05 December 2018

05 Dec.ND: Ex-CIC says govt intimidating agency by threatening to sue; seeks President's intervention/ SC adjourns CBI hearing till tomrrow: Centre had no choice but to intervene, argues Attorney-General /Minors Aged 11,12, Muslims Who Live in NCR ‘Seen’ by Bajrang Dal Leader Killing Cows in Bulandshahr

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
05 Dec. 2018:26 Rabiul-I 1440: Vol: 11, No:70
Ex-CIC says govt intimidating agency by threatening to sue; seeks President's intervention
New Delhi: Former Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu has alleged that Central Information Commission was facing threats of litigations filed against it by the Govt  and sought President Ram Nath Kovind's intervention.In a letter to the President, he highlighted a global trend of Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) and said it is a "type of frivolous lawsuit, not undertaken to be won, necessarily, but to intimidate the target into ceasing public activities such as speaking out against an organisation or a person". He cited 2 orders related to RBI to drive home his point."Here the target is CIC and the citizens. Unfortunately Govt  bodies are SLAPPing writ petitions right, left and centre against the Respondent No. 1 -CIC and Respondent No. 2 - the Citizen who were asking for information as empowered by RTI Act," he said.Acharyulu, who had delivered some path-breaking orders including directions to RBI to comply with the Supreme Court orders in disclosing wilful defaulter, approached Kovind saying the RBI has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court making the CIC as a party in two separate cases.He had also issued a show cause notice to RBI Governor Urijit Patel for defiance of Supreme Court upholding the orders of former Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi asking it to disclose wilful defaulters.RBI has also challenged another order of CIC on July 4 in which CPIO of RBI was issued show cause notice by Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava for not disclosing details of foreign donors of local NGOs.Govt  offices want their "rights" to be protected from the Information Commission created by Union of India as per the will of the Parliament, Acharyulu said."CIC is supposed to act as Information Tribunal to adjudicate second appeals without fear or favour. But I would like to bring it to your Excellency's notice that Information Commissioners are feeling 'legally' intimidated from discharging their legal duties," he said.Citing example of notices being sent to him in three capacities — as individual, as Information Commissioner, and as a person representing the Central Information Commission-- by the Gujarat High Court on a plea of Gujarat University against his order of disclosing degree details of PM Narendra Modi, he said as he is respondent number one, two and three, how does he defend in three capacities." Union of India, in which CIC is a part, challenges order of CIC saying that educational qualifications of a public servant as his private information and its disclosure will cause unwarranted invasion of his privacy," he said.Acharyulu said there are "around 1,700 writ petitions filed, most of them, surprisingly and sadly by govt and its institutions like the RBI etc, impleading the Information Commission or Commissioner for acting under RTI Act".Taking a dig at RBI, he said he had ordered disclosure of names of wilful defaulters as per the directions of the SC and in a separate case another commissioner had ordered disclosure of the list of foreign donors of local NGOs.PTI
Centre is right when it says CVC answerable to the Prez, but the nation knows the truth...
SC adjourns CBI hearing till tomrrow: Centre had no choice but to intervene, argues Attorney-General
The hearing in the case of CBI director Alok Verma, challenging the divestment of all his powers in the agency, resumed on Wednesday in front of a Supreme Court bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph.Attorney-General KK Venugopal kicked off the arguments, submitting that decision of central Govt  was with independent application of mind. "Centre was conscious that any action should not result in eroding nation's faith in CBI," attorney-general said. "The dispute between CBI director and special director was tarnishing the reputation of the institution." A situation had arisen where the Centre had to intervene and the decision to divest Verma was taken after careful examination, Venugopal added. Central govt was very concerned about what was happening in CBI because two top officers were fighting with each other, Venugopal further added.They did not keep it under the wraps instead went public with it and the media had a field day, the attorney general said. Justice KM Joseph then asked the attorney-general — citing an article—  whether there was any evidence of CBI director going public about infighting.Venugopal responded that there are a large number of reports regarding the infighting. Venugopal then argued that the action against Verma does not amount to 'transfer' as only his functions have been withdrawn.The SC judgments define 'transfer' as change from one station to another, Venugopal further said, adding that Verma is retaining his designation, bungalow, and benefits. "If you ask 'Who is CBI director?', answer is Alok Verma," Venugopal submitted. "We referred to Central Vigilance Commission, but the final decision was ours to make to normalise the situation, the attorney-general said. The concept of superintendence is of wide ambit and the central Govt  acted within its jurisdiction," Venugopal added.  