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The year that saw rise of Congress and agitations

Looking back at 2017… One sees a politically eventful year, a year made up a series of events that have led to a mobilisation of various sections, especially the farmers and the Dalits. The discontent in these sections was successfully harnessed in the form of agitations that not only put the government’s problem solving skills to test but also created a situation wherein the agitators managed to get the upper hand as they entered into agreements with the government.The year that has passed has seen the Congress rise like the phoenix. The party that was reduced to redundancy in last elections has grown to be a force to be reckoned with. The opposition party has managed to catch the fancy of the rural population with its incessant raising of the farmers’ issues. It today has the distinction of being a state that is home to four of Rahul Gandhi’s close aides; CP Joshi, Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, Sachin Pilot and the newly added Ashok Gehlot.Congress also made its relevance felt nationally by striking emotional cord. The name for Rahul Gandhi as AICC president was proposed in Jaipur. It was projected as the logical action in the city where Rahul took charge as party vice-president.All through 2017 the die has been cast. It has laid the foundation for the years to come. The year that passes by has managed to fuel discontent to such a level that the run down to the assembly polls at the end of 2018 will be interspersed with protests and agitation.Discontent among the castes was on the rise all through the year. With no concerted effort to contain, it escalated and spread. The Gurjars, Jats and Meenas under Kirori; have an axe to grind with the present government. Rajputs and Brahmins have their own issues. This caste cauldron, while being a political irritant spells trouble for the social fabric too.As the year prepares to fade out, both BJP and Congress have decided to adopt the Gujarat model. The poll preparation will be on the lines adopted in Gujarat. Congress with its offensive campaign and the BJP plans to decentralise to the booth level to ensure each vote.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Jailbirds lust story ends with no love lost

The city police arrested a history-sheeter on Sunday for raping a woman on the pretext of marrying her and fraudulently transferred the woman’s property in his name. Interestingly, the woman was lodged in Central jail in Jaipur for murder of her husband when she came in contact with the history-sheeter and the duo married after getting out on parole. Notably, the man had recently fled from court when he was sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case by District and Sessions Court at Chirawa in Jhunjhunu. The man had been hiding in Jaipur when he was arrested.In November, a case was registered at Kanota police station of the city by the victim woman, Radha (name changed), against the accused Sher Singh alias Sheriya alias Suraj alias Rajesh. Singh is a history-sheeter of Pilani police station of Jhunjhunu and has been involved in cases of murder, attempt to murder, illegal weapons and other crimes.“The woman said in her report that the man maried her and established physical relationship but also got her property transferred in his name fraudulently which he sold off and conducted fraud,” said Kunwar Rashtradeep, DCP East.The police conducted investigation and arrested the accused.“The woman was behind bars for murder of her husband, a native of Agrasen Nagar in Kishangarh. She was in Jaipur Central jail when she came in contact of Sher Singh. They grew close and in 2012 they got out on parole and married and the duo lived in a house in Vrindavan Vihar in Kanota. Physical relatationship developed between them however in meantime Sher Singh took the woman in confidence and got her properties registered in his name,” officials said.However once he got the woman’s properties, he sold off all of them and left the woman and married another one.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Speak up Delhi: This winter, govt swings into action to provide warmth to homeless

As the cold wave intensifies in north India, the minimum temperature in Delhi drops to 6.4 degree Celsius. Taking this opportunity to help the homeless the Delhi government has once again rolled its ‘Winter Action’ plan to provide aid to the needy people. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently announced that additional bunk beds, geysers would be installed at the city’s many night shelters to ensure that homeless people do not die in the winter chill. Even the department of health started its drive to provide medical treatment to the homeless. In order to accommodate the families of patients, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) opened the subway where around 300 people waiting outside the hospital took refuge during on Saturday night. According to the officials, no deaths have been reported so far. People can call the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) control room for information on the homeless. The agency has also launched a Rain Basera mobile app, which can be used to upload photographs of the homeless with their location.In 2001, the Census pegged Delhi’s homeless at 21,895 while an independent study by Ashray Adhika Abhiyan in 2000 claimed the number stands at 52,765. The 2011 Census found that there are 46,724 homeless people in the city. The same year, the Supreme Court Commissioner’s Office (SCCO), DUSIB and other NGOs conducted an enumeration of the homeless population and found the figure to be 2,46,800.DUSIB has 83 permanent night shelters, 113 porta cabins and 55 temporary shelters, which can together accommodate around 20,000 people.In 2014, the then Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had ordered that subways in areas with a dense homeless population, such as AIIMS and Kashmere Gate, be opened for the homeless during winter — providing some respite from the cold for those sleeping outside AIIMS. This year, however, subways at both locations are locked every night.HELPING THE NEEDYDUSIB has 83 permanent night shelters, 113 porta cabins and 55 temporary shelters, which can together accommodate around 20,000 people. There are an estimated 40,000 homeless people in the capital but a little more than 10,000 use these shelters. EXPERT SPEAKWe have asked the medical teams to visit the shelters twice a week. We have 83 permanent night shelters, 113 porta cabins and 55 temporary shelters, which can together accommodate around 20,000 people. All are safe as we around 20 night shelters are reserved for women and CCTV cameras have been installed for their safety. —Shurbir Singh, DUSIB CEOVOICESThe condition of homeless people in the capital is extremely deplorable, which worsens during winter season. It is very saddening to see them battle extreme weather out in the open as Delhi has very few night shelters. The government too seems indifferent to the plight of such people who brave cold nights every year in winters. It must provide some relief to them in this weather, especially to women and children.—Ashish Kaushal, Lajpat NagarThe government should put in more efforts to improve the condition of the existing night shelters. There are many people who are still living on the streets and loosing their lives due to the extreme weather conditions. There should be more awareness about these shelters to the general public. —Saurabh Galhotra, Greater Kailash Despite government’s claims of having enough night shelters in the city hundreds of people sleep on streets in our locality. Things become even more vulnerable for them in winter and for women it is highly unsafe to sleep on streets. We see a large number of people dying every year due to the dip in temperature. —Kamala Devi, TrilokpuriThe government has taken a right decision by converting these subways into the night shelters. Most of the time, these subways are occupied with anti-social elements and the government property is lying wasted. By converting them into night shelters, these places are providing space to the large number of homeless people in the capital —Sunita Kaushik, Geeta ColonyWe have several night shelters in our locality and most of us donate food and clothing. It is a happy feeling to see these people happy. The government is providing good facilities to the homeless in Delhi in comparison to other states. But considering the population of Delhi more initiatives needs to be taken.—Mohita Khatri, Civil Lines Every time I cross the AIIMS I see large number of people sleeping on pavements. It aches my heart to see these people sleeping on the roads. The government has provided night shelters but they are not enough in winters at least. More such night shelters with better facilities are required in the capital. —Lakshay, Hauz Khas

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

On New Year’s Eve, restaurants see 20% surge in bookings

Leaving the agony of demonetisation behind, the Capital city is all set to welcome 2018 doing what it does best — party. The excitement is evident from the surge in bookings at the restaurants for the New Year Eve bashes. Restaurants and pubs in the Capital that faced a massive dip in sales in December last year are hopeful of doing brisk business this season.The popular outlets in markets like Connaught Place, Hauz Khas Village, Khan Market claim that booking for the parties have increased by at least 20 per cent this year compared to the slump that hit them last year.Hardly two months into demonetisation last year, the Capital welcomed 2017 with muted celebrations as restaurateurs rued their places going empty on the New Year Eve as people decided not to spend much. The scenario this year, however, seems different as outlets are running packed on Sunday.Inderjeet Singh Banga, owner, Prankster reveals that the Capital is soaked in party spirit this year. “We are already overflowing with enquiries and people are excited to be part of the farewell party at our restaurant. Our bookings were full by Sunday. There is no better time to party than New Year eve. In fact, the party season started on Christmas weekend.”Conceding to the view, Manuj M Gupta from The Darzi Bar & Kitchen in Connaught Place (CP), who is debuting its New Year bash, this year, says,”This is our first time. We have heard that last year December was badly hit because of demonetisation and the trend of partying out was restricted. However, we are enjoying a good footfall this time, as people are thronging to CP to party.”However, Umang Tewari, who runs Vault cafe and Local in Connaught Place, still feels that the influx of party revellers is not much. “December is better than the last months. I see the party season coming back to normal. However, I don’t see that much crowd because of so many restrictions imposed upon us by the government.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Govt raises health expenses of ex-servicemen

After the widow of a Kargil martyr died at a Sonipat hospital after the medical staff allegedly refused her treatment for being unable to procure her Aadhaar card, the Central government has raised health costs of ex-servicemen.A notification issued by the Ministry of Defence on December 29, has set new rates for the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) increasing premiums by about 100 per cent. According to the new rates, a retired soldier and his equivalents in the Navy and Air Force will now have to shell out Rs 30,000 instead of Rs 15,000, earlier. The new rates of premium for junior commissioned officers (JCOs) have been notified as Rs 67,000, from Rs 30,000. For officers also the contribution has been increased from Rs 60,000 to Rs 1.20 lakh.On Sunday, Major General (rtd) Satibir Singh, Chairman of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM),described the notification a double blow to soldiers, who are already angry with the government for not abiding by its commitments on one-rank-one-pension (OROP).He said, the step would add a burden on jawans and affect their morale. He has written a letter to all MPs asking them to raise the issue in the ongoing session of Parliament. Responding to their letter, main Opposition, Congress, said that they would raise the issue once Parliament reassembles on Tuesday.Party spokesperson Sushmita Dev said her party will question the government, whose leaders frequent forward areas to celebrate various festivals witht the soldiers, but, fail to attend to their basic needs.Launched in 2003, the ECHS enables ex-servicemen pensioners and their dependants to seek treatment, not only in service hospitals, but also in empanelled civil and private hospitals. The payment of the hospital bills is initially borne by the ex-servicemen, but, after the treatment, the amount is reimbursed once a claim is filed with the ECHS authorities.The scheme is currently providing healthcare to 52 lakhs beneficiaries.In a letter to the MPs, the IESM has also pointed out four anomalies arising out of the government’s OROP notification issued on November 2015. It also said that one man judicial committee report submitted to the government in October 2016 has been kept under wraps. General Singh further stated that out of 7.82 lakh vacancies reserved for ex-servicemen in the government, only 70,000 have been filled so far. He said the war veterans are drawing a paltry sum of Rs 3,500 per month, and asked the MPs to discuss the woes of the soldiers in Parliament. “We had brought the issue to the notice of the government through various communications and in-person through meetings, but there has been no redressal so far,” he said in his letter.‘PALTRY SUM’Out of the 7.82 lakh vacancies reserved for ex-servicemen in the government, only 70,000 have been filled so far. The war veterans are drawing a paltry sum of Rs 3,500 per month.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Final report of Utkal Express tragedy submitted to Railway Board: DRM

The final inquiry report into the major train accident in Khatauli in August has been submitted to the Railway Board and it has blamed several officials, including a junior engineer, for the tragedy that killed 23 people, a senior Indian Railways official has said.Divisional Railway Manager (Delhi) R N Singh inspected Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Khatauli railway stations yesterday.He said the final report of the safety commissioner into the tragedy has been submitted to the Railway Board.Several officials, including a junior engineer, have been blamed for lapses in the report, Singh told reporters here.On August 19, fourteen coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express jumped the rails in Khatauli, nearly 40 km from Muzaffarnagar, killing 23 people and injuring more than 150.Also readUtkal Express derailment: 13 railway employees sacked for ‘gross negligence’On August 30, the Railway administration suspended 13 employees at Khatauli station for lapses during duty hours.Singh said the Railway Board was not considering to withdraw the action taken against the employees.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Soldier martyred in unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Naushera sector

Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts in Naushera sector in the early hours on Sunday. Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Also readJammu and Kashmir: Terrorists attack CRPF camp in Pulwama, one jawan martyredHowever, in the exchange of fire, Sep Jagsir Singh was grievously injured and succumbed to his injuries. Sep Jagsir Singh, aged 32 years, belonged to Village Lohgarh Thakhran Wala, District Firozepur, Punjab and is survived by his wife Smt Mohinder Pall Kaur, two daughters and one son.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Outlets arrange for cabs for party-goers

Restaurants and pubs in the city have become proactive towards the safety of their customers ahead of the New Year’s Eve. To ensure that they do not drink and drive, and reach home safely after partying, a lot of outlets are arranging for cab facility.Inderjeet Singh Banga, owner of Prankster, said: “Safety of our customers is definitely of prime importance. At the same time, we don’t want them to compromise on their enjoyment, with concerns about who will drive them back home. Hence, we are offering special arrangement to pick and drop them on Sunday.”Sahil Sambhi, who runs Molecule, has tied up with cab aggregators Ola and Uber for diners who think they won’t be able to drive back home after downing a few drinks.Vault Cafe, Junction are some of the other places in the Capital which are taking measures to avoid cases of drunk driving. Umang Tewari, a restaurateur, said: “Traffic in Delhi-NCR becomes unruly, especially on days such as NYE. Constant checking, fog, unpredictable traffic, and alcohol intake, all factors are not safe to add to your positive party vibes. So, we are doing pre-bookings for transport.”

