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Gujarat Elections: ‘No question of any challenge’, says CM Vijay Rupani who’s contesting against richest candidate

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday dismissed any questions of challenge and urged people to come out and vote in large numbers in the first phase of the state elections.Voting for the first phase of the crucial Gujarat assembly polls is underway on 89 seats of Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions.”People should come out in large numbers to vote. We are very confident, no question of any challenge,” Vijay Rupani told the media.Gujarat Assembly Constituency number 69 — Rajkot West — has been a prestige seat for the BJP. Rupani is contesting as BJP candidate against Congress candidate Indranil Rajguru, who is also richest in this pollsIndranil had won the last polls in 2012 from neighbouring constituency Rajkot East but has shifted to this seat.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Congress asks for mobile jammers outside rooms guarding EVMs to prevent riggingThe seat has maximum upper caste voters – more than 50% of total votes. Other caste combination is 25,000 Brahmins and Lohana each, 20,000 Baniyas and around 10,000 Kshatriya Rajput voters.There are 22,000 votes of a minority community and around 15,000 Schedule Caste (SC) community voters are there.Also readNaMo and the ‘unch-neech’ of the Gujarat campaign trailA total of 977 candidates are in fray for the first phase polls.The election is viewed as a prestige battle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a litmus test for the leadership of soon-to-be Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Hardik Patel’s ‘shadow’ moves far from PAAS over Congress tiltThe campaign shaped up as a duel between Modi and Gandhi, and often turned personal.

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Gujarat elections 2017: PM Modi addresses 8K party workers of SC, ST morcha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday addressed around 8000 workers of Schedule Caste, Schedule Tribe and Sagarkhedu (fisherman) morcha of BJP in Gujarat. The PM addressed them through the platform of audio bridge and workers of Morcha across the state listened to his speech over the works which BJP government did in Gujarat for the welfare of the people of SC, ST and fisherman communities.Addressing the workers, the Prime Minister said, “Starting from Ambaji in North Gujarat to Umergaon in South Gujarat, the entire belt is dominated by tribal population. Almost entire eastern belt of Gujarat state has the tribal population and Gujarat government has served them whole-heartedly. The Gujarat government initiated Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana scheme dedicated to tribal people having the total budget spent of Rs 65,700 crore for their welfare. The BJP has brought qualitative change in the life of the tribal population and that is why their faith is on BJP. We have implemented PESA Act enabling the village panchayats in tribal areas to have more powers and grants.” Around 2600 workers of ST Morcha took part in this programme.As many as 1,600 workers of Schedule Caste(SC) Morcha also joined in this programme. Addressing them, the PM said, “There are several elements who have been spreading myth among society and especially in Dalit community against BJP. In fact, BJP workers have served the Dalit community in such a way so that they can match their steps with the upper class. We have worked for their development through various schemes. We have inaugurated Baba Saheb Ambedkar International Research Center in New Delhi and dedicated to the great contribution of the sculptor of Indian constitution.”MODI’S POLL SCHEDULEDecember 10Palanpur : 10:30amSanand : 10:30pmKaalol : 02:30pmVadodara : 6:00pmDecember 11Patan : 12:30pmNadiad : 2:30pmAhmedabad : 7:00pm
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Yogi Adityanath


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Gujarat fifth in crime against SC/ST: Data

According to the data released by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) on Thursday, Gujarat ranks fifth in crime rate against those belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) category in 2016. While Madhya Pradesh topped the list, Rajasthan, Goa, Bihar and Gujarat followed closely.The data states 40,801 cases were lodged under (Prevention of Atrocities) Act across the country in 2016. Out of which 1,322 cases were lodged with Gujarat police. The number of such cases shot up in Gujarat as compared to the last two years. It was 1,010 cases in Gujarat in 2015 and 1,094 cases in 2014.Out of the 1,322 cases that were lodged in Gujarat, 32 cases were related to murder, 35 cases of attempt to murder, 64 cases causing grievously hurt, 75 cases of assault on Schedule Caste women, 36 cases of sexual harassment, 57 cases of kidnapping and abduction, 70 cases of rape, 99 cases of rioting, 16 cases of robbery, 11 cases of arson, 688 cases of other IPC crimes and 165 cases related to other incidents, the data said.TOTAL ATROCITY CASES IN INDIA2016- 40,8012015- 38,6702014 – 40,401RANK OF STATES BASED ON RATE OF CRIME IN 2016Madhya Pradesh – 3,294 casesRajasthan- 6,735 casesGoa-13 casesBihar- 7,886 casesGujarat- 1,322 cases(Crime rate is the number of incidents per 1,00,000 of the population.)
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Yogi Adityanath


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Notice to Centre on steroid misuse plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court (HC) on Wednesday issued notices to the Centre on a plea seeking directions to ensure that no topical medications containing a “cocktail of harmful steroids” are sold without a valid prescription. The steroids in question are used to treat several skin diseases.The plea, filed by the Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists, and Leprologists (IADVL), a leading official body of dermatologists and skin specialists, has questioned the misuse of topical corticosteroids, a class of drugs used to treat a variety of skin diseases.The petition sought a ban on the manufacture and sale of several skin creams containing steroids, which are marketed for skin conditions such as pigmentation, itching, fairness, and inflammation.It also sought an independent high-level inquiry into how the Central Drug Standards and Control Organisation (CDSCO) granted approval for the commercial manufacture, use, and sale of hazardous as well as irrational and unscientific steroid combinations, and an order to prosecute the officers concerned.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar termed this a serious issue and asked the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Central Drug Standards and Control Organisation (CDSCO) to file their response on the plea by January 23, the next date of hearing.Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Tania Agarwal contended that by enforcing the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, the government must curb the menace of abuse of certain drugs that have been affecting the health of millions of Indians.”The unchecked and unregulated manufacture and sale of irrational, unscientific, and hazardous corticosteroids, either in the form of a single molecule or in combination with other antifungals or antibacterials has caused serious adverse effects on the health of millions of Indians,” the plea stated.It also contended that these drugs caused growth retardation in infants and children, Cushing syndrome, suppression of hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, acute adrenal insufficiency, severe hard to treat steroid modified fungal infection of the groin and other body areas, male genital dermatophytoses, topical steroid damaged face, among other things.The petition sought directions to the government to include these drugs in Schedule H of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945, as proposed by the Drugs Technical Advisory Board. Schedule H is the category of drugs that can to be dispensed only through a prescription and that cannot be advertised. The sale of steroid creams is over half-a-billion-dollar business, with almost two-thirds of them being sold without prescription.

IPS Baranda resigns, set to contest poll

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Superintendent of Police (SP) of Chhota Udepur, PC Baranda, on Wednesday resigned from the service to contest the upcoming Assembly elections on a BJP ticket.The 58-year-old, a 2007 batch promotee IPS officer, is likely to contest from Bhiloda constituency, which is a reserved seat for Schedule Tribes (ST). Dr Anil Joshiyara has held the seat since the past three elections. Baranda claimed that there has been no development in his area.A notification by the state Home Department said that Baranda has been permitted to retire voluntarily with effect from November 15.”There is no development in my area at all. There are no roads, transportation, or any kind of infrastructure since many years. The area is not developed at all. For ‘Vikas’, I am going to contest poll from BJP. I will (undertake a) face-lift of the constituency,” Baranda told DNA.”I want to guide my community people who have supported me. I want to work for upliftment of people who are deprived. The Congress party or their candidate have done nothing for them. Being in service, i was not able to focus on the community’s development,” he added.Manish Doshi, spokesperson of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), exuded confidence that Baranda’s candidature would not make a difference to the outcome.”They may rope any candidate but they are not going to win there. They are trying to mislead people and voters by spreading rumours, but voters are mature and they know very well what BJP has done in past many years,” he said, adding tthat Joshiyara has carried out many developmental works in the constituency.

Let the ‘sacrifice’ happen, declares Sharad Yadav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid indications of an early decision on his disqualification from the membership of Rajya Sabha, senior JDU leader Sharad Yadav, who has rebelled against party chief Nitish Kumar’s decision to align with the NDA, said “no post or position holds importance when the fight is over issues”.Yadav, as well as another Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar Ansari, had on Wednesday appeared before Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venakaiah Naidu, who is hearing a petition filed by Leader of JDU in Rajya Sabha RCP Singh, seeking their disqualification from the party.Reportedly, Yadav has been told that the RS is looking at the issue only with the perspective of 10th Schedule of the Constitution regarding his disqualification for acting against the party line and it is separate from the issue which is the real JDU, a matter being contested by both Yadav and the Nitish camp before the EC.”Natural justice should be followed in the matter, though for me, post and position does not hold significance when it comes to issues. When one fights on issues, one has to make all sorts of sacrifices. If the sacrifice happens, so let be it,” Yadav told DNA.Yadav’ remarks come in the backdrop of indications that the Rajya Sabha Chairman could decide the disqualification matter soon without referring the matter to Parliament’s Ethics Committee.Matter gets worseYadav had received a communication from RS office in which his request to allow a lawyer to appear on his behalf on the matter was rejected citing absence of any such precedent in past

