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ED seizes Rs 26 crore assets of arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today said it has seized assets worth Rs 26.61 crore of controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and others for alleged violation of the FEMA law.It said it has seized the properties “in lieu of undisclosed assets held abroad by him” and the action has been carried out under section 37A of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).Section 37A of the FEMA stipulates that if certain foreign exchange, foreign security or immovable property is held outside India in violation of this law, the equivalent value of asset can be seized within India. The ED had booked Bhandari, reported to have left India for a foreign location sometime ago, under criminal charges of the PMLA law in February this year as also under the FEMA.The Delhi Police had also booked him for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) last year. Bhandari’s case first came to light after the I-T department conducted searches against him in April last year and recovered certain “sensitive” official defence documents from his premises. As part of these raids, the taxman is also said to have recovered certain emails that talk about renovation of a costly apartment in London in 2010 which was allegedly owned by Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.Also readED attaches assets Rs. 21 crore of arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari case in black money caseVadra’s legal firm has denied that he owned the London property directly or indirectly. It also denied Vadra has any business ties with an arms consultant or his aides. The tax department had last year also shared a “seizure memo record” with the defence ministry to apprise it about the contents of these “sensitive” documents.

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Supreme Court refuses to stay Karnataka High Court order on tobacco warning

On Friday, the Supreme Court refused to stay an order passed by the Karnataka High Court that quashed the government regulation requiring tobacco products to display pictorial warnings covering 85 per cent of the packaging space.The Karnataka HC had last week quashed the government regulation —which increased the size of the pictorial warning on tobacco products from 40 per cent to 85 per cent — that was introduced in a bid to inform the general public about the health hazards of tobacco products and to dissuade them from consuming it. Since then, several petitions — including one filed by NGO Health for Millions — have been filed challenging the HC’s order.A vacation bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul refused to stay the order and directed Karnataka HC to upload the judgment online.The matter will next be heard on January 8 for further arguments on this appeal.On December 15, a two-judge bench at the HC had observed that the Union health ministry did not have jurisdictional powers to pass such a rule. The HC further found that the rule violated constitutional norms as it put “unreasonable” restrictions on the right to do business.However, the HC reverted the surface area for pictorial warnings to 40 per cent, that existed before the 85 per cent stipulation come in.

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AAP mulling to contest Karnataka assembly polls

The Gujarat debacle notwithstanding, the Aam Aadmi Party is gearing up to contest assembly elections in Karnataka.AAP’s observer for Karnataka and party’s political action committee member Sanjay Singh today visited Bengaluru and discussed with the state team about the possibility to contest the elections.”Today Sanjay Singh had a discussion with the team and saw the ground realities”, AAP’s state convener and central core committee member Prithvi Reddy told PTI here.AAP may not have a popular face in the state but it has decided to invite all like-minded people to join the party.”Leadership will automatically evolve. Just because you don’t have a face that doesn’t mean you should not fight election. It is not necessary to have a face to fight an election,” Reddy said.Reddy said the AAP was open to welcome dissident Ravi Krishna Reddy, who quit the party about two years ago.If he chooses to come back, the party would definitely consider it. It was time for good people to come together, Reddy said.Social activist Santosh Nargund has joined the party and will contest against BJP heavyweight and former chief minister Jagadish Shettar in Hubballi.In the just concluded assembly polls in Gujarat, AAP had failed to make any impact with all the 27 candidates fielded by it losing their deposits.

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Sanjay Gandhi National Park initiates DNA mapping project for big cats

In one of its most ambitious projects, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) along with Thane territorial department has decided to initiate the DNA profiling of leopards — a project under which it plans to create a scientific database of individual leopards.The female leopard rescued from Andheri east recently is the first big cat to undergo DNA fingerprinting. DNA profiling is essentially a technique by which individuals can be identified and compared from their respective DNA profiles.Dr Shailesh Pethe, Veterinary Officer, SGNP who triggered the idea of DNA mapping said,”The big cat was not only micro-chipped but we also collected her blood sample for DNA, which will be sent to Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). We also took photographs of her right and left flank and now we will have all the key data on this animal with us using which we can identify her.”Pethe said if this leopard were ever to become a problem animal they would be able to scientifically identify it after trapping.Dr Jitendra Ramgaonkar, Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), Thane said that similar profiling will be done on every leopard rescued. “We have to use all the scientific tools available for better wildlife management practises. We can only collect blood samples for DNA extraction of those leopards that are rescued for others we are planning to use scat or hair follicles for sampling in case a leopard is found visiting human dominated areas,” he said.

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No life insurance for leopard rescuers

The leopard rescue team from Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) has been effectively managing increasing human-animal conflict situations including rescuing leopards that enter human-dominated habitat. However, the team faces one of the biggest challenges —absence of insurance despite several assurances by the Forest department.Case in point is the recent incident when a leopard had to be rescued in the Sher-e-Punjab area in Andheri east. The Thane rescue team was the first to reach the site. The leopard was tranquilised by the leopard rescue team from SGNP, which was on its way back from Chalisgaon where it had helped capture a leopard suspected of killing seven people.Both the leopard rescue teams have eight to ten members. Most of these members work on a contract basis called forest labourers (van majoor). While the forest officers are covered under the Government Insurance Scheme (GIS) the contract labourers who earn less than Rs 10,000 a month as wages have no insurance nor any benefits in case of an injury or death during rescue operations.”We do not let our work suffer and rush for any leopard rescue. We ensure that neither any human nor the leopard is harmed during a conflict situation. It feels sad that even the forest department doesn’t think about the work we do and the risk we take. Despite several assurances we are still awaiting the insurance scheme promised to us, which could help us or our families in case of an eventuality,” said a member from the rescue team who is on a contract basis.According to Pawan Sharma, honorary wildlife warden of Thane, a dialogue with a few insurance companies and agents was initiated five months back, and they were ready to provide insurance cover.

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Gujarat elections 2017: How Amit Shah’s team brought it home for the BJP

Team Amit Shah has delivered once again, wresting Gujarat in a tightly-contested election. This time, it came good on its promise to retain the high-stakes’ bastion of Gujarat. In that group, two men, who besides being the party’s strategists and implementers of stratagems devised by Shah, are also his most trusted lieutenants: national general secretaries Bhupendra Yadav and Anil JainBattle-hardened partymen, both have seen action in previous elections, including Bihar and UP, and enjoy the unquestioned trust of the party’s top bosses. Silently and diligently, they have powered the war efforts of the party under the overall leadership of their party chief while marshaling local resources—men and materials —in Gujarat.Yadav and Jain came together once again in Gujarat to script a crucial win for the party. While Yadav was the party in-charge of the state, Jain was called in two months before the polls to the state.The two came together for the first time in Bihar, and then again in Uttar Pradesh.Jain assiduously oversaw several departments such as media, social media, the feedback system and war room, among others. Booth-level arrangements and constituency-wise meetings were handled by Yadav. The war room was operated of ‘Kamalam’, the official address in Gandhinagar.An extensive feedback system had been put in place by the party. To bolster outreach, national media in-charge Anil Baluni and Sanjay Mayukh had been stationed at Ahmedabad’s media centre. Sambit Patra, a national party spokesman, also camped in the state to handle media and public debates.

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Shooting time: State may throw open monuments to film makers

In order to encourage movie producers to come and shoot in the state, the government may allow film shooting free of charge in the monuments of the state.Though no decision is taken on this yet, the government has made a committee of various officials of department of archaeology and museums to review the rates of shooting in monuments and if found feasible the decision regarding this may be taken.Sources informed that the committee will be reviewing the current rates as they have not been revised since long. Based on the report of the committee which will be received in a week’s time. A final decision will be taken on whether making movie shooting at monuments can be made free.The present review may also be seen as a step to keep the movie producers happy and encouraged to shoot in Rajasthan.While it is being claimed that Padmavati issue has nothing to do with the present review, but the timing of making a review of shooting rates at monuments is being taken in some quarters as an indication of pacifying the movie producers. Moreover, the committee will also decide the rate for pre wedding shootings at monuments.Currently there is no pre decided rate for such thing and every time a proposal of pre wedding shoot at monument comes, rate is decided based on case to case, informed the sources. The basic idea is to increase the number of movie makers shooting at monuments.It may be recalled that several parts of controversial movie Padmavati were shot in Jaipur. Director Sanjay Bhansali faced opposition and was even roughed up which created controversy. Apart from Padmavati, movies like Salman Khan starrer Veer, Aishwarya Rai’s Jodha Akbar etc in recent years have been shot in Amber and other monuments of Jaipur and Rajasthan.Pre wedding shootsThe timing of making a review of shooting rates at monuments is being taken in some quarters as an indication of pacifying the movie producers.The committee will also decide the rate for pre wedding shootings at monuments. Currently there is no pre decided rate for such thing and every time a proposal of pre wedding shoot at monument comes, rate is decided based on case to case.

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Pune: BJP RS MP Sanjay Kakade predicts party’s loss in Gujarat

During Pune municipal elections earlier this year, he had predicted 92 seats for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and he was ready to quit politics if his prediction goes wrong. His party went on to win 98 seats in PMC and now the same MP of BJP Sanjay Kakade has predicted that his party will not win enough number of seats in Gujarat election.After the voting in Gujarat, most of the exit poll surveys have been predicting a victory for BJP but Kakade, the Rajya Sabha MP claimed that he has done his own survey in the state and according to the findings of his survey, performance of his own party will be dismal. Speaking to DNA, Kakade said, “I had sent a team of six people to Gujarat and they have covered mostly the rural part of the state. They have met farmers, labourers, waiters and drivers. According to their survey, the party is not getting enough number of seats to reach to majority. In fact, it is the Congress party who is likely to reach close to majority mark.”Also readEC orders repolling in 6 booths of second phase in Gujarat”The Patidar community has supported Congress, the Dalits are supporting Congress and Muslims have been traditionally voting Congress party. Therefore, nearly 70 percent of the population is with Congress party which is why I feel, Congress will win enough number of seats to reach close to majority,” he said.Kakade stated that he had made his own observations about the Gujarat election and a there was no mention of the topic of development by his party leaders in the last phase of the campaign. “During last few rallies, our leaders did not speak about the development. The rallies were mostly aimed at making emotional appeal to voters and targeting opposition,” Kakade said.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Stars point at close contest, with an edge to BJPHe also stated that BJP was in power for 22 years and there is a negativity against the party. “Since independence, only communists have regained the power in West Bengal for a longer period of time. Apart from that, there is not a single party which has got the power for more than 25 years. At present there is negativity against the party in Gujarat. In spite of that negativity, if BJP wins the election, it will be because of only and only Narendra Modi,” Kakade said.

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Shiv Sena retains Nashik’s Igatpuri municipal council, wins 13 of 18 seats

The Shiv Sena today retained the Igatpuri Municipal Council (IMC) in Nashik district by winning 13 out of 18 seats in the election, results for which were declared today.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Out of remaining five, the BJP won four seats while an Independent walked away with one seat.The election for the 18-member IMC was held yesterday.Sena’s Sanjay Indulkar has been declared president of the municipal council.