It was absolutely essential for the Union of India to step in and act and we did so; how it would have ended otherwise, nobody can say, the attorney general told the bench. Joseph then quizzed Venugopal on the power of superintendence of the Centre over CBI.AG reiterated his earlier submission s and concluded his arguments. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta then began arguing on behalf of CVC. CVC is entrusted with the responsibility of superintendence over CBI,Mehta began, citing the Vineet Narain judgment to buttress his case. CVC  has been given power of superintendence and power to give directions.The only limitation is that in individual cases, it cannot give directions on how a probe should be conducted, SG Tushar Mehta. Not only does CVC have jurisdiction, but it also would have been answerable to the President of India if it had not acted, Mehta said. The bench then adjourned the matter to Thursday. firstpost
They were fighting like cats': Govt justifies midnight transfer of CBI directors in SC
Minors Aged 11,12, Muslims Who Live in NCR ‘Seen’ by Bajrang Dal Leader Killing Cows in Bulandshahr
Bulandshahr: 7 Muslims from Nayabans village in Bulandshahr were named in an FIR and charged by the UP police with cow slaughter, the alleged incident which sparked the violence that led to the murder of a police inspector and a local youth. Of the 7, two happen to be minors, aged 11 and 12, and the rest were not present in the village on the day the incident, according to several villagers and local police officers.The complaint was filed on the basis of a statement by Yogesh Raj, Bajrang Dal’s district head who has been named as the main accused in a separate FIR over the murder of police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh during Monday’s mob violence. Parents and close relatives of the minors said police had come to their house in search of those who had been named as accused. After initial interrogation, they took the children with them along with one of the relatives.“I was taken to the police station where they kept me for almost 4 hours and then made me write their names and took my phone number,” said the relative. For the two minors, it was nothing less than a traumatic experience. "We hardly spoke there. I was not feeling well. I had never been inside a police station before. After my uncle said that we were younger than 18, he was asked to get our Aadhaar cards to confirm the age," said one of the minors.SSP in Bulandshahr, Krishna B Singh, refused to respond to News18’s queries and said, “We are verifying the facts.”Back in the village, on Monday evening, almost 70 policemen had come to the village of Nayabans to identify the 7 accused for cow slaughter. The team of cops occupied a central position in the cluster of Muslim houses and called out the names, one at a time.It turned out that Sudaif, the first name on the list was not a resident of the village ever. There were two men by the name of Ilyas, the second name on the list. However, both of them had left the village with their families around 15 years ago, in search of jobs and were settled in the national capital region. Sharafat, the third name in FIR, has also been living in Haryana’s Faridabad with his family for many years. Sarfuddin and Parvez, named in FIR, were residents of the same village. However, they were in Bulandshahr since Saturday, 45 km from Nayabans. The duo were attending Ijetma where 10 lakh Muslim devotees had gathered to pray on Monday at Tablighi Jamaat’s ijtema and were yet to return. The families of both individuals provided photographs and videos of the men attending the ceremony as proof.The two minors were the only ones whose names matched the ones called out by the police. The entire incident was confirmed by several villagers and 2 policemen who were part of the team in the village. Meanwhile, the statement given by the sole complainant in this case, Yogesh Raj, was not corroborated on the ground. News18
Bulandshahr: 2 children among 7 Muslims named in alleged cow slaughter case
Bulandshahr violence: Adityanath focuses on the allegations of cow slaughter
Lucknow:At a security review meeting on the Bulandshahr mob violence, UP CM  Yogi Adityanath focused on the allegations of cow slaughter.At the meeting held with top officials, hours before he left for poll campaign again in Telangana, Adityanath said the incident of alleged cow slaughter in Bulandshahr was part of a “big conspiracy.”He asked the top officials to take “tough action” against those involved in cow slaughter, a Govt  spokesperson said in a statement. “The incident is part of a big conspiracy and all those involved in cow slaughter, directly or indirectly, should be arrested in a time-bound manner,” a Govt  spokesperson quoted Adityanath as saying.CM  also instructed all DM and district police chiefs to implement anti-cow slaughter laws and the shutting down of illegal slaughterhouses in the state, a decision taken by him after coming to power in March, 2017.Officials have also been told to run a campaign to “expose” those “element spoiling the atmosphere” and take effective action against those involved in “plotting the conspiracy.”thehindu
