July 22, 2017

On 77th birthday, Shankersinh Vaghela announces decision to quit Congress

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Addressing a rally in Gandhinagar on his 77th birthday, Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela claimed that the party high command expelled him on Thursday. “I’m freeing myself from Congress or any party from now,” he asserted in the meeting. PTI

Addressing a rally in Gandhinagar on his 77th birthday, Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela claimed

2/4On 77th birthday, Shankersinh Vaghela announces decision to quit Congress

He also told the gathering that he won’t join any political party now. “To all my supporters and MLAs who are behind me… Do whatever you like… I’m no longer in any position,” he said. PTI

He also told the gathering that he won’t join any political party now. “To all my supporters and MLA

3/4On 77th birthday, Shankersinh Vaghela announces decision to quit Congress

He also announced that he would immediately resign as the leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly and give up his membership of the House after the Rajya Sabha polls in the state scheduled for 8 August. PTI

He also announced that he would immediately resign as the leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assemb

4/4On 77th birthday, Shankersinh Vaghela announces decision to quit Congress

Meanwhile, Congress denied Vaghela’s accusations and said that he chose to quit of his own accord. AICC communications chief Randeep S Surjewala claimed that Vaghela wanted to replace the current Gujarat Congress chief. PTI

Meanwhile, Congress denied Vaghela’s accusations and said that he chose to quit of his own accord. A

Amarnath Yatra 2017: Batch of 1,180 pilgrims leave for cave shrine with 43-vehicle convoy

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Jammu: A fresh batch of over 1,100 pilgrims left on Saturday to perform the ongoing Amarnath Yatra, an official said.

“Another batch of 1,180 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas at 3.40 a.m. in an escorted convoy of 43 vehicles for the Kashmir Valley,” he said.

Representational image. PTI

There were 787 males, 243 females and 150 sadhus (holy men) in the convoy.

The pilgrimage to the Himalayan cave shrine that began on 29 June, entered its 24th day on Saturday.

The 40-day long ‘yatra’ will end on 7 August on ‘Shravan Purnima’ coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan festival.

Every day the pilgrims have to start their journey early as no vehicles carrying pilgrims are allowed to cross the Jawahar Tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar highway after 3.30 pm due to security reasons.

The precaution was taken to ensure that the pilgrims reach the base camps of Baltal in the north and Pahalgam in the south of the Kashmir Valley before sunset.

From the two base camps, the pilgrims have to track treacherous mountain tracks. The traditional Pahalgam route is 46 km long and takes around four days. While the one from Baltal is 14 km.

The yatris who use the Baltal route return to the base camp the same day after paying obeisance inside the cave shrine.

Helicopter services are also available for pilgrims on both routes.

A total of 48 pilgrims have so far died during the yatra in 2017. Of these 17 died in a road accident on Jammu-Srinagar highway on 16 July.

While eight died in a terror attack on a bus carrying pilgrims at Batengo on the same highway on 10 July in Anantnag district. Another 23 died due to natural causes.

Situated at 3,888 metres above the sea-level, the Amarnath cave houses an ice stalagmite structure that waxes and wanes with the size of the visible moon.

Devotees believe the ice stalagmite structure symbolizes mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

Over 35,000 security personnel drawn from the army, Central Reserve Police Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the state police are deployed for the protection of the pilgrims this year.

Published Date: Jul 22, 2017 09:17 am | Updated Date: Jul 22, 2017 09:17 am

BJP, Congress, Shiv Sena condemn Farooq Abdullah’s suggestion of third party mediation in Kashmir

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New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and Shiv Sena on Friday condemned National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah’s suggestion of third party mediation to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Abdullah had suggested that India should take the help of “friends” to resolve the Kashmir issue, drawing sharp reactions from the parties.

“Abdullah must stop advancing Pakistan’s fake nuclear blackmail. Out of power, Abdullah is speaking the language of separatists and of Pakistan. His flip-flops on Kashmir reek of hypocrisy,” BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said.

He said Abdullah must tell “his friends” in Pakistan to stop exporting terror and meddling in Kashmir.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi too flayed any attempt for third party intervention to resolve the issue, saying “Kashmir is India”.

File image of Farooq Abdullah. Image courtesy: Sameer Yasir

“It is being said there should be discussion on Kashmir with China and Pakistan but my opinion is that Kashmir is India and India is Kashmir and this is our internal matter… our internal business and no one should interfere in it,” he said.

Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant also “deplored” Abdullah’s comment, saying, “Kashmir is our issue. Kashmir is India’s and we will resolve the issue within the country. Nobody else is required to intervene in our matter”.

Union minister Giriraj Singh said it is the government’s clear policy that it will “not tolerate any intervention” from a third party on the Kashmir issue.

“Till Pakistan keeps on funding terrorists, there would be no talks with Pakistan,” he said.

