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ATS used Rakesh Dhawade to invoke MCOCA charges, says NIA

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

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Rajasthan doctors’ strike ends after 12 days

As per the agreement signed with ARISDA leader on Wednesday, demands include removal of the officer of Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) Girish Parashar from the health department and adjustment of leaves taken by doctors during their agitation, even in earlier months, against their earned leaves. The agreement also reiterates the execution of the agreement from November 12 and withdrawal of cases registered against the doctors under the Rajasthan Essential Services Management Act (RESMA) during the agitation.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Thursday 28 December 2017 3:32 ISTMust readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher Jaish-e-Mohammad’s ‘commander’ Noor Tantray killed in Pulwama wanted to join BJP in 2003 to eliminate top brass<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>After eight-hours of negotiations and the intervention of four ministers and state BJP president, the protesting in-service government doctors in Rajasthan finally called off their strike. The discussions on Wednesday were held between government representatives and leaders of All Rajasthan In Service Doctors Association (ARISDA), the body under which doctors were agitating. These doctors have been striking the last 12 days and the deadlock was broken only after two fresh agreements were signed.As per the agreement signed with ARISDA leader on Wednesday, demands include removal of the officer of Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) Girish Parashar from the health department and adjustment of leaves taken by doctors during their agitation, even in earlier months, against their earned leaves. The agreement also reiterates the execution of the agreement from November 12 and withdrawal of cases registered against the doctors under the Rajasthan Essential Services Management Act (RESMA) during the agitation.

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Stone pelting goes down, but terror incident increase in Kashmir

The number of stone-pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir have come down to less than half, as compared to last year, till November 2017 even though terror related incidents increased.The total number of stone-pelting incidents have decreased from 2,808 in 2016 to 1,198 till November this year, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.”The incidents of stone-pelting against security forces in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are reported to be 2,808 during the year 2016 and 1,198 till November this year,” Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said while replying to a written question in the Rajya Sabha.The number of terror incidents this year was recorded at 337 till December 14 this year — the highest since 2011. The number was 332 last year. There was an increase in violence in the conflict-hit state since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani in July 2016.Security forces have killed 210 terrorists this year, going well beyond last year’s 150.Ahir said that an adequate number of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) personnel were deployed in Jammu and Kashmir to assist the state government in maintaining public order.”It is not considered appropriate to disclose the level of deployment of the security forces,” Ahir said, replying to another question in this regard.

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Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi to improvise under project ‘Swarna’

The Golden triangle rail journey is all set to get more comfortable as the coaches of Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi are being revamped with unique features under the project ‘Swarna’ of Indian Railways.There are changes on cards in most of the aspects of rail travel. The features include disposable head rest cover for the passengers seated in the coach, for better view inside the coach, whilegood quality pictures and paintings exhibiting regional culture and heritage will also be displayed inside the coach.As bad odour was an issue of discussion earlier in this Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi, automatic odour control (AOC) system is being installed.The train is also being equipped with CCTV Surveilllance system, while Aadhar enabeled bio matric attendance system for staff for geo tagging has also been done on this train. This will ensure responsible behavior from the staff of the train.As a humanatrian gesture, the travel of visually impaired will also become easier as there is also provision of braille signage in the train. On his visit to Jaipur on Saturday, the chairman of Railway board, Ashwai Lohani had also inspected the coaches of this train which is amongst the 15 Shatabdi’s and 14 Rajdhani express chosen under this project.It is noteworthy that golden triangle is an important tourism circuit in the country attracting lakhs of tourists, mostly foreigners. This makes it a natural choice for the tourists to board this train everyday to travel between Jaipur and Agra. Notably, to improve passenger experience, Ministry of Railways decided to upgrade Premium Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains under Project ‘Swarna.’With improved passenger amenities, aesthetics and hygiene standards, country’s first Swarn Rajdhani (Train no 12313 New Delhi – Sealdah Rajdhani Express) was launched in New Delhi in the month of November this year.Well equippedThe train is being equipped with CCTV surveillance system while Aadhar enabelled bio matric attendance system for staff for geo tagging has also been done on this train. This will ensure responsible behavior from the staff of the train.

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After Congress, Shiv Sena to hold internal polls to elect party president

The Shiv Sena will hold internal polls to elect its party president on January 23 which happens to be the birth anniversary of its founder (late) Bal Thackeray.According to sources, incumbent Sena president Uddhav Thackeray will be re-elected at the party meeting to be held at Rang Sharda auditorium in suburban Mumbai, as there will be no other nomination for the post.Uddhav Thackeray took charge as the party president on January 23, 2013, after the death of his father Bal Thackeray (86) in November 2012.”Uddhav had refused the post of ‘Shiv Sena Pramukh’ saying it will be only Balasaheb who will remain as Pramukh or the chief. Uddhav dissolved the post of executive president which he served in Balasaheb’s lifetime and took the post of ‘Paksh Pramukh’ (Shiv Sena party president),” sources said today.Once the procedure of electing the party president is completed, Uddhavji will choose his new team.”He may either retain the old team or give a chance to new faces,” sources said.The election will be held to comply with the Election Commission’s (EC’s) directives to political parties to hold internal organisational elections, according to sources.

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NHM recruitment in UP: Candidates find glaring discrepancies in written exam result

Glaring discrepancies have been found in the results declared for recruitment of about 4700 nurses and other staff under the National Health Mission (NHM) in Uttar Pradesh.In the results declared on December 22 for the written test, those who got 64 out of 90 marks were declared failed while those who obtained 3 and 8 marks were declared passed. The results went viral on social media indicating towards a possible scam in the recruitment process. Also readUnnao: Cataract surgery on 32 patients done under torchlight; CMO suspendedThose who failed to clear the test even after obtaining good marks have decided to file a lodge a complaint with the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and also take legal recourse. They have demanded results to be withheld and written exam copies to be re-evaluated. The written exam for about 4688 contractual posts of Staff Nurse, ANM, PRO, Lab Technicians etc was held on November 5 2017 all over the state. The results for the same were declared on December 22. But after detection of irregularities, candidates are now raising questions over the evaluation of examination copies. The Principal Secretary Health Prashant Trivedi has assured to look into the anomalies brought to his knowledge. “I have issued directions to check results again,” said Trivedi. Trivedi said that written exam was only a part of the selection process and only those who have cleared the interviews and other technical processes will be selected for the NHM. “The final result and selection process are yet to be completed,” he clarified. “Only those candidates would be selected who cleared all the selection criterion. We will ensure that no bogus candidates gets job under the current NHM recruitment drive to fulfil existing vacancies,” he added.

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Delhi: Diplomat Eenam Gambhir who slayed Pakistan at UN robbed off her mobile

Bike-borne men snatched the mobile of Eenam Gambhir, the first Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, police said today.The incident occurred on Saturday when Gambhir had gone for a walk in Rohini with her mother, they added. The accused snatched the phone from her on the pretext of asking for directions, the police said. Since it was evening, she could not note down the vehicle’s registration number, they said. In her complaint, the diplomat said that the accused asked her for directions to Hanuman Mandir. When she started pointing towards the temple while holding her phone, they snatched the phone and fled, the police said.Also readPak rakes up Kashmir issue at UN, India calls it ‘lonely voice from the wildernessGambhir stated that the iPhone had a US-registered SIM card and some important files related to her work, they said. In September this year, exercising India’s right to reply after Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly, Gambhir had made a strong rebuttal by calling Pakistan a “terroristan”.Ukrainian Ambassador Igor Polikha’s mobile phone was snatched in September while he was taking pictures of the Red Fort, following which one person was arrested. Delhi Police has registered as many as 7,870 cases of snatching this year till November 30.

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Ockhi-hit Tamil Nadu villages to give Xmas a miss

Fishing villages of Thoothoor in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari are giving this Christmas a miss as over 305 fishermen and their boats are still missing after being hit by Ockhi cyclone on November 30.”There won’t be any celebration of Christmas. We are going to hold prayers on Sunday night in the memory of those missing fishermen. Other than church activities, there will not be any function or celebration outside,” Fr Bebinson, parish priest of St Thomas Forane Church, Thoothoor.Of the 305 missing fishermen, 157 are from eight fishing villages in Thoothoor region while 98 are from other districts of Tamil Nadu and about 50 are from Assam, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. As of now, only seven dead bodies of Kanyakumari fishermen were recovered.Fishermen from Thoothoor region are known for deep-sea fishing, venturing up to 1600 nautical miles, staying in the sea for 30-40 days.The families of missing fishermen are hoping that they would return before the Christmas but the hope is fading with each passing day, said Fr Bebinson. In last few days, as many as 60 fishermen hit by the cyclone were rescued by local fishermen who went on a search mission and brought to shore along with their damaged boats, he said, adding that fishermen set out in 200 boats in search of their missing brethren in the sea. “We will wait until this month end for the missing fishermen to return. After which we will hold memorial service for them,” he said.The case of migrant workers from Andhra Pradesh, Assam and West Bengal who go along with the fishermen in the deep sea fishing vessels as helpers are tragic. The migrant works who were basically working in the hotels started venturing along with fishermen as they got good pay, said Fr Churchill, general secretary of South Asian Fishermen Fraternity.”Sadly, there is no exact number of migrant workers went into the sea. We compiled the missing fishermen list from the survivor’s account. In some boats, none of them survived so we don’t know how many migrant workers were there in it,” he said.Fr Churchill said the fishermen suffered worst in the cyclone Ockhi than 2004 tsunami. “In five minutes, everything was over in tsunami whereas the fishermen caught in the cyclone were stranded and faced a traumatic death after swimming endlessly with the hope of being rescued,” he said.

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Jammu and Kashmir: Pakistan violates ceasefire; targets Indian forward posts along LoC at Poonch

Pakistani forces on Sunday again targeted Indian forward posts and villages in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, a day after an Army major and three soldiers were killed in firing from across the Line of Control (LoC).Indian troops guarding the LoC retaliated effectively and the firing between the two sides was going on when the last reports came, a police official said.The latest ceasefire violation comes a day after the Pakistani forces opened fire on an Indian Army patrol, killing a Major and three soldiers, in Keri sector of the state’s Rajouri district.The Pakistani troops started firing from heavy and light weapons from across the border, targeting forward posts and villages in Shahpur sector around 12.55 pm today, a police official said.However, there is no immediate report of any casualty in the skirmishes, the official said.Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a total of 881 ceasefire violations this year, highest in the past seven years, along the LoC and the International Border (IB), resulting in the death of 34 persons.According to officials, Pakistan has violated ceasefire along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir 771 times till December 10, and 110 times along the IB till November-end this year.Thirty persons — 14 Army personnel, 12 civilians and four BSF personnel — were killed in such incidents.The truce between India and Pakistan along the International Border, Line of Control and the Actual Ground Position Line in Jammu and Kashmir came into force in November, 2003.India shares a 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan, of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.In 2016, there were 449 incidents of ceasefire violations wherein 13 civilians and 13 government forces personnel were killed and 83 civilians and 99 security personnel were injured.In 2014, there were 583 incidents of ceasefire violation in which 14 civilians and three security personnel were killed and 101 civilians and 28 security personnel were injured.In 2015, the number of ceasefire violations was 405; 347 in 2013, 114 in 2012, 62 in 2011 and 70 in 2010.

