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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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2G verdict: Allegations were never true says Chidambaram; government should file appeal tweets Subramanian

All accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam cases – including former telecom minister A Raja and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP Kanimozhi – have been acquitted by a Special CBI court. Former finance minister P Chidambaram has welcomed the 2G scam verdict, saying the allegations of corruption were never true and it has been vindicated after the verdict. “Allegation of a major scam involving the highest levels of the government was never true, was not correct and that has been established today,” ANI quoted Chidambaram as saying.“Clearly the court found that innocent people have been wronged. Justice has worked as it is supposed to work in our country,” said another party leader Shashi Tharoor.Also read2G spectrum verdict: All you must know about the case”We are saying that the PM should come to the house and give a clarification, this govt was formed on the basis that UPA was embroiled in 2G and other scams, but now it has been proved that it was just a scam of lies by the opposition,” said senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal. Reacting after the verdict, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said the government must immediately file an appeal against the acquittal of all accused in the nearly decade-old case. Swamy took to Twitter to air his thoughts on the judgment. “Government must prove its bonafides by filing an immediate appeal in High Court,” he tweeted.The special CBI court on Thursday acquitted former telecom minister A Raja, DMK leader Kanimozhi and 17 others in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

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Shashi Tharoor reminisces about childhood

It was pin drop silence in the auditorium when Congress MP Shashi Tharoor eloquently shared memories of his Alma Mater in the platinum jubilee event of Campion school. Tharoor not just remembered his school days but also urged the current Campion students to be curious and creative.He expressed his happiness at meeting present and past students of the school including some of his classmates. He said that when he joined the school it was the 20th anniversary of the school. He said, “I have some very fond memories of school. I join the school in 1969 when the principal of the school was Fr F Ribot.”Remembering some of his teachers, Tharoor narrated his experience with one of his class III teacher. He said, “It was an end of a session incident of class work. She summoned all the children to handover the class exercise books.Having 35-40 students in each class many boys were trying to reach to our teacher’s desk to submit our class work books, I being a problem solver from very early age decided the shortest way and threw the exercise book over the heads of all the students. I expected applause as the book landed on top of the pile. Instead she left from her seat furiously and called me Junglee.”Tharoor added that his father was the one who started Parents Teachers Association in the school and also presided it. He mentioned how Campion school debates helped him become a good speaker.
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Campion School celebrates 75th anniv today

Campion School in Fort that was instituted on January 20, 1943 by members of the Society of Jesuits with a mere 23 students has now grown into an establishment of 830 students. The school marks the completion of its 75 years on Tuesday.When it just began, the school ran from a rental ground floor flat at 45, New Marine Lines and its first principal was the late Fr Joseph Savall. Until 1956, the school imparted Cambridge education to its students before switching to the ICSE board in 1957.Paul Machado, the school’s longest-serving principal, from 2003 to present, said, “Students come from Wadala, Worli and even Mahim. In the 1950s the school shifted to Wellesley House and Arthur House buildings. Earlier, the school was imparting education from grade three to eight and now it is imparting education from junior kindergarten to grade 10. Our alumni organisation is very active and they, along with the school, have decided to raise funds for the present and former teachers’ health and other aid. On its 75th year celebration, the school is going to release a logo that will be used on our letterheads for a year.”Several renowned personalities are alumni of Campion School, some of them include former aviation minister Praful Patel, politician Dr Shashi Tharoor and builder Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, to name a few.The event to mark the school’s 75 years will take place on December 5 at NCPA at 6 pm, which will include the Governor of Maharashtra C Vidyasagar Rao releasing a special cover followed by the release of 75th year logo.GIVING BACKThe school’s PTA introduced a program called 75 acts of kindness in which the school will reach out to less privileged citizens. Dr Shashi Tharoor will address the audience.
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Yogi Adityanath

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After Shashi Kapoor’s death, condolences pour in for Cong MP Shashi Tharoor

In a rather bizarre case of confusion over names, one major news channel announced the premature departure of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. The news channel wasn’t the only one confused by the same first names of Tharoor and the late Shashi Kapoor. Congress MP Tharoor tweeted that condolence messages were pouring with people calling his office.He wrote: “We’re getting condolence calls in the office! Reports of my demise are, if not exaggerated, at least premature.”To the news channel, he wrote: “Thanks. No problem. Mistakes happen. Glad to be able to crack a smile at a tragic moment.”Bollywood veteran Shashi Kapoor breathed his last on Monday evening. He was 79.The actor had been suffering from an old-age related illness.Earlier in March, 2016, the veteran actor was announced to be dead, but nephew and actor Rishi Kapoor dispelled the reports. He took to Twitter to announce that his uncle ‘is doing well and hopes this puts an end to all speculations.’Shashi Kapoor, the leading actor of the 70s, had worked with the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Parveen Babi, Rekha, and various other A-list actors of the Indian film industry. He made his mark with Bollywood classics like ‘Namak Halaal’, ‘Satyam Shivan Sundaram’, ‘Deewar’ and ‘Waqt’ among others.He was conferred with the Padma Bhushan in 2011 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2015. He had also been awarded with three National Awards, and many other honours.With inputs from ANI
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Yogi Adityanath

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You are such a class act: Shashi Tharoor responds to Manushi Chhillar’s tweet, apologises again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday, after the uproar over his joke about Chhillar-demonetization, Shashi Tharoor replied to Manushi Chhillar’s tweet.She had tweeted: “A girl who has just won the World isn’t going to be upset over a tongue-in-cheek remark. ‘Chillar’ talk is just small change – let’s not forget the ‘chill’ within Chhillar @ShashiTharoor.”Replying to her tweet, Shashi Tharoor called her a ‘class act’ and apologised if any offence was caused to her family. He added that like every Indian he was ‘proud of her’.He wrote: “You’re a class act, @ManushiChhillar! Beautiful, smart & uncommonly gracious too. Still, if any offence was caused to any member of your family, sincere apologies. Like every Indian, I’m proud of you.”In response to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s comment, wherein he tried to play on Manushi Chhillar’s surname, the newly-crowned Miss World 2017 has said she is not going to be upset over a tongue-in-cheek remark.Tharoor’s witty tweet on Manushi backfired on him, when the twitterati slammed him for comparing her surname to ‘loose change’.The 20-year-old, however, gave a graceful reply to Tharoor’s tweet.Following Manushi Chhillar’s victory at the Miss World 2017 pageant on Saturday, Tharoor had tweeted, “What a mistake to demonetise our currency! BJP should have realised that Indian cash dominates the globe: look, even our Chhillar has become Miss World!”After receiving backlash, in another tweet, Tharoor issued an apology, saying, “Guess the pun IS the lowest form of humour, & the bilingual pun lower still! Apologies to the many who seem to have been righteously offended by a light-hearted tweet today. Certainly no offence was meant to a bright young girl whose answer i’ve separately praised. Please: Chill!.”

Cheap! Shashi Tharoor sorry after ‘Chhillar’ jibe, says he praised Manushi’s answer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even before the dust could settle on his ‘maharaja’ comments amid row over the movie Padmavati, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor waded into a fresh controversy on Sunday over a tweet while he alluded to the surname of Haryana girl Manushi Chhillar who won Miss World crown this week after 17 years since Priyanka Chopra had won it last in 2000.Tharoor, while mocking the government’s demonetisation decision, referred to Chhillar’s achievement saying, “What a mistake to demonetise our currency! BJP should have realised that Indian cash dominates the globe: look, even our Chhillar has become Miss World!” However, Tharoor was quick to apologise after being slammed on social media.His tweet read: “Guess the pun IS the lowest form of humour, & the bilingual pun lower still! Apologies to the many who seem to have been righteously offended by a light-hearted tweet today. Certainly no offence was meant to a bright young girl whose answer i’ve separately praised. Please: Chill! (sic).”In Hindi, the word chillar means (loose change).The National Commission of Women (NCW) said it will summon the Congress leader for his ‘derogatory and degrading’ tweet on newly-crowned Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar.A series of tweets by NCW read, “NCW condemn the tweet of @INCIndia leader @ShashiTharoor. He degraded the achievement of daughter of #haryana and #India who got glory to the country. Will he call his own daughter chillar? He must apologize immediately. NCWIndia will summon Shashi Tharoor to commission on his derogatory tweet.”Bharatiya Janata Party also accused Tharoor of “demeaning” a Haryana subname.BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra tweeted, “Is it real tweet of Sh Tharoor? This is ridiculing the great achievement of Ms Chhillar! Repeat of “Cattle Class” comment? Should apologise demeaning a Haryana Surname!”Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Chairman Anupam Kher called Tharoor a “fool” and asked why his standard had gone so low.”Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” Best wishes on #InternationalMensDay.:),” Kher further tweeted.One twitterati reminded Tharoor of the difference between Hindi word chillar and Chillar, the surname of the Haryana girl.This is not the first time that Tharoor has got into a Twitter controversy.The ‘cattle class” remark was made by Tharoor way back in 2009, when he had tweeted in a reply that he would travel “cattle class” in solidarity with all our “holy cows.” As it sparked off a political storm and widespread outrage on social media, Congress disapproved the remarks from party podium. Tharoor had later tweeted an apology.The two-term MP from Thiruvananthapuram has served as Union Minister and was also under Secretary General of the United Nations for Communications and Public Information.At the height of the JNU row in 2016, he said said that Bhagat Singh was a young man who had great passion for motherland, Kanhaiya has the same. Congress was quick to distance itself then.Addressing a literary event in Mumbai this week, Tharoor said, “Every single one of these so-called valorous maharajas, who today are after a Mumbai filmmaker because their honour is at stake, they were less concerned about their honour when the British were trampling all over it and they scurried to accommodate themselves.”Not only the Rajput groups were up in arms over his remarks but even Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, himself a Maharaja, reacted sharply saying he thinks that Tharoor should “study history”.Tharoor later said said he did not wish to offend the Rajput community.

