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Kamala Mills fire: Know the story behind this picture

The fire that broke out at Kamala Mills has rattled the country. Fourteen people have died and several have sustained burn injuries after the incident was reported just after midnight at 1Above, a Mumbai resto-bar located inside the mill’s premises.Cops from the Worli police station, which is the closest to the mill compound, were the first to arrive at the spot, along with the local fire brigade that began to douse the flames. One cop, Sudarshan Shinde, was one of the first to reach the spot and managed to pull out three bodies even before the stretchers arrived.Also readKamala Mills tragedy: Pub claims fire emanated from ‘adjoining quarters,’ rejects cops’ version on safety violations Hauling one body at a time on his shoulders, Shinde pulled three victims from the rubble. According to eyewitnesses, he climbed up seven floors each time to bring down the bodies. Also readKamala Mills fire: How the quick thinking by two security guards saved nearly 150 lives“When I reached upstairs, everything was burnt and charred. When I reached down, I could hear exploding sounds. Which I feel were of alcohol bottles and gas cylinders. There were several hookahs that added to the intensity of the flames. I could see only one woman coughing. The rest, I believe, may have died of suffocation,” said Shinde while speaking to DNA.Shinde isn’t the only person, who should be hailed for his heroics. Suraj Giri and Mahesh Sable, working security guards at Times Now, saw the fire break out just after midnight. Sabke told DNA that a number of patrons at 1 Above, the nightclub that caught fire, could not escape because the flames had blocked their path.Also read5 factors that show Mumbai’s Kamala Mills fire was a tragedy waiting to happenTwenty-five-year old Sable, while speaking to DNA said that the Times Now office, and the nightclub were part of Trade House in Kamala Mills, which means that they were all interconnected. “I was at the link room when I saw the fire break out. The regular exit had been blocked, as a lot of cloth that made up the decor for the nightclub caught fire. I then went to another terrace and directed patrons to escape from there,” he said.The blaze that started at 1 Above, the rooftop pub, spread rapidly through the building, killing 14 people, most of them women, who were attending a birthday party. Read that article hereRelated Photos
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In Pics: Massive midnight fire at Mumbai’s Kamala Mills Compound kills 14; many restaurants gutted The fire, which also injured 21 people, started after 12.30 am in the “1 Above” pub on the terrace, and spread to Mojo pub on the third floor one level below, said a civic official.

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Indian Army plans to use camels to patrol LAC in Ladakh

In view of the Chinese aggression along the Sino-India border, the Indian Army is planning to use both double-humped and single-humped camels along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh on a pilot basis. If the pilot project is a success, camels will be used by the military in the region and in terrains between the altitude of 12,000 and 15,500 feet, a Times of India report said. Under the project, these animals will be trained to patrol and carry heavy loads of ammunition and other supplies. Indian Army traditionally uses mules and ponies in the region which have capacity to carry about 40 kg of load. In comparison, the double-humped (Bactrian) camels can carry between 180-220kg load and can cover a distance of 10 to 15 km within two hours.The Army has already got four single-humped (dromedary) camels to Ladakh from the National Research Centre on Camel in Bikaner.Also readPost Dokalam stand-off, China’s ties with India still fragile, says Global Times op-edThe project is being introduced as part of a measure to check intrusion, months after the Doklam standoff near the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan trijunction. The Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), a unit of of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Leh, has already started research on the load-carrying capacity of the Bactrian camels. The DIHAR will assess how the camels can be trained for carrying load in such harsh topography and weather conditions.Also readPost Doklam stand-off, SSB increases presence on India-Bhutan border”The Bactrian camels were inducted at DIHAR in February 2017 for a pilot study on their suitability for border patrolling, load-carrying ability, training, and devise management practices, considering conditions in high altitude.” the DIHAR director was quoted as saying by the daily. In India, double-humped camels are only found in Ladakh’s Nubra Valley and their number ranges around 200.

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Two cops suspended over security breach during PM Modi’s Noida visit

Two policemen, who were in-charge of piloting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cavalcade during his visit to the city on December 25, have been suspended for taking the convoy on a wrong route and causing a security breach.SSP Love Kumar has suspended the two policemen for the security lapse. The suspended policemen are Sub Inspector Dilip Singh and police driver Jaipal. They were in the vehicle ahead to lead the prime minister’s motorcade, PRO in the SSP’s office Manish Saxena said.The two policemen took a wrong turn as a result of which the prime minister’s cavalcade was caught in traffic for two minutes near Mahamaya Flyover. Traffic policemen then rushed and cleared the route for smooth passage.Several rehearsals of the route were conducted before the visit. The route was through second cut and the first cut was barricaded.Also readPM Narendra Modi inaugurates much-awaited Magenta Line of Delhi MetroSenior IPS officer Nitin Tiwari was in charge of the traffic plan and subsequent arrangements for the prime minister s cavalcade and other VIP movement.Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had sought explanation from the officials about the security breach and sought a detailed report of lapse and action.Also readDMRC’s Magenta line: New metro to cut off travel time to 45 minutes from Noida to South DelhiThe report has been sent to the ADG and the commissioner.The prime minister was in Noida on Christmas to inaugurate the Botanical Garden-Kalkaji line of the Metro.

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There was ‘something’ in shoes of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, ‘clarifies’ Pakistan

Clarifying its stance, Pakistan has claimed that the Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife’s shoes were confiscated on security grounds as there was ‘something’ in it.’There was something in the shoe (of Jadhav’s wife),’ the Dawn has quoted Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal as saying.The shoe is being investigated, he added. Pakistan’s Foreign Office, in a statement, said, ‘We do not wish to indulge in a meaningless battle of words. Our openness and transparency belies these allegations and categorically rejected India’s baseless allegations and twists.’The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday stated that, ‘For some inexplicable reason, despite her repeated requests, the shoes of the wife of Jadhav were not returned to her after the meeting. We would caution against any mischievous intent in this regard.’Pakistan had disregarded the cultural and religious sensibilities of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family, who met him on Monday in Islamabad, the MEA added.Also readIf Kulbhushan Jadhav has been declared a terrorist by Pak, then he will be treated like one: SP’s Naresh Agrawal’Under the pretext of security precautions, the cultural and religious sensibilities of family members were disregarded. This included the removal of mangalsutra, bangles and bindi, as well as a change in attire that was not warranted by security,’ MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.Kumar added the Pakistani press, despite prior agreement that the media would not be allowed close access, was allowed on multiple occasions to approach the family members closely, harass and hector them and hurl false and motivated accusations about Jadhav.Also readIndia hits back at Pak, says Kulbhushan Jadhav’s statement clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate false narrative “We note with regret that the Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings,” he said.Kumar further said that the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan, who was supposed to be with the family all the time, was initially separated from family members.Also readDay after meeting Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, wife, mother meet Sushma Swaraj The MEA spokesperson concluded by saying that the manner in which the meeting was conducted and its aftermath seemed clearly to be an attempt to bolster a false and unsubstantiated narrative of Jadhav’s alleged activities, adding the exercise lacked credibility.

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Day after meeting Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, wife, mother meet Sushma Swaraj

A day after meeting ‘convicted’ ex-Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav in Islamabad, his family met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Tuesday.Jadhav’s father along with his mother and wife met Swaraj at her New Delhi residence. Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh, who went to Islamabad with the family, also accompanying them. Foreign Secretary Jaishankar also attended the brief meeting.Jadhav’s meeting with his family members was not any ordinary meeting as they were separated by a glass barrier.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav meets his mother, wife from behind Pak smokescreenThe Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), to this end, clarified that the screen was placed due to security reasons and that Jadhav already knew this would be the setting.”It was there due to security reasons. We had already told them that you will be able to meet him but a security barrier would be there,” Dr Mohammed Faisal, Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, replied to a poser by ANI, in a press briefing in Islamabad.Also readFeel ashamed for acts against Pakistan and its people: Kulbhushan Jadhav in new ‘confessional’ videoFaisal substantiated his stance by adding that Islamabad considered Jadhav as “the face of Indian terrorism, especially in Pakistan.”In addition to this, the MoFA released another ‘confessional’ video of Jadhav’s, in which the convicted alleged spy was seen confessing that he did cross from Iran to Pakistan two years back.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother for 40 minutes; thanks Pak govt for ‘grand gesture’Jadhav, in the video that was apparently shot before he got to meet his kin, also said that he had requested to meet his family members and that he was grateful to the Pakistan Government for letting that happen.Jadhav’s wife and mother, before meeting him, had visited the Indian High Commission in the Pakistani capital, after which they moved to the MoFA building.Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad JP Singh was also present during the meeting.Pakistan had agreed to facilitate the visit of Jadhav’s family and also assured their safety, security, and freedom of movement in the country.Jadhav was arrested in March this year, in Balochistan, Pakistan, over charges of alleged involvement in ‘espionage and subversive activities for India’s intelligence agency – the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).’India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.(With ANI inputs)

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Join Naxals, will shoot you: Union Minister Hansraj Ahir to doctors skipping hospital event

Miffed over senior doctors remaining absent from a function he was attending at a government hospital in Maharashtra, Union Minister Hansraj Ahir today said “these people” should join the Naxals if they don’t believe in democracy, and the government will then shoot them down.The Minister of State for Home Affairs was speaking at the inauguration of a 24×7 store for generic medicines at a government-run hospital in eastern Maharashtra’s Chandrapur, which he represents in the Lok Sabha.”The mayor came, the deputy mayor came but what stopped the doctors from coming for the event?” an angry Ahir asked, noting the absence of senior doctors at the event.Also readHansraj Ahir: No one can stop India from wresting back PoK”What do the Naxals want? They don’t want democracy… So these people (the absent doctors) don’t want democracy, then they should join the Naxals. Why are you here? Then (once you join the Naxals) we will pump you with bullets, why you are dispensing pills here?” Ahir said, punning on the Marathi word ‘goli’ — which means both a pill and a bullet.Ahir wondered if it was appropriate for doctors to go on leave when a “democratically-elected” minister was on a visit.Also readVarun Gandhi pitches for ‘providing shelter to Rohingya refugees,’ gets slammed by MoS Hansraj AhirChandrapur is one of the four districts in Maharashtra which have been identified by the central government as affected by Left-Wing Extremism.

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Jadhav family reunion: Pakistan disguises propaganda as ‘humanitarian gesture’

After spending nearly 22 months in Pakistan’s captivity, Kulbhushan Jadhav was finally allowed to ‘meet’ his wife and mother in Islamabad today. The meeting, Pakistan said, was a “humanitarian gesture” to mark the birth anniversary of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Father of the Islamic nation. When the day’s affair ended following a press briefing of Foreign Affairs Ministry, it seemed like Pakistan had just played a propaganda film lasting a couple of hours.Everything, from the arrival of Jadhav’s wife Chetankul and mother Avanti to the so-called ‘confessional’ video of former India Navy officer, seemed meticulously planned. Also readKulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother from behind glass screen; not the last meeting, says Pakistan Sample this – After a 40 minutes meeting, Jadhav’s wife and mother, accompanied by India Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh, came out from the front door. The car, provided by the Pakistani authorities, did not come around and they were made to wait for several minutes out in the open. Singh was seen lifting his hands, walking around, a gesture seen as frustration. Meanwhile, some of the Pakistani journalists, raised questions to Avanti Jadhav, the alleged Indian spy’s mother which were more like accusations. “Mrs. Jadhav, how does it feel to be the mother of a terrorist?” was one of the questions thrown at the lady who had just met her son from across a glass wall. Also readFeel ashamed for acts against Pakistan and its people: Kulbhushan Jadhav in new ‘confessional’ videoThis was a typical Pakistani script. To try to launch an attack with the help of non-state actors so they they have their deniability. Except this time, the attack was not intended to harm anyone physically but to humiliate an Indian citizen in full public view. But this was low, even from a Pakistani standard, to subject a mother to such questioning from hecklers masquerading as journalists. Later, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a “confessional” video of Jadhav before its spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal read out a statement which was nothing but repetition of its charges against the alleged Indian spy. This video was played in a loop while journalists waited for the press conference to begin. In the “confession” video, Jadhav admitted that he crossed into Pakistan from Iran. He sought “pardon of the acts and sins and crimes committed here against the Nation and the people of Pakistan.”Also readConsular access not given, Kulbhushan’s meeting with wife and mother allowed on ‘humanitarian ground’: PakThis was not the first time that Pakistan released a confession video of Jadhav, but questions arise on why they needed to release the video while his mother was literally a few kilometres away. During the press conference, Dr Faisal did not forget to throw in the figure that 500 medical visas were issued to Pakistanis by India before Jadhav row and now External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj “picks and chooses.” Faisal also did not forget to tell journalists that the scheduled 30-minute meeting was extended to 40 minutes on the request of Jadhav and his family.In the entire press conference, Faisal made it a point to identify Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, with his military title, calling “Commander Jadhav”. He mentioned again and again that the request for the meeting was granted on “humanitarian grounds.”If it was indeed a humanitarian gesture, as the spokesperson so graciously repeated several times, why Jadhav was not allowed to hug or even touch his mother and wife. The logic given by the Foreign Office for a glass wall was that it was done for “security reasons.” The wall, he said was a security barrier. To top all of it, the meeting took place inside a container where a studio was built for the purpose, Republic TV reported. G Parthasarathy, Former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, claimed that the ladies were asked to change their clothes before meeting Jadhav. This was also visible from the pictures of the meeting shared by Faisal. On the face of it, the whole exercise was designed to embarrass India, to show Pakistan as a ‘humanitarian’ nation and to project Jadhav as a terrorist sent by Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), the Indian intelligence agency. It was not surprising that Pakistan did what it did, but what should come as a surprise to many that New Delhi fell for the trap set by Islamabad. After getting stabbed in the back by Pakistan innumerable times, India should have known better that it was not like any other family reunion but propaganda disguised as humanitarian gesture. Watch: Pakistan’s PR stunt with Indian prisoner

