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Himachal Assembly Polls 2017: 95 candidates file their nominations taking candidate list to 195

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 95 nominations were filed on Saturday for the November 9 Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls. With this, the total number of nominations filed for the polls so far has gone up to 195.The last day for filing nominations is October 23. There will be no nomination filing on Sunday.Twenty-three candidates, including state Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma (Dharamsala), Congress rebel Vijay Singh Mankotia (Shahpur) and former ministers Romesh Dhawala (Jawalamukhi) and Sarveen Chowdhary (Shahpur), filed their nominations from Kangra district.Fifteen candidates entered the fray from Mandi district, eleven nominees, including state Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri (Haroli) and state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti (Una), filed nominations from Una district, 10 from Shimla district, seven from Chamba, six each from Solan, Hamirpur and Chamba districts, five from Sirmaur and four from Bilaspur district.Thirty-two independents and covering candidates also filed nominations on the fifth day.The Congress has so far not announced the names of its candidates in nine constituencies. Veteran Congress leader and Irrigation and Public Health Minister Vidya Stokes (89), who was the likely candidate of the party from Theog, was suddenly taken ill and rushed to the Fortis Hospital at Mohali today.Stokes had left the seat for Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and after the latter chose to contest the upcoming polls from Arki, she again staked her claim from Theog.

Mersal row: Producers extend an olive branch, say they will delete scenes that have caused ‘misunderstanding’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Facing flak from the Tamil Nadu BJP over dialogues allegedly flaying the GST in “Mersal”, the film production house today said that if needed, it would delete scenes that have caused “misunderstanding”.It also said that the BJP’s opposition to some dialogues in “Mersal” was “just” from its own perspective.Giving indication that a truce had been reached between the production house and the state BJP, the producers claimed that BJP leaders have accepted their explanation.References to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the just-released Vijay-starrer film had not gone down well with the BJP.Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan and the party’s national secretary H Raja strongly opposed it, claiming that some dialogues were “highly inappropriate”.Earlier in the day, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi hit out at the BJP, asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to “interfere” and saying that cinema was a “deep expression” of Tamil culture.Sri Thenandal Films head Murali Ramaswamy said, “From their perspective, their opposition is just. If opinions (expressed in the movie) that may lead to misunderstanding need to be removed, we are ready for that too.” The BJP leaders have appreciated “our honest approach to meet them in person, we thank them all”, the film’s producer said after a meeting with state BJP leaders, including Soundararajan, here.”We explained the movie’s objective, our stand and that this movie has not been produced with an intention to hurt anyone and they have generously accepted it,” he said.”Mersal” (a colloquial Tamil word, the meaning of which is getting stunned) is not against anyone, Ramaswamy said in a statement.”It is not a film that expresses opinions against the government either. Even an ordinary person should get access to proper medical amenities and this is the story line of the movie,” the production house head said.However, he did not elaborate whether the BJP leaders insisted on removing views they found “objectionable” or whether the producers will effect the cuts or not.Even before the movie was released there were some “controversies”, which were “set right”, he said, adding “it is anguishing that the film has courted several controversies within a few days of its release”.Noting that “Mersal” was the company’s 100th production, Ramaswamy said that the entire team worked hard for a year to make the film and it was screened after overcoming several hurdles.”… There is an investment of many crores of rupees and the labour of thousands of workers,” he said.The goal of the firm is to produce movies of good entertainment value. “If anyone was hurt because of our production, I consider it as my own regret”, the producer said, adding that the film was running successfully.Sri Thenandal Films is a well-known film production house in Tamil Nadu.Meanwhile, in a statement, the Tamil Film Producers Council and South Indian Artistes’ Association opposed cuts as the movie had already been censored.They claimed that it went against the right to freedom of expression and will set a bad precedent.

Vilification of Taj Mahal shows BJP’s intolerance: Kerala CM P Vijayan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Left parties on Saturday said the vilification of the Taj Mahal by BJP leaders exposed their “intolerance” towards matters they could not associate themselves with.Inaugurating a ‘Jana Jagaran Jatha’ organised by the ruling CPI-M led Left Democratic Front (LDF) here, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan flayed the statement of BJP leader Vinay Katiyar that the Taj Mahal was previously a Shiva temple.”It all started when Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath omitted the Taj Mahal from the list of important places to visit in that state.”It showed that…they cannot tolerate the name Shahjahan, who built the historic and heritage structure,” he said, adding, “We have to seriously think as regards which direction our country is headed to.”Attacking the BJP-RSS, the CPI(M) leader alleged that the saffron party had a “clear agenda” behind raking up the issue of Ram Temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and added, “They are attempting to trigger communal tension in the country by moving towards constructing the shrine.”He slammed the BJP-led central government and alleged that the federal principles had been thrown to the wind, in tune with the policy of the RSS, which believed in centralisation of power.Vijayan accused RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat of “defaming” Kerala with his statement that it had become a place for “Jihadis” under the LDF government.He also came down on the just-concluded Jana Raksha Yatra of the BJP in Kerala, which was attended by party president Amit Shah among others, and described it as an attempt to create tension in the southern state.The LDF has organised two ‘jana jagaran jatha’, one is being led by CPI state secretary Kannam Rajendran from here and another by CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan from Manjeswaram in Kasaragod, to counter the BJP’s “communal agenda” and highlight the state government’s achievements.After flagging off the ‘jatha’ at Manjeswaram, CPI national secretary D Raja, criticising Katiyar’s remark on the Taj Mahal, said, “Now they (BJP-RSS) want to demolish the Taj Mahal.”He claimed that the RSS had become very influential at the Centre ever since Narendra Modi became the prime minister.”The RSS is an organisation with a communal and fascist ideology,” Raja said, adding, “Now they want to re-write history and their target is the Taj Mahal.” The ‘jatha’ led by Rajendran is scheduled to conclude at Ernakulam and the one led by Balakrishnan at Thrissur, after criss-crossing all the 140 Assembly constituencies of the state, on November 3.

UP: Tiger kills man near Maheshpur forest range

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 22-year-old man was mauled to death by a tiger near Maheshpur range forest area which comes under South Kheri forest division, an official said on Saturday.The incident took place in a sugarcane field where Lala Ram, a resident of Asharfiganj village, was working, District Forest Officer (South Kheri) Sameer Verma said.”Sugarcane-Tigers”, a term commonly used for big cats in the Terai forests, are mainly responsible for the man-animal conflict in the region as tigers see sugarcane fields as natural grasslands.Forest officials said that due to excessive human intervention, the tigers, especially those near the fringe areas, get increasingly restive leading to conflict.Man-animal conflict cases are on the rise in the Terai region, including areas of Pilibhit, Lakhimpur-Kheri and Bahraich districts, mostly due to encroachment and settlements in and around the forest areas.

Salman Khan’s ‘bodyguard’ allegedly threatens a woman with gangrape

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 31-year-old woman was allegedly threatened with gangrape over her mobile phone by a caller, who claimed himself to be the bodyguard of Bollywood actor Salman Khan at Bandra here, police said on Saturday.Based on the complaint filed by the woman, Khar police registered an offence under IPC section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), senior police inspector Ramchandra Jadhav of Khar Police said.”As per the complaint, the victim, who runs a non-profit organisation (NGO), received the call on her mobile phone on Friday afternoon by a person, who claimed himself to be the bodyguard of actor Salman Khan, and threatened her with gangrape,” senior police inspector Ramchandra Jadhav said.According to the woman, the caller also used abusive language against her, he said.”We are investigating from which number the victim received the threat call and also verifying, who is using that number,” he said.So far, nobody has been arrested, Jadhav said adding that further investigation into the case is on.

Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017: OBC leader Alpesh Thakore to officially join Congress on Oct 23

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thakor community and OBC Ekta Manch leader Alpesh Thakor on Saturday confirmed that he would be joining the Congress Party, ahead of elections in poll-bound Gujarat.”Rahul Gandhi would be coming to our rally on October 23, and I will join the Congress party,” Alpesh told reporters here.In the run up to the Gujarat election, the Congress has promised to give Patidars 20% reservations under the “economically backward classes” quota.Following this, Thakor, along with Ashok Gehlot and Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki earlier reached the residence of Congress Party vice president Rahul Gandhi.Solanki had invited Patidar leader Hardik Patel and other caste-based leaders to join in the fight against the BJP in the Gujarat Assembly polls. However, Patel on Saturday turned down the Congress’ invitation to fight the Gujarat Assembly election jointly, saying the polls were not a BJP-Congress fight.The 14th legislative assembly election in Gujarat is to be held by the end of 2017 as the term of 13th assembly ends on January 22, 2018.Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is heading his party’s poll campaign in Gujarat. He is eyeing to dethrone the ruling BJP in Gujarat.The last Congress government in Gujarat was led by Chhabildas Mehta from February 17, 1994 to March 13, 1995

Pak envoy meets Sushma Swaraj; Kulbhushan Jadhav’s fate not discussed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan today said its High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, but dismissed as “speculative” the reports in media that the two discussed the issue of Kulbhushan Jadhav.Foreign Office issued a statement after reports in media claimed that Swaraj asked Mahmood to drop all charges against Jadhav and send him back for any progress in bilateral ties.46-year-old Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April for his alleged involvement in espionage and terrorist activities. The International Court of Justice in May halted his execution on India’s appeal.Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria today confirmed that Mahmood met Swaraj on October 17 but asserted that it was a routine meeting by the diplomat who recently assumed office as Pakistan’s new High Commissioner to India.”While broad contours of bilateral relations were deliberated upon during this interaction, no specific case came under discussion. Therefore, the reports appearing in the Indian media are speculative,” Zakaria said.He also said that the meeting was held in a cordial and constructive atmosphere.”The Minister and the High Commissioner took stock of the current state of Pakistan-India relations,” he said.He said it is “customary for the newly-posted envoys to make courtesy calls on the local dignitaries.”

Hours after Congress reaches out to Hardik Patel, 2 Patidar leaders join BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a blow to Hardik Patel, Patidar leaders Reshma Patel and Varun Patel join BJP. Both the leaders met BJP President Amit Shah at the BJP office in Ahmedabad.The news will also come as a blow to the Congress, as it had spoken of approaching Hardik Patel to join their cause in defeating the BJP in the upcoming elections. Addressing a press conference here today, state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki expressed confidence that the party would easily win over 125 seats, out of total 182, with the “support and blessings” of all these leaders and parties.”Though the BJP is trying its best to win the polls, it will not succeed in stopping the Congress’ victory march to Gandhinagar.”We respect as well as endorse the cause for which Hardik Patel is fighting. I appeal to Hardik to support the Congress during the polls. We are also ready to give him a ticket if he wants to fight elections in the future,” Solanki told reporters.However, speaking to ANI, Patel said that he could not contest elections because of his age, but agreed with Congress to unite against the saffron party in the elections.He said, “Constitutionally speaking, I can not contest the election and I don’t need to. Although, I believe we must unite against the BJP, this is not a BJP-Congress election. This is an election of six crore people of Gujarat.”