NCW summons Shashi Tharoor over his demonetization-Chhillar joke

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday, Shashi Tharoor one of the India’s most eloquently-spoken politicians ended up in a bit of a soup over a joke he made about Miss World Manushi Chhillar.While many of us had made the painfully obvious Chhillar-demonetization jokes since Miss Chhillar broke a 17-year drought to win the Miss World gong, it was Congress MP who landed in trouble.Attempting to put a light spin on the win as he wrote: “What a mistake to demonetise our currency! BJP should have realised that Indian cash dominates the globe: look, even our Chhillar has become Miss World!” After some commentators took offence to the tweet, Shashi Tharoor clarified it was just a bilingual pun. He added: “Guess the pun IS the lowest form of humour, & the bilingual pun lower still! Apologies to the many who seem to have been righteously offended by a light-hearted tweet today. Certainly no offence was meant to a bright young girl whose answer i’ve separately praised. Please: Chill!”However, the National Commission for Women didn’t see the funny side as they pulled him up for his joke and ‘summoned’ him.”The NCW’s official Twitter handle wrote: “NCW condemn the tweet of @INCIndia leader @ShashiTharoor. He degraded the achievement of daughter of #haryana and #India who got glory to the country. Will he call his own daughter chillar? He must apologize immediately. @NCWIndia will summon @ShashiTharoor to commission on his derogatory and degrading tweet on our pride @ManushiChhillar She got fame and name to country by winning #MissWorld crown.”When accused of misplaced priorities about pulling up Shashi Tharoor, NCW acting chairperson Rekha Sharma said that the quasi-judicial body had also written to Rajasthan DGP against all the men who have threatened Deepika Padukone.India’s Manushi Chhillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 crown at a grand event in China, bringing to an end the country’s dry spell of 17 years at the top pageant contest. The 20-year-old from Haryana, who is a medical student, edged out top five contestants from England, France, Kenya and Mexico. Chhillar was presented the crown by Stephanie Del Valle, the last year’s Miss World winner from Puerto Rico at the event in Sanya City Arena in China which was televised live globally.The announcement about Chhillar winning the Miss World crown was also made on the pageant’s official Twitter handle as well as on its Facebook page. “The winner of Miss World 2017 is Miss India Manushi Chhillar,” the tweet said. The first and the second runners-up were Miss England Stephanie Hill and Miss Mexico Andrea Meza.In the top five round, Chhillar was asked which profession according to her deserved the highest salary. “I think a mother deserves the highest respect and when you talk about salary it’s not always about cash but I feel it’s the love and respect that you give to someone. My mother has always been the biggest inspiration in my life.”All mothers sacrifice so much for their kids. So, I think it is the job of a mother that deserves the highest salary,” Chhillar said to a wide-applause. Chhillar is the sixth Indian to win the coveted crown, which was first won by Reita Faria back in 1966. Aishwarya Rai had bagged the title in 1994, followed by Diana Haydon in 1997, Yukta Mookhey in 1999 and Priyanka Chopra in 2000, the last for India.According to Chhillar’s profile on the Miss World website, she aims to be a cardiac surgeon and wants to open a chain of non-profitable hospitals based in rural areas. A trained Indian classical dancer, Chhillar has a passion for outdoor sports and actively participates in paragliding, bungee jumping, snorkelling and scuba diving besides sketching and painting. Her personal motto, as described on the website, reads: “When you cease to dream you cease to live” and “Courage to give flight to your dreams and the ability to believe in yourself makes life worth living”.

Cong jumps onto flick bandwagon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress has also come out openly against film Padmavati. PCC chief Sachin Pilot said that the Congress does not support any attempt to hurt sentiments of a community and state’s culture however he asked the state government to come clean on this issue.“It seems that the government has become merely a government of committees,” Pilot lamented. PCC general secretary Ajit Singh has also criticised Sanjay Leela Bhansali claiming that people like him can play with anyone’s honour and pride for sake of money. He said that since Hindu community is tolerant any film director shows anything. “If Bhansali has guts he should make film on other religion,” Ajit Singh challenged.Meanwhile, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also jumped into this raging controversy through Twitter.He took to Twitter and said education for women in Rajasthan was more important than a “goonghat”, as state’s female literacy rate was among the lowest in the country.“Agree totally. The #Padmavati controversy is an opportunity to focus on the conditions of Rajasthani women today & not just of queens six centuries ago.” Tharoor posted on Twitter.PROTESTS GALOREThe protests against Bhansali’s film have spread across the state. Members of Rajput community burnt Bhansali’s effigy and demonstrated at district collectorate in Hanumangarh. In Deedwana, Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena and other Hindu organisations took out a rally and funeral process of Bhansali’s effigy. A protest was organised in Jhalawar by Rajputana sangh and in Karauli Muslim Yuva committee also gave memorandum to district collector to ban the film.NO COMMITTEE IN THE ANVILVallabhgarh MLA Randhir Singh Bhinder gave a memorandum to Udaipur Collector on Monday. He informed the collector that the film will not be allowed to be released in any condition in the state. On the other hand, Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria has refused to make any committee on behalf of the state government regarding the film. Kataria said that this is the matter of the censor board. Several memorandums and letters are being sent to the censor board and the central government.

Delhi-Ahmedabad Go Air flight delayed by 2 hours, Praful Patel deboards as passengers wait in plane

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Wednesday, Delhi-Ahmedabad Go Air flight G8-717 was delayed over two hours. The flight was scheduled to leave at 2 PM and it still hadn’t left by 4:09 PM which left passengers aghast.Former civil aviation minister, NCP leader and AIFF president Praful Patel, who was among the passengers meanwhile de-boarded. On the other hand, the regular passengers who Shashi Tharoor once called the ‘cattle class’ are still waiting inside.According to the flight tracking site, flightware.com, G8-717 is en route and left at 16:11 hours and expected to arrive by 18:08 hours.

India in touch with Myanmar and Bangaldesh on Rohingya issue: Foreign Secretary to Parl panel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India is in touch with Myanmar and Bangladesh on the issue of Rohingya Muslims, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar is understood to have told the members of a parliamentary panel here today.The agenda for today’s meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, headed by senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, was ‘relations with Myanmar and the Rohingya situation’.The foreign secretary told the panel that the government was keeping a close watch on the Rohingya issue and was examining the matter through humanitarian prism, said a member present in the meeting.India was in touch with both Myanmar and Bangladesh over the situation arising out of the crisis, another member quoted Jaishankar as saying.Asked about the deliberations, Tharoor, a former Minister of State for External Affairs, said, “It was an interesting and thorough discussion on the India-Myanmar relations, especially on Rohingya crisis.”Thousands of Rohingyas have fled Myanmar following incidents of violence in the Rakhine province.Around 14,000 Rohingyas living in India are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. An estimate puts the number of illegal Rohingya immigrants in India at 40,000.The Rohingyas are an ethnic group, largely comprising Muslims, who predominantly live in the western Myanmar province of Rakhine. Their language is linguistically similar to Bengali. The commonly spoken language in Myanmar in Burmese.Though they have been living in Myanmar for generations, the country considers them as persons who migrated to their land during the colonial rule. Therefore, the population has not been granted full citizenship.

Sunanda Pushkar death: Delhi High Court trashes Subramanian Swamy’s plea for CBI probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High court dismissed a plea filed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for a court-monitored probe in the death of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar on Thursday.The High Court court dismissed the petition stating it to be frivolous and warned both Swamy and his lawyer to be extra cautious while levelling wild allegations.The court termed the plea as a ‘Political Interest Litigation’ dressed as Public Interest Litigation.Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a room of Delhi’s 5-star Hotel Leela on January 17, 2014.The body was discovered by Tharoor around 9 pm on that day.Pushkar was found dead just a day after ugly fight between her and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar on Twitter on January 16.On the day of her death, Tharoor was at a Congress session in morning while Pushkar was at the hotel.Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tahroor got married in 2010. (With inputs from Richa Banka)

Shashi Tharoor urges Delhi HC to stop Arnab Goswami from ‘misreporting’ his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday urged the Delhi High Court to stop journalist Arnab Goswami and his news channel Republic TV from “misreporting” his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death, saying his “right to be left alone” and “right to silence” must be respected.The submission was made before Justice Manmohan, who reserved the verdict on Tharoor’s plea seeking to restrain Goswami and his channel from airing any news or debate about the death of Pushkar.The journalist and the channel, on the other hand, said they had only placed the actual evidence and the police report while broadcasting the news.The Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha MP has filed an interim application for stopping the channel from broadcasting the incident in the pending Rs two crore civil defamation suit against the TV anchor and Republic TV.Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for Tharoor, submitted that the court must direct Goswami and the channel not to mention the expression “murder of Sunanda Pushkar”, as it is yet to be established by a competent court that her death was “murder”, and ensure that the trial is not prejudiced.”Goswami and channel must not involve in rhetorical assertions,” Khurshid contended.Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for Goswami and the channel, said they have neither “condemned” Tharoor, nor suggested that he was involved in the death of his wife.The counsel also submitted that the Congress leader was not called “the killer” of his wife by the journalist or the channel, as claimed by Tharoor.After hearing the arguments of all the parties, the court reserved its order.Tharoor has filed three different applications through his counsel Gaurav Gupta seeking various directions, including not to make any defamatory publication against him in any manner.Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a five-star hotel in south Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014. The matter is still under investigation.Tharoor had on May 26 this year filed the civil defamation suit against Goswami and Republic TV in the High Court.He had also sought a direction from the high court to restrain the TV channel from broadcasting any show relating to the death of his wife till the investigation is completed by the Delhi Police.Tharoor has referred to the broadcasting of news items from May 8 to 13 when the TV channel claimed to have aired an expose connected to the death of his wife.The politician has alleged that despite assurances given in the court on May 29 by the counsel for Goswami and Republic TV, they were engaged in “defaming and maligning” him.The court had on May 29 said the journalist and his news channel could put out stories stating facts related to the investigation of Pushkar’s death, but could not call the Lok Sabha MP a “criminal”. It had also told their counsel to reduce the rhetoric.Goswami and the channel had in their affidavit said that they have abided by the court’s direction and in “no manner misreported or misled the viewers as the facts were correctly reported”.They have also claimed that the suit has been “instituted with an oblique and ulterior motive and is a misguided attempt to muzzle a media channel and the dissemination of true facts to the public”.

BJP successfully caricatured Rahul Gandhi in past, but narrative has changed: Shashi Tharoor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The BJP had “very successfully caricatured” Rahul Gandhi but the tactic is no longer working because the people now see the Congress vice president as an “effective opponent” to the ruling party, former minister Shashi Tharoor has said.The Congress MP in an interview to PTI said the narrative had “changed very very clearly” in the past few months and people were now openly expressing “doubts and misgivings” about how the Narendra Modi-led BJP government was performing. People are also more willing to see the Congress as a viable alternative to the BJP, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said.”The BJP had very successfully caricatured Rahul Gandhi in the past. That is no longer working because Rahul Gandhi is seen as a rather effective opponent to the BJP…As this changed narrative proceeds, you are going to find more and more momentum behind the Congress,” he asserted. Tharoor said a change was visible with the Congress’s recent victory in the by-election in Gurdaspur in Punjab and of its ally in Vengara in Kerala, and claimed the BJP’s attempts to conduct yatras in places such as Kerala and Gujarat had “fallen flat”.”I also feel very strongly that the people are beginning to ask when is the government going to keep the promises it has made…We are already riding much higher in people’s estimation than we were in the April or May of 2014, of that there is no doubt,” the 61-year-old leader said. His comments assume significance as Gandhi is expected to take over the reins of the Congress party soon.Last month, while addressing students at the University of California in the United States, the Congress vice president had said the impression that he was a reluctant politician was a result of a campaign against him by the other political camp.”There is a BJP machine, about a thousand guys, sitting on computers that basically tell you about me,” he had said. Tharoor said when Gandhi takes over, there will be “fresh energy” injected into the party.Noting that there was still time for the general election, Tharoor said Congress’s credibility was on the rise. “I would say that the narrative has changed very very clearly. People are now openly expressing doubts and misgivings about how the BJP government and Mr Modi are performing,” he said.Asked if the state elections were any indication of the 2019 poll outcome, Tharoor said drawing conclusions from the state elections “may not always be the wisest way forward”. “My gut instinct says we are doing well…In the next 12 months some very clear patterns will emerge,” he argued. The former minister of state for external affairs, who has been vocal in criticising the government’s stand on the Rohingya Muslims, said forced deportation would “give India a very bad name in the international community”.Tharoor answered in the affirmative when asked if India’s stature in the world arena would take a hit if the Rohingyas were deported. “You cannot start off with the presumption that they are terrorists. Many of them are women and children, they are obviously innocents,” the former UN under secretary general said.