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Rajasthan polls: Congress to fight BJP with a positive campaign, says Sachin Pilot

The Congress will launch an “affirmative and positive” campaign in Rajasthan to counter the “acrimonious” charge of the BJP and advocate a new model of governance while highlighting the failures of the state government, Member of Parliament Sachin Pilot has said.Buoyed by the results of recent bye-elections to local bodies, where the Congress fared well, the party has decided to strengthen its base at the booth level and reach out to the masses through an aggressive mass contact programme to be launched soon, the Rajasthan Congress chief said.Unlike the BJP, the Congress campaign will not be reduced to their level of acrimonious campaign and will not be negative. We will instead launch an affirmative and positive campaign, where the failures of the Vasundhara Raje-led government will be highlighted, Pilot told PTI.Also readPeople have made up mind, will support Cong: Sachin PilotThe party has already launched its Mera booth, mera gaurav (My booth, my pride)” campaign and will soon unroll its mass contact programme across the state.He said the Congress did not seek to reach out to the people merely on the failures of the BJP, but would offer them a better alternative.Also readSachin Pilot ‘ticks off’ Raje govt on fourth anniversaryWe will present the people with the blueprint of a model of alternative governance which will be holistic and inclusive, will care for the young and old, create jobs and have a vision to take the state forward, he said.Pilot said the workers in the state were already geared up and ready to tackle the BJP now that Rahul Gandhi had taken over the leadership of the Congress and infused new energy into it.The Rajasthan government has nothing to show for the four years that the BJP has been in power in the state, he said, charging it with selling off assets to generate money.This, Pilot stressed, was poor fiscal management.He alleged that the state s assets, including buildings, schools, roadways, hospitals and other infrastructure, were being sold to a select few in the name of public-private partnerships.This is nothing but an example of poor fiscal management. Such a policy where precious assets of the state are given out to a select few at throw-away prices smacks of crony capitalism,” he said.Once voted back to power, the Congress would “review and reverse all such decisions taken arbitrarily” and re-acquire the state s assets, he added.Pilot said the Congress, which faced a historic defeat in 2013 when it could win only 21 of the 200 Assembly seats, had got its vigour back and in the just-concluded bypolls had won seven out of 14 urban local bodies.He said the vote share gap between the Congress and the BJP, which had widened to 25 per cent, had narrowed down to 1.5 per cent in the state Panchayat elections held last year.In the Panchayat polls, the Congress won 45.5 per cent of votes against the BJP s 47 per cent. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress was down to 31 per cent, compared to the BJP’s 56 per cent.The former Union minister said the Congress party would now aggressively take its campaign forward while highlighting the problems of the jobless, farmers and the common man.This, he said, would be done through public rallies and by underlining the Congress’s plans for the future.The Congress will “force” the BJP government in the state to announce farm loan waivers to help ease the burden of debt that farmers faced, he said.Pilot wondered why the government was dithering over loan waivers when it could bring in a law that allowed former chief ministers to select a house for their lifetime.”The people of the state did not vote the former chief ministers in so that they could have the power to have a house for life, he said.Asked about the Mera booth, mera gaurav scheme, he said every leader would be put in charge of a booth and would launch a mass contact programme to reach out to every voter in the state.There are a total of 51,000 booths in the state.Rajasthan goes to the polls in 2018, along with Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

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PM Modi thanks people of Arunachal, UP for bypoll results; says happy with BJP’s vote-share rise in Bengal’s Sabang

Congratulating the Bharataiya Janata Party (BJP) for winning Assembly bypolls in Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday thanked people for supporting the party. While the BJP wrested the Pakke-Kessang and Likabali Assembly seats from the Congress in Arunachal Pradesh, it successfully retained Sikandra Assembly seat in UP. In West Bengal, the BJP increased its votes share in Sabang constituency from 2.6% in 2016 to more than 18% this year. “My gratitude to the people of Sikandra for once again supporting BJP. Our commitment to serving India’s villages and taking them to new heights of progress is unwavering. I congratulate CM @myogiadityanath Ji and the @BJP4UP Team for their stupendous efforts,” Modi said in a tweet. Also readSabang bypoll: Seven-fold increase in vote-share for BJP augurs well for its future In another tweet, he said, “I thank the people of Likabali and Pakke Kesang in Arunachal Pradesh for reposing their faith in BJP. We derive immense strength from this affection and remain committed to transforming the Northeast. @BJP4Arunachal.””Happy to see a significant rise in the BJP’s vote share in Sabang, West Bengal. I thank the people for their support and assure them that BJP will leave no stone unturned in serving West Bengal. I appreciate the @BJP4Bengal Karyakartas for their effort,” he added. Also readSikandra bypoll: BJP retains seat, wins by 7000 votes The BJP however, did not do well in the RK Nagar bypoll where NOTA got more votes than its candidate. BJP’s Karu Nagarajan secured 1,417 votes in the election won by independent TTV Dhinakaran. In Sikandra, BJP’s Ajit Singh Pal secured 73,284 votes against his nearest rival, Seema Sachan of the Samajwadi Party (SP). The Sikandra bypoll was necessitated following the death of its sitting BJP MLA and Ajit’s father, Mathura Prasad Pal, on July 22.Also readArunachal Pradesh bypoll: BJP wins both seatsIn Arunachal’s Pakke-Kessang seat, BR Waghe of the BJP won by a narrow margin of 475 votes, defeating his lone rival and former deputy chief minister, Kameng Dolo of the Congress.In the Likabali seat, BJP’s Kardo Nyigyor won by a slender margin of 305 votes, defeating his nearest rival, Gumke Riba of the PPA.

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TTV Dhinakaran wins RK Nagar bypoll, DMK and BJP candidates lose deposit

In a bitterly fought election which can have huge political implications in Tamil Nadu, sidelined AIADMK leader and independent candidate TTV Dhinakaran on Sunday secured a comfortable win in the RK Nagar bypoll. Dhinakaran polled 89,013 votes out of total 1,76,885 votes while his nearest rival, official AIADMK candidate E Madhusudhanan, secured 48,306 votes. All other 57 candidates, including DMK’s Maruthu Ganesh, 24,651 votes, and BJP’s Karu Nagarajan, 1417 votes, lost deposits. The bypoll held on December 21 had seen a record 77.68% voter turnout. RK Nagar, represented twice by Jayalalithaa, has an electorate of 2,28,234, comprising 1,10,903 men, 1,17,232 women and 99 transgenders.Also readRK Nagar bypoll result: Subramanian Swamy calls for accountability after BJP gets lesser votes than NOTAIn the 2016 Assembly polls, the then AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa had secured 97,218 votes which was almost 58% of the total votes polled. His sucessor Dhinakaran has secured 50.32% of the total votes. The 2015 RK Nagar bypoll, Jayalalithaa was elected by a huge margin of 1.5 lakh votes. The constituency had then had witnessed a record 75 per cent turnout.Also readRK Nagar bypoll: Dhinakaran says trends reflect people wanting changeThe contest for the seat, which was represented by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, had become a battle of prestige for both Dhinakaran and AIADMK faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami. Even before the poll results were announced and trends showed Dhinakaran leading, he said it was time for the state government to go. During the counting that began 8 am at Queen Mary’s College here, Dhinakaran kept a comfortable lead over his rival. Also readTTV Dhinakaran wins RK Nagar bypoll by over 40,000 votes, deals huge blow to ruling AIADMK For Dhinakaran, who lost the Two Leaves election symbol to AIADMK following merger of factions led by Palaniswami and former rebel O Panneerselvam, the bypoll success will give him another chance to claim that he represent the welfare legacy of Jayalalithaa. For the ruling EPS-OPS regime, the loss is a huge blow. The run up to the bypoll saw political parties and candidates holding as many as 152 public meetings and taking out 605 processions with the campaigning ending on December 19. There were also widespread allegations of distribution of money, use of state machinery and carious other wrongdoings. The nomination for the seat also was not without controversy, with the nomination papers of two high profile candidates – actor Vishal and Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar – being rejected.

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Shocker from Gurugram! Medanta Hospital charges Rs 16 lakh for dengue treatment, child dies

The series of shocking incidents in the hospitals from Delhi-NCR are no close to stopping. In another bizzare episode, it’s Gurugram’s Medanta hospital, which is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The hospital has reportedly charged around Rs 16 lakh for the treatment that continued for 21 days from the family of an eight-year-old boy, who was suffering from Dengue. The child, however, later on died. As the reports suggest, the boy’s family shifted him to a different hospital after Medanta hospital charged them an exorbitant amount. Also readFortis raked in moolah of up to 1,737% in Adya Singh case: NPPA”My child was there in the hospital for 21 days, the hospital gave us a bill of Rs 15.88 lakh. We had to request people for money; the hospital has looted us in the name of treatment,” the father of the eight-year-old said.Earlier, Fortis hospital in Gurugram billed a family close to 16 lakhs in 15 days as their baby girl Adya succumbed to dengue shock syndrome, post which Union Health Minister JP Nadda asked for an inquiry to be instituted to investigate the case.Also readComplaint of overcharging against Fortis Gurgaon and the Park HospitalDNA had first reported the story of deceased baby Adya on November 20. The story can be read here. However, the hospital has refuted the allegations levelled by the family. According to the hospital, the girl was admitted with dengue shock syndrome and her condition was extremely serious. “The girl came to us without the medical advice of the previous hospital. As soon as she came to us, we had incubated her. On September 14, she was put off the ventilator as suggested by the family and against the doctor’s advice,” said a senior doctor from Fortis hospital. Also readDengue Death Costing Rs 16 lakh: Investigation nails unethical acts of Fortis Explaining the situation further, the doctor added that a multi-disciplinary team of doctors was formed to look into the case. “Clearly, everything is planned. The girl passed away on September 14 and the family is making the false allegations after two months,” added the doctor. Jayant ended up paying the highest for expensive branded drugs, close to Rs 4 lakh when cheaper options for drugs were available. Cost of Medical consumables including up to 2700 gloves billed at Rs 17,142 came up to a whopping Rs 2.73 lakh, while medical investigations including blood tests cost him another Rs 2.17 lakh. Diagnostics are though billed separately from investigations, adding another Rs 29, 290.

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Suspense over new Himachal Pradesh CM continues, BJP MLAs to meet tomorrow

Amid the suspense over the new Himachal Pradesh chief minister, a meeting of BJP MLAs has been convened tomorrow and they would be addressed by the central observers, the party’s state unit chief Satpal Singh Satti said today.According to senior party leaders, announcement regarding the new chief minister would be made soon, may be at the meeting of the MLAs, but there was no official communication about it yet.The two-member team of central observers, which was in the state on December 21 and 22, had taken feedback from members of the state BJP’s core committee, MPs and some MLAs.Also readPM Modi meets BJP MPs from Gujarat, HimachalUnion Health Minister J P Nadda and five times MLA Jai Ram Thakur are the front runners for the post and announcement of the leader would be made after perusing the report of the observers, party leaders had said.The two central observers — Union ministers Nirmala Sitharamana and Narendra Singh Tomar — would arrive here tomorrow and address the MLAs, Satti said.Also readHow BJP’s victory in Gujarat and Himachal will impact Bengal political equationsThe leadership issue cropped up following the shocking defeat of the BJPs chief ministerial face Prem Kumar Dhumal, which threw the leadership race wide open.Dhumal who was defeated from Sujanpur by Rajinder Rana of the Congress.Satti, who himself lost from Una, said that inspite of “unexpected results” in some constituencies the performance of the party was spectacular.”After feedback from candidates at a meeting in Bilaspur, ahead of counting, we were expecting at least 42 seats. The party won 44 seats,” he said.The state BJP chief said the performance of the BJP in tribal areas was satisfying as it grabbed two out three seats reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates.

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Today father, next who?: Sushil Modi on Lalu Yadav’s conviction

As you sow, so you reap — this was Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi’s reaction to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s conviction in a fodder scam case by a CBI court in Ranchi today.Modi was one of the petitioners, on whose PIL the Patna High Court had, in 1996, ordered a CBI inquiry into the cases relating to the fodder scam.In a series of tweets, Modi pointed at the money- laundering cases slapped against the “whole family” of Prasad and hinted that the RJD president’s son and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav could be the next in line in the “process of going to jail”.”Jo boya so paya. Boya ped babul ka to aam kahan se hoi. Yeh to hona hi tha (As you sow, so you reap. If you plant a Babul tree, how will you get mangoes. This had to happen),” the BJP leader said in his first tweet after the court verdict.This was followed by another tweet: “I was one of the petitioner in fodder scam PIL which resulted in CBI inquiry & and monitoring by Patna H Court (sic).”Also readFrom Tejashwi Yadav to Ravi Shankar Prasad: Who said what after Lalu Yadav’s conviction in fodder scam”Process of going to jail started. Today father, next who? Lalu knows? Whole family involved in corruption. Either fodder scam or benami property? Today chara Next LaRa? (sic),” read another tweet.Modi also came down heavily on RJD national vice- president Shivanand Tiwary, who was a co-petitioner in the PIL which led to the CBI inquiry into the fodder scam, saying he was “defending the indefensible” by coming out in support of Prasad.Also readEven Mandela, Ambedkar are villains for some: Defiant Lalu Yadav after fodder scam conviction”Lalu had to go to jail because of PIL filed by Shivanand, Lalan Singh and myself but now Shivanand defending the indefensible (sic),” he said.Lalan Singh, a JD(U) leader, is currently a state minister.Also readTimeline of fodder scam case which rocked Lalu Prasad Yadav’s political careerTiwary, who was expelled from the RJD shortly before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls for anti-party activities, had told a news channel that he felt he had “committed a sin” by filing the PIL, “which paved way the for Nitish Kumar to come to power in the state”.”Lalu enjoys a mass support, which nothing can erode. He has already been convicted and sentenced in one of the fodder scam cases. He is being sent to jail again and again as a part of a conspiracy,” he said.Meanwhile, senior RJD leader Jagdanand Singh said the party was united and waiting for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, when its workers and leaders would fulfil the dreams of Prasad, who fought for social justice.”The party will continue with its fight and struggle for social justice, right from the streets to Parliament, under the leadership of Tejashwi Prasad Yadav,” he said, while appealing to the partymen to register their protest in a peaceful manner.Singh also alleged that those who could not vote Prasad out of power had hatched a conspiracy against him.

