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AAP, NDMC reply sought on plea to seal illegal constructions in Chandni chowk

The Delhi High court has sought the reply of the AAP government and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) after a plea was filed to seal and demolish illegal construction in the historic Chandni Chowk area and prosecute violators.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Delhi Government, North Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Police Commissioner on the petition which said that an effective mechanism be devised to check rampant unauthorised construction in Chandni Chowk.The PIL filed by Himanshu Bansal, a trader in Chandni Chowk, gave details of seven properties where alleged illegal construction was carried out and said other similarly placed properties in the the area be also inspected.Appearing for Bansal, his counsel stated that despite various orders of the Supreme Court and High Court, it has not worked as a deterrence and unauthorised construction has become a continuous problem.The plea had sought direction to authorities to forthwith seal and demolish the unauthorised or illegal construction carried out in Chandni Chowk and to prosecute builders and those responsible for violating the law.It alleged that illegal construction activities are being carried out in complete violation of environment laws and has increased the congestion in the area, endangering life and properties of local inhabitants and public at large.It also contended that authorities be directed to ensure that the rich cultural heritage of Chandni Chowk area is preserved on the lines of the master plan Delhi 2021 by devising an effective mechanism of checking rampant unauthorised construction and illegal use of properties in the area as well as ensuring swift action against violators and offenders.THE PLEAThe plea sought direction to authorities to forthwith seal and demolish the unauthorised or illegal construction carried out in Chandni Chowk and to prosecute builders and those responsible for violating the law.

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L-G: Fast track construction of Rani Jhansi flyover project

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal took stock of the long-delayed construction of Rani Jhansi flyover being built to ease out congestion by the municipal corporation in north Delhi on Saturday. The L-G has directed the civic agency to put work on a “fast track mode”.The 1.6 km flyover was proposed to be built since the erstwhile MCD was in power and has missed a number of deadlines since. The latest deadline was of January 2018.”The officials were told to expedite the development of the portion by putting all the resources so that commuters on the route can get relief by availing services at the earliest,” said a statement issued by the L-G’s office.He also directed the Public Works Department (PWD) and traffic police to study traffic pressure for its smooth flow at the entry and exit points of the grade separator from both sides so that it may not become a bottleneck.Also, officials of the North MCD have been asked to put up a weekly report on any hurdles being faced by them in the completion of the project.Four times the initial cost, the flyover was earlier given December-end as its deadline. From Rs 177.70 crores in 2008 to Rs 722 crores in 2016, the delay has caused the cost to go up manifold.The grade separator to link Filmistan to St Stephens Hospital, Tis Hazari was to ease traffic movement in areas including Civil Lines, ISBT Kashmere Gate, Karol Bagh, Paharganj, Sadar Bazar, Azad Market, Kamla Nagar and Mandir Marg, among others.However, civic officials have been claiming that they faced many complications in shifting utilities as well as the traders from the area.Fresh ordersThe L-G also directed the PWD and traffic police to study traffic pressure for its smooth flow at the flyover’s entry and exit points.Officials of the North MCD have been asked to put up a weekly report on any hurdles in the project’s completion.

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UGC’s letter on trips to North East upsets Delhi University faculty

A letter from the UGC to the Vice-Chancellors of all the central universities encouraging them to organise excursions to northeast states has created an uproar among the faculty members at the Delhi University (DU) with many of them terming it a “political move”.In the letter, Jitendra K Tripathi, Joint Secretary, University Grants Commission (UGC), directed the universities to implement the ‘action points’ that emerged out of a recent meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the tourism sector. “Universities to be encouraged to organise excursions to the North East,” the letter said. The regulatory body also urged the universities to make tourism a part of course curriculum of students to sensitise them about the sector.University officials, however, said that by mentioning a particular part of the country where the Assembly elections are scheduled next year, in its letter, the incumbent government is trying to”propagate its political agenda”.”I have been teaching in a central university since the last fifteen years but this is the first time that a government is asking educational institutes to take its students on a trip to a prescribed place,” said Rajib Ray, president of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA).Four northeastern states — Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram – will go to the polls next year.

Two men attacked with blades for urinating in open

Two men, who were caught red-handed urinating in the open, were brutally thrashed and injured with blades in North Delhi’s Timarpur area, late on Monday night. Police have arrested three men for the attack.According to the police, one of the victims, later identified as Rohit Saluja, told police in his complaint that his friend and he were taking a late night stroll when they decided to relieve themselves nearby. They said that as they started to urinate near the slum cluster where they live, a local youth approached and started pushing them away.”Victims said, after this, an argument started and the local youth slapped the duo. When the duo overpowered the local boy, he called his two more friends from the area who then allegedly took out a sharp blade like thing and attacked them. Even after Saluja and his friend started bleeding, the trio thrashed them brutally. Both of them received cuts on their faces, necks and arms, but are out of danger,” said police.Locals, however, called the police and the injured were taken to a nearby hospital where they received treatment.”We have arrested the three men and booked them for causing hurt by using a dangerous weapon. Locals and are being questioned and the CCTV footages are being checked to ascertain the facts. The two men are out of danger now,” said the police officer.

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Congress narrows BJP vote lead in Gujarat polls

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

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20-year-old man’s body found dumped in Kalyanpuri park

The body of a 20-year-old man was found, with his face crushed inside a park, in North-East Delhi’s Kalyanpuri area late on Monday night. Police officials are investigating the case from a personal enmity angle as the deceased was not robbed and his belongings were intact.According to the police, the incident came to the fore on Tuesday morning when a passerby noticed the body lying in the park. Prima facie, it appears that he was killed on Monday night and his face was disfigured using a huge stone so as to conceal his identity.Police officials have ruled out robbery as a prime objective in the case as the mobile phone and the wallet of the deceased were intact. The deceased has been identified as Ranjit Kumar. Kumar worked at a shop and the police informed that he used to consume drugs. Kumar also used to have arguments with his parents as they objected to his consuming drugs.The police identified the body through his mobile phone. His parents had tried reaching him on the mobile phone but when he did not answer, they panicked and started looking for him in the vicinity. Police have registered a case and the investigation is on.

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BJP gears up to make a mark in states not won

In the midst of celebrations after retaining Gujarat and snatching Himachal Pradesh from the Congress, the BJP has not lost sight of the 2019 General elections. The party is now preparing to make deep inroads into Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and the East coast.After a ‘close shave’ in Gujarat, BJP has decided not become complacent. Realising that 2019 might not be a cakewalk for the party, it has renewed its efforts aiming at winning 120-odd seats, and called it Project Coromandal. These seats open a window to make up for the losses it might incur in the northern states.Though the project is a rough reference to a geographical area stretching along the east coast — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal — the North East too has been included in this as a logical political extension.”We cannot afford to be complacent. In UP, we bagged 71 of 80, and in MP we won 27 out of 29. But the point is that we might not be able to better these numbers in 2019 Lok Sabha elections; we may lose some. We need to expand to regions and states where we have not yet made inroads into and where there is scope of expansion. This way we would be able to make up for the losses in the states where we performed spectacularly,” said a senior BJP leader.In the six states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh, out of a total of 190 parliamentary seats, BJP bagged only 15 in 2014 despite a saffron sweep in the rest of the country. The party wants to change that in 2019.BJP’S PERFORMANCE IN 2014 POLLSIn the six states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh, out of a total of 190 parliamentary seats, BJP bagged only 15 in 2014 despite a saffron sweep in the rest of the country

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75 security personnel and 203 terrorists killed in J&K in 2017: Govt

As many as 318 people, including 203 terrorists and 75 security personnel, were killed in terror-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir this year, the Lok Sabha was informed today.In the North-East, 97 people, including 51 insurgents and 12 security personnel, were killed in insurgency-related incidents, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said during Question Hour. Up to December 14 this year, 337 terror incidents were reported in Jammu and Kashmir in which 40 civilians, 75 security personnel and 203 terrorists were killed and 321 persons injured. Ninety-one terrorists were also arrested.Referring to incidents in the areas affected by left wing extremism, Ahir said up to November 30 this year, 813 incidents took place leading to the death of 170 civilians, 75 security personnel and 111 left wing extremists. One hundred and forty five people were also injured. He said 1712 left wing extremists were also arrested.Also readJammu and Kashmir | 2 terrorists gunned down, encounter still on in ShopianWhile there have been two attacks each in 2014 and 2015 on defence establishments, six attacks took place in 2016. This year upto December 10, one defence establishment came under attack.

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Train services disrupted in Assam due to blockade

An Adivasi organisation on Tuesday put up a 7-hour rail blockade at Kokrajhar station in Assam affecting train services between the North Eastern region and the rest of the country.Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) spokesman Nripen Bhattacharjee said movement of 18 trains including Dibrugarh Town-New Delhi Rajdhani Express was affected by the blockade.Other affected trains included Guwahati-Anand Vihar Terminal North East Express and Gandhidham-Guwahati Kamakhya Express.Up and down express trains besides local passengers trains were controlled at Bongaigaon and Lumding divisions in Assam, at Alipurduar and Cooch Behar in north Bengal and Kathihar in Bihar, Bhattachajee said.Train services were disrupted since 6 a m when the blockade began at Kokrajhar railway station by the Adivasi National Convention Committee (ANCC), railway sources said.The ANCC has been agitating to press for their demands such as granting of Scheduled tribe status to the community, implementation of Traditional Forest dwellers Act and permanent settlement and land deeds to the tea garden workers of Assam.People came from lower Assam’s Chirang, Dhubri and Bongaigaon districts and demonstrated on railway tracks in Kokrajhar with banners and placards and shouted slogans in support of their demands.

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Speak up Delhi: Dropout rate a serious issue in civic-run schools

A recent report released on the condition of public schooling in the national capital, once again raised the alarm on the “deteriorating condition” of the school run by the Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs).”The estimated dropout percentage in schools run by the North MCD is 6.1 per cent, South MCD is 6 per cent in the academic year 2016-17,” the report titled ‘State of Public (School) Education in Delhi 2017’ released by the NGO Praja Foundation on Thursday. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), however, has not provided any information on the number of dropouts in their schools.On average, from the three Municipal Corporations, in the last three years (2014-15 to 2016-17), the EDMC has witnessed the maximum dropout followed by North Delhi Municipal Corporation. Highest drop of 30 per cent being reported in Class 1, between 2010 to 2017.The data was compiled on the basis of RTI received from 640 schools of MCD. These schools offer education from Class 1 to Class 5. Afterwards, students move to government-run schools.The report also highlighted the status of teacher quality in these schools with 55 per cent of MCD schools show a medium level of teacher quality. “On an average, teachers from 55% MCD schools reported to have a medium level of teaching quality based on the various parameters under SSEF whereas 34% reported to have a high quality of teaching,” it said.In a bid to provide inclusive education under the right to Education Act, 2009, a ramp for differentially-abled is mandatory in every school under RTE norms. However, in the academic 2016- 17, 21% of the NDMC schools, 8% of SDMC and 15% of EDMC schools did not have ramps for the differently-abled students.Officials at the corporations, however cite “lack of resources” as the reason behind all these discrepancies. “We are always short of resources. We don’t even have money to spend on basic infrastructure,” a senior education official at the corporation said.However, the Praja report said that “there is no constraint on available resources”.”In terms of the infrastructure available, teacher quality and budget allocation, there is no constraint on available resources. The corporation is faring well on the student teacher ratio, the quality of teacher is above average and the budget estimate being set by the state government at 49,740 rupees per child,” it said.CRUNCHING FIGURES18,860The number of students who dropped out from New Delhi Municipal Corporation schools in the academic year 2016-1715,787The number of students who opted out from the schools run by South Delhi Municipal Corporation for the academic year 2016-17.BUDGET ESTIMATE (2016-17)NDMC: Rs 15,505 lakhSDMC Rs 12,360 lakhEDMC: 14,075 lakhEXPERT SPEAK“We have well-trained teachers who are being selected through an entrance exam conducted Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board. In terms of dropout rate, there are two reasons behind it is including regular relocation of slum clusters and the primary classes started by the Delhi government schools. People prefer to send their children in one school rather than changing their schools after Class 5”Tilak Raj Kataria, standing committee chairman North MCDVOICESI don’t believe in the quality of education in government schools. Around 15 years back when I had to choose school for my children, I opted for private school. And any parent would do the same as everybody wants to give best education to their child. Primary education makes the base of a student and it should be very strong for a better future which is not possible in public schools.Ritu Jain, HousewifeThe quality of government schools is getting better as compared to previous years. When I took admission in school, my parents did not even consider the option of public schools. Society taboo was a major reason behind it. Nobody wants to say that I have studied in public schools. But now the conditions are improving and I feel the next generation will have a more positive perspective for public schools.Aditya Jain, Engineering studentI took admission in government school when private schools rejected me for admission as I was from Bihar. I have done my higher education from there and it was the time when Aam Admi Party was promising (as their election agenda) that bribe taker will go through the rough ways. The irony is I had to give bribe on the very day when AAP won the elections.Aaryan Chand Prakash, StudentIf I would have this option of making choice between public and private schools, I would definitely choose the later one. Many reasons can be listed to justify my choice. For instance, teachers are kept busy with other activities like election duties, function preparations that leaves no time with them to teach students. Education quality is not up to the standards of tough competitions.Kavita Gupta, HousewifeI definitely will not choose public schools for my daughter. Government is lacking in many aspects for making the education system better and cheaper. There is no infrastructure in government schools, the toilets are not proper and also less efficient staff. When the basic needs are not fulfilled the quality education is a far sight. Also the class which is mostly associated with public schools is low and thus prevent the overall growth of the children.Razia Malik, Housewife

