapproval” of the state government which, Sharma alleged, was “neck-deep” in corruption.

In a direct fight, BJP retained Hebbal in Bengaluru and wrested Devadurga in Raichur district from Congress which snatched Bidar in north Karnataka from its arch rival.
Of the three seats that went to bypolls due to the death of sitting members, BJP had held two and Congress one. The outcome has come as a blow to Siddaramaiah considering the prestige invested in the contest to wrest the seats from BJP.

Bogged down by infighting, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda-led JD(S) lost deposit in all the constituencies.

In Madhya Pradesh, the ruling BJP won the Maihar assembly seat with party nominee Narayan Tripathi defeating Congress’s Manish Patel by a margin of 27,544 votes.
The outcome came as a double jolt for Congress as Tripathi, after winning the seat in 2013 assembly polls, had quit the party to join BJP during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Later, he resigned from the seat which necessitated the by-poll.

The victory came as a morale-booster for the BJP after it conceded to the Congress the Jhabua Lok Sabha seat in a by-poll shortly after the drubbing in the Bihar Assembly elections
BJP allies Shiv Sena, Akali Dal and RLSP also won a seat each in Maharashtra, Punjab and Bihar respectively.

Congress, a part of the ruling grand secular alliance in Bihar lost the Harlakhi assembly bypoll to BJP’s ally Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP).
Union minister Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP candidate Sudhansu Sekhar riding on a sympathy wave defeated his Congress rival Mohammad Shabir by a margin of 18,650 votes.
Sudhansu Sekhar’s father Basant Kushwaha had died a day before oath taking in November last year.


Madhya Pradesh bypoll: BJP wrests Maihar assembly seat from Congress

Dealing a blow to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, ruling BJP on Tuesday won the Maihar assembly seat in a by-election with party nominee Narayan Tripathi defeating the main opposition party’s Manish Patel by a margin of 27,544 votes.Tripathi secured 82,703 votes while Patel polled 55,159 votes, an election official said. The outcome came as a double jolt for Congress as Tripathi, after winning the seat in 2013 assembly polls, had quit the party to join BJP during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Later, he resigned from the seat which necessitated the by-poll. The victory came as a morale-booster for the BJP after it conceded to the Congress the Jhabua Lok Sabha seat in a by-poll shortly after the drubbing in the Bihar Assembly elections, which analysts then took as a sign of declining fortunes of the long-ruling saffron party in the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The win in Maihar is expected to enhance the confidence of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh where it heavily relies on the appeal of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The victory comes just ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sherpur in neighbouring Sehore district on February 18, where farmers will felicitate him for launching new crop insurance scheme. Buoyed by the by-poll victory, Chouhan said at Sherpur, “I am thankful to the people of Maihar for this victory and will visit the town on February 22 to personally convey my thanks to them.”Chouhan was here to review preparations for Modi’s visit on February 18. For Congress also, the by-poll in Maihar was a prestigious battle as it had won it in 2013 despite BJP getting more than two-third majority in the state assembly. Traditionally, Maihar in Satna Lok Sabha constituency, is seen as a Congress stronghold. The BJP, keen on wresting the seat from the Congress, fielded Tripathi himself for the by-election.Congress also made its best efforts to ensure Tripathi’s defeat by fielding Manish Patel, who had joined Congress by quitting Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), seeking to consolidate backward class voters in the Brahmin-dominated seat, a strategy which failed to click. While the Congress had won the seat eight times since 1957, Janata Party, an Indpendent, Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party and BJP tasted victory once each.Tripathi bagged the seat for the Congress in 2013 by a margin of 6975 votes by defeating BJP’s Ramesh Prasad. The Chief Minister had campaigned vigorously in the last three-four days in Maihar to ensure BJP’s victory. BJP’s Motilal Tiwari won it 2008.Others in the fray this time included BSP’s Ram Lakhan Singh Patel, a former MLA and SP’s Ram Niwas Urmalia.

