India in for drier, hotter summer

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

India in for drier, hotter summer

According to figures released by the Central Water Commission on Friday, 91 of the major reservoirs across the country are holding an average of 25% of their capacity.

INDIA Updated: May 11, 2019 07:36 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
summer,summers in India,Pre-monsoon rainfall
Many parts of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are facing a drought-like situation despite the 2018 south-west monsoon bringing ample rainfall, experts said. (Diwakar Prasad/ HT Photo)

Pre-monsoon rainfall has been 21% below the long-period average (LPA) of 82.5mm between March 1 and May 8, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). North-west India, with a rain deficit of 37%, and peninsular India, with a shortfall of 39%, bore the brunt.

Rainfall triggered by cyclone Fani earlier this month managed to bridge the deficit in central, east and north-east India, which have now recorded normal pre-monsoon rains, according to data put out by IMD in its weather status report released on Friday. Central India has experienced 15% surplus rain over the LPA, mainly due to showers in the past one week.

Even so, extreme heat waves in most parts of India would mean large swathes of the country will remain dry before sowing begins in June for the Kharif crop with the onset of the south-west monsoon, which is critical in India, where nearly half the population is dependent on farming and 60% of the net-sown area does not have any form of irrigation.

Millions of farmers wait for the rains to begin summer sowing of major crops, such as rice, sugar, cotton, coarse cereals and oilseeds. Half of India’s farm output comes from summer crops dependent on these rains.

Many parts of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are facing a drought-like situation despite the 2018 south-west monsoon bringing ample rainfall, experts said.

Also read: Dust storm, light rain may lower temperature over the weekend

“The water level in big dams this year is 10-15% less than previous years despite many of the regions receiving good rainfall last year,” said Himanshu Thakkar, coordinator of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People.

According to figures released by the Central Water Commission on Friday, 91 of the major reservoirs across the country are holding an average of 25% of their capacity.

Concerns of a weak monsoon this year have been fanned by a lingering El Niño, a weather phenomenon characterised by warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that is associated with poor rainfall and more episodes of heat waves in the subcontinent.

An update by private weather forecaster Skymet Weather said on Thursday that after tapering down slightly during April, El Niño indices have risen again in the last two weeks although the increase has been marginal.

“During the beginning of monsoon, there is a 60% chance of El Niño conditions remaining steady. This is why we are expecting monsoon rain to be below normal in June and then gradually becoming normal in the latter part of July and August,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice president (meteorology and climate change), Skymet Weather. Deficient pre-monsoon rains and a weak beginning to the monsoon could have an impact on summer crop sowing, which may be compounded by deficient rainfall.

For a bountiful crop, the rains also need to be evenly distributed across regions. Robust summer rains, which account for 70% of India’s total annual rainfall, spur rural spending on most items and increases demand in other sectors of the economy. Rural sales, for instance, account for about 48% of all motorcycles and 44% of television sets sold annually if the monsoon is normal.

Also read: Heat wave conditions prevail in North India

Officials at IMD, however, said concerns about El Niño are premature. “El Niño conditions have definitely not gone up. June onwards, it will move towards neutral El Niño conditions. We don’t expect El Niño to amplify. At the most, there will be a sluggish start to the monsoon but it will not be detrimental in any way,” said KG Ramesh, IMD’s director general.

Last month was marked by heat waves in many parts of the country, including eastern Uttar Pradesh, western Rajasthan, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Vidarbha, and Telangana. Some northern parts of the country also recorded extremely high temperatures.

For example, Una in Himachal Pradesh recorded 41.7 degrees C on Friday; Sundernagar, also in Himachal Pradesh recorded 37.6 degrees C, Dehradun in Uttarakhand was at 38.7 degree C. The highest maximum temperature this summer recorded till now has been at Brahmagiri in Vidarbha on May 2 at 46.4 degrees C.

“Heat wave in central India, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh is expected in May which is the peak summer season… We have noticed that the temperature in the foothills of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are also 3 to 4 degrees above normal. Temperatures also increase before a western disturbance approaches,” said Charan Singh, senior scientist at IMD. Due to an approaching western disturbance (WD) and moisture incursion from Arabian Sea, scattered rainfall and thunderstorms are expected in north-west India and north India, including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, on Sunday.

“The heat wave will abate. There will be scattered rainfall in northwest India till May 17. But it is unlikely to compensate for the deficient pre-monsoon showers over the country,” added Palawat.

First Published: May 11, 2019 07:32 IST

India: Supreme Court Justices Declare In ONe Voice: Chief Is Innocent

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Supreme Court Justices declare in one voice: Chief is innocent

The report said that the committee had found “no substance in the allegations contained in the complaint”, the committee said.