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Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital’s resident doctor assaulted by patient’s attendant

In another case of an attack on doctors by patient’s attendants in a government hospital, the resident doctors at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) were allegedly abused by the family members of a patient on Saturday, after his planned surgery was postponed by them just before the schedule.A senior resident doctor at the RML hospital confirmed that the surgery was postponed because the patient was stable and another critical patient needed to be operated immediately. The doctor also confirmed that the patient was counseled for this delay but despite that, a mob entered the hospital ward and abused the doctors.”If the guards and the bouncers had not intervened, the doctors would have faced physical assault too,” he added.The hospital authorities called the police but by that time the mob of about 20-30 people had already left the hospital. A case in this regard has been filed by the hospital at the North Avenue Police Station. “An FIR has been lodged and investigations are underway. Nobody has been arrested yet,” said a senior police official.Cases of verbal and physical assault against doctors have become common in hospitals. In another case in November, a resident doctor was physically assaulted by a patient and her attendant, after which the Federation of Resident Doctor’s Association (FORDA), which includes over 20,000 doctors, had announced an indefinite state-wise strike to demand better security for doctors at all the government hospitals.The strike, which would have seen a closure of all out-patient departments to demand more guards at the hospitals, was cancelled later after FORDA received an assurance from the Principal Health Secretary that their demands were being looked into.

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Cold wave to continue in northern India; temperatures likely to drop

People who expected a relief from the biting cold will feel disappointed as cold wave conditions will continue in northern part of India.According to Skymet Weather, the seasonal wind pattern is being prevalent over the northwestern plains of the country. In addition to this, the active western disturbance has been pushing the cold winds from the snow clad mountains to hover across the region, thereby plummeting the temperatures further.On Saturday, severe cold wave conditions were witnessed at isolated places of Punjab, while cold wave conditions at isolated places over Haryana and North Rajasthan.Rajasthan, Chandigarh and West Uttar Pradesh too observed cold day conditions at isolated pockets.The national capital also saw cold conditions for the last few days.As a result, cold breeze is lingering over the region. The weathermen do not forecast any major weather system in the coming two to three days to affect the weather over northwestern plains of the country.Therefore, the sky conditions will remain clear, paving way for bright sunshine. In the wake of this, day maximums will ascend, while night temperatures are anticipated to descend during the next 36 to 48 hours.Besides this, during the late night and early morning hours, shallow to moderate fog can be seen over the northwestern plains that will disperse once the sun shows up, day temperatures escalate and speed of winds increases.Atleast 19 trains were delayed, two rescheduled and eight were cancelled due to low visibility in Delhi on Sunday.With minimum temperature recorded at 7.8 degrees Celsius, Delhi woke up to a clear Sunday morning. The maximum temperature is expected to be 20 degrees Celsius. The humidity was recorded at 73 percent at 8.30 a.m, a Met department official said.

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Kim Jong-Un in Kerala? BJP’s Sambit Patra tweets CPM poster featuring ‘Rocket Man’

BJP spokesperson Samit Patra on Sunday shared a picture on his Twitter timeline of a place, reportedly in Kerala that had a poster of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The poster also shows the ruling CPM colours, promoting Patra to lash out at the party. However, the authenticity of the picture is still not known.“Kim Jong-un finds place in CPM’s posters in Kerala!! No wonder they have converted Kerala into Killing fields for their opponents! Hope the left is not planning to launch :rocket: missiles at the RSS,BJP offices as their next gruesome agenda! (sic)” he tweeted on Sunday.BJP has alleged that as many as 120 BJP workers, 84 in Kannur alone, have been killed in Kerala since 2001. It has claimed that 14 of these killings have taken place since Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took over the reins of the government last year. The CPI(M) has in turn, accused BJP and RSS of resorting to violence and denied the involvement of its government and leadership in political killings.The murder of the activist in November promoted BJP President Amit Shah to ask Kerala CM , and asked what his government was doing to “curb criminal elements” in the ranks of his CPI(M).Shah blamed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for the political killings in the state and said that “More than 120 BJP and RSS workers have been murdered in Kerala so far. CM Vijayan is directly responsible for it.”“Look at the situation of West Bengal Tripura. Communists ruled in these states for longer time,” Shah added

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PDP’s alliance with BJP now a durable one, says J&K Finance Minister Drabu

Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Ahmed Drabu claimed that the alliance between the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which no one thought would last a week, has now turned into a durable one.Speaking at the “India Ideas Conclave 2017” in Goa, Drabu said, “It is true that it is a very fragile and contentious alliance. As Mufti saab (former JK CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) used to say, it is the North Pole and South Pole coming together. But with some degree of maturity displayed by either side, it is really working towards the developmental of Jammu and Kashmir.”Speaking about the alliance, Drabu said that right on day one itself the alliance had issues.”But Mufti saab was a confident leader all his life. When he started in the 1960s, the Congress and any party from the rest of country was looked down upon. He (Mufti) ensured through consistent hard work that the Congress becomes an acceptable part of life,” the minister said.Drabu said that when the PDP was contemplating to form an alliance with the BJP, people were asking the party (PDP) why it was not working with the Congress.The minister said that the alliance with the BJP was a “bold decision” taken by Mufti.”We had contested elections on an anti-BJP plank and yet we decided to have alliance with them (BJP). I happened to work very closely with him at that particular time,” he said.”All of us told him that it is suicidal and that we won’t be able to step out of the house, we will get lynched,” Drabu recalled telling the former chief minister.”He (Mufti) stuck to it. He said the people of India have voted for the BJP. He said that he was not engaging with the party (BJP), he was engaging with the people of India,” Drabu recounted.Drabu added that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed brought back the whole concept of civil society into the decision and went ahead and formed the government with the BJP.Drabu called the alliance a “huge experiment” and said it actually displays certain leadership quality to set in motion a process to create a framework to resolve the most contagious issues in the state.

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

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

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Continue good work as friends of hill people: Rajnath Singh to Assam Rifles

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has exhorted the Assam Rifles to keep its flag flying high through hard work and dedication, in the true spirit of it being “friends of the hill people”.Appreciating the role played by Assam Rifles in ensuring security, peace and development of the North East region, the Home Minister, at a ‘Sainik Sammelan’ at the Assam Rifles Training Centre here on Friday, said the country’s oldest paramilitary force has been carrying out an exemplary dual service of guarding the porous 1,642-km long Indo-Myanmar border and counter-insurgency operations.Stating that North East is a strategic area and its security of paramount importance, Singh pointed out the difficult task at hand for the Assam Rifles in guarding an “open border”, where a free movement regime is also in place for uninterrupted travel to each others’ territories by people of both the countries. He also highlighted some of the measures initiated by the present government for the welfare of the jawans.Earlier, the Home Minister was received by Lt General Shokin Chauhan, Brig Gurjap Singh, Commandant, Assam Rifles Training Centre & School and other officials of civil administration.Rajnath Singh also inaugurated the KB Limbu Swimming Pool, and NB Thapa Indoor Sports Complex and witnessed the display of skills by the recruits, especially in counter-insurgency. The Home Minister also hoisted the National Flag at the Auditorium Complex of the Training Centre. The mast of the flag — 100 ft — is the highest in the state of Nagaland.A barakhana was also organised in honour of the Home Minister, where he interacted with the recruits as well as the training staff of the Centre and School.

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Gujarat elections 2017 | Hardik Patel’s rally in Surat on December 3

Hardik Patel got huge support from Patel community in the rallies he held at Morbi, Rajkot and Junagadh in recent days, and now he has set the target on Surat city. Hardik will hold a roadshow in Katargam, Surat North, Varachha, Karanj and Kamrej constituencies and then will give an address at a public rally to be held at Yogi Chowk area. The PAAS has not received the permission from the authorities yet, but they are firm to hold power performance by PAAS leader in any case.”
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Gujarat elections 2017 | Hardik Patel’s rally in Surat on December 3 HARDIK_PATEL
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Friday 1 December 2017 6:55 ISTMust readGood news at last for Noida homebuyersGujarat elections 2017: Congress will waive off farm loans if voted to power, says Rahul Gandhi <!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel is prepared to create ripples in Patidar community-dominated BJP fort in Surat on December 3.PAAS has announced the programme for Hardik’s visit to city and he will cover five seats of Surat city where Patel community from north Gujarat and Saurashtra region dominates on vote bank. All the seats had gone to BJP in last assembly polls held in 2012. The BJP has changed all the candidates dropping sitting MLAs including a minister, except for the sitting MLA, Kishor Kanani.Hardik Patel got huge support from Patel community in the rallies he held at Morbi, Rajkot and Junagadh in recent days, and now he has set the target on Surat city. Hardik will hold a roadshow in Katargam, Surat North, Varachha, Karanj and Kamrej constituencies and then will give an address at a public rally to be held at Yogi Chowk area. The PAAS has not received the permission from the authorities yet, but they are firm to hold power performance by PAAS leader in any case.
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Line of Control becomes Line of Learning in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Winds of Change seem to be blowing on the sensitive Line of Control (LoC) with the last point on the Indo-Pak border in the Uri sector becoming the Line of Learning for the students on educational tours.As a part of education tour, the Indian army organized an excursion for 55 students of Army Goodwill School Uri and Aseem-Goodwill Computer Centre at Kamalkot to Kamaan Aman Setu– the last point on Indian side on the LoC –in Uri sector of North Kashmir a few days ago.During the visit, the students were made aware of the commercial and strategic significance of the Kaman Aman Setu. “The students also witnessed the trade services between India and Pakistan. They also visited Kaman Transit point, Cafe Kaman and the Currency Changing Point”, said an army spokesman.Officer – In – Charge of Kaman Aman Setu briefed the students about the importance of the Kaman Bridge; inter-country trade service and cross LoC bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad. He also briefed them about the procedure of immigration and various facilities available at Kaman Transit Point.“All visitors displayed a keen interest in understanding the significance of the bridge and the excitement among the students was evident. Students expressed their gratitude to the Army for providing this opportunity”, said the spokesman.The strategically important bridge on the Kaman post connects North Kashmir to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. The bridge was refurbished in 2005 when India and Pakistan decided to start the cross LoC Karwan-e-Aman bus, which plies every Monday in the valley.Touted as one the biggest Confidence Building Measures, the cross LoC peace bus enabled reuniting the divided families living on both sides of the Line of Control. A year later another cross LoC route connecting Poonch in Jammu to Rawlakote road in PoK.Three years later the cross LoC trade started in October 2008 when Jammu and Kashmir was up in arms over Amarnath land row. There are two cross LoC routes — Srinagar-Muzaffarabad, Poonch-Rawalakote — that are being used to ferry goods between Jammu and Kashmir and PoK.

