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Day after Kulbhushan Jadhav kin humiliation, Indo-Pak NSAs met secretly

A day after Pakistani authorities humiliated the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in a Pakistan jail on trumped up charges, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Lt Gen Nasir Khan Janjua (retd) reportedly had a secret meeting in Bangkok.The foreign ministries of both the countries, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, were in the loop about the hush-hush meeting, which had been fixed a few days ago. There was no indication if issue of humiliation of the Jadhav family in Pakistan, which rocked the Parliament also, was discussed at the meeting.The meeting and its timing have raised a lot of questions, especially in light of the strong anti-Pakistan mood in India over that country’s continued support to terrorists and ongoing violations of the ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. Officially, there was neither a confirmation nor a denial about the reports of the meeting, but official sources said that both countries have remained in touch through back channels to address pressing issues.Sources insisted that such interactions cannot be construed as resumption of the normal dialogue process. “The meeting is part of the agreement between the two NSAs to meet and sort out bilateral issues. Similar meetings in Bangkok had taken place in the past as well,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

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TN begins work to convert Jaya’s home into memorial

Tamil Nadu government on Saturday begin preparatory steps to convert late chief minister and AIADMK supremo chief Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence into a memorial.Chennai district collector accompanied by revenue divisional officer, public works department and police officers visited Jayalalithaa’s residence on Saturday morning. But the presence of Income Tax department officials created a flutter as the news of fresh searches spread. However, it was clarified that the IT officials accompanied the state government officials to ensure that the two rooms of Sasikala, that were sealed by them, were not opened.Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami in August announced that the government would take over Jayalalithaa’s residence to convert it into a memorial.Chennai collector Anbuselvan said the inspection was part of the move to take possession of the residence to convert into a memorial. “Since two rooms in the house were sealed by the IT officials, we asked them to accompany us during the inspection,” he said, adding they had taken the measurement of the extent of land and building construction.Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa had moved Madras High Court against the government order claiming that she and her brother were successors to her estate. She had filed a petition stated that her paternal grandmother Vedavalli alias Sandhya had purchased several properties in and around Chennai and died in 1971 leaving behind her son Jayakumar and daughter Jayalalithaa as successors to her estate.Deepa claimed that her father got married after her grandmother’s death and lived in a joint family with his wife, children as well as his sister (Jayalalithaa) in the same house for a long time. She had said that it was only for the sake of convenience that the family had to move to the present residence at T Nagar.

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India elephant rescue: The forest guard who saved a calf

Palanichamy Sarathkumar is a hero after lifting a calf out of a ditch and reuniting it with its mother.

Sexagenarian held for sexually assaulting 2 minors

A sexagenarian has been arrested for sexually assaulting two minors and trying to hush up the incident by threatening and giving money to the victims. The accused, Mohammad Jainul, has been arrested by the police.According to the police, the incident took place on Sunday night in Palam area of South-West Delhi when two minor girls were playing outside a friend’s house. Jainul saw both of them and lured them on the pretext of giving them sweets. “He took the girls to his house and then assaulted them in front of each other. While they were leaving, he handed them Rs 5 and asked them not to disclose anything about the incident. He is married and has kids, however, they were not present at home when the incident took place,” said a police officer.The two minors then returned to their respective homes. After one of the victims felt pain in her private parts and complained to her mother, it was then that the mother spotted some marks on the girl and the two families then informed the police.The minor identified Jainul, who was then sent to judicial custody. Both the fathers of the victims work as labourers and were out for work when the incident took place.

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India fears tampering of meet video, files protest

Jadhav's wife Chetna was reportedly so besieged that she broke down several times. She was barely able to speak to her husband.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Friday 29 December 2017 1:35 ISTMust readJaish-e-Mohammad’s ‘commander’ Noor Tantray killed in Pulwama wanted to join BJP in 2003 to eliminate top brassUP govt sends letter to Gorakhpur DM to withdraw 1995 case against Yogi Adityanath, 10 others<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>India sent a “note-verbale” to Pakistan, conveying its objections over the way Kulbhushan Jadhav’s meeting with his mother and wife was conducted. A note-verbale is an unsigned diplomatic note of protest written in the third person.India objected that Pakistan refused to hand over the video recording of the meeting. Officials fear that Pakistan may edit the recording to further its propaganda to project Jadhav as an Indian spy.The apprehension stems from the de-briefing of Jadhav’s mother with officials of the External Affairs Ministry upon their return. They said the family had clearly noted that Jadhav was clearly under duress.Jadhav’s wife Chetna was reportedly so besieged that she broke down several times. She was barely able to speak to her husband.

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Pakistan forced them to ‘look like widows’

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother were made to look like widows when they met him in Islamabad three days ago, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in a scathing attack on Pakistan’s ill-treatment of the family of India’s former Naval officer.The two women’s attire was changed, and Jadhav’s mother, who wears a sari, was forced to wear salwar-kurta. Both were made forced to remove bindis, bangles and mangal sutra, Swaraj said, drawing cries of “shame” from parliamentarians.The minister made an identical four-page statement in both Houses of Parliament on Thursday and described Pakistan’s behaviour as “obnoxious” and said there was a serious and gross violation of human rights.Jadhav, 47, has been sentenced to death for espionage and terror. India has rejected the charges and said he was kidnapped and implicated. Jadhav’s mother told Swaraj that her son asked about his father on seeing her without bindi or mangalsutra.”Avanti Jadhav choked up as she told me the first question her son asked was — how is Baba? He feared something bad had happened… he was reassured only when he saw his wife in the same state,” Swaraj said.When she tried to speak in their mother tongue Marathi across the thick glass wall between them, two Pakistani officials interrupted and the intercom was closed.All Opposition parties unequivocally endorsed and supported Swaraj’s statement condemning the mistreatment of Jadhav’s wife Chetankul and mother Avanti by Pakistan. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed the hanging in May till the case is conclusively heard, on India’s petition against the farce trial.Swaraj said there was an intimidating atmosphere created for them during the meeting. “There are not enough words to condemn the same.” she said, adding that in a departure of agreed understanding “the emotional moment between and mother and son and wife and husband after 22 months was misused by Pakistan as an instrument to further its propaganda.MPs cutting across political divide condemned the ill-treatment. From treasury benches, Swaraj’s impassioned and hard-hitting statement was interluded with slogans of ‘Pakistan Murdabad’.In violation of a clear agreement on not allowing Pakistani media a close access to the mother and the wife, they were subjected to harassment and offensive language was hurled at them by journalists, Swaraj said.The two women told her that Jadhav appeared under considerable stress and was speaking in an atmosphere of coercion, the minister said. They could surmise that “his remarks were tutored by his captors and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities, she said.The minister said the government is “now engaged in seeking a permanent relief, based on stronger arguments, through the legal avenue offered by the ICJ.On Pakistani authorities sending the shoes worn by Jadhav’s wife for forensic testing to examine the alleged presence of “a metallic object”, Swaraj said she took a flight to Dubai first and then went to Pakistan and no alarms were raised then.Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu said, “The entire House joins together to appreciate the efforts and also call upon the government to safely secure the release of Shri Kulbhushan Jadhav and also to convey to international community the way Pakistan behaved in a most inhuman manner.”Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said India cannot tolerate the misconduct as it is an insult and humiliation to 130 crore Indians. He urged the government to ensure Jadhav remains safe so long as he is in Pakistan’s custody.”Regardless of political differences, when it comes to the country’s dignity, we will stand together and if another country misbehaves with our mothers and sisters, it will not be tolerated,” Azad said.

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Sushma Swaraj’s speech in Rajya Sabha on Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family: Full text

India today slammed Pakistan for making “absurd” charges of a chip, camera or a recorder being installed in the footwear of the wife of imprisoned Indian Kulbhushan Jadhav and said Islambad was on to a mischief after showing discourtesy towards his family.Making a statement on the meeting of Jadhav with his wife and mother in Islamabad earlier this week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said it came after 22 months and was “misused by Pakistan as an instrument to further its propaganda.”Here’s full text of her Rajya Sabha speech:STATEMENT BY EAM IN LOK SABHA ON THE MEETING OF THE FAMILY OF Mr KULBHUSHAN JADHAV WITH HIM AND THE SITUATION ARISING FROM THEREMadam Speaker,I rise to apprise the House of recent developments pertaining to Shri Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national in the illegal custody of Pakistan. As the House is aware, his mother and wife met him on 25 December 2017 in Islamabad. The meeting was arranged through diplomatic channels.2.In April 2017, I had made a statement in this House underlining the Government’s determination to do everything possible to ensure Shri Jadhav’s well-being and secure his release from illegal detention. Since then, the House is aware that we approached the International Court of Justice and obtained provisional measures that stayed the execution of the death sentence that was passed on Shri Jadhav through a farcical Pakistani military court process. While the imminent threat to Shri Jadhav’s safety was averted as a result, we are now engaged in seeking a permanent relief, based on stronger arguments, through the legal avenue offered by the International Court of Justice.Madam Speaker,3: I had also conveyed that we were in constant touch with the family at this difficult time. It was, therefore, natural that we took up the cause of family members who sought access to Shri Jadhav with a view to ascertaining his well-being for themselves. These efforts were pursued persistently through diplomatic channels. As a result, this month, the Pakistani authorities consented to a meeting between Shri Jadhav and his mother and wife.4.While the meeting could have been a step forward, it is a matter of great concern that there was departure from the agreed understandings between the two countries in the conduct of this meeting. The emotional moment between a mother and her son, and a wife and her husband after a period of 22 months, was misused by Pakistan as an instrument to further its propaganda. The Ministry of External Affairs has stated our position in this regard publicly day before yesterday. Our concerns arising from this meeting were conveyed to Pakistan through diplomatic channels yesterday. I would like to highlight a few of them in this House:There was a clear agreement that the media would not be allowed close access to the mother and wife of Shri Jadhav. However, not only the Pakistani press was allowed to approach family members closely, but the family members were also harassed through use of offensive language by the media. The Pakistani media hurled false and motivated accusations about Shri Jadhav;Under the pretext of security precautions, even the attire of the family members was changed. Mr Jadhav’s mother, who wears a Sari only, was instead given Salwar and Kurta to wear. Bindi, bangles and mangal sutra of the wife were removed; The mother of Shri Jadhav wanted to talk to her son in mother tongue Marathi, as this is clearly the natural medium of communication between a mother and son. However, the mother of Shri Jadhav was not allowed to speak in Marathi. While doing so, she was repeatedly interrupted by the two Pakistani officials present in the meeting. When she persisted, the intercom was closed and she was prevented from proceeding further with the conversation in Marathi; The family members were taken for the meeting through a separate door without informing the Deputy High Commissioner of India, who had accompanied the family members for this meeting. Consequently, he could not see that the family members were being taken for the meeting after changing their attire and removing their bindi, bangles and mangal sutra. Otherwise he would have objected then and there. The meeting was started without his presence and he could join only after pressing the matter with concerned officials;The car for the family of Mr Jadhav and accompanying Indian diplomat was delayed after the meeting so as to give another opportunity to the media to harass them;The shoes of the wife of Shri Jadhav were removed before the meeting and she was given slippers to wear to the meeting. The shoes were not returned to her despite her repeated requests after the meeting. The Pakistan authorities have been cautioned against any mischievous intent in this regard through a Note Verbale yesterday. 5.The mother and wife, after their return, conveyed to me that Shri Kulbhushan Jadhav appeared under considerable stress and was speaking in an atmosphere of coercion. As the meeting evolved, it was clear to them that his remarks were tutored by his captors and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities. His appearance also raised questions of his health and well being.Madam Speaker,6.The meeting of Mr. Kulbhushan Jadhav with his mother and wife was portrayed by Pakistan as a humanitarian gesture. However, the truth is that both humanity and compassion were missing during the meeting that was arranged on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. There was a serious and gross violation of human rights of the family members of Shri Jadhav and an intimidating atmosphere was created for them during this meeting. There are not enough words to condemn the same.Madam Speaker,7. I am fully confident that this entire House and through this House, the people of India, strongly condemns, in one voice, the obnoxious behaviour of Pakistan and affirm their solidarity with the Jadhav family.

