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ED seizes Rs 26 crore assets of arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today said it has seized assets worth Rs 26.61 crore of controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and others for alleged violation of the FEMA law.It said it has seized the properties “in lieu of undisclosed assets held abroad by him” and the action has been carried out under section 37A of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).Section 37A of the FEMA stipulates that if certain foreign exchange, foreign security or immovable property is held outside India in violation of this law, the equivalent value of asset can be seized within India. The ED had booked Bhandari, reported to have left India for a foreign location sometime ago, under criminal charges of the PMLA law in February this year as also under the FEMA.The Delhi Police had also booked him for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) last year. Bhandari’s case first came to light after the I-T department conducted searches against him in April last year and recovered certain “sensitive” official defence documents from his premises. As part of these raids, the taxman is also said to have recovered certain emails that talk about renovation of a costly apartment in London in 2010 which was allegedly owned by Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.Also readED attaches assets Rs. 21 crore of arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari case in black money caseVadra’s legal firm has denied that he owned the London property directly or indirectly. It also denied Vadra has any business ties with an arms consultant or his aides. The tax department had last year also shared a “seizure memo record” with the defence ministry to apprise it about the contents of these “sensitive” documents.

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Justice Dalveer Bhandari flies back with divine blessings from hometown

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Recently been elected judge for the second consecutive time in International Court of Justice (ICJ), Justice Dalveer Bhandari told that it is a victory for India to be re-elected.For this victory, India has got record support in the United Nations General Assembly and the Securit Council.It has increased the expectation of India’s membership in the Security Council. He expressed this hope in a special conversation after visiting Nakoda shrine on Tuesday morning. He went to the residence of Prem Bhandari, chairman of Jaipur Foot US and met his father professor SC Bhandari.Later, he went to his sister, Nisha Sancheti’s house for lunch and left for Delhi. Bhandari reached Nakoda shrine on Tuesday morning with his wife Madhu Bhandari, son Vinayak, Pawan Mehta, Prem Bhandari and his wife Rekha Bhandari.Notably, India’s nominee Dalveer Bhandari has been re-elected as the fifth judge to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)Justice Bhandari was in his hometown on Monday, after getting re-elected as a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). A huge crowd, including his relatives, friends and general public threw a warm welcome to the proud son of Jodhpur.He went to Prem Bhandari’s house situated in the inner area of the city and met his mother and father professor Bhandari.After staying there for some time, Bhandari reached the house of his sister Nisha Sancheti, located in Shastri Nagar. From there he reached Jodhpur airport and was given a guard of honor, as he returned to Delhi in the afternoon.Proud jodhpur Justice Dalveer Bhandari was in his hometown on Monday, after getting re-elected as a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). A huge crowd, including his relatives, friends and general public threw a warm welcome to the proud son of Jodhpur.

Justice Dalveer Bhandari gets rousing welcome in Jodh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“I always like to come here and I have a lot of love for this city,” said Justice Dalveer Bhandari on Monday as he arrived in his hometown after getting re-elected as a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). A huge crowd, including his relatives, friends and general public, had gathered to welcome this proud son of Jodhpur.Judicial officials, people’s representatives, entrepreneur, relatives, acquaintances and many social organizations were desperate to greet him with flowers and garlands. Bhandari did not disappoint anyone and smiled at everyone with affinity. Also, with folded hand, he greeted people with graciousness and did not forget to express gratitude to them.Bhandari was accompanied by wife Madhu Bhandari and son Vinayak. As soon as he came out of the airport, his sister Nisha Sancheti welcomed him with the tilak. Later, the other sister Rakhi Rathore welcomed him with flowers. Many people including Mayor Ghanshayam Ojha, Jaipur Foot USA chairman Prem Bhandari, Congress leader Pawan Mehta, builder Sunil Bhandari, Oswal Singh Sabha officials and many people welcomed him. Simple natured bhandari who always keeps himself low profile, was seen joining hands and embracing to people and showing importance to relationships. He will visit Nakoda shrine on Tuesday morning and return to Delhi in the afternoon.

Herculean effort behind ICJ win: MEA reached out to 175 countries, Swaraj spoke to 60 of her counterparts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Intense efforts were made since June when India announced Judge Dalveer Bhandari’s name for the International Court of Justice and support was sought from nearly 175 nations, including at the highest level, culminating in his re-election to the world court.According to officials, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj directly spoke with her counterparts from nearly 60 countries to push Bhandari’s case.In the run up to the re-election, India made intense positive campaign regarding the candidature. It raised the issue at every possible meeting at various levels, an official said.At the highest level also, the prime minister raised the issue during his meetings with world leaders, the official said.”India never indulged in the negative campaign. It was run on the strength of our candidate and strength of India strong constitutional system,” an official said.In what was described by India as one of its “biggest diplomatic victories” in the multilateral arena, Bhandari received 183 of the 193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all 15 votes in the Security Council to fill the final vacancy on the Hague-based International Court of Justice after separate but simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters here.Bhandari, 70, was declared re-elected for a fresh nine- year term at the ICJ after Britain withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood from the race about an hour before the scheduled voting.According to observers, Bhandari’s victory has sent a strong message to the leading powers about the winds of change in the world and underscored the point that India is now a force to reckon with.The ICJ has a bench of 15 judges, five of whom are elected every three years for a nine-year term. To be elected, the candidate needed majority in both the chambers.Established in 1945, the role of the ICJ is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions.Soon after the election results were announced, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin was congratulated by representatives of other countries on the floor of the General Assembly.”Vande Matram – India wins election to the International Court of Justice. JaiHind,” tweeted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.In the previous 11 rounds of voting, Bhandari had consistently polled nearly two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly.With Bhandari’s election, Britain will not have a judge on the world court’s 15-member panel for the first time.Also for the first time in 70 years, a permanent member of the Security Council lost to a non-permanent member for a seat in the ICJ.The British move to block voting in the Security Council and go for the joint consultation mechanism, which was last used some 96 years ago, also fell flat yesterday.This is because, many of the Security Council members including some Permanent Members which were consistently supporting Britain in the secret ballot, backed off from voting in favour of the UK move to stop next rounds of voting as this required open voting, observers said.”It is actually perhaps the biggest diplomatic victory we have in a multilateral arena,” a long-time friend of India at the United Nations said.In a dramatic move, British Permanent Representative to the UN Matthew Rycroft wrote identical letters to the presidents of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council before the two chambers were scheduled to meet at 3 pm (local time) for the 12th round of voting.Rycroft said in his letter the current deadlock is unlikely to be broken by further rounds of voting and the UK therefore has decided to withdraw Greenwood’s nomination.”In taking this step, we have borne in mind the close relationship that the United Kingdom and India have always enjoyed and we will continue to enjoy…,” Rycroft said.Noting that Britain is a major player in the UN system, sources said the “signal to all the membership is clear that Indians are now a force to reckon with”.According to informed sources, three hours before the voting, General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak and Italian Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi in his capacity as Security Council President for the month of November convened a consultative meeting with the Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN Rycroft and Akbaruddin.India refused to budge against any kind of pressure and insisted to complete the democratic process, sources said.It was unclear what transpired in the next two hours that forced Britain to withdraw from the race.In Washington, US President Donald Trump in between had a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Indian- origin Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.It is learnt that many of the Britain’s supporters at this point of time clearly told them that they would vote for Greenwood only in a secret ballot but could not be seen voting in open against India and that too at a time when two-thirds of the world community was backing New Delhi.Reading the writing on the wall, Britain decided to withdraw from the race, sources said.At the start of the General Assembly and the Security Council meeting both Lajcak and Cardi read similar letters from Rycroft informing them about UK’s decision to withdraw from the race.Thereafter Lajcak and Cardi announced to complete the rest of the election process by having the name of just Bhandari on the ballot. Soon Bhandari was declared elected.In the last 10 days, it is learnt that India mounted an unprecedented diplomatic campaign to win the ICJ seat.Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself is believed to have taken up the matter with some of the world leaders.After Bhandari’s re-election, he congratulated him and said: “His re-election is a proud moment for us”.He also expressed gratitude to the members of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council for “their support and trust in India.”

Humiliating blow for UK, sign of India’s ascendancy: Britain media mourns ICJ loss to India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Justice Dalveer Bhandari’s victory over Britain’s candidate in the world court is a “humiliating blow” for the UK, the media said today, even as India asserted that the hard-fought race will not impact the bilateral ties.India’s Acting High Commissioner to the UK Dinesh Patnaik also reiterated that diplomats of both countries had been in contact with each other from the very start, which reflects the strong bond between India and the UK.”A senior representative from the UK Foreign Office has been in contact from the beginning and expressed the view that it is two friendly countries with similar legal systems in the running. The whole process has been very cordial and it will not impact the bilateral relationship in any way,” he said.Just minutes after an 11th round of voting was scheduled to begin in New York on Monday, a letter was released by the UK mission to the UN announcing that Sir Christopher Greenwood would accept defeat and allow his Indian rival to fill the vacancy in the UN s principal legal body based in The Hague.The UK media has branded the “acrimonious” vote as a sign of Britain’s eroding stature on the world stage.”The UK will not have a judge on the bench of the International Court of Justice for the first time in its 71- year history,” reports the Guardian in dismay.”The decision to bow to mounting opposition within the UN General Assembly is a humiliating blow to British international prestige and an acceptance of a diminished status in international affairs,” it notes.Political observers believe the UK had no choice but to back off as it cannot be seen to continue to use its position in the UN Security Council to muscle its way in on important global affairs.It is also reflective of a wider chain of events triggered by the vote for Brexit in last year’s European Union referendum, which has already lost London two prestigious EU institutions the European Banking Authority to Paris and the European Medicines Agency to Amsterdam.The ICJ blow hits harder as the UK is one of the founding members of the United Nations and has had a representative on the ICJ bench since its inception in 1946.”The UK’s failure to guarantee a place on the court of an organisation it helped to found has been interpreted as a sign of its increasingly irrelevance on the world stage following the decision to leave the European Union,” notes the Independent newspaper.”In contrast India, with its status as the world’s biggest democracy and with a growing economy, is seen as in the ascendancy,” it adds.Greenwood and Bhandari were both hoping to win re- election but this time Lebanon’s former ambassador was an unexpected sixth candidate for the five slots.His victory had left Bhandari fighting for a spot normally reserved for Europeans, and in this case the UK.In a statement, UK Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft said: “The UK has concluded that it is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly with further rounds of elections.”We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates.”Many attributed Britain’s decision to remove itself from the race to the potential impact an intensified battle would have on the economic relationship between India and the UK.But there is no doubt that when Greenwood steps down at the end of his term early next year, it will reflect a shift in the balance of power at the UN away from the Security Council.”The so-called Group of 77 which represents a coalition of mostly developing nations has long been pushing for greater influence. The victory of India over the UK will be seen as a huge success for the G77 in pushing back against the traditional northern powers on the Security Council,” notes the BBC.Almost unanimously, the UK media laments what this defeat at the UN means for the UK a significant diplomatic setback and a symbol of Britain’s reduced status on the world stage.