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Elaborate traffic arrangements to control hooliganism

The Delhi Police have made elaborate traffic arrangements throughout the city for the smooth flow and regulation of traffic on the New Year’s Eve. This, the officers said, will also help control hooliganism and keep an eye on vehicular menace. A special drive against drunken driving, red light jumping, and dangerous driving will also be undertaken by the Traffic Police.According to senior traffic police officers, special arrangements will be made in areas in vicinity of party hubs, such as Connaught Place in New Delhi. Other areas where special arrangements have been made include Saket, Greater Kailash, New Friends Colony, Defence Colony, Nehru Place, Vasant Vihar, Vasant Kunj, Dwarka, Rajouri Garden, Rohini, Pitampura, GT Karnal Road, Laxmi Nagar, Preet Vihar, and Mayur Vihar.”Restriction on the movement of all private and public transport vehicles will be imposed 8.30 pm onwards on December 31 in the vicinity of Connaught Place, till the conclusion of the New Year Celebrations,” police said, adding that vehicles will not be allowed to proceed towards CP beyond Mandi House, Bengali Market, Ranjit Singh Flyover, Minto Road, Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg crossing, Chelmsford Road near Munje Chowk, RK Ashram Marg, Chitragupta Marg Crossing, Gole Market, GPO, Patel Chowk, Kasturba Gandhi Road to Ferozshah Road Crossing, Jai Singh Road, Bangla Sahib Lane, and towards the Windsor place.”Destined vehicles with labels issued by Delhi Traffic Police, residents of the area, and emergency vehicles, however, will be allowed. Vehicular traffic in the inner, middle, or outer circle area of Connaught Place will be restricted,” the police said.For those heading towards the New Delhi Railway Station, entry will be allowed from the second entry gate from the Ajmeri Gate side. They can reach the station via Paharganj –Shiela Cinema or through Ajmeri Gate–JLN Marg side via Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg to Delhi Gate, the police said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Aligarh: Woman attacked with acid for protesting molestation attempt

A 20-year-old woman who staved off a molestation attempt, was grievously injured when the accused threw acid on her in Iglas township here, the police said today.Eight others including the family members of the victim were also injured in the acid attack yesterday as they rushed to her rescue, they police said.Circle officer of Iglas Alok Singh today said after the woman thwarted an attempt to molest her, the accused, Tilak Singh, returned to the spot along with four others and threw acid on her.When the girl raised an alarm, her family members and others who rushed to her rescue, but they too were injured by acid, he said.Four of the victims, including the girl who suffered serious burn injuries, have been admitted in the district’s Malkhan Singh hospital, the police officer said.The accused are on the run and efforts are on to nab them, Singh said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Situation better in Naxal-hit areas, J&K: Rajnath Singh

Lauding the security establishment, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the situation in conflict zones like Jammu and Kashmir, North East and Naxal-hit areas had improved.He said this during an inter-ministerial meeting convened to discuss development issues in Jammu and Kashmir, Left Wing Extremism-affected states and the Northeast region.The Home Minister said that the overall security situation in the country had shown considerable improvement, an official statement said.Those who attended the meeting included Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha among others.The meeting discussed issues related to increasing the limit of general approval under the Forest Conservation Act from five hectares to 40 hectares for all linear projects, upgradation of 2,187 mobile towers installed in Phase-I and installation of 4,072 mobile towers in Phase-II, the Home Ministry statement read.Functioning of approved 1,789 post offices, approval for additional 4,173 post offices in the 106 LWE- affected districts and provision of banking services in these post offices were also discussed.Education infrastructure with the opening of additional Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and Kendriya Vidyalayas, opening of additional girls hostels and upgradation of schools in Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and extension of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in Naxal areas was also discussed.Provision of solar pumps, lamps and street lights in LWE -affected districts, improvement of communication infrastructure in the Northeast, Jammu and Kashmir, particularly the Ladakh region, and Lakshadweep were discussed.Strengthening of the education infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir was discussed at length.THE AGENDAThe Home Minister said that the overall security situation in the country had shown improvement. Functioning of approved 1,789 post offices, approval for additional 4,173 post offices in the 106 LWE- affected districts.

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Dyal Singh College to retain its original name, says Prakash Javadekar

Delhi University’s Dyal Singh Evening College will continue to be known by its original name as the University Grants Commission (UGC) has not received any proposal for its renaming, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said today.”UGC has not received any proposal from the university to consider its renaming. Hence, the question doesn’t arise to rename it. It will continue to be known as Dyal Singh College,” Javadekar told reporters.The minister had earlier this month informed Parliament that the college’s plan to rename the college to “Vande Matram Mahavidyalya” was not approved by the government and that the college had been asked to put the decision on hold.Javadekar had last week met Delhi University vice- chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and the chairman of Dyal Singh College, and advised them to think of a name for the evening college of the institution, which reflects Dyal Singh Majithia’s legacy.The decision to rename was made by the Governing Body of the institution on November 17, to establish a separate identity for the evening college once it is converted into a morning college.

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Harassment takes ex-MNC staff to Gujarat High Court doorstep

The High Court issued notice to the state government and officials of a Kadi-based multinational company on Wednesday over allegations of sexual harassment at the company.A 52-year-old woman knocked at the doors of the high court, alleging that a senior employee at Johnson Controls–Hitachi Air Conditioning (India) Ltd, sexually harassed her and when she refused to give in to his demands, she was forced to resign in November.After hearing the primary submission of the petitioner, single bench justice AJ Desai issued notices to Roopesh Jain, assistant vice-president (legal) of the firm; Gurmeet Singh, managing director; Sanjay Kumar, vice-president (Human Resource); and the state government, directing them to file their replies by January 22, 2018, when the matter comes up for further hearing.The petitioner has submitted that her termination order should be set aside and a criminal and civil complaint be filed against Jain for sexual harassment and others for putting pressure on her to resign or withdraw the complaint against Jain.The petitioner, a graduate in English literature and Law, was a practising lawyer in Gujarat High Court. She joined as a manager at Hitachi Home and Life Solution’s Kadi branch in Mehsana district in 2006.In her complaint, the petitioner claimed that after Johnson Controls Inc. and Hitachi Appliances joined hands, a new firm Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air conditioning (India) Ltd came into existence in August 2016.In February 2017, Jain joined the company as assistant vice-president (legal). He soon started making advances at the petitioner. On a number of occasions, he invited her to go out with him.When she did not give in to his demands, Jain wrote to the Global president (legal) — seeking permission to replace her — and vice-president (HR) and another woman colleague to pressurise her to resign in June.The petitioner alleged that when she refused to resign, Jain resorted to severe mental harassment at work and, earlier this month, the company terminated her services.GIVE IN OR MOVE ON According to the complainant, her superior made several advances at her, and when she refused to give in to his demands, he began mentally harassing her In her petition to the court, she said the superior wrote to the company’s global head, seeking permission to replace her, and also asked an HR official to put pressure on her to resign

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Bad loans in Gujarat fall by Rs 4,023 cr

In what could be a major turnaround, bad loans in Gujarat have dropped by Rs4,023 crore in three months. This is a mix of recovery of loans, writing of loans and transferring them to Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs), according to bankers. Industry players say that if the share of recovery of loans is significant, then it is a welcome change in the economy.According the State-Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) report for the July-September quarter of the fiscal 2017-18, gross Non-Performing Assets (NPA), or bad loans, in Gujarat stand at Rs 31,318.7 crore, a reduction of Rs 4,022.92 crore over NPA of Rs 35,341.62 crore in April-June quarter. Total bank advances in the state stand at Rs 4,89,833 crore, compared to Rs 4,77,480 crore. While advances rose by about 2.6 per cent in three months, NPAs dipped by 12.5 per cent. Bad loans now constitute 6.39 per cent of the total advances in the state, compared to 7.4 per cent in the previous quarter.Vikramaditya Singh Khichi, Field General Manager of Dena Bank, told media persons that this is a net result of recovery of loans as well as loan write-offs as well as transferring loans to ARCs. Dena Bank is a leading bank in Gujarat.It is unprecedented in the recent history of Gujarat that bad loans dropped by such a big margin.Between April-June and July-September quarters of the fiscal 2016-17, bad loans dropped marginally by Rs 457.54 crore from Rs 29,734.12 crore to Rs 29,276.58 crore. Overall, the trend has been on the upswing, with NPA rising dangerously by 74 per cet in the previous eight quarters and by 19 per cent in a year.If bad loans have been genuinely recovered, that is a major improvement in the economy. The development reflects the health of Gujarat’s economic landscape. However, NPAs also fall if they are transferred to ARC or other similar mechanisms being under taken,” said Jaimin Vasa, vice-president of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry.Bankers say that national banking regulator the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put many banks on its watch list for their asset quality. “The move has resulted in many banks suspending their expansion operations as well as other operations and focused on recovery of loans. This has resulted in improvement in the recovery of loans,” said an official of a Public Sector Bank in Gujarat.Despite the fall in bad loans, the present level represents a danger signal as the percentage NPA is still above 5 per cent, which is a threshold of danger. For at least nine consecutive quarters now the NPA is over 5 per cent mark.

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Rajasthan govt puts 14,000 shell cos under scanner

Struck off by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, thousands of shell companies registered in Rajasthan have now come under the state government scanner. The state industries department has on Thursday written to all district collectors and several departments to identify assets of these companies in the next 15 days.”More than 14,000 companies registered in Rajasthan are among the 2,24,734 listed as suspicious by the central ministry. The industry department is a nodal agency that has now initiated action against these at the state-level,” said Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, Rajasthan industries minister.To be struck off, these companies have been dormant for nearly two years or have registered suspicious transactions since demonetization.After the central ministry action, which had extended restrictions on their bank accounts, the responsibility to prevent sale of their immovable properties and other assets is to be ensured by respective state government.Industry department of the state, as nodal agency, has now written to departments of transport, revenue, tourism and other concerned departments to ensure that no vehicle, land or asset gets disposed.In addition to the companies registered at state, such companies based in other states could also have held assets in Rajasthan.”However, the state agencies have to remain aware of the dubious operations of many of these companies. Also the department is yet to decide on action against the operation of ‘suspicious board directors’ of these companies,” he said.The central ministry, while cancelling registration of these companies, also disqualified over three lakh board directors for irregularities in financial statements.On the radarTo be struck off, these companies have been dormant for nearly two years or have registered suspicious transactions since demonetisation

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26-year-old woman found dead with throat slit

A 26-year-old woman was found dead with her throat slit inside her house in Chhajarsi village of Sector 63 in Noida on Thursday afternoon.According to the police, the deceased has been identified as Shweta Singh, a housewife, who was found dead in her house at around 12.30 pm with her body lying on the floor. She was discovered by her son, who had returned from school and found the house bolted from outside.”When Shweta failed to show up at the school to receive her son, a neighbour took him back to his house. He found the house bolted. With the help of the neighbours, he entered the house. Shweta was found dead with a quilt on her body. The throat was slit open with a sharp weapon and her right arm was also cut. I reached the spot when the neighbours called me,” said Moni Singh, Shweta’s aunty.The police were informed by the locals. “When we reached the spot, the body was lying in a pool of blood. All the belongings in her room were scattered. The body was taken into possession and sent for post-mortem,” said Rajeev Kumar, circle officer -2, Noida.Police said Shweta’s husband, Pankaj Singh has named Vinod (30), their neighbour as the prime accused in the murder as he claimed that Vinod had wrong intentions towards his wife. Police have registered a case of murder against Vinod and he is absconding.”Vinod lives just next to their room in the same building. He works in a sports goods company in Sector 63. He is absconding at the moment and it is also stated that he had taken an off today from office,” Kumar added.Shweta belongs to Dharhora village in Ambedkar Nagar of Faizabad and she was staying in Chhajarsi colony for the past three years with her husband Pankaj Singh (30) and 4-year-old son, Pranjal Singh.Shweta’s phone is missing after the incident and no weapon was discovered from the crime spot.

