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Jailbirds lust story ends with no love lost

The city police arrested a history-sheeter on Sunday for raping a woman on the pretext of marrying her and fraudulently transferred the woman’s property in his name. Interestingly, the woman was lodged in Central jail in Jaipur for murder of her husband when she came in contact with the history-sheeter and the duo married after getting out on parole. Notably, the man had recently fled from court when he was sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case by District and Sessions Court at Chirawa in Jhunjhunu. The man had been hiding in Jaipur when he was arrested.In November, a case was registered at Kanota police station of the city by the victim woman, Radha (name changed), against the accused Sher Singh alias Sheriya alias Suraj alias Rajesh. Singh is a history-sheeter of Pilani police station of Jhunjhunu and has been involved in cases of murder, attempt to murder, illegal weapons and other crimes.“The woman said in her report that the man maried her and established physical relationship but also got her property transferred in his name fraudulently which he sold off and conducted fraud,” said Kunwar Rashtradeep, DCP East.The police conducted investigation and arrested the accused.“The woman was behind bars for murder of her husband, a native of Agrasen Nagar in Kishangarh. She was in Jaipur Central jail when she came in contact of Sher Singh. They grew close and in 2012 they got out on parole and married and the duo lived in a house in Vrindavan Vihar in Kanota. Physical relatationship developed between them however in meantime Sher Singh took the woman in confidence and got her properties registered in his name,” officials said.However once he got the woman’s properties, he sold off all of them and left the woman and married another one.

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Mega block at Parel stn to end tonight

The first major block was carried out at Parel station this weekend where the Army is building a new foot-overbridge (FOB). The Central Railway (CR) is carrying out a mega block for three consecutive nights which ends on Monday night.”We will be carrying out another five hours of block on the night of January 1-2 at Parel. This is probably the first such long block given on the main line for the Parel FOB,” said SK Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway.The Army and railwaymen are together constructing an extension to the Parel FOB on the north end which will go towards Elphinstone Road station. During this period – midnight to 5am – of the mega block, the authorities will lower the steel cage and bore piles into the ground. They have already drilled deep into the soil and steel pillars next to the tracks have been erected.Sources said that on Monday night, the work will be mainly between Parel and Elphinstone Road stations. Over the last two nights (December 30-31 and December 31-January 1), the CR authorities shut down train services between Matunga and Byculla stations on the slow line towards CSMT at Parel platform 2. Due to this block, 15 services towards CSMT were diverted on Up fast line. On Sunday night, Up slow line there was a block for five hours between Matunga and Byculla stations due to which nine locals were diverted on Up fast line.The Army is set to complete the work of extending this FOB by January 31. Meanwhile, work on the additional staircase for the Elphinstone Road station FOB too is ready and is expected to be open to the public soon. The ticket booking counter too has been shifted.MEETING DEADLINESThe Army is set to complete the work of extending this FOB by January 31. Work on the additional staircase for the Elphinstone Road station FOB too is ready and is expected to open to the public soon.

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Central Railway brings relief to passengers, plans 24 new services on two lines

Currently, the CR operates 590 services on the Harbour line, 232 on the Trans Harbour line and 838 services on the Main line daily. Sources said that they are yet to decide the timetable for the same and that whether they would be immediately pushing the Bombardier rakes into the system. The officials said that they will hold a meeting soon wherein they will decide which rakes can be replaced and where additional services can be added.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByShashank Rao <!–end of artlbotbor–>Monday 1 January 2018 1:15 ISTMust readMumbai fire: BMC carries out demolition drive against illegal structures in Kamala Mills areaKamala Mills fire: Escape to Nowhere<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>After facing a series of problems, the over 12 lakh commuters on the Harbour and Trans Harbour lines can finally expect some good news as the Central Railway (CR) plans to add 24 new services on the two lines which could also include Bombardier rakes that are being inducted into the CR system for the first time.This comes as a big respite to the commuters using the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)-Panvel (10 lakh daily) and Thane-Vashi (2 lakh daily) corridors. Sources said that with the four new Bombardier rakes coming in, not only will the commuters get newer rakes but also more services.Confirming the same, SK Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway said, “We will be introducing 24 new services on the Harbour line by the end of this month.”Currently, the CR operates 590 services on the Harbour line, 232 on the Trans Harbour line and 838 services on the Main line daily. Sources said that they are yet to decide the timetable for the same and that whether they would be immediately pushing the Bombardier rakes into the system. The officials said that they will hold a meeting soon wherein they will decide which rakes can be replaced and where additional services can be added.

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Padmavati: Controversial film ‘cleared by Indian censor board’

The controversial period epic has sparked protests across India by Hindu and caste groups.

Kamala Mills Fire: Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam demands CBI probe or Judicial inquiry

Mumbai Regional Congress Committee president Sanjay Nirupam has demanded that the government should conduct an inquiry into Kamla Mills fire incident under the Judicial Commission Inquiry Act or through Central Bureau of investigation. He alleged that the government’s decision asking the BrihanMumbai Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta to hold inquiry would turn out to be a farce especially when the civic body has failed to take any action against restaurants and pubs operating there in violation of stipulated norms. Besides, Nirupam said the inquiry should reveal how unholy nexus between the civic officials and restaurant operators led serious lapses in adherence to fire safety norms.Nirupam questioned how 96 restaurants were given license to operate by BMC in the Kamla Mills, an erstwhile textile mill spread over 37 acres of prime property in Central Mumbai’s Lower Parel area. He has squarely blamed the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for according permission and not taking due action against such restaurants for violations.Nirupam criticized the civic body for lack of periodical fire audit of these restaurants situated there. Further, he said there were insufficient fife safety safeguards including extinguishers.Also readKamala Mills Fire: Cops say no, but patrons say there were hookahsThe city Congress chief said there was violation of rules with regard to open space. ‘’Due to tiny open space, the fire brigade personnel had to struggle to reach to the spot and douse the fire. The Supreme Court in one of its judgment has directed that six meters of space should be available all around the building so that fire tenders can easily go and carry out their job. BMC failed to take any action despite repeated reminders,’’ he noted.Related Photos
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In Pics: The day after Kamala Mills blaze, families mourn
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In Pics: Massive midnight fire at Mumbai’s Kamala Mills Compound kills 14; many restaurants gutted He has criticised the BMC Commissioner’s move to suspend five officers and demanded that the government has to immediately transfer Mehta.

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“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
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Declare missing fishermen as dead: Fr Churchill

Representatives of fishermen in Kanyakumari and families of missing fishermen have urged the Central team, deputed by the Union Home Ministry to assess the damage caused by Cyclone Ockhi, to declare 237 missing fishermen as ‘dead’ if they fail to return by December 31. This will enable the fishermen’s families to claim compensation and relief. After their hopes of seeing the breadwinners during Christmas were dashed, the families are now conducting Holy Mass in memory of the missing fishermen as there was no information on them since the devastating cyclone hit on November 30.Of the 237 missing fishermen feared dead, 170 are from eight fishing villages of Kanyakumari, while 67 are from other districts and states. “Most of these fishermen could have been rescued if the Indian Coast Guard and Navy commenced the rescue operation immediately after the cyclone passed the district on November 30. But our distress call was ignored,” alleges Fr Churchill, general secretary of South Asian Fishermen Fraternity, who submitted a memorandum to the centre’s team on Thursday.“There is a very remote chance of survival of the missing fishermen. Hence they should be declared dead on December 31 as it will enable the families to get the compensation of Rs 20 lakh and a government job,” he said. He demanded that the Central team take steps to declare Kanyakumari district as a disaster-affected district.State Relief Commissioner K Satyagopal said the government hoping that some more fishermen would return to the shore before New Year.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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Cyclone Ockhi: Central team visit parts of Chennai, Kanyakumari to assess damage

A Central team today visited parts of Chennai and Kanyakumari districts to assess the damage caused by torrential rains and cyclone Ockhi.While one group visited parts of Chennai and its neighbourhood, the otherheld discussions with fisherfolk in Kanyakumari, which was battered by Ockhi last month.Members of the fishing and farming communities expressed their grievances to the team members.Relatives of missing fishermen wanted the government to expedite search and rescue of the fishermen still missing in the aftermath of the cyclone.Revenue Secretary B Chandramohan told reporters here that the team will continue their survey of the affected areas in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur till tomorrow.The officials will study the extent of damage to roads, infrastructure, loss of lives and areas that faced inundation during the downpour in these districts.It will later submit its report to the Centre, he added.The Central team, headed by Sanjeev Kumar Jindal, Joint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry, is likely to meet Chief Minister K Palaniswami tomorrow.The team members are drawn from various central ministries like Finance, Power and Water Resources, according to officials.The state government had sought a central relief package of about Rs 9,300 crore from Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards taking up rehabilitation efforts in cyclone-hit areas of the state, including Kanyakumari, during his visit to the district post-Ockhi.The state government had wanted the Centre to declare the cyclone as a “national disaster” on account of its “severity.”It sought Rs 5,255 crore assistance towards implementing permanent rehabilitation measures in Kanyakumari and another Rs 4,047 crore to cater to other parts of the state, including Chennai, affected by the north east monsoon.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
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Cases of stone pelting in J&K reduced by nearly 1600 in one year: Govt

Incidents of stone-pelting in Jammu and Kashmir had come down significantly — from 2,808 in 2016 to 1,198 till November this year — Parliament was informed today.”The incidents of stone-pelting against security forces in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are reported to be 2,808 during the year 2016 and 1,198 till November this year,” Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said, replying to a written question in the Rajya Sabha.He said an adequate number of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) personnel were deployed in Jammu and Kashmir to assist the state government in maintaining public order.”It is not considered appropriate to disclose the level of deployment of the security forces,” Ahir said, replying to another question in this regard.

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SDMC seals Chhattarpur farmhouse, traders protest

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation continued with its sealing drive on Tuesday even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the move was rather to”fill its coffers”. The corporation also extended its drive to agricultural properties being used for commercial purposes while sealing a farmhouse in Chhattarpur.The farmhouse used to host social functions and events, and had an additional built-up area, said the civic officials. The civic body had on Saturday sealed 51 restaurants and shops in Defence Colony market for “illegal” construction and not paying conversion charges.The sealing drive is being taken on the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee which, in a meeting with commissioners of the three municipal corporations and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Tuesday, directed the agencies to carry out the drives in all the areas under their jurisdiction.The AAP, however, alleged that the Monitoring Committee was acting as a”tax collector” for the BJP-led corporations in the city.”We have asked all the civic agencies to carry out the drive in areas under their jurisdiction,” said Bhure Lal, former bureaucrat and member of the committee.Meanwhile, the trader’s body of the Defence Colony market, along with AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj and local councillors, met the south corporation commissioner demanding the withdrawal of the sealing drive. They also asked for some time to pay off the conversion charges.”We were assured that the drive will be halted immediately while we have got three months time to pay the pending conversion charges. We have also urged them to reduce or waive off the conversion charges from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000 for which a proposal is pending with the Central government’s urban development ministry,” said RK Bhatia, member of the traders association.Kamaljeet Sehrawat, Mayor, South MCD, agreeing to the traders’demands said she will meet the Monitoring Committee in this regard on Wednesday.”We will be meeting the Committee to take the drive in a phased manner and give enough time to traders to deposit charges. Also, we plan to reduce the conversion charges from 89,000 to 22,000 as per the proposal,” said Sehrawat.

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After Defence Colony traders protest, SDMC plans to reduce conversion changes

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) plans to reduce the conversion charges of commercial-cum-residential properties from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000. The move has come days after the civic body conducted a sealing drive and shut down 51 popular restaurants and shops in Defence Colony market for”illegal” construction and not paying the conversion charges.Kamaljeet Sehrawat, Mayor, SDMC, on Tuesday agreeing to the traders’demands said she will meet the Monitoring Committee in this regard on Wednesday.”We will be meeting the Committee to take the drive in a phased manner and give enough time to traders to deposit the charges. Also, we plan to reduce the conversion charges from 89,000 to 22,000 as per the proposal,” said Sehrawat.However, the civic body continued with its sealing drive on Tuesday even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the move was rather to”fill its coffers”. The corporation also extended its drive to agricultural properties being used for commercial purposes while sealing a farmhouse in Chhattarpur.The farmhouse used to host social functions and events, and had an additional built-up area, said the civic officials. The sealing drive is being taken on the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee which, in a meeting with commissioners of the three municipal corporations and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Tuesday, directed the agencies to carry out the drives in all the areas under their jurisdiction.The AAP, however, alleged that the Monitoring Committee was acting as a”tax collector” for the BJP-led corporations in the city.”We have asked all the civic agencies to carry out the drive in areas under their jurisdiction,” said Bhure Lal, former bureaucrat and member of the committee.Meanwhile, the trader’s body of the Defence Colony market, along with AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj and local councillors, met the south corporation commissioner demanding the withdrawal of the sealing drive. They also asked for some time to pay off the conversion charges.”We were assured that the drive will be halted immediately while we have got three months time to pay the pending conversion charges. We have also urged them to reduce or waive off the conversion charges from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000 for which a proposal is pending with the Central government’s urban development ministry,” said RK Bhatia, member of the traders association.