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From Tejashwi Yadav to Ravi Shankar Prasad: Who said what after Lalu Yadav’s conviction in fodder scam

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was on Saturday convicted in second fodder scam case by a special CBI court in Ranchi. The former Bihar Chief Minister was among 16 accused who were convicted by Special CBI court judge Shivpal Singh.The court, however, acquitted six people including another former chief minister Jagannath Mishra.The case pertains to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar Treasury between 1991 and 1994.A charge sheet was filed against 38 persons on October 27, 1997. Eleven of them died and three turned approvers while two other accused confessed and were convicted in 2006-07, a CBI official said.Here is how politicians reacted to Lalu’s conviction:Also readRJD cries foul over fodder scam verdict; alleges ‘conspiracy’ against Lalu PrasadLalu Prasad YadavTruth can be made to appear as a lie, as ambiguous or a half lie by concerted onslaught of bias driven propaganda. But blurred layer of bias and hatred will still be removed, come what may! In end Truth will win.Also readEven Mandela, Ambedkar are villains for some: Defiant Lalu Yadav after fodder scam convictionHad people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Baba Saheb Ambedkar failed in their efforts, history would have treated them as villains. They still are villains for the biased, racist and caste-ist minds. No one should expect any different treatment.Tejashwi Yadav, RJDAlso readTimeline of fodder scam case which rocked Lalu Prasad Yadav’s political careerWill challenge judgement in HC. We have already appealed against conviction in Chaibasa treasury case in HC. Bail procedure would take place only after HC’s opening. Nitish Kumar, BJP kept trying to malign Lalu Ji.Manoj Jha, RJDI believe in the judiciary, but in this case, the CBI was arranging prosecution. Legally admissible evidence provided by us were set aside.Kind of evidences we have, we’ll get redressal at a higher court. Politically I know this regime, they have this typical Standard Operating Procedure-Try to make a deal with your opposition, if you fail…scare them. Want to tell them-Your end has begun.Manish Tewari,CongressLalu Yadav has been fighting this legal battle since 1996. It started when BJP leaders filed PIL against him in Patna HC. He & his lawyers are capable of fighting this case. I want to ask BJP why Srijan scam is not being investigated?Neeraj Kumar, JD(U)The verdict of Ranchi CBI court in fodder scam will prove to be a milestone against Lalu ji, who has become synonym with corruption.JP Nadda,Union MinisterLalu Prasad Yadav is even now politicizing the issue instead of accepting the verdict, just to deviate he is leveling allegations of conspiracy on BJP.The alliance between Congress and Lalu Yadav’s party is an alliance of corruption,connivance and cheating the people of India, it is clear from the verdict of the court.Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union MinisterLesson of today’s conviction of Lalu Prasad is that law will catch up with you if you commit corruption.For me, it is a matter of some personal assurance that I had the privilege to argue the PIL in Patna High Court in the early 90s leading to the institution of CBI inquiry which was strongly opposed by the then state govt headed by Lalu Yadav.

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More girls rescued from rape accused Baba Virender Dev Dikshit’s Farrukhabad ashram

More girls were rescued on Saturday after cops raided Baba Virender Dev Dikshit’s another ashram in Farrukhabad district.Earlier this week, around 41 girls were rescued by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) from the self-styled Godman’s ashram in Rohini. The Delhi High Court initiated an enquiry on Tuesday against the baba’s Rohini ashram after it received “serious allegations” of sexual assault on women and minor girls who have been allegedly held captive under the garb of providing a spiritual path to enlightenment.Talking to DNA, DCW chief Swati Maliwal said during the raid conducted by their team and the police, hundreds of letters written by victims to the Baba were found and they all had explicit content.Also readGirls in Rohini Ashram force fed intoxicants: DCW chief”It is suspected that the girls in confinement were forced to write letters to the Baba with sexual content. A chemical was also recovered, which the victims were apparently forced to drink. It seemed to be an intoxicant, which kept the girls out of their senses,” Maliwal said.The girls rescued from Rohini’s Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya were being force fed a suspected intoxicant to keep them from raising their voice against their sexual exploitation, the DCW revealed.Also readDCW rescues 41 minor girls from Rohini ashramShe also said that the HC has now directed that the eight other identified properties of the Ashram be raided by a joint team of DCW, Delhi Police, and other agencies concerned. The court further directed the lawyers to inform about the addresses of these locations.”The so-called Baba Virender Dikshit should immediately be arrested by CBI. All his locations across India should be raided. If this man could manage so much in the Capital, God knows what all illegal activities are ongoing in rest of the country!,” Maliwal tweeted.

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Bill awarding death penalty for hooch trade passed by UP Assembly

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly today passed a bill to award death penalty and life imprisonment to those dealing in spurious liquor.The UP Excise (Amendment) Bill 2017, which was tabled in the House yesterday by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna repealing the ordinance brought by the government in September in this regard was passed by a voice vote.The bill provides for death penalty, life sentence and fine to the tune of Rs 10 lakh and not less than Rs five lakh in case of death caused due to consumption of spurious liquor.It also provides for rigourous imprisonment up to 10 years and not less than six years in case of disability caused by consumption of spurious liquor and fine to the tune of Rs five lakh and not less than Rs three lakh.Earlier in September, the state government had promulgated an ordinance for amending the UP Excise Act with some cases of death and disability due to hooch being reported in the state.Also readChief Minister Yogi Adityanath amends 107-year-old law for capital punishment in hooch death cases in UPToday’s bill seeks to further strengthen the penal provisions to deal with those involved in illicit or spurious liquor.After Delhi and Gujarat, UP will be the third state where bootleggers may be sent to the gallows, if consumption of spurious liquor leads to a loss of life.Also read2 arrested in connection with Azamgarh hooch tragedyHooch tragedies take a heavy toll every year in Uttar Pradesh.In July, 17 people died in Azamgarh after they consumed spurious liquor. In 2015, 28 people were killed in a similar incident in the Malihabad area of Lucknow.The Assembly also passed UP Criminal Law Composition of Offences and Abetment of Trials (Amendment) Bill 2017.The bill pertains to abetment of certain proceedings pending before the magistrate till December 31, 2015.There are about 20,000 such pending cases.Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth had yesterday announced in the House that the government will bring a bill to abolish political cases.

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Hyderabad: 7 members of family found dead at poultry farm

Seven members of a family, including three children, were today found dead at a poultry farm in a village here, police said on Friday. A senior police official said the family is suspected to have consumed poison in their food last night.The family was apparently facing financial problems, he said, adding that they were enquiring into all aspects.According to the police, the family’s head, identified as Balaraju, belonged to Munigadapa village in Jagdevpur mandal of Siddipet district.He was working as farm labourer and taking care of the poultry there at Rajapet village, which comes under the jurisdiction of Rachakonda police commissioner.Also readHyderabad horror: Stalker sets woman on fire in full public view, victim succumbs to injuries “Most probably we are suspecting food poising. Prime facie, we don’t find any foul play like homicide. We cannot come to a conclusion until we get the autopsy report,” the police official said.He said they have learnt that the family had financial problems in the past. “We are inquiring into all aspects,” he said.Also readHyderabad shocker: Woman’s body found chewed up by rats in Osmania Hospital morgueA case has been registered and an investigation is on, he added.

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Adarsh scam: Big relief for Ashok Chavan, Bombay HC sets aside governor’s sanction to prosecute him

In a big relief to former chief minister Ashok Chavan, Bombay high court on Friday set aside governor’s sanction for prosecuting him in the Adarsh case. Ashok Chavan had filed a petition challenging Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao’s assent to prosecute him. Advocate hiten venegaonkar appearing for CBI said that the agency would appeal against the HC order in the Supreme Court.The state had opposed his petition arguing that if it is allowed it would mean a straight acquittal for him. It would then render the entire probe “futile”. Also readAdarsh scam: Maha defends Chavan’s prosecution(This is a breaking news. More details to follow)

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2G verdict good news for Congress, but UPA has enough scams to worry about

The CBI court on Thursday acquitted DMK leaders A Raja and Kanimozhi in the 2-G spectrum scam, citing lack of evidence.Rai had calculated that the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008, under UPA 1, led to notional loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer.Following the verdict, Congress and DMK leaders slammed Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai, saying that he owed the UPA government an apology and the nation an explanation. Some even suggested that had the scam not been highlighted the way it had, then the BJP would have not won the 2014 elections.While the BJP may have won the 2014 elections with 282 seats, they won 31% of the vote-share, while the Congress won 19% of the votes with just 44 seats. The party that had fielded Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate a few months before the elections played the development and anti-corruption card, stating that the Congress had misguided the nation and the scams that had been unearthed were proof of it.During the period, there were other scams under the UPA II government. These include the coal block allocation scam and the Commonwealth Games scam. While the government passed bills such as the Lokpal Bill and bills to ensure women safety, the controversies clouded any attempt of development that the UPA had claimed they had incorporated for India. Also read2G scam verdict: Fate of cancelled telecom licences depends on agencies’ next step, says ministerIn the second tenure of UPA (2009-2014), 128 bills remained pending in Parliament. Of these, 68 bills were pending in Lok Sabha and lapsed with its dissolution. Sixty bills, which were pending in Rajya Sabha, were carried forward to the 16th Lok Sabha.An India Today report analysed UPA-II report card only on the economic front. “According to the official Economic Survey for 2012-13, the moderation in growth is primarily attributed to weakness in industry which has registered a growth rate of 3.5% and 3.1% in 2011-12 and 2012-13, respectively. This has come down even further during the current fiscal with the manufacturing sector contracting as investment has declined due to the uncertainty created by a government weakened by a spate of scams,” the report stated.Also readIt’s a bad judgement, should be appealed in a higher court: Subramanain Swamy on 2G scam verdictThis, accompanied, by global crude oil prices, added to a number of people protesting against the Manmohan Singh-led government and also cost them votes.Lack of a Health policy and women safetyIn October this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress-led UPA over the state of healthcare sector in the country, alleging that it had failed to bring a health policy during its 10-year rule. “The last health policy was announced during Atalji’s (former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee) regime around 15 years back. After that, such a government assumed power which used to hate development. It did not have any empathy for the people,” Modi said.Also read2G scam verdict: Former CAG Vinod Rai owes Congress apology, nation explanation, says Kapil SibalBJP played its cards wellTaking leverage on the scams that hit UPA 2, the BJP attacked the Congress during the 2014 election campaign. The Congress, too, had no way of defending the allegations, prompting the voter to go for the saffron party.And while the 2G scam verdict may bring a smile to the Congress and the DMK, they still have skeletons in the closet with respect to coal gate and the CWG scam.

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CBI, ED to challenge special court’s verdict on 2G scam

Both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) will challenge the judgement acquitting former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others in the 2G spectrum allocation case. Speaking to ANI, CBI spokesperson, Abhishek Dayal said “The judgment (of the special CBI court) relating to the 2G scam dated December 21, 2017 has been prima facie examined and it appears that the evidence adduced to substantiate the charges by the prosecution has not been appreciated in its proper perspective by the learned court.”Special CBI Judge O P Saini pronounced the judgement in the 2G scam which had rocked the UPA government.Also readIt’s a bad judgement, should be appealed in a higher court: Subramanain Swamy on 2G scam verdictBesides Kanimozhi and Raja, fifteen other accused in the case and three companies were also acquitted.”The CBI is taking necessary legal remedies in the matter,” he added.Also read2G scam verdict: Former CAG Vinod Rai owes Congress apology, nation explaination, says Kapil SibalIn its charge sheet filed in April 2011 against Raja and others, the CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.The court had in October 2011 framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, using as genuine fake documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.Also readDMK leader MK Stalin hails ‘historic verdict’ in 2G spectrum allocation caseAll the accused facing trial in these cases had denied allegations levelled against them by the CBI and the ED.The special court of judge Saini also acquitted 19 accused, including A Raja and Kanimozhi in the ED’s money laundering case relating to the 2G scam.The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will also appeal against the judgement of Special CBI Judge O P Saini acquitting 19 people in the money laundering case, agency sources said. Sources said it has to be seen if the ED case has been rejected by the court merely because the predicate offence probe of CBI has been rejected or there were other reasons to do so.In its charge sheet, the ED had also named DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal as an accused in the case in which it had alleged that Rs 200 crore was paid by Swan Telecom (P) Ltd (STPL) promoters to DMK-run Kalaignar TV.In its final report, the ED had named 10 individuals and nine companies as accused and listed them in the charge sheet for the offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

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2G Scam Verdict: CBI to take necessary legal remedies

The CBI said on Thursday after the 2G scam verdict in which all 17 accused were acquitted that “necessary legal remedies will be taken”. ×The accused had included former telecom minister A Raja and DMK minister Kanimozhi. The 2G spectrum scam pertained to the allocation of telecom spectrum, which the comptroller and auditor general alleged had been given away at throwaway prices. After the verdict Thursday morning, Raja, surrounded by family, had wept in court. Also read2G scam verdict: Former CAG Vinod Rai owes Congress apology, nation explaination, says Kapil SibalRaja had spent almost a year in jail after his arrest in 2011. “Justice prevails,” Kanimozhi had said. Also read2G scam: Top leaders voice mixed reactions on social mediaThe CBI had alleged that a Rs 200 crore bribe paid to A Raja had been deposited with a TV channel partly-owned by Kanimozhi.