Sunanda Pushkar case: Five-star hotel suite where she was found dead ‘de-sealed’ today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court was on Monday informed that the five-star hotel suite where Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in 2014 has been de-sealed.Metropolitan magistrate Dharmender Singh was told by the advocate appearing for the hotel that it has been given possession of the suite, after which the court disposed of the petition.The court had on October 10 granted six days to the Delhi Police to comply with its earlier order to de-seal the suite after they had submitted that they were expecting reports from the forensic laboratory.The court had earlier rapped the police for not complying with its order to de-seal the suite.While the South Delhi hotel has been urging the court to direct the police to de-seal the room, which was sealed for investigation immediately after Pushkar was found dead on the night of January 17, 2014, the court has also been directing the police to do so on several occasions.Hours after Pushkar was found dead, the suite was sealed for investigation. An FIR was registered by the police on January 1, 2015 against unknown persons under IPC section 302 (murder).The police was on September 12 directed to de-seal the suite and allowed to take all articles from the room required for its probe, besides filing a compliance report by today. In this order, the court had noted that a huge financial loss has already been caused to the hotel.On September 4 too, the court had taken the police to task for its “lethargic attitude” in its probe into the case and summoned the DCP to explain why more time should be granted for de-sealing the suite.Similarly on August 19, the court had pulled up the police for delaying the de-sealing of the room and referred to a court order passed on July 21 asking it to do so within four weeks from then.​

Sunanda Pushkar death case: Delhi Court raps police for not de-sealing the hotel suite

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The city police today again came under fire from a Delhi court for not complying with its order to de-seal a five-star hotel suite where Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in 2014.Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Singh said the hotel room should have been opened by Tuesday and directed the Joint Commissioner of the Delhi Police to appear before the court and explain why the order has not been complied with.The court made the observations after the police filed a report stating that the results from the forensic laboratories were still awaited and some more time be given to it.”Do you (police) want to initiate proceedings against yourself? I have already passed an order. You think of legal consequences. It can’t go on like this,” the judge said.The court also directed the police to file a list containing the names of members of its special investigating team probing the case.While the South Delhi hotel has been urging the court to direct the police to de-seal the room which was sealed for investigation soon after Pushkar was found dead on January 17, 2014, the court has also been directing the police to do so on a few occasions.Hours after Pushkar was found dead, the suite was sealed that night itself for investigation. An FIR was registered by Delhi police on January 1, 2015 against unknown persons under IPC section 302 (murder).The police was on September 12 directed to de-seal the suite and file a compliance report by today. In this order, the court had noted that a huge financial loss has already been caused to the hotel. It had then allowed the police to take all articles from the room required for its probe.On that day, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) had pleaded that the room should be de-sealed only after the forensic report, which was dismissed by the court.The court had on September 4 too taken the police to task for its “lethargic attitude” in its probe into the case and had summoned the DCP to explain why more time should be granted for de-sealing the suite.Similarly on August 19, the court had pulled up the agency for delaying the de-sealing of the room and referred to a court order passed on July 21 asking it to de-seal the occupied premises within four weeks from then.

Sunanda Pushkar case: Court directs police to de-seal hotel suite

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Delhi court today ordered the de-sealing of a five-star hotel suite where Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in 2014, noting that a huge financial loss was already caused to the hotel.Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Singh asked the police to file a compliance report by September 26 while allowing it to take all required articles from the room for its probe.During the hearing, however, the city police opposed the de-sealing, saying this was a “different” case.”The suite is sealed for last about 3.5 years and already huge financial loss has been caused to the applicant (hotel).It is relevant to mention here that generally after inspection of the crime spot by the FSL team or investigating agency, the said spot is not sealed or closed till arrival of FSL result,” the court said.It also rejected the contention by Deputy Commissioner of Police that only after the forensic report, the room should be de-sealed and said the reason was not justified.During arguments, the DCP told the court that reminders were sent to the forensic labs and sought some more time.When the court asked why the police was taking so long to de-seal the room unlike most of other criminal cases, the police officer said “this is a different case. We sent reminders to the forensic labs for the reports yesterday only, and only after that we would be able to say when the room can be de-sealed. The court may summon the labs as well.” The officer had appeared on the directions of the court which had on September 4 rapped the police for its “lethargic attitude” in its probe in the case.The police had sought more time to complete the probe and said teams of forensic experts had visited the suite recently and collected various evidence, reports of which were awaited.The court had on July 21 ordered de-sealing of the suite within four weeks, saying the hotel cannot be put to unending hardship due to laxity on part of the police.The court had, however, said the probe agency would be at liberty to visit the suite before filing a compliance report regarding de-sealing of the suite. It had also noted that no offence was found on part of the hotel.Pushkar was found dead in the suite of the South Delhi hotel on the night of January 17, 2014. The suite was sealed on that night itself for investigation. An FIR was registered by Delhi police on January 1, 2015 against unknown persons under IPC section 302 (murder).

Sunanda Pushkar death case: Delhi HC slams police for lackadaisical attitude in investigation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High court on Wednesday slammed the Delhi police for its lackadaisical attitude in investigating the Sunanda Pushkar death case.The court asked the police to inform it about the status of the probe and said it will look into it if required.The court also said that if the police have something new to say they can do in an additional status report which has to be filed within two weeks.Delhi police informed the court that the investigation is taking time because other international foreign agencies are also probing the matter.The next hearing is scheduled on September 21.Earlier on August 19, Delhi’s Patiala House Court pulled up the Delhi police for delaying the de-sealing of the hotel suite, in which Sunanda Pushkar was found dead.Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, was found dead at a suite in a five star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014.

‘Transcended failure of governance’: Shashi Tharoor demands that BJP sack CM Khattar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress MP Shashi Tharoor today said Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar should be sacked for his government’s “complete failure” in controlling the violence following Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction in a rape case.There has been a “transcended failure of governance”, the Congress leader said, a day after a Panchkula court’s guilty verdict against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief triggered widespread violence in which 31 people were killed.The Haryana government’s inability to maintain law and order in a situation of predictable chaos was to be blamed, Tharoor said on the sidelines of the Mountain Echoes literary festival here.”The lack of management of predictable crowd violence, where anyone could see people gathering with weapons in advance of the verdict is the major reason behind what has happened,” Tharoor said.”Ultimately it is the chief minister and his cabinet who are responsible for the law and order situation in the state. It is a complete failure of the government and the CM should be sacked for it,” he added.According to Tharoor, the mob was “clearly preparing” for violence.”Why wasn’t any action taken first under Section 144? Why, for example, were all gatherings not prohibited? Why was there no preventive deployment of armed police on the streets? All of these are such obvious questions to be asked.”To my mind this has been a transcended failure of governance.”The government of Haryana, he said, was principally responsible for the lack of adequate preventive measures.”It has also been said that they had actually allowed people to assemble. If so, it is totally condemnable and I hope an investigation is done…,” Tharoor said.The Congress had yesterday called for Khattar’s resignation, with party president Sonia Gandhi expressing grave concern over “widespread destruction of public property and senseless attacks”.

Train derailments have become associated with Indian Railways Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Congress on Wednesday said that rail accidents have become a part of Indian Railways history now, adding that Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu?s resignation should be accepted. ?One thing is very much clear and evident that rail accidents in India have now become a synonym of Indian Railways. Both Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Ministry of Railways have failed in doing their work drastically. Prabhu?s resignation should be accepted immediately,? Congress leader Randeep Surjewala told ANI. He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must tell everyone how he is taking care of the security issues. ?When will those 1,42,000 positions be filled in the Railways department and when the Centre will invest Rs. 46,000 crore in the tackling train accidents,? Surjewala said. Another Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that the Indian Railways are a public trust and so many lives are lost with so many damages, it shows there is a management failure and somewhere along the line political accountability must follow. ?In the history, Lal Bahadur Shastri had resigned because of one Rail accident. We have seen nine in the last three years. I have high respect for Suresh Prabhu but if he feels that political morality should lead him in this direction then that is something which needs to be considered,? Tharoor added. Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hinted over Prabhu?s resignation stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take a decision on “whatever request” the latter has made. While addressing a press briefing, Arun Jaitley said, ?Accountability is a good system in the government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take a decision on whatever request the railway minister has made.” After two train derailments in five days, the Railway Minister, earlier in the day, met Prime Minister Modi and tweeted that he had taken full moral responsibility over the situation hinting that he had offered to quit. Later, Prime Minister Modi, he said, asked him to ?wait?. ?I met the Hon’ble Prime Minister @narendramodi taking full moral responsibility. Hon?ble PM has asked me to wait,? he tweeted. He further tweeted, ?In less than three years as Minister, I have devoted my blood and sweat for the betterment of the Railways?. Prabhu’s tweets came hours after Railway Board chairman A.K. Mittal resigned, citing ?personal reasons?. Earlier in wee hours of the day, 10 coaches of Kaifiyat Express heading towards Delhi derailed after colliding with a dumper near the Auraiya district in Uttar Pradesh and over 20 people have been injured. On August 19, more than 20 died and over 200 were injured after 13 coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express ran off the tracks in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Police seek more time to inspect scene of Sunanda Pushkar’s death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi police has sought more time to send a forensics team to conduct inspection of the suite in five star Hotel Leela where Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in 2014.Information about the visit was provided in court after the counsel appearing for the hotel management claimed they had received a letter from Delhi police on Friday.Earlier, Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma, on July 21, had ordered de-sealing of the suite within four weeks, saying the hotel could not be put through unending hardships due to laxity on part of the police.Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmendra Singh rapped the Delhi police for its delay in de-sealing the suite while referring to the order passed by his predecessor, Pankaj Sharma .According to the letter sent to hotel authorities, Delhi police had said they would send a Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) team on September 1.”Why did you take two months to inform the hotel you will need more time,” the court asked the police.The court, however, allowed the cop’s plea which sought one more opportunity to file the compliance report in the court regarding de-sealing of the suite. It directed the agency to file the report on September 4.The court also directed Delhi police to file a compliance report by August 19 in this regard thereby permitting them to take the articles lying inside the suite with due care for the purpose of investigation. It further observed that if investigating authorities cannot complete the probe due to some exceptional circumstances, then they can approach the court by application for further extension of time with an advance notice to Hotel Leela.In a plea filed by hotel authorities, they had claimed that due to the sealing of the suite, which costs between Rs 55,000 and Rs 61,000 a night, it had suffered a loss of over Rs 50 lakh in the last three years.It claimed that a number of times, police and forensics teams had visited the suite and it was no longer required to be kept sealed.”The hotel continues to suffer a loss with each passing day. Continuous sealing of the suite is also affecting the use of other rooms/suites on the same floor,” it had said.Pushkar was found dead in the suite of the South Delhi hotel on the night of January 17, 2014. The suite was sealed on that night itself for investigation.

