Sat, 02 September 2017
AAP to contest Gujarat assembly polls, roadshow on Sep 17

Timeline  Refresh

21:28   Former Manipur CM booked for graft
An FIR has been lodged against former Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and five former bureaucrats of the state for alleged financial irregularities in the Manipur Development Society, a police officer said today.

Ibobi Singh of the Congress was the chief minister of Manipur from 2002 to March 2017.

The FIR was lodged at the Imphal police station against Ibobi Singh and former chief secretaries Y Ningthem Singh, P C Lawmkunga and O Nabakishore Singh.

Also named in the FIR were former project director of MDS D S Poonia and its administrative officer Ranjit Singh, the officer said.

The police lodged the FIR against Singh and five others after the joint secretary in the Planning department, Th Munindra Singh yesterday, urged the Imphal West Superintendent of Police to conduct 'a detailed investigation and to book the persons/officials responsible for mismanagement, misappropriation and misuse of funds', on the basis of an enquiry report submitted by the vigilance department.

The vigilance report said the former chief minister 'is required to be examined and record his statement as he was the chairman of MDS from July 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014'.

In November last year, the Planning Department of the state government had approached the vigilance department to conduct an enquiry into the alleged financial irregularities in MDS.

It was alleged that 'officials and staffs of MDS had not observed prescribed procedures, establishment's norms and extant rules' including 'measurement books, detailed project reports and utilisation certification'.

Meanwhile the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson A K Ranjit said only after the conclusion of the investigation on graft charges, their authenticity should be determined. -- PTI
20:42   AAP to contest Gujarat assembly polls, roadshow on Sep 17
The Aam Aadmi Party today said it will contest the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections, but will field candidates only on seats that meet certain criteria set by its central leadership.

The party's Gujarat election in-charge and Delhi minister, Gopal Rai, told reporters that the decision to contest the elections was taken at a meeting held yesterday between the AAP's state and central office-bearers.

To formally launch the campaign, the party will hold a road show in Ahmedabad on September 17, Rai said.

"The AAP has decided, after a long discussion, that it will contest the Gujarat assembly elections. We have framed three criteria and will contest on those seats which meet our criteria," Rai said.

He said the party will contest seats where it can find 'competent candidates' who have no charges of corruption or criminal cases, and have upright character.

Elections to the 182-member assembly in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are likely to be held by the year-end.

The assembly seats selected by the party should have in-charge in each booth.
Also, the party members will have to raise money to fund their campaign and spend it as per the norms set by the Election Commission, the minister said.

"Fund raised in a particular seat will be spent on campaigning in that constituency only," Rai said.

"We will focus our energies on only those seats which we can win. For that, we have formed a state-level committee which will oversee election management works," he said, adding it is possible the party may end up fielding candidates on all the 182 seats.

The setback in civic polls in Delhi, where it lost to the Bharatiya Janata Party, had left a shadow on the AAP's plans to contest elections in Gujarat.

Though the Arvind Kejriwal-led outfit had emerged as the principal opposition in Punjab in the recently held assembly elections, the result had left the party disappointed as its leaders had been hopeful of wresting power in the state after the AAP's 2015 victory in Delhi.

However, it appears that the party has had a rethink after the recent win in Bawana bypoll.

Rai said the party has also appointed a team to oversee election preparedness, he said, adding AAP member Kishor Desai has been appointed its convener.

He said the party wants to provide an alternative to the people of Gujarat who are 'tired' of the over two-decade- long rule of the BJP and feel the Congress is not a strong opposition party.

"We want to reach out to the people of Gujarat who understand that the BJP government has not been able to tackle their basic problems."

He said the AAP government in Delhi has created a model to help the common man through a host of initiatives in fields like education and health. The fledgling outfit wants to place this model before the Gujarat voters, Rai added.  -- PTI
19:47   13 more children die in Gorakhpur BRD medical college
The spate of deaths continued in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur with 13 more children dying in the past 24 hours, taking the toll to 1,317 so far this year.

As many as 13 children, 10 in neo-natal intensive care unit and three in general paediatric ward died in the past 24 hours, the newly-appointed principal of the college Dr P K Singh said on Saturday.

