The Goa Cabinet on Monday sought three months’ time to workout an alternate site for off-shore casinos presently operating at the mouth of the river Mandovi .Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told The Hindu that it is not an extension given to casinos.“As the election code of conduct was in place, the government could not take any decision. The government will now identify alternate sites in three months for their relocation,” he said.
A CJM court on Friday rejected bail pleas of the 11 college students including two girls who allegedly blocked the convoy of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and showed him black flags on WednesdayEight of these students have also been suspended by the Lucknow University on charge of breaching security of the CM’s convoy when he was on his way to attend a programme in the varsity.Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Sunil Kumar rejected the bail pleas of the students on Friday after perusal of case diary produced by Hasanganj police. The court observed that the offence was of serious nature and, hence, the applicants did not deserve bail.On June 8, Chief Judicial Magistrate Sandhya Srivastava had sent the 11 students to four days judicial remand. The court had summoned the entire case diary on Friday for considering bail pleas of the students.Meanwhile, the Lucknow University said that eight students have been suspended and debarred from all student facilities in the university in the wake of the “security breach” of the CM’s convoy. “The names of suspended students are: Satwant Singh, Nitin Raj, Pooja Shukla, Anil Kumar Yadav, Ankit Kumar Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Madhurya Singh and Apoorva Verma,” N.K. Pandey director, Information, Publication and Public Relation, University of Lucknow said.Lending its support to the students, various Left-affiliated student unions, including SFI, AISA, NSUI, DYFI, RYA and AIPWA, attempted to stage a dharna at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Lucknow on Saturday but were soon asked to leave by the police. The students, however, submitted a memorandum of their demands to the Governor. They want the arrested students to be released immediately, the cases against them annulled and their suspension revoked. SP leaders meet studentsA delegation of Samajwadi Party leaders led by MLC Anand Bhadauria met the students in prison on Friday and claimed that they were being treated like criminals and mentally harassed. “The BJP government must keep in mind that these are students studying in the university, not criminals. They wanted to expose the irregularities in the university by demonstrating in front of the Chief Minister. Peaceful protest is not a crime in a democracy,” SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said. He demanded that the administration immediately stop the “inhuman treatment” meted out to the students and arrange for a separate barracks for the girls.Delhi joins chorusIn New Delhi, a large number of students protested outside the U.P. Bhavan demanding immediate withdrawal of cases against Lucknow University students.JNUSU president Mohit Pandey said, “It is shameful that the government is branding everyone who protests against them as Naxalites and anti-nationals. We have seen this in JNU and we are seeing the same with the Bhim Army and the students of Lucknow University who protested against Yogi Adityanath.” Those who protested outside the Uttar Pradesh Bhavan included students from Delhi University, JNU and Jamia Millia.(With inputs from PTI)
Dera chief lodged in make-shift jail in Rohtak A special CBI court in Panchkula on Friday found Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty in a rape case. He is facing a minimum imprisonment of seven years, and can go up to life imprisonment.Holding the 50-year-old Dera chief guilty of rape, CBI judge Jagdeep Singh said the quantum of sentence would be pronounced on August 28, CBI counsel HPS Verma told reporters outside the court.A former follower had accused Singh of repeatedly raping her inside the Dera campus near Sirsa in Haryana. The incident took place in 1999. An FIR was registered in 2002. The Dera chief and the management of the sect have denied the allegations.Also Read CBI filed the charge sheet against the Dera head in Ambala court in July 2007, about five years after the registration of the rape case. The charge sheet mentions sexual exploitation of two ‘Sadhvis’ (women followers) between 1999 and 2001.The Special CBI court framed charges against Ram Rahim under Sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC in September 2008.Between 2009 and 2010, the two complainants recorded their statements before the court.The Special CBI court shifted from Ambala to Panchkula and the case against the Dera chief too was transferred to Panchkula CBI Court.In July, 2017, the court ordered daily hearing. Arguments of prosecution and defence were concluded on August 17, 2017.The judge fixed August 25 as the date for pronouncement of the verdict and Ram Rahim was directed to appear in person before the court the same day.
An eight-year-old boy was mauled to death by stray dogs in Bhiwandi township of Thane district, a police official said on Monday.The child, a resident of Phogaon area in Bhiwandi, was walking on the road with a friend near his home on Sunday afternoon when he suddenly lost his balance and fell on a pack of stray dogs sitting there, he said.Bitten severely The canines bit him severely, the official said.The child was rushed to a nearby hospital. However, as his condition became critical, he was shifted to the Thane Civil Hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead, he said.The city police have registered a case of accidental death, the official added.
