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Swamy calls Rajinikanth ‘illiterate’, says ‘political entry only media hype, people of Tamil Nadu are intelligent’

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Sunday mocked superstar Rajinikanth’s announcement on entering politics and dubbed him as illiterate.”One more film star is entering politics, so what is the fuss about? Maybe he has got good media managers. It is just a joke. He said he will announce the party later. He is a film star and he said he can eliminate corruption. Can film stars even eliminate corruption? What will he do for Tamil Nadu? He has no details or documents, he is illiterate”, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy told ANI.He added that it is only media hype as people of Tamil Nadu are intelligent enough to understand politics.”Merely through media, these film stars cannot do politics. Once he announces his party and puts the anti-corruption issue in front, the truth will come out and he will run away. I don’t know if the BJP will support him but I will definitely oppose this,” Swamy asserted.Also readTamil Nadu: Rajinikanth to float political party, says, will contest next assembly pollsIn a much-anticipated moment for all his fans and well-wishers, superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday confirmed his entry into politics, adding that he will be contesting in the next state assembly elections by forming a new party.”My political entry is definite. This is a long-pending decision. I will feel guilty if I don’t take this decision at least now. In next assembly elections, I will form a party and will contest all constituencies in Tamil Nadu,” he said while addressing a gathering at the Sri Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam here.Talking about the current state of politics, the ‘Thalaiva’ called for a complete change in the democratic system and urged for a more honest and transparent system to emerge. “Democracy is in a bad shape right now, and all other states have been making fun of us (Tamil Nadu). In the name of democracy, politicians are robbing us of our own money on our own land. We need to bring a change from the base. It is not an easy task, but can be made possible through the support of the people and blessings of the almighty,” he said.(With agency inputs)

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
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!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Noida Juvenile Home staff suspended for abuse

The Uttar Pradesh government has suspended a care taker of the Noida Juvenile Home, after the media reported torture, abuse, and prevalence of disease in the home. A committee was earlier set up and three people were accused of being involved in the abuse. The government team, however, found the allegations true against only one employee, Prakash Chandra, and suspended him on Saturday.According to a senior official, the commission observed that the objective of a juvenile home was to guide youngsters found involved in criminal activities towards the correct direction for introspection and improvement. This juvenile home, however, was pushing these youngsters towards crime-oriented activities by treating them in a grossly negligent and cruel manner.“We found allegations against Chandra to be true. So, we have suspended him of his duties,” a senior official said.The affairs inside the juvenile home, located in the Old Court building in Noida’s Phase 2, came to light after a District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) inspection on October 7, in which the authority noted several serious issues, such as torture, extortion by senior inmates, and skin problems among the juveniles.During inspection, the inmates showed their injury marks and named seven “seniors” who were in cahoots with certain officials of the Home.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
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!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Arvind Kejriwal launches SMC app for coordination of schools with parents, students

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday launched the School Management Committee (SMC) App, in a bid to help schools, parents and students for better coordination and management.Addressing the gathering of around 1,600 SMC members from across the government schools in the Capital, Kejriwal said, “It is certainly going to help the SMC functionary for effective delivery and will also decrease the paperwork and bring efforts at an ease. This app will help in making the process more transparent, and is going to be an effective help for all stakeholders by all means.”As per the Right to Education Act, 2009, the SMCs are formed to bridge the gap between the community and the school. “We have done an experiment towards democratisation of the school education system in Delhi. Our effort is to make the SMC members realise that they are the owners of the schools and will contribute their services for the betterment of education quality in the schools,” he added.Elaborating on the role of SMCs, the chief minister said that the Committees should be provided with some funds to carry out essential and need-based works in the schools, apart from giving power to the SMCs to fill up the vacant post of teachers in the schools on emergent and on hiring basis.Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia, who was also present at the event, said that a separate fund would be given in the ensuing budget for the SMCs to carry out the needy and essential works in the schools. “SMCs were created with the vision that it would transform the educational atmosphere of the schools for the betterment of teaching and learning process. Education without the active participation of the community is considered a one-sided activity,” he added.

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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
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

Every 3 mins, snatching/theft in Capital

Step out in the city, and there is no surety that your valuables will last with you for more than five minutes. Every five minutes, a Delhiite is either snatched of his/her belongings, or it is stolen. At a time when the Delhi Police is working hard on the ground to thwart the rising numbers of snatching and theft in the Capital, the same have grown to become force’s biggest challenge.Statistics say that till November 30 this year, 7,870 snatching incidents were reported; 24 a day on average. Apart from these, 1,02,954 thefts were also registered, which has a daily average of 308, more than 10 thefts an hour. Put together, 13 incidents of snatching and thefts take place in Delhi every hour. Senior police officers say that women outnumber men as victims of snatching as they are considered a soft target by the criminals.Last Monday, a 28-year-old woman fell off an autorickshaw and sustained multiple injuries while resisting two bike-borne snatchers in east Delhi.Not just this, in August, a 50-year-old woman was grievously wounded when she fell off a moving auto while trying to save her purse from motorcycle-borne snatchers in north Delhi.However, it is not just the common people who have suffered this growing menace. Last Saturday, first Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, Eenam Gambhir, was attacked by two bike-borne men, who fled with her mobile phone in Rohini. Police are yet to identify the accused.In September, Ukraine’s ambassador to Delhi, Dr Igor Polikha’s phone was also snatched while he was clicking pictures near the Red Fort.Police, however, say they have taken stringent measures, as a result of which the number of snatchings has witnessed a dip than the last year. “We undertake special drives in areas prone to snatching. Some dark zones have been identified and installation of CCTV cameras and ensuring good illumination in such areas is being carried out. Pickets are also raised and following a number of raids many snatchers have been arrested,” said a senior police officer.They also said that it has been noticed that juveniles are a part of these gangs and due to non-stringent laws, they get away easily. The vehicles used by them are also mostly stolen and therefore cannot be traced, the officer said.POLICE VERSIONPolice, however, say they have taken stringent measures, as a result of which the number of snatchings has witnessed a dip than the last year. “We undertake special drives in areas prone to snatching. Some dark zones have been identified and CCTVs installed,” said a senior police officer. STEP OUT AT OWN RISK (*till Nov 30)7,870 snatchings reported (24 a day on average)1,02,954 thefts registered (daily average of 308)PAST YEARS2017 – 7,870 (till Nov 30)2016 – 9,5712015 – 9,8962014 – 7,3502013 – 3,6382012 – 1,4402011 – 1,476HOW THEY TARGETUsually in a team of two to be able to flee on a two-wheeler They modify bikes by removing fuel supply regulator for high speed Use stolen bikes to remain untraced While one waits on the bike with ignition on, the pillion rider commits snatching Target elderly women and women unable to chase or raise alarm instantly Melt ornaments and sell off valuables instantly to avoid any recovery from them Cover face or perform at dark stretches to keep identity hidden

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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
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

ATS used Rakesh Dhawade to invoke MCOCA charges, says NIA

The Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in its detailed order copy, talking about stringent Maharahstra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) charges being dropped against the accused arrested in the Malegaon 2008 case has pointed out how Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) used the accused Rakesh Dhawade to invoke MCOCA charges in the case. The court, in its 130-page order copy mentioned that though Abhinav Bharat was not existent in 2003-2004, even then Dhawade was shown as a member of Abhinav Bharat and was dragged into the case.The court on Wednesday dropped the stringent MCOCA charges off all the accused and held them guilty of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Meanwhile Dhawade and one more accused were let off from the MCOCA charges and were only charged with the Arms act case. While three more accused were totally let off from the charges, whereas accused like Sadhavi Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt.Col. Prasad Purohit were charged with UAPA and other IPC charges.The court held that according to the ATS, Dhawade was involved in the bomb blasts at Parbhani in Mohamadiya Masjid which took place on November 21,2003 and the blast in Kadariya Masjid at Jalna which took place on August 27,2004. ATS claimed that Dhawade was the member of the Abhinav Bharat, the crime syndicate and that there was a prima facie evidence against him.”However it is to be noted that Dhawade was never ever arrested in the case anytime earlier, nor was he ever shown absconding or wanted by the ATS when the agency had charge sheeted other accused in the Jalna and Parbhani matters. However suddenly after Dhawade was arrested in the Malegaon 2008 blasts case on November 2,2008, he was immediately implicated in Jalna and Parbhani matters,” the order copy stated.”It appears from the recitals in the charge sheet in both cases that according to the prosecution the accused who were arrested and chargesheeted in those offences were connected with either Bajrang Dal or RSS.SIGH OF RELIEFATS claimed that Dhawade was the member of the Abhinav Bharat Dhawade and one more accused were let off from the MCOCA charges and were only charged with the Arms Act case.

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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
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
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
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
SHOCKING! ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot’s fake porn video goes viral, here’s what happened

Intel busts D-Company plot to assassinate Chota Rajan inside Tihar Jail

A plot, allegedly planned by Dawood Ibrahim, to bump off underworld don Chhota Rajan, who is currently locked up in Tihar Jail, was foiled, after Intel came to know of the conspiracy, The Times of India reported.According to the report, the crime was supposed to be committed by Delhi’s top gangster Neeraj Bawana at the insistence of D Company. The report added that the plan got busted after one of Bawana’s aides boasted about the plot to another associate during what was described as drunken banter. This was picked up by the agencies which brought it to the notice of all stakeholders involved in Rajan’s security. Currently, Bawana and Rajan are in Jail Number 2 of Tihar jail, but are in different cells. Following the intelligence report, Bawana has been shifted into an isolated cell.Rajan has been lodged in Tihar, and not in jails in Mumbai or Maharashtra, because officials felt it would be difficult for Dawood Ibrahim and his network to get to their target in the highly secure Delhi prison.In 2015, Rajan was arrested in Bali on the basis of a Red Corner Notice from Interpol and following a tip off by Australian authorities to the police in Indonesia. In the absence of an extradition treaty, the Indian authorities have already provided documents to their Indonesian counterparts about Rajan’s Indian identity to facilitate his deportation. The sources said Rajan was in touch with various police officials for last six months seeking a passage to return to India as he feared for his life in Australia from Chhota Shakeel, a henchman of Dawood.In 2000, there was an attempt on Rajan’s life when Dawood’s men tracked him down to a hotel in Bangkok but he managed a dramatic escape.Mumbai-born Rajan, once a close confidant-turned-rival of underworld gang lord Dawood, has said that he is not afraid of Dawood, the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. Rajan was arrested on a Red Corner notice by Interpol after eluding law enforcement agencies for over two decades. Out of these 75 cases, Rajan is facing four cases under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), one under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and over 20 cases under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

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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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Speak up Mumbai: Lax inspections allow flouting of safety norms