State government trying to institutionalise corruption: Sachin Pilot in response to Raj govt’s ordinance

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Sachin Pilot, who is also the Rajasthan party chief, on Saturday criticised Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s decision to replace The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance with a Bill. “Absolutely shocked by how the state government is trying to institutionalise corruption. The state government is trying to safeguard the interest of people through whom they conduct corruption scandals in Rajasthan,” he was quoted while speaking to ANIEarlier, the chief minister issued an ordinance that will prevent cases being lodged against officers and judges for any act commited by them while they were in service. The ordinance also prevents courts from issuing directions to register cases against them. Further the ordinance prevents that the names or pictures of the persons to be made public.The Ordinance was implemented on September 7 and is likely to come up for discussion in the coming assembly session to take the form of a Bill. The ordinance titled Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 is an Amendment in the section 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and provides that “no magistrate shall order an investigation against a person who is or was a judge or magistrate or a public servant, as defined under any other law for the time being in force, in respect to the act done by them while purporting or act in the discharge of their official duties, except with previous sanction under the section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Act No 2 of 1974) or under any other law for the time being in force”

BJP accuses Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and Power Minister Shivakumar of being involved in ‘Rs 447 cr scam’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP on Saturday accused Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Power Minister D K Shivakumar of being involved in a “mega scam” of about Rs 447 crore relating to the state-owned Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL), a charge the Congress refuted as “baseless”.State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru that KPCL paid a penalty of Rs 447 crore to the Centre for re-allotment of a coal block despite it having no such liability, following the coal scam verdict of the Supreme Court in August, 2014.”We charge both of them with receiving kickbacks for making this payment,” he said and demanded a CBI probe.Rejecting the charge, the state power minister said in New Delhi, “Yeddyurappa is misleading the public…This will boomerang (on the party). We are ready for any kind of probe and even a public debate on the issue.””The decision to pay the penalty to the central government was taken in the interest of the state and not for personal gain,” he told reporters in the national capital.The amount was paid to ensure reallocation of the Baranj coal block in Maharashtra for the smooth supply of coal to power units in the state, he added.Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee working president Dinesh Gundu Rao too rubbished the BJP’s charge, saying the party should stop making such allegations to “score political points” in the run-up to the Assembly polls slated for next year.The opposition BJP, citing documents, alleged that Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar as chairman and director of KPCL respectively had “failed miserably in their duties to protect KPCL and allowed loot of taxpayers’ money of Rs 447 crore”.Yeddyurappa, a former chief minister, demanded that the matter be handed over to the CBI for investigating the role of the chief minister and all those involved in the alleged scam.The BJP said KPCL and Kolkata-based Eastern Mineral and Trading Agency (EMTA) formed Karnataka EMTA Coal Mines Ltd (KECML) with 24 per cent and 76 per cent stake respectively in 2002, and when the central government allotted six coal mines to KPCL in 2003, it in turn executed the lease in favour of KECML.In the wake of the coal scam, the Supreme Court cancelled all coal mining licences, including those of KECML, and levied penalties, the senior BJP leader said.Maintaining that KPCL did not object to or counter the claims made by KECML, Yeddyurappa said, “KPCL woke up just 48 hours before the deadline of December 31, 2014. It wrote to KECML on December 30 saying it (KECML) was liable to pay the entire amount and directed it to make the total payment.””Shockingly, within 24 hours of writing the letter, on December 31, KPCL paid Rs 110 crore towards penalty and claimed it was 24 per cent of the amount, despite no demand having been made on KPCL to make the payment,” he said.”Most shockingly on March 16, 2017, KPCL made the balance payment of Rs 337 crore, despite a contempt plea that is pending in the Supreme Court, and related matters before the high court,” he added.On February 2, 2015, the central government had filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court against KECML over non- payment of the penalty.Defending the payment made by KPCL, Dinesh Gundu Rao of the Congress told reporters in Bengaluru that KPCL paid the money to the coal controller under protest and also filed affidavits in the Supreme Court and the High Court that the payment was being made without prejudice to KPCL’s rights to recover the money from EMTA.”Since the matter is sub-judice, BJP should stop making any allegations,” Rao said.The fresh salvo by the BJP against the chief minister, comes days after it accused Siddaramaiah of “illegally denotifying” land resulting in a loss of Rs 300 crore to the public exchequer, and filed a complaint with the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB).Rejecting allegations of denotification, Siddaramaiah called it an attempt to tarnish his image ahead of the assembly elections early next year.Karnataka Power Minister Shivakumar is under the lens of the income-tax department, and around 80 premises linked to him have been raided over the last one month. “I will respond at an appropriate time. Let the investigation be completed,” he said when asked about the raids.

Missing Indians in Iraq: Families asked to provide DNA samples

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Families of all 39 Indians who went missing in Iraq three years ago have been asked to undergo DNA tests for unspecified reasons.”All of us have been asked to undergo DNA test; don’t know why. We are very nervous,” Gurpinder, the sister of Manjinder, who is one among the 39, told ANI.In 2014, 39 Indian labourers, mostly from Punjab, were reportedly taken hostage by ISIS when it overran Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul. The workers were trying to leave Mosul when they were intercepted.There has been no word on them but the government has insisted that without information otherwise, the workers are still considered alive.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had earlier told family members that an Iraqi official quoting intelligence sources had told Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retired) V.K. Singh that the kidnapped Indians were deployed at a hospital construction site and then shifted to a farm before they were put in a jail in Badush.However, reportedly earlier in July, the Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim al-Eshaiker al-Jafari had asserted that his dispensation possessed no substantial evidence on the missing persons.

Darjeeling unrest: West Bengal police launch manhunt to nab GJM chief Bimal Gurung

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The West Bengal Police has launched a massive manhunt in Darjeeling and its surrounding areas for the fugitive GJM supremo Bimal Gurung, who has been on the run for the past two months.Gurung has been evading arrest since August when cases were lodged against him under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his alleged involvement in several bomb blasts in Darjeeling hills and adjoining areas.A fresh FIR was lodged against him earlier this month for his alleged involvement in the death of a police sub- inspector, who was killed during an exchange of fire with alleged Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters on October 13.”Combing operations in the hills are on. We are keeping a track on the movements of some of the suspects who are in touch with Bimal Gurung and his close associates who are absconding,” a senior police official said.Police are also keeping a close watch on the movements of senior GJM leaders.The exchange of fire between police and Gurung’s supporters on October 13 in which the sub-inspector was killed was the first incident of violence after the 104-day indefinite shutdown in the hills was called off on September 26 by the GJM supremo following an appeal from Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Hyderabad: Cops arrest Uber driver for masturbating while ferrying female passenger

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hyderabad Police on Saturday arrested an Uber cab driver for allegedly masturbating while ferrying a 25-year-old woman.”The arrested accused Prem Kumar (26), is the owner and not the driver of the car. He was driving on that day as the regular driver was not on duty,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) P. Viswa Prasad told ANI.As per the complaint, the woman boarded the cab around 7:00 am to board a flight from Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport to New Delhi. The driver slowed down the car on entering the Outer Ring Road, and the woman noticed him unzipping his pant and masturbating.In the FIR, the complainant admitted to have felt digusted by the act, and yelled at him to stop the car. The driver, instead started to drive in a zig-zag manner.DCP informed that the accused checked on his behaviour only after the woman threatened him with Police complaint.The woman, however, continued with the trip lest she should miss her flight, and later lodged a complaint at Safdarjung Police Station on October 19, after reaching Delhi.Delhi Police forwarded the complaint to Hyderabad Police which took to action and tracked down the accused.DCP Prasad added that Uber did not respond to a mail sent by Commissioner of Police, regarding the case.

Mersal row: Criticising GST, demonetization does not make you anti-national: Senior BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha on Saturday spoke out on the Mersal row that has triggered a nationwide storm, given that GST was criticised in a Tamil film.Some support GST,some don’t.Some support Demonetization some don’t. This doesn’t mean critics are anti-national,” he told news agency ANI.References to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in ‘Mersal’ have not gone down well with the BJP. The party objected to what it termed “untruths” about the central taxation regime in the film and demanded that the references be deleted. Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan demanded the removal of the “untruths” about the GST, rolled out by the BJP-led NDA government on July 1, while his party colleague H Raja claimed the film exposed Vijay’s “anti-Modi hatred”.In a scene in Mersal, where Vijay says people in Singapore get free treatment although the country charges only 7 per cent GST, whereas people are charged 28 per cent GST in India, but still don’t get free treatment. In another scene, the movie takes a swipe at the digital India policy.Meanwhile, actor Vijay’s father and film director SA Chandrasekhar said, “Censor board has members of all parties and it’s reviewed by them. If there is something objectionable they will inform. Once approved by the board no one can criticise the board’s decision.”Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, keeping in line with his new strategy on social media tweeted, “Mr. Modi, Cinema is a deep expression of Tamil culture and language. Don’t try to demon-etise Tamil pride by interfering in Mersal.”

Cops must ensure actions do not affect citizen’s dignity, reputation: Bombay HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police should refrain from casting aspersions on the character of victims, complainants or their families while probing a case, the Bombay High Court has observed.A bench led by Justice SC Dharmadhikari, in a recent order, said that a police official must display sensitivity and maturity to ensure that his or her actions do not affect a citizen’s dignity and reputation.The observations came while the bench was hearing a petition filed by a city resident seeking that the Mumbai police be directed to trace his brother, who went missing two years ago.As per the plea filed last year, the petitioner’s brother, a customs house agent, left home one morning in October 2015, never to return. A missing persons complaint filed with the police yielded no results. Therefore, the petitioner approached the HC seeking its intervention.The Pydhonie police station that was probing the case, informed the court that while it was trying its best, it was grossly understaffed.Accordingly, Justice Dharmadhikari passed an order in October last year transferring the probe to the Mumbai police’s crime branch.However, during a hearing last week, the court was informed that even the crime branch had made little progress in the case in the last one year.The petitioner said that the crime branch had ignored his suggestion that a former colleague of his brother be questioned since she had received about 50 phone calls from his brother the day before he went missing.The crime branch on the other hand told the court that it suspected that the petitioner’s brother had left the house of his own accord.The crime branch said that the petitioner’s brother was addicted to alcohol, and that because his son had died a few years ago, he remained frustrated and sad all the time.”He was addicted to drinks. His addiction and his vices frequently resulted in disputes and quarrels with his family members, including his wife.”The suggestion is that on account of these frequent disputes and the untimely death of one of the sons, the missing person out of sheer frustration, has left the place of residence and work and is hiding himself,” the crime branch said.The petitioner however, vehemently disputed the submission and the court agreed that the crime branch must not proceed with such assumption.”The petitioner’s brother is praying that the investigating machinery should try and trace out his missing brother. The family suffers if such aspersions, as are cast by the investigating machinery, find place in the court records or in public documents,” the bench said.”Eventually, everybody has dignity, reputation and self respect to preserve and protect. We expect investigating officers to be mature and sensitive enough not to indulge in such acts in future,” it said.The court has now suggested that the crime branch also should take help from the Gujarat police since the petitioner’s brother belonged to Gujarat.

Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017: Congress invites Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor, Jignesh Mevani to join hands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat Congress on Saturdayday invited Patidar quota stir spearhead Hardik Patel, Thakor community leader Alpesh Thakor and dalit leader Jignesh Mevani to join hands with the party to defeat the ruling BJP.Apart from these leaders, the Congress also hinted at forging a pre-poll alliance with Sharad Pawar-led NCP and bringing on board Chhotu Vasava, the lone JD(U) MLA from the state.Addressing a press conference here today, state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki expressed confidence that the party would easily win over 125 seats, out of total 182, with the “support and blessings” of all these leaders and parties.”Though the BJP is trying its best to win the polls, it will not succeed in stopping the Congress’ victory march to Gandhinagar.”We respect as well as endorse the cause for which Hardik Patel is fighting. I appeal to Hardik to support the Congress during the polls. We are also ready to give him a ticket if he wants to fight elections in the future,” Solanki told reporters.”Similarly, we also invite Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani to join hands with the Congress. I also invite Chhotu Vasava, who helped us in the Rajya Sabha polls, to support the Congress,” he saidThough the NCP had “betrayed” Congress in the RS polls, the party’s doors are still open for them if they also want to overthrow the BJP from Gujarat, he added.In the Rajya Sabha polls, two NCP MLAs claimed to have voted for BJP candidate Balwantsinh Rajput despite their promise to vote for Congress leader Ahmed Patel.JD(U)’s lone MLA Vasava, whose party has formed the government in Bihar with the support of BJP, had voted for Ahmed Patel, who eventually won the election.Vasava had said after the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat in August this year that he had decided to vote for the Congress candidate as he was “unhappy” with the ruling party’s works for the poor and tribal population that he represents.He was elected from Scheduled Tribe-reserved Jhagadia assembly seat in Bharuch district in south Gujarat.Solanki also claimed that some Aam Admi Party (AAP) leaders from Gujarat were also in contact with his party and may join hands with it ahead of the polls.Senior AAP leader Kanubhai Kalsariya had met Rahul Gandhi during the latter’s visit to central Gujarat early this month.”Just like Kalsariya, many other AAP leaders are in touch with us. They may join the Congress soon,” Solanki claimed.He claimed that his party has emerged as a strong contender in the upcoming polls.The Congress is out of power in Gujarat for 25 years.

Hingot Yudh: 36 injured in traditional festival in Indore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thirty six people were injured after they attacked each other with burning Hingots (a hollow fruit stuffed with gunpowder) during the annual Hingot festival at Gautampura town, around 55 kms from here, police said.Three of the injured suffered severe burn wounds and were admitted to a government-run Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital, a police officer said.The doctors treated the rest of the injured at the venue of the Hingot fight last night and sent them home, he added.Hingot War is an age-old tradition of residents of Gautampura, which is observed a day after Diwali. In this exercise, warriors are categorised in two groups namely Turra of Gautampura and Kalgi of Rungi village, who attack each other with burning Hingots.Hingot, a jungle fruit, is emptied and stuffed with gunpowder, coal and brimstone and then hurled at rival groups like a burning missile during the festival.

Ghazipur: Local journalist, also an RSS worker shot dead, brother sustains injuries

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An RSS worker was on Saturday shot dead by bike-borne assailants in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur and his brother suffered a bullet injury while trying to save him, police said.The three assailants brandishing firearms attacked RSS worker Rajesh Mishra (40), who is also a journalist, when he and his brother were sitting in their building material shop in Brahmanpura Chatti this morning, circle officer Hridayanad Singh said.Mishra was shot in his head.When his brother Amitesh Mishra (35) intervened, he was shot in the abdomen, Singh said.The brothers were taken to the district hospital, where Rajesh was declared brought dead, while Amitesh was referred to Varanasi for treatment.ADG Law and Order Anand Kumar said in Lucknow that two of the attackers have been identified.”Of the three assailants, two have been identified, and soon all of of them will be arrested,” he added. Earlier this week, a senior RSS worker was killed in Punjab, while Kerala has been reeling over attacks on RSS workers

J&K: 18 arrested for assaulting army personnel suspected of being braid choppers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eighteen people have been arrested for allegedly assaulting three Army men accusing them of being braid choppers in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, the police said on Saturday.”Police have so far arrested 18 accused, including the main conspirators in the case, and recovered cash, ATM cards and mobile phones looted from the Army men,” a police spokesman said.Three Territorial Army men were mercilessly assaulted by a mob on October 18.”A police party was rushed to the spot and after strenuous efforts, the injured Army men were rescued,” he said.During investigation, it surfaced that the men were on their way to the Sheeri market area here, the spokesman said. “They boarded a bus from Kitchama. Qaiser Bilal, a known stone pelter, also boarded the same bus.”Bilal hatched a conspiracy to get the Army men killed by falsely accusing them of being braid choppers. He raised an alarm near Sheeri Market and got a violent mob attack them,” he added.He said that certain elements have been using the braid- chopping incidents to disrupt peace and order in the valley, spread animosity between people and the security forces, and create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty forcing women to remain confined to their homes so that the radical religious agenda of these elements are realised.

PM Modi cannot pursue peace with Pak at cost of his own security: US official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot “pursue peace” with Pakistan in a way that “cuts his own security”, a top Trump administration official has said, asserting that it is in the interest of Islamabad to build confidence with New Delhi to restart commercial ties.Ahead of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s maiden visit to India and Pakistan next week, the official, with an insight into the administration’s policy over South Asia, was responding to questions on what India could do to bring peace and stability in the region, in particular with Pakistan.”It’s clear to everyone that Prime Minister Modi wants peace in the region, but he can’t pursue peace (with Pakistan) in a way that cuts against his own security. So that (having peace talks with Pakistan) is up to his judgement,” the official, requesting anonymity, told PTI yesterday.”We want India and Pakistan to talk. We think that is so important for them to talk and to build confidence and to get on a path to regional security and stability which we know would bring both countries to unprecedented levels of prosperity,” he said.Noting that South Asia and the bridge in central Asia is one of the least economically integrated areas of the world, he said that there is tremendous potential to be unleashed.”And what we hope is that the dialogue, continued dialogue, continued efforts to generate a higher degree of understanding to convince those in Pakistan, including the Pakistani army, that it is really in their interest to build confidence to open commerce and to achieve the kind of peace that would lead to prosperity,” the official said.After a series of setbacks India received from Pakistan, including the one after the Pathankot terror attack, the Indian government has decided not to talk with Pakistan unless it stops supporting terrorists against it, he said.India’s policy now is “talks and terror” cannot go together, as was articulated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Parliament, which has been repeated several times since then, the official said.”I think India has to make its own judgement on that. And India will be the best judge. Certainly, President Trump has great respect for Prime Minister Modi and his wisdom, and leadership ability,” the official added.

Rahul Gandhi is planning to sweep polls in Russia and Indonesia: Smriti Irani after Twitter bot report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Smriti Irani took a dig at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s rising popularity on Twitter after an ANI report revealed that a number of his Twitter bot followers hailed from Russia, Indonesia and Kazakhstan. “Perhaps @OfficeOfRG planning to sweep polls in Russia, Indonesia & Kazakhstan ?? #RahulWaveInKazakh,” Irani tweeted. On October 15th, ‘OfficeofRG’ retweeted US President Donald Trump’s tweet praising American-Pakistani relations with a caption ‘Modi ji quick, looks like President Trump needs another hug’. The tweet quickly reached 20,000 retweets and currently has touched 30,000.A close analysis of this tweet showed that these alleged ‘bots’ with a Russian, Kazakh or Indonesian characteristic were routinely RT-ing the Congress VP’s tweets. Rahul’s official Twitter handle “OfficeOfRG” added around one million followers in the last two months and his average number of retweets 2,784 as opposed to 2,506 for PM Modi’s tweets. Congress said his growing social mediapresence was a result of his tweets resonating with the people of the country.With ANI Inputs

Kolkata: BSF commander killed by cattle smugglers in Tripura buried with full honours

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Border Security Force official who was killed by suspected cattle smugglers in Tripura, was cremated in Kolkata on Saturday.The BSF in a series of tweets paid homage to Deepak K Mondal, saying, “Untimely demise of a Son, Husband, Father. Nothing can make up the irreparable loss…Prahari Pariwar stands firm with the family of Martyr.”The second-in-command rank officer, Deepak K Mondal, commanding the 145th battalion of the border guarding forcewas air evacuated to Kolkata on October 16 due to critical injuries, a senior official said. He died on Friday.The incident took place at about 2 am near the Belardeppa border post in the Sipahijala district of Tripura earlier this week when the officer was allegedly hit by a four-wheeler used by the smugglers.The BSF officer was patrolling the “unfenced” area along the international border with his team to check cattle smuggling and other illegal activities.Mondal saw some cattle smugglers and challenged them, BSF officials had said, adding the officer along with his guard and driver tried to stop them.The group of about 25 smugglers were carrying bricks, lathis and machetes, they said.”When challenged, the smugglers tried to gherao the officer and the patrol party. The smugglers’ vehicle hit the officer from behind and he sustained severe injury to his head and legs,” the officials said.An accompanying BSF jawan had fired five rounds from his AK rifle to control the situation, they added. With PTI Inputs

Mumbai: 16-year-old girl allegedly molested and beaten up by man on protesting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 16-year-old girl was left with a fractured nose after a man allegedly repeatedly hit her for asking him and his friends not to indulge in loud arguments at Kurla-Nehrunagar here, police said on Saturday.A video purportedly showing the man, identified as Imran Shahid Shaikh, attacking the girl, has gone viral in the social and mainstream media.The incident, which took place on Tuesday, was captured in a CCTV camera.The accused was arrested on the day of the incident, but was later granted bail by a local court, police said.According to a police official, the incident took place on October 17 near SRA Building in Shramjeevi Nagar, Chembur at 7 pm, when the victim was going to her class with a friend at Adarsh Nagar in Thakkar Bappa Colony in Chembur.”When she was near her building, a group of younths, who were seated inside a parked autorikshaw, were arguing loudly. The victim asked them not to make noise and then walked some distance with her friend,” the official said.However, enraged at being reprimanded by her, Shaikh, whom she knew, came out of the rickshaw and thrashed her repeatedly.”Shaikh hit her on the nose with a metal object, after which she collapsed on the ground, with her nose bleeding profusely,” he said.After the incident, Shaikh also threatened her and fled from the spot, the official said.”The people, who witnessed the incident, did not stop Imran from beating her,” the official said.The victim was taken to a hospital, where she was found to have suffered a nose fracture, he said.Based on the complaint by the victim Nehrunagar Police registered an offence against Shaikh under sections 324, 326 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.He was arrested on the same day. He was produced in a court, which granted bail to him, investigating officer Deepak Pawra said. Further investigation is underway.