Why Mukul Roy is getting ‘Y-plus’ security? Trinamool leader files plea in Calcutta High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Trinamool councillor has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Calcutta High Court objecting against the Central government providing for ‘Y-plus’ security to former TMC leader Mukul Roy after his defection to BJP.Earlier the state government had written to the Union Home ministry about it but the Centre never replied to it. Following which councillor of Bidhannagar Municipality and leader of the party’s youth wing Debraj Chakraborty had filed the PIL.After quitting Trianmool Congress and stepping down from his membership to the Rajya Sabha, Roy had joined the BJP on November 3.
ALSO READ Litmus test for Mukul Roy in West Midnapore’s Sabang seatChakraborty, in his plea had stated that after he joined BJP there had been no incident which threatened the life of Roy and thus he wanted to know why was there a need to provide security by the Centre.Earlier in its letter to the Centre, the state government had said that law and order was a state subject and who in the state would get what kind of security, would be decided by the state as well. State also alleged that the Centre, bypassing the state had provided security to a particular individual which was not good for the state-Centre relationship.
ALSO READ Mukul Roy blasts Mamata’s nephew in first speech, claims company which sponsored U-17 WC run by nephew Abhishek Although the Centre had not replied to this letter of the state, officials said that the Centre was responsible for upholding the constitution which guarantees private security. Rajya Sabha MPs George Baker and Roopa Ganguly had not got any security from the state even after asking for it so the state had to arrange for it.After Roy’s defection senior TMC leaders had spoken in public about their lack of confidence on his son Subhrangshu Roy who is still a TMC MLA from Bijpur in North 24 Parganas district after which Subhrangshu had said that he had a feeling of insecurity. He had also written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee complaining about the deteriorating law and order situation in his constituency.
ALSO READ TMC to organise rally to counter Mukul Roy’s allegations; son Subhrangshu to be key speakerReferring to Mukul and his son Subhrangshu, state food supplies minister and TMC North 24 Parganas district president Jyotipriyo Mullick had said, “It is a game of hide and seek which will not go on for too long. We will soon come to know about the truth in the relationship between the father and son. We are not fools.”

‘Lack of faith’ keeps Good Samaritans away from police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite the Delhi Police’s repeated attempts to encourage good Samaritans, 57 per cent of the total witnesses to the crime did not step forward to inform. The analysis was on Thursday reported by Praja Foundation that also claimed that 76 per cent of the respondents, who reported a crime to the Delhi Police, were not satisfied with the police response.Releasing data on Thursday, Praja, a non-partisan organisation, stated that of the total of 24,301 respondents to crime, 15 per cent had witnessed crime in Delhi. Of these 15 per cent respondents, it said 57 per cent did not inform the Delhi Police. It also said that of 43 per cent respondents, who reported a crime to the police, 76 per cent were not satisfied with their response.The data collected by Praja claimed that respondents from North West Delhi and Chandni Chowk were the least satisfied respondents with 21 per cent each, from among those who witnessed and reported the crime to the Delhi Police.Chalking out the reason for the low turnout of good samaritans, the data stated that “No faith” in the police/legal system came out to be the biggest reason for not informing the police by respondents who witnessed a crime.”46 per cent of the respondents who witnessed crime reported the same reason. This lack of faith in the police/legal system clearly explains the fall in the registration of cases for almost all the major crimes in Delhi,” the data read.Further, 9. 11 per cent of respondents did not inform the police because they do not want to get involved in any trouble even after witnessing a crime, it said.”Comparing Delhi and Mumbai on the parameter ‘people’s faith’ in the police/legal system’, Mumbai does fairly well with 15 per cent of its residents not having faith to 46 per cent of Delhi residents, who do not have faith in the institutions of police and legal system,”the data suggested. The number of respondents who were satisfied with the response is a meager percentage, 21 per cent in Delhi as compared to Mumbai where 46 per cent people are satisfied.It also said, from the respondents who witnessed a crime in Delhi, 69 per cent preferred to use the police helpline numbers like 100/ 103 to alert them. The second most preferred medium of informing the police by respondents, who have witnessed crime, was calling on the local telephone number of the police station, which was 17 per cent.”No faith in the police/legal system came out to be the biggest reason for not informing the police by respondents who have faced crime. 32 per cent of the respondents who faced crime reported the same reason for not informing the police. This also has clear linkages with low reportage of crimes in 2016 for almost all the major crimes as compared to 2015. The second highest reason for not informing the police by respondents who faced crime was that they do not want to get involved in any trouble was 16 per cent,” Praja data stated.

Delhi High Court: Map dengue breeding areas in Capital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the municipal corporation of the national capital to provide a geographic map of the city areas which are usually affected by vector-borne diseases like dengue.A direction was also issued to the Centre by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar to place before it a status report on whether any steps have been taken to develop the National Capital Region (NCR) as suggested by it in May this year.The directions for mapping of dengue-affected areas and development of the NCR came from the court when it was hearing some PILs relating to unauthorised constructions in the city.”Give us a geographic mapping of the areas affected by dengue,” the court said and added that the map would help it issue appropriate directions.The bench also said that carrying out the mapping would also help in better monitoring of those areas and prevention of the spread of vector-borne diseases.The bench said that developing of the NCR would help in reducing air pollution, over-crowding and vehicular congestion in the city, apart from addressing the problems of lack of cleanliness and rise in coaching centres being run from residential areas or properties.According to the data released by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Monday, the total number of dengue cases in Delhi has touched 8,549 with 486 cases reported in the previous week. Meanwhile, the number of people affected by malaria has also climbed to 1,111 while the figure for chikungunya stood at 878 with 23 new cases reported during the last week.The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), till November 18, reported 692 cases, the highest among the three civic bodies whereas the SDMC registered nearly 689 cases in the same period. Over 359 cases reported came from east Delhi.NEWS IN NUMBERSSDMC recorded a total of 8,549 dengue cases, and NDMC recorded 692 cases on Monday
Over 359 cases reported came from east Delhi.

J&K: Three top Lashkar commanders, all Pakistani, killed in encounter in Handwara

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Going all guns blazing against the militants, security forces dealt yet another blow to Lashkar-e-Taiba when they killed three top commanders in an early morning operation in Magam area of Handwara in the border district of Kupwara on Tuesday.This is the second major counter-terror operation in North Kashmir in the last four days. Nine militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba including top commander Mehmood Bhai, Zargam and nephew of 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi have been eliminated in two operations of Hajin and Handwara since Saturday.The Handwara operation was launched after security forces received a tip-off about the presence of militants in Khar Moholla area of Magam in the wee hours of Tuesday. Immediately a joint operation was launched by the army, special operations group of J&K police and CRPF in the area.When the troops were closing in on the target, they came under a heavy fire from the hiding militants. The fire was immediately retaliated and in the ensuing encounter, three militants were eliminated. “Three LeT terrorists all Pakistanis neutralized in Magam area of Handwara district in North Kashmir. Excellent work!” tweeted Dr Shesh Paul Vaid, director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir.Deputy Inspector General of police, North Kashmir, Vidhi Kumar Birdhi told DNA that the operation is still on in the area. “There was information about the presence of militants. We believed two to three militants were trapped. The contact was established and the firefight started”, he said.This is the third operation in the valley in the last four days. A local ultra, who had fled the encounter when top commander Sabzar Bhat was neutralized in May, was finally killed by the security forces in an encounter in Tral forests of south Kashmir on Monday. Identified as Adil Rashid, he had escaped the encounter in which Burhan Wani’s successor Sabzar Bhat and his associate Faizan Ahmed were killed at Saimoh village of Tral.The toll of the militants killed this year by the security forces has now touched 194. Sources said more than 71 security force men too have lost their lives in the line of duty this year so far.This year so far, sources said 70 new ultras have been able to infiltrate into Kashmir. Last year estimated net infiltration (number of militants who managed to sneak in) was 112 compared to 33 in 2015. Similarly, estimated net infiltration was 65 in 2014 compared to 97 in 2013.

Mood change for Moody’s? P Chidambaram mocks at Narendra Modi govenment’s sudden love

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mocking at government’s elation over the sovereign rating upgrade by Moody’s, former finance minister P Chidambaram said only a few months ago the regime had flayed the rating methodology.”Just some months ago, government had said the Moody’s methodology was all wrong… A long letter was written by Shaktikanta Das (ex-economic affairs secretary) questioning Moody’s ratings methodology, saying they’ve to revise their methodology as it’s all wonky,” he sadi at an event in Mumbai on Saturday.Moody’s had on Friday upgraded the sovereign ratings by a notch to Baa2 with stable outlook, citing the Modi government’s various reform programme and higher growth prospectus. The last rating upgrade was in 2004.Ridiculing the way government has reacted to the upward rating revision, the senior Congress leader recalled that for the government “Moody’s, whose methodology was all wrong circa 2016″.On higher growth, which was cited by the agency as one of the key reasons for the rating action, he said the same agency and government project growth at 6.7 per cent for the current financial year.”It was 8 per cent in 2015-16, 7.1 per cent in 2016-17 and will be 6.7 per cent in 2017-18. Is that North or South, you conclude,” he said.According to him, there are three key indicators– gross fixed capital formation and within that private sector investment; credit growth, especially for small businesses, and jobs — which are critical to assess the health of an economy.”But the dashboard is flashing red on all these three indicators,” he lamented. Reeling out numbers, Chidambaram said gross fixed capital formation is down 7-8 points from its peak and there’s no sign of it recovering in the near future as well.Further, he said private investment is at its lowest in the past seven-eight years. In addition, several projects are stalled on one hand and may companies are on the other being referred to the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code. All these would lead to closures and downsizing and loss of jobs.Secondly, the former finance minister pointed out that credit growth has been the lowest in two decades. “It has crept up 6 per cent year-on-year, but for medium industries it has been negative credit growth…SMEs are struggling and have to find finances outside the formal lending system.”He also referred to the criticality of job creation saying, “government is unwilling to come up with reliable and authentic data…CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy), which is a quite credible agency, stated that between January and June 2017, as many as 19,60,000 jobs were lost.”The senior Congress leader also said over 90 per cent of jobs are in the SME sector which requires an urgent push to boost the economy.