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Max hospital case: Probe to be delayed in twin baby case as police still waiting for DMC’s reply

Delhi Police’s probe into the case of the twin babies, one of whom was wrongly declared dead by the Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, may be delayed since it is waiting for the Delhi Medical Council’s (DMC) reply on the matter.The DMC has already issued a notice to nine doctors and two nurses of the hospital on December 20 for alleged medical negligence in connection with the case and has sought a response from them in 15 days.Currently, the case is being probed by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch.A senior police officer, privy to the probe, said that since the case was of medical negligence, they had to rely on expert’s opinion.”Our officers have interacted with the doctors and nurses of the hospital. We have also spoken to the child’s family but there are some technical points that we need clarity on before we proceed ahead in the probe,” he said.The officer said that the baby was 22-weeks-old and premature. According to medical guidelines, babies born before 22 weeks or around that time usually do not survive and were not considered as deliveries.There are medical guidelines, but the fact that the baby was declared dead despite being alive, was being probed, he said.The officer said that they were awaiting the council’s report in the matter and further investigation will be based on the report.The case pertains to a baby boy being wrongly declared dead after his birth on November 30 by the upscale private hospital. The other twin, a girl, was still-born. The infant boy died a week later at a nursing home in Pitampura.The case sparked a public outcry and the family has been protesting in front of the hospital, soon after an appellate authority stayed the order by the Delhi government to cancel the licence of the facility.

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Shocker from Gurugram! Medanta Hospital charges Rs 16 lakh for dengue treatment, child dies

The series of shocking incidents in the hospitals from Delhi-NCR are no close to stopping. In another bizzare episode, it’s Gurugram’s Medanta hospital, which is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The hospital has reportedly charged around Rs 16 lakh for the treatment that continued for 21 days from the family of an eight-year-old boy, who was suffering from Dengue. The child, however, later on died. As the reports suggest, the boy’s family shifted him to a different hospital after Medanta hospital charged them an exorbitant amount. Also readFortis raked in moolah of up to 1,737% in Adya Singh case: NPPA”My child was there in the hospital for 21 days, the hospital gave us a bill of Rs 15.88 lakh. We had to request people for money; the hospital has looted us in the name of treatment,” the father of the eight-year-old said.Earlier, Fortis hospital in Gurugram billed a family close to 16 lakhs in 15 days as their baby girl Adya succumbed to dengue shock syndrome, post which Union Health Minister JP Nadda asked for an inquiry to be instituted to investigate the case.Also readComplaint of overcharging against Fortis Gurgaon and the Park HospitalDNA had first reported the story of deceased baby Adya on November 20. The story can be read here. However, the hospital has refuted the allegations levelled by the family. According to the hospital, the girl was admitted with dengue shock syndrome and her condition was extremely serious. “The girl came to us without the medical advice of the previous hospital. As soon as she came to us, we had incubated her. On September 14, she was put off the ventilator as suggested by the family and against the doctor’s advice,” said a senior doctor from Fortis hospital. Also readDengue Death Costing Rs 16 lakh: Investigation nails unethical acts of Fortis Explaining the situation further, the doctor added that a multi-disciplinary team of doctors was formed to look into the case. “Clearly, everything is planned. The girl passed away on September 14 and the family is making the false allegations after two months,” added the doctor. Jayant ended up paying the highest for expensive branded drugs, close to Rs 4 lakh when cheaper options for drugs were available. Cost of Medical consumables including up to 2700 gloves billed at Rs 17,142 came up to a whopping Rs 2.73 lakh, while medical investigations including blood tests cost him another Rs 2.17 lakh. Diagnostics are though billed separately from investigations, adding another Rs 29, 290.

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Sashastra Seema Bal strength increased after Doklam: Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday that the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has increased its strength along the India-Bhutan border creating more border outposts and deploying more men after the Doklam standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies.Addressing the border guarding force during its 54th anniversary parade in Delhi, Singh said that the Sashastra Seema Bal not only guards India’s border with Nepal and Bhutan, it also takes care that friendly relations with these neighbouring countries do not sour. “The past year has been tremendous for the force. The Sashastra Seema Bal has increased its strength after the Doklam standoff with China, by creating more border outposts near Sikkim and Bhutan border,” Singh said.He also said that people living near border areas should be considered as strategic assets of India and lauded the SSB for organising several welfare events for these people.When asked about confidence building measures with neighbouring countries, Singh said, “Confidence building measures are a continuing and ongoing process. It is always on and should be always on.”The SSB Director General Rajni Kant Mishra had also said that following the Doklam standoff, SSB increased its presence in the eastern part of Sikkim on India-Bhutan border.Post Doklam, two more battalions have been raised and thus, the total number of available battalions is now 69, just a few short of the total number of authorised 73 battalions. Mishra said that four battalions are also in the process for raising and they will be operationised by December 31, taking the tally of battalions to 73. The SSB has raised eight more Border Out-Posts (BOPs) increasing the total number of BOPs from 627 in January, 2017 to 635 in November.The SSB guards the 1,751-km India-Nepal and 699-km India-Bhutan borders since its inception.Also, various modernisation works were carried out by the force since the standoff. This year, the force has acquired two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) of Netra II version and is in the process of acquiring two Laser Based Explosive cum Narcotic Detectors. A multi-purpose boardroom has also been established at Force Headquarters improving our connectivity with our field units through advanced video conferencing facilities. Safe movement of our troops will be ensured by adding seven numbers of mine protected vehicles, 15 Light Armed Troop Carriers and 12 Bullet Proof Vehicles to fleet.The force has got fresh authorisation from MHA for 9,917 Assault Rifles, 22 Automatic Grenade Launcher, 324 Underbarrel Grenade Launchers and 14 Multiple Grenade Launcher were received and they will be procured by March, 2018.Early this month, sources in intelligence agencies had stated that there has been a sudden surge in Chinese incursion along the Indo-Chinese border, after Doklam. In the months of October and November, when heavy snowfall starts making the Indo-Chinese border almost inaccessible, and the presence of troops starts thinning, a sudden surge in Chinese activity has made Indian security establishment wary about the future.

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Ashok Chavan may get second term as MPCC chief

The Bombay High Court’s rejection of the Governor’s prosecution order in the Adarsh scam has brightened Ashok Chavan’s chances of getting yet another term as the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) supremo.The state unit has already completed the election process, authorising the party high command to decide Chavan’s fate. However, insiders in the party admit that the court order has come as a major slap on the BJP’s face which will have to rework its strategy to target Chavan.This apart, Chavan was instrumental in organising protests against the BJP-led government in November and December in six revenue divisions, where he travelled extensively. By and large, the party leaders say Chavan had brought factions together to take on the BJP on issues such as farmers plight, lapses in the implementation of crop loan waiver, deteriorating law and order and finances.Subsequently, the state Congress unit and the state Nationalist Congress Party jointly took out a march and organised a rally at Nagpur on the second day of the winter session on December 12 hinting at an alliance in the run-up to the next Assembly elections slated for 2019.Further, Chavan’s stock soared after Congress won 73 of 81 seats in the Nanded Municipal Corporation, where BJP had made it a prestige issue and cornered him in his home town.MPCC spokesman Ratnakar Mahajan told DNA,” Clearly, Chavan will now strive for the responsibility bestowed upon him with renewed vigour as the Bombay high court has set aside the Governor’s sanction to act against him in the Adarsh case. The party’s high command is expected to continue with him as the state unit president for another term.”Newly-anointed All India Congress Committee president Rahul Gandhi is soon expected to take a call in this regard.Already, the party high command has given a green signal to Chavan to organise a mass contact programme in all 288 Assembly constituencies across the state in January. Chavan had already begun preparations for the same.The party MPs, legislators, party office bearers will address public rallies, hold protest marches and reach out to voters at the booth level in a bid to further strengthen the party’s organisation to take on the BJP.Congress had won 42 Assembly seats and bagged only two seats in the 2014 elections. Thereafter, the party has been struggling to regain its stronghold and come second in successive elections held for civic and local bodies in the state.Past protestsAshok Chavan was instrumental in organising protests against the BJP-led government in November and December in six revenue divisions that he travelled.

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Rs 15.88 lakh charged for 21 days: Father of deceased seven-month-old files complaint against Medanta

After a serious of medical negligence and overcharging cases in NCR hospitals, a new case on Saturday emerged of a Gurugram hospital inflicting huge amount of bill for treatment.A month after the death of a seven-year-old boy due to dengue, his father has filed a case against Medanta Hospital in Gurugram for overcharging during treatment. He alleged that the Gurugram hospital charged him around Rs 15. 88 lakh for his son’s treatment.”My child was there in the hospital for 21 days, the hospital gave us a bill of Rs 15.88 lakh. We had to request people for money, the hospital has looted us in the name of treatment,” father of the deceased told ANI.However, after staying there for weeks and as the minor’s condition deteriorated, the Medanta Hospital authorities asked the patient’s family to shift him to a government hospital where the seven-year-old passed away.”When the doctors at Medanta felt that the child’s condition is such that he can no longer be kept there, then they pushed us to shift him to a Govt hospital, so we shifted him there,” the father said.The FIR was registered at the Gurgaon’s Sadar police station against the hospital authorities. “Complaint received at Police Station Sadar yesterday, complainant has leveled allegation on Medanta Hospital (Gurugram), their child suffering from dengue was admitted in the hospital, huge bill penalty was imposed on them. Investigation is underway,” said Gurugram Police.In another incident of overcharging, parents of a seven-year old girl, who died on November 21 of Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS), had accused the Fortis hospital in Gurugram of charging Rs 16 lakh for the 15-day treatment.

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Kerala Police arrests admin of Telegram group involved in child pornography

Kerala police has arrested an admin of Telegram group where posting pornographic videos involving children were shared. According to the Malappuram police, 25-year-old Sharaf Ali shared videos of child pornography, child sexual abuse and even child rapes on group named ‘poombatta’ on popular encrypted messaging app Telegram. The police started its investigation after receiving information from Cyberdome, cybercrime wing of the Kerala Police, news18.com reported. The group was closed last month after certain details were leaked online.The complaint was lodged by one Jaljith T, who had earlier busted Facebook groups of paedophiles. He said that he got to know about ‘poombata’ group in November through a friend and later joined it to see their activities. “There were nude photographs and videos of children, videos of child rape. In the group everyone had to participate by sending such photos or videos. There were also discussions as to how to groom a child, how to abuse them and how it’s best to abuse children below 3 years of age,” Jaljith said.Accused Ali, an aspiring accountant from Kozhikode, had four such groups on Telegram with almost 5,000 followers where users could share videos. Besides Ali, Police have identified 6 other people who will be arrested soon, police said.

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On Rahul Gandhi’s agenda today, visit to Somnath, poll result review

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is slated to meet party leaders and workers on Saturday to review his party’s performance in the just-concluded assembly elections, will begin his visit by offering prayers at Somnath Temple.Congress officials said that Gandhi will visit Somnath Temple in Gir Somnath district of Saurashtra at 10:30 am before coming to Ahmedabad for the review.This will be the Congress leader’s second visit to the famous temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlings, in as many months. A huge row had erupted during Gandhi’s visit to Somnath on November 29 after an image with his and senior party leader Ahmed Patel’s names, purportedly from a register meant for non-Hindus, went viral. While the BJP raised questions about his religion and accused Gandhi of fooling people with his temple visits, Congress blamed the ruling party for the fake image. The party also sought to put question marks about Gandhi’s religion to rest, saying he was a ‘janeu-dhari’ Hindu, i.e. a Brahmin.On Saturday, after offering prayers at Somnath, the newly elected Congress president will reach Ahmedabad, where he will meet party leaders from four regions of the state one after the other from 1:15 pm to 5:15 pm.”Rahul ji will also address party workers at GU Convention Hall. He is expected to appreciate the workers’ efforts in the elections, and exhort them to start working for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” said a Congress official.Ahead of Gujarat elections, the Congress president spent over 20 days campaigning extensively for his party. The Congress put up a credible performance by winning 77 out of 182 seats, its best performance in the state in the past several elections while restricting the BJP’s tally to 99.