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BJP outgained Congress for upper hand in Central Gujarat

If there was one key region where BJP clearly outclassed rival Congress in elections, it was Central Gujarat. BJP not only added more votes than the Congress here but also gained two seats widening the lead over the Congress in the region from 20-18 in 2012 to 22-16. Central Gujarat contributes 40 seats to 182-member Assembly.While two seats went to independents this time, in 2012, NCP and an independent had shared a seat each. What helped BJP sharpen its edge was its continuous hold over urban areas and Patidar agitation-led polarisation of votes that made non-Patels vote for BJP.In constituencies in Vadodara city area likeVadodara City, Sayajiganj, Akota, Raopura and Manjalpur, Congress got 2,75,923 votes, almost 20.48% more than 2,29,011 votes in 2012. However, the gain was inadequate to breach the victory margin BJP had in previous election.While BJP held on to its bastion in the city, in the rest of the region, it accelerated its advance where its vote tally stood at 26,55,288, a rise of 16.98% over its 2012 votes of 22,69,773. On the contrary, Congress’ advance almost stagnated at 24,26,563, a meager rise of 8.13% over its 2012 tally of 22,44,025 votes. BJP widened its vote lead from 25,748 votes in 2012 to 2,28,725 votes in 2017. Net result was that BJP widened the seat gap from two to six.Across the 40 seats in the region, BJP’s votes rose by 15.38% while Congress’ votes rose by 9.28%. BJP wrested six seats from the rivals, followed by four by Congress and two by independents. “Kshatriyas have been Congress supporters but Kshatriya equation got disturbed as Congress supported Patidar agitation and Kshatriyas voted for BJP instead,” said Kailash Gadhvi, Congress spokesman in Gujarat.In reality, Patel agitation did not bring any Patel votes to Congress. This is because the agrarian crisis in the region is not so severe in central Gujarat compared to the rest of the state. The region has a fertile land with irrigation water available through canals. Dairy too has diversified the rural income giving cushion to the farmers and Patels here have migrated in large numbers to the USA and UK giving them the financial backup. In fact, non-resident Gujarati Patels are the most vocal supporters of the BJP in general and PM Narendra Modi in particular.Lack of local leadership on the part of Congress also failed to hold on to its traditional vote banks. Retirement of former state and Union minister Dinsha Patel deprived the party of an influential Patidar leader with only Siddarth Patel, son of former CM Chimanbhai Patel in fray. Patel lost to his BJP rival Shailesh Raval by a margin of 2,839 votes.BJP also strengthened its position in the region after cooperative dairy leader Ramsinh Parmar defected to BJP during recent Rajya Sabha polls, increasing BJP’s influence over dairy farmers. While Parmar lost from Thasra constituency, Congress gained in terms of seats.MAJER TAKEWAYSCentral Gujarat is the only region where BJP gained in votes and seats. BJP’s votes rose by 15%, it added two seats. Patidar factor polarised non-Patel votes in favour of BJP. Congress’s votes rose by 9.28%, it lost two seats. Congress failed to make inroads in Vadodara city. Outside Vadodara, it was an even contest between BJP and Congress.

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Central medical units not following MCI norms

In its recently revised guidelines, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has enhanced the upper age limit for appointment to senior residentship from 33 to 40 years. Some doctors have, however, pointed out that some Central and autonomous medical institutions have still not implemented these guidelines.In a letter written to the Health Minister on December 25, 2017, the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA), an umbrella body of resident doctors, pointed out that the guidelines have been implemented in Delhi government institutions but the not in Institutions such as AIIMS and PGI, Chandigarh.”Implementation of the 40 year age criteria for senior residents will help in filling up the posts lying vacant in our medical institutions. In addition to this, various state governments have rural service bonds after MBBS and some have service bonds after post-graduation as well. Many doctors are well above the age of 33 years when they complete the compulsory posting. Bringing uniformity in age criteria for SRs will help in solving the problem of shortage of doctors in the country,” stated the letter signed by FORDA president Dr Vivek Chouksey.

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Multi-layered security marks PM Modi’s visit

From lone wolf attacks to suicide bombers, in face of varied threat perceptions, the Noida police and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) managed to secure the Prime Minister’s Monday visit to the “jinxed city” quite successfully.Heavy security arrangements with police dogs, bomb detectors, and snipers keeping a hawk-eye vigil, were ensured.Senior CISF officers and Delhi Metro guards said multi-layered security was ensured by the SPG, CISF, local police, and other related agencies. They said repeated sanitisation of the to-be-inaugurated Metro line was carried out with the help of dog squads and anti-sabotage teams.”Armed Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) and commandos were deployed along the line for immediate reaction to any possible mishap. Spotters were also placed at critical locations and a tight vigil was maintained in cooperation with other agencies concerned. We were prepared for every suspected threat perception,” a senior officer said.Also, as many as 5,155 security personnel were on duty across Noida. The area was divided into 15 zones and additional security personnel were brought in from Meerut, Hapur, Ghaziabad, and other parts of the state.”The route, through which the PM’s convoy was scheduled to pass, had traffic restrictions from 7 am till evening. Additional traffic cops were deployed to regulate traffic for smooth flow. The contingent of forces included eight superintendents of police (SPs), 20 additional superintendents of police (ASPs), 65 deputy superintendents of police (DSPs), 140 inspectors, 440 sub-inspectors, 150 head constables, 1,750 constables, 17 traffic inspectors, 130 traffic sub-inspectors, 102 traffic head constables, and 333 traffic constables,” said Suniti, Superintendent of Police (Rural), Gautam Budh Nagar.Besides, 10 companies of the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (UP-PAC) and 10 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were also deployed, she said.DOG SQUADSenior CISF officers and Delhi Metro guards said multi-layered security was ensured by the SPG, CISF, local police, and other related agencies. They said repeated sanitisation of the to-be-inaugurated Metro line was carried out with the help of dog squads and anti-sabotage teams.

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Mamata Banerjee opposing Centre’s policies for the sake of opposing: Union Minister Meghwal

Replying to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s allegation that the Central government had dismissed Christmas as a national holiday without any logic, Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, during his visit to Kolkata on Monday said the allegation was baseless.“Our government would not take any decision on the basis of religion. It functions according to the provisions of the constitution of the country. Mamata is opposing to every policy of the Centre just for the sake of opposition,” he said interacting with media persons.On December 22, while inaugurating the Christmas Festival on Park Street, Mamata had questioned the intention behind cancellation of December 25 as a national holiday. She had also said that on two occasions the tableaux proposals from West Bengal during the Republic Day had been rejected by the Centre. Replying to that Meghwal said that the Central government had no hands in it. “These are baseless allegations. There is a committee to look into it to accept or reject such proposals. The government didn’t interfere into these day to day activities. We don’t do politics with everything. Next we will see that an NCC person comes up saying that he had not been selected and it was a conspiracy. Mamata herself is doing politics with this issue,” he added.Also readMamata Banerjee attacks Centre over no national holiday on Dec 25Talking about Mamata’s allegations regarding Centre freezing funds for welfare schemes, he said that in a meeting with the Centre and Chief Ministers of the state it was decided that the Centre-state share in most funds would be 60:40 and the on-going schemes would be completed as usual. “She was in the meeting too. Her government had failed to produce utilisation certificate for the funds allocated already by the Centre,” Meghwal said.Referring to the on-going protests against the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, he said that under no circumstances would the depositors’ interests be hampered. “It is a good bill. We have to take care of the investors’ interest. The bill, at present is with the Select Committee which comprises members from all parties including hers. We are not against investors,” he said.Asked about the Triple Talaq issue he said that it was an attempt by the Centre to ensure equal rights for women. “Shouldn’t women’s rights be protected? The social security and right to equality of women is being looked into. We should welcome the move,” he said.

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Home Ministry gives one-month deadline to NGOs to open account in any designated bank

The home ministry has directed all NGOs, business entities and individuals who receive funds from abroad to open accounts in any of the 32 designated banks, including one foreign, within a month for higher level of transparency. It also asked them to ensure that such funds are not utilised for activities detrimental to the national interestThe directive to the NGOs, companies and individuals to open foreign contribution accounts in banks, which are integrated with the central government’s Public Financial Management System (PFMS), came for providing a higher level of transparency and hassle-free reporting compliance, according to the ministry order, accessed by the PTI.The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 provides for the regulation of acceptance of the foreign funds or foreign hospitality by certain individuals, associations, organisations and companies “to ensure that such contributions or hospitality is not being utilised for the activities detrimental to the national interest”, it said.Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under the FCRA, 2010, the central government hereby directs all persons who are either registered or who have sought prior permission under the FCRA 2010 to open their bank accounts as mandated in one or more banks in the list of the 32 banks, the order said.This exercise shall be completed expeditiously within one month (by 21-01-2018) with intimation of the details of the bank accounts to the ministry under a prescribed form, it said. The central government has already decided that all banks where the FCRA registered persons and organisations have opened their foreign contribution accounts would be integrated with the PFMS for providing a higher level of “transparency and hassle-free” reporting compliance.While some banks have already integrated their systems with the PFMS for compliance of the central government’s order, many banks have still not completed the integration of their systems with the PFMS despite repeated letters, directions and meetings, the home ministry said.The 32 designated banks where individuals, NGOs and other entities can open their accounts are: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, ICICI Bank, The Cosmos Co-Operative Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, South Indian Bank, IDBI Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd, The Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank, UCO Bank, IndusInd Bank, City Union Bank and Syndicate Bank.Allahabad Bank, The Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad UP Gramin Bank, DCB Bank, Manipur State Co-op Bank, Vijaya Bank, Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank, Yes Bank, Oriental Bank Of commerce, Dena Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank and Axis Bank are the others.The PFMS, which functions under the Controller General of Accounts in the Ministry of Finance, provides a financial management platform for all plan schemes, a database of all recipient agencies, integration with core banking solution of banks handling plan funds, integration with state treasuries and efficient and effective tracking of fund flow to the lowest level of implementation for plan scheme of the government.It also provides information across all plan schemes/ implementation agencies in the country on fund utilisation leading to better monitoring, review and decision support system to enhance public accountability in the implementation of plan schemes.Introduction of the PFMS resulted in effectiveness and economy in public finance management through better cash management for government transparency in public expenditure and real-time information on resource availability and utilisation across schemes. It also resulted in improved programme administration and management, reduction of float in the system, direct payment to beneficiaries and greater transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.Early this year, the home ministry had asked around 9,000 NGOs and other entities to open their accounts in banks having core banking facilities and furnish details for real-time access to security agencies in case of any discrepancy.The Narendra Modi-led government tightened the rules for NGOs and took action against all such entities for violation of various provisions of the FCRA 2010 which include non- filing of annual returns as mandated in the law.Last week, Union minister of state for Home Kiren Rijiju told Parliament that the registrations of 18,868 NGOs were cancelled between 2011 and 2017 for violating laws. Following the action, foreign funding to Indian NGOs has also come down drastically—from Rs17,773 crore in 2015-16 to Rs6,499 crore in 2016-17.Rijiju had said the quantum of foreign funding received by NGOs in India in the last three years were: Rs15,299 crore in 2014-15, Rs17,773 crore in 2015-16 and Rs6,499 crore in 2016-17. Currently, around 10,000 FCRA-registered NGOs are operating in the country.