A Policeman Died in Bulandshahr, But Adityanath's Focus Is Only on Cows
'Growing Impunity' for Cow Vigilantes to Blame for Cop's Death in Bulandshahr: Amnesty
New Delhi: Human rights organisation Amnesty India has released a statement on violence in Bulandshahr, in which two people including a policeman were killed, holding the ‘growing impunity’ for perpetrators of cow-related violence in UP responsible.Asmita Basu, programmes director of Amnesty India said:“UP  Govt  have arrested four people so far in the death of police inspector, Subodh Kumar Singh. But mere arrests are not enough. The disturbing truth is that cow vigilante groups operate in many cases with the tacit approval of state authorities.Subodh Kumar Singh was the first investigating officer into the death of Akhlaq. On 28 Sept.2015, Akhlaq was killed by a mob in Dadri in UP on the suspicion that he possessed and consumed beef. 3 years later, Akhlaq’s family is still waiting for justice, and now the family of Subodh Kumar Singh is mourning the death of their loved one. The sad reality in UP is that neither police nor marginalised communities, or in fact any one, are safe from the violence perpetrated by cow vigilantes.”According to Basu, UP CM Adityanath needs to take responsibility for the violence and deaths.thewire
Bulandshahr violence: Will shoot myself if guilty go unpunished, says slain inspector’s wife
Etha:Rajni Rathore, wife of slain police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, threatened to commit suicide at the Bulandshahr police lines, if those guilty of killing her husband went unpunished.Demanding a CBI probe into the incident, she also said she would like to punish the culprits herself once they were caught.Rajni Rathore accompanied the mortal remains of her husband to his paternal village Taregawan in Etah district on Tuesday. She broke down repeatedly as she reached her in-laws’ house, which she last visited in Jan.when Subodh lost his mother.“My husband was a brave man. He used to lead from the front. But he was so shamefully ditched by his colleagues in the police force while he was tackling those protesting against cow slaughter at a village in Bulandshahr district on Monday. His mobile phone and pistol were nowhere to be found. He went down discharging his duty,” she said as she sat beside her husband’s body before the funeral.HT
UP DGP says Bulandshahr incident is part of a bigger conspiracy
Adding a new angle to the Bulandshahr violence, UP DGP OP Singh said that the incident was not just a law and order issue, but part of a larger conspiracy. DGP said that there were reasons to believe that the timing of the whole incident was a suspect.“The incident in Bulandshahr is a big conspiracy. This is not only a law and order issue, how did the cattle carcass reach there? Who brought it, why & under what circumstances?,” said SinghSingh said that first FIR was registered within 48 hours of 2 murders.nationalheraldindia
Was Bulandshahr violence ‘orchestrated’ ahead of 2019 polls, Shiv Sena asks BJP
Mumbai :Shiv Sena has attacked ally BJP over the violence in UP ’s Bulandshahr, asking if it was orchestrated to polarise society on religious grounds ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls.The issue of cow slaughter and consuming meat is widely prevalent in Goa, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura, but no violence or mob lynchings have been reported there as these states have negligible Lok Sabha seats, the Sena said in remarks laced with sarcasm.BJP could come to power at the Centre in 2014 as it won 71 out of total 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP, the party noted. BJP has realised that repeating the performance is not possible and on top of it,if Opposition comes together, like it did in the Kairana by-polls (in UP), the ruling party could be easily defeated, the Sena said.“Was the Bulandshahr incident orchestrated like the Muzaffarnagar incident before 2014 polls? BJP knows that the 2019 elections will not be easy for it. Therefore, has it used its weapon of religious polarisation?” Sena asked in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.PTI
Bulandshahr violence pattern same as Muzaffarnagar riots,pre-planned ahead of polls:CPIM
New Delhi:CPI(M) has blamed UP CM  Yogi Adityanath's "communally provocative speeches" for the Bulandshahr violence and said it was "planned" in view of 2019 Lok Sabha polls, "same as 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots".CPI(M) polit bureau in a statement condemned the brutal killing of police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a bystander, allegedly by a mob in Bulandshahr district on Monday. "Such incidents are planned in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The communally provocative speeches being made byCM  Adityanath have also created an atmosphere for the mobs to act with impunity", said the CPI(M) in the statement.