No ‘name calling’ in Sunanda Pushkar case: Delhi HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today asked a TV channel and the kin of Sunanda Pushkar not to indulge in “name calling” in connection with her death case but said there could be a possibility of some posturing from both sides.The court was hearing Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s plea seeking to restrain journalist Arnab Goswami and his Republic TV from alleged misreporting on his wife’s death. Justice Manmohan made the observation after lawyers for both sides accused each other of not being careful while tweeting about the case as well as about each other. Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for Tharoor, said while the media house was now careful in how it reported about the case, some of its reporters were not exercising the same care while tweeting about it.On the other hand, advocate Malvika Trivedi, who appeared for the media house, contended that Tharoor had also made endless tweets against it which, she said, were offensive. Khurshid in response said that his client’s remarks about the media house were harsh and funny, but not defamatory and assured that such statements would not be made again. The bench, thereafter, said, “A little bit of posturing does happen on both sides. As long as there is no name calling, the rhetoric comes down and they respect your right to silence, then it should be fine.”During the hearing, the Khurshid said he does not want to gag the media and had never asked for a gag order. “Investigation is their right. I am not objecting to it if they come out with something after their investigation. Here, they have already held me guilty,” the lawyer said. The channel said it was not misreporting the case or the facts.The court, thereafter, told Tharoor’s lawyers to file their response to the affidavit filed by the journalist and the channel and listed the case for hearing on September 21. The observations came during the hearing of the Congress leader’s Rs two crore defamation suit against Goswami and his channel. Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a five-star hotel in south Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014 in mysterious circumstances.

Peace would not be allowed to be held hostage by acts of terrorism: Shashi Tharoor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A parliamentary panel has asked the Modi government to utilise its diplomatic finesse at all appropriate fora and its economic clout in the current geo-political situation to persuade Pakistan to join the process of dialogue at the earliest and abandon continuing attrition.In one of the rare and exhaustive reports on Indo-Pak relations, the 31-member parliamentary standing committee on external affairs – headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor – held that peace process would not be allowed to be held hostage by acts of terrorism and both countries must keep the channels of communication open, even during the worst of crises. It also asked both countries not to let the non-state actors and their state sponsors to derail or dictate the foreign policy objectives of sovereign nations.While admitting that suspending formal level dialogue with Pakistan owing to national security concerns was justified, however, there was a case to make Pakistan realize the futility of continued imbroglio. “In the meantime, the Committee would like the Government to work out a clear-cut policy with regard to the do’s and don’ts in the bilateral relations as also the fault lines that both sides would be expected to scrupulously follow as non-negotiable,” the report tabled in Parliament on Friday said.It also asked the government to spell out considered policy options military as well as non-military, including diplomatic, to deter and deal with Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and for not acting on its 2004 commitments of not allowing its territory to be used for acts of terrorism.The Committee also strongly recommended building a robust bridge of mutual understanding and trust, people-to-people contacts for improving ties between the two countries. It has asked the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and other relevant bodies to play useful role and widen the peace constituency in both the countries. “The Committee feels that the Government should initiate fresh diplomatic measures at all relevant platforms with a view to make Pakistan aware of the follies of its present policy towards India and persuade it to make necessary course correction at the earliest. This would ensure that people-to-people contacts are resumed expeditiously to create a favourable atmosphere for dialogue and peace process.”

Disappointed that Rajnath diverted blame from BJP worker’s attack on Rahul- Tharoor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Responding to Rajnath Singh?s allegations on Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi not complying with security arrangements during his recent Gujarat visit, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said the Home Minister was diverting the attention from the main issue, thus highlighting a lack of accountability. ?We asked a straightforward question, for which we have not received any reply. Rather, the issue has been diverted to irrelevant areas such as non-compliance of security measures and Special Protection Group (SPG) Act. What is the point of discussing all this now? If security measures were in place, how is it that a BJP worker attacked Rahul Gandhi?? Tharoor told reporters on the sidelines of the Monsoon session of Lok Sabha. Further, Tharoor opined that Rahul was being unnecessarily blamed for the attack on his convoy, rather than looking back at all the security arrangements that were made. He also said it was irrelevant to question why the grand old party?s frontrunner did not use the provisions of the SPC Act during his visits. ?When there is no plausible security threat, why should Rahul waste the taxpayers? money and use the SPG provisions? As a politician, one needs to talk to the public. We cannot be expected to travel in bullet-proof cars all the time,? he said. Tharoor also took to twitter to express his dissent, and said ?Disappointed that HomeMinister sought2 divert blame from BJP youth leader’s attack onRG in BJP-ruled state. Accountability? #StonePelterBJP? Earlier, Rajnath, while refuting reports of improper arrangements made during Rahul Gandhi’s recent Gujarat visit, said he did not use the bullet-proof vehicle that was provided by the police. Addressing the Monsoon session of Lok Sabha here, Rajnath argued that several police personnel were deployed for his safety, but the Congress frontrunner did not pay heed to the security arrangements made for him. “Rahul did not listen to the area police or the SPG officials, but only to his personal secretary. A large number of security personnel were deployed on the day, but Rahul did not sit in the vehicle provided by the police,” alleged Rajnath. Rahul’s convoy was attacked on Friday when he was on his way to the helipad after visiting the flood-hit areas in Gujarat’s Dhanera. Following this, the police arrested one Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker, Jayesh Darji, on Saturday. Re-iterating the same, Rajnath said the government is looking into the matter, and investigation is underway. “Rahul should have followed security related suggestions,” he further opined. The Home Minister further accused Rahul of violating the Special Protection Group Act, 1988, (SPG) apart from being negligent of safety measures. “In the last two years, Rahul Gandhi was out for 72 days on six foreign tours, but didn’t take SPG cover during any of those visits. We want to know where did he go and why he didn’t take SPG cover,” argued Rajnath. Rahul had blamed the BJP for the attack and said, “BJP workers threw a stone at me which hit my personal security officer (PSO). This is Prime Minister Modi and BJP-RSS’s way of politics. What can I say?” Rahul told the media. Earlier on Friday, Rahul took to Twitter and wrote, “Narendra Modi ji’s slogans, black flags and stones will not stop us…. We will put in all our might into the service of people.” Condemning the incident, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said a senior officer was appointed to investigate into the incident and assured that strict action will be taken against the guilty.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sunanda Pushkar death: Delhi HC asks Arnab Goswami to respect Shashi Tharoor’s ‘right to silence’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Friday sought a response from journalist Arnab Goswami and his channel Republic TV on Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s plea to refrain from “misreporting” his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death and asked them to respect his “right to silence”.Justice Manmohan issued notice to Goswami and Republic TV after Tharoor alleged that they continued to engage in “defaming and maligning” him despite an assurance given in the court on May 29 by their counsel.Taking note of this, the bench said, “You (Goswami and the channel) have to respect Tharoor’s right to silence.” Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for Tharoor, submitted that the court must direct Goswami and the channel to not mention the expression “murder of Sunanda Pushkar”, as it is yet to be established by a competent court that her death was “murder”, to ensure the trial was not prejudiced.
ALSO READ Sunanda Pushkar death case: Delhi HC questions police over delay in probeSenior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for Goswami and the channel, said they have only placed the actual evidence and the police report while broadcasting the news.”We have not called him a murderer in any of the news broadcasts on the channel (Republic channel),” Sethi said.The judge, however, said orally that he had asked the counsel who had assured that names would not be taken.”They will have to abide by that,” the judge said. Advocate Sethi replied, “My client stands by what was assured by me.”The court was hearing an application moved by Tharoor in his pending Rs 2 crore defamation suit against Goswami and the channel for allegedly making defamatory remarks against him while airing news relating to the mysterious death of his wife.Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a five-star hotel in south Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014. The matter is still under investigation.

GST launch in J&K marks economic integration: FM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hailing the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said its implementation would help increase the state’s revenues and facilitate economic integration.“If they (J&K) didn’t integrate, then the traders would not have got input credit and the tax on final products would have been higher… That would have made products costlier and consumers would have to pay more,” the minister said. “J&K is a consumer state and GST being a destination-based tax, the revenues of the state would increase,” he said.The CGST (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill, 2017 provides for levy of the GST on goods sold and services rendered in the state while the IGST (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill, 2017 seeks to levy the tax on inter-state movement of goods. The two bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 31.Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the government had failed to impress upon the J&K government to implement GST from July 1. Chowdhury said GST, as implemented, cannot be called ‘one nation, one tax’ as nearly 50 per cent of the GDP remains out of its ambit. “Given the sensitivity of the J&K region, you should have been better prepared before introducing the tax regime,” he said.Shashi Tharoor said that extending GST to J&K has “serious impact” as it alters the state’s taxation power and by “impinging” on the state’s right the Centre is violating the Constitution. “J&K must be approached with sensitivity, but no sensitivity was shown as the bill was passed in assembly when Opposition was not present. It could signal future problems,” Tharoor said.