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Madras High Court notice to Tamil Nadu government

Madras high court on Friday issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government and the Chennai Corporation after admitting the plea filed by S Amrutha, who claims to be the biological daughter of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and sought permission to exhume her mother’s body .Hearing the petition on Friday, Justice S Vidyanathan also impleaded Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepak and Deepa as party respondents to the petition. The judge wanted the authorities to file their replies by January 5.The judge also asked Amrutha as to why she did not claim Sobhan Babu as her father in the petition. He also wanted to know whether Apollo Hospitals, where late Jayalalithaa was hospitalised, has kept any of her blood samples in its possession.When Amrutha’s counsel moved the high court on Thursday, Advocate General Vijay Narayan opposed her petition strongly saying that without any authority, her claim was not maintainable and was a publicity stunt.Pointing out that several people were claiming that they were legal heirs of Jayalalithaa, the judge had said that to put a quietus to the issue, a DNA test may be ordered. If the claim comes out to be false, the petitioner has to face the consequences, the judge added.Earlier in November, the Supreme Court had refused to hear a similar petition filed by her. In her petition, Amrutha had said that she knew Jayalalithaa as her aunt and it was only in March, three months after Jayalalithaa’s demise that it was revealed to her that she was, in fact, Jayalalithaa’s daughter.

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Judgement to leave impact on 2018 states’ polls

With the trial court exonerating all accused in 2G spectrum case, it’s a journey back from ‘national loss’ to ‘notional loss’ in the contentious issue, which shook the politics of the nation in years preceding the last general election.As the court acquitted the accused, citing lack of evidence, the judgement comes as a moral booster for Congress just days after the Gujarat results.The alleged scam in 2G was not only a prime reason for decimation of UPA II in 2014 general election but also came handy to the BJP in successive assembly polls as including the Gujarat state elections, which concluded last week.With Congress now able to shed its corruption tag related to 2G, the judgement will have ramifications for Assembly elections due next year.BJP had lapped up the issue to taint Congress as steeped in corruption in the run-up to the 2014 general elections. BJP used the issue to paint Manmohan Singh as not only a “weak” Prime Minister under who corruption “thrived” but frequently suggested even his “complicity” into the matter.With Congress now able to shed its corruption tag related to 2G, the Thursday’s judgement will have ramifications for assembly elections due next year in over half a dozen states particularly in Karnataka, Madhya Pradess, Chhatisgarh and Rajasthan where the issue of corruption will be one of the major poll planks.The result will also have a crucial impact on Tamil Nadu politics, where DMK appears to be in a resurgent mode. With both former telecom Minister A Raja and DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi discharged or corruption and money laundering charges, the DMK will have a confident face while internal turmoil roils its principle rival AIADMK post J Jayalalitha’s death.With taint over, DMK is no more politically untouchable even for BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in first week of November visited the home of ailing DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi. Political possibilities for DMK are now wide open after the judgement.

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Over 250 MHADA flats to be on offer

Here’s good news for homebuyers who have been looking for affordable houses within city limits. According to senior MHADA officials, the forthcoming lottery that in most likelihood will be held in May will have 278 homes in the affordable segment in the Wadala region. If one doesn’t consider Sion, then the authority hasn’t had many affordable home projects on this side of the city. This will help MHADA have its image correction as the lottery in November had only eight homes in the Economically Weaker Section.MHADA faced criticism from various corners after the November lottery had very few homes on offer — 820 to be precise. But what was worse that the number of homes for the EWS category was the lowest. MHADA is expected to construct homes for that segment of the society which cannot afford the homes constructed by developers in Mumbai.According to a senior officer from MHADA, its Mumbai board is carrying out redevelopment of a chawl in Wadala’s Antop Hill, where it will be constructing nearly four towers of 25 floors each. “The total number of homes that will be on offer from this redevelopment project will be around 700, which will be used for rehabilitation purposes. There are flats that will be used for transit accommodation. Then, over 250 homes which will be around 300 sqft each will be put in the lottery,” said a MHADA official.Repeated attempts to contact Subhash Lakhe, chief officer, MHADA’s Mumbai board, failed.

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Fingerprint, iris issues affect Aadhaar work, impact salaries

Hansa Jadhav from the B ward of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) did not receive her November salary as her fingerprints were of poor quality and could not mark her attendance in the biometric machine introduced by the BMC about two months ago.The BMC has made biometric attendance compulsory for all employees and even declared salary cut for those who fail to clock biometric attendance in their respective office.In December, the BMC administration decided to cut the salary of around 4,000 employees for not marking attendance in biometric systems. “I used to get my salary by first week of every month. But, till December 20, I did not receive my salary for November ,” said Jadhav.Udaykumar Shiroorkar, assistant commissioner of B ward took the matter to administrative department and Human Resource departments of the BMC.”Jadhav’s fingerprints are poor and it was not recorded when Aadhaar was being generated. So, she could not mark her attendance through the biometric machine,” said Shiroorkar. He added that she, however, had come to office all working days. Surprisingly, the BMC had stopped providing stationery for muster attendance soon after it introduced biometric attendance.In another case, Arun Karkhanis, 73, did not receive his pension for the last six months. The reason quoted was that the biometric machine couldn’t read his finger print. “Now, the bank has asked me to update my Aadhar as my finger prints do not come,” said Karkhanis. He added that the bank or his office from where he retired is unwilling to accept any other documents. “It is not possible to for me to go Aadhaar centre at 3 am to stand in queue to get my Aadhaar upadate,” said Karkhanis. He added that his office has agreed to pay pension till December but I have to submit my updated Aadhaar by January to continue to get pension.Sudhir Naik, deputy municipal commissioner said that there are around 140 employees in BMC who have such problems and now, the civic administration will not push them for biometric attendance.FOR THE RECORDAadhaar records finger prints, iris and face information while registering. However, if any person is having problem in finger print, it is mentioned in the acknowledgment copy whether the finger quality is good. In such cases, the Aadhaar operator mentions these while registering which appear in the acknowledgment copy.

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Facing depleted strength, IAF issues request for proposal to HAL for 83 Tejas aircraft

Faced with depleting strength of its fighter squadron, the Indian Air Force today issued the the request for proposal (RFP) to state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the procurement of 83 Tejas light combat aircraft at a cost of over Rs 50,000 crore. The IAF had earlier placed an order with the HAL for 40 Tejas aircraft.The RFP for 83 Tejas light combat aircraft has been issued today, setting the ball rolling for finalising the contract for the mega deal, official sources said. The Defence Acquisition Council, the defence ministry’s highest decision making body on procurement, had in November last year approved purchase of 83 Tejas Mark 1 A by IAF at a cost of Rs 50,025 crore. The sources said the final deal for the procurement is likely to be inked within the next five months.They said out of the 83 LCA, 10 will be used for training purposes. According to official figures, 14 squadrons of the MiG 21, MiG 27 and MiG 29 are due for retirement in the next 10 years which will bring down the fighter squadron strength to 19 by 2027 from the current 33. The strength may be further reduced to 16 by 2032. In an interview to PTI, HAL Chairman and Managing Director T Suvarna Raju had said most of the 42 modifications in Tejas sought by the IAF, including weaponisation of the aircraft, had been carried out.Also readWatch: Singapore Defence Minister flies Tejas, says felt like riding a car “Tejas is a four-and-half generation world class fighter jet. There is no doubt about it. We can improve its various parameters. We are proud of Tejas. Every Indian will be proud of it. We will ensure enhancement in its quality and performance,” Raju had said. There have been views in the IAF that the Tejas aircraft was not enough to maintain its combat readiness and it needed to quickly procure a fleet of foreign single engine fighters to deal with any possible security challenges faced by the country in the backdrop of the dwindling size of its fighter fleet. The IAF believes that it has to have a wide mix of aircraft to maintain an operational edge over its adversaries.The HAL CMD had said that the four-and-half generation Tejas would be able to deliver what is expected of it.The lifespan of the jet would be a minimum of 30 years just like any other frontline combat aircraft, he had said. The combat jets are classified under various generations depending on their avionics, capability and weapons systems. The current fleet of fighter jets with the IAF range from three-and-half generation to the fourth generation.

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Delhi unveils new weapon against pollution, tests ‘anti-smog gun’ in Anand Vihar

Will Delhi breathe easy again? The answer lies in the success of the trial of anti-smog gun, the brand new weapon against pollution, which was tested by the officials in Anand Vihar on Wednesday.The tests of the ‘fog gun’ dubbed as anti-smog gun at the Anand Vihar ISBT would determine the future of Delhi’s lungs.While the authorities hope it will clear the skies above New Delhi but the environmentalists say the anti-smog gun amounts to a band-aid solution.The cannon consists of a cylindrical drum with a tank to store water and a high-velocity exhaust fan. The gun, when ‘fired’, sprays atomised water into the air and reduces pollution.Earlier in November, the National Capital was engulfed in toxic smog for more than a week. In fact, the air quality was so worse that in some areas, the authorities reported an Air Quality Index of 999, which was way above the upper limit of the worst category, Hazardous. Even on Wednesday, when the trial took place, Delhi’s pollution level was in the severe zone with an AQI of 413.On November 7, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter and said that ‘Delhi has become a gas chamber.’“I´m used to living in paradise and suddenly India has become a threat to my health and the health of my friends and colleagues,” Costa Rica’s ambassador to India, Mariela Cruz Alvarez had written in her viral blog.

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L-G Anil Baijal cancels exam to recruit teachers over paper leak issue

Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal on Tuesday cancelled a Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) examination for recruiting primary teachers in MCD-run schools, after a Delhi Police report alleged cheating during the test on October 29.The move comes days after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia demanded the cancellation of the examination, stating that the question papers were leaked. “The L-G has cancelled the DSSSB examination held on October 29. The move follows a report by the Delhi Police on the issue of alleged cheating in the examination,” his office said in a statement. Baijal directed the education secretary to take strict disciplinary action against all staff identified in the case and submit an action taken report within 10 days.Following the allegations of cheating, an FIR was registered on October 29 and the matter was handed over to the Crime Branch for a swift investigation.According to the L-G’s office, Baijal had directed Delhi Police commissioner Amulya Patnaik to investigate the matter in a time-bound manner.Baijal then issued directions to the DSSSB chairman to reconduct the examination expeditiously, so that vacancies could be filled as soon as possible.”The DSSSB may review their systems and methods of conducting the examination thoroughly and also look into the modus-operandi employed by the accused, so that in the future, all such loopholes can be plugged,” the statement read.Earlier this month, Kejriwal had sought Baijal’s nod on the Delhi government’s decision to cancel the DSSSB examination.In November, Sisodia had written to the L-G, seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged DSSSB examination paper leak case and had demanded strict action against the officials involved.