The fire in Bhanu farsan shop in Saki Naka has once again brought to light the fact that several commercial activities in Mumbai are carried out without the requisite licenses issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), and are run out of places that do not comply to fire safety normsMany residential structures across the city too have been found not complying to safety norms. La Mer building in Bandra, is a recent example, in which Sachin Tendulkar’s apartment caught fire. The building’s fire extinguishing system was found to be defunct and the Mumbai fire brigade issued a notice to the building under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2005.While the BMC insists that it’s the citizens first that need to comply with fire safety norms, the question that also arises is why the civic body and fire brigade department is not more stringent with its inspections. Officials contend that it is impossible to inspect every building thus they are building a software that allows them to issue notices online. In the meantime, BMC has said that it will be sealing shops which are found to be violating fire safety norms.Residents tell DNA whether they think the authorities are taking fire safety lightly.EXPERTS SPEAKIt is the BMC’s responsibility to ensure that all residential and commercial units comply with fire safety norms but it is also the duty of citizens to comply. We have given buildings and shops one month’s time. The SOP for safety norms is available on the MCGM’s website. We appeal to citizens to read and comply with them. Inspections are necessary but awareness is required too.—Nidhi Chaudhari, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Special)People are not aware of the importance of fire safety norms and put their own lives in danger. However, the BMC and fire brigade too do not inspect all structures nor do they take action against those flouting safety norms. Thus, it is supplementary. Illegal businesses take advantage of BMC’s leniency. The authorities should take action against structures whose complaints are lodged.—Anil Galgali, Social activistVOICESThere have been several incidents of fire in the city recently. In a way we are all responsible for taking fire safety precautions lightly. Every co-operative housing society in the city is supposed to carry out a fire safety audit every six months but we rarely see it being done. At times, the solution to the problem lies with us.—Rohan Salian, ParelIn many instances, the fire department does not have the necessary infrastructure to douse fire effectively. As active residents, we have often observed that the authorities’ reaction to fire incidents is only knee-jerk and there are no provisions in place to eliminate the causes of fire by the corporation and the government.—Sandeep Sawant, GoregaonConsidering the rise in fire incidents, it is true that we are taking fire safety lightly. Most of the fires broke in areas where the BMC has not given fire safety permissions due to illegal constructions. However, even BMC officials are responsible for such incidents as they often give permissions for such illegal constructions. The civic body should also keep a strict watch on residential societies and whether their fire safety equipment is in place.—Uday Nare, AndheriEvery residential society should conduct a fire audit to ensure that the building is safe from fire. As citizens, we do fail to keep fire safety equipment handy and maintain them giving room for such incidents to take place. If safety measures are taken care of, fewer such incidents will take place. We certainly take fire safety lightly. The fire department should enforce some strict measures and make sure citizens follow them to keep themselves safe.—Omkar Sawant, MaladEvery year hundreds of fires are reported across the city. We do not even bother to discuss it as it’s become a normal occurrence. We only discuss when the fire’s intensity is high or the number of casualties is more. From residents to authorities, we do not follow the guidelines to prevent fires at either residential or commercial places. Many of us are not even aware about the standard procedure to be adopted in case of a fire.—Amarjeet Singh, BhandupEveryone, authorities and citizens alike, is taking fire safety lightly. In a number of places the wiring is not done properly or wires are seen hanging or exposed. In case of a fire, one needs to ensure that they can run to safety. However, there are many people who do not listen. This creates impediments in the way of a fire officer while fighting the fire as well. People should also take precautions to not leave the knob of the cooking gas on.—Jagdish Kulur, FortIt is not that the citizens or authorities are taking fire safety norms lightly. Most of the commercial and residential premises in the city are fire compliant and the fire brigade also works promptly in the case of fire emergencies in the city. But there needs to be more awareness among citizens on fire safety norms and fire fighting methods and action should be taken against illegal shops and establishments in the city that are not fire compliant.—Krushna Gupta, BorivliAlthough the number of fatalities in such incidents is on the rise, we are not taking enough safety measures. Having fire complaint workplaces and eating houses should be mandatory. Awareness about the dangers of not having a fire compliant area should be widely publicised and people should be educated on simple safety measures which can prevent major outbreaks. The government should introduce strict fire safety laws.—Gaurav Pinglay, Dombivili

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State has to play neutral role to ensure all citizens get equal protection under law: Hamid Ansari

Former vice-president Hamid Ansari today called for ensuring basic principles of the Constitution so that every citizen can be assured equal protection under the law.Speaking at a discussion on, ‘Is Secularism Dead in India’, at Jadavpur University, Ansari said the state has to play a neutral position to make this possible. “There has to be a neutral standard which the state has to observe not in theory but in practice, equal protection has to be imbibed in the agents of state,” Ansari said. “Who can guarantee my neighbour eats the same food as I do, his faith is the same as my faith. If anything that impedes the reality of our plurality, that should not be allowed to remain there,” he said. Speaking about secularism, Ansari said it was a subject so relevant in this country.”And I dare say not only to citizens of this country but to the world which is indicative of concern in the wider international community,” he said. The fact that we are a plural society is not a matter of debate, Ansari said.From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Bengal to Gujarat, in every direction the plurality, complexity, diversity of society is self-evident, the former vice-president added. “There is diversity in every conceivable manner, diversity of language and diversity in food habits,” he said. Ansari, who was the vice-president of India from 2007-2017, jokingly described his tenure as ex-officio chairmanof Rajya Sabha “as the referee in a hockey match”.Also readDon’t politicise Urdu; it’s the language of everyone in India: Former VP Hamid AnsariHistorian and Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Bose during in his address said secularism as set of values enables society to ride over prejudice to creatively accommodate differences and respect multiple identities.Bose said the most urgent task now is to rescue religion from bigots and nationalism from chauvinists. “We must take stand against religious bigotry and majoritarianism that is stoking our land. Majority of our people are ‘dharmabhirus’ not ‘dharmandhos,” he said. Talking about Swami Vivekananda and Rishi Aurobinda’s preachings, Bose said, “We need to engage their teachings but not allow distortion of their views for narrow political gains.”

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Wanted sharpshooter nabbed for killing BJP worker, 2 others

The Noida Special Task Force (STF) arrested a sharpshooter in connection with triple murders of BJP worker Shiv Kumar Yadav and his two gunners last month, from the Bisrakh area of Greater Noida on Friday.According to the police, the accused has been identified as Anirudh Bharadwaj, 25, who was working as a collection agent at MCD toll in Mayur Vihar. He reportedly works for Anil Bhati, the nephew of gangster Sunder Bhati.”Bharadwaj was arrested at 12.30 am after we received a tip off. He was carrying a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head,” Deputy Superintendent of Police, STF, Raj Kumar Mishra said.Police said Anirudh, a resident of Muzaffarnagar, has been involved in criminal activities since 2011. He first came in touch with gangster Anil Bhati a year ago. Bhati’s uncle Sushil Shukla is serving a life sentence after murdering timber merchant Satish Tyagi in 2008.”Before going to jail, Shukla was an active member of the Vicky Tyagi gang in western Uttar Pradesh. He also roped in Bharadwaj, who later started working with Tyagi himself,” Mishra said.In 2011, following Tyagi’s directions, Anirudh murdered a youngster in Muzafarnagar and came out on bail after six months and 10 days. He then fled to Meerut and became friends with a criminal, Amar Singh, 28, and lived with him in a temple. Police said Amar was in touch with Bhati and introduced Anirudh to him in 2016.”Four months ago, Bhati helped Anirudh, Naresh Teotia, and Amar Singh in getting them jobs at the MCD toll plaza in Mayur Vihar. The trio worked as collection agents. Nearly 40 men work at the toll plaza,” Mishra said.He added that Teotia was arrested on December 4 in Bisrakh area during an encounter. The trio was roped in by Bhati to kill BJP worker Shiv Kumar.

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Congress narrows BJP vote lead in Gujarat polls

Resurgent Congress narrowed the vote lead BJP had been enjoying over it for successive elections by adding 1,59,413 more voters than its rival between 2012 and 2017 elections. In the previous elections, BJP had been widening the vote lead over Congress.In urban areas, which is a stronghold of BJP, it added lesser votes than BJP but added seats to its tally. According to political analysts, if the trend continues in upcoming polls, the contest would be more even.In 2002, BJP added 28,93,527 votes as compared to Congress’ 23,55,718. Similarly, it added 5,45,619 votes in 2007 and 23,79,607 votes 2012. Congress added 2,69,274 votes in 2007 and 23,65,227 votes in 2012. Throughout this period, BJP widened the lead by 5,37,809 votes, 2,69,274 votes and 14,380 votes over Congress. However, things turned around in 2017. BJP added 16,04,848 votes compared to Congress 17,64,261 and the lead shrunk by 1,59,413 votes for BJP. It was this key reason why Congress raised its tally from 61 in 2012 to 77 in 2017. Votes added by Congress’ allies Bharatiya Tribal Party and Independent candidate Jignesh Mevani, the lead would further shrink. BTP bagged 2,22,694 votes, while Mevani got 95,497 votes all of which are in rural areas.Congress was definitely a winner in rural areas and it was here that it witnessed the majority of voter addition. Congress added 13,06,795 votes in villages compared to 10,53,781 votes by BJP. Of the 77 seats, it won in recent elections, 71 were in villages and small cities and towns.”Results are a clear indication that agenda is very different for rural and urban voters. Rural voters voted on the issues that affect their day-to-day lives and Congress was a clear winner here. Villages are suffering from agrarian distress and people here voted for Congress. It also indicates that Congress has a better organisation in rural areas compared to urban areas,” said Amit Dholakiya, a Professor of Political Science at M S University in Vadodara.On the other hand, Congress added fewer votes compared to BJP in cities. Congress added 4,57,467 since 2012, while BJP added 5,51,067 votes in the corresponding period. In spite of this, Congress added two seats in these areas.Congress wrested seats of Bapunagar and Jamalpur-Khadia seats in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar – North and Junagadh from BJP, but lost Rajkot-East and Jamnagar-North to the rival.This indicates that Congress suffers from a severe bottleneck of dysfunctional organisation and party cadre compared to its rival in cities, a fact that even party acknowledge. “The party structure is not so strong in cities. That is the reason why we were not able to convince the voters in spite the fact that our manifesto was far more people friendly. We had announced unemployment allowances, housing for women, free education for girl child, affordable healthcare and education services. But we could not connect to the voters,” said Gadhvi.Dholakiya also said that unlike rural votes, who voted on rational consideration, urban voters were driven by poll propaganda and rhetoric.

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SC rejects plea seeking nationwide liquor ban

The Supreme Court has found ‘no merit’ in a plea seeking a ban on liquor across the country claiming that it caused death, health problems, rise in crime graph and financial loss to the people.The top court rejected the plea and also imposed Rs 1 lakh as costs on the petitioner NGO Chaitanya Sravanthi, a Vishakhapatnam-based organisation . A bench of justices R F Nariman and Navin Sinha said that there was ‘no merit’ in the plea and it was dismissed with the costs to be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks.Advocate Sravan Kumar, appearing for the petitioner, said that the court should also direct an audit of the manufacture, distribution, supply, sale and consumption of various types of liquor in the country.He said that the ill-effects of consumption alcoholic beverages were contrary to the Right to Life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution, besides being contrary to the fundamental principles of governance under Article 37 and 47 of the Directive Principles of State Policy.Also readSunburn Music Festival: Bombay HC asks state govt to ensure ‘no alcohol’ for underage youth The plea also sought an action plan with regard to creation of awareness on the ill-effects of consumption of liquor and stringent action against the suppliers of alchoholic bevarages by strengthening the investigative mechanism, besides seizure and confiscation of stocks. “The availability and access to liquor have deleterious effects on both physical and psychological well-being of individual, besides having serious societal implications,” it said, adding that the free availability of liquor was correlated to crime, accidents and fatalities.It also sought a direction for a review of the regulation policy for the manufacture, supply and sale of liquor in various states for the purpose of bringing about uniformity. The plea also sought strict implementation of restrictions and regulations on sale of liquor to minor, setting up of liquor shops near schools and temples and conduct of awareness campaign regarding ill-affects of liquor at par with that for tobacco.

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Delhi High Court orders inquiry into Delhi Ashram after Dera-like charges

The Delhi High Court initiated an inquiry on Tuesday against a Rohini-based ashram, called Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidhyalaya Ashram run by one Virendra Dev Dixit, after it received “serious allegations” of sexual assault on women and minor girls who have been allegedly held captive there under the garb of guiding them to enlightenment.Without making any direct references to Ram Rahim or the Dera Sacha Sauda sect led by him, the bench said similar activities were going on in Sirsa. “This issue is similar to the situation faced in Sirsa, where the girls and women were illegally confined,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.A plea was filed by an NGO for Social Empowerment on behalf of several parents whose daughters have been wrongly confined in the ashram.The matter came to light last month when a family from Jhunjhnu, Rajasthan, visited the ashram to meet their daughter who had been detained since 9 November. The plea said that the parents were not allowed to meet her.Another such parent, whose daughter is a Chemical Engineering scholar with a PhD and Post Doctorate from IOWA State University (USA) in nano technology, was also present in court. They stated that their daughter has also been confined.An alleged victim said in the court that the people at the Ashram brainwash girls and women and sexually assault them under the pretext of religion. “I was left by my parents (at the ashram) for a two-month course, during which I was sexually assaulted. They brainwash people stating that no wrong deed is being committed. Wo kehte hain ki bhagwan hai (they say they are god),” she said.Several such cases were brought to light in the court through the plea, which also claimed that the victims are kept under the influence of drugs and indoctrination, and are being used to run a prostitution racket.The court directed Delhi Police Commissioner, Amulya Patnaik, to depute an official not below the rank of a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) to conduct an inspection of the ashram. The bench constituted a three-member committee comprising DCP (Rohini) Rajneesh Gupta, a representative of the Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) Swati Maliwal and Nandita Rao to immediately conduct an inspection and submit their report by the next date of hearing, i.e. Wednesday. The court also directed a videography of the inspection.The matter came up on urgent mentioning following which the bench expressed serious concerns about the issue. The plea, filed through advocate Shalabh Gupta, alleged that these so-called ashrams have become like jails where women (both minor and major) are being detained and exploited by the founders. The bench said that the plea is of an “extremely urgent nature” and “suggests dangers to the lives of the girls illegally confined”.The court also expressed its displeasure on the non-registration of FIRs in five complaints, one of which also includes suicide. The inmates of the ashram are mostly women and all of them come from various parts of the country. The matter has been listed for hearing today.