NCB faced with manpower and infra challenges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is India’s nodal agency to fight drug trafficking, but it is facing a host of challenges, crippling its capacity to fight the powerful cartels on the ground. The NCB has 700 officials, 400 less than its sanctioned strength.Its major challenge is gathering intelligence. The unit has a small team of around 20 to 25 people in about 25 states. It does not have offices in a few states.The NCB is heavily dependent on local enforcement agencies and state police forces. “Sadly, anti-narcotics units in states are not a top priority. These units are headed by low-rank officials, except in Punjab where an Additional Director General-level officer is heading the unit,” said a senior officer. According to him, this is one of the major hurdles. The local police can generate huge intelligence pertaining to drug trafficking but they have failed to do so, he said.The second biggest challenge is how to stop pilferage of Schedule–H or prescription drugs. “It has been found that a truck full of Schedule–H drugs has been smuggled into Bangladesh,” said the officer. The manufacture and sale of all drugs under Schedule–H are covered under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940. But lack of proper mechanism to check manufacture and sale, and easy availability lead to pilferage of Schedule–H drugs. Thirdly, local enforcement agencies have often been found inefficient with not much interest in proper implementation of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.Another important aspect is the lack of infrastructure with the NCB. This leads to various operational hurdles.Also, drug networks are spread across the globe and there is a need for strong relations with other countries to break networks.To deal with this, the Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted a multi-stake coordination centre for all agencies, border-guarding forces and police establishments and forces in the states to interact with the NCB and together fight the drug menace. The Ministry has established a Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD) and ordered coordination meetings on monthly basis.”In pursuance of the mandate of the NCB to have effective coordination amongst the various drug law enforcement agencies as well as different departments/ministries dealing with policy matters, the Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD),” a ministry notification said.The notification further pointed out, “Various enforcement agencies in the country like the state police, the border guarding force, DRI, Custom and Central Excise, besides the NCB (which is the Nodal Agency) have been vested with the task of enforcing the NDPS Act. Different departments/ministry like the Department of Revenue (Ministry of Finance), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Home Affairs, deal with different aspects including policy matters for the purpose of effectively preventing and combating abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and illicit trafficking.”

Gujarat ranks 2nd in crimes under Atrocities Act

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When Piyush Parmar, 24, a youth from Limbodara village in Kalol taluka was assaulted by members of the dominant caste, little did he realise that he was part of a larger crime data in Gujarat that reflected how Dalits are at the receiving end of violence.For, Gujarat ranks second in the country (next only to Bihar) among 29 states in crime rate registered under sections of the Atrocities Act where the victims are grievously hurt.The rate of crime refers to incidence of crime reported per one lakh of Schedule Castes (SC) population.According to statistics available with the National Crime Records Bureau for crimes committed against Schedule Caste during 2015, 40 incidents were reported in 2015 which led to the victims (in this case Dalits) being grievously hurt. The number seems minuscule, compared to Bihar (216), Uttar Pradesh (366), Odisha (75) and Madhya Pradesh (68).But, that is until you start comparing the crime rate for incidences in which Dalits were grievously hurt. The crime rate for Gujarat under the category is highest at 1, second only to Bihar which has a crime rate of 1.3. Gujarat has an SC population of 40.7 lakh against Bihar’s 165.7 lakh.James Dabhi, research director at the Human Development and Research Centre at St Xavier’s College Campus in Ahmedabad has an interesting explanation. He said Dalits in Gujarat were more aware of their rights and the Atrocities Act than say Bihar or Uttar Pradesh. “This means, they are more likely to protest against an injustice, although it doesn’t always mean that their complaints will be taken or heard. But the mere fact that they are more likely to raise their voice would mean they are more likely to be targeted for violence,” said Dabhi. This he said could be one reason why the crime rate for sections of the Atrocities Act in which the victim is grievously hurt is so high.Agrees. GV Gohil, ACP, SC/ST Cell in Ahmedabad said the figures are a reflection of better reporting of atrocities. “People are more aware of their rights and are coming forward to register complaints. It is not that the instances have seen a sudden spike. The figures are a reflection of better awareness among people about their rights,” said Gohil.Dabhi’s explanation may also hold true for another interesting statistic about Gujarat as far as crimes registered under the Atrocities Act is concerned.The crime rate for Gujarat under the riot category for cases under the Atrocities Act is second only to Maharashtra for the 2015. Data shows that Gujarat recorded 73 instances of riots under the Atrocities Act, which had 95 victims making the state’s crime rate for the category 1.8. This is second only to Maharashtra which has a crime rate of 2 for 270 riot cases and 365 victims. The all India rate for the category is 0.7.But those like Dabhi don’t believe that the statistics reveal the true picture. “In rural areas discrimination against Dalits is a daily practice that is accepted as a way of life and the statistics that NCRB collects don’t take into consideration the many cases that are either not reported or are not registered by the police,” said Dabhi.Jignesh Mewani, who led an agitation of Dalits in the state after the Una incident, said the statistics about atrocities against Dalits are an eyewash. “You may think more cases are being reported and hence the rate is on the rise. But the devil is in the detail. Why don’t you analyse the conviction rate in atrocity cases and that will show you the true picture,” said Mewani.He said the conviction rate for atrocity cases in Gujarat is less than 3%. “What is the point of registering case after case if it is not leading to any conviction? Dalits may be hurt, maimed or killed but are the perpetrators getting punished? No, and that shows how well the police investigate the cases and how well the system works to give Dalit’s justice,” Mewani said.

‘Enough Tamiflu stock available’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid reports that medical stores are running out of Tamiflu medicines with the H1N1 cases increasing with each passing day, government and medical store owners assured on Friday that enough stock of the medicine is available. However, they cautioned against unguarded use as it could reduce one’s immunity.Authorities said the tablet is available for free at government-run hospitals on prescription of a doctor. “We have provided Tamiflu to a number of private hospitals after they approached the AMC. We have enough stock AND tablets are available for free at urban health centres and AMC-run hospitals. There is no scarcity of medicine,” said Mukesh Kumar, commissioner. Medical store operators in city told DNA that many of them ran out of the drug on August 14-15, but enough medicine has been stocked now. “Even if a retail store runs out of stock, it can get fresh stock within minutes,” said Jaswant Patel, chairman of Federation of Gujarat State Chemists and Druggists’ Association.Vishnubhai Patel, former president of Ahmedabad Chemists’ Association said one can even call the association’s office for same.Notice to hosps for admitting H1N1 patients with othersThe AMC on Friday served notice to two hospitals admitting H1N1 patients though they don’t have a separate isolation ward facility as mandated for the same.Shifa Hospital of Jamalpur and Sardar Hospital, Maninagar were served notices. “At both the hospitals, three H1N1 patients were admitted along with general patients, which is not allowed. If any hospital wants to admit swine flu patients, it is mandatory for them to have isolation ward facility. We have sought explanation within three days,” said Mukesh Kumar, municipal commissioner, AMC.Kumar told mediapersons that extensive surveillance is going on across the city for suspect swine flu, malaria, dengue and chikungunya cases.Aug accounts for 80% H1N1 cases this yearThe swine flu situation in Gujarat seems to be getting worse by the day. The flu claimed 12 more lives in the state on Friday, even as 228 new cases were confirmed by the authorities.The state government said that 12 more people died of swine flu on Friday, including four each in Ahmedabad and Vadodara cities. One death each was reported from Ahmedabad district, Mehsana, Gandhinagar and Patan.With this, the death toll because of swine flu has gone up to 242 this year, of which a majority of the deaths have been in August. In fact, almost 80% of the total 2,500 swine flu cases since January 1 this year have been reported in the current month alone.According to officials, Ahmedabad city remains the worst-hit by swine flu. It reported 111 new cases of swine flu on Friday, almost half of the 228 new cases that were reported across the state.TAMIFLU NOW A SCHEDULE-H DRUGTamiflu was earlier under Schedule X of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, meaning a medical store operator required special licence for its stock. However, considering the high number of deaths in the state this year due to swine flu, it was recently put under Schedule H, meaning any registered medical store operator can stock and sell it.
Operator of medical store near Shyamal Crossroads said medicines of different companies are priced differently. One is priced around Rs500 per 10 tablets, while other at Rs1,200 per 10 tablets. Most medical store operators have the cheaper one, so they run out of the stock sooner. However, the medicine can be made available at short notice, as wholesalers have ample stock.