Believe it or not, Cement bag costs Rs 8000 at this border town in Arunachal Pradesh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>People living in Vijoynagar town of Arunachal Pradesh pay Rs 8,000 for one bag of cement, that too if it is available.Vijoynagar, a sub-divisional town under Changlang district with just 1500 residents, has no proper surface communication. People have to walk for five days from the nearest thoroughfare in Miao to reach the town.Though there is a weekly helicopter service for transporting supplies but that is largely subjected to weather condition.”People in this town, mostly inhabited by Chakmas and Hajongs, charge Rs 8,000 for a bag of cement and flat Rs 2,000 for WC pan,” Public Health Engineering department junior engineer Jumli Ado told PTI.The PHE department is undertaking construction of Individual Household Latrine (IHHL) in the town, a project partially funded by Centre – Rs 10,800 from the central government and Rs 9,200 by the state for one IHHL.”All materials are transported to Vijoynagar, at the India-China-Myanmar tri-junction, through Namdapha National Park by Chakmas. They charge Rs 8,000 per bag of cement (Rs 150 per kg),” Ado disclosed.They carry those materials physically and walk down 156 km for five days to reach the destination, Ado said, adding one could imagine the challenges this hilly state faces in achieving the open defecation free (ODF) status by December.Ado, while taking part in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – Gramin (SBA-gramin) awareness programme at Namphainong village of the district on November 4, had said despite numerous challenges IHHL project is moving at a fast pace.State Civil Supply Minister Kamlung Mossang, who represents Miao assembly constituency, said the state government has approved a road construction project for the area.Bordumsa village (headman) Shekhep and ODF consultant Nyabon Pongtey added that journey to Vijoynagar by foot is a herculean task. Development naturally moves at a snail’s speed in this part of the state, they said.”Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had announced in Itanagar in July 2014 a central government proposal to populate nearly 100 villages situated along the border. Though Arunachal shares international boundary of 1,680 km with Bhutan, China and Myanmar, the the project has not seen the light of the day,” Shekhep lamented.Development is still a mirage in this sensitive border state for lack of connectivity even after three decades of establishment. Many of the inhabited villages in far-flung areas are inaccessible and deprived of essential commodities.The North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA), largest among seven NE states, was created in 1954. It became a union territory and was renamed Arunachal Pradesh on January 20, 1972 and finally statehood on February 20, 1987.The Central Purchase Organization (CPO) with base at Mohanbari in Assam’s Dibrugarh district, now known as the public distribution system (PDS), was very effective in the 80s when essential items were airdropped in many remote areas.With the PDS proving ineffective, today salt which costs Rs 20 per kg in state capital is about Rs 250 in many border areas, including Vijoynagar.”People living in the border areas are forced to migrate to urban places for lack of basic amenities. These ghost towns along the border are one of the reasons why China is entering the territory,” former finance minister Late Kalikho Pul had told a tribal ministers’ conference in New Delhi on October 28, 2014.

From South India’s love for PM Modi to his Pakistan problem: 5 things Pew Survey tells us beyond the obvious

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>By now, most readers would be aware that as per survey done by Pew Research, PM Modi is ‘by-far’ the most popular leader in India. That is as obvious as saying that Game of Thrones is by-far the most talked about show in urban India. What lies behind the mesh of data provided by Pew are interesting nuggets about his real support base, which go well beyond the Whatsapp forwarding trigger-happy uncles. Also, the survey shows while the Indian love affair with PM Modi is well and truly on, there are certain issues where he is seen to be lagging.It needs to be kept in mind, the survey was held in February-March this year, before the implementation of GST and before Indians got to know that 99% of notes again went back to the system post demonetization. So one has to interpret 83% of people happy with economic situation of India in that context. Some of the interesting points from the Pew survey:Modi more popular in South than North and West!This is something that will be music to the BJP’s ears. In South India, which is not a strong base for BJP, Modi enjoys 95% favourable ratings, higher than in West, East or North. It shows that while BJP may be lagging in states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, owing to lack of good leadership, PM Modi enjoys overwhelming popularity. The popular theory is that BJP is a party of North and East, and in South its Hindu nationalistic effect is neutralized by Dravidian sub-nationalism. If Pew research is to be believed, Modi has clearly breached the giant Vindhya divide and it can potentially be a spring board for BJP. The survey was not done in Kerala, a battleground for volatile RSS- CPI(M) battle in last few years. One can’t help wonder if the survey result would be different if Kerala was included.Not just the urban male support-baseMany times BJP baiters caricature the support base of the party as urban-predominately male. However, Pew survey shows that stereotype doesn’t really add up in hard numbers. PM Modi virtually has equal favourability among men (89%) and women(86%). He is most popular among the youth (90%), closely followed by those in 30-40 age category (89%). Incidentally it is 7% less in those above 50 years age.In urban India, 92% support PM Modi, whereas he is viewed favourably among 86% of rural population. A staggering 95% of those who have gone to college approve of PM Modi’s ways. Now, they all definitely are not BJP supporters and approval shouldn’t be equated with a vote in elections. But it shows that Narendra Modi’s support base is consolidating and even growing after three years at the helm. Pew didn’t offer any religion-based support parameters for the leaders, which would have given a fascinating data set. Handling of communal issues continue to remain an issueOne of the growing line of criticism faced by BJP and PM Modi, that communal tensions have shot up in the last few years. There have been allegations that cow vigilantes are on the rise. Stories like Dadri lynching have been splashed in major international outlets. It seems that’s an issue which resonates with Indian voters too. Only 50% think he has done a good job in handling communal relations. Only 43% women approve of his methods in this criteria.The good news for Modi and BJP, is communal relations comes pretty low in priority for Indian voters. Only 37%, thing it is an important issue, probably an indicator of the general majority electorate.Modi’s Pak and China policy gets a big thumbs down: For a poll, which has virtually given overwhelming positive numbers to PM Modi’s policy measures, it throws a shocking number for his Pakistan policy. Only 21% approve of his handling. Probably the blow hot and blow cold approach hasn’t gone down well with the voters. The numbers are so low despite the surgical strikes done on September 2016. The Pak policy is still in a limbo and the numbers merely manifest the general frustration with the situation. PM Modi’s China policy also has received lukewarm support. Only 33% approve of it, whereas 30% disapprove it and others have no view to offer. One needs to remember, this survey was done pre-Doklam stand-off, which was ably defused by the Modi administration. So it’s a reasonable assumption that his approval number about China would be few notches up now. BJP, not exactly a party of 31% support base:One popular liberal rhetoric post 2014, has been that only one out of three Indians voted for BJP and hence the party won just because of splintered opposition. But the survey shows, nearly 85% Indians have a favourable view of BJP. The number is 59% for Congress. Despite all the online acrimony, 60% of Congress party supporters have a favourable view of the BJP. Whereas the number is 45% for BJP supporters having a positive view of Congress. The underline implication of it is many times voting pattern is determined by winnability. A lot of people particularly in South and East may have favourable view of BJP, but they are not voting for them as they are stilll a feeble force. In other words, mere goodwill is not enough to win elections.

Two terrorists gunned down in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security forces repulsed a terrorist attack on Monday evening when they gunned down two ultras who fired at a patrol team at Zachaldara area of Handwara in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.The gun battle ensued after the terrorists opened fire on a joint team of police, Army and the Central Reserve Police Force at Galganzer village, prompting the forces to retaliate.“Two terrorists neutralized in Zachaldara Handwara in North Kashmir in a joint operation of Jammu and Kashmir police, Army and CRPF. Good work. Keep it up!” tweeted Dr Shesh Paul Vaid, director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir.With the latest success, the number of terrorists killed so far this year has reached 180 in the Kashmir Valley. “Coordinated operations by Army, CRPF & JKP will continue”, tweeted Chinar Corps of the Indian army. Sources said that nearly 70 security personnel have lost their lives in the line of duty this year, while an equal number of ultras have infiltrated into Kashmir in the past 10 months. Last year, an estimated 112 terrorists had managed to sneak into the Valley, compared to 33 in 2015. The figures were 65 and 97 in 2014 and 2013 respectively.70 infiltratedAccording to sources, an estimated 70 terrorists have infiltrated into Kashmir in the past 10 months. An equal number of security personnel have lost their lives in the line of duty.

India tops list of countries affected by climate change

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The recently released Global Climate Risk Index 2018 report has put India amongst the sixth most vulnerable countries after Haiti, Zimbabwe, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The report, recently released in Germany, has, however, analysed and taken into account data between 1997 and 2016.Prepared by a group of researchers on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has estimated that more than 5.24 lakh people died across the world, as a direct result of more than 11 000 extreme weather events accounting to loss of around US$ 3.16 trillion during this period.In India 2,119 people were killed during 2016, a number higher than any other country, losing $21,500 million the third highest financial loss after those suffered by China and the US. The report ranked the US fifth in fatalities from climate change impacts during 2016.It mentions the heat waves in South Asia which persisted until the beginning of summer 2016, breaking a record of 51°C in Rajasthan, in May 2016. Over a thousand people died of hyperthermia or dehydration. In total, 1 800 fatalities were reported, especially in Southeast India. The persisting drought and heat waves affected over 330 million people. They were followed by an extreme monsoon season lasting from June to October in eastern, western and central India. At least 300 people died due to the heavy rainfall and landslides and millions of people were affected by washed away crops, destroyed roads or disrupted electricity and phone lines. On 12th December 2016, cyclone Vardah, one of the costliest cyclones ever in the North Indian Ocean basin, made landfall in Chennai31. Several people died here and infrastructure was severely damaged.Researchers also conclude that sea surface temperature seems to play a key role in intensifying storms. But said, it was difficult to distinguish between natural variability and human induced extremes. It concluded that rising sea level, which is partly caused by climate change, was responsible for the increased intensity of floods, storms and droughts. For example, a study shows that the 2016 torrential rains in Louisiana, USA, were made almost twice as likely by human-induced climate change.Furthermore, the report also found increasing evidence on the link between extreme El Niño events and global warming. Date collected in 2014 showed, the occurrence of such events could double in the future due to climate change.

BJP giving public wealth to corporates: Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In his seventh visit to Gujarat since August, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi began his campaigning in North Gujarat on Saturday by speaking about GST, effects of demonetization on masses, job losses, privatised and costly education and health services.Starting his three-day North Gujarat tour from Chiloda village in Gandhinagar, the Congress scion said the BJP governments are transferring wealth of masses to a few corporates. He also attributed the reduction of GST rate on Friday to the pressure from Congress and small businessmen of Gujarat.During a public meeting at Chhala village in Gandhinagar, he said that BJP government has converted GST into Gabbar Singh Tax. “You must have seen Sholay. Gabbar Singh was looting money from the vulnerable people. BJP government is also doing the same. This is not our model of GST. We will continue to fight till there is a real one tax,” Gandhi said.He said if Congress comes to power, it will work for improving health and education services for masses besides welfare of farmers, women and workers.At another meeting at Prantij in Sabarkantha district, he said that successive BJP governments in Gujarat have privatised education and health, making them costly and unaffordable to the majority.“If your child wants admission in engineering college, be ready to pay lakhs as fee. If someone wants treatment in private hospitals, they have to pay lakhs and without it they are not allowed to enter,” the Congress leader said.Gandhi also charged PM Narendra Modi of turning a blind eye to corruption by relatives of those associated with the BJP governments. At Prantij, he said, “Modi has a new mantra. ‘Na mein bolunga, na bolne dunga,’. We want an inquiry into the matter. Modiji, if you are not ordering an inquiry, at least say that.”