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DMK leader MK Stalin hails ‘historic verdict’ in 2G spectrum allocation case

DMK leader MK Stalin on Thursday described as “historic” a special court verdict acquitting his party colleagues A Raja and Kanimozhi besides others in the 2G spectrum allocation case.Expressing joy over the acquittal of all the accused including his sister Kanimozhi and former telecom minister Raja, Stalin charged that the case was a “planned” attempt at “insulting and finishing off” a political party, referring to his own party.”A historic verdict has been delivered,” Stalin, DMK Working President, told reporters here in response to the special court acquitting all the 19 accused in the case.Also readFull text of special CBI court’s judgment in 2G spectrum allocation case Recalling that the case was filed in 2009, he said it was a “planned (attempt) to insult and finish off a party in the political history (of the country).””It is a matter of joy that all of them have been acquitted,” he added.Also read2G verdict: Allegations were never true says Chidambaram; government should file appeal tweets SubramanianStalin earlier distributed sweets after the verdict was delivered even as DMK party workers and supporters held celebrations, especially outside the CIT Colony residence of Kanimozhi.Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi were today acquitted by a special court in the 2G spectrum scam case.Fifteen others accused in the case and three companies were also acquitted.

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2G scam verdict: My name was dragged as part of election game, alleges Kanimozhi

DMK leader Kanimozhi after hearing the verdict said that she was glad and relieved. “I have always believed that I would see the light at the end of the tunnel. The past six years have been harrowing to say the least. To be falsely accused in a case for a notional loss of Rs 176 lakh crore to appease the opposition that was stalling Parliament is atrocious,” she said targeting the BJP and the AIADMK, who were the opposition parties at the Centre and the state respectively at the time.Kanimuzhi added that the sole aim of the opposition (AIADMK) was to malign her name, as elections were five months away. “I was dragged in so that the DMK is defeated in the election that is hardly five months away. I was charge sheeted with the sole aim to tag my name with a mind-boggling amount to ensure that Kalingar’s rule will not continue,” she alleged.The statement issued by Kanimozhi that was circulate on social mediaAlso read2G verdict: Allegations were never true says Chidambaram; government should file appeal tweets SubramanianEarlier in the day,a special CBI court on Thursday acquitted, who was the telecom minister in the first UPA government, along with DMK leader Kanimozhi and 17 others in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.The special court judge OP Saini pronounced his verdict as ‘not guilty’ for all accused due to lack of evidence.Also read2G spectrum verdict: All you must know about the caseThe case relates to alleged below-market-price sale of lucrative telecoms permits bundled with airwaves in 2008, which a federal auditor said may have cost the government as much as Rs 1.76 lakh crore in lost revenue. The scam came to light following a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India during the second term of the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh.DMK working president MK Stalin has issued a statement after the 2G verdict. “The CBI court has given a historical verdict. The 2G case was filed in 2009. In the political history, the 2G case was foisted to defame and destroy DMK. It is a false case made up of goofed up figures. In such a case, the special court has acquitted all of them. We are very happy over the order. The court order proved that the DMK has not done anything wrong. I request the media to show the same enthusiasm of how it sensationalized the 2G scam when the case was filed. In the same way, you should take this news of acquittal to all the people,” he said. DMK’s RS Bharathi also hailed the CBI court’s verdict, saying that the case to begin with was a false case. “For the past 2 assembly elections, the case was used against us, now it has been proved to be wrong,” he added.

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Jammu and Kashmir: Clamour grows for legislation on generic drugs

Clamour is growing for passing a legislation to prompt the doctors to prescribe cheaper generic drugs instead of costly branded medicines in Jammu and Kashmir.Flagging off the debate, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has called on the government to pass a law to make it mandatory for doctors to prescribe cheaper generic drugs in order to benefit the large poor population of the state.“Jammu and Kashmir is fully competent to bring its own legislation due to the constitutional position of the state. That would make generic drug prescribing mandatory. Unless a legal framework is put in place, the push for generic medicines will remain an idea without implementation,” said Dr Nisar ul Hassan, president of DAK.The law, DAK hoped, would make drugs affordable and accessible to poor patients who are not able to buy expensive branded drugs. “In J&K 21.63% population, comprising 24.21 lakh people do not have access to medicines due to lack of purchasing power. Generic drugs are copycat versions of branded drugs and cost 80 to 90% less than branded medicines as manufacturers do not have to spend on development and promotion of the drug”, he said.Jammu and Kashmir consumes medicines worth Rs 600 crores annually and of which Rs 400 crore is spent in Kashmir valley alone. Official figures reveal that there are 9451 licensed retailers and 6073 licensed wholesaler drug distributors in Jammu and Kashmir. Of which 4912 retaliators and 4573 wholesalers are operating in the valley.Also readJammu and Kashmir | Education gets mega boost, 16 new colleges, 400 upgraded govt schools to come up next year“Research has shown that costs were lowered significantly among patients who were prescribed generic medicines compared to patients who were given branded drugs. generic drugs account for 88% of prescriptions in the United States. In J&K doctors continue to dole out unnecessary expensive therapies when equally effective cheaper generic versions are available,” he said.DAK also red-flagged the deep-rooted nexus between doctors and pharma companies that is keeping generic drugs away from patients. “For writing costly branded drugs to gullible patients, pharma companies provide these doctors everything from luxury cars, family trips to household items,” Dr Nisar saidAlso readFrom helpline to WhatsApp number: Steps taken to help women in distress in Jammu and Kashmir DAK president noted that even the chemist shops get huge margins for selling branded medicines. “Nexus is misleading people about generic drugs that is preventing these drugs from getting popular”, said Dr Nisar.

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Centre likely to table Triple Talaq Bill in Parliament today

The Centre is likely to introduce a bill on Triple Talaq in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had, on December 15, said that the Cabinet approved a proposal to introduce the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, to make instant triple talaq void and illegal.The Supreme Court, in August, by a majority of 3:2, had ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims is “void”, “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.Once the law is made to make triple talaq an offence, the victims will have the option of approaching the police and the legal system for the redressal of their grievances and for action to be taken against the husband.Meanwhile, activists working for the rights of Muslim women hope that the Bill will further help stem instances of instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat).Also readMuslim bodies not consulted on triple talaq bill: Govt tells Parliament In fact they say, since the Supreme Court’s August verdict declaring instant triple talaq illegal and unconstitutional, the instances of such talaq have gone down.Noorjahan Deewan, a social worker who works with Muslim women in the city said since the verdict, they have received three such complaints. “In two of them we managed to convince the husband that instant talaq was not valid and they agreed. Unfortunately, in the third case the religious leaders and others too got involved and said the divorce was valid,” said Deewan.Also readCabinet approves bill making instant triple talaq criminal actShe said overall the number of complaints about triple talaq have gone down considerably after SC verdict. There has been considerable awareness among Muslims about what is acceptable and not acceptable form of divorce.”It is not that it has stopped completely, but earlier we would receive so many cases but now they have gone down. Earlier, not many knew of the divorce but now many realise that instant triple talaq is no more valid,” she said.Also readQuestions on triple talaq in BHU examsZakia Soman, founder of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) and a co-petitioner in the triple talaq case in SC, said the bill once passed will definitely act as a deterrent. But she fears it may not be enough. “The SC verdict was welcome but it did not lay out a procedure for divorce. The bill is yet to be made public but we want it to be just and fair. The wife should also have a say in divorce, maintenance and efforts to reconcile,” said Soman.(With input from ANI)

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Ryan student murder | Juvenile accused will now be tried as an adult

The Class XI student who was arrested for the murder of seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur inside Gurugram’s Ryan International School, will now be tried as an adult.As per reports, the Juvenile Justice Board in Gurugram transferred the case to a district and sessions’ court. The hearing for the case will begin on December 22.Confirmin the incident, Sushil Tekriwal, lawyer of Pradyuman’s family, said, “The convict will be considered as an adult.”Pradyuman’s father Varun hailed the decision. “I thank the judiciary for the decision. We always knew that the journey is long but we will go till the end to get justice for my child and all other children who might be vulnerable,” he said.The cold-blooded murder case of the seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur took a new dimension after a Class 11 student of the school was arrested by the CBI. Earlier, a bus conductor was arrested for his alleged role in the case. He was subsequently released on bail. The accused reportedly said he committed the crime to postpone examinations.Also readRyan school murder: Juvenile accused to be defended by Rajesh and Nupur Talwars’ lawyerAfter facing flak from all quarters, the Haryana Police accepted that omissions took place on their part during the probe. The cops also admitted that they didn’t watch the closed circuit television (CCTV) footage carefully.The initial eight seconds of the footage shows the now accused teenager calling Pradyuman to thewashroom. The team members, however, remained silent on exactly how they made this grave error.Also readRyan school murder: Bus conductor Ashok Kumar walks free from Bhondsi jailPradyuman, a class II student of the school, was found dead with his throat slit by a sharp-edged weapon on the morning of September 8.The weapon used in the crime has been seized.”We have come to the conclusion on the basis of CCTV, forensic evidence and scientific evidence. The student has been apprehended. He remains our prime suspect,” the spokesperson said.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Congress tried to sow seeds of casteism, people rejected it, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today accused the Congress of trying to sow the seeds of casteism in Gujarat in its “hunger for power”, asserting that the BJP’s win in the Assembly elections had underlined the people’s acceptance of his government’s reforms.Addressing BJP workers at the party headquarters here, he was unsparing in his attack on the Congress and critics who, he said, could not accept his party’s victory in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.He also returned to his plank of development and pitched for social harmony in his home state, which had seen several caste agitations in the run up to the Assembly polls, saying that the people should forget the past and embrace each other.Also readAssembly Elections 2017: Gujarat, HP results lesson to parties indulging in caste-politics and dynasty, says Amit ShahAn atmosphere for development had been created after the BJP took power at the Centre in May 2014, he said, adding that nobody should derail it as his “decisive” government was working overtime to strengthen cooperative federalism and had clean intentions.With the BJP — which recorded its sixth straight victory in Assembly elections in Gujarat — drawing its lowest tally this year, Modi said the victory this time was not ‘samanya’ (normal) but ‘asamanya’ (especial).Also readFrom PM Narendra Modi to Jignesh Mevani: Who said what after BJP’s narrow Gujarat winModi, who was the chief minister of Gujarat from 2001 before he became the prime minister in May, 2014, said attempts were made to “demoralise” the state BJP leadership after he moved to the Centre.Referring to the just-concluded Gujarat poll, he said the state government was attacked from all sides and there was a “storm of disinformation”.Also readStop trying to derail India from path of development: PM Modi’s top quotes after saffron sweep “The Congress might be visible on the ground but there were many forces at work beside it. ‘Bring down the BJP once’. All sorts of conspiracies were hatched,” Modi said.There could be anger over the issue of development but some were making fun of it, he said, apparently targeting the Congress and Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who had run a campaign with the meme “development has gone mad” to attack the BJP.The state was rife with the “poison of casteism” until 30 years ago, he said, referring to Congress rule in Gujarat, and added that BJP governments and leaders worked to remove it.”In their hunger for power, some people tried to sow the seeds of casteim in the last few months for the elections. The people rejected it,” he said.He asked the people of his state to be more vigilant.Referring to his party’s win in Uttar Pradesh and the Maharashtra local polls, followed by the victories in the two Assembly polls, Modi said the results proved that the people were ready for reforms and embraced performance for the transformation of the country.Development is the only solution to people’s problems, he said, asserting that India would have to scale new heights of development if it was to do well globally.The BJP’s win in Himachal was also a vote for development and rejection of those who used power for the “wrong” things, he said.He ended his address with a rousing slogan. “Jitega bhai, jitega…(who will be victorious),” he asked the workers. “Vikas (development),” they replied in unison, as exhorted by Modi.

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Assam to host its first Global Investors Summit in February 2018

India’s gateway to northeast India, Assam is all set to hold its first Global Investors Summit on February 3 and 4, 2018.The summit will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and business delegations from the ASEAN countries as well as countries like Japan, UK, USA, and Canada are expected to attend the event.Business tycoons, including Tata, Ambani and Godrej, have held closed door meetings with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on substantial investments to be made in the state.According to KPMG and World bank report, Assam ranks 22nd among Indian states based on ease of doing business and reforms implementation.Assam is the largest economy in the northeast region and acts as a vital hub for trade and connecting with ASEAN countries.Also readIndian citizenship: SC says claims of left out persons to be included in subsequent NRC for AssamOwing to its relative proximity to the rest of the country and availability of quality infrastructure, the state offers a favourable environment for industry.This is the primary reason that the state has adopted numerous investor-friendly policies to attract investments and accelerate industrial development.Also readContinue good work as friends of hill people: Rajnath Singh to Assam RiflesApart from the traditional sectors of tea and oil, the state enjoys advantages in a number of sectors like organic cultivation, food processing, tourism, renewable energy and petrochemicals and the government has come up with sector specific policies to promote investments in 10 sectors.The chief minister has also made a strong pitch for improved connectivity.Apart from a major infrastructure push, the chief minister recently announced a provision of Rs100 crores to help establish air connectivity with ASEAN countries.With such a concerted effort, expectations are high that the state will soon join the bandwagon of high growth states in India, says the report.