Win wouldn’t have been possible without PM Modi and Sushma Swaraj: Dalveer Bhandari after ICJ re-election

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India’s Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the International Court of Justice with more than two-thirds of the UN members backing him, forcing Britain to withdraw its candidate amidst high drama in the hard-fought race to the world court.In one of the country’s “biggest diplomatic victories” in the multilateral arena, Bhandari received 183 of the 193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all 15 votes in the Security Council to fill the final vacancy on the Hague-based International Court of Justice after separate but simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters here.”The win wouldn’t have been possible without the support of PM Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj,” Dalveer Bhandari said, adding,”the win happened due to coincidence.”Reflecting on the victory, Bhandari said India is known as an “emerging nation worldwide”.Bhandari, 70, was declared re-elected for a fresh nine- year term at the ICJ after Britain withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood from the race about an hour before the scheduled voting.According to observers, Bhandari’s victory has sent a strong message to the leading powers about the winds of change in the world and underscored the point that India is now a force to reckon with.The ICJ has a bench of 15 judges, five of whom are elected every three years for a nine-year term. To be elected, the candidate needed majority in both the chambers.Established in 1945, the role of the ICJ is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions.Soon after the election results were announced, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin was congratulated by representatives of other countries on the floor of the General Assembly.”Vande Matram – India wins election to the International Court of Justice. JaiHind,” tweeted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.In the previous 11 rounds of voting, Bhandari had consistently polled nearly two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly.With Bhandari’s election, Britain will not have a judge on the world court’s 15-member panel for the first time.Also for the first time in 70 years, a permanent member of the Security Council lost to a non-permanent member for a seat in the ICJ.The British move to block voting in the Security Council and go for the joint consultation mechanism, which was last used some 96 years ago, also felt flat yesterday.This is because, many of the Security Council members including some Permanent Members which were consistently supporting Britain in the secret ballot, backed off from voting in favour of the UK move to stop next rounds of voting as this required open voting, observers said.”It is actually perhaps the biggest diplomatic victory we have in a multilateral arena,” a long-time friend of India at the United Nations said.In a dramatic move, British Permanent Representative to the UN Matthew Rycroft wrote identical letters to the presidents of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council before the two chambers were scheduled to meet at 3 pm (local time) for the 12th round of voting.Rycroft said in his letter the current deadlock is unlikely to be broken by further rounds of voting and the UK therefore has decided to withdraw Greenwood’s nomination.”In taking this step, we have borne in mind the close relationship that the United Kingdom and India have always enjoyed and we will continue to enjoy…,” Rycroft said.Noting that Britain is a major player in the UN system, sources said the “signal to all the membership is clear that Indians are now a force to reckon with”.According to informed sources, three hours before the voting, General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak and Italian Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi in his capacity as Security Council President for the month of November convened a consultative meeting with the Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN Rycroft and Akbaruddin.India refused to budge against any kind of pressure and insisted to complete the democratic process, sources said.It was unclear what transpired in the next two hours that forced Britain to withdraw from the race.In Washington, US President Donald Trump in between had a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Indian- origin Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.It is learnt that many of the Britain’s supporters at this point of time clearly told them that they would vote for Greenwood only in a secret ballot but could not be seen voting in open against India and that too at a time when two-thirds of the world community was backing New Delhi.Reading the writing on the wall, Britain decided to withdraw from the race, sources said.At the start of the General Assembly and the Security Council meeting both Lajcak and Cardi read similar letters from Rycroft informing them about UK’s decision to withdraw from the race.Thereafter Lajcak and Cardi announced to complete the rest of the election process by having the name of just Bhandari on the ballot. Soon Bhandari was declared elected.In the last 10 days, it is learnt that India mounted an unprecedented diplomatic campaign to win the ICJ seat.Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself is believed to have taken up the matter with some of the world leaders.

Inside Story: Here’s how India ensured Dalveer Bhandari’s re-election as ICJ judge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The re-election of Indian nominee Justice Dalveer Bhandari to the last seat of the world court has sown India’s strategic connect as well as the new world order based on democratic processes and principles.Ahead of the election, where Bhandari was pitted against the British nominee Christopher Greenwood, India pulled all stops to ensure his victory with the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj contacting some of her 100 counterparts mostly from African and Latin American countries. Officials at her ministry were also in constant touch with the envoy of developing countries stationed in New Delhi.“They had all ensured support, but were skeptical whether India will be able to pull support at the 15-member United Nations Security Council (UNSC) dominated by world powers,” a source said.For a victory, it was necessary to enlist majority both at the UN General Assembly as well as at the UNSC.After former Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case (currently on a death row in Pakistan) reached to the world court, there was an understanding that having an Indian judge in the ICJ was a political priority. Insiders said that till early 2017, the South Block had almost made up mind to demit the Indian seat in the current election cycle, as they had assessed there were not many chances for their nominee to get re-elected with Britain and other countries joining the race. Bhandari’s nomination was officially backed by India, along with Australia, Bangladesh, Colombia, and Israel.In a carefully crafted strategy involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Swaraj, the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and India’s representative at the UN Syed Akbaruddin, India sought to enlist the support of countries raising the issue of democratic process.“We convinced countries that the democratic process needs to play its full course in both the Security Council and the General Assembly and there should not be an intervention or adoption of a process that has never been used before or the one that undermines the voice of the majority,” officials said.The strategy clicked with a number of developing countries pledging their support to India against the nominee of a former colonial power and member of the UNSC. Admitting that there were pulls, pressures, and allurements, asking India to withdraw its candidature in favour of powerful UK, but it was firmly put down. In a typical disruptions style of PM Modi, the team overlooking the election ruled out any compromise asserting that the candidate who enjoys the overwhelming support of the General Assembly members can be the only be a legitimate candidate to go through. As the lobbying has intensified, the campaign took an ugly turn with Greenwood’s supporters trying to break Bhandari’s growing support in the Assembly by carrying out a stealth campaign to make it appear that India was giving up, according to diplomats.But Indian officials maintained that voting in the General Assembly which overwhelmingly favoured India is reflective of the new global order, which is not pleasant to the world powers. In earlier rounds Bhandari has nearly a two-thirds majority with 121 votes in the 193-member Assembly, while Greenwood has a slender majority of nine in the 15-member Council. Both the 193-member UNGA and the 15-member UNSC have to vote independently to elect the members of the ICJ.A beaming Syed Akbaruddin admitted that a huge diplomatic effort had gone into electing Bhandari to the world court. “There was a crucial meet before the vote. We put forward our view and stuck to it. It was apparent that vote will be in our favour. We are grateful that the UK judge recused and recognised that the Indian judge was doing good in UNGA,” he said in New York.Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj congratulated Justice Bhandari this morning. “Congratulations to Justice Dalveer Bhandari on his re-election as a Judge of the ICJ. Huge efforts by Team – MEA. Syed Akbaruddin, our Permanent Representative in UN deserves a special mention,” she said in a tweet.President Ram Nath Kovind also congratulated Bhandari, posting on Twitter. “Congratulations to Justice Dalveer Bhandari for his re-election to the ICJ. A diplomatic milestone for India.”India officially began the process of re-nominating Bhandari in late June, which kick-started the lobbying process to get him on back on the bench in The Hague’s Peace Palace. With the ICJ to adjudicate the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav over the next few years, the perception in New Delhi is that having an Indian judge on the bench is a national priority. Pakistan, the other party in the ‘Jadhav Case’, also has the right to nominate an ad-hoc judge to the bench since the ICJ has a serving Indian judge, but not one with Pakistani nationality.Sources here said that the lobbying had already begun at the highest level at the G-20 meeting in Hamburg in the first week of July, when Modi solicited support for Bhandari in all his diplomatic interactions with foreign leaders. He also got support from BRICS leaders during the summit in Xiamen, China, and then raised the issue again during his bilateral trip to Myanmar, while calling for just international order.Swaraj, who led an Indian delegation at the UNGA’s annual session, stayed in New York last September for seven days. Her top priority was to directly speak to her counterparts and get as many committed votes for Bhandari as possible. As one source here confirmed that there was a very high level of effort being put in by the Indian government. “Instructions had gone out to ensure that Bhandari’s candidature finds mentions at India’s diplomatic interactions, whether they involve just diplomats or the country’s top leaders,” they said.Plans were also drawn up to draft personal letters from the prime minister to his counterparts. Diplomats were also sent to the critical countries to garner support. India decided on Bhandari’s re-nomination only a few weeks before the July 3 deadline. This despite that India’s seat for Asia Pacific group already had a contender in the form of Lebanon’s permanent representative, Nawaf Salam. Egypt, currently a non-permanent UNSC member was the first to announce that it will support Bhandari. In return, India agreed to back the Egyptian candidate for the post of director general of UNESCO.The current diplomatic push for the world court seat reminded the 2010 elections for the UNSC non-permanent seat when the government of Manmohan Singh also pulled all stops to win the election. Due to those efforts, India won the seat that it held for two years with an overwhelming number of countries including Pakistan endorsing its sole candidature from the Asian group. India received the highest number of votes — 187 out of 192 — among all countries in the fray.