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After brief respite, Delhi air quality very poor again

After a brief respite, the air quality index (AQI) in Delhi-NCR again entered the’very poor’ category at 377 units, with the most polluted sites being industrial towns of Ghaziabad and areas near the Delhi Technological University (DTU) in Rohini. The air quality may further deteriorate with a drop in temperature and low wind speed, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) officials said.Low wind speed and humidity brought in by a drop in temperature have spiked the pollution levels, officials said. The AQI at Delhi’s pollution hotspot Anand Vihar was recorded at 393 units, while DTU stood in the ‘severe’ level at 595. The NCR towns of Ghaziabad and Noida, too, reeled under the’severe’ levels at 448 and 415 units, respectively.”The wind pattern is still fluctuating with south-westerly winds bringing in moisture, leading to trapping of pollutants. The wind speed is low, below 10 kmph, which does not help in disbursal of pollutants,” a senior CPCB scientist said.Earlier this week, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) had asked the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) in a meeting to tell the Delhi government to start patrolling of small industrial units using cheap fuels leading to pollution.The DTU, surrounded by Narela, Bawana, and Badli in outer Delhi, has been witnessing massive pollution levels. It was discussed in a review meeting with L-G Anil Baijal on Thursday.Anand Vihar is surrounded by two industrial areas — Sahibabad and Patparganj. These areas use non-approved fuels to run their industries and burn the industrial waste thereafter. Similarly, DTU where over 2,000 students are enrolled, is located near Badli and Bawana, which have a number of unauthorised small factories and industries. The poor quality fuels used by them go unchecked. There are around 10,000 rubber units in operation and need to be checked.Besides, the Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar is in a bad condition, as there are no pavements or road carpeting in the area, the official said.The L-G had advised the city’s environment department, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), and other agencies to devise a mechanism for door-to-door checking and patrolling in these areas for better enforcement of non-usage of non-permitted fuels.AQI READINGSDelhi: 377 (very poor)Ghaziabad: 448 (severe)Noida: 415 (severe)Gurugram: 332 (very poor)Faridabad: 312 (very poor)

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When Indira Gandhi sought Osho’s secy’s help to persuade Rajiv to enter politics

After Sanjay Gandhi s death in a plane crash, his mother Indira Gandhi wanted her other son Rajiv to give up being a professional pilot and enter politics and sought the help of Osho’s secretary Laxmi to persuade him, claims a new book.Indira Gandhi, India’s fourth prime minister, was interested in spiritual life like her father Jawaharlal Nehru, says poet-artist Rashid Maxwell in The Only Life: Osho, Laxmi, and the World in Crisis .”From an early age, she had been touched by the words and the being of Osho. She was, however, first and foremost an ambitious politician so she never actually came to his ashram even when she was in Poona because Osho was already a controversial figure by then,” the book says.Until 1977 when Indira Gandhi was temporarily deposed from power, Laxmi was given a ‘green pass’, an entitlement to visit the Congress leader in her home or office at any time, it says.Also readRajiv Gandhi assassination: Convict’s mom appeals to Centre, Sonia GandhiIn 1980, when Indira Gandhi was again prime minister, her son and heir Sanjay died in a plane crash.When Laxmi visited her, Indira Gandhi entreated her to go and talk with Rajiv Gandhi.”She wanted Laxmi’s help to persuade Rajiv to give up being a professional pilot and enter politics. Laxmi went to his room and spoke with him for a long time concerning the contribution he might make to the country’s progress in the 20th century,” Maxwell writes in the book, published by Simon & Schuster.Rajiv Gandhi was reluctant but he subsequently entered politics, he adds.He became the prime minister following his mother s assassination in 1984.”The Only Life: Osho, Laxmi, and the World in Crisis” is a biography of Laxmi, a woman who blazed a path for herself and others in the presence of the mystic Osho.Growing up in British India and apparently rendered powerless in a domineering world, Laxmi went on to become Osho’s first disciple and secretary.The book also describes the ups and downs in Laxmi’s life – how she was at the helm of the massive international movement that grew around Osho in the 1970s and 80s to how she was ostracised and later banished and had to wander in the wastelands of America in isolation.

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1993 Mumbai Blast case: SC stays death sentence of convict Mohammed Tahir Merchant

On Monday, the Supreme Court stayed the death sentence of convict Mohammed Tahir Merchant.Tahir Merchant alias Taher Taklya had attended conspiracy meeting in Dubai and motivated his associates to arrange men from Mumbai to set be sent to Pakistan for arms training. He had collected funds to procure arms and planned to set up an illegal arms manufacturing factory in India.Here’s the timeline of 24-year-long case:March 10, 1993 – Yakub Memon and family flees from MumbaiMarch 12, 1993 – Series of powerful blasts rip Mumbai through 13 places killing 257 people and injuring 713March 14, 1993 – The breakthrough in the investigation is achieved with the recovery of an RDX-laden Maruti van registered in the name of Tiger Memon’s sister-in-law.Also read1993 Mumbai serial blasts case: Abu Salem’s family to appeal against court verdict March 18, 1993 – First arrest: Tiger Memon’s manager Asgar Mukadam heldApril 19, 1993 – Sanjay Dutt arrested on his return form from Mauritius on charges of illegal possession of a 9mm pistol and AK-56 rifle and ammunitionAlso read1993 Mumbai blasts: TADA court to pronounce quantum of sentence on Sept 7April 28, 1993 – Dutt confesses about possession of arms and later destroying itMay 5, 1993 – Bombay High Court (HC) grants bail to DuttNovember 4, 1993 – Mumbai crime branch files a 10,000 page charge sheet naming 189 accused, including DuttNovember 19, 1993 – CBI takes over the caseApril 1, 1994 – TADA court shifts from city sessions and civil court to a separate building on the premises of Arthur Road Jail, BycullaApril 10, 1994 – 26 accused discharged by TADA court; charges framed against others. Supreme Court discharges travel agent Abu Asim Azmi and Amjed Meher BauxApril 19, 1994 – Trial beginsJuly 4, 1994 – Trial court cancels Dutt’s bail, arrests himAugust 5, 1994 – CBI claims that Yakub has been arrested from New Delhi, however he claims he willingly gave himself up in Nepal on July 28,1994October 14, 1994 – SC grants bail to Dutt which is later cancelled by the trial court.November 20, 1994 – Dutt takes back his confession.April-June 1995 – Charges framed against accusedJune 30, 1995 – Two accused Mohammed Khatlab and Usman Jan Khan turn approversJune 30, 1995 – First witness of 684 examinedOctober 14, 1995 – Dutt granted bail by SCMarch 23, 1996 – Judge JN Patel transferred and elevated to the Bombay HCMarch 29, 1996 – PD Kode takes over trial from JN PatelJuly 1999 – Yakub writes to India’s SC seeking relief from the case. In his letter, he says he voluntarily returned to India.October 2000 – Examination of 684 prosecution witnesses ends.August 9, 2001 – Prosecution begins arguments.October 18, 2001 – Prosecution completes arguments.November 9, 2001 – Defence begins arguments.August 22, 2002 – Defence completes arguments.Feb-Mar 2003 – Ejaz Pathan and Mustafa Dossa deported from Dubai and court decides to separate gangster Mustafa Dossa’s trial in the case.September 2003 – Trial ends. Court reserves judgement.November 2005 – Abu Salem extradited from Portugal. Trial separated. He is accused of transporting weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai.June 13, 2006 – Abu Salem’s trial separatedAugust 10, 2006 – Judge PD Kode announces ‘September 12’ as the judgement day.September 12, 2006 – TADA court pronounced verdict. 4 members of Memon family held guilty.November 2006 – Dutt gets convicted under Arms Act and acquitted uner TADA.May 9, 2007 – Court formally acquits 23 accusedJuly 18, 2007 – First death penalties in the case for Parvez Nazir Shaikh, Mushtaq Tarani and Abdul Gani Turk pronouncedJuly 31, 2007 – Justice PD Kode wraps up the 14 year long case. Dutt six years rigorous imprisonment.August 20, 2007 – Dutt appeals against the sentence, moves to SCNovember 1, 2011 – SC begins hearing on appeals filed by Dutt and 100 other convicts as well as the state.August 29, 2012 – SC reserves its order on the appeals.March 21, 2013 – SC upholds death sentence of convict Yakub Memon, brother of Tiger Memon, and commutes death sentence of 10 convicts to life term. Life imprisonment of 16 of 18 convicts also upheldMay 16, 2013 – Sanjay Dutt surrenders before the TADA court. He is later taken to Arthur Road jail. Four other convicts — Yusuf Nulwalla, Kersi Adajania, Essa Memon, and Altaf Syed — also surrender the same day.May 22, 2013 – Sanjay Dutt is secretly shifted to Yerawada Jail and is given qaidi number C- 16656October 2013 – Yakub Memon apply for presidential pardonApril 11, 2014 – President Pranab Mukherjee rejects Yakub’s mercy plea.May 21, 2014 – The mercy plea of Memon is rejected by President Pranab MukherjeeJune 2, 2014 – The SC stays the execution of Memon on plea seeking review petitions in death cases to be heard in open court instead of chambers.June 19, 2014 – The CBI files a supplementary chargesheet against one of the under-trials, Feroz Rashid Khan, in order to disprove his claim of mistaken identity who claimed that his name was ‘Hamza’ and not Firoz Khan alias Firoz Taklya.July 15, 2014 – The SC reserves its order on the mercy plea of Memon seeking to convert penalty into life termSeptember 26, 2014 – SC stays Memon’s execution and issues notices on his petition seeking an open court hearing of his plea for a review of the death sentenceApril 9, 2015 – SC bench dismisses Yakub’s pleaMay 2015 – Yakub Memon files a curative petition seeking justice against death sentenceJuly 21, 2015 – SC rejects Yakub’s curative petition. He would be hanged on July 30, 2015July 21, 2015 – Yakub then files mercy petition to Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao. SC rejects Yakub Memon’s petition.July 23, 2015 – Memon moves the SC seeking a stay on the execution of his death sentenceJuly 26, 2015 – 270 eminent personalities including eight leading jurists and nine MPs file a plea before President Pranab Mukherjee seeking mercy and stay against execution of Yakub MemonJuly 28, 2015 – SC refers the petition challenging Yakub’s death warrant to a three member bench following a split verdict by a two-judge benchJuly 29, 2015 – The three member bench rejects Yakub’s plea seeking and upholds the death warrantJuly 30, 2015 – Yakub Memon is hangedFebruary 25, 2016 – Dutt released from Yerwada jail.May 29, 2017 – The TADA court announces June 16 as the date for pronouncement of judgement on trial against Abu Salem and other six accused.June 16, 2017 – TADA court finds Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa and Mohammed Dossa guilty of murder and conspiracy in connection with 1993 Mumbai blast case. The court also convicts Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, and Karimullah Sheikh under charges of conspiracy and murder under sections of IPC, TADA and Explosives Act. The court convicts Tahir Merchant in the case.Dec 12, 2017 – SC stays death sentence of Mohammed Tahir Merchant
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Visually impaired persons facing difficulty with new currency: Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has observed that visually impaired persons are facing difficulty in using the newly introduced currency notes and coins while issuing a notice to the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar termed this matter “very grave public interest” that should be addressed seriously.”A number of visually impaired people in the country were facing problems with these new notes. In our interaction with such people, they told us that they are facing huge difficulty due to the change of size of notes also,” the court said.The court sought the reply of the government and the RBI while hearing a plea which sought the replacing the new currency notes with easily identifiable ones for the visually impaired.Appearing for the Centre, its counsel Sanjay Narula said that the plea could be treated as a representation and should be disposed of.However, the bench asked the respondents to look into the issue and stated that the plea cannot be disposed of at this point.The plea, filed by an NGO, All India Confederation of Blind, had contended that visually impaired people are facing problems in identification, usage and transaction of the new currency notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500, Rs 200, and Rs 50 denominations.The petition also claimed that the size of the old and new notes is different. It also sought the replacement for the Rs 10, Rs 5, Rs 2, and Re 1 coins .The plea also alleged that the new notes were issued without complying with the accessibility standards for persons with disabilities and even the tactile marks on some notes were hardly identified by anyone as these would also disappear with frequent use.As per the petitionVisually impaired people are facing problems in identification, usage and transaction of the new currency notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500, Rs 200, and Rs 50 denominations.
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Padmavati row | Parliamentary panel grills Sanjay Leela Bhansali over ‘selective media screening’ of film