Swine flu now perennial threat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The H1N1 Swine Flu virus has mutated yet again, and now the disease isn’t seasonal anymore, experts have confirmed. The new strain, called Michigan, was discovered in India earlier this year. The California strain of the disease has existed since 2009.This year, so far, 15,121 people in the country and 928 in the National Capital have fallen prey to the disease, which has claimed 736 lives.In a telephonic interview with DNA, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), confirmed that the virus has mutated and will now affect people all round the year.“I can confirm that the Swine Flu virus has mutated again and it is not a seasonal disease anymore. The biggest problem with the Swine Influenza virus is its tendency to mutate. This is the virus’s own survival mechanism to escape the human immune system and surpass the antibodies created by a human body. So, medicines and treatments for it are not long-lasting and need to be updated almost every year,” said Dr Swaminathan.Keeping the recent mutations in mind, the government has now changed the Swine Flu drug category from Schedule ‘X’ to Schedule H1, which means that the drug will now be available at any registered chemist shop and can be procured with a doctor’s prescription. Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain and Dr Swaminathan have confirmed that the drug supply is sufficient to tackle any possible scenario.Earlier, the virus attacked mostly in winters. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been modifying vaccines separately for Northern and Southern Hemisphere. But in India, due to its position along the equator and after the recent mutations, both types of vaccines are made available during different times.“The internationally available vaccines contain three inactivated viral strains, the composition of which is reviewed every six months to ensure protection against the strains prevailing in each influenza season. The composition of vaccines is adjusted for the hemisphere in which it will be used. Thus, a vaccine available in one hemisphere may offer only partial protection against the infection in the other hemisphere,” the WHO website states.Initially recorded in 2009 in Mexico, the disease was declared a pandemic by the WHO in 2010. India had already witnessed 42,592 cases and 3,000 deaths by the end if 3,000, as recorded. The death toll has gone up to 4,000 now.“Most of those who succumbed were children, elderly, pregnant women or people with chronic lung disease. I strongly recommend that at least the vulnerable population, especially the health care workers, must take these vaccines to prevent the infection from spreading further,” Dr Swaminathan said.TERM TALKSwine flu is a respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses
Symptoms include fever, cough, nasal secretions, fatigue, headache, breathing difficulties
The virus is contagious about 1 day before symptoms develop and about 5 to 7 days after; some patients may be contagious for a longer time span

Harassed ‘Kakkoos’ filmmaker leaves TN for safety

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After being continuously harassed by members of a caste group over phone with death and rape threats, activist-cum-filmmaker Divya Bharathi who made the documentary film Kakkoos (Toilet) on manual scavenging, has left Tamil Nadu fearing for her life and safety.According to people close to Divya, she has left the state as she continued to receive sexist, abusive and threatening phone calls and messages even after the police complaint filed by her. In order to ensure her safety, the people close to her have kept her current location a secret.An FIR has been filed against Divya who has been part of CPI(ML) since school days, for portraying members of Pallar community, belong to Schedule Caste, indulging in the manual scavenging. Her documentary, which was released on February 26, features people from different Dalit communities including Pallars narrating their ordeal as manual scavengers.Divya had told reporters that she started getting abusive calls only after she uploaded a video of sanitary workers who were allegedly harassed by Chitra Selvi, the Dean of Anna University in Dindigul on July 21. Chitra Selvi who also belongs to Pallar community was supposedly associated with a Dalit party – Puthiya Thamilagam (PT).Soon a poster quoting PT leader Dr Krishnasamy saying that Kakkoos documentary projected Pallar community in bad light went viral in social media, Divya said, adding she started receiving threatening calls. She also started being followed by some miscreants who even went to the extent of calling and telling her about her location and what she was doing there.With the police failing to act on her complaint, sources said, Divya preferred to move out of the state for some time and to remain connected through social media. Her decision to leave the state comes amid internationally-acclaimed human rights activist Irom Sharmila extending her support and inviting Divya to be her bridesmaid for her marriage to be held at Kodaikanal on August 16.

JuD?s political reincarnation MML comes with questionable ?terrorism? pedigree: Pak editorials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Editorials appearing in two separate major dailies in Pakistan have said the Jamaat-ud-Dawa?s (JuD?s) plans to venture into mainstream politics through its recently formed Milli Muslim League (MML) needs to be viewed with skepticism, given its past alleged links to terrorism, militancy and insurgency. The Dawn, in its editorial, says the arrival of general elections ?usually produces some strange bedfellows who come together out of political expediency.? Acknowledging that the MML has hit all expected talking points that need rectifying, including corruption of the political leadership, an end to the deliberate fanning of sectarian and ethnic tensions, the country?s direction towards liberalism and secularism and the charity work being carried out by the JuD, the editorial, however, cautions that the ?JuD comes with a considerable degree of baggage, a questionable pedigree of sorts.? It reminds the reader that while entry into the political mainstream is a welcome step, the irrefutable fact is that the JuD is on the ?government watch list under Schedule II of the Anti Terrorism Act, and its own predecessor, the Lashkar-e-Taiba ? now banned ? is associated with jihadist adventurism across the border (read India), including operations such as the Mumbai attacks in 2008.? It reminds that the LeT has been and continues to be ?an obdurate opponent of democracy, deeming it incompatible with Islam?. The Dawn says that, ?the MML should be emphatic in its repudiation of militancy.? Endorsing a similar sentiment as expressed in the Dawn, The Nation, in its editorial, however, says that the JuD is attempting ?a clear political reincarnation.? ?This may be an attempt to provide a cover to the organisation amid pressure from the international community on Pakistan to crack down on the JuD for its alleged involvement in terrorist activities in India and its links to Al Qaeda,? the editorial in The Nation, says. Maintaining that it would be na?ve to underestimate the support that the JuD has in Pakistan, the editorial questions whether the emergence of the MML will polarise an already fragmented Pakistani society? It believes and predicts that the popular welfare activities of the JuD will convince the masses in Pakistan to ?internalize? the party?s extremist political ideology.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ashoka University and Life Lab Foundation host science

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> seminar on Higgs Boson Particle New Delhi India, July 27 (ANI-BusinessWireindia): Ashoka University and Life Lab Foundation bring to you a science event like no other wherein eminent scientists Dr. Mick Storr, an experimental physicist and the pioneer of CERN?s international teacher training programmes, and Dr. Archana Sharma, senior scientist in the CMS Experiment at CERN, will take students on a journey to learn about the origins of the universe, the world’s greatest experiment, and the Nobel Prize winning ‘God Particle’. This event is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for high-school students and teachers to delve into the realm of High Energy Physics, learn about cutting edge research and gain access to advanced research facilities through a virtual visit. During this event, participants will gain a deeper understanding of modern scientific discoveries and their impact on the world. Schedule Friday, August 4, 2017 9:30 am ? 1:30 pm Talks: A Gateway to Science, Technology & Innovation by Dr. Archana Sharma The Big Bang Machine by Dr. Mick Storr NCUI Auditorium, 3, Siri Institutional Area August Kranti Marg New Delhi, Delhi 110049. (ANI-BusinessWireindia) Ends KS NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No intention to impose Hindi over any other language: Kiren Rijiju in Rajya Sabha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government today asserted in Parliament that it has no intention to impose Hindi over any other Indian language, a remark which assumes significance because of protests in some states due to apprehensions over the issue.All languages are national languages, although Hindi is the official language, said Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, who is in-charge of the Department of Official Languages in the central government.He said the government is trying to find a way soon on how to bring the pending 38 languages in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution, which grants official status to a language.”There is no question of imposition of Hindi over any other language. Hindi is the official language. There is no one language which is national language,” he said in the Rajya Sabha.He was replying to a debate on a private member’s bill which sought inclusion of ‘Tulu’ and ‘Kodava’ languages in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution moved by B K Hariprasad of the Congress.”It is not a question of trying to impose Hindi. Let us be very clear. There is no one language which is national language, all languages are national languages. Hindi is the official language, so there is no question of discrimination.There is no special effort or attempt to promote Hindi,” Rijiju said.His comments assume significance as they come in the backdrop of allegations by certain quarters in some state like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu that the central government is trying to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states.The controversy over Hindi being imposed was generated after President Pranab Mukherjee accepted the recommendation of the Committee of Parliament on Official Language that all dignitaries including the president and ministers, especially those who can read and speak Hindi, may be requested to give their speech/statement in Hindi only.The president had accepted several other recommendations, including making announcements on board aircraft in Hindi followed by English.Elaborating on the government’s three-language formula, Rijiju said it is already in existence and there is no bar on any state to conduct its business in regional languages.The minister observed that the issue of language is very sensitive and a slight mistake or misrepresentation can lead to many differences within the country.”We have not given any preference to one language over another. While justice is being done, we must ensure that no complications arise in the future because it is a very sensitive subject,” Rijiju said.Clarifying the government position, he said, “We have made it clear that there is no question of imposition of Hindi over any other language. Hindi was made the official language taking into account the spirit of members of Parliament. Hindi has to be promoted but at the same time all other regional languages also have to be promoted”.Hariprasad, while piloting his private member bill, highlighted the importance of regional languages.”We have no problem in making Hindi compulsory in southern states but please make one southern language compulsory in north India,” said Hariprasad, who hails from Karnataka.Hariprasad also demanded that a criteria be developed for inclusion of languages in the 8th Schedule to make the process transparent and devoid of politics.To this, Rijiju said it is not easy to define the criteria which will make a particular language qualify for inclusion in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.He said the Home Ministry had set up a committee to have a look at the cases pending regarding inclusion of more languages in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.The minister urged Hariprasad to withdraw his bill, saying the two languages cannot be considered in isolation for inclusion in the 8th Schedule, to which the Congress member relented.At present, there are 22 languages under the 8th Schedule of the Constitution while 38 languages have been listed formally. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, there are demands for inclusion of 38 more languages in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.Participating in the debate, Prasanna Acharya (BJD) urged the central government to come out with a broader Constitution amendment bill.”Let the government constitute a committee which should go deeper into the subject,” he said.”India cannot unite unless we bring the people together,” he said, adding “inspite of all diversities, this nation is one and it continues to be one”.He said sometimes people are angry like in Gorkhaland, who are demanding a separate state, and urged the government to take care of the sentiments of people of the area.He urged the Centre to also bring Sambalpuri and Kosli languages of Odisha as part of the 8th Schedule.Shiv Pratap Shukla (BJP) said if all the languages were taken care of, then there would not have been problems as existing today.The President of India has himself said that if a language is spoken more in a state, then the government can include it in the 8th schedule, he said.He said the three-language formula has been diluted as Sanskrit has been abandoned and only English and Hindi are recognised more.He lamented that while India has not bothered about promoting Sanskrit, Germany has adopted it and is promoting it. He urged the government to include Bhojpuri and Tulu in the 8th schedule as it is spoken by a large number of people across the country.Anand Bhaskar Rapolu (Cong) stressed the need for protecting lesser-spoken languages in the country.La Ganeshan (BJP) cautioned against imposition of English, saying in Tamil Nadu the mother tongue is Tamil but a generation has grown which didn’t know how to write it and now there is a generation which doesn’t know how to read it.Pradeep Tamta (Cong) said languages like Bhojpuri, Kumaoni, Garhwali should also be included in the 8th Schedule.Ram Vikas Netam (BJP) lamented that though Chhattisgarh was carved out as a separate state, its language Chhattisgarhi was still to be accorded official status.