Want to remove government interference at IIMs: Minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar today received rare praise from the Opposition in the Lok Sabha for bringing a bill which seeks to usher in functional autonomy in the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) by restricting the government role. The Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2017, provides for giving statutory powers to these institutions in their running including appointment of directors, faculty members, and gives them powers to award degrees instead of post graduate diplomas. The bill also has provisions for appointment of members of the board of governors (BoG) in each of the 20 IIMs through a transparent process, while limiting even the HRD Minister’s role. The bill also seeks to declare the IIMs as institutes of national importance and abolish the post of visitor. Currently, the President is the ‘visitor’ of the IIMs. Moving the bill for consideration and passage, Javadekar said the aim of the bill is to remove the government’s interference in IIMs. He said the proposed legislation will usher in a new era of freedom in the IIMs and these institutes will not require to come to the government for various permissions and clearances. “It is a historical bill which will bring a new era in management education in the country,” he said, noting that financial transaction will be subject to CAG evaluation as the institutes run on tax payers’ money. He said it was not an ideal situation to run the IIMs from Delhi, noting the move is aimed at allowing autonomy to institutes which have created an eco-system for excellence in higher education. The government will have only one representative in each BoG so that the institutes can take decisions independently, the minister said. Participating in the debate on the bill, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said it was a “remarkable moment when a minister surrenders (his) powers”. He said other ministers in the government should draw inspiration from Javadekar in doing so. At the same time, the former minister criticised the government for not enhancing financial assistance to IITs and IIMs, saying they are reeling under funds crunch. He suggested the government should have some say in determining fee structure in the IIMs as higher fees may badly hit students from the poor families. He also pitched for clarity in having reservation in recruitment of faculty staff from SC and ST community. Tharoor also slammed the government for removing the name of Rajiv Gandhi from the name of the Shillong IIM, saying it is “petty” of the government to stoop to such level. Trinamool Congress leader Sougata Roy also praised the government for bringing the bill, saying it will further improve the functioning of the IIMs. He said the fees in the IIMs were very high and urged the government to see that this does not deter the deserving students from admission. M B Rajesh (CPI-M) also raised the issue of high fees in IIMs, saying the autonomous status should not lead to money- making by these institutions. He sought to know from the government why it had appointed directors on the Boards of 10 IIMs on February 10, 2017, just a day after the IIM Bill was tabled in Parliament. Nagendra Kumar Pradhan (BJD) said the IIMs charge fees between Rs 9 lakh and Rs 20 lakh and because of the limited number of seats these institutes have, students have to opt for private MBA institutes. Pradhan sought to know from the government if it was aware of the fate of the students who pass out from the 5,500 private business schools and get paid a salary of as low as Rs 10,000 per month and are unable to repay the education loan. Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) also appreciated Javadekar’s move to grant the status of autonomous institution to the IIMs. He sought the minister’s attention towards private institutions demanding money from students at the time of admission. B Ravindra Babu (TDP) too appreciated the HRD minister, saying the MPs in the House feel he is a “dynamic minister” and has been very liberal towards giving institutes of national importance to the bifurcated Andhra Pradesh. BJP’s Poonam Mahajan, praising the government, said effort must always be to ensure that the “wings of aspirations of the youth are not cut”. “Aspirations of the youth are country’s hope. If the youth aspire, then only can we hope for a better tomorrow. It is a freedom movement for the IIMs. It is about freedom to think and pursue the goals by the youths,” she said. K Hari Babu (BJP) too praised Javadekar, saying everyone wants “power to be in their pocket” but the HRD minister has given up the position of being the chairperson on IIM Boards.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Intolerance debate raised by Congress a non-issue: Subramanian Swamy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Calling the intolerance debate a ‘non-issue’ on Sunday Bhartiya Janata Party’s MP Subramanian Swamy said that repeated defeat has left the Congress party with nothing to talk about, therefore it has now brought up the topic of intolerance.Swamy was in Pune where he delivered a talk on the topic ‘Intolerance: Reality or illusion’. Apart from criticising the Congress, Swamy also spoke about Hindutva and constructing the Ram temple at the event.Coming down heavily on Congress, Swamy said, “The party that imposed emergency is now complaining of intolerance. Their workers are even protesting against a movie based on emergency because they do not want people to recall those days.”Referring to the CBI inquiry on P Chidambaram, Swamy claimed that eventually all senior leaders will be behind bars for corruption. “Gandhi family members, Chidambaram, and Shashi Tharoor, all of them will be sent to jail. Time will come when their executive committee meeting will be held in Tihar jail,” he said.Speaking about the issue of Ram temple, Swamy said, “Even if I am called communal, it will not stop me from constructing Ram temple in Ayodhya. I do not need government backing for it. The court is likely to give its verdict in our favour by Diwali.”

Shashi Tharoor’s stepson files petition against Subramanian Swamy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after a Delhi court allowed the de-sealing of the suite in the Hotel Leela Palace where the dead body of Sunanda Pushkar was found, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s stepson Shiv Menon had moved the Delhi High Court for a court-monitored CBI-led SIT probe into her death.The application on behalf of Menon, son of Pushkar from her earlier marriage, will be heard by the bench headed by Justice GS Sistani on July 24.Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa moved the application on behalf of Menon — in a pending petition filed by senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy — seeking a probe into Sunanda’s death.Menon is seeking to intervene on the ground that the BJP leader has no locus in the issue of his mother’s death.He also urged the court to restrain Swamy and his lawyers from posting on social media, like Facebook and Twitter, information about the instant case and its proceedings.The application also asks the court to direct Swamy and his lawyers not to share information about the investigation into the case with the media and the general public at large.Menon, in his plea, has also sought an order directing the police to first file its status report in the court and if directed, then only supply it to parties to the case.The plea also requested to direct the police to complete its investigation in a time-bound manner.

Court orders de-sealing of suite in which Sunanda Pushkar died

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court today ordered de- sealing of a suite in a five-star hotel where Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in 2014 under mysterious circumstances. Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma passed the order on a plea by the hotel to de-seal suite number 345. The hotel has claimed that due to the sealing of the suite, which costs between Rs 55,000 and Rs 61,000 a night, it has suffered a loss of over Rs 50 lakh in the last three years. It has claimed that a number of times, police and forensic teams had visited the suite and it was no longer required to be kept sealed. “The hotel continues to suffer loss with each passing day. The continuous sealing of the suite is also affecting the use of other rooms/suites on the same floor,” it has said. The suite was sealed on January 17, 2014 during the investigation into the death of Pushkar. An FIR was registered by Delhi police on January 1, 2015 against unknown persons under the section of 302 (murder).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sunanda Pushkar case: HC asks police to file status report in 3 days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi police to file a status report within three days regarding the death of Sunanda Pushkar. This directive came after a plea was filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking a court-monitored probe either by a Special Investigation Team or CBI.A bench comprising Justice GS Sistani and Justice Chandrashekhar fixed the next date of hearing on August 1.The Delhi police had brought its status report to the court on Thursday but their counsel Rahul Mehra said that the report would be submitted to the court only after he had gone through it. Mehra also informed the court that the investigation was close to completion.”We are working on the investigation. We may not have been able to satisfy Subramanian Swamy but we are close to completing the investigation. There are a lot of things we have to put on record,” he said. Mehra added that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has already been formed in this matter.The court said that it will take a look at what the police has to say before taking any decision.Earlier, Swamy had filed a petition in the HC on July 6, stating that “inordinate delays” have been caused in the case of Pushkar’s death, “which are a blot on the justice system.” The petition further said that this case “is an extreme example of the slow-motion of criminal justice process and the extent to which it can be subverted by the rich and the influential.”Swamy also alleged that Shashi Tharoor used his “influential position” to divert the course of investigation.The petition also questioned the role of the police officers investigating the case, stating that no arrests have been made and a chargesheet has also not been filed till date, even after three years of the incident.

‘Indian culture has soft power to make it influential leader’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has warned against remaking India in a way that undermines its soft power, saying this quality of Indian culture has the potential to make the country truly an “influential” leader in the 21st century. Speaking at a gathering here, Tharoor, 61, said India has to solve its “internal problems” like terrorism and poverty first before it can aspire to play the role of leadership in the world. He said there were aspects of Indian society and culture that the world found more attractive than just government initiative. “Today those aspects may not directly persuade them about India, but they go a long way to enhance India’s standing in the world,” he said in his key note address at the ‘Cultural Diplomacy Forum on India,’ organised by the Meridian International Forum, yesterday. Tharoor said India is a civilisation which has offered refuge to cultural and religious freedoms to Jews, Parses, Christens and Muslims. “We have to solve our internal problems – that’s our problem, not yours – before we can truly aspire to play the role of leadership in the world. We are in the process of doing precisely that. We want to conquer the challenge of development. Not just jihadi terrorism but the problem of hunger and poverty is also part of our problem,” Tharoor said. “Do not try to remake India in a way that undermines your soft power,” he said. Without mentioning any events, Tharoor called for ensuring freedom of press and its thriving. “Because our civilisational ethos has been the immeasurable asset for our country and it is bipolar. We do not allow spectre of religious intolerance and political opportunism to undermine our soft power in the 21st century,” he said. “I think, this country with all these qualities inherited from millennia of living as an example of this sort of culture has the soft power that would truly make it the influential leader in the 21st century,” Tharoor said. Noting that India’s soft power has a claim to the world, Tharoor said India is a country in which all major religions Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism co-exists. “In this increasingly globalised world where there is so much of backlash against immigration, India of such diversity of caste, religion, language and others rally around the democratic value of consensus. Acceptance rather than tolerance is the Indian secret. And I think that has been the strength of India’s soft power,” Tharoor said. “That’s why we’re stronger in 21st century world. As a society, we have celebrated our diversity, our pluralism, our democracy, our freedom in a way that we imply to take them for granted. “Some recent trends have unfortunately given free rein to others which have promoted attitude of bigotry and intolerance that should have no place in the narrative. That is also inescapable part, sadly of today’s Indian reality,” Tharoor rued. He said the whole question of identifying India into one particular religion and religious faith flies in the face of its own vibrant culture. “I think, it is not just the breadth but the depth of this cultural heritage that India’s soft power lies. “The fact that we are a land of such rich diversities and one that does not impose narrow conformities…The whole thing about Indian that you can be many things and being one thing is an important lesson in a world in which we are all trying to grapple how to manage diversity,” he said. Tharoor said it was important to resist the attempts that undermine the qualities of Indian culture. “Resist them not in purely political bipartisan spirit but rather as proud Indians because we are conscious of what we are proud of in our civilisation. We are conscious of the qualities which are so attractive about our culture, that give us soft power in the world,” he said. “We do not want those qualities undermined by recklessly, irresponsible often semi-educated people who have been given a free hand by those in power,” Tharoor said, adding that China and Russia have already realised that.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Delhi High Court seeks Arnab Goswami and Republic TV’s reply on Shashi Tharoor defamation plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Monday sought the response of the Arnab Goswami and his newly-launched news channel Republic TV on Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s defamation plea against them.In his plea, Tharoor has claimed damages and compensation of Rs 2 crore from the journalist and his channel for allegedly making defamatory remarks against him while airing news relating to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.”Bring down the rhetoric. You can put out your story, you can put out the facts. You cannot call him names. That is uncalled for,” Justice Manmohan said while issuing notice to Goswami and the channel and seeking their replies by August 16, the next date of hearing.Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for Tharoor, said he should be protected and the channel and the journalist directed to justify the statements made against him.Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for Goswami and the channel, said they would justify each and every statement made by them and therefore, there was no need for any interim order injuncting them.Tharoor had on May 26 filed a civil defamation suit against Arnab Goswami and Republic TV in the Delhi High Court claiming damages and compensation of Rs two crore for allegedly making defamatory remarks against him while airing news relating to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.The Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram has also sought a direction from the high court to restrain the TV channel from broadcasting any show relating to the death of his wife till the investigation is completed by the Delhi Police.He has referred to the broadcasting of news items from May 8 to 13 when the TV channel claimed to air an expose connected to the death of his wife.