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Stop trying to derail India from path of development: PM Modi’s top quotes after saffron sweep

PM Narendra Modi addressed the BJP workers in the party headquarters in New Delhi after it was clear that they have won both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. A visibly buoyant Modi expressed his delight after the massive victory in the two states. BJP swept Himachal Pradesh to come back to power and won with a smaller mandate to form government in Gujarat for the sixth time. Here are the major things PM Modi said after the twin win:1. Earlier Gujarat was riddled with caste considerations. BJP got rid of it and started a path of development. Also readGujarat Elections 2017: How GST tweak saved the day for BJP2. Some people have again started to play caste politics in the last few months. People have rejected it but they need to be cautious3. After 2014, there is hunger for development. Even if you do not like BJP, do not try to derail India from path of development. Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Akhilesh asks Rahul to build opposition unity ahead of 2019 polls4. Gujarat election result in historic. So many conspiracies were hatched, misinformation was spread5. Elections results show that the country is ready for reform, is looking towards parties that perform in a positive way and believes in transformation6. I bow down to people of Gujarat and Himachal, who chose the path of development.7. The results in Himachal Pradesh show that if you don’t do development and are embroiled in all wrong acts then after 5 years people will reject you.8. During UP elections it was said BJP would lose due to GST effect in urban areas, same was said in Gujarat elections and local body polls in Maharashtra.With ANI inputs

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Akhilesh asks Rahul to build opposition unity ahead of 2019 polls

As the Congress lost to the BJP in Gujarat Assembly elections despite improving its seat tally, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav today asked AICC President Rahul Gandhi to take along all opposition parties in 2019 Lok Sabha polls to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said that it was now the responsibility of the Congress party to take along all opposition parties if it wants to defeat the BJP in 2019.The Samajwadi Party had contested five seats in Gujarat and failed to win any of them. Also readGujarat Elections 2017: It is a face-saving win but moral defeat for BJP in Gujarat, says Mamata BanerjeeAs per the latets trends provided by the Election Commission, the BJP has already bagged 85 seats while it is leading on 14 others. Congress has won in 71 Assembly constituencies while its candidates are leading on 6 other seats. In last Assembly elections, the BJP’s tally was 115 seats while the Congress had sent 61 MLAs to the 182-member house. Yadav said that the BJP has lost some ground to the Congress in Gujarat and results would have been in favour of the Rahul-led party had it roped in support of all opposition parties.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Results won’t have any bearing on Karnataka polls, says SiddaramaiahHe alleged that the BJP won as it was successful in distracting attention of the people from the real issues. “Country cannot progress when poor and farmers face plethora of problems and youth unemployment is not addressed. But instead of contesting on real issues, the BJP resorted to aggressive Hindutava to divide the people and distract their attention,” he said.He asked Rahul to start thinking of making a grand alliance of all like-minded opposition parties, including regional ones, to take on the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.Also readGujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Saffron sweep for BJP, Shah-Modi hail vote for development“A combine anti-BJP opposition alliance will usher a new era in country’s politics,” he said. The Samajwadi Party and Congress had struck an alliance in 2017 UP Assembly polls but they did not fare well. Both had fought polls separately in Gujarat.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Rahul’s campaign reminded us of Indira Gandhi, ‘moral win’ for Congress, says Ashok Gehlot

Expressing satisfaction over the “moral win” in Gujarat Assembly elections, Congress leader Ashok Gehlot on Monday said the party, under the leadership of its president Rahul Gandhi, ran a very good campaign in the state. “Congress had a very good campaign in Gujarat, Rahul ji’s campaign reminded us of Indira ji,” Gehlot, who was the Congress election in-charge for Gujarat, said. The former Rajasthan Chief Minister said it was a win for Rahul’s issue based campaign. Also readAssembly Elections 2017: Amit Shah hails BJP win in Gujarat, HP as ‘victory of development over dynasty and polarisation”Whatever the results, it was moral win for Congress. It was a win for Rahul ji’s issue based campaign. BJP in home state of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi ji and (BJP President) Amit Shah ji is struggling to cross even 100,” Gehlot said. As per the official trends provided by the Election Commission at 4:12 pm, the BJP has already bagged 66 seats while it is leading on 33 others. Congress has won in 57 Assembly constituencies while its candidates are leading on 20 other seats.Also read5 reasons why BJP managed to win Gujarat for consecutive 6th timeCongress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the Congress and its allies are poised to win 84 seats. He counted two independents”Two Independents who won support Congress and so does the NCP. So the Congress+ tally right now is 84 and BJP is 98-99,” Surjewala said.

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Gujarat Election 2017: Remember Alpesh Thakore’s mushroom remark? BJP has ‘sweet’ comeback for the jibe

Celebrations kicked in for the Bhartiya Janata Party as numbers in Gujarat started moving in its direction. After putting Himachal Pradesh in its kitty, BJP is all set to rule Gujarat once again. While party workers across the nation are celebrating with fire crackers and sweets, BJP’s Delhi unit spokesperson Tajinder Singh Bagga has found out his own unique way to join the festivities. Referring to Congress leader Alpesh Thakor’s jibe on PM Modi, Bagga brought a cake with pictures of mushrooms on it.Bagga, displaying the cake, in front of the cameras said, “This is a simple, inexpensive cake but it is a befitting reply to those who brought politics to this level.”Also readAs BJP heads for win, here are 5 Gujarat-based stocks to keep an eye on”We will cut the cake here and distribute it here, everyone is invited. Every citizen is invited,” he further added.Also readGujarat Election 2017: As BJP gets back in business, Adani Group gains after initial lossOn the last day for campaign in Gujarat, prominent OBC leader and Congress candidate Alpesh Thakor levelled a bizarre allegation against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that PM’s complexion has turned fair after eating mushrooms imported from Taiwan, each of which cost Rs 80,000. “Someone told me that you can’t eat what Modi ji eats, because it’s not a food for the poor,” Thakor said during an election rally. He further said, “One mushroom costs Rs 80,000, and he eats five mushrooms a day. That is why I wonder how he turned so fair. He was as dark as me,” Thakor added.Also readApple increases iPhone prices in India over 5% increase in import duty on mobiles”The Prime Minister who eats mushrooms worth Rs 1.20 crore in a month, you can imagine how many crores of money his workers must be eating up,” said the OBC leader.

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DTC loses Rs 9 crore monthly due to heavy road congestion

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) loses around 5,000 trips every day due to congestion and encroachments on roads, leading to a monthly loss of about Rs 9 crore. The national Capital’s public transporter is under fire from different quarters over its depleting fleet of buses and operational inefficiency.”We lose 5,000 of the scheduled 38,000 trips per day because our buses get stuck in traffic jams due to congestion and encroachments on the roads,” a senior DTC officer said.The financially ailing transport body runs a fleet of around 3,800 buses in the national Capital. “The daily earnings of the DTC come to around Rs 2.5 crore. We incur a loss of Rs 30 lakh per day due to the missed trips,” he said.Also read35% dip in DTC bus travellers: Centre for Science and Environment”Most parts of Trans-Yamuna like Shahdara, Silampur and border areas like Kapashera and Nangloi are heavily congested due to unauthorised encroachments,” the official added.According to a recent a report prepared by an NGO, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the daily average ridership of the DTC has declined by over 35 per cent between 2012-13 and 2016.Also read’They are great nuisance, create noise,’ NGT raps DTC for poor maintainence of buses”The daily average ridership of the DTC went down from 47 lakh in 2012-13 to 30 lakh by the end of 2016,” said the report, which was based on the data available till November 2016.The report also highlighted the failure of the state government in launching the new fleet of DTC buses.”The DTC bought new buses in 2011-12. There has been almost no addition to the fleet in the past five years. If no new buses are added now, the entire fleet will get nearly phased out by 2025,” said the report.The DTC is currently operating 3,800 buses while the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal System (DIMTS) runs around 1,600 buses under the Cluster Scheme. “There is a shortage of 5,000-10,000 buses based on various estimates and judicial mandates,” it cited.The Delhi government has started the process for procurement of 1,000 buses each for the DTC and Cluster Scheme. The report suggested for speeding up the process.”Bus procurement needs to be undertaken on a war footing to meet the target of 10,000-11,000 buses.”A fiscal strategy needs to be developed for the DTC, aiming at the reduction of costs, augmentation of fare and non-fare revenue and phasing of interest payments,” the report added.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: EC withdraws notice to Rahul Gandhi over his TV interviews

The Election Commission of India on Sunday withdrew its notice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi which it had issued on December 13 for allegedly violating the provisions of the election law and the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by giving interviews to TV channels in Gujarat where the final phase of polls was due the next day. The ECI had asked Mr Gandhi to respond to the notice latest by December 18 evening. The EC had also directed the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat “to initiate necessary action by filing FIR against those who have violated the above mentioned provisions in phase two districts in Gujarat”.It had said that Gandhi, then Congress president-elect, talked about the Gujarat Assembly elections in which the polling for the second phase will be held tomorrow.Also readIf EC can send notice to Rahul Gandhi, why isn’t a notice being sent to the BJP: Congress questions ‘partisan’ moveSome local news channels in Gujarat had telecast Rahul Gandhi’s interview ahead of the second phase polling in the state on December 14.The BJP had complained to the poll panel about the interviews. Also readCongress cries foul over EC notice to Rahul for TV interviews, demands action against BJP leadersThe Commission also found that BJP’s election manifesto release on the eve of first phase of polling noting that there is no limit prescribed in the model code of conduct in this regard.The Congress had alleged that the BJP releasing its manifesto a day ahead of the first phase of polling in Gujarat on December 9 was also a violation of electoral laws. Also readGujarat Elections 2017: All eyes on Modi’s home state as stage set for counting tomorrowThe poll body has also decided to set up a committee to draw new guidelines on the violations of MCC and the Section 126 of the Representation of the People, 1951, in the new digital age.The poll panel accepted that Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act does not take into account the revolution in communication technologies.”It appears imperative to revisit the provisions relating to the last 48 hours before completion of poll to appropriately address challenges unleashed by fast changing technologies in the context of multi-phase polls,” the EC said.It said it will soon consult political parties, media, News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and other stakeholders to seek suggestions.

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Muslims in India are also Hindus: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

Anybody living in India is a Hindu, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said today, asserting that the meaning of Hindutva is to unite all communities.Hindutva is different from Hinduism, he told a public function at the Swami Vivekananda Maidan in the heart of Tripura’s capital.”The Muslims in India are also Hindus,” the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak said.Bhagwat, who is on a five-day tour of Tripura since Friday to review the organisational work of the RSS in the north-eastern region, said, “We have no enmity with anyone. We want welfare of all. To unite all is the meaning of Hindutva.” Maintaining that India is a land of Hindus, he said “tortured” Hindus from across the world come to the country and get shelter. The RSS supremo said, “Hindus believe in truth, but the world respects strength. There is strength in organisation. Being organised is the natural law.” Also readRSS expresses concern over ‘growing’ casteism at samnvaya baithakReferring to the Partition, he said parts of India got separated in 1947, leading to the weakening of the spirit of Hindutva and a decline of the “Hindu Samaj”. “India was united for so long. There was unity among the Hindus,” Bhagwat said.Highlighting the rich heritage of the country, he said, “A perturbed and confused world is looking at India for a new world order that can accommodate the materialist as well as the idealist.” Also readWill support BJP, RSS if they shun politics of hatred, says Jamiat Ulema-e-HindHe urged the Hindus to get organised and trained at RSS “shakhas” (daily meetings), saying these were the only places where one could prepare for nation-building and self- development.The “sanatan dharma” wants to work together with everybody on board, Bhagwat said. The Left Front-ruled Tripura is scheduled to go to polls early next year and the BJP is making a serious bid to increase its footprint in the north-east. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur have BJP governments.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Over 70% voter turnout in re-polling at six booths

More than 70% voter turnout was recorded in the re-polling held today at six polling booths in four Assembly constituencies of Gujarat, said officials.Following the Election Commission’s (EC) directive yesterday, the polling was held at two booths each in Vadgam and Savli constituencies and one each in Viramgam and Daskroi constituencies.While the Chhaniyana-1 and 2 booths of the Vadgam seat clocked a 74 and 73 per cent voter turnout respectively, booth number 27 in Viramgam recorded an 83-per cent turnout, said Gujarat’s Chief Electoral Officer B B Swain.Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani is contesting from the Vadgam (SC) seat as an Independent candidate supported by the Congress.The Nava Naroda booth of the Daskroi seat registered a 73-per cent voter turnout, while the Nhara and Sankrada booths in Savli constituency registered a 71 and 75 per cent voter turnout respectively.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Wi-Fi service suspended at Surat college following complaint of EVM hackingThe re-polling was held from 8 am till 5 pm.The EC had yesterday ordered the re-polling after the second phase of voting in the Gujarat Assembly polls, covering 93 seats of central and north Gujarat, on December 14.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: All eyes on Modi’s home state as stage set for counting tomorrowHowever, the poll panel did not specify the reason for the fresh polling at these six booths.The EC had also directed that the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips of 10 booths in seven constituencies be taken into consideration during tomorrow’s counting of votes as the presiding officers of these booths had failed to wipe out the votes cast during the mock poll from the control units.In the first phase on December 9, polling was held for the 89 seats of Saurashtra, Kutch and south Gujarat.The counting of votes for all the 182 Assembly seats will be taken up tomorrow.