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New NHM results reverse outcomes for most candidates

Following the outcry over the discrepancies in the results of the Uttar Pradesh National Health Mission written exam for the posts of nurses and other staff, the results have been reversed and those who were earlier declared pass were failed and vice versa.After the Yogi Adityanath government order, the NHM published revised results, in which those in the general category, who had been declared fail, were declared passed, while reserved category candidates —who were earlier declared successful — were flunked.A total of 3,814 candidates were declared successful in the revised results tabulated with new cut-off marks for general (33 per cent), OBC (30 per cent) and 24 per cent for the SC/ST following the controversy over results declared on December 22.A general category candidate, who had obtained 64 out of 90 marks and was declared failed, has now been deemed selected in the revised result. Similarly, reserved category candidates who had scored a paltry 3 and 8 out of 90were declared failed in the revision.Thus, a total of 258 reserved category candidates who had obtained less than 24 per cent marks and were declared successful earlier have now failed to qualify for interviews.Taking a serious note of the irregularities, the Adityanath government had ordered a probe and suspended the General Manager Human Resources (HR) NHM Sandeep Saxena. A show cause notice was also slappedon NHM Director Pankaj Kumar.State Health Minister Dr Siddharth Nath Singh has assured strict action against erring officials after the probe is completed. “We have already placed the HR Head under suspension for a free and fair probe. Further action would be taken against officials responsible for the goof-up once the inquiry is over and report submitted,” said the minister.

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Delhi Nursery admissions: Govt tightens grip over pvt schools flouting norms

Tightening the noose around the private schools violating norms by setting abolished criteria for the nursery admissions, the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education (DoE) has started examining the regulations set by such schools.The admission process in the entry-level classes at 1,700 private unaided recognised Delhi schools kicked off on Wednesday. While most of the schools are giving heavy weightage to the ‘neighborhood’ criteria — children residing within the 0-3 km radius, arbitrary regulations issued by several schools are giving nightmares to parents seeking seats for their wards.”We have been receiving complaints against several private schools. We have already started examining the criteria set by these schools and are in the process of sending showcause notices to them,” said Atishi Marlena, Advisor to Education Minister Manish Sisodia.In blatant violation of the DoE guidelines, while some schools, including Mahavir Senior Model School on GT-Karnal Road, are granting extra points to “vegetarian”, “non-smoker” and “teetotaler” parents, some like the Apeejay School in Sheikh Sarai are preferring children/grandchildren of former school promoters or office bearers.Some schools, including St Michael’s Junior School in Prasad Nagar and Vidya Bal Bhawan School in Shakarpur are even violating the Right to Education (RTE) Act guidelines by calling parents and their wards for”interaction”. In another violation of the DoE norms, Abhinav Public School in Pitampura and Sachdeva Public School in Rohini have asked parents to give details of their monthly income, educational and professional qualification in the forms.”Some schools have issued absurd admission criteria which are nowhere mentioned in the DoE’s circular issued on December 19. DoE’s intervention only can stop them from following these unreasonable criteria,” said Ritika Singh, a parent seeking admission for her 3-year-old daughter.Meanwhile, experts have welcomed the government’s decision to intervene.”Schools are not only violating the DoE’s norms but also the RTE guidelines. It is good that the DoE has started looking into the matter,” said Sumit Vohra, founder of www.admissionsnursery.com.VIOLATIONIn blatant violation of the DoE guidelines, some schools, including Mahavir Senior Model School on GT-Karnal Road, are granting extra points to “vegetarian”, “non-smoker” and “teetotaler” parents. Some other schools like the Apeejay School in Sheikh Sarai are preferring children/grandchildren of former school promoters or office bearers.

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Every month, 150 male passengers barge into women Metro coaches

Every month, more than 150 male passengers, who had barged into the women’s coach of the Delhi Metro, were pulled out and fined by ‘Kaali’ – a special CISF women commando group. Senior officials said that the numbers are a result of special drives undertaken to keep away the nuisance created by men in women coaches.According to a data, in all the incidents, 1,941 men were caught in 2017 for violating women’s safety norms in Metro that zeroes down to more than 160 a month.”Kaali is a women commando group that specialises in unarmed combat. They are trained in multi-martial arts and can easily take down their opponent in closed spaces like a Metro. When it was noticed that the menace of men travelling in women coaches is increasing, Kaali was given the job to keep an eye on such men, pull them out of the coaches and slap an applicable fine on them through the station controllers,” said Hemendra Singh, AIG and PRO, CISF.Throughout 2017, more than 150 such special drives were undertaken by Kaali, in which they caught 1,941 men, travelling in the women’s coaches. These women work in teams and even board Metro trains in civil dresses to keep watch on miscreants.”It has been noticed that often during late hours, seeing women coaches not very crowded, men board these coaches, to which women object, leading to altercations. Kaali often makes surprise visits to women coaches. They often deal with those creating brawl after drinking or with the men who try to flout norms. When required, the Delhi Metro Rail Police is also roped in for legal action,” Singh said, adding that this is a step to ensure the safety of women in Metro.BIG NUMBERSAccording to a data, in all the incidents, 1,941 men were caught in 2017 for violating women’s safety norms in Metro that zeroes down to more than 160 a month.

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Lok Sabha passes ‘historic’ triple talaq Bill

The Lok Sabha passed a Bill that proposes to make instant triple talaq a non-bailable offence with a three-year jail term for guilty husbands, a move that was hailed as “historic” by the Narendra Modi government. The Opposition Congress also welcomed the passage and called it the first step towards protection of Muslim women’s rights. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, was passed after an intense debate. The House rejected amendments proposed by AMIM, Congress and BJD. The Bill will now be sent to the Rajya Sabha for passage before it is forwarded to the President for his assent. The Bill is likely to sail through the Rajya Sabha, given the Congress’ stated support to the proposed law. Turn to P4In August, the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional the controversial Islamic practice that allows Muslim men to divorce their wives simply by uttering the word talaq thrice. But instances of instant triple talaq have continued. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who introduced the Bill, called it a “historic” move that would ensure gender justice for Muslim women. He said Parliament cannot remain silent when the fundamental rights of women were being trampled upon. He said the Bill was “not about any religion or community.”“Even today such an incident took place in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh,” he said adding, the husband divorced his wife simply because she overslept. The Bill would empower women to seek remedial measures for herself and her children, said Prasad. Under the law, instant triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — would be illegal.Trying to score political points, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters that his was the first political party to welcome the Apex Court’s decision. “We welcome the move. It is a firm step towards protection of women’s rights,” he said. However, members of RJD, AIMIM, BJD, AIADMK and Indian Union Muslim League opposed the Bill, calling it a faulty and arbitrary in nature. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi termed the Bill “bad in law” and said its introduction would further alienate the minority. NCP leader Supriya Sule supported the Bill, with riders. She asked for removal of the three-year prison term provision. She suggested remedial action in the form of counselling. Muslim League’s ET Mohammed Bashir said the proposed law violated personal laws and was a politically motivated move by the BJP government. BJD’s B Mahtab said that he would not delve into the merits of the Bill and called the framing ‘faulty and flawed’.The government has said the Bill “empowers” Indian Muslim women by giving them a larger say in dissolving marriages, custody of minor children and the right to seek maintenance from their estranged husbands. Once the law is in place, victims will have the option of approaching the police and the legal system.

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BJP moves privilege motion against Rahul Gandhi over ‘Jaitlie’ remark

Irked by Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s tweet twisting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s name as ‘Jaitlie’, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) moved a privilege motion against him in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.BJP member Bhupender Yadav took up the issue soon after the House endorsed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s statement on Kulbhushan Jadhav.Moving the motion under Rule 187, Yadav urged Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu to take notice of the alleged breach of Jaitley’s privilege, who is also the Leader of the House.”All the members of this House have dignity. The name of Leader of the House Arun Jaitley has been intentionally published by the Congress president with malafide intentions to defame this House,” Yadav said.”The way the name of Leader of the House has been tweeted by the Congress president, it comes in the category of (breach of) privilege. There are precedents such as that of NC Chatterjee in 1954. I request you to go to this precedent and issue notice to Rahul Gandhi,” Yadav said.Naidu said he would take a view after examining the motion.Referring to Jaitley’s statement on Wednesday that led to end the week-long logjam in Parliament, Rahul Gandhi had tweeted, “Dear Mr Jaitlie (sic) – thank you for reminding India that our PM never means what he says or says what he means.”In his statement Jaitley had clarified Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s position vis-à-vis his ‘conspiring with Pakistan’ comments made during Gujarat campaign against his predecessor Manmohan Singh.”The statement (by Modi) did not question nor did he mean to question the commitment to the nation of Manmohan Singh or Hamid Ansari, the former vice president. Any such perception is completely erroneous. We hold these leaders in high esteem as also their commitment to the nation,” Jaitley had said.The finance minister made the statement as part of an understanding with the Congress party reached after several rounds of back channel parleys, that had led to continues stalling of the Rajya Sabha and disruptions in Lok Sabha for several days.The Congress also reciprocated by disapproving Mani Shankar Aiyar’s “Neech” comment regarding PM Modi.TWEET GONE WRONG?Rahul Gandhi had tweeted hitting at Arun Jaitley over his clarification of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment against former PM Manmohan Singh.

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Builder dupes singer Chitra Singh, denies refund

The late ghazal legend Jagjit Singh and his wife Chitra Singh captured the ‘middle-class house dream’ in Mumbai through their song ‘Yeh tera ghar yeh mera ghar’. But fact is stranger than fiction for Chitra Singh.Singh and her grandson Armaan Chowdhury had paid approximately Rs 1.75 crore to a builder for two flats on the 10th floor of Pearl Goregaon in 2013. Singh was later informed by the builder that he had permission to construct only till the eighth floor. Singh cancelled the deal in 2015, but is yet to receive her money back. She alleged that the builder, Sai Siddhi Developers, gave her two cheques, and both were dishonoured. She approached the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) with a complaint, however, it was dismissed in November 2017.Singh said, “I am a single woman, a senior citizen and I am the wife of legendary singer Jagjit Singh, and this is happening with me. I got in touch with the developer via a friend and invested my life savings in two flats. There was no written agreement. Even the memorandum of understanding the developer wanted me to sign showed me as an investor. I am now planning to initiate criminal action against the developer and consulting people/lawyers for the same. I don’t have so much money to afford the legal battle like a developer can.”When this paper contacted the developer’s office, they said they shall revert, but there was no response as the directors were tied up in meetings.