INDIA Updated: May 07, 2019 01:43 IST

Bhadra Sinha and Ashok Bagriya
Bhadra Sinha and Ashok Bagriya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court,SC,CJI
The report said that the committee had found “no substance in the allegations contained in the complaint”, the committee said.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

A three-member in-house committee of Supreme Court judges led by justice SA Bobde on Monday unanimously cleared Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment charges levelled by a former court employee, in a decision that was criticised by several leading lawyers for its lack of transparency and process.

The proceedings were ex parte (without the party concerned) after the complainant walked out of her third meeting with the panel citing lack of procedure.

The committee submitted its report to justice Arun Mishra, but refused to share its findings with even the complainant. It also cited a 2003 judgement in a case filed by lawyer Indira Jaising seeking the report of an in-house committee that looked into allegations of sexual harassment against judges of the Karnataka High Court.

Jaising said on Monday that the judgment was before the Right to Information Act and “cannot have any application in today’s time”.

The complainant, who said she was disappointed and dejected by the report, has said she will decide on her next step after consulting her legal advisors.

According to people familiar with the matter in the Supreme Court who spoke on condition of anonymity, justice Mishra will now decide whether the report should be placed before the full court as the committee was set up by a full court’s approval. The report was submitted to him because he is the senior most judge to whom it can be (see box).

In a statement, the secretary general of the Supreme Court said: “The in-house committee (of Justice SA Bobde, Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Indu Malhotra) has submitted its report dated 5.5.2019, in accordance with the in-house procedure, to the next senior judge competent to receive the report and also sent a copy to the judge concerned, namely, the Chief Justice of India.”

Justifying its stand on not making the report public, the statement by the secretary general’s office said, “The in-house committee has found no substance in the allegations contained in the complaint date, 19.4.2019 of a former employee of the Supreme Court of India. Please take note that in the case of Indira Jaising v. Supreme Court of India and others (2003), it has been held that the report of the committee constituted as a part of the in-house procedure is not liable to be made public.”

Reacting to the committee’s findings, the complainant said in a statement that she was disappointed and dejected. “I am highly disappointed and dejected to learn that the In-House Committee ‘has found no substance’ in my complaint and feel that gross injustice has been done to me as a woman citizen of India. I am now extremely scared and terrified because the In- House Committee, despite having all material placed before them, appears to have given me no justice or protection and said nothing about the absolutely malafide dismissals and suspensions, indignities and humiliations suffered by me and my family. I and my family members remain vulnerable to the ongoing reprisals and attack,” she said.

Hindustan Times has learnt that the three-member committee looked only into sexual harassment allegations and did not go into the merits of the disciplinary action taken by the Supreme Court against the complainant. The woman was dismissed in December 2018 and she has claimed this was part of the harassment she faced.

HT also learns that the panel has said in its findings that before April 19, when she wrote to 22 judges of the court, the complainant did not raise the allegation of sexual harassment or victimisation despite having an opportunity to do so when she challenged the disciplinary action in December 2018.

The panel has said the woman can avail the remedy of a statutory appeal against her dismissal and if she does so the appropriate forum will look into it. She was removed from service on account of insubordination after the woman was moved out of the CJI’s home office to a different department in the Supreme Court premises.

No merit was found by the committee in the allegations of harassment and subsequent victimisation of the complainant and her family members, including her arrest in a cheating case and the suspension of her husband and brother-in law who work as a Delhi police constable, at the instance of the CJI.

The committee in its report has also recorded that despite material being presented against the complainant, it has not relied on it as the same was given after she walked out of the inquiry proceedings on April 30, and could not be confronted with the evidence.

With regard to alleged police excesses against the complainant’s family, the panel has concluded that all the members were booked in criminal cases prior to the alleged incident. An FIR was filed against the complainant in 2011 and 2012 and the one against the husband was lodged in 2015.

In her allegations, the complainant has asserted that her husband was suspended in connection with a 2015 case only in December 2018 which was a part of the victimization effort led by the Chief Justice.

The people familiar with the matter said a letter written by Supreme Court Judge Justice DY Chandrachud demanding an external member – preferably a retired woman Supreme Court judge – on the probe panel, was not accepted.

The committee members felt that as per the procedure of in-house inquiry laid down in 1999, legal assistance is not envisaged. The complainant has also criticised the panel for adopting a non-transparent procedure. She said, “From the media I have learnt that the CJI was perhaps called by the committee for his version. However I am not aware whether any of the other persons named in my complaint who would have knowledge of matters mentioned in the complaint, especially my victimisation, were called by the committee for their evidence.”

Some lawyers say the committee could have been more transparent. Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde said: “The complainant walked out and the inquiry proceeded ex parte. The enquiry committee cannot compel her participation. Yet it proceeded, rendered an ex parte finding, and it’s report while legally defensible, will still remain wanting in public perception. The independence of the judiciary, rests on public trust and public trust is not maintained by one-sided inquiries.”