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The Accidental CM: Meet Jai Ram Thakur, new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh

As the trends for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections came in on December 18, it was clear that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was headed for a comfortable win. When the results for all the seats were declared, the BJP had won 44 out of the 68 seats, ousting the Congress from power.But as the fate would have it, BJP’s CM candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal lost his seat from Sujanpur constituency to Congress’ Rajinder Rana. The next in line, BJP state president Satpal Singh Satti also lost from Una constituency. Then started the BJP’s search for a new face. Many contenders emerged and finally the saffron party chose soft spoken Jai Ram Thakur as the next CM of the hilly state.Ending days of suspense, BJP announced on Sunday that the five-time MLA will be the new Chief Minister of the state.The 52-year-old leader won the Assembly election from Seraj. Apart from securing his own win with huge margin, Thakur is also said to be instrumental in BJP sweeping 9 out of 10 seats from Mandi region, losing one to an independent candidate. Thakur comes from a humble background and was born in a farming family in Tandi village of Mandi district in 1965. The youngest of five children, Jai Ram was a bright student but had to drop out for two years after matriculation in 1980 due to poor financial condition of the family. He, however, went on to complete his MA from Panjab University in Chandigarh. He joined the RSS’ student wing ABVP right after graduation, thus making his entry into student politics. At the time when L K Advani took out his Ram Rath Yatra, Jai Ram also became active in the Ram Mandir movement. He is, however, not known for aggressive politics and is considered BJP’s ‘gentle face’ for his soft-spoken and non-aggressive brand of politics. Thakur contested his first election at the age of 28 on a BJP ticket in 1993. He lost his first election but again secured the BJP ticket in 1998 from Seraj, which was then known as Chachiot Vidhan Sabha. This time he won comfortably and defeated Congress veteran Moti Ram Thakur by 6,000 votes, thus marking his entry to the Assembly. There has been no looking back for him since then. He won consecutive elections from Chachiot in 2003 and 2007, before the constituency became Seraj after delimitation. Thakur was made Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister by then Chief Minister Dhumal in 2008. He was also the BJP’s state president between 2007 and 2009. In 2012, he won from Seraj while the BJP lost power to the Congress. In the latest election, Thakur won from Seraj by a margin of over 11,000 votes. He is married to Sadhana Thakur, a Kannadiga who was born and brought up in Jaipur, and have two children with her. Soft-spoken Thakur is considered a consensus builder in the Himachal Pradesh BJP. Even as his supporters raised slogans in his favour against Dhumal during BJP’s Central Observers’ visit to the state, he chose to remain silent. Today, it was Dhumal who proposed his name during the BJP legislature party meeting. Two other senior leaders from the party, Shanta Kumar and JP Nadda also supported the proposal, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, the BJP’s Central Observer, said. After the announcement of his name, Thakur thanked everyone, signalling that he would take all leaders of faction-ridden Himachal BJP along in his journey. Himachal is famous for throwing out incumbent government’s after a single term in office. Can Thakur break that trend? That will be his biggest challenge. Watch: Jai Ram Thakur to be new Himachal Pradesh CM

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Centre asks ED to go after Maoists’ funding, support

To break the network of funding to the Maoists for carrying out insurgency activities across the country, the Centre has roped in Enforcement Directorate (ED) and directed to look into the money laundering happening in Naxal affected areas. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the ED work in close association with intelligence agencies, local police and paramilitary forces to unearth the money trail and support the Maoists are getting.Also the agencies, have been asked to find the source of funding as Central intelligence agencies has stated that few foreign countries, particularly China, have been supporting insurgent activities in India and also helping them financially apart from Maoists are aided in their efforts to build modern weapons by the Chinese intelligence. “The agencies also stated that the Chinese intelligence units have been training, arming and funding the Maoists to help them wage an inexorable war against India,”said a government officer posted in Ministry of Home Affairs.Sources said that the a list around 90 of “Naxals and associated influential people” have been made in two states — Jharkhand and Bihar — and the joint operation to check their illegal financial activities has been started. Sources also stated that there are few lawmakers and top government employees names in the list. The agency has been asked to first start with the two states and thereafter carry out in other Naxal affected states.”Also, the top Maoists who had surrendered in last five years are also under radar,” said a government official adding that there are few top Maoists who had accumulated lot of wealth during their active role as Naxal and once they surrendered, they within few months, start using their ill-gotten money to spread the network and recruit many youngsters.Furthermore, the MHA has also issued directives to all the paramilitary forces and security establishments to be more “vigilant” and go “combative” while dealing with ultras. The Centre has also asked the force not to shun the muti-prone approach like development in the naxal affected areas and facilitating surrenders of the ultras.As per the ministry, till June 30 this year, in total 424 maoists surrendered before the various law enforcement agencies across the country.Last year, the figure had reached to 1442 but in 2015 it was just 570 and in 2014 it was 676. The government major focus in Chhattisgarh after in the deadliest Maoist ambush in April, 26 men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) died in Sukma area. It was well-planned massacre carried out by nearly 300 Maoists.This year, in Chhatishgarh, 298 naxals surrender followed by Jharkand with 38 and Andhra Pradesh with 35. In West bengal, 11, in Telangana and Bihar 2, in Odisha 27and Maharashtra 7 ultras surrender.According to a ministry report, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand together accounted for 68.5 per cent of the violent incidents and 69 per cent of deaths. Bihar followed by Odisha and Maharashtra accounted for 12.3 per cent, 8.2 per cent 6.9 per cent incidents.

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2G Judge couldn’t have questioned my work: Spl prosecutor Anand Grover

Questions regarding why and how the prosecution lost the 2G scam case continued two days after a trial court acquitted all 21 accused, including some companies, of all charges of corruption.Hitting out against the judgement, senior advocate Anand Grover, who took over as the special public prosecutor, said no fault can be found with his conduct or preparation of the case. “It is wrong for any officer of the court to impeach the integrity of an individual. It is simply damaging to the integrity of the institution,” Grover said, while speaking to DNA on Saturday.”I am very bothered by the insinuations made in the judgement. I had no choice but to respond,” he added. Grover further said the judge breached the integrity of the institution by not telling the truth and using petty irrelevant arguments.In a setback to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), special judge OP Saini said the prosecution had failed miserably to prove their case, while acquitting those involved.In a strongly worded judgement, the special judge said the prosecution was unable to prove a shed of evidence to make their case.Reacting to the judgement, Grover said if there was no case, it would have been evident one and a half years ago, when the judge framed questions under section 313.In a criminal trial, once the chargesheet is filed, the charges are framed. After the prosecution has presented their evidence, the trial court judge then frames questions, for which he seeks answers from the defence.Special judge Saini had posed 1,800 questions against former telecom minister A Raja, one of the prime accused.”The charge sheet was vetted by the Supreme Court before it was presented in the trial court, based on which the judge framed charges against the accused,” Grover said.Moreover, he pointed out, that he came in at a stage when the prosecution had completed presenting their case. “I merely argued on the money laundering charges,” he said, referring to the fact that he succeeded justice UU Lalit, who was the SPP before him.The prosecution has hinted at appealing against the verdict in a higher court as Grover believes the trial court’s verdict “is riddled with errors”.

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Rahul Gandhi offers prayers at Somnath temple in Gujarat

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday visited the Somnath temple in Gir Somnath district, ahead of his meeting with party leaders to introspect on the Gujarat Assembly polls.The Congress leader landed at Keshod Airport in Saurashtra and offered prayers at the temple which is about 420 km from the state capital.Gandhi is scheduled to hold zone-wise meets with Saurashtra, Central Gujarat, South Gujarat and North Gujarat leaders in Ahmedabad today and is expected to address the Congress workers.Gandhi had visited the Somnath temple during the recent election campaign and his name was found written on the entry register meant for non-Hindus, kicking up a row. The Congress had called it “fake” and the BJP insisted that the leader declare his religious faith before people.Non-Hindus are allowed to visit the temple but have to first get themselves registered at the shrine’s office.Also readRahul’s media coordinator wrote his name in non-Hindu registry: Somnath Temple TrustA purported photocopy of a page of the register for non-Hindus had gone viral on social media with the names of Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel written on it.Gandhi had later said that he and his family were devotees of Lord Shiva.

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Unused road in Dholpur to be used as air strip

A first of its kind project in the country, an unused road stretch in Dholpur district will be converted into an air strip to take off or land planes in future, claimed chief minister Vasundhara Raje while laying foundation stone of Dholpur Lift Irrigation project on Friday. Estimated to cost Rs852 crore, the project aims to provide water to 234 villages of Bari, Dholpur and Rajakhera tehsils.Addressing the gathering at the ceremony, the CM once again hinted that development will be her agenda in the final year of her tenure ahead of the assembly polls. She has announced for repairing 14,100km roads in next 12 months spending Rs2,300 crore. She emphasised on initiating Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) which would be a boon for 13 districts in terms of meeting water needs, be it for drinking or irrigation purposes.“We have already sent a detailed project report to the Central government on the ERPC. The project will link water of Kalisingh, Chakan, Mej and Parvati rivers to Chambal Lift and Dholpur Lift irrigation projects to provide irrigation water to farmers of 13 districts to reap two harvests in a year,” said Raje.She said that her government has renovated 22262km roads spending Rs3527 crore in the past four years. “Now I make a major announcement. Dholpur Badi Old road will be repaired and used as a air strip for plane’s landing and take off. This will be the first of its kind experiment in the country,” said Raje while talking about 1.8km long and 45 metres wide road to be used for the air strip. Currently, the road is damaged and lying unused.Set for record runRaje has promised to the people to complete Dholpur Lift project in a record time of three years. “This will be India’s first irrigation project in which 1600km network of pipeline will be laid to supply water. Only sprinklers and pipes will be installed for irrigation under the project estimated to cost Rs852 crore,” the chief minister said.

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MEA’s new outreach for Indian-origin leaders

Coming close on the heels of bringing in legislation in the Parliament to allow Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) — with Indian passports — to vote by proxy in their respective constituencies, the Central government has adopted a slew of new measures to connect with Indian diaspora across the world. Early next year, the government has invited MPs of Indian-origin to deliberate on a range of issues. Ambassador D Mulay, Secretary, Overseas Indian Affairs, Visa and Consular Services in the Ministry of External Affairs said that the unique event will be held in the national capital on January 9. While an estimate suggests there are 285 parliamentarians of Indian-origin across the world, the MEA has so far received confirmation from 125 that they will attend the event.He said that as per the new philosophy of the government, no Indian, even after giving up his/her Indian citizenship, should be left in distress abroad. He explained that through the Madad” portal that was launched last year, the MEA had received 26,000 grievances. Out these, 21,000 were resolved.He said, “The portal has allowed people to record their grievances directly without approaching the missions. Further, the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) which has been there since 2009 has been made more robust and expanded to cover all countries in the world..”Mulay, who has also served as ambassador in Maldives, said, ”This government has made diplomacy people-centric, and today our interaction with Indian diaspora is transformational and multi-dimensional, ” he said.

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210 train services to be hit this X’mas weekend

Thirty years after the rail authorities proposed to connect Mumbai with Raigad through Seawoods-Uran Railway line; the Central Railway (CR) will kick off its first huge mega block this month. Ten lakh commuters on the Harbour line and 2 lakh commuters using the Trans-Harbour line will be affected by this super mega block as the authorities are expected to cancel around 210 train services between December 22-25. On December 14, the block carried out for carrying out this project-related work was delayed which disrupted services on Harbour line.During the next four days, the CR authorities will carry out work on the most crucial element of this 28-km suburban rail line during non-peak hours due to which 64 services will get cancelled.These cancellations will be mainly between Nerul-Panvel section on which on a regular day, 256 services ply on this route. “We will carry out work near Belapur station which is very crucial for this project,” said SK Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway.On December 24, 12 services will be cancelled. During this period, Nerul station will remain affected which will also hit services on the Trans Harbour section towards Thane. Trains will, however, be available between Vashi and Thane during this period.Sources said that they are working on laying tracks on a new tunnel towards Kile station. The most important block would be from the night of December 24. Services will begin at 2 am and end at 3 pm on the day of Christmas when 124 services on Harbour line and 40 services on Trans Harbour section will be cancelled.CANCELLATIONSThese cancellations will be mainly between Nerul-Panvel section; 256 services ply on this route on a daily basis Trains will, however, be available between Vashi and Thane On December 25, 124 services on Harbour line and 40 services on Trans Harbour section will be cancelled.