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Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital for last 70 years, will remain so forever, says envoy to India

Israel’s ambassador to India Daniel Carmon on Sunday said that the declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish nation was only a matter of fact which has been stated by the US President Donald Trump.“I don’t need to react to a matter of fact that had been stated by the President of the United States. It is a fact that Jerusalem has been the capital of Jewish people for 5000 years. It is the capital of the modern state of Israel for 70 years and the reaction is in the field. When you visit the place, you will see what it means for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Carmon said.”Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state of Israel and it will continue so for ever,” he added.Also read4 Palestinians killed, hundreds wounded in new wave of violence over US Jerusalem moveCarmon was speaking on the sidelines of the event of rededication of Beth El Synagogue in Kolkata. He said the event had been put up on a day when Jews across the world were celebrating Hanukkah, the festival of lights. Also readPalestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Donald Trump’s Jerusalem decision ‘greatest crime’“This is a huge message by the Jewish community of Kolkata which has been and still is a bridge between Judaism and the other faiths, between Israel and India, between the Jews and India and it is part and parcel of the fabric of this wonderful city of Kolkata and the rededication sends a message that we remember the past, think about the present and we are looking to the future,” he added.Also readTrump’s Jerusalem move will double the unity of Muslims, says Iran defence ministerDanny Deutsch and Sheila Deutsch (DNA photo by Arshad Ali)Many had flown in from Israel to Kolkata just to attend the inauguration of the restored synagogue. Danny Deutsch and Sheila Deutsch was one such couple. Danny’s mother Hannah Joshua had been born in Kolkata and had left for Israel at the age of 22. Both of them are professors at the Hebrew University. “The job has been done beautifully. We are delighted and surprised to see the restoration work,” said Danny. Manasseh Meyer and his wife Michelle Meyer taking selfie (DNA photo by Arshad Ali)Another such couple was Manasseh Meyer and his wife Michelle Meyer, who were seen taking a selfie in front of the synagogue, were of similar opinion. “I was born in Kolkata at China Town and in 1969 when I was of 14 years, we went off to Israel. Since then I had been here for about five times, the last time being in 2005 after my father passed away. After looking at the restoration job I can say they have done a wonderful, professional job. If I can get work like these back in Israel, I’ll be happy,” Manasseh said.The restoration was done by Society for Heritage Conservation and Preservation over a period of more than two years with the help of more than 200 workers. “We had to bring in several specialists to work. Instead of using modern cement and sand we used the traditional limestone which was time consuming but had a better finish and would have more longevity. The basement was damp with water flooding in. We had to overhaul the drainage system. Most of the wood was eaten by termites. Ideally we should have used Burma Teak but considering the cost we had to use the nearest match,” said AG Krishna Menon, advisor of the society.

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Sebi to regulate Bitcoin-inspired illicit investment schemes

Market watchdog Sebi will come down heavily on illicit ‘initial coin offers’ seeking public investments with promise of high returns from Bitcoins and other virtual currencies, amid a mushrooming of such schemes in the absence of any regulatory regime.However, Sebi is not keen to take on the mantle of a regulator for such ‘trading’ — currently being offered on a number of so-called exchanges despite there being no rules in this regard — as the underlying product, which is Bitcoin or any such crypto currency, is not an approved product by RBI or any other agency, top officials said.At the same time, Sebi cannot allow gullible investors to be taken for a ride with unlawful promises by these exchanges and those claiming to ‘mint’ crypto currencies. A number of them are suspected to be indulging in fraudulent activities without actually minting any such virtual currencies that require very complex algorithms, the officials noted.Also readBitcoin surges past $17,000 for first time as concerns mountA number of ‘coin offerings’ being made in India are nothing but fraudulent Ponzi or pyramid schemes, including some offering secondary trading in Bitcoins or other established virtual currencies, while many others are plain frauds without any such currency actually being in play, they added.RBI has already made public its disapproval for all such currencies and has said it has not approved any of them, while tax authorities recently conducted searches at various exchanges and are believed to have collected information on lakhs of entities including HNIs who could have ‘traded’ there.Also readRBI reiterates warning about trading in bitcoinsThe regulators and government agencies are in a state of quandary as even imposing a tax would amount to giving a legal status to such currencies, for which any consensus remains elusive given the huge risks, including money laundering and terrorist financing, attached with such activities.However, there is a kind of unanimity emerging about subjecting such trading to laws against black money, money laundering and frauds so that the interest of general public remains safeguarded, a senior official said, while adding that any final decision would be taken at highest level and a multi-regulatory panel may be assigned that job.A gravity-defying bitcoin rally to over Rs10 lakh a unit, interspersed with ‘stories’ of people making crores from thousands, has left the regulators flummoxed.The RBI has been issuing warnings since 2013, the first time when the surge in bitcoins caught the attention of Indians, but the risks have multiplied manifold now in the wake of a significant spurt in the valuation of many such virtual currencies and a rapid growth in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).Modelled on the Initial Public Offers or IPOs for issuance of new shares in the stock market, some entities have begun resorting to ICOs to raise funds from investors, including HNIs and other individuals, who are getting lured into claims of huge returns from bitcoins and other such variants — apparently getting minted in the digital world but also reaching the real world including as wedding gifts.

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South Central Railway proposes recreational tour to Singapore, Malaysia for its lowest-paid staff; to bear 75% expenses

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, non-gazetted employees of Secunderabad-based South Central Railways will be taken on a foreign trip on government expense purely for recreation purposes, a report said today. The South Central Railways (SCR) has proposed a six-day “recreation tour” of Singapore and Malaysia for non-gazetted serving employees, including gangmen and trackmen. Employees with lowest-pay level and those approaching retirement will be given preference for the tour, a circular said. Also read9 lakh seniors give up ticket subsidy in 3 months, Railways saves Rs 40 croreWhile the employees have been asked to pay 25% or Rs 15,000 via demand draft, the remaining 75% expense will come from the Staff Benefit Fund, a report in The Indian Express said. The zonal railway has tied up with a private tour operator selected for being the lowest bidder among three vendors for the tour. The total package is for around Rs 59,000 including airfare, hotel stay and entry fee to Universal Studios and the like, the report said. Also readShort-staffed Rlys extends age limit for re-engagement to 65The Staff Benefit Fund is created from railway coffers every year and given to all zones for philanthropical purposes but does not extend to a pleasure trip in a foreign land, the daily quotes sources as saying. The SCR gets Rs 800 per employee towards creation of this fund from the Railway Ministry through Budget for its estimated 80,000 employees. The ministry has alloted Rs 100 crore for the purpose which is distributed among all the zones. There are strict rules that govern the Staff Benefit Fund and for what purposes they can be used. “There is no provision of a foreign recreation tour in staff benefit fund. It is not done and can’t be done,” said Shiv Gopal Mishra, head of All Indian Railwaymen’s Federation, a union of Indian Railways employees.They are usually used for scholarships of wards of lower-rank employees, women empowerment activities including seminar, camps, training programmes and gender sensitization camps, recreation other than sports, recreational facilities at institutes and clubs among other purposes.

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Andhra Pradesh: 18-year-old cinema theater’s watchman commits suicide

An 18-year-old watchman allegedly committed suicide by hanging on the premises of a cinema theatre where he was working at Rangampeta village, police said on Sunday. <!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Also readBihar: Minor boy commits suicide after being forcibly married to elder brother’s widowPolice received the information about the incident last evening, a police official said.On reaching the spot, police found A. Chanti hanging in the booking room of the now-defunct theatre, he said.Also readOver 1200 farmers committed suicide in 5 months: Maharashtra govtChanti was living alone on the premises of the theatre, the official said, adding that further investigation is on.

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Bombay HC rejects bail plea of driver in bus accident that killed 37 on Mumbai-Goa highway

The Bombay High Court has rejected the bail plea of the driver of a luxury bus that plunged into a river off the Mumbai-Goa highway four years ago, killing 37 passengers and injuring 15 others.The driver, Santaji Kirdat, was convicted on charges of rash driving, negligence, and culpable homicide not amounting to murder and given 10 years in jail by a trial court earlier this year.Kirdat had filed a plea in the HC challenging his conviction and demanding that his sentence be suspended and he be released on bail till the appeal was decided.Justice AM Badar, who heard the bail plea rejected it on Friday, observing that Kirdat had been speeding on a narrow stretch of a bridge at the time of the accident, and had knowingly put the lives of the passengers at risk.The incident occurred around 3 am on March 19, 2013. The luxury bus carrying 52 people, including Kirdat and a conductor, plunged into the Jagbudi river. 37 people including the conductor were killed in the accident.Also readHP bus accident: Rs 5 lakh, Rs 4 lakh for kin of victimsPolice in their probe found that the bus was coming from Mhapsa in Goa to Mumbai and Kirdat was speeding at the time of the incident.The tyre marks of the bus revealed that even though Kirdat had applied the brakes, he could not control the vehicle and it fell into the river after crashing through the barrier of the British era bridge over the river.Also readEight killed, 25 injured in West Bengal’s bus accidentThe police probe also found that the bridge was just 20 ft wide and several passengers had gone to the driver s cabin asking him to drive slowly.Kirdat denied the charges and claimed in court that he had had no knowledge or intention to cause the death of the passengers.Justice Badar however, rejected his argument saying, “Several passengers asked him (Kirdat) to slow down but he paid no heed to them. The road was only 20 feet wide. It cannot be inferred at this stage that the applicant/accused was not knowing condition of the road on the highway and he was not oblivious of the fact that the road/bridge is narrow.” “The time when the incident took place is also relevant.Any person of ordinary prudence would not dare to drive a passenger bus at such speed at a pe-dawn hour. Therefore, it cannot be said the applicant was not having knowledge of the act that he was committing by driving the bus at such high speed and risking the lives of so many people, ultimately causing their deaths,” Justice Badar said.

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Himachal Elections 2017: A day before counting, both BJP and Congress claim victory

With less than a day to go before the counting of votes begins in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls, both ruling Congress and the opposition BJP are claiming victory.While the Congress dismissed the exit poll results, which predicted a BJP victory, the saffron party expressed confidence that their performance would better projections.Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who returned to Shimla after 18 days, dismissed the exit poll results, saying he could well read the mood of the people of the state and the actual results would be opposite to the exit poll projections.”I am confident that ‘mission repeat’ would be achieved and tall claims made by the BJP would be proved wrong,” he told reporters.Singh said he visited every nook and corner of the state during the election campaign and has no doubt the Congress was in a strong position.Also readHimachal Elections 2017: Exit Polls predict BJP will oust Congress in the hill state “The Congress would certainly for the government.” On the other hand, former chief minister and senior BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal was highly optimistic and said the results would be same as projected in the exit polls.Also readBJP exudes confidence after Exit Polls predict wins in Gujarat and Himachal, Congress says wait for D-DayTalking to reporters at his Samirpur residence, Dhumal said the Congress party was upset with the exit polls and was making vague statements. “In fact, the BJP would win more seats than projected in exit-polls,” he said.Dhumal was declared the chief ministerial face of the BJP towards the end of the campaign.

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BJP to contest Karnataka Assembly elections under Yeddyurappa’s leadership: Rajnath Singh

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka under the “leadership” of former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, Union Minister Rajnath Singh announced today. Speaking at the BJP’s Parivartan Yatra in Bengaluru, the Union Home Minister said, “BJP to fight upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka under BS Yeddyurappa ji’s leadership.”Rajnath Singh was accompanied by BJP’s Karnataka unit chief Yeddyurappa, Union Ministers Ananth Kumar and Sadananda Gowda.Also readParesh Mesta death: BJP urges Karnataka Guv to intervene, Siddaramaiah says ‘unfortunate’ incident being politicisedThe elections for the 225-member house will be held in mid 2018 as the term of the Assembly expires in May.Earlier, BJP President Amit Shah had announced that Yeddyurappa would be the party’s chief ministerial face in the Assembly polls.Also readI am contesting assembly polls to prevent BJP coming to power: SiddaramaiahHe will face incumbent Siddaramaiah who has announced that this will be his last election. The Congress has announced Siddaramaiah would be the party’s face during the 2018 Assembly polls, and is yet to decide on the Chief Ministerial candidate.Yeddyurappa, 74, is an influential Lingayat leader, who had led the saffron party to its maiden victory in the southern state in 2008. He was forced to resign following charges of corruption against him. Also readKarnataka: Protest in Kumta turns violent over death of activist Paresh Mesta He floated his own outfit in 2011 which performed poorly in the 2013 Assembly polls but managed to wean away a substantial chunk of the BJP votes, leading to a rout of the saffron party. He returned to the BJP fold ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

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Make basic qualification must to become minister: Ex-CEC TS Krishnamurthy

Former Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishnamurthy has pitched for a minimum educational qualification to become a minister and also a higher age limit to get such berths.Krishnamurthy recommended that one should be at least 35 years’ old to become a minister (both in states and at the Centre), from the present 25.Asked if he thought there should be a basic educational qualification to become legislators, he said it is a very debatable point, adding that there are some “intelligent uneducated politicians and foolish educated politicians.””I don’t think education by itself makes a person competent. But ministers, yes, if they have some basic education, it’s good because they have got to look at files and take decisions,” Krishnamurthy told PTI.Also readElection Commission must address queries related to working of EVMs: Omar Abdullah”For legislators, I am not one of those who strongly believes that there must be an educational qualification,” he said.Krishnamurthy said an age limit (to become a minister) may be probably better.”Make it 35 if you want. There may be some more maturity (by that age) but educational qualification by itself does not assure you an effective legislator, character is more important than education,” he said.”I would say make it 35 (to be a minister). I would say no person can be a minister unless he is 35 or 40. Some maturity will be there (then),” he said.Speaking in general terms, Krishnamurthy said some ministers and legislators make “loose comments”.So, at least as ministers they must be more responsible.Also readRBI, Election Commission have no information on bonds for political parties funding: RTI reply They cannot be indulging in loose talk, he said stressing the need to set an educational qualification minimum of graduation or equivalent — for becoming ministers and higher age limit to get those posts.”Make it 35 or 40. (Also) against whom criminal cases are pending, they should not be appointed as ministers,” he said There can be a system of recall of legislators also which, he said, would serve as a deterrent. This provision should kick in after legislators complete two-and-a-half years of their five-year-tenure.”If they have not performed in those two-and-a-half years and if they have indulged in any criminal activity, then I would say you must have a provision of recall which again may serve as a deterrence and improve the performance of legislators and ministers,” Krishnamurthy said.Asked if he is in favour of barring candidates from contesting on two seats, the former CEC said that in 2004, he had in a letter to the prime minister clearly said it is not desirable (candidates should not be allowed to contest from two segments).