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318 killed in Kashmir in 2017: govt in Parliament

There have been 318 killings in Jammu and Kashmir this year as frequent encounters took place to deal with the increasing cycle of violence.Security forces got success in killing 203 terrorists — the highest in the last four years. The number of civilians killed in terror-related violence in the same period was also the highest, the government informed Parliament on Tuesday.Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha that 203 terrorists were killed in the state this year till December 10, as compared to 150 in calendar year 2016, 108 in 2015, and 110 in 2014.Talking about the number of civilians killed, Ahir said that 37 of them were killed till December 10 this year, 15 were killed in calendar year 2016, 17 in 2015, and 28 in 2014.Terror-related incidents also peaked at 335 as compared to 322 in 2016, 208 in 2015, and 222 in 2014.Replying to a question on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Ahir said necessary directions were issued from time to time after reviewing the security situation of the state.According to the data provided by the minister, 75 security personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir till December 10 this year, 82 were killed in 2016, 39 in 2015, and 47 in 2014.”In order to prevent the activities of terrorists, numerous steps have been taken, including strengthening of the operational grid with an enhanced human intelligence and use of technical intelligence grid,” he added.Replying to another question, Ahir said the trend of violence in the states affected by Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) declined since 2014.”In the current year (till November 30), LWE violence has decreased by 17.4 per cent, from 984 (incidents) to 813, as compared to the corresponding period in 2016,” he said.Replying to another question about the situation in the north-east, Ahir said the overall security situation in the region had registered a substantial improvement in 2016, in terms of reduction in the numbers of violent incidents and security forces’ casualties.”In 2017, there has been a further improvement in the security situation in the region as the number of insurgency incidents has come down to 276 in the first 11 months of the year,” he said.

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LHMC nurses go on hunger strike after 28-day protest

After 28 days of indefinite strike by 266 contractual nurses at the Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC), some of the nursing staff went on a hunger strike on Monday. On November 20, the central government institute handed over termination letters to 36 of its contractual nursing staff without any prior warning, causing anger among other staff. The indefinite strike has reduced the total nursing strength to half as there are only 270 permanent nurses, thus affecting patient care at the hospital.”I brought my daughter here for treatment but was sent outside as the doctors told me that there is no nursing staff,” said Samima Afroz, who had to stand outside the hospital holding an IV bottle as her daughter sat on the ground.None of the contract staff have received salaries for the last four months. On November 20, 36 of them were terminated on the basis that an equal number of permanent candidates had joined. After continued protests and letters to ministers, the staff members received salaries but their jobs are still at risk.”Our agreement letters clearly stated that the hospital cannot terminate us without a month’s notice. This action was really unexpected,” said Sandeep Yadav, 28, one of the contractual nursing officers.”We will continue this hunger strike until our death if they do not reinstate the terminated employees,” he added.

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Khairani: Fire waiting to happen, claim locals

Members of Swachh Chandivali, a resident’s organisation, are irked by the fact that it took a fire, that claimed 12 lives, for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to finally inquire into the glaring irregularities in safety norms by a majority of the establishments — most of them running small scale industries from the slums — on Khairani Road in Saki Naka.The residents had been repeatedly warning the concerned authorities about a potential high-risk fire waiting to break in the slum area, and had written several letters to the BMC and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) on the same. In September, the residents escalated the matter by writing to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.Based on their complaints, the MPCB carried out a site visit in September and submitted a report in November, which clearly states the violations that some of the establishments were engaged in. The board found that the units were operating without any documents. In fact, MPCB officials stated that a majority of the small scale industries in the area were operating illegally.”The report asked BMC to take action and ordered closure of 18 such industries. If properly surveyed, all the units operating in these slums, which has turned into an industrial area over the years, will be found violating safety regulations as well as labour laws. These units are a ticking time bomb and are endangering the lives of people,” said Dr SL Dhingra, member, Swachh Chandivali.Lavita Powell, another member of the group, said that Monday’s fire only goes to prove that many more such disasters can occur in the area.Demanding action against the authorities, former Councillor Ishwar Tayade said, “We wrote to the civic body and the police to take action against the illegal activities taking place inside these industrial units but they kept turning a blind eye.””We had received complaints from local residents about air pollution from the small scale industries operating on Khairani Road. After a survey, several violations were observed based on which we directed the BMC to disconnect water and electricity supply for 18 of the units,” said MR Lad, Regional Officer (Mumbai), MPCB.

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Too early to comment on GST collections, says govt

The government has said that it is too early to comment on GST collections, which slipped about 10 per cent in November – over the previous month – to Rs 85,931 crore.As per the information provided by the finance ministry to the Lok Sabha on Friday, as many as 33.2 lakh new taxpayers have registered themselves under GST till December 11 from the day of roll out on July 1.”It is too early to comment on the changes in the tax collection as a result of changes in the tax base because of factors like overlap of taxpayers pre and post introduction of GST, variation in exemption limits between Centre and States and among States and mechanism of apportionment of fund under IGST,” Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said in a written reply to a question.He also informed that total number of tax payers who migrated from pre-GST regime was 64.12 lakh as on December 11.The GST collection was Rs 95,132 crore in October. It was over Rs 93,000 crore in September as well as August.In reply to another question, Shukla said that the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been smooth so far.The GST Council, he added, had made some changes in the new tax regime based on the representations from stakeholders.

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Assembly elections 2017 results: Spectacular win for BJP, have proved PM Modi’s hard work, says Shivraj Singh Chouhan

The chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on Monday expressed confidence on the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) sweeping Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, adding this would be a spectacular victory for the party.While speaking to media here, Chouhan said, “This country will progress towards development only because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The spectacular victory in Gujarat and the way Himachal Pradesh has been snatched away from the Congress party has proved our the prime minister’s hard work and dedication for the country.””Not forgetting Amit Shah, who is another idol in the BJP we all look up to. I would also like to thank him for his loyalty and for being an inspiration in the party,” he added.Further thanking the people for their trust, Chouhan said, “I promise we will never fail on our endeavours and continue ‘vikas’ (development) of the state.”The Election Commission official trends for Gujarat polls show BJP winning on 10 seats and leading on 83 seats while Congress has won 7 seats and is leading on 69, at the time of filing this report.The BJP is also leading in Himachal Pradesh as it has won on 3 seats and leads on 40 seats, while Congress has won on one seat and is leading on 20.The counting of votes for 68 Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh and 182 constituencies in Gujarat began on Monday morning.The hill state went to polls on November 9 while elections were held in two phases in Gujarat on November 9 and 14 respectively.

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Himachal Elections: BJP’s Prem Kumar Dhumal trailing; who will be Chief Minister?

The BJP looks set to wrest power from the Congress in Himachal Pradesh as it has won three seats and leading in 40 seats, however, the party’s Chief Minister candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal is staring at loss.The ruling party candidate Rajinder Rana is ahead of Dhumal with Congress leading in 21 seats.So far, Rana has received 21492 votes and with 18559 votes Dhumal is trailing.On November 1, just before the polls, Dhumal was unexpectedly announced as the chief ministerial candidate. The health minister, JP Nadda, emerged as a strong contender, initially, but it was Dhumal at the end.Prem Kumar Dhumal, popularly known as PK Dhumal, was born into a strict Brahmin family on April 10, 1944, in Samirpur Village of Hamirpur district.During his two stints as chief minister, the hill state saw significant infrastructure developments, particularly of roads. He also oversaw the development of new railway lines as well.This gave rise to Dhumal being called as the ‘sadak walla mukhyamantri’.Congress candidate Anirudh Singh won the Kasumpti seat by defeating BJP’s Vijay Jyoti by a margin of 9,397 votes. Also readAs trends paint clear picture of BJP’s victory in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, this is how party celebratesIn Lahaul and Spiti, Dr Ram Lal Markanda of BJP defeated Ravi Thakur of Congress by more than 1500 votes.Congress veteran and six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his son Vikramaditya Singh are leading from Arki and Shimla (Rural) respectively.Since the past 24 years, Himachal Pradesh has had alternative governments between the BJP and the Congress.Main rivals BJP and Congress contested all the 68 seats at stake. The hill state witnessed a record 75.28% turnout.The Congress and the BJP had 36 and 26 seats respectively in the outgoing House.

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Himachal Pradesh Election Results 2017 LIVE: BJP takes early lead

The counting of votes for 68 Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh that went to polls on November 9 began at 8 am on Monday.The results are expected to come out by afternoon.As many as 50,25,941 voters were eligible to cast their votes and 37,605 polling personnel were deployed at 7,525 polling booths. 983 polling stations were declared vulnerable and 399 critical to ensure free and fair elections in the state.The fate of 337 candidates including Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his predecessor Prem Kumar Dhumal will be known. Both – the ruling Congress Party and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – are confident of their victory.Himachal has a tradition of change in government after every elections and going by the trend, this time it is the turn of the BJP which is upbeat after exit poll results.Security personnel have been deployed outside the counting centres to avoid any untoward situation.8:39 IST Monday, 18 December 2017Counting has begun for Himachal Pradesh. BJP is leading in 9 constituencies, Congress in 4.

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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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City sees a 43% rise in debit and credit card frauds

Mumbai city has seen a whopping 43 per cent rise in cases of debit/credit card fraud as compared to last year. While as many as 546 cases of credit/debit card fraud were registered in Mumbai from January till November this year, 382 cases were registered last year during the same period.Experts say that the increase was reportedly due to demonetisation as a huge number of citizens went for cashless transactions after November last year.While, debit/credit card fraud cases are on the rise, the detection of these cases have come down. According to Mumbai police’s statistics, while 50 people were arrested in these cases from January till November last year, this year, 35 people were arrested during the same period.”An increased number of citizens have gone for cashless transactions following demonetisation last year and hence the instances of debit and credit card frauds have increased. There are various modus operandis that cyber-fraudsters use to dupe citizens. The most common of them is where debit cards of users are being cloned using skimming devices,” said a senior Mumbai police officer.Speaking about what precautions one can take to ensure they are not duped, the officer said, “One must not share his/her card number, CVV number and expiry date of a card. In case of suspicious transactions, one should immediately notify the bank. Also, please beware while swiping your cards at restaurants and bars; do not share your PIN with the waiters and enter the PIN for the card yourself in the swiping machine.””Around three years ago my credit card was cloned and the bank refused to file a case in this regard. The numbers revealed in the police statistics are actually very low than what it should be. Such massive frauds are not possible without the connivance of bank officials. It is highly possible that bank officials give customers’ debit card/credit card data and client phone numbers to the cyber-frauds, which they use for their benefit,” said cyber expert Vijay Mukhi.In a bid to increase the detection and conviction rate of cyber crimes in the city, Mumbai police have set up specialised cyber crime investigation units at each police station in Mumbai. “The policemen working in these cyber-units are well trained and the main aim for setting up these units is to take the burden off the Cyber-Crime police station,” said another police officer.HOW TO STAY SAFE?Do not share your card number, CVV, and expiry date Notify the bank immediately about suspicious transactions Do not share PIN with waiters at bars and restaurants

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Insurance firm directed to repay with interest

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

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DTC loses Rs 9 crore monthly due to heavy road congestion