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Maharashtra: 34 fall ill after couple distributes sweets in temple

In a suspected case of food poisoning, around 34 people fell ill after consuming pedhas (sweets) distributed at Katkaripada hamlet in Murbad tehsil in the district, police said on Friday.The incident took place last evening and the affected villagers were rushed to the Central Hospital in Ulhasnagar, the rural police said.Those affected include 13 minors and eight women, police said adding that around eight people have been discharged so far.”A couple from Pimpri Chinchwad had visited Mahadev temple at Sangam river in the taluka on Thursday. After performing a puja, they distributed pedhas to the residents of Katkaripada hamlet located nearby,” PI Ajay Wasave of Murbad police station said.Soon after consuming the sweets, the villagers complained of giddiness, nausea and started vomiting. They were rushed to the hospital by local residents, he said.”Out of the 34 affected villagers, eight persons were discharged this noon. The rest are still being treated and kept under observation at the hospital,” Wasave added.Police said that they are on the lookout for the couple, who distributed the sweets.Samples of the sweets have been collected and sent for analysis, police said.

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2G scam verdict: Verdict raises questions on 122 cancelled licences

Even as a trial court failed to find a scam in the 2G spectrum allocation case on Thursday, the Supreme Court had five years ago cancelled 122 telecom licences and spectrum allocated to 11 companies on or after January 10, 2008 by former telecom minister A Raja.Declaring the allocation illegal, the top court had then taken over the investigation and the prosecution of the case, monitoring it for five-long years now.In 2011, a bench of Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly held that spectrum was a natural resource and “are vested with the government as a matter of trust in the name of the people of India, and it is the solemn duty of the state to protect the national interest, and natural resources must always be used in the interests of the country and not private interests.”Trial court’s verdict throws the spotlight back on the top court’s decision to cancel the licenses. If there is no scam, then what happens to the licenses that were canceled on the assumption of a scam?Furthermore, the trial court has punctured holes in the CBI’s case calling it a “well choreographed chargesheet.” Special Judge OP Saini ruled that he had “absolutely no hesitation in holding that prosecution has miserably failed to prove any charge against any accused”.Special judge OP Saini’s acquitted all the accused in the case based on the inability of the prosecuting agencies to prove the charges, despite the fact that the top court had maintained on no less than three occasions, that it was keeping an eagle eye on the probe.”We are, prima facie, satisfied that the allegations contained in the writ petition and the affidavits filed before this Court, which are supported not only by the documents produced by them, but also the report of the Central Vigilance Commission, which was forwarded to the Director, CBI, on October 12, 2009 and the findings recorded by the CAG in the Performance Audit Report, need a thorough and impartial investigation,” the Supreme Court had recorded in its order.The top court had also backed Comptroller Audit General (CAG) Vinod Rai’s work as the “most important officer under the Constitution of India and his duty, being the guardian of the public purse, is to see that not a farthing of it is spent without the authority of Parliament”.

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RK Nagar by-poll: Voting in late Jayalalithaa’s constituency ends peacefully with 77% turnout

The R K Nagar bypoll today witnessed a record 77.68 per cent voter turnout with polling to the constituency, which was represented by the late J. Jayalalithaa, passing off peacfully amid tight security.Election officials here said there may be some variation in the figure after taking into consideration the polling percentage at some booths where voting went on beyond 5 pm.The voter turnout is higher than the 68 per cent recorded in the 2016 assembly election,according to officials.The bypoll is being seen as an acid test for the chief minister K Palaniswami and deputy O Panneeerselvam-led ruling AIADMK which is facing a strong challenge from sidelined leader T T V Dhinakaran and an aggressive DMK.The DMK is putting up a tough fight to wrest the seat after a hiatus of over two decades.Of the 59 candidates in the fray, the fight is essentially triangular with the key contenders being ruling AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan, main opposition DMK candidate N Maruthu Ganesh and Dhinakaran, contesting as an independent.The ruling AIADMK got back its Two Leaves election symbol back following merger of factions led by Palaniswami and former rebel O Panneerselvam.The run up to the bypoll saw political parties and candidates holding as many as 152 public meetings and taking out 605 processions with the campaigning ending on December 19.The 2015 R K Nagar bypoll in which Jayalalithaa was elected by a huge margin of 1.5 lakh votes for the first time in this segment had witnessed a record 75 per cent turnout.Voting at 258 polling stations passed off peacefully with 2500 state police personnel, 15 companies of Central Armed Police Forces and 1638 election officers manning the poll process.Serpentine queues were witnessed in booth after booth, right from 8 am when voting began with women outnumbering men in several of them.A large number of people were awaiting their turn to vote even at the scheduled close of voting at 5 pm.All those who were present inside the polling stations ahead of the 5 pm deadline were given tokens by officials to ensure that they exercised their franchise.There were, however, sporadic complaints of snag in EVMs, and consequential delay.Some voters complained that their names were deleted, othes claimed their names were struck off the rolls wrongly categorising them as “dead.”Gun-toting Central Armed Police Force personnel in their trademark green uniforms were stationed at all the polling stations and across the 45 checkposts in and around the Dr Radhakrishnan (RK) Nagar constituency.Senior poll officials including the district election Officer D Karthikeyan inspected the polling stations.Several dozens of flying squad teams, static surveillance teams and video surveillance teams were deployed in the constituency.Election authorities made elaborate arrangements to ensure both hassle free environs for voters and measures for free and fair polling with nine observers, 307 micro-observers and 258 web cameras to monitor the poll process.Chennai Corporation personnel drafted for poll duty took differently abled persons inside the polling stations using wheel-chairs.In booths that had a significantly high number of voters, a medical team comprising doctors, and paramedics were stationed.’Pandals’ were put up, and help desks helped people find the right booth to vote. Amenities like drinking water, and toilets were also in place.R K Nagar, represented twice by Jayalalithaa, has an electorate of 2,28,234, comprising 1,10,903 men, 1,17,232 women and 99 transgenders.Election officials said 79.21 per cent of women voters exercised their franchise while 75.92 per cent of men cast their votes.Counting of votes will be taken up on December 24 and the results are expected to be out by afternoon that day.

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West Bengal: 84% voter turnout recorded in Sabang Assembly by-poll

An estimated 84% voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm in today’s by-poll for Sabang Assembly constituency in West Bengal which ended with spats of violence at a number of booths. Opposition parties alleged that the violence was sponsored by the Trinamool Congress (TMC), while the ruling party leaders denied the allegations. Polling started at a very slow pace at 7 am with most of the 306 booths wearing a deserted look. It picked up as the day progressed with instances of violence being reportedfrom various polling booths. At booth numbers 161, 169 and 170 of Sabang block, BJP polling agents were reportedly chased away by TMC cadres. At Bishnupur Murarichowk area, people, belived to be from the TMC, were held and firearms were recovered from their possession.At Panpara Saliara School, it was alleged that Congress polling agents were not allowed to sit in the polling booth. The matter was resolved after Congress candidate Chiranjeeb Bhowmik intervened.At booth number 160 of Sindurda Primary School, it was alleged that TMC cadres had beaten up CPI(M) polling agent. BJP leader Ananda Maiti was allegedly abducted from Pingla’s Jolchowk. At Sabang III area’s booth 57, it was alleged that perfume was applied on the button corresponding to BJP symbol on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).Later in the evening, at booth 291 of Sabang’s Bishnupur Primary School it was alleged that attempt to loot EVMs was made. When the attempt was foiled, offenders allegedly pelted stones at the Central force guarding the polling station. At booth 44 of Sabang III Gram Panchayat area, a clash between TMC and BJP workers broke out.In the evening, BJP youth wing members put up a demonstration in front of the office of the Chief Electoral Officer in Central Kolkata, protesting against the violence allegedly unleashed by the TMC.Later, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that TMC had resorted to violence as they had lost confidence on democracy. “Central force was there but they were not used and had been kept at rest. At Pingla and other bordering areas, the state police had only played the part of an audience while violence broke out. It was a pre-planned thing with political leaders and district police. Members of TMC’s bike brigade had been going around in the area creating an atmosphere of terror,” Ghosh said.Senior TMC leader and state panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee, however, refuted allegations saying that BJP was making excuses for their imminent loss. “Going by the poll trends they know that they cannot win at Sabang and that is why they are getting excuses ready to defend their loss later,” he told DNA.

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

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

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Israeli man arrested for possessing satellite phone at Mumbai airport

A 23-year-old Israel national was arrested for allegedly possessing a satellite phone, which is banned in India, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here, a police official said on Thursday.Based on a complaint by the officials of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Sahar police arrested Tsamret Ido, an ex-Army man from Israel, on Tuesday, she said.After Ido landed at the Mumbai airport, the CISF, during security check, found a satellite phone in his luggage following which he was apprehended and later arrested, the official said.Ido, who was in India on a tourist visa, was scheduled to go Goa from here through a connecting flight.’An offence was registered against him at the Sahar police station under relevant sections of the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, she said.The man was on Wednesday produced before a local court which granted him bail on a surety of Rs 25,000.According to sources, Ido told the police he was not aware that satellite phones are banned in India.Notably, the handlers of the 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had apparently used these phones during the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008.The Bureau of Civil Aviation also issued a circular in 2012 to all airports in the country to detain passengers carrying satellite phones, the police said.

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Gujarat effect: Audio of song eulogising Ashok Gehlot goes viral

A graceful defeat of Congress in Gujarat assembly polls, where former CM Ashok Gehlot played a pivotal role in the party’s campaign spearheaded by Congress party president Rahul Gandhi, has boosted morale of his supporters in Rajasthan and they are celebrating his ‘performance’ in their unique way. Just two days after the poll results, an audio of a song composed in regional dialect has been circulating on WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook. It begins with the singer asking ‘What is your name’ and second singer says his name is former CM Ashok Gehlot, recognising him Jannayak, ‘leader of masses’.Crediting him for creating a thunder in Gujarat polls and shaking politics in Rajasthan, the song further says as a politician he will create clatter in entire country soon. He has been referred to ‘heart beat of the youths’ in the song as well. As assembly polls are nearing, his supporters on social media have become active, projecting two times of CM Gehlot as a mass leader. Although who has composed the song is yet to be ascertained, it wants to create an air of his popularity, even before by-polls in Mandalgarh assembly, and Alwar and Ajmer parliamentary constituencies.Gehlot, with the Gujarat assembly polls, has emerged as a stalwart and an impressive poll manager handcrafting campaigning and giving a tough fight to the BJP in its fortress, where it has ruled nearly 22 years. His skills in strengthening party in Gujarat are expected to reap benefits in his home state Rajasthan and he could be seen in a new role of chief aide of Gandhi as well.His increasing clout in the party has silent the rumour mills which had started spinning his departure from state politics and admission in Central leadership when he was sent to Gujarat. A group within the party even started claiming that he has been given tough task to fight in Modi’s Gujarat where defeat of Congress will signal his farewell from active politics. Now, the scenario has been changed completely and his zealous supporters are cashing in on it.‘HEART BEAT OF YOUTH’Crediting him for creating a thunder in Gujarat polls and shaking politics in Rajasthan, the song further says as a politician he will create clatter in entire country soon. He has been referred to ‘heart beat of the youths’ in the song.