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Pak at it again, probing Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife shoes

Anger mounted in India on Wednesday against the mistreatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family when it met him in Islamabad two days ago, but it has not stopped Pakistan from continuing with its propaganda. Pakistani authorities have sent the shoes worn by the former Indian Naval officer’s wife for forensic testing to examine the alleged presence of “a metallic object”, reports said on Wednesday. Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Mohammad Faisal suspects it could be a camera or a recording chip.“There was something in the shoes. It is being investigated. We gave her a pair of replacement shoes. Her other belongings were returned after the meeting,” Faisal said. India said on Tuesday that Pakistan went so far as to have the mangal sutras, bangles and bindis of Jadhav’s mother and wife removed before they could meet him. India also accused Pakistan of disregarding cultural and religious sensibilities of the family in the name of security.India also said Pakistani press was allowed to approach the family closely, “harass them despite a clear agreement the media would not be allowed close access.

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Parliament takes on Pak dirty tricks

Political leaders cutting across party lines in Parliament condemned Pakistan’s mistreatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family in Islamabad and demanded efforts to bring back the former Indian Naval officer who has been captured and sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terror. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she will make a detailed statement on the issue in both Houses on Thursday. Jadhav, 47, was allowed to meet his mother Avanti and wife Chetana Jadhav across a glass screen on Monday. India has maintained he was kidnapped and implicated. India has said Pakistan had the mangal sutras, bangles and bindis of Jadhav’s mother and wife removed, disregarding cultural and religious sensibilities. The Pakistani press also harassed the two women. During Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, members of Congress, Shiv Sena, TMC and AIADMK protested against Pakistan. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, demanded that Jadhav be brought back. The issue was initially raised by Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant who questioned the government silence. TMC leader Saugata Roy described Pakistan as “hypocritical”. AIADMK’s M Thambidurai said that asking a woman to remove her ‘mangal sutra’ is an insult to the country. Shiv Sena members raised slogans against Pakistan in the House.Outside Parliament, Congress leaders Veepara Moily and Salman Khurshid called it a diplomatic failure on the part of the government. “MEA should have ensured a protocol for the family,” Moily told reporters. He said that the issue should have been taken up with Pakistan before Jadhav’s kin went to Islamabad. Khurshid, a former External Affairs Minister, said the meeting between Jadhav and his family was distressing and disturbing. “We expected better from Pakistan, the situation is unfortunately very grave,” he said. Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy reacted sharply on Wednesday and said that India should go to war with Pakistan and split it into four parts. The Rajya Sabha MP said that “serious homework” for the war should begin “right now”. “The treatment given to the mother and the wife is akin to Draupadi’s vastraharan that resulted in Mahabharat,” he said.Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju also slammed the “very irresponsible” Pakistani media over the heckling of Jadhav’s mother and wife. “Pakistan media is very irresponsible, it is not responsible like the Indian media,” Rijiju told reporters outside Parliament, assuring action by the External Affairs Ministry.India has moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, on grounds that procedures were not followed under international law when Jadhav was convicted, a rare contest by the two nuclear-armed rivals at the top UN legal body whose rulings are binding, but occasionally flouted. In May, the world court put the sentence on hold till the case is conclusively heard.

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If Kulbhushan Jadhav has been declared a terrorist by Pak, then he will be treated like one: SP’s Naresh Agarwal

Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agrawal created a controversy on Wednesday by saying that if former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav was a terrorist then he would be treated as such in Pakistan.”If Pakistan has declared Kulbhushan Jadhav as a terrorist in their country, then they will treat him like one. In our country also, we should treat terrorists in the similar manner. Terrorists have to be dealt strictly,” Agrawal told ANI.He also wondered why country’s media was only talking about Jadhav when there were many others who were languishing in Pakistani jails.Meanwhile, there has been an outcry over the treatment meted out to Jadhav’s mother and wife who reached Islamabad on Monday to meet Jadhav.Also readIndia hits back at Pak, says Kulbhushan Jadhav’s statement clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate false narrative The wife and the mother of Jadhav were asked to remove mangalsutra, bangles and bindi, besides having been asked to change the attire, citing it as a security measure.After the meeting, Jadhav’s mother and wife were also harassed in heavily guarded foreign ministry office by Pakistani journalists.Jadhav is on a death row in Pakistan over charges of terrorism and spying for India’s intelligence agency- Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).On May 18, 2017, the International Court of Justice stayed the hanging, after India approached it against the death sentence.

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Fast courts off track?

It has been five years since Nirbhaya gang rape stirred the nation, following which the victim’s mother demanded creation of fast-track courts and a law to hang juveniles in heinous crimes. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the state governments vide his letter dated April 23, 2015 to allocate funds for this activity, it is shocking that at present there is not a single fast-track court functional in the state.On the contrary the 83 functional fast-track courts in the year 2005 have been reduced to zero now.A total of 83 FTCs were approved in the year 2000, following the report of the 11th Finance Commission. Out of these, all were functional till 2011, the year when this experimental scheme was supposed to end. The central government in 2005, decided to continue its support for the next 6 years (till 2011).This is also the year when the central government stopped financial support to the FTCs, after that the states were supposed to continue FTCs with expenses met from their own funds. The 14th Finance Commission has also endorsed the proposal of establishing 1,800 FTCs for a period of five years for cases of heinous crimes; cases involving senior citizens, women, children, disabled and litigants affected with HIV AIDS and other terminal ailments and civil disputes involving land acquisition and property/rent disputes pending for more than five years at a cost of Rs 4,144 crore. The 14th finance commission has allocated 214 crore rupees to Rajasthan government for the establishment of fast track court.Pendency of casesAccording to government data till December 2016, more than 14 lakh cases are pending across all the courts in the state. As per an estimate close to 2/3rd of these cases are more than 3-years old and more than 2/3rd of these cases are pending in the district & sub-ordinate courts. ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’ is used whenever there is an undue delay in disposal of cases.Prime Minister’s appealThe Prime Minister vide his letter dated 23rd April 2015 urged the state governments to allocate funds for the activities mentioned in the 14th FC recommendations from their state budget from 2015-16 onwards. This issue was also discussed in the CM/CJ Conference on the 05th April 2015 and 24th April 2016, wherein it was resolved to strengthen the existing coordination and monitoring mechanism between the state government and the Judiciary for effective implementation of the recommendations of the 14th FC. The Minister of Law and Justice has further urged all the Chief Ministers of the States and the Chief Justices of the High Courts to implement the resolution of the Conference vide letters dated 03rd June 2015, 26th September 2016 and 2nd May 2017 respectively.Supreme Court’s takeIn its judgment in the Brij Mohan Lal case, the Supreme Court has endorsed the position of the Central Government and held that the continuation of FTCs is within the domain of the states with their own funds.Purpose of fast-track courtsFast track courts are meant to expeditiously clear the colossal scale of pendency in the district and subordinate courts under a time-bound programme. A laudable objective of the five-year experimental scheme is to take up sessions and other cases involving undertrials on top priority.

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From disallowing speaking in Marathi to forced to remove bangles: Jadhav’s kin harassed by Pak

A day after wife and mother of former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav met him in Islamabad , India on Tuesday took serious objections to the conduct of Pakistan and the way its officials arranged the meeting disregarding all “sensibilities”. A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the exercise lacked credibility and during the meeting Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion. “Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan,” it said. Pakistan’s public relations (PR) pitch coming ahead of the top UN court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) begins to hear India’s appeal against Jadhav’s death sentence took new heights, when its Foreign Office not only made meeting of mother Avanti and wife Chetana with a death-row prisoner a media spectacle, but also used the occasion to release his second video and a medical report showing him healthy and fit.In a strongly worded statement, MEA said not only Pakistani media was unleashed to harass visiting relatives, but prior to meeting their cultural and religious sensibilities were also disregarded, by forcing them to remove mangal sutra, bangles and bindis. They were also asked to change their attire that was not warranted by security. They were also asked to put off their shoes. After the meeting despite requests shoe of Jadhav’s wife was not returned.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav’s family was harassed; wife had to remove mangal sutra, bindi: India exposes Pakistan’s PR showEarlier in the morning, both women met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at her residence. Jadhav’s father also accompanied them. Among others Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad JP Sigh also attended the brief meeting. Both the women were later headed to Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan, the offices of MEA for debriefing sessions.Narrating sequence of events, the MEA statement said that prior to the meeting the two countries through diplomatic channels had worked out modalities and format of the meeting. “There were clear understandings between the two sides and the Indian side scrupulously abided by all its commitments,” it said. The MEA noted with regret that the Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings.“The Pakistani press was allowed on multiple occasions to approach family members closely, harass and hector them and hurl false and motivated accusations about Shri Jadhav. This was despite a clear agreement that the media would not be allowed close access,” the statement added. It further stated that under the pretext of security precautions, the cultural and religious sensibilities of family members were disregarded. This included removal of mangal sutra, bangles and bindi, as well as a change in attire that was not warranted by security.Further,Jadhav’s mother was prevented from talking in her mother tongue Marathi, although this was clearly the natural medium of communication. During the meeting, she was repeatedly interrupted while doing so and eventually prevented from proceeding further in this regard. India’s deputy high commissioner JP Singh, who was tasked to accompany family members in the alien land was initially separated from them. Once inside Foreign Office building, they were taken to the meeting without informing Singh. The meeting started without his presence. After his protested, he was allowed to join Even then, he was kept behind an additional partition that did not allow him access to the meeting as agreed.The height of insensitive didn’t stop here. Despite repeated requests, the shoes of the wife of Jadhav were not returned to her after the meeting. From the feedback we have received of the meeting, it appears that Shri Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion. Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan. His appearance also raises questions of his health and well being,” the statement added, rejected the video played by the Pakistan Foreign Office. “We also regret that contrary to assurances, the overall atmosphere of the meeting was intimidating insofar as family members were concerned. Family members, however, handled the situation with great courage and fortitude. The manner in which the meeting was conducted and its aftermath was clearly an attempt to bolster a false and unsubstantiated narrative of Shri Jadhav’s alleged activities. You would all You agree that this exercise lacked any credibility, “the statement said.

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

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

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Teen killed by 8 while trying to save mother

Horror unfolded when a 13-year-old died in a heroic attempt to save his mother and sister who were being harassed by a gang of eight drunk men. The incident happened at around 11.45pm last Sunday near Adhinath Nagar area of Odhav area. Four of the accused, including the son of a head police constable, have been nabbed after a complaint was lodged with the local police station.The boy, who tried to stop the accused from harassing his mother and sister, was first stabbed and then beaten to death with pipes and lathis, police said. The situation looked awful as the boy bled and was rushed to a hospital, only to be declared brought dead. The deceased, Roshan Vadhadiya, was the son of Haribhai Vadhadiya. A complaint was lodged by Haribhai. The complainant told police that a couple of months ago he and family shifted to the area.The accused used to come to the area drunk and made several times to harass his family.Last Sunday, one of the accused came to his house and threatened them to vacant the house immediately. However, when Hari’s wife denied, the accused left the house only to return with seven more friends.All eight were drunk and began abusing Hari’s wife and daughter when his son, Roshan, tried to stop them. One of the accused pulled out a knife and stabbed in his leg. The other accused also attacked Roshan with lathis and pipes. The accused fled when neighbours got a wind of the incident and began gathering at the spot.Roshan was rushed to a hospital for treatment, where he was declared brought dead. A complaint was lodged with the Odhav police station against eight people, out which police were able to nab four of them.Himkar Singh, DCP Zone-5, said, “Four of the accused have been arrested, including the son of police head-constable. The rest will be nabbed soon.”