‘Padmavati’ director Sanjay Leela Bhansali today faced a barrage of questions from a parliamentary panel which asked him if the “selective” media screening of his film was aimed at influencing the CBFC, sources said.Bhansali appeared before the parliamentary standing committee on information technology to share his views on the controversy surrounding the film.Sources said the members of the panel asked him, “How could you assume that the movie could be released on December 1 when you applied to the CBFC on November 11. As per the cinematography act, the CBFC may take 68 days before certifying a movie?””Is selective media screening of the movie fair and ethical? Was it an act to influence the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC),” they asked.They asked if the creating a controversy was a new trend to sell the movie, sources said.Also readPadmavati row: Nana Patekar says death threats to Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali are unacceptableThe panel said media was giving free space due to the ongoing controversy and even social media had given the movie immense space.They said it seemed that his movies tend to target communities which produced tension between them.Also readSamajwadi twist to Padmavati row: When Mulayam Singh Yadav’s ‘chhoti bahu’ Aparna Yadav did beautiful ghoomar Censor board chief Prasoon Joshi was also scheduled to appear before the panel today, sources said.The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief had told another parliamentary panel earlier in the day that a decision on the film would be taken after showing it to experts, the sources said.Also readPadmavati: BJP’s Suraj Pal Amu, who offered Rs 10 crore for Deepika, Bhansali’s heads quits party postThe panel on information technology, which also looks into the issues of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, had called the meeting to discuss the problems and issues faced by the film.It is headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur and its members are senior BJP leader LK Advani and film actor Raj Babbar, a Congress leader.Various Rajput groups and political leaders have accused Bhansali of distorting history in the movie by using a romantic dream sequence between the Rajput queen Padmini and Sultan Alauddin Khilji, a claim repeatedly denied by the filmmaker.Historians are divided over whether Padmini actually existed. The Deepika Padukone-Shahid Kapoor-Ranveer Singh film was was earlier scheduled to release on December 1. The makers have deferred the release till they receive a certificate from the CBFC. They recently applied for 3D certification.
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Padmavati: BJP’s Suraj Pal Amu, who offered Rs 10 crore for Deepika, Bhansali’s heads quits party post

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Haryana BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu, who threatened Deepika Padukone for her role in Padmavati and its director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, on Wednesday resigned from the party’s state Chief Media Coordinator post.The Haryana BJP leader had been up and arms against the release of bollywood film ‘Padmavati’ and had hit the headlines for offering Rs 10 crore for anyone who beheads Deepika and Bhansali.Earlier, his violent statements had drawn show cause notice from his own party BJP, asking him to explain his remarks. BJP National Secretary Anil Jain had also condemned his threats on the party’s behalf and said the national party is not in support of such threats. A case was also registered against the controversial Haryana BJP leader.However, Suraj Pal defended his threats saying he made the remarks in his ‘personal capacity’. He further said that he was willing to quit party if he was being asked but would not let anyone ‘insult’ his community. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus has been marred in a controversy, where a group has alleged that the film ‘distorts’ the history of Rajput queen Padmini. Rajput Karni Sena (RKS) has been protesting against the film demanding a nationwide ban on its release. Ministers and erstwhile royals are also adding voice to the protest.Several states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has banned the screening of ‘Padmavati’ starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. The film was slated for release on December 1. But on Sunday, it was confirmed that the Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama has been delayed. The film was submitted to the CBFC for certification but it was returned to the makers because of ‘incomplete application’.The production house, Viacom18 motion pictures, sent out an official release on Sunday confirming the delay in the release of Padmavati.

CBI books 5 DoPT officials for siphoning of funds

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked five Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) officials, including Under Secretary Sanjay Mehta, and four companies for siphoning off Rs 18.17 lakhs through fraudulent ways of issuance of sanction orders and bills. The agency also carried out raids at 11 premises of the accused officials and private persons in the National Capital Region.The agency had registered a case against Under Secretary Sanjay Mehta, Section Officer Hemant, Assistant Section Officer RK Arora, Section Officer Vijay Pal and Assistant Section Officer Mahendra Singh, all posted in the Training Section of DoPT, on charges of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code. The agency has also booked Ashok, a data operator, and five private companies — Institute of Public Administration, Institute of Public Science, Kavita Ahluwalia, Kapil Book Stories and Sahej Trading Corporation — in the same the case.According to the CBI official, all the accused were booked after a complaint from DoPT Director (Training) VK Sinha on September 9. Sinha in the complaint alleged that the DoPT officials had siphoned off government funds through fraudulent sanction orders.The DoPT carried out an internal inquiry after they received a complaint of financial irregularities. During inquiry they found that out of total 67 payments made during 2017 under Training for All schemes amounting to Rs 9.21 crore, eight bills amounting to Rs 18.17 lakh were fraudulently issued in the name of five vendors. On further enquiry, the DoPT found that the three bills were were fraudulently issued last year also.Thereafter, all the suspected accused persons are placed under suspension.

Padmavati: Supreme Court to hear plea against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court will hear the plea filed by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma against the film Padmavati on Tuesday.Sharma is seeking direction to delete certain objectionable scenes from the movie.The plea filed by Sharma also sought prosecution of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali.Earlier on November 10, the apex court rejected the petition filed against the release of Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmavati’, saying the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has not yet issued a certificate to the movie.The film has been embroiled in a spate of controversies ever since its inception.The period drama starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor has been facing protests from various communal groups, including Shree Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering historical facts.

‘Violent threats and rewards not acceptable in democracy,’ says Venkaiah Naidu amid Padmavati row

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid the Padmavati row, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday that giving violent threats and announcing rewards for physical harm was not acceptable in a democracy.”Not directly referring to the controversy, but films and art in general,” he warned against undermining the rule of law in the country.Naidu, at a literary festival here, said there is now a new problem over some films where people feel that they have hurt the sentiments of some religions or communities and that has led to protests.He said while protesting, some people go overboard and announce rewards.”Whether these fellows have that much money or not, I doubt. Everyone is announcing Rs one crore reward. Is it so easy to have Rs one crore?”This is not acceptable in a democracy. You have the right to protest in a democratic manner, go to the appropriate authorities…you cannot physically obstruct and can’t give violent threats. Let us not undermine the rule of law,” he said.Stressing that he was not talking about a particular film but in general, Naidu read out names of previously banned films like Haram Hawa, Kissa Kursi Ka and Aandhi.His remarks, however, assume significance as they come amid protests by many groups against Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed Padmavati, alleging that the movie distorts history.Historians are divided on whether Rani Padmavati even existed.Some leaders and groups have also reportedly announced a bounty for beheading Bhansali and the female lead Deepika Padukone.”You have no right to take laws into your own hands. At the same time, you don’t have the right to hurt the sentiments of others”, Naidu said.The vice president also warned against selective condemnation and said it was wrong to link it to religion.He said there was a difference between religion and culture. While religion was a way of worship, culture was a way of life, he said.

Padmavati: It’s murder, my brother can’t commit suicide, says brother of Nahargarh Fort victim

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after the mysterious death of a man with threat notes engraved at the Jaipur’s Nahargarh Fort on Friday, brother of the deceased believes the victim was murdered and demanded a probe into the matter.Ram Ratan Saini, brother of the man who was found hanging at the Jaipur fort with death notes engraved in protest of Bollywood movie ‘Padmavati’, also said the death has nothing to do with the note written in the rocks. “My brother cannot commit suicide, it appears to be a murder. Will demand for an investigation into the death. He has nothing to do with it (threat note written on rocks #Padmavati ),” said Ram Ratan Saini, brother of the deceased. Chetan, a resident of Jaipur’s Shastri Nagar, was found hanging on the ramparts of the fort with threat messages. One message read ‘Padmavati ka Virodh’ and other one said ‘we don’t burn effigies, we hang people’. Another message saying ‘Chetan Tantrik mara gaya’ was also written near the body. Each messages were linked to the most controversial Padmavati row.The incident came to light when morning walkers saw the body hanging some 500 feet above the ground and informed the police. It was presumed that the man had committed suicide, but on checking the spot and seeing the messages the police are suspecting some foul play.Police are investigating whether it’s a suicide or a murder.Fringe groups like Rajput Karni Sena (RKS), who have been demanding nationwide ban on Padmavati’s release, have denied any involvement in the matter. They have earlier threatened violent protests, to cut off actor Deepika Padukone’s nose and burned effigies of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.The Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s opus magnum has been in the centre of storm over it’s release as protestors claim the movie has ‘distorted’ historical facts.The film tells the story of Rajput queen Rani Padmini who burned herself to avoid being captured by the Muslim emperor Alauddin Khilji. Amid rumours of the romantic dream sequence between the legendary Rajput queen and Khilji, several political leaders and outfits have protested against the film’s release. Some states like Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat has already banned the screening of the film in the state.Other states like Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have urged the filmmakers to make the necessary changes in the film to avoid any historical facts being distorted and not show any objectionable content.The film was slated for release on December 1. But, it was confirmed that Bhansali’s period drama has been delayed. The film was submitted to the CBFC for certification but it was returned to the makers because of ‘incomplete application’.The production house, Viacom18 motion pictures, sent out an official release on Sunday confirming the delay in the release of Padmavati.

Nahargarh Fort Death: Is it connected to Padmavati? Some unanswered questions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A dead body was found hanging on the ramparts of Jaipur’s Nahargarh Fort on Friday, with a threat note engraved on the rocks in protest of the movie ‘Padmavati’.The deceased has been identified as Chetan, a resident of Jaipur’s Shastri Nagar from the Aadhaar card found in his pocket. He was working at a jewellery shop.However, questions are being raised over the death. An investigation is on to find out whether it was suicide or murder.There were dozens of messages written in charcoal, however, no charcoal marks were found on the hands of the deceased. ALSO READ Padmavati Controversy: Delhi HC dismisses plea, says such petitions encourage agitatorsInterestingly, each message mentioned Padmavati. One message reads, ‘Chetan Tantrik mara gaya ‘. Another message mention that they (the ones who have hanged the body) do not hang effigies.The film has been in the eye of the storm following protests from conservative groups over alleged tampering with historical facts, a contention which filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali has denied repeatedly.With the protest against Padmavati escalating every day, the matter now seems to have taken a communal angle.A few days ago, effigies of stars, including Salman Khan were hanged from Chittorgarh fort and the body of Chetan was hanged in the same way.In these messages, one thing is coincidence — the messages mention ‘Chetan Tantrik’ and the deceased has been identified as a man named Chetan. Chetan Raghav was the tantrik who was thrown out of the Chittor court and who first mentioned the beauty of Padmini (Padmavati) to Khilji.The police are exploring all angles, but it is an issue of serious concern as this is the first protest against those opposing Padmavati release. ALSO READ Revealed: Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati’ will NOT hit the UK theatres on December 1!On Thursday, Karni Sena had threatened to burn theatres in the UK after the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) cleared Padmavati for the UK audience.The lavishly mounted film, starring Deepika Padukone in the title role, and Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, is a joint production by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions.Several politicians have already demanded a ban on the movie, while Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, and Rajasthan have already refused to allow a release of the movie in the state. ALSO READ Pahlaj Nihalani reacts to ‘Padmavati’ row and CBFC: Delaying the decision is shying away from job

Padmavati row: Watch film before opposing says union minister Birender Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Birender Singh said on Tuesday that those opposing Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama “Padmavati” should see the film first and then demand cuts if anything is found objectionable.With stiff opposition and threats from various groups, who allege distortion of facts, producers of the Deepika Padukone starrer have deferred its release.”My opinion is very clear. Some of the historic facts may not be in consonance with our thinking…Those who are opposing, first they should see the movie. If they find something which hurts them, (they can ask the producers to) remove those (parts),” Singh said.He said the history of our country should be explored more in a realistic way.”And these movies are of course based on history. And I know certain directors, they take a lot of pain to study all angles of history. But popular sentiments should also be respected,” the steel minister said.Historical facts are important and they should be analysed in the “right perspective”, he said.”Any sane man should think of what is the best logic, whether what we are agitating (against) deserves that kind of approach or let (us) see first what is the movie (about),” he said.

