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Kamala Mills Fire: Cops say no, but patrons say there were hookahs

Just two days prior to the deadly fire that broke out at the 1Above pub and restaurant in Kamala mills, killing 14 and injuring many more, the NM Joshi Marg police had taken action against 1Above for operating beyond the permissible time limit of 1:30 am.However, they have repeatedly turned a blind eye to the other violations at the pub such as hookah being served illegally, and loudspeakers being used on the rooftop. The police claimed that no hookah was being served at any restaurant in the complex.According to the police, the pubs and restaurants at the Kamala mills are a constant headache for them and they have raided several places in the compound where hookah was being served illegally. The police claimed that they regularly keep watch on these establishments and would fine them for violations.”On Thursday we had taken action against the 1above for flouting the time limit of running restaurant under the Maharashtra Police Act, Rs 12.500 fine was imposed on them. This is not the first time that the restaurant has flouted the permissible time limit. In this week this was the second action,” said a police officer from NM Joshi Marg police station.Dr. Sulbha Arora who had visited the 1above on Thursday confirmed to this paper that hookah was being served at 1 Above.When asked a senior police officer they denied that hookah was being served at any of the places, However, people who visited the place admitted that there was a hookah and many hookah pots and pipes were found at both the restaurants.”We visited Mojos on Friday night and hookahs were being served. We too had it,” said Khubchandani who visited the pub along with her friends for a birthday party.

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28-year-old labourer dies after roof caves in

Ram Gopal resided in Janta enclave area and was working at the under-construction one-storey building for the last few months.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Friday 29 December 2017 2:46 ISTMust readPM Modi’s Noida visit: 2 cops suspended for negligenceControversy around vaccine gets muckier<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>A 28-year-old man working at an under-construction building lost his life after a portion of the newly constructed roof caved in at Prem Nagar area of Outer Delhi on Thursday morning. The incident created panic among the residents and other labourers who were working on the site.According to the police, a case of negligence has been registered against the supervisor and he is being questioned. The incident occurred around 10 am on Thursday when Ram Gopal alias Guddu was working inside the under-construction building while the other labourers were working outside the building. Gopal had removed the wooden logs of the lanter and the roof suddenly caved in. The labourers working outside the building heard his cries and rushed inside but he was buried deep under the debris.The police were informed and the rescue teams recovered him. He was rushed to Sanjay Gandhi Hospital where he was declared brought dead on arrival. The other labourers informed the police that they were carrying out the work in order to fix the lanter when it collapsed. While Gopal had removed the wooden logs to fix it, the others were repairing it from outside.Ram Gopal resided in Janta enclave area and was working at the under-construction one-storey building for the last few months.

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L-G Anil Baijal, AAP fight gets murkier

“If the delivery of Pizza doesn’t cause any traffic congestion and pollution, then how come delivery of services at doorstep will cause traffic congestion and pollution?,” the Delhi government stated in its statement on Thursday. The AAP-led government was responding to the ongoing controversy between the Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal after the doorstep delivery of services became another flashpoint between the two, with both of them comparing the services to ‘pizza delivery services’.”If a Pizza delivery, LPG gas delivery, credit card executives, and other delivery don’t pose a threat, how can Doorstep Delivery of Services be a threat to the safety and security of women and other citizens? The concern in our humble opinion appears to be misplaced,” the statement further stated.The L-G house on Thursday alleged that a misplaced parallel is being drawn between the current proposal and E-Commerce.”There is no technology so far to download Pizza and many other E-Commerce products, whereas most of the proposed services in the Government proposal can be and are already being delivered online. Moreover, delivery of Pizza and most of the other E-Commerce products can also not be compared with the documents proposed to be delivered through the ‘Mobile Sahayaks’ as the latter would involve sensitive personal information,” the L-G house said in a statement. The L-G house once again confirmed that the proposal was not rejected.Among the 40 public services, which were to be covered under the scheme in the first phase, are caste certificates, income certificates, driving licences, new water and sewer connections, driving licences, duplicate driving licences, handicap pension schemes, domicile certificates, issuance of the delayed birth order and Lalo Dora certificates.According to previous figures, approximately 25 lakh transactions of these 40 services are held every year. Each transaction takes around four visits to the office concerned by the applicant. In the second phase, 30-35 more services would be added to the scheme every consecutive 30 days.

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Jignesh Mevani denied permission for Vadaj victory rally

Jignesh Mevani, now elected to state legislative assembly from Vadgam and Dalit agitation leader, was denied permission for the victory rally that was scheduled in Vadaj on Thursday.Ahmedabad police decided to crack whip after Mevani held a massive protest outside Gomtipur police station on Wednesday night alleging that liquor dens were still rampant in the area and even threatened to launch an agitation if the dens were not shut within 24 hours.During the protest, Mevani had alleged that the local police personnel were also involved in the liquor racket and even threatened to strip the cops of their uniform. The protest lasted until late night and was dispersed after he had a word with the senior police officers.Mevani held a roadshow after the locals apprised him of the illicit liquor being sold despite a statewide ban. He later converted the show into an impromptu protest where he made serious allegations against the government and police department in general.The cops then decided to cancel permission for Mevani’s rally on Thursday. Mevani then met the city police commissioner A K Singh.”We had a meeting with Mevani regarding the Gomtipur incident. He seemed apologetic during the meeting. His utterances were utmost disrespectful towards the policemen, I and the department and they were made in public. We will not tolerate such language and may seek action against him,” Singh said.A detailed report will be sent to the Vidhan Sabha Speaker regarding the disrespectful speech by Mevani, he said.When asked about the allegations made by Mevani, Singh said, “We don’t claim we have shut down all the liquor dens in the city, but we have raided scores of them. This is part of our routine activities and we make arrests too.”

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IT continues to search properties of VK Sasikala, kin

The Income Tax department on Thursday continued searches for the second day at 11 places in Chennai, Coimbatore and Tiruchi belonging to sidelined AIADMK leader VK Sasikala and her family. The search team scrutinised lockers that were under prohibitory orders. This was the second round of raids. During November 9-13, the authorities searched 187 places belonging to her and her kin, following complaints of tax evasion and investment in shell companies.On Thursday, IT officials also raided the bank locker of Sasikala’s kin here. Of the 11 places searched in Chennai, Trichy and Coimbatore, six locations are in the city, and these include Adyar and Tambaram.A highly-placed source in the I-T department said, “We are conducting the raids to find the truth behind the source of funds.” The raids came four days after Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran won the RK Nagar bypoll, causing embarrassment to the ruling AIADMK, besides reducing the opposition DMK to the third place and causing its candidate to lose deposit.On Wednesday, the searches were conducted at Midas Distilleries and Sai Group of Companies in Padappai, the Adyar residence of Karthikeyan, the son-in-law of Sasikala’s sister-in-law Ilavarasi, and a college in Coimbatore. Karthikeyan is also one of the directors of Midas Distilleries owned by Sasikala.The searches revealed the alleged initial concealment of Rs 1,430 crore-worth of taxes as well as vital clues on Shell companies linked to Sasikala, her close relatives and aides from her chambers in Poes Garden.

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Come 2019, paper pattern for Class 12 can be picked

In a move that would be a relief for over 5 lakh students, the state education department will allow students to pick between an easier and a slightly difficult paper pattern for class 12 board exams from 2019. State Education Vinod Tawde announced on Thursday that the government is considering to offer students a choice to pick the difficulty level depending on whether or not they want to appear for competitive exams like JEE, NEET etc.On Thursday, DNA had reported about the state board’s move to make the paper pattern for class XI tougher with a view to prepare students for national level competitive exams. The same would be extended to class 12 from 2018 after the government comes up with a revised curriculum fore the grade. However the move was slammed by educationists stating that it would affect students who have no plans to take up national entrance exams in class 12 as their scores would be affected as per the new pattern.Tawde said that considering the case of such students, the education department is thinking of offering two options from 2019. “The idea behind having a tougher pattern was to make our exams at par with national level entrance tests so that students can prepare for both at once. However there might be students who do not want to pursue medical or engineering and want to do other traditioanal courses instead. Keeping that in mind, we are thinking of giving them an option to opt for the old pattern at the time of filling the class 12 board forms” he added.”To begin with the paper pattern is itself different as competitive exams have objective questions while there are subjective questions in the boards, ” said Subhash Joshi, Trustee, Science Parivar.