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Diplomat Eenam Gambhir’s phone snatched in Rohini

Two bike-borne men on Saturday evening snatched the mobile phone of Eenam Gambhir, the first secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.The incident took place in Delhi’s Rohini area when Gambhir was out with her mother on a walk.Police are yet to identify the accused and make any arrests in the case. The phone had US-registered SIM card and some important files related to Gambhir’s work.As told to police, the two men, who were on a bike, approached Gambhir on the pretext of asking an address and when they came close, the pillion rider snatched her phone. Both of them sped away on the two-wheeler. Since it was dark, Gambhir informed that she could not note down the vehicle’s registration number, police said.The diplomat also told the police that her iPhone had a US-registered SIM card and some important files related to her work. Police are now scanning CCTV footages from the area to identify the accused. Efforts to arrest the accused and recover the diplomat’s phone are being made, police stated.In September this year, Ukraine’s ambassador to India, Dr Igor Polikha’s phone was also snatched while he was clicking pictures near the Red Fort.Exercising India’s right to reply after Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly, in September this year, Gambhir had made a strong rebuttal by calling Pakistan a “terroristan”.Gambhir, who is a mathematics graduate from Delhi University’s Hindu College, hails from Delhi. At the United Nations, Gambhir is in charge Security Council reform, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity issues.Delhi Police has registered as many as 7,870 cases of snatching this year till November 30.

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Lesson from building fire: Install fire safety equipment, maintain it

A major fire was controlled in the plush Legend Towers, a ground-plus-32-storey high-rise in south Mumbai’s Walkeshwar area, on Monday evening, because of the swift functioning of the fire safety installation in the building.Prabhat Rahangdale, chief fire officer, Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB), said, “Fire was contained in the flat where it originated and it was possible because of the well-equipped fire fighting system in the building.” He added that fire fighting installations were working which facilitated the operations.Rutvi Mehta, a resident of Malabar Hill whose mother stays on the 10th floor of the B-wing where the fire occurred, said, “My mother is arriving from Dubai on Monday evening and I had just reached the building to check the arrangements. When I saw the fire, I immediately started getting phone calls from my relatives. I am glad everyone is safe.”Another resident who did not wish to be named shared that it was the alertness of the security staff and swift evacuation that ensured no one was injured. “The fire occurred at around 4 pm and we got information from our security guards. In the mean time even our neighbours began calling, after which all of us left everything and rushed out of the building,” she said, adding that they all heaved a sigh of relief on seeing the members from the flat where the fire had occurred too reaching the building podium safely.Rahangdale said that it is very important to have fire fighting and prevention measures to be put it in buildings and they should be maintained properly. “These are some measures that we always ask residents to maintain as it help a lot us to control the fire immediately,” he said.According to MBF, the reason of the fire’s spread on both the 17th and 18th floors of the building was the wooden items that are normally found in homes. Electrical wiring, false ceiling, furnishings, electrical, wooden wall paneling, wooden shelves, wardrobe, wooden beds, mattress, important documents, house hold articles, clothes, etc were damaged due to the fire, heat, smoke and water.SWIFT ACTION SAVES DAYAround 4 pm The fire broke out4.17 pm Fire control got call4.30 pm Residents started evacuating4.32 pm Fire Brigade reached the spot5.30 pm Fire controlled

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Rahul Gandhi sends ‘big hug’ to woman on Twitter! Find out why

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday took to Twitter to send a ‘big hug’ to a woman and also to wish her happy birthday and merry Christmas. Maybe Rahul Gandhi is finally smitten by someone and is ready to reveal it to the world. Actually, no, it’s the other way around! A 107-year-old woman blew her birthday candle on Monday and had only one wish on her mind- to meet Rahul Gandhi. Reason? She thinks the newly appointed Congress president is really “handsome”.A Twitter user with name Dipali Sikand tweeted on Monday with her grandmother’s picture cutting birthday cake with the caption: “Today my grandmother turned 107. Her one wish. To meet @OfficeOfRG Rahul Gandhi ! I asked her why? She whispers….He’s handsome !”Rahul Gandhi was quick to reply and tweeted, “Dear Dipali, Please wish your beautiful grandmother a very happy birthday and a merry Xmas. Please also give her a big hug from me. Best, Rahul.”It’s surely a Christmas miracle Deepali’s grandmother would have hoped for. Rahul Gandhi assume post as Congress President on December 16. During the recent Gujarat campaign, we witnessed his ‘change’ has got the media talking.From taking subtle digs at BJP to mixing ‘Khakra’ jokes in his speeches, Rahul Gandhi looked like a rejuvenated man.

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Kulbushan Jadhav: Pakistan lets family meet ‘Indian spy’

Kulbushan Jadhav is facing a death sentence for spying in Pakistan – a charge that India denies.

Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his mom and wife today

The Pakistan government has thrown a security blanket around the Constitutional Avenue hosting its Foreign Office and other top government offices in the wake of the arrival of Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife in in Islamabad on Monday.Both women are arriving in Pakistan via Dubai on a commercial flight on Monday morning and will leave the country the same evening after meeting Jadhav. The meeting will take place at the Pakistan Foreign Office and not in prison. India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad J P Singh will accompany them to the meeting.A Pakistan Foreign Office official will also be present during this time, as per the agreement between the two countries through diplomatic channels. India conveyed the itinerary on Saturday after Pakistan gave the deadline of Sunday to provide the requisite information about the family members’ visit or risk the meeting being deferred or cancelled.Sources said Pakistan had said they needed to put in place elaborate security arrangements for transporting Jadhav from jail to Islamabad and also for the meeting. Pakistani media reported that while Pakistan had completed the preparations to arrange the meeting India was delaying providing relevant information about the itinerary. The Indian High Commission was informed about the issuance of the deadline, the reports said. They said Pakistan needed time to bring Jadhav to the Foreign Office and for other security-related matters.In preparation for the meeting, Pakistan has deployed heavy security and traffic personnel within and outside their Foreign Office. Pakistani diplomatic sources said the meeting will last for an hour. Pakistan has offered to arrange media presence, if Jadhav’s mother and wife want to speak to media. But the offer has been rejected by India, reports said.Pakistani sources indicated that the meeting between Jadhav and his family members will not be the last, raising hopes that his death sentence may be deferred. The Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi had issued visas to Jadhav’s mother and wife earlier in the week. The visas were issued after Pakistan decided to allow Jadhav’s wife to visit him. But later, it agreed to allow his mother to join, who had originally applied for the visa. Pakistan later agreed to Indian condition — to allow an Indian diplomat to accompany the two women and also to provide a sovereign guarantee to their security and safety. After extensive deliberations, the Indian request was allowed and December 25 was proposed last week as the meeting date.Jadhav, who was reportedly captured by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan, was sentenced to death by a military tribunal earlier this year for his involvement in terrorism and espionage. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and his mercy petition has been lying with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.India has challenged Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ is hearing the case and has restrained the Pakistan government from executing Jadhav till it decides the case. Pakistan had earlier repeatedly rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav. India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the navy.

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Call to save Marathi schools from closure

Marathi schools and different organisations came together at a programme here on Saturday to give a call to save Marathi medium schools from closure. Organised by Marathi Abhyas Kendra and DS High School, Sion, for parents and different school managements, educationists who spoke on day one of the two-day meet asked the public to spread the message that Marathi medium schools can sustain and improve admissions.The meet had speakers who have done well in their career after taking studying in Marathi medium schools. Amol Yadav, a pilot who built six-seater aircraft, Sailee Jadhav, kabbadi champion, Anil Deshpande, mayor of Orlando and alumni of DS High School, were among the prominent personalities who spoke about their success after pursuing studies in Marathi medium schools.Rajendra Pradhan, president of DS High School, said: “Parents have misconception that if their child goes to Marathi medium school, he/she will not do well in future and will face a lot of challenges. So, they go all the way in borrowing money to put their child in English medium schools.”There were also an interactive session on ‘advantages of learning in mother tongue’ and lectures on how the parents and teachers can help in development of child’s personality, and how value education can be given through activity based programmes. The convention was attended by around 600 parents and educationists.

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Bhopal gangrape case: Fast-track court gives life sentence to all four accused

A fast-track court on Saturday awarded life imprisonment to all the four accused in Bhopal gangrape case.”Based on the evidence provided by us, the court awarded all the four accused lifetime imprisonment,”P N Rajput, the lawyer of the victim said. Meanwhile, the mother of the victim expressed satisfaction with the court’s verdict. Earlier in the month of November, a 19-year-old civil services aspirant was allegedly abducted by the four accused and gangraped near the Habibganj Railway Station in Bhopal. Following their arrest, two doctors of Madhya Pradesh’s Sultania Women Hospital were suspended on November 11 after they produced an erroneous medical report stating that the victim indulged in consensual sex with the accused.The four were charged under sections 376 D (gangrape), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), 366 (kidnapping woman), 347 (wrongful confinement), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) and 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Jabalpur High Court then ordered the state government to file a report in the case citing actions taken in this regard. The court also raised questions over the role of police and doctors

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Cops search godman’s school

The Jhotwara police on Friday searched a school run by self-proclaimed godman, Virendra Dev Dixit, who has been arrested in Delhi on the charge of raping several women. The Jhotwara police questioned nearly a dozen girls studying atthe spiritual school being run by the godman and have assured them of protection.It should be noted that after a woman from Jhunjhunu – mother of four girls – registered a rape case against the godman which lead to the investigation is being conducted in various ashrams and schools run by the godman in five states.The Jhotwara police also learnt about the presence of a school run by the godman in Om Shiv Colony area. The police team questioned a dozen girls who study there however did not find any suspicious evidence from the place.The team has assured them of security. Meanwhile, it has come to light that the school is being run in a rented building however the police has also found that the owner of the building has given the space to school out of favour. The exact details are being investigated by the cops.Safe coverJhotwara police questioned a dozen girls studying at the spiritual school being run by self-proclaimed godman, Virendra Dev Dixit, and assured them of protection.

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Delhi Shocker: Depressed woman under influence of alcohol allegedly shoots mother, brother

A 47-year-old woman allegedly shot at her mother and brother late last night in south Delhi’s Defence Colony, the police said on Friday. The accused Sangeeta, who has participated in state-level shooting tournaments, was apparently drunk at the time of the incident, they said.The woman’s brother Harsaran told police that Sangeeta shot at him and his mother around midnight. Harsaran along with his mother is now out of danger.Romil Baaniya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), said the woman has been detained and the pistol seized.She was also into adventure tourism and used to go to Sohna, Gurgaon. For the last one year, she had stopped going for shooting practise and stopped meeting people, said the officer.Her father said Sangeeta was suffering from depression and on medication.Last night, she took her medicines, sleeping pills along with alcohol and allegedly attacked her mother and brother, police said.

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Pune | 6, including 5 minors, arrested for sexually abusing 8-year-old girl

An eight year old girl was allegedly raped by six boys including five minor and a 19 year old in Kondhwa area. After mother of the victim approached Kondhwa police, the 19-year-old was arrested and the five minor boys were sent to observation home.According to Kondhwa police, all the six boys booked for raping the minor are known to the victim’s family. The girl would go to play with them when they sexually assaulted her.Inspector (crime) S Shinde of Kondhwa police told DNA, “Out of the six boys detained on Thursday, one is major and he is 19 year old. The other boys are 10 and 11 year old. According to the mother of the victim, these boys would take the girl to play with them where they would sexually assault her.”According to the statement given by the mother of the victim to police, the girl started complaining about pain in abdomen after which she was taken to a doctor. During the medical examination, doctor found out that the girl was being sexually abused.”Since the girl is small, she could not explain about the incident. When asked her about the activities the boys would do with her, she explained all the details,” Shinde said.Along the section of rape under section 376 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), the police have also slapped relevant sections of the protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

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Satisfied with verdict: Anju Singh’s mother on Suhaib Ilyasi’s life term

Anju Singh’s mother today expressed satisfaction over the life term awarded to Suhaib Ilyasi for killing her daughter after a 17-year-long battle.The former TV anchor and producer was awarded the sentence by a Delhi court which said that he “committed murder and gave it a colour of suicide”.Rukma Singh, who arrived from Patna to attend today’s proceedings, said, “I’m satisfied with the verdict. As long as he is convicted I’m fine.”She told the reporters that she had spoken to her granddaughter, who was three-year-old at the time of the incident, and had seen her.”She resembles Anju a lot,” she said.Her lawyer Satender Sharma said that Rukma had met her granddaughter, currently in Ilyasi’s custody, in 2008 on her birthday, adding that she had visiting rights and used to meet her on special occasions like birthdays.Rukma had earlier alleged that Ilyasi used to torture his wife for dowry and later moved the Delhi High Court for adding the charge of murder against him.The high court had allowed her plea and in August 2014 it ruled that the TV producer would be tried under Section 302 of the IPC for the offence of murder.