Tharoor files defamation suit against Goswami, Republic in HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress MP Shashi Tharoor today filed a civil defamation suit against Arnab Goswami and newly- launched news channel Republic TV in the Delhi High Court claiming damages and compensation of Rs two crore for allegedly making defamatory remarks towards him while airing news relating to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. The Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram has also sought a direction from the High Court to restrain the TV channel from broadcasting any show relating to the death of his wife till the investigation is completed by the Delhi police. The Congress leader, in his lawsuit, has made Goswami and Arg Outlier Media Asianet News Private Limited, the company which owns Republic TV, as parties. He has referred to the broadcasting of news items from May 8 to 13 when the TV channel claimed to air an expose connected to the death of his wife. The lawsuit filed through advocates Muhammad Ali Khan and Gaurav Gupta denounced the news, claiming that the recordings were released in a sensational manner so as to appease the viewers and created a non-existing controversy by maligning his public life and public image. “It is not out of place to say that defendants (Goswami and TV channel) broadcasted news reports and alleged expose’ which were intended to lead the viewers to believe that the deceased was murdered either by plaintiff (Tharoor) or at the instance of the plaintiff. “Such a broadcast clearly has the potential of adversely impacting the ongoing investigation into the death of the deceased,” the plea said, while seeking to restrain from “maligning and defaming him in any manner” by reporting or broadcasting the news relating to the death of Pushkar. Tharoor also said earlier Goswami as the editor-in-chief with another TV news channel had aired such news, which was restrained by the National Broadcasting Standards Authority. In the lawsuit, he was entitled to Rs two crore damage and compensation “for having suffered humiliation and having suffered severe loss of reputation in the eyes of the public and he has baselessly been declared by the defendants as the alleged murderer of his late wife”. He stated that the police is probing into the matter and has also lodged an FIR. “It is pertinent to mention that the Delhi Police took statements from a number of people, including him,” the suit said, adding that during the probe not a single allegation has been made by the investigating authorities against the MP. Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a five star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kerala | Instead of chopping off genitals of ‘godman’, woman should have gone to police: Shashi Tharoor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even though a 23-year-old is being hailed for her ‘brave’ and ‘courageous’ act, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has said that a woman who chopped off the genitals of a ‘godman’ should have approached the police.Refusing to suffer any more, a law student chopped off the genitals of a man who had allegedly been raping her for the last six years and tried to do the same again on Friday night.The accused — 54-year-old Gangeshananda Theerthapada alias Hariswami — who claims to be a sanyasi, has been arrested.“There is something gratifying about such swift justice but she would have better taken the matter to the police rather than taking the law into her own hands (sic),” Tharoor said speaking to CNN-News18.com.Further stating that he sympathise with the girl, as most people would, Tharoor added, “We need a society where justice prevails, not one where every individual seeks it with a knife in her hand.”The incident came to light after the man, who claims to be an inmate of Panmana Ashram in Kollam, was admitted to the government medical college hospital here with critical injuries in the wee hours, the police said.Hariswami, known to the girl’s family, had been frequenting her house in Pettah for several years to perform ‘puja’ aimed at bringing relief to her paralysed and bed- ridden father, police said quoting the victim.During those visits over the last six years, the accused would allegedly rape the girl, whenever he found a chance, according to the police.He allegedly tried to rape her again on Friday night but the girl protested and chopped off his genitals with a knife, the police added quoting the girl’s complaint.A case has been registered against him under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and IPC 376 (punishment for rape).No case has been registered against the girl, the police added.The man reportedly told police that he had chopped off his genitals himself.Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hailed the woman’s act as “brave” and “courageous”. “It was a courageous step, no doubt about it,” he told reporters here and promised all support to the girl from the government.State Women’s Commission member Prameela Devi expressed shock over the incident and said the girl was forced to take the extreme step after suffering years of harassment, pain and humiliation.(With agency inputs)

Sunanda Pushkar’s death: I have nothing to hide, says Shashi Tharoor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress MP and former Union minister Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said he had ‘nothing to hide’ with regard to the investigation in connection with the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. Tharoor said he had ‘fully cooperated’ with the police at every stage of the case.He was reacting to reports broadcast yesterday by a recently launched television channel in this regard. “I want to stress that I have fully cooperated with police. Police have investigated for the past three years. They have not so far been able to establish whether any crime has been committed or any murder has occurred,” Tharoor told reporters here.Police are the right and the most competent persons to respond, he said. As a reporter of the channel tried to pose questions to him and alleged that he was physically manhandled, Tharoor said, “These people are not journalists. This is what they want. This is going to be their story. The new channel’s effort is to get into limelight and increase its TRP.” Addressing the local media, Tharoor said, “As far as I am concerned, you are all professional journalists. This unfortunately is not an example of professional journalism,” and added he was a strong advocate of freedom of expression.Tharoor said the media has a very important role as a witness, but not a role of prosecutor, judge and executioner, “which is what as you are seeing somebody is do”.”There is a legal system in the country. There are constitutional rights for people in the country. There is a judicial system in the country. Let police conclude their work and go to courts and courts can come to conclusions. That is the way the system is supposed to work,” Tharoor said.Sunanda was found dead in a suite in a five-star hotel in South Delhi on January 17, 2014.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Updates on AAP crisis; Shashi Tharoor slams new reports on wife’s death; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP sweeps Mishra out, Kejriwal says ‘truth will prevail’; special assembly session todayOusted min alleges AAP chief shielded ex-CM Dikshit in water tanker scam. Read more here’Heavily drunk’ son of Gujarat Dy CM harasses airline staff, taken off Qatar Airways flightJaimin Patel was barely able to walk when he arrived at the Ahmedabad International Airport. Read more here’Misrepresentations and outright lies’: Shashi Tharoor slams new reports on Sunanda Pushkar’s deathCongress MP Shashi Tharoor has slammed reports on a television channel in connection with the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. Read more here’Will not stand anyone’s arrogance’, says lady IPS officer after mistreated by UP BJP MLAA young lady IPS officer has openly dared a ruling party MLA, close to Yogi Adityanath and from the CM’s hometown Gorakhpur, through a tweet. Read more hereEveryone in Kashmir is not a stone pelter, says Mehbooba MuftiSome youth are being instigated, the CM said urging the media not to harp on negativities. Read more hereContempt case: Justice CS Karnan ‘sentences’ CJI, six Justices to five years in jailDays after refusing medical examination, as ordered by the Supreme Court, Justice CS Karnan on Monday “sentenced” the eight top court judges to five years’ rigorous imprisonment and Rs 1 lakh each fine “for offences under the SC/ST Atrocities Act 1989 and Amended Act of 2015”. Read more here

Fishermen community from Guj sets demands before Par panel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian and Pakistani governments should sign a “no-arrest” pact for the protection of fishermen straying into each other’s waters, fishermen community from Gujarat has demanded. A representation in this regard was handed over to 12- member Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, led by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. The committee was on a two-day visit to the Union Territory of Diu and Porbandar in Gujarat, which ended yesterday. The demand for having such a pact comes in the backdrop of fishermen of both the countries regularly being arrested and their boats seized by each others security agencies from near the international maritime boundary. They also demanded that the both the countries should release all the arrested fishermen and their seized boats from each others custody. This is for the first time that the parliamentary panel visited both the places to understand various issues related to the fishing community. “Often, we cannot understand the real problems faced by the people sitting in Delhi. So, we have come here to meet the fishing community and listen to their grievances,” Tharoor told reporters. President of Porbandar Machhimar Boat Association Bharat Modi, former president of Porbandar Boat Association Manish Lodhari, president of Veraval Boat Association Gopal Fofandi and Rajya Sabha MP Chunibhai Gohil, who is also a fishermen leader, were among others who made the representations to the panel in Porbandar. Lodhari said that they have asked the committee to have a “no-arrest” pact between the two countries for the fishermen. Talking to(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Research’ equating India with Pak on "restrictions on religion" discredits itself: Shashi Tharoor slams PEW research paper

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Saturday criticised the research conducted by PEW reseach centre that said that India had high restrictions in religion and was amongst the top in the world.”Any “research” that actually equates India w/Pak on “restrictions on religion” discredits itself (sic),” he said on social media. The Congress leader’s statement comes after a mob beat a Pakistani student to death after he was accused of sharing blasphemous content on social media.As per the report, India is amongst the top five countries in the world that has the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion amongst the 25 most populous countries in the world.The report also adds that India, along with Russia, Egypt, Pakistan and Nigeria had the highest combined levels of government restrictions and social hostilities involving religion in 2015, while Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Ethiopia and the Philippines had the fewest restrictions and hostilities.PEW’s Research Centre added that government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion increased in 2015 for the first time in three years.