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Five days in police custody for farsan factory owner

On Tuesday, Saki Naka police produced 38-year-old Ramesh Bhanushali at Andheri Metropolitan court, which remanded him into police custody for five days for investigation. During their primary probe, police found that Bhanushali had allegedly employed a minor boy in the factory. The boy was one of the 12 victims of the major fire which engulfed the farsan factory on Monday morning.According to police, Bhanushali owned the factory unit situated at Kairani Road in Saki Naka, and had allegedly illegally purchased commercial cylinders. Additionally, cylinders meant for household use were also being used for commercial purposes, which led to the leakage of gas which transformed a minor fire into a major one. The police also found that the factory unit had been converted, illegally, into a resting zone for workers. “The accused did not acquire the requisite licenses for running the factory,” said a senior officer from Saki Naka police station. “The court granted us custody on the grounds that we have to collect documents pertaining to the factory to identify two other victims. We also have to take statements of the two eyewitnesses.”Bhanushali has been arrested under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 285 (Negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter) and 337 (Causing hurt, endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code and under relevant sections of the BMC Act.ND Reddy, deputy commissioner of police, Zone 10, said, “We are probing to see whether any other person too is involved in the incident and arrests will be made if the role of any other person crops up during investigations.”

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Mumbai shop fire: Owner gets five-day police custody

A Mumbai court on Tuesday remanded the owner of a snack shop, where 12 people were charred to death in a massive fire on Monday, to five-day police custody.Ramesh Bhanushali, the owner of the shop in Sakinaka-Kurla area, was arrested late last night.He was produced before a magistrate in suburban Andheri, who remanded him to police custody till December 24, a senior official attached to Sakinaka police station said.Bhanushali was booked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire) and 337 (causing hurt by act endangering safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code.The blaze erupted in the ‘Bhanu farsan (snack) shop’ in Makaria Compound on the Khairani Road around 4.25am yesterday following which the structure collapsed.

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15-year-old rape survivor moves Delhi HC seeking permission to abort 26-week pregnancy

A 15-year-old rape survivor moved the Delhi High court on Monday seeking to terminate her over 26-week pregnancy after the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) refused to conduct the abortion of the minor.A bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice PS Teji sought a reply from the Centre and the Delhi government following the plea. It also directed the officials of AIIMS to present before the court the medical opinion rendered by them.The bench also directed that since the co-ordinate bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice I S Mehta has been dealing with this matter, so it be listed before the concerned bench after taking orders from the Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal.Also readBombay High Court allows 26-weeks minor rape survivor to terminate pregnancyThe matter came up for hearing after it was urgently mentioned in the court. According to the plea filed through her father, the minor sought urgent directions to allow her to medically terminate her pregnancy.The plea, filed through advocate Kamlesh Kumar Mishra, said the victim was missing since March 31 after she left home following an altercation with her mother. An FIR in this regard was lodged on April 1 at the Sarita Vihar police station. A habeas corpus petition was filed on November 21 following which she was recovered on November 26.Also read12-year-old rape survivor delivers baby after abortion denied by Madhya Pradesh High CourtThe accused was arrested a day later on November 27 from Narora village, district Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh.The plea alleged that the police’s version of the minor eloping with the accused is false. On the account of the ordeals as narrated to her parents, the plea said that she was taken away by a woman who further sold her off to a family in Etah, Uttar Pradesh allegedly to be married off to a handicapped person. A fake court marriage was conducted following which she was made to live with the family.Also readSupreme Court allows 13-year-old rape survivor to abort pregnancyOn her recovery, the minor had refused to go with her parents following which she was sent to Prayas Juvenile Home. However, her parents were allowed to meet her. A few days later, she visited her parents and expressed her desire to terminate the pregnancy.On December 8, the Child Welfare Committee (South East District) recorded that the child is pregnant and wants to terminate her pregnancy and therefore referred her to AIIMS. However, it was informed to her on December 15 that she is not allowed to terminate the pregnancy.“The petitioner is before this Hon’ble court not only to seek an order directing termination of her own pregnancy but to pass a specific guideline with regard to the termination of pregnancy of any rape survivor specifically if minor whatever may be the age of the foetus,” the plea stated.

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Gujarat: Counting of votes starts in India PM’s home state

Counting of votes in underway in Gujarat, which Narendra Modi’s party has governed for 22 years.

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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Himanta Biswa Sarma congratulates Rahul’s elevation; says will continue to have political contests with him

Assam BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma‏ on Saturday congratulated newly-elected Congress president Rahul Gandhi on assuming the top party post. The message comes two months after Sarma made fun of the newly-elected Congress President’s Twitter post of his dog Pidi..”My congratulations and best wishes to @OfficeOfRG on your taking over as @INCIndia President. May you have a wonderful & successful tenure. We shall continue to have ideological and political contests,” he tweeted.Sarma, who had quit the party and joined the BJP on the eve of the last state elections, accusing Rahul Gandhi of “indifference” to party affairs. He had even posted a series of comments after Rahul Gandhi had shared pictures of his dog Pidi.Also readCongress can stand for Rahul Gandhi’s dog Pidi but not for national anthem: Himanta Biswa Sarma”Sir @OfficeOfRG, who knows him better than me. Still remember you busy feeding biscuits to him while we wanted to discuss urgent Assam’s issues,” Sarma said, provoking Congress leaders to lash out at him.”We also know you better now,” was the reaction of Mahila Congress president and Lok Sabha MP from Silchar Sushmita Dev, who tagged Sarma.Congress social media in charge Divya Spandana, responding to Gandhi s tweet said, “So know you who can match this talent.”Gandhi’s tweet came at a time when his social media popularity is a subject of intense discussion.The BJP has accused Gandhi of using bots to inflate his fan following on the microblogging website, but the Congress defended his Twitter resurgence as natural. The bot is a software that can be used to autonomously perform actions such as tweeting, retweeting, liking, following, unfollowing, or direct messaging other accounts.

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Alpha to Bravo

The joint exercises between the Indian and the British Armies, third in the series, culminated on Thursday at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges near Bikaner.Meanwhile, heli-borne exercises were also conducted while methods of insertions were also taught followed by actual practice for the intended target. As the days progressed officers of both the armies started focusing on specific counterterrorism operations with lectures and demonstrations by UK contingent on search and destroy mission while cordon and search demonstration by Indian contingent. Interestingly the contingents were shown handling of venomous snakes during jungle survival training.In his closing remarks, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh of the Indian Army conveyed that in the current flattened world and the ever-changing militancy environment, such joint endeavors are the need of the day to find a solution to this global menace and such exercise are a small but concrete step in the right direction.The closing ceremony was attended by observers and senior military dignitaries from both the Armies. Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, British High Commissioner in India and Major General Robert Harry Talbot Rice from the United Kingdom and Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, General Officer Commanding STRIKE 1 and Major General Rupinder Singh, General Officer Commanding Cockerel Division from Indian Army were present.

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Strict action against those who have delayed Mumbai University results: Vinod Tawde

Maharashtra state education minister Vinod Tawde on Thursday announced that stringent action would be taken against those responsible for delaying the Mumbai University results.Tawde was responding to a call to attention motion moved by several state leaders, including Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Varsha Gaikwad, Abu Azmi, Ajit Pawar and Amit Deshmukh.NCP’s Ajit Pawar asked if action would be taken against ministers or whether it would be restricted to the vice chancellor only, even ask MoS Ravindra Waikar gave details of the chronology of events that led to the delay of results.Meanwhile, Vikhe Patil asked whether government would file criminal ase against vice-chanellor.

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Yogi Cabinet approves UPCOCA to check organized crime

To give more powers to security forces in controlling crime, law and order in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government approved the UP Control of Organized Crime Act (UPCOCA) on the lines of MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act).A Bill in this regard was approved by the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet on Wednesday after six-month long deliberations over the provisions of the Act. The Bill will now be tabled at the winter session of the State Legislature, beginning Thursday, for promulgation of the Act. In another important decision, the Cabinet also approved to install bio-metric attendance systems at the Secretariat and other government offices and made bio-metric attendance mandatory for all government employees, including the IAS, IPS and PCS officers. “The State government has accorded top priority to control law and order. The Act is aimed at tightening further noose around criminals in Uttar Pradesh,” said Srikant Sharma, BJP government Spokesperson.The Bill was drafted after studying the provisions made in MCOCA. Stringent measures have been recommended in the bill against those involved in criminal activities, organized crime like running mafia gangs, mine mafia, land grabbing, kidnapping for ransom etc.The Bill provides to confiscate and attach properties acquired through illegal means of criminals and makes provisions for punishment from minimum three years to Capital punishment. It also provides a fine of Rs 5 to 25 lakhs. To break the nexus between the criminals and politicians, it envisages special power to the police. The bill also proposes o extend period of filing chargesheet from 90 days to 180 days.Provisions of UPCOCA could be slapped only after recommendation of the Commissioner or IG rank officials. The state government would also establish special force and UPCOA Courts to expedite such cases. The Principal Secretary Home will personally monitor cases under UPCOA.The Yogi Adityanath government has already launched a massive cfrackdown against criminals in the state. About 30 reward-carrying criminals have so far been shot dead by the police in encounters.“The UPCOCA will give much-required additional powers to the security forces to send criminals to jail and get them punishment in shortest time through the UPCOA Courts,” said a senior police official.The ruling BJP has majority in UP Assembly but ot would be interesting how the Bill is passed in the UP Council, the Upper House, dominated by the opposition Samajwadi Party which had opposed the Bill in 2007 when then Chief Mayawati had tried to introduce it.

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Aadhaar case: Five-judge SC Bench to hear matter tomorrow

The Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution bench will hear a case in connection with mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers on Thursday.Lawyer Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioner, sought the apex court’s intervention for an urgent hearing seeking interim relief in the Aadhaar case.On Wednesday, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice Dipak Misra, after hearing the mentioning in the Aadhaar case, said, the apex court’s five-judge Constitution bench would hear the matter tomorrow at 2 pm.Earlier on October 30, the apex court referred all the Aadhaar related cases to a five-judge Constitution bench to be formed by the end of November.Till the time the court sets up the Constitution bench and passes orders, the government can continue to use Aadhaar for its various programmes.Earlier the court had tagged 22 cases to be heard by a smaller bench.The cases challenge several aspects of Aadhaar, including the use of data collected under the unique identification programme.

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I have a deep unshakeable bond with Rajasthan: Vasundhara Raje

