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Fresh clashes break out in Srinagar college

first_imgClashes broke out on Monday between protesting students and security forces at S P College here, police said. No casualties were reported in the incident.A group of students tried to take out a protest march from S P College on Maulana Azad Road in Srinagar but were prevented by the police, a police official said.He said some students indulged in stone-pelting following which the cops and other security forces used batons to chase them away.Colleges opened in Kashmir on Monday after a gap of five days as authorities shut higher educational institutions as a precautionary measure in the wake of valley-wide student protests last Monday against alleged highhandedness of security forces with students in Pulwama on April 15.last_img read more

Bhim Army to protest at Jantar Mantar again

first_imgA week after Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad was arrested by the Special Task Force, the Dalit outfit has planned another protest at Jantar Mantar on June 18 against the “wrongful arrest” of its founder. Mr. Chandrashekhar’s mother Kamlesh Devi is expected to address the rally. Vinay Ratan Singh, who is heading the Bhim Army in Mr. Azad’s absence, said the rally was a protest against the framing of innocent people for the riots in Shabbirpur village of Saharanpur last month. Its previous rally at Jantar Mantar in May saw a huge turnout.Satish Prakash, a Dalit activist campaigning for Sunday’s rally, told The Hindu: “It is being organised to tell the U.P. government that it cannot arrest someone for standing for the rights of Dalits and for protesting against their rights violations. What happened in Shabbirpur on May 5 and in subsequent days, was a one-sided action by the Adityanath government in favour of the Thakur community and against the Dalit victims of the caste violence.” The Bhim Army is running a campaign on social media to spread the word about the rally. It has circulated a video of Mr. Chandrashekhar’s mother appealing to the people to join the rally. The outfit is circulating pamphlets and posters in Saharanpur. Activists and supporters are also mobilising people from across western Uttar Pradesh.last_img read more

BJP MLA in Rajasthan dies of swine flu

first_imgBharatiya Janata Party MLA from Mandalgarh in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district, Kirti Kumari, died of swine flu here on Monday while undergoing treatment at a private hospital.She was admitted there after her treatment at the Sawai Man Singh government hospital, where she was brought from Kota, was discontinued because the hospital did not have an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine. Ms. Kumari, who belonged to the erstwhile royal family of Bijolia, was 51. Some Rajput community groups have alleged negligence in her treatment.Protocols followedMs. Kumari fell ill while visiting Bijolia last week, complaining of breathlessness.Sawai Man Singh government hospital’s Medical Superintendent, D.S. Meena, said Ms. Kumari was placed on a ventilator and attended by a team of medical experts as per the standard treatment and care protocol. However, the doctors at Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, who were consulted, advised that she be treated using an ECMO machine.As the machine was not available in SMS Hospital, Ms. Kumari was shifted to Fortis Hospital on Sunday evening. She breathed her last at about 7:00 a.m. on Monday. Her body was cremated at Bijolia in the evening.Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and BJP State president Ashok Parnami expressed grief at Ms. Kumari’s untimely death and said it was an “irreparable loss” for the party. Ms. Kumari was active in the State politics for several years and had defeated her Congress rival by a huge margin the 2013 Assembly election.last_img read more

Haryana BJP chief’s son Vikas Barala gets bail in stalking case

first_imgThe Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday granted bail to Vikas Barala, son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala, in the case of alleged abduction, wrongfully restraining and stalking of a 29-year-old woman in Chandigarh in August last year.Justice Lisa Gill, while granting bail to Barala (23) asked him to strictly stay away from the victim and her family and in no way try to influence the trial of the case.“Vikas Barala has been granted bail by the court,” Vinod Ghai, one of his counsel, told reporters.Mr. Barala’s counsels submitted in the court that the trial of the case was going on in the lower court and that the accused has been in jail for around five months. Besides, the statement of the victim has been recorded as well and, therefore he should be granted bail.Mr. Barala, the key accused in the case, has been in jail since August 9, and faces charges under different Sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 354 D (stalking), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 365 read with 511 (attempt to kidnap). His bail petition was dismissed four times by the trial court.Meanwhile, in the trial court Varnika Kundu’s cross-examination was conducted on Wednesday during which she firmly stood by her allegations against the accused.Mr. Barala and friend Ashish allegedly chased Varnika Kundu — a disc jockey by profession — in their SUV while she was returning home from Chandigarh to Panchkula on the intervening night of August 4 and August 5, 2017.Both the accused were first arrested on August 5 on the complaint of Ms. Kundu but were soon released on bail as they were booked under bailable sections of the IPC and the Motor Vehicles Act. The duo was re-arrested on August 9, after the police added Sections 365 and 511 of the IPC for attempt to abduct, in the already-registered FIR.last_img read more