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) loses around 5,000 trips every day due to congestion and encroachments on roads, leading to a monthly loss of about Rs 9 crore. The national Capital’s public transporter is under fire from different quarters over its depleting fleet of buses and operational inefficiency.”We lose 5,000 of the scheduled 38,000 trips per day because our buses get stuck in traffic jams due to congestion and encroachments on the roads,” a senior DTC officer said.The financially ailing transport body runs a fleet of around 3,800 buses in the national Capital. “The daily earnings of the DTC come to around Rs 2.5 crore. We incur a loss of Rs 30 lakh per day due to the missed trips,” he said.Also read35% dip in DTC bus travellers: Centre for Science and Environment”Most parts of Trans-Yamuna like Shahdara, Silampur and border areas like Kapashera and Nangloi are heavily congested due to unauthorised encroachments,” the official added.According to a recent a report prepared by an NGO, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the daily average ridership of the DTC has declined by over 35 per cent between 2012-13 and 2016.Also read’They are great nuisance, create noise,’ NGT raps DTC for poor maintainence of buses”The daily average ridership of the DTC went down from 47 lakh in 2012-13 to 30 lakh by the end of 2016,” said the report, which was based on the data available till November 2016.The report also highlighted the failure of the state government in launching the new fleet of DTC buses.”The DTC bought new buses in 2011-12. There has been almost no addition to the fleet in the past five years. If no new buses are added now, the entire fleet will get nearly phased out by 2025,” said the report.The DTC is currently operating 3,800 buses while the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal System (DIMTS) runs around 1,600 buses under the Cluster Scheme. “There is a shortage of 5,000-10,000 buses based on various estimates and judicial mandates,” it cited.The Delhi government has started the process for procurement of 1,000 buses each for the DTC and Cluster Scheme. The report suggested for speeding up the process.”Bus procurement needs to be undertaken on a war footing to meet the target of 10,000-11,000 buses.”A fiscal strategy needs to be developed for the DTC, aiming at the reduction of costs, augmentation of fare and non-fare revenue and phasing of interest payments,” the report added.

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European court judgment could guide arguments on Aadhaar

Even as a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India examines the vexed issue of the Constitutionality of the unique biometric identification scheme, lawyers for the petitioners, who have challenged the Aadhaar, are likely to cite a December 2016 judgment of the European Court to buttress their point.For in that landmark judgment, the European Court ruled that the government’s intent to curb crime couldn’t be a valid basis for surveillance of all citizens and such a thing was violation of the citizens’ fundamental rights and the right to privacy.Through the judgment, the court had struck down a law that required all citizens to preserve computer and telecom data for one year.”Due regard to the Principle of Proportionality also derives from the Court’s settled case-law to the effect that the protection of the fundamental right to respect for private life at EU level requires that derogations from and limitations on the protection of personal data should apply only in so far as is strictly necessary,” it said.Incidentally, the doctrine of proportionality was declared a law in the landmark judgment of November, 2000 by the Supreme Court bench of Justices M Jagannadha Rao and UC Banerjee in the Om Kumar and others versus Union of India case.The European Court has also held, “Further, while the effectiveness of the fight against serious crime, in particular organised crime and terrorism, may depend to a great extent on the use of modern investigation techniques, such an objective of general interest, however fundamental it may be, cannot in itself justify that national legislation providing for the general and indiscriminate retention of all traffic and location data should be considered to be necessary for the purposes of that fight,” it added.Sometime back, a nine-Judge Constitution bench the Supreme Court of India ruled that Right to Privacy is a right guaranteed under the Constitution.Last month, the apex court bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman and Sanjay Kishan Kaul had also declared as unconstitutional the two stringent conditions for grant of bail under Section 45(1) of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.Five years ago, former Karnataka High Court Judge KS Puttaswamy filed the first appeal challenging the legality of Aadhaar. Since then, many others have joined the legal fight and, now, there are almost 38 petitioners represented by a battery of lawyers fighting for the right to privacy.Though the top court has restricted the use of Aadhaar, the Centre has all but made Aadhaar mandatory through various acts, notifications and circulars. This mandatory linking of the Aadhaar card has also been challenged among many other aspects.The Centre’s main aim to introduce Aadhaar was to cut down on corruption in the system and target delivery of benefits and services directly to the beneficiaries. It hoped by cutting down the middle-man, almost 100 per cent of the benefits would reach those who most required it.However, since its introduction, the Aadhaar has taken on a life of gigantic proportions and has been morphed into a tool that would make all non-aadhaar cardholders die a virtual civil death. Reports of data breach, misuse of private information, glitches in the system and more that are coming out in the public has not softened the government’s stand and has fuelled the debate surrounding the breach in fundamental right to privacy.According to the European court’s judgment, the rules are ultra vires of the Act and even if they are incorporated into the Act, such general surveillance for ostensibly detecting crime was violative of privacy right and therefore unconstitutional.

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Maha Edu Min Vinod Tawde meets girl forced to do 500 sit-ups by principal, promises her free treatment and govt support

Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde today met a 13-year-old girl from Kolhapur district who had to be hospitalised after the principal of her school asked her to do 500 sit-ups by way of punishment.The girl, a std 8th student, has been admitted to a hospital in Mumbai. Tawde met the girl today and assured her of government’s support, an official statement said.The girl will be provided free treatment, and shifted to a nearby school if she doesn’t want to continue at her present school, it said.Her father, who works in the same school as a peon, too will be transferred to a nearby school if he wishes so, it added.Chandgad police in Kolhapur district had arrested Ashwini Devan, the 45-year-old school principal, in this matter after a complaint was lodged. She was released on bail.On November 24, Devan allegedly asked eight students of std 8th at the privately-run Shri Bhavashwari Sandesh Vidyalay in Kanoor Budrook village of Chandgad tehsil to do 500 sit-ups for not doing project work.One of them, a girl, took ill while doing sit-ups. She was later shifted to a hospital. On December 10, a police complaint was lodged against the principal.

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Delhi cop out at crime scene

The rate of registration of crimes in the national Capital has gone up fourfold in the last seven years. Cases of theft that have jumped by a whopping 1,530 per cent — from 6,313 in 2011 to 1,02,954 in 2017. Burglaries saw a tenfold increase till 2016, but dipped this year, latest police data shows. Vehicle thefts have also more than doubled during this period. As for heinous crimes, they rose steadily from 2011 to 2015, but came down in 2016. But non-heinous crimes have continued to spike since 2000.In 2011, the total number of cases registered was 53,353. It was 54,287 in 2012 that grew to 80,184 in 2013. The number further grew to 1,55,654 in 2014, and 2015 recorded 1,91,377 cases. In 2016 a total of 2,09,519 crimes were registered. This year, till November, the figure was 2,13,151. Officials say that the rising numbers are because of better reporting of cases and do not reflect poor law and order. A number of initiatives have been taken by the Delhi police to encourage registration, they say.”People in Delhi have good access to the police. If one wants to report a crime, it won’t remain unreported. We have zero-tolerance towards non-registration of crimes. Moreover, facilities like online registration of FIRs through mobile phone apps have made the task hassle free and less time consuming. We must appreciate more registration of crimes so that no crime goes unreported. Citizens must become the eyes and ears of police to help eradicate every form of crime in society,” a senior police officer said.Take the case of Param Srivastava, an IT professional. He had his mobile phone stolen from a market near his residence in East Delhi. Having a hectic work schedule from 10 am to about midnight, what he could do best was to file an e-FIR and let the matter rest with the police for investigation.”I was not aware of this system. To get a new SIM card of the same number I needed to file an FIR and filing it online saved me a lot of time and energy. Even if the phone could not be recovered, my work did not get affected. However, the police also needs to take these FIRs as seriously as the ones registered by complainants physically, in police stations,” he said.The police says that such measures from the force encourage people and victims of crimes to come forward and raise their voice. “Registration of a crime is the first step towards raising your voice. It also allows the police to probe and ensure justice. Such measures have also encouraged women and girls to come forward and report,” he added.”One can simply go to the Delhi police’s website and lodge a complaint. That complaint is then turned into an e-FIR and a receipt is generated for the user, for future reference. Moreover, one can even check the status of her complaint on the website. Apart from these, policing apps are available on cell phones and women safety apps have also been launched to make police accessible anywhere and everywhere,” he said.About three months ago, Isha, who works as a content producer at a private firm, got her laptop stolen from her house. “My residence where I live as a paying guest with two other women, is quite a public place. It is not easy to find a suspect. The ability to solve a crime is a different debate altogether, but I found reporting the theft a very easy and time-saving process. My parents might have otherwise not liked the idea of my visiting a police station at odd hours,” she said. However, increasing street crimes cannot be ignored and vigil needs to be stepped up at a number of stretches in Delhi, she said.Rising CrimesBut heinous crimes are the biggest worry. Delhi accounts for the maximum number of rape cases among 19 major cities at 40 per cent, besides the highest crime rate in 2016, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. The national Capital has got the dubious distinction of topping the list in cases of murder, kidnapping and abduction, juveniles bring in conflict and economic offences. Delhi reported 33 per cent (13,803 cases out of total 41,761 cases in 19 cities) of total crimes against women, followed by Mumbai at 12.3 per cent (5,128 cases) last year among the 19 cities with population above two million.The national Capital reported nearly 40 per cent of rape cases and nearly 29 per cent of each of cruelty by husband and his relatives and dowry deaths, the NCRB data said. Delhi accounted for 38.8 per cent of total IPC crime reported in 19 cities, followed by Bengaluru (8.9 per cent) and Mumbai at 7. 7 per cent. The national Capital recorded the highest crime rate—182.1 compared to the national average of 77.2. Delhi reported the highest number of kidnapping and abduction—5,453 cases (48.3 per cent) followed by Mumbai with 1,876 cases (16.6 per cent) and Bengaluru with 879 cases (7.8 per cent) during 2016.The city reported the highest number of murders— 479 out of 2,194 cases (21.8 per cent)—followed by Bengaluru at 10.4 per cent (229 cases) and Patna at 8.9 per cent (195 cases). The highest number of cases—at 35.6 per cent (2,368 cases out of 6,645)—of juveniles in conflict with law were reported in Delhi among the 19 cities during 2016.Delhi has reported the maximum number of cases under economic offences—5,942 cases (19.3 per cent)—followed by Jaipur (4,742 cases) and Mumbai (4,191 cases), accounting for 15.4 per cent and 13.6 per cent respectively during 2016. In cybercrimes, Mumbai reported the highest number of cases—980 (23.5 per cent) out of 4,172 cases in 19 major cities in 2016.The crime scenario in Delhi cannot be compared with other metros because the city has different policing requirements, Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik said recently. “In terms of policing requirements, since it is the national Capital, Delhi has got VIP security, law and order arrangements which are typical to Delhi. The city is a separate class in itself and it can only be compared to Delhi of the previous year,” Patnaik told PTI.Poor Strike RateBut the data also shows that cops are struggling to crack cases. The Delhi police’s average crime solving percentage across all its administrative districts till November 19 this year was low as 33.37 per cent. This is when the NCRB has ranked the city as the worst in increasing crime cases. Confidential police documents accessed and reported by DNA recently showed that the force has been struggling to clear case backlogs.The New Delhi district is the worst despite having the biggest police deployment. It managed to solve only 23 per cent of the 3,120 cases. Then comes Rohini that could solve 26 per cent of the total 18,046 cases. The North district achieved a rate of only 29 per cent. It registered 9,513 cases. It is followed by the Southeast that could solve 30 per cent of the 20,549 cases.The East district scored 31 per cent. It registered 15,659 cases. The outer district managed to solve 33 per cent of the 14,961 cases. The Northwest also clocked 33 per cent. It recorded 19,400 cases. The police in West, Southwest and Northeast districts have solved 36 per cent of the 16,105, 14,474 and 15,613 cases, respectively. The Central district recorded 9,564 cases and solved a 37 per cent of them. The Shahdara district performed better and scored 41 per cent. It recorded 12,798 cases. The South district has fared the best. It solved 44 per cent of the 19,786 cases.The IGI airport police, which does not usually witness heinous crimes at it falls in a sensitive zone and has round-the-clock security by the CISF, solved 56 per cent of the 577 cases that included only one murder and a rape as heinous crimes. Railways and Delhi Metro, however, were the worst in non-major police pockets. Both solved 21 per cent and 22 per cent cases, respectively. The Railways recorded 3,683 cases, while the Metro saw 11,872.Police ClaimsOfficers say a number of measures have been taken for crime control. These include more participation of the public in assisting cops in monitoring large areas. “Certain steps which have been of major help are integrated patrolling with traffic police and the police control room, regular bike patrolling to ensure visibility and group patrolling in areas more prone to criminal activities,” a senior official said. Further, initiatives which demand public participation are like Sashakti self-defence training camps, anti-snatching teams and use of local area security guards to assist beat constables and act as force multipliers and Prahari schemes, he said, also mentioning area-wise crime mapping, identification of vulnerable and escape routes used by local criminals, picket checking at crime prone stretches.