Mohali: One month after murder of senior scribe KJ Singh, his mother, SIT releases sketches of 5 suspects

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Special Invetigation Team (SIT) investigating the murder of senior journalist KJ Singh and his mother Gurcharan Kaur on Saturday released the pictures of five suspects who allegedly murdered the duo last month in Mohali.According to an Indian Express report, the Mohali SP(D) Harbir Singh Atwal said that the images were released after analysing CCTV footage of several cameras installed in the locality. “Out of the five men, two were wearing turbans while three have a hair cut and all the suspects are looking in their mid-30s,” Atwal added.Atwal further said that they had sent the pictures to all the police stations in the state and also contacted Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh police. So far, 70 people including family members, servants and former servants have been questioned.On September 23, senior journalist KJ Singh and his mother were found dead in Mohali. Singh was found with his throat slit with a sharp-edged weapon.Singh’s 92-year-old mother was allegedly strangulated. The house was ransacked and things were missing, the police said. Singh began his career with the Indian Express. After a brief stint with the Times Group, he worked with The Tribune.At present, he was not associated with any media organisation.

West Bengal: Two arrested for FB post criticising traffic restrictions during Durga Puja

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two people were arrested in West Bengal’s Balurghat district after they uploaded Facebook posts that were critical of the traffic restrictions during Durga Puja.According to a report in The Telegraph, the arrested, businessman Debajit Roy, and Anupam Tarafdar had on September 27 posted in Bangla: “Bikers… whatever you do, please ensure that you park your bikes in the garage by 4pm or else you can’t return home. If you are into business… then those who have issued the diktats will arrange your meal….”Another post referred to totos (battery-operated rickshaws) and explained how Roy had had to walk 5km with his 18-month-old child and pregnant wife as they could not find any toto or cycle rickshaw to hire.The posts went viral and several residents wrote comments, following which the toto drivers took offence and held a protest on October 4.Two cases have been filed: one based on a complaint by toto drivers saying they have been maligned and another by the police on their own.These offences carry jail terms ranging from three months to ten years. Produced at the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Balurgat on Friday, Roy and Tarafdar have been sent to a two-day police remand.

J&K: Civilian porter working with Indian Army killed in firing by Pakistani troops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An Army porter was on Saturday killed and a girl injured in firing by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kamalkote sector of Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir.”There was unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops along the LoC in Kamalkote area,” an army official said.A civilian working as a porter for the Army was killed “when the Pakistani troops resorted to indiscriminate firing, the official said.The Indian army personnel were giving a “strong and befitting” response to the ceasefire violation, he said.Meanwhile, sources said a girl was also injured in the Pakistani firing. She was taken to a hospital in Uri town for treatment.There has seen a sharp increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan this year.On October 12, an army jawan and a porter were killed and six others injured when Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire and shelled forward areas along the LoC in the Poonch district.Eight civilians, including a two-year-old girl, were injured on October 18 when Pakistani troops shelled civilian hamlets and forward posts along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts.Earlier this month, a Home Ministry official had said that Pakistani troops targeted Indian territories more than 600 times till September 30. Eight civilians and 16 security personnel were killed in the firing.It is the highest number of ceasefire violations in nearly a decade, the official said.The truce between India and Pakistan along the International Border, the Line of Control and the Actual Ground Position Line in Jammu and Kashmir had come into force in November 2003.India shares a 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal assigns officials to evaluate ‘quality’ education in state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has stressed the need for quality education as it helps a person to become able, skilled and makes a society strong.Sonowal said education is the guiding force for a society and as such the state government has introduced ‘Gunotsav’ for quality education by which public representatives and government officers have been involved to evaluate quality education.”Education is a means by which people below the poverty line can achieve success by acquiring necessary skills and the Assam government is committed to provide quality education to all”, he said at a function organised to provide scholarship to 100 students belonging to tea garden and other areas at Dibrugarh last evening.Sonowal said 60,000 schools in the state have shown their inclination to ensure qualitative education.Sonowal urged the teaching fraternity to help in moulding the behaviour of students towards cleanliness to ensure the success of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.He said if students are disciplined, punctual, dedicated and obedient, they can contribute to the formation of a good society.The chief minister said all educational institutions should take the initiative in reforming society and the teaching fraternity should play a lead role in this direction.

Bengaluru college initiates probe over circulation of study material endorsing dowry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>St. Joseph’s College on Friday said it has initiated a probe into the circulation of study material that endorses dowry.”The matter is being investigated and we are trying to find the root of the problem. Such views have never been part of the college syllabus. Infact, the department and the college are opposed to such obscurantist and oppressive patriarchal views as are contained in the page cited,” college Public Relations Officer (PRO), Kiran Jeevan said.Reportedly, the students of sociology at the St Joseph’s College of Arts and Commerce were handed over study material that endorsed the system of dowry.The incident came to light after a female student posted a picture of page of study material on social networking site Facebook which shows that the page starts with “Generally, though accepted as an evil practice, dowry has its supporters, under the caption ‘Advantages of Dowry'”.”The marriage of ugly girls who would otherwise have gone without a partner is made possible by offering heavy amount of dowry,” the study material reportedly given to students states. “It is a useful and effective method of attracting good, handsome and sometimes unwilling boys for marriage,” the text states.The study material further said, “Dowry increases the status of a woman in the family. As a woman brings substantial sum at marriage, she is treated well just for her economic contribution. It affects the love and affection her husband bears for her. A poor girl who does not bring huge dowry in her marriage does not usually receive the same attention and affection that is bestowed up on a rich girl.”The study material also claimed that dowry provides “an opportunity for meritorious boys of poor classes” to pursue higher education.​

GST reference in Mersal: Don’t try to ‘demon-etise’ Tamil pride, Rahul Gandhi tells PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the BJP demanded cuts in the latest Tamil movie Mersal starring popular actor Vijay, for making poor references to GST, the Congress has come out to support the filmmakers. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, keeping in line with his new strategy on social media tweeted, “Mr. Modi, Cinema is a deep expression of Tamil culture and language. Don’t try to demon-etise Tamil pride by interfering in Mersal.”Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also tweeted, saying soon people would be allowed to only make films that did not criticize the government.Veteran actor Kamal Haasan had also thrown his weight behind the makers of the Vijay-starrer ‘Mersal’, saying, “Mersal was certified. Don’t re-censor it.” “Counter criticism with logical response. Don’t silence critics. India will shine when it speaks,” he added. ALSO READ BJP attacks Vijay over GST reference in filmReferences to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in ‘Mersal’ have not gone down well with the BJP. The party objected to what it termed “untruths” about the central taxation regime in the film and demanded that the references be deleted. Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan demanded the removal of the “untruths” about the GST, rolled out by the BJP-led NDA government on July 1, while his party colleague H Raja claimed the film exposed Vijay’s “anti-Modi hatred”. ALSO READ Film producer should remove untruths about GST: Union Min Radhakrishnan targets Vijay’s MersalIn a scene in Mersal, where Vijay says people in Singapore get free treatment although the country charges only 7 per cent GST, whereas people are charged 28 per cent GST in India, but still don’t get free treatment. In another scene, the movie takes a swipe at the digital India policy.Meanwhile, actor Vijay’s father and film director SA Chandrasekhar said, “Censor board has members of all parties and it’s reviewed by them. If there is something objectionable they will inform. Once approved by the board no one can criticise the board’s decision.” ALSO READ What do filmmakers know about economics: BJP angry with GST reference in Vijay’s Mersal(With Agency Inputs)

PM Modi to visit poll-bound Gujarat tomorrow for the third time this month

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit poll-bound Gujarat tomorrow for the third time this month, where he will inaugurate and lay foundation stones for a number of projects in Bhavnagar and Vadodara districts.Modi will inaugurate the first phase of the Rs 615-crore ‘roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro)’ ferry service between Ghogha in Bhavnagar district and Dahej in Bharuch in the Gulf of Cambay.The prime minister had called the ferry service, which will reduce the distance between the two towns from 310 kilometres by road to 30 kilometres, his “dream project” while addressing a gathering at Gandhinagar on Monday.He will address a gathering in Ghogha and undertake a journey to Dahej from Ghogha on the ferry. From Dahej, he will leave for Vadodara, where he is scheduled to inaugurate and lay the foundation stones for projects worth over Rs 1,140 crore.Ajay Bhadoo, Chief Executive Officer of Gujarat Maritime Board which is executing the ro-ro project, said the first phase of the service to be inaugurated by Modi on Sunday is meant for passengers.In the second phase, which would be ready in two months, cars can also be carried between the two towns.”It is a complex project which involves complicated marine structure of the Gulf of Cambay, on which it is built.The service reduces the distance between the two towns from 310 kilometres by road to 30 kilometres which can be covered in one hour,” Bhadoo said.Modi had laid the foundation stone for the project in January 2012, when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.In Vadodara, Modi will inaugurate eight different projects worth Rs 1,140 crore.Vadodara Municipal Commissioner Vinod Rao said Modi will dedicate to people a Rs 100-crore city command and control centre in Badamadi Garden, Rs 125-crore Janmahal city transport hub and multi-level parking (under PPP), a Rs 160 crore multi-modal city transport hub, Rs 267 crore waste-to- energy processing plant.The other projects are a Rs 166-crore water treatment plant, two flyovers collectively worth Rs 265 crore, a Rs 55- crore deer safari park, and a Rs 6-crore veterinary hospital.He will also address people at Navlakhi compound in Vadodara.Modi had last visited Vadodara, a constituency from where he contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election and won by a record margin, on October 22 last year to inaugurate a new airport terminal building and distribute assistance devices to the divyang (specially-abled) people. He had also won from Varanasi seat in Uttar Pradesh which he retained.The prime minister had visited Gujarat on Monday, when he addressed the BJP workers at a rally in Gandhinagar.Prior to that, Modi had visited his home town Vadnagar on October 8 and also inaugurated and laid foundation stones of various projects in Rajkot, Vadnagar, Gandhinagar, and Bharuch.Last month, he hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe here and launched the bullet train project. Modi had also dedicated to the nation the Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada at an event coinciding with his 67th birthday.