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West Bengal: Violence erupts in South 24 Parganas over power project; Rapid Action Force summoned

Two vehicles were set ablaze and several people sustained injuries in a clash between groups of villagers in Bhangar South 24 Parganas over the protest regarding the construction of a power project.According to ANI, the Rapid Action Force has been called to calm the situation.The incident comes 10 months after an agitation over the project claimed two lives.At the time, local TMC workers clashed with agitators on Thursday leading to bullet injuries and gutting of vehicles. Clashes erupted when the TMC workers tried to prevent a motorbike rally of anti-power grid agitators from entering Bhangra by blocking the roads with tree trunks and wooden benches. In the ensuing melee, both side sides sustained injuries. All the injured are being treated at a local hospital. Two pick-up vans and three motorcycles were burnt during the clash.Two people were left dead and one seriously injured after clashes between the villagers and cops reached a boiling point after work on a power substation of Power Grid Corporation of India, for which 13 acres of land had been acquired, neared completion.One of the deceased identified as Mofizul Ali Khan was rushed to the SSKM hospital in Kolkata with bullet injuries. His brother, Intajul Khan said that Mofizul was not one of those whose land was acquired but he was protesting against the probable health hazards owing to the power grid project. Another person named Alam, who had also suffered bullet injuries was declared dead by the RG Kar hospital.

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

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

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Live Updates | Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tables Triple Talaq Bill in Lok Sabha

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, which seeks to criminalise the practice of triple talaq, has been tabled in the Parliament by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday.The draft Bill says, “any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal”.Here are the live updates from the Lok Sabha:12:51 IST Thursday, 28 December 2017: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says the Bill is not against any religion:12:50 IST Thursday, 28 December 2017: BJD says the Triple Talaq Bill is flawed:12:49 IST Thursday, 28 December 2017: Protests against the Bill:12:44 IST Thursday, 28 December 2017: Law Minister moves Triple Talaq Bill in the Lok Sabha.

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Congress Foundation Day | Constitution under threat, it’s our duty to defend it, says Rahul Gandhi

In yet another stinging attack against the Narendra Modi government, Congress President Rahul Gandhi today said that, ‘ the BJP operates on the basic idea that lies can be used for political benefit and it is the difference between us and them.’Addressing the party members on the 133rd Foundation Day of the Congress at the party headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday, Gandhi said that his party may suffer or lose elections but would not give up truth.He also attacked the government over the Constitution row. “The Constitution, the foundation of our country is under threat, it is under attack directly, statements are being made by senior members of BJP and it is under attack surreptitiously from the back and its our duty, duty of Congress party and every single Indian to defend it,’ Gandhi said.Keeping up the ante against the government, Gandhi said, ‘What is happening today in or country is a web of deceit, The BJP operates on the basic idea that lies can be used for political benefit and it is the difference between us and them, we might not do well, we might even lose but we will not give up the truth.”He also highlighted the Congress’s “glorious” history, claiming the central idea of the party was truth and “we will continue to fight for it”.

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Fee issue: Parents gherao school

Things turned ugly at St George’s School in Alaknanda on Wednesday, when hundreds of parents from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS), disadvantaged (DG) category, SC, ST, and OBC categories gathered outside the premises to protest against a recent notice issued by the school to them.According to the notice issued by school principal on December 18: “Schools are not bound to give free education to minority groups. For the last two years, we have been continuously informing you about this. Now, the school cannot extend the duration of your child’s free education in view of the rising expenditures.”Agitated parents gheraoed the school and demanded an immediate withdrawal of the notice. Officials at the Delhi government said the school, which is built on DDA land, will be served a notice on Thursday as it can’t issue such notice to existing students.

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Uttar Pradesh: Man gives Triple Talaq to wife for waking up late

While triple talaq bill is scheduled to be tabled in the Parliament on Thursday, a woman in Uttar Pradesh today woke up to find her husband uttering the three dreaded words.Gul Afshan, a resident of Azimnagar in Rampur district, said that her husband Qasim thrashed her and divorced her by uttering talaq thrice because she woke up late in the morning. The wife alleged that later, Qasim escaped from the house after locking her up inside. The police had to break in. Narrating her six-month-old abusive marriage, she said that he used to beat her from the very beginning.The police said that they can’t do anything as the woman has not filed a complaint against her husband as of now. “The woman has not filed an FIR as yet. We will take action against him once the complaint is lodged,” said Sanjay Yadav, Azimanagar SHO. The incident comes to light just ahead of the introduction of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill.Also readMuslim Women Bill that criminilises triple talaq to be introduced in ParliamentThe bill, which seeks to criminalise the practice of triple talaq, will be tabled in the Lok Sabha by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday. While the Supreme Court and Centre have called for the scrapping of the triple talaq, terming it “illegal and unconstitutional”, some Muslim women are still facing the brunt of this age-old practice. Earlier, the Supreme Court declared the practice of instant divorce as void and unconstitutional and termed it as arbitrary and violative of the right to equality of Muslim women.

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Live updates | Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar bypoll result: Counting of votes begins, AIADMK legacy at stake

The counting of votes for RK Nagar bypoll began at 8 am on Sunday. Over 73 percent voting was recorded in the Radhakrishnan Nagar (RK Nagar) Assembly by-poll, which was held on Thursday, December 21. It is seen as an acid test for the ruling AIADMK, as it is the first election since the death of former chief minister Jayalalithaa.The RK Nagar Assembly constituency fell vacant after the death of late AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa in December 2016. In this high-stake by-poll, the top contenders are AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan, DMK’s N Marudhu Ganesh, Bharatiya Janata Party’s K Nagarajan and TTV Dhinakaran – who’s contesting as an Independent.Here are the live updates: 8: 15 am: Visuals from a counting center in Chennai​

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2G scam verdict: 700 old judgments paved way for acquittal

Special Judge OP Saini read over 700 old judgments which were given as case references by various lawyers before penning down the fate of all the 21 accused, including former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK leader and MP Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.”I may note that I have carefully gone through the entire case law cited at the bar by the parties. I have also carefully gone through the written submissions filed by the parties. The case law would be referred to as and when required,” Special Judge Saini said.In the 1552 page judgment delivered by Saini, he mentioned all the case references by all the respective lawyers of the several accused. Altogether 608 case references of several cases were put forth by both the parties even though a few of them might be repeated. Besides 102 references were made as rebuttal.Advocate Vijay Agarwal, on behalf of his client RK Chandolia, gave the maximum numbers of case references during the proceedings taking the number to 134. It was again Agarwal who gave 97 references on behalf of his client Shahid Balwa. This was followed by 63 references made by the same lawyer for two of his clients Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal.A little behind Agarwal was Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover, who made 102 references during rebuttal. However, he gave just 35 references during the trial. The least number of references were given by advocate Deeksha Khurana for Swan Telecommunication who referred to just a single case.While 30 references were made for A Raja by his counsel Manu Sharma, 15 were made on the behalf of Kanimozhi by her counsel Amarender Sharan.Special Judge Saini repeated about the huge volume of records and documents involved in the case in the judgment.Even on Thursday, as he entered the court room to pronounce the judgment followed by his court staff carrying the huge pile of papers, he said, “Giving the huge records of the case, this is a very brief judgment I have written.”The judge also mentioned in his the judgment that lawyers of both the accused and the CBI filed written submissions running into 25,000 pages.”It may be noted that in view of voluminous record running into several lac pages and also technical nature of the case, oral arguments for the parties continued for about two years. Both the parties also filed written submissions in detail running into about twenty five thousand pages,” the judge said.He also appreciated the advocates for both parties for their hard work put during the trial of this voluminous, technical and complex case, the record of which runs into about three four lac pages.

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Vasundhara Raje govt approves 1% reservation for Gurjars, 4 other communities in Rajasthan

Five castes including Gurjars will get one per cent reservation within the 50 per cent legal limit in Rajasthan, a senior minister said here today.The state government took the decision on Thursday to provide reservation to the Gujjar/Gurjar, Banjara/Baldia/ Labana, Gadia-Lohar/Gadalia, Raika/Rebari and Gadaria communities.”The decision was taken to give one per cent reservation to Gurjars and other castes under the most backward category,” said state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore.A notification will be issued after the governor’s approval, he said.The present overall reservation percentage in the state stands at 49 per cent.The five castes were included in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) list in 1994. After the state cabinet’s decision they can now seek benefits in educational institutions and job opportunities.The Rajasthan Assembly in October this year passed a bill to raise OBC reservation from 21 to 26 per cent to provide five per cent quota to Gurjars and other castes.However, the high court stayed the bill as it would have increased the reservation to 54 per cent.Later, the Supreme Court also directed the state government not to exceed the 50 per cent reservation limit.The government has taken the step in the wake of widespread agitation by the Gurjar community, demanding reservation under the backward class category.

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Maharashtra: 34 fall ill after couple distributes sweets in temple

In a suspected case of food poisoning, around 34 people fell ill after consuming pedhas (sweets) distributed at Katkaripada hamlet in Murbad tehsil in the district, police said on Friday.The incident took place last evening and the affected villagers were rushed to the Central Hospital in Ulhasnagar, the rural police said.Those affected include 13 minors and eight women, police said adding that around eight people have been discharged so far.”A couple from Pimpri Chinchwad had visited Mahadev temple at Sangam river in the taluka on Thursday. After performing a puja, they distributed pedhas to the residents of Katkaripada hamlet located nearby,” PI Ajay Wasave of Murbad police station said.Soon after consuming the sweets, the villagers complained of giddiness, nausea and started vomiting. They were rushed to the hospital by local residents, he said.”Out of the 34 affected villagers, eight persons were discharged this noon. The rest are still being treated and kept under observation at the hospital,” Wasave added.Police said that they are on the lookout for the couple, who distributed the sweets.Samples of the sweets have been collected and sent for analysis, police said.