Senior advocate Gopal Sankarnarayan added: “The procedure adopted has had questions raised about it for more than a week now, and the concerns of the bar associations and stake holders in the court have not been appropriately addressed. It would be incumbent that a methodology be followed that is consistent with sexual harassment law and due process be applied that protects both the accuser and the accused in a truly transparent manner.”

The committee had its defenders too. Senior advocate Aishwarya Bhatti said: “My view is that the committee has submitted its report after following procedure laid down in law. This committee comprised of the second senior most judge of the court, who will also go on to become the CJI and two eminent sitting women judges. I think it is best now to leave things. It is now for the next senior most judge who receives the report to consider it and decide if more needs to be done.”

First Published: May 06, 2019 17:12 IST

Interpol takes up India’s red notice on fugitive Zakir Naik

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Interpol takes up India’s red notice on fugitive Zakir Naik

Red notices are requests issued to Interpol’s 194 member states worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence.

INDIA Updated: Apr 24, 2019 07:19 IST

Neeraj Chauhan
Neeraj Chauhan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Interpol,India news,Zakir Naik
Zakir Naik(HT file photo)

A high-powered panel of global law enforcement organisation Interpol last week took up India’s request for issuing a so-called red notice against fugitive Indian Islamic preacher, Dr Zakir Naik, 54, according to two Indian officials aware of the development who asked not to be named.

Red notices are requests issued to Interpol’s 194 member states worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence.

Naik is wanted in India for money laundering and hate speech and also for allegedly promoting enmity and hatred between different religious communities.

He fled India after the terrorists, who attacked a Dhaka cafe and killed 22 people in July 2016, said they were Naik’s admirers.

The Interpol panel took up India’s request as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been trying have Naik declared as an international fugitive.

The preacher lives in Malaysia, where he has permanent residency. An Indian request for his extradition is pending with the Malaysian government since January 2018. In July 2018, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Naik would not be deported as long as he was not creating problems in Malaysia.

According to one of the officials, the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF) met on April 19 to discuss India’s request.

CCF is a five-member independent body that ensures requests from Interpol member states seeking red notices conform to the rules.

NIA has been arguing before the global law enforcement organisation that Naik was spreading hatred through his speeches, funding terrorists and laundering money over the years, according to the officials.

The Interpol cancelled a red notice against Naik in December 2017 as he was yet to be charged in India then.

Naik, too, approached the Interpol in 2017 claiming he was being targeted. He linked the cases against him to the alleged religious persecution of minorities in India.

NIA contested Naik’s claim in 2018 saying they have “solid evidence” against Naik.

NIA filed a charge sheet against Naik in October 2017 and submitted a copy of it to Interpol as well. “After we submitted a detailed charge sheet and other evidence establishing his crimes including religious conversions, inciting Muslim youth to join Jihad and routing massive funds, Interpol referred the red notice request to the CCF,’’ the second NIA official said.

The official added the panel met last week but that India is yet to be updated about its final decision. “We are positive that the CCF will recommend a global arrest warrant against Naik, which will restrict his movements.”

He added the panel will take a final call in a couple of days. The official said NIA wanted to be a part of the CCF meeting to convince its members regarding its case but did not get the requisite permission to do this.

Retired CBI officer NS Kharayat, who headed Interpol’s National Central Bureau (NCB) in India (CBI is the nodal agency for Interpol in India), told HT, “The CCF basically discusses the legal aspects of a red notice request. If they find any religious or political motive behind any request, they don’t issue the global notice. However, in the cases of terrorism, where a person has done an act of waging war against a sovereign nation, the CCF should immediately issue the red notice”.

In its charge sheet , NIA has accused Naik of deliberately insulting religious beliefs of the Hindus, Christians and Islamic sects like the Shias, and Barelvis. It said Naik’s speeches have influenced recruits to join the so-called Islamic State (IS), which overran swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014 and carried out attacks across the world. Iraq and Syria declared victories over the IS in 2018 and 2019.

The government has attached Naik’s properties since he fled India. His Islamic Research Foundation has been banned and some of his associates have been arrested.

Attempts to reach Naik for comment were unsuccessful.

In a speech in Malaysia’s Kangar in December, Naik insisted he had never broken any Indian law. “But because I was spreading peace, I was giving a solution for humanity, all the people who do not like peace to prevail, they do not like me,” news agency Reuters quoted him as saying. He claimed he was being targeted because of his work to spread Islam.

Interpol publishes red notices at the request of a member country. They must comply with Interpol’s Constitution and rules. A red notice is an international wanted person notice, but not an arrest warrant, and Interpol cannot compel any country to arrest someone, according to the Interpol website. In 2018, Interpol issued 13,516 red notices.