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JNU teachers raise concern over mandatory attendance of students

A day after the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) made attendance compulsory for all the regular students from January next year, the university’s teachers association on Thursday wrote to the members of the attendance committee raising its concerns.According to a circular issued by JNU’s assistant registrar, Sajjan Singh to all centers on December 22, the decision for making the attendance mandatory was taken during the Academic Council (AC) meeting in December.However, the JNUTA claimed that no such decision was taken during the 144th AC meeting. “Please note that the circulars notifying compulsory attendance, as well as the constitution of your committee, were issued before the date for receiving comments on the AC meeting was over i.e December 27,” the JNUTA said.During the meeting, the V-C had reportedly mentioned about the formation of a committee to ensure provisions of compulsory attendance for School of Language (SOL). However, the JNUTA claimed that it was not even part of the agenda and was opposed by the majority of members.”No such proposal has been made by any board of studies and if it were to be made, it would be applicable to the school only,” JNUTA said.Claiming that there is no tendency of “absenteeism” among the students, JNUTA president Ayesha Kidwai said,”We don’t want our classrooms to be turned into the last outposts of chief proctor office, because the notion of discipline in classrooms is strictly from the current dispensation’s notion of the disciplined conduct by students.”This will be the first time when JNU will maintain a record of student attendance. The university, however, has not yet specified the exact percentage of attendance that would be required to be maintained by the students and said that detailed guidelines will be issued shortly.The move also rapped by the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU), that termed it “irrational” and “unreasonable”. “We are adults. If we choose to miss classes and mess up our future, then that is on us. We are not in schools or gurukuls that we need to answer a roll call every day. This is an absolutely absurd regulation,” said JNUSU vice-president Simone Zoya Khan.

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ATS used Rakesh Dhawade to invoke MCOCA charges, says NIA

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

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24 hours power to all by March 2019: Power Minister R K Singh

By March 2019, all homes in the country will be provided uninterrupted 24-hour power supply throughout the year, Power Minister R K Singh said on Thursday.Singh said 1,694 villages, which are yet to be electrified, will have electricity connection by December 2018 and works in this regard has been going on.All homes will get 24-hour power by March 2019, he said during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha.Singh also said a new law will be enacted to impose penalties on power discoms in case of failure to provide uninterrupted power after March 2019, except due to technical reasons.The minister said the government has set a target of reducing the transmission and distribution (T&D) losses of power from the current 21 per cent to 15 per cent by January 2019.He said Rs 1,75,000 crore is being spent to improve the power infrastructure across the country.”Some T&D losses are inherent in the system. These are termed technical losses. As per a study, the technical losses range approximately from 2.62 per cent to 7.71 per cent.”Additional losses are caused by theft. At the all-India level, energy loss in T&D for the year 2015-16 was 240864.31 million units (21.81 per cent). As per estimates, reduction of 1 per cent in T&D losses results in a saving of Rs 4,146.60 crore in terms of power purchase cost,” he said.

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3 men create ruckus inside Metro, held

Three men, allegedly in an inebriated state, entered the Pul Bangash Metro Station on Tuesday night and manhandled officers from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) after they tried to stop the trio from hurling abuses at co-passengers and creating a nuisance. The men, seeing the armed Quick Response Teams (QRT), which was called on the spot attempted to reach out to one of the officer’s weapon during the scuffle. All three have been arrested.According to the senior CISF officers, who guard the Delhi Metro, it was around 12.30 pm on Tuesday when the three men, later identified as Rahul (21), Sumit Sharma (28) and Gulshan Jacob (29), entered Pul Bangash Metro Station in an inebriated state and started hurling abuses at other passengers.”Hearing the ruckus, when the shift in-charge Head Constable Richh Pal Singh arrived at the spot, the trio got into an argument with him. On this, Singh called in the armed CISF personnel to take the trio to the station control room, but Rahul started a fist fight and even injured Singh. A Quick Reaction Team of the CISF commandos then had to be called in and the trio was detained. The Delhi Metro Rail Police (DMRP) was also informed that arrived on the spot,” a senior CISF officer said.However, the officer added that when the DMRP attempted to take the three men to Rithala Metro Police Station, Rahul could not be controlled as he turned violent.

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Gynaecologist found dead in her Andheri house

“She used to stay with her husband but he was in Chennai for the past few days,” said Paramjit Singh Dahiya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IX).”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Thursday 28 December 2017 1:46 ISTMust readOn Day 2, Mumbai commuters warm up to AC localMumbai Metro authorities don’t see the need to increase coaches despite commuter rise<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>A city-based gynaecologist’s decomposing body was found in her Andheri West apartment on Tuesday night. The police said Dr Poonam Satpute was suffering from diabetes and have registered an accidental death report since they do not suspect any foul play. They reached her house after being alerted by her neighbours about a foul smell coming from her flat.The body was sent for postmortem to Dr RN Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle, which has reserved the autopsy report. “There were no injury marks on her body. Since the cause of death is not yet confirmed, we have reserved the final report. Samples have been sent for chemical analysis,” a doctor from the postmortem team said. “She used to stay with her husband but he was in Chennai for the past few days,” said Paramjit Singh Dahiya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IX).

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House uproar ends as govt, Congress truce up

“We disassociate from any comments made by any member during elections that may have hurt PM’s dignity, also we don’t want any such thing to be said in future,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said. ”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByManan Kumar <!–end of artlbotbor–>Thursday 28 December 2017 1:40 ISTMust readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher Jaish-e-Mohammad’s ‘commander’ Noor Tantray killed in Pulwama wanted to join BJP in 2003 to eliminate top brass<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Parliament’s weeklong impasse over PM Narendra Modi’s remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh finally ended on Wednesday with Union Minister Arun Jaitley clarifying that the PM neither questioned nor meant to question Singh’s commitment to the nation.The Congress also softened its stand. It said the party has dissociated itself from Mani Shankar Aiyar’s “neech” remark against PM Modi.“We disassociate from any comments made by any member during elections that may have hurt PM’s dignity, also we don’t want any such thing to be said in future,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

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Himachal CM, 11 ministers take charge

Jai Ram Thakur took oath as the 13th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh at the historic Ridge Maidan here on Wednesday. The five-time BJP MLA was sworn in along with 11 Cabinet Ministers in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, veteran party leader LK Advani and a few Chief Ministers, including UP’s Yogi Adityanath.As the number of Cabinet Ministers is capped at 12, the BJP has tried to strike regional balance, giving precedence to Mandi and Kangra districts.The BJP government has the CM and two ministers from Mandi, four from Kangra, besides one each from Una, Kullu, Solan, Shimla and tribal areas. No one from Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Sirmaur and Chamba has been included in the ministry.Former BJP chief and four-time MLA from Shimla, Suresh Bhardwaj, 65, is the eldest among new faces.Three-time MLA from Kasauli, Rajiv Saizal, is the youngest at 46. Insiders have been hinting that RSS has had a bigger say in formalising the new CM’s Cabinet.The new Cabinet has four ministers, including only female minister Sarveen Chaudhary, from the biggest Kangra district. Former Union Minister Pandit Sukh Ram’s son, Anil Sharma, who joined BJP days before the elections, has once again got a Cabinet berth.Dharampur (Mandi) MLA Mahender Singh Thakur took oath as number two after the CM and is the eldest in the government at 67.If sources are to be believed, the name of former Health Minister Rajiv Bindal, who has never lost an election and is a five-time MLA in a row (three times from Solan, twice from Nahan), was struck off at the last minute. He is slated to be elevated as Speaker in the new Assembly.Instead, the name of Dharamshala MLA Kishan Kapoor was, however, added into the council of ministers at the eleventh hour.Third time MLA from Manali Govind Thakur, 49, who is considered a close aide of the new CM, has also been included in the Cabinet. The Son of veteran BJP leader late Kunj Lal Thakur, Govind, is a horticulturist.Others who were administered the oath are: Ram Lal Markanday (Lahaul-Spiti), Virender Kanwar (Kutlehar, Una), Vipin Parmar (Kangra) and Bikram Singh (Jaswan-Pragpur).After the swearing-in ceremony, a large number of people gathered outside the residence of former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal and displayed their displeasure over non-inclusion of his supporter and former horticulture minister Narender Bragta in the Cabinet.Having been a minister twice under Dhumal, Bragta has been seen as the BJP’s face in the upper belt, dominated by outgoing CM Virbhadra Singh for so long. The only Dhumal supporter included in the Cabinet was Shimla MLA Suresh Bhardwaj.

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Modi’s Pak comment: How Vijay Goel’s meeting with Manmohan Singh broke ice between govt and opposition

It was a meeting between Union minister Vijay Goel and Manmohan Singh last week that initiated the process to break the government-opposition deadlock in the Rajya Sabha, a top government official said today.The proceedings of both the Houses of Parliament were disrupted for nearly two weeks over remarks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Gujarat Assembly election campaign.He had criticised his predecessor Singh for attending a secret” dinner with senior Pakistan officials at former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence. According to the official, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Goel reached out to the former prime minister and showed him the copy of Modi’s speech and convinced him that no derogatory references were made to him.Also readParliament: PM Modi didn’t question Manmohan Singh’s commitment to India, says Jaitely; Congress replies with thanks”Singh then agreed to end the deadlock with a statement from the government,” the official claimed. Goel’s meeting with Singh was followed by a meeting of Leader of the Upper house Arun Jaitley and Goel with Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress leader Anand Sharma at Azad’s residence. The process culminated in a statement today by Jaitley, who said the prime minister has never questioned Singh’s integrity and commitment to the nation.However, ahead of Jaitley’s statement, there was a small disagreement between the two sides over its formulation that was resolved with the intervention of Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. Naidu suggested to the government to drop the contentious word and the government relented, they said.Reacting to Jaitley’s statement, Azad said the Congress does not approve of any remarks made against the prime minister, apparently in a reference to the “neech” remark made by Aiyar.

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Ministerial panel’s report on Lokpal under examination: Govt

The government is still examining the recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee on the Lokpal act, two years after a parliamentary panel submitted its report on the proposed law, the Lok Sabha was informed today.The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 — that has provisions for establishment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants — came into force with effect from January 16, 2014.However, an amendment bill was moved in the Lok Sabha in December 2014 to remove certain difficulties in the operationalisation of the Act, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.The bill was referred to the Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice for examination and report.”The said Committee has submitted its report in the Parliament on December 7, 2015. The recommendations of the said Committee were presented before an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) comprising seven Union ministers. The recommendation of the IMC are under consideration of the government,” Singh said.

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Parliament: PM Modi didn’t question Manmohan Singh’s commitment to India, says Jaitely; Congress replies with thanks

Days after the bitter war of words between the Congress and the BJP during Gujarat Assembly Elections, it seems both parties have reached a truce in Parliament on Wednesday.Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while addressing the Rajya Sabha said that, ‘PM (Narendra Modi) in his speeches didn’t question, nor meant to question the commitment to this nation of either former PM Manmohan Singh or Former Vice President Hamid Ansari, any such perception is erroneous, we hold these leaders in high esteem, as well as their commitment to India.’Jaitley’s statement in the Upper House comes after the continuous demand by the Congress lawmakers for an apology by the Prime Minister for his ‘Pakistan meddling in Gujarat polls’ remarks in which he had named his predecessor Manmohan Singh also.In a quick reply, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, ‘Thank leader of the house for clarification on what has been issue of contention. I,on behalf of my party, say that we disassociate from any comments made by any member during elections that may have hurt PM’s dignity,also we don’t want any such thing to be said in future.’During an election rally on December 11, PM Modi had raised questions over a reported appeal by former director-general of the Pakistan Army Sardar Arshad Rafiq, that Congress leader Ahmed Patel be made Gujarat’s Chief Minister in case the Congress wins the elections.He had also said that, ‘There were media reports on Saturday about a three-hour closed-door meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house. It was attended by Pakistan’s high commissioner, Pakistan’s former foreign minister, India’s former vice president Hamid Ansari and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.’He had also linked the ‘secret meeting’ with now-suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s ‘neech’ remark.”The next day, Mani Shankar Aiyar said Modi was ‘neech’. This is a serious matter,” he said.The Congress was demanding PM’s apology on the issue during the Winter Session of Parliament.”Either the government should prove the claim or the Prime Minister must apologise… Nothing short of an apology will satisfy us,” Congress leader Anand Sharma had said prior to the beginning of the Winter Session.