Have Suresh Raina, Raj Babbar applied for Rs 50,000 monthly pension from UP govt?

Leading personalities, including cricketers Suresh Raina, Mohd Kaif and actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar, are said to have applied for pension under a scheme of Uttar Pradesh government, drawing criticism today from opposition parties which said public money should not be spent in an arbitrary manner.Last year October, the state government had announced Rs 50,000 monthly pension to winners of Yash Bharti award of the state. As many as 108 of the total number of 141 Yash Bharati winners have applied for the pension till the last date for the same on January 31, state Culture department sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP state unit said “awards are an expression of gratitude for the contribution of an individual and it should not be spent in an arbitrary manner.” “Awardees like Suresh Raina, Raj Babbar, Nadira Babbar and Mohd Kaif are all prominent people..do they need this pension money?….,” BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.”How can public money be spent in an arbitrary manner like this when farmers were committing suicide and drinking water was scarce in some parts of the state,” he added. Making an appeal to the awardees who have applied for pension, Pathak said that they need to follow the path shown by Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan who has declined pension so that the money could be put to better use.Recalling an earlier decision of the Akhilesh Yadav government allowing Rs 20 lakhs to legislators to buy vehicles, Pathak said there appears to be “a sense of confusion” in the government which was seen floating schemes which it had to withdraw later under public pressure.” Congress spokesman Dwijendra Tripathi questioned the need for “squandering” public money for pension for Yash Bharti winners.”This seems to be an effort of the government to benefit its own people whom they have felicitated with the award by putting some prominent people in the forefront,” Tripathi said. Senior officials preferred to keep silent on the issue with Culture Secretary Anita Meshram saying that she was not aware of the move to give pension to Yash Bharti winners.A Yash Bharti awardee of 2006 Yogesh Praveen said that he has applied for the pension. “I was called to the office of the Culture department last month and I have applied for the same,” he said.

Delhi police arrests AAP legislator for rioting and assaulting govt employee

Aam Aadmi Party legislator from Vikaspuri Mahinder Yadav was held on Friday under various charges, including rioting and allegedly assaulting a government official.Yadav was arrested while he was protesting against Delhi Police for not filing an FIR in a case of rape of a minor girl.He was produced before the Tis Hazari court, which sent him to one day police custody.Yadav the sixth AAP lawmaker Delhi to be arrested. Earlier MLAs Akhilesh Tripathi, Somnath Bharti, Commando Surinder Singh, Manoj Kumar and former law minister Jitender Singh Tomar were held on various charges.In November 2015, Tripathi was held in a 2013 case of rioting and criminal intimidation and sent to judicial custody for two days.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh, AAP’s MLA from Delhi Cantonment, was arrested last August for allegedly assaulting an NDMC employee, but was granted bail later.Tomar was held in a fake educational degree case in June last year, while Kondli legislator Manoj Kumar was apprehended in July in connection with a land fraud case.Bharti was arrested in September last year after he surrendered in connection with the attempt to murder and domestic violence case filed by his wife.According to the police, Yadav led a violent protest in the Nihal Vihar area in West Delhi following sexual assault on a three-year-old girl and the mob even attacked public vehicles and tried to set a vehicle on fire.The protesters demanded immediate arrest of the 38-year-old accused and alleged that police was not not taking any action.”A case was registered last night and the MLA was arrested around 12 noon today under charges of rioting, arson, assault on public servant, wrongful restraint and damage to public property,” a senior Delhi police official said, adding that several others were also detained for manhandling a police team that was trying to pacify the agitators.The AAP blamed the Delhi police for deliberately targeting the ruling party’s legislators.AAP’s Delhi Convener Dilip Pandey tweeted, “Delhi Police busy again arresting AAP MLA instead of ensuring Delhi women safety despite multiple warnings from courts.” “MLA Mahendra Yadav arrested, for what? He was there where public was protesting against rape of a girl child? Is it wrong to ask for justice?” he said.

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