Bulandshahr incident BJP’s planned conspiracy: AAP
Lucknow: AAP Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson Sanjay Singh here on Wednesday alleged that Bulandsharh incident in which two people including a police inspector got killed, was planned conspiracy of BJP to incite the Hindu-Muslim riots for political gains. Addressing the media here Singh said that after gruesome killing of brave police officer local BJP MLA claimed that inspector was die of heart attack.Family of martyred policeman was anguished with the statement of BJP MLA, he added.BJP was failed to handle the situation and law and order situation was deteriorating day by day, he pointed out.UNI
Shadow Over Credibility of Police And Govt’s Secularism:Former DGP Prakash Singh
 New Delhi: Prakash Singh, who retired as DIG in 1996, is well known as a key architect of police reforms in India. And is a voice that brings in long years of experience as Chief of the Border Security Force, UP  Police and Assam Police. In this quick interview with The Citizen following the murder of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, Prakash Singh says, “ the police force is caught in a terrible predicament. You carry out the diktat of the politicians and you are damned. You disobey them and you are damned. In either case, they face public criticism.”thecitizen
Yogi Adityanath’s speech triggers resignation spree by Muslim leaders of BJP
Bhopal: ‘Ali Vs Bajrangbali’ speech by UP CM  Yogi Adityanath, ahead of Nov.28 assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, has triggered a resignation spree by Muslim leaders of the ruling BJP in the central Indian state.Around 20 Muslim leaders and workers have resigned from their posts and primary membership of the party in Indore, which has long been considered a RSS-BJP stronghold.Those who have sent their resignations to party leadership, include Indore BJP city executive member Haji Aman Memon, Irfan Mansoori (Indore Rural minority cell vice president), Danish Ansari (Indore city working committee member and office bearer of minority cell), Sonu Ansari (vice president of Maharana Pratap Mandal of Indore-IV assembly seat), Anis Khan and Riyaz Ansari (minority cell members in Indore district).While confirming the exits, state vice president of BJP’s minority cell Nasir Shah said, “around 18-20 minority cell office-bearers and workers have quit from their post and also the party in the last three-four days over speech by Yogi Adityanath.”newindianexpress
There Is No Evidence Of A Temple Under The Babri Masjid, ASI Lied To The Country, Say Archeologists
NEW DELHI—In August 2003, following a six-month-long excavation, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) informed the Allahabad High Court that it had found evidence of there being a temple under the Babri Masjid, the 16-century mosque demolished by kar sevaks on 6 December 1992.Two archeologists, Supriya Varma and Jaya Menon, accused the ASI of having preconceived notions ahead of the dig, and violating ethical codes and procedures during the excavation. Varma, professor of archeology at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Menon, who heads the history department at Shiv Nadar University, told the court that the excavation did not find anything that supported ASI's conclusion. In 2010, they published a paper in the Economic and Political Weekly, challenging the methods used in collecting evidence and its interpretation.The archeologists, who were observers during the excavation on behalf of the Sunni Waqf Board, a party to the tile suit in the Ayodhya dispute, say the ASI, then under the BJP-led NDA government, was under pressure to reinforce the Hindu right-wing narrative that Mughal emperor Babur's general Mir Baqi knocked down a temple to build a mosque on the spot where Hindu god Ram was born. Ahead of the 26th anniversary of the Babri Masjid's demolition, Varma spoke to HuffPost India about the three key pieces of evidence found in 2003, why she thinks the ASI felt compelled to fabricate its conclusion, and procedural lapses during the excavation led by B.R. Mani, who was later replaced on an order by the Allahabad High Court. In 2016, the Modi government appointed Mani as the Director General of the National Museum.huffingtonpost
26 years on: Ayodhya residents recall the horrors of 1992 tragedy
Ayodhya:Mohammed Azim, an auto-driver in Ayodhya, still recalls the frightening night of Dec.6, 1992 when he along with a group of other Muslim residents of the temple town had taken shelter in the farm fields fearing for their lives.Azim, who was just 20 then, said, “An army of ‘karsewaks’, in a grip of frenzy, had brought down Babri Masjid, triggering unrest and panic. We were so terrified, we did not know what to do.” 46-year-old, now a father of four, feels upset that Ram Temple issue was again being raked up by some politicians and the Sangh Parivar, threatening the “fragile peaceful atmosphere” of Ayodhya, whose residents are still trying to come to terms with the tragedy 26 years later.“Every year around this time, we fight those emotions. We have tried to put the past behind us, but the tragic memories just refuse to go away. And, with all the noise around the temple issue in Ayodhya and elsewhere, it has opened our wounds again,” he rued.Azim says the fateful night still flashes before his eyes. He says it was a Hindu family who gave him shelter when “the two communities were baying for each others’ blood”.“We were panic-stricken, so a group of us in our neighbourhood ran outside the town and into the farm fields to hide ourselves from a frenzied mob running amok in the streets,” he told PTI.PTI