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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar receives praise for grand hosting of Shukrana Samaroh

Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal with her husband and former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and praised him for the “grand arrangements” for Shukrana Samaroh of 350th Prakash Parv of Guru Gobind Singh.The couple, who met the CM at his official residence 1, Anney Marg, were here to take part in the “Shukrana” (thanksgiving) function of 350th Prakash Parv (birth anniversary) of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru.Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union minister for Food Processing Industries and former Dy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal hailed Kumar for the “grand arrangements” for Shukrana Samaroh (thanksgiving), an official release said.Also readAssembly elections 2017 results​: Nitish Kumar congratulates PM Modi, Amit Shah on Gujarat, Himachal victoryKumar welcomed them with a bouquet and presented them with a memento and “Angvastra”, it added.They presented a “Saropa” to Kumar, the release said.”This (Patna) is the birth place of 10th Sikh Guru Guru Gobind Singh jee Maharaj. Its a matter of pride for the people of Bihar. It is our duty and privilege to do whatever we can do to celebrate the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh jee Maharaj,” Kumar said on the occasion.The state government had organised inaugural programme of the Prakash Parv on a grand scale in January this year to mark the 350th birth anniversary of the 10th Sikh guru and now the state govenrment has organised “Shukrana Samaroh” (thanksgiving or closing ceremony) of the anniversary function which is a 351st Prakash Parv also, Kumar said.Sukhir Badal’s father and former Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal while sharing dias with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kumar at the inaugural function of 350th Prakash Parva in Patna in January this year had appreciated Kumar’s hosting of the great sikh religious event in a well organised manner.Prominent among those who were present during today’s meeting included- Delhi’s Rajauri Garden MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa, Bihar Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, former Bihar Chief Secretary G S Kang, CM’s Principal Secretary Chanchal Kumar and others.

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Police, local bodies involved in Ashram activities: Residents

The tale of the Rohini-based Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya ashram got murkier on Sunday, with the locals claiming that the police and the local bodies were also involved in the exploitation of women and girls.They said that despite several complaints, the police failed to take any action against the ashram, and said it was impossible that the local bodies’ members didn’t know anything about the suspicious activities going inside the ashram.” We are sure that the local bodies are involved in running this ashram, where illegal activities had been taking place for so many years. Despite complaints and families of the victims shouting on the roads, the ashram authorities did not let them meet their daughters. Why was no action taken then? Why didn’t anybody raid the ashram?” asked Naresh Saini, a resident of Vijay Nagar in Rohini.Meanwhile, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has requested Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal to intervene and ensure safety of the girls who were recently rescued from the ashram, run by self-styled godman Virendra Dev Dikshit.He has also slammed the BJP government and alleged that a nexus between the police and certain BJP leaders was behind these activities in controversial ashrams. BJP has rejected all such allegations.Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said the party followed Indian culture but respected all religions and spiritual leaders. “Trying to associate the party’s name with the ashram, however, is shameful. The party has no association with the ashram’s activities,” he said.Kejriwal tweeted: “I urge Hon’ble L-G to personally intervene and ensure strict action against the ashram and ensure safety of rescued girls. If any policeman acts malafide, strict action should be taken against him.”Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh demanded the arrest of Dixit. As many 46 girls have been rescued from two ashrams in Dwarka and Rohini. “The so-called godman has not been arrested and many of his ashrams are still unknown,” Singh said.

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38-year-old man killed after being hit by speeding car

A 38-year-old man was killed after he was hit by a speeding car on Outer Ring Road near Mukundpur Chowk on Saturday evening. It was found that the errant driver was in an inebriated state at the time of the accident and even tried to flee from the spot. However, he was caught by the public and his vehicle was set afire.The deceased was identified as Sanjeev Singh, who worked as a labourer and was a resident of Jahangirpuri. According to the police, the incident took place around 9 pm on Saturday night when Singh was trying to cross the road near the chowk. Witnesses told the police that he was hit so hard that Singh was thrown meters away and he sustained critical injuries.”They said that the driver, who was later identified as Ashok Kumar, was drunk at the time of the accident. Kumar tried to flee from the spot after the mishap but was chased and nabbed by the locals, who first thrashed him and then set his car on fire. Kumar was coming from Burari and was heading towards Mukundpur when his car hit Singh. Locals called up the police and the victim was rushed to a nearby hospital but he had succumbed to the injuries by that time,” a senior police officer said.Police said that the accused appeared to be drunk and later a medical examination confirmed that he had consumed alcohol. A case of rash driving and causing death due to negligence and other relevant sections was registered against Kumar at the Jahangirpuri Police Station and he was arrested.Kumar works for a private company.”Singh’s family has been informed and the body was sent for a post-mortem examination,” police said.Police have also registered a separate case of arson against the mob for burning the car and said that efforts to identify the miscreants are being made.

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AIIMS doctors write to PM Modi for redress of safety & infra issues

Resident doctors of AIIMS backed protests by their counterparts in Rajasthan for higher pay and promotions, and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “live their life for a day” to understand their stress.The AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) wrote to the PM on Sunday and urged him to understand the pressure on doctors at government hospitals due to poor infrastructure and misbehaviour of patients’ families and attendants during emergency situations.”We are lucky to have an active PM like you… Now RDA AIIMS requests you to put (on) white apron and spend one day as a government doctor to understand the tremendous amount of pressure we face, the agony of patients who did not get treatment, the dying healthcare system due to lack of resources and infrastructure,” AIIMS RDA president Harjit Singh Bhatti wrote in the letter.He said it will also set an example to ministers who level allegations against doctors for cheap publicity. “Your one day as a government doctor can be a turning point for the healthcare system as it will restore faith in the medical profession,” the letter read.THEIR GRIEVANCESThe docs urged the PM to understand the pressure on them at govt hospitals due to poor infrastructure and misbehaviour of patients’ families during emergencies.

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Hospitals face acute shortage of beds, staff: Doctors

Believe it or not, there is just one bed per 55 patients in Centre-run Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital. This revelation means if a patient visits the super-specialty hospital, the probability of getting a bed is extremely less.In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey said that the primary responsibility to increase the bed-to-patient ratio lies with the respective state or Union Territory government as public health and hospitals were state subjects.Other government hospitals in the Capital are also reeling under acute shortage of beds. The Delhi government had planned to double up the number of beds from 10,000 to 20,000 by December 2017 but nothing has been done so far.”The situation is same in almost all the hospitals. Not only the beds, but the hospitals are also facing a shortage of doctors and other paramedical staff. It is high time that the government improves the overall healthcare system,” said Dr Vivek Chouksey, president, Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA).RML, which is the largest hospital after the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), witnesses around 7,000 to 8,000 patients daily in its Out Patient Department (OPD), and more than 1,000 patients in its emergency ward.The total number of beds at RML is 1,447.”54 patients occupied a single bed this year. This is not the total figure,” said Dr VK Tiwari, medical superintendent, RML Hospital.Patients visiting the hospital also complained about the issue saying it causes inconvenience to them.”It is almost impossible to get a bed here. We have been waiting for more than a month, but the waiting line is still the same. Doctors say they will first treat the emergency patients and then move on to others,” said Lakhbir Singh, a patient outside RML. Singh hails from Rajasthan and has been sitting here for more than a month with his wife for treatment.According to the data shared by the minister, the bed-to-patient ratio for the RML in 2015 and 2016 was 1:52 and 1:54.5, respectively. The corresponding figure for Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) for the two years was 1:07 and 1:06, respectively while for Safdarjung Hospital, the ratio was 1:2 for both the years, it said.

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MHA sends county-wide advisory to ensure peace during Christmas

The Centre has sent a country-wide advisory asking authorities to enhance vigil and security to ensure peace ahead of Christmas and New Year in lieu of threats in some areas against celebrating the festivals.In an advisory to all the states, the Union Home Ministry said there will be large gatherings in public places during the festivities and security needs to be tightened to ensure peace is not disrupted.The state administrations have been advised to take appropriate measures to ensure peaceful celebrations, including effective crowd control and maintenance of law and order.States have also been asked to deploy adequate forces in malls, religious places, markets, airports, railway stations, bus terminals, etc, so that any attempt to disrupt peace can be foiled, a Home Ministry official said.Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said on Saturday that steps should be taken to ensure law and order is maintained during Christmas celebrations and wished the nation on the occasion.”Any festival, whether it is Christmas, Ramzan, Holi or Diwali, should be celebrated without any problems.”Strict action would be taken if anyone tries to create ruckus during the festivals,” he had said.

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Jai Ram Thakur is BJP’s Chosen One in Himachal

The BJP chose low-profile Seraj MLA Jai Ram Thakur as Himachal Pradesh’s next Chief Minister. He will be sworn in as the 13th CM of the hill state at the historic Ridge Maidan on Wednesday, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.The move also ends an old rivalry for the top post between upper and lower areas as Thakur comes from central Mandi district.Contrary to speculations that BJP’s central leadership may push Union Health Minister JP Nadda’s name in the wake of a bitter rift between former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal and Thakur’s lobby, not a single slogan was shouted during the meeting of newly elected MLAs that took place in the presence of central observers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narender Singh Tomar at Hotel Peterhoff on Sunday.Thakur’s name was proposed by Dhumal and he was elected unanimously as the new leader after being seconded by Nadda and another two-time CM Shanta Kumar.Thakur is considered to be a soft-spoken and a solid organisation man. It was his influence in Mandi that helped the BJP bag nine out of the 10 Assembly seats from the area.Thakur, who will turn 53 on January 6, belongs to the Rajput community which has a significant presence in the hill state.He has won his 5th consecutive Assembly election from Seraj, earlier known as Chachiot in Mandi district, defeating Chet Ram of the Congress.Mandi is second only to Kangra that sends 15 MLAs to the Vidhan Sabha.Thakur’s dominance in his constituency could be judged from the fact that despite the remoteness and difficult topography, 56 out of 58 panchayats in Seraj constituency were connected by road even as there was a Congress government in the state.”We will try to meet the expectations of the people of Himachal Pradesh. Our dream of a Congress-free Himachal Pradesh has been realised,” Thakur said in his first remarks after being elected as new CM.He was always called CM in the waiting even during the last tenure of Dhumal till 2012.But this time around, he emerged as a favourite for the top post after the defeat of BJP’s chief ministerial face Dhumal from Sujanpur.Thakur served as rural development and panchayati raj minister in the Dhumal government from 2010 to 2012.The BJP ousted the Congress from power by winning 44 out of the 68 seats.With Dhumal’s key men already having lost the election and Nadda’s name not eliciting any warm response, Thakur with the complete backing of Shanta Kumar clinched the deal.The BJP has named a Thakur face its CM candidate at a time when, after losing polls, Congress’ Virbhadra Singh seems to have played out his last political innings. Nadda was a Brahmin, which is the second dominant community in Himachal Pradesh after Rajputs.

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UP Aadhaar Racket: Police bust gang that made fake identifications, one arrested

Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district on Sunday claimed to have busted a gang which made fake Aadhaar and PAN cards with the arrest of one person.The accused was arrested from a house in Khurgan village in Shamli’s Kairana during a police raid on Saturday, officials said.A car, a laptop, a camera and a large number of fake Aadhaar and permanent account number (PAN) cards were seized from the accused, Javed, station house officer (SHO), Kairana police station, Bhagwat Singh said.The SHO said two of Javed’s accomplices managed to give police the slip during the action and a hunt has been launched for them.Interrogation of the arrested accused was underway, Singh added.Also readAadhaar debate: Open to improving privacy framework, says JaitleyAadhaar is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued by the government to all residents based on their biometric and demographic data.