Pleased to see ‘close friend’ India win: UK on Dalveer Bhandari’s re-election to ICJ

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Britain has congratulated Justice Dalveer Bhandari on being re-elected to the International Court of Justice and said it will continue to cooperate closely with India at the United Nations and globally.Bhandari was today re-elected to the last seat of the Hague-based ICJ after Britain withdrew its candidate from the election.India’s nominee Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.Britain’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft, in a statement said it decided to withdraw Sir Chris Greenwood as a candidate for re-election as a Judge of the International Court of Justice.”The UK has concluded that it is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly with further rounds of elections,” he said. Britain, he said, congratulates the successful candidates, including Judge Bhandari of India.Earlier, it appeared that there was a neck-and-neck contest between Bhandari and Greenwood.”We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates,” Rycroft said. “If the UK could not win in this run-off, then we are pleased that it is a close friend like India that has done so instead. We will continue to cooperate closely with India, here in the United Nations and globally,” he said.Rycroft said that the UK will continue to support the work of the ICJ, “in line with our commitment to the importance of the rule of law in the UN system and in the international community more generally”.Britain’s withdrawal from the election to the prestigious world court would mean that there will not be a British judge on the UN’s most powerful court for the first time in its history.

Here’s why UNSC permanent members are wary of India’s nominee winning ICJ election

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The permanent members of the UN Security Council are ‘unnerved’ by the prospect of India’s nominee Dalveer Bhandari winning against Britain’s candidate in the election to the last seat of the World Court as it would set a precedent that may challenge their power in the future, observers here feel.Bhandari and Britain’s Christopher Greenwood are locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election to the Hague-based International Court of Justice, the sources say. The permanent members of the Security Council — the US, Russia, France and China — appeared to have rallied behind Greenwood. Britain is the fifth permanent member of the Security Council. In the 11 rounds of election so far, Bhandari has been receiving support of nearly two-third of the members of the General Assembly, but is trailing by three votes against Greenwood in the Security Council.The 12th round of elections has been scheduled for today. Britain on Friday in an informal consultation of the UN Security Council members mooted the idea of joint conference mechanism as it feels that this could be their only face saving exit strategy, informed sources said. As shared with other members of the Security Council during informal consultations, Britain would prefer to stop voting on the ICJ elections after the first round as it fears that otherwise India could well cross the two-third mark. In that scenario it would be very difficult for the UN Security Council stop India’s candidate from being elected to the ICJ.
ALSO READ ICJ election: Amid Britain resorting to ‘dirty politics’, India and UK face off today for last seatHowever, the prospect of India winning against a P5 member through democratic means is something that this elite club of veto-wielding countries Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are unnerved with, because this would set a precedent that they do not want to be repeated. “Today it is Britain, tomorrow it could be any one of us” is the argument which has brought all these five countries together, sources say.”If the one (of the P5) is going to be knocked off today, the other fear that they might be knocked off tomorrow,” according to a source.
ALSO READ Desperate for ICJ seat, UK pushing for joint conference of UNSC and UN Gen AssemblySuch an assessment of the UN insiders is based on informed sources, as voting for the ICJ election in both the Security Council and the General Assembly are based on secret ballots and there is no way to know who voted for whom. In all the rounds of the election so far, Greenwood has consistently got nine votes and Bhandari five in the Security Council. It is likely that on Monday India might increase its tally.It is understood that both New Delhi and Permanent Mission of India to the UN have been working overtime to convince the members of the Security Council on the need to go by the voice of the majority of the General Assembly.
ALSO READ Ahead of ICJ election, UK resorting to ‘dirty politics’ at UN to beat India: SourcesBut by Sunday evening it appeared that Britain was ready to execute its plan, as per which after the first round of voting they would call for a meeting of the Security Council and would seek a mandate to stop any further round of voting, and would call for adoption of joint conference mechanism, which was last adopted in 1921. However, this might come as a silver lining for India, sources said. This is because the Security Council vote to stop further rounds of the ICJ election would be open and not through a secret ballot.As a result, countries, many of whom have been pledging friendship with India but secretly voting against its candidate would be exposed in the open of raising their hands against India. This is something that members of the Security Council would avoid. Of the Permanent Five members, the US under President Donald Trump has just come out a 100-year plan of friendship with India and renamed Asia-Pacific and the Indo-Pacific region. Incidentally, hours before the ICJ election, Trump would be meeting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at the White House.It is not sure, if Trump plans to weigh in on this issue in favour of India. Trump has repeatedly called himself as the “best friend of India and Indian Americans” in the White House.Russia is an all-weather tested friend of India. Over the past several decades, France has emerged as a reliable friend of India. The stand of China on a lot of issues is well known including India s membership to the Security Council and Beijing vetoing a move to designate Azhar Masood as a global terrorist by the UN. So, it would be quite a surprise, if China favoured an Indian candidate. “When chips are down, you always get support from developing countries,” commented one India watcher at the UN. The voting in the General Assembly which overwhelmingly favours India is reflective of the new global order, which is not pleasant to the world powers.Despite best of the British effort, their vote tally in the General Assembly has decreased with every other round of voting.”That’s why they are trying to find a face saver to get out of this,” a source said. India has been seeking that the democratic process need to be played its full course in both the Security Council and the General Assembly and there should not be an intervention or adoption of a process that has never been used before or the one that undermines the voice of the majority. The British move to stop voting after the first round might create bad blood between two important wings of the world body, which could have a long-term implication. The General Assembly might think that it has been denied its right to vote.Hours ahead of the scheduled vote the UN General Assembly president and Security Council president is likely to hold another round of consultation with the stakeholders to explore what are their options.

Ahead of ICJ election, UK resorting to ‘dirty politics’ at UN to beat India: Sources

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UK is trying to ‘misuse’ its UN Security Council membership by pushing for a joint conference mechanism, which was last used 96 years ago, in the election to the last seat in the World Court tomorrow in which India’s Dalveer Bhandari is a front-runner, diplomatic sources said.Bhandari and Britain’s Christopher Greenwood are locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election to the ICJ.One-third of the court’s 15-member bench are elected every three years for a nine-year term, elections for which are held separately but simultaneously in the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council in New YorkBritain is aggressively pushing in the UN Security Council for resorting to the joint conference mechanism which was last used some 96 years ago and against which there exists an unequivocal legal opinion, the diplomatic sources said.The “dirty politics” being played by India’s former colonial ruler, as one UN insider put it, has sent a sense of “uneasiness” among other members of the powerful UN Security Council, many of whom are aware of the long-term implications of a move to ignore the voice of the majority of the United Nations General Assembly.In all previous incidents, the candidate getting majority in the General Assembly has eventually been elected a judge of The Hague-based International Court of Justice.Bhandari, 70, has support of nearly two-thirds of 193 UN members. Greenwood, who has already served one nine-year term in ICJ, is trailing behind more than 50 votes in the General Assembly. However, he received nine against five for Bhandari in the Security Council.To win ICJ election a candidate needs to get majority in both the General Assembly and the Security Council, which has not been the case in the 11 rounds of voting so far.Both the General Assembly and the Security Council have convened separate meetings at the UN headquarters tomorrow (3 p.m. local time) to hold the 12th round of voting.At a reception for Bhandari at the UN headquarters here on Friday, representatives of 160-member countries were present reflecting the overwhelming majority India enjoys in the General Assembly.Sensing that majority is not on its side, almost at the same time, the United Kingdom went to the Security Council for an informal consultation with other 14 members.Observing that there is a deadlock situation on the ICJ election, Britain is learnt to have proposed that voting in the Security Council be stopped after first round tomorrow and they go for joint conference mechanism. It is understood that this was opposed by some members of the Security Council.However, the British diplomats on Friday appeared confident to push its agenda through on Monday.Britain needs nine votes for the voting be stopped.Their calculation is based on the fact that in multiple rounds of the elections in UNSC, Britain has been getting nine votes for its candidate. But it is yet to be seen if the same countries support such an undemocratic move to stop voting.The British proposal is against all legal advices, which basically says that this option has never been used in the entire history of seven decades of the ICJ, the sources said.The only time it was used was prior to the establishment of the UN in 1921, when Deputy Judges for the Permanent Court of International Justice were selected, they said.A point in this regard was made by Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, at the ICJ reception at the UN headquarters.He had strongly opposed the joint conference mechanism.”Those who talk of bringing the UN and updating it to the 21st Century world cannot look back to the toolkit of 100 years ago and try to take out a tool which has never been used in the history of the UN and perhaps for valid reasons,” he had told the diplomats from more than 160 countries.”Because it opens a can of worms. We will forget about the electoral process and go after a can of worms? You are diplomats, you are sagacious people. Diplomacy is the solution. Voting is the way that diplomats resolve their differences, rather than through convoluted, cabalistic solutions of a bygone era,” Akbaruddin had said.Legal opinions also point out that there have been several instances of deadlocks between the General Assembly and the Security Council during ICJ elections.On these occasions, the balloting took place in many more rounds than what has been completed this time.On each such occasion, the candidate who was consistently leading in the General Assembly, was elected ultimately.In fact, there exists an unequivocal legal opinion provided in the 1984 UN Juridical Yearbook that argues against the resorting to the Joint Conference mechanism.Under this, three members each from the General Assembly and Security Council would be formed to come out with a name, which would again have to be voted through both the Security Council and the General Assembly.Britain, informed sources said, is now suggesting something which has never been tried and no one knows what its implications are.Its move raises a series of question, as to what happens if the three representatives of the General Assembly stick to the voice of the majority, or if it does not provide any names or every time says that it does not agree with the names being proposed by the Security Council, they said.”There is unease among several countries on the move to stop voting,” an informed source said.These countries feel that such a move would unnecessarily pitch Security Council against the General Assembly.”No one is certain how it will play out,” sources said.Once Security Council stops voting, the General Assembly has to comply. This is because under the ICJ election rules the candidate needs to get majority in General Assembly and Security Council.”This is their hope to stall the trend which is moving against them,” informed UN sources said.The British fear that as the voting goes into multiple rounds tomorrow, it might snowball into India getting more than two-thirds of the votes, which could be humiliating for them and would become “morally difficult” for the UN Security Council to stop voting.