City to have consumer courts in each district: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Consumer Affairs Minister Imran Hussain on Monday reviewed the functioning of the Consumer Affairs Department, Delhi State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission and various other District Consumer Forums.The department has identified few sites for the functioning of the four Benches of the Commission including at — Nigam Bhawan (Kashmere Gate); Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg and Vikas Bhawan II (near Civil Lines).”The new sites will be finalised in consultation with Justice Veena Birbal, who heads the Commission. The new site will be not only be convenient to the Presiding Officers of the Benches but for the public as well,” a senior officer said.The Delhi government has sought to set-up Consumer Courts in every district in the vicinity.Presently there are 10 District Consumer Forums functioning in various parts of Delhi. These Forums are located at — Tis Hazari Court for North District; Udyog Sadan, Qutub Institutional Area for South -I and South II Districts; Convenient Shopping Centre, Shalimar Bagh for North-West District; C Block Community Centre, Janakpuri for West District; Weavers Complex, Nand Nagari for North-East District; Vikas Bhawan, IP Estate for New Delhi District; Local Shopping Centre, Sheikh Sarai –II for South West District; ISBT Building, Kashmere Gate for Central District and Convenient Shopping Centre, Saini Enclave for East District.The minister pointed out that South-West District Forum is functioning from the South District only and has since asked the Department to expedite efforts for shifting this District Consumer Forum to a site located in the South-West District itself.Hussain also directed Commissioner Food Safety to expedite the setting-up of a new District Consumer Forum already approved by the Cabinet for Shahdara District.The minister also reviewed the pendency and disposal of cases with Commission and District Consumer Forums. Around 6,000 fresh cases are registered per year with the Commission and the district forums. However, there are about 18,000 pending cases.”The Consumer Affairs Department is in the process of devising a strategy for disposal of pending cases. Early disposal would require additional commitment of manpower, space, financial resources etc, and it would seem appropriate to devise a plan fixing a one-year target for the disposal of pending cases,” the officer said.CURRENT FORUMSPresently there are 10 District Consumer Forums functioning in various parts of Delhi. These Forums are located at — Tis Hazari Court for North District; Udyog Sadan, Qutub Institutional Area for South -I and South II Districts; Kashmere Gate for Central District, etc.

Maharashtra: Minister Girish Mahajan apologises over ‘insenstive remark towards women’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under fire for suggesting that the use of feminine brand names would boost liquor sales, Maharashtra minister Girish Mahajan on Monday apologised for his remarks and said he did not intend to hurt the sentiments of women.The remarks, at an event organised by a sugar mill in North Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district on Saturday, were made in a lighter vein, he said.”I regret my remarks. I express my apologies. It wasn’t my intention to hurt women’s sentiments,” Mahajan, who handles the water resources portfolio, told reporters at a hurriedly convened press conference here.”This (my remarks) is a mistake which happened unintentionally. It was not my intention to hurt anyone,” he said.What he said wasn’t aimed at causing pain to women, the minister said.”It was said in the flow of things, in a lighter vein,” he added.”If you want alcohol or any products’ demand to rise, name it after a woman and see how demand soars,” he had said on Saturday while attending an event of a sugar factory which also produces liquor under the brand name ‘Maharaja’.A video of his speech was uploaded on YouTube.A police complaint has been filed in Chandrapur district against Mahajan for the alleged derogatory statement.NCP state spokesperson Nawab Malik criticised Mahajan for his remarks.”I think the minister is a habitual drinker and we appeal to all the women in Maharashtra to come out and fight against such a mindset,” Malik said.In an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamana today, the Shiv Sena also took potshots at Mahajan.”In a lot of places in Maharashtra, women are protesting against the sale of liquor. Despite being aware of it, Mahajan made these remarks which is unfortunate,” the Sena said.

Speak up Delhi: Govt apathy acts as catalyst for hawker, parking menace

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Encroachments and haphazard parking of vehicles around the entry and exit points at south Delhi’s Greater Kailash M-Block market has become a shoddy reality of the post locality. The tall promises made by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and BJP-led civic bodies, failed to tackle the issues over the years.The entire area is marred by unregulated parking services that affects the business of the traders and keep their associations on their toes. “These issues continue to remain more or less the same even as several governments have changed over time. This is south Delhi’s oldest posh market after independence but basic services like proper parking lots and broken approach roads have not been heeded to,” said Sukhvinder Bajaj, who deals in packaging material in the market.According to market association, it has around 250 odd shops and 73 buildings in total, with a parking space of 300 vehicles. This is besides two surface parking lots —one each with the capacity of accommodating 400 vehicles — at the entry and exit points of the market. “ A parking mafia is parallelly running to the civic boody-authorised parking here,”said Ankita Triwedi, a customer.The standard parking rate for an hour is Rs 20, however, when asked customers said during rush hours and on weekends they pay Rs 40 or more. “From 5-8pm on weekends, I have been charged around Rs 100 for a little less than an hour,” she said.Similar situation prevails in neighbouring Lajpat Market, where major portion of the locality has been encroached by the hawkers and street vendors. “The civic authority badly fails in controlling such encroachments. Despite clear directions by the lieutenant governor and later the Supreme Court for removing the squatters from this place, no one took the matter seriously,” said Sanjay Baruah, a trader in the market.Recently on October 25, the National Green Tribunal had also asked the Delhi police to remove encroachments in Lajpat Nagar market, in a bid to smoothen the traffic movement. “All these things are still on paper and nothing has been done so far. The encroachment of street sides by the vendors continue to cause traffic mess in the locality,” said another trader Anil Aneja.UNREGULATED PARKINGThe entire area is marred by unregulated parking services that affects the business of the traders. Some traders say that they themselves have to move out of the shop to stop people from parking anywhere. Footpath and bylanes been encroached has been happening for years now. But what I feel strange is hawkers encroaching bus stands. Bus stands at AIIMs and Safdarjung in the South are taken over by food sellers, which makes commuting difficult. People crowd at the bus stops to eat adding to already crowded localities.—Ishita Gupta One cannot confine encroachment to just hawkers, even auto rickshaw drivers have equal share in the encroachment of lanes near metro stations and educational institutions. Every time a student comes out of the college gate only thing he cans see is the line of autorickshaw in front of college gate.—Yash ChhabraSouth Delhi especially Lajpat Nagar witness a heavy footfall of shoppers but this footfall has resulted into parking issues as shoppers then park their vehicles anywhere they want, encroaching our green belts and making it difficult for the residents to walk on the streets of Lajpat Nagar.—Jatin AroraDuring my visits to famous market places like, Chandni Chowk, Sarojini and Lajpat, one thing that seemed common in all was the encroached market lanes. Usually by the hawkers but in Old Delhi, vehicles have equal and even major share in encroaching the lanes. I hope some day authorities will look towards the issues more seriously.—Sivaranjini REncroachment has taken away the beauty of the city that we live in. Even in my locality, hawkers are dotted on the streets making it difficult to walk on the streets during evening hours. Moreover, these hawkers are not even warned by the authorities to vacant the place, let aside the action on them. —Harshit Chawla Vegetable sellers, usually stand on the streets, affecting the movement of the vehicles passing by and then their are vehicles parked irresponsibly on the lanes. But the real issue is the reluctant behaviour of the authorities towards irregularities.—Priyanshu AgarwalEXPERT SPEAKWe try our best to ensure smooth and hassle free-parking facility in the markets across the city. The corporation has introduced multi-level parking facilities in different markets and localities to avoid encroachment on the streets. The North body has also introduced a parking app named ‘MCD parking’ using which the locals can directly send their complaints related to parking issues. To remove illegal encroachments by hawkers and street vendors, the corporation has also launched massive drives in different localities with heavy penalty being imposed on the violators.”—Yogendra Singh Mann, Spokesperson, North Civic Body

Army foils infiltration bid in Uri; two terrorists killed

Updated: Nov 5, 2017, 09:31 AM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two terrorists were killed on Sunday morning as the Army foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control in Uri sector of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.The operation is still in progress.”An infiltration bid was foiled in Uri sector and two terrorists have been killed,” an Army official said here.Further details are awaited

Mathura railway station manager suspended after Hema Malini escapes bull attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after BJP MP Hema Malini narrowely escaped a bull attack at the Mathura Junction railway station, the station manager has been suspended for allegedly failing to curb the menace, an official said today.Station manager KL Meena has not only been suspended but also a probe has been ordered into the incident, Sanchit Tyagi, Divisional Commercial Manager North Central Railway, said.Meena was suspended for failing to stop the cattle menace on the platform, he said.Tyagi said the BJP MP from Mathura was narrowly saved from the attack by a bull when she had gone to the railway station to check for the possibility of revamping the station.PL Meena would look after the Mathura Junction railway station as the station manager in his place, he said.

Delhi High Court seeks reply on regularisation of colonies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Delhi government and the civic bodies on a petition which sought directions to stop the regularisation of the unauthorised colonies till the proper infrastructure is developed in such areas and the buildings conform to safety norms.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar sought replies from the government, North Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Development Authority. It directed them to file their replies within 10 days. The court’s direction comes on a petition filed by advocate Arpit Bhargava who claimed that 1,700 illegal colonies in the national capital have come up with the alleged “active connivance” with officials of the local authorities and the Delhi government.The plea sought that directions be passed to curtail the illegal constructions thereby adding that these have come up in violation of the National Building Code 2005 for seismic zone IV, in which Delhi falls.

NTPC powerplant blast: Many still missing, 30 dead; under-fire officials blame control panel malfunction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Employees of NTPC’s Unchahhar Thermal Plant on Thursday held a massive demonstration outside its gate demanding a list of those who died and/or were injured in the boiler blast. They alleged that many of their colleagues are still missing and authorities are not giving any answers about their whereabouts.Meanwhile, three units of the plant, having a capacity of 210 MW, were shut since Thursday while unit no 6 is already out of operation following boiler blast on Wednesday.The death toll so far has risen to 30.Also, under-fire officials denied claims that the thermal plant was running under trial and said it suspected a control panel malfunction for the blast.Employees alleged that the plant was made operational six months before it was supposed to be completed without testing safety and security measures and running it on trial to ensure that it was mechanically and technically functioning as per norms. Agitating employees alleged that the authorities shut the lights since Wednesday and are not allowing them to report to duty. They have also been directed to surrender their identity cards.They alleged that many of their colleagues were burnt alive in the blast and their remnants were trapped under the debris, but authorities were not providing any information.Even after more than 24 hours of the accident, the NTPC has not released any comprehensive list of those who passed away or were injured in the explosion. It’s the hospital authorities which are keeping a record of those admitted and those who succumbed.NTPC officials have, however, denied the charge saying that since the toll is rising it was difficult to release a comprehensive list after including new deaths every hour. The corporation has all records and once injured employees admitted at different hospitals are declared out of danger and discharged it will make available the list.Under fire from all corners, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has also denied that the Unit no 6 at its Unchahaar Thermal Power Plant was running ‘under trial’. It suspected control panel malfunction could be reason for blast.The NTPC (North Zone) office in Lucknow clarified on Thursday that the Unit was made fully operational in August and was not running under trial as reported in a section of media. “It was wrong to say that Unit no 6 with 500 MW capacity was not fully commissioned but was running under trial when the blast occurred,” claried an Additional General Manager (North India) on condition of anonymity.Another senior NTPC official, General Manager R.S. Rathi, who visited Unchahaar on Thursday also claimed that the boiler did not choke and it was not the main cause of the blast.Under fire from the Union Power Ministry, which has sought an initial report from the corporation on the massive blast, the NTPC is now scurrying for cover to cite technical reasons for the explosion at Unchahaar giving a clean chit to its officers.Highly-placed sources in NTPC claimed that a preliminary report on explosion in Unchahaar was drafted by the North Zone office in Lucknow and the same has been submitted to the ministry. NTPC sources claimed that the report suspected that due to malfunctioning of the control panel, the fans in the boiler did not trip automatically leading to high pressure and rise in temperature up to 800 to 900 degree celsius.It made a hole or ruptured the second corner of the boiler allowing sudden release of hard gases resulting in severe blast, the report added.Senior and retired power engineers, however, questioned and rejected the NTPC theory of blast. Secretary General of the All-India Power Engineers and Employees Union Shailendra Dubey said that the question is why coal ash was allowed to be deposited in the boiler?“Why it was not cleaned. There is a laid down process for this, was it followed? Instead of owning up the responsibility and fixing accountability, the NTPC is trying to web technical reasons to come out clean after the blast resulting in deaths of so many employees,” pointed Dubey, who retired as an engineer from UP Power Corporation Limited.Meanwhile, the NTPC has also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the deceased and Rs 2 lakh for the seriously injured. The corporation has also assured jobs to dependents of those killed or crippled in the explosion.