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Minor actor molestation case: Accused Vikas Sachdev granted bail

A sessions court on Wednesday granted bail to accused Vikas Sachdev, who was arrested for allegedly molesting a minor Bollywood actress on-board a Delhi-Mumbai flightThe 39-year old was on judicial custody after being arrested on December 10. He has been granted bail after surety of Rs 25,000. Vikas Sachdev was arrested on December 10 and was presented before the court next day which sent him to police custody. Sachdev has been booked under section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) since the actor is a minor.The actor had alleged she was on a Vistara flight from Delhi to Mumbai on Saturday night when a co-passenger sitting behind her put his feet on her armrest.”He kept nudging my shoulder and continued to move his foot up and down my back and neck,” the actor said in an Instagram post soon after she got off the plane at the Mumbai airport.Also readMinor actor molesatation case: Actor’s mother didn’t want to register complaint, says Vistara AirlineWith agency inputs

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PM Modi turns emotional in BJP Parliamentary meet, stresses on booth level network to win 2019 polls

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called for strengthening the BJP at its roots for a win in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and also pitched for promoting young faces inside and outside the party.Addressing the BJP parliamentary party here, Modi pushed for promoting the new generation for a “New India”, a vision for 2022 promoted by his government. He also urged party leaders not to be affected by the opposition’s “disinformation” campaign against the BJP, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters. Booth level work, which is the root of a poll campaign, is the mother of an election victory, Kumar quoted Modi as saying.”He called for strengthening the party at its roots across the country,” Kumar said.Party sources said Modi turned emotional a few times as he recalled how the party organisation was built in Gujarat and young leaders were groomed by their seniors, including former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.With the Congress claiming a “moral victory” for scoring its highest tally and pushing the BJP’s to its lowest score in the last many elections, Modi asserted that it was a big win for his party in his home state. No party in power at the Centre had done this well in elections across the country in over three years of tenure as the BJP had done, he said, referring to its winning streak in Assembly elections.<<iframe allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/g7S-wj4AHL8″ width=”100%”/>Modi fondly recalled how Vajpayee congratulated him in person when the party fared well in a Lok Sabha election from Gujarat, noting that he, then a relatively new entrant to the BJP from the RSS and a general secretary in charge of the state, was not widely known in the party, sources said. Seeking the promotion of young leaders at every level in the organisation, Modi referred to his association with party president Amit Shah, who was present at today’s meeting, and spoke about how he groomed Shah, 14 years younger to the prime minister, they said.”Modi called for strengthening the party at its roots across the country. He said the work at the booth level is most important, beside people’s blessings to the party, for creating a wave in its favour,” Kumar told reporters after the meeting. Modi wanted younger generations to be connected with party work, social work and for building the nation. He noted that the “millennial generation” would be eligible to vote from 2018. In his address, Shah attacked the Congress over its claim of a moral victory in the Gujarat polls, saying it was a “laughable exercise” for the opposition party to see victory in defeat.By getting more than 49 per cent of the votes, the BJP had received its highest share in the last many elections, including in 2012, when it won 116 seats against the 99 this time.

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Std V boy youngest innovator at event by Somaiya college

A Std V student is the youngest innovator will be showcasing his creation at the Somaiya riidl’s Maker Mela in January 2018.Arman Gupta has made a remote-controlled cleaning and mopping machine on his own.The three-day Research Innovation Incubation Design Lab at Somaiya Vidyavihar will see innovators from across the country.Gupta said, “Once I spilled juice on the floor and got scared that my mother would scold me. At that time I thought why not make a cleaning machine that will work on remote control. I love making robots and have made small toys with different devices. I have even participated in one of the exhibition in Kolkata where I was selected among best five innovators.”Arman said he started researching on the material to make a cleaning machine. “My problem was that my younger brother who is six used to break my work.”To encourage her son, Arman’s found that Somaiya campus has a incubation lab. “She took membership for me there and I started visiting it after my school hours. There no one use to disturb me and I got a chance to explore things.”The cleaning and mopping machine Gupta made dries the surface simultaneously. It has detachable sponges for its maintenance. The machine can clean the surface and dry it as well. His invention can also a play role in the government’s Swachh Bharat campaign, Gupta to DNA.“After school hours I use to be at riddl from 3pm till 6pm. When I had holiday on Saturday, I used to be there for the entire day. Science and maths are my favourite subjects and so is robotics. When I started making this machine I was encouraged to participate in Maker Mela. Right now, I have made a very basic machine. I want to make it more presentable. I started making this machine in November and completed it in three to four weeks.”This is the third year of riddl’s annual three-day showcase of innovation, creativity and technology. The one of its kind initiative Maker Mela invited applications from innovators across India out of which 100 have been selected to present their ideas. This year’s makers participating are from the age of ten years to seventy years; backgrounds are ranging from tech enthusiasts to crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, science clubs, students, authors, homesteaders, garage tinkerers and even commercial exhibitors.

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RK Nagar bypoll: Campaigning ends today for Jayalalithaa’s vacant seat, polling on December 21

Campaigning for the high-stakes December 21 bypoll to RK Nagar constituency which fell vacant after the death of J Jayalalithaa, came to an end on Tuesday, with the election being seen as a litmus test for the AIADMK-led Tamil Nadu government.AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and co-coordinator K Palaniswami, DMK working president M K Stalin and sidelined AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran had hit a blazing campaign trail to ensure victory for their respective candidates.It is the first election to be held in the ‘post Jayalalithaa era’, and necessitated following her death last December.The bypolls will be seen as a report card of the 17-month-old AIADMK government, which itself underwent a tumultuous phase dominated by a rebellion and patch-up involving O Panneerselvam.Chief Minister K Palaniswami and deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam urged voters to elect Madhusudhnanan to take forward the work initiated by Jayalalithaa.In a joint statement, the leaders recalled that the late leader served people with a “motherly” attitude and that she had many plans for the constituency as its MLA.People of RK Nagar were aware of her developmental work for the constituency, which was being taken forward by the ruling AIADMK, they said, while pointing out that this was the first hustings faced by AIADMK in her absence.”Madhusudhanan will aid the government in implementing every other welfare measure with the blessings of Amma”, they added.Jayalalithaa is addressed as Amma, meaning mother in Tamil, by her supporters.Stalin, on his part, vowed to unravel the ‘mystery’ behind the late AIADMK supremo’s demise and assured to put behind bars those ‘found responsible’ for her death in the event of DMK coming to power.During one of his stopovers during the campaign on Tuesday, he said there was a “mystery on how Jayalalithaa passed away and what kind of (medical) treatment was provided” to her during her 75-day hospitalisation, as he dismissed as an ‘eyewash’ the inquiry ordered by the state government into her death.”The first job of the DMK rule will be to find out who is responsible for Jayalalithaa’s death and lock them up in prison,” Stalin, Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, said.The campaign saw old rivals Stalin and MDMK founder Vaiko share the stage for the first time in many years. The opposition is putting up a united show in a bid to snatch victory in this city segment.There were also allegations of money distribution, with DMK levelling charges against the ruling AIADMK.Many opposition parties, including the Congress, the VCK and the Left have backed DMK candidate N Maruthu Ganesh.Dhinakaran, who fell out of favour with Palaniswami and also lost the battle for the party’s ‘Two Leaves’ symbol to the latter, is fighting as an independent and has expressed confidence that he can spring a surprise against the AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan, as well as the DMK.With 59 candidates in the fray, the bypoll is virtually confined to old warhorse Madhusudhanan, DMK’s greenhorn Maruthu Ganesh and Dhinakaran.Polling will be held on December 21 while the votes will be taken up for counting on December 24.Meanwhile, with campaigning coming to an end, the Election Commission has now barred all other related activities as is the rule.Liquor shops in the constituency will remain closed from 5 pm today till 5 PM on the polling day, as well as on December 24.

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Pakistan’s ISI bid to honeytrap three Indian officials in Islamabad foiled: Report

Three officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad were recalled from Pakistan, foiling the Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) bid to honeytrap them and extract information, reported Times of India.The officials, whose names are being withheld, are being questioned and were recalled earlier this week.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan confirms wife and mother have received visas to visit himA report said that the bid was foiled before classified document could be passed on to ISI, as the officials approached senior Indian authorities for help.The officials worked with the language section and were responsible for the translation of official documents, said a report, adding that the government will decide in the next few days how to proceed in the matter.Also read43 Indian fishermen have been arrested by Pakistani authorities

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Colleague ‘killed’ Chennai cop during accuse attack

Pandiyan, who was shot dead while trying to arrest a dacoit accused in Pali few days back, was not killed by the accused. He rather received the bullet injury from the service pistol of a colleague! The shot was fired when the accused and his family members charged at the cops and started beating them forcing the team to flee. However, Inspector Padiyan fell behind and was being beaten mercilessly when the other cop opened fire.Superintendent of Police – Pali District – Deepak Bhargava said, “Inspectors Poriya Pandiyan and T M Muni Shekhar along with a head constable and a constable came to Pali. They learnt that the accused – Nathuram Pindel – lived with his wife Manju and another person Deeparam Jat — at a house constructed at a brick kiln at Karoliya road. Around 2.30 am on the night of December 13, they raided the house in order to nab the accused. However, the accused and others retaliated. When the team faced difficulty, four members of the team left the place and jumped out of the house, however, inspector Pandiyan fell behind and the entire gang started beating him.”Seeing this, Inspector Muni Shekhar pulled out his pistol. “Suddenly, a shot got fired from his pistol which hit Pandiyan. He was rushed to the hospital where the Inspector was declared dead. “Tejaram, whose house at the kiln where the accused were hiding, has been arrested. His wife, Bindiya and daughter, Sugna were also held for attacking the cops. The mother and daughter have been sent to judicial custody while Tejaram has been taken on remand,” the SP said. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu government has announced a compensation to the cop’s family. * Who killed Chennai inspector Poriya Pandiyan?* Did the TN cop fire at the dacoit which instead hit Poriya?* Did the dacoits ‘get hold’ of the service pistol and committed the crime?

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Gandhi succeeds Gandhi

Formally taking over the mantle of the 132-year-old Indian National Congress, the country’s oldest party, Rahul Gandhi, 47, gave a pep talk to party workers on Saturday, telling Congress cadres to stand up to “regressive” BJP and accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “taking India back to medieval times”.Launching a direct attack on Modi, he said: “Congress took India to the 21st century, but today the PM is taking us back to the medieval times, where you hear and see killings, hate, and fires everyday. Nobody else seems to have a voice except him.”Accusing the BJP of promoting hate and violence, he said: ” These regressive forces win not because they deserve to but because they are powerful and misuse that power.”Claiming that Congress was different from BJP, he said that his party, known as the ‘grand old party’, so far, will now become the ‘grand old new party’.The new party president, the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to lead the political outfit, has taken charge from his mother at a time when the party is facing one of its worst crises, with the BJP occupying the centrestage of national politics and getting increasingly robust in states.At a time when the Congress has left a trail of defeats in a series of state polls, starting with its worst ever debacle in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Rahul underlined the need for party workers to connect with the people. He said he wanted the Congress to become an “instrument for dialogue between Indian people from all corners, religions, ethnicities, ages, genders, and for our dialogue to always be led by love and affection”.The Congress president, who has often accused the ruling BJP of doing ‘politics of polarisation’, also advised party workers to eschew negativity.He also said that while the BJP wanted to wipe the Congress from the country’s political map, the Congress considered BJP members its brothers and sisters. “They want an India free of Congress, they want to erase us but the Congress’s inclusion and respect for all Indians extends even to the BJP. We do not fight hate with hate. They crush voice, we allow the most vulnerable to sing. They defame, we respect and defend. They might control the structures of power, the machinery of silence and fear, but we in the Congress, we are the bastion of the people. It is in this service that my idealism, your idealism, and our hope for politics always rests,” he said.Rahul, who had at the time of his elevation as party vice-president in 2013 recalled his mother Sonia Gandhi telling him that “power is poison”, on Saturday told party workers that “like many Indians across the country, I am an idealist”.Gandhi’s elevation, which had been the anvil ever since Sonia Gandhi underwent a surgery in the US in 2011, marks a generational shift in the party that is battling uncertainties both within and without, mainly in the form of onslaughts of its bitter rival, BJP.Speaking to party workers for the first time as the president, Rahul said he entered politics 13 years ago because of his “profound belief in this country”.”When I joined politics as a 34 year old, I came into this world having watched the generation before me fight the structures of oppression, the structures whose very fuel is lies and silence. When I entered politics 13 years ago, I wished to be a part of the awakening that would transform India at home, by ensuring dignity for all its people, and in the world, where we would step into a role that resonated globally,” he said.He further said that the party must never back down when under attack from the BJP. He urged the workers to stand up to them and that “their anger and hatred makes all of us stronger”.The function, in which returning officers Mullappally Ramachandran and Bhubaneswar Kalita gave Rahul the certificate of winning the election, also saw the presence of former PM Manmohan Singh, Motilal Vora, Janardan Dwivedi, and Madhusudan Mistry on the dais. While handing him over the certificate, Ramachandran reminded Rahul that the office he was going to occupy was once occupied by a “galaxy of stalwarts”, including Mahatma Gandhi, his own great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Subhash Chandra Bose, Madan Mohan Malviya etc.Meanwhile, as old and seasoned leaders fear that the generational shift might trickle down to key posts as Rahul gets down to forming his own team over the next few months, sources close to Rahul told DNA that he will strike a balance, to draw on the experience of the party’s “old guard” in advisory roles.