'Ramayan' TV Show Laid Ground For Babri Masjid Demolition, Says Anand Patwardhan
While the Ram Temple issue has been raked up ahead of almost every general election since then, there is a particular urgency this time—BJP Govt  is just reaching the fag end of its tenure and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, its tallest leader, is being criticised even by hardened right-wingers for not making any effort to build the temple. Even RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has asked the Govt  to bring a law on this.Filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, whose documentary Ram Ke Naam traced Advani's rath yatra and the communal campaign that was unleashed, told HuffPost India that the Sangh Parivar has fallen back on religious polarisation—"their tried-and-tested weapon"—to hide the failures of economic policies such as demonetisation. In an email interview, Patwardhan also spoke about the role of Govt  broadcaster DD and the TV serial Ramayan in laying the ground for the Ram temple movement.huffingtonpost
India's Relations with Arab World, Other Muslim Nations Improved Under Modi Govt:Sushma Swaraj in UAE
Abu Dhabi India's relations with the Arab world as well as other Muslim-majority nations has improved under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Govt , External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said.Addressing the Indian community in the UAE, she said that ahead of the 2014 general elections, political analysts were of the view that if Modi becomes the Prime Minister then he won't be able to take along the West Asian countries.Swaraj arrived here on Monday on a two-day visit to attend the UAE-India Joint Commission Meeting here.India and the UAE Tuesday signed two agreements, including one on currency swap, as Swaraj held exhaustive discussions with her counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed to step up bilateral cooperation in areas like security, defence, counter-terrorism, trade and energy.PTI
Mumbai: High court upholds conviction of duo held for terror bid
Mumbai: Bombay high court has upheld the conviction and sentencing of two persons in an eight-year-old terror attempt case. The accused-Abdul Latif Shaikh and Riaz Abubakar Shaikh-tried to set on fire ONGC building in BKC, Mangaldas Market in island city and Gujarati Chawl near Thakur Mall in Dahisar but the attempts were foiled by Mumbai police. Justice AM Badar dismissed the duo's appeals, challenging their Jan.2016 conviction and sentencing by a special trial court. The trial court had held both guilty under section 18 of UAPA for conspiring and attempting or instigating the commission of, a terrorist act or any act preparatory to it. The trial court handed a sentence of rigorous imprisonment of 12 years to Abdul and 10 years to Riaz. They were both acquitted of an offence of criminal conspiracy under IPC and for a charge of recruiting a terrorist under UAPA. On March 2, 2010, assistant commissioner of police, ATS, Mumbai, received information that a Pakistan national was conspiring to commit terror activities with the help of his associates in Mumbai. A person based in Pakistan, known only as "Uncle". was communicating with Abdul on his cellphone.  The convicted duo, through their counsel Kirti Dabir, denied the charges and said the evidence was lacking and questioned the legality of the call interception. Riaz said he was working in Thakur Mall as a salesman and was "falsely implicated" in the case. The duo's case was that there was "no evidence to show they visited any place to execute the terrorist act as per intercepted conversation."TOI
Bombay HC directs Goa Chief Secy to file affidavit detailing Parrikar’s status
Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed Goa Chief Secretary to file an affidavit specifying the health status ofCM  Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday.The direction by Justice RM Borde follows a petition by local politician Trajano D'Mello, who had sought to know the health status of Parrikar, who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer and has not attended any official meeting or function outside his private residence for more than a month now.D'Mello in his petition filed earlier this month had asked the court to direct state Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma to evaluate the former Defence Minister's health by a panel of expert doctors and release a medical report in public domain.Parrikar has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New York and Delhi for nearly nine months.IANS
Anil Ambani-led firm failed delivery of vessels to Navy in time, yet contract not cancelled
Anil Ambani-led firm Reliance Naval Engineering (RNEL) is four years behind its schedule to supply 5 offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) to the Indian Navy. But, Modi Govt  has still not cancelled the contract. This delay has led the naval authorities to encash the bank guarantees given by Reliance Naval Engineering.Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba was responding to a query on whether action has been taken against the Anil Ambani-promoted company for overshooting the deadline.However, the question remains as to why the Govt  had not cancelled the contract as it had done with other companies in the past whenever the delivery was delayed.“For a similar infringement, the navy cancelled an order on ABG Shipyard, leading to its bankruptcy,” pointed out a shipbuilding industry executive, reported the Business Standard.nationalheraldindia
Governor Malik rethinks on J&K Bank’s autonomy