Demolition splits Kathputli locals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two days after the start of demolition drive at the Kathputli Colony in West Delhi, where over 1,000 jhuggis were demolished till Tuesday by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), locals have had mixed reactions to it. While some pelted stones on the police and protested against the demolition, some considered this as their way out from a dirty neighborhood into clean flats.”We have been seeing the DDA and police walking in and out of the area since Monday noon. They not only beat-up some locals but even did not give us much time to gather our belongings before starting the demolition. Some people from slums have been sent to Anand Parbat Transit Camp now, and the rest of us have got a stay-order for the next ten days,” says Ashu Bodh, 31, a local from the colony. “Thousand of kilos of iron scrap has been sold at the Kabaadi shops since the demolition,” he adds.While many showed resistance to relocation, which will directly affect their art, there is a set of people, who are happy with moving out and were even heard saying that it was for the better. As the fight among locals and the authorities continue, as some women stand guard into their area, more than 1,000 families are already queuing up at the Anand Parbat site looking to get their documents for the ‘rehabilitation’ in the camp.The twelve artists’ communities living here, including puppeteers, magicians, acrobats, storytellers, folk dancers, and painters, are being relocated to one-room tenements in Narela and Anand Parbat Transit camps. The demolition first started on December 19, last year, and was the first step towards the redevelopment of the area, which lacks basic amenities like sanitation, drains, water supply etc. The DDA will resume its demolition drive on Thursday.Over 3300 families used to live in the colony, of which around 1660 have been moved out to the North-Delhi based Anand Parbat transit camp. The camp has a place for 2800 families. Almost all the families, originally from different parts of the country, settled here nearly 45 years ago.”492 families from the colony had already willingly signed to be moved to the Narela camp, even before the demolition,” confirmed a DDA official.The colony was the first slum taken up for in-situ redevelopment by the DDA in 2009, in collaboration with private firm Raheja Developers. As per the plan, families will have to move to single-room temporary houses in a resettlement area in Anand Parbat, till the construction of their permanent houses in the Kathputli Colony is completed.

Ashok Gehlot is anti-Gujarat, say north Gujarat farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A set of farmers from North Gujarat have demanded resignation of Ashok Gehlot as Gujarat Congress in-charge.Addressing mediapersons in Gandhinagar on Wednesday, the farmers said Gehlot is an Anti-Gujarat politician. The farmers also revealed the letter Gehlot had written on December 16, 2009, as Rajasthan CM to the then CM Narendra Modi opposing irrigation scheme catering North Gujarat region.The Padmashree awardee farmer from Banaskantha, Genabhai Patel, said, “Gehlot is an anti-Gujarat politician. He had written to Modi opposing Sujalam-Sufalam scheme which caters to our region. Under the irrigation scheme, water is fetched from Mahi river for farms in entire North Gujarat region. The scheme was implemented by Narendra Modi’s government.” Patel added, “Gehlot was then the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and had written to Modi that Gujarat did not have any right over waters of Mahi river as per the agreements signed between two states on water-sharing.”Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel also endorsed the farmers’ demand and said, “BJP endorses these farmers as Gehlot could not bear the prosperity of this region. Today, this region which was an arid area in the past, is flourishing with cultivable lands and living standards of farmers have improved through Sujalam Sufalam scheme. We also seek Gehlot’s resignation on the issue.”The farmers also cited the copy of letter received by Gujarat CMO. However, they failed to reply as to how they were able to get the copy of the letter that was part of a communication between the CMOs of the two neighbouring states.The same issue was raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address in BJP’s election rally held in Gandhinagar on October 16. The Congress also countered the allegations by farmers of Gujarat by showing a letter of BJP-led Rajasthan Government’s Minister Dr Ram Pratap addressing Gujarat Minister Babu Bokhiria dated April 4, 2016 demanding the same action as sought by Gehlot.Wrath of farmers Farmers revealed the letter Gehlot had written in December 2009, as Rajasthan CM opposing irrigation scheme catering North Gujarat region. Under the irrigation scheme, water is fetched from Mahi river for farms in entire North Gujarat region.

Possible Pak link to attack, say experts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Experts are claiming that Sayfullo Saipov, the man who carried out the New York terror attack may actually have been a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). This group is said to have close links with Pakistani militants. Though facts are still sketchy it is believed that Saipov, a US national, who arrived in the country from Uzbekistan in 2010, was influenced by and probably affiliated to the IMU. According to terror experts, the IMU, which is considered extremely close to the Islamic State, had its headquarters in North Waziristan, in Pakistan. As Professor Madhav Nalapat says, “Pakistani extremists and Uzbek extremists have very close links. There are multiple terror training camps in Pakistan, many protected by the Pakistan army. ISIS expert Khadim Hussain, based in Peshawar, confirmed that the IMU for a time was headquartered in North Waziristan. Prof Hussain confirmed that Pakistani and Uzbek extremists had close ties but added that it was “unfair” to single out and blame a state for global terrorism.

The India police officer who saved Sikhs during the 1984 riots

Maxwell Pereira was one of the few officers who took action against mobs in the absence of orders.

Five dead as showers continue to lash Tamil Nadu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Widespread rains were forecast for Tamil Nadu in next 24 hours though there was some respite on Tuesday for the city and neighbouring districts, a day after the north east monsoon dumped heavy showers leaving five persons dead and disrupting life in several areas due to waterlogging. Officials said four persons died in rain-related incidents in different places since Monday taking the toll to five. One person was killed in a wall collapse in Thanjavur district on Monday.Two persons died at suburban Anakaputhur on Monday night after being struck by lightning while two others died in rain related incidents at Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts, said official sources. The Met department has forecast widespread rain or thundershowers with scattered heavy to very heavy falls in coastal areas in the next 24 hours due to the vigorous monsoon, which set in over the state last week.Meanwhile, on Tuesday Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani claimed that Tamil Nadu government has done better than the United States, London and Bengaluru in carrying out the flood preparedness work.The first spell of the North East Monsoon that hit the southern coasts a few days ago brought parts of Chennai and its adjoining districts to its knees with waterlogging reported in several areas exposing unpreparedness of the civic authorities.”There were floods in the US, London and Bengaluru but here there was no waterlogging at all,” Velumani told reporters after holding a review meeting at the Greater Chennai Corporation. When the reporters questioned his claim’s, the minister accused the media of supporting the opposition parties and not broadcasting the “good works” of the government.The upper air cyclonic circulation over Southwest Bay of Bengal near Sri Lanka moved westward and was now positioned over Gulf of Munnar, Director of the Area Cyclone Warning Centre, S Balachandran said.He said that in the last 24 hours ending 8.30 am on Tuesday, both Tamil Nadu and Puducherry witnessed widespread heavy rains with Seerkazhi in Nagapattinam District in the Cauvery delta region recording the highest of 31 cm. In Chennai, Nungambakkam weather station recorded 12 cm rainfall while Meenambakkam Airport 17 cm.(With inputs from agency)Coastal areas floodIntermittent spells of rain, continued in various other coastal districts, including Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur. Most-affectedS Balachandran Director of the Area Cyclone Warning Centre said Seerkazhi in Nagapattinam district in the Cauvery delta region recording the highest of 31 cm.

Now use Swachh Bharat Toilet Locator app to find washrooms in Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhiites can now take the help of the central government’s ‘Swachh Bharat Toilet Locator’ mobile application to locate washrooms in the city, the municipal corporations on Monday told the Delhi High Court.The corporations told a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar that public toilets under their jurisdiction are geo-tagged and available on the app developed by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD).Advocate Mini Pushkarna, appearing for the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, told the court that the app provides location of toilets across India and not the just the national capital.She told the bench that the longitude and latitude of the toilets are provided to the MoUD which in turn uploads the same on its app.The same stand was taken by the other corporations and the Delhi Cantonment Board, which said it was an ongoing exercise as whenever a new public toilet would be built its location would be forwarded to the ministry.The high court had earlier ordered mapping and geo- tagging of public toilets to make them more accessible to citizens.It had issued the direction after it could not ascertain where washrooms were located or if they exist after perusing the affidavits filed by the three corporations.The affidavits were filed in response to a PIL seeking toilet facilities for slum dwellers in the Shahbad dairy area in outer Delhi.

Heavy rains lash Tamil Nadu, all schools in Chennai to be closed on Tuesday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Rains lashed several parts of Tamil Nadu today, partially disrupting normal life in some areas in this metropolis and claiming one life in Thanjavur district.Though the showers, the first big spell after the North East Monsoon set in over the state last week, brought cheers in several parts hit by water scarcity, they also caused traffic snarls and inundation. Several schools in Chennai closed ahead of schedule as the city experienced heavy showers. According to ANI, Chennai collector has announced that all schools will be shut on Tuesday, as there is prediction of very heavy rainfall. A 38-year-old man died when a mud wall of his hut collapsed in Thinnaiyoor near Thanjavur district’s Orathanadu which experienced heavy rains, police said. The intermittent rains, under the influence of an upper air cyclonic circulation over South West Bay of Bengal, began last night in parts of the state, and intensified this morning. The Met office forecast heavy to very heavy rains in some areas of coastal districts, including the capital city and its neighbourhood, in the next 24 hours.”The upper air cyclonic circulation over Southwest Bay of Bengal near Sri Lanka yesterday continues to be positioned in the same region,” Director of Area Cyclone Warning Centre here S Balachandran told reporters.Due to this, coastal districts and many places in interior districts were likely to witness moderate showers in the next 24 hours, he said. Some areas in coastal districts of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, and Ramanathapuram might experience heavy and very heavy rains as well, he added.Traffic in Chennai came to a grinding halt in several locations like the arterial GST Road and Anna Salai, affecting traffic bound for airport and other outskirt areas. Buses were delayed in several areas and parts of the city and suburbs witnessed water logging, affecting office-goers and school children. Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner D Karthikeyan said the civic body was fully geared to tackle the situation. He said the corporation had over 450 water pumps which would be used in low-lying areas to bale out water in the event of water logging. Reports from Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Thanjavur said several parts the districts received rains since morning.

Delhi: Woman shot dead while returning from gurdwara, fourth shooting incident in last 48 hours

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A woman was shot dead in Delhi while returning from the gurdwara along with her husband and a year-old-child, on Wednesday morning.The incident took place near Rohini Jail. This is a fourth such incident of shooting in last 48 hours.Priya Mehra was shot twice by the suspects.Sources said that armed assailants initially tried to shoot her husband Pankaj Mehra and tried to stop their car, however, Priya got shot at.The motive behind the shooting is yet not known.On Sunday, one person was killed in a shooting in the North-East Delhi. In last 24 hours, two men were shot dead allegedly by unidentified bike-borne men in new Usmanpur and Krishna Nagar area of Shahdara.