Congress, BJP join hands to rule Chakma council

first_imgIn an interesting political development, the Congress and the BJP have joined hands to rule the Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) in Mizoram, after the election threw a fractured mandate, a Congress leader said here on Wednesday. The Congress bagged six seats while the BJP won five in the election to the 20-member CADC held on Friday. The results were declared on Tuesday.The Mizo National Front (MNF) won eight seats, while election to one seat was stayed by the Mizoram High Court.State Sports Minister and Congress leader Zodintluanga said the post-poll alliance was forged after local leaders of both the parties reached an agreement. However, this would not have any bearing in Delhi or in the coming elections to the State Assembly, he said. The State BJP leadership was not happy with the development. BJP sources said the party may take action against the elected CADC members for forging the alliance with the Congress. They said they are awaiting the decision of party leaders in Guwahati and Delhi. The two parties formed a joint legislature party which elected Santi Jiban Chakma of the BJP its leader and Buddha Lila Chakma of the Congress as deputy leader, Congress sources said. Santi Jiban Chakma was tipped to become the Chief Executive Member, the administrative head of the Council, sources added. The CADC is an autonomous council for ethnic Chakma people, formed under the Sixth schedule of the Constitution on April 29, 1972. The Council exercises legislative, executive and judicial powers over allotted departments within the territory of CADC.last_img read more

Syama Prasad Mookerjee son of Bengal: Trinamool

first_imgThe death anniversary of Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee on Saturday, triggered a fresh controversy in Kolkata, with attempts by the Trinamool Congress to appropriate the political icon.Two Cabinet Ministers of the Trinamool government, Firhad Hakim and Sovandeb Chatterjee, participated in an event organised by the State government in south Kolkata’s Keoratola crematorium.Not only did the Ministers garland Mookerjee’s bust, but they also called the leader one of the “great sons of Bengal”. “There is no politics in this. This does not make us BJP or the BJP the Trinamool Congress,” Minister of State for Power, Sovandeb Chatterjee, said.State BJP president Dilip Ghosh despite welcoming the move, said that “it had come too late”. BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha was more critical of the ruling party and accused the Trinamool of “using Maoists to vandalise the leader’s bust in March 2018”.last_img read more

Mehbooba refutes Amit Shah’s allegations

first_img Hardening her stand on the Kathua rape and murder case, Ms. Mufti, whose government fell on June 19 after the BJP decided to pull out, said, “Not handing over the Rasana rape and murder case to CBI, getting the pro-rapist ministers removed and also issuing orders not to harass the Gujjar and Bakarwal community in the guise of anti encroachment drives were my duties as CM to provide a sense of security to both communities.”In a bid corner the BJP, she said the status quo on Article 370, dialogue with Pakistan and Hurriyat were a part of Agenda of Alliance. “Encouraging dialogue, withdrawing cases against stonepelters and the unilateral ceasefire were much needed measures to restore confidence on the ground. This was recognized and endorsed by BJP,” she said. Referring to Mr. Shah’s speech made in Jammu, PDP leader Abdul rehman Veeri said the BJP president “was careless while presenting the actual facts to the people during his speech”. Mehbooba calls it quits as BJP pulls the plug Was Mehbooba privy to BJP move? PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday took to the social media, Twitter, to issue a point-by-point retort to the former ally and BJP president Amit Shah’s allegations on her “misrule” of J&K.“Many false charges levelled against us by our former allies. Our commitment to the Agenda of Alliance, co-authored by Ram Madhav and endorsed by senior leaders like (Union Home minister) Rajnath (Singh) ji never wavered. It is sad to see them disown their own initiative and label it a soft approach,” said Ms. Mufti, who released six-part tweets.The tweets came just a day after Mr. Shah blew the poll bugle in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday from Jammu and accused Ms. Mufti of being soft on separatists and discriminatory to the Jammu and Ladakh regions. Also Read  “The allegations of discrimination against Jammu and Ladakh have no basis in reality. Yes, the Valley has been in turmoil for a long time and the floods of 2014 were a setback, therefore needed focused attention.“Results on the ground are for all to see. If anything they should review the performance of their own ministers, who largely represented the Jammu region if there were any such concerns, none among them either at state or central level talked about it during the last 3 years,” she added. The former chief minister also took potshots at the BJP over journalist Shujaat Bukhari, who was assassinated in Srinagar on June 14.“After expressing concern about freedom of expression in J&K following Shujaat’s murder, their MLA, notorious and even punished for his role in the aftermath of the unfortunate Kathua case still threatens journalists belonging to the Valley, so what are they going to do about him?” asked Ms. Mufti.Also Readlast_img read more