Rahul Gandhi will help BJP to make make India Congress-free, taunts CM Yogi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As Congress readies for long-awaited anointment of Rahul Gandhi as its chief, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath taunted India’s Grand Old Party with ‘it helps us’ jibe.Speaking to mediapersons in Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath said the Congress has always promoted dynasty rule and nepotism. “There is nothing new. What else would you expect from a party which has always promoted dynasty rule and nepotism. Except for the members of the Nehru-Gandhi, there is no place or others in Congress,” he reacted when asked about Gandhi becoming Congress President replacing his ailing mother Sonia Gandhi.“I would like him (Rahul) to take over as soon as possible. It will help BJP campaign further to make the country Congress-free sooner than expected after he takes over as the Congress President,” said the Chief Minister.“Will any Congress leader dare to contest against Rahul? When they have to follow the dynasty rule then I don’t know why the Congress party was doing the drama of presidential elections and beating the drum about following the democratic process for his elevation as Congress President,” quipped the CM Yogi.He pointed that few other parties like the Samajwadi Party and the BSP to follow the suit. Akhilesh Yadav replaced Mulayam Singh Yadav while BSP has nominated his brother Anand Kuar as heir apparent.On Mulayam’s statement that Lord Ram is popular only in North India whereas Lord Krishna is more popular from North to South, Yogi Adityanath said “Mulayam should read and study Dr Ram Manohar Lohia ideology properly or else he would not have been making such ridiculous comments on Gods.”Renewing his attack on filmmaker of controversial movie Padmavati, the Chief Minister said that “Sanjay Leela Bhansali should be punished for distorting historical facts and demeaning character of Rani Padmavati who chose to perform ‘Jauhar’ to save her honour and modesty.“We will not allow anyone to hurt people’s sentiments. If people are protesting all over the country then the filmmaker should understand and respect their sentiments. We have already lodged our protest with the Information and broadcasting ministry and the CBFC in this regard,” pointed he.The movie has already been banned in Uttar Pradesh even after Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali agreeing to defer the release date. The film was to be released on December 1.The dputy Chief Minister Keshav PrasadMaurya, who also holds the entertain tax ministry has already announced that “the state government will not allow the movie to be released in Uttar Pradesh unless the controversial scenes and portions are removed from the film.Yogi Adityanath excuded confidence that BJP will win majority seats in local bodies going to polls. “Unlike previous regimes, our aim is to strengthen local bodies to act as self governments in their respective areas without looking for any help from the state government,” he promised.

Padmavati row | If those threatening actors are guilty, then Sanjay Leela Bhansali is also guilty: Yogi Adityanath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday lashed out at ‘Padmavati’ director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, saying he is no less guilty than those issuing threats to actors.The Chief Minister also said that Bhansali was ‘habitual of playing with public sentiments’.Stating that no one has the right to take the law into own hands whether it is Sanjay Leela Bhansali or anyone else, the chief minister said, “I feel that if those threatening (the actors of the film) are guilty, Bhansali is no less guilty.”On Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya had said that the state won’t let Padmavati film release in Uttar Pradesh unless and until objectionable scenes are removed.Several politicians have also demanded a ban on the movie. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh also joined the chorus against ‘distortion of history’.Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said that ‘Padmavati’ will not be released in the state unless necessary changes as suggested to the Centre are made in the film.In Chandigarh, the Haryana BJP sought an explanation from its chief media coordinator Suraj Pal Amu over remarks offering a Rs 10 crore bounty to anyone beheading Bhansali and Padukone.While the BJP distanced itself from the comments, Amu said he had made the remarks in his personal capacity and that he would resign if his party asked him to but would not tolerate any “insult” to his community.The film features Deepika Padukone in the title role of Rani Padmavati, with Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Sultan Alauddin Khilji.Bhansali has been under attack from the group since he started shooting for the movie. The set of the movie was vandalised twice – in Jaipur and Kolhapur – and the director was roughed up by Karni Sena members in Jaipur in January.Bhansali, through a video statement, has sought to clear the air surrounding the film, saying he was careful in depicting the “Rajput honour and dignity” in the film.(With agency inputs)

Haryana BJP leader echoes fringe group’s call to behead Deepika and Bhansali, raises offer to Rs 10 crore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Suraj Pal Amu, Haryana’s BJP Chief media coordinator launched an astonishing attack on the cast and crew Padmavati. He congratulated the Meerut youngsters for announcing a Rs 5 crore bounty for beheading Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali and added that he would reward them RS 10 crore and take care of their family’s needs.Attacking Ranveer Singh, he said that if he didn’t take back his words, he’s break the actor’s legs. He also said he would ask BJP if needed and asked PM Modi to ‘exercise his powers to strike down the film’.The Uttar Pradesh police on Friday booked a Meerut resident from the Kshatriya community who announced a bounty of Rs 5 crore on the heads of film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Deepika PadukoneDemanding a ban on Padmavati, Thakur Abhishek Som, an office-bearer of the Kshatriya Samaj has announced a reward of Rs 5 crore to anyone beheading film Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Deepika Padukone who played the character of Padmavati in the movie.“A case has been filed against Som under section 115 (abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life) and section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the IPC at the Nauchandi police station,” Meerut superintendent of police (city) Maan Singh Chauhan told Times of India. The proposed release date of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmavati” has been deferred, the makers of the film said today. In a statement to PTI, a spokesperson of Viacom18 Motion Pictures said it had taken the decision “voluntarily”.”Viacom18 Motion Pictures, the studio behind ‘Padmavati’, has voluntarily deferred the release date of the film from December 1st 2017,” it said.The spokesman said it had the highest regard for the law of the land and statutory bodies such as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).As a “responsible and law-abiding corporate citizen”, it was committed to following the established procedure and convention, it said.”We have faith that we will soon obtain the requisite clearances to release the film,” the statement read.Censor Board chief Prasoon Joshi had yesterday slammed the makers for allowing the film to be screened for various media channels before obtaining a certificate from the board.The CBFC had sent the film back to the producer as the application for the certification was “incomplete”.”…We are a responsible, law-abiding corporate citizen and have the highest respect and regard for the law of the land and all our institutions and statutory bodies including the Central Board of Film Certification,” the statement said.The studio said it would soon announce the new release date for the film.”We will announce the revised release date of the film in due course. We stand firm in our commitment to tell endearing tales that resonate with our audiences the world over as we have in the past with our other projects such as ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, ‘Queen’, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and many more,” it said.The makers reiterated that the film was a cinematic masterpiece capturing “Rajput valour, dignity and tradition in all its glory”.”The film is an eloquent portrayal of a tale that will fill every Indian with pride and showcase our country’s story-telling prowess across the globe,” it said.”Padmavati” has been facing controversy since Bhansali started shooting the film earlier this year.The director was roughed up by members of the fringe group Rajput Karni Sena in Jaipur. Its elaborate sets were also vandalised during shooting schedules in Jaipur and Kolhapur.The first poster of the movie was released in October this year and triggered a storm with various Rajput groups and others claiming that the director had “distorted” historical facts.Bhansali and lead actor Deepika Padukone have received threats. Their security has been beefed up by the Mumbai police.Meanwhile, the film fraternity has come out in support of Bhansali and the team, with many leading artistes calling it an attack on creative freedom.With inputs from PTI

Padmavati row: UP police books Thakur Abhishek Som who offered Rs 5 crore for heads of Deepika, Bhansali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttar Pradesh police on Friday booked a Meerut resident from the Kshatriya community who announced a bounty of Rs 5 crore on the heads of film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Deepika Padukone Demanding a ban on Padmavati, Thakur Abhishek Som, an office-bearer of the Kshatriya Samaj has announced a reward of Rs 5 crore to anyone beheading film Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Deepika Padukone who played the character of Padmavati in the movie.“A case has been filed against Som under section 115 (abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life) and section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the IPC at the Nauchandi police station,” Meerut superintendent of police (city) Maan Singh Chauhan told Times of IndiaHe also said that efforts are being made to arrest the accused soon.Thakur Som, who is an active member of the Samajwadi Party, has warned the Bollywood actress to leave the country or face beheading. He had also threatened the Director Sanjay to withdraw release of the controversial film or be ready to face the consequences.“The role played by Deepika has hurt the sentiments of Rajput women. No Rajput woman dances in public. Director Sanjay has no knowledge of the history of Rajputs in the country. He has distorted historical facts and should be punished,” stated Som. Meanwhile, the Shri Rajput Karni Sena has also threatened that it will intensify its protest against ‘Padmavati’ if the film was not banned.The film features Deepika Padukone in the title role of Rani Padmavati, with Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Sultan Alauddin Khilji.Bhansali has been under attack from the group since he started shooting for the movie. The set of the movie was vandalised twice – in Jaipur and Kolhapur – and the director was roughed up by Karni Sena members in Jaipur in January.The Supreme Court had recently refused to entertain a plea seeking a stay on the release of Padmavati, saying the Censor Board was yet to certify the movie.Bhansali, through a video statement, has sought to clear the air surrounding the film, saying he was careful in depicting the “Rajput honour and dignity” in the film.

Padmavati row: Rajputs to burn Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s effigies in Bihar today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The protests demonstrations against the release of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Padmavati” has reached Bihar where members of the “Kshatriya samaj” will hold statewide agitation on Saturday.The announcement was made by Lokendra Singh Kalvi, who was in Patna on Friday, to garner support for his movement, and the demonstrations will be led by “Kshatriya Samanvay Samiti-Bihar”.On Saturday, members of the community will burn effigies of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and other artists in the movie in all district headquarters of the state besides demanding to ban the release of the film, “which hurts their sentiments”. Women of the Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha, under the “Veerangana team” will also hit the roads in Saturday’s protest. A “Sankalp Sabha” will be organised in Patna.The protesters will also hold an “Aakrosh march” against the film on November 26. “We will also write to the administration and owners of cinema halls, not to release the movie,” said a functionary of the Kshatriya Samiti.The movie has witnessed widespread protests by members of the Rajput community across the nation, who claim that “their history has been distorted in the film”. On Friday, the protesters faced flak when one of the had said that they will cut actor Deepika Padukone’s nose if the movie is released.

What do Scindia, Digvijaya and Amarinder think? Smriti Irani targets Shashi Tharoor for saying so-called ‘rajas kneeled before British rules’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Minister Smriti Irani, on Friday took a jibe at Congress leader Shashi Tharoor for his comments on kings amidst the row over film ‘Padmavati’. She targeted Tharoor for his observation about ongoing protest by the descendents of Rajput rulers over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie ‘Padmavati’.Tharoor had reportedly said that the so-called ‘maharajas’, (kings) who have been after a filmmaker (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) by claiming that their honour is at stake, actually ran away when the British crushed their self-respect and honour.Commenting on Tharoor’s observation, Irani tweeted: ‘Did all the Maharajs (kings) kneel in front of the British’ What will Jyotiraditya Scindia, Diggi Raja (Digvijaya Singh) and Amarinder Singh say on Shashi Tharoor’s comments?’The Congress party leaders, Scindia, Digvijay Singh and Amarinder Singh hail from the royal families.However, when the issue snowballed, Tharoor took to Twitter to clarify his comments. ‘I am dismayed that some BJP supporters are claiming I attacked Rajput honour’.I spoke about the Maharajahs who made their accommodations w/the (with the) British. I have never made a communal comment in my life.’He further added that Rajput valour is not questionable.‘As for specific concerns of the Rajput community, people’s sentiments must be respected in the interests of India’s diversity & harmony. Rajput valour is part of our history & is not in question. BJP &its censors should take these concerns into account,’ Tharoor tweeted.Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie ‘Padmavati’ is in the eye of the storm over the portrayal of Rajput queen Padmavati. The period drama, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, and Shahid Kapoor has been facing protests from various groups, including Shree Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering with historical facts

Padmavati row: MNS says no protest for the sake of it

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While political parties and caste groups are united in their opposition to the soon to be released movie ‘Padmavati,’ the Raj Thackeray led MNS has surprisingly refused to join the bandwagon. “Our stand is that we will not oppose the movie or condemn it before watching it or before the release,” said Ameya Khopkar, who heads the MNS cine wing. He added that they would watch the movie and “in case of objections,” discuss them with film maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali for a remedy. The movie is based on the legend Rani Padmavati, the wife of Maharawal Ratan Singh of Mewar, whose kingdom was invaded by Sultan Allauddin Khilji for capturing Padmini, who eventually committed jauhar.The MNS has in the past threatened Pakistani actors in the country and warned them if retribution. Last year, the MNS cine workers wing had also protested against film maker Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ as it started Pakistani actor Fawad Khan and opposed singing reality shows featured artistes from the neighbouring country. It has also protested the “wrong depiction” of Maharashtrians in Hindi sitcoms and serials.