First Published: Apr 24, 2019 07:19 IST

India: Hyderabad A Safe Haven For Terrorists, Says BJP’s Bandaru Dattatreya

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Hyderabad a safe haven for terrorists, says BJP’s Bandaru Dattatreya

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) consider each other “friendly party” and have worked together in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections too. All the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana went to polls in a single phase on April 11.

INDIA Updated: Apr 22, 2019 12:01 IST

Asian News International
Asian News International
Hyderabad (Telangana)
Bandaru Dattatreya,terrorists,AIMIM
BJP leader and Secunderabad MP, Bandaru Dattatreya, alleged that Hyderabad is a safe haven for Islamic terrorist activities (Bandaru Dattatreya/Twitter )

BJP leader and Secunderabad MP, Bandaru Dattatreya, alleged that Hyderabad is a safe haven for Islamic terrorist activities and that the police are not taking stern action because the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led TRS government is aligned with AIMIM.

“Recent investigations of NIA reveal that Hyderabad is a safe haven for Islamic terrorist activities. A large number of people are being recruited in Hyderabad,” said Dattatreya.

“TRS government is aligned with AIMIM that is why the police are sometimes unable to take stern action. I demand that the state government forms a special cell under a DG or IG rank official for the investigation of these activities,” the Secunderabad MP added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently claimed that TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) may be the ‘driver of the car’ but the steering is actually controlled by AIMIM.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) consider each other “friendly party” and have worked together in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections too. All the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana went to polls in a single phase on April 11.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday carried out searches in three places in Hyderabad and at one place in Maharashtra’s Wardha district in connection with an ISIS module case. In 2016, NIA had filed a chargesheet in the case and had named three persons as accused.The agency nabbed four accused and recovered 13 mobile phones, 11 SIM cards, one iPad, two laptops, one external hard disk, six pen drives, 6 SD cards, three Kenwood Walkie Talkie sets and other incriminating material from their possession.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

First Published: Apr 22, 2019 10:55 IST

India: Top Terrorist Commanders Killed

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Top commanders killed in Valley, Jaish activates new launch pads across LoC: Officials

According to the counter-terror and police officials, none of whom wished to be identified, the reason for the activation of the launch pads is to boost the Jaish’s strength and capabilities in the state.

INDIA Updated: Apr 16, 2019 11:03 IST

Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
JeM,terrorism,Jaish-e-Mohammed
Masood Azhar, leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad(AP file photo)

Terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) launch pads in new locations across the Line of Control have been activated ahead of a possible effort to push terrorists from the Pakistan-based group into Jammu and Kashmir, top counter-terror officials and senior Jammu and Kashmir police officials said, although the latter added that this is because Indian security forces have eliminated most of the Jaish leadership in the valley.

They added that Mohammad Umair, JeM chief Masood Azhar’s nephew, who was seen around Pulwama in February, when a terrorist affiliated to it carried out a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy, killing 40, has either been killed or has gone back to Pakistan.

According to the counter- terror and police officials, none of whom wished to be identified, the reason for the activation of the launch pads is to boost the Jaish’s strength and capabilities in the state.

After the Pulwama attack, Indian security forces have been able to eliminate the majority of the Jaish leadership in the valley, they added, with only one commander, who operates under the codename Munna Bihari currently active in the Shopian district.

Previously, Indian forces have gunned down Azhar’s elder brother Ibrahim Athar eldest son Usman Haider and brother-in-law Abdul Rasheed Kamran’s son Talha Rasheed. Soon after Pulwama, the security forces gunned down Jaish divisional commander Kamran on February 18.

In a recent audio clip, broadcast over the Jaish’s Rang-o-Noor channel, Ibrahim Athar indicates that Mohammed Umair may have also been neutralized by the Indian security forces. In the audio clip, Athar is heard telling his cadre that Umair and Kamran have already reached “heaven.”

HT learns that many of these launch pads are in the scenic Lolab Valley, north of Kupwara, and around 114 km north-west of Srinagar.

Also read | ‘Pakistan failed to achieve objective in counter-attack’: IAF Chief BS Dhanoa

The effort to amplify the infiltration of terrorists coincides with the melting of snows on high mountain passes. Post Pulwama, the Pakistan Army cleared terrorist launch pads fearing a repeat of the 2016 Indian surgical strikes. After the Indian air strike at Jaish’s biggest terror training camp at Balakot, the globally proscribed group has threatened to get even by targeting innocents in hinterland India or security forces in the Valley. Communication intercepts indicate that Jaish will ratchet up violence in the Valley in the coming months, the counter-terror officials said.

“While Pakistan has taken some uncontrolled action against its nationals involved in terrorism to curry favour with Financial Action Task Force (FATF), it is continuing to shelter Indian fugitives like Dawood Ibrahim gang, remnants of Indian Mujahideen and Sikh radicals. If Pakistan really means business, why provide shelter and comfort to Indian fugitives,” said one of the officials.