PM Narendra Modi won’t pursue ‘peace’ with Pakistan at the cost of security, says US top official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot “pursue peace” with Pakistan in a way that “cuts his own security”, a top Trump administration official has said, asserting that it is in the interest of Islamabad to build confidence with New Delhi to restart commercial ties.Ahead of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s maiden visit to India and Pakistan next week, the official, with an insight into the administration’s policy over South Asia, was responding to questions on what India could do to bring peace and stability in the region, in particular with Pakistan.”It’s clear to everyone that Prime Minister Modi wants peace in the region, but he can’t pursue peace (with Pakistan) in a way that cuts against his own security. So that (having peace talks with Pakistan) is up to his judgement,” the official, requesting anonymity, told PTI yesterday.”We want India and Pakistan to talk. We think that is so important for them to talk and to build confidence and to get on a path to regional security and stability which we know would bring both countries to unprecedented levels of prosperity,” he said.Noting that South Asia and the bridge in central Asia is one of the least economically integrated areas of the world, he said that there is tremendous potential to be unleashed.”And what we hope is that the dialogue, continued dialogue, continued efforts to generate a higher degree of understanding to convince those in Pakistan, including the Pakistani army, that it is really in their interest to build confidence to open commerce and to achieve the kind of peace that would lead to prosperity,” the official said.After a series of setbacks India received from Pakistan, including the one after the Pathankot terror attack, the Indian government has decided not to talk with Pakistan unless it stops supporting terrorists against it, he said.India’s policy now is “talks and terror” cannot go together, as was articulated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Parliament, which has been repeated several times since then, the official said.”I think India has to make its own judgement on that. And India will be the best judge. Certainly, President Trump has great respect for Prime Minister Modi and his wisdom, and leadership ability,” the official added.​

Don’t invite me for Tipu Jayanti celebrations: Union Minister Ananth Kumar Hegde

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Skill Development Ananth Kumar Hegde on Saturday wrote a letter to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s secretary and District Collector of Uttara Kannada district asking them not include his name in Tipu Jayanti celebration that will held on November 10.Reacting to Hegde’s letter, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said, “As part of the govt, he shouldn’t have written it. Invitations for Tipu Jayanti celebration will be sent out to all Central and state leaders, it’s up to them to accept or reject.”After witnessing major clash in 2015 in state over the celebrations of Tipu Sultan Jayanti, the Karnataka Government last year decided to make the event an annual affair.The decision was taken by the government, based on inputs and detailed discussions held with historians and academicians. The event will be organised at the Ravindra Kalakshetra.The Congress government views Tipu Sultan as a patriot, who fought against the British. However, the BJP and the RSS views are completely different from those of the state government, who regard Tipu Sultan as a tyrant monarch and for his biasness against Hindus.Three people lost their lives in clashes in Kodagu in 2015 after outrage by anti-Tipu Sultan activists calling him a tyrant. Other reactions included BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje, who accused the government of vote-bank politics.

Doctor rapes 25-year-old woman in clinic

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 25 year old woman was allegedly raped by a doctor at a clinic in the Kotla Mubarakpur area of South Delhi district on Wednesday evening. The accused has been identified as Sunil Sethi (52) who has been absconding ever since the incident.According to the police, the victim works at a clinic in Punjabi Bazaar and in her complaint has alleged that she was raped by a doctor working in the same clinic. “In her complaint the woman has alleged that on Wednesday night, the accused locked the clinic and forced himself on her. She was later threatened to death if she discloses it to anyone,” said an officer.The victim somehow escaped and narrated the ordeal to her family. Following the complaint, the victim was sent for a medical check up at AIIMS trauma center where the doctor’s confirmed her story. “The police registered a case under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code. The accused have been absconding since the incident took place. We have formed several teams to nab him,” the officer added.

Dengue death toll rises to five

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It’s not just cases but deaths related to dengue are also slowly rising in the Capital. The recently released municipal report stated the dengue death toll in the city had reached three, while the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Hospital confirmed another two dengue deaths on Friday, taking the toll to five.From the three deaths, there were two victims — both women and one boy. Meena Devi, 49, from Karawal Nagar, died at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) on September 2, and Rhoda Daimai, 26, from Manipur died at Holy Family Hospital on August 27, but it took two months for the MCD to confirm them in their weekly report. Earlier, the mosquito-borne disease had claimed its first victim in the city this year, when a 12-year-old boy died of dengue shock syndrome at SGRH on August 1. Daimai had come to Delhi for her treatment.Meanwhile, overall cases have crossed the 5,000 mark, totaling up to 5,220. Of the total 5,220 dengue cases, 2,564 were residents of Delhi, while the rest were from other states. Of the 2,564 Delhi cases, 757 were reported this month, and 412 in the last one week.Cases of vector-borne diseases are usually reported between mid-July and November-end. This year, however, it has been much earlier due to the early arrival of the monsoon.HEALTH ALERTEarlier, the mosquito-borne disease had claimed its first victim in the city this year, when a 12-year-old boy died of dengue shock syndrome at SGRH on August 1.
Residents say with the authorities turning a blind eye to safety norms, they are the ones who always have to pay the price.

Girl falls into silo, burns to death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 12-year old girl met a tragic end after she was engulfed in a hot silo while searching for cow dung in order to perform Govardhan Puja at her village in Noida’s sector- 63 area. The bitumen-concrete mixing plant has a mixture of various materials and the girl was trying to reach the other side to pick up cow dung when she fell in the hot mixture, and was charred to death.According to the police, the victim has been identified as 12 year-old Kritika Mishra, a resident of Chhajarsi and a Class 8 student in a private school in the neighbourhood.Narrating the ordeal, Himanshu Mishra, who had accompanied Kritika told DNA, “I went along with Kritika to fetch cow dung. While returning we were walking on a mound alongside the plant, when she accidentally slipped into the silo containing molten tar,” he said.An alarmed Himanshu immediately ran to inform Kritika’s family. “I was preparing for the puja, when Himanshu came running and informed us that Kritika had slipped into a hot silo. We immediately rushed to the spot to rescue her, but by then she was completely charred to death. We tried to enter the silo using a ladder, but the temperature in the silo was too high for anyone to enter it. Finally the body was recovered using a JCB machine,” said Alka Mishra, the deceased’s mother.“I work as a maid but I always dreamed of making her a teacher. She was a bright student. I had been saving money for her education all the time. Now, she is no more and the house would not be the same without her,” she said.After the accident, locals held a demonstration at the plant and alleged that the bitumen-concrete hot-mix plant was being illegally operated in the area, and is a source of noise and air pollution in the locality.COMMON MAN PAYS THE PRICEAccording to locals, despite a ban put into place, by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in August 2015, prohibiting use of hot mix plants, which are being operated without proper environmental protection, these plants continue to operate in Noida.
With the authorities turning a blind eye to them, the common man is the once always paying the price.

Mumbai: After core committee meeting, MSRTC calls off five-day strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) on Saturday called off their five-day strike after a meeting of their core committee.MSRTC employees went on an indefinite strike on October 17 demanding the implementation of 7th pay commission.The Bombay High Court on Friday had also ordered MSRTC employees to call off their strike immediately, terming it as “illegal”.The High Court had also observed that the government was taking no concrete steps to end the strike.After that the State Government submitted undertaking before the court that it was ready to constitute a high-power committee, which will submit report within three weeks.More than 17 thousand MSRTC buses run throughout the entire state, and about one lakh workers are on strike.The strike has left the daily passengers troubled and they had even appealed to the government to look into the matter. ​

Cops who let accused roam freely, suspended

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven Delhi Police officers from the third battalion, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), two Head Constables and three constables, have been suspended for allowing an accused to roam around freely at a mall in Bengaluru where he was taken for court hearings. The accused man, Sukesh Chandrashekhar, was arrested in April for allegedly taking a bribe from AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran to bribe the Election Commission officials in connection with the party symbol.The suspended police officers are ASI Rajesh, head constables Jeevan and J George, and constables Nitin, Keshav, Dharmendra, and Pushpendra. The officers were accompanying Chandrashekhar for court hearings in Mumbai, Coimbatore, and Bengaluru. The court hearings were scheduled from October 9 to October 16.”The Delhi Police officers were directed to escort him for court hearings in three cities. An inquiry has been initiated and all the alleged police officers have been suspended. The strictest possible action against the policemen will be taken. The Delhi Police stands against all such intolerant practices,” said Dependra Pathak, Special Commissioner of Police.In a report submitted by the Income Tax Department to the Commissioner of Delhi Police, Chandrashekhar was allowed to roam freely while he was in Bengaluru with the police officers. Reportedly, he was even carrying out his business deals and shopping at one of the malls in Bengaluru.THE CASEThe accused, Sukesh Chandrashekhar, was arrested in April for allegedly taking a bribe from AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran to bribe EC officials.

RSS-affiliate seeks economic clarity with a ‘Chinese cell’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RSS-affiliated economic body Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has sought a separate “Chinese cell” at the Centre to assess the economic damage caused by Chinese imports to India and deliberate on the possible ways to nullify them.Upping its ante against Chinese goods, it has also organised a mega rally towards the month end seeking boycott of Chinese goods by people in national interest and urging the government to adopt policies helping the domestic industries. SJM has been advocating indigenous production and has campaigned against purchase of Chinese firecrackers ahead of Diwali.Dr Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch told DNA that he had sought the establishment of the Chinese cell in the Ministry of Commerce from the Centre that will not just study the impact of Chinese imports in the domestic market, but also chalk out a plan to mend the “injury.” He added that he is hoping that the cell would come up soon.”Indians understand the importance of boycotting Chinese products. The government is also realising the damage caused by Chinese imports and hence at its end, taking several initiatives on its end to control the influx of Chinese goods. The Chinese cell will help in a concrete assessment,” Mahajan said.He added that the anti-dumping duty on several Chinese products is already in effect and around 40 more are in the pipeline. This includes recent notifications on products like tempered glass and imports of certain steel wire rods for five years.Mahajan said different ministries are also working on a way to bar participation of Chinese companies in certain bids of sectors, where Indian companies are not allowed to participate in China.