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43 Indian fishermen have been arrested by Pakistani authorities

Forty-three Indian fishermen have been arrested and seven of their boats seized by Pakistani authorities for allegedly fishing illegally in the country’s territorial waters in the Arabian Sea, officials said today.The fishermen were arrested yesterday and have been handed over to the Docks police, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Maritime Security Force (PMSF) said.”The Docks police will now present them before a judicial magistrate who will most likely send them in judicial remand to jail,” Commander Wajid Nawaz Chaudhary said.The PMSF has arrested 144 Indian fishermen over the last one month for alleged illegal fishing in Pakistani waters.With the latest apprehensions, the number of such arrests of Indian fishermen this year has gone up to over 400.The PMSF spokesman said the Indian fishermen were arrested as the Pakistan maritime security forces were conducting exercises near Pakistan’s Maritime border in the Arabian Sea.”Speedboats and helicopters were used in the exercise when the Indian fishermen were spotted in our waters,” Chaudhary said.Meanwhile, secretary of the Porbandar-based National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) Manish Lodhari said that fishermen, who were from different parts of Gujarat, had sailed off the coastal town of Porbandar a few days ago.He said they were apprehended by the PMSF near Jakhau coast and then taken to Karachi port.Fishermen from Pakistan and India are frequently detained for illegally fishing in each other’s territorial waters since the Arabian Sea does not have a clearly defined marine border and the wooden boats lack the technology to avoid drifting away.Pakistani fishermen, mostly belonging to the Sindh province, are being apprehended by the Border Security Force (BSF) and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) for illegally fishing in the creek area along the Indo-Pak border in Kutch district in Gujarat.In November, both the BSF and the ICG had apprehended 23 Pakistani fishermen and seized 11 of their boats from creek area, while the PMSF had apprehended a total of 101 Indian fishermen and seized 15 their boats for allegedly entering into Pakistani waters.On November 10, the PMSF arrested 55 Indian fishermen and seized nine fishing boats while on November 12 four boats were seized and 23 Indian fishermen arrested for allegedly entering into Pakistani waters.Choudhary said on November 16 also the PMSA had arrested a batch of 23 Indian fishermen and seized four Indian boats.In October, the PMSA had arrested two batches of 50 Indian fishermen.On October 29, the Pakistan government had released 68 Indian fishermen from Malir jail as a goodwill gesture.A total of 438 Indian fishermen were released in 12 days time in December 2016-January 2017 by Pakistani authorities from the Landhi and Malir jails in Karachi.

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Aarushi-Hemraj murder case: Hemraj’s wife moves SC, challenging acquittal of Talwars

On Friday, Hemraj’s wife Khumkala moved SC, challenging the acquittal of Rajesh and Nupur Talwar.The Talwars have been lodged in Dasna jail since November 2013 in connection with the twin murders from where they walked free. The Allahabad High Court had acquitted the Talwars in the case, saying neither the circumstances nor the evidence was enough to hold them guilty.The verdict ends, at least for now, the nine-year ordeal of the Noida couple who were sentenced to life by a Ghaziabad CBI court on November 28, 2013 for the double murders that not only transfixed but also shook the nation with its element of filicide.With the acquittal, the central question in the bizarre mystery resurfaces – who killed the 14-year-old girl and the 45-year-old man. “There is a strong possibility that (the) incident was caused by some outsider,” a bench comprising justices B K Narayana and A K Mishra had said, upholding the Talwars’ appeal against the CBI court verdict.

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New Year revelry without fireworks in Delhi NCR as SC refuses to lift ban

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to lift the ban on bursting of firecrackers in Punjab, Haryana & Chandigarh.The apex court added that itwould hear the case against the ban on January 5.Earlier, the court had banned the bursting of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) during Diwali.The court gave the verdict on a plea seeking restoration of the apex court’s last year order.The top court, through its November 11 order last year, had suspended all licences which ‘permit a sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR’.The apex court had last month temporarily lifted its earlier order suspending licences for sale of firecrackers, saying a complete ban would be an ‘extreme step’ and a graded approach was needed to curb pollution caused by them.The court, however, had said its order lifting the ban on sale of firecrackers might require a ‘review’ after Diwali depending on the ambient air quality after the festival.

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Trinamool Congress’ core meet today: Panchayat polls, BJP on Mamata Banerjee’s agenda

After touring three districts, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would return to Kolkata on Friday and would chair a core committee meeting at Trinamool Congress headquarters off EM Bypass.Besides the administrative stock taking in the three districts she visited, Banerjee is likely to draw a roadmap ahead of the panchayat elections next year.Party sources said that the Cheif Minister had also got the feelers from the grassroot-level after the former party second-in-command Mukul Roy defected to BJP and would now plan her gambit.The last core committee meeting took place on October 27, which makes this the first one after former TMC MP Mukul Roy joined BJP on November 3.It would be attended by the cabinet ministers, MPs, MLAs and zila parishad sabhadipatis among others.The Winter Session of Parliament would begin on Friday as well and a condolence resolution would be adopted for the death of party MP Sultan Ahmed. Which is why at least one MP of both the Houses would skip the meeting and attend Parliament.Sources also said that after Mukul Roy’s defection, many Trinamool leaders are also mulling of switching over to BJP. How this probable attrition could be stopped, would also be discussed in the meeting.Banerjee would also stress on countering BJP on social media. Along with personal interaction, she would tell leaders right down to the grassroot-level to get in touch with the mass through Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp telling people how BJP was trying to polarise people here on the basis of religion.Leaders who are unable to cope with smartphone usage would be asked to upgrade their technical knowhow and get used to smartphones. She would cite her example of how, in spite of her busy schedule, she manages to upload her activities on social media.Banrejee would also stress on making benefits of social welfare schemes to as many people as possible so that the party is able to reap political benefits ahead of the panchayat polls.She is also expected to give out a stern warning against in-fighting within the party.

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Man duping people online, nabbed

A 32-year-old man has been arrested for duping people by offering them virtual currency Kashhcoin by the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police. Police officials claimed that around eight more persons are likely to be arrested”The accused has been identified as Narender alias Sonu Dahiya (32) who hails from Sonipat, Haryana. Dahiya ran the multi-level marketing syndicate of fake cryptocurrency in the name of ‘Kashhcoin’ like Bitcoin along with many others.A case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 has been registered by the police,” said Alok Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch.The police officials received a complaint from Arun Kumar in which he alleged that that he was cheated for Rs 13,90,000 by people who persuaded him to invest in the newly launched virtual currency.”The coins are of no use as of now. While the investigations were going on more complainants came to the police with the same grievance of being cheated in the name of ‘Kashhcoin’. As per the given guidelines of RBI Virtual Currencies (Cryptocurrencies) are not legalised in India,” said Kumar.Narender has studied upto Class 12 and passed out from Haryana. He then started dealing in real estate. After the failure of the real estate business he engaged in Multi Level Marketing (MLM) in the year 2011. In November 2016, he came in contact with other associates. They then launched the virtual currency Kashhcoin in December, 2016 and organized lavish seminars at different places like Nepal, Mumbai, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Raipur, Nagpur.

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Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut plans full-fledged commercial biopic on late party patriarch Bal Thackeray

Senior Shiv Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut is planning a biopic on late party patriarch Bal Thackeray, with an aim to bring before the people the real personality of the fiery leader.”It will be a full-fledged commercial film produced by me. The film will reveal the true personality of the great leader that Balasaheb was,” Raut told PTI.The Rajya Sabha MP, however, refused to disclose the names of the director and actors of the film.Raut, who has closely worked with Bal Thackeray for over two decades, said the formal announcement of the film will made on December 21, when its trailer will be released in the presence of Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.According to him, the shooting of the film will start sometime in January (2018) and is expected to be ready for release by early 2019.Also readBal Thackeray memorial row: Bombay HC asks BMC to maintain status quo on eviction notice to kindergarten school”The film will be shot mostly in Mumbai and many of the scenes will be shot at the actual locations, where a particular event had taken place. It will take around 3-4 months for us to complete the shoot,” Raut said.Thackeray, an advocate of a strong pro-Hindu policy, died on 17 November 2012 in Mumbai at the age of 86. Besides being known as an aggressive leader, Thackeray was famous for his political cartoons.

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Bollywood star faces eviction from Paris apartment

The Indian actress and her French husband owe nearly 80,000 euros in unpaid rent.

‘Their romance could adversely affects the students’: Teacher couple sacked by private school in Pulwama

A teacher couple working in a private school in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir were sacked on their wedding day with the school management claiming their “romance could adversely affect the students”.Tariq Bhat and Sumaya Bashir, residents of Tral town in Pulwama, were working in Boys’ and Girls’ wings, respectively, of Pampore Muslim Educational Institute for the past several years.They alleged their services were abruptly terminated by the school management on November 30, the day they entered the wedlock.While the principal of the school did not respond to calls for a comment on the sacking, chairman of the school Bashir Masoodi said the duo were relieved from service as they were in a “romantic relationship” before getting married.”They were having romance and it is not good for the 2,000 students of the school and 200 staff members working there. This can adversely affect the students,” Masoodi told PTI.On other queries, he asked the reporter to “visit the school and talk to the principal for it”.The couple claimed that they had an arranged marriage.”Ours was an arranged marriage. We got engaged a few months ago and the entire school management knew about it as Sumaya hosted a party for the staff members soon after the engagement ceremony,” Bhat said.He questioned the school management’s claim of “romantic relationship”, asking why they were not given an opportunity to explain if it were the case.”We both applied for leave to get married almost a month before the wedding day and the school management sanctioned the leave. If we were in a romantic relationship, did they come to know of it only after we announced our wedding plans?” Bhat asked.The couple alleged the school management was “tarnishing” their image. “We have got married which is the right thing to do from which ever perspective one looks at it. We have not sinned or committed a crime,” they said.