BRD Hospital deaths: 93 lakh children vaccinated this year; still taking preventive measures, says health minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh on Tuesday claimed that the state government had vaccinated 93 lakh children in 2017 in response to the infant deaths at Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur. “It is unfortunate that children in UP have died of the same disease (encephalitis) for the past three decades. Our government is taking preventive measures. We are even reaching out to vaccinate 1 crore children from the beginning of 2018,” the minister told ANI.The BRD Hospital Acting Principal Dr P.K. Singh said that in the last 48 hours, 15 deaths were reported from NICU and 15 from ICU . Even though so many deaths have occurred in the past three months, Dr Singh claimed that they were normal deaths if compared to children wards of any other medical college.“About 40 to 50% children admitted at the BRD die as they are brought to the hospital in a very critical stage. However, we are successful in bringing down number of Acute Encephalitis Sydrome (AES) related deaths this year,” he pointed. But doctors are not ready to buy these deaths as normal. “Such large number of deaths in the last three months cannot be termed as normal. The state government must do something to save lives of children admitted at the hospital,” stated a senior doctor, on condition of anonymity.BRD medical College had hit headlines when 33 children had died on August 10 and 11 due to short supply of oxygen. Eight hospital staffers, including then Principal Dr Rajiv Mishra and his wife Purnima Shukla, and the oxygen supplier Manish Bhandari were held responsible for deaths. They are languishing in Gorakhpur jail. Charge-sheet against seven have been filed by the police while police is awaiting sanction from the state government to file charge-sheet against Dr Mishra and Dr Kafeel Ahmed Khan, then Head of the Paediatric ward.

BJP asks Cong to break silence on Robert Vadra issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP targeted Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra on Tuesday for his alleged links with absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari who fled to London in 2016.The BJP fielded Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to attack the Congress top brass asking Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to break their “silence” over media reports that claimed Robert Vadra’s links with fugitive Bhandari.Sitharaman said Gandhi’s silence would be construed as acceptance of charges against Vadra.Citing the media report, Sitharaman alleged that a London prpoerty linked to Vadra was refurbished by Bhandari, who also made arrangements for his travel abroad.She also claimed that an amount of 7.5 lakh Swiss francs was deposited in one of Bhandari’s bank accounts raising questions whether the money spent on the London house was linked to Vadra.Vadra had denied links with Bhandari when in 2016 it was reported that his London flat at 12 Ellerton House in Bryaton Square was renovated by Bhandari.Latest reports alleged that Bhandari booked two air tickets for Vadra in 2012, one of which was for travelling to Zurich, Switzerland’s financial capital.Reports also claimed that the tickets were booked by Bhandari when he was being investigated for his role in an Indian Air Force deal for basic jet trainer aircraft worth Rs 4,000 crore that Swiss company Pilatus had bagged against HAL’s bid during the UPA regime in 2012..The minister alleged that there were at least three transactions between them with “serious financial implications.”Sitharaman asked, “Why senior leadership of the Congress is keeping a studied silence.”Claiming that the Congress scion was “copying” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the union minister said, “The government is taking all steps to bring the absconding arms dealer back to India to face law,” she added.With reference to the allegations Vadra posted on Facebook, “Good Morning, I am capable, I am strong. If I believe in myself, I can turn my dreams into a plan, and my plan into my reality.”Alleged linksDef Min Sitharaman alleged that a London property linked to Vadra was refurbished by arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari She also claimed that an amount of 7.5 lakh Swiss francs was deposited in Bhandari’s bank accounts raising questions whether the money spent on the London house was linked to Vadra

Ashok Gehlot’s Men Friday roped in for Gujarat polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot who is currently the in-charge of the Congress party’s election preparedness in Gujarat has revamped the entire team in Gujarat by appointing 160 observers from Rajasthan. What is more interesting is that Gehlot has appointed 65 observers alone from Jodhpur which is a clear indication that he has been given a completely free hand by Rahul Gandhi.Leaving nothing to a chance Gehlot has put his most trusted brigade, including Sunil Parihar, Ramesh Borana, Rameshwar Dadhich, Suresh Vyas, Shravan Ram Patel, who are considered very close to Gehlot. After appointing them as observers and all met Rahul Gandhi and took over the command.In spite, all of this what is being echoed by the members of Congress Jodhpur is that why Suparas Bhandari and Jodhpur city Congress president Saeed Ansari who are considered as a close ally of Gehlot were not called as an observer in Gujarat.The reason sighted behind this is that Gehlot has started ignoring them because they are getting close to former minister Rajendra Chaudhary who is considered as anti-Gehlot personality.Gehlot, who is considered as Chanakya of politics, has put his full strength in Gujarat assembly elections. That is why the BJP is putting its whole strength now in Gujarat and Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled territories including Rajasthan are also being called for meetings in Gujarat. PM Modi is coming to Gujarat for the fourth time on Tuesday. Those who seemed confident in Gujarat have got alerts of the people of Gujarat somewhere.The assembly elections are to be held in Rajasthan. If the Congress party performs well then it is confirmed that Gehlot’s political height will be increased.

WATCH: Two Shiv Sena corporators from Kalyan get into scuffle claiming responsibility for same development work

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A video of two Shiv Sena corporators getting into a scuffle was shared by news agency ANI on Monday evening.In the video, the corporators Shital Bhandari and Madhuri Kale, are being pulled apart by eyewitnesses after both of them claimed credit for the same development work.According to reports, Kale, a former NCP corporator who recently joined the Sena, had pasted posters congratulating her for good development work in the other corporator’s ward.Watch the video here

On Big B’s 75th b’day, fan cherishes 75 autographs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>You must have heard stories of fans doing all sort of things for their superstars. The story of 55-year-old NM Bhandary is more or less the same. The ardent Big B worshipper has been collecting autographs and letters of those of the Bachchan family.”Mere pas Bachchanji ke parivar ke 75 autographs hai.(I have 75 autographs of the Bachchan family). I prefer calling myself a well-wisher than a fan,” said Bhandary while talking to DNA on the occasion of the actor’s 75th birthday.Bhandari, who works in a private company in Navrangpura and says he watches only Big B’s films, even got a place in the Limca Book of Records for having 50 letters written to him by the Bachchan family.”I was so inspired by him that I decided to write to his father, noted Indian poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan. To my surprise, he wrote back. That’s how it all began. I made it a point of sending him a letter on every occasion and he always replied. I have letters of Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and even Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. When the letters crossed 50, Limca Books included my name and CM Vijay Rupani himself congratulated me through a letter. It was a moment of immense pride,” Bhandari, who even got the name of his wife changed to Jaya, said.”After Kabhie Kabhie released in 1976, I might have watched it 100-125 times. I have watched all his movies. I am a devotee of his voice. He is nothing less than a god to me…Before marriage, I had told my wife that I adore Bachchan ji, and put forward a condition that after marriage she would have to change her name to Jaya. After the marriage, we changed the name through an affidavit,” Bhandari, a native of Ajmer in Rajasthan, said.Bhandari even gave the name of Shweta (Amitabh’s daughter) to his daughter. “When my wife was pregnant, I had decided that if it’s a girl, we would name her Shweta and if a boy, we would call him Abhishek. I was blessed with a girl,” he said.Though there are reports of Big B going in for a low-key birthday celebration on October 11 this year, Bhandari, reveals his plans to celebrate Amitabh Bachchan’s birthday. “I don’t cut cakes. I believe in doing something for the needy. I spend time with orphans and derive satisfaction after giving them food or helping the ill. Last year, on Bachchanji’s wedding anniversary, I helped in treatment of a 11-year-old cancer patient. I had got a letter from Amitabh Sir congratulating me and urging me to keep doing good deeds.”Sharing another instance, Bhandari says, “I had even been an audience to Kaun Banega Crorepati TV show. I had photo-framed his dialogue-“Mere paas Maa hai!”- and took two copies of it with me when I went there. While I gifted one to Amitji, I got the second one autographed from him. I visit him every year. He is a part and parcel of my life. He is my God.”

Gorakhpur: 16 children die at BRD Medical College in last 24 hours

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the death of 16 children in last 24 hours, Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College in Uttar Pradesh has once again come into limelight.Of the 16 children, ten were admitted in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) while six were in the paediatric ICU, reported IANS.The report said that 20 patients have been admitted to the hospital in the last 24 hours. As many as three dozen patients, mostly affected by encephalitis, are being treated. The death toll in BRD Medical College, since August, has crossed over 400 mark.On August 10 and 11, at least 30 kids died due to lack of oxygen.An inquiry report had blamed the absence of doctors and the supplier for oxygen shortage at Baba Raghav Das (BRD) hospital.Manish Bhandari, the owner of Pushpa Sales Pvt Ltd, which had snapped oxygen supply from BRD over unpaid bills resulting, was arrested by the Gorakhpur police on September 17.

Oxygen supplier held over India hospital deaths

More than a hundred children died in August because of an alleged shortage in oxygen supply.

Gorakhpur tragedy: Owner of oxygen supply company finally nabbed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Manish Bhandari, owner of Pushpa Sales Pvt Ltd, which had snapped oxygen supply from Uttar Pradesh’s BRD Medical College over unpaid bills resulting in deaths of 31 children on August 10 and 11, was arrested by the Gorakhpur police on Sunday morning. Bhandari, who so far had eluded the police was trying to escape to neighbouring Bihar.With the arrest of Bhandari, the police have arrested all the nine accused in BRD Medical College tragedy. Eight accused including ex-Principal Dr Rajiv Mishra, his wife Dr Purnima Shukla, Head Encephalitis Ward Dr Kafeel Ahmed Khan, Head Anaesthesia, Dr Satish Kumar, Chief Pharmacist Gajanand Jaiswal, Account departments Clerks Udai Pratap Sharma, Sushil Tripathi and Sanjay Pandey are already under Gorkhpur Police custodyFacing non-bailable warrant (NBW) and fear of his properties being attached for evading arrest, Bhandri had submitted an application in the Gorakhpur Court for surrender on Saturday. On a tip off that Bhandari may sneak into Bihar till he was allowed by the Court to surrender, the Gorakhpur Police laid trap on all routes leading to Bihar. Bhandari was arrested from Deoria by-pass early Sunday morning when he was trying to escape to Bihar.During interrogation Bhandari revealed places where he had taken shelter to evade police arrest. The Gorakhpur Police may also initiate action against those who had given him shelter. The arrested owner of Pushpa Sales Pvt Ltd will be produced in the Court on Monday.After bagging the contract, Pushpa Sales Pvt Ltd was supplying oxygen to the BRD Medical College since 2014. As per the agreement, the medical college was allowed to take a credit of Rs 10 lakhs. Hospital sources claimed that the dispute over payment started in November 2016 allegedly on the issue of commission. Since then the payment kept on piling despite 14 reminders by the company. The company had sent last reminder on August 1 2017 for dues of Rs 63 lakhs and warned to stop supplies if payments were not cleared. The Company had snapped oxygen supply over unpaid bills on August 9 resulting in deaths of 31 children.UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had constituted a high-level committee, headed by Chief Secretary, Rajive Kumar, to ascertain reasons of deaths of children. Following the Committee report, the Chief Minister had directed to lodge FIRs against nine, including Manish Bhandari, owner of Pushpa Sales Pvt Ltd.