Hosteliers say poster with threats against Najeeb Ahmed put up

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) Mahi Mandvi hostel, from where 27-year-old student Najeeb Ahmed had gone missing in October last year, claimed to have seen a poster which made “threatening” remarks against Ahmed at the hostel premises on Thursday night.Due to this recent turn of events, the atmosphere at the hostel remain charged up on Friday.According to hosteliers at Mahi Mandvi, a piece of paper was pasted by the hostel’s managing committee at the entrance to write Diwali greetings. But instead, they said, “threats” and “taunts” about Najeeb were found written on it.”The paper was removed from the entrance after several students had objected to it. We have sent a picture of that to the CBI investigating officer looking into Najeeb’s case,” said Shahid Raza, second-year Mphil student and a resident of the hostel.Amid multiple Diwali greetings, some students wrote #BringbackNajeeb on the paper. “Some students intentionally tried to create tension and wrote comments like ‘nahi layenge’ (will not bring) and ‘kya ukhaad logey’ and ‘kaat denge’ after it,” he added.Raza was one of the eyewitnesses of the alleged scuffle that took place between Najeeb and RSS-backed ABVP members, a night before he went missing.Some students also claimed that another piece of paper, that read “Jai Jai Hindu”, was pasted on those “comments”, hours before it was removed. “Some right-inclined students are intentionally trying to spread communal hatred on the hostel premises. Mahi Mandvi is the only JNU hostel where large number of Muslim students reside,” said another resident, who wished to remain anonymous.The hostel committee members, however, claimed that the poster was immediately removed upon receiving the complaint and no formal complaint has been made in this regard. “The atmosphere at the hostel is alright. Some students are trying to politicise the matter,” said acting hostel president Adarsh Garg.Despite several attempts, JNU Registrar and hostel warden did not respond.CAUSING A STIRLast year, after Najeeb’s disappearance, some students had spotted ‘Muslims are terrorists’ written on the table of the common room of Mahi Mandvi hostel.

Army empowers J&K girls through self defence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The battle-hardened Indian Army has started training the girls of Jammu and Kashmir’s remote areas in self-defence to protect themselves and rescue others during exigencies.The first batch of 10 girls successfully completed a four week training course in the remote Kalakote of Rajouri district in Jammu division. Under this programme, the girls were trained in different martial arts techniques by specialised army trainers.”A total of 10 girls have been trained in self-defence techniques and are now confident of protecting themselves in the time of need and also to rescue others if situation demands,” said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Northern Command Headquarters.This is the first time that the Army has chipped in to help the civilians to protect themselves from any assault in this remote area. “There has been a tremendous response to our programme and the girls have voluntary come forward for self defence training. Basic aim of this programme is women empowerment,” said Khalid Hussian, Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM), Kalakote.Under this programme, the girls from 16 to 18 years were taught different martial arts moves. In the first phase, the girls of Government Higher Secondary were chosen for the training.”Girls too are positive about the programme and consider it beneficial for their overall development. Our aim is to train the girls to protect themselves when their life or honour is in danger; empowerment through self defence,” Hussain said.Given the overwhelming response, the district administration is now making a proper calendar for training girls in the self defence. “It is a part of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padao campaign. I have spoken to the commanding officer of the Army. We are making a training calendar so that they do not lag behind. We are roping in education institutions so that the girls are trained in self defence,” said Hussain.

It’s terrorists vs terrorist in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The United Jihad Council (UJC), an umbrella group of over a dozen militant outfits based in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, has stirred the hornet’s nest by claiming that a new Ikhwan (the disbanded pro government militia) is being created in the name of ISIS and al-qaeda using the facade of Zakir Musa.”A new Ikhwan is being created for the past several months in the name of ISIS and Al-Qaeda using the façade of Zakir Musa. Indian-paid agents are being recruited for this brigade. They are being hailed by the Indian media and the impression is being given that these paid agents are the real heroes of the Kashmir freedom struggle,” Syed Sadakat Hussain, the spokesperson for UJC, told a local news agency.Hussain claimed that Indian intelligence agencies are busy hatching conspiracies and trying to “use the paid agents to weaken the ongoing “freedom struggle in Kashmir.””For the past few days, the media has been busy cooking up a cock-and-bull story claiming that Zakir Musa is meeting with militants who had managed to enter into the Valley through Gulmarg route. We appeal to the people of Kashmir to be alert and expose such types of conspiracies,” Hussain said.After breaking ranks with Hizbul Mujhadeen, Musa formed the Al-Qaeda-linked Ansar Ghazwat-Ul-Hind and was named chief in July.

Pollution woes: Non-metro cities on respirator too

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The onset of winter is yet to begin but Delhi has already begun to choke. The Capital’s air-quality index has already entered the very poor category and is expected to be in severe range in the coming days.While the judiciary, executive and even citizens have swung into action to fight Delhi-National Capital Region’s (NCR), pollution woes across India’s non-metropolitan cities remain equally grave.Data from the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) continuous and manual air-quality monitoring stations show that from September till now, cities across north, northwest and few in southern India have experienced bad air days for most of the days, as particulate matter (PM) pollution has exceeded the safe limits.Days when the air quality exceeds pollution norms are categorized as ‘bad air days’. Also, pollution levels begin to deteriorate from September onward as monsoon begins to recede.The problem is particularly acute in North India and especially along the Indo-Gangetic plains as factors such as meteorological conditions, crop residue burning, industries and vehicular emissions deteriorate combine to worsen the air-quality. CPCB data shows that Amritsar, Rohtak, Patna, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Moradabad, Jaipur and Visakhapatnam saw PM pollution in the poor to severe category between September and now, even before winter peaks.”Due to severe road congestion, dust and vehicular emission are two of the biggest sources of pollution in Varanasi. We have only one automatic air-quality monitoring station and five manual monitoring stations”, said AK Singh, regional officer, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board. PM 2.5 is particulate matter that is smaller than 2.5 microns while PM10 is particulate matter smaller than 10 microns.The recent data affirms CPCB’s past findings that non-metro cities and those with million plus population are breathing equally bad air. In fact, a CPCB study carried out in 2015 and released last year had revealed that people in 41 Indian cities with a million plus population breathed bad quality air during 58% of the days when the ambient air was monitored.”We are exceeding norms of PM pollution on most days, excepting the monsoon season,” scientists from the pollution regulator CPCB said.They added that curbing pollution in non-metro cities is one of their key focus areas and that installation of more automatic monitoring stations is the first step in that direction.Currently, there are 40 operational automatic and air-quality monitoring stations and over 300 manual ones across towns and cities.Up in smogNumber of days when PM10/PM2.5 levels crossed the prescribed standard between September 1 and October 18 (Total of 48 days) PM10 is Particulate matter smaller than 10 micron and PM 2.5 is particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micron) These particles are so small that they can get into the lungs and bloodstream, potentially causing serious health problems.Safe limit: 100 microgram/metre cube Source: CPCB

Kasturirangan panel include 25 themes in New Education Policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Giving final touches to the New Education Policy, the panel under eminent scientist K Kasturirangan is working on 25 different themes including quality education, value education and others to possibly bring out the policy draft by the end of the year.The New Education Policy is a highly awaited and discussed change in the education sector, for which the team under scientist Kasturirangan is the second team to be working on the policy.The panel has replaced the TSR Subramanian committee, which has already given its suggestions to the government and on the basis of suggestions, a basic policy framework has been prepared.According to sources in the ministry, the themes that the team is working on, include digital learning, physical education, life skills in education, value education and experiential learning among others.”The idea is to make the policy holistic, which is why we have identified 25 different relevant topics to finalise the policy draft. In a recent meeting of the panel, the team members informed the minister that they are confident of bringing out the policy by the end of the year,” said a source in the Ministry of Human Resource Development.The Kasturirangan committee has been mandated to make Indian education contemporary, improve its quality, and internationalise it. It could also provide a roadmap for the entry of foreign universities into India.A chintan shivir is also being organised by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in November to discuss some of the education themes for New Education Policy and the inputs given will be used to include in the policy draft.The workshop will be organised on November 6 and 7 in the national capital.

Three newborns die in one night at Hindu Rao Hospital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three Delhi families along with Hindu Rao Hospital had a black Diwali after three newborns died on the same night due to different causes. The family alleges that the deliveries happened but it was due to medical negligence that the babies did not survive. North Municipal Corporation Department suspended the Medical Superintendent and the Head of Gynecology Department after the family allegations.On the night of October 18, three different cases of deliveries were handled in Unit three of the Hindu Rao Hospital, of which one had been referred to the hospital and the other two were in-house patients. All the three deliveries were conducted but none of the newborns survived. While two died of intra-uterine complications, the third one, which had been referred from another hospital, died due to slow heartbeat says the hospital sources.The Medical Superintendent, AK Goyal, and the Head of the Department, Mala Shukla, were suspended by the hospital administration of the North Municipal Corporation. One of the families had two previous miscarriages and this child was conceived after a long wait, said one of the sources.”My heart goes out to the families who lost their children on Diwali morning. The woman, who lost the child after two previous miscarriages, alleged that the junior doctors attended the case, the baby was born okay and later complications occurred which were not handled tactfully,” said Dr DK Seth, Director, Administration.SUSPENDEDNorth Municipal Corporation Department suspended the Medical Superintendent, AK Goyal, and Mala Shukla, Head of Gynecology Department.

Man causes bomb scare at IGIA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Intelligence agencies were in for a shock when a man walked into the Indira Gandhi International Airport with a shirt, in his handbag, fitted with an electric circuit, suspected to be a suicide bomb suit. The Intelligence Bureau, Delhi Police were roped in. The incident unfolded at international terminal T3, at around 6 pm, during an X-ray screening and security check.”It was at the domestic security hold area, when an officer of the Central Industrial Security Force at the X-ray screener, noticed an image of a suspicious circuit in the handbag of a passenger travelling to Guwahati,” said a senior officer.The man was surrounded immediately by armed CISF men and following a pat down search, was declared clean. His baggage was then opened in presence of bomb disposal squad and every item was checked. Since the gadget seemed to be suspicious, an explosive test was conducted which came back negative. On physical check, a shirt was found fitted with four batteries attached, with a small electric motor with an improvised circuit.”On questioning, the passenger was unable to provide any convincing reason for the same. Officers in the IB were also called in and the man was thoroughly questioned and then handed over to Delhi police,” the officer said.