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India woman burned to death during argument in Hyderabad

Police said there were allegations the attacker had pursued her with marriage proposals for two years.

Hyderabad horror: Stalker sets woman on fire in full public view, victim succumb to injuries

A 25-year-old woman, who was allegedly set ablaze on Thursday evening in full public view in Secunderabad by a man, succumbed to her burns this morning, police said.She died around 7.30 am while undergoing treatment at Gandhi Hospital in Secunderabad, Deputy Commissioner of Police (north zone) B Sumathi said.The woman worked as a receptionist at an aluminium fabrication unit, the police said.The preliminary investigation say, the 28-year-old accused called the victim to Lalaguda area, located about 10 km from Hyderabad.After she reached the spot, the man suddenly poured kerosene on her and set her on fire before fleeing, a police official yesterday said.Hearing her cries, some passersby rushed to her aid and put out the fire.The woman, who suffered 60 per cent burns, was then shifted to the hospital.”She passed away this morning. We are now altering the case sections also,” Sumathi said.The police had yesterday registered a case under Indian Penal Code section 307 (attempt to murder).A police official earlier said the man was stalking the woman and was harassing her.However, the woman never told her family members about the man or the harassment, the official said.The police neither disclosed any details about the man nor confirmed if he was taken into custody.

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Delhi: Woman gang-raped by 5 youths suspected to be juveniles

In another shocking incident, a 20-year-old woman in Delhi was allegedly gang-raped by five youths on Wednesday night. All the five accused are suspected to be juvenile who allegedly met the girl near a municipal garbage dump in Jahangirpuri around 10 pm. According to reports, the girl has alleged that the youths took her to a desolate sport nearby and raped her. They allegedly threatened to kill her if she mentioned the incident to anyone. Just a few days back a teenager was raped by three youths in a park at Shalimar Bagh in northwest Delhi. The survivor narrated her ordeal to a relative on Thursday and police were informed. A case of gang rape has been registered. According to reports, the suspects have been detained and police team is verifying their antecedents. The youths are school dropouts and known to the family of the survivor. They worked part-time at the garbage dump.

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DNA Edit: A Zero-Sum trial

Years wasted, business ventures stalled/finished, reputations tarred -in some cases, forever. This, in 11 words, is the sum and substance of what we all know as the 2G scam, post the judgement delivered by Special CBI Judge OP Saini on Thursday morning.Was there a scam? Yes, most certainly. After all, rules aren’t changed overnight, unless to give undue advantage to somebody. But, it was the CBI’s and Enforcement Directorate’s job to follow the leads and deliver a water-tight case. That they didn’t proves, for the nth time, that the country’s premier investigating agencies don’t deserve the “premier” tag.Was the scam really worth Rs 1.76 lakh crore? Ask Vinod Rai, the then Comptroller and Auditor General of India, who came out with this figure.Today, when the Special CBI Judge OP Saini acquitted every accused, including politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats in the 2G spectrum allocation case dating back to the UPA-1 era, the main question that requires an immediate answer is: Who killed the telecom sector, or at least pushed it back by several years? Shouldn’t Rai be answering questions on the ‘presumptive loss’ theory? Shouldn’t the CBI and ED officers be held accountable for the shoddy probe that has allowed the accused to get away?A single sentence in the 1,552-page judgment is enough to indict the CBI and ED: “However, by the end, the quality of prosecution totally deteriorated and it became directionless and diffident.”It is not without reason that Judge Saini laments: “For the last seven years, on all working days, summer vacation included, I religiously sat in the open court from 10 am to 5pm, waiting for someone with legally admissible evidence in his possession, but all in vain. Everybody was going by rumour, gossip and speculation.”Another line in the judgment that merits some thought is: “Thus, some people created a scam by artfully arranging a few selected facts and exaggerating things beyond recognition to astronomical levels.”There are many who seem enraged by the fact that Judge Saini acquitted all the accused. They forget that a judge delivers a judgment on the basis of material before him, without falling for “rumour, gossip and speculation”. The job of convincing the court about the illegality and arbitrariness of a decision was left to the prosecution and its lawyers.Judges, not all unfortunately in these media-driven times, are seldom impressed by big numbers, unless they come with enough proof.Now that both CBI and ED have announced their intention to appeal against the judgment in the high court, one only hopes the premier agencies would do a better job there.

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Custodial death of youth: Cops say death due to illness

A case of accidental death was reported with the Kalupur police station on Thursday after a man, accused involved in dispute matter, died in the custody of Kalupur police station on Thursday early morning.According to police, the victim identified as Gafur Shaiyad, a resident of Kalupar and auto driver, was nabbed by police of Dana Suthar police chowki in a matter dispute and was taken to the police station on Wednesday afternoon.On Thursday morning, when one of the police officers went to check Shaiyad, he didn’t respond.Later, 108 emergency service was called in and he was rushed to a hospital. The accused was declared dead on arrival.Shaiyad’s family members have alleged that he was taken by police on Tuesday and he was killed by the cops in custody. On the other hand, Kalupur police inspector RG Desai said, “Shaiyad was arrested under Section 151 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 on Tuesday. An investigation is on and the victim’s body has been sent for autopsy. Further investigation of the matter will reveal what actually had happened in the matter, right now we are following procedures.”Protests were also held by the Auto Association members of Ahmedabad outside the Civil hospital of Asarwa area, seeking justice for Shaiyad and they wanted an investigation regarding the matter and they denied to accept Shaiyad’s body.Later, the case was handed over to the BC Desai, D division ACP and further investigations are on.

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State departments should make Rajasthan ODF: CM Vasundhara Raje

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje presided over the 7th Raj Vikas Meeting on Thursday and reviewed the progress of various schemes across the state. She also directed officials to work on war path to include Rajasthan cities in top 50 cleanliest cities of the country. “The government is working to make Rajasthan an ODF State by March,18. The State departments should make ODF State as well as bring its cities in the Top-50 cleanest cities. The initiative under Swacch Bharat Abhiyan has picked up massively in the state,” said a statement quoting Raje as saying. Through video conferencing, the collectors informed the CM of the progress of works in their respective districts during the meeting. Raje, meanwhile, directed Principal Secretary, LSG Manjit Singh and Panchayati Raj Secretary, Naveen Mahajan to monitor the progress of ODF in various districts and form special units and cells to speed up work. She expressed satisfaction and voiced appreciation on the swift action on issues discussed in the previous meetings. Raje stated that the impressive growth and progress of projects under the Centre and State’s flagship schemes is an indication that Rajasthan is on the path to becoming a model state and the officials should continue to work with dedication. She said the state of Rajasthan has shown improvement in various indicators and now time has come for re-engineering current systems to simplify lengthy processes that often become a hindrance to investment and growth.

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Rajkot eagerly awaits Vijay Rupani’s return as CM

Chief minister Vijay Rupani resigned on Thursday and has been serving as caretaker of state, until the new CM is elected by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Rupani met the Governor with his ministers, and around 240km way from here in Rajkot, the BJP workers and supporters of Rupani are eagerly waiting for the announcement of the name of CM.The observers Arun Jaitley and Saroj Pandey will conduct the procedure on Friday. The Rajkot BJP workers are keeping their fingers crossed, with a hope that their leader Rupani becomes the CM again.A party worker from Rajkot said on condition of anonymity, “We believe that Rupani only will be the CM but we are also hearing that other leaders are also under consideration. Let us see what happens but I am keeping my finger crossed for Rupani.”On the other side, the Rajkot BJP is preparing for the grand celebration of victory of Rupani in city once he returns to hometown after the formality of oath taking. The leaders are also confident that Rupani only will become the CM of Gujarat.A BJP leader from Rajkot and very close friend of Rupani, Nitin Bhardwaj said, “I have no doubt that Vijay Rupani will be the CM of Gujarat again. Amit Shah had given clear indication during campaigning that Rupani will continue as CM. We are waiting for the announcement of his name as it is a formality only.””We had prepared a slogan during poll campaign here, Rajkot ka beta, Gujarat ka neta- meaning Rajkot’s son is to be leader of Gujarat. We will hold a grand celebration once his name is officially announced. We had celebrated for Narendra Modi, Anandiben Patel and Vijay Rupani when they came here after becoming the CM. We also offered grand welcome to Amit Shah when he came here after his appointment as BJP chief,” added Bhardwaj.BJP spokesperson Raju Dhruv said, “Rupani was in Gandhinagar as he is the CM and could not come to Rajkot due to regular courses, but we all celebrated his victory here in his absence. Once he comes again to Rajkot, we will celebrate it with more enthusiasm.”