Alpesh Thakor will be a help for Cong in North Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Thakor Sena president Alpesh Thakor who joined Congress on Monday can prove to be a game changer in the upcoming polls for the seats in North Gujarat which are dominated by the Thakor community. There are 23 such seats in North Gujarat and 10 in central Gujarat, as per the findings of a survey by an agency directly connected to the Gujarat government.Out of these 33 seats which could see the impact, BJP has 12 seats in North Gujarat and one in Central Gujarat. Besides, six out of these 33 were won by Congress candidates but they defected to BJP just before the Rajya Sabha polls in August. There are a total of 34 Assembly seats in North Gujarat. The survey states that the impact may be visible in North Gujarat where Congress won 20 out of 34 seats in the 2012 polls, shocking the ruling BJP as North Gujarat was believed to be its fort. This time, Alpesh Thakor can increase BJP’s pain, the survey indicates.BJP MP from Kheda, Devusinh Chauhan, from the Thakor community, said, “Alpesh Thakor has put his hand on the right vein of the community and raised issues like strict (liquor) Prohibition and unemployment. It helped him gain sympathy of Thakors which turned out to be a huge crowd in his rally in Gandhinagar on Monday. It is to be seen whether it gets converted into votes for Congress or not.” He added, “We firmly believe Thakor community has trust on the BJP and there are many MLAs from the community who could counter Alpesh Thakor in polls.”Chauhan added, “Central Gujarat would not see impact of Alpesh Thakor as the issues he raised are not a factor here. There are committed voters of Congress but there is a vacuum of leadership as the elected members of Congress acted as non-performing assets and lost the trust of people.”Congress believes that Thakor Sena would help it strengthen its network in North Gujarat.GAME-CHANGERS?As per this survey, the seats which can see impact of Alpesh Thakor are, Viramgam, Dehgam, Kalol, Mansa, Gandhinagar South, Patan, Chanasma, Sidhpur, Radhanpur, Kheralu, Visnagar, Unjha, Bechraji, Palanpur, Radhanpur, Deesa, Kankrej, Deodar, Himmatnagar, Idar, Prantij, Modasa and Bayad in North Gujarat. Whereas Borsad, Anklav, Umreth, Petlad, Matar, Mahemdabad, Mahudha, Thasra, Kapadvanj, Balasinor of central Gujarat.

Delhi HC: Review move to trifurcate MCD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking note of the discrimination in basic facilities to the citizens of East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), the Delhi High Court has asked the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and the Ministry of Urban Development to review the move to trifurcate the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi.The directions come after a bunch of petitions were filed challenging a notice issued by the NDMC on June 21. The notice directed the petitioners to vacate the staff quarters occupied by them after the Standing Committee passed a resolution “to develop 10 such projects for revenue generation”.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar noted that the lack of funds has always been a grievance of the NDMCand the EDMC. However, no such complains have been made by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC).”This matter deserves the attention of the L-G and Ministry of Urban Development. A view needs to be taken by the L-G and Ministry of Urban Development as to why citizens in NDMC and EDMC are being deprived of several advantages and facilities which are available to the residents of south Delhi. A view also needs to be taken with regard to efficacy and utility of the division of the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi in three corporations,” the court said in its order.The court held that rationalisation has to be undertaken of the allocation of funds/availability of finances to these municipal corporations.”The residents of East Delhi Municipal Corporation or North Delhi Municipal Corporation cannot be placed at adjacent advantage vis-a-vis the residents of South Delhi,” the bench noted. The bench also put a stay on the notice issued by the NDMC to vacate the staff quarters thereby listing the matter for January 15 next year.The trifurcation of MCD that took place in 2012 had made north and east corporations financially weaker than their southern counterpart due to uneven distribution of assets. Both north and east civic bodies have been struggling to release salaries to their employees for the past two years. There have been multiple strikes by the sanitation staff during this period.

North MCD’s pilot penalty scheme on parking fails

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s penalty scheme to prevent unauthorised parking from roadsides at its two busy markets failed on the ground, for lapses in the implementation and stiff opposition from traders and shoppers. The civic body had started the scheme on a pilot basis — vehicle owners to pay Rs 100 per hour for leaving their cars/two-wheelers on the MCD roads — for a month between September 1 and September 30. The experiment has failed at a time when the city government is expected to notify new Parking Rules 2017, which will require penalties to be paid for illegal parking on roads and even in residential areas. Under the upcoming rules, the civic agencies will be tasked with its implementation, as most parking lots in the city are managed by the three corporations — North, South, and East. The experiment was started at Kamla Nagar and Model Town — markets with a heavy footfall on a daily basis. “The traders, who are the major community in the markets, were opposed to the scheme, as they would have to pay Rs 80 for parking their vehicles in the single lane outside shops under the scheme. While there was a major relief from congestion during this period, people were against paying the penalty which would go up to Rs 1000 for a full day’s unauthorised parking,” said senior officials.Besides, monitoring of the area on a daily basis required a large workforce and support from traffic police for issuing challans, officials added. “The implementation of the scheme on the ground was a bigger challenge, as having a team dedicated to monitoring parking on a daily basis was becoming difficult. However, we are discussing the issue and it may be re-launched,” said officials. The matter is being looked at by the corporation’s RP Cell. The scheme was to be adopted by the South and East municipal corporations if the scheme had been a success.

J&K: One terrorist killed in Hajin encounter; operation still underway

Updated: Oct 22, 2017, 08:41 AM IST, ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One terrorist has been gunned down in an encounter with the security forces in Ananwan Hajin in the Handwara of North Kashmir, which broke out on early Sunday morning.The operation is still underway.As per the top police officials, nine para military and other security forces are jointly carrying out the operation.Further details are awaited.​

Hindu Rao Hospital doctors threaten strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the Hindu Rao Hospital Medical Superintendent, AK Goyal, and the Head of the Department, Mala Shukla, were suspended by the hospital administration of the North Municipal Corporation — after three newborns died a night before Diwali — doctors at the hospital have called a General Body Meeting (GBM) on Monday. Sources say that the doctors might go on strike.On the night of October 18, three different cases of deliveries were handled in Unit three of the Hindu Rao Hospital, out which one had been referred to the hospital and the other two were in-house patients. All the three deliveries were conducted but none of the newborns survived. While two died of intra-uterine complications, the third one which had been referred from another hospital died due to slow heartbeat, say hospital sources.“There were two intra-uterine deaths in which a doctor really cannot do much and the other was a stillborn, which is again something not in a doctor’s hand. It is sad to know that the MS and HOD had to face the brunt,” says Dr RR Gautam, President of the MCD consulting doctors’ union.North Municipal Corporation Department had suspended the Medical Superintendent and the Head of Gynecology Department after the family’s allegations.INFANT DEATHSOn the night of October 18, three different cases of deliveries were handled in Unit three of the Hindu Rao Hospital. Out of these, one had been referred to the hospital and the other two were in-house patients. All the three deliveries were conducted but none of the newborns survived.

J&K cops arrest more than 70 in crackdown

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir police launched a massive crackdown against vigilante groups on Saturday and arrested more than 70 people for assaulting locals and soldiers after branding them braid choppers. The arrested people also allegedly spread rumors to fan protests and stone-pelting in the valley.Around 12 people were arrested in overnight raids in Sopore. The crackdown comes after a frenzied mob mistook mentally -challenged Wasim Ahmad Tantray as a braid chopper and tried to burn him alive and run a tractor over him in Sopore.”We have arrested 12 people so far. More than 15 have been identified and are absconding. They will soon be arrested. We have booked them for attempt to murder, rioting and stone pelting”, said Harmeet Singh, senior superintendent of police, Sopore.Police have arrested 45 people, including the 18 involved in stripping and thrashing three army men after de-boarding them from a bus at Sheeri village of Baramulla district on Wednesday.”When we investigated, we found a notorious stone-pelter, Kaiser Bilal, was also traveling in the same bus to get three jawans killed. He stopped the bus at Sheeri and spread rumours that they are braid choppers. Police reached the spot and rescued the jawans. We have arrested 18 people including the main accused, Kaiser Bilal,” said Mir Imtiyaz Hussain, Senior Superintendent of Police, Baramulla.Police arrested 14 people for spreading rumours.”Eight persons were arrested from Batamaloo area while six were held from Noorbagh. These people were spreading rumours on braid chopping and causing panic among people. These rumour-mongers were taking advantage of braid chopping incidents to instigate the general public for protests and stone pelting”, said a police officer.Ten miscreants involved in stripping and thrashing an army soldier after branding him braid chopper at Redii village of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district on October 17 were arrested. Two vehicles have also been seizedPolice have issued stern warnings to vigilante mobs and said strict action will be taken against people who take law into their hands.”Hooliganism will not be tolerated. We have taken action against those who have taken law into hands. We have had 11 cases of braid chopping in Baramulla. Certain things have cropped up like the spray being used to make women unconscious. No doctor or laboratory has certified it,” said the SSP Baramulla.Police have also issued an advisory asking people not to pay heed to rumours as investigations revealed that some elements were raising false alarms to “disturb the peace in the valley, create animosity between people and security forces and an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty to confine womenfolk in their homes so that radical religious agenda is realised.””They raise Zakir Musa slogans to make their intentions public. People are requested not to pay heed to any rumours and help the police create a conducive and peaceful atmosphere so that our women can overcome the fear,” said a police spokesman.More than 150 braid chopping cases have been reported from Kashmir alone. Police said victims and families were not cooperating with investigators. Police has decided to test blood samples to understand what kind of spray was used to make women unconscious.Meanwhile, normal life was disrupted in Kashmir as people observed a shutdown against the rising braid chopping incidents.Police advisoryPolice have issued an advisory asking people not to pay heed to rumours as some elements were raising false alarms.

Proposal to extend relief from razing in illegal areas gets nod

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Standing Committee of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Monday approved the proposal for extending the relief from demolition for unuathourised colonies by three years from December this year to December 2020.The Standing Committee chairman Jayendra Kumar Dabas moved a proposal in the meeting of the House “the relief be extended up to 31st December with exemption from all punitive actions against the unauthorised constructions up to 31st December 2016 in all categories.”This will mean that till December 2020 the civic body will not take any demolition action in these unauthourised colonies.These colonies were always hanging under fire from the civic body for not having valid papers of registry and for not being built as per the sanctioned building plans, as prescribed in the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD).”It is expedient to have a law in terms of Master Plan for Delhi (MPD) -2021, for a period up to 31st December 2020, with cut off date extended up to 31 December 2016 in all categories, to provide for relief and to minimise avoidable hardships and irreparable loss to people in the capital against any punitive action by the civic body,” the resolution stated.The Master Plan for Delhi (MPD) -2021 specifically provides for strategies for housing for urban poor as well as to deal with the informal sector. In pursuance of the guidelines, necessary steps are being taken for regularisation of unauthourised colonies, which involve scrutiny of layout plans, assessment of built up percentage and change of boundaries, among others.

Ajmer on a high: After air link, CM endorses ceramic hub

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday afternoon, the Chief minister, Vasundhara Raje, in her Jansamvad programme at South Ajmer, among others things, gave the industrial sector, especially the smaller ones, some relief.The programme was heavily attended by members from different communities, representatives of business and working class.The small industries’ owners were delighted when their plea for an extended deadline to complete the rain harvesting schemes at their units got a sarkari nod. The CM extended the deadline till March 31.The chief minister also decided to empower the ceramic industry in the district. “Ajmer will be developed as a leading hub for the ceramic industry,” said chief minister. “Land has already been marked for the purpose and efforts are on to get gas pipeline to meet the energy requirements for these industries,” she added.Thousands of people at Ajmer associated with the ceramic industry will directly benefit from this move. Provision of gas pipeline will prevent the migration of ceramic units to other states and will provide it with a global identity. The district has recently been provided with air connectivity and the chief minister plans to further promote it as an industrial hub.However, as the chief minister resolved the issues at Jansamvad, she also invoked all sections of the community to contribute and support the government’s effort for development. “Public support is needed to develop Ajmer as a smart city,” she added.The CM was received with zeal and enthusiasm by one and all.‘NO DRUG CARTEL’CM has ordered the police superintendent of Ajmer, Rajendra Singh, to crackdown on the nuisance of drug abuse. A group of locals raised the issue at the Jansamwad on Sunday. The CM said Ajmer is also known as a holy city and such nuisances cannot be allowed here. 24 X 7 WATERTenders have been floated for the Rs 79cr project to provide 24×7 water supply for all residential colonies in Ajmer. A week ago the project was sanctioned by CM at a Jansamwad programme held in North Ajmer constituency.