Brothers forge hall tickets to appear for college exam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Nagpada police on Monday arrested two brothers for allegedly forging a hall ticket for a college exam. The elder brother was the one to appear for the college exam instead of the actual candidate, the younger brother, using the forged hall ticket. The accused are siblings and the younger brother was a second year student pursuing a diploma in mechanical engineering.The police said, that the elder brother then pasted his photo on his brother’s hall ticket and took a colour xerox of the hall ticket. With the forged hall ticket, the accused entered the exam hall and signed an attendance sheet. While he was getting ready to appear for the exam, and was waiting for the question paper, the exam supervisor saw him and got suspicious.”The teachers knew the younger brother well and when the elder brother sat for the exam on his behalf, they immediately identified him. The college professors informed us and a case of cheating and forgery was registered against the accused,” said a police officer.The accused told the police that the younger brother was weak in a particular subject and was fearing he would fail. He thus asked his elder brother to appear for the exam on his behalf. “We have arrested both of them on Monday and have booked them for forgery,” said Sanjay Baswat, Senior police inspector of Nagpada police station.THE REASONThe accused told the police that the younger brother was weak in a particular subject and was fearing he would fail. He thus asked his elder brother to appear for the exam on his behalf.

Woman raped, blackmailed over job offer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 38-year-old woman lodged a complaint against her former neighbour at Odhav police station on Friday stating he raped and blackmailed her on the pretext of providing a job.The woman stated that she divorced from her husband 10 years back and returned to her parents’ place in Odhav with her son. She has been living there ever since.The complaint stated that while she was searching for a job two years back, she came in contact with the accused Sanjay Vyas (40). He offered her a job at his medical wholesale shop and took her to a guesthouse in Naroda where he not only raped her but also made a video of it.On the basis of the video, he has been blackmailing her and raping her for the past two years, the complaint stated.Two days back, Sanjay took her to Tulsi Guesthouse in Odhav. This time, the complaint states she managed to flee and lodged a rape complaint.CB Tandel, Inspector of Odhav police station, said, “We have nabbed the accused on Friday night from his house. Further investigation regarding the case is on.”

People from Dubai want to show Muslim kings as hero: Subramanian Swamy on Padmavati row

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday hinted an international conspiracy behind Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus ‘Padmavati’ row.Joining the ongoing controversy over the film Swamy asserted that it should be enquired if there is international conspiracy behind it.Speaking to ANI, Swamy said, “Many big budget movies are made these days, we should see if there is conspiracy in it. People from Dubai want Muslim kings to be portrayed as hero; they want to show as if Hindu women wanted relationships (with them).”This is a controversy, and showing (Queen) Padmini in poor light was its part. They tried the same with Jodha Bai. Many such films have come in the last 10 years. Under UPA regime, such things got a push,” added Swamy.Earlier on Friday, Supreme Court rejected the petition filed against the release of ‘Padmavati’, saying the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has not yet issued a certificate to the movie.
ALSO READ Sanjay Leela Bhansali should be tried for treason: CBFC’s Arjun Gupta writes to Rajnath SinghThe period drama starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor has been facing protests from various communal groups, including Shree Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering historical facts.The Karni Sena, which demolished the sets of the movie in Jaipur and thrashed Bhansali, had warned the director of dire consequences on showing distorted historical facts.

Sanjay Deshmukh back on MU campus as professor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over two weeks after he was removed as the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sanjay Deshmukh resumed work as a professor at the Department of Life Sciences, University of Mumbai, on Thursday.Deshmukh moved back to his earlier post after he was sacked by the Governor for the unprecedented delay in declaring the results with the new On-Screen Marking system that the university introduced during his tenure as the VC.On Thursday, as almost all the major departments at the University of Mumbai re-opened after the Diwali break, Deshmukh reached the department early in the morning and resumed his earlier duties as a professor. He left for the day in the afternoon.”He had done the formalities for joining back the department a few days back. On the first day post vacations, he was at the department since morning. He also attended the staff meeting for the new academic year,” said a senior professor from the Department of Life Sciences on condition of anonymity. The professor said that Deshmukh would also start taking classes in a few days. “We have just reopened and classes would start soon. Like all other professors, Deshmukh would also be assigned his workload,” added the professor.VN Magare is Pro-VCThe government on Thursday handed over the additional charge of the post of Pro Vice Chancellor (PVC) to Dr VN Magare. Magare is currently holding the post of the Pro VC at SNDT University.

Fatwa issued against Jharkhand Muslim yoga teacher, ‘won’t be scared’, says Rafia

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Muslim clerics have reportedly issued ‘fatwa’ against a woman for practising yoga in Jharkhand.According to latest media reports, fatwa was issued against Rafia Naaz, who shot to limelight after she shared the stage with Patanjali founder and renowned yoga guru Ramdev at a recent event in Ranchi.“I have received a lot of threats, I am thankful to the state government for providing security.” Naaz was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.“I will not be scared and will continue with what I am doing,” she added.According to a Times Now report, Jharkhand Principal Secretary Sanjay Kumar had raised the concern and requested Chief Minister Raghubar Das to provide security to the girl.A team of a male and female police constables has been posted outside the yoga teacher’s house.While Naaz stays defiant, her family is worried over the threats issued against her.Meanwhile, a Maulana has come into the support of Naaz.“Some people have made religion a joke, what is wrong if some woman teaches yoga? Protesting this is highly condemnable,” Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas told ANI on Thursday.

Have kept alliance formation issue open in Maharashtra: Ashok Chavan on Sena chief meeting Pawar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar’s bombshell of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and its MP Sanjay Raut meeting him at his residence few days ago in Mumbai, Maharashtra Congress Pradesh Congress (MPCC) president Ashok Chavan on Thursday said that they have kept this proposed ‘alliance’ issue open, however, the final decision will be taken by the high command as a policy matter.Talking with DNA, Chavan said that after a long time, Sena president got the good political advisor. “We appreciate Uddhav Thackeray’s effort pulling out from this anti-farmers and anti-people BJP government. There must be something serious therefore Thackeray went to Pawar resident to discuss the current political situations and seek his advise,” MPCC president said.When asked Chavan, whether the Congress will tie up with the saffron party – Sena, he said that this is the matter of policy and the decision will be taken at the highest level. “However, Sena and NCP should first take the decision about their alliance, then we will think over it. We have kept this issue open. Sena has also realized that the Congress party can only give good and efficient leadership in India, therefore, they are praising Congress leadership nowadays. This is the good change and calculated move. Thanks to his political advisor otherwise it is difficult to understand Thackeray’s decision,” Chavan said.Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is out of the country while Sanjay Raut and other Sena leader refused to comment on this development.“We were not there when the meeting happened between Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray. So, we have no idea what exactly transpired in the meeting. When Uddhav Thackeray will come back from abroad, we will discuss the issue and take the call,” said Sena minister on the condition of anonymity.While NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said that their party president had already asked the Shiv Sena to clear its stand first. “So, let’s wait and watch, how political situations unfold, then we will take the final call over it,” he said.

Nov 8: Day against black or black day?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A year has passed since the demonetisation drive came into effect on November 8, 2016. While the BJP is gearing to observe the day against black money, the Congress party is going to observe its very own take on the day calling it a black day.For BJP, Union Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu will hold a conference in the city. “Due to the historic decision of demonetisation, a step has been taken towards a clean economy as a huge amount of black money came to light. This has resulted in better employment opportunities for poor while it has also cracked whip on terrorism and naxalism,” said Sanjay Jain, city president BJP.Meanwhile, the Congress party will hold agitations and protests in the city on Wednesday while observing it as a black day. “A black day will be observed on 8th November with the slogan – Desh bhugat raha hai (The country is suffering). Thousands of Congress party workers will hold agitation and protest from 10.30am onwards at Collectorate circle against the problems posed by demonetisation such as inflation, unemployment, corruption,” said Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, a Congress leader.Singh further said: “More than 200 people died while waiting in queues and several hundred committed suicide due to the problems caused by demonetisation. Even though a year has passed the people are afraid and living in fear.People were not seen enjoying even a big festival like Diwali and even under all these circumstances, Prime Minister did not stop giving his statements. The Congress party feels the pain of the common man and thus a black day will be observed.”

2G Spectrum Case: Special CBI Court adjourns matter, will now fix verdict date on December 5

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Special CBI Court in Delhi on Tuesday adjourned the matter in the 2G Spectrum case and will now fix the verdict date on December 5.Over a week ago, the court had issued production warrants to two accused Karim Morani and Sanjay Chandra for November 7 and asked all accused to be present on the date.In its charge sheet filed against former telecom minister A Raja, DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi and others in 2011, the CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs. 30,984 crore in the allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum.In April 2014, the ED filed a charge sheet against 19 people, including Raja and Kanimozhi in connection with a money laundering case relating to the scam.

Protest erupts in Chittorgarh against flick Padmavati

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The parapets of the Chittorgarh Fort that have been witness to the life of queen Padmawati aka Padmini today saw the protest organised against the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmawati.The protest was led by Rajput Karni Sena and Rajput community and was joined by the local unit of Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal along with local Muslim organisations. Rajput women too took part in the protest in Chittorgarh, the city whose history is depicted in the film Padmawati. Local trader bodies also supported the protest by Rajputs and businesses in the city were shut down for two hours.The protesters led by the founder patron of the Rajput Karni Sena, Lokendra Singh Kalvi, burnt the effigy of Bhansali and gave a memorandum to the Collector demanding that the film not be released. The women in traditional Rajput attires were raising slogans against Bhansali.“We demand a ban on the release of the film. We do not trust Bhansali and he has not honoured the agreement he made with us. Our agreement had 4 points;Screening of film at pre-sensor board stage to our panel of historians
No pre-release activity without taking us in confidence
No dream love sequence between Khilji and Padmawati
No commercial cashing in on the personal love life of Deepika and Ranveer Singh who play Khilji and Padmawati by distorting history and dignity of Padmawati. Bhansali has gone back on his word. We do not want any compromise. We demand a ban. Nothing less,” said Kalvi.Padmawati is based on the life of the valiant queen of Chittorgarh. Tales of her beauty mesmerised Allaudin Khilji and he expressed the desire to see her. Cutting the tale short what ensued was a battle, and when Padmawati got the news of the defeat and death of her husband, she along with thousands of women committed jauhar inside the Chittorgarh Fort. All Khilji found when he reached there were her ashes.The Rajputs are unhappy ever since they came across an interview of Ranveer Singh where he spoke about a dream love sequence between Khilji and Padmawati. Earlier this year, members of the organisation had manhandled Bhansali while he was shooting in Jaipur. They had reached an agreement with Bhansali productions about Padmawati not being projected contrary her dignity.Incidentally, Rajput Karni Sena is the same organisation that had opposed Ashutosh Gowarikar’s film Jodha Akbar. The protests had turned so widespread that no cinema hall agreed to release the film and ultimately Jodha Akbar was not released in Rajasthan. Rajput Karni Sena wants to repeat the feat with Padmawati.