Zeliang ready to prove majority in Nagaland trust vote

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>T R Zeliang, who was reappointed Chief Minister of Nagaland amid high drama yesterday, is ready to face the floor test tomorrow to prove his majority in the state Assembly. Zeliang will move the Vote of Confidence in the Assembly as an MLA of the Naga People’s Front, though he has been expelled from the party for six years, a spokesperson of Zeliang’s group Tokheho Yeptho said. “As per the Tenth Schedule amendment of 2006, an elected member of any party can be declared unattached in the Assembly even though he is expelled by the party,” Yeptho, an MLA, said. He also expressed confidence that with the support of 36 NPF MLAs, seven Independents, and four BJP MLAs, which takes the number to 47 in the House of 60, Zeliang is sure of commanding a majority. Zeliang took over the mantle after incumbent chief minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu was dismissed by Governor P B Acharya, capping a rebellion in the ruling NPF he had spearheaded. The Governor directed Zeliang to prove his majority in the Assembly by July 22 and the chief minister agreed to do so by tomorrow. Zeliang was appointed chief minister for the second time under the third term of the NPF-led DAN government. Zeliang was compelled to step down as chief minister in February in the face of massive protest against his government for conducting elections to urban local bodies with 33 per cent reservation for women. Meanwhile, MLA Yitachu, spokesperson for legislators backing Liezietsu, told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CZA seeks time to reply on safari park plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The high court on Thursday, on the request of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), adjourned hearing on a public interest litigation challenging permission to Ambardi Safari Park in Amreli district.The petitioner has challenged permission granted by CZA through an averment. The matter will be heard on July 25The first division bench of chief justice R Subhash Reddy and justice Vipul Pancholi is hearing a petition filed by Biren Padhya.Petitioner’s advocate Nandish Thackar submitted that during the pendency of this petition, the CZA granted permission to the safari park in violation of rules and guidelines. The core contention of the original petition was the technical team granted permission without carrying out an inspection of the park. The CZA too followed suit. The second contention pertains to rehabilitation of animals. There is no word about it in the permission, and according to the petitioner’s information there are at least 250 to 300 Chinkaras within the fence of the safari park.After considering the averments made by the petitioner, assistant solicitor general Devang Vyas sought more time to file a reply as they did not have instructions from the CZA about this development. Petitioner had challenged the permission on the ground that along with chinkaras there Schedule I & II animals in the safari park, and they have not been rehabilitated in the forest. The park is also in violation of the eco-sensitive zone norms.

Arunachal CM directs SJETA dept to avoid delay in releasing scholarships to tribal students

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu directed the Department of Social Justice, Empowerment and Tribal Affairs (SJETA) to draw a foolproof mechanism to avoid delay in releasing scholarships to tribal students. The state government had released Rs. 28.50 crore from its own sources to SJETA on June 27, for releasing the pending scholarship of the students in anticipation of funds to be received from the central government, after Khandu initiated. From the money sanctioned to the department, Rs. 19.35 Cr has already been released to the students in their respective accounts. Rest of the amount is being released simultaneously after following the due procedures. The held a meeting with the delegates of All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union and other student?s representatives yesterday. The secretary and director of SJETA informed the delegates of All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union and other students? representatives that the central government has recently released 40.30 crore as a grant in aid for post metric scholarship to Schedule Tribe Students as arear grant for the year 2016-17, in a meeting yesterday. The centre also released another Rs. 2.84 crore as adhoc grant for the year 2017-18 for the same purpose. The department made it very clear that the due procedure to ensure that ?no duplication? in receipt of scholarship must be followed in letter, and spirit to which the students body appreciated. The department further appealed that proper documentation should be complied with to ensure that the department is in position to release the scholarship to the students at the earliest possible. Khandu had earlier issued specific directives to the department to immediately release the scholarship to the students. He meanwhile appealed the students? community to make judicious use of the scholarship money for academic pursuit and furthering studies.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

GST is BJP’s tax terrorism, says Cong leader Shaktisinh Gohil

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The introduction of GST by the BJP-led government is not simplification of the tax regime but its terrorism, said national spokesperson of Congress Shaktisinh Gohil on Friday.“Across the world, the principle of GST has been that its implementation abolishes all other taxes. The UPA government had introduced the GST Bill in 2011 in the Lok Sabha. At that time the then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, had said that GST cannot be successful. But today, he speaks of being a game-changer,” Gohil said while talking to mediapersons.The Congress leader said initially, the party had supported the bill introduced by the Union government. “The bill introduced by us in 2011 was for the welfare of both citizens and businessmen. It was only when the tax rates were announced and we realised that it will rob the common man and harm traders, thus we opposed the same,” he added.Gohil said the BJP had announced in its 2014 election manifesto that if it comes to power, the maximum rate of GST would be kept at 13-14%, but it has fixed 28% on certain items. “Congress had included petrol, diesel in the GST bill but they are not covered under the new tax regime now. This will lead to 38-40% tax on petrol, diesel,” Gohil said.He added that GST has been imposed on pesticides and other farm-related equipments which do not come under Schedule-1. Gohil said maximum tax has been imposed on the textile industry. “While Ahmedabad was known as the Manchester of the East, Surat is its hub,” Gohil remarked.“18% tax has been imposed on unbranded biscuits which are mostly consumed by the weaker sections of the society,” he said.

1 held for trading wild animal parts; Vardhan says won’t spare

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A large number of wild animal parts have been seized during raids in Noida, following which a former customs official was arrested. Taking strong note, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan today said those involved in wildlife crimes will not be spared. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau conducted “wildnet operations” in Noida yesterday and seized parts of wild animals protected under various schedules of the Wildlife Protection Act. The seized items include 25 hatha jodi, 25 siyar singhi, 24 sea fan, one trochus, six lambis shell, 91 black cowrie, 130 white cowrie and 27 sea-shells. Also, over Rs 18 lakh in cash was seized. District Forest Officer H V Girish said that during interrogation, the accused revealed that he was an inspector at the customs department but left his job to start astrology business. The accused used the items for black magic. During the raid, a diary has been seized which contains details of his customer, both Indian and foreign, the official said. A statement from the environment ministry said a case has been registered under various sections of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 under Noida Forest Division of Uttar Pradesh. “Trading in wildlife articles is the third largest trade in the world. Illegal trade of animal parts and other wildlife crimes are being taken very seriously and such criminals will not be spared at any cost,” Vardhan said. Appreciating the seizure of wildlife items, he termed the operation as “timely and appreciable” intervention and said the ‘wildnet operations’ were based on monitoring of websites. Among the seized wildlife articles, ‘hatha jodi’ is the dried male reproductive organ of Monitor Lizard, covered under Schedule 1 Part II of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Siyar Singhi, a part of Jackal covered under Schedule-II Part-II of the Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972. Indrajal (Sea Fan) Lambis shell and other sea shells seized are covered under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the statement said. Illegal trade in wild animals parts can lead to imprisonment of three to seven years and a fine of Rs 10,000 for the first offence and imprisonment. Subsequent offences would draw imprisonment of not less than three years and can be extended to seven years, and a fine of Rs 25,000. Vardhan emphasised that the operation in Noida was carried out in continuation of earlier successful operations in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha. “Such operations express the Narendra Modi government’s seriousness and commitment to fight wildlife crime and these operations will be continued in future,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Haryana settlement of outstanding dues ordinance promulgated

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki has promulgated the Haryana Settlement of Outstanding Dues Ordinance, 2017, to provide for expeditious recovery of outstanding dues under various Acts by bringing out settlement scheme. As per the ordinance, there would be one or more schemes for settlement of outstanding dues and matter connected therewith or incidental thereto covering payment of tax, interest, penalty or any other dues under the relevant Acts related to any period up to March 31, 2017. “This would be subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be specified in the scheme, covering period of limitation, rate of tax, tax, interest, penalty or any other dues payable by a person or an importer or a proprietor or an owner or a class of dealers or classes of dealers or all dealers,” an official spokesman said here today. He said that the Acts included in the Schedule are the Haryana General Sales Tax, 1973 (Repealed Act), the Haryana Value Added Tax Act, 2003; the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956; the Haryana Local Area Development Tax Act, 2000 (Repealed Act); the Haryana Tax on Entry of Goods in to Local Areas Act, 2008 (under litigation); the Haryana Tax on Luxuries Act, 2007; the Punjab Entertainment Duty Act, 1955; the Punjab Passenger and Goods Taxation Act, 1952 (Repealed Act) and the Punjab Excise Act, 1914.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