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Muzaffarnagar riots: Non-bailable warrants against ex-Union Minister, BJP MP and MLA

A former Union minister, BJP MP and MLA are among 15 accused who have been issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) by a Court in connection with 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots in which about 62 people, including 42 Muslims were killed.The BJP MP Sanjeev Baliyan, who was former Union Minister for State for Agriculture and Food Processing and later moved to MoS for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation is among the accused who have been issued NBWs by a Muzffarnagar Court.Prominent among others included BJP MP from Bijnore Kunwar Bhartendu Singh, BJP MLA from Budhana Umesh Malik, Sadhvi Prachi etc. Taking a serious view of their non-appearance in person, the Court has issued NBWs against them. The court has fixed January 19 as the next date for hearing the case.Also readNo ban on movie ‘Muzaffarnagar the Burning Love’ in UP: SC told In his defense, the former Union Minister Sanjeev Baliyan stated that he could not attend personally before the court as Lok Sabha session was on. “I have no intention to disrespect the court. I could not attend the hearing due to Lok Sabha session. My counsel will reply to the Court,” said Baliyan in a statement.Baliyan alleged that cases against him were politically-motivated. “I was not even present in the village and did not give any speech despite that Akhilesh government slapped fake cases against me other BJP leaders,” he charged.Also readHope floats for 18-year-old Muzaffarnagar riots survivorIn another case related to Muzaffarnagar riots, 11 accused including BJP Cabinet Minister for Sugarcane in Yogi Adityanath government Suresh Rana, BJP MLA from Sardhana Sangeet Som and Sadhvi Prachi are facing charges under different sections of the IPC.Described as the worst communal riots in recent times in the country, violent clashes took place between Hindus and Muslims over an alleged eve-teasing incident. The riots flared up following provocative and hate speeches by BJP MLAs and leaders on August 31, 2013, and September 7.Also readSangeet Som seeks ban on Jimmy Shergill-starrer ‘Shorgul’ based on Muzaffarnagar riotsHundreds of Muslims fled Mangla Nagaud and adjoining villages and have not returned home till date fearing a backlash. About 62 people, including 42 Muslims, were killed in the riots that broke out in the village.The Supreme Court had prima facie blamed the then Akhilesh government for its failure to curb riots which rendered hundreds of people homeless. When the communal riots broke out in Muzaffaranagar, then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his ministers were enjoying Saifai Mahotasav in their village in Etawah district.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan confirms wife and mother have received visas to visit him

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has approved the visa applications of the mother and wife of Naval Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on a death row in that country on charges of espionage.The spokesperson for Pakistan’s foreign ministry shared the news on his Twitter handle on Saturday evening.Earlier, Pakistan’s foreign office sent a letter to the Ministry of External Affairs suggesting that Jadhav’s family can meet him on Christmas.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed that Pakistan will grant visa to both the mother and the wife of Jadhav. On November 10, Pakistan had agreed to allow Jadhav’s wife to meet him. India has been pressing Pakistan to grant a visa to his mother Avantika as well, on humanitarian grounds.Describing it as a positive development, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Pakistan has also permitted an Indian diplomat to accompany Jadhav’s wife and mother during their trip. The diplomat will be present during their meeting in the jail. When queried whether allowing Indian diplomat to accompany Jadhav’s relatives in jail meant granting consular access, Kumar said it was too early to predict the nature of the access.Jadhav had filed an appeal with Pakistani Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to seek clemency, which is still pending. In October, the Pakistan Army had said it was close to a decision on Jadhav’s mercy petition.Also readNo consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pak tells ICJAccording to Pakistan, its security forces arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, last year, after he reportedly entered the area from Iran. He was charged for espionage and sentenced to death. India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, where he planned to start a business after retiring from the Indian Navy.After India approached ICJ, a 10-member bench on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case. The ICJ had asked Pakistan to submit its response by December 13, before the court could start further proceedings. Pakistan is now expected to inform the ICJ that since it has agreed to provide consular access to the prisoner, India’s plea at the world court be declared infructuous.Also readMom, wife can meet Kulbhushan Jadhav on Dec 25: PakistanHowever, Pakistan on Wednesday rejected India’s plea for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its ‘spy’.Media reports from Pakistan suggest that Pakistan in its reply has alleged Jadhav is not an ordinary person and had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities. The reply, which was submitted by the Foreign Office’s Director (India), Fariha Bugti, also claimed that Jadhav case does not fall under the purview of the Vienna Convention.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav’s friends celebrate after Pakistan grants visa to his mother and wifeThe counter-memorial said the consular access under the Vienna Convention was reserved only for legitimate visitors and not for spies.Reports said the reply also encompasses the charge-sheet filed against Jadhav, which also includes his confession.Pakistan has stated that “the Indians have not denied that Jadhav was travelling on a passport with an assumed Muslim name.””Lack of explanation on how a serving naval commander was operating under secondment to Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and also was travelling under an assumed name leads to only one conclusion that India wanted consular access to the information he had gathered,” said the counter memorial.

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Gandhi surname helped me become two-time MP at young age: Varun Gandhi

The ‘Gandhi’ surname helped me become a two-time Lok Sabha member at a young age, BJP MP Varun Gandhi said, adding that those without “influential” fathers and grandfathers find it difficult to make a mark in politics.The BJP MP from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh was speaking at a seminar here.”Today, I have come to you and you all are listening to me. But the fact is if there was no Gandhi in my name, probably I would not have become a two-time MP at a young age and you would not have come here to listen to me,” he said.Gandhi said many talented youngsters are unable to join and shine in politics as they do not have influential fathers and godfathers.”The fact is that a young person from a humble background, even if he has the talent and leadership qualities, cannot come into politics unless his father or godfather is someone worthy,” he said.Also readI want an India where my surname does not matter: BJP MP Varun Gandhi on equal rights for allThe BJP leader said as many as 14 lakh farmers or common people in the county had to go to jails for payment default of Rs 25,000 during the past 15 years, whereas rich people, who owe crores of rupees to banks, are conducting lavish marriages of their daughters.”As long as there is no uniform justice in this country, we will not be able to see the India that we are dreaming of. There is still a lot of inequality among people,” Gandhi said.Also readAfter Congress, Varun Gandhi criticises Election Commission, calls poll body ‘toothless tiger’He claimed that 60% of the nation’s wealth was controlled by 1 % of the country’s population.Cricketer Mithali Raj also spoke at the seminar.

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Watch: Discussions on to provide CCTV on all trains across India, says Piyush Goyal

On Saturday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Railway is considering installing CCTVs and providing internet connectivity on all trains across India.He said: “We will take 2018 as a year where we collectively fight against atrocities against women and children, especially human trafficking. We will do this across all the railways.”He added: “As far as security is concerned, we are all thoughtful about it. We are thinking of providing internet connectivity and CCTV on trains. Discussions are on to provide CCTV on all trains across India.”Earlier, he had said the Railways Ministry will float a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to manage the entire electrification work of railways network and arrange funding for it, an official said today.Also readTicket prices for trains like Shatabdi, Rajdhani may go down, says Railway minister Piyush Goyal”As far as funding for electrification is concerned, we are looking at funding through an SPV and getting that SPV to run the entire electrification of Railways,” a top official in the Railways Ministry said today.The SPV will be tasked to look after the whole electrification project of the Railways. It will be own and manage those assets, the official said.Also readIndian Railways to use GPS-enabled devices to fight fog this season”The ministry is still working to float this SPV,” the official said.Earlier in September, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had said that his ministry is exploring ways to speed up the electrification process so as to cut down about Rs 16,000 crore expense on diesel.Also readBMC, Central Railway seek IIT aid to check track-flooding”We are giving a relook to the ways of speeding up the electrification process” of rail lines across the country. The ministry is consulting all the people who are involved in the electrification process,” Goyal had said.With inputs from PTI and ANI

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Noida: Man robbed of his motorcycle at gunpoint near Okhla Bird Sanctuary

A man was robbed of his motorcycle at gunpoint near Okhla Bird Sanctuary in Noida, police said on .<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Also read’Molested’ woman claims cops forced her to file ‘robbery’ complaintR Dogra, a resident of Sector 78, in his complaint to the police said two armed men robbed his motorbike at gunpoint last night near the bird sanctuary.In another incident, two thieves struck at two shops on Salarpur Road in Dankaur area and looted goods worth lakhs of rupees.Also readMan shot dead, friend injured for resisting robberyNaresh Nagar’s garment shop was looted, while the thieves also struck at the adjacent mobilephone-and-accessory shop.

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Congress prez Rahul Gandhi pays tribute to martyrs of 1971 war

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday paid homage to the Indian soldiers, who had made the supreme sacrifice in the 1971 war with Pakistan, on the occasion of Vijay Diwas.”On VijayDiwas, we salute the indomitable spirit and sacrifice of the martyrs of 1971 War. “Let each one of us remember the unfathomable valour of our soldiers, who defend India’s freedom every day,” he wrote on Twitter. Vijay Diwas is commemorated on this day every year to mark India’s victory over Pakistan in the war, which had led to the creation of Bangladesh.Also readPM taking us back to medieval times, says Congress President Rahul Gandhi Over 90,000 Pakistani soldiers had surrendered before the Indian Army in the 1971 war.

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Why are VVPATS used in first place? Hardik Patel questions SC rejecting plea for cross-check

On Saturday, PAS leader Hardik Patel took umbrage to VVPATs being used stating he didn’t understand the Supreme Court’s stand on the issue.He was quoted saying by ANI: “Why are VVPATs used in the first place? It is used for smooth counting of votes wherever there is a fault. I did not understand Supreme Court’s stand on the issue.”He went on to say: “I think Exit Polls results will turn out to be false. If EVMs do not malfunction then BJP will lose the election. I have 100% doubts on EVMs.”Earlier, Congress said it would file a “fresh comprehensive petition” on the Gujarat election after the Supreme Court refused to entertain its plea seeking counting of at least 20 per cent of the paper trail slips manually along with votes cast in EVMs in each constituency.”We are very shortly going to represent and then file a fresh comprehensive petition,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.Also readGujarat elections 2017: BJP confident of victory, but won’t celebrate till results out”…The Congress will remain at the forefront of creating awareness about what is the basic structure of our Constitution, namely free and fair elections… Free and fair elections have been held to be part of our democracy,” he said.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud permitted petitioner Mohammad Arif Rajput, a Gujarat Congress leader, to withdraw his plea but granted liberty to file a comprehensive petition later seeking election reforms.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Hardik Patel held a roadshow at Vadodara”There was a very sympathetic and very elaborate hearing by the Supreme Court. Ultimately, the apex court gave us full liberty to withdraw the petition and equally in the order, reflected full liberty to file a fresh petition,” he said.Singhvi said the party would first represent to the Election Commission, seeking a comparison of the electronic result and the paper trail result.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Ravan’s arrogance had ruined Lanka: Hardik Patel”A comprehensive fresh petition, raising all issues relating to EVMs and VVPAT (voter verifiable paper audit trail) will be filed soon,” he said.Earlier in the day, senior advocate Singhvi, appearing for Rajput, said the counting of the slips of the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines along with the votes cast in the electronic voting machines (EVM) count in at least 20 per cent of the booths of each constituency would reassure the people about the fairness of the polls.”This court can’t interfere unless the Election Commission’s decision for a random check of the EVM-VVPAT paper trail in one booth per constituency is proved arbitrary, illegal or malafide. We cannot discredit the Election Commission’s decision without cogent material,” it saidWith inputs from PTI and ANI

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Sonia Gandhi’s emotional message to party as Rahul Gandhi becomes Congress chief

Rahul Gandhi on Saturday took over as Congress president by succeeding his mother Sonia Gandhi. It was a proud movement for the mother Sonia Gandhi who said: “Rahul is my son, so I do not think for me to praise him is right but I would say that since childhood he had to bear the brunt of the violence. After joining politics he had to face blatant personal attacks, that have made him a stronger person”. Rahul Gandhi, 47, was officially declared party president in a ceremony held at the party’s 24 Akbar Road headquarters here on Saturday.Sonia was open about the electoral drubbings Congress has faced in the recent years. “We have lost many elections, but we are not going to be bowed down. We are fighting for the spirit of the nation and we will never back out from our commitment,” Sonia said while addressing the party workers and supporters. Sonia said that since 2014 Congress has been playing the role of opposition. “The challenge that we face today, is the biggest one, our constitutional values are being attacked,” she said.Also readLive updates: In his first speech as Congress president, Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi Talking about the vacuum left in her life after the death of her husband Rajiv Gandhi, she shared her feeling with the party workers and said: “Indira JI passed away, after which Rajiv Ji also passed away, my support was taken away from me and it took me a long while to come to terms with it”.Sonia talked about her relationship with former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and how that relationship helped her brave the battles of life. ” Indira ji accepted me as her daughter, and I learned a lot about Indian culture from her. I learned about those principles upon which the foundation of our country was laid,” she said. Also readHimanta Biswa Sarma congratulates Rahul’s elevation; says will continue to have political contests with himIn 1984, Indira ji was assassinated and I felt I had lost my mother and that incident changed my life forever, said Sonia Gandhi.Also readSonia Gandhi ‘retires’ as Rahul Gandhi takes the reins todaySonia Gandhi, who headed the 132-year-old Congress for the last 19 years, also thanked party leaders and workers for the support she received during her tenure as its chief.Rahul was given the certificate of Congress president by Mullappally Ramachandran, the chairman of the party’s central election authority, who oversaw the organisational polls.The ceremony was attended by party stalwarts, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan and other party leaders. His sister Priyanka Gandhi and brother-in-law Robert Vadra were also present on the occasion.Sweets were distributed, slogans raised, crackers burst and party workers danced to drum beats to celebrate the change of guard. Artists from different parts of the nation were also seen performing outside the party head office. Congress workers marched from Rail Bhavan to the party office. Sonia headed the party for 19 years since 1998.