Three sharpshooters of Tillu gang arrested

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rohini District Police nabbed three accused namely Deepak Balyan alias Deepu, Manish Dabas and Anshu Delhi in various cases of murder, attempt to murder and robbery. All the arrested accused are said to be sharpshooters and have been associated with the Tillu gang.Balyan and Dabas are wanted criminals in various cases of abduction, murder, and extortion but Anshu had reportedly just joined the gang. “Balyan is an accused in the murder of Sanjay Verma who he had picked in broad daylight along with his associates to get information on his rival gang. However when Sanjay denied having any such information, Balyan and his associates tortured him before shooting him dead,” said Rishi Pal, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Rohini. “Balyan had also shot a woman in North Rohini Police Station area in an attempt to snatch the gold chain that she was wearing,” added Pal. Balyan is accused in seven other cases while Dabas is accused in more than four cases of murder and robbery.The police also recovered from them two pistols, eight live cartridges of one country-made pistol with two live cartridges and a stolen bike.WANTED CAUGHTThey are said to be sharpshooters associated with the Tillu gang. Balyan and Dabas are wanted criminals while Anshu had just joined the gang.

Economic Offence Wing raids DSK’s offices and residence in Pune

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly a week after a case of cheating was registered against noted real estate developer DS Kulkarni and his wife, a team of economic offence wing (EOW) of Pune police raided Kulkarni’s offices and residence in Pune on Thursday morning. The EOW has received nearly 300 more complaint applications against Kulkarni, popularly known as DSK, after the case was registered against him in Shivajinagar police station on October 28. Senior inspector Sanjay Kurundkar of EOW told DNA, “Earlier we had received 41 complaint applications against Kulkarni and on Wednesday, we received 258 more complaint applications against him claiming that he has not returned money of investors. Based on these applications, we are now carrying out searches at his offices and residence.”According to some of the investors, there are more than 8,000 investors who have invested around Rs 485 crore with DSK and have not got back their money from the developer. When asked about the details of the outstanding amount payable by Kulkarni, Kurundkar said, “Since there are nearly 300 complaint applications, we have to go through each and every application and only then will we be able to know the total amount payable by the developer to these complainants.”According to EOW officials, they will be scrutinising computer data, official papers and bank details of Kulkarni and his family members. DSK is a popular name in Pune’s real estate scene. For many, he is an inspirational figure for his rag-to-riches journey. Apart from real estate, Kulkarni ventured into automobile and education institutes too. However, since earlier this year, the developer has been going through a financial crunch, openly admitting that he was unable to repay his investors immediately. He had sought some time from them to manage funds to repay the amount.

Crackdown on MNS workers, 20 held and released

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Versova police on Monday arrested eleven Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers after they protested outside the residence of Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam in Versova.According to police,the workers protested outside the house of Nirupam and raised slogans against him. The workers had set up vegetables and fruits’ stalls outside the his house, following which the Versova police had immediately reached the spot and detained eight MNS workers. In another incident, Dadar police on Monday also arrested four MNS workers who were earlier involved in the evicting hawkers forcefully. Later, all the workers were released on bail.Meanwhile Vashi police, too, arrested five MNS workers who on Sunday allegedly vandalised hawkers’ stalls outside the local railway station and assaulted few hawkers. In another incident, thirteen MNS workers, who were earlier arrested by Borivali and Dahisar polices, were exterened from city limits by the Borivali Court on Monday for the next three days. All the accused have been asked to be reach Solapur and Buldhana. The court had asked them to be present at the local police stations.

Consider accommodating transgender officer: Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A transgender Navy officer, who was ousted out of service for undergoing a sex change operation, on Monday knocked the doors of the Delhi High Court which asked the Centre to consider his plight and accommodate him for some alternative stream. A bench of Justices GS Sistani and V Kameswar Rao asked the Centre to think over the issue and come out with a solution considering the present case as“out of the box”.“This falls in a special domain. Imagine if she had suppressed the information, then it would have been dangerous,” the bench said, adding, that she can be penalised for indiscipline but something could be done to accommodate her. Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain said that this is a matter of policy decision and the Navy is the best placed to see if they can accommodate the female sailor.“Here the question is not about transgenders. Its a case of whether a woman can continue as a sailor,” Jain said. The court was hearing the petition filed by the transgender sailor posted onboard INS Eksila at Visakhapatnam. It said that the petitioner can give up his claim for the job of a sailor and may accept a clerical position so that the family, comprising aged parents, the individual’s wife, and child, need not suffer.While hearing the plea, where the sailor had challenged an order of October 6, the bench said, “the mindset should change. In today’s situation, a medical condition like this cannot be suppressed.”ASJ Jain informed the court that the petitioner has a history of indiscipline and at several instances, had been absent from duty without prior information. Hence, giving an alternative work would block a seat. The court, while stating that they would not get into the territory of the Navy, but ask them to consider the situation. In her plea, the petitioner had claimed that she was suffering from gender identity issues since 2011 and when she told her parents, they forced her to marry a woman.

Mumbai: 17 MNS workers detained in different parts of the city

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Versova police on Monday detained eight Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers after for protesting outside the residence of Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam in Versova.According to the police,the workers set up handcarts with fruits and vegetables and protested. The police immediately reached on the spot and detained the eight MNS workers. In another incident, the Dadar police arrested four MNS workers for forcefully evicting hawkers from the area. Meanwhile Vashi police too arrested five MNS workers who on Sunday had vandalised hawkers’ stalls outside the railway station.

Delhi HC asks Indian Navy to consider giving alternate job to cadet, who was dismissed for undergoing sex change

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Centre to consider giving an alternate job to a transgender sailor who was removed from service after sex change, terming it an “out of the box situation”.”You can punish her for indiscipline, but at the same time you can accommodate her,” a bench of Justices G S Sistani and V K Rao suggested to Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, who appeared for the Centre and Navy.Calling for a change in mindset, the bench said the instant case was probably the only one of its kind in the armed forces and asked the Navy to consider the transgender for some other job.”Here is an opportunity to look at it from a different perspective. It is an out of the box situation. It maybe a first of its kind situation.”Here is a person struggling with gender identity. Had she suppressed the condition and continued, it would have been dangerous. It could have been fatal. Think about it and come back,” the bench said and listed the matter for further hearing on November 23.The court said that while the person deserved to be punished for indiscipline for being absent without leave, but where there was a medical condition of this sort, it may be seen from a different perspective.During the course of the hearing, the bench said, “the mindset should change. In today’s situation, a medical condition like this cannot be suppressed.” The court was of the view that the petitioner, who was posted onboard INS Eksila at Visakhapatnam, can give up claim for the job of sailor and may accept a clerical position so that the family, comprising aged parents, the individual’s wife and child, need not suffer.ASG Jain and central government standing counsel Anil Soni, who also appeared for the Navy, told the court that the individual in question “had a chequered history of indiscipline” for being absent without leave several times.However, they agreed to take instructions on whether the instant matter can be taken up as a special case.They also told the bench that the individual had got badly infected after undergoing sex reassignment surgery and it was the Navy which treated her humanely and provided treatment and counselling to her.The lawyers said that one seat in another branch or department of the force cannot be blocked for such an individual who also suffered from psychiatric and gender identity problems.They further argued that since the petitioner was a female now, she cannot be employed as a sailor in the Navy as that position is not open for women.The ASG said the simple question before the bench was whether a woman, and not a transgender, can be appointed as a sailor on a ship as the petitioner was now a female.The petitioner had challenged the October 6 order of the Navy removing her from service.She had claimed that she was suffering from gender identity issues since 2011 and when she told her parents, they forced her to marry a woman.She further claimed that she was absent from service without leave several times as she suffered bouts of depression, owing to her gender identity issues.

Charges framed against hawkers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the MNS Malad divisional head Sushant Malavade was grievously injured in an attack by hawkers, the Malad police have booked seven hawkers for attempted murder. The police have also registered a case against Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam for allegedly holding a rally in Malad without police permission.Mumbai Police spokesperson and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Deepak Devraj, said: “The rally created hurdle in traffic and it was held without permission; hence, a case for unlawful assembly and holding a rally without permission has been registered in Nirmal Nagar police station. Strict action will be taken against all who have taken law in their hand.”

Staff shortage hits admission process

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the University of Mumbai is yet to come out of the unprecedented result mess, admission processing work at the various departments of the university is now facing hurdles due to acute staff crunch.As the academic year begins after a long delay due to the result mess, students are having a tough time in completing their admission formalities after most departments are struggling to process the applications of students as the university is severely short staffed. In July, under the Vice Chancellor Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, the university terminated the contracts of 470 non -eaching employees who were appointed on a temporary basis citing ‘fund crunch’. Barring a select few positions, the university has failed to bring back most temporary staffers thus leading to delays in the functioning of departments which they were a part of.“A large number of positions in some of the prominent departments are lying vacant after people working there were terminated in July. This is causing a lot of hassle for admissions and result work” said a university official on the condition of anonymity.

Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam booked for holding rally without prior police permission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam has been booked for addressing a rally of hawkers in suburban Malad yesterday without securing prior permission of the police, an official said today.After Nirupam addressed the rally of around 150 hawkers, workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) who were trying to evict hawkers from outside the Malad railway station were assaulted in afternoon.Police have arrested seven hawkers under various sections of the IPC, including 307 (attempt to murder).”A case has been registered against Sanjay Nirupam at Malad police station for holding the rally without a prior permission,” Mumbai Police spokesperson and DCP Deepak Devraj said.According to another official, Nirupam has been booked under sections 143 (whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 37 (co-operation by doing one of several acts constituting an offence) of the IPC.In his address, the Congress leader had said that hawkers will not tolerate hooliganism of MNS activists.”I would not tolerate such high-handedness of MNS leaders against hawkers. The hawkers are capable enough to retaliate to any aggression from MNS,” he had said.After the rally, hawkers allegedly attacked MNS workers, in which one activist received head injuries.Heavy police bandobast was deployed in the area fearing backlash from the MNS.Police have also booked around 40 MNS workers for rioting and arrested 18 of them, an official said.Further investigation into the matter is underway and more arrests are likely, he added.After MNS chief Raj Thackeray addressed a rally in south Mumbai earlier this month over the death of 23 people in a stampede on the staircase of the foot overbridge (FOB) at suburban Elphinstone Road railway station last month, MNS workers took upon themselves the task of removing hawkers from station premises.

Gutka baron and Manikchand MD Rasiklal Dhariwal passes away

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chairman and managing director of Manikchand group of companies and Gutka baron Rasiklal Dhariwal passed away in Pune after a long illness on Tuesday. He was 79.For last 50 days, he was being treated at a private hospital after he was diagnosed with pneumonia. He breath last at around 8.15 pm on Tuesday night. According to Ruby Hall Clinic, Dhariwal was admitted to the hospital on September 4 and he was suffering from cancer. “His cancer spread all over his body and today he died due to multi-organ failure,” said Dr Sanjay Pathare, Medical Director, Ruby Hall Clinic. He is survived by wife Shobha, a son and four daughters. Born in Shirur Tehsil of Pune district, Dhariwal inherited his father’s bidi factory which he expanded into one of the biggest tobacco industry in the country. He diversified the tobacco business and ventured into gutka and soon Manikchand which popularly known as RMD became synonym to gutka. Dhariwal also ventured into packaged drinking water, education institutes and health care centers.