Criticising Abdullah’s comments, Jammu and Kashmir’s deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh said that Abdullah is “out of power and frustated”.

“What do you mean by third party? What is the stand of the entire country? What is the resolution of Parliament?” he questioned, wondering whether Abdullah wants India to “bend its knees before Pakistan”.

“I condemn this. I will ask him to apologise for such comments,” he added.

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said, “In my opinion Farooq Abdullah should go to some third country…He is not talking in favour of India. Even Pakistan will not accept him”.

Claiming that dialogue was the only solution for Kashmir, Abdullah had said, “The way out is through dialogue. Use your friends… Use them for dialogue to resolve the issue”.

“Till what time should we wait? Should we wait for a thousand years? You have to take the bull by the horns. You have to do it sometimes. They (Pakistan) have atom bomb, so have you. How many people will you kill? This is not the way,” he had said.

“How many more wars will you fight? How much more will you damage India? The money you spent on buying planes, materials for forces … If you spend it on poor farmers, India will prosper,” Abdullah said.

Published Date: Jul 22, 2017 09:16 am | Updated Date: Jul 22, 2017 09:16 am

UP Assembly passes budget for 76 departments in 15 minutes as Opposition boycotts proceedings

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Lucknow: With the entire opposition absent from the proceedings of the budget session in Uttar Pradesh assembly for the second consecutive day, the budget worth several hundred crores of 76 departments was passed on Friday in merely 15 minutes.

The Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) are keeping away from the proceedings after a vitriolic attack from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday.

Tearing into the opposition, he warned them not to preach, as if he opens his mouth, many opposition leaders would not have a place to hide. Taking umbrage to this, the opposition had announced boycott of the assembly proceedings.

File image of Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow. PTI

The budget was passed without any supplementaries or any debate. Fourteen questions were put from the treasury benches and they were responded to in 15 minutes and the budget passed.

A motion was moved in the House to congratulate Ram Nath Kovind for his election as the 14th President of India.

Parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Khanna also rebutted charges by the opposition, given to the media, that the Chief Minister was unparliamentary in his language and had threatened the opposition benches.

The budget session was to conclude on 28 July but chances are high now that it might be curtailed to 24 July.

The House was adjourned on Friday till Monday and it is expected that on that day, the budget of remaining departments, including Home, will be presented and passed.

Published Date: Jul 22, 2017 09:10 am | Updated Date: Jul 22, 2017 09:10 am

CAG raps three IITs for wasteful expenditures, irregularities that cost exchequer around Rs 18 crore

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New Delhi: A CAG report has exposed wasteful and avoidable expenditures, and irregularities in three IITs at Jodhpur, Roorkee, and Madras, that cost the exchequer around Rs 18.03 crores.

According to the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report – Compliance Audit Observations for year ended March 2016 – IIT-Roorkee spent Rs 15.06 crore in vain for construction of sewer lines and sewage treatment plant projects which was not completed even after four years from the date of completion.

Representational image. PTI

IIT-Roorkee had also paid service tax to the tune of around Rs 1.33 crores for outsourced services although these services were exempted from such tax, the report stated.

IIT-Jodhpur had irregularly waived recovery of excess payment amounting to Rs 59.38 lakh to its faculty.

The report said, “The MHRD has directed IIT-Jodhpur to stop overpayment and recover the excess payments”.

IIT-Madras has been accused of incurring avoidable expenditure of Rs 1.05 crores towards penal charges on electricity consumption.

Besides, Indian Institute of Management – Kozhikode (IIM-K) has also been accused of extending GPF-cum-pension scheme to its employees without government approval which has cost Rs 61.20 lakh.

Published Date: Jul 22, 2017 09:06 am | Updated Date: Jul 22, 2017 09:06 am

Sri Lankan Navy arrests eight Tamil Nadu fishermen; fifth such incident in July

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Eight fishermen from Tamil Nadu were today arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly fishing in their territorial waters, a senior fisheries official said.

Representational image . Reuters

This is the fifth such incident this month. The fishermen from Nagapattinam district were arrested for fishing off Neduntheevu near the Sri Lankan coast and have been taken to Kangesanthurai port, Nagapattinam joint fisheries director Amala Xavier said.
On Monday, four fishermen from Jagadapattinam in Pudukottai district were arrested for allegedly fishing off Neduntheevu.

On 13 July, seven fishermen from Mandapam near here were held off Neduntheevu and taken to Kangesanthurai port, for allegedly fishing in the Lankan waters.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in finding a permanent solution to the recurring mid-sea arrests.

“Such continuing incidents of arrests of fishermen were a deliberate attempt by Sri Lanka to derail India’s efforts to find a permanent solution to the vexed issue,” he had said in a letter dated 13 July. The state government has maintained that retrieval of Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka in the 1970s, was the “only solution” to the vexed fishermen’s issue.