154 nominations for 34 wards of Shimla Municipal Corporation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 154 candidates have filed nomination for 34 ward of Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) which go to polls on June 16. Thirty-eight candidates had filed their nominations during the first two days while 116 entered the fray on the last day of filing nominations today. Scrutiny of papers would take place tomorrow while the last date of withdrawal is June 8. Seventeen wards have been reserved for women including three for schedule caste women while three wards are reserved for schedule caste men and the post of Mayor is reserved for Schedule Caste women. Former mayor of SMC Jaini Prem is among the candidates while over two dozen sitting and former councilors have also filed nominations. The BJP has declared its list of official backed candidates while the Congress has decided not to back any candidate officially. The elections are not being held on party symbols and the returning officer would allow symbols on his own after withdrawal on June 8. The polling would be held on June 16 while the counting of votes would be taken up on June 17. The model code of conduct has come in force in the SMC area while carrying of arms or any other instrument which can be used as weapon has been banned in till the election process is over.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ICAI suspends 4 members for lapses during demonetisation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chartered accountants’ apex body ICAI has penalised and suspended the membership of four for providing advice that encouraged money laundering during the demonetisation period. Each of the four members have been slapped with a fine of Rs 1 lakh. In a statement today, ICAI said the four members have been found guilty of “having brought disrepute to the profession thereby violating the applicable provisions of the Chartered Accountants Act”. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) Board of Discipline has imposed the maximum penalty upon all four erring members. The four chartered accountants’ membership has been suspended for three months apart from imposing penalties on each of them under Schedule I of the Chartered Accountants Act. According to the statement, the institute was seized of five cases against chartered accountants “who have been found advising/guiding in a manner encouraging money laundering during the currency demonetisation period”. As part of efforts to tackle the black money menace as well as curb corruption, the government had cancelled old Rs 500 and 1,000 currencies as legal tenders last November. The institute also said that keeping in view the severity of the allegations, the proceedings against the members concerned were completed in the shortest possible time.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mamata Banerjee challenges PM Modi, rejects Centre’s cattle slaughter ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has challenged the new legislation brought by Central government to implement ban on cattle slaughter. In a press conference in Kolkata, West Bengal CM said that the Centre’s move is unconstitutional. She said that West Bengal will neither accept it nor are they bound by it. Mamata said it is a move by Modi government to demoralize and destroy the federal structure of the county. She branded it as direct encroachment to federal structure. According to Mamata Banerjee, it is unnecessarily bulldozing and imposing of Centre’s writ on the state. Mamata Banerjee said that the law is very clear as per constitution and the Centre has no right to dictate terms to states with respect to List 2 of Seventh Schedule. She said that they will challenge the law constitutionally. Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said the ministry has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 to ensure that the sale of cattle is not meant for slaughter purposes.”Aim of the rules is very specific. It is only to regulate the animal market and the sale of cattle in these markets, and ensuring welfare of cattle dealt in market. And the rule provides for a strict animal monitoring committee and an animal market committee at the local level,” Vardhan told ANI. He said the seller and buyer both have to ensure that the cattle is not been bought or sold in the market for slaughter purposes.”An undertaking to this effect has to be given to the member secretary of the animal market committee from the seller as well as the buyer,” Vardhan added. As per the notification, cattle is defined as, “bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers and calves and camels”. The rules also state that the purchaser shall not sacrifice the animal for any religious purpose, or sell it to a person outside the state without permission and must keep in with the state?s cattle protection laws.

WB govt to accept Aadhaar as proof of residence for caste

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The West Bengal Government will allow the use of Aadhaar card as proof of identity as well as residence for issuing cast certificates, officials said. A notification issued by the the Backward Classes Welfare Department here said that Aadhaar card will be treated as a valid document for residential proof and identity of the applicant, applying for Schedule Caste, Schedule Tribe and Other Backward Class certificates. “It is stated that Aadhaar cards needs to be treated as a valid document in regard to proof of identity and local residence in addition to the list of documents,” the notification read.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Contempt case: ‘I am in perfect condition,’ says Justice CS Karnan, refuses to undergo medical test

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Calcutta High Court Judge Justice CS Karnan on Thursday refused to undergo any medical test, saying he is normal and has a stable mind.A four-member team of doctors along with around 20 policemen had reached Justice C S Karnan’s residence in Kolkata’s New Town, following the Supreme Court order in connection with a contempt case against him.However, when the team of doctors comprising two psychologists and one senior psychologist reached his house, Justice Karnan told them, “I am in a perfect condition and don’t need any treatment. Please don’t insist on me taking a medical test.”Karnan also said that the order passed by the top court judges amounted to harassment. “It is an insult of a Dalit judge and seven SC judges should resign,” he said.Justice Karnan has been adopting a belligerent approach and had asserted that he will issue a suo moto suspension order against West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) if he forcefully conducts a medical checkup.On May 2, Karnan ordered issuance of non-bailable warrants against seven judges of the Supreme Court, including the CJI, for not being represented before him, even as the Attorney General said he was not sure whether the ‘gentleman’ would undergo medical tests as ordered by the apex court.In the suo motu judicial order, apart from Justice Khehar, Justice Karnan had ordered six other judges — Justice Dipak Mishra, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Manad B Lokur, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Kurian Joseph — to appear before Justice Karnan at his New Town residence on April 28, 2017 at 11.30 am as they had offended under the Schedule Castes & Scheduled Tribes Atrocities Act.(With inputs from Arshad Ali in Kolkata)

Justice CS Karnan issues non-bailabale warrant against CJI and six others

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Only a day after Kolkata High Court judge, Justice CS Karnan issued an order for appropriate medical tests on seven medical judges, Justice Karnan, on Tuesday, issued a non-bailable warrant against the seven Supreme Court judges including Chief Justice of India.Justice Karnan, who is facing contempt of court charges issued a two-page ‘suo motu judicial order in the interest of the nation to protect the general public from corruption and unrest’ naming seven judges – Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar, Justice Dipak Misra, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Manad B Lokur, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Kurian Joseph – as accused. The order said that they failed to appear before him or send their representatives so a non-bailable warrant was issued in their names.‘The Registrar General High Court at Calcutta is directed to issue the non-bailable warrant to the above named accused to be executed through the Director General of Police or Commissioner of Police New Delhi’, the order read.He had earlier sought replies from the seven judges in person or through their council regarding declaration of guilt and quantum of punishment at the makeshift court on April 28. In an order earlier he had said, ‘The Hon’ble 7 judges as mentioned above will appear before me at my Rosedale Residential Court and give their views regarding quantum of punishment for the violation of Schedule Castes & Scheduled Tribes Atrocities Act, since the case clearly proves that the Hon’ble 7 judges wantonly and deliberately and with mala fide intention insulted me at a Public Institution and prevented me from undertaking my Constitutional duties, and this harassment still prevails’.After they failed to appear before him on that day he had postponed the date for appearing to May 1 and when they didn’t turn up on that day too, he issued the non-bailable warrant.

DRI files complaint in Rs 3,000-cr drug seizure case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Directorate of Revenue Intelligence today submitted a complaint (Parivad) in court against eight people in connection with a major drug haul which was exposed by it last year in Udaipur. The DRI filed the ‘Parivad’, running into over 4,400 pages, in the court against the eight accused, including Subhas Dudani, Ravi Dudani and Anil Malkani, who are under judicial custody. The accused were also present in the court during the hearing of the case today, DRI sources said. The next hearing in the case will be on May 26. Cracking a drug syndicate, DRI had seized a huge quantity of a banned psychotropic substance, pegged worth over Rs 3,000 crore in international market, which was recovered in Udaipur during a search operation launched in October last year. The DRI had claimed it is one of the biggest seizures of the substance, banned under Schedule 1 of NDPS rules, 1985, in the world.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt hits back at DMK, says no question of forcing Hindi on anybody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Downplaying Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president and treasurer M.K. Stalin?s claim that the Centre is imposing Hindi on the non-Hindi residents of the country, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said there is no question of forcing Hindi on anybody, adding this matter is being unnecessary politicized for ulterior gains. Naidu said the incumbent government is following the old practice, adding there has not been any change from what was implemented during the time of former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. ?There is no question of forcing Hindi on anybody. Learning Hindi will be useful. Even I have learned Hindi later and now I am able to speak Hindi across the country. Learning Hindi will be good for the future but at the same time there is no force. What was implemented at the time of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi period same thing is being implemented now. They are trying to unnecessary politicize this issue to create some sort of regional feeling. We have seen enough of this,? he added. In a video posted on his Twitter account, Stalin yesterday said that right from the day of assuming office, Prime Minister Modi-led BJP has been attempting to destroy and decimate the unity of the nation. He said the recent proposal of the parliamentary committee to make it mandatory for the MPs and Central Ministers who know Hindi to the use it as their official language, both in speech and writing, is a recent example of such efforts. “The BJP government has also obtained permission from the President for usage of Hindi in Airport announcements, press news and advertisements and going one step further have made Hindi a compulsory subject for CBSE schools across the country,” he said. He pointed that all the Central Government’s Cesses and Schemes are titled only either in Hindi or Sanskrit and then transliterated to other languages adding that recently, even the milestones on the National Highways have been re-lettered in Hindi, after erasing the earlier signage in English, which was universally recognisable. The BJP government ?by forcing Hindi onto its citizens” from primary school students to Parliament is betraying all non-Hindi speaking residents of the country including future generations, said Stalin as he accused the Centre of violating the Indian Constitution that ensures equal rights to all the citizens. “According to the Schedule 8 of the Constitution of India, all languages including Tamil should be announced as official languages,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Arunachal MP slams China for objecting to Dalai Lama’s visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The issue of China objecting to the visit of Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh figured in the Lok Sabha today, with a member from the state saying Beijing has no business to tell India what it should do or not do in the context of its “guest”. The issue was raised by Ninong Ering, Congress member from Arunachal Pradesh. “North East is a sensitive area. China lays its claim on Arunachal Pradesh. Who is China to tell what Centre (India) should do or what state should do and what state should not do,” he said. He was speaking on a private member bill which sought amendment to the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. “Dalai Lama is a friend of ours. He is our guest. He has taken refuge (in India). We recognise him as leader of Tibetan Council,” Ering said. He also raised the issue of the children of North East facing discrimantion and said that “we need to have stringnet laws.” Speaking on the bill, Jitendra Choudhury (CPM) said the issue of extension of Sixth schedule to other states including Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam of the North East has been pending for long. The government had said the bill to amend Sixth Schedule would be introduced in 2015 but it is yet to see light of the day, he rued. The Constitution of India makes special provisions for the administration of the tribal-dominated areas in four states namely Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. Vincent Pala of the Congress had moved the bill to further amend the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India in its application to constitution of District Councils and powers of the District Councils and Regional Councils. The amendment through the bill is aimed at providing shield to tribals and help in their upliftment of their livelihood, he said, adding, Adivasis have been left behind in journey of development. “Adivasis were the first ones to raise their voice against the British rule even before Sepoy mutiny and the country should recognise their effort in preserving ecosystem of the country,” he said. There are 12 crore Adivasis in the country and everyone needs protection, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Chaitra Navratri 2017: Here’s a list of food items you can you still eat during the 9-day fast