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Delhi High Court directs CBI to probe Rohini Ashram’s activities

Amidst allegations of illegal confinement of minor girls and women in north Delhi’s ashram where they were kept in animal like conditions behind metal doors in a “fortress” surrounded by barbed wire, the Delhi High court transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation to take over the probe.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar noted the “seriousness and the sensitivity of the matter”, to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) which will take charge records and documents pertaining to the case.The directions were passed by the court after the committee constituted by the High court informed the court about the resistance faced by them during the inspection on Tuesday.Senior advocate Nandita Rao, DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal, Rajneesh Gupta, DCP, Rohini and advocate Ajay Verma, who had conducted the inspection, informed the court that they were not allowed to enter into the Ashram for over an hour. Even the DCP was held captive by the people at the Ashram for an hour.According to sources, the report submitted to the court in a sealed cover, highlighted the unhygienic conditions in which the women and girls were held hostage. The report detailed the “horrible” living conditions of the over 100 girls and women who were housed in “animal-like conditions with no privacy even for bathing.” The inmates seemed to be under the influence of drugs, it said.Sources also said that there were several iron gates, all of which were locked. Even the balconies were locked and the inmates were not allowed to leave the premises. The team also seized a box of DVDs, syringes, medicines and several letters written to the founder Virendra Dev Dixit and accused of assaulting the inmates.The letters allegedly addressed to the Baba (Virendra) allegedly had objectionable content. The team also found a register of male visitors who came to the Ashram, but they did not find any details of the inmates staying there.The court asked the CBI to investigate the FIRs lodged in Delhi against the Rohini-based ashram and its founder-cum- spiritual head Virender Dev Dixit and the daily diary entries relating to complaints of missing girls, commission of sexual offences and even a case of suicide there.The bench ordered the CBI to file a status report with regards to the cases registered in Uttar Pradesh.”The CBI shall proceed expeditiously in the matter and ensure that steps in accordance with the law be taken at the earliest,” the court said during a four-hour-long hearing.Directions were also issued to the institute and its founder to produce tomorrow the full details and particulars of every inmate lodged in the two buildings housing male and female staff and followers.The court-appointed panel said that there was an adjoining building where male staff were being housed and that there was a possibility that there were minor boys there and that it was probably connected to the women’s building by an underground tunnel.The bench ordered that the adjoining building be also inspected by the panel as well as the child welfare committee of the area which shall be provided police protection.Directions were also issued by the court to the commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to inspect the two premises and “in case, any illegality is discovered with regard to the buildings, immediate action shall be taken in accordance with law”.The institute and its founder were directed to ensure compliance of the court’s orders and extend full cooperation to the members of the committee.The court expressed its displeasure on the sorry state of affairs and the secrecy with which the ashram was conducting its activities. “We have spent four hours in this matter because you are working in shrouds of secrecy. Under the garb of good activities, you cannot be allowed to do what is not permissible,” it said.The court asked the police to continue with the pickets outside the institute to ensure no untoward incident or violence took place.

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Hanuman idol land: Delhi High Court orders probe

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to find out how the 108-feet Hanuman idol in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh was built encroaching public land.The HC bench has asked the investigating agency to find out civic officials under whose tenure the structure came up. Also, the court stressed that the enquiry be taken up in a fast-track manner and that officials of all concerned agencies, including municipal corporation, Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Land and Development Office and Mandir Marg police station, must join the probe.The court also asked the Delhi Police to handover to the CBI the documents of the enquiry conducted so far. “The fact that you (officials) have done nothing shows your culpability. It is high time that all public officers are held accountable,” the bench said.The trustees running the temple must not be permitted to reap the benefit of money derived from the public land, the court said and directed the concerned bank branch to freeze the accounts of the trust. The court further said the bank should only allow deposits and not withdrawals from the account.

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After Gujarat, Amit Shah turns focus on Bengal, to draw roadmap to strengthen BJP in state

After emerging victorious in the Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat Assembly elections, Central leadership of BJP has instructed to go all out in strengthening the party organisation in West Bengal.Sources said that on December 19, BJP national president Amit Shan had given such instruction in a meeting with party national secretary from Bengal and former state president Rahul Sinha.Shah had reportedly said that that state leaders needed to pay attention towards completion of party’s booth committee formation.In the meeting which was conducted late in the evening Shah had first taken stock about the party’s activities in Bengal.Later he said that along with the campaigns, meetings and rallies it should also be ensured that booth committees were paid due attention. The first task would be to build at least a 10-member booth committee in all the booths and later work on increasing the number.Sinha had also been instructed to mobilise all the party state frontal organisations and different cells. Sinha has also been handed over the task of seeing that more and more defection from different parties to BJP takes place as well as eminent personalities and intellectuals should also join the party.It was also found out that Shah wants to make the Gujarat and HP victory as the turning point for the West Bengal BJP ahead of the 2019 general elections and he would conduct a meeting with the state BJP leadership in January 2018 and draw up a roadmap. Shah is also likely to visit West Bengal next month.Sinha said that from the importance the Central leadership was paying to West Bengal it is clear how serious and focussed our leaders in Delhi are about Bengal.

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Environment minister takes stock of E-Waste management compliance

Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday took stock of the compliance with E-Waste Management Rules in the city. The rules had come into effect from October 1, last year.The minister, in the meeting, directed officials of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to ensure that there is no dismantling and recycling of the E-Waste.The electronic waste includes waste from electronic items, including discarded mobile phones, refrigerators, computers, television sets and electronic entertainment devices.As per these rules, every producer of the electrical and electronic equipment can apply for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for handling and managing the E-Waste.EPR is an authorisation given by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for collecting and managing the E-Waste. This authorisation is given for five years and for obtaining an EPR, a producer is required to submit a detailed plan for the collection of the E-Waste, mode of collection, details of collection points and agency responsible for such collection.The DPCC officers informed the minister that till date the CPCB has given EPR authorisation to 47 producers from Delhi. The environment minister also reviewed the working of Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste Management Rules, 2016.”The new Rules are aimed to check indiscriminate disposal of C&D waste and enabling the channelization of such waste for re-use and recycling. The purpose is also to promote public’s participation in the scientific management of this category of waste. This waste could be used for composting, high calorific waste could be used for producing energy; steel and concrete could be re-used as well. A policy for C&D Waste Management Rules is under preparation with Urban Development Department of Delhi Government. The role of the DPCC will be to ensure that facilities which are granted authorization for C&D Waste processing, comply with various environmental laws and prescribed norms in this regard.”

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Wrong announcement irks Central Railway commuters

A wrong announcement made at Wadala station caused chaos on the Harbour line of Central Railway (CR) on Tuesday morning. Angry commuters pulled the chain to stop the train and started walking towards the motorman’s cabin to question this confusion. This comes a day after the Federation of Suburban Passenger Association submitted a letter to the CR asking them to run trains without any delay, else commuters would be forced to come on tracks, in protest.At around 10.30 am, a local train headed towards Navi Mumbai arrived at Wadala station on platform 1. Sources said that chaos erupted as an announcement at the platform indicated that that train was headed to Bandra. It was a Belapur-bound train that started from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). Commuters inside the coaches alighted and those going to Bandra boarded the train. “There was an announcement made before the train left Wadala station stating that the train was going to Belapur and not Bandra. But, it seems that commuters did not listen to the second announcement,” said a CR official. Irked by the chaos, commuters pulled the chain and the train stopped between Wadala and GTB Nagar. “The administration has failed to run the train services properly and there have been constant delays every day,” said Nandkumar Deshmukh, president, Federation of Suburban Passenger Association. Train services on the Harbour line were disrupted for 15-20 minutes.

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CBI spent 30 pc of budget in last 6 weeks of fiscal year: Parliament

The CBI spent about Rs 20 crore, nearly 30 per cent of its total budgetary allocation of Rs 66.77 crore, in the last six weeks of financial year 2016-17, a parliamentary panel has noted while pulling up the agency.In a report tabled in Parliament today, the department- related parliamentary standing committee on personnel, public grievances and pensions asked the agency to “streamline and scrupulously” monitor the pace of implementation of its schemes and expenditure to ensure their timely completion to avoid the allocation being reduced by the finance ministry.It noted that Rs 75 crore was allocated to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Budget Estimates of 2016-17 for all six planned schemes of the CBI which was reduced to Rs 73.21 crore at revised estimates (RE) stage and further reduced to Rs 66.77 crore in final grant of 2016-17.”Further, as per figures provided by the CBI only Rs 46.61 crore (about 63.66 per cent of the funds earmarked under plan scheme at RE stage) was utilised by February 14, 2017 and the rest of the amount was spent only in the last six weeks of the financial year,” it said.The government, in its response, said that 99.49 per cent of the final allocation to the agency had been spent under various schemes.”The CBI and various executing agencies engaged by it are responsible for meeting expenditure on the projects. To ensure timely implementation of various projects, Project Monitoring Committees have been constituted for various ongoing projects and address issues, if any, in implementation,” it said.The government also said implementation is also monitored in the Department of Personnel and Training on regular basis to help resolve issues, if any.The committee noted that the allocation for the CBI is reduced at revised estimates stage and the expenditure goes up steeply in the last leg of the financial year.”However, the reply does not entail any reason for this reduction. The committee wishes to know the reasons and difficulties, if any, being faced by the organisation and how this could be resolved,” it said.The panel said it has noticed that Project Monitoring Committees and further monitoring by the DoPT have not brought desired result.”The committee wishes that both the DoPT and the CBI ensure that this trend be checked in any case,” it said.

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Shoplifter made to fly back from Pune to Delhi airport to return stolen bag

A man managed to shoplift at Delhi airport and escape but was soon arrested as he landed in Pune.The passenger stole a ladies’ bag from a store at the Delhi T3 airport and managed to board his flight to Pune, according to a Hindustan Times report.The shop owner informed the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) staff at Pune on December 10 and shared details of the passenger’s phone number, photo. The shop owner lodged a complaint about the theft to Delhi Police. The passenger picked up the bag at Delhi airport at 1.15 am and boarded the Jet Airways flight at 2.15am for Pune. As soon he landed at Pune airport, he was detained by the officials and the shoplifter admitted that he stole the bag. He was made to return back to Delhi airport and return the stolen bag to the rightful owner. The shop owner withdrew its complaint after the bag was returned and the police did not register any FIR.

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Prisoners need better medical aid

Lack of proper medical facilities and vacancies in the Central Jail hospital at Asia’s largest prison, housing more than 15,000 prisoners, came under the scanner of the Delhi High Court as it issued a slew of measures for the authorities.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also expressed shock at the huge number of vacancies at the Central Jail Hospital located in Jail number 3 and the dispensaries in the prison complex.The court noted that the lack of medical facilities in the jail not only causes prejudice to poor prisoners but also affect the exchequers of the government as rich inmates are taken to private hospital for treatment.The bench said that the treatments “creates differences and also acquire a lot of cost on the public exchequer” adding that “private treatment adds to the already over-stressed machinery of Tihar”.”The prisoners have to wait for long, travel long distances and sometimes even wait for the court orders to get treated which may itself cause prejudice to the prisoners,” the court said.During the proceedings, Advocate Sumer Singh Sethi, appointed as an amicus to assist the court in a matter related to the inhumane conditions in prisons, highlighted the need for counsellors for the mental well-being of the inmates.The court was informed that there are 110 sanctioned posts for doctors in the jail premises out of which just 47 of them are filled up. The court was also told that there are 108 sanctioned posts for paramedical staff and 92 of them are physically filled.”A shocking state of affairs has come up regarding the vacancies in absence of medical representatives in Central Jail Complex, Tihar Jail no 3,” the court said.

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The soul of a society is kept alive by its culture

Renowned qawwals Nizami Bandhu presented their soulful performance at the Dastak initiative — an evening of musical performance organised by the Delhi government at Janakpuri on Monday. Dastak is Delhi government’s attempt to democratise art and culture programmes and take them to all corners of the city.The event was organised in a public park in Janakpuri and was attended by approximately 1,500 people. Events organised under Dastak ensure that dance, music, theatre performances, and other such cultural events are taken outside Central Delhi, to make art more accessible to Delhi’s citizens.On the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia said,”Our focus has until now been on education sector but we have now also spread out towards art, culture and languages. While education steers us ahead, culture keeps us grounded and keeps alive the soul of a society.”The Nizami Bandhu sang verses of Khusrau and Kabir, to highlight the importance of communal harmony and peace within a society.

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No shortage of funds, states are not cooperative: Supreme Court on solid waste management

Observing that solid waste management was a huge problem, the Supreme Court (SC) pulled up states that were not cooperating with the effort to manage solid waste despite having sufficient funds for it.”It is clear that there is absolutely no shortage of funds, but there is only absence of any initiative or lack of any willingness to take any positive steps for solid waste management,” a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta observed on December 12.The top court, two years ago, took cognisance of a report wherein Laxmi Chandra Rout and his wife Babita committed suicide after their son Avinash died due to dengue.According to an affidavit submitted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), the Swachh Bharat Mission has a total outlay of Rs 36,829 crore, out of which Rs 7,424 crore have been made available by the Central Government.The court’s observation came on the heels of a submission made by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Atmaram Nadkarni that only 15 states and Union Territories responded to a communication sent in January earlier this year by the MoEF regarding the status of constitution of a State Level Advisory Body (SLAB). Nadkarni further submitted that some of the states had not even held a single SLAB meeting.Reacting to this submission, the SC bench directed the MoEF to inform all states to set up SLAB within two weeks and submit a response with the steps taken by the committee thereafter.”We direct the MOEF to follow up on the matter with state governments in terms of our order, and make it clear to state governments that in case they do not provide full, correct, and accurate information to the MOEF, they are likely to be burdened with very heavy costs. The state governments should keep in mind the fact that availability of funds is not a problem under Swachh Bharat Mission, and also keep in mind that solid waste management is a huge problem being faced by the country at this stage.”Pointing out that Rule 22 of the Solid Waste Management Rules, lays down specific timelines to tackle the problem, the court said: “Clearly, no positive steps appear to have been taken to adhere to these time lines.”The court then directed Delhi to form a definite action plan to combat solid waste management which could then be replicated in other parts of the country.