Jammu ;LESS than a fortnight after turning the J&K  Bank (J&K Bank) Ltd into a public sector undertaking and making it answerable to the state legislature, Governor Satya Pal Malik Tuesday said that the Govt  would re-examine the issue and that the bank board was the right forum to take all decisions.Malik’s assurance came after a delegation of bank employees met him Tuesday. His November 22 decision sparked outrage across the political spectrum and leaders in the state including Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Sajad Lone called it an assault on the bank’s autonomy.The Governor Tuesday clarified that J&K Bank, which was registered as a Govt  company under the Companies Act, was and would continue to be regulated by RBI. RBI had licensed J&K Bank, incorporated in October 1938, as an “old generation private sector bank.”The clarification puts at rest speculation in J&K that the state Govt ’s stake in the bank may be taken over by the Central Govt . The state is the single-largest shareholder and holds a majority 59.3 %  in the bank.indianexpress
Agusta deal accused Christian Michel to be in CBI custody for 5 days, orders Delhi Court
New Delhi:Christian James Michel, 57, the British businessman accused of bribery in the 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal, will remain in CBI custody for 5 days, a Delhi Special Judge ordered on Wednesday on a request by the investigating agency. The court said he can meet his lawyers for an hour, twice every day.The court’s decision came after the CBI told the judge that the agency needed to interrogate him to trace the 37 million Euros that he allegedly received for the deal. CBI had pitched for a 14-day custody, telling the court that it needed to confront the man they believed could help them unravel the money trail.Michel was earlier taken to CBI headquarters following a medical check-up after being brought to India, in a move that many see as a significant win for the Indian government. He reached the CBI headquarters at 1:38am.The extradition coincides with a visit to the UAE by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. Both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have filed cases against him. The move is even more significant because Michel is a British national being extradited to India from Dubai.HT
3 bureaucrats get 3-year jail terms in coal scam case
NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Wednesday sentenced former coal secretary H.C. Gupta to three-year imprisonment in a coal block allocation scam case that happened during the previous UPA regime at the Centre.Two other bureaucrats — K S Kropha and K C Samria — were also awarded three-year jail term.Special Judge Bharat Prasar sentenced other convicted persons Vikas Patni, MD of Vikash Metals and Power Limited, and its authorised signatory Anand Mallick to a four-year jail term. A fine of ₹1 lakh was imposed on the company.PTI
Congress Accuses BJP of EVM Tampering in MP, Moves EC for Probe
NEW DELHI:Alleging BJP in “collusion with the local administration” was “attempting to tamper/replace” EVMs during the November 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, the Congress of Tuesday sought an EC probe into four such incidents, including where EVMs were being transported to a collection centre in Sagar after 48 hours of polling.A Congress delegation led by former Union Ministers Kapil Sibal and Kamal Nath submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission, including video evidence of the four incidents, that occurred respectively in Sagar, Bhopal, Satna and Shajapur districts.“A number of incidents in various districts of MP have been reported demonstrating the ruling BJP in collusion wih local administration tried to tamper/replace the EVMs used in the districts of Sagar , Bhopal, Satna, Shajapur and districts,” the Congress said in the memorandum.Citing the incident in Sagar where EVMs were transported in a vehicle without a registration number and reaching the collection centre 48 hours after the voting ended in the state, the Congress demanded a probe into all the EVMs to ascertain which authority directed the transport of the EVMs and whether any “foreign chip or any external device or component has been attached to the EVMs”.It also demanded a probe into an EVM strongroom facing blackout in Bhopal on November 30 with CCTVs not working during the blackout.IANS
Kushwaha may announce split from NDA today
New Delhi :RLSP chief and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha, who has been at loggerheads with BJP over seat-sharing arrangement for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, may announce the party’s split from the NDA on Wednesday. If that happens, Kushwaha’s RLSP will be the second alliance partner after Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP to walk out of NDA with just four months left for the crucial general elections.RLSP chief, who is the minister of state for Human Resource Development, had earlier served BJP with a deadline of November 30 to increase the number of seats offered from two. On Monday, Kushwaha dared BJP to dismiss him as Union minister.Kushwaha had hinted that the party, which is holding a two-day brainstorming session in Valmikinagar in West Champaran district over the prevailing political situation in the state, would make a “big announcement” on Dec. 5.indianexpress
Hindus deserve respect because they are natives invaded by Muslims: RSS leader