Meghalaya RTI activist seeks protection

first_imgA Right To Information activist in Meghalaya has sought protection from the very public information officer whom he had approached seeking updates on development activities.On Tuesday, RTI activist Nilbath Ch. Marak filed an FIR at the local police station in East Garo Hills district headquarters Williamnagar, alleging that the town municipal board’s PIO Waldarine Momin threatened him against filing an RTI.In the FIR, Mr. Marak said that Ms. Momin wanted to know if he did not fear death after he went to file the RTI on projects undertaken by the board. He alleged that the PIO also asked him whether he did not keep track of activists having been beaten up, in reference to the assault on Agnes Kharshiing and Amita Sangma who had tried to expose the underbelly of Meghalaya’s illegal coal mining.‘Not targeting anyone’Mr. Marak told news persons that he had no intention of targeting any individual while exercising his right to get information on the activities of the municipal board, including revenue and expenditure receipts. Through the FIR, he sought protection under Whistleblowers Protection Act besides investigation against the officer for allegedly threatening him.last_img read more

Scindia’s wife campaigns in his constituency

first_imgPriyadarshini Raje Scindia, wife of senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, began an eight-day tour of her husband’s Guna Lok Sabha constituency on Monday, amid speculation that he was planning to vacate the seat for her. Ms. Scindia reached the Shivpuri Assembly constituency by road from Gwalior in the afternoon and addressed a meeting of women party workers. In the coming days, she is scheduled to spend a full day in each of the eight Assembly segments of the Guna parliamentary constituency. She will meet party workers and address meetings, State Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said.Family pocket borough The Guna Lok Sabha seat has been represented by Mr. Scindia’s grandmother Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia and his late father Madhavrao. Mr. Scindia has been representing the seat since 2002, after it fell vacant owing to his father’s death a year earlier. He survived the Modi wave in 2014 when his party won just two of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in the State. The Congress won five Assembly seats in the November 2018 State elections out of the eight segments constituting the Guna parliamentary constituency. There is speculation that Mr. Scindia is planning to vacate the Guna Lok Sabha seat for his wife as he has been given charge of western Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming general election and may not be able to devote enough time to his constituency. A graduate from Mumbai’s Sophia College, Ms. Scindia comes from the erstwhile Gaekwad royalty of Baroda.last_img read more

Coach of Himalayan Queen derails

first_imgA coach of the Himalayan Queen train, which was on its way from Delhi to Kalka, derailed near Panipat in Haryana on Wednesday morning after one of its wheels got jammed, but no one was injured, Northern Railway officials said. The accident happened around 7 a.m. near Bhodwal Majri railway station on the Delhi-Ambala route, a GRP official said in Panipat. The train departed from the site without the affected coach 40 minutes after the accident. “A wheel of the guard coach, which is the last coach, got jammed and as a result the coach derailed. A portion of the track was also damaged after the wheel got jammed,” the GRP official said. Northern Railway officials said no casualty or injury was reported.last_img read more