No death was reported in the encephalitis ward during this period, Dr Singh said, adding that 53 new cases were admitted in the hospital.

This year there have been a total of 1,317 deaths in the hospital so far.

According to hospital records, in January 152 children died, in February 122, March 159, April 123, May 139, June 137, July 128 and August 325, besides in September 32 children have died so far.  -- PTI
19:10   Centre withdraws access to airport VIP lounges for Dera chief
The government has ordered that rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh be removed from the list of dignitaries allowed access to the VIP lounge of airports.

'It has now been decided to withdraw the permission for use of reserve lounge at airports granted to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa, with immediate effect,' says a letter dated September 1 from the Civil Aviation ministry to the chairman of the Airports Authority of India.

Permission to access 'reserve lounges' at airports comesunder the purview of the the ministry.

However, it could not be immediately ascertained when Gurmeet Singh was given this perk.

A senior official of AAI said instructions have been passed on to regional executive directors as well as airport directors to comply with the order.

Meanwhile, six followers of Dera Sacha Sauda were arrested for allegedly damaging a petrol pump and a car at Chal village near Faridkot, police said today.

The Dera followers damaged the petrol pump and a car on August 25 after Ram Rahim Singh was convicted.

The police claimed that the arrested Dera followers tried to set the petrol pump on fire, but failed to do so.

The Dera followers were arrested yesterday, the police said.  -- PTI
18:41   Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes not needed: Naidu
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday gave his views on the new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 currency notes stating that these notes are not needed, while all transactions should be made online.

Speaking at a press conference Amaravati, Naidu said, "We don't need Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 currency notes. Small (denomination) notes (Rs 200 and Rs 100) are enough. We have to go for online transactions in a big way so that ultimately corruption is rooted out."

Chandrababu had also questioned the need of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 banknotes adding that Rs 200 and Rs 100 notes are sufficient for transaction.

Earlier, Naidu had welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 last year to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes but expressed reservations over the introduction of Rs 2,000 notes.  -- ANI
Mumbai police tweets this photo of people of Muslim community offering Eid prayers in front of a Ganpati pandal.

'The essence of #Mumbai  captured in one frame at Ganesh Murti Nagar, Cuffe Parade! Need we say more? #EidAlAdha #Ganeshotsav,' reads the tweet.

Photograph: @MumbaiPolice/Twitter
18:11   Nitish says no talks held on JD-U joining cabinet
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that he has no information about his party Janata Dal-United being considered for a ministerial berth by the Centre as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake a reshuffle of council of ministers on Sunday.

"We have no information, no talks about it. We got information only from media," Kumar said.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that JD -U leaders R C P Singh and Ramnath Thakur are likely to be inducted into the Union cabinet on Sunday morning.  -- ANI
17:48   Gorkha agitation continues; massive hunt for Gurung
A massive search operation was launched today in Darjeeling hills and adjoining areas for Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supremo Bimal Gurung, even as the indefinite shutdown entered its 80th day.

The police had yesterday issued a lookout notice againstthe GJM chief for his alleged involvement in various cases,including a bomb blast in Kalimpong police station in which acivic volunteer was killed.

The bandh continued after Gurung revoked party convenor Binay Tamang's decision of suspending it till September 12, when the next round of dialogue with the state government is scheduled.

The GJM chief had also expelled Tamang yesterday on the charge of 'violating the party line and indulging in anti-party activities'.

Questioning the decision, Tamang today lashed out at Gurung and party general secretary Roshan Giri.

"I do not need to take lessons from them. I am a son of the soil and am fighting for the interests of my Gorkha brothers. I want to ask Gurung and Giri, if they are so concerned about fighting for Gorkhaland, why did they send their families abroad so that they can be safe?" he asked. -- PTI
16:43   Post mishap, Delhi L-G bans garbage dumping in Ghazipur
Garbage dumping in Ghazipur has been banned with immediate effect and the landfill site is likely to be cleared within two years, Lt Governor Anil Baijal's office said today.

A day after a portion of the waste dump, estimated to be as high as a 15-storey building, collapsed, killing two persons, Baijal held a meeting to take stock of the situation.