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Case against Telangana BJP MLA Raja Singh for inflammatory speeches

The Hyderabad police have registered a case against T Raja Singh Lodh, a Telangana BJP MLA, for allegedly making inflammatory speeches.A complaint was lodged at the Golconda police station against Raja Singh, who represents Goshamahal constituency here, yesterday. He made “derogatory and hate” speeches against Muslims and promoted enmity between Hindus and Muslims, said the complaint, citing Lodh’s speeches between July 2015 to December 15, 2017 which are available on social media.Police registered a case against Lodh under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity among people on the grounds of religion, race, residence and language) and 295-A (maliciously insulting the religion and religious beliefs), said an official. The MLA has kicked up controversies due his statements on many occasions in the past.

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Himachal: Mandi wins the battle for CM after 54 years, Jai Ram Thakur to take oath on 27th Dec

The second largest district of Himachal Pradesh with ten assembly seat, it was after a 54- year wait that Mandi has won the battle for chief ministership.No legislator from Mandi, a district with cultural affinity with Kangra and Kullu and topographic similarities with Shimla and Sirmaur districts, has ever become chief minister. Congress leader Karam Singh won five assembly elections from Chachiot from 1952 to 1972 and was a strong contender for the post of chief minister in 1963 and 1967, but missed out and Dr Y S Parmar became the chief minister.Sukh Ram, whose son Anil Sharma is now a BJP legislator, was another senior Congress leader who was in contention for the top job in the state. He also never managed to become the chief minister. The BJP, this time put up a stunning show in the district, winning 9 of the 10 Assembly seats. The saffron party’s chief ministerial face P K Dhumal lost his own election leaving the field wide-open. Finally, it was again Chachiot, or Seraj after delimitation, that again came to the fore with its five-time MLA Jai Ram Thakur, who will now be sworn as the 14th chief minister of Himachal Pradesh on December 27. Also readThe Accidental CM: Meet Jai Ram Thakur, new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh He will take oath in a star-studded ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah among others. The 52-year-old Thakur leader edged past party stalwarts in the race to the top office and will be the first leader from the politically-significant Mandi region to helm the hill state. Thanking the party leadership and workers after his election Thakur said that swearing in ceremony would take place on December 27.Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who along with Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman was appointed as a central observer by the BJP, announced that Thakur was chosen to be the next chief minister as thousands of party workers began celebrating.The Seraj MLA, a throughbred RSS man, emerged as the frontrunner for the top post after the shock defeat of BJP’s chief ministerial face Prem Kumar Dhumal in the state Assembly polls, the results of which were announced last week. A former chief minister, Dhumal, was still in the reckoning for the chief minister’s post till last night, when he opted out. Union minister J P Nadda was another top contender. Thakur, a former state unit chief and rural development and panchayati raj minister in a government headed by Dhumal, was elected the leader of the BJP legislature party today.The decision was taken at a meeting of BJP MLAs.His name was proposed by senior leaders Suresh Bhardwaj and Mahender Singh and seconded by others. “It is expected that Thakur will take oath as the state’s next CM on December 27 at a ceremony where Prime Minister Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and a galaxy of top leaders would be present,” a source said. Thakur along with senior party leaders handed a letter staking his claim to form the government in Himachal Pradesh to Governor Acharya Devvrat who invited him to do so.The five time MLA will be the first chief minister from Mandi, the second largest district of the state. Himachal’s chief ministers and political leaders mostly belong to or hailed from Shimla, Kangra and Sirmour districts. Mandi has 10 Assembly seats, second only to Kangra’s 15. In this election, the BJP put up a stellar show in Mandi, winning 9 of the district’s 10 seats.Seen largely as a low-profile man, Thakur is from a farming family of Mandi. He did his post-graduation from Panjab University in Chandigarh and decided to join politics when he was in his 20s. Thakur contested on a BJP ticket in the 1993 Assembly polls. He lost, but went on to win in 1998 from the now delimited constituency of Chachiot (Seraj) and every Assembly election after that. A soft-spoken man, Thakur’s strength is that he is seen as a leader who has managed to straddle the party’s warring factions in the state.A lack of consensus among the newly elected MLAs had resulted in the two central observers — Union ministers Sitharaman and Tomar — returning to Delhi from Shimla yesterday to hold fresh consultation with the BJP central leadership. Earlier, the two-member team of central observers, which was in the state on December 21 and 22, had taken feedback from members of the state BJP’s core committee, MPs and some MLAs. The BJP ousted the Congress from power by winning 44 out of the 68 seats in the Assembly polls.

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Real tribute to Guru Gobind Singh is to follow his path: Manmohan Singh

The real tribute to Guru Gobind Singh would be to follow his path of harmony, religious tolerance, peace and brotherhood, former prime minister Manmohan Singh said today.Speaking on the concluding day of Guru Gobind Singh’s 350th birth anniversary commemoration celebrations here, the senior Congress leader noted that the tenth Sikh Guru never discriminated against any religion, but respected all human beings, regardless of colour, caste and creed.The real tribute to Guru Gobind Singh would be to follow his path and bring an end to gender discrimination, he said.”As true Sikhs, we should not discriminate between men and women, and should provide equal opportunities of education to both genders, thus enabling them to become ideal citizens of the society,” Manmohan said.The former PM, accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, was addressing a gathering opposite the Keshgarh Sahib Gurdwara.Manmohan said the Sikh community was never in conflict with Islam and asserted that Guru Gobind Singh and other Sikh Gurus fought against social injustice by Mughal rulers and stood for human rights regardless of race, caste, religion or gender.The economist also sought people’s cooperation to stamp out the menace of drugs from the society.Also speaking at the event, Amarinder Singh announced the revival of Anandpur Sahib Urban Development Authority, along with his government’s decision to set up Skills University at Chamkaur Sahib in the name of Guru Gobind Singh.He said he would also request the Centre to declare Guru Gobind Singh Marg in Punjab and the rest of the country as a national highway.Underlining the Punjab government’s commitment to the upliftment of this holy place, the chief minister said the revival of Sri Anandpur Sahib Urban Development Authority would pave way for upgradation of its basic infrastructure and amenities.Former Union minister Preneet Kaur, AICC leaders Asha Kumari, Harish Chaudhary and Ambika Soni, state Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, PPCC president Sunil Jakhar, Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha and MLA Sri Anandpur Sahib Rana K P Singh, among others, were also present on the occasion.

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The Accidental CM: Meet Jai Ram Thakur, new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh

As the trends for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections came in on December 18, it was clear that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was headed for a comfortable win. When the results for all the seats were declared, the BJP had won 44 out of the 68 seats, ousting the Congress from power.But as the fate would have it, BJP’s CM candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal lost his seat from Sujanpur constituency to Congress’ Rajinder Rana. The next in line, BJP state president Satpal Singh Satti also lost from Una constituency. Then started the BJP’s search for a new face. Many contenders emerged and finally the saffron party chose soft spoken Jai Ram Thakur as the next CM of the hilly state.Ending days of suspense, BJP announced on Sunday that the five-time MLA will be the new Chief Minister of the state.The 52-year-old leader won the Assembly election from Seraj. Apart from securing his own win with huge margin, Thakur is also said to be instrumental in BJP sweeping 9 out of 10 seats from Mandi region, losing one to an independent candidate. Thakur comes from a humble background and was born in a farming family in Tandi village of Mandi district in 1965. The youngest of five children, Jai Ram was a bright student but had to drop out for two years after matriculation in 1980 due to poor financial condition of the family. He, however, went on to complete his MA from Panjab University in Chandigarh. He joined the RSS’ student wing ABVP right after graduation, thus making his entry into student politics. At the time when L K Advani took out his Ram Rath Yatra, Jai Ram also became active in the Ram Mandir movement. He is, however, not known for aggressive politics and is considered BJP’s ‘gentle face’ for his soft-spoken and non-aggressive brand of politics. Thakur contested his first election at the age of 28 on a BJP ticket in 1993. He lost his first election but again secured the BJP ticket in 1998 from Seraj, which was then known as Chachiot Vidhan Sabha. This time he won comfortably and defeated Congress veteran Moti Ram Thakur by 6,000 votes, thus marking his entry to the Assembly. There has been no looking back for him since then. He won consecutive elections from Chachiot in 2003 and 2007, before the constituency became Seraj after delimitation. Thakur was made Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister by then Chief Minister Dhumal in 2008. He was also the BJP’s state president between 2007 and 2009. In 2012, he won from Seraj while the BJP lost power to the Congress. In the latest election, Thakur won from Seraj by a margin of over 11,000 votes. He is married to Sadhana Thakur, a Kannadiga who was born and brought up in Jaipur, and have two children with her. Soft-spoken Thakur is considered a consensus builder in the Himachal Pradesh BJP. Even as his supporters raised slogans in his favour against Dhumal during BJP’s Central Observers’ visit to the state, he chose to remain silent. Today, it was Dhumal who proposed his name during the BJP legislature party meeting. Two other senior leaders from the party, Shanta Kumar and JP Nadda also supported the proposal, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, the BJP’s Central Observer, said. After the announcement of his name, Thakur thanked everyone, signalling that he would take all leaders of faction-ridden Himachal BJP along in his journey. Himachal is famous for throwing out incumbent government’s after a single term in office. Can Thakur break that trend? That will be his biggest challenge. Watch: Jai Ram Thakur to be new Himachal Pradesh CM

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Muzaffarnagar riots case: Court quashes NBWs against four including Suresh Rana and Sangit Som

Defence counsel Anil Jindal requested the court that the warrents be quashed. The accused are facing charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for violating prohibitory orders deterring public servants from discharging their duties and wrongful restraint. It is alleged that the accused participated in a mahapanchayat and incited violence through their speeches in the last week of August 2013.”
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Sunday 24 December 2017 17:12 ISTMust readMore girls rescued from rape accused Baba Virender Dev Dikshit’s Farrukhabad ashram’Not Indian Vedic tradition’- Andhra Pradesh asks temples not to celebrate New Year<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–> A local court has quashed non-bailable warrants issued against Uttar Pradesh minister Suresh Rana, BJP MLA Sangit Som and BJP MP Bhartendu Singh in connection with a 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case.The NBWs were issued on November 15 following permission from the state government to prosecute them. Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Madhu Gupta yesterday quashed non-bailable warrants against four persons–Rana, Som, Singh and a man identified as Chandra Pal. Their lawyer in a plea had contended they had already been given bail under section 153a of the IPC (promoting enmity between different groups).Defence counsel Anil Jindal requested the court that the warrents be quashed. The accused are facing charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for violating prohibitory orders deterring public servants from discharging their duties and wrongful restraint. It is alleged that the accused participated in a mahapanchayat and incited violence through their speeches in the last week of August 2013.

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Advantage JP Nadda? BJP meets today to decide Himachal Chief Minister

Prem Kumar Dhumal on Saturday night ruled himself out from the race for the post of Himachal Pradesh chief minister, a day before a meeting of BJP MLAs to elect their leader. Five-term MLA Jairam Thakur and Union minister J P Nadda are the frontrunners for the chief minister’s office.A lack of consensus among the newly elected MLAs had resulted in the two central observers — Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar — returning to Delhi from Shimla on Friday to hold fresh consultation with the central leadership.Although Thakur was seen a frontrunner for the job till recently, Nadda may emerge as the most acceptable candidate in this changed scenario, a BJP source said.”There is speculation in media that I am in race for the post of the chief minister. I had made it clear on the day of the result that I am not in any race,” Dhumal said.The statement of Mr Dhumal, a former chief minister who was the party’s candidate for the job again but suffered a shock defeat in the polls, that he was not in contention has come following a nudge from the BJP leadership, sources said.Supporters of Dhumal and Thakur had raised slogans as central observers met state leaders on Thursday. A meeting of BJP MLAs has been convened on Sunday and they would be addressed by the central observers, the party’s state unit chief Satpal Singh Satti said today in Shimla.The two-member team of central observers, which was in the state on December 21 and 22, had taken feedback from members of the state BJP’s core committee, MPs and some MLAs.The leadership issue cropped up following the shocking defeat of Dhumal. He who was defeated from Sujanpur by Rajinder Rana of the Congress.Satti, who himself lost from Una, said that in spite of “unexpected results” in some constituencies the performance of the party was spectacular. The party ousted the Congress from power by winning 44 of the 68 seats in fray.