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‘Ray of hope’: Wishes pour in from politicos for Rahul Gandhi as he becomes Congress President

Wishes poured in for Rahul Gandhi from various opposition parties as he took over the reins of the Congress party today, with RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav saying the whole nation “wants to see him as the next prime minister”.Forty-seven-year-old Gandhi responded to the leaders on Twitter, saying, “thank you”. The leaders hoped that Gandhi would strive for the welfare of the people, put up a fight to protect secular fabric of the country. Former Bihar deputy chief minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav lauded Gandhi for “redefining” Indian politics. Also readCongress prez Rahul Gandhi pays tribute to martyrs of 1971 warYadav said Gandhi has proved his mettle in inclusive, secular and liberal politics. The RJD leader said the youth feels “duped and cheated” under the current BJP-led NDA regime. “And this respect, Rahul Gandhi ji is being seen as a ray of hope to bring this pessimistic politics to an end. The whole nation wants to see him as the next prime minister of India,” Yadav said in a video message posted on the Congress’s Twitter handle. Also readBJP rakes up Madhu Koda’s sentencing to target Rahul Gandhi on his first day as Congress PresidentReferring to a line “that there are many promises to keep, miles to go before I sleep” from Robert Frost’s poem, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury hoped it would be the guiding motto for Gandhi during his stewardship of the Congress. “In Indian politics, we wish all those who have taken up new responsibilities the best. Our wishes to him in discharging these responsibilities only with the hope that it will be in the interest of the people and the country,” he said in a video message on the Congress’s Twitter handle. “Congratulations Rahul ji for this big responsibility and our best wishes for all ur endeavours,” Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.In a video message posted on the Congress’s Twitter handle, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav noted Gandhi’s responsibilities have now become greater and hoped he would make consistent efforts to take the grand old party forward. DMK working president M K Stalin also joined the leaders in wishing Gandhi, hoping he would restore glory of secularism. “Am confident that he will fulfil the aspirations and hopes of the people and restore the glory of Secularism, Socialism and Federalism. @OfficeOfRG,” Stalin tweeted. Taking to Twitter, Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the party takes a pledge for a new movement that is free from fear, fascism, prejudices, equity and true democracy.”New Energy, Newer steps, New Challenges & Navsarjan! Under the leadership of Rahulji, We shall write a golden chapter for Our Nation!” Surjewala tweeted.Facing the uphill task of reviving a moribund party, Rahul Gandhi today took over as the Congress president, and immediately hit out at the BJP, accusing it of spreading hatred and violence in the country.”They break, we unite. They ignite fire, we douse it. They get angry, we love. This is the difference between them and us,” he told party workers.Gandhi, who was heralded by the 132-year-old party’s top brass, family members and boisterous rank-and-file, alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking India back to the medieval times.In his first speech to party workers after his formal takeover, he set the tone of its future course and how the party would take on its arch-rival BJP, saying the Congress was for inclusive politics and that it respects all Indians that extends even to the ruling party.The 47-year-old Gandhi family scion said he took over the party reins knowing that he would always be walking in the “shadow of giants”.”Today, the BJP people are trying to spread fire and violence in the entire country and only the force of lovable Congress workers and leaders can stop them,” he said.Before he gave his first address, he sought his mother Sonia Gandhi’s blessings and kissed her on the forehead.Attacking Modi, he said the Congress took India into the 21st century, “while the prime minister today is taking us backward, to a medieval past where people are butchered because of who they are, beaten for what they believe and killed for what they eat”.This ugly violence in the country, he said, has “shamed us” in the world as India’s philosophy and history, born out of love and compassion, are being tarnished by such horror.In an emotionally charged final speech as the Congress chief while passing on the party’s mantle to her son, Sonia Gandhi said the grand old party should set its house in order and introspect while readying for any sacrifice to stop communal forces in the country.She exuded confidence that Rahul would lead the party with courage, patience and devotion. He has endured many personal attacks which have made him “fearless”, she said.She also voiced concern over the alleged attacks on the core constitutional and fundamental values of the country by the BJP and asked party workers not to relent in the fight against such forces.”We are all witness to daily attacks on our fundamental values, against the freedom of speech and expression, against our rich diverse culture, and an atmosphere of fear and suspicion is being created.”Amid this, the Congress must look within and introspect and forge ahead. If we do not stand by our principles, we will not be able to wage this fight for the common people. This is a moral battle and to achieve success, we must set our house in order and be ready for any kind of sacrifice,” she said.Sonia Gandhi said the country was facing “unprecedented challenges”, but stressed that the party was not going to be scared and would fight it out.She recalled the times when she entered politics after losing her “anchor” (Rajiv Gandhi) and “mother” (Indira Gandhi), and how with the support of Congress workers she steered the party to power both at the Centre and in state after state.Congratulating Rahul Gandhi on his elevation, she said personal attacks on him have made him fearless and voiced confidence that his leadership will infuse new vigour in the party.”I am confident that with a new and young leadership, our party will be reinvigorated and bring about changes we need. You have chosen Rahul as your leader. He is my son, and it is not right for me to praise him,” she said.Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said Rahul Gandhi will sustain the “politics of hope” which is needed in the country and not allow the “politics of fear” to take over.In his brief address at an event where the new Congress president was handed over a formal certificate by the party’s election authority, Singh said certain “disturbing trends” are noticeable in the country’s polity and the people were depending on Rahul Gandhi to transform it.Singh described the day as “unique” in the party’s history and said Rahul Gandhi’s leadership would bring a new sense of dedication and commitment to steer the party to greater heights of glory.He also praised Sonia Gandhi for the “powerful and magnificent” leadership provided by her to the Congress which would go down in the annals of its history.”As a distinguished academic pointed out a few days ago, there are dangers that the politics of fear will take over from the politics of hope,” the former prime minister said, apparently targeting the BJP.”May your path be blessed,” he said as he ended his speech.Rahul Gandhi was given the certificate in the presence of Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Robert Vadra and several senior party leaders.The new party chief also met PCC delegates from various states thanking them for electing him unopposed.There was chaos outside the AICC headquarters where party workers gathered in large numbers to witness the event, making it difficult even for senior party leaders to enter the premises.While there was bursting of crackers outside the venue, women played with ‘gulal’ and young party workers danced to the beats of ‘dhol’.Posters and banners were put up in Lutyens’ Delhi and traffic was halted around the AICC office on Akbar Road.

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Swati Maliwal: Call to speed up child rape executions in India

A leading women’s rights advocate says the government should take tougher action on rapists.

BJP rakes up Madhu Koda’s sentencing to target Rahul Gandhi on his first day as Congress President

The BJP today dubbed the Congress as a “corrupt thought process” as it shrugged off Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as its president, saying its working style and “corrupt ways” remained the same.BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra launched a sharp attack on the Congress after Gandhi attacked the ruling party soon after replacing her mother Sonia Gandhi as its president.Patra cited the sentencing of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, who was supported by the Congress, in a corruption case to hit out at the party, claiming it would remain corrupt despite the change in leadership.He said it was an irony that despite the Congress not being in power for four years, corruption cases were still tumbling out and people jailed for corruption they did when it was in power.”This speaks volumes about the thought process, the working nature of Congress party. So a new president or an old president, the working style of Congress party, the corrupt ways of Congress party still remain the same,” he told reporters.He said when the Congress talks about a change in leadership, the country is seeing how during its 10-year rule, corruption of ten to fourteen lakh crore rupees took place under their very nose.”Congress is not an ancient thought process as claimed by a few, rather Congress is a corrupt thought process and that has been proved by the judicial process today,” Patra added.After assuming the leadership of the party, Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP of spreading hatred and alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking India back to medieval times.Also readRahul Gandhi is captain of a ‘sinking ship’: Union Minister Babul Supriyo”The BJP is spreading hatred and communalism… they break, while we unite. They ignite fire, we douse it,” Gandhi said.Asked about the ‘Aag laga ke’ (ignite fire) comment, Patra said this is “not a decent way” to react.”Elections are won not because of riots on streets, not because ‘sadak pe aag laga ke’. Elections are won because the mantra of reform, transform and perform works in the country under the able leadership of Narendra Modi,” he said.Also readPM taking us back to medieval times, says Congress President Rahul Gandhi He went on to add that elections are won as people compare how during the UPA days, the direct benefit transfer (DBT) was not there and the money could not reach the pockets of poor man.”Today because of DBT, what the poor man deserves, reaches his pocket. Elections are won by giving LPG cylinders to the last man standing in the queue, when electricity reaches every village.”So my simple request is we should not demean the basic nature of democracy in the country. Democracy is vibrant in the country because development is taking place as never before,” he added.Patra said that today is an important day as Madhu Koda, who was the chief minister of Jharkhand with the support of Congress party, has been sentenced to three years in jail because of his involvement in the coal scam.Also readHimanta Biswa Sarma congratulates Rahul’s elevation; says will continue to have political contests with him”We all know that Madhu Koda was an Independent MLA, but because of the fact that the government was formed with the outside support of the Congress party, the government then was almost a Congress government run by10 Janpath, 24 Akbar Road by the help of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ahmed Patel,” he said.

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‘Turned away’ by hospital, Odisha woman delivers baby near drain

A tribal woman delivered a baby girl near a drain in the premises of a government hospital in Odisha’s Koraput on Friday after she was allegedly refused admission for want of required documents.However, the authorities of Saheed Laxman Nayak Medical College and Hospital (SLNMCH), dismissed the allegation of denial of admission to the woman.After news about the incident spread, the hospital admitted the baby to the special neo-natal care unit (SNCU) and the 30-year-old woman taken care of in the hospital.Doctors at the hospital said the condition of both mother and baby are stable.The woman, a resident of Janiguda village under the Dasmantpur block had came to the hospital on Thursday with her mother and sister to meet her husband Raghu Muduli, who is admitted at the hospital with fever since Wednesday.She developed labour pain and went to the gynaecology ward for admission but the hospital authorities refused to admit her, Gouramani Muduli, mother of the woman alleged.”The medical staff refused to admit my daughter as we had not brought the prescription and required documents. My daughter delivered the child near the drain after she was refused admission,” she alleged.However, the chief district medical officer of Koraput, Lalit Mohan Rath, trashed the charge.”The woman delivered the child while answering natures call. She had not approached any hospital staff either for medical check-up or for admission,” he said.