He directed that traffic be diverted on the road adjoining the landfill for proper vehicular movement.

'National Highways Authority of India  assured the L-G that it will begin the process of lifting, segregating and processing of the solid waste by November 2017, for its use inroad construction,' said a statement from the Lt  Governor's Office.

The process has been fast tracked and the entire landfill site would be cleared within two years, it said.

The East Delhi Municipal Corporation that manages the landfill site will send collected garbage for disposal to some alternative site with immediate effect.

A day after torrential rain -- the heaviest in three years -- lashed Delhi, a section of the pile in a landfill slumped over a car and three two-wheelers, pushing the vehicles off the road and into a canal.

Expressing his condolences to the families of the two people who lost their lives, Baijal asked all agencies to be fully prepared to deal with such exigencies and to coordinate so that such unfortunate incidents do not recur.

The meeting was attended by Ranbir Singh, commissioner EDMC, RP Singh, general manager NHAI, Rajeev Verma, principal commissioner (lands) DDA, and experts in landfill site management.

Around 2,500 MT of garbage lifted from East Delhi is dumped each day in the Ghazipur landfill, the oldest of its kind in the national capital.

According to officials, the permissible height for agarbage dump is 20 metres.

However, the Ghazipur dump was 60metres high.  -- PTI
16:27   For Bihar floods, Sushil Modi blames rats, Congress and Lalu
Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi on Saturday not only blamed rats for causing the devastating floods in the state, but also held the Congress party and Lalu Prasad Yadav's government responsible for the same.

"This is not a matter of today, this is happening from last 50 years. Rats damaged the river embankments, which caused the flood. Rats are not the only factor behind this. This issue has been taking place since the time the Congress and Lalu Yadav's government were in power. They all are responsible for this," the Deputy Chief Minister told ANI.

Earlier on Friday, Bihar Water Resource Minister Lalan Singh, after reviewing the flood situation, claimed that rats had damaged the river embankments that in turn caused the floods.

The opposition parties did not approve with the statement and claimed that the Bihar government is only trying to hide its failure with such illogical statements.

As per reports, several big rivers such as Kamla Balan, Kosi, Gandak and Bagmati broke their mud embankments, displacing over 1.70 crore population and causing floods in half of the state.  -- ANI
15:53   Indian student cremated in Texas, friend remains critical
A 24-year-old Indian student who died after he was rescued from a swollen lake in the hurricane-hit US state of Texas, has been cremated.

Nikhil Bhatia, a PhD student at the Texas A&M University, was rescued from the Lake Bryan, where he along with Shalini Singh had gone swimming, last Saturday.

Bhatia, originally from Jaipur, along with Singh, 25, from New Delhi, was admitted to a hospital in a critical condition.

Bhatia died in a hospital on Wednesday while Singh continues to be in a critical condition, according to officials at the Indian Consulate in Houston.

Singh was pursuing masters degree in public health from the same university.

Funeral of Bhatia took place yesterday in the presence of his mother and close friends.

According to the consulate office, Bhatia's mother Suman Bhatia will be leaving for India on September 4 and will carry his ashes with her.

Bhatia, originally from Jaipur, had completed his schooling from Jaipur and did his engineering in Vellore.

He recently graduated from Texas A&M University in water management and hydrological science and had enrolled in a PhD programme for fall session.

Bhatia was the only child of Suman, a lecturer in a government college, and Pradeep Bhatia, a defence staffer.  -- PTI

Photograph: Nikhil Bhatia/Facebook
14:54   PM should go first if rejig is based on performance: Congress
As the council of ministers is all set to be reshuffled tomorrow, the Congress on Saturday said that if it is being done on the basis of work, then Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also be included as his was the worst.

"If reshuffling is happening on the basis of work, then Prime Minister Modi should be included in this. Because Prime Minister Modi's work was the worst be it promises on employment, farmers, law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir, or demonetization," Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

Meanwhile, Union Cabinet Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Kalraj Mishra has confirmed that he has submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. -- ANI
13:32   Girl studying at Dera centre missing, claims family
The family of a girl, who was living in the Dera Sacha Sauda complex in Sirsa, has claimed that she has been missing after the rape conviction of the sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

The family from Haryana's Tiwala claimed that they had not been in touch with Shraddha since 2008.