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The traditional Hindu festival of Chaitra Navratri is a nine-day festival which commences on March 28 and will culminate with Ram Navami on April 5. Marking the beginning of a new year for a lot of communities in the country, quite a lot of people observe fast during these nine days. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi also observes fast during both Chaitra Navratri as well as Sharad Navratri. For 18 days in a year, his diet only consists of fruits consumed once a day, and intake of lemon juice throughout the day. In 2012, PM Modi had mentioned in a blog that he has been fasting during Navratri for 35 years.Whereas newly appointed CM of Uttar Pradesh, Aditya Nath Yogi also observe fast during Navratri. He eats fruits twice in the day and is on liquid diet throughout the remaining part of his day.
ALSO READ Chaitra Navratri 2017 Schedule: Importance and Puja Muhurat timingsIf you are wondering what you can or cannot eat during Navratri, here’s the list that will help you:1. Kuttu Atta (buckwheat flour): You can make khichdi, paratha, poori and halwa
ALSO READ Navratri: PM Modi to join devotees in observing nine-day fast2. Sabudana (sago/tapioca pearls): Have sabudana kheer, payasam, khichdi, vada​3. Sama Chawal (barnyard millet): Can be used to make idli, uttapam, dosa and puri for vrat
ALSO READ Gudi Padwa 2017: From PM Modi to Virender Sehwag, luminaries extend greetings​4. Herbs and spices: sendha namak (rock salt), cumin seeds (jeera), green cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, nutmeg, cinnamon and green chilli5. Tea is allowed, but you cannot consume coffee.6. Dairy products: milk, curd, paneer, butter, ghee, khoya and condensed milk7. Onion and garlic are strictly not be consumed while you are observing fast.8. Makhana (fox nuts): Make kheer or aloo makhana9. Fruits and vegetables: All fruits are allowed. You can also coconut dishes or have coconut milk and water. You can opt for potatoes, sweet potatoes, suran, tomatoes, pumpkin, bananas and papaya.10. Dry fruits: Almonds, pistachio, cashew nuts and kishmish are eaten during fast.

Law Commission recommends abolition of death penalty, except in terrorism cases

The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday was informed that the Law Commission had recommended the death penalty be abolished for all crimes except those related to terrorism
Responding to a question, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said that the Law Commission in its 262nd report in 2015 had recommended that the death penalty be abolished for all crimes other than terrorism related offences and waging war. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday was informed that the Law Commission had recommended the death penalty be abolished for all crimes except those related to terrorism Responding to a question, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said that the Law Commission in its 262nd report in 2015 had recommended that the death penalty be abolished for all crimes other than terrorism related offences and waging war. “As Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure are in the concurrent list of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution, the report has been circulated to all state governments and union territories for seeking their views,” he said replying a written question. The commission had further asserted that death penalty under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code be abolished except in cases of terrorism since it does not serve the goal of deterrence any more than life imprisonment.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Law Commission recommends abolition of death penalty, except in terrorism cases: Government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Law Commission has recommended that the death penalty be abolished for all crimes except those related to terrorism, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said the Law Commission in its 262nd report has recommended that the death penalty be abolished for all crimes other than terrorism related offences and waging war.”As Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure are in the concurrent list of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution, the report has been circulated to all state governments and union territories for seeking their views,” he said replying a written question.

Not just tigers, leopards too need protection now

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what has set off alarm bells in the state forest department, a female leopard has been found poached at Yavatmal with her paws and organs missing.This comes days after a leopard that was found drowned in a well at Kinvat in neighbouring Nanded district had its paws and teeth removed. In January, three leopards were found dead, two in Nagpur and one in Chandrapur, due to unnatural causes like poisoning and snare trapping respectively.While conservation efforts focus on the tiger as an apex predator and a flagship species, Maharashtra, which has a healthy population of leopards, has seen a loss of 458 of these since 2010, of which 74 were due to poaching. The number of leopard deaths due to accidents stands at 162, and 222 are due to natural causes.This points to how the leopard, which like the tiger, is a Schedule I animal (listed under this schedule of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972) entitling it to the highest degree of protection, needs more conservation efforts being directed towards it.According to the state forest department’s figures, the year 2016 saw the highest toll registered, at 89 (since 2010), of which seven leopards died due to poaching.”On Wednesday, we found a dead four-year-old female leopard at Takli village near Yavatmal. We suspect that a goat’s carcass was poisoned to kill the leopard whose paws, teeth, whiskers, and tail were cut. A post-mortem was conducted and the samples sent for analysis,” a forest department official told DNA.The post-mortem detected that the leopard had eaten a goat, which may have been poisoned.Another forest department official said that on March 4, a leopard had drowned in a well at Kinvat in Nanded in the area controlled by the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM). The animal was extricated from the well and its paws and teeth were cut off, the official said, adding that, however, they did not suspect an organised poaching racket to be involved.It is estimated that India’s leopard population is around 12,000 to 14,000, with tiger bearing areas having around 7,910 of these big cats, according to the 2014 tiger census. In contrast, the statistics of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) show that tiger mortalities in Maharashtra between 2010 and 2016-end stand at 65.Leopard deaths:2016:Natural: 53Accidents: 29Poaching: 7TOTAL: 892015:Natural: 29Accidents: 31Poaching: 6TOTAL: 662014:Natural: 33Accidents: 23Poaching: 9TOTAL: 652013:Natural: 17Accidents: 19Poaching: 7TOTAL: 432012:Natural: 25Accidents: 29Poaching: 14TOTAL: 682011:Natural: 37Accidents: 18Poaching: 15TOTAL: 702010:Natural: 28Accidents: 13Poaching: 16TOTAL: 57

MPs seek more powers for district councils of tribals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cutting across party lines, Lok Sabha members today pitched for more financial and administrative powers for the autonomous district councils (ADCs) to ensure overall development of tribal regions, most of which are in the Northeast. “The Centre needs to have a relook at the functioning of the ADCs and find out whether they are meeting the aspirations of the people of tribal areas,” said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury while participating in a discussion on a private member’s bill seeking to amend the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. Moved by Vincent H Pala (Cong), the Bill seeks to raise the number of members of ADCs from 30 to 40 and increase powers of the Councils to deal with land rights and other tribal issues. The autonomous district and regional councils were set under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to protect the custom, culture and traditions of tribal and ensure their overall development. Most of these councils are in the Northeastern region. Chowdhury said these district councils do not have adequate financial resources and suggested that funds should be made available to them to undertake activities to meet the aspirations of the tribal people. Ram Prasad Sarmah (BJP) demanded that the number of members in the ADCs should be increased to 40 and more such councils should be set up in Darjeeling in West Bengal to promote the development of the Gorkhas. Saugata Roy (TMC) said the government must assure the tribal people in the Northeast that their culture and identity will be protected. He said the Northeast has the potential to become the next Switzerland. “Education and Christianity had made the people of Northeast more advanced,” he said, adding the Department of North East Region should focus on improving infrastructure in the region. Roy said the issues of the Northeastern region should be dealt with “kid gloves” and utmost sensitivity. Participating in debate, Gaurav Gogoi (INC) said there was a need for a “bridge of dialogue and communication”. He also emphasised on preserving the languages of the Northeast by archiving them. Highlighting the problem of insurgency in the Northeast, Gogoi said “law and order cannot be just through gun and arrests, but also through diplomacy and dialogue. We cannot homogenise the Northeast but have to understand its heterogenity.” Nishikant Dubey, who supported the Bill, said the district councils of the Northeast have become ‘elite clubs’, while Rameswar Teli (BJP) highlighted the issue of under-development of the Northeast region.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Obra, Duddhi voters to elect ST candidate for first time