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Sashastra Seema Bal strength increased after Doklam: Rajnath Singh

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

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Congress backs Lalu Prasad Yadav, says alliance still strong

The Congress party on Saturday came out in support of convicted Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and dismissed any impact of the decision on its alliance with RJD. Congress leader Manish Tewari termed the Central Bureau of Investigation as “pet performing parrot” of the current government and said that Yadav and his lawyers are able enough to cope with the fight ahead.”This issue is not new, this began in 1993-94 and since then we had an alliance with the RJD. They were a part of UPA, we have also been together in the grand alliance… criminal matters and political alliances are two separates issues,” Tewari said during the party’s press briefing.The former union minister also questioned the double standards of the CBI and asked why was it not investigating the Srijan scam, that allegedly involves Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi. “I want to ask the BJP why Srijan scam is not being investigated? The central charge was same in this case. Why there are different strokes for different folks,” Tewari said.Meanwhile, senior RJD leaders came out strongly against the BJP and its misuse of investigating agencies. The party’s spokesperson Manoj Jha slammed the agencies and said that legally admissible evidence was not considered and it was set aside. He said that the two most powerful people in the country are trying to intimidate them.”Politically I know this regime, they have this typical Standard Operating Procedure: Try to make a deal with your opposition, if you fail, then scare them,” Jha said.Senior RJD leaders Abdul Bari Siddiqui and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said that the party will continue to fight the legal battle in the higher courts. Siddiqui asked why Lalu Prasad Yadav was being singled out even as Chief Ministers preceding him were also involved in this issue.”The case was on excess withdrawal from Deogarh treasury. Laluji has been charged with connivance as he was the finance minister then – the charge is not direct. The withdrawal had been taking place since 1977. There were several chief ministers who were in charge of the finance department when Laluji was not the finance minister or the chief minister so why is he being singled out?” said Siddiqui.Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said that the party had no alternative but to move to high court and continue the fight legally as well as politically. The CBI court will pronounce the punishment to Yadav on January 3 and he was taken to Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi.—With agency inputs.

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Today father, next who?: Sushil Modi on Lalu Yadav’s conviction

As you sow, so you reap — this was Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi’s reaction to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s conviction in a fodder scam case by a CBI court in Ranchi today.Modi was one of the petitioners, on whose PIL the Patna High Court had, in 1996, ordered a CBI inquiry into the cases relating to the fodder scam.In a series of tweets, Modi pointed at the money- laundering cases slapped against the “whole family” of Prasad and hinted that the RJD president’s son and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav could be the next in line in the “process of going to jail”.”Jo boya so paya. Boya ped babul ka to aam kahan se hoi. Yeh to hona hi tha (As you sow, so you reap. If you plant a Babul tree, how will you get mangoes. This had to happen),” the BJP leader said in his first tweet after the court verdict.This was followed by another tweet: “I was one of the petitioner in fodder scam PIL which resulted in CBI inquiry & and monitoring by Patna H Court (sic).”Also readFrom Tejashwi Yadav to Ravi Shankar Prasad: Who said what after Lalu Yadav’s conviction in fodder scam”Process of going to jail started. Today father, next who? Lalu knows? Whole family involved in corruption. Either fodder scam or benami property? Today chara Next LaRa? (sic),” read another tweet.Modi also came down heavily on RJD national vice- president Shivanand Tiwary, who was a co-petitioner in the PIL which led to the CBI inquiry into the fodder scam, saying he was “defending the indefensible” by coming out in support of Prasad.Also readEven Mandela, Ambedkar are villains for some: Defiant Lalu Yadav after fodder scam conviction”Lalu had to go to jail because of PIL filed by Shivanand, Lalan Singh and myself but now Shivanand defending the indefensible (sic),” he said.Lalan Singh, a JD(U) leader, is currently a state minister.Also readTimeline of fodder scam case which rocked Lalu Prasad Yadav’s political careerTiwary, who was expelled from the RJD shortly before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls for anti-party activities, had told a news channel that he felt he had “committed a sin” by filing the PIL, “which paved way the for Nitish Kumar to come to power in the state”.”Lalu enjoys a mass support, which nothing can erode. He has already been convicted and sentenced in one of the fodder scam cases. He is being sent to jail again and again as a part of a conspiracy,” he said.Meanwhile, senior RJD leader Jagdanand Singh said the party was united and waiting for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, when its workers and leaders would fulfil the dreams of Prasad, who fought for social justice.”The party will continue with its fight and struggle for social justice, right from the streets to Parliament, under the leadership of Tejashwi Prasad Yadav,” he said, while appealing to the partymen to register their protest in a peaceful manner.Singh also alleged that those who could not vote Prasad out of power had hatched a conspiracy against him.

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Home Ministry issues advisory to states for security during Christmas

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said an advisory has been issued to all states to ensure law and order during Christmas in the wake of fringe elements recently threatening some Christian community members against celebrating the festival.A fringe group in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh had on December 17 issued a circular and threatened the management of all city schools against celebrating Christmas saying, if they did so, it would be “at their own risk”.When asked about it, Singh said an advisory has been issued to all the states so that there is no law and order issue. He also conveyed his greetings to the nation on Christmas.Also read’Disruption’ during Christmas celebration in Rajasthan, Hindu activists allege religious conversions”Any festival, whether it is Christmas, Ramzaan, Holi or Diwali, should be celebrated without any problems. Strict action would be taken if anyone tries to create ruckus during the festivals,” the minister said on the sidelines of the 54th anniversary parade of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) here.He said India is the only country that believes in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ — a philosophy that inculcates an understanding that the whole world is one family.Also readCarol singers and priests detained in MP: Bajrang Dal claims forced conversation, Catholic organisations fume”I believe that all people irrespective of any religion should celebrate each other’s festivals in its true spirit with full enthusiasm,” Singh said.

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Wanted sharpshooter nabbed for killing BJP worker, 2 others

The Noida Special Task Force (STF) arrested a sharpshooter in connection with triple murders of BJP worker Shiv Kumar Yadav and his two gunners last month, from the Bisrakh area of Greater Noida on Friday.According to the police, the accused has been identified as Anirudh Bharadwaj, 25, who was working as a collection agent at MCD toll in Mayur Vihar. He reportedly works for Anil Bhati, the nephew of gangster Sunder Bhati.”Bharadwaj was arrested at 12.30 am after we received a tip off. He was carrying a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head,” Deputy Superintendent of Police, STF, Raj Kumar Mishra said.Police said Anirudh, a resident of Muzaffarnagar, has been involved in criminal activities since 2011. He first came in touch with gangster Anil Bhati a year ago. Bhati’s uncle Sushil Shukla is serving a life sentence after murdering timber merchant Satish Tyagi in 2008.”Before going to jail, Shukla was an active member of the Vicky Tyagi gang in western Uttar Pradesh. He also roped in Bharadwaj, who later started working with Tyagi himself,” Mishra said.In 2011, following Tyagi’s directions, Anirudh murdered a youngster in Muzafarnagar and came out on bail after six months and 10 days. He then fled to Meerut and became friends with a criminal, Amar Singh, 28, and lived with him in a temple. Police said Amar was in touch with Bhati and introduced Anirudh to him in 2016.”Four months ago, Bhati helped Anirudh, Naresh Teotia, and Amar Singh in getting them jobs at the MCD toll plaza in Mayur Vihar. The trio worked as collection agents. Nearly 40 men work at the toll plaza,” Mishra said.He added that Teotia was arrested on December 4 in Bisrakh area during an encounter. The trio was roped in by Bhati to kill BJP worker Shiv Kumar.

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Rajya Sabha adjourned till Wednesday over impasse

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu met Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress deputy leader in the House Anand Sharma and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel in his chamber to break the logjam in Rajya Sabha as Congres has sought an apology by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks during Gujarat elections against his predecessor Manmohan Singh.Earlier in the day, Naidu adjourned the House soon after it convened following a demand by the Congress.Azad sought an adjournment and pitched for an end to the tussle that continues since December 15.”The House should be adjourned till a solution is found,” he said, adding that the Congress members do not want to enter the Well to force an adjournment.The meetings took place after Naidu adjourned the House till December 27 for a long weekend and Christmas break.Sources said Naidu insisted on normal functioning of the Rajya Sabha when it reconvenes on December 27.He was learnt to have asked Leader of the House Arun Jaitley and Azad to continue with the negotiations to end the stalemate.Both sides have dug in their heels over the issue, with the Congress demanding an apology from Modi for his remarks during the Gujarat election campaign that Manmohan Singh had connived with some Pakistani current and former officials to influence the polls.The Congress has softened its stand a bit, and saidModi should at least give a clarification about his remarks.Even Naidu said recently that there was no question of an apology by anybody as the subject of confrontation was an event that happened outside the House.The day so farNaidu adjourned the House soon after it convened following a demand by the Congress Azad pitched for an end to the tussle that continues since December 15 The meetings took place after Naidu adjourned the House till December 27 for a long weekend and Christmas

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Rahul Gandhi chairs first CWC meeting after being elected Congress President

Rahul Gandhi on Friday chaired the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting for the first time after being elected as the party chief earlier this month. Sonia Gandhi, who served as the party president for 19 years, arrived a little before Rahul for the meeting and was also felicitated by the CWC members. The CWC also paid their respects to former Union Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi who passed away last month. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, senior party leaders Motilal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Janardan Dwivedi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Karan Singh, Anand Sharma, Mohsina Kidwai, Ambika Soni, CP Joshi, Kamal Nath, BK Hariprasad and Oscar Fernandes are also attending the meeting, along with party in- charges for various states.The agenda for the meeting was not officially disclosed but sources said that two heavyweights from Kerala – Shashi Tharoor and Oommen Chandy – are likely to be inducted in the party. Rahul Gandhi was elected unopposed as the Congress chief on December 11 and assumed the party’s reins on December 16.(With PTI inputs)

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Declare cyclone Ockhi a national calamity, probe mismanagement: MPs in Lok Sabha