Madhubani paintings adorn railway station walls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The beautiful Madhubani painting, the most globally renowned traditional art form of Bihar, now adorns the walls of Madhubani railway station, around 175 km northeast of the state capital Patna. This is a first of its kind initiative in Bihar.The world-famous painting tastefully covers over 7,500 square feet of the station, placing it in a class of its own. Officials of the East Central Railway (ECR) division claim that this is the largest depiction of Mithila artwork in the world.”The aim was not just to beautify the walls, but also to display the skill and talent our artists have and spread awareness about it, especially among the younger generation,” said an ECR official.The task was undertaken as a part of Swachhta mission to keep the station campus clean and kicked off on October 2 this year. The handiwork turned into a reality almost two week later, due the efforts of around 200 Mithila painting artists, mostly young students, who worked tirelessly to achieve the feat. They have not charged any fee for their services either.The railways provided them with colours, painting brushes and refreshments and felicitated them after completion of the work.What makes Madhubani painting different from others is its eye-catching geometrical patterns, use of natural and vibrant colours and filling up empty spaces using motifs.”A number of people are visiting the railway station just to see the paintings,” the official said. Every team has a different theme of their painting, which ranges from traditional folklore, scriptures such as Ramayana and Mahabharata and nature to rural and social life, festivities and fold dances. Headings and sub-heads have been used to describe the paintings and people visiting Madhubani will get a taste of the popular Mithila painting as soon as they deboard at the station.

MK Stalin announces statewide tour against TN government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an eye on the local body polls, DMK working President MK Stalin will undertake a statewide tour in November to highlight the failures of the AIADMK government to the people.The “Ezhuchi” (Awakening in Tamil) campaign will begin in the first week of November and conclude in the first week of December, announced Stalin after presiding over the party’s district secretaries meeting here. “I will undertake a statewide tour, just like the Namakku Naame tour, which I undertook ahead of the Assembly elections in May 2016,” Stalin said.This comes with local body elections due to be held and with the RK Nagar by-polls scheduled to take place before December 31.”We are yet to decide on when and from where the campaign will begin. It will focus on strengthening the party and to highlight the failures of the AIADMK government,” Stalin said.DMK leader and MP TKS Elangovan told reporters that the party has invited many leaders across India. “Mamata Banerjee will join the campaign on the first day. We are waiting for other leaders to confirm their presence,” he said.The final plan of Stalin’s state-wide tour will be finalised in the next few days.In the crucial DMK meet, six resolutions, including one asking the district leaders to involve themselves in verifying electoral rolls released by the election commission to ensure no party supporters are left out, were passed.Declaring the state’s public health as a disaster, another resolution demanded that the central and state governments take steps on a war footing to control the outbreak of dengue, which had already claimed 50 people.

Haze, shallow fog engulfs Delhi city post Diwali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Diwali, the Capital woke up to haze and shallow fog resulting in low visibility on Friday morning. The minimum temperature was recorded at 20.5 degrees Celsius. According to the MET department, at 8.30 am the visibility was reported as 500 metres.A calm evening gave way to thick haze and noise as the city celebrated Diwali on Thursday. Firecrackers were burst in most parts of the city, however, in less numbers than last year.The smoke from Thursday’s Diwali celebrations added to the already low visibility being reported over the past few days, marking the onset of winter.In Lutyens’ Delhi, the Raisina Hill complex, including North Block and South Block buildings and the iconic Rashtrapati Bhavan, were wrapped in mist till 10:30 am.The relative humidity level at that time was 54%. The maximum temperature is likely to settle at 36 degrees Celsius later in the day. The Met department has forecast a clear sky on Saturday with mist or shallow fog expected in the morning.”The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to hover around 36 degrees Celsius and 19 degrees Celsius respectively,” said officials from the MET department.IN COMPARISONThis year, the minimum average value was observed at Civil Lines and maximum average value was observed at RK Puram.
Last year, the minimum average value was observed at IGI Airport and maximum average value was observed at Anand Vihar.

Niti Aayog to study problems in implementing schemes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government’s premier think-tank, Niti Aayog, has decided to look at the financial difficulties faced by municipal corporations and other Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in implementing the Centre’s urban rejuvenation programme. This primarily includes the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.To this effect, the Aayog will organise a knowledge sharing workshop with a focus on municipal finances, covering municipal bonds, audited and accounting reforms and revenue mobilisation.In a recent letter to states and union territories, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has sought the efforts and practices made by the urban local bodies in their jurisdictions so that they could be shared among each other.The letter states that it has been proposed to compile the efforts made by various ULBs or states to improve governance, service delivery and financial sustainability.Talking about the Centre’s urban rejuvenation mission, the letter states, “The necessary infrastructure and services are to be maintained and delivered by the urban local bodies.” It adds that the ULBs are facing constraints in financing the infrastructure, which affects the service delivery.Earlier this month, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri had sought a fortnightly review of urban missions started by the Modi government.

MHA tightens guidelines amid cyber threats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The increased threats of cyber attacks targeting confidential government information has prompted the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to prepare guidelines on securing government data.The National Information Security Policy and Guidelines, prepared by MHA, have been sent to the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), which is an apex body on security policies headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval as its secretary.The proposed policy looks at strengthening the mechanism to safeguard critical data by roping in experts and the use of better technology.The guidelines deal with combating cyber attacks affecting organisations in sectors such as defence, energy, finance, space, telecommunications, transport, public essential services and utilities, law enforcement and security, which, if compromised, will lead to a national crisis. A national nodal agency to deal with cyber security and developing indigenous technology has been proposed.According to a study, India is ranked the fifth most vulnerable country when it comes to cyber attacks but cases of data breach remain under-reported with the legal mechanism being limited to deal with such situations.”Almost every developed country is indulging in cyber espionage. There is a need to enhance our system to secure critical information. The policy is being vetted by the NSA,” said a senior government official.

Delhi Fire Control officials say drop in calls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Whether the cracker ban reduced pollution or not, it certainly reduced the number of calls received at the Delhi Fire control room by around 16 percent. Fire officials said that even during peak hours, when the control room receives the maximum number of calls, there was a dip of 35 percent during these hours calls as well.The Delhi Fire Department received the least number of calls in the last four years this Diwali. Officials from the fire department said that they on Thursday received 204 calls compared to 243 last year.A fire official said that the lesser number of calls this year could be attributed to the cracker ban as well since the calls received this year were largely for normal fires and not for crackers. Out of the 204 calls received, only 51 were related to fire-crackers but no one was injured. This was a change from last year where cracker incidents has caused serious injuries and fatalitiesThe only major fire that occurred was at a cloth godown in East Delhi wherein in 26 fire-tenders were rushed to the location in order to douse the fire. The fire was reported around 10pm and no one was injured in the incident.”Even though there were some people bursting crackers, the fire related calls due to that were not many. There was a house collapse in Outer Delhi in which three were injured and a fire in a house as well but none were due to fire-crackers,” said a fire official.The Capital has around 60 fire stations but keeping in mind the festive season, 28 temporary fire stations were also set up.

Depression on Bay of Bengal mars Diwali and Kali Puja celebrations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Heavy rainfalls since Thursday evening stole the sheen from Kali Puja and Diwali celebrations in Kolkata and other parts of South Bengal. A depression over the Bay of Bengal resulted in the incessant downpour, which drowned the spirit of revellers. Meteorological department officials said the depression is likely to proceed towards Bangladesh, but there are chances of an overcast sky and intermittent showers on Saturday, when bhai dooj is celebrated.Several parts of the city, especially north Kolkata, were submerged, with water level varying from knee-deep to waist-deep. Kolkata Police sources said that Amherst Street, MG Road, Vivekandnda Raoad, Bidhan Sarani, and Thanthania Kalibari areas of north Kolkata have been the worst hit. Although south Kolkata suffered less, the downpour resulted in crawling traffic.To add to their woes, people returning from work were left stranded as public vehicles were kept off the road. Taxis and app-based cabs were few and charged exorbitant fares. “I tried to hire a cab from Park Circus to Shyambazar and it reflected a fare of Rs 500, which usually comes to barely Rs 150,” said Puja Lakkar, a teacher.A control room had been opened at Nabanna to monitor the situation. Fishermen have been instructed not to venture into the sea. The sea was turbulent at Digha, Mandarmani, and Chandpur and tourists were asked to stay indoors.State irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee was monitoring the situation from his office at Jalsampad Bhavan. “The rains are a result of a depression. Initially, we thought it will pass from Orissa to Andhra Pradesh. Now, it seems it will travel via southeast Bengal before moving over to Bangladesh,” he said.

Severe burn injury patients throng hospitals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite the Supreme Court’s ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi, many Delhiites still managed to burst crackers. Hospitals across the city reported severe burn injuries, of which the maximum were Diwali-related burns. All Delhi hospitals ran round-the-clock emergencies for the Diwali related admissions and Out-Patient Departments (OPDs).Safdarjung Hospital, which has a big burn-ward, received a total of 77 burn patients between 6 pm on October 19 and 6 am on October 20. Of these, 55 were Diwali-related burns, of which 50 were treated in the OPD and the remaining five had to be admitted due to several severe burns.At Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, total 29 burn cases were received of which ten were children.”We received total 29 cases in our burn ward, of which there were 10 children and 19 adults. There were total 23 males and 6 females. One patient was admitted with 28 per cent burns. Of the 29, 12 were eye burns,” says Smriti Tiwari, spokesperson at RML.Sir Ganga Ram Hospital received total 15 burn cases, which is higher than the last year’s figures.”Looks like the cracker ban did not have the desired effect among Delhiites. The casualty ward at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital was busy during the night. SGRH received 15 cases of burn injuries during the night out of which ten were adults and five children. Two patients with severe burn injuries were operated and rest were discharged. Four patients with breathing difficulties also came to the casualty ward,” said a source from the hospital.Apart from burns, the air quality also affected the lungs and hearts of many with a 15 per cent rise in the number of patients visiting AIIMS due to cardio-pulmonary problems.Doctors at various hospitals said that the ban on the sale of crackers did lower the number of cases as compared to last year, but there is still a lot that can be achieved.