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Voters in two assembly constituencies of Sonbhadra district would for the first time elect their MLAs hailing from Scheduled Tribe (ST) tomorrow in the seventh and final phase of UP assembly elections. The two assembly constituencies, which have been reserved for STs this time, are Obra and Duddhi. In the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly, there are 317 general seats, while 84 seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST). ” STs constitute almost 36 per cent of Duddhi’s voters, while 18 per cent of the population of Obra assembly constituency is that of the STs,” said Vijay Singh Gond, who has been MLA from Duddhi seven times on different party tickets. Gond (65), who is contesting this time on a BSP ticket, said that Duddhi is one of the biggest blocks in UP. “It is because of this that we are demanding that Duddhi be made a separate district. The demand to make Duddhi a district has been going on since March 4, 1989, when Sonbhadra was carved out from Mirzapur, but in the last 5 years, the agitation has intensified,” he said. He said that even during the British Rule, Duddhi was a separate administrative unit, and was governed by a different set of rules. “It was not a part of any district at that time,” he claimed. Prior to this election, Duddhi was reserved for Schedule Castes (till 2012), while Obra has been created after delimitation in 2008 and was a general seat in 2012 polls. Addressing an election rally here yesterday, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi promised that if Congress-SP alliance forms the government in the state, they would make Duddhi district headquarters. Gond’s victory march started in 1980 on Congress ticket, and continued in 1985 as well. In 1989, he contested as an Independent while fought on Janata Dal ticket in 1991 and 1993, and emerged victorious. He retained the seat on SP ticket in 1996 and 2002. He did not contest in 2007, and Chandra Mani Prasad of BSP won the election, while in 2012 Independent candidate Ruby Prasad bagged Duddhi. Obra was won by BSP’s Sunil Kumar in 2012. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Central Zoo Authority for ban on elephants in circuses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Zoo Authority has “fully backed” a proposal to ban the use of elephants in circuses, a fading remnant of pre-liberalisation India. The CZA has written to the chief wildlife wardens of the states to ensure the rehabilitation of the elephants which were in their possession. “The Central Zoo Authority fully supports proposal to stop use of elephants to perform in circuses,” member secretary of the CZA D N Singh has written to the Environment Ministry. He was referring to a communication between senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan and the ministry in this regard. The CZA, which has been monitoring circuses that houses elephants in captivity since 2003, has de-recognised all but one circus previously recognised by it due to “extreme cruelty and owing to violation of rules under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972”. Prashanth V, a senior functionary of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), said apart from those under the CZA, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has another 35 circuses under it while the total number, including the illegal ones, will be higher. “The CZA has also made it clear that it supports a ban on other performing animals and it has already urged the AWBI to initiate steps in this regard,” he said. The CZA letter states that since the circus owners have individual ownership certificate for elephants in their possession, these can be cancelled by the chief wildlife warden concerned, to facilitate their rehabilitation. The ownership certificate of each elephant is issued by the chief wildlife wardens of the states under the provisions of the wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Indian elephants are listed in Schedule-I of the wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The performance of animals and their use in circuses is regulated by the AWBI.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hafiz Saeed responsible for unleashing terrorism against Pakistan’s neighbours India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> With Pakistan finally putting Hafiz Saeed, the co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawah under the Anti-Terrorism Act, India has asserted that effective action mandated internationally against him is the first step in ridding the region of the twin menaces of terrorism and violent extremism. “Hafiz Saeed is an international terrorist, the mastermind of Mumbai terrorist attack and responsible for unleashing wave of terrorism against Pakistan’s neighbours through LeT/ JuD and their affiliates. Effective action mandated internationally against him and his terrorist organisations and colleagues is a logical first step in bringing them to justice, and in ridding our region of the twin menaces of terrorism and violent extremism,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement. The provincial government of Punjab in Pakistan has included names of Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and his four aides in the ‘Fourth Schedule’ of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) added their names to the list of the 1,450 ‘Fourth Schedulers’ on an order of the federal Interior Ministry. The men were identified by the Interior Ministry as “active members of the Jamaatud Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniyat”. The ministry directed the CTD to “move and take necessary action” against them. The names of three prisoners transferred to Pakistan from Guantanamo Bay had also been placed on the list, he said. Saeed was placed under house arrest on January 30 and his name has also been put on the Exit Control List. The Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 empowers the government to mark a person as “proscribed” and to place that person on the fourth schedule on an ex-parte basis. According to Section 11EE of the ATA, the Fourth Schedule is to include “any person who is an activist, office-bearer or an associate of an organisation kept under observation or proscribed or affiliated with any group or organisation suspected to be involved in terrorism or sectarianism.” The person put under Fourth Schedule requires his movements to be restricted to any place or area specified in the order, and cannot reach places he is prevented from without prior permission to concerned police schools, colleges and other institutions where persons under 21 years of age or women are given education or other training or are housed permanently or temporarily. Such persons also have restrictions to visit theatres, cinemas, fairs, amusement parks, hotels, clubs, restaurants, tea shops and other place of public entertainment or resort, airports, railway stations, bus stands, telephone exchanges, television stations, radio stations and other such places, public or private parks and gardens and public or private playing fields, and the scene of any public meeting or procession of any assemblage of the public, whether in an enclosed place or otherwise in connection with any public event festival or other celebrations.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre’s new Bill kicks off row in Valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A political storm is brewing in strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir following the Centre’s proposal to introduce a bill in the parliament to extend the jurisdiction of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 to the restive state.Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a proposal to introduce a Bill in the Parliament to extend the jurisdiction of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 to Jammu & Kashmir on statistics relevant to any matters under any of the entries specified in the List-I (Union List) and the List- III (Concurrent List) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, as applicable to Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954.This is despite the fact that Jammu and Kashmir State legislature has enacted the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010’, which is almost a replica of the central legislation.However, under Article 370 in the Indian Constitution, Jammu and Kashmir enjoys a special status. Central laws cannot be automatically extended to Jammu and Kashmir unlike other states.However, people are apprehensive that the proposed bill is another attempt to dilute the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under article 370.“The very fact that Acts are being extended to J&K is an alarming trend. No argument can justify the extension of Central laws and acts to J&K,” said Junaid Azim Mattu, state spokesman of National Conference.

Linguists divided over inclusion of Bhojpuri in 8th Schedule

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Linguists in the city today demanded that the Centre should not include Bhojpuri in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution as it will harm Hindi’s prospects, while supporters of Bhojpuri defended the move saying it was time to protect their dialect and posed no threat to Hindi. Bhojpuri is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand region of North India and in some parts of Nepal. Speaking at a panel discussion organised by the Mumbai Press Club, former Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, said, “If Bhojpuri is included in the Eighth Schedule, then Hindi will be a bigger loser as an official language, besides a new Bhasha-war (language war) will begin and demand for a separate states may surface.” Once a dialect or language is included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, it becomes eligible to be used in education, government and other official contexts. “English is already occupying the position of communication language and if Hindi is further weakened, then it is not a good sign for our country,” said Dharmadhikari. Echoing Dharmadhikari’s viewpoint, Karuna Upadhyay, head of the Hindi Department at Mumbai University, said, “If Bhojpuri dialect is included in the Eighth Schedule it will dent efforts to make Hindi an official language of the United Nations.” Through our social media campaign ‘Hindi Bachao Manch’, we are opposing inclusion of anyone of 38 dialects related to Hindi language to be included in the Eighth Schedule. “Though any effort to promote the language or dialect is a welcome move, government must take care of its side-effects,” Upadhyay said, adding, if all the dialects are given the status of language then by 2050, English will be overtaken by Hindi. Former additional chief secretary of Maharashtra and founder president of Vishwa Bhojpuri Sammelan, Satish Tripathi, however, said inclusion of Bhojpuri in the Eighth Schedule, does not have anything to do with Hindi’s prospectus. Tripathi said, “I am a staunch Hindi supporter. I don’t forsee any backlash on it if Bhojpuri is included in the Eighth Schedule. Rather we should stand up to protect the sanctity of Hindi, which right now, has been hijacked by the preponderance of English words and Hindi has become Hinglish.” Senior officer-bearer of Mumbai Press Club O P Tiwari moderated the session, which was attended by Hindi scholars and academicians.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J-K: Carcass of leopard found, another spotted in Doda