The Congress on Friday said the Centre deployed only three National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams in Tamil Nadu and Kerala while seven teams were posted in Gujarat where there was no loss due to Cyclone Ockhi. Participating in the discussion on the disaster in the Lok Sabha, Congress members in the Lok Sabha demanded that the devastation caused by Ockhi should be declared a national calamity.Congress and Left members, especially from Kerala which bore the brunt, sought a probe into the alleged mismanagement, lack of coordination and other aspects of the disaster while also narrating the ordeal of death and destruction they had witnessed when the cyclone had hit the state.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in his response said the Centre sent early warning to the state governments and that 18 ships of Indian Navy and Coast Guard are still looking for 275 people who are still missing at sea. Also readCyclone Ockhi: Centre to provide Rs 325 crore financial assistance to affected areas after PM Modi visit “Initial figure of missing persons was 433, now after return of some the number of missing remains 275. Even today, which is the 22nd day, 18 ships of Navy and Coast Guard are conducting search operations, Singh told the Lok Sabha. He also announced that the Centre is piloting some low-frequency transponders for fishermen who go into the deep sea.Also readCyclone Ockhi: 39 dead in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, 167 fishermen missingInitiating a discussion on natural calamities in various parts of the country, especially due to cyclone Ockhi in South India, Congress leader K C Venugopal sought putting in place a “functional” monitoring system and efforts to bring back hundreds of people who are still missing after cyclone Ockhi.The cyclone, which had hit coastal states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu on November 30, claimed several lives and caused widespread damage. A large number of fishermen are still missing.Also readCyclone Ockhi: Kerala govt says received IMD weather alert on Nov 30, Alphons says it came two days earlierHe sought to know the steps taken by the Centre so far and wondered whether it was “insensitive” on the issue. “Why is there a delay sending a central team” to Kerala, he asked.Venugopal, who represents Alappuzha constituency in Kerala, also urged the government to come out with a timely and comprehensive relief package for Kerala, where more than 75 people have been killed and hundreds of fishermen are missing in the wake of Ockhi.Stressing the need for strong coordination to bringing them back, he said there have been lapses on part of the authorities with regard to dealing with Ockhi and its aftermath. “We cannot accuse anybody for natural calamities but we could have taken precautions if we had early warnings,” he said, claiming that some officers have committed mistakes.Highlighting the plight of fishermen, he called for a “well functioning monitoring system” and emphasised the need for having a “specific alarm system” saying the people were alerted late about the cyclone.”This tragedy is an eye opener… it is time to think about the lives of fishermen,” he said, adding there has also been impact on the economy as they go into deep sea for many days together and at times are not even assured of income.Shashi Tharoor of the Congress, who represents Thiruvananthapuram constituency which was the most affected by the cyclone, said there was no early warning signal available to the state government, even when the radars to provide advance warnings were located in Kerala (Thumba) itself.He demanded immediate investigation into the lapses for gaps leading to loss of lives and properties.Since this is a “horrendous human tragedy”, Tharoor said the government should be sensitive in compensating states hit by this. Kerala Government has submitted Rs 7,348 crore compensation demand while Tamil Nadu about Rs 9,000 crore.”It is not compensation, we need some structural steps to be taken to mitigate loss” due to national calamity of such a magnitude, he said.P R Sundaram (AIADMK) asked the Centre to declare Ockhi a natural disaster, a demand shared by several members in the House. He also sought a naval base in Kanyakumari to help people more effectively in future cases of natural calamities.Nominated member Richard Hay claimed that the tragic aftermath of Ockhi could have been averted if the Kerala government had taken measured to warn fishermen in advance.When he claimed that the Centre had provided advance warning and relief later, CPI(M) members protested saying he was not aware of the ground realities.Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar intervened to defend Hay, saying there was a feeling that India Meteorological Department had provided adequate advance to the state but fishermen were not warned.B Mahtab (BJD) said natural calamities were affecting his home state of Odisha frequently and asked the Centre to step up its assistance measures. He also demanded that pest attack on crops be declared a calamity.Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) said the government should focus on preventive measures and expressed concern over the impact of climate change.P Karunakaran (CPI-M) said the Centre should give Kerala a package of Rs 7348 crore and declare cyclone Ockhi a national calamity, a demand supported by N K Premchandramn (RSP) and Jose K Mani (KCP).Asking government to immediately decide on compensation, Saugata Roy (TMC) said there should be no delay. Government should also provide data on the fisherman killed and missing due to the calamity, he demanded.A P Jithender Reddy (TRS) raised the issue of vacancy of the top post in National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and said the post of the chairman has been lying vacant for 3 years and asked the government to fill it up urgently.R M Naidu (TDP) demanded sufficient compensation to be provided without delay, saying if support does not come at right time, it is like justice delayed justice denied. Claim settlement process should be simplified , he added.Md Faizal (NCP) also demanded shelters to be established for the affected people.(With PTI inputs)

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Om Prakash Chautala granted parole to attend ailing wife

The Delhi High Court on Friday granted two weeks’ parole to former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, who is serving a ten-year jail term in a teachers’ recruitment scam case, to attend to his ailing wife.Earlier on December 11, the court had issued a notice to the state government to file a response to a parole petition moved by Chautala.Chautala wanted a two-month parole to look after his ailing wife.In March, the court had cancelled the parole granted to Chautala after he violated the terms and conditions. The police raised objections that he was holding public meetings in violation of his parole conditions. The High Court also observed that Chautala was misusing his parole by attending public meetings across Haryana.Chautala, his son Ajay Singh Chautala and three others, are serving jail terms in the case.On January 22, 2013, a trial court had sentenced 55 accused in the case. Among those convicted were 82-year-old Chautala`s then political adviser Sher Singh Badshami, the then Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Vidya Dhar, IAS, and then Primary Education Director Sanjiv Kumar, besides 50 others. A total of 55 persons were convicted under the JBT scam for illegally recruiting 3,206 teachers in Haryana in 2000. The father-son duo, including two IAS officers, was among 55 persons convicted on January 16, 2013, by the trial court.

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India is being polarised; community is losing confidence in government: Top Catholic body

The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Cardinal Baselios Cleemis on Friday stated that India is getting polarized due to religious affiliation, and the community was losing confidence in the government.In an Indian Express report, Cardinal Cleemis also said that the country was being devided on basis of religious beliefs, which was a bad thing for a democratic nation. “I want my country to be united in a secular fabric. But now, this country is being polarised due to religious affiliations. We should fight against it,” he added.Cleemis’ remarks comes a week after carol singers in a village near Satna in Madhya Pradesh were detained following Bajrang Dal activists alleging they were indulging in forced conversions.Also readCarol singers and priests detained in MP: Bajrang Dal claims forced conversation, Catholic organisations fumeCleemis led a delegation of the CBCI, which met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday to express their “pain and anguish and seek justice”. Cleemis said Singh’s “spontaneous response” was positive and he assured immediate action. “He said he will see to it that justice is done. I hope he will do his best,” he said, adding that the allegations of forced conversion were baseless.He wanted the government to “decide serious measures to safeguard the interest of citizens. “Make sure that innocent people are treated properly and given protection. The culprits should be punished for their bad acts and for damaging the image of the country. We should stay together, united in diversity,” he said, while speaking to the daily.

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Vasundhara Raje and Baba Balaknath meet fuels new speculation

A meeting between chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Baba Balaknath, who was appointed successor of the Nath Sampraday sect in Rohtak by MP Mahant Chand Nath before his death, has further fuelled the speculation of his candidature from Alwar parliamentary seat. Being head of a religious sect and a Yadav, which is dominant caste in this Haryana border district, the ruling party BJP is giving deep thought to his name.On Thursday afternoon the corridors of power were buzzing about his possible candidature when Balaknath landed at the residence of Raje. He was accompanied by PWD minister Yunus Khan, one of most powerful ministers, currently, in the Raje cabinet. The sources said that the meeting discussed issues related to Alwar bypoll. However both the visitors refused to talk to the media after the meeting.Balaknath has emerged as a front-runner among the candidates who party may bet in the election that would be a litmus test for the Raje government, which has to face anti-incumbency in its final leg of tenure. Name of labour minister Jaswant Singh Yadav or his family member, is also making rounds in the list of probables in the circle of the party.Chances of Balaknath getting the ticket appear stronger than others, though. It is because of the Nath Sampraday Sect in Rohtak, which he heads, is regarded as respected Gaddi (throne) after Gorakapur Matth headed by Uttar Pradesh Chief minister, Yogi Adityanath. When MP Mahant Chand Nath passed away in September, Yogi and Yoga guru Ramdev attended the final rites. It is believed that both have pressed for his candidature.Also, being a Yadav with head of a sect gives him an edge over other politicians including minister Jaswant. A source in the party says that Saint Baba Balaknath is also native of Alwar’s Behror. Being a disciple of Mahant Chand Nath and his successor, could cultivate votes of the sect followers which come from all castes.Chand Nath was elected as an MLA in 2004. Ten years later, he was elected as a Lok Sabha MP from Alwar defeating former union minister, Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, who comes from a royal family. The Congress is also mulling Singh, a close aide of AICC president Rahul Gandhi, from Alwar. Alwar ByelectionCorridors of power were buzzing about his possible candidature when Balaknath landed at the residence of Raje. He was accompanied by PWD minister Yunus Khan.Sources said that the meeting discussed issues related to Alwar bypoll. A source in the party says that Saint Baba Balaknath is also native of Alwar’s Behror. Being a disciple of Mahant Chand Nath and his successor, could cultivate votes of the sect followers which come from all castes.

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Case against ex-min Jitendra Singh

Bundi City police on Thursday lodged a case against ex-union minister Bhanwar Jitendra Singh and two others under various sections of IPC allegedly for stacking his claim over the erstwhile Bundi state property by producing counterfeit and forged will papers of Bundi state.The case was today lodged on a registered post-complaint by one Avinash Kumar Chandana, a resident of Delhi. On the registered post received earlier this month, police today lodged a case under sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120 (B) of IPC against Bhanwar Jiterndra Singh, and two others Srinath Singh and Vijendra Singh, both residents of Bundi, CI Bundi city Ramnath Singh said. Chandana in the complaint claimed Rao Ranjeet Singh, the last member of Bundi royal family before his death declared him his successor with the property papers under his name. Bhanwar Jitendra Singh in conspiracy with the two other fabricated forged and counterfeit will papers and stuck Jitendra Singh’s claim and possession of the property, Chandana alleged in the complaint, the CI said. Notably, Avinash Kumar Chandana was one of the very close friends of late Ranjeet Singh, the last member of Bundi royal family. Ranjeet Singh also reportedly spent his last days at Avinash Chandana’s residence in Delhi and eventually died in January 2010 leaving no inborn successor of Bundi royal state. Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, the ex-union minister and members of Alwar royal family is the son of Ranjeet Singh’s only sister Mahendra Kumari and thus he is in Bundi accepted as the legal successor of the royal family and property. Avinash Kumar Chandana earlier also filed a case on property issue.

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Shed ‘raaj-hatth’, clarify remarks against Manmohan: Congress to PM Modi

The Congress today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to shed his “raaj-hatth” (stubborness) and clarify in Parliament his ‘conspiracy with Pakistan’ remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh to end the stalemate and enable a discussion on issues such as the Rafale deal.With no end in sight to the current impasse on the issue, the proceedings in Parliament continued to be disrupted.Congress leader Anand Sharma held the “obduracy” of the prime minister and the attitude of the government as being responsible for the impasse in Parliament, that continued with a washout of the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha for a fourth day today.He also accused the government of wanting to continue the standoff so that issues of critical concern to the people are not taken up.Sharma alleged that the government does not want the opposition to raise issues of acts of “commission and omission” and the wrong decisions of the prime minister.He said that the government does not want that it is exposed on the floor of the House on issues such as the Rafale scam which the opposition wants to discuss.”It is the responsibility of the PM to clear doubts regarding his accusations. It is his duty to restore the dignity of the office and in the interest of parliamentary democracy that this deadlock comes to an end,” Sharma told reporters.”We urge the prime minister to shed his ‘raaj-hatth’ (stubbordness) and clarify his remarks against Singh and Ansari, which he made to win Gujarat polls,” Sharma said.The stalemate, he said, continues primarily because of the attitude of the government and obduracy of the prime pinister, who refuses to register the seriousness of the situation resulting from his “baseless and unwarranted aspersions” for electoral gains.He said, as one who is occupying the constitutional office, it is the duty of the prime minister to restore the dignity of the office of the institution.Whatever is said in politics, never before a prime minister has pointed any finger of suspicion on the commitment to the country of former prime ministers or former vice presidents or even the former Army chief.”It is in national interest, in interest of parliamentary democracy that this deadlock is brought to an end.”It is unfortunate that prime minister has still not apologised for his ill-thought accusations against the former PM Manmohan Singh who was PM for 10 years and dedicated his life for this country,” he said.Sharma, however, said it is being conveyed by government that the prime minister is not willing to take back his words.He “disappointed” the opposition today when it was his day for the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress leader said.Sharma said the opposition also wants to raise other issues concerning the economy and job losses.The Indian economy has suffered losses due to some “wreckless” decisions of the prime minister, he alleged.

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AAP mulling to contest Karnataka assembly polls

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

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