Former TMC leader Mukul Roy invited to BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha’s birthday party

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mukul Roy has received an invitation to attend the birthday party of BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha, fuelling further speculation about his growing proximity to the saffron party.Sinha’s birthday party is scheduled to be held here on October 25.”Every year, apart from the BJP leadership, we also invite the leaders of other political parties to the birthday party of Rahul Sinha. This year, we have invited Mukul Roy also as he is one of the most respected politicians of Bengal.We are hopeful that he will attend the programme,” said a BJP leader who is also one of the organisers of the event.Roy had resigned from the Rajya Sabha and quit the TMC earlier this month. Last month, he was suspended from the TMC for six years for indulging in “anti-party activities” after he had announced on September 25 that he would quit the party.Subsequently, Roy had described the BJP as a secular party and said the TMC would not have tasted success without the backing of the saffron outfit at the national level in its initial years. PTI PNT JM

Lalu Prasad Yadav to be chief guest at Congress programme on Saturday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RJD chief Lalu Prasad is scheduled to be the chief guest at a Congress programme on Saturday to celebrate the birth anniversary of first Bihar chief minister Sri Krishna Singh, making the future political move of the Grand Alliance partners clear after the JD(U) broke away.Sri Krishna Singh, also called Sri Babu, a freedom fighter, had served as the first chief minister of the state from 1946 to 1961. The birth anniversary programme of Sri Babu tomorrow is slated to be a major joint show by the Congress and the RJD. It makes the future plan of Sonia Gandhi’s party in Bihar clear after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) quit the Grand Alliance in July and aligned with the NDA.”RJD president Lalu Prasad is the chief guest at the birth anniversary function of Sri Krishna Singh at the Samrat Ashok Convention Centre here tomorrow,” interim president of Bihar Congress Kaukab Kadri told PTI today. Replying to a question, he said, “We have a natural tie- up with Laluji, who is a tall leader of the secular forces.” Former Union minister Akhilesh Singh, who has switched over to the Congress from the RJD and is a frontrunner for the post of Bihar Congress chief, is scheduled to be the chairman at tomorrow’s programme.Singh, who served as a Union minister of state in the UPA-I government, said he had been organising Sri Babu’s birth anniversary programmes every year since 2000, when he was a minister in the Rabri Devi government in Bihar, and added that leaders of other political parties were always invited to these events. RJD state spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwari said no programme was scheduled for Sri Babu’s birth anniversary at the party office tomorrow and added that all the party workers would attend the event where Lalu Prasad was scheduled to be the chief guest.Hoardings of the event with photographs of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Lalu Prasad have been put up in the city. L P Sahi (98), veteran freedom fighter and an associate of Sri Babu, Congress general secretary and in-charge of Bihar affairs C P Joshi, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, senior Congress leader Shakil Ahmad Khan are scheduled to attend the event, along with a host of state Congress leaders.Kadri and Singh said all Congress legislators, including former state party chief Ashok Choudhary, had been invited to take part in tomorrow’s event. Choudhary, however, denied receiving any invitation. “I have neither received any invitation nor did anybody telephone me in this regard,” Choudhary, an MLC, told PTI. His colleague in the state legislative council, Dilip Kumar Chaudhary, too said he had not received any invitation for tomorrow’s event.The two, along with Tanvir Akhtar and Ramchandra Bharti, of the six Congress MLCs in the state, are moving together and are believed to be inclined towards joining hands with Nitish Kumar.The four MLCs were present at the centenary celebrations of the Patna University on October 14, which were attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On the occasion, Kumar had taken a swipe at Choudhary by wondering whether his presence at the event would cost him his party membership. The Grand Alliance broke up when Kumar resigned over a graft charge against the then deputy chief minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav and later joined hands with the BJP to form a new NDA government in the state.After the disintegration of the Grand Alliance, the state Congress, which has 27 MLAs and six MLCs, has become a divided house with one section headed by Choudhary inclined towards Kumar, while another faction led by Kadri and Singh tilted towards Lalu Prasad.

Angry over not getting ticket, OBC wing chief of Himachal BJP to contest as an independent

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttam Choudhary, the OBC wing chief of Himachal BJP, today announced that he would contest the November 9 state Assembly polls as an Independent from Kangra as the party had not given a ticket to him.Expressing his anguish, he told a rally, “This has happened with me earlier also. In the last two elections, my name was included in the list of probables, but I was not given a ticket. I have worked for the party whole-heartedly and still I am being ignored.”Stating that he would contest the polls as an Independent, Choudhary added that he would file his nomination tomorrow.The ruling Congress has decided to field sitting MLA Pawan Kajal, who won the seat in 2012 as an Independent, whereas Sanjay Choudhary is the BJP nominee from Kangra.Meanwhile, the Congress leadership’s decision to field Kajal from Kangra has not gone down well with the local party workers. The Kangra block Congress workers today took out a march on the national highway to protest the decision.”If the party does not change the nominee by Sunday (October 22), the rebels will field a combined candidate,” former MLA Surender Kaku told reporters.It is learnt that the rebels want to field Rajesh Sharma from the constituency. Sharma, along with Kangra block Congress president Raj Kumar, took part in the march.

Toll staff member critical after being shot

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 22-year toll tax staff member was shot at by unidentified assailants after they demanded the staffer shouldn’t not charge toll from a group of truckers at Tikri Toll plaza in South- West Delhi. Singh is believed to be critical.The incident occurred on Friday evening when Amar Singh who was stationed at one of the toll collection booths, refused to oblige the truckers. Three persons were on a bike and as Singh refused, one of them whipped out a pistol and shot at him. The accused men fled the spot immediately.Police officials are scanning the CCTV footage to ascertain the identity of the attackers. A case of attempted murder has been registered.

DNA Impact: CBI seeks permission to file SLP in SC on Bofors case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DNA’s exclusive interview with Fairfax president Michael Hershman is continuing to make waves. Post Monday’s interview with President of Fairfax group, CBI has sought permission to file Special Leave Petition in SC on Bofors case. The agency has written to government for reconsideration of its 2005 decision and allow the agency to file a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court in the Bofors case challenging quashing of an FIR in the alleged scam, officials said.In the interview, Hershman revealed how the Bofors probe was scuttled, Finance Minister VP Singh transferred and alleged that he was even given death threat to stop investigation. Hershman also detailed how he had evidence of bribery in acquisition of Bofors guns. In a letter to the Department of Personnel and Training, the CBI conveyed that it wanted to file the SLP challenging the Delhi High Court order of May 31, 2005 quashing all charges against Europe-based Hinduja brothers in the Bofors case. Government officials said the CBI was in favour of filing the SLP in 2005 but the then UPA government did not give its nod.The then Delhi High Court judge R S Sodhi had on May 31, 2005, quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers — Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand — and the Bofors company and castigated the CBI for its handling of the case saying it had cost the exchequer about Rs 250 crore. Before the 2005 verdict, another judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice J D Kapoor (since retired) on February 4, 2004, had exonerated late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the case and directed framing of charge of forgery under Section 465 of the IPC against the Bofors company.On Wednesday, the CBI had said it would look into the “facts and circumstances” of the Bofors scam mentioned by private detective Michael Hershman.
ALSO READ DNA Impact | Hershman revelation opens can of worms, why did Rajiv Gandhi meet spurious bank officials: Smriti IraniHershman, who was here last week to address a conference of private detectives, also alleged that the bribe money of the Bofors gun scandal had been parked in the Swiss account.Read Michael Hershman’s full interview hereWith PTI inputs

VP Venkaiah Naidu hospitalised for routine checkup

Updated: Oct 20, 2017, 11:00 PM IST, ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has been hospitalised at All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi.As per reports, VP Naidu who was at AIIMS for his routine checkup has been asked by the doctors to stay back at the hospital as his Blood Pressure and sugar were high. Speaking to ANI, V. Balakrishna Information Officer to Vice President of India said that Naidu will be discharged on Saturday.

Former Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna confirms PM Modi offered to reconstruct Kedarnath shrine in 2013

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed the former UPA government for stopping him as the Chief Minister of Gujarat from carrying out reconstruction of the Kedarnath shrine after the 2013 flash floods, the then Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Vijay Bahuguna averred that circumstances forced him to reject Prime Minister’s proposition.Speaking to ANI, former CM Vijay Bahuguna said, “Circumstances were such that we took that decision; won’t comment more as I am not in Congress anymore.”Vijay Bahuguna who is now a member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in Congress when he was the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand in 2013.Bahuguna agreed to the fact that Prime Minister Modi extended help and offered a cheque of Rs five Crore. “It is true, Modi ji came to Dehradun, at my residence, gave cheque of Rs 5 Crore for relief on behalf of Gujarat Govt,” he said.”He had kept a proposal to reconstruct shrine devastated in Kedarnath after floods. I thanked him on his proposal and said we will consider it. Later we took a decision to do it ourselves. Had informed him,” Bahuguna added.Earlier in the day, former chief minister Harish Rawat also castigated Prime Minister Modi and said, “The Centre does not interfere in such works. The matter is between Prime Minister Modi and Vijay Bahuguna. It is within BJP.”The Congress accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “disrespecting” traditions during his Kedarnath visit and “misleading” the people on redevelopment work of the shrine after the 2013 deluge.The party claimed that the visit had been planned with Gujarat elections in mind and reflected Modi’s “arrogance” as he had addressed a gathering there with his back towards Lord Shiva’s shrine “while donning Italian glasses”.It said Modi remembered ‘Mother Ganga’ only when he was contesting elections from Varanasi and had now visited Lord Shiva’s shrine ahead of Gujarat elections.Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala alleged, “Modiji has disrespected our tradition and culture by putting up a stage right outside the main entry of Kedarnath and giving his speech with his back towards Lord Shiva.” He also said, “Speaking lies before Lord Shiva! Modiji you forgot to tell people that the Congress government at the Centre gave a redevelopment package of Rs 6,000 crore for Kedarnath in 2013.”Congress spokesperson R P N Singh claimed there is no record of Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat, doing anything for redevelopment of Kedarnath or for rescuing people during the flash floods that hit the state in 2013.Reacting to Modi’s claims that the then Congress Government did not allow him as Gujarat chief minister to rebuild the shrine in 2013, Singh said, “It is unfortunate that arrogance marked his address at Kedarnath”.He alleged the the prime minister has misled people of the state and said when the tragedy happened, the then UPA government at the Centre set up a committee for carrying out rehabilitation work and approved Rs 8,000 crore for relief.Speaking to reporters, Singh claimed that Rs 2,200 crore were released at that time only and in the last three years not a single penny has been released by the Modi government.Surjewala urged Modi to shun “politics of opportunism” and accused him of trying to polarise and invoke religious sentiments to win votes during Gujarat elections.He asked whether it is only Modi who is capable of redeveloping Uttarakhand.”When the ruler turns arrogant, then his downfall is close,” he said.He urged the Prime Minister not to disrespect people of the state and said that Lord Shiva does not seek anyone’s help, but seeks devotion.”The truth shall prevail. Modiji Lord Shiva knows everything. Should abstain from talking loud and rhetoric at the feet of the Lord,” he tweeted.Surjewala also said that those who devote themselves to the Lord get the fruits of devotion and asked Modi “to show at least some humility” at Lord Shiva’s door. With inputs from PTI and ANI

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