Two jawans manning the Line of Control (LoC) were killed in the Pakistan Army’s firing in the Pir Panjal valley’s Sunderbani sector, Rajouri, in the past 24 hours, the Army said on Tuesday.An Army spokesman said the Pakistan Army initiated “unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars from 5.15 p.m. in Sunderbani Sector on Monday”.“In the exchange of fire, rifleman Vinod Singh and rifleman Jaki Sharma were grievously injured and succumbed to their injuries,” said the spokesman. The deceased — Singh, 24, is from J&K’s Akhnoor and Sharma, 30, is from Hiranagar. The Army organised a wreath laying ceremony for the deceased at the Akhnoor Military Hospital.
A sweltering Tuesday afternoon at the bustling Chowk Bazar here seems to reflect the political mood of this small town, which was in the news two years back over claims that Hindus had begun to migrate out of fear of the town’s large Muslim population. It’s now in focus with the coming Lok Sabha bypoll, where the strategy of beating the BJP through Opposition unity will be put to test yet again on May 28. A united Opposition had tasted success in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls. The story, however, is the same: deep faultlines of communal polarisation are palpable in this town having mixed Hindu and Muslim populations. Muslims seem inclined towards the RLD while Hindu shopkeepers back the BJP vehemently. As this correspondent introduces himself to a hookah seller and asks his name, the shopkeeper, well in his late middle age, conceals his name but reveals his identity, saying ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in reply. ‘Crime has come down’All praise for the Yogi Adityanath government over its handling of law and order, he says: “In this very bazar, people were murdered in broad daylight during the Akhilesh Yadav regime. After Yogi came to power, crime has dramatically dipped.” He says Hindus are happy with the BJP and will vote for it. He refuses to buy the logic that Jats – a dominant Hindu caste in the region – are likely to vote for the Rashtriya Lok Dal of Ajit Singh, whose candidate Tabassum Begum has the support of all Opposition parties. His claim, however, is not borne out when one visits Jat villages in the constituency. The BJP has fielded Mriganka Singh, daughter of late BJP leader Hukum Singh, a Gujjar, and hopes to work the Hindu sentiment — combined with the loyalty of Gujjars, a powerful caste here, for the late BJP MP — to its advantage. At a general store in Chowk Bazar, shop owner Jagdish Prasad claims there was a time when Hindus were wanting to leave the town, reinforcing a controversial claim made by BJP leaders in the region. The problem has “stopped” after the BJP came to power, he says.However, a Gujjar Muslim lawyer who politely refuses to reveal his name says the reports were a BJP conspiracy and there was no Hindu exodus ever. In this constituency, where Muslim votes are often a gamechanger, the anti-BJP alliance has fielded Ms. Tabassum, who was earlier with the SP and BSP, in the hope of combining Muslim and Jat votes. Add Dalits to the mix and the combination can be very difficult to beat. However, her brother-in-law and her late husband Munawar Hasan’s younger brother Kanwar Hasan is also contesting from here, something that is being seen as an attempt to divide Muslim votes. “Be that as it may, he won’t be able to cut into Muslim votes beyond a point, as they will vote against the BJP,” says Sundar Singh, a Gujjar from a nearby village backing the saffron party to the hilt.
The Centre will send more armed police forces to Assam as the deadline for the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) nears. A senior Home Ministry official said the State had requested additional forces, which were being sent as per the “assessment and availability.” The situation was not alarming but these were precautionary steps. A source said the Centre might move the Supreme Court to extend the deadline for the publication of the final draft from June 30 to July 8. “The State is affected by floods and there are several areas where the enumeration has been impacted. We need more time to complete the process.” As per the court direction, the Registrar-General of India is to publish the final list on June 30 to segregate Indian citizens from those who illegally entered the State from Bangladesh after March 25, 1971.“When the first draft was published on December 31, there were no law and order incidents reported. We have made adequate arrangements and forces would be on standby for the publication of the final draft,” said the official.“There are concerns in the State that those names that do not appear in the list cease to be Assamese citizens. There is another stage of claims and objections. If anyone has been excluded they can avail this option,” said the official. He explained that after the claims and objections have been rejected, the trial of such subjects would be held at Foreigners Tribunals. “There are around 100 such Tribunals in the State and till now we have not received any request from the Assam Government for creation of new ones,” said the official. The final draft will be put up at over 3,000 government “seva kendras” and be also be available on the website of RGI. The exercise to update the NRC is being carried out in Assam following a decision in 2005 after a series of meetings between the Central and State governments and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) in an attempt to document the bona fide Indian citizens living in Assam.When the NRC was first prepared in Assam in 1951, the State had 80 lakh citizens.A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the AASU in 1979. It culminated in the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985 in the presence of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Residents of West Bengal’s Jhargram district staged a protest on Tuesday against the destruction of crops and damage to houses caused by wild elephants in the area. Hundreds of villagers blocked roads and disrupted traffic in Sankrail area of the district alleging that forest officials were not doing enough to drive the elephants away.Basav Raj, Divisional Forest Officer, Jhargram, said a herd of over 70 elephants, including a good number of calves, is living in the Lalgarh forest of the district.Admitting that people have complained about the movement of the elephants, the DFO said that trampling of crops is a regular phenomenon in the region with both humans and elephants competing for resources. “The forest department compensates villagers for loss of crops due to elephant movement,” he said.Over the past several years, forests of south Bengal have recorded highest cases of human-elephant conflict in the country.Earlier this month, three elephants. including a calf, were run over by a train at Gidhnih in Jhargram. Forest officials said that the accident occurred because there was no history of elephant movement in that particular stretch of forest.