First Published: Apr 16, 2019 06:57 IST

PDP ruined 3 generations in Kashmir, says PM Narendra Modi

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Lok Sabha elections 2019: NC, PDP ruined 3 generations in Kashmir, says PM Narendra Modi

Modi also took a jibe at Abdullah over his recent remark over a separate PM for Jammu and Kashmir. “Some are threatening of two prime ministers, some are speaking the language of anti-nationals but I want to make it clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and their ‘vanshwaad’ [dynasty rule] will not survive for long,” he said.

LOK SABHA ELECTIONS Updated: Apr 15, 2019 00:23 IST

HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Kathua/Moradabad/Aligarh
NC,PDP,Kashmir
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was riding a wave stronger than the support it received in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. (Nitin Kanotra/HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was riding a wave stronger than the support it received in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, while also attacking the two main parties in Kashmir during his campaign for the second phase of polling.

Modi was in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua to campaign for Union minister and the BJP’s Udhampur Lok Sabha candidate Jitendra Singh. Voting will be held for the constituency on April 18.

“I have visited the entire country… I have seen a more powerful wave this time as compared to 2014,” Modi said. He said that opinion polls and surveys showed the BJP was set to win three times the seats that the Congress was projected to get.

The Prime Minister blamed two political families of Kashmir – one of National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and the other of Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti – for “ruining” three generations in the state and said he will not allow them to “divide” the country.

“These families have sucked the blood of people of J&K for long and I challenge them – let them field all their relatives in the polls, abuse me as much as they can, but I will not allow them to succeed in their nefarious design of dividing India,” he said after starting his speech in the local Dogri language.

Modi also took a jibe at Abdullah over his recent remark over a separate PM for Jammu and Kashmir. “Some are threatening of two prime ministers, some are speaking the language of anti-nationals but I want to make it clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and their ‘vanshwaad’ [dynasty rule] will not survive for long,” he said.

Abdullah questioned why the BJP made two members of the Mufti family chief ministers. “‘We have to rid J&K of these two political families,’ says Modiji in 2014 and then promptly goes and makes not one but two members of the Mufti family CM of J&K,” Abdullah tweeted.

Launching an attack on the BJP, Mufti said leaders of the party “are suffering from the disease of fear”.

At another rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad, Modi renewed his attack on the Congress and other opposition parties over the issue of national security.

“What used to happen earlier was terrorists would come from Pakistan, attack us and the Congress government would only lament before the world that we have been attacked. But in this new India when terrorists attacked Uri, our brave soldiers conducted a surgical strike,” he said.

“The second big mistake the terrorists made was in Pulwama after which we killed them in their home through air strikes,” Modi added, referring to the air strike on a terrorist camp in Pakistan’s Balakot after a February 14 suicide bombing in Kashmir killed 40 troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). He added that the Congress did not have faith in India’s armed forces.

The PM said that wrong policies of the Congress led to the mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in 1989.

In Aligarh, Modi raised the issue of nationalism, a key plank of the BJP’s outreach to voters.

“They [Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party] have fielded such candidates in this election who have reservation over Vande Matram. Those who cannot respect Vande Matram, cannot respect mother India. Their (SP-BSP) thinking is only one – abuse Modi as much as they can,” he said.

The Prime Minister also launched an attack on Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, saying he did not get time to attend the government’s Jallianwala Bagh event with vice president Venkaiah Naidu as he was busy with “parivar bhakti”, an oblique reference to the Gandhi family.

Responding to the allegations, Singh accused the PM of playing “dirty politics”. He alleged the central government had deliberately chosen to hold a “parallel event” instead of supporting the initiatives and programmes of the state government. “I had personally approached the Prime Minister several times over the last two years to seek support for ensuring that the centenary of the historic event is observed in a befitting manner but the central government had failed to respond suitably,” the Punjab CM said. He added that the PM was trying to mislead the people of the country with politically motivated falsehoods.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Apr 15, 2019 00:22 IST

PM Modi condemns Chhattisgarh attack that killed 5

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

‘Deeply anguishing’: PM Modi condemns Chhattisgarh attack that killed 5

In Delhi, the Election Commission said it had asked the state government and Chhattisgarh’s top election official for a report on the attack.

INDIA Updated: Apr 09, 2019 20:04 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PM Modi,Dantewada attack,BJP MLA
PM Modi said Bhima Mandavi, an MLA from the Dantewada constituency, was a dedicated party worker who assiduously served the people of the province.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the Dantewada attack that killed a Bharatiya Janata Party legislator and four security personnel on Tuesday in south Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada region.

“Strongly condemn the Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh. My tributes to the security personnel who were martyred. The sacrifices of these martyrs will not go in vain,” PM Modi tweeted on the Maoist attack that comes days before Bastar votes in the first phase of Lok Sabha on Thursday.