‘Won’t budge on citizenship Bill’

first_imgNational People’s Party supremo and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Monday said the party will continue to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. “Meghalaya was the first State to oppose the Bill and raise objection. We took the initiative to unite different political parties of the Northeast and made our voice heard in Delhi and ensured that the Bill was not introduced in Rajya Sabha,” Mr. Sangma said while campaigning for the party candidate in the Lok Sabha poll in Tura constituency. He claimed that the NPP is the only party that can unite the voice of the region and make it heard in Delhi. Mr. Sangma asked the people to vote for his party as “NPP is the party of the Northeast.” Three ralliesThe NPP chief on Monday flew to three different locations in the North Garo Hills and the East Garo Hills (Rongrong Abema, Mangsang and Chibonga) to campaign for his sister Agatha, the NPP candidate for the Tura Lok Sabha seat.Former CM Mukul Sangma is the Congress candidate for the seat while the BJP has fielded Rikman G. Momin.‘Wrong notion ’ The NPP chief alleged that the Congress is propagating a wrong notion that his party will partner with the BJP and ensure that the Bill is passed in the Lok Sabha.He added, “We will remain true to our commitment to the people of the Northeast and will never allow any Bill that would hamper the interest of our people.” Mr. Sangma also claimed that the NPP has “fulfilled” its promise made in the 2018 election with education as its top priority. “We had promised an education policy and we brought out the policy well before the completion of one year. For over four decades, the education department had to work without any policy or direction, we have scripted a direction to move forward to ensure better educational facilities in Meghalaya,” he said. The NPP chief said that based on the education policy, the Meghalaya government approached the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs and was accorded 11 Eklavya Residential Model Schools, out of 50 such schools across India. He said that if Ms. Agatha was elected as an MP, she will add to the initiative started by the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government and will voice its concerns in the Parliament.last_img read more

Study of Internet censorship reveals the deepest fears of China’s government

first_imgBehind China’s vaunted Internet censorship are throngs of specialized police officers, fake commentators, and ever-changing technologies. But China watchers have puzzled over the system’s modus operandi. Some posts are swiftly culled, whereas others on seemingly more sensitive topics are left untouched. In the most revealing study yet of Chinese censorship, researchers describe today how they peered behind the curtain to find out what China’s censors—and presumably the government officials operating behind the scenes—fear most.When political scientist Gary King of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University and Ph.D. students Jennifer Pan and Margaret Roberts began examining censorship in China in 2011, many scholars assumed that calling for policy changes, criticizing government leaders, and raising sensitive topics like the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989 were verboten. To test that assumption, the trio downloaded millions of social media posts from more than 1300 sites between January and July 2011, then selected roughly 127,000 of them to examine in more detail. They watched in real time as posts were taken down. Censorship in China, King says, is “like an elephant tiptoeing around. It leaves big footprints.”In most cases, censors reacted swiftly, deleting messages within a day of posting. They also seemed to follow a surprising logic. The researchers found that posts on topics they themselves classified as highly sensitive were only slightly more likely than average to be deleted—24% of posts, versus 13% overall. That was “completely unexpected,” King says. They next looked at bursts of posts following significant events. During events with potential for collective action, the vast majority of posts were censored—regardless of whether they supported or criticized the state.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)That study, published in American Political Science Review in May 2013, was blind to posts that never went online in the first place because they were snagged in an automated censorship filter. To truly understand what is censored in China, King and colleagues realized, they would need to write their own posts. And that meant creating an unprecedented participatory experiment on China’s blogs, microblogs, and forums—one that “probes much deeper than earlier studies,” says Noah Smith, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who was not involved with the study.Over three 1- to 2-week periods last year, the researchers oversaw assistants in China and the United States who opened 200 user accounts at 100 sites and then authored 1200 unique posts. Some commented on events involving collective action, such as volatile demonstrations over government land grabs in Fujian province. Others responded to events involving no collective action, like a corruption investigation of a provincial vice governor. For each event, the assistants authored both pro- and antigovernment posts. Posts created by the team advocating collective action were between 20% and 40% more likely to be censored than were posts not advocating it, the team reports online today in Science. Posts critical of the government, on the other hand, were not significantly more likely to be censored than supportive posts—even when they called out leaders by name. “Criticisms of the state are quite useful for the government in identifying public sentiment, whereas the spread of collective action is potentially very damaging,” Roberts explains.Yu Xie, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, says that although the study is methodologically sound, it overemphasizes the importance of coherent central government policies. Political outcomes in China, he notes, often rest on local officials, who are evaluated on how well they maintain stability. Such officials have a “personal interest in suppressing content that could lead to social movements,” Xie says.For the full version of this story, see this week’s issue of Science.last_img read more