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Chennai cop gunned down by robbers in Pali

Periya Pandi, a police inspector from Chennai was shot dead by robbers early Wednesday morning at a shutdown brick kiln in Ramavas village of Pali district. The robbers he was trying to nab shot him with his own service revolver. Pandi was reportedly in Pali to nab a gang of burglars who had stolen gold, silver and cash from a jewellery shop in Chennai in November.Periya Pandi was from the Maduravoli police station. The accused Nathuram Jat and his accomplices had been traced to be the residents of Ramavas village of Pali district in Rajasthan. The incident took place in the early hours of Wednesday at Ramavas village in Jaitaran area of Pali district. The seven-member Chennai police team had received information that the accused were hiding in a closed down brick klin. The team of Chennai police had seven members; 2 inspectors, 2 sub-inspectors and three constables. Two waited in their vehicle while five went into the kiln.The Tamil Nadu police managed to nab the accused and were taking him out towards their vehicle when they were attacked by the family of the accused. Four of the policemen managed to get out of the kiln, but Pandi could not get away.The accused reportedly pulled out Pandi’s revolver from the holster and shot at him. Jat managed to get away. The injured inspector of Chennai was taken to the hospital at Jaitaran, but he died on the way. One other policeman has sustained minor injuries. According to SP Pali, Deepak Bhargava, “The team from Chennai was in Jaitaran for last two days. They had contacted the local police about their presence, but left for Ramavas village late Tuesday without informing us.”“The team was looking for Nathuram Jat who is wanted for a burglary that took place in Chennai on November 16. The robbers had got away with 3.5 kg gold, 5 kg silver and 2 lakh cash,” said Bhargava“One shot was fired and we have recovered the bullet shell. Prima facie we can say that the bullet entered Pandi’s body from under the right arm and exited the body from under the left arm,” said Bhargava. On receiving the information, local police reached the spot. Blockades have been ordered in the district to nab the accused. The body of the deceased officer has been taken to Jodhpur for post-mortem. It is expected to be flown to Chennai tomorrow.

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India ‘replacement husband’ plot alleged

Cosmetic surgery was sought to replace a woman’s murdered husband with her lover, police say.

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

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

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Chennai: Inspector shot dead by robbers in Pali

Periya Pandi, a police inspector from Chennai, was shot dead by robbers early today morning in Jaitaran of Pali district. He was shot by the robbers by his own service revolver. Pandi was reportedly in Pali to nab a gang of burglars who had stolen gold from a jewellery shop in Chennai in November. Periya Pandi was from the Maduravoli police station. The incident took place in the early hours of Wednesday at Ramavas village in Jaitaran area of Pali district. The Chennai police had information that the accused were hiding in a closed down brick kiln. The team of Chennai police had seven members. Two waited in their vehicle while five went into the klim. The police had a scuffle with the familiy of the robbers. They managed to nab the accused and were taking him out towards their vehicle when the accused pulled out Paandi’s revolver from the hostler and shot at him and managed to get away. The injured inspector of Chennai was taken to the hospital at Jaitaran, but he died on the way. As per reports from police sources, the team from Chennai had not informed the local police and not asked for any reinforcements. The burglary had taken place in Kolathur Jewellery shop 3.5 kg gold was burgled by the robbers after drilling a hole in the ceiling of the jewellery shop. The accused Nathuram Jat and his accomplices had been traced to be the residents of Ramavas village of Pali district in Rajasthan. Pali SP Deepak Bhargav has reached the spot and is taking stock of the situation. Blocades have beeen ordered in the district to nab the accused. Body of the deceased officer has been taken to the mortuary at the local government hospital.

Docs alleged of conducting wrong surgery

Doctor of a private hospital were alleged of performing wrong operation of a woman, instead of doing an operation on the abdomen, she was treated on some other part. When the condition deteriorated, she was taken to AIIMS and got treatment. Her husband has filed a case in Nagori Gate police station accusing the doctor for doing wrong operations. Police is investigating the case.Pithawas resident Subhash Bishnoi s/o Kojaram registered a report in Nagori Gate police station and told that On Monday, November 27, when his wife Somata complained of abdominal pain, they went to Dr. Sunita Malviya at Marwar Hospital.After the sonography report, she was admitted in Shriram hospital, Mahamandir on November 28.Where, the doctor did wrong operation instead of appendix operation.When the condition deteriorated, Somata had to be admitted to AIIMS.If she did not get treatment there at the time then she could have lost his life.Due to negligence of doctors, his wife had to undergo unnecessary physical and mental torture.

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SC slams Delhi government over over solid waste management issue

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Delhi government to take necessary and effective steps to manage solid waste in the city.Slamming the government over mismanagement of solid waste, the apex court has asked the Delhi government to make a plan within four weeks to solve the issue.The top court has asked the Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain to urgently call a meeting on solid waste management with an expectation of a definite plan of action to be prepared for Delhi which could be replicated in other cities too.Earlier on November 15, the Delhi High Court had asked the Delhi government to notify the solid waste management bye laws.

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First look: How controlled blasting will be done for Mumbai Metro-3

While controlled blasting is going to be carried out in the city for underground Metro Station construction of Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 corridor, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has revealed the first animated look of how controlled blasting is done and what exactly is controlled blasting. MMRC in its monthly magazine for November 2017 has explained about why and how the activity of controlled blasting is carried out. Blasting is carried out for hard rock excavation and is common in several civil engineering projects like tunnels, canals, pipeline projects, hydel power projects and port.It has in the past said that at several locations where the shafts for Metro-3 are located and controlled blasting would be conducted includes Colaba, Azad Maidan, Andheri, and Mahim. The tunnelling for Metro-3 will be done 20 to 25 metres below the ground for excavating rocks using 17 tunnel boring machines (TBMs).The MMRC in its monthly magazine for November 2017, said, “The excavation of soil or rock for station and tunnel construction works can be done either by TBMs or by blasting the unit quantity of rock. If the rock is very hard and abrasive in nature, the mechanized excavation takes longer time due to increase in the down time for replacement of cutting tools and parts in the machines.””Hence, to conserve the time required for tunnelling, controlled blasting methods are preferred over conventional mechanized method of excavation, the MMRC said. Permissions for blasting:Controlled blasting can be carried out only after receiving statutory permissions, such as – Police department NOC – after scrutiny of safety and security of the premises.Permission from Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) formerly known as Department of explosives obtained on verification of the credentials of the company executing the blasting operations.Process of controlled blasting:Transfer of explosion energy to the rock is a function of both the characteristics of explosives used and the characteristics of ground/rock strata. When the charge and blast diameter are almost equal, shock pressure delivered to the sides are maximum. If the charge diameter is less than blast hole diameter then this shock pressure on the sides will decrease exponentially. This principle is used in the design of blast to reduce the over-break. In controlled blasting, Muffling (process of covering blast holes properly before blasting) is carried out to prevent fly rock (debris which is ejected through air by explosive blast). Meanwhile, the construction of Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro 3 corridor started in October 2016 and it is a crucial connectivity point between north and south Mumbai. It expected to be completed by 2021.

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Chinese incursions increased after Doklam

There has been a sudden surge in Chinese incursion along the Indo-Chinese border, after Doklam. In the months of October and November, when heavy snowfall starts making the Indo-Chinese border almost inaccessible, and the presence of troops starts thinning, a sudden surge in Chinese activity has made Indian security establishment wary about the future.In the past two months, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) transgressed into India as many as 29 times through vehicles and at least thrice via aerial route. The transgressions happened across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladkah and Uttarakhand, especially in Trig Height, Despang Area, Pangong Tso in Ladakh and Rimkim in Uttarakhand.Claiming the incursions as serious in nature, sources privy to the development said, on October 11, two Chinese choppers entered Tunjan La height in Rimkhim Uttrakhand 4.5 km inside Indian territory.In November, 15 such incidents were reported in Ladkah and Uttarakhand region. Sources said that generally, the number of transgression decrease during winters. However, this time, there is no stopping.Since the stand-off, the PLA have pitched 386 tents just 200 metres away from the Doka La stand-off point, intelligence agencies said. Each tent has a capacity of four men. Besides, there are 30 tents that can accommodate two men each.”They have also built 59 shelters, 110 bunkers, 10 hangers and stationed two mobile communication vehicles,” said the source.The Doklam dispute had began on June 16, when a construction party of the PLA started building a road near the disputed tri-junction of Indo-Sino and Bhutan border jutting near the Chumbi valley. It continued for 70 days during during which the soldiers of both the armies held their respective positions in what India described as “no war, no peace” mode. New Delhi and Beijing eventually agreed to pull back their troops towards the end of August.

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Monorail system not effective to tackle blazes: Fire brigade report

Battling a blaze on the elevated monorail corridor may not be effective, the city’s fire brigade has said in a report on its probe into last month’s fire at Mysore Colony station. The Mumbai Fire Brigade began an investigation after a fire broke out in an empty coach in Mahul on November 9. Since then, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority has suspended the monorail services.In its report, a copy of which has been accessed by DNA, the fire brigade has said that the procedures laid down by the operator to fight fires appear effective only on paper. It says certain locations on the route are inaccessible, and raises concern about commuters’ safety during a fire. The report has recommended measures for fire prevention, including installation of automatic fire extinguishers under each car. City’s Chief Fire Officer P S Rahangdale said the problem can get worse if people are stranded on the elevated corridor. “Monorail has poor accessibility to roads due to its geographical conditions.”When it comes to fire, transport expert Sudhir Badami said, monorail is more dangerous compared with the metro. “The chances of fatalities are highest as coaches being smaller the fire will spread faster.”

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How aam aadmi is ‘misusing’ power of istagasa