PM Modi said Bhima Mandavi, an MLA from the Dantewada constituency, was a dedicated party worker who assiduously served the people of the province.

“Shri Bhima Mandavi was a dedicated Karyakarta (worker) of the BJP. Diligent and courageous, he assiduously served the people of Chhattisgarh. His demise is deeply anguishing. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti,” PM Modi added.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has called a high-level meeting to review the security situation in the state.

In Delhi, the Election Commission said it had asked the state government and Chhattisgarh’s top election official for a report on the attack.

The Election Commission had settled for voting in three phases for the state’s 11 Lok Sabha seats to give security personnel enough time to move from one constituency to another and familiarise themselves with the area that they have to secure.

Tuesday’s attack took place between Kuakonta and Syamgiri in Dantewada.

Maoists had blown up an IED on the road when the legislator’s convoy was passing through the district. One SUV was blown up in the attack that left a crater on the road. A reinforcement of CRPF contingent has been rushed to the explosion site.

First Published: Apr 09, 2019 20:01 IST

India: Jawans were killed for votes

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

‘Jawans were killed for votes’: SP leader calls Pulwama attack a conspiracy

Big fish will be caught if the new government after 2019 Lok Sabha elections probe Pulwama terror attack, says Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath demands an apology from Yadav.

LOK SABHA ELECTIONS Updated: Mar 21, 2019 16:48 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Samajwadi Party,Pulwama Terror Attack,Ram Gopal Yadav
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav has raked up fresh controversy over Pulwama terror attack terming it a conspiracy.(ANI)

Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav has revived attack on the Narendra Modi government over Pulwama terror strike owned by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed. Yadav has called the Pulwama terror attack a “conspiracy” in which “soldiers were killed for vote”.

The SP leader said if the government changes in 2019 Lok Sabha election, and a probe is conducted into the Pulwama terror attack, “big fish” will be caught.

“Paramilitary forces are unhappy with the government. Soldiers were killed for votes. There was no security checking between Jammu and Srinagar. Soldiers were being transported in ordinary buses. This was a conspiracy. I did not want to say this at this point of time. When the government changes, (and) it is probed, many big fish will be caught,” news agency ANI on Thursday quoted Yadav as saying.

ANI UP

@ANINewsUP

RG Yadav,SP: Paramilitary forces dukhi hain sarkar se, jawan maar diye gaye vote ke liye,checking nahi thi Jammu-Srinagar ke beech mein, jawano ko simple buses main bhej diya,ye sazish thi, abhi nahi kehna chahta, jab sarkar badlegi, iski jaanch hogi, tab bade-bade log phasenge.

640 people are talking about this

Responding to Yadav’s comment, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the SP leader should apologise for “lowering the morale of soldiers”.

“Ram Gopal Yadav has presented an undignified example of politics. He should apologise to the public for his comment meant to raise question on the martyrdom of the CRPF jawans and lowering the morale of the soldiers of the nation,” he said.

Forty CRPF jawans were killed on February 14, when a suicide bomber targeted a convoy carrying more than 2,500 personnel from Jammu to Srinagar. The incident took place in south Kashmir’s Pulwama.

The Pulwama terror attack saw escalation in tension between India and Pakistan. Days after the terror attack claimed by the JeM, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a “pre-emptive” strike in Pakistan’s Balakot. The target was what was believed to be the biggest terror training camp of the JeM.

Pakistan responded to the IAF strike on terror camp by violating Indian airspace in its attempt to target military installations. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) used a large package of fighter jets including the F-16 in its aerial campaign. An IAF response team foiled the PAF’s attempt to hit India’s military installations.

One F-16 fighter jet of the PAF was shot down by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was flying a MiG 21 Bison. The IAF aircraft was also shot down by the PAF. Pilot Abhinandan ejected safely but landed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where he was captured by the Pakistan Army.

Amid mounting international pressure, Pakistan released IAF pilot Abhinandan leading to easing out tension between the two countries. The BJP-led government termed the development as its diplomatic victory following a “bold move” to hit at terror camp deep inside Pakistani territory.

The opposition has targeted the government alleging that it is using Pulwama terror attack and IAF strike at Balakot for political gain with an eye on the Lok Sabha election in April-May.

First Published: Mar 21, 2019 15:34 IST

India: Exit Polls Say That KCR has an edge in Telangana, Cong snatches Rajasthan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Election exit polls results 2018: KCR has an edge in Telangana, Cong snatches Rajasthan

Exit Polls Results 2018 LIVE Updates : The exit polls show Congress surging ahead in Rajasthan, a close contest between the BJP and grand old party in MP and Chhattisgarh, clear edge for TRS in Telangana and a close fight between MNF and Congress in…

By HT Correspondent | Dec 07, 2018 22:17 IST

Voters in the states of Telangana and Rajasthan exercised their franchise on Friday. The voting started at 7am in 13 Maoist-affected constituencies of Telangana and at 8am in other parts of the state and in Rajasthan. Initially slow, the voting picked up later with EVM glitches being reported from a few constituencies but polling was by and large smooth.