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BJP toes Congress line of caste-niti

Accusing Congress of resorting to caste politics in recently concluded assembly elections at Gujarat, the BJP itself seems to have learned lesson of the same. Ahead of by-elections scheduled at Rajasthan BJP has begun to strengthen its caste cadre and focus on the new voters at the state. Party’s organisation secretary, P Chandrashekhar on Thursday took a session at party state headquarters at Jaipur on its proposed ‘Nav- Matdata Abhiyan’ aimed to increase association of young voters.A day earlier Chandrashekhar along with party state president Ashok Parnami has held a session of the Dalit public representatives of the party. The party at Rajasthan has divided its legislators into caste base categories and tends to assign them a responsibility to ensure support from their respective community. “The meeting of Dalit MLA’s was first in the sequence, we will be soon holding similar meetings of public representatives of other castes,” BJP state president Ashok Parnami briefed on the party plans. BJP at Gujarat was unable to keep intact the ‘Hindu’ votes as several caste swung towards Congress, it also suffered a decline in the share of young voters below 25 years of age. Thus as the responsibility of caste votes is handed over to MLAs of the respective caste, the task to associate young voters has been assigned to the party’s youth wing, Yuva Morcha. On Thursday, BJP’s state organising secretary Chandrashekhar attended a workshop of the Yuva Morcha along with state general secretary Bhajanlal Sharma and state Yuva Morcha president Ashok Saini. Here the participants were briefed on the campaign by a trainer from Delhi. “The nav-metadata program is being launched on instructions of the central leadership and will cover all universities and colleges of the state,” said Bhajanalal Sharma. It is, however, the backward caste votes that remain a major concern for the party. Vote bank Dalits are estimated around 20% of total voters were traditionally Congress supporters but switched sides in the last y elections. Ajmer and Alwar where by-elections where dalit voters hold the key, which is why BJP has given prominence place to their leaders in party like Kalisah Meghwal.

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Yogi Adityanath corners Congress over Tipu Sultan

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday launched a scathing attack at the Congress saying that it do not worship Lord Hanuman but show their devotion to Tipu Sultan.Speaking in Hubli of Karnataka, Adityanath said, “They (Congress) do not worship Hanuman ji, but worship Tipu Sultan. This is the difference of mentality. The Congress wants to implement the ‘mafia raj’, which Rahul Gandhi has got in legacy, all over the country.”He further said that people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh have rejected the Congress adding, “If Karnataka rejects Congress, nobody will worship Tipu Sultan.”Adityanath’s statement comes on the heels of Karnataka assembly elections, scheduled to be held in 2018.This is not the first time when such statements have been made against the Mysore ruler. Earlier, BJP leaders including Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah had slammed Congress-led Karnataka government for celebrating the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan.”The Congress government wants to divide Karnataka community to rule..The government here created such an issue over Tipu Sultan. I do not want to dive deep into history, but I have to ask: Why is there no celebration for Kempegowda, Kittur Rani Chennamma or Sir M Visvesvaraya? Why only Tipu Sultan,” Rajnath questioned during a rally in Bengaluru.While addressing a rally, the BJP chief said, “Karnataka Mahotsav was supposed to be grand but the state government was not enthusiastic about it, instead they are about Tipu Jayanti.”

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Israeli man arrested for possessing satellite phone at Mumbai airport

A 23-year-old Israel national was arrested for allegedly possessing a satellite phone, which is banned in India, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here, a police official said on Thursday.Based on a complaint by the officials of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Sahar police arrested Tsamret Ido, an ex-Army man from Israel, on Tuesday, she said.After Ido landed at the Mumbai airport, the CISF, during security check, found a satellite phone in his luggage following which he was apprehended and later arrested, the official said.Ido, who was in India on a tourist visa, was scheduled to go Goa from here through a connecting flight.’An offence was registered against him at the Sahar police station under relevant sections of the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, she said.The man was on Wednesday produced before a local court which granted him bail on a surety of Rs 25,000.According to sources, Ido told the police he was not aware that satellite phones are banned in India.Notably, the handlers of the 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had apparently used these phones during the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008.The Bureau of Civil Aviation also issued a circular in 2012 to all airports in the country to detain passengers carrying satellite phones, the police said.

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2G scam verdict: Former CAG Vinod Rai owes Congress apology, nation explaination, says Kapil Sibal

The Congress on Thursday hit out at former Comptroller Auditor General of India Vinod Rai after a CBI court acquitted DMK leaders A Raja, who was telecom minister in UPA-1, and Kanimuzhi for lack of evidence.Rai had calculated that the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008, under UPA 1, led to notional loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer. “There was no case from the beginning. In fact, it was scam of lies, there was no scam on our part. We did it in accordance with policy prescription that we had at that point in time,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal said. Responding to query on the Supreme Court judgment of February 2012 which cancelled 122 telecom licences that were allocated spectrum in 2008, Sibal said that the apex court passed the judgment in its attempt to do the best it could do in the interest of the nation, and it was a wrong decision. “That (SC cancelling telecom licences) was also a wrong decision. The fact that the Supreme Court rendered a decision doesn’t mean that is necessarily right. “In fact, the kind of environment created by the media, the opposition, by Vinod Rai… The telecom sector is in dire state today and this is entirely because of Vinod Rai and opposition (at that time),” Sibal saidAlso readDMK leader MK Stalin hails ‘historic verdict’ in 2G spectrum allocation caseEarlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the Congress is treating 2G verdict as a “badge of honour”, but there is a need to recollect and check the facts that led to an investigation in the case.The party’s “zero loss theory” was proved to be wrong when the apex court squashed spectrum allocation in 2012, the minister said after a special court on Thursday acquitted all accused in the 2G spectrum scam allocation case.Also readFull text of special CBI court’s judgment in 2G spectrum allocation case Though the trial court verdict says nobody was guilty of corruption, investigating agencies will study the case history and look into it, the minister asserted.

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2G propaganda against UPA without any foundation: Manmohan Singh

The “massive propaganda” against the UPA on the 2G spectrum was without any foundation, former prime minister Manmohan Singh said today after a special court acquitted all accused in the spectrum scam case. The judgment speaks for itself, Manmohan Singh said.”I do not want to boast (about) anything. The court’s judgment has to be respected. I am glad that the court has pronounced unambiguously. All the massive propaganda which was being done against the UPA was without any foundation. The judgment speaks for itself,” Singh said.Former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi were on Thursday acquitted by a special court in the 2G spectrum scam case.Also read2G verdict: Allegations were never true says Chidambaram; government should file appeal tweets SubramanianFifteen other accused in the case and three companies were also acquitted. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while reacting after the judgment, claimed that there was a loss in the auction of 2G spectrum carried by UPA.Also read2G spectrum verdict: All you must know about the case”The fact that the policy caused loss is clear from the fact that the subsequent auctions got a much higher price,” ANI quoted Arun Jaitley as saying.

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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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AMC pitches for more biogas plants as part of Swachh Bharat, total to hit 37

Standing committee of Ahmedabad civic body may approve a work to have more biogas plants in the city, as a part of Swachh Bharat Mission, on Thursday. In December 2016, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had approved the work of installation of 20 such biogas plants near the vegetable markets.Now, 17 more biogas plants have been conceptualised for the civic body-run party plots, hospitals, and educational institutes and campuses.With a capacity of 40 to 50 kilo, the proposed 17 mini-bio-gas plants will cost around Rs 10 lakh. The last time when 20 such biogas plants were set at the cost of Rs10 lakh, the observation was that it was converting the vegetable waste into biogas. As per an AMC official, the prices have shot up due to the Goods and Services Tax .Also, this time, the civic body is open to sell them, if one shows an interest. “If someone wants to have the biogas plant, we will sell them at the actual cost. We want equal participation from citizens also to come forward to set up such plants in their societies,” said Dr Bhavin Solanki, the in-charge medical officer of health, AMC.On monthly basis, the 20 plants are producing around 300kg of gas. Soon after the code of conduct revoked from the state, AMC has pulled its socks to make the city clean and working hard for the solid waste management.In few weeks there will be the announcement of Swachhta Sarvekshan. AMC has not improved its ranking in 2016. AMC has tried a lot many innovations in solid waste management. AMC has hit two birds with two stone when air pollution in was observed very poorly. At the time, to control the dust particles from the air, AMC has washed flyovers, bridges, footpaths and trees, which is also claimed one of the drives and an innovative idea under the Swachh Bharat Mission program….& ANALYSISWhen smaller civic bodies are also acting on the lines of setting up toilet bio-gas plant, AMC should consider toilet bio-gas plants at least for their own housing scheme. Such plants ensure appropriate treatment and reuse of waste water and an additional incentive of bio-gas.