Her cousin, Parminder Singh, said the last time they got information about her was from a Dera-run magazine which described her as a yoga practitioner.

The family along with other villagers are making frantic efforts to trace her in Sirsa.

"The caretaker of Sahe Baitiyan Baseera's (home for minor girls), Poonam, said that she had left the Dera after the sect's head was convicted," Singh said, adding that he tried to get in touch with other officials of the Dera.

"Shradhha was left in the Dera to pursue her education long time back. In 2008, we tried to meet her, but we were not allowed by the Dera functionaries," he alleged.

"I tried to contact the officials of the Dera on their mobile numbers, but it was futile," he said, adding that as the area around the sect's headquarter was still under curfew, it was difficult to get inside.

Sources said that around 29 minor girls were in the Dera-run 'Sahe Baitiyan Baseera'.

"Eighteen girls, all of whom are minors, said that they were happy and did not want to come out. However, we persuaded the Dera management, and with their help brought them out," Sirsa Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh had said earlier.

The girls were sent to juvenile homes at different locations, including Sonipat, in Haryana, officials said.

"The girls said they were happy and safe inside. We found them in a healthy condition," the deputy commissioner had said.

Like Shradhha's family, relatives of Suchaitana and Aapar from Delhi are also eagerly waiting their return.

The Sirsa district administration is also arranging transport for followers of the Dera to return home. -- PTI

IMAGE: Dera headquarters in Sirsa. Photograph: PTI Photo
12:33   Clashes erupt in Valley after Eid prayers
Clashes broke out between groups of youths and security forces at few places in Kashmir valley after Eid prayers today, police said.

Clashes were reported from Srinagar, Anantnag and Sopore in the valley after the culmination of congregational Eid prayers at these places, a police official said.

He said immediately after the prayers were over at the Eidgah in Srinagr, a group of youths started pelting stones at security forces who were deployed there to maintain law and order.

Security personnel used tear smoke shells to disperse the protestors, the official said, adding that there were no reports of any one getting injured.

Similar clashes also took place near Janglat Mandi in Anantnag and near Jamia Masjid in Sopore towns in south and north Kashmir respectively after the prayers, he said.

Youths were pelting stones at the forces when last reports came in, he said. The official said security forces exercised maximum restraint and so far there are no reports of any casualties.

While the police yesterday arrested Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik, chairmen of both factions of the Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, were kept under house arrest this morning.

They had announced that they would join Eid prayers at Srinagar Eidgah. -- PTI

IMAGE: Security personnel fire tear shells at youth pelting stones after Eid prayers at Srinagar Eidgah on Saturday morning. Photograph: Umar Ganie/
11:34   Gorakhpur tragedy: Dr Kafeel Khan arrested
The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force on Saturday arrested accused Dr Kafeel Khan from Gorakhpur over the death of nearly 70 children at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College's Hospital.

After Dr Kafeel Khan made the headlines, he was removed from the post of the Nodal Officer for the Department of Pediatrics of the hospital.

Dr Khan is the third accused so far in the case.

The court has ordered Non-Bailable warrants against seven accused including Dr Kafeel Khan and Dr Satish.

STF's DIG Manoj Tiwari confirmed the development.

The report of the Chief Secretary's Committee, was presented to state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and catered towards suggestions and improvements for the better working conditions in hospitals in Gorakhpur and other districts.

The committee included Ashok Kumar -- secretary of health and welfare, Mukesh Mittal -- joint secretary and Dr Hem Chandra, the medical superintendent.

In a press release issued earlier, the government stated that all recommendations of the probe committee have been accepted.

It further said that the committee has recommended registration of criminal cases against former principal of BRD Medical College Dr Rajeev Mishra; Dr Satish, in-charge of oxygen supply and head of anesthesia department; Dr Khan, in-charge of the 100-bed AES ward; and Pushpa Sales.Reportedly, Khan was involved in stealing of oxygen cylinders for his private clinic from the BRD hospital. -- ANI
10:56   LeT terrorist involved in Lt Fayaz's killing gunned down in Kulgam
Lashkar-e-Taiyba terrorist Ishfaq Padder who was gunned down by security forces in Kulgam's Tantrypora on Saturday was involved in killing of Lieutenant Umar Fayaz.