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Less populated villages to have ‘smooth’ infra

Ensuring basic amenity of roads in even least populated rural areas, the chief minister Vasundhara Raje has made a big announcement. Now, villages across the state where the population is 250 or more will all be connected with roads to Panchayat headquarters.Raje made the announcement during a ‘CM Jan Samvad program’ held in a public school on Sunday. The poor infra in less populated areas drew her attention when some rural folks raised the issue during the program. She promptly asked the senior officials to shoot a letter to the Central government to connect left out small villages with roads to the Panchayat headquarters.“A list of revenue villages where the population is 250 or more but left out from connectivity under ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna’ since 2001 will be prepared so these could have roads. The list will be sent to Union ministry of rural development for roadworks,” said Raje directing PWD engineers to draft list of roads which need repairing and send a proposal for the same.Local issues which were pending for a long time were addressed by Raje on the spot during the program. She instructed officials to earmark forest land for sheltering stray bulls to avoid damage of crops, to probe into alleged irregularity in saplings distribution to farmers and to video graph repairing of drinking water pipelines which were reported broken and unrepaired keeping the rural people thirsty.Once again Raje expressed dissatisfaction over the functioning of administration at grass root level and she asked the officials to be concerned towards complaints of the commoners. “Officials need to understand grievances of the people and dispose them off with full seriousness. How will you feel facing such problems after the retirement from the service? So, you should show complete sincerity to their problem and issues,” Raje said.Meanwhile, Raje has made a big announcement to provide adequate water supply to Fatehpur Shekhawati area. She has instructed officials of LSG (local self-governance) to draft a detailed project report of Rs125 crores to lay drinking water lines and sewerage lines in the area.WHAT’S MOREMeanwhile, Raje has made a big announcement to provide adequate water supply to Fatehpur Shekhawati area. She has instructed to draft a detailed project report of Rs125 crore.

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BJP leaders meet in WB ahead of bypolls

A day after Trinamool Congress’ youth wing president Abhishek Banerjee lashed out at BJP at Sabang in West Midnapore, ahead of bypolls on December 21, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh and BJP MP and Union minister Babul Supriyo along with others conducted a meeting on Sunday at Sabang.At the meeting, Ghosh accused the Mamata Banerjee-led government of indulging in politics of appeasement and alleged that there had been no development at Sabang and that it had been given step-motherly treatment by the state.”The TMC government had not done any development here in spite of the Central government sanctioning Rs 678 crore to build canals to help prevent floods. It is just a huge scam. The canals have been dug haphazardly,” Ghosh said, adding that most of the money had been re-routed to the party fund.He also said that Sabang was famous for its mats but Mamata did nothing to ensure the development of that art. Referring to the role of Manas Bhuniya, who had been a Congress MLA since 1982 before defecting to the TMC, he accused him of being an opportunist who switched over for his own personal interest.”So far, there has only been politics of corruption, violence and opportunists who overlooked the interest of the common people by depriving them of basic facilities. There needs to be a change to be brought about here,” he said.Supriyo reiterated that Mamata had been claiming all the credits of providing rice at Rs 2 per kg to the common people but in effect Food Corporation of India (FCI) was buying the rice at Rs 33 per kg of which, the Centre was providing Rs 29.67 per kg, the state was paying Re 1 per kg and consumers were paying Rs 2 per kg for the rice. He also alleged that corruption galore in the TMC government in the implementation of the Centre’s Swachh Bharat mission.

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Insurance firm directed to repay with interest

The Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum of Central Mumbai has ordered ICICI Lombard General Company Limited to pay the insurance claim amount of Rs 10 lakh, which the insurance claim had wrongly repudiated, to the consumer. The forum, in its orders, held that there was a deficiency in the services promised by the firm to its consumer, thus asked the firm to repay the insurance cover along with interest at the rate of nine per cent.The forum also levied an additional amount of Rs 10,000 each towards the mental agony suffered and the litigation charges incurred by the complainant.Pravinchandra Mohanlal Shah, a Bhandup resident, had purchased an insurance policy from the firm which was valid from February 2016 to February 2021. The policy, which was purchased in the name of his wife Vasundhara Shah, had mentioned that it provided death cover in the case of accidental deaths.In November 2016, Vasundhara had a fall and suffered a hip fracture for which she underwent a surgery. She was discharged from the hospital on December 11, 2016 but unfortunately passed away two days later. Pravinchandra sought death cover claim which the insurance had promised however the firm repudiated his claim.

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Madras HC urges state and central governments to explore gadgets to combat sexual violence

Deprecating rising sex crimes against women and girl child, the Madras High Court has asked the central and Tamil Nadu governments to explore the possibility of providing gadgets to women to prevent sexual violence against them.Noting that crimes against women and girl child were shockingly rising every year, especially sex crimes, Justice N Kirubakaran batted for urgent measures to stop such heinous offences and asked the governments to explore giving gadgets to women.Dismissing the bail plea of a duo accused in the rape- and-murder of a 60-year-old mentally-challenged woman, he said, “Sexual assault is a violation of privacy, dignity, and honour, causing a permanent scar and continuous agony in the mind of the hapless victim.”The judge also raised several queries vis-a-vis rising sex crimes against women, to be answered by the central and state governments and the National Commission for Women (NCW).He impleaded the central government and the NCW in the case and directed them to file response to his queries.Such queries include whether the spurt in sexual violence against women was due to fall in sex ratio or due to “sex starvation” among Indian men in view of various cultural and moral curbs and if the violence was owing to alcoholism.Also, the court asked the central and state governments to spell out if the rise in sex crimes was due to easy accessibility of pornographic content through the Internet and smart phones.The judge said culprits in sexual violence could neither be termed as “human beings” nor as “animals”, as even animals were noble in their own way.Noting that sexual assaults on women continued unabated despite stringent laws brought in after the December 16 Delhi gangrape incident, he said the offences have to be analysed and examined on psychological and sociological angles.The judge sought the response of the governments on his queries by January 10, 2018.

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No term like ‘martyr’ or ‘shaheed’ in our lexicon, say Defence and Home Ministry

There is no term as “martyr” or “shaheed” in the Army or the police and instead a soldier or a policeman killed in action is called a “battle casualty” or “operations casualty” respectively, the ministries of defence and home have submitted before the Central Information Commission.The issue surfaced after an RTI applicant approached the Union home ministry seeking to know the meaning and detailed definition of word “shaheed” (martyr) according to the law and the Constitution. He also asked about the legal provisions to ensure restriction on its misuse and punishment for violation. The application was transferred to different officials of the home and defence ministries but when the applicant could not get a satisfactory response, he approached the CIC, the highest appellate body in matters relating to the Right to Information Act.The respondents from the ministries of defence and the home affairs were present and heard, Information Commissioner Yashovardhan Azad said. “The respondent from the Ministry of Defence stated that word ‘shaheed’ or ‘martyr’ is not used by the MoD. Instead the one used is ‘battle casualty’. The respondent from the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that in the MHA the word used is ‘operations casualty’,” Azad said.Also readFacing heat for limiting education aid to martyrs’ kids, MoD doubles gallantry award moneyQuoting the submissions, he noted that the decision to declare cases of ‘battle casualty’ and ‘ops’ were taken after a report of a court of inquiry in both the matters.”After hearing the respondents and the perusal of the record, the commission finds that the averments made by both the respondents have duly explained the correct usage of the terms and directs the respondents to send a revised reply to the appellant accordingly,” he said.

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NGT bans sale of plastic items along Ganga belt from Haridwar up to Rishikesh

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday announced that it would be imposing a ban on the sale, purchase and storage of plastic items such as bags, plates, spoons, etc along river Ganga in Haridwar’s Hari Ki Puri Rishikesh up to areas in Uttarkashi.As per an ANI report, a Rs 5,000 fine will be imposed on violators.On March 30, the chairperson had directed that a meeting be held after the UP government informed the Tribunal about its willingness to discuss the scenario of shifting tanneries outside Kanpur. This is contrary to the stand of the previous government, under Samajwadi Party, which had submitted through former advocate general Vijay Bahadur Singh that paucity of land and dependence of lakhs on the tannery cluster made shifting difficult.A year after assuming office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged his ministerial colleagues and three chief ministers to adopt an “uncompromising mission-mode approach” to halt pollution of River Ganga. Already in January this year, the PM had directed the water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation ministry to prioritise pollution control and taking remedial steps. But, on ground, the progress has been rather slow and effluent treatment plants have still been found wanting.In the key stretch of Ganga, between Haridwar and Kanpur, 30 drains are directly discharging 701 million litres/day (MLD) of waste water in the Ganga, a recent report of the Central Pollution Control Board has said. The report also highlighted that barring three of the 30 drains, all other drains directly releasing effluents into Ganga indicate the presence of pesticides. Also, four drains of Kanpur carried a high concentration of Chromium, ranging from 2mg/l to 84 mg/l. “It has been observed that Ganga receives 3,048MLD of waste water,” the report said.CPCB, the country’s pollution watchdog, submitted a ground report of these 30 drains on the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The NGT had ordered last October that the drains in the Hardiwar-Kanpur stretch directly releasing effluents into Ganga needed to be physically inspected to record the quantum and quality of effluents going into the river and its main tributaries.Along with the Ganga, the joint inspection team, comprising of CPCB, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), UP Jal Nigam, and National Mission for Clean Ganga, inspected 25 drains discharging effluents into Ramganga of which a majority release domestic wastewater into the river while 26 drains release effluents into Kali-east.The direct discharge of effluents from 30 drains has resulted in high levels of fecal coliform, above the CPCB prescribed standards. At Jajmau, a tannery hub in Kanpur, the fecal coliform was ten times higher than the prescribed standards.According to the report, disposal of industrial and domestic sewage effluent directly by drains or indirectly through tributaries is the chief cause for high levels of pollution. The storm water drains designated to flood out the storm water during rainy season, are now being used for disposal of sewage and trade effluents which ultimately joins River Ganga, the report added

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Big Q on sarkari schemes raises brows

One may find controversy in everything if the intent is inquisitive. And that is what happened on Thursday after questions regarding various plans of the Centre and the state government were asked to students in an examination regarding “Samajopyogi Yojnain”(Social beneficiary Schemes).This question paper was meant for the half-yearly examinations which is currently underway in government schools across the state. Fifteen out of 17 questions were related to the plans of the Central and State Government in the paper.Questions related to the Modi government’s flagship scheme Swachh Bharat Mission, Make in India, Prime Minister Skill Development Scheme were asked. Similarly, the state government’s flagship scheme were also included in the question of Chief Minister’s Jal Swavalamban Scheme and Bhamashah Yojana. In this paper, only questions related to the plans of Modi and the Raje government were put forth. The paper did not include questions related to any scheme of the UPA government and the Ashok Gehlot government. After the examination, the question paper was posted on social media for the usual banters and barbs.Congress stood in opposition to this paper. Expressing concern over the move of the Education Department, Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, President of Jaipur District Congress Committee, said, “There is no achievement of the State Government. Education is being politicised. This is how the government wants the students to ‘know’ about the current schemes.”Congress, he said, will take every possible step against this “Bhajpaikarn” of education.Several teahcers who spoke on condition of anonymity also condemned such a move but could not come out in the open due to occupational hazards.It may be noted that this question paper was made available to the DNA by one such teahcer.“The name of the subject itself is social schemes. Hence the questions of the Central and State Government schemes were included in it. This will enable students to get an overview of the schemes when they study about it and hence be capable of utilising the same to their own benefits,” Daya Shankar, District Education Officer(Secondary), Bikaner. Tough nut to crack?This question paper was meant for the half-yearly examinations which is currently underway in government schools across the state. Fifteen out of 17 questions were related to the plans of the Central and State Government. The state government’s flagship scheme were also included in the question paper.