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Arun Jaitley, Saroj Pandey to be in Gujrat to decide on CM: Jitu Vaghani

Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani said that observers appointed by BJP high command for the election of Gujarat CM will come to the state in a day or two. The BJP chief addressed a press conference at BJP headquarters Shri Kamalam on Wednesday. Vaghani also slammed Congress for celebrating their defeat.Vaghani said, “In very short time, our observers, Jaitley and Saroj Pandey, will come and the process of election of CM by calling a meeting of elected candidates of BJP. The procedure will be conducted very soon in day or two.”Taking potshot over Congress and Gujarat in-charge Ashok Gehlot, Vaghani said, “The Congress is celebrating for what? Their defeat in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. They are creating an uproar that they have got more seats in Gujarat, but they have lost and defeat is defeat. Why they are not talking on their leader Rahul Gandhi’s failure in Himachal Pradesh polls.””The Congress gave luring promises in their manifesto but they should understand that people of Gujarat are self-respecting and they cannot be enticed by hollow promises. We thank the voters who showed faith in BJP, PM Narendra Modi’s leadership and good governance in Gujarat under BJP’s rule for 22 years,” added Vaghani.Vaghani also said that Congress should not go overboard after Gujarat polls and should start daydreaming for Lok Sabha polls. He also added that Congress would not be able to win in Lok Sabha polls to be held in 2019 and next assembly polls of Gujarat to be held in 2022.Meanwhile, The Gujarat government’s cabinet passed the resolution to dissolve the 13th assembly and that was moved to Governor for his approval. The Governor also approved the same and the assembly issued the notification accordingly. Including Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani and other cabinet members, will submit their resignations to Governor on Thursday.

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Can’t air: EC on Jaya video on bypoll eve

On the eve of Chennai’s RK Nagar bypoll, a purported video clip of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on a hospital bed sipping a drink was released on Wednesday by a supporter of sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran. The 20-second video was allegedly shot by her aide and confidant VK Sasikala.The Election Commission ordered TV channels to take the video off-air terming it a violation of the model code of conduct. The city police registered a case under IPC Section 188 (disobedience of a public servant’s order) and Section 126 (b) of the Representation of People’s Act on a complaint filed by the returning officer of RK Nagar Assembly seat.In the cancelled bypoll in April, the then rebel AIADMK led by Panneerselvam used a dummy coffin with Jayalalithaa’s figurine mounted on the bonnet seeking justice for her death.Senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar hit out at the release of the video saying that it was a conspiracy and a demeaning act with an eye on Thursday’s bypoll.

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MHADA yet to recover 13K sq m area from builders

The Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA) is yet to recover around 13,000 sq m area from developers who were permitted to redevelop cess buildings, mostly situated in south and central Mumbai.While replying to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by activist Kamlakar Shenoy alleging that the authority has now recovered around 30 lakh sq m causing a loss of around 14,000 crore to the exchequer, it was said that the petitioner had misread the surplus due and arrived at a wrong conclusion.Relying on a chart of the number of projects completed under rule 33 (7) of the Development Control Rules, the authority said in 17 cases redevelopment work has been completed and 5734.26 sq m which is due is yet to be received. Similarly in 33 cases, MHADA has initiated criminal proceedings against the developers who have not surrendered surplus area, which is around 7392.88 square meters.The authority also informed the court that since 2011 developers are told to give an undertaking that surplus land will be surrendered to MHADA on completion of the project.On a question by the Bombay High Court, whether it has any mechanism to recover the surplus area, it said “It was helpless and did not have any mechanism of its own but it only writes to the collector asking him to attach the concerned area. The entire process is cumbersome.”The court then asked MHADA to give suggestions on the next hearing about the ways in which the state can delegate some powers to the authority to recover the surplus and also issue a policy to ensure that in future such a situation does not arise.Box: Expressing displeasure over the reasoning given by the government that the Maharashtra Assembly Sessions was ongoing and so a reply could not be filed, the court said “So have you locked Mantralaya?” and asked a responsible officer to be present on Thursday.

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Violence breaks out at BHU after student union leader arrested

Clashes broke out between police and protesters after students of Baneras Hindu University (BHU) staged a protest on Wednesday.Slogans were raised after student union leader Ashutosh was arrested on charges of obstructing an IIT-BHU programme. During the clashes, a bus was torched.Currently, the situation is tense, but has been brough under control, it has been reported.In September this year, violence erupted after protesting students wanted to meet the V-C at his residence. University officials claimed that students started throwing stones that pushed the situation out of control. Students, however, denied the charge.The CM was in Varanasi on Friday and Saturday when students were protesting against the molestation of a hosteller reported on Thursday. The district administration had to change the route of Modi’s cavalcade due to the protests. The crackdown came within hours of the PM ending his two-day visit to his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.BHU is a central university under the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), and is listed as an institute of national importance. There was no immediate reaction from the ministry.

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Instruct district administrations to not attend meetings called by Guv; be worthy of office: Chidambaram tells TN CM

Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday hit out at Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit’s statement that the governor is the titular head of the state, but the real power belongs to the chief minister.“Amused by TN Governor’s statement. Governor is only the ‘titular’ head of the Executive, not the ‘real’ head. Since the real head, the Chief Minister, is cowering in fear of the central government, the TN Governor is exceeding his authority,” Chidambaram tweeted.The former finance minister also sent a message to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palanisami, saying that if he was worthy of the office he held, he (Palanisami) should instruct district administrations to refuse to participate in meetings called by the Governor.Also readTN governor discusses development work in Coimbatore; opposition calls it interference by CentreEarlier, Raj Bhavan in Tamil Nadu issued a press release stating the role of the governor. “The governor is the executive head of the state as per the Constitution. He has complete power to obtain any information connected with the administration of the state and to visit various parts of the state without any restrictions. There have been reports, discussions and comments from various biased quarters about the Constitutional illegality of such actions,” the release said, adding that meetings being held between the governor with district officials is in conformity with his role as governor of state under the provisions of the Constitution of India.On Thursday, Purohit held meetings with officials of Cuddalore district, despite mass protests from the opposition DMK party.On December 7, DMK leader M.K. Stalin had said party supporters will hold peaceful protests against Purohit during his visits to various districts to review developmental works.Stalin said the Governor should stop indulging in “political” work to review projects and instead order Chief Minister K. Palaniswami to prove his government’s majority in the assembly.

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UP: 21-year-old commits suicide after being molested, family blasts police laxity

The family members of a college student, who committed suicide after allegedly being molested by three youths, have staged a demonstration, claiming police laxity in the case.The 21-year-old student had hanged herself to death at her home in Badausa town on Thursday and booked the trio for molestation and abetting suicide, officials said.But claiming laxity by the police, the student’s family members staged a demonstration outside the office of the Banda superintendent of police.The father and the brother of the student carried her body to the SP office where they alleged the police did not act in time.The student’s brother claimed that prior to her taking the extreme step, he had conveyed his concerns to the police, but was scolded and told to leave the police station.Responding to the charges, SP, Banda, Shalini said the student’s father had met the police and told that that some youngsters were harassing her over mobile phone.”We had put the phone on surveillance, but on that day itself, the girl committed suicide. The complaint of police laxity is being investigated upon,” she said.Police officials on Friday had registered a case of molestation and abetting suicide against the accused trio based on a complaint by her father.”One of the accused has been arrested,” Atara police station in-charge Durgvijay Sing had said.

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Air quality plummets, close to becoming ‘very poor’

A cold wave prevailed in the Capital for the second consecutive day on Friday with the air quality plummeting from Thursday’s 265 units to 272 units. While the air quality is still in ‘poor’ category, it is close to reaching ‘very poor’ (300 units).While scientists at the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said the air quality will fluctuate between ‘poor and moderate’, a further drop in temperature is likely over the coming fortnight.The maximum temperature on Friday was recorded at 19.5 degrees Celsius, a few notches above yesterday’s 19.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest maximum the season has witnessed.”There will be shallow to dense fog with slight drop in temperature. Winds from the northern region are bringing the cold wave. The air quality may improve with more winds,” said a CPCB official.The AQI units are measured against PM 2.5 — the most prominent pollutant in Delhi-NCR.After a brief respite on December 6 and 7, which were tagged as “good air days” in the month, pollution levels spiked again on Friday, with the AQI shooting up to 390 units. The permissible standards for PM 2.5 — the most prominent pollutant in the city — are 60 units.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Re-poll likely for 10 to 15 booths of three seats

There is a possibility of re-poll for 10 to 15 booths falling under Daskroi and Viramgam seats of Ahmedabad district and Vadgam seat of Banaskantha district. The Election Commission will consider the complaints received from different parties and will take the final call by Saturday morning. If considered, the re-polling will be held on Sunday.Sources in the government said, “A report has been sent to the Election Commission on the basis of complaints received by local authorities and the commission will take the due decision accordingly. There were several technical issues due to which the polls could not be held in 10 to 15 booths falling in these three constituencies.”In two to three booths, the arrow mark was reportedly seen in front of the name of Congress supported independent candidate Jignesh Mevani. The voters boycotted voting registering their complaint that this was done by someone to influence the voters, added the sources. The local authorities have been directed to investigate the issue and the recommendation of re-polls was received.On four or more booths each in Daskroi and Viramgam seats, the returning officer forgot to erase the data from mock poll data from EVMs or remove slips from VVPATs. Considering the issue, re-polling is likely in these booths.The same issue was reported during the first phase of polls and the commission decided to hold re-polls on six booths falling under Jamjodhpur, Umargam, Una and Nizar seats. The re-polls were held on Thursday and total 88.30 per cent voting was recorded for these six booths. The complaints were reported on booths of Ghunada and Manpar villages of Jamjodhpur, Chandod village of Umargam, Bandharda and Gangda villages of Una and Chorvad village of Nizar constituency.Counting will be held on Monday in Gujarat.