Q: Looking back how would you evaluate the four years ? How satisfied are you with your performance ?A: Four years is a very short period. I cannot say I am satisfied, it is work in progress. We have done some good work and with the continuation of programmes you will see Rajasthan upwardly mobile. We inherited a shaky economy. The four years have been used to change despondence to hope because of opportunities.Q: You got a brute majority; how far have you been successful in fulfiling the expectations of the people ? A: My connect with the people is constant. Our programmes and their implementation have been for the benefit of all sections. Going digital with our schemes is a major achievement. We are giving rations through POS machines, Bhamashah Swasthya Beema Yojna has helped provide better health care. The Mukhymantri Jal Swavlamban Yojna has been a success story that is heartening. People have come forward to support it. At the same time we have launched intra state air connectivity. Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Kota, Ajmer are connected through air. The list can go on. Q: How many announcements that made have been completed ? What is your biggest success ? What achievements can you cite ?A: We did not make enormous announcements. We have some 10-15 flagship schemes that are aimed to benefit the common people. We are assiduously following their implementation. The Bhamashah Yojna, Annapurna, Nyay Aaapke Dwar and Rajshri are schemes that have reached out to people to make a difference. Our programmes have been covering the various stages where state intervention is required to provide necessary support and bring the needy under state intervention.The schemes are also very encompassing. For example; A woman gets vaccinations when she is expecting a baby; the baby too gets vaccinated; the girl child gets financial benefit on completing school; scooties are provided to assist movement to education places. Over a span of several years these focused interventions through programmes bring concrete positive results. Q: What can one expect from the 5th Budget of this tenure ? What populistic works will be done keeping the election in mind ? A: In the next budget, announcements will be minimalised. The budget will be about implementations. We will use the money to complete pending works. Our focus will on delivery. Q: Don’t you think hate crime incidents like the Rajsamand put forward need for tightening up of law and order situation ? A: I condem such acts. We will not tolerate them. Immediate action was taken in the Rajsamand case, and let me tell you, all people irrespective of their caste community are equal before us. Q: What would you consider is the biggest achievement of this tenure ?A: The contact that has been established with the people is a major achievement. I have been meeting people through the Mukhymantri Jansamwad Karyakram and hearing them first hand. It is a learning experience. Action is being taken on spot. The Jhunjhunu ration issue is a very recent example. The message has gone out that those not performing duties will be penalized.Q: But is not too late?A: We started with Sarkaar Aapke Dwar, but that was too huge. We trimmed it to Aapka Zila Aapki Sarkaar. We further trimmed it to Mukhymantri Jansamwad where I myself go to a district for three days and sort out people’s problems at hand. Now only 17 districts are to be visited. I am enjoying it as I am meeting people personally and solving their problems.Q: When is Prime minister expected to lay foundation stone for the refinery?A: We have requested for the Prime Minister’s time and we expect him to come in January.Q: The government is facing litigations related to decisions that should have been taken; for example the one about vacant posts in the boards and commissions. When will they be filled ?A: We have been making appointments. But this is a continuous process. The posts that remain vacant will be filled soon.Q: Is there any chance of next edition of Resurgent Rajasthan in last year of your government?A: In my first stint as chief minister I made mistake by holding the event in 2008 which was last year of the government. So the succeeding government scrapped the MoU signed in the event. In the current tenure the event was organized in 2015 so the MoUs could be implemented. Now see the result we are implementing them successfully. So, no Resurgent Rajasthan this year.Q: Doctors are agitating, Government employees are striking over pay commission implementation. Why is this not being addressed?A: In a democracy all have a right to put across their opinion. But doctors have to address their human responsibilities too. As for the employees they are our backbone and I have always been with them, even during the implementation of the sixth pay commission. As a part of our family, they But they too will have to understand our financial conditions.Q: There have been several communal incidents across the state what is the reason? A: The government is committed to control all such incidents immediately. The police has done a good job in containing the incidents. I congratulate the police.Q: Cow vigilantism and crimes related to cattle smuggling are on the rise. What is the reason?A: We do not support any illegal acts. Action will be taken against all wrong doers. We are committed to this and it reflects in the action we have taken.Q: Padmavati controversy has prompted you to ban the film in the state. How fair is it?A: Padmini is an issue of pride not just for Rajasthan but for the entire country. We support an artist’s right to expression, but injury to our dignity will not be accepted. We have merely respected public sentiment.Q: There is much talk about you not sharing cordial relations with the Centre and also about you being called to the Centre. What is the truth ?A: Rajasthan is surging ahead and scaling new heights of progress. As for having a troubled relation with the Centre; even I hear such talks. I heard it all through last tenure and all these four years. But, see I have a deep unshakable bond with Rajasthan. That cannot be severed. And my efforts will be for the betterment of the people of the State. Q: What is the government’s intent on loan waiver to farmers?A: We are committed to supporting farmers. A committee has been set up that is in the process of studying various models of loan waivers in different states. On basis of their report we will work out the waiver. Q: What are the expectations from the bypolls ?A: We continue to be tested and I believe we will return in these areas.Q: Congress has turned out to be a formidable opponent in Gujarat. Who will win the Gujarat, Rajasthan next year and the Parliamentary polls after that ?A: Undoubtedly we will win in Gujarat and Rajasthan and form a government again at the Centre.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Campaign ends in land, air and water; Gujarat set to vote

Curtains came down on Tuesday on the month-long high-voltage Gujarat poll campaign, which often spiralled into a vicious war of words between the lead contenders — the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a somewhat resurgent Congress in the state.As the cacophony over the second phase of polls ended, newly-declared Congress president Rahul Gandhi capped his temple visits by sporting a ‘Rudraksha’ and Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a seaplane to reach his hometown Mehsana, bringing the spotlight back on his Gujarat Vikas plank. Polling for 93 seats in central and north Gujarat will be held on Thursday.Issues such as Ram Temple in Ayodhya and Rahul Gandhi’s religious origin after his entry in to the Somnath Temple, kept the political pot boiling, overshadowing the debate over development. The last leg of the campaign saw the PM alleging Pakistan’s involvement in Gujarat polls and a sharp rebuttal by former PM Manmohan Singh. The trends, in fact, left both parties baffled even as they publicly claimed victory.As per indications, the state is all set to witness its most keenly contested polls in the last two decades. While no election rallies or public meetings will now be allowed,candidates can carry out door-to-door campaigning.While Modi, who served as Gujarat chief minister for 13 years, was the party’s poster boy even for this election, Rahul spent over 20 days in the state to end his party’s 22-year losing streak.The BJP and the Congress had also planned roadshows in Ahmedabad, featuring Modi and Rahul, respectively, in a last attempt to win over the voters but the plans had to be dropped as they couldn’t secure police permission.The BJP responded by getting a seaplane to take off from the Sabarmati river along with Modi. The plane landed on the Dharoi lake before going to the Ambaji temple in north Gujarat. At the same time, undeterred by BJP’s criticism, Gandhi visited the city’s Jagannath temple to offer prayers.The ongoing Gujarat elections are being seen as a huge test for Modi ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. An adverse or poor result in his home state could be a huge setback for him. Considering the high stakes involved, it wasn’t surprising that the election battle witnessed high-pitched campaigning from both sides.BJP’s attack on Congress mainly revolved around injustices to Gujarat and to Sardar Patel, while Congress’ criticism of BJP was mostly over issues such as note ban, GST, farmers’ distress, among others.A key component of the campaign was the emergence of the Patidar reservation stir leader Hardik Patel, whose rallies attracted huge crowds. But whether that will translate into votes for Congress is yet to be seen. Hardik, who declared support for the Congress, has vowed to inflict heavy losses on BJP.Meanwhile, election authorities said as many as 2.23 crore voters were eligible to vote in the second phase. “All preparations have been completed. Polling will take place in 25,558 booths. Over 1.75 lakh personnel will be on duty,” state’s Chief Electoral Officer BB Swain said.There are 851 candidates in the fray in the second phase, including deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, ministers Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and Pradipsinh Jadeja, leader of Opposition Mohansinh Rathwa, and senior Congress leader Siddharth Patel.Journalist and Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani, who is contesting as an Independent from the Vadgam SC seat, but with Congress support, is also in the fray. OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, fighting on a Congress ticket from Radhanpur, is another prominent face.The 93 seats that go to polls in the second phase are in Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Patan, Aravalli, Mehsana, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Mahisagar, Kheda, Anand, Vadodara, Panchmahals, Dahod, and Chhota Udepur.

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British national suspected of recruiting youth for Al-Qaeda sent to judicial custody

A Delhi court on Tuesday sent a British national, arrested for allegedly recruiting youths for Al-Qaeda to carry out terror activities, to judicial custody while extending the period of investigation by NIA by a month.The court sent the accused, Shamiun Rahman, who is of Bangladeshi origin, to prison after he was produced before it from the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) custody during an in-chamber proceeding, court sources said.It is also believed to have granted 30 more days to the NIA to complete its investigation after the agency moved an application seeking extension of the mandatory period of 90 days which ended today.27-year-old Rahman was arrested in September by the Delhi Police for his alleged involvement in recruiting Rohingya Muslims for the terror outfit and train them to fight against the Myanmarese army. The case was recently transferred from the Delhi police to the NIA.The accused had earlier moved an application before a city court through advocate M S Khan alleging that he was sexually harassed by the jail security personnel and inhuman behaviour was meted out to him by them.The court had sought a response from the jail authorities on that application.The Special Cell of the police had alleged that the process of radicalisation of Rahman alias Raju Bhai began in a jail in London where he was lodged on charges of rash driving.During this period, he stayed at various places in Kishanganj (Bihar), Hazaribagh (Jharkhand), NCR and other places, the Delhi police had claimed, alleging that the accused had plans to set up base in Mizoram or Manipur to train the radicalised youths.An FIR was filed by the special cell after his arrest under various provisions relating to the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Arms Act and Passport Act.

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Innovation & market adaptation way ahead for renewables, say experts

Adapting to market demands and innovation will be the way forward for clean energy sources and technologies, experts from India and Japan said at the Global Partnership Summit here on Monday. The panel of experts was discussing the theme of ‘Clean Energy Sources and Technology’, especially the role of solar energy in India’s renewable energy expansion plan.The discussion saw the participation of Masatsugu Shimono, Vice Chairman, IBM, Japan; Taishi Sugiyama, Senior Research Fellow, The Canon Institute for Global Studies; Aishwarya Kachhal, Indus Towers Limited and Prity Khastgir, Founder & CEO, Tech Corp International Strategist (TCIS). The session was moderated by Pranav Mehta, Founder Chairman, National Solar Energy Federation of India.Setting the tone for the discussion, Mehta stressed that renewable energy has figured prominently in the Paris climate accord that has been ratified by 170 countries till now. He pointed out that while the developed countries were leading renewable energy production a few years back, China has now sped ahead by becoming the world’s top solar energy producer, ahead of United States of America, Germany and Japan. India is the sixth largest producer of solar energy and a recent report by consulting firm Bridge to India said that India’s solar energy capacity is expected to touch 20GW or 20,000 MW by the end of 2017-18 financial year. Currently, around 22% of India’s power comes from renewable energy sources, Mehta said.Mehta added that there is also an urgent need for energy efficiency as conventional energy production sees significant loss during generation, distribution, storage and use.Meanwhile, researcher Taishi Sugiyama said that in the coming years, electric vehicles, self-driven cars and car sharing are going to be major contributors in cutting carbon emissions. “Carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced up to 100% and can also bring a host of economic benefits,” said Sugiyama.The panelists also emphasized RE’s impact on social innovation, health and livelihoods of people. Keeping in mind the present growth rate of the economy, the energy needs are expected to double in the next 6 to 7 years. To meet these needs, solar harvesting and big data analytics will play a pivotal role, said Prity Kshatgir.The Global Partnership Summit has evolved from the India Japan Global Partnership and the three-day event will see participation of over 200 speakers including central government ministers, industry leaders, academicians and social entrepreneurs. They will speak on issues such as clean energy, urban development, mobility, health and education among others.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | CEO says no tampering, just confusion

After Congress leader Arjun Modhwadhia and Indranil Rajguru had complained of EVM tampering and those being connected to bluetooth in their respective constituencies, chief electoral officer in Gujarat BB Swain told mediapersons that it was a result of misunderstanding.Swain said as a polling agent deputed at the polling station in Porbandar was carrying a mobile phone of Intex company with the model name ECO105, it led to the confusion. Swain also said that a report has been sent to the ECI that the complaint has been disposed after proper investigation.”Because the bluetooth mobile device was carrying the model name ECO105 which belonged to a polling agent of one party, it was reflected in the mobile instrument of a complainant. Because the initials of the model name resembled with EC, they filed a complaint but ultimately the matter is disposed after thorough checking by the experts,” he said.”The EC took this complaint very seriously and the district collector and returning officer reached the polling station besides senior expert engineers of BEL for investigation. Mobile device having ECO105 model name was found ultimately. We have sent this concluding report to the ECI also,” added Swain.Modhwadhia had complained that EVMs were being operated through bluetooth technology. The complaint stated that at booth number 146 and 147, Sharda Mandir School in Memanwaada area of Porbandar town, some unknown bluetooth devices were traced by other mobile handsets. Modhwadia, who is contesting from Porbandar constituency, had said that there have been a number of complaints of EVMs not working. “This is done deliberately to disturb the enthusiasm of voters. When our volunteers checked the EVMs, they were found to be connected to bluetooth and the connection of CEO Gujarat was getting displayed,” he said. Rajguru complained that EVM machines were getting connected to WiFi network. After the ruckus at the polling booth of Rameshbhai Chhaya School, the WiFi was reported to be shut down. In at least two dozens seats, there were reports of error in EVMs. In Mangrol (ST) constituency alone, EVM error was encountered in at least 20 villages, he said. An EVM Engineer who had visited Porbandar’s Thakkar plot said, “Whatever name you give to the bluetooth source, gets displayed.”