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Give powers to CAPFs to buy new vehicles: Home Ministry

Flooded with delays in replacing vehicles damaged in ambush the Home Ministry has written to the Finance Ministry seeking powers for chiefs of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to buy new ones.There is a huge backlog of damaged vehicles that need to be declared non-operational, sources said.Among the most severely hit forces is the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) serving in Maoist conflict zones as they are targeted by rebels planting improvised explosive devices on the roads. Sources said there are nearly 400-500 vehicles that need replacement.Currently the powers lie with the Finance Ministry and get stuck in bureaucratic delays leading to forces using obsolete vehicles.”A damaged vehicles needs to be declared non-operational. Till the process does not take place it cannot be replaced,” said a home ministry official.This is part of the plan to give a push to the modernisation drive for police forces. The Home Ministry has already laid out a blue print for the Rs 25,000 crore modernisation schemes. Home Minister Rajnath Singh in a review meeting on Thursday took a low down on the plan that is expected to give a push to modern technology to enhance internal security measures, women safety, better surveillance and use of better weapons. There has also been a five time increase in the amount sanctioned for CAPFs as part of a two year modernisation plan. The Home Ministry has also approved the plan worth Rs 1054 from the corpus of Rs. 25,000 crore for the years 2018 and 2019.CRPF AFFECTEDAmong the most severely hit forces is the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) serving in Maoist conflict zones as they are targeted by rebels planting improvised explosive devices on the roads.

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Can’t access Peter Mukerjea’s calls, court to Indrani Mukerjea

The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Thursday asked Indrani Mukerjea to not step into the prosecution’s shoes and to not to divert the trial against Peter Mukerjea, while rejecting her application to access Peter’s call data records (CDR). The court also mentioned that she is trying to point fingers towards other accused.Indrani had filed an application before the court seeking for the CDR of Peter alleging that Peter and her driver, Syamwar Rai, an accused turned approver in the case, were allegedly involved in disappearance of her daughter Sheena Bora.The court presided by judge J C Jagdale is conducting the trial in the Sheena Bora murder case. According to the prosecution’s case, Indrani, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and her driver Syamwar Rai allegedly killed Sheena on April 24,2015 and later disposed off her body. The police later arrested Peter Mukerjea for his involvement.It is learnt that the court has relied on the Bombay High court’s citation where the High court in a similar application, had held,that when a statement of accused does not amount to confession that is when it is wholly or partly exculpatory, it cannot be used against co-accused. For making use of it against the co-accused statement of accused must amount to a distinct confession of his own guilt. Self exculpatory statement of accused cannot be used to infer guilt of co-accused.Also, the court mentioned that it is nowhere that Indrani is claiming her involvement or complicity in commission of offence and hence her statement cannot be called as exculpatory statement, but she is trying to point finger to co-accused.The court has also made a mention of the fact that Indrani’s lawyer had accepted that the allegations mentioned in the application was outburst of emotions, and thus refused to accept the application as the judicial decisions cannot be taken on the basis of emotional outburst of the party.

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Winter Session of UP Assembly starts on a stormy note

The Winter Session of the UP Assembly began on a stormy note on Thursday when opposition created ruckus disrupting proceedings and forcing several adjournments.Opening day’s proceedings began on stormy note when the Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary raised and sought a debate on steep hike in power tariff and demanded its rollback during the question hour.Following refusal from the Chair, members of the Samajwadi Party, carrying placards for rollback of hike in power tariff, stormed the Well and raised anti-government slogans. The house was adjourned thrice following disruption by the opposition members.“We will not allow the House to run till our demand is met. Power hike was causing a blow to farmers, poor and middle class at a time when prices of essential commodities are spiralling due to the wrong policies of the Central government,” charged the Leader of Opposition.Despite request from the Speaker HN Dixit to maintain calm and let the proceedings continue, unruly Samajwadi Party members continued to stage prorest in front of the Well and staged a boycott. The Congress too supported the issues raised by the SP members. The question hour in both houses of the State Legislature could not be taken up due to opposition disrupting proceedings.Also readUP CM Yogi Adityanath to trim 94 government depts to 37The House was adjourned for most of the day when Speaker’s plea went unheeded. The Parliamentary Minister Suresh Khanna said that after losing 2014 Lok Sabha, 2017 Assembly and now urban local bodies’ polls, the opposition is taking out its frustration on the floor of the house by creating ruckus to draw attention of the people who voted them out. “They are rendered unemployed by the people of the state. They have no work but noise to make,” charged the minister.Similar unruly scenes were witnessed in the Upper House (UP Council) when Samajwadi Party launched an attack on the ruling BJP on deteriorating law and order and shortage of seeds and fertilizers for the farmers. Carrying placards and donning sports caps with anti-government slogans written on them, Samajwadi Party and BSP members also raised the issue of faulty and rigged EVMs used during recently-concluded elections. Repeated requests from the Chairman Ramesh Yadav to maintain order were ignored the noise and din created by the opposition members forced the Chairman to adjourn the Upper House for the day.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 Phase 2 : Can PM Modi’s late aggression save BJP’s day in North and Central Gujarat?

One fatal gaffe. Another clandestine meeting. All it took for the discourse in Gujarat elections to change completely. For the last two months, Congress has been the aggressor. From lack of Patidar quota, to distress in automobile hub in Sanand, from lack of post-flood relief to alleged Dalit atrocities, Congress was pounding on the questions and BJP already reeling from two decades of anti-incumbency was woefully short of answer. But all that changed with PM Modi raking the issue of Pak allegedly trying to make Ahmed Patel the CM and also using the neech-aadmi jibe to hilt. It certainly changed the mood and discourse of the campaign, despite all efforts of Congress. Will it work on the ground? It will be only known on 18th, but if it does, BJP should certainly be benefited in Central Gujarat. There are 40 seats in play in the districts of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Anand, Kheda, Panchmahal, Dahod and Chhota Udaipur. BJP won 22 of the 40 seats last time around. But its seats have tapered since 2002, when the party did incredibly well after communal polarisation. Central Gujarat has been a traditional pocketborough of Congress but this time, several factors are against them. With Shanker Sinh Vaghela staying away, Congress is missing a real big face. Another high-profile exit from Congress is of Amul chairman Ramsinh Parmar. The BJP with its current stranglehold in milk dairy unions is looking to make major headways in Anand and Kheda. It’s sitting pretty to do well in Vadodara. Hardik Patel’s PAAS hasn’t really made much inroads in Central Gujarat and is likely to be a minor factor. Congress has been the traditional beneficiary of tribal votes in Gujarat. However, BJP with help of RSS and VHP has made powerful efforts to reach out to them. The tribal vote may well be the decisive factor in districts like Panchmahal, Dahod and Chhota Udaipur. (Rahul Gandhi in Anand-PTI)While Central Gujarat equation lies in a delicate balance, it is completely a riot in North Gujarat, with multiple factors at play. Mehsana is the epicentre of Patel agitation, from where it spread to the entire state like a volcano. Incidentally, it is the home district of PM Modi. Hence it is a battle of titans in Mehsana. Leading BJP’s charge there is none other than state Deputy CM Nitin Patel. But he has his work cut out with Hardik Patel’s soaring popularity among the youth. Even though Patel is barred from entering the district, his rallies in neighbouring Patan have made BJP anxious. 53 seats are there in six North Gujarat districts of Banaskantha, Patan, Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Gandhinagar and Aravalli. BJP won 32 out of 53 last time around and virtually swept in 2014 general elections. But the party is almost reconciled to some losses in North Gujarat with Hardik Patel effect extremely pronounced. But what may stop a complete rout for BJP is some self-goals from Congress and its allies. Alpesh Thakor’s poor seat selection has given BJP some lease of life. In total, there are 23 seats in North Gujarat where Thakor community has significant clout. (Hardik Patel campaigning in Ahmedabad- PTI)Thakor and Patels are the most influential caste groups in North Gujarat. BJP is hoping to split the Patel vote and also to prop-up other prominent social groups in some seats. It is repeat of the UP experiment by Amit Shah and in tune with it, party has given tickets to Kolis, Prajapatis etc. Tribal vote is key in North too, with they being a key player in 13 seats. With nearly 13 rebels in fray, Congress runs the risk of losing out in close seats. Also the ghost of Congress MLAs going away from Banaskantha during peak floods is haunting them. Congress ally Jignesh Mevani hasn’t exactly got the momentum he hoped for. Mevani allegedly taking donation from under-scanner PFI has only added to his headache. Rahul Gandhi though has aggressively campaigned, trying to mock the Gujarat model at a time when the state’s industrial juggernaut is showing some signs of slowdown. (PM Modi supporters thronging in large numbers-PTI)Whether Hardik’s ground game can match BJP’s potent organisation may well be the deciding factor in North Gujarat. But what may be the biggest factor in this election is still the master orator NaMo. Can Gujaratis afford to ignore his emotional appeal of giving a befitting reply to those who ‘insult’ him. Will emotion trump over hard-logic and ground situation. We will know soon.

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CISF nab duo trying to sneak pistol, cash onboard crowded Delhi Metro

A 19-year-old youth and a man were caught red-handed by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) for trying to sneak into the Delhi Metro with a country made pistol and some cash at the Adarsh Nagar station. The duo were immediately arrested and the matter is now being probed by the Delhi police.According to the senior police officers, it was around 12.20 pm when during baggage screening of a passenger at Adarsh Nagar Metro Station, the on-duty Constable SS Jat of CISF, noticed an image of a pistol and cash inside a bag.Immediately, he stopped the conveyor belt as well as the passenger and informed the matter to his senior officials. The bag was physically checked in presence of the passenger and a country made pistol along with cash amounting to Rs 40,408 was recovered. The owner of the bag was identified as Bhupendra Kumar, aged 19 years who revealed that he is a resident of Firozabad in UP. On his instance, another person Ghuri Singh, (32), who was accompanying him was also nabbed by the CISF,” said a senior officer. The matter was informed to the Senior Officers and the Station Controller. Both the passengers along-with their bags were taken to Station Controller Room and a thorough search was carried-out. An amount of cash Rs.1,19,490/- was also found inside the bag of Ghuri Singh. The matter was informed to Delhi Metro Rail Police (DMRP), Kashmere Gate.On the arrival of the DMRP, Kashmere Gate, both the persons along with the seized country made pistol (Desi Katta) and cash Rs.1,59,898 were handed over to them for further legal action.

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Officers to get Rs Rs 20 lakh, informers Rs 2 lakh for info on drug trafficking

In order to crackdown on drug trafficking across the country and motivate police personnel, informers, and common citizens to report such instances, the Central government has issued new guidelines on Tuesday announcing rewards for those whose information would lead to seizures of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The government, however, has also clearly stated that any work done by an individual officer in his normal course of duties is not eligible for the reward.The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has come up with ‘guidelines for grant of rewards to be paid to the officers, informers, and other persons, 2017’. It will also regulate the grant and payment of reward to informers and government officers.As per this policy, an officer is eligible for Rs 20 lakh reward during his entire career and Rs 50,000 at a time. However a maximum reward of Rs 2 lakh may also be given to an individual in exceptional cases by the Apex Central Rewards Committee.”Up to 50 per cent of the total admissible reward amount can be given at pre-trial stage if the test report from chemical lab turns positive,” the ministry said.Further the reward sanctioning authority should also consider several factors — like accuracy of the information, degree of risk involved, extent and nature of the help rendered by the informer, and whether the information also gave clues of the person involved in the drug trafficking racket — while granting reward to informers.Narcotics Control Bureau has been made the coordinating agency to process the reward proposal of other central and state agencies working in the field of drug interdiction.As per the new policy, reward should not be granted as a matter of routine and provision for special efforts made by the government officials in developing the information, effecting the seizure and post seizure investigation should also be taken into consideration.The reward scheme will be made applicable to informers whose information leads to seizures of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, controlled substances, forfeiture of illegally acquired property under NDPS Act and contravention of rules made there under, which is booked by any central and state agencies.It is also applicable to the officers of central, state and union territories who make seizures, successful investigation and prosecution and conduct post investigation work in respect of contravention of provisions of NDPS Act.The new reward guideline has not only included new drugs and psychotropic substances in the revised reward policy but also increased the rate of reward of the seized drug. The highest reward has been kept for cocaine and its salts which is Rs 2.4 lakh per kilogramme but it should be 90 percent or more of anhydrous cocaine and thereafter heroin and its salts which is Rs 1.20 lakh per kilogramme but it should 90 percent or more of diacetyl morphine. In Ganja, the reward is Rs 600 per kilogramme and it should be commercially acceptable as ganja. Even Mandrax tablets attract Rs 2000 per kilogramme. The destruction of illicit cannabis and opium poppy crop attracts Rs 10,000 per hectare and destruction of poppy straw calls for Rs 240 which is 20 percent of the present street price.In case of controlled and psychotropic substances, the maximum reward is 25,000 per Kg for seizure of Buprenorphine or Tidigesic and its preparations but it should be 100 percent pure. Interestingly, diazepam and its preparations can get reward Rs. 0.53 per tablet of 5mg, alprazolam and its preparations can get reward Rs 0.20 per tablet of 5 mg, lorezepam and its preparations Rs 0.296 per tablet of 5 mg and alprax and its preparations can get Rs 0.52 per tablet of 5 mg.The ministry has put up a clause wherein the rewards shall be reduced pro-rate if the purity is less than the prescribed level.