RSS leader Suresh Joshi stoked controversy on Tuesday saying the primary goal of the Hindu outfit is to keep the Indian culture alive at all costs and that Hindus should prevent marrying their girls into other communities. Joshi alias Bhaiyya Ji said that the primary goal of the RSS is to keep the Indian culture alive and the BJP Govt  at the Centre has been instrumental in doing so.Talking about the workings of RSS, he said that the RSS transforms the mind, body and soul of the person who joins the organization. "Anyone who sincerely attends a few 'shakhas' will become a completely different person from what he was," said Joshi.He added that to keep the Indian culture alive, the number of 'swayamsevaks' will have to be increased while more and more people will need to be involved with the social work that the RSS has been doing in the country since its inception.indiatoday
SC approves Centre’s draft witness protection scheme
NEW DELHI:The Supreme Court on Wednesday approved the Central Govt ’s draft witness protection scheme and asked all the States to implement it till Parliament comes out with legislation.A Bench headed by Justice A.K. Sikri said they have made some changes in the scheme.The issue had cropped up when the top court was hearing a PIL petition seeking protection for witnesses in rape cases involving self-styled preacher Asaram Bapu.During the hearing on November 19, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the court that the draft scheme, which has now been finalised, would be made into law “in due course”, but till then the court could direct the States to start implementing it.PTI
US senators: 'Zero chance' MBS not involved in Khashoggi killing
After a closed-door briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel, some top US senators have said there is "zero chance" Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) wasn't involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi."Views that I had before have only solidified," said Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who has called for a strong reaction from the United States to Khashoggi's death and backs legislation to end all support for the Saudi coalition waging war in Yemen. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters, "You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organised by people under the command of MBS."He added that it appeared the Trump administration does not want to recognise evidence of the crown prince's complicity. Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, echoed the comments, saying he had zero doubt in his mind that Prince Mohammed ordered and monitored the killing of Khashoggi.He added that if Prince Mohammed were put on trial, a jury would find him guilty in "about 30 minutes".aljazeera
Khashoggi murder: CIA holds classified briefing, concludes Saudi crown Prince ordered killing
Turkish prosecutor seeks arrests of Saudi crown prince  aides Khashoggi murder
Istanbul's chief prosecutor has filed warrants for the arrest of a top aide to Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler and the deputy head of foreign intelligence on suspicion of planning the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.The prosecutor's office concluded that there is "strong suspicion" that Saud al-Qahtani and Ahmed Asiri, who were both removed from their positions following the murder, were among the planners of the murder, two Turkish officials said on Wednesday."The prosecution's move to issue arrest warrants for Asiri and Qahtani reflects the view that the Saudi authorities won't take formal action against those individuals," one of the officials told Reuters.The official added that Saudi Arabia could address international concern by extraditing all suspects in the case to Turkey.The Saudi prosecution has previously acknowledged that al-Qahtani and Asiri were part of the plot to kill Khashoggi. The 2 men were both high-ranking officials with close ties to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.aljazeera
Turkey seeks arrest of 2 Saudi crown prince allies over Khashoggi murder
Saudi king extends invitation to Qatari emir to attend GCC summit
Saudi Arabia's King Salman has invited Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to attend the upcoming Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit set to take place in Riyadh on December 9, the official Qatar News Agency reported.The announcement on Tuesday follows Qatar's decision a day earlier to withdraw from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a move seen by some analysts as deeply symbolic given Qatar's modest oil output.Qatar News Agency (QNA) said in a tweet the emir received "an invitation from the King of Saudi Arabia" for the meeting. The invitation was delivered by the Bahraini secretary general of the GCC, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, during a reception by Qatar's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi. QNA did not say if Sheikh Tamim would travel to Saudi Arabia."I am optimistic that the level of representation is expected to be high and reflects the keenness of GCC leaders to maintain this pioneering experience," Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah was quoted as saying at the time. aljazeera
Saudi refuses to engage in WTO dispute brought by Qatar
Saudi Arabia told the World Trade Organization on Tuesday that national security concerns meant it "simply will not engage in dispute settlement procedures" regarding an intellectual property complaint by Qatar.Qatar launched the dispute in October, saying Saudi Arabia was blocking Qatari-owned broadcaster beIN and refusing to take effective action against the piracy of its content by a sophisticated operation called "beoutQ".BeoutQ, a 10-channel system broadcasting to the Middle East on the Arabsat satellite operator, is allegedly being transmitted from Saudi Arabia.Saudi representative told a WTO dispute settlement meeting that Riyadh had cut ties with Qatar to protect its vital security interests and WTO agreements could not override that decision."My Govt  considers that the severance of diplomatic relations renders impossible the conduct of any dispute settlement procedures," the Saudi trade diplomat said.aljazeera