Cougars living near humans kill more deer

first_imgPeople seldom see cougars, America’s largest wild feline, because of the cats’ secretive ways. But their skittishness comes at a cost, says a team of researchers who tracked the movements of 30 cougars in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains between 2008 and 2013. The researchers fitted the cats with GPS and radio collars, then used a special software program to identify 208 sites to which the cougars (Puma concolor) returned over the course of several days—a sign that they likely had made a kill. In urban areas with between two and nine houses per hectare, female cougars killed 36% more deer than female cats in rural areas and spent less time feeding on each carcass, the scientists report online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Male hunting patterns did not appear to be affected. The findings suggest that female cougars expend more energy hunting in urban areas and may be paying a price in terms of reproductive success, the researchers say. They note that one of their collared females has lost three of her litters in the last 3 years—and she lives in the most developed habitat.last_img read more

Foxconn to Expand India Operations Next Year

first_imgFoxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest contract manufacturer, said that it will expand its operations locally next year, backing its $600 million investments already made in the country. Related Itemslast_img

Japan to Hire 200,000 Indian IT Professionals

first_imgJapan will be hiring 200,000 information technology (IT) professionals from India to support its rapidly expanding IT infrastructure, Shigeki Maeda, executive vice president at Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), a government body, said on March 8, according to the Economic Times.The IT professionals will be given green cards so that they can settle down in Japan. The country has been reticent about opening up its shores to immigrants until now, but with an ageing population and low birth rate it was said to be only a matter of time till it opened its doors to people of other nationalities.“Currently there are around 920,000 IT professionals in the country and there is an immediate demand for more than 200,000 IT professionals from India which is likely to further swell to 800,000 professionals by 2030,” Maeda said in his keynote address at the India-Japan Business Partnership Seminar, which was jointly organized by Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce and Jetro.Many Japanese companies feel that there are limitations to conventional “in-house innovation” and hence India is the ideal partner while moving towards “most-advanced IT Technology Capabilities,” he said.“India can bridge that gap. If a company in Japan has an immediate demand for say 5,000 engineers, only India can come to their aid. All sectors are facing the crunch as they are interlinked and connected… whether it is healthcare, agriculture, research and development or services or finance,” Maeda added.The Japanese government will give green cards to highly-skilled professionals that would let them get permanent resident status in as little as one year. This will be first of its kind in the world since it will be the fastest grant of residence.India and Japan’s ties have become closer with enhancement in security, maritime and trade relations. India and Japan are part of a Quadrilateral agreement, including Australia and the United States, regarding security. Japan and India also plan to create 11 economic zones in India. Some of the places identified for the industrial townships are Tumkur (Karnataka), Ghilot (Rajasthan), Mandal (Gujarat), Supa (Maharashtra), Ponneri (Tamil Nadu), Neemrana (Rajasthan), Jhajjar (Haryana), and Integrated Industrial Township in Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh/NCR).Japan has also relaxed visa rules for Indian travelers with effect from Jan. 1, 2018. Currently, Indians don’t need to submit their employment certificate and letters of explanation for multiple-entry visas.Currently, there are 1,369 Japanese companies in India while only 71 Indian companies operate in Japan. In 2016, only 266 Indian highly skilled foreign professionals were working there, the Hindu reported. However, with curbs on the H-1B visa in the United States more professionals are expected to vie for jobs in other countries. Related ItemsEmploymentJapanlast_img read more

Central team to visit Punjab soon to assess flood damage

first_imgA Central team will soon visit Punjab to assess the damage in the flood-ravaged State, where rains lashed some parts on Sunday as Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directed all Ministers and Deputy Commissioners overseeing relief operations to step up vigil. The Chief Minister, who was joined by his Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar and Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, presided over a high-level meeting to review the flood situation in Ferozepur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Rupnagar districts.“Responding to the Chief Minister’s request, the Union Home Ministry has decided to send a Central team to assess the damage and loss due to floods in Punjab too. “Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has informed the State government that a Central team to assess damage on account of floods would also be sent to Punjab, along with 11 other flood ravaged States,” a Punjab government statement said here. Earlier in the day, Capt. Amarinder had tweeted: “In view of resumption of rainfall, have directed all Ministers in charge and DCs to step up vigil ” He has deputed four Ministers — Charanjit Singh Channi, Sunder Sham Arora, Gurpreet Singh Kangar and Bharat Bhushan Ashu — to oversee relief operations in the worst-affected Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Rupnagar districts. NDRF, SDRF roleNDRF and SDRF personnel, who are assisted by hundreds of volunteers, have been working overtime to provide succour to the flood-hit population. They have been reaching out to people with food, water, medicines and other essentials.In Jalandhar’s Shahkot, hundreds of flood-affected people thronged a medical camp set up by authorities. “People in numbers are reporting with stomach-related infections, skin allergies, high fever and other ailments,” one of the doctors at the camp said.last_img read more