Even after hospitalisation, Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel continues with his indefinite fast but has started having water and fruit juices on Saturday. After he was rushed to the government hospital on Friday evening, Hardik was shifted to a private hospital at midnight. He continues to be in the private hospital. On Saturday, several top leaders including former Union Ministers Sharad Yadav and A Raja visited Mr Patel and expressed support to his agitation seeking quota for Patidars and farm loan waiver. Mr Yadav also offered a glass of water to Hardik, who accepted it. Earlier on Thursday, Hardik had stopped taking water and liquid after his deadline to the state government to initiate talks on his issues elapsed without any concrete step by the state government. It may be noted that Mr Patel is on indefinite fast since August 25 and since then he has become a centre of anti-BJP forces as most of top leaders who are political opponents of BJP have visited him and expressed their support to his main issues. PAAS issues ultimatumOn September 5, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) issued an ultimatum to the Gujarat government to clarify its stand on the demands for quota and farm loan waiver for which its leader Hardik Patel has been on a fast for 12 days.“If the government does not clarify its stand in the next 24 hours, then Hardik will once again give up water,” said Manoj Panara, convener of PAAS, which spearheads the agitation in Gujarat.PAAS representatives accused the State government of misleading the people and slammed the government’s efforts to scuttle the agitation.PAAS leaders also targeted the Patidar community’s religious organisations and their trustees, calling them BJP’s agents. “It is for the organisations and their leaders to decide whether to be with the community or with the BJP government,” Mr. Panara said.To meet MPsFrom Thursday, PAAS members and volunteers will approach legislators and parliamentarians from the State to ascertain their stand on the issues the PAAS led by 25-year-old Hardik Patel is fighting for.Meanwhile, the State Cabinet meeting scheduled for Thursday is likely to discuss Mr. Patel’s demands and his indefinite fast, which is drawing support from leaders across parties.Leaders meet HardikOn Wednesday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray expressed his support for Hardik Patel. He requested him to continue his fight but end the fast as his health was deteriorating.A delegation of Congress leaders, consisting of AICC in charge of Gujarat Rajeev Satav, State party president Amit Chavda and leader of the Opposition Paresh Dhanani, met Mr. Patel to offer support.
Two hospitals from Nashik and Ahmednagar have been suspended from the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY), the State’s medical insurance scheme for the poor. While the Nashik hospital was found to have claimed money for a wrong procedure, the Ahmednagar hospital is alleged to have denied a particular medical package to a patient. MJPJAY’s chief operating officer Sudhakar Shinde confirmed that the two hospitals were suspended early this month. “The insurance scheme is completely cashless. We don’t want patients to face any problem while availing it,” said Mr Shinde. While the suspensions can be revoked after the hospitals assure that similar wrongdoings are not repeated, nearly 45 hospitals have been de-panelled from the scheme in May for frauds like taking cash from patients, offering expensive packages beyond the scheme, inflating bills, and refusal to treat under the scheme. The MJPJAY covers 2.2 crore families for 971 ailments and ₹1.5 lakh per year. The beneficiaries are yellow-and-orange ration-card holders. In the 14 farmer suicide-affected districts, the scheme also covers white ration-card holders. The newly launched Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojna (PMJAY), also known as Ayushman Bharat, has been integrated with this existing scheme. In order to curb illegal practices by hospitals under both these schemes, a government circular was released on September 21 which said hospitals would have to pay a penalty of five times the package rate. If a patient is asked to pay any additional amount, the hospital will not only have to return the amount but also pay an additional amount to the government. Besides suspension or de-pannelling from the scheme, the circular also mentions revoking licences if hospitals commit frauds or refuse patients under the scheme. “We have already started noticing the change. The complaints have drastically reduced,” Mr. Shinde said. 360 beneficiariesSince the launch of the scheme on September 23, more than 360 patients have undergone various procedures under the PMJAY scheme. While the MJPJAY is based on ration cards, the PMJAY beneficiaries have been identified on the basis of Socio-Economic Caste Census. The beneficiaries are issued a ATM-like card with a unique bar code to avail the hospital services. The 360 procedures carried out in Maharashtra over the past few weeks include coronary balloon angioplasty, hysterectomy, chemotherapy, and ventilatory care.