Uddhav Thackeray says ‘nine-km-high’ clouds were hovering above Mumbai, gets panned by Opp

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a sensational claim regarding yesterday’s downpour, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray today said that “nine-km-high” clouds were hovering above the city and the impact would have been severe had they burst.Lapping up Thackeray’s remarks, which he made at a press conference, political parties across the spectrum asked the Sena chief to clarify his statement as a cloudburst could have posed a serious risk to the lives of thousands of citizens.Referring to yesterday’s deluge that rekindled the memories of July 26, 2005, Thackeray said, “nine-km-high clouds were hovering above the city yesterday. The impact would have been much more severe had there been a cloudburst”.Responding to his remarks, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, “Thackeray should have substantiated his comments because when talking about a cloudburst, you are talking about the safety of thousands of residents. Such stray remarks cannot be taken lightly.”Taking a dig, Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said it was “unfortunate” that the Sena president was “measuring” clouds at a time when he should have been measuring the width of potholes.”When Uddhav Thackeray says there were nine-km high clouds hovering above the city, he should have given their length and breadth as well. Such remarks show the desperation and helplessness of the Thackeray family. He has no answers when everybody says this was not a natural, but a man-made disaster,” Sawant said.NCP leader Dhananjay Munde sought to know why did the government not warn citizens beforehand if there was a massive risk to their lives.”We did not hear about this cloud in the last eight days from the IMD. This shows that Uddhav Thackeray is only playing diversionary tactics from the real issue, which is the troubles of the common people and the failure of administration,” the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council said.”However, if what he said is true, it is a glaring loophole in the arrangements done by the government. Why were people not informed beforehand about the risk to their lives? Why was their future allowed to be dependent on fate?” Munde questioned.

India, Egypt support each other’s candidates for UNESCO, ICJ

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Egypt supports India’s Dalveer Bhandari as judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), while New Delhi will back Cairo’s nominee to the UNESCO’s Director-General post, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry has said. In a statement, the ministry said Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received a phone call on Sunday from his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj and the two leaders discussed bilateral relations and means of international coordination. During the call, Swaraj informed Soukry that India supports the Egyptian nominee Ambassador Moushira Khattab to the UNESCO s Director-General post, the statement said. At the same time, Shoukry said that Egypt supports Bhandari, who has been nominated by India as its candidate for another nine-year term as judge of the ICJ, it added. “India and Egypt have always had a very good cooperation in international fora,” India’s Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Infant deaths: AAP demands murder charges against Yogi, top UP officials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday stated that the firm entrusted with supplying liquid oxygen to Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College in Gorakhpur had informed Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister’s office about the pending dues in April itself. Scores of children at the hospital recently died within 48 hours, reportedly due to an interrupted oxygen supply.The party demanded that murder charges be slapped against UP CM Yogi Adityanath and top officials for the tragedy. “The agency had flagged the issue of the college owing a huge amount — around Rs 67 lakh— to it with the CMO in April. The agency sent as many as eight reminders,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said. The reminders were sent on April 6, 17, May 2, 16, June 13, July 6, 18, and 31, he added.Singh also shared and quoted letters from the agency Director Manish Bhandari to UP Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon, dated August 9, and stated: “The UP government, however, has been claiming that the shortage of oxygen was not responsible for the death of at least 30 infants at the state-run facility.”The agency clearly wrote that the round-the-clock availability of oxygen through the facility’s central pipeline was crucial for patients of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome or other life-threatening diseases, the AAP leader said.”It was a criminal act. There is no doubt that the children died due to the government’s criminal negligence. Cases of murder should be registered against the CM, Health Minister, and other top officials involved,” he said.”The UP government talks about temples, ambulances for cows. The Prime Minister has all the time to tweet about happenings around the world, but has no time to spare a word on the Gorakhpur tragedy,” he added.

Top hospitality firm pulled up by consumer forum

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Central Mumbai district consumer dispute redressal forum pulled up one a top player from the hospitality providers, Mahindra holidays and resorts India limited, as the firm turned down travel plans of one of its consumers ever after several requests. The forum has thus asked the service providers to abide by its promised services and has also asked it to cough up an amount of Rs 50,000 as compensation towards the complainant’s mental agony and Rs 10,000 towards his litigation charges.A Nepeansea Road resident, Sunil Bhandari, having membership with the firm from 2002, was opting for the services under the red plan in which he was entitled to use a one bedroom apartment for his holidays. This booking was available annually for a particular season for a week’s time. According to the complainant’s version, “On October 16, 2012, he received a sales promotion call from a representative of the firm for an upgradation of his plan. Accordingly, the red plan was upgraded to a purple plan, with an additional amount of Rs 2,63,000. Meanwhile, on the same day, another representative called up Bhandari for the upgradation of the plan at a much cheaper rate, which was Rs 1,51,000. Bhandari felt cheated by the first representative and accordingly the deal was finalised with the second amount. Meanwhile, a complaint of cheating against the first representative was registered with the firm. Later in November 2012, he got a receipt of the upgradation of his plan from red to purple.”The complaint copy further reads that despite the upgradation of the plan, the firm refused to take any booking for holidays. The complainant claimed he had put several requests and letters for the approval of his vacation plan, but they did not respond to the request, thus the complainant approached the forum and filed a complaint.The forum after, going through the complaint’s version, asked the firm to file its reply, to which the firm held that the complainant had already been informed of the fact that the offer which was provided to him by the second representative of the firm was an error and had asked him to pay the remaining amount, but he did not pay and thus he was a defaulter.The forum, after going through the arguments advanced, held that the firm had confirmed the upgradation of the plan by issuing the certificate of the same. “Once the payment is accepted and upgradation letter is issued, the firm cannot deny the members from utilising the plan. Thus, there is an apparent deficiency in services on the part of the firm. Therefore, it is necessary to direct the firm to allow the complainant to use the upgraded purple plan as per the upgradation letter,” held the forum.

Cop’s ‘dual presence’ in drugs case leads to acquittal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The dual entry of an official in the police diaries at the same time has led to the acquittal of a Nigerian national arrested in a 2012 drug case, by the special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) court. The police diary at Azad Maidan police station contains the official’s entry record for handing over drug sample seized from Anti-Narcotic Cell’s (ANC) Bandra unit at 3 pm. On the same day, the record of the police panchanama which was performed to seize drugs from the Nigerian, mentions the presence of the same official at the spot in Masjid Bunder from 1.30 pm to 3.30pm.The case dates back to January 2, 2012, when Azad Maidan police received a tip off on a Nigerian national named Ifeamy Uzoma Osunde travelling with 10 grams of charas in Masjid Bunder. The accused was allegedly found in possession of 10 gm of cocaine. Chemical analysis of the drug was performed, police also filed a charge sheet, and examined six witnesses.When DNA spoke to defence advocate Shekhar Bhandari regarding the defence arguments which led to the acquittal, Bhandari mentioned the technical glitch in police functioning that led the cases’ failure.“Police was unable to explain his presence at two different places at one time, leading to the acquittal of my client,” said Bhandari.

Bhandari body brought to Sikkim, funeral on July 19

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The mortal remains of former Sikkim chief minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari was brought today to Sikkim from Delhi, where he died on Sunday. His mortal remains arrived at Bagdogra airport this afternoon. It will be brought to his residence at Primula Cottage at Church Road here in the evening, his family sources said. The funeral will be held at Ranipool here on July 19, which has been declared a state holiday as a mark of respect to the former chief minister. Sikkim government has announced state mourning from July 17 to July 23 during which the national flag will be flown at half mast at all institutions, official sources said. Bhandari was the second chief minister after L D Kazi to hold the reins of the fledgling state which officially became a part of the Indian Union in 1975. One of the longest serving chief ministers of the tiny Himalyan state, he had assumed office for the first time in 1979 on a Janata Parishad ticket and then again in 1984 and 1989 on a Sikkim Sangram Parishad ticket.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Former Sikkim CM Bhandari passes away, Modi condoles death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nar Bahadur Bhandari, an obscure school teacher, who rose to become one of the longest-serving chief ministers of Sikkim, died today, state government sources said. Bhandari, a three-term former chief minister, was 77. He is survived by wife Dil Kumari Bhandari, a former MP, two daughters and a son. He breathed his last at a Delhi hospital this afternoon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the demise of Bhandari and praised his role in Sikkim’s progress. “Saddened by the demise of Shri Nar Bahadur Bhandari. His contribution towards Sikkim’s progress will always be remembered. My condolences,” the prime minister’s office said in a twitter post. Born in 1940 at Malbasey in West Sikkim, Bhandari was a teacher in a government school before he joined active politics. He became the chief minister of the tiny Himalyan state for the first time in 1979 on a Janata Parishad ticket and then again in 1984 and 1989 on a Sikkim Sangram Parishad ticket. The founder of the SSP, Bhandari remained its president till his death. Known as a pragmati and resilient leader, Bhandari was the second chief minister after L D Kazi to hold the reins of the fledgling state which officially became a part of the Indian Union in 1975. He was also a former president of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee. Chief Minister Pawan Chamling condoled the death of Bhandari. “I am extremely sad and shocked to know about the untimely demise of Shri Nar Bahadur Bhandari. With his passing away, Sikkim has lost a worthy son of the soil whose contribution to the state and its people are unparalleld.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Former Sikkim CM Nar Bahadur Bhandari passes away, condolences pour in on Twitter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Former Sikkim chief minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari passed away at the age of 77 on Sunday. He breathed his last at a Delhi hospital this afternoon. Bhandari, a three-term former chief minister, is survived by his wife Dil Kumari Bhandari, a former MP, two daughters and a son. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his demise, saying his contribution towards Sikkim?s progress will always be remembered. ?Saddened by demise of Shri Nar Bahadur Bhandari. His contribution towards Sikkim?s progress will always be remembered. My condolences,? said Prime Minister Modi. Current Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling?, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rjiju, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu also took to Twitter to express their grief. ?Saddened by the sudden demise of Shri NB Bhandari former CM Sikkim. May he RIP.My condolences to the bereaved family ,? tweeted Chamling. ?Former CM of Sikkim, Shri Nar Bahadur Bhandari was a people’s man and a pragmatic leader. Anguished by the news of his sudden demise. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Shri Nar Bahadur Bhandari.May God give them strength to bear this tragic loss,? said Rajnath. ?I extend my deep condolences to the bereaved family of Shri Nar Bahadur Bhandari ex-CM of Sikkim who passed away today,? tweeted Rijiju. ?Pained and saddened by the passing away of Shri Nar Bahadur Bhandari,former CM of Sikkim. My heartfelt condolences.RIP,? said Prabhu. Born in 1940 at Malbasey in West Sikkim, Bhandari completed his BA degree from Darjeeling Government College and worked as a school teacher for some years before joining politics. In 1984, he also served briefly as Member of Parliament from Sikkim constituency in the eighth Lok Sabha as an independent candidate. He became the chief minister of Sikkim for the first time in 1979 and then again in 1984 and 1989.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amarnath attack: Victims to be airlifted to Delhi; yatra to