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Horror night for 23-year-old Pune lady: Raped by two, molested by one

A rickshaw driver and his friend have been arrested for allegedly raping a 23-year-old woman in Kondhwa area of Pune on Wednesday night. According to the woman, she had boarded the rickshaw when the driver called up his friend and both raped her. Following her complaint to Kondhwa police station, the rickshaw driver and his friend were arrested on Thursday. The rickshaw driver has been identified as Balaji Maruti Shinde (31) and his friend has been identified as Satish Jaypal Mane (23). According to police, the woman is a divorcee and after separating from her husband she has been staying with her parents in Yerwada area. The woman in her statement given to police stated that on Wednesday night, she had an argument with her brother and then she left her house to go to her ex-husband.Senior inspector Milind Gaikwad, in charge of Kondhwa police station told DNA, “On Wednesday night, the woman came to Kondhwa but she could not meet her ex-husband. Later she boarded Shinde’s rickshaw but since she had a fight with her parents, she was looking for shelter.””The woman in her complaint stated that the Shinde called his friend Mane, while passing though Kondhwa. Taking advantage of her helplessness, Mane took her to Siddharthnagar area in Kondhwa and raped her. Later even Shinde also raped her by taking her to Hadapsar area,” Gaikwad added. According to the statement of the woman, after raping her, Shinde called another friend of his who took her to camp area in Shinde’s rickshaw where he molested her and left on Thursday early morning. Meanwhile, the woman’s family had approached Yerwada police where they had lodged a missing complaint . On Thursday morning, one of the constables of Yerwada police station spotted the lady walking in Yerwada area and after enquiring, she narrated the whole incident. Based on the complaint of the woman, Shinde and Mane were arrested on Thursday while the third person who allegedly dropped her in camp area is still at large. The arrested persons were produced before the court where they have been remanded police custody for seven days.

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Sachin Pilot takes off for bypoll campaign

Congress has got active in bypoll bound parliamentary constituency Ajmer and Alwar which were extensively toured by the chief minister Vasundhara Raje recently. Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot campaigned in Pushkar area of Ajmer on Thursday and he is scheduled to tour Alwar on Friday. Pilot, who has been considered top choice as the candidate from his home constituency Ajmer, met people, particularly in the rural areas of Tijara during his day-long campaigning. On this occasion, he made a veiled attack on the chief minister Vasundhara Raje.“People saw the rule of BJP and Congress, both. They have to decide which party serves people on the priority and who are those indulging into politics centralize powers only,” said Pilot in a statement released from the party office. A week back he toured both constituencies too. The bypoll bound both constituencies are crucial for both, ruling BJP and opposition Congress. Pilot has emerged as the face of the party and considered one of the top choices for CM’s face. The election will test his efficiency in poll management and how much he worked to boost party perspective against BJP which a couple of months back won Dholpur byelection with a huge margin.CM Raje’s reputation is also at stake in the election. She has to retain these constituencies which will prove her mettle and leave a strong message what could be the result of coming assembly polls scheduled to be held in December next year. That’s the reason why Raje toured extensively for one month in both constituencies and had dialogues with commoners directly under CM Jan Samvad Program. Simultaneously, she showered sops to the areas to appease the people. Both major parties are in the poll mode, however, the suspense continues over the candidature. Pilot from Ajmer and his colleague as a former minister in UPA government Bhanwar Jitendra Singh from Alwar are being mulled, though Congress, which has got new president Rahul Gandhi is yet to take the final call. On the other hand, the BJP is considering Ramswaroop Lamba, son of late MP Sanwar Lal Jat, to be fielded in Ajmer and current labour minister Jaswant Singh Yadav from Alwar.

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More than 80K MCD students dropped out

As many as 85,412 students dropped out from the schools run by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs) during the academic year 2016-17, a report released by NGO Praja Foundation stated on Thursday.”The estimated drop out percentage in schools run by the North MCD is 6.1 percent, South MCD is 6 percent and state government schools is 3.4 percent,” the report titled ‘State of Public (School) Education in Delhi-2017’ said. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), however, has not provided any information on the number of dropouts in their schools.On average, from the three Municipal Corporations, in the last three years (2014-15 to 2016-17), the EDMC has witnessed the maximum dropout followed by North Delhi Municipal Corporation.”Number of drop outs from state government schools has been increasing in the past three years (2014-15 to 2016-17),” the report stated.The data has been compiled on the basis of RTIs received from 640 schools of MCD and 749 schools of state government.SCHOOL-STUDENT RATIO

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CM Nitish Kumar calls for community partnership for effect liquor ban enforcement

A day after BJP-ally and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi alleged that liquor was freely available to bureaucrats, officers and those who could “afford” it in dry Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday also expressed concern over bootlegging and sought community partnership to bring an end to it.Addressing the general public in Sitamarhi district on the third day of his “Vikas Karyon Ki Sameeksha Yatra,” Nitish conceded that illicit liquor trade was thriving in dry Bihar. “Everyone needs to remain vigilant and the whistleblowers will get protection. Their identities will not be revealed,” he said.The CM said that local police helpline and control room numbers were displayed at public places and urged women and youngsters to support their efforts in ban implementation. Total alcohol prohibition was enforced in Bihar on April 5, 2016, “especially on the strong demand made for it by the womenfolk of the state.”Nitish said there were few people who had made it a lucrative business but the state government was in process of establishing a special cell for ensuring effective prohibition.Earlier on Wednesday, Manjhi, also the leader of Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular, had dared the state to use breathalyzers on its senior officials, to expose who all were still consuming alcohol. “I have said it as a friend of Nitish. Everyone knows that the poor are targeted whereas the higher rung of the society is easily getting away despite defying the ban,” Manjhi reiterated on Thursday.Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has also continuously made charges of liquor ban “failing” in Bihar. RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has alleged “home delivery” of liquor, which is smuggled in the state through Nepal and Jharkhand, though the government has denied it.

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Can’t access Peter Mukerjea’s calls, court to Indrani Mukerjea

The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Thursday asked Indrani Mukerjea to not step into the prosecution’s shoes and to not to divert the trial against Peter Mukerjea, while rejecting her application to access Peter’s call data records (CDR). The court also mentioned that she is trying to point fingers towards other accused.Indrani had filed an application before the court seeking for the CDR of Peter alleging that Peter and her driver, Syamwar Rai, an accused turned approver in the case, were allegedly involved in disappearance of her daughter Sheena Bora.The court presided by judge J C Jagdale is conducting the trial in the Sheena Bora murder case. According to the prosecution’s case, Indrani, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and her driver Syamwar Rai allegedly killed Sheena on April 24,2015 and later disposed off her body. The police later arrested Peter Mukerjea for his involvement.It is learnt that the court has relied on the Bombay High court’s citation where the High court in a similar application, had held,that when a statement of accused does not amount to confession that is when it is wholly or partly exculpatory, it cannot be used against co-accused. For making use of it against the co-accused statement of accused must amount to a distinct confession of his own guilt. Self exculpatory statement of accused cannot be used to infer guilt of co-accused.Also, the court mentioned that it is nowhere that Indrani is claiming her involvement or complicity in commission of offence and hence her statement cannot be called as exculpatory statement, but she is trying to point finger to co-accused.The court has also made a mention of the fact that Indrani’s lawyer had accepted that the allegations mentioned in the application was outburst of emotions, and thus refused to accept the application as the judicial decisions cannot be taken on the basis of emotional outburst of the party.