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Bereaved father files FIR in Fortis case

After losing his 7-year-old daughter Adya Singh allegedly at the hands of Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), bereaved father Jayant filed a police complaint alleging culpable homicide as well as forgery and destruction of evidence by the accused hospital management and treating doctors at Sushant Lok police station in Gurugram.In his FIR, Jayant states that on November 23 at close to 10 35 am, a senior management member of Fortis Hospital, Jasbir Grewal met the former on the pretext of discussing Adya’s case, in coffee shop of Trident Hotel in Gurugram. Jasbir offered Jayant a cheque of Rs 10, 37, 889. The proof can be corroborated in CCTV footage of the hotel, stated the FIR.“He also made a verbal offer of paying twenty-five lakh rupees on the agreement and asked me to remain shut about the case,” Jayant told DNA.Also readDengue Death Costing Rs 16 lakh: Investigation nails unethical acts of Fortis “When I refused to take the amount, Grewal warned me that this was the best offer as the government’s medical report would come fully in favour of the hospital and its practices,” stated the FIR filed by Jayant.However, the report released by the Haryana government has nailed FMRI on several unethical practices.Also readFortis and Medanta: 2 cases that show India’s crumbling private healthcare systemJayant alleged that FMRI was criminally negligent while treating baby Adya and also indulged in forgery, cheating and dishonest inducement of monies. “They have not only bribed me but have also destroyed, modified and altered evidence,” Jayant told DNA.The FIR alleges that Adya died a painful death on September 15 as Dr Vikas Varma from Fortis Hospital switched off the ventilator pipes and Ambu bag attached to the deceased when she was taken in the private ambulance.Also readNPPA issues notice to Fortis in Adya dengue death caseProbe instituted by a special investigative committee in Adya’s case by Haryana government has stated in its report that it was unethical to pull off life support on FMRI’s part.The report notes that on September 14 there was a huge lapse in Adya’s treatment. Life support was pulled off from Adya in the ambulance by Fortis doctors while she was being shifted to another hospital. The report says that withdrawal of life support by the hospital staff in the ambulance amounts to negligence and is against the law of the land. “Leave against medical advice does not mean that hospital disowns the patient completely. They must ensure all facilities for transfer/transport to home or other hospitals,” said the report.Once the treating doctors realised that the patient is about to “check out,” and is thus of no profitability value to them they pulled off the ventilator states the FIR. “This is calculated murder,” said Jayant.Jayant further alleges in the FIR that FMRI did not inform him or his wife about the medical ramifications or exorbitant costs involved in blood transfusion procedures. He has requested for the hospital documents to be sent to a forensic lab or an expert to analyse forgery.The FIR has been registered against nine persons from Fortis Management team including Malwinder Singh, FMRI Chairman and Shivinder Mohan Singh, Executive Vice Chairman of Fortis Health Care and additionally nine treating doctors.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: EC disposes Congress leader’s ‘Bluetooth EVM’ hacking complaint after investigation

The chief electoral officer in Gujarat BB Swain came on record to give the status on the complaint filed by Congress in Porbandar about the Bluetooth-operated EVMs. In a press conference, Swain said that it was the misunderstanding as a polling agent deputed at the polling station was carrying a mobile phone of Intex company with the model name ECO105, which created the confusion.Swain also said that the report to ECI has been sent on the status of the complaint that it has been disposed after proper investigation. The complaint had been lodged by Congress leader Arjun Modhwalia who had claimed EVMs in three polling booths were connected to an external device via Bluetooth. Swain, addressed a press conference at his office in Gandhinagar on Saturday and said, “Because, the Bluetooth mobile device was carrying the model name ECO105, which belonged to a polling agent of one party, it was reflected in the mobile instrument of a complainant. Because the initials of the model name resembled with EC, they filed a complaint but ultimately the matter is disposed after thorough checking by the experts.”Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Meet 126-year-old Ajiben Chandravadia, ‘oldest voter’ in the world “The election commission took this complaint very seriously and the district collector with returning officer reached the polling station and senior expert engineers of BEL reached for the investigation of the case. The complainant and local media persons also were kept present during the fact checking process and the mobile device having ECO105 model name was found ultimately. We have sent this concluding report to the Election Commission of India also,” added Swain.The complaint of EVMs being operated through Bluetooth technology was filed by the Congress candidate Arjun Modhwadia to the Election Commission. Senior Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia had complained of possible EVM tampering at three polling booths in a Muslim-dominated area of Porbandar claiming that some machines were found to be connecting to external devices via Bluetooth.Also readWATCH | Gujarat Elections 2017: Cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara casts his vote in Rajkot”We detected that the EVMs at three polling booths at Memanwada, a Muslim-dominated area, are connected to external devices through Bluetooth. When the Bluetooth of a mobile phone is turned on, a device named ‘ECO 105’ is shown as available,” Modhwadia, the Congress candidate from Porbandar, said. This clearly means that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) can be tampered with using the device via Bluetooth, he alleged.”The chips fitted in the EVMs appear to be programmable using Bluetooth, and this raises the possibility of tampering. The voting system should be immune to such connectivity to external devices,” he said.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Congress asks for mobile jammers outside rooms guarding EVMs to prevent riggingThe CEO also mentioned that the progressive and constant voting has been observed throughout the Gujarat. By 2:00pm, the average voting was recorded at 45.61%. He said that the number of voting turnout was considerably good and expected to remain high during last hours of polling.With inputs from PTI

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De-addiction centres to counter Udta Kashmir phenomenon

Alarmed by the rising incidence of drug abuse, Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to establish de-addiction centres in all district Hospitals across the state to counter the Udta Kashmir phenomenon.“The government will establish drug de-addiction centres in each district hospital of the state in next two months”, said Bali Bhagat¸ Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Health and Medical Education.This follows the alarming increase in the incidents of drug smuggling and addiction cases in the valley. Strife-torn Kashmir is emerging as a hub of the contraband drugs with smugglers exploiting the law and order problem to carry out the nefarious trade. More than 10000 drug abusers have been treated in police de-addiction centre alone since 2008.“Civil society to contribute to saving the youth from this menace and asked them to form Mohalla Committees to monitor and report the cases of drug abuse”, said Bhagat.Health minister also directed assistant Drug Controller to conduct inspections of supply records of the chemists to keep a check on the drug abuse. SSPs have also been asked to take stringent action against habitual offenders under NDPS Act.Official figures reveal that police have seized 64 kilograms of charas, 7.5 kilograms of charas powder, 194 kilograms of bhang and bhang dust, 925 kilograms of fukki, 915 kilogram of poppy straw and 3.75 kilogram of brown sugar in different parts of the valley in 2016. If it was not enough, police seized 26457 intoxicating capsules 10553 intoxicating tablets and 12983 bottles intoxicating syrup in 2016. Around 312 persons were arrested in 2016 of whom 202 were prosecuted and 26 others were booked under Public Safety Act (PSA), under which a person can be jailed without trial and bail up to two years. Similarly in 2015 police had registered 375 cases and arrested 442 people and 13 others have been booked under PSA.Figures released by Excise Department of Jammu and Kashmir have revealed shocking details about the drug cultivation in the trouble-torn valley. Poppy crop spread over 2863 kanals (20 kanals form one hectare) of land was destroyed this year so far. Last year poppy crop spread over 2873 kanals of land was destroyed by the Excise Department.In summer this year Bhang spread over 1475 kanals of land has been destroyed in Kashmir valley. Last year the crop over 180 kanals of land was destroyed by the Excise Department.

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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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India reacts to Donald Trump’s Jerusalem move, says ‘our views not determined by any third country’

Hours after US President Donald Trump dramatically announced his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, India on Thursday reacted with a firm resolve.In response to queries regarding India’s position on recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel by the US, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affair said, “India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country.”Even as the world leaders reacted to President Trump’s decision, the eight countries have called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council.Also readDonald Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in reversal of US policyBolivia, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Uruguay want a meeting by the end of the week, the Swedish mission to the 15-member body said.Japan, which currently holds the council’s rotating presidency, had not set a time for the meeting by Wednesday afternoon.Also readWorld leaders call emergency meeting after Donald Trump’s decision on JerusalemJerusalem’s status can only be resolved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said following Trump’s announcement.Guterres added that he had “consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures.””There is no alternative to the two-state solution.” Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz called Trump’s move “a reckless and a dangerous decision which goes against international law, the resolutions of the Security Council.””It’s a threat not just to the peace process, but also it’s a threat to international peace and security,” said the envoy.
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India newborn ‘mistakenly’ declared dead passes away

The baby was handed over in a plastic bag but his parents saw him move on their way to his funeral.

Woman robbed of Rs4.5L in FB fraud involving Nigerians

The JJ Marg police are probing a case where a south Mumbai housewife fell prey to a Facebook fraud involving Nigerian nationals. The victim was duped to the tune of Rs 4.5 lakh.According to the police, the victim befriended a man on Facebook who identified himself as a New York resident and an American citizen. The accused lied that his wife died recently due to cancer, and since then he is collecting money for the treatment of cancer patients.The accused made up a story involving cancer patients in Delhi needing urgent financial help. He also told the victim that certain customs officials have caught him at Delhi airport and they need to be bribed in order to release him.She then received a call from a woman who introduced herself as a customs officer and who convinced her to transfer money to her account through net banking.After transferring the money, the victim contacted the accused and the customs officer but both were unreachable. She then realised that she has been duped. The police have registered a case and are probing the matter.MODUS OPERANDIThe accused made up a story involving cancer patients in Delhi needing urgent financial help. He also told the victim that certain customs officials have caught him at Delhi airport and they need to be bribed in order to release him.
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After claiming 25 lives in Kerala, Cyclone Ockhi to make landfall in Gujarat by Tuesday midnight

After leaving a trail of destruction in the southern coast, Cyclone Ockhi is expected to make landfall in coastal Gujarat tomorrow midnight with squally winds, which may cause heavy rains in several parts of the state during the next two days.An India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast said, “The severe cyclonic storm Ockhi is now laid centred about 850 km south-southwest of Surat and is likely to cross south Gujarat and adjoining North Maharashtra coasts near Surat as a deep depression by mid-night of December 5.” Following the IMD prediction, Gujarat Chief Secretary J N Singh today took stock of the administrative preparedness to deal with any eventuality.Revenue department’s Principal Secretary Pankaj Kumar told reporters in Gandhinagar that the authorities concerned in the coastal region of the state have been directed to take all precautionary measures.Also readCyclone Ockhi: Death toll in Kerala rises to 25, Centre assures all help Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams each have been deployed at Surat, Navsari, and Rajkot.The officer said the Army, Navy, and the Border Security Force (BSF) have been alerted in the view of the cyclone’s landfall.Also readCyclone Ockhi: Schools to remain closed on Tuesday, Mumbai University and all its affiliated colleges to remain open “According to the IMD forecast, Cyclone Ockhi would enter south Gujarat tomorrow midnight. This will the impact coastal areas from Umargam (in south Gujarat) till Gir Somnath district (in Saurashtra).”We have directed local civic officials as well as the collectors to remain prepared and take all necessary steps for the safety of the people,” Kumar said.The principal secretary said collectors of the coastal districts have been asked to ensure that fishermen do not venture into the sea as it will remain rough.”Those fishermen who have already gone into sea should return now. Many such fishermen are already on their way to the coast,” he said.Kumar said according to the IMD forecast, wind velocity would remain between 50 KMPH to 70 KMPH when the cyclone would make landfall.In view of the adverse weather conditions, the RoRo ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej across the Gulf of Khambhat has been suspended. The service, inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would resume on December 6 subject if the weather conditions are suitable.According to the IMD, Gujarat is very likely to experience a wet spell during the next four days.”Heavy rainfall might occur in Valsad, Surat, Navsari, Bharuch, Dang, Tapi, Amreli, Gir-Sonath and Bhavnagar districts on December 5,” it said.In a port warning issued here, the MeT Centre said, “Sea condition would be rough. Fishermen (have been) advised not to venture into the sea till December 6. Hoist Distant Warning Signal Number 2 at all ports”.According to an official release, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held an urgent meeting with senior officials to take stock of the preparedness.During the meeting, he was apprised that as many as 50 boats from Kerala had drifted towards Gujarat’s Veraval coast due to the cyclone, it said.
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India doctors fired for mistakenly declaring newborn dead

The hospital which employed the doctors said the “strict action” was taken after an initial inquiry.

