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June 25, 2019
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Gambia's Parliament extends leader's stay in power 3 months

in Delhi/India/Politics/World by

BANJUL: Gambia’s Parliament has voted to extend President Yahya Jammeh’s term in office for three months, even as his mandate was set to end tomorrow, state television said today. The extension takes effect immediately.

The announcement came a day after Jammeh declared a three-month state of emergency as he seeks to stay in power despite losing elections in December. President-elect Adama Barrow has vowed to be sworn in tomorrow, with the backing of the international community. As the political crisis deepened, special flights were being organised to evacuate British and other tourists from Gambia, where the threat of a regional military intervention loomed to force Jammeh to step down. Jammeh has challenged the election results, citing voting irregularities, and the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS has threatened to send in troops to make him leave.

Thousands of people have been fleeing the tiny country, including a number of government ministers. Barrow is in neighboring Senegal for his safety. Travel group Thomas Cook said it planned to bring home nearly 1,000 vacationers, and four flights were being added today. The evacuation was not mandatory, but offered those who want to leave the option. Many tourists seemed unaware and continued to enjoy lying on the beach. While Jammeh’s government has been accused by human rights groups of arbitrary detentions and torture of opponents during his 22-year rule, the government has promoted Gambia as “the smiling coast of Africa.”

In the Netherlands, travel company Corendon said it was sending planes to Gambia to bring home tourists. The company said 831 Dutch tourists were on Corendon vacations there. Another Dutch tour operator, Tui, was sending five aircraft to repatriate Dutch and Belgian tourists. Tui said it had 815 Dutch tourists and 228 Belgians in the country. Tui spokeswoman Petra Kok said the company was making it clear to tourists that if they decide to stay, it is their own responsibility. The Dutch government has a negative travel advisory in place for tourists wanting to visit the country. The new state of emergency bans people from “any acts of disobedience” or violence, and it tells security forces to maintain order.

Centre's 2016 notification on Jallikattu balances sport, animal care: Javadekar

in Delhi/India/Politics by

Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar. | AFP

NEW DELHI: With the pro-Jallikattu protests intensifying in Tamil Nadu, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar today said the Centre’s January 2016 notification, which is under legal scrutiny and will get favourable verdict, allowed the traditional sport while accommodating animal care concerns.

“As far as Jallikattu is concerned, when I was Environment minister we had already issued a notification which has not been quashed by Supreme Court.

“But the implementation of the notification has been stayed. But I am very sure the notification will stand legal scrutiny when if finally gets disposed off,” he told reporters at an event organised by the HRD ministry, when asked about the pro-Jallikattu protests across Tamil Nadu, which had gained steam.

Javadekar, who earlier held the Environment and Forests portfolio, emphasised that the notification takes care of animal care while also allowing the traditions and the sports.

“…I am very sure because it provides for animal care and allowing the traditions and sports to take place. So it is a very balanced notification, let us see how the court decides,” Javadekar said.

The Centre, on January 8, 2016, had issued a notification lifting ban on Jallikattu with certain restrictions.
Stir by students seeking nod for Jallikattu gained momentum today as it spread to all parts of Tamil Nadu with IT employees joining it.

The state government today held talks with agitators and assured its commitment to hold the bull-taming sport in Tamil Nadu. 

No ex-gratia paid to Burhan’s family: JK Govt

in Delhi/India/Politics by

SRINAGAR: The PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday disclosed that no compensation has been paid to the family of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani over his or his brother’s killing.

“No ex-gratia relief has been paid by the government to the next of kins (NoKs) of slain Khalid Muzaffar Wani and his 21-year-old brother Burhan Muzaffar Wani, who was a Hizbul Mujahideen commander and was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8 last year,” J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who also holds Home portfolio, informed J&K Legislative Assembly in a written response to a query by BJP legislator, Rajiv Jasrotia.

The coalition government had in November last year cleared ex-gratia relief to next of kin (NoK) of  Khalid Muzaffar Wani – Burhan’s brother, who was killed by security forces in April last year.

According to Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, cases for exgratia of 27 slain persons were placed for clearance before District Level Screening-cum-Consultative Committee (DLSCC) on 24/11/2016 under admissible rules on account of death/injury/property damage cases and SRO-43 cases in favour of next of kins of the persons, who died in militancy related incidents or whose property was damaged in such incidents in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Of the 27 cases, 17 cases of exgratia to next of kin of the slain persons were cleared by the panel.  Among the cases cleared was Khalid Muzaffar Wani son of Mohammad Muzaffar Wani of Tral in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, who was killed in security forces firing in Buchoo forest area of Tral on April 13, 2015. He was pursuing Masters Degree in Political Science from the Indira Gandhi National Open University when he was killed.

After Khalid was killed, army had claimed that he was an over-ground worker of Hizbul Mujahideen and killed in an encounter. However, locals had denied the army version and said he was a civilian with no links to militancy and was killed for being brother of Burhan.

Burhan, a wanted Hizbul commander,  was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kokernag area of South Kashmir on July 8 last year. His killing triggered over five months long unrest in the Valley during which 94 people including two policemen were killed and over 13000 injured.