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Brief spell of rain brings relief to pollution-hit Capital

The pollution-hit Capital heaved a sigh of relief on Monday after a light rainfall graced the city in the evening. The drizzle started around 5 pm and as much as 2 mm rainfall was received till 8.30 pm, officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.The air quality, however, remained ‘very poor’, with an AQI score of 366 during the evening. Scientists at the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said the rain was likely to continue on Tuesday as well, with which the air quality might improve from poor to moderate in the coming few days. In fact, it is not expected to end up in the ‘severe’ category till December-end.”The rain is likely to continue on Tuesday and will help in washing down of pollutants hanging in the air. The AQI in the city is expected to range from moderate to poor in the coming fortnight,” said Dipankar Saha, chief of air laboratory, CPCB. The temperature is also expected to come down with the downpour, he added.The maximum and minimum temperatures on Monday were recorded at 24.2 degrees Celsius and 8.2 degrees Celsius, respectively.”So far, winter has not set properly in Delhi. It is expected to set in by December 15-16. At present, the pressure in the atmosphere is low, which will pick up after winter sets in and a cold wave from the Himalayas comes in. Air from this region is clean and will help improve the air quality in the Capital as well. In the next 20 days at least, it will not touch the ‘severe’ category,” Saha said.After a brief respite on December 6 and 7, which were tagged as ‘good air days’ in the month, pollution levels spiked once again on Friday, with the AQI shooting up to 390 units. The permissible standards for PM 2.5 — the most prominent pollutant in the city — are 60 units (measured in microgram per cubic meters).Meanwhile, the air quality in the NCR towns of Ghaziabad and Noida, which are industrial hubs, continued to remain in ‘severe’ category at 463 and 408 units, respectively.Last week, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) had asked the Lieutenant-Governor in a meeting to tell the Delhi government to start patrolling of small industrial units using cheap fuels, which leads to pollution.The Delhi Technological University (DTU) surrounded by Narela, Bawana, and Badli in outer Delhi has been witnessing massive pollution levels. The air quality index (AQI) readings of these two areas is always found to be high.

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Govt staff to write for Marathi Wikipedia

The state government is kick-starting its efforts to promote Marathi by involving its over 17 lakh employees in the initiative. In a novel idea, the Maharashtra government will encourage its employees to contribute to the Marathi edition of Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. The government has organised a training workshop on January 12, 2018 to demonstrate how employees can contribute.The objective is to increase contribution which is currently quite low on Marathi Wikipedia. The workshop’s date coincides with the government’s move to celebrate the language between January 1 and 15. The government issued a notification on December 8 asking its employees to register for the workshop by December 30.An official from Mantralaya’s Marathi Language Department told DNA, “The participants will be trained on how they should articulate their views and construct a write-up that is reader-friendly for Marathi Wikipedia. The information available currently is inadequate compared to other languages. The aim is to encourage government employees to open their own accounts and start contributing.” The official added that employees can contribute information on their hometowns or write features and poems. They could also write on local food, recipes and cottage industries. “The uploaded information will reach a global audience and will also help students and citizens, particularly from villages and remote areas, to develop their knowledge of Marathi,” the official said.The move comes close on the heels of the government’s notification that made the use of Marathi mandatory in Central government offices, its undertakings and corporations across the state.Deepak Pawar, president of Marathi Abhyas Kendra (which has been working towards promoting and protecting Marathi) said the government’s move should not become a mere event but there needs to be a proper long term action plan for the promotion of Marathi language. ”It is a welcome move to encourage government employees to contribute on Marathi Wikipedia. At the same time, the government needs to pen its reports and host of communications in Marathi too,” he opined.

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Congress workers in Amethi celebrate Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as party president

Congress workers in Amethi on Monday celebrated the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as the party president by distributing five quintal ‘ladoos’ and bursting firecrackers in his parliamentary constituency.Party workers organised programs at various places, including Amethi, Jais, Musafirkhana and Tilot, to celebrate Mr Gandhi’s elevation. They took out victory march, danced on streets and distributed ‘ladoos’. After a meeting at the party Central Office in Gauriganj, party workers burst firecrackers to celebrate the occasion. Also readIt’s official! Rahul Gandhi is new Congress president, to assume office on December 16“We have been waiting for years for Rahul to take over the party command. Today our long cherished wish has been fulfilled. We are eagerly awaiting his visit to Amethi after taking the charge,” said party Amethi Spokesperson Anil Singh.“Rahul will write a new history of the Congress. We are sure that he will make the party win the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to come back to the power,” reacted former MLA Radheyshyam Dhobi.The Amethi Congress President Yogendra Mishra said that Rahul has already spelled his magic in Gujarat. Also readPM Modi congratulates Rahul Gandhi for becoming Congress President, wishes him a fruitful tenure“After becoming AICC President, he will change the course of the Indian politics,” he said.

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Ryan student murder: SC dismisses plea challenging anticipatory bail granted to school trustees

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea challenging anticipatory bail granted to Ryan International school trustees in connection with the murder of seven-year-old student Pradyuman Thakur.The parents of the victim had moved to Supreme Court against Pintos after the Punjab and Haryana High Court granted them anticipatory bail.Ryan Pinto, and his parents, Augustine Pinto and Grace Pinto, had approached the high court on September 16, seeking anticipatory bail in the case.Also readRyan student murder: Conductor Ashok Kumar’s wife says cops thrashed him, hung upside downSushil Tekriwal, Pradyuman’s father Varun Thakur’s lawyer had said that they approached the court as the anticipatory bail would send a wrong message will be sent if anticipatory bail is given,” he added.Class 2 student Pradhuman Thakur was found with his throat slit in the school washroom in Gurugram on September 8.School bus conductor Ashok Kumar was arrested by Haryana police in connection with the crime. However, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is now probing the matter, gave him a clean chit and held a class 11 student of the school responsible for the murder.Also readRyan student murder: Amid twists and turns, juvenile accused retracts confession

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Naqvi takes a dig at Congress over Mani Shankar Aiyar’s ‘neech’ remark against PM Modi

Taking a dig at the Congress over its suspended leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s “neech” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said the party was “roaming around with axes and chisels to damage the tree roots nourished by their ancestors”.He said the Congress was busy tarnishing the image of the prime minister and creating hurdles in his path of development.”When the Narendra Modi government is marching ahead on the path of development, they (Congress leaders) are busy creating anti-development chaos by fielding elements like Mani Shankar Aiyar,” Naqvi told PTI.The Congress had suspended the primary membership of Aiyar after the Gandhi family loyalist set off a firestorm recently by calling the prime minister “neech aadmi” (a vile person), remarks fraught with adverse consequences for the party in poll-bound Gujarat.The Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs also asked the Congress to clarify “who taught such abusive language to their leaders”.He added that the “real face of Congress” would be revealed after the announcement of Gujarat poll results on December 18.The Union minister asserted that under the NDA government, employment opportunities for minorities have seen a rise.”Central government jobs for those from minority community have shot up from 5 per cent to 9.5 per cent during the last three years,” he said.

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Indian soldier kills four colleagues in Chhattisgarh

A paramilitary officer opens fire with an assault rifle after a “scuffle” at a camp in central India.

Now, CBI unearths kala dhan from Customs inspector

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday raided the house of a customs and central excise employee posted in Mumbai and unearth huge amount of unaccounted money. Parmanand Singhariya, a preventive officer (inspector), during the last five years had deposited more than Rs 70 lakh in a Mumbai-based bank. The CBI Jodhpur team on Friday conducted raids at his native house Sojat and Mumbai offices and also checked his bank accounts. Rs 17 lakh in cash, FDR of Rs 15 lakh rupees were recovered from the house situated in Singhariyon ka Bas. Also US$150 and Rs15 lakh balance in bank accounts were found in Mumbai. His properties are being investigated.According to the CBI, Parmanand was depositing huge amount in the Bank of Mumbai which he used to transfer into his sister’s account at the SBI bank branch located in Sojat. He also sent some amount in a bank account in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The CBI has registered a case against him for in possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income The investigation revealed that in the last six months, he had deposited Rs 23 lakh in abank. This amount was sent to Mumbai and Bhopal. Whenever he came to the village, he used to withdraw money from sister’s bank account with the help of ATM.Worth lakhsCBI Jodhpur team on Friday conducted raids at his native house Sojat and Mumbai offices and also checked his bank accounts. Rs 17 lakh in cash, FDR of Rs 15 lakh rupees were recovered from the house situated in Singhariyon ka Bas.

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Beware, ISI laying honeytraps

The Central intelligence agencies has alerted the defence establishments in the country stating Pakistan-based Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is spotting talents amongst the defence personnel from Army, Navy and Air Force who are pursuing in National Defence College (NDC) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The are trying to allure potential Indian officers to work for them and for that are using their “young and female recruits in Bangladesh”.Sources in the agencies also alerted that ISI has also directed their young and female recruits not to shy away from getting married with the Indian defence forces cadets pursuing in the National Defence Courses eventually. According to the intelligence agencies, a few of the ISI female recruits who have been given this task are from Bangladesh colleges and fluent in Bengali, Hindi and English language. These female recruits are also sent to the US and UK for carrying out further studies and return and trap young Indian defence forces cadets. “ISI female staff are stationed near Pallabi, journalist residential areas, Mohammadia Society, Palash Nagar, and not far away from Mirpur Bangla High School and College, Bangladesh University of Business technologies and etc in Dhaka,” sources said.Sources also said that the Indian defence establishments have been alerted who thereafter have informed the Indian cadets there not to indulge into the any kind of relationship with any female ISI recruits.Earlier, intelligence agencies had issued an alert across the army establishments and security forces that the ISI posing as senior officers from Armed forces and Ministry of Home Affairs are calling lower staff and trying to extract sensitive information.The Intelligence Agencies have issued an alert across the army establishments and security forces that the ISI operatives posing as senior officers from Armed forces and Ministry of Home Affairs are making calls to extract sensitive information.The intelligence agencies have directed all field commanders to sensitise field formations and personnel under their command to refrain from sharing any information telephonically related to the defence forces, deployment and any other information which might put the national security at risk.Sources said ISI’s strategy, pinned by intelligence officials, involves drawing their attention with attractive profile photos, befriending them and then getting familiar over chats. Slowly, they encourage the personnel to divulge matters considered secret that can be used by the inimical force.According to sources, ISI has been using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to honey trap unsuspecting Indian personnel by providing training to women on how to make explicit calls and chats, in a field traditionally dominated by men.Delhi Police had last year reported some fictitious Facebook accounts, purportedly belonging to women that were used to identify and lure defence personnel.2015 INCIDENTIn December 2015, a serving Indian Army jawan was arrested on charges of maintaining close relationship with an agent of ISI. The jawan was identified as Havildar Farid Khan. It was revealed that he had provided vital information to the spy agency. It was the seventh arrest in the country-wide raid in the ISI spying case.

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