Published Date: Jul 22, 2017 08:09 am | Updated Date: Jul 22, 2017 08:16 am

AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal booked for molestation

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In yet another blow for the party, AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal, has been accused of molesting and threatening a woman. The complaint was given by a woman, allegedly a member of the Rashtravadi Janata Party.

This is the second time that a case of molestation has been lodged against Jarwal. He had been booked, three months ago as well, on charges of misbehaving with a woman.

According to the police the woman alleged that Jarwal along with 40-50 people entered her residence and misbehaved with her. “The MCD staffers had reached near my residence in order to shut down a bakery. Some people were also having an argument. Jarwal, along with other people, then entered my house and said that my son had abused him. However, my son had gone for classes in South Delhi and was not even present at home,” said the woman in her complaint.

The woman added that he grabbed her dupatta and pushed her. She also said that it was not just her. Her husband, who was also present at the house during the time of the incident, is a blood pressure patient and even he was threatened, she alleged.

A case under section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code was registered.

Girls accuse Hindu college of discrimination

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Delhi University’s Hindu College is again in the eye of the storm for allegedly imposing ‘discriminatory’ hostel rules and fee-structure on female hostellers.

According to students, as per the new hostel fee structure issued by the college, girls have to pay far more than boys. “Female students will have to pay around Rs 70,000 annually which is around Rs 20,000 more than what is being charged from the male students,” said a third-year student at Hindu College, on condition of anonymity.

“Also, there is a curfew timing of 11 pm for girls. Although the college has raised the deadline of 8:30 pm from last year but still why was it there in the first place? Boys have no curfew timings.”

The college administration, however, denied the charges. “Some students are disseminating false information about the college. We have not made any discriminatory hostel rules for girls,” said a senior official at the college.

Hindu college principal Anju Shrivastav did not respond for a comment.

The students also alleged that knowing the move would prompt unrest on the campus, the administration did not upload the new guidelines on its website. “The administration has moved with utmost stealth, not announcing the hostel on their website but instead sending new students separate mails,” alleged another third-year student at the college.

Last year also, students had held multiple protests against the ‘discriminatory’ hostel rules following which the college authorities had announced that there would be no admissions in the girls’ hostel. However, later, the college decided to reconsider its stand and formed a committee to look into the issue.

Former Delhi Culture Minister Kapil Mishra had also accused Hindu College authorities of imposing ‘regressive and discriminatory’ rules for female hostellers and had sought Delhi University Vice Chancellor’s intervention in this regard.

1 member of Rajesh Bharti gang who murdered youth in Dwarka, arrested

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Police have arrested one man from the gang that had rained bullets on a youth in Dwarka earlier this week, leaving him dead on the spot.

Senior officers said the man belongs to a gang who execute contract killings for extortion or revenge.

“The accused Aman alias Azad is a sharpshooter of the Rajesh Bharti gang. In order to create fear they would leave pamphlets of their gang at the crime scene and flee. A pistol and two live rounds were also recovered from him,” said Surendra Kumar, DCP (South-West).

Police officers also stated that there were two other incidents in the last week where the accused is believed to have been involved.

On July 17, Vikas alias Vicky was shot dead by pumping 13 bullets into him. The attackers left a note saying “Gangster Rajesh Kandla alias Bharti,” before leaving the spot.

The next day an incident of road rage took place in Outer Delhi where two brothers were shot at, on the main road.

One of them died on the spot while the other was injured.

Investigations revealed that gang members of Rajesh Bharti gang including Aman Khadkhadi, Devender alias Sonu Khadkhadi, Sanjeet Bidroh, Umesh Kaakrola, Mahesh Ismail, Shekhar and others were involved in the Dwarka shooting.

The police received information on Thursday night that Aman would visit Khadkhadi village in southwest Delhi.

When officers intercepted him there, Aman whipped out his pistol, but was nabbed by the police. The motorcycle he was travelling on was found to be stolen. Police officers said that Aman entered the crime world at the age of 17 and his school friends became his associates.

Unknown assailants thrash cricketer

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IPL cricketer Parwinder Awana was beaten up by unknown assailants in Greater Noida’s Kasna village area on Friday evening. The police claim the incident was a result of misidentification among a group of people who were already having a fight.

According to the police, the incident occurred around 3:30 pm when Awana, along with his friends, had gone to Barf Patri in the Kasna Site 4 area to purchase ice. He told the police that two groups were fighting when they were walking towards the Patri area.

After they left, a car started following them. The occupants of the car misunderstood Awana and his friends with the same people they were having a fight. They stopped the car and thrashed Awana and his friends with sticks.

SSP (Rural) Suniti said that the attack was due to misidentification and a case against unknown assailants has been registered.

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