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said the Amarnath pilgrims injured in a terror attack at Anantnag district will be airlifted to Delhi tomorrow. “The dead and the injured pilgrims will be shifted to Srinagar tonight. They will then be airlifted to New Delhi in a special BSF aircraft at 7:30 AM tomorrow,” he said. Terrorists tonight killed seven Amarnath pilgrims from Gujarat, including six women, and injured 32 others as they struck at a bus in Kashmir’s Anantnag district, in the worst attack on the annual pilgrimage since the year 2000. The deputy chief minister, who accompanied Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to Anantnag, said the injured were out of danger. Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Mandeep Bhandari said the Amarnath yatra will continue from Jammu tomorrow. “The yatra will not be disrupted and it will continue as per the plans tomorrow,” he told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Margao police bust online sex racket, 2 held

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Margao police arrested two persons involved in running an online sex racket across the country. Two girls were rescued. Police have taken custody of Santosh Kar from Orissa and Deependra Bhandari from Delhi. Their car has also been seized. The rescued girls are from Delhi and Kolkata.”We received information that these persons are likely to supply girls to a prospective customer. We also had information about the vehicle in which they were travelling. We laid a trap and managed to intercepte them,” said police inspector of Margao CL Patil.At present, the accused said that they were functioning from the Calangute beach area. Police are probing further to get more information about their operations.

MP: Cong blocks national highway to support farmers’ stir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress today blocked the Jabalpur-Jaipur national highway for two hours, in support of the ongoing farmers’ stir, near Tinodia area, around 70 km from the district headquarters. Narsinghgarh Congress MLA Girish Bhandari along with some farmers blocked the national highway-12 for two hours, Sub Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP) Raju Chaturvedi said. Police lifted the blockade by detaining 21 persons, including the MLA, who were later released.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ED attaches Rs 21 cr assets of arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ED has attached assets worth Rs 21 crore of controversial defence consultant and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari in connection with a money laundering probe against him. This is the first attachment of assets order issued by the central probe agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED took cognisance of the new anti- black money act that was notified last year to check the menace and catch hold of those who have stashed illegal funds or properties abroad. The Income Tax Department had booked Bhandari under the new act, called the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015. Under this law, cases of overseas illegal assets, which till recently were probed under the Income Tax Act, 1961, attract a steep 120 per cent tax and penalty on undisclosed foreign assets and income, besides carrying a jail term of up to 10 years. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had booked Bhandari, reported to have left India for a foreign location sometime ago, under criminal charges of the PMLA law in February. The Delhi Police had also booked him for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) last year. Bhandari’s case first came to light after the I-T department conducted searches against him in April last year and recovered certain “sensitive” official defence documents from his premises. As part of these raids, the taxman is also said to have recovered certain emails that talk about renovation of a costly apartment in London in 2010 which was allegedly owned by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Vadra’s legal firm has denied that he owned the London property directly or indirectly. It also denied Vadra has any business ties with an arms consultant or his aides. The tax department had last year also shared a “seizure memo record” with the defence ministry to apprise it about the contents of these “sensitive” documents.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Modi gets call from Prachanda, promises assistance in conduct

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today promised all possible assistance to Nepal in the conduct of its first polls to local bodies in 20 years as he received a call from his Nepalese counterpart Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’. Modi gave the assurance after Prachanda requested for India s assistance while speaking about Nepal holding the local elections, a PMO statement said. The two Prime Ministers reiterated their commitment to advance multi-faceted India-Nepal cooperative ties for the benefit of the two peoples, the statement said. Modi and Prachanda discussed recent developments in India-Nepal relations, including the recently-concluded “highly successful” State visit of President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari here, it said. The Nepal Prime Minister spoke about the ongoing efforts of his government to take all stakeholders on board in the constitution implementation process, the statement said. Modi “conveyed the good wishes of the people and government of India to the friendly people of Nepal in their national efforts to achieve peace, stability and socio- economic transformation, and assured PM Prachanda that India would extend all possible assistance for local elections.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nepal prez Bidya Devi Bhandari begins 2-day Odisha tour

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari arrived on a two-day visit to Odisha on Thursday, during which she will visit Lingaraj Temple and Sri Jagannth Temple at Puri.Odisha Governor S C Jamir, Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat, Home Secretary Asit Tripathy, Director General of Police K B Singh received the Nepal president at Biju Patnaik International Airport.As per the programme, Bhandari will attend a women’s empowerment programme at Mission Shakti Bhavan in Odisha before heading for a darshan of Lord Lingaraj at the 11th century Shiv shrine. She will offer puja at the temple.She will spend the night at the Raj Bhavan, official sources said.Bhandari will visit Sri Jagannath Temple on Friday at about 10.55 AM and return to New Delhi by an Air India special aircraft at 2.25 PM, Home Department sources said.

Nepalese Prez visits Somnath, Dwarkadhish temples in Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari today visited the famous Somnath and Dwarkadhish temples in Gujarat and offered prayers. Bhandari, who is on a five-day visit to the country since Monday, arrived here this afternoon. At the airport, she was welcomed by Gujarat Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja and District Collector Vikrant Pandey. Bhandari, later along with the members of a high-level delegation accompanying her, was driven to the Somnath temple in Gir-Somnath district. The ancient temple, located on the shore of the Arabian Sea, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. After offering prayers in the shrine, Bhandari visited Dwarkadhish temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, in Devbhoomi- Dwarka district before returning to Rajkot in the evening, said officials. She later attended a banquet dinner hosted by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani here. As per her official schedule, Bhandari would leave for Bhubaneshwar tomorrow.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India hopeful of Nepal forging consensus on multi-party

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India is hopeful that Nepal will be able to forge consensus through dialogue in its quest for peace, stability and multi-party democracy taking all the sections of its society on board, President Pranab Mukherjee said here. In his banquet speech in the honour of visiting Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Mukherjee said India has an abiding interest in the socio-economic development of Nepal. He said Nepal is passing through a crucial phase in its quest for peace, stability and multi-party democracy with the aim of consolidating the gains of democracy and achieving economic prosperity. “India lauds the enterprise and achievements of the people of Nepal. Their wisdom and resilience will, no doubt, succeed in forging consensus through dialogue and understanding so as to achieve their objectives within a federal and democratic framework, taking all sections of their society on board,” Mukherjee said. The Himalayan nation is witnessing strong opposition of the Indian-origin Madhesi people on the implementation of the new Constitution. The Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a prolonged agitation between September 2015 and February last year against the implementation of the new Constitution which they felt marginalised the Terai community. Bhandari is on her first State visit after taking over as the President of Nepal. Mukherjee said India is happy that Nepal is engaged in the important task of implementing the Constitution and pursuing a progressive and inclusive political agenda. The President said India deeply values its historical and traditionally close relations with Nepal. He said the long shared open border and national treatment of each other reflect a closeness that few other countries share. “We believe that the prosperity, security and welfare of our two nations are inter-linked and inter-dependent. India is committed to extending all possible support in accordance with the priorities of the people and Government of Nepal,” Mukherjee said in his banquet speech last evening. He said the close bonds of kinship and cooperation between India and Nepal are defined by geography and enriched by common culture and history. The President said age-old fraternal relations between the two nations have been nurtured by successive governments and leaders in both India and Nepal into a dynamic and enriching partnership. “We consider it natural and logical that as neighbours with a unique and exemplary relationship, both nations should continuously build on our many complementarities, explore all opportunities and pursue new avenues of cooperation to our mutual benefit,” he said. The President said both our peoples are opposed to the menace of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. “Development and progress are of utmost importance to us. Towards our common goals, we have been cooperating closely, to very successful outcomes,” Mukherjee said. He said the visit of Nepal’s President has provided an opportunity to reaffirm special relationship between the two countries and to identify ways and means of further enriching multifaceted partnership between them. “She will find one clear and consistent message of India’s unequivocal commitment to bilateral cooperation and friendship with Nepal. India also seeks to advance our common interests through regional and sub-regional cooperation based on respect and sensitivity to each other’s interests and concerns,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari receives ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Tuesday received ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. She was welcomed by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Bhandari will hold meetings with President Mukherjee and Prime Minister Modi later in the day.Vice President M Hamid Ansari, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will also call on the visiting dignitary.The Nepal President is also scheduled to attend a business event.
ALSO READ President Bidya Devi Bhandari to visit India today, public holiday declared in NepalShe will be accorded ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Mukherjee will also host a state banquet in honour of the visiting dignitary.Bhandari arrived in New Delhi on Monday afternoon on a five-day visit to India. She is being accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Ministers, Members of Parliament and senior officials.The visit is taking place in the backdrop of intensified bilateral engagements at the political and official levels in recent times.In the last six months, this is the fourth visit at the Head of State or Head of Government level between the two countries which is unprecedented. There had been more than 30 official and ministerial level engagements since the state visit of President Mukherjee to Nepal in November last year which clearly illustrate the wide range and depth of cooperative ties with Nepal.The visit reflects the priority that both the nations attach to further strengthening of their age-old and unique partnership, underpinned by shared historical and cultural linkages and strong people-to-people connections.