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Rapists of minors should be hanged within 6 months: Swati Maliwal

Lamenting the “delay” in carrying out sentence of December 16 gang-rape and murder incident, Delhi Commission for Women Chief Swati Maliwal claimed the long winding legal process allowed the criminals to feel they can get away with such henious crimes.She urged the prime minister to bring in a legislation wherein at least those convicted of raping minors are given death penalty within six months.Nirbhaya, a para-medical student, was brutally gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. The incident took place while she was returning with a friend after watching a movie.She died 13 days after the incident at a hospital in Singapore.Of the six men arrested in the case, one of the accused Ram Singh hanged himself in prison in March 2013, while another man, who was a juvenile at the time of the crime, was convicted in August. Last year, he was released from the correction home after serve the maximum sentence of three years in a reform home.The other four — Akshay, Vinay Sharma, Pawan and Mukesh — were found guilty and sentenced to death by the Delhi High Court in September 2013. The Supreme Court also upheld the high court’s decision.”It’s the fifth death anniversary of Nirbhaya incident and the fact is that nothing has changed in this country.Everyday girls and women are being brutally raped in this country,” she said.Maliwal also highlighted the need for having fast-track courts in the city so that rapists are punished forthwith.Also, there is a need to upgrade the delivery mechanism of the forensic department as well as the accountability of the police, she said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”The system has made the criminals confident enough to believe that they can get away with any crime perpetrated against a woman or a child.”It is very unfortunate that even Nirbhaya herself has not got justice in this country. Nirbhaya’s mother is still running from pillar to post in order to ensure that her beloved daughter can get justice,” Maliwal said.The DCW chief said that at least in case of rape of minor girls, there should be a law in this country in which such rapists should be punished and given death penalty within six months.She also made an appeal to the prime minister to constitute a high-level committee on women’s safety in Delhi, having the Union home minister, the lieutenant governor, the chief minister, the police commissioner and the DCW representatives as its members, to take effective decisions on issues of women’s safety.Drawing the prime minister’s attention to the Nirbhaya fund, which has remained unutilised till date, Maliwal urged him to devolve the fund immediately to the states failing which the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme will lose its relevance.

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

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

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Anti Corruption Bureau books BMC engineer in DA case

The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) Mumbai unit has booked former Assistant Engineer attached with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for allegedly amassing assets more than the known income of the accused. The ACB has also booked the wife and deceased mother of the engineer in the case.According to ACB, Anil Mistry, 51, assistant engineer who was attached with BMC from 26 March 1990 till 19 June 2017 was accused of possessing wealth 1307.18 per cent more than the known income. The ACB officials found the assets worth Rs 7,72,48,381 extra to the actual income. The ACB has also booked Akruti Mistry,43 in the case.”The accused engineer had purchased properties in the name of his wife and the mother and they were in know-how of the money which he acquired through corruption,” said the ACB officer.

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First day of job turns last day of life

Rocky Shaikh, a labourer working in the Chhipi Chawl building, met with a tragic death when the building collapsed on Friday. Shaikh was working on the fourth floor when the slab of the building caved in instantly killing him. It was his first day at work.Shaikh, a native of Malharpur near Kolkata, had come to the city on Thursday in search of work. Asraf Ali, one of his relative said, “Shaikh’s father had already died and Rocky was the sole breadwinner earning for his mother and other family members.”Two other labourers had a narrow escape as they evacuated the building when they realised that the wall was shaking and the building was about to fall.”There were heavy metal tanks on the fourth floor which the labourers were removing when the crash happened and our colleagues died,” said Ghulam Mustafa, a labourer who came out safely.Most of the labourers trapped inside were from West Bengal. “The contractor could have adopted certain safety measures that could have saved Firoz,” said Sohaib Khan, uncle of Firoz Khan who died in the building collapse. He added that he got to know about the incident after he received a call from his native village.Timeline: How it unfolded9 pm: Body of three labourer recovered from debris.One still feared trapped. Rescue operation continues1 pm: Around five labourers are rescued12 pm: Fire Brigade reaches the spot11 am: A slab of Chhipi Chawl building on Shamseth Street in Zaveri Bazar collapses

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Precarious parenting

How much do 400 rupees mean to most of us? May be a popcorn bucket for kids on a weekend movie show or petrol bill for a couple of days office commutation during week days. But for Kamali a 23-year-old from Jharniya village in Banswara district, it is an amount enough to put her ‘to be born’ baby on risk. Kamali, is an expecting mother with a due date to deliver an issue in February. In her 30th week of pregnancy, Kamali did not go for any Ante Natal Checkup (ANC) so far. She has a reason for that.“We are daily wage labourers and that’s how we feed our five-member family,” Kamali explained. “Due to my pregnancy, our earning has already reduced to half as I am unable to go for work and in such a condition I cannot afford to take my husband along, who has to cover a distance of 28 kilometre to reach his workplace, for my check up at Anganwadi Center as it will mean a complete loss of a day’s earning. We can’t afford,” she added.Kamali represents lakhs of pregnant women in Rajasthan who have not received a single ANC during their pregnancy and her reason to avoid mother and child care facilities is the most common one that puts lakhs of mothers and their unborns life at risk. “Clearly, we see that financial loss matters more for them compared to the health. So there was a need to compensate their financial loss in order to motivate them to visit Anganwadi or health centres.” Manoj Jain, Additional Director (Nutrition) at Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) said.“For the purpose, State Women and Child Development Department has rolled out the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) in the state. Now, all the pregnant women and lactating mothers, in the state, who have their first pregnancy can get the benefits of PMMVY. PMMVY is the union government aided scheme to benefit pregnant women and lactating mothers for the birth of their first live child. Beneficiary will get Rs 5,000 in three instalments at the stage of early registration of pregnancy, after six months of pregnancy on at least one antenatal check-up and registration of child birth and first cycle of immunization of the child. All the pregnant women and lactating mothers who have their first pregnancy on or after 1 January 2017 can avail the scheme benefits now.“The benefit amount would be send directly to the bank account of the beneficiary through Direct Benefit Transfer mode,” said Manoj Jain.SCHEME TO CONTROL INFANT MORTALITY RATEAs per SRS bulletin 2016, IMR in Rajasthan is 41 deaths per 1,000 live births It is far more than the national IMR of 34 per 1,000 live births. Birth asphyxia, low birth weight are leading causes of deaths of infants in the state. IMR in rural areas is 45 which is almost 50% more than the IMR in urban areas. IMR in rural Rajasthan is 30 which is 30% more than the national rural IMR figure of 23. ABOUT PRADHAN MANTRI MATRU VANDANA YOJANARajasthan rolled out the scheme on December 5, 2017. 5-6 lakh pregnant women will be benefited per year. Total Rs 5,000 will be given to each pregnant woman and lactating mother. Scheme means to motivate for ANC and immunization, through financial assistance. THE AMOUNT WILL BE PAID IN 3 INSTALLMENTSRs 1000 at the time of registration of pregnancy.Rs 2,000 At least one ANC carried out after six months of pregnancy.Rs 2,000 The birth of child registered and the child received first cycle of vaccines, including BCG, OPV, DPT and hepatitis-B.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | In Behrampura, lack of parking near polling booths pushes people away from voting

Residents of Behrampura in Gujarat that goes to polls today in the second phase of the assembly elections stated a strange reason for not casting their votes.According to Nasir Mirza, a local in the area, the residents have an issue with the traffic jams and the lack of parking facilities near polling booths. “The streets have been crowded as if India and Pakistan are playing an ODI match. There is no space to move or park vehicles,” he said.Earlier in the day, voting began in the second and final phase of the Gujarat Assembly Elections . Over two crore voters are casting their ballots to seal the fate of 851 candidates contesting for 93 seats across 14 districts in Gujarat.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 LIVE UPDATES: Polling for second phase underway, 7% turnout recorded till 9 amSome of the prominent names who cast their vote included BJP President Amit Shah, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mother Heeraben.

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2 city toddlers drown in separate incidents

In two separate incidents, two children aged two years drowned in the national Capital on Tuesday. While the girl drowned in a drain, the boy drowned in a bucket.In the first incident reported from northwest Delhi’s Wazirpur area, a two-year old boy, identified as Aditya, drowned after accidentally falling in to a bucket full of water at home. The child’s mother had gone to a neighbour’s house while his father was sleeping inside at the time. The bucket was kept at the end of a small staircase, The child was playing near the staircase. It appears he slipped and landed in the bucket face down. Aditya’s father woke up after a while to find him motionless in the bucket.In another incident, a two-year-old girl died after falling into a drain outside an east MCD school in northeast Delhi’s Maujpur area. She was identified as Srishti.According to the police, the incident took place around 8 am.At the time, her father had gone to the school to drop his eldest daughter. He left Srishti outside the school gate, standing on a slab. Reportedly, the slab slipped and the girl fell into the drain. A student from the school saw her falling in and raised an alarm. By the time Srishti was taken out, she had died.Manish, a vendor who generally puts up his stall in the area, said: “We all come in the afternoon to set up our carts in the Maujpur Sabzi Mandi. By the time we came, the incident was over.”

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Man murders spouse over suspected affair

A 55-year-old man shot his wife dead over suspicion that she was involved in an extra-marital affair. The incident took place in southwest Delhi’s RK Puram area, in the couple’s rented accommodation in Sector 7, on Monday night.The accused, Balaram, who works as a pump operator, was later arrested.”The relationship between the couple was not cordial. Their daughter Krishna revealed that her father would often beat up her mother over such suspicions,” Milind Mahadeo Dumbre, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) (southwest), said.The police received a call at 9:41 pm. A team reached the location and rushed the injured woman, identified as Veena Devi, 50, to hospital, where doctors declared her dead on arrival. Upon inspection, it was revealed that blood had been washed in the dining room and some blood-stained clothes were also washed in the bathroom.Krishna told the police that her parents and her brother and sister-in-law lived together. On Sunday, the children along with their spouses had gone for a wedding in Burari in north Delhi. Later, Krishna called her mother to check on her but her phone was switched off. “Krishna then called her father, who told her that Veena had gone out. Then she spoke to her brother, who started crying on the phone. She rushed back home only to find her mother lying in a pool of blood. The accused gave no explanation about the incident,” the officer said.Veena had sustained two bullet wounds; one on the abdomen and another on the back. On the basis of Krishna’s statement, a case under various IPC sections was registered at the RK Puram police station. A country-made pistol used in the commission of the crime and two live rounds were recovered from Balaram.Meanwhile, some sources said that the accused had been planning to kill his wife for a long time and had bought the weapon over a month ago. He even suspected that his wife would kill him as revenge for his beatings.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Independents brew trouble for BJP, Congress in Panchmahal

Independents keep both BJP and Congress on toes in a number of constituencies in Panchmahal, which has seven Assembly seats Thasra, Balasinor, Lunawada, Shehra, Morva Hadaf (ST), Godhra, and Kalol.The most curious case here in Morva Hadaf, where BJP replaced its sitting MLA and Congress gave up the seat for an ally.Determined to wrest the seat, which her mother won in 2012 but did not live to know of it, Bhupendrasinh Khant is in fray as an independent candidate as the seat Congress, which had fielded him in 2013 bye-poll is contesting the seat.Under an alliance with Chhotubhai Vasava, Congress gave this seat to Vasava’s Bhartiya Tribal Party, which has fielded Alpeshbhai Damor from the seat.Only MLA from JDU, who turned rebel and is now backing Sharad Yadav faction of the party, Chhotubhai has been agitating in favour of demand for Bhilistan, a separate state comprising of tribal dominated parts of Guajrat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharasthra.While Chhotubhai has his influence in few seats in Bharuch, the BTP has not much of presence in Panchamahal region. Besides its candidate is also not a much known personality.Chhotubhai Vasva, the JDU MLA from Jhagadia had bargained hard for seats and Congress which was about to field Khant here, gave the seat to BTP at the last moment.The seat was won by Bhupendrasinh’s mother Savita Khant in 2012 by a margin of 11,289 votes. She had defeated BJP’s Bijalbhai Damor. While Savita Khant had got 56,886 votes, Damor had got 45,597 votes. But Savita Khant died on the day results were declared days after having passed into coma on the day of the elections.In 2013 bye-election, Congress fielded Savita’s son Bhupendrasinh Khant in the hope of winning back the seat on sympathy wave but lost it. BJP won the seat with a new candidate Nimisha Suthar, who got 64,840 votes and Khant 47,126 votes.This time again, the BJP changed its sitting MLA and uthar and fielded Vikramsingh Dindor in her place in the wake of a controversy over the non-tribal origin of Suthar’s husband. Dindor was earlier in Congress and his nomination has not gone down well with the local BJP leaders.In Godhra, the headquarter of Panchmahal, an Independent candidate with long time BJP connection Jaswant Parmar, a surgeon by profession has already turned the contest triangular and could upset many a political calculations in both Congress and BJP owing to his association with the dominant Bakshi Panch community in the seat.In Lunawada, two independent candidates are making quite a wave. Two-term sitting MLA from Congress Heerabhai Patel was denied a ticket with the party fielding Paranjayadityasinhji Parmar, the son-in-law of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh. Parmar belongs to Santrampur, 40 kilometers away from Lunawada and faces an outsider tag.In this seat, BJP earlier planned to field Jawan Singh Chauhan but finally the ticket went to Manoj Patel. Former BJP MP Bhupendra Singh Solanki was also a strong contender for the seat. Earlier the BJP District President J P Patel wanted to contest the seat but he was asked not to do so because he was not a resident of Lunawada. Hence the ticket went to Manoj Patel, a Patidar, closely related to him.In Lunawala seat, it’s Patidar Brahmin Bania versus the OBC all the time.Ratan Sinh Rathod, an OBC candidate with erswhile Congress roots is contesting the seat as an independent, who is being backed by Jawan Singh Chauhan. OBC groups in the constituency have now collected a “Fada” (community fund) to finance the electioneering of Rathod.Both Bhupendra Sinh Solanki and and Ratan Sinh Rathod are giving sleepless nights to BJP and Congress candidates.