BJP asks Cong to break silence on Robert Vadra issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP targeted Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra on Tuesday for his alleged links with absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari who fled to London in 2016.The BJP fielded Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to attack the Congress top brass asking Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to break their “silence” over media reports that claimed Robert Vadra’s links with fugitive Bhandari.Sitharaman said Gandhi’s silence would be construed as acceptance of charges against Vadra.Citing the media report, Sitharaman alleged that a London prpoerty linked to Vadra was refurbished by Bhandari, who also made arrangements for his travel abroad.She also claimed that an amount of 7.5 lakh Swiss francs was deposited in one of Bhandari’s bank accounts raising questions whether the money spent on the London house was linked to Vadra.Vadra had denied links with Bhandari when in 2016 it was reported that his London flat at 12 Ellerton House in Bryaton Square was renovated by Bhandari.Latest reports alleged that Bhandari booked two air tickets for Vadra in 2012, one of which was for travelling to Zurich, Switzerland’s financial capital.Reports also claimed that the tickets were booked by Bhandari when he was being investigated for his role in an Indian Air Force deal for basic jet trainer aircraft worth Rs 4,000 crore that Swiss company Pilatus had bagged against HAL’s bid during the UPA regime in 2012..The minister alleged that there were at least three transactions between them with “serious financial implications.”Sitharaman asked, “Why senior leadership of the Congress is keeping a studied silence.”Claiming that the Congress scion was “copying” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the union minister said, “The government is taking all steps to bring the absconding arms dealer back to India to face law,” she added.With reference to the allegations Vadra posted on Facebook, “Good Morning, I am capable, I am strong. If I believe in myself, I can turn my dreams into a plan, and my plan into my reality.”Alleged linksDef Min Sitharaman alleged that a London property linked to Vadra was refurbished by arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari She also claimed that an amount of 7.5 lakh Swiss francs was deposited in Bhandari’s bank accounts raising questions whether the money spent on the London house was linked to Vadra

After Smriti Irani, Nirmala Sitharaman targets Rahul Gandhi, Congress over report on Robert Vadra’s air tickets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has questioned Congress silence on a TV channel claim that arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari bought Robert Vadra’s air tickets. Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday questioned silence of the Congress leadership on the developments. “Is Congress leadership, by being silent, implying they knew of it?”, Nirmala Sitharaman was quoted as saying by ANI on Tuesday. BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra dared Congress to file a defamation suit if the party stand by the credibility of Rober Vadra.Sambit Patra tweeted: If You stand by Credibility of Robert Vadra then file a Defamation suit! If not then Surrender!Earlier, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on Monday targeted Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi after a media report claimed that absconding arms agent Sanjay Bhandari had “booked tickets” for his brother-in-law Robert Vadra.”Eagerly awaiting Rahul ji’s poetic explanation for #VadraTicketGate,” Irani tweeted.The minister’s tweet came after Times Now channel claimed that “the absconding arms dealer Bhandari (had) booked business-class tickets for Vadra in 2012”.Times Now said Vadra and his lawyers had earlier denied having any links with the absconding arms dealer.Irani’s swipe at Rahul Gandhi, asking for his “poetic explanation”, came two days after the Congress leader targeted the government over the Global Hunger Index by citing a poem in a tweet.

Activist alleges threat from caller in email to police chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An RTI activist and journalist, who has been exposing alleged irregularities by several developers via his blog, has now alleged that someone posing as a police officer called and threatened him on Sunday afternoon. Krishnaraj Rao wrote to Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar on the same, and Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sanjay Saxena has forward the complaint to Zone 12 DCP.In his email to the police chief, Rao has alleged that he received a threat call on behalf of Bhagtani builders and also a local MLA. He has alleged that the person who called him identified himself as Karan Singh and even asked Rao to check the number on the Truecaller app for the same.According to Rao, the caller first claimed to be someone cheated by Bhagtani and another person. He said that both of them had given Bhagtani Rs 20 lakh and wanted the money back. After this, Rao suggested that the caller register an FIR, but the latter was not interested in legal remedies. In the middle of the call, the caller claimed that Bhagtani had told him on the phone the same day that he had made arrangements to lift Rao from his residence and thoroughly beaten up. The caller then changed the tack and claimed that he was a crime branch officer and began threatening Rao.Rao then wrote the commissioner seeking his action. Vinay Rathod, DCP Zone 12, said, “I am yet to get the email, and when I do, I will ask the concerned police station to look into the matter.”Meanwhile, Diipesh Bhagtani, of JVPD Properties Ltd said, “We are a professional real estate company, and I am absolutely not aware of any threat. Nor are we interested in giving any threats to anybody. Though I can confirm that Mr Krishnaraj Rao is a blackmailer and we are going to file a complaint with Anti Corruption Bureau in consultation with the lawyer. We do not believe in these kinds of acts and have faith in the judiciary. These things are being done to extort money and spoil our name since we decided not to pay these blackmailers. He has written defamatory blogs against us mentioning stories which are not true and we shall be filing a separate complaint against him with Cyber Cell department.”

Tejas Express says food on-board was ‘satisfactory’, blames kids who vomited for ‘vitiating air quality in AC coach’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> An inquiry report on the suspected food poisoning incident on-board the Tejas Express train has found no problem with the food quality, and said the unease was triggered after two children vomited “vitiating the air quality in the a/c coach”.The report by a Central Railways team said the quality of the food served on-board the premium train was “satisfactory”.It said the first case of uneasiness was reported after two children in a group of tourists from Himachal Pradesh vomited in the air-condition coach.”The vomiting smell triggered uneasiness in others and then another two children vomited. This further vitiated the air in the coach and then two more children vomited. This triggered uneasiness in their parents,” the report stated.”After this incident, few other passengers of C1, C2, C5, C7 coaches who passed through this coach also complained of uneasiness,” the report adds.A three-member committee comprising senior railway and IRCTC officials was formed yesterday after 26 passengers had taken ill on-board the Mumbai-bound Tejas Express from Goa after breakfast.The report, accessed by the PTI, also said that another tourist group from Kolkata complained of uneasiness.The groups tour manager said they had been travelling continuously for the past 16 days in Maharashtra and Goa and were carrying their own cooks and food materials, including fish (Hilsa) from Kolkata, the report said.”He very clearly and categorically said that there was no problem with food quality,” the report added.It, however, didn’t say if the group had had food served on the train or the food they were carrying. It also did not clarify if the smell of the fish triggered the vomiting.The railways said its officials spoke to 20 passengers and their statements were recorded.In the conclusion, drawn from the statements of the passengers and officials on duty, the report said, it appears the food served “on Tejas Express was of satisfactory quality”.”He (the Kolkata tour manager) said he had had everything served by waiters but found no problem with the food. Six passengers of his group had fallen ill and were sent to Chiplun hospital,” the report said.The report also included the statement of a doctor, Sanjay R Nimbalkar, who was travelling with his family and attended to the ill passengers.The doctor in his statement to the railway officials has said he himself had had the food and found no issues with its quality.The PTI independently spoke with Dr. Nimbalkar who confirmed he had found no problem with the quality of the food — bread, egg omelet, mango drink, tea, coffee and mineral water.The report stated that the packaged food served on trains were also checked – soup, poha, cake, bread sticks, kokum sarbat and mango punch – and they were all well within their expiry date.However, it said some passengers had complained about a smell from their omelets and the “quality of omelet may be ensured while serving”.

Food quality was ‘satisfactory’, unease caused children to vomit in Tejas Express: Report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An inquiry report on the food poisoning incident on-board the Tejas Express train has found no problem with the food quality, and said the unease was triggered after two children vomited “vitiating the air quality in the a/c coach”.The report by a Central Railways team said the quality of the food served on board the premium train was “satisfactory”.It said the first case of uneasiness was reported after two children in a group of tourists from Himachal Pradesh vomited in the air-condition coach.”The vomiting smell triggered uneasiness in others and then another two children vomited. This further vitiated the air in the coach and then two more children vomited. This triggered uneasiness in their parents,” the report stated.”After this incident, few other passengers of C1, C2, C5, C7 coaches who passed through this coach also complained of uneasiness,” the report adds.
ALSO READ 26 passengers taken to hospital due to food poisoning on Tejas Express; probe orderedA three-member committee comprising senior railway and IRCTC officials was formed yesterday after 26 passengers had taken ill on-board the Mumbai-bound Tejas Express from Goa after breakfast.The report, accessed by the PTI, also said that another tourist group from Kolkata complained of uneasiness.The group’s tour manager said they had been travelling continuously for the past 16 days in Maharashtra and Goa and were carrying their own cooks and food materials, including fish (Hilsa) from Kolkata, the report said.”He very clearly and categorically said that there was no problem with food quality,” the report added.It, however, didn’t say if the group had had food served on the train or the food they were carrying. It also did not clarify if the smell of the fish triggered the vomiting.The railways said its officials spoke to 20 passengers and their statements were recorded.In the conclusion, drawn from the statements of the passengers and officials on duty, the report said, it appears the food served “on Tejas Express was of satisfactory quality”.”He (the Kolkata tour manager) said he had had everything served by waiters but found no problem with the food. Six passengers of his group had fallen ill and were sent to Chiplun hospital,” the report said.The report also included the statement of a doctor, Sanjay R Nimbalkar, who was travelling with his family and attended to the ill passengers.The doctor in his statement to the railway officials has said he himself had had the food and found no issues with its quality.PTI independently spoke with Dr. Nimbalkar who confirmed he had found no problem with the quality of the food — bread, egg omelet, mango drink, tea, coffee and mineral water.The report stated that the packaged food served on trains were also checked – soup, poha, cake, bread sticks, kokum sarbat and mango punch – and they were all well within their expiry date.However, it said some passengers had complained about a smell from their omelets and the “quality of omelet may be ensured while serving”

The lost sheen: Of empty stands & Ranji Trophy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The last time Sawai Mansingh Stadium witnessed fan frenzy was when Baroda and Gujarat touched down in the Pink City to play Ranji opener on October 6, 2016. At one point of time, security personnel found it hard to control the euphoric fans who had collected in large numbers to see their heroes they had often seen on television.“Everyone wants to see international-level players and that is why on all 4 days of this game we had spectators in a Ranji game…but, you cannot have such stars in all the teams that play domestic matches,” said Irfan Pathan referring to Baroda versus Gujarat match in which alongside Pathans also featured popular players like Hardik Pandya, his brother Krunal Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, and Parthiv Patel.With Team India playing almost throughout the year, it has become almost impossible for Indian international stars to play in domestic season. But it was not so sometime back. Reminiscing the olden days, former Ranji Trophy player and state selector Vinod Mathur recalled his debut Ranji match and said, “I played my first Ranji game in 1971 at Mayo College ground in Ajmer and spectators had turned out in huge numbers. In those days the atmosphere used to be pulsating even during domestic tournaments.” While former Ranji player and state selector Sanjay Vyas remembered playing his first match in 1979 in front of more than half-full SMS Stadium. “At smaller venues wherever we played the stadium used to be packed,” he said. He further added that now, games are devoid of star players and that is also a cause of low spectator count. “When Sachin Tendulkar played Ranji match at Lahli in 2013, it was a houseful. Definitely stars are crowd-pullers,” he pointed out.TELEVISION TURNED IT AROUNDMathur pointed out the coming of television as the major factor behind dwindling fan attendance in stadiums during domestic games. “We are exposed to a steady diet of international games throughout the year on TV that cricket fans tend to show little interest in a Ranji game. Add to it the poor facilities that act as a deterrent.” Watching Tendulkar, Kohli and the likes in the comfort of home has easily elbowed out the low-on-facilities stadium experience and domestic tournaments devoid of star players. “We used to go and watch domestic matches and treasured every experience of watching our state players. I was so excited after a handshake with Salim Durrani during a match between Rajasthan and MCC, such was the craze while I was growing up,” Mathur said. Sanjay Vyas recalled how as a kid he used to rush to the stadium to watch Parthasarty Sharma play. Vyas echoed the same sentiments.MEDIA’S COLD SHOULDERMoreover, majority of cricket enthusiasts show little interest in their state team’s performance and even don’t know players who represent their state. Former cricketers blame local media for it. “Around 10 years back as a part of the selection panel of U-19 team we had gone to Mumbai to select the team for the Sri Lanka tour. Media was all over the airport asking about their local junior players,” lamented Mathur. Speaking in the same vein, Vyas said that media in Rajasthan is very negative. “Press in Delhi, Mumbai present even their junior stars as heroes, but here the culture is all together non-existent,” he added.