Delay no reason for relief in child sex abuse cases: Court

The special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSOA) court while justifying a delay caused in registering of FIR in a POCSOA case held that the parents and the family members of the girl child would think twice before registering a sexual harassment offence, which their child had gone through. The court while refusing to accept the defence placed on record by the 35 year old Sion resident, Jasbeersingh Baas, held the man guilty of molestation charges and sentenced him to three years of rigorous improvement along with a fine of Rs 22,000.The court in its orders held, “The victim’s mother had explained the delay by saying that her parents-in-law and husband were not at home so she had not lodged the report immediately, hence the delay is properly explained.Parents and the family members would always think twice before lodging the report as regards to a girl child. In context with Indian society, the female member cannot take such decision to file a case pertaining to child without support of family. So, delay caused is properly explained that victim’s mother lodged report when her husband, parent-in-law came.”According to the prosecution’s case, the victim, a nine year old girl, was abducted by Baas and was sexually molested. The child ran to her mother and informed that a ‘Sardaarji Uncle’ did wrong act with her and pointed out towards his house. The child in her statement said that the accused had lured her with chocolates and took her at his house and molested her. However the FIR in the case was not registered immediately as she claimed that there was no one present at her house when the incident took place and so she had to wait for her family to decide on the aspect of registering the complaint.The defence was of the view that he had slapped the child, as she had blown soil in his eyes, and just to take a revenge, a complaint under the stringent POCSOA charges against him and he was wrongly implicated in the case.The court however, after going through the evidence put up by the prosecution as well as after going through the statement of the child found confidence in the her statement. Also witnesses produced by the prosecution had supported the case.
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Wrongly incarcerated people not being rightly compensated: Delhi High Court

People who have been wrongly incarcerated are”left to their devices without any hope of reintegration into the society or rehabilitation since the best years of their life have been spent behind bars, invisible behind the high prison walls”, the Delhi High Court has said.A bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice I S Mehta expressed concern over the non-presence of a legal scheme for compensating these people, who, at various instances, have been acquitted by the high court or the Supreme Court after many years of imprisonment.”There is, at present, in our country no statutory or legal scheme for compensating those who are wrongfully incarcerated. The instances of those being acquitted by the High Court or the Supreme Court after many years of imprisonment are not infrequent.”They are left to their devices without any hope of reintegration into society or rehabilitation since the best years of their life have been spent behind bars, invisible behind the high prison walls,” the bench said.The court said that even though there is a provision of compensating the victims through Sections 357 and 357 A to C of the Cr PC, its effective implementation hinges upon the concerted efforts of legal services authorities and governments.”As far as compensating ‘persons groundlessly arrested’, Section 358 Cr PC offers some token relief. This provision, however, fails to acknowledge the multiple ways in which not only the prisoner, who may ultimately be declared innocent but the family of the prisoner faces deprivation and hardship. Particularly, poignant is the plight of the spouse, children and aged parents of the prisoner who are unable to find legal redress for their losses,” the court held.It stressed on”an urgent need for a legal (preferably legislative) framework for providing relief and rehabilitation to victims of wrongful prosecution and incarceration”.The observation came while dealing with three wide issues which had come up while hearing a criminal appeal. The court had directed GS Bajpai Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice and Registrar, National Law University, Delhi to be the amicus curiae and submit a report on the three issues.
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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Patidar, GST factor to impact Mehsana battle

Mood in the spice city of Gujarat is pungent over GST and the ruling party could find the taste unpalatable as it contests the poll in the epicentre of Patidar agitation.But, non-Patidar voters have high praise for the work done by PM Narendra Modi in Mehsana, whose village Vadnagar is under Unjha Assembly seat, where people from several houses are NRIs.Coupled with GST woes is Patidar’s reservation agitation in both Unjha as well as the district town Mehsana from where Gujarat’s Deputy CM Nitin Patel contests.Mehsana is billed as the toughest test for the BJP in Gujarat owing to larger number of influential Kadva Patel voters, who are also believed to have funded Hardik Patel’s agitations across the state.Resultantly, the BJP has depended on its senior Patel leaders and has also attempted to reach out to OBCs, which may not find Hardik Patel’s aggressive Patel quota stir suiting their interests.In Mehansa, while Congress’ hopes are high owing to Patidar factor, BJP has banked on its formidable and flamboyant face Nitin Patel, who is contesting the seat for the second term.As one enters Mehsana from Ahmedabad, the bill boards of BJP has only face apart from Nitin Patel on it—that of Modi.In the background is the buzz that even Nitin Patel could be declared as CM face as BJP seeks to counter Patel anger. BJP has so far downplayed such speculation.A number of non-Patel voters to which DNA talked, however, vouched for “Vikas” in Gujarat when Modi was CM and said they will vote for BJP, whoever is the candidate.50-year-old Garmej Singh, a settler from Bhuli in Dhanbad, who has road roller business in Mehsana says that the contest is no doubt not one-sided this time but “jeetenge Modiji hi”.A youth Hardik Patel claims all Patels will not vote for Congress on Hardik’s call while BJP will get votes of all other communities. Besides he cities “Nitinbhai’s personal connect” as a major boost for BJP in Mehsana.Even as APMC in both Mehsana town and Unjha have their chairman from BJP, the mood of traders in both places shows all is now well. In Mehsana APMC, Mukeshbhai Modi says that Patel youths, who have borne the brunt of agitation are angry but is hopeful that elders will see reason and stick to the BJP, which they have been supporting for two decades. “Had BJP fielded anybody else than Nitinbhai, it was a sure loss but he has worked a lot for Mehsana,” he says while noteban is not an issue, GST is indeed creating heartburns.In Unjha APMC, Jigneshbhai says, “We have nothing to do with BJP or Congress. But who brought this GST. All the traders are harassed. Our business went down. We will let it known.”
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Bhopal: Remove toxins in Union Carbide under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, NGOs tell PM Modi

Two organisations working for survivors of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to get the toxic waste lying in the defunct Union Carbide factory here removed under the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’.Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sanghathan (BGPMUS) and Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti (BGPSSS) have made the request in a letter sent to Modi on November 30.”It is inexplicable as to why the issue of the urgent need for cleaning up the highly toxic spots in and around the former pesticide factory of Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) at Bhopal is not a vital part of that (SBA) campaign,” they said in the letter.Toxic gas spewed from the Carbide factory on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, killing thousands of people and gravely affecting about 5,50,000 others.”Kindly direct the officials concerned to take requisite steps to re-mediate the polluted environment (including 1,10,000 tons of contaminated soil alone) by seeking necessary technical help from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),” stated the letter.Abdul Jabbar Khan, convener of BGPMUS and N D Jayaprakash, co-convener of BGPSSS, wrote the letter.
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India, UK armies begins Ajeya Warrior ’17

Ajeya Warrior 2017 — the two-week-long joint training exercise between the Indian and the British Army — began on Friday at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Bikaner district of Rajasthan.Conducted in the backdrop of UN mandate of anti-terrorism, the joint exercise started with a sombre, impressive opening ceremony. It started with an address by Lt Colonel Sangram Yadav and Major David Granfield. They gave a brief of the events that would comprise the two-week exercise scheduled to be held from December 1 to 14.According to sources, both India and UK are facing the scourge of terrorism and have joined hands to participate in this combined military exercise. The exercise will see the two forces carrying out multiple tactical maneuvers jointly to hone their skills. They will understand each others’ concept of anti terrorist operations and imbibe the adaptable aspects. The troops will jointly patrol and lay ambush in a simulated terrorist infested environment.The training contingent comprises one company each from the Indian Army and the British Army. Approximately 120 personnel each from the 20th Battalion of The Rajputana Rifles from the Indian Army and The Royal Anglian Regiment of the British Army.Both the forces have vast experience in the field of anti-insurgency and anti-terrorism. While Indian troops bring on table their experiences in Sri Lanka and Jammu and Kashmir, the 1st Battalion of Royal Anglian Regiment boasts of vast experience operating in Iraq and Afghanistan.Defence spokesperson Lt Col Manish Ojha, said, “The exercise will be conducted in multiple modes to achieve complete integration. It also aims to enhance inter-operability while sharing skills and experiences.”Ajey Warrior 2017 is the third joint biannual Indo-UK war exercise. The first exercise was conducted in Belgaum Karnataka in 2013. The second exercise was in 2015 in UK.
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Triple talaq to be illegal

A draft law released on Friday makes the use of instant triple talaq illegal, besides provisioning for up to three years in jail and a fine.Earlier this year, a five-judge Constitution Bench had struck down the practice of instant triple talaq in a 3:2 judgment. The draft law was released today in a bid to deter the continued use of the practice in the Muslim community despite the top court’s judgment.The proposed law is only applicable to ‘Talaq-e-Biddat’ or the instant triple talaq through any means — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp.The draft ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’ was sent to state governments on Friday for their views, with responses sought on an urgent basis.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh headed the interministerial committee that prepared the draft. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and ministry of state P P Chaudhary were also on the panel. However, the women and child development ministry, which drafted the Centre’s affidavit in the matter along with interministerial consultations said it was not approached to be part of the committee.The new law empowers the victim to approach a magistrate seeking a ‘subsistence allowance’ for herself and her minor children. An aggrieved woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate, who will take a final call on the issue.This law is a non-bailable, cognisable offence and applicable to the entire country, except Jammu and Kashmir.The Centre is likely to table the bill during the winter session of parliament that is slated to begin next week.PROVISIONSThe draft bill — Muslim Women Protection on Rights on Marriage Bill — was sent to states for their views with responses sought on urgent basis. The bill empowers the victim to approach a magistrate seeking a ‘subsistence allowance’ for herself and her minor children.
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Anger as India doctor mistakenly declares newborn dead

The error was found when the baby’s parents saw him move en route to the funeral in India.

Can AFSPA be restricted to sensitive districts, asks Parliamentary Panel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A parliamentary panel today questioned top officials of the government and a paramilitary force over the imposition of AFSPA in Assam, saying whether it can be restricted to only sensitive districts of the state.The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, was today briefed by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and senior officials of the Assam Rifles on the “security situation in the northeastern states of India”.During the meeting, the panel members asked the officials about the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act or the AFSPA in Assam and the present situation, a member who was present in the meeting said.”Panel members also asked whether the AFSPA can be scaled down to a few sensitive districts in Assam as was done in Arunachal Pradesh,” the member said.The panel also questioned the officials about various insurgent groups active in the state, especially the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).The government officials said that the situation in the state was better after the imposition of the AFSPA, the member said.The controversial AFSPA was extended for six more months beginning September this year in the entire Assam by declaring the state “disturbed”.The stringent law was first imposed in the state in 1990 after violence perpetuated by the ULFA had created severe law and order crisis.In Arunachal Pradesh, the AFSPA has been imposed in two districts — Tirap and Changlang — and some police station areas in a few other districts due to the presence of ULFA, NDFB and several Naga insurgent groups.

Fortis and Medanta: 2 cases that show India’s crumbling private healthcare system