Nepal President to hold talks with President, Prime Minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari will hold meetings with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. Vice President M. Hamid Ansari, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will also call on the visiting dignitary. The Nepal President is also scheduled to attend a business event. She will be accorded ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Mukherjee will also host a state banquet in honor of the visiting dignitary. Bhandari arrived in New Delhi yesterday afternoon on a five-day visit to India. She is being accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Ministers, Members of Parliament and senior officials. The visit is taking place in the backdrop of intensified bilateral engagements at the political and official levels in recent times. In the last six months, this is the fourth visit at the Head of State or Head of Government level between the two countries which is unprecedented. There had been more than 30 official and ministerial level engagements since the state visit of President Mukherjee to Nepal in November last year which clearly illustrate the wide range and depth of cooperative ties with Nepal. The visit reflects the priority that both the nations attach to further strengthening of their age-old and unique partnership, underpinned by shared historical and cultural linkages and strong people-to-people connections.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nepalese prez arrives with a ‘message of friendship’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepal’s President Bidhya Devi Bhandari arrived here today on her first overseas tour, carrying a ‘message of friendship’ for India and to further strengthen bilateral ties. She will hold talks with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow to explore ways to step up cooperation between the two close neighbours whose ties faced some strains following the agitation by the Madhesi community last year. “We are carrying a message of friendship from Nepal,” Nepal’s Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat, who is accompanying the president, told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nepal’s President arrives on maiden visit to India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari arrived on her maiden five-day visit to India on Monday at the invitation of her Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee. President Bhandari is leading a 34 member delegation comprising of Foreign Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat and Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Sita Devi Yadav. During her visit, she will meet President Mukherjee, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. She is also scheduled to visit temples in Gujarat and Odisha. This is the first ever visit to India by President Bhandari since assuming office in 2015. The visit reflects the priority that both nations attach to further strengthening of their age-old, unique, wide-ranging partnership, underpinned by shared historical and cultural linkages and strong people-to-people connections. She was scheduled to visit India last year but the then government led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli cancelled the visit citing the laggings in preparations. Meanwhile, the Nepal Government declared public holidays on the day of President Bhandari?s departure and also on her return from New Delhi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nepalese prez to start five-day visit from tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari will arrive here tomorrow on a five-day visit during which she will meet the senior leadership here besides visiting temples in Gujarat and Odisha. This is her first state visit abroad after assuming the office in October 2015. She is visiting at the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee. “A high-level delegation comprising minister, MPs and senior officials will be accompanying her. “Her visit will reflect the priority that India attaches to further strengthening the age-old and unique partnership with Nepal, shared cultural and historical linkages and strong people-and-people relationship,” Joint Secretary (North) in the external affairs ministry Sudhakar Dalela said today. She will meet President Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other leaders, he said at an MEA briefing. “The president will host a banquet in her honour on April 18. She will also visit Gujarat and Odisha and pay obeisance at temples of Dwarka, Somnath and Puri,” Dalela said. Bhandari was scheduled to visit India in May last year, but it was cancelled after the then cabinet in Nepal did not endorse the programme citing lack of preparations on the part of the government. The bilateral ties had faced turbulence last year due to the Madhesi agitation and subsequent blockade which halted the supply of essential goods to landlocked Nepal from India.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nepal prez to pay 5-day visit to India from Apr 17

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari will embark on a five-day India visit from April 17, her first trip to this country after assuming office in 2015. Announcing the schedule, the external affairs ministry today said the upcoming visit reflects the priority that both India and Nepal attach to further strengthening of their age-old, unique, wide-ranging partnership, underpinned by shared historical and cultural linkages and strong people-to-people connections. “The upcoming visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries, and will further deepen the cordial and cooperative ties that exist between India and Nepal,” it said. Bhandari, who will be here at the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee, will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders. She will also be visiting Gujarat and Odisha. The Nepalese leader was scheduled to visit India in May last year but it was cancelled with the Nepal government citing internal developments as the reason for the cancellation. In Kathmandu, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri called on Bhandari and discussed her visit as well as other bilateral issues, according to her office.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nepal President to tour Odisha, Gujarat during five-day visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari will be visiting India on a five-day tour from April 17th to 21st , at the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee. This is the first State visit of the President of Nepal after assuming office in October 2015. ?The upcoming visit reflects the priority that both India and Nepal attach to further strengthening of their age-old, unique, wide-ranging partnership, underpinned by shared historical and cultural linkages and strong people-to-people connections,? said an official statement. During the visit, Bhandari will meet with President Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Apart from official engagements in New Delhi, the President of Nepal will also be visiting Gujarat and Odisha. The upcoming visit is in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries, and will further deepen the cordial and cooperative ties that exist between India and Nepal.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rawat’s visit to Nepal helped in deepening ties between armies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat’s visit to Nepal has helped in deepening and expanding the existing cordial ties between the armies of the two countries, the Nepalese Army said today. Gen Rawat today wrapped up his four-day visit to Nepal. Duing his visit, he was conferred the title of honorary general of the Nepalese Army by President Bidya Devi Bhandari. Gen Rawat was presented with a sword, insignia and a certificate of conferment order by the President during the function. “There has been decades old tradition of honoring the army chiefs of Nepal and India by each other with the title of Army General keeping with the traditional friendly ties between the two armies,” according to a statement issued by Nepal Army headquarters. The visit paid by the Indian Army chief to Nepal helped in deepening and expanding the existing cordial relations between the two armies, the statement said. Gen Rawat met Prachanda and expressed happiness over the ongoing collaboration between Nepal Army and Indian Army. He handed over seven horses to Nepal Army. Gen Rawat was invited by Nepal army chief Gen Rajendra Chhetri.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gen Rawat conferred honourary general title of Nepal Army

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat was today conferred the title of honourary general of the Nepal Army by Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari. Gen Rawat was honoured at a special ceremony at the president’s official residence ‘Sheetal Niwas’ in Kathmandu. She handed over a sword, an insignia and a certificate with regard to the honorary title to Gen Rawat. The practice follows a six-decade-old tradition of decorating army chiefs of each other’s country with the honorary title. Commander-in-Chief Gen Kodandera Madappa Cariappa was the first Indian Army chief to be decorated with the title in 1950. During his stay in Kathmandu, Gen Rawat separately met Nepal’s Prime Minister Prachanda and Defence Minister Bal Krishna Khand and his Nepalese counterpart Rajendr Chhetri. Earlier today, Gen Rawat handed over seven horses to Nepal Army. Gen Rawat, who was appointed to the top post of Indian Army on December 31, was invited by Gen Chhetri to visit Nepal. He is on a four-day visit to the Himalayan country.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nepal President Bhandari to visit India next month

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari will visit India from April 17, her first official foreign trip after assuming office in 2015. The President’s Office has confirmed her India visit, though the detail itinerary of the visit is yet to be made public. Bhandari, Nepal’s first woman President, is visiting India at the invitation of her Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee. During the visit, she will meet President Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other leaders from the ruling and opposition parties, said Madan Kumar Bhattarai, foreign relations adviser to Bhandari. Bhandari will also visit Varanasi, where she will attend a function at the Banaras Hindu University. “Some agreements as a gesture of friendly relations between Nepal and India is likely to be sealed during her visit,” Bhattarai said. Bhandari was scheduled to visit India in May last year, but it was cancelled after the then cabinet did not endorse the visit programme citing lack of preparations on the part of the government. The bilateral ties between the two countries had faced turbulence last year due to the Madhesi agitation and subsequent blockade which halted the supply of essential goods to landlocked Nepal from India. Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, had been demanding the new Constitution be amended to include their concerns about adequate political representation and redrawing of federal boundaries.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘India has no grievances about local polls in Nepal’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepal has said India has expressed no “grievances” over the forthcoming local body elections which are being conducted in the landlocked country after a gap of nearly two decades. Speaking at the Reporters’ Club in Kathmandu yesterday, Nepal’s Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay said, India had never spoken against the announcement of local polls in Nepal. “India has no grievances about the forthcoming local body election slated for May 14, 2017,” said Upadhyay while interacting with the reporters in Kathmandu. Upadhyay’s statement came at a time when Indian-origin Madhesi parties have warned to boycott the local body polls as the government did not pay attention to amend the constitution for addressing their concern before announcing the poll date. The Madhesi parties have been demanding more representation in all state mechanism. They had launched a six-month- long agitation from September 2015 to February last year in which more than 50 people were killed. The decision taken by Nepal’s Parliament and the council of ministers will be the final in this regard, he clarified. Indian officials had also not expressed their opposition to the scheduled elections to him, he added. Upadhyay said elections must take place on the stipulated date for the implementation of the constitution. In a different note, he said, the visit of Nepal’s President Bidyadevi Bhandari will take place soon. Both the sides are preparing for the upcoming visit and a date will soon be worked and the visit programme will be officially announced soon, he said. Last month, the Nepal government had decided to hold the much-delayed but crucial local body elections in May, the first such polls in two decades. The local body elections have not been held for 20 years years due to the decade-long Maoist insurgency. It was last held in 1997.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

I-T dept books Bhandari under new anti-black money Act

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Income Tax department has booked arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari under the new and stringent anti-black money Act and is mulling attaching his foreign and domestic assets as part of a tax evasion probe against him. Officials said the agency recently slapped provisions of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 in addition to the case being probed against him as per the existing Income Tax Act of 1961. They said the department had identified about half-a-dozen foreign assets in the name of Bhandari and his associates, and the taxman is mulling to attach them as part of the probe. Some of his domestic assets are also under the scanner of the taxman, they said. Under the new anti-black money law, cases of overseas illegal assets, which till recently were probed under the Income Tax Act, 1961, attract a steep 120 per cent tax and penalty on undisclosed foreign assets and income, besides carrying a jail term of up to 10 years. Bhandari has been issued notices under the new Act but the officials are yet to get a confirmation if he will depose before them and cooperate in taking the case forward. The case came to light after the I-T department conducted searches in April last year in Delhi and recovered certain “sensitive” official defence documents from his premises. Bhandari, at present, is being investigated by three premier probe agencies of the country, including the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Delhi Police’s crime branch. ED has recently booked him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) even as a case under forex laws is already being pursued against him by the agency. Reports have suggested that Bhandari had sneaked out of the country recently after Delhi Police booked him for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) last year. The taxman, last year, had also shared a “seizure memo record” with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to apprise it about the contents of the “sensitive” documents allegedly seized from Bhandari’s premises, after which the Ministry sought an FIR against him for contravention of OSA. The CBI has now forwarded a Delhi Police request to Interpol to obtain a global arrest warrant or the Red Corner Notice (RCN) against him.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India may seek Nepal’s help to foil escape bids by criminals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India may seek Nepal’s help to foil escape bids of its wanted criminals through that country’s soil after an accused arms dealer is suspected to have travelled to the UK via Kathmandu. The government is exploring the option of approaching Nepal seeking help to have more stringent checks on people against whom India has issued look-out notices, a Home Ministry official said. It is still in consultation stage and no decision has been taken on it yet, the official said. The consideration comes after controversial arms dealer was Sanjay Bhandari suspected to have fled to the UK from Kathmandu. India and Nepal have an open border which allows free movement of each other’s citizens. In 2004, Rabinder Singh, a Joint Secretary in India’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), was believed to have fled to the US through Nepal, weeks after he was found photocopying documents not related to his work. Bhandari left the country late last year after Delhi Police booked him for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA). The CBI also forwarded to the Interpol Delhi Police’s request for the issuance of Red Corner Notice against Bhandari. The ED had, last year, issued summons to Bhandari and his aides to submit documents related to the transactions of their firms as part of its probe into the case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). The ED’s Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), equivalent of a police FIR, has taken note of the preliminary investigations done by the Ministry of Defence and the Income Tax Department against Bhandari. ECIR has also recorded the charges made against him under the Official Secrets Act and those for alleged tax evasion by the Income Tax Department. The case first came to light after the I-T Department conducted searches against Bhandari last April and recovered certain “sensitive” official defence documents from his premises.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP withdraws ‘made for each other’ ad created for BMC polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP has withdrawn a TV ad, made as part of the party’s campaign for the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, after criticism in social media. “The ad ‘Mumbai and BJP: Made for each other’ has been withdrawn after considering public sentiments,” Maharashtra BJP’s chief spokesperson Madhav Bhandari told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NHRC should focus on terror victims as well: ICJ member