VHP to organise statewide stir in Uttar Pradesh to ban Deepika Padukone-starrer Padmavati

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Saturday announced that it would not allow the release of Sanjay Leela Bansali’s Padmavati in Uttar Pradesh. Senior VHP leader Rakesh Varma alleged that the film glorified foreign invaders such as Alauddin Khilji and casts aspersions on Rajasthan’s royalty The VHP had burnt film’s posters in Gonda district on Friday and plans to launch a statewide stir against the film.The film is based on Rajasthan’s queen Rani Padmavati who burnt herself alive when barbaric ruler Alauddin Khilji forcibly attempted to make her his wife.“The film is an insult to Rani Padmavati. The film maker has made an attempt to distort the history. The VHP will not allow this to happen. We will not let the movie to be shown in any theatre in Uttra Pradesh,” warned the BJP leader.The film has been in controversy since beginning. During its shooting in Jaipur, unruly members of Karni Sena had disrupted the shooting. Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali was even assaulted by the mob. Later, the film unit had to pack up from Jaipur and shot the movie in Mumbai.The film is slated to release on December 1.

After Delhi, Maharashtra now mulls ban on sale of firecrackers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai and Maharashtra may see a ban on firecrackers after Supreme Court banned them in the National Capital Region, citing extreme pollution levels. Maharashtra Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam said his department was mulling the move to ensure Diwali remained free of air and noise pollution.”I will discuss the issue with our party president Uddhavji Thackeray and then with the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis before taking a final call,” Kadam said.At present, the state has banned only those crackers that cause noise pollution. Every year, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board conducts a test to determine which crackers are to be banned. If Kadam has his way, almost all crackers causing air and noise pollution may face ban in Maharashtra.”While Mumbai’s pollution is not like Delhi, we don’t want to wait till the situation worsens,” Kadam said.He added, “Initially, we will focus on creating awareness among people. We are asking schools and colleges to administer oaths to students exhorting them to not burst firecrackers this Diwali.”He pointed that pollution led to major health issues including cancer and asthma. “So many people go out of Mumbai during Diwali only to avoid the pollution. We need to take up this initiative voluntarily,” said the Sena minister.He clarified that he is not against celebrating festivals, but is concerned about how it affects the health of the citizens.Kadam, however, could face opposition from within party from Sena MP and editor of the Sena mouthpiece Sanjay Raut, who has expressed his displeasure over the cracker ban. “People’s livelihood depends on the sale and manufacture of firecrackers. They are sold not just in India, but across the world,” Raut said.Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray too jumped into the controversy, asking why courts always interfere with celebration of festivals. “Should we burst firecrackers over WhatsApp now?” he asked.Advocate Abhay Parab, who had filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court demanding a complete ban on the sale and bursting of crackers in residential areas, said as per the Central Explosive Act, a complete ban on the sale of fire crackers in the residential areas already exists.”Besides, Bombay High Court in 2015 had passed a judgement saying that the sale of the fire crackers in Maharashtra should be stopped,” he said. “It has also said that no fire sale license should be issued by the government. However, the government has violated the respective court order; the ban exists only on paper. We have moved HC against this and a final hearing is scheduled on October 25.”Meanwhile, aggrieved traders in Delhi’s oldest wholesale market — Sadar Bazaar — held a protest at the Qutub Road and stopped the traffic for more than an hour. Demanding a relaxation of at least 10 days, the traders also burst crackers on streets.”Where do we go with this stock worth crores? We have no choice but to burn these crackers. The government should allow us to sell our stock till October 21, as mentioned in the licenses that we were issued. Otherwise, we will step up our protest,” said Harjit Singh Chhabra, Head of the Sadar Nishkarm Welfare Association.”We will hold a massive protest at the Qutub Road on Wednesday evening,” he said. Nearly 500 temporary licences, 24 of them in Sadar Bazaar, were issued in Delhi-NCR.Oppn within partyRamdas Kadam, however, could face opposition from within the party. Sena MP and editor of the party mouthpiece Sanjay Raut has expressed his displeasure over the ban on firecracker— With inputs from Fareeha Iftikhar

BJP looks for ‘tough men’ ahead of polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The State BJP will be organising a district level kabaddi tournament to vow the youth. To retain and maintain its position BJP has clearly made a strategy of organising sports tournament to connect with the young blood. Last year also BJP had organised a cricket tournament, following the path this year they are organising a Kabbdai tournament. As the Loksabha and assembly elections are approaching, it seems clear that BJP is trying is best to involve as many youths possible and hence they have found a way to do so by organising a sports tournament on regular intervals. During last year also BJP organised the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Cricket Tournament. As a part of the tournament, district and ward level cricket tournaments were organised in all districts of the state including Jaipur.According to BJP leaders, sports is an easy way for connecting youth with the government’s plan and organisation’s ideology. More and more young players are joining the organisation through these tournaments. The results of last years tournament were very positive for the party . The BJP has started the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Kabaddi Tournament from October 7 across the state. Teams from different wards have participated in the tournament. The highest number of teams were formed by Jaipur Rural BJP which are 4800 teams. BJP city president Sanjay Jain told that every booth’s Kabaddi team will participate in tournament and thousands of youth will associate temselves with the party.

Did not click a single marriage photo: Pillai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The defence advocate in Leander Paes and Rhea Pillai’s domestic violence case on Saturday continued with Pillai’s cross-examination. She informed the Bandra Metropolitan magistrate court that she married Leander Paes in the Gandharva Vivah tradition and it was performed twice. She also claimed that she did not click a single picture with Paes as she was waiting for the marriage to be solemnised.Rhea, while deposing, said that the two got married in the year 2005 and 2008. However, when the defence asked her if she had mentioned about it to the court, she claimed that she had mentioned about it to her lawyers, who in turn added the fact in some petition. Her lawyers failed to remember as to which pleading had the mention of this fact.Further, the defence questioned her the reasons for re-marrying Paes. In reply, Pillai said, that Sanjay Dutt and she got formally separated in the 2008 and as, Paes and she, wanted to re-visit their marriage vows, they got married once again.The court has issued the next date for continued cross -examination as October 10.

SGNP to lose 1.48 lakh sq mt to new route

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>About 1.48 lakh sqmt of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) land will be deforested for the construction of the first phase of the Virar-Alibaug multi-modal corridor, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has said.In its draft environmental assessment report submitted to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), the MMRDA said that along with 1.48 lakh square meters of SGNP land, it will also have to deforest around 6.90 lakh square meters of mangroves for the project’s phase-1.Furthermore, the project will pass within a 10-km radius of Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnala Bird Sanctuary and Matheran eco-sensitive zone, the MMRDA report says.”The major long-term negative impact will be the permanent loss of about 14.8 hectares (1.48 lakh square meters) of Sanjay Gandhi national Park, and 793 hectares non-forest land tree (mangroves) located within the proposed ROW (Right Of Way) of multi-modal corridor,” the environmental assessment report reads. SGNP has one of the highest density of leopards, with over 30 spotted cats in the 103 sq. km park.However, according to the report this will not affect important protected wildlife species. “This can, however, be mitigated by compensatory afforestation,” the report further reads.”There may also be some small-scale temporary impact on wildlife habitats.However, investigations show that this is not a significant issue for important protected species.”The report further points out that the corridor will pass through or pass closely several green pockets in and around the city – it will pass through SGNP, pass 153 meters away from Tungreshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, 5813 meters away from Karnala Bird Sanctuary and 105 meters away from Matheran Eco-sensitive Zone.A senior MMRDA official said, “We have sent the proposal to the state wildlife board and all concerned authorities for land acquisition. After the state wildlife board approves it, it will also go to the National Wildlife Board.”The 126-km-long Virar-Alibaug Multi-modal Corridor is divided into two phases. The first phase is between Virar and Chirner near Jawarhal Nehru Port Terminal (JNPT) and the second phase is between Chirner and Alibaug.Once completed, it will take 75 minutes to travel from Virar to Alibaug. The corridor will have eight lanes and will connect NH8 (Ahmedabad), NH3 (Agra-Delhi), NH4 (Pune-Bangalore), NH4 B (JNPT) and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. There are plans for dedicated bus lanes and a Metro corridor.

First US crude oil shipment arrives

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a significant development, India on Monday received the first shipment of 1.6 million barrels of American crude oil at Odisha’s Paradip Port. With this, India joined South Korea, Japan and China to buy American crude and to lessen dependence on supplies from the Gulf and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). A sample of the crude was symbolically presented to Sanjay Sudhir, Joint Secretary (International Cooperation) in the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Katherine B Hadda, US Consul General in Hyderabad. Senior Officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and Indian Oil were also present at the port. Officials here said the US crude supply will help India to keep oil prices low and stable to benefit consumers.The 40-year-old ban on export of American oil was lifted by the then US President Barack Obama in December 2015. But the real shift began during the maiden meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on June 26, 2017, when the two leaders agreed to deepen engagement in the energy sector. Thereafter, two Indian giants placed orders for over four million barrels.Indian companies have also contracted nine MMTPA of LNG from the US and the first shipment is expected in January 2018. Of this, GAIL has contracted 5.8 MMT per annum, including 3.5 MMTPA of LNG from Sabine Pass Liquefaction terminal (Louisiana) and 2.3 MMTPA from Cove Point LNG liquefaction project (Maryland).The move will give India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan more leverage seeking a discount from the OPEC. At the last Istanbul meeting, he had asked the OPEC nations to give a discount to India by virtue of being a large and loyal customer. The OPEC, meets about 86 per cent of the nation’s oil needs. With the US emerging as an exporter of crude oil, producers in the Middle East will have to maintain a competitive pricing strategy.Calling it as a new chapter in the history of Indo-US trade, particularly in the oil and gas sector, Sanjay Sudhir said that the inclusion of the US as a source for crude oil imports by India’s largest refiner will go a long way in mitigating the risks arising out of geopolitical disruptions. He hoped that the new arrangement would also usher in price stability and energy security for India, which is witnessing robust growth in demand for petroleum products.Earlier the MT New Prosperity, a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), of capacity 2 million barrels of crude, arrived at Paradip port. Indian Oil which became the first Indian public sector refiner from India to source US crude has placed a cumulative order of 3.9 million barrels from the US. Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum, India’s two other public sector refiners have also placed orders for about 2.95 million barrels and 1 million barrel respectively for their Kochi and Vizag refineries. The total volume of the crude presently contracted by Indian public sector refineries is, therefore, 7.85 million barrels. The three refiners are sourcing sweet, sour and heavy crudes for their refineries which are equipped to handle a complex mix of crude oils. Indian companies, both public and private, have made sizeable investments in US Shale assets with a total investment of approximate US $ 5 billion.

DU faculty member writes to V-C

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following the death of DU professor Dr Sanjay Kumar on Thursday, a member of the Varsity’s Executive Council (EC), highest decision making body, wrote a letter to the Vice Chancellor urging him to improve medical facilities provided to employees.”Dr Kumar was admitted to Sundarlal Jain Hospital on Wednesday evening. At midnight, his attendant was told to arrange for platelets as his count decreased dangerously. By the time it was arranged, he was no more,” said Rajesh Jha, assistant professor at Rajdhani College and an EC member.Jha further said that the hospitals the university has on its panel, where its employees can avail medical services, are badly equipped and cannot handle critical cases.”In many cases, the hospitals are turning away patients citing lack of beds. Dengue has acquired epidemic proportions and its increasing complexity requires super speciality treatment on an urgent basis,” reads the letter.”I request you to allow the university staff suffering from dengue to get admitted in any hospital and grant total reimbursement for the hospitalisation,” the letter added.Raising the issue of alleged loopholes at Sundarlal Jain Hospital, Jha said, “Last year too, the university administration was informed about the problems at the hospital even as it continues to be on the panel. The faculty members demand an immediate review of the panel as the University employees are presently deprived of better medical facilities.”

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