Satara bypoll: suspense over Chavan contesting continues

first_imgSenior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan, who is being pressed by the top brass of both the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress to contest the Satara Lok Sabha by-election, on Sunday said he would announce his decision in a day or two, even as his supporters urged him to contest the Assembly polls instead.“We will come to a decision in one or two days by taking into account your wishes, by respecting the high command’s opinion as well as my own survey,” the former chief minister said at massive gathering of his supporters in Karad.The meeting had been called to discuss the opinions of Mr. Chavan’s supporters.Earlier, in emphatic representations, the Congressman’s ardent followers unanimously urged him not to contest the Satara by-election but fight and win the Karad South seat in the Assembly polls. “Karad does not wish to be indebted to the ‘kindnesses’ of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State chief Chandrakant Patil,” was the refrain of Mr. Chavan’s supporters.Mr. Chavan said, “My firm bond with Karad began in 1991 … today, our democracy, our Congress party is in danger as the BJP government is out to destroy democracy.”Mr. Chavan represented Karad thrice as MP before being elected as MLA from Karad South in the 2014 Assembly polls.Mr. Chavan accused the State government of breaking opposition parties by either misusing probe agencies or by buying out opposition leaders and MLAs. “The BJP’s plan is impose a dictatorship of a single party. They want to destroy the ideology of the Congress, but ours is the party of ideals … Karad shall be the centre of the renaissance of a new Congress,” Mr. Chavan said.According to a close aide, Mr. Chavan would be entirely dependent on the NCP for help if he chose to contest the Satara by-election, as only the Karad seat is with the Congress at the moment and the district is predominantly an NCP bastion.“Furthermore, Mr. Chavan’s work is prominent in his Assembly constituency, and people have immense respect for him as a person,” he said.Meanwhile, speaking in Mumbai, NCP State president Jayant Patil, too, acknowledged Mr. Chavan’s reluctance to contest the Satara Lok Sabha by-election.“It appears that he [Mr. Chavan] and his supporters are not very enthusiastic about him contesting the bypoll. We are holding discussions with the Congress leaders and will reach a decision soon, perhaps by Monday afternoon,” Mr. Patil said.The Satara Lok Sabha bypoll has been necessitated by the resignation of former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP from Satara, Udayanraje Bhosale, who recently switched alliances to join the BJP. The Election Commission has announced October 21 as the date of the by-election, the same day as the Assembly polls.NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who suggested Mr.Chavan’s name, does not wish to contest the bypoll.last_img read more

Violence in Kashmir reduced after revoking of Article 370: Army

first_imgThe Army on Friday said violence in the Kashmir valley has gone down since the revoking of the Article 370 on August 5. Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the ‘Sangam Youth Festival’ at University Campus, Bhaderwah, General Officer Commander in Chief, Northern Command, Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh said he had high hopes from the valley’s youngsters. “The situation in valley is under control. Ever since the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, there has been significant improvement in all the violence parameters in Kashmir,” Lt. Gen. Singh told reporters here.“There has been reduction in terrorist initiated incidents. There has been reduction in stone pelting incidents. There has also been reduction in the protests that were carried out by the people or the large number of crowds coming out,” he added. But the situation remains fragile, because Pakistan continues with its designs to push in infiltrators so that they can keep the state of Jammu and Kashmir in a constant state of turmoil, the Army commander said. “We are prepared to foil their designs,” he added. Replying to a question, he said there was no change in the role of the UN along the Line of Control. Speaking about the festival, he said: “This is very humble contribution from the Army to provide a platform to the youth in Bhaderwah for nurturing their talent.” “They are the future not only of Jammu and Kashmir but the nation,” he added.last_img read more