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The carcass of a leopard was today found in Dudwar Changa area under Bhaderwah forest division of Doda district, The carcass was first spotted by some children who informed it to the police who then took it in their custody for postmortem late this afternoon. “After receiving the information, we immediately reached the spot and shifted the carcass to Gandoh Hospital. According to preliminary investigation, it seems that one leg of the leopard got amputated in the trap and later it was shot at. “As of now, we are waiting for the postmortem report, which is being conducted by a veterinary doctor at Gandoh,” SDPO Gandoh Sunny Gupta said. “Leopards are found in abundance in forest region and animal conflicts are frequent in this area. On Saturday night too, one adult male leopards was spotted near Ganpat bridge,” wildlife Warden Kishtwar, Pankaj said. “We have started the investigation, anybody found guilty of killing the animal will booked under Section 9 of wildlife Act, which is a non bail able offense with 6 years of rigorous imprisonment, Pankaj added. Leopards are considered one of the most secretive, solitary and partially arboreal animal and with their population on decline, they have been placed under Schedule-1 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. However, they are found in large numbers in Chinab Valley. During last one month, man-animal conflict is on rise in Chinab Valley and a boy was mauled to death in Nalwa village of Doda and four villagers were attacked and badly injured by the wild beast in different incidents in Gandoh and Kishtwar. “Since last one month, we have caged five leopards and a bear and sent them to Manda wildlife sanctuary. A party is on mission in Ganpat bridge area to trap the leopard, which was reportedly spotted and photographed by some Villagers yesterday,” Pankaj said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Tigers overshadow Leopard deaths in Maharashtra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the deaths and disappearances of flagship species like tigers continue to make news, a significant rise in death of wild leopards in Maharashtra remains outside the focus.According to figures sourced from the state forest department, a total of 414 spotted cats have died in Maharashtra from 2010 to August 2016.Experts note that the high death rate—of which a significant number is due to poaching and accidents—points to the neglect of the leopard due to the prevalence of a largely tiger-centric conservation and protection policy.The highest number of leopard mortality in the state were registered in 2011, when 70 leopards died, followed by 68 in 2012, 66 in 2015, 65 in 2014, 57 in 2010 and 43 in 2013. By August 2016, Maharashtra saw the deaths of 45 leopards.In contrast, the statistics of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) show that tiger mortality in Maharashtra between 2010 and 2016-end stand at 65.Leopards, despite having a larger population than tigers, are at risk due to factors like conflict with humans, declining habitats and poaching.The Maharashtra government had admitted in the state legislative assembly that in Ahmednagar district alone, a total of 30 leopards died between January and September 2016.A report by the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) had revealed that in 2011, a total of 356 of these felines had died in India, of which 52 per cent deaths were due to poaching. Like the tiger, the leopard too is a Schedule I animal (listed under this schedule of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972) which entitles them to the highest degree of protection.It is estimated that India’s leopard population is around 12,000 to 14,000 with tiger bearing areas having around 7,910 of these big cats as determined according to the 2014 tiger census. The number of leopards in Maharashtra’s tiger habitats stands at 905.”Leopards stay around human population and disturbed areas, unlike tigers,” said Girish Vashisth, divisional forest officer and spokesperson of the state wildlife wing, adding that hence, the number of leopard deaths due to accidents was large due to the proximity of these felines with humans.”Generally, compared to tigers, leopards are ignored. They are the most ignored among large cats,” said environmentalist and conservationist Vidya Athreya stressing on the need to address this in a pro-active manner.Reasons for leopard mortalities: accidents caused by these animals falling into open wells, poaching, poisoning, targeted killings due to man-animal conflict, leopards getting caught in snares.

UP Elections 2017: BJP moves EC accusing Mayawati of seeking votes in name of caste

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bharatiya Janata Party leader Neeraj Saxena has moved the Election Commission of India (ECI) against Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati, accusing her of seeking votes in name of caste and religion.”We have registered a complaint with Election Commission of India (ECI) against BSP chief Mayawati for violation of Supreme Court”s guidelines seeking votes in name of religion,” Saxena told ANI, adding that BSP has disrespected the apex court”s order. Saxena, who is BJP”s Uttar Pradesh executive member, further demanded that the Election Commission to debar BS from contesting elections for flouting apex court”s directives.Mayawati, had earlier on January 3, said in a press conference that of the 403 seats, 85 are reserved for the Schedule Castes and 87 tickets have been given to Dalits, 97 to Muslims, 106 to OBCs, 66 to Brahmins, 36 to Kshetriyas and 11 to Kayasthas, Vaishyas and Punjabis. Earlier on January 2, the apex court, while hearing the Hindutva case which deals with electoral malpractices arising out of its 1995 judgment, said that politicians cannot seek vote in the name of caste, creed, or religion.The Election Commission has, on January 4, announced seven-phase polling for 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh beginning on February 11.

Assembly Elections 2017: EC says will abide by SC verdict to try to keep use of religion, caste out of campaign

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While announcing the date for the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur, CEC Nasim Zaidi said the EC is committed to follow the SC’s order on Hindutva case. Earlier, in a landmark judgement seeking to separate religion, caste and other issues from politics, the SC held as ‘corrupt’ the practice of candidates appealing for votes on the basis of the aforementioned identities, including not only him but his agents and voters.In a marked departure from the view held in the 1995 “Hindutva” judgement that the term ‘his’ used in section 123 (3 )of the Representation of the People Act meant the religion, caste, etc of candidates only, a seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur, by a majority of 4:3, that any appeal for votes on these grounds would amount to “corrupt practice”. The court held that the provisions of the R P Act, which say that seeking vote by a candidate in the name of “his” religion, caste, race, religion and language in the election law, included candidates, his agents and voters also.”An appeal in the name of religion, race, caste, community or language is impermissible under the R P Act, 1951 and would constitute a corrupt practice sufficient to annul the election in which such an appeal was made regardless whether the appeal was in the name of the candidate’s religion or the religion of the election agent or that of the opponent or that of the voter’s,” the CJI, who concurred with majority verdict written by Justice M B Lokur, said.”so read together, and for maintaining the purity of the electoral process and not vitiating it, sub-section (3) of Section 123 of the RP Act must be given a broad and purposive interpretation thereby bringing within the sweep of a corrupt practice any appeal made to an elector by a candidate or his agent or by any other person with the consent of a candidate or his election agent to vote or refrain from voting for the furtherance of the prospects of the election of that candidate or for prejudicially affecting the election of any candidate on the ground of the religion, race, caste, community or language of (i) any candidate or (ii) his agent or (iii) any other person making the appeal with the consent of the candidate or (iv) the elector,” said the majority view, also shared by Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao, said, Justice Chandrachud, writing the minority verdict “we hold that there is no necessity for this court to take a view at variance with what has been laid down.” EC assures free, fair elections by curbing muscle power, abuse of money​‘There will be strict expenditure monitor mechanism to curb black money. The Election Commission of India will ensure level playing field for inclusive, free and fair elections by curbing muscle power and abuse of money,’ Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi told a press conference here. The Election Commission also limited the expenses for candidates to be spent during the election to Rs. 28 lakh in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Rs. 20 lakh for Manipur and Goa. Zaidi also said there will be complete accountability of photo voter slips and this year colourful voter guides will be distributed to each family. The posters were a statutory requirement at all polling stations, he said.A voting assistance booth would also be kept at the polling stations. The Commission, which will launch awareness program in all these five states, urged the various parties and candidates to avoid hazardous materials like plastic in their election campaigns. ‘As far as sound pollution is a concern, there will be no use of loudspeakers after 10 p.m. The police and electoral officers will ensure clampdown on it,’ Zaidi said. He also informed that 1,85,000 polling stations will be covered and nearly 160 million voters will participate in the polls. In wake of the complaint received earlier, the Election Commission has also raised the height of voting compartments to 30-inch for maintaining secrecy. A separate polling station for women’s will be introduced in some places which will be managed by women. Around 690 legislative assemblies will go to polls, out of which 133 are reserved for Schedule Caste and 23 are reserved of Schedule Tribe as per the delimitation order of 2008. There will be seven-phase polling for 403 assembly constituencies in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, two-phase polling in Manipur and one-phase polling each in the states of Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa respectively. Zaidi said that the counting of votes in all the five states will take place on March 11.With inputs from agencies

EC assures free, fair elections by curbing muscle power, abuse of money

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Election Commission on Wednesday said it will strictly monitor the elections in the five states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa to curb black money and assure free and fair polls by curbing muscle power and abuse of money.”There will be strict expenditure monitor mechanism to curb black money. The Election Commission of India will ensure level playing field for inclusive, free and fair elections by curbing muscle power and abuse of money,” Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi told a press conference here.The Election Commission also limited the expenses for candidates to be spent during the election to Rs. 28 lakh in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Rs. 20 lakh for Manipur and Goa.
ALSO READ Assembly Elections 2017: EC takes 8 new initiatives to strengthen Expenditure Monitoring MechanismZaidi also said there will be complete accountability of photo voter slips and this year colourful voter guides will be distributed to each family.The posters were a statutory requirement at all polling stations, he said.A voting assistance booth would also be kept at the polling stations.The Commission, which will launch awareness program in all these five states, urged the various parties and candidates to avoid hazardous materials like plastic in their election campaigns.”As far as sound pollution is a concern, there will be no use of loudspeakers after 10 p.m. The police and electoral officers will ensure clampdown on it,” Zaidi said.He also informed that 1,85,000 polling stations will be covered and nearly 160 million voters will participate in the polls.In wake of the complaint received earlier, the Election Commission has also raised the height of voting compartments to 30-inch for maintaining secrecy.A separate polling station for women’s will be introduced in some places which will be managed by women.Around 690 legislative assemblies will go to polls, out of which 133 are reserved for Schedule Caste and 23 are reserved of Schedule Tribe as per the delimitation order of 2008.There will be seven-phase polling for 403 assembly constituencies in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, two-phase polling in Manipur and one-phase polling each in the states of Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa respectively.Zaidi said that the counting of votes in all the five states will take place on March 11.

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