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Debt-ridden bizman attempts suicide, kills 4 of family

After hit by the impact of demonetisation, a textile businessman killed four of his family members and attempted suicide at his home near Pallavaram here on Tuesday. The businessman was troubled by growing debts.Police said debts and a huge loss in business forced Damodharan, a resident of Thiruvalluvar Nagar in Pammal, to take the extreme step.Damodharan murdered his mother Saraswathi, wife Deepa, son Roshan and daughter Meenakshi by slitting their throats with a kitchen knife. Later, he tried to commit suicide by slitting his own throat.Damodharan, who runs Prakash Cloth Store has left two letters detailing the reasons for his decision kill his family members and himself. In a letter to his friend S Balakrishnan, Damodharan said that after the centre brought the demonetisation, there was no growth in the textile sector. “With the price rise, I was living taking more and more loans. Only my debts increased but the textile sales did not go up. If the situation continues like this, many lives will be lost like mine. But the state government is not bothered about all this,” he wrote in the letter recovered by the police from his house.According to the police, on hearing loud noise from his house, neighbours reached there and found four dead bodies. They found Damodharan alive and rushed him to Government General Hospital. The local police reached the spot and recovered the dead bodies after the neighbours informed them. The police have registered a murder case against Damodharan.

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Sankar murder: Six sentenced to death in honour killing case, Kausalya welcomes verdict

In a sensational case of honour killing, Tamil Nadu’s Tirupur Principal District and Sessions Court on Tuesday sentenced six persons to double death penalty for the daylight murder of 23-year-old dalit V Sankar who had married an upper caste woman. The murder took place in a busy marketplace and was caught on CCTV cameras. Of the 11 accused, six including girl’s father Chinnasamy received death penalty, one person was awarded double life sentence, one person got at a five-year sentence and three including girl’s mother Annalakshmi were acquitted.Judge Alamelu Natarajan pronounced the verdict on Tuesday. Sankar’s wife Kausalya was accompanying him when three bike-borne men hired by her parents attacked them in full public view near a busy bus stand in Udumalpet on March 13, 2016. Sankar died on way to the hospital, while Kausalya survived with head injuries. Saukalya’s parents were against their marriage as Sankar was a dalit. Both Sankar and Kausalya studied in a private engineering college in Pollachi when they got married against her parent’s wish. Kausalya, hailing from Dindigul, belongs to politically powerful Thevar caste.Kausalya who lives with Sankar’s family welcomed the court’s verdict. “Though I am against death penalty, the severest punishment given in this case would create fear among perpetrators of such heinous crimes. Our wait for the verdict did not go waste as the verdict given in my case was first of its kind in the country. The punishment like the double death penalty and double life sentence were given to prevent the convicts from escaping through the holes in the law. Hence I welcome the verdict as a whole,” she said, adding that however, she would appeal against the acquittal of her mother Annalakshmi, maternal uncle Pandithurai and her another relative in the Madras High Court.“If other convicts appeals against the verdict, I will fight them in the court,” she said, adding that she would continue her fight for justice in the court as well as in the public domain.“Justice for Sankar’s murder does not end with this court’s verdict alone. Only the enactment of a law against caste-based honour killing is the real justice for the murder of Sankar. I hope this verdict would help achieve this goal,” she said, sought police protection for Sankar’s family and herself following the acquittal of the three accused and tension prevailed in the court premises after the verdict.Special Public Prosecutor U Sankaranarayanan said that judge wanted the punishment given in the case to act as a deterrent in future against such honour killings. The court also ordered a total compensation of Rs 11.95 lakh to the girl and Shankar’s family, he said. After the investigation, the police arrested 11 persons including Kausalya’s parents in connection with the case and registered cases under seven different sections in the Indian Penal Code and under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Police had filed a 1500 page charge sheet against the accused.

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Greater Noida teen killer kept in isolation at juvenile home

The 16-year-old boy who was arrested for killing his mother and sister at their Greater Noida residence has been kept under observation and in isolation at the juvenile home. A team of doctors, including psychologists, are keeping an eye on him to check for behavioural changes and to make sure that he does not develop suicidal tendencies.Talking to DNA, officials taking care of the teen said that during his first day in the juvenile home, he did not utter a single word. He has been kept separately so that he doesn’t get violent and attack other inmates.”A team of doctors and councillors is keeping an eye on him and trying their best to keep him out of depression,”the official said. According to the officials, the boy was remorseful and cried for some time after being brought to the observation home in Phase II of Noida.”He was accompanied by his father and relatives. They came around 6 pm on Saturday. He hugged his father and kept crying. Once we start seeing changes in him, we will move him with the other inmates,” said Nem Chand, Superintendent of the observation home.Meanwhile, the boy has gradually started talking to other inmates. “We have told other inmates to not discuss or ask him about the incident. He is getting better by the day. He is, however, ashamed of the act he committed. He is reading books by famous legends such as Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekanand,” Chand said.On the first day, the boy was so tired that he went to sleep at 10 pm and woke up at 6 am. He seemed to be tired and depressed after traveling 2,511 km. “He eats egg and bread with milk in the morning, sabji, roti, dal-chawal, for lunch and sabji, roti, raita for dinner,” Chand added.After an examination by a psychologist, the next step would be his age determination. The juvenile house has 130 other inmates from five district — Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Shamli, Meerut, and Muzzafarnagar.On Tuesday night, the boy’s 42-year-old mother and 11-year-old sister were found murdered in their Greater Noida flat. His father was out of station for work when the incident took place.According to the CCTV footage accessed by a team of officials probing the case, deceased Anjali and the two children were last seen entering the society around 8 pm on the fateful night and the boy was seen leaving the building around 11.30 pm.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi is now King of Cong; it is official

Rahul Gandhi (47) was elected Congress president unopposed on Monday, a much-awaited generational shift in India’s oldest political party that comes in the middle of the fiercely contested Gujarat elections. Rahul is likely to take over from his mother Sonia Gandhi on December 16, the party’s foundation day.The spotlight will now be on Sonia who has been the party’s longest serving president. She has been leading the Congress for 19 years since 1998. Party sources said Sonia remains UPA chairperson and head of the Congress Parliamentary Party.While senior leaders feel Sonia could remain the final arbiter, she herself has given enough indications of not coming in way of Rahul’s decision making. His elevation also ends speculation over his sister Priyanka Gandhi’s leadership role in the party.The move comes 10 years after Rahul was made AICC general secretary and five years after he became Congress’ vice-president.There will be now greater scrutiny of Rahul’s performance. Next year, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh will go to the polls ahead of the 2019 general elections.All 89 nominations — all in Rahul’s favour — were found valid. When the time for nomination withdrawal ended on Monday, Rahul had no other contestant for the post.Soon after the announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “I congratulate Rahul Ji on his election as Congress President. My best wishes for a fruitful tenure.” PM Modi had earlier likened Rahul’s imminent elevation as Congress president to “Aurangzeb Raj” or the rule of the 17th century absolutist Mughal emperor.Party workers gathered outside the AICC office broke into celebration with a slogan “Desh ka neta kaisa ho? Rahul Gandhi jaisa ho” renting the air. The Congress has sought to project the election as democratic to counter the BJP’s charges of dynastic politics.Rahul’s elevation comes at a time when the Congress faces an uphill task of reviving its flagging fortunes after having recorded its worst poll performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, wining only 44 seats.Rahul was campaigning in Gujarat, attacking PM Modi and the BJP, when his party made his election official in Delhi. The elevation concludes a year-long organisational election process in the 132-year-old party.

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PM Modi congratulates Rahul Gandhi for becoming Congress President, wishes him a fruitful tenure

On Monday, PM Modi put aside political bitterness and rivalry to congratulate Rahul Gandhi on his elevation as Congress President. He wrote on Twitter: “I congratulate Rahul Ji on his election as Congress President. My best wishes for a fruitful tenure. @OfficeOfRG.”Rahul Gandhi has been elected unopposed as Congress president, party’s central election authority head Mullappally Ramachandran announced here today. Rahul Gandhi will collect the certificate formally declaring his ascension to the post on December 16, he told reporters here.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi visits Dakor temple, continues attack on NaMoThe 47-year-old scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family was the lone candidate in the fray.Also readGujarat elections 2017 | Final leg: PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat todayRahul Gandhi succeeds his mother Sonia Gandhi, who remained in the post for 19 years.The CEA received a total of 89 nomination papers proposing Rahul Gandhi’s name for the top post. All the nomination papers were found to be valid, Ramachandran said.Also readGujarat elections 2017 | I am still your own Narendrabhai: PM Modi”Since the withdrawal of date/time is over and as there is only one candidate (Rahul), as per Article XVII (d) of the Constitution of Indian National Congress, I hereby declare Shri Rahul Gandhi elected as president of the Indian National Congress,” Ramachandran said.Rahul Gandhi became the vice-president of the party in January 2013.

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Delhi teen allegedly commits suicide after locals try to molest his sister

An 18-year-old boy allegedly committed suicide, a day after his sister was molested by a few men, in Delhi’s Samaypur Badli area, police said today.According to the police, on December 7 they got an information of Deepak’s body being found hanging at his house. No suicide note was found from the spot, they said.Later Deepak’s mother told the police that he had a scuffle with a few people from their locality who had accused him of theft on the previous day, a police officer said.The same people had also tried to molest Deepak’s sister the same day, but the matter was not reported to the police then, the officer said.A case has been registered and police are probing the matter.

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23 yrs after conviction, man acquitted

Almost 23 years after he was convicted for demanding dowry and abetting the suicide of his wife, a mother of two children, the Bombay High Court, holding that the prosecution failed to prove its case against him, acquitted the accused. Justice Sandeep K Shinde acquitted Borivali resident Sameer Joshi, who was sentenced to five years imprisonment for abetting the suicide of his wife Jyoti, in the year 1994. The court said, “I hold that, the prosecution having failed to prove cruelty had equally failed to prove the charge of abatement of suicide as framed against the accused herein.”As per the prosecution’s case, the couple got married in the year 1990 and had two children. It is alleged that the accused had demanded Rs 10,000 from his wife, for starting a business. When her brothers and parents refused to give him the amount, he is alleged to have harassed the deceased by assaulting her regularly. Following, which, on July 16, 1994, she jumped from the seventh floor of their building and committed suicide.During the trial, the prosecution examined several witnesses to bring home the guilt of the accused. However, in the appeal before the high court, it was brought to the notice that there were several discrepancies in the evidence of the witnesses and it was not clear, that Jyoti committed suicide because of the harassment meted out to her.