The much awaited exit polls for all the five states that went to polls over the last one month were released after the voting ended in Telangana and Rajasthan.

Read: Clash at Sikar polling centre, two motorcycles burnt

Rajasthan, Telangana are among the 5 states — others being Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram — that went to the polls. Capping a high-decibel campaign, the five voted in four-phase polls starting November 12 and the results will be known on December 11.

Also Read: Telangana exit polls 2018: All you need to know

https://www.hindustantimes.com/images/app-images/2018/assembly-election/exitpoll_chati.htmlhttps://www.hindustantimes.com/images/app-images/2018/assembly-election/exitpoll_mp.html https://www.hindustantimes.com/images/app-images/2018/assembly-election/exitpoll_miz.html

https://www.hindustantimes.com/images/app-images/2018/assembly-election/exitpoll_tel.html

 

https://www.hindustantimes.com/images/app-images/2018/assembly-election/exitpoll_raj.html

7:59 pm IST

CNX – Times Now exit polls project a hung house in Mizoram

The CNX-Times Now exit polls predict a hung house in Mizoram with a close fight between the MNF and Mizoram. The survey predicts the MNF to win around 18 seats and around 16 seats for the Congress party.

7:33 pm IST

Surveys predict clear edge for Congress in Rajasthan

The exit polls are predicting the Congress party to sweep Rajasthan. While the CVoter-Republic TV, CNX-Times Now and Axis My India Today exit polls project the Congress party to be surging ahead, India TV survey predicts a close contest between the two rival parties.

7:12 pm IST

Exit polls show a close contest between BJP and Congress in Chhattisgarh

The exit polls are showing a close contest between the ruling BJP and Congress in Chhattisgarh.

While CVoter-Republic TV and Axis-My India-India Today predicted the Congress surging ahead in the state, CNX – Times Now, India TV and CSDS – ABP projects the BJP as the winner.

Here’s the seat projection for Chhattisgarh as per surveys:

Hindustan Times

@htTweets

| Exit polls show a close contest between the ruling BJP and the Congress in Chhattisgarh. Read more here: https://goo.gl/2rkWgM 

See Hindustan Times’s other Tweets

7:06 pm IST

Close fight between MNF and Congress in Mizoram: CVoter – Republic TV

The CVoter-Republic TV survey projects a close fight between the Mizo National Front (MNF) and Congress in Mizoram.

The exit polls predict the MNF to be winning between 16-20 seats and project around 14-18 seats for the Congress.

6:54 pm IST

Jogi-Mayawati alliance likely to win between 4-8 seats in Chhattisgarh: Axis My India – India Today and Aaj Tak

The Ajit Jogi Mayawati alliance, which was being projected as the kingmaker in Chhattisgarh, is likely to win betwwen 4-8 seats in the states, says Axis My India – India Today and Aaj Tak exit polls.

6:10 pm IST

Close fight between BJP and Congress in Chhattisgarh: Republic TV

CVoter-Republic TV exit polls predict a close fight between the BJP and Congress in Chhattisgarh with the former likely to win between 35-43 seats and Congress likely to win 40-50 seats.

Here’s the seat projection for Chhattisgarh as per surveys:

Hindustan Times

@htTweets

| | Here’s the seat projection for Chhattisgarh as per surveys

Track LIVE updates here: http://goo.gl/ibgRGq 

See Hindustan Times’s other Tweets

6:07 pm IST

BJP to retain Chhattisgarh: India TV exit polls

The India TV exit polls suggest BJP is likely to win between 42-50 seats and retain Chhattisgarh.

Hindustan Times

@htTweets

| BJP to retain Chhattisgarh, show India TV ; to win 42-50 seats.
Track LIVE updates here: http://goo.gl/ibgRGq 

See Hindustan Times’s other Tweets

6:02 pm IST

TRS to win Telangana, suggests CNX – Times Now

The CNX-Times Now survey suggests caretaker chief minister KCR’s party likely to win Telangana.

The survey shows Congress as no.2 with around 37 seats.

 

Hindustan Times

@htTweets

| In Telangana, TRS to win with 66 seats, show CNX – Times Now . Congress No. 2 with 37 seats.

16 people are talking about this

5:58 pm IST

CNX – Times Now, Axis My India – India Today and Aaj Tak exit polls show Congress winning in Rajasthan

The CNX-Times Now exit polls show Congress surging ahead of Rajasthan with around 105 seats while BJP likely to retain 85 seats.