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shock and anger swept the country on Monday when it emerged that the parents of seven-year-old girl Adya, who died of dengue at Gurugram’s Fortis hospital, were billed Rs 16 lakh for 15 days of treatment. The bill also included the costs of over a thousand gloves and 660 syringes. The father alleged that the hospital even refused an ambulance after her death, and went on to charge for the gown on her body. As the media flashed images of the cherubic child, the family also alleged that it was made to purchase the costliest brands of medicines.As the Central government was writing to states on Thursday to warn them of action for such cases, reports poured in that Gurugram’s Medanta Hospital billed an insurance agent Rs 15.88 lakh for his seven-year-old son’s 22-day dengue treatment. The father said he mortgaged his house to pay the bill but did not have money for further treatment. He shifted his son, Saurya Pratap, to the Central government’s Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital in Delhi where the child died on Wednesday.The two cases have brought the spotlight back to private hospitals who milk families in a country where millions continue to grapple with a crumbling and corrupt public healthcare system. As if losing a loved one is not enough, every item — even hand sanitisers, hair oil or wet wipes — is charged most exorbitantly by private hospitals.A 14-year fightOctogenarian BR Saini recounts his 14-year struggle to seek justice for his eldest son, who died due to the alleged medical negligence of Lions Hospital & Research Centre in South Delhi’s New Friends Colony. On November 19, 2001, Trilok Nath (37) was admitted to the hospital. He had been complaining of a headache for five months and had vomiting bouts 10 days prior to the admission. He had been brought from state-run GB Pant Hospital. A former Pant surgeon was heading the neurosurgery at Lions. A brain surgery was conducted on November 20. Trilok’s condition worsened. He became drowsy, and slipped into a coma. Five days later, he died.A resident of West Delhi’s Najafgarh, Saini had been billed approximately Rs 1 lakh. He had no insurance cover. Dr Brahm Prakash, who performed the operation, was insured for professional risks — if a botch up is proved, the insurance agency will pay for the doctor. And records show that the hospital had botched up the case.An expert medical opinion was sought from RML Hospital, which said, “The surgery was uneventful. The patient was conscious and oriented, and obeyed verbal commands in the immediate post-op period. Vitals were normal. However, in the evening, the patient became drowsy. At the first sign of deterioration, an immediate NCCT (Non-Contrast Computerised Tomography) of the head should have been done for an appropriate management, which was not done in this case.”Saini moved the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in 2003. He spent thousands of rupees and made numerous visits to the Commission. In 2017, the Commission asked the hospital to pay Rs 24,56,000. The judgement says, the hospital conducted neurosurgery without CT scan/NCCT facilities. In response to an RTI application filed by Saini, RML Hospital confirmed, “A neurosurgical centre should have all the required facilities, including CT scan, for diagnosing as well as follow-up.””The hospital has now moved the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. A fresh battle has started. I am not sure if I will live to see justice,” rues Saini, a former Central government employee, who has submerged himself in papers despite his poor health.’What EWS quota? Pay Rs 10 lakh’While Saini has been fighting a losing battle, the healthcare scene in India is plummeting. “National Sample Survey findings show a decline in the share of public hospitals treating patients,” says Denny John, a Delhi-based health economist. In India, 64.21 per cent of patients end up paying through their nose at private facilities because government systems fail them at each step, as is the case with 49-year-old Mandawali resident Subhash Chand. On the night of October 19, he met with a road accident. The police took him to two government centres and finally admitted him to Max Hospital in Saket. Less than a week ago, Max discharged him because bills soared to Rs 10 lakh in a month.Items such as gloves, tubes and syringes alone cost over Rs 1 lakh. Drugs, lab tests meant another Rs 1.5 lakh; the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) rent was Rs 1.76 lakh. And then there were ambulance, blood bank, surgery, physiotherapy, radio diagnosis and consultation charges. Chand, who is a driver, earns Rs 8,000 a month but has a family of four to feed. He was certified an “Economically Weaker Section (EWS) member by Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain’s office. “We asked for free treatment mandated under a Delhi High Court order but the hospital refused,” says his wife, Rama.Chand had suffered extensive brain damage, is in a semi-conscious state and does not recognise anyone. Now at Bal Kishan Memorial Hospital, he has a feed tube in his mouth and an air pipe in the throat. “The hospital made me sign an undertaking that I must pay the bill otherwise legal proceedings would be initiated. Should I take care of him or fight the system?” Rama asks. DNA’s questions to Max Hospital remained unanswered.Unending court battleDwarka resident and former Delhi University professor KC Malhotra (83) is a man with slow movements but a strong voice. He has spent a decade seeking justice for his dead wife. Krishna was admitted to Escorts Heart Institute & Research Centre in 2006, and diagnosed with diabetes and coronary artery disease, for which she was operated upon. Soon, she developed a diabetic foot and the hospital amputated her left leg up to the thigh. This led to a total handicap, as the veins from the right leg had been removed for a bypass surgery.Malhotra filed a complaint in 2008 at the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. She died in 2010. He paid a bill of Rs 4 lakh. After seven years, the Commission has held the hospital guilty of medical negligence and asked it to pay Rs 20 lakh in damages to Malhotra, and Rs 75,00,000 to a consumer welfare fund. The case is in the High Court now. “So many years and I am still running around at this age. At 83, a man breaks down, but this is for my wife and I will fight till the end. As of now, there has been no conclusive decision but I am hopeful,” says Malhotra.Complaints aboundAt least three private hospitals — BL Kapoor, Rockland and Gupta Multi-speciality Hospital — in Delhi have been indefinitely barred from providing services under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) after complaints were received against them. In 2016-17, 143 complaints were received across India against CGHS-empanelled private hospitals for denying admissions and cashless facilities, inflated bills and medical negligence. The CGHS was started under the Union Health Ministry to provide comprehensive medical care to Central government employees, pensioners and their dependents at fixed subsidised rates at empanelled private hospitals.Of the 1,114 private hospitals, diagnostic centres and clinics empanelled with CGHS, 300 are in Delhi. “So many pensioners complain that they did not get beds, they were forced to take loans or sell their property. They are overbilled or are discharged against their wishes. Often the hospital staff have been rude to them,” CGHS director Dr DC Joshi tells DNA.In December 2016, a CGHS beneficiary patient died in an empanelled hospital in Kanpur. “A death certificate was issued and his details were updated in our records. A month later, we received a fraudulent bill raised by the hospital in his name. Private hospitals don’t even spare the dead for their greed,” he says. This, despite Rs 600 crore being disbursed towards settling bills of private hospitals since April 2017.This is exactly what happened in Adya’s case. Fortis hospital procured 21 vials of the costlier brand of Meropenem injection —Merocrit— by Cipla, per vial priced at approximately Rs 3,100 billed at Rs 65,362, and 9 vials of cheaper brand of the same Meropenem injection — Merolan —by Mylan, per vial costing approximately Rs 500 billed at Rs 4,491. “Both the brands were pumped into my baby’s body. Clearly, more vials of the expensive injection, up to seven times the price but said to have the same effect, were administered. We were not even asked our preference for drugs which is an essential right of the citizen,” Jayant Singh, deceased’s father told DNA.Centre cracks the whipThe Health Ministry has asked the Haryana government to launch an urgent inquiry and submit an action taken report in Adya’s case and written to all states to implement the provisions of the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act under which effective action can be taken against healthcare establishments for fraudulent and unethical practices.The Centre has advised that lessons be learnt from widespread cases and a meeting with all important healthcare establishments, including private hospitals, of each state be held, and they be clearly warned against any such practices, failing which strict action will be taken.The government has said exorbitant charges, deficiencies in service, violation of standard treatment protocols resulting not only in compromised patient safety but also concerns about transparency and accountability in healthcare costs have an extremely deleterious impact on the faith of general public of the country.”It is our duty to ensure that such incidents don’t recur, quality care and treatment is provided to persons in need and that it is provided at a fair and affordable price,” a ministry letter has told states.CASES REGISTERED IN THE LAST 3 YEARS68 cases against hospitals before Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
19 cases against private doctors before the Commission
156 cases against private hospitals in Delhi’s 10 district consumer forums
57 cases against private doctors in Delhi’s 10 district consumer forums

Medanta inflated bill case: ‘We lost our child, won’t let this matter get buried,’ says aggrieved father

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The family of Saurya Pratap said it will approach the Union Health Ministry for action against “inflated medical bills” slapped by Gurugram’s Medanta Hospital for the treatment of the seven-year-old boy who died on Wednesday.The hospital billed a Dholpur-based insurance agent Rs 15.88 lakh for the child’s 22-day dengue treatment. The father, Gopendra Singh, said he mortgaged his house to pay the bill but did not have money for further treatment. He took his son to RML Hospital in Delhi where he died. “We have lost our child and no one can understand the pain. We will not let this matter get buried. We will also register a police case and want our system to take stringent action. These private hospitals must be taught a lesson so that no other parent loses his child,” said Singh.This follows shock and anger on Monday when it emerged that the parents of a seven-year-old girl, who died of dengue at Gurugram’s Fortis hospital, were billed Rs 16 lakh for 15 days of treatment.In the latest case, the family said the hospital kept the child with false promises, saying that it would reduce the bill amount.The parents said Medanta was not even their choice.

Withdraw 5% GST on food: Punjab CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dubbing it as a retrograde decision, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh wrote to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking immediate withdrawal of the five per cent GST on food items in containers intended for free-distribution.In its 22nd meeting on October 16, the GST Council decided to impose five per cent GST on food preparations in unit containers, which were meant for free distribution to economically weaker sections (EWS) of the society. As per the notification, CGST was pegged at 2.5 per cent and the state government would also be charged at the same rate.Highlighting that the state government would be required to pay CGST on such items, Captain Amarinder said imposition of such a tax would solely affect the state government, which will be taxed by the Central Government for running welfare schemes.The Chief Minister, who had earlier urged Jaitley to simplify the process of GST implementation in view of the hardships being caused to the business and trading community, said Punjab had already been facing financial difficulties due to delay in release of GST payment from the Centre.Dubbing the draft notification on this new tax, received by his government from the GST Council as retrograde, Amarinder said the gap between the rich and poor was already increasing. “There is an urgent need to introduce welfare programmes for the economically weaker sections (EWS) at a time when farmers were reeling under debt and resorting to suicide,” he said.

SC rules stringent bail provision in PMLA unconstitutional

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a stringent provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), deeming it unconstitutional. SC bench led by Justice Nariman deemed section 45 of the act as unconstitutional, reports ANI. The Modi government had strongly defended the provision dealing with stringent bail conditions, saying it is an effective tool to curb the menace of black money. According to News 18, the apex court accepted the contention of petitioners that this provision is bad in law, as it adheres to the principle of ‘jail is rule and bail an exception’. In essence, SC has set aside all orders in which bail was denied using the stringent provision and those case have to be heard afresh. Here’s what the section 45 in PMLA is45. Offences to be cognizable and non-bailable.—(1) 1Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), no person accused of an offence punishable for a term of imprisonment of more than three years under Part A of the Schedule shall be released on bail or on his own bond unless—(i) the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release; and(ii) where the Public Prosecutor opposes the application, the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail: Provided that a person who is under the age of sixteen years or is a woman or is sick or infirm, may be released on bail, if the special court so directs: Provided further that the Special Court shall not take cognizance of any offence punishable under section 4 except upon a complaint in writing made by—(i) the Director; or(ii) any officer of the Central Government or State Government authorised in writing in this behalf by the Central Government by a general or a special order made in this behalf by that Government.28 (1A) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), or any other provision of this Act, no police officer shall investigate into an offence under this Act unless specifically authorised, by the Central Government by a general or special order, and, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.(2) The limitation on granting of bail specified in 29 *** sub-section (1) is in addition to the limitations under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or any other law for the time being in force on granting of bail.

Gujarat elections 2017: After drama, Rajguru’s form accepted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress heaved a sigh of relief on Wednesday when election officials dismissed a petition by BJP seeking cancellation of the candidature of Indranil Rajguru from the Rajkot West seat after hours of drama at the old collector office in Rajkot. A minor scuffle was also reported between BJP and Congress supporters at the spot.BJP’s Nitin Bharadwaj, who is also the election agent for Chief Minister Vijay Rupani who is in fray from Rajkot West, had sought cancellation saying Rajguru had not spelled his name correctly. “It was as per the name mentioned in the voter’s list. The EC dismissed the silly objections raised by the BJP,” said Manish Doshi, Congress spokesperson.Rajguru reached the collector office with a battery of lawyers to argue his cause. Deputy collector Pragnesh Jani in a statement to the media said after taking the guidance of the EC, Rajguru’s form was accepted.

Sharad Yadav faction of JD(U) moves Delhi HC against EC verdict on party symbol

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> An MLA from the Sharad Yadav faction of Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday approached the Delhi High Court challenging the Election Commission order rejecting its petition staking claim to party symbol ‘Arrow’ and recognising Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led faction as the real JD (U).Gujarat legislator Chottubhai Vasava, who is the acting president of Yadav’s faction, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by the acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal for urgent hearing on the issue in view of Gujarat Assembly polls. Advocate Nizam Pasha, appearing for Vasava, told the bench also comprising Justice C Hari Shankar, that Election Commission’s November 17 order should be quashed as it has “gravely erred” in granting JD(U)’s official symbol, Arrow, to the Nitish Kumar faction.After a brief hearing, the bench listed the matter for urgent hearing tomorrow. Advocate Gopal Singh, appearing for Nitish Kumar’s faction, opposed the plea saying the Election Commission of India has heard the matter on different occasions and has rightly passed its directions.Kumar and Yadav parted ways after the former decided to join hands with the BJP in July, triggering a battle for the control of the party. The EC, in its order, had said that the group led by Kumar “has demonstrated overwhelming majority support” in the legislature wing as well as the majority in the national council of the party, which is the apex organisational body of the JD(U).

Caught on Camera: CPI(M) worker attacked in Thiruvananthapuram

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A CPI(M) worker was injured when he was attacked by two motorbike-borne persons, allegedly belonging to Social Democratic Party of India.The attack took place at around 6 AM at Kattakada, in the city outskirts, police said.A video of the incident, which went viral, shows the two attackers pushing the victim, Kumar, riding a bike and attacking him with a weapon as he falls down.He managed to escape and is undergoing treatment at the Neyattinkara government hospital.Kumar, an agent of CPI(M) mouthpiece ‘Deshabhimani’, was distributing copies of the newspaper when he was attacked.SDPI has denied their involvement in the incident.CPI(M) and SDPI workers are on a warpath since the last two days.On November 17, a march taken out by SDPI was allegedly attacked by some CPI(m) workers at chavara in Kollam district.Protesting against this, SDPI took out a march to the Secretariat later that night and police used tear gas to disperse them when they turned violent.Meanwhile, DGP Loknath Behara said patrolling has been intensified and police wold handle such incidents with a firm hand.