Condition of MCD schools deteriorating, teacher vacancies soaring Tharoor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Highlighting the deteriorating condition of schools running under Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Congress leader Shashi Tharoor alleged that the Budget allocated for education sector is not being spent judiciously by the state government. ?The condition of MCD schools is very bad. From 2013- 2016, nearly 50,000 students have already left the schools. The number of school students are increasing in India but decreasing in Delhi,? Tharoor said. Asserting that the quality of MCD schools is very poor, Tharoor further noted that during winters some schools are reduced to making the students sit on the floor due to lack of chairs and tables, adding that basic facilities like drinking water and mid day meals are also very poor. ?Government is not spending the education budget given to them every year and the teacher?s vacancies are increasing day by day,? he said. Earlier the Delhi High Court had directed the authorities to take “immediate remedial measures” following reports of teachers’ vacancy of around 33,000 in MCD and government schools in the national capital. Social Jurist-and NGO has has alleged “deliberate and intentional disobedience” by the Delhi Government of the High Court’s orders to ensure zero vacancy at the beginning of academic year. Tharoor?s assertions come riding on the Congress? bid to counter Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), especially its blueprint which highlights plans for revamping primary education and municipal health services in Delhi. “The Congress party is trying to approach this election in an unprecedented professional manner where 39,000 workers have been contacted and voices recorded in order to understand their preference for the choice of candidate. So it’s with a positive agenda and manner that we will be approaching the people of Delhi,” Tharoor had said earlier. He also stated that the MCD elections will cater to issues like finance, environment, health and many more that Delhi want to resolve. The date for the elections to the three municipal corporations was postponed by a day to April 23, keeping the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board examination in mind. The date for counting of votes has also been extended to April 26.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bhopal: Here’s how this Pakistani spy is being taken care of even a year after release from jail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On one hand Kulbhushan Jadhav and Sarabjit Singh were tormented by Pakistan on a flimsy basis that they were Indian spies, but here the Bhopal Police has been feeding and sheltering a Pakistani spy named Sajeed Muneer for almost a year after his release from jail.Muneer was jailed for 12 years for espionage but after his release, Pakistan did not respond to extradition requests by the Indian Government.By default, he became the Bhopal Police’s responsibility and the District Special Branch (DSB) has been taking care of him for 10 months now.The DSB pays for his food and other necessities.Speaking to ANI, Superintendent of Police Rajesh Bhadoria said since the time of his conviction every angle is being discussed related to the issue but Pakistan is delaying the process of deporting.
ALSO READ After Sarabjit, lawyer now bats for Kulbhushan Jadhav”On June 4 last year, his conviction was completed and it was a 12 year conviction. In between the deporting process, he was kept in the detention centre, as those who are not from India they are kept in that centre,” he said.He added that police officials are in constant contact with the Pakistan embassy and the process of councilor access, where embassies of both the countries did the verification of Sajeed Muneer has been done.
ALSO READ Sushma Swaraj trashes report of Tharoor drafting statement on Kulbhushan Jadhav”The Bhopal Police arrested him in May 2004 when he was collecting some official secret material from the army regiment. That time he was impersonating himself as an Indian national. He has been current put in Shahjahanabad police station’s detention centre,” Bhadoria said.Investigations revealed that Muneer was lured by the ISI while he was on a hideout after a murder case.He had murdered a Karachi youth to avenge his brother’s killing.

Sonia Gandhi evades question about Rahul’s escalation as Congress’ president

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Ahead of the Congress party meeting on late Tuesday evening, party national president Sonia Gandhi evaded the question on escalation of son and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi as the party president. “People will come to know when it happens,” she said. Sonia Gandhi had called a dinner-meeting of MPs and office bearers ahead of the last day of the Budget session. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh and MP Shashi Tharoor, among others, were present at the dinner. There have been speculations that a reshuffle in the party is likely to happen after the Parliament Session that is to end tomorrow.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cong intensifies MCD poll campaign, to deploy 90 top leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To intensify its campaign in the MCD polls, the Congress has decided to deploy nearly 90 of its top leaders from tomorrow to canvass for party candidates in the civic election, to be held in Delhi on April 23. Congress leaders, like Jairam Ramesh and Shashi Tharoor, Salman Khurshid, Girija Vyas, will take strolls early morning in different parts of Delhi to interact with people about the party’s blue prints to revive the civic bodies and make the city neat and clean, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said. Maken said that he has written letters to senior Delhi Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, for joining the party’s poll campaign. The list of heavyweight campaigners also includes names of Chief Minister’s of Congress-ruled states like Virbhadra Singh of Himachal Pradesh and V Narayanasamy of Puducherry. The high voltage campaign will commence with former Union minister Shashi Tharoor visiting the Jahanpanah forest tomorrow to interact with morning walkers over ways to improve primary education services of the municipal corporations, Maken said. Jairam Ramesh will visit Bhalaswa and Gazipur landfill sites on April 13 and April 16 respectively to work on Congress’ promise of making Delhi “zero landfill” city, he said. Salman Khurshid will visit Tahirpur on the morning of April 15 to talk to people on primary health services provided by the municipal corporation, Maken said. The Congress is keenly contesting the elections for 272 wards in the three municipal corporations of Delhi and is pitted against the BJP and the AAP.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Justice Navanithi Prasad Singh sworn in as Kerala CJ

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Justice Navanithi Prasad Singh was today sworn in as the new Chief Justice of Kerala High Court. Governor Justice (retd) P Sathasivam administered oath of office to Justice Singh at a function held at the Raj Bhavan here. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Congress MP and former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor and top state officials were among those present on the occasion. Justice Singh was former judge of the Patna High Court.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Shashi Tharoor speaks out about petition to make him PM candidate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has finally spoken out about a petition on Change.org that calls to nominate him as the UPA prime ministerial candidate for the 2019 elections. “Tharoor is a man well qualified with deep knowledge of international and national issues, who can connect with the people of India and with world leaders,” reads the online petition launched by a Thiruvananthapuram-based user.However, the Congress leader in a Facebook post on Friday said that while he was touched with the gesture, he had no such ambitions.
ALSO READ Shashi Tharoor wants UK schools to teach colonial history”I was both surprised and touched by the Change.org petition that has been circulating over the last few days suggesting a greater role for me in the Congress Party and in national politics in the 2019 elections, and by the response this has received. I do, however, feel it is time to make it clear that I neither support nor endorse such a campaign.”While I initially chose to ignore the petition, because this is not how Indian politics works, the attention it has gathered in the media, and especially on social media, obliges me to respond.
ALSO READ Shashi Tharoor: Britain came to one of the richest countries & reduced it to the poorestI thank the creator of this petition, who I understand is from Thiruvananthapuram, for his faith in me as his representative in Parliament, and thank everyone who has signed it so far for their good wishes. I have, however, discouraged those of my “followers” who have asked me about this from doing so, since I do not support such a campaign.”I am a member of Parliament for the Congress Party, nothing more and nothing less. The party has a settled leadership, which is not up for debate. When changes occur they do so through an established procedure.”I want to assure those who have nonetheless so generously expressed their faith in me that I share their aspiration for a better India, an aspiration that can best be given voice and expression through the Indian National”Congress and the values it enshrines, and will continue to work towards realizing our national destiny and upholding the principles that underpin this destiny.”I will continue, to the best of my abilities, with my work in Parliament, in Thiruvananthapuram, and in articulating my hopes for India and the ideas that make India — on those party platforms that are available to me, as well as on the national and international stage and through my writings.”Once again, I thank everyone for their faith and support, and request that the petition be withdrawn.”Jai Hind!” he wrote.Read the post here:Tharoor, the two-time parliamentarian from Thiruvananthapuram, had worked at the United Nations for over 30 years in various positions. He had also served as Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. In addition, the 61-year-old internationally known speaker has authored several books, including the latest one Inglorious Empire. Over the past few months, Tharoor has emerged as the most vocal of all Congress leaders and his popularity is at an all-time high following his book release and subsequent appearances in international shows highlighting how Britain drained India of its wealth and the fact that Great Britain had ‘historical amnesia.’

Tharoor urges govt intervention over fishermen issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Shashi Tharoor today sought the Centre’s intervention over incidents of fishermen being killed and detained by neighbouring countries after they allegedly strayed into international waters. The former union minister and Kerala MP also demanded a special assistance package for fishermen, saying they are living “hand to mouth in rather desperate conditions”. “In the last 10 days, we had a Tamil fisherman shot by Sri Lankan authorities, we had a large number of Gujarati fishermen arrested by Pakistan and we have a number of Kerala fishermen who have been detained. “All of this underscores the plight of the fishing community in our country. They are living hand to mouth in rather desperate conditions,” Tharoor said outside Parliament. He said the condition was such that even in the fishing season, the stocks are so depleted that the fishermen have to go farther into the sea which is why they get into waters that other countries claim to be their own and get arrested. “There is a need for systematic serious government intervention. We do not have a fisheries ministry. The agriculture ministry does not give priority. Fishermen are getting neglected and there is no infrastructural assistance given to them,” he said. He pointed out that the usual “dynastic” way where in every fisherman’s family, his children also become fishermen again, cannot go on. “We must have serious skill development project in the fishing community. All of this is very important. I have pleaded with the government to take this very seriously and come up with an urgent assistance package to help these fishermen all over India,” he said. On Monday, a 22-year-old Indian fisherman was shot dead allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy while he was fishing in a mechanised boat at a short distance off Katchatheevu islet. In another incident, the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency had recently seized 10 to 12 boats with around 70 Indian fishermen on board in the Arabian Sea off the Gujarat coast.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

It’s all about the wordplay: Shashi Tharoor attempts the world’s shortest Pangram

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Shashi Tharoor is a known bibliophile. The former UN Under Secretary General is He is also a recipient of several awards that include a Commonwealth Writers Prize and is also the author of 15 books.Given his command over the English language and his eloquent use of words, Tharoor on Sunday shared an interesting post on the shortest possible sentence using all 26 letters of the English alphabet. The most famous sentence, known as a pangram, is “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” for years. That’s 32 letters.Tharoor claims to have found a new winner with 30 letters. This is what he postedIn the meantime, Tharoor’s post has his followers quite amused. Some loved the word play, while others thought he should employ his time in other pursuits.

After PM Modi compares demonetization to surgery, Rahul Gandhi likens him to a quack who will kill the patient

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Tuesday, PM Modi launched a blitzkrieg attack on the Congress in parliament where he defended demonetization and attacked the opposition, particularly the Congress. Defending the timing of the move, he said: “Some people have said why was this (demonetization) decision taken when the economy was doing well…It was the best time for demonetization as the economy was strong. Had the economy been weak, then we could not have done it successfully,” he said. In this regard, he gave the example of a patient who has to undergo a surgery.” “Before subjecting a patient to surgery, a doctor checks all the parameters of the patient and only when those parameters are fine, is the operation done,” he said. He also emphasised that the decision was not taken in a haste as contended by some sections. “Don’t assume that Modi does anything in a haste. For that you will need to study Modi.”Hitting out at PM Modi’s speech, Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Neem Hakim Khatra-Aay-Jaan.” The phrase refers to a quack who is dangerous to the patient’s life, and the phrase is used to mock those seeking advice from someone who’s going to wrong advice that’d put one’s life at peril.Meanwhile, the PM also hit out Rahul Gandhi and said in LS: “I was wondering why the earthquake came. When someone sees ‘Seva’ or any positive virtue in the word ‘SCAM’ then mother earth would definitely become upset.” Reacting to the incident, Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “The Prime Minister mocks the tragedy of Uttarakhand & insults the freedom struggle but has no answers to the opposition’s questions.” Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in the Lok Sabha as “arrogant”, Congress said he lost a “good” opportunity to present his vision and what he and his party stood for. “This was quite an arrogant reply. This was the last opportunity for him. Because next budget and President’s address will be before the next Lok Sabha election. “He should have used this window of opportunity to present his vision, clarity and also perspective for the country. Perhaps he has lost his life’s opportunity or the NDA has lost this good opportunity to present what they stand for,” Congress leader Veerappa Moily told reporters outside Parliament.Answering criticism over demonetization, Modi asserted in the Lok Sabha that the timing for the decision was perfect as the economy was doing well and hit out at Congress whose record he questioned with regard to various issues. Replying to a debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address which was adopted by the House later amid walkout by Congress, he addressed point-by-point the issues raised by the Opposition, including surgical strikes and allocations for MNREGA, agriculture sector and for Scheduled Castes. Another Congress leader, Shashi Tharoor said that just by giving a good speech, good days do not come as for that there is a need to do some work.”By giving a accha bhashan (good speech), acche din (good days) does not come. To bring good days, there is a need for work as well. We have just heard his speech. “Today on this demonetisation, we are again getting an opportunity to speak. Because the Ordinance which the government had promulgated, they have now brought a Bill. We will answer on this,” Tharoor said. With inputs from agencies