When a crime is committed, the police registers a case. This is the basic logistic. However, there have been hundreds of incidents wherein the police is accused of siding with the perpetrator of any crime and refusing to register the particular matter. In such a scenario, a common man can approach the court and register a case under Section 156(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) called istagasa wherein the court would then direct the police station concerned to conduct investigation.The idea behind a aforementioned section is noble, however over period of time, it has appeared that the power has been misused by people in registering fake cases and troubling another person by regular questioning by cops.This has been corroborated by the fact that nearly three fourth of all cases registered in Rajasthan under 156 (3) CrPC since 2013 have found to be false under police investigation. A close look at the data reveals the same.In 2013, nearly 63,000 cases (62,976) were registered through istagasa of which 40,986 cases were found to be false – 72.23 per cent cases. In 2014, the number increase as 67,680 cases were registered of which 45,014 cases were found to be false – 73.14 per cent. In 2015 too 73.64 cases of 63,013 cases were found to be false.However in 2015, the Supreme Court gave a judgment in Priyanka Srivastav Vs state of UP and others, observing , “In our considered opinion, a stage has come in this country where Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. applications are to be supported by an affidavit duly sworn by the applicant who seeks the invocation of the jurisdiction of the Magistrate. That apart, in an appropriate case, the learned Magistrate would be well advised to verify the truth and also can verify the veracity of the allegations. This affidavit can make the applicant more responsible. We are compelled to say so as such kind of applications are being filed in a routine manner without taking any responsibility whatsoever only to harass certain persons.”The Apex court also made it mandatory for the applicant to file an affidavit. “We have already indicated that there has to be prior applications under Section 154(1) and 154(3) while filing a petition under Section 156(3). Both the aspects should be clearly spelt out in the application and necessary documents to that effect shall be filed.The warrant for giving a direction that an the application under Section 156(3) be supported by an affidavit so that the person making the application should be conscious and also endeavour to see that no false affidavit is made. It is because once an affidavit is found to be false, he will be liable for prosecution in accordance with law. This will deter him to casually invoke the authority of the Magistrate under Section 156(3)” the order reads.Since the order, Rajasthan Police has seen a huge slump in the number of cases under 156(3) CrPC. Just in 2016, a decrease of nearly ten thousand cases was seen as 53,682 cases were registered compared to 63,013 cases in 2015.Furthermore till November 2017, only 40,702 cases have been registered denoting a further decrease in such cases.However, it may be noted that even though an affidavit is demanded to file with the case so that action can be taken if found to be false, three-fourth cases are still found to be false as in 2016 73.61 per cent cases in 2016 and 72.46 per cent cases – thus far – in 2017 have been found to be false.FACT SHEETIn 2013, nearly 63,000 cases (62,976) were registered through istagasa of which 40,986 cases were found to be false – 72.23 per cent cases. In 2014, the number increase as 67,680 cases were registered of which 45,014 cases were found to be false – 73.14 per cent. In 2015 too 73.64 cases of 63,013 cases were found to be false.CASE STUDYSince the order, Rajasthan Police has seen a huge slump in the number of cases under 156(3) CrPC. Just in 2016, a decrease of nearly ten thousand cases was seen as 53,682 cases were registered compared to 63,013 cases in 2015. Furthermore till November 2017, only 40,702 cases have been registered denoting a further decrease in such cases. However, it may be noted that even though an affidavit is demanded to file with the case so that action can be taken if found to be false, three-fourth cases are still found to be false as in 2016 73.61 per cent cases in 2016 and 72.46 per cent cases – thus far – in 2017 have been found to be false.

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Gujarat elections 2017: BJP’s star punch in Dalit constituency in Sabarkantha

“Lankesh lives 5 kms from here,” prompt comes the reply from Atul Bhai when asked about the residence of Arvind Trivedi, the actor who had played the famed role of ‘Ravan” in Ramanand Sagar’s magnum opera “Ramayana”.At a time when political discourse in Gujarat gets frequent mention of Ram temple in Ayodhya, the man who played Ravan is very popular in Idar. Trivedi frequently organises the scriptural reading of “Sundar Kaand” of Ramayana. This is perhaps the first election in which he is not campaigning anywhere owing to health reasons.Punching with star power its election exercise in Idar, BJP has fielded noted actor Hiteshbhai Kanodia, son of Gujarati film legend Nareshbhai Kanodia from the reserved constituency of Idar in Sabarkantha. Hitesh, a popular youth icon in Gujrat film industry has featured in BJP’s Hu chhu Vikas, hu chhu Gujarat’ (I am Vikas, I am Gujarat) campaign to counter Congress’Vikas gando thayo chhe’ (development has gone crazy) campaign.Congress candidate Manilal Vaghela could find the going tough in this saffron party stronghold where BJP’s Raman Lal Vora has been winning the seat since 1995. Vora, Gujarat Assembly Speaker and BJP’s Dalilt face in the state has been shifted to Dasada Assembly seat. Since he has represented the Idar seat for over two decades, Vora is also being involved in campaigning in Idar.74-year-old Naresh Kanodia, who is camping in Idar to campaign for his son, says that theirs is not only a film family but also political family, which has been connected with masses.Hitesh used to play his child roles in Gujarati films. The father is now playing his role not only in reel but also real life.”Vora ji has done so much work in this constituency that no body can defeat the BJP here. BJP has fielded our family for the tenth time. My son is a superstar in Gujarati films and a serious candidate here,” he says drawing parallel from the success that NT Rama Rao had got in Tamil Nadu Politics.Naresh Kanodia also took part in BJP’s Gujarat’s Gaurav Yatra in central Guajrat and campaigned in Kheda, Anand, Panchmahal and Dasad.The Idar candidate Hitesh alias Hitubhai has acted in over 100 films and earlier used to play child roles in the movies in which his father was the protagonist. Hitesh had contested the 2012 assembly polls from Kadi seat but lost by less than 1,200 votes. He had got over 83 thousand votes then. In 2007, his father Naresh Bhai Kanodi had lost the Karjan seat in Baroda by a little over 2,000 votes after winning the seat once in 2002.Naresh Bhai’s brother Mahesh Kumar Kanodia had been a four term four-term Lok Sabha MP from Patan Parliamentary seat in North Gujarat in 1991, 1996, 1998 and 2004. He is a well-known singer, who could sing in 32 voices along with Naresh Kanodia.Since 1962, Congress has won the Idar assembly seat only thrice out of the 12 polls, the last being in 1980. Congress is this time riding on Patel anger and banking on Hardik Patel’s reach among Patidats, Alpesh Thakore’s among OBC and Jingesh Mewani’s following among dalits to wrest this seat from BJP after close to four decades.The seat was with Janata Dal, when Vora wrested it for BJP in 1995. Congress candidate Manilal Vahgela had contested the seat in 2007 polls as well but lost to Vora of over 21 thousand votes.In 2012, Congress fielded Ramabhai Solanki but Vora again won the seat, albeit with a reduced margin of over 11 thousand votes., though even this time Vohra increased his votes as in every elections. The contest is all the more bi-polar this time.Sajan Ben Shyamal, the care taker of his house belongs to Thakor (OBC) community. There is a glint in her eyes when asked about Alpesh Thakor, the young OBC leader of the community. A resident of Sardarpura village, she says that most of her community men either work as labours in field of Padtiars or work as housemaids. She says that people of her community of are thinking of voting for Congress now.In Sudatpura village, where a dozen residents are RSS pracharaks, Kamlesh Patel, whose house is in front of Swaminarayan Temple says that he has been voting for the BJP for generations and will do so. “Yes we want anamat. But I did not go to see Hardik Patel when he visited the Town Hall here because he had joined Congress. We had been voting for BJP for generations,” he sums up.Yash Patel, who will turn a voter in 2019, says earlier 80 percent of Patidars votes went to BJP, which could be fifty fifty this time.Since the area has also good number of Patidars, BJP has roped in prominent Patel leader Parshottam Rupala to campaign in Idar on November 11, three days before polling on November 14.Idar, is a manufacturing hub for handmade wooden toys, tiles and is dotted with several architectural monuments.Arvind Trivedi and his brother Upendra Trivedi, a prolific Gujarati cinema actor, who belong to village Kakadia near Idar town brought the area in limelight. Upendra breathed his last in 2015.Arvind who shot into international fame with his ‘Ravan” role had campaigned for BJP in many past elections but of late not keeping well. He left for Mumbai only last week.Trivedi,’s residence “Annapuprna” on Idar Ambaji road is a visual treat and kind of a milestone.An ardent devotee of Lord Rama, the ‘chaupai (four-line verses) of Ramayana are written across the boundary wall of his residence besides a temple of Lord Shiva called “Lankeshwar Mahadev” at his residence.

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Ex-chair of Hurriyat denies meeting interlocuter

Ending speculations, on Sunday, former Hurriyat Conference chairman Professor Abdul Gani Bhat denied meeting center’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma, although a group of Muslim Conference leaders recently removed him from the position of president and reposed full faith in the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL).”I did not meet Sharma. However, two persons — a Kashmiri Pandit and a non-local –met me on the evening of November 27. Some people are churning conspiracies and based on guess work and creating confusion,” Bhat told a local news agency.Batting for a dialogue, the former Hurriyat chairman said talks without Pakistan cannot be fruitful. He also noted that he would open his cards in the next few days, regardless of whether he remains a part of the Hurriyat or not.”I don’t play politics on the blood and tears of masses. There is no place for dictatorship in a movement. Dictatorship can happen in politics, but not in a movement which is fighting for a cause,” Bhat said.Even as the former Hurriyat chairman tried to steer clear from any controversy, a group of his party leaders held an emergency meeting and expelled him from the post of president of the Muslim Conference.”The meeting between Bhat and the centre’s interlocutor has send shock waves across resistance leadership and the people of Kashmir. Muslim Conference (MC) held an emergency meeting and appointed Mohommad Sultan Magray as its interim president for six months. Manzoor ul Haq Bhat has been appointed vice president,” said Magray.Earlier, Bhat wrote to Mirwaiz informing him that he has expelled Manzoor, who was MC’s representative in Pakistan, from the basic membership of the party. “In exercise of the authority vested in me, I hereby expel you from the basic membership of the organisation and shall therefore cease to represent MC in any respect at any level,” Bhat said in the letter.

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The lost fishermen of India’s Cyclone Ockhi

Nearly 100 are still missing a week after the powerful storm struck India’s southern coast.

Mumbai Building Collapse: Five senior municipal officials to be suspended

Five senior officials of the Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Corporation have been placed under suspension as part of the investigation into the collapse of a building there in November.The collapse of the three-storeyed building, which occurred on November 24, had claimed four lives and left nine persons injured.The order suspending these officials for dereliction of duty was issued by municipal commissioner Dr Yogesh Mhase on December 8, said officials.The officials placed under suspension are Subhash Zalke, Vinod Mate, Sachin Naik, Vinod Bhoir and Ramakant Mhatre.The order further added that the officials were being suspended so that a departmental enquiry could be carried out against them.Also readMaharashtra: 1 dead, at least 10 feared trapped after building collapses in BhiwandiThe probe by the corporation also revealed that the the officials had violated the provisions of the Maharashtra Civil Services rules.The civic chief’s order stated that the building, owned by one Tahir Rafique Ahmed Ansari, had come up between 2009 and 2013 as shown by satellite images as well as power connection records.Also read3 killed in Bhiwandi building collapseThe building collapse killed Ruksar Yakub Khan, 18, Asfaque Ahmed Khan, 40, Jaibunissa Rafique Ansari, 61 and Parvin Khan, 35.

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Asthmatics rejoice as Capital gets first pollen count station

Delhi has got its first pollen count station to monitor the levels of airborne grass pollen. The station inaugurated at Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute will benefit people with asthma and other respiratory ailments, as they can check the forecast and take preventive measures, like taking anti-histamines or staying indoors and minimising the health risk.”Pollution apart, airborne pollen also has a major impact on our respiratory system. While much efforts towards raising awareness and education on impact of pollution on health are being made, effects of pollen on health of patients with respiratory disorders are not given its due importance, although it is affecting a significant number of patients. Having a pollen count station can be crucial for such patients, who would be able to check the pollen count status in the vicinity and take necessary steps to avoid exposure,” said Dr Raj Kumar, Director (Acting), Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute.A recent study found that 30 per cent of the population reportedly suffers from one or the other allergic ailment and the majority is not even aware what exactly worsens their condition and how to avoid it.According to the study, the maximum and minimum pollen count recorded in past years was in the month of September (4,805 pollens) and December (1,973 pollens), respectively. The pollen concentration starts increasing in the months of September, October, and November (282.65, 275.73, and 245.44 pollens/m3 /month) and starts declining December onward.Experts say that for patients with respiratory problems and asthmatics, the pollen count would be an indispensable resource to help manage their symptoms and take precautionary measures. Many studies have also found that not only vehicular and industrial emissions, but pollen grains, fungal spores, dust mites, insect debris, and animal epithelial are also major contributors to allergies, breathing problems and respiratory disorders.

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