Check if vehicles are complying with pollution norms: Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court has asked the Delhi traffic police and the transport department to check whether the vehicles on the streets of the Capital are complying with the pollution norms or not.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that there was a rampant violation of rules and thus there should be thorough checking of the vehicles. “There has to be some checking. Rules are being violated rampantly,” the bench said. It also posed a question to the authorities as to why regular checks are not being conducted to check the violations.The court also observed that the police was not vigilant even with regard to violation of traffic rules as people can be seen talking on phones even while driving.Appearing for the Delhi government, counsel Satyakam said that there were“enforcement issues”.The court’s observation comes while hearing a petition which sought a ban on buses from other states in the Capital by private operators in contravention of the law. The plea has alleged inaction on the part of the transport department and the police.During the proceedings, the AAP government informed the court that 680 buses from other states have been prosecuted for not carrying proper permits. Most of these vehicles are from Uttar Pradesh. The petition filed by Rashtriya Rajdhani Kshetra Tipahiya Chalak Union has claimed that a number of private buses and vehicles registered with the UP government, entered Delhi from different entry points and carried passengers without proper permits.Earlier, the high court had considered the current weather as emergent and issued a slew of measures including water sprinkling, cloud seeding for artificial rainfall and an immediate ban on the construction activities to improve the conditions of ‘pea soup fog’, which it said had engulfed the city of London in 1952.

SC grants six weeks to Centre to clarify stand on Ram Sethu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday granted six weeks to the Centre to clarify its stand on the mythical Ram Sethu, a chain of limestone shoals between Indian and Sri Lankan coasts.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked the Centre to file its reply in six weeks on a plea filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.Also known as the Adam’s bridge, the Ram Sethu is a chain of limestone shoals between Pamban or Rameswaram Island off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, and Mannar Island on the north-western coast of Sri Lanka.Swamy said the government had already made its stand clear in Parliament that they are not going to touch the Ram Sethu.Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Centre, sought time to file the reply affidavit.The apex court granted liberty to Swamy to approach the court if the response of the Centre is not filed.The BJP leader, during earlier hearings, had submitted that the Centre has made a statement on the floor of Parliament that it has no intention whatsoever to tamper with the ‘bridge’.On November 26, 2015, the apex court had granted four weeks to the Centre to file its response on Swamy’s plea that he wanted to withdraw his 2009 petition against the Sethusamudram project as the government had decided that the mythological bridge would not be dismantled.Swamy had earlier mentioned the matter for urgent hearing saying his prayer to scrap the project stands satisfied after the Centre took that decision.The Sethusamudram shipping channel project has been facing protests from some political parties, environmentalists and certain Hindu religious groups.Under the Sethusamudram project, a 83 km-long deep water channel is to be created, linking Mannar with Palk Strait, by extensive dredging and removal of the limestone shoals.

Cafe owners up in arms against ‘draconian’ hookah ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Restaurant owners in the National Capital Region (NCR) are up in arms against the Delhi government’s move of imposing a blanket ban on serving hookahs. Calling the decision draconian, they rued that instead of suggesting measures and taking a prudent stance, the government is browbeating them into following its diktats.Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, on Tuesday, had directed all the municipal corporations and the police to cancel licenses of outlets that served hookahs. Arguing that it was a health hazard worse than cigarettes, the minister had deplored the civic body and the police for letting hookah bars flourish with impunity. He also said the health department found “high quantity” of nicotine in hookahs during surprise raids conducted at these places.Restaurateurs, however, denied the allegations, saying the government wanted them to run in losses instead of resolving the matter. Talking to DNA, Umang Tewari, owner of Vault Cafe, said: “As responsible businessmen, we have always followed the government rules. We only serve herbal hookahs that are not harmful to health in any way.”Kanishk Tuteja, owner of Nukkad Cafe & Bar, said the ban was unfair. He reasoned that they went through a lot of stringent checks and inspections while setting up their business and no one objected at the time. ” We aren’t serving anything illegal. The government should probably suggest some more guidelines, instead of banning it completely,” he added.Priyank Sukhija, owner of the Lord of the Drinks, minced no words while expressing his view on the “draconian” regulation. “I think we should make peace with the fact that in our business, something or the other will keep getting banned. This has become a regular feature now. I just feel that instead of banning hookahs, there are better solutions for having a healthy environment.”

AAI to relax norms, float partial privatisation tender soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major step, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is again in the process to float a tender with added features and relaxed conditions for partial privatisation of Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports.The bidding process that began early this year, after AAI had rejected Singapore’s Changi airport’s proposal to operate and maintain both airports, was extended several times, on various grounds.The AAI had received nearly 12 registrations including from international players until now but this step has raised number of questions. The AAI had invited Request for Proposal (RFP) from bidders for operation and maintenance of ‘select areas’ of the Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports late last year. The select areas include passenger terminal building, airport operations control centre, fire control room, kerb side approach road and passenger boarding bridges, apron area, including provision of ground handling services through approved ground handling and surface car park, among others, as per the bid document.Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, AAI said, “We have had several interactions with potential bidders with an aim to find out their perceptions. Based on those, we have decided to add more conditions and features to the existing tender. The same is under the consideration by the Ministry and a decision is likely by this month end. Once approved, we will float the tender.”However, sources said the bidders have several issues with the tender terms and conditions and are not willing to come to Ahmedabad and Jaipur to manage.Sources say that the norms and conditions in the existing tender are extremely stringent due to which bidders fear a lot of interference from the AAI.An airport operator said, “Bidders want to have some development on the land processes. At present, the conditions are quite stringent. Out of 33 parameters, operator has to get more than 4.5 out of five on international scoring and if the score is less, then the airport authority will invoke a penalty clause. Now, things like overall experience at airport would differ and is a very generic term which is not measurable.”Speaking about the delay, chairman of Airlines Operator Committee (AOC) Shalin Joshipura feels that the partial privatisation will not be financially viable for the bidders.He said, “The delay has affected major projects at city airport here. For example, we have been demanding for a lounge but due to Operation and Maintenance it is pending. The present director has made changes, but more needs to be done. Airports like Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad are doing well merely because they are entirely privatised. Either the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport should be entirely privatised or remain with AAI.”Manoj Gangal, Airport Director, SVPI, said, “Airport operation is a complete ecosystem and we have to coordinate to see how customs, immigration, airlines and other stakeholders perform together to give a good product to the customer. Hence, work of airport director becomes very challenging and important.”TIMELINE2015 – PM Narendra Modi suggests to rope in Changi airport2016 – Changi airport officials visit Ahmedabad, to study further2016 – AAI rejects Changi’s proposal2017 – AAI opens bids to private playersExtends deadline number of timesProposes to change the norms/conditions

Army will train B’desh forces to combat terror

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Army will be training Bangladeshi forces in the first of its kind counter-terror and insurgency exercise to be held at the Danapur Cantonment near Patna, amid growing radicalisation and emerging terrorist groups in the neighbouring country that have a direct bearing on India’s security.The training is aimed at carrying out operations against terrorists and insurgents on the lines of those in Kashmir and India’s northeast.Starting Monday, the Army will hold the exercise with a Bangladeshi contingent till December 17. The joint exercise will have mutual benefits as both countries are facing similar threats including those from certain groups operating on both sides of the border.Indian intelligence agencies have warned in the past about a growing collaboration between Jamat-Ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Islamic State to establish a Bangladeshi Caliphate and also target India. There have been warnings that JMB cadres active along the India-Bangladesh border could set up bases in eastern Indian states.JMB is a banned terror outfit in India that has cadres active here. It was responsible for the bomb blasts in Burdwan in 2014, a small town in West Bengal close to the Bangladesh border.”The shared threat to both countries and adding another facet to strategic cooperation prompted the two countries to state a training capsule prepared by the Indian Army based on our experiences in Kashmir and North East,” said Army sources.During the training, state-of-the art weapons and equipment for close-quarter battle, surveillance and tracking, explosives, IED detectors and communication equipment will be used. The Bangladesh team will train, plan and execute a series of well-developed operations for neutralising these threats.There will also be discussions to share counter-terror operation experiences that will be mutually beneficial.The training event will be attended by five officers and 25 other ranks of the Bangladesh Army. The Indian Army will be represented by five officers, eight Junior Commissioned Officers and 15 other jawans.”This training capsule is one of the major training events and defence cooperation endeavours between the two Armies and will be first of its kind being organized for the Bangladesh Army at Danapur Cantonment,” sources in the Army said.The Indian Army Training team will be headed by Colonel DD Swain, an experienced counter-insurgency expert having commanded a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in Jammu and Kashmir and operated in insurgency-affected areas of Assam and Manipur for a number of years.The Indian Army will also get an opportunity to absorb lessons from the series of highly successful counter terror operation carried out by the security forces of Bangladesh.The operating principles and tactics of both countries while dealing with insurgency and terrorism related incidents are also similar.

PM’s panel gives plan on jobs, growth, infra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The second meeting of the Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, chaired by Bibek Debroy, formulated recommendations to guide the evolving framework for the Fifteenth Finance Commission, including the incentivisation of states for achieving health, education and social inclusion outcomes.The meeting was attended by renowned economists Dr Surjit Bhalla, Dr Rathin Roy, Dr Ashima Goyal, Dr Shamika Ravi and Member Secretary and Principal Adviser NITI Aayog Ratan P. Watal.Lead presentations were made by experts on key themes — including Infrastructure Financing by Debroy. Dr Vinod K Paul, member of NITI Aayog, highlighted strategies for achieving Swastha Bharat by 2022. Secretary in Skill Development KP Krishnan presented Skill Development Strategies highlighting convergent initiatives to reach youth and women. The meeting spelled out a clear road map towards skill development, job creation, enhanced resource investment in the social sector, including for Health and Education and for boosting Infrastructure financing.The council is also evolving the design of a new economy tracking monitor, linking economic growth indicators with social indicators for last-mile connectivity.Apart from transformation of the gold market, improvements needed in national accounts and innovative steps for unlocking growth, exports and employment potential of growth drivers were discussed.The council took stock of economic and social analysis undertaken by theme groups and evolving initiatives led by different members. It identified key issues, strategies and recommended interventions in respect of these themes.

JNU fines student for cooking ‘biryani’ inside campus, calls it’s a ‘serious offence’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student was fined Rs 6000 on Friday for cooking Biryani near the administrative building.The university notice said, “He was involved in cooking Biryani near the stairs in front of administrative building on 27th June, and eating it thereafter along with other students. This act is serious in nature.”The notice was issued on November 8 against Mohammad Amir, stating the cooking of Biryani as “serious in nature and unbecoming of a student of JNU”. However, keeping in mind the student’s career prospects, “the vice chancellor has taken somewhat lenient view.Amir has also been warned about facing more stringent disciplinary action if he repeats this offence, the notice said.He has been given a deadline of submitting his fine in 10 days,”He is directed to deposit the fine within 10 days from the issue of this letter and show the proof thereof to this office.”Amir is an MA student at the Centre of Arabic and African Studies, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies and stays in the Sabarmati Hostel.

The bizarre MahaRERA case of a homebuyer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Here is a case study on how homebuyers pay money and do not even know whether the person taking the money is a developer, an agent or the developer’s employee.In a bizarre case, a man approached the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), seeking refund of money he had allegedly given to the developer. However, the authority later on realised the complainant himself isn’t sure to whom he paid the money, nor was aware as to whether the person who collected the money was the employee of the promoter or agent. The complainant is named Ashok Pawar and he had filed a complaint against a top developer (Lodha Palava). Pawar was seeking refund of Rs 90,000 allegedly paid by him as the booking amount for flat D-0904, Sophistica. He had contended that he cancelled the booking in July 2016 but the developer did not refund the booking amount. The complainant filed his complaint against developer but mentioned the number of project which actually belonged to an agent. While hearing the complaint the authority also realised that Pawar wasn’t sure himself, to whom he paid the money, nor was aware as to whether the person who collected the money was the employee of the developer or agent.The authority after verifying all the information also came to the conclusion that the project against which Pawar had complained wasn’t even registered with MahaRERA. The Advocate who appeared for the developer was present and even produced the occupancy certificate dated March 2016 to show that project was already completed and hence need not register with the authority. BD Kapadnis, member and Adjudicating officer of MahaRERA, while dismissing the Complaint passed an order that as the said project is not registered with MahaRERA, it has no jurisdiction to entertain this complaint. MahaRERA came into force in May 2017, where all ongoing projects which have started sale, or advertising their projects need to register with the authority. But those who have an OC need not register. The authority till now has heard more than 50 complaints.

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