No relief sanctioned to NoKs of Uri attack

The CM in her written response informed the Legislative Assembly that exgratia for the NoKs of soldiers killed in militant attack on army base in Uri in September last year has not been sanctioned yet.

“The ex-gatia cases in response of NoKs of Uri attack have not been received by the Home department from the concerned units/authorities,” she said.

At least 19 soldiers were killed after four heavily armed militants suspected to be members of Jaish-e-Mohammad stormed a well-fortified army base in Uri, close to Line of Control (LoC) on September 18 last year. All the four attackers were also killed in the retaliatory firing.

Rs 1.66 Cr relief sanctioned for NoKs of soldiers

The J&K government disclosed that ex-gratia relief Rs 1.66 crores has been sanctioned in favour of NoKs of 77 army/central armed paramilitary forces personnel killed in the State since January 2015 till date. “The amount is disbursed among the beneficiaries through the concerned Commanding Officer,” it stated.

The government stated that NoKs of only those army and central para military forces, who get killed within the territorial jurisdiction of the State in militancy incidents, violence attributable to breach of law and order including while on leave/inter station movement, are eligible for sanction of ex-gratia.

“A compensation of Rs 5 lakh is provided to NoKs of soldier, who belongs to J&K and is killed in the State. An amount of Rs 2 lakhs  is provided as relief to NoKs of non-state subject soldier killed in the State,” it further stated.

Irani told DU not to reveal her educational qualification: SOL

in Delhi/India/Politics by

Union HRD minister Smriti Irani

NEW DELHI: Amid the row over her educational qualification, Union Minister Smriti Irani had asked the Delhi University not to disclose it to an RTI applicant, the School of Open Learning has told the Central Information Commission.

The Commission has now directed the School of Open Learning (SoL) to produce before it all the records related to educational details of Irani, Union Textile Minister.

A fresh show cause notice has been issued to the Central Public Information Officer of DU for having failed to produce the records before the Commission as directed.

Irani’s degrees have been caught in a row after a petitioner alleged she had given contradictory information in her affidavits filed before contesting elections in 2004, 2011 and 2014.

In her affidavit for April, 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Irani had said she completed her BA in 1996 from DU (School of Correspondence as SoL was then called), whereas in another affidavit of July 11, 2011 to contest Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, she said her highest educational qualification was B.Com Part I, a petitioner had alleged in a city court.

The matter was dismissed by the court on the ground that considerable time had lapsed in filing the complaint.

The issue is, however, still alive before the Central Information Commission where an applicant had filed an appeal, saying he was not given information about Irani’s educational qualification by the SoL.

During a hearing, SoL’s Central Public Information Officer O P Tanwar said considering that it was a third party information he had consulted Irani about the disclosure.

“In her response (she) raised objection against (sic) disclosure and requested the public authority not to reveal her educational qualification. The CPIO pleaded that information sought was given by the former HRD Minister in fiduciary capacity and hence could not be divulged as per Section 8(1)(e),” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said in his order. 

Lok Dal still hopeful of getting Mulayam by its side

in Delhi/India/Politics by

LUCKNOW: Even though truce appears to be on the cards in Samajwadi Party, Lok Dal is still hopeful of getting Mulayam Singh Yadav by its side, saying it expects “some development” in next two-three days.

“I have met Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has been humiliated by son Akhilesh, who took away the party from him and again offered to use our party’s banner. He (Mulayam) is in dilemma after being ditched by son. It’s obviously a tough decision to leave his own party,” Lok Dal national president Sunil Singh told PTI.

Mulayam has given a list of 38 candidates to Akhilesh for the upcoming Assembly polls, Singh said.

“Half of them will not be given tickets. Many SP leaders are in touch with me. I expect some development in next two- three days from their (Mulayam’s) side,” he added.

Lok Dal had earlier offered Mulayam its symbol to contest the Assembly polls amid apprehensions that the Election Commission could freeze Samajwadi Party’s sybmol ‘cycle’ in view of dispute between the factions led by the father and the son Akhilesh.     

However, the Election Commission granted the symbol to Akhilesh.

“I offer Lok Dal’s symbol and national president post to ‘netaji’ and am ready to contest the polls with him,” Singh had said earlier.

Mulayam was given an ‘option B’ by the Lok Dal which offered its symbol and national president post to him.

Lok Dal in EC’s records is a registered, unrecognised party that was formed by veteran socialist leader Charan Singh way back in 1980 and Mulayam is its founder member.

“With or without him (Mulayam), our party will be contesting the polls and our candidates are working on the ground,” the Lok Dal leader said today.

When asked about his party’s alliance with any other party in the state, Singh said he has not yet talked to
anyone but options are open.

Lok Dal, which has the old election symbol of farmer ploughing field, on which Charan Singh had become the Chief Minister of UP, wants to contest Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and has already short-listed names of 100 candidates.

In 2012 elections, Lok Dal had contested 76 seats and its candidate though did not win any seat but received 5,000 to 15,000 votes in most of the constituencies.

The state will have a seven-phase polling beginning February 11 and filing of nomination papers has already started.

Sunil, who also met Shivpal Yadav, said, “he is ready to be part of the Lok Dal if his brother (Mulayam) come to us.”
 

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