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Gujarat elections 2017: 1,517 EVMs, VVPATs replaced during elections

As the second and final phase in Gujarat assembly polls ended on Thursday, as many as 1517 Electronic Voting Machines and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail units were replaced, following complaints and technical glitches. Votes were cast in Banaskantha, Patan, Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Aravalli, Mahisagar, Panchmahal, Dahod, Kheda, Anand, Vadodara and Chhota Udepur districts from 8 am to 5 pm.Out of total 27561 ballot units (EVMs) deployed, 369 were reported with glitches. As many as 322 out of 25,575 control units and 826 VVPATs out of 25,575 units were found having glitches and were replaced by the Election Commission. The Commission kept in reserve 5,204 BUs, 4,252 CUs and 6,928 VVPATs,to be used in case complaints were received. Although there were several complaints alleging EVMs being manipulated through BlueTooth in Mehsana, Ghatlodia, Vadgam and Dhokla, technical teams found there was no truth in the allegations.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Vadgam sees less turnout, even lesser than 2012 elections

Vadgam, the seat from which young Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani is contesting, saw just 61.58% voting till 4 pm in the evening on Thursday.The figure might touch 67% at the end of polling. The percentage this year is much less as compared to 2012 assembly elections, in which the seat saw 72.27% voting. In fact, the seat also saw 68.29% voting in 2002 and 58.7% voting in 2007.Some allegations of bogus voting were made by BJP workers from one of the booths in Chaniyana village.It should be noted that both Mewani, who is contesting as an independent, and Vijay Chakravarti, the BJP candidate, have been battling the outsider tag in the seat.Vadgam is a seat dominated by OBCs and Muslims and voted for Congress in the 2012 elections. This time around, the Congress did not nominate a candidate and has backed Mewani. This became evident after Rahul Gandhi and Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil campaigned for him. Mevani has repeatedly accused the ruling BJP of targeting him. An arrest warrant was issued against him two days after he filed his nomination in connection with his failure to respond to the court summons. A photograph of him accepting a donation from the members of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI), had also created controversy. The PFI is under the radar of security agencies after several members of the party were allegedly found to be fighting for the IS in Syria.Contest year wiseFigure might touch 67% at the end of polling. The percentage this year is much less as compared to 2012 assembly elections, in which the seat saw 72.27% voting.

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Aadhaar linking mandatory: SC reserves order for tomorrow

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its interim order for tomorrow on pleas seeking a stay on the government’s decision of mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various welfare schemes.A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the final hearing on the petitions challenging the Aadhaar scheme itself would commence from January 17 next year.The central government had yesterday attempted to convince the court not to interfere with its deadlines, promising to extend it for another three months till 31 March 2018 for those who do not have Aadhaar.Earlier on October 25, the Supreme court had said that the deadline for compulsory linking of Aadhaar to receive benefits of government schemes has been extended till March 31, 2018 for those who do not have the 12-digit unique biometric identification number.Earlier the court had tagged 22 cases to be heard by a smaller bench.The cases challenge several aspects of Aadhaar, including the use of data collected under the unique identification programme.As of now, the 12-digit Aadhaar number is compulsory to be linked to bank accounts, PAN cards, government services and cell phone services.

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INS Kalvari, Scorpene-class Make in India submarine, commissioned into Indian Navy; all you need to know

INS Kalvari, the Scorpene-class submarine and a Make in India initiative, was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday in Mumbai.“To dedicate this submarine to the nation is an equal proud moment for me. After a gap of nearly two decades India has got this kind of a submarine and Kalvari is a fine example of the Make-in-India testimony. It is also a good model for international collaboration,” Modi said at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.<</p>Here is all you need to know about INS Kalvari:1. Designed by French naval defence company DCNS, INS Kalvari is a silent diesel electric attack submarine.2. The submarine has superior stealth features like low radiated noise levels, advanced acoustic silencing techniques, hydro-dynamically optimised shape and it has precision-guided weapons to launch a deadly attack on the enemy.3. INS Kalvari has the ability to carry out various type of missions like anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, laying mine, gathering intelligence and surveillance of areas.4. Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS) of INS Kalvari has the ability to gather and process information from onboard sonars which helps to detect hidden targets and enemies.5. The submarine has infrared or low level cameras and laser range finders to locate enemy targets on sea surface.6. INS Kalvari, named after deep-sea tiger shark, has a speed of 20 knots with SM-39 Exocet missiles and heavy-weight torpedoes. 7. With height of 12.3 metres and length of 67.5 metres, it weighs 1,565-tonne.8. INS Kalvari is the first conventional submarine to be commissioned in the Indian Navy after 17 years. The first time ever a submarine was inducted in the Indian Naxy was from Russia in 1967.9. After being inducted in Indian Navy, INS Kalvari underwent extensive trials and checks for 120 days.10. The first of the six Scorpene-class submarines, is part of the Indian Navy’s ‘Project-75’ costing Rs 23,652.

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‘Winter’ is coming: Mumbai records coldest day of season at 15.8 degrees celsius

Mumbai recorded the coldest day this season, with minimum temperatures dropping to 15.8 degrees CelsiusThe 24- hour temperature recorded between 8.30 am on Wednesday to 8.30 am Thursday saw the minimum temperature dropping to 15.8 degree Celsius at Santacruz, while the minimum temperatures recorded at Colaba was 18.8 degree Celsius.“Mumbai does not experience a winter as compared to the northern states but at times due to northerly winds during the night and the effect of snow fall in Jammu and Kashmir it has phases where the minimum temperature sees a drop for few days,” said an official from the Regional Meteorological Centre, Mumbai adding that due to the temperatures seen dropping on Thursday the city was experiencing cooler breeze even till noon.Karan Rane a Borivali resident said that it was quite chilly in the wee hours of Thursday. “I was returning home around 2am from work and I was almost shivering in the auto rickshaw.”Meanwhile several morning walkers too claimed that they suddenly felt the nip in the air on Thursday morning as the temperature drop was quite evident.In fact in December 2016, the coldest day was recorded on December 11 when the minimum temperatures dropped to 15.0 degree Celsius while the coldest day of December 2015 was on December 24 when the minimum temperature recorded was 11.4 degree Celsius. However the all time record for coldest day in December was on December 20, 1949 when the minimum temperature recorded was 10.6 degree Celsius.According to IMD officials till date Mumbai’s three of the coldest days have been in January 1962, when the minimum was recorded as 7.4 Celsius, In February 2008 when the minimum mercury reached 8.5 degree Celsius and in February 2012 when the minimum temperature recorded was 8.8 Celsius.

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Strict action against those who have delayed Mumbai University results: Vinod Tawde

Maharashtra state education minister Vinod Tawde on Thursday announced that stringent action would be taken against those responsible for delaying the Mumbai University results.Tawde was responding to a call to attention motion moved by several state leaders, including Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Varsha Gaikwad, Abu Azmi, Ajit Pawar and Amit Deshmukh.NCP’s Ajit Pawar asked if action would be taken against ministers or whether it would be restricted to the vice chancellor only, even ask MoS Ravindra Waikar gave details of the chronology of events that led to the delay of results.Meanwhile, Vikhe Patil asked whether government would file criminal ase against vice-chanellor.

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PM Modi inaugurates INS Kalvari; dedicates it to the people of India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Mumbai today (i.e. Thursday), inaugurated INS Kalvari at Gateway of India.INS Kalvari is a diesel-electric attack submarine that has been built for the Indian Navy by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited. “It is the first of six such submarines that will be inducted into the Indian Navy, and represents a significant success for Make In India,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted after the inauguration.The Indian Navy, too, shared some images, calling the submarine a ‘deadly predator’.Kalvari, the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines handed over by shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited, are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai as part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy. The submarines have been designed by a French firm.The remaining five boats of the Project 75 would be delivered by the yard to the Navy by 2020. India has just 15 submarines, a mix of Russian-origin Kilo class vessels and German HDW submarines..The name “Kalvari” translates to “Tiger Shark.” The new boat was built under the “Project 75” initiative to help bring more indigenous military building programs to India.Kalvari can carry 18 torpedoes and travel 1,020 km underwater. The 66-metre submarine can dive up to a depth of 300 metres to elude enemy detection.This Scorpene submarine is designed to operate in all theatres of war, including the tropics.

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Delhi zoo hosts party for Rita the chimp aged 57

A cake will be cut and there will be gifts for the “birthday girl”, India’s oldest living chimpanzee.

Sec 144 imposed at Udaipur, net, social media muzzled

Suspecting a law and order “problem” that may be triggered by anti-social elements in Udaipur after the heinous murder of Afrazul, the Udaipur District Magistrate Bishnucharan Mallik issued an order and imposed Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code in the district from 8 pm on Wednesday evening till next order.The District Magistrate said during the prohibition, there will be restrictions on conducting collective events and planning of dharna demonstration, rally and shocking speeches while none can roam with a sharp weapons or a sticks. Strict legal action would be taken against the infringers. Strict legal action will also be taken against those who send messages, images or videos that spoils the communal harmony on social media.Moreover, Divisional Commissioner Bhawani Singh Detha issued an order to suspend internet services in the entire border area of Udaipur district for 24 hours. Meanwhile, 2G, 3G and 4G data, Internet service, bulk SSS, MMS, WTSAP, Facebook, Twitter and other social media services being provided by various mobile service providers will remain suspended. This suspension is effective from 8 pm onwards.A special cell has been set up in the office of District Magistrate and the District Superintendent of Police, through which vigilance is being kept any post, image and video being circulated on social media. If any message, comment, picture or video that is spreading hatred and malice will be broadcast then strict action will be taken against.Moreover, the DM has also banned entry of one Updesh Rana after his video went viral. In the video Rana claimed to be reaching Udaipur on Thursday which could create tension between communities.