Hindustan Times

@htTweets

| The CNX – Times Now show Congress
winning in Rajasthan. Here’s what the break up looks like –

BJP – 85
Congress – 105
Others – 9

43 people are talking about this

As per the Axis My India – India Today and Aaj Tak survey, Congress is likely to win between 119-141 seats, whereas the BJP is projected to win 55-72 seats,

5:44 pm IST

Congress, BJP in tight race in MP: CNX-Times Now

CNX – Times Now exit polls show that BJP is likely to win between 102-120 seats while the Congress is expected to win between 104-122 seats.

.

5:27 pm IST

Election results to be declared on December 11

The results of the high-pitched battle in 5 states – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram – will be declared on December 11.

5:10 pm IST

Polling ends in Rajasthan

The polling has ended in Rajasthan, however,people already in the polling stations will be allowed to vote.

The state recorded 72.17% polling by 5pm.

Click here for Live updates on Rajasthan assembly elections.

4:22 pm IST

Exit poll trends as soon as polling ends in Rajasthan, Telangana

The exit poll trends will be coming in as soon as polling ends in Rajasthan, Telangana.

The polling will end at 4 pm for the 13 constituencies of Telangana, while the polling at remaining constituencies will end at 5pm (for both Telangana and Rajasthan).

Uttar Pradesh Police Team Sent To Jammu To Arrest An Army Jawan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

A Uttar Pradesh police team was sent to Jammu to arrest an Army jawan allegedly involved in the murder of a police inspector during the Bulandshahr violence, and five more people were nabbed in the case, taking the total number of arrests to nine, officials said Friday.

Sedition is one of the 17 charges in the FIR in which 27 people have been named besides 50-60 unidentified people. They were allegedly involved in the violence that led to the killing of Inspector Subodh Singh and Sumit Kumar, 20. The violence was triggered after cattle carcasses were found in nearby fields.

Jeetu alias Fauji of Mahav village is a named accused in the case, Inspector General (Crime) S K Bhagat told reporters in Lucknow when asked about his alleged involvement in the mob violence.

Jeetu’s actual name is Jeetendra Malik and he is the 11th suspect named in the first information report (FIR) lodged at Siyana police station on December 4.

According to preliminary information, he is posted in Jammu and a police team has been sent there, Bhagat said.

“We hope that he will be arrested soon,” the IG said, adding the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the case would be able to ascertain his actual role.

Army sources in New Delhi confirmed that the police have contacted the Northern Command and they are cooperating in the probe.

The five people arrested were identified as Chandra, Rohit, Sonu, Nitin and Jitendra but their names were not mentioned in the FIR lodged for the murder of the Syana SHO, Bhagat said.

They were nabbed on the basis of video footage and eyewitness accounts, he said. Police teams were conducting raids to make more arrests, the IG said.

The IG said that the confidential report of an inquiry conducted by ADG Intelligence S B Shirodkar has been handed over to senior officials.

The cattle carcasses were found outside Mahav village strewn in the fields of former village head Rajpal Chaudhary, who too has been named in the FIR along with five more men from the village. All of them are absconding.

Sources that PTI spoke to in the village revealed that Jeetu had come to the village on leave and was “present at the site of violence” but left soon after the incident on Monday afternoon. His elder brother is also in the Army.

“Both of my sons are in the Army. They are not here, they on duty,” his mother Ratan Kaur told PTI, adding the police had raided her house around 1 am Tuesday, assaulted her daughter-in-law, vandalised the house and picked up her husband, Rajpal Singh.

The 60-year-old woman said she was away in Pipala village at the house of her elder daughter-in law as her family had suffered a bereavement recently. She said she returned home only on Wednesday Speaking to a TV news channel, she Friday said, “Jeetu is in Kargil and if any evidence like a picture or a video emerges showing he killed the policeman then I will kill him myself. I’m not so heartless, I’m equally pained by the death of the policeman and the other boy from Chingrawathi and also for what the entire village and its people are going through.” Jeetendra’s wife Priyanka, 24, also supported her mother-in-law’s claim of post midnight vandalism and assault by the police.

“I was at home with my father-in-law and my three- month-old baby when the police came to our house. They assaulted me so badly that my hand got fractured and I suffered an injury in one ear,” she told PTI over phone from a hospital in Meerut. Sumit Kumar, from Chingrawathi village, who died in the clash is among those named in the FIR which also accuses Bajrang Dal’s Bulandshahr unit convenor Yogesh Raj, local BJP worker Shikhar Agarwal among others of instigating violence.

According to the FIR, the suspects were booked on the charges of mischief by fire or explosive substance, murder, attempt to murder, sedition, rioting, voluntary assault on public servant to obstruct them from performing their duty and endangering life or personal safety of others.

They have also been booked for destroying public property, among others. PTI SAB/KIS SMI AAR

First Published: Dec 07, 2018 20:36 IST