Acche din doesn’t come from accha bhashan: Congress slams PM Modi’s ‘arrogant’ speech in Lok Sabha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in the Lok Sabha as “arrogant”, Congress today said he lost a “good” opportunity to present his vision and what he and his party stood for. “This was quite an arrogant reply. This was the last opportunity for him. Because next budget and President’s address will be before the next Lok Sabha election. “He should have used this window of opportunity to present his vision, clarity and also perspective for the country. Perhaps he has lost his life’s opportunity or the NDA has lost this good opportunity to present what they stand for,” Congress leader Veerappa Moily told reporters outside Parliament.Answering criticism over demonetization, Modi asserted in the Lok Sabha that the timing for the decision was perfect as the economy was doing well and hit out at Congress whose record he questioned with regard to various issues. Replying to a debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address which was adopted by the House later amid walkout by Congress, he addressed point-by-point the issues raised by the Opposition, including surgical strikes and allocations for MNREGA, agriculture sector and for Scheduled Castes. Another Congress leader, Shashi Tharoor said that just by giving a good speech, good days do not come as for that there is a need to do some work.”By giving a accha bhashan (good speech), acche din (good days) does not come. To bring good days, there is a need for work as well. We have just heard his speech. “Today on this demonetisation, we are again getting an opportunity to speak. Because the Ordinance which the government had promulgated, they have now brought a Bill. We will answer on this,” Tharoor said. However, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu slammed the Opposition and said that political rivals of the Ruling dispensation neither has the patience to hear the truth, nor the guts to accept the fact that the nation has rejected them and elected Prime Minister Modi.‘They must have the patience to hear the truth, the way they were making personal remarks, the way they were trying to heckle the Prime Minister. There’s a decorum to give leader of House a patient hearing, but unfortunately Congress can’t digest fact that ppl have rejected them and they have selected and elected Narendra Modi as their Prime Minister, this only shows there pity mindedness,’ said Naidu. Prime Minister Modi earlier in the day took a jibe at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s ‘earthquake’ remark, saying that the nation finally felt the tremors yesterday. ‘I was wondering why the earthquake came. When someone see ‘SEVA’ or any positive virtue in the word ‘SCAM’ then mother earth would definitely become upset,’ Prime Minister Modi said while speaking on motion of thanks to President’s address in Lok Sabha.

Anti-defection law has negative impact on democracy: Tharoor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former union minister and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor today said the anti-defection law has a negative impact on democracy as it diminished the voting power of people’s representatives. “The anti-defection law has a negative impact on democracy. A people’s representative does not have the right to vote according to his conscience. He has to vote on what his party says,” he said at an interactive session about the ‘Challenges of Democracy’ at the Kerala Literature Festival here. He also advocated a Presidential system for a better governance in the country. “A presidential system would be better for India. Our present system has no accountability and is not democratic enough. Presidential system would be good for a better governance”, the Congress leader. Tharoor, who represents Thiruvananthapuram constituency in the present Lok Sabha, also said the rule to impose the national anthem in cinema halls was an unnecessary step. “Nationalism cannot be reduced to just a performance. I can say Bharat mata ki jai and I am comfortable with it. Patriotism or any other feelings should come from within. But I won t say it if some one mandates me to say,” he said, adding, such an attempt is also a threat to democracy.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

(Repens BOM23)

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tharoor said the metropolis symbolises the pluralist values espoused by the Congress and appealed to the Mumbaikars to give his party a chance to run India’s richest civic body. To a question on division in Mumbai Congress due to AICC General Secretary Gurudas Kamat’s open criticism of Nirupam’s style of functioning, Tharoor said the party leadership was aware of the issue. The General Secretary in-charge (Mohan Prakash) is seized of the matter, the former Union Minister said. “This is an internal matter of the Congress and will be resolved. Hitting out at the BJP for raising the Ram Mandir issue in Uttar Pradesh, Tharoor said the saffron outfit is not worthy of engaging in serious politics and the move was aimed at polarising society for votes. Asked about the Budget session of Parliament and whether the demonetisation issue will be raised again by the Opposition, the MP said his party was concerned about the adverse impact of note-ban on the economy. “Even elementary homework was not done before the decision was announced. Sixty-two notifications were issued in five weeks by RBI (related to note exchange and other norms). Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spoke of good governance, needs basic lessons in good governance.” “Demonetisation is a classic failure and a disaster for which people will have to pay a heavy price for a long time,” the Congress leader said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sunanda Pushkar murder case turns more curious

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The case of Sunanda Pushkar’s death is getting more curious. An independent medical board comprising doctors from Delhi, Chandigarh and Puducherry studied two earlier reports and the report on the cause of her death, but has failed to arrive at any conclusion.Last year, then Delhi Police chief BS Bassi had confessed that the death of Pushkar, wife of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, was not natural but didn’t elaborate further. The initial viscera report had suggested a drug overdose followed by high alcohol consumption, giving credence to the suicide theory. But the autopsy report suggested some multiple injuries including ones in her private parts, neck, and intestine. A medical board comprising doctors of AIIMS found poisoning as the reason behind her death following which the police in 2015 sent her viscera samples to a FBI lab in Washington.The FBI sent its report to Delhi Police last year, which ruled out the theory of her death due to radiation. The report said the radiation levels in Sunanda’s viscera samples were “within the standard safety norms” besides mentioning other details.As police could not confirm the cause of her death based on the FBI report, they requested a medical board of AIIMS to analyse the contents of the report on her viscera samples. The board unanimously concluded that there was a presence of anxiety drug Alprax in her stomach. The SIT later submitted both the FBI as well as the AIIMS reports to a new independent medical panel comprising doctors from Delhi, Chandigarh, and Puducherry. But in that report, the panel made matters more curious, saying the cause of her death is inconclusive.The police team probing the case has so far questioned at least 15 people. Tharoor, his staff members, and close friends were among those questioned by Delhi Police. Sunanda’s son Shiv Menon was also interrogated by the SIT.”The medical board submitted its report a month back and they have failed to give any conclusive results. We have asked them to study the findings of FBI and AIIMS again to draw a conclusion,” a senior police officer said. Police is now waiting for retrieval of deleted chats from Sunanda’s phone.In September, Sunanda’s viscera samples were brought back from a FBI lab in the US by the members of a Delhi Police team probing the high profile case.The Delhi Police had also asked the FBI lab to submit its final list of observations so that they can be produced before a medical board.Sunanda, 51, was found dead at a suite in a five-star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014, a day after her spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar on Twitter over her alleged affair with Tharoor. Police have also conducted polygraph test on six persons, all prime witnesses in the case, including Tharoor’s domestic help Narayan Singh, driver Bajrangi, and Sanjay Dewan, a close friend of the couple. In February, Tarar was questioned about her relation with the Congress leader and his wife, her fight with Sunanda over Twitter, and other issues revolving around Sunanda’s death.

Government not interested in welfare schemes for children: Shashi Tharoor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Noting that India is among the worst countries in the world in child nutrition, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday charged the government with not being serious about welfare schemes like ICDS as he laid stress on efforts to address the issue of health and nourishment of girl child.”Our government is, at present, not particularly interested in welfare schemes and measures and on giving money for programmes like children health. We have to strengthen ICDS and the government should give more funds to it,” Tharoor said at a session in Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur.He said that the Centre has cut budget even for Anganwadi workers, which is unfair. “The ministry dose not have adequate money for Aangawadi workers. The government should focus on this issue and that means cutting across the agencies. If we leave this issue to the marginalised Ministry of Women and Child Development, this will not happen,” he said.Noting that India is among the worst countries in the world despite the fact that nutrition standards have increased since Independence, he said that the country has no policy to address nutritional means. “We have not been giving proper thought to agriculture policy. We do not have a policy which looks at the nutritional means of the country,” he said, while suggesting that nutritious food should be supplied through PDS.Child rights activist Nandana Sen highlighted the unfair treatment a girl child receives, and stressed on addressing the issue of their education as well. “Girl child face unfair kind of treatment when it comes to food, nutrition and health care. When a boy gets sick, he is quickly rushed to the hospital but the same access is not given to girls,” she said.Sen said, besides malnutrition, the issue of education must also be addressed. “We still have not learned to prioritise education for girl child. We need to not only connect them to school, but also on ensuring that they do not drop out, they attend regularly and for this, we need to improve our infrastructure including toilets in schools,” she said.The activist also suggested that the role of adolescent girls should be recognised and they should be encouraged to work as a partners in the programmes.Writer and journalist Madhu Trehan said that education, malnutrition are interlinked issues that need to be addressed together. “Girls who suffer choicelessness, human traffickers take their advantage and push them to prostitution. We have a grim situation at hands,” she said, adding that programmes to deal with such issues are under funded and the government should focus on this.

Kerala: Shashi Tharoor & other Congress leaders detained for protesting against demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and other party leaders were detained by the police on Friday in Thiruvananthapuram. They were protesting against demonetization outside the regional RBI office.”We were sitting on a peaceful dharna outside RBI office but we were arrested by Police and were later released,” Tharoor told ANI. Tharoor has termed demonetization as an “ill-conceived and misimplemented step that has created chaos in the country.”Joining the nation-wide agitation against demonetisation of high value currency notes, thousands of Congress workers in Kerala staged protest outside central government offices across the state. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala courted arrest in front of the Reserve Bank of India regional office.The mass agitation was part of the country-wide stir called by All India Congress Committee from booth to national level against the Narendra Modi government’s anti-people policies and its failure to resolve the problems faced by common man, hit by demonetization.Prominent leaders, MLAs, MPs and AICC representatives led the picketing in front of various central government offices, including head-post offices in the districts. A large number of workers, led by Chennithala, staged demonstration at the RBI office here in the state capital.Senior district leaders, including MLA V S Sivakumar also took part in the protests. Hundreds of party workers from various parts of the district took out a march to the apex bank office in the city. There were reports of scuffle during the protest when party workers tried to break the police barricade and enter the office premises.Veteran Congress leader and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy launched the agitation in front of the head-post office in Kozhikode, while KPCC president V M Sudheeran led the protest in Thrissur district. AICC secretary Deepak Babria too held the protest before the BSNL office in Kochi.The protests were organised under the aegis of respective District Congress Committees. With PTI and ANI inputs.

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