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Coal scam: Ex-Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda sentenced to 3-year imprisonment

A special court on Saturday sentenced former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda and ex-coal secretary HC Gupta to three years imprisonment in a coal scam.Ex-Jharkhand chief secretary AK Basu and Madhu Koda’s close aide Vijay Joshi were also awarded 3-year jail term.The court imposed fine of Rs 25 lakh on Madhu Koda and Rs one lakh on HC Gupta, and also convicted Kolkata-based company, Vini Iron and Steel Udyog LtdHowever, the court granted statutory bail for two months to convicts to enable them to challenge the conviction in the high court.Also readThose used to 2G, coal scam will have trouble with genuine taxes: Jaitley on Rahul’s Gabbar remarkThe court had held Koda and other accused persons, including ex-Jharkhand chief secretary A K Basu and private company Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd ( VISUL) guilty of corruption and other charges.The court had, however, acquitted four persons VISUL’s Director Vaibhav Tulsyan and two public servants Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan of all charges.Also readFresh CBI case in coal scam; FIR against Monnet IspatThe CBI alleged that the firm had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007.It said although the Jharkhand government and Steel Ministry did not recommend VISUL’s case for coal block allocation, the 36th Screening Committee recommended the block to the accused firm.The CBI said that Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who then headed the Coal Ministry too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block.Also readSupreme Court pulls up CBI for transferring coal scam head Investigator

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RSS expresses concern over ‘growing’ casteism at samnvaya baithak

Considering it to be a huge threat to the very essence of nationalism and the society, the RSS expressed concerns over growing casteism in the country and stressed on the need to promote social harmony.The RSS held a two-day meeting here on the importance of social harmony and family values. State ministers, including Arun Chaturvedi, Gulab Chand Kataria, Vasudev Devnanai, and BJP leaders Satish Punia, Ashok Parnami took part in the meeting.Talking about the discussions held in the meeting, BJP state president Ashok Parnami said the RSS was of the opinion that castiesm was growing dangerously.Also readWill support BJP, RSS if they shun politics of hatred, says Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind”Casteism has emerged as a major threat to the Indian social fabric and the Gujarat elections have seen the issue acquiring threatening proportions. So with growing concerns, the RSS has taken a serious note of the issue and committed to promote social harmony,” Parnami said.Nearly 275 RSS workers from 35 regions participated in the deliberations – Samnvaya Baithak – spread over 8 sessions in two days.Also readJawaharlal Nehru divided the nation, Sardar Patel united it: RSS leader Indresh KumarStressing on the need of restoration of the traditional Indian family values and structure, RSS general secretary Bhaiyaji Joshi talked about the flaws that have crept into the Indian social mechanism.

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Shiv Sena MLA’s name figures in farm loan-waiver beneficiary list

Shiv Sena MLA Prakash Abitkar has claimed he was named as a beneficiary of the farm loan waiver in the Kolhapur District Central Cooperative Bank, even though he had not applied for it. He has got a loan waiver of Rs 25,000 from the bank.This has come just a day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the scheme was being implemented smoothly. He told the state legislative assembly on Thursday that his government had committed some ‘mistakes’ while implementing the Rs 34,022-crore farm loan waiver scheme, but has fixed all these issues.Abitkar, an MLA from Radhanagari in Kolhapur district, has got the benefit of Maharashtra Government’s loan waiver scheme for drought-affected farmers.Also readOver 1200 farmers committed suicide in 5 months: Maharashtra govtThe Shiv Sena MLA has raised the issue citing faulty implementation of the loan waiver scheme and demanded an inquiry into this flawed inclusion as the rules bar any existing or former elected representative from getting benefit under the scheme.He said, “I was stunned when I came to know that my name appeared in the green list of loan waiver beneficiaries. I was shocked again when I got more details about the list of my (Kolhapur) area. I had not even applied or registered my name anywhere to get the waiver.”The Opposition is directly blaming Fadnavis for this as the Chief Minister Office (CMO) had been working on the data of the beneficiaries of this scheme through information and technology department of Maharashtra.Also readMadhya Pradesh farmer ends life after notice for power bill of over Rs 9,000

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Student falls ill after being punished and made to do 500 sit-ups, principal arrested in Kolhapur

Police in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra have arrested a 45-year-old school principal for allegedly asking a student to do 500 sit-ups for not completing project work.The student, a girl studying in std 8, took ill while undergoing the inhuman punishment and had to be admitted to a hospital.”We arrested Ashwini Devan, the principal, yesterday under IPC sections 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 337 (act endangering life or personal safety of another person) and 506 (criminal intimidation),” said a senior official of Chandgad tehsil police.Devan was later released on bail, he said.On November 24, Dewan allegedly asked eight students of std 8th at the privately-run Shri Bhavashwari Sandesh Vidyalay in Kanoor Budrook village of Chandgad tehsil to do 500 sit-ups for not doing project work.Also read’Their romance could adversely affect the students’: Teacher couple sacked by private school in PulwamaOne of the girls, who is 13 years old, took ill while doing sit-ups and was hospitalised.On December 10, a police complaint was lodged against the principal.Also read2 IIT-B students told to help out at animal NGOFollowing the incident, the principal was sent on compulsory leave by the school management, the police official said.

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Rajasthan hacking: 80 people arrested in Udaipur for violating prohibitory orders

Tension still prevails in Udaipur and Rajsamand district in Rajasthan over a man brutally hacking and burning a migrant labour accusing him of ‘love jihad’. The video went viral on the internet and shocked everyone for the brazen nature and acceptance of the crime committed by Shambhulal Regar. According to reports, prohibitory orders are currently in place in both districts and mobile connection has currently been snapped to prevent rumours. However, defying prohibitory orders people came out in various parts of Udaipur on Thursday and tried to disrupt law and order situation. They were protesting arrest of the alleged criminal. This lead to altercation with local police amidst stone pelting. Police lath-charged and later arrested 80 individuals for violating prohibitory orders, reports NDTV. The situation in Rajsamand, where the crime occurred remains tense but calm. The police is keeping a strong tab on the social media to check hate groups trying to foment communal tension in these two districts. Several hate message equating the brutal crime to retribution for 2001 Parliament attack is allegedly doing the rounds. Also readRajasthan hacking: Rs 2.75 lakh deposited in Shambulal Regar’s wife’s account before being frozenPolice in Rajsamand district have frozen a bank account in which 516 donors had transferred Rs 2.75 lakh for fighting the court case of Shambhulal Regar’. Two local businessmen were also arrested for allegedly circulating images on social media of receipts acknowledging their donations to the account of Regar’s wife, police said.”Rs 2.75 lakh was deposited into Sita’s bank account, details of which were circulated on social media. 516 people from across the country deposited the money for fighting Regar’s case. Police have frozen the account,” IG (Udaipur Range) Anand Shrivastava said.Also readRajasthan hacking: Bengal Congress accuses Mamata Banerjee of trying to reap political dividend SHO, Bhim police station, Gyanendra Singh said two businessmen, Prakash Singh and Dinesh Singh, were arrested under relevant sections of the law for circulating receipts of donations on social media. The administration has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in Rajsamand after some right-wing groups announced to take out processions in support of Regar today.”All processions, rallies and protests have been banned and those who defy the rule of law will be dealt with accordingly,” Shrivastava said. Regar, 36, had hacked Mohammed Afrazul to death and burnt the body on December 6.Afrazul had migrated to Rajsamand from West Bengal for work. Regar had roped in his 14-year-old nephew to film the killing. After the barbaric act, Regar posted videos of the killing with inflammatory and communal comments to defend the act.With Agency inputs

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Sena will quit power in Maharashtra in one year and come back on its own: Aaditya Thackeray

In the latest threat to quit power and an indication that it will contest the 2019 polls separately, the Shiv Sena today said it will walk out of the BJP-led Maharashtra government within one year.The Sena, which shares a frosty relationship with its senior partner BJP, had threatened several times in the past to walk out of the NDA government.Addressing a rally in Ahmednagar district, 240 kms from here, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray said that after quitting the Sena will come back to power on its own strength.”The Sena will quit power in one year and come back to power on its own strength. (Sena president) Uddhav Thackeray will decide the time when the party will quit power,” Aaditya Thackeray said.Maharashtra goes to polls in 2019.Also readAaditya Thackeray seeks resignation of Maha education minister over online assessment process chaos”Once that is done (the decision on quitting power is taken), all of you have to work together to bring about a change,” the Sena scion said.Launching a veiled attack on the BJP, Aaditya Thackeray indicated that issues pertaining to education remain unresolved till date and said that students keep meeting him with their demands.”The Sena is committed to resolving the issues of students. The Sena has also created an educational application that will guide students and resolve their problems,” he said.Ever since the BJP formed government in Maharashtra, the Sena, which always projected itself as the “big brother” in the state politics, has been uneasy for having made to play second fiddle to the BJP.

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ISIS ka halla Quran mey kahin nahin hain: Army chief Rawat to Kashmir students

The message of peace and harmony is “beautifully portrayed” in the holy Quran and people often do not understand its essence, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat told a group of students from Jammu and Kashmir today, adding it does not propagate violence.Interacting with the group of madrasa students at his office here, Gen. Rawat also asked them to pick up sports like cricket and football and work towards containing terrorism so that Kashmir valley flourishes again. “How many of you have read the holy Quran?” Gen Rawat asked the 25-member group which is here as part of a national integration tour being conducted by the Army. “I will tell you what is the message in it. It is the message of peace and harmony (‘Aman ka paigam hai’). And, it has been beautifully portrayed in it. And, all this noise made by the IS, it is nowhere mentioned in Quran (‘Ye jo IS ka halla hai na, yeh Quran mey kahin nahin hai’) ,” he said.”So, you must follow the message embedded in the holy text. You think people understand the message. We do not properly understand it. In simple ways, Quran has given the lessons (on human values),” the Army chief asserted. The students, aged 13-22, arrived here on December 12 and many of them are visiting Delhi for the first time. Various militant outfits have been trying to radicalise the youths in Kashmir Valley by using different means including online propaganda. A number of people were arrested in the Valley in the past few months on charges of raising flags of dreaded terror group Islamic State (IS).Also readKeep military out of politics: General Bipin RawatThe Army chief warmly shook hands with all the students and accompanying teachers and asked them what difference they found between Delhi and Kashmir. “Unlike Kashmir, you do not see bunkers here, people roam at night in peace. We want the same peaceful environment in Jammu and Kashmir too so that you can fearlessly go to schools and madrassas.”Kashmir valley is equated with the heavens, and if you want that land to flourish, we must stop terrorism,” Rawat said. He suggested that they take up cricket and football and engage themselves in constructive activities.”Play cricket and football, but I hear that the youth there play hide-and-seek with weapons (‘hathiyar ke saath chor-sipahi’),” he said. Abdul Hameed, 13, from Panjgram village in Jammu, said, “I am very happy to be in Delhi. I have never travelled out of Jammu. And for the first time I travelled in a train.” A senior Army official said the group visited Taj Mahal yesterday and tomorrow they will go to see Red Fort and Jama Masjid.During the trip, the students also visited the National Science Centre in Delhi, the official said, adding, “Today, we will take them for a metro ride”.Also readOperations against terrorists in Kashmir will go on, says General Bipin Rawat “In Agra, they also prayed at a mosque, and tomorrow, they will also offer prayers at the Jama Masjid. And, in the evening, we will take a train back to the state,” he said. 37-year-old teacher Abdul Majid, accompanying the students, said, “We will return and spread the message of peace (‘Paigam-e-Aman’) back home as the Quran says.” The Army has adopted a tough approach against militants in Kashmir valley and stepped up its counter-terror operations in the last six months.The Army has also been carrying out various activities including organising national integration tours for youths of the state as part of efforts to reach out to the local residents.

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Shashi Tharoor does it again! Twitter goes crazy over ‘rodomontade’

When we are talking about Shashi Thaoor, it will not be farrago of lies and distortions to say that he is best known for his clipped Oxbridge accent and affable smile, while speaking to anyone who cares about the ills of British Raj in India. Tharoor’s unique vocabulary where he often uses obscure words nonchalantly has become a raging Internet meme and anyone using polysyllabic words in common conversation is often accused of doing a ‘Tharoor’. Saying simple things in complicated way has become a legitimate joke format too. Now Shashi Tharoor, who enjoys a cult-like following among people across the aisle has obviously seen the funny side of the entire phenomenon. He gave a long explanation about why he doesn’t use exotic words for the sake of it and words just flow in his normal vocabulary. They are the best ones for the idea he wants to convey. But as usual there was an Easter Egg in his tweet. It was the word rodomontage. which means boastful or inflated talk.Also readLet’s not forget the ‘chill’ within Chhillar: Miss World Manushi Chhillar reacts to Shashi Tharoor’s tweetAnd naturally, Twitter went all crazy with it. While it didn’t make as much of a splash as his ‘farrago’ tweet, it has got 7.8 thousand likes and over 1.6 thousand retweets at the time of writing. Even ex-J&K CM Omar Abdullah couldn’t help but comment.Also readHe has exposed his debased thinking: Haryana ministers attack Shashi Tharoor over demonetization-Chhillar jokeHere are some of the best reactions.

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