Padder was killed in an encounter near Tantripuraa village of Kulgam district.

On specific input, a joint team of 62 Rashtriya Rifles and SOG had laid an ambush to trap the dreaded LeT terrorist. Security forces are looking for Padder's accomplices.

The bullet-riddled body of 22-year-old Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz from Kashmir was found in Harmen area of Shopian on May 10, after he was abducted by terrorists from Batpura village.

Image: Army personnel pay tribute to slain army officer Lt Ummer Fayyaz during his funeral at his native village Sudsona in Kulgam district. Photograph: PTI Photo
10:39   Three things Narendra Modi must do in the reshuffle tomorrow if he doesnt want a surprise in 2019
Even if you are a fully paid-up bhakt sold into the bogus theology and mythology of Narendra Modi, it is clear that for all the bluff and bluster, the Gujarat Model has crashed and burned big time at the national level.

Many among his flock are uttering the dreaded word, KLPD: Kab Lautenge Puraane Din?

The RBIs official stamp on the #DeMonestisationDisaster and the latest GDP growth numbers this week are only the latest indicators that the gap between hype and reality, between promise and deliverance, is getting wider.

No amount of chest-thumping, threatening or trolling is going to change that before the 2019 electionswhich is perhaps why the ETA (estimated time of arrival) for Achche Din has been conveniently shifted to 2022, which arrogantly presumes he will win again.

Well, what if he doesnt?

09:59   1 terrorist killed in encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam
One terrorist was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kulgam in Jammu and Kashmir.

The operation took place at the Tantrypora area of Kulgam early this morning, news agency ANI reported.

The encounter is still underway.

The encounter comes a day after a policeman was killed by terrorists on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. 

The policeman along with three others was injured after the bus he was travelling in came under attack by terrorists around 8 pm in the Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar.

The injured were taken to the Army's 92 Base Hospital at Badami Bagh cantonment in Srinagar, where the policeman -- Head Constable Kishan Lal -- died due to his injuries.
09:30   Nandan Nilekani will not draw any salary as Infosys chairman
India's second largest IT services firm Infosys has said that incumbent non-executive and non- independent chairman Nandan Nilekani will not receive any remuneration for his current post.
In a BSE filing, the company said Nilekani's office as director shall be subject to retirement by rotation and the remuneration proposed to be paid to him is nil.
Nilekani was first appointed to the board in 1981 and ceased to be its member on July 9, 2009, Infosys said.
His last drawn remuneration for the fiscal 2010 in which he ceased to be a director was Rs 34 lakh, it said, adding that Nilekani holds 2,13,83,480 equity shares in the company.
U B Pravin Rao, the interim CEO of the company and who holds 5,55,520 shares, will get the same salary he was drawing as chief operating officer.
Rao was elevated as the interim CEO and managing director after Vishal Sikka had quit from CEO's post on August 18, citing "continuous attack" from the founders and distractions.
08:39   Trump to nominate Kenneth Juster as US ambassador to India
President Donald Trump has announced his intent to nominate Kenneth I Juster, a top economic aide and an expert on India, as the US ambassador to India.
In June, the White House said that Juster, 62, will be America's new ambassador to India.
Juster, who is the Deputy Assistant to the US president for International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director of his National Economic Council, would replace Richard Verma if nominated and confirmed by the Senate.
The position has been lying vacant since January 20 when Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

Juster has previously served as Under Secretary of Commerce from 2001-2005, Counselor (acting) of the State Department from 1992-1993, and deputy and senior adviser to the Deputy Secretary of State from 1989-1992.
In the private sector, he has been a partner at the investment firm Warburg Pincus LLC, Executive Vice President at, and senior partner at the law firm Arnold & Porter.
He has also served as Chairman of Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and as Vice Chairman of The Asia Foundation.
Juster holds a law degree from the Harvard Law School, a master's degree in Public Policy from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and a bachelor's degree in Government from Harvard College.