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>NHRC needs to focus on victims of terrorism as well while considering human rights violations and a lot needs to be done in this area, International Court of Justice (ICJ) member Dalveer Bhandari today said. Addressing a meeting of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and state rights commissions (SHRCs) here, he also pitched for holding a meeting of the chief ministers and the heads of SHRCs for ensuring better functioning. “A lot has been done by the NHRC and a lot more needs to be done. There are problems of human trafficking and homeless people sleeping in the streets. Then there is the acute water and air pollution. “NHRC also needs to focus on victims of terrorism, another area where a lot, lot needs to be done,” justice Bhandari said. At the NHRC foundation day event last year, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had also urged the body to look at cross-border terrorism victims through the prism of human rights, and examine these cases by going beyond the conventional perspective of violations. “This is one area where we will certainly step in. I will speak to the panel members on this subject definitely, as it (terrorism) is growing day in and day out,” NHRC Chairperson Justice (retd) H L Dattu, told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Uttarakhand Elections 2017: No poll plank to weave our dreams on, say Pahari women

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At 37, Mamta Bisht looks worn out, her sunburnt and wrinkled skin well offering a peek into the daily struggles of her life.Mamta, from the hilly village of Gazar in Nainital district of Uttarakhand, earns a meagre income every month by weaving colourful woollen shawls and stoles. A doting mother to four girls, she also grows potatoes and other vegetables, chases away hordes of monkeys as they steal her vegetables, and performs other routine household chores.Mamta is one of the many women from the hills who run the show in most Pahari families, where men have been grappling with alcohol addiction. However, they are disillutioned with the little political encouragement they have received from successive political leaders in promoting their work.They allege that politicians make big promises during elections but never care to fulfil them.”We had taken a special training in weaving and knitting work. The block and NGOs have also trained us in making Buransh (Rhododendron, a local flower) juice, apricot jams and pickles. But, buyers are far and few,” Mamta says, admitting that they eagerly await the tourist season for some business.Mamta, along with 14 other women, works in shifts at a nearby handloom. They make anywhere between Rs1,000 to Rs1,500 a month by selling woollen shawls and stoles. But, that’s hardly sufficient.”No politician has ever taken the initiative to promote us. Our skills and talent are underutilised as our products have never been marketed,” Mamta says.Women trained in making fruit and flower preserves make approximately Rs700 a month. “One bottle of Rhododendron juice sells for Rs120. But we have to buy the bottles, preservative and sugar. A large number of bottles does not sell and we end up distributing them among ourselves,” Savitri Bisht, another woman tells this correspondent.”Forget promoting us or our work, no leader has kept their basic promises. In the last many years, we have been promised a bandar baara (a designated area for monkeys to control them from getting into the farms) and closure of liquor shops, but nobody has done anything on that front,” said another woman who refused to be identified.Liquor trade is one of the biggest industries in the state.Even as the successive state governments have always encouraged the trade, local women have been opposing liquor sale in Uttarakhand saying the menace of alcoholism has ruined families.Uttarakhand goes to polls on February 15. On Saturday, frequent louspeaker attached vehicles, campaigning for political parties, were visible on the otherwise deserted hilly roads in the cold February.Ironically, the Pahari women, also the chief decision makers among the village folk, are confused about their preferred political candidate.For instance, there is a lot of grudge against the local legislator Dan Singh Bhandari, who won the last state elections, as a BJP candidate from the Bhimtal constituency, but later shifted his allegiance to the Congress.”He has betrayed us by shifting to another party,” said one of the women, indicating that he is unlikely to get the villagers’ support this time.The women said they like Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a leader and often leave their work halfway to listen to him on TV. But, they are not sure about the BJP candidate from the constituency, Govind Singh Bisht.”During his tenure as the education minister in the previous BJP government, he never visited the villages here. So, what is the proof he would do anything for us if he wins again? What is the proof that he would market and promote our work?” another woman asked.The women told DNA that Congress rebel and independent canidate Ram Singh Kaira does have higher chance of winning. In the last state elections, he secured the third position after Bhandari and Mohan Lal of the BSP.However, Kaira is also known for his anti-outsider stand, even as the “outsiders” are crucial for businesses in the state.

Cong seeks EC intervention to pull off air latest sting on

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress today urged the Election Commission to pull off the air, a purported sting operation being shown by a private news channel here accusing Chief Minister Harish Rawat of bribing a former BJP MLA to break ranks with his party. The party termed it as a conspiracy of the BJP and the channel involved to build an atmosphere against Congress ahead of assembly elections to be held in the state tomorrow. Questioning the timing of the alleged sting CD, Rawat’s spokesman Surendra Kumar lodged a complaint with the Election Coimmission of India saying it began to be aired by a private news channel 48 hours before the beginning of polling to mislead voters and build an atmosphere against Congress. He also urged the commission to ask the channel to pull off air the “so-called” sting video immediately and also stop its circulation on the social media saying it was designed to influence voters as part of a conspiracy by the BJP and the private news channel. Hours after the sting began being aired by the channel last evening, Pradesh BJP president accused Rawat of striking a deal of Rs 7 crore with former BJP MLA from Bhimtal Dan Singh Bhandari to make him resign from the membership of the state assembly and desert his party. Bhatt asked Rawat to step down as CM saying he had no moral right to continue in office. Bhandari, who was BJP’s MLA from Bhimtal, resigned from the state assembly at the time of the political crisis last year when nine Congress MLAs rebelled against Rawat and joined the BJP. Bhandari had joined the Congress later.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Modi engineered defection, then lodged case against me: Rawat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat today alleged the Centre of first engineering defections in the state and then lodging a case against him, the man whose house had been burgled. “My house was burgled and as if that was not enough a case was also lodged against me,” he said, questioning the Narendra Modi government’s sense of justice, at a public meeting here to garner support for Congress nominee Rajendra Bhandari. Likening himself to millet, he said like the mountain foodgrain, the more he is ground, the better he will become. Reminding the 2013 calamity, he said he rebuilt a state ravaged by the catastrophic flashfloods and put things back on track. “We have recovered from the tragedy. Chardham yatra has been revived, roads have been rebuilt. The derailed economy of the state is also back on track. The per capita income is also increasing,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ED slaps money laundering case against def consultant Bhandari

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After initiating investigation under forex rules against controversial defence consultant Sanjay Bhandari, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has now slapped criminal charges of money laundering against him. The fresh trouble for Bhandari comes amidst reports that he has left the country after Delhi Police booked him for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) last year. ED officials said the agency has booked Bhandari and some of his associates under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after taking congnisance of the FIR filed at the Parliament Street police station. Delhi Police has tasked its crime branch to probe the case. The Enforcement Directorate, the officials said, will soon issue summons to Bhandari to appear before the investigating officer (IO) of the case. However, it is reported that the defence consultant has left the country and has not replied to the Delhi Police summons till now. The ED had, last year, also issued summons to him and his aides to submit documents related to the transactions of their firms as part of its probe into the case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). While proceedings under FEMA are civil in nature, the ED has now decided to proceed against him under the stringent and criminal PMLA. The agency’s Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), equivalent of a police FIR, has taken note of the preliminary investigations done by the Ministry of Defence and the Income Tax Department against Bhandari, as per information accessed by(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Workers staging peaceful protest were attacked because BJP follows Godse’s ideology: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Congress alleged on Tuesday that the party workers staging a “peaceful” protest against the play “Hey Ram Nathuram” in Nagpur on Sunday were given life threats by police “as the state government belonged to the ideology of Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi”.In a statement, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) spokesman Sachin Sawant said, Godse is being glorified through the play, which is being staged in different parts of the state. “Congress was peacefully protesting against the play in Nagpur yesterday by raising slogans like ‘Mahatma Gandhi Ki Jai’. But since the government belongs to Godse’s ideology, slogans hailing the father of the nation were not tolerated. Therefore, the party workers were threatened by police that they will be shot dead,” Sawant alleged.He also alleged that the state Home Department, which is headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, is trying to ensure that the play is a success.He said despite attempts to glorify Godse, the poor attendance at the show in Nagpur shows Mahatma Gandhi is always on the minds of Indians. When contacted, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari hit back saying Congress is merely indulging in “publicity stunts” as it has no credibility left in the state. “The Congress is using all possible rhetorics and levelling false allegations without substance to show the BJP in poor light,” he said.”The BJP has nothing to do with the play or the Congress workers protesting there. Maintaining law and order is the job of the police and there is no reason to believe that instead of doing their duty, they would indulge in threats,” Bhandari said.High voltage drama was witnessed outside the Vasantrao Deshpande Hall in Nagpur hours before the staging of play on Sunday, when workers from Congress, NCP and Sambhaji Brigade raised slogans and blocked auditorium entrance preventing viewers entry. Some protestors, including the officer-bearers of various political parties had been detained by police.

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