Briton dies in fall while taking pictures near Laxmi Narayan temple in Madhya Pradesh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A British man fell and died while taking picture at a temple in India.56-year-old, Roger Stotesbury while, visiting Orchha town of Madhya Pradesh with his wife, died after he plummeted 30ft (9m) from the Laxmi Narayan temple, reported the Independent.The incident took place when Stotesbury, the documentary maker, had just finished taking some shots of the scenery from a temple in Orchha.The couple, on their ‘middle-aged gap year’, had to return to the UK after completing their Indian adventure.”Roger took lots and lots of photographs, and he had gone to take some views from the temple,” said a family spokesman.”He put his equipment down and then he fell,” he added.The couple has planned two-month tour and started their tour with Italy, followed by South and North America, Australia and several Asian countries. India was their final stop.The couple had also posted picture of Taj Mahal on their website, a day before the tragedy

West Bengal: Police say GJM chief Bimal Gurung has links with Maoists, north-east insurgent groups

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal police on Friday said the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supremo Bimal Gurung has links with Maoists and insurgent groups in the North East and had procured sophisticated arms from them.Additional Director General (law and order) Anuj Sharma said the police had information about Gurung’s links with Maoists and the rebel groups.”He has procured arms from them. We have recovered six AK-47 assault rifles, one 9 mm pistol, 500 rounds of ammunition and bombs from the place where a police party was ambushed by his group near Darjeeling today,” Sharma told reporters here.He said the police faced “heavy fire power” from the group which led to the death of a police sub-inspector and injuries to four police personnel.Gurung was in hiding in neighbouring Sikkim and had tried to enter the Darjeeling hills today, Sharma said.The police had the information and when they raided the area, Gurung and his group attacked them, the ADG said.Earlier reports said GJM supporters had clashed with the police party. Gurung was now trying to get back to Sikkim, he said.Sharma said a cornered Gurung was trying to foment trouble in the hills again.”We will not allow this to happen at any cost, even if we have to make sacrifices,” he said.

Nirmala Sitharaman says integration of the armed forces is Centre’s top priority

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday complimented the Army for its professionalism in handling the Dokalam standoff and other challenges such as containing insurgency in the northeastern region.In an address to the top commanders of the Army, she said enhancing capacity of the Army was a major focus of the government and promised close monitoring of improving strategic infrastructure.”She conveyed admiration of the nation for the professionalism of the Indian Army during events like Dokalam standoff, response to natural disasters and keeping the situation of insurgency in the North East states fairly under control,” the Army said in a statement.On the second day of the week-long commanders conference, the top brass of the Army deliberated on a broad range of operational issues, including security challenges along the borders with China and Pakistan.In her around half-an-hour-long address, the defence minister also referred to her visits to the forward areas and called the meeting with the troops as “eye-opening”.Sitharaman said keeping morale of forces at the highest level was among the priorities of the government.Welcoming Sitharaman, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat told the commanders about the extensive travel undertaken by her to forward posts including Siachen.”He also expressed pleasure on the fact that Sitharaman had already travelled extensively in border areas of the North-East and also across the border in Tibet,” the Army statement said.When asked about Rawat’s comment about her visit across the border to Tibet, an Army spokesperson later said Sitharaman has extensively travelled in Tibet before taking over as defence minister and the reference was about that.Sitharaman had visited various forward areas along the Sino-India border, including Nathu La in Sikkim, on Saturday.The defence minister said modernisation of the Army was a priority for the government and that all the “deficiencies” will be addressed to strengthen its combat capability.Sitharaman also assured the Army commanders that all service related matters will be resolved. In this regard, she talked about long pending force modification requests, welfare of serving army men and their families.Listing her top priorities, Sitharaman said integration of the armed forces was essential particularly in the domain of training, communication, logistics and cyberspace for preparation for any future conflict.”She called upon Indian Army to continue leveraging its strength in diplomatic defence cooperation with neighbourhood and in the region,” the Army said.The Northern Command, the Central Command and the Western Command made presentations today on a range of issues having a bearing on the field formations of the Army.In its presentation, the Northern Command highlighted the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Baramulla terrorist attack: Jaish-e-Mohammed Operational Head Khalid killed in encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander was on Monday killed in an encounter between terrorists and security forces in Ladoora area of Baramulla district of Kashmir.The JeM Operational Head has been identified as Khalid.Khalid is believed to have trained and infiltrated from Pakistan and was active in North Kashmir’s Sopore area. His name had cropped up for the first time in October 2016, when the Army busted a JeM module in Baramulla. Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Ladoora area following information about the presence of militants in the area.Meanwhile, an Army soldier was killed in a brief encounter with militants.The slain soldier has been identified as Subedar Raj Kumar.

Bihar river project caught in political crossfire

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The North Koel Reservoir project, which had been stalled for decades since 1972, and which received cabinet nod in August this year is threatened once more as it lands in a political slugfest. While the project had found mention in PM Modi’s Gaya speech, former Bihar BJP minister and ex-MLA from Aurangabad Ramadhar Singh is up in arms against it.The Union Cabinet in August this year had cleared the project and had sanctioned a sum of Rs 1622.22 crore. The project stands to benefit farmers in the most backward and drought-prone areas – Bihar’s ill- irrigated Gaya and Aurangabad districts and the tribal belt of Jharkhand’s Palamu and Garhwa districts – and was thus called by Union minister Uma Bharti as a potent weapon to fight naxalism.Notwithstanding the proposed benefits, the cabinet nod, and the provision in the cabinet decision that Niti Aayog would be the watchdog for the project, the BJP leader has shot a letter to the Prime Minister, calling for an inquiry into the project details and the claimed benefits. Singh has dubbed the entire project as “faulty” and a conspiracy in which the engineers misled the Central government.In his letter to the PM, Singh has also hurled accusations against sitting Aurangabad MP from BJP Sushil Singh. While Sushil Singh counts the resumption of work on the project among his biggest achievements as public representative, Ramadhar Singh has accused the former of colluding with engineers and misrepresenting facts in front of the Centre.While Sushil Singh refused to comment, Ramadhar Singh could not be reached on his cellphone.”It is to inform you with reference to your announcement at the Gaya meeting…the proposal sent to you from the Bihar as well as Jharkhand governments is faulty. The money would be spent, but of the 120 km stretch of the proposed canal, only those up to 70 kilometers would be benefited. A technical agency of the Central government in association with agencies from Bihar and Jharkhand must review the project and make amends,” he wrote.”An investigation must be carried out against such engineers who have sent half baked information to the PMO as well as against Sushil Singh, MP from Aurangabad, who has changed parties many times and who has, in association with unscruplous engineers, hidden complete facts from the Union government with the intention to bring bad name to the government,” Ramadhar Singh said in the letter.”Engineers must be terminated from service after inquiry. And if the inquiry finds my facts wrong, strict action must be taken against me too,” Ramadhar Singh said in the letter.The North Koel river is a tributary of the Son river and ultimately joins Ganga. The construction of dam started in 1972 and was later stopped by the Bihar government’s forest department in 1993.

Buzz on Anandiben’s increasing importance, but she stays away from party programmes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramaniyan Swamy said on Friday that former chief minister Anandiben Patel should be reinstated as CM of Gujarat again. Swamy’s statement has created ripples in Gujarat politics, especially in the ambit of the BJP. On the other side, the party is preparing for Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s Twitter townhall programme to address the issues of women. Anandiben Patel, as the senior most woman leader in Gujarat BJP, has stayed away from it.Swaraj is going to address women on October 14 in Ahmedabad and women across the state will connect to her through the social media platform from 25 places. The Mahila Morcha(women wing) of Gujarat has been meeting to plan the programme for the past few days but Ben’s absence is clearly seen at the party’s headquarter Shri Kamalam.A leader close to Anandiben Patel said, “Anandiben is working as an independent leader of the BJP and has been given a different role to play in the elections. That is why she is visiting different places and people. She is not the member of the Mahila Morcha and that is why it is not mandatory for her to be there in preparation of the programme, but she has other important duties to play meanwhile.”Anandiben has been visiting different parts of North Gujarat and has also been holding meetings with different people at her residence in Gandhinagar for the past few days.Gujarat president of BJP Mahila Morcha, Jyoti Pandya, said, “Anandiben Patel is our senior leader and she has been guiding us. It is not necessary for her to be seen in the posters of programmes elsewhere.”A senior leader of the party said, “Ever since Amit Shah met Anandiben Patel during the closed-door meeting, it is believed that Anandiben’s importance is increasing and the party is seriously missing her. In BJP, a single person does not decide everything. Important issues are discussed and then decided unanimously in the party forum. Ben becoming the CM depends on the unanimous decision of party’s parliamentary board.”Union minister Ravishankar Prasad announced Swaraj’s townhall programme on Friday from Gujarat’s BJP headquarters Shri Kamalam. Prasad also avoided questions on Anandiben. Patel could not be reached for her reaction.

20-year-old man shot dead in Brahmpuri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 20-year old man was allegedly shot dead by two persons in North-East Delhi’s Brahmpuri area on Wednesday morning. The victim identified as Akash, was shot dead while he was partying with his friends at his uncle’s office. No arrests were made until Wednesday night. Akash works in a mobile repair shop in the areaAccording to the police they received a call from a government hospital around 4 am regarding a man declared dead on arrival with bullet wounds. Akash was partying along with four of his friends at his uncle’s officer.”During the party he went out for some work and later his friends heard the gun shots and rushed out. They saw him lying in a pool of blood,” said a senior police officer.Investigating officers revealed that the crime must have taken place around 2:30 am. As per the CCTV footages two men can be seen running from the scene of crime after killing him.The police registered a case of murder at New Usmanpur police station.

Guj to hold wildlife week to avoid man-animal conflict

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gandhinagar: To avoid the conflicts between human and wildlife, Gujarat government will observe a wildlife week in the state. The celebrations will be held between October 2 and 8 across 1200 venues, crisscrossing the state and as many as 18 to 20 lakh people are expected to attend these programmes.The incident of clash between human with sloth bear in Jesor sanctuary in North Gujarat was reported in March this year. The issue raised the eyebrows of the wildlife activists across the nation. The government has precisely held programmes to create awareness at places where such incidents are frequent.The forest department informed about the celebration of wildlife week through a release issued on Friday.The department informed that the special weight will be given to the issue of clashes or conflicts between wildlife and human nearby the sanctuary areas.As many as eight workshops have been organised at different places where the wildlife can be affected badly due to routine activities by humans.The workshop for sloth bears will be held at Jesor sanctuary, for cranes and vultures in Gandhinagar, for great Indian bustard in Bhuj, for alligators in Vadodara, for the wolf in Junagadh, for Dugong in Meethapur near Dwarka and for leopards and panthers at Ratanmahal Sanctuary.The state government has prepared films and different presentations to attract the youth for sensitisation towards wildlife. The government will also appeal the cinema halls in cities to arrange shows of such films.There will be competitions of essay writing, picture and photographs, slogan writings, drawing and scratches and of that kind to attract the stakeholders. The government will also give prizes to winners of these competitions.

Nirmala Sitharaman visits troops at the border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the first anniversary of the surgical strikes, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the sensitive Line of Control (LoC) and commended the troops for excellent operational successes.In her first visit to Jammu and Kashmir since assuming charge, Sitharaman went to the forward areas along the LoC in North Kashmir and interacted with the troops and field commanders at Badami Bagh Cantonment for over an hour. “The defence minister was briefed about the robust counter infiltration posture along the LoC,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.

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