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

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

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5 soldiers missing along LoC after heavy snowfall in Kashmir

Five soldiers have gone missing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir’s Gurez and Naugam sectors, following heavy snowfall in the valley since yesterday, a defence official said today.Jammu and Kashmir is experiencing widespread snowfall and rain with the meteorological (MeT) office forecasting present weather conditions to continue till Thursday due to a western disturbance over the state.”Two soldiers fell down a slope in Naugam sector (Kupwara district) while three others went missing from a forward post in the Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez (Bandipora district) during heavy snowfall,” Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said here.Also readSnowfall in Kashmir: Valley cut off from rest of India, 3 Army jawans missing after avalancheSearch and rescue operations are on to trace the five missing soldiers, he said.Earlier, a police official had said that the three soldiers in Gurez sector went missing after an avalanche hit their post at Baktoor near the LoC.Also readNorth India experience chilly weather; snowfall in J&K and Himachal, rain in DelhiAn army porter is missing since yesterday after he came under an avalanche in Tulail in Gurez.

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Kansas shooting hero Ian Grillot who took a bullet for Indian gets TIME magazine salute

Time magazine has honoured Ian Grillot, the US national who took a bullet for an Indian while trying to intervene during a racially-motivated shooting in Kansas early this year.Grillot’s name features in the magazine among “5 Heroes Who Gave Us Hope in 2017.”Grillot, then 24, was injured when he tried to intervene in the shooting by a Navy veteran targeting Indians at a bar in Olathe, Kansas, in February.Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32 , was killed in the shooting that also left his colleague Alok Madasani, critically injured.Also readUS Navy veteran charged with killing an Indian in Kansas City bar pleads not guilty”I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I didn’t do anything,” Grillot said in an article posted by Time on Thursday.The magazine saluted the Kansas man as the “bargoer who stepped into the line of fire.””Without all the prayers and positive support from everybody, I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am right now. It has been a wonderful year and a blessing to be alive,” Grillot told PTI.Earlier this year, Grillot was honoured as ‘A True American Hero’ by the Indian-American community in Houston which raised $100,000 to help him buy a house in his hometown Kansas.Also readWidow of Indian national killed in Kansas bar shooting faced deportationGrillot was watching a televised basketball game at the restaurant when a gunman approached Srinivas and Alok, both 32, and reportedly told them to “get out of my country.”Grillot was shot in the chest in an attempt to keep the assailant from harming others.Adam Purinton of Olathe has been charged with first- degree murder and attempted murder in the assaults.Others saluted by Time included a chef who fed Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico, Houston neighbours who aided a woman having a baby in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and a California dog who refused to leave behind livestock he was guarding as wildfires raged. Also readUS: Indian-American doctor stabbed to death by patient in Kansas

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Priest says he was attacked for supporting BJP and Hindutva

Just a couple of days before the election, a priest belonging to the Swaminarayan sect was attacked in Gujarat. The priest claims that he was attacked for his views about nationalism and Hindutva. Two unidentified assailants attacked Bhaktiprasad Swami with iron rods on late Thursday night in Kotda village of Visavdar tehsil in Junagadh district when he was returning after campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Talking to ANI from hospital bed, Bhaktiprasad said, “The attackers were fumed because I propagate Hindutva and nationalism. We are saints and if we won’t speak on nationalism then will we speak on Pakistan? This attack is not only on me but on whole Hindu Sanatan sect.” He further added that “if being a nationalist is a crime then I would like to commit this crime time and again”.When asked about who was behind the attack on him, he didn’t take the Congress party’s name but said, “This is election time and everybody knows who are against the BJP and Hindutva. But, I want to tell them that such attacks are not going to deter us from propagating Hindutva and nationalism.”Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | A storm is brewing as Congress will win the elections, says Rahul GandhiRecounting the attack on him, he said,”I was returning from conducting an election rally for the BJP. When we were going to Visavadar then all of sudden a car overtook and stopped in front of our car. By the time we could understand anything; the assailants smashed the windshield of our car with iron rod and started abusing us. When the passerby gathered there, the assailants fled the scene leaving behind their car.”Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | BJP campaigns seek to mobilise Muslim women votersHe said the police have taken his statement and promised to take strict action against the culprits.

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Neech row: Am ready to accept any punishment Congress party gives me, says Mani Shankar Aiyer

Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who was in the eye of the storm for making derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has addressed his suspension.Speaking to news agency ANI, Aiyar said, “If any damage has been done to Congress because of what I said or did then I am saddened by it. I had no such intention. I am ready to accept any punishment that the Congress party wants to give me.”Aiyar on Thursday called Modi a “neech aadmi” (a vile man), who did “dirty politics”, kicking up a row on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly polls.”He (Modi) is ‘neech kism ka aadmi’ (a vile man) who has no ‘sabhyata’ (civility),” Aiyar said, attacking Modi after the latter accused the Congress of seeking votes in B R Ambedkar’s name but trying to erase his contribution to nation building.Also readMani Shankar Aiyar’s ‘Neech Aadmi’ comment: Has Rahul Gandhi’s timely intervention saved the day for Congress? The Congress today suspended its senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar from the primary membership of the party and issued him a show cause notice, after he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “neech aadmi” (vile man).The disciplinary action against the Gandhi family loyalist came barely two days before the first phase of Assembly poll in Gujarat.Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called it a ‘deliberate casteist statement’, ‘a convenient apology’ and ‘a strategic suspension’. He wrote on Twitter: “Mani Shankar Aiyer’s ‘Neech’ -attack on Prime Minister- a deliberate casteist statement, a convenient apology, a strategic suspension. People should see through this game.”

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What’s wrong with Vande Mataram? If not mother, will you salute Afzal Guru, asks Vice President Venkaiah Naidu

After a mayor in Uttar Pradesh ruled that singing of the national song, ‘Vande Mataram’, before local body meetings was not necessary, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday asked if not the motherland, should they salute Afzal Guru.Wondering as to why some people refuse to sing ‘Vande Mataram’, the Vice President said the slogan meant salute to the motherland.”Vande Mataram mane maa tujhe salam. Kya samasya hai? Agar maa ko salam nahi karenge to kisko karenge, Afzal Guru ko karenge kya? (Vande Mataram means salute to mother. What is problem with it, if you don’t salute your mother, who would you salute, Afzal Guru?),” he asked while releasing a book on late VHP leader Ashok Singhal in New Delhi.Afzal Guru was convicted and hanged for his role in the attack on the Parliament in December 2001.Naidu further emphasized that Hinduism was “our culture, our tradition” adding that some people were trying to give a narrow meaning to it and attacking patriotism, nationalism.”I want to tell people Bharat Mata ki Jai is not just about one photo, it is about all 130 crore people living in this country irrespective of their caste, colour, creed, and religion. They all are Indians,” Naidu said.Kicking up a row, newly-elected Meerut mayor Sunita Verma, who was a Bahujan Samaj Party mayoral candidate, on Wednesday reversed an earlier order that had made singing of the national song mandatory before meetings of Meerut Municipal Corporation.Verma, reportedly, said that as per the constitution of the municipal board, National Anthem ‘Jan Gan Man’ would be sung before the meetings.

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India woman activist ‘paraded naked’ for fighting illegal liquor den

In a video, the woman said she was “dragged and disrobed” by her attackers.

Ensure job growth, Pranab Mukherjee tells govt

Even as the Opposition continues to target the Narendra Modi-led dispensation over the state of the economy, former President Pranab Mukherjee called on the government to ensure a growth in jobs and stressed on the need for a balance between urban and rural job creation. He was speaking at the launch of an international economic convention on ‘Demonetisation: A Monetary Policy’ at RD National College in Bandra on Thursday.”Jobless growth cannot be the objective of a country like ours. Therefore, we must have job creation and there must be a balance between urban and rural employment,” noted Mukherjee.He added that the two areas that had seen substantial improvement included the current account deficit (CAD) position and fiscal deficit in terms of GDP. The inflation levels too were manageable and comfortable.Stressing on the need for quality and quantity in education, Mukherjee said it was necessary for students from IITs to be engaged in basic research. He also expressed concerns over the high NPAs in the banking system.”70 years of independence and 67 years of a Republic hugely provide us an opportunity to reflect on where we began and where we are today,” said Mukherjee, who demitted office earlier this year, adding that though the progress made by India could not be compared with the ASEAN economies, we could be satisfied keeping in view India’s peculiar position.”In the last quarter, the GDP growth rate which has been declared by the CSO has improved particularly in the context of five continuous quarters, the GDP was going down and there is an upward feel,” said Mukherjee.
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Yogi Adityanath

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