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DNA analysis gives clean chit to teacher in minor’s rape case

In a new twist to the alleged rape case of a 13-year-old minor girl inside a Nerul school, the Kalina FSL in its report has given a clean chit to the accused teacher. The report states that the accused teacher is not the biological father.The wife of the accused, Anjali Shukla, now has written to the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court to direct the police for a second DNA test to confirm the FSL’s reports and to immediately arrest the accused involved. On September 29 last year, the Nerul police registered a case against Harishankar Shukla alias Raj, for allegedly raping a class VII student inside the MGM school. The complainant in her statement had stated that she was raped inside the school twice between April and August 2016. The incident came to light after her parents learnt that she was four months pregnant. The incident had led to severe outrage. In the report, a copy of which is with DNA, the Directorate of FSL, Kalina has opined that Harishankar Shukla is excluded to be the biological father of product of conception (foetus). It further states that the victim is concluded to be the biological mother of product of conception.”If the DNA report clearly states that my husband is innocent, the judiciary should discharge the case against him,” said Anjali.

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‘Her body was soaked in blood’: Kin of six-year-old raped and killed in Hisar

A six-year-old girl, who was raped and killed in Haryana’s Uklana area, was cremated today amid tight security, as the agitated locals protested over the gruesome crime.Some unidentified men had allegedly abducted the girl on Friday night when she was sleeping with her sister and mother in their home in a slum area. The men then raped and killed her, the police said.The doctors of Civil Hospital who conducted the post- mortem examination said that the accused inserted a wooden stick into the girl’s private parts, which ruptured her intestine.”When the body was handed over to us it was soaked in blood,” a kin of the girl told reporters here.Angered over the incident, the opposition parties, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), Congress and the local residents demonstrated against the Manohar Lal Khattar led government, on the cremation ground.”The Khattar government is sleeping while incidents of rape and murder take place every other day,” senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said.Also readHaryana: 5-year-old girl allegedly raped, murdered; wooden stick inserted into her private partsFormer chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda while demanding an immediate arrest of the accused, said such barbaric incidents showed that law and order machinery in the state under the BJP government had collapsed.Things have come to such a pass that children were neither safe in their schools nor at homes, Hooda said.The barbaric incident was a chilling reminder of the December 16 gangrape case in Delhi in 2012 involving a young woman, he said.Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala and party’s Hisar MLA Kamal Gupta and other leaders were also present there.Also readIn 94.6% cases of rape, accused known to victim, says NCRBA case under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including murder, rape, kidnapping, besides, under the provisions of the POCSO Act has been registered.A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has also been formed to probe the incident. However, no arrest has been made in the case, said a police spokesman.The police is checking CCTV footage of the area to gather clues, he said.The incident came to light yesterday when passersby noticed the body of the girl on a deserted street, the police said.The victim’s family, who work as labourers, belong to the Sapera community hailing from Tohana town in Fatehabad district. They were living near railway lines in Uklana for the last couple of years.

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Zaira Wasim molestation: ‘Appalled at what happened,’ says Mehbooba Mufti, calls for strict action

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said she was appalled by the incident wherein ‘Dangal’ fame actress Zaira Wasim was allegedly molested on a flight, and sought swift action in the matter.The actor has alleged that she was molested by a co- passenger on board a Delhi-Mumbai flight and narrated her ordeal on Instagram via live video.”Any harassment/crime against women shld (should) be dealt with swiftly & (and) effectively. As a mother of 2 (two) daughters I am appalled at what happened with @zairawasimz.Hope relevant authorities take strict action,” Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.Zaira said she was on an Air Vistara flight from Delhi to Mumbai when a co-passenger sitting behind her put up his feet on her arm.

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Rs 200 crore loss as saffron production dips sharply

Persistent dry spell in Kashmir valley has led a 80 per cent drop in the production of saffron causing Rs 200 crore financial loss to the farmers.Official figures reveal that saffron production in 2017 was 3.5 metric tonnes against 17 metric tonnes in 2016. Estimates worked out by the Agriculture department peg the financial loss at over Rs 200 crore.”On an average, our saffron production is 17 metric tonnes. This year there is a 80 per cent drop in production. One kilogramme saffron sells at Rs 1.6 lakh, and by that estimate we have suffered roughly Rs 200 crore loss,” said Altaf Aijaz Andrabi, director of department of agriculture, Kashmir.Experts say increased temperature and no rainfall during sprouting period are the main reasons for crop failure this year.”It requires rainfall in September. In addition, temperatures should also be moderate. Moisture in corn helps sprouting. We had no rainfall, which resulted in crest formation,” Andrabi said.Touted as world’s most expensive spice, saffron is used in multiple ways in multiple industries — ranging from medicine, beauty, colour, food, among others. Kashmiri saffron kahwa (tea) is a delicacy which is served on special occasions signifying the importance of the guests. It is used in beauty products and has a high medicinal value.Around 3,715 hectares of land is used for saffron cultivation in Jammu and Kashmir. Pampore in the Pulwama district of south Kashmir tops the list with 3,200 hectares under saffron cultivation. It is followed by Budgam and Srinagar with 328 and 165 hectares respectively under the saffron cultivation.”Production is almost nil and farmers are ruined. We have suffered huge financial losses this year. Government should come up with a scheme to help the farmers in distress. We have no other source of income,” said GM Pampori, president J&K Saffron Growers and Dealers Association.”Our worry is now about the mother corn. You need good water regime for multiplication of corn for next year’s crops. If the dry spell continues for another month, it will have catastrophic effect on future crops,” said Andrabi.SUDDEN DIPOfficial data reveals that saffron production in 2017 was 3.5 metric tonnes against 17 metric tonnes in 2016. Experts blame increased temperature and lack of rain in the Valley are the primary reasons behind failure of the crop this year.

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Rajasthan murder: Woman denies she was ‘rescued’ by accused

Days after a viral video of a Rajasthan man getting hacked to death in the name of love jihad went viral, the woman, who accused Shyamlal Regar referred to as his ‘Hindu sister’, has said she has nothing to do with him, and he did not try and save her, as he had told the police.According to an Indian Express report, the woman, now aged 20, said she went to West Bengal with one Mohammed Bablu Sheikh. She returned in 2013 on her own because she did not like it there. She now lives in Rajasthan with her mother and brother.The woman told the daily that she knew Regar as he belonged to the same community and had even tied a rakhi on his hand. When she told her mother that she wanted to return to Rajasthan, Regar volunteered to bring her back. “I refused to go with him and said that I will come back on my own,” she said. Also read’I am a normal person,’ says accused in gruesome Rajasthan murder videoThe woman said it was unfair to say that Regar murdered Mohammad Afrazul because of this incident. “He knew Bengali contractors and labourers in Rajsamand because until establishing his marble business, he worked as a labourer,” said the woman.The woman has also denied Regar’s claims that Bablu Sheikh’s associates were threatening him for ‘rescuing the woman’, stating that she had not been in contact with Sheikh since she left Malda in 2013.Also readDNA Edit: Act of wanton crueltyThe news of the murder went viral after a video of the horrific killing was circulated on social media. In the video, Regar is seen repeatedly attacking Afrazul with a sickle, dousing his fallen body with kerosene and burning him alive.Raigar does not have a criminal background, as was being thought earlier. “He was a marble trader for nearly a decade, primarily operating in Rajsamand, Gurugram, and Anand in Gujarat. His parents live in Anand but are originally from Rajasthan. He has three daughters and the youngest is undergoing treatment for a mental disorder. She also gets a government pension,” Srivastav said.Commenting on the incident, DGP O P Galhotra said:”It is a heinous act that no person of sane mind would ever commit. The home minister had directed to form an SIT under SP, Rajsamand. The investigation was completed within 24 hours, and the main accused was arrested. He is being interrogated. Since the investigation is in a preliminary stage, not much can be said right now.”

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Noida double murder case: 16-year-old confesses to killing mother, sister

The 16-year-old minor, who was the prime suspect, on Saturday confessed to killing his mother and sister in their flat in Gaur City-2 Greater Noida.According to police, the boy was apprehended by Gautam Buddha Nagar police from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh late on Friday night. “The boy who was on the run after committing the murder had called his father on Friday afternoon from an unknown number. The father immediately informed the police after which a team reached the location and found him,” said Luv Kumar, Senior superintendent of police (Gautam Buddha Nagar). Police said the boy did not confess his crime during the call, but kept crying on the phone. The phone number was passed to the police by the father of the minor following which location was traced to Mughal Sarai. A team was sent from Greater Noida by air and brought him to here. During interrogation, the boy revealed that he was often beaten up by his mother and he felt that his parents did not love him and rather loved his sister more.Also readNoida double murder case: Cops detain juvenile from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh “The boy has confessed to the crime. He told his mother had scolded him on December 4 afternoon for using Sofa to study. Later, the boy was beaten by the mother. His mind was not in his senses and he murdered the mother and sister on December 4 night.”Kumar added.The boy after murdering mother and sister had booked cab and went to Old Delhi from where he took a train towards Jammu. He got down in Ludhiana and travelled to Chandigarh, Shimla, Chandigarh, Ranchi, and Varanasi, said police. Also readGreater Noida double murder | ‘Criminal Game’ inspired boy to murder mother, sister?Police further revealed that the boy used his bat and attacked his mother. He eliminated mother and sister using scissor and pizza cutter to kill them.On Tuesday night, a 42-year-old mother and her 11-year-old daughter were found murdered in their Greater Noida. Their bodies were found in the bedroom of their flat in the 11th avenue of Gaur City-2. The father was out of station for work when the incident took place.According to the CCTV footage accessed by the team of officials probing the case, Anjali and her children were last seen entering the society around 8 pm on the fateful night and the boy was seen leaving the building at around 11:30 with a phone and the bag. The incident came to light when the boy’s father asked his relatives to check on his family as she was not answering his constant calls.

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Noida double murder case: Cops detain juvenile from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh

The main accused in the double murder case in Gaur City 2 in Noida Extension was apprehended by Gautam Buddha Nagar police from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh late on Friday night. According to police, the juvenile who is suspected of murdering his mother and sister was hiding in Varanasi.”With the help of technical evidence, the minor was located near Dashashvamedh Ghat in Varanasi and on Friday evening, he was nabbed by our team,” said a senior police officer.Sources said, the minor, who was on the run after allegedly committing the murder had called his father on Friday afternoon from an unknown number. The father immediately informed the police after which a team reached the location and found him.Police also requested the mobile owner to keep a close eye on the minor and Varanasi police was informed. The minor was located by the local police walking near Dashashwmedh Ghat and was immediately apprehended.Sources said the minor had travelled in a train to Varanasi on his own and there was no conspiracy behind his disappearance.On Tuesday night, a 42-year-old mother and her 11-year-old daughter were found murdered in their Greater Noida. Their bodies were found in the bedroom of their flat in the 11th avenue of Gaur City-2. The father was out of station for work when the incident took place.According to the CCTV footage accessed by the team of officials probing the case, Anjali and her children were last seen entering the society around 8 pm on a fateful night and the boy was seen leaving the building at around 11:30 with a phone and the bag.The incident came to light when the boy’s father asked his relatives to check on his family as she was not answering his constant calls.

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Mum-daughter murder: Suspect son’s last location traced at Chandni Chowk

A joint team of more than 100 policemen from Gautam Budh Nagar are on the hunt for the juvenile who allegedly stabbed his mother and sister to death in their Greater Noida apartment.Sources told DNA that the boy was located last in Chandni Chowk area. Therefore, Delhi Police has been approached to try and find him there. Family members have also appealed to the son, who has been missing since the incident, to return home.A senior officer of the Greater Noida police said, “After the incident came to light, we had put the phone, which the boy had taken along with him, on surveillance. That’s how we found out his last location on Monday night.””However, the phone has been switched off thereafter. Pictures and details of the boy have been posted at various platforms to seek public assistance in tracing him. We have also announced a reward for any information regarding his location.”The police did not announce the reward amount, but sources said it is between Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000.”We have formed four teams to trace the boy and hope to find him soon. Only he can tell the truth about what happened inside the apartment,” said Luv Kumar, Senior Superintendent of Police.On Tuesday night, a mother-daughter duo was found dead with multiple stab wounds on their bodies at their residence in Gaur City area of Greater Noida. The prime suspect in the case is their 16-year old son, who was the only one present in the house when the incident took place.

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