US special Afghanistan envoy skips India
New Delhi: US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in a curious move, twice in as many months, has decided to skip India during his fortnight travel to the region for advancing peace talks in the landlocked country.While India remains a key stakeholder in Afghanistan and Khalilzad has attended all peace conferences including Geneva talks and Moscow format recently, this is the second time that he will not be visiting India while touring the region.“Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will travel to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Belgium, UAE, and Qatar with an interagency delegation from Dec.2-20,” US State Department said. Khalilzad has always batted for a bigger role for India in Afghanistan and so it is even more surprising that he has decided to give Delhi the miss during his last two visits for consultations.Khalilzad will meet Afghan Govt  officials and other interested parties to support and facilitate an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan. “Special Representative Khalilzad will be in communication with President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah, and other Afghan stakeholders to coordinate closely on efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table with the Afghan Govt  and other Afghans,” according to the State Department.TOI
Taliban being utilised as hedge against India: US Commander
Nearly 2 days after US President Donald Trump sought Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's help in the Afghan peace process, a top American commander has told lawmakers that Islamabad's policy seems to be unchanged and it continues to use the Taliban as a hedge against India."Pakistan is an essential element in long-term stability in Afghanistan," Marine Corps Lt Gen Kenneth McKenzie Jr told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing for commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM).Pakistan could play a key role in facilitating talks between the Taliban and Govt of Afghanistan, he said, adding, "I would welcome that development. At this time, however, Pakistan does not appear to be using the full extent of its influence to encourage the Taliban to come to the table.""We continue to see the Taliban being utilised as a hedge against India rather than as part of a stable, reconciled Afghanistan," McKenzie told the lawmakers during his confirmation hearing. India TV
Uruguay affirms support for Palestinians rights
Uruguay’s Vice-President, Lucia Topolansky has affirmed her country’s support for the Palestinian people’s rights and the importance of cooperation in various fields.Topolansky made the remarks during a meeting with Palestinian Ambassador, Walid Abdel Rahim.Ambassador Abdel Rahim stressed that the Palestinian people appreciate Uruguay’s support for their right to self-determination and to have an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders.The ambassador briefed the Uruguayan official about the Israeli violations of international law and human rights including building illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, demolishing Palestinian homes and depriving the Palestinians of their most basic human rights.middleeastmonitor
Extreme weather events killed over 70,000 people in India, 5.2 lakh across world in 20 years: Report
Katowice:Just in 2017 alone, 2,736 people in India died in extreme weather events like floods, excessive rain or cyclones, the report by Germanwatch, an independent development organisation, said.Amid calls for much stronger action on climate change, a new report on Tuesday said more than 5.2 lakh people died in extreme weather events across the world in the last twenty years, with India accounting for the second highest number of these casualties after Myanmar.Just in 2017 alone, 2,736 people in India died in extreme weather events like floods, excessive rain or cyclones, the report by Germanwatch, an independent development organisation, said. This too was the second highest number of such deaths in the world, topped only by Puerto Rico, which bore the brunt of Hurricane Maria in Sept.2017 which claimed 2,978 lives.In the 20-year period between 1998 and 2017, India lost, on an average, 3,660 people every year, with a total of 73,212 casualties.During this period, India faced super cyclone in Odisha, several other cyclones, floods, landslides and extreme rain and heat-wave events.indianexpress
Why Qatar has left OPEC, and how the decision will impact oil prices, India
A new deal for the farmer:A Basic Income Scheme for the farmer will not tax the Govt ’s resources:Yashwant Sinha
Explained: Why number of hungry is rising
The cow vigilante menace: UP records highest number of incidents
Bulandshahar Killings Mark a Moment of Truth for the UP Police:Tariq Hasan
The Hindi news channel editor who thrives on ‘provoking Hindu-Muslim hate’:Amrita Nayak Dutta
Bulandshahr focus shifts from Hindu vigilantism to cows or is Yogi following due process?
Chilling video points to dangerous plans by Hindutva brigade in Bulandshahr, one Kundan had allegedly ‘slaughtered’ cow: jantakareporter
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visited Court No. 1 in the Supreme Court;Swati Chaturvedi

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:02 PM)


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